Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fancies: Outfit Crush!

Outfit Crush

Happy Friday! What a beautiful week it's been and it has definitely felt like fall! One of my favorite things about fall is receiving fall catalogues and magazines in the mail. Not only do I add more beautiful items to my wishlist, but I also find inspiration to recreate the look from my own closet. This week, my crush has been on Garnet Hill. Ever heard of them before? For years I thought it was this company for middle aged women that had clothes that were almost frumpy and ill-fitting. Boy, I was wrong! They have definitely stepped up their game in the past few years (I own two dresses from them--good sales!) and I would definitely take this whole outfit! Look at that sweater coat: just gorgeous with the blouse, the boots and the jeans. Check out Garnet Hill's line. I bet you you will find at least one item that could go in your closet!

I have a very low-key weekend planned and I am oh-so-happy about it! My brother came home for the weekend and we're looking forward to spending time with him. Hope you all have fabulous weekends!

Check out Long Distance Loving for more Outfit Crushes. I can't wait to be inspired!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bachelor Sean

I LOVED Sean on this season's Bachelorette and of course, was crushed when Emily sent him home. But the great thing is that now we will see him on The Bachelor as he *tries* to find love again. He actually seems quite the genuine guy and is a sight for sore eyes. I just can't wait to see how he does as the Bachelor and what kind of gals abc brings in for him. Yes, the premise for the show is a little odd and not realistic at all, but yes, it is entertaining, I get sucked in and I manage to watch every season. This year will be absolutely no exception!

Are you a Bachelor fan?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Perfect Morning Treat

Today I had to share with you a perfect morning treat!
Have you heard of Cookie Butter? The school I work at is peanut free, so while my family was at the store picking up groceries and searching the peanut butter aisle for peanut free butters at Trader Joe's, they found the sun butter that I wanted and this: cookie butter. I know what you're thinking, but it is heavenly!!

It i a spread made from gingerbread and crushed biscuits, made into butter. Don't knock it til you try it! It's perfect with pretzels and on butter cookies (my original idea for this post til I realized we were out!), and now enter bananas. Just spread a little on the top and it will make your morning a bit sweeter. What's not to love?

Monday, September 24, 2012

The weekend...

This weekend was such a good one! I had such an equal balance of productivity and play, which you really can't beat! Friday night was spent in making homemade pizzas and playing very intense games of Uno. I lost twice...I'll leave it at that!

Saturday I had work events, piano lessons, more work...

Sunday I spent the entire day at Wrigley Field. I've never been to a game so late in the season and the dynamic is so different than it is going in the middle of summer. I spent the whole game cheering and catching up with my friend Kristin. Unfortunately our cheering didn't work out so well. The Cards beat the Cubs 6-3. There's always next year!

The fans were still hardcore cheering, but we lost a few and I blame the Bears game! One thing about Chicagoans, they flock to whatever sporting event is in season!

How was your weekend? My week is pretty low key, and I'm looking forward to it! And Modern Family starts on Wednesday (hooray for all of their Emmy wins!)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Fancies: Team Time!

college football

I loved cheering on my college football team, the good ol' IWU Titans! We always had such a blast every week going out to the games, cheering loud, and drinking this hot cup of (what was supposed to be) cocoa to stay warm. My basic uniform was my IWU sweatshirt and a vest to stay warm, but if I had to class it up with the green and white this would be my go-to! Are you a college or NFL football fan?

This weekend, I'll be going to a Cubs game, right in the midst of football season! I'm excited because this is my first game of the season! Other than that, tonight we're going to watch Downton Abbey and get cozy with some blankets (it's going to be cold!). Hope you all have good ones! and go check out the rest of the fancies on Long Distance Loving!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Starbucks VIA Pumpkin Coffee!

That's right.

You can now make your own pumpkin spice lattes at home! I'm still wanting to make my own pumpkin sauce for pumpkin spice lattes, but in the mean time: Hello! Talk about a cheaper way to enjoy your favorite fall indulgence. I tested this wonderful taste of heaven last night for dessert and it tasted just like the ones baristas make, but for a fraction of the cost. Five come in a package, so you can make yourself five drinks for the price of one. I know, what a steal!

