Cookie Couture

If you’ve been following the pregnancy slide on my blog, you might have noticed that we’ve reached a point where posts are non-existent.  Alas, other pregnancy news: Baby Mahlburg is trying to come early, so my life has taken a turn towards house arrest – I mean, erm, modified bed rest – to ward off pre-term labor and keep gravity from doing its thing.

This generally means that for the next few days, I will be slinking from room to room and reclining position to reclining position, bored out of my mind and catching up on old magazines, dreaming of the day when I can wear something besides Lululemon crops (not that there’s anything wrong with that, they are one of the greatest inventions known to clothing-kind) and Victoria’s Secret sweatshirts.

It also means I’m feeling slightly more domestic – perhaps the increase in estrogen in increasing my anxiety in going from one Tiny Princess to Two, and wanting to ensure I do nice things for Numero Uno before she is shifted into sharing mode.  This somehow led me to pour through my kitchen cabinets, with a hankering to perhaps bake (sitting on a stool by the counter counts as sedentary, right?).  However, despite having two hundred pairs of shoes in closets throughout la casa (not hyperbole), we don’t seem to own any animal cracker cookie cutters.  What I did manage to find was a fashion set – purchased around Christmas at some point, I’m sure, never to be used until this fortuitous moment.  So here is my attempt to become Mom of the Day by baking purses, shoes and dresses for the Little Diva.  (No promises on how they taste….)

GINGERBREAD FASHION COOKIES:

Active Time: 40 Minutes ( + time to sip a Blueberry Mojito Iced Tea Lemonade from Kroger Starbucks)

Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

Makes: 15 Servings

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. pumpkin-pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces

1 large egg

2 Tbs. molasses

1 tsp. vanilla extract

 

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MAKE IT:

1. Combine the first seven ingredients in a food processor.  (My husband hides the top to our food processor, so I decided to use a mixer.  Good idea?)  Mix in the butter; add the egg, molasses, and vanilla and pulse until the dough forms into a ball.  Wrap the dough in plastic and leave in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.  [NOTE:  This step may be damaging to your manicure.]

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll out dough to 1/8-in. thick and cut using fashionable cookie cutters.  Place cutouts on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

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3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set and starting to turn golden brown on the edges.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

 

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Necklace: Stella & Dot Gabrielle Pearl Necklace (BUY NOW)

‘Extinction’, a Fashion Union Exploration

As the season has transitioned from Summer to Autumn, I’ve felt a transformation in my fashion story.  But this isn’t because I’ve had to replace shorts with cardigans, and sandals with wedged booties – it’s because my body is officially on pregnancy overload, and I can’t seem to marry the fashion expression I strive for with the words my body shares with the world.  I’m lucky if I throw on more than a cardigan over a tank with some jeans for the average day in my life – or so the last few weeks would suggest.

I’ve had this fun and spunky skirt from Fashion Union for a few months now.  It’s neoprene with bumps, and reminds me of a dinosaur egg.  I know – weird, but can we all agree to view art differently?  I sometimes walk into the room where I’ve had it tossed in the corner, and dream of the day when I can once again wear a high-waisted midi with a crop top and not look dated.

Today, I took the plunge.  Despite the deadness of my body, the pallor of my complexion, and the giant alien slowing clawing out of my womb, I decided I wanted to express these feelings through fashion rather than ice cream and self loathing.  I squeezed into this masterpiece of a skirt, transformed an Olive & Oak tank into a crop/bralette, and embraced the oversized vest trend as a finishing touch.  I bring you ‘Extinction’, my Fashion Union exploration:

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Layering Plaid for Fall

If you’re like me, living south of the Mason Dixon line, then you probably have at least one or two plaid pieces tucked into your closet.  I’m always looking for ways to elevate these selections (don’t get me wrong, a pair of Frye boots & some comfortable denim is well and good, but a girl needs variety).  There’s good old standby’s: put under a cashmere sweater from J. Crew, throw on a puffy vest from Land’s End, tie it up, layer under a Ralph Lauren denim jacket, make it into a scarf (yes, look this up on Pinterest).  The key is in the mix-and-match.

