Gift Guide: Let's Get Cozy

Is there any better feeling than being home, dressed in something soft, and drinking a warm beverage? If you added Bravo and a fire to that it would describe my heaven. The biggest outfit changes during my week are usually from lulu to soft, oversized sweats, plus slippers. And I know I cannot be alone in that. ha Everyone loves being cozy and gifting something that gets them to their happy place is always a win.  

1. This pajama set is incredible soft and lux. This one looks so nice too / 2. A Nespresso plus the milk frother replaces that cold, early morning Starbucks run. I swear it is just as good! / 3. An internet favorite sweatpant in cute stripes / 4. The coziest blanket there ever was. This one is less pricey / 5. This turkish towel robe is so chic and gets softer with each wash / 6. Flannel buffalo check pjs for the win / 7. A genius coffee mug that keeps coffee at the perfect temp for hours. Game changer in the morning! / 8. A silky pajama set that comes with a sleep mask. Also in black / 9. Oprah and SJP have raved about these sweatpants, apparently it is the softest thing you could ever wear. They also make a shirt/ 10. A sherpa lined bath robe to reach for first thing in the morning. This is always a classic too / 11. An Amazon Echo so she has someone to talk to during the day and play her favorite songs / 12. Moccasin slippers are the best. These are less expensive and great too. / 13. A cozy sweater that pairs great with leggings. Also in white and pink

Other gift guides to check out: 



Gift Guide: $25 and Under

A small gifting budget does not have to be boring (I see you gift cards). And actually it can be really good. 
Because that person will know you really put some thought into.
So whether you need stocking stuffers, gifts for all the incredible people that love you, or sweet gestures to those that make your life (and your kid's life) better, I got you. 

1. This Coconut Bath Soak will feel like vacation / 2. Love this sweet heart necklace / 3. A leather card case that holds a lot and you could slip in a gift card or cash / 4. A copper wine stopper is always in need and great paired with a good bottle for a hostess / 5. Love this ceramic phone charger with bud vase. Put a sprig  or two of pine to be festive and wrap with a bow / 6. A selfie light that easily clips on her phone   / 7. A marble salt bowl and a fancy salt (or not fancy) is great for a cook / 8. Fuzzy soft slippers. This is a great teacher gift / 9. An artsy water bottle for your active friend / 10. The BEST quick treatment face pads that really make your skin glow / 11. This hand cream and body cream are a killer duo / 12. Hands down best stocking stuffer, Baby Foot. TRY IT! / 13. A beautiful bookmark for the friend who reads every night before bed / 14. A trio of rose salve for her car, bag, and vanity / 15. An upgrade to regular ole Jenga for family game night / 16. In a world full of inspirational quote mugs, this mug made me laugh and relate. Throw a Starbucks gift card in it / 17. A silk sleep mask and eye treatments masks for the girl who loves her sleep but does not always get it / 18. A genius luggage scale for the girl who always has the largest suitcase 

Also check out my other gift guides: 
Girl on the Go
2016 Gift Guides



Gift Guide: Girl on the Go

Fa La La La La, It's time to shop. 
Gifting is always such a fun part of the season. That smile you see on someone's face. Whether it be a Starbucks gift card or that bag she has been eyeing, it is the best. 
I try to hit all the sweet spots that will cover all the people on your list over the next few weeks. Including yourself! ha 
First up, this is a guide for that girl that is always on her way to the next place. 
Be that near or far, for work or pleasure, here are some amazing gifts that will make her happy. 

1. An amazing suitcase set that is easy to pull / 2. A mini speaker to jam to anywhere / 3. A beautiful watch so she's always on time / 4. A cape that is also a scarf LOVE / 5. A pillow spray that helps her sleep well anywhere / 6. An agenda to keep things straight / 7. A pretty phone case / 8. Comfy kicks that always get compliments / 9. Because the lighting and mirror always stinks in hotel rooms / 10. A chic way to store all those cords / 11. A bag set for impromptu shopping trips  / 12. A beautiful jewelry case / 13. A big tote that will carry everything (comes in other colors) / 14. A mask to refresh post travel skin 



Cyber Monday Picks

So many sales, so little time. I pulled all the best picks from today's Cyber Monday Sales from a few favorite shops. Los of great gift ideas and fun options for you! 

