Merry...

Friday, November 27, 2015

As we dive into the holiday season, it's easy to get wrapped up (punny, haha) with the sales, parties, lists, gifts, and decorations. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some of each of those myself, but as a family, we also try to reflect on the real reason for the season.

At this stage in our family (toddler/little kid age), we talk about what we celebrate at Christmas.. Jesus's birthday!! One of my favorite ways to explore, discuss, and play is with a kid-friendly nativity set. It's interactive, fun, and drives home the story of Christmas.

While there are many different ways to celebrate as a family, I want to touch on a little way we share the message with our family and friends. Besides plastering our smiling mugs, we make sure to include a specific message on our cards..
It is important to me to include MERRY CHRISTMAS, specifically, on our cards. Pretty simple, but I find it essential to express the Christmas part. I was excited to see Tiny Prints had such beautiful options, in line with what I was looking for. 
We all know capturing and picking the 'perfect' family photo is hard enough, selecting the card should be the easy part. Tiny Prints is on top of that - they are very easy to filter/find a particular greeting and style. They can be sorted by Christmas, and even Religious (what a great option!!), making the hunt through hundreds of beautiful cards more specific to a particular message.
Call me a barracuda or just festive, but I gravitated towards the sheen of these beautiful foil-stamped cards. I surprised myself and picked a richly pomegranate-colored card, and for an even bigger surprise the Mr. was all for it too!! These unique wrap-around return address stickers help capture the attention of the recipient amongst bills and junk mail, and finish off the whole look.
Disclosure: These Christmas cards/labels were given to me free of charge. Opinions and attraction to all things shiny are my own.

Although a simple greeting, I hope it will have a little more meaning and call to mind the season upon us. Take some time as you read through all the beautiful cards this year, and let your heart be filled with the JOY the Christmas season brings.. Not only in the parties, gifts, hustle and bustle, but in the most special birthday celebration of all.
Do you prefer to give a particular 'holiday wish'?  
How do you incorporate the true meaning of the season into your family traditions?

Currently: [Watching]

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I know we're always looking for something new to check out, so here are a few things we've been watching (adult edition..).

Dwayne Johnson + custom-made suits.. Enough said.


Documentary about 93 year old fashion legend, Iris Apfel. Not only was it entertaining fashion-wise, but the life lessons and comments from this woman are touching. She's got such a great outlook on life, is kind, strong, and funny.


Awesomely-made, 5-minute little films about 'what it takes to get Bourbon Country Brand Stout into your hands.' The history and story of this once a year released beer is unique and interesting, even touching on the loggers and barrels it's aged in. They recently released the rare batch which was a lottery style ticket drawing, with bottles going for $60+ each. Check out Chapter 9 of the series to find out why it was so rare..


This was interesting - about the career of Dock Ellis (Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher), who threw a no-hitter while high on LSD, of course complete with drama and triumph. 


It was fun to learn a little bit more about something in our very own 'backyard'. It's was intriguing with it's few twists, scandal, and story of faith.


We happened upon this movie on HBO, the Mr. had been wanting to see it; I'm not sure I was prepared for the intensity.. I had to cover my eyes a few times, spurred discussion/questions, and might have you reaching for a kleenex, but holy cow. True story of survival and redemption. Louie is a badass and a hero.

Of course, none of these were complete without my movie watching partner, the Mr., and some popcorn. We've been killin' the popcorn lately.
What's your go-to at home movie snack? What have you been watching?

Stitch Fix: [November 2015]

Monday, November 23, 2015

After receiving two fixes this spring/summer (one posted, one never published), I decided to take a break and wait until the fall to try again. Some credit and the colder weather had me ready to give it another shot.. Here's my November 2015 fix.

41Hawthorn - Presley Colorblock Button-Back Sweater
This fit nice, was comfortable and I like the button-detail, but.. Eh, I didn't love the color-blocking and just wasn't really feeling it.
Returned.

Market & Spruce - Denver Cable Knit Elbow Patch Cardigan
I loved this sweater--it was soft, comfy, had elbow patches, fit just right.. BUT I have a chunky sweater-cardigan already, similar in color/style so I passed. Someone request this and KEEP it.
Sadly returned.

Skies are Blue - Zatanna Contrast Back Knit Top
Too sheer, too short, too strappy. 
Returned.

