The Sixth Fall Fashion Favorite – Lace-up Flats

Remember last week when I pulled together my five favorite fall fashion favorites? Well, turns out there are 6 fall fashion favorites, but SIX didn’t really go with the alliteration of my catchy title so I decided to do a separate post for the sixth favorite. This one is in fact the best of all and the newest trend that you (I am sure) have seen everywhere this summer and now fall. Lace-up flats. All summer it was the lace-up gladiator and now there are adorable lace-up flats everywhere. Do you have a pair? Here are some of my favorites.


Loeffler Randall (if only I actually needed these, love!) / ASOS (I bought these, they run small but are so cute and practical for a SAHM) / ZARA  / Topshop

Topshop / Steve Madden / Anthropologie (this comes in 5 different colors!) / free people

The Secret to an Extra Delicious Apple Pie


Happy October! By now you’ve probably gone apple picking, or at least popped into a farm stand for a bag of apples. Yes, we all like to trek to the apple farm for our annual family day out to apple pick, we just did it last weekend ourselves. And yes, the experience is wonderful, idyllic, tasty – a fall right-of-passage, if you will, but why REALLY do we do it every year? Three words: homemade apple pie. There is nothing better. I don’t make my own crust but still make pretty decent pies with fresh apples, except for one problem: sometimes they’re just a little too watery. Yours too? Especially the day after. You have apple for dessert on a Sunday, let’s say, and Monday morning you’re thinking it may be a good idea for a slice for breakfast. You get downstairs and your pie is liquid-y with a terribly soggy bottom crust. No good. I know apples are full of water, I always cut a steam vent hole into my pie crust, I sometimes use a pie bird, I always use the right variety of apple too, but the soggy phenomenon still happened every so often. And when you only make a couple apple pies all year, one soggy pie is a disastrous occasion.


So when I read this article in a recent issue of Bon Appetit, I was so intrigued (my husband happened to point it out, too). The article mentioned roasting your apples pre-pie with sugar and flour and then chilling them to not only remove the moisture but also create a caramelized flavor. Wow! What a great idea and yet so simple. So Sunday afternoon after our Saturday morning apple picking adventure, we did just that. I followed Bon Appetit’s roasting recipe of 4 lbs apples, 1C sugar, and 1/4C flour. I then used my usual recipe to make our pie (store bought refrigerator crust, we use this one, a bunch of cinnamon, 1/4C brown sugar, egg wash on the crust) and just look at this piece of pie!


And Monday morning it was still beautiful – not a soggy ounce of crust in sight (yes, Z helped me with the pie and we made our initials out of extra dough for the top of the pie). One note, the apples obviously reduce in size as they roast so definitely use a couple apples more than you think are necessary, apples are the star of this pie show after-all, right? Also, reduce (or increase if you want?) the sugar for roasting, this turned out to be a very sweet pie… Let me know if you try this method, I definitely recommend it.

It’s Fall, so we Went Apple Picking

‘Tis the season for PSL, cinnamon, vests, pumpkin everything, and….apple picking! We went to our local favorite Parlee Farm over the weekend to pick apples so I thought I’d share a few photos of our day with you. It was so nice that it was slightly cool when we went, the past few years have been very hot through mid-October and frankly, I like my apple picking with a chill in the air!

We like Parlee Farm because it has a little of everything – goats…a hay maze (that you can walk on top of, too)…

…pumpkins galore! They also have a huge field of wild flowers where (for a small fee) they give you scissors and you can go clip your own fresh flowers, how quaint is that? They serve amazing mini apple cider donuts that are covered in sugar and so, so good (these were eaten so quickly there are no photos to share).

And (last but not least) a hayride out to the apple orchards.

And then of course it’s time to actually pick the apples…

…and taste test a few, too. Have you gone apple picking this season?

Five Fall Fashion Favorites

Ok, now that it’s officially fall – meaning both the calendar AND the temperatures say so (around here anyway), I thought it was time I share my five fall fashion favorites of 2015.

1. Plaid. Plaid is everywhere lately (even more so than last year) and I have fully started participating. I have been wearing the Old Navy top for weeks, even with white pants in late summer as ta great transitional outfit. Are you buying any plaid for fall?


