Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Everyday Outfits - Summer To Fall Transition

I transitioned this summer dress to fall by layering it with a dark blue chambray button-up and flats.  The dress is a tank dress that just wasn't warm enough to wear by itself.

I'm also doing a little pattern mixing...the chambray has tiny polka dots on it, and the dress is striped!  I wore the tan flats because they were neutral.  I wasn't too sure about the pattern mixing, but I really liked it and got several comments when I was out and about!  It was pretty subtle, so I think it worked.

I'm really enjoying  transitioning some summer pieces to fall outfits because this gives me more mileage out of my wardrobe.  I also could have worn this button-up under the tank dress for a completely different look.  It's also fun for me to see what I can find that works...more often than not, I surprise myself!  I recently posted this about transitioning pieces.

What are ways you find to transition pieces?  How do you layer?

Linking up with: The Pleated Poppy  /  Shopping My Closet 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nothing On The Calendar Day

Ever have a weekend day with nothing on your calendar?  It is very rare for my family, but Saturday was one of those days.  The weather was beautiful...sunny and upper 70's and we did nothing!  Nothing, as in, we didn't have to rush anywhere, no one had something we had to do or had to be at.  No schedules, no rushing around, no errands.  I would call it a perfect relaxing day.

It was one of those days where time sort of stood still and you'd look at the clock and it was earlier in the day than you thought.  When you go YES!  I have so much more of this wonderful "nothing" time!

We all sort of did our own thing, the girls didn't argue, and the pets slept.  I finally finished a book that I had started some time ago!

Looking ahead at my calendar, I realized we won't have another one of these "nothing" weekend days for quite some time.  I was so grateful for the downtime and the chance to recharge my batteries.

Do you ever have a day like this?  What is your favorite way to do "nothing"?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Many Ways To Wear Button-ups

Button-ups.  I love button-ups!  As you can see, I have several in my closet.  From basic white to chambray to striped, and even gingham.  The main reason I love button-ups is that they can be worn several different ways.  Worn alone, they can be belted, tied at the waist, or tucked in.  Belt it, tie it, tuck it!  Repeat...belt it, tie it, tuck it.  Clap!

Here, I've worn the button-up as a tunic and BELTed IT with skinny jeans and with a skirt.  This gives you a more dressed up look.

Here, I've TIEd IT at the waist with the same skinny jeans and same skirt.  This gives the outfit a more casual look.

And finally, I've TUCKED IT in to skinny jeans and in to a skirt for another dressy to casual look.

Yes, I wore the same items in each picture (just for ease of photography), but you can see that each way I wore the button-up, changed the look of the outfit. 

Button-ups can also be worn as a layer over summer dresses, camis, t-shirts, dresses...the list goes on.  They can also be worn under sleeveless dresses, denim jackets, crew neck and v-neck sweaters, cardigans, vests...again, the possibilities are endless.

What is your favorite way to wear button-ups?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Easy Cheeseburger Macaroni

One of my family's favorite meals is Cheeseburger Macaroni.  This is a one-pot meal and is very simple to make.  I love one-pot meals...it makes cleanup so much easier!  Love them!  This is a great week night meal...just add a side salad and you have a warm, hearty meal.

Cheeseburger Macaroni
Makes 4-6 servings

1 lb. lean ground beef (I use extra lean ground turkey)
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 jar (28oz.) pasta sauce, your choice
1 1/2 c. uncooked pasta (I used ziti here)
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (I used 3-cheese blend here)

Brown meat and onion over medium-high heat in large skillet; drain.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Add pasta sauce and 1 cup water; bring to boil.  Stir in uncooked pasta.  Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Stir in cheese.  Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Everyday Outfits - A Little Bit Country

Today was a day of appointments so I needed something comfy to run around town in.  It was a bit chilly (which I'm grateful for...I love wearing layers), so I chose this fall patterned tunic/dress, black leggings, a dark denim jacket and of course, my brown cowgirl boots.  The tunic/dress is made of rayon so I added the denim jacket for warmth.  It was the perfect comfy, chic outfit for the day.

