4th of July Style

The 4th of July is right around the corner...and it happens to be my favorite holiday. I mean, what could be better than spending time with friends and family, delicious BBQ, a frosty summer shandy, yard games, fireworks, etc?! And ALL to celebrate the greatest country in the world?! God bless America. Another reason why I love the 4th? Because the colors red, white, and blue look so amazing together. 

Dress: Cynthia Rowley (purchased at Marshalls!) similar here

Jacket: Loft

Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell "Rodillo-hi" wedge 

Bag: Tory Burch (old), similar here

Watch: Michael Kors (on sale!!)

Earrings: Kendra Scott (old) similar here

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Nailpolish: OPI Big Apple Red (the best red!)

What are your plans for the 4th?


PS...shoutout to my best friend Rachel for taking these pictures for me! We had so much fun! 

Top 5 Historical/Military Influences

While chatting with a dear friend a couple of months ago (before she left for Army basic training after 10+ years in the Air Force...she's incredible) she casually asked me, "who are your top five military/historical inspirations?"

I'd be lying if I didn't say the question caught me off guard. My top 5 historical inspirations? How on God's beautifully green earth can I possibly choose? If you had even a peek at my Netflix queue, you'd know that I spend 90% of my downtime watching historical documentaries. If you randomly grabbed a book off my bookshelf, it would inevitably be a biography on Eva Braun or Robin Olds. I had to pare it down by selecting those who actually have had some sort of influence on my military career. My one rule: I couldn't be related to them. Which made it even harder, seeing both my grandfathers served honorably, and my uncle is one of my biggest influences in my career. So, here's my list, which is in no particular order. Enjoy!

1) Clara Barton



I was a child when I first learned of Clara Barton. I became enthralled with her tenacity and willingness to help fallen soldiers. I gave a speech about her when I was in 5th grade (did anyone else have to do that? I even dressed up like her...to this day I have no idea where my mother found that outfit) and continued to study her as the years went on. As the founder of the American Red Cross, she single-handedly organized efforts to care for the wounded during the Civil War, and continued her work in medicine through many foreign wars and domestic conflicts. While working on my applications to nursing school, I remembered my favorite Clara Barton quote:

"I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them." -Clara Barton

2) Sir Nicholas Winton 



Sir Nicholas Winton facilitated a movement which saved the lives of 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. He found safe homes for the children in England, and in the late 1980's, his wife found a details scrapbook in their attic with information on the children he had saved. How cool is that?! He didn't seek recognition, instead assuring everyone he was just doing what he had to do, and what he felt was right. That, ladies and gentleman, is a REAL hero. The cherry on the sundae? He was featured on a television program and was surprised to learn those surrounding him in the audience were actually the children he saved. THE CHILDREN HE SAVED, you guys. Try watching "Nicky's Family" (it's on Netflix, and my favorite documentary to date) without crying. 

"Don't be content in your life just to do no wrong, be prepared every day to try and do some good." -Sir Nicholas Winton

3) Mrs. Taya Kyle 

The Legend's wife. Now, don't get me wrong, Chris Kyle is definitely one of my inspirations. But having met his wife and hearing her raw, emotional story, I'll admit she is definitely someone I look up to. A woman who is incredibly honest about the hardships of being a military spouse while questioning God's intentions for her family but deciding to trust in His authority is refreshingly humbling. She has continued to stay strong through the horrifying murder of her beloved, the lawsuit filed by the vile Jesse Ventura on her husband's estate for "defamation of character", President Obama's ignorance on her husband's death and service to our great nation, a blockbuster hit covering her husband's military career, and a tour to continue her husband's legacy. All while raising her children to be good Christian patriots. What a woman.

"I've learned that when God promises beauty through the ashes, he means it." -Mrs. Chris Kyle

4) Martha McSally, Colonel (ret.)



Colonel Martha McSally (ret.) was the first female pilot to fly fighters in combat for the USAF. She was also the first woman to command a fighter squadron. She filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Defense in their policy that servicewomen stationed in Saudi Arabia needed to the abaya. In essence, she's a kickass lady who doesn't take any crap from Washington. She wanted to fly? Got her wings. Wanted to deploy in combat? Boom, done. Took the DoD to court for women's rights? Just another day in the office. She then went on to run for office in Arizona, and won. A ridiculously awesome role model? I think YES. 

"Before I became a fighter pilot, everyone said that women didn't have the physical strength. Well, I had just completed the Hawaii Ironman Triathalon." - Colonel Martha McSally, Ret. 

5) Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko



The female epitome of bad-assery. After turning down an offer to become a nurse during WWII, she became a Soviet sniper and single-handedly slaughtered more Nazis (309)  than the Inglorious Basterds. 

The Germans attempted to bribe her into joining their forces using chocolates and promises of promotion, but their attempts failed. Humiliated, they resorted to threatening to "tear her into 309 pieces", which only delighted the young woman: "they even know my score!" she exclaimed.

After the war, she befriended the First Lady of the United State of America, Eleanor Roosevelt. A reporter once asked her if it was ok for women to wear makeup while in the military. Her response: "there is no rule against it, but who has time to think of her shiny nose when a battle is going on?" She eventually became a historian at Kiev University and helped train future snipers. Amazing.

"I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist occupants by now. Don't you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?" - Maj. Lyudmila Pavlichenko, when addressing men in the United States.


Who are some of your influences? 




