• December 2012 Archive •

A Christmas Colored Outfit

It’s in our nature as humans to want what we don’t have.  When I was in elementary school, I desperately wanted glasses and braces.  You would think I would have been elated that I didn’t need either, but of course not.  I wanted them both.  I wanted them so badly that I would often wear fake glasses and makeshift braces.  Finding faux eyewear was easy.  Constructing your own braces out of paper clips and masking tape without making your gums bleed, not so much.

I guess some things you never outgrow and even now I get the occasional urge to accessorize an outfit with some eye candy.  Point and case, this week’s Friday Forever  21 Fashion Find.  This ensemble began with the winter white striped pants.  I decided to pair them with a front pleated black shirt and black satin trimmed, dark green jacket.  I knew from the beginning I wanted to incorporate a little vintage and a little red into the look.  I ultimately decided the best way was to paint my lips and to brush through my hair after curling it with a large barrel curling iron.

I wanted the accessories to be big and bold so I opted for a chunky black necklace and matching bracelet, gold faced skinny belt, t-strap ankle cuff black pumps and most importantly, black framed glasses. (And yes, I am wearing an early Christmas present on my wrist.  Thanks Dad!)  And since we’re finally experiencing some colder weather in North Carolina, it’s only appropriate to wear a fur leopard winter coat.  I didn’t realize until everything came together just how appropriate this outfit is for Christmas given the green, red and white color scheme and minus the leopard.

This outfit is my ode to me as a seven-year old.  I may have cared then if people knew my glasses were fake but now I wear them with pride in the name of style.  I think the biggest fashion rule is there are no rules.  Be who you want to be.  Merry Christmas my fellow Forever 21 Fashionistas!

 

xoxo, Priscilla
Best Burger Recipe with Special Yum Yum Sauce

I’m not exaggerating.  If you use the below recipe for your next burger night, it will be the most delicious cheeseburger to ever meet your face.  I cook a lot and Chase enjoys pretty much anything and everything I make.  However, I’ve never had him rave over something as much as he did over this burger.  If I recall correctly, he titled this burger “gourmet” and even stated while eating leftovers the next day that it was the “best dang burger ever.”  I think I could have convinced him to let me open a burger stand on the side of the road to sell these bad boys and he would have happily agreed.

You have to make this recipe.  And you have to do in on a stove top.  Trust me.  The burgers are so moist and melt-in-your-mouth that they’ll crumble on the grill.  I decided to whip up a thousand island-like special yum yum sauce to accompany the burger and because I’m so generous, I’ve posted that recipe below too.  And remember, a burger of this caliber deserves more than the standard bun.  I prefer a buttered and toasted sesame seed bun.  Who doesn’t like toasted buns?

If Taylor Swift ate this burger, she would claim she’s never had a better burger.  Like never ever, ever, never, ever.  I can’t wait to hear from you if you try this recipe.  I promise your tastebuds will throw a party in your mouth.

Ingredients:

2 lbs Ground Beef (85/15 – I didn’t say this was a healthy burger.)
1/4 Cup BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce.)
1/2 Cup of grated Monterrey Jack Cheese
Season Salt to Taste
Cracked Black Pepper
Onion Powder
1 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp. Brown Sugar


Directions:

1. Mix all of the above ingredients.  Shape your meat into patties about an inch thick. Push a 1/2 inch indent into the center of the patty to prevent it from becoming a dome shape.

2. Place each patty – indent side up – on a hot skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn. Flip each patty and cook until done.

3. Assemble your burger and watch your mouth drool.  (Be sure to spread on the Special Yum Yum Sauce!)

 

Special Yum Yum Sauce

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup of Mayo (What are you doing not using Duke’s?)
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Relish
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
Seasoned Salt

Directions:

1. Mix all of the ingredients.  Adjust to your liking.  Enjoy!

Special thanks to Little Miss Momma blog for exposing me to the basics of this recipe.

