Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition - Overcoming Obstacles

By now, I hope you have discovered Amber's blog for yourself and been introduced to this inspiring meme.

If not, quick run-down: Amber started the Extreme Makeover: Me Edition a few weeks ago where we concentrate on how to take time out of our hectic lives and days for ourselves. To make ourselves better. The empty cup cannot quench the thirst of those who need it. In the same way, we cannot be great mothers, wives, sisters, friends, daughters, employees, bosses, etc. unless we refresh ourselves!

Each week, we update each other on our progress and address a specific question...


This week's question: What is your biggest obstacle right now?
How are you making plans to overcome/push forward?


This week, my progress update can be incorporated into my answer, which is great for me.

A couple of the obstacles I've found myself facing are:

1. Being too lazy to exercise.

2. Becoming increasingly anti-social since working from home.

As far as #1, I have really made an effort to exercise in the past week. It helped when I realized I'm leaving for Palm Beach next Saturday, which means it is not long before I'm going to have to wear a bathing suit in public. And I would like to look somewhat toned.

Friday I spent an hour vigorously vacuuming the entire house, then did a few triceps chair dips, which I've tried to do daily. Over the weekend, I took the dog for a few walks and threw in some crunches. Monday night, I did the same while watching football, and then last night I did a 30-minute On Demand Yoga workout focusing on thighs and butt. Whew! That was a workout for the whole body! I plan on doing another 30 minutes of On Demand Yoga tonight as well. It's slowly incorporating little things every day, setting aside just a half hour to devote to exercise. I'm considering signing up for formal Yoga classes in another week or so to force me to continue my practice and help me address #2...

Working from home is an amazing luxury I'm so grateful for, but it has its downsides. Obviously there's the motivation/distraction factor, but I'm a pretty disciplined person when it comes to work, so that hasn't been my problem. The problem is that the only interaction I have during the day is talking to the dog. Especially with Jed traveling the past two weeks... I've had little human interaction outside of conference calls.

I've shared this feeling with a couple coworkers who offered for me to call them when I feel the need for real conversation. I also plan on making the effort to go into the office more just to socialize, be visible, catch up with people. Then there's the Yoga classes, and I'm going to make more of an effort to make plans the nights Jed isn't around just to share my day with someone.

So, there are my current obstacles to being a better me. What about you? What obstacles are you facing? Any tips on how to overcome them?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tears fall like raindrops...

I just got some very sad news, and I'm not sure how to take it. One of my old coworkers who sat next to me for the first year I worked at my company (dropping sunflower seed shells all around my desk, no less) died last night when she was hit by a car in Brooklyn, NY. I can't yet grasp the tragedy of this event. She was such a lively, optimistic, friendly person that anyone was glad to know who did. It reminds you how fragile life really is.

Woman critical after car strike

By Kerry Burke and John Lauinger

Daily News Staff Writers

Tuesday, September 29th 2009, 4:00 AM

A 29-year-old woman was in critical condition Monday night after she was mowed down by a Mercedes-Benzwhile trying to cross a busy Brooklyn street during a rainstorm, police said.

The woman had just stepped from the sidewalk onto Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights when she was struck by the silver Mercedes traveling westbound, police and a witness said.

She was attempting to cross the major thoroughfare at Nostrand Ave., and the force of the collision threw her some 25 feet into the roadway.

Her sneakers were knocked off her feet and landed several yards apart. The Chinese food she had been carrying was splattered on a bike path along a roadway median.

"The accident was very bad. She was laid out on her back," said witness Delicien Estime, 43.

The woman, who was not immediately identified Monday night, was in "extremely critical condition" at Kings County Hospital, a police source said.

The crash was ruled an accident, but the driver, Pedro Hazel, 71, of Brooklyn, was taken into custody and issued a summons for driving with a suspended license, police said.

Hazel told the Daily News the woman crossed against the light. "She stepped out in front of my car," he said. "It was terrible."

Monday, September 28, 2009

FMM: Some Things I Can't Live Without


List a few things that you cannot live without.

One of my best friends and my boyfriend, Jed.

