cover me up

Today our cruise stopped in Turks and Caicos, and let me tell you…they know what they are doing when it comes to cover ups. We found a store that sold the most amazing ones I’ve probably ever seen – all colors, patterns, and styles. I could have purchased 10 (if only I lived in a climate where cover ups were crucial year round)! Here are a few of my current favorite cover ups that are the perfect addition to any bathing suit…
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vacation essentials

I used to loathe packing. I would have done anything to hire someone to do it for me.  As time went on, I really somehow grew to like it.  When I’m not in overpack mode, I more or less plan out my outfits, mix and match and merchandise things together, get in the vacation mindset (of course while drinking a glass of wine, listening to some good tunes). I’m leaving on vacation tomorrow and thought I’d share a few, what I believe to be, essentials for a vacay to the tropics.

1. Printed shorts (Missoni inspired from Pookie & Sebastian)
2. Straw hat (from Urban Outfitters)
3. Necklace that you can throw on over a beach-y outfit (from LF)
4. Jean shorts (from Earnest Sewn)
5. Fringe tee (from Urban Outfitters)
6. Fabulous sunnies (from Chloe)
7. Denim button down (from Madewell)
8. Colorful bathing suit (from Canyon Beachwear)
9. Fun scarf to wear as a headpiece or draped around your neck (from Laila Rowe)
Bon Voyage!
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I love a good vest

I really love vests. I think they add a bit of ‘attitude’ to an outfit. Black fitted pants. White tee. Denim vest (Yes, that’s correct – denim. I love a good denim vest). Motorcycle boots. Some funky jewelry. What an outfit. Some people think they can’t ‘pull off’ a vest. Almost anyone can absolutely rock it.  You just have to make the outfit work. I would never advise you to wear jeans with a denim vest, but I would advise you to wear jeans with a vintage tee and a black vest. Yes, I certainly would! Some fabulous vest finds below at all prices and styles.

J.Jill:
Madewell:
Urban Outfitters:
Shopbop:
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Meatloaf Muffins? Yes, please!

I know it sounds odd, but it could be one of the most delicious dinners I’ve had in a while. Meatloaf is one of my favorite things to eat, and in the shape of a muffin – how cute is that? I was trying to find a recipe for a scrumptious dinner last night, and I came across MEATLOAF MUFFINS, and put my own little twist on them. It’s especially a good meal to make if you’re having an informal dinner party.  Put the ‘muffins’ of meatloaf into cute little muffin cups and pass those little guys around.

Ingredients (for 12 muffins):

  • 1 3/4 pounds of ground sirloin
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery – cut into 2 inch pieces and then chopped
  • 1 egg plus a splash of milk – beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of Good Seasons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Put ground beef into a bowl
  • Put onion and celery into the food processor
  • Put chopped up onion and celery into the bowl with the ground beef
  • Add egg (beaten with milk), bread crumbs, and seasoning to the bowl
  • Pour half the BBQ sauce and half the salsa into the bowl
  • Mix the meatloaf mixture together with your hands
  • Brush a 12-muffin tin with vegetable oil or spray with non stick cooking spray
  • Use an ice scream scoop to fill the meat into each tin
  • Top each ‘muffin’ with a small spoonful of the extra BBQ sauce and salsa
  • Bake about 20-25 minutes
  • ENJOY

And some cute muffin cup options:


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shake shake shake

One of my best friends has a love for salt and pepper shakers, and she is my inspiration for this post. Strange you may ask…not so much.  Salt and pepper shakers are a great collectible, great gift idea, and it can be fun to change it up from the standard types you may use every time you make dinner.  Let me take you on a mini journey through the land of salt and pepper shakers.

Michael Aram at Bloomingdales
classic, elegant
cute, silly
artsy, decorative
black, white
unique, fun

Which salt & pepper shaker are you?
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the gifts that keep on giving

As the end of the year is approaching and the purchasing of your holiday gifts is coming to a close, I wanted to share two great gift ideas (not ONLY for holiday time) that won’t only make the receiver happy, but many others, as well.

