Friday, September 12, 2014

forty-for-fall week one

I thought I'd share with you all a little update on what week number one in my forty-for-fall challenge looked like, mirror-self-portrait style. 

I know it's only been a little over a week, but I'm over the moon in love with this challenge. I've already said this once, but this whole thing has been way too much fun. Getting dressed in the morning is a breeze--I know what I have and pretty much all of it will work together. So the excitement comes with experimenting in different ways...wearing a pair of shoes that aren't as matchy-matchy as I would have normally picked, layering different fabrics and textures, playing more and more with lip colors and hair styles. I've discovered that when I don't have to focus solely on my outfit, I'm enjoying the whole experience of getting dressed so much more. 
Oddly enough, I'm now opting for a spritz of perfume more often as well? I usually forego a daily spray, but I'm having fun picking and choosing different scents (that have probably been sitting on my wardrobe for far too long) for different days. 

And when I'm finally all put together and ready to go, I always love how I look. There are usually a few days out of the week when I feel like a top doesn't fit right, or a shoe looks weird with a certain style of jeans, and while that doesn't leave me feeling utterly self-conscious, my mind does keep tugging at the off-kilter annoyance throughout the day. Not once since I've started my challenge has this been an issue. I know I love how all of the pieces I've chosen look on me. I don't have to worry about making a too-small skirt work for the sake of a color scheme. Every piece of clothing I'm reaching for, I adore. 

I'm also finding myself in the same uniform over and over again. Even if that uniform is just a chic t-shirt and jeans, at least I know what I like. And when I stick to what I enjoy wearing, I feel like I have an all together more cohesive sense of style, instead of wearing a radically different outfit every day of the week. 

There have been a few times when I wish I would have switched out some items for others. A nice blazer is an always-must that I'm missing, a chunky knit sweater could have easily been exchanged for one of my crew necks. But I suppose that's what this challenge is all about: really taking stock of what I have, what I want, and what I need. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

b-lated

Although my birthday was well over two weeks ago and we celebrated enough for a year, I couldn't resist The Boy's invitation for a make-up birthday dinner date. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

to coze, to cuddle, to snug

As the temps drop, my kitchen oven kicks into full roasting season, and morning cups of coffee become exceptionally more delicious, I find myself spending much more time in something snug to pad around the house in. One of my favorite indulgences is purchasing good-quality loungewear. A normal Sunday morning feels a little extra special when the sweatpants you're wearing make you look and feel your best. 
Here I've complied a few of the coziest digs I've been lusting after for the upcoming chilled season. 

4// OTTE fleece-lined tights (a must)

Monday, September 8, 2014

adjustments


These past two weeks have been non-stop. I started back at university the Monday before Labor Day, my mother and little sister came to visit that weekend, and the days since have been a constant blend of school-work-homework-repeat. And while I'm usually the first person to pipe up with an "I love to stay busy!", this new schedule has been...an adjustment. 

It's odd being back to "real life". I know I've said this maybe fifty times since I've returned from Ireland, but only now does it really feel like I'm living my life again. Spring abroad was an adventure of the best kind, summer was a perfect blend of days at the bookstore and nights with my favorite people, and now here I am, waiting to see what fall will become. 

Typically this time of year is a new start. I love beginning classes again, the crisp air feels especially refreshing, and there's just so much crackling anticipation of the year ahead for me. Instead, this time around, I feel a lethargy. I find myself wishing I could be back with my ladies exploring a new and foreign city. My classes are interesting, my professors wonderful, but university each day is lacking in the familiar energized excitement I usually have for it. It's why my packed schedule leaves me feeling exhausted and ready for the weekend after Monday morning. 

Before I left for Ireland, my study abroad advisor told us how coming back home was usually a harder adjustment than figuring out how to live in a new country. I rolled my eyes, I didn't think I'd have any issues with reverse culture shock. I love my life in Omaha-I have a fantastic job, a boy who makes me the happiest, I look forward to going to school every morning. And despite all of the wonderful things that make my days bright, my advisor was right. Coming home is hard. 

Coming home is hard because I'm homesick. A part of me will always miss Cork, and even more than Cork, the entire experience. I miss walking to school along Western Road, the little houses hugging the street painted bright colors against the grey sky. I miss Thursday night's bubbly giddiness, looking forward to a night of dancing with my best girlfriends. I miss Wednesday trips to the city centre with Meg, our routine down to a near science. I know I can always return to Ireland, I know I will return to Ireland. But that semester, those experiences and feelings, they're all just memories. 

And I am thankful to even have those memories. As much as my heart breaks each time I think about the friends I won't see for months and years or rainy walks to the Wash Inn for a pint in front of the fireplace, I'm still so grateful to remember those sweet moments. So, I'll continue falling in love with my life in Nebraska. There is so much to look forward to in the upcoming months--new venues to explore now that I'm 21, big changes at work, visits from far away friends, and a looming graduation on the horizon. I'll adjust here and tweak there until my anxious discontent floats away and I can finally be two places at once. 

Because, in my opinion, a place much loved and ever present in your mind means you're always there.

Friday, September 5, 2014

what you should be wearing to university pt 4

TGIF! Your week is almost over, and before you head off to your weekend activities, we have one more lesson in What You Should Be Wearing to University

Thursday, September 4, 2014

what you should be wearing to university pt 3

Albie is here to help me teach today's lesson in What You Should Be Wearing to University. He's a pretty tough grader, so I'd pay attention.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

what you should be wearing to university pt 2

Welcome back, students. It's time for lesson number 2 for this week's What You Should Be Wearing to University