Monday, February 29, 2016

Leather and Lace


This time of year in the Midwest is defined by crazy weather. Literally, on Monday it will be 60 degrees and by Wednesday, there's a snowstorm. All of that makes it really difficult to dress and look put together. Luckily, it's also a great time to pull from your winter and your spring wardrobes and experiment with mixing and matching. 


I like to mix and match tough and feminine pieces. It keeps the look interesting and insures that you don't look too girly or too biker chick. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with either of those things, I just like to satisfy all parts of my personality at once. 


I scored this burgundy "leather" jacket at Modcloth during one of their 70% off sales. I don't use the word "score" lightly either, they practically were giving it away. Plus, I love all things burgundy, so it didn't take much convincing to add it to my cart. 


Can we also talk about how happy I am these Adidas shell tops are back in style? I bought my first pair as a freshman in high school and felt like to coolest person on the plant. I'm happy to report that I feel exactly the same way now in these new sneaks. 


I kept the "tough" vibes to my jacket, jeans and sneakers and upped the "feminine" vibe with this lace shirt, shades and makeup. I think it all added up to a well balanced delicate meets tough look. Plus, it was super comfy to boot and that is definitely a win-win in my book! 


Outfit details: Jacket: BB Dakota, Jeans: Rock & Republic, Lace top: Target, Sneakers: Adidas, Purse: Kate Spade Saturday, Sunglasses: Quay 






Friday, February 26, 2016

Winter-to-Spring Sweater Dress


More often that not, sweater dresses are large cable knit or sleek clingy sweater material. Those are all good and fine, but neither of those are super flattering on my pear-shaped figure, so I've lived to this point in my life sweater-dressless. Until this baby came along!

 

This dark floral number with sleeves is perfect for still chilly temperatures of Winter, with a floral flair for Spring. I love the fit and flare style that almost makes it look like separates, but I got it all for the price of one! I was a little nervous about this one because of the reviews on Modcloth (which are seriously the best and most thorough reviews out there), where a lot of folks said it was kind of frumpy and grandma-like. I threw caution to the wind and braved it because I was just too in love with the floral pattern.


Luckily, since everyone is different, what didn't work for other people worked splendidly for me! The waist wasn't especially fitted, but a fun vintage belt of my mom's did the trick to define the waist.  


A mint purse and lace up shoes help gear the look towards spring. A red lip and a baby beehive updo are finishing touches to put a classic spin on the ensemble.


What pieces are you excited about taking from Winter to Spring?

-Molly

Outfit Details: Dress: Modcloth, Shoes: H&M, Necklace: Dress Barn, Ring: Kohl's, Purse: Target, Earrrings: Target (similar), Belt: Vintage

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry Soup

 

We're currently in that weird time of year where it's mostly cold but spring is the light at the end of the increasingly shorter tunnel. The time when we know there's a possibility we could have to wear a swimsuit in like three months so we should probably stop wearing only gigantic sweaters and eating comfort foods and get our lives together. (Just me? Bueller? Bueller?)
 
 
Enter this chicken and sweet potato curry soup: the perfect fit for the downward slope of winter. The curry, ginger, and spices provide the warm, filling, hearty feeling, while crunchy onions and peas keep it fresh, and cilantro and lime brighten it up. It's a whole wonderful mix of flavor and texture that help it feel a little more like spring. It's based on this recipe from Bon Appetit, which has tons of other great recipes for this, and any time of year. Now let's get to it!
 
 
 
 
You'll need: 
   
  • 2 T vegetable oil 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots             
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped         
  • 2 T minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 T Thai yellow curry paste
  • 2 T curry powder
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 2 cans unsweetened coconut milk, divided
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 T fish sauce        
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 cups sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes          
  • 1 lb. dried rice vermicelli noodles        
  • 3/4 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 red jalapeƱos, thinly sliced with seeds
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges 

  •  
     
    Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and ginger; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in curry paste, curry powder, and chili paste. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk (scooped from thick liquid at top of can). Stir until thick and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add remaining coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and sugar; bring broth to boil. Keep warm.
     
    Cook snow peas in large pot of boiling salted water until bright green, about 20 seconds. Using strainer, remove peas from pot; rinse under cold water to cool. Place peas in medium bowl. Bring water in same pot back to boil. Add sweet potato and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Using strainer, remove sweet potato from pot and rinse under cold water to cool. Place in small bowl. Bring water in same pot back to boil and cook noodles until just tender but still firm to bite, about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse.
     
    Bring broth to simmer. Add chicken; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add sweet potato; stir to heat through, about 1 minute. 
     
     
    To serve while hot: divide noodles among bowls. Divide snow peas and hot soup among bowls. Scatter red onion, green onions, cilantro, and jalapeƱos over soup. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.
     
     
     
    Hope you enjoy this comfort-foody, spring-like dish as much as I did! What are your favorite things to cook up as you usher winter out?
     
    -Molly
     
     
     
     

    Monday, February 22, 2016

    Wear it Two Ways: Faux Leather Pants


    Black leather pants aren't just reserved for biker gangs, old rock stars, and Catwoman. They are a fun and versatile basic that can be styled for an everyday look, a chic weekend night out, or, sure, an edgy tough biker vibe. On a "blog research" trip to TJ Maxx together, we both found these equally stylish and comfortable leggings that are leather on the front and thick legging on the back and they ended up in both of our carts. (Weird how that just happens, huh?) See how we style them both below!

    Molly



    My look is chock full of leather. From the leather pants, to my purse, to shoes, to my hair bow, leather is in abundance for this ensemble. To balance it out, a fuzzy blush pink sweater and and red lips play up warm colors as a total juxtaposition to all the sleek black. 


