Wednesday, April 30, 2014

101 in 1001: April 2014


I wasn't looking forward to writing this post. As I thought about what I could remember of my list in my head, I was sure I had not accomplished very much. However, as I began going through the list, I was pleasantly surprised by how many things I could cross off! I know some moths will be better than others, but it's all a part of a bigger goal. Anyway, here's what I completed this month.


13. Donate old prom and homecoming dresses to a worthwhile cause.
The only reason this one took me as long as it did was because the dresses were still at my parents house.  So, when I was home recently, I packed them all up to be sent off. I ended up donating them here


16. Bring donuts in for my coworkers.
I had completely forgotten this was on my list! I actually made the cinnamon sugar donuts with every intention of sharing them with my coworkers, so check!

22. Find a new church where I feel at home.
This was an important one for me. In college, I pretty much stopped going to church because I didn't make it a priority and I felt too "busy". However, I knew if I ever wanted to feel at home in Virginia, I would have to find a church. Thankfully, I've started going again, and I am much happier. Thanks to Facebook and the Internet for making it incredibly easy to find a nice one.


25. Get business cards.
I didn't even have to do anything to accomplish this one! While at work one day, the graphics department sent me a proof of my business card to make sure everything was spelled correctly. Shortly after, they were printed, and delivered to me. I feel so professional now that I have these, but I'm not sure if I'll ever use them. Do people trade business cards? Is that a thing?

30. See Bruce Springsteen in concert (again).
I wasn't sure this was ever going to happen again. I was so fortunate to see Bruce Springsteen once, but because of scalpers who buy all the tickets and skyrocketing prices, I wasn't sure I would have a chance. When I found out the closest city he would be in was Virginia Beach (+3.5 hours from my place in northern Virginia), I asked my mom if she was up for a road trip, and I am so glad she agreed. Thankfully, the day of the ticket sales, I was able to quickly score three tickets so my dad come too. We had the absolute best time. I would love to go to another (I know, I know) Springsteen concert in the next couple of years, but time will only tell.

40. Join a group on meetup, and attend at least one event.
Pretty proud of myself for this one! I went out with a group of other young 20 somethings for trivia night at a local restaurant. Although I didn't have an instant friend connection with anyone, it was a fun night, and I would definitely go again.

45. Try five new restaurants. (Burger Tap and Shake, A la Lucia)
This probably would be an easy one for some people, but once I find a place I like, I go there all the time. I'm proud that I finally accomplishes this one - and found some new places to enjoy!

46. Write 10 reviews on Yelp. (Mint Condition)
This is my tenth one, so I can cross this off too! I've definitely become a much better Yelper. Hopefully I can keep it up!
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Movement



Sweater: Kate Spade
Dress: Ralph Lauren Rugby
Shoes: Vera Wang

The weather forecast for the rest of this week looks depressingly wet and dreary, so I decided to wear something refreshingly bright while I could! I found this strapless dress while at home for Easter, and decided to bring it back to my apartment with me. I'm not quite sure it didn't get moved with the rest of my stuff when I moved down to Virginia last August, but I'm glad I found it just before summer started.

For a fun contrast, I paired my dress with this bright aqua Kate Spade cardigan. I love that it has really bold beaded collar, which means I don't have to pick out a matching necklace (although I probably could have added some bracelets or earrings). 
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts


I love donuts. Filled, baked, fried, plain - you name it, I love 'em! So, you might be surprised that I really contemplated buying donut pans for quite some time. They're one of those specialty baking pans that you may not use frequently, and can easily end up being a waste of space (and money) if you never use them. 

However, I've seen so many donut recipes that I have been wanting to try on Pinterest that I just decided to grab two one night while at Bed Bath and Beyond. So far, I am glad that I did! They created perfectly shaped donuts, stack neatly on top of each other, and honestly, weren't even very expensive.

