Monday, October 22, 2018

my everyday style: fall wine tasting!

When you travel to Northern Michigan you can't help but sneak in some wine tasting... there are SO many wineries in Northern Michigan and each time we visit even more are popping up!  I love to go wine tasting, but I'll admit - I am NO die hard. I usually take a sip or two and pour out all the tastes. I mean, I am TERRIBLE at day drinking - I get so tired!  But I always still think it's fun to check out all the tasting rooms, the wines, the labels and talk with the staff in the tasting rooms about their wines and how they ended up in the wine business.  And let's be honest, there is usually snacks involved (sometimes free snacks) and I'm always up for a snack!

For a day of wine tasting I wanted an outfit that was pulled together but also SUPER comfortable for in and out of the car and wineries.  These black jeans are so incredibly soft and stretchy, I'm really finding them to be a favorite these days. Paired with a simple but beautiful cashmere sweater and a denim jacket it was the perfect outfit for the days activities.

Outfit Details:

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Anthropologie Sale MUST-HAVES!

It's Anthropologie's birthday and they are celebrating with 25% off their entire site - THIS WEEKEND ONLY!  Anthro rarely has such great sales... so you know it's a good time to stock up on some great fall sweaters, gorgeous new shoes, my personal favorite: the candles, and they are even starting to carry holiday items (um, the BEST time of year at Anthro!).  Here are my top picks form the sale! Happy shopping!

top row, from left: pom pom hatcircle baghigh rise jeansbucket bag
middle row, from left: block letter necklacebow heels in grey

Friday, October 19, 2018

a week of outfits... fall!

If  you follow me on Instagram you know that I usually (TRY!) to post my daily outfits there on Stories. It's just a quick look into my life behind the scenes of the outfits that don't usually make the blog... but today I thought I would round them up into a weeks worth of outfit ideas. Straight from my closet, to yours.  I hope you enjoy this new post format... is this something you would like to see more of in the future?

The perfect EASY combo for a Monday... I love the way black jeans and a denim jacket look together. Insert any favorite sweater you have!

Another pair I fall back a lot on in the fall and winter - a cozy flannel with a half tuck and jeans. It's so easy and most people already own some sort of this combo already.

This blazer look is nothing new - but it's always classic. A sweater blazer is a more casual alternative to a "regular" blazer - but both are great for looking and feeling pulled together.

When the week is taking it's toll, this pulled together athleisure look is perfect for getting through the busy-ness of the week. 

High waisted, straight leg jeans ("mom" jeans) are all the rage here and a fun trend to try on a Friday. I paired the jeans with loafers to keep the look from feeling too "trendy."

The weekend is here! Book a sitter and get out to dinner with friends and/or your husband. I love this wrap sweater for a fun date night look.

Make sure to kick back and relax a little today in the midst of all the sports and errands that round out the weekend in a cozy cardigan. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

what to pack: fall weekend away!

This past weekend my husband and I got away for a glorious anniversary trip to Northern Michigan.  I always LOVE a good weekend away and especially in the fall when the weeks are so busy and getting away feels like a true retreat.  We have a few more weekends on the road coming up soon for some family fun and I was inspired to pull together a super easy packing list for a weekend road trip this fall.  Fall weekends on the road usually mean lots of layers, unpredictable weather and having outfits for a little bit of everything from lounging, to dinners out, to shopping.  I like to pack versatile pieces I won't mind wearing and re-wearing all weekend and pieces that layer well. I absolutely want to be comfortable AND pulled together and I truly believe the best of both worlds is possible.

I absolutely LOVE all these pieces I pulled together here because they are versatile and casual while still being cute and stylish a the same time.  Layering is key for fall and I love the idea of a pair of black jeans, a plaid flannel and sneakers for a busy day in and out of the car and sightseeing.  You can add a coat or fleece pullover or even just a vest overtop depending on the weather.  Pairing a gorgeous fair isle sweater with button front jeans and wedges is season appropriate and perfect for dining out or shopping.  I always throw in a few extra possible layers like a cardigan a pom pom hat and a scarf to put on and off as needed. Whenever I travel I like to pack my most comfortable pajamas and a warm pair of cozy socks to make a night in a hotel feel as cozy as home. A classic hold all leather tote like this leather one is perfect for filling with water bottles, snacks or your shopping treasures.

