Dots on Dots on Dots

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sweater/F21 (similar), shirt/Anthro (similar), jeans/UO (similar), shoes/Vince Camuto, necklace/F21 (similar), clutch/Kate Spade (similar)

Clothing is so fun to me because it can always be used as a means of expression for whatever your current mood is. Feeling somber? Black it is. Sexy? Well, maybe black again. Whimsical? Florals. Cheeky? Polka dots. Better yet, three different kinds.

I love this outfit because it could be seen as classy or even business casual, but it's still playful. When you're wearing three different types of polka dots, you can't be caught taking yourself too seriously. It works because they're all in the same color range, so the patterns become less overwhelming and more coherent than anything, and the end result is oh so fun!

I've been feeling really excited this week because on Wednesday my mom gets here (and obviously that means I'm taking half of the week off from work, which is just an added perk)! It's been almost a year since I've seen her, and this is the first time that she's ever visited me since I've been married (not to mention since I've moved to Phoenix). Daniel and I have been rushing around making lists of things that we want to do while she's here and trying to make sure that the apartment is even cleaner than normal. The anticipation is actually a lot of fun! I get the feeling that it will make the next couple days go by even speedier than usual. 

How about all of you? Do you guys look forward to your parents visiting, or is it more of an imminent dread that overcomes you (ha)? I feel like since I've gotten a little older I appreciate them more and more. Then again, maybe I'm just becoming crazy in my old age...after all, I am wearing three different types of polka dots. ;)


Impromptu Easter Portraits

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^Okay, let's just talk about that stupidly cute little baby-toothed smile. I can't. Even. Handle it.^
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Jack Skellington got a little handsy...
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Her: dress/BHLDN (similar here & here), shoes/Vince Camuto, bag/Kate Spade (little darker color)
Him: sweater/Merona, jeans/UO (similar), tie/Penguin (similar), shoes/Cole Haan

This past Easter Sunday, Daniel and I decided to head out in our Sunday best and take a couple of "family portraits" after church. After all, isn't that what normal people do? We got kind of lax this year in making any holiday plans, so we just took the day kind of slow and had fun with it. I'm kind of glad we just had a quiet day though...that has kind of been a theme throughout our holidays since moving so far away from everyone, but I think that it's been strengthening for us as (somewhat) newlyweds in our new little family structure. After all, quiet is what everyone seems to crave once they get older and start having kids, so we might as well appreciate it now.

Anyway, I thought that they turned out kind of silly and cute, and it's nice to just have some simple pictures of us looking a little bit dapper. I've always appreciated when people dress up for church on Sunday; I think it tends to be somewhat of an undervalued tradition nowadays. Maybe that's just the way I grew up, though...after all, my sisters and I managed to swindle my parents into buying us all some fancy Easter dress every year that we'd never wear again, so I guess we've always been all about the clothes. ;) I just think it's fun to dress, it makes you feel good!

On another note, I recently tackled the ridiculous process of cleaning out my closet (more on that later!), which better allowed me to see the clothes that I actually have and want to wear, this dress being one of them. It was actually the dress that I bought for our engagement portraits, and I hadn't worn it since! To see how I styled it then, check out some of our pictures here.

So how about the rest of you? Did anyone have big Easter plans...maybe overdose on one too many chocolate covered Peeps (one can only hope)? Did you get a special Easter outfit this year? I'd love to hear!


An Easter Proclamation

Today is Easter Sunday, a celebration of the resurrected king. The day that became a game-changer once they realized that the tomb was empty. Today, we remember the sacrifice that was made for us, and more importantly, the grave that was defeated.

I got this tattoo about a month or so ago. I was originally inspired to get it because of the Jon Foreman song, My Love Goes Free, but upon deeper thought, it really means so much more to me than the words of that lovely song. Four little words: my love goes free. It is meek, it is sacrificial, but it is a proclamation-and a strong one at that.

When Christ took our place on the cross, he was freeing us from the burden of our sin. His love was so resilient, that He was willing to endure the most painful of punishments all so that we could be cleansed. And then, he defeated death; he broke the bonds of sin. Because of that, we celebrate. Because of this, we love. We are free to love because of His sacrifice, because of His love.

We love because He first loved us. [1 John 4:19]

This is why, on this day, we celebrate our resurrected king. We celebrate our freedom in Him. Our ability to love, because we were loved first. Make the choice to love people today. Show them what it means to be free to love; a price was paid so you could.

"The ground began to shake, the stone was rolled away.
His perfect love could not be overcome.
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated.
Forever He is glorified."
-Forever, Brian Johnson

Happy Easter guys.


