Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pattern Play: Puffer Vests

These days with a high of 60 are the perfect days to add a vest to your outfit. I am a big fan of layering in the fall because I have a bit of a Goldilocks mentality when it comes to temperature. Some people say that vests are pointless, but in reality, a puffer vest actually keeps your core and neck warm which is just what you need on a brisk day. There are dozens of different vendors and vest styles out there to choose from in all sorts of colors and patterns. I don't know about y'all, but my routine of button downs or sweaters can get pretty boring in the fall, so I try to throw in prints here and there to change it up!
Here are some of my favorite patterned vests and how you can style them:
Gap Floral Vest
Herringbone Vest
Old Navy Plaid Vest 
similar Bliss vest

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

So Halloween is two days away, meaning tomorrow night is the first night of costumes. Have you picked out what you're going to wear yet? If not, don't sweat it. It is amazing how many things you can do with just a few simple items from your wardrobe and a craft store. Personally, I love getting dressed up for Halloweekend. I already planned out my costumes for this year and I am so excited to make them tonight and tomorrow! If you are looking for a costume idea, this post has some of my favorite, relatively easy costumes to inspire you. 

Costume Ideas:

Rosie the Riveter
Denim Shirt
Red Bandana
Red lipstick

Fantasy Football
Football Jersey
Fairy Wings and maybe a wand

Yellow shirt
Cowboy boots
Cowboy Hat
Tape with "ANDY" written on it
*you can make a vest by cutting a white t-shirt into one and then sharpie-ing on the cow print*

Board Name Titles
T-shirt or actual cork board to display them

Orange t-shirt
Black tank top
*cut the face's holes in the orange shirt and layer over the tank*

Minnie/Mickey Mouse
Red skirt/pants
Black shirt
White Gloves
Mouse ears
(Bow for Minnie)

Charlie Brown
Yellow t-shirt
Black paint
*just paint a black zig-zag line on the shirt*

Princess Leia
White Dress
Side Buns

Sheldon and Amy
Sheldon Shirt (buy one or make one)
Jean Skirt
Mary Jane flats

Starbucks Barista
White Polo
Green Apron
Black Hat
Starbucks cup (that you can drink out of!)


Plaid uniform skirt
White Button-down

Trophy Wife
Big Ring

White Shirt
White pants
Black paint
Orange construction paper
*paint 3 dots on the shirt and glue the paper into a cone shape then cut it to fit onto your face and tie with twine*

Holly Golightly
Black Dress
Pearl Necklace with Charm
Black Shoes
High Bun
Bedazzled Comb for Hair
*I actually used an old pair of big earrings as the comb in this picture and I wrapped a bracelet around the necklace for the charm! Bonus if you bring a stuffed cat or croissant with you*

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Halloween Desserts

Happy Hallo-week! My apartment is 100% prepared for Halloween...actually, I am a bit worried about our decorations after this weekend because everything down to our shower curtain is Halloween themed. In honor of the holiday on Friday, I decided to create a themed dessert for my Relay For Life meetings tonight, so naturally I consulted Pinterest.
I opted for the super easy Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats, but there are a bunch of other great treats to try at your Halloween parties this week!
Candy Corn Cake 
Halloween Cake Bars
Mummy Oreo Pops 
Oreo Bat Truffles
Witch Cupcakes
Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cozy, Affordable Blanket Scarves

I love wearing a cozy scarf this time of year. You can bundle it close to your neck when it's especially chilly in the morning and relax it for the afternoon. I have a pretty large collection of scarves that I've amassed over the years, but this one I just got is definitely taking the cake as the coziest yet. 
Everyone seems to have the Zara Blanket Scarf from last year, but of course it isn't in stock right now. I feel like this happens way too frequently, however that actually meant that when I found one, it was for a much better price than the original! There are so many knockoffs on Amazon and eBay for half the original price. (this is the one I got) Of course, if the tartan pattern of this scarf isn't your cup of tea, there are plenty of other options out there:
links to these scarves
One thing I would recommend is checking the composition of the scarf before ordering it. I specifically made sure to get an acrylic mix scarf because I thought that getting a scarf this large and heavy in a wool blend was a little more than I wanted to deal with.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A New Way to Study Snack: Graze Box Review

Study snacks are a necessity for me. I am one of those people who has done the "write a paragraph, get a Swedish Fish" program more times than I can count and there is no indication that the system is going to change. One of the problems with study snacking is that I don't have much willpower and quite frankly, I don't go for the healthiest snacks at Cohn's on a regular basis, though I do get grapes semi-frequently. 

