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*This post was made in partnership with Responsival.  Thank you for supporting brands I feature*

 


Happy almost Fall! This time of year is full of gifting opportunities for my family. We have my wedding anniversary (plus my parents' and my brother's,) my birthday, my Mom's birthday AND my sister's birthday (tomorrow!) Christian's birthday is in the mix as well.

 

I have been featuring Aurate on the blog since 2018 and have yet to be disappointed in a purchase. I am definitely a fan for life. Whether your loved ones like classic diamond necklaces, bold necklaces, birthstone jewelry or simple rings, Aurate has you covered! They even offer different shipping options. If you're buying gifts you can request each item be packaged separately. If you're purchasing for yourself or want to be environmentally-friendly you can choose their Sustainable packaging, just a pouch to keep your pieces safe in transit.

 

I always have a hard time buying gifts for my Mom because she has everything she needs or wants. Jewelry is always a good choice - you can never have too many options! I've also gotten her fancy candles and random knick-knacks from Home Goods. One year my brother got her a pasta maker attachment just because he thought she would have fun with it. This year I went with adorable Mini Deco Triple Hoop Earrings (top left earrings in the photo below!)

 


Christian and I are celebrating our 3rd anniversary so, if we were going by traditional gifts, we would get each other something leather. Crystal is the "modern" third anniversary gift but I think leather is better. My parents celebrated their 39th anniversary earlier this month which means lace (or coral/ruby if you go in between 35 and 40 year gifts.) Christian and I don't generally do big gifts for our anniversaries but I think it would be fun/nostalgic to start going through the traditional gifts. Do you go by the traditional gifts for your anniversary or do you go with the flow?

 

In honor of our anniversary I got myself this vegan leather travel pouch for my Aurate jewelry. Now it will house all my gorgeous pieces for easy viewing and access, can't wait to fill it up with more! I chose the super pretty seafoam color but they also have green, terracotta and blush! They actually just introduced black and taupe earlier this week!

 


Sweater Dress: Miss Selfridge (Lord & Taylor)

Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Athanasia' in Croc (Moda Operandi) 

Bag: Dark Purple Chloé Faye 

Earrings: Aurate Gold Twist Huggie Earring 

Necklace: AURATE X KERRY: Lioness Pendant & old chain




The past two weekends I've had some good quality time with Layla! 2 weekends ago a friend came over and wanted to see her so I stole her from my cousin for a sleepover. Then this past weekend my cousin was going to a wedding so I took her overnight again. She also got to hang out at my parents' house for a bit. All the field trips!


She always enjoys coming down the road to our house because she can run around our backyard smelling all the new smells. On the way to my parents' house for a labor day get together we made a pit stop for outfit photos and a quick sniff for Layla. She was dragging me all over the place hunting for who knows what. Dogs are so funny.

 

I rarely wear this kimono for outfit photos because it just doesn't photograph that well, but I think these came out pretty good.  Whenever I wear this, which sadly isn't very often, I'm reminded of the infamous Extreme Cheapskates episode I filmed with Lydia in 2014. It still amazes me how people think shows like that are real. Spoiler: they are not. 90% is fabricated. They approached Lydia to highlight her "thriftiness" and then made up pretty much every segment of the show to make her look like a crazy person. 


Kimono: Sonnetts Design - Rhode Island (Goodwill Outlet)

Bodysuit: Who What Wear x Target

Jeans: Current/Elliott skinny jean in Love Destroyed

Espadrilles: Sam Edelman 'Lars' (Net-a-Porter)

Sunglasses: Chanel

 













 

 


Can you believe it's already September tomorrow? CRAZY!  This month was another well behaved month thanks to June being a slow work month. I budget based on what I make 2 months ahead. So what I make in June I use in August. Everything has a job so it's easy for me to stay on target with my budgets.

 

However, I do have a sponsored post with Aurate coming up next month so I was able to choose some items. I bought my Mom some earrings and then one earring for myself (as well as a pair that I got for free with the order.) So far my Mom's piece is the only thing that has arrived, the two for me will arrive mid-September.


