Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December Cheer

I have a confession to make: I don't like December. Something to do with the combination of cold weather, snow, icy roads, presentations, final exams, and the holidays are enough to make me want to go into full-on hibernation mode. Which might explain why I haven't made an appearance here on the blog in three weeks. As I get ready to pack my bags and head to IL for the holidays, I have been trying to focus on things that are making me happy. So, I thought I'd take what I've been enjoying this week and share it with all of you. Hopefully this will bring a little joy your way if, like me, you are having a dreary December.

I love sheep. I can't explain it, but they are adorable and they make me ridiculously happy. I had a sheep pillow when I was little that I refused to get rid of. I lovingly referred to it as my "plillow sheep". That's right, I couldn't say "pillow" when I was little.

I can't stand Christmas music. I won't listen to it more than 24 hours before Christmas. I talk on the phone when I go to the store this time of year so that I don't have to listen to it. The list of Christmas music that I can tolerate is really short. The list of songs that I enjoy is even shorter. It includes N*SYNC, 98 Degrees, and Mariah Carey (Apparently I'm stuck in the 90's). And this song. I hesitantly clicked play when it showed up in my Google reader queue the other day, but surprisingly, I really like it!

Please note the 40+ temps and the lack of snow. I just checked the forecast for Christmas at my Mom's and it is showing a sunny, snowless, 40 degree day. I know everyone in the Midwest is hoping for a white Christmas, but I couldn't be happier about the lack of snow that is predicted for the rest of 2011. And, the fact that I haven't needed more than a sweater when I went outside the past two days is enough to make me forget that I don't like December.

What's making you happy right now?


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tights on Thanksgiving

Coat: Fog by London Fog, Dress: Ross,
Tights: Target, Shoes: Missoni for Target,
Bracelet: Max & Chloe, Bag: NY & Co.

This was my Thanksgiving outfit. Word to the wise: don't wear tights on Thanksgiving. They are constricting and don't allow for the all you can eat marathon that is Thanksgiving. But, if you're on a diet or don't want to eat more than you would at a normal meal, then by all means, wear the most constricting tights you own. I would give anything to have this weather back. It may have been freezing that day and too sunny to take decent pictures, but at least it wasn't icy and snowing.

 The past 24 hours here have been a little hectic. If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen where I mentioned that I had a crazy, super dangerous drive home from campus last night, then my power went out as soon as I got home. Well, the power finally came back on at about 3:00 this afternoon.  But, before that, the alarm system here apparently had a low battery and started screeching bright and early this morning. And, I couldn't get it to stop. There was lots of confusion and a bit of anger involved. And I might have been thisclose to smashing it with a rubber mallet. But, after about an hour, the house was finally silent again. Or maybe I just went deaf from the ear piercing noise. Either way, the snow and ice are melting, the power is back on, and the alarm is in pieces on my counter. All in all, I'd say it's been a pretty eventful day.

Hope you're day was a little calmer and a lot warmer than mine was!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Recap

Happy Saturday Loves!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are having an amazing weekend so far!

I went shopping on Black Friday, which is something I've never done before and really never had an interest in doing. But, I had an assignment for a marketing class that required it. So, I convinced my superfantastic momma to get up ridiculously early with me and head to the mall. All the stores (with the exception of the department stores) were supposed to open at 5:00 AM. So, we arrived at 4:15 ready to stand in long lines. Turns out, the mall had emailed all the stores and told them they could open whenever they wanted as long as they were open by five. So, long story short, we missed about 90% of the openings and 100% of the crazy shoppers that I needed pictures of for my assignment. 

I was kind of pissed that the mall told me that the stores would be opening their doors at 5:00, but this did not stop me from spending way too much. Mostly at Loft, who actually did open at 5:00.

So, it is officially the third day of the holiday season and I have already spent way too much money. Here's a little round up of my Black Friday purchases:

Loft: (Everything 50% off)
Talbots: (Everything 30% off)
J. Crew: (25% off purchase of $150+)
I also got the most comfortable crew neck sweatshirt 
ever, but I couldn't find it online anywhere.
(In Bronze)
(In Concrete Evidence and Taupe on a Rope)
(In Too Too Hot)
Lake Forest Bootery: (Buy 1, get 30% off 2nd item)
(Links to Zappos)
Yankee Candle: (Buy 2, get 1 free)

Do any of you go Black Friday shopping every year? 
If you went this year, did you find any great deals?
I'd love to hear your Black Friday tips/stories in case I go again in the future.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cherry White Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies

Good Morning Loves!

