Swimsuit Speak 2018

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LADIES. If I have learned one thing by the ripe old age of 26, it’s that no matter what number the tag in your jeans tells you you are, swimsuit shopping is. the. PITS. 

You feel me? You do. I know you (probably) do. 

Yesterday was National Bikini Day, a holiday not wasted on me. 

The word bikini is actually derived from the Latin bikino*, which translates to “a type of garment used to torture perfectly fine young females into feeling lesser-than, on the regular.” 

(*may or may not be factual, and in fact 6 hours of sun + rosé doing the talking.)

After the age of like 12, swimsuit shopping just sucks imho. I remember the fun of going and picking my swimsuit when school was out every summer, and wearing it until it was so pilled in the bum and the color so worn for wear that it retired at labor day’s end, in a perfectly satisfactorily way. NOW? Now. Now I have a perfectly wearable, non-pilled suit I was a little embarrassed to wear because it’s two years old, but I’ve worn it probably 5 times and it’s been on the Instagram already. I was too embarrassed to ‘gram a suit that has been ‘grammed multiple times before! Like WHAT? 

It isn’t enough to find a suit that suits you and your self esteem, but it has to be current and NEVER BEFORE SEEN. I am guilty as guilty gets, but man is that pressure maddening. 

I know more girls than I shed a tear when beloved VS stopped retailing swimwear, which just made the struggle that much harder. When your top hits a particular size threshold, it becomes quite difficult to find a reasonably priced, supportive, non-granny top (the magical trifecta.) Or a bottom that doesn’t give up all your secrets while avoiding looking like a flashy adult diaper. 

Suits that I’ve found that fit the criteria: 

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Old Navy square neck one piece. Austin kept saying I looked like Wendy Peffercorn, which wasn’t an insult! It comes in a few colors, but the yellow is the only one with the texture I liked. I’m not a fan of the super slick one pieces that seem to highlight all the wrong rolls. The MOST supportive? Naw. But supportive enough with a corset-like back to help harness you in, while being way budget friendly? Yes, please.

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Target’s new Shade & Shore line is A+ in my book. The bottoms weren’t as high as one long-torso’d soul would hope, but they were fine while having great on-trend detailing (and decent coverage!) The tops are sized by cups, adding major brownie points. 

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This is old faithful that you may have seen me wear more than once! The pattern is from 2016, but I am in LOVE with this boyleg one-piece style, and plan on trying to find one on sale at summer’s end! 

My last tip is basically just to find a pair of black bottoms that you love (high waisted black bottoms, are my fave flattering shape from Old Navy) and then find a top somewhere else you love that has a little black in it! Mixing and matching without looking too mix-and-match is sometimes just the way to go. It eases the pressure of finding the PERFECT BIKINI in one swoop.

Anyone have any swimsuit secrets they’ve been holding out with? Comment, please, and share the love! 

Autumn Indulgences: my 4 c’s

“I love fall.” –The thread uniting basic white girls across America the moment temperatures dip just low enough to bust out a blanket scarf and snap a story sipping pumpkin spiced anything logo’d with the green mermaid stamp of approval . Truth: I am not immune to this sentiment. There’s a reason it’s so wildly and mockably popular! Fall is terrific. To me, it’s the seasonal precursor to the most wonderful time of the year –a little taste of the best season to come, but everyone isn’t grumpy about being cold or sharing the road with shoppers and sludge, yet.

I also find it an easier season than ev.er. to convince myself I deserve/need/earned/can’t-live-without a serious number of guilty pleasures.

Coffee
“It’s a little chilly (maybe 70 degrees), I could really use some warming up…” -Starbucks run. Keep your pumpkin-spice, though, and I will drink all of the Chai Tea Lattes you have with a side of *one of everything* on the holiday menu, thanks.

