In My Closet {Relaxed Autumn Attire}

B_9-23-09_1One of my favorite aspects of this season is the comfortable, casual and relaxed style of clothing that I get to wear on a daily basis. Cozy cardigans, comfy thermals long sleeve t’s, vests, scarfs, sneakers, jeans, cargo pants, and loose fitting button-downs, usually in shades of brown, navy, green and tan, are the staples of my autumn wardrobe. In honor of Fall Flavors week, I put together not one, not two, but THREE outfits for this month’s style guide. Each outfit is quite casual, but then again, I am putting together ensembles that I would actually wear, and this is the real deal folks! Most of these items are from pretty normal stores I actually shop, and most have prices I would actually pay (with the exception of a couple things).

#1 | Hip Slung Khakis by Gap ($30) | Scoop Cardigan by American Eagle ($39.50) | Gingham Shirt by Gap (no longer available) | Clutch by Chocolat Blu ($73) | Frollic Boots by Nine West ($99)

#2 | Boyfriend Jean by American Eagle ($39.50) | Knit Scarf by Gap ($14.50) | Button-Front Sweater by Old Navy ($39.50) | Vintage Stud Shoulder Bag by Frye ($298) | Riona Flats by Rocket Dog ($50)

#3 | Waffle-Knit Tee by Old Navy ($14.50) | Annie Vest by Abercrombie & Fitch ($130) | Relaxed Military Cargo by American Eagle ($44.50) | Striped Jersey Tote by Old Navy ($5) | Satire Sneakers by Simple ($55)

Fall Flavors #2 {Easy Party Flags}

B_9-22-09_1Over the weekend, my hubby and I hosted an “Autumn Flavors” party with a few friends (see the invitation here). I will be back later in the week with more details, but today I want to share with you these incredibly simple, and very festive party flags that I made to help turn our backyard from blah and boring to party-central.

Step 1: Choose your fabric.
You can use prints or solids; one color or twenty; themed for a kids birthday party or a holiday shin-dig. The options are limitless! I found my four fabrics from my mom’s sewing stash and went for a combination that felt warm and rustic.

Step 2: Whip out your pinking shears.
This step is essential to your sanity. If you do not have pinking shears, go to your local fabric store and buy some right now. These little wonders make it so that you can cut out a piece of fabric, never have to hem it, and it will never come unraveled along the edges (plus it has that cute little zig zag pattern). Since I made such a long string of flags, the thought of skipping hemming was tremendously attractive. For my template, I simply took a letter size piece of paper and folded it in half, then sketched half a triangle and cut it out with my pinking shears. This served as my pattern. Truth be told, I wasn’t extremely picky or precise with my cutting. I’m a big-picture person, so I didn’t sweat the tiny details to make my flags perfect.

Step 3: Find some twine and start sewing.
I used twine to string my flags together, and it was a cheap, easy option. I suppose you could use rope or even ribbon if you’d like. Once you have all your flags cut and your twine (or string) in place, lay out the piles of your flags in a pleasing arrangement. Carefully take your first flag and fold it over the twine, then begin sewing. This is the part where I would recommend using a sewing machine (which will make the entire process soooo much faster), but for a more “charming and rustic” look (or if your sewing machine breaks five flags into the project–like mine did) consider hand sewing. It isn’t quite as bad as it sounds, and actually goes quite quickly if you use a loose, somewhat careless stitch (and watch several episode of 24 while you sew–like I did). After you sew your first flag, lay the second flag next to it, and overlap the edges just a bit, then sew through both overlapping flags. This will hold your flags in place.

Step 4: String your flags up, and let the party begin!
Be sure to leave a bit of twine on both ends so that you can hook your flags around a nail (or tie them around a tree or post). Once your party flags are complete, find the perfect place to hang them, and stand back to admire the instant dose of “celebration!” that these add to any room, porch or patio.

If you have any specific questions on this project feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at bethany(at)emmylu(dot)com!

Fall Flavors #1 {Apple Cake Recipe}

Happy Autumn everyone! We have officially entered the fall season, and I am completely ready for those cool, crisp days, warm fall scents (like cinnamon and apple and pumpkin), sweaters, scarfs and falling leaves. To celebrate the beginning of this wonderful season, I am hosting “Fall Flavors” week on the blog. Each day I will be sharing autumn-themed content designed to help welcome the fall season!

B_9-21-09_1Today I would like to share with you my favorite fall recipe. Several years ago, I found this recipe in of one of my most well-loved cookbooks, Mrs. Chard’s Almanac Cookbook, Hollyhocks & Radishes. I was browsing for something good to make with the pile of apples the hubby and I had picked at our annual trip to the orchard. “Prize-Winning Apple Cake” sounded promising. The results were amazing, and the recipe really couldn’t get any easier (really). I have since shared it with a multitude of people, and it’s become a fall tradition to bake an apple cake after our trip to the orchard. Without further ado, here is the very simple and extremely tasty……. Prize-Winning Apple Cake.


Ingredients

2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cup light vegetable oil

2 eggs

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

3 cups diced apples

2 cups chopped nuts (optional)


Directions

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.

2. Put all ingredients in one large bowl.

3. Mix with your hands, gently, but thoroughly (do not use a spoon or mixer!).

4. Bake in an ungreased 9×13 pan for 1 hour. Cool before cutting.

Really!! It’s that easy!

Inspired Palette {Wild Denali}

B_9-17-09_1You’ve probably already figured out that I gravitate towards cool colors. Shades of blue and green and gray are entirely calming and alluring to me. I love the cool blues of lakes and oceans, yet there is also something wildly beautiful about the icy tones of winter.  This palette would be perfect for a December wedding, or would make a really lovely set of colors for a small bathroom or office.

Pieces of Life {Fresh Picked}

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It’s the time of year when everything in the garden is ripe and ready! My windowsill is lined with tomatoes and the plants are heavy with more waiting to be picked. I just pulled all the carrots from the garden today. I didn’t plant too many this spring, but am very pleased with my small crop. Just enough for nibbling on with some dip or perhaps slicing and throwing in a salad.

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