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photo shoot ~ the lovely wendi

W055This is my friend Wendi.  She’s one of those people who is successful, super creative, and has great hair.  And obviously she’s gorgeous.  We had talked for ages about doing a photo shoot sometime, and we finally made it happen on a beautiful day in Oklahoma City last month.

This stairway we found was uh-ma-zing.  It’s funny, because I had scouted out a few spots where I knew I wanted to shoot, and this wasn’t even one of them.  It was tucked away right by one of the other places we shot, and when I saw the soft light flooding down these stairs, I got all giddy.  Because that’s what seers of the light do, you know. wendiW057Wendi, on the other hand, wasn’t feeling giddy at all.  She just liked the stairway because she could sit there out of the way and down her bottle of…whiskey?  Vodka?  I don’t even know what was in that bottle, but the poor girl didn’t even care, she just drank it up to drown her sorrows.

Kidding, duh.  This bottle was actually just lying there begging to be used as prop, so naturally we obliged.W053Since Wendi is one of my close friends, I not only got to be the photographer for this session, but I styled her looks, too.  When we were choosing outfits for her, we realized that Wendi doesn’t own nearly enough accessories and shoes {shame}.  So, I did my part by lending her some bracelets and forcing her to shop at Burlington Coat Factory {it’s the best for cheap but nice shoes and jewelry!}.  Clearly, I’m a good influence. ;)  Anyway, we picked up this very on-trend gold fringe-y necklace and these chic boots at Burlington.  Aren’t they the perfect accessories for this cute swingy dress?W044W029W016W023W001W039W071W072W075This place is very, very cool.  If you live in or near OKC and haven’t checked it out yet, you should go there on a date or something.  {And btw, get the cocktail weenies because they’re yum.}  Also, people watching here is fun stuff. W079I’m super happy that Wendi was down for any locations I suggested, because I had been dying to shoot by R&J’s since I first saw it.  I love everything about this little spot!W086W093This dress was actually one I found at a thrift store.  Wendi is so tiny – whenever I see a very small but very cute dress while thrifting, I always want to buy them all for her. W099Wendi~

You’re a supermodel and a wonderful friend!  Thank you, thank you for doing this shoot and letting me have such creative control.  I love you, believe in you, and am happy you are part of my life!

~abi~

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that’s what she wore ~ thrift thriving ~ true life stories ~ all the good stuff ~ me and grandma janet

_MG_0028Well, if we are connected on any form of social media {I know, there are so many!}, you probably know by now that I convinced my Grandma Janet to move down from Iowa to Oklahoma and be my roommate a few months ago.  I pretty much can’t even tell you how much I love living with her, and I thought it was high time I officially introduced her here on the blog.  And what better way to do that than by having my sis Mandi do a little style shoot of grandma and I rocking some thrfited outfits??_MG_0011By now, you surely know how I love finding cute clothes at thrift stores.  But what you might not know is that I come from a family of thrifters.  My sisters and mom love shopping at thrift stores as much as I do.  And my Grandma Janet is like the queen thrifter and garage saler!  But I actually found the outfit she’s wearing here.  What’s funny is, I bought both pieces without realizing they were a set.  The thrift store where I found them didn’t have them together or anything and I didn’t even realize they went together, I just liked both pieces.  {It was a mad thrift store shopping dash when I was leaving Omaha after doing a couple photo shoots and decided to stop at this store on my way out of town.  So I was basically rushing through and grabbing everything I liked without a lot of thought – which is not the way I usually thrift, I just got lucky this time and ended up with some great stuff.}  So anyway, sometimes when I am at work, my grandma goes into my room and hangs up a few of my clothes because I am really bad about putting away clothing in a proper way ~ unless you consider covering the floor and half the bed proper..  Well, grandma, with her good fashion eye, found these two pieces in a pile of thrifted clothes and hung them up together, and I was like, “Oh my word, I bought an outfit and I didn’t even realize it!”  I’m telling y’all: living with your grandma is pretty much the best thing ever in so many ways!!_MG_0013If you can’t tell from these photos, my grandma is kind of a feisty one.  And I love it.  She and I get real sassy with each other sometimes, and it keeps me cracking up!  But we are also two peas in a pod, no joke.  She owns as many accessories as I do, which is no easy feat.  When we did these pix, I asked her to hold this little blue bag, but other than that, she styled her own look and was fabulous as always.  We actually had a little, uh, discussion about her shirt and how she chose to wear it.  I thought it would look better with a shorter shirt or a shirt that could be tucked in, but she insisted that “the ladies on The Q always have a long shirt like this with their outfits.”  She was referring to QVC, her drug of choice when it comes to tv.  {I read fashion blogs, she watches The Q.}  I argued with her that I have better style sense than the ladies on The Q, and she disagreed and I was completely insulted and we both cracked up.  That’s what we were giggling about in the photo above.  And just for the record, I’m still completely outraged {and amused} by the fact that she would even joke about the people on QVC having better fashion sense than I do! ;)_MG_0024_MG_0031_MG_0044_MG_0053So, my shoes were from GoJane and my necklace was from Rue21, and our outfits and bags were thrifted.  Just a note on the shoes: I have gotten more and more choosy when it comes to buying shoes and I tend to steer away from really cheaply made shoes now; but when I do get a cheapo pair, I like this suede finish because it holds up much better than smooth fake leather.  So there’s your cheap shoe pro tip for the day. :)

