Monthly Archives: July 2015

in the wardrobe

Molly, Can I Have Your Style?

July 29, 2015

I have a super stylish friend named Molly. Last month, I watched her cat Milo while she was on vacation, and I found myself wandering her house mentally taking note of all of her spot on decorating choices that my apartment seems to be lacking: textured rugs all throughout, more thriving green plants than you could shake a stick at, and some of the most authentic feeling gallery walls ever. She is my real life style icon, and this goes for clothes too. For the longest time, she’s had these perfect brown ankle boots that make everything she wears seem so sophisticated and classic.

Scarf and boots for fall.

Needless to say, I’ve been on the hunt for some similar boots for a long time. After an amazing pencil skirt haul from the thrift store and the addition of a black and white plaid button down, I was thrilled to come across this pair of boots at Target. Super comfortable and totally affordable, they’ve rounded out my Fall 2015 capsule wardrobe quite nicely.

Classic Scarf

I’ve been playing with the idea of making a minimalist wardrobe work harder for a crazy Midwest climate, and I can’t wait to share with you how I’ve adapted it this time around. In the meantime, let me know if you snag these cute boots (or this pair, or this one), and I’ll go back to flipping out over Molly’s epic style.

–Cat

Links are affiliate. All opinions are my own.

weekending

Weekending: Drink Coffee, Create Stuff, Sleep

July 24, 2015

Blue Door

 

Signing off for the weekend. This is my to-do list.

ONE WEEK until I start my contract hours as an elementary teacher, and then a hop, skip, and a jump before it’s the first day of school. Sooo…there’s that. No butterflies yet, but definitely having dreams where it’s the first day of school and I haven’t arranged the desks or figured out the WiFi or learned where the cafeteria is and I’m just wandering the halls with 25 fifth graders and being like “I’m just not really sure how to do anything today.” The truth is that I’m way more competent than that. But dreams be dreams. Teacher friends, can you relate?

Some interesting things for you…

Make your weekend feel longer.

“I remember welling up with tears just thinking about it. So that’s how I knew. By realizing I already had what I could never give up.” Yep. This is how I knew Wes was the one for me.

And speaking of marriage…the most realistic description of what it’s like and how it feels to be married.

Neither my budget nor my capsule wardrobe has room…but I’ve fallen hard for the Madwell et Sezane collection. Also loving this shade so much right now.

thisclose! to snagging this statement necklace.

Ladies, let’s be supportive of one another! I admit, I have to lasso my jealous monster more often than I’d like to. #workingonit

My friend Molly writes good stuff about social media.

Becca has been a long time reader of this blog, and I’m starting to get lost in the stunning photography.

See you Monday!

–Cat

field guides

Field Guide To: Fall Nail Trends

July 22, 2015

Fall 2015 Nail Polish Picks

In preparation of the upcoming autumn season, I thought it was high time for me to begin my hunt for a handful of polish staples that will take me into the new year. This season, I’m filling my cabinet full of saturated hues, subtle earthy tones, and perfect neutrals.

I already had my heart set on a fiery red-orange, one that would match my favorite MAC lipstick. My sassiness will undoubtedly skyrocket the minute I pair the two together and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t already have a complete outfit planned for the look. Of course, that outfit will have to be black for work, so I’ll really be relying on that pop of orange to spice it up!

Got the Blues for Red is a great classic color that I’m super excited to pair with a burgundy cardigan I have. Barefoot in Barcelona and You Don’t Know Jacques are actually two hues that are trending this fall, so stock up! Blue My Mind, my favorite polish from the bunch, is a perfect cerulean blue that I often gravitate towards. It’s a bit of an eye-catcher, right?

These are the colors that are singing to me, but I’d love other recommendations! What are your top picks? Also, don’t forget to use this coupon from Sally Beauty Supply if you find a color that you fancy!

