Monthly Archives: September 2011

Fun with Fall Fashion Friday

I haven’t been baking a lot lately (other than an apple crisp a couple weeks ago), so I thought I’d post about another love of mine: fashion!

I’m not going to lie, I stand in front of my closet for entirely too long every morning, scanning through the items, trying to figure out what the heck to wear.  I even check the weather on my phone in bed before I get up, so I can start planning a possible outfit in my head while I’m in the shower.  I still often end up staring into my closet, anyway, imagining various outfit possibilities.  I can’t tell you how envious I was of Cher’s closet in the movie Clueless.  I would kill to have that computer program that would show various outfits ON me…would definitely save some time & frustration!  

My style isn’t crazy or out there, but I’m no wallflower.  I tend to buy pieces that I think are somewhat simple & timeless, but can be jazzed up with modern fashion items.  I’m also not one to buy all high end clothes, yet I do occasionally splurge on a trendy item – but only one that I will be able to mix and match with various outfits (i.e. gorgeous boots).  The real key is to get the look by mixing inexpensive items with a couple more expensive (splurges) to trick people into thinking you spent more than you did on your outfit!  Sorry fashion designers, but there is honestly no reason why someone should spend $30 on a tank top in boutique, when you can buy almost the exact same thing for half the price at a department store.  Save your $ for a nice scarf you can wear with multiple outfits, instead!  Here are some fall fashion looks I’m loving this year…

Blazer and bootcut jeans…a look you can easily transform from work to play:


 Long sweaters/layering (careful not to layer too much or wear unfitted pants, which could make you look frumpy):


Maroon & purple seem to be very “in” colors this fall!  Good to get away from the typical brown, green, red & oranges of fall!

Kohl's (ELLE collection)

Cable-knit sweater & herringbone skirt=timeless & classy:

Banana Republic

 Boots…It’s amazing what a nice pair of boots can do for an outfit!

Banana Republic

Frye boots at Nordstrom

Belted jersey dresses: comfortable & stylish!


Long-sleeved t-shirt dress: dress it up, dress it down!


More Fashion Ideas on my Casual Fall Fashion Pinterest Board:

No No’s:



Capes & ponchos…Just please say no…I really don’t like that these keep coming back.  I don’t care how comfortable they are or that they may hide your tummy.  Capes and ponchos make just about anyone look like they are wearing a tent or a potato sack, no matter what size you are.  Yuck.

Faux fur…Maybe it’s in because some people are so frustrated with our economic state that they want to go back to the cave man days?  Maybe it’s in because real fur is so frowned upon (rightfully so)?  Or maybe it’s in because people miss their pets when they are away from them & want to feel like they are with them?  Whatever the reason, I think it’s gross.  The only place I think faux fur is okay is around the hood of a coat or boots to keep you WARM & the snow out.  That’s it.  In my opinion, faux fur should not be used for fashion.  Period.

Update: Looks like Emily Abbate, a writer for Cafe Mom’s The Stir, agrees with me about Fur Fashion Fail!




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Simple fall DIY decoration ideas for your home

Have I mentioned I love fall?!  Between the beautiful autumn colors, crisp air & harvest bounty, what’s not to love?  I’m not one to over-decorate my home, though.  I think too many decorations looks cheesy, and can get expensive.  Here are some fun ideas I’ve come across for you to get into the fall spirit, without overdoing it…

My Pinterest Board:

Bean Mosaic:

Fun craft project that you can do with kids!  How To

Mums & Wrapped Pumpkins:A surprisingly simple DIY craft project-wrap pumpkins with some fall fabric (secure with hot glue) and glue on a few wooden buttons.  Add a few mums for color & voila, you have a classy front stoop!  Idea from: Good Housekeeping 

Pine Cone Garland:I am absolutely in LOVE with this idea from Twig & Thistle, especially since it is so easy to make!

Fall Leaves Garland:Fun & easy to make!

Burlap Fall Wreath:DIY Burlap Fall Wreath from CraftaholicsAnonymous.comInstructions on how to make this burlap wreath: How To


If you aren’t that crafty & would like to buy a wreath, here are some pretty ones: Etsy



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Local Restaurants…the brunch edition!

