Outfit: The Nautical We

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Look who’s making his 1st appearance on the blog! ❤

In case you by chance were thinking I stole this baby from Walmart, this is MY baby, Elliott. He’s almost 3 months old and a total cutie, obviously. But I don’t think he’s too keen on photoshoots just yet … either that, or the sun was just too bright for him. Oh well, he’s still cute. ❤

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I cut 12 inches off my hair last month. A WHOLE FOOT OF HAIR. (I realize that sentence sounds, and looks, very strange.) And let me just say, while I loved having “mermaid hair” there for awhile, since I don’t think I’ve literally had that much hair since kindergarten … it was time to say, “Bye, Felicia.” I love this haircut SO MUCH. I think I look best with this length of hair, if I do say so myself. Plus, it’s been awhile since I’ve been officially a brunette. Love me my herrdid!

I love being a mom, 99% of the time. I’m blessed with a very good-tempered baby, and he’s been smiling and chattering a lot more lately, and his personality is definitely starting to come through. But man, the 1% that he’s crying or throwing a tantrum or screaming … I’m like, “Uhhh how do I do this??” Thankfully, my husband continues to be amazing; he’s becoming Super Dad, and I’m lucky to have him to help with my sanity. And my Mam has been a huge help, too. Elliott sure loves his Gramma! And so do I.

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I realize this is technically a cheaters fashion post, but uh, I’m still kind of self-conscious about my postpartum body. My pants pretty much fit again (hallelujah), but the tops? Not so much. I had to go buy a couple shirts the other day, since 98% of my spring/summer tops do not fit right now. Ugh. But YAY to new clothes?! This one I’m wearing is one of them, and then I found his shirt and thought, “Wow, these almost match!” Yes, I’m becoming That Mom that dresses her baby to match her outfit. But who cares. He’s only a baby once! 🙂

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Abbs:

Elliott:

  • Top: Old Navy — $4
  • Pants: JC Penney — $3 (part of this set)
  • TOTAL: $7

Today’s Motto: snuggle a baby to cheer yourself up.

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like mother, like son.

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2016 in Film

Hey all. It’s that time again where I take another break from fashion posting (this time I have an actual valid excuse … giving birth and all) and give my two-cents on the film industry. And um … well, 2016 just about killed it for me — not in the good way, either. Starting in January and going all the way to August, it was looking pretty abysmal. Granted, there were maybe 2 or 3 movies in between there that really weren’t all that bad (which will be discussed further), but MAN, compared to last year’s movie roster, 2016 was like all the bad Tinder matches single people put up with.

Thankfully, August and on has ALMOST made up for the lack of good movies this year has offered. And while I still have several ones to watch that are really generating Oscar buzz (Manchester By the Sea, Moonlight, Silence), right now the #1 priority in my life is taking care of my new baby. So those will have to wait. But until then, here are my picks for the best, worst, dumbest, craziest, & everything in between films of 2016!

Movies Seen in 2016: 39

Movies Yet to See: 40

Best Film of 2016 (seen thus far): Arrival — science fiction in film covers many, many facets of subject matter and spectacle, and this film offered something completely different from what I’d been used to seeing: the thinking man’s alien subgenre. No heavy action, and no overuse of CGI, it’s completely reliant on mystery and intrigue without flashy dialogue or menace. Without giving anything away, the element of family relations really kicked me in the gut, hard, and that is the reason Arrival is my pick for the best movie I’ve seen so far. It’s just an amazing experience that transcended mere filmgoing for me. Watch it, then watch it again and again and again. I know I will.

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Favorite Film of 2016: Rogue One — last year’s Star Wars movie came a very, very close 2nd on my favorite. This year, though? All hail Rogue One, ’cause it’s at the top. Is it a perfect film? Far from it. Is it better than Force Awakens or Empire? Nope. BUT as its own Star Wars standalone movie, the first of its kind thus far, it does a mighty fine job of being a great film. It’s gloomy, dark and full of dread, definitely different from the episodic films that came before. There’s more weight and desperation in the characters’ actions, and you feel it. Oh, and I will go on record with the rest of the world and say that the last 30 minutes of the movie are the most AMAZING footage ever recorded to a Star Wars film. Seriously.

