After admiring so many people rocking over-the-knee boots, I decided to finally get in on the action. Finding a pair of OTK boots can be quite tricky, though. I searched high and low and finally found the perfect pair for me and when I did, they were on sale. They’re currently only $55, which is a steal for over-the-knee boots. These Catherine by Catherine Malandrino boots are crazy comfortable, don’t require you to pull them up every 5 seconds and feel ultra luxurious.

I wanted to show two different ways to style OTK boots, because if we’re being honest, they make me feel like I can take on the world. A good pair of shoes will do that for you so when it happens, take advantage of it by having a photo shoot with your friend.

Styling Over the Knee Boots | Bolt BlogsCatherine Malandrino Over the Knee Boots

I took my favorite slip dress from this summer and threw a grandpa sweater over it to make it work for winter. The fuzzy texture of the sweater makes it feel very wintery and the clutch helps to add a pop of color, along with some red holiday-party vibes.

Styling a Slip Dress | Bolt Blogs

This next outfit makes you look super put together but is still warm, comfortable and hides those holiday cookies!

Free People Ribbed Tunic Sweater

Catherine Malandrino Sorcha Boots

I kept seeing Jillian Harris wear this sweater in hot pink and it looked super cute on her but I decided to go with this mauve. This seater is super stretchy and thick without feeling bulky like some winter sweaters can. It’s selling out quickly, both colors and sizes, so if you want to grab one, I’d suggest you “Add to Cart” ASAP. I’m wearing a Small because I wanted it as a sweater dress but I’ considering getting another color in an XS to wear with jeans.

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

My leggings are the SPANX Faux Leather Leggings. Not to be dramatic, but these are THE BEST LEGGINGS I’ve ever worn. They are high waisted, super flattering and really help you feel all “tucked in” without feeling like you can’t breathe. My sister and boyfriend both asked if they were leather before I told them they are faux leather. Since they’re compressive, but I promise not restrictive, size up (I’m normally a Medium and got a Large).

Some other OTK Boot Options:

If you’re looking to make an investment, you have the holy grail of OTK boots from Stuart Weitzman, but those can take a toll on your wallet.

Sam Edelman also has some great OTK boots, but I personally really wanted the tie detail. If you’re not interested in the tie, then these are a gorgeous option and run very true to size.

Target launched some cute ones this year, but I found that they ran very narrow. If you have wide feet, these will not be for you. If you feel like your feet are narrow to average, then these are super cute. The heel is a touch higher than the ones I have.

Photos: Alexandra Lee Photo

More photos with Alex: Blogger Resource Guide | An Evening in Olive Park

 With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the other crazy holiday sales kicking into full gear, I rounded up some of the best gifts for men (that they’ll actually use) so you can help them step up their fashion, accessory and home game. Time to get them stocked up and save you some cash:

 

1. Cool Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses: 20% off, 3 colors, $130

Target Retro Sunglasses: $15

2. An Everyday Watch

Betfeedo Leather Strap Watch: 4 colors, $44-$49

Breda Leather Strap Watch: 50% off, 3 colors, $$35

3. A Rustic-Scented Candle

Bath and Body Works Mahogony Teakwood Candle: 50% off, $12.50

Hearth and Hand Cedar Magnolia Candle: $12.99

4. A Leather Cardholder

Saks Fifth Avenue Saffiano Leather Cardholder: 65% off, 3 colors, $30

Ted Baker Leather Cardholder: 33% off, $46

5. A Carry-All Case

Canyon Outback Canvas Toiletry Bag: $48

Hearth and Hand Canvas & Leather Toiletry Bag: $20

6. An Everyday Hat

Nike Phillip Cap II: 25% off, $18.75

ASOS Black Baseball Cap: $10

There hasn’t been a #ThursdayThoughts in awhile so it’s time to get personal. I’ve finally rounded up all of the photos from Katy Perry’s Witness Tour, which was harder than you might think becasue my computer and phone died within two weeks of each other. To explain my concert experience, I have to back this up a bit, nearly 10 years.

