Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Real vs. Deal: Gladiator Sandals

If you are anything like me, even the tiniest hint of nice weather makes you automatically go into the "summer clothes" mindset. In my case, I am already thinking about oh-so-important staples to go with the travel plans I have lined up for the next few months, which also gets me thinking about my first fashion love, sandals. I adore the look of these 2013 collection Stuart Weitzman gladiators with celebrities like Ashley Olsen, Kate Moss and Kourtney Kardashian sporting them everywhere but the price tag is just too hefty for me to pull the trigger on purchasing them. It's almost been a year and I am still in love with these amazing sandals, which is always a good indication that they should be mine so I started searching for more affordable options. Thanks to DSW, I think I found the perfect substitute for the real thing! For only $44.95, I found these identical gladiators from GC Shoes and I honestly can't tell the difference between the two except for the major cost savings, can you?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Winter Warmer: Homemade Marshmallows

I really love hot chocolate on a cold day and since we have gotten more snow than I know what to do with recently, it's been the perfect opportunity to make it. With Valentine's Day just come and gone, I thought it might be fun to make my own heart (and snowflake to reflect the weather, of course) marshmallows as the perfect compliment to top off my drink. The homemade hot chocolate recipe I typically use is below with simple instructions on how to make your own marshmallows!

Hot Chocolate Recipe
  • 4 cups (1 qt.) milk
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe
  • 8 oz container of Cool Whip Lite
  • Baking pan
  • Parchment Paper

Marshmallow Instructions

1. Line a baking pan (8'' or smaller) with parchment paper
2. Spread your Cool Whip evenly into the pan and flatten the top as much as possible with a spoon
3. Put it in the freezer for 24 hours so it hardens up
4. When it's hardened, take it out of the freezer and use cookie cutters to form your marshmallows
(note: the Lite Cool Whip didn't harden as much as I was hoping it would and got soft quickly after it was taken out of the freezer so I would try using the regular kind if you can stand the extra calories)
5. Add the marshmallow to your favorite hot drink and enjoy!


Friday, February 14, 2014

{DIY} Valentine's Day Candy

I love Valentine's Day but for the most unexpected reasons. My husband and I don't go out to lavish dinners or buy each other expensive gifts (we are planning on Indian and a House of Cards marathon this year) but it's nice to stop the usual bustling in life even just for a day and acknowledge the special person in your life. Since my husband loves chocolate and I have a niece and four nephews who I always send something to, I decided to make my own Valentines candy this year. After scouring Pinterest, I found some great options that I decided to try myself...here is how everything came out!

{DIY} Heart Bites

Following this simple recipe, I made my own heart candies using just white (and milk) chocolate, heart iced cube trays from Michael's and festive toppings! I even took it one step further and made mint candies just by adding some mint extract and green food coloring to the white chocolate...both kinds were delicious!

{DIY} Valentine's Fudge

I was a little weary of making fudge since I had grown up eating the best of the best in Maine but using this recipe that I found on Pinterest, it was actually an easy baking project. Instead of Strawberry, I used pink vanilla icing and although the color might throw you, it's fitting for the holiday in addition to being absolutely delicious (I promise). Lastly, I wrapped the individual pieces up in clear bags tied with festive ribbon to finish it all off!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Military Style

Old Navy sweater/ Madden Girl boots (old but similar here)/ Jcrew Scarf/ Forever21 Jacket/ Jcrew Factory Leggings/ Sekonda watch (last seen here)/ Vintage Coach bag

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sparkly Flats

It might be below freezing outside but you wouldn't be able to tell from my feet. I just snagged these amazing gold loafers from Gap for just $10 (down from $39) over the weekend and since I live in flats, getting a flashy new pair at a huge discount always feels like a small victory. Like em'? They are completely sold out online but your local store will likely still have them!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chocolate-dipped Mint and Almond Biscotti

I always see great coffee snacks like these in Starbucks while I patiently wait in line to order but I'd never really given much thought to how easy they would be to make on my own. When I first saw this post on Cupcakes and Cashmere, I was immediately brought back to that Starbucks line and was determinedly decided to take a mini hiatus from the cakes, pies and candy baking phase that had been occupying most of my time. There is nothing better than trying something new so using this chocolate-dipped almond biscotti recipe (I substituted mint extract instead of almond in the directions), I create these tasty biscotti's!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Home Decor: White and Gold

I love white and gold separately but I really love both colors even more when they are paired together. There is something so regal about the way they compliment each other and appeal to the eye. Whatever it is, it works! I've recently thought about what white and gold pieces I can incorporate into my own home, which made me stop to wonder if others might be looking for unique and easy ways to do the same thing. This is a taste of what I found and each option allows for a simple integration of flare whether it's for entertaining, to dress up a mantle or just to add a splash of color to a chair. I am a bit biased here because the first picture is a piece from an artwork collection created by my brother-in-law but his plates are amazingly stunning each with a different gold pattern. You better believe that I will be asking for these to complete an entire wall each Christmas for many to come.

1. "From On High" Plate Artwork (prices vary) from Jed Morfit

2. Doha Pillow Cover ($75) from ChaneeVijayTextiles

3. Paper Mache bowl ($13) by Etco

4. Zigzag Serving Tray ($98) from Upintheairsomewhere

5. Scalloped Garland ($12/strand) from Stephlovesben

6. Champagne Flutes (4 for $17) from Indigo

Monday, January 13, 2014

Golden Globes Fashion

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, awards season and what a strong start! I could not believe how beautiful the women at the Golden Globes looked and while there were some missteps, as there always are, I thought the styles worn could be a very exciting indication of what's to come. Each dress was so drastically different that it was hard to identify one major trend but the bold red color choice to match the red carpet certainly stood out in addition to the very simplistic and minimal approach taken with jewelry. Here are a few of my favorites from last night and the oh-so-good looking couples that really stood out.

Unforgettable Looks
Lupita Nyong'o in Ralph Lauren/ Cate Blanchett in Armani/ Margot Robbie in Gucci/
Olivia Wilde
in Gucci / Taylor Swift in Carolina Herrera

Unforgettable Couples
Leslie Mann & Jud Apatow/ Naomi Watts & Liev Schreiber/ Tina Fey & Amy Poehler/
Camila Alves & Matthew McConaughey/ Emma Roberts & Evan Peters