January 31, 2013

You're the bee's knees

I think I started to see Valentine's Day decorations start to filter in around December 26th-- as crazy as that may seem --but in the past week it's almost as if Cupid's marketing team has come out in full force. I think I've received more e-mails thus far from Victoria's Secret, but was kind of surprised when I saw that Kate Spade also had a few festive pieces dedicated to the holiday of love.

I've always been a make-your-own-cards kind of person, but since I've come across Rifle Paper Co., I'm considering the resignation of my card-making talent to offer up my credit card. I fell in love with their Mother's Day and Christmas cards, and now they've done it again with a full collection of Valentine's Day cards. They're cuter than anything I can craft myself, and you can buy them on their website or at Anthropologie and Paper Source locations.

Hopefully you're addicted now as well. Now go and tell someone they're the Bee's Knees this February 14.


{All photos by Rifle Paper Co., cards can be found here}

January 29, 2013

Spinach salad with candied walnuts

It is the end of January, and for some reason, I was craving this summer salad. Packed with fruit, spinach and nuts, it has all of the ingredients of a super-healthy salad. And since I'm trying my hardest to avoid eating cheese (it's really not all that healthy, but it's soo good), I felt relieved because this salad definitely doesn't need any type of cheese-- although you could always crumble blue cheese or feta on top. First I will teach you how to candy walnuts, and then I'll explain the process of putting together the salad and salad dressing.

Candied Walnuts (makes enough for leftovers)

1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water

Really this is a guessing game every time I make these, but this is about how much of each ingredient you'll need. I heat the water and sugar up first in a Teflon-coated frying pan (do not boil), and then toss the nuts in, mixing occasionally with a wooden spoon over low-medium heat. All in all, it takes about 20 minutes. You will see sugary coating around the walnuts about 15 minutes in. Cool for five minutes before serving.

Balsamic honey dressing

1 t honey
1 t Dijon mustard
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil

Mix ingredients together in a bowl

Assembling the salad

Layer 2 cups, spinach, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup chopped strawberries, and a handful of candied walnuts. Pour desired amount of salad dressing over and serve.

January 28, 2013

Pixie perfect

Although I don't have the guts to get one of these do's myself, I've always been envious of the women who could pull off the pixie cut. Long, sleek and voluminous hair has been the norm for "sexy," but these women are undeniably gorgeous without the look of long locks. From the times of Edie Sedgewick and Goldie Hawn to the more present pixies of Halle Berry and Gennifer Goodwin, I think it's safe to say the look is a timeless one.

January 27, 2013

Loafing around

It's no secret I have a love for loafers. For both men and women, the classic shoe is versatile because it can be both dressed up or down. Designers such as Charles Philip have taken note of the rising trend of laid-back loafers, designing flats with added touches of flair, such as bright pops of color or mini tassels. J.Crew has jumped on this bandwagon with their new "Darby Loafer." J.Crew shoes are always high quality, and I love the bright colors, but I wish they'd added tassels on some of the pairs. What's your take on the loafer look?

January 24, 2013

Roasted brussel sprouts with sea salt

I always hated brussel sprouts with a passion. Every time I saw them, I cringed, because they always looked unsettlingly gross, like shriveled little lettuce heads. However, I have turned a new leaf (ironically) as of late, because I've created a new way of making them, which doesn't involve boiling them until they become a soggy mess. 

Now I make these at least once a week and will eat them either with dinner or as a quick snack. Added bonus: they're one of the world's most nutritious veggies! Read up on their healthy benefits here, but first, learn how to make them the way I love 'em.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sea Salt (makes enough for 4)

- 1 dozen brussel sprouts, halved to make 24 pieces
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 t sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After washing and halving brussel sprouts, pat off extra water with paper towels. You may see that they are loosing a few layers of their leafy shell, but that happens usually, don't fret. Place the sprouts in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss in oil, and spread on a baking sheet (no need for cooking spray, they're already coated in olive oil!). Sprinkle with sea salt and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. 

January 23, 2013

Menswear Wednesday: Toggle coats

I know mid-January is a little overdue for a winter coat post, but for those men still on the hunt for a good-looking coat, go for the toggles. It's likely you already have the standard men's coats: the warm (but never really warm enough) North Face jacket, the pea coat for fancy occasions, and the ski jacket if you like to hit the slopes from December-March. The toggle coat is a nice alternative to all of these, and its added flair along the front gives it dress-down appeal. Bonus: Most of the toggle coats have hoods!

