snakeskin blazer & pushing forward in stress

About this Blazer:

Can you tell I’m a fan of snakeskin?! Yes, it’s trending right now, but I have to say I love it no matter what! I never met an animal print I didn’t like as long as it’s done in a classic way! and what is more classic than this $22 blazer?! (ps. if you can’t find the blazer with my link, use search ID 628289).

Use code SH4131 for %15 off, no limitation, valid until march 31st, 2019!

Shein has one of the best selections of animal print that I’ve ever seen and this blazer is just one of the many items I own and love of theirs! Yes, I agree that if you’re looking for classic pieces on their site, sometimes you have to wade through a slew of neon, barely-there “party dresses,” but I’ll tell you it’s worth it!

My favorite way to search is from their homepage and go to the dropdown titled “CLOTHING” and “Blouses.” Then select from the “elegant” or “preppy” categories, though the casual section hosts many great options as well.

I also like to browse their “casual,” “maxi,” and “elegant” dresses because they have great options for everything from hot summer days to fancy weddings.

Speaking of animal prints, my Leopard Print *actual art print* is just $20 over on my shop!

Life lately:

Have you missed me? Yes, I’ve been a bit MIA, but it’s because I’m constantly working on a secret project. So far, I will say that it’s honestly the biggest, most difficult, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my entire life — other than motherhood. In my mind, I keep comparing the work I’m putting into it on the time and effort I spent on my Master’s degree, which scares me a little because that stress reminds me of grief.

If you knew me back when I lived in Sweden or afterward, you would know how important Sven was to me. He was an orange rag doll who behaved more like a dog than a cat, and I cared for him like a child. So when he suddenly passed away one Friday morning — in the midst of all of the work, writing, teaching, and research — I grieved very hard.

So now when I have times of intense stress, sometimes my mind reacts by feeling like it should go into grief or survival mode. Instead of focusing on the next steps I need to take, sometimes I start worrying about the what ifs and the future. I’m no psychologist, but I know that’s unhealthy and unbiblical. God’s Word tells us to not worry about anything… to not worry about things because God loves us even more than we imagine and He’s like a Father who wants us to run to Him so He can protect and teach us.

It’s a conscious decision for me to focus on my tasks at hand instead of worry, but I know it’s the right decision.

What makes you worry? How do you actively work to combat those negative thoughts and press on toward your goal?



5 Art Supplies Every Watercolor Enthusiast Should Own

Hey peoples!


up close: this painting was done with my watercolor pan and Fine Tec pearlescent watercolors. it is still a work in progress. 

While I’m pregnant, all I do is paint with watercolors or draw because they are a little less harsh than other types of paint I like to use like acrylics, and especially oils. Since they are what I have been using, I wanted to show you some of my favorite watercolor art supplies!
1- A brush set that includes a wide range of tips– especially a small chisel tip, a wider tip, a very small round tip, a medium round tip, and a larger flat brush. I have a synthetic set very similar to this one, but I am still always a fan of the real fur brushes.
2- A wide range of nice, artist’s watercolors in a brand like Mijello Mission that uses rich pigments. For sure have a set of the primary colors, black, white, and a few other colors that you don’t think will be easy to mix from the primaries. The brand I am currently using is Rembrandt and I am very happy with them.
3- A easy to carry watercolor pan like this set from Creatacolor with bright colors so you can bring it with if you decide to paint outside or while out of town.
4- I love this Arches Hot Pressed, Grain Satine 300 g/m2 paper because it is very smooth and is a high quality. It can sustain multiple brushstrokes without showing breakdown, which is always something I look for in a paper.  Blick has them on sale for 50% off right now too so I kinda want to stock up; watercolor paper always surprises me by how expensive it is! If you’re buying it online keep in mind that cold pressed paper will be more bumpy that hot pressed.
5- Fine Tec pearlescent watercolors. I talked about these in a recent art tutorial, but now that I’ve been using them on a somewhat regular basis, I can strongly say I highly recommend them! They give your work an extra special finishing touch without overwhelming the feeling of the piece. I have the exact set pictured above so if you are looking to purchase them from Blick, it’s the pearlescent set of 12.
What are your favorite art supplies, watercolor or otherwise?!

an even closer view of how the pearlescent watercolors show up when layered over the regular kind.

…fall ready in a flash…


Shirt: Nordstrom Rack | Pants: Vero Moda | Booties: Justfab, similar here | Scarf: TjMaxx, similar from Asos for $10, another from Asos that has a plaid pattern, and plain white version here for under $20!

Hi ladies! Today I wanted to give you a little #OOTD inspiration for tomorrow using my favorite giant scarf for fall. For details on how to get this look scroll to the bottom!


