Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fizzy and Fruity


For your next posh party, stir together this refreshment, which is the best combination of fizzy and fruity. This very simple recipe is great for all ages but can be turned up a notch by adding a cup of your favorite vodka. I love the idea of floating fresh cranberries and orange slices in the punch bowl or adding a few to each tumbler before serving. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

C U R R E N T L Y


Reading...
I finished up Lauren Graham's Talking as Fast as I Can a couple of days ago. Listening to celebrity audiobooks has become a really good way to get through the work day. I can easily listen to the stories while working on my current project. Now I'm reading the novel My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. Her books are such a nice, light read and I always enjoy them. I also recently read about a quarter of a book that was supposed to teach introverts how to open up in public/social situations and it was straight garbage so I moved on. My mom gave me a great holiday story to read that is burning a whole on my nightstand waiting to be read. But I want to wait until the first of December so I can truly enjoy the holiday-ness of it.

Watching...
My watch list is shamefully long. I don't think I've ever watched so many series at one time.

-How I Met Your Mother, seasons 1-8. I was trying to get all the seasons in (again) before it was removed from Netflix but only made it through season 8. But it ended with Barney proposing to Robin, so I'm going to pretend that's really the end of the show, even though I've seen the actual ending before. I like this ending better.

-Blue Bloods, season 8. I started watching this and I'm so furious with what they did with Linda's character that I'm boycotting the rest of the season. Donnie Wahlberg, I still love you but I can't watch your show any more.

-DWTS, season 25. I'm two episodes behind but I've really enjoyed watching this season. Completely adored watching Lindsey Stirling and Jordan Fisher especially.

-The Good Doctor, season 1. YOU GUYS. I'm super obsessed with this show! If you haven't seen it and you enjoyed watching House, you'll enjoy this too.

-Gracie and Frankie, season 1. I'm only a few episodes in but I love the quirky characters but the realness of what they are dealing with.

-The Nightmare Before Christmas. This Halloween I decided to branch out a bit and try a new movie. KJB loves this movie so I decided to give it a go. It was just okay in my book. 

Feeling...
Unfortunately, I had quite a bit of pain the last six weeks. Back pain has bothered me off and on for the past couple of years, but I just couldn't shake it this time, so I made a visit to a chiropractor. I've been skeptical of chiropractic practices in the past, but a friend recommended me to this office, and I was in enough pain that I just couldn't not go. Thankfully, it gave me so much relief and the past week or so has been much better.

Wearing...
I have two repeat offenders - both earrings that have been taking turns back and forth. The first is a pretty pair of studs from Stella and Dot & Rebecca Minkoff in the prettiest jewel tones. They have become my favorite for the fall and I know they will continue to be regulars for winter as well. The second pair is from Bauble Bar and they are the opposite of the pretty, feminine studs. They are bold and attention-grabbing and I absolutely love them.




Tuesday, November 28, 2017

C L A S S I C S



For your holiday parties this year from cocktail to formal to New Years dance party, opt for some accessories that can easily transition from dress to dress: classic gold metallic heels, a textured black bag, and a great neutral chandelier earring. And don't forget to top it off with a great red lip!

black dress | black and gold dress | red dress | heels | bag | earrings

Friday, November 24, 2017

stuffing

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the stuffing I'm moving on to is stockings - I love to stuff a stocking full of all kinds of goodies. So today I'm sharing the items I love to receive in my stocking and the best part is that they work for everyone on your shopping list! Gender and age neutral, these ideas can make everyone on your list happy, plus it makes your shopping trip so much easier.




Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy (safe) Shopping

We've been standing in line for just over 45 minutes. Our fingers are frozen so our hands are jammed into our pockets. Swaying back and forth in an attempt to keep warm I look at my sister whose eyes are watering as she bounces on her toes - her own attempt to stir up body heat. It's nearly 5 AM and we are standing in line outside a department store, waiting for the shop to open so we can have our way with the holiday doorbusters. When the time comes the line starts moving forward and I notice others getting out of their car and moving towards the doors. 

