Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arm Candy

While I was home over break, my mom and I went through a lot of my things that had fallen by the wayside in the past few years.  In the midst of the insane amount of junk I've accumulated, I found a great piece of arm candy!


What I actually found was this bag.

Although not as soul-stirringly, mouth-wateringly, too-inappropriate-to-type-here-ingly hot as the afore-depicted actor, I'm quite pleased to have come across it!  I'm a little fuzzy on the details of my acquiring it, but I'm pretty sure I got it around Christmas four or so years ago.  It's lack of involvement in my life probably has something to do with its lack of zipper, but I don't care about that anymore.  It's made out of candy wrappers (or at least I assume they're candy wrappers, it's no kind of candy I'm familiar with), and I love the contrast between the yellow and the purple, plus it makes it look really cool in black and white.  I really think it'll spruce up some of my outfits this spring and add a touch of fun to my day!

Speaking of fun and contrast, you know what's not fun?

This is what my room looks like right now.  Am I kidding?  I got back on Sunday.  It is Thursday.  Obviously, this is a hilarious joke.

Have you re-discovered anything in your closet recently (or on the floor of your horrendously messy room?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is about a book.

I'm not lying and that's not a metaphor.

In between my being a forbiddingly stylish fashionista and an expertly trained chef, I also enjoy reading a great deal.  You know where's a great place to get some good, old-fashioned reading done?  Airports and planes.  Both of these things are involved in my travels most of the time, so I get a lot of reading done.  Recently, however, I've been more interested in buying clothes than buying magazines so I can just look at clothes.  So I headed on over to Amazon to see what free books they had for their Kindle app and I came across this classic:

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.  I wish I could give you a fun fact about the author or something, but I have nothing that pertains floating (haha!) in the vault of useless trivia in my head.  But so much adventure!  Plus, I read it so long ago that I no longer remember what happens at the end, so it's almost like I'm reading it for the first time again.  Sure, there's some technical mumbo-jumbo on behalf of the narrator, but I mostly skim over those parts since understanding the physics of a submarine isn't actually necessary in understanding the plot.

Are there any classic novels you like to revisit now and again?  Another favorite (although I do always remember what happens in this one) is Wuthering Heights, with all that unrequited love and such.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Am I supposed to be excited about this?

That's what I said when my roommate Sammy handed me a piece of black string just now.  But then she gave me this adorable owl charm!

This picture is great (sarcasm).

"They're from the pre-Incan ruins I visited."  Apparently, she got it when she was in Bolivia over spring break at her cousin's wedding...yeah.  Lucky her.  But I love this charm, and I can tell it's going to be making frequent appearances in my wardrobe from now on.

Do you have any souvenirs that softened the blow of not going on an awesome trip?

Monday, March 28, 2011

The (allegedly) Friendly Skies

The Place: My darkened room, New Jersey

The Time: March 27th, 3:22am

The Scene:  I'm slumbering peacefully when I am suddenly awakened by the dulcet tones of Ciara's "Like A Boy."  Yes, that is the ringtone on my phone.  I grab my phone, looking at the screen in confusion.  Why is an 800 number calling me at 3 in the morning?  Obviously, I'm not going to pick up.  And then, a sudden realization.

It's the airline calling.

I was supposed to be on a 12:15pm flight out of Newark Liberty International Airport.  I was supposed to be back in my apartment at around 3pm Central Time.  I was supposed to have time to go grocery shopping.  Instead, this middle of the night phone call informed me that my flight was canceled and I had been re-booked on a flight leaving at 6:10pm.


I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that there is no remotely convenient way to reach LaGuardia from my home.  When I finally arrived at my apartment at nine-thirty at night, I was tired and I was hungry.  Thankfully, I had a single frozen fillet of salmon remaining, as well as some orzo and frozen peas, which turned into this:

Yum.  The salmon may not look that appetizing, but it tastes absolutely phenomenal.  I used Pike Place Fish Market's Our Own Rub spice blend, and it is absurdly delicious.  All this delicious eating and the trials of the day led to this:

Tired Harris.  So I called it a night.  Friendly skies?  Friendly bed.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I feel a project coming on...

