Tag Archives: falling for fall

Falling For Food! Season & Serve Style Dinner Party

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Falling For Food! Season & Serve Style Dinner Party

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! I have a really special treat for all of you today, compliments of the absolutely amazing Melissa of Season & Serve. Melissa reached out to me in mid August with the idea of creating an incredible fall themed dinner party menu just for my readers. Food is something that I am extremely passionate about. I am a vegetarian who loves cooking, baking, and of course – EATING!! Obviously, Melissa offered me a pitch that I couldn’t pass up and a menu, recipes, and pics that are going to make you drool buckets.

Melissa has kindly linked to all of her recipes in this post, so if you are interested in learning more about her dishes or making it for yourself, then do check it out! Now, take a look at an absolutely delicious guest post:

Falling For Food! Season & Serve Style Dinner Party

Out of all the four seasons, fall is definitely my favorite. Not only do I enjoy wearing my cozy sweaters in the cooler temperatures, drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and watching the leaves turn a rainbow of colors, I love it because of all the delicious, seasonal foods that come along with it. Fall harvests bring us countless varieties of apples, squash, brussel sprouts, carrots, and parsnips…the list goes on…all from which we can make hearty and comforting foods. And what better way to enjoy these delicious seasonal foods than with a celebratory fall dinner party?!

When you think about it, fall is the perfect season to entertain at home. It’s not too hot, meaning that you can have your stove and oven going all day and you won’t be dying of heat in the kitchen, and it’s not too cold, meaning that outdoor entertaining is still possible. Whenever weather permits, I like to serve fun fall-inspired cocktails outside early in the evening so that my guests can enjoy the crisp fall air before it gets too cold. Once the temperature drops or the sun sets, they really enjoy coming inside and warming up by the fireplace, and maybe with another cocktail before dinner.

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Speaking of cocktails, I chose to serve one of my favorite fall cocktails for this dinner party, Whiskey & Spice Apple Cider. This cocktail will warm you from the inside out and totally get you into that fall mood. I also like to have a little snack to go along with the cocktail, just so your guests don’t get too tipsy before dinner. One really great idea that I recycle over and over again for parties is a cheeseboard. Because, really, who doesn’t like cheese?! I serve a traditional soft goat cheese, an aged cheddar, hearty Gouda, and powerful blue cheese along with whole-grain or seed crackers, nuts, dates, and red grapes to give it a fall twist. Plus, cheese is extremely portable, allowing your guests to move outdoors to enjoy the fall colors and back indoors again as they mingle.

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When your guests decide to move back inside, I like to bring the outdoor feeling with them, and my main avenue for doing so is through my table setting. The table setting really sets the mood for the party, and for fall I like to keep it relatively rustic and casual. I used a tan linen table runner down the center of my table as my base (This one happened to have pumpkins embroidered on both ends – so fall!) and I continue to build from there. I used some tree branches that still had healthy, plump, green leaves down the middle and added in some bright red and lime green Honey Crisp apples to make it pop (these happened to look the best at the farmer’s market that day). I dotted a few tea lights throughout the leaves and apples to add some sparkle and then anchored the table with a short emerald green vase filled with coffee beans and a tea candle. Of course, you can fill the vase with flowers, grasses, or anything that looks pretty to you!

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As for serving ware, I always think that simple is best. Plain large white plates for the main course, with smaller appetizer white plates placed on top is all you need. I added in my every day cutlery, silver forks and knives, to keep it simple but I went for some statement wine glasses. These wine glasses have been one of my greatest purchases to date. I am in love with the gold rims and the fact that they are stemless makes it even better – it’s so in style right now! I also added a personal touch to each table setting by writing my guests names on some extra leaves using a gold marker. It’s the little touches that make your guests feel warm and fuzzy inside!

