30 June 2010

Grey Matters

I kind of just "threw" today's outfit together. Wanted to wear this top and couldn't figure out the bottoms, so I grabbed these shorts pretty much just because they were there, and then thought it was a wee bit chilly (this morning anyways), so I reached for the knit blazer.

Looking over these photos now, I'm not sure I made a real successful outfit, and in retrospect, the half-tuck top could've not been there. But why bother being self-critical when the day's nearly done and I spent it looking whatever way I did. At least I was comfy and my food baby had lots of room!  :o)

Off to try a chicken piccata recipe I found on Valerie's blog. Am already way late in getting started!

Jacket: Anthropologie Cartonnier Flipside (worn here before)
Top: Forever 21 Dandelion (worn here before)
Shorts: Old Navy ruched (worn here before)
Shoes: Nine West Temani wedges (worn here before)
Necklace: Anthropologie Lydell Jahara

29 June 2010

Minty Spaghetti

Feeling a bit whimsical today. And better lighting.

Dress: H&M (thanks, sis - worn here before)
Sweater: Mossimo by Target cropped cotton
Belt: Anthropologie Infinity (worn a million times over)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction Pine-A-Colada (worn a million +1 times over)

Thanks for the good comments about the Texas Spaghetti. I actually never heard of the dish until my BF (who went to college in TX) cooked it for me a while ago - since then we have it on fairly regular rotation (once every couple of weeks because we always make TONS) and I've been the one making it (BF says I make it better than he does - true comment, or is he just getting himself out of having to cook? Hm).

I don't know how "Texas" this actually is, since to me, it's just a kind of amped up meat sauce. I actually thought the name was made up until I Googled it today, but Texas Spaghetti actually exists - in about two million variations. Here's a rough recipe for the dish as I know it - great thing about this is that you can pretty much add what you want to taste. And yes, I make it a little different every time ...

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble ...

"Texas" Spaghetti (loose recipe)
1 green pepper chopped
1 lb ground beef
1/2 large onion chopped (or 1 medium chopped)
5 cloves garlic chopped
1bx spaghetti
2 jars spaghetti sauce
Chili powder
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper
Bay leaf
1 jalapeno chopped (optional if you like your sauce extra kicky)
Other options: fresh chopped basil, sprinkle of nutmeg, dash of cinnamon, chopped rosemary
  1. Saute all the onions and peppers in olive oil until softened, about 5 min. (make sure the pan will be large enough to accommodate the sauce later on)
  2. Add garlic to the mix and saute another 3-4 min.
  3. Sprinkle in some pepper and chili powder
  4. Add ground beef to the mix and saute until all the meat is cooked through, about 5-7 min.
  5. Add bay leaf, tiny dash of cinnamon (if you like it), and about 1/2 tsp each cayenne pepper and chili powder
  6. Add in first jar of sauce and mix in - let simmer for about 10 min, stirring occassionally
  7. While sauce is simmering, cook the pasta to the directions on the box
  8. After 10 min, add in about 1/2 the second jar of sauce and let simmer a few more minutes - add pepper, salt and other seasonings to taste
  9. Reserve about 1/2 C the pasta water - drain the pasta and put back into cooking pot
  10. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and mix in well - add dashes of the reserved pasta water and the uncooked sauce if things are looking a little thick
  11. Cover the pot, flame off, and let sit for about 5-10 min. to let the pasta suck up the good sauce
Makes enough to feed 4-6, depending on how hungry you are. I usually serve mine with some garlic bread and a simple salad - and I always have a ton of extra sauce, so that can be served on the side in case others want a bit more. And don't worry about over-cooking the sauce as long as you have it on simmer - the time just lets all the spices and ingredients blend in flavor (look at me sounding like I know what I'm talking about - ha ha).

The finished pasta in pot. Saucy goodness - def not authentic Italian.

Tonight's dinner is going to be a "doozy" - grilled hot dogs with fresh corn, beans, salad, assorted chips. What can I say, BF and I are addicted to the Ball Park brand Angus beef hot dogs - soooooo good, for reals.  :o)

28 June 2010

Slate Giraffes

With the long holiday weekend looming and it being a very quiet day on the e-mail and phone fronts, I'm having a difficult time concentrating on that thing I do that allows me to gnash my nails over pretty new wearables and then take them home with me. Instead I've just been virtually gnashing my nails over pretty new wearables and then meeting up with a gal pal for an afternoon ice cream treat break.

Sorry for another short post, but I've actually planned out some meals for dinner this week, which means I better get crackin' with the cooking. I'll have some pics of my version of BF's Texas Spaghetti tomorrow if it turns out!

Here's my OOTD (struggling to find good light today):

With the belt and the bracelet, just call me Jingles.

