Monday, February 28, 2011

Vertical Stripes

Vertical stripes are an interesting concept.  It's a great pattern, elongating, and clean, but somehow we always go for the horizontal option.  I think wearing a vertical stripe might make you want to walk a little taller, make the stripes a little longer.  Let's see what we can come up with here:

American Apparel, Satin Charmeuse Square Tee, $24
I love the satin material of this blouse.  And the color makes it a bit nautical.

Jessica Simpson, 3/4 faux wrap dress, $50
Great colors here and I love the interest on the waist line!

Forever 21, vertical stripe sweater, $18
How about this for weekend errands? Maybe belted with boyfriend jeans?

Urban Outfitters, Crochet Vertical Stripe Tight, $14
Hello mile long legs!!

So as you can see, wearing vertical stripes is a great unexpected way to create a more interesting look.  Stripes, when worn correctly, are professional and fun!

Be fabulous today!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Foodday

Hey there lovebugs!
It's Friday Foodday!  Do you have a fabulous recipe that I can feature? Send it to me!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
c/o Stephanie Cooks
1/2 cup butter 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy will both work) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 egg 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup rolled oats 
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to lightly greased cookie sheets.
(Flatten the cookies because these don’t spread.)
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Chili Mac
c/o Food Network
1 pound corkscrew shaped pasta
2 pounds ground sirloin
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 palm fuls) dark chili powder
2 tablespoons (1 palm ful) cumin
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce
Coarse salt
1 cup beer or beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

In a large pot, boil pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a big, deep pot, brown beef in oil over medium high heat. Add onions, peppers, and garlic. Season meat mixture with chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Cook together 5 minutes, stir in beer or broth, and reduce liquid by half, 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain pasta. Add hot pasta to chili pot and stir to coat pasta evenly. Remove from heat and garnish big bowlfuls of chili mac with chopped scallions.

Lemon Bars
c/o Smitten Kitchen
For the crust: 
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the full-size lemon layer: 
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Be fabulous today!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shiny and Sassy

It's Thursday! Thank goodness.  I know it's been a short week because of the holiday but, whew! Bring on the weekend!

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite mediums in fashion: patent leather.  Patent leather has a shiny quality that makes people do a double take.  It gives your outfit spark and flare.  It dresses up jeans and it makes any suit more professional.  It is super versatile and it comes in a variety of colors.  Let's take a look:

Steve Madden, Trouser, $70
Hello elegance with a touch of masculine! Ooo la la.

I love this bag.  I love it disguised as a gym bag that you wear to work, I love it for weekends away, and I love it for a do it all errand day bag.

Kmart, Eden red, $30
These heels are so interesting.  I love the fade on them.  Also liking the slightly rounded pointy toe.

I love this blush color for a belt, and I love the price!

As you can see, patent leather doesn't always look cheap or even trashy.  Pick good pieces that mix well into your wardrobe.  If you're preppy, try a patent belt around you cardigan, if you're more rocker, try a patent oxford flat with rolled up jeans.  The choices are endless.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wearing Chocolate

Last week in DC it was 70 degrees.  People were acting like it was Black Friday to get a table outside for dinner.  Now, we have 2 inches of snow.  Come on Mama Nature.  Just pick one.  I'm fine with either but let's make some decisions here!

On to some fashion.  Today I want to look at a great neutral that is so often overlooked because it's not as easy to wear as black.  That color is brown!  Brown is a great hue for almost everyone because it compliments your skin tone and it matches every color.  Seriously!

Look at this sheath! It's got a kimono-like quality with that wide waistband.  And the blue and brown pattern is so rich.
This old time classic shoe is perfect with a cord skirt or skinny jeans.  They're just so romantic!

Macy's, Rachel Roy skirt, $99
One word came to mind when I saw this leather pleated skirt: sassy.  This is a perfect addition to your spring wardrobe.

Forever 21, Oval Facet Bracelet, $11
This would be great with jeans.  It's got some weight to it which is nice as well.

Wearing brown, especially rich dark shades are so luxurious.  The color has a velvety quality to it that makes you feel 100 times sassier.  Try it!

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mini skirt- long legs

Hey there lovebugs,
It was a long weekend for me and the Bf.  We got a new couch at Ikea (still attempting to build the thing) I purged my closet and will be donating all of it this week, and I did the taxes. Lots of of adult things, which makes me inspired to do something not so adult.

Mini skirt.  That's right.  Sometimes you just feel like long legs and a short skirt.  I'm feeling one right about now; but for me mini skirts don't have to be skin tight, in fact, I prefer more of an A-line effect on my short skirt because it created more of a flirty image rather than a hooker image.

Let me explain

J Crew Factory, Watercolor Potpourri Mini, $44.50
I just love the great structure of this skirt.  It sits lower on the waist so it give you a nice long torso.

Love this print, the heels, all of it!  

Modcloth, Striking gold skirt, $45
This skirt is perfect for Friday night.  I'm loving it with black sheer dot tights.

