Thursday, October 6, 2016

a poem

Today is National Poetry Day, and I'm celebrating it by reading Sylvia Plath and sharing one of my own poems! This is something I've never done because it seems like such a vulnerable and scary act, but I'm going for it.

This poem is constructed out of various fragments I wrote in the spring, when I was in the process of overcoming mental blocks and taking ownership of myself. I hope you enjoy.

I used to revel in the signs you showed me

Now I find solace in Becoming
Cool and Collected
you don’t have a say
in me
you don’t get to hold me
or have a Hold on me

It’s magnificent to Bloom
to stretch out arms and legs
Reaching in the soft lush grass
my fingers out, the sun Drenching me

I think it just rained

I’m becoming a force
Larger than one life, a whole garden
it doesn’t involve you
I won’t wither and die when you forget to water me

It could just be that it never was
but I want to possess it all, to
not forget
the roses of my prolonged Adoration
to not toss them in the dumpster without a
second thought
I gave a lot of second thoughts
to you

To experience evolution is not to erase,
but to Shift and to Grow and to
what once was, to aid the future’s painful Birth
to focus on Cultivation instead of tending to
dead crops-- planting new seeds and

cooing in Awe!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

a crystal bridges sunday

American Eagle vest, Target tee, Brandy Melville skirt, Steve Madden booties (similar)

I was blessed with a much-needed four-day week, so I started the weekend early road tripping to visit Westminster College and Mizzou on Friday. We also spent time exploring downtown Columbia, a cute town that reminded me of Fayetteville.
Today, my friend Jenna and I made the little trip to Crystal Bridges. Fall has officially started, and I wanted to dress for it, but it's still summer weather! I was definitely sweating when Jenna was taking these pics so we had to take some breaks in the air-conditioning. After pictures, we treated ourselves with brunch at Pressroom-- so good!

Suede is one of my favorite trends for fall, especially in maroon and tan hues, so I wore this button-front skirt. I added my army vest because I would have worn my coat version if the weather was cool enough. I've had these tan booties for forever, but I always forget about them! Whenever I do pull them out, they're the perfect addition to an easy outfit. 

much love,

Monday, September 19, 2016

stripes and sweaters

Brandy Melville dress (similar), Urban Outfitters cardigan, Frye boots

These photos are actually from March or April, but I forgot I had them, and it's an outfit that also works for early fall. As most of you know, Brandy Melville's t-shirt dresses are my go-to item for an easy day. They're so soft and can be styled any way you can imagine. My current favorite cardigan is a grayish-purple that works as an unexpected neutral and pairs well with the navy. To add a little more character, I wore my embellished Frye boots, one of the coolest pieces in my closet! Tights would work really well with this outfit when the temperatures actually start dropping.

Georgia took the photos for this post.

much love,

Sunday, September 11, 2016

it's all happening now

"Remember the moment you realized your life was happening? That actually, your life was the things you were doing every day and the things you were thinking and feeling and all of it wasn't some preamble to your actual life? The moment that hits is like a punch to the gut. It's like ripping the mask off reality."
-How to Live in the Present Without Annoying Yourself by Haley Nahman

I read this in a post on Man Repeller yesterday, and it hit me SO. HARD. All the "live in the present" stuff has never really reached me before, I'm not sure why. I get it when it's a moment like a concert you know you want to remember and be part of because you know the rest of your life doesn't shine as bright as that moment. But when it's all the everyday stuff like going to school and going to cross country practice and taking a shower and eating dinner, it's kind of just, "Eh? This is what I did yesterday, and I'll do it tomorrow and next week and next month." It doesn't feel special. It doesn't feel like something you need to be "in the moment" for because that's when it's so easy to coast on autopilot.

That feeling also has to do with the fact that so many of these things aren't necessarily actions I'm choosing for myself. It all just feels like it's leading up to what's next. I've always been so adamant about what I want to do-- go to Columbia so I can move to New York City and write for a major magazine-- and how I want to get there.

Now I'm at the terrifying and exciting point where I'm actually applying for all of this to happen. And it's not distant; it's next year.

So I'm in this track of mind where it's like everything I do is completely for that. All of the work in school and on the ACT is for colleges, and writing for the newspaper and keeping this blog is so I'll be prepared for the magazine world. It's not like I don't love these things, minus the ACT, but when I examine it, it feels like it's all ultimately to benefit the Future.

I'm not even sure if that's good or bad. But I'm almost never fully present. I'm always looking forward, and it's becoming even more difficult because everything I'm looking forward to is SO CLOSE. I need to acknowledge how real and present all of this is because I only have one more year of high school, one more year in Fayetteville, one more year with my friends, one more year with my life the way it is now because no matter where I go everything is going to change. And honestly I'm so happy with where I am right now. I'm ready to absorb the morning drives to school and the trips to Braums for ice cream and the way I see a friend every time I go to a coffee shop while it's my life.

much love,

Saturday, September 3, 2016


{Brandy Melville topAmerican Eagle Jeans- on sale!, Fringe Fayetteville choker, Sam Edelman boots via MasonsFitbit Alta}

Maude, one of Fayetteville's best boutiques, just painted their building's back wall in multicolored panels, and it's the perfect spot for pictures! All of the Fayetteville girls have been making frequent trips there to get perfect Instagram pictures with their friends.

I wore one of my recent favorite outfits, which luckily contrasted well with the wall colors. I've been obsessed with this black off the shoulder top all summer, and I've been wearing it with denim skirts and high waisted shorts. This weekend the weather has been in the the glorious 70s, so I actually got to pull my favorite jeans back out. If you're looking for some high waisted skinnies, check out American Eagle. They have the perfect amount of stretch and fit like a dream, and this is coming from someone who typically hates pants.