Dress: Anthropologie Maeve Slate Stripes Shift (worn here before)
Belt: Anthropologie City Safari (worn here and here before)
Sweater: Forever 21 cardigan (worn here before)
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks Edamame (worn here before)
Bracelet: Forever 21

27 June 2010

Easy Like Sunday Gingham

And Saturday gingham. Quick post tonight - hope everyone had a wonderful weeked! It's been super hot and humid down south, so I gingham'd it all weekend and kept it as cool-inducing as I could (when it's really hot, I instinctively want to wear shorts for some reason).

Shirt: Lands' End Canvas gingham poplin (worn here and here before - yes I have this shirt in three colors and love them)
Tank: J. Crew tissue
Shorts: J. Crew chino (worn a lot)
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks Finch wedges or here for just the tan on super-sale (worn here and here before)
Necklace: gift from family

Um, I go outside during the daylight, really. I'm just still ridiculously pale.
(And no, I have no idea what I'm doing).

Top: Anthropologie Molded & Melded (I got an XS and it is kind of big - anyone else have this problem?)
Shorts: J. Crew Brigitte gingham poplin (worn here before)
Shoes: Mossimo by Target (worn here and here and here before)

Special thanks to the big sis today who had an extra special treat from home sent down to me - thanks for the wonderful care package, C!

Nothing like super-rich cheesecake to pretty put me right to sleep on a Sunday afternoon ...

Randomness: Can you smell over your grilled hot dogs and sweating glasses of lemonade that fall is apparently fast approaching? Buy your wool coats, quick! Aside from Anthropologie's snuggly new offerings, check out Boden's fall collection, available for pre-order for 20% off and free shipping.

25 June 2010

Lollipops for Work

Being super-simple today. Why did I wait this long to fall under the spell of wearing dresses? Especially soft-as-a-slub-tee knit ones? One piece and DONE. Throw on a belt and STYLED.

(Yes this is the same dress I took the pics of while trying on the Edelman wedges yesterday.
I was going to wear this yesterday, but just didn't feel it.
Tell me that I'm not alone in changing a bunch before finally deciding on an outfit for the day.)

Dress: Gap knit (worn here before)
Belt: Anthropologie Infinity (worn a million times before and still love it)
Shoes: Keds Spright Wedges (worn here before and a few thousand times before that)

Here's a pic of my latest purchase - the J. Crew lollipop ribbon blazer. I got it recently on sale with an additional 30% off and I kind of love it. I wanted something appropriate for work that was still a little off-beat and this fit the bill perfectly. Plus it's got bracelet-length sleeves - which for me means regular-length sleeves, yay! The tweed is really light and it kind of feels more like a sweater than a super-structured jacket. And I think the lining is silk - sweeeeeeeeet.

So with this and the Cartonnier Hello Sunday blazer, I've got two new lighter-weight pieces packed with personality that are both perfectly work-appropriate and would look just as good off-hours with jeans (or even shorts - gah). New non-stodgy additions to work wardrobe - check!

(Ignore the rest of the outfit - just trying stuff on)

Jacket: J. Crew lollipop ribbon (now on sale)

Going to Anthro later today or tomorrow to return the Herb Field cardi (I tried it on again last night and it mocked me from the mirror: "Really, you again? What's your name again - Lucy, Linda, Lena? We already had this conversation - you and I are not going to work. It's not me, it's you."). I'm going to be strong and try to resist all the other pretty temptations in there - but a stroll by the sale section is almost mandatory, isn't it?

Happy weekending!

24 June 2010

Classic Checked Chinos

Feeling vaguely Maggie Gyllenhaal from Mona Lisa Smile today. If only I could achieve her perfectly tousled curls.

Top: Lands' End Canvas gingham poplin (worn here and here before)
Skirt: J. Crew chino back-tie (worn here before)
Shoes: Keds Spright wedges (worn here and here and here before)

First, great big THANK YOU goes out to Prettyface! I was the lucky one to be picked to win her Anthro giveaway! I did literally look like Macauley Caulkin when he screamed into the mirror in Home Alone when I saw the post. If you haven't checked out her lovely blog yet, Not Just A Pretty Face, please do!

Second, I got my Sam Edelman Kasi wedges in and I actually really really like them. For their height, they are comfy and really light (plus they're like 40% off right now - yes, I am easily tempted). If anyone else is looking for a high platform wedge, I recommend these!

But alas for me, they're going back. There's not much ankle support there and my klutzy self in these shoes in public would certainly turn into GA's first wedge sandal-related fatality. Sorry to take full advantage of your free shipping and returns policy, Endless, but I had a brief misguided moment of thinking I was cooler and more coordinated than I really am. Le sigh.