(Re-post of 12/13/2010 posting)

I LOVE brunch.  I love everything about brunch: The excuse to eat the portions of practically two meals (it is breakfast and lunch combined, after-all!), that it’s typically had on the weekend (and everyone loves the weekend), eggs, home fries, fresh OJ, good coffee, and (hopefully) good conversation with friends, family or a date!  Whether it’s a greasy diner or a posh breakfast spot, brunch is almost always a good time!

(My) Top Brunch Spots in the Burlington, VT area:

Penny Cluse This is one of the top brunch spots in Burlington- there is always a long wait on the weekends (I recommend going earlier, rather than later), local products are used & known for their creative/delicious dishes.  It’s a tasty place, that’s been voted top brunch for a number of years now by  Seven Days readers, but there are plenty of others that are just as good! (169 Cherry St Burlington, VT) photo from:

Sadie Katz– This place is a cute local diner/Jewish deli and is a personal favorite.  Their fresh squeezed OJ is amazing, their sandwiches are piled high with meat and their eggs benedict has the option of veggie sausage.  Almost all the dishes are served with a latke (Jewish potato pancake) and you get a dish of yummy pickles to munch on as you wait for your food.  Simple and delicious.  (189 Bank St Burlington, VT)
UPDATE: Sadie Katz sadly served their last latke this past summer (2011)…The location is currently under contract to be purchased by a new owner.  While I’m excited to see what will go in the unique space, I’ll miss Sadie Katz and all their delicious offerings. 

picture from:

– Thankfully brunch here is cheaper than dinner.  Leunigs is a quaint, upscale French bistro that serves up a good brunch.  Options include a variety of eggs benedict, breakfast burritos, croissants and seasonal specials.  Their mimosas aren’t bad, either.  Good place to go to when want to impress a guest or for an anniversary.  (115 Church St Burlington, VT)

Skinny Pancake
 A tasty creperie good for brunch ( or lunch or dinner).  Numerous options for any and all palates.  My personal favorite is their Egg Fetastic (Shadow Cross Farm egg, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, sautéed mushrooms and feta cheese). Gluten-free and vegan batters available for their crepes upon request.  A socially responsible business & local foods used.  Good prices & casual atmosphere.    (60 Lake St Burlington, VT= waterfront & 89 Main St Montpelier, VT)

Diners: Henry’s, Arcadia & Libby’s
– I’m a sucker for diners, so I love these places.  Henry’s is a great place to get a greasy brunch after a long night out.  It is a favorite spot for locals and undergrads, so expect a wait on the weekends.  Typically the line goes quick.  Diners are typically old fashioned classics, so don’t expect anything fancy or over-the-top.  Arcadia has friendly service & a little something for everyone- including some Greek options (Henry’s does, too, since they are owned by the same Greek family) and doesn’t necessarily have the wait that Henry’s does on the weekends.  Libby’s will typically have a wait on the weekends, but worth it for their eggs and bottomless cup of coffee.  If you’re just looking for a good meal and not too concerned about your diet that morning/afternoon, hit up one of these fun spots for a taste of history.

Henry’s: 155 Bank St Burlington, VT (off Church St)

Arcadia: 1696 Williston Rd, South Burlington, VT

Libby’s: 46 Highpoint Center Colchester, VT ( right off rte 89)

The Spot
– A new(er) place that’s only been open for about a year now.  The motif inside is surf-themed (kinda cute) in a converted old gas station/garage.  Seating available outside during warm weather months & their smoothies are a must.  Eggs available in any way you want & the home fries are tasty.  Their eggs benedict special (when available) is a must- add red onions and spinach & you won’t regret it!  (210 Shelburne Rd Burlington, VT)

– A local favorite that always has a line on the weekends, but they do serve breakfast all week long.  Recently relocated into a larger spot just a few steps away, Sneakers has been in Winooski for a while & isn’t going anywhere.  While you wait for a table (can be anywhere for 10-30 minutes), you can grab a coffee/Bloody Mary/Mimosa next door at The Monkey House bar (weekends).  Sneakers serves up tasty eggs benedict, pancakes, French Toast, etc.  Outside seating available during warmer months.  (36 Main St Winooski, VT- in the roundabout)

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Fun with FALL Friday…Apple Crisp

Happy first day of fall!  

Fall=beautiful colors, leaves falling, pumpkin patches, apple picking, and PIE!

