Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fiesta at the Disco

I love this dress because of its light fabric and bold colors. This outfit screams summer, it's so breezy and extremely comfortable. One of the best things about this dress is that it has a built in slip underneath which saves you the trouble of trying to figure out what to wear underneath.

 
 
 
|| Headband: Forever 21 | Dress: Melanie Shirt Dress (West Kei) | Belt: Vintage (from my mom) | Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell ||
 
 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nail Art: Cupcake Nails

To continue the celebration, I decided to wear it on my nails! Check out these simple Cupcake Nails below. The best part is that these cupcakes have no calories so they are completely guilt free!

Here is what they look like:




Here is what I used:




 - 2 Background Colors (Purple & Blue (not pictured))
 - Pink, White, & Red Migi Nail Art pens
 - Base coat
 - Top coat
 - Drip Dry Nail Dryer (OPI)


Step 1:  First as always I paint my nails with 2 thin layers of base coat. (Shown above)


 
 
Step 2: I pick one of the colors and alternate nails. With this I paint another 2 thin layers of color over the base coat. It's important to keep these thin because 1) the polish will dry faster and 2) it will make painting the design on your nail easier.
 
 
 
 
 Step 3: Paint the other color the same way you did in step 2.
 
 
 
 
Step 4: To make the bottom of the cupcake, take the pink nail pen and make an upside down trapezoid. Make sure that your nails are dry and you only do it on top of the background color because you may dig into the bottom color. Let it dry or wait at least 5 minutes before the next step.
 
 
 
 
Step 5: It's frosting time! Once the pink has mostly dried, frost your cupcakes by making a dome over the pink with the white nail pen. Carefully fill it in. Let this dry as much as you can (at least 5 - 10 minutes if you don't have a nail dryer. Because this is a little thicker than the other layers, you want to give it time or else it will mix with your cherry.
 
  
 
 
 Step 6: Add the cherries! Using the red nail pen, make a dot over the white. Starting at the cuticle, I placed 2 drops of the Drip Dry on each nail. To give it some extra time to dry I watched an episode of one my favorite shows just to be sure. Lightly paint a layer of top coat over your nails to be careful that you don't streak it. I ended up letting it dry overnight (I fell asleep!). But then I painted the top coat and voila! Cupcake nails!
 
 
 You can play with the colors anyway you like, add sprinkles or  get more detailed with your cupcake bottom. The world is your cupcake!


Happy One Year Anniversary to The Couture Butterfly Blog!

I can't believe it's here! One year ago today made my first blog post and now The Couture Butterfly has taken off! So much has happened in the past year and I am excited to see what the future holds. To jump start the anniversary, I had the layout and design of TCB completely made over (more info on that in yesterday's post).

In figuring out how to blog, there are so many things I have l learned. From how to post, playing around with blogger layouts to jumping into photography (all of the pictures on the blog have been taken by me and my camera). I look forward to continue posting and bringing all things creative to you all.

Thanks for being fabulous!

In honor of this great occasion, I've also put together a playlist of songs that inspired me throughout the year:

 - "Lights" (Fernando Garibay Remix) - Ellie Goulding
 - "Speed the Collapse" - Metric
 - "Suspension" - LIGHTS
 - "You're Early" - 2:54
 - "Anklebiters" - Paramore
 - "Distant Light (When This Life is Over)" - Straight Line Stitch
 - "Black" - Sevendust
 - "I'm Not Afraid" - Lacuna Coil
 - "Burn" - Ellie Goulding
 - "Automatic Systematic Habit" - Garbage
 - "Sick of It" - Skillet
 - "Capitol City" - Deluka
 - "What You Want" - Evanescence
 - "Sweet Nothing" - Calvin Harris (feat. Florence Welch)
 - "Think About It" - Melanie C

My Style Icon: My Mommy!






On the one year anniversary of The Couture Butterfly, I decided to share with you all another one of my style icons, my mom Betty. Last year my very first post was highlighting my grandmother Lucretia's style, (the launch of TCB blog is also her birthday), so it only made sense to go to my next biggest influence.

When it comes to my mom, I've always know her to be a stylish person. In fact, a few of her items have "migrated" to my closet. In looking at old photos and comparing them to now, I realized one thing, she always loved to coordinate her entire outfit. I haven't quite adapted being completely matchy matchy, but I know that she has taught me much of what I needed to know about fashion.


