Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rebecca Minkoff Giveaway!

Welcome to December!! This month, I'm teaming up with a lovely group of bloggers to giveaway a gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff bag.  The giveaway runs from December 1 - 25th and is open to US residents only.  To enter, use the Rafflecopter below!

P.S. You can tweet and pin daily for extra entries!  Good luck!!

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give Thanks

I hope all of you have a very happy Thanksgiving that's filled with many plates of leftovers.  I'm taking off the next two days for the holiday.  See you on Monday!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY Christmas Ribbon Wreath

Yesssssss, I know that Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so a Christmas-y post might not make the most sense.  Over the weekend though, my friend and I had a craft day so of course I had to share.  We decided to make various types of wreaths and both showed up with a mountain of craft supplies, but all I ended up using were a couple rolls of ribbon and a wire wreath frame.  Of course, that's mostly because this ended up taking a whole movie to complete.  It was Home Alone though, so, worth it.

You need:
125-150 feet of wired ribbon (you can use regular ribbon, but wired looks a whole lot prettier)
1 24in wire wreath frame

Cut a piece of ribbon about 10 inches long.  Tie the ribbon around the outer two wires "bunny" style, so that there are two loops at the top.  Tuck the ends in.  Then tie another ribbon right next to it, but around the two middle wires.  Then tie another ribbon around the two inner wires.  Continue, alternating colors/patterns, until the whole wreath frame is covered.

What will I do with my wreath?  That is now up in the air, since I made the mistake of leaving it on a chair and Jeff sat on it.  How he didn't notice it was there, I'm not sure.  So now I guess I have some major re-fluffing to do!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trend Spin Linkup - Layers

Hey everyone!  Today I'm co-hosting the Trend-Spin Linkup with Walking in Memphis in High Heels and The Fashion Canvas.  This week's theme is layers, which I was super excited about because layering is baaaaasically my jam.  You can enter the linkup below.

I finally got a plaid shirt the a couple weeks ago, and now I want to wear it basically every day.  I know I say that with a lot of things, but I'm literally holding myself back with this one.  Don't tell my sister.  I always tease her for wearing a lot of plaid.

Shirt - Old Navy / Sweatshirt - JCrew (similar) / Jeans - Gap / Necklace - Loft (old, similar here and here) / Bracelet - Michael Kors / Booties - F21 (old, similar)

I'm starting to get really excited for Thanksgiving.  It's a pretty busy couple of days for me.  On Thanksgiving, we're heading to a Thanksgiving lunch and dinner with different parts of Jeff's family.  Then on Black Friday we meet up with my mom's family for our annual "Christmas Walk" which used to involve walking around downtown Chicago to window shop and lunch, but since all of the cousins hit drinking age it's mostly turned into hanging out at a brewery for an entire afternoon.  On Saturday we're going with my family and some friends up to Wisconsin to cut down Christmas trees and then having a little neighborhood party.  And then I'm going to spend allllll of Sunday laying ;) What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Be sure to enter the linkup below, and follow the hosts!

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Monday, November 25, 2013

This weekend...

This weekend I...

... Had a craft making/Christmas movie watching marathon with a friend.
... Went to see Hunger Games only once, as opposed to the two times my sister went.
... Went on Target and Michael's binges.
... Had a big family dinner at my grandma's house.
... Watched Aziz Ansari's latest special.
... Took the boy out to Nacional 27 for dinner to celebrate his new job.
... Went on a Gilmore Girls binge.  It's still good!
... Decided I needed a chocolate shake, but had to drink it with my hood up and the seat warmer turned on.  So cold, so worth it.
... Had some yummy shortrib waffles for breakfast.  Let's be honest, it barely counts as breakfast food.
... Did a whole bunch of freelancing work.

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Why I'm not hitting the mall on Black Friday

Next Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.  And I love to shop (not sure if I've made that obvious on here).  Yet I never go out on Black Friday.  For me, it just isn't worth it.  So why am I staying home?

Who wants to shop when it's so crowded?
Ummm, not me.  When I was in high school and was done for the day obscenely early (like, 1:30 I think?  Did I even go to school?) I would do all of my shopping early in the afternoon before the crowds took over.  I just prefer not to fight for a parking spot, not to stand in lines, and not to have to beg for the sales people's attention.  The busiest shopping day of the year just does not sound fun to me.