Dress/Tunic: Moon Collection Live In California  /  Leggings: Walmart  /  
Denim Jacket: Arizona Jean Company (JCPenney)  /  Cowgirl Boots: Matisse (thrifted)
Belt:  Thrifted  /  Necklace:  Gift from my sister-in-law  

Linking up with:   Monday Mingle  /  Get Your Pretty On  /  The Pleated Poppy  / 
 DC In Style  /  Fashionable Employed  /  Pink Sole

Friday, September 19, 2014

Girls' Night Out (with my daughters)

There's one night a week that my husband works late, so my daughters and I decided to have GNO's (Girls' Night Out) on those nights.  We try to keep it inexpensive, but I know that having fun with them is what's most important.  We have our GNO every week, so I need to be creative and come up with something new each week (no pressure there!).  

Last week, we went to a convenience store to get a cappuccino to get things started.  Can you believe all the flavors they have these days?!   I had a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and my girls had Cookies & Creme and S'mores Hot Chocolate.  They are so horrible for you, but they sure taste yummy!  :)

Next, was back home for some hot games of UNO!  How can you not love this game?  Colors and numbers...pretty easy to follow along.  We played several games.  They like to laugh at me when there is a SKIP or a REVERSE card, because it just confuses me.  We had many laughs about this!

Who knew you could get so excited over the hand your dealt?!

Her poker face...

My hand.  Who shuffled these cards, anyway??!!

Then we watched our two favorite TV shows that night.  I love spending time with my girls and I'm so grateful that they love spending time with me!  We always have a fun time...lots of laughter!

Now I need to make plans for this week.  Any ideas for me??

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dry Your Own Herbs Tutorial

I am no expert here, but I like to grow my own herbs and dry them.  I like to grow organic seeds in organic soil and let nature take over from there.  I am no gardener either.  This year I grew oregano and rosemary, but for some reason my rosemary didn't grow.

Here is my lonely little oregano plant.  It loves the sun and all the rain we've been having.

I cut some of the oregano off near the soil level.   Then washed it off well and gently patted it dry with some paper towels.

I then hang it from twine to let it air dry.  There are many different ways to dry herbs, but this is what works for me.  It's the easy way.  I just hang a few bunches together in a twine knot.

I hang it from a curtain rod in the kitchen.  Yes, that curtain rod is hideous...it was here when we moved and I just haven't changed it.  Same with the blue walls.  I have twine hanging from both sides of the curtain rod, depending on how much I plan to dry at one time.

Depending on the humidity, the herb can dry in a few days to two weeks.  It will crumble when dry and then I take it out of the twine knots.  It will look like this.

The easiest way I have found to remove it from the stems is to hold the stem at the cut end in one hand, and slide your fingers down the stem with the other hand.  The herb should come off easily.  I put it in a bowl and crumble it with my fingers.

 I'm not real fancy, so I store it in a zip top baggie.  Label it and it's ready to use.

I have used this same method for rosemary and basil and it turns out every time!  I have herbs to use year round and they are so much more flavorful than store bought.  Trust me, this is easy to do!

You could always buy fresh herbs from the grocery store or farmer's market and dry them too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Everyday Outfits - The Blues

Today was a day for the blues.  Clothing color, that is!  Actually it was a great day and I just happened to be decked out in blue.  It was unseasonably chilly today and I was going to break out the boots, but for some reason I was drawn to wear sandals.  I absolutely love these sandals and they have been my go-to lately.  I am wearing a basic medium blue chambray shirt, dark skinny jeans, belt and sandals...along with my DIY statement necklace.

Shirt: Liz Claiborne (JCPenney)  /  Skinny Jeans: old  /  Sandals: Hot Kiss (Thrifted)  / 
Belt:  Thrifted  /  Necklace & Earrings: Made by me (tutorial here)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Ruffled T-shirt Tutorial

I recently showed you this ruffled shirt tutorial and this ruffled tank tutorial, but here is one more!  I think this one is my favorite because the ruffles are more full!

It all started out as a large plain t-shirt.  I tried it on and pinned where I wanted to take it in.  I also needed to cut some of the length off, so I marked that as well.

Cut off the bottom portion.  This will be used to make some of your ruffles.  Then stitch along your pin line on the sides and under the arm.  Trim off excess fabric.  Save this fabric to use for your ruffles.

Cut off the hem from the bottom, as you won't be using this part.  Just cut right along the stitching.

