Monday, September 26, 2016

September Fashion Mags & Dragon Fruit Smoothie Recipe

So September is my birthday month.... Things that come to mind: end of summer, back to school, NY Fashion Week and of course the thickest and most fabulous magazines of the year!

iPhone 6 case from Sonix
So fitting that SJP was on the cover, as I recently opted to re-watch Sex & The City from the very beginning. What a rush of nostalgia for that time in my life when this show was a staple and years later New York was my home. Also, I cannot get enough of the clothes!

I digress, back to the smoothie. When I'm in the mood for something to snack on that's a hint of sweet and still relatively healthy, I make a smoothie. My mom got me hooked on these AMAZING dragon fruit frozen packs from PITAYA Plus! Not only are they packed with fiber and vitamins, they give your drink the most gorgeous color. Who says your food can't be pretty?

Pro Tip: I like to slice bananas that are starting to spot and freeze them for an easy ingredient grab. For this particular smoothie I used a pack of dragon fruit, a handful of fresh blueberries. Some strawberries that I bought way too many of and at least had the foresight to slice and freeze. Some ice and a 1/4 cup of orange juice.The juice gives the smoothie a nice tangy and refreshing flavor.

Find 'em in the frozen department at Sprouts
Play around with smoothie combinations until you find one that makes your taste-buds sing! Another alternative would be to use coconut milk or an almond milk to give your smoothie base a more creamy texture. When I'm really craving sweet & creamy I like to add a container of So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Yogurt (in the strawberry flavor).

I know not everyone has access to a Sprouts, so to learn more about where you can find these yummy packs-- click here.

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

From Day to Night: Plain White Tee & Sequins

Okay, picture this: (makes sweeping hand gestures) you want to go out on the town on a whim but you don't want to put in the effort to really "get ready". Sound familiar? Well, don't even fret about it! All you need is something with a little shimmer and shine to spruce up even the most basic outfit.

White Tee from Socialite, Nordstrom Rack

My day outfit was a pair of skinny jeans and a comfy cute basic white tee. Not exactly night on the town or after work drink attire, meh. My solution? I reached for one of many sparkly toppers to see if I could pull off a quick transition that wouldn't require gobs of time getting ready.
The result? Pretty darn chic if you ask me.

Blazer: Oscar De La Renta,Vintage. Found one on etsy, click here

I opted for a thrifted, vintage Oscar De La Renta blazer dripping with sequins, a fun clutch I had purchased for a holiday party a few years back and some knock-out glamorous J. Crew statement earrings.

Earrings, J.Crew
 Chances are you have some if not all of these key pieces to take a casual look into night in a snap. Your blazer doesn't have to be covered in sequins, any topper can really bring the look into more of an evening look and you'll get the added benefit of warmth if the night brings in a cold front. You could wear a statement necklace in lieu of earrings and instead of a clutch you could change your shoes. By adding one or two more pieces to your basic day time look you can easily elevate your outfit to happy hour status.

What are your go to pieces for transition from day to night?


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Off the Market: For Real Though

Some time has passed since I last posted and let me just say, A LOT has changed!
Towards the end of May, my mom came out for a much needed visit (I am such a "Momma's Girl", is that even a thing?).
The plan was that we were going to go wedding dress shopping. Yes, wedding dress shopping on a holiday weekend. BTW, if you do that- check the bridal shop's holiday hours, a lot of them may be closed on Mondays in general and then an additional day for holiday observances.
My ideal shopping experience would have been to go to a traditional bridal boutique first to try on a few different styles of gowns and find out logistics on ordering and receiving. The next step would be to check out a sample boutique for a one-of-a-kind, off the rack find. Well, that was not the case for this wedding dress excursion. I had previously tried on dresses when we first moved to Virginia (this was approximately 5 years ago and 25lbs heavier) it was fun but nothing struck me as "oh my gosh yes, bring on the tears." Needless to say we didn't actively plan a wedding either, so no bigs. 
Fast forward to moving to the West Coast, my fiance and I decided that we realllly needed to make this official even if we decided on a small elopement with just our parents in attendance (they'd never forgive us otherwise). So that's when I told my mom "enough is enough, this ball will get rolling once I have a dress." Nothing like an emotional and financial commitment to really light the fire.
Once I found out about the prospective shops' hours and my requested PTO that really our only option was to start at the sample boutique, we were off cruising down the 101!

