April 29, 2011

Favorite Friday: Royal Wedding!

Yay it's Friday! Who woke up to see the royal wedding? Not me- that's what the internet is for! In fact Yahoo has the entire thing if you missed it and a lot of photos. Anyway I thought Kate looked stunning but I do wish she would have done something better with her hair. On a similar note, William is going bald! Haha here are my royal favorites.
Totally trying to steal the show!
Image from Yahoo
Does anyone see hats coming into fashion? I don't really get this but people wore some serious hats to this wedding. Trying to make Lady Gaga jealous?
Royal Wedding Guests
Image from Yahoo
Sweetest Thing
Anyone else think these two were inspired by Courtney & Christina's wedding outfits from "The Sweetest Thing"??
Image from Yahoo
Kate looked stunning but that flower girl is over it. And oh ya here's a good recipe for scones if you decide you'd like some crumpets and tea for brunch this weekend. Have fun! 

April 28, 2011

Season Your Apartment

Cute spring bedding from Macy's
It's starting to get warmer outside and we're all thinking about warm weather clothes. But have you thought about the season of your apartment? Some of the accessories in my place seem dark. New colorful pillows are a way to add a touch of brightness and they're more affordable than getting all new stuff. I'm on the lookout for some new throw pillows for my bed and couch to make my place feel more spring/summer. Here are some that I like.

April 27, 2011

Pastel Pretty Nails

CUTE pastel cupcake nails from Cupcake's Clothes
This spring is a great time to try a different color on your nails. I am always up for a bold color but right now I'm really liking all of the options in pastels! Here are some of my favorites at the moment. Do you like this look or do you prefer the more classic colors?
China Glaze For Audrey, $6
Sally Hansen Yellow Kitty, $6
Deborah Lippman Tiny Dancer, $16
Revlon Minted, $5
MAC Little Girl Type, $14
Essie It's Delicate, $8

April 26, 2011

Italian Cream Cake

Have you ever had an Italian Cream cake? I'm not sure of it's history but I think it's sort of a Southern/Texas thing more than Italian. The cake has coconut and pecans like a German Chocolate cake but it's vanilla with cream cheese frosting. I had never made or eaten one before this weekend when I did both! My grandpa requested an Italian Cream cake for his 82nd birthday so I did some recipe research and began to bake. I looked at a few classic recipes from my mom's Texas cookbooks and decided on this one from Pioneer Woman that is similar. The only change I made was rather than mixing the pecans & coconut in the icing I put pecans on top of the icing between layers and decorated the cake with more pecans & toasted coconut. It turned out to be really pretty & delicious! There was hardly any left at the end of our Easter get-together so that is always a good sign. Try it next time you're making a cake!

April 25, 2011

Spaghetti All'Arrabiata

When I was in Italy Spaghetti All'Arrabiata was one of my favorite dishes to order when dining out. Once it was so spicy my friend's lips started swelling at the table and she continued to eat because it was just that good. This version isn't nearly that hot but it does have a bit of a kick. It's a great alternative to regular marinara sauce.

Spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce

Spaghetti All'Arrabiata
Adapted from this recipe 
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 dried red chilies, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 14-ounce cans of plum tomatoes, sieved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb of spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

To make:
  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over low heat. Add the chilies, garlic and onion, and cook gently for around 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and break them up with your hands or a wooden spoon. Let the sauce cook until it is quite thick, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti in the salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  3. Once the sauce has thickened, add the red vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the drained pasta and the reserved pasta water to the sauce, and toss to coat.

April 22, 2011

Favorite Friday

Happy Earth Day/Good Friday! I'm making an Italian Cream Cake for my Grampy's birthday this weekend for the first time so I'll be sure to post how it turns out. These are my favorites of the week!
From Williams Sonoma, $19.95
Message-in-a-Cookie Cutters
This is such a cute idea! I think my nephew would love a Jack cookie and I could think of some funny phrases for the rest of my friends.
b a friend, $33 for 4
Chalkboard Placemats
Another customizable kitchen item! Pioneer Woman featured these recently on her blog and I think they're fun for a dinner party or if you have kids!
H&M, $49.45
H&M Conscious Collection Scalloped Jacket
Finally I really love this jacket! Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere wore it recently. I'm so mad there is no H&M in Austin- what is up with that?! Also they have no online shopping. That's just torture! Oh well it's fun to look at online...

