End of Summer Favorites

Fall may not officially begin for another few weeks, but Labor Day always seems like a farewell to summer. So I’m trying to give my summer wardrobe a proper goodbye by wearing all my favorite summery pieces as much as possible before I have to put them away. (Or, in the case of these shorts, put tights under them.)

In addition to shorts, there are quite a few other things I’m trying to savor before the end of summer: fresh basil, long daylight hours, corn on the cob, bare legs, iced coffee, sandals, and ice cream. Okay, you know I eat ice cream year round, but it’s particularly enjoyable when it’s hot outside. 

Blazer: Madewell; top: Loft; shorts: Loft; earrings: Kohl's; necklace: gifted Banana Republic Factory; pumps: Seychelles via DSW

What summer favorites do you still want to take advantage of before fall arrives?

See it. Like it. Do it. Iced Coffee

Sometimes, I wait until the last minute. You never do this, do you? For example, I pinned this “recipe” at the beginning of the summer, swearing this was the year I’d try to make iced coffee.

Now that summer (the perfect time for iced coffee) is nearly over, I finally got around to trying it. I didn’t realize how simple it would be. I thought there was some special trick, and that it would be a time consuming process. If you’ve made iced coffee before, you’re laughing at me right now. It’s okay.

iced coffee

I followed the proportions and procedure from A Beautiful Mess (what can’t those girls do, right?), but it’s literally this simple: mix coffee grounds with water, wait, strain out grounds, add something sweet, drink. I tried sweetened condensed milk in my morning cup (top pic) and some flavored creamer I had in the fridge for my afternoon cup (bottom pic). Yum!

Now that I know how easy and delicious homemade iced coffee is, I wish I would have made it sooner. Lesson learned. 

Are you a coffee drinker? 

On Waiting and Statement Necklaces

Patience may be a virtue, but it’s one that I unfortunately do not possess. However, at this “transition period” of my life (that sounds very Dear Abby), waiting seems like my occupation.

I’m waiting for my teaching license to renew so I can substitute. I’m waiting to hear about jobs I’ve applied for. Waiting for a career I love, waiting to start a family, waiting to get out of the hole financially. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

So on every application I fill out, when it asks about my current position, I feel like putting “waiter”. But since that brings up an entirely different connotation, and job applications aren’t the place to make jokes (although I’m willing to try anything at this point) I don’t. I know, things will all work out eventually. I’m just not great at waiting around for “eventually” to happen. 

T-shirt: Target; dress, as skirt: Loft (similar skirt); necklace: Francesca's (kind of a splurge, but I love this Bauble Bar necklace); sandals: Old Navy (similar)

Do you consider yourself a patient person? 

Dinner Tonight: Skillet Lasagna

For whatever reason, lasagna doesn’t speak to me. I know, all those layers of meat, cheese and sauce, what’s not to love, right? Yet when I see a heaping plate of lasagna… nothing happens. No craving, no swooning, nothing.

On the other hand, lasagna fake-out dishes really get me going. Why faux-sagna and not the real deal? I have no idea. Maybe it’s my eager-to-eat subconscious knowing I don’t have the patience for “real” lasagna. Maybe it's the traumatic experience of finding hidden mushrooms in the pasta layers. (Mushrooms? In lasagna? Not cool.) Who knows. Anyway, in my opinion, the fake stuff is where it's at. 

Naturally, when I came across this Skillet Lasagna at How Sweet it Is, I saved it with the intention of making it as soon as possible. Which I did. And I swear, I heard the Hallelujah Chorus when I took it out of the oven. Or maybe that was just my stomach.

Anyhow, you should make this. I swear you won’t be disappointed. 

Deja Vu: Bright Loafers 2 Ways

It was quite appropriate that I talked about road trips on Friday, because this weekend we took the three-hour road trip to Hutchinson, Kansas, where Aaron’s family lives. Both of today’s looks were worn for the car ride, so comfort was a big priority.

However, I wanted to look cute once I reached my destination, so I wore these bright pink loafers to add a fun color to each look. For my first look, I mixed nautical prints—stripes and anchors—and added in a punch of pink with my belt and shoes. My second look includes mostly basics, but these shoes and my favorite vest add interest. 

Cardigan: J.Crew Factory (navy version on sale!); t-shirt: Gap (long sleeve version); jeans: thrifted Gap (similar); belt: Old Navy (similar); shoes: Target (LOVE these)

Shirt: J.Crew Factory (similar); vest: Old Navy (this year's version); jeans: Loft; shoes: Target

Also, thanks to Jen Thomas (the fabulous owner of Last Tangle Salon) for my new 'do! 

