Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Year in Review


Well help there! Yes I've been gone for what seems like forever, but I'm back! I had all intentions of doing #12DaysofKate,but finals seemed to conquer all of my time and then I was jut feeling free to be on break and not deal with blogging for a bit. Don't get the wrong, I absolutely love blogging, but sometimes you just need some time to tune out and go unplugged. My break was fully unplugged because the first day of break my phone managed to break so I was without a phone for two weeks As enjoyable as it was to take a brief break, it was super difficult to remain connected to everyone. I resorted to Facebook Messenger which worked just fine for the time being, but not having my phone left me absent on practically all forms of social media.

That's just a little recap for all of you, now onto the purpose of this post. Today is the last day of 2015.  This year was actually such an amazing year and probably one of my absolute favorites. Junior year has been my favorite year of high school so far and second semester was absolutely incredible. Not to mention an amazing summer filled with trips, concerts and so much fun. That wraps a year for A Sprinkle of Kate and I'm so stoked to have a super amazing year ahead of me. A resolutions post is on its way...beware I have quite a few. Thank you all for all your support this year and cheers to many more years!

Xoxo

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

#12DaysOfKate {My Favorite Vest}

Vests are my absolute favorite. I find myself constantly grabbing a vest rather than a coat almost always. They make for the perfect outerwear piece and I have quite a few in my collection. Although my two J.Crew excursion vests will forever be loved, this Patagonia vest is my new favorite. The "Los Gatos Vest" is the newest addition to my vest collection and definitely a newly coveted piece. I had wanted this vest for over a year before I decided to splurge a bit and purchase it. It's not too expensive (for around $100), but I wasn't sure how much wear I'd really get out of it. To my surprise I find that it matches everything, fits so well and is overall super versatile. The fit is more snug than my quilted vests, but I like it that way for this style! 

Unfortunately, this vest is sold out in so many places (tears, I know), but it will most definitely be restocked in the spring. It's so worth the wait though! Last year I wanted this for Christmas, but it was sold out literally everywhere and took a while to restock before I ended up ordering it in the fall. I highly recommend this vest if you're looking for a new signature piece that is super cute and comfortable!

One of my favorite ways to wear this vest is with a total black outfit. This features all the attention on this stunning vest. Plus, it's an easy way to be super cute and also comfy (leggings and an oversized sweaterr = best outfit ever!).





Sorry about the lack of photos in this post! A lot of them my hair looked absolutely horrible in and a bunch of them were blurry too!

Shop my outfit below:

Xoxo

Monday, December 14, 2015

#12DaysOfKate {Hint of Gold}

Yay it's day 2 of #12DaysofKate! Today I'm sharing a recent find from J.Crew Factory. I managed to snag this sweater at 65% off and I'm totally obsessed with it. I absolutely love the touch of gold on the side seams! It's subtle, yet so adorable! I originally wanted this sweater in gold, but they did not have my size in store and I also realized I have way too many gray sweaters anyways. I paired it with my go-to pair of jeans and favorite ankle booties. December has not hit Chicago quite yet; I've worn shorts the past few days!! It cooled down a bit more, but we're expecting cooler weather in the near future...do a predict a white Christmas? 







Shop my look below:

Xoxo

Sunday, December 13, 2015

#12DaysOfKate {Christmas Pajamas}

My Christmas countdown begins with day 1 of #12DaysofKate! I'm so excited to share with you my favorite winter pajamas along with a personal favorite holiday recipe. I've shared these reindeer cookies before, but they're seriously the cutest and I wanted to share them again. I make these cookies practically every year because they are super festive and also delicious! Definitely try out this recipe if you're looking for something new to bake this holiday. Also, I'm never one wear the traditional pajama sets. I personally love them, just never tend to buy them in time for the holiday season. I do love these festive pajama pants though. They're super cute and I paired them with a thrifted waffle shirt for the ultimate comfy and cozy outfit. 







Here's what you'll need for the cookies:

+sugar cookie dough (I just bought the pre-made kind)
+red and green m&m's
+pretzels

1. Create your cookie base with sugar cookie dough in the shape of a circle. 

2. Add "antlers" using the pretzels and eyes/nose using the m&m's.

3. Bake according to your cookie recipe and you're finished!

Stay tuned for the rest of the series #12DaysofKate leading up until Christmas!

Xoxo

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TGIF


This being my last week before final exams it has been nothing short of stressful. I have two days of school next week and then two days of final exams. I am feeling #blessed that I have no exams on Friday!! Woo, an extra day of break! I haven't had much of a chance to even study for exams though because I've been busy with final projects, tests, etc. I'm not quite sure why teachers cram everything for just before break...not to mention plenty of practices for drill team to prepare for competitions in the new year. I'm praying that being a second semester senior is as fun as everyone says it is, and much less stressful than first semester. I only have one application left to finish and plan to finish it this weekend or at some point next week. I am so happy that the process is finally over, but I'm still quite terrified to hear back from my top schools. Here's what I'm loving this week.

