What I Like: New Year’s Eve Attire

Dan and I are welcoming 2015 from the comfort and warmth of our own home rather than venturing outside into the sub-zero temps. You probably lead a more exciting life than I do, but knowing that we aren’t going anywhere or seeing anyone is like a huge sigh of relief for me. Not only can I go to bed as early as I want without disappointing anyone, but I also don’t have to pick out an outfit or figure out a hair style.

That sentence kind of makes it sound like I go all out with my outfits and hair styles for New Year’s. That’s not the case — but I do put pressure on myself for the days leading up to New Year’s about finding some special outfit and hair style…and then the day of, I just completely give up, wear something basic and curl my hair like I always do.

That said, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy browsing Pinterest for hours trying to pick out outfits and hair styles that I could have worn.

nye comfy and dressy | whatlindseylikes

Necklace, Crossbody Purse, Shoes, Faux Fur Vest, Shirt, Pants

I always pretend I’m going to get super dressed up, but that makes no sense. Comfort is my top priority, and I am very rarely comfortable when really dressed up. But I think I could make an exception for the sequin pants. At least for one night. I truly don’t know how people wearing sequin pants sit down — wouldn’t you bend the sequins on your backside? Maybe I’m overthinking it. I suppose if you are wearing sequin pants, you can’t overthink it.

To balance out my shape in these super flashy pants, I’d choose a tunic-length top in grey with a faux fur vest on top.

Keeping in line with the comfy theme, I’d choose flats over heels. If you’re talented enough to walk in heels like most women, you should totally go for it. Heels are super cute. I just can’t walk in them. Me in heels is a broken ankle about to happen. And who knows what I might grab on my way down from my fall? I’d probably rip my sequin pants too.

The gold Fossil crossbody will hold everything I’d absolutely need for the night, but none of the extra stuff that’ll just give me back pain later. And the necklace is the perfect balance of black and gold.

I’ll share some of my favorite possible hair styles tomorrow. Which won’t give you enough time to practice all of them like I know you’ll want to, so I apologize.

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What I Wore: Christmas Edition

So my holiday outfits ended up being a bit of a sh*tshow. Please excuse my language, I just watched The Wolf of Wall Street and now I assume it’s OK to swear at least once per sentence.

I had all these great intentions of wearing a cute outfit for Christmas, but things fell apart. Once I bought the snowflake open-front cardigan from Old Navy, I was pretty sure that’s what I wanted to wear. But I couldn’t decide which Christmas to wear it to: Dan’s family or mine. I decided to save it for mine, and ended up wearing a different open-front cardigan to Dan’s parents’ house. Normally it would have been fine to wear a similar style to my parents’ Christmas celebration (which was happening Saturday), but I ended up stopping by to see my mom on Christmas day, so she (along with my brother and his fiancee) saw me in the alternative open-front sweater. So then I felt like I couldn’t wear the Old Navy open-front sweater to my parents’ Christmas either. Ugh!

I looked at the other outfits I had considered, but basically hated all of them for one reason or another.

Instead, I wore a very non-Christmasy sweater with a non-Christmasy scarf. Both are comfortable though, which is the most important component. The sweater is actually the one from H&M I bought in September, that I subsequently complained about because it stretches so much — however, stretching is completely acceptable for holiday meals). I wore it with my favorite Levi’s pull-on leggings in the dark denim wash.

Here I am, posing in the middle of the prep for my parents’ get together: deviled-eggs!! I LOVE deviled eggs.

H&M sweater and scarf | whatlindseylikes

See those beautiful 1991 appliances? Yeah. Our fabulous kitchen also features 1991 teal countertops too.

deviled eggs | whatlindseylikes

Here’s the deviled egg recipe I used. Well, technically I modified it a little bit. Dan prefers his deviled eggs to be slightly more mustard-y, so I doubled the mustard and decreased the mayo measurement a bit…not a good idea. They were WAY TOO MUSTARD-Y. My family gave me the easiest food to contribute to the family meal and I couldn’t even handle that. I also left out the relish…so I guess I didn’t really follow this recipe at all.

