Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sip and Shop Saturday


Good morning :)

So today I'm doing a little something different. Today I'm introducing the wonder that is "Sip and Shop Saturday."



What are you sipping? Your morning beverage of choice: cappuccino, latte, mimosa - whatever your preference. 

What are you shopping? Whatever I tell you.

Just kidding :) But these are some of my favorite items I've been having my eye on lately, so I thought I'd share! You can do as much (or as little) shopping as you want,  but as far as the sipping? Bottoms up, folks!

Let's start from the top...

Asos Blanket Scarf


I'm absolutely in love with this blanket scarf. I mean look at those colors. Those are literally THE perfect fall colors to me. Not to mention blanket scarves themselves are incredible. It's a blanket that is publicly acceptable to wear beyond the confines of your home. Like on those days where you can't bring the fire with you? Wrap yourself in a blanket scarf before you set foot outside the house. Take a sip and shop it here.  


Ann Taylor Pleated Flare Dress


This dress just says "holiday" to me. It's simple, it's classy, and it's flattering. You can dress it up or keep it simple. I personally am a fan of all things red (I have quite a few LRDs any maybe one LBD), but for those of you blondes that look absolutely smoking in black...it also comes in that! Shop the dress here

Now, if you're wanting something a little cheaper, then I have another Ann Taylor dress for you. Let me introduce you to the...

Ann Taylor Braid Seamed Flare Dress


Look at this little number! Same-ish style as the one above, with a braided zipper down the side. And while this dress is originally $139 - it is now on sale for $40. FORTY. That's over a 70% discount! Yes please. It comes in the "dark autumn plum" (shown above) and also in black.  Shop this dress here.


Okay fine, I found another blanket scarf. 

David & Young Square Blanket Scarf

 
 Oh hello there perfect neutral scarf. But really... ivory, gray, black - gimme all the neutrals. This little puppy is less than $30 (with free shipping at Nordie's)! Your biggest dilemma? Which color. Ivory is pictured above, but it also comes in mint and dusty pink (below). Yeah, good luck with that. I can't decide. Shop them all here.


And FINALLY, we have this little nugget. 

Matisse Fringe Bootie



I LOVE shoes with fringe on them. I mean what can make you happier than looking down when you walk and seeing fringe sway back and forth? Not much, folks. Not much. These sexy little things come in black and ivory, and are begging you to take them on a stroll this winter. Or if you're like me, you can take them to a dance floor. :)
Shop the shoe here.

And that's all I have for you this morning! Hopefully you've sipped, shopped, and are ready to kick your Saturday into high gear. OR your can pour you another mug of sippage. OR just roll back over and go back to sleep. All equally acceptable. :)

Have a great weekend everyone! And Happy Halloween :)

Until next time,
Katy





Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's Up Wednesday


PEOPLE. 

We only have two more months of 2015 left. CRAZY. But SO exciting because November and December are my very favorite months of the year!! (Well, and June, too - cause hello birthday month.)



And as it is the last Wednesday of the month, we're talking about what's up. 

What I've Been Eating This Month

source
Ummmm. This. I have been eating this. It all started when I was cleaning my room (Katy points for that happening) and I found like 3 chick-fil-a gift cards. And then I was reminded how good it was. All of it. The nuggets, the sandwich, the waffle fries, the sweet tea - and y'all - I couldn't stop. I seriously ate CFA at least 2x a week over the past month. It's ridiculous(ly good). 

And then yesterday, a beautiful thing happened. Me and Mercedes were walking to the cafeteria in the bottom of our office building, and she said "I really wish they would serve chick-fil-a in the cafeteria." Boom. We walk in the lunch room, and there is the cow. Yes - that cow. They are bringing chick-fil-a to my workplace. Amen, hallelujah, glory to the nuggets. So we took a picture with the cow. Naturally. Pure joy.




What I'm Loving

Graphic tees. Yes, you read that correctly. I am seriously obsessed with some graphic tees right now -  namely ILY Couture and Oliver and Otis. Below are some of my favorite pieces....that I may or may not be purchasing. Okay fine, there's no 'may not.' I'm totally purchasing slash have already purchased.





