March 27, 2015

Early Spring Playlist

Ah Spring, I love you. I love your longer days, warmer mornings, and the fact that I can finally wear flats again. I also love the fact that today is Friday. I don't have any major plans this weekend, but I am looking forward enjoying some spring produce and hopefully having a beer on the porch. Until then, I'll be listening to this peppy playlist at work and counting down the minutes until 5 o'clock. Also, have you listened to Sufjan Steven's new album? The release date isn't until March 31st, but NPR is live streaming it this week. I suggest you check it out because I am borderline obsessed. 

A Million Years // Alexander 
Step // Vampire Weekend 
Go Outside // Cults 
New Year // Beach House 
Should Have Known Better // Sufjan Stevens 
California // Delta Spirit 
Vaporize // Broken Bells 
The Mother We Share // CHVRCHES
Seasons (Waiting On You) // Future Islands 
Trouble // TV On The Radio 
Half Asleep  // School Of Seven Bells 
Lake Michigan // Rogue Wave

March 25, 2015

Style: White Spring Dresses

I've been dreaming of little white dresses lately, and they all seem to be way out of my budget. Cotton, broderie, and eyelet are all screaming my name. Maybe once one of these go on sale I can add it to my closet. Until then, you can find me dreaming of the perfect spring day. 

March 24, 2015

In the Kitchen: Asparagus Sandwich with Lemon Mayonnaise

I feel a bit of spring in my step. I saw my first blossoming cherry tree yesterday, and after a weekend spent in Charleston I'm ready to fully dive into the fresh new produce popping up. I had a similar sandwich to this later year and new I had to recreate it. The lemon mayonnaise really brightens it up and the goat cheese adds a subtle creaminess making for a delicious vegetarian sandwich.   

Asparagus Sandwich 

8 asparagus spears 
3 artichoke hearts 
1/2 roasted red bell pepper, sliced 
5 olives, sliced
1 olive oil goat cheese 
1 tbs olive oil
1 ciabatta roll 

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. From here, you can either roast your own bell pepper like I did in this pimento cheese dip, or move on to the asparagus if you're using an already roasted red pepper. Add olive oil to the hot grill or grill pan, and grill asparagus for 3 minutes until bright green and slightly tender. Remove from heat and cut in half. Add artichokes, turning on all sides until lightly charred. Remove from heat and cut into quarters. 

Cut ciabatta roll in half and grill until toasted. Spread lemon mayonnaise on both sides of ciabatta roll. Layer asparagus, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, and olives onto roll. Sprinkle with desired amount of goat cheese. 

Lemon Mayonnaise

2 tbs mayonnaise 
zest 1/2 lemon 
1 tbs lemon juice 

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Keep refrigerated. 

March 20, 2015

Florals: Forsythia Branches

Spring has always been my favorite season. I love the soft shade of green the leaves have has they begin to bud and how everything becomes dusted with a healthy layer of pollen. Just when I can't stand the cold any longer everything seems to come alive. I was lucky enough to pick up these forsythia branches at Whole Foods over the weekend. Nothing brightens up my apartment this time of year like a vase full of budding branches. I chose forsythia because it is native to Charlottesville, but feel free to use whatever is local in your area. 

1 bunch budding branches 
1 tall vase 
gardening sheers 

Trim the ends of the branches to your desired height. Cut an X in the base of the branch with your sheers, this will allow greater water absorption. Place rocks a quarter way up the vase, this will keep the branches in place. Arrange branches to your liking. I suggest putting the taller branches towards the back, and letting the rest fall naturally. If needed, add additional rocks to keep the branches in place. Fill with vase with water. Change water every other day.

March 19, 2015

March Favorites

ONE I don't think I'll make it to D.C. to see the Cherry Blossoms this year, but this cheery print will fill in just fine. // TWO These Karen Walker sunglasses are under $80. // THREE This cream bucket bag is high on my wish-list. // FOUR This classic white linen blazer is perfect for spring and summer. // FIVE Time to ditch those winter candles for something light. // SIX Love a trench coat in an unexpected color. // SEVEN A girl could never have too many striped shirts. // EIGHT Jump on the gingham trend with this scarf. // NINE Spring calls for a feminine perfume. // 10 Perk up your flowers with a new vase. // ELEVEN I'm still a little hesitant about culottes, but these almost double as trousers. // 12 The perfect flat mule. 

