Chambray, Stripes, and Red Cords

Happy Halloween! Sadly, I have no costume parties or spooky plans tonight. I’ll be passing out candy to trick-or-treaters, but otherwise it will be just another day.

I’ve never really been that excited about Halloween as it is; I like to dress up, but I don’t look forward to it like some people do. I don’t like pumpkins, or scary movies, and there’s no way you’ll get me into a haunted house anytime soon. I’m not a total Halloween scrooge; I do enjoy all the candy!

Instead of a costume I’m wearing one of my favorite fall combinations: chambray, bright cords, stripes, and ankle boots. Also, I’m joining Marionberry Style for her “boots and booties” themed trend of the month linkup. Head that way for more fall boot inspiration!

Chambray shirt: Madewell; striped top: H&M; cords: Gap; earrings: Rissy Roo's; necklace: Love is Rising; boots: Target

Shop my look:

Even though I’m not dressing up this year, I’d love to hear about your costume if you are. What’s your Halloween costume this year (or any year)?

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Brightly Layered

Wearing bright colors always puts me in a good mood (which is good, since Monday and Tuesday aren't the most exciting days of the week). I love the dark, rich fall colors that are everywhere right now, but sometimes I have to pull out my favorite bright pieces.

Orange, pink, and turquoise was one of my favorite summer color combinations, but there’s no reason it won’t work for fall too. I just chose cool weather appropriate pieces, like this cozy blazer and my new favorite jeans. 

Blazer: Merona, Target; shirt: Old Navy; jeans: Gap; earrings: DIY; belt: Old Navy; shoes: Target

What summer colors are you bringing into fall?

Fall Layers and Bright Pants

I loved reading your comments from my post yesterday about my career-path struggles, thank you for sharing your stories! It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one still trying to figure it out.

After a week of summer-like temperatures, fall reminded us of its presence yesterday. I had to layer up to stay warm, but I didn’t mind. Layering is something I like about fall, as long as I can leave my heavy coat and gloves at home.

Today I’m linking up with Long Distance Loving for the 100th Friday’s Fancies post. I may not be dressed for a party, but I’m always ready to celebrate.

Also, did you check out the It List that I posted earlier today? I’m new to join it, but it’s through the It List that I’ve found many of my favorite blogs.

Sweater: Gap Outlet; shirt: thrifted J.Crew; jeans: Old Navy; earrings: DIY; boots: Mia via DSW

This weekend I’ll be celebrating Kansas State football and babysitting for my precious niece Addie. What will you celebrate this weekend? 

Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique on the IT List

  • Living After Midnite is showing us the difference between polka dots and animal spots! Paired with a fab green bag, this is one cute look! (find Living After Midnite on Twitter!)
  • Peach Gingham is rocking some colorful printed pants and pairing them with even more color in her shoes! Love this look - a must see! (find Peach Gingham on Twitter!)
  • The Glossy Life shows us how to make our own Kate Spade inspired dishes - head over for the rundown on this easy and glamorous DIY! (find The Glossy Life on Twitter!)
  • Olive and an Arrow is gearing up for Halloween by incorporating a few spooky symbols into her wardrobe - a stylish way to be festive! Go check it out! (find Olive and an Arrow on Twitter!)
  • My Fashionlate Life is shelling out ideas for a celebrity inspired Halloween costume - pop over to check out who it is and how easy it is to recreate! (find My Fashionlate Life on Twitter!)
  • Miss Top Ten Image is keeping it simple in a matchy matchy monochromatic look - a lovely break from of all of the pattern mixing this season! (find Miss Top Ten Image on Twitter!)
  • Urban Frill adds some masculinity to a frilly ruffled tunic with a closet staple - the denim jacket! It really does go with everything! (find Urban Frill on Twitter!)
  • Rachel Coletta found a new favorite sweater that is long, comfortable and has pockets - what more could you ask for? Pop over to see where she found it! (find Rachel Coletta on Twitter!)
  • My Thrifty Chic plays with color and pairs purple and red for a sassy unexpected look! You also have to go read about the hooker hotel! I know you are curious! (find My Thrifty Chic on Twitter!)
  • Lipstick and Lollies dresses warm for a day of bicycling around the city! A perfect casual fall look with lots of color!
  • Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique keeps it casual in neutrals but adds in some fun color with a gorgeous statement necklace! So cute! (find Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique on Twitter!)
  • Glitzy Blues is ready for gameday in her team's colors, but this is no typical tailgating outfit! Such a stylish look with tons of school pride! (find Glitzy Blues on Twitter!)
  • Fashion Fixation is carrying neon into fall and makes quite the statement with lime green and hot pink - so fun! (find Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East fell in love with the black and white tile in a beautiful bathroom and is using it as inspiration for an outfit and a room look! Lots of great pieces to choose from! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style is dishing out tips on how to make our skirts work for fall! Head over for an easy to follow formula and to see what key pieces help this warm weather staple transition to cooler temps! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second Street East.
For more information on how you can be involved - click here
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Soul Searching in Gingham and Pleats

Since I've quit teaching French, I've been doing a lot of soul searching. I'm lucky to be able to substitute teach while I job-hunt, but with the unpredictable schedule and lack of benefits it doesn't quite feel (or pay) like a "real" job. I'm confident in my decision to walk away from teaching French; I'm certain that it was not the right fit for me.

