Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Foodday

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

Champagne Punch
  • 3 tablespoons grenadine
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 3/4 cups champagne
  • Raspberries, apples, or other seasonal fruit
  1. Fill a small ice bucket halfway with ice. Pour grenadine, Cointreau, brandy, and champagne over ice. Stir gently, and ladle punch into 2 wide-mouthed stemmed glasses. Garnish punch with raspberries, apples, or any other fruit in season.
Bacon JalapeƱo Cheese Spread
4 ounces cheddar, grated
4 ounces pepper jack, grated
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons diced pickled jalapenos
1/2 teaspoon juice from jar of jalapeƱos

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with crackers.
Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Poutine
  • 1 cup beef broth, chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cheese curds or diced mozzarella

  • Directions
  • Bring the broth and mushroom to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit until the mushrooms are tender, about 15-20 minutes, before straining the mushrooms, reserving the broth, and chopping the mushrooms.
  • Meanwhile, toss the asparagus and mushrooms in the oil, salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F oven until they start to caramelize, about 20 minutes, mixing half way through.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they start to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the shallot, garlic and thyme and cook for a minute.
  • Mix int the flour and cook for another minute before mixing in the broth and soy sauce, seasoning with salt and pepper and simmering until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Plate the roasted asparagus and mushrooms, top with cheese curds and hot gravy and enjoy!

  • Thursday, August 28, 2014

    Pencil Pusher

    You know what item doesn't get enough credit? The pencil skirt. It's a hard working piece in your closet that can pull a look together in an instant. Think about it: the button down shirt, the cardigan, the t shirt! Slap on the pencil skirt and instant chic. Today we're looking at the patterned pencil. Let's see what a print adds to this staple.

    These aren't polka dots ladies, these are stars. Ha! A gorgeous purple with black stars.

    This color works for fall because its a mustard yellow rather than a buttery yellow. I love it with this soft t shirt.

    Talbots, Textured Floral Skirt, $31
    Originally $110 this skirt is a steal and it packs a punch.

    Piperlime, Three Dots Fitted Skirt, $75
    This is your comfort pencil. No zippers or clasps, just cotton with a hint of spandex.

    Let's give the pencil skirt some credit, it does a lot for my closet, what about yours? Oh and did I mention all of these picks are $75 and under? Not too shabby.

    Be fabulous today!

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    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Laser Removal

    You know I love details. I am a sucker for just that little extra something that gives a piece character. Today we're going to look at a detail that takes time. Something that is more than just a bold color, pattern, or texture. It's the laser cut. Sharp, defined and edgy. Today let's look at some black laser cut tops.

    Vince Camuto, Chandelier Laser Cut Blouse, $84
    Did you think you could classify a top as art deco? Because I'm about to. How sassy is this blouse?

    Nordstrom, Leith Laser Cut Shell, $48
    An eye-catching geo print that is ready for a bandeau or even a button down.

    House of Harlow, Phoenix Tee, $29
    Originally $165. That's right. Thank you Nicole Richie.

    A little boho and ready for your moto boots.

    The laser cut is a great trend and detail that makes quite a statement. While you can wear it in a heel or even a white dress, these edgier black tops are really something special.

    Be fabulous today!

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    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    Feel The Rain on Your Skin

    Does anyone else have a thing for Lauren Conrad? It started with The Hills and then she went all fashion on us and is just crushing it. I'd like to take a stroll down an aisle of Kohl's with you. It is all LC and it is all so good. Her pieces are staples today's picks? Under $40. $40 you guys.

    See what I mean? Simple and staple. Wear it alone or layer a silk oxford underneath.

    I love a nice slug cotton. So soft. I would dress this up for work with a statement necklace and wear it on the weekend as is.

    The question is, when won't you wear this dress? Wear it now with a neon belt and later with brown flat boots!

    But really, can you beat this price for a four season floral peplum?

    LC is just fantastic when it comes to fashion and her prices are even better.

    Be fabulous today!

