Friday's Fancies::April Showers

How do I plan to keep a smile on my face during the upcoming gloomy April showers?  I thought you would never ask.  You're so thoughtful.

And to answer your question, I will wear bright accessories.  Do I have bright necklaces? Yes. Do I have any other bright jewelry? No. The rest is all silver or gold.  Timeless yet not nearly as fun as these beauties below:

As for earrings, the brighter the better.  And for the rings, the more the merrier.  I am in need of some put a smile on your face because I'm so pretty jewelry.  I am headed to NYC on Monday and expecting to find some fabulous pieces.  Which leads me to my next point that the no shopping until Easter will be put on hold while I'm in NYC.   I hope you understand as I don't know the next time I'll be in NYC and well, frankly, I don't have the will power.  Honesty counts for something, right?!

As for my weekend, I'll be heading home tonight for my first official night of Spring Break and getting a munch needed mani/pedi with my mom on Saturday. Sunday will be spent celebrating one of my hilarious Uncle's birthdays with the family and prepping for my trip some more.  Let's just say I only know how to over pack. 

Any big weekend plans?

Per usual, linking up with {long distance loving}

[Message to Mother Nature: let it be noted that I am by no means hoping for lots of gloomy, rainy days in April especially not on April 22nd as I will have birthday festivities to attend to Love, Carly]


Operation Organized Closet

On Tuesday, I was over at Living Savvy sharing some closet organization tips.  Just in case you missed the post, I thought I would share it here today, as I think it's really important to keep this an organized space plus it's about time you did some spring cleaning.

Before you jump the gun and start color coding your closet, take a deep breath and let's chat.  Color coding is great and all, but should not be your first step.  First and foremost, you must de-clutter.   You need to be able to see your selection of pieces.  Having a jam packed closet can end up being more stressful than you would think and leads to those, "I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!" moments.  With a great selection of basic pieces, you can mix and match and wear them different ways.

I am beyond guilty of holding on to pieces that I just might wear again.  Newsflash: you probably won't.  Sorry, I'm dishing out some tough love today.  You'll thank me later...maybe. I haven't grown since probably the 8th grade so I kept everything.  If you're stuck on this part.  After wearing a piece from your closet, when you hang it up, turn the hanger the other way so you're getting a better sense of what you're wearing and what you're not wearing.  Reassess every few months.  Then it's time to donate! Find a family member or friend that you can give some of pieces to because it's so nice to see someone getting wear out of your old clothes and then donate the rest!

 {so much neutral}

Organize based on type of clothing: sleeveless tops, short sleeve blouses, long sleeve blouses, basic tops, cardigans, chunky knits, etc.  Once you have organized by types of pieces, then you can organize by color.  Two good things come from this: you can find a very specific piece easily and you can see what you have too much of or too little of in your closet.  For example, after organizing this way, I learned that my idea of adding color to my wardrobe is only buying blue and pink,  I have WAY too many grey and neutral chunky knit sweaters and that all of my tank tops are prints.

{just a handful, see what I mean}

 {pretty set on prints but could use more solid pieces}

How I can apply my organizing to shopping [this would obviously be different for you]:
I should not buy another grey or neutral sweater for quite some time.  I should invest in more colorful pieces, not blue though, and also find some more solid color pieces because those are what I could mix and match and layer.

Ways to vary how you wear pieces:
Tuck in an oversize blouse that you normally wear with leggings, add a belt, wear a different necklace or scarf, roll up the sleeves on a sweater or blouse, pair unexpected patterns,
and layer, layer, layer!

 It has been so much easier for me to get ready in the morning, and I hope you have the same results.


Wishful Wednesday

Somewhere along the way while creating this wish list, I created an outfit.  Now, for the summer, I would definitely pair this to-die-for maxi with a white tank top for a great contrast with the baubles, but on a chillier night, the long sleeve floral Topshop piece would be a great addition of pattern and pastel.

Dabney Bib Necklace // Topshop Lily Drape Front Blouse // J.Crew Sardina Wedge Espadrilles // Rebecca Minkoff 'Mac-Mini' Clutch // Zara Maxi

Coral may have recently surpassed mint on my favorite color list. Or it's a tie.  I don't know.  I just love them both, that's for sure. Don't make me choose. 

