Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Fooday

Happy Friday lovebugs!

Here are my favorite recipes for this week.

Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Poppy Seed Pancakes
c/o Closet Cooking
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk or milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup honey or sugar
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced 1/4 inch

  1. Bring the strawberries, water and sugar to a boil in a sauce pan, reduce the heat and simmer until it reduces by half and thickens a little before straining the solids and letting it cool.
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt and mix it into the mixture of the buttermilk, egg, honey, ricotta, lemon zest, juice and poppy seeds before mixing in the strawberries.
  4. Heat a pan over medium heat, add the batter 1/2 cup at a time forming circular pancakes, cook until bubble form on the top, about 2-4 minutes, flip and cook until lightly golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad
1 ½ lbs. Red Potatoes, cut into ¾” chunks - peel ½ of the potatoes, leave skin on other ½
1 oz. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix packet
¾ c. Low-Fat Sour Cream
¼. c. Mayonaise
½ tsp. Garlic, minced
½ tsp. Ground Pepper
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 tsp. Minced Cilantro
¾ c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
5 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped
2 Tablespoons minced chives
In a medium pot, place chunked potatoes and cover with 1” of water. Bring potatoes to a boil over high heat and reduce to medium, allowing to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
When potatoes are done, drain and place on a lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with packet of ranch dip and fold potatoes over with a spatula until the dip mix is evenly distributed. Place baking sheet of potatoes into the fridge for approximately 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cool.
While potatoes are chilling, fry and chop 5 slices of bacon and shred cheddar cheese.
In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayo, pepper, garlic, mustard, and cilantro.
When potatoes are cool, pour into large bowl of sour cream mixture.
Fold in shredded cheddar cheese and bacon. Sprinkle chives on top of potato salad.
Chill for two hours until flavors meld. Devour.

Churro Cheesecake Bites
cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
cup butter, melted
ounces cream cheese, room temperature
cup granulated sugar
cup sour cream
large eggs, room temperature
tablespoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon vanilla extract
cup whipped cream, as desired

  • Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  • Add the cereal to a blender or food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Alternately, place the cereal in a plastic bag, seal, and beat with a rolling pin to crush the cereal.
  • Add the cereal to a medium bowl and pour the melted butter over it. Stir to combine.
  • Line 2 12-count muffin tins with 16 paper or foil liners. Scoop one spoonful of the crust into each liner and press down with your fingers to form the crust.
  • Add the cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy and smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the whipped cream, to the mixer and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins to just under the top of the liners.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until just barely jiggly in the center. Cool completely before serving.
  • Top with whipped cream and garnish with a piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, if desired.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Navy or Nothing

A few weeks ago we looked at a fantastic utility piece: the black cropped pant. You guys seemed to love it so today we're taking a similar look at the navy option. I love this color for a nautical look or dressed up with some neon baubles.

Banana Republic, Sloan Fit Ankle Pant. $89
955 reviews make this pretty much a sure thing. 5% spandex doesn't hurt either.

How about a nice pin tuck front pleat to dress things up?

I like this option because it has a button instead of a hook and eye, a little more stability.

A great cotton option for something a little more casual. Add a preppy belt and some flats.

I hope these navy options give you some ideas for your more colorful and adventurous blouses. These skimmers say 'give me pattern or give me death!'

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedged in Color

So it's warm outside. Have you painted your toes yet? It's time. Dig out the nail file, find your happiest color and have I got some colorful wedges for you.

Sole Society, Gwyneth, $41
Hello perfection. Supportive straps, great tomato red color and a stacked heel.

Victoria's Secret, Twist Strap Wedge Sandal, $49
How about these with a white eyelet dress?

Neiman Marcus, Toms Moroccan Cutout Wedge Boot, $89
I love the cheerful orange of these espadrille booties. The laser cut dots are adorable.

Modcloth, One Suite Day Wedge, $39
Alex, I'll take the do it all sandal for under $40? Hello.

Colorful wedges are perfect for this time of year to go with your shorts, your sundresses, or your wedding attendee dress. Have some fun with those toes and strap on a colorful wedge.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Downright Dotty

Let's talk dots. I have a strong love of dots and today we're going to combine my love with an easy to wear trend: black and white.

My dear friend Lacey sported this last week and since then it's been sitting in my cart. I may need it.

Ralph Lauren, Polka Dot Wide Leg Pant, $64
How about these breezy pants with a neon peplum sleeveless blouse? Love.

Oh Tahari, you get me. A sassy contrasting tie front top that is perfect for work or play.

Just a touch below the knee makes this skirt retro while still being sexy.

Who doesn't love a great polka dot? No one. Now pair it with any color under the sun, that's the beauty of the black and white trend.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs,
I hope you have a wonderful long weekend. Here are my favorite Memorial Day inspired recipes.

Stars and Stripes Citrus Sipper
c/o Bourbon Blog
1 bottle of Brugal Extra Dry Rum
20 oz. of Fresh Grapefruit juice
20 oz. of Club Soda
10-12 lime wedges
Pour all ingredients into a pitcher, lightly stir and pour over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve. Serves 12-15 people.