    But black leather can be feminine, too! The bows on the purse and shoes really help soften the look and make it more girly. In contrast, studs on the shirt collar and shoes play up the tough look. All about balance here. I love that the studded collar buttoned all the way to the top helps give a totally '60s vibe.



    Speaking of sixties vibes, as I typically do, a baby beehive hairdo secured with a pink leather bow totally reinforces the retro feel.  


    A black rose ring, a heart-shaped necklace and a pink bow cement the perfect dichotomy between the delicate feminine and the tough leather. Sweet, sleek, and sixties all in one nifty look! 


    Molly's Outfit Details: Leather leggings: TJ Maxx (similar), Sweater: Zara, Collared Shirt: The Limited, Bow: H&M, Shoes: Modcloth, Necklace: Kohl's, Purse: Target

    Jodi 


    Leather leggings are a basic that every fashionista needs in her closet. You can literally wear them with anything. I'm trying to think of something that they would look horrible with and... I got nothin! They are perfect for dressing up or dressing down, for a "cool" dressed down look of course. They look equally cool with a nice blouse or a worn in t-shirt. 


    For this look, I decided to dress them up. My very stylish grandma got me this gold and black lace blouse as a Christmas gift (I come from a long line of stylish women. The fashion force is strong with this one). 


    And you all know how much I love capes, especially blazer capes aka blapes. These items were begging to be put together, so I happily obliged! This look is definitely on the formal side, but it would be a perfect alternative for a more formal event, or just going out for a fancy night on the town. 


    I finished off the look with a sparkly long necklace, a structured bag and leopard print heels. I went with animal print shoes to add a little extra flair and fun and to keep the look from being too stuffy. I know, leather leggings stuffy? You can never be too careful. Rock on with your blape self! 


    Jodi's Outfit Details: Blazer cape: Miss Selfridge (similar, similar), Blouse: CATO, Leather leggings: T.J. Maxx, Heels: Target, Bag: River Island, Necklace: Stitch Fix

    Friday, February 19, 2016

    The Case of the Super Cape


    Boy, do I love a good cape. My husband likes to point out that I have more capes than some people (him) have coats. I can't help it. Something about them just makes me feel invincible. If I'm wearing a cape, you better believe I am strutting my stuff like nobody's business. In a cape you can feel like a superhero, a super model, or Nancy Drew! 


    This cape has been worn many times this winter. It's made of a heavy material so is actually quite warm when paired with a chunky sweater and boots. A perfect combo for when you need to grab your magnifying glass and get down to solving mysteries! Or you know, just looking super chic in the middle of winter. 


    The day we took these pictures, it was the first time the sun had made an appearance in what felt like decades, so I needed to borrow Molly's sunglasses to get through the pictures. I'm super glad I did though because the sunnies really take this look to the next level. As in super Parisian Nancy Drew level! 


    Watch out, I'm gonna solve some capers. Get it? Capers? 


    Oui oui!

    Outfit details: Cape: ASOS, Sweater: MOSS Boutique, Boots: Target, Purse: BCBG





    Wednesday, February 17, 2016

    Rodan + Fields Review


    You've probably heard of Rodan + Fields by now. They've been taking the world by storm over the past few years. We were able to try out a few of the products courtesy of our nearby consultant, Beth Ogilvy. Let's just say, we are sold! This stuff really works!


    First up, we tried the Redefine Macro Exfoliator. This gadget looks just like something out of a space movie, but it's very intuitive and easy to use. It even has a setting called Doc-Smart that walks you through where to place on your face and for how long. It sucks off all of the dead skin and leaves your face and neck feeling smooth and looking positively glowing. 


    The sucking of the exfoliator can be a little unnerving at first, but you quickly get used to it. Once you start seeing your beautiful, vibrant skin you'll be fully on board with this miracle tool. 


    Next up, we tried a micro-dermabrasion paste, night renewing serum, and lip renewing serum (shown from left to right below). 


    The Micro-dermabrasion Paste was an exfoliator that left our skin silky smooth. It's a salt and sugar scrub with vitamins C and E, so it's a great natural exfoliator, and our skin was practically glowing when we rinsed it off.


    The Redefine Night Renewing Serum is a light formula that goes on before a moisturizer. It's kind of hard to describe until you experience it, but it leaves your skin feeling like silk, and it's very lightweight. It made our skin feel great after trying the test capsules, but apparently if you use it over a period of time, you see a noticeable improvement in your skin's texture.



    After that was the Redefine Lip Renewing Serum. A little bit of this goes a long way! It's supposed to hydrate and plump your lips. Personally, and I might be in the minority here, but I don't feel like the lip-plumping department is personally where I need any help, so I'm not sure I saw a noticeable difference, but it was a nice hydrating mask that left my lips soft.


    We also got to try out the Redefine Acute Care Skincare for Expression Lines. These things are little miracle patches. You just place them on your problem areas, aka where you have those little smile lines, and poof! The lines disappear! 


    The set comes with 10 patches and you can see long lasting results after using all 10, but you definitely see results after just the first use. We were amazed how the fine lines just evened themselves out after a few minutes of using one patch.


    Jodi also tried the Soothe line for a week. She was experiencing dry winter skin and red patches due to the cold wind. This line evened out her skin tone and calmed all of the dry, red areas. It's very easy to use too! The bottles are numbered and easily become part of your daily routine. Rodan + Fields have several lines for all different skin types and trouble areas. Check them all out here


    After a morning of pampering we both had glowing, smooth skin. I think it's safe to say we were both sold on the products we tried and can see what all of the hype is about! 



    PS- It's not just for ladies either! Special thanks to Molly's husband who was our male guinea pig.