Tuesday, October 31, 2017

OTK Boots for Work

Sweater - J. Crew Factory / Jeans - Gap / Boots - Kaitlyn Pan / Coat (similar color, similar leather detailing) - Marc New York / Bag - Tory Burch / Necklace (similar) - BaubleBar / Watch - Wristology

In case you were curious, it turns out there is a subtle way to wear OTK boots - pair them with black jeans! As opposed to leather leggings, my black jeans blend with the texture of the boots, which definitely tones them down a bit. In case you were wondering whether or not you could wear OTK boots to work because they can come off a little too sexy, this is definitely the answer!

I actually wore this to work and then to a little date night - last week Jeff and I went to see Les Miserables! This has been the month of theater for us because now we've been twice, and I really don't remember the last time we went to see a show. A production is currently swinging through Chicago, and while I found some of the staging odd I thought all of the actors were phenominal - especially Eponine! I also decided that if I were able to play any character in the show on Broadway, I'd definitely pick Enjolras. Not only does he get some great songs, but he also gets to strut around the stage waving a flag and has an epic death. I'd just have to figure out how you're supposed to pronounce his name...

Before the show, we went to dinner at The Kitchen out on the river. There's such a pretty view from the dining room as the sun goes down! The Kitchen is actually a special restaurant for our family, although I can't think if there's a reason besides that my cousin met her husband when they both worked there. We actually had my grandma's 90th birthday party (two days before our wedding!) there too. The food is always spot on, and last week was no exception.

Before I go, I just wanted to share a little housekeeping - I'm currently completely buried at work thanks to our big annual conference coming up next week, so content might be sporadic for the next week. I say "might" with the hope that I will get some stuff scheduled, but I usually have all of my posts scheduled a week in advance and am currently scrambling to get this written before my self-imposed publishing deadline and have nothing in my drafts pile, so I'm anticipating a bit of a struggle. You can always catch me on Instagram to see what I'm up to - see you around!

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Monday, October 30, 2017

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...had a quiet night at home with Jeff, some loaded cauliflower soup (this recipe is so freaking good!!), and Why Him?, which I expected to be terrible but was actually really funny. I mean, still not a good movie per se, but it had me laughing hysterically at a couple of parts.
...realized I'm headed to a giant conference for work next week and I only own one pair of dress pants, and put in an order for these (boring but necessary) and some velvet pants - fingers crossed one of them works!
...went out for margaritas (ahem: many margaritas) and tacos at Tuco and Blondie. We went super early because we were headed to the Bulls game afterwards, and managed to get there before all of the families with little kids even came in. Jeff and I are the champions of early dinners. We met up with Jeff's brother and his girlfriend after dinner for the game, and while the Bulls were spectacularly bad, I strategically picked a seat next to his brother's girlfriend so that we could chat so I still had a good time - I can't say the same about the guys!
...drove up to the suburbs for dinner at my parents' house and to see my niece in her Halloween costume. She managed to nap through the entire trick or treating time in their town (whoops) but still got to go over to her grandma and grandpa's house for some treats. For a two year old that isn't allowed candy, that meant stickers, goldfish crackers, and a Paw Patrol cup and plate. As a person who is older than two years old I don't quite understand the Paw Patrol craze, but this little girl is obsessed. She sat on my lap and named all of the doggies on her plate over and over and over - so cute!

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Finds

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Unexpected Fall Colors

Dress (available in six colors!) - Lush / Blazer (super similar, I also love this one for under $100) - Ann Taylor / Booties - TOMs / Scarf (similar color or tassels) - BP / Bag - Tory Burch / Earrings - J. Crew / Watch - Wristology 

You know what's better than getting a present? 

No, I'm not going to be cheesy and say "giving a present" - obviously it's getting a present, forgetting that you got it, and then finding it six months later. It's like second present

Anyway, that's really a roundabout way of telling you that my sister bought me this scarf for my birthday last February, and I found it in a drawer a couple weeks ago. With the tags still on. Whoops. 

But really, maybe it was waiting in the back of my drawer all of that time so that I could pull it out and pair it with this dress. The pink (mauve?) and red (burgundy? oxblood?) are unexpected but also feel like they belong together. So you know, next time you're looking for a new color combo, try a little mauve and oxblood, and I promise you'll get a hundred compliments. Okay, I promise you'll get at least one compliment. Perhaps from a creepy stranger in your DMs, but hey, we're still counting it because a promise is a promise. 

I've now worn this combo on two different date nights (do you think Jeff noticed?) - one to the theater for Hamilton (!!!) and once out for some fancy drinks and then dinner. Did I mention that we went to see Hamilton (!!!) a couple of weeks ago? I feel like I didn't mention Hamilton (!!!) enough. But really, if you're thinking about going to see Hamilton (!!!), you definitely should. It was everything I hoped it could be. And I'm possibly turning into my mother, because I shed a tear during the curtain call. WHAT?! DURING THE CURTAIN CALL?!??! But yes, yes, it was that good. In case you're looking for tickets and don't want to shell out an arm and a leg, make sure to buy them the minute a new ticket block goes on sale. Of course, while you won't pay as much, you will have to wait for six months to go see the show while everyone around you sees it before you and tells you how amazing it is. Kristina life tips right there. 

