Friday, December 14, 2012

'Tis the Season!

You want to know one of my most favorite things about the Christmas season?!
The holiday cards!!

 We did not do holiday cards this year because of a few reasons:
#1) I've been a little distracted the last few weeks and I couldn't get my act together
#2) We can't compete with the my extended family and their ADORABLE babies and kids
#3) I tried and failed miserably getting the kittens to sit still close enough together to snap their pic ;)
#4) Joey refuses to be married to the crazy cat lady who spends an hour trying to get two kittens to sit together for a photo...
I can not wait to send out our first family Christmas card next year, and I am gathering inspiration already. Here are a few that I have seen online:

Love the cut off shot of the parents in this pic, and who can resist a little holiday bunting...

Five Creative Photography Ideas for Family Christmas Cards – Toddlers

Twinkle lights and baby chub...can't beat it!

{ great for christmas cards } by alisa
If I could get my kittens do to this I would be a magician!

dogsinlights 235x300 Ideas For Cute & Clever Christmas Card Photos

What did you do for your card this year??
XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Two Tone Tammy

I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to start sharing my nursery projects with you. I have been holding off doing anything until I reached 14weeks, just in case I jinxed it. But I am officially 18 weeks now and the projects have begun! I told you all about the vibe I was going for last week in this post. Neutral is the name of the game :)
Here is the checklist that I have started (and I am sure will evolve as I go) with what I want to do to get the room ready:
-design and sew bed skirt and bumper (bumper we will use when baby is a little older)
-makeover vintage dresser for changing table
-buy a crib
-rehang and accessorize chalkboard
-rewire standing lamp
-dress up back of bookcases
-reorganize closet
-figure out storage (toys, laundry, books)
-art for over the crib
-make pillows for bed
-find a home for old office space
All for as close to $500 as possible
The first project I tackled was the dresser makeover. And you all know how I love a good furniture face lift! Of course, I went straight to Craigslist to find something that was going to work. I wanted a dresser that was tall so changing baby would not kill my back, had good storage, and was not a true changing table. I would love this to be something that baby can use for a while.
I found this for a whopping $85.

Honestly, I really did like the original color, but it was not quite the right blue and it needed a little love.
First step was to remove the hardware, then sand and use a filler to fix any dents or chipped areas.

Up next was primer (2 coats).

I was debating going all blue like the one on my inspiration board, but then I realized the the pale blue kind of blended in to the light gray walls. Blah...
So I decided to go two-tone with it. A white body and pale blue drawers. I knew I liked the two-tone look from this side table project I did, and if it went south then it would just take a can of paint to fix. I already had the blue and the white semi-gloss paint from past projects as well as a foam roller. Whoop Whoop for having to buy NO supplies!
After two coats of each color, I accented the detailing that frames the doors with a thin pinpoint of white paint. I just used painters tape to make sure that it was not messy.

I loved the hardware so I was able to just reattach and the dresser was good to go!


I think baby will love it. If not, I will tell it how my back was sore for a week after painting this sucker, so that's just too bad!
All in all, I am in this project for $85. Not too shabby...

XOXO Katie

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Monday, December 10, 2012


I love baking cookies, but there is only ONE cookie that Joey actually requests in particular. I don't know what that says about my baking skills, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I just tell myself that he loves ALL my cookies, these ones just must be extra special :)
Of course, I found this recipe on Pinterst so I will not pretend like its my own genius that came up with this salty'n'sweet combination. It was all Sarah over at her blog Sugar Cooking. It pretty much a delicious chocolate chip cookie with broken pretzels in it and then sea salt on top. I know you mouth is watering right?!
The only substitution I made was I didn't use the peanut butter chips that were in Sarah's recipe, instead I used half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate chips. Oh, and I doubled the recipe- obvs.

Here are the directions from Sarah's Blog:
Recipe: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Pretzel Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup broken up pretzel pieces
Pretzel Salt or Sea Salt


In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract.
Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Leave about 2 inches between each ball. Bake for 10 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.
I'm not joking- these cookies are SOOOO good. They have just that little hint of salt that makes a tall glass of milk that much better.
I told Joey that I was going to take some to work and he actually got mad. As if 48 cookies was not enough to hold him over until at least next weekend :)
XOXO Katie
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Friday, December 7, 2012


Loving the new Neiman Marcus collection for Target that just came out today. Maybe now I can feel like I am shopping in the "fancy" stores without breaking a sweat (or the bank). There were a lot of great hostess gifts and outfits in this collection so I am definitely going to check it out this weekend. Hopefully it has hit the shelves here in Boston!

