Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Simplified Style... J.Crew Icon Trench in Plaid Italian Wool

Simplified Style... J.Crew Icon Trench in Plaid Italian Wool

The Details...


Shop It...

*J.Crew Icon Trench Coat in Plaid Italian Wool - such a classic, gorgeous plaid coat done in subtle, understated tones of navy, olive green, & a gorgeous burgundy/rust shade. This is one of those coats that never goes out of style, and will be a true investment piece that you'll wear for many years to come.

Sizing: In my opinion, the sizing runs smaller on this one than it does the majority of coats and jackets offered at J.Crew over the past couple of years (it fits me the same as the Icon Trench Coat from 2010). For this reason, I would suggest sizing up at least one size for best fit (especially if you have broad shoulders), unless you are very small on top. I normally wear a 0 or 2 in coats and jackets at J.Crew (depending on the style), and the size 4 plaid Icon fits me well. If you're still in doubt as to which size you should choose, you can contact J.Crew Customer Service for exact measurements.

Warmth: As far as the warmth factor goes, I would consider this a fall or spring coat for those of us in colder climates, although if you layer a sweater underneath you may be able to get away with wearing it in colder temps, especially if you're just going from your warm house, to a warm car, to a warm office, store, etc. The lovely ladies living in the south, however, are more than likely able to wear the coat throughout the entire winter.

All in all, I think it truly is a really beautiful investment piece. The coat is now 30% Off with code SALETREAT until 10.31.16. for those interested.


*Eileen Fisher Plaid Flannel Crop Wide Leg Pants - beautifully done subtle plaid on the pants, making them a more neutral piece to wear with a large variety of colors.
Eileen Fisher clothing tends to run large, so consider sizing down one size from your norm if you're trying out her line for the first time. EF clothing does tend toward the spendy side, but more often than not the quality warrants the higher price tag, plus it is usually possible to score the majority of her clothing at really great sale prices...so bookmark the links!



*Michael Kors 'Camille' Gold Watch - similar less spendy option here.

*J.Crew Pavé Link Bracelet - this truly is a classic piece that will be worn for years to come.
I've had mine for many, many years and wear it at least several times a week.

*Dooney & Bourke Python Embossed Leather Small Satchel -
for those interested, I reviewed the handbag here back in 2012.
It's sold out now, but it looks like there may be a couple for sale on Ebay.
Dooney is still using the same embossed python as my bag, but on a different silhouette here in TMoro. Similar bags here and here in taupe, as well.



*J.Crew Lucite Heels in Velvet -
I was surprised at how much of a neutral the ash grey velvet color is in person.
They really are a very versatile shoe, not to mention quite comfortable.
The color of the velvet pairs beautifully with the bag, and the lucite heel compliments the reddish shade in the plaid of the coat, too.
The heels are currently sold out, but they do keep popping back up on the website in various sizes, so if you're looking for a pair keep checking this link, the J.Crew sale section, or call a store and ask them to check inventory for all the stores to see if anyone has them in your size.
Similar shoe option here in grey.
This pair also looks nice, and the cameo rose colorway appears as if it would be a perfect neutral.

That's it for now, my friends... enjoy your day!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What I Wore...

What I Wore...

This is an outfit I wore one day last month to run a couple of errands, and then attend a meeting at church. The weather had just started to cool down, so the jacket was a welcome addition
(especially in the evening), and since it had not gotten bitterly cold yet, the flip-flops were still a viable option at that time. The dress is extremely comfortable, as is the jacket, and this is an outfit I would wear to substitute teach at the Private Christian Academy this fall.
However, instead of wearing my Sanuk flip-flops, I would now opt for my
Puma® Match Lo Sneakers or black leather Frye Harness Ankle Boots.

The Details...


Shop It...

*Madewell Outbound Jacket purchased several years ago, and still one of my favorites. I've often wondered why they don't bring this one back, as it was a top seller at the time. If you ever come across one on Ebay or Poshmark in your size, I would say to snatch it up if you're interested. The quality of the jacket is excellent, the color is the perfect shade of army/olive green, and the overall fit is very flattering - similar one here in 'military surplus'.

