Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Don't Drop the Ball

Let's talk New Years guys. Seriously. Let's get real because it's really, really soon. So I'm going to show you four dress options that are available in stores now. No one has time for rush shipping and so let's talk NYE at your fingertips.

Why just wear sequins when you can wear sequins in a fabulous pattern? Right.

A really beautiful and unexpected color for NYE. This dress has great movement for the dance floor.

You're thinking casual, cool for NYE. I totally get that and I think it's a great idea. Try this no fuss jumpsuit.

Bombshell, party of one?

What are your plans this NYE? Dancing the night away? Hot date? I have one with The Bf, the puppy, and some killer chinese food.

Be fabulous today!

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Very Merry Sales

OK lovebugs,
How did Santa treat you? Did you give a little, receive a little, and get all merry? I sure hope so. Now that we're emptying our suitcases and getting back in to the groove it's time to think about work and deadlines...kidding! Let's talk after Christmas sales. Here are my favorite pieces currently on major sale. Let me know what I missed.

You really cannot beat this price. A beautiful coat with a biker feel, plus chambray lining. You heard that correctly, chambray.

JCrew Factory, Crystal and Tortoise Necklace, $24
Did you get a sweater/blouse/top of any sort this holiday? Pair it with this for instant glam.

Target (yeah, I know), Colleen Quilted Tall Boot, $29
This isn't brown. This is cordovan. Deep, luxurious chocolate brown. And on sale for under $30? This is a must have.

Ann Taylor, Embellished Sweater Dress, $139 $84 (with code GET40)
Ann has the best sale ever right now. Extra 60% off until tonight. This sweater dress is the best thing that could happen to your winter.

So what am I missing on my sale list? Or what are you still on the hunt for that you did not find under the tree? I'll tell you, I'm having a tough time not adding things to my cart with these great deals!

Be fabulous today!

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday! Here are some holiday-inspired recipes.

Tipsy Nutella Hot Chocolate
c/o Chow
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
2 tablespoons brandy

  1. Place milk, Nutella, and 2 tablespoons of the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk until the Nutella has melted and been incorporated.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add 3 tablespoons of the hazelnut liqueur and the brandy, and stir to combine. Heat until hot (do not boil), then turn off the heat.
  3. Place the remaining 6 tablespoons cream in a medium bowl and whisk until nearly stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon liqueur and whisk until just incorporated. Transfer the hot chocolate to heatproof serving glasses, top with a dollop of whipped cream, and serve.

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole
c/o Tablespoon
loaves Pillsbury French Bread, baked according to package directions
1 1/2 
cups whole milk
large eggs
cup heavy cream
tablespoon vanilla
teaspoon cinnamon
cup pure maple syrup
cup brown sugar
tablespoons butter
cups pecan pieces

  • Spray a 4-5 quart slow cooker with nonstick baking spray.
  • Cut baked Pillsbury French Bread loaves into 3/4-inch cubes. Spread on a clean baking sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 225 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until bread is dried out and crisp.
  • Place the bread into your prepared slow cooker.
  • In a blender, combine milk, eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Drizzle entire mixture over the bread in the slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the brown sugar, butter, and nuts. Sprinkle mixture over the top of the bread.
  • Set slow cooker to low. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours.
  • 20 minutes before serving, remove the lid of the slow cooker and allow the french toast to cool and set.
  • Serve with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.
Belgian Ale Braised Brisket
  • 1 4-pound piece flat-cut beef brisket, untrimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 750-milliliter bottle Belgian-style tripel ale
  • 4 cups beef stock or low-sodium chicken broth
Season brisket with salt. Wrap tightly in plastic and chill at least 8 hours.
Let brisket sit at room temperature 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine mustard, brown sugar, and ginger in a small bowl. Unwrap brisket, place on a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet, and rub mustard mixture all over brisket. Roast until top is nicely browned, 30–40 minutes.
Remove brisket from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
Meanwhile, heat bacon fat in a large heavy ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add onions; season with salt and cook, stirring often, until deep golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add flour, and cook, stirring often, until mixture smells nutty, about 4 minutes. Add bay leaf, ale, and stock. Bring to a simmer. Add brisket, cover, and transfer to oven. Braise, turning every 30 minutes, until fork-tender, 3–4 hours. Discard bay leaf.
Transfer brisket to a cutting board and let rest at least 20 minutes.
If braising liquid is thin, bring to a boil, reduce, and simmer, skimming surface as needed, until thick enough to coat a spoon; season with salt, if needed. Slice brisket against the grain. Serve with braising liquid.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Oh Come All Ye Fashionable

Do you have special holiday traditions this week? Dinner with the extended family, the midnight church service, the obligatory family photo? Here is what I will be wearing for that special holiday gathering.

