Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Peek-a-boo

Hi there lovebugs!

Today I thought we'd look at a trend that is great for going out on the town- the peek-a-boo shoulder.

Sleek and sophisticated, and the price is right too!

I LOVE this color. This sheath would be beautiful for Valentine's Day.

I love this print. So much fun. Just add some earrings and you're ready to go.

Forever 21, Leopard Cutout Top, $16
This is funky and easy to pull on for date night.

So shoulder cutouts aren't just for the red carpet, but, ladies please, no bra straps. Keep them covered!

Be fabulous today!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Buttoned Up

Happy Monday!

I could've used one more day this weekend, but here we are. Today we're going simple. Button down shirts. Mostly because they are a great staple for any wardrobe and Lands End Canvas is having an amazing sale until midnight.

People, Canvas is selling a whole mess of button downs today for $12. Striped, Floral, Gingham, you name it.  Go grab some.

Gap, the perfect oxford shirt, $49
Well apparently Gap thinks they've nailed it with this shirt. And with this price, it's worth a try!

Banana Republic, Soft wash fitted plaid shirt, $64
A little pattern never hurt anyone right? I'm liking this for running around on the weekend.

J Crew, Perfect Stretch Shirt, $69
A little stretch in a button down is always great for all day wear. This color is great for all four seasons.

So nothing too fancy with these shirts, no ruffles, pleats, etc. Just true fit, classic shape and something that will never go out of style.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Foodday

Do you have any Valentine's Day recipes? Be sure to email them to me so I can feature them for Friday Foodday!


Skinny Macaroni and Cheese Soup with Broccoli
c/o Skinny Taste
Ingredients

  • 4 oz dry elbow macaroni (I like Ronzoni Smart Taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 cups (about 10 oz) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese


  • Directions
    Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.

    Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic by hand or mini food processor.

    In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt light butter.  Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat 

    until soft, about 5 minutes.


    Add flour and fresh pepper to the pot and stir until smooth. Slowly add chicken broth, milk, nutmeg and dry mustard powder; whisking constantly.  Set heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil. Cover and cook on low about 10-15 minutes.


    Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes or more to your liking.  Add cheddar, mixing well until cheese melts and immediately remove from heat. Addcooked elbows and mix well, adjust salt and pepper if needed. Eat right away so the pasta doesn't absorb all the broth.


    Ham Chipotle and Cheese Scones
    c/o DC Ladies
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups AP flour
    • 1 TBSP baking powder
    • 3 TBSP sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    • 1 chipotle chili, minced
    • 1 stick cold butter cut into small pieces
    • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
    • 3/4 cup chopped ham, drained
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 2 eggs
      Directions
      1. Combine flour, baking powder, paprika, sugar, salt, pepper and dill in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or use a food processor and pulse on low until the mixture resembles coarse meal. If using a food processor, transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl and stir in cheese, chipotle chili and ham. Combine milk and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
      2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 to 5 times with floured hands. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut dough into 8 wedges. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
        Chicken Corn Chili
        c/o Kitchen Bellicious
        Ingredients
        3 TBSP Devo Olive Oil
        1 onion, diced
        2 cloves garlic, minced
        2 garlic cloves
        1 red bell pepper, diced
        1 yellow bell pepper, diced
        1 can green chiles
        1 tsp cumin
        2 cups chicken broth plus 1+ cup water (water based on whether you like it chucky or soupy)
        2 cans white beans, drained
        1 ½ lbs chicken tenders
        1 cup shredded montery jack cheese
        1 cup frozen corn
        ½ cup chopped cilantro
        2 tsp Salt and pepper each
        1 tsp oregano
        1 tsp sugar
        1 tsp Cajun seasoning
        1 tsp paprika
        Directions
        Season the chicken tenders with 1 tsp salt and pepper each, paprika, sugar and oregano. Pan-sear the chicken tenders in 1 TBSP of olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot over medium to high heat until cooked. Remove the chicken and set aside.
        Saute the onions, bell peppers and garlic in 2 TBSP of olive oil until slightly tender (they will continue to cook throughout the process). Add in the green chiles. Mix in the flour and stir until your veggies and flour are all incorporated (note we are not doing the traditional roux here). Pour in the warm chicken stock and whisk continually until there are no lumps. Season with the remaining salt, pepper and cumin.
        Bring to a boil add in the frozen corn and beans.Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Before serving stir in the cilantro and top each individual bowl with shredded cheese.

    It List!


    Happy Friday ladies!
    Enjoy these great links this weekend...
    • suze wears clothes brings us words of inspiration each and every Sunday. I love this week's installment, especially this colorful quote on joy! (find suze wears clothes on twitter!)
    • gs lillian found these adorable "spike" necklaces at Target... pop on by her blog to see what other fun pieces she found - including a few that are perfect for Valentine's Day! (find gs lillian on twitter!)
    • my soul is the sky is back with another great hair tutorial - this one, the 'bohemian side braids' look great on her and have inspired me to try a similar style! (find my soul is the sky on twitter!)
    • what the frock recreates an outfit featuring a neon skirt, a cozy sweater and an unusual hem-line.  Sound like fun? It is! (find what the frock on twitter!)
    • live a lot goes for the all black outfit.  Do you ever fall back on this simple outfit formula? It happens to be one of my favorites! Check out her look!
    • rachael really looks stunning in stripes and faux fur.  Then she adds red wellies and a pearl necklace for the win! (find rachael really on twitter!)
    • free to be stacia lee is hosting a giveaway for a gorgeous amethyst necklace. Stop by her blog to enter! (find free to be stacia lee on twitter!)
    • here & now sports the perfect weekend outfit and looks fabulous doing it!  Especially since she had just run a 5K that day!  You go girl! 
    • fabulously average is rocking what she calls "the new neutrals" - and I couldn't agree with her more, they totally are!  What are the "new neutrals"? You'll have to stop by her blog to find out! (find fabulously average on twitter!)
    • behind the dressing room door has the perfect accessory for cold winter days - a bold and colorful scarf!  See how she styled it! (find behind the dressing room door on twitter!)
    • the capital barbie tracks down some absolute darling bowed-tops. I love how feminine and flirty these tops are! (find the capital barbie on twitter!)
    • sweetie pie style takes this mint green maxi dress and styles it three ways that are perfect for late winter into spring! It's so versatile! (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
    • a fashion fixation introduces us to a new online shop called Vestique - have you heard of it? I love their bold and colorful selection, like this blazer! (find a fashion fixation on twitter!)
    • the tiemann girls are showing off their gorgeous taupe finds from Target!  Taupe never looked so good ladies! (find the tiemann girls on twitter!)
    • stay in the lines makes homemade oreo cookies.  I think I know how I'll be spending a cold, winter Saturday in my near future - baking and eating these! (find stay in the lines on twitter!)
    the IT list is produced weekly by Jill of good life - for information on how you can be involved, click here!


    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Going Natural

    Happy almost Friday lovebugs! Thank goodness. Although I'm a little bummed that there is no football this weekend! Today we're looking at accessories that are all natural or have the illusion of wood.

    Kenneth Jay Lane, Dark Wood and Bead Necklace, $46
    I really like the length of this piece. This is certainly a great statement piece.

    Urban Outfitters, Chelsea Crew Suede Wood Wedge, $35
    The rounded toe, the sleek wedge, and the price. Can't ask for much more.

    Style Tryst, Wood and Bead Dotted Bangle, $14
    How funky and new is this bracelet?

    Ann Taylor, Wooden Statement Ring, $48
    I LOVE this. So simple and such a big impact.

    Natural is sometimes tough to pull off if you're usually brights or patterns. But mix in an accessory here and there and you'll be good to go.

    Be fabulous today!

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    OPI Inspired: Navy

    It's been a while since we've done a nail polish inspired post. Today I wanted to do a color I'm currently wearing: OPI Suede collection in Russian Navy.


    Shabby Apple, Le Seine, $86
    How simple and vintage. The blend of print and solid is spot on.

    Modcloth, Le Centre Pompidou Skirt, $35
    I just LOVE how this skirt falls, the A-line is beautiful.

    Old Navy, Chain Cord Necklace, $17
    I like the mix of chain and ribbon, great mix of blues as well.

    Something about this nail polish that is very sleek and cool. What are you wearing on your nail lately?

    Be fabulous today!

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    The Un-Preppy Bow

    A bow is a great accessory to any outfit, today, let's look at bow tops that you can wear under a suit jacket or wear on the weekend.

    Ok this would look gorgeous on anyone but please, I beg of you, wear a nude cami underneath, no one needs to see all of that.

    Guess, Richelle Bow, $98
    This great blush color would be beautiful with gray.

    Modcloth, So it Seams Top, $65
    Loving this mustard! And the vertical seaming is so different.

    Banana Republic, Layered bow shell, $39
    This is suit ready, add some translucent drop earrings and you're good to go.

    You all know I'm a sucker for bows, but they don't always have to be preppy and girly, pair them with some dark denim or a suit for a new twist.

    Be fabulous today!

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    Bib Necklaces

    Hey lovebugs, happy Monday. I hope you had a great weekend. Today I thought we would take a look at one of the bigger trends from the Golden Globes, the bib necklace. While people like Heidi (RIP Heidi and Seal) can rock a blinged out version of this, what about for everyday wear?

    Max and Chloe, Blu Bijoux Stone Facet Necklace, $60
    I love this interesting piece, it would be perfect with a white tee and jeans.

    Forever 21, Elegant Bib Necklace, $7.80
    This is simple and could be paired with any color. Great with a v-neck.

    Well hello beauty. How light and airy is this?

    Bauble Bar, Pearl Mesh Bib, $68
    This is a classic. The colors blend beautifully and the weight of this piece is perfect for day or night.

    I really like bib necklaces because they are such a statement piece. Everything else takes a backseat. How do you style them?

    Be fabulous today!

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Friday Foodday

    Lovebugs,
    We made it. It's Friday! Thank goodness! Here are some of my favorite recipes from this week.


    Spinach and Mushroom Mascaraprone Pasts with Chicken
    c/o Table for Two Blog
    Ingredients

    3 cups dried pasta, any shape
    4 chicken tenderloins, cut into strips
    1 large onion, sliced
    8 oz. button mushrooms
    1 bag of fresh, pre-washed spinach
    8 oz. mascarpone cheese
    Salt & pepper to taste

    Directions
    1. In a large pot, bring water to boil, season water with salt, and add in your pasta.
    2. In a skillet, saute the chicken with some vegetable oil on medium high heat until sides are browned and chicken is cooked through. Set aside.
    3. In the same skillet, saute the onions and mushrooms until tender. Add the chicken back into the skillet and add in the spinach as well. When it has wilted down, add the mascarpone cheese, stir until melted and well combined.
    4. Your pasta should be done at this point, or close to being done. Drain the pasta well and add it to the skillet. Stir to coat the pasta in the cream sauce.
    5. Serve immediately.

    Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
    Ingredients
    3 cups heavy whipping cream
    1/2 cup sugar
    8 oz softened cream cheese
    1 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 cup confectioners sugar
    1 pie crust (graham cracker, Nilla wafer, or even chocolate would be good!)
    4-6 full sized peanut butter cups, chopped

    Directions
    1- In a stand mixer whisk together the whipping cream and sugar until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream. Remove from the mixer and set aside.
    2- Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the peanut butter and confectioners sugar, beating until well incorporated. Fold in half of the whipped topping.
    3- Spoon the peanut butter mixture into the pie crust. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Garnish with the chopped peanut butter cups. Keep refrigerated until serving.

    Bacon and Egg Quesadillas
    Ingredients
    4 medium flour tortillas
    Salt and pepper
    1/2 pound bacon
    4 large eggs
    4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

    Directions
    1. Working in batches, in a nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons bacon fat in the skillet, reserving the rest of the fat. Cut the bacon strips in half.

    2. Working in 2 batches, in the skillet, cook the eggs over easy, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to a platter. Reserve the skillet.

    3. Lay the tortillas on a work surface. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese; top with 1 egg and bacon strips, then fold to enclose.

    4. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat over medium heat, add quesadillas and cook, turning once, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes.


    It List



    Happy Friday!  
    Take some time to warm up this weekend and check out these awesome links!

    • gs lillian says "yes" to the sweater skirt.  She seriously rocks this look and has me wanting a sweater skirt for myself! (find gs lillian on twitter!)
    • rachael, really makes "four eyes" look impossibly chic. Go check out her new glasses and fabulous  red shoes! (find rachael, really on twitter!)
    • the tiemann girls are crushing on Essie's new spring nail colors!  And because they are loving them so much they are giving some away!  Check out their little giveaway.
    • suze wears clothes is winter-chic, which is a common theme here today! I love her cozy winter look! (find suze wears clothes on twitter!)
    • fabulously average is rocking one of my favorite dresses (which happens to be on super sale right now!) while in Florida.  This look is gorgeous on her! (find fabulously average on twitter!)
    • free to be stacia lee is keeping warm in bright pink! I love bold colors like this for winter, it makes the grey days bearable!
    • my soul is the sky found the perfect red lipstick!  Find out where she bought it and see how it looks on her (hint: very pretty!). (find my soul is the sky on twitter!)
    • the capital barbie is crushing on grape-hues.  And how fabulous is this handbag in purple? You will love the price too! (find the capital barbie on twitter!)
    • what the frock has a fun celebrity copycat look featuring Kristen Bell. I love this outfit for Valentines or a fun date night! (find what the frock on twitter!)
    • live a lot has another fun winter look - she went without tights, but if it's cooler where you are, just add tights!  Check out her look. 
    • here and now is sporting winter white! I absolutely love this look if you have the guts to pull it off - I'm glad here and now reminded me how fun this is! (find here and now on twitter!)
    • behind the dressing room door takes us into the dressing room again for another fun "try on" session. I am loving this unique top that is long in the back and short in the front! Cute! (find behind the dressing room door on twitter!)
    • sweetie pie style found these super fun crocheted flats from The Sak that are so bright and fun for spring!  Check out more styles on her blog as well. (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
    • a fashion fixation is rocking one of my favorite trends that was here and then gone and is now back! Boyfriend jeans.  Check out how she styles them! (find a fashion fixation on twitter!)
    the IT list is produced weekly by jill of good life, for information on how you can be involved - click here!

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Suede Colorblock Heels

    Who doesn't need a pair of fabulous party heels? Colorblocking is a great way to make an entrance and these shoes, well they need no introduction.


    Kohl's, Salas Platform Heels, $59
    Sometimes a suede platform can feel clunky but the mix of colors here make it seem less weighed down.

    OK I don't think I could walk in these, but worn appropriately, I would respect any woman who could. This heel is like a work of art!

    Steve Madden, Cathi Heels, $89
    Just so amazing. I can't even say. 

    Dolce Vita, Suede Colorblock Pumps, $89
    If you ever wear these, you must tell your significant other "you're welcome" from me.

    Are you in love like I am? These punchy heels are just perfect for the weekend.

    Be fabulous today!

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Grape to Meet You

    Another color I'm crushing on lately happens to be my favorite color. Purple. But this shade in particular is huge right now, grape. A juicy, deep purple that is so lush you just have to put it on.

    This blouse is so interesting and unexpected from Gap. I'd pull my hair up and add some bigger earrings.

    Kate Spade, Crystal Cort Drop Earrings, $68
    Oh now these I would wear with everything. LBD, jeans, you name it.

    This is a little mix of Birkin and Kors, but the price is just right.

    This oversized sweater is perfect for the weekend, and the cashmere blend is so cozy!

    What is your favorite color to wear this winter? Are you going neon or staying with the deep reds and purples?

    Be fabulous today!

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Winter Blues

    Happy Tuesday lovebugs,
    It's getting frigid in DC and sometimes the cold weather depresses my wardrobe too. But a go to perk up for any outfit is a great, punchy blue. Nothing crazy, but a staple piece that is easy to add to any outfit.

    Tinley Road, Bloussant Dress, $69
    Well hello color block perfection aren't you a beauty?


    So light and classy, perfect for a statement earring.

    Lands End Canvas, Cotton Cashmere Cardigan, $24
    You guys, the price on this, go buy it now! I love it!

    Perfect for layering under a sweater of with jeans on the weekend.

    How do you spice up your wardrobe on chilly winter days? Any pattern or color you go to?

    Be fabulous today!

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Neon Accents

    Happy Monday lovebugs,
    I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Today I thought we would jolt some energy into your Monday as we look at some neon accents.


    Urban Outfitters, Deena and Ozzy Neon Belt, $24
    This pop is perfect for an LBD. And the tortoise buckle is very unexpected.

    Great for stacking. They look delicious, don't they?

    Forever 21, Scalloped Bib Necklace, $15
    This necklace is like an architectural masterpiece!


    This is so cute! I love the pop of pink it would give to a navy blazer.

    Are you sporting any neon this winter? It really warms up your day!

    Be fabulous today!

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Friday Foodday

    TGIF! Here are my favorite recipes from the week!


    Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce
    c/o Smitten Kitchen
    Ingredients
    2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
    1/2 cup light corn syrup or golden syrup (see Note above)
    1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ideally Dutch-processed
    Heaping 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or level 1/4 teaspoon table salt
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or, about 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips), divided
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, or to taste



    Directions
    In a 1 1/2 to 2-quart heavy saucepan, bring cream, syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt (if you’d like the salt to remain slightly textured, add it with the butter and extract at the end) and half the chocolate to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in remaining chocolate, butter and extract and stir until smooth. Cool the sauce to warm before serving it so that it can thicken up. While very hot, it will only slide off the ice cream and pool in the alleys of the bowl and that would be tragic, right?


    Cheesy Taco Pasta
    c/o Lauren's Latest
    Ingredients
    1 lb. ground beef {I used 80/20]
    1 taco seasoning packet {reduced sodium is a good idea}
    1 1/2 cups southwest salsa
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 lb. pasta
    2 cups grated cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup cream
    salt & pepper, to taste



    Directions

    Bring water to boil to cook the pasta. Salt it and cook pasta until al dente.
    While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, cook ground beef, breaking apart as you go. Once thoroughly cooked, drain meat and run under hot water to remove any fat. Wipe out pan with paper towel and place back on heat. Pour cooked beef into hot pan with taco seasoning, salsa and water. Simmer until pasta is finished cooking.
    Once pasta is cooked, drain well and pour into skillet. Top with cheese, cream, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts and noodles are coated in sauce. Serve immediately.
    Recipe Notes: A lot of people have told me that this recipe tends to be very salty because of the taco seasoning. I have found that the brand of taco seasoning does matter! On tv and at home, I tried this with McCormick low sodium taco seasoning and it was perfect.  So, try to look for that brand. If you can’t find that, then don’t salt your pasta water or add any additional salt at the end.
    Cinnamon Toast Rolls
    Ingredients
    dozen or so slices of very soft, fresh white bread
    melted butter
    • cinnamon sugar (1 cup sugar plus 3 TBSP cinnamon)
    Directions
    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Cut the crusts from a slice of bread and roll until very thin. Spread both sides of the bread with melted butter and then sprinkle one side with the cinnamon sugar, making sure to cover very well. Fold each side into the middle and then gently roll up and place in a buttered mini muffin tin. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar. Alternately, you can fold the bread into a triangle, and then fold into another smaller triangle and place on a parchment-covered baking sheet.
    3. When all of the rolls are made, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are just starting to turn golden brown and get a little crisp. Remove from the muffin tin to cool slightly before serving.
    4. If desired, drizzle with some icing made with powdered sugar that's been moistened with a little milk.
    5. These freeze really well. To reheat, place briefly in a microwave to thaw and then bake in a low oven (250 or 300 until warm and slightly crisp. Alternately, you can reheat them in foil in the oven.