Wait a minute. They aren't getting in line with the rest of us - they are actually just going in the door. Furious that I've had to stand outside freezing and they've kept warm in their cars, I point it out to one of the store clerks who simply shrugs his shoulders and rolls his eyes. He could care less. And I realized in that moment how completely stupid we were. What those people did certainly wasn't fair, but I was the one that choose to stand outside in 30 degree weather.




That was seven years ago and I haven't been Black Friday shopping since. Instead, I stay home and listen to the Thanksgiving day parade while browsing the online shops for the nearly the exact same doorbuster deals. And I finish all of my holiday shopping. No lines. No cold weather. Safe and happily shopping from home. 

Except it's not entirely safe. It can be, but there are some appropriate measures that need to be taken. So when I came across this graphic from Lifelock, I knew it was great information to share. They also put together 15 tips that you should definitely check out before "checking out". (Sorry, I couldn't resist the play on words.) Some of the ones I didn't consider about before reading it include checking website security, keeping on top of your receipts and statements, using a VPN.  I also really recommend using one email address for all of your shopping so all receipts and confirmations are in one place.



Also, to reassure you, all of the items listed in my holiday gift guide are from reputable sources, which will make things just a little bit easier on you. If you have any concerns about online shopping or ID theft, make sure to check out LifeLock's graphic above. Best of luck!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

wild turkey table



KJB, my husband, has this thing for Wild Turkey Burbon Whiskey. I'm not sure where this semi-obsession came from but he loves it and all I can think of when I see the bottle is Thanksgiving. Because it has a large turkey on the label. So when thinking about my Thanksgiving dinner table, I couldn't help but include it. I wanted a table that was a little more contemporary, but still classic and lux feeling. The velvet table runner and jacquard napkins give that great plush feel, but the colors paired with gold metallic keep things contemporary. I also love the colors of the magnolia wreath - a mix of dried leaves and green. The browned leaves especially bring a sense of warmth the holiday season emits. This tablescape has me really in the mood for turkey, cranberry salad, and the Thanksgiving Day Parade!  Hope you all have a peaceful holiday.

wreath | candlesticks | cake stand | glasses | flatware | table runner | napkins | pumpkins

Friday, November 17, 2017

under $100 gifting: TO THE LITTLES

Shopping for the littles in your life can be a bit overwhelming - constantly changing interests, constantly changing sizes, and the toy market is FLOODED. Because of that, I encourage you to think simple, go for classic options, things that can get them thinking (without making it obviously boring), and items they can always use. When in doubt, size up or age up so they can grow into it if needed. I also love the option of choosing something completely outside the box, like a camera or a record player, for someone young. It could get them interested in a hobby and be fun to tinker with - without breaking the bank.

markers | book | camera | pjs | board game | record player



robe | jenga | snow markerstrampoline | terrarium |  night vision glasses

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

under $100 gifting: TO HER




For the dashing dame with feminine style, I’ve curated some treats she would love to stock pile. Season-round fashions and personalized pieces, these pretties will delight sisters, daughters, aunts, and nieces. Keep her stylish and organized but add a personal touch- engravable items, rose gold, and blush. Whatever you choose, she will be thrilled with your selection, because this broad has taste of utter perfection.

sunnies | phone wristlet | planner | necklace | perfume | highlighter | mules


lip colour | mug | pulloverthrowpajamas | sneakers

Monday, November 13, 2017

under $100 gifting: TO HIM

The mister in your life deserves only the best, so let this guide inspire you. Go ahead! Be my guest. No matter his style, no matter his taste, these gifts will impress and not be a waste. Well within budget they won’t break the bank, but choose a couple from here and you’ll surely move up rank. For father or brother or husband or friend, a gift from this guide will ensure you both win!

scarf | slippers | bottle | backpack | cologne | speaker



leather sneaker | adidas sneaker | flannel | hat | glovesdisc game

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

more of a Wizard


The wizarding world is one of wonder and delight; and perfectly safe since Harry put up that great fight. So it's no surprise you find yourself longing for Hogwarts. You could pop into Three Broomsticks for butterbeer by the quarts. But alas, you can not, because you are a mere Muggle. You wouldn't fit in, you would have such a struggle. So instead you must settle for a few bits and bobbies that celebrate the world of Ron, Luna, Hagrid, and Dobby.