 
 
I know this picture is a little hard to see fully, but the focus here is the belt she is wearing. It is now in my closet! I've worn it, used it in fashion photo shoots, and it's still in amazing condition!


 
(And of course the adorable little girl that's all smiles is me. My mom tried to put me onto purple, but turquoise is more me. I do love lavender though!)

I also have to make a point to say Happy Birthday to my grandmother Lucretia, whom I made my very first Style Icon post about here. Today is her birthday and she was truly an inspiration to me!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Same Blog, but A Fabulous New Look!

Surprise!

 So in honor my one year anniversary, I've had the pleasure of working with Stephanie Gimlin, an amazing blog designer that made over my blog! She has done an amazing job, so if you are ever in need of someone to make your blog fabulous, she is your gal! Stephanie is very easy to work with and had me up and running in record time! You can check out her site here:

http://www.stephaniegdesigns.com/


I just want to say thanks to Stephanie for making giving my blog the personality it rightful deserves!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oh No They Didn't!

Usually when I purchase things online, so far I haven't had many problems, BUT, it does happen. I have always had amazing luck with Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal line. Overalls have been a popular trend and I have been trying to find a decent pair that didn't break the bank. Well since I'd had luck before, I figured I'd try again so I ordered a pair of their overalls.

I'd been keeping an eye out for the package, and coincidentally (I promise!) ran into the mail woman that had my package. When I got upstairs and opened my package I was very shocked at what I received...

(Now I must remind you because it is Urban Renewal, you never know what you are going to get, but as I stated before I've had great luck with them in the past.)


 
I was sad as you can guess, and yes my jaw hit the floor in agony! But that wasn't the worst part. For any of you that wear bobby pins, NEVER leave them in denim that is frayed...
 



 
 
 It took me less than a second to get on the phone and call UO's customer service line. The girl was extremely kind and told me I could take them back with no problem. I hopped in my car and drove to my local UO and returned them without any problems. Even the store associates couldn't believe that this was sold.
 
The good news is I found a cute plaid shirt while I was at the store that made the experience not so bad. The original reason I didn't go to the store was because they did not have any overalls, but when they did, they weren't the right size.
 

 
|| byCORPUS Plaid Shirt: Urban Outfitters ||
 
In the end, there was a happy ending. I'll still continue to buy from the Urban Renewal line because you really are getting one-of-a-kind pieces. But I just wanted to share this with you all to remind you that if you don't like something, you have the right to return/exchange it to be happy!
 
 
And on another happy note, a few weeks after this happened I found some great overalls that are flattering and versatile. I'll be posting outfits with those soon!
 
 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Food Fun: Grilled Veggies!

As I stated yesterday, I have turned my Zucchini and some of the Green Onions into grilled veggie goodness. I find grilling to be a lot of fun and it's the best way to cook during the summertime. It adds to the feeling of warm weather and laying on the beach. I must admit I have been a long-time yellow squash lover, but for some reason I could never catch on to Zucchini.

Since I've become re-Lactose Intolerant, (I was born with it, then it disappeared and in recent years reappeared), and also now being an avid juicer, my tastebuds have shifted tremendously and I find myself experimenting more with vegetables never used to eat. I found a recipe for grilling each vegetable, but I realized it was a good start but only a guide because there is not much to grilling veggies. You just have to keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Here we go!

First I heated the grill to low-medium setting. Each grill is different. You want it hot enough to give you gill marks, but not so how it will burn your veggies. (NOTE: The Green Onion will cook the quickest so you don't want it too high - that would be the vegetable most like to burn first.)

I cut up 2 Zucchinis, cut the roots off of 3 Green Onions, and threw in 2 Anaheim peppers from my garden (just to see how they would do). I sprinkled garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cumin on the veggies. Next I tossed them with a nice coat of extra virgin olive oil.




 
 
 
Next place your vegegtables on the grill. Make sure to use tongs because the grill will be hot. Once you have all of them on their close the grill and let it work it's magic. If you'd like you can also stand at the grill to cook them. The goal is to cook the Zucchini until it slightly soft. Overcooking them will make them mushy.
 
 

 
 
The Green Onions will only take about 5 minutes to cook. So after a couple minutes you can check your veggies, but turn the Green Onions. (There is Eggplant in the picture too. Someone wanted it so we cooked it all at the same time.)
 