Are you headed away on a fall weekend getaway soon? If so, happy travels!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

my everyday style: hump day survival guide!

I'm having one of those weeks where I can't decide if it's the longest week ever or the shortest week ever... you know that odd feeling? Coming off a weekend away with just my husband and I is always a little jarring - I forget how BUSY motherhood is, how there never seems to be a down moment. Even with teens/tweens in the house, it all just still seems so busy and frenzied - or even more so than with toddlers (which y'all know is nuts). You know when you were in your 20's and the weeks seemed like broken records of work all week, come home, order pizza, sleep all weekend and then do it all over again? I always felt so pent up during those years, so bored.  Um, can I have like two or three of those weeks now please!?!? Just normal, regular, heck - boring weeks. I would like to order at least one of those starting immediately.

This week's hump day survival kit includes plenty of Starbucks to keep me going.  An easy sweater to throw on with loafers to feel my best on the outside (even if the insides are a little crazy these days). And I'm hoping to do dinner at a restaurant tonight because I think I'm already done making dinner for the week. How does that sound as a survival technique!?!? I think it will work.

Let's chat quick about this sweater... I love a cableknit sweater for fall without fail. This one is the perfect cozy-but-not-bulky version. While I'm wearing it on it's own here... it's also perfect for layering, which isn't always the case with all sweaters.  And since layering season is knocking on our door these days - this sweater is the best of both worlds.

Outfit Details:
Sweater (I'm wearing a size 4 here)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

the Beautycounter Holiday collection is LIVE!

It's definitely starting to be the most wonderful time of the year... if you can even believe it! As a blogger I'm always thinking a few months ahead as far as content goes.... and I'm not the only one!  Retailers are already kicking into holiday mode - because omg, it's less than 6 weeks to Thanksgiving.  I absolutely love the holiday season, so I don't mind kicking off the fun a little early and today I'm excited to announce that Beautycounter just launched their holiday line.  I'm so excited to share it with you for a few reasons... these sets are a great way to try "minis" of the most beloved BC products, they are great for gift giving and finally because historically the BC holiday line has featured really GREAT PRICES on sets that only come around once a year! It's definitely something to get excited about if you already love Beautycounter... or if you are looking to try it for the first time.

Not in the holiday spirit yet?!? NO biggie... snag a few of these for yourself to try some "new to you" products at some great prices or snag them now (last year so many sets sold out!) and stash them away for gifts later! Either way you can't go wrong!

(above) An absolute customer FAVORITE this PEPPERMINT flavored lip gloss set is SO fun. Give it as one big gift or separate them into little stocking stuffers for multiple ladies. 

(above) If you are an avid traveler (or have one on your Christmas list) and are always in need of TSA approved minis, this set is for you! I just brought this on my vacation up North last weekend and it was so convenient to have my favorites on hand in mini sizes.  This is also a GREAT way to try our body products without the commitment of a full bottle!

(above) The BC Color Intense Lipstick sets are some of our most popular products... these two NEW colors for holiday are just gorgeous! Sunset which is a warm pink and is Boardwalk is a nude beige are perfect for day or evening wear. As with all our holiday lip products, they are mint flavored which is always a customer favorite!

(above) Okay all you eyeshadow fanatics! This is the palette to end all palettes! The Necessary Neutrals palette is 18 colors (!!!) all meant to coordinate (start at the top of one column and work your way down) or go mix and match crazy! This palette will get you through the holidays and beyond and would make an AMAZING gift for any makeup enthusiast!

