Weekly Eats: Delicious on a Budget and a Linkup

This year Aaron and I are trying to be very disciplined about sticking to our budget, because we'd like to sell our house and move (not too far, just to a little larger house) in the next year or so. I always shop the sales, but this year I'm trying even harder to shop smarter and use up what we already have. This week's meals were delicious, yet budget-conscious.

Clockwise from top left: 

1. Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls from How Sweet it is. Any meal that mimics a Chipotle burrito or burrito bowl is always a winner around here. This dish is all about the chicken, which is marinated in spicy adobo sauce, honey, and mustard. I made lime rice rather than lime quinoa, just because I didn't have any quinoa and it can be expensive. I topped my bowl with corn, cilantro, avocado (on sale for 88 cents, score!) and cheese. Yum! 

2. Caprese Shells with Mini Meatballs also from How Sweet it is. (She's the best, right?) My version was definitely the budget edition, so it looks nothing like the original. In fact, it's pretty much just pasta and meatballs, with a little bit of melty cheese mixed in. I used tomato sauce instead of grape tomatoes, and a cubed up brick of mozzarella rather than the fresh mozzarella balls (which I'd recommend...those are so good!). Either way you make this, you won't be disappointed! 

3. Grilled Asian Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Sauce from Fine Cooking. This one had me at peanut sauce...I love peanut sauce with anything. Rather than using the peanut sauce as a dip, I made bowls with rice, the grilled pork tenderloin, grilled red peppers, and a healthy drizzle of peanut sauce on top. This recipe called for butterflying, then grilling the tenderloin, which I've never done before. I did do that, but instead of letting it cook all the way on the grill (I used an indoor grill pan) I finished cooking it in the oven. It was juicy and delicious! (I've been on quite a pork tenderloin kick lately, because our grocery store keeps putting them on sale. It's one of our favorite kinds of meat, so we're taking full advantage.)

4. Sausage and Potato Soup from Tasty Kitchen. It may not feel like January outside, but I'm still in the mood for soup. This one had such great flavor; it was a big bowl of comfort. I love potato soup, and the addition of Italian sausage was an excellent idea. I lightened it up a little by not using a whole stick of butter (!) and by using two percent rather than whole milk. It was still hearty and flavorful; I'll definitely make this again. 

Red Lips + a Glammed Up Sweatshirt

Well, I can check one thing off my list: I found some red lipstick! I still feel very conspicuous when I wear it, like I may as well be walking around with a visible thought bubble over my head that says "Hello! I'm wearing lipstick!" but I figure eventually, I'll get used to it. Maybe it will be similar to my first go-round with skinny jeans or a big ol' statement necklace. I wear both of those like it ain't no thing now. My goal is to be a nonchalant lipstick-wearer, you know, like a messy-haired Parisian girl who "forgot" to put on any makeup save for a swipe of Ruby Woo. (Don't worry, I'll use concealer on my tired-mama dark under-eye circles.)

I may have upped the conspicuousness factor by wearing this embellished sweatshirt, but despite its glitzy appearance it's amazingly soft and cozy. Any time I can wear a soft sweatshirt to work is a win to me. This look is second only to a dress in it's simplicity: sweatshirt, black pants, lipstick; no other layers or accessories needed.

Do you wear lipstick? What's your favorite shade? 

Jeweled sweatshirt: Loft / black pants: Old Navy / black riding boots: Franco Sarto / red lipstick: MAC Ruby Woo

Linking to What I Wore to Work and Thursday Favorites

What I Read: January (Plus new blog discoveries!)

January was all about planning! and organizing! and doing! but guess what it wasn't about...reading. As I was putting this post together I realized that I only read two measly books this month. Not that I have some sort of goal number I'm trying to achieve, but looking back on the month I know I spent a lot more time scrolling Facebook and Pinterest than picking up a book and reading.

