Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Floral Play

      I'm typically more of a jean and T shirt kind of girl so I have to say that I'm loving the colored denim trend (as seen here and here). Colored denim allows me to instantly dress up even the most basic of outfits. I can't tell you how many simple black/white/grey tops I own that now have a bright partner to pair with them. And I know I mentioned this last week, but really has the best selection of basic and trend denim in the largest array of sizes and inseams (petite, plus, and tall) that I have seen! Did you happen to catch their pant sale over memorial weekend, buy one get one 50% off! 

      I wore these baby blue pants out on a Sunday to Wisteria Antiques with my pal Sharon (Coincidentally she is also the person responsible for taking these photos). It was overcast on this particular day but I felt like all the color I had on instantly lifted my spirits. Oh and this yellow knit hat I've got on? Well normally I buy a bunch of cheap hats at Forever 21 and end up having to throw them out at the end of the season... Two winter's ago I purchased this one from Santa Cruz Hat company and it still looks brand spanking new, what more could a girl as for?

Hat- Santa Cruz Hat Company, Coat- Vintage, Watch- Michael Kors, Pants- H&M, Bag- Michael Kors, Shoes- Miu Miu (Previously worn here)


Monday, May 28, 2012

DIY: Eggshell & Floral Centerpiece

      My garden is in bloom and full of fresh flowers that I desperately want to bring in doors. I'm always on the hunt for interesting ways to display floral arrangements using things I already have at home. I knew if I made this recipe that I would have egg shells left over. I made sure to crack each egg carefully with a spoon to create small bud vases. Finally, I filled all the washed and dried shells with a bit of water and fresh cut flowers from my backyard. The ceramic egg tray makes for a nice low centerpiece allowing for easy table conversation as well. However, I've been wanting to carry my floral and egg shell centerpiece into my room and use the left over egg slots to display my small jewelry!

Step 1: Crack eggs carefully with a spoon to create "vases."

Step 2: Empty the shells and wash with very cold water then allow to dry.

Stand eggs in a ceramic egg tray or egg pedestals,
fill with water and flowers, then display!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Small Morsels:

Just a preview...

      I mentioned last week that things were a bit crazy  which was an understatement, but I made it thru! Being that it is a holiday weekend, Santa Cruz is (per usual this time of year) filled with colorful visitors from out of town. The sun sadly hasn't shown much of her pretty face yet, but we're managing over here. I mean there is still plenty of beach to enjoy, great local food, and grilling in my backyard. Hope you all are enjoying an extra day off tomorrow!

Fellow bridesmaid at my friend Shayla's lovely wedding.

Masculine inspired decorating: A turtle skull my father found beachside. 

Four layer red velvet cake i made for my boyfriend on his birthday. 

A practical shoe choice + knobby knees. 

Milk glass punch bowl set found at my local Salvation Army.
Paper toys that I wanted to take home with me. 


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chanel Nail Polish:

Chanel Nail Polish

Chanel Nail Polish by nsaich featuring chanel nail polish

      Recently, while shopping for a birthday gift for a friend in the mall...I may or may not have snuck over to the Chanel makeup counter and proceeded to paint my nails with polish. In essence, procuring a free manicure using designer nail varnish. Please tell me that I am not the only person who does this?! I selected Black Satin for my nails, but you can view a full list of all of the colors you see here by clicking the link below the photo.


Friday, May 25, 2012

High Sea Mayhem:

      Everyone, I want you to meet Bridgett! She's my best girl friend here in Santa Cruz and also the woman responsible for taking these photos. Bridgett and I became friends as freshmen in high school and we happened to live near each other which meant that we would walk each other to and from school. Now that we are grown and over the age of 21 we can walk each other home after long nights dancing downtown.  She was also kind enough to allow me to style her and snap a few photos to share! How lucky am I to have such an amazing friend?

      I love Bridgett's style and eye for knowing when to spend and when to save. Her vintage clothing collection is one that I have been borrowing and raiding since I was 16! Bridgett's biggest fashion indulgence? She swears by quality, comfortable, and sleek shoes. 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Garden Therapy:

     I had mentioned that I had started a garden back in this post and thought it might be nice to share a couple photos with you all. My small but growing garden has been really exciting for me because many of the things I have planted are edible! As someone who loves to cook, it's great having fresh ingredients on hand. As for vegetables, I have planted: tomatoes (red & yellow), radishes, broccoli, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, zuchini, cucumbers, and carrots. I have plenty of fresh herbs including: rosemary, yellow sage, basil (three kinds), tarragon, lime thyme, parsley, lemon verbena, cilantro, spearmint, chives, Marjoram, chamomile, lavender, chocolate mint, peppermint, oregano, and pineapple sage. And flowers are scattered thru out the garden, some of those are even edible too! It's been so nice to enjoy meals outside on the patio and enjoy life's simple pleasures (like planting something as tiny and insignificant as a seed and watching it sprout into a vegetable). My only regret is that I didn't start planting a garden as soon as I moved in! 

