Style Wars: Ethereal Empire

4.30.2018

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Style Wars is back with a new fashion face-off and a hint of warmer weather! I'm sure spring has visited most of the country by now. Last week we finally had a few beautiful days of pure sunshine and I enjoyed it by breaking out some of my warm weather clothes. Since this is the spring edition of Style Wars, Jenmarie from Anakin and His Angel and I decided to choose a very spring-inspired piece of clothing to style. She and I both love the Galactic Empire so when I came across an Imperial floral kimono on ThinkGeek, I knew we had to get it. 


I like to wear kimonos for a little bit of extra coverage over a tank top or for added warmth when it gets chilly. When my Imperial kimono arrived in the mail, I realized it would get a little lost in a busy outfit so I decided to keep the rest of my look very simple. I chose a black silk tank top and paired it with black skinny jeans. To break up the solid dark outfit, I half-tucked my top into the pants and added a brown leather belt. Since this look was technically a date night outfit, I wore nude colored wedges and a textured metallic clutch. I'm still obsessed with tassels, so I accessorized with a bright pair of yellow beaded tassel earrings and gray beaded bracelets with tiny neon tassels on them. To finish it off, I wore a vintage Star Wars necklace that my brother gifted to me a few years ago.




I absolutely love the print on the kimono because it's really subtle. It's honestly hard to even tell that it's a Star Wars design, but I think that's great. You could easily wear this in a casual office or for any sort of event where you need to look a little more polished than wearing a loud fandom T-shirt. The floral print features mint green, magenta, and white flowers with tiny Imperial logos hidden in the pattern.



All the other kimonos I own have actual sleeve openings. This one however has small ties that you knot together to create a sleeve. At first I thought it was odd, but it didn't seem to be an issue when I was wearing it. I think you could easily wear this as a poncho or wrapped scarf if you unknotted the ties. My favorite thing about the kimono is the fringe trim. It's such a fun touch and adds a little weight to the bottom of the fabric so it doesn't catch the wind too much. 



If the Empire isn't your thing, ThinkGeek also carries a Rebel Alliance version of the kimono in a light caramel color. The Rebel one is much more toned-down so you could wear bold colors and it wouldn't overpower the print of the kimono. Here are some details on where you can find all of the pieces I wore...

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used, meaning if you purchase through my link I will receive commission at no additional cost to you. I only ever recommend products that I use and LOVE. Affiliate marketing allows me to continue to share free and affordable information and services! Thanks for your support! 

What I Wore:
Kimono- ThinkGeek (20% off this week!)
Tank Top- Abercrombie and Fitch (currently 50% off!)
Jeans- Madewell
Shoes- Target (similar here)
Earrings- Sugarfix at Target (found on clearance!)
BraceletsSugarfix at Target (found on clearance!)
Necklace- vintage thrifted (similar here)
Clutch- Target (similar here)

Click here to see how Jenmarie styled her kimono! How would you incorporate this Star Wars piece into your wardrobe?

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What I Really Think of Glossier

4.26.2018

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Glossier. If you're remotely interested in skincare or makeup, you've probably heard of that word. I first came across this brand a couple years ago when a friend of mine was recommending their brow pomade since I was complaining about my sparse eyebrows. At first glance, I checked out their products and thought, "Hmm...this stuff is a little more expensive than the products I currently use. You can only order their products online and I'm just not sure if their makeup would look good on my acne-covered skin." There's so much hype about Glossier online in the beauty community that it's almost impossible to avoid. I kept wondering if their products were really as great as everyone said or if it was just a huge cult-following that was obsessed with Glossier's pretty aesthetic look. After biting the bullet last summer and using their products for about nine months, I finally have my own opinion of Glossier. Here's what I really think...


The answer is pretty simple. I love Glossier. Love, love, looooooove them. I remember searching for honest reviews of their products when I was thinking of ordering a few items, so here are the reasons why I love their brand and products!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored or endorsed by Glossier, but affiliate links are used, meaning if you purchase through my link I will receive commission at no additional cost to you. I only ever recommend products that I use and LOVE. Affiliate marketing allows me to continue to share free and affordable information and services! Thanks for your support!


