3 Fall and Winter Trends To Keep An Eye Out For

Since we are in the middle of the fall season and winter is (sadly) right around the corner, I figured that I’d share with you some of my trend predictions (from a few months ago) of what I thought would be visible during these cooler months. These three trends were fun choices for me because I discovered how they’ve all been recycled from past fashion trends and simply updated for a more modern look.  I’ve included a trend board that I made for each trend, which shows examples of the trend for the Fall/Winter 2013 season as well as their inspirations from the past.  I hope you like the boards and feel free to start stocking up on cropped sweaters, velvet, and high socks – I’ve already been seeing them on the streets!Image Image

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Personal Pesto Pita Pizza Recipe!

My roommates and I love to make this recipe for dinner every few weeks!  It’s a great option if you’re craving comfort food for dinner but also want to stay on the healthy track.  It’s also super easy and quick to make!  Since the pizza will be a personal size, you can put whatever you want on it, but I definitely suggest trying the delicious recipe that I’ve listed below.  My roommates and I also sometimes serve a veggie on the side such as sautéed zucchini or a salad, but the pizza alone is great if you aren’t starving!

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Ingredients (per pizza):

–       1 Whole wheat pita (whole round)

–       Crumbled feta cheese and skim milk shredded mozzarella cheese

–       Basil Pesto Sauce

–       Fresh spinach leaves

–       Baby bella mushrooms

–       Sundried tomatoes (I use halves in the jar with extra virgin olive oil)

–       Dried oregano and basil leaves (from the spice rack)

–       Ground black pepper

–       Grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)

–       Grilled boneless and skinless chicken breasts (I usually marinate mine before cooking for  better flavor)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450º F.
  2. Slice your washed mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and grilled chicken and set aside.
  3. Spread the pesto sauce on the pita followed with some of your feta and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Load up your pizza evenly with the spinach, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and chicken and then top with a little bit more cheese.
  5. Top it off with some dried oregano, basil, and pepper to your taste.
  6. Place the pizza on a big baking sheet or right onto the oven rack and cook for about 8 minutes or until the crust is slightly crispy.
  7. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top for garnish.
  8. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes and then DIG IN!  Enjoy!

The Sunday Routine

As a senior in college and soon-to-be post-graduate gal in the “real world,” I’ve come to realize the importance of maintaining a healthy and thrifty ritual when it comes to grocery shopping and mealtimes.  Since moving into a house last fall with my four other college roommates, we’ve formed a great routine for purchasing and cooking food that not only saves money but also builds healthy habits.

Every Sunday, like today, my roommates and I take a trip to the local Walmart to buy our groceries.  Since all of us like to eat healthy meals and share similar tastes, we decided that it would be the cheapest and easiest option to share our weekly groceries and split the total cost evenly at checkout.  This method has become a huge money saver.  For example, my bill for a whole weeks worth of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and other household items usually amounts to about $35.00. We eat a LOT of food and usually have a few meals consisting of numerous ingredients, so the cashiers are always impressed by how much money we are able to save.  We each separately purchase a few personal items as well, but those bills are obviously dependent on which additional items we each want.  I, for example, spend a little bit more than my roommates because I like to get organic fruit, veggies, hummus, and almond butter from The Fresh Market.  Since I’m such a foodie, having some organic and fresh food that I can’t get from Walmart is important to me.  However, including the additional money I spend at Fresh Market, the price for a week’s worth (and sometimes longer) of groceries is still very reasonable.

Another useful habit that we’ve formed over time is creating a menu, prior to the shopping trip, for the upcoming week’s dinners and ingredients needed for each meal.  This easy task makes our weekly shopping trips much more efficient and also gives us (or Pinterest) the ability to come up with healthy and creative meals.  Creating a menu ahead of time also ensures that we’ll be eating home-cooked, balanced, and healthy meals every night, which is a rare occurrence for typical college students.  Pictured below is last week’s and this upcoming week’s menus.  Last week’s menu is obviously the messy one since we cross off every item after we’ve gotten it at the grocery store and this week’s menu is a bit short because we’ll be out of town over the weekend.