Liverpool - Anita Skinny Pant
Booty rockin' everywhere..!! Ha. These were fun pants and just what I was looking for, but the fit/fabric were just ok for me, so not worth the $$. I ended up getting (a few pairs of) these at Costco for $20.
Returned.

Papermoon - Edlynne Dress
Love everything about this dress--great fit, fun flow, hit me just right, button tabs to roll sleeves, can be dressed up or down. I got these tights to wear with it.
Kept!

Do you Stitch Fix? If not, sign up with my referral link, pretty please. I'll schedule another fix, if you do. ;)

Get ready: [Visits with Santa Link-Up Announcement]

Friday, November 20, 2015

I've always appreciated a good photo op with Santa, whether good-BAD or good-GOOD, not much beats the festiveness, Santa (or not so much so) himself, and the happy/terrified faces.. 
I'm definitely guilty of getting a good chuckle out of visits gone wrong, but after witnessing my own in that position, I have a little more sympathy for the situation. We've been on both sides of the reactions, in the end, all making for a memorable photo to look back on.
I'm looking forward to a few encounters this year!! I have a feeling we're going to have a major Santa-hater on our hands, I'll give you one guess which one of our two may attempt to claw Santa's eyes out.. 

In celebration of the smiles, giggles, tears, and screams, along with these awesome mommas, we're hosting a Visits with Santa link-up so we can share these memorable occasions. 
Come back, starting December 10th to share YOUR visits with Santa and/or tag your photos #visitswithsanta15 on Instagram/Twitter. 
I'm looking forward to sharing ours, including some from years past and seeing all your picture-perfect (or not so..) moments!!

Guest Post featuring Kassi: [Dear Self: You're Now a Preemie Mama]

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dear Self,
You’re going to make it. I promise.
Right now you’re all tears, hospital gowns, tubes and amniotic fluid after your water broke this morning, a surprise because the hospital sent you home just 12 hours ago after a round of magnesium sulfate to stop preterm labor. That neonatal doctor you’ve never met tells you the good news--the survival rate for babies born at 30 weeks is nearly 98%. But there’s vision problems, hearing loss, asthma, BPD and cerebral palsy, not to mention physical and developmental delays. Oh, and babies born at 30 weeks do not have the suck-swallow-breathe reflex. So there’s that. Your baby cannot even eat. You may want to go ahead and decide on the name now, you know, just in case she’ll say before leaving.


But the thing, they’ll tell you, is that you could (could) carry your baby to term with your water broken. So buckle down for a two month stay in these desolate accommodations in the PICU.


Actually, I still don’t know what PICU stands for. All I know, is that you’ll feel like you’re shoved in the back corner of the hospital in a room with a view of a construction crate. Unfortunately you won’t be there long; it’ll only be a day and a half or so and labor will start. It’s not joy-filled and exciting. You will be scared and sad and disappointed in yourself.


All I can tell you is that you’ll get through it. And go ahead and toss your dreams of having an epidural out to the same place your dreams of a calming birth plan went. That’s not happening. But your husband will be sweet when he breaks the news. You’re so blessed to have him.


Believe it or not, you won’t notice the small army of medical personnel on hand as you deliver. Lucky for you, they will delay cutting the umbilical cord and place your daughter, Nora, on your chest for a moment after she’s delivered.


Suddenly, it will be quiet then because everyone left, including your first born child with the beautiful dark hair. Eventually, your favorite nurse wheels you up to the post partum rooms. Surprise! A room at the back of the unit. Since you don’t have a baby, the nurses won’t come often to check on you, which is all for the better, because it will take you awhile to figure out how to juggle the breast pump set up. You won’t even be embarrassed to ask so how does this work after everything that’s happened the last week.


Yes, pumping hurts, too. What no one tells you is that in a couple of months when you’re trying to get Nora to nurse without a nipple shield, the hurting starts all over again. Remember when you chuckled to yourself in Motherhood Maternity at seeing a hands-free pumping bra? Well guess what? Your mother-in-law will buy you a nice one and you’ll want to kiss her.


Lucky for you, between her and mom, they’ll get you situated with nursing tanks, yoga pants and pads (Yes, that’s why they still make those-it’s for the post-partum moms.) because you didn’t have that perfectly packed hospital bag ready at the door.