What I'm Working On

...dreaming. I've been doing a lot of dreaming lately. And a lot of praying with my dreaming. I'm just trying to figure out what dream I'm supposed to chase and how exactly I'm supposed to chase that and simultaneously live out God's will for my life. Yesterday I did a KUWK post on the ups and downs of "dreaming big," and my journey through that process [thus far]. If you didn't catch it you can read that post here


What I'm Listening To





....duh. This album came out Friday and it's been playing non-stop. My friend Ryan called me and we had a 20 minute discussion about this album. This is serious business, y'all. I will admit - it's not my favorite album of hers. And as her self-proclaimed bestie, I feel a little bad saying that. But I want to keep it real, here. There are some really great tracks, but then there are some that I just really think I would skip if they came on shuffle. I'm sorry Carrie - you're still my favorite!

Some of my favorite tracks:
Runaway Renegade
Relapse
What I Never Knew I Always Wanted
The Girl You Think I Am 
 

What I'm Excited About/Looking Forward to Next Month

THANKSGIVING. I seriously love me some Thanksgiving morning. I love waking up, staying in my jammies, cooking my family brunch (I took over that task a few years ago), and cuddling up on the couch to watch the Macy's Day Parade. Thanksgiving is one solid day of family. A family that I am all kinds of thankful for! 

Also - I have to go to LA for work this month, so my sweet mama is going to come join me for a few days and we're going to throw on our oversized sunglasses and act famous. Okay, not really. But we do plan on doing the Universal Studios/MGM/Walk of Fame type things. So excited! Work has its perks :)

What I'm Watching/Reading

Well, I'm still watching my fall shows [see the run down here], but can we just talk about Quantico for a minute? I am way on board. It just keeps getting better and better with every episode! Not to mention this girl is gooorgeous and I'm obsessed with the way she talks. Definitely a new Sunday night activity for me. 


Then last Friday I told you about my new love affair with the new Jen Hatmaker book. If you are a female and need inspiration (and a good laugh or nine) - you must buy this book. I seriously cannot say enough good things about this book. Buy it. For the love. :)


What I'm Doing This Weekend

This weekend I'm going to Canton with my mom and sister (yeah girls' shopping trip!) and then Sunday I'm hosting my sweet future nephew's baby shower!! So stinking excited for both :)

_____

And that's what's up! I hope you're all having a great week! (And if not, it's halfway over!)

Until next time,
Katy
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

KUWK: On Dreaming Big


"Dreaming big" is rough. And it ain't for the weak of heart. 

Having dreams and passions is enough to put you on an emotional roller coaster that has more twists and turns than the Texas Giant over at Six Flags. And I'm not talking about the baby dreams. I'm talking about the dreams that you can literally feel tugging at your heart strings every time you think about them. The dreams that cause a lump in your throat every time you talk about them. The dreams that you feel so strongly about that when you pray about them, you only get out a "Dear God" before the tears join you. 

Those dreams.  

We all have them, and for the majority of us, they've changed over the years. And for some of us, our dreams might not quite line up with the 'equipment' we were given.

I've been a dancer my entire life. It's what makes me tick. The whole time I was in college, I knew I wanted to audition to be a NYC Rockette when I graduated. Getting an education was important to me, but my dream was performing on stage. I can tap, I can kick, I am the right height and right proportion (mostly legs), so I was going to give it a try. I researched, I studied, I found a professor at Baylor that was a former Rockette. Being a Rockette was my dream. 

And then right before I graduated college I was diagnosed with cancer. A cancer that made me look a little funny and took half my vision. I focused on treatment and recovery, and my dream of being a Rockette slipped away. 

[scene]

Then I moved to Dallas, started a career in public accounting, and completely fell in love with country music. Don't get me wrong - I was always a fan - but I wanted to create it. I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to be a country music star, and having just conquered cancer, I truly believed that anything was possible. This dream grew -and it grew fast. It's all I thought about. 

