November 30, 2012

a cat named patches

My sister and I have been chatting about about adding elbow patches to our sweaters as a DIY project. Becuase we are hipster like that. And by hipster I mean we peruse Pinterest and get inspired by all the other ideas. 

I saw a few tutorials for felting elbow pads, which looked fantastic, but they seemed to be a bit more involved than what we were going for.

So we bought some stitch witchery, some fabric, and ironed those patches onto our elbows.

We used chalk to mark the center point of the elbow section.

Oh and we made Grits a scarf as well.

I thought a cat patch would be freakin' adorable on my elbows. It's a subtle way to "wear" a cat outfit (other than constantly being covered in cat hair), without decking myself out in all things cat.

Although let me take this opportunity to thank all of you who have tweeted and emailed my sister and I about the cute cat sweater and dress at Loft. You know us well, and we are very tempted to buy it. 

If this is the first post you are ever reading from me. . .well I'm sure you will think I'm a little cat crazy. It's true. And if this is your second or fiftieth post you already know that about me.

Anyway, back to the patch.

By the way, is the title of this post making sense to you yet?? #kneeslapper

I cut out two cats, cut out the stitch witchery, and began ironing.

Follow the directions on the stitch witchery package for your ironing rules.

My sister made cute little yellow hearts. . . 

I almost went into cat-iac arrest when I saw how cute it turned out.
It's eye-cat-ching.
I am not kitten you this is my new favorite sweater.

Enough? okay.

November 29, 2012

Start Your Holidays : Holiday Organization, Part 1

This is part of a Holiday series for Starbucks and their StarbucksÆ Christmas Blend coffee!

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and while this time of the year is full of family, friends, and time together, it can also be a bit stressful.†

Wouldn't it be nice if there wasn't a single ounce of stress around the holidays? Planning ahead, which is something I'm still learning to do, always pays off in the end. And this year, I'm cracking down on the gift list early. I tend to just go shopping with no direction or ideas in mind and just "see what comes to me". That has resulted in many gift cards and frustrations that I didn't put more thought into gift buying.

I'm a sucker for a cute printable or organizing app for my phone, so I found a few tools that will help me, and maybe you, be more organized this holiday season.†

First, take time to sit down and think about your gift buying list when you are in the mood. Maybe light a Christmas candle, or start to pull out some of your gift wrapping supplies.†

My favorite two printables that I came across online can be found here, and here. One is a little more detailed than the other, but each will help you organize your gift ideas, and you can keep track of what you purchased and how much it cost.†

A useful app, for those of you who prefer the digital organizational tools, is The Christmas List app. You can set a password so no one can sneak in and see what's on your list!†

It also allows you to upload a photo of the family member or friend, and list ideas, prices, and when you do actually buy an item, you can record that too.†

I will use this app for recording what I actually buy, and refer to the paper lists for ideas beforehand.†

Although organizing your gift list will help you prepared for the holidays a bit, it's still hard to come up with ideas!†

For the women in your life, search their Pinterest boards. If they aren't on Pinterest, make them get on! Beyond that, think through their daily routine and see if anything comes to you. Are they a stay at home mom? A working professional? In college? In grad school? Try to think of things that you appreciated in those chapters of your lives, and see if a gift idea comes to you that way.†

For the men, think about the things they care about. Games and Movies? Tools? Gadgets? Then head to Best Buy, Home Depot, or Bridgestone.†

And when all else fails, and you can't come up with a single idea, hair products are always a delight to receive.†

Would you like to win a $50.00 Starbucks gift card? To be entered for a chance to win, answer this question in the comments below:†How are you preparing for the holiday season?

Please leave your e-mail address written like this " kate (at) gmail (dot) com" in your comment.


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the†following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/29/12 -12/9/12.

Visit the Starbucks brand page on where you can read other bloggersĂ­ posts and find more chances to win!

DIY shoes?

I was working on a few projects earlier this week and one of them inluded Metallic acrylic paint. For some reason, when I saw my target wedges later that evening, a light bulb went off in my head.

Maybe I'll paint the "toes" of my shoes? (because who doesn't think that on a daily basis?)

I really don't know what I was thinking, but I happen to own a pair of wedges (in patent) that are nearly identical to these target ones, so I thought, "if it doesn't work, oh well!"

Well, it worked. And I was actually impressed with the straight line I was left with! Tape adheres to suede well, so there was no chance of any paint seeping under it.

This project doesn't really need a tutorial: all I did was tape off the tips of my shoes and paint it. I pulled the tape before the paint dried, and then let the shoes dry completely.

And I kind of liked them! I never in my life would have thought that "painted" shoes would be something I'm comfortable wearing in public. . .mostly because I figured you could usually tell if they were authentic or not.

But in this case, the mixture of the rose gold metallic paint and the suede shoes--it works. I can't explain it.

I wore these yesterday and one of my clients complimented them. I immediately followed up her compliment with,"Thank you! I painted them yesterday."
Her jaw dropped and she knelt down immediately to get a closer look. 

I think these shoes passed the "DIY but doesn't really look like it" test.

So get to work, you owners of plain shoes. Paint those suckers.

*a few of you asked on instagram how these would hold up with scuffing. while I haven't scuffed them yet, I would imagine you just fill in the scuffs with more paint, should it happen.