*Vince Camuto 'Shadow Forms' Maxi dress...love, love, love this dress! The print is much prettier IRL than it is on the product page, and the dress is ultra comfy, too. Similar here and here (on sale).

*Monet Silver Hoop Earrings - classic and chic.
A definite 'must have' staple jewelry item for any woman's wardrobe.
This pair look really nice, too.

*Etsy Tiny Silver Cross 14" necklace.
Prior to this necklace, I had also purchased a gold cross necklace from the same seller, and have been very pleased with both items.

*Sundance Letter Charm on a 16" silver chain.
Hands down one of my favorite jewelry pieces that I own.
The letters available are starting to get limited, so be sure to order quickly if your desired initial is still in stock. As I've mentioned before, I honestly wish now that I had bought several more of the charms for Christmas gifts before the letters I needed sold out.




*Brighton Braided Black Leather Bracelet - this is a really pretty, more dainty piece that my mother gifted to me, and I normally wear it on the left arm with my watch.
Similar here and here.

*Etsy Black Leather Bracelet with Silver Hook - this is a really well-made piece that is more substantial than the Brighton bracelet, and I normally wear it by itself on my right arm.

*Baggallini Crossbody Bag (gifted to me by my mom several years ago) - similar here and here.

*Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip-Flops in ebony...so very, very comfy, great quality,
and they're really cute on your feet, too!

That's it for now...have a lovely day! :)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Madewell New Arrival Picks - What I'm Loving...

Madewell added new arrivals to their website earlier this week...
another round of really nice items, and plenty to love again this time, too.

As I've mentioned many times before, I absolutely love Madewell. The casual-vibe of their clothing works well with my lifestyle, the styling on the website stays more to the understated side, the prices are often more affordable than a lot of the retailers offering similar styles, and I love that they always offer Free Shipping on ALL orders, too.
The quality has been good on all the items I have ordered, and the pieces are all holding up very well so far. (I've shared pics of me wearing a couple of the jackets on my Instagram.)

If you haven't ever ordered from Madewell, you should definitely consider giving them a try...
I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you like them, too.
PLUS they just started the Madewell Insider Loyalty Program which rewards shoppers with lots of extra perks like free shipping and free returns, free monogramming, free hemming, and a birthday gift, just to name a few. (You can see all that it entails here.)

Click here to check out the new arrivals, and be sure to take a peek at my personal picks below. :)

What I'm Loving...



That's it for now...what are your thoughts on the new arrivals at Madewell?
Do you have your eye on anything in particular? Do tell! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cooking Simplified: Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cups

Hello my friends! I hope you're having a lovely week so far! Today I'm sharing a recipe for a super cute dessert that is perfect for autumn celebrations...
Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cups.
How cute are these? I came across the recipe last year on Facebook, and shared it on the blog last October. Since they are easy to make, and kids love them...
I thought I would post it again this year. :)

Ingredients:

2 Packages of Oreos

Directions:

1. Make the pudding by following directions on the box
(whisk together pudding mix and 3 cups cold milk).

2. Use a food processor, Vitamix, or Ninja to crush the Oreos until smooth.

3. Layer the Oreos and chocolate pudding in a clear cup...
Oreos, pudding, Oreos, pudding, and top with Oreos.

4. Top with a Green Sour Straw candy cut in half (the pumpkin vine) and three pumpkin candies.

5. Serve with a spoon!



That's it...easy peasy, but so fun and perfect for autumn!
I'm sure the kiddos (and adults) will love them!







Monday, October 24, 2016

Shopping Simplified @ Boden - Time to Celebrate with 25% Off Plus Free Shipping & Returns on $49+ - My Personal Picks

Boden is celebrating their 25th Birthday, by offering shoppers an additional 25% off their order until Thursday, October 27th...plus shipping & returns are FREE on orders of $49+.
No code necessary, prices as marked.

