Monday, August 29, 2011

maritime shift

Dress, J. Crew; Belt, ASOS; Shoes, Cynthia Vincent for Target (available on eBay); Ring and Clutch, UO; Earrings, Piperlime

I bought this Maritime Shift Dress from J. Crew a while ago, at the start of summer, but for some reason never got around to to wearing it for photos. I can't think of a better setting to wear this nautical outfit than alongside the Inner Harbor on a beautiful, sunny day. I found the dress to be shapeless without a belt, so I added this skinny camel version from ASOS. These wedges are one of my favorite purchases ever; they're Cynthia Vincent for Target and cost me a whopping $22. The last picture shows a couple of other ways I have accessorized this dress in the past: a cheerful yellow belt that offsets the blue perfectly, and a subtly nautical sand dollar gold necklace. I even made an attempt at a semi-messy ponytail that I actually quite liked. Ahoy!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

a story of lifelong love

Perhaps I've become a little sappy about love, life, and marriage since our recent engagement, but I saw this video today and thought it was the sweetest, most inspiring thing I've seen in some time. It's the touching story of a Brooklyn couple's twenty-seven year relationship, and the deep love they have shared. I hope you enjoy it half as much as I did, whether you're a big softy like me or not.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the perfect accompaniments

I was so excited yesterday to see that Adam returned home from work with homemade pepper jelly, a gift from a gourmet foodie member at his country club. He may have unnecessarily stuffed the pantry with five jars that I'm not sure I'll get to immediately, but it's still awesome. My favorite way to eat pepper jelly is with crackers and cheese, specifically mascarpone or brie, which got me to thinking about my beloved cheese trays (check out my charcuterie spread here). I find that most people can't tell the difference between good cheese and very good cheese, so the spread really depends on the accompaniments:  crackers, bread, crostinis, olives, fruit, jams and jellies, spreads, cured meats... I could go on forever. The Cheddar & Scallion Twists (Target find) and the Sundried Tomato Mustard are both delicious; the others I'm still looking forward to trying.

1. Fig and Olive Crisps, 2. Cheddar and Scallion Sourdough Twists, 3. Sundried Tomato Mustard, 4. Assortment of Cured Meats, 5. Harissa Spread, 6. International Olive Assortment, 7. Rosemary Mini Flatbreads

Monday, August 22, 2011

where oh where has my little blog gone?

I'm aware that I already posted a warning of temporary hiatus, but I feel like I need to have a little update to let all of my AMAZING readers know what's going down in the near future. I am excited about our engagement beyond reason or measure, and will certainly be posting throughout this amazing experience about engagement, wedding planning, weddings and l-o-v-e. However, I promise that Gingersnaps will never become a mushy gushy blushing bride wedding blog. Ever. I love food entirely too much, as well as fashion that doesn't involve lace, beading, and 723 subtly different shades of Ivory (oh, excuuuuse me if this is more of a Vanilla Buttercream, ha!).

Also, I am in the middle of a 3 week stint in Perryville, MD, which is essentially a bloody massacre horror movie setting in the middle of nowhere. Their internet hates me, and refuses to let either Picnik or Blogger do their thang.

THEN (have you checked out of this convo yet?), on Sept 15th I leave for a 3 week journey to Ireland. I will be taking my laptop on this venture, and will absolutely be beefing up the travel (and fashion) sections throughout my trip. So get ready for a LOT of green pastures, castles, sheep, redheads, and other shamelessly stereotypical Irish things that I can't think of right now.

That's where we're at. Phew.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

oh happy day!

Gingersnaps is back with a bang... and a ring! Yesterday, what started as my birthday ended up being so much more. In fact, it was the happiest day of my life. Adam and I are getting married! I knew that covert plans for birthday gifts and a nice dinner were in the works, but had no idea what would unfold. To my delight, Adam informed me that I did not have to worry about over-dressing for dinner (yay!), so I wore a gorgeous ivory dress from London that I'd been meaning to sneak in before summer's end. After a heartfelt card and gifts, he suggested that we walk somewhere nice to take a few photos together on our lovely day. He suggested we walk to the top of Federal Hill, overlooking the harbor near our first happy little home. Then, with shaking hands, teary eyes, and beautiful loving words, Adam took one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the most abundantly joyful, overwhelming, and memorable moment I could have ever imagined, and I'm so happy to share it with all of you as the future Mrs. Slagter. 

Before: of course I had to include my cute dress from Instant Vintage, nude Steve Madden Rrrush pumps, and completely sub par stackable rings from UO.

After:  my beautiful ring and FIANCE. Unfortunately, the super macro camera setting shows every one of my grubby little finger marks and spots from fondling my ring for the past 12 hours or so. Ignore those, please ;)


Monday, August 15, 2011

temporary hiatus

Gingersnaps will be on a miniature hiatus starting today, and extending on and off for the next few weeks. I'm currently stuck in bum-f$&* Maryland amidst spiders, cows, and dormitory style living. This would be fine, except the internet is incapable of handling photo uploads or editing of any kind. I'll be rectifying this situation ASAP. Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

grilled asparagus & roasted mushroom salad

The actual title for this recipe is Grilled Asparagus and Roasted Mushroom Salad with Toasted Pecans, Blue Cheese, and Red Chile Mustard Vinaigrette, but that seemed a bit wordy to use for my post, no?  Leave it to my ginger brother, Bobby Flay, to get all fancy. I'll be up front with you:  this salad was way too much work for a random weeknight. I personally don't really have time to be whipping up a first course at all, let alone a fancy-pants one, on a Tuesday. However, the salad was extremely tasty, and I would definitely make it for a special occasion, date night, or dinner party. It was bursting with an interesting mix of flavors that blended together just stupendously. The pictures don't really do it justice because, well, mushrooms are ugly. In real life, it was quite lovely and I was pleased with myself for the effort.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

fall shoe trends

You can't ignore fall. It's coming, whether we like it or not.  It hurts, but new shoes can always help a little, right?  New shoe trends come out every year, but I actually really like this fall's bevy of beauties. Piperlime is always on point with shoe trends (though not always apparel...), and this season is no different. I've rounded up my favorite selections from each of the top five trends; all shoes can be found at Piperlime.

