NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

Still So Much For Which to Be Thankful

I’m sitting here on Thanksgiving Eve, remembering the old days when at 10pm I’d just be getting dressed to go out on the biggest party night of the year (we’re talking 20 years ago, here). How when tonight I’m using toothpicks to hold open my eyes, back then I’d be applying eye liner. I’d be wondering who I was going to see (vs now when I go out and pray I don’t see anyone!).

But for so many reasons, this year is different. I’m old, for one. Two, I have a kid. And three, I have zero desire to be out past 8pm (pandemic or no pandemic).

2020 was – and will continue to be – a dumpster fire.

But even with all that has happened – losing my grandmother, getting Lyme disease, Mr. KK falling off his parents’ roof (he’s miraculously ok!) – I still have so much to be thankful for this year.

Our health. We’re all healthy. Yes, I was slightly neurotic about it, but it was for good reasons. When the pandemic started it was like herding goats keeping the seniors at home. But, thankfully, they are all healthy, too.

Our time with Little Mister. Was it always perfect? NOPE. Did I want to hide in the bathroom some days? YEP. Are we closer because of it? Absolutely. We’ll never have time like this again. I’ll blink me eyes and he’ll be telling me, “You can leave now, Mom.” Oh, how I wish he could stay small forever.

My time with Mr. KK. In March we found ourselves both working from home. And our work schedules – and responsibilities – couldn’t be more different. My work days consist of back-to-back meetings pretty much the whole day, with me multi-tasking and trying to get work done in small pockets of time between my meetings or when I’m scarfing down lunch. Basically, my entire days are planned out. Mr. KK, on the other hand, rarely has meetings. Instead, he has random coworkers and clients calling him throughout the day to ask him questions. That would drive me bananas! I could never work like that! So we had to coordinate work schedules, Little Mister schedules, and dog schedules. And through it all, we got a better understanding of what each of us did every day. I can’t believe how much he’s responsible for, and he can’t believe how many hats I wear and positions I “cover”. Last weekend, in an effort to get our kitchen back and provide a better workspace or Mr. KK, he moved into the office with me. COZY! It’s nice having a coworker officemate!

I learned to appreciate doing nothing. I don’t know how to relax. It’s a personality flaw that I’m not proud of. I can never just sit down and watch a movie, I need to be doing something else: making a grocery list, folding laundry, going through emails. Because I can’t let myself do nothing. Well, over the last 8 months, I learned how to do nothing. And, not only that, I learned to like it. Having a blank social calendar meant finding myself on a Saturday morning wondering what we were going to do all weekend. Some weekends, it would be 2pm and I would realize that I hadn’t gotten dressed yet (gone were the day of my early morning grocery store and Target runs). One rainy afternoon, Little Mister and I laid on the couch and watched movies all day. And you know what? It was awesome. Things I would obsess over getting done over the weekend no longer mattered. Honestly, if I accomplished one thing on a Saturday, I chalked it up to a good day.

Little Mister is thriving in school. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we chose full remote learning for him because we had the resources to do it successfully. We had no idea what to expect. I had heard horror stories from friends who had kids who moved to remote learning this past March. What would kindergarten be like for him on a computer? But somehow, it’s all working out. He loves school, he’s starting to read, he likes having us next to him when he’s learning. Once we got through the initial Chromebook issues, everything fell into place. Thank goodness!

We’re appreciating the little things. Family dinners each night. Game nights. Impromptu games of hide and seek. Things we didn’t have time for before, are suddenly the most important things we do.

I am thankful for my family. And for my sanity – however much longer I can hang onto it.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Christmas, Elf on the Shelf, NaBloPoMo

Guess Who’s Coming to Town?

I think we can all agree that this year was lacking in the “awesome” department. And some people may be thinking that the last thing they need right now is the arrival of…The Elf.

Here’s….Jack!

I may be in the minority here, but I’m actually looking forward to the little bastard’s arrival. If nothing else, it will give me something to look forward to at the end of each night: finding a new creative spot for our little Jack to land.