The ole’ Karber coffee maker tends to start working double-time, too, with the changing of the leaves (in the interest of still keeping some of our money in the bank). IMG_9690

Ye true coffee geeks across America forgive me – I love me some local beans, too, but more often than not I’m brewing:

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You guessed it. Starbucks Medium House Blend + Bailey’s (non-alcoholic) Vanilla Creamer

Smooth. Easy. Available at Kroger. Typically on sale at Kroger. Makes my house smell like I’m lounging in a super fleek Starbucks, minus congregations of high-schoolers and SAHMs, plus I don’t have to wear real pants (admittingly a point less to do with the coffee bean concept, and more with at-home brew.)

Cardigans
“It’s a little chilly (maybe 70 degrees), I could really use some warming up…” -Sweater weather. Longline/Boyfriend/Duster/Maxi/Squishy-Blanket-Disguised-as-Sweaters cardigans have been my favorite of favorite fall obsessions.

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Although sweater-weather south of the Texas Panhandle (I’m realizing) is more of a state of mind than an actual thing, frigid office air conditioners have still bred plenty of necessity to humor this card-carrying cardigan hoarder. Plus (!), now that we’re nearly all the way to gosh-dang Thanksgiving, Mother Nature is *finally* beginning to see things my way around here, too.

A few that top my lust list (at a variety of price-points):

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1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Candles
“It’s a little chilly (maybe 70 degrees), I could really use a million tiny fires around my apartment to warm up!” -Okay, obviously not. Fall candles just smell the coziest, and as temperatures dip, who doesn’t just want to feel cozy?

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I have -easily- two to ten candles lit on any given evening in our 900ish square feet of space (which is all about having scents that blend, as much as it is having a potential candle addiction). 2 for $24 Bath & Body sale? Yankee Candles from Home Goods? Anthro-anything? I don’t discriminate, although I naturally end up with an overflow of B&B candles 10:1.

Calories
“It’s a little chilly (maybe 70 degrees), better really start packing it on for hibernation!” –What I think my mind actually convinces my stomach needs to happen for the last three months of the year. (If only.)

From carrot cake in the break room, sharing meals with company passing through, Friendsgivings, practicing Pinterest recipes for the pending holidays, to snacking on friend’s practiced Pinterest recipes for the pending holidays, why is there more. food. everywhere. starting this time of year?

Rarely is it the healthy stuff, either. It’s the good stuff. Nobody’s whipping up extra fruit salads or lettuce wraps –it’s the heavy, sugary, gluten-laden, glorious breads, cakes, pies, cookies and candies. This is such a fun time of year to bake for the same reason I burn through ten trillion candles – I love the coziness of baked goods.

I tried a new-to-me, easy recipe, and I feel like you need it in your life: Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread.

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It’s fairly heavy bread, with a heavenly balance of banana and cinnamon. Just trust me and follow the link for the road map to banana bread bliss.

Do you have any obsessions particular to fall, or have you read this not understanding a single word of my crazy? Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title!

Upcycling Capri Blue Candle Jars

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If I could only burn one candle in our home from now until eternity, it would be Capri Blue’s Volcano.

This is not new news

The new news is I’ve finally decided what to do with the sad, empty candle jars I’ve been hoarding -because throw them out? Never. Since we can agree to agree that everything Capri Blue is the absolute bomb, you already understand why not -but I’ll defend myself anyway.

They’re just pretty, and good quality, and a great versatile size for upcycling ten million unique ways. For the sake of not making you read all ten million, here are three.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. While I guess it would be perfectly legal to leave the wax residue in the bottom of the jars… let’s not.

Step 1: Clean out the jar.

Put the jar in the freezer. I left mine overnight, but an hour or two I’m sure would work perfectly. You just want the wax to freeze or get really, really cold. After pulling it out, I took a butter knife and gently stabbed the wax, which frozen caused the wax to crack in large sections that were easy to pull out in less than thirty seconds per candle (easy breezy.)

In the interest of lazy I then threw mine in the dishwasher, although unless you plan on like, eating cereal out of yours (weird) a good rinse with hot water should make them clean enough. Just make sure to a) not get wax in your sink drain or b) pour boiling hot water into a freezing cold glass jar. The first would make your husband very unhappy, and the second would make your then shattered candle jar very unhappy. (I did neither thankyouverymuch –just practicing my fortune-telling.)

