Fall Nail Color Lineup

Fall Nail Color

I’ve been trying to minimize my nail polish collection for a long time. I feel like every few months for the past couple of years I’ve purged at least a handful of nail polish bottles, but somehow I still have a ridiculous–albeit less than before–amount of nail polish. So I’ve decided to create a capsule nail polish collection of sorts. I’m going to wear only these five shades for the entire season. I might give it a little refresh in January and perhaps switch out a shade or two, but maybe I can make it all the way until the Spring lineup.
DSCN0754I devised a plan of five shades that should translate easily into other seasons. I chose two neutrals, two colors and a fun shade. I think with these five shades I should be able to satisfy my nail polishing needs with out ending up with a handful of new, barely used colors at the end of the season.

Fun Shade: Zoya Livingston

Dark Color: Julep Judi

Light Color: Essie Fall in Line

Light Neutral: Essie Chinchilly

Dark Neutral: OPI Black Onyx

What colors are you wearing this fall?

In My {Fall} Bag

In My {Fall} BagI LOVE  In My Bag posts. Seriously, I can’t get enough of them. I don’t even really know why I love them some much, maybe it’s just my creeper side coming out–wanting to know what other people carry and use day-to-day.  And since I just got a new bag that I love and I’ve gathered and replaced a few fun things inside of it I though I’d share a fall version of In My Bag–heck, maybe I’ll do this every season!

Okay, let’s start with the bag. First I wanted this bag. Like really wanted it. It’s adorable and would probably last until the end of time. But it costs almost as much as my rent. Not practical or even possible really. Then I found this bag. Classic, simple and great quality. Half the price of the first bag, but still quite a splurge. So when I came across this cross-body satchel for a reasonable $54 I was sold! Well actually I left the mall empty-handed and decided if I still wanted it the next day I would come back. So I went on a little mall run pre-Zumba last week. Then spent the entire Zumba class worried that someone stole it out of my car–sometimes I have irrational thoughts like that. But if local newscasters in Des Moines like to talk about anything, they like to talk about theft in gym parking lots.

It’s a wonderful size–comfortably fits my day-to-day essentials with plenty of room to tuck in a snack or book when necessary.

Fall Capsule Wardrobe {Planning}

DSCN8793Earlier this year I found Un-Fancy and was introduced to capsule wardrobes. I took a soft-core approach to the idea with my summer wardrobe and thinned it down to around 40 items–give or take a few–I never really did an official count. And only purchased a pair of shorts and few tank tops all summer long. I loved it! I got rid of a ton of clutter, either donating or tossing several bags of unworn clothes and accessories.  I still have a few bags of off-season maybes and items I love but, don’t fit they way they used to (perhaps they will soon with my new gym membership). I’m hoping to either incorporate or eliminate them over the next year.

So for the fall season I’m in the midst of creating a true capsule wardrobe. I’d been moving along swimmingly with the purchase of a few pairs of (great fitting) skinnies, a cozy cardi, a new pair of flats and the like. Last weekend I packed away the last of my summer clothes and ruthlessly weeded through the cold-weather wear I pulled out and hung everything that made the cut.
DSCN8798And now I’ve realized this may be a little harder than I though. Barely a week into my wardrobe I’m already a little bored with it. It leaves a bit to be desired. BUT the good news is, after the ruthless weeding mentioned above, I still have room for a few more items. So in favor of creating a truly satisfying capsule wardrobe that I love and feel good in without any useless clutter, I set to some serious work (my life is so hard right!?). I printed out the Un-Fancy Capsule Wardrobe Planner and started to define and refine my “style vision”.
As much as I love wearing all black and gray, especially in the colder months, I realized that my wardrobe needed some color. I already had a berry sweater dress and flowy dark green top in my closet, so I thought I’d round out my wardrobe with a few more items in those shades. I’d like a few more tops–that can be worn alone, without layering–and a skirt perhaps. I’ve been pinning possibilities to my Fall Fashion board.

Hopefully I’ll be able to share my complete wardrobe in a few weeks! Do you plan out your seasonal wardrobes? Or just wing it?

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Can we talk about the magical things happening to the weather lately. Fall has arrived even though it’s still (technically, officially) summer. I couldn’t be happier. The leaves are changing, the trench coat is out and temps are dipping in to the 50’s (40’s after dark!! weeeee). There’s talks of a high in the 80’s later this week, but I’m ignoring them. This wonderful seasonably-sound weather calls for cozy, comfy food–like these easy chicken pot pies!

