April 28, 2014

April Favorites




ONE A pair of pleated shorts that actually look pretty cute. // TWO Freshen up any outfit with a straw hat. // THREE I recently purchased this bubble bath, and love it's clean scent. // FOUR Everything you need: highlight, blush, bronzer. // FIVE A leather clutch under $30. // SIX I am obsessed with everything Rebecca Taylor is producing right now. // SEVEN A light, sweet candle perfect for spring. // EIGHT Midi skirts are a must have, and this one is my current favorite. // NINE Slide these on with shorts on dresses all season long. 

April 25, 2014

Friday Favorites: Sophia Webster for J.Crew




ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR

Shoesssss.... Need I say more? I'm keeping it short and sweet this Friday because it was a long week. Sophia Webster for J.Crew launched earlier this week, and it was everything I dreamed it would be. Classic J.Crew shapes with punchy patterns and colors make for the perfect combination. For now, they are only on my wish list. Maybe I will get lucky when they go on sale (if there are any left)! 

April 24, 2014

Cocktails for Two: Hey Hey, My My



When my husband suggested a sherry cocktail, I was hesitant. Before that moment, I had never tried sherry. I thought of it as a dessert wine, something a little outdated and old-fashioned, but I was still interested in trying a new cocktail. So, on a Saturday afternoon we gave sherry a try. Honestly, it was surprisingly good. Cream sherry is a sweeter sherry, so it plays nicely with other liqueurs and fresh juices. To me, it was similar to vermouth, adding a unique flavor to the drink. Plus, compared to other cocktails, it has a much lower alcohol content. So, if your are new to cocktails, but interested in trying something new then this is the perfect drink for you. Cheers!


Hey Hey, My My

3 ounces Aperol
1/2 ounces Cream Sherry
2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce honey simple syrup (equal parts honey and water, simmered until combined)

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients with ice. Shake until outside of shaker is frosted over. Strain into coupe glasses and serve immediately.





April 23, 2014

Style: Spring Sweater

Sweater: J.Crew // Jeans: Gap // Sandals: J.Crew (similar) // Bag: Kate Spade (similar) // Bracelet: Banana Republic // Sunglasses: Karen Walker // Lips: Nars Niagara

Lightweight sweaters are an essential for me during spring. They pair nicely with jeans, as well as skirts and dresses for dressier occasions. I picked up this J.Crew sweater a few weeks ago while is was on sale, and luckily it still is (for an additional 30% off). I love the split up the side for an unexpected twist on a tunic, plus the lilac color is perfect for spring. What are some of your spring essentials? 





April 22, 2014

In the Kitchen: Whipped Goat Cheese & Leek Crostini


Crostini's are a go-to in our kitchen. They easily jazz up a simple piece of french bread and can topped with just about anything. This combination of the almost creamy leeks and sharp goat cheese is delicious. Pair this with a salad and you have an easy light dinner. 

Whipped Goat Cheese & Leek Crostini 

1 baguette, sliced 
1 tablespoon butter 
1 medium leek, sliced 
1 garlic clove 
3 ounces goat cheese 
2 tablespoons milk 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Place sliced baguette on a cookie tray, and bake for about five minutes until baguettes are crispy. Turn baguettes halfway through cooking to ensure even baking. 

Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add butter and leeks. Saute for 10 minutes until leeks are soft. You do not want them to brown, just soften. 

Combine goat cheese and milk in a bowl. Whip together with a whisk until smooth. The mixture will be fairly thick. 

To assemble, place a generous layer of goat cheese mixture onto baguette. Top with 1-2 tablespoons leeks. Serve immediately. 




April 21, 2014

Style: Spring Dressing

Dress: Anthropologie // Heels: J.Crew (similar) // Clutch: J.Crew (similar) // Sunglasses: Karen Walker // Lips: Nars Niagara

I was originally hesitant about buying this dress. I was afraid it was too formal and that I would not get a lot of wear out of it. A spring tweed can be tricky to style. It is only suitable for cooler days, and is only appropriate in spring and summer due to its light color. But, I went with my gut instinct and bought it a few weeks ago. So far I've worn it to my sister-in-laws rehearsal dinner and on Easter Sunday. I love its light mint color and that it doesn't wrinkle. I'm not sure how many more occasions I'll  be able to wear it to this season, but I am glad it has a home in my closet.  





April 18, 2014

Friday Favorites: Ankle Strap Sandals

ONE // TWO // THREE

Even though I had to scrape my windshield Wednesday morning, I'm officially declaring it spring in Charlottesville. I'm packing up my winter layers (thank goodness), and deciding on my first sandal purchase. I'm loving that low-heel sandals are in style for this season. It makes them wearable for everyday, rather than just an evening out. It is supposed to be beautiful here this weekend, so I may just have to pull the trigger on one.    

