Wednesday, December 23, 2015

One Dozen Tricks for Better Blogging // Vol. 1

1// Keep a list of post ideas to make running out of inspiration hard

2// Proofread

3// Proofread

Friday, December 18, 2015

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Hello friends! We're officially only a week out from Christmas. Time is flying this December, though I suppose I think that every year. I've been busy enough since my Christmas break unofficially started on Thursday, December 10, following my calculus final: I've explored Hood River, finding the best natural foods market on the heights and wondering at the gorgeous Christmas lights; tripped up to Olympia to watch Hallie perform in her church's Christmas production; returned to working normal hours since the week preceding and the week of finals ended; driven to Vancouver to visit the bestest Bex; and . . . tried to be productive and failed. haha

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dear Vlog | My 19th Birthday, September 24, 2015

It's been a long time coming, but better late than never, I hope :)

For more videos from me, follow me on YouTube here.
Note: There are some school projects on my YouTube channel, which I don't want to delete at the moment. Please disregard them unless you have a specific interest in them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A/W Outfit Inspo

I know it's much more wintry than it is autumnal but . . . the winter solstice isn't for another six days though it's getting colder and colder--so that's a good compromise, right?
Holiday outfit. I saw this skirt at Express and had no idea how to style it. Doesn't work with my butt anyway...:
by Style Estate
Lately I've been more attracted to trendy outfits. I love the golden sheen on this skirt, which complements the black wonderfully well and adds a Christmas-y element. The black clutch with gold sparkles rounds out the spectrum. Plus for some reason I'm figuratively enthralled by her location; I think I have outfit-taking fever.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

2015 Winter Wedding Essentials

I know, I know . . . the “real” wedding season has come and gone. Summer is long past and Thanksgiving is right around the corner (how did that happen?). And maybe it's only because I love wintertime and the Christmas season and all the quietude extra hours of darkness bring, but I personally believe that November-February weddings are the most beautiful ones around.

So here I am, having been inspired by The Black Tux, a tuxedo rental company, to share with you my fave winter wedding essentials! and ideas :D

1) The right dress

amelia sposa 2016 wedding dresses off the shoulder lace long sleeves embroidered bodice gorgeous A-line ball gown wedding dress nova #alineweddingdress #weddingdresses, #fall #2015 #wedding #dresses, #lightindreaming,:
We all know it's all about the dress. This one by Amelia Sposa has an aura of Kate Middleton, and the added lace sleeves also make it a little less chilly for a winter wedding. Winter weddings call to my mind great elegance, so take a look at her hair. It's upswept, flattering, mature, and graceful. I love it.

2) Candles

Did you all get to watch Ben Seewald propose to Jessa Duggar last August?
He decorated the lovely Crownthorn Chapel with battery-run candles and rose petals. Though I would prefer the setting to be darker so that the candles are more noticeable, I love this idea. At my cousin's wedding in 2008, she did something similar--lighting candles all along the walls of a dark church sanctuary. I find candles both calming and romantic in such a setting--and I think those two emotions are essential to any bride's wedding day. (Especially the calming one, haha.)

3) A Dose of Ethereal

Twinkle lights:

4) Floor-Length Ballgowns for Bridesmaids

When Hallie decided to have a February wedding, she also chose that her three bridesmaids would wear floor-length gowns. For winter weddings, I love this idea. It ups the elegance factor will (sort of) keeping the bridesmaids warm.

I say sort of because I wore a sleeveless dress and took photos outdoors and was kind of cold.
I think I like the setting and photography more than almost anything else here.:

5) An Excellent Photographer

this might be the prettiest wedding i've ever seen:
By Snippet and Ink
This rings true for any wedding in any season. You need to find a photographer who can play with the lighting you choose (e.g., if you have a dark setting illuminated by candles . . .); some professional photographers are far better outdoors than in and while, yes, indoor light is difficult to manipulate, if you find a good photographer his or her abilities should outweigh the drawbacks of your venue, etc.

What are your winter wedding essentials?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The “Natural” Hair Care Routine | My Experience

Also in this series: The Curly Girl Hair Routine.

I've mentioned before my interest in using all-natural products on my skin and hair to reduce my exposure to carcinogens and other potentially toxic chemicals. This interest led me to the Curly Girl routine first, but I quickly found that the “natural” routine and the Curly Girl routine worked synchronously at least half the time.

What is this routine? The “Natural Hair Care Routine” is typically associated with using diluted baking soda as a shampoo, and diluted apple cider vinegar as a conditioning rinse. Those who follow the routine will often tell you they wash their hair no more than twice a week, sometimes waiting as many as five days in between washes.

