February 28, 2014

Black and White Fashion Picks

Sometimes I just love a good black and white number.
The last Pattern Review challenge has me inspired and little white dresses are still dancing in my head. 
 But while I am stitching up my next idea, take a peek at some of my favorite ways to wear the classic combo. 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Stay tuned for my "Olivia Pope" Dress!
Love, Katie

February 26, 2014

Color Swatch: Freesia

Not only a gorgeous flowers, but also a Spring Pantone color.
And I am loving this bold color.
Here are a few of my favorite things in Freesia.
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

February 24, 2014

Coffee Date: Goal Setting

One of my blog friends started a segment called "coffee date" last year and I have taken a liking to the idea. Every once and a while she fills us in on what she is up to or what has been on her mind lately. I love reading her posts because it feels like you are catching up with an old friend!
So today I am going to start my own "Coffee Date" segment, because chatting over coffee is my favorite way to catch up with my friends! 
Especially when a Raspberry Mocha and a slice of Lemon Cake are involved. 
So if we were out for coffee, this is what I would be chatting about:

(Hold on! Let's do this right. Go grab your coffee cup!)

I am currently reading a book by Dave Ramsey called Entreleadership.
Are you familiar with Dave Ramsey?

I enjoy his ideas and lessons on finances so when I was looking for books to read about business to help me grow mine, I picked up his. Being a good leader is important in a business. I learned this especially in some of my past work experiences, when my managers did not have good leadership qualities. It was emotionally draining for me because there were no goals, no teamwork, no organization and that lead to a selfish community of miserable employees. I knew I needed to take action to change myself to become a better leader before I ever considered hiring anyone to work for me. I don't want just bodies to do the work. I want passionate teammates that help the business reach goals and set new ones. I want my business to thrive and my employees to love their work.

I finished a chapter last night that focused on Goal Setting. 
I love setting goals and dreaming up new ideas. 
But you know what I'm not very good at? Making myself reach those goals. 
I have a good run at the beginning, and then I slack off a little and slowly lose touch.
Like that time I tried to eat more fruits and vegetables...
Or drink the recommended amount of water... or workout more...
I was failing, because these were ideas. Not goals. Goals have deadlines. They are specific. 
So instead of saying, I want to become more toned this year, I should have said, I want to do my Jillian Michaels DVD once a day for a month. I want to eat only fruits and vegetables for lunch for a week. Etc. 

You need short-term goals that help you reach the long ones. 
So currently I am preparing for a Craft Show because one of my big goals was to make it into one craft show this year. I know that I need to have inventory for my craft show, so I must create, let's say 50 handbags for the show. I have two months until the show. So I must make 25 bags a month. Which is about 6-7 a week. And lets say I want to have at least 8 different colorways of my best style. That means that each week I will focus on one color and make at least six handbags.

That is my goal right now. And I need you help hold me accountable for my goal.
So how about every Saturday for the next two months, I post about the new bags I just created.
Sound good?

And if I reach my goal the first month I get to purchase the emerald wool cashmere I am drooling over. And the second time I reach it I get to purchase the navy melton coating I just need to have. 
(Ha, like I really need more fabric!)

What goal are you working on right now?

What are you going to treat yourself with when you accomplish that goal?

Do tell! =]
I hope you enjoyed having coffee with me this morning!
See you next time!

February 21, 2014

Early Spring Fashion Picks!

It's melting, it's melting!
And it will soon be spring!
Here are a few of my fashion picks for when spring finally arrives:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Hang on friends, 
just a few more weeks!
Love, Katie

February 19, 2014

Color Swatch: Celosia Orange

The next Pantone color we are going to celebrate is Celosia Orange.
Beautiful as decor or fashion, this orange makes vintage-inspired pieces pop. 
Plus it looks amazing with wood grain. =]

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 

February 18, 2014

New in the Shop!

Silk and Chiffon Scarves!
So versatile! Can be worn as a shawl, a wrap skirt, or scarf. 
Add a pop of print to your wardrobe!