(above) For the guys in your life... the Counterman set comes with a very handsome Dopp kit tote and four facial products. This set sold out wildly fast when it debuted last spring and it's the first time it's been back for sale since then. Who knew men wanted BC so badly!? But they do! Snag a kit or two for the guys and teens in your life. 

(above) The First Light Highlighter Palette is one of my favorites this year! It features 3 highlighters powders for the face or d├ęcolletage - perfect for everyday wear or holiday parties. I already own the Halo (cool light pink) and I am excited to try both the Golden (shimmering gold) and the Sunkissed (rose gold). 

(above) Transforming Duo Lip Set - okay this product is SO COOL. It looks like a pale pink lipstick and lipgloss set but it actually creates the "perfect pink" on your lips after you apply it - so it will look  different on everyone! Isn't that awesome? This is a great gift for the teens/tweens in your life - or let's be honest - for yourself! I've already tried it and LOVE it!

(above) The Instant Awakening Trio is one that I am MOST excited about - you have already heard me RAVE about the Overnight Peel (it's seriously the best product!) and now they have launched two products along side the Peel to compliment it.  There are NEW Eye Revive Cooling Masks (OMG) to help reduce puffiness and moisturize the eye area and a NEW Instant Glow Illuminating Cream for a dewy and fresh faced look. I absolutely can NOT wait to try these two new products... I will report back, but I'm sure they won't disappoint. 

(above) The Best of Beautycounter set is already flying off the shelves! This is definitely a top seller already. With FOUR of the favorite BC facial products, you can't go wrong with this set. The No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil, the insanely popular No. 3 Balancing Charcoal Mask, the Countermatch Moisturizer and the (pricey but worth it) Cleansing Balm are all packaged together in the perfect size for travel or "try before you buy" sizes.  These are bigger than "sample sizes" for sure, I would say they are about a 3-6 month size (instead of 6-12 month size of the originals). This set is a GREAT value! 

(above) This Shimmer & Shine Body Set is a fan favorite from last year that they have brought back again this year!  It contains our "famous" Body Butter, my personal favorite the Sugar Scrub and a product that is new to me... the Glow Shimmer Body Oil, which I can't wait to try!  This is an amazing gift for that hard to shop for gal on your list... or a great way to indulge your own skin as we head into winter!

(above) Glow & Go Mini Oils were another popular set from last season that they brought back, which makes me very excited. The BC Facial Oils were the first product I ever tried by BC and I loved them and still love them today. This set is an inexpensive way to find out which oil is best for you, I love them all but I am partial to No. 2. 

(above) Beautycounter lip glosses are the only lip gloss I wear, I just love them so much. The New Nudes Lip Gloss Trio is three FULL SIZE lip glosses in ultra flattering nude tones. They are perfect for everyday wear or layering over a lip stick of your choice. And of course they are peppermint flavored, which I just can't get enough of!

(above) If you love a more BOLD eye shadow palette for the holidays this Iconic Velvet Eye Shadow Palette is SUPER fun. I haven't played around with this one yet but I am already intrigued by "Ribbon," "Chiffon," and "Lace" together. You can also see all of these colors swatched on different skin tones online!

(above) Let's be honest, the Holiday Hand Cream Trio is just the EASIEST gift ever! It's perfect for gift exchanges, teacher gifts, hostess gifts or just for having on hand for last minute gifting. Plus it features three NEW scents that are very delicate and beautiful - no overwhelming fake smells... I promise! Lavender and Petal are my favorites! 

(above) Another set that is already selling like crazy is the Charcoal Essentials Set - with two good sized minis of our very popular charcoal products the soap and the mask.  Both are amazing for clarifying skin and battling breakouts! This is a great set to snag for yourself if you have never tried these amazing products or great for any teen or college aged gals and guys that struggle with breakouts. I have been using this mask for YEARS and I love it so much. 

You can shop the ENTIRE holiday line at Beautycounter here... and if you are looking to save on your products, consider becoming a Band of Beauty member for 15% in product credits or a Consultant for 25% off all products all the time! Feel free to reach out to me for more info on both programs!  


