Over-the-Knee Boots: Splurge or Save

Over-the-Knee Boots:  Splurge or Save

Now that it is starting to feel like fall, I have been obsessing over finding the perfect pair of over-the-knee boots. Obviously, I’ve been swooning over the ones from Stuart Weitzman that I have seen all over Instagram. But I’m having a hard time pulling the trigger on a purchase that could equate to rent for a small studio apartment. Anyone else feelin’ me?

So I’ve been scouring the internet for other, slightly cheaper, alternatives that stay true to the classic OTK style. I’ve found a few lovely contenders at DSW and ASOS, but since I am petite and have never rocked the OTK look before, I’m hesitant to order online. Stay tuned as my search continues!

Have you seen any over-the-knee boots that you just had to have?

Pumpkin Pandemonium

Hello, October

It’s official! October is here and it is time for pumpkin everything. And to warmly welcome pumpkin pandemonium (you know I’ll be using this as a hashtag all month, right?!), I stopped at my local Starbucks yesterday and promptly ordered a pumpkin scone (I’m letting the suspense build a little longer before I go all out and order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, too!).

Now I can put my pumpkins on display without any strange looks from the neighbors; it’s acceptable to eat and drink pumpkin anything for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and my skull decor doesn’t seem so out of place in my home office. So let’s get to it!

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite things that I’ve come across on other blogs, social media, and around the web that have me embracing fall!

While I still prefer the real deal, these black and gold “studded” pumpkins from Target that I first saw on Instagram are perfect for fall decor. They have just the right amount of glitz and are acceptable to have on your desk at work in my opinion. For $6, I’m going to grab one (or two!) for my home office. But, if you are creative and find yourself with time on your hands, they could easily be replicated with some paint, a glue gun, and gold studs.

And who could forget about Zigi, my trusty skull-cessory (yes, I just made that up) from Z Gallerie? If you’re looking for your very own spooky skull decor, Z Gallerie has his long lost cousin in gold, or a similar version of the silver metallic one that I have can be found in gold at Target.

But my favorite thing about all of this pumpkin and fall talk so far has been the array of mouth-watering recipes that I’ve come across. Here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order) that I will be trying my hand at this season.

Baked Pumpkin Spice Latte Doughnuts via Treats and Trends

Maple Molasses Donuts via Camille Styles

Pumpkin Spice Milkshake via Threads and Blooms

And, since we can’t forget about the apples…

This post from Gold Coast Girl surely has enough recipes to keep even Johnny Appleseed busy for a while. And Camille Styles has a great recipe for Sprouted Rye Apple Butter Muffins that sounds delicious.

P.S. If you’re looking for some weekend reading, I guest posted on The Rossetto Blog and shared how you can still take that summer vacation you’ve been dreaming of — well into fall (I promise, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes will be waiting for you when you get back). Head over to Emily’s blog to check it out!

What has you drooling or swooning about fall?

Bridal Party Looks from Weddington Way

Weddington Way

Wedding season is once again upon us and it’s time for all those brides and grooms to make sure their wedding party looks just as dashing and fashionable as they do. Luckily for them, there’s Weddington Way, a one-stop online destination showcasing the largest assortment of ready-to-wear bridal party fashion. Recently, they have expanded the brand with the launch of The Gent Shop, so grooms and groomsmen can take advantage of finding a great look that works for the whole party in one convenient virtual showroom.

After looking at the options that Weddington Way offers to both bridesmaids and groomsmen, I can see why this is an attractive alternative to conventional bridal boutiques. The site was easy to peruse, had tons of great styles to choose from (from cocktail to floor-length gowns and traditional to modern suits), and each bridesmaid’s dress offered a variety of colors for even the most discerning bride.

Weddington Way

Choosing just one look was no easy task, but I finally settled on After Six in Ruby for the ladies and the modern slate blue tuxedo, Connor, for the men with a matching tie in Plum. Both styles complement each other well, and could easily conform to a fall or spring wedding color scheme. After Six offers bridesmaids a classic feel in a sweetheart, lux chiffon gown with a draped bodice. It’s a chic and stylish option that bridesmaids will be happy to wear. When it came to choosing a look for the men, I was drawn to the Connor tuxedo for its classic and clean lines. I love that Weddington Way gave me the ability to completely customize this three-piece tuxedo from the comfort of my own home.

If you are planning a wedding, I highly suggest checking out Weddington Way. (Psst…for you California girls, they have a location in San Francisco). With this site, finding that perfect dress or tuxedo for your bridal party will be easy!

*Images courtesy of Weddington Way

Practice in Steil: Yoga Edition

Practice in Steil: Yoga Edition

In case you didn’t know, September is also National Yoga Month. Unfortunately for me, my yoga practice has come to a screeching halt, despite my best intentions of getting back to the mat.