I'm linking to Two Birds for Inspiration Monday today, be sure check it out!

Have you jumped on the loafer (or “smoking slipper”) trend? How do you style them? 

Comfy Layers for a Road Trip

Happy Friday! You’re looking at the last pictures of me with this hair; last night I had my hairstylist chop it all off (again). I’ll debut it here next week, but I’ll give you a clue: my inspiration was this photo of Michelle Williams.

Since it’s Friday, I’m linking up to Friday’s Fancies at Long Distance Loving. The theme is “road trip” and to me this is an ideal road trip ensemble. For any long period of time spent in the car, comfort is key. I donned my most comfortable jeans (newly thrifted), a soft t-shirt, and a cardigan to keep me warm. I always get cold in the car—Aaron and I are not compatible when it comes to comfortable car temperatures.

I wore this on a very short road trip: to get frozen yogurt. If a car ride ends in ice cream of any kind, I consider it one well spent!

Cardigan: Loft (cute short sleeve version); t-shirt: Old Navy; jeans: thrifted Gap (love these!); earrings: Kohl's; necklace: Towne & Reese; belt: Loft; wedges: Old Navy (similar)

Have you taken any road trips lately? 

An Introvert in a Paisley Shirt

Last night I had my very first book club meeting with two of my friends(we read and discussed The Night Circus), which went amazingly and made me glad we decided to start one. However, it got me thinking about why, for being such an avid reader, I’ve never been a part of a book club before.

I realized that while it partly had to do with timing, it was mostly because of my tendency to keep my hobbies to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk about books (especially those ones you just can't. put. down.), but I always hesitated to commit to a book club. 

I also thought about how I’m not much of a group shopper (unless it’s a purely social experience). If I’m on a mission to buy something, I prefer to shop alone. While I love spending time with friends and family, it's clear that I also need significant time and space on my own to recharge my batteries, and my hobbies tend to reflect that need.

I wouldn't change this about myself (for one thing, it's probably why I like blogging so much), but I am thankful for friends that help me step outside my little world every once in a while. 

Shirt: thrifted J.Crew; shorts: Loft; earrings: Kohl's; belt: Loft; shoes: Merona, Target

Do you prefer individual or group activites in your spare time?  
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Dinner Tonight: Chicken Tortilla Soup

I don’t eat much soup in the summertime, but for some reason I had a craving for tortilla soup last week so I made a pot. I found a recipe from Pink Pistachio that I bookmarked back in January (a more appropriate soup-eating time). This soup is already easy to make, but I made it even easier on myself by using leftover roast chicken that I shredded. 

Soups make the perfect weeknight meal. You don’t dirty up many dishes, nor is there much hands-on work, because everything cooks in one pot. Once everything is heated through and it’s the consistency you like, grab some spoons (or in this case, tortilla chips) and you're good to go. 

Do you eat soup when it’s hot outside?
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“Simple” will be the theme for today’s post. My outfit is simple: pink jeans, turquoise tee, denim jacket, sparkly Toms. It’s perfect for a day of running errands and the like.

I’m also going to keep my writing simple. I seem to have acquired a cold (either that or my allergies are out of control) so all I want to do is take some Nyquil and curl up with a book. In fact, that's exactly what I'm going to do. 

Jean jacket: Gap (similar); t-shirt: Target; jeans: Loft; earrings: thrifted; shoes: Toms

#StyleMeAugust Day 19: Inspired by Pinterest (this pin of Jessica Alba)

 So, I’ll let you do the talking. How was your weekend?

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Feeling Lucky in Sunset Shades

I’m hoping this outfit is lucky. After I type up this post, I’m headed to play bingo with my best friend and her mom. (By the time this post is live, I’ll be able to let you know if I won!) It’s the real deal, where you have to pay to play and buy a little dauber and everything. I’m pretty excited about it.

If luck isn’t on my side at the bingo table, maybe things will turn around for me tonight when I play poker. I didn’t intend to be such a gambler this week, but since I’m not bringing in any money by working, what the heck right? (Please know I’m kidding. I gamble very rarely and hope to make an honest living soon.)

Anyway, wish me luck. Mama needs a new fall wardrobe!

Top: Old Navy (cute long sleeve option); dress: Target (similar but solid); earrings: Target; sandals: Merona, Target

Do you like to gamble?

