02nd Jan2015

{52 Week Project} Week 1: Good Intentions

by Daenel

Good Intentions {Living Outside the Stacks}

Edited to add:

I recently found out about the Our 52 Week Project hosted by Lipgloss and Binky and Everyday Eyecandy and I wanted to participate because, well, I heart these ladies. And since I wanted to stay in the week, I’m going to link up this post with them and then get a fresh start on the themes this week. If you’d like to know more about me, check out 100 Things About Me

But for those of you who are in a hurry: I’m first and foremost a Jesus lover. And serious coffee drinker. I have the research skills of a librarian, the preservation skills of an archivist, the organizational skills of a soldier, and the domestic skills of a Stepford wife. 

I’ve been married for almost 20 years to The Hubs, we have five children, four grandchildren, and a dog who may be a cat…

Make sure you check out the hashtag #ourproject52 to meet the other ladies who’re participating.

I’m not a big maker of resolutions. I have a hard time keeping them, which means I usually end up totally frustrated with myself by the end of the year. The Hubs says it’s because I pick difficult goals. I think it’s because I allow little things to derail me. You know, I quit running because the weather’s bad. Or I don’t pick up my DSLR because I have my cell phone. Excuses, excuses. No matter how you slice it. Excuses.

The 52 Week Project: 2015 Edition theme for this week is “good intentions”. I so much rather prefer “intentions” to “resolutions”, it sounds less harsh and intense, don’t you think? Less like I’m due for some sort of punishment if I fail.

I know it’s only been two days, but I really wanted to sit and think about my intentions {whether they’re good or bad is up for debate} for 2015. We’ll have so much going on with the move and the kids becoming a bit more independent that I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. You know, like The Hubs thinks I do. And, since I know he rarely reads my blog, I’m going to say I’m inclined to agree with him. But, please, if you see him walking down the street, promise you won’t tell him that I said that.

So, here we go, my intentions for 2015:

  • complete a Bible study {feeling so spiritually disconnected}
  • help The Hubs settle in to our new home {cannot wait to start decorating}
  • learn to use my camera {I want to create the images that I see in my head}
  • start running again {I miss the hour of “me time}
  • finish a book {can’t remember the last time I finished/enjoyed/recommended a book}
  • find a new job {something fulfilling with an edge of creativity would be nice}
  • settle on a word for the year {those seem to be very popular and I’m a bandwagon jumper}

From time to time I plan to revisit this post, you know, to see how I’m doing with my “good intentions”.

What are your intentions {good or bad} for the year? Please share in the comments below.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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18th Dec2014

52 Week Project: 2015 Edition

by Daenel

52 Week Project 2015 Edition {Living Outside the Stacks}

I’ve often said the best gift The Hubs has ever given me is my Nikon D3100. My camera has given me freedom to express myself in ways that I never thought possible: I talk to people I’d normally be too shy to talk to, I go to events that I’d normally stay away from, and I see things that were previously invisible to me.

One of my goals for 2015 is to improve my photography skills. I currently shoot in Manual but, more often than not, my photos don’t turn out in reality how I see them in my head. The only way that I know to get better is to practice, take courses, and practice some more.

Recently, I registered for DSLR Basics that’s being taught by the ladies at A Beautiful Mess. I signed up for their course because, well, I like their photography style {so bright and happy, unlike mine, which leans more towards dark and natural} and because of time constraints I needed to do something that is self~guided. At some point, I plan to attend a real~live~honest~to~goodness~face~to~face photography class, I just can’t do it now. I’ve started doing some of the homework projects and have learned quite a bit; I can see subtle changes in my photos already. If you’d like to see what I have so far, click here.

