MVPs, Most Versatile Pieces

This has been a busy week; I'm glad Friday is finally here.  Despite the fact that this time of year is always busier than usual, I still find myself walking with more spring in my step anticipating Christmas and all its festivities. 

Today's Friday's Fancies theme (at Long Distance Loving) is "Dress Yourself" or show off an outfit that is essentially "you". I thought I'd do that by wearing some of my most worn (and thus, most loved) pieces together in one outfit. None of you are surprised with the pieces I've picked, are you? 

Shirt: Madewell; dress: Land's End Canvas; earrings: Kohl's; necklace: Shop Mamie; boots: Mia via DSW

Here's my favorite chambray shirt from Madewell, remixed a few more ways. I love this season-less, versatile piece that is a layering champion. 

You're familiar with my love-affair with this Land's End Canvas dress. I first saw it on Anne of In Residence, and it wasn't long before I had to make it my own. I'll likely shed real tears the day it loses it's place in my closet. Here are a few of the (many) ways I've worn it: 

This bubble necklace from Shop Mamie is new to my wardrobe, but since I've had it it's been making frequent appearances. Yes, I drank the bubble necklace Kool-aid, and boy was it delicious! Here are a couple other ways I've styled it: 

Finally, my beloved Mia riding boots have been helping me transition to fall and survive the winter for more than a year. They have been the answer to "What shoes should I wear?" a multitude of times. Boots, I love you, let me count the ways:

What items in your wardrobe would win the MVP (most versatile pieces) award? 

Inspired Dots and Shades of Blue

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my house! Yesterday we bought a real tree (for the first time since we've been married) and I love the way it perfumes our whole house. I also decided on a whim to make an advent calendar, since I love counting down the days until Christmas. I'll take some pictures and share more about that later. Also, Christmas music has become my soundtrack in the car and at home when Aaron is feeling festive (he's not quite as overjoyed about holiday sounds as I am). 

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet? 

Blazer: Loft; t-shirt: Madewell; pants: Gap; earrings: Bauble Bar; shoes: Nine West

I'm linking up to "Look What I Got" at The Penniless Socialite and The Tiny Heart again this week, because I wanted to show off a bargain I scored recently. When I was at Madewell last week I got this cute dotted t-shirt for $9.99 plus an extra 30% off. This cute look from Mix and Match Fashion inspired me to pair my new dots with some turquoise and cobalt blue.

Mustard and Turquoise on a Dreary Day

This outfit showcases one of the downfalls of taking outfit photos at the end of the day: wrinkles! It looks like I need to make a date with an iron. Wrinkles aside, I do like this bold color combination. It was a dreary day, so the bright colors perked me up a little.

My sister is staying with us this weekend, and one thing I'm hoping we'll have time to do is bake some Christmas cookies together. I have a few ideas in mind: sugar cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, chocolate chip cookies… Everything sounds so good it will be hard to choose! 

Sweater: Loft; jeans: Old Navy; necklace: Forever 21; boots: Target

I’m always looking for new ideas though. Does your family have a holiday baking tradition? 

Mini Pecan Tarts with Chocolate Drizzle

If you celebrated it, how was your Thanksgiving? We spent it with Aaron’s family in Hutchinson, and had a great time. We ate too much and slept too much, and for some reason came home thoroughly exhausted. I didn’t get a single outfit picture taken last week either, which is the reason for today’s food themed post. I hope you’re not still too full to enjoy it!

I made these mini pecan tarts from Skinnytaste last week. I was impressed with how easy they were to make and how un-“light” they tasted. I hesitate to try desserts that are deemed “healthy” or “lightened up” because, as a dessert-o-phile I can usually taste the difference. Not here. I followed her recipe exactly, with the exception of one thing: me being me, I had to add some chocolate. I melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips with a tiny bit of vegetable oil and drizzled it over the tarts. Yum! 

Stripes and Jewel Tones

I just realized that today’s outfit is quite a bit like yesterday’s: both have a striped top, a neutral cardigan, and jeans. Luckily I like this combination. This cardigan is an older one from Loft that I jazzed up with some beads at a Madewell DIY event I went to last week (recap coming soon). While I was there I also bought some adorable bow stud earrings.

