May 30, 2013


When it comes to iPhone cases, I've been loyal to Incipio's dual Silicrylic case for my iPhone 4s. I'm always head over heels for the witty, colorful cases by Kate Spade and Tory Burch. But those only come in the snap on plastic cases (which I know will not save my iPhone from a fatal drop) or the all-silicone kind that stretch out over time and don't fit on my phone. The Silicrylic has a silicone cover and a hardshell that snaps on over, without looking too bulky. Am I picky? Absolutely. I won't deny that. Protection comes first for my $200 phone! (But I do think Otterbox cases are a little over the top!). So while I love my Incipio case, I've got my eye on the Elasty. How neat are these?
It's a silicone bumper with elastic straps across the back -- perfect for creditcards, folded bills, or pens. Or, you can tuck your earphones under a strap without wrapping them around your phone.

As of now, it's still in the rendering phase, but Belkin granted the case with a design award, so keep your fingers crossed that the company picks it up!

May 29, 2013

Menswear Wednesday: A turn on the classics

Ray-Ban Wayfarers are arguably the most popular style of sunglasses ever manufactured. John F. Kennedy and Roy Orbison constantly donned the frames, originally created in 1956. They created a break from the metal eyewear style of the past, and were only ever challenged by Aviators as being the best-selling sunglasses designed in history. While I love a good pair of Wayfarers on a guy, I'm currently loving this pair more. A mix of Wayfarers and Aviator look, the Ray-Ban Clubmaster's design was inspired by the lifestyle of he '50s and '60s.
They're popular for both men and women, but I think the men below pulled it off pretty well. Hey, even the guys from Reservoir Dogs donned 'em.

May 28, 2013


While the long weekend was semi-hectic with my family visiting (five of us crammed into my one bedroom + sunroom apartment is a little more than cozy) it was nice to see them all. It was the first time I've seen my parents since moving her about two months ago. The weather was a little chilly, but Sunday was the perfect day to set out and tour the nation's capital. Here are a few snapshots from the weekend, including a concert in front of The Reflecting Pool, a flea market in a historical former bank building, interesting pieces from The Newseum, Arlington Cemetery and Georgetown. We even found Jackie Kennedy's Georgetown home from the 1950s! 








May 24, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I'm so excited to have a laid back, relaxing weekend. My family is coming to visit this weekend so we're planning on doing a little sightseeing, shopping and exploring. There are a few restaurants I want them to try out too -- definitely this one in particular. DC is in the spirit of Memorial Day--I shot the picture of Union Station above on Wednesday, after they'd hung the flags-- and there is a huge concert on The National Mall that is going on this weekend. Do you have any plans for the weekend?  It's supposed to be cooler weather here, but if it warms up, this is what I would wear!

May 17, 2013

All hail Jenna Lyons

Two days ago, I walked into a Barnes and Noble for a book I had put on hold. As per usual, I was distracted by the lustrous array of magazines in the corner, and let the haze of the covers lure me in. My attention was snagged by the new copy of Fast Company--a magazine I've only read twice in my entire life-- because the woman on its cover. There, in her thick framed, nerdy glasses was Jenna Lyons, staring back at me as I looked at the cover in excitement for the article awaiting me within its pages. The all-white white shirt, pants and bow tie (yes, bow tie) against a white backdrop invited her to blend into the background, but "blending in" isn't exactly Lyon's thing.

So there I stood in my navy, scalloped J.Crew summer dress and jean jacket to match, for twenty minutes reading every word of the article, and with each paragraph I found myself wondering why more people don't talk about Jenna Lyons. In my opinion (as well as that of the magazine) she is the Steve Jobs of J.Crew, transforming brand into a retail monarch reigning over men and women of all ages.

The article was a testament to how much of an inspiration Lyons is for young women. She has been with J.Crew her entire career, starting as the assistant to somone's assistant, and has worked her way up to become executive creative director. She's made fashion relatable, with her eye for creativity and the idea that fashion needs to always be exciting.

I hope you pick up the latest issue of this magazine, and are equally as inspired as I was by Lyons' story and love for her career, along with her fabulous office!

Have a great weekend!