Boyish Heels - perfect for going from day to night

Animal Prints - I have a thing for leopard; this could be a real problem for me

Shooties - terrible name, adorable shoes

Loafers - a more grown-up trend in my opinion, but super cute if styled right

Fancy Flats - they're back again and again and again

Friday, August 12, 2011

beautiful bars

I wish I could say the bar above was sitting proudly in my living room, but alas it is not. I can't complain though; Adam and I do have a cute little bar nestled into an awkward cutout in our living room that is perfectly sized for entertaining a few guests. You can see ours in the next two pictures, but the rest of this post is but a dream. Some day when I've got a little cash flow, I'll have one as adorable as the mirrored cart below with pink flowers and cobalt glasses. Until then, our little Target special (less than $100!) fills up our space nicely. Just pretend the wine glasses are hanging nicely rather than sitting in the dishwasher... oops!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

pasta night

1. Lobster Ravioli with Pine Nuts, Cube Marketplace; 2. Red Chili Linguine, Dean and Deluca; 3. Greek Oregano, Dean and Deluca; 4. Saffron Fettuccine, Dean and Deluca; 5. Pasta alla Norma Sauce, Cube Marketplace; 6. The Italian Farmer's Table, Amazon

Not much can top an overflowing bowl of hot pasta. No matter the variety, a full-flavor comfort food favorite is always welcome. Nothing's wrong with a simple bowl of spaghetti, but kicking it up a notch with fun fresh noodles and intriguing sauces takes it to a new entertaining-worthy level. So, I've rounded up some luxuriously awesome pasta favorites for a little inspiration. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

spring to fall: colored pants

I'm not really sure how much longevity a trend as bold and, well, trendy as brightly colored pants can last, but I do know they've made it into another season. Colored pants were all over the Fall 2011 runways yet again, much to my surprise. This trend is clearly not easy to pull off. It requires (in my opinion) a certain build and a certain eye for styling. But that's why little blogs like mine exist, to provide examples of how other people do it, so you can straight up copy it, or use it as a little inspiration. I scoured Pinterest to find a variety of ways to dress around these new-hued bottoms, ranging from out there (above) to increasingly more muted and conservative below. Personally, I'm kind of obsessed with how awesome this girl looks in navy and shocking pink.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ahi tuna tacos

I have been so excited to post this meal, because it was a-maz-ing! I saw these insanely good looking ahi tuna steaks at Whole Foods, and immediately went home to find a recipe for them. As it turned out, I combined two recipes, and couldn't be happier with the results. I started with this Tuna Taco recipe, but kicked it up a notch by marinating the tuna in this Homey Lime sauce. First of all, the marinade was out of this world; I have already made plans to use it about 1231 more times, and it really took the tacos to a new level. Foodies unanimously agree that ahi tuna should be enjoyed as raw as possible, so I wanted to stay true to the raw idea. The tuna would be just as delicious prepared medium-rare or even medium, based on your preference. If you make any summer recipe in my little arsenal, make this one!!!  Seriously, go do it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

instagram: a love/hate relationship

Most of you have likely heard of Instagram, the nifty iPhone app that applies instant pre-fab filters to all of your favorite iPhotos of your happy little iLife. Let me start by saying that, by and large, I think Instagram is for wannabe hipsters that lack the imagination or creativity to photoshop, or heck take great photos in the first place. That being said, I also kind of secretly love it. For one thing, it's an awesome way to waste time. But also, the #1 reason I have accepted injecting a little instagram into my life is that the original photo is never changed or lost. This allows easy one-click experimentation that sometimes has great (though not real-photographer quality) results. But what to do with your little hipster gems? Look no further than these fun sites.

1. StickyGram - create your own set of 9 magnets; awesome already, but even better as a gift.

2. Postagram - send adorable postcards with pop-out photos to friends and family.

3. Printstagram Poster - make a poster of 50 - 400 instagram photos.

4. Hatchcraft - make a "Boo Box", or a bamboo shadowbox frame of a favorite image (4" or 7")

5. Prinstagram Stickers - take it back to middle school and print some stickers. You know you want to.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

heirloom tomato, basil and goat cheese bruschetta

In light of my coming around to tomatoes, which I used to completely detest, I decided to pick up a box of adorable multicolored heirloom cherry tomatoes. I found this recipe for Heirloom Tomato, Basil and Goat Cheese Bruschetta and simply subbed the chopped up tomato for the cherry variety. I also added balsamic vinegar, and lots of it. But then again, I love balsamic, so it's up to you. One more tip?  Rub the freshly toasted bread with a raw garlic clove; this is actually my favorite part and vital to the dish (in my garlic-obsessed opinion).