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Katy Perry has always been a huge part of my life. We’ve lost a lot of music legends over the last year and I sympathize with so many of the people who experience these musician’s deaths as though they are a friend. If there is a musician, actor or comedian you feel that way about, then you understand. You’ve listened to their songs to get through a hard time, watched your favorite movie over and over again to escape reality for two hours or repeated their stand-up special so you can laugh.

Katy Perry has been that person for me. I associate so many of her songs with certain periods in my life. Once on a long car ride with my friend we made up an entire choreographed hand dance to “Hot ’n Cold,” because we were cool like that. In high school, I made my Facebook status the lyrics to “Firework” (because making your status song lyrics showed emotional complexity) and my crush liked that status. I pretty much took it as a marriage proposal and analyzed the meaning of his virtual approval with one of my friends for the next few hours. If I ever hear “Dark Horse,” I’m instantly transported back to SpoCo (one of my favorite college bars) where I drunkenly rapped all of the lyrics, drink in one hand, imaginary mic in the other, and showed off my truly awful dance moves.

These might seem like strange examples of what I classify as a “good time,” but each of these memories makes me smile.

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As an album, Witness has a different tone for Katy. For all of the critics who say, “she’s changed,” well, yes. It’s been a decade. Don’t expect that a 33-year-old woman doesn’t have some stories to tell. Different doesn’t mean bad, though.

I had a few people ask me how this tour compared to the California Dreams Tour or Prismatic World Tour, both of which I attended. The experiences are too different to even compare. She didn’t wear a wig (unless you count crystals as a wig), she didn’t have as many costume changes and there weren’t floating poop emojis. It was still fun and entertaining, it was just done in a different way. It was a true blend of Katheryn and Katy.

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Katy performed two nights in Chicago and I went on the second, which also happened to be her birthday. Throughout the concert, her parents, friends, family and even her dog surprised her while she was on stage. Two of her cousins were actually seated directly in front of us, disguised in crazy wigs and face masks so she wouldn’t see them. Despite the fact that I was extremely sick the week of the concert, it was an amazing night and the overpriced tickets were well worth it.

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So where does all of this leave us? I’ve gone through a weird time in the last year, writing about experiences I’ve had that have been on my mind lately. Almost every song on the album has related to one of those stories in some way. Personally, Witness came out right when I really needed it most. Now all I can do is patiently wait until the next album comes out. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another five years.

 

I hate cooking. Here’s why:

  1. I hate doing dishes. I would honestly rather clean the toilet. I try to cook all of my food in one pot or pan if possible. When I bake my food, you bet your butt I line the tray with aluminum too so I don’t have to wash the sheet.
  2. My very tiny apartment doesn’t have a vent above the stove, which means that the sans-door bedroom located next to the kitchen will smell like whatever I cook that night.
  3. I don’t even have flour in my apartment. If it’s beyond pasta or a chicken breast, it’s outside of my skillset.

Needless to say, I don’t do a lot of cooking. Enter, Kitchfix. I found Kitchfix when Erica from Everything Erica was talking about it on her Instagram Stories. I decided to check it out and give it a go. Best decision I’ve ever made.

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Basic rundown of Kitchfix:

  • Local Chicago peeps cooking some great food and whipping up awesome granola
  • A ton of Whole 30, paleo and vegetarian options
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack options with prices ranging from $5-$20 dollars (most around $12)
  • Menu changes weekly, you can see a picture of the dish online as well as the nutrition information
  • Only $6 for delivery, $1 to pick up at one of their numerous “hub” locations (mainly local gyms) and free to pick up at their kitchen (on Grand Ave near Ashland)

Orders are packed nice and neat with your sauce on the side as you can see above. Now that I’ve tried a bunch of their food, I decided to rank everything that I’ve ordered. I plan on continually updating this list every time I order, so I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens on my Instagram.