However, being sure about what I don't want to do leaves an elephant-sized question mark when it comes to what I DO want to do. I've pursued several different career paths, and haven't yet had much luck. I'm trying to be patient and keep an open mind, but part of me worries that I'll never figure it out.

I've been applying for marketing and advertising jobs, hoping to find a relatively entry-level position in which I can use my blogging experience and creativity. I'm also researching library careers, because I'm passionate about reading and learning. I know a library career would eventually involve going back to school for a Library Science Masters, and as long as I can afford it without (more) student loans, I'm always open to that possibility. The truth is, I love school, and I can't imagine ever being completely "done" with it.

If you've made it this far, I appreciate you reading. Sometimes just putting my thoughts on paper (or the internet as it may be) helps me to feel less overwhelmed about the future. Also, so many of you have become dear friends to me, and if you have any friendly advice or ideas for me, I'd love to hear them!

Shirt: J.Crew Factory; skirt: Gap; necklace: Bauble Bar; flats: Se Boutique via DSW

What led you to your current career? Do you see yourself making any changes in the future or are you content to stay where you are?

Neutrals and a Purple Statement Necklace

I keep seeing these “currently” posts lately, and since I love reading them I thought I’d do one of my own.

Reading: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. At over a thousand pages it’s quite an endeavor, but it’s one I’ve always wanted to read.

Watching: the new seasons of Criminal Minds (my favorite!) and Parenthood, as well as the new show Revolution.

Listening to: the new Mumford and Sons album, Babel, and also a recent discovery: Alt J. I can’t stop playing their songs “Tessellate” and “Breezeblocks”. Also, you can judge me if you want, but I’ve also been listening to a few songs on the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 soundtrack.

Anticipating: listening to Christmas music on the radio. I love when they start to play it!

Making me happy: spending time with my mom. Having her here always makes me wish she lived closer.

Cardigan: Loft; t-shirt: J.Crew Factory; jeans: thrifted Gap; earrings: Kohl's; necklace: Shop Mamie; shoes: Merona, Target

So what are you up to currently? 

Fall Pastels

What a fun but busy weekend! My mom arrived Friday evening and we stayed up way too late talking. Saturday morning we resisted sleeping in to go to the Holiday Mart, a shopping expo, with my best friend Abby and her mom. Megan and Amy of Shop Mamie (whose shop and blog I've loved for years) had a booth there. I was lucky enough to meet them both and they're as sweet in person as they are on their blog! 

Saturday night we cheered on the (number three in the country!) K-State Wildcats as they whooped up on West Virginia. I’m overflowing with pride for my alma mater; they have had an amazing season so far. 

We wrapped up our weekend in the best way possible: with homemade chicken and noodles. I’ve made them before myself, but nothing tastes as good as when my mom is here to make them with me!

Blazer: Madewell; shirt: madewell; jeans: Loft; earrings: Kohl's; flats: Madewell

What was your favorite part of the weekend?

Daytime Sparkle

I always look forward to the weekend (who doesn’t?) but this one in particular I’ve been anxious for. My mom is coming to visit today and she’ll be here for a whole week! Since she lives far away I don’t get to see her often, so I try to make the most of it when I do.

Typically when my mom visits, we try to talk, eat, and shop as much as we can (usually the former two more than the latter—our budgets run out long before our voices or appetites!). 

Blazer: Old Navy; tank: J.Crew; jeans: Loft; flats: Target

What are you looking forward to doing this weekend?   

See it. Like it. Do it. Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

Lately I’ve felt compelled to make any dessert that has the word “Nutella” or “s’more” in it, so when I saw these Nutella Rice Krispie Treats on the Pioneer Woman, naturally I was jumping for joy.

The funny thing is that I don’t even like rice krispie treats, at least not the traditional ones. But add some Nutella to the mix and I’m so there. Not to mention when you top the Nutella-infused treats with melted chocolate and Heath bits (which I substituted for the chopped pecans), now that's a rice krispie treat I can get on board with.

I’m linking up with one of my favorite blogs, In Residence, today for her Pin to Present reader feature. Make sure you head over there for some more Pinterest inspired creations! 