Everyone and anyone who likes cooking/baking needs to check out Ming Makes Cupcakes.

A friend of mine posted this website on one of my roommates' Facebook wall.  Ming offers the recipe for 33 cupcakes on her website, with equally gorgeous images for each one, in addition to some cookies and savory treats.  We have some pretty avid bakers in my apartment, so I'm outrageously excited to see what new treats pop up when I return.  I'm particularly excited to try the recipes above, as A) sour cream is my ultimate weakness and B) my second-most ultimate weakness is filled yellow cake.  Definitely expect a post when I get around to making these delicious bits of heavenly looking confection.

I'm always looking for new and interesting recipes, so I'm very pleased to have found this site.  Do you guys have any recommendations for yummy treats?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vice Report: Week of 3/21/11

As my week at home comes to a close, I find that my biggest vice has been less fashion and more cuddle.

Crazy Eyes!

 She sleeps in many interesting poses, all of them adorable.

More Crazy Eyes!

Gemma is a 12 lb. 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier.  I call her "Creature" most of the time, but my mother recently informed me that she thinks the dog thinks Creature is my name.  Either way, she is very cute, if mischievous, and I love her very much.

Do any of y'all have adorable pets?

Thursday, March 24, 2011



Thesethingsareminemineminehappyhappyhappy.  But seriously, I went to Zara yesterday with my mother and she got me some lovelylovelyclothes.  I believe I am literally dying over the striped top, as you can well imagine, but my mother's favorite of the bunch was the dress.  Admittedly, it is totally adorable (not a word I usually use to describe things associated with myself) and the collar gives it that 60s look that everyone, including me, loves.  And, strange as it is to say, it looks great with my new haircut.  Can't wait to wear these goodies in the coming months.

I'm so glad that bright colors and color blocking are being embraced this season.  Those are two things that never fail to cheer me up!  Sadly, the weather here in New Jersey yesterday evening was the dreaded wintry mix and it still appears to be snowing.

Let us turn to an eternal favorite of mine to help us warm up.

Stay warm ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tastes Like Chicken.

I wanted to make something really delicious and comforting for my mom and myself to eat tonight, so I went with a good old favorite: Chicken Pot Pie.

I "followed" an Ina Garten recipe I'd made once before.  As usual, the modifications I made resulted in a dish that looks absolutely nothing like the images provided with the recipe.  Also as usual, I don't care because it was deeeeeeeeeelicious.  Having made this once before, I was already aware of the fact that Ina's conception of portion size is totally inappropriate, so I immediately halved it.  You will note the original says it yields "4 individual pot pies" [my emphasis].  You will also note that cutting it in half still resulted in an entire 9" pie, the contents of which rose considerably above the level of the pie dish.  And this is what Ms. Garten's recipe says is enough for two.

Yeah.  Right.

I added potatoes 'cause my mom wanted them, and I love 'em, too!  The last time I made this, I did make the pastry dough myself; but, being without my trusty food processor, (...and feeling lazy) I went ahead and bought Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts.  Worked out juuuuuust fine.  I might have even liked it better.  I'm going to assume this has more to do with my pastry making skills than the quality of store-bought pie crust.

So have at, y'all, and don't be afraid to make your own alterations!  Chicken pot pie is one of my favorite comfort foods, no matter what "accessories" it has in it.  What are some of your favorite comfort foods?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nail Candy

As you might have guessed from my last Vice Report, I really like nail polish.  It's a great, (usually) inexpensive way to accessorize any outfit.  Ain't nothing better than a good manicure, either.  But since I have yet to find a place in Evanston when I can get a good manicure (not to mention lacking the funds to get one as often as I'd like), I've gotten pretty damn good at doing my own nails.  Oh sure, I get a little extra polish here and there, but considering my fine motor skills are so bad that  handwriting looks like a fifth grader on crack's would, I consider it a major triumph that I can hold a pen, let alone paint my nails with my non-dominant hand.

