Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Buffalo Plaid

Shirt - Old Navy / Scarf - H&M / Leggings - JCrew Factory / Boots (similar save or splurge) - Enzo Angiolini / Bag - Forever 21 / Bracelet (similar) - BaubleBar

Who else is so ready to kick of the holiday season this week? Today is a short day for me at work so I am just itching to get things started. I can't wait for all of the turkey, mashed potatoes, family, and napping. One thing I'm not excited for? Black Friday. As I mentioned last year, I refuse to go out to stores on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving night, as it's started to become). I hate shopping on Friday because I really dislike shopping with the crowds, and I would never, ever go on Thursday because I don't think stores should be open at all - everyone should get to be home with their families. Don't get me wrong though, I am very pro-online shopping this coming weekend. I made a list of most of the gifts I want get for people this year (as well as a couple of things for myself) and am planning on getting most of them on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

So anyway, shopping rant over. I hope all of you have a great holiday weekend. I'm going to be taking a long bloggy break for Thanksgiving and will be back on Monday with a big old weekend recap. 

 Linking up with Random Wednesday and Style Me Wednesday.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dressed Up Sweatshirt

Sweatshirt (similar) - Apt 9 / Jeans (similar) - American Eagle / Flats (similar) - Tory Burch / Necklace and Bracelet (similar) - BaubleBar

The dressed up lounge wear trend has to be my favorite thing right now. I love that it's socially acceptable for me to go out in track pants or a sweatshirt, no matter the occasion (okay, well, maybe not work). This particular sweatshirt caught my eye at Kohl's when I was just supposed to be running in to make a return (whoopsies) and while I've mainly been wearing it while bumming around the house or working from home, I love that it can also be dressed up with some coated skinnies and a statement necklace.

Have you embraced the loungewear trend?

Linking up with #howifall and Trend Spin Linkup.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...Sorted through a bunch of pictures my mom gave me for a wedding DIY and came across this gem. Oh, the bright sweatsuit and matching socks. I truly was a child of the '80s.
...Went out to Nightwood for a little dinner date with Jeff and tried a bunch of their seasonal items, like roasted squash bisque and roasted scallops with apples - yum!
...This was Thursday so not technically the weekend, but met up with a bunch of my former coworkers for drinks at Watershed, a little speakeasy with a huge cocktail menu.
...Dropped off my engagement ring to get it cleaned and resized, and then spent the rest of the weekend thinking I had lost it every time I noticed my finger. I don't get it back until Wednesday :( But on the bright side, we also picked out our wedding bands at the same time!
...Did a little volunteering for Destination Imagination. I was technically teaching at a skills workshop, but really I was just playing improv games with a bunch of little kids.
...Almost failed at filling out another wedding registery - we were at Macy's for about two hours before we managed to scan anything! I just got a little too excited in the Kate Spade china section is all ;)
...Went to a housewarming party for one of my old coworkers who just moved back to Chicago.
...Had dinner at Asian Outpost. It's the second time I've been there and I was still confused by the menu. Sushi next to fried chicken next to ramen next to ribs.
...Started decorating for Christmas, shhhhh, don't tell! I would wait until next weekend, but we have so many activities for Thanksgiving that I don't know when I'd get it done. Of course while decorating I had to watch Christmas movies, it's practically required, right?

I hope you had a great weekend!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Mashed Cauliflower

So I always seem to have this problem, where when I try to cook something really healthy, I end up adding so much stuff to it to make it taste good that whatever I'm making ends up being decidedly not healthy in the end. Such was the problem with mashed cauliflower. It never seemed to have enough flavor and wasn't quite the right texture, so I'd add tons of butter, cream, cheese, and whatever else I could find to the point that it was probably worse for me than regular old mashed potatoes.

Then I found this recipe, which includes a turnip. Yep, you read that correctly. It may have been the first time I've ever actually had a turnip in my life. I was always scared of them because my American Girl doll, Molly, had to eat turnips in one of her books and thought they were awful (I think until her mom added some cinnamon and milk to them and mashed them up? Yeah, I agree, it's pretty weird that I remember that).

So anyways, one of our Plated meals included a cauliflower mash that included a turnip, and it was so good without having to add tons of extra calories to it.  Of course, I added garlic, because, duh, and the rest is history.

Turns out, turnips aren't so scary after all.

