And the overall obsession continues…
Overalls: Forever 21 – sold out, similar here and here, favorites here
Sweater: Old Navy
Scarf: old, similar here and here
Sunnies: old, similar here and here
Heels: old, similar here and here
Bag: Old Navy
I loved the idea of dressing up my overalls to give them an entirely different look. Overalls can have a little-kid vibe in some cases, so to add heels brings a new feel to them. It’s still a really simple outfit made up of basics I bet you already have – a striped sweater, heels, a scarf, and sunnies.
This cute tote from Old Navy is lightweight and simple. I can fit a notebook with documents I need for work, a small bag of touch up makeup, my tablet, wallet, and anything else I want to have handy through the day. I have been using for everyday wear and it is super affordable at well under $50.
Top – old. Similar, Similar
Jean Jacket (low stock) Similar, Similar
Boots style: Francoise
When styling stripes, almost anything goes. The pants, stripes, and denim all work seamlessly together in any outfit, and I like the addition of the caramel color in the boots. The hat sort of ties the brown and black together with a more muted, taupe color, striped with a black ribbon trim. I also love the shiny black pants topped off with soft sueded combat boots. Somehow mixing all of these different colors and patterns comes together to make a cool look.
I’ve been on the hunt for some affordable “vegan” leather pants for a while. Walking through Macy’s one day, I spotted these in the Junior’s department for less than $20. I’d never even heard of this brand before, but I gave ’em a shot and left the store with these rockstar cool pants and the boyfriend jeans (or I guess they’re actually called girlfriend jeans) from this post, both made by Celebrity Pink. They run a little large, in my opinion, and I’m planning to take these back for a smaller size because they keep riding down – is there anything more unflattering to a cute outfit than the person wearing them yanking at the waist every 2 minutes?? Anyway, the moral of this story is DON’T overlook the Junior’s section! You will find a lot of the latest trends at really affordable prices.
Shoes style: Raia
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn this sweater since I bought it! It is the perfect basic gray sweater. I sized up for a more relaxed fit. Paired with boyfriend jeans and a top knot, it’s an easy outfit of basics for any casual occasion. The patent loafers add a polished vibe to the look.
Jacket: H&M / Boots: JustFab Leona Heeled Boot / Jeans: Levi’s / Tee: similar here and here
I’m so into the plaid blazer trend right now! The one I’m wearing is a recent find from H&M, and I love that it’s a great length to wear with jeans or leggings. To give it a modern feel, the lapel can be turned in rather than folded over.
I’ve had my eyes out for a great pair of over the knee boots for a long time now. When I saw these ones pop up on Just Fab for less than $50, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. They tie in the back, which helps keep them up over my knee with just the slightest bit of slouch. They’re really easy to keep clean with a damp cloth if needed. I find them pretty comfortable as well, with no problems at all after walking around town for a few hours. I think it’s that stacked heel. Before choosing these ones, I had a few of the ones below in my shopping cart. They are all under $100:
“I’m so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers” – LM Montgomery
Sweater: Express / Button up: H&M / Jeans: J Brand / Heels: similar here / Bracelets: similar here here and here
I recently read an article trying to describe why everyone loves fall more than other seasons. Besides the beautiful rich colors and spiced flavors that mark this time of year, it seems that a lot of hope and newness in the start of school, the start of the holiday season has been embedded in us from such a young age, we all look forward to autumn an opportunity for new beginnings. I relate to that idea, but it makes me laugh a little because I remember meeting one person in particular who did not see any magic in fall, rather, he saw it as the time of year when everything is dying. Which is true pretty much across the board. Though he was the only person I’ve ever known to have that point of view, how funny is it that we feel this refreshment of new opportunities at the start of autumn when, in fact, nature is dying off to hibernate through the cold.
Speaking of refreshing new opportunities… I love this new sweater so much. The balloon sleeves are different than anything I own. It looks great on its own, but I wanted a more polished feel, so I added the button up underneath and wore it with heels. Though I wore it out on the weekend, this outfit would also work for a business situation where you feel it’s appropriate to wear jeans.
My favorite cookbook was given to my by my sister. It’s The Silver Spoon, a giant book of all Italian recipes. Everything from sauces to rabbit has a featured section, and every recipe is written in the simplest, most bare-bones way, usually a single paragraph how-to per recipe. To me, that’s what Italian food does best – there is nothing fussy about it, just put the ingredients together and cook as instructed. Of course, there are a few method details and a couple of recipe tweaks I like to build from the basic recipes, but keeping it un-fussy is my preferred way to cook.
As with many new foods, the first time I ever made penne vodka, I followed the recipe exactly as instructed in the book. After tasting it, I decided I like my sauce with more tomatoes, cream, and a little bit of meat, to name a few alterations. This is the final product – I hope you enjoy it!
1 lb Penne Rigate (Rigatoni works too!)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz chopped pancetta
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
Julienned fresh basil leaves for garnish
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Before draining, dip a glass measuring cup into the pot to collect some pasta water for later.
In a large saucepan over med-hi heat, saute onion in butter and oil in a until translucent, about 8 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and stir in the the garlic, pancetta, and oregano, cook 2 minutes.
Mash the tomato paste into the onion mixture.
Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally while flavors meld together.
Add the vodka and let cook for another 10 minutes or so while the alcohol burns off.
Remove from heat and slowly stir in the cream.
Spoon the pasta into the sauce and stir well until combined.
To thin out the sauce (it will thicken while the dish stands), stir in some of the reserved pasta water as needed.
