Tag Archives: fall

winter/holiday style me challenge: week one

The Winter/Holiday Style Me Challenge started this week and I’m excited to be joined by several ladies I know. My mom, my MIL, my BIL’s girlfriend and her mom are all joining in. It’s fun to see people you know in real life on the Facebook page every morning.

I bought a few things for the Winter/Holiday challenge. I needed a few more maternity tops as my regular tops that had worked for the first and second trimester are a little indecent now. I also needed another pair of winter shoes after wearing ballet flats in the rain one too many times this fall. Again I set a budget of $300 and am currently $5.48 over it. However, I have several pieces in transit to be returned. I’m not sure how much I’ll get back in rewards cards and how much in cash, but I estimate being under budget when it’s all said and done. All other items are linked to in my Fall capsule post.

(I have no picture of the new additions because I’m exhausted. The third trimester is kicking my butt and the thought of getting out all the clothes to take a photo of them and put them all back is more than I can handle right now. I really get why everyone talks aboutthe golden days of the second trimester now!)

Tops: Print SweaterBlack Poncho (maternity), Tan Wrap, Dressy Shirt (maternity; no longer available)
Holiday Wear: Teal Dress, Black Pants, Clutch, Statement Necklace
Accessories: Wedge Booties, Blanket Scarf, Faux Fur Scarf – cream + gray (old), Boot Socks, Leggings (maternity; probably will get more use post-baby, but this was my last shopping trip until the spring challenge so I wanted to include some postpartum loungewear)

The number one thing I love about the Winter/Holiday challenge is that Alison has published a full week of outfits. On Sunday I was able to organize my outfits for the entire week, one less thing to do every night.  I know she is offering this because of holiday travel, but I’m hoping that she continues to make it a feature of future challenges.


scarf / boutique; sweater / gap maternity; jeans / old navy maternity; boots / dsw; earrings + necklace / stella and dot

A cozy outfit for day one. I forgot about this gray faux fur infinity scarf that I purchased a few years ago at a local boutique owned by a friend of a friend. It worked better with my neutral sweater than the cream colored one I purchased for the challenge. Knowing I’d be too warm to wear the scarf all day (it’s really heavy), I added a necklace. And for good measure, I changed out my daily studs for a little sparkle.


tunic, leggings, boots, scarf / nordstom; socks / loft; vest / destination maternity

After not finding a maternity tunic I loved enough to invest in, I pulled an old tunic from the closet and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was just long enough for the bump and to be decent with leggings. Probably will only get another week or two out of it, but will be great postpartum. I wore boot socks for the first time today and loved them! Wish I had jumped on this trend a long time ago. My boots are pretty high so they didn’t show a ton, but a little of the chevron pattern peaked out. With the exception of the socks, I owned everything in this outfit prior to the challenge but likely never would have put it together. It is totally possible to shop your closet.

As I do every challenge, I’m joining up with several of the other ladies to share out outfits on Wednesdays. It’s one of my favorite parts of the challenge. If you’re blogging about your outfits and want to share, link up on Alison or Carrie’s blogs – or both!

fall style me challenge: week four

And just like that, we’re at the Fall Style Me Challenge final outfit post. I’m a little sad that this will be my last outfit post for a while. I’ve decided not to do the Build Your Basics challenge. Not because it’s for over 40, I think basics are great at any age. But the reality is, six months pregnant is not the time to buy a wardrobe of basics. This is the first challenge my mom has signed up for and I wanted to do it with her but it just doesn’t make sense. Regular registration is open through the 6th if you are interested in joining. I’ll be back for the Winter/Holiday Challenge to spruce up my maternity wardrobe. Most of my pre-maternity clothes are not going to fit in another week or two and it will be a good time to pick up a few more items to make it through the third trimester. Today I’m sharing days 17 through 21. I don’t lose steam on the challenge at any point during the three weeks, but I definitely lose steam on taking photos.


scarves, leggings, necklace, boots and booties / nordstrom; jeans and cardigan / old navy maternity; white long sleeve tee / gap maternity; gray long sleeve tee / borrowed (maternity); pink vest / old navy

I’m hoping that because I’ve clearly developed a uniform (I do have twelve years of Catholic schooling, it comes naturally), once I am deep in mommy mode I will manage to still get dressed and not rely on yoga pants. It is so easy to throw on pants, boots, a few layers, and a scarf. Especially when all your clothes coordinate and a pop of color is all you need to take an outfit to the next level.


