Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs but more importantly, Happy Birthday Mom! Here are some recipes my mom would love.

Baked Sriracha Potato Chips
Oh My Veggies
  • cooking spray 
  • 1 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • 1 large Russet potato, washed and cut into 1/8-inch slices (use a mandoline slicer if you have one)
  • salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or oil.
  2. Line potato slices on baking sheets. Whisk together peanut oil and sriracha in a small bowl. It takes a while to fully incorporate the sriracha into the oil--be persistent!
  3. Brush potato slices with sriracha oil mixture and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-20 minutes--baking time depends on oven temperature and thickness of slices. It's really important that after 10 minutes, you check on these every minute or so because they go from perfectly done to burnt really quickly! They'll be done when the edges begin to brown--some parts may still be a little bit soft, but that's to be expected with baked potato chips. Serve right away--homemade potato chips don't store well.

Buffalo Chocolate Sponge Candy
¼ tsp gelatin
1 tsp water
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cups light corn syrup
½ cup water
1 tbsp baking soda (sifted)

Butter a 9x9 pan then dust with flour. Tap out excess flour.  (or line with parchment paper!)

In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1 tsp water and allow to bloom.

In a medium stock pot with high sides, mix sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water together. Heat over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Wash down any sugar crystals from the sides with a wet pastry brush. Clip on candy thermometer and heat to 310° F.  Do not stir after you have clipped the thermometer on, the sugar will self stir.

Remove from heat and let sit for two minutes, bubbling should subside. Add gelatin and whisk, be careful, the sugar syrup will bubble up. Sprinkle baking soda over syrup and whisk vigorously. Return mixture to the heat and whisk for 30 seconds. The sugar will rise up in the pot, a lot!

Quickly pour into prepared pan, it should come out in a big blob. Do not spread the mixture, just let it settle into the pan. Allow to cool completely (about 2 hours or overnight) before removing from the pan.

Either break into odd pieces or cut into squares (this is a messy process!). To cut into squares - using a serrated knife, score the candy at 1-inch intervals. Snap the candy apart at the score lines. Then score and break into squares.
Melt chocolate melts in a double boiler (or bowl sitting above a pot of boiling water). Dip sponge candies in chocolate, tap off excess. Chill in the fridge to set the chocolate shell. Enjoy!

Southern Comfort Manhattan
All Recipes
1.5 oz Southern Comfort
1.5 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes aromatic bitters
1 maraschino cherry

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the Southern Comfort, vermouth and aromatic bitters. Shake for about 15 seconds then strain into a highball glass with or without ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Resolutely Resin

A bit of a science lesson today. What is resin? Well, I'm so glad you asked. Resin is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants that can often harden into a transparent yet glossy solid. Today, we're shopping for some resin bracelets. A solid and sometimes chunky bangle that makes a statement or can be layered with other bracelets.

BaubleBar, Habsburg Bangle, $38
A pinky hue with some antique bling are the perfect combination to add with your standard suit for work.

Downright tropical, am I right? This turquoise and tortoise is not only a tongue twister but also perfect with a more delicate chain bracelet.

Anthropologie, Seven Pearls Bangle, $38
I don't know about you but I'm loving this BaubleBar Anthro collaboration, including this stunner.

How beautifully natural are these bangles? A great set for a casual or dressy occasion. 

The resin bangle is a great and easy option to add on to your arm party or wear on its own. try a bold color or an option that has a great stone. There's a bangle for every style.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Bouquet for Me?

Yesterday we looked at some spring skirts. Today, let's continue the trend and hope for warmer weather. Let's look at some watercolor inspired florals that are perfect for right now. They're graphic and colorful and they are just what we need on this hump day.

Lord and Taylor, Dual Print Cardigan, $55
I'd pair this sweet print with leather pants, because I'm wild like that. And check out the back of this cardigan, didn't see that coming did you?

New York & Company, Floral Soft Pant, $59
I love this mix of black and blue here and the pops of white just freshen it up.

How about a big graphic print? I love the bright colors and midi length of this pencil.

Guys if you need me, I'll be over at because this floral is just perfect. 

Florals aren't just for the middle of spring and summer, try them now with your closed toe shoes and a cardigan. Bright colors will make spring come faster, promise.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Choose Your Own Ending

Hey there lovebugs,
I hope your week is going swimmingly. As spring tries to creep into our weather and our wardrobe, I thought we could take a peek into some light and fun skirts. Pleats can sometimes be seen as boring and school-girlish so why not make them sassy? Asymmetrical hems are a great way to mix up tops and skirts, let's add some pleats to the mix.

Well, I'm obsessed, how powerful yet light is this skirt?

Forever 21, Modern Asymmetrical Skirt, $10 (!!)
Hello lover. Red, sexy, perfect with booties, heels or ballet flats.

Asos, White Skirt with Mesh Overlay, $19
So this was originally $80. Eighty, You think about that. And then buy it.

Chicwish, Wine Red Asymmetric Waterfall Skirt, $39
This skirt really is fluid. The movement gives your whole outfit an airy feel.