Lately, all of my yoga clothes have been pulling double-duty in kickboxing, and they have taken a beating. There are so many options when it comes to finding the right yoga gear, and while I’ve found some awesome pieces for great prices at Target, I simply love Athleta. Athleta’s workout clothes are high quality and come in an array of colors, patterns, and styles, but my favorite part is their wearability. Now that I work from home (read: wear yoga clothes all the time) I appreciate that I can throw on some of my clothing from Athleta, head out the door for a quick errand, and not look like I belong at the gym. Their pieces are ideal for going from downward-facing dog to daytime duty, while still looking stylish. They may cost a bit more, but the durability of the fabric and the comfort factor are worth the investment.

Since it’s fall and I’m loving cozy pieces, I couldn’t help but swoon over the poncho, the sweater vest, and the sport dress seen above. Of course, joggers are totally in style this season and are one piece that you will definitely wear beyond the mat!

What’s your go-to when it comes to workout wear?

Thyroid Tuesday: Awareness Efforts

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

It’s the final days of September and Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. But that doesn’t mean awareness efforts are over. Thyroid cancer is the ninth most common cancer in the United States, making early detection critical. Be sure to have your doctor perform a neck check at your next appointment and regularly examine your neck at home. I’m thankful to my readers who have offered support as I’ve shared my story, to those who have commented with questions, and others who have raised awareness in their own way. I’m also extremely grateful to Mikelle Hebeka of Zen Thyroid, who shared her valuable insight about living and coping with thyroid disease in two posts on the blog this month (you can read them here and here).

If you are looking for ways to partake in awareness efforts, here are some things that you can do right now.

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

Over the weekend I snapped a photo for the #TruthAboutTC challenge. For each person who shares a picture holding a sign that states #TruthAboutTC, Eisai, Inc. will donate $1 to ThyCa and Light of Life Foundation for Thyroid Cancer, up to $50,000. The month still has a few days left, so let’s help them reach their goal! Once you have your photo, share it on social media and tag two friends to help spread the word. You can even mention a fact about thyroid cancer or include a line about your own diagnosis and journey. Please visit ThyCa’s Facebook page for more information!

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

Yesterday I took my annual “scarfie” (scarf + selfie = scarfie, in case there was any confusion) for Scarfies 4 Thyca. Just grab your favorite scarf and take a selfie. It’s that easy. Make sure to tag your photos on social media using the hashtag #Scarfies4Thyca #CheckYourNeck #ThyroidCancerAwarenessMonth and get your friends involved, too!

These are two simple awareness initiatives that are a great way to educate others and raise money for thyroid cancer research. For further information on thyroid related topics, please visit the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association and ThyroidChange.

Again, thank you to my readers and the thyroid warriors I have been fortunate enough to meet through blogging and social media. Your support means a lot to me!

P.S. The 18th Annual International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference will be held next month from October 2nd – 4th (which is actually the end of this week!) in St. Louis, Missouri. Details are on ThyCa’s website!

Fall Faves

In terms of weather, this weekend gave us the first real glimpse of Fall. And while I’m still not ready for those Pumpkin Spice Lattes (that happens around October for me), I have started to move my cardigans front and center, unwrap Fall decor, and debut darker lipsticks.

Reese's Peanut Cups

{It may not be time for Trick-or-Treating, but Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are always a good idea}

Candy Corn

{Home office getting some Fall decor and a sweet treat}

NARS Lipstick

{Cooler weather calls for darker hues}

OPI Taupe-less Beach

{My favorite Fall nail polish shade}

Fall Sunset

{September Sunset}

Follow me on Instagram to keep up with all of my musings!

How did you spend your weekend?

Must-Have Makeup Shades for Fall

Must-Have Makeup Shades for Fall

Happy fall! Does it feel like fall in your neck of the woods? We have been blessed with that lovely in-between weather — the early morning chill requires a sweater and by noon it’s in the mid- to upper-70’s. So while I wrap my head around the fact that not only is it officially fall, but also the end of September (what?), I am slowly coming to terms with the impending fashion choices I must make. To ease into this transition, I’ve begun looking for new shades of makeup to love for the slowly-but-surely cooler months ahead. Some of these products are in my makeup bag year-round, while others will be a welcome addition.

In the fall, I tend to favor light pinks, taupes, and neutral shades on my nails. At the moment, I’m wearing Taupe-less Beach from OPI and it is a crowd-pleaser. (P.S. You can see the shade in action on my Instagram).

I’ve always found finding the perfect fall lipstick a bit trickier, though. While nudes are consistently in vogue, and a classic red lip will never go out of style, getting me to swap out my Coral Crush stunner from Maybelline may take a bit of convincing. So while I work on overcoming my fear of change, I’ve chosen some of the darker shades that I will be rocking in the not too distant future.

And lastly, what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t mention my beloved shadows and liners. I’m partial to Stila, but Bobbi Brown never fails to disappoint in the eyeshadow department. Since it’s something I use daily, I like to buy a palette with versatile colors that I can mix and match or wear alone. Of course, my look wouldn’t be complete without my favorite product…the smudge stick from Stila. Until recently, I only used black to line my eyes. But Stila makes so many great colors that it’s hard to pick a winner. Lionfish (shown on the bottom right in the image above), is great for daily wear and a staple in my makeup arsenal. It’s coppery shimmer is an ideal fall shade.