Today is the last day to save 20% off your entire order. 
Use coupon code: Galentine

It is time to vote on Pattern Review!
My dress is Simplicity 1650 by agirlnamedkatie.
Login and select my dress!

February 17, 2014

Project: Bonnie & Clyde Inspired

The next Pattern Review contest is coming up and the theme is Movie-Inspired.
The rules of this contest state that it is not a costume, but something wearable that captures the essence of a movie of your choice.

When the new TV Movie of Bonnie and Clyde came out in I believe December 2013, the Hub and I watched it. They separated it into a two night movie premiere. I am still disturbed by the ending, but I love the vintage fashion. Just before the premiere, Project Runway did a Bonnie and Clyde challenge. This challenge pushed the designers to take these 1930 looks and create something futuristic and high-fashion. Essentially I am challenging myself with the same task for this contest.

I am going to make a daytime look that is inspired by the 2013 movie version of Bonnie and Clyde, taking vintage elements and making them slightly more modern.
image sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

I love these fabrics. The alpaca is gorgeous. I found a yard of it when I was still working at the fabric store in the remnant bin. I had to have it and I was determined to find the perfect ponte knit that would go along with it. After months of checking the store for said knit, I found it! And boy is it perfect!
 I am loving the pumpkin spice color of this cotton print that is so simple and reminds me a little of the 1930's. I think the colors work so well with each other!
Fabric: Ponte Knit and Alpaca for jacket. Vintage Cotton Print for dress.

I wanted a long luxurious jacket out of the alpaca. I found this loose-fitting jacket pattern in my stash and knew it would be wonderful. Maybe even a little Olivia Pope wonderful?! =]
Gosh that women has beautiful coats!
The dress is a fun version of a shirt dress. It has curves in the bodice that make it a little more special than a normal shirt dress. I might need to take in the sides and skirt to make it look better on my frame.
We shall see. 
Jacket C from Vogue 8860, no collar, no hood paired with Burda 7071 dress. 

In other news, I applied to some craft shows this week.
Keep me and the business in your prayers as I wait to hear if I have been accepted.

February 15, 2014

Katie's Kitchen: Mac and Cheese

This is one of my favorite meals because it is so comforting and tasty. 
Plus it is easy to make with only a few ingredients and dishes!
I have adapted this recipe from a country cookbook my mom had for years. 
I simplified it to about half of the ingredients in the original recipe and it is finally perfect. 

I like to make this for get-togethers or just when I am craving comfort foods.
This recipe is great because you can feed about 8 people, or have it for dinner and lunch the next day and feed 4 people, twice! I love it even more when it is reheated for lunch.
So make it when you have guests or just for yourself.

See recipe below:

Mac and Cheese

1 Box of Elbow Noodles
4 Tablespoons of Butter
3 Tablespoons of Flour
2 Cups of Milk
4 Cups of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, separated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil water and then add elbow noodles, turn down heat slightly and cook. Drain noodles and rinse. Set noodles aside. In a pot at medium heat, melt butter. Mix in flour until incorporated. Slowly add milk, then bring to bowl stirring occasionally. Turn heat to low and gradually add and melt 3 cups of cheese. Add in noodles and mix until noodles are coated. Pour into a casserole dish and spread 1 cup of cheese over the top of the mac and cheese. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 mins. Cheese on top should be melted and slightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 mins before serving.

Makes 8 large servings or 12 small servings

This is delicious right out of the oven, but even better reheated! YUM.

February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

We'll be your Valentine today! =]
Here is a little something special just for you, because you mean so much to us.
Happy Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2014

Project: Little White Dress

So, despite the challenges this dress had at the beginning, it is now an awesome dress that fits wonderfully! I am totally happy with how it turned out
I made this dress to enter into the Little White Dress contest on Pattern Review.

For the contest we needed to take three pictures of our garment.
One without accessories, one with daytime accessories, and one with evening accessories.