You can imagine how this has taken off across the World Wide Web. Olivia from Fresh Modesty, who is even more involved with natural hygiene than I am, tried it for several weeks in succession at least, and Jessica, Brigid, and Charlotte Boyer of The Boyer Family Singers gave it some consideration as well. The most recent statement I heard from Olivia was that she had "slacked off" on using it (Howard); her review after about a month on the routine was that her hair was softer and more manageable. As for the Boyer sisters, I don't believe they ever began after reading a contributed article, about which I'll go into more detail later in this post.

I personally started this routine in mid- to late summer of 2013. I vividly remember a few of my experiences: I would try to do a hair mask at least once a week, and the baking soda would never wash the coconut oil out of my hair, leading to many a day sauntering through the irrigation fields with greasy, coconut oil-y hair. There was also the occasion where it was picture day at the high school and, since it fell the day before my scheduled baking soda washing, my hair was a little greasier than I would have liked.

I would tell you I'm really not trying to paint this routine in all negatives, but that would be a big fat lie.

The most misleading of all things in this routine is, I think, that many a person believes it "works" for them.

And maybe it does for a while. But the gist of the articles kindly provided to the Boyer Sisters per their decision to implement this routine was that baking soda has a highly alkaline pH--9 or so--and your hair's natural pH is much more acidic--4 to 5, if I remember right. Can you now see that baking soda has a very, VERY high likelihood of causing scalp irritation? Because I don't want to risk plagiarism or going on forever, please continue reading about the way pH affects your scalp and hair in this article.

Personally--because personal experience is the most important kind after all--when I used this routine (for approximately four to six weeks), my scalp got greasy. My hair was limp. The picture in my mind is of it looking tired and unhealthy. My head itched. I got dandruff. . . . And the worst was that I saw my scalp getting redder and redder as time passed. Red with irritation.

So I decided to stop.

For those whom this routine seems to be “working”--I've heard many bloggers say this. I’ve also noted that it’s the bloggers who live in more humid areas--Tennessee, for example--who say it. I don’t know if humidity alters their hair’s acidity level or if the added moisture in the air makes their hair appear more vibrant for longer. But I do know that according to the science, this doesn’t work, and even added humidity isn't going to alter pH level by that much.

Have you tried this routine? What did you think of it if you did? Would you still try it in the future?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

1, 2, 3, 4

Nothing like a two-and-a-half-month sabbatical from outfit photos to give your brain a break.

Ha. Because taking outfit pictures really requires so much of my brain. I'm sure a normal good photographer uses his or her brain while on the job, but other than minor adjustments I actually know how to make, me? Noooo. . . .
Blouse/Style & Co. (thrifted) $3.50?   Skirt/Great Northwest: Indigo (Fred Meyer) $11.98   Ankle Boots/Carlos (Ross) $27.99   Nails/Jamberry Trushine in "Black Cherry"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blessings | Vol. 3

33 | A quick recovery from the stomach flu (no worries, this happened in early August :))

34 | PC-free-successful Sundays

35 | Sleeping shirts

36 | Going to the Lake with best friends & best cousins

37 | Stress-free vacations

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Better Blogging | Pictures, Layout, & Content

Hi! Today's topic is better blogging in terms of photography, the layout/design of your blog, and its content. One of you requested this in the reader survey (or Q & A . . . I'm not remembering at the moment) I did in the beginning of the year -- so thank you to whomever it was :)


I run a fashion blog. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) Photographs are extremely important on a fashion blog -- as important as a food blogger's pictures and even, I might say, as important as a professional photographer's portfolio. A bad photograph sends the impression that the photographer herself (assuming we're all female fashion bloggers here) is unprofessional. A bad photograph doesn't immediately draw the eye (except to its inferiority) like a good one does; and, as you might imagine, your social media capabilities are shot on platforms such as Pinterest, which revolve around excellent photographs.
I have it on professional authority that this was one of the better pictures I've taken.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Summer 2015 Favorites

It's been like FOREVER since I did one of these posts (MARCH, I think? Yikes). Ashley over at Bramblewood Fashion reminded me that, since I haven't been successful at posting regularly of late (due to having to save about $600 for a new camera), this topic is one that I can post on since I can pull images off Pinterest. :) Beware: this is going to be a pretty long list since I have three-ish months to cover ;)


Burt's Bees - Pomegranate Lip Balm Tube
I recently rediscovered my love for this lip balm when applying it in haste to get ready for work. Sometimes I find it too slimy, but in combination with a light layer of foundation and a few coats of mascara its sheen substitutes for a lip gloss. This lip balm is also highly moisturizing.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Curly Girl Routine | My Experience

curly girl method, this really works!  I hated my hair before and now I love my glory!I can't remember when I started getting so concerned about my appearance and interested in natural health and all that jazz; maybe it was 2010 or 2011ish. My family members reading this will laugh at me inwardly because of my obsession with and ability for remembering dates so keenly. It's a strange observation, but it makes me feel discomfited if I can't remember when something happened. Must be part of my personality type.

