Monday, May 30

A Memorial Weekend Away

I just returned from a little adventure out into the country, and I had lots of good ol' fashioned fun!  We took a 6 hour road trip out to spend the long weekend with my family,  and I return to the blog world with a ton of fun pictures!  The weekend included shopping for antiques, driving my dad's 1971 Mustang for the first time, having a lovely family party, and watching my poor dog B get chased down by 3 horses (not exactly the best part of the weekend).  Nevertheless, it was eventful and memorable!

Our trip started out on a beautiful Friday afternoon with lots of sun... which then quickly turned into a long and miserable road trip with multiple thunderstorms.

On Saturday we had so much fun shopping at a huge flea market, despite the intense heat!

We also checked out my parent's progress on their new house (my dad is building it himself)!

Last night we had a blast lounging around the yard, and enjoying our time with friends and family (which included some amazing magic tricks from our lovely neighbor).

Today, before we left, I said good-bye to the horses.  They can be such a pain in the behind sometimes... (hah).

1 Dress, 2 Ways (Urban Outfitters)
1.  Red Linen Blazer: UO // Gold Flats: JCrew // Gold Necklace: F21
2.  Necklace: Loft // Belt & Flipflops: Gap // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!  Did you do anything interesting this weekend?

Thursday, May 26

The "World's Best" Lasagna

E and I love to cook.  In fact, our first date was spent cooking sauce together!  So, when I found this "World's Best Lasagna" recipe on, I knew we had to give it a try.

Typically we make various veggie-filled lasagnas, sometimes even mixing a little tofu with the ricotta cheese to make it healthier.  We love adding spinach, mushrooms, even carrots to our recipe...but this one... this "World's Best" was not about being healthy.  This was about my favorite 6 letter word: C.H.E.E.S.E.

We started with some homemade "meat sauce," and substituted Morning Star Italian Sausage and Quorn Beef-Style Grounds for real meat.  (To all of you meat-eaters out there, this means all of the flavor without any of the grease!)  We added crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, onions, sugar, fresh basil and parsley, and let this simmer for almost an hour.

Afterwards, we made the ricotta cheese, egg and parsley mixture, and began the fun part of lasagna-construction!  I also did not buy the packaged, shredded mozzarella cheese... I went for the fresh stuff.

As I was about to cover the lasagna for the oven, I noticed that we had accidentally opened a very precious package of Reynolds Wrap that I had kept hidden in the back of the pantry.  My sweet grandmother was a bit of a pack-rat, and my family loves to laugh about all of the old, outdated items she kept around her house.  This Reynolds Wrap managed to stay in her house until the 21st Century...even though it's older than I am!!

Maybe I'm also being a pack-rat by insisting on keeping this Reynolds Wrap, but it's such a strange and special little keepsake.

After almost an hour in the oven (covered for 25, uncovered for 25), the lasagna was amazing!  The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for it to cool before eating!

 Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

(Pssst! Don't forget to click here for the recipe.)

Wednesday, May 25

Discount Nautical

I recently found this silk skirt for $3 at a thrift store...score.  But, I can't figure out what to do with it, and I definitely don't like it with this top.  BAH.  Do you post outfits you dislike? ...cuz this girl does.

Shirt: H&M // Skirt: Vintage // Shoes: Loft

Sunday, May 22

Comfort Food & Comfort Shoes

Dressing up for a Saturday night out on the town isn't so easy when that town is a big city and you are taking a train and a long walk to get to your destination.  Last night we visited a fun new place in Philly, but I knew we were in store for a lot of walking, so heels were out.  Sticking with my little black dress, I added a jacket and kept the shoes comfy.  

We ended up at my favorite ice cream parlor at the end of the night, which means I had some comfort food along with my comfort shoes. Win!

Dress: Loft // Shoes: BC Footwear // Jacket & Belt: Gap // 
Clutch: H&M // Glasses: Warby Parker 

Thursday, May 19

Cream & White

Jacket & Heels: UO // Dress: Gap // 
Necklace: Loft // Bracelets: Vintage (Mom's)

I love the idea of mixing unexpected colors, like brown and black, and so cream and white seemed fitting for Spring.  I also have to admit to stealing this idea from Kendi Everyday and What Would a Nerd Wear.... what stylish ladies!  Do you have a favorite, unexpected mix of colors?

Wednesday, May 18

A Half-Change

Sweater: Talbots // T-shirt: Gap // Skirt: H&M // Jewelry: Loft

I frequently come home from work and half-change.  Yes, half-change... you know, just make a few adjustments before moving on with the evening part of your day.  I typically only do this on a Friday, when we drop our work bags and excitedly start our evening of friends, fun, and some nearby restaurant.  I'm typically too lazy to completely change, so I pull a half-change.

