Statements of Style

You’ve seen the real thing, on all the stars, on the runways, and at your local J.Crew store for $150+, thats right I am talking about the statement necklace of the season, the bubble necklace.

Everyone and their cousin has one or makes one, and they come in every color under the sun. If you don’t have one and you’re in the market for the bubble necklace, check out this Etsy Shop, they feature the necklace in a variety of colors for only $15!!!  However, the bubble necklace isn’t the only way to make a statement with your wardrobe this fall. Statement necklaces are everywhere, so I thought we’d take a little exploration of all the best looks for fall, and if you’re wondering where to get them, just click the link and bring it from my blog to your fall wardrobe!

Another great place to check out awesome statement necklaces is Anthropologie, I love this necklace, its not huge and chunky like the bubble necklace but it still makes enough of an impact to a simple outfit that it can be your perfect add on to a variety of different outfits. Especially if you are trying to jazz up your casual wear!

and it comes in two other colors besides the one listed below, I just like this one best because its a funky kind of mustard color, which as one of my coworkers has informed me is suppose to be SOOOOO IN this season! So you better stock up on it here for only $38!

Also, I am obsessed with this, because its more of a stacked look than the necklace pictured above, and even better, if you were inspired by my last beading post and attempt at making jewelry, you’ll love this necklace, which was made by “Making it Lovely” and you can find her blog and the instructions for making this necklace here!

Also, I looooove fun and quirky pendants, like keys, owls, huge stones, whatever just one focal point at the bottom of a longer chain! For example, this little anchor is a fun way to add some pizzaz to a nautical colored attire! And you can pick it up here for only $16 , this site has some other really fun pendants too!

Or, like I said, the key pendant is one of my favorites! So precious, and perfect! You can grab this pendant from Urban Outfitters here for $18!

Now to change things up a little, lets look at some of the geometric statement necklaces hitting the accessories sections this year! I think the geometric patterns and shapes in these necklaces are so awesome! I gives your outfit a more playful element than just jazzing it up with a bright bulky necklace.

I just love all the shapes and complimenting colors of this necklace, buuuut its a little pricey, however, if youre super into it you can pick it up here for $55! Maybe I can find a cheaper version somewhere because I would love this for some of the navy/purple/hunter green in my wardrobe! I die!!! This piece is also great if you are looking for something a little longer, and with a more natural stone look, as opposed to an acrylic or plastic.

I really really really love this one, I couldnt find a site for it, which is probably a good thing, because I might have ordered it on the spot, but I would take this in any color. I have seen something similar in mint and I just love it, but this coral color is really fun to! I just love the stacked tear drop shape, its fun and elegant at the same time. Perfection!

I hope I have inspired you to spice up your wardrobe, there are so many great options out there right now, I cant even stand it! Just remember when putting on that statement necklace that the goal is to enhance your look, not take awayu from it, so they tend to work best with something mire simple that just needs to be taken up to the next level! And as always, if you’re trying to get some color blocking going on with your accessories, make sure to check out your friend and mine, Mr. Color Wheel and you can’t go wrong! Happy Accessorizing!

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Aging Tastes

Tuesday was my 23rd birthday, wahoooo! I guess this year is a big one for me, even though 21 or 25 is suppose to be my best friend managed to point out to me that this year will be my last birthday before I get married (aaaaahhh!!!!) And, its my first birthday I have celebrated since graduating college, which I have to admit is kind of a downer, it takes you out of the “instant party element” where at 10pm on the night of your birthday you can text 10 of your friends to meet you downtown for drinks or make a little facebook event to get as many people there to celebrate with you at the last minute.

I mean nothing really compares to the EPICness of your 21st birthday, ever. Its like its the first time anyone and everyone wanted to celebrate your birthday, no matter what, probably because it was an excuse for them to act like a bunch of fools. BUT its probably the best night of your life you barely remember.

I mean, compare this picture of my 21st birthday to the one below of my 22nd. A nice quiet dinner after a football game at a Mexican restaurant, cake included. Much more low key, and if that was low key, then this year was like a private party….

