Friday, November 28, 2014

{black friday 2014}

Happy Black Friday!!
If you're brave and have already fought the masses to get the best gifts then kudos to you!! The only thing I braved today was the cold wind with my family at the Christmas tree farm :) I am much better at online shopping. I compile a lot of lists, compare prices, and pick and choose between items all while in the comfort of my own home (bed normally hehe). This post is a little late because I've gone through hundreds of emails to find the best sales… the ones that I will actually be taking advantage of!

BaubleBar - 15% off 2 items (FRIDAY15) , 25% off 3 items (FRIDAY25), 35% off 4 items (FRIDAY35)
Loren Hope - 20% off site wide with code THANKFULLY
Sole Society - 30% off select shoes
Forever 21 - extra 30% off sale items
Revolve Clothing - up to 80% off
Gap - 50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY
Kate Spade Saturday - 30% off with code DEALME
J.Crew - 30% off full-price and extra 40% off sale with code HOLIDAY
J.Crew Factory - 50% off everything with code THANKS
Piperlime - 25% off site wide with code THANKFUL25
Old Navy - 50% off everything online
Madewell - 25% off with code GIFTON
Express - 50% off (online only)
ASOS - 30% off everything with code TGIBF
Kendra Scott - 15% off everything with code BFCM2014
Tory Burch - 20% off $300, 25% off $500, 30% off $750 with code LUCKY

Any other amazing sales that I'm missing?!
More gift guides coming next week… I'd love to know what you have your eye on or managed to snag this weekend!

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and took some time off to be with family and friends - I normally try to post every day but this week I took some time to do nothing. I'm normally go-go-go all the time. I love blogging and sharing the best deals and where to find this or that but the thing that keeps me coming back the most are y'all - the readers: my old friends, new friends, family, followers from all over the world. I am beyond thankful for each and every one of you. Thanks for helping me on this adventure :) I'm always here to talk or listen to your advice!!

P.S. I have some gifts for y'all coming next week ;) don't forget to come back here on Monday!

XOXOX!

Love Always,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

{recipe | thanksgiving sangria}

As promised, my Thanksgiving Sangria recipe :D This is the easiest and best tasting red wine Sangria I have ever made. No exaggeration! I especially love that there's no sugar added… just fruit juice to sweeten it up!

HOLIDAY SANGRIA:
-1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
-1 cup Orange Juice
-1 cup Pomegranate juice
-1 cup fresh cranberries
-1 cup Brandy (not pictured)
-1 sliced orange
-1 cinnamon stick
-Seeds of 1 pomegranate


RECIPE:
Combine all ingredients the day before serving so that the fruit and liquor will absorb each other!
That's it!


I saved half of the orange to slice up before serving so that there were some brighter pops of orange



After you cut the pomegranate try to "turn it inside out". So, push the center of the pomegranate towards the cut side. That will break it into pieces and make it easier to pop the seeds out. I've seen YouTube videos to hit the back of it with a spoon…. but that didn't work out so hot for me.


I mixed everything in a plastic pitcher to transport it to Thanksgiving before serving in a nice glass pitcher.



Managed to snap a picture before it was all gone!! It was such a hit!!


Doesn't it look pretty (and match wonderfully with my nails hehe)? So simple!!!

Warning: Pour yourself a glass before serving others… it will go FAST ;)
Drink responsibly, loves!

Love Always,

Monday, November 24, 2014

{white cashmere tunic}


There's nothing better than a big, soft, cozy white sweater!










Photography by Emily Smalling


This sweater is always a go-to when I want to feel a bit more glam while staying super comfortable. I've worn this to brunch, to a nice dinner (throw on some heels), to go run errands in, to lounge in, etc. you get the point. It's versatile!! The cowl neck is even large enough where you could wear it off the shoulder (or as a hood?? Sorry VS I'm not sold on that multi function).
Everyone needs a good pair of mock leather leggings and these are my favorite. They aren't as shiny as faux leather but they still have a sheen to them. I love how subtle they are and the additional "glam" they add! In my mind this is a nice, casual Thanksgiving outfit. Especially because of the roominess :) just avoid spilling cranberry sauce down the front of it… yikes!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I had the epitome of a Friends+Family weekend!! TONS of friends on Saturday (DG seriously holds a special place in my heart… cheers, loves) and lots of family on Sunday! I went to my boyfriend's family thanksgiving with my parents for the afternoon. They have their entire extended family (around 30 people) over for a huge feast with lots of laughter, food, football, and moonshine. 4 flavors to be exact! I decided to switch it up and bring alcohol instead of food this year… Yep, good choice. My sangria was a hit! Don't worry y'all I will be putting up the recipe tomorrow!! Right in time to mix some of your own up for Thanksgiving!

XOXO! Thank you for reading… I'm so thankful for each and every one of you!

Love Always,

Friday, November 21, 2014

{recipe | brie and cranberry puffs}

What are you thankful for?
Today, I'm thankful for good food and even better coworkers!



I have a fun recipe for y'all today! Please excuse the crappy iPhone photos and instead laugh at my amazing cooking utensils like a glass as a rolling pin and a shot glass as a cookie cutter. Creativity at it's finest. Don't ya think?

