Hello and best wishes!
It is a wet and cold winter evening as I write this, but I am cozy in my favorite coffee shop–as per usual–and I hope this post finds you somewhere cozy as well.
I still can’t believe it’s 2019! But in the spirit of the new year, I am dedicating this post to my biggest resolution: actively practicing gratitude.
A lot of fashion influencers–on Instagram, Youtube, and everywhere else–will make unboxing videos, or some kind of visual presentation of a “haul,” which involves them showing their followers everything they got for Christmas, or their birthday, or a big shopping spree, etc. Admittedly, it would be way cooler if I could do a video, but I simply lack the technology (and the know-how) to do anything more complicated than uploading photos to a blogging site.
So here I go, uploading photos to a blogging site!
Allow me to introduce you to… My Christmas Haul.
- The most sultry boots to currently exist
Given to me by: my husband’s grandmother
Best worn with: a short/medium-length sweater dress
Let me start off by saying, I am extremely well-treated by my husband’s family. One might even say spoiled, especially at Christmas time. And what a wonderful reason to count one’s blessings. I know very well that not everyone has a great relationship with their in-laws. It’s practically a cliché, in fact, so honestly I feel like I’m the exception to the rule.
On top of them being kind, generous people, they also happen to be a family that had all boys, so I think they have a lot of fun picking out presents for a girl. And as you can see from the suede, over-the-knee boots pictured above, they have good taste.
- One of this season’s hottest trends
Given to me by: my mother-in-law
Best worn with: skinny jeans
If you read a recent post of mine, 10 Items That are Hot RIGHT NOW, you may recognize these as the Hoxton boots. And yes, I’m pretty psyched that I have a pair now.
I’m incredibly lucky to have a very sweet mother-in-law. One who truly loves her son and appreciates how much I love him. She has treated me like a daughter from the moment we met, and I hope never to forget how much she adds to the quality of my life.
- The perfect hats for the current weather
Best worn with: The warmest, coziest attire you have
Until my adulthood, I never had much of a relationship with my cousins. No bad blood or anything, just a comfortable distance. Within the last handful of years, however, I’ve grown to consider a few of them my very good friends. Family is everything to me, but it means even more that our amity was able to develop so naturally. Those are bonds that I’ll be able to cherish and rely on for the rest of my life.
- The most magical earrings ever
Given to me by: my husband’s aunt
Best worn with: your hair down
I don’t tend to wear a lot of gold. I don’t tend to wear hoop earrings. But these have me absolutely enchanted. I really can’t stress enough how special I feel among my husband’s family. They pretty much made me their princess as soon as things got serious between Greg and myself, and that’s more than I could have ever asked for in life.
These earrings are from target.com if you find yourself in love with them, too, by the way.
- A fairly hard-to-find eyeshadow palette
Given to me by: my mom
Best worn with: not sure yet, gotta keep experimenting; probably different for everyone
Bold eyeshadow has come back into style, and colors on the red spectrum have gotten popular. That being said, I couldn’t find red eyeshadow anywhere! Granted, I’m kind of new to the makeup-wearing world, having been super minimalist up until the last few months. But I should have known that mentioning to my mom that I couldn’t find something would basically guarantee that she would find it.
She could have easily been a stylist or a professional shopper in another life, and every ounce of fashion sense I possess, I owe to her.
- A very luxurious sweater
Given to me by: my mother-in-law
Best worn with: skinny jeans, black Hoxton boots
I’ve got one word for you: cashmere. I definitely have a weakness for that soft, warm, costly material, and of the few cashmere items that I own, this is now my favorite.
Spoiler Alert: For the upcoming year of 2020, it has been my long-withstanding goal to revive 1920’s fashion (in a modernized way), and this piece meets all the requirements. Slowly but surely, I am collecting the items I will need to represent The Roaring 20s of the 21st century.
- Proof that I need to wear more green
Best worn with: a neutral top
You know what was an awesome discovery? Finding out that my spouse happens to be a great shopper. He was the one to realize that my wardrobe had a serious lack of the color green, and I now have this lovely cardigan as a result.
Greg is honestly the greatest gift in my life. It goes way beyond the fact that he enjoys buying me amazing Christmas presents. He makes me so happy every single day, just by being who he is, and I know I’ll be thankful for him as long as I live.
