Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Looks of 2012

 I had 172 outfit posts this year. That is the most outfit posts I've done in a year in my three years blogging!
I narrowed it down to my top 23. Why 23? Who knows! lol That's just how many I ended up thinking where the best.
Here are my favorite looks of 2012:

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This was by far my favorite year in fashion. I can't wait to see what 2013 brings! What do you think? What's your favorite look?
Hope everyone has a fun and safe NYE! xo

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Outfit: Christmas Party (4 & 5 of 5)

On Christmas day we technically have 3 celebrations, but attend two parties.
Santa comes and we spend the first 2 hours with just the four of us then head (still in our holiday jams) to my in-laws house for breakfast.
Four hours later we are off to our house to do a quick unloading and reloading of the car, change into clothes, and off to my mom's house for our second party of the day.
Here is what I wore on Christmas day:

ootd Photobucket blogger rebecca minkoff
Jacket: C/O Sheinside, Sweater: Loft, Jeans: 7 for all mankind, Shoes: Dolce Vita, Necklace: C/O Sarah Aghili, Bag: Rebecca Minkoff, Onyx bracelet: C/O Silver Speck, Watch: Fossil, Bracelet: C/O T + J designs
 
How amazing is my new Rebecca Minkoff Swing bag? Thank you hubby for my annual designer bag gift!!! He's the best! ;)
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Our family was beyond blessed this year and we were able to donate 14 bags of toys to the National Children's Cancer Society 3 days before Christmas.
Once we cleared out all their old stuff, we had plenty of space for the new ones. Feels good to share the overabundance of items our children get each year. I think they are finally starting to understand that it is NOT normal to get as much as they do and it's good to share with less fortunate families. At least I hope they get it! ;)
Check back Monday for my best of 2012 outfit post!
Have a great weekend! xo


Friday, December 28, 2012

Outfit: Christmas Party (2 & 3 of 5)

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday!
We attended 2 parties on Christmas Eve (my dad's and my hubby's grandpa's house).
Here is what I wore:

ootd Photobucket jewelry
Dress: Piperlime, Blazer: Target, Tights: JC Penny, Shoes: Victoria's Secret, Onyx stone Bracelet: C/O Silver Speck, Red and gold bracelet: C/O Sarah Aghili, Watch: Fossil, Gold and Black bracelet: C/O T plus J designs, Necklace: Oh, Poppy!, Earrrings: Hive & Honey, Lip Color: Rose Blossom by Bobbi Brown
 
What did you wear on Christmas eve?
My family tends to be more casual on Christmas day so this was my more dressy of the 2 looks. Check back tomorrow for my Christmas outfit.
xo

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Me

Some are deep, some are silly...thanks in advance for reading!