Step 2: Do something cute with the jar that makes you very, very happy.

Something like…

1. The most obvious option -duh- put something in it

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If there’s a collection of items you reach for on the daily -pens, makeup brushes, q-tips, paper clips, hair pins, whatever– this is an easy, basically free way to make the storage situation a little more adorable.

And you know what they say, a cotton ball a day…does nothing. There is nothing special about cotton balls, except that I use one every single evening before bed to remove my eye makeup. Now, instead of in an ugly plastic bag under my sink, they’re in a cute jar at an arms reach. Cute + Lazy for the win.

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2. Put something living in it. (It’s different, I swear.)

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Wherever you feel like the height of a bouquet might be a little much, these jars are the perfect vases for just tucking a little pop of pretty anywhere. The glass is really well made, so I haven’t experienced any type of leaks.

And I’m enjoying my darling flowers to bits. What about flowers just brightens the soul and a space?

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3. Pretend it never burned out. (Stay with me.)

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Unless you’re a loves-the-warm-glow-of-candlelight sort of person like I am, you might find this silly. It totally still counts as an upcycle. I visually love the clean lines and warm simplicity of these candles while they burn, so it makes sense to keep the jar and simply find a smaller candle to create the same effect. I know I don’t get to smell Volcano, but I still get to enjoy my jar.

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These tiny candles came from Bath & Body Works’ semi-annual sale (read: they were cheap) and are about two notches above a tea candle in burn time (plus, they’re actually scented, opposed to fragrance-free tea lights, so you’re getting a little somethin’-somethin’ more than just light.)

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Where to find Capri Blue candles?

For my Amarillo peeps: I found out recently that a darling boutique, The English Rose, has actually started carrying them!
For my Dallas peeps: I’ve seen them around this fantastic boutique in The Galleria, Altar’d State.
For my Everywhere peeps: The one and only, Anthropologie, of freaking course.

If you have one of these gems, enjoy it! Savor it! And then, happy crafting.

I would LOVE to see what you crafty people come up with, or if you try one of my upcylces -so let me know when you do! Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title with any ideas/questions/praises/if you feel like picking a passionate fight over candles.

High Five for (Black) Friday

I had a perfectly relaxing first married Thanksgiving with Austin, and I learned a few things:

  1. I can successfully bake a Pumpkin Butter Cake as good as Mom makes.
  2. I have some amazing extended family on my married side who helped make my belly and my heart overwhelmingly full with delicious food and so much laughter.
  3. Dallas Black Friday is nothing like Amarillo Black Friday –in a very good way.
    More stores = more options = less crazies per store. (Except Ulta –ladies be crazy for beauty everywhere.)

A Thanksgiving with a little baking, a little crafting, Macy’s Parade, an overflowing of food, family, and shopping. What more could a girl ask for, I ask you? God has given us some beautiful blessings.

A fourth point I learned:  I’m becoming a seriously boring old married woman (who’s surprised?)I got way too excited over a little Dirt Devil Hand Vac, and way too disappointed the yarn selection had been picked over. (What weirdo out there –besides myself– noticed crafting yarn was on sale and got there early and bought it all before me?)

To follow up on what I actually came home with versus my picks, a few Black Friday Buy highlights (link to products through photos):

Dirt Devil Hand VacThis aforementioned gem. (If you need me, I’ll just be over here unnecessarily vacuuming every nook and cranny of my apartment.)

Chopper This little chopper –no more crying into my cutting board. Take that, onions.

Volcano Room Spray
The Anthropologie surprise is 25% off everything today, so a great day to pick up something like this Capri Blue Volcano room spray that ne-ver goes on sale and is what I imagine Heaven smells like.

Baskets

A couple of much needed BOGO free storage baskets from World Market to keep my crafting messes under control. (World Market was such a great idea. If you haven’t gone, do.)

Earrings

A couple of (much needed -ha) BOGO free pretties from World Market.

