Monday, December 31, 2012

Splurge or Save: Sequin Mini

HI! Welcome back! Hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday! I'll be back later this week sharing all of the wonderful goodies that made this Christmas so special... it was definitely one for the record books!

But today, let's talk about what you should wear for NYE... and by what you should wear I really mean what I'm going to wear {maybe... if I can pull the pieces together! Nothing like waiting until the last minute!}.

First of all, I was inspired by this great photo found on pinterest, of course:


But this year, my NYE plans are a little more low key than what would call for a sequin maxi skirt... so I'm thinking a mini is more up my alley, thus brings me to the latest edition of Splurge or Save:

Splurge or $ave

Both skirts are cute, but the $ave version definitely is the winner for me... love everything about it! Plus it's on sale for $32 bucks and it's from Kohl's and they always have coupons {check out the "retailmenot app" on you phone!}. I bet you could take that baby home for $20-$25, which would be a HUGE savings over the $138 J. Crew version.

Anywho, back to my outfit... I'm thinking of doing a little flip flop of the inspiration pic. Mini skirt instead of maxi and long sleeve chambray shirt instead of short sleeve. Polish it off with a great pair of pumps {maybe even leopard if I'm feeling sassy!} and a statement necklace and I'll be all set to ring in 2013!

I hope you all enjoy your New Year festivities! What are you thinking about wearing?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Morning Brunch

Merry Christmas one and all!!!

Right about now, my family and I are enjoying Christmas morning brunch! This is a new tradition that we just started last year. My parents host our family Christmas for 50+ people in the afternoon, so we decided it's best to start our day off with a BIG brunch after opening presents and before the last minute scurry of getting ready to host a large crowd! 

Here's what I made this year {I'm in charge of sweet. Molly is in charge of savory.}

Breakfast Cookies:

French Toast Bake:

Monkey Bread:
And mimosas, of course!

Yummy in my tummy! Hope you all are enjoying your favorite holiday traditions with the ones you love!

Very Merry Everything to you all!!! I'm going to take the rest of the week off from ze blog to really soak in the holiday, but don't you worry... I'll be back with some great new inspiration come Monday morning!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Very Merry to YOU!

Hello my friends! Just wanted to drop by with some of my favorite Pinterest finds for the holiday season!

My wish for you:

May you party so hard you end up with garland in your hair:

May you get everything on your Christmas list:

May you remember to workout:

And most importantly, may you stay calm:
Merry Christmas ALL!!! xoxo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Molly!

Hi there all! Did you miss me yesterday? So sorry for the radio silence... that cold I mentioned earlier this week is really, really kicking my booty! Fingers crossed I can kick it before the holiday festivities commence with my gal pals this evening.

Well, anyway, you know I'm not usually a Saturday poster, but today was too special of a day to let it pass me by... today is my sisters birthday!!! {I won't mention the number... she's been a little sensitive about it ;)}

My sister, Molly, is one of the most important people in my life. She's the type of sister where even the sappiest of Hallmark birthday cards don't even do her justice {I'm serious... I went birthday card shopping twice this year and still wasn't happy with my selection!}. I look up to her {and always have} in every way... although I think the tables have turned on who is in charge in the fashion department. Please see Exhibit A:

That right there is a head-to-toe 90's fashion statement, folks! Flat billed baseball hats, air-brushed personalized outfits {our names were on the pocket of the shorts... and I wonder why I am obsessed with anything personalized these days?!?}, keds... Whoa.

Molly- should we break out those hats for our family trip to Disney in September?!? I would say the air-burshed get-ups, too, but unfortunately I think those are long gone. Hats are still in Mom and Dad's coat closet!

My sister is an amazing Mom to the sweetest little boy, a loving wife, a very impressive wannabe DIY-er, a caring nurse, a beautiful person inside and out, but most of all the bestest friend I could ever ask for. I don't know what I did to deserve such a great sister, but I thank God everyday for her.