April 21, 2011

Easy Summer Sandals

I like Lauren's flippy floppies!
It's flip flop season in Austin! The past few days have been in the 90's and I'm very aware of the sad state of my sandals. Since I wear them so much in the warm months I tend to go through sandals pretty quickly. I like them to be neutral colored, easy to get on and off, casual but not cheap-looking, and comfortable. I'm pretty much over the gladiator look this season and I feel like I can do better than your average flip flop. OH and they must be under $50. Here are some that I might have to try on soon.

April 20, 2011

Amazing Hair Find!

Around $8
I'm really excited about this new product I recently picked up at Target so I had to share. It's Nexxus Pro Mend Split End Binding Targeted Leave-In Treatment Creme (long name I know). I read about it in the latest issue of Glamour and since it's only around $8 I figured I'd give it a try. My hair splits pretty easily and I'm always distracted by the ends between cuts. You put this stuff on when your hair is damp after a shower and style as usual. I was pretty much amazed- it really works! It glues your ends together but it doesn't interfere with texture- it's not sticky or hard just normal nice hair. It smells good too. I don't usually use any products in my hair so if you use a bunch of them (some of my friends have like 10!) I'm not sure if this would fit in. Anyway- I think it's worth a try!

April 19, 2011

Now Trending: Upper Midriff?

Upper midriff & skirt looks
I've noticed this look on a lot of celebs recently and in magazines. We all remember when showing your stomach was cool but as I recall in the late 90's it was always either the entire midsection or more of the bottom (like this!). That's why this trend is different- showing your upper midriff? I guess this area is less-scary for most women but I'm not sure if I'm sold on it yet. Rihanna sure seems to like it! What do you guys think?
Rihanna has some interesting tummy baring outfits!

April 18, 2011

Asian Salmon en Papillote

I don't usually like salmon very much but I really enjoyed this tasty Asian version. This recipe is super healthy and comes together pretty quickly. Feel free to mix up the veggies & serve with brown rice.
Salmon in parchment ready to be folded & cooked!

Sesame-Ginger Salmon en Papillote
Recipe adapted from Cooking Channel

  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 teaspoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for brushing packets
  • 1/3 cup diagonally thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

To make:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the orange zest, ginger, soy sauce, orange juice, vinegar, and sesame oil together in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Fold 4 (16 by-12-inch) parchment paper squares in 1/2 lengthwise.
  3. Evenly divide the bok choy, bell peppers, peas and bean sprouts among the 4 parchment packets. Season the vegetables with 1 tablespoon sesame-ginger marinade. Place a salmon fillet on top of the vegetables and season with the black pepper and an additional tablespoon of the marinade.
  4. Fold the top half of the parchment over the fish, and overlap small folds along the open edge to seal. (If you need help with this step this tutorial helps!) 
  5. Place the packets on a baking sheet and brush each packet with olive oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the parchment paper puffs up.
  6. Transfer the parchment packets to plates. Carefully cut the packets open, avoiding the hot steam, and serve.

April 15, 2011

Favorite Friday

Oh hey Friday! This weekend is sure to be exciting. My sister and I have our half marathon (which means we get to carbo-load tonight!) early tomorrow morning. I'm also slated to try dim sum! Should be fun times! Here are some favorites...

Jewelry from Eliza Page
Eliza Page
My ex-roommate turned me on to this fabulous jewelry from a store here in Austin. A lot of the jewelry is truly original and stunning- many of the designers are Austin natives and they offer a variety of price points. The store is on 2nd Street or you can always online shop. That heart necklace is my fav!!

