Monday, October 31, 2011

Reader Request: Style My Bootie

Hey there lovebugs, Happy Monday to you. How was your weekend? It snowed here in DC! I loved it, I'm such a cold weather girl.

Today's topic is a reader request from the lovely and talented, Kat.  She is wondering how to style booties and stay under budget. No problem Kat and thank you for the challenge!

I did a post on booties last fall which you can find here, but let's try something new for this season.

Nine West, Bevel, $76
Ok, these are an edgier take on a loafer. I'm thinking skinny jeans and deep v-neck sweater. Please note ladies, the heel height would disqualify these shoes from entering the work place in my book.

Old Navy, Sueded Desert Wedges, $34
I love these shoes. Not only for their price but for their versatility.  You can work these with bf jeans and a flannel button down or with a cord mini skirt and a chunky knit sweater.

Urban Outfitters, Kimichi Blue Chelsea Heel, $69
Now this is how we do booties for work. Think black and white tweed skirt with black tights I really like how they continue the suede down the heel.

Modcloth, Knack for Khaki Boot, $47
I really love these for the weekend. The perfect coffee outside with jeans and a toggle coat outfit. And the price is nice too!

I agree, booties can be hard to match and style, and sometimes they look like they cut you off at your ankles, so look for a style that can easily mix into your wardrobe, whether that's rocker, preppy, or somewhere in between.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Foodday!

Oh thank goodness! It's Friday Foodday! Have a great weekend everyone!

Chicken Puttanesca with Angel Hair Pasta
c/o Cooking Light
  • 8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce (such as Muir Glen Organic)
  • 1/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) preshredded Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil or basil sprigs (optional)
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Add chicken to pan; sprinkle evenly with salt. Cook chicken 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pasta sauce, olives, capers, and pepper; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Arrange 1 cup pasta on each of 4 plates; top with 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese. Garnish with chopped basil or basil sprigs, if desired.
Yummy Mummy Spinach Dip
c/o Kraft Foods

1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen pizza dough, thawed
1   egg, beaten
2 sticks KRAFT POLLY-O STRING-UMS String Cheese
2   black olive slices
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream
1/4 cup  KRAFT Light Ranch Dressing
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1   green onion, sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped red peppers
1/4 cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  WHEAT THINS Original Crackers
PAT dough into 12x6-inch oval on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Indent dough, about 3 inches from one end of oval, for the mummy's head. Let rise in warm place 20 min. or until doubled in volume.
HEAT oven to 375ºF. Brush dough with egg. Bake 18 to 20 min. or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Pull apart string cheese to make about 16 strips; arrange on bread for the mummy's wrappings. Bake 1 to 2 min. or just until cheese is melted; cool slightly. Press olive slices into bread for the mummy's eyes; cool completely.
MEANWHILE, mix sour cream and dressing in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Refrigerate 30 min. or until ready to serve.
USE sharp knife to remove bread from top of mummy's body; scoop out bread from center, leaving thin shell on bottom and side. (Reserve bread top. Discard removed bread or reserve for another use.) Fill bread with spinach dip just before serving; cover with top of bread. Serve with crackers. (Nutrition information is for dip and crackers only.) 

Caramelized Banana and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast 
c/o Lauren's Latest  
for the filling-
2 large bananas
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
for the french toast-
8 slices bread
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
butter, for frying

In a large skillet heat butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat. Slice bananas on the diagonal and place into hot pan. Cook 5 minutes per side or until bananas have caramelized. Remove from heat.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together until combined. Spread an even layer of the cream cheese mixture over each slice of bread. Place bananas in a single layer on one slice and top with another slice of bread to create a sandwich. Repeat until there are 4 sandwiches created.
In a pie plate or other shallow dish, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt together. Preheat large skillet to medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Dip each sandwich in egg mixture right before placing into the hot pan to cook. Cook 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter and syrup.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Front Pocket Totes

Happy almost Friday! Today we're talking totes, but specifically front pocket totes.  You know when you need to grab your keys/subway card/insert important item here and it's lost in the abyss of your tote? Front pocket totes are perfect for those times.

Nine West, Uplifted Tote, $69
I love this bag, such a great color mix for fall.

Rugby, Classic Canvas Tote, $98
Sturdy, classic, Ralph Lauren at his best.

American Eagle, Plaid Flannel Tote, $34
Two straps, great colors, perfect for a full day of errands, work or whatever else life brings you.

I love this retro inspired bag.  This is how you do a weekender.

Front pocket is such a small detail but in a crunch it is so helpful!

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dot Dress

Happy Wednesday lovebugs! Today we're talking my favorite pattern: polka dots.  I love polka dots for fall and winter because they warm up any outfit.  Today let's look at polka dot dresses.

Forever 21, Polka dot and lace dress, $24
A little lace mixed with some dots always makes a ladylike combination.

Modcloth, Southern Bell Dress, $57
Pair this with black tights for date night and I promise you will be the most beautiful girl in the room.

