Under $115: Favorites for Fall

I have had enough with this 90+ degree weather and am completely ready for cozy knits, jackets and boots, boots, BOOTS! For me, fall can’t come soon enough!

I’ve been studying the Fall 2010 runway shows and diligently reading my September issues. I keep reading about the continuance/renewal of several trends from Spring and past seasons including military inspired looks and minimalist elegance. There are also a few new trends that I am super excited to try, including a reemergence of looks from the fifties and twenties, camel, velvet and clean, tapered trousers.

Here are a few items on my Fall Must-Have Wish List. And since I live on a pauper’s budget, everything is under $115 (or just about)!Fall Favorites

Fall Favorites:

1. Mi Amor Chiffon Top, Forever 21, $24.80

2. Chain and Bar Stretch Bracelet, Topshop, $28

3. Restricted Siren Boots, Piperlime, $115

4. H&M Bag, $79.95

5. H&M Belted Jacket, $75

6. Belle Zip-Hem Stretch Skinny Cargo, $39.90

Shoes for Opening Night

Petite Piped Silk Dress, Ann Taylor LOFT

My big sister is a fabulous, super talented playwriter that has a play going up in Chicago next month and I am soooo excited for her! And one of the best parts is that I now have an excuse to go see her in Chi-town!

She sent me a picture of the dress she is planning to wear for opening night (see above) and asked me to help her find the perfect pair of shoes. The dress reminds me of some of the nude frocks from the S/S 2010 runways of Lanvin, Rue du Mail and Valentino, so I used those shows as my inspiration.

Lanvin Spring 2010 Ready-to-WearLanvin Spring 2010

Michael Antonio Women’s Laddie Pump, $50

Valentino Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Valentino Spring 2010

XOXO Women’s Romance Sandal, $55

Rue du Mail Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Rue du Mail Spring 2010

GUESS Women’s Ketchum Platform Pump, $109.95

How to Make: A Gimlet

In honor of Mad Men, last Sunday I wrote about one of Don Draper’s favorite drinks, The Old Fashioned. This week let’s focus on another character from the show, the former Mrs. Betty Draper.

Throughout the past three season, Betty’s drinking record¬†has consisted of copious amounts of wine in the middle of the day when things with Don really started to go south and enjoying the occasional Gimlet. According to my little red drink book, Gimlets are typically made with gin and lime juice. Since I’m not a huge fan of gin, I decided to make a vodka Gimlet for this week’s viewing party. I’ve included the recipe below for your drinking pleasure. Enjoy!

How to Make: A Gimlet

Stir 1 1/2 oz. Gin (in this case, vodka) and 1/2 oz. Rose’s lime juice with cracked ice.

Strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass.

Add slice of lime if desired.

How to Make: A Pretty Little Flower Headband

Walk into just about any store that sells accessories and you will find headbands and hair accessories with a flower or two. They are popping up everywhere and in all shapes, sizes and colors. They are so freaking cute, I want to sweep them all up! And the best part about this trend is that you can find one that fits just about any budget.

Instead of buying a headband, I decided to try out my crafting skills and made one instead from fabric remnants and ribbon. It turned out pretty well I must say! Included below are the step-by-step instructions I used. So if you too are feeling a bit crafty, why not give it a try and let me know what you think!

P.S. You could also make several of the rosettes and stitch them together to form a pretty bib necklace…maybe that will be a post for another day.

How to Make: A Pretty Little Flower Headband

For this project, you will need:

– 1/4 yd. of meshy or tulle fabric
– 1 yd. of ribbon
– 1 dangle bead
– Scissors
– Needle & matching thread
– Straight pins

Step 1: Cut a 3 inch wide strip of fabric that is roughly 2 feet long.

Step 2a: After the strip is cut, fold it in half lengthwise.

Step 2b: Pin the two edges together with the straight pins so the fabric forms a long tube.

Step 3: Thread the needle and secure the ends with a knot.

Step 4: Using a basic over-under stitch, loosely secure the two edges of the fabric together. Use the straight pins as your guide.

Step 5: As you stitch the edges together, begin to slowly pull the thread and start to bunch the fabric against the knot that is keeping the thread in place. This will be the base of your flower.

