Teach Me: Simple Sock Bun

2015-12-30-02.39.30-2.jpg.jpegHappy New Year’s Eve, guys!  As an old person trapped in a young person’s body, I don’t usually go all-out for NYE.  Tonight’s plans are limited to video games and a little champagne with my best friend, then it’s back home to sleep in with Mox.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get a little fancy!  I have yet to pick out which dress I want to wear, but I do know I’ll be styling up my hair in this bun.  I’ve been working on the technique for a few weeks, and now it’s finally ready for you!  Here’s how to get the look–all you need are two hair ties, a handful of pins, and an old sock that matches your hair color.

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  1. Put your hair in a high ponytail.
  2. Cut off the toe of your sock and roll it up into a donut.  Slip this sock-donut right over the ponytail.
  3. Spread out your hair evenly.  Try to look as silly as possible.
  4. Using your other hair tie, fit it over the sock-donut.
  5. Take little pieces of the hair that’s sticking out and twist it.
  6. Wrap the twist around the bun and pin it in.

There you have it!  You can add bows and bandannas and whatever else you like, or just keep it simple.

What are your plans for NYE?  And more importantly, what will you be wearing?

 

 

Outfit: Holidays at the Mansion

DSC_1187-2.jpgLast week, I talked about one of my favorite shooting locations, good old Graue Mill.  This time, though, I wanted to lug my tripod and camera over to another prized location: a Prairie School mansion right in my own backyard.  I love taking pictures all over the grounds, but this time the walkway and house itself were decorated for the holidays, so off I went, prancing around the cobblestones.  Isn’t this place incredible?  I wish I could host a Christmas fete here!  Perhaps one day.

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Speaking of goals, the new year is fast approaching, and I still haven’t come up with any resolutions.  Most of the time, when I think of something I need to work on, I get started with the change right away, but I do think it’s a good idea to have a few big, overarching goals for 2016.

So what might those be?  Here are a few that are floating around in my noggin right now:

  1. Become a better blogger.  This means more engagement with the community, using more Independent Fashion Bloggers tools (I’ve already started their Instagram bootcamp, and I’ve gotten a goodly amount of new followers in the last week), and working on collaborations.
  2. Improve my photography.  There’s a wealth of photography knowledge right here on Photography-Colleges.org.  I had a goal in 2015 to follow one tutorial or lesson per week, and I’ve really slacked off.  In the coming year, I want to renew that effort.
  3. Cook more.  The plan is to cook once a month and slowly work up to once a week.  Ambitious, I know.
  4. Stick with a fitness regimen.  I’ve been taking barre classes at a Dailey Method studio nearby, and I LOVE IT.  It’s a challenge for me, and I feel great after each class.  I just hope that feeling can overcome my temptation to stay in bed and watch Walking Dead reruns on Netflix.
  5. Spend more time with Moxie.  She’s a very high energy kind of pup, and I know she needs more attention.  I’m going to make it a priority to play with her more, take her to more places, and give her more treats.  Maybe we’ll even incorporate some running into the routine!

There you have it!  These resolutions are pretty realistic, and I hope I can stick with them.  What are your plans for 2016?

Scarf: old, Old Navy

Cardigan: ModCloth

Dress: thrifted

Tights: old, Forever 21

Flats: old, Topshop

 

Outfit: Holidays at the Mill

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If I had to pick a favorite location for pictures, this Victorian mill is certainly it.  I’ve been coming here for a few years with my family and pets for brisk hikes, and ever since I started Mox and Socks, it’s been my go-to for outfit shoots.  It has everything I could ask for–a scenic river, woodsy trails, and three (count ’em, three!) wonderfully old buildings.

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This time, I shot at the century-and-a-half-old grist mill on Salt Creek.  There’s something it that felt so singularly right for holiday pictures, perhaps because its age brings to mind decades of tradition.  While I was there, I thought about what Christmas must have been like for the family that built this mill back in the 1850s.  I’m sure they would be decked out in their winter best and put on an incredible spread of roast goose, mashed potatoes, fried apples and onions, and oh dear, now I’m hungry.

Speaking of tradition, I’ve been doing all my favorite things this week: baking cookies with my mom, watching Christmas classics, and bustling about town to finish up my shopping.  If you celebrate winter holidays, what are some of your best-loved traditions?

Top: old, ModCloth

Skirt: thrifted

Tights: ModCloth

Shoes: old, Seychelles

Remix: Spiky Collar Love

DSC_0346For fall and winter, I can’t get enough of cute sweaters layered over button-downs.  I know it’s super simple, which is why I’m forever on the lookout for tops that have unusual collars–bright colors, silly prints, and even spikes.

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wpid-2015-03-14-02.27.17-1.jpg.jpegMy sheer cream top with the silver spikes has long been a staple in my wardrobe because of the way it launches every outfit onto a different level.  No one expects a dramatically three-dimensional collar, and I love seeing people’s reactions when they first notice.  It transforms even the mousiest ensembles into something with a lot of punch and a ton of kick.

