December 12, 2014

December Favorites

ONE Tis the season to splurge on silk pajamas. // TWO Keep your noggin warm for the cold months ahead. // THREE A simple print that would make a great gift. // FOUR MY favorite lip balm in would make a great stocking stuffer. // FIVE The Net-A-Porter sale is still going on, and this gorgeous Tibi blouse is still available. // SIX Snuggle up by the fire, or your TV, in this buffalo check throw. // SEVEN You can never go wrong with a pair of black cashmere gloves. // EIGHT This chunky gold cuff is the ultimate sleek accessory. // NINE Get a jump start on 2015 with this planner. TEN A great pair of feminine loafers. // ELEVEN Festive and quirky.. just my style. // TWELVE The perfect leggings for lounging in on Christmas Day

December 10, 2014

Winter Skincare Essentials

I tend to stick to the same skincare routine year-round, but lately I've felt that my complexion looks a little lackluster. I can almost feel the dry winter air sucking all the moisture out of my skin. It has taken a few weeks to get my new routine down, but I've found a few products that I already love.

Origins: A Perfect World Moisturizer Flaky patches do not stand a chance with this rich moisturizer. It is thick without being greasy and feels light on my skin. It has a mixture of white tea and vitamin C which protect against daily elements like smog and stress, plus a lovely light scent. I apply this at night before bed, but it also comes with SPF if you need a moisturizer for daytime wear.

Origins: Balancing Tonic I've read about this toner for years. It has gained a cult following, and now I understand why. It is great for those with combination skin who still suffer the occasional acne spot (so annoying) because it de-clogs pores without stripping your skin. After applying my skin feels tight, but not dry. I use it twice a day.

CLINIQUE: All About Eyes Over the last few years I've started to notice a few fine lines creeping in under my eyes. This eye cream light enough to layer on, doesn't run in my eyes, and doesn't break the bank. All major winners in my beauty cabinet.

December 9, 2014

Early Winter Playlist

Winter is beginning to creep in, in Central Virginia. Most of the fall foliage dropped weeks ago, and we've already received our second dosage of winter weather. I'm ready to curl up in my fuzziest socks and hibernate until April, but unfortunately life goes on. This mellow playlist makes the grey days a little a little more soothing.

Fireproof // The National 
Fools // The Temper Trap 
Speak in Rounds // Grizzly Bear 
My Silver Lining // First Aid Kit 
Winter Prayers // Iron & Wine 
Please Be Patient with Me // Wilco 
Sleeping In (Remastered) // The Postal Service 
Shuggie // Foxygen 
Kathy's Song // Simon & Garfunkel 
Oh Ho // Andrew Bird 
He Doesn't Know Why // Fleet Foxes 
Lost In The Light // Bahamas 
A Little Lost // Sufjan Stevens 
Christmas // Rogue Wave 
Silver Lining // Rilo Kiley 
One Of These Things First // Nick Drake 
The Greatest // Cat Power 
To Be Alone With You // Sufjan Stevens 
The Past And Pending // The Shins 

December 4, 2014

Style: Plaid Poncho

I was originally skeptical of the poncho trend. They don't really seem that practical, and I was unsure of how I would style them. Then, on a whim, I picked up this Anthropologie Poncho back in October. I'll admit, it didn't get a ton of wear at first. But I've found over the past month that the poncho is a great transitional piece for the up and down weather we've been having in Charlottesville. I goes great with lots of outfits. I can wear it with a simple tee and black riding pant. Lately, I've been pairing it with light sweaters and jeans as the temperature has dropped. When winter comes in full force, I'm looking forward to wearing it with turtleneck and dark denim. 

December 2, 2014

In the Kitchen: Turkey Pot Pie

Are you swimming in a sea of leftover turkey? Good, me too. After the first turkey sandwich I am ready to raise the white flag. Leftovers just aren't my jam. I have to repurpose my thanksgiving leftovers in order to make them palatable. So, on a not so cold fall afternoon I whipped up this pot pie. It was hearty and warm, and had almost no resemblance to our thanksgiving dinner. The turkey sauce made a velvety gravy that I could have eaten on its own. Try out this recipe if you're already tired of turkey. 

Turkey Pot Pie 

2 tablespoons butter 
1 onion diced 
2 celery stalks diced 
2 carrots diced 
1 leek diced 
1 garlic clove minced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms quartered
2 cups cooked turkey chopped 
3 tablespoons flour 
2 1/2 cups turkey broth 
2 tablespoons heavy cream 
1/2 teaspoon thyme 
1 tablespoon fresh parsley 
1 frozen puff pastry 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Add onion, celery, carrots, and leek and cook until slightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for  2 minutes until soft. Stir in flour and cook for another 2 minutes until a paste forms. The flour should become a pale yellow/grey color. Add turkey stock and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add turkey and cook until a thick sauce forms, about 20 minutes. You want it to coat the back of your spoon like a light gravy. Stir in fresh herbs. 

