Oh Hey!

Howdy friends!

Yikes, I am still alive. And to prove to you that I am still alive and can craft up a new blog post, I did a little guest post for my buddy Madeline at Style Me Thrifty (you have seen her on this blog before!) while she is on her honeymoon. Check it out?

I do apologize for the disappearing act. The blog took a backseat after a crazy busy summer and I just haven't had the creative energy to start things back up again.

Just to give you an idea of what I've been up to....

We celebrated the wedding of one of my best friends...

Meagan Jepson Photography

...and the life of Ian's beautiful grandmother.

Enjoyed a relaxing trip to the Outer Banks with the fam....

 ...and another trip to the beach with my best friends...

...a fun weekend with my mom...

...and a brief look into pet-ownership as we are babysitting a little kitty cat that I am not going to want to give back to it's owner.

It's been a busy but fun past few months that have been enjoyed without the pressure of taking a million photos and coming up with blog posts for every life event. Maybe I will find some inspiration this Fall to start things back up around here again, but for now I am enjoying living life some-what off the grid. This isn't necessarily a sign-off post, because I don't want to say that I'm not going to come back to blogging, but more of a "Hey people who used to read this! I'm still here and creepin' on your blogs!"

And if you really miss your weekly doses of Goodwill trips, food pics, and selfies, you can always follow me on Instagram @brenthefunkyjunkie.

Over and out, for now!


Proud to be an American

Proud to be an American: when I hear that phrase, I think of two things: Drop Dead Gorgeous and having to sing the song by that title in 8th grade choir (to which I still remember the alto part). 

It's good to be home for the 4th this year with my family and friends. Ian and I are celebrating with --surprise! -- a patriotic outfit that I most certainly didn't plan days in advance, picnics, and fireworks. I hope your holiday is full of these great things as well!

Happy fourth of July!



Every year on my birthday, I think back to what I was doing the previous year. Last year at this time, we had been without power for days after a huge storm. The year before that, I was making last-minute wedding preparations. My 24th birthday comes on a Tuesday, a week day where Ian is in Philly for a conference and I am enjoying a cup of coffee and the Today Show in a quiet house before I have to go to work. Over the years I have come to make less and less a big deal about my birthday. When I was kid, having a summer birthday meant no school and a whole day to do whatever I wanted. Now that I'm working, I understand how those kids felt who always had to go to school on their birthday. I could take a vacation day, but let's be honest, when you only have so many days to take off during the year do you really want to use a precious day when everyone else would be at work anyway? 

I've come to realize that celebrating birthdays aren't so much about what you do or how much money you spend, but rather about the people in your life who you spend it with and are thankful for every day. Ian and I celebrated a little early on Sunday with brunch at the Silver Diner and some shopping.

Please enjoy my sunburnt forehead, pulled back bangs, and expression of sheer joy at the fruity mimosa I was about to slurp down with a big-ass straw.

Here's to being 24, the exciting age before 25, which is the exciting age before 30.
OH gosh..............


A Shower for a Friend

Good morning, friends!

This weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling to my hometown for a bridal shower for one of my best friends who is getting married in two weeks. She will be marrying her dream man and I could not be happier for her!

The shower was held at The Chateline Bed and Breakfast in Pine Grove Mills, PA on a beautiful, breezy, and toasty summer day. Complete with practically professional food prepared by her family and friends, bright flowers and mason jars, and vintage wedding dresses, it was perfect combination of classy decor, rustic touches, and intermittent tractors driving by in the background. 

 The bride making her entrance!

The blue/teal color scheme was not even planned. Great minds just think alike!

P.S. -- Got this dress at Target in both this color and in red because I couldn't decide between the two. These things happen.

Isn't she just beautiful?! I can't wait to see her walk down the aisle in two weeks!


A Forgotten Floral

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend planned. I'm headed up to my hometown this weekend to celebrate a bridal shower for one of my closest friends. I'll leave you with a gem of a dress--thrifted, of course-- that always seems to make its way into the back of my closet and pulled out when I have forgotten about it. And then it's like a brand new dress! Story of my life, people. It's why I never throw anything away. 

This is also a dress that I always forget is a little too short for work or church until I am already there and its too late. Solution? Throw on a cardigan. That always makes me look a little more matronly. 


Like Father, Like Husband

I hadn't spent Father's Day with my Dad in a long time. Worst daughter ever? Maybe a little bit. Growing up, it was always on Father's Day that I went to summer camp. In high school, I always left for the annual beach trip with my youth group on Father's Day. Then college happened, and then I got married and moved away. Of course, I celebrate my Dad every day (dawwwwww!) but always felt bad that his special day always seemed to be overlooked. So this year, my parents came down to spend Father's Day weekend with us in Virginia and we made up for all the lost time. It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend with lots of sunshine, a trip to National Harbor, and Father's Day brunch overlooking the Potomac at The Chart House restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. I think Daddy felt the love.

They always say that girls tend to pick men who remind them of their father. When I first met Ian, I remember writing in my journal about how well he got along with my family and especially my dad when he met them for the first time. My dad would always joke about sitting out in the living room polishing his guns when I would bring a boy home, but he kept his guns in the closet that day (even though Ian was the one who actually took me to shoot my first gun after years of refusal--sorry Dad.)

As I got to know Ian better, I became aware of how true it was that I was attracted to someone who had so many of the same qualities as my father. Although different in personality, I noticed things in Ian that had been instilled in me as good qualities with my dad as an example. They are two of the smartest people I know, both dedicated to their work no matter how rough things get. Both men who love God and always encourage me to be a better person. My dad was thrilled to finally have someone in an all-female family to talk football and 'manly things' with, and was giddy when the two of them spent all week fishing together at the Outer Banks.