Today we celebrated my birthday (which one, you ask?  28.  Holy heck!) by visiting one of our favorite local parks, which happens to be more along the lines of a wooded golf course.  (You might remember this very scene from another plaid post).  I was going for a “city rustic” theme, so I paired my plaid shirt (from Wet Seal, what a steal!) with a sequined sweatshirt (Forever 21, you can totally duplicate this look on the cheap).  Sequins always make an outfit more feminine.  I opted away from denim, and instead embraced the continuing tuxedo legging/leather trend – you remember these Philosophy dandies?  To accessorize, I wanted a delicate bib necklace that wouldn’t fight with the plaid/sequin dichotomy; for footwear, it’s still technically summer so booties win over boots (these are the Dolce Vita Mercy booties – LOVE THEM!)

How are you wearing plaid this fall?

 

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Why yes, this is my favorite Kate Spade handbag.  Bows + Sequins = <3

 

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Oh you know, just chillaxin’ on the fence with the Baby Bump

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Stella & Dot’s Cassady Collar Necklace (BUY NOW)

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Kate Spade Charm Heels – For The Casual Princess

I purchased my Kate Spade charm heels in July of 2013.  My husband and I were planning an “official” wedding ceremony so that family and friends could have the cake tasting and photos they felt they were owed, and I knew I couldn’t even dream of any other footwear.  These shoes have it all – bow, check; glitter, check; hint of pink, check.  (Luckily, I also tried them on in store, because they run SMALL – size up ladies!)

But with this grand idea in mind, I couldn’t help but run into two conundrums.  Firstly, by the time we actually celebrated our event (August 2014) our ceremony occurred on the rainiest day of the month, and I ended up switching out these perfect shoes for a pair of (equally as darling) Salvatore Ferragamo flats.  Secondly, how many times could I justify to my husband spending $400ish on shoes that I might only wear once – or in this case, admire for a year while they took up valuable closet space?

So I challenged myself – and now I challenge you – to summon up that inner Carrie Bradshaw and wear your princess shoes, your Manolo Blahniks, your Jimmy Choos, your Vivienne Westwoods, in your day-to-day life.  Throw on a pair of boyfriend jeans, a loose top, let your baby bumps hang out (oh come on, pregnancy is as IN as the sneaker/dress combo right now), and embrace the occasion heel in the same way hipsters have embraced Normcore.  Your toes will thank you.

 

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Yes, I do hang out by graffiti walls as a normal part of my life.  Cue Will Smith: Shooting some blog pics outside of the school …..

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Shoes: Kate Spade Charm Heels

Jeans: Current/Elliot

Top: Jun & Ivy

Sunnies: Warby Parker

Ice Bucket Challenge

One of the sweetest women I know, a colleague of four years, recently challenged me as part of her ALS video.  I’ve completed the challenge below, and thought: ‘What better way to utilize a viral social media platform than to challenge my blog readers, and fellow blogger friends?’  So if you’re reading this, please consider completing the challenge yourself, especially the lovely ladies of #ChicChat: PopCosmo, Being Zhenya, Rachel Ross, Peaches & Cashmere….just to name a few!

 

[If you're a loyal reader, curious as to what I'm wearing in this video: Lilly Pulitzer's Garden Party print dress, and Stella & Dot's 'Mae Necklace']

Muy Cool Spenglish Tee

Nina Garcia is unquestionably one of my idols when it comes to all things fashion.  I think she has a great eye that knows how to pick out lasting quality, but is also keen and modern.  Mix this utmost respect with a schoolgirl joy that I derive from having a package show up on my doorstep, and it’s no surprise that I subscribed to her Quarterly box.  One such box included a Spenglish tee that immediately caught my eye.  I love graphic tees, I love print tees, and I love wearing these tees: paired with prints, while rocking some killer shoes, as pajamas.  How can you go wrong?

So I paired my ‘Muy Cool’ Spenglish tee with a Double Zero high-low skirt with some killer edge.  I feel that high-low skirts can fall into the “beachy” category, especially during the summer, but this particular black number, with its sheer layers and kick-ass pleather tie belt, is the exception.  Today was a perfect excuse to rock out in my Nine West neon leopard pumps, and finish things off with a statement necklace and black/gold arm party.

