happy halloween!



I had no intention of dressing up for Halloween this year, but when I saw a costume of a Grady twin from The Shining at the mall the other day I thought it would be SO fun to do an outfit post with me being both twins. The costume at the mall wasn't my size, so I went on Amazon and found an Alice in Wonderland costume that worked just as well and paired it with a pink belt that I already had in my closet.

I actually came up with a really great idea for *another* costume this week too (why do I always get ideas for things at the very last minute?!) but I'm going to save it for next year so I can spend time perfecting it. It's way more obscure than this one, but I'm really excited about it.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun halloween! :D


dress - amazon | belt - amazon | shoes - asos (old)

Style Idol - Reese Witherspoon



One week until Election Day! Don't forget to vote! :)

young at heart



This is actually a kid's dress from Target! If you're really short like me (I'm 5') sometimes it's frustrating finding dresses that are the right proportion. They're usually too long at the waist and too long overall, so I get a lot of my dresses tailored to fit me. But this dress fit perfectly off the rack. I got a size XL and I'm usually a US8 or Medium in grown up clothes. Also it was only $9.99 which is like 1/5 the price of most adult dresses, so... score!

This weekend I did the Out of the Darkness walk to fight suicide. It was way more emotional than I anticipated... they had an opening ceremony with music and speakers and it really got to me. But I'm so glad I participated, and even though I didn't raise very much money I'm happy that a few people donated and supported my walk. And as a reminder, if you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

I also had my annual Halloween party yesterday, which was so much fun. The menu was tricky this year since I'm on an anti-inflammatory diet, my brother is highly allergic to nuts, and my grandmom has Celiac, but I made it work! We had roasted pumpkin soup with a side of brown rice and bell peppers, and for dessert I made homemade gluten free lemon bars with coconut flour. I also made homemade chocolates with maple syrup and those were a hit with my family! I'll post a recipe for the candy soon -- everyone is demanding that I make more this week, so I'll take some pictures and write up a recipe post when I do my next batch ;)


dress - target | belt - from another dress | shoes - bait footwear

un deux trois



For this week's wardrobe remix I picked this most-perfect-item-for-fall-ever sweater. I've been wearing it a lot lately (including for pumpkin picking -- THE perfect place to wear it!) and I like it so much that I ordered it in dark green, too. I've always loved the idea of chunky sweaters but I don't usually like the way they look on me. The dropped shoulder seams usually create a weird bulge on my arms that makes me look bigger, but this one lays so nicely and I think it's actually flattering.

Can you guess which outfit is my favorite? I'll tell you at the bottom of the post! :)



Remixed item: Ginger sweater from Forever 21

Skirt: Lazy Oaf (old)
Shoes: Amazon

This is going to sound so cheesy but the model in the product listing had her sweater tucked in a little bit, and I thought it looked so cool that I decided to try it. And that's how I've been styling it almost every time I wear this sweater now! It's a thick sweater so I was surprised that it worked, but I love it! Also I just got these boots recently that said "mauve" on the listing but are actually closer to my skin tone in person, and I love the lengthening effect I get with them. That's unusual for an ankle boot, they usually make me look two feet tall, lol.



Remixed item: Ginger sweater from Forever 21

Jumper: Asos
Shoes: Bait Footwear
Necklace: Vintage

I'm just going to go ahead and say this is my least favorite of the three outfits, even though the concept is my favorite. I like the *idea* of a long necklace, tall boots, and a corduroy jumper but this dress just doesn't fit me well. I bought it about 12 pounds ago and it was big on me then, so now I'm swimming in it a little. I also need it hemmed a bit. I think if I get it tailored to fit me better I'd LOVE this outfit though! It feels very 70's-meets-cozy :)



Remixed item: Ginger sweater from Forever 21

Hat: Forever 21
Pants: old
Shoes: Aldo (old)

Pants?! Yes, pants! This one is actually my favorite. I love these pants with these shoes, and I'm very obsessed with this chenille beret because it lays nicely, unlike wool berets which always, without fail, look stupid on my head. This is an outfit I could definitely wear pretty much every day this fall and I'd be perfectly happy with that! :)

recipe: three variations of vegan pesto!



