To Love / Welcoming Fall with Bailey

 
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      Good morning! Tomorrow is the first day of fall, and thought temps are supposed to be in the 90's, I'm going to ignore that and bake pumpkin cookies (recipe coming in October), decorate the house with our fall things, and do a fall craft with Bailey. The leaves are dropping like flies around here, and that's enough for me to say bye to summer!  

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        Now, one of the fun things about parenting is that you get to make a big deal out of stuff like the seasons changing! It's to get kids excited about a new season, and to also teach them something about the way our Earth works, which I think you're never to young to be aware of. That being said, I've rounded up a list of fun fall activities for everyone in the family, most of which I plan on trying to do this season with my own family. Check it out below!

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Fall To-Do (Bailey Included!):

- Do a few fall crafts / My favorite ones are this fox puppet, these pumpkin apple stamps, and any of these nature projects (fall is the perfect time for foraging outdoors!)

- Go apple picking / There is an orchard near Columbia that lets you pick 'em yourself, and we plan to finally go this year! I've never been apple picking, and neither has Bailey, so this is the fall activity I'm most looking forward to!

- Bake all of the pumpkin treats / As I mentioned, I'm making pumpkin cookies for the blog (and our pumpkin loving tummies) this weekend, but we've already made these brownies, and ya they were as good as they look!

Explore new trails / Fall is my favorite time for hiking (hello pretty trees everywhere), and though I've lived here for 6 years, I still haven't trekked all of the ones in and around Columbia. I plan to chip away at the list this season! (Bonus: Bailey has endless energy and is an excellent hiking companion)

Visit Rocheport / Rocheport, MO is the closest thing we have to a wine country around here. We like to do an outing each fall, starting at our favorite pumpkin patch with a corn maze and tepees, and ending with a picnic on the bluffs of Les Bourgeois winery.  

Thanks for reading, and have a fun Thursday!

 

 

For #MomStyle / Prairie Life

 
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     Hi there! I'm in love with today's #MomStyle outfit! There's something about it that is just really calling to my aesthetic right now. Not sure if it's the gingham blouse (a b-day gift, thanks mom + dad!), or if it's the setting, but this outfit is golden in my eyes. 

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     We shot this in a field close to Brett's family's house, and normally it's filled with rolled hay bales, but for some reason, they didn't harvest this year. This means wildflowers have taken over a little bit, which is fine by me!

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     I also love how sunny it was this day. It makes me pale to a maximum, but is so idyllic that I've stopped caring. We are enjoying these sunny days while we can!

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     Now onto the blouse! It's from Topshop, and it's become one of my favorites. It's a wardrobe wild card, but as long as you're confident you can pull off anything! It just fits in well with my more basic pieces, so it's made any outfit I pair it with more interesting. 

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      I don't think I'll ever stop carrying this bag, regardless of the repeats on here. It's too good!

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      I also love the little details on this shirt, from the ruffles on the shoulders to a small bow on the back (see more below!).

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      You really can't avoid the wind in any field, regardless of the weather. Fields are never still, and some may say hair in your face is a bad thing, but I love it in this shot!

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     Onto that bow, it's such a cute detail. I thought the front of the shirt was cute, but then I saw it had this on the back and freaked! 

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     You'll hear about this shirt for awhile, since I'll be able to wear it until it's in the 90's again (and maybe even then). Be on the look out for a cute little post with Bailey this Thursday! Thanks for reading!

Wearing: Blouse / Topshop (no longer available, similar here), Overalls / Forever 21 (no longer available, similar here), Purse / Forever 21 (no longer available, similar here)

All photos by Kristen Williams

To Style / Bailey's Fall Wardrobe

 
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     Hi there! Just wanted to share the items I consider essentials to a toddler fall/winter wardrobe. They're mostly the same as adults but much cuter, as always! See below for more!

Bailey's Cold-Weather Essentials:

- A denim jacket / goes with everything and the warmth from the denim goes a long way

- joggers (also known as sweatpants) / these are perfect for little ones because they are just as comfy as leggings, but are cozier for their little legs

- boots of some kind / this year it happened to be star patterned motorcycle boots (she picked them herself) :)

- a "fall-ish" blouse / I typically get her one nice shirt, as even toddlers get to dress up sometimes

- the coziest sweater you can find / no reason why adults are the only ones who get to enjoy #sweaterweather

 

     Thanks for reading, and we'll see you back here on Monday for one of my favorite #MomStyle's yet!