 Have a great weekend everyone!
XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Going Neutral

A big "thank you!" to everyone that sent their kind words when I dropped the news about the baby on the way. We are so excited and I can't wait to share all of the fun things that this new chapter will bring!

We have decided that we are not going to find out the gender of our little nugget before his or her arrival. For the control freak planner in me this is going to be a little tricky, but I never walk away from a challenge :) Alas, people have done it for millions of years, and I don't think my baby will be any less bombarded with colorful and (probably) unnecessary accessories than the next on the block.
Honestly, I didn't really have to think twice about not finding out the sex of the baby. I just remember listening to the story of when I was born and how exciting it was for my parents when the doctor called out, "Its a girl!". My parents had been convinced I was a boy as they already had my brother and there had been a long string of boy cousins all born in a row. So when they realized that a tidal wave of pink and sparkles had just entered their life they were shocked and excited (or so they say...). I just want that same feeling when our own baby arrives!
Here are the challenges that I am going to be working with in the soon-to-be baby's room:
#1. It has to be a fully functional guest room as well as baby's room. My mom and sis are going to come and stay once the baby comes and I want it to be totally comfortable for them. Not like they are sleeping in a Toys-R-Us.
#2. We are on a VERY tight budget and I am determined to do this room for as close to $500 as I can get.
#3. Storage is a huge issue. Our closet in the guest room is already 3/4 full and we have no additional storage in our apartment or building. When it comes to "baby gear" we are going bare bone style. Like, "does a baby really need a crib?" bare bones style...
#4.  Since we won't know the gender, the color pallet needs to appeal to both a boy or girl. It can be somewhat adapted later, but I would like all the main components to be in place before I'm working on 2 hours of sleep a night.
#5. I already have some of the components of the room in place because it was already a functioning guest room (light gray walls, rug, chair, drapes, comforter, bookcases) so whatever I do needs to be in line with those elements. I really don't want to buy anything new if we already have something that is in good shape.
Below is the inspiration board that I am going to be working from. I am sure some things will change but so far I am loving the look!

The color pallet will be tan, cream, white, and pale blue. I will add in pops of pink if the nugget ends up being a girl, but I think that baby will be happy with the room no matter what!

XOXO Katie
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Dressing Up For December

I will be the first to admit that I am not a huge holiday decorator. I find the clutter that seasonal decorating brings to be unbearable (at least while we live in this apartment). I am sure when I have a basement, attic, or at least a free closet that I will feel differently. But for now I keep the holiday decor VERY limited.
Now this poses a problem for my husband. He grew up in a house hold that would be decked out to the nines for every holiday, and Christmas was the holy grail of twinkle lights and stockings galore. Literally, his mom should win an award for decorating every surface of an 7 bedroom house before the first snowflake hit the ground.
Just to be a good wife ,I make sure that I do a little decorating so that I wont get nicknamed "the Grinch" during the holiday season.
There is one other small issue that we have in this household. One live tree + two crazy agile cats + breakable ornaments = disaster. Two years ago when we brought them home from the animal shelter on New Years day they bolted STRAIGHT for the tree. Literally climbing up it and knocking things off before I even had time to put the crate away.

So this year we went a slightly different route and didn't spring for the tree, instead we went for the Christmas ball! Ok...its a little sad and Joey looked like Tiny Tim walking out of the lot with a ball rather than a tree strapped to the car roof. But since I (and crossing my fingers that Joey will be with me if the residency stars align) will be traveling home to Chicago for the actual holidays, so I didn't see the need to have a big tree to put gifts under. I know...I know... Grinch, Grinch, Grinch. But this Grinch also hates vacuuming dry tree needles in July.

How do you like to decorate for the holidays? Are you a clutter-phobe like me?
XOXO Katie
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Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm Not Dead...Just Pregnant!

