Project Runway, Season 8

If you are interested in design concepts, new fashion, or just some awesome reality TV project runway is most certainly the show for you. Even after 8 seasons I can't get enough. It's so wonderfully juicy to see clothes go from concept to reality in such a short period of time. If you haven't checked it out please do so

Destination anywhere

I am officially resuming my role as a world traveler. After a long break from any international adventures I have decided this year I am going to make travel a priority.

I am off to Costa Rica in about a week and a half. Destinations include
the cloud forest Monteverde

the volcanic national park Arenal

and some beach yet to be determined, possibly Manuel Antonio

Then this march it is off to Thailand/Cambodia/Laos. Sites to be seen?




I can't wait to experience new cultures, including food and fashion of course. Expect many posts to come.


And reality sets in....

There comes a time in every woman's life when one must admit certain realities. One of those fearful realities has finally hit me and I have actually.....ominous music.....emptied my closet of the clothes that don't fit me.

Now, I decided not to get rid of those clothes but simply pack them away in bins in the garage until they fit me once again. AND THEY WILL fit me once again.

The spoils fit into two very large plastic green bins, one seen below.

What is left of my two closets (shocking that everything fit in there with the two full bins of clothes that are no longer in there)


What to wear what to wear

The Legwarmers concert is fast approaching and we tend to treat these concerts as 80s halloween. Its all about the rockin 80s costume.

The last concert we went to I was Like a Virgin Madonna. For the costume I wore a cut up white tutu, and my long line white strapless bra over a tank top...
tutu [repeat performance], longline strapless bra [Sylene's], tank top [H&M], Shoe's [Zappos, Gabriella Rocha]

Options for this years concert include...
1. Pat Benatar, complete with fringe and leather leggings
2. Desperately Seeking Susan, Madonna style
3. Olivia Newton John, 80s aerobics
4. 80s hair band, inspiration below



Low country boil

A few years ago I spent some time with my family in Savannah, Georgia. My cousin's husband has family in the area. We were invited to his parents house for dinner one evening and the dish that was served was what is known is Southern parts as a low country boil. The dish was a delicious mix of seafood, corn, potatoes and seasonings that were boiled all day in a large pot over an outdoor fire. Since I enjoyed the dish so much I decided to make my own version of a low country boil and it was delicious. Here are the directions for my dish as follows....

Ingredients: to serve 4
1 pound of shrimp
2 ears of fresh corn on the cob
8 small yukon gold or red skin potatoes
3 Chicken bullion cubes
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp old bay seasoning
salt and pepper

1. Begin by bringing six cups of water to a boil.
2. Wash potatoes thoroughly and cut in halves. Break ears of corn in half.
3. Once water is boiling stir in bullion cubes. When bullion has dissolved add potatoes and corn to boiling broth.
4. While vegetables are boiling preheat a large pan over medium heat. Toss shrimp in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tbsp of old bay seasoning.
5. When pan is preheated add 2nd tbsp of olive oil and add shrimp. When shrimp starts to turn pink and curl flip over to other side. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.
6. Once potatoes are tender and corn is fully cooked remove from broth.
7. Divide into four servings. In a bowl put 2 potatoes, 1/2 ear of corn and 1/4 pound of shrimp. Sprinkle each serving with a little extra old bay and spoon a bit of chicken broth over the top of the bowl.
8. Serve and enjoy.


Healthy cooking

I'm making a sincere effort to eat a little better and I have to say breakfast seems to be the easiest meal of the day for me.

I love bacon for breakfast but i've found that smoked salmon is a great substitute that is much healthier. I love smoked salmon with asparagus for breakfast. I normally pair the two with a fried egg. This morning I complimented the pairing with a light berry salad that I sprinkled with salt and a bit of balsamic vinegar....see below.



Flea Markets and Thrift Stores

I happen to be a huge fan of thrift stores and flea markets. I love finding fabulous old things and making them beautiful and new.

Tips for flea markets:
- A price is never final. Haggle, haggle, haggle. Decide how much you would be willing to pay for something before you look at the price and if they won't go low enough then don't buy it.
- Don't buy pieces that have major flaws, but easy small fixes might get you a better price on something you really want
- Be careful about touching. Remember antiques wear faster with the oils from our skin on them. These pieces are treasures to somebody and unless you are thinking about buying them keep your hands to yourself

Tips for thrifting:
- Many thrift stores do not have dressing rooms so wear tight fitting clothes that you can easily slip on clothing over. My suggestion is a pair of leggings, a camisole and a sweater or cardigan over that.
- Don't buy anything that is stained or ripped, unless you know the stain will come out or the tear is on a seam that is easily fixable.
- Find treasure in trash. Try and look at clothing and furniture as what they can be not what they are. A little creativity goes a long way.

The spoils from todays trip.....

Glass heads for my hats


A next to new LV wallet just like the one i've been lusting after for two years


My next DIY project, soon to be a jewelry cabinet to hang on my wall



Assateague Island

If you live anywhere near the mid-atlantic region of the west coast I would highly recommend spending at least one weekend each summer camping on Assateague Island. We've hit assateague Island one weekend every year for the last five years. This year we joined a larger group of friends in the group sites and it was a blast. What can be better than the beach, grilling, and chillin for three days straight?! Just remember to bring sunblock and some sort of shade device. And don't forget to book early. Campsites book up very quickly! You can book up to six months in advance.

