Month of Dresses: Days 21-25

We’re almost there! Only six more days to go… think I can do it??

Day 21: navy blue lace overlay from MaxStudio.

Day 21: navy blue lace overlay from MaxStudio.

Day 22: red side-gathered dress from Maggy Boutique, via ideeli. Another one of my favorite audition dresses, but it's great for work too!

Day 22: red side-gathered dress from Maggy Boutique, via ideeli. Another one of my favorite audition dresses, but it’s great for work too!

Day 23: little black dress 1 of 2 (the other one to come on a future day), from guess where... Loft!

Day 23: little black dress 1 of 2 (the other one to come on a future day), from guess where… Loft!

Day 24: this dress from Loft that my mom thinks looks like skulls. What do you think?

Day 24: this dress from Loft that my mom thinks looks like skulls. What do you think?

Day 25: strapless ruffled layers from Old Navy. Sometimes it's just simply too hot for straps.

Day 25: strapless ruffled layers from Old Navy. Sometimes it’s just simply too hot for straps.

Tell me which dress is your favorite so far! I love feedback!

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Throwback Thursday: Cousins

When we were growing up, my brother and I were extremely lucky to have a group of cousins who were our own age. Considering that we lived scattered all over NorCal and only saw each other a handful of times per year, we were all surprisingly close. Our shenanigans involved the usual kid stuff: make-believe, board games, arts and crafts, and entire weekend camping trips of speaking only in Pig Latin to each other. And because of our unique family makeup and dynamics, our gatherings also included Mr. Bean marathons, C. S. Lewis book clubs, and spontaneous singing of eight-part harmonies.

As fun as those times were, I’m even more pleased to say that none of these things have gone away as we’ve all grown into adults. We don’t see each other as often as we would like, but we’re all still close enough to make it a point to connect with each other as much as possible, for important life events (like new babies, or the passing of our grandfather last October) as well as random daily occurrences. Some of us even get together to sing and make music fairly regularly.

Recently my brother dug up these photos from the “golden days” of our cousinhood (I know that’s not a real word, but it is now). To me, they go together as a pair really well.

This one, clearly staged, shows us all wearing outfits made by our grandmother. It's us as "the grandchildren."

This one, clearly staged, shows us all wearing outfits made by our grandmother. It’s us as “the grandchildren.”

This one, on the other hand, is much more typical of our relationship with each other. I think it represents us as "the cousins."

This one, on the other hand, is much more typical of our relationship with each other. I think it represents us as “the cousins.”

As you can probably tell, my cousins were an integral part of my life when I was young, and they still are today. I really hope to be able to give my future kids the same kind of built-in friendships with their cousins that I had with mine.

What about you? Were your cousins special to you?

Month of Dresses: Days 16-20

I’m three weeks into the Month of Dresses and going strong! Here are days 16-20.

Day 16: "Lipinski" dress (yes, that's really what it's called!) from Aritzia.

Day 16: “Lipinski” dress (yes, that’s really what it’s called!) from Aritzia.

Day 17: navy blue maxi dress from Loft. Who's surprised? This is one of my favorite travel outfits because it's both comfy and long enough to keep my legs warm on planes!

Day 17: navy blue maxi dress from Loft. Who’s surprised? This is one of my favorite travel outfits because it’s both comfy and long enough to keep my legs warm on overly air-conditioned planes!

Day 18: purple strapless dress from Old Navy, for my Friday off.

Day 18: purple strapless dress from Old Navy, for my Friday off.

Day 19: turquoise pleated dress from Calvin Klein, via Crossroads Trading Company. Ready to audition!

Day 19: turquoise pleated dress from Calvin Klein, via Crossroads Trading Company. Ready to audition!

Day 20: teal sundress from Loft. This is the same style as the yellow one from day 9.

Day 20: teal sundress from Loft. This is the same style as the yellow one from day 9.

I’d love your feedback! Which dress is your favorite?

My First Stitch Fix

I’m probably the last person in the blog world to get on the subscription box train. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of them, but I’ve never really been excited to fork over a flat rate every month with the chance that I wouldn’t like what I got.

When I heard about Stitch Fix, though, it sounded like a good option. The flat rate is $20 per box (or “Fix”), and you don’t have to get one every month. In fact, you get to decide when to get one, which automatically made it more appealing to me. Plus it’s clothing and accessories, which are pretty much guaranteed to cost more than $20 in a store anyway, and that $20 is applied towards the cost of any of the items you decide to keep. After you get your Fix, you have three days to decide what you want, go online and complete the transaction by paying your balance, and send back any items you don’t want in the prepaid postage bag that they include in the box.

During the sign-up process, you fill out a long style profile, where you can enter all the sizes you wear of every type of clothing imaginable, your body type, your style preferences, and more. Then you select the date that you want to receive your first Fix. I filled out the profile, entered my credit card information, and received my first Fix in the mail today, much to my soprano squealing excitement.

The box, so full of mystery and potential!

The box, so full of mystery and potential!

When I opened the box after it had been thoroughly sniffed by Nigel cat, I found several different packages and cards inside. It felt like Christmas.

The inside of the box.

The inside of the box.

I opened the packages to find a pair of skinny jeans, a polka dot dress, a black slouchy cardigan, a ruffled blouse, and a pair of earrings, all of which were absolutely adorable.

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And now, the verdict!

Jeans: Perfect fit, including the length (which is a miracle, considering I’m only 5’2″). I loved the indigo wash, and I’ve never been able to find a pair of skinny jeans I’m happy with. Plus I’m down to two pairs of jeans total at the moment because all of my Express jeans have ripped in the exact same spot. I’ll be keeping the jeans.

Dress: So cute, and totally my style, but it was pretty tight in the waist and bust. I’ll be returning the dress.

