Tuesday, May 31, 2011

packing! a new 30 for 30 challenge

Edit 9:30pm. Boo to blogger for deleting my comment box over the weekend. I was able to give it a [temporary] fix with a pop-out comment box. So please comment away (on my last couple posts), if you couldn't earlier! :-)


I spent all this weekend mixing and matching, washing and packing.

Before I got started figuring out what to bring, I read through some really helpful posts on packing.
This one from academichic where S packs for an entire year abroad (incredible!), and some of Kendi's 30 for 30 challenge picks. I also looked over some travel packing lists to make sure I got the essentials, and my previous 30 for 30 challenge.

I didn't want to plan every single outfit, but my primary goal was to stick to 30 items-ish (not including pajamas, work-out clothes or accessories) that can each be mixed and matched at least 3 different ways. (5 was ideal)

It was hard to narrow down!
But here's what I packed, and a few ways to wear them.


Tops (+layering tanks)




  • Simple Very Wang wedge sandals
  • Steve Madden oxfords
  • Lands' End walking shoes
  • Black Chacos
  • Old Navy Flip Flops
  • Me Too black flats


Putting it all together

NY & Co floral dress
NY & Co floral dress

Melange tunic
melange tunic

brown print maxi dress
Brown print maxi dress

halter maxi dress
floral halter maxi dress

Old Navy striped dress
Old Navy striped dress

Washi Wrap skirt
Washi Wrap Skirt

Banana Republic Bermuda Shorts

blue dress
blue jersey dress

= 24 outfits

I'd love to hear your thoughts about what I pulled together. Any other combinations you'd recommend? Any items you think I can do without?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Date Night at Five Guys

I hope you're enjoying a long weekend.

Since I've been in California, E has converted me into becoming a burger lover. We typically stick with the classic In N Out, but when a new Five Guys burgers opened up in our neighborhood we had to give it a try.

(Do you guys have Five Guys? I heard it's an East Coast thing)


They get an A for atmosphere (I adore the peanuts everywhere!). Its hard to compare burger joints, but I loved five guys for its own sake.

It's a heartier burger with triple the toppings we're used to (I loved the caramelized onions and mushrooms). The cajun fries are to die for.

five guys


ps. yes, I sort of feel like this is a cheat of a post. We're up to our neck in laundry and preparations - almost ready to go!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Love Story: The Decision

When I last left you, E had dropped some big news and was waiting on a decision from me.
(To catch up on the rest of our Love Story, click here)

There was a part of me that took the decision really seriously--I mean, we hadn't talked marriage yet, but I knew it was on both of our minds.
Me? A pastor's wife?!

I didn't have a clue what it would involve, so I allowed my mind to wander.
I imagined being broke & living in a parsonage we hated, because we wouldn't be able to pick out our own house. I envisioned us stuck in a rural area far from family and city life, dealing with impossible expectations of people who barely knew us (that I should have to have 8 kids, and play the piano, and be the church secretary and lead the weekly Bible Study. Ugh!)

[ps. most of those were misguided perceptions]

But then I remembered how much E loves studying the Bible. What a joy it was to worship at our church with him, and have discussions about life and faith.
I realized that the same things that fueled his desire to go to seminary were what made me fall in love with him in the first place.

After our engagement, the parents of a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be a pastor's wife. My (unrehearsed) response then accurately portrayed how I felt about it that weekend, and how I still feel about it.

"I don't know that I want to be a pastor's wife. But I do know I want to be the wife of whoever E is going to be."

So I headed up to E's dorm room on Sunday night, sat down with him on the couch, and told him that whatever adventures were in store for us--I was in.

us in Dec '07 on that same grody dorm couch

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I have (/had) a Facebook obsession.

I didn't mean to...and I know I'm not alone.

If I'm really honest with myself, I was spending hours--multiple HOURS on this social media site every day.

And it started to affect other areas of my life. I felt disconnected if I didn't check it every few hours. I woke up and scrolled through posts before even getting out of bed.
I started to feel discontent about my life compared to people I barely knew--Whhhhy do those people I met twice get to go on tropical vacation? buy a house? have a better marriage? have a fulfilling job and brag about it?