….but I have to admit I kiiiiind of liked it! I have been having this conversation with a few people lately but birthdays are kind of like valentine’s day and new years (says my friend Katy) our reasoning behind this? You always build of these expectations of what it should be like or what you would like it be like, and its never really what you thought in your mind, whether its better or worse, its never really what you imagined, and shes right! This year David was going to take me to a sushi restaurant I have been wanting to try in Charlotte, and when he called to make a reservation they informed us that for efficiency purposes they do not allow you to make reservations after 6pm….. which is probably why I was so astonished and angry when they told us that the wait was 45 minutes, to me, this seems like the opposite of efficiency. So we ended up changing our plans at the last minute, again, not what I expected but we did go indulge ourselves at the cheesecake factory so it all worked out in the end. We had also previously agreed that nothing was going to be as delicious as the meal we ate Friday night with my parents at our favorite restaurant in Augusta, potentially the best food I have ever eaten in my life, which is what I say every time I eat there. Apart from indulging myself in a variety of delicious meals, I also received gifts fit for my adult life aka things for the kitchen and money!

haha! I mean, I was excited about them so I guess in my tastes are aging just like me! I also got a new lilly planner, this year, for the first time, I downgraded to the smaller size because they didnt have the medium size at the Lilly Store in South Park only the small and the large (which was strange). I opted for the smaller one for easy carrying and wedding planning! David also got me Lara Spencer’s new book “I Brake for Yard Sales” all about thrifting and refurbishing, and decorating on a budget, I literally cant wait to read it, because I am hoping it will be the manual for my future life! I also used some of my birthday money to treat myself to some new boots, which I got for 50% off, Happy Birthday to me! And then I got a cute new dress I might wear for engagement pictures and some jewelry, all on sale, so now I can use the rest of my birthday money for really fun things, such as…. paying my rent or my cable bill. Yep, 23 the year of adult life and my last year of unmarriedness. Crazytown! Heres to another year of fun, love, good health, and good times!

My Budding Obsession

I don’t know if any of you have picked up on the slow decline of TLC from a channel with semi educational programming to a channel educating people on the bizarre in the world. However, recently I have somehow fallen back into the TLC trap and I am developing a severe obsession with their new series Breaking Amish.

I can’t even lie, the obsession has kind of taken over my life. I have watched all the episodes and still cant even believe what I am watching. And I don’t think its that I am shocked how different their lives are, but its like “I cant believe they are doing they things they are doing” For example, they went to buy “English clothes” on the last episode, aka not Amish clothes, and one girl decided if she was going to dress english she needed to get some sexy lingerie. So awkward…. And then two of them decided they wanted to be models but they couldn’t do the swim suit portion of the casting call because they were not “swimsuit ready”….. TMI. I mean it is all I can do for my jaw not to drag the floor as I am watching this every time. Its literally unbelievable. Like I said, its not about what they didn’t do because they were Amish, but its what they are doing now…. because they no longer want to be Amish, its bizarre to say the least!  I think it might turn into some kind of Ex-Amish Jersey Shore type activity, which has the potential to be hilarious, next week they plan on going out together to drink. HAAAAA! I literally cant wait until next Sunday night, its epic! If you’re not watching it, you should be, its…. on a whole other level. And if you find that your curiosity cant be quenched TLC has started a vlog series called Amish 101 where the cast breaks down all the ins and outs of Amish life and answers lots of questions people have. Although one of the biggest questions that has come up since the shows first episode, which aired on September 9, is the question of legitimacy in the casting and their situations. Some sources are saying this is not the cast’s fist soiree outside of their closed communities, and that two of the characters actually already have a child together, one was previously a model, and another is also married. So, it will be interesting to watch and see how TLC handles this situation, since I am sure they haven’t seen a ratings hike similar to the ones they have had lately with the combination of Breaking Amish and Honey Boo Boo, so I think if they are found out to be reality TV frauds, they could be down for the count. I mean they also have groups like this one on facebook, watching their every move and trying to discount their credibility. So we will see how this pans out! But for now I will just keep watching this approaching train wreck because I don’t see the drama easing up any time soon!