All pictures done by Georgia

 much love,


Friday, August 26, 2016


This is a completely new kind of post for me, but today I'm sharing a short story that I wrote. It's included in the latest edition of my school's literary magazine, and it's dear to my heart. I hope you enjoy!

The waves always repeated; they always came back to reach for her toes. Throughout the entire day the waves hadn’t paused their repetitive motion for even one second. By now, her feet had sunk into the sand, and the waves brushed new layers of it and broken shells over her feet with each ceaseless cycle of the foamy, white tendrils reaching for the shore before retreating back to the safety of the Pacific. It would always clean off the top of her feet for a brief moment, but then it washed more back on her.

She had been standing, overlooking the water, for almost the entirety of this day christened “the most beautiful day of the year” by the town’s weatherman that morning. You don’t ever picture your first heartbreak, but if you did, then it would most definitely not be on a day where the sky declares its vastness by removing all clouds and the weather warms your skin without the intensity of making your clothes stick. You may picture grey skies and thunderclouds on the day your heart breaks, but not “the most beautiful day of the year.”

She hadn’t been expecting it, of course. All she could do was stare now, fixated on the ocean’s repeating waves, struggling to decipher what had been genuine about their time together. The body of water seemed to be a fresh tint that desired to be turquoise but was forced to be much more clear.

They hadn’t been together for long, but their lives had been consumed by each other since the April day a mutual friend introduced them. Due to her mother’s tendencies to let sad records blare in the house and engage in broken, toxic relationships, she had allowed her heart to grow heavily guarded. Maybe, probably definitely, he wasn’t the solution she needed, but the timing was right. He appeared right when she was ready to be vulnerable.

Everything he was embodied a calmness her soul thirsted for; her life had always been an unpredictable cycle of chaos, and he was something solid to cling to. He spoke with gentle kindness and careful attention.

She first believed she loved him the Sunday they met for breakfast at a coffee shop and stayed the whole day discussing favorite bands, plans to escape their small California town, and the dogs they had owned. Whenever he grabbed her hand and she would tilt her head up to his magnetic green eyes. Him playing his favorite song and her closing her eyes as they drove down the highway. So many moments building to this conviction.

She even loved him while she watched him smoke, a habit she had previously detested; her father had smoked, and many of their armchairs served as reminders of when he was too lazy to use an ashtray. They would sit in his car, and she would watch him exhale the ribbon of cigarette smoke, tainting the clean coastal air. This simple ritual caused her heart to beat faster. He was so calm and careful about it, qualities she had never seen as synonymous with the habit before.

He hadn’t loved her for one minute, though he may have thought he did. He had loved the way she looked at him when he spoke about his passions, and he had loved the poems she would sometimes leave neatly folded in the passenger seat. He was used to admiration and got caught up in any new form of it. But he hadn’t loved her, and now her heart was shattered on “the most beautiful day of the year.”

People aren’t like the ocean, she considered. They don’t have an obligation to clean you or return to you. By now the sky had shifted from the pure blue it had been all day to a rosy pink to a magnificent blend of blue and purple, reflecting into the water and destroying the consistency her day had revolved around. She turned and made her way through the sand.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

right now

This summer sped by, and I was at a 6 week program without computers so I didn't make any blog progress, but I'm full of ideas now. I'm planning on committing to the changes I announced in my last post and only posting content that feels completely authentic. Additionally, I'm not using @outfitsandobservations on Instagram anymore, so if you want blog updates or to see what's going on in my life, follow @coffee.claire !

I want to put a spotlight on some of the little things I'm loving at the moment. Here are some items that make my world seem more special. I hope you enjoy them and comment some of your favorites. Also, no books on here because I'm planning a separate, books-only post for soon!
Eliza Starting
This podcast is done by a 17 year old girl named Eliza who lives on the Upper East Side. She's the cutest and talks about all of the things she loves, her favorite parts of the city, and what it's like to be a teenager today-- how it's more complicated than older generations give us credit for-- in ten minute weekly episodes. She's extremely articulate and smart without seeming pretentious. It's cool to listen to her talk about things I can directly relate to, like the college process and how much she loves BORNS.

Gossip Girl
Not to be on an Upper East Side streak, but this is another one of my loves lately. I watched it all freshman year and was completely obsessed, and now I'm rewatching it and loving it all the same. I'm not typically a dramatic tv girl, but all of the characters and the craziness they create are impossible to look away from. I'm currently on season 5 and fully immersed in the lives of Serena and Blair.

Depression Cherry
Beach House's 2015 album has been getting me lately. Listening to it feels like some combination of a dream and a low budget movie. It's the perfect album to write or read or drive to, and it flows together perfectly.

It's my favorite Fleetwood Mac album and has been on my record player consistently for the past year. "Storms" is one of the most beautiful and emotionally strong and dear-to-my-heart songs of all time. Tusk is potentially the purest example of the band's stunningly crafted lyrics. It also houses "Sara," "What Makes You Think You're The One," "Angel," and all the rest. Listen to it all the way through!

Tarte's Liquid Eyeliner
I've been using the "lights, camera, lashes" precision longwear liquid eyeliner, and I'm so impressed by it. The felt tip pen allows for such a smooth line, and it stays the entire day. My favorite makeup is winged liner, so this has been a huge help with that.
21c's Pop Stars Exhibit
When I visited 21c in early June I was completely unprepared for this exhibit. There's a piece that took Britney's "Baby One More Time" and gave light to how elegant, how emotional, how raw those lyrics are. There's focus on the beauty of a pop song and how it can be a catalyst to fame. There's a mirror with Paris Hilton carved/ marked into it via thousands of words said and written about her by friends, tabloids, herself. There's an image of Lady Gaga as a Renaissance-esque beauty. The whole collection is fabulous, and I'm not sure how much longer it will be on display.

much love,