Hope you've all been well during my not-so-brief blogging absence! I've been getting dressed on a daily basis, promise. But, I haven't gotten home before dark a single time in the past two weeks. Don't believe me? On Monday I left for campus at 1:00 PM and got home from campus at 1:45 AM Tuesday morning. Fun Stuff, let me tell you. So, outfit pictures haven't really been my priority this week, having a constant supply of coffee has been though. And, now that I'm feeling a little bit more awake than the comatose state I've been in all week, I decided I should post something on this little blog of mine. But, then I realized I didn't have any unposted outfit pictures that I liked all that much. So, you're getting a delicious and healthy (until I added chocolate chips) cookie recipe instead. I hope you'll forgive me.

Cherry White Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies

3 Ripe Bananas
2 Cups Rolled Oats
1/3 Cup Applesauce (I used the no-sugar added kind)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp. Ground Flax 
1/2 Cup Dried Cherries
1/2 Cup(ish) White Chocolate Chips
Cinnamon (I didn't measure it. I just threw some in the mixer)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using a fork, mash the bananas in a bowl.
3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
4. Mix well.
5. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.

Now, keep in mind that these aren't "Oh My Goodness! My friends are going to be amazed by how good these are" cookies. They are designed to be healthy. Now, with that in mind, they are really good for a healthy cookie. Especially since they have no added sugar/flour/eggs/butter. And they are great for when you are on a diet but you're craving something dessert-like that isn't going to wreck the progress you've made.

Let me know if you make them, or if you've ever made an applesauce cookie before!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Falling Leaves

Sweater: New York & Co., Shirt: Target, Jeans: JC Penney,
Boots: Steve Madden, Bag: JC Penney (Gift), 
Belt: Anne Klein for Oroton (SG's), Bracelet: Max & Chloe (Gift),
Earrings: Mustard Seed, Necklace: Beau & Stella (Gift)

Hiiii guys!
It's been a while since we've talked. Two weeks, if we're being exact. Feel free to blame my marketing and consumer education professors for that. That's what I'm doing. I hope all has been well with all of you! I've been super busy with school and field work, and I didn't get home before 9:00 a single night last week. And you can't really take outfit pictures in the dark. But, I'm back for a few minutes anyway, before I head out the door to run some errands and probably spend way too much money at Target.

Soooo, I can't stop wearing this sweater. It has been sitting in my closet, barely touched, for probably 5 years now. But all of a sudden I just want to curl up in it and never take it off. I don't ever care that it weighs 300 pounds and visually adds 20, because it is that warm and comfortable. Please tell me I'm not the only person that this happens to once the colder weather rolls in.

Other bloggers out there: Do you ever get bored while taking pictures and start jumping and making ridiculous faces? No? Just me? Because that happened today. My neighbors probably think I'm insane.

Hope you've all had a good week!
Anyone have any fun plans for this weekend?


Friday, October 21, 2011

eShakti Review

A little while back I woke up to an email from eShakti asking me to review a product from their online shop. I was thrilled to say the least. I had heard of eShakti before and I was intrigued by their "One size does not fit all and all sizes are not created equal" philosophy. eShakti offers a huge amount of amazing pieces available in both standard and custom sizes ranging from 0-26w. 

So, after spending way too much time looking through all the pieces they offered and emailing a ridiculous amount of links to my friends and family asking their opinions (then ignoring their opinions), I finally decided on a simple dress. I decided to do a custom-sized order and filled out all of my measurements, along with selecting a knee-length hem, on the order form. Because who doesn't want clothes made to their exact measurements?! However, when my dress arrived just over a week later, I took the dress out of it's packaging and knew that it wasn't going to fit. I tried it on, and sadly, I was drowning in it. However, the quality is amazing, and I'm in love with the dress. So, I am going to get it taken in and hope that it is still as great as I had originally hoped it would be.

So, even though my first experience with eShakti wasn't as perfect as I would have hoped, they were amazing to work with and I highly recommend them! The quality of their pieces is fantastic and I plan on ordering from them again in the future, but I'll probably stick to a standard size instead of doing a custom-sized order again.

