Monday, November 24, 2014

We Are the Goldens-Inspired Outfit

Happy Monday, everyone!  Are you geared up for Thanksgiving?  I am ready for the break--even though I have been out of school lately with various trips and conferences, it will be nice to have a chance to just collect myself again.  Moving to a new house has taken a toll, so it's going to be good to just re-group.

Today's post is an outfit inspired by We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt.  In the book, Nell and her sister Layla are soccer players.  So I wanted to design an outfit for Nell on game day.  Since I work in a school, I see the student athletes when it's game day--they dress nicer than the typical school outfit.  So that's the inspiration for the look.

And when I think soccer, I think stripes.  So I designed a classy outfit for Nell with sleek stripes.  Here it is:

Simple enough to wear to school and comfortable...but still stylish!

  • Like I said, soccer makes me think of stripes, so I went for a simple yet chic black and white striped sweater.
  • The black skinny jeans pair nicely with the sweater.  Keeps it casual.
  • I always see my athletes wear flats when they dress up.  They're more comfortable in their dress, so flats just make sense (stereotypically, the star of the girls' basketball team doesn't do well with heels!).  But adding the bows to the top of the flats gives it a feminine touch.
  • A simple but beautiful watch keeps the outfit trendy and accessorized.
What do you think?  Could you see a student wearing this before a game?

More reviews coming up!

Jeans--House of Fraser 
Flats--Saint Laurent 
Watch--Nixon Kenzi 

*I'm not associated with any brands/companies mentioned.

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Went to Y'ALL Fest, Y'ALL!

Hey, readers and fashionistas!  Over a week ago, my friend Emily and I road tripped from Indianapolis to Charleston, SC for Y'ALL Fest, the largest book festival in the country (and it's only been going on for four years!).  It was a BLAST!  We're talking 60+ YA authors just walking around Charleston, meeting their readers and giving panels on various topics.  Totally up my nerd alley!  Here is a list of my favorite things about Y'ALL Fest and my highlights:

  • Blue Bicycle Books--This bookstore hosts the festival and is book proud.  The employees were helpful and excited and showed off why I love local indie bookstores so much.  The bookstore itself has cute decorations and just makes me want to sit down with a book and a cup of tea.

 Yes, they had a bicycle outside their store with books on it.

What a neat idea--painting the covers of books to spell a word!

  • Charleston--What a beautiful city!  It was so easy to access everything at the festival, and I loved how local businesses got involved (I got to meet Gayle Forman in a donut shop and James Dashner in a toy store!).  I have a soft spot for South Carolina (my family used to vacation there every summer) and I love the warm air and palm trees.  I was ready to move down to Charleston!
 We ate at Hyman's Friday night for the BEST hush puppies in the world!  This is my friend Emily, who is slightly obsessed.

  • The experiences I had meeting authors--Obviously this is one of the best parts of the festival.  Authors walk around, take photos, meet readers, and have signings.  I literally bumped into Stephanie Perkins and talked to Rainbow Rowell for a second like we were old friends.  Every author was so gracious and excited to talk with their readers--Varian Johnson was so appreciative, Laini Taylor was just plain fun, Maya Van Wagenen was so genuine, and I could go on and on.

 Stephanie adorable is she?!

Epic Reads--they are so fun!  I look like a crazy person here with three chins...that awkward selfie strain.
  • Aaron Hartzler--This guy gets his own category.  I literally drove to Charleston because I wanted to meet him.  I loved his book Rapture Practice and could tell from Twitter that he would be a fun guy.  He was fan-tastic!  Just what I wanted in my experience to meet him.  Out of the thousands of people at the festival, only about 10 of us were in line for Aaron, which just made the experience even better.  It was AWESOME to talk with him, take photos together, and just act like it was totally normal for me to be hanging out with him.  Aaron later hosted a "Hollywood Squares" author game at the Smackdown event, and he was the highlight of the event.  He is hilarious!
 Yep, Aaron Hartzler has his arm around me!  I loved meeting the others in line, too.  This was the highlight of the trip for me!

 I was the first in line to meet Aaron, so I got to hold the author paddle!
  •  The lines--Why would I love the lines at Y'ALL Fest?!  Because that's where you meet other readers.  That's where you connect with people all over the country who love the same authors as you.  You meet parents who take their kids out of school so they can meet Veronica Roth, dads who willingly stand in line for two hours so they can get a romance author's autograph for their daughters, librarians who are passionate about students and reading.  I have to give a shout out to Megan and Brian, an engaged couple who I met in the James Dashner line and who I kept running into throughout the festival.  
 Most of the lines at Y'ALL Fest are looooong.  These were the lines for Libba Bray and
Kami Garcia/Margaret Stohl.

