Tuesday, September 18

Camel Blazer & Denim Duds

Hello Friends!!!!

I hope you had an amazing weekend!!!!  I had one of those weekends that seem to go on and on.  Not in a bad way, just in a way that I was surprised we fit in as much as we did.  We've sold most of the baby stuff in our house.  No more cribs, changing tables, high chairs, etc.  It's all gone and I have a little more dough to show for it :).  We also made a very large contribution to Goodwill.  I hope all of the little kids clothes, toys, baby books, etc help make another family very happy.

I do still need to whittle down my closet but I know there are some very classic pieces.  These are the pieces you keep season to season, year after year.   My camel blazer is one of those great classics.

I love the simplicity of throwing on your favorite tee and blazer and calling it good.  It's effortless, cute, fun and fashionable.  I got this inspiration from Pinterest here.  You can create the look with your favorite vintage t-shirt, collegiate shirt or even a simple white t-shirt would be adorable!

[Blazer: Old Navy] [T-Shirt: Express] [Skinny Boyfriend Jeans: Target]
 [Shoes: Payless] [Jewels: Stella & Dot]

 I'm going to sneak in a frugal find bit here.  I found these Skinny Boyfriend Jeans at Target for $12.48, among a whole rack of 50% off stuff.  They are so comfy and I love how they are a bit weathered without looking too beat up.   I will warn you.  The dark denim does bleed a bit with the first wash.  So if you run out to Target and grab a pair, don't wash it with anything that is too light.  You'll regret it!

I wore this outfit to a Friendship & Chocolate event the other night at our church.  What an amazing evening with some amazing women.  We talked about the types of friends we have in our lives.  How each type fits in our life and for different reasons.  What kind of a friend am I?  It was an evening of prayer, spirit, friendship and of course CHOCOLATE!!!!

Because it was a Chocolate event, I had to find something that was easy (busy schedule and all) and could divide amongst all of the women.  I made these truffles for the first time and it was incredibly easy and very frugal.  I haven't figured out the cost but you'll see in the ingredients that there's nothing that's too expensive.  In fact, most of this you probably already have in your pantry.


Chubby Hubby Truffles 

1½ cups pretzel pieces
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

1. Put the pretzel pieces into a resealable plastic bag and crush into very small bits (a rolling pin works great for this).

2. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely blended and smooth. Add the pretzel bits to the peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the powdered sugar and mix until completely combined.

3. Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, or about 2 teaspoons worth of peanut butter mixture, gently shape into a ball with your fingertips. Place the ball on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.

4. When ready to dip the truffles, microwave the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening together in a small bowl at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth.

5. Working one at a time, dip one peanut butter-pretzel ball into the melted chocolate and use a fork to roll it around, ensuring that it is completely coated with chocolate. Let any extra chocolate drip off and place back on the wax paper-lined sheet. Repeat with all of the peanut butter-pretzel balls.

6. Return the baking sheet to the refrigerator and again chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of melted peanut butter and crushed pretzels, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Inspiration for recipe:  Pinterest here


Thursday, September 13

Lovely Lace

Hello Friends!!!!

I think we've finally turned a corner and the fall weather is upon us.  Before we get there, I wanted to share this cute outfit with you.  I wore this outfit yesterday, when the weather was in the high 80's but very comfortable.

I absolutely love this lace tank.  It's the perfect off-white, oatmeal color that works well with my skin tone.  I love how it hangs over the shell on the inside, showing the fun detail on the bottom.  This outfit is the perfect mix of cute without a lot of fuss.  Really, it's a throw on and out the door type of style.

[Lace Tank: Kohl's] [White Tank: Old Navy] [Shorts: Loft] [Sandals: Target]
 [Necklace: LOFT] [Bracelet: Lia Sophia] [Earrings: Stella & Dot]

Looking at these pics, I'm now laughing at myself.  I'm looking at all the little things that I usually hide under my deck but with kiddos and life, they don't always stay put.  My hubby (who is extremely meticulous), always tells me to be aware of my surroundings.  Wonder what he will think when he sees a watering can, the kiddos swim toys, flower pots, etc?  I'm sure he'll just shake his head and go about being meticulous with his own projects. LOL

Catch me linking up over at Real Girl Glam

Real Girl Style Link Up


Wednesday, September 12

Breaking out the Denim

Hello Friends!!!!