Oh, and she's a pretty great secret-keeper, too. Exhibit B:


Happy birthday, Molly! I love you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Just a little holiday party dress inspiration for you today! Your Christmas packages don't have to be the only things tied up with bows this year!

1 / 2 / 3

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift Guide: Me and the Kiddos

It's time for the final round of ella.bella.bea&flo gift guides! AND lucky for you, it's a BONUS round!!!

First up, gifts I'd love to see under the tree:

1. Bobbi Brown palette: Love all of these colors! 

2. Cozy Blanket: When I first saw this blanket, I thought it could be a fun DIY, but let's be honest, that's a lot of pom-pom application! 

3. Michael Kors Watch: I've had my eye on this watch forever! Love the horn material.

4. Gossip Girl Season 1: I've always said I wanted to watch GG... maybe now that the series is over, I should just start from square 1!

5. Lulu Lemon Pants: These are a total splurge, but I think they're worth it. Most of my workout clothes come from Target or the like, but a well fitting pair of pants that down ride up or fall down can make or break a workout... ya know what I mean?

6. Rebecca Minkoff bag: I've had my eye on the M.A.C. bag for a while, and this color is my new fav! Every girl needs a good red bag in her closet!

7. Pave´ Link Bracelet: A classic. A must!

And for the kiddos you'll be buying for this holiday:

1. Vintage NBA Shirt: My brother-in-law in from Denver, so I try and help my sweet nephew support his Dad's teams every once in a while and this is a cool-kid way to do it!

2. Art Easel: I'd still love to have an easel as an adult and I have fond memories of having one as a kid.

3: Bitty Baby: Every little girl needs a doll under the Christmas tree! Bitty Baby was my favorite!

4. Tools: And every boy needs his first set of play tools to practice becoming Mr. Fix-It someday!

5. Q&A-A-Day Book: What a cool way to document conversations and thoughts of kiddos!

6. Lion King: This could be a gift for adults and children alike. Classic.

7. Sparkle Collar Tee: Need I say more? We all know I wish I could shop in the Crewcuts Collection of J.Crew!

So that wraps up our Gift Guides for 2012! If you're still shopping, check here for inspiration!

Can you believe Christmas is here in a week?!? Crazy! I think I'm most excited about the gift I've bought for my brother-in-law mentioned above, which is weird because he is definitely the most difficult to buy for! And of course, I'm way excited to spoil the heck out of my nephew... last year he was more interested in the wrapping paper than the gifts inside. I'll be sure and share some cute pics of the sweet boy with some of his new Santa goodies!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pull Yourself Together

Man oh man! The winter cold bug has caught up with me... I am a bit under the weather today, so I apologize I don't have a great post ready for ya.

Days like this it's all I can do to just pull myself together and get to work.

It's a top knot/leggings/sunnies kind of day.


Oh wait... that girl is 5... And she still looks more put together than me today! I think I should just turn around and go back to bed! {P.S. I wish this little girl was mine... she's so cute!}

I'll be back tomorrow for the final 2 gift guides of the season! Yep, 2 in 1 day! It's gonna be great!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Prayers for Newtown

My prayers are with all of those in Newtown, CT. I wish I could express my support more elequently, but it seems my words are failing me {possibly escaping with my tears}, so my prayers will have to work overtime.


Although my head and heart cannot comprehend how this tragedy happened last week, I am trying to remind myself to take the time each day to find the good. Life is certainly short, and at times uncertain, so make sure to take the time to give a little extra love.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wrap It Up

So I'm not even close to being done with my Christmas shopping {I know, I know... take my own advice and follow the gift guides!}, but my wheels are already turning on how to wrap up all the goodies that I'll be gifting this holiday season!

Here are some great options that I am considering:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

I think the photo option could be really fun for old friends! I have some great pictures of my girlfriends in our their awkward years that might need to come out of hiding. 

And you all know me, anything with a monogram is great! Options 1 and 3 are definitely calling my name!

