Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back to College Finds: World Market

Hey everyone! 

Hope your week is going well - it's Wednesday so we're halfway to the weekend! 

Now that it's the end of July, that means back to school is officially upon a lot of people. Sadly for me, I won't be going back to school (but maybe a new apartment!? Stay tuned..... my parents need some convincing) but even for postgrads, now is a great time to pick up some fresh goodies for your place! I am going to be featuring some of my back to school finds from different stores over the next few weeks, so if you're interested in dorm/apartment/home decor, stay tuned! 

I recently stopped into a World Market by my house just for fun. When I think of World Market, I think of the paper lanterns I bought in bulk when I was younger and hung all over the ceiling in my room (probably not my finest interior decorating moment....). I haven't been in the store for years but I was surprised at how many great things I spotted while there! Beautiful furniture, versatile home goods, gotta-have-them-all picture frames, and tons of cute kitchenware. World Market is back on my big-girl home decor radar. Obsessed.

Here are my favorite finds from my trip and what I would have wanted to use when moving into my dorm, only four short years ago.... #nostalgia

found these in store (for a steal!) but didn't see them online - check your local store for similar items! 

this style is sold out online but might still be in stores // similar

merci latte bowl // check in stores for the others! 

Decor tips: 
-Use cute little bowls for jewelry or desk storage. Leave one by your bed so you can place your everyday jewels in the dish before hitting the hay! I also have a small bowl right by my door to hold my keys and sunglasses when I get home - I haven't misplaced my keys since I gave them a designated spot!
-Add some dimension to your dorm walls by putting pictures in a frame! These multi-frame units only require one nail or command hook on your wall.
-Use various boxes to hold hair ties/headbands, scarves, or desk supplies on a shelf. It keeps everything in one place and allows you to stack! I used a photo box every year to hold cards sent to me by my family and another box to hold desk supplies when I only had one tiny drawer in my desk.

What did you think of this post? What would you like to see in future Back To College Finds posts? 

xx, Amy

PS. I'm obsessed with those latte bowls... the "Oh La La" one is especially cute.

PPS. Follow me on Twitter! @leopardspotblog

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Taste of Tuesday: Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

Hi everyone!

I'm linking up with Ashley from Let's Get Bananas and Jessica from Blissfully Miller for Taste of Tuesday!  Today I'm sharing a recipe I originally found on Pinterest (from the blog Watching What I Eat) and decided to try out a couple of weeks ago for a craaazy weekend at work. I wanted an easy to grab, tasty and good for you breakfast to eat when I knew I would be snoozing my alarm till the very last minute before work - these fit the bill!

Also, I apologize for the seriously gross photos - I was cooking these at 11pm, hence the horrible lighting. I was kicking myself as I took them....

Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies
*Adapted from Watching What I Eat

What you need: 
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup peanut butter (your choice - creamy or chunky!)
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick oats or old fashioned oats (I used a mixture of both since I was low!)
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup chocolate chips

*optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tsp butter flavor extract

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana and peanut butter until combined.

3. Add the applesauce, the extract(s), and the optional protein powder to the peanut butter/banana mix and stir until combined.

4. Add the oatmeal, nuts, and chocolate chips to the mixture and stir, stir, stir until it's all mixed together!

5. Let the "dough" sit for 10 minutes.

6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7. Drop the "dough" onto the cookie sheet by the spoonful, aiming for 16 smaller cookies or 12 large ones.

8. Bake the cookies for 20-30 minutes until they reach your preferred state of "done" - I recommend a longer baking time to dry out the cookies a bit, mine ended up being kind of wet and soggy especially after a couple of days in a container.
9. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Store the cookies in a covered container, and if it gets past a couple of days, consider putting them in the fridge so they don't get... unedible. Enjoy the cookies in the morning or as a snack - both options are delish!

xx, Amy

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Whites + A Pop of Color

Hey everyone!

Since I have been traveling so much this summer, I've tried to pack and wear outfits that give me a lot of style for not a lot of space in my bag. Everywhere I go, I pack my denim shorts from Old Navy, some basic white tees from J.Crew, classic accessories, and simple shoes. Since the same few items get a little bit repetitive, I've been picking up white tops with special details like eyelet or cutouts and pairing them with some statement jewelry. It's easy to forget to pack and wear jewelry, so I make sure to leave it out where I can see it and remember to put it on! I also don't pack anything too elaborate, so it's often a leopard print bangle, a colorful cuff, or a bubble necklace that I can throw on with any outfit and make it a little more special.

Below is an outfit I wore to work last weekend! I love this eyelet top - I bought it right after I cut my hair earlier this summer when I found out I could pull off some outfits I wouldn't wear with long hair! It's super lightweight and doesn't require an extra tank underneath (a godsend in hot weather), plus the eyelet detail makes it special. I threw on a bubble necklace for a quick burst of color, and I was all set to go!
Summer Whites + A Pop of Color

Here's a quickie photo I snapped with my iPhone when I got done with work for the day (hence my bedraggled state) to upload onto Instagram! 

