Wednesday, October 29, 2014

See You Next Week

Today I head out of town for a work trip (aka in my world a dance competition).  I had full intentions of getting a few posts together for when I was gone, but that did not happen.  Like not even close to a little bit.  So I will be back in full force next week.  Until then Happy Halloween, and eat as much of this while it's still acceptable!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Look For Less

We just had the most gorgeous weekend, and honestly it makes me a little afraid of what's to come.  But seriously I wore flip flops yesterday, flip flops in Chicago at the end of October, totally loving it!

Today is all about the fall look for less.  I wore this outfit out on Sunday when Martin and I headed to the last Vintage Faire of the season.  Though there were tons of goodies to look at, I only brought one small treasure home.  But with the weather, just being outside and walking around was a treat in and of itself.

Plaid Shirt| Old Navy
Vest| Old Navy
Jeans| NY & Co (Similar)
Boots| Xoxo, Famous Footwear (Same)

I am all about a good deal, and will pretty much never pay full price for anything.  There is always a coupon, or sale bound to happen.  Columbus Day weekend I scored the top and vest from Old Navy Online.  They we're having 25% off of everything, and plus since I am signed up for their emails I had received a coupon code for 40% off one item allowing me to get both items for just around $30.  

Signing up for emails is a great way to save at your favorite online retailers.  My advice, since your email will get bombarded with them, is to set up a separate, free email account (like gmail, or yahoo) that you will use just for this purpose.  Then your regular email isn't always swimming in a sea of ads, but you can easily find  them when you need them.  More often than not stores give their email subscribers extra perks, like a special coupon code, why not take advantage of it.

The jeggings are an old NY & Co purchase.  NY & Co, don't buy it unless it is at least 40% off, because if it isn't right now, it either will be soon, or you will soon have a coupon in your possession that's for something like $45 off of $100.

And then there are the boots.  See I didn't actually wear these boots with this outfit, these are just the boots I wanted to wear with this outfit.  I have been on the hunt for a pair of cognac boots with a slightly stacked heal to add to my wardrobe this fall.  I already have many pairs of boots, and was looking for something inexpensive to fit the bill.  I just happened to stop in Famous Footwear (which I don't too often) and found these boots that fit everything that I was looking for, including the price.  They were on sale for only $40!

They had this mark on the front of them, so I asked the sales associate if that was just normal wear and tear.  He said the leather scratches easily, and that he could buff it out, at which point I was confused because I checked the label and these were 100% synthetic boots, no leather here.  So I kinda said something like "Oh that works even it it's not real leather?"  He assured me it did and proceeded to use one of their products to "buff" this scratch out.  It made this huge dark spot of the front of the boot, and he then assured me once again it would dry, but if not I could return the boots.

We'll several days later and the spot looks the same as when he first applied whatever concoction it was.  Needless to say it didn't dry.  I was super disappointed until Martin helped me track down another pair at another location, now they just have to be swapped out, hopefully today!

What's your favorite way to score a look for less? 
*Anyone else remember that TV show?!?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Five Fall Edition

I am so glad that it is time yet again for another Friday.  I will be more glad when it is the end of this Friday, because I have a busy day ahead of me, finishing off a full and busy week, leading into a full and busy weekend, it's just how I roll lately!

I love that it feels like fall has officially settled in, there are still some of those surprise, warmer than anticipated days, but those are becoming fewer and far between.  With the fall weather settling in, I can't get enough of warm comfort food lately, especially soups.  It doesn't help that there is a Panera walking distance across the parking lot from my work and so anytime I need a quick bite to eat (most likely because I didn't have time to pack a lunch) I find myself running over there to pick up a bowl of soup.  I kick myself every time I end up spending $5 on a bowl of soup, but it just tastes so much better than anything store bought.

So this Friday I have gathered together 5 different homemade soup recipes to give a try to help fulfill my soup cravings, and carry me through this fall and winter.

