September 29, 2012

Lemon Garlic Shrimp over Linguine

In D.C., the drinks are expensive, but the seafood is cheap.

I never really expected to buy as much shrimp as I did when I was there, but because it was so cheap it became a staple in at least one meal a week. I didn't have a recipe to go off of when I decided I wanted to cook what I'd bought one night, so I essentially made this dinner up with what I had in my fridge. Luckily for me, it turned out to be the closest thing to restaurant quality I think I've yet to make... the trick: lots and lots of garlic!

Lemon Garlic Shrimp over Linguine (makes enough for two)

- 10 frozen (or fresh) shrimps
- 1/2 box of linguine pasta
- 1/4 t pepper
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup olive oil (separated)
- 1 med. tomato, sliced into small chunks
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook linguine.

Thaw shrimp and toss them in a bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (the marinade). Meanwhile, heat the rest of the olive oil in a skillet and saute garlic and tomatoes. Add shrimp plus the marinade and cook until complete (about 15 minutes, shrimp will shrink up a bit). 

Save 1/2 cup water from boiling the noodles and pour in skillet, making for more sauce. Pour sauce and shrimp over your pasta and enjoy. 

I added a bit more olive oil to my pasta before pouring the shrimp and sauce over it.

September 28, 2012

Swing state

Only about 40 days left before the election, and I can say with confidence that Ohio is the most important state. I'm lucky that I come from not only a swing state, but the most pivotal one in almost every election.

Since I have been back from the Convention, I've been volunteering every weekend with the campaign, and regardless of your politics, I think it is one of the most exciting elections we'll have in my generation's lifetime. My friend and I were given VIP tickets to a rally in NE Ohio this week to hear Gov. Romney speak about manufacturing and small businesses in Ohio.

September 27, 2012

Uggs be gone

This fall, I want to retire my UGG boots. I have two pairs --short brown and tall black ones-- and while they've gotten the job done, I've realized that there are so many other options out there. My major issue with UGGs is the fact that they truly are not, by any means, waterproof. I nearly had a meltdown two years ago when I caught my younger brother, almost knee-deep in snow, shoveling the driveway in a pair of my UGGs. Well that was their major test of waterproofness, and needless to say, they failed horribly. 

These lace-up boots below are some of my favorites, and unlike the sheep-skinned UGGs, these can withstand rain, sleet and snow, while still keeping your feet warm. I'd pair them with leggings and an oversized sweater and boot socks or with skinny jeans, a plaid button-down and a puffer vest. 

Are you ready to ditch your UGGs for the season?


September 26, 2012

Menswear Wednesday: Have your Moonshine and wear it too

Moonshine isn't just for drinking anymore. A few young, entrepreneurial friends in Dallas decided to create their own cologne after coming together to start their own company, East West Bottlers. They diverted from the mainstream, going back to a traditional scent, which resulted in an aroma of gin and leather (does it get anymore masculine than that?), appropriately named Moonshine. The cologne comes rapped up in a classically simple bottle reminiscent of my father's old glass bottles of English Leather. Also, it's hand-bottled by the three founders, how neat is that?

And it doesn't stop there. Women can have in on the fun with the company's "Speakeasy" perfume.

September 25, 2012

The elephant in the room

Maybe it's all of the excitement over the GOP and election season, but I can't help but see elephant-themed decor wherever I go (Elephants are just a little cuter than donkeys too ;) ) When I get a place of my own soon, one of these items below will make it into my apartment. Right now, my favorite is the little jewelry bowl from Z.Gallerie. How cute is that?

Clockwise from top: [1] [2] [3]

September 24, 2012

Trends to take into the fall: Lace shorts

In the summer there's nothing more dainty than a pair of lace shorts or a lace dress. I never got around to finding a pair over the past few months, but I found a one this past weekend at Marshalls that was too good of a deal to pass up. I ended up choosing the black pair over cream, and plan on wearing them with a nice tank, blazer and heels for a night out, but here are another few ways to wear your lace shorts into the cooler months of fall.


1. Lace shorts + Chambray

2. Lace shorts + Billowy button-down + Tights + Ankle boots

3. Lace Shorts + Oversized cardigan [with elbow patches!]

4. Lace shorts + Tank + Blazer + Heels 

September 21, 2012

One title, three favorite songs

I wanted to do a post this week about music, and because it's a little too early to post my "fall weather, cozy on up by the fireplace" playlist, I thought I'd share another part of my music library instead. When searching for a song the other day, I realized I have three songs in my iTunes with the same title: Home. Three different artists, one single title. It's likely you've already heard them, but I thought I'd share them anyway, hopefully you'll add them to your library if they don't already exist there.  :)

1. "Home" by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros. This song is the epitome of happiness. I would love to see this band live, which is why I chose to post this video over an in-studio version. This performance shows how much heart this group has.

