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What I Loved in April

What I Loved in April

I cannot believe it is already MAY. This is crazy. This year is flying by, each day slipping through my fingers no matter how hard I hold on. It was a wonderfully warm month, though. And I was able to accomplish so much and get so much good out of it that I can look back on the past weeks with fondness, as well as have excitement for the upcoming weeks of May! I had typed up a pretty great post earlier, but had accidentally refreshed the page without saving  a draft. That was painful. I’m going to try my best to recreate it without getting sloppy, as I can be sometimes when I rush to recreate things. Without further adeu, here are a few of my favorite books, movies, youtube channels, and photos from this past month! Read: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – This book was a lot better than I had expected. I’ve been wanting to read it for quite some time now, and finally picked it up a few weeks ago. Seeing the ad for the movie reminded me that I hadn’t even read the novel! I prefer to read before watching a movie, so I took it home and got started. Needless to say, I had it finished in 2 to 3 sessions. It was that good. I seriously could not put it down, and when I did I was so excited to pick it back up when I got home! In fact, one of my favorite days of this month was Easter morning when I woke up and drank coffee and read Everything, Everything for an hour before getting ready and meeting up with family.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – This book was a ton of fun. I really enjoy video games, so it’s always cool to have a story based on gaming (especially if the gamer group saves the world!). It’s pretty lengthy but is actually a very enjoyable read. It took me a little over a week to get through this one. Again, definitely a good recommendation for anyone looking for a game-relevant storyline!

Watched:

Okay, I’ve been watching Shameless and Seven Deadly Sins (anime) nonstop on Netflix, with the occasional movie here and there. But the one movie that stuck with me all month long is the 2005 Phantom of the Opera with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum. I LOVE this movie. I grew up listening to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack because of my mom’s love for the story, and now I can’t help but feel chills when I listen to those songs. If you love lots of opera and singing and for some reason you HAVEN’T seen this yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. Hopefully you love it as much as I do. <3

I’ve also been addicted to watching Heidi Somers (aka Buffbunny) vlogs on Youtube. She just comes across so natural and bubbly and sincere, and every video I watch motivates me to work harder on myself and to be a happier person and really enjoy the life I live. She motivates me to get to the gym and to find a healthy balance between work, life, hobbies, and health. I started watching her videos from the very beginning, and I love that she has stayed true to herself while growing and making a name for herself in the fitness industry. It’s really inspiring seeing someone work so hard and fight for their goals and actually create the life they want to live.

Ate/Drank

Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Guacamole. Intrigued? You should be. This was the BEST thing I ate this month, hands down. And it is so easy to make! Two slices of bread (I used wheat), two slices of provolone cheese, one slice of mild cheddar, half of a single-serve pack of Wholly Guacamole (because I’m too lazy to make my own!), and two strips of bacon! Mmmm-mmm good!

Wine Of course, what would a post be without either fashion or wine involved? I’ll inlude just the wine this time. I fell in LOVE with a new wine I tried as part of my Winc subscription. Haven’t heard of Winc? Well if you love wine, you should check them out! You can sign up for their service and take a wine survey, where they get an idea of your tastes and pair you up with some new wines each month based on your results. If you review 10 bottles, you get $10 toward a future purchase! I have only received one wine I didn’t particularly enjoy, but everything else has been amazing! So far I have tried at least 15 different wines I believe. My personal favorites are Summer Water, Outer Sounds, and #TGIF [red blend]. I highly recommend giving them a try. If you do decide you want to try, use this link and receive $13 off in credits towards your first order. That’s a free bottle, people! Disclaimer: I also receive $13 in Winc credits if you buy a box using this link! I was lucky enough to buy into the Summer Water Societé summer subscription, where I get three “magnum” (2x the size) bottles of their limited edition Summer Water rose in May, June, and July! The first box should be here any day now and I simply cannot wait. You HAVE to get your hands on this wine if you love rosé. I promise you won’t regret it.
Photo Dump The rest of this post is going to be some photos from throughout the month. Some made it to Instagram, some did not. These are just some of my favorite items or snapshots from April!
Favorite Shoes – Minnetonka Santorini Sandals (no longer available on most sites!)  
Fave Go-to Lunch: 4 oz Baked Chicken with green beans and one cup brown rice, lightly drizzled with barbeque sauce. 
Favorite Pastime: Reading on the balcony on the first few warm days of spring!
Pretty building we passed while walking to a local festival! In our area we have a Maple Festival, where you can enjoy all things maple! My favorite thing is to get the maple stirs, where you get a little cup of maple syrup that has been processed so that stirring causes it to harden into maple candy. I still eat mine while it’s warm and gooey! My sister always buys bags of the maple coffee they sell, and it took all of my willpower to not buy a gallon jug of local maple syrup. I really REALLY love maple. Starbucks in our area actually had a Golden Maple Latte one fall, but it was just a local “test run” drink and apparently didn’t make it very far. It was the most delicious drink they ever made and I really wish they would bring it back…  