Then one day I was walking my dog around the neighborhood, and a fork in the road just slapped me in the face. I could actually give this dream a try (and probably fail), or I could never try, always dream, and be an 80-year old woman eaten up with regret. 

The worst question to ever ask yourself  is the question of "what if?" - because you will never ever know the answer. 

I decided I wanted failure over regret. I wanted it so badly, I was beyond willing to move to Nashville and do the "starving artist on the street" thing. I didn't care - as long as I was trying. Chasing the dream. Running the race. 

I started writing songs. I took voice lessons. My brother bought me a guitar. I put in a transfer with my company to get me to Nashville. I started taking steps. And I was pumped. 

Then last year (and about six months before I could transfer) God opened the door for an opportunity to stay in Dallas. I was so confused. Why were doors being opened in Dallas when I was mentally and emotionally set to move to Nashville? I talked to my family about what to do - and my brother sent me back a one sentence response that made things pretty clear. He said "what I've learned in my life, is that when God opens a door for you, you're a fool if you don't walk through it." 

So I stayed. And it was a pretty bittersweet choice. I was excited for the opportunity, and I was excited to stay in Texas with my friends and family, but I felt like I was giving up on myself before I even tried. I felt like I was giving up on my dream.

[scene]

So what now, you ask? 

Well let me tell you. 
I. DON'T. KNOW.

For over a year now, I've been wondering what God wants me to do with my life. I've had many a breakdowns upon realizing I'm 27 and still don't know the answer to that. For everyone above 30, I'm sure you're thinking "oh Katy, you're still so young." And for those of you younger than me, you're likely thinking "man, I really hope I have my life figured out by the time I turn 27." I get it. It's all relative.

But here's the thing - I recently realized that while I have indeed been wondering what God has in store for my life, I haven't been asking. I just kept thinking it would just happen. That the time would come when God would nudge me and say 'hey - pay attention, this is it.'
...yeah, no such nudge. 


So I've been asking. Fervently asking. And while I haven't necessarily learned the whole answer, He has taught me a few things in anticipation. For instance, I would look at my life and only know how to measure it if I placed it against someone else's life. The measuring stick for my accomplishments was always someone else's life. That's not fair. That's not fair to me, and it's not fair to God. I think I have big dreams? God's dreams for my life would blow.my.mind. And I'm selling Him short by checking out His dreams for someone else. 

A few weeks ago I was praying and scrolling through my mental list of "dreams" I would love to chase, and I remember getting so frustrated. (Because I was measuring my life against other people.) In the midst of that frustration, the good Lord just threw several thoughts into my head.

I already have a Carrie Underwood. 
I already have a Jen Hatmaker. 
 What I need is a Katy Reeves. 

Side note: I am a firm believer that the Lord talks to us through common sense. In fact I'm pretty sure that's His main method of communication when it comes to me cause when I'm a hot mess I rarely think rationally or clearly. So thought-provoking statements most definitely are Heaven sent. 

Every single one of us is unique. We all have different personalities, different strengths, different weaknesses, etc. Why on earth would God's plan for me be the exact same plan He has for someone else? That's zero fun for anyone. So that being said, why would I measure my life against someone else's life? They aren't, and lucky for us shouldn't be, even remotely comparable.


I've been so busy looking and "shopping" through other people's lives that I haven't even considered that there's a set of blueprints designed just for ME. And those blueprints are just collecting dust, because I'm way too busy peeking over at someone else's. 

Now - all these realizations and epiphanies are great, but putting them into practice? That's a whole 'nother issue. Like I said...dreaming big is hard. Some days you wake up feeling like not hell nor high water can keep you from chasing this dream. Other days you wake up feeling like you've accomplished, and will accomplish, absolutely nothing. 

So I'm telling you just like I'm telling myself (because quite frankly this post is just for me). Go all in. Whatever it is that makes you tick. Whatever it is that God instilled in you that makes your heart hurt just thinking about it. Pray about it. Go for it. With your WHOLE self. Not just your big toe. 

So yes, I'm a dreamer. And dreaming big is hard. But to me, if you aren't dreaming, and you aren't chasing, then you aren't living. 




