Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Okaw Valley Orchard

A couple of weekends ago, we ventured out to a local orchard in Central Illinois. There are a few to choose from around here, but this one has beautiful orchards that you can explore and pick your own apples. It's the Okaw Valley Orchard located in Sullivan, a family run little piece of heaven right off the beaten path. 

The orchard holds 1500 trees that produce 27 different kinds of apples, peaches, plums and pears. The very best part is the little store on the property where you can buy all kinds of goodies, such as apple cider, honey, jelly, apple cider donuts, pies, cobblers, fruit and even fresh made apple dumplings, fritters and apple cider slushies! It's really hard to pick just a few things to sample, so we ended up sampling quite a bit. The slushies are to die for and the fresh apple dumplings were the best I have ever tasted! 

We were lucky enough to visit the orchard on a picture perfect day. It's out in the country, far away from busy highways and loud neighbors. It's a great way to find some peace and quiet during the day. 

We picked several of our own apples, which are absolutely delicious. I'd love to go back and get more for baking! 

Naturally, an afternoon in the orchard calls for a perfect fall outfit. I am really digging long, comfy cardigans lately and this one is no exception. It is the perfect mix of funky and functional. 

A hat kept the sun out of my eyes and these lace up shoes are actually quite comfortable for walking around. 

You should definitely go check out Okaw Valley Orchard when you are in this neck of the woods. It's a true gem hidden in the Central Illinois countryside! 

Outfit details: Cardigan: Topshop, Cami: Topshop, Hat: Target, Jeans: Rock & Republic, Shoes: Nordstrom (similar), Bag: Kate Spade 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rocker Chic for Fall, featuring Stella and Dot

We've written numerous times about what defines our own personal style. For me, I like classic looks with an edge. I'm always in search of little details that take things to the next level. 

So, when we were presented with the opportunity to work with Betsy at Stella & Dot, I was immediately drawn to the Gold Pearl Spike Ring. It's the perfect embodiment of classic with an edge, with the pearl and spike ends. Also, Gwen Stefani wore it, and I basically will wear anything that Gwen Stefani wears. ;) 

To match the ring, I went with an all black rocker chic look. Leather leggings are perfect for the fall and winter season, plus these are super comfy as well as flattering on all body shapes. A long black sweater is going to be one of my fall and winter wardrobe staples because it goes with everything, while still looking chic and put together. 

My shoes and clutch are different shades of glitter, but when you are going for a rocker look, that is totally okay. All glitter goes! A braided faux-hawk and deep blue lipstick round out my rocker style and both are totally in for fall too. 

Right now, Betsy is running a special promotion for our readers. She has set up a trunk show for us here (if it doesn't say Mod Circus at the top, search for us on the site).  Plus, Betsy has very generously offered several giveaways! Below are the details for those: 

For every $25 a shopper spends - they will get an entry to win the following prize:

-one pair of Sparkle Studs - retail value $19 - one of the best sellers for Stella & Dot! Super sparkly and lightweight - real stunners in person.

- one Cage Cuff in silver - another great seller - retails for $44. Sleek and simple, yet still elegant, it pairs well with many styles!

THEN - the winner gets to choose one of three small bags.

- Slim Pouf in black and gold - retails for $25 -  perfect length to fit makeup brushes and much more! High quality vegan leather that seriously lasts. I've had my puff for going on three years now and it is still in absolutely perfect condition!

-Black and White Beauty Bag - retails for $27 - this print is currently unavailable and may not be ever again! High quality vegan leather, deeper and more wide open, the perfect bag to store all your beauty needs! inside is black and white striped.

-Hot Pink Wristlet - retails for $35 - however, this is another item that is currently unavailable and unknown if/when it is coming back. Vegan leather details make this wallet super chic and sassy with it's hot pink color. Can fit standard iPhone size - but not the Plus size.

Betsy will then reach out to the winner and send them their prize!

Happy shopping! 