I am still on the hunt for the perfect casual wedge.  Any other suggestions?!


Arm Party

Remember when I was obsessing over BaubleBar last week and in major need of some arm candy?  Well, I got inspired by the fabulous Lauren of Stylized Existence and used two necklaces last week to create my first arm parties.

Feedback from third graders:
On the red pants: "Wow, your pants are...different."
On the necklace as a bracelet: 
 "Um, Ms. H, you have on a lot of bracelets."
"It's actually a necklace."
"Ohhhhhh...[walks away, unimpressed]"

J. Crew Baubles {old} // Michael Kors Watch

What are your thoughts on using necklaces as bracelets? Are you as skeptical as my third graders?

I'm clearly all for it, especially when I'm on a spending freeze. It's great to use what you have in a different way.  Makes me love these pieces even more.

Today, you can find me over at Living Savvy chatting about closet organization! Thanks so much for having me, Tiffany!


Desktop Dreaming

Happy Monday, lovlies! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

After three days of no Internet, it was finally back up and running on Saturday!  I lived at Starbucks for a few days and had the productive weekend I really needed to have.  That being said, I am in need of a gorgeous space to get my work done, which is not the case right now.  I would get so much done if this were my office:


And I would be extra pleased if these were on my desk:

The pencils from Design Darling really do have all the things I love on them.  I would just need to find a cute way to display them.  And who wouldn't want to receive that card? It puts a smile on my face even without any writing on it.  As for the notebook and notepad, nothing like adding a little more fun and style to getting organized.
Do you have a desktop necessity?


Friday's Fancies::March Madness

Red and white.  

They have been my school colors since I was a freshman in high school, and I have loved them ever since.  Even during my fifth year at UW-Madison.  Besides cheering on my beloved Badgers (if you haven't been to Camp Randall for Jump Around and the 5th Quarter you are really missing out), I love finding the perfect little red dress, LRD if you will.  Did you like how I avoided all discussion of last night's basketball game thus far? Today, is focused on a spring/summer appropriate piece.  Red + aqua has been one of my favorite combos lately.  Add gold into the mix and you have perfection my friends.

So do you love the LRD as much as (or more than) the LBD or what?

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I will be focusing on applying for jobs and catching up on sleep. 

PS: I would love to make some bracelets and necklaces and have been searching for the perfect chains, thick and thin.  Any suggestions on where to find some?


As always, linking up with {long distance loving}


Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

With this gorgeous weather we're having, I wanted something lighter on the menu this week. I discovered this recipe and had to try it right away. To make the recipe a little lighter, I used Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil and opted to not put the bacon bits in, although I have no doubt those would be extraordinary with this mix of flavor though.



  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package pasta
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli 
  • 1 cup Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved 


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small piece.
  4. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir pecans into salad just before serving.


Ann Taylor Nuetrals

I just had to share these beauties with you.  I love neutrals, I love bags, I love belts.  Why not combine all three? Ann Taylor so kindly did so for me. How thoughtful.

Ann Taylor Leather Strap Clutch {on sale $119} // Ann Taylor Leather Strap Tote {$298}

Which would you choose? 

Wishful Wednesday

Well, I survived the ridiculousness that was the past 10 days.  Lead teaching, conferences, and St. Patrick's Day weekend.  And somehow I only managed to be out sick one day this week. My apologies for being MIA, but sometimes life is just crazy.  I know we all have busy weeks/months/years and somehow we always make it through.  Cheers to that.   However, I don't think life will slow down all too much until graduation on May 19th [ummm that's less than 2 months away, WHAT?!].  But in reality, I would rather be busy than bored.  I truly can't remember the last time I was bored so I'll take that as a good sign. 

Growing up, my parents made a big deal about birthdays.  While I love my birthday, I really do love celebrating friends' and family's birthdays just as much as my own, if not more.  That being said, my birthday is just one month (and a day) away so why not get a little wishful the next few Wednesdays?
J.Crew Tillary Tote // Tory Burch "Miller" Sandals {cough size 8 cough}

As for my first Wishful Wednesday, I went for two classics.  These timeless pieces can be paired with any of the latest trends: floral, neon, pastel. That's why I love them even more.  Not only are they beautiful, they are versatile. Win, win.

