Quilted Florals

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Quilting is not just found on classic Chanel handbags anymore. The trendy texture is on everything this fall, from leggings and skirts to leather jackets and cardigans. This quilted crop top initially caught my eye because of the gray floral pattern with a hint of pink, but the final selling point was the fun, feminine texture.

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I love the juxtaposition of a feminine item paired with something edgy, so I balanced out the girly top with a leather skirt and caged sandals. To accessorize, I added some simple studs and basic black purse.

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Top: Nordstrom (Savvy)

Skirt: Kohl’s

Caged Sandals: DV by Dolce Vita

Links and Leather

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One of my favorite finds at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is this mixed metal necklace. I’m a sucker for statement necklaces and loved the edgy, yet feminine look of this stand-out accessory. The pastel stones soften the heavy-metal look of the chain links, creating a modern necklace that can instantly glam up an outfit.

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I wanted the mixed-media necklace to be the focus of my ensemble, so I paired it with a simple white tee. Staying with the edgy look, I finished the outfit with a leather skirt and lace-up booties. It’s a great feeling when you piece together an outfit that makes you feel confident and that is exactly what this outfit did for me.

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Caramel Apple Bread

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I’m a little late in posting this since apples and pumpkins have been replaced by peppermint and gingerbread, but I still wanted to share this fall flavored bread. Reminiscent of the childhood treat, this recipe takes the classic caramel apple and transforms it into a dessert grownups and kids can enjoy. Since there was left over batter, I also made a few muffins, which were just as tasty! The soft, moist bread with a caramelized crust is the perfect combination of textures.

Speaking of apples, congrats to my Washington huskies for winning the Apple Cup! Beating WSU never gets old.

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Ingredients:

For the batter:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups apples, chopped (I used Granny Smith)
For the toppings:
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold
  • caramel sauce
How to:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray loaf pan with canola oil.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and lime juice. Let foam until dissolved, then add to butter mixture. Mix in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour and salt until batter has thickened. Use your hands to mix in the chopped apples. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cinnamon, flour and brown sugar. Use a pasty blender to cut in the butter. Combine until crumbly.
  5. Spread half of the batter into pan (should be 1/4 full). Sprinkle with crumb mixture and drizzle caramel sauce. Top with remaining batter, crumbs and drizzle caramel sauce on top. *Be careful to not fill the pan more than half full because otherwise it will be hard to bake all the way through
  6. Bake for 40-60 minutes until toothpick comes out mostly clean (except for caramel). Cool on wire rack.

Tuesday Trends: Thanksgiving Edition

Only two more days until Thanksgiving! Time to eat, drink and be merry! Check out my favorite turkey day trends for decorating, dressing and dining.

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DIY banners are a fun decoration for any occasion, especially when made with pretty ribbons and beautiful calligraphy. Burlap banners, which have also been popular on Pinterest, add country charm and are a favorite of mine. This dessert table from Paddington Way, complete with a DIY pom pom garland and several tiered cake stands, is a simple, stylish way to serve sweet treats this Thanksgiving.  Hello, mini pumpkin pies!

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For a trendy twist on this traditional fall decoration, try DIY chevron pumpkins from My Sweet Savannah. With a little bit of paint and patience, this front porch staple is transformed from simple to stylish.

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Whether you are spending your turkey day at a fancy soirée or at home dining with your family, you can’t go wrong with a simple dress paired with a sparkly statement necklace. The tailoring and conservative style of this leather dress, found on ador.com, make it look classy and feminine. A statement necklace and simple cross-body bag are the perfect accessories for this polished, sophisticated look.

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Nailed it! This color-block mani featured on NailPop will match any Thanksgiving outfit. The jewel tones topped with gold studs  create a glamorous look and are perfect for fall. b974d59a22a878f6ecb6b8e00c862c29

Give thanks this Thanksgiving with customized place mats. This simple DIY project doubles as decoration and a fun activity. What am I thankful for? My family, friends, health and job, just to name a few. Plus fashion, food, Pinterest… the list could go on and on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall Breakfast Medley

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You’ll fall for this Fall Breakfast Medley. Made with maple sausage, sweet potatoes and caramelized apples, it’s the perfect sweet and salty breakfast for a crisp, fall morning. It’s quick and easy to make, so weekend mornings can be spent watching football and lounging on the couch instead of working away in the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package of Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Maple Roll Sausage (8 ounces)
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 small Gala apples, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs, fried or scrambled

How-to:

  1. Cook sausage as directed on package with the onion. Drain and set aside.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in medium saucepan and cover with water by about one inch. Stir in 1 tsp. of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10-12 minutes until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in sugar until combined and the sugar starts to dissolve. Add apples and cook for 8-10 minutes (stirring frequently), until tender and golden brown. It should start to smell caramelized. Set aside on low heat to keep warm.
  4. Drain potatoes and combine with sausage mixture and apples. Mix well and top with eggs.

