Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Fallen Star Fell From Your Heart

This is what I actually wore on Christmas day to hang out with Mark and his family. I've always associated plaids like this with the holidays. Maybe because of how cozy they are. That's not to say I wouldn't wear plaid any day of the year (I would. I love plaid!). They just feel extra appropriate for this season. The sweater and the skirt in this outfit are both Ralph Lauren and I bought them years apart and on sale! Hah!  I didn't try to wear all the same brand, it just sort of happened. I bought the sweater about ten years ago actually, and the skirt I got last week. I just noticed the way the blues perfectly matched and decided to wear them together. It irks me when there are two colors in an outfit that are supposed to match, but they are different shades. If my sweater had been just a shade darker, I would have never worn these together. It would have looked totally mismatched in a bad way. I say be brave with pattern and color, but if your intention is to match, do it properly! 
I've been doing that a lot lately- not intentionally, but it's what's happening. You may notice I go through phases in my style. I wonder how long this will last.

Channeling Florence Welch much? haha. I did fall in love with the ring she wears in the Cosmic Love video. It's a beautiful Vivienne Westwood ring, but it's from a few seasons ago and is no longer available. I almost bought it on eBay earlier this month, but I lost by two pounds :[ I was so sad, I went on a frantic search for a substitute and came across this one. It's not exactly the same, but I like it enough to wear it and not tear up with longing for the other one. ;p 

Outfit Details:
Sweater: Ralph Lauren
Skirt: Ralph Lauren Denim&Supply (I got it MUCH cheaper than this link at Macy's!)
Pearls: Vintage/handed down 
 Silver Eye ring: eBay seller: simonwoo2570
Shoes: eBayed a long time ago 

Some shots of the branches by my house. I just loved the way the bright blue sky popped up behind them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wish You Were Here

There are few things I love more than a good band shirt. I love the vibe they give off. This kind of cool, relaxed air they have. What I don't like, however, is that t-shirts don't have collars. I love collars. Almost everything I own has some sort of collar on it. T-shirts don't. That's where those collars I was talking about last month come in. This pink floyd shirt went from sour candy to macaron in no time flat, and with virtually no effort. How else do you make a band shirt feminine? A skirt and brogues of course! For some reason this outfit also reminds me of the Japanese Lolita style. I guess it's the collar because there are no ruffles or Victorian things to be found on this outfit, so maybe I just have some kind of ADD where you see one thing and it jumps to a totally unrelated picture in your mind. Does that happen to anyone else?

Outfit Details:
Shirt: Kmart
Skirt: Necessary Objects 
Collar: Luminia
Brogues: Ebay

Monday, December 26, 2011

On the Sea

Every once in a while I like to match my clothes perfectly. I usually like to put things together that complement each other on the color wheel, or just in terms of patterns or textures. I also enjoy a good juxtaposition (You should stick around for tomorrow's outfit post for the perfect example!)
This outfit made me feel so prim and proper. It reminds me of a sailor outfit, but less literal and with just an allusion to the maritime style. 

I was inspired by the little walk I took with my mom by the beach today. It was such a beautiful day, and we wanted to get a little pleasant exercise in, so it seemed appropriate. I'll leave you with a poem and a few snapshots from our walk together :]

On the Sea [By John Keats]
It keeps eternal whisperings around 
    Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell 
    Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell 
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound. 
Often 'tis in such gentle temper found, 
    That scarcely will the very smallest shell 
    Be moved for days from where it sometime fell. 
When last the winds of Heaven were unbound. 
Oh, ye! who have your eyeballs vexed and tired, 
    Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea; 
        Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude, 
    Or fed too much with cloying melody--- 
        Sit ye near some old Cavern's Mouth and brood, 
Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Goodnight

It's been a hectic few days for everyone I think. Between last minute Christmas gifts, baking, and all the  seasonal fun, I'm certain I'm not the only one going a little mad. Hispanic people celebrate Christmas Eve and wait 'til midnight when it's officially Christmas! Some people open their presents then, but I like to wait til morning :] But that just means tomorrow is a day for vegetating and going into a sugar coma with all the sweets and delicious leftovers! We all need a day like that after this week. I say you deserve to pamper yourself a little. Of course, one day is all I'm going to do. Then I'm going to go back to a nice balanced diet and I want to make it a little special. Get ready for some healthier recipes from now on. Just in time for those New Year's Resolutions! ( At least the first week or so haha) I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful holiday <3

Outfit Details:
Top: Zara
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Via Spiga
Bag: Chanel
Belt: Just a plain black ribbon tied into a bow in the back

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha

The Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha is almost everyone's favorite seasonal holiday Starbuck's beverage. I haven't met a single person who didn't love it. Since I've been baking/selling cookies for some extra holiday cash, I'm actually really sick of cookies. I'm actually really sick of dessert in general, but I still wanted to make something really special for my family that they would love. 
Although this dessert looks really complicated, it's actually the easiest little thing to make. The only work you really have to do it melt stuff. Easy, right? 