Here is a link to a recipe I did last year for APPLE CRISP

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Decorating…Fall Catalog Fun

Fall catalogs are coming!  Fall catalogs are coming!

Pardon the vulgar analogy, but seasonal catalogs to a gal like me are like porn magazines.  I cannot wait for the Pottery Barn and other seasonal catalogs to come in the mail.  Looking at the images on-line sometimes just isn’t the same (but thank goodness for on-line catalogs).  My boyfriend turned to me last night, after I excitedly showed him a photo of a gorgeous table and said, “These things are dangerous!”  I giggled.  While I cannot afford most of the items inside these catalogs, it is fun to flip through the pages and imagine my dream home decorated with the drool-worthy rugs, fine dinnerware on my table and the crisp sheets on my bed.  A gal can dream…

Here are some of my favorites from the fall home decor catalogs:

Pottery Barn:

The seasonal catalogues are also good to look at for ideas – then buy a similar item for less $ elsewhere or ideas of what to look for at yard sales & thrift stores!

Crate & Barrel:

The red couch is gorgeous (never be afraid of a little RED)

I love the look of these retro yellow vases, mixed in with the candles!

L.L. Bean

These are two great ideas for my front hallway that I’ve been eyeing!

Restoration Hardware:

Maps are a great (and inexpensive) way of decorating your walls!  The maps with the leather couch give a very dignified look for a study or living room.



A few fails…

I’m not sure which is worse, the creepy shag rug or the faux-fur pillows…eeek! (Crate & Barrel)

One word: tacky.  Sorry Pottery Barn…

A trunk desk by Restoration Hardware that I’m honestly just not sure what to say about it…tacky, yet funky, yet just not right…

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Living Room Renovations…Adding a bit of color


I did a post a few weeks ago on how much of a difference shifting around your furniture makes for the energy of a room, so today I’m posting about the difference a little color makes!  My boyfriend’s whole condo was cream when I moved in, so I encouraged him that we needed to add a bit of color.

 We LOVE the living room color.  It is called “overcast” in an eggshell finish by Benjamin Moore, from Aubuchon Hardware.  The paint has primer built in, which is nice, but we still needed to do two coats.  The color is calm, cool & just makes you feel more relaxed as soon as you walk in.

We started off by taking all the furniture out of the room and setting up a dehumidifier.  Next, we filled in any holes or dings in the walls & removed the curtains/curtain rods.  Once the walls were ready, we vacuumed the walls (making sure to get all the corners!) and then prepped the edges with painters tape. We did the first coat one night and the second coat the second night.  It is very important that the walls are dry before you put the second coat of paint on!  Once the second coat was dry, we carefully removed the painters tape from the edges and then moved the furniture back in the room.  From the photo, it looks like a very subtle change & more of a difference in person.  
Living Room AFTER with Benjamin Moore Overcast

Next up for the living room: hanging some art on the walls & finding a different rug…

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What to do locally… Lake Champlain Island Happenings!

Just because Apple Fest is no longer, doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty to do up on the Lake Champlain Islands during the fall!  Check out all these fun things you and your family or friends can do this Saturday, September 17th:

Grand Isle:
Grand Isle Farmers’ Market
St Joseph Church Hall
Local fruits, veggies, handmade crafts & more 

Grand Isle Art Works
259 US Route 2Paroose through the gallery & then eat at the Kitchen Door Cafe

Isle La Motte:

9am-1pm Isle La Motte Farmers’ Market @ Hall’s Orchards 4461 Main St
10am-3pm Pick your own apples, cider press demo, corn maze @ Hall’s Orchards 4461 Main St
11am-3pm Isle La Motte Historical Society Building on Main St open
11am-3pm Old Schoolhouse of Isle La Motte open
11am-5:30pm Goodsell Ridge Preserve Visitor Center on Main St open (walking trails, fossils, museum)
2pm Geology tours @ Goodsell Ridge Preserve Visitor Center
4pm Annual Teddy Roosevelt Parade at Goodsell Ridge Visitor Center
4:30pm Teddy Roosevelt Celebration @ Goodsell Ridge Preserve Visitor Center on Main St (food, drink, music & more)
Additional Info: 

Hall's Orchards by Michael Waters

Hall's Orchards Cider Press Demo by Michael Waters

Teddy Roosevelt Day Celebration

Goodsell Ridge Barn Isle La Motte

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