boots, scarf, tunic / nordstrom; belt / target; jeans / old navy maternity

I participated on day 19, but I can’t find a picture. It was a basic Friday outfit of jeans, gray pullover sweater with a navy checked shirt, and leopard flats. Another ‘fancy sweatshirt’ day. These days were good as they made me dig into my closet and look for alternatives. This sweater was a tunic pre-belly. I don’t wear it much because it never comes out of the wash looking very good and I hate spending money on dry cleaning. I can’t get enough leopard + gray with a splash of turquoise.


sweater / gap; dress and tights / old navy maternity; scarf and boots / nordstrom; necklace / stella and dot

And day 21. I love this outfit. It’s perfect for date night or the office. It was nice to wear something a little fancier than jeans to work for the first time in weeks. I’m glad I went with my scarf and necklace look as it was too hot in a few conference rooms for the leopard. I had a blast with the Fall challenge. Again, the Facebook page was a source of outfit inspiration and a positive gathering of women all encouraging each other. Fashion can seem silly and frivolous, but the good vibes that every lady who participates puts out is about so much more than clothes and trends. I’m always thankful to be involved in this group. This challenge was extra fun as my brother-in-law’s girlfriend, Kelly, participated. She has an edgier style than me and had different weather for most of the challenge as we live on opposite coasts. She also does not have a bowling ball popping out of her midline. It was fun every morning to see how we took the same inspiration email and interpreted it in our own ways.

If I was able to find a link, most items are referenced in this post. Curious to see other outfits? Check out the ladies below or Alison’s link-up.  
Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah |
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Sheila | Lauren | Anna | Alison

fall decorating

When I learned to sew last fall I set a goal of creating 35 projects by my 35th birthday (a.k.a. 35×35). Then I took ten months to pursue schooling in nutrition and find myself having completed six sewing projects with 14.5 months to go until my 35th birthday. I’m changing my goal to be 35 craft projects. The point was to try new things and use the creative side of my brain more, so I’m okay with whatever medium that comes in. It doesn’t always have to be cotton. IMG_8316_edited-1

I knew I wouldn’t have much time for fall decorating given my school finals, but I wanted to have a little something in the house. Last year, (my favorite blogger) Elise shared a felted garland she created as part of her handmade holiday series. I decided to change up the colors and use her instructions to make a fall garland for our table.
IMG_8317_edited-1Out of convenience I went to the Joanne’s that has much less variety and had to work with the felt they had available. In the end I really love the color combo of orange, green, purple, cream, and tan. Typically I am not a big fan of purple, but it works here.

IMG_8282_edited-1This project is incredibly cheap, easy and quick. I cut the fabric during one episode of Burn Notice and put together the garlands during a second episode. I ended up having about half the felt left when I was done with my first garland. I’m not sure if I misread something or if mine is that much shorter than Elise’s. Either way, I made a second garland and sent it to my sister for her table.

Project: 7/35
Time: 2 hours for 2
Tutorial: felted Christmas garland
Cost: $6.14 for both (1/4 yard of 5 felt colors; roll of twine)

candlesticks and placemats are both from Crate&Barrel (wrinkles not included); mini pumpkins were a gift from my MIL 

fall style me challenge: week three

I can’t believe the Fall Style Me Challenge is into the last week. If you’re looking for more style or want to jump on board, Alison just announced the next challenge. Build Your Wardrobe Basics will specifically geared to women over 40. It will be open to anyone, but focus on classic styles that will work year round, with less of a focus on trends. Registration opens this Friday, I’ll be sure to include a link for anyone interested.

Today I’m sharing days 10 through 16. Please excuse the photography. It’s been stormy here plus the sun is rising later every day. Selfies in poor lighting never make for the best photos and I’m having a hell of a time getting my iPhone to focus well.


jeans and top / old navy maternity; scarf and flats / nordstrom; cardigan / gap; necklace / stella&dot

Today called for a plaid scarf, but the orange shirt made that tricky. My colorful one was too much and my b+w one screamed Halloween. I decided to go with my usual pop of color look and leave the shirt be. I added a gray scarf and sweater in different shades for a monochromatic look and topped that off my Kimberly necklace. Also, worst shoe choice ever because it poured buckets today and I had nice wet feet all afternoon.


scarves and leopard flats / nordstrom; shirts / borrowed (maternity); striped sweater / forever 21; jeans / old navy maternity; puffer vest / motherhood maternity; boots / dsw

The Nordstrom infinity scarf is my favorite fall purchase. I kind of want to go crazy and buy more colors, but I’ll stick with my gray and turquoise for now. Also, I’m thinking an alternative name for my blog could be “Scarves and Stripes” because that seems to be about all I wear. (I also get very patriotic when inebriated, so it would work really well.)