Copyright 2017 by Molly MacKay
I have had a lot of my clothes for years. Investing in a few basic wardrobe staples has worked for me to build the rest of my style from. A cashmere sweater and a great pencil skirt are some of my favorite basics – pair them up and the look is classic!
Top: Express, old. Similar here and here / Skirt: Ann Taylor, old. Similar here and here / Bag: Nine West via TJ Maxx, old. Similar here and here / Shoes: old. Similar here
A good pencil skirt and sweater combo is absolutely perfect for October. When I’m wearing well-made garments, it’s easy to keep everything neutral and simple and let the clothes speak for themselves.
I don’t wear a lot of heels to work because my job is a a lot of walking and driving around, but when I’ve got a meeting or a closing at the office, I’m all about it. It never used to bother my feet to wear heels, but it must be a perk of aging that it’s not nearly as appealing to me as it once was. For a night out or a special occasion, yes definitely. Beside the fact that it’s less comfortable to think about squeezing my toes into stilettos daily, the shoes themselves had a rough go and showed their wear and tear too quickly. So on the bright side of aging into flats, all of the heels I own now are in really great shape compared to when I used to wear them every day!
Duster: similar here and here / jeans: similar here and here / top: similar here and here / booties: similar here / earrings: similar here / sunnies: similar here
Nothing special to write today… just wanted to share a look I wore this weekend. All links are for similar items as the whole ensemble came from pieces I’ve been hanging onto for a long time. I hope you had a fantastic weekend!
I probably started baking on my own around 12-ish, and it was probably all boxed mixes of cakes and quick breads, muffins, and such. I do remember seeing the little high-altitude adjustment recommendations on the boxes, but for whatever reason, I skipped them and the recipes would turn out just fine. However, once I started trying to bake things from scratch, regular recipes would never turn out right. Understanding that there is a fine science to baking, with fancy ratio explanations describing the proper wet:dry and all that, I figured I was just missing something, not measuring correctly, messing up a step, and ultimately, that baking was not my thing.
Let’s move forward to 24 years of living at an elevation of around 5500 feet above sea level, and I came across a high-altitude banana bread recipe, just because it was one of the top-rated banana bread recipes I found in a quick search. I tried it. I made the ingredient adjustments. I baked at a slightly higher temp for an altered period of time. Guess what? The bread turned out PERFECTLY. It puffed right up, didn’t fall in the center, baked completely through on the first try nice a fluffy without the normal mush… I couldn’t believe that my whole life as a Coloradoan I’ve been skipping out on high altitude baking!
So now that I’ve discovered I am NOT actually a terrible baker, I am all about re-trying old recipes I’ve failed at in the past with the adjustments and it is working out almost every time.
Anyone who’s visited Colorado can probably attest to feeling the affects of altitude sickness in one way or another. Light-headedness, dehydration, really super low alcohol tolerance, and so on. Of course our baked good feel the same way about the air being thinner up here. I did a lot of research and was able to put together a quick little guide for high-altitude adjustments that has been working for me like a charm. It’s the perfect time of year to have made this discovery too – who doesn’t like warm, fresh-from-the-oven goodies when the days start to get chilly?
This recipe originally started as banana oatmeal muffins, but I’ve adapted it for pumpkin by using the base recipe, swapping the banana for pumpkin, and adding a few more spices. I hope you give it a shot!
HIGH ALTITUDE PUMPKIN OATMEAL MUFFINS
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 cup pumpkin (I use canned pumpkin, if you try fresh, please let me know how it works! Make sure you get the can that pumpkin is the ONLY ingredient listed. You don't want pumpkin fie filling)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4+1/8 tsp baking powder
scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Place muffin cups into a muffin pan OR (if you are out of muffin cups like I usually am...) spray a muffin pan with nonstick baking spray.
In a large bowl, beat oil and sugars until creamy. Stir in the pumpkin until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently stir in the oatmeal until well incorporated.
In a smaller bowl,sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices.
Fold the flour mixture to pumpkin mixture gently until moistened.
Spoon into muffin cups about 3/4 full.
Bake at 390 for about 15-18 minutes, until muffins are puffed and just starting to brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center muffins comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes in pan, the transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*Learn from my mistake! - if you (...happen to go a minute or two over the baking time because maybe you checked the muffins at 15 minutes, they weren't done at the time, and you stuck them back in the oven but forgot to set the timer again. Yep, just did this today as a matter of fact) realize the muffins have already browned at the bottom and they are definitely cooked through, remove them from the muffin pan immediately to a wire rack. They're ready to cool for real.
Copyright 2017 by Molly MacKay
What is a neutral, exactly? As an adjective, the word describes something that is impartial, unbiased. As a noun, a neutral is basically defined as a bland color such as light gray or beige. I, on the other hand, have always seen it as a color or print that goes with anything. Enter animal prints and stripes.
hat: Forever21, similar here / blazer: Forever21 / top: similar / scarf: similar here and here / jeans: 7 for all mankind, similar here / purse: similar here / booties: similar here
Fun tidbit for today: The top I’m wearing under the blazer is 100% a trend splurge I bought a few years ago – you can’t tell (because I’m covering it up, duh), but do you remember the leather (or in this case, fake leather) panels that were found on shoulders a few years back? Totally dates this top when you look at it by itself, not that I care much about the age of a piece I wear all the time. Rather, I prefer things I hang onto for a long time to have a classic appeal. Besides the shoulder panels, it’s simply a striped tunic that’s incredibly versatile underneath sweaters and blazers. I wear it long and loose as pictured, tucked into high-waisted pants or shorts, or tied at the waist. I have given this top a much longer life than I thought I would about 6 months post-purchase.
What are your favorite prints to mix and match?