1) I have had the same best friend for almost 23 years now and we speak daily. (Shout out Gwennie)
In these daily conversations there is at least once that the following topics come up:
-Vampire Diaries
-Ian Somerhalder
-Dancing (so you think you can dance, dance routines to Disney movies...ours and our kids) 
-smutty book chat
I would be LOST with out her and wish we lived in a house where our basements met (underground tunnel system maybe?) so we could hang out everyday all day. TRUTH!
2) I stress about everything and have a VERY type A personality. This is both a strength and a weakness. Bad for my health I'm sure and I know I stress my hubby and my partner Kaitlyn out sometime because of it! ;)
However, because of this trait everything that needs to get done in the day with my kids, house, hubby, business, blogs, social networking, etc always gets done.
3) I am habitually early. Like 15 minutes early is on time to me. On time is late. Time is money people, I don't waste yours, don't waste mine. ;)
4) I think most of you know by now that my son has autism. My daughter is too young for a diagnosis but is currently enrolled in Early Intervention with speech therapy and developmental therapy. Both kids are on gluten free/low dairy diets with lots of vitamins and supplements (including giving my son B12 shots every 3 days, and giving him LDN every night), they both have weekly therapies, and we work our butts off on a daily basis just to keep up with the "norm".
Here are the things I don't talk about:
There are times when I feel depressed that we were dealt this hand. That our kids were dealt this hand. I see friends and family with "neuro typical" children and I feel envious.
It obviously goes without saying that my children are MY WORLD and I would not trade them for anything!!!
There are good days and there are bad days.
On the good days it's like life makes sense and I have hope for their future.
The bad days are bad. I wish I had a magic wand to make it all go away. Instead I get to watch something I don't fully understand happen to my son. I am helpless and hope it doesn't last more then a few days this time.
**My son explains it as his brain hurts on these days. He is only 4 so I hope to understand more about it as he grows up and can communicate better with me.
To us it seems over emotional/withdrawn at times/odd behavior/glossed over/repetitive behavior and speech/disconnected....any fellow patents of autistic children know what I mean? 
It's okay for me to feel overwhelmed (do you know how long it has taken for me to come to grips with that?!)
As their mother it's my job to worry about their future and do everything in my power to make them fully functioning adults! We will get there. It is my life's mission.
5) I am deathly afraid of sharks, even in lakes. I have never been in the ocean deeper then my knees and do not plan to. I'm more of a "on the boat" or "poolside" kind of a girl.
6) My mom has always told me since day one I was always total extremes. I was either totally happy or totally mad/sad. This is still true now. And my daughter is EXACTLY the same. Lord help us! ;)
7) I LOVE reality TV. My DVR is filled with it.
8) I can NOT go a day with out eating eggs. I have 2 eggs over easy (cooked in coconut oil) every morning with blueberries. This has been going on for YEARS!
9) I don't wash my hair often. Sometimes twice a week if I have events but generally more like once every 4-5 days lately.
If you see me in a bun, top knot, or hat, it's day 3-5. ;)
10) I use coconut oil and Vaseline for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you can think of.
Need proof? Here are some examples: 
Lotion on myself and kids after shower-coconut oil
dry hair- coconut oil for 10 mins and wash out
cooking- coconut oil
chap lips- either
make up remover- Vaseline
face lotion- either
dry feet- either
dry hands- either
diaper rash- Vaseline
Rash or Burn- Vaseline
Mascara brush cleaner- coconut oil
Eyelash strengthener- coconut oil
Prevent stretch marks when pregnant- coconut oil
There are seriously so many more but I will end now not to be known as the crazy coconut oil lady!

Thanks for reading, nice to meet you! ;)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Hair

I have had the same hair (give or take bangs and a few inches) for the past 9 years! Before that when my hair was shorter, I wore extensions. So I guess including when I was faking it, I've had this long ass hair for about 12 years now. I'd say it a great time for a change.
With it being Christmas and all, I decided I wanted to donate my hair. Pantene great lengths hair donations would not take it because it is dyed hair.
Locks of love would not take it because I had bleached the ends before in attempts to go ombre.
I check 2 other hair donation places and found the same rules applied.
I had full intention to cut off 10 inches and donate.
After finding out no one wanted to take my dyed hair, I ended up cutting 7 inches off.
Here are my before and after shots:


I love having my hair this length! It's lighter on my neck and it feels so healthy, I'm so glad I didn't chicken out. ;)
I really wish I would have been able to donate it, but it's the thought that counts right?!
Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful day with your family! xo

Monday, December 24, 2012

Outfit: Sequins and Spots

Here is another great example of everyday wear. I wore this outfit last week when I was doing some baking and it was perfect for my errands run too! sequins silverspeck Photobucket
Blouse: Piperlime, Tank and Jeans: Loft, Boots: Just Fab, Necklace: C/O Silver Speck, Lip Color: Blue Raspberry by Bobbi Brown
 
How precious is this necklace? I love the heart and the fact that it is a mix of silver and gold. I am a fan of mixed metals for sure!
What do you think?
 Ever just toss a open blouse over a tank and call it a day?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Outfit: Everyday Wear

You may remember this blouse from when I swapped it with Kaitlyn.
I loved it so much I ended up buying my own when I saw it on sale for under $15 at Target!
Here is how I styled my blouse for a regular day of mommy chores and errands:

michael kors Photobucket colored denim
Jacket: C/O Sheinside, Blouse: Target, Denim: Level 99 via ThirtySomethingFashion Box Service, Bag and Boots: Just Fab, Cowl Neck: Michael Kors, Gold Bracelet: C/O T + J Designs, Black Bracelet: C/O Silver Speck, Sunnies: Loft, Lip Color: Rose Blossom by Bobbi Brown
 
