Saturday, November 29, 2014

All You Had to Do Was Stay

Welcome to part five of my seventeen part dissection of Taylor Swift's "1989" album-we're almost 1/3 of the way through!

Though this song is pretty upbeat, I find it to be pretty sad and one I can highly empathize with. It's about a guy who wants a girl back after breaking her heart some months earlier. All he had to do was stay and it would have been *so* easy-she wanted to be with him and she would have worked so hard at their relationship. But he said goodbye and she's had to deal with the fallout from that, trying to rebuild herself. I think the melody can kind of disguise that heartbreak but reading through the lyrics really brings it home for me.

One interesting audio quirk is the way she says "stay" throughout the song. Apparently it is inspired by a dream she had about an ex-boyfriend where that was the only word she could say and it was pronounced that way. I have seen some people who found it annoying but I think it's helps make the song stand out. You'll need to listen to it for yourself to make a decision :)

Internet Search
See how sad that looks above as part of Taylor's teasing the album?

Next Week: "Shake It Off" - the very well-known first single.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving American readers!

Over the past week I have shared about what I'm thankful for this year; if you missed a post and want to go back, I have linked to them all below. Enjoy your holiday and I'll catch up with you soon :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 26: It's the day before Thanksgiving...

...so give me a break. I was super unmotivated so I wanted to keep my outfit simple. I really love this sweater which has suede elbow patches. I remember being a kid and asking my dad about the suede elbow patches on his tweed jacket and he explained it as something to do with being a professor and the wear and tear on that part of the body. When I saw that on this sweater, I couldn't resist picking it up. I only wore it once last year because it's a bit warm but I've already pulled it out twice this season.

Unfortunately, today ended up not being the best day to wear it because it was (don't get mad) 81 degrees F by the afternoon-I was so hot! Still it was crazy comfortable the rest of the time and I think the vest is a nice accent.
Sweater: The Limited
Vest: Sears
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Old Navy
Earrings: Singapore

I'm Thankful For...God

"Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances."

The first Thanksgiving after I was saved was when I was in college. For a group activity, we were making posters and writing what we were thankful for on them (kind of inspiring this series of posts) and one of the things I wrote was "God." Because I was so incredibly thankful to know Him and I hadn't just one year earlier.

This year I am still thankful for His grace and mercy because I have needed them so much but I also noticed something else when I wrote up these posts. Though the titles referred to things, they were always ultimately about people. I could have written that I was thankful for my car (I love my car-its shape, size, color, and reliability) or my computer (it's getting old but it still gets the job done.)

But I wrote about the people who have made such a big difference in my life this year. And I am so incredibly thankful to God for putting them in my life because they are awesome giving people and I am so fortunate to know them.

I have struggled to be patient and to recognize a bigger plan (um I actually still very much struggling with that) but I want to cleave to God and place my faith in his promises as shared below.

""For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."" - Jeremiah 29:11

So this year I want to reiterate that I am grateful for salvation, for His love, and for all His blessings on me. I pray to maintain this attitude all the time no matter the circumstances.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 25: How to Create a Fall Outfit

I've realized that the main way I have been turning my outfits into more fall ones is to wear a summer piece and add:
1. Mustard Cardigan
2. Boots
3. Target Scarf
This outfit is no exception with all three elements added to my beloved chambray dress for an easy outfit, perfect for my climate's fall weather. It is also incredibly cozy so this outfit just works on every level.
Dress: Kohl's
Cardigan: Gap
Scarf: Target
Boots: Payless
Earrings: Singapore
Watch: Timex from JCPenney

I'm Thankful For...Family

My mom doesn't read this blog but if she did, she'd be wondering why she hadn't been mentioned yet. Obviously Mom I was saving you for almost last!

I am incredibly thankful for my parents and younger sister. Some of my favorite memories of them are the very small moments like when we went through a carwash and were in stitches over something my dad said or when we all sat down this year to fill out our mail-in ballots together and peaceably despite disagreements about candidates. We also had bigger moments like great trips to Disney World, Disneyland, and the East Coast. But it's the little moments that loom: countless family dinners, hours watching TV, shared books and magazines, dance parties, etc.