Tweed mini/Embellished sweater/ Plaid tights/Heels/Earrings

Be fabulous today!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Oh What Fun, It Is To Ride

Happy Monday lovebugs,
If you haven't already left home for home with the fam, you're going to need the perfect travel outfit. Fear not, I've got you covered. Comfort for delays, style for sitting next to that unexpected hunk of man, and layers for the undeniable climate changes inside whatever mode of transportation you will be enjoying.

Weekender Bag/Jeans/Slip on sneakers/Cardigan/Tee/Necklace

Be fabulous today!

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday! Here are my favorite recipes this week.

Merry Berry Christmas, Sugar
c/o Southern Living
fresh raspberries
fresh blueberries 
fresh blackberries 
1 1/2 tablespoons light agave nectar
fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup crushed ice
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ginger ale 

Muddle 5 fresh raspberries, blueberries, 2 fresh blackberries, light agave nectar, mint leaves, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Stir in crushed ice and water. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled (7 to 10 seconds). Pour mixture into a 16-oz. glass, and top with ginger ale. Garnish, if desired.

Honey Soy Chicken
  • 1½ - 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs (most of the fat cut and discarded)
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 5 tbsp. honey
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 8x8" oven-proof pan with 2 layers of tin foil. I HIGHLY advise using foil in this dish because soy sauce & honey are STICKY and tend to adhere heavily on glass dishes when cooked at high temperatures. Unless you want to be scrubbing forever, use the foil!
  2. In small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ground ginger, and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in the foil layered pan then pour the mixture on top of it. Turn the chicken around in the sauce to make sure it gets all coated.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the tops are not browning too quickly. If they are, cover with foil and resume baking until chicken is done.
  5. Remove from oven and let chicken sit for 5 minutes then transfer to a plate. Do NOT discard the liquid.
  6. Immediately after plating chicken, pour sauce over top of chicken. It's delicious so you want all the sauce you can get!
  7. Serve with white or brown rice and some steamed veggies.

Peppermint White Chocolate Cake
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup white chocolate chunks
For the Frosting:
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup white chocolate, melted

To make cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment and grease parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extract. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add half of the buttermilk then ½ of the remaining flour, then the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour, beating well after each addition. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the white chocolate into the batter until well combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared baking pans. Bake cakes until the center springs back when touched and a tester comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cakes cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
To make frosting:
  1. Whip butter for 6 minutes on medium speed using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer. The butter will become pale and creamy.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Then increase speed to medium and mix for 6 minutes until the frosting is very light, creamy and fluffy. (Optional: color a cup of the frosting with one or two drops of pink food coloring. Use this to fill the cake).
To assemble:
  1. Place one layer of cooled cake on a cake plate. Spread about ½ cup to a cup of frosting on top of the first layer. Place another cake layer on top of frosting. Top with more frosting and spread evenly. Finally top with the last cake later. Spread frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Smooth frosting and decorate as desired. Top cake with peppermint meringue cookies.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Velvet Underground

Ok lovebugs, it's been a long week and it's time for some comfy class. I'm talking about velvet. I love velvet in December because it's dressy or casual. This fabric is perfect for winter and especially the holiday season. Let's look at some great velvet pant options.

I love Loft pants. You can throw them in the wash, you can wear them to work, you can wear them for play. They work for everything and they hold up for years.

JCPenny, Joe Fresh Velvet Pant, $39 $28
A great jogger option, this pant features a drawstring and a fitted ankle.

Ann Taylor, Curvy Velvet Slim Pants, $98 $59
The price is high, but these will be your go to pant in the winter. This chianti hue goes with green, navy, tan, you name it. 

How about a navy option? I love the ankle crop because you can show off some sassy heels.

Try out some velvet this winter. It isn't as loud as plaid but it's perfect for the season. 

