Glimpse of Thanksgiving

Now that it’s a full day and a half after my Thanksgiving feast, I can (somewhat) comfortably button my jeans and look at turkey again.  Sadly, thoughts of turkey dinner and fitting into my jeans again haven’t stopped me from grazing on the ridiculous amount of leftover casseroles since my 4 hour-long food coma on Thursday night.  It’s simply too hard to resist the delicious dishes that I tirelessly cook year after year- and it’s not only because these are the few days of the year that I can delve into such unhealthy casseroles with a reasonable excuse but also because of the sweet nostalgia that comes along with another year of Thanksgiving.  It’s definitely a crazy and stressful holiday, but getting to celebrate it with family, friends, and pets gives all of us the chance to reflect on what this time of the year really means and how thankful we should be for all that we have.  Despite having quite the hangover, a cold, and being stuffed full of food no matter how much my stomach protested, I’m more than thankful that my holiday went well.  I hope that your Thanksgiving was just as memorable, a bit less painful than mine, and full of turkey, stuffing, and wine!

Scroll down to check out some photos I took at my house on Thursday!

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Cute little set up of appetizers and casseroles before the turkey was carved

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 My mom’s dinner table setting for the family

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 Grilling up some apples with my dad

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YUM.

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So. Good..

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Homemade spiked apple cider brought by my Uncle

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Our TWO turkeys (bottom one is oven baked and top one is smoked)

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tried a new stuffing recipe and it was delish- find it here!

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Oven turkey, smoked turkey, and Smithfield ham…

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My favorite- veggie casserole (the goodies are underneath the ritz)

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second favorite casserole- sweet potato

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the pre-dinner champagne toast- CHEERS!

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Chili in the morning after… full of turkey and not happy about taking Christmas pictures

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Hi CUTIE!

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Ombré Nails

Last night, while I was waiting for my roommates to get home, I decided to paint my nails.  They were terribly chipped and I had a birthday party to go to later in the night, so it was pretty necessary unless I wanted to look like one of those girls who peels off her nail polish for fun (which I am).  So, while I was deciding between the usual black and red colors, a little light bulb went off in my head.  I could use both colors by mixing them in a trendy ombré effect!  This was quite the exciting challenge for me because I rarely do exciting or crazy things with my nail polish.  I usually like the simple one-color look- it’s easy to do and looks nice until the color starts chipping an hour later.  Fun stuff huh?

After I sat down on my white comforter with the two polishes and topcoat sitting steadily on my laptop, I delved into my challenge.  The ombré effect initially proved to be much more difficult with no instruction, so I definitely had more than a few re-dos.  Once I finally nailed down (pun intended) the right strategy to get the desired ombré effect, my delight was quickly deflated when my “steady” red nail polish fell open onto my white comforter.  In my efforts to grab the polish before it spilled everywhere, I successfully rubbed all of my painted fingers onto the comforter.  Unfortunately, this ill attempt didn’t stop some of the red polish from adding to the black and red stains from my nails.  Once I attempted to wipe the polish off my bed (unsuccessfully), removed the smeared polish from my nails, and heard the chicken being put on the grill, I started over with a new goal in mind- finish my nails before dinner is ready.  My newfound determination and steady hands proved to serve me well, and 10 minutes later, my nails were finished and actually looking decent.  Aside from all of the reasons I just gave you not to try painting your own ombré nails, you should still do it.  It looks pretty cool, gives you a chance to rock two colors at once, and can maybe even get you a few compliments. If and when you try this nail look, just learn from my mistakes and do not do it on your bed or put the open polish bottles on an unsteady laptop…on your bed.

Steps:

1. Gather two nail polish colors (one lighter and one darker) and a bottle of topcoat polish.

Image2. Start by putting a little half moon shape of the darker polish around the bottom of your nail (don’t put a big glob of polish down, just a smooth little layer).

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3. Then carefully grab the lighter color of polish and put a coat on to cover the rest of the nail.

Image4. After putting on the lighter polish, put the brush on the line where the darker and lighter color meet and start vey lightly and slowly dragging the dark color up towards the tip of your nail.

