Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Working On Some Things...

I'm working on some things here at Leopard Spot and if something happens like pictures stop showing up, etc, let me know!

My email for responding to comments has also changed, so don't be alarmed when comments and everything start coming from a new email. Still me, just wanted a blogging-only email account!

Update: I forgot to transfer over my followed blogs onto my new Blogger account... fail. Anyone have any suggestions to fix this? If not, guess I'm hopping over to Bloglovin for full-time reading!

xx, Amy

Latest Lust: Leather Handbag Love

Hi everyone!

Since I've been back in my apartment and had full access to the internet (!!!! I'm still geekin out about it, internet, I love you!), I've been catching up on the latest goods from my favorite online retailers. While I've been looking around, one item has been particularly catching my eye: a structured leather tote. Some of my favorite Instagrammers and bloggers have been featuring some new arm candy lately and I've caught the bug.

I love carrying a tote to work or shopping - I can fit everything (and then some) into it! An umbrella, a Tervis, my large wallet, a cosmetic bag, a snack, my sunglasses, even a couple of small purchases... and if I know I'm going to be doing some heavy duty shopping I can throw in my reusable shopping bags and be set! I've been rocking a bilberry Longchamp for the past four years and I'm kiiiiiiind of ready for a different alternative. Here's the beauties that have caught my eye: Leather Handbag Love

Leather Handbag Love by leopard-spot featuring 100 leather handbags

one // two
three // four // five
six // seven

I really like all of these.... in a perfect world I wouldn't have to choose just one! I have a slight obsession with Tory Burch products (we're in the same sorority!) and I have been pining over a Tory bag for years now - maybe sometime soon my dream of owning a Tory Burch bag will come true!

GFC Lovin

Happy Wednesday! Halfway to the weekend :)

xx, Amy

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Taste of Tuesday: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Hi everyone!

Boy, do I have a treat for you today! Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Um, yum.

The boyfriend requested oatmeal chocolate chip cookies a couple of weeks ago and I jumped at the chance to do some baking. I looked through Pinterest a little and came across some of my pins from Sally of Sally's Baking Addiction's Pinterest. After perusing her blog for a little bit, I found a recipe that looked a) simple and b) delicious. Making a recipe of hers had been on my to do list for a while - her site makes me drool regularly - but since I don't have a hand mixer at school, I had to wait to bake until I was at my parents' house (and had access to my mom's kitchen!). Perfect timing!

The funny part about this recipe is that, once I told my boyfriend I was getting started on these cookies, he texts me, "I don't even know why I asked for these, I don't really like oatmeal cookies." What? Then why did you ask for them? I'm making them anyway! When he tasted them, he was like, "wow. I know I said I didn't usually like oatmeal cookies but I like these!" I'll chalk that up as a win for me! My sister, who is a sweet aficionado but hates oatmeal l o v e d these cookies. I had to force her to take a bite of the dough, just to taste test it, and she was like, "you need to give me more of that.... It's really good."

These cookies are chewy, incredibly moist, and so, so yummy. I wouldn't hate it if there were raisins in there, maybe even some nuts, but that's an experiment for another day. As they are, they are a perfect basic oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 and 2/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or mini M&Ms!)

*Makes approximately 30 cookies.

1. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and the brown and white sugars with a mixer until smooth.

2. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix again until combined.

3. Stir in the baking soda, cinnamon, oats, and flour. Mix until just combined but do not overmix!

4. Fold in (don't stir) the mini chocolate chips or M&Ms.

How yummy does this look!??
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for at least one hour. The dough needs to be very cold! I chilled mine for roughly an hour but I would have preferred to let it chill longer.

6. Hang out, watch some TV or read a magazine, run errands, drink a tasty iced coffee or whatever until your dough is cold.

7. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

8. On ungreased cookie sheets, roll tablespoon sized lumps of dough into balls. Place the balls on the cookie sheet, leaving room between each.

9. Bake each sheet of cookies for 10-11 minutes. The cookies will appear "undone" but they will firm up as they cool - this keeps the cookies moist and chewy!