Jalapeño Popper Burger
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or beef
  • 4 slices pepper Jack cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 3/4 cup guacamole

  • Brush jalapenos with oil. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 3-5
  • minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. When cool enough to
  • handle, finely chop. In a small bowl, combine the bacon, cream
  • cheese and jalapeno until blended.
  • In a large bowl, combine the garlic, salt, lemon-pepper, pepper and
  • paprika. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into eight
  • thin patties. Spoon bacon mixture onto center of four patties; top
  • with remaining patties and press edges firmly to seal.
  • Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for
  • 6-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°
  • and juices run clear. Top with pepper Jack cheese. Cover and cook
  • 1-2 minutes longer or until pepper Jack cheese is melted.
  • Grill buns, cut side down, over medium heat for 30-60 seconds or
  • until toasted. Serve burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato and
  • guacamole. Yield: 4 servings.

Strawberry Angel Food Cake Jars
1, 7″ angel food cake
6 cups sliced strawberries (about 2lbs)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6, 12oz wide-mouthed mason jars

  1. Slice angel food cake into 2″ cubes then divide cubes in half. Divide each half into 6 portions then place 1 portion into the bottom of each mason jar. Top with 1/2 cup sliced strawberries and a dollop (2-3 Tablespoons) of homemade whipped cream then repeat with remaining ingredients.
  2. For the homemade whipped cream: place the clean bowl of an electric mixer, or a large mixing bowl, into the freezer for 10 minutes. Fit the mixer with the whipping attachment then add whipping cream and vanilla to the chilled bowl. Whip the mixture on medium speed while gradually adding the powdered sugar then increase the speed to high and whip until cream can hold it’s shape, 2-3 minutes (do not over whip.) Refrigerate until ready to use.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Go Boldly

Hey there lovebugs,
Happy almost Friday to you. Last month at about this time we looked at some floral pants. Today we're going to continue the floral trend but look at some bolder prints. Some flowers that just can't be contained in you usual, expected colors, patterns, and shapes.

Dorothy Perkins, Floral Printed Mesh Dress, $79
Boom. Now we're talking floral. I love everything about this dress: the shape, the gathering at the waist, colors, oh I just love it.

How about these big ol flowers? Modern, graphic and so much fun.

Lord and Taylor, Tracy Reese Floral Shift Dress, $98
This floral has more of a disco vibe to it. I would pair it with some killer high espadrilles.

Modcloth, Work of Pop Art Top, $49
How about this top? There is so much fabulous going on I'm having trouble not adding it to my cart and checking the heck out at

Florals aren't just for your pretty Sundays or meeting your grandmother. Try out some bolder colors, some bigger patterns, try some unexpected florals.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stop, Tassel Time

Yesterday I mentioned a tassel belt that could be added to a maxi dress; but really, the tassel belt can do so much more than just that. I love this option because it dresses up and gives some personality to an otherwise utility piece. 

Anthropologie, Tasseled Jetty Belt, $48
Hello preppy perfection. 

Mango, Tassel Link Belt, $39
This belt reminds me of a Chanel bag. So gold and so timeless.

A great casual option to pair with a dress, chino shorts, any pretty much anything else you can think of. 

The Limited, Tassel Accent Belt, $39
A textured faux-leather makes this budget friendly belt perfect for work. I'm thinking a black pencil skirt.

Tassels are a great detail on jewelry, bags, and shoes. Now, try it with a belt.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Don't Max Out My Card

Hey there lovebugs,
At this point in life, the question is who doesn't own a maxi? The maxi dress is the perfect go to for the warmer months. I for one, was late on the trend but now I have a handful in my closet and couldn't be happier about it. Today let's take a look at some maxis under $50. That's right, maxi dress, mini price.

Macy's, Bar III Printed Maxi, $49
A beautiful geometric all over print that is breezy and boho.

A beautiful sunny print with an empire waist and sweetheart neckline. The dress screams summer.

Old Navy, Women's Tulip Hem Maxi, $39
This maxi offers the ultimate canvas to do whatever you want with it. Add some big statement earrings or a long tassel belt, or contrast the pink with an unexpected colored sandal.

JCPenny, Stripe Tank Maxi Dress, $34
Staying on the black and white trend with this option. It has an understated elastic waist to help define the hourglass.

Maxi dresses do not need to blow your budget. Look for machine washable fabrics and colors and patterns that you can add your own flair to.

Be fabulous today!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Future is So Bright

Let's have some fun on this Monday. It's mid-May, it's warm, it's time for sunglasses. Sunglasses in my opinion should be a whole lot of fun. It's an accessory that doesn't have to be classic, you take them on and off a handful of times during the day, so why not make them stand out? Let's take a look at these fabulous patterned shades.

Neiman Marcus, Toms eyewear Gigi polka dot, $98
Navy polka dot. Does it get any better? I love these summer ready shoes. Perfect for jeans, sundress or even a suit.