Now, let’s get to the star of the dinner party, the main dish(es)! While there is a meat component to this fall dinner party, I also designed the menu keeping vegetarians in mind. For the appetizer, I chose to serve a simple Arugula Salad topped with sliced grapes, Parmesan cheese shavings and Maple Spice Candied Pecans. The salad dressing is very simple and is made from olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. With those tasty candied pecans, you definitely want to keep the dressing minimal. This recipe can be enjoyed by both your omnivore and herbivore friends. For vegans, simply omit the Parmesan cheese and add more grapes and pecans!

I also chose to serve a white wine with this salad, particularly a Gewurztraminer as it has a slightly sweeter flavor. This one is from one of my favorite wineries in Summerland, British Columbia – Dirty Laundry.

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For the main dish, I have two variations – both of which will make your appetite skyrocket. The first is for the meat-eaters, with my recipe for Red-Wine Braised Beef. While this dish looks complicated, it is actually extremely easy, relatively affordable, and looks incredibly elegant when plated (an entertaining trifecta for hosts!). For the Red Wine Braised Beef, simply brown the meat and vegetables, add the red wine, beef stock, and seasonings to the pot and bake in the oven for 4 hours. The slow baking process will tenderize this cheap, tough cut of meat (blade roast) so much that you can cut the meat with a butter knife. You can even do this the night before and simply reheat the meat before serving. How easy is that?!

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For vegetarians, I have a great substitute: Braised Mushrooms with White Wine and Garlic. I clearly have a braising theme going on here, but braised mushrooms are delicious and very satisfying! In this recipe, I use fresh oyster, trumpet, and cremini mushrooms and saute them in a mixture of olive oil and garlic until browned. I then add the white wine and butter, and cook them on the stove top for 5 minutes, or until the wine has reduced down a bit and then serve immediately. I mean, I eat meat and I know that Red Wine Braised Beef is delicious, but I would totally go for this, and vegans would too (minus the butter)!

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I chose to serve a red wine along with both of these recipes since I was looking for a more robust and bold flavor – it is fall, after all! I chose a Cabernet-Merlot mix for its spice and currant notes and for a slightly dry finish. I really enjoy this Cabernet Merlot from Sandhill Estate Vineyard in Oliver, British Columbia. This is definitely going to be my go-to wine for the season. ❤

Finally, for the grand finale, I present my Apple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze. This is actually my mom’s recipe, but it is so good and so perfect for fall that I had to make it myself. The batter is very simple to make and the cake always comes out incredibly moist due to the sliced apples inside and on top of the cake. Again, you can make this a day in advance BUT if you make it the morning or afternoon of the dinner party, your home will smell absolutely amazing. I like to serve this with coffee (hence why it’s a coffee cake) or tea. No dessert wine here!

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After this big, comforting, delicious meal, your guests will be completely satisfied and will be in a cheerful fall mood. And, of course, while these are just my tips for throwing a fall dinner party, just know that when you mix good people and good food together, you are guaranteed to have a successful dinner party – no matter what the season.

Have a happy fall, everyone! And thank you to Sarah for letting me guest blog for you!

Yum, yum, FREAKING YUM. Thank you infinitely to the author of Season & Serve, Melissa, for creating such a beautiful bounty for my readers. I want in on her next dinner party, and you guys can be, too! Melissa will be back on lifewithlilred in October with a how to guide for a spooky fun Halloween themed party. What would you like to see Melissa cook next? Would you consider yourself a picky eater? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Falling For Fall Guest Bloggers Series Conclusion

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Falling For Fall Guest Bloggers Series Conclusion

Hello everyone and happy Hump Day! I’m here today to bring my Falling For Fall guest bloggers series to a close. I want to thank all of my amazing guest bloggers for making this season’s series such a success. All of you are welcome back on lifewithlilred anytime if you would like to pen another post for my readers or do a collaboration. I had so much fun chatting with all of you and it was such a pleasure to work with each of you. 🙂

I hope that all of my readers enjoyed my Falling For Fall series as much as I did working on it. See you next season change for a celebration of all things winter wonderland here on lifewithlilred!

