Monday, January 31, 2011

Teal Me In

Happy Monday all! How was your weekend? Any good sales or steals?  I'd love to hear!  I scored at the J Crew online 40% off sale.  Got some great basics with a flair (sequins of course).

In the past we've talked about specific colors like wine and green- today I want to focus on a really rich and fun color: teal.  This color reminds me of tropical scenery, sandy beaches, everything I need in dull of winter.

Dillard's, Blanca dress, $58
This dress is beyond sexy.  The silk, the one shoulder, the belt, It's gorgeous!

The different shapes on this necklace are so interesting.  The detail and structure is perfect for an LBD.

Forever 21, tier pleated skirt, $25
Perfect party skirt.  The tiers of chiffon are so delicate!

Put these with tights and a mini skirt for a guaranteed good night!  Don't believe me? Look how Modcloth models styled these beauties.

Teal is such a rich and fun color to play with in these dreary months.  It can mix with a multitude of neutrals and you can even throw in some neons with the teal.  Try it out!

Be fabulous today!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Foodday

It's Friday y'all!!! I'm so excited.  Mostly because I zero plans and sometimes that's just what you need for a fabulous weekend.

Enjoy the recipes- and remember if you want to be featured, shoot me an email with your delicious creation!

c/o Jet Setting Divas

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cups of pecans
2 tbsp of butter

Mix sugar and milk in a heavy 2-quart saucepan
Bring to boil over medium heat (stirring occasionally)until mixture forms a thick syrup.
Add pecans and butter and continue to cook & stir
let cool for 10 minutes.
Use a tablespoon to quickly drop rounded balls onto sheet wax paper
Allow to cool

Should make about 20 pralines! Courtesy of my mother's cookbook!

Braised Short Ribs
c/o Annie

  • 5 pounds beef short ribs, bone on 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper (I like a coarse grind) 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 large onion chopped 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 celery rib, chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin left on 
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (comes in a jar; slightly thicker than ketchup) or paste (comes in a block)
  • 2 fresh (or dry) bay leaves 
  • 1/2 cup Madeira 
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth

  • Directions
  • Heat the oven to 225 degrees. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil, then the short ribs (add them in batches, if necessary) and brown on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate as they finish browning. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.
    2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables are soft and all the browned bits in the base of the pot have been loosened. Put the short ribs (and any juices that have collected on the plate) back in the pot.
    3. Add the light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tamarind paste, and bay leaves. Pour in the Madeira and red wine. Add enough chicken broth to just cover the ribs. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven.
    4. Braise the shortribs until they are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 4 hours (longer if the short ribs are big). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shortribs to a plate. Let the cooking liquid settle; spoon off as much fat as possible (ideally, you'd do this over the course of two days and would, at this point, put the liquid in the fridge overnight and peel off the layer of fat in the morning). Set the pot on the stove over medium high heat. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and reduce to a syrupy consistency.
    5. Lay a short rib or two in each of 4 wide shallow bowls. Spoon over a little sauce. Serve proudly.
    Meatballs and Noodles in a Cream Sauce
    c/o M&SJ+C
    1 pound ground beef (85% or so)
    1 package garlic and herb Boursin cheese
    Salt and pepper
    Vegetable oil
    1 onion, chopped fine
    2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
    8 ounces egg noodles
    1/4 cup white wine
    1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
    Combine beef, 5 tablespoons Boursin cheese, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl and knead gently until combined. Form mixture into 1 inch meatballs. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook meatballs until well browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer meatballs to plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

    Cook onion in reserved fat until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add broth, noodles, and wine and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to med-low, and cook, stirring often, until pasta begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer, covered, until meatballs are cooked through and noodles are al dente, about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in remaining Boursin cheese and chives. Season with salt and pepper.
    Cake Batter Cookies
    1 (18.25 oz.) box cake mix
    1 tsp. baking powder
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2-In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix and baking powder. Add eggs and oil, then mix until well blended. (It was a bit crumbly for me so I used my hands to really mix it well- it's not as smooth as typical dough.)
     3-Stir in chocolate chips, or your choice of additions. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
    4- Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Be fabulous today!

The It List!


Happy Friday and welcome back to another endlessly inspiring IT list... there is truly something for everyone here, so get clicking!