Organic Girl Lettuce
I know lettuce isn't that exciting and I also know they are marketing directly to me by putting "girl" in the title. Who genders lettuce? Anyway I picked up some of the 50/50 mix (1/2 spring mix 1/2 spinach) and it's the best! I don't know why maybe because it's a girl. Extra bonus: there's a coupon on their website.
Chocolate Malt Gelato
On the opposite spectrum of the food world (health wise) I made chocolate malt gelato last week and it was amazing. I strongly recommend the Ciao Bella book that I mentioned last week (that's where the recipe is!). It's too long to post here BUT I will be posting another ice cream recipe soon since I'm obsessed with making it now. If you don't want to make gelato, stores sell the Ciao Bella malt flavor- get on that!

April 14, 2011

Workout Accessories

In my last post about my favorite workout gear I left some things out (the post was getting long!) so I thought I'd share more today.
SPIbelt $19.95
I use Nike+ GPS with my iPhone for running and since it's somewhat heavy I don't like carrying the phone on my arm. Bring in SPIbelt! It's sort of like a running fanny pack but less of a faux pas. It doesn't bother you when you're moving and it holds your phone, keys, ID, etc. Plus it's an Austin company & I like to go local!

Bondiband Headband $8
This headband is genius. It's the only thing that will keep my hair out of my face and not slip during runs. It's adjustable so you can make it wide or narrow and it will even go over your ears (which was nice running outside in Chicago) plus it's sweat-proof.

Nike Running Shoes $95
Nike Air Max Moto+ 8 Shoes
I've been running on these shoes for years now- well different pairs of the same shoes. I might switch it up soon but these have been good to me! It's important to find the right shoe for you if you'll be running. Try going to a local running store that will assess your foot and stride.

I think those are about all of my picks. Did I miss anything? Happy workout!

April 13, 2011

Beauty Picks

I recently got a post on my Facebook page asking for more beauty/makeup posts. I am always open to suggestions so let's discuss!
Nars Concealer Duo, $30
I posted my favorite mineral makeup from Urban Decay earlier. For concealer I use Nars Duo and I like it. I think I'll always be "on the hunt" for the perfect concealer and mascara. If you all have favorites please comment! My favorite tinted moisturizer is actually from Neutrogena and it recently was discontinued :-(. I hate it when that happens!
Makeup Forever Ad
I am intrigued by a few beauty ads I've seen in magazines lately so let me know if you've tried.. The ad for Makeup Forever HD Foundation is not photoshopped so that's pretty cool. I looked at this foundation at Sephora and it seemed really thick and sticky which isn't my style. Anyone tried it?
L'Oreal One Sweep $10
L'Oreal has this eyeshadow out called "One Sweep" which means you can get all three colors on at once. I really like the colors in the one above but that must be too good to be true right? It kinda reminds me of this haha!

April 12, 2011

Easter Dresses

Adult version of an Easter dress??
When you were little did you have an Easter dress? We did and it was usually pastel with puffy sleeves and embellishments. Most of us don't have as much of a need for an Easter dress now (I don't even think they make them in adult sizes) but we can all use a cute spring sundress! I love sundresses in the spring & summer because they're such an effortless outfit. Put one on with some wedges and you look put together in no time. Here are some cute "Easter dresses" that are catching my eye right now.

April 11, 2011

Feel Good Smoothie

At the end of the week my sister and I are running a half marathon. It's my second time doing one and her first so we're really excited! This week is all about doing healthy things for our bodies so we can avoid injury and feel our best on race day. With that in mind I thought I'd share my breakfast- it's fast, yummy, & nutritious. This also makes a good pre or post workout snack.
Start your day off smoothie (ha) 
Feel Good Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt 
  • 1 banana (overripe is fine) 
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries 
  • 1/4 cup of fruit juice (whatever's in the fridge) 
  • 5 or 6 ice cubes 
To make:
  1. Combine all ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. If the mixture is too thick add a little more juice. Pour into a cup and enjoy. 
PS- You can use whatever fruits you have around (fresh or frozen) and you can also add protein powder if you want but Greek yogurt is high in protein on it's own so I don't usually bother.

