Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wedding weekend (first one of the summer, anyway)

Well. I had no idea one weekend could wipe me out so thoroughly! I took Friday off to head down to Marietta and help my sister with last-minute wedding things. And get my nails done. Of course.

Anyway, the whole weekend was a complete blur, but I did manage to snap some photos...and fortunately, my family is full of shutterbugs, so there are tons of shots of the ceremony and whatnot, which I couldn't document because I was, you know, in it. The ceremony shots and the cake topper photo were taken by my cousin Morgan, while the rest were taken by me and a few random people I grabbed to hold my camera :)

All the bridesmaids and the bride. From left to right, it's Abby's sister-in-law, me, our sister Ellen, our sister Anna, and Abby's college roommate. The flower girl, Audrey, is our sister as well.

All these beautiful ladies are my sisters :) Of course I ruin the shot by not looking at the camera, haha

The ring bearer is our brother, Jacob. Audrey kept seeing our cousins/aunts/uncles/grandmas and waving at them as she waited to walk down the aisle.

Abby and our dad. She's so gorgeous.

I love the look the groom is exchanging with the priest, who he's known for about 10 years.

Exchanging the rings.

Yes, he's fist-pumping as he kisses his new wife. Awesome.

Anna handmade the cake topper. Isn't it adorable?

Father-daughter dance. I honestly choke up every time I see this...Abby was crying on Dad's shoulder, and the look on his face is one that I've rarely seen. Oh damn...just started crying again. Oops.

Phew, a funny shot :) This is me, telling all the single ladies that I'm going to push them out of the way to catch the bouquet. I didn't catch it. (Abby's new sister-in-law lept into the air like a pro basketball player...for that kind of effort, she deserved to catch it!)

We're from Ohio. This is most of my mom's side of the family, doing O-H-I-O to "Hang On Sloopy." If you get the reference, you're my new favorite reader. If you don't, here's one example. The beginning of the vid explains a little, but the O-H-I-O starts around the 25 second mark.

Matt and I, before the party really got started. Doesn't he look handsome? (I picked out his suit for him, haha. Apparently I can do men's style, too!)

Aaaaand here's us once the party got underway. I don't remember exactly when in the evening I took this, but I'll just say this: open bar.

Oh, and those bridesmaid dresses? They're from Target. Booyah!

To sum up, it was a beautiful ceremony (the priest's sermon was so perfect), probably the best party I've ever been to in my life, and more or less a perfect day in my opinion. Still, it was pretty exhausting, and I'm still feeling like I'm playing catch-up. But definitely worth it!

Ok, I'll stop boring you with wedding stuff. Back to the regularly scheduled randomness! (For now. I have three more weddings before the end of September, haha!)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Food Friday: Bacon for dessert

You read that correctly. As a little birthday treat to four of my friends (who all have a birthday within one week of each other), I made maple-bacon cupcakes and took them to the joint birthday party. And they. were. phenom.


These are pretty easy, but a little time-consuming, especially if you don't have a griddle to cook all the bacon at once. But boy, are they worth it. This recipe makes 15 to 24 bacon-y bits of goodness, depending on how full you fill the cupcake liners.

- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup maple sugar
- 1 pound bacon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin trays with cupcake liners. Cook the bacon until it's nice and crispy, and set over paper towels to drain. While it's draining, grab a large bowl and whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until well-combined. Set aside about three or four pieces of bacon; chop the rest into very small pieces.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on a slow setting, stir in the buttermilk and syrup. Then gradually add the dry ingredients, using the mixer to incorporate. About halfway through, I had to switch to a wooden spoon because the batter got too thick for my crappy hand mixer. Finally, mix in the finely chopped bacon pieces.

Carefully spoon the batter into your cupcake liners. I filled mine too full and had fewer cupcakes; I'd recommend filling them 1/2- to 3/4 full for more, smaller cupcakes. Or you know, fill them all the way for fewer, giant cupcakes. Anyway, bake 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick pushed into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

After the cupcakes are done, remove from the pan and set on the counter or a cookie rack to cool. While they're cooling, you can make the icing. The icing I made didn't turn out too well, so I'm not going to include it. (Unless, you know, you guys want that recipe. For what it's worth, I didn't like it...it was just powdered sugar, butter, milk and maple syrup.)

After the cupcakes are fully cooled, top them with frosting. Grab those last three or four whole pieces of bacon and chop them into large pieces, to garnish the top of the frosting. Try not to drool.

(Pro-tip/fat-kid-tip: One of my friends said he ate a few cupcakes for breakfast the next morning because they tasted like pancakes...he toasted them and slathered them in butter. Oh. My. God. Why didn't I think of that?!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I meant to post this last night and got distracted, but Sydney of Take Me for a Twirl has featured me in her new coffee date series! She's funny. You should read it {here}.