Now that the pressure to figure out what to wear for Christmas is over, it’s time to think about New Year’s Eve. Dan and I don’t actually have any plans, so it might just be a decision between sweat pants or pajama pants, and long-sleeve tee or hooded sweatshirt. Decisions, decisions!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! And I hope your outfits turned out better than mine.

What I Made: Easiest Banana Bread Recipe

OK, so I’m not much of a baker or a cook. But I’m trying to broaden my horizons beyond spiral-shaped macaroni and cheese. Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve been able to try quite a few recipes and have found several that I haven’t completely screwed up.

I think I’ve mentioned this before: Typically when I make something, I’m barely able to handle that one dish, let alone prepare side dishes of some kind. But tonight, I went all out. Well, as “all out” as I’m going to go. I made baked chicken breasts with instant mashed potato flakes for a crispy breading. Overall it was good, but the flakes didn’t get quite as crispy as I would have liked. Here are the two recipes I combined: one from Pillsbury and one from Campbell’s. I used the Pillsbury recipe for the actual seasonings and prep, but used the baking instructions from the Campbell’s recipe.

Here’s where any culinary respect you had for me will fade. Since the instant potato box was already out…I made a couple servings of that…along with some gravy from a jar…and a frozen bag of steamed broccoli. Ha, so, basically the only chance of me prepping what most would consider to be a full meal — like, where there are sides and stuff — is when everything is instant or relatively close to instant.

However, I attempted to redeem myself by baking some banana bread. Now, the recipe (from the blog A Measure of Success) is unbelievably easy, but still, it required some measurement of ingredients, stirring and/or mixing and then an hour in the oven. That’s something.

easy banana bread | whatlindseylikes

I love this recipe. It’s so good, super easy and it makes our house smell delicious and cozy.

Easiest Banana Bread

What You Need
— 3 or 4 mega ripe bananas, smashed
— 1/3 cup butter, melted
— 1/2 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 cup, but I’m trying to cut back…)
— 1 egg, beaten
— 1 teaspoon vanilla
— 1 teaspoon baking soda
— Pinch of salt
— 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

What To Do
— Preheat the oven to 350°F
— Mix the butter and bananas in a large mixing bowl (no need for a blender!)
— Add the sugar, egg and vanilla — stir
— Add the baking soda and salt — stir
— Lastly, add the flour — stir
— Spray a 4×8 loaf pan with cooking spray (or use real butter, whatever you prefer)
— Bake for an hour
— Love life a little bit more

What I Like: Lounging

I’m a relatively lazy person. When I get home from work, you won’t find me working on house projects like tearing down walls or drilling things. That’s Dan’s thing. You won’t find me working on crafts either. I have very little patience and very little desire to commit to things. Crafts that will take at least multiple hours and possibly multiple days — let alone those that take weeks! — sound horrifying to me. I can handle this blog because it’ll take me a few hours to write a post, take some pics and get it published. Plus, I’m getting to write about stuff I really like, so it’s not work. And if I mess up on a post, I can always go back and easily fix it to my liking. With some craft projects, mistakes aren’t an easy fix. In fact, you might put in tons of hours, mess something up at the very end, and it will all have been a waste!

Maybe I’m a bit pessimistic when it comes to crafts.

Either way, I’d much rather be sitting on my new recliner (how old am I?) with a glass of cheap wine, a cozy sweater and my maltipoo Digger.