To Make / Homemade Tomato Soup

 
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      Hi there! A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor brought over some surplus tomatoes, and I immediately wanted to make tomato soup. I adapted Half Baked Harvest's recipe, and am sharing it with you all today! Get the how-to below!

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Ingredients:

- 3 ripe tomatoes

- half an onion

- 1 cup of milk

- 3 tbs. of pesto

- 3 tbs. of olive oil

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Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 425, and roast your tomatoes and onion drizzled in your olive oil for 20-30 minutes.

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2. Once roasted, place your tomatoes and onion in a blender and add your milk. Blend until smooth.

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3. Pour your blended soup into a large pot, and heat over medium high until bubbling slightly, then add in your pesto, and heat until warm.

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4. Whip up a grilled cheese, and serve with your soup. Enjoy!

To Style / Fall Accessories

 
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      Hi there! Just wanted to share my top 4 fall accessories today! These are items that I consider essential to keep around for fall, but also into winter and then spring. On that note, lets get started!

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1. A tan or brown bag of some kind. / The warm color of this tote (purchased in store, but not available online yet - here's a similar option!) complements so many autumnal colors! I purchased this one for work, but it's just as cute with a casual outfit.

2. A felt or wool wide brimmed hat. / I talked a lot about this hat last year (available on clearance!), and it's never let me down. A wide brimmed hat is perfect for making any outfit feel more "fall"! 

3. Ankle boots. / A neutral pair of ankle boots (mine are from here, only available in grey) will carry your fall outfits throughout the season. They can be dressy or casual, and can be worn with anything from tights to jeans!

4. A neck scarf / Surprisingly, and cute neck kerchief has stayed on trend from last year to this year. It remains a wild card, and adds a touch of whimsy to any outfit! 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

To Explore / Downtown Columbia, MO

 

       Hi there! Just wanted to share a little CoMo love today! Columbia's great for many things, but the downtown scene here is probably my favorite. I've corralled some of my favorite spots to eat and shop downtown, so let's get to sharing! First on the list is Uprise Bakery, a mainstay in Columbia's downtown culture. They offer up delicious pastries, and some of the best iced coffee's in town! I'm partial to their iced maple latte. 

      Next up is Coley's for dinner and drinks! They serve classic "American" dishes, but always with a twist. The brie burger is a must try, but I took my family here when they visited last (hi mom + dad!), and everyone said their meals were great! 

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      Another great dinner + drinks spot is 44 Canteen, a more downtown-friendly outpost of 44 Stone. Brett and I just went on a date night here this week, and their hot chicken sliders blew my mind! We also tried out their fries as an appetizer, and it was definitely the right choice. 

Photo by Kristen Williams

      Lastly, we have Columbia's beloved Logboat Brewery! This is our favorite place to visit during the summer, as it's family-friendly (they have a massive, gated yard full of games and open free space for kids to go crazy) and serves our favorite locally-brewed beer. Also, there is at least one food truck parked by their outdoor space at all times, which is always a plus!

      Now, onto a little shopping. There are tons of fun boutiques downtown, but I'm going to single out two! Up first is Muse Clothing, which boasts a bountiful shop full of vintage and new clothes. I'm partial to their vintage selection, but all of it's just plain good!

Photo by Cate Willis

Photo by Cate Willis

     My second pick is the gorgeous, well-curated Poppy. They carry everything from paper goods by Rifle Paper Co., to locally handcrafted ceramics. I literally can't walk away without buying something, as I typically want it all! This is a must-stop if you are looking to buy anything downtown. Seriously. :)

     Thanks for reading, and let me know if you ever visit our little city! Have a fun Thursday!

All photos by me, unless otherwise stated.

For #MomStyle / My Dream Pants

 
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     Hi there! I found the perfect pair of pants, and just had to request them for my birthday (thank you mom and dad!). They are from Topshop and are almost identical to Jesse Kamms famous Sailor pants, which I've been loving since they came out, but are just way out of my price range for pants!  

