Friday, April 17, 2015


I should probably tell you that I moved. :) I'm now writing a personal style blog over at Check it out! See you over there!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Are We Sure These Aren't Pajama Pants?

I've been seeing a lot of flowy trouser pants lately. I'm still almost positive this trend began as a mistake when someone decided to wear her Aztec print pajama pants in public and some brilliant person thought, I bet we can make money off this idea of cute comfort. Well I'm on board!

My first pair (of many, I have a feeling) came from H&M (similar here). I bought them on Florida's tax free weekend and got a 15% off teacher discount! So basically, the most comfortable trendy pants I own right now cost me about $14. These trousers have an elastic waist and would work well with a tucked in shirt and a belt for a dressier look; however, I prefer the un-tucked sheer shirt for a laid-back feel.

I somehow left my camera at my mom's house, so these two pictures are brought to you by my Iphone. Enjoy!

And here's a picture of my adorable husband when he was helping me take detail shots of my bracelets. Isn't he cute?

What are your thoughts on this trend? Do you think this look is classroom appropriate? Share your thoughts by leaving me a comment!
Until next time,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stress-Free Wedding

A stress-free wedding almost seems like a contradiction in terms, which is due mainly to the message our culture force-feeds us. As soon as I got engaged, the horror stories started pouring in.

"It rained at our outdoor wedding, so make sure you have a back-up plan!

"I was so nervous, I couldn't eat all day. I didn't even get to try the catering I paid for!"

"You and your fiance are going to fight all week, but that's normal."

And that's honestly just the tip of the iceberg. I decided to do it a different way.

Now, it's only fair to note that my mom and I are great friends, and that the dear family I married into are some of the sweetest people I've ever met, but I still think that every bride can have a counter-cultural, stress-free wedding day if she embrace a few ideas.

1. Being stress-free is a choice. For me, it was a conscious choice I made when I first started to get overwhelmed by the idea of planning a wedding while teaching. I was talking with my mom, panicking about how I was going to get everything done, and she said a few words that changed my mindset: "Stephanie, we are going to have a stress-free wedding. Just remember that. If something stresses you out, we won't do it, or we'll find another way." That decision completely changed the way I handled the planning. When I realized I didn't have time for DIY invitations, I found an inexpensive alternative and ordered them. When I couldn't find a cake-topper I liked, I decided not to have one. Deciding that you simply aren't going to stress is the first step to stress-free wedding planning and a stress-free day.

2. It's actually not all about you. I received a lot of advice before my wedding, and a lot of this advice went something like this: "It's your day. It's all about YOU." But when you think about it, that's a terrible way to think about it! The marriage is certainly all about you as a couple and God, but the wedding includes and involves dozens of other people who you love and care about. Maybe the wedding should be about them. I love the feedback about my wedding that I've been getting from friends and family. Bridesmaids have told me it was the least stressful wedding they've been in. Family has told me that it's one of the sweetest, simplest weddings they've been to. And those are great things to hear! So instead of focusing on yourself, see if you can make this experience wonderful for the people you love.

3. Learn to say "no." Okay, I know this seems like a contradiction to point 2, but just because you need to consider the people you love does not give everyone permission to walk all over you. That would be a recipe for stress! As I already mentioned, my family is great and Dan's family is great, so we didn't really have a power struggle of people trying to plan the wedding. Even so, I had to consider suggestions and decide what I was okay with, and what I'd like to politely pass on. In the end, you and your man are the ones who are going to look at those wedding pictures and remember that day the most. If someone wants you to make a change you know you'll regret, just say no. For instance, I knew I wanted to walk alone. My dad died when I was 15 and no other male figure has taken his place. I have a wonderful grandpa, and many family friends who would have been thrilled to walk me down the aisle. My mom even offered, but I knew that I needed to walk alone as a way of remembering and honoring him. Even though I could tell some people thought that was weird, when I made my choice, everyone went with it. Here are three questions to help you sort through when to cave and when to say no:
Will this cost money that is not in the budget?
Is this something you will remember in 10 years?
If you say no, will it matter more to the other person than saying "yes" would matter to you?

