5 Exciting 2015 Fall Trends

Fall is my favorite season. And, because I live in a southern place that has summer weather 10 out of 12 months, I get about 1.5 weeks of fall every year. Not cool!

Every fall I kind of forget that it is coming because it is 200 degrees outside, and then am super surprised when it actually arrives with its little twirls of autumn wind on the sidewalk. That’s my favorite thing about autumn – the wind and the leaves – oh and the clothes – and Fall TV. Well, all of it actually.

I have compiled a list of my favorite things about this fall – Fall 2015. And, because I am me, there won’t be a mention of Pumpkin Spice Latte or Flannel on the list. #sorrynotsorry

2015 Fall Trends

Clothing 2015 Fall Trends

1. H&M Fall 2015 70s Inspired Clothes

I mean, tell me this wardrobe isn’t awesome! Have you seen H&M’s new fall look? I’ve never wanted a 70s look before in my life – but those bootcut jeans have me. The platform sandals – leather trench – I can’t. So awesome!

healthy brows

2. Full “Healthy” Eyebrows

This is a trend I can get behind. No, I don’t mean fuzzy overgrown eyebrows – just the full bold ones that we love. This article explains how to draw and brush in bold eyebrow hairs if you don’t have them. Me? I just skip plucking for one day and am set :).

See other my Eye Makeup posts here!


Favorite Tips for Gel Eye Liner / FAVORITE “NO-LINER” EYELINER TIPS (PART 2)



ankle mary jane shoes

3. Ankle/Mary Jane Shoes

I love this style! Yay for the Mary Janes still in my closet. If you want to see some cool – and BIZARRE shoes making a comeback (Hello Furry Books!) Check out this article here.

Or you can follow my favorite shoes here…

Follow Ginny (Blog + Web Design)’s board Be Pretty / Shoes and Bags on Pinterest.

fall 2015 hair

4. Fall 2015 HAIR

I really love seeing new hair trends like in this article here. I usually get my hair done in November – and it gets my kind of giddy to think about! Things I learned? “Undone” is in. Check. Leather is in. Check. Tucking your hair into your clothes is in. What?

Marsala Pantone

5. Wine Colored Everything

I should be more exact – Marsala colored everything. Pantone’s colors of the year Marsala is so beautiful! You should scroll through this article just to feel inspired. And beautiful. In the same vein, here are the top nails this season. Again, wine.
fall 2015 nails
What are some of your favorite things about this fall? Favorite shows? Favorite nails? Share!

My favorite about fall? The leaves - the clothes - Fall TV. Well, all of it actually. - Five Exciting trends for Fall 2015

Orange Julius Breakfast Smoothie #madewithchobani

I was so excited to hear about Chobani’s #madewithchobani challenge! I couldn’t wait to make my own #madewithchobani recipe – and urge you to make one and share one too :). Of all the brands out there, Chobani is the one that is in my fridge 100% of the time.

I am not even exaggerating. I buy the 4-Packs of their Black Cherry yogurt every time I grocery shop for lunches, and keep several other flavors on hand for smoothies! I love how their Greek Yogurt is simple, doesn’t include a lot sugar, and packs in the protein!

Orange Julius Breakfast Smooth - Made with Chobani! - only 4 ingredients

When we were at the beach a few weeks ago, I made up this smoothie for my husband and me. (He is like a child and asks for Orange Julius every time we go to the mall!). So, I thought I could make an easy Orange Julius breakfast smoothie! I limited the smoothie to four ingredients, and it turned out perfectly! I have made it several times since then – and am going to add it to my regular smoothie rotation – it’s SO GOOD!

Anyway, because these ingredients are everyday breakfast ingredients, I totally recommend making this a breakfast staple! (I know frozen mango might not be a staple in your house – but in my house I eat it for breakfasts, snacks, lunches – and desserts – basically all the time.)

My favorite Breakfast Smoothie Equipment

The BEST Immersion Blender
Great insight into green smoothies
This is my favorite blender
A little healthy inspiration

Orange Julius Breakfast Smooth - Made with Chobani!

Orange Julius Breakfast Smoothie #madewithchobani
Makes two servings.
  • 2 - cups of Chobani Peach Yogurt
  • 2 - bananas
  • 1 - cup of orange juice
  • 1 - cup of frozen mango
  1. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Poor and drink!


Leave comments with all your other favorite recipes #madewithchobani! And make sure to check out Chobani for tons of awesome Greek Yogurt recipes!

Orange Julius Breakfast Smooth - Made with Chobani

See all My Smoothie Recipes Here:

My Simple Everyday Green Smoothie

My Daily Smoothie

Orange Julius Breakfast Smoothie

Orange Julius Breakfast Smoothie - Made with Chobani! (only 4 ingredients!)I was not compensated for writing this review.