Well anyway, I don't know how this post got so crazy. I can't even blame wine, because I actually did pour myself a glass before I started writing, but then forgot it in the kitchen. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go retrieve it now. Have a happy Thursday! 

Dress (available in six colors!) - Lush / Blazer (super similar, I also love this one for under $100) - Ann Taylor / Booties - TOMs / Scarf (similar color or tassels) - BP / Bag - Tory Burch / Earrings - J. Crew / Watch - Wristology 

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October Budget

Every month I post about my clothing budget. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some and a little to others, but feels just right for me. You can read my thoughts on my 2016 budget here.

These posts always sneak up on me, but look, it's time for another monthly budget post! I basically love everything I got this month, and so as to not double-gush, read on for everything I bought this month. 

Target Tie-Front Skirt - $24.99 - seen here. I bought this a few months ago and realized I forgot to include it - it's so fun for fall!
J. Crew Factory Plaid Flannel - originally $69.50, on sale $29.32. Who doesn't need another plaid shirt for fall? Apparently me. I may have a problem.
Old Navy Jeggings - originally $39.99, on sale + used rewards $12.57. You may have seen me share these on Insta Stories, and they're back in stock! They really are a jegging and have an elastic waist instead of a zipper (shhhh don't tell) but they really look like normal jeans. You know, as long as you can't see the waistband. And they're so comfortable.
BaubleBar Earrings - originally $38, used points $34. I wanted some statement earrings that would work for fall, and these definitely fit the bill! Plus they're somehow lighter than most of my other statement earrings - win!!
L.L.Bean Pullover - originally $59.95, on sale and used giftcard $37.96 - seen here. I love a good pullover this time of year, and this one is perfect because it's quilted AND it has a pouch pocket in the front like a hoodie - so cozy! I got an XL because I wanted it slightly oversized, but definitely could have gone with a large instead.
J. Crew Factory Plaid Blanket Scarf - originally $59.50, on sale $30.17 - seen here. What's not to love?
Old Navy Plaid Button-Down - originally $29.99, on sale + used rewards $9.42. I'm wearing this as I write this post, and it's so cozy - surprisingly good quality for the price!!
J. Crew Factory Sweater - originally $54.50, on sale $34.95. I already own this in navy, but I'm all about green this fall so I needed it in another color ;)
Nike Air Max Thea Sneaker - $115, used giftcard $0. I was in desperate need of some comfier shoe options in my closet, and these sneakers definitely fit the bill - I love the black leather! Definitely elevates it from a regular sneaker.
J. Crew Field Jacket - originally $148, on sale $103.60 - seen here. I don't know if I've gushed about this jacket enough yet, but it's basically everything I dreamed it would be. The perfect weight, the perfect size (I got a tall XL which is the perfect size in the shoulders and sleeves), it goes with everything, and somehow looks polished but still casual. I really wish I'd pulled the trigger on it a long time ago!
LOFT Vintage Tee - originally $24.50, on sale $14.70. Not much to say here because, well, it's a tee, but I did successfully confuse the salesperson when I returned the other ten things I got in this order, and the total return didn't match up to the price I'd paid. Sorry, just took a $14 tee out of there ;)
J. Crew Factory Plaid Flannel - originally $69.50, on sale $29.32. It turns out this is exactly the same shirt as the first plaid in this collage, just purchased a week apart. Really, I have a problem.

Total Spent: $361.00
Total Saved: $202.92

Yep, over budget. I knew it was coming. I mean, look at how much I freaking bought!! I've been buying more and returning more as of late, which is a habit I really need to stop because going to Nordstrom multiple times a week to make returns is starting to get annoying. There isn't really anything I need for next month, except for a new winter coat which I'm still on the hunt for! If any tall ladies have a lead on a really long, really warm coat to get me through a Chicago winter please let me know!

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to Stay Comfortable When Dressing Up

Top (similar) - Target / Pants (or a no pocket version) - J. Crew Factory / Booties (available in four colors!) - TOMs / Earrings (on sale for less than $15!) - J. Crew / Bag - Tory Burch / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - Stella & Dot

It feels a little weird posting a sleeveless top when it's currently in the 40's, but you never know, we might have another warm weekend before it really gets cold. A sweater tank and ponte pants is one of my favorite combos in the fall because it looks dressed up but really, it's so comfy. I literally took a nap in this over the weekend. If you haven't heard of ponte pants, they're basically really thick leggings that look more like dress pants. We had a pair of wide-legged ponte pants that got passed around between all of my friends in high school (I really can't actually remember whose they were!) that we wore whenever we had to dress up. A real-life Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ;) They were so much more comfortable than regular dress pants, and I've been on the hunt for a good replacement ever since.

