Holiday Faves

Monday, December 14

| lipstick: Liptini in Scarlet Cocktail | blouse: H&M | pants: Old Navy | flats: Old Navy |

Items I've been wearing once/week: this blouse. These pants. And I know I just featured the blouse in my recent packing post, which makes it seem even more like I haven't been wearing anything else...(somewhat accurate.)

In retrospect, I wish I would have worn a belt with this outfit, it looks a tad sloppy. Also, next time these pants are on the blog (I am SHOCKED they haven't been on here more), I'll be sure and get a close up of the fantastic festive brocade fabric.

With things as crazy as they are right now (for everyone!) I need a couple fail-proof pieces that will pull a look together- fast. If you're hustling to get dressed this week, in the middle of finishing up your Christmas shopping and not turning into a grinch; may I suggest some colored pants and a silky blouse? Bonus points if they are festive.

I've given myself a mini-challenge to help myself shop my closet and get dressed this week: holiday-inspo outfits all week long! I kicked it off today, peep this 'fit that I shared on Twitter.

Here's two pictures from the two holiday parties in my life this past weekend:  
Top photo: our office holiday party on Thursday night (I was on the committee!) Oh what fun, I'm kinda bummed it's already over. We went with a plaid/red/green/gold motif, and our venue was The Bell Tower. It is consistently one of the best nights of the year, and I'll share some more pics soon.

Bottom: Hunter & I hosted a holiday/house-warming party at his newish house on Saturday night! Here's the mantle, which I championed, and was so pleased with! I'm not super artsy crafty (like, at all) but I got several compliments on the decor, SO it was a big night for me. And a wonderful time to see all most of our friends in town on one night.

I hope y'all are managing to stay chill this week! Just like you (I'm sure) I've got a list a mile long of things to get done before Christmas, and especially before I leave for Finland next week. All while trying to maintain my one-word motto of joy this month! Good thing I love a challenge!

Hunter's JORD Men's Review

Friday, December 11

This Summer, JORD reached out to me about reviewing a wood watch (read the full review here!) Since I received & reviewed it, it has rarely left my wrist. I wear it pretty much every day, because it is lightweight, simple, and goes with everything! Recently JORD inquired again, this time to see if I had a guy in mind that might like a wood watch this holiday season. I thought, "I know a guy ;)." My boyfriend Hunter has been absolutely loving his JORD watch. I only asked him to wear it, and let me take some photos, but HE insisted on writing down some "quick thoughts", and here we are. I'll let him take it away- since you read my writing all the time :). 


| shirt: Lucky | jeans: Gap Factory | boots: Target | watch: c/o JORD |

At times, being the boyfriend of a fashion blogger has its perks! 

My lovely girlfriend, Priya, recently received a beautiful watch from JORD Wood Watches for her to feature on her blog. Faithful followers of perfectly Priya know that, since receiving the watch, she has fallen in love with it and has made it a mainstay on the blog. The folks at JORD were also nice enough to send Priya a men’s watch to be featured on her blog. 

Because I am Priya’s main squeeze, (and because I have a wrist upon which a watch may be worn,) I have been gifted the men’s watch, which is the subject of today’s post!
It doesn’t take a watch fanatic to notice that this watch is something special.  It's made of wood, which is a fact that alone makes it a unique timepiece. 

After wearing the watch for about a week, I can dismiss any concerns that one might have over its' durability or comfort. I have dropped it twice (I’m not careless, just a bit clumsy) and the watch has not a single scratch or dent. Although the watch is sturdy and durable, it is still surprisingly light weight and comfortable. The inside surface (the part that comes in contact with your skin) feels almost seamless.  It doesn't pinch or rub awkwardly at all, and the clasp is easy to operate. This watch is simply a result of superior craftsmanship.
In terms of the appearance, the watch is sleek and stylish. The dark wood is very handsome and rugged, but the pearl-colored woven carbon fiber gives it a classy and elegant touch. It's very versatile, in that it can be worn with so many different color combinations.  Personally, I love the way it looks with gray or navy, but I have also successfully paired it with a few plaid flannels button up shirts. The fashion possibilities with this watch are endless!
If you're looking for a watch that is durable but elegant, stylish but unique, then look no further. At $149, it's very affordable, especially when compared to other high end brands. 

I have gotten more compliments on this watch in one week than I have gotten on any other item in my wardrobe, and that is absolutely no exaggeration. Watches make for a really great Christmas gift, and a watch this awesome is guaranteed to make your boyfriend so happy that he will sit quietly through every minute of the upcoming season of The Bachelor with you, so what are you waiting for! Check out JORD Wood Watches, and save your boyfriend a spot on the couch next to you as Ben Higgins picks his way through ABC’s most recent crop of hotties!


Adorable, and unprompted, I swear! Thanks Huntee!

JORD Watches do make the perfect Christmas gift for that special guy in your life. They've been kind enough to give me a limited quantity of $25 giftcards for you guys! Order by 12/20 (in the US) to have your watch delivered before Christmas. Follow the link below to have your code emailed directly to you! 

