14 September 2015

hello again!

hello again old blogging friends!  i thought it was about time to pop in and explain my absence and my plans for the future.  at the end of august through the beginning of september, my parents came into town for a visit and i put my daily outfit picture taking on hold as my usual picture taking space in my room was used to place their suitcases and it felt like too much of a hassle to discretely move their things each afternoon just to snap a picture of what i was wearing that i may or may not decide to post on this blog.

the week after they left, i just still didn't feel like taking outfit pictures.  i've been trying to manage some annoying anxiety lately and i just haven't felt like doing much of anything.  i finally feel like i'm past my mental health hump and i'm getting through my workdays and i'm content with my usual routine in the afternoons and evenings and i'm getting back into exercising and with that i've been trying to determine if this hobby is something that i want to keep up with... if it brings me joy, if it's a good distraction, if i want to put any of my energy toward it.  and the answer is kind of, well, not really.  and i think i am okay with that decision.  there's no point in pursuing anything that doesn't bring you joy or that feels burdensome especially when you are trying to lift yourself up and maintain a sense of clarity and peace... which i am really trying hard to do right now!

the bigger decision to step away from this blog, however, is because i'm not so sure i need this platform anymore to help inform the decisions i make about my personal style or shopping habits.  i know what i like and i'm going to wear those clothes with confidence.  i think this was exemplified this past sunday when i went to our state fair with my sister and some friends.  it was forecasted to be hot-hot-hot and i felt so dejected when i tried to figure out what to wear.  i've always had body issues related to my legs and i haven't worn a pair of shorts in public since probably my sophomore year of high school, and even then i may have only worn shorts 1 or 2 days the entire school year and never during the summer.  summer... in georgia.  really.  and to think i was way thinner then than i am now!  i'm pretty particular about my skirt and dress hem lengths but i didn't own a pair of shorts until i recently ordered a pair from oldnavy.com just to see what they would be like... and after trying them on i promptly put them back in the bag with the receipt.  but i hadn't made it over to a store to return them yet, so i tried them on again the night before the fair.  i looked at myself from every angle in the mirror and told myself that i needed to wear those shorts.  i needed to be comfortable in the heat and i needed to finally be comfortable with myself.  so i did it... and it may not seem like a huge deal to anyone reading this, but it was monumental to me in my own journey of clothing selection and fit and body acceptance.  and that's what i have been searching for all along with this blog.  i did it - i finally did it.

so, with that:  thanks for visiting & thanks for everything from all of you over the years!  i don't think of myself as an indecisive person, but this may be a decision i reverse in the future as i have felt a great deal of joy putting together this post and "talking" to you all, so i leave it up to you if you want to keep my blog on your reader or you can reach me at literateandstylishblog[at]gmail[dot]com.  i still enjoy scrolling through my own reader and connecting with ladies whose blogs i enjoy visiting, so i hope you will still welcome me in the comments!

i'll leave you with a big virtual hug and a casual friday picture from a couple weeks ago!


j crew factory blouse {exact}
j crew factory scarf {exact}
merona jeans {thrifted}
restricted slice it wedges

this tee is so cheap right now and i wholeheartedly recommend it... i love the solid cotton body and interesting detail on the sleeves.  definitely takes the concept of jeans & a t-shirt up a notch in my opinion!

11 August 2015

{july 27-31}

i recently read a book called the life-changing magic of tidying up by marie kondo in which the author explains in very easy to follow terms how to, well, tidy up your surroundings. i was really drawn in to her method, which really is as simple as asking yourself of every object you own, "does this spark joy?"  if not, thank it for its presence in your life and let it go.

the author suggests starting with clothes and moving on from there to books, papers, knick knacks, and finally mementos. of course i was most interested in the clothes chapter!  as far as clothes go, remove absolutely everything from your closet, touch each item, and ask yourself if sparks joy.  if not, all you have to do is say "thank you for for giving me joy when i bought you" or "thank you for teaching me what doesn't suit me" and let it go. a part of me feels so guilty parting with clothes but this simple acknowledgement is what i needed to hear and take to heart to let things go.  the author also places a strong emphasis on personalizing the inanimate items you own like clothes--thinking about releasing the pressure of socks folded together, t-shirts stacked on each other weighing one another down, clothes cramped on racks so tightly they can't breathe.  it sounds a tad hokey, but it's stuck with me... after reading the book, i felt that if i respect my clothes and treat them properly, i'll continue to derive joy from them and they will remain in good condition for me.

