Thursday, January 30, 2014

Valentine's Day Ready

Who is ready for the mushy, gushy, chocolately, and stuffed animally holiday of Valentine's Day? It certainly always sneaks up on me and I find myself browsing the aisles of Walgreens last minute. This year we won't be caught off guard by the holiday, so let's start prepping for it now!
Get crafty and original this Valentine's Day!

Little gifts


100 reasons why you love your loved one! Although this is a cheap gift it definitely looks like it might take some time. It would be a very thoughtful and fantastic gift though!

Easy peasy! Who doesn't love chocolates for Valentine's Day? This makes the chocolate feel a little more thoughtful and looks fancier than the M&M bag. Did you know you can specially order M&Ms with print or pictures on them too? That could be a lot of fun!

Not a crafty fellow, here's something for you! LOVE this idea! Hang it on your keys and its a cute little reminder of your significant other :) You can order one of your own on Etsy

Now on to the delicious side of the holiday!

Chocolate covered strawberries are the perfect Valentine's Day treat. What could be better than heart shaped chocolate strawberries?!


Staying healthy this holiday? YAY! Try some heart shaped fruit! These fruit skewers couldn't be any cuter and you can use any type of fruit to preference!

What are your Valentine's Day plans? Hope you have a special day with those you love!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Venturing Out

Is it spring yet?! Due to waaaay below freezing temperatures school has been cancelled the past couple of days. I definitely do not mind missing school but I cannot wait for warmer weather! Since I didn't have school and I can't wait for warm weather I decided to take a drive today to venture out to a big grocery store to score some more tropical fruit.

I don't wear hats. EVER! But I'm trying my best to wear everything in my closet at least once and I bought this hat almost four years ago because it was on a great sale at American Eagle and I have never worn it until today!

Stay warm everyone!
Tan shirt and button down // american eagle
Jeans // hollister

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ireland Review


Layers are always GREAT for the Irish weather! This was from a rainy shopping trip to Galway, one of my favorite places to visit

This was a pull off the road let's check this out stop at the Burren Perfumery. I strongly recommend it, it was a fabulous experience and I was able to pick up some amazing souvenirs to take home (such as Eucalyptus handsoap, so yummy!)

  While in Dublin you'll see many gigantic yellow boats driving around the streets with loud passengers roaring at passerbys, this is a MUST do!! The Viking Splash Tours can NOT be passed up. It is such a fun little tour whether you know the city or not.

If you ever find yourself on the West coast of Ireland a stop should be made at the gorgeous Doolin Pier. Approximately a 20minute drive from the Cliffs of Moher it isn't just another pretty sight. At the pier you can take a boat trip to the Aran Island (which I highly advise to do on a day it isn't raining!) or you can boat past the Cliffs of Moher and see sights from Harry Potter. While researching outfits for Ireland the overall consensus was to leave a raincoat at home because you'll look like a tourist... I brought mine and it rained every day for the entire two weeks I was there. BEST ITEM I PACKED!

My absolute FAVORITE part of Ireland are the Cliffs of Moher. No matter the season or the temperature of the day, go go go! The view is absolutely gorgeous. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Aran Islands. I don't recommend paying the extra amount to climb Brian's Tower, you aren't missing much by skipping it. If you're there during the fall try the tuna salad panini! I was completely heartbroken this summer when I went and was informed it's a fall only meal, had I known that I would have eaten my weight in them the first time I visited!
Must See and Do in Dublin:
Queen of Tarts
Book of Kells/TCD Library
Viking Splash Tour
St. Patrick Cathedral
The Irish dance museum
Gino's Gelato by Stephen's Green (they have blueberry muffin gelato!)
West Coast To Do's:
Matt Malloy's Pub (West Port)
The Burren Perfumery
Clare Jam Shop (Doolin, not far from Cliffs)
The Cliffs of Moher
St. Bridgit's Well (Doolin)
The Doolin Pier (Doolin)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Irish Cooking Day

With the cold temps outside, lately I just want to curl up on the couch with a hot bowl of soup. Canned soups are alright when you don't have time to make soup from scratch. Since I had some extra time I thought I'd make some potato soup the best way possible: the Irish way! And of course some soda bread would be much need to accompany the soup.