10. As you take the cookies out of the oven, let them sit and cool on the cookie sheets for a couple of minutes before you transfer them to wire racks. Let them finish cooling on the wire racks, if you can, before devouring with a glass of milk!
A+ photo.... I got skillz, I know

*Note: My boyfriend said these could be bigger and "oat-ier". Next time I will increase the amount of oats either to 1 and 3/4 cups or 2 cups and make the balls a little bit larger before placing them on the cookie sheets. I would add more chocolate to these myself ;)

I hope you enjoy! These were really easy to make. I think I'm pretty proficient in the kitchen but I think the instructions are straightforward enough that anyone could make them... just make sure you stick to the recipe and don't take any shortcuts/skip anything! Let me know if you make them and what you thought :) 

Linking up for Taste of Tuesday with Ashley from Let's Get Bananas and Jessica from Blissfully Miller!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Where Have I Been? (#farmlife)

 Hey everyone! 

I am finally back (for now) and have full access to regular, consistent internet! Yaaaay! I've been working on some new posts, some changes in my life to make blogging better and easier, and I can't wait to get things rolling. But first, a little recap of what's been going on in my life and why I've been absent from the blogworld for a little while.

Since I've graduated, life has calmed down quite a bit. Everyone's hours got cut back at the store I work at, so my shifts have been far and few in between (ugh, my wallet is crying). Since I've had a lot of spare time, I've ended up "traveling" a lot and by "traveling", I mean I've been going home to my parents' house and also up north to stay with my boyfriend. So, that's where I've been - with my boyfriend at his little house, without internet and even 3G on most days! I spent a lot of time the past two weeks at Walmart or watching movies and Seinfeld. I mean, I love relaxing with a good flick, but I could have seriously gone for some Netflix! So many classic films to catch up on, so little time....

While I was there, I did a few things. Most days I stayed at the house while the boyfriend went to work, but I also spent a couple of days at his family's farm and with them at a cow show. Yep, a cow show! Everyone who met me was like, "wait, you're from Chicago? I never would have guessed! You seem so relaxed here!" Maybe it had something to do with my cowboy boots... or that I wasn't fazed when cows were pooping two feet away from me.

Also while I was there, I hit up Walmart and found a new obsession. I originally went to pick up groceries to make dinner (which, the next time I make said dinner, I need to remember to photograph it to post it! I kicked myself halfway through the cooking process) and ended up buying those, iced coffee singles, two maxiskirts, a red velvet chapstick, and an insulated mason jar. Oops. I also did a lot of driving on back roads on nice days, checking out the scenery! Seriously. Gorgeous. If I had taken pictures that weren't through a windshield and totally janky, I'd share them. Next time I'm there, promise! I was also extra handy around the house and did a ton of laundry, cleaned, organized, set up and decorated some bookcases so it didn't look like my boyfriend was a squatter. I'm afraid of what it will look like next time I'm there... boyfriend needs a hamper and a garbage can! He came home and was so surprised and thankful that I made it look like "someone lives here", his face just lit up! He said he had been meaning to get around to setting things up but between working and coming to see me he just didn't know what to do with everything and it was a huge help that I put things together. Not something I had to do, but it was nice and greatly appreciated.

The Chapstick I bought and my Tervis (major fave) full of delicious vanilla iced coffee!

One Saturday I spent the day in the barn with my boyfriend. I came in handy (I think) - I went and picked up breakfast for the boyf, helped move some cows, locked up some pens... someone should get me on the payroll, stat! (kidding....) While the boyfriend and I were making the rounds at the farm, we came across a little surprise - a newborn calf! The little girl was so precious and we discovered her an hour or so after she was born. I had the all important job of watching over her while my boyfriend went to get immunizations and whatnot for her and I snapped a couple of pictures...

What's up, baby girl! 
Girlfriend's first attempt at standing!
Some guy feeding baby girl a bottle of fresh milk!

I got to bottle feed baby girl as well! Unfortunately there's no photo documentation (maybe next time...) because the boyfriend was keeping an eye on me to make sure everything went smoothly for this first timer. After baby girl got fed, we took her over to play with all of the other babies on the farm.

That guy again, carrying baby girl to her new home
Since I didn't have any food, I tried to make it up to all the babies by giving 'em all some love and petting.
An old pro investigating the newcomer.... and then clamoring for food! Moooooo!