1| Panera Autumn Squash Soup, I a super excited about this one because this has been my recent most favorite, have you tried Panera's Autumn Squash Soup yet?  If not, you have to, it is seriously so so good, I only hope this compares!

via Homemade Cravings

2| Paleo Chicken Tortilla-less Soup, I love chicken tortilla soup, you can't go wrong with it.  I love that you can throw in different things depending on what you feel like, avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, all of the above, you know.

via PCOS Boss

3| Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, you can never go wrong with a classic.  Tomato soup with a side of grilled cheese.

via Joyful Healthy Eats

4| Healthy Crock Pot Jalapeno, Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup, love that with this recipe you can throw everything in the crock pot and let it work it's magic, nothing is better than that!

via Krafted Koch

5| Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup, this sounds yummy and totally different than anything I've made before so I'm excited to give it a try.

via A Cedar Spoon

Do you have any favorite soups or stews for the colder months?  Please share, especially if they are easy to whip together!  Hopefully I'll get at least one of these whipped up this weekend.  I'm getting ready to do some traveling for work next week, but when I get back I'm ready to dive into the rest of these soups. 

I'm excited to go check out the last Vintage Faire of the season on Sunday, we went to check it out a few months ago and came home with a few small treasures.  I'm looking forward to this one because they will have their holiday decor out, if nothing else it will be some great browsing.  Happy weekend to all!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Printable Art Roundup

I love making quick and easy updates to my home.  Nothing is better then seeing that instant transformation, and what I like even more than quick and easy is free!

I have a gallery wall going up my stairs, you might have caught a glimmer of it during my Home Tour.  I love it, but it has looked the same for quite some time now.  When I first put it up I was good about changing out the pictures during the Holidays for something a little bit more festive, but I have been slacking as of late.

I love using the Ikea Virserum and Ribba frames.  They come in a variety of sizes, and are super inexpensive.  I have a pile of them sitting waiting to go up and replace some of the cheaper flimsier frames I used when I initially put my wall together.  Right now it's a big mix, a lot of them are the Ikea frames, but I didn't quite have enough when I got started so I went around gathering all unused frames in my house, gave them a coating of white spray paint, and up they went on this wall.

So as I update the frames, it's a good time to update some of what's inside of them.  Thank goodness for Pinterest and free printables.  Art can get to be expensive, and especially when you have so much of it.  Mix in there wanting to change it up every now and then.  I definitely don't want to break the bank just for a little variety.  Below I've gather together some great free printables, perfect for this project of updating my gallery wall.  If you are interested in adding any of them to your art collection just click on the link below the picture and it will take you to the original source where you can download the art.  Enjoy!

via The 36th Avenue

via The Ellie Blog
via Artsy Fartsy Mama

via Nest of Posies

via My Fabuless Life

via Daisy Cottage Designs

via Craftaholics Annonymous

via Shanty 2 Chic

via Over The big Moon

via The Blooming Homestead

via Little Bits of Everything Inc

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Neutrals

This fall I find myself gravitating towards neutrals and layers.  Typically I don't mind injecting a bit of color into my wardrobe, and it may have something to do with the more than dreary weather we've been having in the Midwest as of late.

Though I'm sticking to neutrals lately, I'm loving combining them, which is new for me.  I used to have a fear of mixing certain colors, but a neutral is a neutral, and so far so good.  At least I think it's looking good!  I can't believe the wear I'm getting out of my gray denim, love love love them, in case you haven't heard me say it before.  I am also loving my new black and blush bag I scored at DSW for 75% off.  I still haven't settled that I have found my fall bag, but for $38 I couldn't pass it up, plus at that price it leaves room to add another piece to the wardrobe.

My favorite part of the jacket it the detailing on the back.  I actually found it in the spring a few years back, but it has become a staple in my fall wardrobe, along with the booties that are oh so comfortable.  And even though they were a purchase for me last year, I spotted them just the other week at the Bloomingdale's Outlet Store.

Pants| Old Navy
Top| Express, old (similar)
Jacket| NY & Co, old (similar)
Boots| Carlos Santana, Bloomingdales Outlet (similar)
Purse| Ivanka Trump, DSW (same, different color)

Below is another neutral fall look that I put together for work.  This look took me further outside of my comfort zone combining navy, burgundy, and black, but I ended up loving it!

