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!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Done and Done: Part 2

I've done it again! I've completed my promised DIY for the week! {You can check out week 1 here if you'd like :)}

This time around, I found inspiration from a couple of my favorite blogs: Bower Power {Katie Bower is hi-lar-ious!} and Little Green Notebook {I think Jenny Komenda is a genius... I live my NYC dream life vicariously through her!}.

left / right

Do you spy with your little eye what I spy with my little eye? The painted edges on the black and whites add an extra POP. Now, I didn't go as far with my craft project to try the engineer print like the gals above {although that is a project on my list someday}, but I did get fancy this black and white that I look at everyday...

ugh, I know... awful iPhone photo again!

Audrey hangs on the wall in my room and serves as a daily reminder to be classy and stylish. 

So what color did I choose as my pop? 


PINK of course! If Audrey believes in it, then so do I!... and truth be told, I love pink and realize I need to get my fill of it while I'm single because I'm sure my future hubby won't share the same sentiment towards the girly color! 

Here's a little play-by-play:

I used paint that I already had on hand from a former project... just went back to my elementary school education and mixed red and white together to make pink! I ended up only using the paint brush to mix my paint. The foam brush was my tool of choice when it came to dressing up Audrey's sides. I went back and forth considering whether or not to tape off the sides or to freehand this project, but in the end, I decided better safe than sorry.

After taping, I got my paint on...

And after a couple of coats of bright pink and a night of drying time, Audrey was ready to back up on the wall with her fresh new facelift!

Ahhhh! It's the little things in life like a POP of pink that make me smile!

Look what a big difference a little bit of paint makes!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Splurge or Save: Sparkle

When it comes to dressing for the holidays, I'd love to invest in a sparkly dress for every occasion that pops up, but the truth is my budget won't allow. Bummer! Instead of splurging on a new dress for every occassion, I do what ever smart fashionista does and rely on my favorite LBD {little black dress, of course!} and try and mix it up with accessories for a new look.

It's no secret that anything sparkly is "in"  for the season, I even talked about it here, but if you're not ready or don't the budget for a new dress, a great clutch is the perfect way sparkle-up an old go-to favorite!

Splurge or $ave

Yes, I've blogged about the coordinating Kate Spade coin purse here, I can't help it... I love it! I think this clutch needs to be mine. And yes, I love just about everything Kate Spade, as proven here, here, here and here.

So based on that shocking confession, I think you know what my choice would be here. SPLURGE! It is the holidays after all, and you deserve to treat yourself!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gift Guide: For Him

Ok, so I have to admit... I am not good at shopping for boys. I think in comparison to what they have to offer for the gals, the boys section is b.o.r.i.n.g. In fact, I hate it. I breeze right by their department. This gift guide was not easy for me to put together, and although it's somewhat general, I'm kinda happy with how it came together!

1. flannel - every boy needs a good flannel!

2. sweater - the go-to gift... boring, yet functional.

3. game gear - I feel like this isn't necessarily something a boy would buy himself. Most of my friends are still wearing the college game gear they acquired during our school years and it's time for an upgrade!

4. travel kit - again, not something a guy would maybe buy himself, but would definitely come in handy!

5. scarf - a great piece to splurge on! A true classic!

6. watch - even boys like a little bling.

7. decanter - when all else fails, go for something with a monogram!... that's my theory!

So there you have it! Happy holiday shopping for all of your boyfriends, hubbies, brothers, friends, dads, cousins, uncles and so on out there! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Comfy Cozy

Well, it happened. It got cold outside. And all I want to do when my alarm goes off in the morning is roll back over and spend the day bundled up inside. In my dream world, I could do that... and I could have a cute comfy cozy outfit to hang out in all day.

Like so:
tee / cardi / slippers / pants / mug
A girl can dream...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Industrial Chic

If I had to choose one style for home that I generally favor it would be traditional... but with a twist! You already know I love to add a little pop to home decorating with color and pattern, but another style that has been catching my eye lately is a touch of industrial.

Whether you choose to incorporate it with a piece of furniture:
left / right

Or make a big statement in a small space:
left / right

Me oh my! I LOVE that bathroom on the left. House bucket list item: make that bathroom happen!!!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You.

Hi friends! I know I'm not usually a Sunday blogger, but today is an important day... I'd like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all of our veterans. Happy Veterans Day to you. Thank you for what you do and what you and your families sacrifice to keep our country safe and sound. To my cousin Chris in the Navy and my cousin Courtney's husband, Chris {no that's not a type-o... they really are both Chris :)} in the Army... you guys are my heroes!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Done and Done

Were you guys getting worried that I didn't complete my promised DIY for the week?

left / middle / right

Well, I DID! One thing I learned for sure is I need to step up my camera game for this here blog... the iPhone just won't cut it! Sorry for the not-so-great pictures, but at least there is some proof that I got my craft on!

I also need to make a note to myself not to take pictures in the evening when it is d.a.r.k! {Thanks a lot day light savings time!} 

I really like the way the crafts turned out. My plan is to pick up white pieces here and there and tie them together with a little golden updating. I'll be sure to keep you all updated as the "collection" comes along. I even added a little surprise in the bowl {which, by the way, is much shinier and golden in person... again, bad camera and lighting... darn it!}... anywho the surprise that makes me happy:

A little surprise initial inside. Ohhhh the small joys in life!

You know what is a HUGE joy in life? FRIDAYS. Happy Friday to all! Have a great weekend! I'm off to cheer on my Jayhawks tonight for the first official basketball game of the season... Can't wait to be back in Allen Fieldhouse. ROCK CHALK.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Splurge or Save: Lip Scrub

For this edition of "Splurge or Save," I'm dipping back into the cosmetics world again and sharing one of my favorite products for winter! Without fail, I get a good case of chapped lips every year when the weather changes. A lip exfoliator is a total must for me {I better add it to my list of go-to products!}, but the question is, do you splurge or save?

