August 29, 2014

Style: Weekend Staples

Let's vow to keep it easy this weekend: really easy. Shorts, breezy tops, and a trip to the farmer's market is all I have planned. Weather permitting, I will hopefully get some pool time in. Other than that I'm sleeping in and planning as little as possible. Because, that is what the last official weekend of summer should involve, right? 

August 28, 2014

In the Kitchen: Summer Cobb Salad

As summer comes to an end the temperatures are only rising in central Virginia. We're expecting the hottest weather of the month this weekend, and with summer produce soon coming to a halt that means salads everyday in my kitchen. A classic cob salad normally includes grilled chicken, but I like the lightness the roasted corn adds. Plus, when corn is as bountiful and cheap as it is in August it is particularly easy to throw it in anything. Pair this with an IPA, and you have an easy summertime dinner. 

Summer Cobb Salad 

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped 
2 ears corn, roasted and removed from cob
3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tomatoes, diced 
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled, 
1 avocado, diced 
2 hard boiled eggs, diced  

1 teaspoon dijon mustard 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1 garlic clove, minced 
1/2 cup olive oil 
salt & pepper 

Combine dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic in a small mixing bowl. Begin whisking ingredients together while slowly drizzling in olive oil. Continue whisking until mixture has emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

Place romaine on a large platter. Arrange corn, bacon, tomatoes, blue cheese, avocado, and eggs on top of romaine in neat rows. Serve with dressing on the side. 

August 27, 2014

Lustworthy Black Crossbody Bags

I've been spending a lot of my spare time daydreaming about handbags I cannot afford. I am due for a new handbag (it's been over two years since my last new bag), and I have a crossbody bag in black on my mind. Sure, I cannot afford any of these beauties, but a girl can dream. The 3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Pashli Messenger is my current favorite, but I would gladly sling anyone of these over my shoulder. Crossbody bags are huge for fall and I am ready to give into the trend. What are you lusting over for fall? 

August 25, 2014

Style: Urban Camouflage

Last spring I purchased my first Equipment dress, and it was love at first sight . It was perfectly silky, a little boxy, stayed wrinkle free all day long. I've since added a few more equipment pieces to my wardrobe thanks to The Outnet. They carry discounted pieces from many of my favorites brands. So, I don't have to feel bad about splurging on a new blouse every few months. This camouflage blouse is a little out of my comfort zone. Bold and bright are not usually what I go for, but I felt like stepping out of my comfort zone and I knew it would fit perfectly. It works just as well with skinny jeans and pumps, but I'm looking forward to trying it with slim trousers this fall. Are there any brands you turn to over and over again? 

Equipment Blouse (similarsimilar, & similar) // J.Crew Shorts // J.Crew Sandals // Kate Spade Bag (similar) // Karen Walker Sunglasses // Nars Niagara

August 22, 2014

Cocktails for Two: Mai Thai

Cheers, we made it to the end of another week. Don't worry if your weekend plans don't involve feeling the sand between your toes or taking a dip in the ocean. I have a drink that will make you feel like you are sitting seaside. Mai Thai's are a classic summer cocktail. They are meant for sipping poolside on a hot summer day. I find the ingredients to be particularly surprising: no juice, mostly booze! The combination of rums and orgeat (almond syrup) make for a delightfully refreshing and fruity cocktail. Sip this on your patio and let the stress just melt away.... 

Mai Thai 

2 ounces lime
2 ounces dark rum 
2 ounces light rum 
1 ounce orange curacao 
1 ounce orgeat 

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cocktail shaker frosts over. 

Fill two highball glasses with crushed ice. Pour into glasses. Garnish with brandied cherry. 

August 20, 2014

In the Kitchen: Corn & Potato Hash

This is the most mild summer I've ever had. There were a few 90 degree days in June, but lately it's been 70 and dreary. I know I shouldn't complain, but it does not feel like summer to me. I'm used to the oppressive heat and humidity in Mississippi. Where it is so hot and muggy outside that you can barely breath when getting in your car. Sounds awful, right? Well, I kind of miss it. But, if it doesn't feel like summer at least I can still enjoy summer produce. Charlottesville is surrounded by farms, and in the summer you can find fresh corn around every corner at the farmer's market. I'm eating it none stop on salads, roasted with butter, and even at breakfast. This hash is a great summer breakfast. It puts one of my favorite summer vegetables in the spotlight, and cooking it in bacon fat only makes it sweeter. 

Corn & Potato Hash 

1/4 lb bacon
3/4 lb red potatoes, diced
2 ears corn, removed from cob 
3 green onions, thinly sliced 
salt & pepper 
2 eggs 

Place diced potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and parboil potatoes for approximately 10 minutes, or until slightly soft. Drain and set aside. 