+12 Days of Outfits
I'm SO excited to announce that starting Monday I'm starting my countdown to Christmas series called 12 days of outfits! Yes, TWELVE OUTFITS! I'm so excited to share so many different outfit ideas for the holidays. These are all different styles, some casual for winter break, some dressy for holiday parties, etc. Stay tuned for the next 12 days to see all that is to come! Get excited and be sure to follow me to never miss a post (or outfit!)!

I've been following along with Frannie and Caroline's Merry & Bright collaboration and I've totally been loving it. They are two of my favorite bloggers (and friends) and all of their posts have been super cute as of late. I'm loving both of their outfit ideas for Christmas...see them here! (Caroline // Frannie)

+Fun Things To Do Over Winter Break
Winter break is quickly approaching (please come sooner though!) and my fave Youtuber, Danielle Marie has got you covered on a few fun things to do over break. I tend to lounge pretty much all of break, but it's so fun to do festive things like go Christmas shopping, sip a warm drink and go ice skating. I haven't taken full advantage of Chicago around Christmastime in past years, but this year I'm trying to enjoy everything Chicago has to offer during the holiday season!

+KJP & Sarah Vickers Wedding
My absolute favorite couple just got married and I couldn't be more excited. I'm utterly obsessed with Kiel James Patrick and Sarah Vickers and I'm so happy they are finally married. They are so perfect to each other and their wedding was just beautiful and in a Christmas tree farm. How perfect! They are such #goals (ew, can't believe I just referenced that!), but seriously they are! Ah! See photos on KJP's Instagram!

Have an amazing weekend and stay tuned for Monday ;)!

Xoxo

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Gift Guide {The Fellas}

I think guys can be especially difficult to shop for if you go beyond the classic clothes, shoes and cologne departments. When I'm purchasing gifts for my brother and dad I tend to stick to something that I already know is a personal favorite of theirs to ensure they will like it. But, honestly the one gift I have found that most guys love is flannels. I have purchased both flannels for my dad and brother multiple times and found them to wear these nonstop. It's a pretty universal piece for almost any guy's style so if you're super lost, go with a quality flannel & a gift receipt. Here are some other great ideas of what to get the fellas in your life.


Gift Guide {Your Guys}

I'm mainly basing this gift guide off of my brother because he seems to be the only boy I have to shop for (and my dad). Anything Vineyard Vines is always good because their quality is amazing, and they have super basic pieces that your guy will sure to wear all the time.

Another great option is cologne. If you happen to know your guy's favorite, he could always use a spare bottle of it. Like I said above, if all else fails, get your guy a flannel! I know it sounds crazy how much I'm telling you, but I swear they'll wear it!

Shop the gift guide below:

What are you getting the guys in your life this Christmas?

Xoxo

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The 12 Days of Love Letter Writing


If you read last week's TGIF you might remember me talking about The World Needs More Love Letters. If you're unfamiliar, the goal of the organization is to mail hundreds of love letters to people who need them most. Each month they curate a list of about four people to write letters to. They give a little back story on each person and where to mail your letter to.

Immediately after discovering this site I pulled out my cutest stationary and began writing. It is such an incredible concept to be able to write a letter to someone you do not know in hopes of helping them through whatever they are dealing with. 

Because it is the holiday season it is the perfect time to give back and help someone in need. This year they are hosting The 12 Days of Letter Writing. From December 7-18, a new letter request will be posted on their request page. All letters must me mailed by December 19th, so get writing! This is the perfect way to help someone this holiday season and surely bring a smile to their face. Read more about their mission here!

This is an incredible opportunity to give back that you should not pass up!

Are you writing letters this holiday season?

Xoxo


Monday, December 7, 2015

5 Ways to Get in The Christmas Spirit


Ever since I entered high school it has always been especially difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit. I think it's because finals are typically a week before Christmas and I'm too focused on passing my classes that I can't fully get into the holly jolly spirit! Each year I try harder and harder to enjoy the holiday season and I'm especially thankful that this year is my last year in high school for Christmas. Next year I will have a much longer break so I can truly enjoy the holiday season.

I completely understand that studying for final exams is always the priority during the holiday season, but here are five ways to get in the Christmas spirit.

+1. Create a playlist
Christmas music being on constant repeat is probably the best thing about the holiday season. I love listening to festive tunes while in the car on the radio, but when I'm at home I love listening to my own personalized playlist, complete with all of my favorite Christmas songs. I shared this playlist with you too! Read more here. Even if you're caught studying you can totally play Christmas tunes softly in the background!


+2. Decorate for the holiday season
I've attempted to keep focus during these past few weeks of school, but sometimes your brain just needs a break. Whenever I'm feeling swamped or my brain is fried I like to take a study break and do something fun. The other day I took my break to print out fun pictures from Pinterest (are you following?) to create a cute gallery wall. I decorated my wall during the summer with bright fun images, but I decided it was time for a change! Take a look at my Christmas board for inspiration.

