Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Confessions of an Ice Cream Hoarder

La santé [health]: I’ve been trying to convince myself that all this work I’ve been doing teaching totally makes up for the fact that I haven’t worked out in about two weeks. I mean, my feet and legs are sore by the end of the day, so I must be doing something, right?


T-shirt: Anthropologie; jeans: Loft; necklace: Loft; shoes: Isaac Mizrahi for Target

It would probably be a legitimate argument if it weren’t for our freezer, which is pretty consistently stocked with ice cream. (I told myself I would only buy it if it was on sale. It turns out that some sort of ice cream is on sale almost all the time.) 


However, we begin a brand new month starting tomorrow, and my goal is to make it a healthier one. Or at least a more active one. While I’m at it I’m going to try to make it a less stressful one as well. So get ready September, I have big plans for you.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Old Clothes, New Look, Big Flavors

La mode: Well, it’s Monday. How was your weekend? Mine was a nice mixture of fun and relaxation, with a side of housework and paper grading. Friday night I was completely lazy, and it felt wonderful! Saturday I went to my friend Abbey’s wedding, and had such a fun time. Once again, I danced the night away. But this time my feet stayed comfortable—she provided a basket of flip flops for all the girls. Is that a great idea, or what?


Blouse: Banana Republic Factory; dress: Loft; necklace: thrifted; wedges: Merona, Target, gift

I’m still behind on outfit photos, so this is another one from last week. I’ve had all the pieces in this look for quite a while, but I’ve never put them together quite like this. 



I can’t deny the pleasure of wearing a newly purchased item, but every once in a while I’m reminded that it’s almost as fun to shop my own closet. How do you breathe fresh life into much-worn items?

La nourriture: The other night I made a dinner that was so incredibly full of flavor that I’m still thinking about it. The main dish was Mexican Inspired Grilled Pork Tenderloin from Kitchen Belleicious. This pork was the perfect mixture of sweet, spicy, and tangy. Aaron barely even talked during this meal… I just kept hearing “yum, mmmm, this is good”.  


On the side I roasted some sugar snap peas. I love snap peas on their own, but adding bacon, parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic took them to a whole other level. If you’re looking for a side-dish upgrade, you should definitely give these a try.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sisyphus in a Skirt

La vie: You know the Greek myth about Sisyphus, who had to spend his eternity rolling a stone up a hill just to watch it roll back down? I think I’m beginning to understand his frustration. As soon as I get all of the planning, teaching, grading, emailing, and organizing done for one day, it’s time to go home so that I can wake up and do it all again the next. And quite frankly, my dears, I’m exhausted.


T-shirt: Gap; skirt: Gap; scarf: Loft; belt: Loft; flats: Gap

Yes, I do want some cheese with my whine. I’m sorry, that’s all I seem to do lately. Thank you for listening; I promise, this won’t be the place I always go to complain. I think I’m just putting a lot of pressure on myself to do well at this job, and make a good first impression on students and parents (whom I met last night!). And that nagging perfectionist in me just won’t give it a rest. But she’ll have to shut up sooner or later—this girl needs some sleep!




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Coral Color Combos and Quiche

La mode: Is it a bad thing that it’s only Wednesday, and I’m already exhausted? This is a busy week; I hope things start to slow down a little soon. But I keep telling myself that I’ll get through it, and that it’s better to be busy working rather than the alternative.


Blouse: Old Navy; jeans: Gap; necklace: Banana Republic Factory, gift; belt: Old Navy; sandals: Ann Taylor Factory, gift


While coral with turquoise is my go-to color combination, I think coral has found a new friend in olive green. This combination seems like one that will carry into fall as well, although with the temperature hitting 100 today fall once again seems miles away. What summer colors will you take with you into fall?

La nourriture: Cooking is one of my favorite ways to relieve stress. During the time I spend in the kitchen, my mind isn’t thinking about my to-do list or my lesson plans; I am only focused on whatever it is I’m making.


