Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs!

Cheddar Snack Mix
c/o Buns in My Oven
2 cups Oyster crackers
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dry Ranch seasoning powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like things extra spicy!)
2 cups small pretzels
2 cups popped popcorn
8 ounces Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a medium bowl, add the crackers, vegetable oil, Ranch powder, and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat all the crackers.
Place a cooling rack (like you'd use to cool cookies) on a cookie sheet. Pour the oyster crackers over the cooling rack and spread them to form a single layer.
Bake for 10 minutes. Stir and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool before proceeding.
In a large bowl, add the cooled crackers, pretzels, and popcorn.
Dice the cheese into small pieces and add to the bowl. Toss to combine.

Chicken Caesar Pasta
c/o Stephanie Cooks
1/2 pound pasta
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup caesar salad dressing
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup chicken, cooked and chopped
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, water squeezed out
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

1- Preheat over to 350. Cook pasta according to packing directions.
2- Meanwhile, in a skillet combine the broth, salad dressing, and garlic powder over medium heat. Stir well to combine.
3- Add the chicken and spinach, stirring well.
4- Add the pasta to the skillet. Stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.Transfer pasta to a baking dish.
5- Bake for 30 minutes, covered.

Bang Bang Chicken
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 small zucchini, julienned
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 large onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
salt & pepper, to taste
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons all natural peanut butter
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup frozen peas
peanuts and toasted coconut for garnish, optional
brown rice for serving

In a large pot or deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in chicken and cook 2 minutes or until mostly cooked thoroughly. Add in zucchini, carrot and onion and sauté five minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook another minute. Add in chicken stock, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Liquid won't thicken very much at all--this is normal. Stir in coconut milk, peanut butter, sugar and spices. Simmer 5 minutes. Before serving, stir in heavy cream and peas. Cook another minute to warm peas through and serve over brown rice. Top with peanuts and toasted coconut.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not So Slub Fest

Hey lovebugs,
You know what's on sale right now? Linen. It's the end of summer. It's time to clear off the racks. So let's stock up on some lightweight, super comfy, make them chic linen pants.

Originally retailing for almost $200, these gorgeous cuffed trousers must be in your closet.

Linen doesn't alway have to look club. Blend it with a bit of cotton and hello streamline.

Originally $70, this brightly hued pant is perfect for now and next spring.

Originally $90 (!!) these are a perfect mix of color and print!

Scoop up your linen now ladies. It's sale time.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pretty Pleats?

Ok ladies,
Let's talk pleats. Don't be afraid. Let's get honest. Pleats can either go fabulously or horribly, there is no middle ground. None. So be patient, you will find the perfect pleated skirt, and I'm here to help you find it.

Ann Taylor, Accordion Pleated Skirt, $74
A beautiful clean colorblock with a high low hem. Just stunning.

Pleats aren't just for the office. This skirt is ready for dancing.

Revolve Clothing, Obey Saint Laurent Maxi Skirt, $60
How about some maxi pleats? The gorgeous pop of orange breaks up the length.

Modcloth, School Day After Day, $37
Adorable? Yes. Add a navy blazer? Absolutely.

So you see pleats aren't just for prep school anymore. They're mini, maxi, work and play!

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Zip It

Let's get really specific today. You all know I love details and today is no different. Today we're going to add some interest to a tee. Yep. And nothing crazy. A zipper. I give you the zipper tee.

This was the item that inspired this post. Simple and chic. Scoop neck, high low hem, great color and a simple zipper.

I'm not sure why this model looks so surprised to be here but the tee looks great on her. Super relaxed.

Ralph Lauren, Zippered Striped Crewneck, $10
You truly cannot beat the price of this tee for the quality that you'll be getting. It's going to last a while. Notice the simple zipper on the shoulder.

Again with the surprised models. I guess zippers scare the crap out of ladies. In any case, this is an adorable tee ready for a leather skirt.

Zippers are unexpected when they're not holding an item together. Use them for extra interest without necessarily having to wear a pattern. 

Be fabulous today!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Seeing Double

Hey there lovebugs,
Happy Monday to you! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I sure did. Spent it with my best friend from high school. Can't top that.

Today I wanted to look at a print that I'm slowly warming up to. The mirror print. It's exactly what it sounds like, a print that is flipped on the other side of the garment. You can find the print on dresses, tops, skirts, even bathing suits.

Piperlime, Sabine Folk Print Shift, $79
This dress is absolutely perfect for transitioning into fall. I love pairing the booties with this or adding a motorcycle jacket. 

Modcloth, Reflecting Cool Top, $29
Again, a great layering piece. You can wear it with shorts now and then tuck it into a pencil skirt for work.

I love the mix of pretty pinks with the harsher black.

