To making good habits and extinguishing bad habits

I have decided to being not only a diet and exercise plan, but a new life plan. Every time I have tried to throw myself into a diet and exercise plan I seem to fail after only a week or two. So I have decided to take my new plan a step at a time.

My roommate and I have decided every week that we will make small goals. Every sunday night we will come up with a small good habit that we would like to add to our repertoire for the week and a bad habit that we would like to extinguish.

Week one: Starting this sunday evening my good habit will be eating a fruit or vegetable with every meal. And my bad habit that I would like to get rid of is that I would like to not eat out so often. I am allowing myself two meals a week out of the house, this includes at work (if I am not bringing food).

Here is to the challenge of week one! On we go.

Outfit of the day

or days. I haven't posted any outfits in a while but here are a few I've chosen over the last week.

You can't see much of this one but the top went with a pair of dark skinny jeans and white snakeskin calvin klein heels...for an evening out
[Top- South Moon Under, Necklace- H&M]

Grocery shopping & Dinner with the family
[Top & Sunglasses- Ann Taylor loft, Necklace- H&M, Watch- Swatch, Capris- Old Navy, Shoes- Target]

Lunch with a friend
[Top- Anthropologie, Jeans- Ann Taylor Loft, Sandals- Old Navy]


Cut and color

I will admit. I love having long dark hair. I think it fits me well, but its time for a change. A real change. I need an update, a new look...a new outlook. So here's hoping a new hair do will be the spark that changes it all. The color i'm striving for...


Possible cuts?

The possibilities are endless! Pictures to come.

shoes to swoon over

The list of shoes I am dying to have for fall. In no way, shape or form will I be getting more than possibly one pair. But a girl can dream.

[Steve Madden, Caryssag- $139.95]

[Steve Madden, Annton- $129.95]

[Forever 21, Peep Toe Oxford Pump- $25.80]

[Frye, Paige Tall Riding Boot- $348.00]


What I learned about backpacking style

There is none. Ha!

Actually, what I learned on my trip to costa rica I think I shall apply to my next backpacking experience. You can backpack in style it just takes a little know how.

I mainly focused on functionality for this trip as we were to be doing plenty of hiking and athletic activities and it was my first backpacking experience in quite some time.

My hiking boots are old and ugly and could use some improvement. Possibly a pair like these?
Functional, and not incredibly ugly. Water resistant and breathable.

And I certainly would recommend a cute pair of cargo capris like the green ones that I got from old navy, as seen below. They're great for hiking, and when they are actually clean can be paired with a cute bright colored blouse and pair of stacked heels for a night out.

When backpacking, especially in a warm climate, never forget a comfortable, supportive and cute bathing suit. Comfortable and supportive because you might have to wear it under a pair of shorts and a t shirt for a lovely hike to a waterfall or through a tropical paradise like I used it for.

Other suggestions of clothing to bring:
1) Light weight t-shirts that can be layered (like this tee from VS
2) A combination beach cover up and casual dress (a cotton jersey is a good choice)
3) A pair of comfortable, straight leg jeans

More suggestions to come


A statement piece

My neighbor asked me to accompany him to a fabulous outlet mall in Woodbridge, VA yesterday called Potomac Mills. I decided to go, against my better judgement (after looking at the balance of my bank account), because I needed a couple of things for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica. Overall I got out without doing too much damage. I purchased two pairs of capris and a raincoat for Costa Rica. And I managed to snag one amazing piece from the Ralph Lauren Polo outlet.

I think its ok when you find a unique piece that you love to splurge a bit. This amazing Ralph Lauren wool houndstooth cape was purchased for $136.00 and I can't wait to see how much use I will get out of it this fall.


And of course its important to have a bit of fun when shopping....

A delicious BLD

What is a BLD you may ask? As ashamed as I am to say this is a term I got from none other than the annoying raspy voiced Rachael Ray. A BLD is a meal or dish that can be served as a breakfast, lunch or dinner. I happen to be an enormous fan of tasty sandwiches for any meal of the day and this combination is one of my favorites.

Place 1 piece of lunch meat (I chose some honey smoked turkey), on a thin slice of your favorite crusty bread (I used a sunflower/honey loaf). Thinly slice enough of your favorite cheese (brie happens to be mine) to cover the slice of lunch meat and place on top of the lunch meat. Put a second slice of bread on top of the other, making a sandwich and put a bit of butter on the outside of each piece. Place the sandwich in a pan on medium heat until the bread is browned and crispy and the cheese is melted. Before you serve the sandwich place 1-2 thin slices of an apple or pear in the sandwich and enjoy.