Totally loving my new cowl neck and clearly obsessed with these boots and bag as you see them in regular rotation! ;)
 
Remix: Level 99 Jeans
Here are ways I have styled my red denim in outfit post's past:

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I didn't realize that I always top my red skinnys with a black blazer/jacket. Actually they are all styled in a neutral color scheme (brown, gray, black).
 I will be sure to style them differently in the future. I guess I am a creature of habit! ;) 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Outfit: Christmas Party (1 of 5)

Every year my mom's side of the family gets together the week before Christmas to celebrate. (1st holiday party outfit posts from 2010 here and 2011 here.)
We do this because as we all get older and the family grows it just got too hard for everyone to make it to the party on Christmas day. I actually LOVE that we start celebrating the week before the holidays! ;)
I also LOVE having all of my siblings with their spouses and kids, my cousins, their spouses and kids, my aunts and uncles, my grandpa, and my parents under the same roof...reminds me of Christmas's when I was growing up. Super sized!  
Here is what I wore to my first Christmas party:

fur vest Photobucket printpants fossilwatch
Vest: Nordstrom, Knit: Gap, Jeans: Loft, Boots: Just Fab, Watch: Fossil, Earrings: House of Gemmes, Gem Ring: Baubles, Lip Color: Rose Blossom by Bobbi Brown
 
LOVING these printed pants I found at Loft. It's so subtle yet so chic in the plum/maroon shade of purple.
What's your go to for holiday wear?
I have 4 more parties to attend (packed into the 2 day x-mas eve/x-mas) and can't wait to wear more of my holiday looks! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cookie Week: Chocolate Snowball Cookies

This recipe was found on the Mommy Bowl.
 
Ingrediants:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, grated or chopped finely (I used dark chocolate that contains probiotics, flaxseed, and Omega 3 from Beyond Organic...strongly suggest this to all!)
2 T. (28 g) coconut oil
2 T. ground flax seed
3 T. almond milk
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup palm sugar (I used raw sugar)
1/2 cup (43 g) almond flour
1/4 cup (28 g) gar-fava flour (I used all almond flour)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. xanthan gum
 
About 1/3 cup powdered palm sugar (I used regular powdered sugar) 
cookies
Preheat oven to 325°.
In the top of a double-boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil. While that is melting, whisk together flax seed and almond milk in the large bowl. When the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and pour into the flax seed mixture. Add the palm sugar and vanilla and beat well.
In a small bowl, combine the rest of the dry ingredients, except the powdered palm sugar. Whisk well.
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined.
Form dough into small balls. Place the balls on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes.
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, roll them in the powdered palm sugar. (Yes, they’ll be hot. You can do it!) Once completely cooled, roll them one more time in the powdered palm sugar.
 
Photobucket glutenfreecookies

These are AMAZING! I only wish I had made more then a double batch. ;)
I'm pretty sure they were extra good due to the chocolate I used! Beyond Organic is having a buy 2 get 2 free through 12-31 so shop now and save!  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cookie Week: Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies (Gluten free)

I found this recipe on PSB.org and it is a flourless cookie, which is key in my home!
Hers is the recipe for Flourless PB & J cookies
 
 Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1 cup sugar or natural cane sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup fruit jam or jelly

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a hand or stand mixer, mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla on low speed until well combined.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough 1 1/2-inches apart onto the baking sheet. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, drop the dough with a spoon.
  4. Flatten the dough balls with the bottom of a glass until the dough is slightly taller than half an inch.
  5. Make a slight indent 1/8-inch deep with a clean milk jug cap in the center of each cookie. (we drink almond milk in our home and that cap was too small so I used the lid to a bottle of vitamin C. You can be creative if you do not have the propper supplies :)
  6. Spoon a teaspoon of jam inside of the indented center.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until they are golden around the edges. Allow the cookies to rest on the counter for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
cookies Photobucket glutenfreecookies
These were a big hit with the family. One of my favorites for sure! Enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookie Week: Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Two years ago I shared the Nestle Tollhouse recipe for chocolate chip cookies.
Last year I tweaked it a bit to make the recipe gluten free.
This year I strait up made my own recipe as I went along!
I had planned on them being GF/DF chocolate chip cookies, but because of the coconut flour and oil they have a coconut flavor to them....in a great way!
 