Lounging - Forever 21 sweater, cheap wine, maltipoo | whatlindselikes

No one would describe me as a wine connoisseur. The first time I bought wine, I had to frantically email a coworker for advice on what wine to buy — I was having a friend come over and I had stupidly said, “Let’s have some wine!” I literally stopped at Target on my way home from work, bought a four-pack of wine glasses (for white or red wine? I have no idea), stopped at a liquor store and asked a clerk where the bottle I was looking for might be. The clerk asked some kind of clarifying question and I said, “I have no idea what that means. Here’s what I’m looking for,” and I showed her a post-it with the wine my coworker had recommended. The clerk understood what was written on the post-it, so she brought me to the aisle and grabbed the bottle I wanted. I remember making some comment like, “Yeah, I’m not much of a wine drinker. I hope my friend won’t be too offended that I didn’t have enough time to put the wine in the fridge before she gets there.” The clerk looked at me, puzzled, and said, “You don’t put this in the fridge.” Yikes.

The bottle I bought that night was $10. I realize that’s not actually all that expensive…but did you know you can buy a bottle for only $3 from Trader Joe’s?! Ha, OK, I’m sure most of you wouldn’t be impressed with the taste of super cheap wine, but I love it and my palate is not at all sophisticated, so we’re good. I went out to eat with a friend recently and was considering ordering a glass of wine. When the waitress told me the price for one glass was $6, I thought to myself, “Um, why would I pay $6 for a GLASS when I could buy two BOTTLES for that price?!” I didn’t say that out loud for fear of embarrassing my friend, but gracefully declined the glass of wine.

Since it’s the holidays and I’m taking a nice long break from work, I decided a trip to Trader Joe’s for some daytime wine drinking was in order.

Lounging with Forever21 Sweater, cheap red wine and a maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

Mmmm, day drinking. Even Digger is licking his chops.

I found this amazing sweater at Forever 21 for 30% off. I. am. so. excited. You might be thinking, “Gee, Lindsey, doesn’t this sweater look kind of similar to the Old Navy open-front cardigan you just bought?” Yes, it does look really similar. But more importantly, both look good on my pear-shaped body, so I don’t care. I could try to convince you and justify the purchase by pretending this one is more casual while the other is more work-friendly…but I plan on wearing both to work, so it really doesn’t matter.

Forever 21 open front cardigan | whatlindseylikes

Forever 21 open front cardigan | whatlindseylikes

Lounging with Forever 21 open front sweater, cheap wine, maltipoo |whatlindseylikes

You can probably see how happy and comfortable I look. While both the copious amounts of red wine and the super comfy sweater help, I’m also loving this new La-Z-Boy recliner I recently purchased. I have super annoying headaches, and was struggling to find a comfortable couch or chair that I could lounge in for my multi-hour marathons of Netflix. While our family room is under construction, my new recliner is temporarily in our formal living room while Dan is finishing up the remodel. The model I purchased is the Joshua. There are close to a million different fabrics, colors and prints to choose from. Trust me, we looked through all the books in the store, and I browsed the online gallery too. I ended up with a charcoal velvety fabric that I am IN LOVE WITH. It’s so soft and comfy to the touch. Seriously love it.

I’ll write more about how I chose this chair once our family room is done. Choosing couches and/or chairs is one of my new least-favorite things to do.

Lounging, however, is still one of my absolute favorite things to do.

 

What I’m Wearing: Christmas Option 3

This is part 3 of my Christmas options series. Read part 1 and part 2.

It’s no surprise to anyone that I love fair isle. It’s the epitome of winter wear, and therefore absolutely perfect for Christmas. Old Navy has had a few adorable fair isle options this season, and I’ve taken advantage of those options and awesome sales.

old navy fair isle | whatlindseylikes

When I first saw this sweater online, I knew I had to have it. But I wasn’t willing to pay full price. Or even half-price during the Thanksgiving/Black Friday sale. Old Navy answered my prayers with a mega sale on almost all their sweaters, and I was able to scoop this up for only $15. I bought it in a small tall…which I’m kind of regretting. It’s too big everywhere. I haven’t actually worn it yet, so I might try on a regular size in-store to see if it’s worth exchanging. They seem a little short, though.