So go on over to Starbucks and get yourself some Pumpkin VIA. Just add hot milk, and!

(if you already knew about this, I'm so sorry. I just had to share!) I'm going to enjoy another cup now...

And since I'm feeling the fall, look at these awesome trees that are in the process of turning. This is my walk on my break at work. I love these. Are yours turning yet?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lusting for (more) Leather!

Source: via Susan on Pinterest

I saw this last week and could imagine all the possibilities! It has itself going right on my wishlist. As the fall temps plummet (it frost here last night!), this is the perfect layer to give a little edge and sophistication to my wardrobe! (and the pricetag doesn't hurt either). Do you have a leather jacket you just love?

Sorry I'm bombarding you guys with budget buys! Tomorrow, I promise, I have something for fall you'll want to pick up. Seriously, a fall necessity!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Better than I bargained for!

This past weekend, our church had its annual Oktoberfest market where a bunch of antique vendors come to sell beautiful jewelry, coats, furniture and nick knacks. Our family usually goes there and looks, but never really comes home with anything...

until I went and found myself the perfect fall leather handbag for the whopping price of $12. Yes, it's real leather! (I honestly thought it was plastic when I first eyed it, but the smell and the feel totally gave away it's "better with age" charm!)

I was shocked that was the price. I was expecting way more since this lady was selling vintage coats for over $100. I was so excited when I spotted it, because in my past few Friday Fancies, I've been loving big, leather shopper bags. They're effortless and go with everything and I just wanted one! Though this isn't as big as a shopper, it's a cute little bag that will definitely put a spring in my fall step! It kind of looks like an old doctor's bag and I love that about it!

Have you scored any deals lately for fall fashion? What what?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Fancies: Fall Lust List!

fall lust list

Stella McCartney sweater dress, $915 / Blazer / GAP / Frye vintage boots / J.Crew leather shoulder bag / J.Crew j crew necklace
After yesterday's weather, it is safe to say that fall has officially started! Though summer is my number one favorite season, fall has to come in a close tie for winter as my second. The fashion is for sure first rate and the looks to create are endless! On my radar are a few things very typical for me! This J.Crew necklace is like Spike the Punch meets J.Crew and it's fabulously gorgeous. A sweater dress with a blazer to boot would be amazing (and look at the colors! The Brompton Hobo has again been on my radar and is probably on of the next things I would save for . It's timeless and looks like it would just get better with age. Speaking of getting better with age, Frye Boots! Love the style, color, love it all! And these Gap boyfriend jeans would be great with loafers and a sweater, or dressed up with a fitted blazer and some boots! What's on your list?

Hope you all have fabulous weekends!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What I'm Wearing



This is what I'm wearing right now, and this is what I do when I don't have an iPhone to share instantly with you (and I my camera charger is MIA!). I have to say, I love it. Fall is here, the wind is coming, and I know that the rain won't bring me down with my boots and later on my favorite rain coat. Here it is: easy, breezy, fall fall fall! What's got you thinking fall today?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

I am so proud to be an American. Through all of these years, we've stood tall, we've given our best, and we have sacrificed more than we ever imagined. I thank God for the heroes that have made our country great, and said prayers for the families who have tragically lost everything. I never will forget what happened that warm, September day in sixth grade, when all we could do was just trust and know that there would be better days ahead. Where were you?

We live in such a great country and have endured so much as one. My prayer is that we are all reminded of that solidarity and will come together for whatever will come our way.

Also I think that Morgan's reflection and {av}'s message about September 11th and dreams is such a great reminder. Go check it out.

God Bless America.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Just Keep Going

Yesterday in Chicago was the big Chicago half marathon. Earlier in March (wow how time does fly!) I mentioned that my sister Mary and I wanted to run a half marathon this summer. I received great advice from a lot of you on how to train and how to be best prepared for something as big as this.

Well, it's September and we didn't reach our goal of getting it done. Did things get in the way? Yes. We didn't get in as many miles as we wanted to over the summer and didn't dedicate the time and training it takes to be prepared for a half marathon, even if it was a course that we wanted to set for ourselves.