I also spent a lot of time in the main barn, making friends with some of the older ladies. My boyfriend introduced me to his favorites and, after hemming and hawing with the girls (I might have had to reassure them that they would still be his main gals and not to worry about me... I mean really, who does he spend six of the seven days of the week with? Those ladies! C'mon now...) some of them cozied up to me. I'm glad I wore a old shirt because I'm pretty sure I was thoroughly licked, sniffed, and butted pretty much everywhere on my upper half. Guess it was successful, eh? Anyways, at one point in time my boyfriend found me in the back part of the barn surrounded by cows so I guess they accepted me as one of their own (or at least one of my boyfriend's "ladies"! Ha ha ha). 

One of my favorites (who would not stand still for a good picture! Gah!) who was trying to lick me.

Another girl "standing" on a small partition of cement. Every time I was at the farm I saw her surveying her domain. Guess she thinks she's the queen of the barn or something? Girlfriend better get ready to mooooove over!
So, moral of the story is that as much as I love getting dressed up and wearing nice clothes, I also like wearing jeans and boots and an old tee and a baseball hat to go hang out with some cows (#casual). One of my absolute favorite places is my boyfriend's parents' house and their hobby farm - standing in the middle of a pasture surrounded by cows, smelling grass and feeling a nice breeze, it's a feeling that can't be beat! Photos of said pasture and cows coming soon... I think I've recapped most of my trip and definitely overloaded you with pictures, so I'll wrap it up for now! 

What do you think of the larger photo size? Let me know and have a great Monday!

xx, Amy

Linking up for Weekend Shenanigans with Sami's Shenanigans today!

Sami's Shenanigans

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I'll Be Back on Monday!

I finally have regular internet again so I will resume "regular" posting on Monday!

Stay tuned - I have recipes, an update on the black maxi dress hunt, and outfits to come!

xx, Amy

Thursday, June 13, 2013


If you follow me on Instagram (which you should! My username is leopardspot), you've probably seen a couple of recent pictures tagged #walmartfinds. Why? Because I've been at Walmart almost every day this week, which is probably more than I have ever been in my life, and I have found some pretty awesome things. First, a chevron insulated tumbler. Second, those insulated mason jars that everyone seems to have or is looking for right now. Third, red velvet Chapstick. And finally, a maxi skirt that fits and is long enough - not to mention the perfect price!

I actually found two perfect maxi skirts at Walmart, both by the brand Faded Glory. Unfortunately, the skirt I really loved was sold out in my size so I tried another maxi skirt on and really, really liked it. For $12.94, I really couldn't go wrong, so I bought it in black and in coral! I'm still going to hunt for the other skirt (which was a buttery soft knit, perfectly drapey, super comfortable, and also featuring a smooth wide elastic waistband) but if I don't find it, I will still be happy with what I've got!

I also found a pretty fab maxidress there too, also by Faded Glory. It's $15.44 (um, hello, another perfect price point!) but if you're looking to buy, consider sizing down at least one or maybe two sizes down. I tried on a large and I was swimming in it! I could have gone for a medium at least.

I wish I could add pictures to this post, but I will update it later with some - I planned on copying the stock photos from the Walmart site but alas, they don't allow it. Anyways, next time you stop by Walmart be sure to check out their clothing (and housewares - the Better Homes and Gardens line is fab!)! There are some gems hidden amongst the Duck Dynasty gear and bulk food.

Monday, June 10, 2013

This Week...

So I've been a reeeeeally terrible blogger lately. I've been promising and promising myself to get posts set up in advance, blah blah, but things just get in the way and I remember on Sunday night as I'm falling asleep. #worstbloggerever

Anyways, I am heading up to my boyfriend's house to stay there for the week. He's had ants in his pants for me to come visit ever since I finished school and my work schedule has been pretty much non existant. I'm excited to be spending the week with him (usually we only get to see each other on Friday nights and Saturdays) but the only snag in the plans is that he doesn't have internet at his house. He's lived there for over a month. I don't know how he does it! To be fair, he (and his roommates) all work 6 days a week from 5 am till 5 pm so getting internet set up isn't the easiest task. So I'm going to work on drafting up posts and new pages, uploading and editing pictures, and playing with my graduation present so when I get access to internet (hello, visits to places with free wifi) I will not have any excuses not to post! If I do not get to post/comment/respond to emails, well it's because of the whole lack of internet thing and I couldn't get anywhere to find wifi. I will have Bloglovin on my phone, so I will be able to stay updated on reading posts!