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Somebody Give These People A Bloody Oscar Already: Kubo and the Two Strings (Laika Entertainment)Kubo is the movie that my husband and I saw in August that made us both say, “2016! You FINALLY give us a movie that was worth the price of a ticket!” Laika Entertainment got my attention with Coraline in 2009, and Kubo somehow managed to best their previous efforts. It’s a beautiful movie with a wonderful story that uses thrills and humor to the fullest. And like Arrival, the family element is used so brilliantly that if it doesn’t choke you up, even just a tiny bit, you’re basically a robot. (Also, if this movie doesn’t win the Best Animated Feature Oscar, I will riot in the street.)

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Obviously This Will Win the Best Picture Oscar, and It Totally Deserves It: La La Land — well, folks, the hype is justifiable this time around: La La Land is simply. Wonderful. Like 2011’s The Artist, it is the perfect callback/homage to an arguably simpler and better Hollywood, while injecting enough modern charm and spunk to appeal to nowaday’s moviegoing crowd. This film is classy, cute, and toe-tapping, and I had a big smile on my goofy face pretty much the whole movie. It helps that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have some of the best chemistry ever. If this doesn’t win the Oscar, I will be genuinely shocked. I can’t sing (ha ha) higher praises for this one.

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Proof That Indie Films Are Generally Better Than Big-Budget Blockbusters: Hunt for the Wilderpeople — Taika Waititi is basically the New Zealand version of Wes Anderson … which basically translates to, I frickin’ love anything this guy makes. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is hilarious. I haven’t laughed in a movie this much for a long time; its ridiculous humor is right up my alley. And once again, this has a great element of family that has a lot of heart without being schmaltzy. If this film is any indication of how Thor: Ragnarok will be, then the world almost doesn’t deserve Taika Waititi. Almost.

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Guilty Pleasure Film of 2016: Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice — look, I get it. Batman v Superman is not an amazing movie, by any means. It’s kind of a super stinker. But if anything, it gives further proof that, had Hollywood NOT given Zac Snyder the director’s chair, Zac Snyder could be the most formidable creative director working in Hollywood today. For all its lacking in story and common sense, this film is GLORIOUS to look at. I felt like I was literally watching a comic book come to life: almost every shot looks like a panel from a comic book, which is something Snyder is honestly a master at presenting in his films. And um, if there’s one thing that people CAN’T complain about with this … Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne? ABSOLUTE BOSS.

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The Only Film I Saw More Than Once in the Theatre: Captain America – Civil War — can I just say that this was much better than Winter Soldier? But guess what, this film is basically the same plot of Batman v Superman, and NOBODY wants to admit it! Yes, its overall story and action is a lot better than its competition, but come on, guys. It is the same plot! Though I will say: Black Panther is an awesome superhero I can’t wait to see more of, and Ant-Man/Paul Rudd is a friggin’ national treasure.

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Wait, Actually I Saw Another Film in the Theatre More Than Once: Sully — based on the true story of the emergency airline landing in the Hudson River, this movie packs a lot of thrills and heart in a relatively short runtime (just over 90 minutes). Tom Hanks is always great, Clint Eastwood really shines as a director here, and Todd Komarnicki’s script does an exceptional job of putting common sense, and human reaction, on display. Kind of like last year’s Spotlight, only not as righteously outrageous.

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Biggest Disappointment of 2016: Suicide Squad — guys, I can’t even with this one. It’s the classic case of having an absolutely phenomenal promotional campaign … and then the end result is such a huge letdown. This was supposed to be DC’s film to shoot them out of mediocrity and into the same realm as Marvel. That didn’t happen, obviously. If you want a truly awesome representation of the Suicide Squad, watch the superb DC Animation movie, Batman: Assault on Arkham. Here’s hoping next year’s Wonder Woman will redeem DC.