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    Monday, August 25, 2014

    Top Me Off

    Happy Monday lovebugs,
    I'm feeling ladylike this morning. Girly, flirty, and feminine. One fall bag trend that exudes lady is the top handle handbag. It's very Mad Men chic. Simple, elegant, and under $100.

    Sole Society, Baylen, $49
    This cognac beauty is fall. It's got an equestrian feel and the hardware is just subtle enough to blend in.

    Shop Ruche, Summertime Stroll Bag, $64
    A simple nude bag that you can carry into fall by adding a cool scarf.

    This colorblock vision also comes in a cobalt version but I love this for fall.

    Modcloth, Cobalt Charisma Bag, $65
    And speaking of cobalt how about this sharp number?

    The top handle bag is a simple detail that to me adds just a touch of femininity to your look. Find it in your style and your color but enjoy it all the same.

    Be fabulous today!

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    Friday, August 22, 2014

    Friday Foodday

    Happy Friday lovebugs! 
    I'm off to South Carolina to spend the weekend with one of my best girlfriends. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite recipes this week.

    Demerara Rose
    c/o Fogged in Lounge
    • 4 oz Demerara rum 
    • 1/2 oz lemon juice
    • 1/2 oz lime juice
    • 1/2 oz grenadine
    Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glasses. Makes two.

    Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    c/o Cassie Craves
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    1/2 cup red onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and grated
    1 pound ground chicken 
    4 tablespoons soy sauce 
    1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1 small can water chestnuts, chopped 
    1/3 cup chopped peanuts 
    1 head iceberg lettuce 

    1. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add onion and saute about 2 minutes, then add garlic and ginger and saute another minute. Add ground chicken to frying pan and break apart, then add soy sauce and Sriracha. Cook until the chicken is brown and crumbling apart, and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

    2. While chicken cooks, wash and chop cilantro. Remove the core end from lettuce and separate leaves

    3. When chicken is done, add chopped water chestnuts, chopped peanuts, and chopped cilantro and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.

    4. To serve, place chicken mixture on lettuce leaf and fold the leaf closed to make it easy to grab and eat.

    Peach Cobbler Oatmeal
    • 3 1/2 cups water
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
    • 2 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    • pinch of nutmeg
    • 2 large peaches, chopped
    • 3-4 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup chopped pecans for garnish; if desired
    1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add water and salt. Bring to a boil. Add oats, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
    2. Cook for 4 minutes, or until oatmeal thickens. Add peaches and brown sugar and cook one additional minute.
    3. Serve immediately and garnish with pecans, if desired.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Stretch Your Legs

    A few weeks ago we looked at elastic ankle pants. Those pants are casual but breezy and are perfect for summer casual office wear. Today we're going to step it up a bit: keep the elastic waist but open up the ankle a bit.

    Anthropologie, Tuxedo Stripe Crops, $78  $39!
    Picture this with a simple white tshirt and then picture it with a white oxford and black heels. Versatile and comfy.

    Saks Fifth Ave, Ellen Tracy Wide Leg Pants, $21
    That's right, $21. A delicate tiny dot/floral print makes these crops perfect for work or play because the print isn't distracting.

    JCPenny, Wide Leg Soft Pant, $29 $23
    A teeny diamond print that is work ready in no time.

    Hi, if you need me, I will be in these pants for the rest of forever. Oh I love them.

    Airy comfort that your waist will thank you for. This is a trend I can absolutely get on board with. 

    Be fabulous today!

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    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Monogram Me

    You know when you went back to school and your mom put your name in everything? Your lunch box, the tags of your sweater, your backpack, you name it. If your name was in/on it was all yours; and I feel like that was where my love of personalized things started. This monogram says this is mine, so there. Perhaps its childish or perhaps its stylish, or maybe, just maybe its the best combination of both. Today we're checking out some monogram necklaces.

    How lovely is this piece? I love the light blue canvas.