We found street parking right in front of Glamour Closet in WEHO (great news ladies, they have locations in West Hollywood, San Francisco, Chicago & New York). The Glamour Closet specializes in sample gowns, they're new but may have a little wear in tear if they were floor samples versus overstock. How it works: they ask a few general questions and then give you a little pouch with clips to add to the hangers of 8 gowns you are interested in trying on. You should really know your body type and what will look good on you when you can only try on so few. Luckily, I know what I like and what I don't. I also was intensely focused and refused to even tempt myself in to trying on any gowns priced over my budget-- not even for fun. There would be nothing worse then falling deeply in love with a dress and then into deeper debt over said dress. I steered clear and stayed within my budget (pats back- so proud).

I quickly narrowed it down to two gowns and of course they were completely different in every single way possible. One was a stunning matte silk fitted gown with amazing embellishment at the waist and a fantastic wow element in the back. The downside was that it pulled in the thigh area and I ended up passing on it as I didn't want to give myself the unrealistic pressure of trying to size down to "hopefully" make it fit in a way that would make me feel confident and beautiful. It pained me to let it go but really it was the fantastic back detail that had me so obsessed.
Next up is a dreamy traditional ball gown layered in gobs and gobs of ethereal tulle. It felt like it weighed about 20 pounds, no joke. My mom got all weepy and said I looked like a bride. I was loving it and the belt really made my waist look svelte, which is a total bonus. I just didn't know if I should commit on such a whim and without trying on any other options at other bridal boutiques. The plus was it fit me off the rack, the length and the bodice fit perfectly. So I knew that if I took it home that day I wouldn't have to worry about altering it to fit- which is relieving in its own right.  I played and played with this gown and tried the other front runner on to narrow it down. I needed to know that if I was leaving there with a dress, that the tulle confection would be it. The beauty of this dress is that it had tulle straps with stunning embellishments on the shoulders and it came with an embellished belt (which on their own can run you some serious dough). You could layer the belt under the tulle for a subtle look or tie it over the tulle-- so many options! I tucked the straps into the bodice to see how it would look strapless and that is what I think really did it for me. The construction of my desired sweetheart neckline was there-- all I need was to have the straps tacked down and voila a strapless dress!
So after some serious mirror time with classic back and forth- back and forth- I pulled the trigger.

The detail and the tulle

Purchased and buckled into the backseat of my car (it was that pouffy) was my wedding dress.
I had the future groom, now all I needed was to plan a wedding.....

Photography by Ben & Kadin Godwin

Photography by Ben & Kadin Godwin | Re-crafting of Belt by Mindy's Alterations in Newbury Park

Tips on Buying Sample Gowns:
  • Try on gowns elsewhere before going so you have an idea of what style looks best on your body type
  • Have a wish list of must haves: ie: neckline, fabric, price point
  • Do a quick search on the gown to make sure you are getting a fair deal-- I feel like mine could have been priced more reasonably- (note: they do not negotiate at Glamour Closet)
  • Inspect the gown carefully for any flaws- they're off the rack so what you see is what you get and they are FINAL SALE
  • Keep an open mind, an amazing seamstress can make magic happen
  • Be willing to commit or walk away (if you decide to leave empty handed- ask yourself would you be devastated if you came back tomorrow and it was gone)
  • Don't let the uniqueness of the shop having only "one" suck you into making a purchase you are not ready to make- consignment and samples can really mess with your mind and make you think you need it because there is only one available in your size
  • I'm sure I have more tips so feel free to shoot me a message if you want to pick my brain :)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thrifting Thursday

I thought I'd start a new kind of post, one that shares thrifting treasures, because who doesn't like to score something rad for a fraction of the original retail?