House mug | Shower curtain | Patronus | Dumbledore quote | Ministry decal

Friday, November 3, 2017

minimalist getaway


Hey there, weekend warriors! We are only a few hours away to weekend bliss, the end of another long work week. So get ready, your adventure starts soon! Where are you off to? A drive through the autumnal countryside? A dash into the city? Or maybe you're visiting with family at the lake before winter blows in. Whatever your scene, I give you permission to keep things simple. Ditch all the makeup and products and give yourself a break. Drink water, soak in some vitamin D, and enjoy!

tote | toiletry bag | shoe and hair tools sacks | dry shampoo | lip balm | sunnies

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Night



When days grow short and nights get cold
And autumn trees turn red and gold,
Move, we may, through sun drenched days
'Midst leaves and berries and bales of hay.

In our hearts we feel the lure
Toward darkness, shivers, and things not pure,
While ghostly shadows creep slowly by,
Spying on witches and brooms that fly.

Icy fingers that grab their prey
And do bad things 'til night turns to day.
Heed this plea to stay inside.
Find covers and blankets and sheets to hide.

Slowly this night will fade to day
And fiends and monsters will crawl away.
Once a year, on this dank night,
We'll shake and shiver 'til morning light.

by Denise Cocchiaro


candle holders | skeleton jester | flatware | skeleton snack bowl | crow

Friday, October 27, 2017

SUPPORTERS


All of the above products have net proceeds that are donated to various breast awareness organizations. If you haven't already, consider a purchase (maybe it's a holiday gift!) from a company that supports organizations that matter to you. Conscience shopping is always good shopping ;)

scarf | bra | socks | bracelet | purse | perfume | moisturizer

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Easy Halloweeny - Part 4


Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 c chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can Great Northern Beans, drained
1 can diced green chilies
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
shredded monterey jack cheese

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients except the beans and the cheese into a slow cooker. Cook on low for seven and a half hours. Remove the chicken and shred or chop into bite size pieces. Add the beans and the chicken back into the pot and cook for another 30 minutes. Serve, topped with cheese.

This chili is my favorite for fall, especially when it's super convenient. This crock pot recipe is a go-to during the week, but also a great option for a party because you can start it in the morning and not worry about it all day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Easy Halloweeny - Part 3


Party punch is the way to go for festive get-togethers. For Halloween, cider is my favorite, but I typically drink it hot. This recipe would be good either way!

1 gal. apple cider
6 oz. caramel syrup
1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin spice
apple slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish

If you fancy it cold, combine everything in a pitcher including some of the apple slices and a couple cinnamon sticks. Use the rest to dress your glasses how you like. For a hot drink, I like to put mine in the crockpot for one hour on high prior to the party, then put it on warm. Double or triple the recipe as needed.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Tailgate Season

We interrupt the regularly scheduled "Easy Halloweeny" series to provide tailgate fashion because that's how sports work in my life - always interrupting the fun things I have planned. But I'm married to a sports fanatic so we compromise. And I make sports fun by planning cute outfits and making yummy treats. Since Homecoming is coming up for us, and probably many others, today I'm sharing my tailgate style board. It's all about keeping warm in the cold air and keeping casual yet put together. Also, do you spy the repeat offenders in this board? Love making basics work in every outfit!



scarf | earrings | sweatshirt | jeans | boots | polish | lipstick

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Easy Halloweeny - Part 2


Where's Waldo is an absolute classic. One year I want to have a Where's Waldo theme party and require everyone to dress like Waldo. Doesn't that sound amazing?! (just me? ok, humor me then.) Anyway, this is a super simple costume you could probably pull together with some things already in your closet. If you have the jeans and boots, you're basically halfway there. The beanie you could probably get anywhere during the fall, the glasses you can find at any party store or accessories shop. As for the sweater, I love this one because the elbows actually have hearts on them and would work well for Christmas and Valentines Day. How versatile!