I scoped out a few, which can be seen below (feel free to save, spend or splurge), but I also loved this one and this one as well. 


January 22, 2013

Girl on fire

I have been a fan of Jennifer Lawrence since the day I saw her in that stunning red maillot gown by Calvin Klein at the 2011 Academy Awards. Her style is almost always simplistic yet elegant. I believe The Hunger Games star--along with Emma Stone--is going to be one of the two it-girls of Hollywood for this generation. Both are amazing actresses with fantastic senses of humor. 

I picked up the most recent issue of Vanity Fair at the airport this past weekend, and it has an excellent cover story on Lawrence. If any of you are a fan of the book, The Glass Castle, the article mentions that she may be in the beginnings of script reading for a film adaptation of Jeanette Walls memoir, one of Lawrence's favorite books. 

Checkout the issue if you happen to run across it, Lawrence certainly lives up to Katniss Everdeen's nickname, girl on fire, in the photos. She looks gorgeous! 

January 21, 2013

Own a piece of history

It's no surprise that Kate Middleton has style that can is constantly stirring buzz around the world. One thing is for sure, she wears blue often, and well indeed. In her official royal portrait, unveiled last week, Kate looked beautiful, with loose curls and a top in the color she wears the best. However, I wish she would have flashed an actual smile in the portrait. 

The best part about the portrait is the blue pussybow blouse, because it is completely affordable for you and I (that is, until it becomes sold out and re-sold on Ebay for a pretty penny!) The blouse, by French Connection, in white, is a whopping $32! Can you believe that? Or you can get the dark version for a little bit more. 

One more reason to love the Duchess of Cambridge... she makes it possible for every young woman to feel like a princess.


January 17, 2013

Covering ground

I love a good cover of an amazing song. I remember the first time I heard Roy Orbison's cover of Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers. It was one of my favorite artists of all time singing one of music's greatest love songs. Sometimes I think I like it even better than the original.

However, as much as I'd love to devote an entire post to Roy Orbison (I would give anything to have been alive during his time so I could see him perform live), this post is about covers of more modern music. Here are three covers I'm in love with at the moment, I hope you enjoy them as well!

1. Macklemore's Thrift Shop by Pentatonix 

This song is so catchy, you'd think it couldn't get any better. But it just did with these guys. What talent!

2. Jose Gonzalez's Heartbeats by Royal Teeth

If you like Jose Gonzalez's version, which can be heard here, this version is very different, but it's catchy. It was also featured in a flashback during an episode of HBO's Girls.

3. T.I.'s Whatever You Like by Anya Marina

I originally heard this during an episode of Gossip Girls, and have been in love with it ever since. It's pretty old (circa 2009), but it's so different from T.I.'s version, which is why I love it! However, this music video is just plain weird.

Avocado & Scrambled Egg Breakfast Sandwich

When I interned in Washington, D.C. last year, there was a Corner Bakery in Union Station that I discovered "happened to be" on my way to work. I worked pretty close to The Hill, so my 25 minute walk to work usually involved dodging big crowds of rush hour "rushers." I usually had my morning scheduled the same each day: get ready, eat breakfast, power walk to work (emphasis on the power walking... I was almost always in a rush!) But there were days when I would leave an extra 20 minutes early so I could wait in the long line to get a breakfast pannini at the Corner Bakery.

The amazing part about this place was everything was prepared right before your eyes; there were no egg patties pulled out of a container-- the eggs were scrambled right then and put on your sandwich for you. It's no surprise that I attempted to re-create this myself. While it doesn't taste exactly like the one I devoured about three times a month in Union Station, it's pretty close!

Avocado & Scrambled Egg Breakfast Sandwich (makes enough for one sandwich)

- 2 slices of wheat or sourdough bread
- 2 eggs
- 1 T milk (I used skim, but any type would be fine)
- 1 1/2 T chopped chives
- 2 T grated cheddar cheese
- 4 slices of avocado
- 2 T butter
- 3 slices of cooked bacon
- 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper to taste

Lightly butter one side of both slices of bread and place--butter side down--into a pan on low-medium heat. Add cheese, avocado, tomato, and bacon, distributed however you like on the bread (right now it will look like an open-faced sandwich). Meanwhile, scramble milk and salt/pepper with eggs in a bowl. Heat skillet/pan on medium heat with a slice of butter. Mix chopped chives in to scrambled egg mix and pour into pan to start scrambling. Once your eggs are scrambled, place them on the toast in your other pan and close the sandwich to cook. This is where the pannini maker comes in, but since I don't yet own one, I cooked the sandwich like I would a grilled cheese sandwich, pressing down with a spatula. After the cheese is melted and you're left with a gooey, melted inside, (and a toasted inside) it's ready to serve!

