Monday, June 30, 2014

101 in 1001: June 2014

Well, I'm embarrassed to admit how little I accomplished this month. You would think that now that it's summer, I might have some more time to dedicate to crossing off items on my list, but that hasn't proven to be the case. Hopefully I'll have better luck next month!

26. Try 30 new Pinterest recipes. (Creamy Vodka Sauce, Tomato Basil Soup)

36. Watch two other TV series in full I have never seen before (Scandal)

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bermuda Shorts

Top: Gap
Camisole: Calvin Klein
Shorts: BCBG Max Azria
Shoes: Vera Wang
Necklace: Vintage
Watch: gift

This weekend, I set out to take on a daunting chore: cleaning out my dresser. For months, it has been overflowing, and I knew in the depths of some of the drawers were pieces I didn't wear anymore. I found these navy Bermuda shorts while doing so, and put them in the giveaway pile for about two minutes. I couldn't even remember the last time I had worn them, which in most cases, means it's time to give them away.

For some reason though, I decided to try them on. I fell in love again when I noticed they still fit me like a glove, and they were so comfortable. Straight back in the keep pile! Then, it got me thinking of how I could make these work appropriate. At my old job, I would have never worn something like this. Now, I am in such a casual environment, I knew I could get away with these without anyone blinking an eye.

Monday, I decided I would find a way to make them work. I had every intention of sitting out on the patio and getting work done, and wanted to be comfortable in the predictably stifling weather. I knew these would be the perfect thing to stay cool, and paired them with an airy floral-print blouse and some colorful accessories. Now that I have rediscovered these, I'm looking forward to wearing them different ways this summer!
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Creamy Vodka Sauce

Until the last year or so, I never really ate pasta. Yes, really. I know for most people, pasta is a staple in the comfort food group. However, I just never really liked the texture. Then, I discovered all these delicious sauces that go on pasta, and kind of fell in love. I've gone from eating pasta only when it was in soup, to at least once a week.

The first time I had pasta, it was with vodka sauce. All I can say is: love at first bite. I've always used the Prego vodka sauce since it's so easy, but when I saw a homemade version on Pinterest, I had to give it a shot. Surprisingly, it came together very quickly, and tasted about 100 times better than what I've ever bought at the store.

-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 finely chopped medium-sized onion
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 vegetable bouillon cube
-1/2 cup vodka
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
-1/4 cup whipping cream
-3 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
-Parmesan cheese, if desired

1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, and set aside. 

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion to pan, saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add pepper, garlic, and bouillon; saute 1 minute. Carefully, add vodka, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in salt and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15-20 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly.

3. If you have a stick blender, you can puree the sauce right in pan. If you don't, you can use a blender. Just be sure to remove the center piece to let steam escape, and put a towel over the opening to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth, and return to the pan.

4. Mix in the cream, then cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add cooked pasta, and top with basil, and parmesan cheese, if desired.
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Friday, June 13, 2014

Silk Pajama Pants

Shirt: J. Crew
Pants: Pink Tartan
Shoes: Cole Haan
Bracelet: vintage

I've been waiting to wear these silky pajama-like pants forever. Seriously - I bought them back in December when I was in New York for the holidays. When I bought them, I knew I would have to wait until spring until I could wear them, but I didn't think it would be June! I kept holding off because I was waiting for a perfect spring day (and having time in the morning to snap photos), and that just wasn't happening. 

Anyway, can I just say I am in love with these pants? It was just like wearing pajamas around the house, except these are much nicer. I also loved the blue piping that is running down the side of the legs; it creates a nice long line. I paired my new favorite piece in my wardrobe with my gold gladiators, and an embellished sleeveless tank. Now, where can I find more pants just like these? Someone help me out!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dressing Dilema

Dress: Rebecca Taylor
Shoes: Cole Haan
Earrings: Lauren Ralph Lauren

Okay, so I'll be honest: I'm quite a bit behind on my posts. I wore this outfit on Saturday, but am just now having a chance to throw together a quick  post now. I had a busy weekend, to say the least.