Things I love about Glossier

The price points. Unless I want to get myself a special treat, I typically don't spend a lot of money on my makeup or skincare products. I'm not the type of girl that will walk into Sephora and drop over $100 just to try out some new products. I buy the essentials and I search for good deals. I use a lot of drugstore products rather than super high-end ones. I'll be honest, when I first looked at Glossier prices they scared me a little. They weren't as expensive as high-end makeup brands, but also not as cheap as the drugstore brands. However, after trying their products for myself and seeing how long they last, I'm really pleased with how they price their items. I've had my Cloud Paints for almost nine months now and haven't needed to buy new ones. I wear them at least five days out of the week and they're still going strong. My Balm Dotcoms get used every single day, multiple times a day and they've lasted more than six months. I could go on, but you get the point. $18 for a beautiful blush that I use on a daily basis and will probably last me a full year is a great deal. 

The quality. Like I mentioned above, the long-lasting quality of the Glossier products definitely gets an A+ rating from me. As far as the physical product quality, I really like how their items are made. While some of the labels may rub off with use, I've never had any issues with the products leaking, cracking, or any of the ingredients separating. 

The packaging. This is probably the biggest reason why so many people enjoy trying Glossier. Their packaging is absolutely g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. I mean who doesn't love a pretty pink box telling them that they look beautiful? Each order comes with their famous pink bubble wrap pouches. I always have one of these on hand to organize my makeup or other little items like jewelry. Simple, sleek packaging catches my eye in an instant. I love it!


The message. Glossier's motto is Skin First, Makeup Second. This is such a rare idea in the world of beauty. Most companies are forcing the idea onto women that we need to cover our skin and be self-conscious of our flaws. Glossier teaches us to love our skin, take care of it, and show off our favorite features with the fun tools of makeup. I love that their products give me the confidence to show off who I am and not be afraid of a tiny blemish or fine line on my face. 

The community. My favorite brands are always brands with a sense of community. I want to support companies that bring people together and celebrate them. Glossier celebrates their customers by listening to exactly what they want. They create items for the every day woman. Another thing that I love is how the CEO of Glossier, Emily Weiss, keeps an eye on the online Glossier community. Every time someone posts a photo and tags Glossier on Instagram, either the brand account or Emily herself will like the photo. This isn't an automatic setting. This is a real person recognizing fans and giving them a like. I'm sure Emily feels super connected to the community because she's actually seeing it and engaging with it every day. How cool is that?! 

With all of that being said, I will admit that I haven't tried every single one of their products. I'm hoping to add more and more of their products to my bathroom cabinet as time goes on, but for now here is a list of the products I've used along with my review of them!

Products I've Tried and Tested

Balm Dotcom. The Balm Dotcom is Glossier's version of a lip balm. It's a skin salve that can be used on your lips or skin for extra moisture. I only use this product on my lips because I have the scented and tinted versions (Cherry, Rose, and Birthday), but they have the Original unscented version that you can use on your hands or anywhere else for moisture. I give this product 5/5 stars! I use it every single day and it keeps my lips baby soft. The Cherry one is a perfect red-tinted balm for an every day makeup look when I don't feel like wearing lipstick.

Milky Jelly Cleanser. I got a small free sample of this cleanser with one of my Glossier orders a few months ago. I know a lot of ladies that swear by this product and absolutely love it, but I wasn't as convinced. I love my current daily cleanser way too much to switch that item in my routine. It's not a bad formula, but I didn't find it to be anything special that would make me give up my current cleanser. I'd give this one a 3/5 stars for me. Good but not amazing or life changing. 

Priming Moisturizer. This is another product that I've gotten a free sample of when my most recent Glossier order arrived. I absolutely LOVE this moisturizer and I'll be ordering a full size version the next time I place an order. My current moisturizer is great, but I like how this one is light enough to wear under my makeup. I will keep my Instanatural moisturizer to wear at night, but the Glossier Priming Moisturizer has a really nice consistency that doesn't feel to thick on my skin during the day. 5/5 stars!

