Friday, August 22, 2014

Friendly Friday: Mary El Designs


I've had a busy week, starting school and taking care of the domicile, so I haven't had a chance to write my bigger posts. Sorry, no food or wardrobe this week, I'll try to make up for it next week. [And maybe, just maybe a certain item I have been waiting for will come in the mail!]

I wanted to take this Friday to focus on someone other than myself on my blog here! If I had more blogging friends, I'd make this a weekly thing [be my friend!], maybe we'll get there someday. For now, we'll focus on this special lady that I know, you know, in real life.

I am introducing you today to my long time friend's little business, Mary El Designs, her work is beautiful, let me tell you all about it.

In short, Mary has been looking to start a little business on her own. Since I have know her she has done many little sales that I'm sure many of you have done at some point, like Scentsy or Pampered Chef. But this time, she's actually going out on her own and she is doing great work.

Mary is a seamstress, she hasn't worked a ton with clothes, yet, but she is amazing with the bags she does make.

I've seen many people make bags and, while I am not intending to be rude in anyway, a lot of them are just lacking. I'm going to raise my hand and put myself in that category! I don't make bags often because I'm just not that great at it.

Mary's bags look sturdy, well made and properly structured. The top stitching is even and they don't hang funny. I know she goes through a lot of trouble researching the proper materials to use when making each item and takes the time to make sure it is done right.

It's a quality you don't get in a lot of people who "make things" because so many see sewing and creating as a way to make a quick buck.

But Mary, she takes pride in her work and it shows.

I went ahead and stole a few photos off of her blog to show you some of my favorites from her work, before I send you her way.

First, She makes these adorable wallets:


And then she made this ridiculously cute tutu dress, I love the red she mixed in [I'm pretty sure she said it was inspired by the Pirate Fairy]:


I am in love with this clutch design, I love a big bag BUT this clutch would be amazing for date nights:


And this diaper bag! I should mention she is already working on another one because the first was loved so much. It's a great diaper bag for carrying a couple of diapers and wipes, instead of the whole nursery:


These are my favorites but she has many more to look at on her blog and facebook page.

Mary also does work by request, she's made curtains and is currently working on a shirt blanket I cannot wait to see. 

If you're looking for custom work, she is certainly a lady to talk to. She's reasonable with her prices and will go above and beyond to create the item you desire.

Personally, I love to have a custom item that no one could have picked up in store, how about you? If you see something she's made, she can create it for you in almost any color or pattern you like. If you're looking to have something special made, talk to her about it and she'll see if she can make it for you!

You can find Mary and even talk to her about creating something for you here:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day of School




I'm not sure how it happened, the not so tiny baby I cradled in my arms is now starting school. This is the year, we're starting pre-school and I'm just stunned we are already here.

You're my baby, don't grow up, ever! But you did.



I really wanted to wait until after labor day to begin, but surprisingly, it was my son that begged me to begin. He wants to learn, he's excited about his books and he really wants me to teach him to read. We'll see how that goes.

There isn't much to say, we survived the first day and this momma is beyond impressed with his attempts at writing and practicing his name. He was attentive and listened, but about what I planned for us to do today was his limit. Half day Pre-k homeschool it is!

Of course, to start the day we had to take photos. Sorry kid, I'm your mom, everything must be documented with photos.

I prepared the chalkboard the night before, measured and weighed him so it would be ready to go! Just incase you're thinking there is no way you would have time to do all that on the morning of the first day of school.

I know a lot of people do the first day photos, lots of my friends and instagram friends do for sure. I made the decision to add his "stats" so I can compare on the last day and see how much he has grown and changed. It'll be bittersweet, really.



His stats at the beginning of the school year:

Name: Israel
Age: 4 1/2
Height: 3'9
Weight: 43.5lbs
Favorite Color: Red
Excited to learn about: Dinosaurs and Reading

Pray for me, ya'll, I'm his teacher.