Don’t get me wrong, our elf will be abiding by CDC guidelines, and he will be wearing a mask, and he will keep a respectable distance from Little Mister. I will not be “quarantining” him in a glass jar or box, but instead embracing all of his “elfness”.

Of course this year, we have the added element of BRUNO, king of getting into everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if this puppy took down the tree AND ripped Jack to pieces. Guess Jack will need to stay up high this year.

To me, the Elf is a sign of normalcy. And if there was ever a year that needed normalcy, it’s this one. Our Little Mister is already missing so much in his life – school, friends, going places, etc – that I couldn’t imagine not having his little elf come entertain him.

During the days leading up to Christmas, the Little Mister practically jumps out of bed every morning (score!) and the first thing he does is look for Jack the Elf. After he finds him, he runs to his advent calendar to see what Jack has put inside the little drawer (oh, the advent calendar with the drawers that are just TOO small for most toys!). Little Mister wakes up smiling every day.

In our house, Jack makes his arrival on the day after Thanksgiving. But the surprise is that he can come at any time. Usually there’s a knock at the door, and we find a package on the steps addressed to Little Mister from the North Pole. Inside the box is a note from Jack, a new pair of Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book. And while Little Mister is opening his gift, I sneakily hide Jack somewhere in the house – so he can go and look for him. And how excited is he to find Jack in a place that we’ve been in all day but now he’s there!

Last year Jack had quite the shenanigans…and I’m sure this year will be no different.

So the countdown is on…3 days until the Elf arrives…masked up and ready for Christmas mischief!

Maine, NaBloPoMo, Uncategorized, Vacation

The Best Things to Do In Maine

One of the things COVID robbed me of this year was my annual trip to Maine. Whether it was a weekend away with Mr. KK, a beach house for me, Little Mister and Mr. KK, or our big family vacation in either Wells, Kennebunkport or York Beach, we always found ourselves up north along the Maine coast. And boy, did I miss going to my Happy Place this year.

So, in honor of the vacation that didn’t happen, I compiled my favorite things to do and places to visit in Maine.

Best Things to Do in the Southern Coast of Maine

Go to the Beach

Every beach in Maine is gorgeous. The sand is soft and the water is cool, with just the right amount of waves. We particularly love the beaches in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, where we’ve spent most of our time.

Eat Lobstah

The best lobster roll in Maine from Bite Into Maine food truck in Cape Elizabeth.

There is no shortage of lobster in Maine. Whether you want fresh steamed lobster, a famous lobster roll, or want to experience life on a working lobster boat, Maine has it all. We love the Lucky Catch Cruises lobster tours, and even Little Mister loved heading out to sea and helping pull up the lobster traps and holding a starfish right in his hand. Lobster is priced right all along the coast, and you can buy lobsters right from the fishermen and some will even steam it for you. My favorite way to enjoy lobster is in a lobster roll, and the best lobster roll in Maine is by far from the Bite Into Maine food truck that parks at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. It is filled with fresh lobster meat (big chunks, not shredded pieces), just enough mayo on a toasted bun. Perfection!

Have Dinner and Walk the Rocks at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

Mr. KK and Little Mister exploring the rocks one summer.

This institution definitely fills up with tourists during the summer, but the view and atmosphere can’t be beat. The Lobster Shack at Two Lights is an outdoor, BYOB restaurant set on gorgeous rocks over the Atlantic Ocean. Is it the best seafood in Maine? Nope. But when you pair the view with your own cooler of beverages and some fried scallops and shrimp does it feel like quintessential Maine? You betcha.

Eat Like a Local

I mentioned in my post about pimento cheese that Scratch Baking in South Portland makes the best. I literally lived on this and some of Maine’s best beer for a week straight. And it was awesome. A must-try when you’re in the area. And the baked goods are pretty amazing too.

Explore a Lighthouse…or Five

Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth.

There is no shortage of lighthouses in Maine. Visiting one is just something you do when you’re there. My favorite way to view them is by relaxing on a boat ride while a native Main-ah shares the history of the light house, the coast and sea.

See a Sunset

The fishing huts at Willard Beach in South Portland.