I love the pleating on this skirt.  It is dangerously work appropriate.

Old Navy, Ruffle tiered chambray skirt, $19.50
It may not be time yet for chambray but how cute are these ruffles?!

Wearing a mini requires a little more attention then your normal slacks or jeans.  Look for a fitted waist band and follow the Catholic School rule of the hem touching your fingertips.  Have fun with it.  Get some heels and twirl!

Be fabulous today!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Date Night

Happy President's Day lovebugs!  I hope you have the day off from work, are sleeping in, and planning to relax all day long.  You deserve it.

On Saturday night The bf took me out to dinner to a swanky downtown restaurant called PS 7s.  It was delicious.  And that is an understatement.  We had a fabulous time.  I was thinking about what a gal should wear to this type of event.  It's not a first date, it's not a holiday, and it's not an anniversary; but it's not a dive bar or chinese food on the couch either.

I think the best idea is to go dressy but in an interesting way.  Try to not go standard super-dressy and call it a night; experiment with colors, patterns and maybe even mix them.  Surprise him with a new style for your date.

Anthropologie, Seaside fields dress, $70
I love the playfulness of the paisley mixed with the ruffle neckline.  The colors make it more adult and romantic.

Stella and Dot, gold leaf earrings, $39
Instead of a larger bib necklace, try a statement earring and pull your hair back!

Modcloth, pretty pleats skirt, $69
Want to make him watch you walk away to powder your nose? Try this eye catching, leg lengthening skirt!

Urban Outfitters, Cooperative Platform Square Heel, $68
Maybe you're heading to a swanky casual bar.  Try these beauties with wide leg trouser denim.

Now whether you're going out on the town, attending a boring work party, or staying home on the couch.  These items are sure to make you think:
Be fabulous today!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Foodday

Friday Foodday is upon us.  Thank goodness.  Happy long weekend to everyone!

If you have a recipe you'd like featured, shoot me an email!

Hasslebeck Potatoes
c/o Annie Bakes
4 russet potatoes-washed, skin on
4 garlic cloves-sliced thin
4 tablespoons butter
coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Slice into the potatoes but not completely through them, maybe 8 slices per potato.  Slide garlic slices between potato slices.  You might need to shove them in since the potato will be pretty tight.  Just be careful not to tear the bottom.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet.  Generously rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and top each with a pat of butter.  Drizzle with more oil.  Bake for 1 hour or until tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.  Remove the pan every 15 minutes to baste potatoes in the oil and butter in the pan.

When done, remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

**Top with any type of cheese, pesto, sour cream, etc.

Bacon Pirogie Bake
c/o Stephanie Cooks
1 (16 oz) package frozen potato and onion pierogies
2 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thin sliced green onions
1 small plum tomato, seeded, and diced
Cooking spray

1- Preheat the oven to 400.
2- Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the frozen pierogies in the dish.
3- In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan.
4- Add garlic to the drippings, cook for 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese, stirring until it melts. Add the broth, stir continuously until it's all incorporated.
5- Pour the sauce mixture over the pierogies. Top with the cheddar cheese.
6- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with the tomatoes and bacon, and return it to the oven. Bake for 5 additional minutes.
7- Remove from the oven sprinkle with green onions and black pepper. Serve hot.

Chocolate Chip Meringues
c/o Smitten Kitchen
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup regular or superfine sugar
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/4 chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat oven to 300°F.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla, and beat mixture again until it holds soft peaks. Add the sugar, gradually, beating the batter until it is stiff. 

Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes. Undersides of cookies should be golden or lightly tanned.

Be fabulous today!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The dots are back.

You guys. Great. News.  Polka dots are coming back.  Now, personally I don't think they ever left- BUT if Marc Jacobs says they're coming back, well, then they are coming back.  Here is a link to his Fall 2011 Show via Glamour.

And here are some of my picks for my favorite pattern of all time.  Ever.

modcloth, belle et la fete dress, $65
Ok for right now I'd wear this with a yellow cardigan and a skinny belt...this summer, I'd wear it with orange flat sandals.

Old Navy, Lightweight polka dot scarf, $12.50
I really like this for those fluke weather days where the sun is shining but its pretty breezy.

How wonderful are these flats? I love them with cropped black pants or even boyfriend jeans.

Jones New York, polka dot ruffle button down, $74
This might be one of my fave blouses of all time.  Ruffle detail, defined waist line, great neckline, capped sleeves, and polka dot.

See by Chloe, mini skirt, $59
This color combo is amazing! It's so fresh!

I could do a separate blog on only polka dots.  Seriously.  How can you not love them? They're so much fun and can be mixed in so many ways.  And now they're back.  If Marc Jacobs says they're back, they are back.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Defining Graphic

Usually when you hear the term graphic in fashion you think of a pattern.  I want to break it down back to the word's base: graph.  I'm loving the graph print right now because it's interesting to look at and always professional.

Madewell, grid paper boyshirt, $79
I like this super masculine cut.  Girl it up with pearls and a skinny belt.