Movement Mondays – Double Dipping

If you didn’t catch the SYTYCD Finale this past week, you kiiiiind of missed out, because they decided to treat us to not only ONE group routine, BUT TWO! The first one at the opening of the show was amazing! It featured the top 20 all reunited, and it was awesome! I just loved it. It was so beautiful and majestic and wonderful! I love the costumes, the lighting, the movement…. EVERYTHIIIIIING! So beautiful, it might be one of my favorite dances from all 9 seasons!

This second one was the top 10 and the all-stars doing a tribute to the awesomeness of the Lion King, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon, ballin’ out of controooool! I could barely contain my excitement, although I will admit that the excitement of the crowd is sort of overwhelming and by that I mean…. I couldn’t hear the music so i felt like I was not getting the full effect, but I still found it to be AWESOME. Like I said, I think this immense love is partially attributed to a combination of some of my favorite things happening all at once (So you think you can dance, The Lion King, and a top notch Nappy-Tabs routine!). So, check this out and see if you are as impressed as I continue to be. I think you won’t be let down!

The Favors we Favor

I think it might just be me, but I have been really stressing over what to give as favors at our wedding in August. I mean I know its a little over 10 months away, but I just think about it all the time. I want something that is personal to the two of us, something that we both like, that people will think is fun and original, and per the request of David, something that provides instant gratification (which came about as a result of my requesting that we give one of our favorite treat recipes with all the dry ingredients in a bag or a jar, he promptly informed me that people did not want to have to make their favors, they just wanted to be able to enjoy them when they got them. Instant gratification) Needless to say we are still on the hunt for the perfect favor and I have pinned to my hearts content and picked several peoples’ brains, and I am still undecided. However, like any good wedding, we do know that we need to have koozies for our guests drink time enjoyment, so I took to the web to find a good website for them, and I wanted to be able to get them at a good price. BUUUUT I got really side tracked with this awesome website called custom ink that allowed you to make a little mock up right there…. soooo I thought I would share some of the more comical ones with all of you, because, who doesnt need a good laugh! Don’t worry, none of these will be making an appearance on drinks at our wedding!!

I thought we’d start with this one because its…. the most traditional and wedding related of all the ones we looked at…. well this one, and the one below….

I also appreciate the bathroom figurines on this one. So classy!

Although, David was quite the fan of these trout koozies……

While I was more into a comical representation of my former gang life in my college sorority:

Additionally we both appreciated the comedy of this approving cartoon couple on the front of our koozies!

Needless to say, once I found out that we could add all the different pictures on the front a lot of time was wasted trying to come up with some of the most comical designs we could, some that were maybe not blog or wedding appropriate. And, by the way, all of these pictures were included in the clip art section for weddings, with the exception of the fish and the theta…. but the theta one looks similar to a love knuckle one that we tried out as well! Definitely a fun website if you are looking to kill a few hours AND we did manage to find a design we both really liked, but we cant give it all away here! Stay tuned for more wedding updates as we keep planning and organizing, etc! 314 days to go!!!!!!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Beer

 

As Oktoberfest approaches and beer lovers commune world wide to partake in every German’s favorite past time, a little microbrewery in Delaware prepares to ship its limited quantities of seasonal brew that has “beer connoisseurs” tripping over themselves to stock up on the limited quantities sent to stores in their area. At least thats the story David kept telling me until he finally got his hands on a case of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale a few weeks ago, marking what he believes to be the sign of the changing of the seasons.

Whats worse, he has been hoarding two bottles left from his case last year to savor when the new case came out this year. Crazy I know, but according to David and his friend Tyler, the beer tastes just like pumpkin pie, and everything that is fall. I think I remember David telling my Dad once that it was like Thanksgiving in a bottle. In case your clueless as to what this Dogfish Head is, or are curious about Punkin Ale, heres a short little video to bring you up to speed.