Net-A-Porter never has sales, this one is so good
1. Valentino on sale! / 2. A LRD for holiday parties / 3. Alexandre Birman party shoes  / 4. Velvet Valentinos / 5. A cute velvet pouch  / 6. Soft pink Nikes

Madewell has 25% off your entire purchase with code GOODMOOD
1. A pretty ruffle sweater / 2. Classic chelsea boots / 3. A festive plaid top / 4. A crossbody satchel comes in other colors / 5. A great puffer, comes in other colors / 6. Cute hair ties 

Gap has 50% off everything with code CYBER 
1. Love this cozy cable knit  / 2. Striped leggings for workout and lounge / 3. A pretty dress / 4. Mittens to stash in your bag / 5. Comfy flannel PJs / 6. A jacquard sweatshirt / 7. A fun bomber  / 8. Classic leggings that pull you in 

 Nordstrom has a ton of extra sale items 

 And Shopbop also has an extra 35% off sale items with code WOW35
1. The best sweatpants / 2. Bad ass shoes  / 3. A soft camo top / 4. velvet slides  / 5. A pretty black dress / 6. Tennis slides / 7. Ruffle dress / 8. Plaid top / 9. A flow tunic / 10. Fun booties 




Let's Party

While the winter uniform of sweater, leggings, and cozy boots will always be a favorite. One of the biggest perks of the season is getting all dolled up for a festive party. It is probably because we tend to hunker down a bit as it gets colder and dressing up takes a major backseat to Netflix and slippers. Plus, the options get extra glam and lux with soft fabrics and extra embellishment. This is a huge round up for every dress code currently in your inbox. From black tie to office party, it is time to get merry and bright. 

Black Tie and Formal
1. Drapey Velvet $425 / 2. Love this wine one shoulder $103 / 3. Green goddess $395 / 4. Ruffles for days $249 / 5. Sequins and bows $298 (comes in other colors)

When it calls for cocktail 

6. Lady in lace $108 / 7. Flutter sleeve red $60  / 8. Velvet jumpsuit $138 / 9. Knockout green $269 / 10. Silky ruffles $159

And for Any occasion in between 
1. Flowy ruffles $206 / 2. Smart black $84 / 3. Metallic drop waist $82 / 4. Wine colored velvet $395 / 5. Modern green $295



Maple Roasted Squash with Sausage and Caramelized Onions

I first off have to apologize for the photo of this dish. This four pm sunset is really taking a toll on my photo skills. Secondly, and most importantly, this is so delicious. 
This has an Octoberfest feel, but will keep everyone nice and comforted all winter long. It has a subtle sweetness with great savoriness from the sausage. Plus, it has these tangy, sweet onions that melt in your mouth. 
The perfect bite are all three elements together. Salty sausage, creamy butternut squash, and tangy onions on one fork. And for those of you trying to lay off the carbs once in awhile, this is so satisfying without any heavy starch. 
There is little work and just a few ingredients, so this makes for the perfect week night meal. 

Maple Roasted Squash with Sausage and Caramelized Onions
Imperfect Polish 2017
serves 4-6 people

2 lbs sausage (I like brats for this, but you can use anything you would like)
2 butternut squashes, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed (a lot of stores have this done for you in the produce section) 
olive oil
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper
4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
optional: grainy mustard for serving 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Place the sausages on a roasting pan and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until cooked through. 

Meanwhile, place the squash on one or two roasting pans as needed to give them a little space. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat well and place in the oven as well. Roast for 30 minutes, then drizzle and toss with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and roast for 10 more minutes or until squash is tender. Then remove from oven, cover with foil to keep warm if necessary. 

