Monday, June 30, 2014

For A Brighter Tomorrow

Can we talk yellow for a moment. Sorry, hello, how was your weekend? Great? Great. I really feel like yellow is having a moment. It's sunny, bright, eye catching and perfect for a look-at-me dress.

River Island, Yellow Stepped Hem Shift Dress, $80
Can we just look at this structural masterpiece? The tiered cap sleeve, the exposed zipper. This is ready for work, for a night on the town or a wedding depending on your accessories.

The great this about this ruffle peplum dress is the fabric. It's a scuba fit that will hug you in all of the right places.

Anthropologie, Matepe Dress, $99
And for something a bit more boho, this dress fits the bill. Flowy with a lace detail, this is the perfect summer dress.

Modcloth, A Butter Tomorrow Dress, $69
You may find this simply yellow dress a snooze, but I bed you to look at the back. Boom. The sweetest surprise.

Whether you're looking for a breezy weekend dress or the perfect wedding frock, the yellow dress is going to make your life so much easier.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Foodday

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

Peach Pie with Almond Crumble
c/o Love Grows Wild
  • Pie:
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (I use Pillsbury)
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • Crumble:
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup almonds, whole

  1. For the Pie: Place peach slices in a large bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Gently stir until peaches are evenly coated and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain any juices that have collected and toss peach slices with lemon juice. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ⅔ cup sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add peach slices and stir until evenly coated in the sugar mixture.
  2. Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a pie pan with the refrigerated pie crust and flute edges, if desired. Spoon peaches into the pastry-lined pie pan and add the crumble topping over the peaches. (see crumble instructions below)
  3. Loosely tent pie with foil and bake on the middle oven rack for 45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes. Cool pie on a wire rack at least 2 hours before serving.
  4. For the Crumble: Add flour and salt to a food processor and pulse until combined. Add brown sugar, butter, and almonds and process again until well combined. Sprinkle almond crumble over the peaches before baking.

Doritos Taco Salad
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 (1.25 oz) packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 medium-large head of iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces 
  • 1 medium-large tomato, diced
  • 4 oz 50% less fat or 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 4 oz nacho cheese Doritos, broken up a bit into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup light Catalina or French dressing
  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the packet of taco seasoning and stir until well coated. Set aside.
  2. In a large serving bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and ground beef. When ready to serve, add the Doritos and dressing and toss to coat.

Black Eyed Pea Dip
  •  15 oz canned no salt black eye peas  (Eden)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  •  3 tbsp fresh lime juice (from about  1 1/2 limes)
  •  1 tbsp extra virgin olive
  •  1 tsp cumin
  •  pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  •  1/2 tsp kosher salt
  •  1 cup cooked corn, fresh or frozen, thawed
  •  1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  •  1/4 cup minced red onion, finely diced
  •  1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)
  •  1 medium avocado, diced
Rinse and drain the black eyed peas in a colander. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt and mix well.

Add the black-eyed peas, corn, tomato, red onion, jalapeno if using and cilantro; mix well and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. When ready to eat, gently mix in the avocado and serve right away.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Norman

Today is Norman's birthday. He is my original lovebug. The little man turns three today so I thought I would share some of my/his favorite things.

American Apparel, Red Flex Fleece Dog Zip, $28
Of course this post has a little fashion. Norman loves his hoodie. I call it his Beiber hoodie. It's machine washable and I can layer it under his rain coat (yes that exists) when it's cold. 

Barkbox, Medium Dog, 1 month $29
Norman loves his Barkbox and it keeps me from buying random dog stuff at CVS or when I go grocery shopping. I love supporting small business and Norm loves the toys!

Container Store, Collapsible Pet Feeder, $19
These bowls are awesome. I don't need a mat under the bowls and I can throw it in a bag when we travel.

Jack Spade, Rope Dog Lead, $49
The bf's favorite color is orange, so obviously Norman sports an orange collar and leash. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Step Into Some Silk

One of the biggest/scariest trends of the summer (and I'm not even going near the Birkenstocks) is the silk short. It made an entrance last year, but as the heat turns up, I'm seeing more and more of this style on the weekends. If you're feeling brave, I would suggest trying a patterned silk short. The solid can come off pajama-y. Let's take a look at some great prints.

Let's start with a silk blend. This option allows for some structure with a defined hook and eye closure waist and a longer length.

Laura Manara, Ruby chain-print silk short, $67
I wanted to show this pair in a full outfit. Look how perky and fun this print is with a straw bag and simple tee.

Zappos, Tolani Gia Shorts, $62
These are also a great starter pair for silk shorts because the black and white pattern is a great neutral and downright beautiful.

I like how Madewell describes this piece: think of it as your skirt substitute. This makes it a lot less daunting to wear. 

