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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lately 2/11/16

Wearing: While in LA, I was at The Grove with my friends Ava and Mia and we popped into TopShop. It was slightly chilly that night, so while in the store, I found the absolute softest sweatshirt  I've ever felt and immediately purchased it and wore it out of the store. I continued to wear it all day/night the next day, too. It's not typically something I would choose, but the softness is unreal! I definitely recommend it if you are looking for something super cozy to lounge in! I also fell in love with this sweatshirt due to incredible softness, but decided to only choose one... the tiger lost, but it was even softer than the Hamptons one! I'm honestly still considering ordering the Tiger one because it was that soft!

Watching: The Secret Life of Pets trailer. It looks adorable and absolutely hilarious! It comes out this summer! I also just watched Finding Neverland on Netflix which came out in 2004 and is about J.M. Barrie, the famous playwright in the early 1900's who wrote Peter Pan! It stars Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. It's adorable... I definitely recommend it!

Reading: Russell Wilson's tribute to Peyton Manning. This is beyond adorable. I was never a Bronco's fan, but Peyton Manning won my heart. He seems like such a gentleman, full of grace and respect, and you have to appreciate that!

Wanting: Is anyone else SO over winter? The little dose of 75 and sunny I got to experience in LA has me absolutely itching for spring/summer. Luckily, I have a warm weather trip planned for March and another in April, but I am so over this snow! As you can see, I'm eyeing mostly spring/summer things. Can't wait!

Pittsburgh-ing: Have you heard of the amazing Hyperloop? It was a concept introduced by Elon Musk (aka the Tesla guy (and a whole lot more)). It's transportation in a vacuum tube. For example, it would take just 30 minutes to get from LA to San Francisco (usually a 6+ hour drive). Well, schools are competing to design the pods, etc. for Hyperloop and CMU has made it to the final 22 out of over 1,000 entries! Pretty darn cool. I'd like to be able to take the Hyperloop to New York or DC. It's only a 45-minute flight, but to be able to hop there for lunch and be back in no time? SO cool.

Eating: I had SO much good food while in LA, I can't wait to share! But for now, did you catch my delicious low carb recipe I shared earlier this week?!

Drinking: In LA, we went to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Beverly Hills called Spago (more on that to come), but we had a drink there called the Tiffany Twisted. It was made with Piper Heidseick rose, Aperol, St. Germain, and Lemon. It was SO good. I'll definitely be recreating this sometime soon!

This Fuller House sneak peek. So stinking excited!!!! You know what the craziest part of all of this is? I watched Full House mostly in syndication because I was only 5 years old when all 8 seasons had ended in 1995. The first episode premiered 28 years ago... years before I was even born. It's so amazing to me that they're bringing it back almost 3 decades later and my generation can all connect through their love for Full House! Ohhh the nostalgia.

Sale-ing: So many great sales since it is an upcoming holiday weekend! Who has Monday off?! WOO! Club Monaco is offering an extra 30% off sale using code LONGWEEKEND. There are some killer deals. I've already placed two orders. Talbots' end of season clearance is still going on, so you can snag some really great deals, too! J.Crew is seemingly always having some sort of sale, but their sale selection is vast right now with some severely discounted classics. And last, but most certainly not least, Tuckernuck is having a major sale. Think Barbour jackets on major discount! Shop quickly before sizes sell out!

OMG-ing: Totally just made this category up BUT THERE IS AN EIGHTH HARRY POTTER BOOK COMING OUT!!!!!! It's called Harry potter and the Cursed Child and is being released in July!! It is actually a play written by Rowling and is about Harry as a father (about 20 years after the last book). Cannot wait to read!

Quoting: I've been pinning a lot of quotes lately, you can find them all, here. 'It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.' - John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentine's Day Pink Midi Skirt

White Tee (under $20)// Pink Midi Skirt (under $130)
Sunglasses// Nude Sandals  (run small, size up)

Today I'm changing things up a bit from my typical outfits in honor of the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday! Gentlemen, that's this Sunday in case you forgot! How gorgeous and fun is this pink midi skirt (I'm in an xs, runs a little big)?! I saw it and immediately knew I had to make it mine! I felt like it was something out of the ordinary (at least for my closet's standards) and the perfect punch of pink that February needs! I also think it will transition effortlessly into the warmer months. 

It was 70 degrees when I took these photos and it had me itching to be able to wear opened toed shoes all the time again! This is a pair I chose from my post last week about neutral spring/summer shoes. At under $100, they're actually really nice and super comfortable. My suggestion is to size up. I usually wear a size 8 in shoes, which is originally what I ordered. They were super small so I sent them back for an 8.5 and were still small. I finally got a 9 and they fit perfectly. I find that unusual for an open toe shoe, so you've been warned! 

