Jan 31, 2017

Tasty Tuesdays at The Blended Blog

Good morning, friends!  I have something a little different happening in the blogging world today.  I'm sharing a favorite recipe!

I don't typically think of myself as a wonderful cook, but if I really reflect on the past couple of years, I'm proud of the tasty dishes that I've created in the kitchen.  Maybe I am a cook after all!

So please head over to The Blended Blog to find one of my favorites: a super easy, delicious and healthy recipe for the traditional French dish, cassoulet!  And while you're there, make sure to link-up one of your favorite dishes!

Jan 30, 2017

Jacket Weather?

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I was a little bit cold wearing this outfit on a snowy day in Michigan.  You would think that being a born-and-bred northerner would mean that I always make practical decisions regarding the weather, but no.  I'm actually the worst!

Nonetheless, I'm loving my new jacket from Shein!  When they presented me with the opportunity to choose and review another product, I immediately fell in love with this classic utility style jacket with a plaid twist (the inside lining and the hood are plaid)!  I get so much use out of my coral utility jacket during the spring and I think this one will be perfect for the fall.

As usual with Shein, I'm impressed with the quality of this garment.  While it's definitely not a winter coat, it is lined and the material feels really soft to the touch.  I'm wearing my typical size medium and it fits well with plenty of room to button-up!

I can't wait for the weather to warm-up a bit so I can add this jacket to my rotation!

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Jacket: Shein (exact)
Leggings: LuLaRoe
Converse: (exact)

Jan 27, 2017

Blogging Besties: Gold Accents

The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Maricel looked stunning in a TARDIS cobalt blue coat:

The prompts she gave me were "double breasted, simple silhouette or gold accents".

Eep! I own *nothing* double breasted, and simple silhouette is my M. O., so that seems too easy. Gold accents it is!

After writing the above, my whole family got sick, and I was just too busy to take pictures. Luckily, I have this photo, from 2015, that works perfectly!


 Here's a closeup of the leather collar of my top and some of the accessories:


Next week, Whitney can choose from: studded accessory, leather accent, or throwback look.
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

Jan 26, 2017

Create28 is Back

Hey, friends!  Do you remember the Create28 Challenges I used to do with one of my best blogging friends, Carrie?  Well, we are back at it and will be hosting a Create28 this February!

What is Create28, you ask?  It's a challenge to remix your closet and to discover new-to-you outfit combinations!  Each day we will give you a prompt around which you will create an ensemble.  Carrie and I will also be dressing for the prompts and will feature some inspiration looks on our blogs!

We hope that you will join the fun!  You will be able to link-up your looks each Monday of the month and can share your looks on Instagram with #create28winter17!

Are you in?  Fantastic!  You can find the daily prompts below so that you can start outfit planning!


Jan 25, 2017

New Year Styled: Rose Quartz Blouse + Link-Up

Hey there!  If you haven't stopped by in awhile, welcome to the New Year Styled Series with The Blended Blog!  Since I've been busy remixing my closet (and not shopping) lately, I'm taking old favorites and styling them in a new way for the new year!

Here are my previous posts:
Green Striped Dress
Utility Vest
Lace Peplum

For this week, I'm restyling a delicate blouse with Rose Quartz details.  Last year I kept it simple with skinny jeans and metallic flats.  This year I wanted to try a slightly dressed down version.  A pair of distressed jeans and a big, cozy cardigan did the trick!

Now let's see what you are styling for the new year!  Link-up with us below!

Jan 20, 2017

Blogging Besties :: Cobalt Blue

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catalogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile’s Style. Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week’s outfit to pass on in a brand new look. This “take one, pass it on” challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!
Last week, Alex brightened up the grey skies with her "Cherry on Top" ensemble.     And much as I adore a pop of color, you all should know that I'm thoroughly pleased that Alex's challenge for me didn't include red. This week is brought to you by: “floral print, cobalt blue, chain link jewelry, or suede shoes". And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: cobalt blue, of course.