A comfy place to curl up and read, watch, write and listen.

Patriots football... and Tom Brady.

A good-looking pair of comfy flare jeans.

Life's a beach, or at least my house is!

{Hello Megan!}

I found this quiz on Megan's blog and had to take it because who doesn't love quizzes to find more about herself?

So, my result was a tie between Nantucket Style and Traditional Country. While my house definitely incorporates elements of both, I'm gong with Nantucket Style because, if I could, my entire house would be a beach!

Nantucket Style

Oh how you love the beach! Who doesn't, right? And so your dream home is either perched in your favorite beach town, or you've brought that favorite beach town into your house.


Your art and accessories speak directly to the activities that are found at the beach. Pieces of driftwood you found here, pictures or paintings of the amazing views there. Things that remind you of the coast - surf boards or fishing boats - are found throughout the house. The feeling of the seaside is both abstract and literal in the design of your space. The fabrics are natural, cottons and linens and are light in color and touch. Much of the furniture is wood or wood framed (the lighter the better, think driftwood!) and wicker, when done right, is a must.


And since your true inspiration is the sea, the colors and textures in your home are the same that you would find at your favorite beach: white, light beiges and grays of the sand and driftwood, a variety of blues for the ocean and sky, and greens and vibrant blues of the sea glass... but the key is white! Your space should feel light and airy and give off the mood one has when at the beach: laid back!

Space Planning

Your furniture is comfortable and the layout is cozy. The more it reminds you of actually sitting on the warm sand the better! And what do you do at the beach? Hang out with family and friends - and your home is just an extension of this play place... and though the space is filled with large white furniture, it somehow manages to feel both durable and casual.

That room is gorgeous right? So relaxing and inviting. I love everything about it. EVERYTHING!

Ok, quick weekend recap...

Friday night I picked up Jed at the train station right now time and drove down to Warwick to get me some Hooters. Um, awkward. I meant wings... and a nice cold Blue Moon pumpkin! I dunno about the rest of you, but I'm one chick who loves Hooter's. I take it all in good fun. Which is why I was extremely disappointed when our waitress came over wearing black boy shorts! Black! What happened to the shiny, tacky, fluorescent orange shorts??? Don't even THINK about bringing Hooter's into the 21st century. Don't.Even.Think.About.It.

Saturday morning we got up early to sort out some car stuff, then came home and lounged on the couch in our PJs catching up on TV shows we had recorded. Mostly the House season premiere, and it was depressing. We finally decided it would be a good idea to get dressed... for more lounging on the couch catching up on TV. LOL! We did leave the couch to go to my parents' house for dinner. My mom made one of my favs: roast pork with roasted potatoes, along with asparagus, whipped butternut squash and cinnamon apples. Yum! Then warm homemade brownies topped with ice cream and caramel sauce for dessert. More yum!

Sunday we slept in, went to Mass, met up with Jed's parents and grandfather for a delicious lunch at this place, then went back to Pepe's house for birthday cake for Jed's dad. Last night we caught up on more TV, made nachos and garlic bread for dinner (yes, healthy, doesn't even compare to the night before) and went to bed somewhat early.

Now it's back to another week! I missed out on football yesterday because of the fam stuff, so I'm going to watch the Patriots game tonight, which I'm sure you'll hear about when it's over (for me).

How was your weekend? How's your Monday going?

Friday, September 25, 2009

First Weekend of Fall!

This is me not being lazy and taking time to blog when I could be lounging on the couch (still doing) watching Samantha Brown's Passport to Great Weekends (also still doing).

Since I'm multi-tasking, we'll make this simple. Here are my five things to do this weekend, fall-theme since this is the first official weekend of fall, and boy does it feel like it in Rhode Island!

Go on an adventure -- large or small. Road trip to see the foliage, try a new restaurant, read a new book, plan a vacation. And tell me about them!

