Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday Finds

Happy (Black) Friday! Tonight we're hopping on a flight to Paris, but you'd better believe I'm doing a little online shopping before we go! Here's hoping my finds help your online Black Friday shopping - especially if you're looking for bows ;)

While we're gone, I have some pre-scheduled posts going live next week, so be sure to check back! Oh, and of course, follow along on Instagram (@kristinadoes) to see what I'm up to.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I hope your day is filled with lots of gravy, family time, stretchy clothing, and thankful thoughts. And that your tomorrow involves sleeping late and a leftover turkey sandwich ;)

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Travel Tips: What to Pack for a Long Flight

Since we're headed out of the country on Friday (ahhh!! did I mention at least 10,000 times that we're headed to Paris?!?!?) and just about everyone I know is getting ready to travel for Thanksgiving or will be traveling in December, it seemed fitting to share my carry-on essentials today. I actually meant to share this post after our trip to Southeast Asia but never quite got around to it, but you know, better late than never!

Having survived an (almost) seventeen hour flight to Hong Kong, I now consider myself a bit of a travel expert. So what's always in my carry-on?

The Best Travel Pillow
I've tried several different travel pillows before but didn't love any of them - this one is a total game changer! The sides are harder so you can lean to the sides if that's more comfortable for you, the back is flatter so it keeps your neck in better alignment instead of forcing it forward, and it has a clip in the front to secure it around yourself. Oh, and it's made of foam and rolls down to fit in a little travel bag, so your travel pillow isn't just bouncing around on the outside of your carry-on and (gasp!) potentially touching the floor.

A Cozy Cardigan and a Scarf
I'm probably more sensitive to temperature than the average human being, and it drives me crazy that planes tend to switch between cold and hot and cold and hot as you taxi, take off, and reach altitude. For me, layers are always key. I like to go for a cardigan because it's easier to take on and off than a pullover, as well as a scarf that can double as a blanket.

Colgate Wisps 
Using my toothbrush in the airplane bathroom always grosses me out, so I love pulling out these little mini toothbrushes on the plane whenever I feel the need to freshen up. They have a tiny bead of mouthwash that you use to brush your teeth, and then you can toss them afterwards.

Travel Organizer
I used this for the first time on my trip to San Francisco, and I'm never traveling without it again! Usually when I get on a plane I'm constantly rummaging around in my bag pulling out the different things I need, but now I can put them all into this organizer and just put that in the seatback pocket. It's big enough to fit my iPad mini, phone, a charging cable, headphones, your passport or ID, a credit card, chapstick, hand lotion, a hair tie, and whatever other little knicknacks get lost in your bag. Plus, you can add a monogram. It took me thirty years to get here, but monograms are my new favorite thing.

Card Holder
You likely don't need everything in your wallet when you're traveling, and you definitely don't need it on the plane! I like to pop my ID, insurance card, and one or two credit cards into a little card holder and call it a day instead. I actually picked up my current one in Florence, and use it almost every day instead of my regular wallet because it fits better into my small crossbody bags. My mom asked what I do with all of my rewards cards and store credit cards - I just ask stores to look up my account!

Portable Charger with Built-In Prongs
I got one of these as a promo item at work, and let me tell you, it's a travel game-changer. I have issues with a lot of portable chargers. They either won't stay plugged into your phone, or they barely hold any charge, or they have a separate cord and charger that they need to use to charge up. This one has built-in prongs that plug directly into the wall so you never have to worry about keeping track of another cord, can fully charge your phone three times before running out of batteries, and has a lightning cord built-in so you also don't have to find your phone charger.

Seriously, it's the best. I also recommend putting your phone on low battery mode as soon as you leave for the airport, even if it's already fully charged. I do this for every trip / when I know I'll be out all day, and it makes my battery last so much longer! I actually didn't even use my travel charger during my whole trip to San Francisco earlier this month despite being out all day and taking photos/videos.

iPad and a Paperback
I always load up my iPad with shows from Netflix (I just finished The Good Place - so good!) and games, but in case my eyes get tired of looking at the screen or I somehow run out of battery despite my precautions above, I like to bring a paperback book too. I just finished Little Fires Everywhere and loved it, it would be a great travel book because it's not too hard of a read, but the intertwining stories and complex themes give it more depth than your average vacation read.

