I'm Just Mad About Saffron

Or, color combos I like Part One.  Although I own more black and gray than I'd like to admit, it's putting on a bright color that really lifts my spirits.  (And two bright colors? I can hardly contain myself!)  Ironically enough, I wear more brights in the Spring, when my spirits are already buoyed by the gorgeous weather.  I need to dress in nothing but cheerful hues in Winter, when the cold weather makes me want to scream and curse and throw things.  But, I think my screaming days are finally over (I'm not making any promises about throwing things.).  At least for this year.  Yet knowing my luck, it will snow this weekend.  Didn't that happen the last time I wore this cardigan?  

When I bought this cardigan a couple of years ago, I never imagined it would become the wardrobe staple that it has.  I used to avoid yellow, because I thought it washed out my fair skin.  But now, I feel just the opposite way about it--I can't seem to get enough.  And as far as my skin goes, I think that as long as it's a fairly bright yellow, there's just enough contrast.  And mixed with this purple...heavenly!  I know I'm going to start sounding like a broken record soon, but I LOVE SPRING!!! 

Cardigan: Gap Outlet; blouse: Ann Taylor Loft; skirt: Converse One Star, Target; belt: Target; shoes: Isaac Mizrahi for Target
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The Ink is Black, the Page is White, Together We Learn to Read and Write

I apologize in advance.  I'm sure this is not the last you'll see of my pasty white legs.  I wish I could say they would get tanner, but well, that's highly unlikely.  I buy sunscreen with SPF 50 or more, and while I'm constantly nagging Aaron to put some on, I think I get whiter just looking at the bottle.  

Today I was inspired by the beautiful Italian blogger at L'armadio del delitto and her chic black and white look.  I was going to do all black and white, but when I put on my trusty black flats, I literally yawned.  I've worn those so much; I need a new style of black flat.  An oxford or lace up sandal maybe?  Hmmm.  So I went with the purple instead.  

I'm getting bored with my outdoor shots (can you tell by the look on my face?).  Our move in May (hopefully!) cannot come soon enough.  At least then I'll have some new scenery.  Which will, I'm sure, get old eventually.  But as they say, the grass is always greener.    

T-shirt: Forever 21; skirt: Gap; belt: Forever 21; flats: Se Boutique, DSW
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Dinner Tonight: Cilantro Lime Cod

For tonight’s dinner, I splurged a little and bought fish.  Cod fillets were on sale, so I decided to try a recipe from my Taste of Home cookbook that I got for Christmas.  The flavor was great, but unfortunately I cooked the crap out of the fish.  The recipe said to cook the fish in foil for 35 to 40 minutes.  That seemed like a long time to me, but the fillets were pretty sizeable and I’ve never tried to cook cod before.  Regardless, I should have followed my instincts and checked the fish about 20 minutes in.  I’d recommend this recipe as long as you cut back the cooking time quite a bit. 

I topped the fillets with salt and pepper, garlic, onion and cumin that I sautéed in olive oil, cilantro, and thin slices of lime.  Then I drizzled it with melted butter.  So far, so good, right?  I wrapped the fish in foil and baked it at 375 degrees for a quarter of a century.  Or at least that’s what it tasted like.  

I served the fish with some rice that I cooked in chicken stock, with a little butter, cilantro, and cumin mixed in to complement the cod.  If I make this again, I’m going to try it in fish tacos.  Man I love a fish taco.  

You Give Us Those Nice Bright Colors

Well, I don't have a Nikon camera, à la Paul Simon, but I do have a brand new Canon Powershot camera!  Woohoo!  I love it--it's amazing how clear the pictures turn out.  Today was perfect for shooting outside too, very warm and Springy.  

I got this skirt when I was in college in Manhattan (Kansas not New York), at a little store there called Zotchi's.  I was reminiscing about my college days recently, and I was thinking about places I missed.  Several restaurants came up (of course, my mind never strays far from food), but I had forgotten about Zotchi's.  I'm going to have to plan a return trip...

Cardigan: American Eagle; blouse: Maurice's; skirt: Hot Sauce, Zotchi's; flower pin: removed from skirt and re-pinned; belt: Target; OTK socks: Target; shoes: Steve Madden
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Dinner Tonight: Taco Pasta

Finally, I can do food posts again--I got my new camera!  I'm still figuring out settings and everything, so it may take some tweaking to get my pictures just right.  Tonight, I made Taco Pasta Toss, a recipe from last week's Rachael Ray Show.  It was fast and easy, and a crowd (or husband) pleaser.  I browned up some ground beef, then added onion, jalapeño, chili powder, coriander and cumin.