April 16, 2014

In the Kitchen: Spring Onion Pizza


We make pizza at home at least once a month. It is a great way for us to unwind and spend some time together. Plus, we get to try any topping combination that calls our names. We mostly keep it simple with sliced tomatoes or olives, but sometimes it is fun to be experimental. I recently discovered the most delicious, and well priced, goat cheese from Trader Joe's and have been putting it on everything. Add a few spring onions for a touch of spring and a little prosciutto and you have a winning pizza combination.

Spring Onion Pizza

Basic Pizza Dough
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup prosciutto, sliced
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup goat cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Follow Basic Pizza Dough instructions for making the crust.

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil and garlic. Saute for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes and herbs and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Top crust with desired amount of sauce, we normally use about 1 cup. Then, top pizza with cheeses, proscuitto and 1/4 cup spring onions. Cook pizza for about 5 minutes or until everything is browned and melted. Top with remaining spring onions.


April 15, 2014

Style: Classics Cargos

 Pants: Anthropologie // Shirt: Gap // Flats: J.Crew (similar) // Jean Jacket: Forever 21 // Bag: Kate Spade (similar

The fact that I own a pair of cargo pants is a little shocking. In college I dressed like a slob in t-shirts and shorts, but I never wore cargo pants because that was where all sensible Ole Miss kids drew the line. So I was a little surprised when I was drawn to them. I love their olive color that looks great with both stripped shirts and jean jackets, plus they are incredibly comfortable. I know I will be wearing these pants well into summer and fall. 






April 9, 2014

Cocktails for Two: Gingered Beer Cocktail


For the past few weeks I've been pretending it is warm outside. I wear sandals when I can and try to forgo my coat as much as possible. Though I can't quit indulge in my favorite summer treats like crostini and caprese salads, I can whip up a beer cocktail that reminds me of warmer days. The ginger and orange liqueur add an unexpected sweetness to the beer as well as a little tartness from the lime. This would be perfect on a hot summer day lounging by the pool, but for now I will drink it on my patio and patiently wait for the trees to bloom. 


Gingered Beer Cocktail 

1 2 inch piece of ginger peeled 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 cup water 
1 lime
2 tablespoons orange liqueur 
1 bottles of beer 

In a small saucepan combine ginger, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar dissolves. Strain into a measuring cup. 

Combine 1 tablespoon ginger sugar and orange liqueur into the bottom of a glass. Pour beer over the mixture and top with half a lime. Repeat. 



April 8, 2014

In the Kitchen: Almond Lemon Cake


We had our last snow of the season two weeks ago. I was lucky enough to have the day off from work so I got to enjoy it from the warmth of my apartment with my fuzzy slippers. For weeks I had imagined a perfectly fluffy almond cake. One that was both dense but crumbly at the same time and could be eaten any time of day. This final snow day was the perfect day to try my hand at an almond cake. This recipe wasn't exactly what I imagined, but it is tasty enough to share. I think adding 1/2 teaspoon of backing soda would help it rise and maybe another egg to add fluffiness. All in all, this cake satisfied my sweet tooth and had a wonderful almond flavor. 

Almond Lemon Cake 

1/2 cup sugar 
1 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon almond extract 
3 eggs, separated
Zest of 1 lemon 
1 cup sifted flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup powdered sugar 

Method: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flower and 9 inch cake pan and set aside. 

Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until fluffy and doubled in size, about 5 minutes. Add almond extract and lemon zest to butter mixture. Slowly add egg yolks one at a time and mix until fully combined. Add flour and salt in two batches and mix until combined.  

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks have formed. Carefully fold a third of the egg whites into batter, and repeat until finished. 

Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar. 


April 7, 2014

Style: Dotting Around

Dress: Equipment (similar) // Blazer: Anthropologie // Loafers: J.Crew (similar) // Clutch: J.Crew // Sunglasses: Karen Walker

For the past nine years, March has always meant the start of spring. By late February daffodils would flood every corner of Mississippi and I knew tulips weren't far behind. Early spring in Mississippi was my favorite season. I loved the light green buds on bradford pear trees and being able to show bare legs early in the season. 

March in Virginia was shocking. We had two major snows at the end of the month which accumulated over five inches of snow, each. It was a hard adjustment for me, and because of this the blog suffered. I didn't feel creative and struggled creating posts. My outfits were not exciting, mostly a lot of this, and I didn't think they were worth sharing. 

But, the weather has finally warmed up and I think I have my groove back. I snapped these pictures last week on a truly beautiful day. This Equipment dress has quickly become a staple in my closet. I've paired it with sheer tights and booties for dinner with my husband and ballet flats for running errands. I know I'll be able to wear it into summer as well as next fall. 

Thank you to my readers that have stuck with me through the silence. I truly appreciate you. Cheers to a new season and fresh start! 





 

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