March 17, 2015

In the Kitchen: White Bean Salad

My husband and I like to joke that Charlottesville is the city of sandwiches. Of course they are the perfect quick lunch, but one of my favorite spots to grab a sandwich is Feast. It is one of the first spots I take out-of-town guests because of their gourmet variety of local sandwiches, soups, and salads, but it is their white bean salad that really stands out. It is so simple and so good I knew I had to replicate it at home. When I can't make it into Feast, this recipe really hits the spot this white bean salad with a quick pickled vegetables really hit the spot. 

White Bean Salad 

1 cup cooked navy beans or 1 can navy beans 
1 carrot, diced 
2 stalks celery, diced 
1/4 red onion, diced 
2 peppercorns 
1 tbs. salt 
1 tsp. dried dill 
2 tbs. white vinegar 
1/4 cup lemon juice 
2 tbs. olive oil 
1 cup water 
2 tbs. parsley 

Add carrot, celery, and red onion, peppercorns, salt, dill, white vinegar, and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat and let steep with the lid on for 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened. 

Drain pickled vegetables with navy beans. Gently stir in lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley. Serve at room temperature. Will keep in the fridge for up to a week. 

March 16, 2015

Style: Cream Leather Jacket

In-between seasons can be a little disappointing. I'm ready to dive into my sandals, but the blustery winds keep me for doing so. I packed up my winter sweaters last weekend in hopes that it would keep cold weather away, and to my surprise it has worked. 

I bought this Vince Leather Jacket on sale over Christmas knowing it would be perfect for this time of year. The cream coloring keeps it light, but it is still sturdy enough it keep me warm. Paired with a blush blouse and bag, and you have my go-to look for the next few weeks. What items do go grab during early spring? 

Vince Leather Jacket (similar & similar) // Everlane Silk Blouse // Paige Denim // J.Crew Flats (similar) // 3.1 Phillip Lim Bag // Karen Walker Sunglasses (similar

March 13, 2015

Cocktails for Two: Snow Day Margarita

Last week we received six inches of snow in Charlottesville. There were two things keeping me from jumping in my car and heading south. The first was that the snowfall was absolutely beautiful. The flakes were fat and clung to the trees for days. The other was this snow margarita. All credit is due to my husband for the genius idea. A little snow makes for the perfect frozen margarita, and after this winter I could use a few. Cheers, to it almost being spring!

Snow Day Margarita 

Juice of one grapefruit 
3 oz tequila 
1.5 oz orange curaçao
1.5 oz simply syrup 

Pack a cocktail shaker with snow. If you do not have snow you may substitute shaved iced (puree ice in a food processor). In a separate mixer combine combine grapefruit juice, tequila, orange curaçao, and simple syrup. Strain liquids into cocktail shaker filled with snow. Lightly stir to combine. Pour into cocktail glasses. Garnish with grapefruit peel if you're feeling festive. 

March 12, 2015

Style: Criss-Cross Sandals

A slip-on sandal is a summertime staple. I bought a pair at J.Crew last summer, which they brought back this year, and wore them constantly. They go with anything from shorts and a tee to a sundress. This year, I have my eyes on criss-cross sandals. Just as easy to wear with a beautifully simple design. And like a create of habit, this J.Crew sandal is on my wish-list. What sandals are you eyeing for summer?

March 10, 2015

Style: Drapey Pants

It went from snowing to mid-60's in three days, and I'm not complaining. This weekend was the first time I ventured outside without a coat in months and it was glorious. My husband and and I spent Sunday outside, and I got to wear these J.Crew Pants for the first time. I bought them a few weeks ago when J.Crew was having one of their great sales (sale an extra 40% off, hello new wardrobe). This was my first pants purchase in many seasons. Like any other woman, I find pant shopping to be extremely difficult and normally avoid it, but I had been eyeing these for a while so I gave them a try. The pants have a loose fit which makes them easy to wear, and can be cuffed for a more relaxed color. I've enjoyed them so much, I may even pick them up in light green. 