Besides doing the homework assignments from the course, I’ll be participating in another 52 week project {you can follow other members from the group by clicking here}. I’ll be posting my photos on flickr and, at the end of each month, here on the blog. I’ve also linked up with the ladies at Clickin’ It Up a Notch for support and encouragement. I know I’ve participated in these projects before and I know I have yet to complete a project, but that’s part of the challenge…

The Hubs and I are about to enter a new phase of our lives: Empty Nesters and I want to document that. From the beginnings of our married life until now, we’ve always had children around {we both entered the marriage with a child from previous relationships and then had 3 together}, so we don’t know what it’s like for it to just be “US”. I’m hoping that through my photos, I can help us uncover who we are as individuals, as a couple, and as parents. And, perhaps, this will encourage other married people to hold on to each other as they go through the various couple/parenting cycles.

Anyway, I hope you’ll join me. Feel free to offer words of encouragement, support, critique {that’s the only way we learn} as we make this big leap in our lives, one picture at a time…

Clickin’ It,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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16th Oct2014

Blogtober: My Hobby

by Daenel

Blogtober: My Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks}

A little over 3 years ago, The Hubs bought me my first “real” camera. It was a GE X500 Power Pro. I loved that camera. And I took it every where with me. But as I became more comfortable with photography, I started to recognize the limitations of my “bridge” camera {a step above a point and shoot and a step below a DSLR}; but I didn’t want to ask The Hubs to buy me a new camera either. We’d just moved from Pennsylvania to Missouri and were trying to get settled in a new place. A new camera was a luxury I just didn’t think we could afford.

Then one day The Hubs came home and said, “How’d you like a new camera?” I immediately started protesting until he said, “I want to do this for you.” So we hopped in the car, went to the store and he helped me pick out the Nikon D3100. This is, hands down, the best gift The Hubs has ever given me. And that includes our children.

The reasons I enjoy it:

  • I’m an introvert and photography allows me to be part of the action without necessarily interacting with people.
  • I like that photography allows me to capture memories and share them with people.
  • I enjoy the creative process; figuring out how I’m going to process the picture: light or dark, over or under.
  • I can tell a story. A whole story or part of a story. It can be real or imagined.

Some of my favorite pictures:

Blogtober: My Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks}

This was my first photo to ever go viral. I was and still am very proud of it.

Blogtober: My Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks}

An abandoned house in Fruitland, Missouri. I love the textures, the colors… I wonder about the people who used to live there. I want to know who owns it now.

Blogtober: My Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks}

Katie and Robbie are the owners of Dynamite Coffee in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. They’re such a fun couple and I wanted it to show in the picture.

Blogtober: My Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks}

This guy right here. I told him to hold the ball for me so I could take a picture. This is what I got.

Blogtober: My Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks}

There’s something about old vehicles that appeals to me. I guess I really like old stuff. Maybe it’s the historian in me?

Blogtober: My Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks}

I also enjoy portrait photography. I prefer to capture people doing stuff rather than posed because I like the idea of capturing someone doing something they enjoy. But I do appreciate posed photography as well. In this case, my daughter and I were talking about random silliness and I told her to stop and this happened.

My photography goals are:

  • To get more comfortable shooting in Manual. I do it but I get really anxious about how the pictures will turn out.
  • Take my camera out in public more. I get angsty in front of people.
  • Street photography is calling my name. I’m barely comfortable asking people I know if I can take their pictures so going up to strangers will be a real challenge.

You can see some of my other photographs by clicking here.

What’s your favorite thing to do? How do you make time for your hobby?

Blogtober 2014 {Natty Nikki}

I’m linking up with Natty Nikki for Blogtober 2014, a month long blogging challenge. Please feel free to join up, leave comments, share the posts, you know, spread some love.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

24th Jul2014

Throwback Thursday: Photography, the Beginning

by Daenel

My husband walking through an underground tunnel…

And this is where it all began. My husband and I were walking through an underground tunnel and the light was just incredible. I snapped and a hobby was born. It wasn’t until a few years later that The Hubs surprised me with a Nikon D3100, but it all began with a cell phone, timing, and light. Yes, that picture was taken with a cell phone.