My suggestions are to serve with a small side salad or some fresh berries.



Spicy Moroccan Lamb Stew

Never have I ever made lamb. But a recipe for moroccan lamb stew that I ripped out of a magazine months and months ago has been taunting me. "Make me, make me! Even though I look oh so challenging! Test your culinary skills!" And so I did...and it was delicious. My only tweak to this delicious recipe is that I would add a bit more salt during the cooking process and maybe substitute the red pepper for carrot, which I like better.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 lb boneless leg of lamb, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 whole leek, cleaned and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup chopped, dried dates
1 can (14 oz) stewed tomatoes
4 cups beef broth
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 box cous cous
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. In a dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat
2. Season lamb cubes with salt and pepper
3. In batches brown the lamb cubes on all sides and transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon
4. Add the remaining teaspoon of oil to the pot and saute the onion, peppers, leeks and garlic for 4-5 minutes
5. Stir in cinnamon, cumin and ginger; continue cooking approximately 3-4 minutes, until vegetables are tender
6. Put the lamb back into the pot
7. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil
8. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until lamb is tender.
9. Stir in parsley.
10. Prepare couscous according to the directions on the box but with beef broth instead of water.
12. Sprinkle the almonds on top of couscous and serve next to the stew

tip- if your stew broth isn't thick enough, ladel some broth into a seperate bowl and whisk in two tbsp of flour. Then stir that thickened broth back into the soup.


Color, Texture, Pattern and Shine

I am an avid watcher of TLC's What Not To Wear.

Host's Stacey London and Clinton Kelly spend a large portion of the show giving tips on fit, proportion, and how to put outfits together.

One of London and Kelly's theories that I have decided to test is the theory of "color, texture, pattern and shine". Essentially what this means is that to make an outfit you start off with basic pieced and add color, texture, pattern, and/or shine.

I have decided to try using this advice in my everyday wardrobe. Test #1. A great travel outfit.

Tunic [Forever 21], Gray leggings [Forever 21], Green circle scarf [American Apparel], Hoop earring and bangles [H&M], Stackable rings [SkinnyStyle.com]

Pattern in the tunic, a nice green color in the scarf, and some shine in the accessories

Here's what it looks like on, sorry for the blurry picture...

This outfit is dead on for a plane ride. Comfy, cute and the scarf can double as a blanket.


A little help please?

So of the few of you out there who actually read my blog, I know many of you are tech savvy. Would anyone care to lend their time in helping me spruce mine up a bit. I have no idea how to do anything HTML or web-design esque but I would really like to turn this blog into something a little more aesthetically pleasing. Anyone?


What I chose to wear...

See blog entry from 7/27/10.

The legwarmers concert was last night....finally....and it was fabulous.

I ultimately chose to go with an 80s aerobics instructor/Olivia Newton John (Lets Get Physical) look. Ironically everything I wore I already had in my closet, I just had to combine it in the right way.

The end result.....
headband [CVS], Yellow wayfarer sunglasses [Urban Outfitters], leopard tank top [H&M], Electric blue leggings [Forever 21], legwarmers [H&M], Crosstrainers: Nike Shocks[Lady foot locker]

Fashionable organization

At the request of my dear friend Maggie I have decided to blog about my new jewelry organization product.

Although my jewelry box is a gorgeous light shade of wood I don't like how the large box sits in the middle of my dresser and blocks my mirror. In addition, I never actually look inside of it when I'm trying to decide what to jewelry to wear. I have been trying to find a new way to organize my jewelry that looks beautiful and makes it easy for me to see everything and choose what I want to wear.

I have decided to replace my wooden jewelry box and my cork board jewelry display, seen below,


with my jewelery cabinet, which has yet to be revamped

and a soon to be completed collection of teacups and bowls, one of which was finally found at value village thrift store in college park, MD

I'm not quite done with either project but here is what i've accomplished so far.

three wooden crates were bought for $3.49 each from A.C. Moore, and a piece of dark blue velvet purchased off the scrap table at G. Street fabric for $2.97, was used to cover them....
all teacups, bowls, and...hand purchased from various trips to Goodwill and Value Village