[Fun fact:  My husband adamantly pointed out that "Muy Cool" is not a correct Spanish phrase.  I astutely pointed out that this is why it's Spenglish, and he obviously can't sit with us.  Boom!]

 

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Like this Stella & Dot Allegra Necklace?  Get yours while you still can!

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Photo Credits: Allison Rossi

Urban Jungle with 3.1 Phillip Lim Trousers

I may not be 31 yet, but I still have a constant yearning for success and simplicity within my workplace.  Needless to say, Phillip Lim speaks to me – deeply.  On days when I want to knock out some wins in the 9-5, I reach for a piece by the designer and everything seems so much … easier.  Today I wore these green silk trousers, which caught even the eye of my fashion-blind boss.

To finish the look, I topped the trousers off with a BCBG 2-in-one blouse, my favorite Jimmy Choo heels, a statement bib, and an unexpected cuff.  Cheers to the weekend, just around the bend.

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Bonus: Elastic waist on the trousers does wonders to minimize the baby bump

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Stella & Dot’s Pegasus Necklace (BUY NOW)

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A touch of edge with this BaubleBar Cuff

Photo Credits: Allison Rossi

French Connection Dress Merges Antique & Modern

Hump day, with its loads of meetings and countdown to Friday, proved a little monochromatic.  But I made it through the day in a wonderful form-fitting dress from French Connection.  Made out of a soft jersey material, it’s pretty much as close to pajamas as you can get in a trendy silhouette fit for work and play.  In short, it might be the perfect selection.  I loved how the modern shape melded with the traditional floral design.  I kept the rest of my outfit in line with the black/white simplicity – some of my favorite BCBG heels, a pendant necklace, and a beaded arm party.  Countdown to the weekend is ON!

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Stella & Dot’s Phoenix Pendant (BUY NOW)

Photo Credits: Allison Rossi

4 Copper Eyeshadows for Summer/Fall Transition

I attended a Sephora VIP Rouge event on Sunday, and had the chance to try out and snag some new eye shades.  I love the golden/copper hues of these four in particular – perfect for summer tans, but they’ll all transition seamlessly into fall:

 

1. Laura Mercier Baked Eye Colour – Wet/Dry in Terracotta
2. Nars Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia (1931)
3. Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Quick Take (Vanilla, Ambient, & Serpent)
4. Make Up For Ever Diamond Shadow in 306

 

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L – R: Nars, Make Up For Ever, Smashbox, Laura Mercier

 

I don’t wear much eye make-up, but when I do I find that the quality of Laura Mercier cosmetics is unbeatable.  One of my very first purchases during my year in New York back in 2007 was a Laura Mercier palette in violet hues.  It was magical.  This Baked Eye Colour is sure to last all day, which is a necessity for a girl like me who just doesn’t do mid-day touch-ups.  I will probably stick to the dry application, but go with a wet application if you’re hoping for some heavier pigmentation.

The Nars Dual-Intensity can also be used either wet/dry.  I’m looking forward to this shade in a sheer application.  The company describes Himalia as “shimmering topaz”, and claims a crease-less application.  I can’t wait to give this a try, because I’ve yet to meet a Nars product that disappoints.

The Smashbox trio will probably become my go-to shade, because of the simplicity of working with a palette.  It contains a base shade, a highlighter, and a contour color – what more could a girl need?  I am in love with the emerald green that is included; as a brown-eyed girl, green shades are nothing short of amazing.

Finally, I had to include Make Up For Ever’s Diamond Shadow (part of their new Artist Shadows line) because of its light-weight, ultra-fine application.  It has just the right amount of shimmer without looking glittery or heavy like so many other shades that are on the market.

Give these shades a try, or let me know what gold/copper-y hues are working for you this month!

 

Bright Yellow Marni Kind Of Day

Sometimes, you just want to look like a giant banana.  Put on a bright yellow cowl neck dress, highlight the baby bump, wear some purple lipstick (holla, NARS La Paz).  Party in the front, rave in the back.  Today: one of those days.

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Warning: Don’t touch a giant tin building in 95 degree weather at peak sun-angle.  HOTT!

 

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Bet you didn’t expect this surprise….or did you?

 

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Stella & Dot Sutton Necklace – Gold (BUY NOW)

Photo Credits: Allison Rossi