(SOURCES: history.com, Fox News, Oregon Live, Business Insider, American Wife by Mrs. Taya Kyle, and Nicky's Family - my favorite documentary)

Gifts for Mom!

One week until Mother's Day...the unofficial start of summer, and, where I'm from, fishing season. Whether you find yourself sipping tea at The St. Paul Hotel, shopping on Grand Ave, or in the middle of a lake with a frosty can of coors light and a bucket of worms, I've got you covered in the gift department. Moms are pretty dang cool (I spent a week in Paris with mine this year!) so they deserve to be pampered and spoiled. Below is my carefully curated list of awesomeness that is sure to make your mother very happy! 

Showin' a little shoulder

Yep...I hopped on the off-the-shoulder bandwagon. I found this little number at Target. I loved that it was a little longer than most of the other off-the-shoulder tops I've seen, and that it was thicker than other white versions I've tried. DISCLAIMER: I found it in the little girls department.

My stunningly gorgeous, amazing best friend Rachel (also the whiz behind the lens for this post!)

My stunningly gorgeous, amazing best friend Rachel (also the whiz behind the lens for this post!)

Top: Target ($16.99?! HOLLA!)

Jeans: Banana Republic (on sale!)

Shoes: Burberry (old) similar here

Clutch: purchased in Morocco, similar here

Sunnies: Dior, similar here

Earrings: disgustingly old, similar here

Bracelets: Alex & Ani

Ring: Pandora

Watch: Michael Kors (on sale!)

Extensions: Bellami (love!)




Happy Birthday, Ol' Blue Eyes!

My best friend Rachel and I are obsessed with Frank Sinatra. To commemorate what would have been his 100th birthday last weekend, we decided to get all jazzed up and have dinner at the recently reopened, and very Sinatra-esque restaurant in St. Paul, The Commodore. Naturally, I found this to be the perfect occasion to treat myself to an adorable cocktail dress, throw on my great-grandma's fur and some gaudy diamond earrings, and paint the town red!

I can't help but crack up at the girl to my left...and that's my beautiful cousin Megan on the right! 

I can't help but crack up at the girl to my left...and that's my beautiful cousin Megan on the right! 

My gorgeous accessories...Christian Dior pumps, Coach satin wristlet, and my great-grandmother's fur coat...j'adore! 

My gorgeous accessories...Christian Dior pumps, Coach satin wristlet, and my great-grandmother's fur coat...j'adore! 

My cocktail is gone but I couldn't resist a pic...if you visit this amazing establishment, order "the zelda". Amazing. 

My cocktail is gone but I couldn't resist a pic...if you visit this amazing establishment, order "the zelda". Amazing. 

This is when a man stood up to take a video of me because he thought I was going to play the restaurant a song. I told him the only thing I could play would be "hot cross buns". 

This is when a man stood up to take a video of me because he thought I was going to play the restaurant a song. I told him the only thing I could play would be "hot cross buns". 

We had so much fun getting all dressed up and enjoying the most incredible dinner we'd had in a long time! The service was fantastic and the restaurant was beautiful. I can't wait to go back! Cheers to an amazing girls night! 

Dress: Soprano...but it's sold out. You guys, this dress sold out RIGHT AWAY. How cute is the bow detail on the back?! I've found similar ones here & here

Shoes: Christian Dior - purchased at Nordstrom, similar here & here.

Handbag: Coach (old) similar here & here

Coat: This coat was actually my great-grandmothers. In one of the pictures above, you can see her name embroidered on the interior pocket. It is real fur, but clearly almost 100 years old. It's one of my prized possessions and I only wear it for special occasions! Similar here & here.

Earrings: Forever 21

Bracelet: I actually wore this bracelet to my senior prom. I won't tell you how long ago that was.But I don't remember where I bought it. 

Watch: Lucien Piccard

Nail Polish: Sparitual Cassiterite

I love getting dressed up for the holidays! What is your favorite cocktail ensemble?




Let the Christmas shopping commence!

I absolutely love giving gifts, so naturally, I love this time of year. My brother's girlfriend and I decided to venture to one of my favorite stores, Kittsona, for their grand opening in Minneapolis! They have the cutest clothes, accessories and home goods! Seeing I was lucky enough to have a partner-in-crime for this excursion, I figured it would be a great opportunity to show one of my favorite dresses for the season. And - get this - not only is it from TARGET, it's also ON SALE!

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Dress: Target

Cape: Tahari (similar here or here

Earrings: Henri Bendel 

Handbag: Also Henri Bendel

Bracelet: Also Henri Bendel (similar here)

Watch: Michael Kors

Shoes: Christian Louboutin (purchased here, similar patent style here)

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban (on sale!!!)

What is your favorite way to mix high-end pieces with more affordable pieces?



Black Friday Deals & Steals

I hate Black Friday. I do. I usually go shopping with my mom but by the time park and walk into the mall, I'm already annoyed as all get-out. I find it ironic that literally THE DAY after we give thanks for what we have, we pummel each other into a pulp over a slightly discounted Ninja blender. Come on, guys. Play nice.

I do, however, enjoy me some Cyber Monday deals. A lot of businesses are now offering their Cyber Monday deals starting (woo!) Black Friday. Don't mind if I do. Even better, you don't even have to do the work. The lovely ladies and gentlemen at Glamour Magazine have compiled an evolving list of the sales happening this weekend. So pour yourself a glass of wine, throw on those reindeer long johns, and have at it, kids!

click HERE for the most updated list!