Hope you all enjoyed meeting my Grandma Janet.  Let me know if you’d like to see more style posts like this!  And give your grandma a hug or a phone call today!

~abi~

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afternoon ramblings ~ current music obsessions

conductorIt’s been way too long since we’ve talked about music here.  And since I’ve been stuck on the same playlist in my iTunes lately, I thought it was high time we chatted about the songs I’m currently obsessed with.  When it comes to songs/artists I love, it typically goes one of two ways for me:  I resist a song {or artist} because everyone else is loving it and I don’t wanna be basic, but then I succumb to it’s charm and fall deeply in love with it and end up more obsessed than any of the other people who loved it before; or, I come across a very little-known or recognized song/artist and fall in love and wish everyone else understood the greatness, until everyone else starts to get it, and then I kinda wish I was the only one.. Either way, once I love a song, I tend to become completely obsessed with it, listen to it over and over, and then love it forever, even after everyone else might be sick of it…. Man, it’s all so much like my love life! ha

So, we’ll work in reverse of how I listed those things, because honestly I’m just too lazy right now to go restructure that run-on sentence up above….

First of all, the little-known artists {and let’s just get this out of the way – these aren’t super obscure artists, because I’m not a cool hipster; these are just some people whose music I love lately who don’t currently get any radio play, as far as I know}:

~Alex & Sierra

If you watched The X Factor USA last year, you’ll remember this adorable, totally sweet couple who won.  I LOVED them from their first audition on the show and have waited excitedly for them to come out with an album.  I was not disappointed by It’s About Us – the whole album seriously makes my heart happy.  Broken Frame, Bumper Cars, and Did It All For You are three of my favorites.

~Leighton Meester

I know Leighton herself isn’t little-known, but she has a new album out that I haven’t heard anything about other than from she herself posting about it on Twitter.  Thank goodness I’ve had a major girl crush on Leighton ever since Gossip Girl, and have followed her faithfully, or I might have missed out on some of my current favorite music!  Seriously.  I love, love her album.  Check it out on Spotify or just go ahead and support her as an artist and buy it on iTunes. ;) I think my favorite track from her Heartstrings album is Entitled, but I truly like all of them!  The whole album is perfectly cool without trying too hard.  A concept I can never seem to really get right, dang it.  I try so hard….

~Keira Knightley

Big shoutout to my girl Micaliah for first giving me the heads up about Keira’s songs from the movie Begin Again.  I immediately fell for the lilting tunes – so much so that I knew all the words to all of them when I finally watched the movies this past weekend with my bff Jen.  If you feel like watching a charming movie with lots of cursing {but really}, Begin Again is where it’s at!  I loved it almost as much as I love Keira’s songs from it.

Okay, now on to the big name music biz stars..

~Katy Perry

In all reality, I fell for quirky Katy and her music way back in the day before every. single. person. from six to sixty was loving her.  I actually went to one of her very early concerts when there were no fireworks or amazing choreographed numbers.  But.  But, but, but, people.  I also went to see her again last month in Tulsa on her most recent tour and oh. my. word.  What a freaking fabulous show it was!!  Seriously.  I almost did a whole blog post about it, that’s how magically good it was.  But clearly there are a ton of blog posts I never get around to actually doing, which is why I will never be a celebrity in the blogging world, darn.  So anyway.  All the other people who are mentioned in this post are artists who I have been listening to obsessively {like, their whole albums all together in one playlist, over and over for weeks now}, and to be honest I only have two of Katy’s songs in there right now.  But I threw her into this post just so I could mention how amazing her concert was {I’ll never get over it} and so I could say that I’m still obsessing over Teenage Dream, and also I love Who You Love, her duet with John Mayor.  I couldn’t stand John Mayor before him and Katy dated, even though everyone always assumed I’d like his chill music.  I couldn’t stand him because he is clearly such a real-life jerk that I couldn’t get past it enough to even give his songs a chance.  Then he got together with Katy and I started to like him and then he was a jerk again and now I’ll never forgive him and like him again, unless Katy does.  But I’ll always have their song..