I took the bottom section and cut it in half lengthwise.  Now take the pieces of fabric from the sides and the bottom strips and sew end to end, right sides together to form one long strip of fabric.  Don't worry about the side strips that have the curve in them from under the arm, it will not show.  Trim your entire fabric strip so it is about the same width.

Now it's time to ruffle!  The easiest way to do this is to set your machine to the LONGEST stitch and the TIGHTEST tension, and it will ruffle itself as you sew.

Now your ruffles are done and you can place them on your shirt as desired.  I placed mine in a U-shape and repeated until I ran out of ruffle.  Pin in place when you like your design.

Sew on the same stitch line as your ruffle, removing pins as you go.  Be sure to go slow to stay on the line.  Repeat for each strip of ruffle and you're done!  I really like how it turned out!  It went from a boring t-shirt to a fun ruffled top!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Yummy Pumpkin Muffins

Hello and happy Friday!  It's very chilly here today, so I thought I'd share this recipe so you can make some of these this weekend.  Pumpkin muffins are one of my favorite things to bake in the fall.  They smell wonderful while they are baking and taste even better!  I made these the other night while watching this sunset.  These muffins are so easy to make and I usually double the recipe because they don't last long at my house.  I use half the amount of sugar and brown sugar than the recipe calls for, and my kids don't know the difference!

Pumpkin Muffins
Makes about 2 dozen (filled halfway)

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 can (15oz.) canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except pumpkin.  Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.  By hand, stir in pumpkin puree.  Scoop into well greased muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from pans and cool completely.  Store refrigerated.

These are great for breakfast or a snack!  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Everyday Outfits - Basic Casual Style

It got a little chilly today so I had to break out the long sleeves and jeans.  But I still had to keep the sandals...just painted my toenails!  This outfit is pretty basic, but I this is typically what I wear as a stay-at-home-mom.  I'm all about stylish comfort!

I'm ready for fall weather and the chance to "shop" my own closet again to see how many different ways I can wear things without buying new.  It's hard to style clothes in the summer because it's just too darn hot.  But with fall around the corner, and temperatures starting to drop, I'm getting excited about all the ideas I have....layers, scarves, heavier jewelry, flats and boots.

Shirt: Target  /  Jeans: Joe Fresh (JCPenney)  /  Sandals: Hot Kiss (Thrifted)  / 
Belt:  Thrifted  /  Necklace:  Gift from my sister-in-law 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

4 Ways To Transition A Summer Dress To Fall


If you have been following me for very long, you know that I am trying to wear what is already in my closet, by wearing items multiple ways.  Here I am wearing a simple knit summer dress, but because it is so basic, I am able to wear it several different ways to transition into fall.

1.  Here I've just added some heavier jewelry and ankle boots, which are huge this fall.  They are everywhere!

2.  Chambray button-ups are also very popular this fall and so I tied it at my waist and added leopard flats for a more casual look.

3.  When temperatures get a little cooler, I can add a denim jacket, scarf and ankle boots.

4.  Also, just add a cardigan, infinity scarf and mid-calf boots for another cooler weather look.

I'm sure when the cooler temperatures finally do come around, I'll find even more ways to transition this dress into fall.  It's all about adding a layer (button-up, denim jacket, vest, sweater), adding flats or boots, and a scarf or heavier jewelry.  Pretty easy to transition almost any summer outfit to fall.  What are your favorite ways to transition your summer dresses?

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Sunday Outing

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day, so after church we decided to go apple picking.  We drove to this apple orchard not too far from our home, only to find out that you can't pick your own apples.  Bummer.  They had a nice little store with several apple treats to choose from, bags of apples to buy, and pumpkins galore.  It was a darling stop on the side of the road.

After our apple snacks (small meal), my husband wanted to take us to another place about 15 minutes from the apple orchard for the girls to try cheese nuggets (fried cheese curds...something popular in Wisconsin).  This place is right along the river and truly beautiful.  Being next to any body of water is very relaxing to us (of course we prefer the ocean, but we don't live near one).

Boats can pull right up and dock by the restaurant.  They have a huge outdoor patio with tables and a bar and you can even come in your bathing suit and barefoot!  We came by car and had sneakers on.

I think she approved of the cheese nuggets!

It was such a great day to be outside!  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!  Today is Monday, so it's back to reality!  :)
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