Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Five

TGIF. Am I right? I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend and spending time with friends I don't always get to see. Also, I plan on making this recipe tonight. I was starving at the beginning of the week and went ravishing through my Pinterest boards for dinner ideas and a grocery list and ended up buying ingredients for skinny chicken fried rice (delicious, however I have to remember I am only one person and not a family of 6 as the recipe calls for) and the ingredients for the turkey enchilada casserole. Which was an interesting choice considering I've never liked ground meat and only this summer started liking hamburgers/turkey burgers. But I'll give it a go!

Here's this week's Friday Five. Drumroll please.... 

Tim McGraw. This should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that has known me longer than about an hour. My beloved butt-huggin' jean wearin', cowboy boot stompin' Mr. McGraw released his most recent album this past Tuesday and I have been enjoying him on all sorts of TV shows promoting the album, as well as playing it on repeat on my commute. While there a few questionable songs on the album (don't worry Tim, I love you all the same), there definitely are some jams. My favorite: a duet with Kid Rock called Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs.

Friendly reminder from my mom 
Floppy Felt Hats. I love big floppy hats, no matter what season. Since it's safe to say the days of lightweight straw hats are over this year, I've broken out my felt floppy hat for fall. Nothing like pretending you're a Stepford Wife for a few hours. I bought this hat last season at Lord & Taylor, but you can find a similar one here.

AMRAP Workout. One of my favorite blogs to follow is Pumps and Iron. Nicole, the fit face behind the blog, posts the best work outs and recipes. She recently posted this AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) workout. I tried it out earlier this week and am still sore. I did it after a 3 mile run,which may not have been the best idea considering the jump squat burpees. My plan is to do this workout once a week and try and beat my time/rounds each time.

Embellished Tops. I have been eyeing embellished sweaters and shirts ever since I caught a glimpse at J. Crew. Then, the other day, I found this one at H&M and fell in love. Slightly reminiscent of the 90's bedazzling days, but I'm liking it.

Sleep. I've always loved sleep. All through high school and college, I was rarely up past 10 on school nights, and I still stick by that. I'm usually in bed by 9:30, and honestly, would probably be in bed earlier if I didn't convince myself that I am 24 years old and can in fact stay up past Wheel of Fortune. But this week, I have been so tired. I don't know if it's because it's getting darker earlier or what, but boy have I been counting down the hours until bedtime from the moment I wake up. 

What have you been loving this week? 
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Holy Chic

I feel like this shirt has been everywhere this summer, but every time I went into Old Navy to buy it, they either wouldn't have it altogether or it wouldn't be in my size! And by that, I mean that there were always an excess amount of them in maternity sizes for some reason. I've never been pregnant, but I'm guessing it's because chic may be the last word used to describe pregnancy. But that's just my I-never-want-to-be-pregnant-stage guess. 

Anyway, I finally found it the other day, and loved it just as much as I did when I first saw it a couple of months ago. I don't know if you realize this or not, but that's what we call fate here in the shopping addict world, so I obviously had to buy it. (I also purchased a dress that I didn't like once I tried it on at home and returned it, therefore, I actually made money that day. Brilliant!). 

As I've mentioned before, my office is very casual, so I can get away with wearing this tee to work with some fun accessories and heels, or even flats, like I did here. Unfortunately, it seems like the t-shirt days are dwindling down rapidly here in CT so I better take advantage while I can! 

Now, before you look at these photos, here's some insider info: 

-My left index finger is actually gushing blood (thank god for my dad teaching me to hoard Dunkin Donuts napkins in my glove compartment at a young age). I just happened to slice it open as I was walking through the park, how convenient! Note: this injury did not happen when I was reading a text and wiped out because of an unseen stump.
-I set up shop on some very unwelcoming bees' home resulting in screams, flailing arms and a possible payback hive in my purse. 
-There's definitely a few people out there that think I'm (more) crazy. 

I think I could dedicate an entire post to captioning all the reject pictures. And to think these were the best! 

Outfit Details | Shirt: Old Navy | Jeans: Express (old, similar here) | Belt: J.Crew (old) | Flats: TJ Maxx (old, similar here) | Necklace: Francesca's | Bracelet: Francesca's (not online, but love this!)| Watch: Kate Spade | Sunglasses: Icing | 

How are you styling your last few days of summer weather? 
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Five

So, every Friday I want to feature five of my favorite things I'm currently loving, not limited to any one topic. Here goes my first Friday five: 

The Skimm. I constantly see people liking this site on my Facebook and never really investigated it. Every day you can have an email sent to you with the top news stories and current events and a random fact or two. This is perfect for someone like myself who doesn't necessarily read or watch the news (does E! News count? I can tell you exactly what happened at Joan Rivers' funeral or the best looks at Fashion Week...) so now I know just enough to BS my way through some small talk :) 

Brothers. While I suppose I'm always loving my brother, my friend posted this article earlier this week and it is so true. Change every "little brother" to "big brother" in this article and it describes my big brother and our relationship to a T. From the late night/early morning phone calls to reminding me that since I'm the youngest there were no good genes left for me or dropping everything (including work) because sometimes you just need some bar stool therapy with your brother.
My brother and I in Ireland 3 years ago 
Drinking Class. This new song by Lee Brice has been on repeat for me all week. Something about the beat just gets it stuck in my head all day long, and I don't hate it. 