Check out the season premiere of SNL tomorrow night on NBC. I'm told it's the 35th season, wouldn't know, never really caught onto it. When the show was in its heyday, I was too young to stay up that late. Even though "everyone was doing it." Megan Fox, of Transformers fame, is hosting the opener, which should be interesting. She doesn't strike me as very funny. And, (this is for K.Law) Ryan Reynolds(!) hosts next Saturday, October 3!! Now THAT is one to DVR while you are bar-hopping!

Go to a local farm and pick out your pumpkin! I was out driving the other day, and I saw the first pumpkin on someone's front porch. I instantly wanted a pumpkin (or two or three) for my front and side stairs.

GO SEE FAME! I am wicked excited for this movie, mostly because it features this lovely lady, Kherington Payne from So You Think You Can Dance, along with season four winner Joshua. I love me a good modern musical film, even though I never saw the original. Maybe this will inspire me to Netflix it.

While you are picking out your pumpkin, don't forget the apples! Apple-picking is one of my all-time, ok my all-time, favorite fall pastime. Climbing trees to reach that perfect apple (even though you're not supposed to), pulling a red wagon full of your bright red treats around the orchard, and getting them home for apple pies, warm apple crisp, apple bread and a healthy addition to your daily lunch. Hint: if you Google apple picking, you should be able to pull up a database on you-pick-it orchards in your area.

This weekend, I am hitting up Hooter's in Warwick for some wings and cold beer after I pick Jed up from his travels this week. Tomorrow is supposed to be gorgeous so I really want to take Morris to the dog park in Providence for a frolic, then tomorrow night we're heading to my parents' house for dinner (and to move some more of my stuff to the new house). Sunday it's Mass then lunch with Jed's parents and grandfather followed by cake for his dad's birthday (which is today - Happy Birthday!). Somewhere in there, I hope to catch up on all the shows we recorded that I have not watched because I'm waiting for Jed.

Have a great weekend everyone! Let me know what you are up to!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oh Mr. Postman...

Wow, I haven't been so excited about mail in a while! I had some pretty sweet surprises waiting for me today, my friends, and I couldn't wait to share them with you!

First, the good...

I don't know if y'all know, but I won my very first bloggy giveaway from the lovely Miss K. Law: Inspired! {Dudes, if you haven't checked out her blog after all the free PR I'm giving her today, I just don't know what's wrong with you... unless you follow her already, of course.}

So, I had this in my mailbox today...

And my grand prize are these adorable, PERSONALIZED note-cards from Michelle Harrod at Peony Paperie on Etsy!

Aren't they the cutest??? I can't wait to write my first note in one! And after seeing these beauties, you can bet I'll be ordering from her in the future! Hmmm... wedding invites anyone?? Nah, teasing, nothing yet. {And I promised myself I would stop talking about it, bugging Jed about it, and thinking about it. Well... maybe not thinking about it...}

Anyway, wicked cute... thank you Kristen and thank you Michelle!

Now for the shocker in the metal can that's my mailbox... I could not believe this!

This is the front of the invitation to my 10-year high school reunion.

Cute huh? All of us back in the day when we were so excited our theme song was Prince, and we partied like it was 1999 for four years. I pulled this out backside up and would have never noticed unless the reunion chair didn't include a personal note saying she hopes I like the photo...

Oh yes! OH NOOOOO!!!! Friends, (sorry for the blur) in the bottom right corner, right next to our graduation year is one of my not-so-fabulous high school candids!

That is me and Jed (when we first started dating!) at our senior retreat weekend (we went to a Catholic high school). That is before I discovered that shampoo and conditioner came in separate bottles. That is before I knew hair products worked wonders for curly frizz. That is before makeup that wasn't worn at dance recitals and before I realized I looked a million times better in clothes that actually fit me.


Well, on the up side, if I go, it'll be even more of a shock when they see how absolutely STUNNING I am today... 10 years later... bitches!

Whip it real hard!

OMG! Get yourself HERE now!!! to hear the musical stylings of DJ Blue... none other than this gorgeous girl's HUBS!!!

This is my girl, ya know. She's showcasing the hubs' vinyl collection on her blog as well.

I'm in the office shakin' my thang!!!