You won’t need a cute little going home outfit for Nora. That’s not happening for twenty-two days. In fact, she won’t even wear clothes the first nine days of her life, and then one day you’ll come in the NICU after lunch and there she’ll be in the hospital’s faded leopard print onesie and you’ll be a blubbery puddle of tears because this is the first time she’s worn clothes.


Oh no, it’s not the first time you will cry. You’ll cry often. Several times a day, often for no reason at all. But the worst was the third day. You will be in the hospital main lobby after literally being asked to pack and leave in 10 minutes since you’re being discharged. And you’ll ride the elevator down with a happy couple carrying a seemingly-enormous baby in an infant car seat and you’ll watch five other couple walk out with their babies as you head to the NICU wing. And then you can’t move, can’t stand, can’t breathe because the tears just come and take your breath away. It’s the worst day of your life. You leave that hospital without your baby that night.


Right now you don’t know how lucky you are. Since you received those two steroid shots, Nora will only need a cPAP for the first 8 hours of her life. She will breathe unassisted after that. She won’t have the “episodes” other babies on her row will, when they forget to breathe and all of a sudden the comforting beeping of the machines turns to alarming screeches. Scans will confirm she doesn’t have brain bleeds and the ophthalmologist says her eyes are normal. Your NICU stay will be uneventful.


Nora’s biggest hurdle will be learning to feed. It is a major feat to transition a baby and mom from exclusively pumping to exclusively breastfeeding. You won’t realize it at the time but it will be quite stressful for you and before long, you’ll notice it in your milk supply. It will be hard to restrain yourself from kissing your favorite nurse when she gives you a nipple shield for the first time. It will make all the difference and going home will be just around the corner.


And then you receive the phone call one morning as you’re trying to get gone heading to the hospital. Why don’t you bring some clothes and plan to room in for a couple of nights. Nora is close to being discharged.


You’re going to panic, but you shouldn’t. You can buy some preemie clothes at that nice resale shop. Since you didn’t have a baby shower, a trip to the store for the bare essentials will be in order. There won’t be a nursery to bring Nora home to, and it will hurt your heart; just another little detail of the birth experience you feel like you’ve missed out on. In the grand picture, it’s a detail that doesn’t matter, but at the time, it will feel BIG to you.


Truth be told, the time you spend in the NICU prepares you so well to be a confident mother. Think of it, you’ll learn from nurses, the nurses that care for the fragilest of babies. You’re lucky to have those women as teachers.


Before you head out on that beautiful day-July 9th, the Day of Discharge-make sure to get the number of that sweet mother who has a daughter on your row that you always run into in the pumping room. She will soon become a friend you treasure, your daughters will play together.


Here’s something someone will forget to tell you: having a preemie at home is hard. The anxiousness you feel as she sleeps without any reassuring beeps from monitors will subside. There will always be new worries in its place, before eye appointment checkups, the first ride in a real infant car seat, playing in public places during the winter, before developmental delay screenings. Please don’t be surprised when a tidal wave of sadness and depression washes over you about six months after her birth. So many preemie mothers have it worse than me, you think, I don’t have the right to feel sad. All this happened because of me and my body’s crappy cervix. You have got to talk to your husband. Talk to anyone. Please.


As I write this to you, Nora is 17 months old, and she’s absolutely stunning, inquisitive, smart and sweet. She loves to make you laugh, can sign (some), is almost walking, adores books, food, and climbing on things.


The view from this side is beautiful; you are going to love it. And don’t worry, you won’t ever forget, because you’ll find ways to share with other preemie moms.


You’re going to make it. I promise.


*****

Thank you, Kassi!! I've LOVED having you post here for the past few days and thank you for sharing your journey. Your sweet Nora is one adorable little girl and absolutely blessed beyond measure to have YOU as her momma. xo :)

Don't forget to follow Kassi on Instagram for more adventures in motherhood, real flavors, real food, and simple meals for the whole family!!

Guest Post featuring Kassi: [Cookies for the Breastfeeding Mama - And the Whole Family!]

Monday, November 16, 2015

This is the second in a short series of posts to bring awareness to premature births leading up to World Prematurity Day on November 17.

I have strong opinions on breastfeeding.

Through my pregnancy, I wasn’t especially passionate about it. I figured I would “do it.” So, that’s how I planned to breastfeed. Yea, I’ll breastfeed. No problem.