This was an incredibly comfy outfit that I wore running kiddos to school, grocery store, back to pick up kiddos from school and all kinds of stuff in between.  These jersey skirts are the most comfortable, easy wearing pieces in my closet.

This particular outfit was inspired by a look I found on Pinterest here.  I know you have a jean jacket in your closet, it's a timeless piece that we've all had for years.  Really, the only thing I added this year to make this outfit was the skirt.  You've seen me wear it here.

[Denim Jacket & Jersey Skirt: Old Navy] [Tank: Splurge (local boutique)]
 [Sandals: Payless] [Sunnies: Target] [Jewels: too old to remember]

I'm currently in the parking lot of our local pool.  There are no cars, no lifeguards and no kiddos running around.  It feels as though the town is starting to button things up for the season.  Even though we've had a few fallish feeling days, we've also had a return of warm weather.  This is the time of year, that I never really know what to wear and how to dress the kiddos.  So this was my morning and early afternoon outfit.  After lunch I lost the jacket with the warm up and found the tank and skirt to be perfect for the rest of the day.

Link ups todayThe Pleated Poppy, Rolled Up Pretty, Rae Gun Ramblings, Tansalantic Blonde

pleated poppy


Tuesday, September 11

Remembering 911

Hello Friends!!!!

Today is a day we will never forget.  The families, the heartbreak, the sorrow will always be felt on this day.  We will always remember those we lost and those that sacrificed so much for so many.

Hold your loved ones close as we never know what tomorrow will bring. 

We will never forget.  We will never surrender.  We will never fall.


Saturday, September 8

Game Day: Printed Denim Style

Hello Friends!!!!!

Game Day!!!!!  We're gearing up for the big game between two great rivals.

Hawkeyes & Cyclones!!!  To say there is a lot of energy around this game is an understatement.   Yesterday was Fry Fest, which could be described as a great big pep rally.  This huge celebration is a great way to reminisce about last year's season and get excited about this year. It's a sea of Black & Gold partying, cheering and chanting to celebrate the Hawkeyes.

Today's outfit is all about the game.  This season, printed jeans are a huge trend and I have the perfect pair to create some Hawkeye Black & Gold.  You've seen me wear these fun jeans here but I could also wear this previous outfit for a game if I wanted to break out the polka dots.

[Kimono Ponte Top & Tank: Splurge (local boutique)] [Printed Denim: CAbi]
 [Sandals: Thrifted] [Jewels: Stella & Dot]

These fun shoes are another frugal find.  This was another treasure I found while thrifting with my kiddos.  Absolutely love the wedge sandal and despite the height of the heal, they're quite comfortable.  Another great buy at a mere $4.38.  The trick to thrifting is to either really know what you love, what you need and/or know the current trends.  If you really pay attention to trends, they don't change all that much from one season to the next.  They tend to change slightly but often something from last season can go right into the next without looking like you're stuck in the 80's.  This is a great way to stretch your fashion dollar and get much more mileage out of your wardrobe.

 Until next time, have a great weekend and Go Hawks!!!!!


Friday, September 7

Rule Breaker

Hello Friends!!!!!

If you know me personally, you would probably describe me as a structured, organized and obedient type of person.  I'm not one to stray from the boundaries that are laid out and when you tell me it's a rule - I will typically obide by it.

Not today, so many may think.  Yes, that's right I'm breakin' the rules, breakin' the rules (a little something, something from Beavis and his sidekick).  How many of you still live by the rule - no white jeans/pants after Labor Day?  Not me, at least anymore.  I'm throwing that one out the window.

Why is was that a rule anyway????  Call me a rebel or call me a realist, I see no reason not to wear white after the holiday.  In fact, I've seen adorable style inspiration for fall white.  I may be putting an outfit together in the days to come.

