Stolen Style

Yesterday I professed my love of colored pencil skirts, and I couldn’t help myself from wearing another one today. Instead of color blocking, this time I paired it with another closet staple: a plaid button up shirt that’s been a favorite of mine for a while.

I can’t take credit for this look though, because I stole it from the chic Lisa of Respect the Shoes. I really enjoy her blog, not only because she’s so stylish, but also because she always has such interesting things to say. Thanks for inspiring me Lisa!

Since today’s theme for Friday’s Fancies at Long Distance Loving is “Outfit Crush”, I’m linking up my copycat look. 

Shirt: Gap; skirt: Limited; earrings: Kohl's; necklace: C. C. Creations, belt: Loft; wedges: Merona, Target

So much of my outfit inspiration comes from other blogs and Pinterest. How do you come up with outfit ideas? 

Workplace Essential: Colored Pencil Skirt

If I had a work wear “thing”, it would be colored pencil skirts. I have turquoise, coral, and now plum covered, but I find myself wishing for yellow and burgundy too. Why this addiction? When I think of professional style, I think: pencil skirt. When I think “me”, I think: color. Put the two together, and I’ve got a work wardrobe. Now I just need a (full time) job…

Sweater: Isaac Mizrahi for Target; skirt: Merona, Target; earrings: Kohl's; necklace: Dean Harris for Target; belt: Loft; shoes: thrifted Ann Taylor

What item is your must-have for work? 

Feminine Classic With a Pop of Bright Color

I love experimenting with different styles and trying out new trends, but if I had to choose one style to define me, outfits like this one would do it. It mixes feminine elements, like pearls and leopard print, with classic ones, like an oxford-style shirt, and bright color, as in these tomato red cords.

Recently, leopard print has gone from being a trend to being a wardrobe staple. Last week I showed two ways to wear a leopard blouse, but today my animal print is more subtle: a pair of shoes. I would say the red pants are the “loudest” part of my outfit, but the shoes, because the colors in the leopard print are neutral, aren't too much.

Today I’m linking up to Marionberry Style for her animal print themed Trend of the Month Challenge. Be sure to see how other fabulous bloggers are rocking the animal prints over there! 

Jean jacket: Gap; shirt: Gap Outlet; cords: Gap; earrings: Bauble Bar; necklace: Loft Outlet; shoes: Merona, Target {shop below}

How would you define your style?

Lunchtime: Caprese Pasta Salad

I know Caprese salad seems like a summer dish, but tomatoes are still delicious this time of year. I found some grape tomatoes on sale and decided to try this Caprese Pasta Salad from Annie’s Eats.

Sweet tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, pasta, olive oil and balsamic vinegar combine for a salad that’s light, healthy, and incredibly delicious. I made a big batch and happily ate it for lunch all week. 

What do you like in your pasta salad? 

Pattern Mixing and a Striped Manicure

What a great weekend! The weather was beautiful, the Plaza Art Fair was a good time, and best of all K-State defeated Oklahoma at home, which hasn’t happened since 1997. I promise though, I’m done talking about College Football.

Pattern mixing is a trend that is still going strong, and from what I saw on the Spring 2013 runways it’s not going anywhere. I’m happy about that, because I love mixing patterns, and two of my favorites to mix are stripes and florals.

I even got my nails in on the mix and added some stripes on my thumbs thanks to this tape tutorial from The Beauty Department. I’m a bit of a klutz when it comes to manicures, but I was able to do this one pretty easily. (I knew it wouldn’t be as successful if I tried all ten nails, so I quit while I was ahead.)

Blouse (unbuttoned): Banana Republic Factory; top (under): H&M; jeans: Loft; necklace: Fenno Fashion; ring: This Enchanted Pixie via Why Girls are Weird giveaway; ankle boots: Target

What did you do over the weekend? 

Dressed to Cheer

Every summer for as long as I've known him, my husband Aaron counts down the days until the start of his favorite season: college football season. I'm not kidding, he'll tell me, "21 days until the first college football game, Shea". And I try to get excited, I do. Somehow, though I just don't quite share his enthusiasm*.

However, while I may not want to watch EVERY college football game, you bet your bippy that when my alma mater, Kansas State, plays I'll be rooting them on. So when I learned the theme for today's Friday's Fancies at Long Distance Loving is "Football Frenzy" I had to put a look together honoring my K-State Wildcats. 

If I'm just watching the game at home with friends, I'll usually just wear jeans and K-State shirt. This look is a more work-appropriate (but still pretty casual) version of my weekend look. I'm ready to cheer on my cats as they take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday!

Jean jacket: Gap; top: Daisy Fuentes, Kohl's; cords: Loft; necklace: Bauble Bar; shoes: Toms (shop my look below)

Who do you cheer for during football season?

