Thursday, September 12, 2013

Autumn Musings

On the heels of my "Inspiration" post from a few days ago, I wanted to dedicate an entry to looks I am currently loving for Fall 2013.  One of my favorite ways to de-stress is to browse online blogs/ magazines to get a leg up on new trends and see how girls with killer style are implementing them.  I have always erred on the "safe" or minimalist end of the fashion spectrum but I have found that looking at beautiful images helps me break out of my comfort zone.  With that in mind... here are some of the pieces that I am dying to include in my Fall rotation.

Even though I've already said how much I would love a clothes rack to display a few choice pieces.  I thought this picture really encapsulates how it can be done successfully.
Even though I rarely wear blue, I love this leather jacket with gorgeous sleeve detailing.
If you know me, you know that I rarely wear wrist jewelry.  However, with a new professional career in my future I am finding myself wanting to incorporate this into my day-to-day wardrobe.

This look caught my eye because of the polished yet relaxed vibe.  The untucked sweater with the messenger bag and stacked bracelets takes what could have been a "cutesy" look into one that is quite professional and more my style.

Going from left to right....
1. Monki Graphic Tee: This graphic tee is definitely outside of my comfort zone (I usually shy away from anything with writing) but I love the idea of pairing it with a dressier pant and shoe. 
2. Alexander McQueen Tartan Pant: This pant has everything I am looking for in a professional pant.  It has a slim silhouette which can be dressed up or down (I can totally imagine this with a blouse and pumps or flats and a graphic tee), it has an exposed ankle  which is such a great proportion that shows just enough skin to keep the print from feeling dated.  
3. Marc Jacobs Watch:  This watch just screams "sporty" to me and as a former tomboy, I love jewelry that can toughen up a girly outfit.
4. Jimmy Choo Clutch:  Ok, ok.  This clutch is WAAAYY outside of my price range (I wouldn't pay 1,695 for any item of clothing) but I think it's a fun inspiration piece with the textured leather paired with the gold metallic accent.
5. Zara Nude Pumps: When creating an outfit around a pair of patterned trousers it can be difficult to toe the line between "boring" and "over the top".  In my experience, you can't go wrong with a pair of classic nude pumps which A. Elongate the line of your legs (so awesome) and B. Make you look thinner (also, YAY!).  I especially love this pair because of the asymmetrical lines which keep them interesting but don't overwhelm the rest of the outfit.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Asian Sesame Chicken Salad

Photo cred: Menu Musings

While searching for a dinner recipe last night, I came across this gem on my Food & Recipes board on Pinterest.  Let me begin by saying, this may be the best Asian chicken salad I have EVER had.  Also, while the ingredients list may look daunting, I promise the end product is worth it. 

Asian Chicken Salad adapted from Curtis Stone's Recipe
Marinade and dressing -
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (I grated mine and felt that it integrated better into the marinade/salad dressing)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (white and green parts)
Salad - 
  • 1 lb Napa cabbage, very thinly sliced (note: this is different than normal green cabbage but can be found in most grocery stores)
  • 2 carrots, grated 
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced 
  • 2/3 cup freshly cut cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, dry toasted (note: I left these out of the main batch but added them to my bowl and loved the crunch)
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 cup edamame (these are optional but I love edamame in Asian salads )
Whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha and salt to make the marinade.  Peel and finely chop or grate the ginger (Tip: I found it easier to grate the ginger as you avoid clumps in your sauce).  Now, pour about 3 tablespoons of the mixture into a ziploc and add chicken.  Squeeze out the excess air and either refrigerate (if doing this the night before) or leave out at room temp. for at least 30 minutes. 

With the remaining mixture, add 1/4 cup of Red Wine Vinegar and sliced green onions.

Once the chicken has been marinaded, add to a pre-heated grill pan (or normal either works).  It should take about 4 minutes on each side. Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes to cool (this also keeps the chicken moist by allowing the juice to spread evenly throughout the meat).  

Add chopped cabbage, grated carrots, green onions, and cilantro as well as half of the allotted sesame seeds and toasted almonds.   Add chicken and mix together.  Add dressing and mix right before serving.


Monday, September 9, 2013


One thing I love about moving, is the necessity to start afresh.  Since our move, I have found myself scouring through magazines and blogs for home decor inspiration for our new place.  Even though the majority of the work is already done, viewing the work of talented decorators helps me fine tune what I like/don't like without having to commit in my own home (almost like a virtual dressing room for my house). Here are some of the images I have been inspired by lately from LONNY Magazine.

What I love about this bedroom is the presence of a moving clothes rack.  I love the idea of picking a few pieces to display for both an artistic (they can be displayed as art) and functional (having unique pieces readily visible will inspire you to utilize them more often) element.
What a picturesque garden! Such an ideal place for a small dinner party during the summer.
I don't even think there needs to be a caption for this gorgeous photo.  A perfectly stocked/organized closet of shoes? Sign me up!
I love the minimalist feel to this living room. To me, this emphasizes the importance of having "good bones" in a house.  The brick wall and exposed beams really enhance the "modern lodge" vibe of the room.

How cute is this bookshelf?  It looks neat, without being off putting.  This is the best kind of bookshelf, the one that is frequently used!
Again, I am all about the addition of unique design elements to bring interest to everyday objects.  
While this room isn't technically "my style", I do love the metallic accents against the dark finish of the floor and table.  Also, the use of multiple textures (shiny metals, weathered floors, and plush pillows) creates depth and visual interest without being overwhelming.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Summer's End...

Can you believe the end of summer is upon us?!  It is crazy how fast time passes as you get older.  Anyways, since I have been less consistent in my posting, I felt like I would just do a giant post of pictures I've been stockpiling for the past few months.  We have had a great summer here in DC, full of trips to SLC, Baltimore and NC, lots of cooking, and some fun birthday celebrations for my 22nd.  And even though I am excited for Fall (it's my favorite season) I am also sad to see the summer end. First up in this compilation are some pictures from our day trip to Baltimore.  We celebrated our 1st year anniversary by walking along the docks and eating some killer seafood.
Such a pretty skyline
Such a sweet boat!

Two weeks ago, Stephen and I made a trip out to NC to celebrate my 22nd with my family.  It's always nice to "go home" even as an adult and spend time with the people who love you most in the world :) 
My brother Spencer

The family dog, Charlie!

My studly Dad

The brothers cleaning the boat after our fun day on the water

 For my birthday, my parents continued our family tradition of ordering a Baskin and Robbins ice cream cake (World Class Chocolate, and Cookie Dough).  It felt nice to celebrate a birthday at home!

This past weekend, Stephen and I drove down again to spend Labor Day weekend with our family and had just as much fun seeing Wolverine, boating, and hanging at the pool.


Stephen, the model!

My lovely Mom!
Spencer and Stephen