Starting at the bottom and moving toward #1:

11. Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup – If you like spice, you’ll love this soup. I am not a spice person and was not expecting it to have a kick like it did. However, I was hungry and it was still tasty, so I finished it.

10. Mustard Pork – This dish was good, it simply wasn’t my absolute favorite. The sauce was really nice, just a hint of mustard tang.

9. White Chili – This chili was really good, but had just a tiny, tiny kick to it. Keep in mind, I’m also very anti-spice, so I’m probably a bad judge.

Starting with this dish on, I would re-order everything #8 and above. I really struggled to rank the dishes from here on up, but I pretty much ranked them based on how frequently I would re-order each dish.

8. Paleo Beef Stroganoff –  The week I ordered this I had a SERIOUS craving for beef stroganoff. The food gods answered my prayers. I was skeptical of cashew “cream” sauce, but holy smokes it was amazing. Only complaint: there could always be more mushrooms.

7. Grilled Chicken Salad with Tangy Avocado Vinaigrette – I want to put this dressing on everything I eat. No joke.

6. Paleo Shrimp Diablo – My biggest complaint with shrimp dishes is that they normally only have 3 shrimp, but this bad boy was loaded. Total win for shrimp lovers.

5. Grass-fed Beef Picadillo – I normally only eat beef out at restaurants and cook a lot of chicken at home. It was nice to get a little red meat in my routine and the dish was delicious.

4. Power Green Veggie Quinoa Bown – While this may seem basic and kind of boring, this green dish is very tasty (hint of lemon), filling and gets a lot of greens in your diet. I’ve gotten 4 or 5 between my last 3 orders. It’s that good.

3. Paleo Chicken Kale Ceasar Salad – This is one of the few salads I’ve ever eaten that actually makes you feel like you’re eating something of substance and not just leaves. The kale is hearty, the dressing is delicious and I really do feel full after.

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2. Southwest Brown Rice Pilaf – While pretty basic, this brown rice pilaf was amazing. It hasn’t been back on the menu since my first order, but I’m still dreaming about it…

1. Tuscan Shrimp and Sausage Butternut Risotto – I wouldn’t have thought that this combo would work, but it does. The sausage had a bit of a kick to it, but it was quite tasty.  Once again, the dish was loaded with shrimp.

When you have an account you get a referral link for friends: If you would like $30 off your first order of $35 or more (no, that isn’t a typo), you can use my referral link HERE. Transparency: I get some money off, you get some money off, you get money off for your friends…we’re all winning here.

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All orders also come with this handy-dandy bag. Save those 7 cents at the grocery store (and the planet).

If you have any questions, ask away in the comments below!

The Sephora Sale is back for a second round this year and now is the time to shop! There are a bunch of great hair care, skincare and makeup goodies on sale for under $50 and even $25. I rounded up what I think are some great stocking stuffers that any beauty lover would be sure to enjoy.

Sale Dates: Friday 10th – Wednesday 15th

20% off for VIB Rouge Members

15% off for Insiders

Under $25

Bite Beauty The Perfect Bite Lipstick Set ($25) – Creamy and long lasting

Becca Glow on the Go Highlighter Set in Champagne Pop or Opal ($20) – Because glow

Peter Thomas Roth Meet Your Mask ($25) – A great sample pack

Under $50

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray Duo ($42) – Great time to stock up on a staple

Benefit Cosmetics Work Kit, Girl! ($32) – Ideal for your handbag and when you’re on the go

Deborah Lippmann Very Berry Polish Set ($36) – Perfect shades for winter

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette ($44) – An incredible value and so many colors

Also, keep in mind, it’s great to buy big sets that you can then split up into multiple gifts.  While some big-ticket items like the Urban Decay Naked 4some may seem hefty, you’ll save at least $15 on each palette depending on your discount. Here are four of the best sets to split up for gifting.

Naked 4some: $46 each ($8 savings)

Too Faced Palettes: $16 each (plus there’s a bag and mini mascara)

Nirvana Fragrance Collection: $12 each

Jo Malone Miniature Candle Collection: $20 each