  • rose a la mode is on vacation at the beach... and of course looking ever so stylish while there!  I love this outfit... what I wouldn't give to be walking on the beach! (get more of rose a la mode on twitter!)
  • a spot of whimsy is having a little celebration over on her blog and is giving away a one-year subscription to either martha stewart living or real simple... head on over to enter.  These are definitely two of my most favorite glossies! (get more of a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
  • much to my delight reorganized her pantry using ball jars. Swoon!  Vintage inspired organization at it's best!
  • merci blah blah looks fabulous (as always, but especially) in this breton strip top... hello gorgeous long skirt!
  • capital barbie is embracing scalloping in fashion... it's so fun and feminine, it's hard not to be drawn to it. I love these red scalloped pumps! (get more of capital barbie on twitter!)
  • sweetie pie style always brings the best inspiration on a monday morning... this jade-like chain necklace had me at hello.  (get more of sweetie pie style on twitter!)
  • good life for less launched a fabulous e-book... "50 things every woman must own..." They are selling like hot-cakes, get your copy now! (get more of good life for less on twitter!)
  • a delightful design just started a fun new series called "ask abby" - check out this week's question or submit a question about interior design yourself! (get more of a delightful design on twitter!)
  • rosy + tart is giving away a $25 giftcard to modcloth.  Hello spring shopping!  Enter the giveaway and check out her spring picks right away! (get more of rosy + tart on twitter!)
  • undeniable style is paying homage to style icon jane birkin.  It's no wonder this lovely lady has one of the most coveted handbags named after her! (get more of undeniable style on twitter!)
  • good tots starts a weekly series featuring etsy sellers that carry fun goods for kids... this week's featured seller sells the most adorable Valentine's heart confetti. Must have!
  • the hillside home is pulling together inspiration for her great room. I am loving the sophisticated yet cozy blue color she has chosen for her wall.  Check out the whole inspiration on her blog!
  • a fashion fixation pulls together a very simple but very stylish outfit for a road-trip. I love the use of a belt here! (get more of a fashion fixation on twitter!)
  • yams designs delivers big time inspiration this week... all in black and white (remember last week it was technicolor?).  You have just got to see what she has pulled together! (get more of yams designs on twitter!)
  • one hundred inspirations is definitely thinking spring this week... they recreate this fun whitney port look for less than $85!  What a deal!
the IT list is published weekly by jill of the good life for less... for more information on how you can be involved... click here!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Not so straight edge

You know what I love? When a piece of clothing holds my attention because of it's detail.  Embroidery, embellishment, or interesting lines.  Today I want to highlight great hem lines like a scalloped edge.  These enhancements add a subtle pinch of personalization and sophistication.

Gap, Scallop trim top, $49.50
The scallop overlap is so interesting on this top, I might add a belt to define the waist.

Start your leg lifts and lunges now ladies, this dress will make your limbs look miles long!

Pretty gold buttons.  Try this with black tights right now.

modcloth, going places heel, $38
Yes! Even shoes have great lines!  So feminine.

J Crew, Chiffon rufflotta, $21 (on sale)
This silk blouse is so soft.  I love it with black denim or a suit!

Adding interesting elements to normal pieces can give your look new life.  Details like scalloped edges or fringe or other embellishment makes your outfit stand out.  

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Retro Wednesday

Hey there lovebugs,
I hope your humpday is going fabulously.  DC is expecting a bit of snow today, so cross your fingers for me!  Also- before I forget, who has got a recipe for me to feature? Any Super Bowl appetizers that you make every year? I would love to see them!

Today we're going to time warp a little bit.  Yesterday was all about the structured button down shirt, today let's loosen up a little bit.  I'm thinking retro, hippy, groovy, baby.  I like this trend because it's comfortable, it's affordable, and it usually let's me eat a lot without feeling trapped in my clothing.  Three very important things.

Boden, Retro spot tunic, $72
I love this print!!! It's so much fun! And it has 'retractable' belt loops so you can wear with or without the belt!  Genius.

Coldwater Creek, Matka jacket, $35
So Coldwater Creek isn't my favorite store, mostly because it's a little too country mom for me.  But I'm loving this cropped coat! The blend of colors is so chic.

Modcloth, Grand Prix necklace, $40
How adorable is this? The chain is extra long so it's perfect for a tunic of even a crewneck tee.