What I read:

The Family Man by Elinor Lipman. This book may be the reason that January was a slow month for books. It was one of those books that while I read it, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't one that I couldn't wait to dive back into each day. It's about a father who is reunited with his step-daughter after many years. Henry, Thalia's father, is a gay, retired lawyer, Thalia is a struggling actress, the force that reunites them, Henry's ex-wife, is a newly widowed drama queen. It was sweet at times, funny at times, but overall I'd say it was just okay.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Gillian Flynn, wow, she comes up with some dark and twisted stuff. I read Gone Girl a couple of years ago and wondered if her other books would be as fun to read. While I wouldn't describe this one as a fun read, it really did pull me in. Libby Day's family is murdered in their home when she is just a child, and the only survivors are herself and her older brother Ben, who is convicted of the crime as a result of her testimony. Honestly, Libby is not the most likable character. But, her whole family was brutally murdered, so I cut her some slack. If you're in the mood for a dark thriller with a good plot twist or two, this one's for you.

New blog discoveries: 

I may not have read a lot of books this month, but I did find some new (to me) favorite blogs to add to my Feedly.

  • Camp Patton: Lifestyle, family, general hilarity. This post about her toddler's quest to get a lollipop from a hard-to-reach shelf cracked me up. 
  • Oh Sweet Basil: beautiful photos, delicious food. Anne sent me a link to a recipe here, and I couldn't stop reading and drooling over the rest of the site.  I really want to make this soup
  • Megin Time: I "met" Megan through the Fall Capsule linkup, so I suppose this isn't a new for this month. However she's been one of my favorites lately. Her post about marriage and parenting was hilarious but so true, and this one on styling plaid flannel provided me closet inspiration more than once. 
Did you read any good books or blogs this month? 

January 2015 Capsule Wardrobe Highlights

I'm about one month in to the winter capsule, and it's been decidedly un-winterlike around here. Sure, we did have some frigid days here and there, but so far very little snow and eerily warm weather the past few weeks. I'm certainly not complaining, but I may have to make some changes to my shoe selection of this not-winter continues. (But please do continue!)

Here are some January capsule highlights.

Favorite looks:

{1 / 2 / 3}

Most and Least Worn Items: 

Least: eShakti Black Dress / Gap Bootcut Jeans (both were on my "not sure I should include" list)

Odds and Ends: 
  • 2 things I wish I would have included (and may swap out the two least worn items above for): white jeans and denim jacket
  • Favorite "uniform": jeans + chambray shirt + sweater + statement necklace
  • Favorite new accessory: This necklace from BaubleBar
  • Favorite pop of color: Red

I'm linking up with In Residence and Just Jacq for this month's Winter Capsule Outfit Showcase. Be sure to check out their and others' January highlights! 

On Cardigans and Remixing

I had a conversation in the comments the other day with Anne about the expectations we have for our clothes. I mentioned that sometimes I felt like I expect too much from my clothes--I have a hard time buying a dress that can "just" be worn as a dress or really any item that has limited remixing capabilities. While these expectations can sometimes be a bad thing (case in point: I almost passed up this dress that I really like because it's not very versatile), other times it really helps me get more creative with my clothes.

Wearing my cardigan as a shirt (well, with a modesty layer underneath...that V is just a leeetle too deep for me) is one such example of this concept. I'm so glad the Two Birds gals picked this picture for Inspiration Monday, because I actually saw it earlier on Glamour and planned to try out this idea. It's nothing too novel; just buttoning up the cardigan rather than wearing it open. However, I never wear my cardigans that way, so I'm glad I tried it. Simple, but I like it.

Have you tried any "wardrobe experiments" lately? 

Yellow cardigan: Target / jeans: Gap / necklace: Etsy / taupe ankle boots: Crown Vintage via DSW

I've had this yellow cardigan for a while now, and even just as a regular ol' cardigan it's proven very remixable. Here are two other ways I've styled it.

{ 1 / 2 }

Linking to Inspiration Monday and Mix it Mondays

Weekly Eats: Winner Winner Chicken (and Pork) Dinner

For some reason I was drawn to recipes featuring chicken this week. I did substitute pork for one of them, but I know I'll eventually try it with chicken too. Chicken is so quick-cooking and versatile, it's always a winner around here!

