Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sequins and Pearls



Shirt: J. Crew
Skirt: I.N.C
Boots: BCBGeneration
Necklace: Claire*s

What was I just saying the other day? Oh, yea that I'm so over wearing dark, somber colors just because it's fall? Right. Well here I am, back in black. Here's the thing though, sometimes I just have a craving to pull out some glitzy sequins. And personally, I've found that wearing a bright piece with a sequined piece just competes too much for my liking. So, black it was. Of course, no outfit is complete without a long strand of pearls. Happy Halloween!
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting


I'm a big fan of cupcakes. While I'm fully aware that they've been out since about 2011 and cronuts are much more of a "thing", I still love every last crumb of them. Then, when I found out my office was doing a cupcake bake off last Friday, I was ecstatic to participate! I would be able to finally try this recipe I've had pinned forever, without having to eat all of them myself. 

Overall, I found this recipe to be relatively easy. They cooked well, and I only made a slight modification to the original cupcake recipe. Read below to check it out!

Ingredients:

For cupcakes:
-2 cups all purpose flour
-2 tsp. of baking powder
-1/2 tsp. of baking soda
-1/4 tsp. of salt
-1 tsp. of cinnamon
-2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
-1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
-3 eggs
-1 15 oz. can of sweet potato chunks
-6 tbsps. of maple syrup
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with liners.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk with a fork, and set aside.

3. In your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed, until light and fluffy (about three minutes). Beat in the eggs one at a time, just until combined.

4. Remove sweet potato from can, and mash the chunks until smooth and well combined. Add to the mixture with maple syrup and vanilla extract. Bring down the mixer so it's on low speed, and slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet mixture.

5. Fill cupcake liners about two thirds of the way full, and bake for 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure they are cooked evenly. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

For frosting:
-4 egg whites
-1 cup of sugar
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
-1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a bowl set over a double broiler. Whisk the egg mixture completely over simmering water until the sugar has completely dissolved, and the mixture is hot (about 5 minutes).

2. Pour the mixture into your mixer fitted with a whisk attached. Start on a slow speed, gradually increasing until medium high speed. Add the vanilla as the mixture thickens. Mix until stiff, glossy peaks form (about 5 minutes). Empty the frosting into a piping bag, and ice away!
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Polka dots and peplum



Shirt: C. Wonder
Skirt: I.N.C
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: Neiman Marcus Last Call

I feel like I have been wearing a lot of muted tones recently, and I don't like it. Okay, I did find one exception, but that's really the only one. Seriously though, there's just been way too much black, navy, and gray in my daily outfit wear, and it's not at all okay. So, I pulled out this bright cobalt peplum skirt, and decided to change that today.

To keep my look extra bright, I paired my simple skirt with this fun pussy bow blouse. I love that the multi-colored polka-dots make this top super versatile, and makes for easy matching on dark mornings. I added on my favorite earrings at the bottom, and slipped on plain nude pumps to keep my outfit from being too busy for my liking.



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Monday, October 28, 2013

Peacock Mindset



Top: Single
Camisole: Gap
Pants: Mavi
Shoes: Minnetonka
Earrings: gift

The peacock color combination is probably my all time favorite. The shades of blue, deep purple, turquoise, gold - all of it. The best thing about this diverse pairing? It's easy to find a match for just about anything in the color scheme. 

Like this top, for instance. It can be paired with dark washed denim, my favorite royal purple pencil skirt, or olive green skinnies, as seen today. And just by switching up my bottoms from what I normal wear with this top, I felt like this outfit had a totally different vibe. More bohemian, less office-y (I know, not a word). As a result, my fringed boots were absolutely appropriate. 

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Mixing things up



Jacket: DKNY
Dress: Diane von Furstenberg
Earrings: H&M
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Belt: off a Tory Burch skirt

Sometimes, I have a difficult time thinking of inventive ways to wear dresses with bold prints. I have a tendency to just let the pattern stand for its own, avoiding any flashy accessories or extra embellishments. Once I pull out the dress, I find a pair of coordinating pumps, and call it a day.

Today, was a step in the right direction. The last time I wore this dress was here, and I was honestly avoiding wearing it again because I couldn't think of anything extra I could add to mix it up. Then, I found this velvet dark blue ribbon in the back of my closet, and thought it just could work to transform my dress. Sure enough, I was right. Once I had that tied in a neat bow, I decided to go for a red, white, and blue color ensemble - one of my favorite pairings.  Sure, it's probably not a major transformation for most people, but just belting my dress at my waist, I was able to see this dress in a whole new light.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear minnie pants, I love you.