Trust me, the next Wishful Wednesdays will be filled with much more color.

What are you wishing for these days?


Get the Look::Rachel Bilson

I may or may not have a girl crush on Rachel Bilson.  Yes, this look is from 2011, but I would thoroughly enjoy wearing this look with this ridiculous weather we're having in the Midwest. Not to mention I love anything tangerine.

Wear this for a night out with girlfriends, some weekend shopping, or a casual date sipping on some margaritas and eating chips and guac (my personal favorite).

{image via}


St. Patrick's Day Recap

Hope you all had a fabulous St. Patrick's Day weekend!  Our shows went extremely well on Saturday.  We got standing ovations at both, and one older woman after the show told me she was inspired to dance again.  That's why I love performing and love getting to talk to the audience after a show.  I am sick and exhausted now, but it was all worth it.  Only 363 more days until we get to do it all over again!

While I didn't wear green on Saturday because we had to be in our warm ups for rehearsal, I did take casual Friday to a whole new level with my Milwaukee Irish Fest shirt, but I thought it was extremely appropriate.

Still confused on what I do? Here's a quick taste of what we did during our 2010 tour in Japan. Best of luck trying to find me :)

How did you celebrate the best holiday of the year?!


Friday's Fancies::St. Patrick's Day Edition

Only one day away from my favorite holiday of the year! What better way to celebrate than to bring out some green pants?! Although, with this gorgeous weather we're having, you will probably be rocking some capris or shorts.  I'll be dancing Saturday day and night away and teaching little nuggets how to Irish dance for their first time on Sunday. But, anyways, I love these pants, so back to them.

Alice + Olivia High Waist Wide Leg Pant // TOPSHOP Stripe Bow Back Vest // Michael Kors Rose Golden Fireball Earrings // ASOS Clutch {similar-currently sold out} // GRETTTA Steve Madden Blush // Stella and Dot Serpent Bangle

Stripes and a bow. Need I say more?  And this gorgeous serpent bangle needs to join my arm party ASAP.  If you haven't noticed, I'm all about mixing metals.  I show no discrimination when it comes to silver, gold, or rose gold.  My personal opinion is the more the merrier.  And let's not forget how perfect these blush platforms would be as an addition to any shoe collection.  Wear them with wide leg pants, a mini skirt, summer dress, jeans and a classic white tee, you name it. They're a gorgeous, versatile piece.

So while I'm at rehearsal in lululemon and performing in my Irish dance costumes, I'll be envisioning myself sipping a fruity green drink in this ensemble.

What are your St. Patrick's Day plans??


Arm Candy

I am in need of some major arm candy.  I typically wear my gold MK watch with my David Yurman bracelet.  Ya, that's it.  I'm bored just typing that.  No arm party for this girl.  In need of some serious stackable pieces. This is where BaubleBar comes in. So many beautiful pieces.  Did I mention that my birthday is in April and that it never hurts to plan ahead? Oh, okay. Just checking. 

 But yes, I am partial towards the Think Pink Strand and the Roseland Disco Wrap.  The Gold Open Bangle Set + Disco Ball Bangle would be gorgeous layered. I think I would mix and match these four pieces the most.

Update: My favorite Think Pink Strand must have sold out last night or this morning after I put this post together. You can bet I will be stalking to see if it returns to the back in stock. Even though I still can't buy it until April 8th.

I have loved BaubleBar since the first time I discovered the website, but I had to share my BB love with you all because of my most recent purchase.  I bought a gift for a friend (remember I gave up shopping for Lent so no it was not for me!).  First and foremost, amazingly fast shipping.  Secondly, I am an idiot and couldn't understand how to make the bracelet bigger. Still can't tell you which bracelet because the friend has yet to receive said bracelet.