+3. Give & be kind
The Christmas season isn't all about the presents and Santa Clause. Christmas is about giving to those that need it and also being kind to others. Just doing something as simple as complimenting someone can truly make their day. Try giving at least 3 genuine compliments a day this holiday season. Also, give to those in need. Adopt a family for Christmas and buy them gifts they could not otherwise afford, send a love letter to those struggling, or donate change to the Salvation Army.

+4. Bake something festive
I have yet to take advantage of my new kitchen, but I'm hoping to whip up some Christmas cookies before Christmas. Baking Christmas cookies is one of my favorite things to do during the holiday season because it is so much fun and so delicious! It's also super fun to gift these cookies to family and friends. I'm in a few secret santas this year so I'm hoping to include a few homemade cookies with their gift. Check out these this adorable reindeer cookie recipe from my archive.

+5. Get shopping
This year I decided not to purchase all of my Christmas gifts on Black Friday because although I got really great deals I realized it took a lot of the fun out of Christmas shopping. I love going shopping with my mom and sister a few days before Christmas Eve to get any final presents. It's so much fun to enjoy a warm drink, walk in the brisk winter air, and appreciate the many lights and decorations in the malls near me.

What are your favorite things to do during the holiday season?

Xoxo

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gift Guide {My Wishlist}

This year for Christmas I feel like there is a lot on my list, so I'm leaving it up to Santa to pick out a couple things that he thinks I deserve. Most of my gifts are pretty expensive this year, just because I would rather receive one nice gift than multiple small ones that will lose value quickly. My list can also be used as a gift guide if you're looking for what to give a friend my age (hint: I'm 18). I'm obviously not expecting to receive all (or any for that matter) of these gifts for Christmas, but these are some things I'm totally loving.


Gift Guide {My Wishlist}


I think the number one thing on my list this year is a Tory Burch wallet. My current wallet is a cute Kate Spade one that a friend gave to me, but I really want a nice, zip wallet that I can use for the next few years. Of course I'd love it in navy, but practically everything I own is navy so I'll rather settle for a camel or pink one.

I've been debating purchasing a GoPro for the past couple years because it seems like such a fun thing to have. I feel like I could make such cool videos if I could bring it on trips or to concerts. Last year it was on my wishlist, but definitely not at the top. This year it's much higher up, but I'm still not totally sure about how much use I'd get out of it.

One other thing I've been wanting for a while is new makeup. The current makeup I have just isn't doing it for me and I want to go to Sephora or Nordstrom and talk to an artist there and see what products would work best for me. The problem with makeup is that if it's not drugstore, it tends to be super expensive. That's why I thought it'd be a great idea as a Christmas gift in the form of a Sephora or Nordstrom gift card. Stay tuned for more gift guides to come this week!

Shop my Christmas list below:

What's #1 on your list for Christmas this year?

Xoxo

Thursday, December 3, 2015

TGIF

I wish I could spend all of my time holiday shopping!

This week has been hell. Between long practices, piling homework and test overload I've had trouble keeping it together. Thankfully I only have a week plus finals before break (eep!). I cannot wait to be free from school & stress for two whole weeks. And I cannot wait for Christmas. It's just always difficult getting into the Christmas spirit when you have to study for exams. Anyways, I have my second dance competition tomorrow and a spirit assembly & basketball game tonight. I'm going to be exhausted by the end of Saturday, but I'm so excited to spend Sunday at the spa for my grandma's birthday. It will be much needed r&r. Here are a few things I'm loving. 


This is just about the coolest thing ever. I discovered it thanks to Olivia and I'm in love with this concept. Basically, each month they hand select four people to send love letter bundles to. That's where you, yes you, come in. They give a little backstory to the person who you'll write letters to and their address. Immediately after I found the site it said the letters needed to be in the mail by the fourth so I grabbed my cutest stationary and got writing! It's so amazing how these letters have changed peoples lives. A definite MUST try!

+What would your Gossip Girl life be like?
I'm a sucker for all BuzzFeed quizzes and especially when it has anything to do with Gossip Girl. Take the quiz and see. I got "Queen of the Upper East Side", what did you get?

+Freddy My Love
I recently discovered that one of my favorite YouTubers, Freddy, has a blog! First off, I love her channel because she has an obsession with pink and I'm in love with her accent. She's so beautiful, I'm not quite sure why she's not a Victoria's Secret model...but the photos on her blog are stunning. Not to mention her incredible style!

+25 Days of Christmas
Have you been tuning in to watch ABC Family's 25 days of Christmas? I've been watching The Santa Clause for the past two days. It's probably one of my favorites! View the complete schedule here. Also, is anyone else heated they're changing their name from ABC family to Freeform? I'm not sure how I feel about it...

Have an incredible weekend!

Xoxo

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holiday Playlist

The best thing about Christmas has to be the nonstop Christmas music everywhere you go. I cannot deny that I started listening to Christmas music well before Thanksgiving, but thankfully now it is widely accepted to start listening. I've compiled my absolute favorite Christmas songs into a playlist that I'm totally obsessed with (& my friends are too). I'm constantly adding new songs that I forgot, so be sure to keep listening! Enjoy!


What's your favorite Christmas song? I'd love to hear any suggestions of what to add!

Xoxo