- Amanda

Friday, August 15, 2014

Grill Your Squash (And Make It Spicy!)


Summer, summer, sweet summer foods.

When I say summer foods, some people immediately think of things like hamburgers, hot dogs and ribs. Delicious cook out food, but not where I'm going.

When I think of summer food, I immediately think of fresh vegetables and fruits! Tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, zucchini, squash, watermelon, apples, peaches, plums and the list goes on.

And then there is the thing where I'm the newest grill master in my house and I can't help but put everything on the grill.

So why not squash?

I love squash, it's sweet and satisfying, pairs well with chicken or a steak. I just love it.

I also can't help but put cayenne pepper and red chili flakes on most of what I eat. I like heat and these almost choked my husband... I thought they were delicious! I may have intentionally given him one with a few too many flakes on it, in his defense. I'm not saying I did just that if I saw one with more flakes than I could handle, I'd put it on his plate.

Let's grill some squash!


We begin by slicing it like demonstrated above, you could call this length wise.

Actually, we begin by heating the grill. I'm just assuming you've done this and are probably cooking your meats [unless you don't eat me, then heat your grill!].

Brush both sides of each slice with a little bit of olive oil, this will prevent it from drying out on the grill.


Sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper and red chili flakes on both side. Remember with both the cayenne and red chili, a little bit goes a long way!


And then add them to the grill. I sill had one piece of chicken on the grill, getting ready to come off.


Let them cook and even char a little. Just be sure to turn them over so they don't burn. The squash will be soft to the touch when it is ready, you can pull a piece off and try it with a fork if you are unsure.


When that squash is done, pull it off and serve with your favorite meat [or no meat] and I suggest cold, fresh tomato slices.

It's simple, easy but delicious!

Download the printable PDF here!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reusable Wardrobe - Overalls



Today is my second edition of Reusable Wardrobe and I'll be tackling an item that you either love or hate: Overalls. Last week was the Cargo Vest, if you missed it.

I'll be honest, when I first heard overalls were coming back, I hissed. Memories of crappy, oversized t-shirts with those baggy, fat pants. Ew. Because mine were painters style, if you found them today, they might call them "boyfriend overalls" but let's be honest, ain't nobody's boyfriend wearing overalls! I don't reflect fondly on those boxy, ugly overalls I wore that made my ass look 10x bigger than it was... when I was, you know, 14 and actually super skinny, but I didn't realize that then.

Now obviously, you have already noticed that the pair I'm sporting isn't exactly slimming, but that's okay. I got them because they were comfortable and I could see the potential! I put them on, came out of the dressing room to show my Mom [We were shopping together that day], she loved them but thought they could be baggier. Bless my Mom, she likes everything baggy and comfortable, I don't and didn't take her advice to size up because the size up was huge on me.

And then the sales clerk saw me. She admitted when she unboxed and hung them up, she thought they would be ugly. But she couldn't believe how cute they were, on me and in general. I was SOLD! Except for the price tag. $60 for an item I may not love? I was struggling already, asking myself questions about what I would wear it with, would I wear them or would it be a trendy item I'd be donating in a month?

Well, lucky for me, my mom made the decision and bought them for me.

Sometimes you need a shopping buddy to push you in the right direction.

I've already worn them a dozen times, several different ways and it's still summer.

So where can you find some? Well, overalls are kind of popping up here and there, you just have to look. I've done my best to round up a good variety of affordable and high end.

Polka Dot Overalls - Forever21 - $19.80
"Railroad" Striped Denim Overall - Forever21 - $29.80
Denim Overall - JcPenney - $32.99
Denim Overall - Target - $34.99
White Lace Overall - LuLu's - $41 [on sale!]
Denim Overall - Modcloth - $54.99
Soft Overalls [Olive or Black] - NY&Co - $59.95 <--- Mine
Distress Denim Overall - LuLu's - $103

I'm going to end the list there. I found some at Nordstrom's but they were all $250-$300. If you desire to spend that much, I'll let you hunt the pair you want on your own.