i can't wait to tackle the rest of my closet so i feel that same joy about everything i set my sights on and then move on to books--yep, i think i am finally going to get rid of almost all of my books.  anyway, i really recommend this book if you're looking to make similar changes in your life.  it's easy to read and the practices make so much sense to follow!

monday: j crew factory lace blouse {similar} / j crew factory slim wool pants {similar} / dexter hensley wedges {similar} / one wink necklace {similar}

tuesday: thrifted gap button down {similar} / thrifted calvin klein skirt {similar} / thrifted target stock leather belt {similar} / montego bay club prima wedges {exact - only $10!}

wednesday: thredupped* j crew ruffle blouse {similar} / old navy floral gauze scarf {similar} / ann taylor signature sateen pants {similar} / dexter kylie wedges {similar}

thursday: j crew factory textured grid shirt {similar} / merona classic ankle pants {exact} / mossimo ona flats {exact} / target round stone necklace {similar} / world market headband {exact}

friday: j crew factory tee {similar} / mossimo straight leg jeans {exact} / puma 76 runners {exact}

{my supervisor/coworker was off all this week, so i was not only doing my own work but also hers.  as the overtime added up throughout the week and my brain power fizzled my outfits sadly took a turn for the worst.  i'm just going to ignore friday's outfit!}

*join thredup through my referral link and you'll receive $20 to spend; i receive $20 when you make a purchase!

06 August 2015

week in review {july 20-24}

i went thrifting for the first time in a long while a couple sundays ago and was pleased that i came away with a few new items - monday's blouse, tuesday's scarf, and a great red plaid j crew button down that will sadly have to wait until the holidays, but when november/december rolls around i'll be recreating this look for sure (i thrifted the same blouse lisa is wearing there).

thrifting used to be my sunday morning ritual.  the goodwill stores here open at 11am and i would be in the parking lot with five minutes to spare, giggling to myself as other eager shoppers awaited the unlocking of the doors.  it isn't lost on me that i arrived just as early!  i've gone through many thrifting phases over the years to buying all the target stock i could find to curating a button down collection in every color of the rainbow to unfortunately turning right around and redonating something i thrifted but never ended up wearing.  nowadays i don't seem to get to the goodwill as often; maybe i burned myself out on it or maybe i'm trying to be a smarter shopper. but visits like sunday's make the trips i do make to the goodwill that much more special when i find something i really like!

monday: thrifted old navy blouse {similar} / merona classic ankle pants {exact} / mossimo ona flats {exact} / bauble bar necklace {similar}

tuesday: old navy open front cardigan {exact} / merona classic ankle pants {exact} / thrifted target stock scarf {exact} / cl by chinese laundry marcie wedges {exact}

wednesday: merona straight leg pants {similar} / merona lace blouse {similar} / simonson's jewelry necklace {similar} / restricted slice it wedges {similar}

thursday: j crew slim stretch wool pants {exact} / old navy swiss-dot blouse {similar} / inpink multi-stone necklace {similar} / cl by laundry nima wedges {exact}

friday: merona blouse {similar} / thrifted target stock merona cocoon cardigan {exact} / old navy boot-cut jeans {similar} / mossimo ona flats {exact}

thanks for visiting!

27 July 2015

week in review {july 13-17}

when i let go of the pressure and responsibility to blog a few weeks ago, i also began to undo this pressure that had been developing like a tight vice around my closet.  i'd gotten so caught up and, frankly, annoyed and burnt out by the ever-present thoughts, rules, suggestions, ideas that are always being discussed or thrown around in the style blogging world.  does this match with that?  does this color go with that color?  is it the right season for this type of top or that type of pattern?  i should turn around my hangers so i don't repeat items too often.  i shouldn't wear that, i already wore it this month.  and on and on and on.

anyway, i let go of all of that and it's felt so freeing.  i rarely think about what i am going to wear the next day before i go to bed and i just wake up, walk in my closet, and pick out what i want to wear.  let's just all do that and forget about the rest!  otherwise, where is the fun in fashion?  those are the blogs that are most fun to read and the people you feel most connected to anyway, right?  so, if you don't mind i'm wearing the same merona ankle pants twice this week that i wore three times last week (that ugh, i do wish were a titch longer).  and i'll probably wear them at least once or twice next week, too.

thanks for visiting!

monday: merona printed crepe shell {exact} / old navy cardigan {similar} / merona classic ankle pants {exact} / merona emma flats {exact}

tuesday: merona scoop-neck chiffon blouse {similar} / ann taylor signature sateen pants {similar} / target necklace {similar} / merona meaghan flats {similar}

wednesday: old navy sleeveless sheath dress {exact} / old navy eyelet button-down {similar} / mossimo belt {similar} / old navy flats {similar} / charming charlie necklace {similar}

thursday: j crew factory linen lace the {exact} / merona classic ankle pants {exact} / merona bella flats {similar} / octavia bloom necklace {exact}

friday: j crew factory blouse {similar} / mossimo straight leg jeans {exact} / mossimo ona flats {exact}

