This was our first Christmas as a married couple, in fact I’m pretty sure it was our first Christmas that we’ve actually ever been together for in the 8 years that we’ve known each other! So it was it a pretty special Christmas for us!

We are typical newlyweds, in that our budget for extras is fairly nonexistent, so this year we chose skip buying major presents for each other and and concentrate on giving to our friends and family instead. I did convince Jared that I would die if we didn’t get our mattress off the floor soon, so we bought ourselves a bed frame and called it good. I joked that Jared’s present this year was that he got to marry me ;)

We started a few new family traditions this year, like reading the story of Jesus’ birth together in bed Christmas morning, and eating breakfast with my family the day after. I also had my wisdom teeth removed the week before so there were many late night ramblings about life, love, and the language of flowers that I will probably never live down.

Here are some pics from our day after Christmas brunch with my family. Somehow I carted my camera around to almost every holiday event and didn’t once turn it on so these are my only “official” christmas pictures, other than instagram. A part of me is a little sad about that, but it was also nice to just sit and talk to everyone and not be worrying about the camera the whole time.


^ Jared has been working on a homemade biscuit recipe, adapted from my Nanny’s own recipe and mixed together with a few JB secret ingredients! Soooo yummy. courtdad2 courtkari glasses

^ all three siblings picked out the same Warby Parker glasses without realizing it! We so rarely all wear them at the same time that we had to take a pic. kari pan table 1family1


^the whole family, including the dogs! We were all supposed to come to breakfast in our pi’s but apparently only Jared and I took that suggestion seriously. ha! oops.

All in all, our first Christmas was a success. I’m so excited to get started on all the after Christmas decorating deals so that NEXT year can be even better! Jared literally groaned when i told him that, tee hee! boys just don’t get it.

i cleaned out my photo album and found a random outfit post

IMG_6478it’s been too windy and too cold and i’ve been too lazy to take any outfit pictures this week. but then i remembered these that i took a way long time ago (like LAST YEAR guys. ancient days). and i said oh ya! these are pretty cute!

thus, your style post for the week. you’re welcome.

IMG_6494hmmm so life lately. we’re in that weird stage of season changing that I for one secretly adore. spring and winter are kind of duking it out right now for who’s going to be boss and we all know spring is totally going to kick butt, but winter keeps hangin in there, holding on by it’s icy cold fingertips.

this time is so similar to when fall gives in to winter, and yet it’s very different. you might wake up to a cool morning but there’s a tiny ray of hope mixed in with the icy breathes of fog in the air. a little spring promise.

IMG_6491in the fall, the season change can almost seem melancholy as the days become shorter and the air becomes cooler. but spring. ahh spring. each day holds just a sliver more of sunshine, each breeze brings just a bit more warmth. it’s like spring is giving us tiny sips of what’s to come, to keep us going through these last few days of ice. just a tease each morning, so that we’ll look forward to the next day, and the next day, just to see if today is the day that spring finally arrives.

i’m all for it spring. you can just keep on comin on. i dont mind a bit.


dont mind my white legs, they’re just going to blind you really fast

target beanie (sold out but i like this one), old (i mean old) jean jacket (similar) // ASOS swing dress (the best invention ever) (sold out, similar) // Sam Moon scarf (similar) //Shoe dazzle booties (sold out, these are cute)

things my doctor didn’t tell me

It seems really strange to be posting these snow pictures today, when it’s supposed to be 65 degrees, but oh well. It just makes me appreciate the Spring weather even more!

IMG_8008 SO things my doctor didn’t tell me (HA you thought Hospital Hooplah was over? No chance my friend, it’s like a stone dropped in a lake. The stone might have sunk to the bottom already, but the water rings are still moving). “i’m going to gut you like a fish to perform this surgery and when you wake up, you will have 25 stitches across your stomach” might have been a good idea to mention before i woke up post-op and almost passed out from the sight. “you’re going to be so weak by the time you get out of here, you won’t be able to walk up the stairs” literally surprised the crap out of me. i had no idea i would be so weak.

IMG_8013but both of these paled in comparison to “three months after your surgery, you will start shedding hair like a bear after hibernation”

the whole shedding thing has been the worst. I know, I’m such a brat, boohoo I’m losing a couple of hairs, some people don’t have any hair at all. I know. I’m fully aware of how lucky and blessed I am. but. I’m a girl. and my hair is kind of my thing, and I’ve always been very honest about the fact that if I have a bad hair day, i might as well take a sick day because it just rocks my world.

and it hasn’t just been a couple of hairs. i’m being honest about this because hopefully some poor girl will read this and be more prepared for the Shedding Apocalypse than I was. Because standing in the shower and watching as massive clump after massive clump of hair goes swirling down the drain is not something you want to be unprepared for.