 It's been forever and a day since I've done a TARDIS Tuesday, when it was my wont to celebrate anything bright blue and Doctor Who-related. So I'm entirely too giddy that Alex's prompt allows me to show off my fabulous cobalt coat. I'd purchased this beauty off someone from Poshmark but it hadn't been weather appropriate for quite a while since I'd acquired it during the summer. And then, to be quite honest, I promptly forgot I owned it and it probably would've moldered in my closet indefinitely, so thank you, Alex, for giving me the opportunity to remember its existence.


Because the coat sports such a bold color and its cut is potentially overwhelming for my very short frame, I decided to style it very simply. I streamlined the bottom with a monochromatic matching of pants and boots, lengthening my silhouette in the process. Underneath is a very thin layering tunic that doesn't detract from the coat but would've allowed me to take it off had the weather turned warmer. (It didn't.) A matching infinity scarf ties everything together. I toyed with the idea of using a black tunic and a black scarf to make the look even simpler, but I felt that would've made the outfit too matchy-matchy and somber so opted for the lighter colors. I think the choice was wise, don't you?

For Selah’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: double breasted, simple silhouette or gold accents. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Coat – Charles Grey London via Poshmark Layering tee – Who What Wear via Target Pants - eBay Boots – Merona via Target
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: It Had to Be You by Doris Day

Jan 18, 2017

New Year Styled: Lace Peplum + Link-Up

Happy Hump Day, y'all!  I've been having so much fun remixing some of my favorite pieces from 2016 for this season's New Year Styled series with the Blended Blog.  If you've missed my first couple of installments, I've already remixed a striped dress and a utility vest.

For today's post, I've decided to create a new outfit with this pretty lace peplum.  Last year I wore it to a holiday party and for date night.  This year I wanted to try something new and create a casual look.  I struggled a bit with this because, to me, the nature of the top lends itself to a more dressy occasion.

It doesn't get more casual than distressed jeans and sneakers, though!  So I knew by adding these elements I would definitely be creating a dressed-down look.  To change the effect of the top, I layered it over a striped shirt.  To be honest, I'm not actually sure how I feel about this layering.  What do you think?

What I'm Wearing:
Lace Peplum: LOFT (similar)
Striped Shirt: Banana Republic (similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)

And while you're here, please link-up your latest remix or a look featuring this year's trends below!

Jan 17, 2017

A Watch to Match My Cat

If you've followed me for any amount of time either here or on Instagram, you know how much I love my cat, Izzo!  As a single gal living in a one-bedroom apartment, Izzo is my family.  Not to mention he is a hilarious source of entertainment as his zips and zaps around the living room.  He's also a pretty decent cuddle buddy during these cold winter months.  Long story short, I own the moniker crazy cat lady proudly!

So, when Zaful gave me the opportunity to choose a few more pieces to review, I immediately zeroed-in on this cutesy cat watch!  Alas, one of the color options was not grey to match Izzo perfectly, but black was close enough!  It's such a fun piece to add pizzazz to a basic outfit or as a conversation starter!  And y'all, you won't believe the price.  I'm serious, go check it out!

Jan 16, 2017

Wrapped In Red

Happy Monday, lovelies!  Did you have a good weekend?  If you are feeling the Monday blues, I've got lots of red to brighten your day!

Speaking of red, I've been so drawn to this color over the last few months.  What's funny is I went about a decade without wearing red at all!  You see, my high school colors were red and white and, as a cheerleader (sideline and competitive), I found myself wearing a red uniform most days of the week.  So when I got to college I stopped wearing red completely...until a year or so ago when I decided I love it again!

What pairs perfectly with red?  A soft, grey wrap sweater!  I'm so fortunate to have worked with Zaful several times over the last few months and today is no exception.  They gifted me with this top in exchange for a review and you guys, it is so thick and soft!  Perfect for curling-up in on a cold winter day!

The sweater comes as "one size" but provides ample room to wrap-up in.  It also comes in several other cozy neutrals and, as usual with Zaful, is a steal!  My one debacle with this sweater is that I had a difficult time getting it to lay correctly.  The model wears it as an off-the-shoulder sweater but when I tried it that way, it didn't feel like me.  Worn like this, the v-neck has a tendency to dip quite low.  I think that, for me, this sweater will be repurposed as a post-yoga sweater to wear over my tank when I head for my favorite coffee shop.