Sorry for being totally MIA for the last 2 months, ladies and gents.
I have been a little umm...preoccupied to say the least!
After almost exactly three years of being a married couple, Joey and I were thrilled to find out that I was pregnant just 5 days before our anniversary on September 19th. We kept it pretty quiet, only telling immediate family members, until we had our 12 week ultrasound where we confirmed the little nugget was cooking properly.
We are so nervous scared amazed excited about the newest member of our family and we can't wait to see what adventures this new chapter brings!
The photo below is how we told all of our friends that our "little pumpkin" was on the way:

I am not going to lie, so far pregnancy has been a little rocky for me. I knew I was always a "sensitive" person, but man-o-shevats the morning sickness really kicked me in the butt! Joey liked to call my episodes "Katie exorcisms". Lovely, but not all entirely false. Thank goodness that phase has begun to pass. I can finally keep my eyes open past 7:30pm, and not fear waking up every morning not knowing how the day will unfold.
I welcome with open arms this next phase of pregnancy where everyone says I will feel my best. Bring it on, baby!
With a due date of mid May looming (sometimes the Doc says the 13th and sometimes the 20th) I have a TON of projects that I want to accomplish and I will take you all along for the ride!
Here are some items on my checklist:
-Decorate nursery on a budget
-Have a baby (and its clutter) in a 1000 sq ft apartment
-Learn money saving strategies for post baby
-Cook healthy non-hippo inducing foods while preggos
-Make decisions about baby's needs when I have NO idea what I'm doing or what half this stuff is
-Learn how to keep another human alive for extended periods of time

So I am excited to share this journey with you and I hope there are some Mamas out there that can give me some words of encouragement, advice, and confirm that I am not totally helpless on this first-time-mom roller coaster!

XOXO Katie

And don't worry I won't bombard you with weekly bump photos and stats...those I will save for just once a month :)
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peeping Tom

Leaf peeping season has begun here in New England. I have a great respect for this time of year when the leaves start to turn. Being from Chicago, I have never seen anything like it, and I really try to take it in for all its natural beauty.
I mean can you believe these colors?!

all images via google
Makes you want to snuggle up in a comfy sweater and sip warm apple cider.
The best part is that the colors will only get better and better from now until the end of October. So amazing to watch mother nature at work :)

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Do you ever feel like after looking (ok, stalking...) some people's Pinterest boards that you would totally want to be friends with them in real life? I know that sounds weird, but there are a few people that I follow on Pinterest that I swear totally pin EVERYTHING that makes me drool and gets me to hit repin instantly.
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So that got me to thinking, what do I think makes someone an awesome pinner?
Here is a little list of criteria I would use to officially become your pinterest stalker (totally personal- you can judge as you see fit):
1. You love relatively healthy recipes that actually look appetizing (aka no weird things like quinoa, tofu, strange green things that I have no idea where I would even find it in the grocery store). On the flip side, I like sweets and junk food like the rest of 'em, but I can't look at brownies and cheese dips all day without fearing I will get cellulite in my desk chair.
2. You don't have a board called "For my future wedding when I meet Mr. Right." Come on now, lets get real. You should just be like my sister and have a secret file on her computer called "Investments" where she hides all of her wedding inspiration pics from her boyfriend and keep that private until he puts a ring on it. Sorry Jessie, but its true!
3. Your home decor pins have an emphasis on one thing- keeping your home light and bright. I have learned a lot about my design style and preferences in interior space. If it does not have amazing natural light then it is just not for me.
4. You love clothes but realize that life is not a runway or nightclub 24/7. You have a comfortable and casual style that mixes in basics with a pop of color or cute accessories.
5. You love DIY projects, but don't go all theme happy or make your home look like Michael's was having a flash sale and you took home the entire craft section. You keep things classy and generally glitter-free.
6. You don't pin photos of super toned girls in their workout clothes because you know that no matter what they subtitle says, a "30 pound in 30 day diet" is always a lie.

7. You are what I like to dub a "picky pinner." You only pin maybe a 15-20 things a week, but everything you pin is thought out and deliberate. Not a free for all to see how much you can pin during your lunch hour. Your boards are well organized and not cluttered or repetitive.
8. You are 100% confident that your baby/child will be absolutely adorable and perfectly dressed in trendier clothing than most of us grown women. Because of course our babies will all be that beautiful, right?! May as well start planning for their future Baby Gap modeling careers now :)
9. You DO NOT post your pins to your Facebook wall. The double exposure is just too much, if we want to see what you pin then we know where to find you.

10. Finally, and most importantly, you love all things having to do with kittens. Yeeaaah, that's probably just me...


Do you guys have any thoughts on what makes someone a "stalk-worthy" pinner??

XOXO Katie
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Getting Back into the Groove

Happy Monday, All! I hope your weekends were fun filled and you welcomed the official beginning of fall with open arms. This is by far my favorite time of year with its scarves, boots, and vests all screaming my name.