Last year I did my own little version of option 6:

And I do have some of that craft paper left over, so maybe option 5 is for me this year!

Decisions, decisions! What's your favorite?!?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

If Kate Says So...


I may or may not have done this today... And I'm not sorry. I am however sorry that I didn't get the post up on time today! Sorry my loves, today was ca-ray-say. Cake for breakfast kind of crazy!!! 

And if I were going to make a cake for breakfast anytime soon, I think I'd give this one a whirl:

Find the recipe here!

Hope it was a great Thursday... and as always so happy tomorrow is Friday! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gift Guide: The Pampered Pooch

I can't believe how fast these weeks leading up to Christmas are flying by! Gift guide by gift guide we are getting closer to the holiday! While you're out shopping for the boys, the girls, your BFF's, your tech-y friends and the home-bodies... don't forget about your pooch!

Anyone who knows me, knows my pup, Lola, is one pampered little girl and she is definitely on my holiday shopping list! Here are a few items I have my eye on for my Lola girl:

1. Three Dog Bakery Treats: Last year I went all out and baked homemade dog treats, but truth be told, I'm not so sure anything I could make could even compare to this trio of flavors! Plus there's plenty here in the combo pack to share with her furry brother, Elway and her friends Sophie and Lucy!

2. Beanie Bones Bone: Lola's favorite leopard boney is looking a little shabby these days. It might be time for a replacement and this one is super cute!

3. Bowl: So Lola already has really pretty bowls from Nell Hill's {if you are ever in KC you must go... amazing home decor store!}, in fact, Lola's dish wear is nicer than my own, but somehow I still want to buy a set of these Oscar de la Renta for Neiman Marcus+Target... I may even want these more than my plate pick from the collection!

4. Collar and Leash: Another Oscar de la Renta for Neiman Marcus+Target. So ladylike and lovely. Right up Lola's alley! 

5: Barkin Bag Toy: If Mama {aka ME!} can't have her Berkin, the pup should at least have a Barkin. 

6. Kiehl's "Spray-n-Play" Spritz: I don't know about other dog owners out there, but my dog is not a fan of the bath, so a fresh spritz here and there is just the ticket to keeping Lola fresh between tubs.

7. Fleece Blanket: My girl is a sleeper! Most mornings she's already back in bed before I even get out of the shower, so a soft blanket is definitely a gift she'd love.

Happy Wednesday, all! Halfway to the weekend! Wahoo!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Emerald Goodness

Pantone has narrowed down the Top 10 Colors for Spring and chosen the number 1 color for 2013... and I must say I couldn't have picked a prettier color myself!

Not only is green a favorite color of mine, it plays so well with good old leopard print. And we all know how much I love a good animal print... I may have mentioned it a time or two.

Here's how easy it is to pair the two together:

left / right

Monday, December 10, 2012

Done and Done: Part 4... delayed

Tis the week I get back to business and back to my DIY projects. I promised to do 8 before Christmas, and this project marks that halfway point! Wahoo! Here are the first few if you're curious: 1, 2 and 3.

This week's project was inspired by a good old Anthro catalog. Gosh I love Anthropologie!

Using supplies I had left over from other projects, I made some fun and colorful magnets for my office. I chose patterns and colors in the photos of merchandise that I thought were bright and fun like so:

And with the help of the magnets, I traced circles over the colorful images, then simply cut them out... that being the most tedious part of the project! 

Then with the help of a little glue {I used a glue stick, but next time I would switch to spray adhesive} I had my finished product:

Already hard at work on my filing cabinet... I had to find some way to make a filing cabinet more fun!

Hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for stopping by :)

Friday, December 7, 2012


Hey there. Ho there. Yep, I've fallen short again... but not as bad as last week! This week I actually have a DIY done and done, I just had a busy bee evening with a work dinner last night and didn't get a post up and ready. Blogger fail!

I'll pop in over the weekend and have it for ya! Don't you worry.

