Thursday, October 31, 2013

Holly Golightly Costume

Happy Halloween!! This year I put together a last minute Breakfast at Tiffany's costume after seeing the idea on Face It Catalog.  I already knew I could pick up a similar mask on the cheap from Fred Flare, and I added one of Jeff's old button downs, a crazy cat purse I found in the kids section at Sears, and some tassel earrings I made from a package of embroidery thread and an old pair of earrings.  Sleepy face optional.

(Oh, and don't worry you guys, I was wearing shorts under there.)

Happy Halloween!!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cold Weather Accessories

Lately it has been really chilly, with temperatures in the thirties every day when I leave for work.  It has got me thinking that some new winter accessories are definitely needed.  I have this weird thing every year where I buy a new hat/gloves/scarf set at the beginning of winter and totally hate it by March (of course, I'm also totally hating winter in general at that point).  I'm going to try to avoid that this year by going with fun patterns & textures, adding in some color, and looking for a hat that is actually flattering on my gigantic cranium (Conan O'Brien, if you're reading this, which I assume you are, thank you for making giant craniums slightly more acceptable in American culture).

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rainy Days

There have been a lot of rainy days this fall.  I'm not usually one for rain, but in the fall I weirdly enjoy them because it gives me an excuse to wear leggings, cute boots, and cozy sweaters.

Sweater - Old Navy (old) / Jacket - Kohls / Leggings - JCrew Factory / Boots - Tahari / Scarf - H&M (old) / Watch - Michael Kors / Bracelets - ASOS and Stella & Dot

You guyyyyys, there are only a few days left of my shopping ban!  I did make one slip-up, so I might go a few days into November.  It's been surprisingly easy - I just delete all of my sale alerts without reading them and tried to read during my lunch break instead of hitting the stores.  I think once I'm allowed to shop again I might make a little budget for myself to help reel the spending in.  Do you have a shopping budget?

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Monday, October 28, 2013

This weekend and a Giveaway!

This weekend I...

...Purchased a hilariously awesome/bad cat purse for my Halloween costume.
...Tried a cake shake from Portillos for the first time.  This may be blasphemy, but I would have preferred a regular chocolate shake.
...Watched a couple Halloween movies without sound - turns out they're mostly not scary and just hilarious that way.
...Started planning a Christmas block party with a couple of my friends from home.  What, you don't have outdoor parties in December?
...Went to the birthday party for a couple of 21 year olds, haven't been to one of those in years!
...Whipped up a killer breakfast sandwich.
...Tried to decide on a new phone plan.  What do you guys think, AT&T or Verizon?
...Wore fake eyelashes for the first time.
...Watched Christmas Vacation.  It's way too early, but it was on tv and I couldn't resist.
...Worked on a lot of website projects.

And now for a little giveaway!  I have teamed up with amazing bloggers and boutiques to bring you this amazing and huge giveaway. 25 prizes, which means 25 winners. Please read and follow all steps to increase your chances of winner these amazing prizes. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in these types of giveaways please comment on Nightchayde's blog. Good LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Hints

Oh hi!  It's Friday and I'm exhausted (and hoping I'm not coming down with a cold) so I'm just leaving you with a little hint of my Halloween costume for this weekend.  This little guy should be arriving at my house at any moment:

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall or Winter?

Somehow we're already past jacket season in Chicago and are already on to coats.  I'm not ready for such cold weather yet (it's been in the 40's all week!), but I have been excited to get the chance to wear my new red peacoat.

Coat - Old Navy / Scarf - JCrew Factory / Denim - Gap / Boots - Bandolino / Bag - F21 (really old, similar)

We took these pictures over the weekend at Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch, which is about 45 minutes northwest of Chicago.  I thought we were just heading out for some good old fashioned pumpkin picking and apple cider donut eating, but I was mistaken.  Goebbert's not only has pumpkins, but also a corn maze, pumpkin cannon, some kind of robot that eats pumpkins, a petting zoo (complete with the giraffe), camel rides, a haunted house, a magician, and more.  I guess that's why they were charging admission.  It was a fun but cold Saturday!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fun Group Costume: Clue

You know how sometimes you end up going to more than one Halloween party in a weekend and feel like you need a second costume?  I know some people will wear the same costume multiple times, but I always like to wear something different, even if it's thrown together at the last minute.

A couple of years ago my friends and I needed a second costume idea, so we went for Clue.  My friend just happened to already own a maid costume (what?) and for Ms. Peacock and Ms. Scarlet we wore blue and red.  Add a couple of fascinators and some weapons (Who just has a lead pipe laying around? We do.)  and you're good to go!

P.S. Nooses can get dangerous on the dance floor, especially since we tied them correctly thanks to our Internet research.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Black and White and Coated

I was having a hard time finding coated jeans that got good reviews - it seems most of them lose their coating after a few washes.  I really wanted a pair, but the reviews everywhere, from the high end to low end, were not great.  So finally I caved when Old Navy was having a sale and decided to go cheap, if the coating was going to wear off anyway.  I've only worn these a couple of times so there haven't been any issues yet.

Tank - Target / Denim - Old Navy / Flats - Payless / Bag - Jessie Blume / Necklace - JCrew Factory / Bracelet - Stella & Dot

I wore this out to dinner with Jeff and his mom and cousin a couple weekends ago.  I wanted to get a little dressed up, but still leave room for all of the Japanese BBQ I was planning on putting in my belly.  It worked out well ;) 

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Monday, October 21, 2013

This weekend...

This weekend I...

