New Year’s Day

New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.com New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.com  The first day of a new year is such a strange and wonderful thing. It feels almost like any other day, but you know that it has begun an entire new set of events that have yet to happen. You look forward with anticipation, hope, resolve, and perhaps even a little bit of fear, yet you also look back with memory, fondness, sadness, and bittersweet longing for things that will never be again.

You feel as though you should do something to begin the year with a head start, but on such a day as this, when there are so many resolutions made and so many things to move into, where do you begin?

New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.com New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.comFor me, the first day of the new year doesn’t really have the fanfare and excitement of other holidays. There are no presents to open, no chocolates or flowers, no church service to attend at dawn; we’ve never had a tradition for this day. It just begins, like any other day, with a quiet sunrise, and suddenly it’s a fresh year that will inevitably fill up before I know where my days went.

This year, though, I am trying to begin my new year in the spirit of improvement, and I am already living a few of my resolutions out. I think perhaps even if there is no huge celebration for the first day of a new year, simply choosing one thing to better yourself that day, and all of the following days, is the perfect way to celebrate the blank slate of the coming days.

New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.comNew Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.com Today I am living out a few of my resolutions already; I am already amidst the first week of a Whole30; I’m wearing lipstick; I’m dressed in the retro/vintage look I hope to stick with for at least six months, and I’ve also carried out a resolution I didn’t add to my list: this year, I plan to give over control of the photography in my outfit posts to my husband.

It’s hard for me to admit that he takes better pictures of me than I do, because I have quite the independent streak. But even if you all don’t notice, I see such a huge difference in the photography when he takes the camera over. Of course, a person will likely always take better photos than a tripod and a self-timer, but somehow I felt as though I had to do it by myself. Which is silly, considering most bloggers out there tend to prefer another human to photograph them versus having to take their own pictures.New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.comCardigan, skirt, and belt, thrifted | shirt, tights, and shoes, Target | glasses, c/o Firmoo | headband, modcloth | earrings, gift

And in letting him take over my outfit photography, I am in turn also working on cultivating our relationship. I always feel as though it must be a bother to him whenever I ask him to take my outfit photos, but time and time again he tells me that he likes to do it.

This month I am excited to add to my cultivation of relationships by meeting Myranda, a fellow mama who, funny enough, I only know through my blog (and also Facebook) although I’ve met and known all of her siblings over the last ten years or so. I am so excited to finally meet her. And I’m very excited to finally have a car, so that I can do things like this again!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and have a wonderful New Year’s Day! Our celebration was incredibly low key (aka, we watched Doctor Who, played Mario, and barely made it past midnight), but today we plan to go out for lunch and see a movie. What are you all doing for the New Year?

Happy Thursday!

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Book Review/Inspired Outfit: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

2Collage 2 I meant to do a book review with this outfit, obviously, but I put it off so long that I don’t feel I can accurately review The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate any longer. When I finished the book, I really enjoyed it but I also felt so-so upon closing the last page; it was entertaining and definitely worth a read, but didn’t leave me moved in any one direction.

Which isn’t as helpful when I’m trying to review it; I want a book that captures my emotions and keeps me thinking about it for days afterward — whether it be with love or with sadness. The best books impart lingering emotions, I think. 4 The best I can give you is a little synopsis of the characters.

Calpurnia Tate is a girl growing up in a household of boys, who realizes as the year passes that she is expected to essentially become her mother — a woman tasked with the endless job of caring for a house. Day in and day out, her mother’s jobs are never done. But Calpurnia, having befriended her Grandaddy (an eccentric gentleman obsessed with science and creating alcohol from pecans (or walnuts…?)), has had her mind opened to the world and all of its possibilities, and she becomes dissatisfied with what is expected of her. She wants to be more than just a housewife. 5 14 So, she balks at her duties and runs off with Grandaddy every day to discover the world around her, and is scolded for her negligence when she comes home. Her mind expands and her character grows as the book progresses until by the end, she begins to entertain thoughts of going to college. Which is basically where it ends.

It’s a fairly simple premise, but the characters themselves fill it with interest and hilarity, and I really enjoyed Calpurnia’s journey from a naive young girl to a young lady thirsting for more and more knowledge. 69 I’ve been realizing as I read more and more books… I really do judge a book by its cover. Perhaps it’s the artist in me, but if a book has a horrible cover, I am less inclined to read it. I will obviously give the first few chapters a go, but I’m much more drawn to good covers, like this one. It’s quite aesthetically pleasing!