Anyway, since that has nothing to do with this post, in one of those years I just mentioned I got to the point where my freaky frizzy hair irritated me and I wanted to know how to better care for it. It was at this time that I searched the Internet and found out about something called the “Curly Girl routine.”

In this routine, I was told to ditch my shampoo, brush, comb, and terry-cloth towel, and instead embrace my conditioner, gel, old rotting t-shirts, and finger-combing. Whaaat?

To those who've never heard about the routine -- and trust me, you probably haven't if your hair doesn't drive you insane with its frizziness -- it might sound utterly bizarre. “No shampoo? How the heck are you supposed to clean your hair!?” Well, the Routine emphasizes something called “co-washing” (which legitimately does sound bizarre): using your conditioner, which is supposedly formulated with gentle cleansers, to wash your scalp, then finger-combing a generous amount through the rest of your hair and rinsing out only the bare minimum. Then, after this co-wash, the Routine dictates plenty of scrunching with a paper towel (I would like to know if any paper towel can actually even hold up under that much water [and conditioner] weight) or old t-shirt, after which more conditioner and then gel is applied.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Making a “Vitablast” | The Whole Foods Way Series

My “Whole Foods Way” series started in the middle of April before I embarked on the intimidating Whole30 journey. This “recipe” I'm sharing with you today is really more of a method, and one I consider more important to me and my health than pretty much any other recipe I'll ever share with you guys.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Waking Up in Vegas

It's a safe bet I didn't think this particular Katy Perry song would be appropriate for any outfit post on this blog.
Today I'm on a fantasy trip to Las Vegas and lodging at the beautiful Venetian Hotel. I'll be taking you along for the ride on this Saturday in Vegas, showing you how I transition from a day sightseeing and sampling delicious food to attending Gordon Ramsay Steak and ordering his premier filet mignon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Campus Style | The Real World

Today is the advent of a new series. I figure my outfits to CGCC (and, eventually, a university) should at least be more than pretty to look at -- they could be helpful as well (I mean seriously). This series is for you ladies heading off to class and desiring to beat the oh-so-tempting look of sweatshirts and sweatpants.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

My Whole30 | Recap & Results

Hi! Today's post is going to be a little different from what I normally do on this blog, but I was requested to share this info with you guys so I will :)

From April 28-May 27 (yesterday) I did the #Whole30 challenge. If you've never heard of this diet (which is so immensely popular now you probably have somewhere at least), it's a detoxifying month-long program to retrain your brain to think in a "healthy foods" manner. It cuts out any form (including additives) of sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol, tobacco, MSGs, carageenan, sulfites, and legumes.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015 Graduation Outfit Picks: The After Party

Because we couldn't have high school and college graduates outfit ideas without picks for the after party, could we?

I'm so excited. I love these posts.
Gilded Affair . vintage 1950s dress . vintage by millstreetvintage
Because I love vintage . . . which you know, right? This 50's style cocktail dress would be gorgeous for an after party. Just keep in mind the formality of your party -- if it's a dance hosted by you, it is, of course, whatever formality you put on the invitation. If it's hosted by someone else, check the invite/ticket/instruction so you know what to wear. If it's not a dance or ball but rather just a dinner out or an open-house occasion, you might want to take a look at more casual wear.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

2015 College Graduation Outfit Picks

Am I the only one who considers college graduation more businesslike than high school? Maybe. Lots of things, after all, depend on your personal style, so if you're a preppy person that's what you'll probably wear to your graduation. However, in the interest of you looking professional and all that to possible future employers, this post will feature more classic options than yesterday's did. Oh, and because classic/professional/businesslike is my style anyway. Bonus right?
This Kate Spade outfit is to die for! I love the combination of the sleek navy skirt with the patterned ruffle top. It looks polished and clean, it is a great outfit to wear to work or to a meeting.
I pretty much just really like this, but it might look a little bulky under a graduation gown. Am I right? Otherwise, all you'd need to do is swap out the nail color to complement or match your gown. Her hair is pretty too.

