Wednesday, March 18, 2015

hiking rattlesnake ridge

You guys, the Pacific Northwest is truly beautiful. I don't typically think too much of it, living in the Seattle suburbs, with the occassional view of the glory that is Mount Rainier, but driving out towards the mountains on a sunny day, or even a foggy one, where you can only just glimpse the tips of the mountains that are otherwise shrouded in mist, I start to realize just how breathtaking it really is. Once you get past a certain point on the freeway, the entire drive is gorgeous. The mountains, snowcapped or not, towering over the road, or far off in the distance, never fail to capture my attention and imagination. It's views like these that make Josh and me say, "I could never live anywhere else." 

On Valentine's Day, Josh and I decided to drive out and hike up to Rattlesnake Ridge. I had been wanting to hike it ever since my friend posted pictures of the amazing view on Facebook, and since we didn't feel like doing any of the stereotypical Valentine's Day activities (fun as they may be), I figured a hike would be a good way to spend the day. I thought it was a pretty novel idea: "Who would want to hike on Valentine's Day?" Well, apparently everyone and his dog. It was a very crowded trail and, thanks to the rain, nice and muddy as well. But the high traffic made it much easier for me to hide just how out of shape I really am...I stopped often to "let those people pass." Josh knew the real reason, but he was nice. And he carried my floral backpack without complaint. It really wasn't that bad, it was just two miles of UP (yay, switchbacks!). The whole hike was pretty, though, and once we finally made it to the top, it was so worth it. The ridge itself was a bit frightening, because it made me realize just how high up we were, and how disastrous tripping over a loose rock or dog leash could be...I don't like heights much. But the view completely compensated for it. Everything below looked so lush and green and the sky had cleared to a nice blue. (I realized I haven't posted a picture of myself in glasses for a long time! And my hair is back, too. I promise that girl is me! And there's Josh, making his first ever appearance on the's only taken me a year to finally share a picture of us on here.)

The hike down was easy-peasy. I got my second wind after resting at the ridge, and we made it back down at a good speed. We even made friends with a labrador who followed us all the way down the mountain. It was a pretty great way for Josh and me to spend our second Valentine's Day together (really, how has it already been over a year? It's crazy how time flies.)...we followed up with binge-watching "The Last Room," which is a pretty fantastic SyFy mini-series, and junk food. :)

I'd love to do this hike again, though I would probably never go back on a weekend, to avoid the crowds. Still...I'll say it again, the view makes everything worth it. 

I'll talk to ya'll soon.

Friday, March 13, 2015

hooray for spring break

//dress, cardigan, booties, necklace: forever21 / tights: jcp / purse: thrifted / rings: forever21, Poulsbo shop//

Well, hello! I feel like I haven't blogged in ages (and I also feel like I open every other post with this same phrase...if it's true, I apologize). Let's see...really, not much has happened since my last post. I was busy (busy, busy) with school, mostly with essay-writing--let's be honest, 40+ pages within two weeks is a huge stress picnic. This pair of classes has been one of the more stressful, just because of the sheer amount of writing involved over the past eight weeks. I started to feel overwhelmed as I hit finals week; just after turning in two research papers, I plunged straight into a pair of take-home essay finals. My pastor told me a story once about a boy who was told to cut down a field full of trees in two days. If he had gotten right to work, he would have been able to finish his work before the deadline, but all the boy could do was stare at all the trees he had to cut down. He quickly grew overwhelmed with the amount of work he had to do, and so he didn't get the work done and failed to meet his deadline. That last week of school, I felt like that boy. I started doing that thing I do when I'm stressed where I clench my teeth, and don't notice till my jaw starts to hurt. If I'd gotten straight to work, I still would've managed to have free time, but I would start to think about all the work I had to get done by Sunday, and I'd feel the panic start to rise...and I wouldn't get much of anything done. It really helped, later on, breaking the assignments up into bite-sized chunks and limiting my focus to those. And of course, there was a lot of prayer going on. That probably helped the most. :) Right now, I'm just positively thrilled to be done with school and looking forward to my Friday hike with Josh. AND, only three more classes, and I'll graduate. How am I almost done already?