Next, I added tomato paste and chicken stock.  The recipe called for beer, but we drank them all this weekend in our defeat (K-State lost to Butler).   

Meanwhile, I cooked a box of penne pasta, and tossed the pasta with the meat sauce.  Since it’s Taco Pasta, we topped the bowls of pasta with shredded Colby jack cheese, then tented the bowls for a minute with foil to melt it.  This was a nice twist on pasta with meat sauce.  It really did taste like a taco and pasta rolled into one.  That Rachael Ray, she delivers.  

Simply Irresistible

Sigh.  No nap.  No ice cream.  I did have some mediocre pizza though.  

Recently, one of my favorite (and not just because we're from the same state) bloggers, Kansas Couture, did a post about simplicity.  I thought of her, and her thoughts on keeping things simple when I put on this outfit.  Today was one of the few days when I didn't plan my look the night before, since I was up way too late watching my Kansas State Wildcats barely beat Xavier in double overtime.  So, with only 5 hours of beauty sleep to my name, I needed an outfit without a lot of fuss.  No, it's not edgy or striking, but there's something about the simplicity of this outfit that made me feel comfy and confident (and yes, tired) all day.  Of course there are times I love to get all gussied up and go for the more is more look, but for today, simple is just as irresistible.  

Jean jacket: Gap; blouse: Daisy Fuentes, Kohl's; pants: Gap; sunnies: thrifted (but they were new--I'm not sure what to call that as I bought them in a thrift store); earrings: NY&Co, shoes: Isaac Mizrahi for Target
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When We Were in School Our Games Were Simple

This is going to be short, since this is actually what I wore yesterday.  It felt quite school-girlish, especially before I added the necklace.  I love what a statement piece will do for an otherwise simple outfit.  Anyway, this is all I'm going to write, since I hope to get in another post today.  We shall see.  I need a nap.  And some ice cream.  Okay, nap, then ice cream, then another blog post.  

T-shirt: Old Navy; skirt: Nanette Lepore, thrifted (best score ever, I wear this all the time!); necklace: Francesca's, gift from Aaron; belt: Target; boots: Franco Sarto
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Rainy Day Woman

I know, I'm very red.  I'm still blaming it on the camera (but soon, I will not be able to do that!).  This was one of those outfits that came about after trying a million different combinations--nothing dazzling but I like it nonetheless.  I knew I wanted the tights and the shoes (perfect for cool, dreary weather yet with a touch of Spring), but wasn't sure what to pair with them.  Originally, I topped the LBD with an army green cardigan, buttoned up, but at the last minute this morning I put on this cheery ruffled red one.  Despite the all black canvas, I felt like the bright color pops served to remind me that Spring really is here.  

Cardigan: XT, shopmamie.com; dress: Banana Republic Outlet; hoop earrings: Target; necklace: Forever 21; tights: Gap; shoes: Merona, Target
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Fighting Ever Fighting for a Wildcat Victory

I've never been interested in sports, so naturally every year when March Madness rolls around, the only thing I'm anticipating is its end.  But this year, my alma mater, Kansas State University, is actually good.  As in, we made the tournament as a 2 seed and didn't get eliminated in the first two rounds good.  So, while I haven't turned into a total basketball-phile, I am actually keeping up with this whole Madness thing.  I even filled out a bracket for the first time in my life.  Granted, I based my picks on whether or not I liked the mascot or which city I'd like to visit (not a bad method as it turns out, my bracket is beating Aaron's).  So last night we cheered on another Wildcat victory, against BYU (who I actually picked in the first round because of my current obsession with the show Big Love--go Mormons!)  I can't guarantee my participation in this athletic tradition will continue for ever, or even next year, but for now, I'm having all kinds of fun.  Sorry, I don't have anything to say about my outfit--the only thought I put into it was that there had to be purple in it somewhere.  

Blazer: Ann Taylor Loft; blouse: Old Navy; camisole: Gap; jeans: Old Navy; necklace: jewelry shop in Paris; boots: Aldo
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The lucky bucket!  Yes, I know how ridiculous I look.  And no, I don't care.