2. "Home" by Phillip Phillips. His voice sounds just like Marcus Mumford's and his lyrics are [almost] just as good.

3. "Home" by Mumford and Sons. This song has actually been renamed very recently to Holland Road, for the release of Mumford's new album (which is next week!), but it will always be its original title to me. I listened to this song when I was away for my last semester of college more times than I could count, and now it's all I can think of when I hear it.

September 20, 2012

Fettucini Alfredo from Scratch

For those of you gasping over the fact that I made Fettuccine Alfredo sauce from scratch, stop right there. It's the easiest sauce you could imagine... but also the most fattening. Two ingredients make up the sauce, two!  Unfortunately they are butter and heavy whipping cream. This probably isn't a surprise to a lot of people, but it really only takes these two ingredients (I always thought there was more to it!).  However, I added a few other things, and tossed it with chicken and broccoli. 

Fettuccine Alfredo from Scratch
- 1 lb. of fettuccine noodles
- 2 cups of fresh broccoli
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
- 6 T butter
- 1 t salt, 1 t pepper

Cook the fettucine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until it is almost al dente. Add broccoli and cook with pasta for an extra five minutes. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until tender. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture and half of the Parmesan and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and garnish with parsley, if desired. 

Serve immediately.

September 19, 2012

Menswear Wednesday: A penny for your thoughts

Not enough attention is paid to the Penny Loafer as it used to be, or as it should be for that matter. Likely every little boy's first shoe, the American classic has been cast into the shadows of more popular trends, similiar to how women's flats have been given the shaft, becoming shunned to the backs of closets by this season's suede and tassled loafers.
The loafer itself was invented in the 1930s, and during that decade payphones only cost two cents per call. The loafer design allowed just enough space for a penny in each shoe, which was the equivalent of one emergency phone call in a phone booth back then. Thus, the creation of the name, "The Penny Loafer."
They can be pegged as the cliche, go-to shoe for the office, but to me they're timeless. Regardless of how much you may love your wingtips, there's value in investing in a good pair of these... they are worth every penny.

Johannes Huebl goes casual with loafers and colored socks.


1. Allen Edmonds: Westchester in 1647 Walnut Calf. It pains me to look at how expensive these shoes are, but all of Allen Edmonds are made in the USA from a factory in Port Washington, WI. As the website states, just because a shoe is called a Penny Loafer doesn't mean that it can't look like a million bucks (or cost that much!). This one is an investment piece, no doubt, but I love the classic, simplistic look of it.

2. Stacy Adams Serafino Penny Loafer in Cognac. More affordable at a mere $70, but harder to pull off. I think these would go over really well in the South. :)

3. Allen Edmonds: Carlsbad in 6622 Walnut Calf. My favorite, favorite, favorite of them all. The woven detail will attract attention, and while it's primarily a spring/summer shoe, it can easily make its way into the fall with khaki, navy and grey attire. 

Clark's Charlie Penny in Cognac Leather: Clarks are the way to go for comfort, although you may have to compromise the uniqueness trait (I'm never completely "wowed" by any shoe they make). This loafer is plain and versatile when it comes to matching, and most of all, pretty affordable. 

5. Stacy Adams Nathaniel in Cognac Multi: Like #2, this is a tricky shoe to pull off because of the angled point and two-tone colored detail. This choice is a marriage of Penny Loafer and Wingtips, and shoe that will make a statement, I'd start with the shoes and work the rest of your look from there on up!

September 18, 2012

This guy...

I normally do a series of posts called "Girl to Watch," but I couldn't avoid making a similar type of post for Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

To me, he's always going to be Ten Things I Hate About You's Cameron, but it's safe to say he's stepped up his roles as of late. Which leads me to the main reason for this post: Gordon-Levitt will be starring in a new film coming out this November based on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Could I be anymore excited about this? It may be the government nerd inside of me screeching with glee, but I cannot wait to see Daniel Day-Lewis on screen as Honest Abe, and Gordon-Levitt playing the role of the president's son, Robert Todd Lincoln.

Plus, Daniel Day-Lewis shows an eerie resemblance to President Lincoln, and Sally Field to Mary Todd Lincoln.

Does this interest any of you, or am I just way too into politics/presidents/history?