One way to counter this habit is through a great service that is delivered right to your front door. I got my first Graze Box yesterday and immediately knew that it was going to be the perfect thing to bring to the library to write my paper today. The box comes with four individually wrapped snacks that are selected based on preferences that you choose on the site. You can choose how often you want the box delivered to your door, and you can cancel at any time without a fee.
my first box
But it gets even better because you can get your first and fifth boxes for free if you use the code ERINM73XP when you register. And just like with the original deal, if you don't like it after the first one arrives, just don't get's actually totally commitment free. When registering, you have the option between the normal or calorie counter box, which I got. The snacks included in mine are the Chili & Lime Pistachios, the Smoky Hot Dog mix, Raspberry & Coconut Muffin, and the Oat, Spelt, & Rasin Dippers with Berry Compote. Also, don't be fooled by the names, they did not actually include a muffin or a hotdog in my mix, but the names are pretty cool! After trying these snacks over the next couple weeks of snacking in the library, I will rank them for preferences for future Graze experiences!

Does anyone else get the Graze Box? What are your favorite snacks in it?


Sunday, October 19, 2014

I'm Feelin' 22

Well, it's that time of year again...the time that I officially become a year older. Adios, twenty-fun, thanks for a great year. You know you're getting older, when you choose to be responsible and spend your birthday in the library studying for an exam instead of doing what you want. It's amazing to think how much can happen in a year and to realize how much I've grown in that time. This was a great year and I have some pretty high expectations for know, like getting a full-time job!
thanks for the throwback, Momma
Anyways, I loved doing my 22 by 22 list and it was a great resource to branch out a bit and really focus on accomplishing those things that I always say I am going to do, but never actually get around to doing. I didn't check off all of the items on my list, but I did get almost all of them done. The ones that I didn't do, I am just rolling over to my 23 by 23 list.
If you want to see what last year and this year's list, you can click on this link here, and you can keep up with it through the link at the top of the page! Let me know if you have a list of your own or want to make one too, I love seeing what other people put on their lists! Also, this was based on the 101 in 1001 list that Mackenzie Horan from Design Darling created, which is a great idea if you have some long-term goals.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Five: All of Us

Apparently this is my first Friday Five since September...oops. Also, I turn 22 on Sunday. I can't believe it! I still am going to desperately attempt to get as much of that 22 by 22 list done in preparation for my 23 by 23 list that I will be unveiling on Sunday. 

This tumblr is gold. I will probably never look at a J. Crew ad in the same way again and I am totally okay with that. Plus, the last drunk ad in this series is "burrito time" which is eerily similar to "two guys tacos time" that Meghan and I enjoy indulging in.

2) Factory Dotted Gigi Pants
Speaking of J. Crew...these came in yesterday and the second I tried them on, I decided to take that I was going to be wearing them as often as I can. They are so comfortable and cute in an understated way. Admittedly I am really partial to anything with polka dots, but I think these are universally appealing!

3) LeConte Lodge
Seeing as going camping is going to be added to my 23 by 23 list, this seems like a pretty cool trip for the spring or summer. And yes, I actually want to go camping. I don't know exactly why I am adding this to my list, but unless I change my mind in the next 48 hours, I will be needing to find some friends to rope into this outdoor adventure. That being said, this lodge has unbelievable views and I love that you have to hike to get to it, totally removing yourself from the hustle and bustle of every day life.

