Chartreuse and Houndstooth

There’s this little secret to happiness, and it’s not a good one. I mean, it’s good, because it means happiness. But it isn’t good in the way you’re thinking, considering I usually think in terms of pink pants or leopard print cupcake wrappers, because this is a little bit of hard-work happiness. 

The kind of soul-weary-but-I’m-still-smiling happy. Deep-reserve-of-love sorta happy. 
Able-to-give-happily-and-without-any-impulse-to-hold-on-to-things-myself happy.
It’s good stuff.
Hard to come by.

Because it comes with a price. 
The price of our pride. 

The secret to that kind of deep happiness?

I just whispered that, because it’s a tough word to say. A tough word to swallow. 
A tough word to live.
It is a strange paradox that submission gives us freedom. 
And freedom in Christ?
That’s some crazy-deep-happiness.
Be blessed, friends. 

Fun or Frumpy?

I’ve noticed a new trend: over-the-knee pencil skirts, or midi pencil skirts. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about them, especially considering I just sold a 90s wool version to the consignment store.
Should I have kept it?
Does this conservative look say cute & vintage, or dated & age-ing?
What do you think?
Fun or Frumpy?

Swedish Sort of Day

It was a gorgeous day last week for a visit to an incredibly gorgeous place…the American-Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Last time I was there, years ago, it was simply (ha) the gorgeous mansion on Park Ave. that belonged to Swedish immigrants. This summer, they completed renovations that added an entirely new (modern) wing. Mom, Grandma, and I (sorry to the bro and sister-in-law for the salt in the wound here) ventured there on this gorgeous day.
This glass conservatory is just stunning. I adore it. 
And of course I wore my Swedish colors! 
Wondering how they still had so many pretty red roses in the courtyard…

The old meets the new. The mansion reflected in the new addition. 
 ASI just opened their Nordic Christmas exhibit, where each room of the mansion reflects the traditional decorations and stylings of a Nordic country at Christmas. I won’t bore you with the hundreds (literally) of photos I took, but let me just say: I’m crazy-inspired by my heritage, and I can’t wait to decorate in the traditional Nordic themes for Christmas this year.

Why yes, I did ride the mechanical dala horse. You know you would have too.
His name is Gustav. 
It costs a quarter. Totally worth it.
We had coffee in their new restaurant, Fika. Fika is the Swedish coffee break, filled with lots of coffee and LOTS of sweet things. We wanted to go at Fika time because we’ve gotten in the habit of breaking for Fika  at home.

Cardamom Cinnamon Roll with Swedish Pearl Sugar, anyone? 
When we were nearly finished, we ransacked the gift shop (no, just kidding. we didn’t do that; the bus tour group that was also there did that, ha!). But I did stock up on my favorite Swedish ribbons to use for my Nordic-themed Christmas, Swedish candy, and my favorite Swedish soap. And I looked ever-so-longingly at just about everything else, including the amazing array of Swedish baking and knitting books. Swoon. 
I’m so inspired! It is so much fun to be back in Minnesota with family and tradition everywhere I look.
Outfit~ Sunnies: local store, Necklace: Kohls, Blouse: Land’s End/thrifted, Sweater: American Eagle, Skirt: J. Crew, Tights: Missoni for Target, Boots: Forever21, Bangles: J.Crew and local store


Also, this delicious iced coffee with irish cream:
For some reason, every time I wear this Target dress I get oodles of compliments. I can’t seem to figure out why…it’s not dressy, per se. It’s not sexy, is it? I’ll tell you what it is: comfy. Amazingly so. I think I need to stock up on a few more of these. I wore this dress to church, then to hang out with the boy and a friend. It was perfect for some relaxing time in the hammock! Also: Haagen-Dasz (sp?) Sweet Vanilla Chai Limited Edition ice cream. YES. 
The sad news: the dress, being jersey, is pilling on the backside. 
Style Secrets
Earrings: Gift (Lia Sophia)
Dress: Target
Sandals: F21

This Body Brought to You by Sour Patch Kids

{girls! I finally pulled up the hideous weed in all of my photos! it wasn’t technically mine to pull up, so I had to wait for the exact right timing to obtain permission. permission obtained. weed gone. lightning bolt on picture. yes!}

Sour Patch Kids. Those wonderfully chewy, sour, sweet candies. The boy and I ate FAR too many of them at the drive-in movie this past weekend. And then we both decided we were going to quit eating processed sugar {seriously}. But I snuck (what?! is that not a word?! it’s underlining it! what is the past tense of ‘sneak’? help a sister out!) the rest of the Sour Patch Kids into my purse. 

Then yesterday, while editing this photo, I noticed that my thighs are practically STUFFED into these pants. And quite obviously, I needed to start exercising. So I grabbed a handful of Sour Patch Kids for energy, and did 50 jumping jacks in the kitchen. No lie. 
Then I went for a loooooooong walk. Uphill. And on my way back I realized I had a dribble of mocha-fudge frozen yogurt dried down my arm. 
I think I need a sugar intervention. Like, seriously. I’m not even kidding. 
Style Secrets
Hairclip: H&M
Sunnies: Local boutique
Necklace: Gift (my name in Hebrew)
Cami (under tee): Walmart
Tee: Old Navy (thanks, S!)
Cardi: Marc Jacobs
Ring: Local store
Capris: Gap, thrifted
Flips: Havaianas

A Picnic Dress

I saw this dress at Target and I knew it had to be mine. It is the perfect picnic dress! And the boy and I have a perfect little picnic spot that’s just ours. The dress fits the fingertip rule, but of course, is also pretty floaty, and needed a pair of shorts underneath.
Style Secrets
Sunnies: Local Boutique
Necklace: Lucky
Cardi: Target
Dress: Target
Shorts: Soffe
Sandals: Target (wore my croc mary-janes for exploring)

Wrinkles and Smiles

{I ironed this dress. Honestly, morning of, I ironed it. Then I drove for 2 hours. And sat at a graduation for 3 hours. Oh well}

 {pretty folded shoulder detail}
{this is the actual face I make at the boyfriend when he takes my picture. he’s a lucky man, right?!}
Loving the color and the folded shoulder detail of this new Gap dress. Bought it to wear to my cousin’s bridesmaids brunch, but that didn’t end up happening. So it was perfect to wear for some friends’ graduations! The leggings were necessary as it was 53 degrees and rainy. And I caught a cold. Hmpf.

Style Secrets
Umbrella: J. Crew (sadly, broken now)
Necklace: Gift
Dress: Gap
Blazer: Tommy Hilfiger
Leggings: Target
Boots: Hunter