While everything is roasting in the oven, place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add a glug or two of olive oil, and once hot add in the onions. Season with salt and toss to coat with the oil. Continue to cook the onions, stirring often until they have broken down and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of male syrup to the pan and let reduce by about half. Then simmer onions on medium low until the onions are caramelized and soft, about 5-10 more minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. 

To serve, place a sausage on the plate, pile some squash next to it and top with the onions. Use grainy mustard as a dip if you're into it.




5 Looks For Your Thanksgiving

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? This year we will be cozy in the country with a fun loving crowd. I am looking forward to seeing my kids play in the yard with cousins, sausage stuffing, and laughing a lot. Since everyone's day and venue is different, I put together different looks for dressing up, down, and in between. And I tried to make all the pieces easily mixed and matched with each other. Per usual I want it all and keeping everything in mind for other seasonal occasions coming up. 

1. This leopard coat is such a classic statement piece and warm! / And my favorite color combo right now is soft pink ( 2. like this sweater) and wine red. / 3. These velvet pants are killer for all winter long. / 4. A neutral and chic shoe for a walk after dinner / 5. And a classic bag that will impress the crowd. (this is a more budget friendly model)

1. This wool sweater trench is beautiful! / 2. Draped over this fun ruffled dress you could pair with charcoal tights / 3. Then these amazing over the knee boots that are on sale (under $200!) / 4. And a mini bucket that I own and LOVE. White would also be great here. 

1. A tartan top you will wear every week / 2. With cute kick flair jeans that are super flattering / 3. And a classic anorak with a hint of pink that zips in and out to soften it up / 4. And these star sneakers to keep it fun. 

1. A tailored, but not tight sweater dress with these 2. velvet leggings underneath / 3. A supple pink hobo / 4. And these classic black booties. Love the block heel. Or these / 5. Top with this pretty coat that is on sale. 

1. One shouldered and a little star print is so festive / 2. This Valentino clutch would be amazing (this too) / 3. And these shoes that I am obsessed with (these would be cute too) 



All Things Holiday

Yep, it is happening. 

Thanksgiving is creeping up and Christmas is a mere six weeks away. Which is actually a legit amount of time, but my goal this year was to have the holiday cheer up and running earlier so that we can enjoy it more. Because let's get real, there is money being spent on all this madness so we better get as much out of it as we can. 

Let me remind you though that I am a less is more when it comes to decorations for holidays. 
Any holiday. 

Garland, wreath, candles, stockings, and maybe a fun bowl here or there. That is it. Just enough to make it special, but not enough to be a pain in the ass. 
Well, and the tree of course, but that doesn't count. 
I also love maybe one new fun serving dish or tabletop piece to spice the dinner table up. 
And last, but certainly cutest, the holiday pajamas for the kids.

In all honestly, I love a good Home Depot wreath that I add a nice bow to for the front door. But inside, I like to get one more nice one for the mantle or above a door. And there are some great alterna tree options this year.
1. Obsessed with this gilded olive branch wreath / 2. I love the retro feel of this pretty tree topper / 3. These are an investment, but would be perfect in an entry / 4. A real mini tree that comes to your door  in a pretty basket. Perfect for little ones / 5. Fresh Swags are so great above doors / 6. LOVE this magnolia wreath / 7. And the heather in this wreath make sit more femme / 8. This wreath hanger would be killer for over a dining table. Just add your favorite wreath with pretty ribbon / 9. Simple boxwood wreaths never tire / 10. These lighted twig wreaths just need some ribbon (under $20) / 11. This tree skirt has tiny black stitching

We have a few mantles at our house and they are my favorite to dress up a bit. These are all fun options
1. Faux lighted boxwood lights you could easily incorporate into a garland or wrap anything with. / 2. A sweet bunting sign  / 3. Raw wood trees to nestle in some garland / 4. Easily done light wall with these lights / 5. Faux lighted garland you can reuse every year / 6. I am sucker for a bow and I love these taper holders / 7. One or two of these on a table or mantle would be a showstopper /  8. Love this branch stocking holder  / 9. I live by these little battery powered string lights