Until next time,
Katy

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favorites


Remember when I thought last week was long?

Hah. Joke's on me. This week had two Mondays, several Wednesdays, and at least three Thursdays. And it's not just me - this was the consensus around the workplace so obviously that means it was indeed actually true. 

But alas, it's FRIDAY. 

Not only is it Friday...but it's BAYLOR HOMECOMING FRIDAY. 
(You can see my Tuesday rendition of "you know you went to Baylor when..." here)

Unfortunately we'll all be swimming to Homecoming this year. I mean gracious, it doesn't rain for three months and then bam - monsoon for Baylor's biggest weekend. So many festivities (parade, bonfire, etc.) have already been cancelled. So sad. :(

Okay, that's enough weepy. Let's favorite. 

1 - "For the Love" by Jen Hatmaker



I am utterly obsessed with this book. Utterly and completely. It speaks to my soul. Like as if this book had my heart on speed dial. Not to mention it's hiiilarious. I literally will just sit there, read, and laugh out loud to myself. 

I've often heard this book referred to as a "motherhood" book - but I definitely don't think it is. I think it is a (hilarious) inspirational book that gives you what you need. Yes, if you're a mother it will speak to you about motherhood. But if you're a young single female just trying to figure out life (eagerly raises hand) - it'll speak wonders to you, too. I'm seriously considering buying this puppy in bulk and distributing it to people in my life. I feel that passionately about it. 

I mean, it has an entire chapter devoted to 'leggings as pants.' You need to read this book.
And I need to hang out with Jen Hatmaker. 

_____

2 - "Back Home" by Owl City and Jake Owen


I happened to hear this song on the radio last weekend and have listened to it on repeat all weekend. I would have NEVER paired these two up together, but y'all. This song is so good. It is such a head nodding song. You nod up and down, you nod sideways, I think I even nod diagonally. And verse two is my favorite. Give it a listen. 

Pssst - Emily, you'll really like this song! :)

Also, Carrie's new album came out today. I'm all over it. Obviously. But I'll have to give my two cents next Friday after I have time to dissect!

______

3 - Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cookies


Yesterday I posted my latest pumpkin recipe, and the verdict at work was that they were my greatest pumpkin creation to date. And we all know I've posted a lot of pumpkin. So I think that's genuinely a big deal! You should definitely put these in your pumpkin rotation this fall. Find the recipe here.

______

4 - Favorite Quote



I love doing quotes every Friday. Quotes just are fabulous. Some make you laugh, some make you think, and some just stick with you. And this one? This one just stuck with me. It was actually the opener to a chapter in "For the Love." I just thought if I needed to hear it, one of you may have needed to, as well :)

______

5 - "It's a 10" Leave in Conditioner



I never thought I would use leave in conditioner. I have fine hair and the thought of leaving something like conditioner in my hair....and then drying it....just didn't make sense to me. Well it just don't need to make much sense. Cause it's awesome. I bought this from the hair salon last week and I loooove it. I curl my hair a lot, and I would always get crazy tangles at the nape of my neck. Well not with this little gem! It's going to my my saving grace this winter. Cause let me tell you - curls + scarves = a hot mess of a jungle. 

_____

 And that's a wrap!! 

Have a wonderful and well-deserved weekend, everyone! If you're going to be on the roads - go slow, be safe, and pack a paddle. Floaties might also be a great precaution. 

Until next time,
Katy
Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cookies


Today we have more pumpkin. 

Yeah buddy. 

I got really excited because after my last pumpkin recipe, I've had a few people contact me and tell me they made them and loved them! Then I had one friend text me and tell me he's made each and every pumpkin recipe and to keep them coming. 

So Collin - this one's for you :) 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cookies




So this recipe kind of happened by accident. I was trying to make a different version of the pumpkin cookie (which is very difficult because the base of a pumpkin cookie is basically the same in every recipe), so I got a little creative with the icing. And then they started looking like cinnamon rolls. And then I tasted one, and to me, it tasted exactly like a cinnamon roll with a touch of pumpkin. 