Where did your hobby begin?
Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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27th Jun2014

Happy Fist Bump Friday

by Daenel

Fist Bump Friday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy that my photograph was selected to be in Flickr Explore:

Old Hose {Living Outside the Stacks}

I’ve passed this house on random road trips so many times, wishing that I could stop and take pictures… Maybe creep around inside. But it’s sitting far off a hilly road, behind trees and a fence. I don’t want to get arrested for trespassing. So I did the second best thing: I pulled over on the side of the road, and used my telephoto lens and snapped away. I only stopped to wave a few cars around me. Seriously, it’s nice to have my photography recognized. If you’d like to see the rest of my photos, click here.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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19th Jun2014

What Has Brought You Joy? {Repost from June 2011}

by Daenel

The Girls

My girls are my pride and joy.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the boy too.  I mean, he is my son and all but there’s something about hanging out with my girls that brings me so much joy.  I can say that because I know the boy doesn’t read my blog but the girls do and if they try to tease him with this post, it’ll backfire because I’ve already texted him and told him that he’s my favoriteHe knows the deal

On this particular day, the girls and I had decided to go walking along the Back Mountain Trail, a nice little path that winds through the mountains where we live.  During most of our walk, the girls were waaaay ahead of me, as I kept stopping to take pictures of every.  little.  thing.  that caught my eye.  At one point, I managed to pass them and as I turned around, I caught my daughter jumping off a rock ~ her mouth wide open, arms and legs flailing, it has been years since I’ve seen such unabashed joy on my daughter’s face.

As our children grow up, it can be hard to capture those precious moments when everything is right with the world ~ there are no bills to worry over, no tests to study for, no sickness yet to be diagnosed.  For this moment, forever captured on film, everything is perfect and this brings me joy.

What has brought you joy today?
Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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17th Jun2014

Dynamite Coffee Bar: Gourmet Coffee in the Heart of Cape

by Daenel

About six months ago, one of my coworkers told me I needed to pay this place called Dynamite Coffee Bar a visit. She knew the owners and was absolutely positive that I’d love the coffee. I made a mental note to check it out as soon as my schedule allowed… A few months went by and I kept passing the shop but couldn’t stop for this or that reason. I know, who doesn’t have time for coffee?

Dynamite Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks}

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I happened to be out running the streets with Miss 20 when I saw the “Open” sign in the window and literally slammed on brakes in the middle of the street. I told my kid we were going in.

I’d heard from several people that I definitely needed to try the Lavender Latte, so that’s what I ordered. Imagine walking into a spa, slipping into a bath of warm lavender scented water, and sipping a cup of creamy coffee. That’s what a Lavender Latte tastes like. Seriously, it’s relaxation in a cup.

Robbie and his wife, Katie, started Dynamite Coffee Bar with the goal of providing sustainable coffee in an inviting atmosphere. They began the coffee bar in a little red trailer that they set up outside West Side Mall. And with hard work, a loyal customer base, and great customer service, they were able to move to a beautiful brick and mortar location at 206 Independence Street, conveniently located off the Riverfront.

Dynamite Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks}

Watching these two work together is like watching a well coordinated dance. Just fun… 

Coffee Art {Living Outside the Stacks}

While I was there, Robbie demonstrated his coffee art technique. He’s an award~winning nationally recognized barista! So very cool. He explained to me that there’s a science behind the art ~ temperature and texture play big roles. Honestly, you can hear the passion in his voice for his craft. Robbie encourages customers to not only stick with their favorite beverage but branch out and try something new.

They offer seasonal flavors developed by them and inspired by his love for great beans and her interest in cooking. If you’re not sure what to try, they’re willing to offer suggestions based on what you like.

Katie and Robbie  {Living Outside the Stacks}_1

Katie and Robbie have created a warm and inviting environment where people can either sit inside and enjoy fun conversation or sit outside and soak in the sights and sounds of downtown Cape. Dynamite Coffee Bar really is a place where you can just go and relax with friends.

You can find Dynamite Coffee Bar on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’re ever in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, please stop by and say “Hi” to Katie and Robbie. And don’t forget to give the Lavender Latte a try.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this post, I’m just a very big fan of buying local and supporting small businesses. And, oh em gee, the coffee is amazing!