Here is my recipe for Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies:
 
Ingredients:
3 cups coconut flour
1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup coconut oil (extra virgin)
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
4 cups Enjoy life Chocolate Chips (dairy and soy free)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional, I did not use nuts in mine)

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat coconut oil, raw sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate and nuts. Roll into small balls and place on cookie sheet. Press each ball down a bit and the shape does NOT change much during baking and you do not want raw centers. ;)

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Place on wire racks to cool completely.

*This is a double batch, so you can cut it in half if you are looking to make less cookies. (Made 60 cookies)
 
 
glutenfreecookies

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cookie Week 2013

This will be my third year hosting a cookie week (celebrating my 3rd blog anniversary in a few short weeks).
Here are recipe's I have shared in cookie week's past:


This year I will be making the gluten free peanut butter blossoms and gluten free chocolate covered pretzels again.
They are my son's favorite (and my hubby LOVES the GF peanut butter blossoms) so why not keep them in rotation?! 
 I will also be trying two brand new recipes as well as sharing an origional recipe of my own. 
Make sure you check back the next few days for more gluten free cookie recipes (some dairy free too)! 



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Outfit: Family Weekend

Here is a great example of an outfit that I wore on a family day but was also appropriate for going out to eat that night as well (just add some lip color).
Here is what I wore for my family day/night: 
ootd jewelry casualstyle
Sweater: Swap w/ Kaitlyn, Jeans: Old Navy, Boots: Dolce Vita, Blue & Gold bracelet: C/O Sarah Aghili, Spike Cuff: C/O Chicnova, Necklace: C/O House of Gemmes (Passport to Style stamps cashed in)

What do you think? Ever carry your look from day to night without changing much other then lip color and adding some cute jewelry?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Guest Post: Anya Sarre Dishes on Holiday Fashion

Anya Sarre is one of Hollywood’s most influential trendsetters. A nationally recognized celebrity stylist, Sarre is known for her impeccable eye and ability to tie any look together with the perfect accessory. Named “Best Television Fashion Stylist” for her appearances on Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and countless other media outlets, Sarre is the go-to fashion expert for Hollywood’s biggest celebrities.


Easy Festive Fashions for the Holidays

As the holidays approach and temperatures drop, women across the Northern Hemisphere are reassessing their wardrobes and adding fashionable items to keep them warm and chic. Comfortable clothing that looks great certainly boosts a woman’s confidence and polishes her inner beauty to a high sheen. In fact, it is a well-known trick in Hollywood to make sure stars feel comfortable in an outfit before they walk down the red carpet.

You may not be walking any red carpets this holiday season, but chances are you will be invited to more than one holiday gathering, either casual or black tie. Make sure you look your best by selecting chic outfits that fit well and fabrics that feel great against your skin.

Luxurious winter fashions this year include layers of texture and patterns. Rustic sweaters paired with patterned skirts in similar color schemes combine comfort with a trendy elegance. Dress up this combo for the holidays with silver jewelry such as a metalwork cuff or trendy fork bracelets and matching earrings.

Pile on the layers with a loose knit sweater over a mock turtleneck or fashionable scoop-neck top. Add a pair of skinny jeans or a short skirt and opaque tights. Accessorize with jewelry such as a stack of colorful enamel bracelets and long, dangly earrings. Finish the look with popular platform women’s shoes or stacked heels.

For formal gatherings, the little black dress always works. Accessorize for the holidays with lots of bling. Add a gold or silver cropped jacket to a black maxi dress. Low necklines demand a little extra shimmer, so pick a metalwork necklace to match and stick to small earrings for a polished look. You can use one or more of those enamel bracelets here as well to add a touch of color to the outfit, and of course you’ll want to finish the look with a pair of metallic pumps to match the jacket.