Friday, May 15, 2015

2015 High School Graduation Dress Picks

I got to thinking a few weeks ago about writing a “graduation dress picks” post like I did last year and realized that my attitude about dressing was different this year. Why? Well, because this year I'm graduating from college, not high school. Granted, “just a community college,” but sometimes a year can make an astronomical difference in one's life. When that happens, sometimes one needs to reflect newfound maturities with a different dress code -- so today, I'm devoting one post to the high schoolers who find themselves walking in their cap and gown in mere days -- or waiting on pins and needles for the next month to be over.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Ice Cream Imitation Smoothie | The Whole Foods Way

I've dreamt of introducing this new series -- entitled “The Whole Foods Way” -- for a while now, but knew I didn't have the equipment for food photography till I received my beautiful 50mm f/1.8 lens from my far more beautiful sister Hallie. I shared this photo on Facebook recently --

Monday, April 20, 2015

These Days

Some of my favorite classics: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Northanger Abbey and Emma by Jane Austen, The Caxley Chronicles by Miss Read . . . and then the big beauty I haven't gotten to yet: Wives and Daughters (in its unabridged form, which was 100% impossible to find in my library district) by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First Day of My Life

I wonder (a lot) if people think I'm a weirdo for getting so dressed up. Yesterday I wore a blazer, my neon-green graphic tee, jeans, and black heels to trigonometry. Yes I was 5'11.25" because of the fact. Yes I probably did look ridiculous to the rest of my classmates, at least 55% of whom are male and the 45% who are female are the types who choose comfort over fanciness.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Happy Blogiversary! | + Giveaway

Yes, it's April 13th. On this day last year, I posted my first outfit on my first exclusively-fashion blog. Even though there have been times I just felt “meh” about the whole thing, times when I was frustrated with myself for not looking the way I was supposed to, and times I wanted to quit. . . . There's just something about piecing an outfit together that makes me happier, more confident, and more at peace with my body.

Friday, April 10, 2015

We Never Go Out of Style

L to R: Rebekah Rose, me, Emily Renee, Rachel Hope.
On Tuesday I had the pleasure of spending an evening with these three wonderful ladies. Following my trigonometry class, we met at Shari's just after five and ate hamburgers and tater tots and rosemary-seasoned french fries and talked about so many things. It's so very hard these days to find groups of people with whom one can share conversations that range from Jesus and the recent Resurrection Day to guys and our (possible) future marriages -- I am so, so thankful for each of these beautiful friends of mine.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Math, Shopping, & Sheep | March 31st Vlog

Yesterday I filmed my first vlog (whaaaaaaaaaaaat?)! I took the camera to math class and filmed some of my thoughts on the day and the places I headed. If you like it, you can subscribe to me on YouTube.
Also, I have a couple of announcements to make. First of all, my blogiversary is in less than two weeks (whaaaaaaaaaaaat?) and I'm going to celebrate by hosting a pretty cool giveaway, so stick around till then for details! Also, you guys have graciously helped me get to almost 100 followers on Dance A Real's Pinterest board and once I get to 100, I'm going to be hosting another giveaway! Comment below and tell me what you think I should give away for my 100-Pinterest-followers celebration. And if you want the giveaway to come sooner, you can follow DAR on Pinterest here!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Favorites


Wet 'n' Wild Lipstick in 540A, “Hot Red.” I can't wear any light or frosty lip colors -- they clash with my skin tone like you wouldn't believe. I've always wanted a red lipstick and my younger sister was sweet enough to buy me one for $.99. I don't like to recommend unnatural products, but this is a good basic lipstick in my opinion. The stain is excellent -- it doesn't come off easily! which is a good thing, I guess :)
FC5 Purifying Cleanser + Toner:  lightweight formula cleans and tones, visibly reducing oiliness to help keep skin looking young, fresh and clean.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

2015 Spring Wardrobe Picks

I miss posting on days like today, where I forget to take outfit photos till it's too late, really need to write to a reader's ear, and feel so exhausted I just want to curl up on my bed and feel the healing power of tears. And then sleep in oblivion.

I was getting spring outfit fever looking through Pinterest so I want to share some of my fave finds with you all. . . .
#peplum #spring #sherbet #glam

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Golly, I can't believe February will be over in less than eleven hours. How can 2015 already be passing this fast? It drives me bazooka that time flies like this and that memories are barely created before they're gone. It does make me wonder, though, how anybody can ever think that God doesn't exist -- what purpose is there in a life that moves by so quickly without God?