I don't do wedding stuff on my blog (yet), but for all you Boston-area brides-to-be out there, I thought I would share...

J.Crew is talked about a lot among wedding blogs for their beautifully wearable bridesmaid dresses and quality, simple wedding gowns.

While I'd want a little more elaborate wedding gown for my wedding, I would totally snatch up one of their gowns if I could have a beach wedding. Plus, super easy to shorten it and wear again if you wanted to keep it around.

The bridesmaid dresses, while a tad on the pricey side, will definitely be considered when my nuptials come around. While I've been turned off to J.Crew's normal wardrobe, I still admire their quality and design, evident in these dresses. Many can become your next LBD... but in a wedding-coordinated color of your choosing.

So, if you are in the area and shopping for wedding apparel, check out the trunk show! And then pop into the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Yum!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sweet Dreams...

KS over at While We're Waiting politely asked me to share a sneak peek of my bedroom (actually my slumber throne) with her. Oh if only she knew how this baby has been in hiding. If only she knew how much thought I put into decorating my first "real" bedroom (a.k.a. not in my parents' house and not in a college-owned property). If only she knew how proud I am of how it came out.

It is not there yet, friends, so I am truly only sharing sneak peeks, but you will have to let me know what you think. First, though, some awesome bedrooms I found browsing the Web... all of which contain elements I tried to incorporate into my own (and Jed's) sleepy space.

My first "wow" bedroom (outside of the Newport mansions) was walking into Rachel Ashwell's (excuse me, she blogs here!) Shabby Chic store in the new Natick (MA) mall. I felt totally at home and like the entire store was one huge manifestation of my personality: sweet, romantic, delicate, a bit rough around the edges, elegant but casual. These images are taken from Rachel's blog...

Love the roughed-up white-wash with the light blue and contrasting bright pink.

I love blue, if you can't tell. And yellow, while not one of my favorite colors, offers a great, soothing contrast to my fav shade of blue.
I love the light drapes, the matching bedside lamps, the white metal bed, the cute bedside table and the natural-fabric rug. This room is so light and airy, but the polished dark hardwood floors ground it. And for a bit of shabby chic, misaligned pictures over the bed.

And here is the same bed in antique pewter, which I'd probably prefer to contrast all the light colors I would have in the room.
In this room, I really like the roman shades with contrast stripe and the white trunk. The wall-mounted bedside light frees up the bedside table for some shabby chic finds. Oh, and I heart the half bead-board, half tan-paint walls.
Also via Pottery Barn

In my room, I tried to incorporate some shabby chic elements with my main design: beach cottage. As much as I love blue, I love the beach: the colors, the sounds, the smells, the texture.
This is the ultimate in beach cottage chic. The white board walls, the huge windows, white Roman shades... all reflect the bright summer sun. I really wanted white furniture for our "beach room," but that's not very practical if you ever want to switch it up. And Jed doesn't like white furniture. But I heart this storage bed from Pottery Barn with straw baskets. Notice the turquoise dresser between the beds -- totally beachy and shabby chic! Everything in this room is perfect. Cut it out and move it into my house please!

We're getting closer...

Here is a beach cottage bedroom that I've actually slept in!
This is the master bedroom in the cottage I, and my two best girlfriends, rented in Harwich, Cape Cod (I won't tell you how many years ago). Again with the white board walls (a must-have... too bad I couldn't do this with my walls) and huge windows creating an airy summer feel. My favorite color makes an appearance as an accent, and the white bedspread is perfect for chilly summer nights.

Now your sneak peek!

Are you excited???

Here's a shot of the comforter, blue and white color-block.
A $70 steal at Wal-Mart.

And the side of the comforter with a glimpse of bed-rail...

And here is a piece of our headboard, through which you can see our innovative paint job.
Ah yes, and don't forget my sateen-stripe, 400-thread count sheets.
(Target -- they are ah-maze-ing! Try them!)

And that's all for now, folks. Sorry!

But wait! Don't leave quite yet. There's more to these sweet dreams...

Some Wednesday randomness for you...