Outfit details: Leather leggings: Nordstrom, Sweater: Nordstrom, Heels: Modcloth, Clutch: T.J. Maxx

Friday, October 14, 2016

Windowpane Plaid featuring eShakti

As you probably saw in Jodi's post earlier this week, we're thrilled to be teaming up a second time with retailer eShakti and could not be more excited to help promote their Fall styles. Their dresses are some of the best quality we've ever owned, and we love the endless combinations you can select to customize your own pieces from sleeve style and neck cut to length. Be sure to check out the code at the bottom of the post for your own discount! You can also see our looks from last Spring here and here.

Jodi and I were both drawn to plaid dresses (shocker, I know!) and I loved this navy and maroon windowpane plaid pattern. I went a little wild with my customization, adding bell sleeves, a wide boat neck and above-the-knee length. How fun would a floor length plaid dress be, though? So. Many. Options. On top of that, they also offer sizes from XS to 6X, so there are truly tons of possibilities for everyone.

Since a cold front has (finally!) hit, I styled my dress with tall lace-up boots, which are equal part charming vintage and edgy military style.

A maroon lip and round vintage-inspired sunnies give an edgy almost steampunk vibe, while still keeping the whole look delightfully adorable.

Again, we have just been so impressed with eShakti's quality and customization, and we can't wait to customize even more! Check it out for yourself; we're sure you'll be as impressed as we are. You'll save 30% off on your first order and be sure to use our code 'modcircus' to get an additional10% off through November 15th!


Outfit Details: Dress: c/o eShakti, Boots: Modcloth (similar), Sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How to Style a Faux Bob

Who's getting excited that Halloween is right around the corner? I do love to go all out with making costumes (see my Moonrise Kingdom outfits from last year's post here), but I can definitely appreciate using items in your closet to throw something simple together, too. That works especially well for wearing something to work without feeling too goofy!

For those times when your hair is long but you need it to be short (think flapper, Madeline, Amelie, or any other short-haired gal, really), but you don't want to go all out with a wig, you're in luck! Fake it til you make it, ladies! I'm here to give you the breakdown on how to style your long hair so it looks like it's short. Heck, you could style this for a night out, no need for a Halloween occasion.

1. Start with curled hair. This is optional, but will help create a more realistic looking bob. No need to make it perfect, most of it will be pinned up. If you have fine hair, I'd definitely recommend spritzing it with some texturizing or wax spray at this point too.

2. Divide your hair into an upper and lower section and tie the upper section up to get it out of your way. Roll the lower section into a wide, flat bun and pin in place with at least 4 bobby pins. This will give you a good base to secure the rest of your pins to!

3. Backcomb the underneath section of your hair to give it some body and help hold the bob shape.

4. Divide your top section of hair into about five sections. Curl each section under so the bottom loop is the desired length you'd like the bob to be. It may be easiest to put the bobby pin on the end of your hair first, then secure it, rather than blindly trying to secure the hair once it's curled underneath. Pin the sections one by one into the hair that's pulled up underneath until all of the sections are pinned up.

5. Use a curling iron to slightly curl the hair at the end of the "bob" outward to make it look more natural.

6. Hairspray the ever loving lulu out of your hair and be sure to shake your head back and forth to see if any pieces fall out. If so, keep pinning until everything is totally secure.

Below is a shot from this post that shows a version without the backcombing, so it curls closer around the face.

Another variation from this post shows a version without curling it first, if you opt for that route!

While we're talking about it, see other general Halloween inspired looks we've styled last year here and here if you're looking for a less costume-y look!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Schoolgirl Plaid featuring eShakti

We've had the pleasure of working with eShakti in the past, so we were very excited when they reached out to us to feature more of their amazing pieces on the blog. This time around, we got to pick a couple of pieces from their fall lineup, which as you know, is one of our favorite seasons. (Be sure to check the bottom of the post for a discount just for our readers!)