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5. Blow on the nail for about 8 seconds to get it slightly dry and then use your topcoat polish over the whole nail to smooth and smear out the line between the two colors.

Image6. Keep coating the nail with the topcoat until the colors smoothly blend into each other for the ombré effect.

7. Repeat these steps for the rest of your nails and be patient because it may take a while to get the process right.

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*note: don’t worry too much about getting polish outside the nail because when they are dry, you can use a acetone-soaked Q-tip to removed the edges

Pop Culture Pleasures

If you’re like me, and are celebrating early for the end of a busy and stressful week, I’ve created a list of some ideas to help you kick back and relax with the help of my favorite categories in pop culture.  This list is a compliation of my favorite T.V. shows, movies, books, and music that are all proven (by yours truly) to get the mind off any stressors in life; so take a peek and don’t forget to grab the popcorn, hot tea, or wine on your way out!

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Favorite T.V. Shows:

– Guilty Pleasures:

  • Gossip Girl
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Laguna Beach (Season 1 and 2)
  • The O.C.
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Greys Anatomy
  • Glee
  • Sex and the City

– Scary/Dramas:

  • American Horror Story (VERY SCARY and provocative but I’m into that kind of thing)
  • Lost
  • Alias
  • Revenge
  • True Blood
  • Game of Thrones
  • Pretty Little Liars

– Just too damn funny:

  • New Girl
  • Modern Family
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Girls

Favorite Movies:

– Romance Classics:

  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Titanic
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Romeo and Juliet (Leo DiCaprio version)

– Series Addictions:

  • Star Wars
  • Harry Potter
  • Lord of the Rings

– Psycho Thrillers:

  • Donnie Darko
  • Fight club
  • Vanilla Sky

– Musical Dramas:

  • Moulin Rouge
  • Rent
  • Rock of Ages

– Documentaries:

  • Art of Flight
  • Planet Earth series
  • Blackfish

– Others:

  • Almost Famous
  • Blue Crush
  • Pineapple Express
  • Step Up
  • Bridesmaids

Books:

  • Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
  • All of Chelsea Handler’s books (hilarious) – Chelsea Handler

Music:

  • Death Cab for Cutie
  • John Mayer
  • Katy Perry
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Rihanna
  • Blink-182
  • Ed Sheeran
  • One Republic
  • Snow Patrol
  • The Fray
  • Beyonce
  • Band of Horses
  • Coldplay
  • Rebelution

…and honestly (and kinda sadly) there a TON more that I love in each of these categories since I’m a huge pop culture buff and quite the closeted nerd.  I hope you check out some of the things on my list as it’s always beneficial to open your mind to new things!  Enjoy!

Seeing Color

On such a grey and rainy Sunday like today, somehow all I could think of was color, color, and color.  I’m usually the opposite of a colorful dresser and no matter how hard I try, the boring neutrals are almost always what I gravitate toward.  It’s not always because I actually like the colors black, crème, white, or grey, but more commonly because they are my most comfortable and versatile pieces.  However, I’m starting to think that this neutral obsession is starting to ease up- hence the colorful daydreaming I’ve been experiencing all day.  I definitely still like and will continue to wear neutrals but I think that I’m just getting bored with them.  Unfortunately, it’s always somehow harder for many people, including myself, to find colors in the winter that don’t look too bright or “summery.”  I decided to do a little searching for myself to brush up on the latest color trends for this nearing winter season and picked out my favorites.  I found deep red and the popular cobalt/sapphire colors to be the best for the winter since they are beautiful and saturated colors that don’t look inappropriately bright for the season.  These colors also look very nice on a lot of skin tones and hair colors, which is always a plus.  On my search for “more colorful” colors, I did see a lot of greys, whites, and blacks and of course couldn’t help but add them to my list of top colors for this winter season.  Oh well…I tried to branch out.

Check out the images below for examples of these color trends and ideas for adding them to your winter outfits…enjoy!

Deep Red:

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Winter White:

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Black:

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Cobalt/Sapphire:

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Grey:

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Spaghetti Squash Pasta!

