So, you need a shirt-dress?

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I don't know about you, but I have extreme difficulty waking up in the mornings. I often need to wake up early (about 5 or 6 a.m.) and I set at least six or seven alarms.  I snooze all of them without hesitation -- mostly because I'm still half asleep.  When I wake up in the mornings I hardly have half a mind to make any type of wardrobe decisions. All that to say, my most favorite wardrobe pieces are items that are comfortable, versatile and easy to accessorize. 

 The button down shirt dress is one of my favorite trends right now, because there are so many ways to wear and accessorize it and I don't have to think about it.  

 Ways to wear this guy:

1) Wear it plain, and add a cute hat like I paired it on Dominique.

2) Throw a belt over it to create a waist-line.

3) Wear a cute pair of black jeans, throw on a white tank-top, and wear the button down dress on top to create a third layer! So many options for one item.  3- in -1!

Accessories also help make the outfit come together! I chose neutral shoes and a simple hat. Here are a few great accessories that can add a little statement to a simple outfit.

 Accessories:

1) Hat- I paired the dress with a rusty colored hat because it complements the blue in the dress.

2) Shoes- I chose simple flats because they go with everything, and they are so comfortable! AND Dominique looks great in all these things!

 The great thing about fashion is that there are so many ways to wear the same piece of clothing.  It's fun to see how different people, and different body types can make some things look so different, and really cute.

 Here are a few resources to find a similar shirt dress for less:

The dress Dominique is wearing | Urban Outfitters | Forever 21- YES! |Forever 21 #2- Duh! | Those SHOES!  | and that HAT. (similar)

 All fabulous photos were taken by Kara!

clothing modeled by Dominique! 

Outfit styled by me :)

 

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Even St. Patrick liked Soda Bread

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So it’s St. Patrick’s Day…. How not to get pinched!

Celebrate with me and Beth and make some Sweet Irish Soda Bread…and obviously, WEAR GREEN!!

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Beth is a professional baker, so we talked through this post together. I can guarantee you don’t want me to come up with a recipe on my own. I’d probably kill you. Beth, though, is a fantastic baker. I constantly try to bribe her to cook me meals, or I walk by the stove and steal remnants of her cooked dinners. She lets me now that she knows. I’m basically the BEST roommate ever!

There are a few things Beth and I have in common: A deep love for corny jokes, an unashamed persistence to break out in song at any given moment, the necessity to have copious amounts of fun in the most strange of ways, and a good Hot Toddy. Basically, we are BOTH big weirdos! 

So, you wanna celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the right way? Oh, good! Sweet Irish Soda Bread is where the celebration is at, folks!

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Make it like Beth:

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

1 cup raisins

1 cup dried cherries

3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder*

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups almond milk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

Fill a saucepan half way with water and bring to a boil. Add raisins and cherries and continue boiling for 3 minutes. Drain and lightly dust with flour. Meanwhile, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add shortening using a pastry blender or your fingers; it will be very lumpy. Stir in milk and eggs until fully moistened. Carefully stir in raisins. Spread into a loaf pan coated with non-stick spray and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving. *Baking powder contains baking soda, hence the name "soda bread."

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And…voilà!!! St. Patrick’s Day success! Now go pinch somebody!

Trying, Not trying!

Trying not trying…It’s that perfect balance between casual clothing that is borderline pajamas, and also not looking like you just woke up. It is somewhere in between. Or it’s that casual outfit that you actually took time to make look effortless. Either way, “trying not trying” is a reoccurring theme in my life.

We have three reoccurring clothing themes at my house: “Trying not trying,” “classy and cute,” or “thirsty and needy.” There are four of us girls in one house and it’s so much fun. We do runway walks through the hall multiple times a week, and are sure to help one another dress for THE occasion whether it’s work, a casual hangout, or a new date! “Trying not trying” comes into play often around here.

“Classy and cute” is more of the date attire we choose and “thirsty and needy” is always vetoed, (because nobody wants to admittedly walk outside in an outfit that screams such things! Let’s be honest, even whispering such things is only borderline acceptable. ;). We like to have a little bit of class -- class and sass!  

Get the look

Like Grace: scarf | top | leggings | socks | boots(similar) 

Like Karley: top(different color) | joggers | moccasins

Kara, Grace and I were all talking about how we want to look cute, but wish it was effortless, and like we are not trying too hard. I swear, this is every young woman’s battle!

Sometimes we just want people to think we woke up effortlessly, and we want to feel cute and be comfy. Is that even possible?!?! Well, maybe it is for that girl that rolls out of bed, has flawless skin, is skinnier than the models that are airbrushed in magazines, and has the perfect freckle in just the right place…Yeah, that girl ain’t me! 

I have found that having a couple “go-to” pieces that are comfy and that I know pair together well makes it easier to save time when going for the “trying not trying” look. Grace (my best friend and I) chose outfits for this post that we wear religiously and that are comfortable to be in all day. 

Me: Sweats (which screams “I’m not trying”). My oversized T is a top I grab often, so that was a no brainer. I added a simple necklace with a pop of color to compliment my top. I also chose “statement shoes.” Without the necklace and the shoes, my outfit is pretty bland. I call the shoes “statement shoes” because they are just that.  They have different textures and add some funk to my outfit. They are a statement piece. 

Grace: Comfy leggings and a generic gray top. She added a third layer--the scarf. It added a different texture as well as a different color, which added a pop to the neutrals she chose as the base of her outfit. She chose cute little socks for warmth, and also because they are stinking cute! They, for sure, add character.

Having a few “go to” easy outfits makes it so much easer to manage those days when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and just don’t want to think about what you are going to wear.  You can use the same outfit and change the accessories and it will look like a new outfit.

Tips:

It’s fall and that third layer (an accessory, or a statement piece that adds to your outfit) is easy-peasy.  The pop of color Grace chose complements the neutral colors that are the base of her attire. The necklace I selected had a slight pop of color.  Accessories are an easy way to seal the deal with an outfit. They add a little something extra that just make the ensemble feel complete!

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Now do it: check your wardrobe and see if you can implement a third layer this week. It could be a scarf, a necklace or even a kimono or poncho that adds a new texture! Also, see what statement pieces you own. What is screaming all by itself?  What do you own that can add a little something extra to a plain outfit and make it more interesting?

Well, that's all I got for today.

All photos were taken by Kara McFarlane while having copious amounts of fun-because blogging is so much more fun when you get to do it with your best friend!

All photos were taken by Kara McFarlane while having copious amounts of fun-because blogging is so much more fun when you get to do it with your best friend!

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