What was your favorite post from this series? Who is going to join me as a guest blogger come wintertime? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Forest Green Fabulous OOTD

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Forest Green Fabulous OOTD

Hellooo everyone and welcome to the final post in my Falling For Fall guest bloggers series, brought to you by Nida of Shopaholic Blogs. I am so excited to welcome Nida back into the blogging world after a brief hiatus here on my page because she is just my absolute favorite! I missed her terribly in the blogosphere and I know that all of you did, too, so let’s take a look at the gorgeous fall OOTD that she created for us all the way from the UAE:

Forest Green Fabulous OOTD

Hello Bloggers! 💕

Welcome to a fabulous fall guest bloggers series courtesy of who else but my blogging BFF, Sarah, the lovely lady with a love for all things red️! (I LOVE YOU! -Sarah)

I have been totally absent from blogging for quite a while now owing to a multitude of reasons, which I will address in detail in a post coming soon. Till then, let’s focus on today’s blog post which is about all things fall, which sadly doesn’t apply here in UAE because we have an abundance of summer ️year round. ☀ So when Sarah asked me to be a part of her fall guest bloggers series, I was left scratching my head because temperatures here were at boiling point!🌡
Nevertheless, I am not one to let down a friend, so I picked a day when the heat was not as deadly as usual and tried my hand at creating a Fall Look in the desert for you guys.🌵 I worked really hard to fake a breezy fall look, so I hope that all of you enjoy it! Much love to Sarah, as always! 💕
Here’s presenting a how to fake fall in the summer️ without melting OOTD: 😂
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Outfit Details:

🍁 Dress: Loft petites – I adore this Grecian style dress. The pleating at the waist is so figure flattering and the color is spot on for fall.
🍁 Scarf: Zeen – This is a Pakistani brand that does gorgeous scarves at a budget friendly price. I love the color combo on this scarf and it doesn’t hurt that it matches my lippie perfectly! 😘
🍁 Shoes: Charles & Keith – I love the pompom detailing on these sandals, which are right on trend for summer and fall.
🍁 Accessories: Pottery Barn – I know the pumpkins were a little cheesy, but hey! A little improvisation just adds to the look don’t you think? 🎃
🍁 Don’t forget to show me and Sarah some love️ by liking this post and commenting down below! 😘
Okay, so all of Nida’s pictures are always beautiful but how freaking cute is that last pic with the pumpkin?! Just dying!! Thank you so much again to my Shopaholic Blogs babe for concluding my Falling For Fall guest bloggers series with a bang! Tune in tomorrow as I wrap things up and show some love to all of my amazing guest bloggers who helped make this fall celebration so special.
Does your location have all four seasons? How do you style a warmer weather fall look? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Recipe

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Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hi everyone and happy Monday! Today’s post for my Falling For Fall guest bloggers series is a delicious Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Recipe by the darling Elle from Make It Blaine. Please be sure to check out her page and give it all the lovin! A huge steaming mug of hot chocolate is a fall favorite for many so let’s get to Elle’s recipe so that you can make some of your own the next time you get the autumn evening chills:

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Recipe

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (or however much you want)
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks or cinnamon bark
  • whipped cream (optional)

First, pour your milk into a pot to heat on the stove and stir on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in your cocoa powder until it’s completely dissolved. Next, pop in your cinnamon sticks and let the mixture simmer for 5-7 minutes. Take out the cinnamon sticks and pour into a mug (A cute one, if possible!).

Now it’s time for toppings! I personally like whipped cream with cocoa powder or cinnamon sprinkled on top but you can add whatever you want. I also like to make my own whipped cream by whisking whipping cream because then it doesn’t melt and tastes way better! Adorable mugs in autumnal colors doesn’t hurt and, last but not least, a straw to sip through.

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I hope you enjoyed reading!