My all-time favorite memory from this month was being able to take Willow to a park and go swimming in the river! We were surprised with an 80 degree day and took full advantage with an exhausting hike and, for her, a fun swim to cool off! It was so much fun seeing her happy and energetic. I can’t wait until we have more war weather for getting outside to play!

Anyway, those are some of my favorites of…well…everything! None of this content was sponsored or affiliate based. But I definitely recommend making that grilled cheese for yourself. Seriously, TO DIE FOR. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

What are some of the things you enjoyed most this past month? Let me know in the comments below!

xo, Karli

How to Revamp Your Closet Without Spending a Penny

How to Revamp Your Closet Without Spending a Penny

Okay. So shopping is my thing. You know it, I know it, my dad knows it, EVERYONE knows it. I love refreshing my closet or adding new accessories to my rotation, especially during season changes. Unfortunately, I also fall out of love with a lot of pieces in my closet. Faster than I’d like to admit, in fact. And we’ve all been there! That sweater is staring you down at the store that you just HAVE TO HAVE IT. But then a few months go by, and the sweater was only worn once, or maybe shrank from a medium to a small in the dryer (did it say lay flat to dry? whoops). Or hey, maybe your style changed and it simply doesn’t belong. That’s okay! I’ll be the first to admit that I have a constant pile of clothes next to my dresser that I have every intention to donate. Granted, I always wait ’till it’s a little large to take it to the local thrift store. But my intentions are good!

I had such a stack growing for some time when my friend sent me a Facebook invite to a clothing swap. Intrigued, I checked out the info. My friend is a very environmentally friendly person. She makes the constant effort to do her best to maintain a level of sustainability most of us will never achieve. She is the person who has encouraged me to never have paper plates, cups, or plastic-ware in the house. I grab a dish rag faster than a paper towel when going to clean up a mess. I recycle anything I do use (as long as it is recyclable!) and try my best to cut down on my own personal waste. But I never EVER thought to do something along the lines of a clothing swap.

The invite was super exciting, too: she would be making quiche and providing mimosas to the group as well. Her quiche is to die for and, well, who could say no to a mimosa on a sunny Sunday afternoon? I found myself driving to her place a few weeks later with a duffel bag of old clothes and accessories.

The event was a total success. A few people went home with some previously loved pieces of mine, and I raked in a handful of perfect pieces to add to my closet as well! Even better, some of them are items I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for in stores but haven’t had the courage to fork over the dough (ie. a simple white and black stripe plaid shirt, mock neck knit sweater, and a few cute dresses perfect for spring and summer). I was even lucky enough to snag a few Calvin Klein pieces! Even though we were browsing used items, the shopping experience was a ton of fun. Everyone showed up in yoga pants and white camis for easy try-ons. The compliments were flying, people were finding clothes that fit them and their style better than the old items they had brought along. The atmosphere was bubbly and light, and the energy was positive and exciting. The experience itself was worth the trip, let alone the loot!

I’ll be sharing some of my looks in the next few weeks over on my Instagram. My goal this week is to wear outfits comprising at least one new item from the swap each day. So far, so good! Here are the outfits I’ve created thus far:

This top is probably one of my favorites. As soon as I found it I knew I would wear it to work on Monday. Paired with my Limited grey cropped pants (similar here) and my favorite sparkly Aldo flats (currently a STEAL at $24.98!), this instantly became my new favorite go-to outfit.