Gap, vintage flare jean, $69.50
I am loving these jeans.  They are dare I say, groovy?

Forever 21, Loose fitting silk top, $30
These colors are amazing, plus the seamless mix of patterns- it's downright joyful!

As you can see, the retro trend is beyond affordable and super playful.  It may need some accessory dressing up for the workday but for going out or weekend wear it is far out!

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Classic Shirt

The classic white button down is one of the most important items in any wardrobe. Period.  Why? Let me count the ways.

  1. It will stand the test of any trend, style, or passing fashion obsession
  2. It is the definition of clean, crisp, and put together
  3. It can be worn $300 suit OR a $30 pair of jeans
  4. Do you really need more?
Every woman should have at least one standard button down in white.  The variations on this masterpiece are also something to experiment with.  Today I'm going to show you some of my favorite not-so-traditional button down whites.

Rugby, Skinny Ryder Shirt, $60
I love the detachable sash on this shirt and the french cuffs give it an extra bit of wow.

7 for all mankind, piecing top, $69
Like I said, sometimes you need a clean and crisp shirt for the weekend.  This is it.  

I LOVE this tuxedo pleat style.  Can you picture it with a bold pencil skirt? Yum.

Nordstrom, Tahari Tundra blouse, $59.50
Besides the fact that this model looks like she's about to sneeze; look at the great rouching and darting down the torso.  This is going to bring attention up from any problem mid-section areas and showcase your beautiful collarbone.

The white button down will serve so many purposes for you.  Work, play, dress up, relax, you name it.  The best part about it is your ability to have fun with it.  Metallic skinny belt it or go for a emerald green drop earring.  So many possibilities.

Also, for my more well-endowed friends out there.  You know who you are.  Fear not! The ultimate button down pucker solution!!!!!  No See 'ems I swear by 'em.

Be fabulous today!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Hey lovebugs! Happy Monday to you.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Since last week we talked about your go-to bag, I wanted to give a little love to a night out bag, which for me it always a clutch.  I don't want anything over my shoulder, giving me a bicep work out while I'm out and about.  Clutches fit everything I need for a night out and they fit under your arm or on a table.

Here are my picks!

Urban Expressions, Sandra, $50
This one comes in lots of colors for you to choose.  I bet I could stuff everything I needed in there plus a camera.

Ralph Lauren, Acadian Clutch, $85
I'm loving the crocodile on this clutch, it's simple yet classic.

This is a handmade clutch with a silver clasp on the top.  I LOVE it for daytime weekend.

Angela Huse, Large clutch, $44
Love is an understatement with this pattern.  And it's an oversized clutch so put all you want in it!

I love sparkle and I LOVE this bag with skinny jeans or an LBD.

So that's what I would like in a clutch.  You don't need a bottomless pit purse for evening, in fact, it kinda makes you look crazy.  Put the essentials in a feminine clutch and you will be set for the night!  The best part about this style is that the fabrics, trends, and options are endless! There is a style for everyone.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Foodday

Hey lovebugs! It's Friday Foodday and have I got some great recipes for you this week!
Wanna get in on the love? Send me your recipe and I would love to feature it!

Chicken Parm

2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup White Onion

1 medium raw Green-bell Pepper
3 cloves Garlic Clove
2 tsp Oregano, Dried
28 oz Organic Crushed Tomato With Basil
1 tbsp Organic Tomato Paste
1/2 cup Panko Crumbs
1 tbsp Reduced Fat Parmesan Cheese  
1/2 tsp Thyme, Dried
1 2/5 g Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
16 oz Chicken Breast
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard Note : I do not like Mustard, so I use egg!
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, part-skim, shredded
2 1/2 oz Organic Whole Wheat Penne
1/4 cup Basil, Fresh

1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add 1 tsp oregano and stir to coat. Cook 30 seconds, until oregano is fragrant. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine panko, Parmesan, remaining 1 tsp oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper. Mix with a fork to combine. Brush both sides of each chicken breast with Dijon. Transfer each breast to panko mixture and turn to coat both sides. Arrange chicken on prepared baking sheet. Coat surface of chicken with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes.

4. Top each chicken breast with 2 to 3 Tbsp tomato sauce and 2 Tbsp mozzarella. Return chicken to oven and bake 10 minutes more, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.