I’m going to take a short break from blogging this week so I can spend time with my family for Thanksgiving. I’ll be back with a fresh post on Monday. If you’re in the US, have a wonderful Thanksgiving; if not, have a great week! 

Cardigan: Loft, DIYed; tank: Gap Outlet; jeans: thrifted Gap; earrings: Madewell; scarf: Target; flats: Old Navy

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving (or holiday) dish?

Nautical Neutrals

While the weekend had its highlights (party at the BFFs, spending time with family) the low point was certainly the ass kicking we received from Baylor on Saturday. I’d blame the Sports Illustrated jinx or my own over-enthusiastic blog post Friday, but the fact is we looked terrible. However, I hope our team (and our fans) remembers we still have a lot to play for and that they still have much to be proud of.

Okay, if I thought I’d ever be talking about football this much I would not even recognize myself so I’m done. I blame my husband. Anyway, another low this weekend was that I didn’t get much sleep. The upside to that was that I discovered that the Sundance channel plays episodes of My So-Called Life (hardly can I think of adolescence without memories of that show…gah!) between the hours of 5 and 8 am. Oh that Jordan Catalano, what a dream boat.

Speaking of dreamboats, my outfit was inspired by the scrumptious Channing Tatum’s gorgeous wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum for Two Birds Inspiration Monday. I'm also joining the Bon Bon Rose Girls for Monday Mingle. 

What were your weekend highs and lows?

Cardigan: Talbots (similar); top: H&M (similar); jeans: Gap; earrings: Kohl's; necklace: Banana Republic Factory (similar); boots: Mia (similar)

Plum, Mustard, and Pearls

Since it's Friday and my brain is already in weekend mode, I thought I'd do another "currently" post to help me organize my thoughts. 

Reading: I finished Anna Karenina this week (finally!), and I looked to my "Books worth Reading" Pinterest board for literary inspiration. At the recommendation of Anne, I picked up A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilynn Jackson. I'm only a few chapters in, but I am already engrossed in Jackson's beautifully told story.

Working on: Applying to grad school... again. The Library Science Masters program I was looking into starts in January, so I've been working like a madwoman to get everything submitted by the December 1st deadline. I think I'm going to do this thing, people. 

Watching: I’m still crying my eyeballs out every time I watch Parenthood. That show, it kills me.

Anticipating: the weekend, of course. This weather and the fact that it gets dark practically in the morning makes me want to do nothing but nap and cover myself in blankets. And on the weekend, that’s perfectly acceptable.

Loving: My Kansas State Wildcats. I'm so proud of my school, I can hardly contain myself. Our coach, Bill Snyder, is up for Coach of the Year (vote here!), and our quarterback, Collin Klein, is the Heisman front-runner. Oh yeah, and we're currently the number one team in the country. What a year it's been!

Cardigan: thrifted Ann Taylor; shirt: Madewell; skirt: Gap; necklace: Loft Outlet; tights: Gap; shoes: Blowfish

What are you up to currently?

Check out this week's IT List

Friday IT List

  • My Fashionate Life thinks that sweater weather is better and is finally getting to partake in all of the fall fashion! She looks so cute in her layers! (find My Fashionlate Life on Twitter!)
  • My Thrifty Chic is pulling out a sassy, forgotten about dress for the first time and you won't believe what she paid for it! Go check it out! (find My Thrifty Chic on Twitter!)
  • Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique is getting crafty and tackled making a leather pocket for one of her tees! Pop over for the full run-down and to see the amazing final product! (find Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique on Twitter!)
  • Glitzy Blues reminds us not to overlook the men's section when shopping! She is sporting her favorite shirt and just happened to find it on the other side of the store! (find Glitzy Blues on Twitter!)
  • Fashion Fixation doesn't love the cold, but does love that it gives her a chance to play with layering her summer clothes under sweaters and coats! Love this look! (find Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Peach Gingham found a cute new pair of heels that look way more expensive than they were! Head over to see where she found them and the cute pieces she paired them with! (find Peach Gingham on Twitter!)
  • Living After Midnite is taking advantage of a break in the winter weather and going lacy with a side of studs! Oh and did I mention their is a neon jacket involved? A must see! (find Living After Midnite on Twitter!)
  • Behind the Dressing Room Door is loving all of the cozy and cute layered looks from Anthropologie! Tons of inspiration for fall here! (find Behind the Dressing Room on Twitter!)
  • Rach.E. Cakes is showing us how to make a tasty Thanksgiving inspired snack - pumpkin pie popcorn! Head over for the full recipe - this could be dangerous! (find Rach.E.Cakes on Twitter!)
  • A Devine Life is making a floral sundress work for fall by throwing it on with a trench coat and tights! Such a good way to get the most out of your wardrobe! (find a Devine Life on Twitter!)
  • Laura Wears looks so chic in a beige from head to toe! A monochromatic look you will definitely want to recreate! (find Laura Wears on Twitter!)
  • Ishi wore faux fur for the first time this season! The best way to add instant glamour to any outfit - go check it out!
  • Fancy Francy is breaking out of her normal neutral uniform and trying some bold color! She totally knocked it out of the park! (find Fancy Francy on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is dreaming of a very stylish Thanksgiving and put together the perfect room and outfit for the event! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style shows us three ways to style one of winter's must have pieces - a cream cable knit sweater! Pop over for her tips and to see her top picks for adding one to your wardrobe! (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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See it. Like it. Do it. Leather Pocket Tee

