Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dolce Vita Zenith Sandals

While on vacation a couple of weeks ago for my niece's graduation, (such a proud auntie), I had the opportunity to hit up one of my favorite places to shop. Every time I go, I always seem to find something I like and the people that work at the store are so warm and welcoming - my favorite person is always there (you know who you are!). This time around I found a pair of Dolce Vita sandals. They are so cute and so comfy!

Totally loving these! Outfits are on the way!

|| Dolce Vita "Zenith" Sandal: Island Passage ||

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Food Fun: Pork Egg Rolls

A couple weeks ago, I decided to use my KitchenAid Meat Grinder attachment to make some homemade pork sausage. I'd been wanting to make a few things with the sausage, but at the top of my list was making egg rolls. I am a huge fan of Asian cuisine, (Chinese and  Japanese are my favorites- I can never eat enough sushi!), so I wanted to give these a try.

There are many recipes out there for egg rolls, but I tried to keep it simple and based the recipe I used on what I had. These are a lot easier than I thought they would be and don't require a lot of time. There are so many endless combinations to egg rolls from what meats you can use (pork, chicken, shrimp, etc) and veggies ( so many!) you can customize your own roll to your liking.

I decided to use the recipe on the back of the egg roll wrapper pack. The recipe that I used can be found HERE. Like I stated above, I had to tweak the recipe just a bit, but they turned out fantastic. I used all of the ingredients except the bean sprouts and I used Bok Choy instead of cabbage. I also added a handful of cilantro, chopping it, and a teaspoon of chili sauce for an added kick.The ones I actually cooked, (I froze the rest), I baked them. After tasting the result, next time I will fry them because they would much better fried than they did baked.

In my wok, over medium heat I cooked the ginger and pork. I used a drizzle of sesame and hot chili oil in the bottom. I cooked it until is was done.

I added all my veggies, except the cilantro and cooked them through, stirring them into the pork.

Next I added the cilantro in the mix and continued to stir-fry the ingredients together.

I poured in the oyster sauce and chili sauce, then mixed until incorporated. I tasted it to make sure I didn't need to add anything else. Once it was seasoned to my taste (which I didn't have to add any additional ingredients), I took it off the stove and let it cool down.

I setup my prep station with the egg roll wrappers, mixture, and small bowl of water which is needed to seal the rolls. Next I followed the folding instructions on the pack. The first one turned out a little special, but I had faith that I could improve with each egg roll.

As you can see the one on the far left was the first roll I did, but they did get better the more I wrapped. I had some leftover filling so I made two mini dumplings so I wouldn't waste the filling mixture. I ended up with ten rolls. I baked three and froze the rest. Keeping them frozen makes it easier for me to cook them as I go.

I baked these according to the instructions, but ended up leaving them in longer, flipping them so they could be crispy on all sides. This recipe experiment was a complete success. I absolutely love how they turned out - with the exception of them not being fried. When I run out of the frozen egg rolls, I will be ready to make them again. These are easy, fun and so delicious!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Maryland Shopping Trip

I know it's a little later than the post on the wedding, but when I went up to Maryland, I did get to do a little bit of shopping. Whenever I go on trips I like to plan part of my budget to go to stores and see what treasures I can find. Even though these particular stores I stopped at are all here where I live, I am a firm believer that different stores carry different things. That was definitely the case.

We ended up stopping in Arundel Mills. I am always looking for to stopping here. It literally has everything. If you walk out of that area (it's not just an outlet mall but there is so much to do around it), you are truly a focused shopper. There is something there for everyone.

I ended up stopping through a few stores, but didn't really see too much I wanted to buy. But I did find a few items at T.J. Maxx, Forever 21 and Payless.

Here they are:

|| All of these were found at T.J. Maxx - I love the recyclable bag ||

|| These finds are a combination of three places | Teal Flips Flops: Clarks | Silver Buckle Sandals: Payless | All the clothing (including the Keith Haring crop top) and earrings: Forever 21 || 

I know Forever 21 can be a huge undertaking because there is so much stuff, but I managed to find these as I circled the store. (This is not even including everything I tried on.) Yes as you all know I have a weakness for teal, so I hit the mother-load simply but round the store. I'll be posting outfits soon - there has been so much going on with me and I would love to have more hours in the day. 

What are some of your favorites for this summer?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hats Off to Polka Dot

On my continued quest to find ways to wear my Rocking Horse Shoes, I decided to mix it up and make this outfit a little more preppy. For me this is a little of a different venture because I am not one to go this route, but fashion is about trying different styles and combinations to discover what fits you best. This outfit is fun and wouldn't mind exploring more prep-inspired styles.

I also love this blazer and just don't get to wear enough. I think it is so important to wear your wardrobe. Don't just let clothes hang up in the closet when you are trying to find the "perfect" time to wear things. The time is now and the more you wear it, the easier it is to find even more ways to make it look fabulous!

|| Blazer: GAP | Polka Shirt: Sewn by Me! | Acid Wash Pants: H&M | Hat: Charlotte Russe | Rocking Horse Shoes ||

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Maryland Wedding

Recently my cousin Aaron got married in Maryland. He and his new wife Erika were married at the Visionary Art Museum in downtown Baltimore near the Inner Harbor. It had been a while since I visited here so it was a nice trip to see family, eat some amazing food and do a little shopping. 

We were able to stay in downtown at the Home 2 Hilton Suites. It was wedged in on a side street and you'd never know it was there unless you were looking for it, but that's a good thing. Tucked away on the inside it's very modern and somewhat hip. 

Here is a view of the room...

This was the view from the room. It had a very city feel to it. I wondered what the other apartments looked like on the inside, especially the one on the right with the cool window. 

I absolutely love this hotel. It's just the right size. The only picture I didn't take was of the bathroom, but I must note that the toiler - yes the toilet was very eco-friendly. You could chose how much water you used to flush, therefore conserving water. 

Now onto the wedding. The Visionary Art Museum was such an amazing thing to see from the outside. Anyone could be inspired to create after visiting such a visual stimulating place.

This was right behind the DJ. The wedding took place outside and the reception inside.

This is where the ceremony took place.

The happy couple! 

The view from the inside was spectacular and the wedding colors and decor suited the transformed space.

The wedding was simple yet classic. The food was to die for! And our wedding favors were of course a Baltimore staple, a corked bottle of Old Bay - a popular seafood seasoning that the area is known for.

And just in case you were wondering what I wore - Dress: Tracy Reese, Sweater: BDG, Fascinator: Forever 21 - here I am second from the left with all of my cousins...

Monday, June 2, 2014

Urban Decay Electric Palette

This year I decided that I was really going to get into makeup. Every now and then I see eye shadow colors that really standout to me. This instantly caught my eye when I saw it in the Ulta mailer. I instantly knew I wanted and stopped through to see it in person.

The colors are so vibrant. When I saw this Urban Decay palette, I realized for anyone that has not handled bright colors before it can be very intimidating. Because UD's colors are highly pigmented a little can go a long way.

So here it is...

These colors are simply amazing and the photos do these no justice. The best advice I was given to incorporate these into the everyday was to blend these with more neutral colors. Whenever I've worn some of these (I'm still working my way through the palette), I started with a very neutral base of browns, added the colors - I've tried Gonzo, Jilted, Urban, and Savage - then blended them with either a brown or black shadow to tone them down.

One day I'd like to be able to find an excuse to wear some of these colors full on. I can't wait to see what happens.

If any of you have this palette and have suggestions or ways that you wear these colors, I'd love to hear from you!