Midwest Living

Sunshine after a snowstorm is one of my favorite things. The houses look like they were purposely nestled in the snow by an artist who wanted to paint them just so. 
Makes me wish I were a painter, but for now, I’ll just be an appreciate-r.

We all complain about winter, but really, it is just so lovely. So, so lovely. Everything covered with fresh white powder, cheery blushed cheeks and rosy noses, and a blast of crisp air to help us feel alive and young.  We have to seek all of that beauty in winter, because if we don’t, our hearts will get buried under the salt and road grime, the coughs and colds, and the cancelled plans from snowfalls. I know plenty about all of those things, too.

I hope that next time you’re buried under 10.5 inches of snow like we are (and will be time and time again, I’m sure!), you’ll make some homemade dumplings, bake some cookies, and wait for the sun to come out again. It always does.
Crossed Hunter boots in the beautiful sunshine.

Blush Pink Dress, Creamy Belt, and Raspberry Sweater. 

One of my sweet friends sent me this lovely little package! Isn’t it happy? I adore the Cath Kidston note, and it was fun to see Midwest Living again. This was one of my favorite magazines during my previous Midwestern years, so it will be back in my reading rotation.
She also sent me this fun Estee Lauder lipstick. I love its modern white and gold packaging, which happened to match my white nail polish! Have you noticed that matching makes me happy?!

Look Like Kate

{This is my “Kate is always smiling and walking in all of the paparazzi pictures, so I will be too” photo}
So this is sort of my “Halloween costume”. I’m not really a huge fan of Halloween, but I wore this outfit today, and I put it together inspired by Princess Kate. As soon as I spotted this dress in the thrift store, I knew it had to be mine. Lucky for me, it happens to be a London brand! Kate is bringing sheer hose back in style, but the only ones I had have flowers up the sides, hehe. An older lady who saw me went crazy over these hose and insisted I show them off in the pictures, so I did:
Kate has some very similar Stewart Weitzman cork wedge heels, so I wore my patent and rattan wedges. She often wears belts, too, and the hat is so similar to her brown one from the Canadian tour! I wore my best pearl studs, and tried my hardest to curl my hair. 
Her hair is so utterly enviable! Gah! My hair hardly holds a curl. Here’s how it looked at the beginning, the best it looked after all of my 30 minutes of effort: 

Here are a few of the dresses/outfits that inspired me: 
I feel like Kate wore a dress even more similar to mine at some point, but I couldn’t find a picture of it. 
Anyway, I adore, adore, adore this outfit, and can’t wait to wear the dress again! 
Have fun but be safe and smart tonight, friends! 
PS. Yes, the dress fits fingertip rule!

Mistakes

Let’s talk about some mistakes I’ve made lately. 
Namely, wearing white after Labor Day. 
But it was the fair! I just had to wear a white polka-dot dress to the FAIR! 

Secondly, wearing white on a rainy day.

{see I had to switch into rain boots}
Thirdly, wearing white while drinking coffee. 

When I stopped into the gas station for a coffee, the guy who always works there said, “Um, I don’t know how to say this, but…you’re wearing a really nice dress. With rain boots.” 
Hehe. Yes, yes I am. 
“But you look nice!” he quickly corrected himself, in case his ambiguous comment was taken poorly. 
It made me giggle.
So those are the ‘mistakes’ I’m willing to admit on my blog, because they are the ‘funny’ sanitized little mistakes, but I can’t say the weekend was without other foibles. I am imperfect. Oh, oh, I am the first to admit: I am imperfect. Sometimes I get to feeling a little too self-assured and end up stumbling a bit to keep me humble. Humility is good for the soul, however embarrassing. Sometimes, it’s mighty embarrassing!
🙂

Hot Pink 4EVR

Hot pink + Natalie = Best Friends 4EVR

Also, you can tell I was having a wonderful time at a picnic party, because my belt is totally askew and I had no idea.
Yes, belt askew = obviously Natalie had a great time at a picnic party. 
It just SCREAMS that, don’t you think? 😉

In all honesty, though, it was such a wonderful picnic with people I love. And while I’m not technically family, I’m totally family. Y’know? The best thing ever.  I will miss these people dearly. For the past 6 1/2 years, we have built into each other’s lives, seen triumphs and trials together, seen boyfriends/girlfriends/marriages/children/deaths…we’ve been doing life together. That’s the family of God at work. We are created for such community, and being involved in it fills a deep need in our lives, I believe. I am so thankful for that. 
xo!

Wearing Hats {Part 2}: Ring Hat w/ Veil

Hat Number One: Vintage Linen Ring Hat with Veil and Little Velvet Bows: 
Summer seems so light, beautiful, and full of endless possibility. 

Except sometimes, life has other plans. 