January 16, 2013

Pay your lips service

Besides Aveeno body lotion, my chapstick is my best friend when it comes to beauty products in the winter. When I was younger, I didn't pay much attention to taking care of my lips in cold weather. I'd always been adamant about using gobs of lotion on my body, but nowadays I take care to make sure my lips are just as moisturized. With a couple of products you probably already have at home, you can make your own lip exfoliant to use year-round, or just during the cold months. Here's how to make it, along with a few other products I always have on hand to avoid dryness.

Use a spoon or your fingers to spread a small amount over your lips, and gently rub in a circular motion. Repeat until lips are smooth and buttery, and then wipe off with a tissue. 

Brown sugar: acts as the exfoliant
Honey: a natural cleanser/anti-bacterial
Olive oil: moisturizes dryness

For easy storage, I used an old make-up sample dish from Nordstrom

My favorite lip products:

Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa Butter: This tiny jar of vaseline is about the size of quarter and is the cutest thing. I used to always use regular vaseline on my lips, but the cocoa butter is even better, with a sweet, chocolatey taste.

Burt's Bees Grapefruit Lip Balm: Burt's Bees gets even better with this grapefruit flavored chapstick. The labeling does not lie, this balm feels very refreshing on your lips. A definite must-try for those who love grapefruit.

Thymes Essentials Lip Balm with SPF 15: Although I'd never heard of the brand, I picked up this chapstick when I was in Las Vegas this summer, and I can honestly say it does an even better job than Burt's Bees in the winter. It lasts for hours and makes the most driest lips instantly moisturized.

Perfumeria Gal Madrid in Apple: I've had this little jar of lip balm for years, and it smells amazing. Imported from Spain, its like putting scented Vaseline on your lips.

January 15, 2013

Guest Post: {A Dose of Pretty}

Hello A Pop of Style readers! I am Sara from a dose of pretty sharing my newest home decor obsession. I was so flattered when Jenn asked me to do a blog swap  and I am so happy to be here with you today. I hope you enjoy!

An old trend that I am really obsessing over lately is the look of blue and white ginger jars. I love how they can transform a bookshelf, but also be used as vases. I love them in groupings, but I also love the look of just one holding flowers. And speaking of blue and white, I am hoping to soon add some blue willow plates to my entertaining collection. Any old trends you are are starting to fall in love with?
Please share with us.

January 14, 2013

101 in 1,001

Happy Monday everyone! I wanted to start the week by filling you in on an update here on A Pop of Style. If you hadn't noticed, I added a new page near the top called "101 in 1001." Inspired by Design Darling's Mackenzie Horan, I made a list of 101 goals to accomplish in 1,001 days, which is about 2.75 years. Some of the goals are a little embarrassing  such as learning how to fold a fitted sheet or accomplishing a small amount of push-ups without cheating, but there are a few other more serious ones on there as well. I've copied the entire list below, hopefully some of them aren't too out there!

One of the goals just happens to be to inspire others to make their own list. So, if after reading my own you find yourself wanting to make a list as well, please comment below with the link so I can check them out, and link back to your blog. :)

Wish me luck!