  I emailed BaubleBar and got a response extremely fast from the fabulous Nina.  Then I proceeded to make my sister follow her instructions since the bracelet was left at home (Thanks, A!), and we still couldn't figure it out (We're ridiculous, I know.  It's been one of those weeks).  I emailed Nina again. She then sent me a video, and we sorted everything out.  How amazing is that?! Best. Customer. Service. Ever.  So thank you BaubleBar for your patience and gorgeous products. Nina, you are fantastic.  

And to top it all off, free shipping on all orders and returns.  I know where I'll always be shopping, do you?!

Which bracelet would you pick? Any other recommendations?


Liebster Award & "Tagged" Answers

Well, this post is long overdue

The fabulous Dana so kindly gave me the Liebster Award at the end of December.  And then the equally talented Laura gave me the award earlier this month.  I was also tagged by Tiffany and have some questions to answer.  So get ready for another random post all about yours truly.

Liebster Award Rules

1. Choose 5 other up-and-coming blogs to award the Liebster to. These blogs must each have FEWER than 200 followers 
2. Show thanks to the blogger who gave me the award and link back to them (double check!)
3. Post the award on the blog (check!)
4. List the bloggers I gave the awards to with links to their site, and leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award. (that'll be coming up shortly!)
5. Share 5 random facts about myself that my followers might not know.
1. I am addicted to desserts. I can eat healthy all day, but put any type of sweet food in front of me, and I will devour it in a blink of an eye.  I think it all stemmed from these moments. Poor quality, but I promise it is worth the 43 seconds total.

2. I only like tomatoes if they're diced.  Sliced or halved tomatoes just aren't making the cut for me.

3. I have Irish danced on Good Morning America twice.  One of which, was during a very awkward braces stage.  Awesome. I will let you search for that if your heart so desires. You will not find me posting a link here.

4. To get a little more specific with my hatred for seafood...I can't even look at fish when people are eating it.  I used to put up a row of cereal boxes if my parents were eating it for dinner.  No thank you.

5. I broke my arm on my parents anniversary and the day before my first day of kindergarten.  Good one.  The doctor said he only sees about two breaks a year like the break I had.  I wore two different casts. One was white and went 3/4 up my arm, and here was the other gem:
 Ya go ahead and laugh it up. There are so many things to say about this picture that I won't even begin. 

This week, I would like to pass the award onto these blogging beauties:
One Stylish Day at a Time: Miranda provides fabulous outfit inspiration and has me swooning over her bag collection she has going on lately.  She creates beautiful ensembles and the most amazing roundups of products and pieces you need to know about.
Miss Dixie: Where to start? First of all, Katie is just the sweetest.  I love her style when it comes to decor and fashion.  She shares delicious recipes and gives us a look into how projects are going in her beautiful home. I promise that you will get some great ideas over at her lovely blog.
east. love. west: Tina has been sharing some perfectly put together outfit posts lately.  She pays great attention to detail.  She also creates some seriously outstanding inspiration boards of outfits I need, stat.
It's the Little Things: Do you like to laugh and pretty things? Yeah, I thought you would say yes.  Taylor is my go-to girl for recaps and don't even get me started on how amazing her Coffee Talk posts are.  And then of course her style shines through on her wishlists, which always result in me adding more things to my own.
York Avenue: Jackie always amazes me with her wide range of topics on the blog.  From interior design, fashion, restaurant reviews, book reviews, recipes (I could keep going), she does it all, and more importantly, does it well.  She has great tips for living in a smaller space and a beautiful apartment to call home. 

On to my 11 questions from Tiffany:

1.  How many times a day do you check email, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest? 
You really don't want to know.  I feel like I am always on them? That's sad. I am aware of my problem.

2.  What is your favorite reality show?
Does Rachel Zoe count?

3.  Where would you have a vacation house?
 Australia. I miss it dearly.

4.  Heels or flats?
Don't make me choose.  Depends on the occasion and some days I just don't feel like looking up at everyone else.

5.  If you weren't {current career path} you would be ________
Doing something with graphic design.

6.  Hoarder, Donate, or throw away?
Combination of donate or throw away

7.  Favorite fast food place
Subway.  Culvers is my guilty pleasure.  I haven't had it forever but in high school I used to rush home from dance practice before it closed and would get a double bacon cheeseburger and an order of cheese curds. WOOF.

