Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Three Years in Black and White


Hello again! I hope you all are having a great week so far. Today is a pretty important day for Travis and I...it is our three year anniversary! We actually went out do dinner last night to celebrate so we could take advantage of the 2 for 1 sushi deal at Deep Sushi here in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas. It was beyond delicious! It is a pretty casual place, so I did not get too dressed up, but of course I still wanted to look a little fancy. My sweet mother gave me these amazing Roland Mouret for Banana Republic high waisted pants early this fall and I was beyond excited to finally wear them. They fit so well and have an amazing slimming effect. I feel like they are a true wardrobe staple and I am so thankful that my mom added these to my closet. I also love this laser cut crop top from Free People. I scored it on sale last summer and have been loving it ever since. It is basic black and white with very unique details making it the perfect go-to top for almost any occasion. I also scored this Rebecca Minkoff clutch at an unbelievable sale at the end of summer this year. I love having a cross body bag that can effortlessly be converted to an oversize clutch when you need it to be a little fancy. I hope you enjoy my sophisticated anniversary look!

















Top: Free People (old) similar HERE
Pants: Roland Mouret for Banana Republic (sold out) similar HERE and HERE
Shoes: Urban Outfitters (old) similar HERE
Necklace: Kendra Scott HERE
Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff (sold out) similar HERE
Hair: Bellami Ciao Bella Curling Wand c/o 32mm attachment HERE
Styling Products: Fave4hair Workable Wear c/o HERE
Styling Products: Agave Healing Oil treatment c/o HERE


XOXO



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Strawberry, Avocado, and Sugared Almond Salad


Hello again! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I wanted to share another simple salad recipe with you all today. I know this seems like more of a summer salad, but the strawberries here in Dallas have been so ripe lately and I have been finding them at very good prices. I wanted to incorporate a sweet element to a salad and I thought they would be perfect. A little while ago we were at a party that had put out a fruit salad as well as some sliced avocado intended to compliment the sandwiches they were serving. I am not sure why, but I decided to mix a little of the avocado into my fruit salad, and I loved it! It tasted especially divine in the same bite as a strawberry, so that is where the inspiration for this salad really came from. I made it for a little get together with our friends last week. I was so flattered with the warm responses I got, so I thought it would be perfect to share with you all. I hope you enjoy! 

Strawberry, Avocado, and Sugared Almond Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup of strawberries, quartered
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup of sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Plenty of fresh ground pepper

 

Directions:

 Place a small pan on medium heat. Toast the almonds until slightly brown. Add the sugar to the pan and continue to stir until the sugar is melted and caramelized and the almonds are nice and toasted. Remove from the pan and let them cool. Rinse your lettuces and chop into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl. Chop cucumber and strawberries and add to the bowl. Dice the avocados and toss with the lime juice to prevent browning. Add the avocados, almonds, cracked pepper, and dressing (see below) to the bowl and toss. Serve and enjoy!
 

Simple Vinaigrette Dressing

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or stevia
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil

 

Directions:

 Finely mince the garlic and add to a bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except oil and whisk. Add the oil slowly as you continue to whisk. Toss a small amount with salad, serve, and enjoy!








XOXO


Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn Basics



Hello again all! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. We were invited to a little brunch on Sunday to celebrate our friend's birthday. I wanted to wear something simple, but not too casual. I love mixing a clean, crisp blouse with dark denim. In my opinion, it is such a classic combination. Also, the restaurant had a large outdoor patio, so I made sure to bring a jacket since it was a little chilly outside. I know you will be seeing this boyfriend fatigue jacket on repeat because I cannot get enough of it. It is the perfect weight for fall and seems to match with everything. I was so excited that it was cool enough in Dallas to wear boots this weekend! It started to get warmer in the afternoons, so I kept it to a simple bootie. These Jeffrey Campbell's served me well last year and I was thrilled to wear them again. I hope you enjoy this classic autumn look!














Jacket: J Crew HERE
Shirt: Banana Republic HERE
Jeans: Urban Outfitters (old) similar HERE
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell (old) other colors available HERE
Hair: Bellami Ciao Bella Curling Wand c/o 32mm attachment HERE
Styling Product: Agave Healing Oil Treatment HERE
Styling Product: Fave4hair Workable Wear HERE


XOXO

 





Thursday, October 16, 2014

#UNIQUEWAY Asian Chopped Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing



Hello again lovelies! I am so excited to talk to you all about my fun, unique new way to snack. Hillshire Farms has introduced Hillshire Snacking, protein packed grab and go snack pouches perfect for anyone's busy lifestyle. There are 8 different kinds of snack pouches for the unique taste buds in all of us:

-Grilled chicken bites with teriyaki sauce
-Grilled chicken bites with mango habanero sauce
-Grilled chicken bites with honey mustard sauce 
-Grilled chicken bites with sweet chili sauce
- Genoa salami with gouda cheese and toasted rounds
- Italian dry salami with gouda cheese and toasted rounds
- Peppered salami with pepper jack cheese and toasted rounds
- Hot calabrese salami with pepper jack cheese and toasted rounds

 These snacks are so amazing on their own, but they also open the door to so many other possibilities. One of the salami platters could be the perfect start to an amazing fruit and cheese spread, and the chicken bites can aid in creating the ideal, gourmet sandwich. I was particularly inspired by the sweet chili chicken bites. I generally love Asian flavors and thought the sweet chili sauce could be a great base for a salad dressing. With that in mind, I chopped up a few veggies, added the chicken, made that dressing and presto, dinner is served! It was such a a quick and simple option being that the chicken was already fully cooked and the dressing half made. I am very eager to try the other varieties and share some of the additional, unique creations they inspire me to make.