Moving on! I paired this sweater with my buffalo plaid button down. I feel like the red makes it feel slightly more Christmas-friendly.

old navy fair isle | whatlindseylikes

I also bought this sweater in red version too. I can rarely buy only one of anything.

old navy fair isle | whatlindseylikes

I mentioned yesterday that I bought an adorable open-front cardigan from Old Navy. I think it would be an awesome Christmas sweater.

old navy open front fair isle | whatlindseylikes

I’m in love with this sweater. I think it would be a great option, no matter your body type. If you are really thin, keeping the sweater open and pairing with skinny jeans or leggings would be adorable. For those of us with pear-shaped bodies or extra curves, belting it can be more flattering.

old navy open front fair isle cardigan | whatlindseylikes

I’m looking forward to next fall when I can throw this sweater on as a lightweight jacket when running errands or meeting up with friends for brunch. As for Christmas, it would be perfect for hiding my bulging tummy after stuffing my face with chocolate covered pretzels, candy canes and everything else.

What are you wearing for Christmas?

What I Found: Old Navy Fair Isle Cardigan

Do you ever have clothing items (or maybe home decor items, or insert-anything-you-can-buy-here thing) that you see, and you think, “Wow, that’s cute, but I’m going to wait for a better sale,” or “I love that, but I don’t need it, so I’m just going to sleep on it.”

No, don’t ever sleep on it. Buy it now, then let it sit in your closet with the tags on until you make your final decision.

I’ve learned this lesson so many times. There’s a faux fur vest that my mom talked me out of when I was in high school that I will still reference to her as something I wish I had. Since I know my mom will read this, I’ll ask her: Mom, were your exact words, “Faux fur vests will never stay in style”? And my next question: Mom, what is in style EVERY SINGLE YEAR? Faux fur vests. That vest — which was from Gap — will forever be the one that got away.

A couple years ago, the item I wanted but didn’t buy was the military green vest. I saw it at Old Navy, but didn’t act on it, and then basically every fashion blogger I follow was wearing it (or a more expensive version) and when I finally decided I better buy it, it was gone. Thankfully Old Navy came out with it again last spring, so I bought it immediately and have probably worn it more than almost anything else I own. Crisis averted!

whatlindseylikes | old navy striped sweater

Since late October or early November, I’ve been getting daily emails from Old Navy about their sales and promotions. Almost every email contains a model wearing this super cute black and white open-front fair isle cardigan. The actual model keeps changing, but the sweater is always the same. It’s in some of their holiday commercials too. Look how fun this model is having while wearing my sweater? I should be having that much fun.

old navy open front sweater | whatlindseylikes

Anyway, I loved it, but I knew I didn’t really need it. Plus, it was never as cheap as I wanted or needed it to be.

I got an email from Old Navy sometime last week or the week before about a mega awesome deal on sweaters. The model in the email was of course wearing my sweater, so I decided now was the time to jump. A few of my favorite bloggers were wearing it too, which started to worry me. I clicked the exact picture with the model wearing my sweater, hoping it would take me directly to the sweater online, but the sweater was nowhere to be found. Well, it was on their models all over the site, but it wasn’t available to purchase. I was so sad! I visited my favorite Old Navy brick and mortar store, with no luck.

I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping this morning at my nearest outlet mall and decided to swing into the Old Navy, mostly to try on a totally different sweater. Anyway, as I was making my way to the dressing room, lo and behold, there was my open-front sweater! And they had two in my size! I grabbed the one that looked to be in the best shape and took it with me to the dressing room…and then eventually to the checkout line. I’m so in love with it and so glad I found it. Might have to be a contender for Christmas. Doesn’t this model look Christmas-appropriate?

old navy fair isle open front cardigan | whatlindseylikes

I have a few open-front cardigans that I love, but I prefer to wear them how the model here is wearing them: pulled closed and cinched in at the waist with a thin belt.