I've tried several times to just limit my time and involvement on Facebook, but it never worked. I manage the social media for my workplace and so I had an "excuse" to be on it all day long. And I mean All. Day. Long.

This is almost embarrassing to admit. But finally came to a point where I needed a break. I think Monica's post helped to convince me. I was getting mentally sucked in to the lives of people I didn't even know.

So earlier this week I wrapped up my work presence on Facebook, created a private, generic account for my work, and shut down my Facebook account.

I'm so relieved. I think I can probably add 25% productivity to my job. I can spend less time staring at the computer/phone screen, and most of all I can be present...and hopefully more content.
I'm not sure how long this will last, but for now it's needed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Latest Treasures & Some Tips

I still haven't decided if our local thrift store is just that awesome, if I have a keen sense for treasure hunting, or if I'm just an impulsive buyer, but E and I headed to the thrift store this weekend and I came home again with a cartful. (This is one good thing that comes from having to bring cash...I'm limited to what I've taken with me)

I was looking particularly for good, but cute walking shoes, and dresses.

I came across these Land's End shoes that were in perfect condition (I'm really picky about thrifting shoes). But there wasn't even slight wear to the soles! They're perfect for long days of walking in NYC or Milan.

boho maxi dress

Melange tunic

H&M striped top

drapey short sleeve sweater

E ran to school while I started shopping and when he took longer than planned, I started scouring aisles I wasn't planning to. I found a pair of Lucky jeans in new condition, just my size!

gap skinny jeans in Navy

and this adorable braided belt with the tags still on! (I've been looking for an excuse to get one. $3 was the perfect excuse!)


We also got E two tweed blazers for $10 and $4.

Total: $65

I found a few things too great to pass up, but they didn't work for me, so they're up for sale on my eBay account.

Then on Sunday Brook stopped by with a couple of her finds to try on. This amazing maxi dress and adorable pink Anthropologie dress. (She gave me these both for free, but I know the Anthro dress was $4)



I'm going to reiterate my #1 thrifting tip from Brook: wear a tank top and leggings (with a sweater or jacket over that) when you're thrifting. Many stores don't have dressing rooms, or there are long lines. I tried on probably 30 items in addition to what I actually purchased in a matter of a few minutes, because what I was wearing was modest enough to throw anything on quickly. (it sounds like it might be embarrassing or intimidating, but everyone does it!) And it lowers the surprised factor when you get home.

Tip #2 Be patient! Maybe this goes without saying, but I probably look through 50-100 items for every one amazing find I pull out. It takes a lot of persistence and patience to really find something at a thrift store.

Now I want to hear your thrifting stories, and finds! Do you thrift too?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Giveaway winner!

Thanks for entering my little giveaway last week! (And thanks again to Tah for sponsoring it!)
The winner is Kira from Her New Leaf.

Congrats Kira! email me at latteloveblog (at) gmail with your address so I can get the ring sent on it's way!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Birthday Scenes

Don't forget to enter my giveaway today for the Twisted Rose Ring!

Thanks for the birthday wishes here and on Twitter! It was a good day.

I try to keep my expectations for birthdays low because its so easy to be disappointed. E and I both struggle with doing special things for the other on occasions. (do you? they're so hard!) LAst year we both went each other on trips (me to Vegas, he to NYC)

But it was a lovely, lazy weekend.

Friday afternoon I took a long lunch with E and a coworker to Red Robin where I splurged on a mid-day margarita and had the most amazing burger: The Pub. I also treated myself to some new makeup at Sephora: NARS blush stick and Urban Decay eye shadow primer.


That evening we met up with friends at Stone Brewery and chatted before we part ways for some of the summer. (our husbands were there too, just not pictured)


Saturday was filled with another amazingly successful thrift store shopping trip (more to come on that!), a long walk with E , a big chef's salad and Mad Men Season 4.

chef's salad

Yesterday after church we had dinner at my in-laws followed by a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake, gifts (I got the oxford shoes, and Isis rain coat from this post...yay!), a long phone call with my parents, and an afternoon nap.

Birthday wear

mint chocolate ice cream cake

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Faves + Giveaway!

Make sure you scroll to the end--I have a fun giveaway for you!