The dress I ordered isn't available anymore, so you'll have to wait to see it until I get it altered. But here are some of the pieces from eShakti that I am currently loving:


Low top, $43
eShakti - Shop Women’s designer fashion dresses, tops| Size 0-26W..., $40
eShakti - Shop Women’s designer fashion dresses, tops| Size 0-26W..., $43
Denim pants, $50
eShakti - Shop Women’s designer fashion dresses, tops| Size 0-26W..., $60 | Monte carlo jacket, $70 | Floral cutwork cotton top, $60 | Post modern love tweed skirt, $50


eShakti - Shop Women’s designer fashion dresses, tops| Size 0-26W..., $70
eShakti - Shop Women’s designer fashion dresses, tops| Size 0-26W..., $100
eShakti - Shop Women’s designer fashion dresses, tops| Size 0-26W..., $60
eShakti - Shop Women’s designer fashion dresses, tops| Size 0-26W..., $70
eShakti - Shop Women’s designer fashion dresses, tops| Size 0-26W..., $80 | Fall quartet of hues dress, $90

Let me know if you've ever ordered anything from eShakti, or if you're planning to!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend Recap

Hello Lovelies!

I went into this week with the greatest intention of posting almost everyday. But, I am literally drowning in school work right now. I have three exams in the next 36 hours and I'm not prepared for any of them. But, I needed a quick break from my marketing notes, so I decided to write up a quick post about what I've been up to this past week (besides studying and writing business plans).

  1. Welcoming the cooler Fall weather by sitting around the fire pit at my mom's house last weekend.
  2. My mom's company newsletter is called the buzz (I think), and since their office was featured in it a while back, they got these ridiculous, but seriously comfortable t-shirts. I stole it (because it is so soft) since my mom doesn't wear t-shirts.
  3. Enjoying some neon blue nails to brighten my day since it rained all week.
  4. The 40 mph wind gusts the past three days have left 99% of the trees completely bare. I hate that we only got to enjoy the fall colors for about a week.
  5. (and 6.) Tigger has decided that since it is getting colder outside, she needs to sit on my chest whenever I try to use my computer. I'm not even sure how she managed to do this. I'm not okay with this.
Hope you all had an amazing weekend!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Ross Grand Opening

Cardigan, Top, Jeans; Shoes: Target; Bag: JC Penney/Gift; 
Bracelet: Max & Chloe/Gift; Necklace: Beau and Stella/Gift; 
Earrings: The Mustard Seed; Sunnies: Kenneth Cole Reaction 

Hope you all had a good start to your week today! I spent it sitting in three classes, recovering from a weekend of too much shopping. And, while I may have spent way too much money this weekend, I enjoyed every minute of it. My mom is always saying that she wished there was a Ross clothing store close by, and this past weekend, several finally opened up in the Chicago area. So, I headed out to Illinois (yes, again) to go to the grand opening with her. After serveral detours (which my mother ignored), her check engine light coming on, dropping her car off at the shop, and returning to the house to get my car instead, we finally made it to Ross. Just not the one we had originally planned on going to. So, after two trips to Target and a very long trip to Ross, I now have even less room in my closet (which I didn't think was possible). Anyone want to come help me decide what to get rid of in there?

Hope you all had a good weekend!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Present pt. 2

Bracelet #1: Mom's
Monogrammed Bracelet: Max & Chloe, gift from Pops

I'm in love with my new monogrammed bracelet! It was part 2 of my birthday present from my pops. It arrived bright and early Tuesday morning. And I really wish there was a video of me trying to get this bracelet on yesterday, because it was kind of ridiculous. You have to squeeze the bracelet and then kind of pop the monogrammed plate into place. And it's really hard to do by yourself. Or maybe I'm just not capable of putting jewelry on by myself that early in the morning. Thank goodness it was easier to do today; I think I'm getting the hang of it. 

Hope you're all having a good week!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekly Recap

Happy Fall everyone! 
I know yesterday was technically the first day, but I forgot (because my brain is currently being taken over by entrepreneurship and visual merchandising nonsense). Fall hasn't really hit MI yet. Some days it seems like Fall is almost here, then the next morning it is 75 and humid. But that's pretty typical around here. 