Jacket, Jeans, Bag: Gap // Shoes: Payless (old)
Sweater, T-shirt, Jewelry same as above

Tuesday, May 17

The Easy Way Out

I pretty much hate this outfit because it's exactly where my brain goes in the morning when I'm forced to think before a cup of coffee: work...comfort....professional........... neeeeeeeeed coffee.

Black pants are the easy answer, and adding a t-shirt makes you feel like you're cheating the system a little bit.  Feeling bad about taking the easy way out, I added this bold necklace from Express and some sparkly earrings from Macy's.  It's still just a boring outfit... but now it's sparkly.

T-shirt & Sweater: Loft // Pants: Gap // Shoes: Target // Necklace: Express

What's your "easy way out" outfit?

Cream of Potato, Leek & Bacon

The farmers market in my town opened this weekend, and I'm thrilled about it!  I typically buy far more produce than two people need for a week, stock up on freshly cut flowers, and let Browny say hello to all of his neighborhood pals (like this little guy):

Sorry, getting side-tracked by cute animals is just part of the deal when you visit this blog.

So, back at that farmer's market on Saturday.  I picked up a bunch of leeks and knew that the rainy forecast was perfect for a cream of potato and leek soup this week.

Only a few ingredients are required for this lovely soup:
  • 6 potatoes
  • 3 leeks
  • 2-3 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 quart cream
  • 3 strips of bacon? "bacon"! Fake bacon, if you'd like to get technical.
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
        • (If you're curious, I used this recipe for inspiration.)
Starting with 2-3 quarts of water, I boiled the vegetable bouillon (which is far cheaper than buying pre-made stock).  While the bouillon was boiling in the large pot, I used a separate pot to saute 3 leeks in the butter.  Then I added 3 pieces of Morning Star bacon.  (A few drops of liquid smoke would also be a great vegetarian alternative to real bacon.)  

After the leeks were thoroughly cooked, I added them to the boiling potatoes and vegetable stock, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Then I added the quart of heavy cream, and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch (just to thicken the broth).  Afterwards, I let it simmer for about 45 minutes.  

I went out to pick some parsley from our little herb garden, only to find this little guy: (see, I told you I can't resist animal photos)

Needless to say, the parsley got an extra good wash before it was chopped and put into the soup.  I saved an extra piece, just to get all Martha Stewart on you.  Voila!


Sunday, May 15

Constantly Wrinkled

Yes, I'm a wrinkled mess.  I haven't worn these jeans since last year, and I didn't even think about picking up an iron on this lazy Sunday.  The wrinkly jacket it absolutely inevitable.  I bought this from Gap several years ago and its extra soft, thin fabric is constantly wrinkled.  Nevertheless, this outfit was comfy for brunch and an afternoon at the movies!

{Jacket & Jeans: Gap // Scarf: H&M // 
Jewelry: Loft // Coral Bag: Esprit (old)

Friday, May 13

No Promises

It takes a lot of will-power to not wear a soft, comfy white blazer every single day.  I'll try...but no promises.

{Jacket & Clutch: UO // Shirt: Talbots // Pin: Loft // 
Jeans: Gap // Earrings: H&M}

Tuesday, May 10

Everybody Everywhere: Florals

Florals | Everybody, Everywear

Today is Floral Day over at Everybody Everywear!  I love florals, so when I looked through my closet last night, I was actually shocked to find out that my only other item of clothing that has a floral print was actually worn last week.

I'd love to pretend that this dress came right out of my grandmother's closet (because it looks like it should have), but in reality, I snagged it from a vintage clothing store in Philly a few summers ago.  I don't have too many vintage pieces, but I love them sooo much.  

Old zippers, old seams......old floral print, for sure!

{Dress: Vintage // Sweater: H&M // 
Earrings: Target // Sandals: BC Footwear}

Monday, May 9

An Old Sole

My favorite pair of boots had seen better days, and so I knew that a trip to the shoe doctor was necessary.  Luckily, our neighboring town has an amazing cobbler who has been repairing shoes for longer than my parents have been alive!  (no kidding!)  I couldn't resist snapping a photo of this place... isn't it the cutest?!

Needless to say, the shoe doctor really fixed up my boots, and they're completely ready for next Fall!  Can you believe this was a $15 dollar repair?  

While I was in the shop, the cobbler told another customer that he has outlasted 5 other cobblers that were formerly in his town.  Why is this work so outdated?  Why are people not repairing their shoes... are they simply throwing them away?  I love the idea of supporting such a great small business, and I certainly love holding on to my favorite boots for many more years!