 

xoxo, Priscilla
Bow Ties & Plaid

Sometimes a great outfit happens by mistake.  When I originally put together this little number, I didn’t even think about the newly purchased bow tie tights I had just sitting in my dresser waiting to make their debut.  I first saw the plaid shorts at Forever a few months ago.  I tried them on, loved them, but decided I loved something else more.  On my next shopping trip, I came across them again and knew I couldn’t pass them up.  When I held up the shorts with the navy shirt to show my brother, he had little faith that the outfit would be appealing. (Side note: my brother is my go-to shopping partner. There is no other soul as patient as him when it comes to the amount of time I spend at Forever.)  That’s one of the many joys I get from styling.  Sometimes articles you don’t think would go together end up complimenting each other like you couldn’t imagine.

I bought the outfit with every intention of wearing it for Thanksgiving in Kentucky.  While I was getting dressed, I realized my black tights had a run and were completely ruined.  I became highly disappointed, moreso than I ever should had over a pair of torn tights, and thought my grand outfit was tarnished.  While rummaging through my suitcase, I discovered my bow tie tights and knew I had found the missing piece.

I decided to keep the accessories minimal for this outfit and simply wore some navy earrings and gold bangles to coordinate with the gold-trimmed white collar and sleeve trim.  When I finally saw everything come together, I loved the entire look.  And in case you didn’t know, I’m a sucker for wearing shorts with tights in the winter.  In fact, I wear shorts more in the winter than in the summer.  It’s like I love exuding the contradiction of “Hey, it’s winter. You shouldn’t be wearing shorts. But yet it soooo cute!”  Next time you’re shopping, don’t be afraid to throw together some things that you question.  You never know when you’ll put together something stunning that makes it look like you weren’t trying hard to look that good.

P.S. – Those Aviator glasses are actually Fossil.  For some reason I kept them on for every picture.

xoxo, Priscilla
Lemon Christmas Cookie Bites

Each year my friend Liz and I get together to bake dozens of Christmas cookies for no real reason other than to spend an afternoon in the kitchen.  Don’t worry.  We don’t waste them.  We box them up and give them to neighbors and friends.  We are both Christmas freaks, although I believe she might actually be a bigger one than me, so listening to Frosty the Snowman while simultaneously using a cookie cutter of him to frame some dough really makes our mistletoe-filled hearts happy.

Fun fact: I haven’t eaten one cookie from our baking extravaganza on Sunday.  I’m weird like that.  A lot of times I’ll bake or cook a meal with no intent of actually eating it.  I just really enjoy the experience of cooking, experiementing with recipes and creating something for other people to eat and enjoy.  The majority of our leftovers are sent to Chase’s work where someone in his office devours it.

I’ll be completely honest with you in regards to the recipe I’m posting today.  I actually ate one of these cookies when I made them with my brother last week and loved it.  I am a fan of anything lemon flavored.  So much so, I would suggest adding lemon zest to the batter if you make them.  I think they could have used that extra twang.  If you’re looking for an easy, homemade, biscuit-like lemon cookie bite, definitely give these little gems a try.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Milk
Pinch of Salt
2 Teaspoons Lemon Extract
1 Egg

Lemon Glaze
1 1/2 Cups Sifted Confectioners’ Sugar
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
Rainbow Sprinkles and Decorating Sugar for Topping

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheets with cooking spray.

2.  In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, oil, milk, salt, lemon extract, and egg. Roll dough into 1/2-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets.

3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until cookies are set but not brown. Let sit 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

4.  In a medium bowl, combine glaze ingredients and stir until smooth.

5.  Dip tops of cooled cookies in glaze and place on wire rack, then immediately decorate as desired.

Note #1: We added a drop of yellow food coloring to the glaze to give it an added boost.  Also, you’ll see my “bites” below are bigger than standard.  I made mine way too large and suggest opting for the smaller size dough bites.

Note #2: I first typed “balls”  instead of “bites”  in Note #1.  I decided during the proofing process that while funny, it was probably inappropriate.

xoxo, Priscilla
Rustic Romantic Wedding at Snipes Farm Retreat in Chapel Hill, NC

I love everything about this wedding.  The simplicity.  The comfortable atmosphere.  The gorgeous day. The scenery.  And most importantly, the oh so sweet couple.