What are your beauty must-haves? Any favorite shades for fall?

Thyroid Thursday: A Guest Post on Coping

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

I am thrilled to welcome Mikelle Hebeka, author of Zen Thyroid, back to the blog this week for Thyroid Thursday. Mikelle’s words on coping resonated with me as a thyroid cancer survivor and I felt they were important to share with other thyroid warriors. Coping with any disease or illness takes time, and it was what I struggled with most during my battle with thyroid cancer. I was unable to attach any personalization to my diagnosis…it was as though I was talking about someone else’s condition when I referred to it. It wasn’t until I could take ownership of what was going on with my health, which came through research and understanding, that I felt strong enough to combat what was in front of me. If you or someone you know is dealing with a thyroid condition, please remember Mikelle’s words of compassion, strength, and guidance. They may make all the difference.

How I Began to Cope with Thyroid Disease
By: Mikelle Hebeka

I suspected for many years that I had a thyroid issue. It really did not affect the day-to-day operations of my life and had primarily manifested itself as a minor irritation. For the past several years, that minor irritation morphed into some more major events. They came and went and while some were harder to deal with than others, I always was left feeling like I could handle this, no problemo. I got this. Until this past autumn when the gusts turned into Hurricane Hypothyroid and turned my world upside down. When the dust settled, I found myself completely lost for the first time (or at least the first time I would admit that I was lost). I felt like I had been dropped in the middle of the wilderness without a map.

There were so many new symptoms and situations to deal with. Everything became incredibly difficult. Even getting dressed in the morning was awful and frequently resulted in sobbing on the closet floor. Each task, each moment of my day seemed to require all of my energy. Rest became as important as breath. Every single thing I did required planning. I was beyond upset at my situation, myself, my body.

I realized this wasn’t going away quickly. I needed to find my way through this wilderness. A way to cope.

Here is how I began to cope with hypothyroidism – I decided I must treat myself as I would treat a friend. What would I want for my friend? I certainly wouldn’t want her crying in the closet, feeling lost. I would tell her how strong she is, how smart she is. I would tell her that I know she would get through this. I would remind her of all the times she has grown from her experiences, no matter how hard they were. I would tell her that I love her and that I will be here for her every step of the way. This is how I turned the corner in my healing process.

The final post for Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month will be up next Tuesday, so if there are any topics you would like me to cover or if you have questions, please leave them in the comments.

Figuring Out the Fishtail Braid

Fishtail Braid

I’ve always loved braids. Maybe it has something to do with my days as an equestrian and having my horses braided for shows. But whatever the reason, I can’t get enough of the look. Over the weekend I had a few minutes to spare and I decided that it was time to learn how to do a fishtail braid. In glossy magazines and on Instagram I’ve seen them styled countless ways, and seemed to think they were way more complicated then they actually are, which is good news if this too has been on your list of styles to try. Within minutes of doing a Google search I was bombarded by tutorials, and soon after I was already halfway through my very own fishtail braid.

So, what will you need to do to get the look?

Fishtail Braid

1. Brush your hair and section it into two parts. If this is your first attempt at a fishtail braid, you may find it easier to create the braid on the side so you can see what you are doing, which is what I’ve done. Pull your hair to the side that you would like to wear the braid on and section the hair into two parts. The parts don’t have to be perfect, and what’s nice about this look is that it can be messy yet still be chic.

2. Once you have your sections, use your index finger to grab a small piece of hair from one section and bring it over to the second section. The smaller the pieces of hair you grab, the more intricate the braid will look. If you’re short on time, you can use larger pieces, but it may resemble more of a traditional braid.

3. Repeat taking pieces from each section until you get to the ends of your hair. Then secure with a small elastic.

4. Voila! Now you have a beautiful fishtail braid. If you like the messy chic look, pull some of the strands apart a little. Otherwise, finish with your favorite holding spray and you are good to go.

This is a great style for work or after the gym, and once you get the hang of the technique it can be done in a snap.

What do you think of the fishtail braid? Have you ever tried the look?

So Long, Summer!

Sunset - West Neck Beach

Well, it’s official. Summer is coming to an end…and this time for real. With the arrival of fall tomorrow, and fewer chances to head to the beach, have a picnic, and watch the sunset, I thought I’d share the last couple I’ve captured. I’m not sure where the fascination came from, but recently I’ve been enjoying making a quick stop at Wild By Nature for some easy picnic fixings and then claiming my spot on the sand as the wind picks up and the sun dips behind the clouds. It has been a great way to unwind and relax in the evening. If you’re looking for something to do to commemorate the last summer night of 2015, then get your picnic basket ready and toss in a few simple fixings. Some provolone cheese, turkey, a nice roll, and your favorite beverage should do the trick. Then just head to the beach or park, unpack, and take in the view!

Sunset - West Neck Beach

Sunset - West Neck Beach

Sunset - West Neck Beach

Sunset - West Neck Beach

Sunset - West Neck Beach