The  key to holiday fashion is adding a little shimmer to popular winter wear. Find a comfortable style, and then pair it with accessories that you love. You’ll be sure to turn heads and bring in the compliments at each holiday gathering you attend.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Outfit: A Night Downtown

Last weekend the we went for a night downtown to see the Dave Koz holiday show at the Chicago Theater.
Here is what I wore:
dVF dress Photobucket dianevonfurstenberg
 Dress: Swap W/Lake House Lyn (Diane Von Furstenberg) (similar) (similar), Bag: C/O Just Fab, Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Earrings: House of Gemmes, Necklace: Threadsence, Bracelets: Baublebar, Ring: Baublebox
 
 We had a blast! The show was amazing and after we ended up grabbing a late bit at Smith and Wollensky. Who wouldn't want a lobster BLT and fries at 11pm?!
Now can we talk about this dress? I can NOT believe it that I swapped for it at our latest BISTM swap party.
LOVE LOVE LOVE. That is all.
Here are some shots of us downtown having a fun adult night out!
 
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You can find us all in instagram!
Myself: @SADBblog
Because I shop too Much: @sistersmarie
Ryan (hubby): @ryry1000

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Tree 2012

You may remember our tree from last year, it was an epic fail.
I am so pleased to share with you, our best tree yet, the Fergus Christmas tree 2012:

christmastree holiay
We got a new artificial tree and this one came in three pieces and was super easy to put together.
I had the hubby run out and buy lights on a GREEN cord (yes, I did learn from last year) and he choose lots of small multi colored lights and then two boxes of bigger multi colored lights.
The tree has no organization as all four of us hung them up (yes there are some bare spots, but that's how they decorated it so that's how it stays!) and I wouldn't have it any other way!
What does your tree look like? I always love how different every one's is.
 White tree, green tree, white lights, multi lights, real, artificial, matching ornaments...I love it all!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Outfit: Everyday Wear

I am obsessed with this knit! It was in my friendswap bag this time around and I am currently in negotiations to keep it and give Kaitlyn on of my tops! ;) Gotta love a great swap!
Here is what I wore for a day at home with my family: knit Photobucket sarahaghili
Knit: Swap w/ Kaitlyn (Forever 21), Jeans: 7 for all Mankind, Boots: Dolce Vita, Necklace: C/O Sarah Aghili, Ring: Baubles.com, Earrings: Hive & Honey via Piperlime, Bracelet: C/O Silver Speck
 
Casual, cozy, cute, and ready in less then 10 minutes! My kind of outfit.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dressing to Music: Ian Hunter-Lisa likes Rock' n Roll



My hubby's boss's boss (who is from the UK and went to Ry's last LBC show with us) made us a mix CD and I instantly fell in love with this song!
Lisa likes Rock' n roll, how fitting, no?! ;)
Here is the outfit I styled as I listened to this song:
Photobucket
Top: Swap w/Kaitlyn (H&M), All Jewelry: C/O Sarah Aghili
 
I was playing around because we had a backdrop up at my house from the swap party we had last week.
Ever take self portraits and then mess around with the color?
Narcissism at it's finest! ;)
 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Outfit: Oh the Weather Outside is Weather

What random weather we are having here in December.
In the 60's one day, raining and in the 50's, then 30, then back to 50...what is going on?! ;)
I guess we should count our blessings to not have had our first snow yet here in the burbs of Chicago, but I need it to snow to feel more like Christmas (and then obviously go away because who likes snow after the holidays?!).
Back to the point...This day is was in the 50's and rainy.
Here is what I wore:

boho Photobucket just fab
Knit: MNG by Mango, Jeans: Loft, Bag & Boots: Just Fab, Hat: Charming Charlie, Necklace: C/O Sarah Aghili, Tank: Dots
 
What do you think? Ever wear a hat instead of bringing an umbrella out with you? Sometimes I just don't have enough arms for all the kid's stuff, my stuff, and an umbrella! ;)