 

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce

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Pumpkin and pasta – the ultimate comfort foods for fall. I’m trying to make every last pumpkin recipe on my to-cook list before eggnog, gingerbread and peppermint season arrive in full force. If you’re a Starbucks fan, you know that this season arrived on Nov. 1. Hello, red cups! This means time is running out, so here is a delicious dish that uses my favorite fall flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can pumpkin 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

How-to:

  1. For the ravioli dough: In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour and salt. In a small bowl (or measuring cup) mix water and eggs. Add to flour mixture and stir until incorporated. Knead the dough until firm. It shouldn’t be too sticky, so add additional flour until it doesn’t stick to your hands. Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for one hour.
  2. For pumpkin filling: In a medium-sized bowl, mix together pumpkin, brown sugar and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To assemble ravioli: Unwrap ravioli dough and place on floured working area (I floured parchment paper and taped it to the countertop). Use a floured rolling pin to roll out dough until very thin. Use a ravioli cutter (or pizza slicer) to cut dough into 2″ x 2″ squares. Place about one tablespoon of filling in the middle of one square. Place another square over it and use a fork to press the edges together. Repeat until you run out of dough (makes about 25).
  4. To cook ravioli: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add ravioli and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. To make brown butter sauce: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter begins to brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Add ravioli and gently stir until coated. Serve on plates and sprinkle with pecans. Enjoy :)

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

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Breakfast never tasted so sweet. This fluffy, fall-flavored pancake is perfect for a lazy weekend morning. There’s nothing better than a cozy, fall day complete with sleeping in and cooking a delectable breakfast (or brunch). This recipe for pumpkin pancakes is simple, quick and tasty. Now turn on some football, curl up under a plush, plaid blanket and enjoy :) 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used non-fat)
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

How-to:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture just until combined. If it’s really lumpy, try lightly stirring with a whisk.
  2. Spray a griddle or frying pan with cooking spray and heat to 250-300F. Pour spoonful of batter onto griddle. When the batter starts to bubble and the bottom is lightly browned, flip to cook the other side. Once cooked all the way through, take off griddle or frying pan and serve with butter and maple syrup. Makes about four generous servings. 

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Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili

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The best way to warm up this season? Chili! This hearty, healthy dinner is perfect for a frosty fall night. The combo of sweet potatoes, black beans and avocado make for a flavorful twist on this classic dish. Light the fire, cuddle on the couch  with a cozy blanket and eat up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (29 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 32 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Sour cream

How to:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft and beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and oregano until combined.
  3. Add black beans, vegetable stock and sweet potato chunks. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in quinoa. Continue cooking for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa and potatoes are fully cooked and chili has thickened.
  5. Pour into bowls and top with sliced avocado and a dollop of sour cream. Makes about 6 servings.

Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

20131020-145343‘Tis the season for squash! Butternut, acorn, spaghetti… I love them all! I also love that one spaghetti squash makes so much “pasta.” Hello, leftovers for lunch! This recipe could easily feed four people. It’s tasty and simple to make – perfect for a weeknight dinner. If this meal makes your mouth water, you might also enjoy my recipe for spaghetti squash with pumpkin sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used fat-free)
  • 1 Tbsp. cream cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and warm
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a paring knife or fork, poke holes into whole squash. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 – 20 minutes. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Use a fork to gently scrape the spaghetti strands into center.
  3. Time for the sauce! Melt butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour and stir for another minute. Whisk in milk until no lumps remain. Add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon sauce equally into each spaghetti squash half. Gently fold it in to coat spaghetti squash. Stir in cooked chicken. Top with extra Parmesan and place under broiler of oven for 2-3 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

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Fall Fashion Show with Lili Boutique

