Hi there! I’m Kara.
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Hi! Here are some things I bought that I love:
Full Disclosure: I purchased these from my favorite Springfield resale store for like $20. Mine are the crop version (which are full length for me #stubbylegs) and I think they run big, but they are AWESOME. A 9″ rise sounds intimidating but doesn’t feel crazy high and allows me to bend over without showing any crack. They have a good amount of stretch and hold their shape well. And they have reminded me that I need to stop buying cheapo Old Navy jeans because these are SO MUCH BETTER.
I bought this sweater (in white) on Amazon and it’s super cute and super cheap. I wear mine with pants. I got a medium and it’s delightfully oversized.
I also found this sweater at the same consignment store. (Seriously, this store is the best thing about Springfield.) Full price is way more than I would pay but I miiiight have only paid $20 for it.
And finally I purchased the NY Times basic digital subscription for $15/month because it is SO IMPORTANT to know what’s going on right now. And in a time of “fake news” and “alternate facts,” supporting journalists and the free press is well worth it.
One thing that didn’t change is my love of Target and HELLO because it is like the only store in Springfield. (There is ONE Target in Springfield, which I was originally very judgey about, but apparently nobody in Springfield buys the good stuff so ALL THE CLEARANCE FOR ME.)
Anyway, this is amazing and I just ordered it and I wish I ordered it 5-7 days ago so it would already be hanging in my house.
I promise to take pictures of it in my house because this stock image is so pathetic.
Hi! Remember how I had a blog? That was fun. And then I took a no-shopping pledge that effectively killed it? That was dumb. Also, ineffective.
But! Lots has happened since then. We moved from St. Louis to Springfield, IL, for Josh’s job. The move allows me to work remotely. My girls keep getting too big, and E is walking and kind of talking/mostly screaming and B is smart and sweet and obsessed with wearing a robe and slippers that make her look like a tiny Hugh Hefner. Gary is old AF. I’ve gotten to decorate a new house and explore a new city…er, town.
A move that I thought would be terrible is actually not. MOSTLY BECAUSE OF MY AMAZING WALK-IN CLOSET. And also, you know, my family’s happiness.
Since moving to Springfield, I have become even more of an avid online shopper because the shopping options here make St. Louis look like the fashion capital of the world. And I keep running into deals and thinking “that would be a good blog post.” So – here’s what. I’m not going to try to post everyday. I’m not going to try to make a billion dollars on my blog. (ha. ha ha ha ha.) No strict rules, except I’ll try not to forget to pay for my domain this time. But really, no promises.
Are you underwhelmed yet? Great!
A very good friend just got very good news that is going to require her to dress like the #girlboss that she is. She’s in a semi-earthy/creative field, but she is very young to have landed such a big role. So – how to be professional, but still seem hip and cool?
We decided that she needs A Thing. You know how Madeleine Albright wears brooches? That sort of thing. She already has a pretty good collection of cool-girl Madewell jewelry, so I think her Thing should be “minimalist jewelry in earthy metals.” Bonus points if it looks like it might kill somebody.
For clothing, I focused on pieces that felt pulled-together without being overly formal. I’m into the vest-instead-of-jacket look for summer. Plus, her job requires her to be outdoors a lot and I don’t want her getting the sweats.
You guys. Target is ripping off Anthropologie hardcore.
I have also been exploring this sketchy Chinese website called AliExpress.com (found from this Emily Henderson post) and they also have this suit for $15 but are clearly stealing Anthro’s product picture. I, being a huge cheapo, decided to take my chances on it. It’s shipping from China. I’ll let you know when/if I get it.
And then there’s also this wrap style, which comes back every year and gets yuuuuuuuge (said in my best Donald Trump voice) ratings.
Anthropologie: $118 (Anthro has this in a few prints every year)
One: Armadillo lamp.
Two: Anne-Marie Slaughter seems to always get it right. #workingmom
Three: These cute Steve Madden fringe boots for $27!
Four: My increased interest in old lady shoes. (See also: That time I harassed the girl at Banana Republic until she admitted that her cute shoes were Dansko.)
Five: These weird-but-awesome pleather pants I bought at the above trip to Banana. (They were $12 in store!)
Six: Free Valentine’s Day printables.
Seven: Ice Cream For Breakfast Day is Saturday.
Eight: I bought B a pair of Frozen slippers for, like, $3 at Target last week and she is obsessed with them. Wears them to bed – to sleep! – every night. Kind of wish I would have gotten something cooler, like these.
Nine: These always make me want to repaint.
Ten: Is it summer yet? This suit is really cute if you are very comfortable with your bikini line. VERY comfortable.