You can find the Hillshire Snacking varieties at the Cincinnati, OH, Dayton, OH and Northern Kentucky Kroger stores, as well as King Soopers and Super Target nationwide.  Enter the #UNIQUEWAY sweepstakes going on now through November 15. Tweet #UNIQUEWAY to @Hillshiresnacks and share something you like to do like no one else.  It can be anything; a unique way to travel, accessorize, or even snack.  By tweeting, you will be automatically entered for a chance to win one of 70+ prizes, including gift cards, samples and a trip for two to the Food and Wine Festival in Miami! You can also enter daily for even more chances to win.

My #UNIQUEWAY is how I combine different flavors together to create the perfect meal or, in this case, the perfect salad. What's yours?



Asian Chopped Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

Using Hillshire Snacking Grilled Chicken Bites with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Hillshire Snacking grilled chicken bites with sweet chili sauce
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart, finely chopped
  • 1/4 head of iceburg lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, julienned
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup of sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds
  • the juice of 3 limes
  • 1/2 cup of sesame oil, (plain, not toasted)
  • 1/4 cup rice of vinegar  
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Directions

Heat a skillet over meduim heat. Toast the almonds for about 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. Remove the nuts from heat and set aside to cool. Whisk together the Hillshire Snacking sweet chili sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey in a bowl. Combine the chopped vegetables, almonds, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add the dressing and the grilled chicken bites. Toss, serve and enjoy!









XOXO


Monday, October 06, 2014

Autumn Pastel Hues



Hello again. I hope you all are having a fabulous week so far. I wanted to talk about a fun fall trend that I have been loving this year, pastels! We usually only sport these fun feminine hues in the spring and summertime, but this year they are following us to fall as well. I picked out a few pieces that I myself have been lusting over to support this trend. I think mixing these soft colors with dark neutrals like black, charcoal gray, and navy are the perfect ways to make your outfit still feel like autumn even with these pastel tones. How are you mixing in pastels this year?


Monday, September 29, 2014

Currently Craving: Bar Decor


Hey guys! I hope you are all having a nice week so far. With fall finally here and the holidays just around the corner, if you are anything like me you are thinking about entertaining. Maybe a few small get togethers or a huge Friendsgiving feast, whatever it is I know you will want to keep the party alive. I picked out a few things I have had my eye on for a great little bar setup. These fun pieces are not only useful, but great conversation starters in your home. Some I have newly discovered, and others I have been lusting at for a while, but all bring a fun modern-rustic vibe to any bar set up or dining room. I hope these entertaining decor pieces inspire your next party.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Foodie Friday: Apple Cider Baked Chicken With Meyer Lemon And Yukon Gold Potatoes



 Hello again and happy Friday! I wanted to share with you all today the other apple-themed fish I made last weekend, apple cider baked chicken. The recipe stems from one by Gimmie Some Oven that I discovered through Pinterest. I changed just a few things but stayed pretty true to the original dish. It was full of fall flavors and so easy to make. Plus, the leftovers tast just as good as the first meal. Also, you are cooking potatoes and apples in the same roasting pan as your chicken, which is just one less side dish to think about. I hope you enjoy this delicious fall dish!  

 

Apple Cider Baked Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Yukon Gold Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 1 meyer lemon, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons of  apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 6-8 chicken legs or thighs
  • 2 large apples sliced into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound of yukon gold potatoes sliced into 1 inch cubes

Directions

Whisk together the apple cider, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, mustard powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the liquid to a large, gallon sized zip-top bag along with the onions and lemons slices. Season the chicken slightly with salt and pepper and add to the bag. Close the bag, place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a large roasting. Pour all of the marinade, including onions and lemons over and around the pieces. Tuck the apples and potatoes around the chicken. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through to re-coat everything with the marinade. Serve and enjoy!

*hint* The original recipe called for an oven temperature of 350 degrees but I read many reviews saying that the potatoes were still underdone. I cooked mine for 45 minutes on 350 and then 45 minutes on 375. My potatoes were still a little under as well, so I removed the chicken and continued cooking the veggies for another 10 minutes or so. I think cooking the dish the whole time on 375 should fix this issue, but be warned you may be leaving the potatoes in a bit longer. Also, the higher temperature thickens the marinade nicely and creates a sauce in the pan, which I loved!










XOXO