Pants| The Limited
Blazer| Halogen, Nordstrom Rack, old (similar|similar)
Top| Kenar, Marshalls, old (similar)
Shoes| Nine West, Ross, old (similar,similar)

What are your go to colors this fall?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Confessions

This week has been one of those killer weeks.  Every. single. day.  The same.  Waking up to dark, gray, and dreary weather, with the occasional rain mixed in.  It has been so dark every morning I have had to turn on the lights, and it's not even like I wake up that early! There is some partly cloudy on the forecast this weekend, so I'm hoping that means some sun will be peaking through, I am in desperate need of some!

This weather has been a major killer to my motivation this week.  Like, huge drain.  I hope I'm not the only one feeling this way!  Switching it up a little bit this Friday, here are a few recent confessions.

1| I confess. . . Even though I love what I do, while I'm doing it (most of the time) I often day dream of what it would be like to not have to work.  And when I say often I mean, lately all the time.

2|I confess. . . The other week I got hit on at the grocery store while picking out squash.  Seriously.  No joke.  The guy starting talking about how great squash season is.  And the best part, Martin was standing on the other side of the produce section watching it all go down.  And he thought it was funny.  Me, not so much.  I never know how to make a graceful exit from those awkward situations.

3| I confess. . . I get so jealous whenever another pregnancy announcement pops up on Facebook.  I wish I didn't.  Especially for those newlyweds that have just been married a few months, I can't help it.  Though I am happy for them, my first reaction is, seriously, already?! (You can read about our journey here, and here).

4| I confess. . . I'm a total bargain hunter.  I've been on the hunt for a new fall purse, and I scored big time as DSW yesterday.  I found a bag on clearance marked 70% off.  It had a few scuffs on it, so I asked if they could take any more off.  I have no shame.  The worst they can say is no.  I got another 5% off.

5| I confess. . . I loathe having to do my hair, especially on the weekends.  I don't know what it is, it doesn't bother me during the week.  But something about having to spend time drying and doing it on my days off, no thank you.  Thank goodness for dry shampoo and messy buns.  Last weekend I made it from Friday through Monday (I'm off on Mondays), I think my longest yet.

Here's to the weekend, and hopefully some sunshine!
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Healing Heels

If you know me, you know I'm willing to stand behind almost anything that I believe is for a good cause.  Big or small, personal to me or not.  I generally just believe in the good of people, and I believe we can never have enough of it.  In fact, I feel like rarely we do.

The other week an old acquaintance (she used to work for a different branch of our company) and her friend launched an amazing project, and I want to spread the word.

In short, two years ago Lauren was diagnosed with breast cancer, and kicked it's butt, all while sporting awesome blue spiky heels gifted to her by her best friend, and now they want to be able to help others do the same.  Check out her full story here.  Help Healing Heels get off to a running start, spread the word, share the love, or just simply give them a like on Facebook!

I can't even imagine facing a battle like that at the age of 26, not only did Lauren conquer it, but now she's on a mission to help inspire others to do the same.  It's amazing how much the mind can help, and something as small as sporting a kick ass pair of heels can empower and inspire someone to conquer something bigger then they ever imagined.

In honor of breast cancer awareness month here are a few other fun products that also go towards supporting a good cause.
Can you spread the word?

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fab Fit Fun VIP Fall Box

I have been loving my past FabFitFun VIP boxes, and was so excited for my Fall box to arrive.  It definitely did not disappoint.  I love that these boxes are stocked with full size products, and that they are such a good value.  The items in my fall box were worth over $200, but the best part is that my FabFitFun box only cost me $49.99. *Right now you can use promo code FALL5 to get $5 off your Fall Box

I love that I received the pink and gold Jessie Steele Apron, I have been so into those colors lately, and I plan to put it to good use.

I have been eying the Dermalogica products at Ulta lately, and was excited to find this Skin Hydrating Booster in my box.  I hadn't taken the plunge on any of the products yet, mostly because of the price.  I haven't put it to use yet, but it sounds like it will be perfect for our typically drying Midwestern winters.

We already know I like all things Honest Company, I haven't tried the Shea Butter Cleansing Bar yet, but anticipate that I will like it if it's anything like the rest of the Honest products that I have used and loved.  The Great Soles Pink Ribbon Ballet Barre Socks are cute, and hopefully the motivation I need to try out a barre class!

