Saturday, April 30, 2011

the royal wedding


I won't lie to you, I didn't really care much about the Royal Wedding (sorry, Jan!)... until I decided to host a little viewing party for the event. Yep, at 5am. I decided it would be a good excuse to do something different and fun, and make some England-themed goodies as well. Lo and behold, I found six friends who wanted to crawl out of bed to join me, mostly for the food. With endless photos, in-depth analysis, and critiques have been circling the internet ever since, I figured a post detailing the loveliness of Kate's dress was beyond moot. It's from the house of McQueen, he's English, and tragically dead--an obvious and much-anticipated choice. But all redundancies aside, it was stunning... perfect actually. Instead, I opted for a simple collaboration of my favorite pictures from the ceremony, the guests, and of course their hats. Plus, of course, a wrap-up of my humble opinions:

The Dress: 10/10
The Hair and Makeup: 10/10 (she's always cute, but not that cute)
The Kiss: 3/10 (and I'm being generous)
Pippa's Dress:  10/10 (wow)
Ring-bearer's Suits:  10/10 for cuteness (see below)
Build-up to Delivery Ratio:  Immense
Ceremony:  Long and Loveless
Hour of Viewing: Painful
England's Pride:  Inspiring
Hats:  8.5/10
Posh's Outfit: 9.5/10
Beckham:  13.5/10
All in All:  fun, beautiful, and worth the wake-up (even without the food)

 Photos of the breakfast party to follow soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

time for tea

In lieu of the Royal Wedding tomorrow, which I am of course making dainty English-themed treats for, I started thinking about how much I'd love to indulge in some cute little teacups. We recently bought a tea kettle, because I was rightfully convinced by my English boyfriend that tea does taste better when you use a kettle. So now, I need accessories. I found the cutest, almost endless selection of teacups (and mugs) from Anthropologie. Most of the types come in 3-4 colors with different, but matching designs. I love the mismatched but still coordinated sets. Now I just have to choose...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

roasted shrimp and orzo

After following up a cream cheese laden Panera bagel breakfast with a bacon mac and cheese monstrosity for lunch, I decided a nice light springtime dinner was in order. I've been meaning to make this Barefoot Contessa recipe for a while now, but it didn't seem right until warm weather hit. The dish can be eaten immediately, or chilled as a fresh pasta salad; I opted for the latter and am so glad I did. The only change I made was using 1.5 pounds of shrimp versus the suggested 2 pounds (I'm not made of money!) and I didn't miss the extra shrimp at all. This was such a cool, refreshing, and also filling dinner that I will definitely repeat on another hot and sunny day.

that's just how my face looks

I am absolutely in love with this illustration from Kris Atomic. My friend Dina and I have had a conversation about this exact topic before, and the picture fits us both perfectly. I find myself on an almost daily basis being asked "what's wrong?" or told "cheer up, smile!" when everything is perfectly fine. I'm a generally very happy person, and usually not ready to snap and kill anyone... that is seriously just how my face looks. It's a tough affliction, cured only by incessant smiling that makes you look slightly crazed and borderline scary. This interpretation of my draining condition cracks me up, and is also pretty cute.

Just seconds later, to my delight, I discovered another picture that hilariously looks almost exactly like Dina and I, sporting our little nastyface scowls. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

bathing beautifully

Over spring break, Adam took me on a beautiful day trip to the English city of Bath. The city's beginnings date back to a Roman spa resort created in AD 43. The baths themselves lie below ground level, hidden away from the public outside the structure's walls. I knew that standing alongside the baths would wow me; how could you not just bask in the history of it all? And it absolutely delivered. what I didn't expect was how charming the entire city would be. I loved everything about the trip, and the town, and will never forget the time we spent there. I thought the pictures turned out beautifully, and I hope you feel the same!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

my kind of easter eggs

If there's any excuse to make sugar cookies with sweet colorful icing, I'll take it. Easter seemed like as great a reason as any to bust out some pastels and sprinkles. I decided to make a dozen eggs the best way I know how: sugar cookies. I set out with the idea of making my own Royal Icing, but copped out and used Betty Crocker white cookie icing and some food coloring... plus some sprinkles, of course. I think they turned out pretty darn cute. Happy Easter!

Use any cut-out sugar cookie recipe, but the key is to bake them on the shorter end of the suggested baking time (I usually go with 350 degrees for 7 minutes) and pull them out before they start to brown at all. Every time I pull them out, I think they're not quite down, but they are, because as they cool they harden to perfection.

Friday, April 22, 2011

fancy pants

I don't love shorts. The last time I really liked wearing them was during early college, when the skimpier and shorter the better was still mildly appropriate. I specifically remember loving a pair of A&F white underwear shorts with about a 3/4" inseam. Girls in their mid 20s or later just should not go there anymore. This spring, fancy and interesting looking shorts are popping up everywhere. Adam hates this trend; I believe his exact quote was "Nooooo, not those weird things. Those are not good". While I'm definitely not daring enough to take the trend to the extreme, with a big billowy, flow, high-waisted and high fashion version, I do think there are some cute options with a wide range from "normal" to slightly daring. I tried to pull a few cute options from simple buttons to scallops and sailboats, and everything in between.

Pink Scalloped:  ASOS, $54
Big Ribbon:  Queen's Wardrobe, $42
Sailor Buttons:  ASOS, $45
White Eyelet:  Forever 21, $20
Floral Print:  Forever 21, $18
Bold Red:  Queen's Wardrobe, $72
Waterlily Print:  LOFT, $45
Sailboat Print:  Lulus, $47
Gold Batik:  Anthropologie, $88
Olive Belted:  ASOS, $80

Thursday, April 21, 2011

cutest cocktail recipe

Already this spring, I have been really into fun warm-weather cocktails. I've already started compiling a lengthy list of libations to mix up and post in the coming months. I discovered this adorable recipe for a summer drink called "Magic Juice" and am loving not only the awesome name, but also the way the ingredients are so sweetly displayed. I'm inspired to post future drink concoctions in a similar manner, so stay tuned.  In the mean time, give this one a whirl because it looks fantastically cute and refreshing.

 Photos via Design*Sponge

Dice, then muddle fruits and mint
Pour gin into fruit mixture and let sit for 10-15 minutes
Strain over lemonade and ice
Garnish with fruit slice or mint leaf

my first blog feature!

Much to my delight, I received word today that myself and gingersnaps were given a little love in the blog world. The fashion blog Emily Recommends is currently running an ongoing feature that offers money-saving tips for fashion fiends on a budget. I was posed a few simple questions, and asked to offer my own frugal tidbit... lo and behold my little blurb and blog popped up in today's tips! My advice? Never buy something without imagining yourself wearing it three different ways (minimum!).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

foggy bottom

Shirt, necklace, sunglasses (last seen here), trench coat and skirt: Urban Outfitters; purse: River Island via ASOS; tights: Nordstrom; flats: Gap (last seen here)

It's pretty rare that I actually overdress for the weather. I'm usually the one showing up in a cute jacket and ballet flats while everyone else is donning winter coats and rain boots. This Sunday, however, was such a pleasant surprise! Adam and I spent the day in Foggy Bottom and Georgetown (areas in DC) enjoying the perfect Spring weather, food, and shopping. I planned to wear my favorite trench coat all day, but ditched it just after lunch. I later realized that without the coat this outfit looks awfully similar to this post, but hey it was worth shedding a layer for some sunshine.