October 31, 2013

Recipe: Gluten Free Cinnamon Oat Baked Apples

I saw this pin on Pinterest and knew right away I was going to make this but in a gluten free version. I would have also made it dairy free if it was just for me and the kids, but we were heading to a dinner party so I decided to make it GF only. (I'll add the dairy free version below too!)

Here is what you'll need: 
  • 4 gala apples
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup pecans (optional)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs apple juice
  • Whipped cream (optional) 

  • *For dairy free use Willow Run Soybean Margarine by Shedd's in place of the butter and Greek yogurt made with almond milk
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  1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine oats and pecans with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Spread out on a baking sheet in a thin layer and bake for 4-6 minutes until golden and toasted. Remove and set aside. Reduce oven temp to 325.
  2. Rinse and core the apples, but make sure not to cut through the bottom of the apple. You can use an apple corer or a paring knife. Make sure seeds are removed as well (scoop out with spoon)
  3. In a bowl combine oat-pecan mixture with brown sugar, yogurt , melted butter and cinnamon. Spoon mixture into the cavity of each apple. Place apples in an 8X8 inch baking dish. Pour apple juice in the bottom of dish.
  4. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes until tender (not mushy). Top with whipped cream or ice cream and serve.

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Here is the finished product: 
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In the end I totally forgot to top them with whip cream (it's still in your freezer Kaitlyn), but they were darn good either way.
I can't wait to make them again for my kids between now and Thanksgiving. They were good, but I can do better. ;)

What do you think? Have you ever tried oat baked apples? 

Happy Halloween! 

October 30, 2013

Outfit: This Dress was Made for Twirling

 photo ccfdecc5-1d01-401e-8f44-48bc7a25f657_zpsf4ffa2a7.jpg  photo a83c0502-07cd-48d3-9f6a-42aeb25a73c5_zps2fbc33d0.jpg  photo 1731f1be-3019-434c-8c96-da7b963c6958_zps3036d409.jpg  photo 2137e2ae-503b-4bb4-9391-535fb1d3471c_zpsc82b8815.jpg 
This dress is from my October Golden Tote and I couldn't be more happy about it.
Not only is it a great layering piece for fall through spring, but it's a great twirling dress as well!
You know the kind, you put it on and all you want to do is spin in it. 

On this day the wind picked up mid photo shoot and I ended up with some cool twirl in the wind photos. ;) 
 photo 0e7fc2ef-cdfa-4866-9798-fb77acf86ecb_zps2f968cc2.jpg  photo 9000783d-1daf-4dba-b346-ec3f48171b61_zps6901281c.jpg  photo 8031e588-b8fe-4753-b63c-c2ca145a250f_zpsebc0319e.jpg  photo f486d462-a451-4562-8319-420cddf1626f_zps9db0d92c.jpg
Dress: Golden Tote // Shoes: c/o Sole Society // Scarf: Loft // Belt: ASOS // Watch: Fossil // Bag: c/o Just Fab // Ring: T+J Designs

What do you think? 
Are you a fan of dresses that you can have a good twirl in? 

October 29, 2013

Outfit: Is That You Lisa?

Three years ago when I first saw people wearing sneaker wedges, I swore I would NEVER try them. Not my style, not something I thought I would like, and why wear sneakers if you're not at the gym? Well, never say never right?! 

Here is how I styled my new sneaker wedges:
 photo c5a82a36-c454-410c-b838-a1ff4dcb9e62_zpsabe80b61.jpg  photo 5ac257e7-0bd8-404c-843a-6d12c688e0fb_zps1690a250.jpg  photo 4d48a37d-5fe7-432c-a071-a16cf0969d21_zps3cf64860.jpg

OK, they are not that bad. I even like them a little (they were definitely cozy). 
I think the outfit would have been just as cute with a pair of ankle boots, but it was fun to get out of my box a bit and try a trend I had sworn off. 

 photo jewelry_zpsdc4709a6.jpg  photo 535942c6-6cd8-4f23-83b6-4574b632f4fc_zps601a79e5.jpg  photo 8578874f-a06f-44fb-a6ab-c94f9d6c2b08_zpsc2457fe6.jpg
Knit: Victoria's Secret // Jeans: Old Navy // Shoes: Target // Hat & Bag: Piperlime // Necklace & Bow Ring (coming soon): T+J Designs // Bracelet: House of Gemmes // Chain Bracelet: c/o Sole Society // Watch & Belt: Fossil // Stackable Rings: Shop Jules 

What do you think?
Do you wear sneaker wedges? Do you ever try trends you swore you would never try?

October 25, 2013

A Healthier way to Live

Since having children, my quest to live a healthier life has become more and more important me and my family. 
After my son was diagnosed with autism 2 and 1/2 years ago we learned a lot and made tons of dietary changes. We have followed a bio-medical path and introduced many vitamins and minerals that have brought us to our current path for him and for us.