Pour pot pie mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. Top with puff pastry and cut off edges. Bake for 20-30 minutes until puff pastry is browned. Serve warm. 

December 1, 2014

Top Cyber Monday Sales

Ahhhhh, Cyber Monday. Maybe, one of my favorite days of the holiday season. You don't have to fight off masses of people at the mall at Black Friday, and can get the same great deals (sometimes even better) from the comfort of your own couch. Below you can find a list of the best Cyber Monday deals, and a few of my favorite items. Shop happy, friends!

Alice + Olivia- 25% off sitewide + free shipping
ASOS- 30% off everything with code ILOVEMONDAYS
Banana Republic- 40% off everything with code CYBER
Bloomingdales- 25% off regular + sale priced items \
DVF- 40% off select styles
Equipment- 25% off everything with code THANKS
J.Crew- 30% off full priced items + 40% off sale items with code HOLIDAY
Joie- 25% off sitewide with code THANKS
Kate Spade- 30% off everything with code CYBER30
Nordstroms- 30% off everything
Otte New York- 20% off everything
Piperlime- 30% off sitewide + 40% off sale items with code CYBERSALE
Revolve- 20% off final sale
Saks Fifth Avenue- 50% off select styles
ShopbopTiered promotion: 15% off $250, 20% off $500, 25% off $1000
Theory- 40% off sitewide
Topshop- 30% off select styles

November 23, 2014

Style: Grey Turtleneck

It's supposed to be 70 degrees today, but it is definitely sweater season. After surviving the winter from hell last year I swore to stock up on sweaters early on. I recently picked up a few turtlenecks from J.Crew and love how soft they are. They are easy to throw on with jeans, but can be dressed up with a simple skirt too. I know I'll be living in them this winter since we are expecting snow before Thanksgiving. If you can't find me, I will probably be layered in a cocoon of turtlenecks and wool pants by January...

J.Crew Sweater // J.Crew Jeans (similar) // Rebecca Minkoff Bag (similar) // J.Crew Booties (similar

November 21, 2014

Cocktails for Two: Applejack Rabbit

Next week kicks off the holiday season so there will soon be a lot to celebrate. So, take some time this weekend to kickback and relax with an adult beverage before the madness begins. We made this cocktail for the first time a few weeks ago. With a hint of apple from the apple brandy, and slight sweetness from the maple syrup it makes the perfect fall cocktail. Serve it before your Thanksgiving meal to really wow your guests. Plus, if you live on the east coast there should be a variety of local apple brandy's at your liqueur store. Cheers, it's Friday. 

Applejack Rabbit 

4 oz. Apple Brandy 
1 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice 
1 1/2 oz. Orange Juice 
1 oz. Maple Syrup 

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cocktail shaker ices over. Strain into a chilled coupe glasses. 

November 19, 2014

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving used to be my least favorite holiday. I hated the cold weather, overcooked turkey, and constant football watching. I still hate the cold, but a lot of my feelings towards Thanksgiving have changed. My husband and I will be spending our second Thanksgiving together this year, but our first time hosting. Last year, we battled a 25 pound turkey (we restored to dry-brining in a garbage bag) so I feel that we are prepared for any food related catastrophe. I'm thankful that it will be an intimate affair with just my parents and brother. We definitely could not host more than a few people in our tiny apartment. Ultimately, I'm hoping everything goes smoothly, and am looking forward to spending some time with my family. Because, that is what really matters.   

November 18, 2014

November Favorites

ONE I've been coveting these booties for months and they are finally one sale, but still pretty damn expensive. Sigh. // TWO We're hosting our first Thanksgiving this year, and I think a new set of napkins are in order for the special occasion. // THREE This thick moisturizer has become my new go-to in this cold weather. // FOUR Cocktail mixers in cute packaging? Sold. Plus, they are made in Charleston S.C. // FIVE I'm stocking up on cozy knits this season, and this Theory sweater is at the top of the list. // SIX A classic camel coat is high on my wish list. // SEVEN Stay warm in an infinity scarf. // EIGHT A girl can dream... // NINE Make your sweatpants appropriate outside of the house. // TEN Be prepared for the holidays with this charming ice bucket. // ELEVEN Traveling for the holidays? Make packing easy with this leather travel case set. 