To get a glimpse of our dynamic, my dad recently shared how we would function on a late night talk show. He is the host, shepherding us around; I'm the sidekick, laughing admiringly and keeping things light; my mom is the verbose guest, telling us all she's seen; and my sister is the music coordinator who is also the coolest.

And of course I adore this guy as well...here he is resting on one of his favorite cushions (I don't recommend anyone else sit there unless they want a butt covered in fur!) Aragorn is a very important and beloved member of the family.

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24: Statement Necklace from #Baublebar

I saw a couple of fashion posts featuring a blue gingham top with a leather skirt for some edge. I decided to copy it but for some reason, I just don't love it on me. I'm not sure what the missing piece is and I've worn outfits I liked less but as a whole it doesn't really work for me. This includes even in the morning when I wore tights though I had to remove them at midday because I was just too hot. Maybe the skirt should be shorter?
Shirt: Chaps from Kohl's
Skirt: Forever 21
Necklace: Baublebar
Boots: Forever 21
Earrings: H&M
Watch: Timex from JCPenney

I'm Thankful For...Blogging

I used to blog about books as Bookworm1858. I ran that blog for about 4.5 years before putting it on hiatus due to a combination of things (a bit of burnout honestly; excessive pressure I was putting on myself; and a lot of in real life stuff made it unsustainable for me.) But I'm starting to dive back into blogging focusing more on clothes and lifestyle and I am enjoying it. I am still hugely inspired by book bloggers so I wanted to highlight some of my closest friends and who I admire the most in that sphere as well as those I'm starting to get to know outside it.

Book Bloggers:

Jen Ryland/YA Romantics - I started following her blog closely when she hosted a commenting contest but quickly fell in love with her style and was a loyal follower until I dropped out. As I start engaging with blogging more, I'm back to following her avidly.

Asheley at Into the Hall of Books - Writes very detailed and passionate book reviews that get you completely psyched to pick up the books she loves.

Christina T at Reading Extensively - We have some very similar bookish tastes but we've also struggled to maintain blogs with real life stuff and I appreciate our writings about our conflicting feelings.

April at Good Books and Good Wine - has been blogging for such a long time, building up a huge reputation for her honest opinionated reviews and her prolific reading speed!

Non-Book Bloggers:

Natalie at Thoughts by Natalie - I'm kind of cheating here because I actually know her in real life; yes, she is that amazing!

Ginny at My New Favorite Outfit - I am especially loving her shift to include more about her faith and putting good into the world. We also share a lot of clothing tastes because I have already copied several of her outfits and I know I'm always in for a good time when I see a post of hers pop up in my Feedly.

J's Everyday Fashion - I love how she shows how she looks at an outfit and then reworks it to match her closet and personal taste; I've saved a ton of outfits she's posted!

Audrey at Putting Me Together - especially for her accessible outfit remixing, really giving me encouragement to shop my own closet.

Franish - Not just because she showed off my now beloved Target scarf though that certainly doesn't hurt :)

Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere - I love that we have a shared alma mater but especially her weekday wardrobe recaps on Friday showing me all her different clothing and makeup looks.

Karina at Simply R Kitty - Again I'm cheating because I know her in real life too but it's been so cool to see her develop her blog and try out different kinds of posts; I'm excited to see what else she has dreamed up.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 23: Church Outfit

I don't usually post my weekend outfits because I spend more time thinking about my weekday outfits  and I usually specifically want to discuss them but this one has kind of a cute story. Yesterday I was eating lunch and looked over at what my sister was wearing, noticing it was a super cute striped shirt. I turned to my mom and said that for Christmas, I wouldn't mind one like that. Turns out my mom had admired the shirt too and bought a second one for herself that she generously gave to me so I could wear it today. Therefore three out of three women in my family think this is a fabulous shirt! It's weird because I tend to prefer polka dots while my sister is obsessed with stripes but something about this one just spoke to me.
 Shirt: Gap
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Old Navy
Scarf: Target :)
Bracelet: Gift
Earrings: Nordstrom