On its own or layered just the way I like it under a sweet knitted sweater, this is one of those things I always have freshly washed for the next iteration.

What about you–what’s the one piece of clothing you can’t do without?

Outfit: Hurry Down the Chimney

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I don’t know if you guys can tell, but these photos were shot with my brand new 50mm lens!  I’d been lusting after one for the last few months, and I finally decided to go for it.  When I first bought my DSLR back in the spring, I accompanied it with a decent 35mm lens.  I didn’t realize then that a 50mm is much better suited for style blogging, but boy, can I see the difference now.

I don’t know much about cameras, but what I do know is that a 50mm makes the background a little blurrier than a 35mm, which means the subject is in sharper focus.  It makes a lot of sense that most style bloggers are using 50mm lenses because it helps keep the outfit front and center, so to speak.

Speaking of the outfit, I’m wearing one of the new pieces I bought during Book of Deer’s Black Friday sale!  I’d been seeing tons of other bloggers wearing BoD pieces, and I immediately fell in love.  When all was said and done, I ended up with two skirts and a knit hat, and I can’t wait to get my hands on more!

Book of Deer is full of whimsy, with unexpected details here and there.  The skirt I’m wearing is part of the Ode to Iceland collection for AW15, and the pieces range from dramatic glow-in-the-dark echoes of the Northern Lights to dresses and skirts peppered with wee elf houses.  Last season’s theme was Country Kitchen, and I bought a skirt from this collection as well–expect to see that soon!

Are any of you Book of Deer fans?  What’s your favorite collection so far?

Top: thrifted

Skirt: Book of Deer

Socks: old, Urban Outfitters

Shoes: old, Payless

Bag: Disaster Designs

Review: Lush’s Santa Baby

1449427618029.jpgIf you’ve been following Mox and Socks for a while, you already know that I can’t resist a snazzy red for my lips.  I’m not into wearing a lot of makeup, so lip stains are a good way for me to look like I’ve made an effort without really trying.

A couple of weeks ago while I was visiting my parents, my mom was clearly excited about a little gift for me.  She kept asking if I’d like to have it early, and since neither of us really have any willpower, I closed my eyes and she gave me Lush’s winter classic: Santa Baby.

Santa Baby is technically a lip tint, but I found that the color has some serious staying power.  I smoothed some on that day and it stayed well into the evening–there were even traces of it on my lips after I washed my face for the night.  This is something I like and seek out in a lip color, but my guess is that it isn’t for everyone!

I’ve been wearing it nearly every day since I got it–there’s so much I love about it!  Apart from how long it lasts, the color is perfect.  It’s a little pink-y, which is a departure from most of the reds I own, which are mostly orange-based.  I also really like how well it layers.  I tend to make two or three passes on my lips to get a deep color, but my mom only dabs hers on for a little hint.  And did I mention the scent?  It’s just like cherry cola!

The only thing I don’t like about it is the texture.  It’s a little chalky, but I get past this by prepping my lips with a little balm beforehand.

Apart from that, though, I can see myself getting a lot of use from Santa Baby!  I hope it lasts through the year!

Have you tried Santa Baby?  If so, did you like it?  If not, what’s your favorite holiday makeup?

Outfit: Too Late

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Do you ever feel a little twinge of longing when you see some other blogger’s pictures on Instagram and think to yourself, “I wish my life was like that”?  Maybe she’s decorated her living room with tons of cute knickknacks, perhaps her hair is salon-perfect, and her dog looks like she didn’t fail Puppy I and Puppy II.

Sometimes I really need to remind myself of the un-glamorous side of things, because I tend to get a little caught up in the fantasy land of blogging.  I wish I just had the great living room and hair and dog, but I very easily forget everything that goes on behind the scenes to get everything just right for those two or three shots you get to see.

Which is why I wanted to talk about the latest thing I learned to do in Lightroom: teeth whitening!  I’m not exactly thrilled about the way my teeth look, and despite trying every whitening toothpaste I can get my hands on, nothing really changes.  For this post, I finally learned how to fake it in Lightroom, and I’m pretty excited about the way it turned out.  Pearly whites without the enamel damage!  Hooray!

While I’m at it, I’d also like to note some of the other adjustments I make in my photos.  Obviously, what you see here isn’t exactly what I had captured on my camera.  Apart from the technical lighting/contrast/curve stuff, I always remove blemishes from my skin and lint from my clothes (if possible–sometimes the dog hair is too much).  I also smooth out my skin a little.  Other than that, though, this is what I look like.  I’m not any taller or shorter, thinner or heavier in real life.  But my teeth, well, at least you know about that.

Headband: old, Forever 21

Necklace: old, Stitch Fix

Dress: eBay

Tights: old, Target

Shoes: old, Seychelles