Great plan, right?! Past or present breastfeeding mamas, go ahead and take a break here. I know you’re laughing at me.

Ninety minutes after delivering my premature daughter, I saw a breastpump for the first time, and I didn’t even know what it was at first, never mind figuring out how to use it.

This isn’t what breastfeeding looks like, I remember thinking on my third attempt around two o’clock in the morning, the gentle, mechanical hum echoing in a postpartum hospital room without a baby.
After coaxing seven drops of colostrum (Yea, SEVEN. I can’t make that up.) into a tiny vial, I proudly delivered it downstairs to Nora’s NICU in time for her next feeding. 

And it wasn’t even enough to fill half of her feeding.

You may also develop a passion for promoting breastfeeding while watching your daughter be fed donor breastmilk through a tube in her nose. God bless those who donate milk! Interested in learning more? Find out how to donate here.


My breastfeeding journey started as exclusively pumping and eventually made it to exclusively breastfeeding. And I’m proud of it. Everyone’s breast/bottle feeding journey looks different, but I haven’t met a mama who doesn’t like a good cookie. And that’s what’s cooking today, a yummy cookie with a hint of good-for-you-ness and a powerboost to those breastfeeding mamas out there.
Cowboy Cookies for the Breastfeeding Mom
I can’t claim this as my own, though I’ve since lost track of where on the internet I found this recipe. So if you’re reading this, and it’s your recipe, just know this mama loved it so much she had to share it with her friends. That’s the hallmark of any good recipe, no?

CLICK HERE - PDF link for printing

After pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees, mix the dry ingredients in a small-ish bowl:
1 ½ c All Purpose Flour
1 ½ t Baking Powder
1 ½ t Baking Soda
1 ½ t Ground Cinnamon
¼ t Salt

With a mixer, in a separate bowl beat together:
8T Unsalted Butter, softened at room temp
¼ c Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Then add to it:
½ c Sugar
½ c Packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition
1 ½ t Vanilla

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in slowly to the mixing bowl until combined. Then add in:
1 c Mini Chocolate Chips (Some believe chocolate inhibits milk production. You may choose to omit or reduce the quantity)
1 ½ c Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 c Unsweetened Flaked Coconut
1 c Chopped Walnuts (go the extra mile a give them a slight toasting before adding them in.)
½ c Hemp Seeds (Protein Boost!)

Scoop out using a small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon) instead of opting for the typical, oversized Cowboy Cookie. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, or until just before the top gets completely dry. My oven was being wonky so I lowered the heat to 325 and bake for 12 minutes.


If you need to print this recipe CLICK HERE for a PDF version.

*Please note, oats, coconut & cinnamon are loosely associated with breastmilk production, as galactogenic foods. Results vary, but if you’re dealing with supply issues, the first place to start (in my experience) is the amount of water you are consuming and identifying if there is another source of stress in your life. You know, besides, that sweet little baby of yours.

Swing back by tomorrow, November 17, to celebrate World Prematurity Day with the final post in this series! See you then!

Guest Post featuring Kassi: [Top Gifts for Preemie (or New) Mamas!]

Friday, November 13, 2015

I'm excited to share a few guest posts, starting today, featuring Kassi, who you'll recognize from our series with Let's Eat Together!! She brought this idea to me and immediately I was TOTALLY on board; I knew how much this means to her and there was no question I was ready to support, 100%.
 
If you've been there, you know how intense/special/overwhelming/exciting/scary/etc. having your first baby can be.. Imagine being thrown into that with news your baby is on her way.. Except she's 10 weeks early. Kassi's story evokes many emotions in me, as a mother, as I try and imagine what she must have been going through. Regardless, Kassi has handled her journey in motherhood with grace and an inspirational passion. I have no doubt that will shine through in her series of posts.. 

*****
 
This is the first in a short series of posts to bring awareness to premature births leading up to World Prematurity Day on November 17.
 
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I may forget my husband’s birthday, my new house’s address, and sometimes my age, but that’s a number I never will. After my daughter, Nora, was born prematurely at 30 weeks she was whisked off to our hospital’s NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Admittance to Nora’s NICU required my husband and I to recite that number. It’s burned into my memory, that’s for sure.
Babies born between 23-36 weeks are considered premature. Worldwide there are 15 million premature babies born each year. Prematurity can be caused by certain behaviors like using drugs, but in many cases it is spontaneous and unexpected. Why should you care? With premature birth being the #1 killer of babies, each requires specialized care. The average medical cost for a healthy baby is $4,387. For premature babies the number skyrockets: $54,194 in medical costs.