8.  What is the one item you want to change in your house right now?
As for my apartment, I want to paint over canvases I bought at the beginning of the year. They're just not me.

9.  Do you have any hidden talents?
Um, Irish dance is my only go-to thing? I'm really good at making lists?! 

10.  Do you try clothes on before you buy them or try them on at home and then return?
Always have to try them on.

11.  What do you like most about blogging?
The amazing community and support of bloggers and how much talent I get to see every single day.  I am always blown away by someone new.

Well, I think we have all heard/seen enough of me today.  Since this is already so long, I will tag other bloggers in a different post!

Let's talk about you: how are your weeks going? Have any secrets/random facts you would like to share with me today?


Homemade Granola

I did something a little crazy and out of the ordinary for once.  I created my own recipe.  I know, living life on the wild side.  But seriously, I always follow the rules, or in this case recipes, so this was a big deal for me.  

What You'll Need 
3 cups oats
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
 1/2 cup maple syrup (I used sugar free and it worked just fine)
1/4 cup water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c dried blueberries (or dried fruit of choice)
1/2 c dark chocolate chips (accidentally typed cookies after this. Can you tell what's on my mind?)
 4 packages of Truvia
cinnamon (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix oats, sliced almonds, shredded coconut, and wheat germ together.
3. Mix maple syrup, water, and vanilla in separate bowl (I got too excited about creating my own recipe that I forgot to take pictures)
4. Combine two mixtures and mix thoroughly.

5. Add in any dried fruit and chocolate chips or whatever add ins you prefer.
6. Add cinnamon to taste.
7. Add 4 packets of Truvia (or whatever sugar or sweetener of your choice)
8. Spread mixture on ungreased pan.

9. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour.  Check every 15 minutes and mix so the granola gets cooked evenly.

Enjoy plain or with some yogurt and fruit!


Weekend Snapshot

Life has certainly been busy lately.  I feel like if I can make it through the next 10 days, I can do anything.  But until then, it will be lack of sleep and lots of chai tea and green tea. 

In the midst of a stressful month, why not wear some of my favorite necklaces to put a smile on my face in the morning? Yes, necklaces really do make me happy. End of discussion. And I really do listen to Call Me Maybe every morning now and do a little dance while getting ready.  Judge away.

This week and weekend I brought out some statement pieces and layered baubles because, well, the more the merrier.

 I now have a new favorite combination: chambray + cozy knit (& Spike the Punch, of course)

And any weekend where pico de gallo is involved is A okay in my book.  I had left overs from Friday night's dinner with Boyfriend B and naturally had to make some nachos come Saturday. 

I also managed to do 6 loads of laundry and bake 48 muffins on Saturday AND got to meet Julia for brunch on Sunday.  We had a blast, and I got a nice little tour of her home town.  She was just as sweet and fun as expected. It was a perfect start to my Sunday.

How was your weekend?

Enjoy the brighter days to come!



[all images taken from my iPhone]


Friday's Fancies::Spring Break Day to Night

It's Friday, and what a week it has been! In case you missed it, I did my first outfit post, my first "real" recipe post, and my first Q&A on the blog. Now back to Friday's Fancies.

Growing up, I either went to Florida or Ireland with my family for Spring Break.  We were either poolside or at an Irish dance competition.  This post is obviously not about what I would wear to my dance competition. 

This lace tee would be my ideal transitional piece on a warm vacation. Casual with a pop of gorgeous color during the day.  And for the night, a dash of glam with sequins and chains.  The day look is much more my style, and I think I could live in it every day.  Spring Break, or any vacation really, is the perfect time to try a little something new and exciting for the night.

I am also doing something totally different for Spring Break this year, and I could not be more excited.  I'll be heading to NYC for a few days the first week of April and getting to gallivant around the town with the fabulous blogging ladies, Julia and Viv.

Update: I will also hopefully be meeting the extraordinary ladies Christin, Tamra and Roxy as well! 

As always, head on over to {long distance loving} for more Friday's Fancies.