April 8, 2011

Favorite Friday

Is it time for the weekend already? This will be a fun one- I'm going to San Antonio for a wedding. Here are this week's favorites.
Where can I get a pretzel floatie?
Image from Refinery29
Sweet Valley High Inspired Lookbook 
We all remember these books from our childhood (assuming you were a 90's child) and these photos are just so fun with a young California feel.

Image from Bakerella
Cake Pedestals
Bakerella has a lovely post featuring some great cake pedestals. I have a pink one that I love. This display would be perfect for a shower or tea party.

Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto
My ice cream maker and I are moving on from frozen yogurt and transitioning into making gelato with this book. So far I've made the chocolate base which will soon turn into chocolate malt gelato. YUM.

April 7, 2011

Using the Ball

Exercise balls
Image from Flickr
Yesterday I took "Core" class at Dancer's Shape and it was a serious challenge. Why? Well.. you know those big exercise balls that everyone has? Ya.. I can't say I've ever used one. I mean not on purpose.. I just never really learned how to use them and tend to see them as a bouncy chair more than an actual piece of equipment. Needless to say yesterday's workout was a challenge as I figured out that those balls are actually difficult to balance. My favorite way of using the ball was for glutes. I found this move that we did in class from Shape Magazine (always a good source). So if you have one of those balls around the house (I know a lot of you do!) then why not try this today?
Image from Shape

April 6, 2011

Chicken Salad Salad

Hey everyone. Today I want to share a simple and delicious salad that's perfect for lunch. As always add and subtract whatever ingredients you like or have on hand. This chicken salad is also tasty on a sandwich if you prefer!
Mmm salad salad
Chicken Salad Salad
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken (poach, boil, bake or use a rotisserie) 
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (light is great) 
  • 2 tablespoons dill relish 
  • 1 stalk of celery, washed & diced 
  • Salt + pepper
  • Salad dressing of your choice
  • Salad greens 
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries 
  • 1 tablespoon sliced toasted almonds 

To make:
  1. In a bowl combine the chicken, mayo, relish & celery. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  2. Put your greens in a salad bowl and dress lightly. 
  3. Top with the chicken salad, cranberries, & almonds. 

April 5, 2011

Modern-Retro Swimwear

It's almost bikini season here in Texas and I think that's so exciting! I have way too many swimsuits but every time it starts to get warmer I usually buy at least one new. The retro swim trend started in the last year or two but this year it's getting even bigger. I love the idea of looking like Marilyn at the beach but just be careful to find a suit that flatters your body type. Here are some of my favorite current vintage swimsuits.

April 4, 2011

Smells Like Home

Joya Caprice de la Mode, $32
Image from Joya
Growing up we never had candles around. My mom just wasn't a candle person I guess! But now that I'm an adult with my own apartment I like having nice-smelling candles in my home. My favorite candle right now is by Joya and I got it a while back in the clearance room at Anthropologie. The smell is called Caprice de la Mode and I can't even describe it but it smells amazing! (Anthro always smells awesome!) I tend to like soy candles best but they are also more expensive. It seems sort of silly to spend too much money on candles but they do add something special to a place. What do you think? How much do you spend on candles and which is your favorite?

April 1, 2011

Favorite Friday: April Fools!

Can you believe it's already April? I'm so happy that the spring is here (and the Easter candy). I'm going to the Alpha Chi Fashion Show tonight so I'll snap some pictures. It should be a fun weekend! Here are my favorites this week.
Image from http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/
Grapefruit Margaritas
I love grapefruit, especially Texas ones! This drink looks so refreshing. Maybe I'm on a margarita kick?

Image from Makeup & Beauty Blog
New Nail Shades
Makeup & Beauty Blog did a write up about some new spring Sonia Kashuk nail colors available at Target. That bright pink is calling my name.

Image from Smitten Kitchen
Homemade Golfish
Smitten Kitchen made whole wheat goldfish crackers at home. How cute are they? And healthier than the bag! Yum.