I mean, who can’t love something that has a direct link to punkin chunkin, only the most American thing to happen other than the 4th of July, a bunch of fools shooting and catapulting pumpkins across a huge expanse of land. Enough said, everything about fall is awesome, but David likes this beer the most. He says that a good compromise for the punkin ale is Octoberfest by Sam Adams,

but I can tell he still thinks it doesn’t quite stack up against his one true love. I think we visited Total wine once a week for 3 or 4 weeks waiting to see if we could catch the first delivery, he even went so far as to find out which day of the week it would be delivered so he went every Wednesday until he got his case. What can I say, he’s a diehard coming home from his first and only stock up trip for the 2012 batch with a case and a half to savor for the next 12 months, and I am sure that first, cold glass of Punkin Ale was that much more delicious since he worked so hard to get it!

 

He even told me that when we were in college that he and his friend Tyler, the other punkin ale addict, went to a local grocery store and informed the manager of what a hit this seasonal beer was and she actually called her distributor and ordered all he had left, needless to say, Tyler and David were in hog heaven. So, in celebration of the upcoming kick off of Oktoberfest, and of course the most wonderful time of the beer, go out, find some punkin ale, and have a toast to David and Tyler, the two people responsible for causing you to become a seasonal beer addict. Cheers!

Masterful Marsala

I have found recently that one of the hardest things to do is pick something to cook for dinner when I limit myself to ingredients that I already have, even if its just the main ingredient. For example, if I only have chicken, or pork chops or something and I have to scour my cookbooks, pinterest, and other cooking sites on the web, I find it harder to pick something that seems delicious, because… well everything other than a chicken dish or a pork chop dish looks delicious at that point in time. 

Needless to say I spent a good hour reading recipe ingredients to David before we finally settled on something to make with all the chicken he got on sale at the grocery store earlier in the week. We finally decided on chicken marsala, because I have finally converted him into a mushroom lover like myself and we would only need some marsala and mushrooms, all the rest of the ingredients we had at home. We also made homemade garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed asparagus. And by “we made it” I mean…. I cooked the asparagus and supervised while David did the rest, because after my thigh had a little run in with the grease in the pan, I was over the activity of cooking dinner, so word to the wise….watch out for popping butter in the pan if you enjoy an injury free cooking experience. However, despite my struggles, David did a pretty top notch job of preparing dinner solo. We used this delicious Emril recipe I found on the food network site, and my only complaint was the sauce wasn’t super thick, but that can be fixed with some extra flour into the sauce to make it more like a gravy (which is what I prefer), so a simple improvement for next time!


Ingredients (chicken marsala):

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake)
  • 3/4 cup Marsala
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped chives, for garnish

Instructions:

  • In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and salt and pepper nd stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Movement Mondays – Leave

Well, I have to say I am a little depressed as this week will be the finale of my favorite summer series, So You Think You Can Dance! They will be closing out their 9th season this week and crowning one boy and one girl as America’s favorite dancer. I have to say that I have always been quite the fan of Eliana, but the past few weeks I have really been impressed with the way Chehon has really just come out of his shell and really connects with the music and the movement and the story, which is probably why I was drooling over the combination of he and Allison in this Stacey Tookey routine to Leave from the Broadway Musical ONCE. So amazing! I love watching people grow as dancers and performers, thats probably why I like teaching dance too! Check it out! Also, please try to notice the part where Chehon lifts Allison WITH ONE HAND…. in case you might miss it, HA!