One of my favorite parts of being in Ireland is having fresh bread with every meal! Sure, it goes straight to the hips but its not every day that you get to enjoy fresh bread! At least it is very rare for me! I've never attempted to make either potato soup or soda bread from scratch so I did some cook book research and perused around pinterest a little to find these recipes.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
1 and 1/2 cup plain yogurt
Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter until pieces are pea size, mix in yogurt. Turn out dough and knead into a disc shape. Cut an X in the loaf and bake 40-50 mins on 350 degrees

Irish soda bread. The yogurt in the bread made it extremely dense and chewy but overall it had good flavor. While mixing my dough I added a few tablespoons of water because the yogurt wasn't quite moist enough for all of the dry ingredients. Be careful with this though because the dough can get too gooey really fast! I also made one disc out of the entire amount of dough and had trouble getting the bread to cook completely through so it might be wiser to try two loaves and keep an eye on them while cooking (maybe 25-30mins)

 Making my grocery list for the soup ingredients I must have read the chicken broth part incorrectly. I ended up with approximately half of the required amount. This actually worked out okay. I ended up with a very thick and creamy soup which I found delicious
 The only down side is that it barely rendered two servings which was disappointing because I was hoping for leftovers!

While throwing on clothes in the morning I all that was on my mind was my meal planned for the day and as you can see that dominated my wardrobe selection. I also made the mistake of wearing my favorite socks (official Irish dancing) and was forced into a little jig by my photographer.

What's your favorite cultural cuisine? Thursday I'll be taking a trip down memory lane and recapping my Ireland adventure from a few months back. I'll be discussing the do's and don't's and how to pack for a stylish getaway!

P.S. like my oven mitts? You can find them here!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Relaxing and Rejuvenating

After the first week of a new semester I like to relax and rejuvenate. Sure its always great to do that during hectic weeks such as finals but I know that if I don't relax right off the bat then I will stress the rest of the semester. So I try to start the semester at a nice and relaxing pase.
To help me relax and rejuvenate this semester I will be taking this afternoon and pampering myself a little (nothing wrong with that!) Recently I was watching Dr. Oz because there was nothing else on t.v. and it was a rather interesting episode focusing on his two week intensive diet but he also suggested a nice soothing bath to rid the body of toxins. That is where I'll be starting today!
Dr. Oz Detox bath, soak in:
2 cups Epsom salt
1 cup baking soda
(and a few drops of lavendar essential oil)

I'll light my yummy candles and sink down into my detox bath and sip on this ever so delicious drink! I really prefer warm drinks when taking a bath because it just makes me all sleepy and super relaxed, there isn't a better feeling, right?!

 1 cup milk
1 tsp honey
2 drops vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cinnamon
Pour milk into a microwave safe mug and place into microwave. Cook on High until the milk is very hot and begins to foam, about 3 minutes. Stir in honey and vanilla, then sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.
(I found this here)

What are some of your relaxation tips?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back to School

The first day of a new semester is always a great feeling. A fresh start at classes and a new start at your wardrobe. New classmates to inspire and new classmates to inspire your style. Its a nice fresh restart to the school year. I always try to look my best on the first day of the new semester but this year with it being my last semester at this college I cooled down my style a little (literally) and wore a very casual and effortless outfit. That could also be because I had a very long, busy, and late nighted weekend and just wanted to sleep in when Monday rolled around.

My new favorite chunky scarf I picked out for my Christmas present from Old Navy! I also sported my new American Eagle sweater that I found on a really great sale recently.

These are some of my favorite boots! I absolutely fell in love with the adorable crochet lace inserts when I eyed them at UOI online recently.

Every semester the school tries to bring fun things into the college to eliminate the back to school blues and this year was by far the best! They brought a portable ice skating rink in. This was my first time EVER ice skating and I must say it was terrifying but great!

Sweater// ae
Scarf// old navy
Jeans// hollister
Boots// UOI

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Wear

So I recently searched on pinterest for "winter outfits." I wasn't expecting to see layer upon layer with heavy coats on, but I must admit the girls that wear these outfits must live in Florida! These very cute and stylish outfits are a few examples of "winter outfits"

I personally would wear all of these!
The only downside is that I'm from Illinois and with the wind chill today its -50 degrees, yes you read that correctly -50! Needless to say I don't plan on getting dressed up and going anywhere today! I'm spending the day in yoga pants with hot chocolate in my hand!

Layering is my style. No matter the time of year, I am constantly layering (which is a big downfall in the warmer months). Naturally I lean towards the leggings, knee high socks, and boots as a go to outfit. This winter I've especially taken up a love for chunky knit scarves as displayed in all of these pictures :) Check back Friday for examples of how I style my chunky scarves!

What is your go to outfit on cold weather days?
Stay warm and stay safe in this crazy weather!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hello, 2014.

Wow it's already 2014, can you believe it? I planned on blogging a New Years Eve outfit and whole do up but unfortunately I had to work and didn't get to wear my NYE outfit, so this picture will have to suffice for my NYE ootd:

In honor of the new year I want to take a look back at some of the outfit I've worn over the past few months (since I haven't blogged an entire year yet!)

I always seem to come up with crazy resolutions but this year I really haven't made any. My boyfriend and I are trying to eliminate as many carbs as possible from our diets but that really isn't a true resolution. Give me some ideas! What are your resolutions (more frequent and regular blog posts? haha)