un deux trois

I was showing this dress to my mom from a distance and she asked what the print was, and I told her it was lions and tigers. We both agreed that it would be even better if it was lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) and then when my mom looked closer she realized there are bears on the dress after all! I just hadn't noticed them! So this dress is a subtle little nod to The Wizard of Oz! How cool!

It's a tad bit longer than I normally go for, but I LOVE this dress. I think it's so flattering and it fits me like a glove. They have it in two other prints so I might need to go back for those (and then start a campaign to keep this pattern in circulation in various motifs for years to come!)

Can you guess which outfit is my favorite? I'll let you know at the end :)

Remixed item: Lions, tigers, and bears dress from Modcloth

Sweater vest: Amazon
Lamb brooch: Sugar Cookie
Shoes: Bait footwear

I wasn't lying when I said that The Mindy Project got me hooked on sweater vests! I never in a million years would have thought of adding this particular garment to my wardrobe if it wasn't for Mindy but I *love* her sweater vest outfits, and it's such a cute and easy way to style a dress!

Remixed item: Lions, tigers, and bears dress from Modcloth

Cardigan: Amazon
Lilac shoes: Aldo

In this outfit I matched all of my accessories to the lilac tigers on the dress (the shoes are lilac, too, though I'm not sure if you can really tell here.) This cardigan technically has 3/4 sleeves but they come all the way down to the wrists on me. I pulled the sleeves up slightly so you can see the ends of my long sleeve dress peeking out and I think it's a neat little detail!

Remixed item: Lions, tigers, and bears dress from Modcloth

Shirt: Forever 21
Necklace: Vintage
Shoes: Aldo

Lions, tigers, bears, and Arrietty! Oh my! I was just re-reading the blog post I wrote in 2013 introducing her to you guys and then I came back to this photo and got *all the feelings*!!! She's sleeping next to me right now while I'm typing this and I know I'm such a cat lady but Arrietty is honestly the most important part of my life and my heart could just burst from how much I love her. She's such a little sweetheart and so, so cute. Sometimes I wish everyone could meet her in person because photos and videos don't do justice to what a sweet personality she has.

Anyway! I got this shirt recently from forever 21 (it has a scalloped collar!!!) and thought it would be perfect for turning my dress into a pseudo-skirt. Although I do think this look would be especially great if I had a button-up in a matching color instead, like navy blue. But alas, I don't own any button ups that match... and I really had the itch to wear this new shirt lol!

So did you guess which one was my favorite? If you guessed the first outfit with the sweater vest, you were correct! :D

DIY Halloween / Election Day mashup projects

What perfect serendipity is it for those of us who are obsessive about getting people to vote, that six days before Election Day everyone in this country goes door to door in their neighborhood collecting treats! Normally my front porch pumpkins would be obscured by shrubbery, but on All Hallows Eve they'll be seen by tons of parents and kiddos who come knocking at my door. And what better opportunity to remind moms and dads that Election Day is just around the corner than giving them their own candy bowl with some cute little notes reminding them to vote on November 6!

I have two DIYs in this post, so scroll down if you want the instructions and template for the pumpkin DIY! I'll start out first with the candy bowls and treat bags!

DIY Vote treat bags for parents

Even if you don't want to use these printables for handing out candy, they'd also be cute to put up on your office bulletin board so everyone at work gets a fun festive reminder to hit the polls. Or stick them up around your college campus, or community board at the grocery store. There are so many ways to use these, this Halloween treat bag idea is just one!

You'll need:

- Clear treat bags (ziploc baggies work fine too!)
- Candy
- Printables (Download here)
- Tape or baggy ties
- Two candy buckets
- Two chopsticks or popsicle sticks

Cut out the printable treat bag inserts and put them in the clear bags. Slide a piece of candy in the bag behind the insert, and then either tape the bag closed or use a baggy tie.

Next cut out your candy bowl signs, and attach them to the chopsticks or popsicle sticks with tape. Then tape the other end of the sticks to the back of the bowl, so your trick-or-treaters will be able to tell which bowl is which. In my house we leave the bowls outside so people can help themselves, and the signs make that super simple! If you're handing them out yourself, you can definitely leave off the signs.

ps. I also made the treat bag designs into buttons, right here!

DIY Vote pumpkins

These instructions are for a painted pumpkin, but I also included a template for making a jack-o-lantern version instead! Just follow these instructions for carving a pumpkin and make sure you use the "carve template" image in the download, since it has connecting pieces that will make sure your letters are cut correctly.

