July 2023 Month in Review

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As I mentioned in my last weekly recap, I’m not prepared for summer to end! It feels like the season only just started, yet several of my coworkers have kids going back to school and I’ve already seen Halloween décor in stores. I have to admit, the lack of summer vacation has been making me feel a little down the last few weeks… I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I don’t get any more school-related summer breaks! Even last year, I finished my study abroad semester in May and had two months off before starting my job. The weekends this summer just feel too short, and I long for those lazy summer days around the house and outside in the yard… I don’t want to waste my vacation days doing nothing at home, but boy, it doesn’t feel much like summer without that lounging. Thankfully, I have a mini-getaway this weekend that I’m so looking forward to!

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What’s New?

  • I finally got a replacement for my phone. After lots of troubleshooting, a factory reset, and camera replacements—none of which worked—I was able to get a completely new phone sent to me under warranty. Even though all those steps were a hassle, I’m glad I got an entirely new device (instead of just replacing the cameras) because I was worried other things would start to fail right after my warranty expired… Hopefully all my phone issues are solved now and I can get back to taking blog photos like normal!
  • I begrudgingly got a TikTok a few weeks ago, after much nagging from boyfriend. I wrote a whole post about why I don’t want a TikTok a few years ago, but I agree with the BF that an account is necessary to grow my audience. I have to say though, I hate the app just as much as I thought I would. I expected it to be so much better than Reels since it’s actually intended to make videos, but the music selection sucks, it’s not any easier to use, and the videos it recommends to me are so dumb. I don’t get it!

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Today’s Outfit

How chic is today’s work outfit?? Both the blouse and pants were sent to me by Clara Sunwoo. I already have a jumpsuit in this pink boho pattern and loved the print so much I decided to get a blouse, too. This time I paired it with more browns, including nude sandal heels, a brown patent leather purse, and an orange/brown lipstick instead of the hot pink one I wore last time.

I think this top would look just as cute with white pants. I originally ordered these white trousers to pair with it, and while I absolutely loved the fit and style, they were a little too sheer for my liking. I swapped them for these black pants which are a medium knit—so comfy and versatile for work, and since they’re black, you don’t have to worry much about panty lines or anything else showing.

Top Performing July Blog Posts

Favorite Outfits from July

I love the navy and white combo on the left so much—it’s such a cute and summery work outfit. You can’t tell from the pic, but my heels are navy and white striped to go with the polka dot scalloped collar!

As for the outfit on the right, I’ve been dying to style this beaded crochet tank and thought it was perfect for my Frida Kahlo-inspired blog post. I think it would look cute with a denim skirt and cowgirl boots as well!

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What I Read

  • The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger—I finally finished this book about halfway through the month, and I have to admit I was disappointed. It was just so slow! Ultimately, there’s not much plot, and while I loved the fashionable aspects, it didn’t make up for the fact that this book could have been 200 pages shorter.
  • A Kind Worth Killing by Peter SwansonThis is the first novel I’ve read by this author but I have several more of his books on my recommended list. For the most part, I really enjoyed it! It’s not the most believable murder/revenge story but it was a quick, entertaining read. My only complaint is that it was told from multiple first-person perspectives, which I’ve always disliked. I think it should be required to mention this on the back of books so I can avoid them, ha!

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What I Watched

I watched so many movies this month! I haven’t been binging much TV lately but my boyfriend and I have been enjoying movie nights, hence the long list. I decided to color the titles this month since there are so many, so you can just skip around to the reviews that interest you!