... Got that close to a giraffe.  Too bad I wasn't wearing my sweater.
... Made some important decisions over beers, including the theme for my next birthday and our wedding party.
... Went on a day date with the boy to pick out some pumpkins and eat many apple cider cinnamon doughnuts.
... Saw my first commercial for the winter Olympics - so excited!!
... Maybe broke the shopping ban.  But it was such a good deal!  I promise to be good for the rest of the month.
... Saw Gravity in 3D in the drinking movie theater in our neighborhood.  Drinks and that movie maybe shouldn't have been combined.
... Went out for a dinner date that was appetizers only.  My favorite kind of meal ;)
... Watched the series finale of What Not to Wear - tear!

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Easy Halloween Costume: Tiger

Usually for Halloween I'll try to dress up as something creative or add a twist to my costume, like the year I was Tinkerbell "on Pixie Dust" (ahem).  Other years, I just feel like being cute.  Hence, the tiger.

Step one:  Find an orange tee shirt and orange leggings.  What, you can't find orange leggings in a normal store?  Don't worry, American Apparel can help.  If desired, cut said tee shirt into a v-neck, and use the extra fabric to make some tiger ears (attached to a headband, of course).

Step two:  Find a picture of a tiger print online.  Use a permanent marker to vaguely approximate said print all over the place.  Use cardboard in the middle of the shirt/leggings to avoid bleed through.

Step three: Admire your handywork.

Pssst, looks like I was trying on the old Carebear costume too...

Step four: Tease your hair like nobody's business.  Ask a friend to draw on a nose and whiskers before the party starts.

Step five: Find some other cats (hats optional).

Step six: Get them to pose "fierce" with you in the streets.

And congrats!  You've had a successful Halloween.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Favorites

Boots plus sweaters plus layers equal a happy Kristina.  Weirdly there are still new items in my closet that haven't made it to the blog yet despite the fact that I haven't gone shopping since September.  Yes, I definitely have a problem ;)

Sweater and Jeans - Gap / Shirt and Necklace - JCrew Factory / Bracelet - Baublebar / Boots - Tahari

I hope you have a great Thursday!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our Favorites: Marrakech

Marrakech was unlike anywhere I've ever been.  It was loud, it was busy, and full of barely controlled chaos.  Parts of the city were startlingly modern, while other sections, like the tanneries and ironsmiths, felt almost medieval.  

To See:
When you go to Marrakech you have to stay in the medina, which is the old town.  Everything you'd want to see is within walking distance.  The main square is a must-see, as the day goes on it fills up with people selling food and a variety of street performers, from snake charmers to acrobats and more.  Just be warned, if you take pictures of anything or anyone they'll charge you, and they'll charge you double if they think you're an American.  

The other must-see is the souks, which is the marketplace in the city.  Families tend to work in one trade, and some have occupied the same stall in the markets for hundreds of years.  Jeff really liked the leather working and bought a fancy pair of shoes, but I was enthralled by the spice markets where you could buy anything and everything, or even ask the shopkeepers to mix something up to make your wishes come true.  Some people hire guides to take them through the souks but we found that unnecessary.  It was pretty easy to get turned around inside of the souks, but if we ever looked lost someone would immediately point us back to the main square.

To do:
Our favorite activity of the trip was a cooking class we signed up for in Marrakech.  Souk Cuisine is a class run by a Danish woman named Gemma who moved to Morocco ten years ago.  Instead of just cooking, like most of the classes we came across, Souk Cuisine first takes you through the souks to buy all of the ingredients you'll need for cooking, and then we were welcomed back to Gemma's home to cook (with the help of two Moroccan women) and then eat and drink as much as possible.  I was in charge of preparing some sardines covered with tomatoes, and when it came time to cook them it turned out people don't usually bake things in their own houses.  Instead, they bring their food to the local baker, who adds your food to the oven and charges based on the amount of bread he could have been baking instead.  Besides the sardines, we also made a number of salads (including my new favorite, fried eggplant salad) and the best couscous I've ever had.

To eat: 
We had heard before we left that Moroccan food is best enjoyed in the home.  It couldn't have been more true.  The meals in the restaurants we went to were never particularly amazing, but the two homemade meals we had were fantastic.  One was prepared by the private cook at our riad, the other at the cooking class.  Our favorite thing was called pastilla, which is a stewed meat pie with cinnamon sugar on the top.

No matter where we went though, the mint tea was fantastic.  I don't even like tea usually, but I've been craving it since we got back.  A simple recipe for Moroccan mint tea can be found here.  

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Giraffe, Giraffe!

I mentioned when I posted about my love of navy that I already had some of the items on my list.  Well, I also have been wearing them together, all over town.  I think this giraffe sweater is my favorite item in my wardrobe right now, I've been having to restrain myself from wearing it more than once a week.  The skirt was my only purchase from the Prabal Gurung line for Target and I love it, the cut is so flirty and fun.

Sweater - Banana Republic (no longer available, sad face) / Skirt - Prabal Gurung for Target / Flats - Target / Bracelet - Fancy Frills

This is probably a weird connection, but whenever I think of giraffes I think of an old Sesame Street record we had when I was really little.  There was a song called I Got Me a Rooster where they sing about different animals and make the animal noises.  When they get to giraffe they all have to pause because they can't think of what noise a giraffe makes.  It's weird the way certain things stick with you, because I don't think I could name another song I liked at age two.  

I'm in the middle of a really busy week, but somehow my weeks are only going to get crazier from here.  Not only am I taking a night class, but I also decided to sign up for a personal trainer two nights a week.  I think the main goal is to get some upper body strength, which has sadly disappeared since I moved in with Jeff since he now carries heavy things up the stairs for me and I no longer carry my groceries home from the store.  Also, my friend and I were talking about signing up for another canoe marathon (in case you missed it since you likely did, I used to compete in canoe marathons.) and I think I would probably die if I tried to do one again without any strength training.  Now I'm just hoping that working out with a trainer won't be too scary!

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