4. Plan to prove everyone wrong. I was told from the second I got engaged that the wedding would be a trying experience. I was told something would go wrong. I was told Dan and I would fight. I was told so many negative things that simply aren't true! The other day, I had coffee with a friend from college who I haven't seen in quite awhile. As we were catching up, she naturally asked about the wedding and how it went. When I responded that it was everything I ever imagined and that nothing went wrong, she said, "You need to write a book! No one thinks that can happen, and people need to hear that a wedding doesn't have to be a terrible experience for the bride!" Well I agree.
I was ready and waiting for something to go wrong, but then nothing did. Dan and I remained crazy about each other the entire time, and I don't think I terrorized any villages as bridezilla (correct me if I'm wrong).
Here's the deal: if you decide that whatever happens happens, and that you can't control the weather, and that you are going to love your man and not abuse him when you're stressed, that's how the wedding will go. I truly believe that if something did go wrong, I probably wouldn't have noticed. I was too focused on enjoying this once in a lifetime experience and making sure my friends were having fun to care if the pastor forgot my new last name (which did happen). Decide to have a counter-cultural story, and that will happen.

So here's my story. I woke up on my wedding morning knowing that everything was in place, but not caring if it wasn't. I felt radiant and ignored the voice in my head suggesting that I really could have been a little thinner that day if I'd tried. I sang along with the radio while Dan and I held hands in the car on the way to our preparation locations. I enjoyed our kiss before we went our separate ways knowing the next time we'd see each other would be as I walked down the aisle. I wasn't so nervous that I couldn't eat as my bridesmaids and I got our hair done and changed into our dresses. I took in every moment and stored them in my heart! I treasured sitting in the limo, watching guests arrive. I let my heart soar with the violin and guitar as the bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down the aisle. And when I saw Dan standing there in his tux, everything was perfect.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Easy and Tasty Rice Bowl Recipe

I'm a big fan of quick, delicious, healthy meals. This one is probably the easiest I've found if you have extra brown rice hiding in your fridge. Next time you're in a pinch and need a meal fast, give this a try and let me know what you think.

brown rice
homemade salsa (or at least an all natural brand)
1/2 an avocado, chopped
1/2 a tomato, chopped
lemon juice

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Styling a Chambray Skirt

As a teacher, the summer is the perfect time to experiment with style because I don't feel such a pressure to look like an appropriately dressed teacher all the time. Today I decided to have a little fun with that.

I started with my brand new, self-made chambray skirt. It has quite a bit of volume, so I decided to add a belt to emphasize my waist. I paired my skirt with a thin silk shirt with bronze sequin accents. All I needed then was my favorite pair of wedges and a few bracelets to complete the look.

A special thanks to my love, Dan, for taking these pictures!

Thanks for reading!
Until next time,

DIY: Maxi Skirt

I love a good maxi skirt/dress. And honestly, who wouldn't? They are as comfy as pajamas while being publicly accepted as clothing, and they are awesome for those days when you need to look a little dressy, but don't feel like shaving. Don't quote me on that. For these reasons and more, I'm a big fan of this wardrobe staple. The other day, I took a trip down memory lane to the days when I was a nerdy seventeen year old who would sew brightly patterned sweatshirts in her spare time (No, I'm not sharing pictures) and found a thrill in turning a few feet of fabric into a piece of clothing. So, I asked my mom if I could have my sewing machine back after storing it at her house for at least six years. She said yes.

Although I may have done some serious sewing back in the day, I've never been much of a pattern person. Luckily, I find it fairly easy to think through the order in which a garment needs to be sewn to make it work, especially something easy like an elastic waist skirt. I hope you enjoy this quick tutorial and that you give it a try! I consider myself a beginner to medium level seamstress, so don't be intimidated; This could definitely be a second, maybe even first, item if you're new to sewing.