IMG_8011you’re probably looking at these pictures and thinking, “what the heck is she talking about” but THANK THE LORD for hair extensions my friend. so many extensions on my head. I know this is silly, and I feel so vain just writing this all down, but it’s a part of my journey. and it’s pretty much sucked. And I think that’s ok. It’s ok to admit that some things just suck. It’s ok to cry over a couple (hundred) strands of hair. have yourself a cry. and then get up, get yourself some fake hairs, and keep going. Admit that you’re scared your going to look like Gollum from LOTR soon, and then keep going. I think sometimes we think we have to be strong 24/7. we can never admit to pain or fear or sadness. and that’s just not true. The Bible says to “share each other’s burdens”. You can’t do that unless you admit you have a burden to begin with. (and then return the favor!)

But then you have to keep going. You cant dwell on your fears or your pain, or your hair shedding. You believe in the hope of tomorrow, you believe in healing and in God’s plan and you sing sing SING!!! to those little hairs so that maybe they’ll be like that plant experiment and grow big and strong, unlike the unloved, un-sung-to hairs that wilted and stopped growing.

I’m going to have Tangled hair guys.

IMG_8015target sweater  and oxford shirt, (both on sale!) asos velvet pants, heelsdotcom boots


for anyone who ever goes through surgery, here’s what you should know:

- about three months after surgery, you will start shedding like crazy. some people say it’s from the anesthesia, some say from the shock of surgery itself, whatever. all you need to know is that you will lose a bunch of hair.

- you won’t shed in any place that you would actually be OK with losing hair, like your legs or pits. Nope. Just your head. Good news! You get to keep your eyelashes and eyebrows.

- it won’t look like your balding, like great big patches of no hair. more like your hair just super super super thins out. i’ve probably lost about 1/3 of my hair, maybe more. I woke up one morning and started losing handfuls of hair in the shower, which went on for about a month, and then one day it just stopped. I had to cut about 4 inches off the ends though, they were just so scraggly and sad looking. BUT that doesn’t really matter when you’re wearing extensions anyway!

- GOOD NEWS! IT WILL COME BACK! I am here to tell you: don’t have a panic attack, don’t shave your head and start wearing wigs. IT COMES BACK. I’ve got about an inch long halo of hairs all over my head right now. Not really noticeable at all, except right after I blow dry my hair and they stick up around my part. I kind of like seeing them, waving around and growing all happy up there. I encourage them, keep growing little friends!

things you can do to help: biotin. drink lots of water, eat lots of healthy foods (which you should be doing already). take deep breaths. stop panicking. buy some hair extensions. wait for it to grow back. i know. the worst advice ever. but that’s about all you can do.


Valentine’s Day Outfit Inspiration

vday inspo

I’m linking up with Shabby Loves Chic and Sincerely Truly Scrumptious to show you three different V-Day outfits today. Between the three of us, we encompass quite a wide range of style; i love how different our looks ended up! Each of these would be darling for a Valentine’s party, date, or whatever you end up doing with your day of love!

Would you wear any of these outfits?

Don’t forget to check out the other gal’s posts for their complete looks!

IMG_7911 IMG_7916 IMG_7917 IMG_7921 IMG_7925 IMG_7939Forever 21 top and sweater (kids section, i’m wearing a Large)// Shabby Apple skirt// forever 21 shoes (similar)


throw a leather jacket on and call it good.


we’re all fighting the bubonic plague around here, other wise known as the common cold, so forgive me for not feeling the creative juices flowing. The only juices that are flowing are phlegm. Sorry, but it’s true.

so i’ll just leave you with this sneaky little outfit that deceptively looks like I made some sort of an effort to look put together, when in reality i threw on the first thing i saw in the closet that would make me look relatively acceptable for public viewing. score one for me! i know one of these days i’l probably have to start getting up at a decent hour before work and making an effort to be a responsible adult but really, when rolling out of bed 30 min before i have to leave and throwing something like this together is working for me, why mess with a good thing?

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IMG_7892UO sunnies (old)// RiffRaff head band c.o//forever 21 jacket (old)//UO dress// Target tights//Shoe Dazzle boots




awkward moments in the bathroom


I walked into a public bathroom the other day and had one of the most awkward moments of my life. It was one of those restrooms that are vast and empty, where the floor is concrete and every drop of the faucet echoes a thousand times over.


I walked into a stall and got my self settled in ( guys have no idea how difficult it is for girls to go to the bathroom in the winter time. Hang your purse up, struggle out of your coat, search around for another hook, give up and toss the stupid thing over the door, find the toilet seat covers (why do they hide them?), find that it’s empty, lay the toilet paper down, finally FINALLY sit down). It’s so quiet in there, not even a little elevator music playing to break up the awkward silence, and suddenly I hear a cough and notice a women’s leg peeping out from the stall next to me.


now you might be able to go ahead and do your business when you notice another person beside you in the stall, but suddenly I could NOT. I got the giggles like no bodies business, thinking about how quiet it had been when I walked in, how the woman had not made a sound since I had been in there, and all I could think was that she had been sitting there the whole time, frozen, just waiting for me to…make the first move. And I just couldn’t do it. Then she starts this entirely fake coughing fit, rattling the toilet paper dispenser around and I’m about to lose it, I’m laughing so hard. Sitting on a toilet seat. Laughing at the lady next to me.


