Little Black Dress


There is nothing like channeling your inner Audrey Hepburn when you put on a little black dress. A little black dress is an essential item in every woman’s closet. A little black dress should make you feel fashionable, polished, and classy (I know I sure feel that way when I have one on).

Allison’s Fashion Tip: Find a little black dress you love and wear it often!

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After Work Popcorn Date


One of Peter and I’s favorite thing to do after work these days is to take a quick break from the day and watch our favorite YouTuber Casey Neistat.

Before we begin I love to grab a snack for us as we enjoy some downtime. Our favorite after work snacks include apples, ice cream sandwiches, string cheese, and popcorn. Popcorn is an excellent healthy (non-fruit/veggie) snack. 

Capparis Kitchen makes it easy to make healthy popcorn quickly. Just put 1/4 cup inside the red popcorn holder, put on the lid and put in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Tips: You have to listen closely to know when the popcorn is done. I’m known for doing other things while I’m making popcorn and end up forgetting that it’s in the microwave and burning it. Yes, I totally burnt my first batch and yes, I listened closely the second time because the smell of burnt popcorn isn’t pleasant.

Take time out of your busy schedule for an after work popcorn date of your own. For 15% off one of your own use the discount code: POP15NOW
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A couple months ago when Peter and I were driving home from church I had an in-depth conversation with him about what I loved and didn’t love about t-shirts. I had just tried on a really cute tee in a running store, but it fit me all of the wrong ways. To give you a little insight into our conversation… the softer the t-shirt the more I love it and if it doesn’t fit well I’m not a fan.

As Peter and I continued our conversation about t-shirts he encouraged me to start creating designs that I loved on cozy tees that fit well.

That afternoon I began sketching prototypes and ordered a few samples (you’ve maybe caught me wearing one already).

This 1988AURELIA Run Oregon tee is a final design and I’m in love with how soft the American Apparel tee (made and produced in the USA) is and how well it fits.

1988AURELIA: Celebrate your roots. Celebrate your community. Celebrate your home.

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On Friday’s, We Wear Jeans


These days, Fridays are my favorite day of the week because I can throw on some crimson and a pair of dark wash jeans.

My new University’s colors are crimson and gray and it’s a joy to return to my red roots. Iowa State University’s (where I did my undergraduate degree) colors are cardinal and gold. The University of Kansas (where I did my masters degree) is KU blue and KU crimson. I was born loving red. Thankfully, any shade of red is flattering.

I lucked out and found this crimson blazer on a Macy’s clearance rack prior to my final interview with WSU. I can’t wait to keep thinking of different ways to pair this blazer with things I already own in my closet for Washington State University Vancouver Cougar Friday’s.

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How To Find A Leather Jacket


Finding the perfect fitting jacket is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You’ll be searching and searching if you’re looking for the “perfect” one. There is no “perfect” jacket. The “perfect” jacket is the one that you like. Stop trying so hard and you’ll find the right one. When you find it, wear it often.

I have broad shoulders and a smaller waist. Meaning that most jackets I try on simply fit awkward.

I found this jacket back in March when I was on a search for blazers to wear to interview at my current job. I’d given up on trying to find a leather (mine is faux leather) jacket months ago. And after I’d tried on every blazer in the store I was ready to leave the store. However, I wasn’t going to give up that quickly. The saleswoman was wearing the most incredible jacket with a dress and I asked her where she’d gotten it. She quickly ran over to a rack in the store to see if they had my size left in store. They didn’t, but she handed me hers to try on. It was a perfect fit, so she assisted me in ordering it for an epic deal!

My favorite way to style a “faux” leather jacket is with a dress and a pair of black heels. I wear this “faux” leather jacket often to work and I’m sure this won’t be the last time it’s on the blog.

As our neighbor said in the elevator this outfit earned my hubby and I a “best dressed couple” compliment. My hubby was wearing oxfords, a navy polka dot button up, and some sexy grey slacks to give some context. I might add, he was looking quite cute!

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Find Your Extraordinary

Disclaimer: I received Find Your Extraordinary c/o Blogging for Books.

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As a former Stella & Dot Stylist I couldn’t wait to see what wisdom CEO and Founder, Jessica Herrin had to share in her new book Find Your Extraordinary.

Within the first ten minutes of solid reading, you’ll realize that this book isn’t about having it all; it’s about having what matters most to you.

Personally, I love that this book isn’t just about Stella & Dot.

This book is about hard work. This book is about embracing failure. This book is about success. This book is about finding your extraordinary.

Step Up
You have one life. Step Up.
Create it with every step, every day.
Find your passion. Think for yourself.
Learn. Laugh. Listen.
See the world.
Dream. Dance. Sing. Create.
Be kind and forgiving.
Especially to your sister (or brother in my case). Especially to yourself.
Be grateful, out loud, each day.
Embrace fear and failure.
It’s the only way EXTRAORDINARY is made real.
If you want more, work more.
It will not come to you.
Believe you can beyond reason.
Be you. You are beautiful exactly the way you are.
Know that no matter which way you go.
You will always be loved.
You will always be my moon and my sun.
So don’t wait for a magic elevator to your best life.
One step at a time.