It takes away from family time.
Every year Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier.  Last year the mall in my hometown opened at 10pm, and I'm sure it'll be earlier this time.  Think about all of the people who have to go in and open the store before you rush in to shop.  I get sad every year when my family members who work in retail have to head into work while we're still stuffing our faces with pumpkin pie (or, in my case, sneakily searching for ice cream in the back of my grandma's freezer, - no pie for me, thanks!).  Every year that stores open earlier, it means the employees get to spend less of their Thanksgiving with their families.

Why hit the mall when I can shop online in my pajamas?
So last year I looked at ads and sale emails to see if I should change my tune about Black Friday.  And you know what?  A lot of the deals were the same, if not better, for online stores.  Now, I wasn't shopping for a new flatscreen or anything, for something like that you probably have to go to the store.  But for clothes and accessories and other little Christmas gifts, shopping online in my pajamas worked just fine.

So what about you?  Do you go out on Black Friday?  Or is it a shopping holiday you prefer to skip?

P.S. I'm being featured on Simple Easy Style today!

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Leather and Suede

This has quickly become my favorite transformative outfit.  I just add my favorite emerald cardigan and scarf (not pictured, whoops!) and it's completely casual.  I've worn this a couple of times lately and hoped that no one would notice ;)

Shirt - F21 (no longer available, similar here, here, here) / Jeans - Gap / Necklace - NY&Co (old, similar here) / Booties - Sole Society

Ahem.  It may have been a tinge too sunny on this particular day to wear white.  My bad.

Oh and hey, I bought the colored booties I was lusting after here, and they are definitely my new favorites.  I showed them to my sister, and she didn't say she completely hates them, so that's something (she mostly has a problem with booties in general).  Plus I had some store credits I won in a giveaway from Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins, so they were almost free! 

Have a great Thursday!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chicken, Sausage, and Peppers

I mentioned that Jeff cooked for me over the weekend, which was kind of a big deal.  He cooks sometimes, but usually it's something really simple or something on the grill.  So when he said he wanted to cook for me, I was pretty excited.  Plus, you know, he picked a recipe that called for wine, which gives a great excuse to drink some "chef juice" ;)

Chicken, Sausage, and Peppers (adapted from Food Network)

2 TB butter
3/4 lb spicy italian sausage, cut into chunks
3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
salt and pepper
1 TB flour
1 small onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, cut into chunks
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 jarred pickled cherry peppers, chopped, plus 2 TB liquid from the jar

Heat half of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage and brown.  Toss the chicken with the flour and salt and pepper and add to the pan, cooking until the chicken starts to brown but is not cooked through.

Add the onions, peppers, garlic, salt and pepper to the pan and cook for three minutes.  Add the wine, bring it to a boil and cook until slightly reduced, about one minute.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook until the chicken and sausage are cooked through, about five minutes.

Remove the chicken, sausage, and vegetables from the pan using a slotted spoon.  Turn the heat up to high and add the parsley, cherry peppers, and cherry pepper liquid.  Boil until reduced by one third, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the butter.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and sausage mixture.

You could eat this alone, but we chose to serve it over pasta with some parmesan cheese, because why not!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Win Big this NYE with Hpnotiq’s SparkleLouder Contest

This post is sponsored by Hpnotiq, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you started thinking about your NYE look yet?  I love New Year's because it gives me the chance to wear my fanciest dresses and accessories.  Chicagoans tend not to dress up that much for a regular night out, but for NYE everyone steps it up.

I saw this super cute LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's dress last month and decided it was worth breaking my shopping ban for - when you find a dress that works, you have to snap it up! Last year I wore a ton of sparkle (ahem, as shown by my blog header) but this New Year's Eve I plan on sparkling with my accessories, like a sparkly belt and jewelry.  

This year you can sparkle too with Hpnotiq's SparkleLouder contest.  Hpnotiq is challenging you to upload a pic to show how you plan to Sparkle Louder this New Year's Eve, whether it's a glam outfit, you and your girlfriends, or a selfie.  Then you can use Hpnotiq's "SparkleLouder" app to make your photo shine, like mine above.  I just uploaded my pic to the Hpnotiq SparkleLouder site, then used the easy tools to add some sparkle.

Each sparkly photo entry gives you more weekly chances to win one of 20 EFFY Diamond & Blue Topaz Rings Sweepstakes Prizes (four each week).  Not only can you win an EFFY ring, but the entry that Sparkles the Loudest will win the Grand Prize: A New Year’ s Eve trip for you and three girlfriends to New York City for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the ball drop in Times Square!  Wouldn't NYE in NYC be so fun?  To enter or for more details, visit Hpnotiq’s SparkleLouder contest runs from November 4 - December 8, 2013. When you share your SparkleLouder photos on social media, be sure to use the hashtag #SparkleLouder.