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Most Underrated Film of 2016: The Little Prince — this was released officially through Netflix, and it definitely needs more love. It’s such a cute film! It stays true to the book (which is great, by the way) whilst weaving in a story that resonates with our modern society. The mix of computer animation and stop-motion is a really nice touch; it’s fun to see the original drawings from the book come to life! And the messages are very touching — I teared up quite a bit at the end. Check it out!

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Most Overrated Movie of 2016: Hell or High Water — Hail, Ceasar! was in the running for this title, but lost out by just a hair. I’d heard nothing but rave reviews of Hell or High Water, so when I had the chance to watch it on VidAngel (no judgment, y’all) I was pretty excited to be blown away … and then I wasn’t. Wah-wah. :\ Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine movie … just not as riveting as all the critics made it out to be. And the fact that it was written by the same guy who wrote Sicario (which is an AMAZING film) kind of makes me feel let down. Oh, well, can’t win ’em all.

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I Advise Not Watching This If You Get Easy Anxiety: Deepwater Horizon — why oh why did I let my husband take me to this when I was in the middle of my pregnancy?? It was one of the most stressful movie experiences I’ve ever had! The whole story is sad and unsettling, much like last year’s Everest, so maybe watch this on a day where a) you’re feeling especially sorry for yourself and want to delve into further woefulness, or b) you want to feel better about your provincial life.

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What The Actual Crap Did I Just Watch: The Lobster — if ever there was a film that proves that “not every movie is made for everyone”, this would be the one to do so. The Lobster came into my radar in 2015 as it was making its way around the film fests, and when it was released on VidAngel a few months ago, I sat down to watch what all the fuss was about. And it was … erm … an experience. The entire time I kept thinking, “What am I watching? What am I watching here?? Dear Lord, what the heck am I watching???” The first half was very intriguing and funny, I’ll admit, but the second half was just plain bizarre and, to me, a little offputting. Like 2 films that tried to be 1 cohesive film, but just didn’t mesh well together. Colin Farrell is great in this, though, and it DOES feature my pick for the best movie line this year, but I’m definitely not going to be watching this again anytime soon.

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I Feel Incredibly Guilty I Watched This: Deadpool — chimichangas! Deadpool is actually my 2nd all-time favorite superhero (anti-hero, if we’re being technical), but man, I felt guilty after I watched this. And it was on VidAngel, where I edited it down to a PG-13 rating! Yes, the movie was a true representation of the character, but even so, I felt a lot of the dialogue was lacking in originality and relied too much on raunchy humor. Again, it’s a true representation of Deadpool … it just didn’t really click with me. However, this movie does have some of the funniest lines I’ve heard … so idk, I’m torn. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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This Year’s Jurassic World Award of Inferiority/Worst Movie of 2016: Independence Day Resurgence — wait … so you’re telling me, these filmmakers had 20 years to come up with an epic sequel for one of the best sci-fi action films ever … and THIS is what we get? REALLY? You had 20 frickin’ years to write something that could’ve been awesome and fun and thrilling, and THIS is the stinking pile of dog crud we get?! You’ve got to be kidding. I HAVE SO MUCH RAGE FOR THIS MOVIE I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE IT. But you probably get the idea. Ugh.

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Appreciation For Matt Damon, Part II: Jason Bourne — I understand the lackluster reviews for this. By no means is this the best Bourne movie (that still belongs to Ultimatum), but honestly, I really enjoyed this one. It was smart and had good action; I’m a Paul Greengrass fan, what can I say? And uh, yeah, friggin’ Matt Damon, man … guy just gets better with age. Perhaps the Appreciation for Matt Damon award will become an annual thing … though I don’t know how he’ll fare with that goshawful-looking The Great Wall looks. Who knows.