14 July 2015

week in review {july 6-10}

it's a great feeling when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.

i've always had an aversion to feet -  showing my toes, walking around barefoot, wearing sandals.  i don't know where this stemmed from but it's just always been one of those things.  when i received a bottle of bright pink nail polish in my most recent target beauty box i figured i might as well use it, so i painted my toenails.  afterwards i looked down and thought i was looking at someone else's feet.  i thought, "hey, i kind of like that."  maybe i could see myself walking around barefoot once in a while or, gasp, wearing sandals!

a few days later, i took a pair of sandals i spotted at target into the dressing room along with the pair of pants i'm wearing on wednesday (i'm wearing the same style in black on monday and thursday).  although the sandals weren't exactly what i may have been looking for, i liked the fact that i could squash a misconception i've had about myself for so, so many years.  and i can't wait to find out what i can learn about myself next.

monday: j crew factory linen-lace tee {exact} / merona classic ankle pants {exact} / mossimo ona flats {exact} / target cluster necklace {similar}

tuesday: thredupped* j crew factory pullover {similar} / old navy skinny boyfriend khakis {exact} / merona scarf {similar} / c label sherry flats {similar}

wednesday: j crew factory embroidered peasant blouse {similar} / merona classic ankle pants {exact} / merona emma flats {exact} / minicci (payless brand) necklace {similar}

thursday: old navy crepe blouse {similar} / merona classic ankle pants {exact} / cl by chinese laundry nima wedges {exact} / thrifted target stock necklace {similar}

friday:  j crew factory textured grid shirt {exact} / mossimo straight-leg jeans {exact} / j crew factory lightweight long scarf {similar} / mossimo ona flats {exact}

*join thredup through my referral link and you'll get $10 to spend; i receive a $10 credit once you've made your first purchase!

06 July 2015

week in review {june 29-july 3}

last thursday, a guy with a camera and his producer popped into the nursing home where i work to interview staff about their decision to work with seniors or in long term care.  my supervisor and i both happened to be sitting at our desks in our office, and although they originally were only planning on interviewing her on camera, they caught us both on their terrifying camera {why is being filmed for something so awkward?!}.  i felt like i was in an interview and had to quickly articulate an intelligible statement about why i chose this line of work, how i ended up in long-term care, why it's my passion to work with seniors.

i grew up in georgia, but every summer my family would take a vacation to minnesota where my parents were born & raised and where my extended family lived.  we would all pile in our mini van and drive the 1,100 miles north.  when my sister and i got a bit older, we hopped on a plane by ourselves to spend a week with our grandparents alone before our parents followed.  we would play solitaire at the kitchen with our nana and eat popcorn for dinner and have parties in the garage (that's what people in minnesota do).  when we were old enough we would borrow our nana's car and make the trek to the mall of america or take our younger cousins out to lunch to mcdonalds.  we'd visit our great grandma at the senior building where she lived and volunteer with her in the thrift shop and look at the plaque on the wall that showed how many volunteer hours she had amassed.  it was from these experiences i had with my grandparents and great-grandma that i developed my serving heart and guided me toward a job with seniors that has turned into a meaningful career.

here's what i wore to work last week.  i hope everyone in the states had a long and enjoyable fourth of july weekend!

 {click to enlarge}

monday: j crew factory 3/4 blouse {exact} / j crew factory basketweave skirt in roz floral {exact} / adrienne vittadini 'kiley' flats {similar} / target round stone drops necklace {similar}
tuesday: old navy crochet lace tee {similar} / merona twill straight leg pants {similar} / jessica simpson 'oscar' heels {similar} / thrifted target stock necklace {similar}
wednesday: merona 3/4 sleeve tiered top {similar} / merona pleated collar tank {similar} / gap true straight piped pants {similar} / cl by chinese laundry 'nima' wedges {exact}
thursday: j crew factory floral eyelet top {similar} / old navy boyfriend skinny khakis {exact} / mossimo ona flats {exact} / octavia bloom 'bloom' necklace {exact}

29 June 2015

moving forward.

hi everyone!  i've been putting some thought into the future of this blog lately.  i haven't felt that i have had much to say in my words or in the reflection of the outfits i've been wearing... and when one reaches that point doesn't it make the most sense to close up shop because really, what is the point?  but that's a scary decision to make because it seems so final.  what if people immediately remove me from their blog readers or forget who i am if i continue to comment on their posts?  what if i feel i do have something to say one or three months down the line?  what if i want to show you guys the new haircut i'm getting next week?!