Forever 21, bowtie blouse, $16.90
Speaking of girling it up.  How adorable would this be under a black suit? 

Figleaves, falke vittoira, $15
These tights are fun and different for the office.

Canvas, plaid wool skirt, $20
I LOVE this skirt, it's not mini and it's so professional.  I'm also LOVING the price!!!

Maybe the reason I love this type of print is because I love Excel.  I love when everything has it's own assigned box.  It's neat and organized.  That's what these picks remind me of- organized fabulousness.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Neutral Zone

Going along with yesterday's post of Canvas and Leather, I want to stay neutral today.  I know, I know, that is not very me but neutral hues are always reliable and always in style.

Here are some of my picks:

O.M.G.  I love this dress.  the rouching near the neck, the button detail the va-va-voom factor is through the roof!!

Susan Hanover, Stones rock, $80
I really like this delicate bracelet.  It is so simple and unique.

Banana Republic, Patterned stretch pencil, $60
Look at the seaming on this number! It defines every curve you've got! Work it.

Vince Camuto, Porty Blush Patent, $79
Repeat after me: Slingback, mid-height, rounded tow, patent.

As you can see neutral can't be all bad.  It's very clean and feminine when mixed correctly.  

Be fabulous today!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Canvas & Leather

Happy Monday & Happy Valentines Day lovebugs,
How was your weekend?  Mine was exciting.  My sister and I went up to Buffalo to surprise my grandpa for his 90th birthday!  Wild!

Do you have plans for tonight? Special date night? Rom-com night in?

Today's topic is leather and canvas bags.  They are such a great mix because they are casual and tough.  Most of these styles are either tote or shoulder bags which also makes them super easy to throw everything into.

Lands End Canvas, Washed Tote, $50
This is a fantastic weekend bag.  Errands, brunch, you name it.

Urban Outfitters, BDG Canvas Tote Bag, $68
Great double handle options here.  Reminds me of a chic school bag!

I love the hardware on this bag.  It's the perfect amount of girly and utility.

Michael Stars, Asymmetry Clutch, $80
Oh hey there unexpected! How great is this little bag?

So remember canvas and leather are great for casual-ready-for-anything outings.  They're versatile and durable!  

Be fabulous today

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Foodday

Oh man, I don't know about you but this week was a slow one.  I'm looking forward to the weekend and hopefully making some people smile.

Want your recipe featured for Friday Foodday? Email me!

Grilled Pepper Cheese Sandwich
c/o Annie

For Pepper Cheese Spread: 12 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, 6 ounces roasted piquillo peppers, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup good prepared mayonnaise 
For the sandwich: 2 slices good sandwich bread, 1 tablespoon butter (give or take)
  • Break the cheese into large chunks and put it in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse gravel.
  • Add peppers and garlic to food processor. Process until mixture is finely chopped.
  • Add mayonnaise, and process until the mixture is smooth. Put into a container for refrigerator storage.
  • Lightly butter both sides of the bread and preheat a cast iron skillet.
  • Place two slices of bread in the skillet and heat until lightly toasted. Turn over bread.
  • Spread about 1/3 c. cheese mixture onto one of the toasted bread surfaces. Place other slice of bread onto the cheese, toasted side facing cheese.
  • Cook sandwich, turning, until exterior is toasted and cheese is melty.

Cookie Dessert Pizza

1 tube sugar cookie dough
1- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
fruit of choice
toffee chips
caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll cookie dough onto a pizza pan or a cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool.  Mix together cream cheese, brown sugar, canilla and sugar.  Spread over cooled cookie dough.  Then top with your favorite fruit, toffee chips, and drizzle with caramel.

Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Tbs olive oil
4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs honey, plus more for drizzling
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs)
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the sweet potatoes in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, chipotles, garlic, honey, vinegar, salt, cumin, and cinnamon.  Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 teaspoons of the paste.  Toss with the sweet potatoes.

Scatter the potatoes on the bottom of a roasting pan, and bake 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, rub the chicken breasts with the remaining paste.

Stir the potatoes.  Carefully place the chicken on top of the sweet potatoes, and continue to roast until the chicken is just cooked through (registers 165 on an instant read thermometer), about 15-20 minutes longer

Divide the potatoes and chicken evenly among serving plates and drizzle with remaining honey and garnish with cilantro.

Vegetable Fritters
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 large egg(s), beaten
1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
1 medium sweet red pepper(s), cored, seeded and quartered
6 medium mushroom(s), trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 small onion(s), trimmed and quartered
1 Tbsp chives, minced
2 large egg white(s), beaten until stiff
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste 

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.

In a small bowl, stir together egg and buttermilk. Stir into flour mixture.

By hand or in a food processor, mince together pepper, mushrooms, onion and chives; add to flour mixture. Gently fold in egg whites. Season to taste.

Warm a large, nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Drop fritters by heaping tablespoons onto skillet, allowing an inch between fritters. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on one side, flip and cook until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Yields about 5 fritters per serving.