Cloud Paint. As I've mentioned before on the blog, I love blush. It's my favorite makeup product to use and I think it gives my skin so much life. I usually never leave the house without wearing a little blush. The Cloud Paints are cream blushes that come in four shades. I have three of the shades- Dusk, Beam and Haze. These can be used in so many different ways! On a daily basis, I mix Dusk and Beam to wear on my cheeks, I smear a little Dusk on my eyelids for some subtle color, and I put Haze on my lips. Yeah, they're amazing. You can apply them with your fingers too and it looks super natural. All of the colors I have are very buildable. I can wear just a teeny bit for a soft, flushed look or I can build them up for a big pop of color. A little bit goes a long way and they're so easy to apply. These will forever be a staple in my makeup bag. 6 out of 5 stars! 

Lidstar. It's tough to give a full review of this product because I only own one of the six shades, but I will cover what I can. Lidstar is a shimmery cream blush that you can blend to be very sheer or build it up for some serious color. I have this item in the shade Cub and it's a gorgeous rose-gold shade. My favorite thing about this product is that it's quick and easy to apply, easy to blend out, and doesn't crease even after wearing it all day on my oily skin. I'm definitely going to buy this in a couple more shades soon. I wear it every day with my Dusk Cloud Paint. 5/5 stars!

Boy Brow. This product changed my makeup routine forever! I used to apply brow pomades that come in a little pot with a small brush and it would add an extra 10 minutes to my makeup routine. I felt like my brows always looked drawn-on and terribly fake...that is until I finally tried Boy Brow! This brow tint comes in a little tube with a small spoolie brush and it's insanely easy to apply. I give my brows a few quick swipes with this product and it fills in my sparse patches while making the rest of my brows look nice and full. It comes in Black, Brown, Blonde and Clear. I wear it in Brown. A+++! A million out of 5 stars! This item usually lasts me four months before I have to re-order. I love it. 


Snapped this selfie after using Boy Brow and Cloud Paint for the first time last year. Still loving both those items!
Haloscope. This is the one product I've been majorly disappointed in. I had read and heard a lot of good things about the Haloscope highlighter stick, but I wasn't super impressed. I typically don't wear highlighter anywhere on my face except my brow bone, inner corner of my eyes, and my cupid's bow. This product isn't very easy to use in those small areas which is why I go for a liquid highlighter (maybe Lidstar in the shade Moon would fulfill this empty spot in my Glossier collection). When I apply it to my cheeks directly with the stick, it seems to pull up any foundation and powder I have on my face. Not a big fan, but I can see why some girls like it. I'm just not a massive highlighter fan so I'm not the ideal customer for this. 2/5 stars for me. 

Stretch Concealer. This is one of the newest items in my Glossier collection and I like it! I will say that I'm still holding onto my NYX HD Concealer to cover any major blemishes on my face, but I really like the Stretch Concealer for my dark under eyes and any small patches of pink or redness. Some girls say this concealer creases pretty bad on their face, but I haven't experienced that as I don't apply it around my mouth where my face moves the most. I love how it looks under my eyes. It feels very moisturizing too! I apply it with my fingers and it stays in place all day with a light dusting of powder. 5/5 stars! P.S. I wear this concealer in the shade Medium. I thought it would be too dark for my skin, but it's perfect!

Wowder. This is the other newest Glosser item I got along with the concealer. Wowder is a setting powder that comes in three shades. Glossier is famous for very dewey looks so I was surprised when this product was released but also very happy because I wear powder every day. I always set my foundation and concealer before applying the rest of my makeup. Wowder is amaaaaaaaaazing. It feels and looks like velvet on my skin. I've seen some reviews complaining about the packaging because it's a loose powder instead of compact, but it really seems to work well for me. My old pressed powders ended up putting too much product on my face and made me look covered in dust. The Wowder puts just enough product on my brush to cover my skin and keep me looking natural. I have this in the shade Light/Medium and it's perfect! It also doesn't seem to have any deep pink undertones, which is a problem I always face when trying new powders. 6 out of 5 stars! 

Glossier You. This is another free sample I've gotten from Glossier. When you check out with your Glossier order, you can choose sample from a small selection of products to try out. I very rarely wear perfume, but I was curious to see what Glossier You would smell like so I added the free sample to my cart. Surprisingly, I love it! It's not something I wear every day, but I like to put it on when I want a little boost of confidence throughout the day. It's difficult to explain a scent, but it's just...nice? I would definitely recommend getting a sample of this product before buying the full-size bottle if you're not a big fan of perfume. I'm really happy I tried it! I'll probably never order the full bottle because I don't wear it enough, but I still really like it. My sample size will probably last me a while. 5/5 stars!