Zara, Polka Dot Dress, $49
I love the 60s chic this dress has; the dropped waist is so casual and easy.

Nordstrom, Adrianna Pappel Tiered Chiffon Dress, $89
I'm obsessed with this dress. The tiers, the chiffon, the print, just amazing. Reminds me of a Kate Spade dress.

Do you like to wear all over dots? I think it's such an easy print to pull off for day or night.  

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Your Average Pump

Now that it is starting to get chillier and we have to pull out the jeans and pants, why not spice up your feet with some bright pumps?

Nine West, Martina, $79
Well hello teal suede! Where have you been all of my life?

Urban Outfitters, UO Suede Pump, $49
I've been coveting these heels for months now. I love the sculptural heel and the round toe.

BCBG Taffi Wedge, $88
Ooo these suede wedges, so winter, so lovely.

Modcloth, Green of the Crop Heel, $52
These wedges are so fun. I love the forest green color.

So just because you put away your fave pedicure colors doesn't mean your feet can't have any fun! Try to spruce up your shoe wardrobe with bright colors!

Be fabulous today!

Monday, October 24, 2011

What's Bugging You?

Happy Monday lovebugs. How was your weekend? Any good sales?  I had a great, relaxing weekend and I am so ready to get this week started (and ended!).

Today I'm feeling buggy. I'm not much for bugs in real life but I think on jewelry they're pretty unique.

Juicy Couture, Vintage Love Bug Ring, $62
You already know I have a thing for lovebugs, this ring is so much fun as a cocktail ring!

Modcloth, Magicicada Earrings, $29
These would be fabulous with jeans and a solid sweater.  Such a great conversation piece!

This is so glamorous! 

These oversized studs had a masculine quality to them. I'd mix it in with a suit.

Sometimes, jewelry doesn't need to be so sophisticated and serious. Sometimes just add some bugs!

Be fabulous today!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Foodday

Hey lovebugs! We made it to Friday, thank goodness. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Here are some of my favorite recipes this week.

Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookie
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350°; line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed.  Add the egg, followed by the mashed banana and vanilla extract.  Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the chopped walnuts.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.  Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container so you don't eat them all in one sitting!

Makes about 30 cookies.

Green Chile Crabcakes
14 ounces of fresh crab meat
1/2 cup red onion
1/2 cup celery
2-3 green chiles, roasted in salt and EVOO
1 1/2-2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 TBSP cup spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup mayo
1 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
1/2 tsp Old Bay Crab Boil Spice
Juice of 1 lemon
Remoulade Sauce:
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 TBSP green onions
2 TBSP sweet pickles
1 tsp horseradish sauce
Dash of garlic powder
3/4 cup mayo
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp adobe sauce
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Combine vegetables, chiles crab meat, and panko. Add the remaining ingredients and lightly toss together being careful not to break up the crab. If you are making large cakes, you can pan fry them in vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes on each side over medium heat or you can bake smaller cakes at 400 for 8-10 minutes.
Stir together ingredients for remoulade and serve alongside the crab cakes.

Jap Chae

½ lb chicken, cut into thin strips
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

1 clove garlic, minced
3 carrots, shredded
1 zucchini, slivered
½ onion, cut into slivers
6 ounces mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds


1- Prepare pasta according to packaging directions and set aside.
2- Combine meat, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, ginger, and chili-garlic sauce in a bowl, toss the meat to evenly coat. Let marinate while you prep all the vegetables.
3- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the marinating meat. Cook until meat is done, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add carrots, zucchini, red onion, shitake mushrooms, and green onions. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from pan and add to plate with meat.
4- Place 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, sugar, and chili-garlic sauce to pan. Stir to combine. Add noodles to pan. Stir to coat and heat through. Return meat and vegetables to pan, and toss to combine. Drizzle sesame oil over the contents of the pan. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Aztec Jewelry

It's another jewelry feature today.  Today we're looking at tribal patterns, something that is interesting for the eye.

This is just gorgeous.  The detail makes this under $20 piece look priceless.

Arden B, Aztec Disc Ring, $24
How much fun is this ring?  I love this with jeans or an LBD.

Dillard's Anna and Ava Aztec Enamel Hinged Bracelet, $18
So simple, so chic, it would go with everything.

House of Harlow, Star Earring, $49
House of Harlow is fabulous for tribal inspired jewelry. These earrings are so chic and even have a rocker vibe.

I really like Aztec jewelry to mix in with my preppy wardrobe.  It adds something unexpected and sassy.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Saddle Bags

Lovebugs, it's Wednesday, we're getting there. I hope you're having a great week so far.

Today I wanted to talk about saddle bags. I really love the equestrian and preppy look they give any outfit.

Simple, casual, and a great price.

Green! Yes please! How wonderful for fall.

Fossil, Carson, $82
This is so chic in a downtown kind of way.

Zara, Beaded Bag, $25
Something a little more glam? Zara to the rescue!

Do you love an easy to wear saddle bag? I think they're so easy to toss your keys, phone, and wallet in and run out the door.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Slip Into Something

I'm talking about slips. But not to wear under skirts or when you need to borrow your mom's for some reason. I'm talking the new trend of slip dresses. Sexy, cool and oh so chic.

This dress wants so desperately to be layered! Blazer, tights, booties, you're done!

Bloomingdale's, Volcom jaw joplin dress, $55
I really love the polka dots that add a sweetness to this slip dress.

Nordstrom Rack, Parker Pleated Georgette dress, $99
I'm loving this number for a really special night.  Maybe an anniversary or New Years Eve.

Ok this dress has a bit more structure but the soft colors and light pattern offers such sweetness to this dress.

What do you think of the slip dress? For me it's something a little different because I prefer something with more structure, but for a special occassion, I think it's really nice.

Be fabulous today!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Turtle Time

Hey lovebugs! Happy Monday to you. I don't know about you but I could've used one more day this weekend; the weather in DC was absolutely gorgeous.

If you watch RHNY you'll understand the reference to the title of this post but if you don't that's ok! Today we're talking tortoise jewelry.  In my mind, tortoise is the epitome of casual cool. 

This is a great piece to go from day to night.  Very versatile and very easy to wear.

These are so light and classic.  For winter I would put them with a v-neck cable sweater.

I really love this cuff for the holidays; a little bling but nothing glaring.

Simple and chic, I imagine layering other long necklaces with this.

Tortoise is great because it comes in such a range of prices and it's so versatile.

Be fabulous today!

And now for a special announcement: If you're in DC, go check out this great cause!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Foodday

Oh Friday, welcome back!  Happy weekend lovebugs! Here are my favorite recipes this week!

Pumpkin Pull Apart Monkey Bread with Maple Glaze
c/o Lauren's Latest
for the dough-
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup warm milk
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 2/3-3 1/3 cups bread flour

for the coating-
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

for the glaze-
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons half & half {or milk}
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract


In large stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir milk, water, yeast and sugar together. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to proof yeast. If mixture is foamy, then you can continue. {If nothing happens, then odds are your yeast is no good, or you killed it with hot water and milk! Try to get your water and milk to be warm to the touch, like baby bath water.}

Stir in salt, egg, butter, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and half the flour and mix. With mixer on, pour in remaining flour bit by bit until dough pulls away from the sides and is sticky but when touched doesn’t really stick to your hands. {For me, that was 2 tablespoons shy of 3 cups of flour.} Once you reach this stage, turn mixer on for 4-5 minutes to knead. Lightly grease dough and bowl and cover to rise for 1 hour. Stick it somewhere warm and draft-free.

Lightly grease a bundt or angel food cake* pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Create a coating station by placing sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and melting the butter in another bowl. Punch down dough and remove from bowl. Cut dough into small pieces about 1 tablespoon in size. Roll in butter, coat in cinnamon sugar and place into prepared pan. Repeat until no dough remains. If there is extra butter or sugar, pour over the top of the dough pieces in the pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise another hour in a warm spot in your kitchen.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake monkey bread for 25 minutes or until the top begins to brown slightly. Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes.

While monkey bread is cooling, prepare glaze by mixing powdered sugar, maple syrup, half & half and vanilla together in a small bowl until smooth.

Remove warm pull aparts onto serving dish and drizzle with glaze. Serve warm.
*I used an angel food cake pan that had a removable bottom and some of the butter and sugar mixture leaked out of the bottom and made a mess of my oven! If you are going to use a similar pan, make sure to place on a baking sheet, or wrap the bottom of the pan with foil.

Pesto Chicken Alfredo Casserole
c/o Stephanie Cooks
1 pound uncooked rotini
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 7 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced small
1 cup pesto sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce (small/medium sized- not too large)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

1- Preheat the oven to 350. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and return to the pot. Stir in the chicken, red peppers, pesto, and alfredo sauce.
2- Spoon the ingredients into a large oven safe dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
3- Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Serve hot

Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas
c/o Skinny Taste 
2.5 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
6 cloves garlic, cut into sliver
dry adobo seasoning
garlic powder
3/4 cup 99% fat free chicken broth
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste)
2 bay leaves

Season pork with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat, brown pork on all sides for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Using a sharp knife, insert blade into pork, cutting small holes and insert garlic slivers. Season pork generously with cumin, adobo and garlic powder all over.

Pour chicken broth in the crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotle peppers. Place pork in crock pot and cover. Cook low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumalated at the bottom. Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Floral

When you think floral, you think warm weather, easy-breezy and feminine, but you can keep your floral this fall, just by changing up the colors!

Ralph Lauren, Floral Jersey Dress, $85
The darker tones and the empire waist make this dress a great transition piece with the right tights and accessories.

The Limited, floral tights, $14
These are so feminine and perfect for the office.
I love this top. The round neckline, the ruffle detail and the sleeve length. Just beautiful.

The colors here are muted, but the pattern makes it vibrant.

So when wearing florals in the colder weather think the colors of the leaves changing and in the dead of winter, try some jewel toned florals.

Be fabulous today!