Sweater: Lilly Pulitzer
Shirt: Ralph Lauren
Pants: J. Crew
Shoes: Lucky Brand
Necklace: Claire*s

I know I've raved about the minnie pants from J.Crew many a times on my blog. What can I say, they are one of my fall fashion staples - versatile in the office, on a date, or for all day classes. They can be easily tucked into your favorite pair of riding boots, have the perfect amount of stretch, and come in a wide variety of colors. I already own a pair in navy blue, black, and tomato red. But then I found a pair in magenta on sale, and I had a coupon for an additional 25 percent off. I could not resist. Pink minnie pants? Yes, yes, yes!

As the weather has been getting pretty cold, I decided to bundle up with some layers. This aqua cable knit from Lilly Pulitzer paired with a basic white oxford from Ralph Lauren kept me warm all day, all while still looking polished and pulled together. I kept accessories to a minimal to keep things from looking too bulky, and  tucked my long strand pearls under my shirt collar. Today's look is ultra preppy, but I'm looking forward to wearing them with just about every top I own!
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A week in Instagram





 I'll admit, it's been awhile. I love in Instagram, but the fact that it crashes nearly every time I try to upload a photo (thank you, iOS 7), I haven't been using it as much as I've used to. Anyway, here's what things have looked like over the last two weeks.

P.S - Stay up-to-date with my by following me on Twitter or Instagram!

1. During hurricane Katrina, my Dad cut out just about every headline and saved them (don't ask why..). Anyway, the other weekend while cleaning out his desk, we found them. Thanks, Dad.

2. My favorite fall candle: cider donut.

3. The only good thing about coming home late from work is seeing sunset on my drive home. Absolutely gorgeous.

4. After raining for four days straight, you think I would be sick of my bubble gum pink Hunters. No way!

5. My Humans of New York book that I pre-ordered back in July finally arrived. Worth every single penny.

6. I get so much free stuff at work, it's kind of crazy. This week? This neon pink watch. I love it! Perfect for any #armparty

7. Feeling bright and cheery on a damp fall day with a cableknit, minnie pants, and riding boots.

8. One of my favorite things about fall? Stepping in the most crunchy leave while walking.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mad for Plaid



Shirt: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Pants: J. Crew
Necklace: Claire*s
Shoes: Coach

I've never really been a big fan of plaid. On other people, yes. Actually, I always love how other people choose to style it. But for myself? It always seemed too country bumpkin. Like I was trying to hard. I'm a city girl, true and true, so I never thought this trend was going to work for me. This shirt though (stolen from my mom), makes me feel differently.

First of all, it's made of silk - and it feels like it. The best thing about this shirt though is the abundance of bright color. Sometimes, I think a lot of plaid looks faded and washed out. Maybe because most plaid shirts are cotton? I'm not quite sure. Anyway, with so many different colors, this could be easily paired with so many different colored bottoms. With that being said, I stuck with boring black today. 

I finished off today's preppy look with patent-leather pumps, multi-stranded pearls, and a sleek ponytail. I love how this turned out! Thank goodness for my mom, though, seriously. If it weren't for, I would never try wearing anything outside of my comfort zone.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Plum and Leopard



Sweater: Burberry
Skirt: L. K. Bennett
Necklace: Kate Sapde
Shoes: Coach

It's been a little more than a year since the last time that I wore this outfit, and it's incredible to think about what has changed since then. When I last wore this, I was interviewing for a position that I couldn't dream about doing now. It's hard to believe that what felt so right then, would ever feel so unimaginably wrong. 

But you know what? A year later, I still absolutely love this outfit. I love how the leopard acts like a neutral, even though most people would argue otherwise. I love how light this sweater feels, and the silky, soft peplum layers. The only thing I changed this time around was adding my favorite pink-toned necklace. Sometimes, good outfits are worth repeating. 
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Black Out and Such a Go-Glitter



This week, my nails remind me of a pretty, starry night. One of those late summer nights that when you look up, the sky is the darkest shade of black, and the stars twinkle in the sky, almost winking back at you. It's beautiful really, and extremely rare in the later months of the year, which makes me appreciate this week's manicure that much more.

For my base, I used Sally Hansen's "Black Out". With just two quick swipes, your nails are pure black - no streaks, like a lot of other black nail polishes I've tried. For the 'stars,' I used "Such a Go-Glitter" from the Nicole by O.P.I collection. It's a sheer jelly based glitter on it's own, but layered over just about any other color, is a completely different look. I think for my next manicure, I'll pair it with a similar solid blue. I can never get enough monochrome!
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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Currently...