Mashed Cauliflower (adapted from Plated)
serves 4

1 head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
1 turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cloves of garlic, whole
2 TB butter
1 TB fresh chives, chopped
Salt and pepper

Add cauliflower, turnip, and garlic to a large pot and cover completely with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to pot. Add butter and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Stir in chives. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Closest I'm Ever Getting to a Crop Top

Top and Jeans - Loft / Booties (similar) - Kelly & Katie / Bag (similar) - Coach Factory / Necklace (similar) and Bracelet (similar) - BaubleBar

Is this shirt anywhere close to a crop top? Definitely not. But it's also definitely the closest I'm ever getting to one. I like that this shirt is a little bit cropped, but includes some sheer fabric at the bottom to help me feel more covered. While the hint of crop did draw me to this top, what really got me was the color combo. I've really been loving black, blue, and navy together lately, something about the mixed neutrals feels very fresh and new to me.

I actually wore this to my sister's housewarming last weekend, but I can also see it wearing it again for one of my Thanksgiving activities next week - lots of space for an expanding waistline ;)

Linking up with #howifallFriday Fab Favorites.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Current Wishlist

(click the images to shop)

I feel like making a wishlist is dangerous at this time of year, because I might end up buying everything on it and leave nothing left for other people to get me for Christmas. I've really into more relaxed silhouettes lately so the drapey tee and striped zipper sweatshirt are really calling my name. I'm also looking for some cozy pieces that can be worn for work or the weekend, and a medium sized bag that I can carry when I don't have to lug my laptop around but still want to carry my iPad. I have a pretty good chunk of my budget for November left though, and am seriously considering blowing the rest of it on this fur vest from Banana Republic. I've heard from a couple of people that it feels really lux, and while I didn't love the fur vest trend at first, it has definitely grown on me. The only thing is, Banana Republic keeps excluding it from all of their sales, and I refuse to pay full price for it just on principle. I do, however, have twenty dollars in rewards right now, so I'm trying to decide whether I'll count that as "on sale" or not.

What's currently on your wishlist?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bringing back the Skirt

Shirt (similar) - JCrew Factory / Vest (similar) and Necklace (similar) - Old Navy / Skirt (similar) - JCrew / Booties (similar) - Kelly & Katie / Bracelet - Michael Kors / Watch - Kate Spade

So I don't know what's been going on, but I haven't shown a skirt or a dress on the blog in over a month. I also realized I've worn maybe one skirt to work in the two months I've been at the new job. I think it may be a little subconscious - for the first time in my working life, my office is primarily guys. It's a tech startup, and out of the fifty or sixty employees there are less than ten women. I think that maybe I was trying not to go too girly on all of the men. Now, that is a very silly reason to ignore the skirt and dress section of my closet and it seems a little anti-feminist to me, so I've been trying to make it a point to wear more of them lately.

I actually think this might be a front runner to wear next week for Thanksgiving. It's a little dressed up but not overly so (our Thanksgivings are usually pretty casual) and something about the plaid and green feels festive. Thanksgivings are always a little crazy for me - this year I'm going to two on Thanksgiving Day, plus another lunch the day after Thanksgiving and a fancy party on Saturday night so I actually need to come up with a couple of things to wear. Having a style blog is actually pretty handy in that way, whenever I can't think of something to wear I just flip back through the archives to find something I like.

Do you plan out your outfits in advance like me, or are you more of a spur of the moment gal?

Linking up with Random WednesdayStyle Me WednesdayStyle SessionsTrend Spin Linkup and Stylish Tuesday.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...Went to Ladies Night at Bottles and Bottega for a friend's birthday, where we painted a nude male model, which was a hilariously awkward experience. There was lots of giggling, lots of wine, and now I have a painting that I'm not exactly sure what to do with...
...Stopped by Gaslight (formerly Mickey's) after our painting sesh, where, oddly enough, I've never been before without my mother. The other bar patrons loved all of our artwork ;)
...Had our Friendsgiving party, I can't believe it's that time of year already! We brought cauliflower mash, which thanks to a new recipe I found that involves a turnip (I promise to share soon!) is one of my favorite side dishes. This year there were not only 44 people, but also a puppy and a baby. Looks like we're growing up.
...Literally spent hours at UPS trying to pick up a package. People steal our packages sometimes, and so the UPS man responds by refusing to leave things without a signature, which meant I waited for over two hours to pick up a $20 package from Forever 21. Maybe I should start shopping in stores...
...Went to a big group dinner at Bistro Dre, where I'm pretty sure we ordered everything on the small plates menu and finished about 12 bottles of wine. I thought it was really good (especially the pear spinach salad!) but that might be the wine talking.
...Went to a little house warming party at my little sister's new place in the 'burbs. Still can't believe she and her hubs bought a house! She's such a cute little adult.

