Shop the Look!


Aren’t these the cutest tassel sandals ever?? I just ordered them from Lulu’s and I HAD to tell you guys because they are only $17 right now! AND they’re vegan suede! They also come in “Oat” (a light beige) for $21. Linking them HERE so you ladies can fall in love too!

Shop similar sunglasses HERE for only $5 or get the exact pair HERE for $14!

The leopard clutch was a clearance steal from Express earlier this summer, but Lulu’s has TONS of adorable vegan clutches for amazing prices. Check out their selection HERE.



N Sale on a Student Budget

Okay, y’all. The N Sale is happening… If you don’t have early access (like me, haven’t gotten the card yet), it starts TOMORROW… And ALL the fashion bloggers are talking about it. You probably glanced at the sneak peek and, if you’re anything like me, were like HOLY $*%T, I can’t afford any of this cute stuff… I have $1000 worth of textbooks to buy before next month! Plus highlighters and pencils and pens and note cards and notebooks and printer ink and a new parking pass and fees and tuition and…..

BUT WAIT, it’s okay ladies, because I scoped through the whole sale. I sorted by lowest price to highest price (typical). I searched for closet staples that you can use multiple ways for your fall wardrobe, getting the most use out of each piece for your money. I have compiled my few select finds for a working girl on a tight budget, so read up ladies! The sale opens to the public TOMORROW (July 22nd!) Hope this helps!

1. Hunter ‘Original Refined’ Rain Boot (Women) – Sale $129
.90 (After Sale: $195.00). Okay, so this may be a BIT of a splurge, but I don’t think I can go another fall without these babies. Campus walking is impossible without a solid pair of rainboots. So, really, they’re a necessity… Like books.. Right?

2. This Lush ‘Whitney’ Bell Sleeve Woven Shift Dress is an absolute necessity! I need it in like, four colors. Good news is, it comes in 10! TEN colors. Ladies, you can’t go wrong here. $31.90 on sale, after sale $48.00.

3. Every fall wardrobe needs some go-to sweaters (preferably super cozy and oversized!). Here’s one on sale that can be worked in so many ways, and it comes in three total fall colors! It’s the Dreamers by Debut Seamed V-Neck Pullover – Sale $28.90 After Sale $44.00.

4. Okay, I can’t be the only one who’s super in love with the mini backpack craze. Found this cutie on sale AND… It’s faux-leather (score!) It’s the BP Faux Leather Backpack. Sale $31.90 After Sale $49.00. PLUS, it comes in black and cognac (my fav!)

5. Speaking of bags, can we all just take a moment to appreciate this PERF staple bag for this fall in Burgundy Stem? I’m in LOVE. The Sole Society ‘Thalia’ Crossbody Bag, on sale for $32.90. After Sale $49.95. (Faux-Leather, guys!)

6. One of my fav go-to outfits in the fall is a simple flowy tunic with leggings or distressed jeans and some cognac or brown boots. With a few added accessories, like some bling or a blanket scarf, it’s the perfect fall look. Here are some perfect fall tunics to add to your wardrobe! BP Long Sleeve Tunic Tee, on sale for $17.90. After Sale $28.00. It comes in 4 colors!



7. Every girl needs a red plaid shirt for fall. This BP Plaid Tunic Shirt is on sale  for $28.90. After Sale $44.00. Pictures here is my fav in Red Jester Soyle Plaid. If you’re looking for a different color, good news! It comes in SIX!

8. No fall wardrobe is complete without some killer scarves! Check out these cuties! This BP Mixed Leopard Pattern scarf is originally $29.00 and on sale for $18.90!

leopard scarf.jpg

On top of this adorbs leopard scarf, plaid blanket or square scarves are a MUST. These BP Plaid Square Scarves are $18.90 as well, originally $29.00 and they come in these three colors!


The N Sale is definitely hard to shop at when you’re on a student budget, so I will be coming out with a post soon of my total shopping list for this fall, including items from places like Lulu’s, Forever 21, H&M, etc. Keep an eye out, lovelies!


Vegetarian Gluten-free Chicken Penne


If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m all about quick, easy, but YUMMY dinners. No one likes to come home from a long, hot sweaty day at work and spend an hour+ slaving away in the kitchen. But I do know one thing… I come home with an enormous appetite. SO, I’ve learned to find a balance between saving time, making dinner easy, and making it yummy and filling!

