Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spring Fever

I have been incredibly busy with school the past couple weeks, but I've had this color combination my mind for a while and wanted to share it.  Even though it's still technically winter, Texas is already starting to warm up (for now anyway), and I'm getting excited about wearing tank tops again and trying to incorporate more color into my wardrobe.  I say that every year and still ending wearing mostly black though.  It's a hard habit to break.

Here are some nice spring looks to wear.  Design and living looks will be coming up soon.  And by soon I mean whenever I get a break from the never-ending schoolwork that's kept me from the blog for so long.  I really should be working on homework as I type this, but I needed a break!

I honestly do not have sources for most of the images since I found them on Pinterest (pin responsibly, y'all!), but I can tell you that the dress is Hi There from Karen Walker for Anthropologie, and the hat is by Annie Larson.  The graphic sweater can be found here, though I'm not sure of the brand.

What colors really evoke spring to y'all?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Color Trend: Black and Green

Sometimes I think I spend too much time on Pinterest (I'm sure I'm not the only one), but it's a great source for fashion inspiration and outfit ideas.  Over the past few months I started to notice a color trend that I never would have thought to try:  black and green.  It's a great wintery combo that I can't wait to attempt.  I just picked up a pair of greyish-black legging jeans last night at Madewell that should work great for a similar outfit.

Here are some looks for inspiration.  Which is your favorite?  I'm partial to the third patterned look (and her hair is absolutely perfect!).

Row 1:  The Sartorialist // Wit & Delight // user Lucy D.
Row 2:  Zara // Stockholm Streetstyle // Style by Yellow Button

I start spring classes tomorrow.  Good luck to my fellow students out there!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wishful Thinking #1: Cozy & Comfortable

In a perfect world, this is what I'd be wearing/eating/reading by the fireside.  Living in south central Texas, we don't get a lot of opportunities to use the fireplace, but it's been pretty chilly here lately.  I've been getting good use out of my Ugg Australia black Channing leather boots, which you might still be able to get for about $100 less at Nordstrom Rack (that's where I got mine).  They are so comfortable, and they have fur lining inside for extra warmth.

This segment is called Wishful Thinking because let's be honest, a college student living on a small scholarship stipend can't afford Isabel Marant clothes or fancy home goods from Steven Alan.  But I can dream!  One of the reasons I love websites like Pinterest and Polyvore is that you can get a lot of inspiration even from clothes that are well out of your price range.  I'll never own that Isabel Marant cardigan, but I know I've seen similar ones at American Eagle and Forever 21.  I like to think of them as shopping tools.  But if you are lucky enough to have the funds, I have provided the links to buy everything.

If you looked in my real closet you'd see mostly Gap (the best store for basic tees and sweaters) and sale-priced Anthropologie.  I've been living in various colors of the Eversoft circle hem sweater from Gap the past couple of weeks, as well as the boyfriend v-necks from last winter.

With that disclaimer out of the way, here are some fantasy picks for a cozy night by the fire, curled up with a good book and some delicious Bacon Cheddar Biscuits (can't wait to try this recipe!) and tea.  And don't forget the schnauzer!  My family has three miniature schnauzers, two black and one white.  I cannot wait till I can have a dog of my own, or maybe even a cat if my allergies have lessened enough.

Shirt:  A.P.C. Baggy T-Shirt in Bordeaux
Cardigan:  Étoile Isabel Marant Kiliann Oversized Cardigan
Sweatpants:  Aerie Dormwear Skinny Boyfriend Pant in Charcoal Sky
Socks:  Monki Marita Socks in True Kiss Red
Blanket:  Khadi and Co Multi Plaid Blanket
Recipe:  Bacon Cheddar Biscuits at Frites & Fries
Mug:  Room Essentials at Target Espresso Mug in Black
Tea:  Tazo Blush Berry Black Loose Leaf Tea
Teapot:  Teavana Claire Glass Teapot with Stainless Steel Infuser
Book:  St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (great short stories collection)

I'm seriously considering ordering those Aerie sweatpants tonight.  They were all out of my size in store today.  I used to be pretty anti-sweatpants, but it's hard to feel motivated to walk to the campus gym in 50 degree or less weather in running shorts.  Do y'all have a favorite brand, preferably ones that are long enough for those of us who are tall?