Heat a heavy pan (le creuset or cast iron works best) over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until well done. Remove from pan and allow to drain on a paper towel. Once cooled, crumble into fairly large pieces and set aside. 

Remove a little grease from the pan with a paper towel. You want enough to cook the potatoes, but not so much that they are greasy. Add potatoes to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally so that all sides of the potatoes are golden brown. This should take about 10 minutes. 

Add corn and half the green onions and cook for two minutes. The corn should still be a little crisp. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. 

Cook eggs as you desire. I prefer mine either fried or poached. 

Serve hash with remaining green onions sprinkled on top and eggs. A little siracha is good too. 

August 19, 2014

Style: Slip On Sneakers

My love for comfortable shoes has grown over the years. I've lived in these J.Crew sandals all summer. But, with fall on the horizon I'm looking for my next step. Hello, slip on sneakers. They would look great with dark skinny jeans and an oversized sweater, but can also pair nicely with dresses and skirts. Don't worry about making the look sporty; you want the contrast. I'm particularly found of pink this Joie pair. A little bit of pink for fall never hurt anyone.

August 18, 2014

Style: Distressed Denim

This is my summer uniform: distressed denim, simple tee, and a crossbody bag. I throw it on every weekend for trips to the farmers market or brewery hopping. My search for the perfect pair of distressed denim shorts was hard. I wanted a pair that was a little longer and not ridiculously expensive, they are just cutoffs after all. I found the perfect pair at Zara for under $20 during their summer sale. They hit lower on my thigh and are extremely versatile. Unfortunately, they are now sold out, but they still have a few similar styles on sale. Snag a good deal while you can. Your weekend wardrobe will thank you. 

August 15, 2014

Summer Makeup Essentials

My makeup bag is filled with an arsenal of tried and true products. Because of this my beauty routine does not change much with the seasons. But, over the last few months I've stepped out of my comfort zone and given a few new products a try. Ultimately, they were all winners and have found a happy place in my every growing makeup bag. Below are a few of my favorites I'm loving during the warm and humid summer months.

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder & Bronzer Brush  I am a huge fan of Bobbi Browns makeup. They carry one of the few foundations fair enough to match my complexion. I normally stick to blush because most bronzers give me an orange flush rather than a glowing complexion, but this illuminating bronzer is subtle enough for the fairest skin tones. I even splurged on the bronzer brush because when something works, it really works.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Living in a sorority house for a year gave me a vast amount knowledge on how to make your makeup look good (not necessarily natural), and last. Using a primer is key in the summer to keep your makeup from melting off. I use it every morning under my BB cream. It also has SPF 30 which is an added bonus during for sunny days.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter This product is the perfect combination of a lipstick and lip balm. It provides the color and longevity of a lipstick with the hydration you expect in a balm. I have it in "Tutti Frutti" which is a punchy orange. Layer it on for a more dramatic effect.

Essie Nail Color You can not go wrong with Essie nail polish. Each season, they offer an array of fresh seasonal colors. For summer, you really can not go wrong with a classic like Geranium. I've had it on my toes all summer, and I'm not giving it up any time soon.

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 I reach for this BB cream every morning. It provides great coverage without being heavy like some foundations (which is perfect for warmer climates). Since I started wearing it in May I've noticed a difference in my skin. It is clearer and brighter. Plus, with SPF 35 you know you are always protected. I will be wearing this year round.

August 14, 2014

Style: Full Navy

I've spoken before about my love/hate relationship with skirts. Until recently, they lived in the back of my closet rarely seeing daylight, but I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm giving skirts another chance. I know it seems a little trivial, but I had the hardest time finding the right fit. I bought this J.Crew skirt a few months back when it was on super sale. It is a classic fit and flare that is easy to still and put on in a hurry. It is the perfect blank canvas and just the kind of push I needed to get back into the relationship. 

August 7, 2014

August Favorites

ONE A splurge worthy sweater you can throw on for cooler evenings. // TWO I have fall on my mind, and a giant black hat is on the top of my wishlist. // THREE Loeffler Randall did it again with their Fall 2014 collection. // FOUR These statement earrings would look great paired with a little white dress. // FIVE This is the only bronzer light enough for my fair skin. // SIX You can wear these silk shorts into fall with an oversized sweater and blazer. // SEVEN My current bag crush. // EIGHT This gives you perfect beachy waves without the beach. // NINE The Marysia Swim 2015 collection is available for 1 more day at Moda Operandi, shop wisely. // TEN A wide leather belt is perfect for any season. // ELEVEN Now is the time to save on the summer dress you've been eyeing all summer. 

August 1, 2014

Style: Striped T-shirt Dress

Outfitting does not get any easier than a t-shirt dress on a summer night. 

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