-Elle xoxo

Thank you so much to Elle for teaching us her favorite fall hot chocolate recipe! Freaking yummm. What is your favorite fall beverage? What is your favorite fall flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Falling For Autumn Nail Art

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Falling For Autumn Nail Art

Hello everyone and happy Sunday!! As all of you know, Lil Red loves pretty nails, but is far from adequate at doing them on my own. While I opt for my talon style acrylic nails, there are ladies like the lovely Sandra from Finger Candy who can create gorgeously designed nails at ease. Sandra was kind enough to create three different tutorials on how to DIY beautiful autumn themed nails and I am so excited to share them with you on my page. Take a look:

Falling For Autumn Nail Art

Hello there, friends! Coming at you today from the brave new world of guest blogging, brave as in Sarah trusting me enough to write something for her that won’t embarrass us all? 😉 It’s really quite the exercise in trust, and I don’t intend to let Lil Red, kind hostess that she is, down…particularly since I have a mess of fun fall nail art to share with you, and I know you’re going to want to get in on that action. (You couldn’t embarrass me if you tried, darling! -Sarah)

“Woah, woah, woah,” you may be saying to yourself. “Nail art? Like, dangling pendants and jewels and stuff?” Well, sometimes – nail art is nothing if not deeply excessive. One of its many charms (ba dum chhhhhh)! But nail art can also be simple, and often all the more stunning for it. It’s just a nice little bonus when a manicure doesn’t take two hours and twenty different tools.

The following three tutorials cover a trio of easy nail art looks that are perfect for the upcoming fall season – dotted, multi-color leaves, a sponged-on blanket of leaves carpeting the forest floor, even a bit of that cold November Rain that the forecasters are always wailing on about.

“But that looks like so many polishes!” you also may be thinking to yourself (My, aren’t we chatty today?). True, eleven polishes across three manicures does seem like a lot, but they’re all fairly basic colors and finishes, and readily available at your local drugstore or beauty supply shop – no hard-to-find and/or expensive indies on this list. So feel free to deviate from the specific polishes that I’ve shown here (Which you’ll find at the bottom of this post.). In fact, I’d prefer it if you did, as some of these polishes have seen better days and may no longer be in production. So grab any old red, green, or yellow that you already have on hand, and don’t feel wedded to my choices; there’s no wrong answers here.

Having said all that, you will need a fine detail brush, a palette onto which to dab your polishes (I use the back of a plasticized DVD case, although the back of a plastic baggie also works very well.), a small-to-medium sized dotting tool, and three cosmetic sponges. Those points are non-negotiable, I’m afraid. 🙂

Tutorial - Tools Collage

Marbled Leaves Nail Art Tutorial

Tutorial - Dotted Leaves

These fun dotted nails utilize a technique that I like to think I came up with myself where you blend two different polishes together and then dot them onto your nails to create a cool marbled look. It’s a neat trick that lends itself well to fall’s bounty of multi-colored foliage.

For this mani, you’ll need your dotting tool, a cream or nude-colored base, and polishes in red, orange, yellow, grass green, forest green, and glittery gold.

Step 1: Paint your nails to opacity with a cream, off-white, or nude polish. Let dry.

Step 2: Dab a small blob of red and then yellow polish out onto your palette. Dipping your dotting tool first into the red polish and then into the yellow (or vice versa, it doesn’t really matter), dot the mixture onto your nails, two or three dots per nail.

Step 3: Repeat with a mixture of the yellow and grass green polishes.

Step 4: Repeat again with a mixture of the orange and forest green polishes.

Step 5: And then repeat again with the red and orange polishes. A little overlap will occur – that’s okay! You want these little marbled dots to look like layered drifts of crunchy autumn leaves, so the dots are bound to touch.

Step 6: Repeat the dotting (Last time, I promise!) with a mixture of the forest green and yellow polishes. Then, dabbing a small blob of the glittery gold polish out onto your palette, dip your dotting tool into the polish and apply to any spots that need a bit of filling-in or brightening-up, three or four dots per nail. Once dry, top with a high gloss topcoat and you’re good to go.

November Rain Nail Art Tutorial

Tutorial - November Rain

I can’t hear the words “November Rain” without wanting to immediately sprint into the desert in a lo-sho lace wedding gown and get hitched to some dude who looks better in floral spandex pants than I do. The ’90s were a confusing time, kids! But these striking nails are straightforward enough, and so very pretty.

