Style it / 5 {Shawl / Cape}

September is just a tease, October is the real thing! The air gets crisper, the leaves are anything but green and crunch under your feet, and best of all, we get to pull out our thick, cozy knits, fall jackets, and fun items like this! My shawl! I like to call it my blanket/shawl, in other words my shalanket!

Sometimes this item is difficult to wear… But only because it is very much a statement piece all on its own. It needs just a little bit more styling. It only covers the top half of the body, so in this case, it’s all about the legs!

Boyfriend jeans and chucks. Keep it cozy and casual for your errands! Slip on some ripped up boyfriend jeans and your chucks for an easy go to!

Tights, heels, short skirt… That pretty much calls for a girls night! Keep things interesting by wearing your shawl or cape instead of a jacket!

Fringe boots. Pumpkin patch or apple picking… I just feel like I need to wear my fringe boots for any such fall activity! But add a fall, plaid shawl and I’ve pretty much got the perfect fall uniform!

Sequins. They make everything better! Period. Not much else to say about that one, but they do add the tiniest, little dressy touch to make a perfect lunch outfit.

Colored jeans. The movies are one of my favorite places to wear my shawl. With colored jeans (or corduroys in my case) I can change up the look, look cute but be cozy in the theater at the same time! Almost like cuddling up on your own couch with a blanket!

Skinnies and heels. Add a pop of color and a little shape to your legs and vuala! You are ready for a date with your husby!

See how they wore it: Keiko

Find a similar look: ASOS, Lucky Brand (Mine is a couple years old from here!) Zara.

How would you wear the shawl or cape trend?

Luvv, Leigh B

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{DIY} Alice in Wonderland party

We ALL went all out for the Alice in Wonderland party last weekend! I’m not even sure how many of us total were involved. But Jessica did a great job keeping everybody focused! Megan walked in with no idea what she was going to find. The first words out of her mouth concerning our outfits, “I love how perfectly ridiculous you all look!”

…And then we put her in her Alice costume!

The party was a super hit! With phenomenal party decorations if I do say so myself. Everyone pulled together to cut cardboard, paint clocks, flamingos, trees, caterpillars and blow up balloons. And what better time is there to throw a birthday party like this than right before Halloween?! So here’s how you throw a successful Alice in Wonderland bash!

1. Thread floss through red and black balloons and drape them across the ceiling for a Queen of hearts room!

2. Don’t forget lots of streamers!

3.  Cut out and paint a tree trunk out of cardboard. Paint a rabbit hole in the bottom of the trunk. Add green balloons to create 3D ‘leaves’. Tape this to the front door so that you enter through the rabbit hole!

4. Wrap “drink me” tags around bottled beverages.

5. Cut and paint large playing cards and tape them to the wall!

6. Cut out arrows and paint them various colors. “Wrong way” “This way” “Over there” “Your choice” “Go down” And then tape them to a corner so that they stick out as if they were on a post! (We forgot that the arrows needed to point both directions, but this was supposed to be wonderland… It’s ok for some of the arrows to be upside down and even point down! It actually worked even better!)

7.  Paint a large Caterpillar and if you have a hookah, this is the perfect time to use it as decor! Mine just so happens to be green and blue!

8.  Grab your croquet set and don’t forget to paint on large flamingos! Again… Cardboard is the perfect idea. And latex paint works wonders!

9.  Make little snacks on a stick and tie little “Eat me” tags onto them! Time consuming, but so worth the final look!

10.  It’s a birthday party! Don’t forget the cake! Isn’t this Cheshire cat awesome?!

11.  Another painted cardboard idea: Cut out and paint a LARGE smile and hang it randomly on the wall for the invisible cat!

12.  Blow up tons of balloons! Lace them together with floss and add googly eyes for a garden!

13.  Make tissue roses both red and white! Then paint some of the white roses red! Don’t forget to leave the can of paint with a wet paint brush laying around!