November 28, 2012

Birchbox Home : an absolutely delightful gift

I couldn't wait to get my hands on one to see what was inside. So below are photos of the Birchbox Home but I removed some items so as to not give away the "surprise" in case you are giving this as a gift this year (which would mean the recipient would have to be reading this post too. . .hmm...maybe she is? Anyway. . .)

I opened it the night it arrived on my doorstep and it felt like Christmas morning. First off, the box is really cute--if you are giving this as a gift, you really don't even need to wrap it! Just throw a ribbon around it and you'll be all set.

The first item you come to is an envelope filled with cards giving various tips or suggestions for entertaining or hosting. The rest of the box is filled with specialty items including recipe cards and a lovely reed diffuser, along with a DIY project and a few special ingredients to cook with. 

Again, these are just a few of the items included in the Birchbox Home--it comes with much more! 

It really is the perfect hostess or Christmas gift. Anyone who enjoys cooking or entertaining would enjoy this box. I've already ordered one for a friend of mine--and I used my Birchbox points and saved $10.00, which brought the price down to $48.00 + free shipping.

So keep this in mind, this holiday season, if you are struggling with a gift idea for someone in your life, you can't go wrong with Birchbox Home

*I recieved this box as a gift from Birchbox, but was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced by anything other than my deep love for receiving fantastic gifts. 

November 27, 2012

sky blue and polka dots

jeans: Loft
sweater: J.Crew Factory
polka dot top: found at TJ Maxx
bangle: J.Crew (similar)
earrings : Elisabeth Ashlie
turquoise bracelet: Elisabeth Ashlie
ankle boots: Target

I believe it was about 42 degrees and windy when I took these photos.

I was freezing. 

anyway. . .

One of the things I love about this outfit is how comfortable it is. The blouse underneath is loose and thin so there aren't any constraining areas. The sweater is one of my favorites that I've had for a long time. It's cotton, so it's breathable and flexible. 

Enough about the function of this outfit though.

Strategic layering, like I did above, is a great way to change up your wardrobe with what you already have. Think about the items you always own, and pair them with different things. You'd be surprised what you come up with.

November 26, 2012

Reese Witherspoon Inspired Holiday Hair Tutorial

If I had to choose a celebrity "hair idol", I would choose Reese Witherspoon. If you scan through photos of here from current to years ago, she's really never had a hair atrocity like most celebrities. 

I think what's appealing about her hair is that it's pretty. It's flattering, versatile (she can rock super short and very long), and it't not over done.

I love her headband look here:

So this inspired my first Holiday Hair Tutorial for the season. 

This hairstyle is just a mix up of basic techniques mixed with a little over the top volume (that can be adjusted based on your comfort level). 

Instead of using one headband, I used two. If you want a similar finished look to my headband style, you can either use two skinny headbands as well, or purchase the "double" headband

Earrings: Anthropologie (oos)
Necklace: Anne Taylor (oos)
Shirt: Old Navy (oos)
*oos = out of stock

November 23, 2012

a bow belt that isn't overly girly.

When my sister and I were in DC a few weeks ago, we went to anthropologie. I tend to drool over just about everything in that store, but usually end up leaving empty handed. They aren't the cheapest store on the block, but they are also well stocked with unquie and beautiful products, from clothes to home goods. 
I tried on a striped dress that I happened to fall in love with, but I couldn't justifiy the $50.00 price tag. I knew Target and Gap had similar dresses, and there was a good chance I could get it for less expensive. Plus, the fact that Target and Gap had similar options meant it wasn't unique enough to be my first piece of clothing from anthropologie. I set high standards.

I asked an employee to grab me a belt so I could see how a striped dress looked with a belt. And she returned with a really cute brown bow belt. The same one you are seeing in the photos.

I loved it. I had never seen anything like it, and it was the perfect brown. So I bought it, and have tried to wear it almost every day since then.

I picked up this striped dress on major sale from the original price at Gap. The leggings are from some department store, becuase I can't regognize the label. And once again, my favorite boots are on my feet. 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

November 21, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas // Home & Office

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 

For the next few weeks I'll be sharing some Christmas gift ideas here on the blog. I'm looking for creative and unique items that will all be under $50. In today's case, they are all under $30.00. . . some items way under.

I can be a pretty boring gift giver (who wouldn't want a gift card?), so this year I'm trying to think of things that I would enjoy receiving that I wouldn't necessarily think to buy for myself. Like a personalized return address stamp. I've wanted one for years. I don't know why--becuase the only things I mail are bills. But I think they are cool. 

And who could ever have enough nesting bowls? 

I hope these gift ideas will help you on your quest to find the perfect gift for your loved ones this season.

November 20, 2012


sweater // J.Crew Factory
polka dot shirt // J.Crew Factory
jeans //  Loft
boots // Target
necklace // Francesca's (similar)

It's as if I forgot how much I loved the look of a collared shirt under a sweater. I wore this ensemble a few weeks ago to a Madewell event and now I'm looking for every opportunity to wear it again.

These boots? Most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. I wear them constantly. They are a great mix of "riding boot" without being too country western . . . because I just can't get on board with wearing cowboy boots around town. 

I blame my northern/city girl roots. Or that fact that I don't currently reside in Texas.