*Funny story: One morning, when we were first dating, I woke up to Aaron looking at me seriously, saying "Shea...." He pauses, with a kid-at-Christmas look in his eyes, and I'm imagining that he's about to profess his undying love to me, or at least tell me something really sweet. Instead, he finishes his thought with "Happy College Game Day!" Not quite what I was expecting, but it did make me laugh. Oh, my sports-loving husband. I still tease him about that. I ought to wake him up one morning and say "Aaron... happy Fashion Week!"

Neon Cardigan to the (Wardrobe) Rescue

It wasn’t my intention to wear this cardigan yet again. I swear, I do own other cardigans. However I needed an outfit that would help me decide the fate of this skirt; it’s one I’ve had for a while and like, but the fit and cut make it a little hard to style. I like it paired with this cardigan, so it’s staying in my closet a little bit longer.

I’m doing something a little different today for this post. Devyn from Mavyn Mom (who also happens to be another Kansas City blogger) nominated me for a Liebster Award. I admit that I’m not very good about following the directions for awards, but I do like to answer fun questions about myself. So that’s what I’m going to do. Thanks Devyn! 

Cardigan: Loft; blouse: Banana Republic Factory; skirt: Loft; earrings: thrifted;  belt: Old Navy; flats: Old Navy

1. What was your favorite cartoon when you were little? I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (Heroes in a half shell, turtle power!)

2. What is something that really makes you angry? Animal cruelty. Few things make me angrier.

3. Where is your favorite place to shop for clothes and why? Oh Lordy that’s a tough one. It’s a toss-up between Target and Loft, because they offer a great selection of styles at affordable prices.

4. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? I’d pay off all my debt. Sorry, boring but true.

5.  What is something that brings you joy? Ice cream. (I know you guys are shocked.)

6.  If you could have any car you wanted, money and gas consumption was no object, what would you choose? I’m not really a car person, so it’s not something I’ve thought much about. Maybe a Toyota Camry Hybrid? Again, boring.

7. What are you most afraid of? The things that happen to people on Criminal Minds. I love that show, but it gives me nightmares. Although I've had some sweet dreams about Derek Morgan.

8. Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation and why? I went to Quebec in February and had an amazing time there; I’d love to go back and experience it when it’s warmer.

9.  What do you usually order at Starbucks or your favorite espresso bar? Usually I order an iced mocha, but I like trying seasonal drinks too. Right now I love the salted caramel (iced) mocha at Starbucks.

10. What kind of "legacy" do you hope to leave behind? I’m not sure about a legacy, but I hope I can inspire my future children and grandchildren to love God, love others, and love learning.

11.  What are 3 words that best describe your personality/character?  Compassionate, Creative, Curious (the alliteration was unintentional, but I like it).

Feel free to join in and answer a few questions in the comments!

Dinner Tonight: Kung Pao Inspired Chicken

Over the summer, one thing I did well was work out regularly. I went to Jazzercise 3 to 4 days a week, every week. However, any calories I burned I more than made up for by my less than stellar eating habits. (I blame Sheridan’s Frozen Custard and the Chipotle that just opened up down the street.)

Now that Aaron and I are getting back into regular work schedules (or as regular as subbing gets for me), I’m trying to cook and eat healthier meals. This recipe for Kung Pao Chicken that I found on the Tasty Kitchen blog was a delicious way to start this goal. It’s made with lean chicken breasts and lots of healthy veggies.

Typically, I’d be tempted to leave out the carrots and celery, but instead I swapped them with vegetables Aaron and I prefer, snap peas and red bell peppers. Yes, I lose some health points because it’s sautéed in oil, but everything in moderation, right? 

How are you eating healthier these days? 

Deja Vu: Leopard Print Blouse 2 Ways

I think it’s pretty safe to say animal prints aren’t going anywhere. Leopard print has become a staple in most wardrobes; it can be mixed and matched with a variety of colors and prints.

I love how this leopard blouse I got at Old Navy last spring can easily be dressed up or down. It took me from day to night this weekend. With dark jeans and a sparkly cardigan, I was ready for a day of subbing on Friday. Then, with turquoise jeans and a jean jacket, I was ready for a happy hour date with Aaron. 

Cardigan: Express; blouse: Old Navy; jeans: Gap; earrings: Kohl's; bag: H&M; shoes: Bandolino via Marshall's

Jean jacket: Gap; leopard blouse: Old Navy; jeans: Old Navy; earrings: Rissy Roo's via Why Girls are Weird giveaway; shoes: Target

How are you wearing leopard print right now? 

Black and White Print and Bold Color

The weather has been full of surprises this month. One day, surprise! It’s 75 degrees and gorgeous out. The next day, surprise! It’s 95 and sweltering. The most recent surprise: 65, chilly and rainy. Some would prefer more consistency, but I like the surprise factor. (As long as it’s not surprise, snow!)