For those of you who may not be all that familiar with Boden, their vision is summed up by this statement from the website...

"We’re all about British fashion that’s the enemy of ordinary. Unmatched quality. Incredible service. That’s what we do best. You’ll find exclusive prints, premium fabrics, effortless cuts and surprising details for the whole family. And it’ll be those things that keep you coming back demanding more, more, MORE."

Personally, I always find plenty to love at Boden, and have been able to pick up a few things over the past couple of months on sale...which always makes shopping even better!
This birthday sale with 25% off plus free shipping & returns on $49+ is one of the best that Boden tends to offer, so if you've been thinking about picking something up, or possibly even giving them a try for the first time, this is an excellent opportunity to shop.

Click here to shop, and take a peek at my personal picks below...

*Anna Dress - I own this one in both colors, and love it...see an IRL pic here.

Are you planning on taking advantage of the Boden 25% Off Birthday Celebration? Have you placed an order already? Is there any item or items you would recommend? Do tell!

That's it for now...have a lovely day! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

What I Wore...

What I Wore...

This is the outfit I wore yesterday to take my 11 year-old to the doctor for his well-check visit, and to get a referral to start up physical therapy for his cerebral palsy again. He was doing much better keeping his heel flatter to the floor, as well as building his endurance when walking, but after going through several growing spurts this past year, his leg has tightened up significantly, and he is back to increased toe walking again. We took him to the Shriners Hospital in Spokane last month, and they said that for now he is still brace-able, and doesn't require heel cord surgery...thank God for that, as we are trying to avoid it for as long as possible, thus the referral for intensive PT sessions again.

After the appointment was over we ran a couple of errands, and then headed home.
The jacket in the set above is similar to the one I wore, which is actually Free People, and just so happens to be one of my current favorites. The booties are super comfortable, not to mention a perfect neutral color, PLUS they match my bag perfectly...love it when that happens! :)

The Details...

*Free People 'Not Your Brother's' Utility Jacket in camo. As I mentioned above, I absolutely adore this jacket...one of my current faves, so very comfortable to wear, and goes with just about anything. I normally wear an XSmall in Free People, but sized up to a small in this jacket for more roominess in the shoulders, and the ability to wear more layers underneath.
The jacket is also available on sale here (use code FRIENDS) and here.

*L.L. Bean Signature Merino Crewneck Sweater in gunmetal gray heather. Another love for me...I also own it in navy, and would love to get the camel eventually if it goes on sale again. The sweater is excellent quality and soft against the skin. Sizing may run a tad large, although I ordered my normal XSmall, as I do with most items at L.L. Bean, and it fits perfectly through the shoulders, with just a touch of slouch through the body for a comfy, relaxed vibe.

*J.Crew Point Sur Japanese Denim with Cashmere Jean in Lynndale Wash - these pop back on the J.Crew website on a regular basis, so snatch up a pair if you get the chance.
They are very soft and run true to size...highly recommend.

*Monet Silver Hoop Earrings - classic and chic.
A definite 'must have' staple jewelry item for any woman's wardrobe.
This pair look really nice, too.

*Etsy Tiny Silver Cross 14" necklace.
Prior to this necklace, I had also purchased a gold cross necklace from the same seller, and have been very pleased with both items.

*Sundance Letter Charm on a 16" silver chain.
Hands down one of my favorite jewelry pieces that I own.
The letters available are starting to get limited, so be sure to order quickly if your desired initial is still in stock. I honestly wish now that I had bought several more of the charms for Christmas gifts before the letters I needed sold out.


*Brighton Braided Black Leather Bracelet - this is a really pretty, more dainty piece that my mother gifted to me, and I normally wear it on the left arm with my watch.
Similar here and here.

*Etsy Black Leather Bracelet with Silver Hook - this is a really well-made piece that is more substantial than the Brighton bracelet, and I normally wear it by itself on my right arm.

*Brown & Black Studded Leather Belt with Silver Buckle -
(purchased at a consignment shoppe in Whitefish two years ago) - similar here.