Old Navy topJ. Crew button down / Boden sweater jacket

2. Slip-on sneakers. This fad isn’t new either but there are SO many options this fall for adorable slip-on style sneakers.


Classic Vans / Red Plaid kate spade / Pricey Michael Kors sneakers / Affordable Target sneakers

3. Backpacks. I told you my story of backpacks and have a few sourced here. By the way, I chose the Urban Outfitters tote backpack and I absolutely love it!

fall-fashion-favorites-bacUO Tote Pack

4. Overalls. I know this trend has been alive for a few seasons now, but I feel like the modern fit and shape (slim and shapely on top, skinny leg) has finally been perfected that you can find really great overalls inexpensively. I bought the black overalls from Old Navy but if cost wasn’t an issue I would have gone for these Citizens of Humanity overalls, but $400, really?


Old Navy black overalls / Citizens of Humanity slim cropped overalls

5. Flair Jeans. I hold on to my clothes for years and years so I actually still have some flare jeans but in case you’re in the market, here are a few great options. My favorite pair of flares from a few years ago were from H&M, their denim is surprisingly great quality and clearly holds up well if I wore them years ago, still have them, and am pulling them out to wear this season.


MadewellH&M / Free People


Those are my Five Fall Fashion Favorites, what are you wearing this Fall?


Where did this week go? In my head I have so many posts to share but never the time to put them together…anyway… Here is my favorite way to end the week, looking through my phone and sharing my favorite photos of these two lovies with you. We had quite the week in our house – first day of school, first day of music class, first day of ballet! But here were my favorites…


She can’t see one of these and NOT pose in it. The first at the Butterfly Museum (does anyone else find that place creepy the way the butterflies are everywhere?) and second at Old Navy of all places.


He won’t stop ripping every book off the shelf. They keep (most of) their books in their rooms but we finally temporarily put away the shelf of books we have in their play area downstairs because we couldn’t stand having to pick it up every night.

Taco Tuesday

Taco Tuesday is the best night of the week, right? And I’m talking about old school, ground meat, crunchy tacos and toppings – tacos (not fancy tacos like these pork carnitas tacos). Taco Tuesday is a crowd-pleaser in every family dinner schedule. We had tacos recently so I decided to finally share the recipe we use for our own taco seasoning.

taco-tuesdayA store bought seasoning packet is fine but they are full of SO much sodium, it’s ridiculous. And making your own taco seasoning is so quick, I bet you have most infredients in your spice cabinet/shelf/drawer. Here’s the mix I use, based on this recipe.

1 Tbs chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic salt
pinch crushed red chili flakes

Mix spices and add to 1 lb cooked ground beef or turkey. Add 1/2C water and let simmer for 5 minutes.


Serve with your favorite toppings, here are ours! And no, I don’t have any photos of assembled tacos because I ate them too quickly… Now all I need are these taco holders to make taco Tuesday complete. Enjoy!

Designer Sportswear

First there was the announcement of Tory Sport – the new sportswear line by Tory Burch, now comes the Derek Lam 10C line in collaboration with Athleta (which launches online and in stores today). And after perusing the new Bloomingdale’s fall catalog it made me realize just how many designers have jumped on the designer sportswear bandwagon. Is it because women wear leggings too often? And leisurewear seems to be worn as regular clothing – the new sportswear line by Rebecca Minkoff is called Athleisure, she may be on to something… I admit, I splurge for pricey workout pants and a decent sports bra is always a good idea, but overall I don’t know if I’d seek out higher priced designer labels for my sportswear. Or maybe I’m afraid to buy into any of these fancy collabs because then my $5 Old Navy tank or $12 sports bra from TJ Maxx won’t seem so nice anymore, ha!


As NY Fashion Weeks starts this week and we finally see the new Tory Sport Collection, what are you thoughts on the recent surge in designer sportswear?

Images: 1. Cynthia Rowley for Bloomingdale’s / 2. Rebecca Minkoff / 3. Mara Hoffman for Bloomingdale’s  / 4. Derek Lam 10C for Athleta / 5. Trina Turk