Finally, I forgot to post a pic of my roasted shrimp cocktail from weeks ago. They turned out really well and was super-easy to make (if you choose not to peel and devein your own shrimp, it is even easier - what can I say, I like food prep). Find the recipe here - thanks, Ina Garten!

23 June 2010

Zafrina Stripes

Top: J. Crew perfect-fit stripe boatneck tee
Skirt: J. Crew embroidered Zafrina (now on sale - last day for additional 30% off)
Shoes: Franco Sarto slingbacks
Necklace: Laila Rowe

I shop online way too much. Or at least I window shop online way too much. After dinner on a lot of nights, when the TV is on drone mode or the BF is playing PS3 (yes he is a grown man), I am snuggled on the couch wasting away brain cells with my laptop. Like a lot of the rest of you probably, I check the Anthro, J. Crew and Forever 21 sites daily for updates. Secondary non-daily searches usually take me to the Gap family of sites, Ann Taylor and Loft, Zappos, Endless, Ebay. My lower level of searches goes to places I have yet to actually place an order at yet, but enjoy perusing their wares - the sample sale sites, Revolve, LuLu's, ModCloth.

Like their sometimes heavily inspired-by Anthro styles or not, but I've got to hand it to ModCloth for becoming a great resource for variations on a theme we love (plus, thanks for carrying a large selection of Miss L Fire shoes). Still on the lookout for the Cherry Juice heels? Find them here. Want the Back Rock Spectators in brown? Like the Arthurium blouse, but want it in dress form? Searching for a less ruffly version of the Aniseed skirt for cheap?

(OK, I kind of really do want that Aniseed skirt wannabe. It's less ruffly and bulbous than the original and me likey the price. But does it seem too much like a "knockoff" of the real thing? But ack, stripes and my pitter patter heart ...)

Where do you virtually window shop?

22 June 2010

Things to Do

I know you've all heard this before so I'll keep it very brief: I feel like sometimes in this GO society, we don't end up reflecting in and enjoying our lives enough before moving on quickly to the pace of our daily schedules and obligations.

I think we all forget sometimes how quickly time can pass by and how often we miss out on the little joys for ourselves or in our loved ones. I realized while putting this post together was how little time I've spent on life goals. Career goals are one thing, but what soul-fulfilling experiences (big or small) do I want to come away with? What do I want to do in (not with) my life?

So I figured I can't ever be too old (or young) to start my personal bucket list - let's consider this a work in progress:
  1. Visit Machu Picchu
  2. Learn to swim (I grew up in NYC - who had a pool?)
  3. Go to Hawaii
  4. Attend cooking classes
  5. Visit my grandmother this year
  6. Start painting again
  7. Start writing again
  8. Be a mascot for a sports team
  9. Spend more time developing a list of things I really want to do in my life and being OK regardless of how big or small the item is
 What's on your bucket list?

And here's my OOTD. Kind of boring, but I had a meeting in town and wanted to be professional and simple but still keep it pretty(?):

Dress: Gap (thanks, sis - though was this a maternity dress for you?)
Blazer: Banana Republic
Shoes: Nine West Temani patent wedges

21 June 2010

Games People Play

Here's yesteday's OOTD:

Shirt: Lands' End Canvas gingham poplin (worn here before)
Shorts: Anthropologie Hei Hei Heatwave (worn here before, and here for the plaid version)
Belt: J.Crew embossed
Bracelet: J. Crew studded bangle
Shoes: Franco Sarto

Weird note about me: I'm not big on making returns. Partly because I've lazy and don't want to head back to the store just to return something; partly because I'm cheap and don't want to pay for return shipping (well aware that I spent more money buying the item and will lose money if I keep and don't wear the item); and partly because I usually hem and haw about a purchase for so long that I don't even buy it unless I am pretty sure about it.

So it is unusual for me to need to return a bunch (my idea of a bunch) of stuff - but it is really just more evidence that I am a terrible impulse shopper.

Exhibit 1: I purchased the Left Coast Herb Field cardi from Anthro and tried it on for the first time at home - bad call. It is now completely sold out online and was a wish list item for me, so when I saw it in-store on Sunday, I snatched it up immediately (and thoughtlessly!) bought it.

I got the XS and it fit great in the sleeves, but the collar was a hot mess (to put it lightly). I couldn't make the jersey and silk trim lay in any fashion that looked remotely flattering. And honestly, for $88, I kind of wanted something a bit more substantial than a glorified jersey knit.

(However, you can see those who know how to rock their Herb Field cardis - Tippy and Kim and Rosa).

Exhibit 1.5: I also snagged the Molded & Melded tee on my visit on Sunday after finding it on accident on a shelf under a table. The tee was on my wish list and I got a XS - but when I tried it on at home, it was a little huge on me and kind of hung strangely due to the embellishments. Doomed for the returns pile? I'm still considering.