It rained all day today. And to be frank, it sucked. I buttoned up my raincoat, slipped on my sturdy Hunter books, pulled out my zebra umbrella, and still managed to get drenched from head to toe in my 30 second walk from the parking garage to the office. But you know what? There's a silver lining to every day, no matter how sucky. So that's what today's post is going to be about - not the crappy weather.

Within the last couple of weeks, I have realized just how much I look forward to Thursday nights. It's right on the cusp of the weekend, and puts me in the best mindset to work my butt off on Friday. While my fiance heads off to his late night grad class, I savor every moment alone in my quiet apartment. I read trashy romance novels in peace, take a steaming hot bubble bath, or paint my nails with glitter polish. It's the absolute best, and just what I need after a long day at work. Here's how my Thursday evening is shaping up...

Currently...

Watching...?

Just finished an episode of Four Weddings! And possibly Pawn Stars next. 

Reading...?

Fifty Shade Darker. Don't judge me, I just want to read the series to know what happens and try to comprehend the hype.

Smelling...?

A burning cider doughnut candle, and my chili cooking in the crockpot for the cookoff at work tomorrow!

Eating...?

On the menu: grilled cheese, refried beans, and maybe some Ben & Jerrys? Can you tell I'm only cooking for one?

Wearing...? 

A white camisole from Gap, black Juicy pajama pants, glasses, and my rings.

Drinking...?

H20!

Nights like these are the absolute best. They help me appreciate just how blessed I am every single day. Cheers - hope you're having a good night!

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cream and Black


Shirt: Forever 21
Pants: J. Crew
Shoes: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Earrings: Gift

One of my favorite things about writing a fashion blog is that when I'm in a style rut, I go through my archives for new inspiration. Today was one of those days, so while sitting in my robe this morning, I went through all my outfits that I've worn in October over the last couple of years, and stumbled upon something relatively similar to this. 

Around this time of the year, I always find myself drawn to neutral and earth tone colors. Dark skies in the morning, rain all day, and colder temperatures will do that to you, I think. This cream colored lace top that I got my sophomore year of high school (we're talking 8 years ago, people), perfectly fits my neutral color palate bill for the fall. Paired with sleek stretchy back minnie pants and fun statement earrings, I felt pulled together for a long day at the office. 

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Pavlova with Blueberry Jam


Last weekend, I had a Pinterest party at my apartment with some of my girlfriends from college. We always have the best time trying new recipes, catching up on gossip, and playing lots of games. For the occasion, I decided to make pavlova with blueberry jam, a recipe I found originally here. I was quite please at just how easy these were to make, and enjoyed eating them even more. Keep reading below to see how you can make them on your own:

P.S - The only thing I was unhappy with was that my meringues had bubbles in them. I think the mixture wasn't thick enough - does anyone know what might have happened?

Ingredients
-6 egg whites
-1 tsp cream of tartar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/4 cup of sugar

-1 cup of fresh blueberries
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup lite corn syrup
-juice and zest of one lemon

1. Set an electric mixer to medium, and whisk together egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt for about 3 minutes. While the mixer remains on, add the sugar, little by little, until the meringue is stiff and can form stiff peaks. 



2. Spoon on big dollops of the meringue onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper (note how I missed this step), making little bowls in the meringue to hold the jam. Bake at 250 F for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pans halfway through so they bake evenly.

3. While the meringues bake, combine the blueberries, sugar, corn syrup, and lemon in a small pan over medium heat. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, so the mixture just boils. Remove from the heat, and the jam will thicken as it cools.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cool Blue



Cardigan: Kate Spade
Dress: Tahari
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: Neiman Marcus Last Call

I work less than a mile away from my favorite mall in the entire world, Tysons Corner. I've been going there since I was 12, even though it was more than an hour away from my parent's house, and it just never gets old. And sometimes, after a particularly trying day at work, I can't resist stopping in to window shop. Last Friday, was one of those days. Actually, it was more like one of those weeks. But I digress.

While waiting for my fiance to meet me for dinner, I decided to wander around Bloomingdale's and check out the clearance racks. Although I walked in to the dressing room with a huge stack of clothing, I didn't think that this plain dress was going to make the final cut. In the end though, it was the only thing I walked out with. The cut is simple, it's the optimal shade of blue to complement my ivory skin tone, and the subtle stitching on the body defines my shape perfectly. For a fun contrast, I applied a deep red lipstick and did my nails with tomato-red polish. This look seems more like something I would wear in the middle of winter (albeit with a heavy coat, of course), but it seems refreshingly cool right now.
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