For your viewing pleasure a few pictures from this year and years past.....




Gone Campin....

The lack of posts in the recent week is because I've been beach camping. Pictures to come of all the camping fun and new fashion posts :)


New found obsession- Tuna steaks

I've never been a huge fan of tuna. I tend to avoid tuna burgers and as much as I love sushi I tend to avoid the tuna sashimi but for some reason I felt compelled to buy a tuna steak at the grocery store a few weeks ago. After it sat in my freezer for three weeks I finally decided to take it out and do something with it and the results were shockingly wonderful. It was so simple too.

I defrosted my tuna steak to room temperature, sprinkled each side with about a 1/2 tsp of salt, a sprinkle of pepper and enough sesame seeds to lightly coat the outside, and then drizzled a bit of olive oil on top. I then put it on my grill pan which I had preheated over medium-high heat and cooked each side until I could see a small line of pink in the middle. Approximately 2 minutes on each side. And voile! Perfect tuna steak for a sandwich, salad, or anything in between.





Splurge or Save

Frye boots that I've been wanting for a full year

$218 @ zappos.com

$49.99 @ target.com

Outfit of the day

Oh how I love wearing cropped jeans and a button down in the summer. Great for barbecues, coffee dates, happy hours. You really can't go wrong and there are about 10,000 variations of this classic. I personally like to spice it up with a pair of wedges, a big chunky necklace and a pair of gold hoops.

Button down [target], yellow cropped jeans [forever 21], wedges [target], purple stone necklace [Dorothy Perkins], Gold hoops [H&M]

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I love anything pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin room fragrance, pumpkin seeds. You name it. When I found this recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin muffins at cupcakesandcashmere.com which I tend visit at least once a day I just had to make them. I knew they would be tasty but who knew they would be so easy to make! Prep time took no longer than 10 minutes. Please do try this recipe. My roommate loved them and so did my coworkers!


the starting product....

the finished muffins...I can still smell the chocolate and pumpkin


The 80's are back

You can see it in all the style magazines.

From bright colored jackets and punk rock hair...

to leather leggings a la Pat Benatar...

and colored jeans...

Which is why we continue to honor the 80s by attending LEGWARMERS shows. If you haven't seen the legwarmers and they tour in your area I would highly recommend attending one of their performances. Dress up in 80s costume and listen to three hours of all the great 80s music you remember from your teenage years. My friends and I will be attending the show on July 31st at the State Theater in VA. Pictures to come.


Young Fat and Fabulous

It takes courage to wear what you want and not care about what others think. I am often complimented on my ability to wear something that most people wouldn't wear and "pull it off" but truthfully you just have to be willing to try and be confident enough in yourself to know that when you feel good in something you look good.

I am most inspired by larger, fashionable women. Its easy for a 5'10 woman who weighs 100 lbs to throw anything on and look great but when you weigh more than the norm in a weight obsessed culture it really takes effort to show people that you're confident in yourself and that larger women can look great too.

Case in point, Youngfatandfabulous.com. I stumbled across this blog yesterday while looking at other fashion blogs and absolutely love it. Follow Gabi, a woman who is 5'5 and a size 18/20, on her crusade to show the world that big can be beautiful too. With features such as "outfit of the day" and "YFF: Girl of the Moment" who wouldn't enjoy this blog. Fat, Skinny or anything in between.



Comfy and Cute?!

I've been trying to steal these simply vera vera wang wedges from my best friend ever since she bought them. They are absolutely adorable and super comfy. They're perfect to wear with a flowered mini dress in the summer heat and will look fab with a pair of sheer black tights and
a cute skirt and sweater in the fall.

Love! And for $29.99 who can resist?!


Crispy Fried Artichokes

I was inspired to make crispy artichoke hearts by the appetizer I had at California Pizza Kitchen last night.

CPK's artichoke hearts

my dish

I used:
for artichokes-
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts packed in water
1 egg whisked in small bowl
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil

for remoulade-
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped capers
splash of tobassco
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1) drain artichokes and dry with towel
2) milx oils and heat over medium-high heat
3) mix flour and italian bread crumbs
4) dip artichoke hearts in egg
5) let excess egg drip off of artichoke hearts, toss artichokes in flour and breadcrumb mixture
6) test oil with wooden spoon (dip the end of a wooden spoon in the oil, if the oil bubbles around the spoon the oil is ready), if oil is ready put 6-10 artichoke hearts into oil.
7) when bottom side of artichokes are golden brown turn over and cook other side (total cook time is approximately 3-4 minutes)
8) place artichoke hearts on paper towel to drain excess oil.
9) sprinkle with salt as soon as artichoke hearts come out of oil.
10) to make remoulade mix mayo, dijon, capers, tobasco, garlic and lemon juice. Dallop remoulade on top of artichoke hearts for a pretty presentation as seen above.

welcome back

As you can tell its been quite a while. I had no direction when I first started this blog. All I knew about blogging was next to nothing. Random, long winded entries that did nothing for anyone. So here is my attempt to "breathe and reboot" as Carrie Bradshaw so famously said for all you SATC fans out there.

If for nobody else but myself I will be attempting to write short, useful entries 3 times or more per week. Blogging attempt #2.

p.s. if anyone wants to teach me how to custom format my blog you are more than welcome.