This awesome platter is from Ampersand Design Studio Kansas City. 

Have you made any yummy treats lately? 

Olive Green with Plum and Turquoise

We recently changed from cable to satellite TV, and for signing up we got three free months of premium movie channels. Aaron and I have been enjoying all kinds of movies lately (last night it was Rain Man) and it won’t be easy to give them up when the trial ends. “That’s where they get ya,” my father in law would say.

Honestly, it will be a good thing when we say goodbye to those channels. I’d much rather read a good book anyway. Movies just have a way of sucking you in, and then before you know it two hours have gone by and you haven’t moved from the couch. 

Blouse: Gap; skirt: Merona, Target; earrings: Kohl's; belt: Old Navy; shoes: Nine West

Outfit inspiration: this look from J's Everyday Fashion

Do you watch a lot of movies? Or would you rather read too?

Old Favorites, New Ways

Despite the fact that my weekend started Thursday night, it felt very short. Why is it that long weekends tend to go by more quickly? All I know is that Monday came too soon, and I was not ready for it.

This is what I wore to church yesterday, which ended up being a beautiful fall day. This is one of my favorite skirts, and I like how the cargo vest makes it a little more casual. I belted it to add some shape and kept the dressed-down vibe with my lace-up wedges.

As much as I love buying new clothes, it makes me (and my budget) happy that some of my older favorites still inspire me to try new combinations. 

Sweater: Gap; vest: Old Navy; skirt: Merona, Target; earrings: Bauble Bar; belt: Loft; shoes: Sam Edelman

How are you reworking some of your old closet favorites this season?

Autumn Leaf Inspired

This outfit was inspired by one of my favorite things about fall. (No, I’m not talking about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I don’t even like those. Yep, I said it.) What I do love is seeing the beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves on the trees this time of year.

The bright colors are a welcome change from all the ugly brown grass that was a product of the dry, scorching summer we had. Aaron might argue that the leaves aren’t so pretty when he has to clear them out of our yard, but since I don’t do the yard work I still enjoy them.

I’m not the only leaf-lover; I’m joining Long Distance Loving for a leaf-themed Friday’s Fancies today. Be sure to check out all the other unbe-leaf-able outfits over there. (Terrible, I know.) 

Blazer: Merona, Target; t-shirt: Gap; jeans: Gap; earrings: Rissy Roo's via Why Girls are Weird giveaway; scarf: Target; boots: Mia via DSW

Are you doing anything fall-inspired this weekend? 

Two Fall Trends, One Jacket

I’m taking on two of fall’s big trends with this one jacket today: burgundy (oxblood, maroon…whatever the heck you want to call it) and peplum. I saw it online at Target last week; as the deal of the day it was on sale for $20 with free shipping.

I wasn’t sure how wearable it would be, but I’ve already worn it twice in the short time it’s been in my closet. Today it made the perfect topper for my leopard blouse and black pencil skirt.

Jacket: Target; blouse: Old Navy; skirt: Loft; pumps: Missoni for Target

What fall trends have you recently added to your closet? 

Red Cake: A Birthday Tradition

For his birthday, my dad never makes any special gift requests (which makes him an impossible person to buy gifts for, but that’s another story) but he does always ask for red cake for dessert. This year was no different, and I volunteered to be the birthday-cake maker.

It may be known to you as “red velvet” cake, but in my family it’s always just been “red cake”. Cream cheese icing may be standard for your version, but my family’s recipe calls for a white icing that’s similar to the “best frosting I’ve ever had” recipe on Tasty Kitchen. This sweet, fluffy icing balances the dense, moist cake perfectly.

Here’s the printable red cake recipe. I never mess with the cake recipe, but I do play around with the frosting a little. My mom always used Crisco and margarine, but I usually use Crisco and butter. Tasty Kitchen’s recipe uses all butter, and I think I may eventually also eliminate the Crisco completely. Let me know if you try it! 

What dessert do you always crave for your birthday? 

Nautical Dress Gets a Fall Makeover

You know that dress I wore about a million times this summer? Well I’m bringing it back for fall, people. With a sweater and boots (and tights eventually no doubt) it’s ready to face the cooler weather. I sure have gotten my money’s worth out of this dress!

I love taking my favorite summer pieces and making them work year-round. Shorts get a new life layered over tights, sleeveless dresses warm up under sweaters, and lightweight blouses cozy up with warm blazers.

Maybe that’s why fall is such a great season for fashion. Nothing against summer, but can you imagine a post about making your winter boots ready for the heat? Neither can I. 

Sweater: Loft; dress: Land's End Canvas; earrings: Rissy Roo's via Why Girls are Weird giveaway; necklace: Anthropologie; belt: Loft; boots: Mia via DSW

How are you making your summer favorites work right now?