Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Floral Patchwork Wrap Blouse

 Anthropologie Floral Patchwork Wrap Blouse / Articles of Society Jeans / Jack Rogers Sandals 

This top is so me. It's quirky, it's undecided, it's beautiful, it has many layers. And yet it works. It's like organized chaos. I'm all about it. Somehow every pattern and every color is boldly on display at the same time. There's a balance to the crazy that I'm obsessed with. It's outfits like these that make me feel like I get to wear what's on the inside: a patchwork of experiences that all somehow fit together to make this random but beautiful life. Also, I'm claiming this as my Mamma Mia shirt! It's the type of shirt you can stuff in a suitcase and wear anywhere yet look confidently cool and at home. What outfit defines you?





Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Turkey Stuffed Peppers


These Skinny Taste Sante Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers are packed with gooey cheese, ground turkey, corn, black beans, tomatoes, and a lot of flavor. You would hardly believe that one serving or half a pepper is 160 calories. Of course you'll want to eat more than just half a pepper! I make a few modifications to this recipe. I keep the stems on the peppers. It's easier to keep the meat in the peppers that way. And I usually use 1 pound of turkey and 5 to 6 peppers because these go fast at my house and the leftovers are great!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Striped Shirt and Print Shorts

Target Shorts (Similar) / Beach Lunch Lounge Top (Similar) / Jack Rogers Sandals / J.Crew Necklace 

These soft shorts are the epitome of summer. They're comfy yet stylish, casual yet dressy. All the things you need in a summer outfit. I'm rocking these for the last few long summer days we have before fall knocks on our doors. I've worn them with sneakers for long walks around the neighborhood after dinner and lunch dates with friends over the weekend. They're so versatile, and I love the pattern mixing that happens when I wear them with this casual cool shirt. How are you soaking up the last few weeks of summer?




Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lunch Pantry Staples

With back to school time upon us, I can't help but feel the need to get stocked up and organized despite the fact that I am well past that phase of my life. Feeling like you have everything you need to tackle your work week is just as satisfying. Since I started working full time 11 years ago, I have always packed my lunch. It's often times cheaper and healthier than many of the cafeteria and takeout options available. It's sometimes hard to stick with it, especially when I'm traveling on the weekend, but having a few pantry staples on hand helps me transition from my jam packed weekends to the work week.

Canned Chickpeas or Black Beans
These are great for punching up a salad or veggie bowl. I often use black beans to make a taco salad with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese. I add chickpeas to roasted sweet potatoes and kale for a filling veggie bowl.

Canned Tuna or Salmon
Canned tuna is great for whipping up a quick tuna salad sandwich, but it can also be used to make salad with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a lemon and olive oil dressing. Canned salmon is a nice alternative that can be added to salad or paired with veggies and rice.

Quinoa 
Leftover quinoa can easily be paired with veggies, herbs, and spices for a yummy veggie bowl.

Nuts and Dried Fruit 
I often use nuts and dried fruit to make a fall inspired salad with apples, goat cheese, spinach, and a balsamic vinaigrette.


Veggie Pasta
I add this Trader Joe's veggie pasta to leftovers such as chicken or sausage and veggies to make a quick pasta dish. I either add marinara sauce or a light dressing to make it more like a pasta salad. You could even use the canned tuna or salmon instead of leftovers.

Salad Dressing 

If you are going to really commit to packing your lunch, it's essential that you bring condiments and salad dressing fixings into work. My go-to salad dressing is balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Instead of trying to pack this in my lunch box and making a mess, I keep these bottles at my desk.

Snacks
One of the ways I supplement my lunch to feel full all day is snacking throughout the day.  Here are just a few of the snacks I try to have hand:

  • Hard boiled eggs (also good in salads) 
  • Bars (These Peanuts Go on a Date Bars from Trader Joe's)
  • Pretzels (can be paired with dips or cheeses)
  • Market Panty fruit and nut mix from Target 
  • Granola (a good topping for Greek yogurt and fruit)
  • Edamame 
  • Multigrain crackers (also can be paired with dips and cheeses)
  • Teriyaki turkey jerky (from Trader Joe's)
  •  Peanut butter (a good dipper for apple or carrot slices; I like the Better'n Peanut Butter brand) 
  • Belvita biscuits (breakfast biscuits that keep you full for four hours)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

J.Crew Factory Dressing Room Notes


I have to try on clothes to see how they fit or know if I really like them. My size is different depending on the store and the item or style of clothing. It makes shopping online, especially time-sensitive sales, a little tricky. So I thought it might be helpful to share some dressing room notes and photos for stores I frequent to help you get ready for your fall stock up. First up is J.Crew Factory. 