Shirt: Nordstrom Rack | Pants: Vero Moda | Booties: Justfab, similar here | Scarf: TjMaxx, similar from Asos for $10, another from Asos that has a plaid pattern, and plain white version here for under $20!

The following details might look like a lot written out, but they are actually really easy steps to follow!

1. The outfit: You can use whatever you have in your closet to get this look, but for best results your scarf and booties should have similar colors in them. Then add contrasting pants… this outfit would have looked really good with dark bluejeans if I had any clean ones at the moment. 😛

2. Accessories: When you’re done dressing, add your favorite stud earrings (choose a pair that match your lipstick, a color in the scarf, or a clear pair of diamond studs). Don’t wear dangling earrings or you’ll look like you’re trying too hard and they might catch on the scarf. Ouch!

Add some bracelets or a watch if you want.

3. Hair: It’s important that you wear your hair in a high ponytail or bun for a big scarf like this or else you lose some of the effect of its oversized hugeness. I like to start my buns by gathering my hair on the top of my head like I’m about to do a high pony, but instead of putting a hair band in right away, start twisting until the ends of the hair are wrapped around the base of the ponytail. Then add the hair band around the bun at its base. After that’s done you’ll have a floppy bun mess. If it looks bad, you’re on the right track! Fan the hair out and use hairpins to secure it on all sides. Let it be a little messy so it doesn’t look too harsh/grannyish.

4. Makeup: When doing my makeup I always like to add winged liner to the top lids and mascara to both top and bottom. I do add a little foundation and blush too, but don’t always add highlighter and contouring powder. I layered a barbie pink lipstick under a berry gloss and I love the fall approved results! Finally, since my bangs covered my brows, I also filled my brows in with powder. I think the overall effect looks better if I can see my brows through that fringe. 🙂

Are there any outfit or hair requests you would like to see me try? Let me know!



5 Ways to Stay Classy in Flannel

fall-booties-plaid-shirt-classic-style-classy-fashion-the-classy-artist-with-old-navy-vest-cute1. Layer a vest or chic sweater over the shirt to add another stylistic element into the mix. Layers=good. I love this vest because of the gold zipper and perfect fit.
2. Pair it with a seasonally appropriate color of pants instead of blue jeans. Why does this work? Everyone expects you to look like that classic farm girl in flannel and jeans, but you don’t have to! Add some unexpected pants or a skirt in a fun color (my favorite color skirt to wear with plaid is hot pink).
3. Jazz things up with a bow or sparkly, expensive looking jewelry! You can never go wrong with bows or pretty jewelry.
(I had to add this pic above because… ponytail flip. lol)fall-trends-classic-style-with-plaid-shirt-and-vest-old-navy-ag-jeans-and-wedges

4. Add heels (or at least booties). If you’re on your feet all day like I was as a teacher, I recommend wedges or a comfy pair of the chunky heeled booties that are popular now. If you just cannot wear heels for whatever reason, there are TONS of stylish booties out this Fall

5. Do sleek, gorgeous hair and Makeup. Think glam curls & a smoky eye. For example, MY hair in this post looks horrendous and is not how you want your hair to look when you wear plaid. Believe it or not, I had gorgeous curls, a side braid, and lots of volume before we shot this…. in the rain. YES, it was raining. I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures, but there was a light sprinkle happening at that time– something the weather’s been doing a lot these days here in sunny MN. I thought I could beat the humidity by wearing a curled ponytail instead of my hair down like I normally do, but alas… hair fail. 😛


An alternative title for this post could be How to Not Look Like You Were Raised in a Barn While Wearing One of Fall’s Most Popular Trends: Flannel, but that would have been too long. And I decided it wasn’t good to insult barn dwellers right in the title of my post. But if you were raised in a barn, please comment below and tell me what it is like to sleep with such noisy animals. 😉

Outfit details:

Flannel shirt: || Vest: Old Navy || Pants: old, from my sis-in-law but I REALLY LOVE THESE  because they would be a surefire way to dress up plaid! But if you’re not in to the leather look, here are some very similar to mine for under $60 || Booties: last season Dolce Vita, here’s the updated style under $50 (real leather!!) || Cross body: vintage Coach, newer version here, less expensive (yet AMAZING) style here  and $50 real leather style here || Bow: mine is from my grandma, but they’re selling them now at places like F21 and Urban Outfitters || Earrings: BaubleBar from last year, similar here! I regret not getting a better shot of the earrings, but I haveta tell yuh– I recommend the BaubleBar brand because their earrings are so adorable and well made. Having quality jewelry is important to me because I’m allergic to nickel and cheap jewelry has a coating that wears off after a few times wearing the jewelry and then my ears literally bleed. Sorry, tmi, but true.

Ok, cue stories of barns…