101 in 1,001

1. Complete this list with 101 things to accomplish (January 2013)
2. Find a job I can say I truly love
3. Move into my own apartment
4. Learn how to cook mussels
5. Pay off my student loans in full
6. Invest in one {very nice!} designer bag
7. Learn how to drive stick shift
8. Run through a fountain with friends 
9. Read Atlas Shrugged
10. Go skiing or snowboarding
11. Complete 26 Acts of Kindness honoring the victims of Newtown, CT
12. Workout 5 days a week for 2 weeks
13. Go boxing with a friend
14. Throw a "Fucking Catalina Wine Mixer"
15. Bake a pie from scratch
16. Read every Jane Austen novel
17. Watch "It's a Wonderful Life" for the first time ever
18. Watch "Schindler's List" for the first time ever
19. Give a homeless person a gift
20. See "The Bean" in Chicago
21. Go to a rooftop party
22. Go to an outdoor flea market
23. Spend an afternoon baking with my grandma
24. Learn how to fishtail braid
25. Go white water rafting
26. Make someone I love breakfast in bed
27. Visit my best friend in Los Angeles
28. Get my own business cards
29. Buy something beautiful from Inslee
30. Give blood
31. Go three weeks without nail polish
32. Get a least one more stamp in my passport
33. Learn to change a tire
34. Throw a surprise party for a friend
35. Write a letter to a U.S. soldier
36. Volunteer at a children's hospital
37. Drink wine at a vineyard
38. Play tennis with my little brother
39. Go salsa dancing
40. See The Nutcracker
41. Visit a city in the US I've never been to before
42. Bake brownies from scratch
43. Reach 501 followers on A Pop of Style
44. Complete 5 DIY projects from Pinterest
45. Eat dinner by candlelight
46. Put my feet in the Pacific
47. Sit on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after dark with friends
48. Buy a panini maker
49. Watch all of the seasons of Friends
50. Do karaoke at a bar (alone!)
51. Watch all of "The Godfather" movies
52. Make a recipe from Julia Child's cookbook
53. Get photoshop on my computer
54. Read a newspaper every morning for 2 weeks
55. Go to a farmers market
56. Do 15 pushups without cheating
57. Be published in 10 different magazines
58. Visit another presidential library
59. Watch "The Princess Bride" for the first time ever
60. See a comedy show
61. Try yoga for the first time
62. Write ten new quotes in my quote book each month
63. Read The Great Gatsby
64. Go through my closet and give what I don't need to Goodwill
65. Learn how to jump a car
66. Buy a giant American flag for my apartment
67. Spend a rainy afternoon in a local bookstore
68. Send out 50 handwritten notes, just because
69. Go rock climbing
70. Subscribe to a magazine
71. Throw a picnic
72. go on a warrior dash/mud run with friends
73. Complete a large jigsaw puzzle
74. Go on a bar crawl
75. Visit the zoo
76. Make lobster
77. Go horseback riding
78. Learn how to play chess
79. Go to the shooting range with my dad
80. Go ice skating outside
81. Visit Central Park
82. Buy personalized stationary
83. Launch an interview series on my blog
84. Write a love letter
85. Inspire at least 3 people to make their own list
86. Achieve at least 20 comments on one post
87. Invest in a pair of riding boots
88. Go one month without eating takeout
89. Buy someone's coffee for them
90. Visit the top of the Empire State Building
91. Buy an refurbish a vintage piece of furniture
92. Go apple picking
93. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet
94. Attend the Kentucky Derby
95. Visit Cleveland's cultural gardens
96. Visit all 3 9/11 disaster locations
97. Write a letter to my 30 year-old self to open on my 30th birthday
98. Go bike riding throughout a city
99. Attend a fashion show
100. Have dinner on a rooftop
101. Mail a friend a surprise package

January 11, 2013

A Pop of {cheap} Style: Slippers

Call me a grandma, but slippers have always been a part of my at-home wardrobe. Not in the summer of course, but in the winter I always roll out of bed and go straight for the flannel p.j. pants and slippers. In my fantasy world I would own three pairs of Ugg slippers, but let's be honest, the price tags on those are not realistic for footwear you only use at home. I just bought slippers from Target for a whopping $12.99, and they're so comfy and cozy. Unfortunately I couldn't find them online to include in this A Pop of {Cheap} Style post, but there are a few other Target steals below! 

{Target slippers + A&F flannel p.j. pants}

January 10, 2013

Guest Post: {Preppy Love}

Hi lovelies,

This is Kasey from preppylove and I'm so excited to be blogging today for Jennifer! I adore this blog. It's sad to say, but school is already starting back up soon! I don't know where my break went, but I knew it went too fast.

I'm sure most of us girls cherished the days when our mothers would take us back to school shopping before our first day back. Sadly, my mom no longer takes me on a big back-to-school shopping extravaganza, but that doesn't mean I can't take myself on one! For those of you who are working and no longer get long breaks, this is also a great time to treat yourself. As the stores are transitioning seasons, the cute winter things that we can still wear for months are going on sale! If I were to take myself on a shopping spree, here are some of the gorgeous little pieces I would pick up:

Jackie Cardigan in Stripe from J.Crew. Sadly, the navy and white one is not on sale, but there are two other colors that are.

