minus & plus

It's very nearly April (not a bad thing) which means that in three short weeks, I'll be at the beach, getting myself into a swimsuit. No no no no no. I mean, yes to the beach. No to hibernation season ending & everything that involves.
However, good things totally come to those who have to save up for frivolous purchases like swimsuits, & I got the bikini of my high-waisted dreams for half off. *embarrassing victory dance*
To be clear, the beach vacation is being welcomed with open arms in addition to pale, pale legs.

Headaches from weather changes

Speaking of headaches, I dreamed that I was taking family photos for Jennifer Lawrence's wedding, only she wasn't famous & she had like 17 siblings. There were also dogs. In a church sanctuary. It took Dream Kelsey like, 6 hours to take 3 good shots, only to realize that my memory card was full. & then I actually woke up with a headache.
Totally hung out with Jennifer Lawrence (sorta), so heyyy.

Waiting for a new season of a tv show to come out, only to find when it is available that the shininess of the original binge has worn off, & actually, this is a pretty terrible show. (I'm lookin' at YOU, Once Upon a Time.)
As if I needed another show to be watching.

I don't have a minus for this one, I just really love making Jared laugh. It might actually be a hobby. I think I've subconsciously been getting better at it over the years, too, because he's pretty darn handsome when he laughs. High five, self.

My overwhelming & instinctive need to overshare on Twitter. Why. WHYYYY.
I'm so not alone, which is probably why Twitter is my favorite. & maybe oversharing the weird, the self-conscious, & the judgy is a balance of the "curated" versions being shared elsewhere?

Really feeling like I nailed it in the make-up department only to get in the car & look in the rearview mirror. How is that the most revealing mirror in the universe? Is it the natural lighting? Whatever it is, it's evil & yet I need one for my bathroom.
It has kept me from going into work or wherever with a foundation streak across my forehead on more than one occasion. All hail, Rearview Mirror.

One chipped nail. One chipped nail is all it takes for me to go crazy town on the rest of my nails, & then there's suddenly nail polish confetti EVERYWHERE.
Grocery store clerk (is that the right term or is this a term right up there with "blouse?") complimenting my nail color & ranting about how she can't ever keep hers from chipping... Followed by me proudly holding up my other hand to show the 3 out of 5 fingers that didn't have polish on them. #relatable

Being really, really bad at thrifting. I usually end up with milk glass, & oops, missed the vintage whatever-whatever that only costs $4 that everyone else would have fought over.
I hardly have an upside to this, just that I'm determined to keep trying.

Actually having to get out of bed on a rainy Saturday morning, when there is actually a sleeping husband next to you because for once, he didn't have to leave the house at 6am. It feels like physical torture.
A 3pm church service on blessed Sundays, his day off, with more rain to go around. Amen & amen.


wearing - 11/50

blazer - Target // ruffled shirt - Amerian Eagle // skirt - Loft // tights - Charlotte Russe // boots - TJ Maxx

I hadn't been to this giant garden center since I was a little girl, dragging my feet & shlumping my shoulders as my mom frolicked around in botanical heaven. When Kelsie suggested we visit, 6 yr. old Kelsey sighed & hoped there'd be a frosty at the end of our trip like the good ol' days. 25 yr. old Kelsey was really excited & yet, the teensiest bit sad, as my luck with keeping plants alive has been ohhhhh, non-existant? since I started a serial killing spree with orchids in college. The spree then moved on to bamboo (Yep, I can kill bamboo. It's on my resume.), then succulents, then herbs. The first step is admitting you have a problem right?

I didn't purchase anything, but there was definitely frolicking. Wide eyed wonder, really, especially since Kelsie knows what she's talking about & guided me around like a pro. (Step 2, higher power, check.) I like, no, I LOVE to believe that our someday yard & garden will change my horticultural stars. I'm clinging to that, actually, because the promise of citrus trees is maybe the only thing that could convince me to become a homeowner. Not that I don't want to own a home but... Perhaps it's my bad history with planting roots.