For the table, just a little mix of modern and kitsch 
1. This pretty tiered marble tray would be great for cookies or apps / 2. Love this winterberry tablecloth. Or this / 3. This santa cookie jar reminds me of childhood in the best way. And these mugs / 4. Melamine Spode plates for the kids. They also have bowls. These are cute too/ 5. This sweet star bowl would be great for serving or even on its own / 6. This dish is genius! olives/nuts/cherries/edamme/candy in the top, pits/shells/stems/wrappers go in the slot. / 7. A simple white antler serving platter

Whether you match all the kids or not, there are some cute options for all 
Less expensive Hanna-esque stripes / Pretty Forest for bigs and littles / Soft Gingham / Plaid / Fair Isle for bigs and littles 

 And lastly, some matching stockings for the entire crew this year might nice
1. Magnolia plaid greatness and this / 2. Love a fuzzy / 3. Classic fair isle that comes in many colors / 4. Needlepoint at a great price / 5. Simple velvet for under $20 / 6. Preppy plaid / Fun stripe knit / 8. Burlap and quilted 



Currently Coveting: Texture & Print

With the falling temperatures there is always the hope that soft, cozy fabrics will comfort us. And that the cheer of a fun print will perk us up on a chilly day. Hence, why brands get smart and turn it up this time of year in those departments. Which I will never complain about. With the addition of this, this, and this in my closet, I am really only hungry for more. Loving these all so much and thinking that you might too. 

1. I want these, but I also LOVE these Vejas too / 2. A soft velvet tank to layer under a jacket with jeans (comes in other colors)  / 3. A swingy shirt dress that will look put together, but feel like pajamas (comes in other prints) / 4. I love the tie waist of this classic wool coat (comes in other colors)  / 5. A knit jumpsuit? OBSESSED / 6. A slouchy, soft suede bag / 7. Worship a block heel right now and this emerald color is beautiful (comes in other colors too) / 8.  This velvet dress has beautiful details and would slay at a holiday party / 9. Soft jeans with a kick / 10. A cozy sweater dress that is also comfy / 11. The perfect plaid shirt for layering or all on its pretty lonesome / 12. Knit camo with a bit of pink / 13. Gorgeous drivers that will honestly look good with anything 



Fall Investment Pieces: High & Low

While I will always be bit of a victim to fast fashion (hello furry slides & over-the-top ruffle top), age has helped to me realize that classic pieces that will stand the test of time are better (like this, this, and this). 

Even if the price tag is higher, you get what you pay for when it is worn year after year. 
Identifying those pieces that will be cherished and never go out of style makes for the perfect closet, really. 

So while I am lusting after giant faux fur jackets and sequin boots, these are actually the items that I know can and will be worn this season and many after. 

There are two sets of the same items.
The first is splurgy and the second is closer to earth. All of them make for the chicest Fall ever. 

1. Cozy shearling and a hidden wedge boot is magic / 2. Stretchy Leather leggings at a really good price / 3. An oversized puffer for warmth and style (this is good too) / 4. A flirty, flattering dress to wear with heels or boots / 5. A tote you would never tire of and could take anywhere (comes in many colors) / 6. A super soft black ballet flat / 7. A draped, soft turtleneck sweater / 8. Classic cross body in a pretty hue, and tassel / 9. A cashmere sweater dress with just a hint of ruffle / 10. A tie waist double breasted wool coat (on sale)  / 11. I own these and they are really the perfect bootie / 12. Polished leather sneakers 

1. A cozy and streamlined boot / 2. Coated denim has the look of leather for less / 3. Love the satin lining of this puffer / 4. This ruffled dress moves beautifully / 5. A beautiful Italian leather tote for a great price / 6. My go to flat that never fails / 7. A cozy sweater to live in / 8. Such a pretty cross body bag with tassel! / 9. A pretty white sweater dress / 10. A wrap wool coat with a great collar / 11. This bootie is so close to the one above  / 12. Love the shape and beige accent on These Pumas