For my first time using the pans, I decided to make cinnamon sugar donuts. These were insanely easy to make, and were absolutely delicious with the touch of nutmeg. Although they were best while still hot, I enjoyed eating these for the rest of the week with breakfast.

For donuts:
-Baking spray with flour
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-1 1/4 cups milk
-2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For topping:
-8 tbsp unsalted butter
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two donut pans well with baking spray. In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.

2. Spoon batter into prepared baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap donuts out onto a sheet pan.

3. For the topping, melt butter into a saute pan. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Dip each donut first in butter, and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.


Donuts after being popped out of the pans. My wells had a little bit too much batter in them, so they spilled over into the middle, and not all of my donuts had holes.

After being dipped in the butter and cinnamon sugar mixture. Yummy!
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Inspired by: Design Darling



Shirt: Theory
Pants: J. Crew
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Necklace: Erickson Beamon for Target

Thank you, Design Darling, for providing a constant stream of wearable inspiration. In one of her more recent posts, she shares a quick snapshot wearing a light blue oxford with bright pink pants. Instantly, I knew this was an outfit that I could easily recreate, so I may a beeline for my closet to pull out everything I would need for the next day. I seriously love when this happens - I save so much time in the morning!

In related thoughts, this morning I was thinking about just how much I love this button up, and how I would like one or two more in different colors. However, I couldn't think of anywhere that I would be able to find something. Most button ups sold at women's business clothing stores (think New York and Company, Express, The Limited), have a slight sheen too them that I just don't like. Any suggestions for where I might be able to find a cotton-like shirt similar to this one?
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2 Minute Peanut Sauce

Weekdays turn me into a terribly lazy chef. I get home from work, and although I'm starving, all I want to do is plop down on the couch in front of the TV to catch up on Scandal or Jeopardy. So, it's my goal to whip something together as quickly as possible so I can do just that.

One of my favorite things to "make" is this incredibly easy Thai peanut sauce. I have it with some leftover rotisserie chicken and a little white rice, and I'm one happy girl. As a kid, my mom used to make me this all the time, and my "recipe" is adapted from my memory of how she used to make it.


Ingredients 
(measurements are approximate)
-1 tbsp of peanut butter
-2 tbsp sesame oil
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-1 tbsp brown sugar
-pinch of sesame seeds
-pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1. Combine all ingredients in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Pop in the microwave for about 45 seconds, and stir until well combined. Done!
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Monday, April 21, 2014

First Impression



Shirt: Delia*s Warehouse Sale
Dress: Lilly Pulitzer
Shoes: Vera Wang
Bag: Kate Spade
Earrings: Neiman Marcus Last Call

I haven't worn this colorful Lilly Pulitzer dress in such a long time! Seriously, I think the last time it was seen on the blog was here, nearly three years ago. I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm definitely not going to let it happen again!

I think one thing that may have stopped me is it that on its own, it's not exactly office appropriate. No matter how casual your office is, strapless is never okay - it's just too much skin. Thankfully, I work in a relaxed enough environment that I knew I could make it work as long as I added some kind of a layer. When in doubt, chambray to the rescue! I debated adding a belt too, but stopped myself and just went for simple drop earrings and nude flats instead. 
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Ballerina Inspired



Blazer: Kate Spade
Shirt: Ted Baker
Pants: J. Crew
Shoes: Vera Wang
Headband: Juicy Couture
Necklace: Claire*s

The weather this week has been all over the place! On Monday, it was beautiful and sunny, and as we near the end of this week we're experience blustery winds and chilly temperatures. Unfortunately, that meant pulling out the winter clothes all over again.

I'm okay with that though - it's really teaching me to stretch out my wardrobe to it's fullest potential. Today's outfit is a combination of some of my most comfortable and versatile pieces: ballet flats, minnie pants, and fitted blazer with a pretty bow back. Maybe it's the soft pink of this t-shit, but today's outfit feels very ballerina like, and I quite like it!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick


A few weeks ago, I received a sample of Rimmel London's new moisture renew lipstick in "As You Want Victoria." I've been meaning to write a review for awhile, but decided to try it out several times before sharing my initial thoughts.