I wanted to add some leather to my wardrobe, but my budget has been very limited lately. When I saw this leather pocket t-shirt DIY at In Honor of Design, I knew it would be the perfect inexpensive way to try out the leather trend.

I went to Target and spent a whole six dollars on this t-shirt, and went no further than my couch for the leather. Before you start imagining pocket-shaped holes in my furniture, I’ll reassure you that it came from a scrap underneath a cushion.

This DIY was incredibly easy to do, and the only challenge I had was trying to sew straight stitches in the thick leather. If you look closely you’ll see that I didn’t quite succeed in that area. If you do this I’d recommend finding a thin piece of leather or faux leather.

Thanks Anna for another awesome DIY idea!

Styled very casually for the weekend: t-shirt: Target, DIYed; purple t-shirt: Old Navy; jeans: Gap; earrings: Kohl's; shoes: Converse

Chartreuse, Burgundy, and Stripes

So, this dress again. I’m not sure what the cost per wear is, but it must be approaching zero by now. I’m sure by the summer I’ll be sick of it (Sick of it! Anyone else love this kid?) but for now I love coming up with new ways to remix it.

This chartreuse and burgundy color combination was totally stolen from inspired by one of my blog buddies Meggy of Chasing Davies. I loved her look and wanted to do my own take on it immediately. I hadn’t thought to pair these two colors together, but I’m surprisingly pleased with how well the burgundy makes the chartreuse work for fall. 

Cardigan: Loft; dress: Land's End Canvas; necklace: Towne and Reese; purse: H&M; tights: Merona, Target; boots: Target

What is your most remixed wardrobe piece? 

Spots and Dots

After a gorgeous Friday and Saturday, yesterday’s cold front felt like a slap in the face. Just when I was singing fall’s praises, it reminds me of its biggest downfall: that winter looms nearby. It’s difficult to get anything done when all I want to do is curl up with a book, a blanket, and some hot cocoa.

Like I mentioned Friday, this weather also makes me want to bake, which I did this weekend. Unfortunately, the new “Mississippi mud” brownies I attempted were (in my opinion) a flop. Call me a chocolate snob, but I have high standards for brownies, and these didn’t make the cut.

I may have been a kitchen failure this weekend, but what about you? Have you made anything particularly delicious lately? (Or have you had a recent failure too?)

Blazer: Kohl's; blouse: Old Navy; jeans: Gap; flats: Madewell

Today I’m linking up with Two Birds for Inspiration Monday. This week’s muse was Elizabeth Hurley, looking the part of a fabulous jet-setter. I was dressed to teach 7th grade Math and Science. Yes, you could say our lives are similar.

Bonfire Ready in a Cargo Jacket and Plaid

Happy Friday! After last weekend's busy football weekend, I'm ready for a nice relaxing weekend at home. I love baking this time of year, so I might just have to scour my "For the Sweet Tooth" Pinterest board for a treat to make.

Aaron and one of our friends built a fire pit for our back yard this summer, so I'd also like to take advantage of that this weekend. Since we've had the fire pit I try to keep ingredients for s'mores in the house; when there's a fire, what's better than s'mores?