20131020-150830.jpgOne of my favorite work events to attend is Fabrik Fridays, a weekly fashion show at SHe by Morton’s. The runway winding through the dining room of this stylish steakhouse plays host to fashionable collections from local boutiques and designers.  Lili Boutique recently opened in Las Vegas and put on a great show! With gorgeous dresses, trendy accessories and fresh designs, Vegas fashionistas are in for a treat. 20131020-150835.jpgLeather is my favorite trend this fall. The mesh cutouts on these leggings make them extra edgy. Complete the look with a high-low graphic tank or t-shirt and some studded accessories. 20131020-150841.jpgSHe’s bringing sexy back. With black lace and an open back, this stunning dress is perfect for a date night or bachelorette party on the Strip!20131020-150849.jpgStatement necklaces can take a dress from simple to super-stylish in no time. Toss on a sparkly, Peter Pan-style necklace for instant fashion flare. Heeled booties will also take the look to new heights. 20131020-150854.jpgDon’t put your shorts away just yet! The blush and nude tones of this outfit make this summer style  autumn appropriate.20131020-150900.jpgChunky, tribal print sweaters are everywhere this season! With so many colors and patterns, it’s hard to decide on just one! They pair perfectly with dresses or leggings. 20131020-150907.jpgBlack and white is always chic. The sheer sleeves and plunging neckline is subtly sexy. A black and white mini skirt is very versatile and can be worn with black tights when temperatures start dropping.20131020-150924.jpgI think we can all agree that wearing white after Labor Day is a fashion faux pas of the past. This lovely lace dress looks stylish in any season.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I’ll admit it. I cheated. But I couldn’t resist this cupcake mix from Williams-Sonoma! My friends know that I love cupcakes, baking and pumpkin, so this was one of the best birthday presents that I received last year! I finally got around to making them (51 weeks later…), but it was worth the wait! These cupcakes taste homemade, which is the ultimate compliment for a boxed mix. The moist and fluffy cupcakes are so flavorful and pair perfectly with the suggested recipe for cream cheese frosting. The classic fall flavor can’t be beat.

20131014-204315.jpgI also found these adorable cupcake liners at Home Goods, which are cute and functional! What’s really cool about them is that they are sturdy enough to fill with batter and cook on a cookie sheet instead of a muffin pan, which can be messy and overflow making it hard to get the cupcakes out. Plus the pink chevron and scalloped edges are so fun – looks like a sweet treat from a retro bakery!

Below is the recipe for cream cheese frosting from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and beat for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and no lumps of sugar are visible. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Fall in Washington

You can’t beat fall in Washington. Living in Las Vegas has made me appreciate it even more. It’s hard to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks when it is still 80 degrees outside or carve pumpkins to put outside your front door when there are palm trees in your yard. Plus the selection of pumpkins and fresh produce can’t compare. When I took a trip home in September I made sure to stop by Snohomish where fall was definitely in the air! Below are a few photos from my trip that I wanted to share. Hope they help everyone get into the seasonal spirit :)

20131006-115614.jpgMy boyfriend wanted to buy his mom some Honeycrisp apples for her birthday, so we went on an apple hunt and were very successful. It was so fun to see the farm houses, fields and fresh produce. 20131006-115629.jpgAnother favorite feature of fall? Wearing boots!! 20131006-115648.jpgPretty pumpkins :) 20131006-115827.jpgI see apple pie in my future… 20131006-115956.jpg

20131006-120058.jpgA cozy blanket, pumpkin spice latte and Daisie curled up on my lap is the perfect morning!20131006-120658.jpg

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20131006-120810.jpgI love the small town feel of downtown Snohomish. Complete with cute cupcake shops, trendy boutiques and adorable home decor stores, I could walk up and down the riverside main street for hours.

Happy Fall! 

 

Overnight Baked French Toast

20130914-112913There’s nothing like a fall morning in Washington with a pumpkin spice latte in hand, my dog curled up on my lap and the Huskies on TV. This baked french toast was just the icing on the cake! My mom made this breakfast for me when I made a trip home last month. It was the perfect start to the day – and an amazing trip!

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread (or different dense bread, but not pre-sliced sandwich bread!)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (cold, cut into pieces)

How-to:

  1. Grease a 9×13 pan with butter. Tear bread into bite-sized pieces and create an even layer at the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour evenly over bread. Cover with foil or cling wrap and place in fridge for several hours or overnight.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixed and crumbly. Transfer to Ziplock bag and store in fridge until ready to bake.
  4. Rise and shine! Take pan and topping out of fridge. Preheat oven to 350F. Uncover and press down on bread with spatula to completely coat with egg mixture. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the top.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cover with foil if the top starts to get too brown. (It will be softer and more like pudding when you bake it for less time and will have a perfectly crisp top when baked for the full hour)
  6. Serve with syrup and powdered sugar.
  7. Store leftovers in fridge and reheat in microwave for breakfast the next day!

