wearing - 7/50

pullover - Loft // maxi dress - TJ Maxx // flats - Target // watch - Charming Charlie's // midi ring - UO

Whoever decided maxi dresses should be main stream street style did not have a big butt. Or thighs. In fact, they were either 8 feet tall or didn't have legs at all. I fought maxi dresses with everything in me, but somehow gave in to this dress during the hunt for something to wear to a wedding this past September. 

Since then, our relationship has consisted mostly of side-eyeing each other before I throw my hands in the air & slowly back-up - Nodding, with my tongue pressed into my cheek, admitting defeat once more. I THINK the answer is wearing something long-ish over it, as pictured above, since the waistline of this particular dress falls at my hips = danger zone. #fatbottomedgirlprobz

But that Day 5 top knot, though.
[photos by the fabbie Kelsie McNair of With Lavender & Lace]


minus & plus

Upstairs neighbor noises, which I'm pretty sure is a playlist of straight up explosions.
Convincing myself instead that he's just watching a lot of Doctor Who & Star Wars to help lessen my hostility.

The return of 30 degree weather after several days of sunshine & warmth.
The return of crockpot dinners & not having to think too hard about outfits because boots, coats & scarves, ya'll.

The Oscars are THIS WEEKEND & we've somehow only seen two of the major nominees -__-
One of those was American Hustle & holy late 1970's styling, I'm in love.

It's nearly the end of February & my two major to-dos (paint furniture, purge closet) remain unchecked.
As of today, I am free from the clutches of potentially being called in for  jury duty YAAAASSSSSSS!

My attempt to be a real adult woman by cutting/filing/painting my nails for once in my life resulting in not being able to itch an itch or open a yogurt tab or pick up a bobby pin
A general sense of femininity because gee, my hands are moisturized & manicured. how novel.

Seriously questioning whether my hair has reached the point of okay-you-need-to-chop-it. how long is too long? is it weird that 40 minutes + a hand cramp is how long it takes me to detangle my hair? Life's unanswered questions.
A hair appointment tomorrow morning & a stylist I trust with my life.

That odd moment when you put the coconut oil back in the pantry after making breakfast... Only to slooowly mosey back to the pantry to take it back out because your face is dry. It's just sort of bizarre, & also makes me question the safety of going outside on a hot summer day?
But really, after one week of using coconut oil on my upper arms, they are soft like a baby bum. Try it. Do it.

Those blasted pills on my leggings after extensive wear & tear over the winter
Mom's ol' use-an-old-razor trick knocking it outta the park. Thanks, mama!

*Read more minus & plus posts here


four good things

1                          2                          3                          4
BEACH DAY - We've had five days of glorious 65 degree weather... Just enough of a taste of spring to really start eye-balling the swimsuit section at Target & begin serious planning for our spring break beach vacation with my family.
AIR PLANTS - I can't even count how many herbs & succulents I've killed since we moved into this apartment, so the next test of my green/black thumb will be air plants. Fingers crossed.
OPEN WINDOWS - It's already time to start dreaming about our next apartment once our lease is up in June. After living in our super old building with mostly painted shut windows, we're prioritizing windows that open & *hopefully* a balcony.
ICE CREAM - I'm not usually an ice-cream fan, but the red velvet ice-cream we had on Valentine's Day started a wave of sweet eats around the Bethune abode. It might be a small problem. But also delicious.

[p.s. see some more good things on my pinterest]   


ian randall thornton - end where you begin

It was with beaming hearts that we attended our dear friend Ian's album release tonight. Ian has a heart of solid gold, a voice like honey & all the talent in the world. We honestly have not stopped listening to his album since we got our hands on it, & if it's not actually playing, someone is humming it. We're a little obsessed.

He's generously shared it over on Bandcamp, so do yourself a favor & get this music in your life! Listen here: Ian Randall Thornton - End Where You Begin


un petit neveu

My sister had her second baby earlier this month, & it's been nothin' but snuggles from us & reaaaally big kisses (licks?) from his 13-month-old sister. Getting a non-blurry picture of these two babies together may be my new life mission. Welcome to the world, baby boy!


wearing - 6/50

jacket - American Eagle // sweater - Gap // necklace - Nordstrom // shorts - H&M // boots - Rackroom Shoes  

These poor boots. They keep trying to ride off into the sunset & I keep supergluing them back together. Like, actually gluing them. With gorilla glue, because that's the only thing that works anymore. I can feel every single pebble on the street & every crack in the sidewalk because the soles are oh so very thin. & yet... I just can't imagine my closet without them. I guess like a good man & a good hairstylist, you don't just let a good pair of boots go. Orrrrr something.

