rain, rain, come to stay.

We've been having some rainy weather recently. My absolute favorite. Problem is, it makes me start thinking about weather related clothing. And then this happens:

 Besides the fact that oxfords are some of the cutest shoes around, these will be super practical for the upcoming school year. And really, how can you turn these down at only 15.00? I know they don't really have a ton to do with rain, but how cute would they look with a trench coat?

Colonial Williamsburg is one of my favorite places to visit, but it always seems to be raining. And heavily, too. Who wants to walk around a pretty historical site looking like a drowned rat? Not, I.

Everyone needs a good pair of rain boots. And if cute falls under your category of "good" these fit the bill.

(all images courtesy of Target.com)



Recently, twos have been catching my fancy...

Two pairs of shoes for the approaching summer:

Black classic TOMS. I would prefer real espadrilles, except I've had a problem finding them. But, I guess for donating a pair of shoes to someone in need and being too darn cute is as good as any substitute.

 You know, the whole sneaker things hasn't ever really caught me. I only own one pair of sneakers, those are for running, but mostly I wear open and loose shoes. But I think these Keds just made me succumb.

And two songs from one really cool band:

(video from StinkUp)

(video from ajy1)


i-can't-believe-this-is-sugar-free hot chocolate


So, here's what you'll need to start:
Agave nectar, vanilla, instant coffee, cocoa, and milk (which I totally forgot to photograph.)

Before I heard of Babycakes NYC, I had absolutely no idea what Agave nectar was. I still can't explain it very well, so I'll let Wikipedia tell you: "Agave nectar (also called agave syrup) is a sweetener commercially produced in Mexico from several species of agave, including the Blue Agave (Agave tequilana), Salmiana Agave (Agave salmiana), Green Agave, Grey Agave, Thorny Agave, and Rainbow Agave.[1][2] Agave nectar is sweeter than honey, though less viscous."

Agave nectar is low glycemic, so it's great for diabetics. Also, it's sweeter than sugar so you can use less sweetener in your recipes. It dissolves very quickly in both hot and cold beverages. Most recipes call for light agave nectar, but you can also buy dark.

So, ready to start? Let's go!


  First, heat a cup of milk over the stove on low heat. While this heats up, make the chocolate syrup:

 In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1-2 tablespoons of Agave nectar (depends on how sweet you like your hot chocolate,) a pinch of instant coffee, and a splash of vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Over the stove, stir the syrup into the milk until totally combined. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

spring wishes--again.

 ::I know, I know, this was supposed to be a post about hot chocolate. That's coming tonight. I promise!::

It snowed here. Again. I'm sorry but isn't it March? Funny I thought spring started around this time. Silly me.

Anyways, the foul weather hasn't stopped me from more springtime wardrobe planning. Here are my latest ideas:
 A cheery nail polish that will brighten up even the cloudiest day. I love the color--so fifties!

Black espadrilles for those days where you need some effortless but stylish shoes. I never really paid attention to them before, but I think they could really make an outfit.

 A cute skirt to dress up or down. I would prefer a floral (duh,) but I couldn't find one that looked more fifties than eighties.


Some days you just need something to throw on, but you still want to look cute. Dresses are absolutely perfect for that. Throw it on and you look like you spent a lot of time on your outfit, but no one knows you rolled out of bed five minutes ago. Plus, dresses are the best thing for extremely hot days. Not like we'll have those here though...::sigh::

Now for my laugh-at-myself-later picks. I LOVE owls. Seriously. But any necklace (owls or not) can really dress up and outfit and make it look like you put a lot more effort into it. Just like a dress.

Now, I know these are slightly ridiculous, but I like them. The only problem (this might be a blessing, actually) is that I can't find a cheap alternative to these blue ray bans. I just don't want to spend 100 dollars on a pair of sunglasses. That's besides the fact that I have no money.

So, those are my picks. Now if the weather would cooperate, I could just start wearing all of this.

(image sources: sally beauty supply, china glaze, espadrillesetc.com, nordstrom, forever 21, altrec.com)


next post...

Yummy sugar-free hot chocolate. It's gonna be good!


what a lovely day for a book

By now, everyone and their grandmother should know of my love of anything that comes out of an Anthropologie store. These are no different. When we visited an Anthropologie a few weeks ago, I found these Penguin classics.

These are my favorite covers. Don't they make you want to wait for the next rainy day, grab a copy, and sit by the fire reading while munching on a few cookies?  Would you like to try to diagram that last sentence? :)

Anyways, you can find them on the Anthropologie website and store, or you can search DealOz or Amazon for some less-expensive ones.  At Anthropologie, they're twenty dollars, thirteen at Amazon, and about eleven when you search DealOz. With savings like that you could definitely get a few more!



Wait, you mean it actually is snowing outside? No! Let me go check...

It is snowing!

You know, when I heard it
s supposed to snow like crazy today, I seriously doubted it. The last time it was supposed to snow, everything closed down. All schools, businesses, and everything. We waited. And Waited. Not. a. single. flake. I was expecting that for this time too.

Imagine my surprise when everything outside was cloaked in a six inch layer! I'll be back later with pictures...


floral summer

If you absolutely hate florals of any kind, stop reading right now. Really, it would be better if you just skipped this post and went to the kitchen and got a cookie. Trust me.

