November 30, 2015

Get Shopping!

Tis the season for online shopping. I spent the long weekend refraining from shopping so I'm ready to dive into Cyber Monday. I've compiled the best of the best to make your shopping as seamless as possible. See below for some great deals by my favorite retailers. 

Anthropologie // 25% off sale

Banana Republic // 40% off everything 

Farfetch // Additional 10% off sale

Nordstrom // Extra 25% off select sale items

OTTE // Additional 40% off sale 

Rebecca Taylor // 30% off site wide 

November 24, 2015

In the Kitchen: Marinated Olives

Are you hosting Thanksgiving or any holiday parties this year? Weather you are or not, this marinated olive recipe will become your new go-to for easy entertaining. Pick up your favorite olives, add a few tasty flavors like fennel seeds and lemon rind, and enjoy these all evening long. They can be put together in less than five minutes, and look much more impressive than opening a jar or store bought olives. Plus, they taste pretty good as well. Serve them in a pretty bowl alongside your favorite cheese and you have a quick and easy appetizer. Of course, if you want to make these for yourself, I highly suggest it. 

Marinated Olives

1 1/2 cups mixed pitted olives
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Rind from 1/2 a lemon

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine. Chill in fridge for 2 hours to two week to merry flavors. Serve chilled, alongside your favorite cheese and enjoy.

November 23, 2015

Style: Stripes & Olive

I dread the first day of wearing tights each fall. After this, there is no going back until April. You may get that one warm day in February or March where you want to run outside in shorts, but until then my legs do not see the sun. Committing to this look can be a bummer, but if you style your outfits with darker color palette in mind you can make them work with almost anything. 

I wore this  military shirtdress many times this fall with tan flats and a striped pink shirt. By adding black booties and a striped black shirt the look is now more cohesive, and I can get more wear out of this dress. What are your tricks for making your outfits wearable during the colder months? 

November 19, 2015

Setting the Table

I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time last year. I strategically planned everything, from the turkey brine to what wine we would drink while cooking. This year I am being a little more lax. Yet, one thing I will not scrimp on is the table. Growing up, my Mom and Aunts would spend the entire afternoon setting the table. Tablecloths and napkins were always ironed and centerpieces were meticulously put together. 

Last year, I stuck with cooler tones: navy napkins, a taupe runner, and ethereal florals in a mercury vase. I was proud of my workmanship and am looking forward to setting the table again this year. If you're hosting Thanksgiving and in need of a few new pieces to round out your table see below for a few of my favorites, and how I will be dressing my table this year.

ONE A white porcelain table setting is perfect for any occasion. // TWO Add a festive touch without being gaudy with these maroon linens. // THREE Give a french twist to your wine glasses. // FOUR Your turkey will certainly shine on this platinum platter. // FIVE Thanksgiving is not complete until you pass the gravy boat. // SIX Instead of a floral arrangement, center your table with a wooden candleholder you can repurpose at a later time. // SEVEN I'll be adding a few magnolia leaves to the table for a pop of color. // EIGHT These salt and pepper shakers are nice enough all your formal dining occasions. // NINE Serve your Brussels sprouts with wooden salad tossers. 

November 18, 2015

Style: Bold Sweater Set

Think a sweater set involves just a shell and cardigan? If so, think again. Sweater sets have come a long way over the years from dresses and sweater coats to pullovers and skirts, and this classic combination has endless possibilities. 

I stepped out of my comfort zone when I picked up this sweater and  sweater skirt from Anthropologie. I'm 5'3 so I tend to stay away from large prints, but this one worked. The skirts waistline is striped which allows for contrast within the outfit. Tucking in the top ever so slightly also helps breakup the large-scale pattern. When working with such a bold print, keep the rest of your look simple. A neutral shoe and bag let your sweater set shine, in the best way imaginable.

November 16, 2015

In the Kitchen: Potato & Fennel Gratin

Is anyone else having a hard time believing Thanksgiving is only a week and a half away? We're hosting again this year, and I have yet to do any planning. Besides the turkey, this potato and fennel gratin is one dish I know will be on my table. You can prep everything a day in advance. So, all you have to do is pop it in the oven on the big day. The potatoes are perfectly creamy and the onions and fennel add a nice bite to the dish. I suggest you swap out your mashed potatoes for this dish, but if you can't save this recipe for Christmas. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

 Potato Fennel Gratin

2 pounds golden potatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 tablespoons butter 
1 fennel, core removed and sliced
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup half & half 
1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, minced 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a gratin dish with butter and set aside. 

