Thursday, June 30, 2011

girl for all seasons

Do you remember the movie Grease 2? I couldn't help myself with the title of this post--an homage to the awesome atrocity that I'm sure still plagues Michelle Pfeiffer to this day. But, I digress. I stole this post. Straight up stole it College Fashion, but they stole it from the Cindy Busch Color Analysis. So it's all good. The concept is simple: a systematic way to find what colors work for you. The first step, a flow chart, determines your season: Spring, Summer, Winter, or Autumn. Most people know what basic colors work for them, but the beauty of it is that it doesn't stop there. Each lovely lady can then be further subdivided within their seasonal realm. Try it out for yourself; if you're like me, you'll be intrigued by a few colors you don't often try.  I'm a Warm Autumn; what are you?


Light Summer:
- Eyes:  blue, gray or green
- Hair:  light to medium ash blonde, or light to medium ash brown
- Skin:  ivory, porcelain, pink beige, or pink undertones

Soft Summer
- Eyes:  gray-blue, hazel or soft turquoise
- Hair:  light to medium ash brown, mousy brown, may have blond highlights
- Skin:  light to medium neutral beige, ivory

Cool Summer
- Eyes:  gray, blue, or slate
- Hair:  medium to deep ash brown, little to no red tones
- Skin:  ivory, pink beige, gray beige, or neutral beige


Deep Winter
- Eyes:  black, black-brown, or dark hazel
- Hair:  black-brown, medium brown, steel gray, or salt & pepper
- Skin:  black, black-brown, medium beige, or olive with no peach or pink undertones 

Clear Winter
- Eyes:  bright blue, hazel, violet, or green
- Hair:  black, dark brown, medium brown, chestnut
- Skin:  black, deep brown, neutral beige, pale olive, milky white 

Cool Winter
- Eyes:  charcoal gray, blue, dark brown or violet
- Hair:  blue-black, silver, salt & pepper, no red tones
- Skin:  cool brown, olive, or neutral beige


Light Spring
- Eyes:  blue, turquoise, green, or light hazel
- Hair:  light to medium golden blonde, ash blonde, or light to medium brown
- Skin:  ivory with peach tones, pink beige

Clear Spring
- Eyes:  turquoise blue, green, golden brown, or topaz
- Hair:  medium to dark brown, brown-black, may have red highlights
- Skin:  bronze, deep warm brown, brown-black, light ivory, light peach or porcelain

Warm Spring
- Eyes:  topaz, olive green, light hazel, or warm turquoise
- Hair:  light golden brown, red, strawberry blonde, or deep golden blonde
- Skin:  bronze, golden beige, ivory or porcelain, may have freckles 


Deep Autumn
- Eyes:  dark brown, dark hazel, black or dark green
- Hair:  medium brown, medium to deep auburn, dark brown, deep chestnut, or black
- Skin:  warm beige, neutral beige, golden brown, dark brown, olive

Soft Autumn
- Eyes:  light brown, soft hazel, blue or gray-green
- Hair:  golden blonde to medium brown or mousy brown, may have blonde or red highlights
- Skin:  ivory, neutral beige, warm beige, golden brown

Warm Autumn
- Eyes:  brown, olive green, hazel or topaz
- Hair:  medium bolden brown, red, auburn, strawberry blonde, or golden blonde
- Skin:  bronze, golden brown, golden beige, ivory or warm beige 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

baked buffalo chicken pasta

My friend Scott might love buffalo chicken more than anyone else in the world. Bold, but potentially true. I had previously made Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese with this specific fact in mind, but since I rarely repeat recipes (ever), I wanted to make something slightly different. Enter this recipe, which as a "baked pasta" turned out to have more of a baked ziti texture than a creamy mac and cheese. The overall taste was really decadent and yummy, but there were a few things I'd do differently next time. Mine sat in the oven for about an extra 10-15 minutes, which may have dried it out just slightly, and I would have added a little extra cream and cheese to make more of a cheesy sauce. That being said, I really did like the dish and am sitting here pre-10 a.m. with my stomach growling, craving more of its buffalo cheesy goodness.

Because the pasta is quite dense, I served it with a salad full of chopped veggies and dressing that complemented the "Buffalo wing" flavors:  celery, carrots, red peppers, and a Parmesan Peppercorn dressing. And of course, cheesy garlic croutons just because they're delicious.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

mr. and mrs. beasley

Photo by Carley Smith Photography

I traveled home to Pennsylvania for the beautiful wedding of my friend Lyndsey and her new husband Frank. The ceremony was touching and lovely, and the reception full of friends, fun, and a fair amount of partying. While I wasn't able to take a camera of my own, I snagged the above pic from the photographer's facebook page. Isn't it beautiful? The colors of the bridesmaid dresses against the green really pop, not unlike the colorful Madewell dress I chose for the event. While my photography was poor at best, I did snap a few shots and include a collage of what I wore. The pic of the cake had to be included, just for fun; you may not know Lyndsey, but the wrestling cake topper was perfect, cute and funny.