Try silk shorts this summer as a dressier version of your weekend. Pair it with a simple tee for daytime and a stripy blouse for the evening.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Star Spangled Tommy

As we inch closer to Independence Day I thought we would take a look at one designer in particular who, to me, sings USA. Mr. Tommy Hilfiger. And no, this is not a sponsored post, it's just the awesome Tommy doing the red white and blue like he does best.

Case and point ladies. A perfectly casual big print gingham that is perfect for the Fourth or any other time this summer.

This color isn't called 'red' it's called formula one, and I want that to be how you feel when you wear this dress. Unstoppable, sleek, faster than the boys.

A beautiful d'orsay flat that will complete an outfit. Think about it: chino shorts or any color, a white eyelet dress, light wash bf jeans. This is the do it all flat that also comes in red stripe or black leather.

I just love this casual shift. It's effortless coolness is perfect for brunch, an outdoor dinner date, anywhere fun and warm.

I love Tommy because his collections are timeless. While some may view it as preppy or nautical, I think you can play that down and add your own style with your own accessories. Embrace the American classic.

Be fabulous today!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Art Project

It's Monday. We're all angry. I know. Let's try to mask our hate and fake a little culture. Today we're going to look at some art inspired pieces. That's right, we can appear smart and sophisticated if we want to. And today, we're feeling cultured.

Modcloth, Alyssum Abstract Dress, $44 (!!)
I love this dress because the pattern is cut to create an effortless hourglass shape. And it's under 50 bucks.

A beautiful skirt that gives the illusion of pleats without the hassle of steaming them in. I really like the red marker like pattern.

A very modern print with a casual chest pocket and hemline details.

Shoptiques, Abstract Silk Blouse, $49
A gorgeous color combination with a sexy boatneck that is perfect for a night out.

An abstract, mod, watercolor inspired print is a great way to infuse some culture into your closet. Not everything is polka dots and stripes. Branch out ladies. 

Be fabulous today!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Foodday

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

Blackberry Whiskey Sour
  • 1 1/2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 3/4 oz blackberry brandy
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Orange twist.

Ritz Krispie Treats
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed

Melt butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Stir in marshmallows and melt completely. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and crushed crackers. Pour into greased 9x9 glass dish. Cool 15 minutes or so before cutting into bars.

20 Minute Ham and Cheese Tarts
2 Sheets Puff Pastry, thawed
1/2 cup Flour, for dusting
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Water
2 cups Shredded Cheese
1/2 pound Black Forest Ham Deli Meat, thinly sliced
2 Tomatos, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup Wilted Spinach (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
On a lightly floured surface roll out thawed puff pastry into a 12x9" rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise, yielding 2 4-½" strips. Cut those two strips crosswise into thirds, to yield six 4x4 ½" pieces. Repeat with second puff pastry sheet.
With a knife, score ½" border around the edge of each piece of puff pastry. Use a fork to make five or six pricks into the dough within the border of each piece. This will help keep the middle of each piece from rising.
Sprinkle shredded cheese in the middle of each tart. Sprinkle ham over the top of the cheese. If using tomato and spinach, add those on prior to topping with ham.
In a small dish or cup, whisk together the egg and water. Using a pastry brush - brush the edges of the puff pastry with the mixture. This will help the edges turn golden brown and crispy.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, on the middle rack and rotate the baking sheet half way through baking. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or room temperature.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Flat Out Adorable

To some people summer means flip flops, to others it means white dresses, and to some it's all about the espadrilles. Today we're looking at some fantastic flat espadrille options that are colorful and great for summer.

I mean hello? Abstract stripes in a killer combo. And under $50.

J Crew, Canvas Espadrilles, $50  now $29.99 with code HISUMMER
Yes, you read that correctly. J Crew shoes for $50. And in a highlighter poppy color. Gorgeous.

Leave it to Nicole Richey to take the espadrille to a whole new level. Studding, embroidery, metallic. Amazing.

Free People, Canyon Espadrille, $78
What if you just want a go to, neutral? These suede beauties will do just the trick.

I love a flat espadrille for summer because they're casual and comfortable and I can wear them knowing 9 out of my 10 toes have chipped polish.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wrapped Up

Skirts can be a snooze. You've got the pencil, the mini, the midi, the full, and well, that's about it for the standards. Let's add a new option into the mix. The wrap skirt. It has great draping, almost architectural and it comes in a slew of colors and price points.

A mix of nautical and mod. This great striped option also has a sassy exposed zipper in the back.

I think this is my favorite of the options today. It's just stunning. The red is deep and saturated and the wrap accentuates a long leg.

If you don't love this skirt, I think you hate fun. Look at this candy coated adorableness!

Forever 21, Woven Wrap Skirt, $17
Boom. Work appropriate, mint hue, under $20,  just so perfect.

