Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Finds

Happy Friday! This weekend is the calm before the holiday storm officially kicks in (and before we head to Paris!), so in theory we're staying home and cleaning and decorating the house, but in reality we got invited to a boozy brunch to celebrate a couple of friends' birthdays on Saturday so basically the whole weekend is going be a wash ;)

I saw these velvet feather mules in my email and I keep going back and forth between "OMG I NEED THESE NOW" and "wow those are crazy" - what do you think? Oh, and it turns out the plaid wrap is currently on sale for less than $30 so I had to order it ;)

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ten Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

You guys, Thanksgiving is next week.


When did that happen?

But really though, I'm so not ready for Thanksgiving, especially because it's going to be a particularly crazy week. On Wednesday we're having Jeff's family over for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner, on Thursday we're heading up to my grandma's house for the day, and on Friday we're having lunch with my mom's family downtown and then we're getting on an airplane and flying to France. Note to self: make sure I don't need to do any last minute shopping before we leave. I probably need to do some last minute shopping before we leave.

Even though I don't love Thanksgiving food (ahh I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!), I still try to go for comfort when dressing for the eating holiday of all eating holidays. Tight jeans? Nah. Form-fitting tees? Never. Bodycon dresses? Why on earth would you do that to yourself?!

Instead I try to go for leggings (or my new favorite stretchy jeans!) or higher waisted skirts that won't show off your food baby. I love pairing these with festive tops and sweaters that don't scream Christmas but are still fun. Or, you know, toss on a flowy fall dress and call it a day! Here's a little inspiration for your Turkey Day outfit:











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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Favorite Friendsgiving Side Dish

Do you celebrate Friendsgiving? I never had until I started dating Jeff, but it's such a fun idea. I love getting the chance to hang with friends in a more casual setting than the typical holiday meal, and getting a chance to see everyone before they all leave town to spend Thanksgiving with their families.

What I don't like? The food!

That's right. It may be blasphemous, but I'm not a Thanksgiving food lover. Really, all I need is the turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. And really, I didn't add the gravy into my Thanksgiving repertoire until my late teens. I'm pretty sure my sister just eats the mashed potatoes.

I have a lot of reasons why I dislike Thanksgiving food (I mean, really, what the eff is stuffing?!), but my real problem is with what happens to the vegetables. A vegetable just should never be in a casserole.

When it came time to picking a dish to bring to Friendsgiving, I spent a few years making random desserts decorated like turkeys, and then moved on to mashed cauliflower (because mashed potatoes were always taken by the time I got to signing up). But now I bring brussels sprouts every year. I weirdly love brussels sprouts, which is still really weird to me because they're one of those vegetables you're supposed to hate. I don't know what happened to America's collective taste buds because it seems like the whole country simultaneously changed their mind about the vegetable. And you know what, I'm not complaining!

Usually I roast (or grill!) brussels sprouts with lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe some garlic or crushed red pepper. But for Friendsgiving it feels appropriate to get a little fancier, especially since I was only in charge of making one dish and not thirteen. This recipe took about an hour total, which is a little time consuming, but isn't complicated - anyone can make it and fancy up their brussels sprouts! The recipe originally came from the New York Times, but I made a few modifications. Here's my favorite Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving brussels sprouts!

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta 
Makes 6-8 servings

3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
4 TB olive oil, separated
4 TB unsalted butter
2 lbs brussels sprouts, trimmed, larger sprouts cut in two
Salt and pepper
6 oz pancetta (find at the deli counter, ask them to cut it 1/2 inch thick pieces), diced
1 shallot, minced
1 TB garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock, more if needed
2 TB fresh parsley, chopped

Heat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, thyme, and 2 TB olive oil. Spread out over a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 10-12 minutes, stirring often.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add brussels sprouts and salt and pepper (to taste). Sautee 3 minutes or until sprouts just begin to brown, stirring often. Add pancetta and continue sauteeing, stirring often, until sprouts turn deep brown and pancetta gets crispy, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add shallots and garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Increase heat to high and add balsamic vinegar and chicken stock, stirring frequently to coat. Cook 10 minutes, or until sprouts are glazed, adding more stock as necessary. Top with fresh parsley and move to serving bowl, sprinkling breadcrumbs on top. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Snow Day!

Wrap (similar here and here) and Bag (almost identical) - Sole Society / Tee - Halogen / Jeans - J. Crew / Boots - L.L.Bean / Socks - J. Crew Factory / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Lip - Maybelline (in Pioneer)

Yeah, I don't know if you noticed, but it, um, SNOWED in Chicago on Friday. I was flying back from San Francisco and had heard it was supposed to flurry, but was totally shocked to find an inch or two of powdery white on the ground when we landed. The freakiest part was most of the trees still had green leaves on them before the snow came, and then dropped all of their leaves with the snow - there was a crazy mix of colors mixed in with all of the white!