I finally took pity on the poor girl and flushed my toilet a couple times to make some cover noise for her. By this point I’m so unfocused that there is no way I’m going to be able to pee, so I give up, get my self situated, struggle back into my coat, heave my purse onto my arm, and walk out of the stall.  I wash my hands, making as much noise as possible, and leave.

Poor girl. I really hope she was able to focus and get her business done.

IMG_7828target hat// forever 21 button down// asos dress// target boots




6 months, two surgeries, one postponed wedding, countless doctor visits, and one Tootie later, I am officially deemed healthy and whole (minus a colon). Monday afternoon I went in to the hospital for my final surgery to replace my small intestine back inside my stomach where it belonged. If you didn’t know, since September I have been living with an illeostomy (or Tootie as I liked to call it), a piece of your small intestine that is placed through a hole in your stomach and empties into a bag stuck to your skin. This surgery was a necessary step in my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, which you can read about here.


to say that I am relieved that this chapter in my life is finally over is a bit of an understatement. there were moments of fear, embarrassment, pain, complete impotence and a total lack of self confidence that made me truly wish that I just didn’t have to be me anymore.

but…i made it. 


I am so much stronger that I have ever realized. i have led a beautiful and very blessed existence these past 25 years and a part of me has always wondered if i would be able to withstand adversity when it hit me because of how loved and protected i have always been.  but i realize now that it doesn’t work that way. being loved and blessed doesn’t make you weak. i could handle everything that was thrown at me through this because I knew that i had a family who loved me and a Father who was protecting me. Even when i didn’t understand, when everything felt too overwhelming to handle, I knew that I wasn’t alone, that I was loved, and that I was being cared for. i truly do not know how i would have come out of this if i hadn’t had that confidence in a God that is bigger, more powerful, and so much more loving, than me.

While i would never voluntarily go through this again, I’m grateful for the strength this time has given me, for the confidence in my faith and the confidence in myself.  But it’s time to look forward, to plan for the future, and to get hitched to the love of my life!! wedding plans here we come!



5th and elm hat// nordstrom scarf (similar) //forever 21 jacket (similar) // velvet dress via bleu clementine (she has a blue one that is very similar on sale!)// blink ankle boots // sam moon bag

wear your heart on your sleeve


what, i ask you, is better than velvet pants? nothing, i tell you. nothing. apparently the good people of downtown San Louis Obispo agree because I wore this when we were in CA and was complimented on my jolly green giant legs at least 15 times while shopping around. I do believe I love San Louis Obispo.

Also this sweater is the perfect blend of soft fabric and light weave so it’s a fantastic piece to transition to spring. Spring! warm weather! the sun! dresses! flowers! can you tell i’m excited for spring? am i little premature? maybe, but who cares! SPRING!

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IMG_6906 5th and Elm hat// Urban sunnies// Target chambray shirt// RiffRaff heart sweater c.o (in black and look at this cute one!)// RiffRaff glitter clutch c.o//ASOS velvet pants/ (on sale!) / Shoe Dazzle boots


Love, Riff Raff


RiffRaff has recently started a monthly surprise box program and while I’m not usually a fan of these subscription boxes I decided to give Riffraff’s a go since I’ve never been disappointed in anything they have sent me.


Of course my first Love, RiffRaff package came with cute polka dot paper and gold confetti inside. I’m such a sucker for cute packaging and the Riffraff girls sure know a thing or two about presentation.


These month’s package included a darling gold sequin clutch and this cute little red jacket. I love that they include four different ways to style your new pieces. IMG_6716

I’ve already worn my red jacket here and I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten on my sequin clutch! I’m definitely going to be signing up for the next Love, RiffRaff. You can too right here!

Little side note: RiffRaff is actually a locally owned business in Fayetteville, Arkansas. If you’re an Arkie you should definitely stop by their darling store! The RiffRaff girls are just the absolute sweetest and I love seeing their success. It’s so nice to see someone’s hard work pay off, especially someone as deserving as RiffRaff! If you haven’t stopped by their store do it today! You can still order and receive your gifts by Christmas!

crown braids and elf costumes

IMG_6721I wore this to a Christmas party the other night and my mom told me I looked like the chick from Elf. Since that chick is Zooey Deschanel and she is adorable, I will take any and all ZD lookalike comments forever and ever, amen.



I also finally figured out how to do crown braids, inspired from this photo,  and it’s now become my go to hair style since deciding to grow out my fringe. I knew I’d regret chopping those little hairs after about, oh, a month, but ah well ce la vie. They are now at that strange, i-dont-know-where-to-live stage and consequently I’ve been wearing lots of hats. Or crown braids.



This week has been very strange weather for December; 60′s and nary a chilly wind in sight! I have to say, I am far from disgruntled by the current state of affairs. A blessed break from the Snow Apocalypse is fine by me. Especially since it’s like getting me ready for our trip coming up. Christmas in California! I’m so excited to see my sister and brother in law and spend some time in their sweet little town. The 21 hour drive to get there with 5 people and a dog in one car? Tylenol PM you are calling my name.


IMG_6727 IMG_6749 Target top, tights, and boots (old)// Forever 21 necklace// ASOS dress