sweater | hat | jeans | boots | glasses

Friday, October 6, 2017

Easy Halloweeny - Part 1

Adding googly eyes to your already awesome home decor is probably one of my favorite ways to subtly decorate for Halloween. One of my favorites that I've done multiple times is my tube of toothpaste. For some reason adding eyes just above the dispensing part is hilarious to me. I have also been known to add eyes to inanimate objects at friends houses - just to make them giggle whenever they find it.

Also, I'm loving black, white, and mixed metals lately. Anyone else?

pendant | clock | plant stand | geometric vases | perfume | mirror | bookends

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

go F O L L O W

Sonaksha Iyengar is an artist and writer currently sharing 365 days of art on her instagram page. Please go give her a follow. This simple act of support will assist in raising awareness.







Friday, September 29, 2017

feeling F E S T I V E



The festival bug has bitten! This past weekend I experienced my first music festival and now, I'm obsessed. GIMME ALL THE FESTIVALS!!! The live music, the artists, the food trucks - this is the best life!!! Ok, it was a little hot (90 degrees) and there was very little shade and somewhat long lines for water. Ok, I nearly passed out twice from heat exhaustion. BUT I LOVED IT!!!! Hubby surprised me with tickets to Pilgrimage Fest down in Franklin Tennessee. We made the most of the weekend by taking a few extra days off work to really live it up, explore downtown Franklin, and enjoy our mini vacation.

Have you ever been to a music festival? Which one? Did you fall in love like I did? If you've never been, I highly recommend you find one with music genres you love and treat yourself.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

ROAD TRIP



Road tripping this fall? Make sure you enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Make yourself comfortable and be sure to play a game to help pass the time. I love to play endless rounds of Heads Up with my hubby (who doesn't love it quite as long as I do), me giving him all the clues so he can still drive.
water bottle | socks | sunnies | blanket

Friday, September 22, 2017

MENTAL HEALTH DAY


There is no shame in a mental health day, time to rejuvenate - that's what I say. So sleep in, take a break, and drink some coffee, but make no mistake: this is your day off, no need to hustle! Relax with a bath, and don't move a muscle. PJ's all day is the best way to live. A mental health day is transformative!

eye mask | earrings | pajamas | slippers | coffee mug | pillow | blanket

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Christmas Planning: Tips + Free Printables!

The holiday season is upon us! I mean, Hobby Lobby has Christmas decor out, so it has to be close, right?! Oh wait, holiday decor is out in June... I guess that's not a good frame of reference. Regardless, for those of us organizational nuts out there, we have already started our holiday planning, gift lists, etc. So it's the perfect time to get yourself in the holiday mood, and I'm here to help you.



Today I'm sharing a Christmas planner, or to be more specific, Christmas inserts for your personal planner. To help you plan, scheme, and enjoy the rest of the year, these inserts will be your new best friend. I'm also going to share some of my favorite ways to beat the crowd yet also relax and absorb the season. First, let's go through the inserts. There are three different style to choose from to meet your decor style: Christmas Cheer, Merry Modern, and Glitzen.



The Activities sheet is for collecting a list of community events and outings that you want on a wish list. For example, my city has a luminary walk at our cultural center, so you can absorb some city history while everything is decorated for the holidays. There's a place to put the date, the cost, and the what the activity is. You could also add things like gingerbread making or gift wrapping, if you want to make an event out of those things.

Speaking of events, for those that typically host around the holidays, there is an Event Planner sheet for organizing the party. It includes a guest list, food list, shopping list and to-do list. I don't normally host anything this time of year, but my hubby's birthday is two weeks before Christmas, so this year I'm going to host something to really celebrate him.