puffer vest / motherhood maternity; buffalo plaid shirt and jeans / old navy maternity; rain bots and booties / nordstrom

Day thirteen, worn two ways. First we were off to an MLS soccer match in the rain so I went with my Hunters. Later that evening we headed out for an Oktoberfest party with friends. I rolled up the jeans a bit and wore my booties. I like the buffalo plaid with the gray and white, it feels a little more subdued. Please excuse the fact that I did not check my hair or if I had a decent picture before moving on…


jacket and leopard flats / nordstrom; belt / target; top / gap; jeans / old navy maternity

Great outfit for errand running day! I didn’t get a detailed photo so instead I’m sharing one of the two fall nail colors I picked up. I’m avoiding nail salons for the duration of my pregnancy but still want to be festive. This is “good as gold” by Essie. It’s definitely metallic and really fun.


sweater / gap; scarf and booties / nordstrom; necklace / stella and dot; jeans and navy top / old navy maternity

Easy outfit for a(nother) rainy Monday. I love this colorful scarf for brightening up basics. I’ve noticed that with pregnancy I tend to run warmer than normal. Typically I would never need to take a scarf off midday, but lately I’ve been in conference rooms overheating and needing to de-robe. I’m wearing necklaces under my scarves so I have some detail when I start to strip down. At one point today the scarf and sweater came off – what am I going to do when the heat actually turns on in the building?!


scarf / gift; necklace / stella and dot; leopard flats / nordstrom; gray sweater / gap maternity; jeans / old navy maternity

I’ve been monitoring my own fashion long enough now to call this a “me outfit”. Neutral basics with a pop of color and pattern mixing with stripes. This combo is easy to pick out, goes on quick, and looks cute and pulled together. I could also probably make fifty different outfits from my closet by following this pattern.

If I was able to find a link, most items are referenced in this post. Curious to see other outfits? Check out the ladies below or Alison’s link-up.  
Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah |
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Sheila | Lauren | Anna | Alison

pumpkin puree in less than ten steps

I made my own pumpkin puree this weekend for the first time. It was so easy, I had to share.
pumpkinpuree1. Preheat the oven to 375. 2. Get your sugar pumpkin. Mine was gifted to me from a sweet co-worker’s garden. 3. Cut in half and remove the seeds. 4. For faster bake time, cut into pumpkin wedges. 5. Brush melted coconut oil on the pumpkin wedges. 6. Bake, starting to check for doneness around 45 minutes. Let the wedges cool. 7. Scrape out the pumpkin / remove the peel. 8. Toss in a food processor, about two minutes total in 30 second increments. 9. Put the puree in cute jars (yields just under 4 cups).

We enjoyed ours in pumpkin spaghetti squash and pumpkin chili


fall style me challenge: week two

We’re already midway through week two of the Fall Style Me Challenge and I’m sharing days 3 through 9. Still loving getting dressed for work in less than five minutes because someone else is telling me what to wear.


shirt / old navy; skinny jeans / old navy maternity; tank / gap maternity; scarf and booties / nordstrom

I have fallen for buffalo plaid big time this fall. When I put this shirt on though it was a little too red for my comfort zone. To neutralize, I added a gray tank and a black scarf with small gold stars. Prior to the challenges, I never would have gone gray since there isn’t gray in the shirt. I’ve learned though that complimenting can be more visually interesting than matching.  I probably wouldn’t have done a patterned scarf with plaid either, even though this one is quite basic.


sweater and shirt / gap; tank / target maternity; jeans / old navy maternity; necklace / etsy; flats and jacket / nordstrom

Today was fancy sweatshirt day, but I didn’t pick up a fancy sweatshirt. (Seems less flattering on a maternity figure and doesn’t seem very conducive to nursing so would have been a rather short lived item.) Instead, I pulled out a few items from the spring challenge and topped them with a camel jacket from last year and a fancy necklace. I love that I’m building a wardrobe that can be leveraged year round.


tan cardigan, gray jeans, skinny jeans / old navy maternity; both scarves, pink necklace, striped TOMS, and leopard flats / nordstrom; gray sweater and blue cardigan / gap maternity; nude belt / target; b+w tank / borrowed (maternity)

Days 5, 6, and 7 corresponded with my school days and I don’t have extra close up photos for any of these days. Typically I would have skipped the challenge and gone with yoga pants, which are actually a better fit for our school days. However, I haven’t purchased any maternity workout gear and my collection of lululemon is starting to get a little too tight for a full day of wear. I swapped shoes on most days to be more classroom appropriate, otherwise the challenge worked just fine. Love that you can dress each daily outfit template up or down.


