Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cashmere Pep Talk

On this rainy Tuesday it is difficult to get out of bed in the morning, and by difficult I mean I'd rather have a tooth pulled out by my co-worker's 3 year old daughter.  What helps me is positive thinking.  While that may sound campy stay with me- this morning's positive thinking was 'just think how cozy and wonderful it will feel to put cashmere on'.  So I did. Cashmere is the essence of elegance and sophistication.  It's expensive, but worthy.

Here are some of my favorite cashmere picks that hopefully will help you get out of bed on the next rainy day!

J Crew, turtleneck sweater, $99
I'm ALL about this color right now.  Perfect with pearls or a bauble necklace.  

Talbots, Basket Stitch Sweater, $73
the best alternative to the sweatshirt- comfy central.

Banana Republic, Hooded Vest, $89
I think I'm finally understanding the vest trend, and while I don't love the layering here this vest looks like the perfect weekend accessory.

Cashmere for under $40??? Just buy this now. Please!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday

If you're anything like me, you have been totally overwhelmed and taunted by all of the Cyber Monday emails, tweets and promo codes.  I love a good deal and it seems that they are just being thrown at me today.

While I'm trying to be good and just screen shop (its like window shopping but on your computer) I wanted to pull together some of my picks for fabulous fashion deals.

Modcloth, Piano Bar Cardigan, $51.99
I'm thinking this can be paired with boyfriend jeans for a Saturday night or a lipstick red pencil skirt for New Years Eve!

Kate Spade, Idiom Bracelet, $66 with code "CYBER25"
So sweet and classic.  Both Audrey Hepburn and Michelle Obama would own this.

Ann Taylor, Silk Georgette Knot Front Blouse, $44
This blouse just oozes luxury.

Talbots, Ruffled tweed skirt, $63 with code "GIFT"
Such a feminine take on a pattern that can be stuffy.

Cole Haan, Air Lainey Wedge, $90 with code "MONDAY40"
I'm obsessed with these.  Not only are they made with Nike sneaker technology, they are 40.percent.off.

J Crew, Shawl Cable Cardigan, $50 with code "SHIP150"
I love this pop of color on an otherwise dreary winter day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Foodday

You guessed it! It's Friday Foodday!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will be eating leftovers all day today.  Have a great weekend!

Mom's Cream Puffs
c/o Cherie!

1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 cup flour (sifted)
4 eggs
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil water and butter together (if using unsalted, add a dash of salt). Remove from heat, add sifted flour and stir until thick. Put pot back on warm stove and continue stirring. Let sit for 10 minutes and add first egg and stir in until shiny. Add second egg and stir in completely. Add third, stir in. Fourth, stir in. (it’s not easy to stir it in – my arm hurts after I’m done!)
Scoop or spoon balls of the dough onto cookie sheet (however big or small you want them to be)
Cook until lightly brown (about 25-30 minutes.) Check after 10-15 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Timing varies depending on oven. Optional: When done, turn oven off, but keep puffs in to dry out a little.  
The filling:
Instant pudding flavor of your choice (I use French vanilla or chocolate)
1 cup milk
1 container Cool Whip
Optional: dark rum or kirsch to add to vanilla pudding, Bailey’s or whatever else you choose for chocolate
Make the pudding with 1 cup of milk. (add liquor or not) Stir in half of the container of Cool Whip (makes the pudding fluffy!)

Cut top off of cream puff, fill with pudding. Put top back on and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

  • 2 packages (7 ounces each) thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives, optional
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Stir in the ham, soup, sour cream, mushrooms, onion, olives if desired, mustard, seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Transfer to two greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dishes. In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs and butter; add cheese. Sprinkle over casseroles.
  • Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 2 months. Bake the remaining casserole, uncovered, at 325° for 30 minutes or until heated through.

1/2 lb. lean ground turkey (7% fat)
1/2 cup  chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp.  chili powder
1/2 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1 cup  cooked whole grain brown rice
4 whole wheat tortillas (10 inch)
3/4 cup  KRAFT Mexican Style 2% Milk Finely Shredded Four Cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
COOK turkey, onions, garlic and chili powder in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 min. or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
STIR in salsa and rice; simmer 3 min. or until heated through.
SPOON turkey mixture down centers of tortillas; top with cheese and cilantro. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up burrito-style

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November Dos and Don'ts Guest Post from MML

A huge thank you to Jess for letting me guest post this over at MML this week.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Hey there lovebugs.  Welcome to the holiday season!  Fall is upon us and before you know it Santa will be right around the corner.  But before he gets here I wanted to do a special list on thankfulness.
thankful (adjective)- feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.
Synonyms: gratitude, admiration, love
For one moment, sit still and think about the word thankful.  When was the last time you used it?  Maybe in the form of “thank you” which if you ask me isn’t used enough these days.  Perhaps it was a casual “thanks” or in an email “tx”.  But when was the last time you thought about the word “thankful”?  Was it last Thanksgiving?  When were you last FULL of thanks? Let’s try to be more thankful year round instead of just at the holidays.  There is so much in our daily lives that we take for granted.  Be full of thanks for the little and the big things.
Here’s my list of the dos and don’ts of being thankful.