November 17, 2014

Style: Cozy Cape

November made itself present this past week. We've been lucky this fall (in my book) with a slurry of warm days, but winter is quickly sneaking in. I can no longer leave the house without a coat, and by the time I leave work it is already dark. Sigh. But winter, I'm coming prepared this year. Last year, I splurged on a down coat, and this year I'm investing in cozy knits and boots. I could sleep in this J.Crew Turtleneck it is so soft. And sure, this cape isn't going to be the most practical piece come February but it is perfect for Sunday afternoons spent cider tasting.

 Anthropologie Cape // J.Crew Turtleneck // Zara Boots (similar) // Gap Jeans // Kate Spade Bag (similar)

October 27, 2014

Style: Olive Blouse

I've been coveting this Madewell Blouse for quite a while. I love an oversized blouse: they are a great juxtaposition to skinny jeans. So, when this one went on sale last week I immediately placed it my online shopping cart. The olive color is perfect for fall, and is light enough for my fair skin (this color tends to wash me out). I'll be wearing booties with this look as the temperature gets cooler, but for now I am cherishing this little Indian summer we've had the last few days. 

October 24, 2014

Style: Sophia Webster for J.Crew

Last spring J.Crew collaborated with Sophia Webster launching a very splurge-worthy collection. Everything piece was unique and beautiful, but sold out almost immediately. Luckily, J.Crew knew they had a good thing going and launched a new collection. I love the deeper tons in this fall collection which are perfectly paired with a Sophia Webster twist. I'm particularly found of this this calf hair pair. Shop the entire collection here.

October 23, 2014

Style: Plaid Midi Dress

Fall is in full swing in Virginia. The Blue Ridge Mountains are at peak foliage, the mornings are crisp, and I am constantly reaching for my favorite plaid shirt. I love the versatility of a plaid shirt, and this plaid dress from Anthropologie is no different. I wore it with sandals in September, and plan on pairing it with boots and a blazer as things cool down. A simple go-to dress is a must have for every season. 

October 21, 2014

In the Kitchen: Apple Tart

Living in Virginia has dramatically changed my dietary habits. Shortly after moving here last summer I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Her focus on sustainable living made me reconsider my constant grocery store runs and year-round grapefruit addiction. My husband and I vowed to only eat 1 pound of meat a week and buy locally sourced produce as often as possible. Some days following these ideals aren't possible, but Animal, Vegetable, Miracle did make appreciate eating seasonally. I'm lucky to live in a county with it's own apple: The Albemarle Pippin. It is crisp and sweet, used mostly for cider, but also makes a delicious tart. Few things seem more appropriate on a beautiful fall day than a local apple, and maybe a little local cider too. 

Apple Tart 

1 cup flour 
1/2 tablespoon sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & diced 
1/4 cup ice water 

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, & thinly sliced 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & diced 
2 tablespoons sugar 
1/4 cup apricot jam 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter, and pulse until butter is the size of a small pea. With food processor running, add ice water and pulse until combined. Work dough on a floured board and kneed into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. 

Grease a 9 inch tart pan. Roll out dough until it is wide enough to fit in tart pan. Roll dough over rolling pin, and place on tart pan. Gently press dough into pan, and remove excess from edge. 

Arrange apple slices overlapping in a circle. Sprinkle with butter and sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 

Allow tart to cool for 5 minutes, and then brush on apricot jam with a pastry brush. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

October 14, 2014

October Favorites

ONE I'm ready to wear gingham year round, and this wool sweater is making it possible. // TWO This deep conditioner makes coloring your hair and daily blow-drys possible. // THREE Who says wide brimmed hats are just for summer? // FOUR Nars launched a new line of lipsticks- I'm particularly found of 'Anna'. // FIVE This oversized turtleneck is perfect for those crisp fall days. // SIX Make your whole house smell like fall with this pumpkin scented candle. // SEVEN The perfect pair of pale pink pants, and they are  under $100! // EIGHT This light grey bag is worth the splurge. // NINE I'm going to try mulling my own wine this year- hopefully this spice mix won't fail me. // TEN Hello, lovely. // ELEVEN Feminine meets masculine in these monk-strap loafers. // TWELVE Even your clutch can be plush this fall. // THIRTEEN Half coat, half cape, totally awesome. 

October 13, 2014

Style: Apple Picking

Will and I went apple picking at Chiles Peach Orchard a few weeks ago. Although the apples weren't quit ripe yet, we had a great time walking down the apple rows and drinking cider. It was a little crisp that day so I wore my J.Crew Turtleneck. This is my first turtleneck purchase since elementary school. I wore a lot of white turtlenecks with sweaters back in the day, and they weren't pretty (hello 90's). After last winter, I'm ready to invest in any piece that will keep me warm. So, I'm looking to add a few more turtlenecks to my wardrobe this year. Giant knit turtleneck, I'm looking at you... 


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