14.  Make it a costume party!

15.  I was in charge of the snacks! So you know there will be a special post later on this week!

16.  Hang clocks all over the bathroom. Make it an “I’m late, I’m late!” theme!

17.  Add painted rabbit feet (we again did cardboard) and place them around the house as if the white rabbit is bouncing around!

Did I miss anything?!

Luvv, Leigh B

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Costumery {Tweedle style}

Last weekend we threw the best Alice in Wonderland birthday party! I swear it was for adults… Or grown ups… Or what ever you would consider us… Megan turned 25 and it is her favorite story! She hates surprises, so some girlfriends and I told her she had a party coming, but we surprised her with the theme! That’s why when I wore these red pants a few weeks ago and she found out that it was part of my Halloween costume, (thanks Kevin…) she put two and two together, knew I would be wearing them for her party too and has been asking repeatedly what I am dressing up as for Halloween! I said a Crayon…. But I prevailed and she was surprised! And, lucky for me, I could wear my Halloween costume early! AND play dress ups with Kevin too! Isn’t he a cutie!?

Here’s how you get the look yourself!

{ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 }

I’m very big into making use of items I already have when forming costumes, but who has propeller hats and blue bow ties lying around? (I found our hats online for $3 and our bow ties for about $5! So it wasn’t that bad!) Plus what a perfect excuse to finally buy some red pants?!

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Luvv, Leigh B

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Things that made me smile {Gingham style}

Remember this yellow gingham shirt? Well, I’m the genius that left my pink lipstick in the pocket of my light chambray button down. The lipstick melted all over everything when I put it in the dryer… Despite my best efforts and detailed research on ways to get lipstick out of clothing, my yellow gingham button down is now yellow with pink lipstick stains spread evenly through out, along with the entire load of lights. Obviously, since I was trying to actually expand my small selection of long sleeved shirts, I needed to replace it. So vuoala! I bought the red one! (Luckily it was on sale this time too!) And now the yellow one, since the collar was clear, is retired in my closet for any time I need a shirt to wear under a sweater!

I’m kind of a fan of these gingham shirts! Still struggling with plaid a little bit, but gingham I like! And I think I’ll like the red one even more around Christmas! Yes, I’ll dress for the season!

In other news, here’s what else has made me smile!

  • Pumpkin spice creamer and cinnamon. Ever since we got back from my friend’s in Chicago, Kevin and I both have been craving it with our coffee. We will be giving in this weekend for sure!
  • Listening to Kevin’s reaction as I describe the menu options and how delicious my dishes were at Girl and the Goat! I think it was a little tough to imagine how animal body parts that you never knew could be eaten could be so good!
  • These cookies are pretty much the cutest sugar cookies I have ever seen!
  • Kevin: “I’m so glad I don’t read blogs… I would be hungry all the time!” … Obviously I only show my husband the food blogs! I’ve been looking through them for more recipe ideas and I show Kevin my favorites!
  • Party planning! (You will hear all about it next week!)
  • Men will be men. You should have seen them get so excited for the beef stew I mentioned yesterday!

What’s made you smile lately?

Luvv, Leigh B

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Fall layers and a BIG bow

Knits! Need I say more! And black tights! (I told you I was a little addicted lately.) This is my way of layering. And for my little bit of girly pleasure, a BIG bow. I just had to if I’m not going to burst in tons of color. I keep digging sweaters out of my box under the bed and every time discover a new one that I forgot I had! I really need to unpacked that box and retire all my summer clothes…

The colors right now are so beautiful outside! Tons of yellow, lots of red, and bursts of orange. These are probably going to be the prettiest fall days of the year. Now I just need to figure out where to take my sister’s senior pictures before all the leaves fall off!

What is the must do item on your list while the trees are so pretty?!

My other “must do” (Although it didn’t depend on the trees) was to make a beef stew… I even stayed up late to prepare it! (10:15 is really late to be up cooking when you still need at least an hour of wind down time!) But it was phenomenal. The best moment yesterday was walking into the apartment and getting hit in the face with a large whiff of dinner and seeing both Kevin and I practically run to the kitchen to check how it turned out! Oh it was great! This is going to be a regular habit this winter on busy days!

