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!


Glamour | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysGlamour | 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 | 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 | 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 | Glamour | 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 | 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 | Glamour | 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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The Perfect Dress

The Perfect Dress | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysThe Perfect Dress | www.eccentricowl.comI currently have a small stash of dresses never before worn on the blog sitting in my room. Some of them, I have had for a while. Some of them, like this dress, I found on my most recent thrifting trip when I had a little bit of extra spending money in my pocket. A very little bit. And one of them was kindly sent over to me from Sunday Millie in support of the Dressember Campaign; hopefully I’ll be wearing that one tomorrow. Wait till you see it; it is gorgeous!

When I pulled this dress off the rack yesterday, I knew it HAD to be mine. This is such a gorgeous dress, and possibly one of the most amazing finds I’ve ever come across at Goodwill! It’s a 1950’s dress, and judging from the oft-let-down sleeves and the seams that have been let out along with Davina’s comment that she has the same one, it’s most likely a school uniform. (Speaking of Davina, you need to check out her and the band. They’re kind of amazing. We went to see them a year or two ago when they were in town, and I was immediately obsessed. I’m constantly starstruck that she follows my style.)The Perfect Dress | I think because of Dressember I am quickly discovering in more solid terms what I do and don’t like with fashion. Yesterday’s outfit was not me. It was cute, and I like that dress and that shirt, but I’m not sure if I want to keep the dress. I feel most myself in outfits like this one, or the quirky shirt over a floral dress, the cherry print + polka dots, the horse-print 60’s shift, or the mushroom dress. Things with a little bit of quirky and a lot of retro. Of course, today I didn’t style it with anything quirky. Just a whole lotta fifties style.The Perfect Dress | www.eccentricowl.comThe Perfect Dress | The Perfect Dress | www.eccentricowl.comI always have trouble styling my hair in the 50’s way, though. It’s so long now that it doesn’t want to hold a curl, and even when it does I just never quite get it high enough, curled enough, retro enough… whatever. I’m working on it, though, because I LOVED how my hair was when I started pictures. By the end the shoot, when I realized I preferred the outfit with my glasses and re-shot most of the pictures, the hair was already falling. It happens. I really should do pin-curls or soft curlers instead, to reduce heat damage and for better holding abilities.  The Perfect Dress | www.eccentricowl.comThe Perfect Dress | I would really like to get a routine at night going of putting my hair in some sort of no-heat curl to make life easier, but… right now it’s low priority. Especially with a baby around, where most of the time my hair ends up in a bun anyway. After I came in from pictures, I tried my first-ever beehive in an effort to not always do a ponytail or a bun, and it actually worked quite well. I also had to change my dress, because the seams on the back of this one at the arm are so old they started popping. Thankfully, a very easy fix!  The Perfect Dress | So you’ll be seeing another dress from today later (I don’t know, I could double-post or I could save it for a rainy day), since… I liked that one too.

And I just realized that I’ve made this entire post about fashion. Which I suppose is not a bad thing. I think sometimes I feel as though I should write about much more intelligent or creative things, but then I remember that this is really just my online journal. I write about what I’m thinking in the moment, because… that’s who I am. I like to share my thoughts and my life with you no matter if it’s frivolous or deep. And I have to keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t apologize for whatever it is that I write (unless, of course, it’s a horrible thing) even if some days it is rather mindless. The Perfect Dress | www.eccentricowl.comThe Perfect Dress | I’m thinking about going back to brown hair, after three (or four?) months of the red. After I dyed my hair red, at least four other women I know followed suit. Some because of me, some because it was fall. So now that there’s a gaggle of bottle-redheads around, I feel like… I want to be different again. Obviously it’s not going to be that different– apparently everyone goes red in the autumn, dark in the winter, who knows what in spring, and blonde in the summer. I went red because I wanted to, not because it was a seasonal fad. I’m going back to dark because my husband likes it better and I can’t make up my mind. The Perfect Dress | www.eccentricowl.comBelt and vintage 1950’s dress, thrifted | heels, Target | brooch, antique | earrings and necklace, gift | glasses, c/o Firmoo

It’s funny, previous to these frames, I always preferred myself without glasses. I never liked to take pictures with glasses on, or go anywhere with spectacles on my face; I always hid them in my purse and only pulled them out when I had to drive or in the darkness of a movie theater or amongst people I knew really well. But then I got these, and suddenly I much prefer myself with glasses. I feel much more confident in these frames. Not to mention, it’s much easier to emote when you can see.

Someday I might get contacts. But for now, I think glasses add so much more character to a person… and these look very retro to me, which is probably why I love them.

