Hit the Road, Jack

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Style blogger, Kathleen Harper's outdoor photo shoot idea on train tracks.
It's been a while! I took a break from blogging this summer and spent lots of time relaxing with my family. I'm slowly but surely making my way back into the blogsphere. To be honest, I've been concentrating more on Instagram lately and stretching myself creatively. I'm not sure how much longer this type of blog setup will continue to serve me, but it's something I've been trying to figure out.
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing an orange summer maxi dress during an outdoor photo shoot.
My sister and I shot together all summer long, and these are some photos we took in Fairbury, IL at the end of June. I wanted to tell a story with this look and I think the train tracks served as the perfect backdrop. I was trying to channel being stranded in a small town with a broken-down car and following the railroad into town to get help. It was just a fun, editorial scene to have in mind as we explored and snapped!
Fashion influencer Kathleen Harper holding a clear Staud top handle bag.
Style blogger, Kathleen Harper's outdoor photo shoot idea on train tracks.
Fashion influencer Kathleen Harper wearing summer dress
Style influencer Kathleen Harper wearing an orange maxi dress outfit.
I've had this dress for years. I actually wore it to a summer wedding about three years ago. Since then, I almost got rid of it! These photos have officially changed my mind though. This dress is summery, flattering, and the color is so joyful and bright.
Style influencer Kathleen Harper's Route 66 photo shoot.
Nyc style influencer, Kathleen Harper eating fast food during a photo shoot.
[dress: Ann Taylor // shoes: Amiana Footwear (similar pair here)// headband: J.Crew (old, I also like this one) // earrings: Anthropologie (old, similar pair here) // bracelets: Anthropologie // bag: Staud]

A day of shooting is never fully complete without a milkshake and a side of fries ;)



Sweet Tooth // Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Nyc fashion influencer Kathleen Harper's kitchen photo shoot.
I love cookies. And I don't just love them, I JUDGE them. That's right, I'm picky about everything — the texture, the consistency, and of course the flavor. These oatmeal chocolate chip morsels are soft, chewy, and taste like little slices of heaven. Let's get baking!
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper making homemade cookies.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's baking photo shoot.
Let me be upfront: I did not make up this recipe and I don't want to pretend like I did. I'm not a baker — I'm a direction follower, and I have to give credit where credit is due! I've been using this recipe for years and I originally found it here. Below, I'm also laying out what you need and how it's done (in my own words.)
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper showing how to make homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's baking photo shoot in her kitchen.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe.
At the time I found this recipe, I was looking for something incredibly easy that didn't involve anything more than a bowl, a spoon, and some measuring cups. But I also wanted a delicious result; something with tons of positive reviews. This recipe fit the bill and still does! It's also a winner with Antonio ;)
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's easy cookie recipe.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's easy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's kitchen photo shoot.
In our household, dessert MUST include ice cream (Antonio's rule, but I caught on quickly.) We decided to make ice cream sandwiches with these fresh-baked cookies, and they were absolutely divine. So good in fact, that I made two more cookie batches the very next day [insert upside down smiley face emoji]
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's homemade ice cream sandwiches.
[tee: Aerie // shorts: Aerie // necklace: custom Tiffany & Co. // hoop earrings: fine jewelry that used to be my mom's (similar pair here) // black scrunchie: Wunderkin Co. (similar style here) // silk scrunchie: Slip // lip color: Dior Addict Lip Tattoo in "Natural Berry"]

*This recipe only makes 11-12 medium/large cookies so I usually double it ;)


 INGREDIENTS: 

1 large egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp (1 stick)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon, added to taste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins or nuts, optional and to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla. I just aggressively mix this combo with a wooden spoon, but you can also use an electric mixer and beat on medium-high until creamed. This takes about 4 minutes with a mixer, slightly longer by hand.

2. Next, add the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix once again until combined (about 1 minute)

3. Throw in the chocolate chips (the entire mixture will smell amazing by this point!) and mix once again for about 30 seconds.

4. For forming the dough balls, I just use my hands, but you can also use a large cookie scoop or a 1/4 measuring cup. You should be able to make 11 evenly-shaped balls — flatten the tops of each one slightly.

5. This part is annoying but necessary. Place the balls on a large tray or plate and put them in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, up to 5 days (I know, I know, who wants to WAIT?) If you bake with unchilled dough though, the cookies will be flatter, thinner, and will spread easily in the oven.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray from Trader Joe's), and place the dough mounds on the sheet. I bake mine for 11 minutes and 30 seconds, which ensures they're soft and slightly gooey. I wouldn't bake for more than 13 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, wait for 10 minutes (they will firm up a little more during this time.) No need to use a rack while they cool.

*Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Masked Up // No-Sew, No-Cut Face Mask Tutorial

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper showing how to make a bandana face mask.
This past weekend, it became official in NYC: wearing a face mask/covering is now required in public places where social distancing is not possible. More secure than a scarf, I've been wearing this DIY face mask. Scroll down to watch how I made it — and to see what I wore it with on my bi-weekly grocery run.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a cute sweat pants outfit.
Just like the rest of the city, I'm staying home as much as I can. Aside from my near-daily social-distance runs, I only venture out every two weeks to purchase groceries and occasionally to buy toiletries at Duane Reade across the street. A few days ago, it was grocery time.