I was a little confused as to what to pair with the skirt when I originally got it. A midi skirt can be so elegant, formal, and ladylike and I didn't have an event coming up that required such a  formal outfit, so I think the plain white tee shirt really dresses it down enough more for everyday wear. I can't tell you how weird it felt just to be wearing a plain white tee shirt. I usually wear the shirt under my sweaters, but I really liked the casual vibe it gave off! If you're like me and love midi skirts, I found some more I absolutely love. They're a great transition piece for winter to spring, and really can work all year round depending on how you style it! 

And guys, in case you need a little help, check out my list of 20 experiential Valentine's Day date ideas! If you're not in love with any of these ideas and would rather go the more traditional route, be sure to check out my Pittsburgh Restaurant Guide (if you live in the city)! My top 5 favorites in Pittsburgh are:
  • Little Tokyo (sushi)
  • Girasole (BYOB, Italian)
  • Soba (martinis and pad thai)
  • The Commoner (for atmosphere and brussel sprouts)
  • Casbah (for Brunch)
  • Honorable mention: Monterey Bay's bar/lounge for the incredible view! 
And for the super last minute, I recommend Bloom That. It's a great flower delivery service-- much chicer and less cheesy than your standard places like 1-800-flowers. I've sent and received flowers via Bloom That (super easy to do right from your phone) and they are always stunning and very Instagram worthy! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Low Carb Recipe: Grilled Chicken Caprese with Quinoa

As I've mentioned before, I've adopted the low-carb lifestyle. I was super strict in January and now I'm slightly more laid back. It's honestly not hard for me to eat low-carb... it kind of comes naturally. Sure, I'd love a bagel here and there or a brownie, but my cravings have really subsided! 

I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at 'normal' times, but they're smaller meals. Then I snack a ton throughout the day on things like turkey breast with mustard, a scrambled egg, a piece of turkey sausage, hummus and carrots, sauteed zucchini, tuna/chicken salad, etc. My favorite thing to eat is turkey breast with melted colby jack and top it off with diced onions, pickles, jalapenos, and mustard and wrap it up in lettuce like a burrito. It's so good and so filling. Not to mention it's really easy to make/eat for lunch. 

I've also noticed it's pretty easy to eat out, which is where I thought I'd have the biggest problem. I just make slight tweaks to whatever I order. For example, the other night, I ordered a bun-less burger and instead of fries as the side, I had brussel sprouts. I will say that I try to eat at home as much as possible. Two weeks ago, I shared a low-carb zucchini boat recipe, and today the recipe is for grilled chicken caprese. 

I made this up completely on a whim with what I had laying around, but I'm sure there are variations on Pinterest, too!

Here's what you'll need:
Grape tomatoes 
Red Onion
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt, Pepper 
Roasted Garlic 
Shredded Mozzarella 
Chicken Breasts 

Step 1:
Season/marinate your chicken the way you prefer. You will be grilling it. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. While that sits, chop up the tomatoes, red onion, and basil. Toss that in a baking pan with a dash of olive oil, dash of balsamic vinegar, roasted garlic (you know the kind that comes preroasted in a glass jar), and salt and pepper to tase. As you can tell I'm not one to follow recipes, I like to improvise! 

Step 2:
Pop the baking dish into the oven for about 10-15 minutes until everything looks nice and roasted. 

Step 3:
Grill your chicken.

Step 4:
Lay the breasts flat into the baking dish and mix the roasted veggies overtop. 

Step 5:
Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese. The more the better, in my opinion! Place back in over for about 10 minutes. 

Step 6:
Make your quinoa. I like to substitue chicken broth instead of water when making quinoa, it gives it a lot more flavor! 

Once you've removed your dish from the oven, you're ready to eat! The extra tomatoes/juice that comes from the baking pan is excellent overtop of the quinoa! Not the prettiest picture, but this has to be one of my favorite meals! Do you have any favorite low-carb recipes? 

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Barbour Look for Less

The Barbour Jacket Look for Less

My Barbour jacket definitely makes my 'best purchases ever' list. It also makes my 'closet staple list', my 'favorite pieces' list, shall I go on? Needless to say, I. Love. My. Barbour. Jacket. I have the classic Beadnell in olive but also have the Land Rover x Barbour jacket in sage (sold out). I love them both. They're timeless, casual, but also have a quiet elegance about them. 

Barbour is not an inexpensive brand, but for good reason. Their pieces are meticulously made and are meant to last a lifetime. If you are in the market for a Barbour jacket and it is your first one, my suggestion is to go with the Barbour Beadnell in olive. This is the classic jacket that you see on pretty much everyone. The olive color is the true classic Barbour 'green' and the classic plaid only comes with the olive. 

However, if you aren't ready to take the $400+ plunge, there are still some other great options that are well under that hefty price tag! With spring just around the corner (the groundhog said so!!), I've pulled some of my favorites that seem to be the most comparable. Scroll through the above widget to check them out! Are you a Barbour fan?!