A quick recap of my weekend:

  • I returned to Madison on Friday evening, quickly repacked for a little weekend trip, and got picked up by the boyfriend. We had a romantic evening of shopping at Walmart (someone needed to pick up a lot of necessities.... boys.), my first trip to Denny's (hash browns, crispy bacon, and toast for the win), and falling asleep while watching Seinfeld. How old are we? 
  • Saturday my boyfriend and I moved some of his furniture to his new house and we moved a cow to his parents' house (they live on a small hobby farm). I spent the afternoon petting cows, playing with their dog, and hanging out with his family. 
  • Sunday we left his parents' house, I dropped him off at work, and I headed home to work and regroup for the week ahead! 
Moral of the story is I'm getting far less afraid of cow poop and being licked by cows and I just want to hug the babies! The calf I named is absolutely precious and I just want to pet her all the time. I didn't get a good picture but you can take my word for it. She's a gem. 

Hope everyone's Monday is going well! I'm off to hit the road.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cleaning: Almost Complete!

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you are all as excited for the weekend as I am.

It has been a looooong couple of days for me, with cleaning and hanging out with my family and trying to do everything in between. I had high hopes to have my entire room spotlessly clean by the time I returned to Wisconsin for the weekend, but I got a bit sidetracked (hello, two hour trip to Hobby Lobby #oops) and ended up not quite getting everything done. To be fair, my room looks a lot better than it did when I returned home on Sunday - there is hardly anything on the floor, my closet and bookcase are each holding about a quarter of their potential capacity, and I have done some serious unloading of all of my stuff (which means there is a lot to be sold and donated..... I just have to take pictures now or take it to a consignment place! Yikes). I feel so much lighter! Not to mention, extremely proud of myself for getting all of it done. Most of the time when I clean I lose my motivation when I give myself an impossible deadline and to do list, get depressed about my place in life or my body when looking at mementos of the past, or hit some major regrets with things I should not have bought because it's all hanging in my closet with the tags on. What  did I do differently? This time I gave myself a deadline and created reasonable to do lists for each day, had my sister come hang out with me to help me make decisions and keep me motivated, hit up Dunkin Donuts every day for a $1 iced coffee to keep me going, and I made ruthless decisions about what to keep and what to toss. My mindset was completely different when I went into this, and the results were amazing!

Since I have been so very focused on cleaning and making my living space beautiful, anything home decor-related has been on my radar. While I was cleaning, I found several sets of bedding that used to be mine (sidenote: I am 22 years old and still sleep on a twin bed while I'm home. Efforts to persuade my parents to buy me a full size bed have been futile.) and my winter bedding could stand for an update. My room is pink, black, and white so I have been looking for some affordable, girly, and vintage-inspired bedding to complement that. Luckily for me, Lauren Conrad just came out with a bedding line at Kohl's as part of her LC Lauren Conrad line and I think I have found my new bedding! It is a light gray ruffled duvet (so I can use one of my existing comforters), very similar to ones seen at Anthropologie, but with a far better price tag! Plus Kohl's frequently has sales and sends out coupons, so if I keep my eye on it and let my mom know, we can probably snag it for a deal! Check out the set here - it also comes in pink and other bedding options!

Secondly, I've been trying to think of how to re-work my closet when and if I return home at the end of summer. I have an Elfa closet system from The Container Store (which is absolutely fabulous and if you have a store nearby and are in the position to install one, DO IT!) and I've had the same system since high school at least and my wardrobe needs have changed a lot in the past few years. Depending on where I am at when I am home, I might need to make some changes. This is probably the closest to what my closet looks like in terms of closet elements: 

Source: The Container Store
But I am loving how this closet looks - matching slim velvet hangers, beautiful shoe storage, matching bins and baskets! 
Next up, if I'm going to be blogging I want to make sure that my desk is a good spot for working. Right now, it's serving as a desk/night table and it's just accumulating a lot of clutter. I want to reduce everything on top of it and inside it to the absolute minimum, the bare necessities: a lamp, a couple of cute notepads, one pencil cup, a laptop, and a bit of inspiration. Ideally, I would have a beautiful pinboard of inspiration above my desk as well! 