Monday, October 15, 2018

my everyday style: wrap it up for fall!

For so, so many years the trend has been scarves, scarves and more scarves! The bigger the better, usually! Since scarves are such a classic wardrobe piece, I don't ever see them going out of style but since the "wrap" trend is super hot right now... why not take a few of your favorite oversized scarves and turn them into wraps for fall like I did here.

This super affordable reversible plaid scarf is for sure a favorite... the neutral colors go with anything!  Since the weather has been cool, but not exactly downright cold, I've been experimenting with using scarves as wraps.  It's the perfect fall shoulder topper for a little extra warmth when needed and I love the look.  Paired with this funnel neck sweater (that I'm trying not to wear everyday, it's so good!) and over the knee boots this is a fall combo I will for sure be repeating.

Outfit Details:
Scarf - under $30!
Sweater - under $50! (I'm wearing an XS)
Over the Knee Boots (splurge or save)

Friday, October 12, 2018

healthy living: 4 Easy Pumpkin Meals for Fall!

It's October, which obviously means pumpkin everything.  Pumpkin, when not in the form of a spiced latte from Starbucks, is an incredibly nutrient dense food.  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with enjoying a latte here and there, but the pumpkin flavor they use certainly doesn't have any of the vitamin A, antioxidants, and fiber that whole or canned pumpkin does.  If you are looking to mix things up a bit, check out the ideas below!

(above) Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bars - Gluten Free!
If you are someone who tries to avoid gluten and dairy, these bars are a great substitution for classic pumpkin pie because they use coconut flour and don't contain evaporated or condensed milk.  They taste great as is or topped with whipped cream, or yogurt (dairy or non-dairy).   The recipe I used only required one bowl, which is always a plus!

To Make:  I used this recipe by Detoxinista for inspiration: Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bars.  I used a little less syrup and an extra egg and they still turned out well.   

(above) Pumpkin Chili 
I've heard people rave about pumpkin chili in the past, but this was the first time I've tried it and it didn't disappoint.  Chili is the perfect comforting and nutrient dense food for the fall.  It also freezes well and can be used as leftovers various ways (such as topping a baked potato or stuffing into baked bell peppers the next day).  

To Make: If you have a normal chili recipe that you usually use, all you have to do is mix in a can of pumpkin puree (or half if you are nervous about it at first) into the chili!  You can use as little or as much spice as you would like (such as chili powder, cumin, or garlic powder).  I've seen recipes that add pumpkin spice a well, but I didn't do that.  I used the following steps: 1) Browned the ground beef with onion and bell peppers 2) Mixed in 1 large can of diced tomatoes + 2 boxes (or cans) or beans 3) Added about 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder 4) Stirred in 1 can of pumpkin puree.  Enjoy by itself or with cornbread or crackers added in! 

(above) Pumpkin Pancakes
Add some fall flavor to your favorite pancakes by using a bit of pumpkin puree and spices!  You can use your favorite packaged pancake mix (I like these Paleo ones by Birch Benders but you can use whatever) or make them from scratch.  

To Make: Mix up pancake batter as usual and then stir in a couple of heaping spoons of pumpkin puree.  Sprinkle in some cinnamon and pumpkin spice and cook as usual.  Option to top with chopped apples for more fall flavor!

(above) Sweet Potato Pumpkin Leek Soup
When I tried out this recipe it was my first-time cooking with an actual pumpkin, rather than canned.  Warning: If you don't have a very sharp knife, do not attempt to cut a "pie" pumpkin or butternut squash that isn't softened. This soup turned out really flavorful and is extremely nutrient dense and full of prebiotic fiber (which is good for gut health).  I found myself sipping on this soup out of a coffee mug on busy days just to get extra nutrition in, but it would pair well with a nice salad or sandwich as well.  This recipe is quite simple, but it does take about 20 minutes to prep the vegetables.  This soup does freeze well.  