I really enjoy this pair because they're soft, comfortable and surprisingly light, so they stay cool even in the summer heat. But, I would LOVE to have a denim pair too, they'd be so much more versatile.

But these were free to me, so I cannot complain.

Now, on to the many ways to wear overalls. If you're going to have a pair, you're going to need many ways to wear them or they'll become a one trick pony. Believe it or not, I dress mine up for fun.


Shirt: NY&Co || Shoes: Vans [Old] Similar

So to begin, we'll just go straight, easy, everyday comfort. A loose fitting white tee and a pair of floral vans, that's it.

Obviously I wear my watch and my wedding rings, I don't consider my everyday items to be "accessories."

No earrings. No bracelets. No necklaces. Nothing.

This is honestly something I wear on a casual day [I'm wearing my overalls right now with a fitted with tee!] or maybe for errands, like the farmer's market. I love that I am not the only person wearing overalls to the farmers market! The others are just actually farmers.


Top: Express [Sold Out] Like This, This and This || Shoes: Target || Necklace: Oasap

Next is a simple "dressed up" look, it isn't anything special just not what I'd wear to the farmer's market. This is more of what I would consider for brunch, coffee or shopping. My tank already has a jeweled collar but I couldn't resist throwing a little more shiny on there. It's also a crop top, but I can wear it comfortably with the overalls and not worry about bearing my belly.

It's classy and girly without being too dressed up. You could even swap out the wedges for a flat sandal if you wanted to stay completely comfortable while still feeling fancy.


And one more variation, you could add a hat to make the outfit a little more casual. This is the only ball cap I have, but I have seen feminine versions with florals that would be perfect for such an outfit. But what the heck, if I wanted to go to the ball game and be fabulous, I sure could.


Shirt: Gap (Old) Similar || Boots: Target (Old) Similar || Scarf: Ruche (Sold Out) Similar

Here on our third outfit for today we have fall comfort! And I'm not sure why, but as I was styling this one, my son started to ask me when we could go to the pumpkin patch. So I'm calling it my pumpkin patch outfit... though I refuse to do pumpkin anything until OCTOBER.

Slow down, crazy people, it's not fall yet.

This outfit could be for darn near anything I suppose. It's stylish, but comfortable and if you need extra warmth you could add in a denim jacket. Easy, peasy.

If it wasn't in the 90's today, I would be wearing this.

About the ankle boots, these are about two years old and "suede." Now, if you love the suede, get the suede. But I keep reading that suede is out and leather booties are the thing you need this fall. I'm going to keep wearing my suedes but I nabbed a cheap pair of "leather" about a month ago too. I say "suede" and "leather" like that because mine are all fake, cheap knockoffs. But I'm okay with that.

Just take that into account if you choose to purchase a pair of ankle boots.

I think I need to talk about ankle boots alone soon. I really love ankle boots.

I'm also wearing my glasses.... because I was actually wearing glasses the day I shot this. I just took them off for a few shots. My glasses are not a fashion statement, I actually desperately need their assistance when I am not wearing contacts. I am a big fan of Warby Parker, we don't have the option for vision insurance so their prices are excellent for someone on a budget but desiring modern eyewear.

I wear the Mallory frame in Gimlet Tortoise.


Top: Target (Old) Like this and this || Shoes: Target (Old) Like this, this and this (Close match and it's Dolce Vita!)

And this, folks, is my dressed up overalls look. Obviously not dressy enough for a nice dinner out or anything fancy. But I have worn this and similar out for a burger and a movie date with my husband and fun evenings like that. When I want to be dressed up and feel girly without the effort of a dress or actual nice clothes. I love the pop of leopard under the olive overalls and the wedges give me that boost I enjoy because I'm short.

Now, referring to my previous post, I mentioned not buying too many multiples of an item. I love this top and just as I said, I bought it in just two colors [or patterns in this case]. I have it in leopard and polka dot. But, as much as I love the shirt, I kept it at two. I enjoy the shirt, but its definitely not the only thing I want to wear so I won't fill my wardrobe with it.