And there you have it! My random train of thought for the day!

Luvv, Leigh B

P.S. It’s our two month anniversary today!

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Girl & The Goat

Upon first arriving in Chicago, I couldn’t wait to try out this amazing restaurant! Diane told me about it and it was the first thing we scheduled when I decided on a weekend to visit. Two months in advance and the only time we could reserve was 4:30 on a Friday. And it was the best. dinner. ever. Sooo good!

When others asked why I was so excited for this place, it wasn’t that one of the owner of the restaurant was the winner of Top Chef… I honestly didn’t even know. Diane must have told me but I completely forgot! I just knew that served things like pig feet or frog bellies… Yeah I completely made these up, I couldn’t remember what was really on the menu, but in my mind it was just as strange! All I knew was that these ridiculous menu items were supposed to taste amazing and had more than a month long wait to enjoy!

There was no disappointment! I tried pork belly, escargot ravioli, cauliflower, wood grilled green beans, fried chick peas and pig face. We had to miss out on the duck tongue… It wasn’t on that days menu. And Diane knew what two seats to ask for! The two by the kitchen! Still in the dining area, but right next to the kitchen! Best part about the two seats: the servers and cooks like to give you free food!

{Pork belly: probably my favorite dish of the night!}

{Cauliflower}

{The best seats in the house!}

{Chick Pea Fritter with stewed apple tomatillo and prairie fruit chevre }

{And the most interesting dish of the night: Pig face! Super delicious!}

It was one of the greatest dinners ever! Everything was so absolutely delicious and we had the most perfect environment to catch up and visit.

Luvv, Leigh B

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Style it / 4 {A lesson in layers}

Two weeks ago, when I did this  post about restyling your old bridesmaid dress, with the help of my youngest sister, I saw so much interest and such positive reviews. I realize that this may be because we can all relate to that topic, but regardless, it was fun to see a new, fresh face on my blog. I decided to pull my sisters into my blog more with my “Style it” column! They are so thrilled to help and I am so excited to keep putting these posts together for you!

This week, with the dropping in temperature, I’m bringing you a lesson in layering and it was only natural for me to pull my sister Chloe into the post! Summer or winter, you can probably always find her wearing a minimum of 8 articles of clothing, which means… She’s always wearing layers….. Like three tank tops in the middle of the hottest summer days! The point: I’m sooo not sure… The style: Chloe.

So here’s how you style your fall layers… The layers everyone love! And keep everyone warm as these days start to get chilly.

1. Hats galore. I am such a hat person! When it starts to get cold out, I just love my beanie! I also have a hat with a pom pom, and a lion hat! Sometimes I guess I like to pretend like I’m five…. But now there are so many other hat options too! Why wouldn’t you layer them into your hat wardrobe when it starts to get chilly out?! See how they wore their hats: NaomiBriFrassy, Julia, Keiko & Danielle.

2. Scarves… I’m an addict. I have so many from over the years, but a large handful (maybe two) that I really love to wear repeatedly! If you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend a leopard or cheetah print. It my favorite! See how they wore it: Frassy & Chiara.

3. Vests! Faux fur have now been in for more than one season, but I’ve also been noticing the rise of the jean jacket/vests! Eighth grade anyone?! Regardless, they are being pulled off well! See how they wore their vests or faux fur: Sydney (and here), & Ahn.

4. Thick stocking! In the coming months you will probably notice my new favorite… Thick, solid black tights! (A size too big, just for comfort!) I basically wore them my whole time in Chicago and now want to wash them immediately for more wear. But I also love the boots socks and thigh high socks! A trendy way to bring a little interest into your style! See how they wore it: Jessie & Jennifer.

5. Boots. Ok, they don’t have to be Uggs. I’m a baby and wear them as soon as I know my little toes may turn to ice, but for fall I am 100% embracing the moccasin boot trend! Still love my three layers of fringe! See how they wore it: Keiko & Jessie.

How do you like to wear you layers?

