Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Typically pasta dishes are on my "Do Not Make" list. I grew up in an Italian family so pasta is a true comfort food for me, but I don't want to resort to it all the time. So if I can, I try to find something healthier to make. William Sonoma's Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage recipe is an exception, though. It's incredibly easy to make while still giving the impression of a well-prepared dinner. 

I was not accustomed to using broccoli rabe until I started making this recipe. The strong taste took a little getting used to. It's like spinach, but stronger and tougher. This makes trimming and chopping after boiling important steps as well as adding the right amount of seasoning. You get used to it the more you make it. Be sure not to skip the step of cooking the pasta in the leftover water from the broccoli rabe. It really brings out the flavor.

What's your go to fast, but polished meal? 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Paisley Jumpsuit

I was slow to the jumpsuit scene and, now, I'm not sure why it took me so long to "jump" on the bandwagon. Luckily, as a birthday gift, my boyfriend saw the potential and pushed me out of my comfort zone once again (see gold sequin pants). They are comfy, create an interesting silhouette and feel a little more fashion forward than anything else in my closet. I like that they are slim through the hip and leg area and only slightly tapered so as not to completely resemble MC Hammer pants.

I thought I could pull this look off for work considering the black and white print is a little more professional. I was a little unsure of how people would react, but I have to say most people were very complimentary of the new outfit. Considering I work with mostly 20 to 30 something women this was not surprising. Most said they wished they could pull it off, but felt that they are too short for the style. I feel for them. It is a bit of a hard silhouette to work with. Not sure if there is some variation of this look that takes that into consideration. I suppose you could always have a jumpsuit altered.  

Details: Banana Republic Factory Jumpsuit (Similar) / Fergalicious Sandals / H&M Blazer/ J.Crew Factory Necklace / Francesca's Earrings



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Reading List 2015

Every year my summer reading list is something I look forward to putting together. Perhaps its the years of participating in the Book IT! Program with the promise of greasy pizza that continues to motivate me like Pavlov's dog. I ask my friends, consult the New York Times, NPR, Amazon — any place I can find a list — and head to Half Price books. Since I love a good book recommendation, I thought I'd  share with you three of the books I read/am reading this summer.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Ever since Parks and Recreation ended, I have been looking to fill that smart/irreverent comedic void in my life. Reading this book is kind of like listening to Lesley Knope talk. Its a little wordy and rambly, but the payoff is completely worth at the end of every sentence. I think this book has more jokes per square foot than any comedian's biography I've read so far (Jokes per square foot is a rating system I've invented). It's cool to read about Amy's early years working on Upright Citizen's Brigade and SNL as well as her time on Parks and Rec. I also appreciate her advice and thoughts on relationships, parenting, work and life in general.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
I was excited to read this book as it was a gift and came highly recommended. It was named either a Best or Notable Book of 2014 by a variety of outlets. The time and place is 1920s London right after Word War I. The main character Frances and her mother who once were considered part of the high class have to take in borders to make ends meet. The book goes on to take many very unexpected twists and turns and the characters become forever changed in ways they never imagined. What starts out as a story about two proper, high-bread women becomes a suspenseful page turner in the end. What I found most interesting was the undertone of how much war changes a society.

The Gatehouse by Nelson DeMille
This book is the sequel to Nelson DeMille's book The Gold Coast. If you know anything about Nelson DeMille, you probably know that he has knack for sarcasm and suspenseful crime stories. The Gatehouse starts where John and Susan Sutter leave off after a murder, the mafia and tax evasion catch up with them. The witty banter and descriptions of incredible mansions and estates along the Gold Coast keep it a light read, while their continuous run ins with the mob and the eccentricities of this social class give it just the right amount of intrigue.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer Work Outfit: Maxi Dress with a Blazer


As we start yet another new month, the end of summer feels near. Now is the time to get as much out of the warm weather as possible (even though I can't wait for fall!!!). For me this means trying to wear as many dresses as possible. Soon I will long for the days when I didn't have to wear pants. I love to change up a maxi dress for work by throwing on a blazer. I especially love that this dress is actually backless, but because of the high-neck front can be worn in different ways. The pattern lends itself to both a bohemian flair, but also a put together look.

British Khaki Blazer / Sugar Lips Maxi Dress / Francesca's Earrings / J.Crew Factory Necklace / Fergalicious Sandals



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Outfit: Green Gingham and White

For a casual Sunday filled with church, an impromptu ice cream run and relaxing outside, I broke out the gingham and whites. I love the color of this green gingham boyfriend shirt from Gap. It fits a little looser, which is much appreciated in the hot weather. I've had the white skirt for a while, and it's such a cute way to stay cool. The green and white together create such a crisp, fresh look. This outfit could not be complete without my J.Crew straw tote.

We tried Piccadilly on Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon for the first time. Piccadilly offers organic and vegan frozen yogurt options. I tried the salted caramel with cheesecake bites, berries and chocolate syrup. It was to superb! I pretty much fell in love with the decor. It's bright, cheery and little funky featuring pieces from local artists.

