Regular Friday

Friday, November 29, 2013

Get the look:
Waking up today was weird, because it was the first Black Friday in three years that I wasn't working retail. If I really wanted to, I could have woken up at the crack of dawn to score some "amazing deals," but I figured my time would be better spent sleeping and taking advantage of my day off. Instead of being a crazed sleepless shopper, I enjoyed a relaxing brunch with one of my close friends from home. I did venture to the mall later in the afternoon to pick up a few things, but by that point the crowds had died down. I also made sure to be extra (extra) nice to everyone helping me, because I have been in their shoes one too many times and, well, working retail on Black Friday is enough to make even the nicest, most patient salesperson go a little mad.

Anyway, I wore this outfit last week on a very regular Friday. I felt like dressing up a little and figured a velvety dress would do the trick. Initially, I bought this dress as a costume for a Great Gatsby themed date party that I never actually attended. But, I liked it so much that I kept it anyways. I just have this thing for shift dresses...mainly because they are essentially nightgowns that you can get away with wearing in public.

Happy Black Friday!

Outfit Details:
Denim Jacket—Anthropologie (similar)
Cardigan—H&M (similar)
Dress—Ruche (similar)
Scarf—Nordstrom BP (similar)
Watch—GUESS (shop)
Tights—Anthropologie (similar)
Ankle Boots—Target (similar)


That Day With The Turkey

Thursday, November 28, 2013

{a snapshot from our Friendsgiving a couple weeks ago}

You know, I really wasn't planning on doing a Thanksgiving post. But, here I am, taking a 20-minute break hiding from my kitchen duties and I just felt like writing. As with most Thanksgiving Day posts, it's kind of hard to not sound like a broken record. I do have a lot to be thankful for in my life right now, and I am by no means trying to undermine that. Good health, my wonderful family, true friends (new and old), and the great opportunities I've had so far. But this year, I wanted to take the time to be thankful for something that I often don't appreciate or acknowledge. In fact...it's something I often resent.

Today, I'm thankful for the time I'm at in my life right now...I'm thankful for my twenties. Maybe I sound straight out of an episode of GIRLS (in which case I call being Marnie...terrible, I know.) but that isn't my intention. I just wanted to take a step back and acknowledge that I'm at the beginning of an exciting time in my life, and while it may feel a little tumultuous/emotional/confusing now, it also feels like one of those times I'll look back on in five, ten, or even 50 years and want to relive—wishing I had appreciated it more at the time. So with that, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful day with family, friends, and good food.

P.S. If you've had enough of my reflections...it's okay, I kind of have too. You've got a break until New Year's, but after that all convoluted essay-length posts are fair game :)


Lost Summer

Monday, November 25, 2013

Get the look:
Even though I wore these printed pants a ton this summer, I somehow never managed to photograph any outfits with me wearing them. Although...considering this was the "lost summer" in terms of blogging, it's actually not that surprising. Luckily for this lovely pair, I wasn't ready to retire them after summer, so they are making their big blog debut about three months late! To make them more season-appropriate, I decided to style them with a light sweater to offset their summery feel. The next time I recreate this outfit, I think I'll throw on my denim vest as another layer for good measure.

Anyway...clothing aside, I officially have three weeks left as an undergrad. It's kind of a strange feeling, but it also hasn't really hit me yet. I know I'm going to miss certain aspects of school, but as of right now I'm not looking forward to studying for finals or any of that fun stuff. On a more positive note, I am really looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving this week and just taking some time to relax before the craziness of the quarter ensues.

Outfit Details:
Crochet Sweater—Loehmann's (similar)
Printed Pants—ANGL (similar)
Watch—GUESS (shop)
Belt—Nordstrom (similar)
Bag—Fossil (similar)
Wedges—Cathy Jean (similar)



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Get the look:
I've been wearing this faux leather jacket a ton since I bought it for Halloween. It's been perfect for chilly fall days and helped make this dress feel a little less feminine. Also, as much as I've been complaining about taking photos at night, I do love seeing the city lights after work. Makes me feel all metropolitan...or something like that.

Outfit Details:
Faux Leather Jacket—Target (shop)
Dress—Madewell (shop)
Cameo Necklace—vintage (similar)
Belt—thrifted (similar)
Bag—Fossil (similar)
Boots—Madewell (shop)


Cookbook: Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Muffins

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Believe it or not, I never used to be a big fan of pumpkin pie. I always found it a bit too sweet and mushy for my taste. So, at holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving or Christmas, I usually opted for apple pie or any other kind of dessert. However, this year I've been on a big pumpkin kick—pumpkin tea, pumpkin ale, pumpkin cookies, and yes...chocolate chip pumpkin pie muffins :) I found this recipe on Pinterest about a month ago, and have already made them three times! I made this latest batch for a Friendsgiving my roommates and I are going to this weekend and doubled the recipe to make about 20 muffins. I'm a big fan of "healthy" baking, so these muffins are low in sugar and dairy-free (minus the chocolate chips—which are optional but highly recommended). So far, they've been a hit with all my friends and are pretty addictive. I may or may not have finished like four in one sitting the last time I made them–this is not recommended.