Clockwise from top right: 

1. Stir-fried Chicken and Vegetable Lo Mein from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Since we were already having chicken twice, I made this dish with pork (cubed pork chops) to change it up a little. This is a very adaptable recipe; it's easy to change up the meat and vegetables to use whatever you have on hand. It had such great flavor. Even the next day I couldn't wait to eat the leftovers...always a sign of a good meal.

2. Chicken Francese - Lightened Up from Skinnytaste. Well, the recipe is lightened up...my version wasn't quite. I used whole eggs instead of egg whites, and I served it with a pile of angel hair pasta rather than a salad. With a lemon butter sauce though, I feel like you need some pasta to soak it up. Yum!

3. Lazy Girl's Chicken Enchilada Casserole from Iowa Girl Eats. Any recipe that starts with "lazy girl" is always a good sign. Dinner time during the week is usually a whirlwind, and the more quickly I can get dinner made, the happier everyone is (right before dinner time is cranky time around here). This really was easy to make, and it was so good! The only change I made was using flour tortillas instead of corn, mostly because I just like them better. Also we buy them in bulk for Mr. Quesadilla.

What's for dinner for you tonight? 

Be sure to come back on January 30th for a Weekly Eats linkup. I'd love for you to link up and share anything you've done in the kitchen lately! 

The Dress of Many Possibilities

So far this plaid dress has been my favorite new winter capsule item. I love how it can be layered just like a button-up shirt, under sweaters and cardigans. That's always been one of the main questions I ask myself before purchasing something: "How many ways can I wear this?" I had no trouble coming up with possibilities for this dress.

How do you decide on what to buy when you're shopping? 

Plaid dress: Gap / gray sweater: Gap / gold disc necklace: Target / navy tights: Target / desert booties: Crown Vintage via DSW

Linking to What I Wore to Work and Thursday Favorites

Jona Update: Walk Like a Man

Last month I didn't get around to writing a Jona-update post, but I couldn't neglect it this month. As you can probably tell from the title, January was the month for a pretty big milestone. We've got a walker on our hands! I can finally answer YES!! to all those "Is he walking yet?" inquiries. He took his sweet time (he began walking just shy of 17 months) but now there's no stopping him. It was pretty funny how he started too; he was sitting in the middle of a room and just stood up and took a few steps. He wasn't holding on to anything, which made it look so hilarious. It's like he just thought, "Hey, I think I'll walk now." Just as quickly as he decided to walk, he made the decision to not walk for a few days. It's like he saw how excited we got and didn't want to be performing on command. Have I mentioned that I have a stubborn, stubborn child? Luckily, that only lasted for a few days and now he's all about it.

Playtime: Thanks to grandparents and friends who spoiled him rotten this Christmas, Jona has a multitude of new toys to play with. Some of his favorites are a mini basketball goal (he loves throwing the ball and saying "Ball!"), big lego-like blocks, and a set of plastic safari animals (his favorite part--the little gray rocks that came with the set...so funny).

Chit-chat: He's still talking constantly, mostly gibberish with "real" words mixed in. He loves singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" so he'll say "head" (kind of) and point to his head. He loves to say "Hi" and "Bye". At night, when I tell him to say goodnight to Dada, he says "Bye!" His favorite word used to be "yeah" but he's gotten oh-so-sophisticated and now he says "yes" all the time. He's also still saying "thank you" when he gets or gives anything. When I put his shoes on, he says "shoesh". They do a lot of counting at daycare, so he'll say "two" after I say one, and he'll say "fie!" after four. He'll also say "pizza" (one of his favorites" but it also sounds a lot like "bee-dah" which is zebra. Also, if you ask him what color something is, he'll say "booo" (blue) no matter what color it is.

Teeth: Jona is now the proud owner of four big molars! (As well as 6 front teeth, four top, two bottom.) He did not enjoy the arrival process.