I needed a little cooking-therapy this weekend, so I decided to make myself a quiche on Sunday. I made this quick, easy recipe for Brie and Bacon Quiche I found on Tasty Kitchen. And it tasted just as delicious and indulgent as it sounds, thankyouverymuch. (Did I mention cheese and bacon can be nearly as therapeutic as cooking itself? Not to mention ice cream, chocolate, pizza… )

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tales From a Too-Short Weekend

La mode: Well that sure was fast! I feel like I was just typing up my post for Friday, and here it is, Sunday night (and by the time you read this it will be Monday!). I don’t know how it is for you when you start a new job, but I constantly feel behind! I went in to do some planning on Saturday, and I still feel like I have so much more to do. So I apologize if my blogging and commenting is more sporadic over the next few weeks.


Blouse: Banana Republic Factory Store; t-shirt: Old Navy; jeans: Gap; necklace: Loft; sandals: Ann Taylor Factory Store, gift

I did get some relaxation in this weekend, so don’t feel too sorry for me. Aaron and I are finally getting around to watching the third season of True Blood, so we spent our Saturday evening with Bill, Sookie, and the dreamy Eric. 


And since it’s Monday, I’m doing my spin on this Inspiration Monday photo of Olivia Palermo, brought to you by the ladies at Two Birds. I loved her dolled-up shorts look, but since my weekend was pretty low-key, my version was a more casual one. In fact, I realize now that it looks nothing like Olivia’s at all. But I suppose that’s why they call it Inspiration Monday rather than Copy Cat Monday.



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Friday, August 19, 2011

Daydream Believer

La mode: It’s been a long time since Friday felt this good! It may have been a short week (with students anyway) but it managed to be incredibly exhausting. I could use some relaxation and a glass (or two) of wine.

Today I’m joining in the Friend Friday conversation about dreams and goals, brought to you by Katy of Modly Chic. And not that it's related at all, but this outfit is from my sushi dinner last weekend. 


Blouse: Tucker for Target; tank: Target; jeans: Loft; earrings: gift; necklace: Towne & Reese via Walk of Fashion giveaway; shoes: Target

1. Fess up—if you could do anything professionally what would it be? Just like the amazing Sal of Already Pretty, who was the inspiration for this topic, I would make blogging about style (and food!) my career. There are those who frown upon professional bloggers, but I’m not one of them. In my opinion, what could be better than getting paid to do what you love?

2. What draws you to this? In the past 10 years or so, I’ve changed my mind about what I want to do with my life countless times. However, what has remained constant is my love for both fashion and food. 


3. When did you first start dreaming about this idea? I started to daydream about getting paid to blog when I started Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique over a year ago. As time has gone by, the hours I spend blogging and being a part of the blogging community have increased drastically; when I think about how much time and effort I put into it, the more appealing “going pro” sounds.

4. What’s holding you back from going all in? One important reason I’m not pursuing blogging as a career right now is teaching. Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to make teaching French my career, and I finally landed the job I’d been hoping for. Although I may change my mind later, I’m happy balancing a hobby that I love (blogging) with a day job that I’m learning to love too (teaching). I’m not ready to give either one up right now, and frankly, I need to hold on to the one that pays the bills!



5. Sometimes the first step is the hardest…what’s one step you can take now on the way to realizing your dream? While I’m not ready to go as far as making it my career just yet, I would love to earn some money from blogging. In order to do that, I need to come up with a sponsorship plan. I hope that once I have more time (so NOT at the beginning of the school year) I can do some research on how to make this happen. (And for those of you who have sponsors, any tips you have would be appreciated!)

What do you daydream about leaving your current job to do? 
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Goldilocks-Approved Outfit

La mode: Until today, my days have been filled with in-service meetings and classroom preparation. Therefore, I needed outfits that were appropriate for both moving desks around and such as well as attending meetings with fellow teachers and school administrators. In other words, I wanted to be comfortable, yet not too casual. Just right, if you will. 


