Fashionable Professional




Shoes, Jessica Simpson Wexxson Wedges | Skirt, Forever 21 | Bracelet, Madewell Glider Bangle 
 Bag, Zara |  Blouse, Nordstrom Rack

WEDDING Pinterest Boards

Hey, do you follow my wedding boards on Pinterest? Well, here's a blatant shout out....
Looking for some "pin" spiration... check out my sweet boards. SWEET.
Yup, I have THIS MANY wedding boards. Power of free time babies. 


WEDDING IDEAS & INSPIRATION













EVEN MORE WEDDING IDEAS & INSPIRATION


















 WEDDING HAIR

WEDDING FAVOR IDEAS













PARRRTY MAKEUP













OUTDOOR WEDDINGS 













WEDDING PHOTO IDEAS













EVERYTHING BRIDESMAIDS (but mostly their hair so far)















MOTHER OF THE BRIDE DRESSES













BLACK TIE WEDDING GUESTS





















Workouts & Healthy Recipes #fitforthedress 

The Lazy Girl Diet Essentials

I am lazy. I just am, don't question me on that. When I'm home alone I find it very hard to do a lot more than is absolutely necessary to provide for myself. That makes breakfast and lunch (the two meals I eat at home, alone almost everyday) the biggest challenges towards my fitness, health and weight loss goals. Also, I want healthy, real ingredients, lots of protein and I don't want to feel deprived. Lazy and greedy. I want it all.

Fortunately, with a little planning, a good grocery list and some light portion control, all of this can be possible! Here's my current menu, with prep time and calories. Easy, peesy.

p.s. lazy as I am, I have found that taking the time to "plate" my food makes a big difference in the "not feeling deprived" department... therefore, prep time includes food arranging.

Gluten Free "Parfait"
prep time: 2 minutes depending on chopping speed
ingredients: greek yogurt, fruit, nuts**
calories: about 350 depending on brand
lots of protein: check
fruit and veg: check

Shout out to the blueberry almonds from Naturebox, the monthly healthy snack delivery service. They have all the crunch and sweetness of granola but about a jillion times more protein and of course, no gluten! 



 Apples and  Cottage Cheese
prep time: under a minute
ingredients: 2 cups of cottage cheese and an apple
calories: 245
lots of protein: check
fruits and veg: check

There's a reason this is a diet staple. Scoop, slice and nom. It helps that I like the creamy taste of cottage cheese (low-fat, not that dry disgusting fat-free, you need a little fat to feel full) with the crunch of the apples.
4 Minute Eggs + Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Light Dressing:

prep time: 5 minutes
ingredients: eggs, spinach, strawberries, dressing (I use a yogurt blue cheese dressing from Bolthouse Farms, which is 35 calories for 2 tbsp!)
calories: 387 (depending on dressing)
lots of protein: check
fruits and veg: check

4 minute eggs are custardy, creamy and soft on the inside. Very indulgent.

The sweet strawberries, crisp spinach and creamy dressing is simple but so delicious!



One other tip. I've found I can eat whatever I want as long as it's in healthy amounts. But that's where I falter - how much is a tbsp? A quarter of a cup?!? Therefore, I find that measuring tools which are cute to have around are an essential for when I'm on the healthy food band wagon. Really, how much harder is it to use a tbsp measure than a spoon to scoop? Answer, not at all!
Also, how cute are these ones from Anthropology?