  • Be thankful for your mom’s/grandma’s/sister’s/or aunt’s apple pie recipe.
  • Take time every single day to think about just ONE thing you are thankful for, even if its an awesome eyebrow wax.
  • A la mode everything.
  • Do take seconds.  On everything: dinner, life, friends, and family.
  • Give back.  However you can.


  • Wear Spanx to Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Be greedy or gluttonous.
  • Think about the calories in the gravy: if you eat it with turkey ON Thanksgiving its 0 calories.  You didn’t know that?
  • Forget to ask your grandparents to tell you a story about their past.
  • Forget your sneakers on Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What to Wear for Thanksgiving Dinner- and other things

Hi lovebugs!

Happy almost Thanksgiving! I wish you very safe travels and hope you overeat.  Speaking of eating, I would like to talk about two things today: what to wear to dinner that will allow you to overeat AND the inevitable mom talk of "you should cut back on the food [insert name here]".  Let's start with the mom talk.

I'm sure you know it well.  And don't get me wrong moms I know you mean well.  But if you're anything like me, you KNOW you should cut back on the mashed potatoes, and hearing it out loud just makes you want to eat more to comfort yourself.  Just know you're beautiful and whether you're a size 4 or a size 24. Treat your body like a temple----with the occasional eating of the Dorito bag in one sitting occurrence.  Happens to the best of us.  Whether you plan a New Years resolution for weight loss or are happy with your size, more power to you! Dress your body fabulously (by reading TCB, obvi) and love your curves, bumps, and pant size.  Love you mom!

Ok, now onto the fashion.  Thanksgiving dinner is a semi-dressy occasion but skinny ANYTHING is out of the question if you plan to enjoy yourself at all.  So here's what I recommended to look gorgeous while camouflaging the second serving of pie!

 Lulus, Elegant Teal Dress, $41
The drape effect with the belt makes for optimal stuffing intake.  Please pair with tights as this dress is on the shorter side!

I love this cream color and paired with some corduroys this makes the perfect outfit.

Loft, Charmeuse Top Sweater Dress, $48 with code ENJOY
The blousing on the top of this dress is beautiful.  Paired with pearls of a big earring you're ready.

SO sweet.  And the pleating plus the bow, bring on the potatoes.

It has the word "chunky" in it! 

And if all else fails:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How to Pack for Thanksgiving Travel

As we all travel to our family and friends homes this Thanksgiving, most of us will be doing over-nighters which means packing.  Generally this is a 3 or 4 night trip so nothing epic, but still you don't want to use your giant tote bag either.

Today we will talk about fabulous suitcases fit for flying, busing, driving, or however else you may be getting to your destination.  Tomorrow I will feature what to wear to Thanksgiving dinner....think elastic!

Some people have a severe aversion to Vera but love her or hate her this duffel is the BEST carry on in the world because you can shove it under your seat on the plane if the overhead storage runs out.  And let me tell you from experience, it's ultra-durable!

Rockland, Giraffe Pink, $29
Feeling sassy? Try this rolling duffle bag!

SO many pattern options to choose from, this bag will never be mistaken for someone else's!

If you REALLY need a roller bag I just love this one.  The handle is curved too so its easier to maneuver. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

A shoe with room

Today's post is going to be a little selfish, as I need your help.

I went to the foot doc this morning and I have good news and bad news:
Good News: I can start to wear "roomy" shoes
Bad News: these shoes are clogs, crocs, an sneakers.

So, I'm going to put up what I consider roomy and comfortable shoes that are work appropriate and are not made of rubber or Birkenstock.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Also- early calls for Friday Foodday, I know you have recipes ready for Thanksgiving!

Minnetonka, Suede Skimmer, $40
I like these because they have a nice sole for walking and they can be easily disguised under black slacks.

Easy Spirit, Junee, $39.99
Nice roomy toe box, this could work

Ugg, Retreat, $85
I'm having trouble with the idea of spending $85 for a rehab shoe...

Airwalk, Flurry, $24
Oh payless, I think we may have a winner. However, I may be mistaken for the abdominal snowman with this weird fur!!! 

**Note: please do not judge me on these choices, they are by no means reflective of what my shoe collection looks like.  This is a temporary option! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Foodday

Its the best day of the week lovebugs! Thank you so much for sending me your recipes, and please keep them coming!!!

