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!

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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Stripes and Beehives

Stripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysStripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.com  Happy Saturday! You guys! Five days until Christmas!!! AH!

Today we are going to a family Christmas party at my dad’s cousin’s house. I don’t know how many people will be there, but it’s always fun to gather with my dad’s side of the family; they’re a very food-centric family, so I know there will be a wealth of delicious foods to eat. Which is always a plus. This season I’ve sort of given up being healthy just for the holidays. Because it’s the holidays.

This is how people end up five (or ten) pounds heavier by the end of the year, haha! So many cookies. Stripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.comStripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.comI’ve been thinking about some resolutions for the new year — I don’t normally really care about resolutions, but I already have some goals I would like to meet and I think starting them off in the new year is a great way to have a fresh beginning. Some things, like eating healthier and exercising, and pretty much a given; everyone makes those resolutions in the new year. Did you know that only around 88% of people who make these resolutions fail by the end of the year?

I think that the biggest reason for this is probably lack of planning, and not going back to your list of resolutions on a regular basis to remind yourself of what you hope to achieve. Stripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.comStripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.com I’ll be writing a more detailed resolutions post at the end of the year, but as far as health goes, my main hope is to have a better schedule and more consistency. I want to be able to go on hikes with my husband and not be exhausted halfway through; to look and feel better overall; to eliminate sugar cravings and just… be healthy. I am probably moderately healthy right now, but there is a lot to improve.  Stripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.comStripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.com Stripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.comI saw this little guy on our doorstep today as I went outside to take pictures; he’s got itty bitty little droplets of water all over him since it’s rainy today. We call these caterpillars Fuzzy Wuzzies, and I don’t know if that’s just a family thing, a regional thing, or… I don’t know! What do you call fuzzy black and orange caterpillars? Stripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.com Stripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.com I am continuing my run of dressing from the past, as you can see, with this sixties inspired look. Funny enough, though, it’s all modern with the exception of the headscarf. I think what really  makes an outfit look more retro or modern really is what you do with your head. Imagine this sans the beehive; it would immediately look like it was from this era.

Another one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to stick with this retro style for at least six months, and weed out any clothes that don’t fit the theme. I plan to just box up anything that isn’t working with the style I’m going for (anything from 1940-1970), and commit to a real vintage/retro fashion run for a while, to see if it really suits me as much as I suspect it does. I’ve been afraid to really commit to a set style for a while because I’m afraid I’ll get bored of it,  but every time I go more retro, I’m immediately happier. Stripes and Beehives | www.eccentricowl.comDress and tights, Target | boots, JC Penney | headscarf, thrifted | belt, ??? | earrings, c/o Oasap | glasses, c/o Firmoo

Do you guys have any resolutions?

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Happy almost Christmas!
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Let It Snow…

Let It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.comLet It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.com Oh my goodness, you guys!!! SNOW. (Okay, so that’s obvious.)

I know in some parts of the world people get snow all the time and therefore hate it, but in my part of the world… winter = rain, or clouds, or just misery. Rarely snow. I think last year we got a smattering of snow maybe once, and it wasn’t even pretty snow. It was slushy, gross snow.

So to wake up this morning to a winter wonderland… I was pretty excited. Especially because we had planned to take our first little family Christmas card picture today. Everything turned out so perfectly!

Let It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.com Suffice it to say, though, this was the shortest self-shot outfit photoshoot I have EVER done. Because not only did we first take family shots so that my husband could get Asa back inside while I commenced my own photoshoot, but then the wind kicked up and basically froze my hands into claws. So cold.

It’s worth it for this, though. We might attempt a photoshoot in the cape I made for my husband’s Red Riding Hood film, because how amazing would that be? The cape is incredibly flowy; it’s that kind of filmy fabric that is light enough to catch the wind and flow dramatically when you run, but still heavy enough not to just flip out everywhere. I love it. Let It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.comLet It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.com I figured that since I posted a list of DIY projects yesterday, that could suffice as this week’s weekend links. Especially since I haven’t been online much because of Thanksgiving, and today is my last day to post an outfit that is not a dress.

Dressember starts on Monday! I mean, I will probably layer skirts over dresses, because that’s legal (the only rules are… wear a dress. Style it however, but it has to be a dress!) but I’m not as good at that as some people are. Let It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.com Let It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.comLet It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.com Also, I cannot express enough how much I love this entire outfit. The flower crown, which is a gorgeous little crown from Choies (it’s actually big enough to wear as a headband, but I pinned it up a bit), the plaid skirt, my favorite animal-printed shirt, this scarf my husband made… it all matches my hair… and snow. Love. Let It Snow...  | www.eccentricowl.com

Flower crown c/o Choies | shirt, belt, sweater, and vintage skirt, thrifted | boots, JC Penney | tights, Target | scarf, husband made | glasses, c/o Firmoo

Speaking of Choies, if you want anything from their site now is the perfect time; they’re running their cyber weekend sale right now and you can get SO many things for amazing prices. Like this cape (I’m addicted to capes right now), or this gorgeous lace shirt (so perfect for Christmas!), or this adorable striped dress (can you tell I’m into black and white right now?). It’s my first year really getting into Black Friday and Cyber Monday/Cyber Weekend shopping, and it’s been super fun visiting my favorite sites to snag deals!

Anyway! I hope you are all having a wonderful, warm, safe weekend wherever you are! Happy Saturday!

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