For this manicure, you’ll need your detail brush, a black or very dark grey base, and polishes in light grey and shimmery silver.

Step 1: Paint your nails to opacity with the black or dark grey polish. Let dry.

Step 2: Dab a small dot of the light grey polish out onto your palette. Dip your detail brush into the polish. Holding the brush at a downward angle, swipe the polish onto your nails from the top right to the bottom left with a short flicking motion. It’s okay, even preferable, if the little slashes don’t look too “done” – you’re going for that sleeting rain kind of look, after all.

Step 3: Dab a small dot of the sliver polish out onto your palette. Then following the technique laid out in Step 2, add short, silver slashes to your nails just below the light grey slashes. You don’t want to cover the grey completely, merely enhance it. Once dry, top with a high gloss topcoat.

Forest Floor Nail Art Tutorial

Tutorial - Forest Floor

Finally, we have a fun, sponged-on manicure that mimics the kaleidoscope of rich autumn leaves that blanket a forest floor. Or your front lawn if you’re lucky enough to live in a lushly leafy climate like mine (Ontario, Canada, if you’re curious.). The other nice thing about these nails is, with the exception of the yellow and the addition of a medium brown, I used all of the same polishes as I did in the first manicure.

For this mani, you’ll need three cosmetic sponges, a cream or nude-colored base, and polishes in red, brown, grass green, orange, and forest green.

Step 1: Paint your nails to opacity with a cream, off-white, or nude polish. Let dry.

Step 2: Dab a small blob of brown polish out onto your palette. Taking one of your cosmetic sponges, dip it into the polish and dab it up and down a couple of times to remove any excess. Then, sponge the polish onto your nails, one little patch per nail (Or more if your nails are longer than mine, which would be pretty much everyone!) If the sponged-on bits look too light, that’s fine, you can always add more. But much like salting your food, you can’t remove too much, so sponge lightly to start, and then go over any bare spots again if you feel that it’s necessary.

Step 3: Repeat with the grass green polish.

Step 4: Repeat again with the red polish.

Step 5: And again with the forest green polish.

Step 6: And then one last time with the orange polish.

Step 7 (top photo): Dab a small dot of the glittery gold polish out onto your palette. Dip the last remaining clean side of one of your cosmetic sponges into the polish and lightly sponge all over your nails for that extra pretty fall twinkle. Let dry and then top with a high gloss topcoat.

So there we have her, friends, three cool, not-too-brutally-difficult nail art looks perfect for the upcoming fall season. If any of you try these manicures for yourself, I’d love to see your results! Finally, thanks to Sarah, Lil Red, for temporarily hosting Finger Candy in her little corner of the virtual sky; Tis a pleasure to be your neighbor. 🙂

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Polishes Used:

  • Essie Cocoa Karma (brown) and Pretty Edgy (forest green)
  • KB Shimmer Chilly Pepper (red)
  • OPI My Vampire is Buff (cream) and My Signature is “DC” (shimmery silver)
  • Orly Bling (glittery gold)
  • Pure Ice Wild Thing (grass green) and Show Stopper (yellow)
  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Show Steel-er (light grey)
  • Wet n’ Wild Sunny Side Up (orange)
  • Zoya Genevieve (dark grey)

Weren’t those tutorials absolutely fabulous?! A million thanks, again, to Sandra of Finger Candy for sharing her nail art talent with lifewithlilred for my Falling For Fall guest bloggers series. What is your favorite Sandra original design? Are you going to try out any of these styles? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pinterest Inspired Fall DIY

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Pinterest Inspired Fall DIY

Hello everyone and welcome to a super cool arts and crafts post made by the darling Sandra of Lifestyle.UA! I am really excited about this post because Sandra went through the trouble of making a video for my Falling For Fall series of how to create some gorgeous fall crafts, which has never been done on lifewithlilred before. Sandra will give you the step by steps on how to create a lovely candle and fall dream board for all of your DIY pleasure. Take a look:

