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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sportswear Workwear

I promise, this is the last of the baseball wear. I had a different outfit planned, but when we won Game 6 on Tuesday I couldn't help but wear this Royals tee yesterday to bring some luck to Game 7. It may not have worked (we lost), but I'm still very proud to be a Royals fan and proud of all we accomplished this season. What a year!

Like all my Royals gear, this denim pencil skirt has seen its fair share of wear (I'm a poet!) over the past couple of years. But I'm ready to let it go and find a replacement. It's getting pretty faded, and I'm not crazy about the fit or the weight of the fabric. I can't decide if I want to find a similar dark denim pencil skirt, or if I'd rather get a skirt that's equally versatile, but different in shape and style. Help a girl out--what would you do? What's your go-with-everything skirt? 

taupe cord blazer: Loft (similar) / Royals tee: 47 Brand (similar) / denim pencil skirt: Converse One Star for Target (similar) / booties: Target (similar)

Linking to What I Wore to Work @ Mix and Match Fashion and Thursday Favorites @ Sincerely Jenna Marie. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jona at 14 Months

I continue to be amazed by how much Jona learns and changes, in just a month's time. Here's a little update on what Jona's been up to lately. 

Eating: Gone are the days of Jona eating anything and everything we put in front of him. His likes and dislikes seem to change by the hour. Most days he wants nothing to do with any meat, but then the other day he devoured Italian sausage like it was the best thing on the planet. There are a few tried-and-true foods that are still going strong; he'll almost always eat eggs, yogurt, pasta, and just about any fruit you put in front of him. Otherwise, it's pretty much a crap shoot. 

Teething: I took Jona to the doctor the other day because he was messing with his ear (again!) quite a bit. She told me his ears looked fine (what a relief) but that his gums looked a little swollen so teething may be the cause of his ear pain. Sure enough, a few days later, I saw a hint of a top tooth towards the back. I'm not sure if it's the tooth or the cold he picked up around the same time, but he's had a rough few days. He's pretty happy when he's playing, but going to sleep, especially at night, has been a struggle. His "signature comfort move", sucking on his finger, hasn't even brought him much comfort since he can't breathe very well out of his nose. Poor guy! 

Mobility: This has been a big month for getting around. Jona had pulled himself up to standing a few times before, but over the past month he started doing it everywhere. He even pulled himself up on his little push toy and started walking with it! He'll also do a little "cruising" along furniture, but he hasn't ventured out to take any steps on his own just yet. Last month it seemed like he was so far away from this point; it really seemed to happen overnight. Walking may be sooner than I thought! 

Fun facts

- Jona will mimic Aaron or I if we start laughing, or coughing. He'll also often answer "Yeah" when we ask a question. 
- He loves to sing "Ring Around the Rosie". He'll say "ash, ash" and he thinks it's hilarious when you fall (or pretend to fall) down at the end. 
- When I get him dressed in the morning, he loves to take his socks and lay them on top of his feet. It's funny though, because when I actually put them on his feet, he pulls them off almost immediately. 
- Climbing is his new favorite activity. He loves to climb onto his little ride-on toy, onto my lap, onto his little car set that isn't made for climbing on, on pillows, etc. He hasn't successfully scaled our ottoman yet, but I'm sure he's not too far from it. 
- He is horrified by stuffed animals. (Unless they sing or talk.) Seriously, horrified. The other day I got out this box full of stuffed animals. He pulled out the teddy bear and made a face like he just ate something terrible. Then I gave him another one, and he made the same face and pushed it away! What kid hates teddy bears? Apparently, mine. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe Roundup: October

I'm linking up with In Residence and Just Jacq for this month's capsule wardrobe outfit showcase

Fall Capsule 2014 - Current Thoughts

It's been almost two full months since I downsized my closet and decided to try working with a capsule wardrobe for fall. My tune hasn't changed since last month; I still think this was a great decision for me. I understand that it may not work for some people, but it has helped me streamline the process of both getting dressed and assessing my wardrobe needs, both of which often used to overwhelm me. I'm terribly indecisive; while I like having choices, when I have too many I just shut down. 