20th May2014

How to Watermark Your Images for Instagram

by Daenel

How to Watermark Your Images for #Instagram {Living Outside the Stacks}

Let me start off by saying, I don’t watermark everything. Not every picture that I take needs/deserves to be watermarked. Do you really think anyone is going to steal that fuzzy picture of my big toe sticking out of my sock? I think not. I only watermark those images that I want protected or that I see as part of my image/brand. For example, I’m known for my morning coffee pictures {which I post on Instagram and Facebook just about every morning}, so I try to watermark the ones that I think are especially creative, bold, or pretty.

Photos can be traffic drivers, especially if they’re unique and easily identifiable with a specific person/blog/brand. So you want to make sure that you’re only stamping pictures that you’re especially proud of.

As a side note, I also watermark any pictures that I submit to Instagram competitions or challenges, this way people know who took the photo and they can check out my blog if they wish.

If you don’t know how to create a watermark, you can check out my tutorial here. I use PicMonkey because it is hands down one of the easiest photo editing tools out there. And most of the cool tools are free.

After you create your watermark, make sure you save it on your phone so you’ll always have access to it.

  1. Download Pixlr Express. You can get it from Google Play by clicking here.
  2. Upload the picture you want to watermark to Pixlr Express.
  3. Click “Adjustment”, then go to “Double Exposure”
  4. From “Browse”, you should be able to find the watermark you saved to your phone. The background may look black on your phone, but if you followed my directions, it’ll be transparent on your picture.
  5. Place the watermark wherever you want on your picture. I usually put mine in the lower right hand corner.
  6. You can adjust the transparency at this stage. Generally, I set mine for 55% to keep the watermark from overwhelming the picture.You can also adjust the size by pinching your fingers together to make the watermark smaller or spreading your fingers apart to make it larger.
  7. Once you have the watermark the way you like it, click “Apply”. Then “Save” the watermarked picture to your phone.
  8. Now upload your watermarked picture to Instagram.

Are you on Instagram? Make sure you leave your user name in the comments!

Daenel T

08th Apr2014

Walking on Tucker Blvd

by Daenel

Tucker Blvd {Living Outside the Stacks}

When I was a little girl, the one thing I wanted more than anything was one of those personalized license plates that I saw in stores. Actually, I wanted anything that was personalized but that was never gonna happen. My name is Daenel. Not a very common name.

So now whenever I see some variation of my name, I have to take a picture.

When you were a kid, did your parents buy personalized items for you? Or do you have an, ahem, creative name too?

Daenel T

07th Oct2013

Five Tips for Updating Your Profile Picture {Tip Tuesday}

by Daenel

5 tips for updating your profile picture {Living Outside the Stacks}

What is it about Autumn that makes people think pumpkins belong in everything? It does not. Pumpkins are good for three things: decorating, making pies, and describing a shade of orange. That is all.

deep cleansing breath

I have issues with pumpkin mania but that has absolutely nothing to do with this post except that the insanity starts in Autumn and Autumn makes me wanna change everything…

Usually, I focus the changing on things like my closet. You know, organizing my collection of cardis, checking my tights for runs, etc. But this year, I decided to do something a little different. I decided to update my profile picture to match the season.

My previous profile picture was a shot of my face, tightly cropped to showcase my pixie haircut. You can see it by clicking here. Cute but dated. My hair has grown out, not as much as I’d like, considering the picture was taken 6 months ago but… I digress. The picture just didn’t fit my needs any longer, so it was time for an update.