It definitely makes getting dressed more fun; I have more options to choose from besides shorts and t-shirts. For one of those “75 degrees and gorgeous” days, this is what I wore.

Sweater: Loft; skirt: Loft; earrings: White House Black Market; shoes: Seychelles via DSW

Do you like it when the weather is consistent, or are you happy with daily surprises too? 

Dinner Tonight: Bean, Cheese, and Corn Quesadillas

For many people, Ramen noodles were their college food staple. For me, it was the quesadilla. In my post-dorm room days, I probably had a quesadilla for lunch every day. I prided myself on my quesadilla creativity: I made rotisserie chicken and goat cheese quesadillas, “pizza” quesadillas with pepperoni and mozzarella, and I even got on a peanut butter and Nutella quesadilla kick for a while.

When I saw this bean, cheese and corn quesadilla on Budget Bytes, my college-self was thrilled. When I made one and tried it, my no-longer-in-college-self was equally thrilled. The best part is after you mix up the filling (beans—I used pintos, cheese, corn, and taco seasoning) you can make a bunch of quesadillas to freeze and reheat later. (Hooray for an easy lunch that isn’t a peanut butter sandwich! Not that those aren’t good now and then.)

What’s in your ideal quesadilla? I’d love some new ideas!

Kansas City Fashion Week Roundup and What I Wore

I had the privilege of attending Kansas City Fashion Week last Friday. I’ve never been to a fashion show before, and I was so excited for the opportunity, especially right here in Kansas City.

I know that the fashion week posts can be a little overwhelming, so I thought I’d share just a few of my favorite designers and what I liked about their shows.

Lenzanita Couture kicked off Friday’s show. I loved the colors in this collection: lots of deep, dark plum, which was gorgeous, yet unexpected, for a summer line. The dark color was perfectly balanced by light, floaty fabrics.

Next was Margie Hogue’s collection for Awava, which stood out with its bright colors and prints. Awava sells clothing, jewelry, and housewares made by women of Uganda. By selling them at fair trade prices, they work to empower Ugandan women.    

One of my favorites of the evening was American Trash by Karma Jade. Her collection beautifully combined feminine and edgy elements, resulting in unique, wearable works of art. 

Finally, another collection I loved and wish I could have captured better on camera was Hilary Brown. Her line included swimwear with sleek lines and fun details, as well as dresses perfect for an after-beach date.

Here’s what I wore to this amazing night of fashion. Thanks once again to Meggy of Chasing Davies for taking my picture!

Jacket: Forever 21; tank: Target; skirt: J.Crew; necklace: Bauble Bar; shoes: Target

Have you been to any Fashion Week shows? 

Back to School in a Bright Blazer

In last Friday’s post, I talked about what I would wear for an interview, or for the first day back to school as a teacher (or a substitute teacher). Today, I’m thinking about my “first day of school” outfit once again, but this time it’s what I would wear as a student.

Now I’ve been out of school for a few years, but friends that know me realize it’s inevitable I’ll be back in school at some point in my life. See, I love school. I love going to classes, I love learning new things, I love it all so much I thought I wanted to go back to school forever as a teacher. (It turns out I was wrong about that one. Live and learn.)

If I could get paid to be a full-time student, I would. And if I could pursue any degree right now, I would go back to school and get a degree in English and Creative Writing. Unfortunately, since I’m still paying off student loans from my last degree, it will probably be a while before I follow that dream.

Blazer: Target; t-shirt: Old Navy; jeans: Loft; flats: Madewell

If you could go back to school for anything, what would you study? 

Fashion's Night Out Kansas City: What I Wore

Although I’ve been a style blogger for over two years (crazy, no?) this year is the first that I’ve really gotten involved in local blogging and style events. Last week was fashion week for Kansas City, and like many other cities throughout the country, Thursday was Fashion’s Night Out.

I met up with some KC blogging buddies at the Country Club Plaza and we had a great time strolling, chatting, and checking out some of the deals (as well as the snacks) at the plaza shops. I didn’t buy much, but I did find a couple of goodies at H&M that I’ll show off later.

Since it was still pretty hot last week, I wore a light, summery dress and topped it with my favorite vest and bright pink accessories. Thank you so much to Meggy of Chasing Davies for taking my outfit shots! 

Dress: Forever 21; vest: Old Navy; earrings: Kohl's; flower pin: Target; necklace: Towne and Reese; shoes: Target

I wasn't the only one smiling for the camera--here's Sandy (of Sandy a la Mode) getting a great shot of Meggy. It's not a blogger meetup without outfit photos, right? 

Did you attend Fashion’s Night Out in your city?