So, you know. I like this book for its cover, too. Does anyone else really hate how the trend now is to put actors on the covers of books their movies are based on now? That is my biggest cover pet peeve. Ugh.

8 Collage 1 So this brooch was made and sent to me by Courtney, aka Some Call me Q (Instagram, blog) some time ago, and I JUST remembered that I had it! I’ve worn in a few times, but I feel as though I only wear pins in the fall and winter. I really love how unique this is; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brooch made out of zippers before.

But the fact that it was made by an internet friend for me makes me love it SO much more than my other brooches (hopefully they don’t get jealous.) So, thank you Courtney!

And also, she’s having a baby. Which is awesome. 7Dress, thrifted | cardigan, Target | tights, Nordstrom rack | shoes, Modcloth

(Above, cue me cracking up because I can’t take myself faking reading a book.)

Well, this is my last outfit post of the year! What a crazy thought; I can’t remember which Dressember day this was, hence no banner, but if you still want to donate please do. I’m not sure if I’ll be participating next year, but I will definitely be supporting others in their Dressember campaigns. And I’m so sorry I never did a roundup of my favorite Dressember posts! I’ve been stalking all of you who have said you’ve been doing it, but I’m really… a procrastinator. Leave your favorite Dressember post in the comments (of your own) so we can all see how wonderfully this cause is supported! (Or, in the case of Skye, your favorite un-Dressember post.)

Happy Monday!

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P.S. You still have a few days to fill out my blog improvement survey if you want to. It’s short, I promise!

Christmas Cocktail Party: Get Ready With Me!

First of all, please take this survey as I am striving to improve the blog in the new year and would love to know what you’d like to see more of, what you think could improve, and any other feedback you might have!Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com I gotta warn you guys, today’s post is going to be very photo-heavy. But since there are only a few days until Christmas, I thought I’d do at least one Christmas-themed outfit/makeup post.

A few weekends ago, one of our friends hosted a Christmas party that was Cocktail-dress required, and I didn’t realize that until we were almost to the party. So I didn’t get to go full cocktail; my husband and I ran to Target on the way and grabbed the maroon peplum dress I’m wearing in this post and some silver flats, and I had to make do with a few bobby pins I found in my purse… and that was it. I actually changed in the car. Yeah. That really happens.

So today I thought I’d do the outfit proper, with what I would have looked like if I had realized beforehand that it was a cocktail party. I shot a photo tutorial for some fun makeup, showed you how I did a quick and easy holiday hairstyle, AND photographed my outfit, all for one post.

Ready? Yes? Yay!

First up, makeup. We’ll call this look Sugarplums Dancing. Because you’ll see why. As always, begin with a clean, moisturized face. I’ll admit I slept in my makeup last night and only washed it off right before this picture, but uh… pretend I woke up with a fresh face, ok?Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Apply your regular routine of foundation, blush, and powder, applying a bit of extra powder beneath your eyes as this will make it easier to brush away any falldown eyeshadow later.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com I prefer to do my brows before I apply eyeshadow, but this is because I use the same brush for dark liner shadows as I do for my brows, so… if you’re lazy about changing brushes like me, fill in your brows as you please.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Next, taking a shimmery shadow that is a few shades lighter than your skin, apply it to your browbone and the inner corner of your eye to catch all that light from the Christmas tree. Then with a light gold shadow, cover your lid from your lash line to just above your crease. Use the same gold shadow all the way beneath your lower lash line. Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Taking a dark plum shadow (and now you see where the makeup name came from), create a vee shape from mid-lash line, up and out to the crease, and inwards again. Apply the same shadow on the outer half of your lower lash line.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com With a dark brown shadow, deepen the plum color only on the outer edges of your eye, and apply dark brown just at the very outside of your lower lash line. And then, with a darker gold shadow, pop some color on the middle of your lid. Just for fun.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Blend it all because that’s how they say you should. (I’m feeling facetious today, can you tell?)Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.comWith dark brown or black liner, create a cat-eye shape (or whatever liner shape suits you the best. I like cat-eye because it’s a bit retro and universally flattering.) If you like, set the liner with shadow in the same color.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Now for some fun! With a wet shadow brush, grab yourself some straight gold glitter and dab it on wherever you want. I applied it just above the liner line from the inner corner out to where the darker shadow begins.   Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Curl your lashes, if you need to (I have to because otherwise they hit my glasses.), and add a few layers of mascara. My current favorite is L’oreal Original Voluminous. It’s kind of amazing stuff. Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Now, with some plummy liner, line your lips to prevent feathered edges, and first apply a plum-colored lipstick, followed by a pinkish-red lipstick. Mixing lip colors adds dimension and also creates custom colors; this made my lips match the dress I’m going to wear.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.comNow your face is pretty. (Well, it probably was before. Now it’s… more pretty.)