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Shrimp

I saw this recipe for Vegan GF Roasted Red Pepper Pasta on Pinterest, it looked so good that I had to make it for dinner ASAP. The only thing is, I'm not vegan or gluten free, and didn't particularly want to buy almond milk or nutritional yeast for one recipe. So, instead, I quickly went about making it a lot less healthy. Heavy cream? Check. Oh, and I added shrimp, because I'm pretty pro- protein.

I'd never roasted a pepper before and was truthfully a little nervous about it (the last time a recipe called for it, I bought jarred red peppers instead!) but it turns out it's super easy. They just cook in the oven over high heat for a while, then you pull them out and peel all of the skin off and you're good to go.

Jeff said we should add this to our regular rotation, which was basically a standing ovation from him. I'm not sure how often we'll make it because it took about an hour to pull everything together, but damn was this good.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Shrimp (adapted from Minimalist Baker)
Serves 4

You'll Need:
2 large red peppers
8 oz spaghetti or linguine noodles
6 oz frozen shrimp, uncooked and deveined
5 TB olive oil, divided
2 shallots, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or just a pinch if you don't like things spicy), plus more for serving
Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees F. Rinse peppers and place on a baking sheet. Roast 25-30 minutes, until the outside is lightly charred. Remove from oven and wrap in tin foil for ten minutes to steam. Peel off skin (should come off easily) and remove stem and seeds. Set aside.

While peppers are roasting, bring a heavily salted pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, then put back in pot and toss with 1 TB olive oil. Cover the pot and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, defrost the shrimp and then peel. Set aside.

Heat 2-3 TB olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Sautee until golden brown and softened, 4-5 minutes. Season heavily with salt and pepper and remove from pan.

Add additional TB of oil to pan and sautee shrimp until cooked through and opaque, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from pan

Put roasted red peppers, shallot/garlic mixture, cream, and milk in a food processor (or blender if you don't have a food processor) and blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as necessary.

Pour sauce into your pan and turn heat to medium high until sauce begins to simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Add pasta, shrimp, and a little dash of olive oil, and toss to combine. Serve, topping with red pepper flakes, parsley, and parmesan cheese. Like, a lot of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blue & Dots

Shirt - JCrew Factory / Sweater (similar) - Gap Factory / Jeans - Gap / Necklace - c/o / Flats (similar) - Tory Burch / Watch - Kate Spade

Don't tell this sweater, but I thought purchasing it may have been a mistake. I grabbed it in two colors, but was worried the blue was too bright and that I would never wear it. Wrong-o. Turns out its twin, in boring gray, is the sweater that never gets worn, while this bright blue is on a weekly rotation. I think it's mostly because I'm excited to have something that's actually a color to wear. My closet has somehow been taken over by neutrals, it's mostly black, gray, and white these days.

Are you all in neutrals, or is there lots of color in your fall wardrobe?

Linking up with #HowIFall and Friday Fab Favorites.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: Ruffian Nail Polish

I'm weirdly brand loyal when it comes to nail polishes. I only bought OPI for years, and then I switched and now only buy Essie. I'm not sure why this is the case, since I'll try out all sorts of different brands for other cosmetics. Either way, I wasn't giving other nail polishes a chance. 

I'm wearing Lady of the Night - this picture is from day three of wear and still so shiny!

Then my friend accidentally ended up with an extra of Ruffian's Essential Blush Collection and gifted me one. We've both been using them, and I'm basically amazed by the quality. Normally my polish goes on pretty well, pretty evenly. But this stuff is like magic. It really looks like I got my nails done at a salon (except, of course, for the not so perfect cuticles), the color is so even without any streaks or little bubbles. And it is so. shiny. Like, rivaling my Sally Hansen Miracle Gel.

The kit I got includes No More Tears, Love to Love, and Lady of the Night. No More Tears is a really pretty mauve-y gray that I can see wearing year round. Love to Love is definitely the low point of the collection, it's a little too bubblegum pink for me. Lady of the Night totally tricked me, I thought it was a darker red, but it turned out to be a very pretty berry shade once it dried.

Have you tried Ruffian polishes? What's your favorite color?

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