For those that are invited to lots of things, the Social sheet can help you keep track of all of those parties. The most important part is remembering what gifts to take to what event. I somehow always end up with a small pile of gifts for the people I saw early on in the month, but didn't think about bringing their gift to the party. It's also fun to figure out your holiday outfits, so there's a place to jot those down, too. Be sure to check what out the food situation prior for day-of planning; nothing worse than thinking your going to a dinner party when it's actually a happy hour and feeling starved the entire time.

Food around the holidays is always a treat, but I can never remember what I'm taking where or what I need to pick up at the grocery that week. The Food sheets will help because you can include where the dish is going, all the ingredients and the grocery list in one spot. While it may be a little repetitive from the Event Planner and the Social sheets, it will be helpful to have all the food in one spot.


There's nothing better in December than Christmas movies. Make a list of your favs, when they come on TV (if you're watching via cable) or where you can find it when you're ready (Netflix? Amazon?). Then when you sit down to wrap presents, you can check your list to see what you still need to watch and you won't miss out on your favorites.

Possibly the most important page is the Gifting sheet. Use it to help you with ideas, budgeting, and tracking the status. That way, when you're preparing for a party, you can check to make sure you have the gifts you need and they are wrapped for delivery. I've used a gifting insert in my planner for the past couple of years, and it's wonderful for a peace of mind.


Lastly, but maybe the most important, is your Card Tracker. I realize that not everyone sends holiday cards, but they are so fun and everyone loves to get some happy mail. So make out a list and get started on them early. I especially love to sit down the weekend after Thanksgiving and work on addressing envelopes while watching my first holiday movie of the season.

In fact, watching a movie while doing other Christmas tasks is probably my favorite way to spend the season. The movie helps me to relax and puts me in a great mood. Then whatever task I'm working on seems a little less stressful and a lot more fun. Not a movie person? Turn on a holiday playlist on Spotify or Pandora. There are so many great holiday tunes you're bound to find something to lift your spirits.



For a lot of people, shopping is the most stressful part of the holidays. Even if you have great ideas, the daunting task of battling the crowds, parking, and cold weather can sometimes be overwhelming. I have two tips: if you are specifically looking for ideas, head to the store knowing you don't have to buy anything. Let yourself just window shop, sip on a warm drink, and just enjoy the energy. Gather your ideas, then head home - skipping the checkout lines, worrying about where you stuck receipts, etc. Then when you get home, jump online and order the gift you decided on. Most stores offer free shipping around the holidays, so search for a promo code if it's not already listed on the site. Set a deadline for ordering gifts a couple weeks before Christmas, so that there are no concerns about items getting to you in time. Then once your packages arrive, you can breathe easy and work on the most fun part in my opinion - wrapping! Also, keep a digital folder of all order confirmations/receipts so that you can print it out and include it in the box or bag when wrapping. That way it's convenient for the receiver to exchange sizes, etc. without having to ask you for it later.

I hope these tips help you to enjoy the holiday season. Honestly I've found that the more organized I am, the more I can relax. With built-in down time and fun activities, it makes it enjoyable and fun.

Download all three versions of the Personal Christmas Planner here. Please share how you use the inserts on Insta using #splendidactuallyxmas. I can't wait to see how you use them!

Friday, September 8, 2017

A PSL DIY


Fall has arrived! Well, I guess according to the calendar it's not official, but Starbucks has rolled out the fall flavors, so that's close enough for me! Unfortunately, these delicious drinks are full of sugar, which I've cut back on drastically since June. After playing around I came up with an at-home version without sugar! Plus you can make a batch for the week to keep in the fridge and brew your coffee each day to make things faster in the morning. Here's what you need:

1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (swap for coconut milk if you prefer)
1/2 tbsp pumpkin puree
2 tsp Stevia or your favorite sweetener (this amount you may always want to play with to get your desired sweetness)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice + a dash for garnish
1/2 c brewed coffee
1/2 c heavy whipping cream

Heat the milk, pumpkin puree, 1 tsp of sweetener, vanilla, and the pumpkin spice in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. Once the mixture is thoroughly heated and the pumpkin puree evenly mixed throughout the liquid, remove from heat. Use a frother to add some air into the milk. I don't like a lot of foam, so I skip this step.