measuring spoons
Measuring Cups

Being OK Asking for Help When You Have CANCER


Cancer is the worst. THE WORST. Nobody is going to argue with me about this, because it's true. And if it weren't physically and emotionally devastating enough on it's own, it's also a financial nightmare.
The worst statistic I have ever read: 
$128,000 is the average cost of a breast cancer diagnosis
?!?!?! And that's with health insurance.  So, um, woof? Right? I don't have that. Do you?
There are just so many things that health insurance doesn't cover. Should a cancer diagnosis mean you go into debt? How is that even fair. 
What if you don’t live in a major city? Plan to spend thousands of dollars on traveling and hotels for treatment. Live in a major city? You still get to spend boatloads on taxis, gas and parking because public transportation is basically a moving germ mobile. I mean, I have seen people urinate on those busses. Healthy immune system? No big deal. Compromised chemo-damaged system? Absolutely not. 
Of course, there are a million organizations that want to make sure you get the best possible treatment you need. And that is amazing. But many of the agencies that offer help need you to meet certain financial standards. Low ones. So if you are somewhere in the middle, economically, you must first torch your savings, lower your income to poverty levels, and then you become eligible for aid. 
What if you're like me? Too affluent when you first get diagnosed to qualify for discounts/aid, but you know, without hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to cover your costs. 
And that is the crux. Asking for help, for money, was really, really hard to do. I was not a charity case, I had a GOOD JOB before I got sick. I was (sort of) an adult. How did I suddenly burn through all my savings when all I seem to spend money on is ice packs and gatorade? God, it was so terrifying. I hate money. 
But then a chemo treatment would come along, as it did, every two weeks or so, and 65 amazing people would offer to drive me to my appointment (good luck fighting my mom for that one) and I would think, ok, my ride is covered but how am I going to cover this $750 medical bill for my last scan and blood tests? If all those people who offered me rides just gave me the money they would've spent on gas, I'd be fine. OH. LIGHTBULB. And that's where this all comes full circle.
People are amazing. They want to help you. All you need to do is give them a way to help you. That act of asking for help is so brave. People can't help you if they don't know you need it. Admitting you can't do everything, that you are going through a rough patch, and then embracing the brilliant, loving light of human kindness. I mean, the Veronica Mars movie made 2 million dollars through crowd funding. It was a really good movie, but you have cancer. 
And I get it, trust me. Those thoughts "I don't need help" (you do) "why should I get help?" (um, because you're surviving cancer?!?) "I'm ashamed that I can't cover this myself" (well, um, who can?? who has 5-6 figures just laying around in case of extreme medical emergency.)  Not to get all tough love on ya, but these thoughts are stupid. People want to help you. Stop being so stubborn and holding onto stress. Let people help you. Nobody gets through something like this alone. Ask them to Standbuy you during your cancer treatment and they will, and you can focus on getting better and healing and not worry about paying your bills. Stress is not good for healing. 

How Boho Babes do Derby Part 2: The Dress

Read Part One

Now, derby devotees swear that women at these events are all about the shoes and the hats. To which I reply, pffffft. Of course they care about the dress. They may pick the dress to match the hat, but at the end of the day, the dress is everything. So if your style is more Olsen Twin than Tory Burch, I picked my favorite dresses that embrace all the things I love about derby while still appeasing the manic pixie dream girl who lives inside me and urges me to dye my hair pink.

 Floral chiffon is a derby staple, but this look is much more rock'n'roll than any chiffon dress I have seen, ever. Plus the midi-length and cap sleeves keep the cut-outs a little demure.

Drool.

Floral Chiffon Gone Totally Rogue (FreePeople)

They call it the run for the roses for a reason. But red roses would be so on the nose. However these avant-garde roses done in electric blue and purple from Australian brand Sokuhaci is sweet, summery and just a little bit edgy.

The effortless silhouette, slinky straps and silky fabric make it easy-breezy beautiful...

Run for the Blue & Purple Roses  (NastyGal)
Take the classic linen sheath, staple of southern belles ad infinitum, and make it badass. That's what this sassy, dark blue mirrored floral embroidery does. Plus mirrored patterns like this are very flattering (they trick the eye into seeing your body as more of a coke bottle and hide all manner of flaws.)

Badass Linen & Embroidery (FreePeople)



This dress would almost be a derby cliche if it weren't for the fact that it's cut way down to there. Not for the faint of heart (or full chested) this classic fit and flare, peach striped concoction becomes totally sex kitten with cut-outs in front, and a deep-v sheer, patterned back.


Sexy Structured Cut Outs (NastyGal)





This ruffled, girly, airy dress is summery, light and sweet. It's also easy to throw on, and excellent for twirling. Ideal for evenings where you expect to lose your shoes during an impromptu dance party.


Peach Tiered Chiffon Confection (NastyGal











Nothing says spring and summer like big white lace and bare shoulders.

One word: Hot



Off Shoulder Lace (FreePeople)






How Boho Babes do Kentucky Derby

Last year when I attended the Guardsmen's first annual kentucky derby shindig, I rocked a polka dot crop top and gigintic, billowy silk patterned maxi skirt. I paired it with a cloche hat (and clip on bangs.) While I become preppier and preppier with each passing day, I can't seem to shake my hippy, bohemian roots. And so, as this years derby fast approaches, I've started pulling images for my inspiration board as I begin to assemble my ensemble. I'm sensing that this years outfit will fall into the paler end of color spectrum (white/blush/khaki) and that my hat will be of the cloche or clipped in variety.  More on this topic coming soon....


Kentucky Derby Hats for under $40 








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And the winner! Get it here 


But what about the OUTFIT? Oh, don't worry... lots of ideas in Kentucky Derby Outfits #2 

Sunday brunch with the Family

The in laws and my parents came over for brunch today so obviously I needed to go all out...  All my hard work paid off. We had two mimosa stations with guava and grapefruit juice, flowers everywhere and tons of leftovers! Winning all around! 