To Make:  I basically followed this recipe from Allrecipes: Sweet Potato Pumpkin Leek Soup.  Please note that to bake or cook, you don't use the type of pumpkins that you carve, you use the small "pie" or "sugar" pumpkins from the produce section.  

Kelsey Stricklen, MS RD CLT is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in women's health and food sensitivities. She runs a primarily virtual private nutrition practice out of Grand Rapids, Michigan called Nutrition in the Mitten. You can check out her services and website here.  Or find her on Instagram here.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Do you shop for clothes at amazon?

Do you shop for clothes at Amazon? I've ordered shoes or sports gear for the kids in a pinch from Amazon, but I had never shopped for clothes for myself there - until recently.  Somehow I came upon this sweatshirt, maybe in a "suggested" box or an ad, I'm not really sure. But it looked so cute and affordable and had good reviews so I snatched it up.  I did some research and this line is one of Amazon's private labels, they have over 70 private labels - many of which are clothing of all kinds.  Since then I've ordered a few more pieces (read: gone completely overboard) from this Amazon private label and I've loved every single piece. The prices are AMAZING (everything under about $40) and the quality and fit is great.  They are PERFECT pieces for lounging around the house or for mixing and matching in your wardrobe for that 'athleisure' style that is so popular lately.  Bottom line, these pieces are PERFECT for busy moms on the go! I chose pieces in mostly grey and black because that is what I prefer for around the house (or just in general!) but there are quite a few colors available too!

above: This is the sweatshirt that started it all! It super soft and stretchy and washes well.  I'm wearing a size small here!

above: This sweatshirt/hoodie is SO good. I love how the hoodie part makes almost like a mini turtleneck in the front. It's SO cozy layered under a jacket or a vest for fall. I'm wearing a size small and it's under $30!

above and below: This split hem tee is SO cozy and perfect with jeans or just for lounging around the house in leggings. I ordered it in grey and black (below). I like the black better, so I'm going to return the grey, but both are great! I'm wearing a size small and this one is only $26.

above: I ordered a few pairs of leggings. This Ponte pair was a little to big (so size down) but this is a nice thick pair that is perfect with tunics, flats, etc for a more dressed up look.  I am wearing a size small, but these are definitely a little big. Also they are only $20!

above: How cute is this gathered sleeve tee? It's super soft (which is a theme here!) and perfect again with jeans or leggings. You can easily dress this up with a fun necklace and flats or lounge around the house in it.  This top is UNDER $20, I'm wearing a size small and it's available in lots of colors!

above: This was the one piece that wasn't really a winner for me. It's not terrible but since this hoodie dress is sweatshirt material it just felt too heavy/bulky for me. I'm wearing a size small here and it's only $30!

above: I love this funnel neck tee. It's more fitted and works tucked in or untucked. It's a great piece for layering this fall and winter and since it's so stretchy and soft, it's the perfect comfy piece! I'm wearing a size small here, it's available in a few colors and only $16! (sixteen!)

above: These leggings are my OBSESSION. I'm definitely ordering these in multiples. They are the perfect lounge legging - you know that pair you want to slip off after work or every Saturday morning? That's this pair! Plus they are only $18!

above: This dress is a fun layering piece for fall... or if you live somewhere warmer a great everyday dress. It's soft, stretchy and oh so easy to throw on. I'm wearing a size small here, plus it's only $20! I mean!

above: If you are a fan of off the shoulder tops, this off the shoulder sweatshirt is fun for throwing over workout clothes or for around the house. I'm wearing a size small here and it fit perfectly. I bet you would never guess that it's super soft and stretchy too... I mean, they all are! I sound like a broken record, but it's so true!  

There are also a few other items I have my eye on like this wide neck tee, I've been waiting for this top to be restocked in black, these tank top sets would be perfect for winter layering (or sleeping!), this linen blend top looks gorgeous and I also want to snag a few of these easy to pack dresses for winter travel to warm locations!


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