Jeff and Karen Schott tied the knot in September on a beautiful Saturday at Snipes Farm Retreat in Chapel Hill. The venue provided the perfect, quaint backdrop for the couple’s scenic nuptials and even had a white picket fence to boot.  The bride exuded simple elegance in a lovely, strapless gown while her bridesmaids donned dresses of a similar cream shade in various styles.  The groom and groomsmen looked dapper in black suits paired with light green ties that perfectly complimented the ceremony’s natural scenery and the bride’s bouquet, provided by Tre Bella. The couple said “I do” beneath a beautiful canopy of fall colored trees in front of friends and family.

The newly wed Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Schott and their guests celebrated into the evening at their picturesque reception, which was also held at Snipe’s Farm Retreat. The celebratory décor was a harmonious balance of rustic and romance. No detail was left out and thanks to photographer, Caroyln Scott, all of those details were perfectly captured.  Guests found their place cards clothes pinned on a line of twine. There were even wine bottles adorning the walls that served as vases to hold vibrant blue and yellow flowers. Guests danced the night away beneath luminous hanging lanterns, joined in a few rounds of corn hole and indulged in the decadent pie dessert bar baked to perfection by Scratch Bakery.  At the end of the night, Jeff and Karen left to a sparkler exit.

Photographer: Carolyn Scott Photography

Venue: Snipe’s Farm Retreat

DJ: TJDJ Music

Caterer: Beau Catering

Pie: Scratch Bakery

Florist: Tre Bella

Hair/Make Up: Carla White

NC Wedding Planner: Orangerie Events

 

xoxo, Priscilla
One Good Deed

I’ve never felt bad about doing something good.  Think about it.  You don’t walk away from a good deed with a guilty conscience or a feeling of regret.  Even if the deed is anonymous, it leaves you with a sense of pride.  You smile because you know your actions have caused someone else, sometimes a complete stranger, to smile when they least expected it.

The end of a year is always a time for reflection and projections.  Small business owners like myself start goal setting and refocusing for another year and another opportunity to leave some sort of mark in this world.  December is a selfless driven month as most people are geared to give and help others moreso than in the past 11 months.  The sensations of Christmas and the excitement for a new year typically fill the next few weeks with love and light.

I recently watched an episode of Oprah with Joel Osteen that really inspired me.  She quoted, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”  And while my sincere hope is to have a heart filled with more prayers than just one, a thank you each morning would certainly start the day off in a positive and grateful mindset.  While I devote time and energy to growing a business and fostering the relationships with those I love, I really want to shake things up at my core.  I want to be a point of positivity and someone who ignites a spark of encouragement.

I’ve acquired the journal “One Good Deed a Day” and have decided that each Monday we’ll work together to set off a chain reaction of good deeds.  The book features a daily challenge for completing a good deed and leaves room to reflect and journal.  Some of the dares are for a stranger, for the environment, for a family member or for yourself.  No matter the recipient, the purpose of each deed is to foster a more selfless yet self-aware human being.

So here’s the plan.  Each Monday I’ll post this week’s good deed challenge.  I’ll write about my experience completing the previous week’s task and will hope that at least one person reading my ramblings will be inspired to pay it forward.  We could all use a little motivation on a Monday and if we reap what we sow, then let’s plant seeds of positivity and watch what amazingness we grow.

 

xoxo, Priscilla
Rock Star Style

 

I think Fridays will quickly become my favorite blog post of the week.  It’s not a secret that I’m addicted to Forever 21.  Some people find shopping at the gigantic store a bit overwhelming.  It’s usually uncomfortably hot from the lights, the music is weird and the clothes are exploding from being stuffed on the racks.  I love it.  In fact, 99% of the clothes hanging in my closet were purchased at one of the US locations.   I sometimes even strategically pick a hotel near a Forever 21 when planning trips.

I’m not naive.  I know Forever 21 doesn’t really mean forever. I’ll eventually evolve out of the clothes and God willing, be in a position to shop at a higher price point.  But for now, it works.  It’s affordable fashion and I am flattered when people compliment me and act surprised when I tell them where I bought the outfit.

I’ve decided that each Friday I’ll feature an entire outfit I’ve put together and purchased at Forever 21.  I hope it will encourage others to branch out of their comfort zone and hopefully provide some fashion inspiration.