Serena & Lily Sale + A Peek at My Sun Room

Though the days are shorter, the weeks seems to be buzzing by. We are trying to slow down at home in an effort to just straight hang as much as possible. In sweat pants. In front of the fire. 
We still have a ways to go on the finishing touches of our house since our reno, but I am taking my sweet time with  it. If this is my forever home, then I want it to feel collected and everything in it to make me smile. 
I know, cheese. But if we are going to spend the money, you should love all the things in your home like crazy. And while I LOVE a good antique market to dig through, one store that has always had my heart is Serena & Lily
The preppy coastal style has always been a mainstay favorite and these days there is no exception. When the catalog comes I want to move into it. I have used many items from them over the years and I have to say the quality and style has stood the test of time and children. We have two pieces I love in our new sun porch addition. 

Rivera Chairs shown here wipe clean easily and are easy to move around when you need to add seating anywhere. They come in many colors and styles now. 

This raffia parsons style coffee table is huge (also comes smaller). Which I loved for using this space for entertaining, board game nights, and putting your feet up to watch Netflix. I wish you could see the ceiling in this photo as we did reclaimed beams with a vaulted ceiling, then added a large black open lantern for plenty of extra lighting. Love giving you a sneak peek at what we did in here. 

Serena & Lily are having a sale all weekend, 20% off everything with code HAPPYDAYS
Here are all my current favorites from the site. 

1. The colors are so beautiful in this painting  / 2. A dark patterned rug to hide messes, and looks so pretty / 3. A tailored ottoman / 4. Outdoor chic teak chairs / 5. I'll never tire of the bohemian vibe of these chandeliers / 6. These candlesticks would be perfect for the holidays / 7. Love bringing in texture with braided rugs / 8. This chair works so well as heads of table  / 9. Would love this mirror for a powder room or entry / 10. Navy and brass coffee table / 11. Obsessed with this whimsical wallpaper / 12. Upgrade your stool game / 13. A natural take on the bistro chair for counters / 14. Cute tassel pillow / 15. A great sconce to dress up a mirror or dining room / 16. Would love this painting for my dining room 

Happy Weekend


Veggie, Sausage and White Bean Soup

There is little in life that can bring instant comfort. 
Hugs from Mom, a tiny hand in yours, a call from a friend far away. 
And soup. 
I know, what a cliché. 
But I swear there is something about that big bowl in front of you, steam pillowing up, ingredients all perfectly married and savory, that makes you just relax and feel good. 
This soup is a house soup. You make it how your family likes it. Omit, add, switch anything up and you really cannot go wrong. 
This recipe makes A LOT. I did that on purpose so you can freeze half, send to a friend who needs it, eat every day forever, or invite your neighbors over. 
Cozy up. 

Veggie, Sausage, and White Bean Soup
Imperfect Polish 2017
Serves 10

1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta or other small shape (can be omitted if    grain free)
olive oil
2 lbs sausage, casings removed (My kids like sweet Italian, but use any variety you like)
2 large carrots, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
1 large or two small onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
15 oz canned cannellini beans or any you like, drained and rinsed
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons dried oregano
optional: 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
optional if you have it: Parmesan rind (some stores sell them or just cut off the one you have)
to serve: kale (optional), grated parmesan

Cook pasta according to the box instructions subtracting two minutes from the cooking time. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside. 

Meanwhile, place a large pot medium high heat. Add two glugs of olive oil, then the sausage. Brown and cook the sausage until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces as you go. When done, turn off heat, remove sausage from pot and place in a bowl. 

Turn heat back up to medium under pot and add in carrots, celery, and onion. Sauté until onions start turning translucent and carrots jut begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and scrap the bottom of the pot to get all those good bits. Simmer until wine is reduced by about half, about 3-5 minutes. 

Add in beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, oregano, crushed red pepper/parmesan rind if you are using either of them. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir to combine well, turn up heat to high and bring to boil. Then lower heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes. 

Turn off heat and skim some of the oil/fat from the top of the soup if you want to lighten it up a bit. Stir in the pasta if using. 
Then taste soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. 