I'm Thankful For...Church

I love my church. I have kind of a weird story on how I found it. After graduation, I moved home and started looking for a church to plug into full-time (my family had moved to this city while I was in college and are not Christians so they had not already looked at options on my behalf.) I merely googled church and my zip code; it was the first one that came up. I looked at its website and was pleased that they had a statement about what they stood for. I looked at a few other churches and they did not have such words. It seemed close (it is, less than 15 minutes which is good for days when you're lazy; it is hard for me to tell myself that I can't go when it's so close.) It seemed big, which I wanted so I could meet more people in this relatively new to me area. And once I got there, I decided it had an excellent parking lot so I was sold (oh and I liked the preaching too-I guess that's kind of important.)

D and P are my church ladies. D mentored both P and me as ladies who don't have family who are churchgoers/believers and we know that we can sit together and have that vital community.

S - is my Bible Study leader. We met at a Women's Night when she told me that Tuesday night was Bible Study night for the rest of my life. Do you understand how scary that is? To have someone you just met tell you that you're going to be spending that much time together? I thought, "Let's get through the fall session first." But by the time it was done, I realized that as long as I live here, Tuesday night *is* Bible Study night. She's also just a complete sweetheart and invests so much in us young ladies. I'm so grateful to know her.

C and A are young ladies from my Bible Study. A moved east and I've been missing her so much while C seems so familiar to me that I keep asking her, "remember when?" and she says she wasn't there for that.

My Bible Study ladies are really all fabulous ladies. This session had a good group of faithful young women who were vulnerable and eager to pray and follow the Lord. I hope they continue in the winter so we can continue to get to know and support each other.

Pastor M. - there are several pastors but M is the lead one and he is such an intellectual, delving deep into the Word but also free with relatable stories that make things seem more clear. He's also a really cool relaxed surfer dude (totally California) and a devoted husband and father.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Out of the Woods

Welcome to part four of my seventeen part discussion of Taylor Swift's "1989" album (I do consider myself a highly verbose super-fan so that doesn't seem excessive in the least.)

This was the second song released early from "1989" because Taylor thought it was more representative of the general sound of the album than "Shake It Off" (and I agree.) It is a collaboration with Jack Antonoff and the lyrics seem to point at it being inspired by Harry Styles as we will examine.

Overall I really like the song though I empathize with people who find the chorus too repetitive. Taylor described it as capturing the anxiety in a relationship where you're always fighting to be together and I hear that but I understand people who don't like it.

The case for About Harry (compiled from the more fervent 1D fans as I was mostly interested in him when he intersected with Taylor):
-"Last December" - the time frame when they were linked together
-"Your necklace hanging from my neck" - pictures of a necklace on both of them
-"Two paper airplanes flying" - said necklace looks like a paper airplane
-"Twenty stitches in a hospital room" - apparently Harry has a new scar? I'm a bit fuzzy on this one.

One last point is possibly my favorite part of the song, immortalized below. I like the whole sound in general but the way that this line has been rendered makes it one of the most vivid lyrical moments from the album: "The rest of the world was black and white/But we were in screaming color."
Found on Pinterest
Next week: "All You Had to Do Was Stay"

I'm Thankful For...Workouts

In school, I hated gym and just movement in general being more of a reader and intellectual. This continued through college until after graduation when I started going to Zumba classes. Then last year my work brought in trainers for a half hour boot camp three times a week. I have been a faithful attendee ever since (plus Saturday morning beach boot camps) so today I wanted to give thanks for those who help me improve my health, coordination, and fitness level.

J, J, and E - I give them a lot of trouble because I have a lot of feelings and am nearly incapable of being silent apparently but they are awesome ladies and I'm so glad to have them pushing me always harder.

Below are some of their great sayings that usually do inspired me to keep moving.

"You get what you give."