For daytime I paired my little white dress with a pearl-look statement necklace, nude heels, and of course, A Girl Named Katie handbag.  =]
A perfect look for meeting with boutique owners!

For evening I paired my little white dress with a flower crown, black tights, and black booties. 
Adorable for Valentine's Day! 

The flower crown I made at 6:30 this morning that is. Good morning!

Voting for the Little White Dress contest opens on February 18th and ends the 24th.
I will post a link to vote when that time comes around!

On to the next project! 

February 12, 2014

Color Swatch: Dazzling Blue

Here I am with another Pantone Spring Color, the bold dazzling blue. 
This is a great color across the board!
Here are a few of my favorite ways to showcase this color:

February 11, 2014

Project: Little White Dress

I fixed my mess of a dress into what is now an adorable dress.
It looks even better in person since it is hard to see the boucle texture and notice any of the opalescent threads in the picture. I am finally happy with how it turned out.
Last Saturday I was feeling rather discouraged about it and made the hub sit through a Meryl Streep movie with me to cope. I eventually sucked it up and began ripping it apart.

I adjusted the length of the torso and raised it about an 1.5". I shortened the skirt by 3" and I cut out new cap sleeves and adjusted the shape of the armhole. Below are the first and second attempts of the LWD.
Much better right?
I need to submit a dress by Friday and I am still deciding whether I want to make a second option just in case. The next challenge is a Movie-inspired look and I already have something in the works.
Stay tuned!


p.s. Anyone know where I can find a forest green/emerald green melton or flannel wool?

February 10, 2014

Obsessed: Olivia Pope

I am obsessed with the show Scandal right now!
I only require two things from my favorite tv shows: an intriguing story line and great styling.
Scandal takes the cake on both!

The lead character, Olivia Pope is inspired by real life crisis manager, Judy Smith. 
Olivia Pope began working as a lawyer turned White House aide that helped fictional President Grant win the election. After leaving the White House she started her own Crisis Management firm with a team of "Gladiators in Suits," a mix of lawyers and super spies. I won't tell you more because if you haven't watched any of this series, you need to start immediately. It is filled with suspense and secrets!

One of my favorites parts of the show is Olivia's endless collection of beautiful coats.
And I love a woman who can wear elbow length gloves and make them look fashion-forward.
Here are a few of my favorite looks so far:

I love the Olivia Pope style.
It is basic and classic yet romantic and powerful.
She is a woman of neutrals, hardly wearing any color. And no print! Just texture!
Here are a few Pope Picks from Modcloth:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Now that you have your neutrals covered, how about a few muted tones from Ruche?
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Scandal airs on ABC. Season 3 continues on February 27th!
Catch up on Netflix and joins us for a Scandalous party!

Clear your evening, friends!
Love, Katie

February 8, 2014

Project: Little White Dress

I was almost done with my LWD, it just needed a hem...
And then I tried it on again...and I am not feeling it.
Not only do I find it borderline boring, it needs a couple lifts and tucks to make it look like it was actually made for me. The proportions are just off. The torso is too long, the sleeves are just wrong, and the under bust needs a good pinch.

Have you ever sewn something that seemed like a great idea 
and then when trying it on hated it just a little?

Needless to say, I will be spending the afternoon pulling apart the waistline and cutting new sleeves.
At least the piping details look nice. 
In the meantime I will be creating a back up plan.
LWD #2
I have some white stretch cotton and pearl buttons to use with this burda pattern.
I hope to make it to the store in time to purchase some more pearls to stitch somewhere on the dress to make it more interesting. "Make it work."
Which dress I actually enter in the Pattern Review contest will be a fun little surprise for you!

Wish me luck!