I found myself with some extra time last week and thought I'd pop into the tiny thrift store that is , <gasp> within walking distance from our place. I've lived here for coming up on a year and I had yet to set foot inside! Most of that was due to the move and realizing I had too much stuff and adding more didn't seem like the best idea. Anyway, some time has passed and my thrifting urges needed to be satiated (yes thrifting can be addicting). I gave my self a budget and went inside! Let's just start by saying they had a Milly dress for only $10, a J.Crew blouse in like new condition for $6 and Facconable button downs for $3.50!! Say what?! Obviously the whole store wasn't at that level, but there were definitely treasures to be had!

I settled on this vintage and anthropolgie-esque mini vase.

Cutest thing ever, right? Rang in at 4 bucks! Best yet, it doesn't take up that much room <happy dance>.

Now to get some fresh cut blooms to fill it with...

Monday, May 4, 2015

OOTD: Casual Friday

Sock Bun is on Point- Ah Yeah!

 Nothing says casual Friday like some sweet denim. I have been waiting to bust out this denim topper for a while now, and last Friday was THE DAY!

Jean jackets are the best way to layer over a sundress on a cooler day without having to revert to the oldy but goody- cardigan. They're also great for hanging in the closet and reminding you that you have impeccable taste in denim.

This Anthropologie purse has been collecting dust- so it came out to play
I love this jacket because it has subtle fading and whiskering, making it a more modern take on the American classic-- thanks J. Crew!

I'm dying to know where your favorite jean jacket is from and please, please let one of them be an acid wash original! <fingers crossed> Leave me a comment or shoot me an email.!
Thumbs: Professional Yorkshire Photo Bomber

Outfit Details: Dress- Target (old), Denim Jacket J.Crew (similar here), Earrings- Francesca's, Purse- Anthropologie

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Homemade Pancakes and Hello Whole 28

 Ugh hate to admit but moving to California has accentuated my curves and my appetite for yummy but not so great for you foods. I blame eating out more often, my compulsive baking and Coffee Bean. Oh and instead of hitting the gym 6 days a week; I'm down to 4-- if I'm lucky. But about that Coffee Bean... Don't get angry but Starbucks confectionery drinks are kind of gross- coming from a dessert junky-- they are just too sweet! Shocking, I know. However, Starbucks serves me on the regular with the strongest kick in yo' butt iced coffee occasionally with the extra shot- <wide awake>
But Coffee Bean makes my knees weak and my taste-buds sing. All sweet in all the right ways and no strange after taste- pure perfection when you want a sweet sipper. Interestingly enough my timing is not because of the New Year "resolution" fad, but a realization that the healthy eating habits need to be reinforced. So my girl J and I agreed that once we returned from CES paleo would start THAT Monday. Since this pact to do paleo was more for healthier eating habits and feeling an overall sense of well-being versus weight loss- we decided to do the Whole 28 instead of 30 ( plus it was in honor of February- being a short month and all <wink>!)
Sunday morning I had one last small indulgence, homemade blueberry pancakes topped with fresh fruit and maple syrup from my family's farm in Vermont. See below for the recipe- and if you want to order some syrup shoot me a line!

Want to know more about paleo? I did it before and it was one of the best things I could have done- and to be completely transparent I modified it for me- at the end of the day you know yourself the best so don't follow these guideline to the T- however you definitely should not be consuming sugar, processed foods, or dairy products (just saying). I previously did a post at my last company on the book It Starts With Food <click here for my synopsis>- and that's what inspired me to accept the challenge. Maybe you will too?

So see you later sugar- I'll catch you on the flip side.

{Ready to reset and keep being awesome}

Homemade Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( make it even better with 1 cup all purp. and .5 whole wheat flour)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (I use skim)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or substitute and use lemon juice and some zest)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup of fresh and washed blueberries

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour wet ingredients (milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter) into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth.
*If the batter is thick and you don't like your pancakes "cake-y" add more milk (or water) two tablespoons at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Over Medium-High heat- heat your pan or griddle- add spray or a small bit of butter to "grease" the pan. Pour batter to desired amount (do you want large pancakes or small medallions?- the choice is yours!) Drop in as little or as many blueberries into the poured pancake- my magic number is usually

Cook until you see bubbles, then flip- make sure both sides are golden brown and that centers are cooked through!