T-shirt: Old Navy; skirt: Old Navy; earrings: Bauble Bar; sandals: BC Footwear

The solution to this conundrum is often my maxi skirt; it feels like PJs yet with the right pieces it can look put-together. My knotted tee and flat sandals kept the look laid-back, while the earrings added a bit of glamour and polish. What do you wear to bridge the gap between comfortable and presentable?


Speaking of earrings, these were my little “back to school” present for myself. They’re from Bauble Bar (to join, just go here!), which I just recently discovered and love! As you know, I’m smitten with turquoise right now, and I can't imagine that changing anytime soon! 




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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Quick and the Colorful

La mode: Since today is the last day before students start, I’m rushing around like a madwoman trying to get everything done. Being the procrastinator that I am, I still have a lot left to do. Thank goodness I work well under pressure!



Cardigan: Gap; blouse: thrifted; pants: Target; earrings: Target; shoes: Bandolino via Marshall's

Therefore, I don’t have a lot of words today; I simply don’t have time! But I have been wearing clothes, more specifically clothes that I like, so I’m going to quickly share them.

Thank you all for all your new-job support! I really appreciate your sweet comments!

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Converted: to Fall Clothing and Barbeque

La mode: Well the weekend sure did fly by! Not that I’m surprised; they always do. Friday night was a much needed laid-back night, but Saturday and Sunday were busy. Aaron helped me get my classroom set up Saturday afternoon, and in the evening we met some friends for sushi (which was beautiful… I wish I would have taken pictures!). 


Shirt: Gap; jeans: Loft; earrings: Kohl's; flats: Gap

This is what I wore yesterday, for running errands and whatnot. My inspiration was from the photo below of Karolina Kurkova from Two BirdsInspiration Monday. I exchanged white skinnies for a blue denim pair for this look, because the only white jeans I have are wide-leg and they didn't look quite right. 



Wearing this made me feel like fall is just around the corner, because this shirt paired with jeans was pretty much my fall weekend uniform last year! And it doesn’t look like I’m getting tired of it anytime soon. What will your fall weekend uniform be, do you know yet?




La nourriture: Living in the Kansas City area, I’m surrounded by renowned barbeque joints. For most of my life, I’ve been oblivious to them; I never really liked barbeque. But recently I’ve been experimenting with barbeque sauce a little in my cooking, and I have to admit it’s grown on me. I might just be converted!


So, when I saw this recipe on C + C Marriage Factory, I knew it was one I needed to try. (Oh, and the bacon that's in the dry rub didn't hurt either!) I switched it up a little by using chicken tenders rather than kebabs of chicken breasts, and I also added a bit of cayenne to the dry rub. I absolutely love how they turned out! The combination of the dry rub with the barbeque sauce really packed each bite of chicken with flavor. If you’re a barbeque fan this is one you must try!

Alongside, I cooked some corn on the cob. I used this recipe for Elote from The Kitchn as my guide, but I substituted parmesan for the Cotija cheese. Corn on the cob tastes amazing right now, I’m trying to eat as much as I can this summer before it disappears!
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Pink Dress and Stress

La mode: So, all that excitement about starting school has quickly turned to stress. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond thrilled about this job, but my “make-my-room-ready-for-students” to-do list gets longer by the minute. My mind won’t even focus on anything else—I got off on the wrong exit today on my way home from work, and I can’t even think of any non-school related topics to blog about.


Dress: Merona, Target; scarf: thrifted; belt: NY&Co; sandals: BC Footwear

In fact, I can barely type. I would have gone through about 20 sheets of paper now if I were on a typewriter. Well I suppose if I were on a typewriter I wouldn’t be blogging at all… 




Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Backpacks and Pencils, Meat and Potatoes

La mode: I realized today that I never got a chance to post my “back to school” outfit yet. Getting dressed every year to go back to school (whether it’s to teach or to learn) always takes me back to my childhood. Don’t you remember painstakingly going through your closet to find that perfect “first day of school” outfit?