This layered look would be perfect for sitting around a warm fire on a chilly fall night, which is why I'm linking up for the "bonfire beauties" themed Friday's Fancies at Long Distance Loving.

Jacket: Old Navy; cardigan: American Eagle; shirt: Gap; jeans: Loft; earrings: Bauble Bar; ankle boots: Target

What are your weekend plans?

Friday IT List

  • My Fashionate Life is trying out a new look - tights and shorts! Head over to see how she styled this look and pulled it off seamlessly! (find My Fashionlate Life on Twitter!)
  • Miss Top Ten Image toughens up her mini skirt with a pair of biker boots! Such a fun look for fall! (find Miss Top Ten Image on Twitter!)
  • Urban Frill has officially deemed it coat weather and looks lovely in her winter white! Don't forget to check out her cute shoes, too! (find Urban Frill on Twitter!)
  • Rachel Coletta is sporting a classic color combo that serves as the perfect palette to mix in just about anything! Pop over to see this amazing look! (find Rachel Coletta on Twitter!)
  • My Thrifty Chic shows us how to style one of fall's trends - plum pants! Go check out the two looks that were done on a MAJOR budget! (find My Thrifty Chic on Twitter!)
  • Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique brightens up her classic look with a few pops of bold color - accessories can make all the difference! (find Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique on Twitter!)
  • Glitzy Blues is rocking her cool weather go-to look - a baggy sweater, tall socks and boots! The perfect combination of style and comfort! (find Glitzy Blues on Twitter!)
  • Fashion Fixation is in love with infinity scarves this season! Head over for a peek at this cute accessory and how it takes her look to the next level! (find Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Peach Gingham is sharing one of her favorite pieces from her closet with us - a field jacket! Paired with feminine pants, this makes for one cute look! (find Peach Gingham on Twitter!)
  • Living After Midnite looks so pretty in a sweet polka dot top! She is also sporting a fabulous new bag - go check it out! (find Living After Midnite on Twitter!)
  • Behind the Dressing Room Door did a little fall shopping and picked up a fabulous new sweater! Pop over to see where she found this gem! (find Behind the Dressing Room on Twitter!)
  • Rach.E. Cakes is going all out with color in this work-ready look! Who said fall was for neutrals?! So cute! (find Rach.E.Cakes on Twitter!)
  • A Devine Life hasn't seen any signs of cooler weather yet and it rocking a sun dress and boots! Love this look! (find a Devine Life on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is taking inspiration from a fabulous entry way and recreating the look in an outfit and a room! Some great finds! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style rounds up five affordable pieces to treat yourself with - each under $25! Amazing pieces you won't feel guilty about adding to your closet! (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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Politics, Holidays, and Mixed Prints

I think whoever decided to make Election Day at the beginning of November knew exactly what he was doing. Whether you’re satisfied or disappointed with how the election turned out, the holiday season is right around the corner.

It’s more than likely that you’ll be sharing a dinner table with someone whose politics you disagree with, so unless you want to serve your turkey with side dishes like bitterness and gloating, you’ll have to be civil at least until January. In my opinion, the holiday season brings out the best of people, which contrasts vastly with election season, which can sometimes bring out the worst. Aptly timed, I’d say.

Also, no matter what time of year it is, you can’t argue with some mixed prints and a denim jacket, right? 

Jean jacket: Gap; gingham shirt: J.Crew Factory; skirt: Merona, Target; earrings: thrifted; belt: Loft; flats: Nine West

Ellie wanted in on the picture-taking action.

Classics with Bold Accents

Happy Election Day! I’m looking forward to casting my vote this afternoon. Did any of you vote early this year? I’m sure when I'm waiting in a long line today I’ll wish I did. 

One of my newest purchases (which was actually an early Christmas gift from my mom, thanks mom!) is this necklace, and I’ve been wearing it like crazy. I added it to this outfit on Friday because I needed some K-State purple in my outfit.

Over the weekend, we went with friends to see the (undefeated!) Wildcats in action against Oklahoma State. I haven’t been to a football game there since college, and it was a blast. We would have had a good time no matter what, but of course going home with a victory made it even more fun. 

Blazer: Loft; shirt: Gap Outlet; jeans: thrifted Gap; earrings: Kohl's; necklace: Shop Mamie; wedges: Merona, Target

What was the last sporting event you went to? Who did you cheer for?