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Texas Lavender Fields

Earlier this summer, two girl friends and I drove up to my friend’s parents’ ranch house near Killeen to shoot some photos in the lavender fields that her Mom grows (!) Just the drive up there had me super excited! (I’m sure the BUC-EES Beaver Nuggets Sweet Corn Puff Snacks I consumed during the road trip, had nothing to do with my sugar high…) There’s something serene about driving for a couple hours outside of Houston, and then taking dusty, windy roads down through hills and farm lands. (I had also just finished watching Friday Night Lights, so I was REALLY into the whole “old Texas town” thing.)

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Before we left, our friend told us not to expect lavender fields likes those in France. The fields turned out to be perfect and pretty, and the whole experience of being in the middle of Texas was the chocolate icing on my yellow cupcake.We ended up staying in a very old ranch house on the property, but I found each part of the house charming (minus the bugs, of course). There is so much character to the house and surrounding land, with its old tool shed, water basin, clothes line, ranch gates, the tall grass, cacti, and miles of green land.

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The next day we woke up to take these photos, and the overcast weather worked to our advantage, as it added to the old-country charm and tone of the photos. All of the pieces I’m wearing are owned and were styled by Kristen. She had a very creative way of taking this dress and making it feel very “Little House on the Prairie”-like, which is what we were going for.

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Considering lavender is one of my favorite scents, it was hard to pull myself away from the fields. Good thing Kristen’s mom makes all sorts of goodies from the lavender—I have the lotion, insect repellant, linen spray, and picked up a bunch of fresh lavender for my room. It smelled pretty darn great for days (and kept the mosquitoes away)!

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This post has quite a few more photos than usual, but that’s because there were two talented photographers there—Kristen from Kristen Eide Photography and Rocio from Rocio Carlon Studios. I think they both did an awesome job of capturing the mood of the Texas country. Don’t ya’ll think so?

If you’re interested in knowing more about the lavender fields, visit: Lampasas Ridge Lavender Farm.

Linked up on: Cappuccino and Fashion, Penniless Socialite, Myriad Musings, Lizze in Lace and Pumps and Pushups.

Favorites

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I don’t often do these “Favorite Things” lists. If I did, there would be an inane amount of things—sprinkles, lavender lotion, anything and everything Paper Source, Vicks Vapor Rub, almond butter—you get the picture. But over the last few months, I’ve come across a few items that I think would be useful to share.

Mia Ballerina Flats
Next to jeans and swimwear (super ugh), I find buying flat shoes one of the hardest things to do. Being an avid wearer of nude flats, I’m always on the lookout for a good pair. Steve Madden has always been my go-to, but I recently came across these Mia Ballerinas at DSW. I’m a fan…like a huge fan. The material has the perfect amount of stretch, they did not scrape up against my ankles, the color is great, and there is a thin, padded cushion at the bottom (it feels weird at first, but then you’ll love it). They really are the most comfortable flats I’ve owned.

DSW no longer sells them online, but I did find them on the Mia and Macy’s websites. Only the black and nude ones are available through Macy’s but they are $10 cheaper, and have a “BST” promo code right now. If you’re a ballerina-flats wearer like me, the $30 or $40 you spend on them, will be worth it. I normally wear a size 6.5 or 7 and the 6.5 fit perfectly.

Mia Ballerina Flats in Nude

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eye in “Brightener”
Don’t freak out by the name. I’m not saying that you guys are old and need an “age-rewinder ”. I’m suggesting this for those girls out there that are interested in the whole strobing/highlighting makeup technique, but also using a concealer. I’ve found other highlighters to be too glittery or expensive. This one has just the right amount of shimmer/sheen to it, plus it’s less than $10 and really easy to apply with its sponge-tip. (Benefit’s “Watts Up” is another really great one—it is slightly pricey ($30), and it gives a bit more shimmer, if you like that.)

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Orly Flash Dry 
I don’t paint my finger nails very often, mainly because I hate waiting for them to dry. It’s not like I have other things to do (I’m not that cool), it’s just that I don’t want to spend my time sitting around, waiting for my nails to dry. However, a few drops of this stuff will dry your polish in 5 – 7 minutes. Score. Now I can just sit around, and not have to prop my hands up to dry.