Jona Funnies: a few memorable things from the last couple of months
  • We taught Jona to "cheers" with his milk which he loves to do constantly now at dinner time. 
  • When he wants more of something (usually fruit) he points to the empty space on his plate and says "I want dis". (That's a bit of a stretch...it sounds a little like that, but it's not very clear, except the "dis" part.) 
  • His babysitter taught him to "blow" his nose. If you give him a tissue, he'll blow a raspberry with his mouth. 
  • He's learning animal sounds, and when you ask him what a sheep says, he says "baahhhh" very similar to a dinosaur roar. 
  • When he falls down and then stands back up, he says "Yay!" (which rhymes with pie) and claps for himself. 
  • During the not-walking phase, he would lie down on the floor, put his head down, and fake cry, when we asked him to walk. Stinker. 
  • He has a little stuffed dog that talks and plays music, Scout, and he'll sometimes sing along to the songs. There's a song that says "I'd like a dog, please..." and Jona will always chime in with "Peeeze". 
Clearly, I could write a novel about this kid. Thanks, as always, for reading!

Red Cords: A Winter Pick-Me-Up

While I did a lot of post-Christmas sale shopping to prepare for my winter capsule, a good chunk of it consists of items I've had in my closet for a while. In fact, this whole outfit consists of pieces that I've been wearing on repeat for a while now.

These red corduroys were my first foray into brightly colored pants, and I've been a fan ever since. I didn't include them in my fall capsule, but I pulled them out in December and wore them enough that I felt the need to add them to winter. Adding them in was a good decision; nothing brightens up a cold, dreary day, like bright red pants. Well, bright red pants plus a cup of hot cocoa. Okay, bright red pants plus a cup of spiked hot cocoa.

What's something that you've had for years and still love? 

Camel blazer: Target / graphic tee: J.Crew Factory / red cords: Gap / necklace: Bauble Bar / leopard flats: Dr. Scholl's

Linking to the Creative Closet for "Pop of Color" and Putting Me Together #PMTStyleChallenge "Bright Color". 

On "Going Out" Clothes

On Saturday Aaron and I went out with my best friend Abby and her husband to celebrate Abby's birthday. While we see each other often (our kids even go to the same daycare), we don't get too many opportunities to go out all together without the kids. So we called the babysitters grandparents and took advantage of the double-date-night opportunity.

I remember that there was a time in my life (we'll call it college) when I had a whole portion of my wardrobe devoted to "going out" clothes. That portion mostly involved colorful or embellished tops and heels. I'm not sure if it's age or motherhood, or a combination of the two, but my "going out" wardrobe no longer exists. Actually, with the staying power of skinny jeans, I guess a little hint of the past does remain... Anyway, my point is that now when I have an occasion to get a little gussied up to go out (but not full-on wedding-type gussy) that's when I feel like I have nothing to wear.

I settled on this new leopard print blouse I got at Loft, with my gray moto jacket and the aforementioned skinny jeans. While I do like this look, and I feel that it does reflect my style aesthetic, I can't help but think that I could wear this very same outfit to work for casual Friday. Have I really reached that point in my life in which all my clothes are mom-clothes or work-clothes? Folks, I'm officially old. (Using "folks" in a sentence doesn't really help my case either, does it?) All I can say is that I feel a pair of fabulous heels coming on in my spring capsule... I think going out shoes (one pair!) sounds reasonable. These heels are pretty great, but they're definitely in the "sensible" camp.

Do you have any "going out" clothes or are you also living in old-lady land? 

Gray moto jacket: Loft / leopard blouse: Loft / dark skinny jeans: Gap / pink suede heels: Nine West

I think I up my coolness factor, even just a little, when I wear this fabulous moto jacket. Here are some other ways I've worn it.

1 / 2 / 3

Linking to Inspiration Monday (although my look is a far cry from the inspiration) and Mix it Mondays

Weekly Eats: Carb-alicious

Looking at this week's carby round-up of meals makes me realize that this family sure wouldn't be very successful going gluten free! (Of course, if we had to under doctor's orders, we would.) It's no wonder that bread is always on Jona's "I will eat it" list; we sure do love it around here. Typically I do try to buy both whole-grain bread and pasta to mix in with white, but sometimes there's just no replacement for a crusty baguette (or tortilla, or pita).