Last night, my roommates and I decided to repeat one of our new favorite recipes of a spaghetti squash dish.  We first took on the challenge of cooking with the unfamiliar veggie a few weeks ago with a Pinterest recipe at hand.  We made a few tweaks to the original recipe as we went along and it actually turned out being DELICIOUS!  Spaghetti squash is now one of my favorite veggies!  It’s more flavorful than regular pasta noodles and is MUCH healthier- I certainly had no regrets going back for seconds. 

You can find the original recipe that was used here, but I suggest tweaking it with our changes for a great and flavorful meal.  The first thing we did differently was get two spaghetti squashes instead of one.  We knew that we needed to feed 5 girls with pretty big appetites instead of the 4 small servings that the recipe was made for, but we actually ended up having a lot of squash left over.  The next day, I discovered that having extra squash was a wonderful thing because the leftovers were just as yummy as they were the night before!  My roomies and I also tweaked a few of the ingredients that the original recipe called for.  The first time we made the pasta, we kept in the broccoli, but last night we left it out and instead added more peas and a bunch of fresh spinach.  The spinach was a great touch- just add it to the chicken stock mixture when you put in the parmesan cheese and make sure you use A LOT.  We also marinated our chicken a day before grilling it, which made the dish extra flavorful.  When everything was finished cooking, we each put our helpings into bowls and added our favorite kind of pasta sauce instead of keeping the pasta plain.  I love sauce, so I would never leave a “pasta” dish dry if I didn’t have to.  The first time we had this meal I used a tomato-style sauce and last night I tried it with a pesto sauce.  I loved the dish with both sauces- you can’t go wrong with either in my book!  Both nights we made this meal, we’ve been overly satisfied and excited to try out another spaghetti squash dish!  I hope you try this recipe because it’s a healthy yet filling meal that’s also a great way to be introduced to spaghetti squash if you haven’t tried it yet!  If you need any more incentive to head to the grocery store, take a look at a few pictures of the meal below! YUM. 

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Feelin’ Sketchy: Winter Neutrals

Over the summer, I discovered and quickly fell in love with the sketchbook app on my iPad for creating my own designs.  Using the digital app to sketch is now just as fun and pleasurable as sketching with a pen or pencil is, especially because it gives me a lot more colors to work with. Below are some of my recent digital designs of outfits featuring my favorite winter neutrals.  Enjoy and keep checking the blog for more looks at my digital designs!

 

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Leather Looks For Less

Even though I’m a beach gal at heart, I’ve always been a huge fan of wearing the color black.  It’s so versatile and can make you look sexy or classy for any particular occasion.  One of my favorite ways to wear black without feeling boring or plain is to wear it on leather.  When it gets cold outside, being able to wear my leather pieces makes me even more excited than the opportunity to wear more black does.  I only own black leather items (except for a beautiful crème moto jacket that I found on sale at Saks) because I know I will wear them to death.  I have a mixture of real and faux leather items in my closet, but the majority of my clothing is faux.  This is because the market nowadays is amazing at making faux leather items that are nearly as soft and pliable as real leather.  I’m a huge fan of this because I love finding deals and saving whenever it’s worth it.  If you’re like me and always want to find a deal without risking quality or aesthetics, check out my leather look-a-likes for less below!

The Moto Jacket:

The Original                                                                The Steal

Image     ImageBalenciaga Classic zip biker jacket – $2,201                Zara Motorcycle Jacket With Zips – $119

 

The Leather Pant:

The Original                                                             The Steal

Image   Image           Mackage Stretch Leather Pants – $276                   Zara Coated trousers with zips – $79.90

 

The Legging:

The Original                                                                The Steal

Image     Image           Rag & Bone Van Dyke Leather-stripe leggings – $350                Zara leggings – $59.90

 

The Moto Boot:

The Original                                                                      The Steal

Image     Image                 Rag & Bone moto boot – $595.00                                             Vince Camuto Winchell boot – $169.00

 

The Leather Short:

The Original                                                                The Steal

Image    Image        Vince leather shorts – $595.00                                         Line & Dot faux leather shorts – $103.00

 

The Knee-High Boot:

The Original                                                          The Steal

1_Stuart-Weitzman-5050-Over-the-Knee-Combo-Boot    Image            Stuart Weitzman 5050 Boots – $598.00                           Vince Camuto Karita Boots – $169.00

 

Friday Favorites: NO SHAVE NOVEMBER EDITION!