Add olive oil and butter to saute pan over medium heat. Once heated, add fennel and onion and saute for 5-10 minutes until soft and golden. Try to avoid any dark coloring, so keep the heat low if needed. Remove fennel and onions from the saute pan and place in a large bowl. Add sliced potatoes, half & half, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme to bowl. Mix until everything is coated in cream, and then pour into greased gratin dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown and potatoes are soft. Garnish with additional thyme and serve warm. 

November 13, 2015

Cocktails for Two: English Harvest

Are you tired of seeing apples on this site? If you're not, then this cocktail is for you. Last year, I featured the Applejack Rabbit which puts applejack, front and center. This cocktail still lets applejack shine, but has a few key players like gin and dry vermouth to back it up. I will say, this cocktail does taste quite boozy so if you typically favor a more masked drink this may not be for you. So, grab a bottle of your favorite apple cider and enjoy the fall weekend while you can. Cheers, it is finally Friday.

 English Harvest 

2 ounces gin 
1 1/2 ounces apply brandy 
1 1/2 ounces dry vermouth 
1 1/2 ounces apple juice 
1/2 ounce orgeat 
6 dashes angostura bitters 
2 lemon twists 

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour gin, apple brandy, dry vermouth, apple juice, orgeat, and angostura bitters into cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into two coupe glasses. Serve immediately with a lemon twist. 

November 12, 2015

Style: Striped Sweater Coat

Ginkgo trees are the last to change in Charlottesville. They shed their leaves and give us one last showing of fall before the city turns bleak. I know by this time next week they will most likely be bare as we transition into winter. 

Honestly, our last fall in Charlottesville has not be spectacular. Our schedules were busier than expected, the leaves were duller than normal, and I we've barely had time to enjoy it. We stepped out on Sunday afternoon to run a few errands before Will jetted off to class (yes, on a Sunday), and this line of ginkgo trees stopped us in our tracks. The fact that my sweater coat matched the leaves almost perfectly gave us both a good laugh. 

As we move through these last few weeks of fall, and I going to try to cherish it more. I know this sweater coat is going to get a lot more wear as the temperature begins to drop, and hopefully I will still be able to find a changing tree to match my outfit. 

 Anthropologie Colorstripe Cardigan // Old Navy Striped Tee // AG Jeans (similar) // J.Crew Kiki Ballet Flats // Karen Walker Perfect Day Sunglasses // J.Crew Clutch (similar & similar) // Banana Republic Necklace

November 11, 2015

Style: Chunky Turtlenecks

I've already found myself reaching for sweaters far more than I would like. Since I am a naturally cold person, chunky knits take up the majority of my wardrobe during the colder months. Last year I bought a few turtlenecks, and besides the red wine and pasta, these saved me during the final cold stretch. I already have eyes on a few new turtlenecks this year, and thankfully the oversized style is still popular. Pairing it with a skinny pant and boots keeps the look proportional and stylish. See below for a few I already have on my wish list for winter. 

November 10, 2015

In the Kitchen: Brussels Sprout Salad

Do you have recipes you reach for every fall? For me, this brussels sprouts salad is a constant go-to. I love roasted brussels sprouts as much as the next person, but this salad is the light and tangy note that is often missed in colder months. Brussels sprouts need a strong vinaigrette to offset their tough texture, and this one packs a punch. The lemon is refreshing and the parmesan adds a salty bit. Serve this along side your next roast for an unexpected dish. 

 Brussels Sprout Salad

1/2 lb brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Place brussels sprouts in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk together lemon juice, white wine vinegar, whole grain mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Once combined, stir in shallots. Allow shallots to soak in the vinaigrette for 30 minutes. Toss the brussels sprouts with vinaigrette and shallots. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with parmesan cheese. 

November 9, 2015

Style: Drop Waist Dress

You know those items you think look terrible on yourself? Culottes, chunky turtlenecks, cropped flares all quickly come to mind. But for me, this has always been drop-waist dresses. They usually overwhelm my petite frame making me resemble a stump. I've tried them on consistently over the years hoping I would find one that worked, and finally I did. I purchased this dress right before our trip to New York, and I have already worn it a handful of times. The drop-waist hits a few inches below my hips making it an exaggerated style and more flattering. The long sleeves and ruffled bottom also give this dress a ladylike style which I played up with ballet flats. If you're looking for a drop-waist dress and have never been able to find one that flattered your silhouette give this one a try. You won't be disappointed.  


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