Find Your Extraordinary receives 5 out of 5 ruby red slippers.

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Rent The Runway Fierce Edition


I just have to say I’m fully impressed with Rent the Runway and their customer service!!!

I opened this rental and found a size 2 dress on a size 2 hanger and a size 6 dress on a size 4 hanger. I was hoping for a 2 and a 4 but as my hubby says “shucks…that’s a bummer”.

When I went to zip the 2 (what I’m wearing in the photos) I was quite nervous to wear it to a wedding for fear of busting out of the dress by sitting down, eating too much (hey, I like to eat!), and dancing. The size 2 was definitely too tight in the rib cage area. I really needed the size 4 to wear to the wedding and they had sent me a size 6.

I tried the 6 on and it was too big to wear to the event so I did what my mama taught me to do… email customer service.

Had I tried the dresses on when I actually received them there likely would have been time to receive a dress in time for the event, but I didn’t try them on right away. (pro-tip for next time)

I opted to be fierce and try my luck and wore the size 2 to the event. Never have I ever, sat up straighter for fear of busting out of my dress haha.

Customer service quickly replied and were awesome and made things right.

All the other times I’ve rented from them my experience was been amazing and I’m excited to wear another Rent the Runway dress soon to the next wedding of the summer.

Want to try it for yourself get $30 off your first rental.

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Sseko Designs


Outfit Details: Ribbon Sandals, Sseko Designs | Dress, Target 2011 |  Accessories, Stella & Dot

Have you ever heard of Sseko Designs? I just think they are the coolest! When I was working at Oregon State University I had the opportunity to meet Brianna one of their employees to talk about the Sseko Designs and how our students could partner with them. DAMchic Magazine (the magazine I advised) featured Sseko quite a few times and now one of my former students is interning with them this summer. *Yes, I’m super proud of my current and former students that I advise/advised!*

Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. And it is working! Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree or has graduated from university and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place.

In addition to our university-bound team, Sseko also employs women from all walks of life. By creating an environment of dignity, honor and dedication, Sseko Designs provides the opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.

I’ve been eyeing a pair of their ribbon sandals for so, so long. I love how you can tie them so many different ways. One day while scrolling I came across a post from Brianna that they were in need of size 8 product testers and in return you’d get a pair of ribbon sandals. So of course, I quickly emailed and they quickly emailed me back letting me know when to come in. Thank you again to Liz, Brianna, and the rest of the team for such a cool opportunity.

Now it’s your turn to come into Sseko Designs for some great deals.

Sseko Designs is having their sample sale on August 5th from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM in Portland, Oregon and you’re invited! Find out more information on their Facebook event.

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The Return of the Jean Jacket


Sometimes you swear that you’ll never let an item return to your wardrobe. This time, the joke’s on me because I re-bought a jean jacket a couple weeks ago. I’m really wishing I would have kept the one I wore in high school because I’m almost 99% sure that it’d still fit.

As I was purchasing it at Kohl’s I even felt like I was going back to high school. At the checkouts, they ask for your phone number for Kohl’s rewards. Being that I’ve kept my Midwest phone number I’m frequently confusing the retail workers with my Iowa area code. After I repeated my phone number for the 5th time. I joked that I’d had that number since I was in high school to the lighten the awkwardness of saying it so many times. The sweet young cashier serious as ever said oh “three years ago.” I replied oh bless your heart, no that was 10. He’d told me whatever I was doing I was doing well.

I left the store laughing and just had to call my mom and thank her for the incredible genetics. Instead, I left her the best voicemail that I’ve left in years. If you’ve seen photos of my mom from high school you’d notice that she still looks as beautiful as ever! I’m grateful that I’ve inherited the genetics. Thanks, mama Todd!

Back to the jacket… Jean jackets can be styled so many ways. A quick search on Pinterest might leave you slightly overwhelmed of how to wear it.

My favorite way to wear a jean jacket is with a brightly colored dress and a pair of fun booties.

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Bowerman 5K


This past weekend Peter and I ran the Bowerman 5K at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon with over 700 other runners. The Bowerman 5K is listed as one of the seven must-do 5K races in the United States. After running it we’d sure agree that it’s a must-do.

We loved the race because…

  1. You get to run through the Nike World Headquarters.
  2. The race doesn’t start bright and early in the morning.
  3. The course is relatively flat.
  4. It was a beautiful night to run.
  5. Added Bonus: The race tee was cute!

Being that I hadn’t ran more than 2 miles at a time since we moved to Portland (we moved in April) I was more than nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish this 5K without walking. Even though I was nervous I laced up my shoes and decided that I was going to rock this 5K.

Turns out there’s something about running on the Nike campus that will give you endurance like you’ve never seen before. I didn’t walk once, nor did I even feel like I needed to walk! It sure helps that the entire course was relatively flat.

Now it’s time to actually continue running a couple times a week before we conquer the next race.

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