Here’s one of my favorite dishes to make: Gluten-free penne with Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini w/ spinach, tomato and vodka sauce.

For the pasta, I prefer Barilla gluten-free penne because it is the absolute best gluten-free pasta I’ve tried yet. The texture isn’t weird, it doesn’t cook weird, and it tastes just like the real gluten-filled yummy stuff!

Boiling Barilla GF pasta in a pot, add olive oil to a frying pan. Add the Chick’n Scallopini to the frying pan, add seasonings, and cover. The seasonings I used were thyme, Italian seasoning, oregano, black pepper and a pinch of salt.

When the Chick’n Scallopini is thawed through the middle, remove and slice into strips. Put back into the frying pan when sliced. Next, add a few handfuls of fresh, rinsed spinach and cook that down until the spinach is dark and shrunken. Finally, add freshly cut roma tomatoes and add more seasonings to taste.

Once I have all that in the frying pan, I like to crank up the heat to get a little sear on my Chick’n and tomatoes!

Add the cooked Chick’n, tomatoes and spinach to the drained, cooked pasta and add vodka sauce. Make sure to check that your vodka sauce is gluten-free! (I use Classico!) If you want to make this dish but VEGAN, choose a different sauce with no animal products. The vodka sauce has milk, but the Chick’n Scallopini is totally vegan!

AND NOW, enjoy with a glass of wine… Or two 😉

To find out where you can pick up some of Gardein’s amazing products, click HERE!

The Barilla GF pasta is at most of the grocery stores around me. Check your local grocery store for their products! If they don’t supply Barilla’s GF pasta, make sure to request it! 🙂


Shopping Your Local Farmers Market


Happy Hump day, y’all! Today I’m talking about FARMERS MARKETS!

I love farmers markets. I love shopping outside in mine and my fiance’s cute little town, meeting the farmers and owners of our local businesses, and I LOVE buying FRESH local produce and knowing exactly where it came from. We go every Tuesday. We have a few local farmstands, bakers, a stand with organic dog treats, healthy local food trucks and more! Yesterday we bought a large bunch of beets, two boxes of fresh-picked cherries, a box of large plums, and a giant green bell pepper for only $14! We both had dinner from our local healthy harvest food truck for $6.50 total. It was $20 well-spent!

The first few times I went, I kept telling myself, “Why don’t I just go to Walmart or Aldi? It’s so much cheaper there…” I was missing the whole point. True, produce from farmers markets can be a little more pricey, but here’s why you should pay the extra few dollars:

  1. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FAMILY FARMERS. Small farms are struggling to survive against large agribusiness. Shopping from them helps families in your own community. You’re not feeding the pockets of the already wealthy, you’re helping a family put food on the table, pay for their son’s soccer shoes or the family’s medical bills.
  2. HELP THE ANIMALS! I’m sure you’ve all seen the awful viral videos of big agribusiness and their treatment of farm animals. When you shop from your local farmers, you can find eggs, milk etc. from animals that have been treated humanely and live a pretty comfortable life! Additionally, if you are big on animal rights like me, this gives you the 1-on-1 opportunity to talk to your local farmers about how they cage, feed, and raise their animals before you buy from them. Many farms also have their own little store that you can visit personally and check out for yourself!
  3. TASTE THE DIFFERENCE. You will notice that your local produce simply tastes ten times better than the mass-produced and shipped all over the country crap that big stores sell.
  4. PROCESSED, PROCESSED, PROCESSED. Not only does the produce taste better, it’s often way better for you. Many farmers that show up to the farmers markets are selling organic produce now! Not to mention, we’ve all heard the horror stories of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, wax and gassing to stimulate ripening, sitting in storage forever… Avoid all this by shopping local.
  5. SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT. Did you know that, in the U.S., your food travels an average of 1500 miles to get to your plate? Think of all the gas used in the shipping, the natural resources just wasted, contributing to our pollution problem. Big agribusiness usually results in harm to the earth just from their farming process! When you buy from your local farmers, you’re only talking about a few miles of traveling from source to plate. Additionally, local farmers and their more-natural and traditional farming processes doesn’t harm the earth the way big ag does. That alone is worth it!

Why do YOU like to shop your local farmers market? Comment below and let’s chat!