The color is a bright and vibrant magenta pink. It's very color rich and pigmented, and provided me a perfect pout with just one quick swipe. However, one thing I noticed from the get-go is the scent. I don't know how to describe it, but it's very strong, and not very pleasant. It kind of reminded me of an old lady smell? It's the only thing I didn't like about this product.  

Anyway, as the name suggests, the product is very moisturizing. I've been wearing a lot of lipstick recently, and only noticed recently just how drying it can be. It's basically a trade off - it you want long lasting lipstick, it will dry our your lips within a few hours. Not with this lipstick. Not only does it keep your lips hydrated and moisturized, this is a lip product that lasts! Most days I put it on in my car while sitting in traffic (around 7:30 a.m.) and I don't notice any wear until around 4 p.m. Pretty impressive, considering I drink water all day, and constantly am munching on snacks.

Finally, you can't beat the price! For a good quality product, it only costs about $5 (depending wear you buy it). Overall, even though I received this product as a sample from Influenster, I would definitely purchase it on my own. I'm always looking for the perfect shade of brick red, and I think I'm going to have to check out Rimmel London's version!


Here I am after applying my Rimmel lipstick. What a great punch of color!

I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A week in Instagram





It has been a super busy couple of weeks - here are some snaps I caught along the way!

P.S. - Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with me!

1. Enjoying raspberry sorbet from Talenti.

2. Hanging out in DC and eating my lunch on a beautiful afternoon.

3. My most recent manicure in "Borrowed and Blue" from Essie.

4. Playing Stratego on a lazy Sunday afternoon with my fiance.

5. Free cone day at Ben and Jerry's!

6. Fresh flowers in bloom spotted on my evening walk.

7. A great day for mail! My new Jonathan Adler notebook, Kate Spade scarf, and Mario Party!

8. Taking in a view of Virginia Beach before heading to the Bruce Springsteen concert!




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Monday, April 14, 2014

Borrowed and Blue


It feels like it has been forever since the last time I painted my nails! After this manicure about a month ago, I immediately removed the polish once it started chipping, and had every intention to do my nails the next day. Which turned into the next day, and the next one, until it was this week. I guess I've been really wrapped up with my new job, but it takes no more than 15 minutes to do my nails so I have no excuse.

Anyway, this week I used Essie's "Borrowed and Blue" for this super simple manicure. It's beginning to really feel like spring outside, and I was inspired to pull out something pastel for the occasion. Considering how light colored this polish is, I expected a streaky consistency, but I am happy to note it was opaque with just two coats. Since this is pretty plain on its own, I'm looking forward to using this with glitter, or for blue ombre nails! Pin It

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Best of Bruce Springsteen


This weekend, I'm off to Virginia Beach to see Bruce Springsteen with my mom and dad! I am beyond ecstatic, to say the least. I've been a huge fan since my mom would play her CD's while we cleaned on the weekends when I was in elementary and middle school. I didn't know who Bruce was then, but now, I've fallen in love with just about every song, and listening to it always makes me think of my mom.

I saw him for the first time during the summer 2012 when he was at Nationals Stadium, and after that, he left the country to tour in other countries for two years. When I found out he was returning for a brief stint in the good old USA, I knew I had to get tickets, but figured they would probably sell out. However, thanks to my quick fingers, I was fortunate enough to score three tickets very close to the front. That was in late February, and now the big day is almost here!