Whether you’re on a beach, at a restaurant or on a boat, you will see some of the best sunsets on the Maine Coast. Golds, pinks and yellows paint the sky. And if you’re an early riser, the sunrises aren’t so bad either.

Get Your Craft Beer On

On one of our trips to Portland with the Little Mister, we thought we’d hit a brewery one afternoon. After a morning at the beach our Little Mister was exhausted, and he fell asleep on the short 10 minute drive from our beach house to the brewery! And since you NEVER wake a sleeping child, Mr. KK and I backed our car up against the patio and took turns going in to have a beer. One person would drink their beer right at the patio where the car was parked, while the other person stood next the car chatting with them while they drank. And then we would switch. Ah, parenthood!

The number of breweries in Portland alone is astounding. You can brew hop all day and still not hit all of them. We’re bit IPA fans (the hoppier and hazier the better!), and some of our favorites are Bissell Brothers and Goodfire Brewing. Bring a cooler so you can bring some home.

Rent a House and Relax

Our most relaxing vacations have been on the coast of Maine. There’s just something in the air, the laid back attitude of the locals and the amazing cuisine. Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, and having a little chill in the air at night after a warm summer day. I really missed being at a beach house this year with our family, cooking up dinners, mixing up cocktails and playing games. Fingers crossed we make it next year.

There is truly something magical about Maine. I can’t wait to go back and do some of my favorite things.

Christmas, Gifts, NaBloPoMo, shopping

It’s Here! KK’s Favorite Things 2020

If you asked me 6 months ago what would be on my “favorite things” list, I likely would have told you a strong cocktail and some alone time.

(And, if I’m being honest, I would still take either one of those things, no gift wrap necessary).

But now, I’m in full holiday mode. In fact, today Little Mister and I decorated our house for Christmas. In a text to our family I told them: “The only turkeys you’ll see here on Thanksgiving are the ones ON the table and sitting AROUND the table.”

Christmas, I’m ready for ya!

And while I quickly learned this year that I literally need nothing, it wouldn’t be a month of blog posts without my favorite things. As a family we’ve decided that we’re not doing crazy gifts, so this list isn’t meant to make anyone go out shopping (I’m talking to you Mom and Mother-in-Law!). This is simply me, sharing things that I find comfort in during the craziest year I’ve ever been alive.

KK’s 8 Favorite Gifts Things in 2020

  1. Fuzzy Beanie from Banana Republic

While I have a hat I love (and can pull off), I’d like to branch out a bit. I’m quite particular about hats: they need to fit snugly and not give me a weird-shaped head. This beanie from Banana Republic is a soft cream, and looks like it’s warm as well as fashionable. Also, I like having the option to pop on a hat for unexpected Zoom video calls.

2. Sip by S’well Wildflower Tumbler

Move over, Starbucks! We have perfected the vanilla iced coffee in the KK household! Now, I need a new tumbler to enjoy my tasty concoction in each morning! I love anything by S’well, and this tumbler will not only keep my coffee cool, it will look pretty while I sip from it on my video calls.

3. Feejays

Let’s face it: who wears real pants anymore? Work from home chic plus a cold New England winter means warmth over everything. Feejays are pants AND socks, all in one. Put them on, you’ll never take them off.

4. Rothy’s The Chelsea Sneaker in Black

While I don’t have a pair of Rothy’s, I know from friends that they ridiculously comfortable. And I am in dire need of a new pair of high top black sneakers. And since comfort is the name of the game. these are the perfect solve.

5. LL Bean Sweater Fleece Coat

Warm? Check. Pairs well with leggings? Check. Acceptable for video calls? Check! Sign me up! I don’t imagine I’ll every take this off once I put it on!

6. Braided Apple Watch Band

I got an Apple watch for Mother’s Day this year and it’s the first time I’ve ever committed to wearing a watch. I love it! And this stretchy watch band will add the perfect pop of pink.

7. LL Bean Cozy Pullover

Do you think LL Bean is short for Ladies Love Bean? (LL Cool J joke…anyone?). Because kk LOVES all of their cozy tops. Plus, they come in petite, and beautiful colors like this teal…double win! Plus, thumb holes!