CRANBERRY BAKED BRIE PUFF PASTRY BITES:

for the cranberry filling…
-1 cup fresh cranberries
-3 tablespoons orange juice
-2 tablespoons water
-1 tablespoon honey
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-pinch of salt

for the puff pastry…
-2 10x10-inch sheets puff pastry, thawed
-1 large egg, beaten
-4 ounces Brie cheese


RECIPE:

1. Prepare the cranberry sauce: combine the cranberries, orange juice, water, honey, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, until the cranberries break down and thicken. Let cool.


you can see the cranberries beginning to "pop" and the oj thickening

this is what the final "thickened" cranberry sauce will look like!

2. Unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. With a rolling pin (oh hello, tall glass that I drink water out of…), gently roll the pastry so that it is even and you can't see the seams anymore. I tried to make it as thin and large as possible so I could get more "bites" out of it.


3. With a 1.5" round cookie or biscuit cutter (ugh, and again… enter the ever popular SHOT GLASS), cut circles out of the pastry.

Cut as many circles as you possibly can. I balled up the remaining dough and re-rolled it to cut more but I found that those bites weren't as flaky as the others cut from a sheet. So I wouldn't recommend that! If you need more I would simply use another box of puff pastry!


4. Beat the egg in a small bowl, then lightly brush each pastry. Top the pastry rounds with a dollop of cranberry sauce and a small piece of Brie (rind included). Keep in mind that you need to be able to seal these closed… it's tempting to want to put a chunky piece of cheese in there but it may not fit!

this was my set-up and process!

5. Carefully place the remaining pastry rounds on top of the Brie and cranberry, brushed egg side down (this helps them stick together). Pinch the ends closed, then gently crimp the edges with a fork to secure. Prick each pastry with a fork to allow the air to escape.


6. Lightly brush the top of each pastry with the beaten egg again. This will give them a pretty sheen and help them turn golden brown.


7. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature!


The final product!! Ta-da! Bite sized puff pastry yumminess :)


I made these little puff pastry balls of Thanksgiving happiness for an office potluck today. They're relatively easy (with the exception of me taking time to photograph on my iPhone and making it more tedious than it actually is). The bites are cute but if you're in a pinch make the sauce, pour it over the chunk of brie, wrap it all in puff pastry and bake it. It'll be a lot faster and taste exactly the same. But, since this was a potluck I wanted my coworkers to be able to grab one and go if needed - we're busy working bees ya know ;) Plus the little bites are just so cute!! Confession: I slightly overcooked mine… I swear I never heard the timer go off!!! But they were still delicious :) here's hoping my coworkers love them as much as I do.

Let me know if you guys make these or have any recipes you can't live without!
Does anybody have any cool family food traditions for Thanksgiving?

Love Always,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

{instagram lately | 11.20.14}

Some of my #ootd posts from Instagram over the past month
(I haven't given an insta update in a while! Sorry!)


Jacket // Shirt // Pants // Shoes (sold out in black - maroon) (similar)


Lips "No. 46 Soul Mate" // Sunnies // Scarf (similar) // Midi Ring // Silver Ring




Lips "Vivacious" // Necklace


Lips "Raisin Rage" // Shirt // Sweater // Pants // Heels






Lips "No. 46 Soul Mate" // Shirt // Skirt, old (love this and this) // Boots




Scarf // Shirt, old (good price and options here) // Skirt // Rainboots

Can you even believe that Thanksgiving is in a week?! I am sooooo ready to be home with my parents, little sister, brother, SIL, nephew, and all my fur babies!! It's going to be amazing to just decompress and get some good snuggling and reading in :) I will definitely be seeing The Hunger Games movie again. I'm going to see it tomorrow night with my roomies and CAN. NOT. FREAKING. WAIT
 (major fan is putting it lightly…)! Of course, I've already made multiple plans with all my best high school girls. I think we email every day about "break" just to help us get through this work week!

I have another recipe coming to the blog tomorrow so keep an eye out! Did you catch the first recipe I posted for my Cheese Fondue? Tomorrow's recipe is a little appetizer I made for an office potluck. I used to make it during snow days but this time I mixed it up to make it more Thanksgiving-esque. Bet y'all can't wait now… right?! Is the suspense killing you?! Any guesses?? hehe ;)

Almost to the weekend!

Love Always,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

{preppy layers}


I can't believe that it's now so cold that I would need a jacket with this look. I thought I was bundling up by putting a sweater over my chambray!







photography by Emily Smalling


One of my favorite quote on quote "preppy" things to do is layer a cable knit sweater over a button down. It's the best way to add warmth and create some visual interest. I decided to keep this look pretty neutral but wish the polka dots on my pants had showed up better! That was supposed to be the fun part of my look haha ;) they're the cutest little velvet polka dots. I swear, the Gigi Pant from J.Crew Factory has the best fit… I now own the pants in black and navy as well as these dots. They fit like leggings but have pockets, a zipper, and belt loops!

Speaking of Gigi… I still carry this cross body everywhere. If you're looking for THE BEST gift to give someone I say Gigi New York should be your first stop. Amazing quality leather and you can get it monogrammed (bonus points)! I had previously posted my favorites… but they just added their new holiday collection and the Jenn Bucket Bag was made for me! {no, not really, but the designer spells her name with two n's like me!}

Topped the look off with a little camel color for hump day ;) see what I did there?

Love Always,
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