The asymmetrical hem is a fun way to dress up your average skirt. These breezy options with a pleat detail are perfect for spring.

Be fabulous today!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Girl with the Pearl

You know what the world needs more of? Pearls. The world needs more pearls. They're classic, innocent, and perfect for every occasion. Trends can come and go but pearls, they're forever. We could easily talk about the pearl necklace, the ultimate classic, but what fun would that be? Today, we're talking pearl rings.

Anthropologie, Double Pearl Ring, $38
Delicate and simple, this adjustable ring is perfect for an LBD or jeans.

A double ring is so unexpected in pearls. New meets old.

Kate Spade, Disco Pansy Mini Ring, $68
This is my favorite. So feminine and so unique!

And a pretty silver option. The twist offers something different, perfect for layering.

Pearls are a timeless piece that can be translated to any style. The standard pearl is beautiful no matter how you wear it, and these rings are something different.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Foodday

Happy friday lovebugs! Here are my favorite recipes for the week.

Southwest Crab Chowder
2 Tablespoons safflower oil
3/4 cups chopped onion
2 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
1 pound small Gold Youkon potatoes (quartered)
3 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine (substitute stock if you don't want to use wine)
1 1/2 cups milk 
1 cup seafood stock (substitute chicken stock if needed)
14 3/4 ounce can creamed-style corn
12 ounces lump crab meat 
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (use more if you like things spicy)
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro


Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the potatoes, stir and cook for one minute.
Sprinkle with flour, stir and cook for one minute.
Stir in the wine and milk. It will start to thicken, then stir in the stock, creamed-corn and chipotle. Bring to a simmer stirring frequently.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Bang Bang Cauliflower
A Taste of Home Cooking

2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup cold water
1 3/4 cup flour, sifted

Bang-Bang Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2-4 teaspoons sriracha, or more to taste

1 small head cauliflower or half a regular head, cut into florets
vegetable or canola oil 
2 scallions, chopped 

Place the egg yolks in a large bowl. Add cold water gradually and blend well. Add the flour all at once and stir briefly so it's all mixed, but still has lumps and clumps. Make the batter as soon as you are ready to start cooking - you don't want it sitting around. 

Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a large bowl big enough to toss all the cauliflower with it later. 

Heat oil in a large pan about 1/4 inch deep. Dip cauliflower into the batter, and then drop it into very hot oil. Cook a few minutes per side until crispy and golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain. Toss with the sauce and top with the scallions

Chocolate Chip Cookies 'N Cream Cookies
Stephanie Cooks Blog
1 box yellow cake mix
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 Dove Cookies & Creme bars (1.34 oz), diced into small pieces

1- Preheat the oven to 350.
2- In a mixing bowl combine the cake mix, baking powder, eggs, and oil. Stir well.
3- Add the chocolate (both kinds) and mix in.
4- Scoop tablespoon sized balls onto cookie sheets.
5- Bake 10 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Doesn't Need Maple Syrup

The waffle knit is such a cozy option for sweater weather. The often thick sweater can be layered with a patterned oxford underneath or dressed up with some big neon bling. But alone, it's simple, classic and so easy to wear.

Anthropologie, Waffled Cowlneck, $59 now $29!
I love this cream sweater because you can pair it with those bold patterned skirts and pants or you can throw it on with jeans and walk out the door. It is so versatile.

Don't pass up this kind of deal. $11 for a bright splash of pink in a great, casual hoodie. Mix this with a navy blazer and jeans.

Forever 21, Easy Waffle Knit Sweater, $11 [sold out, but here is a fab coral option!]
Again with the steal price! This navy option is lightweight and ready for a statement necklace.

This green. Oh this green. It's so cool and easy. I also love the ribbed hem, makes it casual.

Waffle knit is an easy throw on sweater that can ooze effortlessness or add on a statement necklace and its a great canvas. 

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Steady as an Arrow

Something you may or may not know about me is that I am a very proud Pi Phi. Pi Beta Phi has been a large part of my adult life, and something that I truly cherish. One of the symbols or a way to recognize a Pi Phi is her arrow. The arrow is a beautiful way to show perseverance, consistency, and strength. I'm a big fan of this quote as well.

A great way to show off my pride is by showing off the arrow through jewelry, and luckily, you don't have to be a Pi Phi to enjoy the beauty and ferociousness of wearing an arrow, check out these picks.

Planet Blue, Gorjana Arrow Wrap Ring, $40
Simple and delicate, this wrap ring is unassuming but stunning.

I really love this bracelet as a layer piece. Add on a couple of bangles or a heavier metal watch to this light chain bracelet.

Urban Outfitters, Miriam Merenfeld Engraved Forever Arrow Necklace, $59 [sold out! Here is a mini version, or a delicate charm version!]
Originally $140 this made in the USA necklace is great alone or for layering. I would even add a soft string of pears to wear with this necklace.

This is what I would call a grown up best friend bracelet. Buy two, and wear it with one of your best girl. Simple, inexpensive and adorable.

