3 Fun, Fall Outfits: Work, Casual, and Night Out

I have been waiting – rather impatiently – for the weather to start cooling off here in New York. Although I’ll probably regret saying this in another couple of months when the temperature dips into the twenties, I’m ready for some crisp, fall weather!

It looks like the mercury is finally going to drop later this week, so I’ve started planning a few outfits. Here are three looks that I’m loving for fall.

3 Fun, Fall Outfits: Work1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

I love jewel tones for work, and this dark teal blouseĀ is especially pretty. I’d pair it with patterned cropped pants and chunky heel pumps that have a surprise touch of gold. The goldenrod-colored handbag and bold statement necklace perfectly complement the blouse, and on chilly mornings a fun wool cape coat will keep you toasty.

3 Fun, Fall Outfits: Casual1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

This is the ideal outfit for an afternoon movie date. Top a long, lean tank top and stretchy skinny jeans with a with a cozy wrap cardigan. The bright orange earrings and slip-ons add a pop of color, and the elephant necklace is a fun element. A cross-body bag is the perfect finishing touch for this comfortable, yet stylish outfit.

3 Fun, Fall Outfits: Night Out1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

For a night out, I like to try out new trends, like this (faux) leather tipped blouse and coated skinny jeans. A sharp pair of booties is a must, too, and I love the buckles on this pair. Accessorize with fun, statement earrings and a chunky, gold cocktail ring. Finish the look with a two-tone motorcycle jacket and a splurge-worthy clutch.

What are you looking forward to wearing this fall?

I’m linking up with Style Elixir’s Friday’s Fab Favorites and Simply Lulu Style’s What I’m Loving Friday.

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Hello Friday! Link Roundup

Hooray for Friday! This was a quiet week for me, but it went by quickly nevertheless. I’m looking forward to scouting out some fall color with my hubby this weekend!

Here’s a roundup of some of the things that caught my eye this week:

As a fair-skinned lady, I find red lipstick to be very tricky. Here’s a great guide to finding the perfect red lipstick. I’m Lana. Which one are you?

If you are not into a red lip, why not create the perfect nude pout?

Fall LeavesA little fall color!

This Giant Faux Newspaper Wall Art would be great for a kid’s room.

I went a pumpkin bender last week. The winner? These Browned Butter Pumpkin Blondies (sans frosting) – so good!

Some other pumpkin recipes I want to try: Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, Chai Pumpkin Oatmeal, Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie Macarons, and Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Icing … looks like I’m in trouble!

These Candy Corn Cookies would also be a yummy fall treat and are pretty much guaranteed to be better than the real thing. Am I the only one who finds candy corn disgusting?

Breakfast in BedI gave my husband a “You Owe Me” coupon book years ago, and every once in a while he pulls one out and surprises me! This one was for breakfast in bed with the newspaper – I had to improvise;)

If you are looking for work style inspiration, you can’t go wrong with Hello, Gorgeous! I am especially in love with the first outfit and that vibrant, printed Target skirt.

Check out this awesome fall entry – the striped wall is so cool!

This One-button Cardigan Sweater — from Victoria’s Secret, of all places — looks like the ideal fall sweater. Have you ever bought clothes from VS?

Fort Tryon ParkWe visited Fort Tryon Park in the northernmost reaches of Manhattan last week. #minivacay

I think it’s fun to make a few changes in my apartment as the seasons change. This beautiful Autumn Essentials Printable (it’s free!) is getting me started.

Here’s the perfect fall look from Olivia Palermo – cozy, yet stylish!

So, what are you up to this weekend?

P.S. Follow me on Pinterest to keep up with everything that catches my eye!

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DIY Shashi-Inspired Tassel Necklace

Have you ever seen a piece of jewelry and become obsessed with having it? I’m not talking diamonds, but these beautiful tasseled bracelets that I first saw on Birchbox.

The bracelets are made by Shashi, and when I looked at their website I found a bunch of other styles that I loved, too. I wish I could stock up on necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, but unfortunately, my budget is really tight right now.