My roommate shared this with me on Facebook and we have 16/18. We are missing the decorative wine holders and a motivational bathroom message. It is really funny how many of these we have though. We both have cute coffee mugs that we use all the time

Last night over the course of 20 minutes one of my friends and my dad both told me about this article. I guess people think I like sports? This is really interesting though because I bet most people (including myself) wouldn't know where it came from. Also, in case you don't already know, the Kansas City Royals will be facing off against the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Martha Stewart's No-Carve, Lace Pumpkin

My apartment is taking fall decorations seriously this year, I mean we even have a Halloween shower curtain. Since we have so many decorations, we obviously had to throw in a couple of pumpkins, so I bought some at Trader Joe's the other day. If you're looking for a pumpkin, it's worth noting that their regular pumpkins are $3.99 no matter which one you choose, and they also have a great selection of mini pumpkins and gourds, as well as fantasy pumpkins. Oh, and they have every delicious pumpkin and other fall flavored treat imaginable inside the store...I actually tried pumpkin greek yogurt.

Anyways, I knew that I wanted a real pumpkin for my front door and one for my room, but I wasn't sure what to do with the one in my room. I didn't want to carve the pumpkin and have it slowly rot in my room, but a plain orange pumpkin isn't much fun either. Luckily, on a trip to CVS, the cover of Martha Stewart Living caught my eye and I now have a cute, decorated pumpkin thanks to an easy DIY in the magazine!

patterned lace stockings
spray paint
masking tape
tarp or mat

1) Cover the pumpkin in the stockings and pull a section tightly around the pumpkin. Then tie knots at each end and cut the excess. *I used the hips section for my pumpkin because the S/M legs were too small*
2) Put masking tape around the stem of the pumpkin so that none of the paint gets on it.
3) Spray paint the pumpkin: It works best if you do a half at a time, rolling it on it's side so that you don't crush the stem.

Tip: Martha's team used a white pumpkin and created their own mixture of paint with an aerosol sprayer. I chose to go the cheap route with a can of spray paint and the cheaper, orange pumpkin. My only recommendation is that if you choose to use an orange pumpkin, make sure you use a totally different color for the paint. The buttery yellow I used was great with the flowers I have in my fireplace, but maroon or another fall color would work great as well.
*original DIY can be found here*

Monday, October 13, 2014

Different Types of Duck a sale!

Dressing for dreary days in college mean preparing for the worst. If it's overcast, do not leave that umbrella at are just going to guarantee that it is going to rain. Of course, footwear is important too, and that is why I love my duck boots. Oh, and did I mention that they're on sale on LL Bean today?
I love my Hunter Wellies too, but they are bigger and bulkier, and if it doesn't rain, I kind of feel dumb wearing them. Fortunately, duck boots are so widely acceptable that I don't worry about it. They also come in so many different brands, colors, and styles.
find all these boots here!
What was once just a basic boot has taken on so many different appearances to reflect anyone's personal style. As for me, I used to have the 8" boots, but I love my 6" brown bean boots now because they're a little less restrictive. One of the biggest pluses for these boots is that they somehow manage to go with everything. Here are some of my favorite pins with duck boots:

What type of duck boots do you have?


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Favorite Flats...On Sale!

Finding a pair of flats that you can wear all over grounds without getting blisters is a challenge. I actually have two pairs of shoes that only come out on "light walking" days. Luckily, there is a pair of flats that I know will never let me down and they come in almost every color! Oh, did I mention that they are only $40? Yeah. The Steve Madden Heaven flat has been really popular for a couple of years now and I am on my second pair right now which I am absolutely wearing into the ground on the brick sidewalks at UVA. Today I was looking at DSW's website to order a replacement for my faithful favorite and was surprised by how many different colors and prints they come in! I cannot recommend these flats enough because they really don't take any time to break in and they are comfortable for hours!
original post
As an added bonus, if you use the code "OctoberFun" at checkout on, you get $10 off a purchase of $74, $25 off $149, or $50 off $249. Happy Shopping! Also the bracelets are the same as the ones I made over the summer, I just decided I wanted some for fall when I made those. If you want to make your own, here's the original blog post.

great color for fall!
as Jenna Lyons says, leopard is a neutral!
my favorite!
another fun neutral alternative!
this is actually the Ibiza, similar but with a pointed toe

What are your go-to fall flats?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Feels Like Fall...Decorations!