8. Sunbeam Heated Blanket

When I was little, I slept with an electric blanket on my bed. Then, there were stories of electric blankets catching on fire while people slept, and then electric blankets disappeared for a while. So between when I was 8 and right now, I would just a fleece to bed to keep warm. BUT, electric blankets are everywhere again…and one needs to be on my bed, pronto.

Happy holidays!

cocktails, Gifts, Mr. KK, NaBloPoMo

Give the Gift of Drink

Gift giving is especially interesting this year. But based on the last 8 months, I feel you can’t go wrong with alcohol. And if you have friends who enjoy fancy libations, this will be their favorite gift.

For Father’s Day, I got Mr. KK a 3-month subscription to Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club. Our date night’s out had turned to date night’s in, so why not kick off the night with craft cocktails?

The idea behind this subscription box is simple: each month you receive a box of 3 recipes and everything you need to make 12 drinks (4 from each recipe) of cocktail goodness. The only thing you need to purchase is the spirit: one bottle makes cocktails for the entire box (and then some).

The recipes are crafted from mixologists across the country, with little-known ingredients such as fancy bitters or aromatics, hard-to-find sodas and garnishes.

For our subscription, we enjoyed the tequila, Japanese whiskey and mezcal boxes. It was fun trying new cocktails, and pairing foods and snacks to match.

Tonight we sampled the El Palenque, made with Mezcal, pineapple shrub, lime ginger beer.

Each drink comes printed on it’s own recipe card with full directions, method and glass type.

This was my first mezcal drink, and it was…smoky. Not offensive, but you can definitely taste the smoke. When we make our second drinks (each kit makes 4 of each kind of cocktail!) we substituted tequila for the mezcal, and I got stronger notes of pineapple. Both versions were good, and were a drink I would never think up on my own (let alone have pineapple shrub lying around!)

We had so much fun with our subscription box, and helped us try new cocktails and break us out of our “old standbys”.

I love this gift!

Past subscription boxes have included vodka, aperol, elderberry liquor and more. Each cocktail is unique. You can skip any box you’re not interested in (how cool is that?) And the best part of the gift is the active social community on Facebook for members: people who post photos of drinks, their at-home bar set ups and glassware – these are my spirit (animals).

Cheers!

Kids will be kids, Little Mister, NaBloPoMo, Uncategorized

Overheard in the KK Household: 2020 Version

As a five year old, our child was rather entertaining. Add 2 dogs, a pandemic and general stir craziness, and who knows what’s going to come out of everyone’s mouths.

If someone were a fly on the wall in our house, boy would he get an earful! At any given time, you would hear any of the following:

Little Mister: “Wow, Dad! You were able to pick up Mom without hurting your back!” After Mr. KK hugged me, then squeezed and lifted me off the ground. Thanks, kid.

“No, we don’t kiss with our teeth.” Me, to Bruno, after he lick-bit my nose.

“Wait, is that poop? It looks like poop. Why is there poop? Can you pick it up and smell it?” Me, to Mr. KK, after seeing something brown and suspicious on the floor.

“I’m not very happy with you right now.” Little Mister, to me, about 25 times a day.

“Do you smell that? Was that you?” Me, to any one of the humans or dogs living in my house.

“Ugh, another hug? All you want is hugs.” Little Mister, eye rolling until it hurts, to both of us, constantly.

“Wow, Mom, this is a really good dinner.” Little Mister to me, complimenting my exquisite grilled cheese cooking skills. (Something I do “right”!)

Me: “The rules of the game say that the youngest player goes first, and then next youngest to oldest.” Little Mister: “So it’s me, then Mommy, then Daddy.” Incorrect, but God love ya and I’ll milk it as long as I can.

And bonus point if you’re playing at home for every time you hear an “UGH!” and “Moooooom!” and “That’s not fair!”

NaBloPoMo, Pandemic, school, work

We’ve Entered the Over Sharing Portion of Remote School

You owe it to yourself, just once in your lifetime, to sit in on a remote classroom with 20 kindergarteners (all of whom cannot read yet and haven’t learned how to navigate Google classroom).

