Yesterday Tyler and I made our way up north to Mount Vernon for a double date with our friends Sarah and Dustin. Every year in the Skagit Valley, thousands of tulip and daffodils bloom for the annual Tulip Festival and people come from all around for a colorful photo op and a fresh bouquet. When we saw the weather report for this weekend we were super bummed about the predicted rain, but the forecast ended up providing the ideal conditions for our visit.
Last year when Ty and I visited the gardens on our own we went on one of the hottest Saturdays of the festival, and had to fight enormous crowds and hours of traffic. We lucked out this year not only because there were far less people this time around, but because we also narrowly avoided the rain all together. It rained on the drive there and back, but the only challenge we faced was strong wind. So much for curling my hair! The overcast sky ended up giving us the perfect lighting for our pics too, which is something I am always super excited about.
Even though it didn't end up raining while we were there, I am glad that I wore my new yellow raincoat. I had been looking for the perfect pop of color in a jacket for years, and I've been pretty biased toward yellow lately. With how often it rains in Seattle I've been getting tired of my black trench, and this French Connection coat was the perfect replacement. There is something about wearing a bright color on a rainy day that keeps my spirits up as I am stomping through puddles on my commute to work or class. I've also been pretty surprised by how much of my closet I've been able to pair it with, and have worn it with anything from this black and white babydoll dress to the colorful embroidered top I wore in Animal Kingdom.
If you're planning on visiting the fields yourself, I highly recommend that you grab your own raincoat and a cute outfit and head out on a day with a lousy forecast. You won't regret it, the colorful tulips are beautiful even on a grey sky day! Unfortunately this is a seasonal event and the tulips won't be around much longer so if you want to fill your home with $5 bunches or your garden with bulbs then plan your trip ASAP.
Raincoat: French Connection (purchased from Nordstrom)
Dress: Forever 21
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Once I grew out of the wear-my-one-Hollister-logo-tshirt-as-often-as-possible-to-fit-in phase of 9th grade, I quickly developed the polar opposite mindset that I COULD NOT be seen as an outfit repeater. If I wasn't going to sport the high school cool girl uniform of yoga pants and and PINK hoodie everyday, then I would need to stand out by wearing a different outfit as frequently as possible. My motto became "Lizzie McGuire, you are an outfit repeater" (from the Lizzie McGuire movie, obviously. Talk about iconic) and I thought it everytime someone in my classes wore the same shirt twice. At one point I had more dresses than I could wear to school in a month and a half, and I secretly tracked how long I could go. Senior year I went from the first day of school until the end of March before rewearing something I didn't consider a staple - aka my jeans, shoes, or various solid colored cardigans. I was obsessed. And while I scored the spot of Best Dressed in the yearbook by following these strict guidelines for myself and painting my nails a different color everyday, I admit it was overwhelming and at least a little bit ridiculous.
To an extent, I've mellowed out. I definitely still worry about whether people will notice that I am wearing the same thing I wore a month ago, but I put less stress on making sure my clothes are constantly new. I've gotten myself to a place where I emphasize buying pieces I really love and can mix up, rather than loading up my closet as much as possible. I like to think that it's a sign I'm growing up but it could also be a side affect of bills and rent.
This outfit is the direct result of the change. I've been working on brainstorming ways that I could mix and match to make it less obvious that I'm now a repeat offender and my jacket is a perfect example. My leather jacket has been around for what seems like forever, and can probably be traced back at least to sophomore year of highschool. I've worn it with everything from formal to casual, and love that it can tie a look together. I admit to wearing it not once, but twice in the past week, and I considered wearing it a third until I saw a weather report calling for rain. Since I split my days evenly between work and classes, I chalk it up to the fact that it's gotten really easy to grab the same outfit multiple times, telling myself I won't see the same crowd. In fact, I have apparently come to repeating it so many times that after taking my photos, Tyler pointed out that the vinyl on the back was wearing away and now I'm in the market for another jacket to hopefully last the next 7 years.
These shoes are also quickly making their way onto the list of things I am shamelessly wearing all the time, and I am super shocked at how comfortable they are. I wore them to work, including the long walk to and from the bus, and never once felt the urge to go barefoot. The elastic straps are probably my favorite feature in a shoe like this because they slide on easily, stretch to your heel for comfort, and create clean zipper-free lines. If your local TJ Maxx has a pair left in stock, I recommend you grab some while you can. I plan to wear them frequently while the weather is nice, so whether I am touring apartments or meeting with clients, it's probably safe to say I'm enjoying my added height.