I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to do about winter. I'm definitely going to continue this process, but I'm not sure if it works for me to start the "winter capsule" in December. After talking to Anne about it a little, I'm leaning towards using December as a "transition month", which would make my winter capsule last from January through March. Weather-wise, this would (unfortunately) make the most sense as well. I have some time to decide that though.  

Favorite Looks - October 2014

Leopard meets bumblebee. I wore this to work and added the leopard scarf to mix up the black and yellow. 

eShakti black dress / Target yellow cardigan / Madewell polka dot flats / Sammydress leopard scarf

Dots and brights. This was another work look for a day that called for mixing brights with some whimsical dots. 

 Gap blue pants / J.Crew Factory polka dot chambray / J.Crew Factory navy sweater / Nine West pink heels

Triple the prints. I decided to have a little fun with my neutral prints for this casual look. 

Gap navy cords / Ann Taylor Factory navy stripe shirt / Old Navy navy print scarf / Dr. Scholl's leopard flats

Cozy cool. A warm, printed cardigan added some fun to basic jeans, tee and flats. 

Gap skinny jeans / Loft navy print cardigan / Target gray tee / Gap Outlet red flats

What are your thoughts on capsule wardrobes? Is it something you're doing now or is it not your thing? I'd love to know what your "wardrobe philosophy" is! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Black Booties 2 Ways

Sometimes the weekend seems like a race against time. It goes by so fast, and there are always so many things I need to do (clean, grocery shop, know, the fun stuff) and even more things I want to do. This weekend was a nice balance of both, but it still went by too quickly.

Today I'm remixing my black suede ankle booties. I mentioned last week what a staple ankle booties have become for my fall and winter wardrobe; they really do seem to go with everything.

What did you do over the weekend? 

Last week, I wore them to work for a look that's all fall: plaid, corduroys, and my gray moto jacket. Once again my outfit inspiration was from Inspiration Monday at Two Birds

Gray moto jacket: Loft (similar) / plaid shirt: Gap (similar) / navy cords: Gap / black booties: Target (similar)

Over the weekend it was strangely warm, hot almost, so I paired these booties with my red mini skirt. I like the way these shoes still make an outfit feel like fall, even when the weather doesn't follow suit. No doubt next week it will be snowing or something.

Denim jacket: Gap (similar) / graphic tee: J.Crew Factory (cute bird print) / red skirt: J.Crew (similar) / black booties: Target (similar)

Linking up to Inspiration Monday and Mix it Mondays

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Eats: Dine-in / Dine-out

Not a lot of cooking happened this week. Between Aaron having Parent Teacher Conferences and us going to the World Series, we were only able to squeeze in two home-cooked dinners this week. I love to cook, but it is nice to get a little break every now and again.

Can you tell which meals I tried to quickly photograph before a hungry little boy ran out of patience? Yikes. Food blogger I'm not. 

1. Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta from The Pioneer Woman. This was another one that I made years ago and loved, but this time around it wasn't quite as successful. I'm almost positive that the amount of lemon juice I used is to blame. I must have gone a bit squeeze-happy, because holy lemon juice! it was strong. My second mistake: leaving out the fresh basil. There's just no substitute for that. 

2. Chili Garlic Beef Stir Fry from How Sweet it is. Oh hey, another stir fry! I never make those, right? This smoked up our house like crazy (I think it was the brown sugar) but boy was it good. The beef had so much flavor, and I didn't even marinate it for long. 

3. Over the weekend Aaron and I had a date night. We went to Coco Bolos, a restaurant that recently opened in the Kansas City area. We have been wanting to try it because the original Coco Bolos is a restaurant we went to when we lived in Manhattan, KS, where we went to college. The menu is similar to that one, but not the same. 

We both thought the food was good, but I think the original (at least what I remember) is better. I ordered 3 tacos: battered tilapia, braised pork and grilled steak. The pork and steak were okay, but the flavors were almost overwhelming. However, the tilapia taco was delicious--a perfect balance of crispy battered fish, crunchy slaw and spicy sauce. I'd order 3 of those next time. Honorable mention: their drunken pinto beans. They're cooked in a little tequila, which made them different than my usual Mexican restaurant order of whole beans. The tequila flavor was subtle, but it was enough to make them interesting. 