In other news, I found a pretty nifty French press coffee maker and tumbler combination at Sur La Table last night.  I used it this morning with a Bavarian Hazelnut blend we found at HEB and it was pretty tasty!  I want to try making tea in it tomorrow.  It's nice that you can make the coffee in the same container you'll drink it from.  And it's dishwasher safe (but what isn't these days?).

Stay warm!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Post-Holiday Detox

The holidays are over!  I'm already mentally preparing for a return to campus for spring semester, but first I need to take care of another pressing issue:  post-holiday detox.

I'm not super serious about detoxing like some people are.  As much as I would love to do a ten-day juice fast (if you haven't seen the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead you should check it out), I don't exactly have room in my apartment, or the funds, for a juicer.  And I always say that I could easily become a vegetarian, but the truth is that I would miss chicken and the occasional seafood.  I'm also a huge fan of Mexican food, and... yeah.  Enough said.

My idea of detoxing is making an effort to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet, and limiting meat and grains, but not cutting them out entirely.  The point of a detox is to give your body a rest after a prolonged period of heavy eating by emphasizing whole foods and cutting out excessive sugar and processed foods.  It's not a full-time diet.  You can decide how strictly or not you want to stick to the traditional detox rules:  no sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, or processed foods.  Frankly, I don't have the willpower to carry it out to that extent, nor do I think I need to.  I'm relatively fit, I'm close to the target weight for my height and age, and I don't have any gluten or other food allergies.  The best detox plan for me is not a plan so much as a goal to eat more whole foods and keep indulgences to a minimum.  A little chocolate now and then never hurt anyone, after all.  The idea is to think about what you're eating and what nutritional purpose it serves, and be good to your body so you'll feel energized and happy.  Go easy on yourself; strive, don't deprive!

Before I start sounding like a diet book, here are some recipes (all from the Internet) that have served me well in the past, and a few that I'm eager to try.  I recently took the Kale, Apple, and Pancetta salad with me to an office potluck and it got rave reviews.  The Pan Seared Fish with Chermoula Sauce is a recipe that even picky eaters, my brother for example, will enjoy.  I made it for us one night after classes and he cleaned his plate.  Out of the untested recipes I'm most excited about trying the brussels sprouts recipe; my mom hated them as a child, so she never made them for us growing up.

1. Watercress Salad at La Tartine Gourmand
2. Kale, Apple, and Pancetta Salad at Once Upon a Chef
3. Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans at Real Simple
4. Pan Seared Fish with Chermoula Sauce at Bijouxs

1. Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Steamed Veggies at YumUniverse
2. Endive Appetizers at Love & Lemons
3. Detox Apple and Cabbage Salad at FitSugar
4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Almonds and Crispy Proscuitto at Eat Sleep Cuddle (plus    three other brussels sprouts meal ideas!)

What are some of y'all's favorite healthy recipes?  Drop a line in the comments and share the good news!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

This Year Could Be Our Year

Photo source:  Kalnai by Jokübus Mulerskas

Perhaps my favorite New Years moment this year was shortly after midnight, when my mother hugged me and said, "This is going to be a good year."  The past year wasn't easy, but she still feels hopeful.  My mom truly is the strongest person I know.

I have high hopes for the new year, too.  I don't usually consider myself an optimistic person, but I always tend to feel positive around New Years time.  I like the idea of taking the new year as a clean slate.  And even if I don't always keep my resolutions to the letter, I do feel like I've grown as a person and loved more every year, and those are the important things in life.  When I get caught up in the details I have to remind myself of the big picture, and remember that "someday this pain will be useful to you." (Ovid)

I do have a few resolutions that I want to hold myself to:
1.  Read at least 25 books
2.  Learn HTML5 and CSS, as well as the Adobe Creative Suite applications
3.  Practice yoga
4.  Grow fresh herbs for my kitchen
5.  Eat more whole foods

What resolutions do y'all have for this year?  I'd love to hear them in the comments.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a curation of detox recipes for those of us who want a break from all the heavy holiday foods.  I know I had a hard time resisting all the delicious fudge my aunt made while she was visiting for Christmas.

Here's to a healthy and fulfilling new year!