I mentioned to you that I love colored denim and white falls right into that category.  I've worn these jeans in a previous post here.  And promise you, in addition to wearing these with many other outfits, I will also be working on a fall/winter white style. 

[Tank: Old Navy] [Colored Denim: CAbi] [Shoes: Thrifted] [Jewels: Lia Sophia] [Sunnies: Target] 

I have a few frugal finds in this post to share with you.  This fun and whimsical tank from Old Navy was on the clearance rack, originally priced at $12.94 but I paid a whopping $4.99 - uh huh, that's right I savings of over 60% off.     Love it!!!     I also love these simple, slip on sandals that I just got.  I spent the morning going to thrift shops and found all kinds of treasures.  These cutie patooty sandals  were marked $4.38 - so of course I grabbed them immediately.

My girls had a ball thrifting with me.  In the end, I hope to find some amazing deals and show you that style does not have to cost a fortune.  I also have a secret plan in place, I'll share....I want my girls to learn the value of money.  I want them to develop life long skills of budgeting, and how to save money.  

In my opinion, one of the greatest lessons in life is to understand that we all must spend less than we earn and with that, live within our means.  There, ok now I'll get off my soap box and sign off for today.

Have an amazing weekend!!!!

Linking up with  Real Girl Glam

Real Girl Style Link Up


Thursday, September 6

Blue Moon

Hello Friends!!!!

So what were you thinking when you saw the title of this post?  Depending on who's reading, one might think of our Blue Moon we had a few nights ago (which I missed because I was relaxing on the couch), or thinking of the "Blue Man Group" doing something obscene?  Yikes, ok now I'm picturing it.  Hurry, think of something else!!!!!

This was a fun outfit of the day, I'm calling Blue Moon.  This great tank has some fun embellishments that my kiddos adore (camera doesn't quite pick up all the fun stuff).  They love just about anything that shines and sparkles.

[Top: Dress Barn] [Colored Denim & Ballet Flats: Old Navy]
 [Sunnies: Drugstore] [Jewels: Stella & Dot]

I love the colored denim trend and will probably find myself buying a few more colors.  Can you guess which color I'll be looking for?  Oh yeah baby, give me some mustard.  Make it spicy of course, LOL.    You've seen me wear these in a previous post here, and will continue finding new ways to wear them.  I LOVE these so much.  If you don't have a pair of colored denim, get some.  You won't regret it!

Some fun to share....

We did something that was so much fun and I can't wait to do it again.  My hubby took Tuesday off and we planned a surprise road trip to an aquarium and museum.  The girls had no idea.  We picked them up from school and told them we're going on a trip.  They had the biggest smiles, priceless!!!!

Our kiddos absolutely love road trips, I think mainly because of the snacks but also because they get to watch a DVD in the van.  It's the little things, you know!

We went out for lunch, danced to the fun music in the restaurant and then headed to the museum.  They had a ball looking at the fish, boats, and watched a 3D movie.  It was the best afternoon!  My hubby is convinced that it was the lack of planning and element of surprise that made it such a hit. Not sure of the why, but I know that I will definitely do this again.

The last pic you see in the collage is me dancing to the fun Samba music.  Kinda remind you of Elaine on "Seinfeld"?  Ok maybe not that extreme, but after looking at a series of my dancing pics, I realize just how goofy I look.  Oh well, my hubby still loves me regardless.


Wednesday, September 5

Turquoise Statement

Hello Friends!!!!

Are you loving or hating all of this political talk?  I can tell that I've matured as I used to dread it.  The commercials, the debates, the chatter used to get old and it would get in the way of my guilty pleasures - mindless tv.

So now that I'm a mature adult  (is that what I am now????), I have been tuned into the RNC and now the DNC.  What used to be the least interesting topic for me, has now become my focus.  It feels good to be grown up now.

Ok, now enough with the serious talk.  Let's get to the fun stuff.  Here's a statement necklace that I love but have found that it doesn't get worn as often as I thought it would.  I love turquoise and how well it goes with so much.  I especially love turquoise with brown.

