Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pardon the absence

I am currently working on finding my perfect blog-life balance, and life is coming out ahead at the moment. I'm hoping to find a happy medium that doesn't completely exclude either (and a more regular posting schedule would still be swell), but for now I need a little break. Back soon, I hope!

I will leave you with: my new prescription sunglasses.

They are not actually mine yet - I had them order the same pair in silver so I can pick one and then order for real.

Poll! Can I wear these ("almond" color, not to be confused with gold.. but close) with all of my silver jewelry? I'm normally not a fan of gold-colored things, but man I love these.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh button-ups, you are great for layering

Seriously. I have had a few for several years now and pretty much ignored them. But man, they are great for putting under all sorts of things (shirts, dresses), and the layering keeps it from getting too biz-cas.


I love the back of this dress!
Tim made sure to get the rose in some of the pictures

dress: Modcloth; boots: boutique in Portland; button up: JCrew outlet, maybe?; socks: Anthro; tights: American Apparel; watch: Target

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Very First Toms

I've never been a fan of the weird look of Toms, but lately I've seen more of them on otherwise fashionable people, and I think it's starting to get to me. While I've continued to resist the plain flat ones, they recently came out with peep toe wedges, and I saw them in red and had to try them on. And then buy them...

This is what happens when I don't have my tripod. But I kind of like it.

I think this outfit looks a bit better when it's not so lopsided...

cardi: Alloy; shirt, belt: Anthro; jeans: Express; wedges: Toms; necklace: Etsy; earrings: Old Navy(?)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Productive Sunday

What I did today:

  • cooked up some vegan macaroni & "cheese"
  • washed several loads of laundry
  • baked red velvet cupcakes
  • roasted some brussels sprouts (they were delicious, I swear) to go with leftover mac & "cheese"
  • made cream cheese swiss meringue buttercream
  • colored, rolled, and cut fondant (homemade yesterday)
  • whipped up a batch of healthy vegan quinoa muffins for breakfasts this week
  • alllll the dishes from above food
  • packed for 3 days at Tim's followed immediately by 2 in Lake Tahoe (skiing! hooray!)

So eventually I will be doing some more food posts! Although I am booked up every night this week, so I can only hope I find the time before next Sunday.

Ahhh, how I love spending the day in the kitchen. Anyone want to marry me and let me be your stay at home housewife, a la the 1950s? Anyone?

New layout!

I was really sick of the old one and wanted something a bit cleaner. This isn't necessarily there yet, but it's a temporary change until I finally make myself sit down and do some real work on it.

Sunday Love

Friday Love became Sunday love this week, due to a crazy stressful week and having to put my own sanity above blogging. As a bonus for the late post, you get a couple of extras this week!
  1. The Red Velvet dress collection
    Red Velvet is an adorable boutique and cupcake shop run by a pair of sisters, Elsie and Emma. I am in love with both of their blogs (and they might sort of secretly be my heroes), and now I found yet another thing to love - Elsie's spring/summer dress collection, all designed and handmade by her and her small staff. I'm particularly in love with the Vanilla Lace Dress, but the Wedding Cake Dress, Kite Day Dress, and Pen Pal Dress are also some of my favorites. LOVE.

  2. Shiraz
    I only recently started enjoying red wine, and I still don't really know which kinds I prefer (side note: I really need to take a wine tasting trip to Napa/Sonoma - I've never been). But I've had a couple bottles of Shiraz lately and I like it pretty consistently so far. 
  3. DIY decor
    This is more hopeful thinking. My bedroom has all the charm of a dormroom (with a nicer bed), and my cubicle at work is just plain boring. I'm really hoping to find some awesome decorations I can make myself and brighten both of them up. Especially the cube, since I definitely spend more waking hours there. I'm thinking perhaps a crocheted cupcake banner to hang up next to my desk?

    Any other ideas? Seriously, tell me - I will be so grateful!
  4. The Small Notebook blog
    Another brand new discovery. I found the blog via a link to a DIY bubble chandelier, but I can't get over the rest of the tips, projects, and organizational advice. I'm especially drawn to her posts that tell you how to make the most of your space, and make a rented apartment feel like home. Now I just have to crack down and start using those tips!
  5. Anne Leibovitz Disney Photos
    I think she has been making these off and on for a few years, but I only recently discovered them. The ones below are brand new, but if you Google it, you can see tons of others! I love the combination of famous celebrities and familiar Disney scenes, along with the stunning photography and effects.

    Queen Latifah as Ursula
    Alec Baldwin (aka Jack Donaghy!) and Oliva Wilde as the magic mirror and evil queen from Snow White
    Penelope Cruz as Belle and Jeff Bridges as the post-beast prince
  6. Crochet
    I did a ton of this from October until Christmas, hurriedly making gifts, and then stopped pretty much entirely. I'm starting a few projects again and am pretty excited. I will be sure to post when I make some real progress!
  7. These wedges
    I love these so much. They're a bit more than I'd like to spend, and I have no idea how comfy they are, but they are so gorgeous!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sesame Soba Stir Fry

Cooking is one of the most relaxing things I can do after a long day of work and commute (yep, I actually came home Monday night instead of staying at Tim's... I haven't had a full back and forth commute day in like 3 weeks before today). I'm doing that vegan thing again this week, to continue recovering from bad eating habits as of late and because I really like fresh "real" foods. Unfortunately, I think I'm still getting the hang of eating enough vegan food, so I was starving all day and craving protein, and this dinner was full of it.