it's hard when blogs you follow reach the point where they need to step back too.  it's hard when your reader gets slimmer and slimmer and you lose that connection with people you became friends with or people whose outfits you were inspired by.  but i think it's a step i finally need to take - it's been a long time coming.  i just don't think i'm cut out for blogging.  sure, i have a nice DSLR camera but the quality of my pictures has never been all that great, i've never been able to stick to an editorial calendar or series of posts that make a comprehensive blog, and i don't think i have ever really found my "voice" on this blog.  what i feel my blog has had going for it is that what you see is what you get - what i post is absolutely what i wore to work that day, down to holes in tights and hideous blazers.

as i've been thinking about all of this i've been reflecting on the state of my closet too.  i've asked myself questions such as, do i truly shop for myself?  will i dress the same if i don't have a blog to "show off" that latest thrifted find or deal at j crew factory?  will it matter to me if i don't have an outlet to receive validation/compliments on what i'm wearing?  will i still maintain the same shopping patterns or will i see that decrease?  and i've decided that with the way i've answered these questions in my mind, i feel alright about stepping back from this blog.

it is an engrained habit to take pictures of what i wore to work when i get home and i'm proud that i've maintained that over the past 4 years, only missing maybe 3-4 days, in addition to a year before i started this blog to see if i could do it.  i've always felt that was a unique aspect to my blog as i haven't come across any others that maintain a similar log of what they wear every single day (if you're wondering, those links are underneath my header: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).  it will be hard to turn away from what's become a habit and routine so i'm going to try to keep up with that and at least just post once a week showing what i wore the previous week like i used to do in my week in review posts and we'll see from there how i feel about determining an "end date" for the blog. 

so here's what i wore last week!  thanks for reading (if you got through all that) and your support!

{click to enlarge}

monday: thrifted j crew watercolor skirt {similar} / j crew factory textured grid shirt {exact} / restricted 'slice it' wedges {similar} / groopdealz necklace {similar}
tuesday: j crew factory ruffle chiffon dot top {exact} / merona slacks {similar} / j crew factory scarf {similar} / fergalicious 'irene' pumps {similar}
wednesday: j crew factory scalloped lace top {similar} / ann taylor signature sateen pants {exact} / merona 'maye' pumps {similar} / thrifted necklace {similar}
thursday: j crew factory clare pullover {similar} / merona barely boot-cut pants {exact} / predictions 'karmen' heels {exact} / target necklace {similar}
friday: j crew factory blouse {exact on thredup} / mossimo straight-leg jeans {exact} / c label 'sherry' flats {similar}

have a great week!

24 June 2015

doing good.

j crew factory blouse {via thredup*}
gap straight piped pants
american eagle (payless brand) flats

{ similar blouse / similar slacks / similar belt / similar flats }

so many things at my workplace have been changing lately.  numerous staff retiring (hey potlucks) or quitting and going to work elsewhere.  it makes me wonder if new employees will make the building better or if it will lead to more growing pains before an eventual change. i crave change and new ideas and better protocols and improved communication but it feels like it takes so long to get there and it's always dependent on the attitude of the employees (old & new) and how much they buy into a culture shift.  i feel a bit stuck in the middle now and most days lately i've just been trying to stay above it all so i don't sink so low that i also start job searching.

i recently came across this verse from galatians 6:9: “and let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up” and found it was exactly what i needed to read and the exact message i needed to take to heart lately.  what's the environment like where you work?

*join thredup through my referral link and you'll get $10 to spend; i receive a $10 credit once you've made your first purchase!

22 June 2015

feeling feminine.

old navy sleeveless fleece dress
j crew cardigan {thrifted}
croft & barrow necklace
merona belt   ·   cl by laundry nima wedges

{ similar dress / similar cardigan / similar necklace / exact belt / exact wedges }

i felt so feminine and classy in this outfit all day, i think it had to do with the lighter gray and lighter purple/pink that seemed to really complement one another and of course the pearls!  this dress got me through the winter with its thicker fleece knit but i'm glad i can find ways to wear it during other times of the year as well.  

this dress also happened to be a great backdrop to feature two new cd's i purchased last week on instagram - i can't remember the last time i bought an actual cd in the store, not to mention two in one day!  and the day after this, i bought another cd (nate reuss's new solo cd)!  i've been so eager for new music and so far have been pretty impressed with these albums!  what is the last cd you bought (either in a store or downloaded online)?