5. Arrange pasta on a serving plate and top with remaining tomato sauce. Serve chicken with pasta on the side, garnishing both with basil.

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced thin
1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup sugar-free teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Heat a large nonstick saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil.  Add the onion and asparagus, and sitr-fry until the vegetables are almost tender, about 6 minutes.  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste, and add them to the pan.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the stir-fry sauce.  When the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is hot (after about 2 minutes), stir in the basil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired, serve.

3 zucchini (1 lb.)
1/4 cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Chicken Coating Mix
1   egg
1/2 cup KRAFT Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
1/2 tsp.  lemon zest
1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 tsp.)

HEAT oven to 450ºF.
TRIM zucchini. Cut crosswise in half, then cut each piece into 1/4-inch matchlike sticks. Add cheese to coating mix in shaker bag; shake gently to combine. Whisk egg in medium bowl. Add zucchini; toss to coat. Use tongs to place 1/4 of the zucchini in shaker bag; close bag and shake to evenly coat. Spread onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
BAKE 12 to 13 min. or until golden brown, turning after 7 min. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients.

Hope you all enjoyed!!
Be fabulous today!

                                It's in the Bag

                                Hey lovebugs!

                                A Hasty Life is gathering over 100 bloggers to do one simple thing: let people inside their purse! So I took some pictures (they're not so great, there's a reason I don't photograph things for this blog) but I hope you enjoy what's inside my purse!

                                A Hasty Life

                                This is my purse.  Dooney and Burke brown with gold hardware.  A gift from my mom.

                                The inside!!! 

                                The contents.  Not so scary right? And yes that is my foot in the bottom left hand corner.

                                1. Kate Spade wallet.  

                                2. White ribbon, I always carry one in case I put my hair up.

                                3. Keys!

                                4. Purse holder.  Tacky? Kinda.  Jealous? Every other woman at Happy Hour is!

                                5. Pen, hand sanitizer, lip glosses, and chap stick

                                1. Kindle.  I take it everywhere, I love it!

                                2. Reusable bag.  In DC we have a 5 cent tax on plastic bags so I bring my own.

                                3. Cole Haan sunglasses

                                1. Monogrammed business card holder.  

                                2. Black leather gloves

                                3. Gap City flats.  I walk a mile to work everyday so I toss my heels in my bag and wear these lifesavers to work.

                                I hope you enjoyed! That's my go to bag in all it's glory.  Anything catch your eye?

                                Be fabulous today!

                                Featuring the It List!


                                Happy Friday everyone!  Time to celebrate the weekend with some inspiration... take some time to browse these amazing blogs today or this weekend!

                                • yams designs goes full on with technicolor inspiration all week long... I especially love Tuesday's post, but pop by her blog and your winter blues will melt away! (get more of yams designs on twitter!)
                                • a fashion fixation is set for spring... this outfit is PERFECT for the current weather, but still so fresh and fun! (get more of a fashion fixation on twitter!)
                                • undeniable style just bought some lovely sketches for her home... I am absolutely in love with this ballet inspired sketch! (get more of undeniable style on twitter!)
                                • capital barbie is loving lace for spring... me too! It's so flirty and feminine... check out her top picks! (get more capital barbie on twitter!)
                                • sweetie pie style just updated her vintage shop, one sweet find, with this mirrored vanity tray! I am SO in love... hurry and snatch this sweet find up! (get more of sweetie pie style on twitter!)
                                • 100 inspirations recreates this simple and chic Nikki Hilton look for under $100 - score!
                                • a spot of whimsy is featuring a wintry mix of inspiration that is sure to have you falling back in love with snow as if it were the first time... if just for a bit, at least! (get more of a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
                                • good tots found these super cool and modern cribs in fun colors for less than $400 - what a steal! almost makes me want to have another little babe, almost.  
                                • much to my delight brings us to mediterranean bliss with this recipe for hummus, yum!  one of my favorite snacks of all time, you must check this out!
                                • the hillside home lives in sunny california, lucky gal... at least she brings us the feel of summer wrapped up in this one adorable dress!
                                • rosy + tart has me drooling with these nutella and chocolate chip cookies!  you absolutely must pop over and check out this recipe... so yum! (get more of rosy + tart on twitter!)
                                • a delightful design scopes out seven great online resources for inexpensive art!  how resourceful... I just love these options! (get more of a delightful design on twitter!)
                                • merci blah blah can accessorize like no one's business, it IS her business.  I just love, love it all.  Go check out her skills!
                                • good life for less is participating in a fun contest on her blog featuring polyvore and Rebecca Minkoff's Spring 2011 collection.  Go have fun and enter yourself to win a fabulous RM clutch! (get more good life for less on twitter!)
                                the IT list is published weekly by jill of the good life for less... for more information on how you can be involved... click here!