September 17, 2012

Sweaters at the start of fall

The end of white jeans and dresses means the start of sweater season for me (although I have been cheating on that whole no-white-after-Labor-Day thing). It is somewhat early in the season to begin wearing sweaters, but I've devised five cute ways to wear cozy knits before you really have to start adding the layers. 

The Sweater Mini: It's not yet time for the full-on wool sweater dresses to be brought out, but you can still wear a cute, lightweight sweater dress. Roll up the sleeves and pair it with a long necklace and a messy top-knot bun.

Sweater + Shorts: I'm a huge fan of this cable knit cream crew-neck sweater Gwyneth is sporting here, but what makes it even more seasonal is the fun navy/polka dotted shorts. Just because white shorts are banned doesn't mean all shorts have to see the back of your closet as well.

Sweater + Sequined Mini: This is my favorite look, but also probably the most difficult to pull off! I've been noticing the sweater and sequined skirt trend all over Pinterest for the past few months, and I think it's a great look for the fall, as long as you find the right looking skirt. For this look, gold sequins are the way to go. 

Liquid Leggings + Backless Sweater: It's a shame this sweater is sold out, but I'm on the hunt for one just like it. I've always loved tops/sweaters/dresses that show a lot of back, and I think combining a sweater like this with black liquid or leather leggings would be the perfect match for a day (or even a casual night) out. 

'For the Home Only' Look: This picture has "lazy fall Sunday" written all over it. Definitely a look meant for staying in, I love the thought of an oversized sweater, a cup of coffee and my Bon Iver playlist on repeat for a chilly fall afternoon. 

September 14, 2012

Grandma's Impossible Pie

I love eggs.  My old roommate from freshman year would always joke that I was like that girl on "The Amanda Show" from Nickelodeon that always professed her love for eggs.  Surely I'm not that obsessed, but I do love making omelettes and quiche for breakfast or dinner. They're very simple and take barely any time to make.

My grandma's recipe is my favorite. I left out the ham because I didn't have any, but you can't make it without the Bisquick... it basically takes the place of the crust and makes the quiche nice and fluffy. :)

How do you feel about quiche?

Grandma's Impossible Pie:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

- 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli or frozen (or 1 cup broccoli + 1 cup ham cubes)
- 2 T chopped onion
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4-6 oz.)
- Lightly greased large pie plate (bigger than 9 in)

(Mix above ingredients in the pie plate)

- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 cups Bisquick baking mix
- 1/4 t salt, 1/4 t pepper

(Beat until smooth and pour over mixture in pie plate) 

Bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes, and until inserted knife comes out clean. Let stand five minutes before serving.

Andddd, in case you don't know who Debbie is...

September 13, 2012

Must read: Mrs. Kennedy and Me

I've been having a Kennedy fetish lately.  Everyone goes through one of these, right?

I'm starting to think it's a little unhealthy, especially because the last two books I've read (and the one I'm currently reading) is based on those few years of Camelot.  But hey, it could be worse... I could have an addiction to the Fifty Shades of Gray series, and what can you learn from that (besides extremely ridiculous sexual jargon)? I stopped at one with that trilogy.

Mrs. Kennedy and Me, on the other hand, is the story of Jackie Kennedy and the Secret Service agent assigned to protect her, Clint Hill. Hill, who is now 80, was with Jackie every single day, including that awful November day in Dallas. The book was eye-opening, and it gives you a raw look at Jackie from someone who knew her better than any other author could begin to explain.

No matter what your politics, we're all enthralled by the Kennedys. This book shows you the true Jackie, and how her grace and unique style will forever be unmatchable by another First Lady.


September 12, 2012

Menswear Wednesday: The Herringbone Jacket

With the almost drastic drop in temperature lately, I think it's safe to say fall is around the corner. I'm really sad to say goodbye to discussing seersucker suits and nantucket reds, but I know spring will be here before we know it. Until then, I'm bringing up an old trend that's new again-- The Herringbone Jacket. For my high school English teacher Mr. Wade Werner, the jacket was a staple, and every time I see a tweed blazer with a herringbone pattern, my mind instantly shoots back to English class and that man in the tweed blazer with the steel wool hair, going on about John Steinbeck, Sherwood Anderson and Earnest Hemingway as if he had no other purpose in the world but to teach the American classics.

He was a very influential teacher, and apparently, was ahead of his time when it came to the Herringbone blazers.

Herringbone refers to a v-shaped weaving pattern found in items made of wool or tweed cloth. It is named after the herring fish, because its pattern resembles the skeleton of that particular fish.