For the topping, whisk the heavy whipping cream and the remainder of the sweetener until it peaks. This can take forever, so be prepared for an arm work out. My favorite tip for making whipped cream: stick your mixing bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes before starting. This makes the cream colder and form faster. This will get you a little extra whipped cream than you need for your drink, but there's no such thing as too much whipped cream. Top your drink and garnish with a dash of pumpkin spice.

Not a pumpkin spice fan? What's your fall drink of choice? I'm huge fan of chai tea lattes, so maybe that will be my next experiment!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

C U R R E N T L Y



Watching...
Hubby and I love to sit down and binge a couple different shows. We are both massive Survivor fans, so we decided to watch the consecutive seasons starting with the original. So we just finished that one and will be starting on the second one soon. Madam Secretary has become one of my all time favorites and we also just finished the third season of it. Right now we have about three episodes of Blue Bloods to finish. I would like to find a good sitcom to watch when working around the house, but I haven't had much luck finding something I like. Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and Friends I have worked my way through from top to bottom, so feel free to suggest your favorite.

Traveling...
The past couple of months have been pretty low-key in the travel area, but I did just pop up to Grand Rapids last week for work. I really adore it there, as it's very clean and safe feeling for a decent sized city. Stay at the Amway if you go and stop in to eat at Leo's if you want a date night dinner spot. We also did a fun camping trip over July 4th weekend to northern Indiana that was a blast.

Wearing...
My Jack Rogers flip flops have been my go to this summer. I have the black and white version so they go with everything and I can even pull them off at work if I want to be a bit more casual. They are super comfortable and super summery.

Eating...
Back in June I mentioned that KJB and I started a low-carb diet. We did that as a three month trial, so it just wrapped up last weekend. It was a very eye-opening experience to see how much sugar is in almost everything we eat. While we aren't being super strict on ourselves now, I am making much more conscience decisions than I used to. I also discovered that it's super easy to make my own low-carb biscuits and english muffins. They taste pretty good and there's no reason not to make the effort more often than not.

Reading...
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is my current read. I get so caught up in the story that it makes me feel a little eerie. I'm about halfway through and I'm super drawn in to the storyline at this point. I have a feeling a binge reading sesh will happen soon because I won't be able to put it down.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Resolution Update

2017 has been flying by, so today I thought it might be fun to catch up on some of the resolutions I shared back in January. Specifically, for today, I want to talk about the products I've tried when it comes to hair and body care. Let's get right to it.





Brazen Honey is a wonderful face mask. It was hydrating and left my skin feeling fresh. This was my first time trying a "fresh" face mask so I had never applied one that was wet. It felt strange at first but nice. It is a little difficult to apply because it is thick and it did stiffen over time in my fridge. This is definitely one to use well within the use-by date, but I've purchased it several times because I'm a major fan.

I cannot report on Herbalism because I have not yet tried it. I'm working on a face cleanser now and once that is used up, I'll give it a go.

The Avacado Co-wash is straight up not for me. I think my hair is just too thick for it because I cannot seem to get it to make a difference in my scalp. For now, I'll stick with liquid shampoos and conditioners. Speaking of, I've been using Kenra for the past several months (talked about it in this post) and I love it.

The Pumice Power is amazing. It's not super harsh like pumice stones can be, so it is no issue to use it in the shower every day. It also smells amazing.

Softy is neutral for me because I wasn't wowed by it. It was a nice moisturizer, but I've used others I like just as much. I prefer a thick body butter or something like that for my feet.

I've tried both of these deodorants and neither worked for me. They smelled nice, especially T'eo, but I could smell myself mid-morning and would need to reapply. While that seems like it's not an issue, I just don't have time during the work day to be worrying about it. I'll be looking for something stronger.