Until then...

Love you. Mean it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's the Holiday Season!

In honor of the feast of St. Nicholas {anybody remember to leave their shoes out last night?}, I'm thinking it's time to get into the holiday decorating spirit! The only problem is, I can't decide what theme to go with this year... fun and bright or classic and traditional? Oh the choices!


I'm usually all about it when it comes to decorating for Christmas, but I'm having trouble getting into the spirit this year. I feel like the holiday season is already moving too fast! Plus, with the crazy warm weather I haven't even had the need to pull out a coat yet! 

Check out my Holiday Happiness page on Pinterest for more great decorating, wrapping and general merry-making ideas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gift Guide: For the Homie

It's time for another edition of the ella.bella.bea&flo Gift Guide! This time let's focus on a few gifts for the home. Here are a few gifts I'd be thrilled to receive:

1. Etched Letter: You know me... when all else fails, go for something personalized. This is an easy win.

2. Highball Set: I think it's my recent Mad Men addiction that has me interested in barware. I wouldn't mind using these to start my collection.

3. Pom Pom Throw: Everyone needs a cozy blanket... why not add some fun with pom poms?

4. Floor Poof: Extra seating and extra comfort. Sounds like a winning combination to me!

5. Soap: Not only a great gift for a home body, but it would make a great hostess gift, too! I love anything Fresh Cosmetics!

6. Frame: Lots of framable moments over the past year! A cute nephew, first family photos my parents actually were in, great trips with great friends, my best friends wedding, and the list goes on!!! Frames on my list for sure!

7. Storage Bins: I love to organize and when it's done in cute containers, I'm in heaven!

Still looking for more gift ideas? For your BFF, for Him, for Her or for the Tech Savvy!

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Plates 'o Plenty

When it comes to my imaginary future house, I've shared with you that I want fun pops of color, a great closet and leopard carpet somewhere {not everywhere}.

Here's another peak at what I want to incorporate into Casa de Katie:

Sorry, but I don't have sources for these great inspiration images. Before Pinterest was around, I treated my desktop like a personal Pinterest and would save any images I liked there. 

I have collected a variety of plates over the past five years or so. Mostly from Anthropologie and a few vintage finds. And I think I might need to be adding these dessert plates by Tracy Reese for Target + Neiman Marcus Collection.

Maybe I'll add them to my Christmas list...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Black Booties

I need a new pair of black booties. I have had the same pair of Steve Madden booties for about 7 years now {no joke}. I remember buying them at Lord & Taylor on Michigan Avenue in Chicago {when there was a Lord & Taylor on Michigan Avenue in Chicago!!} one fall break during college. I bought them before booties were cool and my sister hated them {Molly - I know you are reading this... you did... it's true}. If I could find the same pair, I would buy them all over again. I still love the style and they are super comfortable, but they have seen better days. 

Here are a few affordable options I am considering:

1 / 2 / 3

I'm leaning towards treating myself to the wedges, but #3 is a close second. What's a girl to do?

Friday, November 30, 2012

I blame Jon Hamm

Well folks, I have failed to complete a DIY project for the week. Darn it. I even have the supplies to get one started, but it's not my fault... Jon Hamm is to blame here.

I mean just look at him... all smokey and handsome! {No, I don't think smoking is handsome, but somehow he makes it look goooood.}

So what am I really talking about here? Well it all started with Black Friday shopping. I'm not really much of a Black Friday shopper. Don't get me wrong, I love a good deal, but I find more pride in a good hunt. Plus, Black Friday shoppers are ca-ray-zy! Seriously, where do some of these people come from?!? Anywho, back to Jon... When I did venture out on Black Friday, after the crazies when home, I saw the Mad Men TV series Seasons 1 through 4 on sale at Target for $8 each, so I thought why not see if I like it. So I bought Season 1... and I watched the whole thing in 2 days {thank you Thanksgiving break}. And then I hunted down Seasons 2 through 4. And my productivity for the week has gone to zero. The funny part about it is, I'm not even sure how much I like the show, but now I'm invested in it! I'm not even a TV watcher {I know people say that and it's hard to believe, but unless I can keep up with a show, I don't watch it... so travel sched + TV just doesn't work for me... hence my addiction to buying entire series on DVD}. I'm almost through Season 2 and am getting all sorts of curious as to what is coming up next! Plus this darn show makes me want to stock a bar cart in my office ala Don Draper, although I'm pretty sure I would not have a job if I did so. Bummer.