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       I've been wearing these blush-colored beauties non-stop, and they've been the best thing to ramp up my fall wardrobe. Paired with a basic t and flats, they make the outfit special.  

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     To some, they're a statement piece, but to me, they are practically a basic! The color is so close to a neutral, and they're made of durable but soft cotton twill. Their shape may be the most interesting part, but it looks so nice and simple that it again makes me think these guys could be a staple in any wardrobe!

       We of course had to bring Bailey along to snap some pics! She loves my pants and wants a matching pair of her own (I've only been successful in finding a denim pair of culottes, but they sure are adorable!).

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       We shot these pictures at our favorite Shelter Gardens, so Bailey got to have a blast running rampant as usual! 

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      I'm not sure what it is about blush pink that I'm so obsessed with, but I did find out that the sunstone is Leo's largest stone (Leo's ruling planet is the sun, so anything sun = Leo!), and it happens to be the prettiest shade of light pink. That kind of made the whole pink obsession come full circle for me! 

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     I took this as one of my last chances to rock some sandals with this outfit, and chose neutrals for everything except the pants!

      Bailey actually picked out my necklace for me! She started to do that more recently, and it's making me so happy. 

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     I just let her choose one item for my outfit, and then wear it as long as it's not too crazy of an idea!  

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun work week! 

To Style / Keeping for Fall

 

Good morning! Just wanted to share my summer items that are still wearable in the fall! Let's get started: 

1. Mini dresses / these look so cute with a cardigan and ankle boots! 

2. Cross body bags / these work anytime of year, but pair very nicely with jeans, a cute long sleeve blouse, and flats for a casual but cute outfit. 

3. Mules / the shoe that keeps on giving! I'm wearing these until the cold is unbearable, and no one can convince me otherwise! 

4. Lightweight Knits / fall means layering, and I can't think of anything better to start with than a pink ribbed knit top. 

To Make / Chocolate Coffee Nice Cream

 

    Hi there! This is my last #whole30 friendly recipe for the time being! I loved this treat for when I had a sweet craving, and it's guilt-free, which makes it even sweeter! Get the how-to below!

Ingredients:

- 1 ripe banana

- 1/2 cup of almond butter

- 1/2 cup of almond milk

- 2 softened dates

- 1/2 cup of coffee

- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder

- berries for topping (I used fresh blackberries because the taste really works with this strong chocolate flavor!)

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

3. Scoop out and enjoy!

For A Birthday

 

     Hi there! Just wanted to pop in and share that today's my 24th birthday! The solar eclipse was yesterday and it was awesome, probably the coolest way to start a new 365 days around the sun. To commemorate my special day, I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos with Bailey, as time with her is all I really need for a gift! 

     That face, I can't!!

     Kisses with my cutie! 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! I know I will (burgers will be involved)!

For #MomStyle / Ready for Fall

 

     Good morning and happy eclipse day! While I'm going to be enjoying the totality in Columbia, business as usual is continuing here. I have a new #momstyle to share with you today, and it's all about going into fall with style! I'm just ready for fall, as I always am at the end of summer, and nothing would make me happier than a crisp breeze and a hot coffee in my hands. That being said, I still have to dress for warmer temps until the end of September, so I always like to find ways to sneak fall in early. Today, it's with a pumpkin colored dress!

      This dress is so flowy and breezy, but in my favorite autumnal shade. Next to this evergreen wall, it really gives off the fall vibes!

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      I would also like to point out that a sleeveless dress is one of my favorite transitional pieces for fall. It gives you the option to bare your arms if it's hot, or sheath them in a light layer for when the days get chilly enough for a cardigan. 

       I decided to pair the dress with neutral flats and my trusty cross body bag. They're the perfect accents to the coloring of the dress!

       These shoes will always have my heart!

      And last but not least, my "please hurry up, fall" look. LOL

      Thanks for reading, and everyone have a fun Monday!

For a Bucket List / Summer Progress

 

     Hello! As summer starts to come to a close, it's time to reflect on the joys from the season! I think it's necessary to fully appreciate the way you live your life, and all of the fun things you're lucky enough to get to experience. So here goes!