You'll need:

A large pumpkin
Acrylic paint
Vote template (Download here)
Carbon paper
Optional: carving knife (if you're making a jack-o-lantern)

Tape the carbon paper to the pumpkin, and then tape your template on top and trace the design. I used this stylus, but you can also use a pen with its cap on or the end of a paintbrush... anything with a pen-like tip that will apply enough pressure to transfer the design to your pumpkin.

This is what it will look like when you peel off the carbon paper. Now just fill it in with paint! I chose a bright blue color for the circle and white for the letters. It took two coats of each color for it to reach the opacity that I wanted, but it was so worth it! When I was done I also free-handed a heart on a smaller pumpkin and the election day date on another.

Look how cute they all look together!

I know that I've been going overboard on the whole voting thing (and I'm definitely worried that you guys are like "stop trying to make fetch voting happen, Kate") but it's so so so important! Be sure you check out Vote Save America to find your polling place, view your ballot, and check out candidates. You can even print out a sample ballot that you can fill out ahead of time and take with you into the voting booth so you know exactly who/what you want to vote for. Even if you vote straight down the ballot for one party, it's helpful to study the ballot questions and know your answer ahead of time. I always forget about those and then panic when I get in the booth and can't totally figure out which way I want to vote. So anyway, check out the website and make sure you've got your Election Day plans sorted out so you're good to go! :)

trick or treat yourself

I got this dress last year not long after Halloween so I've been waiting so long to wear it! They don't have the sleeveless version anymore but there's a similar long sleeve one available here.

I'm still waiting on my lab test results (pretty sure I should be getting them either today or tomorrow) so earlier this week I did a tiny shopping binge so I'd have mail to look forward to all week long. I've been SO incredibly stressed out waiting for these results, and that really has helped a bit to have treated myself a little :) I also planned out so many "just for me" projects to keep me occupied. I covered my windows with privacy film, something I've been meaning to do for years. I made fabric panels for the back of my door (I'll post a picture on my instagram stories!) I painted pumpkins for the front porch, and I worked on a DIY that I'll be posting here tomorrow.

I also started listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast, and I'm so hooked! I started all the way back at the first episode (from 2016, I think) so I have a lot to catch up on. It's been tough finding media that I can get totally engrossed in without my mind wandering to my worries, but this is so gripping I've been able to give it my full attention.

Also I keep wanting to just let this go without mentioning it, but ughhhh I'm sorry about the photo quality again. The sun kept going in and out, in and out, in and out, and my settings were all messed up from me fidgeting around to keep up with the clouds.

dress - sourpuss (similar) | sweater - joanie

Style Idol - Jane Fonda

This coat reminds me of this one on ASOS and now that I've seen this photo of Jane Fonda I really want to recreate her look. And now I'm thinking that I might want to turn my Style Idol posts into a "get the look" kind of thing where I find pieces that would match what the stars are wearing in the photo. Hmm...

love spider

I can't believe that I actually have this dress in my possession. I originally ordered it from Unique Vintage about a month ago, and then a week later I got a refund with a note that they had sold out and were not planning on restocking. I complained about it to Sammi, who found the dress in my size on Poshmark! So I quickly ordered that one, and then the next day the seller e-mailed me to say that she had sold it on a different platform before I bought it, so they cancelled my order too. Ahhh! Then Sammi found ANOTHER one on Poshmark. I woke up every morning anticipating a cancellation email in my inbox, but after one week it finally shipped! I fully expected it to get lost in the mail, since it seemed like me and this dress were destined to be star-crossed, but, as you can see from these photos, it did indeed arrive! Hooray!

So why was this dress so important to me? Why did I need it so desperately? It has little heart shaped spiders all over it, and that is my family "mascot." When I was little my parents used to draw heart shaped spiders on notes to me, on my lunch bag for school, etc. It's called the love spider, and it is a symbol that we all love each other. (My parents' pet name for each other is "creep" in case you were wondering why anyone would choose a spider for their family mascot that should probably give you an idea of what we're like, haha!)

I'm just so thrilled that I managed to get my hands on one of these frocks. A HUGE thank you to Sammi for tracking this down for me! I told her she should start a clothing detective agency, she's so good at finding unicorn items!