As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I've been trying to eat a healthier diet the last several weeks and one thing that has been making all those healthy meals taste amazing is homemade vegan pesto. I've been trying a bunch of different varieties, with different nuts, seeds, and greens. It's so fun to play around with this recipe!

I use this pesto in so many different ways -- on wraps or sandwiches as a spread, diluted with a little extra virgin olive oil as a salad dressing, or (my favorite!) with zucchini noodles and roasted vegetables for dinner. Yum!! I usually use about 1-2 tablespoons at a time. It's packed with flavor and you really don't need all that much to make a difference.

Each batch that I make comes from the following recipe --



In a blender combine:

1/2 cup nuts or seeds
1/2 cup vegetable broth (add more if it's too thick)
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
a pinch of sea salt
1 cup of greens (herbs or vegetables)

My favorite combinations are:

Sunflower seed - Parsley pesto (perfect if you have nut allergies!)
Basil - Walnut pesto (my favorite!)
Roasted asparagus - Cashew pesto

For the roasted asparagus pesto, just cook asparagus tips on 400' for 20 minutes and then wait until it's cooled to room temperature before adding it to your blender.

And that's it! It's SO easy to make this, and it's so healthy! (And so yummy!!)



good news



On Monday I finally got my test results (after spending all last week on pins and needles! ahh!) and it was GOOD NEWS! Basically, I had a test for inflammation in August and my number was insanely high. I asked my doctor if I could have four weeks to try to lower it through diet and exercise alone, and she very reluctantly agreed and pretty much guaranteed me that it wouldn't work. But IT DID! I still have elevated inflammation but after only one month my levels dropped in half. I still have a little bit to go before it's totally normal, but she's giving me two more months to keep working on it.

I know if something was seriously wrong with me this wouldn't have worked, but I'm so proud of myself for trying really hard and getting that number to drop so drastically. Since early September I've been on a vegetarian anti-inflammatory diet, so I've mostly been eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains exclusively. I've been adding ginger and tumeric to everything, drinking ginger tea, and trying to avoid all sugars and wheat products. I went from not exercising ~at all~ to doing 10 minutes on the elliptical every day and logging 5,000 steps a day on my fitbit (I'm now up to 15 minutes on the elliptical and 10k steps a day!) I've honestly never felt better. And I've been coming up with so many delicious meals on this diet that the one day that I caved in and ate pizza, it wasn't even all that satisfying. I feel like somebody else could have written that because pizza has always been my favorite thing in the world, but I'm serious! I was like "I'd rather be eating zucchini noodles and pesto!" WHO AM I.

A nice side effect of getting healthy has been that I've finally shed the ~12 pounds I gained earlier this year. My dresses fit well, zippers are working smoothly, it's wonderful. All in all I'm a pretty happy camper this week.





Style Idol - Brigitte Bardot



whatever, as if



Something about this outfit reminds me of Clueless. Maybe it's just the combination of plaid with yellow and white? All I need now is a feather pen and Paul Rudd! ;D

On a totally different note, this weekend my brother had a severe allergic reaction to nuts and was in the hospital all night on Saturday. It was the scariest reaction he's ever had, and he actually passed out a few times before they stabilized him. He's totally fine now and completely back to normal (and decidedly more committed to carrying his epi-pen at all times!) but this seemed like a good time to mention the Teal Pumpkin Project. If anyone is unfamiliar, it's a movement to get people to offer allergy-free treats on Halloween. You can read more about it on their website, but basically you put out a teal pumpkin that indicates your house offers non-food items (like party favors, glow sticks, or little toys you can get at Party City for example.) You can paint your own pumpkin, or I've even seen pre-painted teal ones specifically for this purpose at Michaels!

When my brother was little we had to sort through his candy to pick out anything that could potentially kill him... which is scary in a very real, not Halloween-y way. I love that this movement exists now so today's kids don't have to be scared that the treats they bring home on Halloween could be dangerous. I'll have a teal pumpkin at my house and I hope you'll consider doing it too! :)




tights - target (old) | shoes - c/o modcloth | earrings - target

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
Tape
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...