So what’s a girl to do? I decided to try my hand at making a necklace inspired by Shashi’s Lilu Chain Necklace, and I’m so happy with how it turned out! Lucky for you, I’m sharing all the details. Don’t be intimidated: it’s really easy (I swear).

DIY Shashi-Inspired Tassel Necklace

DIY Shashi-Inspired Tassel NecklaceSupplies:

  • Embroidery floss (You need 3 colors. I used DMC 832, 3808, and 718.)
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Flat Nosed Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Crimp covers (I used Beadalon 4 mm gold crimp covers.)
  • Jewelry chain (For a similar look, use a chain with small rings. Mine’s from Bead Landing.)
  • Ruler
  • Sewing needle, not pictured (The eye must be small enough to pass through a chain loop.)

DIY Shashi Necklace SuppliesFind all of these supplies at Michael’s or another craft store.

The first thing you need to do is measure a 30-inch piece of chain. Using your pliers, open a jump ring at the 30-inch point, and remove the excess chain. Slip the loop from the opposite end of your 30-inch chain onto the open jump ring, and then use your pliers to close the loop. You should now have a closed chain necklace that can be slipped over your head.

For an explanation of jump rings, check out this tutorial on opening and closing jump rings.

close-necklaceThe closed chain.

Next, you need to cut your floss. You can use whatever colors you want, but for this example, let’s say you are using magenta, blue, and gold like I did. For each tassel, you will need 3 4-inch strands of floss.

Since the necklace has 2 blue tassels, 3 magenta tassels, and 4 gold tassels, you will need to cut:

  • 6 4-inch blue strands
  • 9 4-inch magenta strands
  • 12 4-inch gold strands

You are now ready to make your first tassel. This tassel will be the center of your necklace.

  1. Take three strands of the magenta floss and thread it on your needle, as shown below. (Note: each strand of floss is made of a bunch of individual strands. Don’t worry if one or two of the individual strands does not make it through the needle.)
  2. Pull the needle through the center of one of the jump rings on your chain. This can be somewhat tight. Just gently pull on the chain as you wiggle the needle through.
  3. Once the eye of the needle makes it through the jump ring, pull one half of the floss completely through the ring (see lower left image below).
  4. To attach the tassel to the chain, make an overhand knot. Pull it tight, and then make another overhand knot, pulling it tight, as well. Don’t worry if ends of your tassel are ragged or uneven.

Adding the tassels to the necklace.Making the tassels.

Place a crimp cover over the knot, as shown below.

Placing the crimp bead.Placing the crimp cover over the tassel knot.

Using the flat nose pliers, pinch the crimp cover closed tightly, covering the knot as you do so.

Closing the crimp cover.Covering the knot with the crimp cover.

Next, you need to trim the tassel. Measuring from the crimp cover, trim the floss so the tassel measures 1/2 inch long. Voila – tassel complete!

Trim floss.Finished tassel.

Add the remaining tassels in the same manner, spacing them 2 inches apart, as seen below.

Adding the tassels.Attach the tassels 2 inches apart.

Before adding the remaining tassels, it’s a good idea to lay out your floss. This will help ensure that you place the tassels in the correct order.

Laying out the thread.Lay out the floss so you know where to attach the tassels.

Finish adding the remaining tassels, and your necklace is complete! Isn’t it pretty?

DIY Shashi-Inspired Tassel NecklaceTassel detailNecklace detail.

So, what do you think? Does my DIY version live up to the original?

I’m linking up with Sweet Bella Roos’ Pin It Thursday, Simply Lulu Style’s What I’m loving Fridays, Creations by Kara, and Style Elixir’s Friday’s Fab Favorites.


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Peek into My Home: Entry

I am slowly (very slowly) making progress on decorating my apartment. One thing I haven’t done is hang a lot of artwork and pictures. I really feel that art and personal mementos are the things that make a house (or a tiny apartment) a home, so I’m determined to change that.