For the first week of school, about 15 kids sat on the Meet NOT on mute. So we heard 15 households’ conversations. Everything from parents’ arguing in the background to Grandmas telling kids the answers.

Every parent should have gotten this t-shirt with their remote learning kits.

Once everyone got the hang of the computer, the kids got really comfortable really fast with their teacher, sharing all sorts of things. Now, I know this sort of uncensored sharing goes on in schools all the time, however, parents are never privy to what’s said behind the classroom door. Now, we have a front row seat.

And kids share everything, especially when they don’t have a grown up next to them who can jump on that mute button to save face if need be.

Overheard in the kindergarten classroom:

“My parents are always yelling at me. So I scream back.”

“The only thing I like to do is watch Youtube.”

“I’m bored. When is school over?’

“Why is your hair like that? What did you do?” (to the teacher!)

“Can you pause the video? I have to pee!”

“I don’t like this part, can we do something else?”

“HEY! PAY ATTENTION!” (a parent, to their child)

We are on live learning for almost 5 hours each day (with breaks). Kids do not have an attention span for that long. And when their minds start to wander, all of the verbal gold comes out.

Though, I feel as adults we can learn a thing to two from these kids. I have been on more than one video call just this week alone where I wish I could have unmuted myself and asked, “I’m bored. When is this over?”

cooking, food, NaBloPoMo, recipe

Cozy Meals for a Crazy Year

Is it just me, or is it hard to eat healthy when the weather cools down? I don’t know about you, but when it’s 25 degrees outside, I find it difficult to eat a salad.

Cooler temps call for warm, comforting meals. And in year when we’ve been dressing for comfort, there’s not reason we shouldn’t be eating for comfort, too.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite comfort food recipes for the upcoming winter season.

KK’s Top 5 Comfort Foods

Ina’s Penne Vodka

I’ve shared this recipe before by Ina Garten, but it’s worth sharing again. This pasta is rich and creamy – with a hint of heat from the red pepper flakes – and hard to eat just one serving. You will overeat this pasta, but it will be worth it.

Get the recipe here.

Beef, Tomato and Acini de Pepe Soup

Photo from skinnytaste.com

There are days when I just crave a big bowl of steaming, satisfying soup. I found this recipe in a Skinnytaste cookbook I bought after I received my Instant Pot. The meat and pasta make it hearty, and the half pound of parmesan cheese I put on top makes it’s kk-worthy.

Get the recipe here.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Image courtesy of Food Network.

I know it’s bad for you, but it’s SO SO SO good. Tyler Florence’s version of spaghetti carbonara is a lighter version, the “sauce” coming from the egg and the pasta water. It is velvety and creamy and perfect on a cold night with a glass of red wine. Sometimes, when I’m feeling crazy, I’ll make this recipe with bucatini.

Get the recipe here.

Sous Vide Ribeye

When I think of winter date night’s in, I immediately picture a juicy ribeye steak, onion rings and roasted broccolini and a full bodied cabernet. When it’s too cold to go outside and grill, I’ll prepare the steaks with the sous vide, and then sear them in a hot cast iron skillet with butter until there’s a crust. There is no recipe here. I simply vacuum seal the steaks in a bag with fresh herbs, salt and pepper and garlic, then sous vide them until the perfect medium rare. I then heat a cast iron pan until it’s screaming hot and I sear the steaks on each side for no more than a minute or two, and finish by basting with melted butter. OMG, heaven.

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

I know fried chicken seems like a summertime dinner, enjoyed outside on a picnic table with a checkered tablecloth, but if you have the means to fry inside, fried chicken is one of those foods that just hits the spot and makes you feel good all over.

This recipe for fried chicken sandwiches is my girl crush Ina’s. And it was delicious. Don’t skimp on the pickles; I used homemade bread and butter quick pickles I made earlier in the day. Goes wonderfully with a hoppy IPA.

Get the recipe here.

Hopefully this provided some much-needed comfort food inspiration because honestly, vegetables aren’t cutting it right now.