There's no way to end this post without mentioning that as of last night, I'm all caught up with Scandal now & I hate it but I love it but I hate it but I can't stop, won't stop. Is this a normal reaction?


iphone does - paint nite

Perhaps a little too excited(?), my friend Lori & I headed out to the oceanfront for that wine & paint stuff everybody & their mother have been doing. Having been postponed twice due to our weird snow storms this winter, we were extra ready to get our paint on.
Fitting that it was a jellyfish painting, because beach! & memories of being stung every summer!
My attempt to capture the GORGEOUS foggy, windy, rainy March day at the beach ;)
But the weather doesn't so much matter, because pinot.
Sometimes you think you're a good artist & end up with a nebula instead of an ocean. *sigh*
& sometimes it's really hard to stop quoting Finding Nemo, so you just sing along to what we're pretty sure was a Hootie & the Blowfish Pandora station for two hours.
But the REAL trick is figuring out what do to with your weird, pink jellyfish picture when you're done. Don't get me wrong, I am proud(ish) of my jellies but uhhhhh... I'm not too proud to admit that the experience was far more worthwhile than my artistic skills are good ;) Just be careful if you're thinking of inviting either of us to a holiday gift exchange this year, that's all. 

Consider yourself warned.


the grand budapest hotel

Just popping by after date night to say holy Wes Anderson,  The Grand Budapest Hotel is so good. I'm not just saying that out of generational obligation or because I'm a little flitty/floaty from an evening out with my wonderful Jared. It's just REALLY GOOD. & so symmetrical. I'm certain that you have to pass a balance test or something before he'll allow you in one of his movies, in which case I can just burn "Be in a Wes Anderson movie" off my bucket list. I'm just kidding, that wasn't on my bucket list. I also don't have a bucket list.

Happy weekend to y-o-u!


wearing - 10/50

sweater - Target // button down - Gap // pants, heels & barrette - H&M

These pictures are debatably worth sharing, as they are from a morning when there was just not enough sunshine or coffee. One of those mornings where my foolproof no-heat curl system just... didn't... work, I forgot to put my wedding rings back on after gooping what seemed to be an entire bottle of lotion onto hands that refused to be moisturized & my mascara fell back behind the sink into what has to be to most terrifying corner (abyss?) of any bathroom, no matter how many times you clean it.

But you go with it, because they're saying Saturday is going to be a high of 75 with clear skies & it can't be March forever, right? RIGHT.

photos by: kelsie of with lavender & lace


our song

We had been at the beach almost all day together, with the mish-mash group of friends that had somehow brought us together. He was quiet, wearing a thrifted Sunkist t-shirt, & ear buds hadn't left his ears all day. Barely acquaintances, we had walked together for a few blocks as part of a small delegation that had been sent to buy smoothies, but we didn't talk. I had just broken up with a boyfriend not a month before "because college (COLLEGE!) was three months away", & I was surprised to find myself excited to walk just a couple of feet away from him as we wandered. A new boy was very much not part of the plan for what I was hoping to be my final months in Hampton Roads. I was even more surprised when I found myself wandering over to where he was standing alone in the middle of the beach. He was singing, & how does a girl like me not walk over to a boy like him singing on the beach?

"The Music Man?"
"Till There Was You. The Music Man, right?"

No, it wasn't The Music Man. It was, in fact, the Beatles crooning in his ear about birds & hills & bells & sweet, fragrant meadows of dawn & dew. He smiled, pulling the other ear bud out from behind his shaggy dark hair (speaking of the Beatles...), intrigued that I was standing in front of him, asking about a movie from the 1960s. He couldn't help but quiz me about the movie, & I couldn't help but show off the moves I remembered from "Shipoopi." I like to think that it was those moves that really sealed our fate, & that's what the grandchildren will be told, by gum, but he says it was something about my eyes & some other smooshy stuff.