The dress is mostly sold out at Unique Vintage, except in size XL here, and 4X here. And as of right now it's also available in 2X on Poshmark here and here.

un deux trois

I went back and looked at the photos from the last time I wore this dress and they are SO bright! It was early August so sunshine was still a thing. We've been having fall sunshine (ie. no sunshine) paired with summer weather. It's been really hot but it looks like 5pm all day long. I've been doing this outfit post thing since 2011 and I'm *still* frustrated when fall shows up and I forget how to adjust my camera settings accordingly.

Anyway. This post is not about sunshine and weather, it's about remixing this pencil print dress! I love when a dress has multiple colors so you can wear a ton of different cardigans, sweaters, shoes, etc. and still be matchy. This one has five different colors (maroon, grey, blue, red, and yellow) so there are a lot of possibilities!

Do you want to guess which outfit was my favorite? I'll spill the beans at the end of the post! :)

Remixed item: Pencil print dress from Modcloth

Shirt: ASOS
Shoes: Aldo

I've been re-watching The Mindy Project (and hating Danny so much, omg!) and it's making me want to do all the layering and pattern clashing and invest in a ton of sweater vests. Since this print is kind of subtle I thought it was perfect for pairing with this heart print cardigan that has a similar color scheme. And then I kept it simple with a matching belt and nude shoes. Very Mindy, imho!

Remixed item: Pencil print dress from Modcloth

Sweater: Amazon
Necklace: Old Navy
Shoes: Bait Footwear

Have you ever done a faux-crop on a sweater? I love doing this because it makes outfits look more proportional and fitted and it's so easy. Just fold the bottom of the sweater up to your waist, and then back down again to create a little sweater belt! It's so much easier than sewing a new hem on a sweater or trying to find a pre-cropped sweater for sale.

Remixed item: Pencil print dress from Modcloth

Cardigan: Forever21 (old)
Shoes: Aldo
Tights: Amazon
French Fries brooch: Kinks & Quirks

This is probably my go-to look for any dress -- a cardigan, a belt, a brooch, and tights. Voila! You're good to go. Lately I've been liking the look of wearing shoes the same color as my tights since it has a lengthening effect on my short legs.

Did you guess which outfit was my favorite? It was the second one with the red sweater. My Mindy outfit would be a close second :)

DIY vote sweater

When sweater weather and the midterm elections coincide, there is only one thing to do - make a sweater that says "Vote!" This is a really simple and quick DIY that you can whip up during an episode of tv (sidenote: I just started watching Schitt's Creek and I highly recommend it! It's so funny!) It's so easy I already made two in different colors (mustard and this pink one.) Of course you can also make this sweater with another saying, but I can't think of anything more important right now than encouraging people to vote :)

And if you're not crafty but you still want this design, I added it to my Threadless store here so it's available on sweatshirts, t-shirts, totes, etc.!

Materials needed:

- A plain knit sweater (I used this one and this one)
- Thick yarn (I used medium size Red Heart yarn in Bordeaux)
- Large plastic needle
- Carbon paper
- Embroidery hoop (optional)
- Vote! template (Download here)

First you'll want to put a smooth hard surface in your sweater (I used a large hardcover book) and then lay the carbon paper on top of the sweater. Decide where you want to place the template, and then trace over the design. I used this stylus, but you can also use a pen with its cap on or the end of a paintbrush... anything with a pen-like tip that will apply enough pressure to transfer the design to your sweater.

Once the design is transferred, thread your needle (if it's hard getting the yarn through the needle eye, you can put some scotch tape on the end to get it through easier) and use a split stitch to embroider the design. I knotted off my yarn and started again each time I reached an end so that there isn't a lot of excess thread on the inside of the sweater. For the dot at the end of the exclamation mark I used a french knot stitch. You can find explanations of how to do all different stitches here.

You can also do a backstitch instead if that's easier for you. I tested a backstitch and a split stitch and this one created a thicker, more fluid line. But it was more time consuming and used a bit more yarn. It all depends on what you're comfortable with and how much time you have! I also tested this with and without an embroidery hoop. It's much, much easier with the hoop because you aren't really losing your design in folds of fabric. But it's definitely possible to do it without one as well. And it didn't really affect the design in any way (there wasn't more puckering without the hoop, for example.) So, again, just do whatever is more comfortable for you. I wouldn't necessarily go out and buy a hoop just to do this sweater if you don't already have one on hand.

And that's it! The last step is just wearing the sweater as often as possible between now and November 6th to remind people that they have to get out there and Vote! :)