Come back tomorrow for Food Fridays and a recipe for...maple. bacon. cupcakes. Yes, you read that correctly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Online shopping...for glasses

I wore the same pair of glasses for years, up until just a few months ago. I wanted a new pair, sure, but I prefer contacts for daily wear and I wasn't about to spend my limited insurance allotment on a $200+ pair of glasses when I could use it to offset the cost of my contacts. And then, earlier this year, I discovered that you can buy eyeglasses online. I wouldn't call it life changing, per se, but it was pretty dang awesome just the same.

The thing is, when you buy glasses from an online retailer, they're usually way cheaper than buying them from your eye doctor or even a regular brick-and-motar retail store. I'll admit, I was doubtful at first — I rarely shop online because I prefer to try things on in person, and glasses are no exception. But if you find a good online retailer, like GlassesUSA.com, you can "try on" your new frames virtually. GlassesUSA has what they call a "virtual mirror" so you can get a feel for your frames. And if you don't like the pair when they arrive at your doorstep, you can make use of the shop's 100% satisfaction guarantee to return them for a pair you do love.

I rarely wear my eyeglasses on the blog, because they're usually worn on lazy days when I don't feel like getting dressed or putting in my contacts. And when I took these photos, I had already showered and changed into my PJs, so don't laugh. Promise? Ok. Meet four-eyes:



I tend to wear the top ones more often at home, while the bottom ones are more of a stylish, "going-out" pair. The top ones looked better on me when I had longer hair, haha.

Anyway, because this post is sponsored by GlassesUSA (in case you didn't already figure that out), they're offering Verbal Mélange readers a discount! Just use code FS15 to get 15% off and free shipping on orders over $50, or use code Blog10 to get 10% off your prescription glasses. And remember that "virtual mirror" I mentioned earlier? Here's a preview for ya:

Official disclaimer: I was compensated in exchange for this post. Also, sorry for the ill-fitting virtual mirror. Dang narrow column...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Balancing act



oxford: thrifted
slacks: New York & Company
heels: Target
hair flower: H&M
necklace: gifted
ring: American Eagle

I often try to achieve a sense of balance in my outfits. Sometimes it's about balancing out a heavy, full skirt with a slim top. Other times, it's about brightening a neutral palate with a few pops of color. With this outfit, it was all about adding feminine touches to an otherwise masculine ensemble of a white Oxford and slacks. I thought the heels, ring and hair accessory did a pretty good job.

By the way, I have a sale alert for you guys from one of my sponsors! From now until the end of July, eShakti is offering Verbal Mélange readers 10% off their orders with the promo code VE24ART. The best part? You can even get 10% off the 40% off sale items.

In other news, I have no idea why I'm not smiling in these photos. And I accidentally edited the top photo too purple. Oh, well. Guess they can't all be winners, haha!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

'Tis the season

Well, the madness is in full swing. In the last two weekends, I've hosted/gone to two bachelorette parties and attended a quadruple-birthday party. Sadly, I didn't have time for outfit photos for any of these events, so I'll have to reshoot them later this week. Before Friday, when I head out of town for Abby's wedding (!!!)

Anyway, here are some pics of what I've been up to:

7-22_abby group
Cassie, Anna, Katie, Ellen, Sarah, me, Abby, Chelsea and Courtney at Abby's bachelorette. Photo taken by my mom, edited by Sarah.

Me, Abby and Ellen...sisters are fun! Photo taken by Chelsea. (Rudely-shaped straw blurred for propriety's sake by me, haha.)

7-22_tiff group
Tiffany, Amy, Emily, me, Theresa and Jessica at Tiffany's bachelorette. Photo by the waitress at Bar Louie.

Bacon-y goodness.

Needless to say, it's been a lot of fun so far. And don't worry, I will be posting the recipe for those maple-bacon cupcakes for Food Friday. I made them for the quadruple-birthday party last night. (Four of our friends have birthdays within a week of each other, so we celebrate them all at once for the sakes of our livers, haha.) Those cupcakes tasted like breakfast :)

Friday, July 20, 2012


So I'm very honored to say that I've been featured on DoMyJeans.com, a wesbite that allows you to custom-design your own jeans! Here's the post. Check it out? And maybe when you're done, design a few pairs of jeans. It's actually kind of addictive...I've made a few pairs, though I haven't had the budget to order them. Being a double bridesmaid has been tragic for my shopping budget this summer, haha.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The little things



shirt: secondhand
vest: Forever 21
pants: New York and Company
shoes: DSW

I like to stop and take a moment to appreciate the little moments in my life. Like relaxing on the couch after making a delicious meal from scratch, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune with Matt. We like to shout out the answers together in a little friendly competition. I know, we're old people. But still. Sometimes it's the best part of my day :)

I'm feeling a lot better (if you hadn't noticed). Thank god...it's just so great to be feeling like myself again!