*Baggallini Medium Pocket Crossbody in Taupe/Dusk -
purchased recently at TJ Maxx - similar here in Portebello.

*Eileen Fisher 'List' Bootie in Dusk. Absolutely adore these booties! They are high quality, incredibly comfortable, and the heel height is very wearable for extended periods of time, too.
The booties are also available for an even deeper discount here with code FRIENDS at checkout.

Instagram pic...



That's it for now...have a lovely day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cooking Simplified: Apple Spice Muffins

Today I am sharing another two ingredient muffin recipe that is once again incredibly easy to make! This time around it's for Apple Spice Muffins!
It takes just a few minutes to whip them up, and the muffins are incredibly moist and oh so yummy...
you may just want to eat more than one!

Now I personally like to add a streusel topping to the muffins I make to give them a bit of that 'Gourmet Bakery' touch. Technically that means more than two items, but the topping is completely optional, and the muffins are still absolutely delicious without it. :)

Apple Spice Muffins

Ingredients:


Topping (Optional):

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
**I actually double the topping since we like the muffins extra sweet at our house.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Grease your muffin pan
(I use a jumbo size pan because I'm going for the 'Gourmet Bakery' vibe when making muffins)

3. Mix the Apple Pie Filling and Spice Cake Mix together in a bowl

4. Spoon the batter into the pan

5. Add the topping (optional)

6. Bake according to the directions for muffins on the box (usually 15 minutes or so)

That's it. I'm not kidding! They are INCREDIBLY EASY to make, and will disappear as quick as lightning...especially if you have kiddos around!

Do let me know what you think if you give them a try!
That's it for now...I hope you have an absolutely glorious and blessed day!!! :)



image

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Road Trip - Philipsburg, Montana

This past Sunday we took a family road-trip over to Philipsburg, Montana, a charming 19th century mining town that happens to be a favorite place to visit for many Montanans. With its countless activities and wonderful hospitality, you always feel welcomed and entertained.

The Chamber of Commerce website states:

"Long the county seat of Granite, Philipsburg has a rich history of mining and ranching. Officially registered as a town in 1867 and incorporated in 1890, Philipsburg was named after Philip Deidesheimer, a prominent mining engineer who hailed from Nevada. The town prospered as a booming mining community until the Silver Crash of 1893, which forced the mills to close. Most of the population vanished overnight, rendering Philipsburg and the surrounding area a ghost town.

Over the years, Philipsburg has evolved into a thriving community with a vibrant sense of history. Today, we celebrate our roots in a variety of ways, through ranching, sapphire mining, and commemorating our past in our museum and cultural center. What began as a boom town is recognized and appreciated by outdoor enthusiasts for its natural wellspring of lakes, rivers, streams, and panoramic mountains. In 1997 and again in 2000, Philipsburg was named a finalist in a contest for Prettiest Painted Places in America."


This was actually our second trip to Philipsburg this year, as we initially visited this past summer when my niece and parents were out here. My eldest son could not get the day off from his job that time and didn't get to go, so we decided to make a second trip over so he could experience the town before he leaves for boot camp on the 13th of November.

One of our favorite parts of visiting Philipsburg, is taking the 4 mile bumpy mountain road up to the Granite Ghost Town.



Est. 1884
Peek Population: 3000ish (early 1890's)
Present Population: 0

"Nicknamed "Montana's Silver Queen," Granite had its hey day in the early 1890's. It is located on Granite Mountain, just four miles from Philipsburg.

In 1872, Eli Holland is said to have found a piece of high grade ruby silver while following a wounded game animal, either deer or elk. A shallow shaft was dug on the outcropping. The site lay dormant for over five years until Charles McLure found a piece of the silver ore on the shaft dump and thought the prospect showed promise. He traveled east to St. Louis where he obtained capital to begin exploration and development of the property.