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Most Anticipated Movie I Still Need To Watch: A Monster Calls — this beats out Manchester, Moonlight, Silence, Fences, Moana, Paterson, and Passengers. A Monster Calls is one of the best books I’ve ever read; it made me cry, and I NEVER cry in books. (I know, I’m heartless.) And the fact that it’s now a movie, AND it’s getting rave reviews, makes me very anxious to see it. Like, now. Get to my city already, movie! I need to see youuuu!

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Favorite Soundtrack: La La Land — what can I say, I’m a big sucker for jazz. Justin Hurwitz did music work in Damien Chazelle’s other movie (Whiplash), which revolves around jazz band. So his work in La La Land is wonderful, since jazz is a big influence/part of the story and music. Plus, the entire soundtrack has been stuck in my head for a week now, so that’s got to say something.

Best Movie Line of 2016: “If you encounter any problems you cannot resolve yourselves, you will be assigned children, that usually helps.” – The Lobster

Funniest Movie Lines: “A fourth wall break inside a fourth wall break? That’s like, sixteen walls.”
“That’s right! You’re about to be killed by a zamboni!”
“I had another Liam Neeson nightmare. I kidnapped his daughter and he just wasn’t having it. They made three of those movies. At some point you have to wonder if he’s just a bad parent.”
– Deadpool (I couldn’t choose. All 3 made me LOL, hard.)

Saddest Movie Line:“We love you, little sister.” – Rogue One

Most Powerful Movie Line: “Like you? I go outta here every morning, I bust my butt ’cause I like you? You’re about the biggest fool I ever saw. A man is supposed to take care of his family. You live in my house, feed your belly with my food, put your behind on my bed because you’re my son. It’s my duty to take care of you, I owe a responsibility to you, I ain’t got to like you! Now, I gave everything I got to give you! I gave you your life! Me and your Mama worked out between us and liking your black ass wasn’t part of the bargain! Now don’t you go through life worrying about whether somebody like you or not! You best be makin’ sure that they’re doin’ right by you! You understand what I’m sayin’?” – Fences (I know I haven’t seen this yet, but when this appeared on the trailer for the movie … chills, man.)

Favorite Movie Posters:

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So 2016 has been kind of a letdown year, but 2017 definitely is looking up. A ton of my favorite directors all have movies coming out — Spielberg, Nolan, Anderson, Villeneuve, Johnson, Waititi — including a new Star Wars. Here’s hoping it can make up for 2016!

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Outfit: 37 Weeks Down

Please, for the love of all that is holy, ignore my bloated face.

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I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I last did one of these. Actually, scratch that — I can believe it. While most other pregnant girls are brave and do these beautiful maternity photos throughout their pregnancy, I’ve been … very shy. I know I shouldn’t complain about the weight gain, because hello, there’s a human growing inside of me … but um, people aren’t kidding when they say the camera adds extra pounds. :\ I did my best.

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I’ll be at 38 weeks on Thanksgiving Day. So, let’s get real here for a second: this pregnancy has been tough. Stretch marks popped up overnight, and they are EVERYWHERE. Most of my shirts barely cover my stomach. I’ve had horrendous acne that is just barely starting to go away (knock on wood). My feet, ankles, and legs have been swelling on and off. I’m right on the verge of just making my home in the bathroom. And I might be THISCLOSE to losing my chin.

But HOLY CRUD, you guys. There’s a baby in there … a flippin’ BABY. Every time I start to feel sorry for myself and the changes happening to my body, I have to remind myself that my son is in there, moving around and being active and (I’m hoping) happy as a clam. He’s alive and growing. And dumb ol’ me, I’m just in awe about that. When people I know were pregnant before, I just kind of thought, “Yeah, that’s cool, you’re having a baby!” But now that it’s ME in that state … well. The body is an amazing and scary thing. You really start to appreciate all that it’s capable of doing. It’s a humbling thing to me, and I hope this kid is just the most perfect baby ever. Oh, what am I saying? He will be. 🙂

Okay, enough of that. I will be MIA again for a little while with the fashion posts, but hopefully I’ll still get some updates on here. Just keep your eyes out! ❤

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Today’s Motto: let’s be honest — THIS is the real face of being 37 weeks pregnant. 😛

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Baby, Your Life’s About to Change.