This maxi dress won my heart. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but it’s a navy blue color and slightly cinched at the waste. I wore this to work with a simple white cardigan and my braided Minnetonka Santorini sandals (these are last season’s style, so it was hard to find you a pair but I linked one on sale at Cabela’s!). I adore the high-low cut of the dress. It’s overall very flattering on me, and probably my favorite casual dress right now. The tag says it’s a Merona dress, so definitely a Target find. Of course, who would have thought I’d like something from Target?

Apparently I didn’t take a photo of Tuesday’s outfit, but it was a cute L.L.Bean Grey Cable Knit sweater (similar here, plus some cute beading!), layered over a Gap white and black plaid button up. Follow my Instagram to see more of the looks I create with these previously-loved pieces!

If you and your friends are similar sizes and have un-worn, previously loved clothing in your closets I HIGHLY recommened setting up a group clothing and accessory swap. Throw some shoes in the mix if you can! It was so much fun revamping my closet knowing that I was spending no money, and probably bringing joy to someone who used to love the clothes I took home! Bonus points if you follow in my friend’s footsteps: she was able to donate five bags full of clothes to a local, fair trade thrift store! It feels good that on top of the shopping, mimosas, and delicious quiche, we were helping a cause near and dear to her heart.

 

xo, Karli

Turning 25

Wow.

Turning 25. Here we are. This is it. Is this considered a milestone birthday? If not, it really should be. 25 means so much,somehow. 25 is different. 25, and now I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20. 25, and I have a career and my own place and adulthood is really starting. 25, and a person I thought I was going to lose in my life ended up asking me to marry him (!!!). 24 brought so much: adventure, happiness, heartache…the whole nine yards really. Despite all the wonderful moments of being 24, I’m beyond ready for this next year. 24 was hard. But I don’t want to remember it for its hardships, and I don’t want to carry that dead weight with me into 25. I want this year to be the year I blossom into the person I feel I am on the inside. I want to show the world who I am, who I really am, besides just a wine loving shop-a-holic who really likes purses and shoes. I promise there is so much more to me than that, so much more that, at 25, I’m still discovering.

My favorite moments from this past year are those shared with family and my fiance. Driving through the night from Ohio to Townsend, TN just in time to see the sunrise. Spending a week exploring mountains and hiking and camping. Long weekends spent camping in more local places, just to be outdoors. The beers and the fires and the laughter. The random group texts for happy hours and gathering to just have a simple good time. Those are the types of moments that stand out to me the most. These moments have a hold over my heart, and are the moments I look back on when I need to lift my spirits and feel thankfulness and gratitude.

I also started a blog! I’ve always wanted to do it, and 24 was the year I finally made it happen. Maybe I haven’t been the best in keeping up with it, but just allowing myself the freedom to find a new hobby (and a creative one at that) has been so refreshing. I’ve always done the same old thing, so this was a step in a new direction for me. I’m super excited to see where I can take this in the next year.

There was so much about 24 that was great. I want to do so much more now with 25. I really want to make this the BEST year of my life. I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish!

 

xo, Karli

Welcoming 2017

Welcoming 2017

Welcome to 2017! I’m so excited to see what this year has in store for me. 2016 was a year of crazy highs and devastating lows, and I’m really hoping to see some self redemption in the upcoming months. I have a lot of things I want to work on this year to improve my quality of life, as everyone does. Last year I allowed so much lenience, so much laziness. Not this time! This year is going to be the year I become what I’ve always wanted: the girl who has it all together, but is not perfect. The girl who can make mistakes, but laugh them off instead of cry and lament about them. The girl who finds that happy balance between socializing and lazing around on the couch scrolling through Bloglovin’ for hours and playing The Sims. 2017 will truly be the year of my improved self.

My goal is an all-ecompassing one: to work harder to maintain a healthier lifestyle. This obviously will include a wide range of smaller tasks and goals, including (but not limited to):

  • Being more active!
  • Eating more wholesome, natural foods.
  • Decreasing my waste output – less plastic and single-use items.
  • Working on improving my skincare routine.
  • Reading more books (for this I’m doing the 2017 reading challenge that you can find here on Pinterest)
  • Decluttering: hold on to what’s important and get rid of everything else! I want to be able to enjoy the best parts of my life without being overwhelmed by excess “stuff”.
  • Studying for and taking all four sections of the CPA exam.