Clockwise from top left: 

1. Chicken Souvlaki Pita with Tzatziki from Tasty Kitchen with lemon and feta orzo. Mmm, I love Greek food, especially when there's tzatziki involved. My "pita" fell apart (I may have been trying to overstuff) so mine was more of a "pizza", but it still tasted delicious. The chicken is simple to make but flavorful and juicy from marinating before grilling. 

2. Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tacos from Hello Natural. Taco night is a pretty regular thing around here, but I like to change it up with different fillings. This was a good change for sure, pork tenderloin is delicious in a taco. Rather than grilling (since it was about 5 degrees out that day) I seared the tenderloin on a grill pan and then let it finish cooking in the oven. 

3. White Bean Tortellini Soup from How Sweet it is. It's certainly been soup weather around here. This soup was easy and quick for a warming weeknight meal, but it's still nice and hearty. I used mozzarella rather than havarti on the toasts, but I don't think you could go wrong with any kind of melted cheese. 

4. Buffalo Chicken French Breads from How Sweet it is. More bread, hooray! Chicken wings meet French bread pizza. Yes, it turned out as good as it sounds. 

What are you having for dinner? 

Thanks for the positive feedback last week about the linkup. If you make anything delicious this month that you'd like to share I'd love for you to join me on January 30th for a Weekly Eats linkup.   

Toddler Test Kitchen: Sneaky Veggies

I did a little whining last week about Jona and his very selective dining preferences as of late. I have no delusions of turning him (back) into an adventurous eater, but I'm going to try to get more creative lest he live on cheese quesadillas and fruit for the next few years.

I refuse to become a short-order cook at dinner time, so I'm just going to keep serving him what we're eating and hope for the best. (I do always make sure there will be something he'll eat...I promise, he's far from starving!) However, I could use a couple of quick breakfast and lunch ideas that are win-wins (both healthy and Picky-Pants-approved).

Recently I tried a recipe from my Little Eater Pinterest board that I hoped would pass the test, a Spinach Berry Smoothie.

The smoothie was a new concept for Jona. He loves the sqeeze-it-yourself containers of yogurt and applesauce, so I hoped it would be a hit. I made it pretty thin so that he could sip it from a cup with a straw, which was also new to him. He did drink a little, but he remains skeptical. I think I'll play around with different combinations to make it a little thicker, yet still drink-able.

I'm not big into smoothies, but I know they're pretty popular. Do you have any good smoothie recipes? 

Linking up to Pin to Present at In Residence. Be sure to check out all the Pinterest-inspired projects! 

2015: Checking Off the List

I'm a great list-maker. I love to write out lists of things to do, things to buy, things to wear, and of course things to accomplish. Every January I eagerly make another list, goals for the new year. However, for the past couple of years, the "checking off" step in the list-making process hasn't quite happened for most of those goals. I know I'm not the only one with this problem, but for 2015 I'm determined to do more than just start projects.

To go along with the "Never have I ever" theme for this month's The Circle linkup at In its Time, here are 5 things that I've never done but plan to do this year. 2015, I'm ready for you! 

1. Reupholster my dining room chairs. Right after we bought our house in 2010, I found an amazing dining room table and chairs at a garage sale, in near-perfect condition, for a steal. Over the years the cream-colored fabric of the chairs has gotten increasingly dingy. I'd love to recover them with a fun printed fabric (preferably one that will wear a little better than off-white). 

2. Take a photography course. I mentioned this one in my 2015 Goals post, and it's one that I'd really like to check off my list this year. (Surprise surprise, it's made an appearance on my January list multiple years in a row...) I'm thinking about this one from A Beautiful Mess. 

3. Create a media kit for Shea Lennon. I've been blogging for way to long (over 4 years!) not to have already done this. However, if I'm serious about wanting to grow my blog and possibly partner with brands, it's time to get on the ball. 

4. Find the perfect red lipstick. I do own red lipstick, but I rarely wear it because I'm not convinced that it's quite the right shade for me. But I'm 31 years old, it's about time I have a gorgeous red lip in my beauty arsenal dang it! 

5. Keep a current scrapbook of my family for the year. Current is the operative word. I've done a pretty terrible job so far of keeping a baby book up to date for Jona, unless you consider Instagram a baby book. Yeah, me neither. But this year I bought a Project Life binder and plan to fill it with each month's highlights and happenings. 