---

Maybe one day I'll look back on this and wonder why the heck I thought overalls were okay again. But for now, I am happy in my overalls!

Inspired? Have your own overalls outfit? Find me on twitter or instagram and show me!

- Amanda

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pickled Banana Peppers


When choosing plants this year, my husband chose a hot banana pepper plant with one thing on his mind: Pickled Peppers.

At the time, I had never pickled anything and figured we could give it a try, I suppose. Apparently it went well, because we've pickled about 10 jars so far and I have one [two including this one] left.

I've only had one pepper.

But every time we smoke or barbeque something, he gets those peppers out.

Every time I heat up a freezer pizza... I mean, I don't use freezer pizzas... Ahem, every time I lovingly slave over fresh pizza, he gets those peppers out.

Bean burritos? Peppers.

Hamburgers? Peppers.

Pancakes? Peppers. [Just kidding]

We use an easy, 48 hour method, I was skeptical about it at first but it works. They're crisp and pickle-y, just as they should be.

We only use vinegar, water and garlic, I used pickling spices once and he didn't like that. Simple is better.

Your recipe can be adapted for as much or little you want to make. Essentially the pickling juice is just 3 parts vinegar and 2 parts water with a clover of garlic in each jar you make. My recipe will be small, it's what I use when I have just one jar to fill. It's ideal if you want to try pickling peppers without having several jars of something you hope you like.


To start you will put your vinegar and water into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.

I used 3/4 Cup of Vinegar and 1/2 Water.

Once your mixture comes to a boil, turn it off and allow it to cool. About 15-20 minutes.

Now, onto your peppers. I can fit about 10-15 peppers into a 16oz. jar, today I had 15.


First I cut the stems down.


And then I slice them on two sides, like so. This will allow the vinegar mixture to get inside the pepper, past the skin.


And place it into the jar.


Don't worry too much about where it goes, you can move them around once it is full.


Continue cutting stems and slicing peppers until the jar is full.

I do not take the seeds out of mine. If you want to kill some of the heat, cut the top off and pull the seeds out. You don't need to slice the sides if you do this.


Take a garlic clove and smash it or slice it into several small pieces. Push it down into the jar.


Pour in your vinegar mixture once it has cooled, it should still be warm but not boiling hot. It it's hot, it will cook your peppers and they'll turn out soft or mushy. Fill jar just until it touches around the first ring, if you look above you'll notice my liquid is slightly below the first ring.

Now, using your finger or the hand of a spoon, a small blunt object, push down on and around the peppers. You'll notice some air bubbles coming up as the liquid is working it's way into the peppers. Just give it a little time, occasionally tapping the bottom of the jar very gently on the counter to help rouse them.

Your liquid will be a little lower, like mine is above, when the air is out. Top it back off to that first ring, put the lid on and tighten it.


Put your jar into the refrigerator and let it set for at least a full 48 hours. Your peppers will be ready!

You can "can" them instead of putting them into the fridge, I haven't actually done this because I don't have all the supplies I need for canning just yet. I know I've read a few blogs that say it's fine to sit the jars directly on the bottom of your pan without a rack, but I'm not a fan of exploding jars. So I have to wait for my rack to come in the mail.

Until then, these jars aren't lasting long enough to can anyway!

I hope you enjoy them and don't forgot to email me, find me on twitter or instagram to show me your peppers!

Recipe

Download the printable PDF here!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Grill Your Sweet Potatoes!


It has finally hit that time of summer when it's just HOT all the time and I hate cooking inside because my house gets hot. Normally this would mean I would just start prepping things for my husband to grill when he got home, but alas, his schedule has been keeping him at work later and if I don't cook, we won't eat until bedtime.