While I haven't necessarily found great products for some of these categories, I'm happy with my efforts and it's been fun (and interesting!) to try some new things!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sweatshirt Season

Sweatshirt season is upon us, ya'll. For some reason I get real Southern in the Fall. Anyone else? In order to prepare I did some browsing on Society6, one of the best places to find unique art in a wide variety of mediums and placed on a wide variety of products. This year, I found some really good ones, so I thought I would share my favorites with you. Once I got started creating the collection, I realized I have a major theme going on here - mostly white, mostly pink, and mostly #basic status. What can I say, I like what I like. That being said, these are still really different from each other and a person can never have too many cozy sweatshirts. Now I just need more weekends to wear them. MOVING ON to the content!



In the fall I like to pair my sweatshirts and hoodies with cut-off jeans, leggings, or distressed black denim. These footwear options cover a wide variety of styles but I still think they all could go with any of the bottoms. I'll link to all of these items below as well.

Pink Gold Pineapple | Woman with Butterfly | Craneo de Vaca | Damsal | Go West | Zelda Fitzgerald | FLaMINGoS

Black denim | Cut off shorts | Leggings | Adidas sneakers | Leopard platform sneakers | Studded slides

Friday, August 25, 2017

Feeling Cozy

Most of you probably don't know that I work my day job for a university. This time of year is always fun because campus comes to life, populated with new students who remind me of my age, which by the way, I had the realization that I've been out of college for NINE years. How does time seem to go so fast once you're out of school??? Anyway, I digress. With all the students coming into town, our shopping destinations (composed of Target and Walmart), has filled up with "dorm room essentials". They offer super inexpensive items marketed towards college students, some of which are great, some I would pass on. However, I noticed that while they had great price points, nothing really seemed homey and cozy - which is a huge miss on their part.

For entering freshman especially, that have never lived away from home, creating a sense of home in the dorm room could be so crucial. Whether sharing a space with a stranger or a friend, it could be awkward and discomforting - and definitely take some getting used to. The key aspect to making the space comfortable is bringing in aspects that remind you of home. For example, if your parents house always smelled of delicious baked goods, find a *room spray or an essential oil combination that resembles that scent. If you loved the family gallery wall, create your own on a bulletin board. Recreating the ambiance of your previous comfortable environment will help you as you settle into your new space.

Below I've rounded up some things that I would choose to make a temporary space feel like home. While you may not love the exact items I've selected, I hope it inspires you to make a list of the things you loved about your old home. And while I've geared this to a dorm room, these tips could help in any new home - whether a new apartment in a new city, a relocation for work, or even a new house.



A couple of things about the items I chose...

+ Opt for a cozy, neutral duvet or comforter so you can change out pillow covers easily for the season.
+ This photo holder doubles as a night light. The clips are attached to string lights to give a little glow wherever it hangs. Put it above your bed or your desk.
+ A lightweight throw blanket is perfect to add to your bed when your cold, or to carry with you to a friends room or common space for movie night.
+ Slippers and a high pile rug can go a long way in creating a cozy feel.
+ Lavender is a good year-round season. Not overly floral but slightly fresh smelling. Plus Mrs. Meyer's has a natural product with very few ingredients. *Please check with your roommate before spraying anything, as some people are sensitive to sprays in general or may have difficulty with asthma.

duvet / cushion covers / throw /  room scentphoto holder /  rug / slippers

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Midwest Fall Fashion

You know the line in Gilmore Girls, "Wait. Close your eyes and breathe. I smell snow."? Well thankfully I'm not smelling snow, but I am smelling fall. The time of year the world goes pumpkin spice crazy, pulls out their riding boots, and starts preparing for holidays. However, if you're located in the Midwest like me, the weather tends to be a little less predictable. You can start out the morning feeling chilled, be sweating on your lunch break or afternoon errands, then be freezing again by evening. It's very difficult to dress for this sort of weather. In an attempt to help, I've pulled together two outfits that should help you and it involves a key aspect: layering. Thin layers that you can remove or add as necessary to match the current temperature. 