"Next summer you'll wish you had started now."

"It's only 60 seconds of your life; you can do anything for 60 seconds."

"All exercises are ab exercises."

"Motion is lotion."

Friday, November 21, 2014

I'm Thankful For...Work

As I mentioned yesterday, I had some struggles at work this year. The first quarter was amazing but then it slid into boredom as I felt I didn't get the opportunities to learn and grow that I wanted (and in my selfish moments, felt I deserved). I have since switched to a different position at my compliance company and am recommitting myself to learning everything I can and to serve. Compliance is basically my dream job. Though in school, I always said lawyer as future career, that was due to: ignorance of other possibilities, the fact that it's a known entity to people when you tell them about it, and an intense love for "Legally Blonde" at a formative moment in my life. But now I know: compliance is my first love <3

J, J, and M are the people in my new department who have been welcoming me and teaching me everything I need to know. I have had so many questions and have had to lean on them so much. I already knew J and M were great but it's also nice to be working with J and building a strong service together. M especially is a huge inspiration to me-all that she gives to the company and to other people and in her role as mother as well.

K - this woman has listened to me complain about so many things, which is the first thing I'm thankful for. However I also got to be trained by her earlier this year, observing how she completes work, and in exchange receiving some compliments. I was a little intimidated by her when we first met because she seemed so self-possessed but this year has been a great opportunity to engage with her and know her better.

O - I come into work every day to a note and a cute picture of a cat thanks to his emails. This is especially helpful on the hated Wednesdays. I also happen to think he has one of the biggest hearts around as I see him interact with everyone at the company and being in his presence makes me smile.

MJ - we also connect through workouts and that has been a big inspiration to me; she's also completely confident with a take no prisoners attitude and commanding presence. I admire that so much and I really want to emulate her as a I grow up.

E - a total sweetheart who has given me much support this year; she is in my old department so I don't get to see her as much anymore but we still try to chat when we can carve out some time.

**Prayer request: I am still have some struggles with feelings about work so prayer for future guidance and to be a light where I am.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I'm Thankful for...Friends

This has been a very difficult year for me particularly personally but also affecting me professionally. Thus in the run-up to Thanksgiving, I am trying especially to focus on all of that which I am thankful for because honestly it is a lot. To start, I wanted to mention my friends who I've relied on so much for advice and support this past year.

J - listened to me relive the same moments over and over again and was inundated with text messages of me complaining about something. She's out of state right now and I miss her terribly.

N - is such a social sweetheart; she pulls me out of my shell and prods me to talk to people when I'm basically a hermit (hence maintaining a blog where I can talk to people without having to talk to people.) I also really value her honesty, which shone through in a striking moment on her birthday earlier this month.

S - listened and gave advice but also got me off my butt when I only wanted to malinger; I have dubbed her the fitness coordinator of our friend group as she scopes out all the coolest workouts and then pushes the rest of us to try them too. She takes us hiking and to explore places I wouldn't go on my own. She'll say completely out there things and make fun of my uptightness (in the most loving way because I certainly need it!) She's also a model for me with her career aspirations and long-term relationship commitment.

A - set such an aspirational inspiration to me. She knows what she's willing to tolerate and what she deserves and encourages our friend group to similarly reach so high.

A - for threatening to beat up someone's kneecaps for me; that kind of makes us sound like we're in the mob or something but that passion on my behalf is so valued. We've known each other 17 years and that is such a valuable relationship to me

K - for real, my friends have listened to a lot from me this year and she is no exception. K is another friend I've known for forever and she is probably the best example of lovingkindness I know. I am so blessed to have her as my friend and in my life. I only wish we lived closer together instead of on opposite coasts so we could spend more time together.