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VSCOcam or Instasize (photo editing apps)

  • VSCOcam has beautiful filters and quite a few adjustment tools for you to get an image that you really like. I’ve had it on my phone for a couple of years, but didn’t really start using it until recently. If you’re willing to spend a bit of extra time editing your photos, then I highly recommend this app.

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  • Instasize allows you to pick filters, make adjustments, re-size, create collages, and add borders, text, and so on— all from one app. While Instagram does have similar filters, I think the ones on this app are better. I also started using it to adjust and post my stop-motion videos.

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Pilot Precise V5 Rollerball Ink Pen

Ummm…hello my new love. I first used one the other week while signing my eye exam receipt at Target. I took one stroke with it, stopped, lifted it to my face and stared it. The girl behind the counter was like, “Yup. That pen gets people every time.” We had a brief conversation, which included the words “pen geek”, “school supply nerd” and “I stole this pen, and I’m never giving it back.” Then I rushed inside Target, and picked up a pack. I needed them in my life…immediately.

Pilot Precise V5 Rollerball Pen

Sprinkles Mini Cupcake Sundae

I allowed myself one the other day after a grueling few weeks of working out and attempting to avoid sweets. My dark-side took over and I got this. It was worth it and the mini-size is perfect if you’re just looking to fulfill a small sugar craving!

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Five Ways to Wear a Bandana

Five Ways to Wear a Bandana

Being a Texan, I already owned a couple of bandanas and ever since I saw this girl sporting one as a scarf, I’ve been playing around with the trend. Stores are carrying them in a range of prices (I’ve seen some that are $20 or more!), but I was able to pick up a couple of colors from my local Hobby Lobby store for less than $2. As it is one of my new favorite trends, I thought I’d share a few ways in which I’ve worn the scarf, and plan to, once the fall rolls around.

To start off, there are two basic folds that you’ll need to know; the half-fold (step 2) and long-fold (step 5):

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Bunny Ear Tuck

Start with the long fold and place it around your neck, with the ends facing the back. Tie it (1 – 2 times), and tuck the bunny ears in.

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Air Hostess

Start with the long fold, and then place the bandana around your neck, with the ends facing the front. Tie it around your neck, air hostess-style.

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Classic Cowboy

Fold the bandana in half, place it around your neck with the ends facing back, and tie it around your neck (1 – 2 times).

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The Cape

This is basically the Classic Cowboy, but backwards. Fold the bandana in half, place it around your neck with the ends facing front, and tie it around your neck, like a cape (1 – 2 times).

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Headband

Start with the long fold and wrap it around your head, tying it at the bottom. If needed, secure it with bobby pins. Note: You can either tuck in the ends, leave them untucked or you can also tie the scarf on the top of your head. (That’s a little too girly for me, so I tied it at the bottom and left the ends untucked).

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There are tons of other ways to wear a bandana scarf, but these are just the five that I found to be the easiest, and most suitable to my style.

Five Ways to Wear a Bandana

P.S. I’ve made up all the names for the folds and styles!

 

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It’s a Jungle Out There!

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Don’t let all that awesome, bright, green shrubbery fool you. There is in fact, a bayou with water the color of dark, brown coffee behind me. Oh yes…welcome to the “Bayou City” (aka Houston) guys. (Good thing I have an uber-talented roommate/ photographer who can pretty much turn any landscape into awesomeness.)

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These were actually shot around Buffalo Bayou Park, the place where I run. Scratch that—where I attempt to run and watch other people do their thing, and then I go get a donut to make myself feel better. In all seriousness, Buffalo Bayou is actually really cool—the running and biking trails are great, there are small parks lined up against the trail for people, kids and dogs, bridges, artwork, beach volleyball, the bat bridge (warning: it smells when you go underneath it) and great views of downtown, amongst other things. It really is nice to see Houston developing the bayou, and with plans to expand it with restaurants, swimming and concert areas, etc.—I can only see it getting better from here!