I use pinks and reds most of the time because they agree with a wide range of clothing choices and still make your nails look all fancy.  I almost exclusively use Essie and OPI because they wear so well.  It is an investment at about $8 a bottle, but if you think of the cost of a manicure and you paint your nails all the time like I do, it more than pays for itself.

Got the Blues for Red

Peach Daiquiri

Fruit Sangria

Got the Blues for Red was at the end of my first journey to find the perfect red and it really is spectacular.  The blue undertones make it a rich dark color that makes me think of old school glamour (which we know I like), and it's great for fall and winter.  Peach Daiquiri is a color I picked up at J. Crew last spring that's cheery and very spring appropriate (I'm sure they didn't plan that at all).  I would describe the color as a coral leaning towards pink instead of orange.  Thumbs up.  Last but not least, Fruit Sangria was my color of choice last summer and it will definitely be making a comeback this summer.  The color is very true to the picture above, a hot pink with a tinge of magenta, and it plays well with many of the bright colors I'm sure we'll be seeing in the coming months.

So those are my favorites.  What are yours?  I'd love to know, I'm always in the market for a new favorite.  I would recommend top coat and base coat, but I don't like mine, so if you have any suggestions for those, let me in on the secret!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Necessities: Red Lips

Special shoutout to Lindsey Leigh of My Iowa Life, hope this helps out!

There ain't nothing like a good red lip.  Every once in a while, you need to make a statement.  Personally, I like the kind of statement that makes you look Old Hollywood glamorous and downright intimidating all at the same time.  Because I've become a horrific make-up snob somewhere in my travels (these things just happen guys, my bad luck), my very favorite iteration comes courtesy NARS.*

 NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sierra & Cruella

 NARS Lipliner Pencil in Jungle Red

I myself use NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella with their Lipliner Pencil in Jungle Red.  The Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is absolutely one of the best things I've ever purchased.  My friend Lauren turned me on to it a couple of years ago (her color of choice, as I recall, is Red Square) and I am eternally grateful.  Seriously.  The color wears well, though you may need a quick reapplication if you're going to be having a meal while you wear it, but it's so easy with the pencil you won't mind.  And it feels like wearing silk on your mouth.  I will caution, however, that much like wearing the proper undergarments beneath silk clothing, you can't have any of that nasty dead skin flaking around on your lips, it'll show up easily beneath the color.  Quick fix: Wet a toothbrush and scrub it across your mouth for about ten seconds, gets rid of those nasty bits -- see, I am capable of doing some things on the cheap.


J. Crew Dress

I know, terrible picture.  Ever since I started this blog adventure, my inescapable desire to avoid having my picture taken is catching up with me.  But you get the idea, you're all smart people.

Remember, don't be afraid to go out there and experiment at the make-up counters or Sephora before you commit to something.  For real, if you go the NARS route, for example, you don't wanna be out almost fifty dollars on a red that makes you look like some kind of goblin because it has too much orange in it.  That being said, everyone has a red that looks good on them.  Go find it!

Happy shopping!

*You will come to learn that I am vaguely decidedly obsessed with NARS, particularly for color.  Their e-mails are the only ones I allow to come into my inbox with the pictures already displayed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jersey Shore

the television show is an abomination.  But the real thing, now there's something special.

Francesca's Collection Sweater, Gifted Earrings
Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunglasses, J. Crew Necklace
The weather here on Friday was absolutely stunning, almost 70 degrees and sunny, with just a slight breeze.  While this meant that my death trap of a car was pretty uncomfortable to drive (N.B. Do not let a 17-year-old choose a car with black "leather" upholstery, the A/C may fail one day), it also meant that it was the perfect day to go take a look at the ocean and enjoy the beach for a bit.  I only live a few miles away, and I got the chance while I was waiting to go to my hair appointment in the afternoon.  It was spectacular.

Of course, it made me wish every day here was going to be 70 degrees, but that's just unrealistic.  Speaking of hair appointments and things I think (thought?) are unrealistic, I finally took the plunge and got side bangs (!).  I always get the same haircut, essentially, but I decided to make a change, and I love it!