For me, I think it's worth the splurge on Fresh Cosmetics Sugar Lip Polish, but if you are looking to save a few bucks, this DIY version would be a great alternative!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gift Guide: BFF

The holidays are coming! Before you know it we'll be passing out presents under the Christmas tree, sipping hot cocoa while the fire place roars... wait -- that sounds a little too perfect -- somehow Christmas always ends up a little more crazy than that... and I love every minute of it!

I think one of the best parts about the holidays is finding the perfect gift for someone you love. Somehow I am always more excited to give the gifts I have purchased, than I am to receive gifts {not a huge fan of surprises... silly, I know!}.

What better way to countdown to Christmas that prepare with a fresh batch of gift guides? Since we have 7 shopping weeks left before Santa Clause graces us with his presence, I think that calls for 7 gift guides. Who might we be shopping for you ask...
  • Your BFF
  • For Her
  • For Him
  • Homie 
  • The Tech-ster
  • The Pup
  • For YOU

So, without further ado:

Friends can be hard to buy for, but hopefully this little list will help you out just a bit!

1. This infinity scarf is both cute and cozy! The color combination would make a great compliment to any wintery wardrobe.
2. My favorite candle always makes chilly winter nights a little warmer. It's called "Aloha Orchid"... maybe I'm just dreaming of a warmer Hawaiian environment!
3. Who said friendship bracelets are just for kids?
4. It's always fun to dress up your phone and this is one of those purchases I hate to buy for myself! 
5. How fun is this two-tone clutch? Not only a great pop of color for a winter wardrobe, but versatile for year-round use!
6. Add a little sparkle to compliment her clutch! 
7. And of course, no holiday gift guide would be complete without some socks! I always wear fun socks under my boots... it's like a little bit of cheer each time I take my shoes off after a long and cold day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let's Party!

I have something kind of odd to admit... I don't really like birthdays. I feel they are just added pressure to be the center of attention {not my bag!}. BUT I do love a good party! It makes me much happier to throw a party for someone else other than myself and lately I've been collecting lots of fun inspiration for a grown-up birthday party! 

First, I'd start with some fun and fringy decor:
1 / 2 / 3

And then I would add some balloons and a bit more fringe for good measure:
1 / 2 / 3

Of course there would have to be a fancy area for food and maybe a little DIY photo booth area {which I'm now seeing in fringy as well... I think I see a theme here!}
1 / 2 / 3

At the party, we'll keep the festivities alive with a bit of champaign {how cute is that sparkly bottle?!?} and lovely polka dot napkins... I love my polka dots!

1 / 2

My sister has a big birthday coming up... maybe I can talk her into having a grown-up party so I can put a few of these ideas work!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sassy Pants

Although this photo sums out how I feel about all Monday's in general, I'm ready to take this week by storm! 

Watch out, November...

{Can you even believe it's November?!?}

Ok, so not all of my pants are "sassy," but I did make sure when I was outfit planning for the week to add plenty of color, pattern and sass to put a little extra pep in my step!

Try a pop of neon, a statement necklace or fun shoes to brighten up your wardrobe for the week!

1 / 2 / 3
Hope your week is off to a great start! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

More Leopard Lovin'

Well it's no secret that I have a love for anything leopard as proven in my round-up here and shoe choice here, but I have a confession to make. My love for animal prints doesn't stop at leopard and it doesn't stop at my wardrobe... 'Hi, my name is Katie and I have an addiction to animal prints anywhere and everywhere I can get them.' {It's true... even my dogs favorite toy is a leopard squeaky bone!} 


See? Obsessed.

Anyway, one of the things I love most about animal prints is the statement it makes. Whether it's just a touch of leopard/zebra/spots-of-some-sort or all over animal print goodness, I think it shows a confidence in style choice and a healthy does of FUN.

I've shared with you all part of my leap list, but I have a bucket list going as well for some of the bigger life accomplishment/goal items. {I'll share the full run-down with you eventually... just have to work up the courage to actually put it out there for the world to see!} One of the things on my bucket list is to buy a house and make it my own, and of course making it my own will include animal prints. Duh! 

Here are a few ways to add the wild side to your home:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4
So whether it's just a chair behind your desk, a coffee table book or a pillow, you can see that a little bit goes a long way!

Or you could go all out with larger choices:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Yep. I want leopard carpet somewhere in my house {#3 is my favorite!}... maybe in my dream closet! I said it here, folks! Now I must stick to it...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sequin Season

It's that time of year again where everyone is ready to pull out their holiday best and sparkle around town! BUT this year, sequins isn't limited to your holiday party and fancy events, it's all-around acceptable for everyday wear and even making it's way into you home... check out the cute Anthro pillow below! 

 top: tank / sweater / stripes / dress
bottom: pillow / leggings / skirt

Take a look on how you can work a little sparkle into your wardrobe:

earrings / top

Here's a great look for happy hour! I know, I know... yes, those are sequins leggings, which are a little out of most peoples comfort zone, but pairing them with a simple, long top and statement earrings, you'll be all set!

pearls / heels
When you're going all-over sparkle, keep you accessories classic and minimal. Pearls and patent make great compliments to this fancy party dress.

necklace / jacket / jeans
Sparkle for daytime? Why not! Pair your sparkle with more casual pieces like you favorite boyfriend jeans and that military jacket we talked about here! Oh, and don't forget a fun necklace to finish the look!