I hope you are all having a good day! I think I’m going to go bake some Christmas cookies, find a way to hang our stockings (which I made last night because we couldn’t find our stockings from last year), and probably eat too many of those cookies I’m going to make. (Christmas is exactly a week away. I don’t know how I feel about that.)

Happy Thursday!
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Sweet as Cherry Pie

Please vote for me in the Firmoo Blogger Awards contest! All you have to do is click the “vote” button once a day from now till the 14th, and you’re done! No sign-up, no required email address, nothin’! Just a click and done and I will love you forever! Sweet as Cherry Pie | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysSweet as Cherry Pie | I don’t know why, but somewhere along the last year or two, I’ve quit mixing patters as much as I used to. I feel like back in 2012 when I really started getting into my own style, I mixed patterns and colors willy nilly, but then somewhere between then and now, I stopped. I don’t know why; perhaps I was trying to fit in more with bloggers that I loved, perhaps I just got bored, perhaps I started slipping into a different style… whatever the case, I realized this morning when I stumbled upon this fabulous lady that I really needed more patterns on my body at once.

It took me a little while this morning to put together a satisfying mix of pattern. I knew I had to wear this dress today — I found it at the thrift store about a month ago, and while it was kind of long and had frumpy sleeves, I knew I needed it. Especially since it was only a dollar! So I snatched it up, and then finally got around to having my mom help me pin up the hem and the sleeves into a better length.

Sweet as Cherry Pie | But I tried one headscarf that just didn’t quite feel right, and then I struggled with my hair for a while because I’m getting impatient with the cut and length, and then I knew I didn’t want to wear a scarf or sweater over the dress because of the cute collar, and it was all going badly until I spotted this particular scarf and cardigan and thought… why not? And I’m pretty pleased with how it looks now!  Sweet as Cherry Pie | www.eccentricowl.comSweet as Cherry Pie | Sweet as Cherry Pie | I definitely need to wear a mix of patterns much more often!

Today has not been a very good day so far. Yesterday was kind of a mess of emotions for Asa and me, with a lack of sleep and then some failed attempts to revive the evening after he went to bed, and then quite a few wake-ups during the night, and this morning was even worse. I am pretty sure he’s starting to need naps later in the day — nine instead of eight — because yesterday and today he resisted his usual naptime for an entire hour or more. Sweet as Cherry Pie | www.eccentricowl.comSweet as Cherry Pie | And I have not been the most patient mama ever this week, since I’ve been getting up earlier than usual and am still getting used to it. This morning I lost my cool when he woke up right as I put him down after around five minutes of rocking, and I had to leave him in his crib so that I could vent into the pillow with a few stressed-out screams. I feel pretty bad about it; it’s not his fault that he’s growing and his naptime is changing, and he’s just a baby.

But it is frustrating when you think he’s finally asleep and as soon as you put him down, he wakes up and cries until you get him up. After a few snacks, though, and an episode or two of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, we tried again, he fell asleep, I got some alone time and my outfit pictures done, and we both felt much better. This afternoon I will most likely be taking a nap when he does. Sweet as Cherry Pie | www.eccentricowl.comMotherhood is not for the faint of heart, I tell ya! But the hard hours (or days, or weeks) are definitely worth it. Even on our bad days, Asa is still the happiest little guy I know, and he always knows how to make me feel better.  Sweet as Cherry Pie | Sweet as Cherry Pie | www.eccentricowl.comI hope you are all having a much better week than I am! I’m looking forward to getting used to the earlier wake time, and my and Mr. Owl’s anniversary, which is this coming Monday! We’ll be celebrating a little bit this weekend, and a little bit next weekend, and I’m excited! We’re going to send Asa off to Grandma’s house on Friday to spend the night so we can go paint some pottery and then go out for dinner and have the house to ourselves, and then the weekend after that we’ll be taking a little day trip. It should be lots of fun!Sweet as Cherry Pie |

Vintage dress, heels, and scarf, thrifted | Target tights and cardigan | heart ring c/o Oasap | Glasses c/o Firmoo

I can’t believe it’s been two years already! The time flew by so fast. And speaking of fast, I can’t believe Asa will be a year old in just a little over a month. THAT is kind of shocking. He’s getting to the stage where he’s growing up quicker than I want him to.

Well, I hope you all have a good day! I’m off to take a short nap and then hopefully have a little bit more sane afternoon than the morning has been! Sleep always helps!

Happy Wednesday!