S - we've known each other for 19 years; this is the person I've known the longest outside of my family. I got to be in her wedding this year despite us living on opposite coasts for ten years and I'm so glad we're still in contact and I get to see her new married life and career aspirations

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19: You're definitely going to be tired of this scarf before I am #targetstyle

I think the title pretty much says it all. I was originally just going to wear this dress but, since it's fall, I realized a cardigan would probably be helpful. And then I figured I should just go all in and add the scarf. It really is dang comfy! (Don't worry, I won't be wearing it tomorrow. Probably.) I really do like this outfit and I would have even without the beautiful scarf :)
Dress: Banana Republic
Cardigan: Gap Factory Store
Scarf: Target
Boots: Forever 21
Earrings: Nordstrom

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 18: Professional and Swiftesque #targetstyle

As it cools down, I've been looking through my closet to see what long-sleeved outfits I can put together. Imagine my delighted surprise when I came across this dress, one of my three Altuzarra for Target purchases back in September. It was pleased to make its debut at my office and I was pleased at the compliments I got. Two people considered it very professional and a third called me Swiftie, reminding me of a black dress with white collar that she has worn. I always like an outfit more when it is complimented so that made me very happy :)
Dress: Altuzarra from Target
Pearls: Chaps from Kohl's
Shoes: Discount store

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17: I bought the scarf #targetstyle

Obviously I am a huge trend follower, constantly reading fashion blogs to get ideas for what I want to wear myself. This means that I can find myself caught up in some trends, for example this gorgeous blanket scarf from Target that I originally saw at Franish and then at a bunch of other blogs. I tried to talk myself out of it. I live in California so it often really isn't cold enough for a scarf. I sometimes feel like I'm being lightly strangled when I wear a scarf. Do I even like plaid that much? Cut to: I'm at Target and looking at scarves for my friend's birthday and this one isn't on display. A sigh of relief that I can't be tempted. Later that week another friend who I had told about the scarf let me know it was at one of our local Targets. When I went there this weekend, it was indeed there AND on sale. Originally I was going to let my mom give it to me for Christmas but then I realized that I really wanted to wear it now so I did!
Shirt: Loft
Scarf: Target
Pants: Lauren Conrad
Earrings: Nordstrom
Bracelets: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Old Navy
Purse: Danielle Nicole (part of my transition to fall/winter is a big bag)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Week to Come 16NOV14

I am very excited to share that I am feeling much better today than I did for most of last week. Thank you for praying for/thinking of me-I needed it so much. As usual, this week will feature some outfit posts. I have already started drafting them since I pick out my outfits Sunday afternoon, a little ritual that I find very pleasing and relaxing.

Then this Thursday will see me kick off a week of thankfulness posts in the run-up to Thanksgiving. I realize I have a lot to be thankful for and I want to write it down so I can reference during my bad times.

Book Reviews (possible):
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Another to-read list

And of course Saturday will be the fourth week of my Taylor Swift "1989" discussion. I also need to work up a post about her "Blank Space" music video because I love it and trust me I have thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by and best wishes to you on your week!

To-Read Stack

I got another batch of books to discuss today with yet another installment to come later this week. I haven't been reading very fast but I have ambitions. The first three are recommendations for fall reading and I'm pleased at how fast they came in at the library.

Let's Explores Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris - I've never read his writing but I've heard he's hilarious so I look forward to determining that for myself.

Casebook by Mona Simpson - I thought the sound of a young boy snooping on his mother's mathematical work sounded very intriguing and I like the idea of trying new to me authors so that is another bonus here.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown - I remember this as being a very buzzy release this year but one I had to originally pass over. I'm going back to give it a try but am nervous as one of my good friends isn't really enjoying it right now. My final opinion may largely depend on my mood honestly.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach - I kind of re-fell in love with baseball this year and I've heard about this book for a few years so, knowing that it involves baseball somehow, I decided to give it a shot. Who knows what my feelings will end up being but I definitely want to give this a try.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Style

Welcome to part three of seventeen in my discussion of Taylor Swift's "1989." I'm going right in order so that means today is the third track "Style" in a seemingly obvious reference to ex-Harry Styles. Though historically my enjoyment of Taylor's songs has been enhanced by believing a song is about a certain celebrity ex, I don't even really care for this album.