Luvv, Leigh B

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My weekend in photos {Chicago style}

Friday morning, I packed up a suitcase, picked up Kevin in Chicago and visited my friend all weekend in the city! It was the perfect, laid back weekend trip! Diane and I kicked it off with an amazing dinner (which you will hear about later) and then continued the weekend with the lots of sink the biz (remember our honeymoon advertizement?!), more food, lots of visiting, exploring, games, tv shows, reminiscing on our roomie days back in college and making the men stand outside as we routed through a really amazing vintage store. Only thing missing was craft night like we did back in college!

{Ombre mimosas!}

{A delicious pulled pork Eggs Benedict! Sooo good!}

{A tiny little ally that we just had to take a picture in}

{When our brewery tour fell through, beer and darts, exploring, and finding quaint shops was the perfect way to spend the day!}

{Kevin and I lost… twice… but at least we won pool later on! And found a bar with ping pong? Awesome!}

{It was a rainy day, but the fall colors were just stunning all weekend! The drive both ways was just absolutely gorgeous! This is the perfect time of the year to take a road trip and soak in these fall colors.}

How was your weekend?!

Happy Monday!

Luvv, Leigh B

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Things that made me smile

  • Planning fall activities! Last year it was the pumpkin patch for me, but this year I want to do it all! Pumpkin patch, apple picking, pumpkin carving! (Last year we picked the perfect fall day to go to the pumpkin patch. Didn’t we?) Now if only our free weekends would stop slipping away! It’s going to be November before we know it…
  • My fellow Hoosiers should love this site! I probably flipped back to almost the beginning! Hilarious!
  • Sleeping diagonally across the bed. One of the only bonuses when my husband is out of town.
  • Watching girly tv shows… The other bonus!
  • Weekend trips to visit friends! Woohoo for today!
  • Kevin: “Maybe we can get all the laundry done!” He was so motivated to get moving! 20 seconds later, after he saw my unmotivation…  “Oh do you need a nap?!” Yeah… He was no longer motivated…
  • Candy corn.
  • We put a bottle of white wine in the freezer to give it a quick chill. Then we forgot about it. Days later we an exploded, completely frozen bottle of wine…

What’s made you smile lately?!

Luvv, Leigh B

 

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Salmon and Cream Cheese Spread

If there were a king and queen of dips, Kevin and I would totally take the cake! We love them! Before we were married, and I had a very difficult schedule to incorporate cooking into, we would happily replace dinner with a buffet of dips! Ok maybe it was just a small selection, but they were delicious. The kind of dips that I chose kind of got pricy, but were still pretty reasonable. After we got married. Nothing…. Apperently I’ve become too domestic for that… On the one hand, I am completely psyched that I am actually able to cook and eat dinners with my newly wed husband, but on the other hand… Why the heck have we cut out one of our favorite dinners?! So while I was acting all domestic and flipping through my new Wine Bites book, I came across some dips. I realized I can be domestic AND get my way! I decided to for something a little different than my norm: Salmon and Cream Cheese Spread!

What you didn’t see me do was squirt lemon all over my kitchen because I was trying to measure out how much a quarter of a lemon was…. After this photo, I ended up using three quarters of it. What you also didn’t see was me doing my little happy dance because I decided to use the hot sauce that Kevin and I brought back from our Jamaican honeymoon!

Because I really like to keep everything super simple, I skipped a step and just threw everything in the processor at once! It worked and was still super tasty! Now, I cut out the capers… I think they kind of look like little buggers and I didn’t find it worth it to search Whole Foods for them. But if you are a fan, don’t forget to add those.

Serve this spread at room temperature with pumpernickle and it is the golden recipe! And I’m not the big pumpernickle fan like my husband, but this pairing was great! I’m not going to lie, I think this spread got even better the second day… All the flavors fused together for an amazing flavor! Only flavor missing is a bit of jalepeño! Next time I’m definitely cutting one up and adding it to the mix!

For more recipes like this be sure to check out Wine Bites at Crate and Barrel! It’s got some delicious ideas!

Luvv, Leigh B

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