These guys are semi-homemade with canned soup and pre-made pie crusts, you could certainly make your own pie crust, but my pastry-making skills just aren’t there yet. I want to try them with homemade soup and if the rumors are true, I have a long, cold season ahead of me just calling for many pot pie recipe tests. But before I get ahead of myself, here’s the recipe for this easy-peasy, yummylicious belly-filling dish.


1 package pre-made pie crusts (I used these ones)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
olive oil
2 cups chopped red potatoes
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped fresh green bean
1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 of a large one), chopped
1/2 soup can milk
salt and pepper to taste.

Rub chicken breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, cook on stove until no longer pink. Shred and set aside. Put potatoes, carrots, green beans and onions in a large pot, cover with water. Season with salt and pepper, bring to boil. Let simmer until tender, about 20 minutes, drain any remaining water. Add soup and milk, bring back to a boil. Add chicken, let simmer for a few more minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste (if needed). Unroll pie crusts, use a pizza cutter or knife to slice into strips. (You will probably have left over pie crust. I only sliced 1 and 1/2 and used the remaining half to make an apple hand pie–yum!). Ladle chicken and veggies into 5 15oz. ramekins or small baking dishes. Top with a lattice pie crust pattern–I was sure I learned how to do this from Cupcakes and Cashmere, but I can’t seem to find the post, so I might have made that up. But here’s a pretty good tutorial. But really you can just throw the crust on top however you please. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown on edges.

I only bake what I’m going to eat then either freeze or refrigerate the others. They’ll keep for a few days to a week in the fridge and until the end of time a few months in the freezer. Be sure to let the frozen ones thaw before baking–I suspect the baking dish would crack if you baked it frozen. You’ll have to adjust the cooking times for the leftovers too if they go in cold.

Reading Lately


The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman
I love historical fiction–especially immigration stories and I love books that follow their characters though out their entire lives. And that is exactly what this book is. But it was totally not what I expected and it was fantastic! The story follows a young Russian immigrant from her voyage to America at 6 years old all the way to her legal troubles at age 70+. It’s not your average all-your-dreams-come-true-in-America immigration story. It’s so much better than that. Go get it. Read it. Now.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub
This was one of the “hot books of summer” according to social media and blogs everywhere. And the cover is just adorable! The book itself was ok. I read the whole thing and it entertained me. But it wasn’t really anything spectacular. I did really like the way it was set up though. Each chapter is a day of the vacation–so rather than Chapter 1, 2 etc., the book is set up as Day 1, 2 and so on. I liked that. I also really liked the size of the book. It was nice to hold. So I give the packaging a 10 and the story a respectable 7.



Living Room Update

DSCN0679Things are happening in my living room. Purple things specifically. A few weekends ago I picked up a sample of plum  paint and boy did that little $3 sample go far. I painted two chairs, three canvases and my gold succulent pots. I also picked up these  floor poufs from Target–love them and two pillows from Pier 1. Then I did some measuring and rearranging. My furniture now lies in the realitive layout of the size of sectional that I want. Now I just have to find it.
DSCN0678I’m still hunting for a couch AND doing/planning/shopping for a slew of other things. I think I have a TV stand nailed down–three 4×4 Kallax shelves with baskets. I’m considering a rug and tossing around the idea of window coverings. I also have a plan to transform my (currently empty) entry area into a foyer/dining nook/additional seating. More on that soon.


Summer in Review

Search results for photo (5)Happy (unofficial) First Day of Fall!! If I’m being realistic here fall is still several weeks away in the Midwest, but that didn’t stop me from pulling out all my pumpkin candles and buying a bushel of apples yesterday. BUT before I get ahead of myself and enter into full-on fall frenzy mode, I thought I’d recap my summer. Summer is by no means my favorite season (it might actually be my least fave. I don’t cope well with heat) but I did have a pretty darn good season.


stopped by the farmer’s market (early-on before it was too hot) a few times

visited Nashville with those two lovely ladies

met in the middle (of Tennessee and Iowa) with my family in Grafton

tried a few new summer brews

moved to a fantastic new apartment

had a wonderful long weekend at the lake

spent plenty of weekends relaxing in my hometown

and drank my way through Labor Day Weekend.