Saturday, October 27, 2012

Riding out the Storm: Bake & Create

Hello again! Tropical storm Sandy's rain has already reached us and the winds are kicking up but I'm settled in and enjoying this lazy Saturday tremendously. I was so inspired this morning by a blog I found -  I can hardly wait to share it with you! Amy Moss, creator of Eat Drink Chic has an absolutely lovely blog that will inspire you to create, entertain, collect, and well, want to be her. She's absolutely lovely. So, while the wind is whistling outside and rain is pounding the roof, I've decided to bake, create and clean out my pantry. Huh? What? Clean out the Pantry? That's not much fun, right? Wrong! The Clean the Pantry Cookies recipe below is not only "oh my gosh these are so good!" amazing, but it is designed to use up small amounts of baking chips and left overs from other recipes. You can substitute whatever you have in your pantry, just make sure that you include approximately 1 cup baking chips and 1/2 cup nuts.

Next I'm going to sew some aprons, and several potholders from the book Pretty Little Potholders for Christmas gifts; I'll try to post pictures tomorrow if I can fit it in.

Clean the Pantry Cookies

1 cup butter-flavored shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1/3 cup white chocolate morsels
1/3 cup toffee bits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, beat shortening and sugars at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

3. In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. With mixer on lowest speed, add flour mixture to shortening mixture in three batches, beating well between each addition. Fold in chocolate chunks, white chocolate morsels, toffee buts, and walnuts. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, placing cookies 2 inches apart.

5. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Kitchen Tip: These cookies are designed to use up small amounts of baking chips and left overs from other recipes. You can substitute whatever you have in your pantry, just make sure that you include approximately 1 cup baking chips and 1/2 cup nuts.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How To Layer Jewelry

I'm loving the new layered jewelry trend - especially layered bracelets. Like layering clothing, however, there are some do's and don'ts to achieving the perfect look. Check out this video from LEAF, and then my do's and dont's below and you'll be piling them on in no time.

DO mix metals. Gold, Rose Gold, Silver all look great together. Just keep it consistent everywhere else.

DO combine textures, gemstones and materials. Leather looks beatuful next to pearls, next to linked chains and next to diamonds. Keep your layering as eclectic as you are.

DO have fun with it. This look can be as simple or complex as you’d like. Pile on the bracelets to be extra chic and draw attention to your every gesture or slip on a couple of delicate necklaces to add extra sweetness to your sundress.

DO learn the art of organized chaos. This is not about piling on a bunch of random stuff or wearing all of your favorite jewelry at once. There’s an art to it! Keep everything organized and follow the suggestions above.

DON'T think that one size fits all. Layering is all about mixing and matching complementary pieces of jewelry. Mix chunky pieces with delicate items and you’ll be right on target.

DON’T combine too many colors. Pull a statement color out of your outfit and incorporate that into your layered pieces.

DON’T overdo it. If you’re wearing a plethora of layered necklaces, keep earrings simple (think studs). Going for arm candy today? Don’t pair them with a million necklaces or rings.

The outfit & jewelry deets from video:
Shirt: Kimberly Taylor Veronica Top
Jeans: R13 Slouch Skinny Jeans
Necklaces in order of layers: Diamond disc necklace by Syndey Evan, vintage, black tone and multiple chains is by Skova & Gilded Bar necklace by Sophie Monet
Bracelets in order of layers on right hand:Gold stud cuff by Jennifer Fisher, vintage, vintage, pearl and gold chain bracelet by Bijules, nrown leather with gold hardware from BaubleBar, DIY friendship bracelet, Hermes.Bracelets in order of layers on left hand: vintage, gold and silver bone bangles by Bijules, Michael Kors watch, rose gold square bangle Nicholai by Nicky Hilton.Rings in order of layers on right hand: Made Her Think Talon Knuckle Buster, Mr. Kate Rose Buried Treasure Ring, everything else vintage.Rings in order of layers on left hand: 4 mixed metal rings by NISSA (similar here), black cocktail ring by Bijules, 3 layer silver ring by Bijules
Song featured: Wheels, No Engines by Awesome New Republic

Friday, October 19, 2012

How to Layer for Fall

I love Fall because you can have so much fun layering your clothes. Achieving the classic layered look isn't hard but there are a few rules to follow to ensure you achieve a sleek and stylish look.

Rule of thumb: The thinnest garment should be worn closest to your skin and the thickest garment as the outermost layer. For example, wear a camisole or a fitted cotton T-shirt as the the layer closest to your body. Next layer a light cardigan, then a heavier jacket or a blazer for the the topmost layer.

- Wear fitted clothing: To achieve a sleek look the first and second layers should be fitted. As explained in the above point, apparel which are more loose fitting (jackets, blazers, shrugs, trench coats) are worn towards the top to reduce bulkiness.

- Limit Layers: Most stylists recommend that you to stick to a maximum of three layers so that you don't end up looking too bulky.

- Mix different fabrics: put a sequined cardigan over a T-shirt, a short military inspired blazer over a simple top or a waistcoat/vest over a long sleeve shirt.

- Layer your legs: Layer your legs with tights and leggings worn under a skirt with knee-high boots or booties.

- Accessories: Other items to add to your layers are scarves, belts and accessories. These pieces enhance your overall look. Scarves especially are an essential item to achieving a layered look, but many women say they just don't know how to tie a scarf; check out this website for 50+ Ways to Tie a Scarf.

- Mix different colors: consider your body your palette and play with colors like I've done below. One of the reasons we want to layer clothes is to show off the contrast between different colors and cuts, so there is no need to be dull and boring by wearing a single color for all your layers.

Here's an outfit I put together recently. It wasn't too cold outside so my first layer was the Gap's oxford polka dot shirt, I layered it with this burgundy Calvin Klein corduroy blazer, and a cute scarf. For the bottom half I wore a pair of skinny jeans, and black riding boots for a classic casual look.

Friday, October 12, 2012

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week and that you'll have a fantastic weekend! I'm linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk like I do every Friday to share my fab five for the week.

1. I visited Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina on Sunday. This is my favorite photo from that day.

2. I discovered a butterfly garden at Brookgreen and snapped this shot.

3. I picked up the the Gap's perfect dot oxford shirt. Totally loving this polka dot trend.

3. This week I've been listening to the new Matchbox Twenty album "North". Love it.

4. It's been a decade since No Doubt's last album. Their new album "Push and Shove"is more grown up and I love it.