The Last Coachella Post: Outfit Inspiration

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Hello friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic week...the weekend is almost here! I'm celebrating a little bit early by taking a personal day...and I don't hate it ;) This is my last Coachella inspired post in honor of this being the last weekend of the festival. I have to say, I really wish I could be seeing James Vincent McMorrow on Sunday...the guy is amazing. For now, I suppose I'll just have to settle for his live album on Spotify (seriously, look him good). 

As for me, I thought I wold throw together something festival worthy and continue to channel my inner flower child fashionista. A little bit native, a little bit girly, a little bit rock and roll (if you're going to a music festival, why not pay tribute to one of the greatest bands of all time?). I have to say, I'm not normally one who totes a band shirt (not since I was an angst-y middle school teen, at least), but I loved the kind of vintage, keep it in the family vibe this shirt brought me...i.e. think of in Whip It, when Ellen Page always rocks her moms old "Stryper" t-shirt. If you haven't seen that movie yet, stop reading this and come back to me once you've watched it. Drew Barrymore makes a pretty hilarious directorial debut.

That's about all for me; how about you guys? Any big plans for the weekend? Those of who you went to Coachella, what was your favorite part? Do any of you have a ratty old band tee lying around from your middle school days that you can't seem to part with? I'd love to hear!


jacket/Anthropologie (similar), shirt/Nordstrom (similar), shorts/FreePeople (similar), boots/Minnetonka, earrings/UO (similar), headwrap/UO (similar)

Friday Faves: Coachella Edition



Happy Friday, friends! Since so many of you are jetting off to Coachella this weekend, I figured that I would make a few inspired posts since I'm unfortunately unable to be there myself (even though I'm only a mere 3 hours away!!).

Obviously I had to share some of my Coachella inspired outfit faves...those moccasins are seriously to die for. If I was going I would hope that I would be donning at least a couple of the items on my list...but then again who needs excuses like music festivals to buy things? Certainly not me. ;)

Coachella by thegracemattei on Grooveshark

I also made a little Coachella inspired playlist to share with you all on Spotify Grooveshark (had a few compaints that the Spotify playlist wasn't working! :/ )...after all, for those of you who are driving, good road trip music will set the tone for the whole weekend! I picked some of my favorites from some artists who are actually in the lineup, and then threw in a few goodies of my own. ;) I'll probably be adding some more music to it over the next couple weeks of the festival, so if you want to follow along just search "Grace Mattei" on Spotify and follow my Coachella playlist! {UPDATE: Even though the playlist now embedded on this page is hosted by Grooveshark, you should still be able to follow my playlist on Spotify. Happy listening!}

Hope you all had a fantastic week...are there any you out there who are actually going to Coachella? If so, who are you most excited to see? Any essential outfit pieces that you picked up before you headed out? I'd love to hear...maybe next year I'll be there with you all!


Girly Twirly

Hi friends! Last week, ModCloth held a contest for who could submit the best/most creative picture of them caught in a twirl. The rules were pretty straightforward, and you didn't even have to be wearing anything from ModCloth in order to enter! 

Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the two winners (shucks, could've used that sweeeeet gift card), but my consolation prize is that it gave Daniel and I an interesting photography challenge and also provided me with some fun pictures to share with you all! Here are some of my favorites that we captured. :)
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^Coussie looks absolutely terrified in this makes me laugh every time! Poor thing.^

So the reason that I chose this as the backdrop for my twirling pictures is because one of the rules was to try to take your pictures either a.) near a local landmark or  b.) at a favorite hangout to let them know where you are in the world. Since Phoenix doesn't exactly have any well known local landmarks (at least not that I know of, and I wasn't about to drive 4 hours to the Grand Canyon), I decided that the next best thing would be their amazing art scene. Daniel and I live downtown, and while it isn't the best city I've lived in, they certainly rank as far as incredible murals go! Almost every building has one.
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These bottom four pictures ended up being my absolute faves because they were completely candid. I actually ended up using one of them for my entry in the contest, because I thought they were so hilarious! Clearly I was having so much fun that Coussie decided he wanted to get in on it too. That's right...I was officially photobombed by my dog. What a little attention hog! Just look at that smirk...he's clearly pleased with himself.

So there you have it! Some of my nerdy twirling pictures...I'm seriously geeking out over the last four. I'm genuinely so entertained by them (I hope you are too...)! 

Did anyone else enter this fun contest? Or did you have any favorites that you saw (you can look up #modtwirl on Instagram and see the entries)? I'd love to hear! Oh, and if you have any pet photobombing stories, I want to hear those too...


P.s. - If you like the flower crown I'm sporting in some of these pics, keep your eye out for a tutorial soon!

dress/F21(similar), bloomers/American Apparel (on mega sale!!), shoes/UO (similar)