Happy Friday! It's my birthday on Sunday so I'm excited to spend the weekend celebrating, and running some errands for our trip. Here are some of my favorites from the blog world the last few weeks...

(exactly the type of thing I'm hoping to work on when I'm home in July)

Have you ever blogged something you regretted? Here's a great post on the subject.

Some travel tips from Jordan of Oh Happy Day (who's living in Paris!)

I love the idea of a meal in a jar. Wonder how well this works in practice?

I'm dying to make these peanut butter bacon chocolate cookies from Jessica at How Sweet It Is.

Lastly, I'm excited to announce a [sponsored] giveaway from Tah Groen of Tahirih Designs. I was searching on Etsy for local vendors in San Diego County and stumbled upon her great jewelry. She graciously agreed to offer an item from her shop to my readers.

The giveaway is for the Twisted Rosette Ring. I love how sweet and delicate it is!

To enter: please subscribe to my blog, visit Tah's jewelry shop (& photography shop) and comment below!

Winner will be announced on Monday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Defining Beautiful

I'm featured today on The Bobby Pin's Define Beautiful Project. Check out my post!

It was a fun way to reflect on what I feel about beauty (and a great reminder to myself to look for beauty in the hearts of others)

ps. Jenna was featured today as well!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Love Story: The Ultimatum

More on our Love Story

Weeks into our relationship, things were going swimmingly. I was balancing a heavy load of school work, internship, campus job & editing the school paper. We were having a typical college romance - catching lunch in the cafeteria in between classes, and then studying together in our dorms at night.

October 2007

On one of those nights, E said we needed to have a talk about something.

When I first met E, he was philosophy major with Poli-Sci and English minors. He was planning to head to law school along with Alex. But while Alex had holed up in his room to study for the LSAT, E had rearranged his semester class load to take Biblical Greek.

We sat on the couch facing each other as he shared with me that he had decided not to go to law school, but instead he was seriously considering the possibility of attending seminary. At that point he didn't know what he would do with a degree afterward, but there was a very real possibility he would become a pastor.

[In hindsight, this is probably why we didn't spend as much time talking over the summer as he was wrestling with this huge decision.]

As I stared at the wall wondering what was the appropriate response to this news (silly as it sounds, I had daydreamed about being the wife of politician or lawyer long before we had even met), E pre-empted my thoughts with an ultimatum I was certainly not expecting just weeks into our relationship.

He said he had sensed when we started dating that things would be serious, so he wanted me to know as early as possible where he was going in life in order for me to make the most informed decision about our relationship.

Without allowing much of a response, he asked me to spend a weekend thinking and praying about it, and let him know whether I wanted to stick it out.

Although the news itself was not entirely shocking, the decision that faced me was daunting. I had been dating this guy for less than a month!

Monday was going to come quickly...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Refreshment: Strawberry Lemon Mojito

Last night E grabbed a beer to have with dinner, and I wasn't feeling like one so I started scouring the fridge for anything to make a mixed drink (something I rarely indulge in)
Our fridge was looking pretty bare, but I did have a lemon and a bunch of ripe California strawberries...and thus was created: Strawberry Lemon Mojitos.

I cut this recipe in half and modified it slightly. This is the perfect late spring cocktail!

1 lemon
3-4 very ripe strawberries
10-12 mint leaves
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
4 oz rum

Heat water and sugar in small sauce pan just until bubbling to create simple syrup, and set aside.

Juice lemon, cut off tops of 3 strawberries and muddle both with mint leaves for a few minutes. (I used the end of a rolling pin!)



Add ice, simple syrup and rum to cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a glass with a few ice cubes.

Strawberry Lemon Mojito

Garnish with a strawberry and a mint sprig.
(makes two drinks)

Strawberry Lemon Mojito


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Latte Loves: Italy Style

I've been drooling over a few items I would love to add to my wardrobe before we leave this summer. (Also my birthday is on Sunday, so E - hint, hint!)

Here's a peak of my style lusts right now...

(perfect with bright pink lips!)

Versatile maxi dress

Shabby Apple's new Set Sail line

Set SailSet Sail

(I didn't expect to love this jacket, but tried it on at REI this weekend and fell in LOVE. It's so cute in person.)

What's on your summer style must-have list?

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