When will we get to it? I don't know. Not this year, probably hopefully next. But I'll say one thing: I don't think I need a big race to get me motivated to run my hardest.  I really thought I did, but I'm changing my tune. If that works for some people, that's fantastic! Do I get motivated when a race is in the mix? Yes I do, but there are days, like yesterday, where I felt like I could have just kept going. I felt so motivated, so strong. The day was so beautiful, so comfortable, and I was in the zone. So I didn't feel guilty for not reaching this goal that I had set.

So the point of this post is this: even though you may not always reach your goals, just keep going. Set new goals and find new drive and motivation to keep yourself satisfied and happy with yourself. It really makes the task more fun and of course, more worthwhile and fulfilling.

Hope you all had wonderful weekends! With a busy, packed week ahead, I know that it'll be crucial to just keep going and stay motivated!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Fancies: Back to School!

back to school

Well I absolutely love Back to School Time! The temperature changes, the leaves fall, and students of all ages are ready to go back and hit the books (or the water tables or playdoh!). Fall is all about layering and putting soft delicate pieces with chunky jackets or knits, like I did with this darling Victoria Beckham dress and this big chunky knit sweater. Having a pair of boots on hand always helps too and why not carry a bag that is going to last the whole year? (I'm talking to you Zara Shopper! It's still on my wishlist!). Yep, with this look I'd be set for fall. And for good measure I will just add that a pumpkin spice latte in hand wouldn't hurt either!

Hope you have a great weekend guys! I'm working a lot this weekend, but I can't wait to get some jobs done and hopefully try a few new recipes. With fall coming, why not? What are you up to? I hope you're enjoying the last of Indian Summer and welcoming fall with open arms!

Now go and check out the rest of the fancies at Long Distance Loving!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It returns

Along with the returns of boots, pumpkin spice lattes and new fall tv shows (!), I'm looking forward to getting out my favorite fall (and winter!) accessory: the cowl. Aka the oversized scarf that everybody loved last year and in my eyes, I have a feeling they'll be getting the same amount of love as last year. I knit up quite a few last year and this fall I have my eyes on making this one:

This is the ultimate! It is called the Herringbone Cowl by the Purl Bee and hopefully I will be able to duplicate this fall. This is the wishlist. The most perfect "I would wear it everyday with everything in my wardrobe" cowl. And I can't wait to make it!

Did you love the cowl last year? Will you be sporting it this year or will you just go back to long scarves again?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A bit more about me

Andrea from Blone Ambitions and Cathy from Cathy Trails recently both gave me blog awards! Super sweet of both of them and I love answering questions (and give you a little more insight about me!).