February 6, 2014

Project: Little White Dress

2014 Little White Dress (Jan 16 - Feb 15)

So, I am going to enter my first sewing contest on Pattern Review!
The first contest for the year is the Little White Dress Contest.
Similar to the LBD, the LWD is a staple piece that can be worn for both day and night.
My original idea when just hearing the name was to do a fabulous vintage-inspired dress with a fringe skirt. But after reading the rules of the contest, that quickly seemed inappropriate for daytime. Therefore the idea was scratched for something more day time appropriate. I mean, you could wear a fringe skirt to work if you wanted. I would. But I also work for myself. And considering that in order to win I need to collect votes, something safer seemed necessary.
I resorted to a fabric I almost got rid of, actually.
I bought it to make a coat for the holidays. Something knee length that could be worn as the statement piece. But I lost my nerve. No way could little ol' me in a small town pull off something so chic and elegant. A cape is overkill here. (But I do love capes. And crepes for that matter.)
Who do you think I am, Olivia Pope?!

Luckily I did not get rid of this piece of material and since it was the only almost solid white piece in my collection other than white lace I already have other plans for I chose to "make it work." 
Yep, now I'm bringing Tim Gunn into this. 
This is a creamy white boucle with opalescent threads woven in, backed with white tricot interfacing. 
I am going to use two Simplicity patterns to make this dress.
I am using the bodice from 1650 which is princess seamed and combining it with 2444's skirt that is pleated diagonally towards the center. 
I am going to add white piping details for a fashionable touch.

I am hoping this dress whips together quickly!
Just one more week until I need to enter it in the running!
Wish me luck.
Love, Katie

February 5, 2014

Katie's Kitchen: French Breakfast Muffin

Who is snowed (well, iced) in and loves baking muffins?
I do!
I found this recipe while strolling Pinterest the other week and I was in the mood for donuts this morning. 
Yes, these are not donuts. Donuts would have required a trip to the store.
 So I happily settled for this recipe that I had all the supplies for and did not need to leave the house.
These are crazy delicious, the ingredients are simple, and they whipped together super quick!
I enjoyed mine with some Toffee Nut Coffee.
A splendid way to start the day!

French Breakfast Muffin

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted

1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium-large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Do NOT overmix; overmixing will ruin the texture of the finished muffins. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Using a large ice cream scoop, I made 6 medium/large muffins out of this batter; My muffin pan is for 6 large muffins. You could get 10-12 muffins by using a smaller muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter in a separate bowl. Dip the top of the warm muffins into the melted butter, then dip/roll the muffin in the cinnamon sugar. 

So go. Make yourself some muffins. And then sit down, relax and think spring.
Perhaps begin shopping for a few new spring pieces in spring colors while visiting my spring color inspiration boards. Or maybe browse my summer Pinterest board.
Love, Katie

February 4, 2014

Color Swatch: Cayenne

After so much snow, it is time for some bright color!
Cayenne is one of Pantones spring colors and I am loving it!
It is such a pretty coral red that screams spring/summer!
Perfect for home decor, nail polish, and a bright addition to your warm weather wardrobe. 
Here are a few of my favorite things in this poppin' color!

February 3, 2014

Grace Manor Bed & Breakfast

Hello There!
Are you enjoying your snow day?

It is back to work for the Hub and I this week.
We took a little vacation last week to spend some time together and relax!

We stayed at a little bed and breakfast called Grace Manor
owned by a husband and wife who make a great home decorator and chef pair!
We stayed in the Mexican Room at the house with lovely exposed brick, spanish tile, 
and a heart-shaped tub. It was gorgeous! (And right down the street from a cafe!)
So if you are in South Central Pennsylvania at any point in the future, you should check them out!
They also have a french themed room and an asian theme room which we were able to take a peek at and it is amazing with a gorgeous unique bed. 
This lovely couple loves the hunt and fills the rooms with wonderful antique and recycled finds. 
They recommended a shop called Refindings, which is a warehouse filled with vintage finds.
You can spend hours searching the rooms! 
Definitely stop in there if you are ever going through York!

We had a great vacation together and even made it through two seasons of Scandal, which is my new favorite show! (More on that later!)
But now it is back to work!
Stay warm and safe, loves!