This led me, in a quest to avoid cooking inside, to become friends with the grill. I've never used it before, but it's a charcoal grill, so how hard could it be? On the upside, I get to pretend to be a pyrotech  for while I prep and light the coals. And then I can be the menacingly overlord while my subjects [coal] burns under my supreme powers!

I hope my neighbors don't hear my laughing like a mad man.

The upside to your wife learning to use the grill is the delicious grilled meats that wait for you when you arrive home. The downside? She starts grilling her favorite vegetables... and they're not in a foil bag covered in butter.

I saw my husband grimace when he first saw the sweet potatoes on the grill, I know he probably thought I was mad. But an interesting thing happened... he loved them!

Actually, I thought he hated them. He ate them but he didn't say much.

Until the other day, I mentioned needing to figure out something to use up the last two sweet potatoes from the farmer's market.

And he told me to grill them!

I mentioned that I didn't think he liked them, but I, the all knowing wife, was wrong. Don't tell him I said that. He thought they were pretty amazing all grilled up.

Hooray!

Success!

Now it's your turn.

Fire up your grill, propane or charcoal, it's doesn't matter. Get it all heated and ready as you normally would. [Or have your house's grill master fire it up.]


Prep your sweet potatoes by giving them a good scrub and then slicing them like this. Good enough size so that won't slip through the grates. I leave the skin on because it helps keep them together and I think it's delicious when it gets crispy.


Next you're going to baste them with olive oil on both sides. If you skip the oil, they will dry out and burn. You need a little oil!

Crack some fresh sea salt on top and head to the grill! [Or just sprinkle regular salt on it, that's fine too]


And they go straight on the grill! I haven't timed them, I just watch my food, check it, flip it when needed and pull it off when it feels right. The sweet potatoes will develop a crisp skin on the outside, but they'll be soft inside. You can poke it with your finger to test or pull one off and cut into it with a fork to check.


And there those beauties are, grilled and ready for consumption. Even my four year old will eat them. I just slice them up and call them "fries" and he devours them.

Also, this post I get to introduce recipe cards! From now on, my posts will have these handy little recipe cards so you can print and save what you love.

Sure, this one it simple, but it gets a recipe card. I'll have to go back and repost some of my favorites in the future so they can have their own swank card too.

Once again, if I have inspired you and you give my little creation here a try, send me an email, find me on twitter or instagram.

Recipe:

Download a printable PDF here!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reusable Wardrobe - Cargo Vest


It's August and time to purchase an entirely new wardrobe for fall, did you know that? I didn't. But quite a few of the fashion blogs I peruse are telling you to hit sales, buy new boots, coats, leggings, etc. The truth is, you don't need to! Heck, I'm more freaked out by the people starting their "transitional wardrobe" to change from summer to fall. Apparently these people do not like in OK, where it will continue to sizzle and burn until Mid-Late September, maybe even in to October, or it could freeze out next week, it's hard to say. [Honestly, we've had a mild summer, I really cannot complain.]

Here is the deal, some of us live on budgets [raises hand] and going out to buy thousands of dollars in new clothes for the new season isn't going to suit us. Yes, I would love to get two new Tory Birch purses every season [For the record, I have zero designer purses]. Yes, I want a new pair of boots this fall. But I have to think smart with my money and ask myself questions like, "Will the boots I have last me one more year?" or "Do I really need denim in 5 different colors?" or "If I spend $80 on just this wee statement necklace, will it be fashionable [will I want to wear it] in spring?"

On a completely separate note, my son WILL need a new wardrobe for fall/winter, but he's four and growing like there is no tomorrow. I think we have like one or two pairs of jeans and maybe one long sleeve he'll fit. But he does have a coat because I had to replace that in January.

For a reusable wardrobe, you have to think smart. Ask yourself if you'll really wear something, will it go with anything you have and will it last you long term?

I try to look for smart items, something that may be trendy but I can wear it a lot. I struggle with loving a lot of fashion blogs because their clothes really don't fit into my lifestyle. I do love statement necklaces, chiffon blouses and heels, but I can't wear that most days, maybe on a date or going to church. Plus, fashion bloggers rarely ever use the same items, it's always a new outfit! Yea, they are sponsored and receive free items but... are all those clothes just cramming into a closet to rot later?