The town eventually became a thriving city and boasted as many stores and commercial establishments as any other modern Montana city at that time. One of the most famous buildings in Granite was a large Miner's Union Hall with a pool parlor and club area on the first floor, and an office, a library, a large dance floor, and an auditorium space on the second floor called the "Northwest's Finest Dance Floor." Quite often the auditorium played host to minstrel shows, melodramas, and vaudeville. Some of the other amenities Granite offered were eighteen saloons, a thriving red light district, a roller rink, a hospital, five doctors, a school, four churches, several banks, a water system, named streets, and several homes for the more than 3,000 inhabitants. However, there was no cemetery. All of the bodies were interred in the Philipsburg Cemetery because the ground was so rock infested in Granite that a grave could not be dug.

In 1893, the U.S. Congress repealed the Sherman Act resulting in lower silver prices, and on the morning of August 1, within twenty-four hours of the repeal, many men, women, and children came down the mountain in search of new homes, leaving their worldly possessions behind them. One year later, only 140 people remained in Granite."

In modern day, only the foundations, rubble, and sparse remains of the town buildings are left on top of the mountain, but it is so very interesting to see where they were once built, and imagine all the town folks and miners bustling along the streets of the mining town on top of the mountain.
There was plenty of snow when we made the trip up this time since Granite is situated at 8,000 ft. in elevation, approximately a mile and a half above sea level, and it is October in Montana, after all...





















My youngest son and I standing in front of what used to be the General Store...


I am wearing -
*Sorel Winter Fancy Boot which I swapped out for my Sundance Ashville Boots in Grey once we went down the mountain into town.
*Brighton Braided Black Leather Bracelet that my mother gifted to me.

What I Wore...On a Family Road Trip to Philipsburg, MT

Once we finished exploring the ghost town on the mountain, we came down into the quaint town of Philispburg itself to browse the local shops, grab an Americano from one of the cafés, visit one of the town's museums, enjoy a picnic lunch, and let the younger boys play on the super cool playground in the school yard.





Now of course, a visit to Philipsburg would NOT be complete without a stop at The Sweet Palace (arguably the world's best candy store), to fill up on sugary goodness for the ride home.
(Because an SUV full of boys loaded up on sugar is always a good thing...said NO mom, EVER.)



We headed home as it was getting close to sunset after a long and very enjoyable day...after all, a trip to Philipsburg always promises a wonderful and enjoyable time, filled with lots of great memories, and this visit was no exception.
If you are ever traveling through Montana, definitely consider putting a visit to Philipsburg on your list of things to do and see...you won't be disappointed!



images here, here, and here

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What I Wore...


What I Wore...
A few weeks ago, I filled in as substitute teacher for the 9-12th grade English Literature classes at our local private Christian school academy. The dress code for adult staff is business/semi casual - we are in Montana after all, and this is what I wore for my day of teaching...

The Details:





Shop It...

*Boden Anna Dress in Black Hotchpotch. I love this dress so much that I actually own it in both colorways. It is very well-made, excellent quality, the fabric/material is substantial, plus it's extremely comfortable to wear, and incredibly flattering on the body...highly recommend!
(For those interested, it is also marked down by 20% until tomorrow.)

*J.Crew Vintage Denim Jacket in Indigo Wash (from several years ago) - similar here and here.

*J.Crew Butterfly Necklace Chain with a 2 carat Diamonique Pendant - similar chain and pendant.

*Michael Kors Gold 'Camille' Watch - one of my favorite pieces. I also own the same watch in silver, and wear one or the other almost every day.
A definite statement piece, and well worth the investment if you can afford it.

*J.Crew Classic Pavé Link Bracelet - I bought mine many years ago, and it has been the true workhorse of my jewelry wardrobe. The bracelet receives compliments every time it's worn, and it looks just as good today, as it did all those years ago when I purchased it.

*Gold Crossbody Bag from TJ Maxx (purchased a few years ago) - similar here and here.

*L.L. Bean Deerfield Tall Rustic Harness Boots - love these boots...very well-made, the color goes with just about everything, and they are comfy to boot (no pun intended), plus they are on sale for an extra 20% off until the end of today, for those interested. :)

That's it for now...have a lovely day!