Anyway! This is one of my favorite outfits recently. It's based around two impulse buys--that glorious sweater, and the leather skater dress--that I picked up on sale at Forever21. I have been looking for a pleather skater dress for over a year now, and when I found this one on sale for only $13, I snapped it up (I believe they still have it on sale on their website). The material is thin and feels almost flimsy, but I've worn it so many times since I bought it in December, and I've not been gentle on it by any means, but it's held up amazingly well. Then the cardigan...I wasn't sure how much wear I would get out of it, but it's also proved to be quite versatile, and it's so nice for throwing on over dresses or t-shirts to add an extra layer of cozy. 

I hope you are all doing well, and I'll talk to you soon!

Friday, January 30, 2015

those golden winter days

//tunic, button-down, belt, purse: thrifted / leggings, ring: forever 21 / boots: ross / necklace: ebay//

The weather in Seattle has been unnaturally warm and sunny over the past week. After months of cold and gray, we've been graced with a series of golden winter days--mild and sunshine-y, with beautiful sunsets. It almost seems unfair in comparison to the crazy snow on the other side of the U.S. And while I like the cold and rainy and I love the mystery of a gloriously foggy day, I must admit that it's nice to see the sun for a change. 

I wound up taking a weekend trip with my boyfriend and his family down to Great Wolf Lodge, a popular resort with a big indoor waterpark this past week. The drive down was beautiful and I think the high of the day was somewhere around 60 degrees (!!!). I studied in the car so that I would be able to enjoy myself at the waterpark without having to worry about school, and I had a blast. It'd been so long since I'd been on a waterslide, and the two big ones were pretty epic. After we'd thoroughly exhausted ourselves at the waterpark and the resort's arcade, I was able to curl up on the couch with Josh to watch Supernatural (I recently introduced him to that show, and he's pretty hooked!). We also joined all the little kids in running around the hotel playing's an interactive game where you have a wand and run around doing different quests to find magical things throughout the hotel. It's really fun...and crazy good exercise. I was sore for the next couple days from running up and down flights of stairs. It didn't help I was wearing a huge sweater...haha. :) 

Anyway, it was a fun little getaway. It was great to be able to spend more time getting to know Josh's family and not have to think about school for a while (though I'm still working on getting caught up!). 

Talk soon. 
-xo, Vicki Grace

Friday, January 23, 2015

new year's day outfit

//dress: cotton on / sweater: thrifted / tights: fred meyer / shoes: thrifted / earrings: my grandma's//

By the time New Year's Day rolled around, I was pretty tired of coming up with dressy outfits for the church services, after having to do so four times already, and so I reverted back to an old favorite. I picked up this dress from Cotton On on clearance for $5. Although I usually shy away from form-fitting dresses because of my pear-shaped figure, I could hardly pass up the price and the beautiful shimmery fabric. I love wearing it with this boxy, cropped sweater over the top, which I think adds a nice bit of contrast to the style of the dress, and neatly covers up the somewhat immodest (and unflattering) top of the dress. Then, to add another touch of fanciness, I topped it off with the crystal earrings I inherited from my grandmother.

My New Year's Day was amazing. I spent New Year's Eve, after church, with my boyfriend, and we rang in the New Year (and our first anniversary!) by watching Die Hard. One of my sillier dreams ever since I was a little girl was to be able to welcome the New Year with a kiss, and that dream was wonderfully fulfilled this year. On New Year's Day, after the church service, Josh and I went to see the final Hobbit movie (so good!). We took a walk to see the Ivar's Clam Lights, a holiday light display at a nearby beach, which is something that has always been a holiday tradition in my family. I had tried to show them to Josh last New Year, but we were too late, and they'd been taken down...he was fairly certain I'd made them up so we would go on a moonlit walk, so I had to prove their existence to him this year. And I was finally able to give Josh the gift I'd been working feverishly on throughout the month, an art nouveau-inspired portrait of the two of us. He wasn't expecting it at all and seeing his reaction was pretty wonderful. :)

How was the start to your 2015?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

back to school

//top, skirt, necklace, ring: forever21 / shoes: charlotte russe / tights: target / ring necklace: gift / backpack: thrifted//

This skirt has quickly become one of my closet staples. I don't typically like to wear pencil skirts, because I don't think they quite flatter my figure, but I'd been looking for a new denim skirt for quite some time when I found this one online at Forever21, and since I had a 30% discount code, I snapped it up. When it arrived, I was so excited to try it on, after which I realized it probably would have been a better idea to size up. Still, I was determined to make it work, and so I've been wearing it with layers or untucked tops/sweaters. And I'm pretty happy with it. It's great for more casual outfits, though its fittted nature doesn't make it the most practical of skirts. For a day of lounging around, a lunch date, or for going out to see a movie (which is what I wore this for), this is the perfect outfit. 