Be fabulous today!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beautiful Brogue

Let's talk footwear inspired by men. Brogues to be exact. The Brogue shoe has some history: it is a style of low-heeled shoe or boot traditionally characterised by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations (or "broguing") and serration along the pieces' visible edges. [Source]

I love these shoes because they're functional, masculine, and preppy. Let's look at some options.

I love this red option. It's what Dorothy would have worn on a day-today basis. Pair these with bf jeans in the summer and black ponte leggings now.

These bad boys are half off and I am dying to pair them with an LBD now and a floral sundress later.

I really like these with a pair of ankle pants. They are quite tailored.

And for something a bit different but still on major sale, these no lace beauties.

I really like the brogue trend because it injects some masculinity into your look but you can play off it and wear a big bow top or a very feminine necklace to balance it out.

Be fabulous today!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gift Guide: Last Minute For Him

Are we tired of gift guides? Yeah? Well, I'm sorry, but I'm putting this one out for all of the girls who have one dude left on their list. Their dad/brother/uncle/bf/brother-in-law/etc, let's go ahead and try to save the day.

Gloves/Tie Bar/Throw

3D Printed Custom Message Collar Stays/Shave Soap/Steak Knife Set

Hat/Pickles/Harry's Shave Set

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fringe Benefits

Happy Monday lovebugs,
I thought we would spice things up on this wintery Monday and look at some sassy skirts. These skirts are not meant for your 9-5, your dinner with gramma, or Sunday church. These skirts are meant for dancing, for dates, and for daring evenings out. Today, we look at fringe tiered skirts. Why? Because these minis have movement and flare and they are perfect for perking up your Monday.

Forever 21, Tiered Fringe Mini Skirt, $19
Three layers or fringe makes this skirt perfect for the dance floor.

Nordstrom, Vince Camuto Fringe Pencil Tiered Skirt, $96
Zigzag fringe? Don't mind if I do Vince!

Last Call Neiman Marcus, Max Studio Tiered Faux Leather Skirt, $59
All over mini fringe on a mini skirt, this is a party.

Singer22, WYLDR Keep It Together Mini Skirt, $58
The price point on this mini is so easy on the wallet. I love the almost confetti-like look.

You can buy a sparkly holiday dress, or a velvet mini for the company party, but these options will work for a night out any day of the year.

Be fabulous today!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs,
Here are my favorite recipes this week.

Harriet's Highball
c/o Five O'Clock Cocktails
1 1/4 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Campari
About 2 to 3 ounces orange juice

Combine all 3 ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain into a martini glass, a cocktail coupe, or an ice-filled highball.

1/2 cup cooked leftover taco meat (shredded chicken or pork would be great too!)
grated cheese
sour cream
pickled jalapenos
diced tomatoes
Cholulua, or your favorite hot sauce

Bake the tots according to package directions. When the tots have five minutes remaining, remove from the oven and sprinkle on the meat and cheese. Return to the oven to finish cooking.
Remove from the oven and load up your toppings.

Peppermint Puppy Chow
  • 16oz Vanilla candy coating (candiquik)
  • 1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
  • 12 cup Chex cereal (I use a combination of the rice and the corn flavors)
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 regular sized Peppermint Candy Canes, crushed
  1. Place vanilla candy coating and peppermint crunch baking chips in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 second intervals, mixing between each interval. Mine took 2 minutes total. Stir until smooth.
  2. Place cereal in a very large bowl. Pour melted chocolate over cereal. Add about 3/4 of the crushed candy canes. Mix until all the cereal is covered in chocolate. Add powdered sugar and stir until fully coated. Sprinkle with remaining peppermint candy canes. Store in an airtight container for up to one week. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Call Me Cozy

Let's talk cozy. Let's get snuggly with our outerwear. I'm talking about the sweater coat. It's a simple and lovely way to stay warm while looking chic.

Piperlime, JOA Check Sweater Coat, $89
I love this coat. It makes a statement and the black piping along the hem is a great detail.

As F21 states: its a cozy yet functional way to do outerwear.

Shoptiques, Damask Sweater Coat, $98
A dressier look and it is perfect for an LBD. Leave it open or add a wide belt.

Shoptiques, BDG Hooded Sweater Coat, $70
How winter wonderful is this cream? I love it with a longer necklace and maybe a marsala colored tank.

What do you think about the sweater coat? Cozy, comfortable, and casual at its best. 

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