It’s difficult, because all of these things are “resolutions” of previous years that I never seem to follow through with. Unfortunately 2016 was the first year that I actually went in the OPPOSITE direction, rather than at least staying the course. But last night when I watched New York City celebrate the turn of the new year, I felt a flicker of hope inside me. Maybe this could be my year. This could be the year that I turn everything around and finally create the life I want to live. I’ve always waited for everything to be done for me, I’ve waited for that perfect moment where everything clicked and I finally got it right. I’ve realized that moment doesn’t exist. It’s do or don’t, and I’m ready to start getting things done.

It’s time for me to stop waiting for the perfect conditions. I need to embrace the sponteniety and imperfection that is Life. I need to see the beauty in unplanned moments (like my cat getting into the middle of a scene for my blog photos) and take advantage of the hidden opportunities in them to create memories. I don’t want to just sit around and wait anymore.

I’m so excited for this year. I have big plans to really make it the best one ever, one day at a time.

What are your goals for the new year? Are you seeking a career change? Is this the year you decide to settle down and start a family? Or is this the time for you to spread your wings, travel and explore the world and your self and see what it is you want out of life? Or maybe this year is just the year you’re going to enjoy with no plan, because plans never work out anyway! And that’s okay too! Make this year the best year for YOU. And tell me all about what your 2017 has in store.

Here’s to a new year, a better life, a better us. Happy New Year, everyone! May it be your best one yet.

xo, Karli

Catching Up

Catching Up

I definitely didn’t start my first week off blogging with as many posts as I had intended. But that’s okay! A lot has happened over the past week and I’ve had to do a lot of mental rebuilding. I took a break from social media and focused on my situation and now I feel well enough to get back into the swing of things.

Last Thursday we went to the Indian’s game for a company outing. I love when our company attends events together as a group. It’s always so much fun getting to know everyone outside of work hours. We all can relax and drink a few beers and it feels like one big happy family. For the most part, anyway.

Shirt: The Essential Shirt / The Limited
Skirt: Pleated A-Line Skirt / The Limited
Shoes: Gianni Bini (purchased at Dillards clearance sale in the Spring)
Necklace: Faux Gem Statement Necklace / Forever 21 

My outfit for the workday was one of my favorites. You’ll recognize it from the mirror pic in my first post! This is only my second time wearing it but it makes me feel like a million dollars.

Of course, I wasn’t going to wear this to the Indian’s game. I did bring a pair of leggings, a t shirt, and comfy sandals to walk around in. And I ended up buying a hat from the team shop at the stadium. Such a cute hat, I absolutely love it!

The game itself was great. We ended up winning, which was shocking because they’ve lost every game I’ve ever attended. Which in their defense isn’t that many games, and they HAVE been on a winning streak, but I have to admit I was a little nervous attending. I felt like I would jinx our winning streak! Luck was on their side, and they made thousands of fans happy that night. Our group made it on the new jumbotron twice during the game. I was lucky enough to have my phone ready the second time! I’m convinced they just loved my sister’s “SPORTS” t shirt. Too cute.

Friday I worked from home for half the day then took the remainder of the day off work. My mom and I went to Olive Garden for lunch for some chicken and gnocchi soup, salad, and the ever wonderful breadsticks. And even though it was the middle of the day we both enjoyed some delicious wine with our lunch. We found ourselves at the mall afterward, where I feel like I hit the jackpot with some gorgeous neon pink Jessica Simpson pumps. They were having an insane sale at Dillard’s: extra 60% off the already reduced sales price. We purchased four pairs of shoes for just over $60, brands including Sperry, Jessica Simpson, and Minnetonka. I’m super happy with everything!

Leggings: VS Pink (from Summer collection)
Shoes: Jessica Simpson Claudette Pumps — Laser Pink (I got these for $27 in-store at the Dillard’s clearance sale!)

Don’t worry, I didn’t actually wear those shoes out with those leggings. That would’ve been too wild of a look for me! I changed into my trusty Sanuk sandals after taking this photo.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty chill days. I mostly stayed home and relaxed all weekend. Cam and I took a trip to Home Goods and stocked up on a few random halloween decorations, and I also snagged a super cute clipboard / notepad combo for work. We went from Home Goods to his mom’s to watch the football game. The poor Brown’s got it handed to them, as always. We’ll have some decent luck eventually (I hope). My outfit on Sunday had absolutely nothing to do with supporting my team, but unfortunately I only own one Brown’s tee and it was in the wash from the week before. I’ve really been slacking on the laundry lately. But it was the first fall feeling day in Ohio in a while, and I really like the outfit I came up with.