If you're in the area and interested in checking it out, the fish tacos and drunken beans are worth a try! I'd skip the queso (nothing special) and the sangria (way too sweet) though. 

Have you tried any fun new restaurants or recipes this week? 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Filling Holes: A Winter Wishlist

I'm not even two full months into this capsule wardrobe and I admit I'm already thinking about the next one. I've learned a lot by having a smaller wardrobe this season, and I'm still pretty happy with my choices. However, I can't help thinking about holes I'd like to fill when I begin to transition to a winter capsule in December. Here are a few things on my wishlist right now.

Clockwise from top left: 

1. Brown leather booties. My taupe suede booties from Target are nearing the end of their little, much-worn lives, I fear. Now that I know just how much I rely on ankle boots in the fall and winter, I think an upgrade is in store. 

2. Black skinny pants. I considered buying a pair of black skinny pants for my fall capsule, but I didn't find a pair I liked. I'm still thinking about them though, which means I ought to at least try again to find the right pair for the next go-round. 

3. Print sweater. I have two neutral sweaters in my collection right now, but I need at least one more pullover sweater for the cold weather. I like the idea of a sweater in a neutral color but with an interesting print. 

4. Bold colored coat. Although I'm (still) drawn to a lot of neutrals lately, I'd love to have a bold, bright coat to keep me warm this winter. I've had the same tired gray pea-coat for several years, and it's starting to fall apart, literally. With the winters we've been having lately, this won't be an item I skip out on this year. 

5. Striped long sleeve dress. You know me and striped dresses. The one I've been wearing for what feels like forever is still in surprisingly great shape, but it's not always my favorite for layering in the cooler months. Its waist is a little higher than my natural waist, which makes adding a sweater and a belt a bit of a challenge. For winter, I'd ideally like a striped dress with sleeves and a waistline that isn't too defined. I can do the defining myself with the help of a belt. 

What's on your wishlist right now?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Circle Linkup: Book Report

Although I have less time to read than I used to, sitting down with a good book is still one of my favorite activities. Today I'm linking up to The Circle at In Its Time, where Anne of In Residence (who always has great book reviews) is co-hosting.

1. What's your favorite book of the year? I've done a terrible job lately at keeping track of what I read, so unless I document it somehow, I tend to forget most books quickly. However, one fairly recent read stands out in my mind, and that's The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I've read several good books this year, but this one made the biggest impact.

2. What are you reading right now? I'm a little over halfway through The End of Manners by Francesca Marciano. It's about Maria, a reserved young photographer who reluctantly accepts an assignment in Afghanistan. She joins Imo, a boisterous, confident journalist who is writing a story about women who attempt suicide to escape a forced marriage. I'm enjoying it so far. I like that the story didn't begin in Afghanistan, instead, Maria starts the story as a food photographer. I think the contrast of these two vastly different lives makes the story even better. 

3. What book did you just finish? Before The End of Manners I read To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. If you're looking for a fun read, I'd recommend this YA novel. Lara Jean writes a letter to every boy she's fallen for. The letters are meant to be secret, it's her way of moving on, but mysteriously all her letters get mailed. The premise sounds a little silly, but it was well-written and worth the read. 

 4. What are you reading next? I don't have one lined up just yet, but I do have a hold at my library on The Rosie Project, which I've heard a lot about this year. It may be a while before I read it though, as I'm number 102 in the queue. 

5. What was your favorite book as a kid? Oh my goodness, what wasn't my favorite book as a kid? I loved Dr. Seuss. Fox in Socks was a favorite. And The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Oh and McElligot's Pool. I also loved Lyle the Crocodile (and just found that one at Goodwill for Jona!) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. As I got older and started to read chapter books, I had quite a few favorites. Harriet the Spy, The Indian in the Cupboard, The Babysitters Club series. I loved Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends too. I also went through a stage where I was fascinated with Native Americans and wanted to read as much as I could about them. Oh, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder series! I could probably go on all day about all the books I read and loved as a child, but I'll stop here. 

6. What book would you take on a deserted island? I know I'm being completely unoriginal here, but it's a toss-up between The Bible and some sort of survival handbook. Knowing my outdoor skills, I can almost hear God telling me not to kid myself and definitely take the handbook unless I want a live, in-person Bible reading.

What are you reading right now?