What you'll need:

fabric that extends at least six inches past each side of your width, and at least an extra six inches on the floor when you hold where you'd like the skirt to sit on your waist. (Side note: I know this type of measuring sucks. Oh the judgement I felt when I held the bolt of fabric in front of me and then turned to the fabric cutting lady and said, "uh...I think this much will work.")

about two feet (that's probably generous) of a nice looking elastic (mine was 2 1/2 inches wide)

matching thread

basic sewing stuff

Okay! Let's get started.

First we're going to make a big tube. Fold your fabric right sides together.

To give you an idea of size, here's a pair of my skinny ankle jeans on top of the skirt fabric.

Sew up both sides of the skirt fabric to make a long tube. That tube will soon be your awesome skirt!

Now, you need to make a loop with your elastic. To make sure I got the size right, I made sure it was snug around the part of my waist I wanted it to sit on. Now it's perfect to wear a little higher (it isn't too loose) or wear lower (it isn't too tight). I really like my elastic, because it's the kind that's meant to be seen. Look for this type with other decorative trims.

Put the elastic around your waist wrong side out, and pin it together firmly where you'll need to sew.
I didn't take pictures of this part, but it's not too bad. Making sure the elastic is lined up, sew where you pinned (right sides together). Go over it a couple times to make sure it will hold. Then, trim the excess back to about half and inch. Separate the two pieces so they are laying flat on opposite sides, and sew them down as close to the edges as possible.
If anyone needs a picture of this, I'll definitely add one.
Okay, so you have a waistband and a loop of a skirt. Before we can attache the waist band to the elastic, we need to get rid of that rough edge at the top. Go ahead and turn your skirt right side out, then fold down about 1/4 of an inch (right sides touching) and sew it down. Now comes the fun part: gathering to fit the waistband.

Because I didn't want pleats I wasn't really sure how to go about gathering the fabric for the waistband. I ended up using an iron to press random folds that looked casual.
One BIG piece of advice I can give you is be conscious of where you're putting fold of fabric. For instance, it's wise to leave the sides flatter so you don't end up with extra wide hips (unless you want that).

Overall, just do your thing and pin it down. I have about a half of inch of fabric under the band. When you're ready, sew the fabric to the waistband. All you have let is hemming.

It's actually a blessing if your skirt is WAY too long because a nice, neat hem needs to be at least an inch from the edge or you'll have weird waves in the fabric. Also, even if you're getting tired and just want to finish, neatly press the hem AND put pins in place. It's worth it to have an even skirt edge.

Ta-Da!!! You have an awesome skirt. Let me know how this tutorial works for you. I'd love to see pictures of your own projects.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Corks: Take Two

There comes a time (some call it adulthood) when friends start moving away, getting married, or going to grad school. Since I have friends in each of those new life situations right now, I've been thinking a lot about cute, affordable house-warming gifts. I'm not saying that what I'm about to show you is the only or best option out there, but, do you know anyone who doesn't drink out of a glass at some point during the day? Me neither.

I present to you The Coaster Set.

Just in case you'd like to gift a set or make them for yourself, I've decided to put together a quick tutorial.
First, you'll need supplies:

wine corks (4 per coaster)
a sharp knife or a craft knife
tacky all-purpose glue
thin cork board
a cutting board

Once you've assembled your supplies, you're ready to get started! Now, I know you're a smart bunch who read my blog, so I'm not going to belittle you by showing you pictures of corks cut in half, or what a dot of glue look like. Instead, I'll just give you a few, self-explanatory steps.

1. Cut the corks in half lengthwise
2. put a line of glue down the cork and then place it on a corner of the thin cork board
4. when all 8 halves are arranged, use a sharp blade to trim the thin cork board so that it does not show.
5. place the completed coaster under a heavy book for at least 10 minutes
6. Repeat until you have as many coasters as your heart desires!

If you've followed my blog for awhile, you've probably seen this before:

And you know that I used hot glue and shelf liner for this why did I switch up my supplies?
Hot glue and shelf liner are quite flexible which is great for a kitchen mat, but not so great for a coaster. Don't be afraid to experiment with different mediums to get what you want out of a craft.

Here's another pattern I tried and ended up loving:

Well, that's all I have for now! Check back soon when I'll be sharing a DIY maxi skirt tutorial!
Smile! It's the weekend.