To make this decadent little delight, you will need:

1 package of phyllo dough (you can find it where the frozen pastries are)
1 stick melted butter (you probably won't need it all)
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
12 oz white chocolate (try not to use chocolate chips as they have stabilizers and are difficult to melt)
1 cup blanched slivered almonds toasted+chopped (5 mins in the oven!)
 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract 
nutella (oh yeah)
1 bar dark chocolate

For the phyllo cups: Preheat the oven to 350F. Take one sheet of the phyllo and brush it with the melted butter. Lay another sheet on top of that and repeat until you have 4 sheets on top of each other with butter on top. Cut into 6 squares and tuck them into a muffin tin so they form little cups. Repeat so you end up with 12 phyllo cups. Place phyllo muffin tin in the oven for about 10 minutes or until they're golden brown. Let cool and set aside.
For mousse:  Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Once melted, mix in the chopped almonds. Take it off the heat and let it cool until it's just slightly warm to the touch. 
 Whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold half of it into the slightly warm white chocolate mixture. Fold the other half of the whipped cream in. Refrigerate overnight.  
For Fancy Chocolate Curls: Place bar of chocolate in the microwave for a few seconds, just until it's warm enough for make a fingerprint when you touch it, not melted. Use a sharp knife or a potato peeler to shave off some lovely curls.
 To assemble: Place a small spoonful of nutella into the bottom of a phyllo cup. Fill it with the mousse.  Top with chocolate curls.

There you have it. A really simple to make dessert that is delicious and will definitely impress the in laws! It looks like a lot of effort, but it isn't. I think that alone makes it wonderful. You can omit the peppermint if you don't like mint, and it's still delicious.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Those Beautiful Things That Keep Us Here

I'm in love with these whimsical prints by Paola Zakimi. They seem like they would go well in a child's room especially (or any room really). There is something soft and even romantic about these. The color palette is relaxing. The first print especially makes me think of soft summer breezes and picnics by the beach. It's something I would put up in my own home to remind me of my childhood. In fact, if the girl in the boat had short brown curls, she might be me! I was always trying to touch the water whenever I was in the boat with my dad as a kid. I remember a time when there were dolphins jumping out of the water by our boat and me being so excited. I wanted to hop in with them! (Probably not the best idea when you're three feet tall and you're in the open ocean! haha)

Anyway, you can find these prints in Holli, Paola's etsy shop. I really hope you liked them as much as I do. Is there anything you'd like to see in particular on my blog? More nail tutorials? Other artists? Please let me know :]

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?

Some days I don't think at all. 
All I hear is music. 
To be so wary of the sound
Slithering through the walls of my heart
Enchanting, enticing, audible manipulation
Tugging at my insides
Moving me
Forcing me 
I am his puppet
Gnossienne is king
Gnossienne is law

Outfit Details:
Top: Slouched Sailor Blouse: Anthropologie
Ruffle skirt: Anthropologie
Tights: Target
Pearl ring+ Necklace: Vintage
Sprung Ring: Lush Jewelry

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Honeysuckle and Bindweed

"Misalliance" by Flanders and Swann
The fragrant honeysuckle spirals clockwise to the sun,
And many other creepers do the same.
But some climb anti-clockwise, the bindweed does, for one,
Or Convolvulus, to give her proper name.

Rooted on either side a door, one of each species grew,
And raced towards the window-ledge above.
Each corkscrewed to the lintel in the only way it knew,
Where they stopped, touched tendrils, smiled, and fell in love.

Said the right-handed honeysuckle to the left-handed bindweed,
"Oh, let us get married, if our parents don't mind, we'd
Be loving and inseparable, inextricably entwined, we'd
Live happily ever after" said the honeysuckle to the bindweed.

To the honeysuckle's parents it came as a shock.
"The bindweeds," they cried, "are inferior stock!
They're uncultivated, of breeding bereft,
We twine to the right and they twine to the left."

Said the anti-clockwise bindweed to the clockwise honeysuckle,
"We'd better start saving, many a mickle macks a muckle,
Then run away for a honeymoon and hope that our luck'll
Take a turn for the better" said the bindweed to the honeysuckle.

A bee who was passing remarked to them then,
"I've said it before and I'll say it again,
Consider your offshoots, if offshoots there be,
They'll never receive any blessing from me".

"Poor little sucker, how will it learn,
When it is climbing, which way to turn?
Right, left, what a disgrace,
Or it may go straight up and fall flat on its face!"