Now, I have to put this out there - I was not, nor am I currently ready for snow. I mean, really, I would prefer the snow hold off until just before Christmas, give us a blanket of white, and then go away for the rest of winter. But, living in Chicago, I know that's never going to happen so I have to make the best of it.

And how do I do that? With my new bean boots of course!

I've wanted a pair of bean boots forever, and was so glad I finally decided to snag a pair this year. I went with 8" shearling lined boots from L.L.Bean, and you guys, I made the right choice. The fur lining makes the boots so comfortable and warm, and I personally think the 8" height is great because they're tall enough to work when there's lots of snow on the ground (or big puddles) but aren't so tall that they're cumbersome, like my Joan of Arctic boots (only for the snowiest, coldest days).

I found them true to size, and they were comfortable enough to wear without any breaking in (with camp socks, of course). They come in whole sizes only, so if you're between sizes, size down to the next whole size.

If you're looking for a pair of bean boots, my pair is 25% off only through tonight with code 25OFF! Snag them now, before they inevitably sell out during the first real snowstorm of the year.

Oh, and before I end this post, I would like to formally apologize for not taking better pictures of my boots, when I knew I was planning to write a post about them. This is the first time I've shot with my tripod in a loooooooong time because my photographer (ahem: husband) was out of town, and then my camera ran out of batteries. But just know that they are super cute and I love them and many other superlatives :)

Wrap (similar here and here) and Bag (almost identical) - Sole Society / Tee - Halogen / Jeans - J. Crew / Boots - L.L.Bean / Socks - J. Crew Factory / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Lip - Maybelline (in Pioneer)

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Monday, November 13, 2017

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...Flew home from San Francisco on Friday, and got to watch a couple of episodes of The Good Place on the plane. I'm totally hooked now, I've almost watched all of the episodes. Oh, and my week in San Fran was cray by the way, super super busy but also really fun. I stayed in a gorgeous apartment in Cow Hollow which is basic b heaven, gave some really big presentations which was scary but weirdly fun, saw a bunch of friends at many happy hours, and got to see Beck. Not bad.
...Went on a Target binge and bought all of the Christmas things, including everything from Chip and Joanna' Gains' new line (how freaking cute is this centerpiece?!) and six bags of peppermint bark bells, my favorite holiday candy. And then listened to Christmas music. Don't judge me, it snowed, which basically makes it Christmas.
...Drove up to the burbs to go to a Friendsgiving at a friend's new house, which is absolutely beautiful! I made my favorite brussels sprouts recipe, which I'm sharing later this week. Isn't it weird to say you like brussels sprouts? Still weird.
...Ordered the cutest holiday pajamas from Old Navy (still have this robe on my wishlist too) - I'm going to have to be in pajamas all the time to make all of these holiday pjs I have worthwhile ;)
...Spent the night up at my parent's house because Jeff was out of town, which meant brunch with my niece, who I taught to sing I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas and the chorus to Umbrella, so, you know, sorry parents.

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! I'm flying home from San Francisco today, and then am planning to have a fun date night with Jeff before he flies out tomorrow morning to meet his family in DC. But luckily I'm not sitting at home myself the rest of the weekend, because we're having our Friendsgiving party tomorrow night. I don't love Thanksgiving food (sorry if that's blasphemous) but I am always excited for mashed potatoes. And wine ;)

I love and want everything I found this week, but I have to mention the jacket. I saw someone wearing it on the el last week, and maybe got super close to creep on the brand. I guess I could have just, you know, asked, but that isn't the Kristina way. It is so cute in person, I love the little touches of leather detailing!

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Weekend Style in Holiday Plaid

Shirt and Pants - J. Crew Factory / Hat (amazingly similar but not quite exact version) - Express / Bag - Tory Burch / Boots (super similar, or a more budget-friendly option) - Coach / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Bracelet - Michael Kors

Now that November is here, I'm in full holiday plaid mode. I may still be burning pumpkin candles like there's no tomorrow, but it's already Christmas in my heart. And on my tv, because I already watched Christmas Vacation last week. Whoops.

I used to hate the Christmas creep when I was younger, but now that every day and week seems to be going by faster, I'm fine embracing the Christmas spirit a little early. Plus, you know, I need a chance to wear all of the holiday clothes in my closet ;)

I had this same shirt in a different pattern last year, and I loved it so much I had to buy it again when they released a new version this year. I mean, plaid plus a ruffle? What more does a girl need?

So tell me - are you embracing the holiday spirit early? Or are you gung-ho on Thanksgiving until Black Friday?

Shirt and Pants - J. Crew Factory / Hat (amazingly similar but not quite exact version) - Express / Bag - Tory Burch / Boots (super similar, or a more budget-friendly option) - Coach / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Bracelet - Michael Kors

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