This weekend was a little slow on my end with a husband who was MIA from working over 48 hours straight. So I spent my time doing the laundry and cleaning that I've been putting off since our return from our Labor Day trip (bad, I know). I did pat myself on the back for pounding out 9 loads of laundry in just under 3.5 hours. It's the small things that keep me going :)

But I was thinking about I have been slacking in one category of my blogging endeavor- my DIY projects. This summer was such a whirlwind with travel, weddings, work, and general life stresses, that I have totally neglected my love for doing DIYs. So I am going to really make an effort to get back in the swing of things with my projects.

I have been compiling a few ideas that you will hopefully see in the future from little ole' me, and I just cross my fingers that I will get around to doing at least 1/3 of what I set out to do. So here at the thoughts that are swimming around in my head at the moment.
Make a pouf / ottoman to go with my new chair in my bedroom:
via Decorpad, source: Turquoise LA
Try etching on glassware- maybe a vase for my guest bathroom:
via Social Graces
Make cute seat cushions for our plain white bar stools:
via Ballard Design

Do something with the 30+ brooch/clip on earring pieces that my Mom gave me:

Pinned Image
via AmoreTreasure on Etsy

Anyone else have any upcoming projects that you are excited about?!
XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Like It Was Yesterday

 Happy 3 year anniversary to my wonderful husband! I can't believe its already been three years since we said "I do" because I still remember every moment like it was yesterday.
Lots has happened in the in the last few years, and I love you more now than ever before. I am excited to see what the next 50+ years bring, because the last 11 will be hard to beat!
I am truly blessed to have found a man like you.

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting My Fitness On


So I have decided that with the turning leaves of the fall, I am going to turn a new leaf myself.

I will be the very first person to admit that I have not worked out since maybe March of 2009. I don't know what my issue is, but I HATE going to the gym. The idea of coming home and changing, driving to the gym, sweating for an hour, and them coming home and cooking/cleaning/blogging sounds exhausting!

But today is a new day and I am going to really give it a go. I decided that my biggest issue is actually getting to the gym, so I have been browsing Pinterest all morning looking for at-home workouts that may solve my problem. I really want to focus on my arm, hips, stomach, and upper thighs (yeah, just realized its pretty much my whole body that needs some tuning up...) so here are some things I have found so far:

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What are your favorite at home workouts? Any favorite videos or websites that motivate you?

I don't have room for any work out equipment other than a set of weights, so I need to be creative!

XOXO Katie
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Slip into Something Comfy

I am on the hunt for a good "bridge shoe". Something that will take me from summer over to fall since I am not ready to break out the boots just yet.
I have been lusting over the slipper shoes out there, but as usual, my budget is pretty limited. But then I came across these super affordable options at none other than good old JCPenny.
Check it out...the top pic was my inspiration and below are my finds!

When was the last time I had even been into a JCPennys....1997 maybe? Who knew they still existed?! I am not sure if there is one close to me, but luckily these adorable shoes are available online. They range from $15-$40 so I am not feeling too guilty about that this little seasonal addition.

XOXO Katie

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rockin' the Rebel and Giveaway Winner!

I am so excited to break in my new toy!
My parents got me a Canon Rebel T3 for the big 2-8 and I could not be more excited to learn how to use this sucker.


Not gonna lie, it look me over an hour to figure out how to use the auto focus (clearly I had not figured it out before I took this pic), so please bear with me while I try to make sense of this thing.
I have started to look in to taking a class because I know how I want my photos look, but I don't know how to achieve it. So I will leave that to the professional and not even pretend that I can figure it out on my own.
Anyone else out there take a class to improve your blog photo skills? So many of you have stunning pics, so you must have learned it somewhere right?!
On another fun note, the winner of the leg warmer giveaway has been chosen:
Emily B.
powered by
Thank you everyone for participating and don't worry because there will be another giveaway coming up very shortly. So better luck next time!

XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just Like Taco Bell

We had a few days of rain last week and I just felt like snuggling up with the hubs, the kittens, and a something to fill my tummy up. Even though its still in the 80's during the day, the evenings are starting up cool off and my soup recipes are starting to come out of the woodwork.
I am sure Joey is appreciating that I am trying to add a few items into our dinner rotation because he recently referred to my cooking as "Just like Taco Bell." When I said, "Umm...what are you trying to tell me?" He said, " Your cooking is just like Taco Bell, as in its the same flavors but in different forms." Yeah, he poured himself a bowl of cereal that night...
After an evening of cereal and gummy worms, I decided to embrace this dubbed south of the border cooking style and dusted off one on my favorite recipes:
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1.5 Hours
4 cups fat free chicken stock
1Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup water
3 chicken breasts
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
4 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
3Tbs low fat cream cheese
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbs fat free sour cream
Start by cooking the chicken breast in a pan on the stove. When I am just cooking plain chicken that is unseasoned like that I put 1 Tbs olive oil in the pan and once it set a little sear going I add about 1/2 cup of water and put a lid on the pan. This helps speed up the cooking process and does not dry out the meat.
While chicken is cooking combine chicken broth, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a large soup pot. Turn heat on medium.
Cube the cooked chicken and add to the soup pot.
Cook on medium for 30 minutes so there is a very low boil. After 30 minutes turn it to low and add the black beans, corn, and cream cheese. Cover and cook on for another 30 minutes.

Chop cilantro and cut lime slices for garnish.
Dish it out with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of the cilantro and you are good to go! This soup is so yummy and really is pretty healthy considering its so filling.
Now the hubs better not call my cooking Taco Bell after this meal, and if he does then you know who will be going the dishes from here until FOREVER!
  **leg warmer giveaway ends tonight at 11:59PM!! So enter now, and the winner will be announced tomorrow!**

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flaunt Your Feathers

The moons collided with the great find that I had this weekend. I was walking around the block to our local market to buy an ingredient for my latest Pinterest inspired meal, and I stumbled upon small and somewhat...ahhem informal flea market on the lawn of our neighborhood recreation center. I have seen this group of characters there before and usually take a quick glance, but never find anything good. Unless you want a crude oil painting of JFK wearing clown costume to go above your fireplace. If so, then this flea market is for you.

Please note the bed pan in this pic- true gems here for sure :)
Well, after taking in the "interesting" array of goodies I came across a set of  gold aluminum peacocks that I knew just had to be mine. I knew the vendor was desperate when I had asked the price and she just replied with, "Well, make me an offer." Game on, Lady. And after pretending to look concerned about the flaking paint and one bent feather I blurted out, "Well, I have $5 dollars in my purse. So that's the best I can do....for both" And guess what?! She said "Then I guess I have no choice- $5 it is." Dunzo! These boys were mine!
They are now perched above the side table in our living room, which was screaming for some kind of sculptural work because another piece of art would have been too close to the botanical series above the couch.

I love the way the peacock image in carried out through interior design. It can go from traditional, to bohemian, to art deco so seamlessly. Considering the peacock represents rebirth, immortality, and love I am happy to have these statement pieces in my home.
Here are some other uses of the image that I just love...

I have been on the hunt for the last 2 years for a brass screen like the one above. I think it would look amazeballs in front of my faux fireplace that I installed forever ago! I am thinking that I need to suck it up and just order it on Ebay.

XOXO Katie

**Just a reminder the leg warmer giveaway still open for entries- so enter now because there are only 2 days left until the winner is announced!**
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Rules, Shmules...

So I have a confession. I am such a cheapo that I had been holding off buying any clothes (other than my thrift store finds) for the last few months because I knew once labor day hit everything would go on super sale. I went the whole summer lusting over a classic pair of white skinny jeans and finally caved when they were on super sale at Old Navy. They were 30% off, plus I bought them through Ebates which gave me an additional 5% cash back. So all in all, I was at $23ish all in. Yep, I am that cheap...
Here is the dilemma, I ordered them with enough time to wear them at least once before the "no white after labor day" deadline, but I was a dumb butt and entered the wrong shipping zip code on my order. So it was no surprise that when my delivery date came and went, Old Navy customer service said "No problem, we will reship those to you but please allow 9 to 12 business days for redelivery." Poops:(
Then after some inner reflection and realizing that this was serious #firstworldproblems, I decided,  "Skrew it!" I am wearing these suckers as long as I want. So sue me! I totally think that white pants can be transitioned into a fall look with no problemo.
Here are a few looks that I pulled together to demonstrate that I am thinking for my white skinnys this season.

 **Just a reminder the leg warmer giveaway still open for entries- so enter now because there are only 3 days left until the winner is announced!**
XOXO Katie
**Only 3 more days to enter the leg warmer giveaway !!**
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