Said the right-hand-thread honeysuckle to the left-hand-thread bindweed,
"It seems they're against us, all fate has combined.
Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Colombine,
Thou art lost and gone forever, we shall never intertwine".

Together, they found them, the very next day,
They had pulled up their roots and just shrivelled away.
Deprived of that freedom for which we must fight,
To veer to the left or to veer to the right

 Outfit details: 
Plaid shirt-dress: Urban Outfitters
Purple floral dress: Macy's
Slouchy boots: Steve Madden
Meteorite necklace: Hokulewa Etsy Shop
Jett Ring: Lush Jewelry

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Guide to Perfume!

Coco Chanel once said that a woman who does not wear perfume has no future. I wouldn't say she has no future, but I'd definitely say she's missing out on yet another way of expressing herself in a very personal way. I feel that fragrance can communicate so much without having to say anything. It's been strongly linked to jogging a person's memory, it can be therapeutic, or even turn a cute someone's head from across a room ;].

Whether you have a signature scent, a rotating schedule, or just switch it up depending on how you feel, just be sure to wear something that you feel beautiful in. (Please don't bathe in it though!)

Here are a few perfume facts that should help you out next time you're in the market for a new scent:
  • Don't try out more than three at a time. 
Your poor nose won't be able to tell the difference! Sometimes you may see little vials with coffee beans in them. Take a whiff of those. It's supposed to neutralize what you've been smelling and the next time you sniff, you'll be able to differentiate the notes much better. Also, there's a lot of alcohol in perfume, so when trying it out, don't sniff right away. Let it dry a little bit so you don't inhale a nose-full of alcohol (not a pleasant smell at all!)
  • What are perfume "notes"? 
Notes are the different scents/flavors the perfume contains. There are three of them. A top, a middle, and a base note. The top note has the smallest molecules and thus will evaporate the fastest, but be the first thing you smell. The middle note evaporates more slowly, and you'll probably smell this for some time; and of course the base note will be the last to go. They call them notes simply because it's a metaphor for music. The same way you have different parts of a song, there are different parts of a particular scent.
  • Where should you apply perfume?
Your scents will last much longer if you put them on your neck, wrists, in the crook of your elbows, behind your knees, even at your ankles! These are said to be special points in the body where more oil is produced, which makes your scent last longer. Also, putting a bit of unscented lotion over your perfume helps it last longer.
  • Does perfume expire?
Sadly, yes perfume does expire. The chemistry of your precious liquid changes due to oxidation and alters the scent. That's what causes that weird "old lady" smell! It's best to toss them after about a year.
  • What's the difference between "eau de toilette" and "eau de parfum"
Eau de toilette just has a lower concentration of the fragrance oils and a higher concentration of alcohol. This means it will evaporate faster and it's usually cheaper than eau de parfum as it's more dilute.
Eau de parfum, on the other hand, has a higher concentration of the fragrance oils and less alcohol. It lasts longer, and is of course more expensive. 
  • Perfume only makes a great gift if you know the person loves it!
Don't give someone anything scented at all unless you're positive they love it. It's a very personal thing. You yourself wouldn't buy a scent online just because you like the description would you (you shouldn't!)?

Monday, December 12, 2011

So much has happened!

In just a few short days I feel like I'm going absolutely BONKERS! I've had these massive gift basket orders from people my mom works with. These people must really love these cookies. I've made 1 batch of oatmeal, 1 batch of my pecan fruitcake cookies (which are basically oatmeal but instead of raisins, I add cherries, blueberries, raisins, prunes, cranberries, and a variety of other tarter fruit and a touch of orange zest to an otherwise overly sweet oatmeal cookie recipe. They're awesome, I promise!), I also made 2 batches of pecan snowdrop cookies, 3 batches of Guava butter+jam thumbprints, and 2 batches of snickerdoodles! My kitchen has been a mess for the past few weeks and on top of allll this baking, I also have finals! Let's not even begin to talk about holiday shopping please. With cookie money coming in slowly as people wont pay until the basket is ready and most people want things right before Christmas, I'm going to be having a bit of a meltdown when I actually get to start shopping. Oof. I'm so very very tired right now haha. Please forgive me for not being here as often as I should. I've missed blogging so much, but you must understand how busy I've been don't you? I haven't exactly been very interesting with my wardrobe choices lately, so forgive the lack of outfit pictures. Though I have taken quite a few of the cookies haha. I'll be back tomorrow I swear it!

Guava filled butter+jam thumbprints

Pecan snowdrops! They kind of fall apart in your mouth and it reminds me of snow melting for some reason. Mark loves these!
Chanel's Rose Insolent is the most perfect pink I've ever worn.

New modcloth rings. These were part of my Cyber Monday haul. From left to right, the Fawn Never Stops Ring and the Wing Finger Ring