I decided to put together a playlist of some of my absolute favorites in honor of the upcoming concert. I plan on listening to this on my way to work tomorrow, and then on our way to Virginia Beach (which is about three and half hours from me). If you're not a fan, I encourage you to listen to a couple of these songs and see what you think. On the left, is the title of the song, and on the right is the album it originally appeared on. I hope you guys enjoy!
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pretty in Pink, One Year Later



Sweater: Ann Taylor
Shirt:: I.N.C
Pants: Michael Kors
Shoes: Vera Wang
Bag: Kate Spade

As I was getting ready to write this post, I checked quickly in my archives to see if I had ever titled a post "Pretty in Pink" before. I was fairly sure that I had, and I was right. However, I thought it was funny that the post was published one year and a day ago, so I went back to check it out. Well what do you know, I was wearing the same top a year ago!

Since I was just wearing this to work, I covered up with a lightweight cardigan. Also, I am loving my new Kate Spade cross body with this look - the shade of pink matches perfectly!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nautical Stripes



Cardigan: Lilly Pulitzer
Shirt: Forever 21
Pants: Lilly Pulitzer
Earrings: Charter Club
Shoes: Coach

Happy Tuesday! Don't you just love it when you choose your outfit the night before, and there's no brainpower involved in the early morning hours? I know I do! I was browsing Pinterest before going to bed last night, and found a Polyvore set that was relatively similar to my outfit today (and by that I mean I think there was a striped shirt in it). Whatever, it was enough inspiration to get me off the couch, dig out everything I needed, and lay it out so it was ready for me in the morning.

In other random news - today is free cone day at Ben and Jerry's! My fiance and I are going after work today, and I'm super excited. I hope there's a store near you so you can enjoy a scoop, too!
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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Black Floral



Shirt: Betsey Johnson
Pants: J. Crew
Shoes: Vera Wang
Earrings: H&M

Just another outfit for another day at work!  Normally on Friday my style leans more into the casual side of business casual, but this Friday, I was off to a nice lunch with my boss, so I wanted to look my best. 

I wasn't quite sure what to wear, so I ended up going through the archives of my blog looking for some kind of inspiration (TBH, probably one of my favorite parts about blogging). Finally, I stumbled on this outfit from last summer, and knew it was the just the kind of thing I had been looking for. I switched out my favorite colored jeans for magenta minnie pants and pulled my hair into a sock bun for a slightly more polished look.
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Coral, Aquamarine, and Denim



Jacket: DKNY
Shirt: Bailey 44
Pants: J. Brand
Necklace: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Shoes: Vera Wang

I'm really starting to enjoy spring. The weather is getting warmer (finally), and the sun is up and shining at a decent hour in the morning. Oh, I  couldn't be more excited! This winter has truly been miserable, and I'm so glad that it's really coming to an end.

Today, I was off to work and to play trivia at a local bar near my apartment with my fiance. I knew I didn't need to get dressed up, but I still wanted to look nice when meeting a lot of new people. When all else fails, I know I can count on an aquamarine and coral color combination. The colors together are so bold and vibrant, and complement my pale skin tone very well. To help me feel a little more pulled together, I swiped on a new magenta lipstick from Rimmel London that I received courtesy of Influenster. Hopefully, I will be doing a more detailed post on it soon!  
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Pink



Shirt: Delia*s Warehouse Sale
Camisole: Gap
Skirt: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Shoes: Hunters
Earrings: Charter Club
Necklace: Erickson Beamon for Target

Well, you all know the old adage: "April flowers bring May flowers." Unfortunately, that statement has already been ringing true this spring. I know it's only the second day of April, so I'll stop complaining. Now, although I'm not a fan of the rain, I do love pulling out my bubblegum pink Hunters! Not only are they adorable, they are perfect for stomping through the puddles. 

I've never understood why most people want to wear jeans and sweatshirts when it's raining. Personally, I've always found that when it rains, those are the pieces of clothing that just become glued to your body and become very uncomfortable. Instead, I love pulling out a bright skirt. I stole this one from my mom a couple of years ago, and I love it! Finally, I pulled on my favorite chambray shirt, and left it unbuttoned like a very lightweight jean jacket.
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