My entry seemed like the perfect place to start!

Peek into My Home: EntryHello!

Considering that our apartment is so small, it’s nice to actually have an entry. Hopefully, the picture above gives you an idea of how it is set up. The dark door is the entrance to our apartment, and across from that is the door to our bedroom.

Directly opposite the white wall behind me is a double closet. The doors are mirrored, which comes in very handy. It’s hard to tell from the picture above, but the door to our bathroom is to the left of the closet, and the entrance to the living room is to the right.

Entry Gallery WallI decided to do a mini gallery wall between the apartment and bathroom doors. It was a lot of fun selecting and hanging some of my favorite pictures!

Gallery wall close-up.Most of the things I hung have personal meaning. I made the shadow box with the four hearts from Valentine’s Day cards my husband gave me. The over-sized cribbage board came from my dad who was an avid player. I need to learn to play someday.

Gallery wall close-up: Mexican heart.We brought this wooden heart back from a vacation in Mexico. It’s covered in tiny milagros (milagro is Spanish for “miracle”), which are religious folk charms often used as talismans against pain, trouble, and illness.

Gallery wall close-up: New Orleans HeartThe other heart is a small dish that I found at a sidewalk sale in San Francisco. My husband and I got married in New Orleans, so I was really happy when I found it.

Gallery wall close-up: Ceiling TileI found this tin ceiling tile at the Alameda Flea Market.

Gallery wall close-up.My mom grew up in a very rural area of Wisconsin, and she attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse. The photo in the black frame is from her class – my aunt found it in an antiques store!

Entry: MasksDirectly opposite the gallery wall is a narrow wall in between the entrance to our living room and the door to our bedroom. We have a mask collection, and I thought this was the perfect place to hang three of my favorites.

The masks are kind of scary, so hopefully they will keep anything bad from entering our apartment!

Entry rug.The floor in the entry is covered with my favorite orange rug – I’m in love with the pattern and vibrant color. There’s also a small ottoman below the gallery wall, which is a convenient place to sit and put on shoes. It also provides much needed storage space for our winter hats, scarves, and gloves.

I’m happy to call this space done! Now it’s on to the other rooms …

What do you like to hang on your walls : art, photos, or … ?

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Quick & Easy Hummus: 1 Recipe, 3 Ways

Hummus is one of those foods that I like to keep on hand. It makes the perfect snack, and I love to serve it when entertaining, too.

I’m not a fan of most store-bought hummus, however. It just doesn’t taste like the real thing. Plus, why buy from a store, when it’s so quick and easy to make?

Today I’m sharing my favorite hummus recipe, plus two easy variations. You are going to love it!

Quick & Easy Hummus

Quick & Easy Hummus: 1 Recipe, 3 WaysIngredients:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, lightly drained
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Salt to taste

Place the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.

Mince garlic for hummusAdd remaining ingredients to the garlic and process until mixture is completely smooth and creamy. If needed, add a little water to thin the hummus out. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Quick & Easy HummusI like to serve the hummus drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with a dash of smoked paprika. Pita bread or chips and fresh veggies are the perfect accompaniment.

Variation 1: Black Olive Hummus

Black Olive HummusAdditional Ingredient:

  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped olives (I like kalamata, but other types work, too.)

Add the olives to the completed hummus and process just until the olives are finely chopped. Avoid over-processing: you want to see some chunks.

Variation 2: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper HummusAdditional Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers
  • Cayenne, optional

Add the peppers and optional cayenne to the completed hummus and process just until the peppers are finely chopped. Avoid over-processing: like the black olive hummus, you want to see some chunks.

That’s it. In five minutes, you have my favorite hummus! If you are looking for other recipes for easy entertaining, make sure to check out my Creamy Ricotta-Blue Cheese Spread.

OK, who wants to come over? I have a refrigerator full of hummus!

I’m linking up with Mommy Hates Cooking’s Make Bake Create party.

Mommy Hates Cooking Make Bake Create Link Party

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