Hey, friends. I cannot believe it’s been 4 flippin’ months since I posted. Ugh. I’ve become very much a slacker. But guess what? I have a good reason.

For those who don’t know already — which is probably, maybe, 2 of you, for whatever reason — I’m pregnant! I just hit 28 weeks this week, so that’s pretty exciting! I’ve been pretty private about this pregnancy thus far; I don’t really post weekly updates on Facebook, I obviously haven’t written anything on HERE, and I keep my answers kind of vague with the general public. But I thought, because I haven’t kept a journal for five years, I’d go ahead and write about the pregnancy on here. Because, clearly, nothing is more private than a blog.

(And in case you were wondering, yes, I will try to get a few fashion posts on here very soon. It’s just been very hot here, and I’m not as brave as some of these other girls who can stand to have their pictures taken whilst pregnant. So keep your eyes out.)

So, starting from the beginning: at the very start of April, I started to suspect that I might be pregnant, but I was scared to get it confirmed. A couple times last year, I thought I was expecting and took the tests, which all came back negative. After the 3rd time that happened, I got a little depressed–which surprised me, to be honest. I didn’t think NOT being pregnant would affect me so much, but it did. So THIS time, when I was suspicious, I was terrified to get another negative. So I decided to ditch the at-home tests and had Devon drive me to Instacare, where I could get the no-fail test right then and there.

Ten minutes later, the doctor came back and informed me I was six weeks pregnant. HOORAY! Devon and I were so happy, albeit a little flabbergasted. We set up an appointment with a local OB (whose house I’d happened to visit two times before) and got everything squared away a few weeks later. I was also set up with a fetal specialist, to make sure I was going to be okay taking my 2 medications all throughout the pregnancy. Devon and I were sure we were having a girl, but the guessing pool with our families and friends were split.

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The first trimester … to put it bluntly, it was absolute hell. I had morning sickness at least twice a day from late April to late June. When I was 12, I had surgery for my acid reflux, wherein the stomach is wrapped around the bottom of the stomach. The biggest side effect this surgery gives is you lose the ability to vomit–instead, you’re left with dry-heaving. So when I say I had morning sickness, I mean I was dry-heaving up to twice a day for close to 2 1/2 months. And let me tell you, IT WAS MISERABLE. Imagine trying to puke and not being able to get anything out, all while your stomach muscles constrict and tighten, and your throat feels as if it’s going to tear apart. That’s pretty much what it was like.

THANKFULLY, once July hit I was finally over the hill. Our baby was growing just fine, I wasn’t throwing up all the time, AND I was getting my appetite back. I found out I’d lost 8 pounds in the 1st trimester, which was shocking to me. If you recall my fashion post in May, that was in the middle of the battle. When I looked at the photos while writing up the post, I was taken aback at how thin I looked. But now that the worst was behind me, I was looking forward to the most important info to find out about a baby: the gender!

At the OB appointment, my mom came with us to see what our baby was. On the ultrasound, our doctor said he was “90% sure” the baby was a GIRL. A girl! We were right! We were excited! We finally posted it on Facebook! Things were moving forward smoothly.

Except, not really. For two weeks after the appointment, Devon, my mom, AND I all felt a little weird. Like something wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, and it was constantly at the back of my mind. We had one last appointment with the fetal specialist, and their ultrasound equipment was a much higher quality than the one at our OB’s office. So, half joking, when the tech asked if I had any questions or concerns, I mentioned how I wanted to make sure our baby was still, in fact, a girl. So I laid back and let the tech put that weird goo on my stomach, and up came the image.