So there it is. That is my confession. I owe you 2 DIY's next week and I better just go ahead and make one of them Mad Men themed. I must say the retro 60s attire and furninshings do have my wheels turning. We shall see...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Splurge or Save: Studded Slingbacks

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has spotted some variety of these Valentino shoes somewhere on the world wide web, and I would be lying to say it didn't cross my mind to want to invest in a pair of these beauties, but it turns out my bank account wouldn't like it so much! Lucky for me I have found the perfect alternative:

splurge / save

So for a whopping $850 in SAVINGS, I could afford a whole outfit + more!!! 

I'm so excited about the "Save" option that I have put together a look to go with them. My Mom always said, "start with the shoes!" I think the chartreuse pair are right up my alley! Here is how I would style them:

blazer / top / jeans / bag / bracelets / earrings

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gift Guide: for Her

Here's to the ladies in your life that you need to buy for... moms, in-laws, co-workers and so on...

1. Kate Spade Wallet- I have a wallet in this style and I love it! Tons of pockets which ladies are always looking for! Plus, it all hides away with a quick zip and helps me to look clean and organized on the outside... inside, that's another story!

2. Philosophy Amazing Grace Set- Who doesn't want to know that you think they are graceful? That's a compliment in itself. And as an added bonus, it smells amazing, too!

3. Stationary- Thoughtful and useful! Winning combo!

4. Cashmere Sweater- Ok, so maybe this is a little overboard for a co-worker, but cashmere always shows the ones you love that you care!

5. Jewelry Box- A cute and chic way to store your jewels or keepsakes. Looks great anywhere!

6. Makeup Brushes- This is something I would love to receive, myself! It's something I wouldn't necessarily splurge on, but what a great time of year to invest with so many giftable sets available!

7. Pearls- I have this set of pearl bracelets and I love them! They are classic in that they are pearls, but a little fun and different in the shape and the fact that there are 7 strands in the set! And they are a steal!

Don't forget to check out my other gift guides if you're looking for a gift for your BFF, for Him or to Dress Your Tech!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


You would think after a long holiday weekend I would be more refreshed and ready to take the week by storm. Well, Monday didn't quite go as planned.

Here's hoping these little tie-bits of motivation carry me through the rest of the week...

clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Sales

Holiday shopping season is in full swing! Here are a few of the sales I'm perusing today on Cyber Monday and some of the items that have caught my eye:

1. Piperlime {20% off with code CYBER}

Rebecca Minkoff Perfection Tote

2. Tory Burch {Spend $300 get 20% off, spend $500 get 25% off, spend $750 get 30% off with code GIFTFORYOU}

Violet Small Tote

3. Kate Spade {No code necessary! Go here to view the items on the Surprise Cyber Sale}

Portola Valley Shanna

Are you seeing a theme here? A working girl can never have too many tote bags! That Kate Spade is a heck-of-a deal... I may just have to pull the trigger. Classic shape, great texture and fun color - that sounds like a winning combination!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Done and Done: Part 3

Well, it's time for one of those posts where I just have to "keep it real." 

As part of my DIY series {check out part 1 here and part 2 here}, I had this grand idea to DIY a cute sweatshirt that was a combination of two of my favorite things: polka dots and sparkles... {you thought I was going to say leopard, didn't you?}.