Urban Outfitters, Amigo printed square sunglasses, $14
The vintage surfer trend is one that I'm still working on getting behind, this however, I'm all over it. Summer meets Saved by the Bell.

I'm struggling with these shades. I cannot decide what I love more, the lavender, the retro shape, or the blurred graphic sides. 

Modcloth, Chevron and On, $11
The ombre on the glasses is so feminine. The shape means business.

How do you style your shades? Are you a tortoise classic kind of girl or something a bit more eye catching, something patterned?

Be fabulous today!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Foodday

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

Ancho Paloma
1.5 oz Milagro Reposado
1/2 oz Ancho Reyes
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3 oz Grapefruit Soda

Build the cocktail in a collins glass over ice, and top with grapefruit soda.  Garnish with a grapefruit peel. 

Baked Rigatoni Lasagna
1 lb. rigatoni pasta {or ziti}
for the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 lb. ground turkey
28 oz. jarred marinara + 1 cup water to wash out jar
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper, to taste
for the cheese layer:
2 cups low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic seasoning salt, such as Lawry's
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta 1-2 minutes shy of al dente and drain. Set aside.
Place hot pot over medium heat and sauté onions, garlic and zucchini in olive oil for 3 minutes or until they start to get tender. Add in ground turkey and break apart to brown. Once turkey meat is completely cooked, add in remaining sauce ingredients, adjusting seasonings as you like. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes. *Add in splashes of water as needed. You don't want this to get too terribly thick.
While sauce is cooking, stir all ingredients for the cheese layer together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Remove bay leaf from sauce. Stir in pasta and toss to coat. Spoon half pasta and sauce into the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 glass baking dish. Spread entire cheese layer over hot pasta and top with half the sliced mozzarella. Pour over remaining pasta and top with last few slices of mozzarella.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sit 10 minutes before serving.

Apple Pie Snickerdoodle Bars
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
20 ounce can apple pie filling
1/3 cup cinnamon sugar

1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2- In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, shortening, sugar, and eggs; beat until creamy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low, add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Do not over beat.
3- Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons cinnamon sugar and then spread the apple pie filling over the dough. With the remaining dough, take small pieces and flatten them and place on top of the apple pie filling. Continue with additional pieces of dough, piecing together a random top. You will not cover all of the apple pie filling.
4- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the dough is baked and the bars begin to brown around the edges. Cool completely. Use the foil to lift the bars from the pan; place on a cutting board. Remove the foil and cut into bars.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lace Lately

It's almost Memorial Day which means if you abide by the white pants rules of summer, it's almost time to break out the whites, the lace, the eyelets. Today I thought we would get the shopping started with white lace. Feminine, airy, and the definition of summer.

Piperlime, Sabine Lace Top, $49
I started with my favorite. I love this short sleeve, lacy hem blouse. I just think it is stunning.

I like this top because the peplum hits at a very natural spot. It creates an hourglass on the perfect spot on the torso.

This will be your go to white shell this summer. It's well made, great shape and can be worn alone or layered with just about anything.

Lord and Taylor, Jessica Simpson Lace Top, $44
I see you J Simp. Stepping up your game and I love it.

White lace doesn't need to be butterflies and purity. Pair these tops with a fringy or neon necklace to spice things up! Or keep it simple with a nice charm necklace.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Let's Get Sculptural

Arm parties have been all the rage for the last few years, and I love them, but sometimes I just want to throw on one bracelet and walk out the door. Just one and go. Is that too much to ask? And when I do wear just one, I like to make it a big one, something with some impact. A great sculptural cuff is always fits the bill.

Understated but stunning.

Bloomingdale's, Sequin Sculptural Cuff, $53
Silver and timeless. Looks like Tiffany's but without the price tag.

I think this might be my favorite one. It's the right angles.

Nordstrom, Pyramid Cuff, $65
Now we're talking sculptural. Hello gorgeous.

While I will never give up on the arm party, sometimes one accessory does the job. These cuffs stand out and make the perfect, classic statement.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Young and The Collarless

Sometimes the weather gets wacky. You know what I mean, it's 72 degrees at lunchtime and then in then evening comes along and your shivering. I hear ya. What to do? We're way past winter coat season but owning 684 pashminas isn't really cost effective either. Try this trend: the collarless jacket. It's simple, chic and easy to throw on and go.

A modern take on moto, a little stripe to prep it out.

A great light denim jacket that is the perfect spring jacket. Think of it with shorts or even, wait for it, a patterned spring dress.

Nordstrom, Chelsea28 Lace Hem Coat, $88
Bracelet sleeve is fantastic for work. I love the contrast of the modern and feminine.

Dorothy Perkins, Diamond Cropped Jacket, $44
A vintage look with a beautiful pattern. Pair it with a pink pencil skirt.

Who needs to pop their collar when, well, you don't have one. Try this sassy trend for the chillier spring and summer nights.

Be fabulous today!