Winter 2011 30 for 30 Picks!

I may have waited until the last minute, but I finally made my 30 for 30 picks! So these are the clothes you'll be seeing a lot of for the next month! And to all you other 30 for 30 participants out there, happy remixing!

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Now that Your Rose is in Bloom

I survived, after working ALL FIVE days this week. Boy, life is hard sometimes. Now it's time for the easy part...the weekend! I have quite a stack of papers I need to grade, but I'm going to ignore those for the moment (well lets face it, I probably won't look at them until Sunday) and have a little fun. I'm off to a get-together with the girls tonight, then tomorrow I'm cheering on my K-State wildcats. I hope to get in a little shopping as well, before the 30 for 30 starts on Tuesday and I'm no longer allowed.

Speaking of the 30 for 30, are you in? Have you picked your 30 items yet? Being the procrastinator that I am, I have not. Don't worry, I work well under pressure. 

Have a great weekend!

Gray corduroy blazer: Loft; navy t-shirt: Gap; Flare-leg jeans: Gap; pearl earrings: Kohl's; flower pin: Target; tan skinny belt: Target; leopard shoes: Merona, Target

Song: Kiss from a Rose by Seal
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Dinner Tonight: Baked Potato Soup

Bonjour, beautiful readers! I've got a quick dinner post this evening--the post is quick, not the dinner. Forgive me, I'm feeling little off (I hope it's not the start of something icky) and I've got about as much energy as a sloth. However, I made this soup last night and it was so delicious I had to tell you about it. I wish I could take the credit, but the recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen. If her version looks thicker than mine, it's because I added extra chicken stock at the end to thin it out a bit. If you need a comforting, warming winter meal (and need an excuse to add bacon to something), this soup is a winner!

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Do You Have to Let it Linger

I suppose one could argue that snow is pretty, and blah, blah, blah, but does anyone have anything nice to say about lingering snow? I mean, it gets dirty and turns an ugly shade of brownish gray. It takes thirty seven decades to melt where it was piled up high (okay, so I'm exaggerating a little). And, there are annoying puddles everywhere it does decide to melt. Are a few pretty flakes really worth all that? (Oops. I just remember all those snow days I just had. Yes, I suppose it is worth it. But I wish the snow would disappear the day we have to head back to school.)

On a completely random note, my husband seems to be on a nature-show kick. Typically he's either watching sports, Seinfeld, or Law and Order, but yesterday it was a show about the mysterious deaths of alligators. Today it's Orcas and elephant seals. This totally reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica thinks Chandler secretly really enjoys (wink wink) watching shark attack shows.  But since Aaron is exploring the animal kingdom openly, I'm not worried. 

Black blazer: Loft; burgundy floral print blouse: Tucker for Target, gift; gray cords: Loft; long circles necklace: Banana Republic Factory Store, gift; black flats: Isaac Mizrahi for Target

Song: Linger by the Cranberries

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Quicker Than a Ray of Light

The thermometer reached forty degrees today! It's sad when that feels warm. But the slightly warmer weather is the little ray of light I live for during winter. So I wore this bright, sunny necklace in homage of the less frigid temps. This outfit is also an homage to Kaleigha of krameymartin. I loved her look so much, I had to do a copycat. But instead of patterned, tatoo-like tights, I decided to put the color around my neck. You know, I wasn't too sure about this lightweight knit dress working for winter, but I think it does. Layers and tights work wonders. And friends, those are all the words I have so far this week, which is starting to feel like the longest week ever

Olive cardigan: Target; navy knit dress: Loft; orange and yellow necklace: Anthropologie; brown wide belt: so old I can't remember where I got it, which probably means Target; gray tights: see belt; boots: St. John's Bay, J. C. Penney

Song: Ray of Light by Madonna (And now I'm going to have it in my head all night. "And I feel...")

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Time for a Good Time (and a giveaway winner)

I'm a little sad that it's already Sunday. This has been such a fun weekend, and I'm not ready for it to be over just yet. The highlight of this action-packed weekend was meeting an awesome group of bloggers at Blanc, a fancy schmancy burger joint (see my other adventures at Blanc here). We had such a great time chatting and eating and even doing a little shopping. They were all as genuine and sweet as they sound on their blogs. I hope we make getting together a regular event!

I'm going to introduce you to the girls below, in hopes that you check out their fantastic blogs: Angga of Reserverade Fasion, Michelle of Second Street East, Ngan of eNVe Designs, Ashley of A Hasty Life, Sandy of Sandy a la Mode (who organized our get-together, thanks Sandy!), and yours truly who I swear looks less goofy here than I do in the other shots. Everyone else looks great, so I took one for the team. And thank you to Angga's kind, patient husband, for taking this picture and putting up with all of us giggly girls. 