Not a Night Goes By I Don't Dream of Wandering

I apologize in advance for this post being short--I am wiped out!  Aaron and I spent the day house shopping with our Realtor.  It sounds so official now that we have a Realtor.  I suppose it is.  We had some good luck today, but are still trying to figure out budget-wise what we're ready to jump into.  I mean, what would I do if I had a house but couldn't afford to fill the closets?  

T-shirt: Old Navy; vest: Old Navy; pants: Gap; earrings: The Limited; necklace: H&M; shoes: Se Boutique, DSW
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C'est Si Bon

What a gorgeous day!  When I think about the forecast for snow (really, snow!?!) Saturday, I want to cry.  But I'm going to try to enjoy the nice weather while it lasts, and try not to think about Winter's last hurrah.  I know the picture is a little unclear, and once again I blame Aaron's camera.  My birthday is next month, and between incoming money and the tiny bit I've been saving, I should have a new camera fairly soon.  So bear with me please. 

Today I went to lunch with Laure, one of the French teachers I got to work with when I was student teaching last semester.  Although she is far too young to be my mom, she has such a mothering way about her that I love.  When I was feeling under the weather, she would always bring me clementines so I would "be sure to get my Vitamin C".  When I told her Aaron and I are house-shopping (so exciting!) she insisted on driving around some neighborhoods to scope them out.  I just adore her!  We went to lunch at a French restaurant, of course (Café des Amis in Parkville, MO).  I had a goat cheese salad and a decadent chocolate soufflé for dessert.  We walked around and went in some of the neighboring shops where local art and jewelry were showcased.  I walked away empty-handed (saving for the camera, remember) but nice and full.  

Cardigan: Merona, Target; dress: Forever 21; belt: Target; OTK socks: Target; boots: Franco Sarto
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Passenger's Side I Slide On In

I'm combining posts from today and yesterday, since Aaron and I went to Hutchinson to visit family.  The trip was short and sweet, involving way too much time in the car but rewarded by a 'juicy lucy' (a really fattening cheese and ham stuffed burger that you shouldn't disapprove of until you try) and some ice cream from Bogey's, a Hutchinson must-stop.  Anyway, if I look a bit disheveled in the photos, I'm using the car-riding as an excuse.  Although the first picture was taken before we left.  I can't really explain the pained expression on my face.  Maybe I was looking into the sun.  Sure, we'll go with that.  

Homerun ballerina's bold color-mixing inspired me once again for this look.  I made my look far more casual, since my plans for the afternoon involved being a passenger and chilling at my dad-in-law's place. But I love what she did with the pink, yellow, blue and purple.     

Cardigan: Gap Outlet; blouse: Express; jeans: Express; earrings: Target; shoes: Merona, Target
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Okay, on to today's look.  On a hunt for a green top to wear for St. Patty's Day, I ran into the Liberty of London line at Target.  I couldn't help myself, I bought a lovely printed top.  As is usually the case for the Target/Designer collabs, I heard mixed reviews.  Personally, I loved the pieces, especially the top I bought (duh), the nighties and home-decor.  I may have to go back...

I couldn't decide which shoes to wear, so I took pictures of both.  Since again, I was in the car all day, it was the flats that lasted the longest.  

Cardigan: American Eagle; blouse: Liberty of London for Target; jeans: Old Navy; shoes: Merona, Target

Shoes: Gianni Bini, thrifted

A Foggy Day in London Town

 Yes, I'm aware that this is Kansas, not the UK, but that song seemed appropriate for today.  So you know that warm weather I had been raving about?  Well, it's gone; only to be replaced by all that is gloomy, rainy, and cold.  I think it was the jinx of the yellow cardigan.  When I read yesterday's Feather Report, even though it was for NYC, the dedication to gray was perfect for the weather here in the Midwest as well.  I love the color gray.  Usually I like to mix it with brighter pieces, but today I went gray all the way (no rhyme intended).  The first version of this outfit was with the over-the-knee socks alone, sans tights, and some wedge sandals.  I liked it, maybe even a little better, but I soon realized that I would not make the same bare-legs mistake I made yesterday.  But I've had these socks for a few weeks and I've been dying to wear them, so what the hell, I just put them on over the tights.  There's a lot going on in the leg area, a problem that might be fixed with different shoes, although not with any I own.  Also, despite how my face looks, I'm in a really good mood today.         

Tie-waist cardigan: Forever 21; t-shirt: Old Navy; skirt: American Eagle (really old); earrings: Charlotte Russe; tights: Gap; OTK socks: Target; boots: Franco Sarto
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Dinner Tonight: Holy Burrito!