For some reason, I expected this song to be much faster and upbeat but it's actually on the slower side describing a rocky relationship with a guy as they face obstacles and how they'll never go out of style.

During the chorus she does describe the classic guy archetype she likes but I am more captured by her description of herself with distinct pauses between almost every word:
"I got that/red lip classic thing that you like"
"I got that/good girl faith and a tight little skirt"
Mainly this appeals to me because it reminds me of, well, me. The red lip is kind of new and largely inspired by Taylor dating back from 2012 and the skirts are due to my new found appreciation of exercise and all the good that squats, lunges, and such can do for you.

Another part I really like is the breathy way she almost talks through the second verse "He said what you've heard is true but I/can't stop thinking about you and I/I said I've been there too a few times." This all leads into the chorus again in a way that leads me to start shimmying.

The last lyrical bit I like is: "He can't keep his wild eyes on the road" - seriously did I date Harry myself? Because I definitely dated a guy who always looked at me while he was driving. I found it so unnerving because I've read about how fast accidents can occur if you just briefly take your eyes off the road. Luckily we never had an accident and admittedly I never would have characterized his eyes as wild but still...Phew!

It was tough to find a picture for this song but I found some shots from her Target commercial featuring this song as background and since it features her red lips...

Source: MTV.com
Next week: "Out of the Woods"

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14: Dad's Birthday

I follow so many bloggers who love stripes but honestly I've always been more of a polka dot girl. Still I have a few tops in my wardrobe and decided to copy a cool look from J's Everyday Fashion that I had saved. It was a perfect casual fall Friday look. My mustard cardigan is a new addition to my wardrobe, something I had been coveting and I'm pleased to discover that it is quite versatile. I can't wait to see what other looks I can come up with.

In cool news, today was my dad's birthday (which also means that my birthday is only a month away) and we were thrilled to get to celebrate him. We took him out for dinner, then showered him with presents, and then stuffed ourselves with cake. A nice end to what has been a long week for me!

Cardigan: Gap
Shirt: H&M
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Payless
Pearls: Chaps from Kohl's

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 12: I'm Wearing Pants

I originally had planned to wear something else but it's finally getting chilly so I decided to wear a long sleeved top on its inaugural outing. As it turned out, after my day off yesterday, I did not feel like being very fancy. So I wore my favorite Lauren Conrad jeggings that are insanely comfortable rather than dressing up in a skirt and heels. I think I looked okay but Wednesdays tend to be my least favorite day and today was really no exception :(

If you're the praying type, I would very much appreciate prayer for jealousy and my bad feelings. Thank you.
Top: Forever 21
Camisole: American Eagle
Pants: Lauren Conrad from Kohl's
Boots: Forever 21
Earrings: Singapore

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10: Lace

I definitely rely on other bloggers and even celebrities at times for style inspiration. There are just too many options sometimes and it can be overwhelming to figure out how to put the pieces together. So when I saw this post from Ginny at My New Favorite Outfit last week, I immediately saved it knowing I would want to copy the outfit for myself. Lo and behold when I was planning outfits for this week, I had no idea what I wanted to wear. I turned to this and had my first outfit set. Obviously I had to make some changes to accommodate my own wardrobe. I grabbed a beloved lace top, this much-complimented peplum blazer picked out by my sister, and switched to a skirt as I almost always wear skirts anyway. The finishing touch is my "S" necklace. It's probably incredibly vain how often I cap a look with my monogram but hey I know what I like.

Top: Banana Republic Factory
Blazer: Charlotte Russe
Skirt: The Limited
Flats: Old Navy
Necklace: Kohl's (another surprise from my mama!)
Watch: Timex from JCPenney
Earrings: Singaporean in provenance

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sabbath: "Oceans"

I wasn't really sure what I wanted to post today until I was worshiping at church and we sang the below song, which is apparently from Hillsong United.