One good thing about Jed being away is that the creative chef in my comes out. (Sad for him, I know.) After three nights of Mexican layer and buffalo chicken dip, (don't ask... ok, ask... they're are immense amounts of leftovers from our big party Saturday night) I was ready for a real dinner.

So I cleaned out some leftovers of a different variety: fresh broccoli and cherry tomatoes. I efficiently set up two frying pans and a pot on the stove: EVOO in the frying pans and water set to boil in the pot. Washed the veggies and quartered the tomatoes. Some farfalle pasta boiling away. Start sauteing the tomatoes, adding Italian seasoning and garlic salt.

{This is not a recipe folks, this is a Nifer original.}

Once those are softened and simmering, saute the broccoli with a bit of thyme (sauteing is my favorite cooking method). Mix your homemade "tomato sauce" with the pasta, add broccoli on the side, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese...

And you get this gorgeous, yummy creation! Simple, quick, easy, healthy and TOTALLY DELICIOUS!!!

And waaaay more refreshing than another night of dip.

Finally, I got my hairs cut today! I totally needed a trim, and with my looming vacation, I gotta polish up! Plus, I found out the water in my new town is loaded with drying chemicals, and my poor curls have been suffering! A friend on the same water system alerted me and told me about this Goldwell product her hairdresser recommended to replenish moisture to her locks.

I invested in some Organix Hydrating Teatree Mint shampoo and conditioner. And I talked to my stylist about my little problem. She also recommended Goldwell: Dualsenses Curly Twist Leave-In 2-Phase Spray. She used it after my cut, and combined with the Organix and trim, it seems to be a bit better.

So, here's hoping I'm on my way to beautiful, healthy curls once again!

Sorry for the long post (but wasn't it action-packed?!?), I'll leave you to your own sweet dreams now...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Perfect... Exactly my feelings this week...

Boyfriend, my heart is waiting for you on your pillow.

Blog friends... I am finally caught up (well up to today's posts) reading all your lovely blogs. I'm sorry for the lack of comments, but I'm back, and I will keep up now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm grateful...

This is something that is really hard for me. I'm always chasing happiness, but I never stop to just be happy. I always had this picture of what my perfect life would be, but as I pieced the picture together, the happiness I thought it would bring me slipped through my fingers like sand held too tightly.

I am working more on stopping to enjoy happiness. To realize I've attained most of that perfect picture, and rather than creating a new one to piece together, I'm trying to stop and just be in the picture.

Very profound stuff for a Monday night.

While catching up on blogs, I read a post on Great Full Day that today is World Gratitude Day.

In the spirit of the day, I'm going to be grateful for the one thing I'm without right now, the one thing I have been taking for grated, and the last thing I wanted to let slip through my fingers like that. I am grateful for the love of my life.

He is away (again), traveling for work, and I miss him. We have been stumbling lately, mostly because of me. I haven't been grateful. I haven't been happy. I've been nit-picky about adjusting the picture so all the pieces fit together. That's not the way life and love work. It's a compromise, it's patience, it's understanding. It's not your picture, it's our picture. It's stepping back and remembering that this is the love you fought for. And you need to keep fighting.

So today, I am making a fresh resolution to be grateful for my blessings and stop the pursuit of happiness to be happy.

Friend-Makin Monday: Craigslist

Craigslist: do you love it or hate it?
Do you use Craigslist?
What have your experiences been? Good or bad?
What was the best thing you've ever bought?
What was the best deal you ever sold?

I have to just say that Craigslist still freaks me out a bit. I've heard too many horror stories, both from personal friends and on the news. That said, though, it can be a valuable tool if used carefully.

I know people who have found roommates/apartments on Craigslist and stumbled into the perfect situation living in a great place and making new friends. My boyfriend kinda turned me on to the whole thing, although I have never personally bought or sold anything on the site.

We did buy our coffee table off Craigslist when we first moved into the house, and it's great! It's exactly what my boyfriend wanted, and we got it for half of what we would have paid in a store. I also browsed the site quite a bit for other furniture when we were moving, but we managed to find new stuff for just a bit more (and if you can have a new couch for $50 more than someone's used one, which route would you go?).