~Okay, now let’s talk about the elephant pop star in the room – Miss Taylor Swift.

That girl.  She’s one I had kinda resisted.  I had only ever bought like one of her songs before, but I couldn’t help liking her stuff whenever I would hear it on the radio.  Then 1989 came out, and it was all over for me.  I am 100% on the fan-wagon.  Blank Space was an obvious first favorite, followed quickly by How You Get The Girl, and All You Had To Do Was Stay – which is probably my very favorite.  So there ya go.

Tell me about what music you’re loving lately. :)

~abi~

 

 

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veterans day ~ far from average

27261_1391522997017_448221_n(1)The above paper was written by my younger brother, Jack.  He wrote it his senior year of high school.  Since Jack was killed while serving in the Special Forces as a Green Beret back in 2009, my family has treasured all the mementos we have of him, as families who lose a loved one tend to do.  I am forever grateful to his English teacher for the book of papers written by Jack that we have to read through now that he is gone.  See, teachers, you really do make a big difference! :)

The paper above is especially meaningful because of how Jack went on to live out his wish of proving to people that he was far from average.

In truth, Jack was never ordinary or just an average guy.  He was always so smart, with such a cunning sense of humor; a man who listened more than he spoke, gave the best hugs, and was always looking out for and helping the underdog.  He gave really great advice and was always wise beyond his years.

I miss Jack every single day, but there are certain days of each year when I think about him more and the ache is a bit stronger.  Obviously, Veterans Day is one of those days.  However, with as much pain as there is in thinking about losing my brother, I am also so fiercely proud of him and the difference he made in this world during his twenty-six years here on earth.

While looking through photos on Jack’s memorial page on Facebook, I was again reminded of one of the ways he changed the world.  Jack and his Special Forces team were helping oversee the building of this school in the Philippines when Jack and his teammate Chris were killed.  Now, the school bears their names.1233407_10201914354998009_2059258260_nAnd I just realized how this post came full circle, as it started with a paper written by Jack as a school assignment, and ends with the legacy he left for kids in another part of the world: to grow and learn and go on to change the world in their own ways.1236031_10201914354758003_1489962961_nI’m so thankful I live in a day and time when we, as Americans, honor and appreciate our veterans.  Much can be argued or debated when it comes to war and such, but I think we all agree that those who have sacrificed so much of their personal lives deserve to be recognized.  Thank you seems inadequate.

~abi~

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photo shoot ~ last year’s headshots of forrest

IMG_5414_1I’m coming off a really great weekend, full of time spent doing photo shoots for great friends and hanging out with old friends I hadn’t seen in awhile.  One of those friends whom I hadn’t seen in forever was this guy, Forrest.  After hanging out with him for a bit last night, I was reminded of these headshots I did for Forrest last year.  I never posted them before, so I thought now was a good time. IMG_5386_2Just so you know, Forrest is one of the most talented people I’ve ever met.  Someday when he’s famous I’ll be able to brag about doing pix of him back in the day. :)IMG_5369_1IMG_5342_1IMG_5318_1IMG_5324_1IMG_5181_1IMG_5280_3male headshotsIMG_5434_1IMG_5526_1These last couple images aren’t headshots, but I had to show his sweet outfit.  Forrest, like me, is a lover of thrfited clothing.  I love his style! :)IMG_5569_1IMG_5617_1When I was hanging out with Forrest last night, he was strumming a guitar, which is the most natural thing in the world for him to be doing at any given moment.  I am always so envious of people who have musical abilities.  I love, love, love music!  The other day during small group time at church, we were talking about what we would do if we knew we would be successful at it.  Without a doubt or any hesitation, I said I would totally be a rock star if I could be!  :)  Since that is definitely never going to happen {darn!}, I will just have to settle for enjoying the music of my talented friends like Forrest. :)

~abi~

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