Mmm...there are nothing like grill marks on food!
 
 
 
Now check your veggies, especially the Zucchini. If it feels soft to the tongs, it's ready (roughly 8 - 10 minutes total). Place them on a plate to serve!
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Week of Celebration and My Inspirations

I didn't mention it yesterday, but this Friday, July 26 The Couture Butterfly will be turning 1! Ii is so exciting to have made a whole year full of posts. So to celebrate I'll doing lots of posts this week! But I'll share more about that on Friday!

Often times I get asked the age old question, "where do you get your inspirations for your style from?" Well, it pretty much comes from everywhere and anything. From nature to personal tastes, art or design (my works and others), celebrities or musicians, and color & cuts. Some of my style changes from time to time, but it mostly remains the same.

I think it is important to visually see what inspires you. This is also a good excuse to cycle through the magazine you may want to keep or recycle (don't throw them away!). I am always going through my collection figuring out what really appeals to me and what doesn't.

Below I've taken pictures of a few of my current inspiration boards.

 
 
 
 
This last board I acutally pull inspiration for my artwork and sketches...
 
 
 
As you can see creating a visual display of what inspires you can truly be effective when you are looking for new looks or just need a quick jumpstart if you get in a "I don't have anything to wear, even though I have a lot of clothes" rut.
 
What inspires you?

 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Food Fun: Mmm..A Real Maryland Crab Cake!

Over the 4th of July holiday, my parents went to Baltimore to celebrate their anniversary. They asked me if I wanted them to bring me anything back. Well, there was only one thing on my mind that I can only get at Faidley Seafood, an authentic crab cake. It is located at Lexington Market in downtown. If you are ever in the mood for one, but can't there, no worries! I'll share with you how to know if you are getting a good crab cake and a bad crab cake.

So when you see a crab cake that has more bread than crab, then it's what I like to call a very not so crabby fritter. It has mostly fillers, (like veggies, breading, etc), and hardly no crab. You should be able to see mostly, if not all crab in real crab cake (and this applies wherever you go looking for a crab cake).

Now onto the real deal. Since crab meat can get pretty pricy, but you still want to eat a crab cake that has lumps of crab meat and it's not all shredded up. It takes away from the taste of it when the crab is over mixed. (Think of shredded BBQ, you don't want that either.) Without further explanation, I'll let the crab cake speak for itself...

Here is a fresh one that I had at the market on my last trip up there...



And here was the one brought home...(notice the size doesn't change)


What you see is mostly crabmeat. My parents froze it for me and brought it back. I stuck it in the oven devoured it! At Faidley's, the crab cake is usually served on a bed of lettuce with a slice of tomato (as you saw in the first picture), I threw in the sea salt french fries. To give you an idea of how mondo this cake is, imagine a baseball sitting on your plate. Yes it is that big and extremely filling!

I'm working on my own version of crab cakes, because I love to eat them and waiting on this one seemed like forever. But I also can't wait until I have the chance to eat one of these bad boys again!

Farmer's Market Trip!

This weekend proved to be an effective food shopping trip. Although a lot of local farmers have lost some of their crop due to the huge amount of rain we've had, there were still a lot of choices and I got most of what was on my list, (and then some). A few of the items I was unable to get directly at the market - the beets are coming to the end of their season. (The same store that had the beets had a special on lemons I couldn't pass up!)


Here's what was in my basket...

 

 From L to R: Lemons, Green Onions, Beets, Red & Yellow Grape Tomatoes, Purple Hybrid Tomatoes, Ginger, Elephant Garlic, Speckled Green Beans (the green and purple are the same kind), and Zucchini
 
(One of my posts tomorrow will show you guys what I did with the Zucchini and some of the Green Onions)

 
 
 
 
 
 
What are your favorite summer fruits and veggies? And don't forget to support your local farmers!

Friday, July 19, 2013

On the Prowl!


 
I love to mix different patterns with different colors. This look is very casual but plays up my 3/4 length sleeve leopard print jacket. The Rocking Horse Shoes adds another funky flair!
 
 


 
 
|| Leopard print jacket: Forever 21 | Black Tank: Old Navy | Red jeggings: Bullhead (PacSun) | Necklace & Earrings: Forever 21 | Sunglasses: Betsey Johnson | Rocking Horse Shoes ||


Garden Update!