Check out other bloggers' Never Have I Ever lists at The Circle linkup at In its Time. 

Feel-Good Pink Heels

Is there a piece in your closet that garners attention and compliments every time you wear it? Or instantly boosts your mood when you put it on? For me, that item is this pair of pink suede pumps. They're my feel-good shoes, because whenever I wear them not only does their bright, bold color make me smile, but other people seem to be drawn to them as well.

My wardrobe right now is packed full of neutrals, but I love having a few stand-out pieces to mix in with all the grays, blacks, and navies. It's the bold colors, fun prints, and statement-making jewels that keep me on board with the whole capsule wardrobe thing, and help me to still feel excited about putting outfits together. (Well, that and Pinterest of course.)

What's your most-complimented item? 

Gray dress: Loft / black tights: Target / pink suede heels: Nine West
Linking up to the Creative Closet today for "Pretty in Pink" and Putting Me Together for #PMTStyleChallenge. 

Plaid Flannel Dressed Up or Down

Love it or hate it, it's the time of year when words like "wind chill" (ugh) and "Polar Vortex" (double ugh) are being thrown around left and right. I won't pretend I like it, you know me better than that, but I do try my best to embrace it by dressing in my coziest layers. One of my go-tos this time of year is my plaid flannel shirt, that's thin enough to layer but thick enough to keep me warm even on its own.

I typically associate flannel shirts with more casual looks (90s grunge anyone?) but I like to dress up my flannel as well. With a bright red skirt, pearls, and boots, my plaid flannel skirt takes a walk on the dressier side.

Plaid flannel shirt: J.Crew / red skirt: J.Crew / pearls: Loft Outlet / brown riding boots: Mia

For a more casual look, I layered my plaid flannel shirt with this cozy new down vest, jeans, and ankle boots. Flannel AND a down vest? Now I'm ready to take on the cold! Not that I'd mind a little warm up.

Plaid flannel shirt: J.Crew / navy down vest: Land's End / dark skinny jeans: Gap / necklace: Bauble Bar / taupe ankle boots: Crown Vintage via DSW
How do you style your plaid flannel? 

Linking to Inspiration Monday and Mix it Mondays.

Weekly Eats: Three Strikes

It's the first Weekly Eats of 2015, woohoo! (Can you tell I get a little excited about starting a new year?) When I was trying to think of what these recipes have in common, the only thing I could think of is that Jona found all three to be equally offensive. Hooray for the picky stage! Aaron and I, on the other hand, thought these three meals were winners.

1. Thai Turkey Tacos (adapted from Thai Chicken Peanut Lettuce Tacos from Skinnytaste). We usually love Thai-inspired anything for dinner, and tacos are always a hit as well. Combining the two was a success. I used ground turkey instead of chicken, and flour tortillas instead of lettuce (Aaron is willing to compromise on many things, but he draws the line at lettuce as a bread replacement.) I unsuccessfully tried to sneak the filling into a quesadilla for Jona; he picked up one piece, made a face, and looked at me like "Really, mom?". No go.

2. Christmas Pasta from Rachael Ray. This is essentially meat-lover's pasta, loaded with beef (I omitted the pork and veal), sausage, and bacon. A husband-pleaser for sure. I like it because the sauce is hearty and rich, with a mix of tomatoes, beef broth and red wine. Jona's reaction: "Why is there MEAT (aka Satan) in my pasta?!?"

3. Ribeye Steak with Whiskey Butter Sauce with Twice Baked Potatoes from The Pioneer Woman. One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was The Pioneer Woman's first cookbook (The Pioneer Woman Cooks), and these were two recipes I tried from that cookbook. Aaron grilled the steaks, which were delicious, and the sauce was more "butter" than "whiskey" which, as a lover of the former and a hater of the latter, I appreciated. Twice-baked potatoes, while I don't make them often, are always worth the extra effort. Jona remains skeptical of their texture.

Have you made anything good lately?

