July 23, 2014

ruffled collar

[Banana Republic top (similar here), AYR jeans c/o, Nine West heels (love these), Gigi New York clutch c/o, H&M earrings (gold version)]
A while back I shared my list of wardrobe essentials (see original post here). But if I had to pick a frontrunner from that list, dark denim would win. The flattering wash and comfortable material are the perfect meld of refined casual. I own a few pairs in different silhouettes to accommodate any mood or occasion. Stepping out the other day in these skinnies, I opted for a playful ruffle collar to contrast the deep blue.

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July 22, 2014

red wine granita

Regardless of how much I've eaten on any given day, there's always room for ice cream. Maybe not a hot fudge sundae, but at least one bite to cap off summer barbecues.  So I'm all for finding little upgrades to turn a classic dessert into an elegant presentation. This easy recipe of red wine granita makes the perfect topping for a single serving of creamy goodness. They can easily be made ahead of time for entertaining or kept in the freezer as a delicious nightcap (night after night after night).
See below for the full recipe.

Red Wine Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream

1/2 bottle of red wine
1/3 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 pint of vanilla bean ice cream

Pour half a bottle of wine in a large baking dish.
In a small pot, heat the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Pour sugar-water mixture into the baking dish and combine with the wine.
Place in the freezer and after one hour scrape the sides with a fork, bringing the ice crystals to the middle. Repeat this process every 30 minutes. The whole process takes around 4 hours.
To assemble the dessert, place one scoop of vanilla bean ice cream in a small glass and top with heaping spoonfuls of the granita.

July 21, 2014

chambray dress down

[H&M shirt and dress (like this), Steve Madden shoes, Anthropologie clutch (similar here), vintage earrings]

I have a selection of dresses in my closet that are rarely worn. They're a step or two above casual and don't seem practical for everyday wear. But lately I've been enjoying new ways of dressing them down. A simple chambray button-down takes this dress from "evening out" to "on the run."Belting or adding a cotton cardigan are other simple tricks that offer multiple wears for more formal pieces.

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July 18, 2014

pleated pocket dress

[Ralph Lauren dress (newer version), Vince Camuto shoes (love these), Neiman Marcus clutch (like this)]
These weeks are flying by and I don't know whether to love or dislike it. Home renovations also started on Monday, so life seems a bit jumbled. When my living space is in disarray, I need simple wardrobe choices that are classic but easy. This collared dress is a perfect mix of elegant and fun. The pleated a-line gives a bit of personality while the belt keeps it fresh and modern. Adding a studded clutch takes the look from day to night.

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