That being said, here are just a couple of my faves this month -- I wasn't that diligent about keeping track of them, so there are not nearly as many in this post as there have been in others.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

|| that time I wore 7 hats at once ||

When I prepare a speech, the hardest part is always the introduction. Do I start with a narrative or a statistic? Do I quote some wise person of yore or do I reference an advertisement? How can I make my speech sound appealing to my audience?

In many ways, speech is no different from blogging. Writing introductions is always my weak point (heck, I spent twenty minutes on one in an in-class essay I wrote for lit last year), especially when the post I'm writing is going to be monumental. Monumental for me, anyway.

Monday, February 23, 2015


“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” - Leonardo da Vinci
I have never been one to overload an outfit with accessories -- in fact, more often than not, I have a hard time choosing what accessories to wear. Or wearing any accessories at all! I don't wear earrings on a full-time basis, for example, so I'm often too lazy to just take out a pair and insert them into my ears . . . even though the addition really does help out an outfit. Yet I also have contrasting opinions about accessorizing -- I do, in general, think less is more, but I also think that the ability to accessorize is what separates an amateur fashionista from an extraordinary one.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Minimalist's Wardrobe

I've begun to notice a movement around the blogosphere. A lot more people have decided that living minimally is a good way to go, that one of the ways to get happier is to get rid of stuff. I don't call this movement a “trend” or look down on people who think that is a way to be happier; in fact, I agree, to a point, with their stance, and think that it's cool that they have the self-control to do that. Personally, however, I am not a minimalist -- at least not considering clothing. (Not yet, anyway. Maybe when I have a huge walk-in closet full to the brim of things I never wear, but that's not now -- I'm fairly happy with my wardrobe size and wear everything in it regularly.) I would like to purge some of my belongings (like my necklaces and the trash living in a drawer under my bed), but for now I'm okay with not being a self-proclaimed minimalist.

That being said, I created this post on a request from a reader, which ran as follows:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

4 Ways to Shop on a Budget

No, you don't have to be rich to be stylish.
1) Frequent thrift stores. Yep, I know everybody's thought at least once in their lives, “Thrift stores only have gross stuff that homeless people wear” and “I can never find anything at thrift stores.” Newsflash: in the past week I've scored five items that either still have their tags on them, look like new, or are only gently used. Plus I got this checkered blouse for only $2.79 at Salvation Army. (If you think it's impossible to find good stuff at thrift stores, check out the post I wrote last year about successful thrifting. Additional tip to that post: sometimes all you have to do is run your eyes down the aisle. If you don't see a fabric peeking out that interests you and you're short on time, just move on to the next rack.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My 2015 Valentine's Day Outfit Picks

Disclaimer: None of these photographs are my own. They all come from my Pinterest board and before that originate from other sites. I do not intend copyright infringement with this post.
I browsed through my fashionista board on Pinterest and wasn't sure which outfits I should feature for this post. I saw a chevron-printed dress and liked it, but thought -- well, a Valentine's outfit should have some pop of red or pink in it, right?
I like this outfit because of that. The dark red in combination with the houndstooth and white shrug speak winter to me, all the while adding the color necessary to make it a good Valentine's Day outfit. A splash of red lipstick pulls the outfit together and creates an even more Valentine's-Day-ish feel.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Favorites

All's Fair In Love And Advertising (Hallmark) Hallmark
All's Fair in Love and Advertising. What I like about this Hallmark film is that the protagonists are both men. It's just a nice change because the main characters in Hallmark movies are usually female.

Monday, January 26, 2015

You Say I'm Crazy

So I just have to say that TECHNICALLY orange is not my color and TECHNICALLY orange should not go with teal but TECHNICALLY I really loved this outfit.
And TECHNICALLY you might legitimately say I'm crazy for my weird color combinations but at least I'll know and I'll know and I'll know and I'll know and I'll kno-o-ow I'm not the only one.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Counting Stars

Today has been . . . an adventure. In the unexpected.

I am not someone who likes unexpected occurrences at.all. and if you tell me I need to do something when I already had plans it is the surest way to irritate me. Yeah, someone needs to work on inflexibility issues.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Let It Go

Today when my alarm went off at 6:30 I rebelled and stayed under the covers for another five minutes. It would have been nice to stay under there for another hour or more, but, you know, mandatory test day calls. It's funny actually how when you get up early it feels like half the day has passed by 8:30 a.m., which is when my biology class officially starts.

And, in other random statements of the day, I'm almost to the point of not waking up in the dark anymore on Mondays and Wednesdays. That's kind of freaky.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Warm Day in January + Survey Results

Today, after days of overcast skies and the threat of rain, the sun finally thwarted the clouds and made it a forty-seven-degree day. Yeah, seriously. In January. In southeastern Washington.