Spiced Apple Galette
c/o Nikki
  • 1 large apple (I think this one is a honey crisp), sliced
  • 1 frozen pie crust
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice mix (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix apple slices with sugar, flour and spices.
  3. Arrange apples on pie crust.
  4. Fold the edge of crust in, around the fruit creating folds.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Chicken Divan Soup
c/o M&SJ+C

  • 2  tablespoons  butter
  • 1  garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried crushed red pepper
  • 1  (48-oz.) container chicken broth
  • 2  (12-oz.) packages fresh broccoli florets (about 12 cups)
  • 1  (8-oz.) package cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 4  cups  chopped cooked chicken (I cooked four chicken breasts in the crock pot all day then shredded and added to the soup).
  • 8-oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and broccoli. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Stir in cream cheese.
2. Process mixture with a handheld blender until smooth. Add chicken, shredded cheese, and noodles. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Note: If you don’t have a handheld immersion blender, let mixture cool slightly; process mixture, in batches, in a regular blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Return mixture to Dutch oven, and proceed as directed.

  • 3 cups prepared mashed potatoes 
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons onion soup mix 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 
  • 1 dash pepper 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs 
In a large mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese into the potatoes until smooth. Stir in Parmesan cheese, soup mix, salt, hot pepper sauce and pepper. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place the egg and breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip potato balls in egg, then roll in crumbs. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

3 whole boneless chicken breasts with skin (about 2 1/2 pounds),
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, sliced thin
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup Marsala
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. 

In a large heavy skillet heat oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown chicken in 2 batches, transferring with tongs to a large plate as browned.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and sauté onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

Simmer mushroom sauce until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter is just incorporated. Spoon mushroom sauce around chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Your Essential Winter Gloves

People, who noticed Kate Middelton's BLUE dress on Tuesday?  What did I tell you? She looked gorgeous.  Oh and the engagement ring helped too...

Also- tomorrow is Friday Foodday so please send me your recipes to post!

As the weather gets colder, I find myself needing a pair of gloves to walk to work in.  While the options are endless, I find I need 3 different pairs in my rotation: the leather, the embellished, and the texter.  Let me show you:

Nordstrom, Lined Leather Gloves, $60
Gloves are like umbrellas, you always lose them.  If you invest some money into them you are more likely to keep track of them! These are beautiful gloves that are long enough to go inside your coat so the wind doesn't go up your arm!  Very classic and versatile.

Ralph Lauren, Triple Ruffle Knit Glove, $35
The embellished glove I consider my fun glove.  You can pick a cable knit in a great bright color, maybe some detailing.  I like these because they're super girly.

The texting glove.  Sometimes you just need a pair!  And this one coverts into a mitten when you're all done.  Love the pattern and the bright colors.

What are your favorite types of gloves? Fleece lined, mittens? 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cheers with Jewelry

So Kristin over at Bon Bon Rosegirls gave me inspiration for this post.  Wine colors!  Going off of yesterday's post of jewel tones in blue I thought we'd continue today with wine colors: reds, purples, merlots, you know something gorgeous!

Today let's focus on jewelry in these shades.

Also- send me your recipes for Friday Foodday!

I love this combination of glam and vintage.

Look at this beautiful bracelet! I love the way the light hits the beads.

Are these ladylike or what?

Hand dyed silk, just beautiful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Glee Fashion--Emergency Post

Ok, so I could on forever about Glee fashion, especially Emma's...(J Crew and Kate Spade heaven) but I must post on Gwyneth Paltrow's tweed skirt on tonight's episode. LOVE!

While her skirt was probably $482 here are some of my picks for the sassiest tweed minis out there!

Banana Republic, Tall jen tweed skirt, $64
High waisted dream

How is this skirt feminine with cargo pockets? Gorgeous.

Limited, piped waistline mini, $59
Sweet and pockets makes this the perfect work skirt.

Banana Republic, Knife Pleat Skirt, $35
Perfect for a silk blouse and a vest. Secretary in the best way possible.

I've got the blues

So often people avoid blue because they only think of blue as navy.  Navy, while a great neutral and a staple for any wardrobe can be lack luster.  But why stop at navy? Blue is a jewel tone and it has the ability to make your skin tone shine or make your eyes pop.

Embrace blue this holiday season.  It's rich, and it's luxurious.  Stay with the deeper hues, a pale or pastel blue may look out of place this winter- unless of course its cashmere.

Hello chic! This vest is four season.  Layer it up now and pair it with a favorite tank in the summer.

Forever 21, sequin mini skirt, $29
Not for work.  Ever.  But absolutely Saturday night.

Dillards, Giana Bini Blouse, $40
So feminine.  Ruffled and delicate.

Yes its deep navy but- a phrase to live by: There is never an event to small to wear a big bow.

Not too coy, blue chico, $84
There are no words for the extreme sassiness of this shoe.