Stories from middle America

I wake up after hitting snooze three times and briefly contemplate whether or not today is the day I will finally wash my hair. At first, I think it’s Sunday, but then I realize it’s Friday, which means I’m 27 minutes late getting out of bed. So nope. Not washing my hair today. Still, it’s the weekend in like eight or nine hours, which is an okay trade. This particular week has been so full with new jobs, new hours, new diets, and so on that I’ve lost my ability to decipher between days.

But I can make this work. Black jeans, black wedges, a black tee and maybe a couple extra layers should look polished enough that I can pull off a half top-knot.


It’s not unusual for me to go four or five days without washing my hair. By that fifth day, it’s so full of product and so, well, lived-in that a top knot is the only option when there’s no time to wash it. For my recent long-bob cut, the half top-knot still does the trick.


With winter still looming (Yes. Yes, I am the blogger dope still whining about the weather), staying warm is part of the gig. But I do love this long trench jacket I found on sale from Nasty Gal.


The trench makes a fun pairing with this red buffalo checkered cape from Charlotte Russe.


Don’t forget the wedge bootie by Betsey Johnson!


And let’s have a big statement necklace from Stella & Dot to top everything off.

Tomorrow though. I’ll definitely make the time to wash my hair tomorrow.

Photos by Hooton Images

Does anyone else feel like a prisoner to our current Midwestern climate? Wearing what I want is often overruled by maintaining warmth throughout the day. I have to think in terms of layers, shedding or adding pieces as needed.

Some days I layer too much and my clothing creates a look that’s just too snug. On my feet, I seek safety in the snow over style.

Recently I’ve used accessories to brighten my mood and scenery. (Think wool or fur or bouclé.)

Take, for example, this outfit.

An all-black ensemble made unique by my choice of accessories. A wool fedora from Ascot + Hart paired with layered necklaces (a stone necklace by Heather Kita; the B necklace is a hand-me-down from my mom, Brenda) make this outfit something special.

And the pants? They add a unique flare. These pants have been quite the conversation starter with complete strangers. I had a nice older gentleman stop me to talk about his experience wearing belle bottoms in the 1970s. His story contained famous people, LA night clubs, and he even took a very bold risk telling me about his drug use. (It was a tad too much information, but a fun story nonetheless.)

How are you accessorizing to get through the cold days?

Photos by Amanda Rucker.

I first met Anne Hepburn through her work as a Krug Park bartender. I could immediately tell Anne was a woman I would like to get to know. Anne struck me as a truly genuine woman. And the more I got to know her, the more right I was.

This past summer I joined Anne in her backyard to enjoy a mason jar of red wine and a great chat about her personal style, her passions, and her thoughts on today’s cocktails.


Tell us about your background.
I guess I have never had any aspirations for a career, per se. When I was a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist or a marine biologist, but those were always just interests for me. I have always just done what feels right at the time.

I love music, so for a while I was booking bands, working at a record store. I like socializing, so I bartended.

I went to college initially because it was what was expected of me. It took me 10 years to finish my undergrad in English and art history at UNO. After that, I wanted to explore a bit, so I moved to Portland, Oregon, having never even visited before. I sold everything I owned and just did it. I got a job at a bookstore because I felt it was the easiest way to meet people who had similar interests as me. Some of my best friends to this day came from that job, so it was a good decision.

I then decided that I should go back to school, so I got my master’s degree in library science. I worked for a while as a librarian at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. I loved the people, but I eventually sort of lost interest in my work, and my passion never matched those working around me. Libraries are incredibly underfunded and under-appreciated, and I despised the need to constantly justify our existence to the guys doling out money.

I decided to come back home. I worked odd jobs, but was mainly at Slowdown, bartending. I then got the job at Krug Park when it opened in 2011. I truly enjoy my work there. It never gets monotonous, every day is different, and I get to be creative.


The favorite part of your job?
Creating cocktails. It’s part art, part science, and part history. I love researching old classic cocktails and methods and putting a modern touch on them. I also love incorporating whatever is fresh and in-season. Mostly, I just end up making drinks that I would personally drink, if I was going to order something that day.

I think about what the weather is like outside, what’s going on in the world, and concoct something on the fly based on that. My main philosophy, (if you can put one to booze) is that a good cocktail doesn’t have to be fussy, or expensive. It should be accessible to anyone looking to try something new.


What about your hobbies?
In my spare time, I usually am at home, working on some project around the house. I’m really into cooking and baking, so I am in the kitchen a lot. I also had a gigantic garden this year, which is probably more garden than I can handle, but it’s such a therapeutic exercise for me.

I spend my time at work constantly moving, talking, engaging with people. In my spare time, I prefer silence: not TV, not even music usually. There are days that when my boyfriend comes home from work, I realize that I haven’t spoken a word to anyone all day. I take long walks with my dog, Walter. He’s sometimes the only one I talk to all day.


Describe your personal style.
I never really put a ton of effort into style. That sort of thing never really interested me that much. I will choose comfort over fashion every time. I guess I prefer simple and basic designs. A dress with boots is probably my favorite style. I love cardigans, I hate t-shirts. I’ve never found a pair of jeans that fit me the way I want them to fit. I don’t wear makeup, except for mascara, and occasionally eyeliner. I never even owned a hair dryer until I got bangs.

Finish this sentence: I am passionate about …
Living an authentic life. I speak my mind. I do what makes me happy. I love my boyfriend, Kelly. I love our dog, Walter. I am passionate about intelligence, learning, and about being true to yourself.

I see so many women being girls, instead of being the women they should be proud to be. I see it a lot in my job. For instance, that thing, where a woman orders a drink from me using some stupid Betty Boop-like voice. I just think “that’s not your voice! use YOUR voice! You’re probably a freaking lawyer and you’re talking like a child!” That baby-fication of women makes me pretty irate.

As an Atheist, I believe that I get this one shot. And I’m not going to waste my time doing things that bore me. I don’t believe in some Big Reward at the end. The reward is in a good martini, or a walk with Walter, or a summer day with no humidity, or a steak cooked perfectly medium rare.


All photos by Hooton Images.


Isn’t the change of season refreshing? Comparing clothing to food, it would be like a whole new line up of ingredients – just add a sweater or leggings or a wool stocking cap. The extra ingredients seem endless for me when I first revisit the fall/winter side of my closet.

I layer up to stay warm, but it can also be very comfortable. I mean, you never look bad in a  big chunky sweater. And it can sure help on those days where you just don’t have a ton of energy in the morning. No one has ever looked sloppy in a cashmere pullover, am I correct?

A sweater is a safe bet. Therefore when I made a quick trip to H&M on Tuesday, it was a no brainer for me to add this chunky knit to my ingredient lineup.

IMG_6772 IMG_6773

There are loads of color options. And since it retailed for $19.95, it didn’t hurt my wallet to add two of these to my wardrobe!


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