On my drive home from work today, I was trying to pinpoint why I've blogged so much less so far this month when I was doing so well last month... & guys. It's totally the Olympics' fault. Four more nights, then I get my evenings back. But for now, the women's freeskate is on (MY FAVORITE EVER.) (EVER.) & Jared is sitting next to me on the couch, trying to predict what Scott Hamilton is going to say before he says it. Endless entertainment, folks.

[Thanks to lovely Kelsie of With Lavender & Lace for taking my pictcha!]


iphone does - valentine's date

Both of us had to stop & count on our fingers to double check that this was our 8th Valentine's Day together. It's starting to really sound like we've been together a long time! That's nice. We spent Sunday celebrating our traditionally belated day of love, since 20 years ago, I got a baby sister as a Valentine's gift. Every once in awhile, we get one of these glorious entire day-dates, & half the fun is just having time to be. Be silly, be lovey, be doing the dishes together. We started our afternoon with a downtown brunch, & finished it with an early evening showing of Her at the cute local movie theater. 

Ya know, I've heard good & bad things about that movie, & we both came to basically the same conclusion - Visually stunning (like, really), musically gorgeous, really great to see Joaquin Phoenix performing like the amazing actor he is... But still, a very odd storyline. I think I definitely would have enjoyed the book, & maybe that would have made the movie better. Or worse. Who knows. I don't really care, because we were hand-holding & foot canoodling, & it didn't really matter what we were watching, so long as we were together. I know, I know... But it's true!

We came home & Chef Jared got to work in the kitchen, making spaghetti alla carbonara & a custom pink apple cider martini that Jared gave about 27 different names throughout the evening. There was The Loooooove Apple, Adam's Apple, The Apple of My Eye, Apple Juice *wink*... The list goes on. He's a little ridiculous, but alllllso really good at concocting tasty beverages, so I'm on board. 

After a token-of-love exchange & love note reading, we made the very wise decision to take a break from the Olympics (which we have watched every night since it started & are maybe a little overly invested?) while also winding down a little from the heaviness of Her & watched Jurassic Park. Yup, true romance. I've been dying to watch it since I heard the soundtrack recently, & when Jared busted out the stash of red velvet ice-cream he'd hidden in the freezer, I thought I just might cry tears of pterodactyl joy. It's also been really hard to enjoy anything even the teensiest bit indulgent while watching Olympians flip through the air on ice or snow or blades or whatever, so it was nice to have our dinosaurs & eat our ice cream, too.

It was a sweet day... It's good to love & be loved. I've always been so grateful to spend Valentine's Day celebrating my sister's birthday with my family, because I don't think Valentine's Day is just about romantic love. I think it has to be a celebration of love, in general. Otherwise, the greeting card companies win. 

Love is good. Love is great. 



wearing - 5/50

turtleneck - Forever21 // skirt - h&m // boots - TJ Maxx // heart earrings - Claire's

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I present to you a mostly black but kinda reddish outfit! I really, really love this skirt, but honestly, it is the absolute funkiest cut in my whole closet. It's from a couple springs ago, which could probably be pinpointed as the pre-hi-low era. The down side to the dark components of this outfit are that my hair falls out like it's got some place to be & some of those places are my black turtleneck, my black tights or my black boots... Maybe even woven into my black gloves, if I'm lucky. The upside is that it's long enough to wrap around my neck (twice) on especially cold days. Probably weird, but also warm.

Somehow, this is two style posts in a row, which should never, ever happen. It's been a crazy week, which has found me out & about, & Jared working late, leaving our apartment & our routine schedule abandoned. Blog posting included. But! It's my baby sister's birthday today and it's snowing (again!) outside and there's a 5-day-old baby sitting next to me and my 13-month-old niece is trying to snag this laptop out of my lap, so all signs point to see ya later, alligator.


wearing - 4/50

jean jacket - AE // sheer blouse - Pacsun // skirt-that-everyone-has - Forever21 // tights - Urban Outfitters // boots - Old Navy

I don't even want to talk about the quality of these pictures. Okay, I do, but only because I want the world to know that both me & my trusty photographer are appalled by them. This is what happens when the entire week consists of seeing each other only after 7pm, when the sun is down & the comfy clothes have been put on. Tragically, I kinda like this outfit, but I don't think you can much see past the grain.  UGH. I want these pictures to hide forever in the depths of blog hell, but BY GUM! I POSTED AN OUTFIT THIS WEEK. 