Now, my focus continues to be on my sons health and healing, but I'm am branching out if you will and looking to improve my entire families health and well being. 

Enter my new segment, A Healthier Way to Live.

Today I share with you two simple changes to eliminate chemicals both in your home and on your body. 

1) A simple way to clean and get rid of sink/garbage disposal odor. 

OK, who had seen the movie The Banger Sisters (circa 2002)? 
In the wise words of Susan Sarandon to Goldie Hawn "lemons eliminate odder Suzette!" (If you know this quote, we are best friends ;) 
She's right though, it totally works! 
Simply cut up a lemon and put it down your disposal and ta da, odor gone! Plus I'm pretty sure cutting the rind on the lemon sharpens your blades so double win. 
You DO want to make sure you cut the lemon up though, not trying to break your garbage disposal. 

2) Deodorant. 
Stop putting that crap under your arms!!! It can cause severe harm to the human nervous system and will inevitably lead to cancer or neurological problems (such as Alzheimer's disease). You can learn more about that here

So what is our other option? No deodorant? Let yourself smell and sweat? I'm going hippie on you guys, but not that hippie! ;) 

Then I discovered Schmidt's deodorant. Here is what it looks like: 
 photo Schmidtsdeodorant_zpsbccf0f88.jpg
You take a pea size amount and using your fingers apply to each under arm. 
This stuff is AMAZING! Like life changing! 

Before this, I used Degree AND the clinical strength Dove. Yes, both. I would apply the clinical strength in the morning and degree in the afternoon. I have always put deodorant on twice a day. 
I run around all day between kids and work stuff, do yoga some days, and attend events some nights. My days generally run 14-17 hours on my feet 7 days a week.

I still apply twice a day with this brand, but not only does the lavender smell calm me down a bit, I don't feel like I smell or am too sweaty! 
It's only $8 so you can't say your reason for not switching is the price. 

I did keep my degree in case I have a big event and I'm scared to put this stuff to the test, but wearing the bad stuff one day vs twice a day may have just saved my life. 
And now I've saved yours. 
You're welcome. xo

Does anyone know of any other great organic and natural deodorants that actually work?
Does anyone have any questions for the next time I run this segment?

October 24, 2013

Dressing To Music: Lorde- Tennis Courts

Two weeks ago I dressed to music to another Lorde song. 
This record is so good I just had to share another of my favorites! This entire record is in heavy rotation at my house right now and we have been having lots of Lorde dance parties with the kids. ;)  

Here is the look I styled as I danced around my room to the song Tennis Courts. 

 photo 0e69208d-c8a3-4b8f-ae41-882eb4d1ed06_zps2dcc3641.jpg  photo c2ca9215-8e36-4f7c-ad02-b937024f6f54_zps7086cb7d.jpg  photo outfitpost_zps9e6986ec.jpg  photo 6826d8ee-7e27-420f-8178-11f2b93986ff_zpsa3d186d4.jpg  photo 05865b60-5541-4271-b407-74ae60ace627_zps4daeddef.jpg
Knit: Golden Tote // Denim: Loft // Boots: c/o Sole Society // Tee: Victoria's Secret // Necklace: c/o Lotus Blossom Design // Ring: T+J Designs (coming soon) // Bag: Piperlime // Gold band: Kohls 

I love layering high-low hem knits with jean leggings for fall. It's so easy yet looks put together. 

What do you think? 
Are you a Lorde fan? Do you like my jewelry (both snake items will be available soon!)?

October 23, 2013

Outfit: Family Time at the Forest Preserve

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One of the great things about living in the mid-west is that there are forest preserves EVERYWHERE around us. We have about 10 in a 5 mile radius so my family loves to sneak away and have a picnic, go for a bike ride, or walk as many weekends as we can.

Fall is a great time to do this because the deer are always out and the leafs are just so darn pretty! 
On this day we had a picnic and went on a nature walk. To finish off our time the kids ran like crazy people all over the giant field. Ah, fresh air and nature....LOVE IT!

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Jacket & Shirt: Golden Tote // Jeans: Old Navy // Boots & Bag: c/o Just Fab // Necklace: swap w/ Kaitlyn // Sunnies: Prada 

The weather was in the upper 50's but when the sun was not out, boy did it feel cold.
I layered up two of my new Golden Tote items for a simple but cute fall outfit.