Little Mister, NaBloPoMo, Pandemic, school

Why we Chose Full Remote Learning for School

When schools shut down in March, the sh*t hit the fan for working parents. When we couldn’t send Little Mister to daycare, we found ourselves juggling who was going to watch/entertain/be at his beck and call every hour of every day. It was exhausting, and we weren’t even dealing with Chromebooks and Google Meets and meltdowns like parents with school-aged children.

We endured the pandemic through spring and summer, while the fall school scheduled loomed over our heads. Would the kids be going back to school? What would learning look like? Did the package stores have enough wine stocked for parents??

As August started and the first day of school drew near, we started getting communications about the school year. And the plan changed by the day. Sometimes by the minute. For the most part, the decision on what the schools would be doing was being driven by the county’s health district. Plans were shared. Parents voted. And finally, options were presented.

And let me tell you: there was no good choice:

• Send your child to school full time and risk expose them to the virus of the century
• Keep your child home and risk your sanity while you try and work full time
• Opt for a hybrid model and have a combination of the worst of both worlds: exposure and remote learning while you were trying to work

Plus, our Little Mister was starting kindergarten. This was supposed to be the year to experience riding on the bus, learning to share and making friends. But that wasn’t going to happen this year. If we sent him to school, he would be sitting 6 feet away from the next kid, masked and solitary, not interacting or playing or sharing. He was being robbed of a true kindergarten experience.

Since I always work from home (pandemic or not), and it seemed like Mr. KK was going to be my coworker at least through the first half of 2021, we needed to find a solution that fit our work schedules. As a self-proclaimed crazy person during the pandemic, I had ZERO desire to send Little Mister to school. We had been SO diligent all summer and the thought of sending him into a classroom filled with other kids who could have been licking each for all I knew, was terrifying. Plus, we had just started integrating with our parents so they could watch Little Mister, and I didn’t want to bring any risk to our little pandemic bubble.

Our options from our school district were: a hybrid model where kids were in school 2 days, then home for remote learning 3 days, or a fully remote model.

For us, the hybrid model wasn’t going to work. I know Little Mister, and having him be in one place for a few days then transitioning not only his environment but how he was learning, was not going to work. Plus, on the days he had school at home, there would be no live learning; instead, assignments would be posted for the kids to complete. (And if asking him to do schoolwork on his own was anything like us asking him to do workbooks and practice his writing in the Spring, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive. Did you know it could take 1 1/2 hours to write your name 8 times?). Plus, we were lucky: we had been strict with our activities all summer, and we had resources in our corner: my mother-in-law was a retired teacher and willing to help us out with teaching, and my parents would help with after school care.

So we closed our eyes and jumped feet first into the fully remote model. And we haven’t looked back since.

We started by setting up a classroom at Grandma’s house (in Mr. KK’s old bedroom!). We set up a desk with all the supplies he’d need. And Grandma (in full teacher fashion) hopped on Amazon and dug through her teacher boxes and found decorations that would put any in-school classroom to shame. Days of the week! The alphabet! Vowels! Seasonal accents! We had it all.

Who needs public school when you have Grandma Elementary??

We wanted to make this experience as close to reality as possible so we created a schedule: we got up, got dressed, ate breakfast and packed our lunch and backpack and went off to “school”. Grandma sits with Little Mister 3 days a week, I do one day and Mr. KK does one day. And while he could navigate pretty well on his own, having someone next to him as a cheerleader and keeping him on task has been beneficial. From what I can tell, Little Mister LOVES school. He raises his hand and participates. He quotes his teacher back to me, which is like the holy grail: he is actually listening to her! He loves being on the computer and learning how to read and spell.

Is it perfect? Nope. Is it working for our child right now, during this particular time? Yes. And that is all that matters.