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: c/o Zaful (exact)
Pants: Stitch Fix (similar)
Necklace: Rocks Box (similar)
Flats: Target (exact)

Jan 13, 2017

Blogging Besties: Bright Red

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style. Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look. This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week, Whitney looked positively radiant in her bright-red sweater and pretty broach. I choose to pass on the "bright red," partially because I love this cardigan and partially because one of my prompts for my Instagram style challenge this week was "Cherry On Top"--a natural fit!

I must apologize for the quality of these outfit photos--I meant to take outfit photos right after work while there was still daylight, but I was a little late getting out, so it was a little darker than preferred. As French-teacher Whitney might say--c'est la vie!

For next week, I challenge Maricel to pass on: floral print, cobalt blue, chain link jewelry, or suede shoes. 

Dress: thrifted via Clothes Mentor (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cardigan: H&M (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: thrifted via Clothes Mentor (similarsimilarsimilar)
Wedges: Payless (similarsimilarsimilar)
Watch: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)

Jan 11, 2017

New Year Styled: Utility Vest + Link-Up

Military vest?  Utility vest?  Cargo vest?  Regardless of what you call it, this was one of my first blog-inspired purchases.  When I first started reading style blogs, I will admit to buying many items because I wanted to be just like the bloggers who inspired me.  Most of those purchases have since been donated but this vest is here to stay!  It really has been a great layering and point of interest piece to add to outfits.  I'm still so happy that I purchased mine in this pretty purple color instead of the traditional olive green because it is very me.

I usually wear this vest with neutral combinations.  A great example of a typical outfit featuring the vest is this ensemble that I wore this exact week but last year!

For my New Year Styled challenge with The Blended Blog this week, I wanted to do something a little bit different than I've done before.  So I added color!  I started by finding a scarf that went well with the vest and built my outfit from there.  I'm so pleased with the results.  I think this is one of my favorite outfits I've created recently!

How are you styling your new year?  Are you enjoying the seasons latest trends or are you remixing what you've got?  I would love for you to link-up with us below!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: Target (similar)
Vest: Eddie Bauer (similar)
Scarf: American Eagle (similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Boots: Nordstrom (similar)

Jan 10, 2017

Fresh Florals with Zaful

During the holiday season I love wearing all of the reds, greens, plaids, sequins and cozy materials.  But when January arrives, even though it's still cold outside, I find myself wanting fresh neutrals, flowy fabrics and floral prints.  If you are feeling the same way, this dress from Zaful will be right up your alley!

I mentioned last week that I plan to be shop free for the next three months, meaning that I will not be purchasing any clothes, shoes or accessories.  I do, however, have a couple of pieces that I've received from companies to review.  I just want to be completely transparent with you!

As with the other Zaful products I've received, I'm super impressed with the quality for the price!  This dress is made from a nice, thick linen material and the print is beautiful!  I do however want to mention that the dress is awfully short.  It is a "one size fits all" type of deal so depending on your height, you might want to think of this as a tunic.  I am 5'4 for reference.  Other than length, I find the dress to fit well!

What styles do you find yourself reaching for now that we've moved past the holidays?

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Zaful (exact)
Tights: unknown (similar)
Boots: Belk (similar, similar)

Where I'm linking-up!

Jan 9, 2017

Nuggets for the New Year: Planner Love

Ever since I was in middle school, I've loved planners.  I started with the school-assigned versions and have progressed to and tried many other formats since.  Since I've used so many, I'm pretty picky about my planner lay-out and have my method of organization down to a science.

Over at The Blended Blog we are starting a new Monday series called Nuggets for the New Year, featuring tips on organizing all aspects of your life.  Our very first post of the series is all about planners so I knew I had to jump in on this one!  If you are hopping over here from Lisa's blog, welcome!

My current planner of choice is the Day Designer by Whitney English.  It comes for quite the hefty sum but for me, it's totally worth it!  For this post, I thought I would show you the features of the planner and a couple of the ways that I personalize mine.