Tomatoes and Missoni for Target flats. 

Adorable succulent in a tea cup planter.

Hanging oriental orange lotus flower that sways with each light breeze.

Watching leaves emerge from the soil is so rewarding!

Outdoor centerpiece dresses up a collapsible wrought iron patio set from Target.  

       Not only is gardening a relaxing hobby but I hope to save a few bucks this year by growing my own produce and herbs. After putting a few plants in the ground and aquiring an outdoor patio set, it's like having a whole additional room in the Spring and Summer months as well!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In a tree, I-N-G!

      It's no secret that I am a big fan of trees (as seen in this post) and perhaps the reason why is that I don't feel like an absolute giant amongst them. When you are well over 6 feet tall it can be a bit difficult to blend in but I feel right at home with all the trees here in the Santa Cruz mountains. 
      Another issue that us tall folk (and petites!) deal with on a daily basis that make us stand out amongst a crowd is dealing with pant hemlines. If you are petite then you at least have the option to get things hemmed to fit. If you are as tall as I am... you may not be able to even find long enough pants. I wear a 37 inch inseam and locating a pair of pants that are long enough can be a severe challenge. Lucky for me (and you!), I was introduced to a few years back. This website offers an amazing selection of fashion denim in a huge variety of lengths (petites.... no more hemming!) and sizes. In addition to variety, Alloy also offers extremely low prices!  Alloy's price point of $30 dollars a pair gets me each and every time. If you have issues with finding jeans or dress pants in the appropriate length, I strongly encourage you to visit Alloy's online store! I was able to finally score some colored denim and I couldn't be more thrilled with owning pants that aren't high waters or capris. 

Hat- Ross, Sun Specs- Oliver Peoples, Denim Jacket- Gap, Top-
Ann Taylor,Bag- Vintage Gucci, Pants- Alloy, Shoes- Max Studio 


PS: All photos shot by S.Claitor

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bacon & Apple Potato Salad:

      Let me stay honest with you guys, I had NEVER made a potato salad until I came up with this recipe for Bacon & Apple Potato Salad. True story that I am rather ashamed of. Recently, my friend Katia came by with a batch of "tatter salad" and I my creativity was instantly ignited. This hearty potato dish is fantastic as a side to any main course but honestly, with this salad's crisp bacon bits, sweet chunks of apple, and perfectly cooked boiled eggs, it's perfect as an entire breakfast meal!

(Italian flat leaf parsley from my garden)

Magic Ingredients:
-2 pounds of red skinned potatoes
-6 slices of bacon, cooked/chopped into bite sized pieces
-1/2 of an apple sliced into bite sized pieces
- Italian parsley chopped 
- 2 hard boiled eggs chopped into bite sized pieces 
-1/3 of a cup mayonnnaise
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste

1: Chop the potatoes into bite sized pieces and boil in a large pot of salted water until just cooked. 

2: While the potatoes are cooking, mix the mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice together to form a creamy dressing.

3: Strain the potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl with all remaining ingredients as well as dressing. Mix until just combined, then devour!

     I like to serve mine topped with a sprinkling of poppy seeds for a slight extra crunch and extra fresh lemon juice! This potato salad recipe is perfect for summer time picnics and BBQs and the bacon makes it a universal palette pleaser! 

Do you have a special family recipe for potato salad? I'd love to hear it!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Small Morsels:

(Preview of an upcoming style post)

      This past week has been jam packed with celebratory activities like birthdays and weddings. I've been stressing myself out with insisting on hand crafting my own cards, baking the perfect confections, and ensuring that every detail goes according to plan (I'm not kidding when I say it's one thing after another!). Amidst all the chaos I took a moment to appreciate all the small, seemingly insignificant moments to bring myself back down to earth and remain calm. Looking back, I've realized that the majority of my happy moments involve food...

Pretty roses at Wisteria Antiques.

Adorable fruit tarts!

Figuring out how to use my grill while making marinated short ribs and quinoa salad.

A variety of quirky items at a local antique store I love.

Ribs/fries/corn bread lunch at Ikea.

Fresh asparagus that I ended up using in risotto.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zig & Zag

      I love that this ensemble almost looks like a dress. In reality I'm wearing this American Apparel skirt with a Missoni for Target scarf that I tied (securely) into a top. I know I say this all the time but it is so important for my clothing to be versatile. Apartment dwelling doesn't offer spare closet space for any other option! 

      Another example for making the most out of your scarves is to wear them as a belt (like I did in this post). 

Sunglasses- Oliver Peoples, Scarf(worn as top)- Missoni for Target, Skirt- American Apparel (previously worn here and here), Cuffs- Gifted, Clutch- Kate Spade, Shoes- Miu Miu 


      I know you guys are likely tired of seeing me wear this skirt (which I also own in orange) but I plan on sporting it all summer long, maybe even with other scarves. If it's not broken, don't fix it right?! 


PS: All photos were shot by B. Dalke