You see, I've seen all of these cute sparkly sweatshirts around and thought to myself, 'I could do that!' And then in the October edition of InStyle magazine, a girl DIY'd her own pair of polka dotted jeans. I was on a mission.

Here's where I started:

A comfy grey sweatshirt from WalMart for a whopping 6ish bucks, a couple gold acrylic paints {one solid, one glittered} each around $1 or $2 and a round sponge. All in all this project was less than $10, {sidenote, I promise I will get better at keeping track of project budgets! Save your receipts, Katie!}

I added a layer of solid gold polka dots:

I chose gold for two reasons: #1 I had it on hand from this project and #2 the glitter I chose was a silver/gold combo, so I thought it would be a nice way to pick up the gold while the grey in the sweatshirt picked up the silver.

And here is what I ended up with:

I like how the sweatshirt ended up, but I'm not in love with it. The project itself was quite time consuming as it took 4 applications {solid dot front and back, glitter dot front and back}. The finished dots are not quite as glittered as I thought they would be, but on the other hand they shed plenty as is, so adding more glitter would just be asking for more trouble. 

I'm glad I finished a project for this week of the series, but let's just chalk this one up to a learning experience. And watch out if you see me wearing this little number... I will shed glitter on you. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


So thankful for all the blessings in my life. Family, friends, furry pup, food on the table, health, Jayhawk basketball, travel and the list goes on and on. 

And a very special thank you to all my favorite ella.bella.bea&flo followers! I am thankful for each of you.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! xoxo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gift Guide: Dress My Tech

Hiya friends! I'm back with another Holiday Gift Guide! If you're looking for gifts for you BFF or a man in your life, check here and here for other GG's in the series!

Do you have any of those people on your Christmas list that are impossible to buy for? These days no one can go a minute without checking some form of technology for some sort of information, so why not help your friends dress their tech!

1. Smart Phone Wallet- Ingenious! If someone gifted me this I would always know where my phone is!

2. iPad Cover- Now isn't this clever? Combine the look of vintage books with the functionality {and protection... no I don't ever drop my iPad!} of an iPad case. You're sure to look chic pulling this out of your tote!

3. Personalized Phone Case- I've said it before... when all else fails go for the monogrammed/personalized gift. Always a winner in my book!

4. Battery Booster- This is for your friend that's always asking you, "Do you have a phone charger with you?" 

5. Earbuds- Add a little personality to plugging into you favorite tunes! How cute are these??? And let's be honest, the Apple issued earbuds could use an upgrade in the comfort department!

6. Tech Gloves- I.need.these. It is so annoying to have to take off your gloves in order to use your touch screen devices! Santa, take note!

7. Bose Speaker- And if you really love the techy on your list, splurge on a great speaker system. Tunes for everyone all around to enjoy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Make it a Mexi Day!

We are having a Thanksgiving celebration today at work, but decided not to go the traditional turkey route since we'll all be experiencing our tryptophan coma's later this week. What is everyone's favorite office pot-luck pleaser? Mexican, of course!

For my contribution I decided to go with a mexican coleslaw. 


  • 1 package slaw mix
  • 1 can corn {drained}
  • 1 can black beans {drained and rinsed}
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 cup spicy or jalapeno ranch dressing 

Throw it all together in a bowl and give it a good mix! I like to make it the night before and refrigerate so the flavors have time to really jive. It's great as a side or as a topping for tacos and such. 

Gobble! Gobble!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday. Monday.

Oh my goodness! Is it really Monday again??? I'm going to need some motivation to get me through the next couple of days at work as I await my favorite holiday of the year! Yes, I love Thanksgiving the mostest out of all holidays. It is such a happy holiday to get together with family and share great food and traditions. I'm not even sure where to begin to list all of the wonderful gifts I have to be thankful for. More on that later in the week.

But back to that Monday motivation...


Right now I'm repeating "I think I can" in my head and hopefully I'll be singing "I knew I could" very soon! 

Good luck getting through your week, my friends! And safe travels to those out there hitting the road this holiday!