Have coffee with me? (Grab a free cup here!)

I love having virtual coffee dates with my readers! It makes me feel like I can actually see you and hang out with you. I really wish we could do this!

So, I am giving my readers free Starbucks coffee today! At 5pm EST I will be giving a free coffee to my readers via Instagram. Just follow me here and I will share a Starbucks barcode with my readers. It will have enough money on it for the first several people to have a free cup on me! (Hopefully this will let you grab a cup on the way home from work – or while you are preparing dinner!)


While we are having coffee, let me tell you a little about what is going on with me! I am currently in the middle of a sweltering summer here in the South. It gets so hot – like “I have to take a shower after walking to the mailbox” hot! I have been working out in my house a little bit to counterbalance the heat. I currently using this channel on Youtube for workouts. Anyone else use it? It’s really been a workout for me. So, I guess it’s working!

I have been watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy lately. I never watched it when before, but somehow I just can’t stop. It doesn’t help that there are 1000 seasons to catch up on! Do people still take McDreamy or McSteamy sides? If so, I am totally on side McSteamy.

H&M tee shirtI just discovered H&M lately. I think I will take it on to completely research this store. I love it! I bought several of their $5.99 Tee Shirts and am so impressed by them! They don’t shrink, get tight, or lose their color in the wash. I can’t stop wearing them!

Oh! I have a new thing for my coffee. I have been adding caramel syrup (not the heavy syrup – just the light flavoring) to my coffee and I love it! Normally I don’t love sugar in my coffee – but this stuff is awesome! It gives me all the Starbucks – without going to Starbucks – feelings. You should try it.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I am really restless. I am patiently waiting for that day when something will change – either our living, work, or school situation. We have been patiently waiting for the Lord’s direction for years – and still nothing new has come along. We alternate between being patient and really stressed out. Praise the Lord that ultimately I don’t decide our future!

marriagemoreDo y’all follow Marriage More on their blog or Instagram? I love their Instagram for simple reminders about how wonderful marriage is. They shared this quote awhile back and I love it! Definitely check them out.

I recently implemented something really cool with my newsletter. When I send out the “welcome to my newsletter” email, I ask people to email me back and say hi! This has been so cool! Thank you to anyone who emails me back – and I have loved all our conversations :). I love hearing who you are and getting your blog links. If you want to send me your blog link, definitely sign up for the newsletter and then drop me an email. I love it!

Ok, I think this coffee date is over. My cup of coffee is empty and real life calls. Thanks for hanging out with me – and leave a comment letting me know how you are doing :). I miss hearing from my readers!

See all my previous coffee dates here!

All my July Favorites

You know how Youtube vloggers do monthly favorites videos? Secretly I love them. I love them because they usually find an awesome range of favorite things – from foods to products to experiences. And, I am a sucker for favorite things.

I’ve started keeping an iphone list of some of my favorite things this month – and now I’m ready to sum up all the things!

Let’s talk about the phrase “all the things“. You know this phrase you hear everywhere? “All the things.” “All the food.” #allthecoffee Where did this start? I told my husband about this trend and now we say it all the time. I mean, all of the time. It’s now one of my favorite ways to talk :).

Ok, now to start. July favorites.

waffle cone

Favorite Food

My favorite food this month has been Breyer’s Waffle Cone Ice Cream. Have you had it? I never knew I could love an ice cream so much. Caramel, chocolate, creaminess. It is now our “go-to” dessert when we need a pick-me-up. We went just last night to the grocery store just for this ice cream. I think you need a pick-me-up.

mindy kalin

Favorite Book

I mentioned this before, but I listened to Mindy Kaling’s (audio book) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) and loved it! It was funny, light-hearted, but incredibly wise. Here’s a favorite:

Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life. What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.


Favorite App

I am always looking for houses in other cities. Any other cities! Because we talk about moving all the time, I kind of stalk houses with the app Realtor.com. I have decided it’s the best realty website/app and I have decided to endorse them. Just kidding. I don’t endorse things but Elizabeth Banks does. And she said Realtor.com is the best too.


Favorite Product

I bought some Bath and Body Works Japenese Cherry Blossom Body Cream and can’t believe I am just finding this scent. I found it on the “Top 5 of all times B&BW scents” shelf, so apparently everyone else knows about it but me. But, now I am glad that it is so popular because it will never leave their shelves. I’m obsessed.


Favorite Movie

Y’all. You need to see The Intouchables. I haven’t cried this much during a movie since Legend of the Fall. It is charming, funny, sweet, personal, sad, beautiful – and a true story. And amazing. Oh, it was so good. Watch it now.

garnier fructis

Favorite Hair Product

I haven’t used a ton of these new (Argan & Morrocan) oil products on my hair, but I did start using Garnier Fructis’s Sleek and Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment and love it! I use it to tame frizziness, smooth out any natural waviness I have – and just to smell good! It really works well and doesn’t weigh down my hair. I totally recommend it.

fight song

Favorite Song

I can’t get enough of this song. I seriously want everything in my life to scream, “This is my fight song!” Enjoy!

