Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day of the Dead Bread (Pan de Muertos)

Day of the Dead or El Día de los Muertos, celebrated from Midnight on October 31 to November 2 is not about tricks and treats or getting really scared while watching the Conjuring. For Mexican people it is a time to celebrate and welcome loved ones who have passed. I was driving home from work the other day and heard a story about pan de muerto (bread of the dead). The journalist kept remarking about the fragrance of the bread and how it was meant to attract the dead. To me a tradition that celebrates the lives of passed loved ones with great food is my kind of holiday. So I took my chances at making it myself. I found the recipe here, and I think it turned out pretty well. My favorite detail is the skull and crossbones made out of dough on top. The sugary coating really makes it irresistible. Does anyone celebrate El Día de los Muertos?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cat Woman

Although I love my Mad Hatter costume and its accompanying hat that I shed blood and tears over, this would be a nice outfit to wear on Halloween if I were going to a fancy party. Hint, hint. I want to go to a fancy party. Someone please invite me to a fancy party so I have an excuse to buy this dress! When I came across it the other day, I was instantly obsessed with the print. It goes beyond the usual animal print and the result is quirky and fun without being something only an 11-year old would wear. Typical Anthropologie genius! I think the print could be used for just about anything, but in the form of this perfectly girly dress, it's the cat's pajamas.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wear to Work Costume: The Mad Hatter

I like the idea of wearing a Mad Hatter costume to work because it utilizes the clothes I would normally wear to work just completely mismatched. This costume in its simplest form is a pair of cropped patterned pants, ruffle button down, blazer, ankle booties, hat, and a tie. I feel like all of these things have been trends lately. If you are a trend-following nerd like me, than you should have these things in your closet already. The only thing you shouldn't have in your closet is this hat I fashioned from cardboard, a men's suit blazer found at the thrift store, lots of duct tape, and some ribbon. No, I actually don't have a lot of free time on my hands.

To make the hat I followed this great DIY post on diy inspired. It looks daunting, but in reality the more mistakes you make, the more askew the hat looks, which is kind of the point. Anyone else dressing up for work? Or did I just completely embarrass myself?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekend Wear: Striped Cardigan and Corduroy Pants

 Details: Marshalls cardigan, lace tank and pants / Pavement necklace / Old Navy boots

Reason #355 why I love fall: I get to wear these corduroy pants. They feel so sumptuous and warm, and the dark maroon is the perfect romantic statement for fall. The girly lace tank mixed with the tough suede boots, as well the stripes in unexpected colors make the look more interesting. I feel like this outfit is a great mix of playful and serious and can easily transition from visiting pumpkin patches during the day to drinking pumpkin beers at night. As if there was anything else to do? If we are brave enough we might try to watch the Conjuring this weekend and we will be picking out our annual giant pumpkins for carving. Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Decor

I spent the weekend putting the finishing touches on my Halloween/Fall decor. Here are a few of my favorites this year. What fall decor are you really liking this year?

I wanted to write a message on my pumpkin and looked all over the internet for a template, but wasn't finding anything I liked so I tried my best at free hand. It was actually surprisingly easy to do. I wrote the message with a pencil first. Then I traced over the pencil with a sharpie marker and filled in where I thought it looked appropriate.
 Trader Joe's pumpkin tree.

 A plastic skull I spray painted gold.

Pie pumpkin and mini white pumpkins from Market District.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Autumn Complements: Orange and Maroon

I've had this H&M dress for a couple of years now, and I never fail to get excited to wear it every fall. It's orange hue puts me right in the mood for pumpkin carving and watching "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" for the hundredth time. I love the complement of orange and maroon together for fall. The rich pairing just feels right, but surprisingly this is the first time I thought of wearing this dress with these tights. Kind of seems like a no-brainer now. I wore this to work so I could easily transition to a happy hour later that night. In the past I have worn this dress with my purple paisley scarf. Purple and orange are another great fall color combo. What colors are you excited to be wearing for fall?

H&M dress / Riley necklace / Franco Sarto boots / Charleston market earrings

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

3 Spooky Books to Read in October

If I had to trace my love of scary stories back to some event from my childhood it would be the sleepover parties that my sisters and I used to host. We always seemed to be equipped with a flash light and the latest edition of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I think that will always be my favorite source for scary stories. 

As October is here, my need for something spooky is renewed. Here are three books that rate high on my spooky radar:

Real stories are sometimes the scariest. Capote tells the story of an actual quadruple murder of a farm family in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. He traveled to Holcomb to interview investigators and local residents about the horrific details. I have never read it, but it is on my list if I ever build up the courage to read it. 