Plus, we get to hear phrases like, “Don’t worry, Grandma, I’ll get us back on The Meet” and “Ugh, don’t they know how to MUTE?” Ah, a smartass, just like his mom.

clothing, NaBloPoMo, shopping, Target, Uncategorized, wfh, work

Your Guide to Your WFH Wardrobe

Let’s be real, the minute we all started working from home, our wardrobe went downhill. If you had previously worked from home pre-pandemic like I did, you likely had already developed comfortable work from home attire. However, it’s possible even your casual WFH clothing started to deteriorate, along with your sanity.

There are 3 stages to the WFH Wardrobe:

Newly Working From Home. At this stage, you are putting in some effort! Possibly jeans or casual dress, a nicer top with statement jewelry for the ladies or a button down for the men. Daily shower. Perfume or cologne.

Working from Home, 3 Months In. You are up and dressed today! Still casual, but leggings have replaced the jeans (buttons? on your waist? this isn’t a prom, people!) Gone are the jewelry and cute/button down tops, replaced with t-shirts and athleisure (I love that this is a term!). Hair is in a ponytail and you likely showered within the last 36 hours.

Working from Home, 6 Months In. Do I have any video meetings today? No? Feejays and a fleece it is! Or possibly your workout gear from the morning, sweat included. Bonus points if you change out of both your pajama tops AND bottoms.

If nothing else, you likely saved some money on your spring/summer/fall wardrobes this year. I know that when I changed over my closet to my summer clothes 80% of them went unworn. Oh, well, there’s always 2022.

If you’re like me, you needed to buy a few key pieces – not because you needed them, but because having new clothes for a new season just makes you feel good. And who couldn’t use a little more “feel good” this year?

I’m very public about my love affair with Target. And this year, when it came to my casual WFH wardrobe, Target didn’t disappoint. With every retailer shifting their summer and fall lines to have more “cozy chic” options (let’s face it, no one is putting on a rayon dress or stilettos right now), Target was on point with their wardrobe staples.

7 Items You Need to Buy From Target Right Now

I love every one of these items and could not recommend them more. I also think I have a slight addiction to camouflage.
(NOTE: camouflage items should NOT be worn together. Ever.)

Universal Thread Camo Sweatshirt.

This camo sweatshirt can be dressed up or down! (Hahahaha, who am I kidding? Who is dressing up a sweatshirt right now?) This literally goes with anything. Your jeans and Uggs need this sweatshirt.

Universal Thread Camo Joggers

Hey, what do you know, more camo! These joggers are perfect for those days that you don’t have any clean leggings, and you’re feeling like you’re better than pajama bottoms.

Universal Thread Flannel Button Down

When you need a break from camo, this flannel shirt is perfect. I love it with leggings and tall boots. Warning: you might feel you need to hit up a brewery for some outside drinking when you wear this, so plan for a day of no meetings!

A New Day Turtleneck Pullover Sweater

A girl can never have too many ponchos, that’s what I always say. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a black one (though I have about 3 cream colored ones), so this black turtleneck poncho was perfect. It goes with jeans, leggings and everything in between.

Mad Love Kasandra Slip on Sneakers

Bring on the camo footwear! These little slip on sneakers go with anything (except more camo). But, if you’re like me and your entire wardrobe is black and gray, you’re golden!

A New Day Open Front Cardigan

As much as I detest the phrase coatigan, that’s essential what this little number is. This cardigan is part coat, part cardigan and 100% cozy. It’s the perfect thing to throw on when it’s chilly out and you’re too cheap it’s too early to turn on the heat. If you live in a city and you have to run to corner bodegas or down to get your mail, this is what you would wear.

Universal Thread High Rise Skinny Cropped Jeans

(Please – for all that is holy – pretend this model isn’t wearing these shoes with these pants.) Back to camo! I used to think I hated high wasted jeans and couldn’t wear skinny jeans. Well, these high rise jeans proved me wrong. They are SO comfy and stretchy and fit perfectly. And, these jeans are suitable for those WFH days when you’re feeling a little too fancy for yoga pants.

Each one of these items is in rotation in my WFH wardrobe. Paired with my other wardrobe staples: dark denim, black leggings, high top sneakers, tall boots and gray long sleeved tops, I can mix and match until my heart’s content. Plus, I can be incognito on my video calls wearing my camo!