I love a good handwritten note, and I'm always stocking up on stationary.  I have way more than I could possibly ever use!  And now I can add to it this Thank You card set by Gramr Gratitude Co.  I love that it comes with sealing wax and a wax press.

This Beauty For Real True Color Lip Cream is in the perfect fall shade for me, "Always There".  It's the perfect cranberry color, and the case has a mirror on the side plus an LED light on the wand making it super easy to apply.

You can't go wrong with CHI 44 Iron Guard, it works great to protect your hair from the damaging effects of heat styling.  And I can easily toss the LaNatura Body Butter in my purse, it's small, and has a nice fruity scent.

My Fall Box also included a 3 month subscription to FitFusion, a digital platform that offers tons of premium fitness videos, as well as a sample of Mary's Gone Crackers which were yummy organic, vegan, and gluten free crackers (I totally thought they we're going to taste gross from how they looked, but not all all!) and a sample of Numi Organic Tea.

I love that the FabFitFun box introduces me to products and brands I would have probably never heard of, nor tried.  It also allows me to try pricier products, that I may not have spent the money on myself.  It's pretty cool that a lot of the products come with exclusive FabFitFun coupon codes for any orders you may want to place once trying out their product.  I can't wait to see what my winter box has in store!

Have you become a FabFitFun VIP yet?

Friday, October 10, 2014

High Five For Friday

Whenever I sit down to write my Friday post, my first thought it always thank goodness it's Friday.  It's amazing how the week can just fly by, yet feel entirely long and full in the same breath.  My day to day is so busy and so full that I so look forward to the weekend where things move at a more leisurely pace, more importantly my pace!

Here's a few moments I caught in my week that just appeared to fly by!

1|  Last weekend we had a training seminar for work.  It's always filled with a ton of great training and inspiration, but it's also a time for some recognition and awards.  I found out last weekend that I made it to the next and final round of a company wide competition, which is super exciting!

2|  Part of our weekends training was all about empowering and dis-empowering beliefs.  It's amazing what our minds can do, and when I ran across this earlier this week I thought it was a good reminder.  For how many times we all tell ourselves we should have, could have, or would have, we need to instead tell our selves, I did, I am, I can.

3|  So often I feel guilty or bad because I rarely remember to snap photos, or that it's been 2 weeks since I've posted something on instagram, but watching this video didn't make me feel so bad anymore.  It's crazy to think that we are really the last generation to know what it was like before everyone had a phone on them all the time.

4|  Can you believe this is true?!  It's scary and exciting all at the same time!

5|  I was able to reconnect with an old friend this week and am super excited to get to meet up with her this weekend.  I am terrible as staying in touch with people, it's something I always vow to be better at, but never seem to really accomplish.

Anything fun on your agenda this weekend?  Or is your agenda purely to not have an agenda?  Sometimes that's the best part.  I hope we have another fantastic fall weekend ahead, why is it that fall always seems like the shortest season ever?  So not fair!  Happy Friday!

  Linking up With
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Elegance Obsession: Navy

As the cooler weather sets in I find myself more and more drawn to the neutrals in my closet.  One of the neutrals I'm currently obsessed with is navy, I just can't seem to get enough (or have enough in my closet!).  I think it pairs so well with the other neutrals of fall, camel and burgundy.  At least what I consider to be the neutrals of fall, because you can pair them all with such a wide variety of colors, but especially each other.

Here are a few of my current navy favorite finds.

Sweatshirt | Dress | Vest | Earrings | Nail Polish
Planner | Scarf | Rain Boots | Jacket | Bag | Blazer

I wouldn't hesitate to add every single item into my closet, in fact I kinda wish I could right now!  I've had my eye on that Lily Pulitzer Planner for while now, and that Old Navy Jacket looks perfect for the fall, plus they are running 20% off right now online which doesn't hurt either!  My nails have been navy for the last week, which may have inspired my obsession!  Pair together a little navy and gold and to me you have the ultimate, classic, sophisticated look.

What color are you obsessing over this fall?

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