May 16, 2013

Chocolate banana breakfast power milkshake

Any time I can avoid drinking coffee in the morning I do, especially if I can replace it with a healthy breakfast drink that's going to give me lasting energy throughout the day. Oddly, I only drink coffee for its taste, and it leaves me jittery rather of ready to face the day with an extra spring in my step. 

I try to make one or two green drinks a week (seriously, the amount of kale I eat has to be an overdose of vitamin K), but it's always a little more enticing if you have chocolate incorporated into your breakfast, right? I was inspired by this recipe to make a chocolate breakfast smoothie of my own with oats, bananas and a Carnation Breakfast Essentials packet. Instead of the jittery, not-so-satisfied feel I always get from coffee, this kept me full on its own and ready to start my morning. 

Chocolate banana breakfast power milkshake 

- 1 packet of Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder drink mix in rich chocolate
- 1 1/4 cup skim milk
- 3 ice cubes
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup uncooked oats 

Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds, or until well blended. 

Photo via

May 15, 2013

Menswear Wednesday: Blue suits

Justin Timberlake brought sexy back with his #1 hit in 2006, and I think we can all agree that he's brought back the clean-cut look of a suit and tie. His performance at the Grammys with the incorporation of a jazz band gave it a classic, 1950s and 60s era feel that we feel nostalgic for when we watch shows like Mad Men or movies like the original Oceans 11. The color of choice for Justin has been a black suit, but I love the look of these blue suits by Suit Supply.

This company's website does a great job of marketing their items, and their Don Draper-esque models aren't too hard on the eyes either. Are blue suits a must for men this summer? What do you think?

Clockwise from top-left: {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6} 

May 14, 2013

Mom's homemade macaroni and cheese

One thing about my family - we make an amazing homemade macaroni and cheese. I've been eating this for as long as I can remember, and helping my mother make it since I was six-- I have the pictures to prove it! The cheese is made starting from a flour/butter/onion/seasoning salt paste, and I'll be the first to admit that when I first started making this on my own, there were at least three failed attempts. However, looking back I don't know how I could have screwed it up... it's so simple!

Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

-2 T white onions
-2 T butter
Then add:
- 2 T flour (and brown all together)
Then add and whisk:
- 3 cups milk
- 1 block of Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar Cheese and add to mixture, along with 1t onion salt, 1/2t seasoning salt

Boil 3 cups of noodles and pour into baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over noodles and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

May 13, 2013

Palm Print

The latest fad isn't horizontal stripes, chevron or greek key prints. Ask Juicy Couture, and it's clearly palms. Their latest signature print in "cool green" comes in an iPhone case, scarf, and jacket/shorts matching duo (which definitely should be worn together). Other brand names have joined along in the trend, including Banana Republic with their Hampton fit cropped pants in green. 

What do you think of the palm fad? Yay or Nay?

May 10, 2013

The beauty of The Great Gatsby

Today is the day! With The Great Gatsby finally arriving in theaters today, I think millions of people around the world can breathe a sigh of relief (and squeal in excitement) because Baz Luhrmann's film has been released. I'm excited to see the somewhat modernized take on the film, and I love Luhrmann's incorporation of Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lana del Ray's music. Beyond the music, however, are the overly lavish sets. Architectural Digest recently published pictures of the various sets, which were designed in and around Sydney, according to the article. How beautiful are these?

Also, who wouldn't want this? Even Kate Spade is in the Gatsby spirit!

{The Gatsby mansion, modeled after the Gold Coast estates of Long Island, NY}

{Jay Gatsby's ballroom}

{Daisy and Tom Buchanan's red brick manor}

{That spiral staircase! Gatsby's bedroom} 

{Nick Carraway's cottage}

{The interior of Carraway's cottage}

{The Buchanan's sitting room}

May 7, 2013

Rain Gear that is not a wash

I have written a post on rainwear before, but because it was in regards to menswear, I thought I'd give women's gear an entry of their own. We're already into May (so disregard the untimeliness of this post-- ahem, April showers bring May flowers), but I've stumbled across Trout Rainwear and I couldn't resist sharing their amazing collection.