Have a fabulous weekend! xo


The Not So Mean Girl

I am so excited to do a little Q & A with the real mean girl today.  Yes, this title is the first thing you read when you get to her blog, but why don't we call her by her first name today, Christin. She is not really that mean.  She just says things we all wish we had the guts to say aloud.  So to those of you who have not read her blog or shied away from it because of the title, fear not, for today I will demonstrate just how similar she is to you and me. Let's start with some pictures shall we?

I was personally floored with how amazingly well she can rock three completely different hairstyles.  I don't know if I could say the same.  Nor do I know if we'll ever find out.

So anyways, now you've "seen" Christin.  On to my Q&A.

How did you get the name of your blog?
I had a lot, ok like two, blogs before trmg and they had lame names. So lame I can't even remember them. I know I have a xanga that's still up that is kinda hilarious. But, I digress. One of my friend's ex-boyfriends starting calling me mean girl after I told him he was a douchelord. It wasn't mean, it was honest. This same friend encouraged me to start a blog. So I did. But mean girl wasn't available nor was the mean girl, but the real mean girl was.

Now I regret the name because a lot of people don't get it and think I'm a total jerk all the time when in reality I'm not that mean. I just do things that you wish you had the nerve to do.

What do you do for a living? Give us an inside peek at a normal day for you!
I don't think you want to know. Haha. I work in advertising on the account side. It is a lot of work and I work crazy hours and I'm always tired.  I do not have a normal day. I get a zillion emails and my phone is always ringing. I have meetings and reports and all sorts of insanity. You all should come shadow me for a day. It would be f-u-n.

What is your dream job?
No job? Kidding. I want to have a show, and I'm undecided if I want a sit-com or a talk show. But right now, I'd love to be a writer - for a show. Tina Fey, if you're reading this, please have your people call my people. I'd also love to write a book.

How long have you been dating this amazing BF of yours willing to help with those fabulous gold stripes?
9 years on and off. We met in the spring of 2003 in college. Awwww.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the glorious suburbs of San Francisco. You know the movie Mrs. Doubtfire? Remember the restaurant they go to for the mom's birthday? Bridges? Yep. That restaurant is not in San Francisco but is in Danville where I'm from. We're kind of a big deal.  [Carly talking now...she's telling the truth. See?] 

Where did you go to school?
Hooray, Hurrah, Mizzou, Mizzou! Or the University of Missouri to the lay person.


Chick flick or thriller? Comedy
Sweet or salty?
Why can't I have both? Are you greedy or something?

Jennifer or Angelina?
To be honest, I dislike them both for different reasons. I think Jen is turning into a bit of a sad state of affairs and Angelina is a home wrecking whore. Yea, I said it. She's a whore.

Britney or Christina?
Britney. All day. Every day.

Backstreet Boys or N*Sync?
Backstreet's back, alright!

So there you have it folks. How great is Chistin? She is not mean, but rather funny hilarious. Happy to have introduced you somewhat over the web today.  I hope you'll pop over to her blog and laugh along with her and of course me. And seriously, Tina Fey are you reading?!


Givaway Winner

Thanks to all of you who participated in the giveaway from a simple affair's latest and greatest sponsor, Perris from Stella and Dot.  While you can find amazing statement pieces at her site, I am loving the idea of layering dainty, mixed metals lately.  Here are some of my favorite layering options:

On the Mark Necklace // Interlock Cross Necklace // Ever After Necklace
Starry Night Necklace // Eternity Necklace  // Renegade Cluster Necklace 

Congratulations to Domestic Engineer! You won the gorgeous Signature Clover Necklace!

I will be emailing you shortly!

Thanks again to all those who entered!

Are you loving layered necklaces as much as I am?


Tasty Tuesday

Look at me branching out and doing a recipe post (well, besides cake batter cookies).  I have been cooking and baking a lot more often recently and have loved every second of it.

Laura from Beauty and the Beard shared this amazing recipe on her blog awhile back, and I'm pretty sure that I drooled while reading her post.