Dress: Madewell, Pave Earrings, Shoes: Simply Vera Vera Wang for Kohls ($39 and insanely comfy!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sweet Potato & Chile Hash with Fried Eggs

I must say I'm patting myself on the back right now for this lovely Sweet Potato & Chile Hash. It is extremely rare that I consider a meatless dish to be a true meal, but this was more than satisfying. In fact, it is one of the only times I can remember Adam not finishing the serving in front of him (though not for lack of trying). I wish I had time to make such a lovely breakfast every day, but that is not happening, so I made it as breakfast-for-dinner instead. I followed the recipe closely, except that I used a mix of sweet potatoes and regular baking potatoes. This dish was so fresh with all of the bright veggies, with just enough kick from the various types of chiles. The chipotle sauce certainly didn't hurt either. All in all, an excellent meal to jump start my pathetic breakfast & brunch recipe repertoire.

I am also starting a new feature of sorts with my recipe posts. Sandra Lee on the Food Network frequently posts "Round Two Recipes" online, which use up the leftovers from dinner the next day. I find myself throwing away way too much food, so from now on many of my recipes will have "Round Two" follow-ups.  These can be accessed by "liking" Gingersnaps on facebook, starting with today's.

Friday, June 24, 2011

maslo jewelry

It's kind of scary how quickly I fell in love with Maslo jewelry. I'm always a huge fan of unique and interesting pieces that make people ask: where did you get that? The brand specializes in bold, almost industrial pieces, as highlighted in their Mixed Metals collection. But they're no one-trick pony. More delicate, romantic items can be found in the Nostalgia collection, while the Seychelles collection has a vintage feel that is somewhere in between. The cost of each item is around $75; but they are statement pieces that are definitely outfit-makers, transforming even plain white tee's into unique and chic. I've picked out a few of my favorite from each collection below.

Mixed Metals



Thursday, June 23, 2011

roast beef, goat cheese, and roasted red pepper salad

In an attempt to trick my body into accepting salad as an entire meal, I decided to attempt it for a weeknight dinner... loaded with plenty of meat and cheese of course. Come on, it's not really a meal otherwise. To my surprise, this thrown-together dinner was actually packed with flavor (thank you roasted red peppers and goat cheese) and made me happy for the night. OK, this plus a few cookies made me happy for the night. I even found a healthy balsamic dressing that I really like, seen below from Whole Foods. The "recipe" for this tasty weeknight meal is as simple as:

Romaine + Roast Beef + Garlic Goat Cheese + Roasted Red Peppers + Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

cheesecake factory lettuce wraps

Confession: the Cheesecake Factory's lettuce wraps are one of my favorite appetizers ever, and I frequently order it as my meal if I for some reason find myself in the restaurant. I've wanted to make it myself at home for a long time now, and finally undertook the project. And it is a project. With three sauces to consider, it takes some time for sure. However, there is another amazing option: they sell all three sauces in the restaurant! They are fantastic, and can be used in many other recipes such as dip for coconut shrimp, last seen here. If you decide to buy the sauces, or even to just make one sauce (I suggest the peanut sauce), this recipe doesn't have to be an ordeal... I just chose to make it one.

The full recipe can be found in the book Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 (an awesome copycat cookbook that I definitely recommend). Alternatively, you can find similar recipes online here or here. If you decide to make these at home, I strongly recommend making a large batch for some friends, as I did, or for plenty of leftovers!

My friend Kristen brought a delicious cucumber salad to serve with the wraps, which fit the theme of the meal perfectly. It was slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and made even a non-cucumber-lover like myself very happy. It would be a great accompaniment to any summer meal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

turquoise & lemon-lime

Striped Tee: Madewell, Jeans:  Daughters of the Liberation, Anthropologie; Necklace: Unknown; Bracelet:  UO; Shoes: Cynthia Vincent for Target
I won't lie to you, this striped Madewell tee was an impulse purchase due to a 2-for-1 special they were running on soft tees. The color is a bit odd, and I wasn't even sure it would suit me at all, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I wore it to school on Friday with a floral scarf that picked up the lemon-lime color and had shades of fuscia and purple. Later that night, I was heading to a casual rooftop party and decided to just style it a different way. I wanted to keep with the idea of interesting color combos, and to my surprise this turquoise tribal necklace actually complemented it really well in an unexpected way. I think finding two different ways to wear a shirt in a single day already justifies the purchase, and hopefully I'll continue the creative streak.