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Muffins
(adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin (I used Libby's—the classic)
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
⅔ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
⅓ cup unsweetened all-natural applesauce
½ ripe banana, mashed
½ cup chocolate chips (add more or less based on preference)
Extra oatmeal, for sprinkling on muffins

Preheat your oven to 375-400 degrees (my oven is really old, so I had it set to 400 degrees) and line your muffin tin with 10-12 paper or foil baking cups.

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt) together.

In a separate, larger bowl combine the other ingredients (pumpkin, brown sugar, beaten egg whites, almond milk, applesauce, and mashed banana) and stir until you have a smooth mixture.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each muffin cup ¾ full so that each is even and sprinkle a tiny bit of oatmeal on top of each muffin. However, for a larger muffin top, fill them all the way up–this will yield about 10 muffins instead of 12.

 Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean.

These muffins are best served warm and stay fresh for a few days. Just to warn you, they have a pumpkin pie-like texture, so don't expect "normal" fluffy muffins. Enjoy!


Saving the Daylight

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Get the look:
It's official, Daylight Savings is over and I don't get out of work until after the sun has set. I'm still figuring out how to take photos at dusk (and accepting the fact that I look weirdly yellow in all of my pictures), but I do love the city lights in the background. Also, my outfit has a mix of summer and fall elements, which feels fitting for this weird November transition.

Maybe I'm just being sentimental or nostalgic—or whatever you'd like to call it—but this time change really is a turning point for me. Having worked at the same office all summer, I've still been in a weird "summer" mode until now. Since LA doesn't have seasons (it's been 80 degrees all week...), the slight change in light has marked the new season for me. On top of that, I've been feeling much more settled and content with everything lately. It's a bit of a crazy time, but I feel less insane (mental stability—always a good thing) and more appreciative of the place I'm at in my life right now.

Feelings of true contentment and satisfaction are a lot harder to come by than I feel like most people talk about or would like to admit. If I'm going to get all metaphorical, I suppose you could say I'm just taking a moment to save (or savor) this daylight.

And...done :)

Outfit Details:
Eyelet Tank—Madewell (similar)
Cardigan—H&M (similar)
Scarf—Urban Outfitters (shop)
Watch—GUESS (shop)
Jeans—GUESS (similar)
Sandals—Target (similar)


Just In Time

Monday, November 11, 2013

Get the look:
Prepare yourselves...these are probably the last sunset photos I'll have up for a while. The ending of DST is really throwing off my photo-taking ritual after work. But, I'm happy I was at least able to snap some of these sunset photos before the time change. Anyway, I haven't been wearing midi skirts as much as I used to, but I'm happy with how this combo turned out. Whenever I'm unsure of how to style something, it's nice to revisit old outfits to get inspired. Also, I caved and bought this watch online last week. I'd been looking for a classic leather strap watch for a while, so I finally decided to invest in one that vaguely matches my brown ankle boots. I'm just considering it a "late" birthday present to myself. (Please note: This justification works about six months out of the year. Purchases made during the other six months can be considered "early" birthday presents.)

P.S. Happy Veteran's Day! Can every weekend please be three days? 

Outfit Details:
Cardigan—Nordstrom BP (similar)
Striped Top—H&M (similar)
Midi Skirt—Ruche (similar)
Necklace—Urban Outfitters (similar)
Belt—thrifted (similar)
Watch—Nixon (shop)
Bag—Fossil (similar)
Boots—Madewell (shop)


Top Knot

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Get the look:
Whenever I wear shift dresses I always have the weird desire to throw my hair into a top knot. Maybe I think it makes me look trendier? Not really sure—but I do it a lot. Luckily, my short hair has finally gotten long enough to create some semblance of a bun. I might look a little like Alfalfa...but I'm okay with that. Anyway, I decided to mix it up and pair this moto jacket with something more colorful than I did last time. I've also pulled this black cardigan + shift dress combo once before, so I'm glad the added layer created a slightly different look. 

Also, sorry to sound like a broken record, but I seriously can't believe it's already November. I went to Starbucks this weekend and there were Christmas cups...CHRISTMAS CUPS. When did this happen? I'm still convinced it's August. (But thank goodness it's not...)

Outfit Details:
Floral Shift—Urban Outfitters (similar)
Cardigan—H&M (similar)
Moto Jacket—GUESS (shop)
Watch—Michael Kors (similar)
Tights—Anthropologie (similar)
Ankle Boots—Target (similar)
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