I go through a style change throughout the seasons. When it's approaching fall, I find myself drooling over modern fashions way more than vintage. Vintage practically escapes my wardrobe. However, in late January when all the stores start putting out their spring and summer items, I go NUTS. Modern styles fall by the wayside and I exchange the look for something straight out of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. My whole wardrobe becomes vintage with barely a pinch of modern looking styles.

So, during the dull fall/winter months, I normally don't really go for florals at all, but spring/summer, they're all I can look at. Now, I wouldn't wear a ton of florals together in one outfit. Just one dress with a solid sweater and shoes is just right for me.

I tried to find a picture to stick in the collage of some adorable floral shoes I saw in Urban Outfitters over the weekend, but I couldn't find one. I found a picture of them though in UO's website:

Cute, huh?
You don't have to answer that if you don't want to.


dinner party, anyone?

I've been having so much fun exploring Polyvore recently. The bad part is that I keep coming across cute party dresses. With no place to wear them. The last time I tried I was sick. Remember?


where it's all from:
dress: Moschino
tights: A.P.C
shoes: Anthropologie
necklace: Kohls
clutch: Aspinal of London 

(a girl can dream....)


hello! kitty

Too bad I never really have to pack a bagged lunch, because with this bento box and my love of strawberries and all things fruit, I really would be in heaven.

And you always have to have utensils, right? What about these? When my sisters were living at home, they always used these sets at dinner. The table would always look grownup and polished except for those tiny little pink forks at two places.

Images found at Bake it Pretty and Amazon.


thanks a lot

Thanks to you, dear computers, you have made paper writing that much harder. In the past two weeks you have swallowed four of my papers and refused to give them up. Years from now I will remember these moments fondly as I look back on my life before I was a Luddite, and how you encouraged me to become one. I owe you.


Hello next post! Here are the recipes I've tried:

  • If you're looking for a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, DEFINITELY try Alton Brown's The Chewy Gluten-Free. It's actually become my go-to for any chocolate chip cookie. My brother-in-law loves them. And he doesn't even have Celiac Disease. I have them in the oven now--be right back.

excuse me.

  • If you follow Smitten Kitchen, you might have seen her Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers. Go try them now. I made them yesterday and they're seriously good eats (oops, wrong recipe.)My mom loves them.
  • Bob's Gluten Free Red Mill Chocolate Cake mix is definitely worth the price. In fact, if you can shop at your local Military Commissary, try looking for gluten-free flours and mixes there. At my local grocery store white rice flour is about $6.00. At the commissary it's about $2.75.
  • Let's see, what else. Oh! I still would check out the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free mixes. It's a great way to get your feet wet. My one reservation about them is the grittiness of the rice flour. I didn't really notice how gritty it really is until I made Alton Brown's chocolate chip cookies, and compared it with the mix. The rice flour I bought was definitely of a better quality. I guess when trying to make gluten-free mixes close in price to regular you have to cut corners somewhere.

Well that's it! Hope it helped in some way. I'll keep you posted about new recipes I try.


gluten-free findings

I don't have Celiac's disease, but I know quite a handful of people who do. I had no idea such a thing existed until about 5 years ago. When I found out that it meant you couldn't eat regular baked good made with flour, I was shocked. I've been baking since I was six and I go through a withdrawal if I'm not able to bake or eat sugar. And this means you can't eat every baked good that comes in your path? A world where you had to pass up a baked good was not a world I thought any one should have to live in, I mean, no baked goods? The end of the world might as well just come now.

Just in the past months though I've had a lot of fun baking gluten-free cookies, cupcakes, and muffins. It's so much fun to experiment! Now I'm no expert, and half the time (okay, 3/4) I have no idea what I'm doing. But I have come up with some tips and recipe along the way that you might enjoy:

  • Always keep rice four on hand. Unlike a garbonzo/fava bean flour, it doesn't have any sort of weird smell. So far I have found that white and brown rice flours can be used interchangeably.
  • Only use garbonzo/fava bean flour when the product you are making is strongly flavored. Chocolate works well for masking the flavor. If it isn't strongly flavored, your baked good is going to smell like a garage. Really. I guess that's why Babycakes NYC uses so much vanilla--to mask the flavor.
  •  If you make something with garbonzo/fava bean flour that isn't strongly flavored, it is good straight out of the oven. But in five minutes, the smell and taste get very noticeable. 
  • If you're just starting out in baking, I would definitely try the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Mixes. They're fantastic! I've heard of one person with Celiac who loved them. It was her first cupcake in 20 years.

Next post.....recipes I've tried!


here we go, here we go, here we go again....

     Here I go again. Apparently the whole fashion let's-get-everything-planned-for-summer-now thing has gotten to me. For the past two days I've really been wanting to sew, which I guess means the end of my knitting kick.
     I think as many knitters/sewers get this. you start a project sewing, then before you know it you haven't picked up your knitting needles in at least four months. You then see a cute sweater pattern, and before you know it you're going, "what sewing machine?" 

     oh no.

Anyways, here's the list of things I want to try:

This I want to make two of. One in a dark floral print, and one in a light yellow with white piping details on top band, straps, and the hem. I'm super excited about the yellow!

The other shirt I want to make is a little hard to explain. But it might look a but like a Tova Top. Maybe.




This is one of my favorite songs to listen to. I hadn't heard it until a few years ago when my sister was telling me about this great song she had heard. She wanted to walk down to it at her wedding.

And she did. It was beautiful.

Okay fine, back to paper writing I go. Happy now?