"Gone Girl," Gillian Flynn

In Gone Girl, Flynn takes you on a wild goose chase as Nick tries to find his wife Amy who disappeared on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary. I read this book at the beach two years ago, and I can honestly say that I did not know how it was going to end until I read the very last page. It kept me engaged the entire time, leaving little breadcrumbs here and there. You think you know what is going on, but you just have to keep reading to find out what will happen. Definitely a page turner!

"The Shining," Stephen King

In "The Shining," you follow Jack Torrence as he takes a job in Colorado as a caretaker at a hotel that closes every winter. He and his family are expecting a peaceful time isolated in the mountains, but they soon find out that their stay at the Overlook hotel will be anything but peaceful. Danny, the son, starts seeing things and Jack starts acting not so nice. If you've seen the move, you know what I mean.

What are you reading this October? 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Work Wear: Brights and Neutrals

I was looking for a simple outfit to wear to the airport yesterday morning on my way back from Chicago, so I decided to wear this gray turtleneck with my bright orange pants for a nice contrast of neutrals and brights for fall. I was at a loss for what shoes to wear. The gray sweater wasn't really pairing well with any of my brown shoes, but the oranges pants begged for something warmer. That's when I realized these fuchsia flats were the perfect complement to both colors. Sometimes the purchases that you think are impulsive and foolish are the most helpful in a bind. I bought these shoes on sale for $17 even though I had originally doubted their flexibility. Here I am rocking these flats with a pale blue skirt and white blouse. Have you been incorporating brights into your fall wardrobe this year?

Details: Macy's cashmere turtleneck / Loft pants / Gap flats / J.Crew outlet necklace / Michael Kors watch

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weekend Wear: Special Occasion

I bought this dress to wear to a wedding we had over the summer in New York City. I didn't have a chance to take pictures until just this past weekend when we went to the symphony to hear Carmina Burana. An awesome show if you ever get the chance to go.

When I was a looking for a dress for the wedding, I didn't want to spend a lot so I went to Avalon Exchange, a consignment store in Squirrel Hill. I found this no-name dress there for $15! Because the dress was so cheap I splurged a little on the earrings. I usually don't spend a lot on jewelry, but I knew these would be worn over and over again. The shoes were a different story. I typically like to spend a lot on shoes so I know my feet will be comfortable day in and day out. However, for weddings I like to wear cheap shoes. I am a pretty aggressive dancer at weddings and my shoes will be lucky if they last the night.

I was pretty happy with the outfit I ended up with for just about $60. It has already proven its staying power in my closet. Have you found any great special occasion dresses for a deal lately? Any special occasions coming up?

Details: Dress via Avalon / Payless shoes / Francesca's earrings / J.Crew outlet necklace / Coach wristlet/ Michael Kors watch

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Work Wear: Gingham and Bows

This outfit may not look like much at first glance, but its the little details that make it a polished work look. I love the coordination of the different shades of green. Sometimes just wearing like colors adds that bit of put-togetherness that you need to feel good at work. This sweet green gingham shirt is the perfect complement to my pink-hued bow pumps. I feel a little bit like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. The navy of this skirt combined with the pastels creates that perfect in between seasons color palette. You might think that incorporating layering into your wardrobe this fall is too expensive, but the skirt, sweater and shirt all cost under $15 each. What are you wearing to work to transition between summer and fall?

Details: Gap shirt and sweater / J.Crew skirt thrifted via Avalon / J.Crew necklace / Nine West pumps / Michael Kors watch

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Layering: Military Jacket and Bright Pants

My go to layering piece this fall has been my military jacket. It adds structure to simple outfits like this one that I wore to Trax Farms over the weekend for pumpkin shopping. It also helps me transition from those 75-degree sunny days to 60-degree chilly nights. I was happy to have my jacket when we visited with friends at an outdoor bar patio later that night. My other favorite feature about this jacket is that it pairs well with just about anything including bright pants like these that can help you keep things fresh well into fall. What's your go-to layering piece this fall?

Details: Old Navy Jacket / Gap pants / Zara top / Target scarf and flats / Charleston market earrings / Hunter Wellington boots / Michael Kors watch

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rubber Duck Project

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman designed this four-story-high rubber duck to "relieve mondial tensions as well as define them." According to the Rubber Duck Project page, it does not discriminate and has no political connotation. The larger than life duck has been on display in Amsterdam, Lommel (Belgium), Osaka, Sydney Harbour, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong. It made its U.S. debut here in Pittsburgh on Friday. The boy and I attended its arrival in true Pittsburgh fashion: by cramming ourselves through crowds of people on the closed Roberto Clemente bridge. Apparently it stopped traffic as it made its way down the river on Friday. Pablo Picasso said, "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." Just looking at the crowds of people on Friday night I believe the Rubber Duck Project accomplished that.

A Gorgeous Cable-Knit Sweater

Details: Banana Republic Sweater (Similar) / Gap Jeans / Nordstrom Boots / Ten Thousand Villages Necklace Well, it's officially ...