The Lucy Blouse from Annie Griffin- Now on sale for $160. How pretty is that swiss dot? Such a classic style.

Brunch Skirt by Elizabeth McKay- Now on sale for $156. This can definitely be worn year round!

Ostrich Church Flats by Rowen Footwear

Loren Hope Pave Link Bracelet (sold out right now)

Boyfriend Signet Ring by Moon & Lola. I have wanted a signet ring forever, but they are just too expensive for me right now!

That's my back to school list! What is on yours?

Thanks for having me today guys! Make sure to come visit me at preppylove!

January 9, 2013

Menswear Wednesday: Gettin' cozy

Gentlemen, listen up. I have scoured most of the Internet over the past month looking for perfect sweaters that are both one of a kind and affordable. I have probably seen more Fair Isle sweaters on men this season than anything else, and while they are unique and have a vintage feel to them, nothing is more simple than a Fisherman Sweater. I love the look of this one from L.L Bean Signature. Put it on over a plaid button-down or a long sleeved thermal and paired with jeans, and you're set to go for any winter day. (Bonus points if you pair it with these!)

January 8, 2013

Pesto Chicken Wrap with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Wraps aren't really the ideal food for winter... usually the winter months should be full of hot panninis, soups and warm comfort foods. But since I'm trying to stick to some sort of a new year resolution of eating healthier, I decided to bring some pesto back into my life and test out a new wrap idea I had in mind. I used this pesto recipe here if you don't already have your own way of making it. 

PS- You can always substitute the pine nuts for walnuts when making pesto.
PPS- This isn't my finished product's photo. Ever notice how messy a wrap turns out? It's certainly never photogenic! 

Pesto Chicken Wrap with Sun-dried Tomatoes (makes enough for one wrap)

- 1 spinach wrap (Tip: warm up in microwave between 2 moist paper towels to make for easier wrapping)
- 1 small piece of grilled chicken, sliced in small pieces
- 1/2 cup of prepared pesto
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh sprouts
- shredded parmesan cheese to taste

Mix chicken pieces in a bowl of pesto and wrap--along with the rest of the ingredients-- into the spinach wrap and serve. 

January 7, 2013

Pencil it in

One of my favorite parts of a new year is new calendars. When I was younger, buying a calendar after Christmas felt like buying new school supplies in the fall-- something my inner-nerd always looked forward to. There was something about the blank dates of each month that felt like a fresh start; they were just waiting to be filled in with birthdays, parties, assignment deadlines and vacations.

I've been really into fashion prints lately (so much that I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them), so it's no surprise that I'm looking into buying a calendar of the same genre. The best one I've seen is from Inslee, an amazing artist out of New York. The best part about buying one of these is at the end of the year, you can recycle your favorite prints from each month by framing them to keep around your place!

January 4, 2013

Getting off on the right foot

I don't know what it is, but there's something about quirky decor that's struck a chord in my interior design fantasies lately. I may be frequenting Anthropologie too often and daydreaming about going on a spending frenzy in their home section, but when I do get a place of my own I plan on adding a small piece of Dylan Kendall to it.

While her design company is fairly young (it just launched last year), her talent as a ceramicist with an original idea solidified her place in the home decor department. Enter: the footed bowl.

I'd be surprised if Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie weren't bending over backwards to get their hands on selling a large number of these whimsical dishes. Kendall's site also features vases, mugs, salt and pepper shakers and more with the little footed design. My favorite are the bowls, used as part of a serving set or simply a counter-top statement piece to fill with fruit. Talk about a conversation starter!

January 2, 2013


My family and I escaped to the Caribbean this Christmas when we all flew to Mexico. It was the first time my brothers and I had seen the Caribbean Sea, and the first time we'd all been south of the border. The weather was fabulous, and the beaches were everything I'd expected, except there weren't any seashells! It was a little weird waking up on Christmas morning to eat breakfast outside in 80-degree weather, but it was a nice alternative to a white, snowy Christmas. We spent the 25th on the beach, and my brothers and I tried our hands at archery (insert Katniss Everdeen reference here!) 

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our trip. Did any of you go on vacation over the holiday? 

{Black swan + white swan}

{The view from our balcony}

{A Mexican fashion statement?}

{Archery on Christmas morning}

{They really didn't like us all that much in the gift shop}