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Every week, I will be posting pictures of and recipes for my own favorite meals and snacks as well as some of the dinners that my roommates and I have been making as a group.  Keep an eye out for my first recipe post in a day or two for one of my favorite dinners we’ve made: Personal Pesto Pita Pizzas!

Luxe Sweatshirts

As the weather is getting cooler, or in my opinion COLD, I’ve been more and more inclined to grab my sweats and sweatshirt to throw on for class instead of a more socially acceptable outfit.  Sadly, I almost always go to class this way.  Being a fashion major makes dressing like this even more difficult since a lot of the girls in my classes actually dress cute; but unless I have time to shower before class, I just want to be comfortable and gym ready while I suffer through a few torturous hours of lecture.  However, when I’m not going to class or the gym, I will actually take the time to dress up like a normal human.  I obviously love to dress well and enjoy keeping up on the latest fashion trends, hence my career path, but as I’ve mentioned before, comfort is very important to me.  Luckily, this daily battle of choosing whether to dress fashionably or completely comfortable has become easier ever since fashionable and designer brand sweatshirts became “a thing”.  I’ve been obsessed with wearing Wildfox Couture’s super soft and adorable sweatshirts for years, but recently I’ve been seeing more and more designers debuting their own trendy sweatshirts.  This fall, I’ve been getting a lot of wear out of my Target x Phillip Lim BOOM sweatshirt, which I was somehow able to covet at Target’s insane debut sale.  I love the graphic superhero print and the fact that it’s comfy enough to lounge in but stylish enough for everything else.  It’s also a little more fitted than most of my other sweatshirts, making it an easier piece to dress up or down for various occasions.

If you’re like me and want a comfortable yet trendy item to wear on a cool and casual day, check out a few of my favorite designer sweatshirts below!

 1. Pencey Fur Front Sweatshirt

Image2. Target x Phillip Lim BOOM Sweatshirt

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3. Wildfox Couture Skeleton Sweater

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4. 3.1 Phillip Lim Leopard Combo Zip Sweatshirt

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Friday Favorites

Enjoy my first of many “Friday Favorites” posts featuring my favorite things of the moment!

Music Album: Katy Perry’s Prism (Walking on Air and Dark Horse have been on repeat)

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T.V. Show: New Girl — so damn funny and relatable

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Fall Fashion: Beanies

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Quote:

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Holiday Drink:

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Holiday Sangria (click here for recipe)

Video:

Since the best weekend of the year is a week from today, I can’t help but watch this video on repeat!  It perfectly captures Georgia Florida (frat beach on St. Simons Island and the rivalry football game in Jacksonville)— WATCH THE VIDEO AND GET HYPED!

A Macaron Love Affair

Today I woke up with quite the particular sweet tooth craving.  It wasn’t the typical, “I want some cereal for breakfast instead of toast” craving, but the kind that can only be completely satisfied with a delectable French macaron.  This treat that I’m referring to is NOT a macaroon (the coconut treat), but a macaron (mack-ah-rohn).  The fact that people and even bakeries use the word macaroon instead of macaron to describe these amazing French confections drives me insane.  Anyway, this craving isn’t unusual for me ever since I tasted my first macaron in 2011 from NYC’s Bouchon Bakery.  I obviously fell in love at first bite, hence the name of my blog.  Bouchon Bakery is still one of my favorite places to grab a monster-sized macaron in the city, along with my other favorite, Ladurée.  Unfortunately, I’ve only been able to find authentic-tasting macarons in New York and have no hope of finding any near me in Athens, GA.  One day I’ll take on the difficult challenge of baking my own macarons from scratch, but drooling over pictures of my past macarons will have to suffice for today.  Feel free to drool with me over these mouthwatering pictures of my favorite Bouchon and Ladurée macarons.

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Caramel and Chocolate Macarons from my 1st visit at Bouchon Bakery

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Macaron from Bouchon Bakery

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The newly opened Ladurée on the Upper East Side, NY

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My first taste of Ladurée macarons- they were just as tasty as they are beautiful

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Pretty little salted caramel macaron from Ladurée

Fall Wish List: Booties!