{My color scheme today was inspired by the “summer sunset” theme of today’s Friday’s Fancies. Be sure to visit Long Distance Loving to see how other bloggers styled this theme!}

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Mint and Orange, but So Much More

I think I speak for most style bloggers when I say that I take more fashion risks now than I did in my pre-blogging years. (Except for that time in high school when I wore shiny hot pink snakeskin pants and dyed my hair a shade to match. We won’t talk about that time.)

For example, pre-blog Shea would have never thought to pair minty green with orange. Yet every day I’m inspired to try new things: new color combinations, new pattern mixes, new silhouettes. Getting dressed has never been a boring routine for me, but I have to say that I’m having more fun now than I ever have! (Again, I’m making an exception for those few months of pink hair. My hair hasn’t had that much fun in years.)

So, thank you blog world and loyal readers for helping me push my style boundaries. You rock my world.

T-shirt: Gap Outlet; shorts: Loft; sunglasses: Target (similar); necklace: Salt on the Rocks via Girl and Closet giveaway; belt: Loft; sandals: Steve Madden

Inspiration: this look from J's Everyday Fashion; #StyleMeAugust Day 15 Comfy Chic

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See it. Like it. Do it. Kitchen Space Savers

Decorating is not one of my strengths. Decorating my home, I mean. When it comes to decorating myself it’s another story. I’m hoping that this is a problem that Pinterest can help me solve.

Believe me, home-d├ęcor posts will be a rarity here, but I wanted to share a mini makeover I did in my kitchen. I was inspired by an article on The Everygirl about styling kitchen countertops. Mine are habitually cluttered and disorganized, so anything I did would be an improvement. The best part is since I used items I already had, it was a free improvement.

In the space above the fridge (it was formerly just a dust collector) I filled a tray with platters, kitchen towels, and a candy dish. Additionally, I stacked a few favorite cookbooks and tucked a drink dispenser behind it. It may not be catalog-ready, but at least it’s no longer an eyesore!  

Next to my stovetop I used a cute cake stand (a recent garage sale find) to store my olive oil, salt, and pepper. I love this solution because it frees up more counter space. Also in this area I like to have a place for a cookbook, my cutting board, fruit (or garlic, onions, etc.), and a little basil from my plant. 

Do you have a favorite kitchen-organization tip? 
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Almost Monochromatic

The theme for today’s Everybody, Everywear is monochromatic, and if you’re okay with a loose interpretation of monochromatic, I’m participating.

I started with the turquoise pencil skirt and navy blouse, but veered off into yellow by adding the belt. I made it back to the blue train with my turquoise earrings, but once again derailed with a gray blazer and heels. So basically, it's monochromatic with a case of ADD. 

Blazer: Target; blouse: Banana Republic Factory (similar); skirt: Limited (similar); earrings: Bauble Bar (similar); belt: Loft; shoes: Naturalizer

What’s your favorite color to wear from head to toe? 

Deja Vu: Floral Cardigan 2 Ways

The Olympics are over, school is starting, the grass is a beautiful shade of brown… summer must be coming to an end. I’m ready for the fall though; ready for chilly nights, ready for September issues, ready for sweaters.

Speaking of sweaters, I wore this lightweight floral cardigan twice this weekend. I paired it with my favorite striped dress and bright wedges for church, and for running some errands, I buttoned it up with jean shorts and sandals. 

Cardigan: Merona, Target; Dress: Land's End Canvas; necklace: Dean Harris for Target; belt: Loft; wedges: Target

Cardigan: Merona, Target; tank top (under): Old Navy; shorts: Loft; necklace: small shop in Boulder, CO; sandals: Old Navy

Deja Vu: Floral Cardigan

What are you looking forward to most this fall? 

Gingham, Tied Up

When I was younger I always thought I’d move far away, maybe to New York or another glamorous big city. Yet I've spent most of my life living in the suburbs of Kansas City, and I don't see myself leaving anytime soon. 

It’s been only the past few years that I’ve really taken the time to explore Kansas City, but the more I discover all its unique districts, attractions, and restaurants, the deeper I fall in love with where I live. At this point in my life, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. 

Shirt: J. Crew Factory (similar); skirt: J. Crew; earrings: Kohl's (similar); bracelet: c/o Oia Jewels via Blog Biz Buzz KC; shoes: Gap (similar)

Last night Aaron and I went downtown to take pictures near the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a beautiful recent addition to the city. (It's the crazy-looking building you see behind me.)

When you were younger, did you see yourself living where you are now?