Five Oh One

La mode: This week has been exhausting; I’m elated that it’s Friday. It’s been a roller coaster of a week, with many excitements but an equal number of frustrations. Obviously the highlight was meeting Bobby Flay, followed by the Criminal Minds season premiere. I’m not a big television watcher but for some reason (Dr. Reed, Derek Morgan) I’m a loyal Criminal Minds watcher. Also high on the list: reaching 500 posts Wednesday. So this baby is number 501. Woohoo! 

Shirt: Old Navy; cords: Loft; necklace: Francesca's, gift; pumps: Naturalizer

I won’t dwell on the frustrations, since that’s more of a Monday thing to do. For some reason, even the most annoying things don’t seem so bad when I have an entire weekend ahead of me. 

Now, on to the clothes. I got these corduroys recently at Loft, and they were on promotion for thirty percent off, plus an extra fifteen percent for my teacher discount. Score! I can tell already that they’re going to get a lot of wear this fall. So, have you scored any great deals recently? 

Shea Meets Flay

Monday night, I had the amazing opportunity to meet the great chef and grilling master, Bobby Flay. A local bookstore sponsored the event, which was a live interview and book signing. 

Wow, I can't believe I really got to meet him! I was trying my best not to appear overexcited,  but I was jumping for joy on the inside! 

It was an unforgettable experience. Bobby Flay is a great speaker; I could have listened to him all night! I wish I could say the same for the woman who interviewed him. Her questions were long and often unclear, and I got the impression that the only research she did on Flay was via Wikipedia. However, it was the interviewee rather than the interviewer who I came to see, and he did not disappoint. 

La nourriture: In honor of Bobby Flay Night, I made one of his recipes on Sunday. I decided to try his Black Pepper and Ginger Chicken Tacos with Red Curry-Peanut Sauce. And yes, those tacos are as delicious as they sound.

I love tacos, and I can’t get enough of anything that has a peanut sauce; this was the perfect combination of two loves. The bold flavors and contrasting textures make these tacos fun and easy to eat! 

There will definitely be more Bobby Flay recipes to come, especially now that I have a new (signed!) copy of his Bar Americain Cookbook.

Everyday Sparkle

La mode: It’s Monday. Yep. As much as I wish it will stay away every week, it always manages to come back. So far my requests for a three-day work week have been turned down. Imagine that!

Cardigan: Express, gift; blouse: Loft; jeans: Gap; earrings: White House Black Market; necklace: Loft; pumps: Naturalizer

This was my take on Ali Larter’s look (below), who was this week’s inspiration for Inspiration Monday at Two Birds. I love Larter’s mix of dressed-up sequins and casual jeans—they play beautifully off one another. Although my look was for daytime, I echoed her idea of sequins with denim. 

I love mixing pieces that are traditionally more “dressy” with casual pieces like jeans. Combining styles that don’t seem to go together is fun and often unexpected, and I love how it makes a dressier item more wearable.

Tackling Piles, in Style

Trop [too much]: Despite my valiant attempts at staying organized, life is starting to pile up on me. Mail, magazines, DIY ideas, projects to grade, blogs to read and comment on, recipes to make, books to read… I’ve got piles galore. Even my to-do lists are starting to pile up. I’m a champion list maker, but what do I do when even my lists are out of control? 

Button-up: Old Navy; camisole: Old Navy; skirt: thrifted Gap; earrings: Kohl's; flower: Target, I think; flats: Merona, Target

Now, if I could only get around to getting those projects graded…

Another Day, Another Favorite

La mode: I’ve been wearing a lot of my favorite items lately. First the ever-popular Tucker for Target blouse, then a perfect-for-any-occasion dress, and now this much-loved dotted button up. I remember buying it at Banana Republic Factory a few years ago, knowing I’d found a gem. 

Blouse: Banana Republic Factory; skirt: Gap Outlet; earrings: thrifted; necklace: Dean Harris for Target; belt: Loft; pumps: Naturalizer, ugly hose: the reason I'm not standing next to dead bushes right now

This blouse seems to fit the bill for so many different occasions and outfits, and pairs well with brights and neutrals alike. 

I just found this fun chartreuse belt this weekend at Loft, and it was the perfect way to add a bit of color to this otherwise neutral ensemble. I love how it stands out against the navy and gray!

What makes a piece of clothing a "favorite" for you? 

The Great Fall Wardrobe Switch

La mode: It may not be official until Friday, but fall is definitely in the air. While I was too busy (or more aptly, lazy) to do the summer to fall wardrobe switch, I did break out my boots this weekend. I don’t look forward to trying to cram all my heavy sweaters and jackets into my teeny tiny closet that barely contains my lightweight summer wear, so it’s a job I procrastinate as long as I can.

Blazer: Loft; dress: Jack by BB Dakota, Jem Apparel via Style Obsession giveaway; earrings: Bauble Bar; boots: Franco Sarto, Macy's

Boots, however, are an easy change-up. Also, they’re a way to put off the wearing of the tights for a little bit longer. I love tights, but I start to get a little tired of wearing them after a few months. Therefore, I procrastinate on this too.

This outfit was my take on the lovely Maggie Gyllenhaal’s (pictured below), who was this week’s pick for Inspiration Monday from the ladies at Two Birds. Since the only, lonely maxi dress in my closet is void of color and pattern, I chose a shorter version. This dress is on its way to joining the shirt as a closet favorite. 

Tell me, have you made the closet switch yet? Or are you blessed with a large enough closet that no switching needs to take place? (Then again, if that’s the case, maybe don’t tell me. Jealousy is never pretty.) 

Still the One

La mode: Yes, it’s this shirt again. I know, it’s been around a time or two, yet somehow I’m still not tired of it. The problem with so many other people having this shirt (or the dress version) is that I keep finding new ways to style it, so it continues to feel new.

Blouse: Tucker for Target, gift; pants: Target; earrings: Target (I might have some sort of problem); belt: Old Navy; flats: Merona, Target (seriously)

This look was inspired by Liz of 26 and Counting. When I saw this look, I realized I still hadn’t worn this top belted over pants. (See what I mean? New again!) I mixed up the color palette, adding an orange belt and yellow shoes to echo the colors in the print. 

What item have you been remixing the heck out of lately?