Everyone loves candles – from the delicious smell to the feel it gives to a room, and my current favorite is the Haitian Mango Breeze candle from Be The Light. Not only does it smell so incredible, but 20% of all the proceeds go to Happy Hearts Fund.

And if you think your gift receiver would prefer jewelry over a candle, you should buy none other than this October Anniversary charm. Not only is it a great addition to any necklace, but 80% of the proceeds go to Happy Hearts Fund.

 

What is better than that?!
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jewelry to go buy now

When I walk into Jennifer Miller I want to buy everything. Even though the store is quite tiny, I could spend hours there.  There is so much to look at and every piece is truly amazing.  Since her jewelry is at all price points, it makes it easy to shop the fabulous collections.  Some of my current favorites below.

Oversized Gold Plated Swarovski Crystal Teardrop Earrings
Yellow Gold Fill Stamped Initial with Chalcedony Bead Necklace
Yellow Gold Plated Large Caged Green Resin Ring
Set of Bangles
White Gold Plated Pave Faux Diamond Clear, Jet, Champagne Ring
Yellow Gold Plated Brown Leather and Blue Agate Cuff
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Yummy Saturday

This year, I decided to give some homemade, edible holiday gifts instead of store bought items. After brunch this morning, I spent the remainder of the afternoon in the kitchen making some scrumptious treats.  I made homemade granola and homemade peppermint & wintergreen white vanilla chocolate bark.  Both were extremely easy to make and both turned out absolutely delicious. I am going to put both items into cute tins tomorrow and some of my holiday gifts are done!

Granola: perfect for breakfast with milk or fruit, on top of yogurt, with ice cream, or even on its own

Granola in the oven
  • Ingredients for 6 servings
    • 3 cups of Quaker oats
    • 1 cup slivered almonds
    • 1 cup cashews
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup + 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
    • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
    • handful of raisins
    • handful of dried cranberries
    • tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Directions
    • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
    • In a large bowl, combine the oats, both types of nuts, and brown sugar
    • In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, oil, and salt
    • Combine both mixtures
    • Pour onto a large baking sheet (spray with non stick cooking spray prior)
    • Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes
    • When just 20 minutes left, take out and pour cinnamon on and stir
    • Remove from oven and transfer into bowl
    • Add raisins and dried cranberries
    • Combine together
    • ENJOY
The finished product
Peppermint & Wintergreen White Vanilla Chocolate Bark: perfect whenever and wherever
  • Ingredients for about 2 pounds of bark
    • Crushed peppermint and wintergreen candies, to yield 1 cup
    • Approximately 8 cups of white vanilla chocolate chips
    • 2 tablespoons of water
    • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Crushed up candies (and they can be crushed even smaller)
  • Directions
    • Place unwrapped peppermint and wintergreen candies in a plastic bag and hammer into small chunks
    • Melt the chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl with the water and oil
    • Stir so all chips are melted together
    • Combine the crushed candies with the chocolate
    • Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment paper
    • Place in the refrigerator for approximately 45 minutes or until firm
    • Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces
    • ENJOY

The finished product
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fashion + comfort = heaven (aka Bloch)

I know we all have tons of ballet flats currently in our closet.  It’s one of those items that every girl can’t get enough of. From different colors to patterns to textures, the options are endless. I live in ballet flats. If I could wear them year round, oh you better believe I would (but the snow and/or rain shatters that dream).  I have different colors, brands, textures; I’m kind of obsessed. However, my absolute favorite ballet flats of ALL time would be none other than Bloch.  When I say they are the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever owned, I actually mean it’s like walking on butter (seriously).

Bloch started as a technical dance shoe company and the man (a shoemaker) that started the company way back in the day was dating a professional dancer at the time. She complained of her feet hurting and he created and designed the most comfortable ballet dance shoe around. From there, a business grew. Years later, Bloch technical dance shoes turned into Bloch fashion shoes. How cute of a story is that?! They have all sorts of styles – from very simple to very embellished. There is something for everyone!

The next time you’re in the market for a ballet flat (which should really be any day now because they are extremely vital to one’s collection of shoes), you should not buy anything except Bloch. It will be one of the better decisions you’ve made. I can guarantee it.

(a sampling)

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