Here’s my new profile pic:

Fall Profile Picture {Living Outside the Stacks}

Cute, right? It took me a couple hundred tries to get the shot just right but once I hit the sweet spot, I was beyond excited by the results. I take all of my own pictures without the benefit of a remote, so there’s a lot of running and wiping away of sweat involved in my selfies. Anyway, this will be my profile picture for the next few months. I’m planning something equally cute for Winter. ;-)

Here are five tips for updating your profile pic:

  1. Select a picture that represents you ~ I like floral skirts, funky shoes, books, and, of course, coffee
  2. Add a little whimsy ~ the “Hello!” on the coffee mug in my photo is both friendly and fun
  3. Make sure your name, symbol, or blog name is visible ~ This is especially true if you’re using a picture that doesn’t include your face, like I did. I use PicMonkey to edit my photos; it’s quick, easy to use, and many of the tools are FREE!
  4. Give people a head’s up ~ sometimes it can be a little disconcerting to people if your picture suddenly changes {that also goes for changing your name}
  5. Be consistent ~ make sure you update all of your avatars so your friends can recognize you

Will you be changing out your avatar to match the seasons?


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17th Sep2013

Share Your Instagram Photos to Your Fan Page {Tip Tuesday}

by Daenel

Tip Tuesday: Share Your Instagram Photos to Your Fan Page  {Living Outside the Stacks}I big puffy heart Instagram. In fact, I was one of those people who waited {im}patiently for Droid to get the Instagram app because *insert kids’ hand game here* “Droid and me, us never part. Droid and me, us have one heart…”

One of the things that have bugged me since I downloaded the app is the fact that I couldn’t post my pictures directly to my Facebook Fan Page. I always posted first to Instagram and then went back to my phone’s gallery and posted the picture to my page. deep sigh So redundant and so time consuming.

That is until I looked at the Instagram settings and realized that there really is an option to share to directly to my fan page. Cue groovy disco music.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Go to your profile
  3. From the menu bar select “Share Settings”
  4. Select “Facebook”
  5. Under “Choose a Page”, select the page you’d like to share to

When you’re ready to post your picture to Instagram, you’ll see where you have the option to share on other social media sites, simply pick Facebook and there ya go.

Now there’s no more toggling back to your camera’s gallery, finding the picture and then sharing to your Facebook Fan Page. Yay!

Are you on Instagram? Give me a yell at 4daenelt.

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30th Jul2013

Coffee Talk {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}

Hi, and welcome to Coffee Talk. In case you’re new here, this is where I share some of the great and not~so~great stuff that I find on the web. Topics range from news stories that leave me scratchin’ my head to DIYs that I think are absolutely clever. And, who knows, there may even be a recipe thrown in here or there just for fun.

So grab a cup of coffee {or tea or whatever floats your boat} and let’s talk…

1. O. J. Simpson is asking to be released from prison early. blank stare He’s served nearly 5 years of his 33 year sentence and believes that he should be released because he’s been a model prisoner.  I guess he still doesn’t realize that he’s not really in prison for “stealing back his own stuff” but because the original prosecutors couldn’t make the murder charges stick. Whatevs, I know I’m not the only one who believes that’s why that man is really in jail. He got away with murder {even if he didn’t do it, I think he knows who did}, all he had to do was stay out of the public eye, but noooo, he had to keep working people’s nerves, now look…

2. I read that if you don’t have time to try on a pair of jeans before you buy them, you can do the “Neck Trick”: hold the jeans up to your neck, wrap the waist of the jeans around your neck so the ends touch,  if the waist band fits comfortably around your neck, they’ll fit your waist. I triple dog dare you to go into a store, try that trick, have someone take your picture, and post it.

3. Are you having a bad day? Click here. You’re welcome.

What had you scratchin’ your head this past week?

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01st Jul2013

July Photo A Day Challenge {In the Dark Room}

by Daenel

July Photo Challenge {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve participated in the Photo A Day Challenge hosted by Fat Mum Slim. I think I’ve been so focused on running and training for my 5K that I’ve forgotten to just enjoy taking photos, I hope this will get me back in the groove.

As usual, I’ll be participating on Instagram, you can follow me by clicking here. I’ll try to remember to do a weekly round up of photos here, just so I can get back in the habit of sharing something other than my sweaty face.

Are you participating? Leave a link in the comments so I can check out your photos.

