Ugly Christmas Sweaters & Colder Weather...

It's snowing!  It always feels like we barely see fall before winter is in full storm.   We don't tend to see a lot of snow on the ranch but last night we got about six inches which is the perfect amount for a snow day.  Kenai has never seen snow.  He's just about five months old and being a summer baby this is a brand new experience for him.  I thought that he would be a little hesitant about it, as his confidence is still that of a puppy, but the minute we opened the door 'Mani tore out into the familiar fluff with Kenai right on his heels.  

He is so in love with the stuff and it was so funny to watch him tear through it with 'Mani jumping from patch to patch trying his best to keep up.   I kept making snowballs and throwing them out into the powder knowing Kenai would spend at least five minutes attempting to locate them amongst the sea of white.  Poor guy never did find any off them, but he seemed to enjoy using his nose to try!  I cannot believe how big he is already getting either!  I would guess to say he is about 60-70 pounds at this point and he already stands almost as tall as CR when on his back legs.  

Incase you were wondering where I got my awesome ugly t-shirt sweater it's from Skip 'N Whistle and it's part of their holiday line.  They have everything from uincorns to kitties on their shirts which is such a fun twist on the classic ugly Christmas sweater!  I had to have the dino one because nothing says Christmas quite like dinosaurs!  My jeans are from ModCoth and my marshmallow boots are so old they probably don't even make them anymore.  I sure do love those ugly things!  

Anyone else getting lots of snow yet?

Shirt: c/o Skip 'N Whistle  //  Jeans: ModCloth  //  Boots: Really Old

If you must have your own ugly Christmas sweater use code "SANTA" for 20% off!

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I've been sitting on these photos for months now!  Back in September I had the most exciting experience of meeting one of my internet pals for the first time.  Kelsi, over at Brightersides, lived in Seattle when we first started talking and we would laugh and joke about who would be first to make the 15 hour trip.  When she moved all the way to Oklahoma City I thought it would be forever before it actually happened.  Long story short, Kelsi decided Seattle was where her roots were and during her week road trip, stopped to stay with us for two days.

When you've spent so much time getting to know someone (without ever meeting face-to-face) you get a common anxiety of how that first meeting will go in real life,  "Am I going to be awkward?"  "Am I making them feel awkward?".   You can get so worried that the person may not be comfortable with you or worse not even like you in person!  This wasn't the case at all (minus our general awkward nature) and we were talking and laughing almost instantly.

We decide to spend her second day up in the Yosemite Valley just being tourists.  The smoke was so thick from the Rim Fire that you could barely even make out Half Dome but that didn't stop us from spending the day laughing, getting lost, and being those two crazy girls in the woods!   I don't ever think I will forget the faces of two foreigners who watched us follow a squirrel around like a tour guide!

It was so great having Kelsi here for those two days and I will admit I was pretty sad to see her go.  Can't wait until we head up to Washington next time!

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Being Stuck...

Skirt:  Burlington Coat Factory (similar) //  Top: Forever21  //  Shoes:  Minnetonka  // Necklace: Vintage

I feel like I am stuck.  Like lately I am just settling for the everyday instead of trying to branch out and try something new.  When I find something that works it's not uncommon for me to become obsessive and monotonous with it.  It's kind of like the saying "If it isn't broke, don't fix it," but that's not how I want to live.  I love exploring options and breaking from routine so when I began to notice that most of my wardrobe consisted of high hemmed dresses and button up tops I felt like I needed to start making a solid effort to think outside my own box.

I love little dresses.  I just feel comfortable in them.  Which is so odd really, as in high school you wouldn't see me caught dead in anything other than a band T and a pair of Dickies, but that all seems so foreign to me now.  I enjoy the simplicity of slipping on a dress, paired with some shoes, and being done with it, but that hasn't been the only thing in my bubble becoming mundane.  Even my hair styling (admittedly, something I use to enjoy) has become more of a routine with little creative endeavor to be had.

I think having a signature can be a good thing.  Quirks are what make us unique, while our signature is what makes us recognizable, even when those quirks may change.  I am not sure that I want a whole signature look.  I like variety way too much!  So when I went shopping to stock up on some more, much needed, winter garments I decided to try my hardest to stay away from dresses and blouses as best I could.  I stocked up on quite a few sweaters, jeans, and a jersey maxi skirt all of which are way out of my norm.  For Thanksgiving I decided to pair the two most untypical items for me and see how it all felt.  I paired the jersey skirt with a short sleeved cropped sweater (two of the items I have forever avoided) and paired it all with my Minnetonkas (those I just can't shy away from)!  

It feels good to add some variety, style my hair in a different way, and experiment with my style choices and even though I don't quite feel comfortable yet, at least I have my go to items as a security blanket while I test the waters!  