Being a preemie parent is an unique experience. Chances are you may know a preemie parent now or will in the future because 1 in every 10 babies are born premature. Looking back on my time in the NICU, which was a “short” 22 day stay devoid of any complications, I wanted to share some of my top gift ideas for new preemie moms. For those of you with soon-to-be moms in your life, these are great registry gift ideas, too!
You’ll see many of the items featured here with links back to Amazon. Nope, no one is getting kickbacks around here. I’m just here to share what worked best for me.
 
So let’s get down to it. Here are the 8 Top Gifts for New Preemie Parents:
 
1.     Subscription to Amazon Prime - $99. This is a biggie for new mamas, new preemie mamas or those soon-to-be mamas who may be dealing with pre-labor complications. Parents with preemies on orders to stay away from public places after discharge from the NICU or during the winter cold/flu/RSV season benefit from free two day shipping. Access to the music, movie and Kindle book services would be great for a mama on bedrest or who is relegated to a long pre-delivery hospital stay. The Subscribe and Save service allows parents to schedule diaper deliveries monthly. Plus joining Amazon Mom (no cost) gets you 20% off diapers - literally the cheapest way to buy non-store brand diapers, plus there’s no coupons! All expecting moms (and preemie mamas) should create an Amazon Baby Registry and join Amazon Mom to receive 15% registry completion discount, meaning you receive a 15% discount on one order containing items from the registry, those that you didn’t receive as gifts. This gift keeps giving all through baby’s first year!
2.     Halo Sleep Sack Swaddles.  Containment is especially important for preemie babies who cannot draw their limbs into the fetal position, and newborn babies also benefit from swaddling/containment as a soothing mechanism. The solution is these snuggly, adjustable swaddle sacks by Halo. If you’re buying for a NICU-discharged preemie, I would buy the newborn or small size of the microfleece blanket, since those babies still aren’t carrying much body fat. Nora used hers several times daily and gradually changed to a cotton Halo Sleep Sack. Amazon sells them as cheap as $19 each. Babies R Us will often have a buy one, get one half off offer OR use their price match feature to get the Amazon price, if it’s cheaper!
3.     Soft Wraps. Many NICUs promote Kangeroo Care, or skin-to-skin contact, to help baby learn to regulate breathing, heart rate and body temperature, gain weight, and spend more time in deep sleep. Wraps allow preemies at home to continue with this practice. I specifically used this Boba Wrap that retails for around $40. Yes, it’s going to take some practice, but these carriers are great for older preemies (5 pounds with doctor approval) since they provide total containment and head support, plus it grows with baby. These wraps are compact to travel with, too. My only complaint was using them in the winter; I could never get it wrapped without the ends dragging on the wet pavement in the parking lot. They’re relatively inexpensive and there’s always a market for them at your local children’s resale shop if you dislike the particular brand or wrap.
 
4.     Journal or notebook. This Line-A-Day Journal was gifted to me after Nora’s birth and I still use it, admittedly more sporadically now than when she was in the NICU. Preemie mamas need a place to record all stats, test results and diagnoses they receive daily. Even just a simple journal can help preemie parents keep everything straight. Often there’s a lot of emotional baggage that comes with a premature birth. Having a journal is a good first step to working through those feelings and emotions.
 
5.     House Deep Cleaning. During my baby’s birth, her room-and the rest of the house-was being painted. Treat the new mom in your life with a house cleaning before her due date or before her baby’s discharge. If you’re not one to scrub floors, hire a one-time service. She’ll thank you, believe me.
 