UPDATE 5/15/18- Click here for my review of Lash Slick!

I hope this gives you a better idea of why Glossier is getting so much hype! Their brand definitely isn't targeted towards girls who want a full coverage face of makeup, but I'm totally okay with that. Sometimes it's nice to dress up and pile on the makeup, but for every day looks I like to keep it natural with Glossier. It's still my face and my features, just a little better. If you want to try any of their products, click HERE to get 10% off your first order! They also have a deal where you automatically get free shipping if you spend $30 or more. Go treat yo self!

Have you tried any Glossier products before? What is your favorite one so far? I can't wait to see what they come out with next! 



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Painting Star Wars: Legion by Fantasy Flight Games

4.25.2018

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I'm back with the next installment of the Star Wars: Legion by Fantasy Flight Games series. Last time I wrote about the game, I gave a brief overview of the core set, how the game is played, and mentioned that the pieces come unassembled and unpainted. Today I'll be giving you a tutorial on how to paint some of the figures included in the core set- specifically the Stormtroopers. This was my first time painting a mini-figure so it's not 100% perfect, but it'll give you a good idea on how to paint these figures for gameplay no matter what skills you have. I'm no professional artist so if I can do this, you can too! I'll try to make this tutorial as simple as possible, but if you have any questions along the way feel free just to leave a comment and I will answer them as best as I can. 


Above are a few unfinished figures from the core set. As you can see by the trooper on the far left, their arms come unassembled and you also have to glue their feet to the base piece. They come molded in gray plastic, which you then have to paint if you want your pieces to actually look like Stormtroopers. The pieces shown above have been primed with a few small details (eyes and frown) already painted black. 

Let's get started! I'll be touching upon all the supplies you'll need in each step of the process.

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used, meaning if you purchase through my link I will receive commission at no additional cost to you. I only ever recommend products that I use and LOVE. Affiliate marketing allows me to continue to share free and affordable information and services! Thanks for your support! 

Prep

This step can be skipped if you're not super particular about the finish of your figures, but if you're a detail freak, take a small file and sand down the mold lines on your figure. You will notice a few fine lines on the body of your Stormtrooper that are from the mold not lining up precisely. It's not a big deal if you don't want to fix this, but if you want to make your guy (or gal) look super smooth, just give a quick file. After this, go ahead and glue your piece onto the base, but leave off the arms. We'll glue those on later. 


Prime

Before you paint all the cool details, you'll need to prime your figures. You can do this by hand with the primer spray paint or by airbrush if you have one. My Stormtrooper figures are airbrushed with the Vallejo surface primer in Gray, but the Rebel troopers are painted with the spray Army Painter primer. How you want to prime your figures is totally up to you. You can prime them white if you choose, but I think the light gray accentuates the details and allows you to highlight the parts you want to be true white. I'll touch on this more in a bit. 

Spray Primers
Airbrush Primers

Base Coat

Once your figures are primed, you can start getting into the fun part- painting the base coat! For this step you'll need paint, paintbrushes (very fine bristles), a small cup of water and a paint palette. Vallejo is my preferred brand of model paint, but there are all sorts of brands from gaming and hobby stores that you can try out and test for yourself. For the Stormtroopers, you'll need bright white, black, light gray, and a deep royal blue. Below are some photos of the paints and brushes I used. 



The first thing you'll want to do is paint the eyes, frown, any parts of the under suit that shows, the brow, chin, and shoe soles in black. This part requires a steady hand, but if you mess up at all you can fix it later by painting over the mistakes with a light gray or white. Make sure you get the blaster and gloves as well. I almost forgot this step because the arms weren't glued on yet!

Next you'll take your light gray paint, water it down a little, and paint the indents in the helmet on the front and back. By watering the paint down, it makes the paint more runny and allows the color to sit right in the crevices of the helmet. After that you will paint the stripes on the cheeks dark blue. Make sure that you clean off your brush in the water between each color application and dry it off on a napkin. Now you can glue the arms on with a couple dots of superglue.


If you're a painting newbie and don't want to go any further with the weathering process, your figure can be considered finished at this point. The piece you see above is game-ready if you choose to leave it that way. Pretty easy, right? If you want to add more detail to your pieces, keep reading!