I, personally, I have been taking steps to size down my closet. Guess what happens when you over 15 dresses? You favor one or two and the rest just sit in there, unworn. If you gave them away, sold them or donated them, someone else could wear the clothes you're hoarding. I'll admit, I had a hoarding problem! I had more clothes than I could honestly wear, I've given away about 4 trash bags full, texted people to see if they're interested in items I don't wear and found homes for most of my stuff.

I guess I just woke up one day and realized I cannot wear all this stuff! I had hardly gotten rid of a thing in four years, it was madness. This is what inspired me to start trying to pick pieces that I could wear more and own less. Guess what? I spend less! Many times lately I have gone out shopping and come home with nothing, because instead of buying something because it was on sale, I questioned if I would really, truly wear it again and again and again.

I do have a few items in my closet I won't let go, even if I can't wear them. I managed to get a very pretty Jessica Simpson dress on sale, it's timeless and chic, I'm keeping it. If a summer wedding pops up, I have something to wear! I have a pair of Nine West Heels that are almost ten years old, classic black pumps, they go in and out. I'm keeping those. These are higher quality items that are worth holding on to.

I'm mostly referring to people on a limited budget, we have to shop smart and avoid wasting what we do have to spend on ourselves on items that just go to waste. But even if you have a big budget or even an unlimited budget to spend on yourself, it's worth taking the time to really think about an item instead of purchasing quickly and wasting money and clothes [someone else could have worn that!].

It helps if you pay less attention to what magazines/websites/blogs tell you to wear, what friends tell you to wear and focus on only buying what you love

Before I get into the rest of the post, here are a few tips:
  1. Wear what you love. It doesn't matter if it's trendy, if your friends think its ugly or it's "not for your shape", you'll always be happier and fell better if you're wearing what you love. Fashion is very open nowadays, you can be a jeans and t-shirt girl, hipster, vintage lover or mod fashionista! I'm not here to tell you what to wear, I'm just trying to inspire you.
  2. Disobey the rules. Pattern mixing is against the rules! Wait, no it isn't, now it's trendy!? Go with your gut and forget the rules.
  3. Be Proud of YOUR Body. Sadly, I don't think body issues are going anywhere, but remember, looking at a fashion magazine is like watching a sci-fi movie: It's all special effects. Or in fashion's case, photoshop. Yes, the models are thin, but they actually thin them out more or even fatten them up a bit to appear healthy. Your body is your body, love it and dress it as you please, don't worry about the size of your jeans, lack of thigh gap or the fact that none of us look like the models do in clothes. 
  4. Don't Break Your Bank. All the blogs are telling you that you need these $500 italian leather boots or a $300 purse when a brand stamped all over it but you really don't. If it's in your budget and you can buy it without your family going into debt or skipping meals, then that's fine. But things people sell and push are trendy and not worth penny pinching if you can't easily afford or save for the item. Look for low end knock offs so you can feel trendy without paying for it. I, for one, am a bargain hunter because less is more! Don't be ashamed to have "last years" model or one you pick up cheap at Marshall's or TJMAX.
  5. Beware of Sales/Clearance. Oh, am I guilty. Nothing makes me feel better than knowing I got something on sale or clearance for half the price or even less. But beware the lure of scoring something cheap just for the sake of scoring something cheap. Regretfully, I have donated many items that I scored cheap and turned out not to love at all. Just because the price is right, doesn't mean the item is.
  6. Avoid Buying Too Much of a Good Thing. You find an item you love AND it comes in 12 different flavors [colors], why not load up so you can always have that top/sweater/skirt/pant you love? One word: Boring. I'm not saying the item is boring, but you will get bored! And then you have 12 sweaters in the same color you are sick of wearing. Getting 1 or 2 of the same thing is fine, maybe 3, but don't fill up on the exact same item. You'll have way too many of those "I have nothing to wear!" moments when your closet is full.