You don't have to be a Pi Phi to wear the arrow and thank goodness for that because the options are fantastic. And to those fellow Pi Phis reading this, ring ching!

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Double Time

Happy Tuesday lovebugs,
I hope you had a wonderful weekend and for those who had a longer weekend, welcome back! Today we're looking at bags that have a very unique coloring. Two tone bags are simple and versatile; they add just a pop of something different to your look that you just don't get with an all-black or all-navy bag. Let's have some fun and look at these eye catching beauties.

Gap, Two Tone Leather Clutch, $29 [sold out but loving this one!]
A sassy little wristlet that is great with jeans when you just need your keys, cards, and phone. 

A zip top bag with winged sides. It's a new classic that is perfect for work. Fits a laptop.

Steve Madden Bbandit, $88
Color blocking never looked more fabulous with this pop of blue! Bring on spring.

Evergreen and hunter green are my go to transition colors for winter to spring. Its a bold statement color, especially paired with this khaki. Gives it a retro vibe.

Two toned bags are an easy way to find a staple bag without spending a ton of cash. Finding the perfect color combination will make it your throw on and go with any outfit.

Be fabulous today!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Foodday

Happy Valentine's lovebugs, here are some holiday inspired cocktails.

Spiked Jones
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole coffee beans
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate-covered coffee beans, chopped

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, 1/2 cup cream, and whole coffee beans. Bring to a simmer, turn off heat, cover, and steep beans for 1 hour. Strain liquid and return to saucepan; discard beans. Bring the milk-and-cream mixture back to a simmer, add chocolate, and whisk until incorporated. Remove from heat; whisk in Kahlua. Whip remaining 1/2 cup cream and the confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form. Divide the hot chocolate between two cups and garnish each portion with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans.

The Monkey Gland
  • 3 oz. gin
  • 1½ oz. fresh orange juice
  • ¼ oz. grenadine
  • 1 dash absinthe
  • Orange peel, for garnish
Combine gin, orange juice, grenadine, and absinthe in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Pink Lady
  • 1 1/2 ounces of gin
  • 1/2 ounce applejack
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, preferably fresh
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/5 ounce (or a couple of dashes) of grenadine
Combine all your ingredients in a shaker without ice. Shake it, shake it, shake it to get the egg well mixed. Now add ice and shake some more. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pucker Up

It's Valentine's Eve and whether you have a hot date or not, everyone loves a good kiss. So pucker up lovebugs.

This ladylike compact is mature and girly. You'll find excuses to pull it out of your bag.

Pac Sun, Shine Lips Muscle Tee, $39
A little edgy but think about pairing this with a magenta cardigan and a leopard skinny belt. Yeah.

Macy's, Guess Printed Tee, $39
How adorable is this tee? I love the blush color and the scoop neck.

The Limited, Kiss Layering Blouse, $49
A sheer tiny print blouse that you can tuck into a pencil skirt, wear with a suit, or layer under a v-neck sweater.

This Valentine's Day put on some gloss or some chapstick and enjoy a good mwah.

Be fabulous today!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Initial Impressions

Personalized jewelry is classic and chic. Monograms are beautiful but they can be expensive. Today we're looking at a great option for you or for a gift. Initial jewelry is thoughtful, pretty, and can be worn with just about anything.

I love this bracelet because its so different. The drop charm is sturdy but delicate. It is a bangle that doesn't make a lot of noise.

Shoptiques, Cursive Initial Necklace, $41
A cursive initial is so unique. A lost art if you ask me. This necklace is dainty and beautiful.

Gorjana Griffin, Alphabet Disc Cuff, $70
A simple but stunning piece that you can wear alone or layer with your watch, bracelet, and any other arm party piece you'd like.

Urban Outfitters, Circle Initial Earring, $4
These earrings won't break the bank and they are just right for skinny jeans and drinks with the girls.

Whether you buy them for your sister, your bff, or your fabulous self, initial jewelry is simple, elegant and timeless.

Be fabulous today!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blue's Clues

We all know that radiant orchid is the color of 2014, but I'm not quite over this beautiful blue. I'm talking about cobalt. It's so rich and eye catching and I can't get enough of it. It pairs beautifully with yellows, plums, and even black.

This strong blouse commands attention. The black lines are cut perfectly, and yet, the shirt is a sheer lightweight material making the top feel airy and feminine.

This statement earring is all you need to complete the perfect lbd look or maybe throw on some jeans and loose blouse with these beauties.

Banana Republic, Lightweight Wool Pencil Skirt, $89
Ok, here's something I will spend on. This is a well constructed pencil skirt in a material that is four seasons. It's fully lined, double vented, and a beautiful alternative to navy.

Ankle pant cords are perfect for this time of year and into early spring. Throw on heels show some ankle and get going.

Cobalt is that perfect shade of blue for all four seasons. You can find it on bags, shoes, clothes, jewelry you name it. Why is it so popular? Because this vibrant color looks great on everyone.

Be fabulous today!