Anyway, any opinions on these shoes with this outfit, guys? I'm not sure if I like the gray with the black. Also, these shoes don't really fit so I'm kind of prejudiced against them, haha.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I survived!



t-shirt, Old Navy: Old Navy
polo, heels: Target
necklace: InPink
bracelet: don't remember

So the title of today's post applies to several things. First and foremost, I survived my sister's bachelorette party! It was so much fun, and well worth the time and effort I put into making sure it would be a great night for everyone. Fortunately, the bride-to-be survived as well ;)

I also survived that wicked cold that's been plaguing me for the past week or two. Only I found out yesterday that it wasn't a cold, it was my first-ever sinus infection. Let me tell you. Sinus infections are the absolute worst. Give me the flu any day; at least that's usually over with in a day or so.

Anyway, I'm on antibiotics and my way to recovery. Which is fortunate, because from now until the end of August, I have another bachelorette party, three weddings (two of which I'm a bridesmaid/maid of honor in), a sister's 21st birthday (not the one who's getting married, haha!), and a trip to Cedar Point. Bring it on!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Substituting and absenteeism

I know I've been a little absent here this week. But between planning my sister's bachelorette party this weekend, planning my bestie's bachelorette party NEXT weekend, working, a freelance project and being so sick I can barely breathe (true story), blogging has kind of taken a back seat for the past few days. I assure you, it's only temporary :)

In the meantime, I did a guest post for my bloggy friend, Whitney of Along the Lines of Style, today! Check it out, maybe? (For those of you who said they enjoyed my rambling, the post gives you just that. And lots of it!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012




shirt: don't remember
skirt/belt: set from JCPenney
shoes: Target
necklace: The Limited

For some reason, I've always devoured a good book. And I mean that in as literal of a sense as I can. I don't just read books; I consume them. Even as a kid, I could get lost in a book for hours at a time. I always maxed out the library summer reading program prizes. I was a voracious reader, until I hit high school and college and forgot what it was like to have more than an hour — or less — of "down time" in any given day.

Now, I'm working one job, not two or three. I don't have homework, or rehearsals, or meetings. And I've been devouring book after book since I got a Kindle for Christmas. I just finished Game of Thrones (I know, a little late to that bandwagon) and as I read the final words, I sat back with a satisfied sigh and just kind of...digested it. And it struck me as a little funny that I reacted the same way to ending a good book as I usually do to finishing a delicious meal.

Any other bookworms out there? I can't be the only one who gets so invested, right?

Friday, July 6, 2012




shirt: The Limited
cardi, shoes: thrifted
Bermuda shorts: New York & Company
necklace: gifted

If I were a superhero, I'd be The Procrastinator. My power is to put off everything that can possibly be done later, and even some things that can't. Then, at the very last moment, I somehow manage to pull it all together into a pretty good, if not awesome, final product.

And that's exactly what I was doing last night and will be doing for the rest of this weekend. That, and taking photos of some outfits I wore this past week, and slowly sweating to death in 100-degree weather and an air-condition-less house. And reading Game of Thrones. I just started it...and it's awesome. Hope you all have an interesting weekend (if slightly less weird than mine)!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy birthday, 'Murrica!

I celebrate my country's birthday with a day off of work, lots of alcohol and by wearing some color combinations that you would normally never find on me all at the same time. Oh, and giant explosions in the sky, of course. That's my favorite part :) Happy 4th, everyone!

Source: flickr.com via Epic on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Orange-you...eeh, I won't submit you guys to that bad joke :)



shirt, pants: The Limited
shoes: thrifted
belt: came with a skirt from JCPenney

This outfit is brought to you by the shopping spree I debated about a while back. I think I bought this shirt after some subconscious influence from this pin:

To be honest, I really want to recreate this outfit piece for piece, but part of the reason I started style blogging was to figure out my own take on outfits I like.

This doesn't have anything to do with clothes, but I just picked some zucchini from my garden (in the background of the pics above). And I'm going to make this with it. And I. Can't. Wait.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A preview, or, just a lazy post

It's Sunday night and I'm still kind of recovering from the holy terror of a thunderstorm that plowed through the midwest on Friday. Actually, we got off really lucky...we never lost power, no trees fell on our cars and the power lines didn't fall and ignite a fire that burned our garage to the ground. Our neighbors weren't so lucky; these things all happened within a block or two of us. For a storm that only lasted about thirty minutes, I saw more damage than I've ever seen before in my life. Crazy.

Truth is, I had a much-needed weekend off yesterday and today. It's my last completely free weekend for most of the summer, so lying around watching TV and reading Game of Thrones was exactly what I wanted to do. So here's a preview-ish photo that I happened to have edited and ready to go. A version of this outfit will appear as a guest post later in the week. (Update: It'll be on July 13...check that day's post for the link!) Trust me, it's exciting. I finally went back on my word and tried the whole colorblocking thang.

shirt: thrifted
cami: Old Navy
skirt: The Limited
shoes: Franco Sarto via Marshall's

Color Blocking | Everybody, Everywear
I belatedly linked this up to Everybody, Everywear. Woot woot!