Apart from the rise in pumpkin-flavored everything and Thanksgiving around the corner, one of my favorite things about the fall season is being able to dust off my favorite boots!  As I said in my previous post, I’m obsessed with comfort, which explains why boots are my favorite type of shoe.  If it was fashionably acceptable, I’d even wear boots over flip flops during the hot southern months.  To celebrate this new fall season and my obsession with the current “bootie” trend, I’d like to show you a few of my favorite pairs of booties from my own closet as well as those on my wish list!

Favorites from my closet:

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From left to right:

1. Sam & Libby Paxton Strappy Ankle Boots

2. Steve Madden Troopa Boot

3. Merona Cadence Wedge Ankle Boot

4. Restricted Tan Cowboy Booties

5. Rachel Comey Mars Bootie

All of these above-the-ankle booties are comfortable, versatile, and great for the upcoming fall and winter months!  

Below are some of my favorite booties that are new for this fall season (and will possibly be on my Christmas list): 

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top left to right:

1. Rag & Bone Newbury Classic Suede Boot ($495.00)

2. Rag & Bone Miles Lace-up Ankle Boot ($550.00)

3. Tory Burch Milan Suede Heeled Bootie ($395.00)

Bottom left to right:

4. Blondo Loann Waterproof Boot ($174.95)

5. Ivanka Trump Mina Bootie ($184.95)

6. Matiko Sawyer Bootie ($241.95)

When Happy Hour Turned Into Burger Heaven…

Last night, a few of my roommates and I finally got back into our Friday Happy Hour routine.  We love to kick back on Fridays after a rough week of classes and let loose in Downtown Athens (a.k.a. the best bar scene ever).  Since it’s been refreshingly cool for the south this past week, I happily dusted off some of my fall and winter staples.  If you don’t know me, then you should be informed that I tend to gravitate towards the most neutral and comfortable clothes in my otherwise colorful closet.  I do love colorful clothes, but they just never seem to win the battle against my more comfortable neutrals that go with everything.   I also have a slight obsession with comfort, which usually makes my neutral selections even more casual looking.  Even though I’d like to see myself as a trendy gal, I can’t help but value comfort over pretty much anything else when it comes to choosing clothes and shoes.  This explains why my go-to outfit will always be a worn in rocker tee, stretchy jeans, and boots.  In my opinion, it’s a comfortable and cool look that can easily be made to look trendy.

Now, bringing you back to last night, I decided to dress a little less casual (but still comfortable) than I normally do for a happy hour outing.  Pictured below, I wore my Zara leather paneled leggings, an A.L.C. layered silk top, lace-up wedge booties from Target, a 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target black mini satchel, House of Harlow ring, Chan Luu bracelet, and my favorite gold layered earrings.  Of course, I wore almost all black, but the cool weather and fact that Halloween is in a few weeks made me feel a little better about my lack of color.

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After enjoying a few beers at one of our favorite bars, Pauleys, my roomies and I headed to dinner at a local restaurant called Clocked.  We hadn’t been to the burger joint before, but we heard amazing reviews about its food and decided it was time to try it out.  Since all of us had a few heavy beers in our systems, we didn’t hesitate to order a basket of sweet potato and regular French fries right after sitting down at our table.  After polishing off both baskets in a few short minutes, we were ready for our main course.  The fries were absolutely delicious, but once we bit into our burgers, all was forgotten.  I ordered the South Street burger that included a thick patty of 100% fresh Angus ground beef chuck, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, caramelized onions, provolone cheese, and homemade Dijon mayo.  After taking one bite of the amazingly juicy burger, I knew I’d hit the jackpot.  All of the toppings blended together so well and the beef was ridiculously fresh, flavorful, and juicy.  That South Street burger definitely made it in my top 3 favorite burgers (and I’ve tried a lot of burgers).  If my body could handle it, I would be at Clocked every weekend, especially since I wasn’t able to try the Chai Tea Latte milkshake and their famous tater tots last night.

I was way too into the moment to think about Instagramming a photo of my glorious burger before it was gone, but luckily I found a photo from Urban Spoon that can give you a slight idea of how delicious the meal was.

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My recommendation to you:

If you are living in, visiting, or simply going through Athens, Georgia at any point in your life, make sure you grab a burger from Clocked.  It WILL blow your mind.