Summer 2017 Bucket List:

1. Visit HaHa Tonka! √ (This was so cool and I can't wait to go back!)

2. Go camping (Going this weekend!)

3. Read √ (I've read at least 5 books this summer!)

4. Kayak √ (Also planning to do more of this over the weekend.)

5. Put up a swing for Bailey! (Hasn't happened yet, but this can still be done in the fall!)

6. Picnic √ (More of this to come as well)

7. Explore Columbia √ (Downtown is always a fun experience!)

8. Make bruschetta, panzanella, and sangria (Half check LOL I made sangria of course!)

9. Patio refresh √ (We've been loving our front porch all summer long)

      That's all! Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend!

 

To Make / Healthy Red Pepper Dip

 

      Hi there! During my Whole30, I tested a lot of recipes. You basically have to, to survive a month of eating no dairy, grains, legumes, or sugar. That's one of the best parts of the program though, it pushes your creativity! One of my favorite things to test was snacks. I love a good snack after work and am always switching it up. When I stumbled upon this recipe from A Beautiful Mess, I had to try it out! Roasted red peppers give the best flavor, and combined with pumpkin seeds, make a super nutritious dip. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 red pepper, sliced in half and roasted

- 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, or pepitas

- lemon juice

- chili powder, paprika, and salt

Directions:

1. Put your peppers and pumpkin seeds into your food processor, then squirt in some lemon juice, and sprinkle in your seasonings. 

2. Blend until smooth. 

3. Serve with chips of your choosing and enjoy!

To Make / Shibori Textiles

 

     Hi there! I've been wanting to try out the shibori dying method for awhile now, and when I stumbled upon this spray dye, I finally had the chance! The spray is really interesting, and saturated the textiles well. My goal was to be able to incorporate Bailey in the craft, since the spray isn't nearly as messy as conventional tie-dye methods, but her little fingers weren't quite strong enough to push down the mister to get dye to come out. She enjoyed observing though, and one of the things we dyed was a t-shirt for her, which she loved! I think it made her feel special, and that's my end game always. I had to revisit her shirt (the pattern I tried on her shirt didn't pan out as well as the other one), and after it was heat set, she proudly wore it the next day. Get the how-to below, and I highly recommend you pick up one of the many colors of this spray dye. It's magical!

Materials Needed:

- whatever textile you plan on dying, we did a shirt for Bailey and a tea towel!

- SEI Tumble Dye in Blue Berry

- rubberbands

Directions:

1. Shibori prints are beautiful and usually a deep indigo (hence the dark blue dye choice). I did a popcorn pattern on my tea towel, and a random one on Bailey's shirt that as I mentioned above didn't pan out. For the popcorn method, you just gather a small amount of the fabric and wrap a rubber band around the base, creating a little ball on top. 

2. Shake your spray well, and start spraying your textiles! Try and get it as evenly on the cloth as possible. 

3. Let air-dry for 20 minutes, and then remove your rubberbands. 

4. Dry in your dryer for another 20 minutes to heat set the dye. Then wash as normal and enjoy! 

To Get Ready for Preschool

 

     Good morning! Bailey starts preschool in less than a month now, and it's strange, but I'm more excited than sad. Of course, I'm a little lethargic about my once baby turning into a full blown kid, but obviously I can't stop time so there's not really a point in dwelling on it. Like with most things in life, I choose to focus on the positive! The main positive here is that Bailey's getting the education and attention she needs during the day, specific to her age. With both Brett and I working, it's just time. 

     It helps that she's ready too. She can blossom and flourish in a preschool environment, and that's more important to me than my own feelings on the subject. It also doesn't hurt that I get to revisit the school supplies section (my favorite growing up) for the first time in I won't say how many years. Do all parents get this excited about getting their children school supplies?! I'm sure it's irrational, as Bailey will probably not care at all about her supplies, but I don't care. It's my silver lining, so I'm sticking to it! 

     I'll be sharing Bailey's school wardrobe next month on her first day of preschool, so be on the lookout for that! See you here Thursday with some shibori dying!