Like this top? Pick it up from JCPenney for $22!

xx, Amy

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Hey everyone!

Sorry things have been quiet on here lately... I zipped home to be with my dad when he had a surgery last week (all went well!) and then headed straight back to Wisconsin to work all weekend and close the store this week. With a three day street sale (long days + a lot of customers) and now helping my managers close the store (long days + lots of boxes) I've just been exhausted once I get home! Check out what I wore for my last day of work below.

I've also been struggling with planning my next move in my life. My lease at my current apartment ends in 3 weeks (eek!) and while I wait to hear back about a full time job (... I was supposed to hear back last week but nothing yet) it is time to start thinking about what I will be doing. Well, technically I guess I should have started a long time ago, but better late than never. I think I want to stay in this area for now, so I need to do some research on a new apartment/rent, parking, and jobs.... and then talk to my parents about what's next. I think I know of some openings at a store within the company I am currently employed for so I might be able to find something to do for a few months. It's just difficult for me to reconcile where I thought I would be at this point in life versus where I am in reality, as well as balance what all of my loved ones want for me with what I want to do and what will make me happy.

I believe today will be my last real day at the store. Yesterday we packed up all of the merchandise, visual supplies, and fixtures upstairs and prepared them to get shipped back to our corporate offices or other stores, and today we will be watching these things get put onto a truck while we dismantle the office, break room, and stock room. It's incredibly strange to see the store completely stripped down, and thinking about it reminds me of what else in my life is (or might be...) coming to a close. It might be the end of my time at the store, but I hope I am able to find other opportunities within the company or in the city so I don't have to leave quite yet. Fingers crossed.

Last day of work OOTD!

Find a dupe of the necklace in this set at GroopDealz for only $7.99! Crazy deal!!

xx, Amy

PS. Find me on Twitter now! @leopardspotblog 

*Disclaimer: I am in no way sponsored, etc., to feature any of these items in this post. As an employee I chose to purchase items with my employee discount to wear to work; I was not required to do so.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday

Hi everyone!

Happy Wednesday! Hope your week has been flying by like mine has. I feel like I haven't really been "busy" but I've been making myself do things I normally wouldn't do (work out, extensively grocery shop, food prep) and it's made me feel so much more productive. I tested out a delicious new recipe that will be appearing here soon and catching up on my reading - of blogs and of books! I started Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg on Monday and I had to stop myself from reading it in one sitting. So far it's an incredibly thought provoking read and I highly recommend it.

Today, I want to share with you some of my latest finds for unique personalized necklaces. That sounds like a redundant phrase, but I feel like we're at the point of the monogram necklace trend where it has stopped being unique and just commonplace (not to mention all of the weird places monograms are showing up... jean pockets... tattoos... yikes). Since I've been waiting to purchase a monogram necklace for about a year now, I've found several other fab personalized necklaces and now it's just a matter of choosing one... or two!

Wishlist: Personalized Necklaces

I think all of these necklaces offer lots of possibilities! I love the Brevity signature necklace as a memento of a loved one or a child's handwriting, the map necklace to remember a favorite location or where you met your significant other, and the initial necklace to represent your name or that of a loved one, and the state necklace to represent home, past or present. I also love the potential of these necklaces to be layered with one another - layered necklaces has always been a favorite of mine!

Can you blame me for wanting them all?! Stay tuned for which necklaces will be added to my shopping cart... I doubt there will be only one!

xx, Amy

PS. Find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram for more updates and content! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

You Can Now Find Me On...


I created a Twitter just for my blog a few weeks ago. I am loving having a personal Twitter and a blog twitter so I can follow all of my friends on one and companies, etc, that I love on the other and not get bombarded with convos and product plugs on one account! (is that weird...?) Anyways, follow me on Twitter @leopardspotblog and if you really want my personal Twitter, let me know!

Check out my latest tweets in the sidebar as well! #fancy

xx, Amy

Friday, July 12, 2013

Current Favorites

Hey everyone!

Hope your week has been going well. It's been off and on hot and humid by me, which was great for the day I had my job interview because I stepped out of my building and my hair promptly frizzed up. Good thing I had curled my hair that day so it was less noticeable!

On that note, I think the interview(s) went well - at least I hope so! Fingers crossed.

Anyways, with all of my traveling so far this summer (I can't believe how little time I have spent at my apartment... it's just become a dumping ground for suitcases bags!), I have had a few consistent items that I always make sure to have in my bag when I'm leaving home.

Current Favorites - July 8

Lands' End Canvas striped tank top - Love the cut, the thickness of the fabric, and the colors of these! No layering needed so they're perfect for the heat of summer. I have the navy and the turquoise colors and some other ones might be making their way into my closet soon... 