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On to the outfit—while I don’t always go for bold prints in dresses (and I’m definitely not a “plant-person”), for some reason, I couldn’t pass this dress up. I figured it’d make a fun collection to my subtle wardrobe. In scouting out a location to take these images, Centennial Park came to mind. However, I liked Kristen’s idea of having a garden-esque theme to it, and the areas along the trail were perfect for it. I almost felt like Annie Lennox (from The Secret Garden) in this shoot…almost. Though, with my horrible green thumb, any attempt at a secret garden would be lost.

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Dress – H&M (sold here), Shoes – Madrid, Spain, Bag – Borrowed 

Photographs taken by: Kristen Eide Photography

Linked up on: Cappuccino and Fashion, Penniless Socialite, Myriad MusingsWhat I Wore & A Little Bit of Cheer.

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Underwater

It’s official…Houston is flooded in (or out). To those people with kayaks–smart move buddy…smart move. But why do Houstonians think their cars have Aquaman powers, and can swim through water? When did I-59/69 become a watering hole or better yet, an underwater parking lot…that people willingly drove into? Also, good thing the Rockets won last night. Otherwise, it would have been a bad idea for the five Warriors fans to be trapped (literally) in the Toyota Center, amongst a slew of raging fans.

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I’ve been checking my Twitter feed all morning, and I’m completely engrossed with all the images people are posting. I haven’t seen the city shut down like this since Hurricane Ike (at least there won’t be a curfew this time around). It’s as if we just had our own little, water-apocalypse, that I slept through like no one’s business.

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Since I’m stuck in bed (I know…woe is me), I decided to clean up my photos and came across these. I haven’t posted in awhile, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get these up (even though it’s pre-short hair and I’m wearing a thicker scarf). However, I still love this bright color combo, and I’ve definitely worn this outfit (sans scarf) quite a few times. This pinkish, salmon-colored top has come in handy quite a bit. It’s light-weight and easy to throw on underneath something (like a blazer or cardigan) or just wear it, as is. It comes in quite a few colors (H&M), and I definitely recommend adding one to your wardrobe as a staple. Just make sure to pin it a little in the v-neck, otherwise you’ll be putting on a free show for everyone.

Well, I’m off to enjoy my four-day weekend. By “enjoy” I mean take, take a nap and pray that giant, bayou mosquitos don’t eat me. Be careful Houstonians, the water will suck up your car!

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Linked up with: Style to Inspire & Bless Her Heart Ya’ll.

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Kite Flying at Hermann Park

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Don’t think we didn’t have a Frozen, Hello Kitty and a giant, purple squid kite, amongst children that were practically 30 years younger than us. We marched up that hill, and flew those kites (well, I tried).

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I really don’t know what is happening here–probably singing “Let it Go” when my Frozen kite flew away.

I was a bit shocked by the number of people who came out to the Hermann Park Kite Festival a couple of weeks ago. It was so awesome to see so many Houstonians enjoying our parks, walking around and having a great time. It just further proves the amount of progress Houston has made to get people out and about, within just a few years!

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HOWEVER, not everyone was a barrel of fun. Example A: the lady that got upset at me because my kite accidentally knocked hers out of the sky. Umm…you’re like 50, get over it. Example B: the couple that flew their ugly, orange kite into my roommate’s cool, squid kite—knocked him out of the sky, into “Cool Kite Heaven”, and didn’t even apologize. Haters. (Everyone else was cool).

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Also, this handsome pup is Django—he’s not mine, he’s a friend’s. It took us a teeny bit of time to become buds, but with some Whataburger Chickin’ Strips and a few W-A-L-K-S…we’re good now. He also has some major game—walking him is like the best ego boost. (It also makes me want to get a dog real badly).

I have to admit, it felt weird to be taking blog photos in front of so many people (usually, it’s just me, a tripod and a white background). I am going to try and make it a point, to take some more photos around town, though I can’t make any promises! I’ve been meaning to get this outfit on the blog for a quite some time now. The top is a couple years old, so I’ve worn it dozens of times—either just like this or with a pair of jeans. It’s definitely my go-to “I need to dress up a teeny bit”-top. Plus, the colors are pretty spot-on for all-year wear. I can’t wait to come back next year, with an even cooler kite…maybe a pirate ship one!