As a sidenote: If you read my last post about juicing, you noticed I talked a little bit about locally-produced honey and how it helps with allergies. Your local farmers market is a great place to find it!

On the fashion side of things: Check out my farmers market outfit from yesterday! IMG_6505ed

The dress was a total steal-deal from TJ Maxx ($13!), shoes are old and bag is one of my fav go-to’s from Guess! Faux-leather and goes with everything. Watch is Michael Kors, Sunnies are Steve Madden.

Like the dress? Check your local TJ Maxx or check out this one from LuLu’s! It’s a little pricier but it’s not as casual as mine 🙂

These shoes are SUPER similar to mine and are on sale right now for under $20! Or, snag these shoes from my previous post from Target in Cognac!

Speaking of Cognac, my purse is old, but here’s one ON SALE right now from Guess for $30! They have it in Cognac to match your new shoes 😉

For Michael Kors watches that won’t break your bank, check your local TJ Maxx or Ross! TJ Maxx ALWAYS has them in stock in different styles. Mine is a rose gold tennis with a white face! While you’re there, check out their sunglasses! Ross always has Steve Madden ones on deck 🙂





5-Day Juice Cleanse


Happy Monday everyone!

I’ve been juicing on-and-off at home for a couple months . I bought a cheap juicer to see if, MAYBE, this could be something that works for me. Turns out, it’s the only thing that stuck in regards to living a healthier lifestyle. Since I started my juicing expedition, I’ve done a lot of research on juicers, vegetables and fruits that are best for juicing, what each vegetable and fruit has to offer for your health, and additives for your juices that can make drastic changes in your daily life.

Today I’m starting my very first actual “cleanse” and I’m aiming to make it last five days. That means no food til Saturday, just nutrient-rich juices! I’ve experimented with many recipes and I’ll be using the ones that I like the most (obviously) because it will be easier to stick to. If I can stick to it, I’ll be doing a blog at the end of the week detailing how I felt throughout the five days.

Right now, I’ll be sharing my 4 favorite recipes that I’ll be using each day, Monday through Friday. I will not include amounts for some of the ingredients because each juicer is different and uses different amounts of produce to make a glass of juice.

  1. Breakfast Greens (breakfast) – spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, 1 lemon, 1 orange, locally produced honey, chia seeds, turmeric.
  2. Skinny Jean (lunch) – 2 grapefruits, 2 lemons, 1″ fresh, peeled ginger root, locally produced honey, fresh-picked basil.
  3. Snack juice (snack) – Watermelon & 2 limes
  4. Tomato juice (dinner) – Roma tomatoes, peeled carrots, 1 fresh bell pepper (orange, yellow or red), 1 lemon, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, thyme.

If I get hungry after dinner, I will be making a variation of the breakfast greens with pineapple for my splash of citrus rather than the orange and lemon.

A few notes on some of my chosen ingredients:

  • Locally produced honey is said to help with seasonal allergies because it contains the local pollens and allergens of your area. One spoonful a day may help your daily struggle! Check your local farmers markets or local farmstands to find some close to your home!
  • Chia seeds are packed with nutrients and are associated with multiple health benefits, including lower cholesterol, stabilized blood sugar levels, improved digestion, higher energy levels, reduced risk for diabetes, increased fiber intake, stronger teeth and bones, improved insulin response, and appetite regulation.
  • Turmeric! My dad calls this one the magic cure-all spice. It contains a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps reduce enzymes in the body responsible for pain and swelling of arthritis. My nifty juicing bible also cites studies that say turmeric may help prevent colon cancer and Alzheimer’s!
  • Ginger, while best-known for its anti-nausea properties, also helps stop the production of free radicals. It also is associated with decreased blood pressure, reduced cancer risk, and relief from arthritis pain.
  • Cayenne pepper is derived from a pepper that is known to contain high levels of Vitamin A. The pepper is also linked to pain reduction and congestion relief.
  • Cumin is a great source for your iron needs, which is essential for your immune system! It has also been linked to improve digestion and prevent cancer.
  • Thyme is a great source for Vitamin K, and has been historically used as a natural remedy for respiratory illness. My nifty book also states that it may also provide antioxidant and antibacterial benefits! Lacking calcium? Thyme is also a great source for it!
  • Basil: my awesome book cites a study where a tea made from basil leaves may have helped shrink tumors in mice. How cool! It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It may also help protect cells from free radical damage.