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The Magic of a Good Dress

First things first: I’ve been added to Firmoo’s blogger awards contest, and I would LOVE it if you could click through to this page and vote for me! You can do it once a day from now until December 14th. All you have to do is click “vote” — no registration, no entering your email, nothing. Just vote and you’re done!The Magic of a Good Dress | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysThe Magic of a Good Dress | Today I woke up suspecting I would need copious amounts of coffee to make it through the day, and I was not wrong. Last night was one of the hardest nights Asa has ever had going to sleep; he fought bed for a full hour and a half before we finally got him down, and then he woke at 3:30am for no reason. I was hoping that would mean he’d sleep in this morning, but he was awake and ready as ever — if a bit more cranky than usual — at 6:30am sharp.

Ever since he started waking up predictably at 6am, I’ve let my husband get him up and take care of him until he had to leave for work. I usually got up about 10 minutes before he left to take over, and being the awesome husband that he is, he didn’t complain. But I have been realizing that it’s harder for him to get ready for work and take care of the baby at the same time, so this week I’ve been trying to get up within 15 minutes of Asa. The Magic of a Good Dress | I’ll be honest: it’s not fun. I am not an early morning person, and getting up earlier than seven always leaves me feeling groggy for half the day. But I know that eventually I will have more kids and sleeping past six will not be an option, so I think it’s better to get used to the early mornings now. Plus, it makes my husband happy. Which makes it totally worth the ugh of earliness. (Yeah, yeah, I know: six am is not actually super early. Believe me, I do really know. I used to get up at 2:30am for work. But right now, it feels early.)

And then, when Asa refused nap for an hour and a half, I was just about at my wit’s end. So, I was very thankful for a brief quiet moment when he finally fell asleep. I was thankful for the pretty morning light, for this fantastic dress that I finally tailored to fit me, and a freshly brewed pot of coffee when I was done.

The Magic of a Good Dress | www.eccentricowl.comThe Magic of a Good Dress | www.eccentricowl.comAnd then he only slept for 45 minutes or less. I’m so glad that he’s generally a very good-natured baby, even when he’s exhausted. I don’t know how I’d survive otherwise!

Can we talk about the fantastic print on this dress, though?The Magic of a Good Dress | www.eccentricowl.comThe Magic of a Good Dress | The Magic of a Good Dress |

I saw this dress at Goodwill, and before I even put it on I knew I was going to buy it. It’s from the 60’s, has horses and ferns printed on it, is colorful, has an amazing collar, and I mean seriously… I could not resist. It was a little large on me, though, so after I bought it it sat in my mending pile for a few months, and it wasn’t until December began to approach that I finally fitted it better to my figure. Because…. it needed to be in my month of dresses.

The Magic of a Good Dress | www.eccentricowl.comThe Magic of a Good Dress | And surprisingly, this is one of those dresses that looks better on camera than I had expected it to; I don’t usually wear the sheath-type cut because it’s not that flattering on me, but this one is just roomy enough to be forgiving of my mama-squish. I think I’ll be wearing it a lot the next time I get pregnant; I like these silhouettes better when I’ve got a baby belly to show off. Plus, it’s stretchy. Which is a must when pregnant.  The Magic of a Good Dress | I have quite a few dresses with me, despite house-sitting and only having half my wardrobe, and I should probably be ashamed to admit I might even have enough dresses right now to wear a new one every day this month. I just… I like dresses. I did buy most of them at thrift stores, though, so that should count for something, right?

I’m excited to wear a few new dresses as the month progresses; tomorrow I hope to wear an adorable cherry-print dress I picked up that needed hemming and some sleeve alteration, and after that… I know I have others in my closet that I rarely wear. Aside from it being a wonderful cause for charity, Dressember is also really great because it makes me wear clothes I have been passing by lately. The Magic of a Good Dress | The Magic of a Good Dress | Since I don’t usually post outfits on Saturdays and Sundays, you can check my Instagram (which you can access on the internet via that link) or Facebook page to see those days. Barring any super lazy days, I’ll be trying to do better than last year, where I wore the same two dresses five days in a row one week. Then again, I was vastly pregnant last December, so that is probably a good excuse.  The Magic of a Good Dress | www.eccentricowl.comVintage thrifted dress, thrifted belt, brooch, and longsleeve shirt | JC Penney Boots | Target tights | Earrings c/o Oasap | glasses c/o Firmoo

If you are also doing the Dressember challenge, please share your pictures or blog links with me! You can comment with them, or share on my Facebook page, or tag me (@eccentricowlblog) on Instagram! I want to do a link up with my favorite Dressember outfits each week, so please share away!

And if Dressember is just not your thing, you can donate on my campaign (100% of the proceeds go directly to the International Justice Mission), or I encourage you to create your own challenge for charity as Skye is doing. It doesn’t have to be dresses, it doesn’t have to be donations to IJM. Find a cause that resonates with you, and support it however you can. December is, after all, the month of giving.

I hope you are all having a good week! Happy Tuesday!

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