Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - Raleigh Style

Kate Spade bag (older), RayBan classic aviators, Stacking rings from Magpie,  Target Spike necklace exact
Overpacking is usually a problem when I travel.  I'm in a rush after planning and packing 4 kiddos wardrobes.  I usually end up with a lot of clean clothes that have to be washed anyway/mixed in with dirty ones in the suitcase/not worn.  I was still rushed this trip after being home with sick kiddos all week, but luckily my friend Pinterest and Blog-land came to the rescue.  I hit my inspiration board, printed a few choices, whipped together 5 outfits, used duplicate pieces especially shoes to save space in the carry-on, took photos with my camera phone so I wouldn't forget what went with what, popped it in that tiny bag and away I went.
Diba black boot exact here or  option here , DIY denim shorts, Old Navy black tank and long tee
I took the big cardigan out at the last minute and wore this with my moto jacket instead.
This is my what I wore Wednesday outfit because it incorporates the most layers.  Brrrr. It is still winter folks no matter what the retailers are telling us!
Old Navy green Rockstar skinnies, Forever XXI dark gray tank and sweatshirt and Black Blazer

Linking up with:
pleated poppy

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Monday, February 25, 2013

My Trip to Raleigh Durham

I went to Raleigh-Durham this weekend for a catch-up with my college roommates.  We all met at Washington University in St. Louis a "few" years ago. Ha! Anne and Tania live in Durham and Raleigh, I live in Little Rock, Kelleen lives in Phoenix, and Josie lives in Los Angeles.  We span the country and we haven't all been together in 7 years.
I don't travel alone often so there were some comical moments in the airport - taking off a bracelet and having it bust into 20 pieces, thinking I was connecting through one city only to find out it was a completely different connection (almost missed my flight!).  The highlight was this yummy brunch in Baltimore.  No complaints about this airport food!

Arriving Thursday night we went straight to late dinner and drinks at Angus Barn in Raleigh  .  This premier steak restaurant is somewhat of a landmark having been established in 1960 at this location and remaining largely unchanged.  We had a selection of bar food bites and "one or two" drinks in their Wild Turkey Lounge!  The next day we took a tour around Raleigh including the train station, contemporary art museum and Raleigh denim workshop.  Raleigh is high end denim hand sewn in this workshop.  You can walk in and watch the designers and seamstresses (don't know the male alternative) at work in a very vintage environment.  The shop is cool and funky with a ceiling covered in paper airplanes.  Available locally, Raleigh only retailed through Barney's until opening their own storefront in New York City.  Right now you can also find some sweet deals on their denim at   We continued checking out other shops in Raleigh.  I was surprised to discover Benetton is alive and well!  Probably haven't shopped in one since Wash U.  Got a couple of cute purchases and spring styling inspirations there which I'll show in another post.
Angus Barn

Raleigh brand denim workshop and store
Dinner that night at a swell Tapas restaurant, Mateo Tapas in Durham.  The food was amazing and this is clearly a hot spot because it was packed!

Our local hosts husbands' joined us for dinner.  Billy and Todd were kind enough to take over the kid duties for the weekend and allow us girls to have a nice long visit.

Brunch Saturday morning at Durham's Guglhupf, followed by a quick tour of Duke's campus.  I hadn't been on the campus since 1989 when I toured as a high school applicant!  Despite the rain, or perhaps enhanced by it, the campus quad and buildings are  just gorgeous.  We checked out Billy's office and the bookstore, only feeling slightly older than the rest of the campus tour groups!!  

More shopping in Durham commenced.  Absolutely loved the high end consignment store Fifi's which has a location in both Raleigh and Durham.  Another great store in Durham was Magpie's where I picked up great gifts.  And of course a stop at the local pub, Federal for mid-afternoon refreshments! While there I was reminded of the industry that put Durham on the map-tobacco! I, of course, associate Bull Durham with baseball via the movie starring Kevin Costner, and was reeducated on the historical facts tying this famous name to baseball.  During this trip I realized I have an affinity for a nice basic bathroom sign.  "Women" clear, to the point, no need for questions.  This after mistaking a rooster for a chicken at Angus Barn and hiding out in a stall for a few painful moments!

A great big hug to my great friends Anne and Tania for hosting the weekend, to Billy for giving up his home for the weekend so we could crash their house, all the family who helped with kiddos and to my girlfriends for valuing this old friendship enough to keep it going for 20 years. Love you.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

michael kors spring inspo

Michael Kors Spring Catalog arrived in the mail today.  Much fun on a gray, sleety, stay in sweats, kids are home sick kinda day.  This look inspired me to create based on items I have and the ones I would like to own from Michael Kors.  This is my What I Wore Wednesday, enjoy!

michael kors spring inspo

J crew top

Michael Kors wedge heels

Michael Kors chronograph watch

Michael kors jewelry

Michael kors jewelry

Linking up with:

pleated poppy

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Wheat Belly #6 or gluten free anyway

 Sick monkeys again.  #2 and #3 are down with what looks like the flu, but could be just viral. Truthfully, I'm not sure it makes a hill of beans difference what it is.  Just hoping it moves on quickly and with no more casualties!  So with two in bed and a rainy, stormy holiday to "enjoy", #1 and I did some gluten free cooking.  This first recipe that #1 prepared is not truly "wheat belly" since it has quite a few carbs.  It is gluten free and kid friendly. These gluten free Chex cereals were already in the pantry which led to the inspiration.  Its a mash-up of recipes from the boxes.