Cardigan: It fits great in the arms and shoulders. Normally I look for cardigans that hit at my waist, because I try to avoid making my butt look any bigger than it is or drawing attention to it. I like this sweater, but I’m not sure I love it enough to spend the money, so I’m going to wait and see what T’s opinion is when he gets home this evening.

Top: Cute style and color, but it doesn’t look great on me. When your chest is as big as mine, anything that’s not at least somewhat form-fitting makes you look huge. Maybe a smaller size would look better, but regardless, I’ll be returning the top.

Earrings: Love. They are romantic and sparkly, two of my favorite style adjectives. I’ll definitely be keeping them.

Have you ever tried Stitch Fix? If not, would you ever want to try it?

Note: This is not a sponsored post.

Bad Drivers and Harrassment

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: Bay Area drivers are the worst.

One time, before T and I were married, he was driving me home one night and we saw someone turn left onto the wrong side of the road and then just sit there.

Another time, in college, we saw a biker get hit by a car. The bike and the guy did several flips in the air and landed in the middle of the street. Luckily the fire station was two blocks away, and the guy ended up being fine.

A third time, we were driving home from our church (which is in the middle of a notoriously bad driving area), and the person next to us at a stoplight was so anxious to get through the light that they just kept inching forward. By the time the light turned green, they were literally in the middle of the intersection already.

About six months ago, I was driving home in the evening and changed lanes completely safely and legally. The person behind me in the new lane, who was going about 20 MPH over the speed limit in a red sports car, followed me to the dry cleaner where I was stopping on my way home, parked their car in the middle of a lane in the parking lot, and ambushed me as I got out of my car.

A couple of weeks ago, I was stopped at the last left turn before home on my way home from rehearsal. The person in the left turn lane next to me rolled down their window and started yelling “HEY!” over and over at me. When I didn’t respond or look at them, they proceeded to throw things at my windshield. Luckily a) it was just a couple of pretzels or something and b) the light changed right then.

And those aren’t all the stories I have. I’ve seen people stopping right in the middle of expressways in front of me, people making right turns from the leftmost lane, people driving 40 on the freeway and 80 on the streets. I’ve also been in accidents where I got rear-ended and the cop wouldn’t even bother taking my information because I was a 20-something woman in jeans and the other person was a middle-aged man in a business suit. This very day I got cussed at for pulling up to a stoplight and preventing someone from making an illegal left turn on the other side of the road. The number of times I have been verbally harrassed by other drivers for my perfectly legal, safe driving habits (read: only been pulled over once, ever) is shocking. If only we had a halfway decent public transportation system, there’s no way on God’s beautiful green earth that I would even bother driving.

Do you have any awful driving stories to share?

Month of Dresses: Days 11-15

Days 11-15 of the Month of Dresses got a little fancy!

Day 11: blue gathered-waist dress from MaxStudio, pearls from the Galerie Lafayette in Reims, France. Dressed up for the rehearsal dinner the night before our friends' wedding!

Day 11: blue gathered-waist dress from MaxStudio, pearls from the Galerie Lafayette in Reims, France. Dressed up for the rehearsal dinner the night before our friends’ wedding!

Day 12: pink one-shoulder dress from ModCloth, for our friends' wedding!

Day 12: pink one-shoulder dress from ModCloth, for the wedding!

Day 13: I don't even know what to call this dress, but it's from Crossroads Trading Company. Yay thrift store shopping!

Day 13: I don’t even know what to call this dress, but it’s from Crossroads Trading Company. Yay thrift store shopping!

Day 14: blue side-gathered dress from Ralph Lauren. One of my favorite audition dresses.

Day 14: blue side-gathered dress from Ralph Lauren. One of my favorite audition dresses.

Day 15: cream lace dress from MaxStudio. Another one of my all-time favorites!

Day 15: cream lace dress from MaxStudio. Another one of my all-time favorites!

So, do you have a favorite yet?

A Beautiful Wedding

This weekend T and I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of two of our dearest friends. T was a groomsman, along with the rest of the guys in our group of friends, and us ladies got involved by helping out the bride in as many ways as we could. Besides the fun of being in and/or married to the wedding party, the guest list included tons of people from our church, as well as all of our youth group students. It was a beautiful day of celebrating our friends, the love they have for each other, and above all, the love they have for Christ and the reflection of him in their relationship and new marriage.

Me and T before the ceremony.

Me and T before the ceremony.

One of our girlfriends fulfilling her role as the (pre-ceremony) flower girl. :)

One of our girlfriends fulfilling her role as the (pre-ceremony) flower girl. 🙂

The bride's request of my brother: a "This is Sharks Territory" photo while she walked down the aisle.

The bride’s request of my brother: a “This Is Sharks Territory” photo while she walked down the aisle.

Giggles during the ceremony. Photo credit: one of our former students.

Giggles during the ceremony. Photo credit: one of our former students.

First kiss as husband and wife! Photo credit: the same former student as above.

First kiss as husband and wife! Photo credit: the same former student as above.

The cute cake!

The cute cake!

T, me, my brother, and my mom.

T, me, my brother, and my mom.

The bride and groom's first dance.

The bride and groom’s first dance.

T and his best buddy/fellow groomsman.

T and his best buddy/fellow groomsman.

Our friend group with the bride and groom!

Our friend group with the bride and groom!

The ladies of our group.

The ladies of our group.

T and me with some of our students.

T and me with some of our students.

T and me with some more of our students. Notice how T's face and head angle are exactly the same in both of these pictures.

T and me with some more of our students. Notice how T’s face and head angle are exactly the same in both of these pictures.

Our youth group kids after the ceremony.

Our youth group kids after the ceremony.

The youth group of our generation!

The youth group of our generation!