October 28, 2015

Style: Perfectly Pink Coats

I am not going to say you need a pink coat in your closet, but one could not hurt. I love how this color adds femininity to what can easily be a masculine style. Pair it with almost anything from denim to sweater skirts, you cannot go wrong.  I especially love this color in a cropped style, like this one that is under $175. The boxy fit of a cropped and belted coat is unexpected and exciting in blush pink. I'm hoping to get my hands on one this winter to wear into spring. What would you wear a pink coat with?

October 23, 2015

Cocktails for Two: Small Batch Tonic

As we settle into the new season, I am becoming sentimental of our time in Charleston. It is a beautiful city, and our days were filled with new great food and even better cocktails. We had a few favorite happy hour spots, and using this small batch tonic from Jack Ruby Cocktails always takes us back to those evenings. Mix it with your favorite gin and a splash of sparkling water and you have an easy and refreshing drink. 

Gin & Small Batch Tonic

4 oz. gin
1.5 oz. Jack Ruby Small Batch Tonic
Sparkling water
2 lime wedges

Combine gin and small batch tonic in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir until chilled. Pour two over lowball glasses filled with ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a lime wedge.

October 22, 2015

In the Kitchen: Minestrone with Pesto

I've made a lot of soup over the years, documented herehere, and here, but this minestrone with pesto is quickly becoming a new favorite. For being a broth base the soup is surprisingly hearty, but it still feels light. Plus, the pesto adds a freshness you rarely get in soups. I love that it is fairly quick to throw together so I can whip it up on a weeknight. Plus, I am able to enjoy the leftovers the remainder of the week. Are there any soups you turn to during the week?

 Minestrone with Pesto 

3 stripes bacon, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped 
1 leek, sliced 
3 carrots, chopped 
3 celery stalks, chopped 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme 
1 15oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 
1 28oz. can whole tomatoes 
8 cups water 
5 ounces cavatelli pasta 
1/2 bunch kale, ribs and stems removed and sliced 
4 tablespoons pesto
pecorino cheese 

Heat a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until edges begin to brown. Depending on the amount of fat the bacon gives off you may need to add additional oil. If using, add olive oil, then add onion, leek, carrots, and celery. Saute vegetables until tender, this should take about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute until soft. Stir in salt, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, and cannellini beans. 

Add whole tomatoes, breaking them up as you go. Add water and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on until tomatoes have softened. Add pasta and kale and cook for 10 minutes until pasta is al dente and kale as softened. This soup should be pretty hearty, but add more water if it seems too thick. Top each serving of soup with a drizzle of pesto and cheese. 

October 20, 2015

Rainy Autumn Playlist

We are soaking up our last fall in Charlottesville. So far we haven't experienced anything too out of the ordinary, but this weekend should involve a leisurely drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I will never call myself outdoorsy, but I do appreciate the change in season. The recent rain and cooler weather has me moving a little slower.  So, turn on this playlist the next time you're in the mood to snuggle up with a pumpkin porter and admire the shorter, cooler days. 

Blank Space // Ryan Adams 
Bleecker Street // Simon & Garfunkel 
He Doesn't Know Why // Fleet Foxes 
I Guess The Lord Must Be in New York // Harry Nilsoon 
PPP // Beach House 
Close To Me // The Cure 
Leave A Trace // CHVRCHES 
Kamera // Wilco 
Bad Blood // Ryan Adams 
24 Frames // Jason Isbell 
Love In Vain // The Rolling Stones 
Wasp Nest // The National 
Train Song // Vashti Bunyan 
Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands // Bob Dylan

October 19, 2015

Style: Long Black Vest

It is finally starting to feel like fall in Charlottesville. After a very warm September followed by two weeks of non-stop rain we had our first real cold-snap this weekend. My parents were in town so we took advantage of the crisp air with a hike to Monticello and spent an afternoon at a local winery. It felt good to finally slip on my ankle boots and throw on my double-breasted vest. I love pairing it with a simple striped tee now, but I know it will transition well into winter with a sweater and layered under a coat for a masculine look. But for now, I'm going to savor my time without a heavy coat. 

 Banana Republic Double-Breasted Long Vest // J.Crew Striped Tee (similar) // J.Crew Minnie Pant in Stretch Twill // J.Crew Regent Topcoat // Madewell Booties (similar & similar) // Banana Republic Chain Necklace // Rebecca Minkoff Bag // Karen Walker Sunglasses // NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

October 13, 2015

In the Kitchen: Apple Dutch Baby Pancake

Once the weather starts to cool all I want is a warm, sugary breakfast. During the week this takes the form of oatmeal, but by the weekend I am ready to indulge. This apple dutch baby pancake smells and tastes just like fall. Filled with warm apples and cinnamon this breakfast is perfect for a lazy morning filled with a lot of coffee. This pancake makes a beautiful presentation since it puffs with finished, making it great for housegates. Of course, if you want to eat this in your pajamas with bedhead I won't judge. 