J.Crew Pants (extra 25% off with code SPRINGSTYLE) // Anthropologie Button-Up // J.Crew Flats (similar) // Kate Spade Bag (similar) // Karen Walker Sunglasses (similar)

March 9, 2015

In the Kitchen: Pimento Cheese Dip

I'm not sure why, but I only crave pimento cheese when the weather warms up. As soon as the temperatures start to rise I want a pimento cheese sandwich. Oddly enough, my husband feels the same way. I have found memories of long days spent at the pool, only getting out to take a few bites of a pimento cheese sandwich and then diving back in. I also cannot make it 10 feet within The Grove without shoving one of my mother-in-law's  pimento cheese sandwiches in my mouth. Pimento cheese has a season, and is best when eaten on outside without shoes on. This dip can easily be eaten on a sandwich, but makes a great weekend snack or appetizer. Serve it with your favorite crackers or kettle-cooked potato chips if you're feeling naughty. 

Pimento Cheese Dip 

1/2 roasted red bell pepper, finely diced 
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 scallions, finely sliced 
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish 
1/8 - 1/4 cup mayo 
Smoked paprkia 

Place 1/2 red bell pepper over an open flame (I used a gas stovetop, but a grill or broiler would work as well). Rotate the pepper over the flame until the outer skin is completely charred. Remove from flame and place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let steep for 5 minutes until skin is easily removable. Remove skin and finely dice. 

Combine cheese, scallions, pickle relish, and mayo in a large bowl, stirring to combine. For a creamier texture use 1/4 cup mayo, otherwise only use 1/8 cup. Garnish with smoked paprika and scallions. Serve chilled. 

March 6, 2015

Style: Winter Poncho

Another snow day... This makes five in the last three weeks. Since I have no desire to purchase any more winter attire I've been rotating some old favorites like this Anthropologie cape. It is large enough to wrap up like a blanket, and paired with a simple black turtleneck it still looks put-together. I'm hoping for warmer weather, but in the mean time you can find me re-wearing the same sweater for the 100th time this season. 

 Anthropologie Poncho (similar) // J.Crew Turtlenck // Anthropolgie Jeans // Zara Booties (similar) // 3.1 Phillip Lim Bag // Karen Walker Sunglasses (similar)

March 4, 2015

Late Winter Playlist

16 days until spring, but who is counting? This a put your coziest socks on and curl up on the coach playlist to get you through these last cold weeks. The end of winter is hard for me. I let the weather affect my mood, and Central Virginia saves the harshest weather for the last few weeks. Just when you think the snow has passed, it sends you a little more. So, make yourself and hot toddy, turn on these tunes, and curl into your comfiest chair until April. 

We Can't Be Beat // The Walkmen 
The Greatest // Cat Power 
Songs for Zula // Phosphorescent 
Three White Horses // Andrew Bird 
Calling Cards // Neko Case 
Peace Like a River // Paul Simon 
All We Ask // Grizzly Bear 
Lay Lady Lay // Magnet 
Sun It Rises // Fleet Foxes 
Then Came The Morning // The Lone Below 
Conversation 16 // The National 
Hero // Family of the Year 
Flume // Bon Iver 
I'll Keep It With Mine // Nico 
Vesuvius // Sufjan Stevens 
Winter Prayers // Iron & Wine

March 3, 2015

Style: Duster Trench Coat

IRIS & INK Adelisa modal-blend trench coat // MASON BY MICHELLE MASON Twill trench coat // tibi KIMONO MAXI COAT // Topshop WATERFALL BELTED DUSTER

I'm always hesitant to update a classic. Why fix something if it isn't broken, right? I bought a trench coat in college and it has served my closet well every year. I'm not looking to replace mine, but I am loving the updated duster trench coat this season. With a loose, draped fit this is the great piece for a casual spring outfit. If you're petite, stick to a short version like this Topshop WATERFALL BELTED DUSTER to keep it for overwhelming your frame. I would stick to a neutral color so you can get a little more wear. Will you be adding one to your closet?  

March 2, 2015

Style: Sleeveless Turtleneck

We are going on week three with snow covered grounds. One of the only things getting me through these last bitterly cold weeks is this Everlane Sleeveless Turtleneck. I throw it over a striped tee or another sweater if it is really cold for a cozy layered look. By the beginning of March I am usually ready for warmer weather, and this year is no different. The last few weeks have been harsh, and because of that I've lost a little inspiration for this site. Hopefully there will be a spring awakening for my own sanity and this site. 

Everlane Sleeveless Turtleneck // Paige Denim // Anthropologie Striped Shirt (similar & similar) // 3.1 Phillip Lim Bag // Zara Booties (similar

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