Hunter & I were provided with the watch free of charge, but all opinions are OBVI our own! 

Packing List: For a Long Weekend {Fall Edition}

Tuesday, December 8

Seems like I'm always packing for a long weekend away! A few weeks ago, Hunter and I spent the weekend in North Carolina, hanging with my younger brother Amir. I made a similar trip around the same time last year, and knew it would be a showcase for perfect Fall weather (& outfits!)

Let's take a look at what I packed:
not pictured: undergarments, workout outfit, toiletries (*also* sorry these pictures kinda suck. It's just so DARK!)

I was actually excited to put together a mini-Fall-capsule, featuring the best parts of Fall fashion: booties, sweaters, flannels, and leggings. Weather was slated to be bright but cool, and I knew there'd be some relaxed/athletic hanging around, as well as a night out, and church on Sunday. There was also a road-trip component of the trip to keep in mind!
H&M silky button-up, Urban Outfitters plaid button-up, Scooby Doo graphic tee

This full outfit post has somewhat of a love letter about this striped H&M blouse. All I seem to be wearing these days is a combo of leggings + a blouse (for better or for worse...) and I bought this one specifically with that in mind. It's perfect for a night-out, without much thought otherwise. The flannel was selected to wear with a skirt to church, for the ride back, (and possibly for hanging around on Saturday.) Finally, meet my favorite t-shirt, unironically. I may lose all fashion blogger cred (that I have?!) but it's really comfortable, always makes me happy, and makes me think of Tuppy (who I stole it from.)
Gap Factory purple leggings, Zella black leggings, Old Navy floral skirt

Guys, here's my dilemma right now: I'm having trouble wearing real pants. That aren't leggings. Recently I realized I was constantly schlepping around in my sweats from college; and wearing my Zella leggings too often, so I bought a FEW more pairs at Gap Factory. And now I'm really struggling to wear anything else. This purple pair ^ IS my life. The Zellas make for the most comfortable night out. And I brought a skirt because I realized I had a problem.
leather jacket from Carina, Express wrap sweater from Lauren

Funny story about this leather jacket: I don't know where it came from. I mean, I got it from Carina, but that's all we really know. Someone left it in her car. It's a great "bomber style" that I don't already have, and it layers so well over a silk blouse. This wrap sweater was sent to me by the wonderful Lauren, and I lived in it all weekend! Maximum cozy.
J.Crew statement necklace (gift), lip crayon via Birchbox, headband from Michael's, Kate Spade crossbody

Not a fantastic show of accessories here, folks! Obviously I didn't put much thought into it. I wore the same earrings, simple necklace, and watch all weekend, and just used the statement necklace for our evening out. I was excited to try out this lip crayon because I had just received it in my Birchbox! The color is a fantastic bright red, and it's super easy to apply (wearing it in this post.) I guess I never mentioned that I got this crossbody purse at the Kate Spade outlet recently. I love that it's neutral AND metallic. I've been using it pretty regularly. 
Target booties, Mizuno trainers, sparkly Toms

Shoes are always hard to narrow down. I planned to wear the booties pretty much the whole weekend (I've been living in them anyway, so, fine with me!) I never leave my house without trainers, and naturally we went on a run and kicked around on campus. I wore the Toms (which I've had forever and have never made it on my blog!) for the trip there and back, and to the basketball game.  

Here are the outfits I wore over the weekend, using the items above! I figured you didn't need a full post of my ridiculous road-trip outfit (even a little embarrassed sharing this here...if you see me on the road, say hello!) 

In my packing tips post, I finally wrote down the why behind taking time to pack smart: to better enjoy my trips, instead of feeling anxious because I'm not prepared.

Since then, I ask myself a few simple questions after a trip, to gauge whether my packing capsule was a success:
  • Did I like what I wore? I really did. The wrap sweater over the skirt was an idea, and I loved how it turned out!
  • Did I feel prepared? Yup. I borrowed a Davidson tee for the game, but otherwise had exactly what I needed.
  • Did living out of a bag detract from the experience? Nope! Having what I needed helped us go go go!

So then I say: hi-fives all around! This packing list was a success. What are your tips for packing successfully?

Check out the rest of my packing lists:

See also:

Snapshots of Life, XII: The PSL Edition!

Sunday, December 6

How better to title my snapshots of life from this past Fall than the one thing that has become quintessentially Autumnal: the sweet, spicy, seasonal goodness of a pumpkin spice latte.