Today's post is a little meatier because I'm just getting started for reusable wardrobe. Next time I'll try not to be so long winded.

My first pick for a reusable item is the Cargo Vest or Military Vest or Travelers Vest, whatever you desire to call it. There are, of course, low end models and high end models.


Now you know where to find one on many prices levels, how would you wear it? I love mine because I can wear it completely casual or a little dressed up. Obviously, this is not a dressy item, but looks great paired with the right items.

Right now, for summer, I am loving it over my dresses. It's a little warm if I'm outdoors but if I know I'm going to the coffee shop, a movie or the mall, it gives me extra warmth in the air conditioning.



Dress: Ruche {Similar Here, Here and Here} || Shoes: Target {Old}

First off, I paired it with this breezy floral dress. This is one of those items I bought because I loved it, not because it was right for my figure. It has a dropped waist and ruffles and I have curvy hips... but I don't care, I love it. And I just happen to have pink wedges to compliment it. I tried to find a similar pair but nothing came up after I searched around. I could find that style and that color, just not that color in that style. Mostly, I think that style has been phasing out so there isn't a huge assortment. Ah, well! I'll wear mine anyway.

I kept jewelry simple, a couple of bracelets on one arm and my watch on the other. You can't tell, but I have a delicate pair of diamond studs in. The vest is already a big piece, the floral pattern catches the eye and I did not feel the need to compete with big jewelry. 

It's a sweet and feminine way to wear your cargo vest.



Dress: Target {Sold Out Online, I like This, This, and This} || Shoes: Target {Check in store! I got mine on clearance}

Before I get into it, can I get a round of applause for my muscular legs? All those squats and lunges pay off!

This is one of my favorite outfits I have created so far with my vest. The dress is comfortable but still looks chic paired with the vest and the shoes dress it up just enough for me to feel put together but casual. I'll easily be able to wear this outfit through fall, swapping for booties when it starts to feel cooler, add tights when it's cold!



Top: Target {Old, I like this and this} || Boots: Sears

I had to think a little to put together something more for fall because it isn't cool enough for boots and jeans just yet. I took a quick glance around my closet and grabbed a few items I have been dying to wear. I nabbed these boots on sale about a month ago, not boot weather but filled my desire to have a pair of black ankle boots. The polka dot blouse I picked up last year and no luck on a match for it, sorry. Topped it with a simple statement necklace and voila, an easy look I can actually wear everyday.



Drapey Tee: Target || Leggings: Charlotte Russe || Sneaker Wedges: Target

And for my last one, I decided to use a few items most people probably won't want, but I love them. Leather leggings and sneaker wedges! Remember what I said about wear what you love? Well, this is it for me. I long, comfy tee over my [faux] leather leggings and my comfy sneakers. I get that people think the shoes are ugly, maybe they are, but they are comfortable and give a short girl like me a boost. The cargo vest helps me pull the whole outfit together so I don't feel "naked" in just a tee and tights. Obviously you could sub in regular black leggings, patterned legging or skinny jeans. And, of course, regular sneakers. This is a great example of going for low end when you want a part of a trend that may not last. My leggings and my sneakers were cheap, on sale or clearance. I was shocked that Target still has the sneakers online, they have a few different styles if you're in the market for a cheap pair. 


And lastly, this is what it all boils down to. I have to have versatile, reusable items, on a budget because this guy is ultimately more important than all the things I own or wear. I'm his mother but I'm still a person. I'm worth more than a stainy tee and crappy old jeans, though sometimes I do wear that around home and I'd gladly make that sacrifice if I had to.

Today, he just wanted to be included in my "fashion show" as he called it and show off his "karate outfit."

Of course, Daniel-san, of course.

---

That's all I have for you today!

If I have inspired you, send me an email of your outfit or find me on twitter or instagram {Tag me!}.

- Amanda