  • Children of Men—We both loved this movie. It’s older and stars Clive Owen in a world where humans can no longer reproduce (similar to “The Handmaid’s Tale” but it explores the same problem in a very different way). I’m generally over dystopian stories but I thought this one was so good (and well made)!
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish—This was an entertaining watch with friends. I don’t think it holds a candle to the wit of the first Shrek movie, but it still had a little something for kids and adults alike.
  • Inglorious BasterdsMy boyfriend has slowly been introducing to me Quentin Tarantino films, and I absolutely loved this one. I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction and this WWII story kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
  • In Bruges—My boyfriend and I wanted to watch this older movie after seeing Banshees of Inisheran earlier this year, which also starred Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrel. Overall, we agreed that it was just okay and kind of fell flat as a dark comedy.
  • Inside Out—This is one of my boyfriend’s favorite movies, but I never saw it when it came out (even though I remember all the hype about it). I think it deserves the accolades! It was so heartfelt and the perfect mix of happy and sad.
  • Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning—We saw this in theaters and as always with Mission Impossible, enjoyed the intense action scenes and hyper-realistic mask trope. Not my favorite of the franchise but still really good.
  • Drive—This Ryan Gosling film about a Hollywood stuntman-turned-getaway driver was so boring! I don’t understand why it’s so memed.
  • Moneyball—This movie also fell flat. It was an interesting story but kind of boring—felt like it was trying too hard to be The Big Short.
  • Oppenheimer—Despite being long, I thought this movie was really good and will eventually deserve a rewatch. It kept me thinking for days and had some really interesting stylistic choices. My only comment is that I had a hard time following it and all the characters at points—I definitely need to read up on his life now to get a fuller picture.
  • Barbie—As fun as all the hype and marketing around this movie was, I thought it was a letdown… There were a few parts that were hilarious but I mostly found it really dumb! And, unpopular opinion, I’m not very into sappy stuff, so the ending and monologue that everyone’s obsessing over is just not my cup of tea. [Insert unapologetic shrugging emoji here.]
  • The Devil Wears Prada—Basically this entire movie takes place in the last 75 pages of the book, ha! I didn’t think it was very similar to the novel at all, and unfortunately it wasn’t much more entertaining.
  • “How to Get Away with Murder”—This TV show is a soap opera without admitting that it’s a soap opera. It’s bad TV with so much gratuitous sex, but it was a very entertaining guilty pleasure to watch in the background while scrapbooking.

July Spotify Playlist

July’s playlist is almost exclusively Taylor Swift with a few other random songs thrown in. Enough said.

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What I’m Looking Forward to in August

  • Camping with my dad, brother, and sister-in-law in the Midwest! I love camping, but I don’t have the equipment or anybody who lives in Denver that would want to go with me. I visited my brother and SIL in Minneapolis last summer to camp and am excited to make it a tradition this year, with the addition of my dad. I leave on Friday and can’t wait!
  • I’m also really looking forward to seeing Ed Sheeran in concert in two weekends. I like concerts, but I’ve only ever gone when tickets were cheap or the venue seemed interesting or a friend invited me. The Mathematics Tour will be the first time I explicitly sought out a concert because I’ve loved the artist for years and know almost every song. Ed Sheeran is the only concert actually on my bucket list! Oh, and yah, I liked him before he was cool.

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This Month on Graceful Rags

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My big goal for August is to get back into my old blogging schedule and start publishing three posts a week again. I’ve been so bad recently, but I think having a functional camera will be the motivation I need to get back on track! What are you looking forward to in August?

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today.

 

Miles of smiles,

Grace

 

Blouse: Clara Sunwoo, gifted by brand, last worn here, use code GRACEG for 10% off | Black Pants: Clara Sunwoo, gifted by brand, last worn here, use code GRACEG for 10% off | Nude Heels: Amazon, $46 ($4.18 per wear), last worn here | Sunglasses: Loft, $30 ($1.67 per wear), last worn here | Purse: Antique store, $9 ($0.90 per wear), last worn here

6 comments on “July 2023 Month in Review”

  1. Love that Clara outfit! I saw someone post the monologue from the Barbie movie and I honestly didn’t get it… I LOVE being a woman and I don’t feel all this pressure to be anything other than who I am. I hope you have a great time on your camping trip!

    1. That’s amazing!! I can relate to the monologue, stuff like that and motivational quotes just doesn’t invoke an emotional response from me like it does for a lot of people.

  2. I would say give TikTok a second chance. I find some great videos about dog training (since we just brought a dog into the family) and makeup tutorials for older women.
    I bet you’ll find some great videos too,
    OXOX
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  3. The main reason I was excited for school to start was that it means are fall vacations are approaching. Today was the first day and it was a tough morning. Still need to follow up with my son’s schedule (senior year) and the counseling dpt is not on the ball at his school. I am hoping she does what needs to be done without me having to go in and make an appt with her and the principal. I am looking forward to a regular schedule but that is stressing me out so this was not my typical 1st day of school experience and enjoyment. Love your outfit. I have a pair of liquid leather pants coming and I cannot wait to style them for late summer and fall. The pieces you chose really look good on you and I am sure you will get lots of wear.
    http://www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

    1. Thanks Mireille! Oof, back to school time is always stressful… Especially with college on the horizon. My counseling department was pretty useless so I remember having to do a lot of stuff on my own. Thankfully I have older brothers who already went through the process, so I can’t imagine the extra stress of it being your first child! Good luck with everything and I hope things settle into a routine quickly.

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