Jacket: American Eagle (old)
Sweater:  Bateau Sweater / The Limited
Pants: Refuge “Hi-Waist Skinny” Jeans / Charlotte Russe
Boots: Bucco Grania Metal Plate Bootie / purchased from Hautelook (linked sister company Nordstrom Rack)
Bag: Merona faux leather satchel in butternut / Target
Necklace: Francescas (old)

A whole week has come and gone since I started this post. While I tossed around the idea of adding a few more days here, I decided to end it and start tomorrow with new, fresh content. On that note, catch ya on the next post!

xo, Karli

A Little About Me

Is my first photo on my blog really going to be a selfie? Yes. Wait…seriously a MIRROR PIC? … Yup. Okay. I’ll let it slide this once. Sorry for the lack of professionalism here, but with my excitement I’m not patient enough to wait for actual photos before creating my first post. Nothing special here today, folks. I wanted to introduce myself to you more fully than the front page description, and touch on some things I really plan on digging in to for this blog!

I’ll start off with me: Karli. The girl who seriously took a bathroom mirror selfie at work and decided that it would be the best picture to use for this post. It’s the only decent selfie I have from the past three weeks (!!), so that tells you how often I take [decent] photos of myself. I’m 5’1″ (just recently found this out, thought I was an inch taller! But that’s a story for another day), 135 lbs, a dog lover, a cat tolerator, and a girl of many hobbies. I love collecting stationary: fountain pens are my weakness and journals even more so. I’ve taken up bullet journaling just this year and I’m addicted! I even have a seperate journal for this blog. I’ve kept diaries since I was in elementary school, so this addiction definitely isn’t shocking news. It is perhaps a bit painful though, fueled as it is by an adult salary…

This next hobby of mine is a lot newer, also fueled by an adult salary: fashion. I never really was into dressing nice during high school. In fact, nine times out of ten I was wearing a ratty pair of $5 jeans and an oversized hoodie. I could have cared LESS how I looked back then. Turns out, things change when you work a 9-5. Even though our office is officially “casual-Friday-all-week” kind of laid back, you won’t stop me from wearing pencil skirts and button ups and heels. Okay okay, I’ll wear a sweater and jeans other days too. But still! I love finding pieces that make me feel confident, and I can’t wait to share with you some of my favorite finds from some of my favorite stores, including (but not limited to) The Limited, Nordstrom Rack, Charlotte Russe, Express, Target (any other Target addicts out there?!), Athleta, and Fabletics. Yes, I will throw some workout outfits in here too. Activewear is pretty much what you’ll find me in all weekend long, whether or not a trip to the gym is in order. It’s just so dang comfy! And with athleisure items becoming such a fashion statement, it’s not hard to come across great looking pieces that go easily from the gym to brunch!

Last but not least, one of the other categories I plan on spending quite some time on with this blog is my love for nature and being outdoors. I’ve been traveling around the country with my family since I was a child. We’ve camped in more states than I can count on two hands, some of them multiple times! We’ve road-tripped our way to Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier National Park, the Grand Canyon, Cade’s Cove, and Acadia National Park. I’ve been blessed with an amazing opportunity to see so much of our country and really take in the natural (and sometimes not-so-natural) beauty of it. Outside of those adventures, I like to try to get outside more by taking Willow on hikes or jogs through local metroparks. The clear-minded feeling you have after a five mile hike through the woods with just your dog, your day pack, and the sound of gravel under your boots is unlike any other clarity. It’s my own form of meditating, and I swear by it as a cure for when you’re feeling down.

 

Now that you’ve read through this longer-than-intended intro, you have a little taste of what this blog will be. Whether or not this is followed, I intend to have a TON of fun with it. This blog will be my self-expression, my lifestyle, and all the words I want to say out loud but don’t necessarily know how to. I’m really excited to see where this blog leads, and I hope you enjoy what you see!

 

XO , Karli