This is my version.  No need to post the steps because Laura already did that fabulously well. I only had a couple changes because I was being cheap at the store and using what I had (i.e. lazy), but I'm pretty sure it tasted just as great (in my humble opinion).   Here are my changes in bold:

- A glass baking dish
-1 lb of gnocchi
-2 Tbsp butter
-2-3 tsp minced garlic--lazy route
-1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup non-fat milk
-1/2 cup gruyere-swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup 4 Cheese Italian mix
- 1/2 cup 5 Cheese Italian mix
-1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Sprinkle basil seasoning on top--cheap route

I also may have put in generous 1/2 cups of cheese when the recipe called for it. That's just the inner Wisconsin girl in me though. I made this last week with a friend who only had almond milk, and it tasted just as great as the first time I made it in case that is the milk you prefer.

Thanks for the recipe, Laura, and be sure to stop by her blog for step by step instructions!


My Comfort Zone

I had the pleasure of working with a fabulous photographer/friend, Sarah, when I was home a few weekends ago.  And thanks to her, I can now bring you you my first outfit post. 

Let's just say my go-to look involves legging jeans/denim, boots, and oversized anything (blouses, sweaters, old t-shirts, you get the picture).  I like feeling comfortable and confident all in one.  I was going to try something different for my first outfit post, but thought I would show you what a "typical" outfit is for me and stay true to my style.

[it was windy. can you tell?]

Jacket: BR (old),  Top: Gap Oversized Pocket Shirt Necklaces: Nordstrom Chain Necklace (old), Mae Badiyan Vaida Necklace, Jewelry: David Yurman rings and BR earrings, Bag: Target (old), DV by Dolce Vita Zela Boots, Ray Ban Sunglasses, Essie Mink Muffs

I would also swap the boots for my TB Reva flats if there wasn't snow on the ground.  I used to be a heels girl but flats have become my new best friends.

I can't thank you enough, Sarah! You can find some of her work here. Her brother, one of my best friends, is working on a website for her that will hopefully be up soon (wink, wink, nod, nod J).

How were all of your weekends?


Sunday's Best

I am going to go ahead and let these pieces speak for themselves today as I am truly drooling over these tortoise beauties.

I would love to add some more to my collection, like yesterday.  

Do you love tortoise as much as I do?! 

Happy, happy Sunday!



Friday's Fancies::Tangerine Tango

Happy Friday! It's no secret I love tangerine, and I'm not just talking about the fruit because I do really love that too. Today is all about my favorite color, well besides gold-that counts as a color right?! Right.

ASOS does it again.  This dress is flawless, and I would just love to pair it with my sock bun.

 If I owned this outfit, I would envision myself smiling all day long because it's just so bright and fun, how could you not be happy wearing it?? 

This outfit has everything I love in an ensemble: a pop of color, mix of texture, and feminine touch. 

I wish I could say I'll be wearing an outfit like it this weekend, but I'll be wearing one of my go-to comfort outfits while I'm camped out at Starbucks hopefully having the most productive weekend I have had all semester. 

Any big weekend plans? I know, it's going to be really hard to out-do my crazy agenda but feel free to try.

As always I'm linking up to {long distance loving}


White + Black

Today you can find me at A Beautiful Life. Here's a sneak peak:

Thank you so much for having me, Sarah!

Sponsor Welcome: Stella & Dot-CLOSED

Happy St. Patrick's Day month! Only my favorite months of all.  In honor of the start to a new month, I am thrilled to introduce my newest sponsor, Perris from Stella & Dot!

In honor of the newest sponsorship, we would like to offer a simple affair's first giveaway! This is a necklace I fell in love with the instant I saw it.  I love that you can style it two different ways, and you can pair it with oh so many outfits. One lucky reader will win this fabulous Signature Clover Necklace!

Mandatory Entry:
1. Visit her site and leave a comment below at a simple affair letting us know your favorite piece!

Extra Entries:
2. Follow a simple affair on Twitter
3. Like a simple affair on Facebook
4. Like Stella & Dot Jewelry-Perris Aufmuth, Independent Stylist on Facebook
5. Tweet about the giveaway

The winner will be announced next week Wednesday, March 7th at 6:00 AM Central Time! Good luck, lovelies!