So, I'm not writing it off, but it's not really the first place I go when I need something either.

Ok everyone, your turn to weight in... make sure you link back to Miss Amber's page (click the image to be directed), and also comment on my post so I can read about your experiences!

Have a happy Monday!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"... incomplete"

The announcer describes Brady's last pass of the Pats at Jets game. Ugh... and that's exactly what the Patriots' offense was today. I am so frustrated; nothing was right. Brady's timing was off, his arcs sailed aimlessly, the receivers couldn't get open or make plays, and the offense line was pitiful! I hate the turnover and injuries on the offense, but at least my #12 is back, albeit without some of his greatest weapons.

To their credit, the Jets' offense brought it. The pass rush was impeccable, and they were aggressive. Even the Jets' rook QB lit up in the second half. It will be interesting to see what they bring to Foxboro in November.

Welcome to football season with Nifer, folks. It's an emotional roller coaster on which I go from being totally amped up (as after last week's amazing comeback victory) to suffering the Monday blues (and not just because I have to go back to work); this will be the case tomorrow.

I'm the type of hometown fan who will trash talk, chant "Yankees Suck" until I lose my voice, and sacrifice my first-born for the sake of my team. What can I say? I'm from Boston. When it comes to sports, we are about as hard core as it gets.

Speaking of Boston...

I thoroughly enjoyed the new, limited-edition Absolut Boston with ginger ale last night. Simply delightful. It might be my new, limited-edition signature drink. Clean, fresh, simple. Try it out and let me know what you think.

P.S. A warm welcome to my newest follower, Samantha Ellis of The Nobody. This lovely lady just started blogging folks, so go check her out!

{click images for source}

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Finally!" Thursday

Lots of finally's today: fall fashion, my Chicago friend back in Boston for a night out on old stomping grounds, and booking our Palm Beach trip!

Yes, that's right folks, we are heading to gorgeous Palm Beach for 5 nights/6 days in just three weeks, at the Marriott Ocean Pointe Vacation Club!

As you can imagine after a summer without visiting the beach, my toes are aching to squeeze some warm sand.

All I want to do is lay on the beach and soak up the rays (this girl needs a tan pronto!). I'm looking forward to a bit of water fun as well... maybe some jetskiing or a catamaran sail with snorkeling?
And some serious sleeping in enjoying our one-bedroom villa(!). Maybe room service breakfast in bed is called for???

Between changing jobs and changing addresses, I need some major relaxation. I think the daily grind has been getting to Jed and I, so a little R&R and adventure is just what we need.
Oh don't you worry, this girl will be packed with itinerary in hand within a week!
For now, I'm super looking forward to getting out of work in a half hour and heading into Boston to see my Chi friend and meeting his new girlfriend! I love visiting college haunts and throwing back a few with old friends. Sadly, I will not have pictures as I rushed out of the house this morning without my camera.
{All pictures via marriott.com}

Finally Fall Fashion

I am so excited I can barely type! Let's start at the beginning. I subscribe to a bunch of different e-mail newsletters from Real Simple (a simply awesome publication), and one of them is Daily Finds.

Well, today's Daily Finds are all about fashion that transitions into fall! (I know, I know, you all have been talking about fall fashion for weeks, but it depressed me. I wasn't ready. I needed to come to terms with fall on my own time.)

I have such a hard time with fall and spring fashion because I'm such an extremist, so all my clothes are either really warm and bulky or extremely light and airy. I tend to miss shopping those transitional seasons (which extend for months here in New England). Lately, I've been trying to buy light layering pieces and 3/4-sleeve tops and the like.

Today's Daily Finds inspired me so much, I'm posting on them! I'm taking some pictures from the actual newsletter, but I scouted out my own "fall wish list" items from Old Navy -- my new fav go-to store. Let's face it: ON is cheap, trendy, comfortable, decent quality, and coming out with some really amazing stuff!

So, here are the "must-have" fall transitional pieces, according to Real Simple, and my personal picks in each category.