Well, school is starting up again, and I'm still waiting to see how much of my time these classes--intternational relations and research methods--are going to consume. After these classes, though, I've only got three more to go before crazy is that? I can't quite believe it myself, though it really does seem like I've been in college forever. In some ways, I'm fearful for the time after graduation, when I'll have to enter the real world and get myself a job, but in other ways, I'm excited to be reaching another milestone and beginning yet another chapter of life, to see what God has in store for me. 

I'll talk to ya'll soon. :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

a very merry Christmas

//dress: forever21 / faux fur stole: cotton on / tights: fred meyer / shoes: charlotte russe / earrings: my grandma's / hair pins: DIY / lipstick: forever21//

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was hectic, but quite lovely all the same. Josh and I were both part of the choir for the Christmas Eve service at church, which was followed by the traditional family party at my aunt and uncle's...I always forget how large my family is until we're all crowded into one house with excited children running all over the place. I got up early Christmas morning to help Josh cook breakfast for his parents, after which we spent a nice, quiet morning together before church. After church, we headed to my house to exchange gifts (Josh has learned that the way to my heart is through Doctor Who...he's a keeper, guys), then back over to Josh's parents' for our first Christmas dinner with his family, before winding up the day at my family's huge Christmas party. We played a ridiculous game of Scrabble with my uncle, as per tradition, where the winning word was "Clackenwaggle"...because it just sounded right. It was a lovely Christmas, despite it being long and exhausting...I felt so incredibly blessed and grateful to be surrounded by all the people I love best, and to be able to add a whole new family to the mix, most of whole I've known all my life, but have become much closer to over the past year. 

I picked up this dress at Forever21 after searching high and low through the mall for the "right" dress (Josh was very patient with me and my indecisiveness). I was looking specfically for a velvet dress and I ended up asking one of the girls who was working there if she knew where any were. She was so absolutely sweet and took me throughout the store pulling out a variety of velvet dresses that she thought would suit my style, and colors that would suit my skin tone. I was so impressed and grateful that she went out of her way to help me find the perfect dress, and Forever21 will for sure continue to be one of my favorite places to shop. 

Anyway, as you can see, I went for a look inspired by the glamorous styles of the 1920s. I curled my hair and styled it in a faux bob, and went for fairly minimal makeup except for the red lip. I decided to style the dress a bit more simply, with black tights and my crazy black heels, and having the statement piece be my cozy fur stole (which my little cousin thought was a cat!). I'm quite happy with how it turned out...I did indeed feel quite glamorous! :)

How was your Christmas?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

new year, new blog: from Decked Out in Ruffles to Vicki Grace

Happy 2015! New years always bring with them an awareness of and excitement over the possibility of change, and I've decided to start off 2015 by bringing big changes to the blog. First, the biggest change is the name—I've been rolling around the idea of changing the name for some time now, since Decked Out in Ruffles just hasn't seemed to fit what I or the blog had become. So, I've changed it to a Vicki Grace, a name that I think will give the blog plenty of room to go in any direction it chooses. I talk more about it in the video, which explains a bit of where I've been these past few months, and why my posts have been so infrequent.

I fell into a slump sometime in mid-September, where, long story short, I was just overwhelmed by school and everything going on in life, and I decided to take a break from blogging for about a month or so. I was feeling refreshed by the end of October, when I made this video, but still didn't quite have the time/initiative to get back to blogging, which explains the sporadic posts. As I said in my last post, though, I think I'm finally ready to get back to blogging. 

So, there's a new name and a new design, and, Lord willing, lots of new content to come. I'm pretty excited about it, and I can't wait to see what ya'll think. :)

I hope your 2015 is off to a fantastic start! I know mine is.