Highlighting

It was funny to me when my fiancĂ© explained the highlighting/weathering part of the painting process because I very easily related it to makeup. Girls, this part of the process is basically like highlighting/contouring your face. Haha! Guys, here's what I mean in real talk- now you'll take your white paint and highlight the parts of your trooper that are raised. This includes the leg and arm strips that run across the shin and forearm. You will see these strips pretty easily...they are raised higher than the armor. You can pretty much brush white paint over any spots you want to accentuate. I painted any high spots that would technically "catch the light" if these troopers were outside. I also gave a little spot of white to the top of the helmet and toes of the boots. You can see the highlighted spots pretty clearly in the photo below. 


Weathering

The next step is to accentuate the opposite of your highlighted areas. You could call this step contouring, but I think it's more appropriate to call it weathering since these areas of the armor are cracks and crevices where dirt could easily build up. Take some black paint and water it down so that it creates a wash. You could buy wash paint for this step, but if you want a budget-friendly solution, just mix in some water with a few drops of paint. Drag your brush along the low valleys and crevices of your piece. I weathered almost all of the edges of my highlighted areas. 


Blending

You can see in the photo above that the weathered lines look very harsh and dark. If they look too dark for your taste, you can mix light gray and white paint to create a blending color. Use this color to blend out the harsh edges of your weathered lines. This will create a smoother, more polished final product. 

Ground Texture

At this point, you're pretty much done! You can add ground texture to your base depending on what type of environment your troopers will be playing in. You can get some fake moss, sand, or little rocks to put on the base. Below is a photo of a faux-sand paste that we'll use for our troopers to fight on a sand planet. Once this paste is applied, you can paint over it as well with any color you choose. 


That's it! Once you complete these steps, your pieces will be ready for gameplay or display. I'd recommend doing all of these steps in a bulk process on your pieces so it doesn't eat up too much time. For example, prime all of your figures at once and then paint all of the black details at one time. Rather than fully finishing each figure one at a time, if you do each step on all of your figures, you'll save yourself a lot of time and brush cleaning. 



Above is a photo of some finished Rebel troopers from the core set. If you'd like a tutorial on these guys as well, please leave a comment below and let me know! Have you gotten Star Wars: Legion yet? I can't wait to start playing it! I'll be back soon with a review of the actual gameplay.

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My Star Wars Story

4.24.2018

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One of the questions I get asked most often is, "How did you become a Star Wars fan?" I love answering this question and hearing other people's responses because two stories are never the same. One of the most interesting things about being a Star Wars fan is learning how guys and girls from all walks of life all feel the exact same way about a franchise that started off with a few simple movies. How cool is it that so many people all have one common thread that can bring everyone together?! I mostly answer this question on podcast appearances, but I thought it would be nice to share on here as well in case any of my readers are curious. 


I was born into a family that watched the Star Wars VHS tapes until they were worn out. My mom saw the first movie in 1977 when she was a little girl and fell in love with Star Wars like everyone else at that time. Later when she got married to my dad, she found out that he had never seen the trilogy before and quickly fixed that. While my mom didn't convert him into a fanboy, she still continued loving Star Wars and showed the movies to my older brother when he was about two years old. By the time I was born, my brother was hooked and wouldn't put his Luke Skywalker lightsaber toy down no matter what was going on. I never remember a time when Star Wars toys weren't around me or the movies weren't playing on our TV. 


Fast forward about nine years. I specifically remember dressing up in a Jedi costume my mom hand made and wearing it to the midnight premiere of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. My mom, brother, and myself were all wearing costumes that night and I couldn't wait to get in the theater. There are very few things I remember before my teenage years, but I clearly remember seeing the opening space battle of Episode III and instantly falling in love with the movie. My friends and I collected the trading cards on the cereal boxes, my brother and I played Battlefront for hours on end, and we would make our own Star Wars movies on summer break that year. While I loved Star Wars when I was little, I always felt like it was my brother's "thing". He was the one with all the trivia knowledge. He had all the toys. He had all the cool Star Wars shirts. I was just the little sister that wanted to be like her big brother so I was into the things he liked...until The Clone Wars came into my life. 