 The line of people behind me for James Dashner.  How ADORABLE is that girl behind me?!
  •  The road trip--Traveling with my friend Emily was perfect because we're both librarians.  And what do you do when you are in a car for 11 hours?!  You listen to an audiobook!  We listened to The Here and Now by Ann Brashares on the way down and Panic by Lauren Oliver on the way home.

The author autographs I got:
Lauren Myracle (She told me librarians are her heroes!)
Varian Johnson
Sara Zarr
Carrie Ryan
Kami Garcia
Margaret Stohl
Jennifer E. Smith
Leigh Bardugo
Maya Van Wagenen
Melissa de la Cruz
Aaron Hartzler
E Lockhart
Sarah Dessen
James Dashner
Lauren Oliver
Laini Taylor
Ann Brashares
Alexander London
Libba Bray
Becca Fitzpatrick
Kiera Cass
Marie Lu
Gayle Forman

And there were so many others!  I missed out on Ally Condie and Sarah Maas...maybe next year?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

REVIEW--We Are the Goldens

Hey, readers and fashionistas!  I'm excited about today's book review--I loved this book because it was such a surprise for me.  I expected controversy and edginess, and I got a deep-thinking and realistic portrayal of a sister's internal struggle.  So good!

Today's review is on Dana Reinhardt's newest book, We Are the Goldens.  I had read her book The Things a Brother Knows and really enjoyed it, so this was an easy grab for me.  But I LOVED it.  Let me explain why:

  •  Standalone novel
  • Realistic fiction
The Gist:
Layla and Nell are the Goldens.  And Nell absolutely adores her sister.  Loves living a few years behind her and looking up to her.  But Nell notices that Layla is more distant than normal, uninterested in normal high school things, and unconcerned with school gossip.  And then she learns of Layla's big secret.  A secret that could change their family's life forever.  A secret that haunts Nell's every moment.

What I Loved:
  • The point of view of the book--it's second person, which is so rarely seen in fiction.  Nell is speaking to Layla throughout the book, giving her behind-the-scenes info on the decisions she's made.  So effective since this book is all about looking at a situation through Nell's eyes.
  • Even though I wanted major action to happen in the end, I'm glad it didn't.  It just didn't need it.  This book is about Nell even more than it is about Layla.
  • This book is so gosh darn realistic...and that's all I can say about that since I work in education.
  • I didn't think the adults were weak in this book.  The parents cared about their girls and appeared to be very realistic as divorced parents.
What I Didn't Love:
  • The cover. Just doesn't work for me.
  • Even though I loved the ending, my students won't like it.  I'll have to convince them why it's the best choice
Favorite quote: "They had three times the pool to choose from when putting together their team, so of course they were better than us.  Plus it was a Jesuit school, so they probably had God on their side to boot."

Such a great book--I highly recommend it!

Yep, 5 heels for me!

I'll be designing a Nell-inspired outfit soon!  I'm headed to YA'LL Fest tomorrow...can't wait to tell you all about it!

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Peter Pan Halloween and An Outfit

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you had a fun and treat-filled Halloween!  It was FREEZING in our neck of the woods, so only my big guy got to participate in the door-to-door trick or treating, and that was pretty limited.  Nevertheless, the boys looked adorable in their Peter Pan-inspired costumes!  My big guy was Captain Hook and the little one was the crocodile (or as my older son called him, Tick Tock Croc!)

Eeek!  So cute!

Today I'm sharing the outfit I designed for the graphic novel Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, a cute story of a battle between the geeks and the cheerleaders.  I decided to take inspiration from the cheerleaders and show a glam yet casual look for school.  And here it is:

A casual outfit for the school day that still shows off someone's cheerleader status.  Let's jump into it:
  • Cuffed jeans are pretty popular right now, and a cheerleader is always on top of the styles, right?!
  • This Bayside Cheerleading t-shirt was too fun to pass up.  It pays homage to "Saved by the Bell" and reminds us all of the loveable Kelly Kapowski.  A cheerleader would love this t-shirt.
  • Glitter silver shoes dress up the outfit, and it's no surprise to find a cheerleader wearing glitter.  This gives the look some sophistication and is a good substitute for glitter eyeshadow.
  • Cheerleaders always wear bows, but this outfit adds in a bow bracelet instead to keep the look more mature.  An additional black bracelet ties in with the gray t-shirt and keeps the outfit from being total glam.
What do you think?  Could you see a cheerleader wearing this to school?

More reviews to come--stay tuned!

Jeans--J Brand
T-shirt--NBC Store
Shoes--Kate Spade
Bow Bracelet--Etsy
Black Bracelet--Bloomingdales 

*I'm not associated with any companies/products mentioned.