I had never heard the Beatles' version of this song, & even worse (according to Jared), I had never really listened to the Beatles'. Not on purpose, anyway. So, two months (& 5 whole weeks of dating) later, I received my first Jared Bethune playlist, teeming with Beatles' glory. I was partial to "When I'm Sixty-Four," but Till There Was You was already our song. I had never had an "our song" before, but as far as meet cutes go, it was the perfect soundtrack.

It was also the perfect soundtrack when we walked back down the aisle as husband & wife & when our sweet friend Kelli sang it for our first dance. It's even earned a spot on the wall of our family room. & I can bet you our future babes will hear it more than a few times. If you had told Summer 2006 Kelsey any of those things, she would probably tell you, "Well, thank GOD he wasn't listening to Outkast."

& she'd have an excellent point. Thank-you, Meredith Willson & Paul McCartney.


four good things

1                          2                          3                          4
SPRING DECOR - The bug has hit - Maybe it's because we spend so much time indoors during the cold months, but good gracious is it time to get some new colors & fresh air up in here.
TRUSTY BOOTS - For as long as I can remember, Virginia's March showers have brought April showers. This year's showers have been especially cold & horrible windy, but my, how those Hunter's are always up for a challenge.
LOVELY NAILS - I have never been good at the at-home manicure (like, I'm actually terrible at it), but Sally Hansen's "Insta-Dri" has been a game changer for me. 
MINTY FRESH - Allergies are already shaking their groove thangs around this Bethune apartment, & herbal remedies are soothing our way through the sniffles & sore throats. Fresh mint + my June Jar is my current saving grace.

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


wearing - 9/50

cardigan & pumps - Target // shirt  & shirt - Forever 21 // lip gloss - NARS, Super Orgasm

Alternate Title 1: How To Dress While Shopping Solely at Two Soul-Sucking Mega Stores 
Alternate Title 2: Look Legs, The Sun!
Alternate Title 3: Today I Tied a Knot in My Hair
Alternate Title 4: Put a Ribbon On It

Odd to think that this time last week, snow was melting away. 68 degrees is WAY more Virginia, Virginia. Keep up the good work. These legs need aaaaall the sunshine & warm weather that you can throw at 'em. & so, it was with mirth & a bit of giggling that I cast aside the black tights I considered donning for this outfit, making the full commitment to unsheathe the great whites. You're welcome!

I have to throw roses & thanks & props & love to my sister, Meredith, who not only supplied half my wardrobe for today but also took these pictures at the last minute. Never mind almost getting hit by several minivans on their way to the grocery store just around the corner or the fact that I picked a wind tunnel to stand in - She made the magic happen. Hopefully the Starbucks stop afterwards showed my appreciation but really, sisters are just simply the best. ... Especially sisters with clothes to share.


norfolk blogger meet up

Hey YOU! If you live in Virginia (& will be nearby Norfolk on Saturday) & have a blog (or have thought about blogging in a semi-serious to serious sort of way)... Then come have coffee with me & other local bloggers on Saturday morning! Join us for coffee & conversation at Cure Coffeehouse & Brasserie at 10am this Saturday, March 15th.

I do love this great state of Virginia & I do love blogging, so I'm especially thrilled to be working with Virginia Bloggers as their Norfolk/VB ambassador. I can't wait to meet the wonderful faces of the blogs that call Hampton Roads home - See ya there, yeah??

[If you think you'll come, we want to make sure we have plenty of seats. Let us know in the comments here or on the Virginia Blogger post, OR via facebook or twitter.]


spring, in all of its optimism

There's something so ceremonial about the first flinging open of the windows. Opening our home to the rays of sun & the breeze, looking past the pollen & bugs that will find their way inside because that. is love. Looking past the imperfections & wholly accepting the entire package. Spring, you are welcome here. Of the major checklist of things that I was looking for when we found this apartment, "patio access" was the only credential box that didn't get checked. So, here I sit, next to the only window that isn't painted shut & can be opened with ease, feeling the rejuvenation of a warm March day pushing its way into my bones.