Exhibit 2: I ended up purchasing the steel blue Indigo by Clarks Finch wedges on a whim. The tan ones I have are awesome, so I considered getting a pair in another color. Well of course the steel blue ones were sold out in my size almost everywhere (and why does that make you want something more?!) ... until Zappos had a popback and I bit the bullet. Well hello, Clunkville!

Exhibit 3: For some reason returning the (already-superfluous) Clarks mentally made me think it was OK to hunt for another pair of wedges. And I am now making my first foray into the world of sky-high heels, and purchased the Kasi wedge from Sam Edelman (dang you, Endless, and your sandal super-sale).

I've seen this shoe on some other bloggers and thought they look super-hot. However I haven't even received them yet and I am already having buyer's remorse. Another pair of wedges? And potential ankle-twisters for a known klutz?! (Another thing I love about you, Endless and Zappos, is your awesome free returns policy).

The end story? Lisa = bad impulse shopper who is completely susceptible to the mental games of supply vs. demand. Don't be like me. :o}

19 June 2010

Hello Saturday

Hi ladies, I'm finally home! So I'll be back to our regularly-scheduled programming again shortly.

I did have a bunch of lovely packages waiting for me when I got home, including my much-anticipated Cartonnier Hello Sunday blazer from Anthro.

The jacket is a heavy knit that is lined in the body but not the sleeves. It has light shoulder pads for shape and hook and eye closures down the front. I have the Flipside blazer also from Cartonnier in a XS, but purchased the Hello Sunday in a S, which was a good idea. The sleeves are slim, and though they are comfy for me, the knit doesn't have much stretch so this isn't a blazer where you'll be pushing or rolling up the sleeves on.

Sleeves aside, I am so keeping this jacket. I love LOVE the look and the overall fit. This is definitely something that can be super-casual or dressed up for work.

Unfortunately it was another hot day in the city, so for my OOTD, I opted sans jacket:

Top: J. Crew graphic milliner tee (worn here before)
Skirt: NY & Company abstract print (worn here and here before)
Belt: J. Crew skinny metallic
Sandals: Franco Sarto (worn here and here before)

I also got in my DVF Lush flip flops and think they are keepers. I wanted something as casual and comfy as a reg flip flop, but with a little more pizazz.

The Indigo by Clarks Finch wedges in steel blue leather, however, are going back. The fit and feel are just the same as my tan ones, but the color makes the sandals look clunky. Boo.

BTW, I cut up some fresh jalapenos to go with burgers for dinner. Now everything on my skin that my fingers touch end up on fire. Hope you all are having a better weekend than I am right now.  :o}

17 June 2010

Ruffled Peonies Seeing the Light of Day

Dinner tonight and one more meeting tomorrow before it is homeward bound for me. Though I love what I do for work and have had a satisfying week, there's nothing like going home for some "veg time." I  already have a date set with the BF to cuddle on the couch watching Netflix movies and chomping on takeout pizza from The Vintage. In my pajama bottoms and a soft slubby tee. With my stuffed sheep named Sheep.

What do you look forward to when you've been away from home for a while?

Sweater: J. Crew Sunshine Peony cardigan
Top: J. Crew Evie silk ruffled
Trousers: The Limited
Shoes: Sofft Vivian
Belt: Target

On another note, if you liked the idea of the Time Gone By Dress by Maeve but wanted something with more modern styling, check this out:

Hello - LOVE!

15 June 2010

Business as Usual

Quickie post - OK, first off, yes I did cave and purchase the Cartonnier Hello Sunday Blazer.

Second, so far my FL trip is above and beyond last week's whirlwind - like, I've gotten to be outside the immediate area of my meetings, I've gotten to eat, I've gotten to sleep ... and heck, I packed for the weather this time. What a nifty idea.

Here's my OOTD from dinner last night:

Top: slub tee from Target
Skirt: Anthropologie Edme & Esyllte Royal Poinciana
Belt: J. Crew elastic blossoms belt
Shoes: Clarks Artisan Herring ballet flats
Necklace: J. Crew beaded ribbon

And here's my biz-cas outfit for today:

Dress: Banana Republic shirtdress
Sweater: J. Crew Jackie cotton cardigan
Belt: J. Crew elastic blossoms belt
Shoes: Sofft Vivian

And the hotel was so nice - they left a little treat for my room! Nothing like having the opp to drink an entire bottle of wine by myself in my hotel room ... Except what I really wanted was some water! The only water in the room was $4 a bottle (say what?!) - though at about 11:35 p.m. I did cave.

Hope you all are having a great week so far - off to do some e-mails before calling it a day for my 5:00 a.m. wake up tomorrow (ouch).
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