Dress - LC Lauren Conrad (another cute option from LC) / Belt - unknown (similar) / Bracelet - BaubleBar / Heels - Shoe Mint 

If you want to Sparkle Louder this NYE, you can add a little sparkle with accessories like I did, with some fancy sparkly makeup, or with some fun sparkling Hpnotic cocktails!

Right now I can still manage a dress without tights, but considering Chicago's weather, I'm thinking I'll probably have to wear tights and some cute booties instead.  If I won a trip to NYC for NYE though, I'd probably break out the sequined dress from last year.  I mean, hello, I would have to!  Have you decided what you're wearing for NYE?  How do you plan to sparkle this New Year's Eve?

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Monday, November 18, 2013

This weekend...

This weekend I...

... Became a mommy!! Of three tiny aquatic frogs.  They're super adorable.  So far, we have named all of them "Teej".
... Went to IKEA for the first time.  I know, right.  What have I been doing my whole life?
... Had a delicious homecooked meal made by my almost husband, complete with my first Christmas beer of the season.
... Took the boy on a trip to the outlet mall, "for him to buy clothes."
... Had to hide in our bathroom from the tornados. Luckily I brought my computer with.  Also, more luckily, a tornado did not go through Chicago.
... Attempted to go on a JCrew Factory binge, but sadly was not successful.  Or maybe not sadly.
... Tried making mashed cauliflower for the first time.  Aaaaaaand successfully tricked people into thinking it was potatoes!
... Made it up to Milwaukee to visit some of my friends.  There has certainly been a lot of Wisconsin in our lives recently.
... Had a yummy breakfast with my parents.
... Got a new iPhone 5!  It's my new baby.  Well, after the frog babies.
... Went to a Friendsgiving party, hello Thanksgiving number one of four!

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

DIY Tinsel Ornaments

I had a couple of holiday DIY projects I wanted to finish this year.  Since it usually gets crazier as the holidays get closer, I decided to start early this year.  Last winter at work, we made holiday ornaments (because sometimes we have craft time at work, you don't?) using clear bulbs.  I filled mine with tinsel and really liked the way it turned out.  So, using extreme foresight, when my mom took us to Target not once but two times the day after Christmas, I bought a couple packages of clear glass ornaments on clearance.  I added in some tinsel from Michael's and was good to go.

This was surprisingly time consuming to do, but all I did was take the tops off of the ornaments, stuff some tinsel inside, and put the tops back on.  

I really like the way the ornaments turned out, but I'm not sure about their current placement - right now they're in some gold wire bowls on top of our media center, but they're kind of hard to see - I took the above photo holding my camera over my head.  Plus it's bothering me a little that the two golds don't match.  I'm thinking that once we get our tree (we're cutting down our own this year!) I can put the ornaments on it, and fill the bowls with something a little more colorful.

I hope you have a great weekend!!  I have another really busy weekend coming up, but I'm hoping to squeeze in another project at some point.  Do you have any holiday DIYs planned?

P.S. I'm being featured on Simple Easy Style today, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pink and Gray

I've been super into fall colors lately, but last week I decided I needed a little pink back in my life.

Shirt - Old Navy (old) / Sweater - Gap (similar) / Leggings and Necklace - JCrew Factory / Boots - Bandolino / Bag - Pour La Victoire (old) / Bracelet and Watch - Michael Kors

Linking up:


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013


This Sunday I'm heading to our annual Friendsgiving party.  I'm weirdly not into Thanksgiving food (I really only like the turkey, potatoes, and gravy) so I have a hard time deciding what to bring every year.  Sometimes I on purpose bring weirdly untraditional things, but this year I'm thinking I'll try baking some rolls or biscuits from scratch.  Here are a couple of the recipes I'm considering:

Do you celebrate Friendsgiving?  What's your go-to dish?

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jeans and a Tee

Every season I seem to find a new favorite tee shirt.  Over the summer it was short sleeved and gray, now it's long sleeved and striped.  This tee is the first thing I pull out every time I do laundry, I just can't resist it.  Sadly, in a few months I'll probably have forgotten about it.  It will sit in my closet, wondering what it did wrong.  I'll have to tell it, "It's not you, it's me."  Such is the turning of the seasons.

Tee - JCrew Factory / Jacket - F21 (similar) / Jeans - Gap / Necklace - Loft (old, similar) / Bag - Michael Kors / Booties - Steve Madden (old, similar here)

Are you getting sick of this jacket yet?  Oh, that's too bad, because I plan on wearing it at least eighteen (hundred) more times.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Linking up:
Perfectly Coutured

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