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Top – H&M, Shorts – F21, Shoes – Ralph Lauren (via Marshalls), Sunglasses – CR, Dog – Django

Photos by: Kristen Eide.

Linked up on: Style to InspireStyle Swap Tuesdays, Pumps and Pushups, and Bless Her Heart Ya’ll.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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If you loved your Jansport backpack, high-tops, colored pants and Babysitter’s Club or if you’re pretty much any kid who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s…you’re going to LOVE Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix! The show’s creators are Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (yes, they make cameos, so do others), so it’s already guaranteed to be all sorts of awesome.

I started it and whipped through all 13 episodes…I could not stop. It’s nostalgia overload, mixed with a bit of new, throw in some politically incorrect language, a few racial comments and well it’s pretty much one of the funniest comedies I’ve seen in awhile. I definitely LOL-ed the entire time (and I rarely say “LOL”). Even the theme song is awesome! It stars Ellie Kemper (who played the hilarious, yet super creepy teacher who was in love with Channing Tatum’s character in 21 Jump Street) and she does an awesome job of being a super optimistic 90s girl, living in the 2000s, after being cooped up in a bunker for like 15 years during a “so-called apocalypse”. Yeah, I just said apocalypse. Now you want to watch it…

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Linked up on: Style to Inspire, Penniless Socialite, Style Swap Tuesdays, and Bless Her Heart Ya’ll.

 

Royal Blue & Stripes – Two Ways

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I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was when I opened my calendar the other day and saw that Daylight Savings Time Begins this Sunday! I seriously hate when it ends, it puts me into a state of depression for about an hour (which is pretty much the hour that you can sleep in). Whatever group of guys thought this was a good idea for the fall/winter months, are idiots. (I bet they’re the great-great-great-great-grandfathers of the same guys that thought it’d be cool to get rid of Pluto as a planet). I love that it’ll be daylight until 8:30 p.m.—I always feel more energized and get so much more accomplished when this happens!

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March is actually having a good start for me (minus the sore throat and impending doom of allergies). Over the weekend, I started (ahem…and finished) House of Cards. I was on the edge of my seat (bed) just waiting for Frank to kill someone. I’m not going to give anything away, except for the fact that it doesn’t start getting really good until about episode 4 or 5. However, that ending scene…like whoa. Then I took myself out on a Saturday-night date to River Oaks Theatre and watched The Theory of Everything, which was absolutely amazing and inspirational. It was quite similar to A Beautiful Mind, and at the end I was definitely like “Crap…what the hell am I doing with my life?” Yup, it’s one of those movies. I also discovered Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s. Hello my new sugar-crack of the week. My roommate and I ate spoonfuls right out of the jar, now it’s at my desk, with a spoon in it. Will it replace Nutella? Never. Nothing can ever replace Nutella. However, I better pace myself considering I’m going to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo this week, and will eat every dang deep-fried thing I can handle. Ok…maybe not everything, but a good portion.

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These outfits were taken in February, but I had a few really busy weeks at work, so I didn’t get a chance to post them. I intended to put them in separate posts, but since it’s already March, I’m ready to move on to more spring-like outfits, so I thought I’d just double them up. Which works out so that you can see how to easily style something for work and casually. Also, yes…that is a backpack. I wear it and I love it.

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Snow Leopard

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These pants were definitely one of those “I really don’t know if I should buy these, but I think they’d be really fun AND I’m feeling a bit feline-ish today, so I’ll just buy them”-purchases. I’ve had them for a couple of years, but they are just now stepping onto the blog.

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Surprisingly, they are not a pair that just hang around in my closet. I’ve worn them dozens of times, but only in a couple of ways. Usually it’s just with a plain top, like this gray t-shirt, or if I’m feeling a bit more pattern-adventurous, with a red/white stripe shirt. Here, I threw in the faux fur scarf to bring out the “leopard-ness”. While I don’t think this print is work-appropriate for everyone–I do think there are prints out there, like stripes, polka dots or plaid–that can spice up a work wardrobe.

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Linked up on: Style to Inspire, What I Wore Wednesday, Design Life Diaries, Penniless Socialite, Style Swap Tuesdays and Pumps and Pushups.