Lip Balm and Moisturizer
I'm addicted to lotion and chapstick in my everyday life, so in the dry air of an airplane the problem gets 10x worse! These hand lotions are a splurge but are my favorite for traveling - the little tube fits anywhere! Oh, and I've talked and talked about these lip balms - I love the basic one for travel, but the rose color gives such a pretty hint of color for everyday.

Refillable Water Bottle
I don't know why, but the water on overseas flights tends to be gross. I actually thought it was so gross on our trip to Hong Kong that I made Jeff buy me five bottles of water at the airport for our flight home. Jeff, however, brought his refillable water bottle and didn't have to waste forty dollars on bottled water. Most airports have water bottle fillers these days, so you can easily fill up once you go through security. I love that this one has a straw top so you won't risk spilling all over yourself on the plane. Not that I've done that.

Extra Underwear and a Full Outfit 
Unless you're carrying on all of your luggage, there's always the risk that you could lose your bag. I always bring a full extra outfit plus a couple of pairs of underwear in my carry-on in case something happens, that way I'm ready to go once I reach my destination. If I'm traveling somewhere warm I also bring a swimsuit too, because shopping for a swimsuit is hard enough when you aren't extremely rushed and only shopping at weird beach boutiques!

When I travel internationally, I always love these travel adapters (lifesavers when traveling to multiple countries with different outlet types!), charcoal pills in case the food upsets my stomach (which has happened every time I've traveled out of the country), and this little digital camera that's way more convenient to carry around than my DSLR!

Do you have any travel tips? Let me know!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Little Plaid

Shirt - J. Crew Factory / Skirt - J. Crew / Cardigan (similar) - Old Navy / Flats (I also love this pair!) - Sam Edelman / Bag - Tory Burch / Watch - Wristology

If you're looking for a way to get festive for the holidays without going over the top (ahem, as I usually do), this is the way! A plaid shirt with a cardigan and a faux leather skirt is a little festive, a little dressy, and a little casual all at the same time. Perfect for those holiday parties where you aren't sure of the dress code! 

I actually go to a holiday party like that every year - it's at a casual bar and some people show up in jeans while others are in full suits and cocktail dresses. I like to opt for the in-between, and wear something festive and fun. 

I have a holiday dressing guide I'm working on for next week, but in the meantime, just look for a festive item or two to mix into your regular wardrobe - I love anything plaid or velvet! 

How do you dress for the holidays? 

Shirt - J. Crew Factory / Skirt - J. Crew / Cardigan (similar) - Old Navy / Flats (I also love this pair!) - Sam Edelman / Bag - Tory Burch / Watch - Wristology

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Monday, November 20, 2017

This Weekend...

...had a movie night at home with Jeff and rented Baby Driver - it was so good!! The stunt driving is incredible. Jeff thought I wouldn't like it because I'm not generally an action movie person, but really I'm just not into bad action movies (ahem, like his favorites, all of the Fast and Furious movies).
...ordered my first couple of Christmas gifts - how cute is this play toaster set I got for my niece?! She loves the ice cream scoop set I got for her birthday so I figured the toaster will be a hit too.
...went out for a brunch birthday party at Bar Pastorale with a bunch of our friends, and, as I predicted, ended up having a bit too much fun (thanks to the bottomless mimosas). Brunch turned into dive bars which turned into dinner and more drinks. And then I spent all day on Sunday on the couch ;)
...realized this sweater is my favorite - it's perfectly slouchy and oversized - and I want to wear it every day (as seen here) so I ordered it in white too - perfect to wear with all of my scarves and ponchos!

I hope you had a good one!

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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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