Source. Okay, I just love the look of this but there's too much on top for me!
Source. Gorgeous pinboard! And desktop! Plus that glass box is divine. 
Finally, I have two sets of bookshelves in my room. Both are white but one is very tall with six shelves and the other is much shorter with three. I've cleaned both out and re-filled and styled the tall bookshelves  but the fate of the shorter bookcase remains to be seen!

I used this image as inspiration to style my bookshelves. I love adding different colors, textures, and layers to my shelves so I like to add in lots of "extras" and switch up the orientations of objects.

Source. I added a lot of framed pictures to my bookcase this time! Loved the look. 
For the three shelf bookcase, I have been debating adding the shelves to my closet or using them as another bookshelf. Right now I am loving the idea of putting my most beautiful shoes onto the shelves and using it as a display case-storage unit combination! I have a lot of beautiful heels so I wouldn't mind getting to look at the eye candy.

Source. Love, even if I don't add doors! 
Phew, so there's a lot of potential but I am very happy with what I got done this week! Also, I didn't spend the whole week cleaning out my room and closet - I also spent time in my family's basement and cleaning all of my stuff down there which is a whole 'nother ball game! And yet there is still more to be done... this is what happens when you a) procrastinate and b) wear the same size shoe since 5th grade and the same size clothes since the 11th. Yikes.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I will be spending my weekend out driving with my boyfriend and potentially helping him pick out a puppy!! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SO excited!!!! Even if the puppy won't be mine!!!! So many excited exclamation points!!) I promise to take lots of pictures and to do an actual weekend recap on Monday.

xx, Amy

P.S. GroopDealz brought back these necklaces for TODAY ONLY! Get yours for $14.99 with FREE shipping! Coral is sold out, but I love the mint and yellow necklaces! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Cleaning

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday!

Source: via my Pinterest

Sorry for being MIA lately - last week I was at home in Illinois returning things, actually going to a shopping mall, and taking care of all those things I can't do at school, and I returned again this week to tackle some major cleaning I needed to do at my house (my parents' house? When should I start calling it that...? Uhhhh....).

I've spent the past two days holed up in my basement sorting through the past four years' worth of college stuff, from old books and notes to all of those glorious twin XL sized goodies.

Okay, maybe not all of the past two days. I went out to lunch with my mom and sister. And taste tested the new ice cream flavored iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts (by the way, the mint chocolate chip is my fave). And went on a pinning spree or three (oops!). I needed inspiration for cleaning, reorganizing, and redecorating!

Check out some of my latest home decor pins here:

Follow me on Pinterest here! Amy H (leopardspot)

Today I am going to be tackling the biggest task of all (one that will probably take me two days, ugh): cleaning my room. Oh my gosh, what a task. I have to purge my room of everything that is outdated (hello, pretty much everything on my bookshelves and all of those old tshirts from high school) and reorganize things to make sense for me now (which means I'm going to have to move my furniture and my shelving in my closet). It's just a large volume of stuff to go through, full of memories and emotions, and it's more difficult to detach myself from those feelings when I'm in my room (as opposed to our cold, dark basement... yuck). But, I've gotta grit my teeth and do it. I'm not sure where to start exactly with the purging process, so I'm enlisting my sister to help keep me focused and motivated. I'm motivating myself by promising myself a trip to my absolute favorite home decor store, Home Goods, and the craft mecca, Hobby Lobby, once I get through with things today and Thursday. Who knows what I might need after I'm done cleaning!

A blog that has been getting me super motivated is I Heart Organizing by Jen Jones. I was originally drawn in by something I found on Pinterest and the combination of her fantastic home and brilliant DIY solutions kept me poring over her posts. Only later did I discover that she lives in Wisconsin and well, I cheese-d out a little bit! See what I did there? I'm so punny. Seriously though, check her blog out. Her ideas are so innovative and I want to do as much as I can with my cleaning and organizing without spending a lot so I will be following in her repurposing footsteps!

IHeart Organizing

Wish me luck! I'll update once things are clean and tidy!