For #MomStyle / Vintage Sandals + Classic Denim

 

      Hi there! I have a fresh new #momstyle for you today! I picked up some adorable vintage heels this weekend, and had to shoot them immediately. 

     They pair perfectly with my favorite vintage jeans and a simple white tee. All I added was my go-to purse and some statement earrings to complete the look!

      This is a great dressy-casual look for shopping, getting a coffee, and perusing all things downtown, which is where we shot this outfit! Columbia has a really cool downtown scene, and I've been meaning to get down there to take some photos. I'm so glad we finally decided to go this weekend! 

      With the weather being so mild lately, it's been making my sartorial side so happy. I forgot that's one of the things I love about fall, I have way more dressing options without the limiting heat (or cold, I see you winter!). 

      A close-up on those earrings. For some reason, I really love their quirkiness, and they're the only earrings I'll wear that aren't studs! I've tried to wear others, but am not comfortable with the usual heaviness. These, luckily, aren't heavy at all compared to how they look!

      Now for the shoes; I spotted these in a shop on Friday, and was shooting them the next day. This style, like most trends based on styles from a few decades ago, is very popular right now. There are a couple of cult brands making very similar shoes for a few hundred dollars, and I scored originals for $9. You could say my day was made!

       I plan on wearing these long into fall, and maybe even in the winter if we have one like last year (hello above 50 degrees in December!). The brown leather is just the color way my shoe wardrobe was looking for! Try not to get annoyed if you see these here often! 

     Thanks for reading, and I'll see you back here tomorrow to discuss Bailey's impending first day of preschool (I'm not crying at all). Have a fun Monday!

Wearing: Everlane tee / Vintage jeans (similar here) / Vintage heels (similar here) / Forever 21 bag (no longer available, similar here) / H&M earrings (no longer available, similar here)

All photos by Kristen Williams

To Read / Summer Book Progress

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share an update on what I'm currently reading! I finished the Alchemist, and have started Love Story. I loved the Alchemist, but wanted something less philosophical this time around, and Love Story is perfect. I saw the movie at least 6 years ago (thanks mom!) and have always known it to be a classic, but had no idea it was based on a book! So far, it's very good, basically the same as the movie, and a quick read. Perfect for summer! 

     Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you back here on Monday with one of the last of my summer outfits! 

To Make / Peach + Citrus Smoothie

 

      Hi there! I have a yummy, summery smoothie to share today, and it packs the perfect citrus punch to get your day started right! With fresh peaches being in season, I've been including them in my smoothies as much as possible. They just scream "summer" to me. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of orange juice

- 1 banana

- 1 peach

- 1 tbs. of flax/chia blend

Directions:

1. Chop your banana and peach, and toss into the blender.

2. Pour in your OJ, and blend. Enjoy!

For #MomStyle / At Home with Bailey

 

      Good morning! A big part of my life, that also determines what I wear, are my day-to-day activities with Bailey. I decided it's important to share that influence, and invited Kristen over last weekend to shoot what my morning looks like with Bailey, and on this particular morning, it was making some coffee and getting ready for the day. 

     Bailey's been aware of me drinking coffee since birth. She knows exactly what it is, and is always interested in checking it out whenever I'm pouring a cup. We got her the cutest wooden toy coffee machine a couple of years ago, and she's become our little "barista"!

      Now, onto the dress. I requested it for Christmas last year, and it's my perfect "special occasion" dress. I wanted to showcase it differently this time though. While it might not be what immediately comes to mind when thinking of casual dresses, it has enough boho vibes to be an amazing "no special occasion" dress as well. 

       I love the tassel details on the sleeves, and the beautiful floral pattern on this dress. It makes me feel like Michelle Phillips or Stevie Nicks, which is never a bad thing!

      I paired the dress with my favorite lace up flats to venture outside in. It's been cooling off lately, and we've been soaking up as much outdoors time as we can. 

      These shoes were made for this dress, in my opinion. They aren't available any longer, but I'll share a similar pair below! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

Wearing: dress - F21 (no longer available, similar here) / flats - Asos (no longer available, similar here) / Bailey's jumpsuit - Old Navy (no longer available, similar here)

All photos by Kristen Williams