I also made a pre-vacation purchase for Disney using some blog money. I randomly saw a cute pair of vintage-style Disney shorts on Instagram and decided to do my own search and found these adorable Disneyland mickey embroidered pocket shorts. I ended up with 2 pairs because I originally bought a size 12 brand new with tags and they were too big so I had to size down to a used 10. Unfortunate the new ones didn't work, but at least I still got a pair! If you are interested in a pair I am normally a 2/4 or 26/27 in denim and bought the size 10.

 

THE (modified) RULES

  1. Be mindful of purchases 
  2. Quality over quantity
  3. Basics are best

MY PROGRESS

 

Clothes:

  1. mīere the label Women’s Cotton Knit Sweater in Terracotta ($68.87 including shipping)
  2. *NEW!* Vintage Disneyland shorts with embroidered Mickey pockets ($20 via Poshmark, used ad money)


Basics:
  1. FRAME Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne Crop in Sunnyside ($30 via Poshmark, retail $189, $18.67 after ad money)

 

Shoes:

  1. Splendid Harvest Mules in Tiger/Cheetah Print - also here ($25.80 via eBay, retail $118, used ad money)
  2. Teva Original Universal Sandals in Boomerang Pink Lemonade ($42.50 via Shopbop, used partnership money)


Handbags:

  1. Prada Cahier in 'Viola' purple via Vestiaire Collective ($1488, used bag savings account)

 

Accessories:
  1. None yet

 
 

Activewear/Swimwear:

  1. Target "All in Motion" Zip-Front Racerback Laser Cut Back Detail One Piece Swimsuit ($34.99)

 

Gifted from Brands:

 

Spent in August: $0

Spent in 2021: $209.66

Spent in 2021 Counting Prada bag:  $1,697.66

 


 

Hi, bakers! Welcome to bread week! (Great British Bake-Off anyone?) 


I haven't been baking much the last couple months since we've actually been getting out a bit on the weekends. I'm sure once we get back into Fall/Winter I'll be baking every weekend again.  I have still been making homemade bread every other week as well as homemade pizza at least once a month, which I'm sure you can tell from this post! 

 

First up is we made some strawberry jam with fresh berries from the garden! They've all been a little too small/mushy for regular consumption so making a quick jam was the perfect solution to enjoy them. Used on our dutch oven bread for breakfasts!


Cinnamon Bread

I was searching for a recipe that used instant masked potato flakes because my husband bought 2 boxes before the pandemic and we've hardly gone through the first box. (I don't like mashed potatoes and he forgets to remind me to make them for him at dinner, haha!) My loaf pan was a little too big so it doesn’t have the classic bread shape but who cares as long as it tastes good!

I will add more cinnamon sugar filling next time because I like a LOT of cinnamon flavor. But this is definitely a recipe I will make again. I may also double the recipe so it fills the loaf pan more.


 

Rosemary Focaccia 

I looooove focaccia and have made it a couple times before. This time I decided to use the mini currant tomatoes from our garden to make a colorful rosemary garlic focaccia! The first time I used a recipe that didn't have the dough do a long second rise. This recipe called for leaving the focaccia in the fridge after forming in the pan for at least an hour and up to 24. I left it for almost 24 hours. Soooo delicious! I like that now I have a quick recipe for last minute focaccia or one that develops a little more flavor.

 

Pizza with garden fresh basil & pepperoni and caramelized onions

More garden fresh ingredients for homemade baked goods! I used my trusty King Arthur recipe and topped with pepperoni and fresh basil and currant tomatoes from the garden. This recipe never fails. It's not traditional dough that you can toss in the air to form but I love how easy it is to make.  I made another recently which is more our usual toppings - pepperoni, caramelized onions, pepperoncini (his half) and sweet piquante peppers my half.)



Stromboli

Normally when I make stromboli I use store bought pizza dough. I decided to try and make my own this time. I was always nervous to make my own dough for this because it has to be the right texture to stretch out and roll. It came out pretty tasty even though I stretched it a little too thin in some spots. But look at that nice puff! YUM!