This Fall was great. It's my favorite season. Beautiful (warm) weather persists in Nashville until well into November, but I wasn't complaining. Here's a round-up of random things that happened, that didn't warrant their own blog post, but I don't want to forget! 
September (left to right)
Hunter bought us matching Vols t-shirts that were perfect for a college football kick-off party 
just a #natureselfie while at Rock Island over Labor Day Weekend
I got a clothing rack! I can literally write an entire blog post about how it has changed my life. Iteration #1 ^
One more selfie from the weekend my brothers were in town (at Fall Creek Falls!)
I finally had a mini-high-school reunion with two friends that live in town. We all ran cross-country together! TKA! 
We had a ping-pong "Fall Classic" at work, and this was the trophy.
Our annual haunted house for charity: Nightmare Daycare! I'm the scary school nurse, Art is a giant Elmo zombie.
Two of my favorite little twins visited me at the office on Halloween and said "We'we dawgs!"
This is Melissa, one of my friends from middle school who visited Nashville. We had a great night out! SO fun seeing her.
Naturally when Hunter and I visited Amir in NC, I bought horse tattoos at Cracker Barrel and made us all put one on.
Meet my buddy Grayson who IS (and I KNEW he would be) the best baby ever. <3 
The only thing that REALLY matters right now is my brother Coren got engaged! Congrats Coren & Marisol!!!

Check out all my snapshots of life: 
11 // 10 // 9 // 8 // 7 // 6 // 5 // 4 // 3 // 2 // 1

Jailhouse Rock

Thursday, December 3

IMG_9790 IMG_9785
| jacket: from Carina | top: H&M | necklace: gift (J.Crew) | leggings: Zella | booties: Target |

A few weeks ago, I got a little bonus from work; and promptly decided to use most of it to go shopping. I attempted to not buy any new clothing in 2015, and we all know how that turned out, (intervals of not shopping at all and then shopping sprees, basically). I would say overall I have bought less for myself in 2015 than I normally do. All that to say, I rationalized using a bonus to get a few new pieces (I also bought a birthday gift and like, shampoo or something.)

I was really excited to go into H&M, and immediately set my eyes on this stripey blouse. I looked around the whole store, but nothing else seemed quite as appealing (ha- but I totally bought other stuff too.) Having already worn it a handful of times, I would say I made the right decision. Liking something as soon as you walk into a store, and thinking about it the whole time you shop is indicative of a good purchase (see: these pants.)

I originally wore this outfit out to dinner the other weekend with Amir and Hunter in Charlotte, NC. I've since worn it to work and out to meet my middle school friend, Melissa, who was visiting Nashville.

I don't think I really mentioned in my other outfit post from this weekend trip how much I loved seeing my brother. He is a GEM. A gem who just ran a freaking fast 800m to walk on the track team for his final semester of college #sisterbrag.
A couple more from that weekend: Steph Curry also went to Davidson which is pretty awesome, we ate dinner at Tupelo Honey (fantastic) and I hugged Amir as many times as I could. Please forgive the lighting.

I should also note that I've always wanted to take outfit photos on train tracks (such a ridiculous blogger thing/rite of passage) well, I finally got my chance! To the right of these tracks was the shop I took my car to before we headed back to Nashville. Blogging is all about seizing opportunity!

Hope you're doing well, friends. As usual, all I want to do is sleep forever, but life is good. 

Monthy Goals, November

Tuesday, December 1

a fantastic view of Middle Tennessee!

Like most, I'm in complete disbelief that the final month of 2015 is upon us. The holidays are here?! Our office holiday party is next Thursday, so I'm desperately trying to get in festive mode. If I'm being honest, I was feeling a little pre-anxiety about Christmas last week; but now that I've gotten some decor up, and started to chip away at gift-buying, I'm feeling a lot better. Plus, it's ridiculous to be stressed about the holidays. It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year!

I made goals of what I would like to accomplish every month this year, waaaaay back in January. Some months have been better than others, but I'm proud at least that I've kept these goals in mind month-by-month. Check out my monthly diagnostic right here.

And now, let's see how I did in November:

- Made a trip to see Amir in North Carolina (two-for!)
- So much live music: Copeland (again), Andrew McMahon (my fave), and Neil deGrasse Tyson (counting it!)
- Practiced the one-word-motto of patience. MOSTLY while I was driving. I made a notable effort for this one.
- I snuck in a dinner party on Sunday night- with a chili and game night at my apartment!
- I am currently reading The Girl in the Spider's Web, but haven't made great progress. 
- I sent out several letters at the start of the month: notably to my Mummo to say, can't wait to see ya!
Pretty good for sneaking those goals in there, especially for how nutso November turned out.

This is a great time for me to introduce my final one-word-motto for the year, for December: joy!
So fitting, and equally difficult, at this time of year, isn't it? Joy seems to stem from a deep-rooted sense of contentment, which, ironically, can be hard to find at this time of year.

I got my shoes shined at the YMCA the other day, and the shoeshiner gave me some awesome advice: "I don't have bad days." It is a powerful thought, to consider YOU have the ability to control your own happiness, despite circumstances. A quick lesson on happiness vs. joy: the biggest difference is that happiness is caused by external happenings, while joy is lasting and based on internal perspective. I found this handy chart that helped me understand this even better.

A couple things I'm doing to make this one-word-motto super effective: a written reminder (in gold, of course) on my mirror, and an Advent devotional I'm trying my HARDEST to do every morning (this is huge and unheard of for me!)

How do you practice joy during the holiday season? I would love to hear your insight, in hopes that this will be my best and most successful one-word-motto yet!

I anticipate linking this up with Nicole, but stay tuned.