Not many sizes left with this one, but what a great mini. Wear it now with lace up heels and later with patterned tights.

The mirror print is a great eye catching style that works all year round. You can find it in any mix of colors while style staying in budget.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs!
My best friend is here to visit for the weekend and I can't wait! I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.

Iced Green Tea Mojito
c/o Skinny Taste

  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 large spearmint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 4 baby arugula leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar 
  • 1/2 cup brewed green tea, chilled
  • 1 oz white rum
Muddle the lime juice, mint, arugula, and sugar together in a tall Collins glass until the leaves bruise lightly and the flavors release. Add ice until glass is about 3/4 full and then pour in rum and green tea. Stir well and garnish with mint and lime.

Cauliflower Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1 tbsp half and half
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 2oz pepperoni
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Directions
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non-fat cooking spray.
  • Using a vegetable steamer, or the microwave, steam cauliflower until tender. Transfer hot cauliflower to blender or food processor and add in butter, half and half, 1 tsp garlic powder, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, 1/ 2 of the pepperoni slices, and salt & pepper. Puree until smooth.
  • Pour cauliflower puree into baking dish. Use a spatula to even out the surface. Top with the pizza sauce, and use a spoon or spatula to spread it evenly over the cauliflower, making sure not to mix it into the cauliflower. Top with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and remaining tsp of garlic powder.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes.
  • Let cool for about 10 minutes. Cut into 4 equally sized pieces and serve.

  • Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies
    1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    3.4 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup milk chocolate chips

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside.
    2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
    3. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slight golden and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    Chi-don't you know?

    One of my favorite styles of pant is the chino. It's clean and simple, easy to care for and you can wear it with anything. Let's look at some good standards to add to your wardrobe.

    Lands End Canvas, True Slim Chino, $59
    You really can't beat the price with such a vibrant color. 

    Loft, Girlfriend Chino, $59
    A gf chino? It's got the relaxed leg but more fitted through the hip. 

    J Crew, Waverly Chino, $79
    A good standard from J Crew, they do the chino very well.

    These come in a rainbow of colors but I'm loving the oxblood.

    Machine washable, plenty of colors, and plenty of styles. The chino is a great investment piece that won't break the bank.

    Be fabulous today!

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    Maximum Sleeves

    We all know and love maxis, they're comfy, versatile and they've been a huge trend this summer. So how do we fall-ify them? Simple, just change the material to something a little heavier and add some sleeves. Let your accessories do the rest.

    A peek a boo leg slit is the perfect surprise to this simple sweater dress.

    Old Navy, Belted Jersey Maxi, $25
    The dolman sleeves dress up this otherwise simple dress. There is so much you can do to accessorize: jewelry, denim jacket, switch out the belt, the list goes on.

    This scoop neck is a great contrast to the horizontal stripes. I'm liking the braided belt as well.

    Nordstrom, Ruched Maxi Dress, $88
    A beautiful emerald color makes this dress look like a tall drink of water.

    Maxis aren't going anywhere with the weather changing, change up the layers and the accessories and you keep the look.

    Be fabulous today!

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Round Em Up

    The lariat style is a bit of a throw back. It's an interesting necklace style that makes you stand out rather than just a long strand necklace. You can find them with jewels, bling, or just plain metal. So let's get a little retro and take a look at these lassos.

    I started with this necklace because it is so delicate and simple. Clean lines and nothing too busy.

    This necklace is adorable, a storm cloud and lightning bolt. Come on.

    A great key emblem with Swarovski crystal accents make this dressy but not blingy.

    I saved my favorite for last. An astronaut, alien, and flying saucer. LOVE THIS.

    The lariat style came from the cowboys, it's a style of lasso. Now it's a great way to mix up your standard strand.

    Be fabulous today!

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    Laced Up and Ready to Go

    Hey there lovebugs,
    Let's get a little sassy on this Monday. Something a bit edgy, a bit daring, a bit awesome. Let's look at some lace up heeled sandals. They're eye catching and sexy, and they're perfect for transitioning to cooler nights.

    I would pair these with bf jeans, a sleeveless blouse and a killer pedicure.

    A great sale price for these patent leather spikes.

    Mia2, Elaine Sandal, $26
    I really like the cut out pattern on these sandals, and the style reminds me of a modified mary jane.

    Express, Heeled Ghillie Sandal, $98
    One review described these as "comfortable". I know. I think it's the padded sole and 1/2 platform.

    These lace up heels are perfect for the end of summer nights. Pick a color, pick a style, stand up straight and get your strut on.

    Be fabulous today!

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    Friday Foodday

    Happy Friday lovebugs!
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Here are my favorite recipes this week.