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18th Jun2013

That Coffee Life {In the Dark Room}

by Daenel

#ThatCoffeeLife {Living Outside the Stacks}

When I was a little girl, my father used to drink his coffee from a beautiful brown mug that had a whistle on the handle. We were never allowed to touch his mug, except on the occasions when he’d turn the handle so we could blow the whistle. I’m not sure why but this was a big deal.

One day, as my dad prepared to relocate to Germany {he was in the Army}, he sat me down and told me to take care of his mug. I felt like such a big girl. I was keeper of The Mug. For years, I held on to this mug. Every time we moved, I made sure that the mug was carefully wrapped and placed just so in the box. And when we set up house, it had a special place in the kitchen cabinet. My dad never used his mug again.

My parents divorced. The mug was broken while I was at Basic Training. My dad passed away.

It was during that period of mourning when I stumbled across the brown mug in the picture. I nearly wept in the middle of the store. I explained to Lyn Carey, the owner of Earth and Wears, that my father had recently passed away and that the mug looked so much like the one he’d given me before he left that I could barely stand it. I felt my broken heart being mended while standing there, in that sweet little store, holding that mug.

Do you have something that connects you to a loved one?

You can find all sorts of handmade goods at Earth and Wears in Dallas, Pennsylvania. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, check it out or visit the store online.

About That Coffee Life…

A few weeks ago, my friend and “baby brother”, Tony Armstrong of Tony Armstrong Photography noticed my morning coffee mugs on Instagram and suggested that I do a photographic series.  I loved the idea! A mug and a story. These weekly posts are a result of his suggestion. I’m honored that fellow coffee lover, writer, and photographer,  Beatrice of inspired by beatrice clay will be joining me every Tuesday morning to share coffee and inspiration. I invite you to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter as we celebrate That Coffee Life.

If you’d like to join us, simpy take a picture of your cuppa, tell your story, and leave a comment with your link. We’ll be using the hash tag #thatcoffeelife.

Cheers,


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18th May2013

Enter Crocs #SplashofColor Sweepstakes {CLOSED} #sponsored

by Daenel

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Crocs for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you’ve followed my In the Closet posts, you know that my wardrobe mostly consists of neutrals and earth tones. But every summer, I break out of that rut and start dressing to match the season. My color theory for summer is if you see it together in nature, you can wear it together on your body.

(more…)

15th May2013

Denim Jackets and Playing Dress Up {In the Closet}

by Daenel

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a beautiful week so far. I know I am, the sun is shining, we’re on our summer schedule at work… life is good.

This week’s theme for Wardrobe Wednesday is denim jackets…

Denim Jacket Blue Tee Brown Skirt and Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

I own two of them but rarely wear them. I’m not really certain why, because once I put them on, I’m like Hmmmm, I look cute in this. And, truth be told, a denim jacket really is the perfect completer piece. It can be formal or informal, it can be relaxed or structured. It can be boho or preppy. The denim jacket is quite possibly the most versatile piece of clothing you can have in your wardrobe.

Denim Jacket Blue Tee Brown Skirt and Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

I feel the same way about skirts and boots. This skirt is probably one of my favorite pieces of clothing because it’s just so girly. Did I really just say that? It also doesn’t hurt that I get compliments almost every time I wear it.

Denim Jacket Blue Tee Brown Skirt and Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

I’m also including a picture from my 40th birthday series, “Celebrating Me.” I decided to take a picture on the 10th of every month to celebrate my 40th year because these weekly wardrobe posts aren’t enough. insert eye roll

Celebrating Me {Living Outside the Stacks}

The best part about turning 40 and taking my own pictures is that I get to have way too much fun playing dress up. For this picture, I was inspired by one of my celebrity style icons, Nicole Richie. You can see her picture by clicking here. I went a little more 80’s Glam Rock while she’s 70’s Disco Queen but I think it still works. My other photos are here and here.

What fun photo would you like to take?

I’m linking up with:

Please check them out for more fashion inspiration.

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