Cardigan: Gap Outlet; blouse: Loft; skirt: Gap Outlet; necklace: Oh Sweetlee Me via Much Love Illy giveaway; belt: Old Navy; pumps: Naturalizer

I was one of those kids who always liked to dress up for the first day of school. And even if it was sweltering outside, I wanted to show off my new fall clothes. 



While I’m slightly more practical now, I still felt that same desire to dress up for my first day. (Although I admit that part of that desire stemmed from the fact that we were having our pictures taken.) Regardless of the reason, I think my childhood self approves!


I had to include this picture because it's so funny. My friends Jesse and Abby thought it would be fun to get in on the picture taking action. Aren't they cute?


La nourriture: Aaron got a smoker for his grill this summer, so he’s having fun experimenting with different recipes. This weekend he smoked some pork spare ribs, and they were mouth-wateringly delicious.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Sorry, rib fans. That’s his domain, I didn’t really pay attention to what he did. (Only I know that it involved basting with a spray bottle, because I had to go buy one.) Anyway, I’m here to talk about potatoes.



More specifically, Red Potatoes with Bacon, Cheese and Cilantro. I got the recipe (via Food Gawker) from the blog Foodjimoto. She calls it potato salad, but it’s nothing like the potato salads I’ve ever had. The potatoes are served warm, and smashes, but just barely. The cheese melts slightly to combine the ingredients, and cilantro gives it some freshness. These potatoes were an excellent accompaniment to the ribs. This was a meal made for those meat and potatoes lovers (like my husband)!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Print Mixin' in my Tar-jay Crew Skirt


La mode: I went to Target the other day for a few grocery and household needs and returned with a new skirt and a pair of pants. That’s the danger of Target. When I saw this skirt (on sale, yippee!) I prayed to the dressing room gods that it would fit. And it did… fifteen dollars later, this baby was mine.


T-shirt: Gap; skirt: Merona, Target (here for $26.99); earrings: thrifted; belt: Old Navy; pumps: Seychelles Password via DSW

Now I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but doesn’t it remind you a little of something J. Crew might make? It seems a bit J. Crew-ish to me, so I’ve informally dubbed it my Tar-jay Crew skirt. Get it? Har har. 


I wanted to wear my new find for today’s Everybody Everywear Mixed Prints day, so I paired it with a navy striped tee. I love the balance of the narrow stripes and large print. If it weren’t for this challenge, I probably never would have thought to pair this skirt with stripes. I love the way it turned out! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Spiced up Dresses and Turkey Burgers

La mode: Thank you for all the good luck wishes on Friday! Although I left feeling very overwhelmed, my first day went well. I met some very friendly teachers who are also new to the district or new to teaching. Once I get settled in and organized, I think it’s going to be a great year!


Dress: Jack by BB Dakota, Jem Apparel via Style Obsession giveaway; vest: Old Navy; necklace: Towne & Reese via Walk of Fashion giveaway; belt (worn backwards): Forever 21; booties: Jessica Simpson, DSW

Today I’m participating in another Inspiration Monday from the adorable gals at Two Birds. The inspiration photo (below) is of Sienna Miller, whose closet I would just love to raid. However, since that’s not a (legal) option, I recreated her look with what’s already in my closet.






I wore this on Saturday for a date night with Aaron, so I wanted to dress it up a bit. I chose my favorite dress, which is a little more fitted than Sienna’s and a corduroy vest in lieu of the denim version. And while I have a pair of flat booties similar to those in the photo, I felt like heels were in order for our dinner date. I topped this look off with my new Towne and Reese necklace I won from Walk of Fashion. I must say, I really like how this look came together. Thanks for the inspiration Nora and Megan!


La nourriture: I didn’t get a chance to post this meal last week, but I made some delicious Moroccan-Spiced Turkey Burgers that I want to share. Once again this burger is from Rachael Ray’s Book of 10, which only strengthens my confirmation that Rachael is the Queen of the Burger.