Wear to work has always been difficult for me for some reason. Lightweight, sleeveless sweaters seem like a good option because they aren't overwhelming and bulky. A cropped pant is an easy summer transition and I love the idea of white with a pair of beige booties. A gold choker and a statement cuff keep the look trendy yet classic. After the sun goes down, add a pea coat to keep your arms warm and opt for a bright color to make a statement. Pea coats tend to be pretty nice looking and they are thin but incredibly warm.

choker / cuff / pants / top / shoes / coat

Weekend wear is probably my favorite because I live for a good pair of jeans. While the rest of the world is on the legging train, which I ride occasionally I might add, I'm over here feeling good about my denim. And while I love skinny jeans, there's something good about a flare leg in the fall. They work well with boots, add some curve to your silhouette, and just feel right with a leather belt. I always make sure to wear a shoe with some height to help elongate the look and keep your jeans from overwhelming your frame - very important for a shorty like me. So that's what I went with here - dark wash flares with a slouchy v-neck. This mustard color has fall written all over it and will pair so well with army green when you throw on a military jacket in the evenings. If you don't own one yet - go for one with some kind of interesting detail like patches or embroidery. It will immediately up the visual interest. Add a lightweight scarf for some pattern.

belt / denim / tshirt / shoes / jacket / scarf

Friday, August 18, 2017

July Favorites



l'Occitane Almond Hand Cream - If this is only item on this list you read, it may be ok (no, please don't stop reading, I have lots of goodies!) because this one is by far my most used item of the month. For an unknown reason, my hands have been incredibly dry and I just can't get enough hand cream on them. I love the scent of this one plus it feels like such a treat to apply because it leaves my hands feeling so soft and smooth. If you aren't willing to splurge, at least put it on your Christmas wish list for your stocking.

Rosamunde Pilcher Novels - I read two this month (The Shell Seekers & Winter Solstice) and I'm completely adoring Ms. Pilcher's writing style. She is a British writer as since I'm obsessed with all things European, they were both right up my alley. The novels are fairly easy reads but truly entertaining because of the cultural references. I thoroughly enjoyed both stories and look forward to reading more; my mom claims to have loads of them in her book collection.

Yogi Egyptian Licorice Mint Tea - Maybe it's the British novels, but I've found myself loving a cup of tea in the evening. I'll cozy up on the patio (unless the humidity is unbearable) with my novel and a cup of tea as a way to unwind for the evening. There's something slightly sweet yet fresh about the taste and I find that it doesn't need cream or sugar, which is an added bonus.

Lucy Wyndham Read fitness videos - This gal makes it easy for anyone to add in a quick workout. From her 4 minute HIIT routines to the walk-at-home options to the total body toning workouts, every video I've ever watched has made me sweat. She encourages and explains things easily, plus she offers alternate moves when you need to make things a little bit easier. A bonus for me is that I've also become extremely more aware of my posture - I find myself pulling my shoulders back and holding my head a little higher. Oh, and did I mention she's British? I'm sensing a theme here.

Mirage Chandelier Earrings - If I put these on once, I put them on a dozen times in July. With a sundress and sandals for dinner out, ponte pants and blouses for the office, or cut offs and graphic tees for running weekend errands, they enhanced any outfit. The gold and white finish just seemed to go with everything, plus they are so lightweight it makes them easy to wear.

(image via @styledbymann)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Planner Covers - Free Printables!

My planner goes everywhere with me. It is always in my purse and I refer to it all the time. Because it's always on me, I want it to look good and match the season. Unfortunately, buying a bunch of different covers isn't in my budget (because I buy so many stickers *see no evil emoji). So I thought I would share some free printables that will get your planner through the rest of the year. When I make my own covers, I print out my cover (make sure to print them full size and not fit to page, unless you you're wanting a different size all together) and take it to Staples where they can be laminated in 10 mil laminating plastic. I've found it's worth it to have them do it then to purchase the laminating paper and machine to do it myself. 

If you need help with how to make your covers, here is the tutorial I use!


The holiday choices include Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I love that I can swap these out every couple weeks to match the holidays. Those three months just go so fast!

I also included some non-holiday options that are good year-round!

Click here to download the style or styles you want.