What You'll Need

for the cookie
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 can pure pumpkin - 15 oz
4 cups flour

 for the icing
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
  4-5 cups powdered sugar   
[cinnamon for garnish]

What You'll Do

 Mix the butter, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt with an electric mixer

Add in vanilla, eggs, pumpkin, and flour - mixing after each addition

Note: your batter is going to be all kinds of thick.

Place a heaping spoon fool of batter onto a cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper), placing each cookie about 2 inches apart. Flatten top of cookie so it's easier to cook

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes (the top will set - do not overcook!)

Melt the icing butter (I went with the microwave approach) and mix in brown sugar until smooth. Move to a medium bowl and add in milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Add powdered sugar progressively to create icing. Ice cooled cookies and garnish with cinnamon!


I mean, do these not like cinnamon rolls?! They're so good. You could technically have them for breakfast if they're in the cinnamon roll category. The icing is a bit sweet, but add it with a cup of black coffee and you'll be just fine. 

Happy Thursday everyone! 
And to all my coworkers, get excited, cause these are coming your way this morning :)

Until next time,
Katy
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

KUWK: Being a Baylor Bear


Listen. 

Everyone thinks their university is the best. 

That's what makes football season so obnoxious fun :)

BUT, in honor of this weekend being Baylor's Homecoming weekend, I thought it only appropriate to do a KUWK post on...

Being a Baylor Bear (Alumni)!

When thinking about this post, I knew there were many ways I could take it. I could take it sappy and make you all wish you were a freshman again. I could have taken you down my personal memory lane. Though I know there are some chapters my Baylor besties would beg and plead not to relive again. I thought about creating a clever little poem...because I do words that rhyme for anything significant in my life. I'm telling you...I should work for Hallmark.

So there were many options. 

But instead I decided to just do my own personal rendition of "you know you went to Baylor when..." Now, please understand that I completely understand that if your alma mater colors were not green and gold, I've either already lost you or this sentence is the last one you'll read. And that's okay. Because I know you love your school just as much as I love mine. BUT, for all my fellow Baylor Bears...

You know you went to Baylor (from 2006-2010) when.... 

...a little bit of you died when they closed down "ghetto HEB"
...you've either dominated (or harshly judged those that dominated) the Bear Trail
...your tastebuds know no better coffee than an iced rodeo clown from CG
...you're bitter about the new business building, but know these new kids will never experience 'Hankamer High' 
...you've had a crush on a guy from Penland 


...you understand that a place doesn't need a fountain to be called Fountain Mall
...you've shamelessly stuffed yourself with Food for Thought's chicken nachos
 ...you understood that Piano Man was a rite of passage. 
...you've survived Waco water
...your first two months of the year have completely revolved around SING
...you find out a Baylor student has never been to SING and you want them expelled.


...Brooks College, Aspen Heights, and Chuys were a really big deal.
...you know what it's like to be really bad at football (but have school pride anyways)
...you were really upset to find that Bear Bucks was not an acceptable form of payment in adult life
...you've stood on a chair, wiggled your hand, and yelled "heeeeeeeyyyyy" 
...you know why Pat Neff is famous. 



...you've gone to Robinson Tower and begged for parking ticket mercy
...Scruffs
...you wanted a significant other just to take a picture in a green and gold swing 
...you went to Gratziano's at least once every three days.
...you've done your homework at George's (hello, table of knowledge)
...you've tossed tortillas off a suspension bridge.



...you know that stray mutts are as common as domesticated squirrels.
...you've seen someone get engaged in the Quad
...you know every Greek organization's "signature move"
...you've stayed up until 4 a.m. working on a float in a freezing cold warehouse
...your family that didn't go to Baylor feel like Baylor alumni, too

and, finally...
 
...you don't understand how other college homecomings "aren't a big deal"

 
See you at home, Bears. I can't wait to hug your necks, reminisce about the old times, and gripe about how good the young'ns have it these days :)

But also...what did I forget?! I'd love to know what comes to mind of how you know you went to Baylor when... 