Bootie, Bootie, Booties Rockin’ Everywhere!

Must-have fall footwear? Booties! From edgy to girly and classic to country, these chic shoes work with any style. Here are my picks for the top booties of the season.

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Studded. For the tough girl or girly girl, these booties from Target are the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. For an edgy look, pair with leather leggings and an oversized graphic sweatshirt. To soften up the studs, pair with a feminine, floral dress.

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Cut-outs aren’t just for dresses and tops anymore. Booties are hot on their heels with this trendy look. Dress them down with denim or up with a classic LBD. LuLu*s has a vast selection of sexy shoes, including these nude heels.

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Photo Source: Style Caster

Leopard print. Take a walk on the wild side with this stand-out style. It’s important to keep your outfit simple when you wear a statement shoe. Chic skinnies, an oversized top and minimal accessories make the fancy footwear the focal point of your ensemble.

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Lace adds instant country charm. This pair from Francesca’s is the ultimate in cowboy chic. They would look adorable with a girly skirt and chambray top.

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Metal accents, such as the toe and buckles on these REPORT Signature booties from Nordstrom, add a fancy, sophisticated touch to simple shoes.

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Peep Toe. Make sure to have on pretty polish with this contemporary cut! I got this pair from Nordstrom during the Anniversary Sale. They go with everything and add instant style to a basic dress or skinny jeans.

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Oxford and menswear are also popular styles this season. This pair by Restricted from DSW has a feminine flare with the wedge, laces and cut-out.

What are your favorite picks for the season? Feel free to share :)

Happy shopping!

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies Treats

20130914-194600.jpgFall is my favorite time of year. I love fall fashion, cooler weather, football and most of all – PUMPKIN EVERYTHING! While strolling the festive aisles of Target I came across pumpkin spice marshmallows, which were also shaped as pumpkins. So cute! Since I had some Rice Krispies sitting in our pantry, I decided to add a seasonal spin to the classic treat.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 bag (8 oz.) pumpkin spice marshmallows

Pour cereal into large bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal. Use a buttered spatula to combine until cereal is fully coated. Press into 10″ x 6″ pan coated with cooking spray. Cut when cool and serve!

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If this festive treat made your mouth water, check out my recipe for pumpkin bread, too! Nothing says fall like pumpkin-flavored fare!

Top 10 Fall Trends

I know it is only July, but I get so excited for fall clothes when I know that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is just around the corner! Early access shopping began today and from checking out the newest styles, here are my picks for the top 10 fall trends:

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Studs. Studs are here to stay! They can be seen on everything from crossbody bags and boots to leggings and sweaters. Don’t put that tough-girl look away just yet!

Chambray. This is another trend that is not going anywhere. Chambray tops and shirt dresses are still popular for fall. They look great paired with some black pants or leggings and cognac-colored boots.

Leather. It’s everywhere: leggings, trim on tops, skirts, jackets, tops, peplum… you name it!

Graphic tees. For a cool, edgy look, toss on a tee that sports some text, an animal or geo print.

Acid wash. This style of skinny jeans and leggings is perfect for an edgy look, so it works well with the graphic tees mentioned above. Still not sure if I could pull off this look…

Lace-up boots. Short or tall; studded or buckled; edgy or girly. These boots come in all shapes and sizes! Steve Madden has some really cute styles!

Infinity scarves. There is no easier accessory than an infinity scarf. Just throw it on and you have a stand-out accessory that can really change an outfit.

Peplum. This figure-flattering style is popping up again this season. It can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the piece, so it can be worn for desk to date night without a problem!

Skinnies with heeled booties. I am so happy to see that skinny jeans are still in! I love pairing them with short, heeled booties and an over-sized sweater. It looks like colored denim — especially in fall hues, such as burgundy and grey — are still popular, too!

Distressed denim. These jeans are perfect for a casual look and often come in a boyfriend or skinny style. Pair them with converse and an oversized sweater for an everyday look or dress them up with heeled booties and a peplum top.

* The items pictured are not part of the Anniversary Sale.