Since going to Whole Foods is now a "dress-up" occasion, I like to look a bit more polished than I do in my usual self-isolation getup. I teamed black joggers with a matching cropped tank, and my favorite Veja sneakers. To pull it all together, I threw a burgundy bomber jacket on top, taking the outfit from fitness studio to street style.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a weekend errands outfit.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a DIY bandana face mask.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's grocery-run street style during COVID-19 pandemic.
 Of course I took along my trusty self-constructed face mask. To create it, I used a normal sized bandana and simply folded it a few times, looping each end through a hair tie. I am NOT a crafty person, but making this was so easy — no cutting or sewing required!
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's no-sew bandana face mask tutorial.
And of course, sometimes I still wear it like this too — folded in half on the diagonal and tied in the back. In my opinion, bandanas are the most versatile (and easy!) way to create a face mask. But if you're looking for other options, the CDC is a great resource. Just make sure whatever you're wearing covers your nose, mouth, and chin.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a bandana face mask in NYC.

[top: Aritzia (other similar ones here and here) // sweat pants: Reebok (similar pairs here and here) // jacket: Vince (similar styles here and here) // sneakers: Veja // choker: Uncommon James // initial necklace: Anthropologie // purse: vintage Fendi from my mom // tote bag: BCBG (I also like this one) // bandana: Urban Outfitters (similar style here]

When choosing a bandana to use as a face covering, make sure it's 100% cotton. Per current CDC guidelines, that's what's known to be most effective. Every option I've linked to below, is in fact 100% cotton — prices starting at just three dollars.

Stay well <3 

CUTE BANDANAS:


To Dye For // Tie Dye Loungewear + Activities for Two

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a tie dye lounge set in her Nyc apartment.
Aside from tie dye loungewear and baking banana bread, one of the biggest trends right now is tangible activities. You know — puzzles, cards, Mad Libs (?), Legos, board games, puzzle books, etc. Lucky me, I'm 2 for 3 in the trend department! Scroll for the games Antonio and I have been playing to keep ourselves sane AND for the tie dye set I can't get enough of. ...TBD on the banana bread ;) 
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing aerie tie dye shorts and a sweatshirt at home.
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper in her NYC apartment wearing an aerie tie dye loungewear set.
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a cute loungewear outfit in her NYC apartment.
It may be old-school, but there's never been a better time to break out a classic deck of cards — all the better if they're stylish too! And while cards may be a tad more fun with more players, there are some games that work just as well with two. Antonio and I have played:
Put on some fun music, get cozy, grab a few snacks, and play away!
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper sharing two-player card games.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper playing cards with a gold deck.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper sharing things to do in quarantine.
My family sent Antonio and me Unstable Unicorns last week, and we finally broke it in this past weekend. I'm not exactly sure we played it ENTIRELY right (there's a lot going on...) but I will say, however we played it, it was definitely a hoot! It also gave us something new to do for a solid chunk of time, which is especially appreciated these days. You better believe we'll be playing it again!
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper playing Unstable Unicorn card game.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper sharing two-player games for quarantine.
Last but not least, this puzzle book has been our favorite couples activity yet! We've been getting our "mental fitness" on with these challenging-but-still-doable brain games and it has been such a fun way to pass time when we're all Netflixed out. We always look forward to cracking the book open and bonding over these challenges! 

But if you're more of a solo gamer, no worries — these games are actually MEANT to be played alone.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper playing mind puzzles.
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a tie dye loungewear outfit in her Nyc apartment.
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing tie dye loungewear in her Nyc apartment.
[sweatshirt: aerie // shorts: aerie // socks: Gap // necklace: BaubleBar (super similar one here) // lip color: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in "FU$$Y"]

Hope everyone is still hanging in there. These days, it's the little things, and for me, I've been finding some joy in discovering new things to do with Antonio and wearing cute loungewear (I'm particularly partial to matching sets right now). And a fun burst of colorful tie dye never hurts either!



WFH Chic // Monochrome White + Blazer

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing pink metallic slides from Tibi.
Comfort is key when you're at home. Working or not, you want to feel at ease, but — especially in these times — NOT sloppy. And when you've got a Zoom call or an important video chat? You want to go the extra mile without looking like you tried too hard. The solution? Just add a blazer
Nyc popsugar fashion editor Kathleen Harper
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's indoor photo shoot.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper using a pink shoe as a phone.
Indoors or outdoors, monochrome is a timeless trend. And on a video chat, it's best to err on the simple side rather than donning something too loud or print-heavy. A classic white tee will always look chic. For further elevation, throw on a blazer and layer a few gold necklaces.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a monochrome white outfit for spring or summer.Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a comfy spring outfit at home.





Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a simple work outfit.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a neutral spring outfit.
Although your shoes aren't getting much attention right now, slipping into a stylish, comfortable pair can be refreshing — even just for walking around the house. These pink slides almost look like slippers, which makes them the perfect feel-good accessory if you're after a bright burst of color.

Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a neutral white outfit with a black blazer.Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a blazer outfit for work or weekend.
[blazer: LC Lauren Conrad (old, but I also like this one) // tee: J.Crew // pants: H&M (I also like this pair) // slides: Tibi (I also like this pair) // sunglasses: Ray-Ban // necklaces: gifts (similar styles here, here, and here) // eyeshadow: Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eyeshadow in "Sassy" // lip color: Stila Beauty Boss Lip Gloss in "Synergy"]

To be honest, I have yet to actually *dress up* for a video chat — work or otherwise. BUT the self-isolation period is still young. I have a feeling I'll be pulling out this blazer trick at some point within the next month ;)

// SHOP //