Next up, the easiest, laziest fancy hairstyle known to woman. Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.comCurl your hair loosely (or as curly as you like, actually). I took pretty large sections of hair and was done in about five minutes because I hate spending hours on my hair. Be sure your hair is parted on one side or the other.

Then, taking a large section on the side that your hair is parted away from, pull your hair straight out from your head and curl it under with your fingers, from halfway down the shaft of your hair. This will create some volume instead of slickly-pulled-back-hair. Pin the rest of your hair on that side up in the back, so that you’ve got all the hair to one side of your head. On the other side, loosely bring your hair back from your face in a small section, and pin it back over the hair that’s already tumbling over your shoulder. And… you’re done.

Get yourself into a pretty holiday outfit, and go party!Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com See more of the outfit after the jump! Continue reading “Christmas Cocktail Party: Get Ready With Me!”

Let’s Pretend

Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysLet's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Do you ever imagine what it might be like if you were a celebrity?

I do. Often, even though I can’t act worth beans and I don’t actually think I would like the life of fame, I imagine walking the red carpet and being interviewed; and mostly, it’s because of the clothes. I would love to be a woman who had access to sweeping gowns made by brilliant designers, to be fitted perfectly to my body; I would love to have someone professionally touch up my makeup — or learn how to do it myself, since I have a thing against other people touching my face — and fix my hair.

It would be an interesting and fun experience, to live that glamorously if only for a day. Of course, as with any profession, there are challenges and hardships. But, you know, it would still be fun!

Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Today I felt like a movie star. This dress makes me feel every bit as glamorous as if I’d had professional hair and makeup done and was styled by a famous designer.

I think, based on one of my favorite fashion-of-the-stars website, I would probably be one of the few celebrities who actually wore nonstop color and pattern. I might be one of those stars who occasionally steps into the world of kookiness with a crazy 1970’s caftan or 80’s dress, but at least I’d be having fun! I’ve always noticed that people in the public eye tend to dress in neutrals, reds, or dark colors, (as well as the crazy-revealing, or those garments that can’t really be classified as “clothing”) and you don’t see a lot of pattern. I don’t know if this is a modern trend, or if they go for simple because they’re told it’s more flattering… I don’t know. But I always appreciate people like Emily Blunt or Zooey Deschanel or Mindy Kaling who wear interesting and beautiful and colorful clothes; people who aren’t caught in the world of nude shoes and black dresses. Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.comLet's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Obviously there is a practical side to being clothed, but also… why not have fun with it?

I think I was asked once or saw the question once a long time ago whether Christianity/modesty and fashion blogging are at war with each other; whether it goes against a Christian’s call to be modest to photograph one’s self quite often in order to post those pictures on the internet and garner fans ans followers. (And when you put it that way, maybe it does sound vain.) But the thing is… I don’t do this for attention. It’s nice to get comments, yes, although I appreciate those more for the friendships I have made.

But at the core, fashion blogging is just… fun. I love wearing pretty things and I always have; I love creating something that is beautiful to the eye, whether it be a painting, a sketch, a photograph, an outfit, and sharing it with others in hopes they might share the joy.  I love creating outfits that are physically modest but also truly fashionable to encourage other women who want to dress modestly that you can wear attractive outfits that are decent without having to look like a homeschooler (you know what I’m talking about. And I can say that; I was homeschooled.)Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com I believe that fashion blogging and modesty — of attitude, pocket, and appearance — are not necessarily mutually exclusive concepts. My brother-in-law pointed out once that when it speaks of women being called to be modest in the church in the Bible in one instance, its’ not even talking about modesty of clothing in the sense of being revealing; it’s talking about the fact that these women were dressing outlandishly and elaborately and going to church in order to get attention for themselves, instead of coming to church to worship God.  Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com So really, it depends on why I do this. If I were blogging only to shout to the world “look how beautiful I am, look at me, I’m so fashionable, I’m so thrifty, I’m so fantastic!” (which, sadly, one or two of my posts have been misread that way) then yes, I would not be blogging in a very modest way. But I do this as a hobby; it’s fun, I like creating art — and clothing can be a form of art –, I love to meet new people, I hope to encourage others, and blogging is my way to journal life. Since I was never very good at keeping a paper journal. Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.comBelt and vintage dress, thrifted | heels, Kohl’s | earrings, c/o Oasap | bracelet, Target

And also sometimes I think people in the religious world can get really legalistic with what you can and cannot do, which can go overboard. Obviously I believe there should be limits, as with anything in life; too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. (Hello, chocolate.) But I also believe that you should use your talents to encourage others, which is what I hope I am doing!