–Becca

in the kitchen

Inspiration in the Kitchen: Za’atar and Lemon Roasted Chicken

July 20, 2015

Za'atar and Lemon Roasted Chicken

One of my favorite things to do on a rainy day or when I’m feeling bored or blue is to roam through an international grocery store. There’s awesome smells, neat things to look at, and interesting ingredients to buy. A few weeks ago I went to buy my favorite sparkling lemonade and I noticed a bag of bright green spices called Za’atar. I picked it up, smelled it vigorously like the nerd that I am, and knew I had to buy it. If the word “verdant” had a smell–it would smell like za’atar!

Za'atar + olive oil + salt + pepper

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend of wild thyme, dried sumac, sesame seeds, and salt. The first time I cooked with it, I decided to go simple and just rub it on some chicken. Since then I’ve roasted potatoes sprinkled with za’atar, swirled it with olive oil for bread dipping, included it in chicken soup, and even made a little vinaigrette with it. It’s really, really versatile and will be a staple in my kitchen from now on.

Za'atar + olive oil + salt + pepper

Za’atar and Lemon Roasted Chicken

serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

1 whole chicken (about 3 or 4 lbs), cut into 8 pieces
Za’atar
olive oil
1 lemon, zested and sliced into eights
a handfull of kalamata olives
salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the chicken pieces in a generous amount of olive oil. Season with the za’atar, salt, and pepper. Lay in a single layer in a roasting pan and sprinkle with lemon zest. Top with lemon slices and kalamata olives. Bake at 375 degrees  for about 35 minutes or until chicken reaches the appropriate temperature. Broil a little to get the skin extra crispy.

I cooked up a batch of tri-color quinoa and blanched some asparagus to go with the chicken. Try adding the roasted olives to the quinoa, along with a sprinkle of za’atar!

 

If you’re interested in more za’atar recipes, here is a great Middle Eastern cookbook to peruse!

–Cat

 

in the field

Wellness Contract

July 17, 2015

Apples

I’m sharing with you a little tool I use to maximize my wellness at an awkward time because I have a cold that just won’t quit. I am unwell, considering I’ve demolished two bottles of DayQuil and two bottles of NyQuil in a week. Any suggestions?

Anyway, I’m starting a new job (a teaching job… have you heard? I talk about it all the time…) in two short weeks, and it’s times like these I like to sit down and have a little meeting with myself about my wellness. Wellness is such a relative term–what contributes most to my overall wellness changes all the time. This is why I think it’s important to check in with yourself prior to any big life changes (to preemptively plan for your wellness) or during times when you just feel icky–to get your wellness back on track. I like to develop what I call a Wellness Contract.

During the summer, my idea of wellness is sleeping till whenever, watching gobs of television, and idling by the side of the the pool. Of course, this sort of routine won’t do for the fall, when I’m responsible for the safety and intellectual development of 25 fifth graders. Even if I could manage that routine and still have a full-time job, a lack of structure does not make me very productive. So yeah–it’s time to check in and refresh my habits for a Fall 2015 Wellness Contract: First Year Teacher Edition!

I typically like to keep this concept simple, but there’s going to be so much going on in the fall. So this time around my Wellness Contract is a little lengthy–some points are super concrete, others are more like mantras–but you get the idea. Some things on my contract will really stick, and some will not. Be flexible with yourself–I find that usually the most important habits stick around even if you let some others go.

FALL 2015 WELLNESS CONTRACT: FIRST YEAR TEACHER EDITION

Professional:
pack lunch at night
clean out and repack tote nightly
arrive at school one hour before students
communicate, communicate communicate
ask for help!

Relationships:
plan one date night per month
make time for a friend one time per month
otherwise, say “no” guilt free

Personal:
one hour of TV a day
one hour at a coffee shop on Saturday–don’t take any work with you!
a few minutes of reading or meditation before bed

Fitness:
high protein breakfast
drink water during the day
daily movement; YMCA at least twice a week
grocery shop and cook food for the week on Sundays
maintain a sleep schedule

I’ve jotted all of this down into a little notebook and I’ll refer to it again and again throughout the semester. Next I’ll work on turning some of these points into actionable items–like going through the YMCA fitness class schedule and adding them to my calendar.

What would be on your Wellness Contract for fall?

–Cat

photo from Death to the Stock Photo