These gold fish (goldfish?) are $12 at CB2 and I want a school of them.
(The title of this post is inspired by this amazing shirt that Josh got B.)
One: This cool-girl coat.
Two: This important article in the New York Times calling for depression screenings before and after pregnancy. (YES.)
Three: These ridiculously chic, gender-neutral nurseries. (Via Elements of Style)
Four: Kind of obsessed with this crib bedding set by Oh Joy for Target.
Five: That time when only female lawmakers showed up to work during a snowstorm.
Seven: Also love this peplum cami.
Eight: One of my favorite St. Louis events, the Beggin’ Pet Parade, is this weekend – and it looks like even the weather gods love dogs in costumes.
Nine: I realize this is a random addition, but we just installed this ceiling fan in our bedroom. I was ardently anti-ceiling fan until I realized there was NO AIR MOVEMENT and I hate to sweat. This ceiling fan doesn’t look like it came straight from 1999 and it has a remote, which somehow makes me feel like I am a fancy adult.
Ten: Cute earrings.
I am not a cook. Not even close. I am famous for the following crockpot recipe:
Kara’s Crockpot Baked Potato
Ingredients: One potato
Directions: Put one potato* in crockpot. Turn crockpot on. Wait six to eight hours. Remove potato. Eat.
*You can modify this recipe by adding more than one potato.
Wait, should this be a food blog?!
My single-sex high school prided itself on not offering “home ec” classes, so I am illiterate in the ways of homemaking, even though my mom is a phenomenal cook and can put any bakery to shame. Josh, who is a pretty good cook, says that I am too ambitious when I decide to try to cook. I hate doing things I’m not good at, so I don’t cook.
But it’s time to Adult.
I’ve found a couple crockpot meals to master so I’m not only serving my kids stuff from the frozen food section of Trader Joe’s.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Loin
Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Loin Recipe:
(Recipe from Design Times Four)
3 lb. boneless pork loin or tenderloin
16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Place roast in a slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over roast. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Remove roast, slice and serve.
*You can also add a little water and cornstarch to the juices left in your slow cooker if you wish to make a gravy.
Slow Cooker Coconut Basil Chicken
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
14 oz. lite canned coconut milk
2 cups basil
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped (or more to taste)
1 jalapenos, chopped (or more to taste)
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- Add the coconut milk, basil, ginger, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, turmeric, cumin, curry powder, salt, pepper, and cinnamon to a blender. Blend until combined.
- Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Pour the sauce over top. Cook for 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
PREP: 5 MINS COOK: 15 MINS TOTAL: 20 MINS
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds beef (I used a boneless chuck roast)
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (if you want extra flavor/heat, add an extra pepper)
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Flour tortillas
Possible taco toppings:
- guacamole http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/perfect-guacamole/ or sliced avocado
- salsa http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/restaurant-style-salsa-recipe/
- Mexican rice
- grated cheese
- fresh lettuce
- lime wedges
Whisk together the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and diced onion to the saute pan. Saute for an additional 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the beef stock and stir the pan to deglaze it, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add tomato paste and minced chipotle, and whisk into the pan sauce until combined. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a 3-5 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Pour the pan sauce down over the beef in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until the beef shreds easily.
Shred the beef with two forks, and toss to coat with any of the remaining juices. Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.
Yes, another Target post. Last weekend I declared that going to Target alone is one of life’s greatest joys, and I am not backing down from that. Here’s some cute new stuff:
One: There are very, very similar boxes from Crate & Barrel for, like, $50. Buy these. They are so cute and affordable.
Two: This is marked down to $35, so it’s probably gonna go fast if it’s not already gone. I keep trying to find a spot for this in one of my bathrooms but the reality is that my bathrooms are small. My friend Jen has something similar in her big, luxurious bathroom and I am eternally jealous that our bathrooms can’t match.
Three: I’m obsessed with this. Less than $100, and looks like it would add a lot of texture and interest in any room. Hoping it would work at the end of the bed we just ordered.
Four: Ordered these. Brass ram bookends? Yes.
Five: Saw this in store and it looks so much more expensive than it is. But – it’s kinda too small for a traditional coffee table and a little low to be a side table, so I can’t figure out how to use it. If you live in a small space or are more creative than I am, get it. Now. Plus, it’s under $100.
Six: I obviously love a bench.
Seven: I, um, also own this. It goes perfectly in our living room and it is big enough and adds more interest and texture than framed pictures or art. It apparently doesn’t photograph that well because it looks a lot better in person. Josh even likes it and he is mostly anti-rug-wall.
Eight: This is in Target’s patio collection. It’s way cute for outside, but wait for it to go on sale. You know it will.