In the first photo I am wearing their oxford button down and skinny jeans. Although it looks a little wrinkled, the shirt has a nice weight to it, making it feel a little more high quality than some of their other shirts. It comes in this classic blue, which goes with just about everything. I'm wearing a small. 

The skinny pants have a nice fit, but the fabric does not have much give, especially in the high waist, where I found them a little tight. I couldn't find the next size up, a 28, so I'm curious to see how those fit. I especially love the rust red color of these for fall.


I was also impressed with the quality of this quilted puffer vest. It's not incredibly thick, but it does have some plush to it and the material is nice and soft. The zipper moves easily. It could be a little longer, but overall I was pretty happy with this. I'm wearing a small in navy blue.


I tried on this dress because it looked so interesting on the hanger. It has this flared skirt and floral print that seems to be really "in" for fall. I was happy with the fit and quality. I'm wearing a size 4.


Lastly, I tried on this skirt. It's lined, has pockets, and the material seems durable, which is a must for any work pieces. I'm wearing a size 4 in black. I would probably go down to a size 2, since the 4 looks a little boxy and the waist is elastic.

So what do you think? Do you like seeing dressing room notes and photos? What do you like at J.Crew Factory for fall?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Shaker Woods Festival

This weekend and next, a forest in Columbiana, OH, will turn into a crafter's/maker's paradise with more than 200 craftspeople selling their wares during the Shaker Woods Festival. I had the chance to check it out last weekend, and I was really impressed! There were countless sellers of quality handmade goods, including holiday decorations, primitive dolls, wreaths, quilts, apparel, furniture, signs, home and garden decor, soaps, toys, art, and candles. I scooped up this fabric pumpkin, wooden tray, and beeswax candle. It's definitely an interesting experience to walk through a craft fair in the woods, made even more intriguing by the crafters who are dressed as shakers.

They have live music and food vendors, so it's a fun activity for families. Wear comfortable shoes! Admission is $8. Shaker Woods is located 1 hour from Pittsburgh and 1.5 hours from Cleveland. The address is 44337 County Line Road, Columbiana, OH.

Besides my purchases, I shared a few photos of other vendors I liked and felt inspired by.










Wednesday, August 8, 2018

White Flower Earrings


Details: Baublebar Earrings / Thrifted J.Crew Top (Similar) / Articles of Society Jeans / Jack Rogers Sandals

These white flower earrings are my favorite new piece of jewelry. I've been wearing them all summer with everything from casual outfits like this one to party dresses. They add such an interesting element to any outfit whether my hair is up or down. I especially love them with this white and red striped J.Crew top I found at Goodwill. What kind jewelry have you been gravitating toward lately?

P.S. My jeans are currently 40% off at Nordstrom.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Striped Summer Espadrilles

Details: Soludos Striped Espadrille / Banana Republic Shirt Dress (On Poshmark, Similar Option)

I love these sandals! As soon as I saw them I knew I needed to have them. The stripe is perfect for summer. It can be paired with everything from crazy patterns and bright colors to this crisp, clean shirt dress. And the little bow ties had me at hello. Soludos has come out with a lot of really nice espadrilles for summer. Some are embroidered with cute phrases and others feature quirky designs like avocados or flamingos. A few Soludos Sandals are on sale as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. And as someone who is new to this brand, I can confidently report that they are very comfy! Have you bought any cute sandals this summer?





A Great Low-Key Sweater for the Holidays

Details: ASTR the Label Sweater / Target Jeans / Sam Edelman Flats (Similar) / J.Crew Factory Necklace    (Unfortunately, this origin...