After lunch, Sandy, Ngan and I had some fun shopping and posing for outfit pictures. Let's just say I'm not comfortable posing when there are people around. Hence the face. I look like a goober. We laughed about how we don't want people to look at us while we're taking outfit shots, but we're perfectly fine with posting our pictures on the internet for the world to see. It's different though, right?

Ivory cardigan: Old Navy; navy and white striped tee: Gap; jean shorts: Loft; navy tights: Old Navy; red wedges: Merona, Target, gold chain necklace: C. C. Creations, won from a giveaway at City of Dionne (Thanks Dionne!!)

If you're still with me, thanks, I know this is kind of a long one today. But I can't forget to let you know who won my giveaway to my friend Malorie's shop Elephant in the Room Baby Boutique.

The random number generator chose comment number eight, which was from Jenny of Spry on the Wall! Congratulations Jenny! I will get in touch with you soon!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Song: Good Time by Alan Jackson
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How Bizarre

Between the holidays, in-service days, and snow days, this semester has been just plain bizarre. I feel like I go to work every day not knowing what day it is, because the schedule changes on a daily basis. As much as I love a good snow day, I'm ready for a normal week. Having a routine helps me be more organized, sleep better, and therefore get more done. What about you, do you like having a routine?

I even felt "off" today when I was getting dressed. Exhibit A, below. I didn't scrap this post entirely simply because I do like the colors. Otherwise, I'm just not feeling it. Once again, I'm going to blame winter. 

On the up side, I can't wait to meet some awesome gals this weekend at a Kansas City blogger meet-up. I'm sure it will be a great time, so I hope the weather cooperates! Snow days are only fun during the week!

Turquoise sweater: Isaac Mizrahi for Target; navy tank (under): Old Navy; dark wash jeans: Express; mustard scarf: Target; brown oxfords: Target

Song: How Bizarre by OMC (Yep, I know, I'm taking you back.)

And mes amies, don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a custom onesie or t-shirt from Elephant in the Room Baby Boutique! Today's the last day!

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Wishin' and Hopin'

Add a tailored black blazer to this ensemble (and subtract a few wrinkles from the shirt), and you're looking at what I wore to an interview this morning. It's for a summer school job teaching French to elementary students. My fingers (and belt) are crossed in hopes I get this job! 

In other news, blizzard-like conditions have once again hit the Kansas City area. On the one hand, that means winter is far from over. On the other hand, yahoo! no school tomorrow! What is it about a snow day that brings out the kid in everyone? 

Well folks, I'm off to go enjoy some hot chocolate (of the Irish variety) and tonight's new Criminal Minds. Hello Morgan and Dr. Reid! Yum.

Chambray shirt: Old Navy; black pencil skirt: Loft; pink and purple beaded necklace: Paris boutique; pink skinny belt: Target; purple tights: Gap; black peep-toe pumps (that I did not wear out in the snow!): thrifted

Song: Wishing and Hoping by Ani DiFranco (I know she wasn't the original singer, but I love her version!)

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Dinner Tonight: Chicken Caesar Salad

Now this may not be the most exciting dinner on the planet, but I have to admit, I've never made a caesar salad before! I've ordered plenty in restaurants, and even gone the semi-homemade route with bottled dressing. But for dinner last night I took the time to make the dressing, grill the chicken, and even make little cheesy bacon croutons. 

What inspired me to stop being a lazy caesar-eater? The Kitchen Belleicious 2011 Recipe Challenge! The idea is to choose 12 recipes that you've always wanted to make, but (for some reason or another) have never taken the time. I thought I'd start off January with something fairly easy, and somewhat health conscious (if you don't count the croutons). Salad seemed like the best way to go, and the caesar salad is one of my favorites.

This particular version is another one from Rachael Ray's Book of 10 cookbook. I'm not going to share the whole recipe, as I'm sure you can figure out how to grill chicken and chop lettuce. However, here's the recipe for the cheesy "croutons" and the dressing.

For the croutons:
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the bacon and let cool. In a small bowl, mix together all three ingredients. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I used a Silpat) and pour the cheese mixture on it. Spread it out, making a nice even, and fairly thin layer. Bake it for 3-4 minutes, turning about halfway through. Keep an eye on it, because it can burn quickly if you forget! When it's nice and golden brown, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Once cool, you can break it apart to make little "croutons" for the salad.

For the dressing:
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
juice of 1 lemon
fresh ground pepper (to taste)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

To make the dressing, combine the garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil, then add the cheese.

To assemble the salad, dress the greens, top them with grilled chicken (if you so desire) and finally sprinkle them with the cheesy, bacony "croutons". Bon app├ętit!

***And don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free custom onesie or t-shirt from Elephant in the Room Baby Boutique. You have until Friday to enter!