(Lyrics found here)

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

[3x]
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior


I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine 
We've sung this song before and even my Bible Study did an acoustic version of it one week but each time the chorus calls to me. I've struggled a lot this year and I want to reach a place where my trust is without borders again whether it's following God into international missions like we talked about at church today or ministry through work or whatever He has planned for me.
 Perhaps I was also inspired by the beautiful ocean I viewed yesterday, a view that tends to give me great peace. I hope everyone has had a restful and rejuvenating weekend :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blank Space

Today is part two of my seventeen part discussion of Taylor Swift's "1989" album. Last week I shared briefly about opening track "Welcome to New York," which underwhelmed me despite feeling like it set a positive tone for the album. Today I am happy to be writing about a song I really like, "Blank Space."

I've seen this song frequently identified as a standout and it is the second official single from the album. In interviews Taylor has shared that this song is sort of a sarcastic gibe at media who write about her love life (remember the infamous shirt listing the names of guys she has allegedly been involved with?) with the killer line "Got a long list of ex-lovers/they'll tell you I'm insane/but I got a blank space, baby/and I'll write your name." (I really feel like I should add a wink to the end of that sentence.) I love the cockier attitude Taylor displays here in direct contrast to a lot of media portrayals, which show her as a girl whose heart is constantly broken like a passive victim. This is definitely a song I'll have on repeat for a while and I can't wait to see the video!

Source
Next week: "Style"

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6: Pink

One of the cool things about having a mom who loves to shop is that she will randomly pick up pieces for me as a surprise, sometimes clothes, sometimes jewelry or other accessories. This dress was my surprise yesterday. It helps that she knows my size and generally my style. I decided to pair it with my favorite mint cardigan (it has my monogram in a similar pink) and swanned around in the entirety all day. I wonder if any of my boots would work with this and I have several other cardigans to try as this sleeveless dress will need additional layers now that southern California is maybe finally cooling down.

Is anyone else fortunate enough to have someone in their life who can surprise them like this?
Dress: Kohl's
Cardigan: J. Crew
Shoes: Target
Earrings, Bracelet, Ring: Old, no idea
Necklace: Baublebar
Watch: Timex from JCPenney

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reading List November 5th

Remember, remember the fifth of November! I shared this with a couple of people today and absolutely no one knew it was Guy Fawkes Day. I know we're Californians rather than Brits but still...

I did like my outfit today but since it was just my favorite chambray and black skirt and boots, all of which have been cataloged here, I decided to talk about something else. Below is my currently pending stack of books. Surprisingly three of the books are non-fiction; I am normally a die-hard novel reader but this year has seen me reading more outside of my comfort zone. Let's take a look!


Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen: I actually read this earlier this year but I wanted to go through it again and take some detailed notes. When I read it, I just wanted to make everyone I knew read it but it's also kind of awkward in case they assume I'm suggesting they give bad feedback (this may or may not be the case but it's so fascinating!)

Thinking In New Boxes by Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny: This was recommended by my company's president so I figured I'd give it a whirl and see what it's all about.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: Some of my coworkers are planning to see the film adaptation of this amazing biography and they invited me to participate in their little book club/movie going group. I am so grateful to have been lent a copy.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon: I read Outlander earlier this year after having owned the book for about six years and in anticipation of the television series. Long story short, I love the show and am eagerly awaiting its return in April (forever away it seems!) In the meantime I can find out what happens in the second installment.

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading lately?

Please note, all links are to the book on Goodreads; if you are also on Goodreads, you can friend me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4: Red, White, and Blue

I am so glad I plan my outfits for the week on Sunday because I overslept today and would not have had the brain functioning power to put anything together this morning. As it was, I was completely prepared!

I am hugely patriotic and nerdy, which means that in addition to the big holidays, I get excited about the littler ones too such as Election Day (even in a midterm election year) so of course I wore red, white, and blue for the day. Because my camera isn't great, the color of the scarf is a little hard to catch but it's a very dark navy accessorized by a snazzy flag pin. I find it hilarious that there have been politicians criticized for being insufficiently patriotic because they didn't sport such a pin so this is my little ironic tribute to that. It is an infinity scarf borrowed from my sister and I must say I don't really like the style-I prefer a regular scarf.