6.     Breastfeeding support items for mom. Preemie babies don’t need much during their NICU stay. If the preemie mama in your life has plans to breastfeed, she can use all the help she can get! Here’s my favorite items from my time exclusively pumping in the NICU:  
    1. A quality hands-free pumping bra. This is the one I had which is one-size-fits-all, but this one or this one looks great, too.
    2. Extra pump parts. Ask what brand she’s using and purchase an extra set. Keep in mind, hospital pumps may have different tube fittings. Also, breast size will change, meaning she may need a new size of flanges. Medela is a popular brand, here is where you can buy an extra set of parts.
    3. Battery pack adapter or car adapter for her breast pump. Because - real mom talk here - sometimes you’ll pump in your car going to or coming from the NICU. Again, ask the brand and model before buying.
    4. These wipes are great for cleaning parts on the go (and for pacifiers, too!) and these steam bags come in handy to travel.
    5. Get her a nursing pillow. It comes in handy when baby is learning to feed in the NICU. It was the first baby item I bought after Nora’s birth! Don’t get all fancy - an Original Boppy is perfect!

7.     Newborn Photography Session. My most treasured photographs are those I took of Nora during her time in the NICU. Depending on the feelings of the preemie parents, and the NICU policy, scheduling an in-hospital photo session may be a great idea. For at-home newborn images, most newborn photographers recommend shooting newborns between day 5-14 for normal babies. Each preemie is different, but sometimes a discharged preemie will still be in the squishy, sleepy newborn phase so a newborn session is possible. Keep in mind, lots of babies go home on oxygen or with orders to stay out of public places. Talk with mom and hire a professional that is accustomed to working with newborns. They should charge from $150-$300+ for a session fee and be able to show a portfolio of newborn work. For families dealing with infant loss, a terminal pre-birth diagnosis or other serious medical issue, organizations like On Angel's Wings or Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep can provide no-cost photo sessions for families, babies, and expectant mothers.
8.    Payer cards, photos & encouragement. Even the policies on outside items allowed differs from NICU to NICU. Because ours did not have private rooms, space was limited and items like stuffed animals pose a germ risk to the whole row, I took in a photo of Nora's brother and a prayer card with the Hail Mary and a photo of the Blessed Mother. A little memento like that will hold big memories for the parents down the road.

DON'T buy preemie clothes. Buying a new preemie clothes is pointless. For a period of time, many early-term babies are in diapers within temperature controlled isolettes. The tiniest babies have skin too fragile for clothing. The hospital has it's own clothing that is specifically washed and handled to minimize germs and skin irritants. Some NICUs have a policy prohibiting parents from bringing clothes for their babies. Often by the time baby can wear the gifted clothes, it's the wrong season. If you're going to gift clothing, wait until baby comes home, but by that time newborn sized items may fit. At discharge, Nora was 5 pounds and already too big for preemie clothes.
 
Mark your calendars for this Tuesday, November 17, 2015 and find your favorite purple shirt to wear in celebration of World Prematurity Day. Stay tuned here on Chateau Deveau for my next installment on Monday, featuring a cookie recipe you'll want in your recipe box!
 
All statistical information provided by the March of Dimes whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Fall Scarf Exchange

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


FYI - the Mr. calls them 'snarfs', so it will take all restraint I have NOT to type that the entire post, while talking about sn scarves..

One of my favorite things about this time of year are the clothes..!! The layers, seasonal prints/plaids, boots, so much coziness..
And scarves!! I haven't shopped for any new ones for myself recently so I thought joining in on a scarf exchange (hosted by Elizabeth, Courtney, and Whitney) would be a fun opportunity to add to my collection.
I got a Michael Stars multi-colored infinity scarf from Beth, and I love it!!
The fabric is SO soft and.. bouncy!! The colors are great. It's the right amount of 'infinity', so it can wrap once or twice, exaggerating one of the three different colors, for a different look. It's one of the lighter scarves I own so it'll be an especially great option for spring/summer too. Plus, I don't have many infinity scarves, so I was excited for the addition..!!
One of my fall/winter uniforms is a scarf with a Piko tunic, leggings, and of course, boots. 
Wrap it around my neck and call me basic, I know and I love it. ;)
What's your go-to scarf outfit? Any fun ways to tie/wrap an infinity scarf?

My match, Kara, had mentioned she doesn't yet have a blanket scarf but didn't want one that everyone already had--I get that. So, while shopping Nordstrom, this scarf kept catching my eye. It's not the plaid you see on every corner, seems versatile and blanket-y, so winner/winner.
I hope she likes it and stays warm this winter!!

THANK YOU again to Beth for my scarf!! It's definitely going to get a lot of wear. :)
And THANKS to ElizabethCourtney, and Whitney for hosting!!
 
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