In other, less high-ISO news, we got ourselves a new nephew today! Happy Friday, everyone!


what the winter olympics does to me

The Olympics have started. (^ That's what Jared would look like in Russia.) Here's what that means around here:

  • I will have goosebumps for the next 16 days.
  • Goosebumps will only be interrupted by bouts of crying as medals are won & heartfelt stories of the journey to the Olympics are told.
  • I will start justifying my skill at sports that I definitely sucked at growing up as potential sports that could get me into a future Olympics. #rio2016
  • Figure skating is my jam, & I will award the gold medal to any skater that performs to a movie soundtrack that I recognize. 
  • Bonus points for a good costume with minimal flesh-colored fabric & any sort of bedazzled skin jewelry.
  • Just kidding, I'm actually a really tough figure skating judge.
  • I will investigate volunteer opportunities for both the next summer & winter olympics at least once.
  • At some point, I will turn to Jared & describe to him, in depth, the different things that will be going on in our lives the next time the Winter Olympics roll around. I'm pretty sure we were supposed to be snuggling with at least one puppy in NYC for this one. 
  • If you want, I can reenact Tara Lipinski's short program (ANASTASIA, HULLO.) while explaining to you how she beat Michelle Kwan in the 1998 Nagano games.
  • I'll become obsessed with one snowboarder & one figure skater & start planning the wedding for a pair figure skating team.
  • Bob Costas will be referred to only as Vampire Bob. It's already happened once, & Vampire Bob, I hope your eye gets better real fast. Just stay away from the garlic, friend.
  • What's that? You want to make plans for tomorrow night? Or the night after that? Can't, sorry. Olympics-ing.
  • What's that? You haven't been watching the Olympics? Ummm. Huh. 
  • I'll tell Jared that I can't think of a better godfather to our future children than Scott Hamilton. 
  • I will astonish the people around me with my math skills as I calculate scores & averages, something this communications major is not known for.
  • We'll probably watch Blades of Glory, to be completely honest.
  • Scootch over, Jennifer Lawrence. We gotta make room for Johnny Weir on this couch.
  • Emily & I will text our really educated commentaries & opinions to one another every single night.
  • By the end of the games, getting an Olympic tattoo will seem like a really rational, good idea that Jared will need to talk me out of.

Please tell me I'm not the only Olympic freak?


eat - sweet breakfast crêpes

There was a period of time that my dad woke up every Saturday morning, cracked open what I'm convinced is a first edition Joy of Cooking (read: well-loved) & made a double batch of crêpes for whatever daughters & however many of their friends were around to eat it. They were pretty renowned, Papa Essmann's crêpes. As the years have passed, less people are around on Saturday mornings & my younger sisters seem to be a little bit healthier in their breakfast choices (how did I miss that gene?), & the crêpe making has waned off into By-Special-Request Land.

I've been brainstorming about Valentine's Day festivities, as V-day breakfast has fallen into my court this year, & crêpes were my Aha! moment. Do I think I'll be able to execute these thin little pancakes? Absolutely not. Seriously, it's really like everything my culinary skills are not. But am I going to try & then wait for Jared to step in with his natural kitchen talent? Heck yes. 

& so! I thought I'd share the wealth with you all, in case you ever find yourself thinking, "Holy crêpe! I need a fancy breakfast, stat!" (The puns are endless.) Papa E. graciously agreed to make his infamous crêpes while I documented the process, & I got a lesson from the master. (It won't help.) I'm here to tell you that it was, as always, delicious. Enjoy!
baking powder
powdered sugar
eggs (2)
toppings - goat cheese, cinnamon + sugar, grapefruit
3/4 cp all-purpose flour
Resift with:
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 T powdered sugar
2 eggs
Add & whisk:
2/3 cp milk
1/3 cp water
1/2 t vanilla
Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.
Whisk together to mix - Ignore any lumps in mixture. 
Heat skillet.
Grease with teensy bit of butter.
Add a small quantity of batter.
Tip skillet to spread batter.
Cook over moderate heat until crêpe begins to pull away on the edges.
Flip and cook other side.
Dad says your first crêpe will always be ugly, so you should just go ahead & eat it.
Use small amounts of butter to grease pan between each crêpe.
*note: this recipe is adapted, but mostly the same as the original Joy of Cooking "French Crêpe" recipe
Grapefruit, because Valentine's Day = pink! (salmon?), duh!
Soften goat cheese.
Mix in cinnamon & sugar.
  Cut grapefruit from peel. (Easier said than done. This how-to helped.)
Assemble crêpe! 
We topped our crêpe off with some extra cinnamon + sugar & goat cheese. Because always more goat cheese.

Other favorite Essmann cr
êpe toppings:
Cream cheese, cinnamon + sugar, strawberries or jam
Chocolate chips, cinnamon + sugar
Powdered sugar, strawberries, lemon juice
Nutella, banana
Potentially serve with a love note about how you think they're just the crêpe-est & you love the crêpe out of them.

Click the "read more" below for the recipe sans photos