Friday, May 22, 2015

jamberry nail wraps review

A while back, my good friend Sarabeth asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing a sample of Jamberry nail wraps. I was excited, because I had heard a lot of good things about Jamberry, and I've been wanting to give them a try for quite a long time.

I love the design on these--they're simple and kinda understated, but still so fun. And I definitely think Jamberry is worth a try. I wish that I'd had someone help me with applying the wraps initially, since I did a somewhat sloppy job, but I think they turned out looking pretty good. The one thing that I had been worried about is whether or not they would stay adhered to my "dragon claw"--when I injured my finger as a child, it became slightly deformed, and the nail is a weird shape. And I did have some trouble getting the nail wrap to stay on that particular finger, though I'm not sure if that had anything to do with my method of application or not. Regardless, that is a unique problem. I didn't have any trouble with the wraps on my other fingers, and I loved how they turned out. :)

In any case, Jamberry wraps are cute, inexpensive, and long-lasting. I would definitely recommend checking out Sarabeth's website (and her lovely blog!), to see if there's any you love. These are some of my favorites!  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

almost there.

//dress: forever21 (altered)  / black blouse: thrifted / shoes: charlotte russe / purse: thrifted (originally from h&m)//

You guys, I am so close to being done with college. It's exciting and nervewracking all at the same time...a week ago, I turned in my thesis and finished up my English class, and now I only have one class left. That means that the month and a half break I'm on is going to be spent working on my resume, getting my driver's license, and beginning my job hunt. While I am so ready to be done with school, I'm anxious about what's coming next, mostly the "getting out into the world and getting a job" part. Praying helps. A lot. So does Josh--I'm so glad I've got him here to hold my hand. 

Anyway...on to the outfit. This one is from our mini-vacation to Port Townsend last August...I'm not sure how I never got around to posting it. I love this little dress I picked up at Forever21. It's so flattering, even after altering it to extend the length, and easy for layering into the fall and cooler weather. Also, these $10 flats from Charlotte Russe are one of the best wardrobe investments I've made yet. I ordered them mainly because I thought they were cute and I needed a pair of black flats, but they fit so well and they're just so comfortable. I can walk in these all day without my feet getting sore, which is something I can't often say about any shoes, including my sneakers. 

Also, how gorgeous is this fountain? I love the ancient Greek kinda vibe. :)

I'll talk to ya'll soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

black + white

//dress: marshalls / necklaces, shoes: charlotte russe / crochet cardigan, belt: thrifted//
There's just something beautiful about black and white photos. I'm not sure if it's nostalgia for the romance of a long gone time, or whether it's their ethereal, almost haunting quality, or just that sense of drama it gives even the most mundane scenes...there's just something, and I like it.

I've been wanting to do an exclusively black and white post for a while now, but never was able to commit to it...then I happened on these old photos of an outfit I'd never shared because I didn't care for the lighting, and thought I might experiment. 

And I kinda like how they turned out.

This is one of my favorite outfits from last summer. This dress is a dream for hot days--it's so floaty and light (a potential problem if it's windy...), and I love it layered under this crochet cardigan. It adds a fun, almost bohemian vibe. 

And then paired with my favorite heels? Perfection. 
Never mind the fact that I trip every time I wear these heels. It gives me the perfect excuse to walk arm in arm with my love. Of course, he's gotten to the point where he doesn't even trust my balance in flats...his anxiety may be rubbing off on me, because I'm pretty sure I didn't use to trip this much before we dated, and now, heels are worn almost exclusively for Church and that's bad enough. 
I may need to invest in some more sensible heels for normal wear...Swedish Hasbeens are my dream, it's just a matter of being able to justify the purchase, you know?

Anyway. I'll talk to ya'll soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

what i made: the little mint sundress

//dress: handmade / necklaces: charlotte russe / shoes: vintage/thrifted//

Hey everyone! Although I wasn't planning on it, I ended up taking a bit of a hiatus from blogging. I may or may not have mentioned it before, but I'm in my last half-semester of college, and that meant researching and writing my undergraduate thesis. I thought I was so prepared for everything, then my schedule filled up with other life things, and well, it ended up being a frantic rush to finalize research and pump out thirty pages of writing in addition to keeping up with my other class. Well, I don't remember the last time I was this stressed, but the worst is over now that I've submitted my initial draft for comments. Now, I'm overwhelmed with relief to have that off my back for the moment.

Anyway...that's why blogging was pushed to the back burner, since I needed to focus on school and preserving my sanity. I haven't taken outfit photos in a while, but I still wanted to share something with ya'll...these photos have been sitting on my computer since summer time, and I figured I should probably wait to share them until the warmer weather rolled around again...and well, it's finally spring, soooo...

I made this sundress last summer, when I was only taking one class at school, had just finished my nannying job, and was bored out of my mind. I decided I needed something to occupy my time and get the creative juices flowing, so I pulled out this mint-green vintage fabric I'd found at Goodwill, sketched a quick design, and got to work. I used a pattern for the top and improvised it so I could have the scalloped, button-down back with the little cut-out. The skirt I kept simple by just sewing together a couple of rectangles. 

It's a bit tight at the top (which tends to be the mistake I make most in sewing), and I probably should've lined the top as well, but other than that, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. The back turned out just as cute as I'd envisioned, and it was far less frustrating than it could've been. I'm interested to see what variations I could make on the design. :)

I'll talk to ya'll soon! I've at least got a few more hiking posts lined up that I'm looking forward to sharing. 

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