jacket / old navy; plaid shirt and booties / nordstrom; jeans / old navy maternity

Easy outfit for a rainy Monday. Since there isn’t a lot of detail here, I thought I’d share my arm decor. I picked up the watch on sale this summer and I love it. It goes with pretty much everything and the little pop of pink is fun. Greg surprised me with the new bangles as a gift for finishing school. I was so not expecting anything and am just grateful that we worked together to make the last nine months feasible. But new jewelry is always appreciated. 🙂


cardigan, boots, scarf, and leggings / nordstrom; black tee / maternity (borrowed); leopard belt / target

This might be my favorite outfit so far. It’s really simple but I received many compliments at work and felt like this would be something I would have worn pre-pregnancy, compared to my very casual maternity wardrobe. This might end up being my go-to date night / dinner out outfit for the rest of the pregnancy. I couldn’t resist a pop of color with my scarf once I realized it is actually getting a little chilly in the mornings now.

If I was able to find a link, most items are referenced in this post. Curious to see other outfits? Check out the ladies below or Alison’s link-up.  
Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah |
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

fall style me challenge: week one

The Fall Style Me Challenge started this week and I’m pumped. One less thing to think about everyday. Between my Whole30 and this challenge, the decision making I have to do on a daily basis is greatly reduced. Love it.

Being on the West Coast, I get the next day’s outfit via email at 4pm, making it incredibly easy to pick out my clothes and accessories in the evening and not having to think about getting dressed in the morning. I’m making this short and sweet as I’m down to about 48 hours until my final exam. Wish me luck!


shirt and jeans / old navy maternity; necklace / kendra scott; booties / bp @ nordstrom

Day one started off easy. This is typically more casual of a look than I’d go for at work but because I didn’t buy maternity work clothes I’m dressing more casual overall. My booties have been getting quite a few compliments and they are incredibly comfortable even for a full day of work. Definitely on the trendier side for me and it’s fun wearing them.


long tee / gap maternity; leggings, boots, jacket, and scarf / nordstrom; belt / target

Super excited to have a new pattern mixing combo in my repertoire – plaid and leopard. It’s the fall version of spring’s leopard and stripes. I’m pretty sure this, or something similar, will be a go-to outfit all fall and winter. Loving this Steve Madden scarf I found at Nordstrom (it comes in a few other colors) – infinity style and great drapability. That’s totally a word.

If I was able to find a link, most items are referenced in this post.  
Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah |
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

pumpkin spice lattes

Early every Fall, I decide to jump on the bandwagon and try a Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte. Every year I realize it’s gross, has a weird fake taste, and is so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. Thanks to the Food Babe article that came out a few weeks ago detailing just what exactly is in a PSL, I’m officially done with the official PSL.

After the Food Babe post went viral I saw a lot of talk about the Whole Foods PSL made with almond milk as a healthier alternative. Please don’t confuse healthier with healthy. This is a treat, not a daily beverage to start your morning. Verdict: No thanks. The first sip was okay, but still too sweet for my tastes. And the aftertaste, while better than chemical, was almost medicinal.

I still wanted a little taste of Fall and decided to try making my own, which lead me to finding four recipes and my favorite word ever: challenge! I had grand plans to conduct my own PSL taste test challenge with all four recipes. Unfortunately I ran out of weekend mornings to get through all four with our crazy travel this month. And since I decided to jump on a Whole30, I won’t be able to try anymore until November. Here’s my opinion on the two I did try, as well as links to the others I had planned on trying.

IMG_8213_edited-1Stupid Easy Paleo’s Pumpkin Spice Latte: Yes! It tasted like fall in my cup without the sweet taste. My customizations included brewed, extra strong decaf coffee instead of espresso and a drop of maple syrup per serving (might try without next time). My only issue with the recipe was that it made a tiny serving. I ended up making a second serving to get a mug full for my picture. I would make it again but double the amount from the start.

IMG_8218_edited-1Civilized Caveman’s Pumpkin Spice Latte: Too sweet for my taste, even though I only used 1 tbls raw honey versus the 2-3 in the recipe. But it’s a very different sweet from the fake sugary taste of a commercial drink. If you have a sweet tooth (which I don’t), I would suggest trying this one. Once I added more brewed coffee to my cup it was pretty tasty. I skipped the cocoa but I think a little touch of it would add a little something.