I hope you did vote if you are of an age to do so. I take advantage of the option to vote by mail so I did that back in October (actually my whole family sat down to complete it together; I wish we had strongly varying political opinions to demonstrate that people with such opposing views could work well together but we voted pretty much uniformly.) The only disappointments with voting by mail are that you need to affix a stamp and you don't get a sticker saying "I voted."

Dress: Loft (last year)
Cardigan: Apt 9 from Kohl's
Scarf: Borrowed from my sister
Pin: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Flats: Target (definitely up there with the best flats ever)
Earrings and Bracelet: No idea

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3: Stripes

So it actually rained this weekend, which is badly needed as we're in a drought. I hope it comes back later this month! Additionally the temperature continues to fall though it's not like southern California is going to get that cold. Still it seemed like the perfect time to break out this dress, which I found on the Target clearance rack. I think it will work great with flats but since I'm obsessed with boots, that's how I styled it this time. I can't always handle wearing scarves for long periods of time (I feel like I'm in danger of being strangled) but I kept this one loosely tied so it felt okay. I also love my red lipstick and the red belt, which I think add just the right pop of color.
Dress: Target
Belt: Kohl's
Scarf: JCPenney
Boots: Old Navy

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Exercise: Pound

When I was a younger, I did not like exercise at all. I had bad experiences in gym class and just a general distaste for sweating and being outside in the heat. Flash forward to graduating college and falling in love with Zumba. I also started attending boot camp three times a week and have committed myself to making fitness an everyday part of my life that deserves as much attention as sleeping and eating (it doesn't always get that much but it is a much higher priority than it used to be.) Part of that commitment is trying different workouts to keep myself engaged and that mostly happens through my friend who I have dubbed the fitness coordinator. She is hugely inspirational and encouraging so I'm glad she tells me about these things :)

Yesterday I had the opportunity to try a Pound Fitness Class, the name of which just confused me. I was asked what it was and had to confess that I wasn't really sure but that my friend highly recommended it. Having experienced it, I would compare it a little bit to Zumba. It is choreographed to music and the place I attended had mirrors so I could check myself out...I mean, follow the instructor's moves. The twist is that you hold plastic drum sticks and every move comes from there. You are constantly moving your arms and legs in highly rhythmic ways. It was tough, just coming to grips with holding the sticks (not to mention the fact that I got a blister on my left thumb) and the pace at which everything proceeded. I also feel so sore now especially the ways I worked my core.

I'm so glad I gave it a try and I definitely want to go back! Have you ever tried Pound?


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Welcome to New York

Hello-this is the start of my series of individually talking about each track on Taylor's "1989" (I have the deluxe edition from Target so that means 16 tracks).

When I first heard this song on its own, I was distinctly underwhelmed. Having now heard it in the context of the album, I can better appreciate it. I think it works as an opener to help set the tone (just in case anyone missed the message that Taylor has fully embraced pop) and it definitely works for Taylor as the city ambassador for NYC. It's also great publicity that she's donating the proceeds from the song to New York public schools. Still I think this song will eventually make its way off of my repeat playlist and only be heard when I want to listen to every Taylor song ever because it's a fun dance song but its lyrics don't connect with me and that is usually the reason why I listen to a Taylor song over and over again.

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Next song: "Blank Space"

November 1: Dressing Up

Usually I only post the outfits I wear to work since I spend more time thinking about them than my weekend outfits (I have a couple of shirts and bottoms that tend to get rotated on just the weekends.) But today I felt a little inspired to look nice especially after my killer two hour workout. Look at that big smile-that is the smile of a woman whose body is racing with endorphins!*

Dress: Navy blue Converse from Target (actually a hand-me-down from my sister)
Scarf: Joe Fresh from JCPenney
Boots: ShoeDazzle
Watch: Timex from JCPenney

*"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." - Legally Blonde; always springs to mind when I work out :)