Want to see more of my favorites? Sign up for my newsletter and get un=blog-published tips and my favorite things!

How to trade services for free business advice

I have a problem. I can’t stop re-creating this site! I have known for awhile that this blog was in desperate need of some organization. I am such a design tinkerer, that the more I tinkered, the more I lost sight of the point. It is so easy to forget the purpose of your blog. So much so, that I really never viewed this site through the eyes of a new reader.

With this new design, I wanted everyone – especially the new reader – to know the purpose of this blog. Because this blog is so varied in it’s topics, I was pretty clueless in how to streamline and re-focus A Modern Commonplace Book. I can tinker with code, but I am no creative business strategist!

I was considering hiring someone for their business savvy. But, I don’t have a large (or any) budget, and was really stumped.


So to my great excitement, a friend of mine here asked if I wanted to talk trading services with her. She is a blogger for South Carolina news (you can see her awesome site The Carolina Ledger here) and was needing some design services.

I had never considered trading services, so of course we needed to get coffee and talk about it. Right? It was so great to talk out how this would work. If individually she got design work on her site – and I received business advice – each of those would cost hundreds of dollars. Instead, we decided to decide our rate for each service and just make sure our services to each other cancelled each other out. Make sense?

I did hours of work on her site, and in return she analyzed my blog, gave me full feedback, and came up with a tagline for my site! I desperately needed her advice – and her tagline, “The Companion to Simplified Living” is so spot on!

trade services for business advice printable spreadsheet

She also gave me feedback for this new design. I needed a second set of eyes to help with organization, fonts, etc. Please let me know what you think – and if there is anything else I can add to make this site reader-friendly!

I wanted to share with you a spreadsheet I made to help you trade services for business advice and help. Under “Work Done” the columns tally how much each partner has charged, and how much they owe (to keep the tally even.) It’s not super fancy, but is really helpful to keep everything organized!

Leave comments and let me know if you’ve traded services in the past!

Download Trading Services Spreadsheet Here

trade services for business advice

Homemade Pizza in less than 30 minutes

homemade pizza

This is a recipe I pretty much make weekly. It is the most flavorful pizza crust + pizza – but doesn’t take hours to make. The crust itself is a light yeasty crust that gets really soft. It doesn’t require any extra time to rise – and I can make it all easily in under 30 minutes (including baking time!).

We often think about getting a frozen pizza – but opt for a homemade pizza instead. For us, it is a lot more filling and more flavorful than a Dijorno. We have often found that if you are counting calories – this is less calories for the amount of pizza you eat. Basically, we get more filled up with less calories :).

I am also sharing some tips below for easy pizza making! Have fun!

(Looking for more recipes like this?  Check out my “No Plan” Menu Plan that is full of easy fast perfect dinners.  Each week you get 5 mix and match dinners that only include 20 ingredients total!  Check it out here.)

Homemade Pizza (in less than 30 minutes!)
Makes one crust.
  • Ingredients for Pizza Crust:
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package yeast (or 1 tablespoon of yeast)
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1 t. white sugar
  • 2½ c. bread flour
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. salt
  • Ingredients for Pizza:
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T minced garlic (I use this kind in the fridge)
  • ½-2/3 cup Marinara Sauce
  • 8 oz. shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • (Any additional toppings)
  1. Pizza Crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 450. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Mix/beat until smooth. Let rest 5 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and roll into a round. (I just take straight from bowl and roll into a round on my pizza stone).
  3. Don't skimp on the olive oil! I've done this, and the crust is a lot tougher.
  4. Pizza:
  5. Melt butter and garlic in the microwave and brush on to the crust with a pastry brush.  Spread on Marinara sauce and top with toppings, cheese and pepperoni, and bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes.



  • Store your pepperoni in the freezer.  I do this and the pepperoni never goes bad.  It let’s me keep a bag for awhile without having to use it before the expiration date.  (I don’t even thaw it before I use it – just separate the pieces right before I place on the pizza.)
  • Buy your bread flour from Sam’s or Costco in bulk.  I get my bread flour there (I use a lot of it!) and it’s 25 pounds for under $10!
  • Stuffed Crust variation:  Take 4 pieces of string cheese and split each in half.  After you make the crust, place the cheese around the circumference and roll the edge of the crust over the string cheese.  It’s so good!


Above all, Pizza


You must have a Pizza Stone
I’m kinda a Rosle snob
Amazon Prime Pantry FTW!
Who doesn’t love a yeasty crust?


Have a favorite homemade pizza variation?  Let me know!

homemade pizza in less than 30 minutes

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