Friday, November 30, 2012

Duck, Duck, Cute

Sweater: J.Crew via eBay; 
Jacket: Levi's; 
Wedges: Sam Edelman (similar);
Bangles: Siplada/Millsap's; 
 Lip Color: Clinique Merlot

How cute is this little duck?? When I saw on him the J.Crew Factory website, and then saw that he was no longer available, I almost cried. Okay, I didn't almost cry, but I did stalk him on eBay! I had to have him! I mean, who doesn't need a gray sweater with a sweet little duck?  And no I don't know if the duck is actually a boy but I've chosen to refer to him as a He. 

And these cherry red crops are prefect for winter. It's okay for me to have two pairs. They're wool so they replace the cotton pair from spring. I paired them with my darling duck, a denim jacket and suede wedges. He took center stage!



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Comfort is Key!

Dress: French Connection via Rue La La;
Leggings: I.N.C at Macy's;
Boots: Halogen at Nordstrom;
Coat: H&M; Necklace: Silpada:
Sunnies: Marc by Marc Jacobs;
Lip Color: MAC Del Rio

Tuesday was a little better in the motivation department and that included my outfit. I know it doesn't scream "I put a lot of thought into it" but it is better than the jeans and sweater from Monday. I sifted through my sweater box in hopes of finding outfit inspiration and this one simply caught my eye.

The last time I wore it, I paired it with black tights and ankle boots. I'm not posting the photos because they were horrible. However, if you want to see the post click here. I know it doesn't look like I did much to change things up, but this time I'm wearing leggings and tall boots. And, this is exactly what I said I would do in the "I Love a Rainy Night" post. I was so comfortable all day. And sometimes, comfort is key!


I love this coat! I purchased it last season at H&M. It is the best investment I've made in an overcoat since my camel Banana Republic one with faux fur collar. The only issue I have is that you can't see the true color. It's actually a rich teal. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Easing Back In...

Sweater: Land's End; Top: LOFT;
Jeans: LOFT; Belt: Ann Taylor;
Booties: Ann Taylor 

Did anyone else have a hard time getting back into the swing of things after the long weekend? No? Well, I couldn't find any motivation Monday morning so I reached for jeans and a sweater. All the comforts of home while sitting at my desk all day. I had different plans for this sweater and will wear it another day. Instead, I paired it with my brown, tie-neck top and decided to tie a little bow.  I added the leopard print belt for definition and of course my leopard print bootie! You can never have enough leopard!




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Canning Applebutter

I have officially completed number six on my 40 Before 40 list! My mom and I made homemade applebutter over the weekend and canned roughly 14 jars! It was so much fun and I learned so much about the art of canning. I want to share it all with you. Stick with me. This post is a little lengthy!

My mom started canning at the age of 10 with my great-grandmother, Bessie Tedder. Mom was in charge of washing the jars! From there she was promoted to peeler where apparently they would peel bushels of apples on the small screened in porch at the back of the farm house. From there, my great-grandfather Earnest Tedder, would place all the cored, peeled and thinly sliced apples in an extremely large metal vat, for lack of a better term, that was placed over an even larger open flame. He would stir the apples with an oar to keep the liquid from splattering on him. As a small child I remember these images but was never able to participate.

Because of this, I added canning to my list. I wanted to make my own and can it in honor of them for the holiday season. With modern technology, we've come a long way since knives and open flames. A good thing too as I'm not allowed to use knives. I always cut myself no matter how careful I am. Enter this amazing coring, peeling and slicing device! Because of the peeler, I was able to get nine pounds of apples cored, peeled and sliced in less than 30 minutes! Had we gone the knife route, we would have been there for hours! 

The recipe is my grandmothers, Helen Fleenor. And according to her recipe, a crock-pot is filled to the brim with apples. As long as the lid can close, you can't have enough apples. You cook the apples on low for 12 hours. Just the apples. After the 12 hours is up, add a sugar mixture and cook for another six hours on high.  Thanks to the amazing crock-pot, this recipe cook time is no longer adjusted by your flame or keeping a constant temperature. If only my great-grandparents had some of these modern conveniences at their disposal! However, I highly doubt they would have used them. And I don't blame them. Why mess with perfection!

While your apples are doing their thing, you need to sterilize everything! Wash your jars, flats, lids, ladle and canner (funnel) ahead of time. You will need to keep the jars warm before adding the piping hot applebutter so place them in a cold oven and then heat to around 200. Keep your flats and lids warm by pouring boiling water over both. Once the applebutter is done, start your assembly line. Place your canner (or funnel) in the jar, fill to just below the opening of the jar, wipe around the rim of the jar, place the flat on top and screw on the lid. Don't put the lid on too tight. You will tighten after the jars have sealed.

I love that we had three generations in the kitchen together and that Joel was able to capture these photos. Priceless!

That's it! Canning is done. And my mom may have created a monster. Now, once I get my garden up and running (number 38 on the list) I want to can beans, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wearing Winter White

I adore winter white! I own exactly seven winter white sweaters, two pairs of winter white pants, one winter white leather jacket, one winter white wool blazer and two winter white wool coats! I think I mentioned once before that I wanted a winter white suit for my homecoming court suit but went the complete opposite direction. I actually wore bright purples and pinks mixed with black. It was the 90s, folks!!

When purchasing pieces for your winter white collection, go with basics. You will be able to pair them with multiple items in your closet. Choose a simple sweater, sleek pants, a pencil skirt or sheath dress.




 The two sweaters from Ann Taylor are perfect alone or with a printed scarf if you wanted to add color. Or, add several strands of pearls and silver to keep the palette soft. Same with the Banana Republic sheath. Add festive heels for punch! The J.Crew pant and skirt can also be paired with the above sweaters. Tuck in and belt with cobalt or leopard. Or wear out and belted at the waist.

If you already own the basics, then by all means start layering in details! The military blazer from Zara would look great with jeans and booties. And because of the gold buttons, they would play well with camel pants. Also, feel free to add to the basic skirt and pant above to make the blazer the focal point.

I am always on the look out for a stand-out overcoat. Your winter coat is just as important as what's underneath! This one from Guess is dramatic and so fun! Got basic winter white pants covered, then you need these reverse tuxedo pants from J.Crew! Pair with the simple t-neck above and trendy metallic gold heels! Lastly, nothing says luxe like this faux fur vest from Coldwater Creek. Just the right accessory for any dress, skirt or pant!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Our First Thanksgiving
 As always, I am thankful for family, but this year it just seems more evident. I have the most amazing support system in both my parents and my husband. And, I have the sweetest baby boy in the world. I am a super lucky girl. 

I am thankful we were able to celebrate McKinley's First Birthday on a glorious Friday afternoon! We took a trip to the zoo and then came home to presents with family and a first birthday cake! 

I am thankful for a trip to Chicago, that while fun, was a true test to my patience as a mother. I can't say I passed with flying colors, but learned a lot!

Thankful for a festive Halloween with our darling lion! He made the evening one of shear joy!

I am incredible thankful for parents who are not only grandparents to McKinley, but the best caregivers while we are away during the day. I am thankful that I can head to work knowing that he is, above all loved, but is being worked with every single day.

I am thankful that I was able to attend McKinley's first swimming lesson of many. This was not, and will not be, an activity that I will miss. I am also thankful that I was there for his first unassisted steps. I cherish that moment!

I am thankful that McKinley chose us to be his parents. I strive every day to be the best mom I can be to him. Those eyes, that smile and sweet face remind me that again, I am the luckiest girl ever!

I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.