Anyway, here's a round up of what I've been up to in the past week (In case you were wondering where I've been):


1. I've been drinking way too much coffee again, and enjoying every minute of it.
2. I got to spend last weekend with this cutie, and his brother (who doesn't stop moving long enough to get a picture).
3. My birthday was last week, and I was in love with these bags. The gold polka dots were shimmery! They reminded me of this.
4. Carvel football cake. Because I don't like birthday cake, but I do like ice cream cake and football.
5. The greatest, ridiculously unhealthy sandwich ever. There was probably 10 pounds of cheese and mushrooms on this thing. But it was delicious.
6. How fun is this bathrobe/towel thing (obv. intended for children)?! I kind of wanted to buy it for any child I might have many years from now. In case any of you want little shark (or pirate or monster) towel clad children running around, the towels are at World Market and under $20!
7. I've been making way too much of this "ice cream" lately. It's basically just dark cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, a little bit of chocolate almond milk, and whatever frozen fruit you want (this one was raspberry). So good!
8. See that white pontiac on the top right side? It was taking up three spaces! The girl got out of her car, looked at it, shrugged and then walked away. Seriously?!
9. My mom ran in her first official 5k last weekend! I was so proud of her! She finished in the time she wanted to and ran the whole way. And she might kill me for posting this. Love you mom!
10. This pizza. Oh my goodness. It is so good. It is covered in fresh herbs, and kind of healthy. And super delicious. 
11. As soon as it drops below 75 degrees Tigger doesn't leave my side. She is such a little snuggler.
12. I've been buying this bulgur and cranberry salad constantly. I kept the lid this time so that I can get the ingredients and make it myself from now on. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend so far!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rainy Days & Broken Phones

Two posts in one week! I know, I can hardly believe it either, it hasn't happened in a while. It's been a long, stressful week and I couldn't be happier that it is almost over. I decided to actually put on something other than a v-neck tee and skinny jeans for the first time in what feels like forever and it ended up raining all day. So by the time I got around to taking pictures, it was dark and gloomy outside and I was a wrinkled mess. 

Cardigan: Gift; Top: Nordstrom Rack; Jeans: Tommy Hilfiger;
Shoes: Target; Earrings: The Mustard Seed; Ring: H&M

This is how I started my week:
I was literally five feet away from my car when the bottom of one of my bags decided to rip open. Luckily, I was able to grab it before my laptop fell out, but my poor phone wasn't so lucky. This was the first phone I had really liked and hadn't had any problems with in a long time, so I was pretty torn up about it. I had planned on getting the same one, but apparently the new version isn't so fantastic, and two people came in wanting to get theirs replaced within the first five minutes I was at Verizon.

So, I got an iphone instead, and I'm hoping I don't regret it.

How fun is this case?! I've had my eye on another case for a while, but since I wasn't planning on having to buy a new phone right now I didn't want to pay an additional $40+ for a case. And since I had a modcloth giftcard, I ended paying under $10 for this one.

Okay, so I realize this post was insanely long. Sorry! If you got through it all(or just skipped to the end) and you have an iphone, what apps should I download?

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Missoni for Target

I feel like a horrible blogger for posting hardly anything in the past few weeks. The first week of classes always screws with my schedule, and I really only wore one outfit this week that I would have considered taking pictures of. I didn't though, my camera was dead, and  apparently it would have taken way too much effort for me to charge the battery. But, now that I kind of have my new schedule figured out and a million new due dates added to my calendar, I feel like getting back into a steady posting schedule should be fairly easy. I hope so anyways. So while I don't have any outfits to show you tonight, I thought I'd share what I picked up at Target a few hours ago...

Aren't they fantastic? I'm probably going to wear them way too often over the next two months, or until it starts snowing, whichever comes first.

Were any of you able to snag anything from the Missoni for Target collection today? 


Monday, August 29, 2011

Back Again

Dress: JC Penney; Tank: NY & Company;
Bracelets: All Gifts; Earrings: Target; Shoes: Nine West

I'm back after a busy busy weekend. My Mom was in town and we were out running errands and shopping almost every second she was here. I had to run out to campus on Friday, which is when this outfit is from, to pick up a parking permit for this semester, so we walked around campus for a while and then had lunch at a restaurant that I have been wanting to try since last Fall, and it was amazing! Then we went to a health food store that I drive past everyday on the way to and from campus, and I'll probably be spending every cent I have there on a weekly basis. 