100 Days of Real Food
Nourishing Gourmet 

If you’re looking for a delicious fall drink that’s not full of junk I definitely recommend trying one of these (or all of them!). Let me know if you try the other two so I can live vicariously through you while on my Whole30. Happy Fall!

playing catch-up with project life

Over the last two months I got very behind on my Project Life album. I was feeling overwhelmed on how to catch up. Once I decided to go really simple I actually knocked out several weeks in just a few hours. Currently I’m caught up with the exception of one week in November. Not bad since I was behind starting in mid-October.

I combined the last half of October into one spread. We both worked like crazy these 2+ weeks and there were so few pictures. Aside from work, we traveled to SF for a wedding, celebrated Halloween, and enjoyed the newly opened Maple Leaf park.

The long work hours paid off when we spent the first week of November in Hawaii, relaxing and not working.

Again, I fudged the dates a little. We were on Maui from Friday to Friday but it made no sense to divide the trip into multiple spreads to fit my usual Monday to Sunday work. I’m convinced Project Life is most enjoyable if you break your rules frequently. IMG_7313_edited-1

Because I made a Blurb book for this trip, I kept the documenting here very simple. Just two 12×12 pictures and a very succinct trip overview in some white space. IMG_7312_edited-1

We had some good times with friends and family recently, especially on Thanksgiving. We also experienced some challenges and while I wish we had not, I’m glad I had a place to document. IMG_7316_edited-1 IMG_7318_edited-1 IMG_7319_edited-1I’m so glad to be mostly caught up. I love this project but am looking forward to starting fresh in 2014 with a few new ideas to streamline and simplify the process. It’s hard to believe I am editing photos right now for week 49 of the year. It’s gone oh-so-fast, but looking back through two binders full of weekly stories and pictures reminds me of how much we’ve been lucky to do this year.

recapping the fall 2013 bucket list

IMG_3149_edited-2Instead of being at our company’s holiday party, I’m home on the couch fighting a terrible cold. This will probably go down as one of the weeks of my life I’d least like to relive. But I’m reminding myself that the less than awesome times are what make the good times so awesome. I’m out of TV, don’t have the energy to work on my Project Life album, and reading seems really hard. Recapping fall seems like a reasonable task, so here we go.

1. Try five new soup recipes. // I made three new soups and they were all winners. You can find them here: sweet potato chili, curried cream of broccoli, sweet potato with bacon. Apparently it was a fall of sweet potatoes. 

2. Celebrate our anniversary. // We had a great first anniversary weekend in Bellingham. It was very much our speed – relaxing and full of our favorite foods. Over the course of the weekend we managed to eat all our favorites: sushi, steak, oysters, Mexican, and Indian. Since then, we’ve been making an effort to keep Sunday mornings free; free of plans and free of technology. We’ve gone out to brunch, taken the dog on long walks, worked on projects around the house, to name a few. It doesn’t happen every week but it’s great when we make it happen.first_anniversaryI love the TimerCam app for getting pictures of us together.

3. Enjoy trick-or-treaters. // We had a very low key Halloween trying to cram in work in order to leave our computers behind the next day as we traveled to Maui. We had several trick-or-treaters come by the house over the course of about two hours. I’m not sure we made progress with Alfred’s barking at the doorbell but we at least tried. halloween2013

4. Decorate for fall. // I was off to a good start with decorating, then we decided to do a “No Spend October”. I don’t own fall decorations so to keep with no spending I couldn’t add anything to my collection. The front porch and dining room table were a little festive, but that’s about it. We’ve got a lifetime of autumn’s ahead of us to collect a few perfect pieces.

fall decor

5. Make sauerkraut. // Nope. Just didn’t happen. Someday.

6. Learn to sew. // YES, YES, YES! I’m not good by any means, but I learned how to do it. I completed four projects in my beginner’s class then traded in my old iPhone for a sewing machine at Target. Since then, I’ve complete 3 projects on my quest to do 35 by the time I turn 35: cloth napkins, party banner, winter table runner.

7. Make the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls. // Nope. Thought about it on Thanksgiving morning, but cutting the recipe in half still yields 3.5 pans of rolls and that just seems ridiculous.

8. Do yoga once a week. // I did yoga a few times on my own at a home and a few times at a studio with a friend. I didn’t get anywhere close to weekly but it was great the times I made it happen.

9. Clean out my closet. // My closet floor is still a bit of a mess and my nightstand drawers are full of unorganized jewelry, but I did make some progress. After we got our new dresser I finally got around to organizing my clothes and three or four months later it’s not a mess. That might be a record for me.

10. Bake a pumpkin pie. // Obviously, food goals were not my thing this season. My plan had been to make a pumpkin pie for Halloween. I wanted to have a few friends over for a game night. That didn’t happen when it became clear we’d both be working late to finish up before going on vacation, and I never got back around to making a pie.