Jacket: JJ Winters for Macy's
Top: Merona for Target
Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction (found at TJ Maxx)
Pin: Molly Moon's
It's been a few weeks now since I got back from Disney World, and it's safe to say that I still haven't recovered from my post-vacation-depression. With Seattle weather fluctuating between sunny and rainy several times in one day, I can't help but feel jealous that Taylor lives in a place where 75 degrees means she wears a jacket. Luckily I still have plenty of photos to remind me of my week of hot weather bliss as I cross my fingers that it won't be too long before I find myself on another trip.
This outfit was a highlight for me during the trip (nothing says comfortable like a giant baggy dress) and the fact that I found something so effortless and still on trend was super exciting. I have a love/hate relationship with off-the-shoulder tops, since they aren't really work appropriate and honestly just don't make sense to me for 90% of the weather I experience. Whenever I browse the new arrivals on Forever 21's website I get frustrated that almost every top is prescribing to this style. However I decided that I would give it a shot, because although having an entire closet of off-the-shoulder looks is super unnecessary (they won't be in style forever) one or two seemed fine. I tried on several dresses before I settled on this one, because the elastic didn't pop up every time I moved my arms like some of the others.
Ultimately I fell in love with this dress because of the pompoms, which seemed just the right amount of fun for a trip to the happiest place on earth. When I showed Tyler the dress online he tried to talk me out of it saying the sleeves were weird, and I almost succeeded in passing it up. Until I saw my favorite contestant -and winner- of Project Runway wearing something just like it on the dramatic reunion episode. Take that Tyler! If Erin can wear it, so can I!
The moral of this story is, always ignore fashion advice from your boyfriend (especially if you are the one who picks out his clothes) and give trends you are unsure about a chance. I ended up loving the off-the-shoulder look, and recently ordered a top. This definitely fulfills any need I may have for the style, but I'm glad that I found something that I loved regardless.
PS. Please ignore my Fitbit and Magic Band, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do when in Disney World. How else would I know that I was averaging 20,000 steps a day?
Dress: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Forever 21
I know I have said it before, but joining my sorority sophomore year is definitely one of my favorite decisions I have made in college, right up there with changing majors and choosing to attend UW in the first place. It allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and make friends I wouldn't have met otherwise, especially since I was rarely motivated to leave my dorm freshman year.
Going into recruitment women often have a checklist of requirements that their dream chapter will fulfill. Some of these "requirements" are really silly (and superficial) when you think about the fact that you are choosing your home and friends for the next four years. I was not an exception to this, and I remember thinking I would only join a chapter that had 3 letters, because it looked cuter on the embroidered sweatshirts I wanted so badly. Luckily once I got into the swing of the week I started to fall in love with my chapter for reasons that were so much more important (Sigma Kappa is only two letters - oh well). I loved that I felt relaxed during my conversations, and that their philanthropy was the Alzheimer's Association. I loved that the members I met clearly cared about scholarship and academics, and I was excited for all the events they told me about. By the end of the week I was losing sleep hoping that they would offer me a bid, and I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else. It also helped that I heard the recruitment counselor I loved was a Sigma Kappa, and even though she was trying really hard to keep it a secret, I kept my fingers crossed that my assumption was right.
When I received my bid card I was so happy, and as I am entering the last few months as an active member I am still so glad that everything turned out the way it did. Sigma Kappa gave me the confidence to get involved in leadership, as merchandise chair and head of recruitment, which in turn lead to be becoming more involved on campus. I also had the opportunity to travel with the chapter multiple times to meet SKs from around the country and grow in my leadership skills. I've had countless late nights laughing with my sisters, and many early mornings for philanthropy and recruitment that I wouldn't trade for anything.
My chapter also lead me to an amazing family, that I completely adore. My little Kiran was a light in my life immediately. Taylor told me that she would be my little before she accepted her bid, and right away I knew she was right. She's the only person I would willingly watch a Drew Barrymore movie for (just once, never again) and the first person who listens to me vent at the end of a long day. I love being the person she turns to for advice, especially since I have the tendency to mother my friends a bit too much. I'm so proud of her hard work and her loving spirit, and watching her scout for her own littles this year was so much fun. She definitely lucked out with Bela and Madeline, who always yell in excitement when I come home from class or work and sing along to musicals with me when we should be doing homework. I don't know what I would do without my little fam, and am grateful to have them in my life.
PS - This was my first time taking pictures with the cherry blossoms?? I have never wanted to deal with the crowds, and choosing to go during golden hour on a Friday was a mistake in that regard. But Madeline probably would have killed me if we didn't take these pics and they turned out to be worth it after all.
23 | Seattle, Wa