 I am both surprised...

and pleased :)
Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vice Report: Week of 3/14/11

Another week, another vice.

I had finals, y'all.  And I had an aggressively bad weekend before my last final.  And even if it's horror was mostly of my own making, as many of our daily personal tragedies tend to be (or at least mine do, whatever), I needed something uplifting.  And that uplifting thing came in the form of a DIY manicure with $18 nail polish.

I know what you're saying.  "$18 for a bottle of nail polish?  Shut up."  But it's true.  I'm sure most of you have heard of Deborah Lippmann nail polishes, and been tempted by them, in fact.  My sister was kind enough to purchase a bottle of it in Ruby Red Slippers for me for Christmas.  The best part of this color is that the red glitter is in a gray-black polish, which means the color actually looks like what I think the ruby red slippers would look like if the Wicked Witch of the West had gotten to put them on her mean green feet.

Which is awesome.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Traveling in style

In my three-and-a-half years of going back and forth between New Jersey and Chicago, I've been one of those people who chooses a traveling outfit that emphasizes comfort when sitting in a seat the size of a child's high chair for an extended period of time.  Not that I looked like a hobo, but I certainly wasn't turning any heads with my fashion choices.  But with this particular trip, coming on the heels of such a miserable winter, I felt like I had something to prove.  Like, "You may have gotten the best of me for three months, Chicago winter, but you will not kill my (fashion) spirit!"  Or something like that.

So I got up, I did my hair, and  I put together something a little more stylish than usual.

Francesca's Collection Shirt, Gap Skirt, Calvin Klein Shoes 
Gifted Concord Watch, Gifted Earrings, Gifted LV Bag

*embarrassed-to-have-her-picture-taken-in-public face*

Not terribly restrictive and the pop of color brightened things up quite a bit, I think!  I would have liked to bling it out a little further, but the shirt choice was last minute and all my jewelry was packed up already.  And you know what I love about the picture of just the shirt?  It looks like Mets colors.  That's right.  I'm a Mets fan, cat's out of the bag.  Say what you want, if I'm still a fan, clearly I can take it.

And just in case, may I remind you that we're not the only ones who make mistakes.

Love from New Jersey!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Leavin' on a jet plane

As I emerge from the no man's land of studying in the wake of my final, I find it's time for me to pack!  Yes, Stranded in Chicago is going on Spring Break tomorrow.  Where, you ask?  To the lovely shores of New Jersey, my home, the place from which I am stranded (I am not kidding about the lovely part, I will take pictures to prove it, DON'TMAKEFUNOFIT).

Oh dear, I think my crazy is showing.  Anyway.

Luckily, I had the foresight to do my laundry before the studying-for-my-evil-final situation, so all of my packing will be done with fresh clothing *sigh of relief*.  However, since it is not quite summer in New Jersey, it being prone to normal seasons and thus, is only in the beginning of spring, the packing is merely a small inconvenience rather than an interesting opportunity to dress for an adventurous occasion.  So, in lieu of examining my packing list here, I leave you with some of the delicious looks from Zara's March Lookbook.  Have fun drooling with envy, I know I did!

P.S. The rest of the looks can be found here.  Lovelovelove.
P.P.S. Isn't the make-up on her gorgeous?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Weekend!

I hope everyone had a perfectly lovely weekend!  The weather on Friday was, dare I say it, nice.  In celebration, I decided to break out that lovely cardigan from J. Crew that I blogged about a little while ago.

J. Crew Cardigan, Tinley Road Neclace, 
Gap Skirt, Calvin Klein Shoes

See how I lounge outdoors sans coat!  It was almost warm enough for that, in fact.  Forgive the picture quality, my loves, I am not one of those in possession of a fancy camera.  At any rate, I hope everyone kept their fashion chin up this weekend and, if your weather was nice, let a hint of spring creep in!  Good luck with the week ahead, I know I'll need it (ah, finals, ah!).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vice Report: Week of 3/7/11

As you may or may not know, at the turn of the last century, Chicago had one of the most epic vice districts in the United States.  By which I mean, a whole lot of prostitutes.  Scads and scads of prostitutes.  And alcohol.  If you're interested in that, check out Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott, about two of the city's most famous madams, the Everleigh sisters.