I am thankful for my father every day, but was especially thankful that I got to spend a weekend with him and my family (except for my sister who is in North Carolina for the summer...we missed her!) to celebrate all he does as a dad. I love you!

(Photo by Meagan Jepson)


Three Ways to Wear Snazzy Shorts

Summer is finally here, which means time for sunshine, evenings on the deck, awesome thunderstorms, and SHORTS! Yay, finally the season where I can show off my perfect legs and have to remember to shave at least once week! Said no one ever.

Shopping for shorts has always been a pain for me. They are always too long, too baggy in some areas, too tight in others, or too expensive for something that I'll only wear several months out of the year. So when I find a pair of shorts that are perfect, I wear the crap out of them. In my summer shopping adventures, I was so excited to see that shorts with fun prints on them are all the rage this year! Such a nice break from my go-to jorts. When my fellow blogging buddies Stephie and Madeline and I were trying to think up a summer trend to feature for our seasonal posts, we threw around several ideas before deciding on printed shorts. So much fun, so many options, and easy to dress up or down!

I was so excited to find these Ann Taylor shorts at Goodwill for $3.99 on a lunchtime thrifting trip-- definitely one that I went back to the office to brag about. Did people care? Probs not. I sure have been getting some good wear out of these puppies with all of these toasty days we've been having. I love that shorts with a looser fit is in and daisy dukes are out because it makes me feel like I can wear heels and not look like a hooch.

I would say with all of our snazzy shorts, curly hair, and funky jewelry we are ready for the weekend! Happy Friday everyone, and don't forget to stop by Thrift and Style and Style Me Thrifty to say hello!


Port City Brewing Company

I have Ian to thank for introducing me to the world of good beer when I was just a little college kid whose knowledge of beer consisted of the stuff I didn't like but forced down at parties. We had been talking about how we wanted to tour a brewery sometime, but I didn't think there were any in our immediate area. I stumbled across the Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria, VA when browsing online for something for us to do last weekend and after reading glowing Yelp reviews, booked a tour for Saturday at 5pm. 

$9.00 per person included an approximately 30 minute tour of the facility as well as tickets for a full tasting of all the beers on top (I think it was around five or six). The tour starts in the large tasting room which is anchored by two bars at either end where we checked in, got our first sample, and looked around before they rung a bell to signal that the tour was about to begin. The only rule for the tour: you must start with a full glass of beer, so it was back to the bar we went for our next sample. Then, it was into the brewery we went!

The tour guides--who were both school teachers who worked at the brewery during their summer break--were entertaining and knowledgeable as they guided as through the entire process, making sure that everyone's glasses were full the entire time. After the tour was over, we were directed back to the tasting room where we could hang out and enjoy our remaining samples. Needless to say, after a lot of beer and starting the tour on an empty stomach...I was feeling good.

We moved our evening along to Old Town Alexandria where we enjoyed some dinner and a walk up to the waterfront where we walked off all that beer. The Port City Brewing Company is a must-see for any beer lovers in the DMV area. A great price, amazing (and a lot of) beer, and an educational experience that even this gal can enjoy-- I think we have a winner!


Our New Spot

Welcome to our deck, where the citronella is crackling, the drinks are flowing, and friends are always welcome.

After searching for months for an outdoor dining table that fit in our budget, I finally found this gem on Craiglist. $100, perfect size, and small enough that we could take it apart to fit in our tiny cars. 

If I could just stay here all summer, I would be happy. Come on over! 



As the summer months quickly approach, I'm stuck in the age-old conundrum of dressing for hot and humid summer days spent working inside a freezing cold office. Either you dress for the outside weather in a cute dress and freeze inside with little to keep you warm but a cardigan, or you dress for the inside and sweat on the way to and from your car (and mess up your hair--ain't nobody got time for that!)

My favorite compromise has been a long-ish sleeved shirt tucked into a skirt, although I am very close to packing a blanket to keep my legs warm at the office! I mostly took these photos to show off my new favorite necklace that I got from Eastern Market last month. With a statement necklace so perfect for the sunny weather like this it's hard not to wear it every day! Especially when it cost a fraction of the price that these kind of necklaces sell at places like J. Crew for. 

Add some flair to your outfit this summer with one of these fun accessories! Because polka dots and stripes are just sometimes not bold enough.


La Casa de Tchotchkes

OK, I know. Blogging every day in May was an epic fail. I blogged for a few days in May and then got lazy again....sorry!

We are long overdue for an update around these parts! Several weekends ago, I embarked on a trip to the mysterious land of Atlantic City for a bachelorette party for one of my closest friends, Courtney. It was a girls weekend full of shopping, drinking, and enjoying the ridiculousness that is the Jersey Shore. However, probably one of my favorite parts of the trip was the house that we stayed in.

With a large group of girls on a budget, we rented a beach house rather than going the hotel route for the weekend. The second I stepped into the house, I knew it was going to be a great weekend. The place looked like it had been decorated in 1985, and had not been touched since then. Now you have to understand, Courtney and I bonded back in ninth grade over our mutual love for all things 80s; the music, the movies, and the style. So it was only appropriate that we were staying in a house full of vintage treasures including but not limited to latch hook art, decorations straight from childrens craft kits, and knick knacks as far as the eye can see. Tchotchkes, if you will. 

In fact, the house quickly was deemed La Casa de Tchocthkes. 

Yep...pretty fabulous.

The Memorial Day weather this year was a little disappointing and didn't lend much to enjoying the beach, but we still managed to go out and snap some glamour shots in between cuddling up in our beach towels. When the sand started pelting our faces and leaving painful marks, we decided it was time to move on.

Between spending some time with old friends and celebrating the upcoming wedding excitement, it was a great way to kick off the summer. Not to mention it made me re-think the reasons why I do not have one of these in my home...

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