Pinterest Inspired Fall DIY

Hello! Autumn is coming soon so it’s time to get ready. I have prepared two easy DIYs for all of you to decorate your homes with during the fall. My video will start with the Cinnamon Candle and then will move on to the Ombre To Do List Board. You will need the following materials listed below. Happy crafting!
What I used for the Cinnamon Candle: 
1. 3 candles
2. a pot
3. cinnamon
4. spices and dried flowers or fruits
What I used for the Ombre To Do List Board:
1. acrylic paint (white, red, orange)
2. a white board
3. hot glue
4. rope
5. a pen
And here is a step by step video of how to create them:

Have fun!
INSTAGRAM // @diy_lifestyle.ua and @sandrachery
Tumbr: Sandra Cherry “
Thank you so much again to Sandra for creating such fun crafts for my readers! How do you DIY in the fall? Are you crafty or craft store catastrophe? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Autumn Layers Wish List

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Autumn Layers Wish List

Hello everyone and welcome to a post in my Falling For Fall series compliments of Sycamore from SavageStyle. When the seasons change, it is so smart to create a wish list of the things that you need (and want!) to accommodate the weather in your area. Wish lists can stop you from the over spending that comes with buying clothes and accessories that you may not necessarily need, so that you can have some extra cash to splurge for the items that you’re lusting over, instead. Today, we’re going to look at Sycamore’s wish list for her fall wardrobe:

Autumn Layers Wish List

Vogue’s September issue just landed in my mailbox, and the stores (both brick-and-mortar and online) are full of velvet, wool, and leather boot lusciousness; it’s evident that Autumn is drawing near.

This season always stirs up excited nostalgia for me. I guess it probably stems from a mix of going back to school – and the new wardrobe that came with it – seeing all of the new Fall collections, and DEFINITELY my memories of layering up and stalking coffee shops on the high streets of London to caffeinate & steal a cigarette with my classmates before Art History class.

It’s the season that makes me wistful for stashing an umbrella in my purse, riding the tube to the Eastside and back, getting forever lost in the streets, and relinquishing my sorrows in a new pair of kid leather gloves from Selfridges. Not to mention that lovely contrast of sipping a hot coffee while walking through crisp evening air and the crunching leaves beneath my boots.

While I will always have a place in my heart for bohemian florals and that “easy breezy” vibe (I am a sun sign, after all), the current over-saturation of that look has got me yearning for something edgy, new, and layered.

I saw Atomic Blonde recently, and it sparked my first craving for colder weather. Charlize Theron wore so many great looks in that film, but I think the one that takes the cake is this look from the kitchen fight scene:

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 You go, girl!

Knee-high boots and mini skirts are one of my favorite cold weather combinations. It’s all the sexier when you add garter socks, a giant sweater, coat, and gloves on top. This is how you do fall/winter French girl sexy – you only have a few inches of skin showing but that goes a long way!

Some of the new pieces on my wish list this season are:

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               Prada fur-trimmed wool-blend coat (mytheresa.com)

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Isabel Marant Heina printed mini skirt (M’oda ‘Operandi)

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  Zara sweater with contrasting cuffs

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Stuart Weitzman Alljill over the knee boot (Nordstrom)

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MONSE shearling bomber with belts (M’oda ‘Operandi)

layer7.jpgZara short sleeve sweater

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Courrèges wool multi-color mini skirt (M’oda ‘Operandi)

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  Tibi Alexis boot (M’oda ‘Operandi)

layer10.jpgThis whole look from Zara

It’s still pretty hot here in LA, so I don’t think that I’ll be layering up for another month or two, but at least that means I have ample time to plan. I hope I’ve inspired you during the colder weather to create some layered looks of your own!

Xx~ Sycamore

Thank you so much again to Sycamore of SavageStyle for sharing her Autumn Layers Wish List with us! What is on your cold weather wish list? What store supplies most of your fall wardrobe? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image From: Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron