Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Orange You Glad

Fun fact: I hate Halloween. It is a feeling instilled to me by my mother. I just hate spending money on an outfit you wear once. I'm not really a candy person, so overall, it's not my holiday. But today we're going to look at a way to mix in some orange and black in a non-Halloween way.

How about this stunning pleated color block skirt? It is so fall!

A beautiful bright orange. I love the solid waist and cuff, adds some definition to this busy sweater.

Modcloth, Foliage Tour Dress, $55
A vertical chevron, how unique. I'd add a skinny belt to this and call it a day. Maybe even the snake necklace from yesterday.

Nine West, Love Fury, $89
Candy corn chic, no? What a great platform.

Happy Halloween to all of you who enjoy candy, dressing up and running around in the cold. I will be drinking some red wine on my couch in  my sweats.

Be fabulous today! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snake Charmer

Given that it is Halloween tomorrow, I thought we could do a spooky type of jewelry today. Snakes. Not snakeskin, I'm talking slithering, slimy snakes!

Swell, Snake Ring, $12
This great adjustable ring is not scary at all, in fact its kind of chic! Love the brass.

Max & Chloe, Blu Bijoux Snake Post Earrings, $14
How cute are these? These would be adorable with jeans.

I love this necklace because use got great length at 32 inches. Perfect for a camp shirt.

A nice set of three bangles that can be dressed up or down.

So there you have it, a non-tacky way to do jewelry fit for Halloween. And something you can wear after October.

Be fabulous today!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quilting for the Modern Woman

Happy Monday lovebugs,
How was your weekend? I had a lovely time at home with my family. But now its back to the grind, and with this cooler weather means an extra layer when you step outside. One coat that is always my go to for fall is the quilted coat. It's simple, a bit preppy and easy to throw in your bag. But don't worry, I know not everyone is as preptastic as I am, so let's mix in some edge. Yes, edgy quilted.

Well, did I deliver? A stunning hooded motorcycle jacket that has a great quilted detail. I can picture Nikki in this jacket! 

Gap nailed it here. The belt is a great way to define a waist to an otherwise masculine coat.

I really love the color of this coat. The fold over collar is something different as well as the off center zipper.

If you don't want a belt, look for a coat with a beautiful waistline like this one.

See? Quilted doesn't have to be stuffy. You can mix in leather, a hood, and color. Something for everyone.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Foodday

We made it! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I will be spending mine at home in PA for some good old family time.

Crockpot Cilantro Chicken
c/o Stephanie Cooks 
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
Juice from 2 limes
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 red onion, chopped 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Option One: Regular preparation
1- Combine all ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Option Two- Freezer meal
1- Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. 
2- Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours). 

Serve with tortillas and toppings such as with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese.
Garlic Sweet Potato Mash
  • 2 lbs (4 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream
  • salt and fresh cracked ground pepper, to taste
In a large pot boil sweet potatoes in salted water until tender, drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, melt butter and sauté garlic until lightly golden. Return potatoes to the pan, add milk and sour cream; mash until smooth and creamy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Great Grandma's Pasta Sauce
1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
6 oz. water
1 24 oz. jar tomato puree
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinch of onion powder
Pinch of garlic powder
Handful of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large stockpot, saute garlic until soft and fragrant in 2 tbsp. of olive oil, about 2 minutes.
  2. Throw your meat in with the garlic and brown until meat has been thoroughly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour in the tomato paste, tomato puree, and seasoning, including the fresh basil. Stir to mix well. With the 6 oz. can from the tomato paste, fill that with water and pour it in the stockpot as well.
  4. Let mixture simmer, uncovered, for 2 or more hours (the longer the better, but minimum 2 hours), stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve hot over fresh pasta.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sweater Leather

Leather can be scary. But why not soften it by wearing leather with something softer? Like pairing leather with a sweater. Leather trim to be exact.

This slouchy sweater is dressed up with a great neckline that gives some edge to something comfy.

A fabulous 3/4 length sweater from lambswool. A great chevron print with leather trim!
It's hard to see here, but the sleeves have a great leather argyle pattern.
Warm, chic and a touch of leather around the neck!
This is my kind of leather. Very subtle. What are you thinking? Big and bold or trimmed and tiny?
Be fabulous today!   

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Future is So Bright

Happy humpday lovebugs! We're getting there! Today we're going to look at some cords, but not a particular style, rather a color. We're looking at brights! Who says cords need to be in black or chocolate? Let's have some fun!

Nordstrom, KUT Diana skinny cords, $69
Woo! Sunglasses please! I love these bright orange cords, and the price!

Free People, Skinny Corduroys, $44
Thinking pink? Can't go wrong with there skinnies. 

I've posted them before and I'll probably do it again. Under $25 these would be perfect with black or brown boots.

Lands End, Fit 1 Slim Ankle Cord, $49
A great saturated green is perfect for fall.

Where are you finding the best cords this season? I love my chocolate brown cords, but sometimes you have to throw in the unexpected!

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Paisley Please?

Let's take a traditionally summer pattern, paisley, and make it work for the cooler months. By picking the right colors you can make this pattern perfect for fall, winter, work, or play.

These colors are great for any skin tone. I might switch out the belt for something leather.

This oversized print is great for taller ladies, and the pleating at the waist will flatter just about anyone.

Modcloth, Swirled of Possibilities, $44
A simple shift is perfect for a fall weekend. I would pair this with a nice long charm necklace.

This dress is 50% off. It also comes in a golden yellow. It's got great clean lines that are good for work or play.

Don't let summer paisley keep you out in the cold! Try to mix it in with some other colors with a richer, darker hue.

Be fabulous today!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tightly Woven

Hey there lovebugs,
Happy Monday. I hope you had a great weekend. Today we're looking at a clutch that is very intricate. It's the woven clutch, this great detail is such an easy way to dress up your go to weekend bag.

Piperlime, Roberta Frey Rafia Clutch, $98
I'm loving the oversized foldover on this clutch and the faint metallic weave is perfect for day or night.

This bag has a great Aztec pattern to it. Very different.

Nordstrom, Top Choice Woven Clutch, $26
This pattern reminds me of when I used to fold my Starburst wrappers together. Super fun and I love the price tag.

I'm obsessed with this bag. It's so chic and visually appealing. Square body but rounded hardware.

A good clutch is just that, clutch. But think about mixing in a great woven material to give the eye some interest.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Foodday

We made it! Happy Friday. Have a great weekend. Here are my favorite recipes this week.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
c/o Lauren's Latest

for the dough-3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast {use the fast acting kind!}
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 1/2-5 cups all purpose unbleached flour
for the filling-1/2 cup softened margarine
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
for the frosting-2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup softened margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
Making the Dough- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour in water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and proof 5 minutes. Once mixture looks bubbly and frothy, pour in remaining sugar and salt. Stir on low for 15-20 seconds. In a small bowl, measure buttermilk, oil and egg. Whisk ingredients together until egg is incorporated to other two ingredients. Pour contents into the water and yeast mixture. Stir another 20 seconds in the mixer. Pour 2 cups of flour into mixer and stir on low until incorporated. Sprinkle flour in by 1/4 cup increments until dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Dough should be sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands when touched. Once it has reached this stage, turn mixer on and knead for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl, grease and replace back into same mixing bowl {since it’s practically clean anyways.} Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Rise 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
Filling and Cutting Rolls- In a medium size bowl, stir brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch together until combined. Set aside. Punch down dough. Flour a large clean table liberally with flour. Lightly flour dough as well. Roll dough out to be a 20×30 rectangle {or as close to that as possible} while moving dough around to ensure it’s not sticking to your work surface. If it’s a little short or uneven, feel free to cut off the edges to even it all out. {FYI-I cut off some dough on one side and filled in a spot that needed more dough on the other side to make a more even rectangle.} Spread softened margarine over dough, being sure to go right to the edges leaving a 1-inch strip untouched on one of the longer sides of dough. Dump brown sugar mixture onto the middle of the dough and spread with your hands, creating an even layer over top of the margarine, still leaving that 1-inch strip of dough untouched. If you have any filling that falls off the sides of the dough, use a bench scraper to replace. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the margarine using a rolling pin. Roll the dough up into a tight log, finishing with the plain dough on the bottom to seal the entire thing together. Cut off the uneven ends to even out the log. Score log every 2 inches and then slice your rolls using those marks. Place into parchment paper lined, margarine greased pans. 12 into a 9×13, 3 remaining into a loaf pan, or 8×8 with the small ends. Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels. Let rolls rise another 1-2 hours or until they are touching and have risen almost double. My rolls always spread out more than up, so just be aware that they will most likely spread out more than up. Bake in a preheated 350 degree for 17 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Watch them carefully!!
For the Frosting- While the rolls are baking, whip cream cheese and margarine together. Stir in vanilla, corn syrup and lemon juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Pour in powdered sugar and stir slowly until it starts to incorporate. Then mix on high for 5 minutes or until frosting starts to lighten in color. Scrape sides and mix again briefly. Once rolls have been removed from the oven, frost using half the amount made. Then after they have cooled a few more minutes, frost again with remaining frosting. The first frosting will melt down into the rolls and the second layer should stay put. Serve warm.

Quick Mexican Chicken
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts-cut into medium to large chunks
1 medium onion-diced1 red pepper-diced                                                                             
1 russet potato-medium diced
2-15 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2-1 chipotle in adobo sauce
1/2- 1 cup fresh cilantro-roughly chopped 

1. In a large sauce pan add all ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and continue to cook over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through and potato is soft.  Serve over cooked white rice

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower with Toasted Asiago Breadcrumbs
c/o Skinny Taste

  • 1 (1 1/2 lb) head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 heaping cups)
  • 5 - 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

For the topping:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Place the cauliflower and garlic on a large baking sheet andtoss with the oil, salt, and pepper.  Bake until tender and browned, about 22 - 25 minutes, tossing every 6-8 minutes.  

Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the oil, then the onion and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and sauté until the onions become golden brown. Reduce heat to low, add breadcrumbs; sauté until the breadcrumbs are light golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, careful not to burn.  Turn off heat and stir in the thyme. When cool, add asiago cheese.When the cauliflower is ready, remove from oven and top with the toasted bread crumbs.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Metal Meets Loafer

Happy almost Friday lovebugs,
Today we're looking at some loafers, but these aren't your mom's loafers. We're looking at metallic loafers. Sassy, cool and eye catching.

Piperlime, Bass Wendybird 2, $99
If you want one heck of a sturdy shoe, get Bass. The cost per wear will make the price worth it.

Fossil, Calabash Loafer, $98
How about these with some ankle pants? I love the menswear look these loafers have.

Neiman Marcus, Cole Haan Air Tali Loafer, $56
You see that word 'air' in these Cole Haan loafers? That means Nike designed this shoe. That means you can walk a mile in these shoes. You're welcome.

Sperry Top Sider, Brooks, $80
Even Sperry, the boat shoe experts, make a great loafer. I love the snake print on this gold metallic.

Loafers are huge for fall. You've got smoking loafers, penny loafers, you name it. Try out a metallic loafer to add some spice to your outfit.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mission Accomplished: Anorak

Cooler weather means an extra layer, an outer layer. It's not time for the winter coat but you definitely want something extra. A great option is the anorak. It comes in a variety of styles and colors and it's a great throw on and go casual coat.

Old Navy, Women's Hooded Anorak, $49
This is a great option under $50, and it comes in four other colors.

I'm not entirely certain what's going on underneath this coat, some sort of camo jumpsuit I believe? That aside. Michael Kors makes a great longer length anorak, great for work. 

This inner drawstring is great to create a waist and the plum color is perfect for fall.

Nordstrom, Megan Hooded Anorak, $88
The olive tone gives this coat a great army look. A great one for the weekend.

What kind of coat do you layer on for this cooler weather? Quilted, trench or maybe an anorak?

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Good Pipe

Hey lovebugs!
Happy Tuesday to you! I hope you enjoyed yesterday's post. Sometimes I get a little emotional and over-sharey so thanks for reading. Today we're back to fashion and we're looking at piping. This detail adds the perfect pop of color or added enhancement to a blazer or jacket.

A beautiful and simple addition to any pair of skinny jeans or maybe a pair or bright orange cords.

A stunning stripe to this collarless jacket. The buttons are little military which makes the soft yellow stand a little stronger.

Contrasting piping on this fantastic chevron stripe blazer is the perfect compliment to the multicolor.

Macy's, Contrast Trim Draped Blazer, $58
I like this open or belted for more definition.

The piping on a blazer can add just a touch of something extra to an entire outfit. Look for these details when adding to your wardrobe.

Be fabulous today.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Something Different

This blog is about fashion for under $100, but it's also about being fabulous . Today we're going to talk a little bit about the latter.

This weekend I did the big winter-summer closet clothing switchover and I did the usual trying on of the pants to see what fit and what could be donated. Let me tell you something. The majority of them didn't fit. Yep, it just got real. You know what that does to a girl's emotional stability? A whole lot, and none of it is good. 

The sucking in, the pulling of the fabric, the laying flat on the bed to button it closed, you know the drill. And so once this painful process ended, I sat down on the floor of my closet, emotionally, and fashionably defeated. 

So often on this blog we talk about making outfits and trends work for different occasions and adding pieces to your closet to enhance your wardrobe. You know what we don't talk about enough? How to dress your body. What size are you? Honestly. I'm not talking on a good day when you've only eaten cereal and a granola bar. I mean what size are you after a week of work, happy hours, and maybe not that many trips to the gym? Is it a 6? A large? A 14? 

When I was sitting on the closet floor, I thought for a moment. I just put six pairs of pants in the donate pile because they didn't fit. I probably need to go up a size for the majority of my pants. You know what? Who cares. I'm serious. 
It's a fucking number. 

You know what can't be measured? The feeling you get when a complete stranger tells you they love your outfit. The confidence you feel when you walk into a meeting with a fantastic blazer. The strut you get when you walk into a date with a sassy dress that accentuates every curve. These things don't have a size. 

I think we all, especially me recently, need to focus on being healthy. Feeling good. And dressing the body you have, not the body you want. Buy the pair of pants that fit. 

You're fabulous. Honestly. Be fabulous today. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs!

Here are my favorite recipes for the week.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and a Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze
c/o Kathleen's Gonna Want Seconds
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake:2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Peanut Butter Frosting:10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze:8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half and half

Decorations:2 sizes chocolate peanut butter candies

For The Cake:1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter the bottoms of 3- 8 inch cake pans.  Line the bottom of each pan with parchment and butter the parchment.
3. Sift flour, sugar cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add the oil and sour cream and mix until combined.  Gradually add the water until combined.  Add vinegar and vanilla and combine.  Whisk in the eggs and beat until will combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to be sure batter is well mixed.  Divide evenly between the 3 cake pans.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
5. Cool completely.
6. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up before frosting.
7. While cakes are firming in the freezer start the frosting

For The Frosting:1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition, scrapping the sides of the bowl often.  Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the peanut butter and beat until well combined and smooth.

For The Glaze:1. In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate, peanut butter and corn syrup.  Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half and half, beating until smooth.  Use while glaze is still warm.

Frosting The Cake:1. Place one layer of cake on a plate or cardboard form. Spread 2/3 cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top.  Repeat with next layer.  Place the last layer on top and spread the very thinnest layer of frosting possible over top and sides of cake creating a "crumb coat"  to bind the dark crumbs of the cake.  Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes to set.  Spread the top and sides of the cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate until frosting is firmed up a bit about another 30 minutes.  This will allow you to achieve a nice show stopping drip effect with the glaze.
2. Pour glaze over top of cold cake, using an offset spatula, to evenly spread it just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake.
3. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze to set completely.  Remove about 1 hour before serving.  Decorate with Peanut Buttercup Candies.

Lighter Baked Mac and Cheese
c/o Stephanie Cooks
12 oz high fiber elbows like Ronzoni Smart Taste
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cups skim milk
1 cup fat free chicken broth
8 oz Sargento 2% reduced fat mild cheddar

2 tbsp Frank's Buffalo sauce (my secret ingredient!)
salt and pepper
4 cups baby spinach
1/8 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs

1-Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Spray a baking dish with buttered flavor Pam. Preheat oven to 375°.
2- In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat stirring with a whisk. Add onion and cook another 2 minutes. Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
3- Once it becomes thick, remove from heat, add cheese and buffalo sauce and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and baby spinach.Pour into baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more buttered flavor Pam on top.
4- Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.

Linguine and Clam Sauce
c/o Table for Two

8 ounces dried linguine
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
3 (6.5 ounce) cans clams, drained, with 1/2 cup juice reserved
Juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat then add the minced shallots and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the clams and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the reserved clam juice, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Bring to simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Toss the pasta with the sauce. Divide among four plates and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Zipped Up

You can wear colors, patterns, peplums, or minis. You can follow the trends, or stay preppy, or rocker, or boho. But you know the sure-fire way to step up the sexy? Zippers. That's right. I have no idea why, but its just the way it is. Take a look at these zipper detail dresses and you'll see what I mean.

Some faux leather trim, vertical zipper pockets and an exposed zipper up the back. Give me some black tights and let's wear this all fall.

Nordstrom Rack, Calvin Klein Jersey Shift, $44
A great asymmetrical neckline and the full length zipper. Oh not to mention the cobalt!

Yes, even a shirtdress can be sexy. These roll tab sleeves, the great gold zipper detail, it's perfect for a fall afternoon.

So on sale it's not even funny. A fantastic LBD.

So did I tell you? Zippers man. I don't know what they do and how they do it, but they just step up the sass.

Be fabulous today!