On Saturday, I was having a hard time deciding what to wear. Truthfully, when am I not? Anyway, this was a little bit more difficult - my fiance and I were road tripping to New Jersey to meet with one of my clients, heading to a high school graduation party in Pennsylvania, and meeting my best friend for dinner in Philadelphia. Oh - and we expected to spend about 7-8 hours in the car driving to all these destinations. So, I wanted something comfortable for the car, but something cute and bright for the rest of my activities.

After thinking long and hard about something that would fulfill all of these requirements, I decided to just wear something that I felt pretty in, and not worry about comfort in the car. This hot pink Rebecca Taylor dress perfectly fit the bill. I added a simple pair of danging earrings and gold gladiator flats to finish off my outfit. 
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Summertime Sunshine

Dress: Kate Spade
Shoes: Coach
Necklace: Lauren Ralph Lauren

On Friday, I was headed out of the office for a few hours to meet with one of my clients in D.C. I was beyond excited to get away from my dark cubicle, try new food (major perk of working with restaurant owners), and taking a long walk in the sun. It was a picture perfect day, and a great excuse to wear something a little nicer than jeans and a plain t-shirt.

I decided on this yellow floral Kate Spade wrap dress. Just looking at it makes me happier, and I'd like to think it brings a smile to other peoples faces, too. Taking a cue from the bright colors of the flowers on my dress, I pulled out some of my favorite blue accessories: a turquoise necklace, and aqua peep-toe flats. I pulled my hair back in a tight bun so as I wouldn't start playing with it while talking with my client, and added a swipe of black mascara to pull together my look. 

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup

I love slow cooker recipes. Many require little to no real cooking, don't cost very much, and provide me at least a months worth of meals. When I found this one for tomato basil soup, I knew I would have to try it. It's my favorite thing to order when I dine at Nordstrom Cafe, so I was dying for a recipe that I could replicate at home. 

While this one wasn't quite the same, it was still absolutely delicious - I would definitely make it again. It's silky smooth, and it (surprisingly) packed a strong punch of heat with the red pepper flakes. Topped with some freshly grated Parmesan and finely chopped basil, this soup pairs perfectly with a grilled cheese.

-3 tbsp olive oil
-3 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
-2 medium sweet onions, finely diced
-4 garlic gloves, peeled and left whole
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1 tbsp salt
-3 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes
-1 qt chicken broth
-10 basil leaves (more for garnish)
-freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until vegetables are soft.

2. Allow the soup to cool for at least an hour. Then, puree in small batches (2 cups or so at a time), in a blender until very smooth. Serve immediately, or transfer back to the slow cooker and keep on low until guests arrive.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Date Night

 Jacket: DKNY
Dress: Rebecca Taylor
Shoes: Cole Haan
Earrings: gift

The weather this past weekend was absolutely gorgeous. Typically, spring in the DMV is more like a week of great weather before turning into summer, but we've been pretty lucky this year. So, this weekend when my fiance and I made plans to go out, I decided to get dressed up and wear a couple of new spring pieces that I purchased a few months ago.

It's hard to tell in these photos, but the studded dress I'm wearing in these photos is closer to navy blue than the purple it looks in these pictures. Anyway, I stumbled upon it while shopping at TJ Maxx a while ago, and just fell in love. It is super comfortable, had fun detailing, and fits me perfectly. Plus, it was a great bargain, which I can almost never resist. 

Every summer, I end up looking for a new pair of plain gladiator sandals, as I have completely ruined the pair from the previous year. My quality for choosing a pair seems simple enough, but every year I have a hard time finding the perfect pair. All I'm asking for is something that's free of embellishment, has a t-strap, and is in gold or brown. After months of searching, I finally found these at Nordstrom Rack (thankfully, for a much better price). I know they are going to be the perfect sandal for the rest of my summer outfits!
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