Speaking of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, did I ever tell you that movie (well, the second one) was the catalyst for me dyeing my hair red? I mean, there were other factors, including being told by certain people that I already had red hair, but seeing Amber Tamblyn's beautiful red locks in the movie sent my sister and I to the drugstore to buy a box of dye. That first time I tried to match Amber/Tibby's color and went crazy Little Mermaid red, which looked terrible. Really, I look back at pictures from that semester in college and shudder. Since then I've always stuck with orangier shades. If you want to go more natural, an orange base (versus purple) is definitely the way to go - people always mistake my hair color for being natural! I definitely don't recommend this for everyone, but I actually dye my hair out of a box too. For years I've used L'Oreal Feria in copper shimmer. Please buy it too so that they never stop making it!

Not to be all over the place (edit, people, edit) but today is exciting because we're going to see Les Mis tonight! It's obviously not quite as fun as going to see Hamilton a couple weeks ago, but I'm still super excited - I remember loving the production when we went to see it in high school. One day more!

Top (similar) - Target / Pants (or a no pocket version) - J. Crew Factory / Booties (available in four colors!) - TOMs / Earrings (on sale for less than $15!) - J. Crew / Bag - Tory Burch / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - Stella & Dot

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Monday, October 23, 2017

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...met up with a friend's birthday dive bar crawl at Estelle's in Wicker Park, which it turns out has a freaking amazing happy hour - half off all drinks from 5-7pm, every day of the week. You're welcome.
...drove out to the mall, and, in what has become the new norm for me, didn't buy anything. I seriously don't have the attention span for shopping in stores anymore! But really I returned a ton of stuff, which is great because I was reviewing what I've bought this month for my budget post for October (coming on Wednesday!) and I'm definitely over. Whoops. I am super excited to get this holiday button-down in the mail though, so, worth it?
...went out for fancy cocktails at Band of Bohemia. Sometimes their cocktails can be a little too crazy for me, but their fall menu right now is top notch. I really could have stayed for two or three (or four or five ;) but we were headed to Spacca Napoli afterwards, and I'd heard the wait is crazy. Well, there were literally fifty people lined up outside, and we somehow were sat before all of them. Not sure if we accidentally snagged a different Kristina's table, or if everyone was in bigger groups / waiting for the patio. Or if Jeff slipped the host something when I wasn't looking ;) This restaurant had been really hyped up to us as the best authentic Italian pizza, and while we thought the special pizza with prosciutto was just okay, the salsiccia was amazing!! Oh, and I mean, the burrata appetizer was basically the size of my head. We'll definitely be going back!

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! What are you up to? Jeff and I are going to the first of the binge dinner reservations I made a couple of weeks ago (I think I sent him six reservations in a half-hour time period) and then hopefully heading to the pumpkin farm. Some extenuating circumstances kept us from going last weekend, including about 24 hours straight of thunderstorms. Fingers crossed we make it this time!

Here are my finds for the week. The first shirt is this season's version of my favorite holiday plaid shirt from last year - the ruffle detailing is so cute!! I may have already ordered one for myself ;) Last year this sold out fast so snag it now if you're interested.

one / two / three / four / five (on sale!)

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sometimes I think, "Left side cool, right side not so cool"

Bonus points if you can place this quote ;)

Jacket - J. Crew / Sweater (comes in six colors!) - J. Crew Factory / Leggings - Spanx / Boots - Kaitlyn Pan / Necklace (similar) - Madewell / Bag - Tory Burch / Earrings (similar) - Charming Charlie

I put this outfit on, and Jeff said, "You look... cool? Is that the right word? Cool?"

So you know, if "looking cool" is your endgame, just pair a pair of (faux) leather leggings and OTK boots together. It's not something I would typically consider for everyday, but the combination instantly elevates my normal sweater/jacket combo in a way that my skinny jeans never could. I just love the texture combo of the semi-shiny leggings with the matte suede boots.

In previous years I've tried coated jeans rather than leather leggings to get the leather look, and while I love coated jeans they just don't seem to be in stores anymore. Leather leggings it is! Coated jeans were nice because they were, in fact, jeans, so you didn't have to worry about wearing them with shorter tops, but leather leggings are awesome because they're so comfortable!

I snagged this pair during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale after hearing great things about them for years, and you guys, they do not disappoint. I was initially concerned because the brand is Spanx. As any girl knows who has worn shapewear, it isn't normally something I'd consider "comfortable" - I was worried these would be super compressing and tight. Definitely not true! They're amazingly stretchy and oh so comfortable. I did go up a size (to an XL) which may be contributing to their comfort level, but they still fit really well.

What have you been up to this week? We went to the Cubs game on Tuesday with a couple of friends, the game was a total bummer but it was still really fun to go. Or at least, I still had fun. I'm not sure the men in our group would agree ;) I spent most of the night partaking in the complimentary open bar and buffet in our section though, which may be contributing to my feelings ha ;) Jeff actually had tickets again last night which meant a night at home alone for me. When I'm at home by myself all the time it can get lonely, but I haven't been on my own in a long time so it was nice to have a quiet night to myself - I read, opened a nice bottle of wine, got some of my backlog of work done, and even managed a bubble bath! Not bad ;)

Jacket - J. Crew / Sweater (comes in six colors!) - J. Crew Factory / Leggings - Spanx / Boots - Kaitlyn Pan / Necklace (similar) - Madewell / Bag - Tory Burch / Earrings (similar) - Charming Charlie

Previously on KDTI - OTK Boots:


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