7 Facts about Me:
  1. I am a teacher and darn proud of it!
  2. The piano is one of my favorite releases and passions I have, and though I took a summer break, I cannot wait to get back to practicing again!
  3.! But you probably knew that didn't you?
  4. I also love baking and wish that sweets were "free" food, meaning they wouldn't be bad for you at all and I could live on them!
  5. I'm kind of disorganized, but trying to get it more and more together!
  6. I have a new addiction to sweet potato fries and avocados (sometimes together!)
  7. I love country music and will sing it as loud and proud as I can!
  8. And sometimes when I listen to country music, I go into a Southern accent. I've never been to the South, we have no relatives there, yet I still think that it would be cool to speak with one. 
  9. I think that looking good and feeling good go hand in hand, so I tend to smile a lot :)
  10. I love to run, especially with my sister and I'm trying to get back to playing tennis.
  11. I sometimes watch trashy reality tv like Bachelor Pad, Love in the Wild, and Real Housewives when it's online (we don't have cable or satellite). I also love cooking shows like Giada, Barefoot Contessa and The Chew! 
Andrea's Questions for me:
one: what was the most recent thing you bought online?
Well, this is a tough one since I don't really do much online shopping. But J.Crew was having a sale! so my sisters and I each got the Jackie Pull Over and we got a little monogram for good measure!
two: if you could meet one famous individual who would it be?
Oh gosh, that's a tough one. Probably Josh Groban. I love playing his tunes on the piano, plus I think he's just hysterical!
three: do you prefer snow/cold or beach for a vacation?
Again, tough!! I love the beach and my family has such a fun time there, but I love vacationing in snow. There are so many fun things to do, like skating, skiing and drinking endless cups of cocoa. So I'd probably say snow!
four: do you have a pet? what kind? what is their name? (sorry I know that is 3!)
No, I don't. My family had a cat, Kitty was her name, and we all loved her a lot. Hopefully in the future I'd love a dog or a cat!
five: if you could change jobs to anything else, what would you be?
I absolutely love teaching, and that is definitely the best choice I could make for myself at the moment, but if I had to change careers my dream job would be a combo of professional knitter and a Broadway pianist. I think it would be so fun to play in shows night after night and hum along to the best tunes there are!
six: tap or sparkling water?
seven: what was the first car that you owned?
Yet to own my own car, but the first car that I shared was a '96 Toyota Avalon. It was a great car!
eight: what is your favorite pizza topping or type of pizza?
Barbeque Chicken!
nine: what kind of camera do you take most of your pictures? (Nikon, iphone, etc)
I just have a point and shoot Sony Cybershot. Though I know it's not a DSLR, I think it's pretty good for where I am right now in my life just starting out. And maybe someday I'll splurge for the big guy! (and I don't have an iPhone or a Smart phone. If I did I'd probably be addicted to it! Instagram is so cool!)
ten: what is your favorite reality TV show?
The Bachelor/The Bachelorette!
eleven: where is the farthest from home you have ever traveled?
In high school I was so fortunate to travel to Germany and Prague for a choir tour. It was an absolutely gorgeous trip and I had so much fun while I was there. I'd love to go back and revisit some of the beautiful churches and castles we went to and see some new sights that I didn't get to see the first time. But again, that's way in the future!

Cathy's questions for me:
1. Would you rather have super strength or super intelligence?
Probably super intelligence because I would love to help people as much as possible, and you need a lot of intelligence for that, and strength takes a little intelligence too, am I right?
2. What is one possession you cannot live without? 
Oh gosh, that's a tough one. I would probably have to say my watch. I don't know, in my family, everybody wears a watch and it just reminds me that no matter how rushed I feel, I will always have a little more time. 
3. What is the most touching movie you have ever seen? 
I absolutely love The Ultimate Gift, if you've never seen it find it and rent it! I also find The Holiday really touching. and sweet. and perfect. and I want a love story like it!
4. Are you an old soul or a new soul?
Old soul for sure 
5. What is your biggest accomplishment?
Wow, tough question! I would say that I achieved a double major in four years and still managed to have honors afterwards. I also got a job within six months of being out of school, and in this economy, I feel proud to say that I did that!
5. Why did you start blogging? 
I wanted to try something new and try to embrace a little more creativity in my life. I've been blogging about a year and a half now, and still love it! I'm a lot busier now than when I first started, but it is still just as fun to take time and connect with others!
6. Who do you think is the sexiest female or male celebrity alive? 
I'll go for male and say....Ryan Gosling. I mean, really have you looked at him?! Also, is Prince Harry an option?
7. Do you believe true love can last forever? 
Yes, absolutely, no question. 
8. What's a quote that you live by everyday? 
"We can do anything we want if we stick to it long enough." Helen Keller
9. If you could give a person only one piece of advice, what would it be? 
With support of family, faith and friends, you can achieve anything. 
10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
I'm from the Chicago area, and I'm sticking to it. I love Chicago! Though I hear London would be pretty cool too!
11. What is your favorite meal? 
Risotto! with lots of fresh vegetables, especially Ina Garten's recipe. Delicious!

Enough writing? Sorry guys I know I talk a lot, but hopefully now you know a little bit more about lil ol me!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rays of Sunshine

image via Cupcakes and Cashmere
I hope you are all taking in the rays and day off like I am today. Enjoy it and relish in all summer memories behind you, and great, new fall days to come!