College Football. Okay, so shockingly, I'm not exactly a huge football fan, but I do love a good tailgate, and tomorrow will be my first tailgate of the season at my alma mater and I am so excited! While UConn is no Alabama, who can argue with a beautiful day, college friends and some pumpkin beer? Sign me up. Also, Kliff Kingsbury, the beautiful Texas Tech coach (big shoutout to Amy from the Bobby Bones Show for pointing my Google search in his direction). He's making me love college football, too. 
Bar Carts. Last week, my awesome mom made me a bar cart, because if you ask me that should be a necessity in any twenty-something-year-old's house. She found the cart at a thrift store and re-did it for me and I came home from work with this beauty in my living room! I'm now obsessed with finding anything and everything to accessorize it. She also re-upholstered and painted the chair in this picture. Told you she's awesome. 

What are your weekend plans? 
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Business on a Budget

The other day, my friend texted me asking me for suggestions on where to get appropriate and affordable clothes as she starts student teaching. Being only a couple of years out of college (and for her, still in school with an unpaid internship!) it's a little hard to just walk into a store and buy a whole new wardrobe. Plus, we're in our early 20s, who wants to be spending money on work clothes we will have to wear our whole lives! 

My suggestion for her was do as I did when I first started working (if only I knew at the time that jeans and a t-shirt could fly 99% of the time in my office - score!). Get a few nice, well made pieces in neutral colors and mix and match with trendier, less expensive pieces. This way you can still have personality and style while looking professional on a budget. 

I've put together some of my favorite pieces out right now. I usually have the best luck at Banana Republic, Ann Taylor/Loft and J.Crew for work clothes. Luckily, I have Ann Taylor and J.Crew Factory Stores near me, so I am able to find pieces for less! Plus, both BR and Loft have sales all. the. time. I would never buy full price there! 
Details | Black pumps: J.Crew | Pencil Skirt w/ Leather: Ann Taylor | Ankle Pants: Ann Taylor | Classic Pencil Skirt: Ann Taylor | Non-Iron Oxford: Banana Republic | Cardigan: J.Crew | Statement Necklace: J.Crew | Tote: Kate Spade | Dress: Banana Republic 

What is your favorite work wardrobe staple? 
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Friday, September 5, 2014

Headbands of Hope

Happy Friday! Was this not the longest short week of work, or what?! 
While I'm still collecting post ideas, outfit ideas and photos, I decided in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, my first real post will be dedicated to a great organization, Headbands of Hope. This is a cause dear to my heart as I am a Headbands of Hope representative. If you don't know about this organization, here is the quick low-down: 
Headbands of Hope was founded by an amazing college student, Jess. For every headband purchased, one headband is given to a little girl battling childhood cancer and going through treatment, often leading to hair loss. Jess found through an internship that headbands brought these precious little girls a sense of comfort and identity. Not only is one headband donated, but $1 of your purchase is donated to life-saving childhood cancer research. I could go on and on about how awesome Jess and this organization is. Check out this link to see Headbands of Hope featured on the Today Show (!!!) just a few weeks ago. 
So, I thought I'd show you how I love to wear my headbands. More times than not, I choose to wear my stretchy headbands around my forehead. I always feel like I'm channeling Khloe Kardashian when I do this. I tend to pair the glitter bands with a neutral outfit. This way, you can really see the headband and the glitter gives your outfit a little something extra.  As you can see, I have a special place in my heart for my gold glitter headband :) Who doesn't love a little sparkle, right?!
Also, you can get $1 off of your purchase by using the code colleenhope at checkout! 
 First day of CMA Fest 2014: Glitter headband? Check!

While I was in Nashville, I attended the City of Hope Celebrity Softball game. I couldn't not wear a headband! 

I wore my gold glitter headband on the 4th of July while vacationing in Savannah, GA with one of my best friends. Nothing screams America like a little glitter.  

Here's a bad picture of my full outfit :) I swear I was in red, white and blue - White dress, blue (maybe turquoise) wedges, and (post dinner) red lips. That counts, right? 

Outfit details | Glitter headband: Headbands of Hope | B&W Top: H&M, similar here | Lace Dress: Lauren Conrad (old), loving this and this | Ikat Wedges: Lucky Brand (old) 
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Beginning...

Hi lovely readers (aka my mom and like, 5 friends)! 

Well, I'm at it again. Trying out my hand at this whole blogging thing. But this time I am determined to stick to it. I read a few blogs quite religiously and am constantly telling myself that I could do this. They (aka Pinterest) always say that the work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life, so I'm going to go ahead and take that advice to heart and do it! That, and I'm pretty sure starting a blog may be slightly more productive than binge watching Netflix (though I feel completely prepared should I ever land in jail, thank you, Orange is the New Black) or being able to recite the tagline of every Bravo Housewife. But both could prove to be very useful one day, we'll see.

So, here we go!

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter
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