On Saturday we did some stuff around the house, dyed our hair, went out to lunch and then did some a lot of shopping (target x2 and thrifting). We finished it all off with an amazing dinner recipe that one of her friends sent her; I'll probably be sharing that later this week. We ended the weekend with the greatest donuts ever before she had to head back to IL.

Over all, I'd say it was a pretty great weekend! Hope yours was just as fantastic!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wild Rice-Cranberry Soup

Happy Thursday everyone!

This past week has been a little busier than normal and I had no interest in blogging. I didn’t even open my laptop from Wednesday (of last week) through Monday afternoon.  I had a ridiculously long eye doctor appointment on Thursday. Friday morning was spent relaxing on the shores of Lake Michigan, followed by a trip to Chicago for some museum visiting and little bit of shopping, followed by more shopping on Saturday. I planned on driving back to MI on Sunday, but put it off because of some bad weather that never showed up (Thanks for the Weather Channel).

I finally got home Monday afternoon and haven’t done a whole lot since then. I made one of my favorite soups (recipe below), did a little bit of cleaning, did a lot of cursing at Jillian Michaels, and locked myself out of the house (thank goodness for neighbors with spare keys).

So, now that you know where I’ve been all week, I thought I would share this soup recipe. I know most people don’t eat soup when it is still fairly hot outside, but I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really big on seasonal eating. Soup in the Summer, popsicles in the Winter, whatever floats your boat. It isn’t the tastiest looking soup (it is actually kind of a really ugly color), but it is so good!

Wild Rice-Cranberry Soup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups vegetable stock
1.5 cups cooked wild rice*
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup milk or half-and-half
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
*To cook wild rice: Bring 2 cups water, 1/2 cup rinsed wild rice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat ; cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes. Drain well.

  1. Melt the butter in a dutch oven (I don't have a dutch oven, so I just melted mine in a deep pot) over medium heat. 
  2. Add carrot, celery and onion, stirring occasionally, until carrot is tender. About 8 minutes. (I recommend adding the onion about half way through otherwise it tends to burn)
  3. Add the flour and stir until smooth.
  4. Gradually add the vegetable stock and stir until soup is thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the rice and cranberries.
  6. Reduce heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are softened and plumped, about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in all the remaining ingredients and stir occasionally until warmed through.
This soup will keep for 3 days in the fridge. It will get really chunky in the fridge, but it thins out again as soon as your heat it up. If you want it thinner just add a little more milk when you are reheating it.

Recipe taken & slightly adapted from "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" by Paulette Mitchell
(That's the soup on the cover!)

If you make it, I'd love to know what you think of it!


Monday, August 8, 2011


Cardigan: Sam's; Shirt: Old Navy; Tank: NY & Company;
Jeans: Tommy Hilfiger; Earrings: The Mustard Seed
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co; 
Shoes: Corso Como (exact)

I wear these earrings and this bracelet all the time, 
but you can never see them well in pictures.

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! 
I know I might be sort of cheating because I've worn almost this same outfit before, but my clothes are all over the place right now while I'm sorting through my closet.

I want to fill you all in on a little discovery I made recently, the Corso Como Bellasox. For a while now, I have sworn up and down the Gap's City flats were the most comfortable and convenient flat I had ever owned. But then I came across these babies for 50% off at a sidewalk sale a week and a half ago. They may be $20 more than Gap's City flats, but they're so worth it. 
So, if you're looking for a new pair of super comfy flats, grab yourself a pair of these.
I really want the tealviolet, and blush.
Do you have a favorite shoe that I should check out? Because I could always use more shoes.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! I mean, it's basically free money.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Closed-Blogiversary Giveaway!

I mentioned yesterday that I would be back with a little giveaway for all of you lovelies! I just thought it would be a nice way to acknowledge all of you and let you know how much I appreciate each and every one of you! Your comments and sweet emails always make my day! Thanks for making this a great first year of blogging!

To enter you must:
  1. Be a follower through Google Friend Connect
  2. Comment below, letting me know which gift card you would chose if you win and an email address if yours isn't easy to find.

Extra Entries:
  • For one extra entry, follow me on twitter and comment below letting me know.
  • For five extra entries, add my blog to your blog roll and comment with the link.
  • For two extra entries, blog or tweet about this giveaway and leave a link to it in the comments.     Feel free to copy this tweet: 
         @Browniesandbows is giving away a gift card to a store of your choosing!

    This giveaway will remain open until Friday, August 12 at 10:00 PM EST.



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