This, along with a large selection of other nice cardigans, can be found at charlotterusse.com.
- Gratification for my inner fangirl
Given to me by: my sister
Best worn with: a pair of shorts and fangirl enthusiasm
This Star Wars themed tank top is the perfect representation of just how well my sister knows me. Not only does it capture my love of mixing florals with edgy motifs, it also captures my admiration for the character Boba Fett. I’m extremely lucky to share so many of my passions with my sibling, Star Wars being among them, and words really cannot describe how much I treasure our relationship. I will never have a greater or truer friend.
- A very sassy tank top
Given to me by: my husband’s aunt
Best worn with: workout pants or shorts
If you know me, then you know I’m a massive Disney fan. In fact, a few years ago, I did an entire blog on the Disney princesses (feel free to check that out at thedisneywoman.wordpress.com). I honestly feel like there isn’t enough merchandise like this out there. Something a little more catered to fans who aren’t kids anymore. As soon as summer hits, this is probably what I’ll be wearing to the gym.
Or just anywhere, to be honest. I love it so much.
You can find this and all sorts of other fandom stuff at boxlunch.com.
- A high-waisted, midi-length skirt (that fits!)
Given to me by: my mother-in-law
Best worn with: a top you can tuck in
High-waisted skirts and pants are very chic right now, but they can admittedly be a little harder to find. I’ve had trouble in the past with stuff not fitting comfortably at the waist; (I’m fairly petite, and clothes can still be way too tight for me). This skirt has an elastic waist and feels amazing!
My family has always been sort of minimalist for Christmas, giving one or two gifts per person, and I’ve always been comfortable with that. To be honest, I’m still getting used to the more…maximal efforts my husband’s family put into their gift-giving. Every year, I get more than I expect, more than I ever would have asked for, and what a great reminder of how loved and blessed I am.
- Merchandise from my favorite place
Given to me by: my dad
Best worn with: a cup of coffee in hand
If you can’t find me at home, you will almost certainly find me at my favorite coffee shop. Round Mountain Coffee is my happy place, and is, in fact, the spot where I am writing this very blog. (If you’re interested in learning more about Round Mountain and/or my love for it, I recently did a short blog that you can check out at roundmountainregular.wordpress.com). After I moved out of my parents’ house, going on the occasional coffee date with my dad became our way of still getting to hang out. So a Round Mountain t-shirt was the perfect gift choice on his part.
I have such a special relationship with both my mom and my dad. I couldn’t have asked for a more reasonable, loving pair of individuals to raise me and continue to guide me through this life.
- My new favorite ring
Given to me by: my husband
Best worn with: pretty much anything
This ring is a beautiful, artful representation of the phases of the moon. All I can really say about this is that I’ve been in love with the moon my whole life, and this was a very touching gift. It suits me in a unique and intimate way, and it’s an excellent example of how well my husband knows me. Every Christmas since our marriage, he has always managed to give me something that ends up being my favorite gift of the holiday season, and this ring is it this year.
Look no further than etsy.com for this and so many other wonderful things.
- The top I’m wearing right now
Best worn with: skinny jeans (that fit comfortably)
This outfit may honestly be the chicest I’ve ever worn. I think I’ve reached the current pinnacle of my personal fashion success. I’m always aiming higher, though, so this ensemble is now the one to beat.
This top is actually a bodysuit, which means it snaps on and fits like a bathing suit, so you get the tucked-in look without worrying about it riding up and constantly being in need of adjustment. It’s my first ever bodysuit, and I can already say I’m a pretty big fan.
You can find this one at forever21.com.
My fashion journey has been so intertwined with my own self-discovery and evolution as a person. The time I’ve taken to really look in the mirror has benefitted me in ways I never expected it to. I’ve learned new skills–two years ago, I couldn’t even do my own eyeliner. I went from knowing how to do one type of braid to knowing how to do upwards of six. It’s all been so interesting and fun to experiment with.
This journey will probably go on for the rest of my life, and I’m thankful for the continuous opportunity to grow.
I hope that, at least in a small way, I can encourage others to go on their own journeys. And that you’ll learn to love and nurture your inner queen the way I have.
Have a beautiful week.