The first outfit I’m showcasing is my total rock star ensemble.  I’m not sure if it’s my tattoo or recent groupie experience at the Alex Clare concert, but I’ve morphed into a darker and edgier version of myself.  I can remember in 9th grade owning a purple pleather suit.  It was a knee-length skirt accompanied by a long sleeved jacket and was literally Barney purple.  After practically burning that thing after realizing how hideous it was, I never imagined I’d own pleather again.  But guess what?  Faux leather is in this winter and I love it.  I decided to pair my faux leather leggings with a metallic shirt and cross cardigan.  Instead of wearing my typical black leather jacket, I took it up a notch with a gold leather jacket.  To complete the rock star look, I accessorized with a cross necklace, spiked bracelets and studded high heels.  (Although not very visible, I may have put pink hair color on the ends of my locks to really look like I belonged on “Rock of Love.”)

I can’t wait to share all of the styling goodies I have in store.  (Like I really needed an excuse to shop.)  Until next week, rock on kiddos!

xoxo, Priscilla
Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

For the past few years, I’ve decorated for Christmas in bright and bold colors.  If it had glitter, it belonged in my house.  For some nostalgic reason, I decided to revert back to a more traditional Christmas style for this year.  I completed an ornament overhaul and went from flashy colors to the recognizable and comforting red and green color scheme.

Reflecting a rustic theme, I’ve adorned my tree with ornaments from childhood and a homemade burlap garland.  After searching multiple stores, which I never anticipated being so difficult to find, I finally located and purchased a train set that now circles the base of our tree and reminds me of the one my brother and I would assemble each year growing up.

When I found this project on Pinterest, I knew I had to give it a try.  It immediately made me think of the first time I attempted it, which was in elementary school.  Let’s face it, a lot of the projects on Pinterest are from our childhood and what better what to celebrate the holidays than reliving those memories.

Creating these cinnamon and applesauce ornaments is such an easy project and provides you with an opportunity to create a new memory and tradition with your children, family or even a friend.  In addition to making large ornaments that now hang on my tree, I decided to create smaller ones to use as accessories when wrapping gifts.  And even if you’re not a sucker like me for sentimental holiday pieces, the amazing smell of the cinnamon and applesauce in the oven will put a smile on your face and will certainly make your nostrils dance.

P.S. – Yay Mom!  You’re the first person with a gift under the tree!

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Applesauce
1 Bottle (4.12 ounces)Ground Cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (You may need use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon.  I didn’t mind getting dirty.)

2. Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough with a rolling pin.  Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Make a hole at top of ornament with drinking straw or toothpick. Place ornaments on baking sheet.

3. Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (You can also dry the ornaments at room temperature for 1 to 2 days instead of baking them.  I’m impatient though.)

4. Insert ribbon or twine through holes and tie to hang.

xoxo, Priscilla
Bacon & Egg Cups Recipe


Ok boys and girls.  I know, I know.  I fell off the wagon.  I’m picking myself up, dusting off and getting back onto the blogging trail.  And what better post to start with than a yummy recipe for a quick and delicious breakfast treat?

I learned very early in our relationship that Chase could live off of pancakes and cereal.  In fact, my alarm clock in the morning is frequently the sound of his spoon clanging against our porcelain bowls while the sounds of ESPN echo in the background.  I’m not a big fan of the first meal of the day.  I usually drink my breakfast in the form of Starbucks.

I discovered this recipe and just had to give it a try.  I baked these and served them for breakfast one morning during our annual Thanksgiving trip to Kentucky with the Erwin clan.  They were such a hit!  So much so, Chase was beyond elated when I fixed them alongside Eggnog Pancakes last week for dinner. (Don’t worry – that delicious recipe is coming up very soon!)  This is such a simple recipe that yields impressive results.  Even for this non-breakfast lover, I can admit that it is very tasty.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

12 Slices Bacon
8 Eggs
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Pinch of Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Spray each muffin cup with cooking spray.

3. Whip the eggs, salt, pepper and cheese with a fork.

4. Wrap each piece of bacon inside the sides of each muffin cup.

5. Fill each bacon lined muffin cup 3/4 of the way with the egg mixture.

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the egg cups are golden brown and don’t jiggle. Use a knife to scoop them out of the tins. Serve immediately.

*Note: I placed my cups on a paper towel to remove the excess bacon grease before serving.



 

xoxo, Priscilla