Do you have a security blanket item(s) that you can't live without?

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Uncommonly Good...

Originally, when we started debating what to do for my birthday, we thought we would pack up the boys and head up to Yosemite for the day.  It's not too far away and the fall leaves are just stunning in the higher elevation.  With winter right around the corner a lot of our favorite trails are already closed down and instead of spending half our day, searching for the perfect picnic spot, we decided to stay a little closer to home.

So we packed up our little picnic basket full of goodies as well as some lovely wine gifts supplied to me by the wonderful people at Uncommon Goods.  Uncommon Goods has to be one of the most charming shops for personalized gifts with an emphasis on keeping their products unique and in harmony with the environment without harm to animals.  When searching through their selection for supplies we feel in love with bamboo wine table and the afterglow garden stake which we will be turning into a touch for our patio area.  Everything collapses perfectly into a basket along with some more basic wine glasses we purchased on the way.  

Once we got settled we debated where the best place to set up would be and, being the total goofballs we are, decided in the middle of the road would be the perfect place to settle in.  We set up the table and all of our goodies on the side of the road beside us just incase there was a sudden need to abandon ship and get out of the way!  The table is the perfect size for the baked brie round that I brought along for the outing which I topped with a rare fall treat of fresh berries.  

We spent most of the afternoon just sipping wine, laughing, and watching the dogs run through the hills.  I tried to snap some pictures of the pups but almost everything came out as a blur of black moving through the sunset.   It was the perfect day and an uncommonly good way of spend my birthday!

Big Thanks to Uncommon Goods for suppling me with all the wonderful items for my perfect birthday celebration!

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Happy Birthday to Me...

Dress:  c/o  EShakti  //  Shoes:  Minnetonka

This week was my birthday but sadly I didn't get to do much, by means of celebrating, as it was on a 15 hour school day.  Not that I mind all that much, to me, a day is just a day and you can celebrate whenever you please!   So instead we decided to pack up a little lunch and the pups to head out for a little impromptu picnic.  I like peaceful, relaxing birthdays but I will share more on that later.

One of my favorite things about birthdays is being able to get dressed up however you please, buy yourself balloons, chocolates, shoes, whatever... and no one dares to tell you otherwise!  Sure people were staring at the pink haired, balloon toting, girl walking through the parking lot, but I just put on my "hey it's my birthday and I'll do what I want to" strut and walked on by.  Much easier to do when you are all dressed up and feeling good!

I always feel so confident in my EShakti pieces and was so excited when this dress arrived in time for my birthday.  It's always so difficult for me to pick a piece from their site but I fell in love with this dress immediately with it's super fitted bodice and flared skirt.  It's such a flattering cut and, as always, it fits me perfectly.   Has to be one of my favorite items to date and I am so excited to layer it in different ways for winter!  Definitely well worth the celebration wait and perfect timing for a perfect birthday dress!

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What I Would Wear :: Call of the Styled

Call of the Styled

I am so excited to start styling for fall!  There are always so many adorable options and, unlike summer, I can wear multiple pieces without feeling like I am going to have a heat stroke.  Recently ModCloth released their private label and asked some bloggers to design an outfit based off of one of the pieces from the collection.  Mine was Call of the Styled Coat and now, after styling it, I want the whole outfit!  I love pairing navy and red together in the cooler months and I am still drooling over these boots as I type.  These just may have to go on my Christmas list this year!

The Details:

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Almond Pomegranate Bark Recipe...

Last week we picked up a whole bag full of fresh pomegranates from a nearby ranch.   I go on "ingredient kicks" whenever I find an awesome deal on a certain item and stock up.  My brain has been buzzing all week with all the different delicious concoctions I can create with all this fresh fruit.  This Almond Pomegranate Bark is so easy to make and so tasty although a bit messy!  
What You'll Need:
 8oz chocolate 50%-60% cocoa (I used 2 Baker's Semi-Sweet at 56%)
1 Large Fresh Pomegranate 
1/2-1 cup of whole almonds
Fine Sea Salt
Wax Paper


Line baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
Break chocolate into 1-2 inch pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat on high for 1 minute to melt.  If more time is required heat in intervals of 15 seconds until chocolate is completely melted. (If you'd prefer a saucepan on a low heat stovetop will do the trick as well) 
With a rubber spatula stir well and add in almonds and a dash of sea salt.
Gently fold in whole, rinsed and drained, pomegranate seeds leaving about 1/4 of seeds to the side for later use.
Spread mixture onto baking sheet and spread until smooth.
Taking your remaining pomegranate seeds, sprinkle across top of bark pressing lightly to secure seeds into chocolate.
Place sheet in fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
Remove from fridge, break chocolate into desired serving sizes.

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