[Tank: Old Navy] [Maxi Skirt: CAbi] [Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Von Maur] [Necklace: Forever 21]

Catch me over at The Pleated Poppy for "What I Wore Wednesday".    Lindsey is fantastically talented with her own shop of goodies.  Check out her adorable and fun pencil pouches.

pleated poppy


Tuesday, September 4

Versatile Dress

Hello Friends!

Did you have a relaxing day off?  I may have taken time away from writing this blog and reading my various blogs but as stay-at-home mom, the day is still very much about work, work, work.  Monday is laundry day, including all the bedding.  Up early and the job is done in no time.  I'm a morning person, so I'd rather get up and get going than find myself doing it at the end of the day.  By evening, I'm tired and ready to kick my feet up and partake in one of my guilty pleasures - BLOGS, BLOGS & More BLOGS!!!!!!  I like to call it Blog Love!

 [Dress: Old Navy] [Belt: Target] [Sandals: Payless] [Jewels: Stella & Dot]

Here's an outfit that I wore while doing a little shopping with my kiddos and hubby.  I've told you that I love to wear dresses and skirts in the summer, and this was one that goes perfect with sandals and a few accessories.  I've worn this with a belt and without, with a necklace or without.  Add a scarf, and you've got yet another way to make this dress look like a different outfit.  You'll probably also see me wear this with a cardigan at some point.


Monday, September 3

Happy Labor Day

Hello Friends!

Happy Labor Day to each and every one of you.  I hope you are having an amazing weekend!!!!!!

I'm taking the day off  (from the blogging world) and spending it with my favorite people in the whole world, my family.  Enjoy a day off from work and focus on what's really important. 
These are the last few days of summer and before I know it, I'll be moping around with winter cabin fever.  Let's not rush it though, we still have some time.

My family out playing on the Fourth of July

Blessings to each of you, I wish you a safe and memorable holiday.


Saturday, September 1

Weekend Wear

Hello Friends!

I hope you're having an amazing start to your weekend.  We don't have a lot going on today but I do need to get myself organized with all of my coupons.  Do you coupon?  Isn't that a funny question?  Not too long ago, it wasn't unusual to have a few here and there to give to the cashier but today is different.  This whole idea of extreme couponing has me changing my tune.  It's about finding the rock bottom price, matching a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon and then stocking up until the next sales cycle.  It's not a ton of work but it's not just clipping and couponing like it used to be.

Here's to you and your frugal ways, I hope to find some amazing sales not only on groceries but of course of some of my favorite clothing stops.  I'll be sure to share with you anything I might find.

[Tank: Sears] [Shorts: Kohl's] [Shoes: Payless] [Sunnies: Drugstore] [Jewels: Stella & Dot]

I think these linen shorts have become my favorite summer piece.  I've worn them with several different tops and it's such a great mustard color that it goes well with more than I expected.  You've seen me wear these shorts here and here.


I have news for you on my Jalapeno Pepper Jam.  I tried some last night, not on a dare, but out of curiosity.  I think my husband's exact words were "Are you scared?".  Now, I wouldn't say scared but I would say I was hopeful and would be disappointed if it was a total flop.  I chopped and chopped and chopped and, well you get the picture.  It was a lot of work.

It was fantastic.  It was sweet with just enough hot to make it the perfect mix of yumminess.  What I didn't like was how the peppers all settled to the top of the jam.  Hmmmm, I'm guessing it's because of the overcooking but the taste is awesome.  I love this on crackers and pork chops.  Now that I have a few more jars, I will have to do a bit of experimenting with it.

I used the simple Sure-Jell recipe, and it was just that.  SIMPLE!  Well, with the exception of our spill and overcooking....but that's minor.

Sweet Jalapeno Pepper Jam

2 red peppers, seeded, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 green peppers, seeded, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
10 large jalapeƱo peppers, seeded, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1cup cider vinegar
1pkg. SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
1/2tsp. butter or margarine
5cups sugar, measured into separate bowl 

BRING boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
PLACE peppers in 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. Add vinegar. Stir in pectin. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. (this is where I cooked it WAY too long)
Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing centers of lids with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)