These burgers were bursting with flavor (I really raided the spice cabinet for this one!) and they were moist and juicy as well. On the side, I made rice cooked in chicken broth and turmeric. Once it finished cooking I added cilantro and feta cheese. It was a pretty impromptu side dish, but it balanced perfectly with the burger. And there’s something about eating bright yellow rice that makes it a bit more fun.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Purple Pants in Kansas

La mode: Right as this post publishes, I’ll be starting my first day at my new job. So I guess this outfit is my official “last day of summer” look (although I know that technically, it’s still summer).


Blouse: Banana Republic Factory Store; jeans: thrifted Forever 21; earrings: Kohl's; belt: Loft; flats: Gap

Shockingly, it cooled off around here a little and I was able to wear pants. My legs didn’t quite know what to do with themselves, but when I explained that they go in one at a time just like shorts, they seemed to manage. 


These purple jeans are another recently thrifted purchase. I almost walked away because they’re Forever 21, and I don’t usually buy brands like that second hand. But I couldn’t deny how much fun purple jeans are, so I threw caution to the wind and bought them.


Où? [Where?]: This week’s Friend Friday questions are about location, and how it may influence the way we dress. Thanks for the great questions, Katy!

1. What part of the world do you blog from?

I live in (and therefore blog from) a suburb on the Kansas side of Kansas City. However, I work in Missouri so I’m very close to the border between the states.

2. If you had to describe the overall mode of dress for where you live
what would you say?

Where I live, I would say that overall people dress fairly casually. Jeans are pretty standard, and even in several schools where I subbed teachers wore jeans on a daily basis. Yet while I would classify my neighborhood as a working class, “starter home” type of neighborhood, there are many areas nearby that are quite affluent. This is certainly reflected in the way many people dress: I see Coach bags, designer jeans, and other brand names worn as status symbols.

3. Do you fit in with the status quo around you or do you break the
mold?
While I can’t deny that my surrounding area influences me, I feel like I do break the mold from time to time. For example, I think wearing jeans is something that I’ve grown very comfortable with because I’m surrounded by so many other people who wear jeans. However, I like to experiment with my wardrobe and take risks even if it means I’ll look different from everyone else.

4. If you have lived or traveled to another part of the country/world
did your clothing choices evolve?

I’ve only lived far from where I do now for very short periods of time. I lived in Paris for a month when I was in college, but my clothing choices were influenced mainly by luggage regulations. However, if I did live somewhere else for a significant amount of time, I have no doubt that the city would influence my clothing choices. Even my short stay in Paris led me to purchase things that maybe I wouldn’t have in Kansas.



5. If you had to describe your style by naming a specific city, what
would you be?

I was thinking about that question all day yesterday, and I still don’t have an answer. My style varies from day to day, so I would probably be all over the map. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mini Skirts and Good Luck

La mode: While I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me talk about the weather, I just want to briefly mention that it was 109 degrees here today. 109! And if it were not for the extreme temperatures, you probably wouldn’t be seeing this skirt.


T-shirt: Gap; skirt: thrifted American Eagle; belt: Loft; sandals: Gap

It’s a little too similar to the miniskirts I see students wear, and on them I even think, “Do their parents really let them leave the house dressed like that?”. So does this make me a pot calling the kettle black, or does it just mean I’m getting old? (Ahem, that’s a rhetorical question, mind you.) 




Does extreme weather ever lead you to break your own “fashion rules”?

J’ai de la chance!: [I’m lucky!] August has already proven a lucky month for me. Just this week, I won two different blog giveaways. First of all, I won a product from Perricone MD thanks to Katie of Fashion’s Maven. I chose the Cold Plasma cream, which is one of their top selling products. I’ll let you know how I like it!



Lucky win number two is a piece of Towne and Reese jewelry from Isabel of Walk of Fashion. I can’t wait to style it up! Thank you so much Katie and Isabel!