The company first launched their apparel about a month ago, and all of their jackets were designed with torrential downpours in mind. Each piece is made with a double-faced cotton and polyurethane blend to allow for high water repellency. The cotton’s breathability allows moisture to transfer throughout the garment, so that it's always comfort regardless of the weather-- a definite plus. The company was co-founded by two sisters, and although they only have three pieces thus far, I think we're all ready to see what other designs they come up with in the near future.

May 6, 2013

Virginia Gold Cup

This weekend my friends and I attended the Virginia Gold Cup Races. I was a first timer, and I think it's as close as you can get to the Kentucky Derby without actually being at the Kentucky Derby. My overall impression was that it was like Woodstock for prepsters -- I don't know a better way to describe it -- a bunch of people in a large, open field with crazy hats, pastel colors, mint juleps and burbon hotdogs. I was sold instantly.

{We thought a picture with the horse mask was absolutely necessary, as creepy as it is}

May 2, 2013

Kentucky Derby Week: Derby drinks

No Derby party is complete without a mint julep. The signature drink of choice for the weekend, it has been a tradition for nearly a century, and each year there's nearly 120,000 served at the actual Derby. However, I wanted to share a few other options in case mint juleps aren't your thing. Below are a few recipes for cocktails so good, your friends won't be able to hold their horses to get their hands on these. 

1. Raspberry Beer Cocktail
- 1 cup of fresh raspberries or frozen
- 4 bottles of corona (12oz) beer, chilled 
- 1 container frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed or pink lemonade
- 1/2 cup good quality vodka
- Garnish: lemon slices, or raspberries.

In a large container stir together the first 4 ingredients. Serve over ice.
Garnish with raspberries. To make ahead, stir together lemonade concentrate and vodka in a large container. Stir in raspberries and beer just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

2. Strawberry Infused Bourbon (note: this recipe takes a bit longer than most)
- Organic strawberries
- Bourbon

Rinse the strawberries, then chop off the leafy tops and discard them. Chop the strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Transfer the strawberries into a jar large enough to hold all the strawberries and leave a couple of inches of room at the top.

Pour bourbon over the mixture, screw on the lid tightly and give it a shake. Store the jar in a dark place, like in a cupboard, for anywhere from 3 to 7 days. Try to give the jar a shake once a day (I kept the jar in a cabinet right next to my coffee so I remembered to shake it every morning).

When you’re ready to strain the mixture, place a mesh colander over an appropriately sized bowl. If you have one, you can use a nut milk bag, clean paint straining bag, cheese cloth or even a coffee filter in place of or in addition to the colander. Pour the mixture over the colander/bag/filter to catch the strawberries and any strawberry debris. Discard the strawberries. If you see any debris in the bowl, pour the vodka through your strainer once or twice more to remove it.

Store the strawberry bourbon in the refrigerator for up to a month, or in the freezer to retain its fresh flavor even longer.

3. Lavender Mint Juleps
- 6 mint leaves 
- 2 oz. lavender simple syrup
- 3 oz. bourbon whisky

Fill glass with mint and simple syrup. Muddle until crushed. Fill with ice and top with whiskey. Garnish with a lavender or mint sprig. 

4. Savory Peach Cocktail
- 2 peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 4 ounces bourbon

- Fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime zest
- ¼ cup super-fine sugar

In a large cocktail shaker, fitted with a strainer, combine the peaches, sugar, lime juice, basil leaves and bourbon. Shake vigorously to blend. To serve, thoroughly blend the lime zest and sugar and pour onto a plate. Coat the rims of two cocktail glasses with lime juice and dip into the sugar mixture. Fill the glasses with ice and strain the liquid from the cocktail shaker.

May 1, 2013

Menswear Wednesday: The Kentucky Derby, Men's style

Vineyard Vines is the first thing to come to mind when I think of Derby attire for men. The seersucker, bow ties, pastel button downs and schoolboy blazers are the overarching themes for men during this weekend. Madras are also popular, but I think they come second to seersucker. The men in these VV ads from last year hit the nail on the head with all of the items above -- bonus points for having a mint julep in hand! While Vineyard Vines is an ideal place to shop for this type of wardrobe, I found a few other "hidden gems" for a man to find the perfect look for this weekend.