If you've been reading here for long, you know that we are mad for plaid, so I jumped at the chance to style this pretty plaid dress. One of the great things about eShakti is that they let you customize the dresses that you order, so you can pick the neckline, length, sleeves, etc. For this dress, I chose the sleeveless option and the boatline neck. I kept the length above the knee, but midi or ankle length would look super cute too. 

Since the weather is cooling down (finally), I styled this dress with a white button up shirt underneath it. Pinafores and jumpers are one of the big trends for fall, so this was the perfect time to play up the schoolgirl vibe with this look. I rounded out my look with a perfect school bag and navy blue booties. I kept the look sophisticated with sleek hair and a dark lip. 

New customers can get $30 off their first purchase and free customization right now when they sign up at eShakti. And as a special deal for our readers, use the promo code "modcircus" to get an extra 10% off through 11/15! Go check out all of their new fall pieces, you'll be glad you did! 

Outfit details: Dress: c/o eShakti, White shirt: Old Navy, Bag: The Cambridge Satchel Company, Booties: Sole Society. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Flower Power featuring VIPme

I'm loving pastels mixed into Fall color palettes this year. Spring hues in cuts made for cool weather are everywhere, and I think it's such a fun departure from the stuffy old "no white after Labor Day" rules that have been in place for so long. 

We were very excited when VIPme contacted us to feature a couple of their items on our blog. They had tons of options of fun floral print vintage cut dresses, but I really loved this '70s-inspired dress. You can also see the fun dress Jodi styled here

The bell sleeves of the dress are both perfectly vintage and totally on trend. The pattern of the dress is what gives it much more of a throwback vibe, but it's updated in bright modern colors that are a great juxtaposition to the florals that may have been in deep rust or avocado colors back in the day.

I wanted to make the look a mix of polished and boho and did so by pairing it with strappy yellow heels, a fringe blush purse, and holographic geometric sunglasses. 

You can get $5 off your order of $50 or more now at! They have a ton of beautiful dresses just like this one, plus so much more. Just use code ModCircus216 to snag this deal. 

Outfit details: Dress: c/o VIPme, Purse: TJ Maxx (similar), Shoes: Payless (similar), Sunglasses: Donna’s Dress Shop

Get the VIPme app to bring more brands to your pocket! For IOS: For Android:

Check out this video from VIPme:

As a female fashion website, VIPme is positioning as a platform that empowers women to value individual perspective, to highlight self-awareness and to cherish the inner "me."

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Spicy Apple Cider Moscow Mule

As you know by now, we love fall around here and everything that comes with it. This is the perfect time of year for hearty comfort foods as well as warm and spicy drinks. I love a good cocktail and fall is great for experimenting with different flavors and spices. We've tried the Moscow Mule every which way there is, so I decided to go ahead and make up a new one. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Spicy Apple Cider Moscow Mule! It's like a regular Moscow Mule, but better and more autumnal! The spicy vodka mixes well with just about anything, but especially with Goslings Ginger beer because it has a little bite to it. The apple cider and cinnamon add another layer of flavor to an already great combo, taking it to the next level. 

Here is the recipe to make your own. 

2 oz. Hellfyre vodka (or another pepper vodka)
3 oz. ginger beer (I prefer Goslings for this, as stated above)
3 oz. apple cider
Sprinkle of cinnamon 
Cinnamon stick

Fill copper mug with ice. Mix vodka, ginger beer and apple cider in mug. Garnish with sprinkle of cinnamon and cinnamon stick. Yields one cocktail. 

Last year, my husband and I went to Galena, IL after our wedding for some much needed rest and relaxation. It was there that we were introduced to Hellfyre vodka from the Blaum Brothers Distillery. Rather than being jalapeno flavored, this vodka is infused with hot peppers giving it a heat that is perfect for mixing with cocktails. Seriously, it's one of my favorites. I don't even like Bloody Marys, but I do when they have this vodka in them! 

I love experimenting with apple cider and spices this time of year. Do you have any go-to fall recipes that you are looking forward to making? 

Cheers! - Jodi