P.S. Can you tell we love caramelized onions, haha! 

This outfit is called - I wanted to wear things I haven't worn in a while. All these pieces haven't been getting much love lately. This is partly because I haven't been going anywhere and because I wore some of them a LOT when I first got them so I end up passing by them. When it comes to the Ancient Greek Sandals that's because I have 10 pairs....whoops! The only piece I'm still unsure of is the shorts. They just seem a little too big, especially in photos. But they're comfy and keep me cool on hot days so I keep them around.

 

Top: Mexx (Coco's on the Green)

Sparkle Shorts c/o Banana Republic Factory at Clinton Crossing

Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Athena' (Gilt

Bag c/o Orox Leather Merces Petite

Sunglasses: Ray Ban 'Emma' (Marshall's)









 *This post was made in partnership with Photowall.  Thank you for supporting brands I feature*


The easiest way to update almost any part of a home is artwork. Posters, paintings, photographs, even wallpaper can make a huge difference to your living space. When Photowall offered to send an item of my choice I really wanted to try one of their amazing designer wallpapers. Christian and I couldn't figure out where to put our perfect statement wall so we decided to go with a canvas print above our purple couch in the living room instead.


They've also generously offered my readers a coupon code. Enter aclosetfashionista25 for 25% off an item! This Photowall coupon code will expire in on October 14th.

Living Room - Before

 

Living Room - After - Photowall Canvas: Mauve Mist
 

Photowall offers everything from photographs and movie posters to illustrations, contemporary art and inspirational quotes. You can also upload your own photo/artwork. We opted to go for an abstract mountain landscape because Christian's dream is to live in/near mountains. There were almost too many to choose from and we had a hard time picking a favorite.  This blueberry sky print was a close second but we ultimately decided on the Mauve Mist canvas to tie in with our couch. Coincidentally our top three choices were all by the same artist, I guess we have a very specific taste.

 

Sizing is super customizable and if you choose a different ratio from the original piece you can easily pick which part of the photo you want to use for your print or canvas. When choosing canvas there are 4 options, I went with "Motif on edge" with a frame but you could choose a black or white edge or no frame at all. In the screenshot below you can see where the edges of my canvas will be thanks to the little pink boxes. If I had opted for black edges that would be shown instead to help visualize. I went with a 51.18 x 31.5 inch canvas so I wouldn't lose any of the painting in cropping.

 

Photowall canvas customization

We got a fairly large canvas because we wanted it to make a statement, and bigger is better, right? It adds so much fun and brightness to this basic wall.  I did like our previous "art" - aka Harry Potter illustration - but this painting ties in a lot better.

 

My Photowall canvas arrived super quickly (3 days after I ordered) and came unmounted with an easy DIY frame. We were able to put it together in under 15 minutes with no tears. There is also a video on each product page showing how to assemble if you're more of a visual vs. written instructions person.The system was very easy to follow and I'm sure saves a bundle on shipping costs/the environmental impact of shipping.

 

 

I posted a Reel showing how easy it is to put together! Watch on Instagram.

While perusing the site I learned about their environmental efforts. In partnership with Vi Agroforestry, Photowall plants around 5000 trees every year in the area surrounding Lake Victoria in East Africa. They also operate on a made to order system so they do not produce items that are not needed which avoids unnecessary waste. The printing ink used for their wallpaper contains no solvents or hazardous chemicals, and is biodegradable.  The canvas used for my beautiful piece of art is made from 100% biodegradable cotton.


If (when) we move to a new house, a statement wall with Photowall wallpaper will be something we think about as we're designing the interior. I went through 5,000 designer wallpaper options before we switched gears and there were so many I would love to have! I'm not normally a floral person but I was drawn to so many of their floral prints. How gorgeous is this purple sakura wallpaper? It would go perfectly in my purple-walled closet. Christian and I both loved this misty landscape in blue tones, he definitely has a thing for mountains.

 

Don't forget about the 25% off Photowall coupon code - aclosetfashionista25! It will expire on October 14th.



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