If you're not really freaking hungry, don't even think about making this meal.  This burrito rivals Chipotle.  And not just because it's ginormous.  The recipe is from Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals cookbook, titled "Dinner, Wrapped Up".  It should be called, "A Couple Dinners, Wrapped Up" since there's so much stuff in there.  So, what exactly is wrapped up in this tortilla of love, you ask?  Well, first of all, there's rice.  And cheese.  And sausage (spicy if you like, and I do) that's cooked with onion, chicken (cut into small pieces), black beans, cumin, coriander, and a little chicken stock.  

But wait, there's more.  Did I mention this is a very big burrito?  Atop the cheese, the rice, and the meat and bean mixture, there's a mix of avocado, grape tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice.  

The hardest part is trying to roll up the burrito without it all falling out.  I did a pretty good job of that.  Watch out, Chipotle.  

You Can't Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl

When I put on this dress with the boots this morning, it made me feel a little "yee-haw" so I just added the jean jacket to complete the effect.  I realize that this look isn't incredibly interesting or fashion-y, and that the biggest risk I took was having bare legs in 40 degree weather.  Not worth it.  But I had been wanting to try a scarf-as-belt look, and I'm rather content with the way it turned out.  I would prefer a more beat-up looking jean jacket as opposed to this one, but I'm not going to get rid of a perfectly good jean jacket in order to buy one that looks like I've had it for 20 years.  And I can't reasonably own two jean jackets:  I'm a fan but not an enthusiast.  I suppose I could roughen up this one, but I have a feeling that I'll later regret it.  Wow, have I really just spent this much time talking about jean jackets?  Well, if that's not proof enough of how utterly uninteresting my day has been, I don't know what is. 

Not quite cool enough jean jacket: Gap; dress: Forever 21; scarf/belt: thrifted; boots: Aldo
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I've Got Sunshine

And indeed, it was a cloudy (and rainy) day.  This cardigan was just what I needed to brighten things up a bit.  If I hadn't been teaching today, I may have decided to go with something slightly less prim and proper.  But when I tried on the cardigan with the ruffled top, I just decided to run with it.  So it grew to ruffles + bow + pearls + maryjanes.  Yes, it's very "I'm running late for my PTA meeting" but I kind of dig it.  I don't dig, however, how red my face looks today.  I wish there were a "red face" button on the photo-editor next to the red-eye button.  As I've mentioned before, I'm not skilled in the photo-editing department, so any tips would be welcomed.  Also, my camera decided to stop working, so we're using Aaron's camera (Which, in my opinion, doesn't like me as much. My face didn't seem nearly as red in previous pictures.  Or could it be that this is my pale-ass skin's reaction to the recent sunlight?  But I do wear SPF on my face.  Hmmm.).  

Cardigan: Gap Outlet; blouse: Ann Taylor Loft; pants: Gap; pearls: Target; belt/sash: from an old dress; maryjanes: Isaac Mizrahi for Target
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Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie

The colors of my outfit made me think of pie today, hence the title.  One of the things that excites me most about the warmer months (although the end of Winter is enough on its own) is the fruit.  Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, nectarines... I'm salivating just thinking of them.  I must have been in a summer-fruits state of mind when I put this on, because I know it's just a top, skirt, and boots, but I see a berry tart.  That's not the worst kind of tart to resemble, don't you agree?  

By the way, I used to think the words to the title song (an oldie but a goodie) were "I would kiss a porcupine".  Which, you know, makes total sense.  About as much sense as "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" in that song.  They just don't make 'em like that anymore.

Cardigan: American Eagle; blouse: Banana Republic Outlet; skirt: Gap; belt: Target; boots: Aldo
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The Loneliest Number

Well folks, it's a floral-free Friday.  I think I exhausted almost all of my botanical options earlier in the week.  Today, I was inspired once again by the lovely ladies over at academichic, who have been playing around with cardigans for the last few days.  One such intellectual fashionista showed off the art of layering two cardigans.  And, since I love cardigans just about as much as I love scarves, I immediately scooped up this idea and started experimenting with my own cardi collection.  I quite like the result.  Two cardigans, who knew? 