    Jalapeño Popper Breakfast Scramble
    c/o Cassie Craves
    1 pound bacon, chopped
    2 jalapeños, finely diced
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    4 cups shredded frozen hash brown potatoes
    8 eggs
    8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 

    1. Cook bacon to desired crispness in a large skillet. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Add jalapeños and cook until just softened, then place the jalapeños in a large bowl.

    2. Heat the canola oil in another large skillet. Add hash browns in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and let them get crispy. After they're crispy, flip them over to let the other side brown.

    3. Add the eggs, cream cheese, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to the reserved jalapenos and scramble. The cream cheese will still be in chunks in the eggs, but that's fine.

    4. Pour the scrambled egg mixture over the hashbrowns, add reserved bacon, and mix it all together until the eggs are cooked. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and cover to let it melt. Serve.

    Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo
    2 whole red bell peppers
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup fat free half & half
    4 oz. garlic & herb goat cheese
    2/3 cup grated parigiano reggiano cheese
    1/2 cup artichoke hearts (optional)
    1/2 lb. linguine, cooked to al dente
    salt & pepper, to taste

    Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place red peppers on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred. Remove from oven and cover with foil 10 minutes.
    In the mean time, saute onions and garlic in olive oil 7 minutes or until tender. Pour in half & half, goat cheese, salt & pepper. Stir to melt goat cheese into sauce and keep warm over low heat.
    Uncover peppers, peel off skin and remove stem and seeds. Chop into large pieces and place into sauce along with parmesan cheese. Stir to melt cheese and remove from heat. Pour sauce into food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender. Place back into hot pan and toss with cooked pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with more parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and parsley, if desired.

    Zucchini Asiago Tomato Scones
    • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (recommend: King Arthur)
    • 1 cup all purpose flour (recommend: King Arthur)
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup chilled whipped butter (must be cold), cut into small pieces
    • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of all moisture
    • 2.5 oz Asiago cheese, shredded
    • 2.75 oz (just under 2/3 cup) sun dried tomatoes, minced
    • 1-1/2 tbsp rosemary, chopped
    • cooking spray
    • 1 large egg white, beaten
    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

    Combine the flours with the baking powder and salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

    Squeeze all the excess moisture from the zucchini with a paper towel, you should wind up with 1 cup after it's all squeezed. In a bowl combine the zucchini, sun dried tomatoes, cheese and rosemary.

    Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in the cheese, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes and rosemary. Add milk mixture, stirring just until moist, without overworking the dough.

    Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 10-inch circle onto the baking sheet, about 3/4" thick, you may need to sprinkle a little more flour on top if it's too sticky. Using a knife, cut dough into 12 wedges all the way through. 

    Brush egg white over dough. Bake until golden, about 20 - 22 minutes, depending on your oven. Serve warm.

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Final Bleaching

    Just like yesterday when we looked at sale sandals, now is also the time to capitalize on some white pieces. Today let's scoop up some white dresses!

    A modified Marylin if you will. Sexy and cute, especially with some drop earrings.

    Modcloth, Bakery Beauty Dress, $63
    Half off right now and 100% cotton. It's the perfect summer day dress.

    Just a lovely scallop detail on this sassy little sundress.

    Ok, forgive me, it's not ALL white, but it's just too sweet to pass up. A mod drop waist style and the pink underlay is the perfect combination for this mini.

    White dresses are a staple for warm weather, so why not enjoy them a bit longer and grab some that are on sale right now!?

    Be fabulous today!

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Last Call

    It's mid-August, which means it's the last few weeks of summer. I know, major bummer, but it also means time for some amazing deals. And today it's sandals.

    Piperlime, Gomax Calantha 01, $29
    Boom. Sexy, sleek, and an eye turner.

    I love this glam yet bad ass sandal. It's great with shorts, a dress or jeans.

    Anthropologie, Sailor Wedges, $49
    Originally $178, now under $50. These are SO adorable. Also in a red stripe.

    Nine West, Cove, $29
    A little space agey, no? For me, summertime is about a tshirt and shorts, this adds a bit of interest.

    Go find the sales! They're everywhere. Get the sandals while you can. Find something you will love wearing right now and again when you pull them out in 9 months.

    Be fabulous today!

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Sshh, No Talking!

    Sometimes you want bling, sometimes something more understated and delicate, and sometimes you want the jewelry to do the talking. Literally.

    I love this bracelet for a gift. It's perfect for someone who you want to congratulate. 

    BaubleBar, Silver Wrapped Love Ring, $24
    A great rope detail to really 'wrap' you up in love!

    Dogeared, Just Say Om, $82
    Maybe you just need a little peace in your life, a simple reminder to take a breath. How perfect is this?

    This affordable and big impact bracelet is the perfect addition to your arm party.

    What do you have to say? Or do you let your accessories do the talking?

    Be fabulous today!