Five Fall Favorites

As the weather starts to turn, and my summer dresses and skirts give way to my fall wardrobe, I am always reminded what I love about pulling out those comfy cool weather clothes. Although, I think I probably say the same thing as the weather starts to warm up in the spring and I can start pulling back out my skirts and dresses. I think its that I hate to see my clothes hanging in my closet all sad and neglected when they aren’t in season. However, there is just something about fall that is better than any other season. I think its the crisp cool air, and the changing leaves and COLLEGE FOOTBAAAAALL, that just make it top notch, although apart from those things my closet also contains five things that I just cant wait to get my hands on once the summer ends and the temperature drops (although I have to admit, in North Carolina this takes much longer to happen than in most other places around the country)

1. scarves

I love scarves, I have way too many and I just keep adding to the collection, its a habit I can’t kick. I love solid scarves to wear with patterned shirts, and patterned scarves to wear with solid shirts, its just an addiction, and I don’t see an end in sight, and I don’t hate that. I already started wearing scarves with some of my shorts and cardigan combos, I just couldn’t resist the urge to break them out early this year, which is why they are number one on this list!

2. layers

Layering is awesome, one its functional, you can drop layers if it gets warmer during the day, AND it looks so cute. I love that people really play with patterns and color and textures when they layer, I think it looks so great! I am still trying to master my layering technique to get just the perfect set of staple separates to make every layered look seem perfectly styled and put together, even if it takes minimal effort on my part. I mean it just looks so comfy and casual, but STILL so put together, love it!

3. oversized  slouchy cardigans

I love slouchy cardigans, not necessarily to wear on a regular basis, but its my favorite staple for lounge wear or a casual day of running errands. I also love to wear it over my crazy dance clothes on the way into the studio, because its just to easy. AND again they just look like fall, all comfy and cozy waiting for some hot chocolate around a bonfire in the woods. Too perfect!

4. boots

I love boots, but my ginormous dance calves will not allow me to wear any cute ones so I just envy the closets of my friends as they bust out their cute fall wear every year that always includes this staple. One day I will find a pair that fits and is cute and by that I mean does not include freaking elastic…. UGH thats not fashionable, ever, thanks. But for now, David can rest happily knowing that I wont soon be adding one of his least favorite types of footwear to my collection.

5. coats

From my post last fall, I think we all remember how obsessed I am with coats, well…. mostly pea coats, I mean they are just so versatile and cute, and wonderful. I am obsessed with the one pictured above and am determined to somehow add it to my wardrobe this fall/winter. Its too lovely and perfect not to be hanging in my closet for everyday wear! I mean its like a coat and a scarf all in one, perfection. Must have this!

Big Kid Mac n’ Cheese

For David’s birthday this past weekend, I guess he was feeling the need to return to his childhood. When I asked him what he wanted to make for dinner, we started out saying something simple would be good, and then somehow it morphed into the adult version of mac and cheese and hotdogs (all thanks to David, WHO, by the way, has informed me that I do not give him enough credit on my blog when it comes to the kitchen and how much he helps out, so now you know, this is not the Kristin show, David likes to cook as well, I will try to include him more) Anywho, full credit for this meal idea goes to him, I just tried to help him out so he didn’t have to cook his WHOLE birthday meal alone! So, like I said, this meal morphed from this:

 

into this delicious, wonderful, three cheese rotini with brats and broccoli, which was really top notch and much more adult looking than the above option.
So, heres the scoop on what you need to make this meal happen!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black or white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar or smoky flavor Cheddar cheese (we used cheddar, mozzarella, and munster)
  • a box of rotini pasta
  • one package of johnsonville brats
  • sautéed broccoli

Instructions:

So we cooked the broccoli and brats separately and then cut them up into bite size pieces to mix into the cheese sauce later.

Also, boil the noodles, so they are ready when the cheese sauce is done, which will take about 10 or 15 minutes to make!

Melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk, stirring until well mixed. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth.

Cook for 5 minutes longer, then , add cheese. Stir until smooth and well blended.

Once the cheese is done, add the broccoli and the brats and mix well so that they are well coated.

Once the noodles are done, return them to the pot and pour the cheese sauce over it and fold in until pasta is well coated, then serve and enjoy!

This meal was relatively simple, even though the cheese sauce was homemade, its still only took about 30 minutes in all to throw everything together, and it was that good hearty soul food, with a little upgrade, which made it even better, definitely give it a try, its sure to be a hit! Happy cooking!