What are your thoughts on fashion blogging, vanity, and modesty (of the heart)?

P.S. If you are wondering whether this dress is possibly that bright in real life… the answer is yes. It is. I LOVE IT. Happy Sunday!
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Glamour

Glamour | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysGlamour | www.eccentricowl.com I have been waiting and waiting to debut this vintage 60’s faux fur coat for quite a while. My friend Sarah gave it to me along with these two vest/cape/whatever things from her grandmother’s closet, and I adore it. But it takes a little bit of bravery (for me) to sport a coat with this much personality, and it just needed the perfect dress to go with it.

And then Romé from Sunday Millie asked if I wanted to choose a dress to feature for the Dressember Campaign, since she’s doing it but she’s camera-shy, and I saw this and… here we are. Today I am pretending to be a 1940’s film star in a 1960’s fur coat, a 1970’s dress, modern heels, and who knows what era this veil is from. I’m not good at dating hats. Glamour | www.eccentricowl.comI think yesterday’s dress has spurred me into a vintage vixen phase. My new go-to hairstyle is now a beehive and a headscarf, which was surprisingly easier to get done than I had imagined, and I’ve started using my lipsticks more often, and… yeah. I’ll just live in the past, if you don’t mind.

I also liked a few of these pictures better as black and white, so I’m hoping it’s not too weird to have color and black and white in the same post. I just think certain pictures look so much more striking colorless, especially with outfits like these!Glamour | www.eccentricowl.comGlamour | www.eccentricowl.com Isn’t this dress glorious, though? The colors and the pleating and the floral… it’s a dream dress. I just can’t get over how beautiful it is. And it works well for a lot of different era of styles; I’m already imagining a few more ways to style it (boots and beehive, for one) to make it wearable regardless of what era you like to dress in. Glamour | www.eccentricowl.com I cannot believe that Christmas is next week. We only just got our tree last weekend, and I finally completed decorating it yesterday, plus I had to make us stockings to hang since we couldn’t find ours, and I finished those on Wednesday. I feel like I am only just getting into the Christmas spirit. And here it is, one week away. At least I’m done with my Christmas shopping! Wrapping… well… that’s another story. Glamour | www.eccentricowl.com Glamour | www.eccentricowl.com So on a completely different tangent, is anyone else really annoyed that Facebook now forces you to crop your profile picture square? I would have been using the below picture, but with the new forced crop feature, it either crops out my lips or my hat, and… ugh. I’m annoyed. I’ve never been one of those “I hate Facebook I’m quitting!” people, because… it’s just a media site, and it’s useful to me having so many friends and family members who live far away. But I like my pictures full sized, thank you very much, and unless you’re Instagram, square is not cool.  Glamour | www.eccentricowl.com I hope they change that soon.

Well, tomorrow we have a family Christmas party at the home of my dad’s cousin, and it should be a lot of fun! I haven’t decided what dress to wear yet; I either have this fantastic tangerine dress that I thrifted the other day, or I could wear something a little more low-key… but I like dressing up.

If you couldn’t tell.Glamour | www.eccentricowl.com Glamour | www.eccentricowl.com I hope you are all having a good week! I forgot to mention what I thought of The Battle of Five Armies! And mostly, I liked it. I am not fond of all the attempt-to-make-it-trippy stuff that Peter Jackson does with making the Necromancer-turning-into-Sauron flashy and all, but other than that I enjoyed it. I like the movies better than my husband does, which is not surprising. My husband loves Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but he’s also very critical of film in general because he likes to make film, and if he thinks he could do it better, he doesn’t like it. Or something like that. I’m the same with books. Glamour | www.eccentricowl.comDress c/o Sunday Millie | vintage coat, gift | vintage hat, antique store | shoes, Target | vintage suitcase, gift | ring, Forever21 | belt, thrifted

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Happy Friday!
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