Again, just like my younger years, I watched The Clone Wars on TV with my brother because I wanted to be like him. I didn't really connect with the first season so when the show returned for season two, I wasn't as hardcore about watching it every week. One day my brother called me into the living room and said that I needed to watch the new episode of The Clone Wars because there was a new character he thought I would really like. That character was Cad Bane and boy was he right. I'm a huge fan of anything western inspired so when I saw Cad Bane and realized he was basically a space cowboy with an awesome hat, I was all in. 


Later that year my mom met a family at a homeschool convention and connected with them over a cool Star Wars tote they were carrying. I got a phone call from her that afternoon and she told me that she met a family with a daughter about my age that ran a Star Wars forum online just for teen girls. She assumed I would blow her off and say that was for nerds, but I was really intrigued so I looked it up online and instantly joined. For years my daily routine involved checking the forum each day, talking about new Star Wars content with tons of girls just like me and I finally felt like I had a group of friends. Ever since then I've met a lot of girls on that forum in person and to this day we still keep in touch. 

Around that time is also when I started my very first blog called "Pandas, Lightsabers and Cameras, oh my!" Cringe. What a name, right?! Basically at the time my top three interests were panda bears, Star Wars, and photography so I created a blog to talk about all of those things in one environment. I also joined Facebook and Twitter to connect with more fans like me and share my blog content. In my spare time I would sew Clone Wars inspired outfits, review my favorite episodes on the blog, and even started to delve into podcasting. I reached out to every Star Wars voice actor and screenplay actor I could think of and asked to interview them on my blog. Surprisingly, many of them said yes! When I went to my first Star Wars Celebration back in 2012, I met several of the people I interviewed and they actually remembered me. My mom was shocked when we walked around the convention hall and people recognized me as the "panda blog girl". I couldn't believe it. People were actually reading what I was writing and knew who I was which fired me up to keep blogging even more. 


After owning my PLC (that's what I called it for short) blog for a few years, I decided it was time to create a new blog that was more grown up and polished. I brainstormed with my brother on some new name ideas and he's actually the one that came up with The Dorky Diva. It was perfect and just like me. I'm a clumsy, silly dork with a heart that still loves girly things like fashion, makeup, and reality TV. Obviously if you're reading this blog, you probably know what comes next. I've grown up and had to deal with real life things like college, relationships, new jobs, and all that "fun" stuff. The Dorky Diva is my favorite space online because it's mine. I can talk about anything under the sun on this platform. Star Wars is still a massive part of my life, but it's mostly because of the people. I wouldn't still be talking about Star Wars if it weren't for the friends I've made along the way. I'm so grateful to Dave Filoni and all of the team at Lucasfilm who created The Clone Wars. Without that show, I honestly don't know who I would be today. That show completely shaped my life and I wouldn't change any of it. 


If you're reading this and you're a Star Wars fan too, I want to know your story! Leave a comment below with your background on how you became a Star Wars fan! 

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Roozengaarde Tulip Festival

4.22.2018

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This morning Shaun and I went to the Roozengaarde Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. We woke up early, scarfed down some breakfast, and headed to the festival right when it opened to explore the fields before they were overcrowded. The weather was perfect and the sky was clear enough to see the mountains. It looked like something out of a fairy tale! Fresh, clean air is one of my favorite things about living in the pacific northwest now and these fields filled my lungs with sweet smelling air. Not a bad way to spend Earth Day!



I've never been to this festival before, but Shaun has and he recommended that I dress warm and wear rain boots. He was smart! The fields were surprisingly full of slick clay and tons of mud puddles. I decided to wear my new Eddie Bauer rain coat in case it started to sprinkle, a white sweater, my Rogue One scarf, black jeans and bright pink rain boots for a pop of color.




I took a ton of photos of the different types of tulips. They had every color you could imagine and some of them were mixed colors. Rather than tell you about them, I'll show you!






Thank you to my sweet fiancé for taking me to the festival and being a trooper about taking photos! These outfit posts wouldn't be possible without his help. Have you been to any flower festivals this season? What's your favorite type of flower? I personally love daffodils, which is why I screamed a little out of excitement when I found this patch of daffodils left from the previous month. Beautiful! I hope you enjoyed these photos and I can't wait to show you more views from my new home.


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