Instead of my usual Friday Favorites post, I’ve decided to honor Movember by featuring my favorite bearded celebs.  No shave November is one of my favorite parts of this festive month because I get to swoon over all of the sexy scruff and make fun of my guy friends who can’t effectively grow a nice beard.  If you love facial hair as much as I do, feast your eyes on my favorite men sporting all levels of Movember growth – from shadow to scruff to beard. Ladies feel free to drool over these pictures (I definitely will), and boys… don’t feel ashamed to get some ideas for yourself!

 5 o’clock shadow:

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Channing Tatum

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Penn Badgley

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Chace Crawford

Scruff:

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James Franco

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Zac Efron

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 Bradley Cooper

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Ian Somerhalder

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Taylor Kitsch

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Henry Cavill

Beard:

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Henry Cavill (yes, again)

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Jake Gyllenhaal

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Garrett Hedlund

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Adam Levine

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Chris Hemsworth

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Justin Timberlake

I couldn’t choose only a few photos, so I apologize for the high level of hotness on this page..

For some more hot and heavy beard action from JT, click here to watch his new TKO music video featuring the beautiful beard pictured above..

*All photos taken from Pinterest*

Fruit and Greek Yogurt Breakfast

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Yesterday, I finally took the time to deseed my HUGE pomegranate from The Fresh Market.  This unique fruit is now back in season and available in the supermarkets again- YAY!  Pomegranates and grapefruit are the two fruits that I really look forward to buying when this season hits.  Even though pomegranates aren’t exactly the best fruit for instant satisfaction because of their tough deseeding process, they’re worth getting for their delicious and super healthy seeds.  In addition to being yummy and healthy, the seeds are also really versatile.  They can be frozen and added to smoothies or used fresh in salads, desserts, and various breakfast dishes.  Today I’ve decided to share with you my favorite greek yogurt meal that can be boosted by adding pom seeds for a filling and healthy breakfast.  Check out my easy recipe below for this yummy fruit-filled greek yogurt breakfast!

Ingredients: 

  • any brand of plain 0% greek yogurt (my favs are Chobani, Fage, and Voskos)
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ cup pom seeds
  • handful of blueberries or any other fruit (ex: strawberries or pineapple)
  • handful of granola
  • agave sweetener

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Simply cut up your fruit and add all of the ingredients into a bowl. Top it off with a drizzle of agave syrup and eat up!

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Style Guide: The Chunky Sweater!

Even though I love the warm weather in the summer and spring months, I’m always ready to start layering my outfits and bundling up with a cup of hot chocolate when November hits.  I always get so excited when it’s time to pull out all of my cozy sweaters, boots, and leggings from the depths of my closet and put my denim cut-offs and bathing suits into hibernation.  These fall and winter staples are my favorites because they’re super easy to throw on, always comfortable, and can pretty easily hide any pale winter skin or stubbly legs that definitely can’t be hidden in the warmer months.

For the past few years in the fashion world, chunky sweaters have made a huge presence and I definitely don’t see them going anywhere for this fall and winter season (thank goodness).  In my mind, there’s no reason not to like this type of sweater.  Versatile, slouchy, cozy, and quite forgiving to the body, wearing them feels like a warm embrace. They’re such a valuable style to have in your closet because they can be paired with almost anything when it’s cool outside, and depending on the rest of the outfit, can easily be dressed up or down.  In case you need a little guidance in styling your own chunky sweaters to stay on trend this season, I’ve provided you with 5 different ways to wear them, which are shown below.

1. Over a dress:

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2. Layered:

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3. Belted:

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4. Over a fancy skirt:

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5. With leggings and boots:

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*All photos were taken from Pinterest