We were all quiet as we stared at what could only be described as a third leg. After a minute of silence, the tech said, “Umm…that’s definitely a boy.”

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So THAT was what had been nagging at me! Our she was actually a HE! It was so bizarre that we just laughed about it … we still do.

Since hitting the 3rd trimester, things are still going smoothly. Baby has been kicking a lot, which fills me with a combination of fascination, and being creeped out. WHAT IS HE DOING IN THERE, somersaults?? Sometimes I think he goes spread eagle and kicks down near my bladder while jazz-handing up in my belly button region. It’s all very odd. But it makes me laugh all the time, and I’m happy he’s being active, since that’s a clear sign he’s growing and healthy. What a relief.

I still plan on being pretty private after Lil’ Mister is born; don’t expect to hear anything about it until at least a month has passed. It’s just something Devon and I have discussed and decided on — though, if I’m being completely honest, and I am, it was mostly my idea and I pushed for it. I have nothing against these moms that share the crud out of their kids. Bully for you! I think that’s great. But my natural skepticism/suspicion/paranoia makes me very hesitant of blasting Facebook or Instagram or this blog with photos of my baby. I’ve read stories of kids’ photos being stolen from said social media outlets for seemingly innocent purposes, or, worst case scenario, for malicious child-porn-centric websites. That possibility scares me more than actually delivering the baby. So, for my own overprotective mother desires, I will refrain from putting my son on the internet — and I ask that others respect that, too.

But for now, there’s still a lot more weeks ahead to prepare for. I’m taking it a day at a time, which is all any pregnant mama can ask for and expect for themselves. Devon has been, seriously, Best Husband On The Planet during this whole process. He’s been simultaneously my cheerleader and caretaker, all while working crazy unexpected hours with his job. I know this hasn’t been easy for him, either, but honestly, I cannot sing his praises enough — and he’s all mine. How lucky am I? 🙂

So, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed my overindulgent selfish words (ha). Like I said before, I will try my hardest to get at least 2 or 3 pregnant fashion posts in before I get REALLY big — or really fat. Either one. Happy days to you, readers! ❤

 

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Outfit: Garden Tulle

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These gorgeous flowers are in my parents’ front yard. Can you believe it?! They always have the best flowers: roses in almost every color, columbines, daffodils, little purple pansies, oleander … that’s my kind of garden.

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It’s been pretty stormy in town for the last couple weeks — April showers moving into May. I’m not complaining, though; it’s nice to have a lovely breeze before the summer comes, and rain makes everything smell better. We got lucky with the little spurts of sunlight for these pictures, but overall this lighting is my all-time favorite for fashion posts.

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So, uh, sorry for being MIA all of April! Life, man, it gets busy — you all know that. 😉 My husband and I have been pretty boring lately. I’m pretty sure we’re becoming an old couple, since the most exciting thing to happen in our weeks is going to the new local grocery store for fresh produce. We’re so weird! But hey, I love him, and he loves me, so that’s all that matters. 🙂

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Do you love my new glasses?! I’ve had my eye on Zenni Optical for awhile, and I finally decided to take the plunge and buy some. I cannot sing higher praise for them! Mine came out absolutely perfect, and I didn’t break the bank to buy them. And, um, polka dot glasses? YES, PLEASE! I promise I’m not advertising for them (I wish — getting paid sounds fun!…), I’m just giving my honest opinion. If you’re looking for cute frames for cheap and reasonable shipping costs, check this website out!

I wish I had more to update on, but alas, even when life is busy, it can also be uneventful. So I will leave today’s post with just some pretty (har har) pictures of my pretty self. (Especially that b&w pic … very Vogue, if I do say so myself.) Hope you all have a lovely week, lovelies! ❤

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Today’s Motto: surround yourself with flowers … you’ll be happy!

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