Apple Dutch Baby Pancake 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 pink lady apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch slices 
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamon
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk 
3/4 cup flour 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until smooth. Set aside. 

Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add apples and saute for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cardamon and stir until sugar is melted. Be careful because the sugar can burn quickly. Remove from heat. 

Pour batter over warm batter and place in oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm and sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

October 12, 2015

Style: Denim on Denim

Do you want to know how to rock denim on denim without looking like you're wearing a Canadian Tuxedo? I have one simple rule: break it up. To make your outfit more dimensional choose denim in two different shades. I prefer darker denim on the bottom with a lighter denim or chambray top. If you're still feeling a little to 1990's, add a scarf or a vest for contrast. I bought this vest last week (size down, it runs large), and I think my husband is already tired of it. It is the perfect add on my fall outfits. It is adds considerable warmth, but it isn't bulky so I can layer it under a coat as it gets cooler. If you're in the market for a vest, I highly recommend it. 

October 9, 2015

Fall Style: Heeled Ankle Booties

There are four boots every women should have in their closet: chelsea boots, rain boots, over the knee boots, and a heeled ankle boots. I consider the heeled ankle boots I purchased at J.Crew a few years ago to be one of my best investments. They get a steady rotation each year, pairing well with almost any outfit, but my go-to combination is most always similar to this. They dress up an outfit if the weather does not permit heels, but can also feel casual if worn with jeans. Plus, I can wear mine all day with comfort. If you're in the market for a pair, see below for a few of my favorite picks. 

October 8, 2015

New Season, New 'Do

A new season called for a new haircut, and after a summer spent in the South Carolina sun my hair needed a good chop. I had short hair as a child, but it has been a few years since I've gone this short. I feel like a new person with this new haircut: an edgier version of myself. This newfound edginess is coming across in my style as well. A sleeveless turtleneck and high waisted denim? Sure, why not. If you feel like you are in a style rut, chop off your hair. I promise, it will change your entire outlook. 

October 6, 2015

October Favorites

ONE Grey suede over the knees boots for under $250. // TWO Tie this silk scarf like a neckerchief to perk up an outfit. // THREE Is it too early for holiday candles? I say never. // FOUR Top your outfit with this floppy wool hat. // FIVE If a face oil and retinoid had a baby, it would produce this miracle product. // SIX This long sleeved stripped shirt will be your go-to layering piece. // SEVEN About your chelsea boot with a subtle pointed toe. // EIGHT This wool coat has a teddybear like texture. // NINE A stylish leather bag that will hold almost everything. //  TEN This season's "it girl" sunglasses are totally dreamy. // ELEVEN Get this gold signet ring engraved for a personal touch. // TWELVE I'm still not over this check  print. // THIRTEEN Fill this bowl with fruit as an easy centerpiece for your dining room table. // FOURTEEN Pleated skirts are my new obsession, and this blue is perfection. 

October 5, 2015

In the Kitchen: Warm Lentil Salad

Do you partake in Meatless Mondays? We try to eat vegetarian meals during the week, and filling salads like this are always a go-to. As the seasons change so do the fillings: tones of fresh vegetables in the summer and roasted root vegetables in the winter. This salad is easy to throw together on a hectic Monday night. The carrots and cauliflower roast together, and the lentils can be left almost undisturbed on the stove while the cook. Add a citrus vinaigrette for a little punch, and you have a healthy and filling weeknight dinner. 

 Warm Lentil Salad

1 cup lentils
2 garlic cloves
5 carrots
1 head cauliflower
1 teaspoon cumin
1 orange
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley

Combine lentils, 1 smashed garlic clove, and 2 3/4 cups water in a sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes until lentils are soft. Drain lentils to remove any sludge and place in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel carrots and cut into diagonal rounds and place on one side of a baking sheet. Cut cauliflower into small florets and place on other side of the baking dish. Sprinkle carrots and cauliflower with cumin, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to combine. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and fork tender. Set aside.

Combine carrots and cauliflower with lentils.

Whisk together, 2 tablespoons orange juice, red wine vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Pour over lentil salad and toss with chopped parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

October 1, 2015

Style: Gingham in the Rain

In my mother's words, "I think I'm starting to mold". There is no end in sight for this dreary weather in Charlottesville. After spending the majority of the day at home on Saturday, I slipped on my trusty Hunter Rain Boots and trench coat on Sunday and headed out to lunch. We took full advantage of a few rain-free hours with a stop by our favorite brewery and dinner with friends. I bought these rain boots in college for rainy walks to class. They look great with almost any outfit, making them the perfect investment piece. 


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