We made it through the time change without sleeping through anything or showing up late anywhere. God bless that extra hour of sunlight. Waking up was zero fun this morning, but it's 4pm & I still feel like I have the rest of the day ahead of me. I have stayed true to the promise I made with myself to walk to work when the weather is nice enough, & it is such a peaceful way to start the day. Are there some harrowing moments of wondering if crazy Virginia drivers are going to see me crossing the street? Yes. Do I feel like I deserve a 20 minutes break when I walk in the door when actually no, no you don't? Yes. But it gives me a mile & a half of waking up, thinking through my to-do list & deep breaths of... Well, some street funk but also fresh air.

Everything is new to me this year, & thus, perhaps a bit more sparkly than normal. It will be the first spring that I'm not spending every day of the weekend at work for 4+ events, & thus, the actual first spring that I can visit estate sales & HECK, host a yard sale of our own. It's gonna be the beeeeest.

The optimism that comes along with springtime is nothing short of astounding. I was at my parents this weekend, beside myself with laughter as their dogs (a golden doodle & a golden retriever) absolutely bounded around the yard with energy they haven't shown since October. I took my 14-month-old niece outside with them & it was like they were trying to show off their yard to us. Then I let my niece explore a little & I could practically hear Aladdin & Jasmine zooming around on their carpet. Of course, she was also completely grossed out that I was expecting her to walk around with bare feet. But she eventually got over it, while I evil-genius-laughed about how she has no memory of the pool & my, what fun that will be this summer.

But, now I'm getting ahead of myself.

(I have no pictures from the weekend *gasp* so you get a picture of said niece from laundry day last week.)


DIY - messy bun for long hair

The longer my hair gets, the further away it moves from functional. Don't get me wrong, I love love love my long hair. I think it's probably moved into the "part of my identity" realm, which is maybe weird, & perhaps a sign that it's time for a change ;)

Since I picked up a part time job that has me getting up & at 'em earlier in the morning again, I've been desperately seeking ways to wear my hair that keep me from spending 35 minutes with a curling wand. Over the past year or so, I've also jumped on board the infrequent shampooing train, so I'm not only working with 2.5 feet of hair, but 2.5 feet of dirty hair. This messy bun has been a staple Day 3 or 4 hairstyle, & gracefully eases me into a Day 5 top knot the next day.

It really is a super simple style, made easier by working with textured hair. My favorite products these days are: Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturing Sea Salt SprayAlterna Bamboo Texturizing Body Boost Volumizing Liquid Powder, & Dove Dry Shampoo. Hopefully this tutorial makes sense - Three cheers for simple updos for the long haired ladies!


wearing - 8/50

 polka dot shirt & necklace - J. Crew // sweatshirt - Forever 21 // pants - H&M // flats - Urban Outfitters

I'm trying to embrace the cold & snow, because Jared & I dream of Northern living, but liiiike... I think it's the limited pairs of boots that are getting to me. & pants. LAWD, I am sick of pants. Every morning, I'm maybe 20% convinced that a dress or skirt is a good idea... & then my feet hit the very cold hardwood floor & I retreat back under the down comforter - My favorite creation in all the land. My kingdom for a down comforter! Aaaand then I usually put on a pair of tights and a pair of pants and a tall pair of socks and my highest pairs of boots. I mean, whatta wimp!? But a warm wimp. A-HA.

Since I seem to have situated myself into a winter lull, it seemed only right to venture over to the adorable & dare I say? perfect Studio Posy for some floral cheer. Thanks for letting us crash your store for pictures, Marissa! Please pretend not to notice when that couch goes missing & shows up in my Instagram pictures because I am quite in love.

Photos by Kelsie of With Lavender & Lace