{outtake, but I actually loved it.}

Sometimes, we have to say goodbye in summer. I know, it doesn’t seem fair. It just doesn’t suit our collective spirit in summertime to have endings. I wore this outfit to the funeral of a dear friend’s grandmother. Sometimes, we must say goodbye at inopportune times. To be honest, there is never an opportune time for goodbyes. 
As I write this, there’s an odd light hanging in the air. A summer storm is billowing on the horizon, and the leftover sunlight juts through storm clouds in a strange pattern. Sometimes, too, summer storms billow on the horizons of our lives. 

{fingernail polish matches shoes}
I’m a believer in wearing black to funerals. It feels respectful, and symbolic of the loss. Black says, “The world is stopping for a moment, our world is, because we lost someone who kept it turning.” Much like my comments on Good Friday and the veil I wore then, wearing black and a hat helps me feel the symbolism, respect, and grieving process. When someone’s world stops as a loved one passes on, wearing black feels appropriate
And so does wearing a vintage ring hat with veil.
🙂 
Linen Ring Hat with Veil and Velvet Bows: Vintage, Thrifted, 25 cents! 
Hair: “Flowered” up–that is, pieces bobby pinned in curls to look like a flower
Dress: Gap
Tortoise Wayfarer-ish Sunglasses: Target 
Belt: Thrifted
Handbag: Vintage
Heels: Banana Republic, consignment store




Weekend

Weekend Gear: Coffee, sunnies, hat, wrinkly sundress, flip flops! 
After Saturday morning tag sales, it rained non-stop. 
So instead of outdoor adventuring, I enjoyed a low-key weekend around the house. 

Manicure/pedicure essentials…

Pretty pink toesies! (and yellow fingernails)
Hanna Andersson clogs
Supplies for a fun paper project I’m working on. 
Baked some ginger-chocolate chunk scones. Mmm! Sent some over to a dear friend packaged like this. 
Now, it’s into the week!
Let’s begin it beautifully, yeah?
xo!

Denim & Blueberry Pies

I am in love with my Swedish clogs. 
In. Love.
I think I’ve mentioned my Swedish background before, and how anything Swedish delights me. I’ve wanted some Swedish clogs of my own for my whole life. Now, some twenty-odd years (and $2 at a tag sale) later, I’m enjoying them immensely.

I picked up this little chambray J.Jill dress from the same tag sale. The lady had some cute style, right?! 
A flower pin, another crown braid and a vintage bag (the colors are much more true-to-life in the above photo).

 Now, after weekend of tag sales, farmers’ markets, and blueberry picking, what’s a girl to do? Bake a pie, of course!  Blueberry-Black Raspberry Gluten Free Mini-Pies to be specific!

Mini-Pies have long been one of my ‘things.’ I adore the making and eating of them. They are just so cute! 
I won a contest way back when with a mini-pie recipe I created (not this one), and ever since, every time I make them I have memories of making dozens (dozens!) of practice pies in the days before the contest. The miniature pie pans can be difficult to find sometimes, but I’m pretty sure I found these at the dollar store of all places.
Blueberry-Black Raspberry Mini Pies
by GoodGirlStyle
2 cups blueberries
2 cups black raspberries (not blackberries)
3/4 cup sugar
4 TBSPs cornstarch
A few dashes of cinnamon
A few dashes of nutmeg (for that good Swedish flavor!)
Butter
1 or 2 batches of gluten-free pie crust (depending on if you want one crust or two…I love this recipe)
Cut one batch of pie crust dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a small circle, and gently place it into your pie pan. Fold under the edges and flute/crimp as you wish (if you are adding a top crust, just let the extra dough hang over the edge and crimp the top and bottom together later). Repeat for each remaining piece of dough. In a bowl, gently mix the berries, sugar, cornstarch, and spices. Ladle into each pie dish, spreading evenly among the pie dishes. It is a good thing if the berries nearly overflow. Dot small bits of butter on top here and there. At this point you can cut out four circles from a second batch of pie dough for tops if you wish. I highly recommend putting all of the small pies on a large baking sheet for easy transfer to the oven/cleanup. Now bake at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. Check your pies starting at 20 minutes, because depending on your oven, your pie dough, and your pans (mine are nonstick and slightly dark), the small pies may be done earlier. The pies are done when the interior is bubbling and the crust is nice and golden-brown.

{I put a little bit of leftover streusel on this one}
What guest wouldn’t just LOVE a tiny pie all to themselves? 
Certainly no one *I* know!
But who is talking about guests here? 
Well, I did give ONE mini-pie away. 
Then I ate the other three. 
Oops.
xo!

Happy & Skippy

{yet again, these shorts WERE ironed at the beginning of the day, fyi}

Screen-star style! Give me a touring car and let’s hit the roads of Monaco!

Since I’m fresh off my “It’s raining” kick, I won’t go on a new, “It’s hot” kick. But, just for the record: it’s really, really hot outside. 
Aaaaaaand moving on. 
This outfit makes me happy and skippy. As in, wanting to skip instead of walk. 
I love this outfit because it’s simple but punchy, and modern but retro. All of the pieces are new (ie. not vintage), and the colors are modern, but the whole look has a definite retro vibe.
Almost the weekend!
xo!