So in my last post about my garden, you all got to see the work I'd been doing in my garden. But before I get into that, I have to share that a turtle has decided to lay eggs in my front yard so now I'm also on baby turtle watch to make sure nothing attacks the eggs. I built a cage barrier to protect from unwanted predators and it will take anywhere from 70-90 days for them to hatch.



Now it's time to bring you up to speed on what's growing. After all the work I did in the yard, I discovered that tree roots were growing underneath my garden box so I had to pull it up completely. I'll have to get that area tilled to break the tree roots up or else they'll keep taking all of the nutrients from my garden box. So in the meantime, a lot of my plants have been happily growing in pots on the porch.

 
This flower has been with me since the beginning of the summer. It's grown so much and has become bushy. The bumble bees love it!
 
 
 
 As for my veggie garden, I have been able to grow a lot of things in pots this year. I always seem to have good luck with growing peppers. Because it gets piping hot here, it really helps them grow and get very spicy!
 
 
These are my Anaheim peppers...
 
 
 
 
 
...and the cayenne peppers (which have been tasted and are certified hot!)...



 
 
 
...these are the hottest kids on the block. They won't be ready until they are bright orange. I think I'd like to try to make some Habanero hot sauce this year...
 
 
 
 
 
 
...this is Mojito Mint, I am so ready to cook and make drinks with it...



 
 
 
 
...and here are the green beans. They are very green, but still no beans...
 
 
 

 
 
...one of my favorite things to grow in the summer are tomatoes. These are Italian tomatoes, much like Roma tomatoes. I can't wait for them to get nice, plump and red so I can cook with them!
 




The pictures of the veggies were taken with my iPhone. I was really impressed with how amazing they turned out!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sam Edelman's: "Petty"


I found these online and fell in love! I used to have a pair of leopard flats, but I wore them into the ground. They are chic and very comfortable. There are so many ways to wear leopard it's and I have only just begun to discover them. Although these are amazing shoes, I won't get the chance to wear them much until closer to the fall.
 
Where I live it's extremely hot and lately it has been raining quite a bit, which is not ideal for shoes like these. (I was able to squeeze in a few photos on a day it didn't rain). So you all will see more posts with my "Petty" booties, but for now, here they are...
 
 
 


Food Fun: Homemade Hash

 
Sometimes I love to get into the kitchen and cook breakfast loaded with flavor. I 've been making this for a while now, but I'd thought I'd share it with all of you! Since this is a hash, you can alternate anyway you want, with the ingredients of your choice.
 
This brand of frozen potatoes are my favorite out of them all. Usually when I cook this I always start with frozen potatoes because if you use fresh, they become watery in the skillet and the potatoes in the bag are flash frozen - somehow get most of the water out so they turn out nice and crispy in the skillet. 
 
 
 
 
 Here are the ingredients I used:
 
Yukon Gold hashed browns (I didn't measure this, but I used somewhere between 1-2 cups)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 of a green bell pepper, diced
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
1/4" thick slice of ham, diced (this can be left out if you want to make it vegetarian, or you can add another ingredient)
Salt
Black Pepper
Cumin
Olive oil
 
Servings: 3 - 4
(I ate off of this for a couple more days, but how long it lasts depends on your portion size)
 
 



1. Wash the tomato and green pepper. Dice your ingredients. If you don't want too much juice from the tomato, be sure to cut out the center part (where the seeds are). Set aside.




2. In a large skillet follow the cooking instructions for your hash browns. I like to let my potatoes get a little crispy. When they get how I like them, I push them around the edges to make a ring.



 
3. I add a small drizzle of olive oil and add the chopped ingredients. I like to sweat the onions and peppers so they are still flavorful, but not too soft. This is usually about 3 - 5 minutes. If you want them softer, you can cook them longer. Don't mix the potatoes just yet to give these ingredients a chance to cook, but this way with them in the skillet, they continue to brown.

 
 
 
 
4. Once they have cooked. Mix the tomatoes, onion, pepper, ham and potatoes together. Season with a few dashes of salt, pepper, and cumin. Sample it to test the seasonings. Adjust according to your personal taste. 
 
 
 
The end result! Serve it up and enjoy! I like to eat my hash with ketchup on it, but that is extremely optional.