I've been thinking about turning Weekly Eats into a monthly linkup, what are your thoughts? At the end of the month you could link up any food-related post you've written that month. Sometimes I think it can be intimidating to share food posts in a world of such talented food bloggers, so my hope is that such a link-up would inspire food-lovers to share their kitchen creations with other amateurs (like me). 

Plaid Shirtdress Layered Up

One of the new additions to my closet for winter is this plaid dress I found at Gap (during their additional 60% off sale promotion, whoop whoop!). Plaid is right up there with stripes in the "patterns I'm loving right now" game, so I knew that scooping up this dress would be a wardrobe win. Just like my favorite plaid shirts, this dress is very layer-able. For a cold winter day, paired it with a bright cardigan, tights, boots, and a navy printed scarf.

What is your go-to pattern right now? 

Yellow cardigan: Target / navy plaid dress: Gap / scarf: Old Navy / belt: Loft / boots: Mia

Currently: January 2015

It's that time of year when I'm still feeling the post-holiday-season high, and I'm not yet so tired of winter that I'm crying into my ankle boots. I may be singing a different tune in February, but so far, so good, January. Here's what I've been up to lately.

Planning: weekly and monthly goals. I just made a list of my goals for 2015, and now I'm breaking them down into bite-sized pieces. The only thing better than making a big list is checking it off. 2015, it's on! 

Hoping: to win the picky eating battles. Jona went from eating everything to being Picky McEat-Nothing. Lately I've been serving up the old standbys because I know he'll eat them, but it's time to get creative and get that boy to eat something besides fruit, yogurt, and peanut butter. 

Baking: Graham Cracker Toffee from Gimme Some Oven. So the last thing I need at my house is more sugar, but I saw this recipe and couldn't resist. It's ridiculously easy and oh so good. If you need a quick party snack this is a great one to try! 

Wearing: clothes from my winter capsule. This capsule is a lot of neutrals (again) and coziness and warmth, with a few bold colors thrown in for good measure. What I'm most excited about wearing are a couple of pairs of new shoes I got, some taupe leather ankle boots and a cute pair of desert booties. 

Resolving: to focus on contentment. While I'm definitely a resolution/goal-maker, I also like the idea of having one word or theme to focus on for the year. My word for 2015 is contentment. Too often I get caught in the comparison trap, and I find myself feeling like what I do and what I have isn't enough. This year, I'm going to try my best to be content with and grateful for what I have. 

Check out what other bloggers are doing this month at the Currently linkup at In Residence and Dearest Love

Introducing...Winter Capsule 2015

Like I mentioned yesterday, my first project of 2015 was putting together my winter capsule wardrobe, which will last me through March. I had such a positive experience with a capsule wardrobe this fall, it was a no-brainer for me to create a winter capsule as well. I'm really striving to simplify and streamline my life as much as possible so I don't feel overloaded, and therefore over-stressed. Having a pared-down wardrobe fits right in with that concept.

Choosing the pieces for this capsule was both easier and harder than when I created my fall capsule. It was easier because I had a better sense of what styles are "me" and what I know I'll wear again and again and not get bored with. However, it was harder because of time. Theoretically I had all of December to plot and plan, but the reality is that I tend to procrastinate. And also, December = Christmas, so there's that too. So I planned, shopped, and organized everything during the last week of December.  

Loft / Target
Target / Loft / Loft Outlet
Talbots / Loft
Total count: 7 (I may add a quilted puffer vest if I can find the right one, to make it 8)

eShakti / Ann Taylor Factory
Gap / J.Crew / J.Crew Factory / Loft
Total count: 6 

Loft / Loft / Ann Taylor Factory
J.Crew / J.Crew Factory / Madewell
Gap Outlet / Gap
Target / J.Crew Factory / J.Crew Factory
Gap / J.Crew Factory / J.Crew Factory
Total count: 14

Gap / Gap / Gap
Gap / Old Navy / Gap
Total Count: 6

Mia / Nine West / Franco Sarto
Crown Vintage / Target
Toms / Crown Vintage / Dr. Scholl's
Total Count: 8

Total count for all items: 41

I'm linking up with In Residence and Just Jacq for the Winter Wardrobe Capsule Showcase