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Peaches and Cream

While driving back from Hutchinson last night, Aaron and I were listening to a 90s-2000s dance party on the radio. We were reminiscing about all the tunes we grooved to (well, I grooved... Aaron's not much of a groover) in our high school and early college years. So I thought the catchy 112 tune my friends and I shook our booties to in my mom's basement would be the perfect title for this outfit post. Other great dance-party songs we were remembering: "Take it to the House" by Trick Daddy, "Ignition Remix" by R. Kelly, "Danger" by Mystikal, and "Who We Be" by DMX. And I can't forget about "Holiday Inn" by Chingy. What were your favorite dance party tunes? 

I think I'm due for a night out with the girls.

Peach sweater: Loft; white button-up: Forever 21; dark skinnies: Old Navy; gray slingback pumps: Naturalizer

Song: Peaches and Cream by 112

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Dinner Tonight: Butter Chicken

While this is about as healthy as it sounds, I'm all about indulging in moderation. Except when it comes to ice cream; then that "moderation" talk goes right out the window. Anyway, back to the chicken. This was a recipe from the always-reliable Tasty Kitchen, and I knew right away it would be a winner. Seasoned, marinated chicken in a tomato cream sauce over rice? What's not to love?

I can't call this a quick dish, because the chicken has to marinate for several hours, and the sauce has to simmer for a bit. But, the actual hands-on time for this meal was minimal, which made it a home run for a weeknight meal. 

What's on your menu for next week?

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Mustard on My Fries

I can't seem to stop buying stuff in this mustard yellow color. Years ago, I never thought I'd own anything yellow, let alone a skirt, a scarf, a tee, a cardigan, and not one but two pairs of shoes. Can we say problem? (And it's not even my favorite color to wear... I won't get into how many purple items I own.) Anyway, I used to think yellow washed me out. But then I realized, hey, I'm pretty freaking pale! And nothing I wear is going to change that. So instead of viewing my skin as some sort of flaw, I'm just wearing what I like. 

Wow, I didn't really mean for that to turn into a manifesto. All that, just from "I like yellow." Anyway, on to the more specific yellow that is this skirt. I saw it first on Erin of Calivintage, and it was go-buy-now at first sight. (Don't you get that sometimes?) Then, when I went to the Gap and saw that it was on sale, PLUS an extra thirty percent off, I knew it would soon be making friends with all the other skirts in my closet. Actually, it probably made frenemies (yes I did just use that word) because the other skirts were jealous. 

I've been playing around with ways to style this awesome skirt, and it was Jentine of My Edit whose color palette inspired this look. I can't wait to wear it with some bolder colors too. If you have any ideas, throw 'em out there!

White long-sleeve tee: Gap Outlet; gray short sleeve cardigan: Forever 21; mustard pleated skirt: Gap; gray circle necklace: handmade by Aaron's Aunt Mary; gray ribbed tights: Gap or Target; black riding boots: Franco Sarto, Macy's

Song: Love Your Love the Most by Eric Church 
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I Feel it in My Fingers, I Feel it in My Toes

Or, as it applies to today: "I can't feel my fingers, I can't feel my toes". This morning, the wind-chill was negative twelve. Negative twelve! Even my mittens couldn't keep my hands warm today. And I have this weird thing where my fingers randomly turn white (yes, even whiter) and get all tingly. Not my whole hand either; just one or two at a time. So if I look super uncomfortable in this picture, well, I'm standing here without a coat on and I'm starting to lose feeling in my right ring-man. 

My legs, however, stayed nice and toasty today. I wore long johns under my pants. You may laugh, but you'll do it with goose-bump-covered legs. Now if only I could wear gloves all day long... (Don't think I haven't tried. But you should see how I well I type. It's comical. And don't even get me started on texting.)

Pale pink cardigan: Loft; white ruffle shirt: Loft; navy wide leg pants: Loft; pink and silver earrings: NY & Co; brown braid belt: Loft; brown boots: St. John's Bay, J C Penney

Song: Love is All Around by the Troggs

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Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

I know that's technically a Christmas song, but if this doesn't look like a winter wonderland, I don't know what does. Typically, I'm not snow's biggest fan, but since it kept me home from work the past two days I'm not going to complain. (That is, until I have to drive in it tomorrow.) For this cozy, snow-day look I kept things simple--t-shirt, cardi, cowl scarf, jeans, and boots--all in shades of camel, gray and blue. I was inspired by Kendi's chic winter layering here

If these snow days have taught me anything, it's this: First of all, get some snow boots. None of my boots are remotely winter-weather-proof, and while Kansas isn't the snowiest state in the US, we do get it pretty regularly during the winter. So why don't I have any cute, yet functional snow boots? Secondly, procrastination pays off. I could have finished my plans for my Tuesday classes on Monday, but I chose the "be as lazy as possible" route instead. Good move by me! Now my Tuesday classes aren't going to happen until Thursday, so I can just finish my plans tomorrow. Sometimes, the "why get done today what you can put off until tomorrow" philosophy is the best one. 

Tan cardigan: Loft; navy t-shirt: Gap; skinny jeans: Loft; gray cowl scarf: Loft; brown braid belt: Loft; gray booties: Target

Song: Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith

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