Outfit Details: Gap Shirt / J.Crew Tote via Goodwill / American Eagle Skirt via Avalon Exchange / Lou Lou Earrings / Unionbay Sandals / Michael Kors Watch and Cuff



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blackened Tilapia Baja Salad

After getting back from vacation, I decided it was time to start eating healthy again. Eating buttery shrimp and saying yes to dessert every night is no way to start an effective fitness plan. One of my favorite meals to make during the summer is this Blackened Tilapia Baja Taco recipe from Cooking Light. To keep it light, I put the fish and avocado over a bed of salad. I love the mix of spice finished off with a cool cilantro lime sauce.

Vacation was a blast. We go to Isle of Palms every year, which is beautiful and close to the charming city of Charleston. I managed to pack just the right amount and didn't come home with a sun burn. At 30 years old, I am finally starting to become an adult. I sat on the beach, read a few good books and tried to think as little about work, blogging and school as possible.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Floral Print Romper

I found this great romper while rummaging through the racks at one of my favorite consignment shops in Squirrel Hill. After selling some clothes, the total for this romper with my store credit came to $6. Don't you love when that happens!?! I think it's the perfect style romper. Playful, but with the right touches of sophistication. This was exactly the outfit I wanted to wear for my 30th birthday celebration with friends. After all, isn't that what every 30 year old is striving to be? A little wiser, but still able to have fun.

Necessary Clothing Romper via Avalon Exchange / CharmingCharlie Purse / J.Crew Factory Necklace / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes via T.J. Maxx



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Annapolis Guide 2015

For the past few years, we've been drawn to the city of Annapolis for some work and some pleasure. With each passing year we've discovered new things to love and enjoy about the city. This year we discovered some new places that are sure to become staples in the years to come and revisited old favorites.

There is a lot to love about the city of Annapolis. As you can see from the photo above its right on the water and there are usually a multitude of boats docked for your viewing pleasure. The style of Annapolis is definitely inspired by its nautical surroundings. People dress preppy yet savvy. You'll see a lot of seersucker, pastels and nautical print, but there are also a lot of smart, on-trend outfits. It's a great place to gather style inspiration. I tried my best to fit in my lobster-print shorts.
For dinner the first night, we tried a newer place called Iron Rooster. They serve breakfast all day, which lucky for me included shrimp and grits with poached eggs. Pictured above is the Cakes on Cakes otherwise known as crab cakes served on top of fried green tomatoes served on top of cornmeal pancakes. Amazing!

The second night we tried a restaurant called Vida Taco Bar. We started with Margaritas and Ceviche. Of the tacos, my favorites were the Fried Oyster, Ahi Tuna and Shrimp.We will definitely be going back next year!


There are many fun bars to stop in at night. We love Ram's Head. This year we tried a bar called Pussers. It's not the classiest establishment in the bunch, but it's right on the water and is a lot of fun. 


There is quite a bit of shopping in Annapolis. I always like to run into Lou Lou boutique to browse. That's where I got my American Flag Scarf. It's similar to CharmingCharlie because it is organized by theme and color, but I feel like the jewelry has slightly better quality and is more on trend. I always have to stop by Navette Boutique. It's this very well curated consignment shop with brands like J.Crew and Lilly Pulitzer. It's essentially like shopping the outfits walking down the streets in Annapolis. I'm super bummed I never got to run into a new boutique called Dear Annie. Looks like they have great stuff.

 The sign in front of Dear Annie Boutique. The place to shop if you are a hippy mermaid.


The Annapolis Bookstore is a must see on the list. It's incredibly charming with an interesting selection of new and old books.

Annapolis is also very well equipped with antique stores. With all of the historical touches to the city and grand old houses, it's not surprising that every antique store is filled with treasures.

Shopping and eating are only touching on a few of the things to do in Annapolis. There are a lot of historical tours by land or sea. The Naval Academy is a 2 minute walk from the downtown area. It's such a beautiful campus right on the water. We always have to stop by to see John Paul Jones' grave.

Where are you traveling this summer? What are you must see restaurants, shops when you travel?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

American Flag Scarf

The American Flag is an inspiring thing. 50 little white stars twinkling at you on a blue background paired with strong red and white stripes. Don't you just love it? I found a scarf like this while shopping in Annapolis last year, and I regretted not buying it all year. When I went back this year with my sister I had to see if they still had it. Since I was in a serious saving mode at the time, I decided not to get it. When my sister saw me put the scarf back she offered to buy it for me as an early birthday gift. I accepted her generous offer without much hesitation. I love that the scarf creates a cool American vibe without looking overdone. I'll find any excuse to pair it with my chambray shirt at work or a white t-shirt and jeans for a more casual look.

I hope you have a lovely Fourth of July. Here are some other patriotic scarves I love:

Lou Lou Scarf / Free People Tattered Flag Scarf / Infinity Scarf on Etsy / American Flag Scarf on Etsy



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Leopard Print Dress

I fell in love with this dress from Loft at first sight. I quashed my unrequited love by telling myself to wait for it to go on sale. When there was a flash sale a few months ago, I made sure to look for this dress. I was happy to find it again at a price tag of about $30 -- down from it's original $80. Since then I have worn it to work many times. It was perfect for the FUSE concert at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: Brahms + Radiohead. Amazing by the way! The next one is Coldplay + Beethoven on October 7.

I love that I can throw this together with a few pops of color, and I am ready to walk out the door in a few minutes. The moral of the story is if you see something you love, try it on in the store to make sure of your size and then wait for it to go on sale.

Loft Dress / Lou Lou Earrings / Francesca's Necklace / Nine West Clutch / Calvin Klein Shoes