Today I went to Walmart for some supplies to fight this cold I am getting and of course the first thing I saw when I walked in was the Halloween displays. I was able to stay far away from the candy, but I did go through the decorations aisle. Decorating for the holidays is one of my favorite parts of having my own apartment. I already have a bunch of general fall decorations from last year, but I love the little touches for the particular holiday! At home, my momma always has great seasonal decorations and that has definitely been one of the biggest influences in my love for decorating here. 
Of course, on a college budget, it is no fun to spend all your social money on decorations that only last a month or two, so here are a couple of steps to add a seasonal touch to your apartment without breaking the bank!
1) Door Decorations: We (now) have a little Trick or Treat sign from Walmart, but a fall wreath would last even longer than that. You can get a wreath at Walmart, Michaels, Home Goods, or Target for a decent price. If you go to Michaels, you can even make it a DI wreath!
2) Pumpkins: Pumpkins and other gourds are inexpensive fresh, but you can also get fake ones. I have a couple of cute wood pumpkins for my mantle from last year that I got at Home Goods for next to nothing!
3. Scented Candles: I love candles, but at my apartment I just use a wax melter. Spiced pumpkin is always a good choice, but there are so many delicious fall scents!
4. Fall Flowers: I get most of my flowers at Trader Joe's and I love the rich colors that come out in the fall. Fake flowers are always a good, allergy-free option as well. For those, check Walmart or Michaels (especially if you have a coupon!).
5. Cozy Throw Blankets: A wool blanket draped over a couch corner just adds to the atmosphere of the room. Plus, you can grab a blanket, a cup of tea, and hunker down on the couch. I love, love, love sitting in front of a fire this time of year. We don't have working fireplaces in our apartment, but that doesn't mean I can't spend a lazy evening cozy on the couch!

How do you prepare for fall?


Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's a (Dinner) Party

Those of you who've seen my 22x22 list know that I still have a few things to check off before my birthday rolls around two weeks from today. There are a couple things that I unfortunately will not get to do, but I am doing my best to finish the rest. One of the items was to host a dinner party so I decided to invite some of my friends over for a casual Friday of food, wine, and relaxation. It was the perfect evening because we were all pretty tired and wanted to save our energy for last night's 7:30 football game!
I also got to kill two birds with one stone on this one because I used Pinterest for a couple of the recipes.
I had work all afternoon, so I just prepared the Chili in the crockpot before I left for work and prepared everything else when I got back. It was so much fun to be able to host everyone and try out some new recipes! One of my friends commented that she had been thinking about how she wished people made more plans like this and I couldn't agree more. It is so nice to be able to organize time together when people's lives get so crazy, especially since it's our fourth year.
Plus, this dinner was so easy to make. I kept the menu simple since I knew that I only had a little bit of time to prep after I got off work:
Chili with Rice
Corn Muffins
Spinach Salad
Apple Galette with Ice Cream
As I said before, I threw the Chili in the crockpot before work so that was easy. The recipe I used called for butternut squash, which I didn't use, but I also wish that I had added some more salt and garlic powder for a little more flavor. For the Corn muffins, I just used Jiffy mix which made the perfect number for a small dinner party. The Spinach Salad was a Dole kit (doesn't get easier than that). I love this Apple Galette recipe. It was incredibly easy to make and it is basically an open face apple pie. The recipe called for a homemade dough, but in the interest of time and sanity, I just used a 9in pre-made pie crust from the grocery store and I think it turned out perfectly fine!
Thanks to my friends who came over for this little dinner party, I am so lucky to have friends like y'all!