Here is what Ryan wore:
 photo 91952f6a-e34c-4961-8c8b-e014cc4179aa_zpse6dc34eb.jpg  photo d9a4071d-c060-44f5-b4cc-0293d5fc5fe6_zps2a55d206.jpg  photo 5fc7c6c5-184a-4f50-8a40-398c4d91d5ec_zpsf43f3108.jpg
Top: JC Penny // Jeans: 7 for all Mankind // Shoes: Sketchers // Coat: Dockers // Sunnies: Ray Ban

I love this look. 
Menswear is so great because if he ditched the sketchers and put on a dress shoes he would be good for a date or casual day at work. 
My husband is really great at mixing and matching his work clothes with his weekend wear by layering and switching the bottom half of the look.

What can I say, I'm not the only one with a sense of style in this household! ;)
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The kids loved walking through the woods on a trail we found. 
We collected a few new leafs for our fall centerpiece and boy did they sleep good that night. 

What do you do on the weekends?
Ever go to local forest preserves and just take in the scenery? 

October 22, 2013

T+J Designs Sample Sale & Spring Line Preview Party

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Top: Kristin Hassan (coming soon) // Jeans: Mother Denim via Hautelook // Blazer: Piperlime // Earrings: Loft // Boots: c/o Sole Society // Bag: Shoedazzle 

This past Thursday we (Kaitlyn and myself) headed to Chicago to attend a jewelry sample sale and spring line preview for T+J Designs
This was a no brainier as I love all things jewelry and when I heard there was a $5 table there was no stopping me! 

Here are a few shots from the party: 
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Left: Spring line, Right: New styles and $5 table 
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Top Row: Spring designs, Johanna from 101 Things I love, Kaitlyn & myself of Sisters Marie, & Jennifer of Red Soles & Red Wine (also Co-Owner of T+J Designs)
Bottom row: What I walked away with, some more items on sale

We had so much fun. What's not to love about food, champagne, and on sale jewelry?! ;) 

Head over to the Sisters Marie Blog today to see Kaitlyn's outfit details and more photos from our night in Chicago. 

Are you as big of a T+J Designs fan as I am?  

October 21, 2013

Outfit: Channeling Zooey Deschanel

 photo bf214455-357d-4b94-8c3c-19a750a5aaff_zps78b0c675.jpg  photo 02227122-ba92-453e-b467-99bdeec18588_zps71443925.jpg  photo 4d71ab13-c7db-4500-9fee-3dfead984ca0_zps63a59a78.jpg 
I recently won a $200 gift card to Anastasia Chatzka (a local Chicago designer) on the Chicago Chic Blog. SCORE!!!! 
I was so excited I ordered the Lolo dress the very next day! 
It's the perfect amount of vintage and super girly with the tutu like bottom.
Since the dress is very girly I decided to give it a bit of edge by adding the studded clutch and faux lather jacket.

As soon as I came down the stairs for my date night in, my hubby says "hello Zooey!". After looking at the photos, I agree. I had a Zooey moment. ;)
 photo fe4341bc-23c1-41d5-b718-c653b09c697b_zpsd4ab306e.jpg  photo jewerly_zpsaa04247d.jpg  photo 506e42e1-85ec-441b-93cd-1fb38526b42f_zpscc7762e1.jpg  photo 64d5f466-0b2a-49cd-aaca-ab58441b2eef_zps24a9d436.jpg
Dress: Anastasia Chatzka Lolo Dress // Jacket: Sheinside // Shoes & Clutch: c/o Just Fab // Necklace: House of Gemmes (coming soon) // Watch: Fossil // Large Ring: Lili Claspe // Bracelet: Swap w/ Kaitlyn (Baublebar) // Sunnies: Prada 

I am obsessed with this outfit. I love how pretty I felt in the dress and I love how my new House of Gemmes necklace paired with it. 
I can't wait to wear this beauty again this holiday season. 

What do you think? 

October 19, 2013

A Saturday Night Out with Rep. David McSweeney

Please Join Representative David McSweeney for a Saturday Night Out on Wool Street in Barrington next Saturday October 26th 2013. 

Wool Street
128 S. Wool St. • Barrington, IL 60010

Featured Speaker: WLS-AM 890 Radio Host Dan Proft
Special Guest: Senator Dan Duffy

$35/person or $50/couple - Complimentary light appetizers and beverages (beer, wine, and soda) will be served. Cash bar available.

RSVPs via email to David@DavidMcSweeney.com are appreciated. Payments at the door are accepted.

(A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.)

October 18, 2013

Because I Shop Too Much Fall Photo Shoot

Myself and Kaitlyn (of Sisters Marie) recently took photos with Neil Pili Photography in Chicago for our website Because I Shop Too Much

Here are a few of my favorites: 
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Click here to see outfit details for both myself and Kaitlyn.
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Click here for outfit details, My hair done by Jacquelyn Marie

We also shot our first ever behind the scenes video with Matt VanGronigen

This was such a fun day and I just love the finished products! 

What do you think? What's your favorite look?
Do you like our video?