                                Thursday, January 20, 2011

                                What's in a Bag

                                Hey lovebugs,
                                Tomorrow I will be participating in A Hasty Life's blog crawl "It's in the Bag" where I let you in on what's going on inside my purse!  In preparation for that reveal I wanted to share some great go-to bags with you.

                                And in addition to my picks, I'd love to hear not only what bag you carry every day, but also what's inside!!!  Is it full of receipts and change? Or is it perfectly organized and zippered?

                                Modcloth, We Bag to Differ, $89.99
                                I love this color combination! And it has a shoulder strap inside.

                                Roxy, Monsoon Tote, $20
                                My favorite feature about this bag (other than the price) is the magnetic snap closure.  I will not buy a bag unless it closes in some shape or form.

                                Milloo, Elessa in wool, $75
                                By far my fave pick.  Fishbone wool and dual straps.  And free shipping!

                                Forever 21, Weaved hoops hobo bag, $29
                                Yeah, so it's not real leather, but I'm loving the hardware on this piece.

                                Kate Spade, Washington Mews Maryanne, $425
                                And how in the world could I do a bag post without picking out a beautiful Kate?  Drooling over here.

                                So as you can see I prefer a tote/shoulder bag for everyday use.  I think it offers the maximum stuff-to-the-gills capacity option in case of rain (umbrella room), evening out after work (heels), or hunger (snacks!)

                                Be fabulous today!

                                Wednesday, January 19, 2011

                                Laced and Loving It

                                Yesterday we did rocker.  I hope you loved it.  Today we're going the other direction: lace!  So sweet and delicate but also can be very sexy and professional.  Remember lace very easily can look like a nightgown, find pieces with structure and shape- especially if you wear it to the office.

                                Also lovebugs, first call for recipes for Friday Foodday!

                                Donna Morgan, lace dress, $96
                                Let's say you're meeting his parents out for dinner.  You want to look stylish, sophisticated, beautiful, and classic.  This is your dress.

                                Asos, mango lace, $42
                                I love this scalloped hem line.  This is great under a blazer or in summertime with chino shorts.

                                Note the "mini" in this skirt please! This pattern almost seems architectural doesn't it? Beautiful!

                                Charlotte Russe, romantic pearls and lace, $6.50
                                How sweet is this bracelet?  Vintage looking and it doesn't break the bank.

                                It's all in the details with this top: razor back, zipper, scoop neck, pink underlay.

                                So what do you think? Feminine yet polished is what I like to keep in mind when looking for lace pieces.  While the item doesn't have to be darted perfectly, I like to shy away from skin tight lace or loose silk/lace combinations.

                                Be fabulous today!

                                Tuesday, January 18, 2011

                                Rock it Out

                                Ever feel like releasing your inner Kelly Clarkson?  You know that sassy rocker girl who is so confident she could wear a paper bag down the street and still look fabulous.  She's a little dangerous, a little rebellious and a lot fabulous.

                                I know you rock out to your iPod in the shower but it's time to work it down the street.  Try some of these rocker-inspired looks to spice up your day and your confidence!
                                Mocloth, Quick stud-y heel, $79
                                So many options for this!!!! jeans, pencil skirt, even a floral dress like Modcloth put it with!

                                Forever 21, Fab leatherette skirt, $12
                                If I see this anytime between the hours of 9am and 5pm I will be so so disappointed in you.  This is for girls night only!

                                Delicate rock chic.

                                Of course you need the rocker girl version of a cocktail ring!

                                And finally some ultra rocker nails!!! Thank you Katy Perry!

                                So are you feeling bold, loud, and ready to rock? I hope so.  This is such a fun way to mix up a wardrobe that might be wound a little too tightly.

                                Be fabulous today!