I was too exhausted in Target last night to find what I was looking for (I obviously didn’t properly caffinate. Rookie mistake.) But I’m willing to bet they see me again before the sun sets on this Black Friday.

Did you have any luck? Tell me about it in the comments!

Black Friday: don’t judge me + picks

Let’s call Black Friday what it is:  competitive shopping.

I’ve witnessed a steel, industrial door being ripped from Old Navy hinges for discounted sweaters, grown women screaming and slapping over Victoria’s Secret yoga leggings, vultures circling shopping carts waiting for owners to turn their backs for one second because Walmart ran out of $5 Tupperware and stealing from shopping baskets isn’t real stealing, right? (Wrong. If that is you, you are wrong.)

Those people –you can judge those people, but don’t totally give Black Friday a bad rap because of them. The aisles are mostly filled with hyper-competitive-shopping-enthusiasts like myself simply making memories with their families and scoring some awesome loot.

Black Friday is as much about the memories and stories for me as Thanksgiving. In the Mosier House, my siblings and I spent hours Thanksgiving morning with our dad and that 15-pound newspaper, meticulously sorting the fresh ads into piles:  the good stuff, the really good stuff, the not good stuff, and the maybe good stuff. (Do not mix the piles -I repeat- do not mix piles.)

Black Friday Strategy has been ingrained in my idea of the holidays forever. Although I won’t be with my parents this year (for the first time ever –cue flowing salty river), it’s not a tradition I plan to abandon.While Black Friday Dallas  is probably a far cry from Black Friday lilbitty Amarillo and any game plan I make is likely to be abandoned in terror, I should still make some picks and try, right?

In planning this post, I honestly thought I would have more picks. To be candid, there isn’t anything I’m like willing to knock people out of my way for this year. No “Gold Trophy” that I’ve seen and need, which is maybe a first. For this reason -reserving the right to change my mind, as any good woman would- I just may take a blind gamble and see what this is all about:

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They’ve peaked my interest. Ah! The allure of the unknown! Unfortunately, it’s working. Being in a new city for the first year, it might be time to shake up my regular stops. In the event I chicken out, these are a few places that are interesting me right now:

(Are these the best deals out there? Do I think all of you need to be shopping for these things, too? I hope not. That substantially limits my chances if all of you are gunning for my loot, too. These are just some fun Black Friday finds that interest me. If you want to know where to go for the statistically best deals, this interesting article. Also note I’m not in the market for any electronics this year, or my wish list would probably be substantially longer.)

Target:

Target, you fancy. I went to look up the digital ads last week and found this “Black Friday Map” tool -just thought you should know.

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1. Ninja Master Prep Professional, $29 (I’ve been dying for a Ninja.) 2. Apparel, 40% off (Because Target clothes are sometimes incredibly great.) 3. Stretch Gloves with Touch Screen Compatibility, $3.50 BOGO free (I don’t own gloves. Who knew.) 4. Picture Frames, 50% off (You can always use a few picture frames, right?) 5. Saturday Only Deal BOGO free Holiday Wrap (Because it’s HOLIDAY WRAP.)  6. Elf on a Shelf Box (I definitely won’t be buying this one, but its so cute and I love them if you’re a mom do it.) 7. Electric Blanket, $19.99 (It’s a better alternative for my icebox of an office than the portable fire pit.)
Full Ad Here

Ulta:

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1. bareMinerals Unbelievable Eyes Ulta exclusive kit, $10 (I love bareMinerals eye shadow.) 2Tarte Joy at Lash Lip & Lash Set, $19 (I’ve heard killer things about Tarte’s fibers as far as lash fibers go.) 3. Butter London Polish Duo, $15 (Great deal on great polishes, and I love coordinating colors for a little accent-nail pop.) 4. The Body Shop Products, 40% off (In love with the Tea Tree Oil line, extremely interested in the Peppermint.), 5. Hot Tools Rainbow Gold Tools, $34.99 (These are pretty versions of some awesome irons.) 6. Organix Hair Products, BOGO free (I use a lot of Organix on the regular.) 7. Philosophy 3-in-1 Shampoo/Shower Gel/Bubble Bath, $10 (Because I’m obsessed with all of the smells, and it makes a pretty good, sudsy bubble bath.)
Full Ad Here