To serve, ladle in bowls and place a few leaves of greens in each bowl to wilt, then pile on the grate parmesan. 



Current Trend: Velvet

Velvet was once what holiday dress nightmares were made of when we were children of the 80s. Then two piece candy colored hoodie sweatsuits we sported with pride absolutely everywhere
(yes, that happened for the younger readers. Hi!) 

But now it is chic and and applied in so many beautiful ways. The soft fabric drapes like a dream, has a weight that makes it feel grown up and dressy, but the kicker is that it feels like pajamas. 
Luxy, very special pajamas. 

From dressed up to down, velvet is feeling extra fresh this season. 

1. A swingy, easy dress (this one is cute too) / 2. Worship this Gucci bag (this one is less) / 3. The cutest sweatshirt (or this one in black) / 4. Skinny jeans on sale / 5. Ladylike leopard mules / 6. A comfy and cute block heel pump / 7. 90s vibe slip dress, pair with a tee underneath to dress down / 8. A dramatic top  / 9. High waist pants that also come in black  / 10. Studded mule greatness / 11. Obsessed with these cropped wide leg pants / 12. Perfect dress for that winter wedding or gala / 13. A flirty party skirt / 14.  Heart eyes for bow Valentinos (these and these are less) / 15. The combo of velvet and faux fur is so great in this vest / 16. Own these in pink and love them / 17. A chic black bomber (or love this too)



Thai Chicken Chopped Salad

Not all salads are a meal. A real one. 
One that nourishes and satisfies the biggest appetites. 

This one fits the bill and has so many yummy ingredients that make it interesting. Plus, you can switch up the veggies and starch (or omit altogether) to make it your own. 
And because my little ones are not exactly diving into a salad bowl anytime soon, I just pull out the ingredients they like as I prep and everyone is happy. 

With lots of of my favorite comfort foods on the menu most nights, this is a nice way to break it up. 

Oh, and bonus points that we had leftovers that I threw in a wok with some brown rice the next day, added some more soy and it was delicious. 

Thai Chicken Chopped Salad
Imperfect Polish 2017
serves 6

For the dressing: 
1/3 cup olive oil 
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons white vinegar, I like rice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (in produce case) or grated ginger
juice of one lime
couple splashes of fish sauce if you're into it

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. 
Can be made up to two days before. 

For the salad: 

14 oz thawed frozen edamame
5 cups kale or greens of choice, chopped 
3 large carrots, diced or julienned
2 red bell peppers, diced or julienned
1 can chopped water chestnuts
2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken (I use rotisserie or leftovers)
1 cup rice noodles, softened and chopped (or quinoa, brown rice, anything you like)
handful of chopped cilantro
3 scallions, chopped
handful of peanuts, chopped

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. (This can be done a couple hours before and refrigerated if needed) Toss with the dressing a little bit of a time. You may use it all, you may not. Taste as you go until dressed to your taste. If it needs more seasoning, add more soy and lime juice. Top with sriracha if you like it spicy. 



Simple & Smart: The Shirtdress

Everyone needs a few work horses in the closet. Something that is good for work and for play. And can be styled a million different ways. 

Last week I discovered that this shirtdress really is this piece. 
Not that it is groundbreaking, but it really made me want a couple more to have on hand.  

Dress: La Vie Rebecca Taylor, Blazer: Elizabeth & James, Shoes: B.P. (obsessed)

I am crushing hard on sneakers with dresses. All of the shirt dresses I pulled would look so great with a pair you probably already have. 

Shirt dresses also work great with tights and leggings paired with boots or booties, then heels for meetings and dinner out. And layering a blazer or jacket smartens it up even more. 

From Left: This is really similar to mine / Dying over this and how flattering it is / Studded and olive greatness / Twofer with this combo 

From Left: Bell Sleeve cuteness / This tie front screams for leggings all Fall / Oversized and ruffled / Black to pair with your favorite high boots (also come in silk)

From Left: Soft stripes for every day / Utility green plus ruffles / love this comfy chambray / basic, but not, black



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