EEKS! SIC EM BEARS!!!

Until next time,
Katy



 
Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Favorites


Friday. 

Can I get an amen? This week has been ridiculously long. I feel like we at least had an extra Tuesday. Maybe even a Wednesday and a half. Too long. Glad we're finally here!

Can you guess what I'm doing today? You're so good. You know what we're doing. We're doing
FRIDAY FAVORITES!

_____

1 - Blanket Scarves


Oh, the blanket scarf. We all know scarves have been a staple of fall since...ever, but this year the blanket scarf is the big thing. And I am a-okay with that. It's basically a cute, stylish, and appropriate way to wrap yourself in a blanket and leave the house. And who doesn't want that when the temp drops? (Though we wouldn't know anything about that here in Texas. We're still setting record highs...)

This is my very first blanket scarf! I got it at Nordstrom, and even though they've since sold out, you can see their plethora of other blanket scarf options here. Asos also has some awesome blanket scarves. Honestly, anywhere you look will likely have a blanket scarf. They're a little more expensive than a normal scarf, but the fact that you can also use it to curl up on the couch? Worth it.

Also - don't judge my selfie abilities. Just focus on the scarf. K thanks.

_____

2 - Trader Joes Pita Crisps (with cranberries and pumpkin seeds)


World's longest chip name, right? 

So my friend Jack brought these into work the other day, and when I put one in my mouth, my eyes bugged out of my head. That's how good these chips are. They are slightly sweet, slightly salty, and perfect for fall. Y'all my mouth is watering just thinking about them. When you go on your grocery run this weekend - please pick these up. They come in a large bag, too, so you can share with the ones you love! OR you can just eat the bag by yourself and just give the ones you love a hug. Your choice.

_____

3 - Fall Holiday Plates


 If you stopped by here on Wednesday, then you know all about these plates. Last week I threw my first annual Falliday Scarf Exchange. And with an upcoming party comes a reason to buy new fall party dishes!  My mom and I went to Hobby Lobby and got some of the cutest little dishes - and they were all 50% off! Don't you love how Hobby Lobby is always half-priced? If for some reason what you want isn't one sale, just go back the next week. It will be :)

Oh, and those three leaf dishes? $1.30 each at Michaels. 

Okay okay fine. If you know about my coffee mug obsession, then you know I also bought new mugs. Four of them. I have problems. But they make me so happy each morning, I don't even care that I only have enough cabinet space to use one at the moment :)


_____

4 - Favorite Quote


'nuff said. 

_____

5 - State Fair of Texas


Last Friday, Jeff and I had date night at the Texas State Fair! And let me tell you, we've been dating for almost two years now, and this was most definitely one of my top five date nights we've had. We walked in those fair gates and turned into two giddy children. 

We ate, we rode rides, we played games, we went to the car show, we went to the petting zoo, we walked up and down the same row nine times in search of Jeff's fried food bucket list items (sigh) - I mean we spent close to five hours at the fair. 

First things first - since the corny dog is kin to the hot dog, it most definitely was my food of choice. Jeff took pictures of all his fried food items, but they literally all look the same: round balls of fried dough. So I decided I'd just leave those out :)


I love love the petting zoo. Jeff was pretty bummed we missed the pig races, so we had to make up for it. Right as I was almost out of feed, I realized you were supposed to feed the animals with shovels. I just let them eat out of the cup. That's probably foreshadowing into how I'm going to parent. And Jeff's little goat friend was much more interested in eating his watch than his feed. 


 Our friend Geoffrey, the giraffe. We took the liberty of naming him. 


 I seriously can't get over how much fun we had - just two overgrown children. If you haven't gone yet, tomorrow is the last day! It is absolutely worth the money and the crowds. Now don't get me wrong, I was completely worn out when we were through, but it was a pretty fantastic date night that I'm pretty excited to repeat in years to come! 


_____

And those are today's favorites! 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Until next time,
Katy
Wednesday, October 14, 2015

1st Annual Falliday Scarf Exchange


Eeeks! So excited to share this post. I've seen a couple of people in the blog world do a scarf exchange during the "colder" months, and I completely freaked out. I love scarves, I love throwing parties, I love reasons to buy new fall dishes... I mean, this was right up my alley. 