Short-sleeve cardigan: Banana Republic; long-sleeve cardigan: Mossimo, Target; lace camisole: Gap; khakis: Gap Outlet; belt: Gap (wow, I'm seeing a pattern here); wingtip maryjanes: Isaac Mizrahi for Target
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She Seemed So Sweet and Kind She Crept into my Mind

Is that three days in a row that I've worn a floral print?  This warm(er) weather is really having quite an effect on me!  Although it's not warm enough yet that I can blame the weather for nearly fainting at a funeral today.  Luckily, I was able to sit down before it happened.  I had flashbacks of my last (and only, I'm not someone who just goes around swooning) fainting experience, at a baseball game.  It was not cute.  I had to be wheeled to a first-aid room in a gurney.  An actual gurney.  Not by choice, mind you.  And what did my lovely best friend do?  Seized the moment and took photos!  Of course she did.  And I suppose, were I in her place, I would do the same thing.  What are friends for, anyway? Said photos, by the way, will never make an appearance on this blog.  

But, I digress.  This is the cardigan I mentioned earlier that I got from ShopMamie.com.  The color is a little brighter than it looked online, but I really like it.  The back has a really cool sunburst detail too, of which I forgot to get a picture.  The best part is I was able to wear this, and only this today, no coat!

Cardigan: XT, ShopMamie.com; blouse: Forever 21; jeans: Old Navy; earrings: Charlotte Russe; flats: Isaac Mizrahi for Target 
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Just Cast an Eye in her Direction

The sun decided it was going to make its long-awaited appearance this week, so could it be, Spring is near?  I know as soon as I get my hopes up they'll predict 17 feet of snow.  Today, though, that thought didn't cross my mind.  It was the perfect day to break out the new dress I got from Forever 21, despite the fact that it was once again the gray tights (how, how are those still without runs?) I had to layer beneath it.  

As soon as I think my must-read blog list is long enough, I discover another one or two (or eight or ten) that I can't live without.  One such blog is ellenitza, a genre-spanning blog that showcases various pretty things, from fashion to food.  I put together this look based on one such pretty thing, a line of clothing by the line Bérangère Claire.  I love the sweet, soft vibe of the featured looks, and to make it more "me" I added bright shoes.  I should have added some sunnies too, I'm looking a bit squinty.  (Is "squinty" really not a word?  I just saw the infamous red squiggle under it...hmmm.)

Cardigan: American Eagle; Dress: Forever 21; locket necklace: small shop in Boulder, CO; leaf necklace: Dean Harris for Target; belt: Target; tights: Gap; shoes: American Eagle
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Dinner Tonight: Parsley Pesto Pasta

Have I ever mentioned how much I love pesto?  It's so fresh, so green, and gives pasta just the right amount of flavor without being overpowering.  And, it's fun to play around with the concept of pesto--it doesn't have to be made exclusively with basil and pine nuts.  In this particular pesto, from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, parsley is the main character.  It is blended with walnuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.  Fettuccine is tossed in the pesto, along with a little pasta cooking water (and spinach if you're me, none if you're Aaron).  Finally, for good measure, the pasta is topped with more cheese and walnuts. 

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Prints Charming?

After seeing so many other successful print-mixers, I, a print-mixing virgin, decided to give it a go.  I was apprehensive, I confess.  My type-A personality fought against the "clutter" that my top half seemed to display.  But in the end, my creative side won.  I'm still not completely sold on this interpretation of the idea, but I learned that it is not a style that I must avoid at all costs.  How about you, are you a master-mixer or do you prefer to stick to one print per outfit?

Blouse: Ann Taylor Loft; cardigan: Old Navy, thrifted; denim skirt: Converse One Star, Target; tights: Gap; booties: Jessica Simpson, DSW (I must admit that I wore flats to teach in all day)
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She's Been Living in her White Bread World

I was feeling a bit "uptown girl" today with my scarf and my tailored blazer.  Unfortunately, my hair refused to play the part.  In reality, there really wasn't much inspiration behind this look.  I'm getting over cold #377 of the Winter, so I just put on jeans and a t-shirt, then threw on some accessories so I could pretend that I thought this through.  

I did do some shopping today (Target, F21, and Charlotte Russe) AND I got the sweater I ordered from ShopMamie.com in the mail.  So if that's not enough to make a girl feel better, I don't know what is!  Now I just need some chocolate and I'll be set for the night.  

Blazer: Merona, Target; t-shirt: Gap; jeans: Old Navy; scarf: Target; shoes: Steve Madden, Marshall's
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