The meal was all tummy friendly for me and diet friendly for mama - gluten free pancakes, spinach salad with strawberries, apples and goat cheese, a spinach and egg frittata my mom made from her South Beach diet recipe book and for dessert, chocolate and almond liquef dipped strawberries and this ricotta almond mousse (also from South beach diet) that was delicious.  I'm stuffed and ready to nap! 



















Garlic Parmesan Brussel Sprouts

Like all my recipes this is easy easy easy - a little chop chop, mix, throw on a pan and then serve. But it looks and smells like crispy, succulent heaven. Easy and fancy? I'm in.

Ingredients:
Brussel Sprouts (de stemmed/halved)
Chopped up garlic (2-3 cloves) 
Olive oil (splash) 
Parmesan cheese (to taste) 
Salt/pepper (to taste) 

Urban Boho cowboy


Form meets function - so if for example you never want a drop of sunlight to come near your face you need some rad hat to make it so. But what if it's 64 degrees? Too hot for a jacket- too cold for a shirt... Boom. Sweater weather. Skinny jeans (these are SUPER SOFT) and my beloved birks (got to wear them while they are still in style!

And this is what happens:



Hat, Minnetonka Free People | Sweater, Forever 21 (similar) | Topshop Jeans | Sandals, Birkenstocks  (vintage)












Easter Brunch Outfit

Here's the TMI- I am trapped in my house today because my beloved puppy has explosive upset tummy. We can't leave him, lest he need to go out and handle his business. So, like any good fashion blogger wannabe I decided this was the perfect opportunity to test out some potential outfits for my homegirl Tartan & Sequins much anticipated Easter brunch. I'm not sure this will be the winner (I am at the whim of my hair and what it decides to do any given morning) but the clothes were here, so why not.

Outfit option number one is this floral dress from Maurie & Eve , which might literally be the most flattering object of clothing I own. Obviously Easter equals PINK COAT,  because it does. Please note it matches my nails. Throw on my trusty Steve Madden circa 2005 cork and leather wedges and voila! What do you think? Should I wear this one?

Floral Dress,  NastyGal | Coat, Boo Hoo (similar & on sale 50% off) | Wedges, Steve Madden (similar)









Gluten Free Chocolate Puffs

So, admittedly, I am not the best recipe follower. I can admit when I have problems. This morning I promised my "I gave up sweets for lent" host a chocolatey, gooey treat but when I went to make the recipe this morning realized a) I forgot to get the main ingredient (peanut butter) AND I neglected to read the part that said the dough must be chilled for two hours AT LEAST. OOps.

What I did have was leftover ingredients from my cheese puffs from friday and a bunch of other standard pantry baking ingredients and so I thought WHY NOT? And switched out all the cheese for cocoa and brown sugar.

CHOCOLATE PUFFS
(adapted from this cheese puff recipe from the Kitchn)

What You Need

Ingredients
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups (10 ounces) tapioca flour or sour cassava flour
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder 
Equipment
2-quart saucepan
Long-handled spoon
Standing mixer with paddle attachment (or mixing bowl and elbow grease)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking pan with parchment and set aside.
1. Boil the Milk and Oil: Combine the milk and oil in the saucepan, and let it boil until you see big bubbles coming through the milk.
2. Add the Tapioca Flour: Add all of the tapioca flour to your mixing bowl, then stir in the milk/oil mixture until you have a gelatinous dough that's still a little grainy.  
3. Cool the Dough: Using a paddle attachment lightly whip the dough until it smooths out and is cool to the touch (this is important so you don't scramble the eggs!
4. Beat in the Eggs: Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. Add the vanilla and mix well.  With the mixer on medium, beat the eggs into the dough in two additions. It may take a while so be patient! 
5. Beat in the Chocolate & Sugar: With the mixer on medium, add the sugar then beat until it's fully absorbed into the dough. Scrape down the sides. Then add the cocoa powder. The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft with a consistency like chocolate pudding and silly putty had a love child. 
6. Portion the Puffs: Using an ice cream scoop put mounds  of dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. **Dip your scoop in water to prevent sticking.** 
7. Bake the Puffs: Put the puffs  into the oven and then  immediately turn down the heat to 350°F. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until they have a smooth, hard exterior. Cool briefly and eat!  
P.S. According to the Kitchn, leftover puffs can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week and re-crisped in a warm oven or toaster oven, but I have never had any last long enough to test this theory. 

What I actually wore to Easter brunch


Lo and behold it's hot today! But this city can turn on you and that is why god invented the maxi dress. Amen.

Maxi dress: free people
Coat: Zara
Clutch: C Wonder