Old Navy Diva cutoffs - I raved about these shorts earlier this week. Since then the price has gone slightly up (from $12 promo price to $15 promo price) but right now you get 20% off if you use the code ONSAVE20 or 30% off if you use your Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic card and the code STUFFSAVE
Sperry Top-Sider Angelfish boat shoes - These were my first pair of Sperrys and I can finally say that they're completely broken in and probably the most comfortable shoes I own. I have been bringing them with me everywhere because they are comfortable for walking, driving, shopping, or hanging out outdoors. Might be time for another pair of Sperrys... 
Longchamp Le Pilage - Love this tote! I've had mine since freshman year and it works everywhere. It works so well for traveling because of its size. I use it as a carry on when I take the bus to and from home and it's my "purse" when I travel in the car so I can keep my essentials (sunglasses, wallet, laptop, water) handy. I'm thinking about adding a new tote in natural to my closet as well...
Ray-Ban Aviators - A classic and something I've taken really good care of. They go everywhere and match everything! 
Vaseline Spray 'n' Go lotion - Super lightweight and unbelieveably easy to use, this is perfect for summer! No excuses not to moisturize. 
Tervis Tumbler, 24 oz. - I have this with a lid and it's perfect for any drink (water, iced coffee, booze...)! It also fits in a standard cupholder which puts it above my CamelBak water bottle! It keeps everything cool and that's obviously a requirement for summertime. 
Coffee - I've been obsessing over diner coffee and this International Delight iced coffee. When I'm at my boyfriend's house, these are the major ways I've been getting caffeinated. 
Jennifer Aniston - She is so beautiful. So, so beautiful. I've been watching a lot of her movies lately and I just love her hair, her clothes, her incredible body - she's a major inspiration for me right now. (#girlcrush alert part II)
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Stay tuned for some exciting things to come next week! 
xx, Amy

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bringing Jorts Back

Hi everyone!

The temps in Wisconsin have hit the high 80's recently and it's officially time to put away anything but the lightest, easiest clothing. After spring break I decided my old denim shorts were not cutting it anymore, so I began hunting for a new pair. After trying shorts from Gap, American Eagle, J.Crew Factory, and the like, I stumbled upon these shorts from Old Navy. I picked them up on a whim and they're now my favorite shorts! The back pockets are the perfect size and have great placement - not too high, too far apart, or too low!

These shorts have a 3.5 inch inseam and can be worn cuffed or uncuffed. I like wearing mine cuffed but I might try out the new pair uncuffed and see how I like it. I find the shorts run true to size - I wear the same size shorts as I do all other bottoms at Old Navy but they run slightly larger than say, shorts from J.Crew. 

I paid $15 for my first pair and earlier this week I snagged a second pair for $12. Not too shabby! Hurry over to your local Old Navy store or to get a pair - here's the link!

While you're shopping, check out Old Navy's Rockstar jeans - I love them! Right now the jeans are priced starting at $12.97!

This dress is also fab! I wish I had seen it in store but it might find its way into my online shopping cart... link here

Have a great Tuesday!

xx, Amy

Stay Tuned...

Hey guys!

I have a job interview today so I have been focusing my energy on that - stay tuned for a post later today!

In the meantime, find me on Instagram.

xx, Amy

Monday, July 8, 2013

Itchin' for the Weekend

Hey everyone!

Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth and a great weekend! I was unexpectedly stuck in no-internet-land but when I did get some 3G on my phone all of the pool/beach/lake Instagrams I saw made me wish I had access to the lake! I did manage to dress patriotically (okay, just navy stripes and denim shorts, but that's American, right?!) and in the afternoon changed into a bikini to get some sun, but it was so hot I was just dreaming of a pool. 

My weekend consisted of me working, watching Game of Thrones with the boyfriend (we're a little behind... oops), and me dealing with an epic round of mosquito/bug bites. Ick. I haven't had this many bug bites in several years and such problems with said bug bites for even longer. Basically I had bug bites in the double digits that were swelling up with the slightest touch... from me finding them on my body, to clothing, to my sheets on my bed. Angry, mean, red welts. The pinnacle of this experience was the one on the underside of my right arm - I got bit and the bite gradually swelled and got red BUT on Friday the swelling got so bad the "bite" covered my arm from my elbow to my underarm! I was freaking out but thankfully after a lot of Benadryl, anti-itch cream, and time the swelling went down and now I'm just trying now to scratch anything and set it off again. Yuck

On a happier note, Game of Thrones' third season is pretty great. I read the third book in the series but the show is deviating from my memory of the book ever so slightly and it's keeping me on my toes. I am loving Margaery (played by Natalie Dormer) as a character and also the actress who plays her. I remember seeing Natalie Dormer on the Tudors back in the day and she's just as beautiful and maybe even better now onscreen. 

 She has some fabulous hair and some great costumes on the show! #girlcrush alert

Alright, well I think that pretty much wraps up my weekend! I'm prepping for a job interview that I have tomorrow, so happy thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Happy Monday! 

xx, Amy

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Just some patriotic items I've been loving as the Fourth has grown closer... I'll be wearing a striped tank and denim cutoffs with Sperrys for sure!

July Fourth Inspiration

Banana republic

Converse sneaker
$68 -

Sperry Top-Sider american shoes

Ray-Ban ray ban sunglasses

USA Flags