By far, my favorite aspect of this planner is that there is one whole page for each week day.  The left hand column features a schedule by the hour and the whole right side is a to-do list.  The to-do list is ultimately the selling point for me.  I have pretty extensive lists every day and haven't found another planner that will accommodate them without running over into other space.  I also like that the planner gives me a spot for a "Top 3" to-do.  This helps me prioritize my massive list!  There are also spots to remind you of due dates, help you to track money spent, plan dinners and even express a daily gratitude!

One way that I organize this page a little further is by breaking the to-do list down into categories for "at school" and "at home."  This helps me to better focus my energies during different parts of my day.  For the most part, I write in my planner in pencil just in case something changes.  However, if I have something super important to remember (like my formal evaluation of the year), I'll write it in pen so it jumps out at me.

For each month, there is a calendar spread.  Here is where I keep track of my blog posts.  It is easy to glance at and know what's coming up, what I still need to photograph and what needs writing.  I like having my blog plan in my day-to-day planner because I always have it with me for when inspiration strikes!

Another really cool feature of this planner is a space to lay out your vision and goals for the year.  You start by globally stating your vision for five aspects of your life: yourself, everyone else, academics (I changed this to blogging), finances and career.  From there you list what needs to happen for you to achieve these visions.  After that, the planner guides you to make goals for 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and one year out.  And finally you change these goals into actionable steps.  I try to refer back to my actionable steps page once every few weeks to ensure that I'm on track to achieving my goals!

Like I said, I know that this planner is pricey but the peace of mind that comes with being organized is worth it to me!  I totally recommend this planner!

For more planner nuggets, head on over to Christy's blog where she'll tell you about her organization techniques!

Jan 6, 2017

Blogging Besties: Antique Accessory

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Blogging Besties is back after a brief holiday hiatus.  Did you miss us?  Because we missed you!  Before we took a breather, Selah looked cozy for the holidays.  She left me with the following prompts: feminine details, black and navy, or an antique accessory.

I chose to pass-on an antique accessory in my look.  You guys, this is my first time wearing a brooch and I think I love it!  It used to belong to my Great Grandma Winnie who was this amazing, adventurous, independent and intelligent woman.  Wearing something of hers reminds me to be a little bit like her every day.  It was also plain old fun to add a bit of bling to a basic, classic sweater.

Alright Alex, for next week here are your prompts: a brooch, bright red, tassels or suede shoes!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Brooch: Heirloom
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Flats: J.Crew Factory (exact)

Jan 4, 2017

New Year Styled: Striped Dress + Link-Up

After wrapping-up the year with our December Cozy Series, it's time for a new style theme for our Wednesday link-ups with The Blended Blog!  For the next two months we will be focusing on a New Year Styled.  You can interpret this prompt a couple of different ways.  One option is to style the new year's latest trends.  The other direction you can go is in styling your already-loved pieces in new and exciting ways!

I have just embarked on a Shop Free for Three Challenge with my friend, Carrie.  What does that mean?  I will not be shopping for clothing, shoes or accessories for the next three months!  This is going to be quite the challenge for me!  That being said, I'm interpreting our prompt the second way and I'm excited to get back to some good remixing!

For each week of this series, I will choose an outfit from this time last year.  I will then pick one item from that outfit and remix it to create a new ensemble!  Here is my first attempt!

You may recognize this outfit as being my favorite post from January of last year!  I absolutely love the dress that I featured.  I'm a sucker for anything striped and I love the pretty, green color.  Not to mention the ponté fabric is super comfortable!  For my remix, I wanted to do something a little more interesting than just adding a cardigan (my go-to way to wear this dress).  So I added a sweatshirt to create a skirt and top look!

Another change I made was going with navy as my neutral instead of black.  The stripes in this dress can really look like either depending on which neutral you choose!  Throw in a little bit of pattern mixing and voilà!

So what are you looking forward to doing this winter?  Remixing what you've got in your closet or jumping into the seasons latest trends?  Either way I hope you will join us by linking-up below and every single Wednesday for the next couple of months!

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Sweatshirt: LOFT (similar, similar)
Tights: Nordstrom (similar, similar)
Shoes: Amazon (exact)