Bookish

Reading has really become a top priority for me lately. I’d say it’s just above Vanderpump Rules, but just below yoga. That’s a significantly important spot on my list.

It has always been something I enjoy doing, but when I was in school I always felt I should be doing academic reading (especially as an English minor, which ensured literature aplenty to fill up my reading roster), and during my first couple years post-college, I was so overwhelmed with work and staring at a computer all day that the last thing I wanted to do was pick up a book at 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday. Now, it’s about all I can wait to do nearly every day.

I have officially come full circle, back to my third grade self. Back to being nerdy and bookish, and I love it.

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Money Talk

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Recently, I cut up my two credit cards, started paying for (most) things with cash only, and made a BUDGET — like, a budget that I actually use. How boring am I? Stay with me here, because I think some folks out there in a similar life stage to mine might need to hear this.

Cutting the credit cards was the weirdest, and hardest, part of my money transformation. When I was a sophomore in college, I opened an envelope from the bank that I thought was a statement for my debit card, which was probably over-drafted. Inside, I found instead a shiny credit card, accompanied by a note saying I had 700 whole dollars I was allowed to spend.

Boy, did I spend.

At first, I was like, “K, I need to be smart about this. People wrack up credit card debt faster than they can say ‘Nordstrom anniversary sale.’ I’m just gonna use this on big things and emergencies.” Riiiiight.

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Winter in Dallas

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This is the week I’ve dreaded. Regardless of being the first full week of 2016. Regardless of the premiere of The Bachelor on Monday. Christmas is done. New Years is done. My birthday is done (I know it was in November! That’s still a whole 11 months away as of this week!) Work has started again. My dog hates me because she’s in her crate eight hours a day again. No more twinkly lights. No more cheery holiday music. No more pine scents, pies, or presents. No more eating whatever I want, because now everyone’s off the cookie train and on the #resolutions train, and I succumb to peer-pressure easily.

It’s back to corporate life, 9 to 5, hustling every day of the week, which has its goods (I enjoy me a nice, set schedule) and some bads (when’s the next vacation, now?). It’s Wednesday, but it really just feels like the third Monday in a row this week after not being in the office for two weeks and having two days yet till the weekend. So it’s a ripped-grocery-sack sort of time over here. Womp womp. But here’s the deal. There’s a silver lining. There always is one; you’ll learn that with me, even if I need to complain for a little bit first.

And that is — brrrrrrrrr — (that was me imitating a drum roll, just in case you need to redo that noise in your head) it’s January in Texas! It’s still chilly some days, but some days we get beautiful, 60-degree weather with the sun shining, birds chirping, and a tank top underneath my cardigan! We have a few solid months of layered and cozy and warm winter clothes to go through, but I love that in this state, it can change in an instant. Two layers of leggings and blanket scarves one minute, racerback tanks and ripped jeans the next. That’s what I’m talking about.

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Please ignore the Harry Potter-esque scratch on my forehead that randomly appears in a few of these photos.

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Tank: H&M (Available online in black) // Sweater: Audrey (Love this brand, obvi with that name, but this sweater is so dang old; similar here and here) // Jeans: Old Navy // Booties: Forever 21 // Necklace: Gift, and I couldn’t find anything truly similar so this will have to do // Retro sunglasses: Target (Old, similar here)

Edgy Holiday Outfits: Part 3

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The last couple Mondays, I’ve shared unorthodox outfits to incorporate into your holiday festivities. Not everyone would assume over-the-knee boots, leather, body-con wrap skirts, crop tops, and suede would add up to beautiful attire for Christmas parties and family gatherings, but I’ve always liked an air of unexpected incorporated into my personal style. If you do too, these looks are ideal for you to pick up this December.

I’ve save the best, my favorite, for last. The little bow cutouts in the skirt and its charming silhouette make it feel less over-the-top than a leather skirt may come across. It’s more girl-next-door than dominatrix (an association that often comes with leather garments. Sadly, it’s a couple years old, but I’ve linked some similar styles below. The pairing of a sweet, olive knit crop top makes my world; I love a good mixture of textures.

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Crop top: Forever 21 // Skirt: Fifty Street (Old: similar here, here, and here) // Boots: Target (Sold out: similar here) // Body chain: Forever 21 (Old: similar here) // Lipstick: Revlon “Black Cherry”

Photography by Sarah Cook.