So, last Thursday I threw my first Annual Falliday Scarf Exchange! 



I love these fools :)

So first off - the invite. I used PunchBowl and went the e-vite route. It's free, easy, and saves you a trip to the post office! Not to mention the invites are pretty dang cute...


Scarves are a perfect thing to exchange for several reasons:

1) They're one size fits all - no one has to worry about sizes
2) You can find a really great deal on a really great scarf (we set a $20 max limit)
3) Scarves are the love language of fall  - there is rarely a scarf that is met and isn't liked
4) They get you in the mood for fall! ...even when it's still in the 90s the night of your party...

My mom and I went to Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago where she helped me pick out new fall party dishes. I LOVE themed holiday dishes. And fall ones speak to my pumpkin-lovin' soul.

Some of the girls asked what to wear to the shin-dig, so when I sent out a group text that lounge wear was both appreciated and encouraged, you would have thought I told them they'd all get cash when they walked in the door. SO much joy. Fancy party plates and yoga pants. That's how we roll :)

So...what went ON the fancy party plates? Well let me just tell you...

We kicked off the assembly line with a meat and cheese plate...


PS see that fancy cutting board? My sweet dad made it for me as a housewarming gift when I moved into Kelsey's! He's so crafty and fantastic and stuff :)

Then we moved onto some chips and dip. We went with spinach artichoke dip (a staple in this group) and "cowboy caviar..." Side note: these leaf shaped dishes are from Michael's....and $1.30 each. I should have bought 20 and made a dang tree!


Then we had some baked brie with jalapeno raspberry preserves (easiest appetizer EVER). I'll share the recipe soon - it was such a hit!

OH - and also presented on a bread board that my dad made :)


Sausage balls were also easy and a must... bisquick + sausage + cheese = one of my favorite party foods. Possibly because I grew up with these suckers. Thanks, mom!


And then we get to the gluten-free section of the assembly line. My sweet friend Emily was diagnosed with celiacs disease a few weeks ago, so I definitely wanted to make sure I had some things she could eat! And let me tell you...my heart goes out to you GF kids. It ain't easy. I read more ingredients in three days than I have in my lifetime. And I didn't know what half of it meant. You go, people. You know your stuff.

I made some bacon-wrapped sweet potatoes (sprinkled with cinnamon!), and they were SO. GOOD. I will definitely be making these again. There's nothing to them and they were definitely a party favorite...among both the gluten-free and the gluten-expensive :)


Then it was time for DESSERT! 

I made some paleo pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (we are talking paleo, GF, and ridiculously delicious). I don't do the paleo thing but I've made these for years. Such a fan!!

And finally....to end the assembly line, we have the pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Because all assembly lines must have a big bang finish!

 
So we ate, we mingled, we drank vino and shared stories...and THEN it was time for the exchange! Can you sense my excitement through the font? CAN YOU? I wouldn't be surprised...


How cute are these girls? Oh, and you see that one wrapped in foil? Yeah, that was me. I mean, scroll up, did you see the food? What more do you want from me? At least it wasn't in a ziploc. I consider that a win. 

We did the exchange like a normal white elephant: draw numbers, open or steal, and when the scarf reaches the third owner it's frozen. It was a pretty non-dramatic exchange. I'm telling you....scarves are just so universal. 


And here was the loot! Aren't we cute!? We had appearances from Loft, Old Navy, Nordstrom, DSW, J Crew Mercantile, Target...and all under $20! Get on it people! Go scarf shopping!

It was such a success we decided to have a spring one, too. Obviously not scarves...earrings maybe? :) Whatever - we just love any excuse to get together (and go home with a present!)

Aaaand to wrap up, some favorites of mine from the selfie stick photoshoot :)


 I just absolutely love them. 

First Falliday Scarf Exchange is in the books. Highlighted, bold-faced, underlined, and ready to be repeated. 

Until next time,
Katy