Runner’s Up:

  • Old Navy 50% off the whole store honestly tempts me a whole lot.
  • Nordstrom’s 20% off select sale items sounds promising. The word “select” is my biggest hold up here though-how select are we talking?
  • World Market has a great ad -a whole lotta “BOGO free” on products from throw pillows, bath towels, holiday ornaments, jewelry, tea, and more. As I type this, I just might be convincing myself.

How do you feel about the ads this year? Anything you can’t wait to get your hands on? Comment below, maybe I missed something!

Summer’s Anthropologie Dupes

 

Anthropologie Dupes

There’s just something whimsy and inspirational about Anthropologie that makes me want to poke around the weathered,wooden display cabinets of dishes for hours, stroll in on my bad days to ogle & droll over clothes I could never afford, and curl up on the plush, velvet sofas for Sunday afternoon naps. (I’ve never done that last one, calm down. But I can’t say I’m not tempted almost every darn time.)

In all seriousness, if Disney hadn’t gotten to it first, I’m confident Anthropologie would have been dubbed “the happiest place on earth” ages ago.

The brand’s only downfall:  I don’t have a million dollar shopping budget. Or a million dollar anything budget.

Because of this, it is absolutely *thrilling* to find Anthro Look-A-Likes and Smell-A-Likes outside of their vintagesque, gorgeously adorned walls.

These are the best, heart-fluttering Anthropologie Dupes I stumbled upon this summer:

Anthropologie Piece: Capri Blue Volcano Candle (my favorite smell of. all. time.) $28.00
Dupe: Target Island Moonlight Tin Candle $10.00 (online they only come in sets, but in-store they can be bought individually.)

Anthropologie Volcano Candle DupeWhile nothing (nothing) will beat the quality of a Capri Blue candle, these little guys come about as close as it gets for a delicious replica of the smell. Their most annoying quality: the wax doesn’t burn down evenly, so when the wick has burned its last breath, you are left with some wasted, fragrant wax.

Anthropologie Piece: Maeve brand corduroy skirt $49.95
Dupe:  Fresh Produce brand skirt $9.00, consignment store

Anthropologie Skirt DupeConfession -when I bought this skirt, I didn’t even realize it would be an Anthro dupe. Shortly after on a Pinterest binge, I was like wait a minute, is that my $9 thrift skirt? And it wasn’t. But it was pretty darn close. When I’m out at an upscale consignment shop or thrift store, I always do keep in the back of my mind to look for pieces with distinguishable details -like oversized pockets or a thick, ruffled waistband like the skirt above. It’s an easy way to add Anthro-inspired pieces to your wardrobe this way without paying the big ticket (and a time or two, I’ve found discarded Anthro pieces, so keep an eye out.)

Anthropologie Piece:  Monogram Mug $8.00
Dupe: Ross Dress for Less Mug $3.99

Anthropologie Mug DupeAfter getting married, I’ve fallen in love with all of Anthropologie’s monogram home decor. (I’m all about the K’s these days. You know, in case anyone forgets my last name starts with K now.) I’ve eyed the mugs on the right a handful of times, so I lost my mind a little bit in excitement when I spotted the mug on the left at a Ross Dress for Less of all places on earth. For this piece, quality is spot on identical to Anthropologie. Not only for the K, but for the sturdiness & shape this has quickly become one of my favorite go-to’s for my daily coffee. I think I actually even like mine better. I can’t link to it directly on here because they don’t sell online, but I’ve seen this piece floating around the last few weeks of summer, and wouldn’t be surprised if you were able to pick it up marked down right now if they still have one.

 

What are the best Anthropologie dupes you’ve found? Any I should be looking up? Comment below or with the little thought bubble near the title!