    I am a sucker for tortoise because you can wear it with anything. This necklace goes with a dress, a tee shirt, or even a suit.

    How about this heavier option? I love the preppy style.

    And now for the classic option. This designed is exclusive to Nordstrom and the romantic script is perfect in silver or gold.

    The monogram necklace is the stylish way to say this is all yours. Personalized jewelry make a great gift for a bride, grad, or yourself.

    Be fabulous today!

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    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Sharpening the Knives

    A very professional and ladylike trend that style that I just love in skirts is the knife pleat. Sharp and sleek pleats that lengthen the length and have a ton of movement.

    An airy midi skirt that is so simple and yet so dramatic.

    This sunshiny skirt isn't just for the warmer months. Pair it with a darker floral blouse for fall and a girly sweater set when it gets cooler. 

    Adorable, party of one?

    Originally $120 this looks like stripes skirt is actually a pink lips print that I just adore.

    Knife pleat skirts hug the waist and legs so you don't have to worry about bulk. Pick soft fabrics that have movement and prints and colors that pop.

    Be fabulous today!

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    Monday, August 18, 2014

    Quilted Perfection

    Happy Monday lovebugs,
    I hope you had a wonderful weekend and now you're ready to take on the week. Today we're going to look at a classic flat that will never ever go out of style. The quilted ballet flat. It is one of those pieces that will stand the test of time in your closet. Seasonless and something for everyone, this flat is a must buy.

    Sole Society, Amina, $59
    Oh my goodness how classic is this shoe? A sandy pink with a black cap toe. Just perfection.

    These are a great run around town shoe. Their rubber soles and cushioned foot bed are great for being on your feet all day.

    Originally $120 this is a must buy for a go with everything shoe.

    Zappos, Vince Camuto Bands, $98
    Oh hi there edgy meets class. A little Vince never hurt anyone, ladies.

    These quilted beauties max out on comfort and style. 

    Be fabulous today!

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    Friday, August 15, 2014

    Friday Foodday

    Hey there lovebugs,
    It's Friday and here are my favorite recipes this week. 

    The Champagne Martini
    c/o The Five O'Clock Cocktails
    3-4 ounces champagne
    3/4 ounce Cointreau
    1/2 ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
    2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters
    Combine Cointreau, Luxardo, and Fee Brothers Peach Bitters in an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir briskly for about a minute with a bar spoon. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with champagne.

    Chicken Fra Diavolo
    1 tbsp olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    Green onion, sliced
    1/2 pound campanelle pasta (or any tube pasta)
    1/2 pound grilled chicken (mine was marinaded in lemon juice and Italian seasonings), sliced

    1- In a large skillet heat the oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant, 3-4 minutes.
    2- Add the tomato sauce and allow to cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes.
    3- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packaging directions.
    4- Stir in the cream and cook an additional 10 minutes over medium/low heat.
    5- Toss in the cooked pasta and grilled chicken. Allow to heat altogether for about 5 minutes.
    6- Top with sliced green onion. Serve hot.

    Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3.4 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Directions
    Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Beat in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla. Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and slowly mix that into the butter mixture until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls (I use a cookie dough scoop) onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Swing Dancing

    As we hang on to the last few weeks of summer I thought we would take a look at one of my favorite dress silhouettes, the swing dress. This shape is the opposite of tailored. It's just what it sounds like: swingy. Loose, breezy, soft and comfortable.

    I'm starting with my favorite. I'm a sucker for green, but check out the movement on this dress. Just beautiful.

    The elusive long sleeve version that has a gorgeous deep scoop back.

    Urban Outfitters, Adidas Tango Swing Dress, $80 $39
    A simple, girly polka dot that I would pair with sneakers and a neon necklace

    Dorothy Perkins, Alice & You Black Lace Swing Dress, $69
    Great details on this little lace number. Wear it now with sandals and later with some sassy tights. 

    A great swing dress is comfortable, versatile and girly. You can also head to the buffet without worry. 

    Be fabulous today!

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