Chex Mix Mash-Up
3 cups Cinnamon Chex
3 cups Rice Chex
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate morsels
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped or halves

Melt butter with sugar, syrup, and vanilla in large bowl. Toss in Chex cereals.  Heat in microwave 1 minute at a time, stirring after each minute for a total of 6 minutes.  Allow to cool a bit and then mix in chocolate chips and pecans.  Enjoy!    There are 164 calories per serving; 23 carbs; 7.8 grams of fat.

Two products I've been introduced to recently and must say LOVE, are Franks RedHot original sauce and the all breast meat canned chicken (Tyson or Hormel are the two I've tried).  I first used the Franks to make buffalo cauliflower for a maytag salad. Great flavor, totally reminds me of chicken wings.  Today I used it to make a chicken chili.  I used my own variation on this recipe found on  The reviews said it was too soupy to be a chili, but I found by reducing the amount of liquid and letting it simmer down the consistency was just right.  

 Canned Chicken Chili Soup
2 cans chicken breast, partially drained
1 can mild Rotel tomatoes with green chili
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can beans, your choice(I used red beans)rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp cumin
2 tblsp chili powder
2 tblsp Franks RedHot sauce
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water

In large pot, saute onion and pepper in olive oil about 5 minutes, add garlic stir for one minute. Add all the rest of the ingredients, stir well and leave to simmer for one hour.  Consistency varies and simmering another 30 minutes should reduce liquid even more.
Per serving, 114 calories, 10 grams protein, 12 carbs, 1.3 fat.
My husband said he could eat it every week.  Even went so far as to say I could sell this "soup" but he might have been buttering me up at that point!  Enjoy!
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Friday, February 15, 2013

TGIF - Valentine Recap

Friday and the start of  long weekend.  The sun is shining and we are all healthy.  The busy, bustle of Valentines is over and the sugar high continues.  Not me of course, being wheat free low carb and all...yeh right.  I indulged in a fat piece of chocolate cheesecake for date night with spouse-o.  Delightful.  Here's the holiday recap in photos.

Self portrait. Harder than it looks. Requires serious wrangling of camera and maneuvering self in front of mirror.  Plus making sure one is not being observed, not squinting, grimacing or otherwise making even bigger fool of oneself.  Its hard to be a blogger! (giggle)
Gap denim jacket; Forever XXI scarf and sweatshirt; Santuary denim jeans from Dillards; Target wedge booties

Braved the printed jeans trend with these on sale now at Target.
Jeans; Target, Wristlet,Kate Spade; Heart and Dog Tag Necklace, David Yurman
Experimenting with lighting. Outdoor and indoor natural light.  Thinking I need a tripod and maybe a wide angle lense.  Or just sit down and read the instruction manual for my DSLR .

Sweater, Forever XXI; Shirt, Old Navy; Tee, Picked up in Scottsdale boutique; Hunter boots
 My craftiness reemerged briefly for valentines for the kiddos.  The youngest two got the creative ones. 10 year old got a box set of Fun Dip and oldest passed out nothing.  Apparently its not cool to pass valentines in middle school.

My annual Valentines Outfit.  Seriously not new but it always works!
Miss Sixty hot pink cords, old.  Banana Republic white button down; Haus Werks Tshirt, local shop

 Captain Heart Break.  Could he be any cuter?  I don't think so, but I'm a bit biased!
Have a great weekend, ya'll!
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Thursday, February 14, 2013


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines are Red and Pink

Valentines Day is tomorrow.  Hearts and love all around.  I've been working on a cutesy Valentines for the four year old in my life.  He will undoubtedly only appreciate the candy not the work.  When hubs comments why I do this stuff, I always reply "its for me. it makes me happy"  And it does. Here I am doing a Valentines' jig in a Valentine inspired ensemble.  Pink and Red, yes.  And I don't even feel like I should be up on a pony.  Hurray the red jacket is redeemed!  

Red Jacket, H&M; Hot Pink tee and jeans, Gap; Leopard flats via Zappos; Red purse, Target
I will be working on my photo skills I came across a link to "3 tips for great indoor photography" and found many other tips on Pinterest.  Clearly I need to work on my settings.  Point and shoot DSLR camera has its advantages, but you can always improve.  I borrowed this bit from Mum'sBusiness and plan to set to work on some new great photos.

Settings: There are a couple of things you can do in camera for better indoor photos.
  • Set your ISO at a minimum of 400. A simple fix for boosting the amount of light without trading off for too much noise in your image. The better the camera, the more you will be able to push this number higher. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • Open your aperture wide – remember the smaller the number the bigger the opening.
  • Watch your shutter speed – anything below 1/60 is going to start to show some camera shake. If you find yourself in this position a lot, invest in a tripod.

Linking up with Shanna Said So and Pleated Poppy.  Happy Wednesday!

pleated poppy

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