If you’re thinking about getting into juicing, I highly recommend you snag the book linked above! It’s my go-to for everything juicing! It even breaks down the difference between types of juicers!

As a side note: obviously fruit juices taste better than vegetable juices. The problem with juicing too much fruit is that your juices will be very high in natural sugars and calories! Try to do vegetable juices, but counter the taste with a little citrus, as you’ll see in my juices above.

Comment with any questions you have about juicing!! I’d love to put this knowledge to use outside my own kitchen 😊


Rompers & Steamers

Sundays are always my errand-running days. While running around, it’s important to be comfortable, but you can also be stylish! Rompers are the perfect errand-running outfit. Simple and easy to dress up or dress down. This one only cost me about $10 a long while back from (I think) Forever 21, and it still looks great!

The secret?


Ladies, if you have not invested in a steamer yet, you are missing out. When you’re buying clothes on a budget, they’re not always the greatest quality. The first time I wore this romper a couple years back, I washed it, threw it in the dryer, and it came out all shriveled up and wrinkly! Irons are a pain and don’t work well on a lot of clothing items. Steamers are the way to go.

I plug my steamer in while I’m getting ready in the morning and within a couple minutes it’s hot and ready to use. Whatever I’m wearing, whether it’s a $4 tee or business clothes, they get a quick steam before I put them on. It keeps them looking brand new and wrinkle-free! I seriously recommend you make the investment.

We got ours from Walmart for $85. Here’s the link!

Like my romper? Check out some other short-sleeve ones here, and this off-the-shoulder one is on my shopping list!

I snagged these shoes on clearance from my local Target for only $10 but they are back in stock online right now, on sale, in brown AND black for only $26! (***Update: they are currently only available in brown. “Cognac” online).

My bag is one of my new FAUX-LEATHER babies from the Guess end of season sale! Snagged it here for only $59 and it’s still on sale! Not to mention, it also comes in black! Like the print? Check out this Cate Saddle Cross-body like the one I just posted in Tomatoe! Only $30. I may also own this one as well… 🙂


Sunnies from Forever 21. Check out their HUGE under $10 selection here.



Gluten-free Cast Iron Deep Dish Heaven

I’m an Italian with Celiac Disease.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

I was so devastated when I finally figured out what was making me so sick, because that meant my normal diet of bread, pasta, and pizza was going to change drastically. No more Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish downtown, no more Olive Garden breadsticks (ouch, my heart)…

Even though my options of eating out at my favorite Italian places are still limited, I’ve come to view my kitchen as a magical land of endless gluten-free opportunity! AND THEN, Betty Crocker became my fairy godmother.

The Betty Crocker Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix is my favorite. It’s only like, $3.99 max, unlike the other overpriced GF alternatives (that don’t even taste good).

I decided to try and recreate my vision of the perfect Chicago deep dish with the Betty Crocker crust and a cast iron pan, and I was actually pretty successful! Here’s how I did it:

  • Prepare Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix according to direction. You’ll notice that the last step says to bake the crust for 13-18 minutes or until golden brown before you add your toppings. I skipped this step because I was cooking a deep dish in a cast iron pan.
  • Use olive oil to grease the cast iron pan and spread the dough in the pan, making sure to cover the inside of the pan’s sides with dough as well!
  • Use an entire package of sliced mozzarella cheese and layer on top of the dough.
  • Place any toppings you’d like on top of the cheese. I used sliced roma tomatoes, sliced red onions, and fresh spinach.
  • Cover with pizza sauce. Make sure you check that the sauce you’re using is GF! I used about 1 1/2 normal-sized cans.
  • Add spices on top to taste. I used thyme, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and fresh-picked basil from my basil plant.
  • I cooked mine for 30 minutes at 425 degrees and I loved how it turned out. It’s the closest I’ve gotten to Lou Malnati’s or Rosati’s since I realized I was Celiac!

I checked the Betty Crocker website to see if I could find stores that have this product, but I couldn’t find it in their list of GF products yet! By google search, I found it should be at Walmart and Hyvee. I found mine at my local Butera. You can always talk to your local grocery store and request products as well! This would definitely be one to request if you’re GF!

Sidenote: the wine we’re drinking is my new fav for affordable wine: Naked Grape Moscato!