In honor of this illustrious past, I'll be doing a weekly vice report on my favorite indulgences.  While you're unlikely to find tales of prostitution, you may hear relations of excessive lip gloss usage -- I know, shocking!  Only whores wear lip gloss -- and other juicy tidbits.

Speaking of which.

Only a very small fraction of my collection.  Lip gloss, and lip wear in general, may be my favorite part of getting dressed in the morning.  It's a great way to perk up your look with very little effort.  I find light pinks are the best for this simple kind of apply-and-go look, and there's definitely a pale pink to suit everyone.  Sadly for my bank account, my lip gloss of choice happens to be NARS.  Irritatingly expensive, but the colors are so great, and the texture is very smooth.  None of that annoying caking in the corners of your mouth.

If there's one color that I would recommend for everyone, it would be Sweet Revenge.

It's a very light pink color with a bit of sparkle in it that adds a little something extra.  It goes on very sheer, and I find it extremely complimentary with almost every outfit.  True, at $24 a pop, it's a splurge, but I just can't live without it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When I grow up...

As a little girl, and this assumption is based purely on anecdotal evidence, you probably wanted high heels because they looked so glamorous and beautiful and shiny.  You'd think, "Man, those would go great with this princess dress and Mardi-Gras-beads-style necklaces" (I'm paraphrasing here, give me some leeway).  But you probably didn't yearn for four-inch high heeled ankle booties made of, wait for it...

burlap.  I know I didn't.  But after writing my post about the Oxfords I found and then having my sense of fulfillment dashed by the discovery of those delicious heels from J. Crew, I found myself perusing the internet in the hopes that something, something, anything would assuage the agony of being unable to possess said shoes (can you tell I was also avoiding studying for my finals?).

But lo and behold! I found these.

Seychelles 'Keep Close' Booties

Where, you ask?  On the website of my most beloved retailer, Anthropolgie.  On sale.  YES.  So I got them, knowing that they would fit perfectly into my shoe collection, and in a way that a pair of Oxford high heels never would.  What I most like about them, aside from the way they make my legs look, is how casual they manage to be in spite of their impressive height.  I will gladly add an extra five minutes to my walk to class in order to break out these bad boys come spring.  Which might be approaching (!).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When nice clothes aren't enough.

There are some forms of precipitation that I find not just unpleasant, but downright insulting.  My absolute least favorite is what has taken to calling wintry mix.

When I see that little icon, I shudder in fear and loathing over what my day holds in store.  Second only to wintry mix (and its nasty cousin, sideways sleet), is my distaste for extremely cold rain.  I like rain, as a matter of fact, but this perverse form of sky-water actually makes me wish it would just be colder so it would turn into snow.  That's right.  There is something that makes me wish it would get colder.  PERVERSE.

Aside from the crime-against-nature portion of the situation, the problem with this weather is that it limits my shoe and clothing choices dramatically.  I try my hardest, but sometimes you just have to give in and put on something ugly if it means you're not going to get pneumonia.  And one of my roommates just told me about how she had pneumonia this summer, so it turns out that's real and not just what your mom told you when you wanted to stand out on the porch at night without any shoes on.

So, when I can't turn to fashion to lift my spirits from the offensive existence of cold rain, I have to turn to another savior.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Boursin Macaroni and Cheese.

So.  Good.  I found a link to this recipe on the glorious website  I have always loved cheese, but this was deliciously perfect for such a nasty, rainy day.  As this picture will tell you, I made some modifications to recipe (I used yellow cheddar instead of white, and orecchiette pasta), plus some changes that aren't apparent until you put it in your mouth (half heavy cream/half milk instead of just milk).  I also threw in some shrimp and didn't bother with the breadcrumbs or baking in the oven, for time's sake.  Now, I'm not going to pretend this is "healthy," but I'm also not going to pretend I care.

It was delicious, and it made me feel better about my day.  Done and done.