J.Crew Heather Carbon Schoolboy Blazer, $188

A good blazer is just a must-have item in any wardrobe, but it is a nice option for fall, since you can layer it over your summer sleeveless tops, or a light sweater on a cooler day. It polishes up almost any outfit, especially if you can splurge on this J.Crew beauty.

Gap Corduroy Blazer

As you will see (or already know), corduroy is a huge fall staple, so any piece in cord will work. I've been craving a corduroy blazer for some time, and this one from Gap may be the lucky winner. It will pair perfectly with jeans or khakis, or throw on over your fav dress trousers for a fall work ensemble.

Marc Jacobs Wildflower Scarf on shopbop.com, $48

Animal prints, done tastefully, are always in style, and this neutral cotton scarf is living proof. Dress it up, dress it down, it just works.

Old Navy Jersey Scarf, $5.99

For an inexpensive option, head to Old Navy, where you will find a HUGE selection of scarfs in all colors and materials. I heart this jersey scarf with neutral tones. It's a bit more casual, but I bet it's super comfy!

Urban Outfitters' Ruffle Front Tunic by Kimchi Blue, $58

A lightweight, short or 3/4-sleeve blouse easily transitions from late summer to fall, and then from spring into summer again. Choose lighter, neutral, classic colors that can shift from season to season, and you have a piece worth investing in -- like this Urban tunic.

Old Navy Lace-Trim Button-Down Shirt, $24.50

Again, a visit to Old Navy will produce wonderful results as well. Loving this cute lace-trim, short-sleeve blouse that would work wonderfully as a summer work staple, but you can easily bring it into fall with a cord blazer or jean jacket layered on top.


Old Navy Shawl-Collar Cardigan, $29.50

Ok, I hated the cardigan Real Simple found: some wool-blend, designer, ugly crap (sorry to those who visit the link and like it), so I selected this friendly Old Navy cardi. For less than $30!!!! This sucker is cotton, comfy and super cute. It's the boyfriend style everyone craves, with a little shawl sophistication. It comes in white, gray and black, so you can go neutral, but I love this turquoise color to brighten up fall.


Old Navy Button-Pocket Bedford Cord, $17.99

Again, wasn't feeling Real Simple's mustard-yellow Gap crop cord that was reasonably priced, but still more than I want to pay for the contradiction that is the cropped cord. In mustard yellow. Eek. This Old Navy pair is more my style, ON SALE FOR $18!!!! The cool gray color is all the rage while keeping it neutral, and I love the tab-waist and button-pocket detailing.


Old Navy Pleated Jersey Dress, $15

I have been eyeing this for months, and now it's just $15! Jersey dresses are so versatile for travel, work, play, a night out, and they are practically maintenance-free! Layer this with cute tights, and you have a nice fall outfit.

Old Navy Corduroy Shirtdress, $29.50
I might wait until this goes on sale a bit, because $30 is more than I want to spend on an Old Navy dress. But isn't it adorable? You can roll the sleeves down for chillier days, and it's office or apple-picking appropriate. I love the color, and again, corduroy is great for fall!
Old Navy Belted Trench, $49.50
Technically not a jacket, but too good to pass up. This is an absolutely classic and wardrobe staple. I'm resisting the urge to run out and pick one up now!

Old Navy Double-Breasted Military Blazer, $39.50 (now on sale for $25!)

Do not pass Go, do not stop to collect $100, go straight to pick up this item! It serves double-duty as a blazer and a jacket. Now, if only it came in fatigue green... (I like to be authentic)

And don't forget your trusty denim jacket. I found this one at Old Navy (where else?), but I'm sure you already have one in your closet, and if you don't, you must get one! Mine is actually from the J.Crew Outlet, slightly more distressed dark denim. Love it, have had it for years. I'm actually sporting it today with a plum, 3/4-sleeve, boatneck jersey top (from Old Navy of course!) and American Eagle flare-leg jeans.
Maybe I'm getting the hang of this fall fashion thing after all....
{All ON images from the Old Navy Web site. All other images from Real Simple's Daily Finds, except Gap blazer (click on image to see source).}