Sesame Soba Stir Fry
adapted from a recipe in Vegan Planet, one of my favorite cookbooks ever, even when I'm not vegan

1/3 cup tahini
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce (tahini works well)
3 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup water, or as much as necessary to get a smooth sauce

Stir fry:
8 oz soba noodles (if you can't find these, you can use spaghetti or linguine, but definitely try to find soba)peanut oil, for stir frying
1/2 package extra firm tofu (optional - extra protein for me during vegan week)
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
Assorted veggies - green beans, snow peas, red/yellow/green pepper, edamame, carrots, frozen peas
1" piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

  1. Boil water and cook the soba according to package directions (keep an eye on it - it cooks faster than spaghetti!)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk all sauce ingredients but water together in a small bowl. Slowly add water and continue whisking until it thins and becomes a smooth saucy consistency.
  3. If you're making tofu: heat about 2 tablespoons peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and the 1 tablespoon soy sauce and saute until it begins to darken at the edges.
  4. Set the tofu aside, turn the heat down to medium, and add another tablespoon of oil. Time to cook the veggies. You can throw it all in at once or get fancy and cook based on cook times. I started with carrots and yellow pepper and then added green beans and sugar snap peas after a couple of minutes. Add the ginger now, too!
  5. Cover the veggies and let them cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften (you want them kind of crispy still, but you at least want the carrots to soften up a bit). Then add the frozen peas and stir, then the noodles, sauce, and tofu. Lower the heat to low and saute for a couple of minutes, until everything is heated through, including the peas.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

And some bonus outfit photos, because I love the new super soft cardi I bought during 30 for 30 (but couldn't wear!), and I'm proud of myself for wearing a color. Crappy pictures taken in the mirror above the kitchen sink (and tripod is still at Tim's!).

cardi: Anthropologie; tank, jeans: Express; necklace: NY&Co

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

30 for 30 - day 30!!

Am I finally getting the hang of this? I'm really pleased with this outfit, because it combines some of my favorite things: red/black/white, stripes, colorful tights... the tights and scarf may be considered 30 for 30 cheating, since I bought them during the challenge, but I like to think of it as finally making up for not owning enough accessories and a reward for making it this far :)

scarf: Zara; belt: Buffalo Exchange; earrings: SF Indie Mart; headband: ?
Yeah, the tights actually are this blinding IRL

tights: We Love Colors
And an extra special thanks to Tim, who was my photographer once again and took pictures that didn't need any cropping, IMO. Much better than that pesky tripod.

PS I may have cheated and swapped this with day 29 because this outfit and the photos were way better and I wanted to end on a high note. Shhhhhh.

Whoops, shopping: part 2!

I went shopping again last week, this time on a mission for more patterns and colors. I managed to succeed and fail all at once: I did indeed buy some patterned shirts, but I couldn't justify them and returned them a week later. Alas. Here are the failures, which I swear look worse in person:

All shirts from Zara
So, here's the problem: everything I found with a cute/colorful pattern also happened to be in a light, airy fabric. This means it kind of hits my boobs and hips and flows out, without bothering to go back in at the waist. And I end up looking 30 pounds heavier than I am. Belts and tucking them in only made things look worse. So, goodbye flowy tops. Ah, the perils of being an hourglass shape!

Monday, March 7, 2011

30 for 30 - day 29

Oh man. Not my best. The outfit is okay, I guess, but not my favorite (although I am pretty pleased with myself for turning a dress into a skirt). And the photos leave much to be desired. This is what happens when it's rainy out, and I have Tim instead of a tripod (the tripod complains less about being out in the rain). Indoor shots, with poor lighting. And my terrible iPhoto retouching skills. Just for the record, this is my purple shirt, not the black one - it's kind of hard to tell.

Is it just me, or does it look like I took these with one of those hipster iPhone apps?

tights: We Love Colors
scarf/belt: Delia's or Alloy

Stay tuned for the final outfit tomorrow! I swear the photos are much better, and I like the outfit more, too.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

30 for 30 - day 28

Almost done! In fact, as I post this, I have finished all 30, but I have to get around to the blogging part now. Soon, soon! I'm not a big fan of the coloring in these pictures - a little washed out.  That's what I get for trying to use the manual settings but not spending enough time configuring them. Ahhh, well.

I love my new pearl/ribbon bracelent. $1 at H&M. Amazing!


tights: American Apparel
dangly earrings: gift from mom; "diamond" earrings: Target


I didn't try this shirt combo on before committing (by bringing it down to Tim's for my commute-free week and saving it for the last day) but I was really pleased. One of the main things I learned from my closet organization and the 30 for 30 is that button ups are super versatile. This one was actually a hand-me-down from my cousin like 7 years ago. I'm on the lookout for a few more - I might check out J Crew soon, although I've never shopped there in my life.

Some morning sunshine