What I've found in my "fashion research" is that these jackets can be either super-pricey (ahem, Ralph Lauren) or completely affordable. I'm personally a fan of the lighter shades of grey, paired with a pair of dark wash jeans or khakis.


The wallet-breakers:


           {J.Crew}                                           {Ralph Lauren}                                      {Ralph Lauren Black Label}

                                                     The deal-breakers:

                                                                               {The Gap}

September 11, 2012

Style crush: Olivia Palermo

Olivia Palermo is my new favorite celeb for many reasons, most of which include her gorgeous hair, even more perfect style, and her sexy bf (can he get more stylish?), Johannes Huebl. She's been constantly popping up in my Pinterest feed, so I wanted to offer a little "Olivia style inspiration" to my followers. Here are a few of my favorite outfits:

The Polyvores were designed by another blog, frugal fashionistas.

September 10, 2012

Weekend festivities: Chicago

This is one of those late, last-minute Monday posts, but I wanted to post a few pictures from my weekend. I spent it in my favorite city-- Chicago! Washington is pretty much a tie, but I just can't get over how perfect Chi-town seems for me. My friend just started med-school right outside of the city, and a few of my other friends live in the city, so lucky for me there's always people to visit! 

Right before my friends and I left, I finally got my hands on the new copy of Cleveland's Inside Business Magazine, where my first piece was published this month! 

Unfortunately it's not online because it was a special insert on AHA's Heart Walk, but I took a quick snapshot of part of the spread with Instagram. The exciting feeling when I pick up a magazine each month and find my article still hasn't gotten old, and I hope it never does. 


Complimentary breakfast cake and mimosas at breakfast. Could this city get any better?

September 7, 2012

NYFW & Convention Fashion Review

Whenever I think of New York Fashion Week, one scene comes to mind. It's when Carrie Bradshaw takes on the runway, clad in a royal blue trench, a jeweled pair of D&G undies and the stilettos that led her to her catwalk catastrophe. As she trips and falls on her face (literally), Heidi Klum comes out and walks right over her, leaving Carrie's GBF Standford to yell out, "Oh my God, she's fashion roadkill!" Priceless line. Luckily, I don't think that happens all too often in the real New York Fashion Week. A few very popular bloggers I follow have the great opportunity to go watch it in person, whereas people like you and I get to catch the highlights from E!News, Twitter and Instagram.

On another fashion note for the week (or perhaps the past two), because both The First Lady Michelle Obama and the GOP Nominee Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney, have both made their Convention speeches, I wanted to wrap up the week discussing their wardrobes.
Everybody is drooling over Michelle's custom-made silk Tracy Reese dress, and practically drowning in a puddle of their own drool over her toned arms. I loved her dress, and I'm a fan of her arms too, but I'm just stating the obvious obsession. The dress, not yet available for sale on the designer's site, will retail at just under $500. Her suede pumps were from J.Crew and her nailpolish-- a purple-grey hue called "Vogue," is by Artistic Nail Designs ($15.95, not yet available either).

 Ann Romney, who chose to wear red, the hue's usual place of prominence, at the RNC in Tampa last week. Ann wore a belted, knee-length Oscar de la Renta dress for the most important speech of her life. The dress had a small v-neck and cuffed sleeves, and was absolutely stunning for Ann. It was age appropriate, classy and sophisticated, just as Michelle's dress was. Oscar de la Renta has never been a stranger to First Ladies, dressing Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton as well. However, he and Mrs. Obama don't exactly have the same relationship. De la Renta criticized Michelle for wearing a gown by British designer Alexander McQueen (rather than that of an American) to a White House state dinner last year, along with a few other comments.

Ann's dress reportedly costs around $2,400, leading critics to point out the costly difference between the price of Obama's and Romney's dress. They forgot to mention the nearly $3,000 L'Wren Scott cardigans Michelle donned in April, or the $2,000 Sophie Theallet dress she wore on her Christmas Hawaiian vacation in December.
I think we can all accept the fact that both women can afford lavish, expensive clothing, can't we?


September 6, 2012

Clutch move

I've always been a fan of the Coach wristlets for when it comes to going out for the night. They slide around your wrist, so no matter what you're doing you never have a bulky purse hanging on your shoulder for the night. I love my wristlets, but lately I've been into the concept of the "fold over" clutch.

The trend has been around for a while, but recently they're making them with long straps so you can wear it as a cross body bag, and hold it as a clutch if you like. It's the best of both worlds.

I just snagged this one from H&M for just under $20. It looks a little summery, but I'll be wearing it into the fall.

Here are a few other choices I've found; the first two are from Scout & Catalogue.