Step 6: Keep stitching and bunching until the reach the end of the fabric. Gather the two loose ends of the “tube” together and stitch the ends closed with the remaining thread, forming a complete circle.

You now have the completed base of your flower for the headband! (Gooo you!)

Step 7: Cut a second strip of fabric that is about 1 inch wide and 2 feet long.

Step 8: You do NOT fold this piece in half. Leaving the strip single-ply, repeat the over-under stitch along one edge of the fabric. Repeat the pulling and bunching you did before so that this second piece forms a similar, but smaller circle. Secure the loose ends.

You now have the two pieces of fabric that will form your flower!

Step 9: Stack the smaller, single layered circle on top of the larger circle. Secure the two pieces together with a few over-under stitches around the inner rings of both circles.

Step 10: Place the bead in the center of the two fabric circles. The dangle should be peeking out of the back of the large fabric circle. You may need to sew the bead in place depending on its size. Once the bead is secure, thread the ribbon through the dangle at the back of the flower.

Flip the flower over and ta-dah! its your pretty little flower headband!

“Something Old…Something New…”

Its an annual tradition of my family’s to spend one week in August vacationing in the Outer Banks together. Every year since I was about seven years old, we take a road trip down south to soak up the sun and spend some serious quality time together. This year was no exception. ¬†All of last week I spent vacationing with my family in Nags Head, NC.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the beach and the sun and the sand just as much as the next person but after a few days I need to spend some time away from the shore and in some AC. My break from the beach always consists of at least one shopping trip. The shopping in good ol’ OBX isn’t the greatest but there is this one vintage shop that I adore right off the main drag in Nags Head. Its called “Something Old…Something New…”. The couple that owns it is boisterous, eclectic and super friendly. They are also insanely knowledgeable about vintage clothing and accessories and keep their store jam packed with amazing treasures.

During my visit last week I stopped in and picked up a few things. I literally could spend hours in this store but since I was with a few others that do not appreciate or understand that these stores require immense amounts of time, I limited it to just one. I managed to find a great, knee-length, navy blue vintage dress from the 70s, a Lucite bangle, a pair of what I like to call “Betty Draper” clip-on earrings and a brown, waist-cinching belt from the 80s. A total success!

Here are a few shots of my new dress and “Betty Draper” earrings:

How to Make: An Old Fashioned

Its Sunday night, which means just one thing to me – MAD MEN!!! I am obsessed with the show! The costumes are amazing and I love how it takes you to a different place and time each episode. Its like no other show on TV right now and one of the few I keep up with on a weekly basis.

One thing I really love about the show is the carefree boozing the characters partake in throughout the day. Happy hour? These people have never heard of “happy hour”, more like “happy morning/mid-day/afternoon/evening.” Its classic! People drink during important business meetings, doctor appointments, even pregnancy!

A few weeks ago I discovered an amazing little treasure at my grandparents’ house – a little booklet of party recipes for mixed drinks from 1962! It features all the classics like gin and tonics, manhattans, martinis, etc. BUT it also has some real doozies like Bronxs, Mamie Taylors, Zombies and Sherry Flips. Some of the drinks include questionable ingredients like raw eggs and strong tea and overall there is a serious lack of mixers included with most of these so called “mixed” drinks.

The one recipe that caught my eye and that I was most excited about was for the Old Fashioned. Throughout Mad Men’s three seasons, the Old Fashioned has been one of Don Draper’s stable drinks of choice. He’s even taught little Sally how to cook up a mean Oldie. Naturally I had to try this drink out for myself. Like I said before, there is a serious lack of mixer involved and while I’m not the biggest fan of whiskey the drink does not offend. There is plenty of fruit to cut some of the edge and the bitters really add a touch of something…So, for your drinking pleasure I have included the original, 1962 recipe below.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think! Next week we’ll be discussing Betty Draper’s fav – the Gimlet!

How to Make: An Old Fashioned

In an Old Fashioned glass put 1 lump of sugar, 2 dashes of Bitters, 1 teaspoon of water and muddle.

Add 1 cube of ice, 2 oz. Whiskey and stir.

Decorate with twist of lemon, slice of orange, pineapple chunk (*I omitted) and a cherry.

Serve with stirrer.

Enjoy!

Here are a few pictures of the little drink booklet.