Wrap skirts are a fun way to mix in a little shape to your wardrobe. Pick a color, pattern and price point that you feel comfortable with and have some fun with these options.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Anti-Cardigan

Summertime is a not a time for cardigans. It's just too warm. Put those away and pull out your new best friend. The kimono. It's light, it's colorful and it's the perfect accessory to your summer wardrobe.

For under $40 this is an easy one to try this season. Leave it open for a casual look or add on a skinny belt to define the waist.

This punch of color is so juicy. I love the notched lapel and open front design. So chic.

How about this instead of a gingham oxford on a warm summer day? It's fun, it's breezy and it's a great addition to any outfit.

Still not on board with this trend? Would you try it for $12? I bet you would. How cute is this short sleeve black option?

Try out the kimono trend this summer, find a color combination that makes you feel confident. If you still aren't sure hit Macys or Target and find one for under $20. It's worth the try.

 Be fabulous today!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Go Ahead, Cross Me

Happy Monday lovebugs,
I hope you had a great weekend. Here we are back to the start of the week and I don't know about you but Mondays are for juggling. The email inbox, the to do list, the meetings, everything comes at once. You need both hands. You know what you carry when you need both hands? A crossbody bag.

Kate Spade Saturday, Assembly Crossbody Bag, $95
I love this bag for all of it's quirky details. A medical bag-style handle, the snap closure pocket, and the wax canvas.

How sweet is this bag? The color just pops and I think it's perfect for running around on a Saturday.

Nordstrom, French Connection Hyde, $38
You really can't beat this price point. I love this luggage inspired bag.

Is this little bag expensive? Yes. Is it a classic brand with quality materials in an adorable print? Heck yes. 

A great crossbody is perfect for  a busy weekend day. Just toss in your essentials and walk out the door.

Lots of love,

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Foodday

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

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
  • 1 cauliflower pizza crust (see below)
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, torn

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mix the chicken and barbecue sauce, top the pizza with the chicken, mozzarella and red onion and bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Crust: Rice the cauliflower in a food processor, place it in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 8 minutes or until cooked.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a tea towel and squeeze as much moisture out as you can.
  4. Mix the cauliflower, egg, mozzarella, parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper, press the mixture onto a baking mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 450F oven until lightly golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Pepperoni Pizza Polenta Bake
  • 1 (18-ounce) roll precooked polenta, cut into 9 rounds
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers
  • 9 thin slices (about 1 1/2 ounces) pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried parsley
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. 

Arrange polenta rounds in an even layer in the bottom of the dish. Spoon marinara sauce over the top, then scatter with oregano. Arrange peppers and pepperoni over the sauce, then top with cheese and parsley and bake until hot throughout and bubbly, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.

Strawberry Moscow Mule
  • 1 cup Frozen Strawberries, thawed
  • 4 ounces Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1 bottle Ginger Beer
  • Sweeten to taste if needed

  • Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Mash the strawberries with the back of a spoon so the juices drip into the bowl.
  • Add ice to a chilled mug or highball glass. Divide strawberry juice, vodka and lime juice between the 2 mugs/glasses. Top off with ginger beer last. Place a lime & strawberry skewer in each cocktail.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Save The Last Dance

So you have to go to a wedding and it's really, really hot outside. I'm sorry. This is a bummer combination but fear not, I have some great dress options for you to stay cool and stay beautiful.

A sweetheart neckline and a swingy skirt is only the beginning of how well this dress works. The colors here are perfect to go from an afternoon ceremony to an evening reception.

Talbots, Mirrored Floral Dress, $83
That's right, Talbots. Rethink what you thought ladies, as you can see from this masterpiece of a dress, Talbots deserves a revisit.

Yes, this dress is at the top of our budget, but check out the details on this beauty that make it worth the price rage. The scalloped hem, the fold over collar, the cotton candy pink fit and flare. Just stunning.

The name of this dress does my job for me here. This dress is very Mad Men but your accessories can bring it to modern times. Add a skinny belt, perhaps a pastel purple hue or maybe a longer string of pearls that you knot at the end.

Weddings are a great celebration and the weather shouldn't keep you from enjoying it. Find dresses you feel beautiful in and the rest will take care of itself.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Don't Be A Pain

You know what I hate? Headbands that give you headaches. You're just trying to mix in some variety in your hairstyles/you didn't wash your hair, but really, what's the deal with the behind the ear headache? No more. Today let's look at some wraparound headbands. But today we're getting specific: beaded and under $25.

I love the shapes and colors in this piece. The red and turquoise pop against the balancing brown.

Forever 21, Eclectic Beaded Headband, $9
This headband is in the single digits. Look at the friendship bracelet-inspired pattern. I love it.

This is a very feminine headband. Sequins, beads, and a ribbon detail make this a beautiful accessory for work or play.

How about this thicker geometric option? I love the colors and the width of this headband.

Ever since I donated my hair back in December, I've been a headband fiend since it's not quite long enough for a ponytail. The wraparound headband is a great headache-free option!

Be fabulous today!