Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

From the cutest lobster EVER :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hey, That's Pin-tastic!: 3 Ingredient Brownies!

I'm linking up with the fab AP at I Love You More than Carrots for Hey, that's Pin-tastic. It was pretty easy to pick what I was going to do. After I pinned the below, it was repinned 30 times. I just had to see if the recipe was legit! It sounded too good to be true.

I do take issue with the pin as the referring website did not provide any details such as baking time and temperature! At the time I wrote this post, the referring website was not even active! To spare you the trouble, visit here to get the necessary details. She includes optional ingredients such as salt (I agree) and chocolate chips (not necessary but yummy!).

In trying this recipe, I did not use a mini cupcake pan as I don't own one! I used an 8 by 8 cake pan, lined with parchment paper. This resulted in thinner brownies, but did not affect it otherwise. I also baked mine for 20 minutes since it was not in the mini cupcake pan.

The verdict is that this recipe is legit! As you can see in the top lefthand picture, the 3 ingredients looked like brownie batter! This is not the best brownie recipe around, however I would recommend it in a pinch. The flavor isn't too heavy on the hazelnut, so they really just taste like brownies.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Could this really be the same baby?

I finally found my elusive camera cord! Jack's 1 month picture had been trapped on my camera. I decided to do a side by side comparison of his 1 month to 3 month picture. All I have to say is, Could this really be the same baby??

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The thrill of the hunt

When it comes to shopping, I like the thrill of the hunt. I don't think I'm alone in this, based on what I've read on y'alls blogs and Twitter! Usually, I like hunting at TJ Maxx and Ross. Lately, I've been checking out consignment and thrift stores. I was inspired by Kimberly at Fab Finds Under $50, who discovers the best stuff at her local Goodwill in Indianapolis. Her Goodwill regularly has Target new stock plus random designer items. I was also inspired by Gracie Beth's post at Preppy Southern Princess, where she shared her tips on "Goodwill Hunting"

I popped into my local Goodwill and found this Merona (Target) twill jacket, which is the perfect weight for Florida winter and spring. Cost: $5.

Did I see any designer items? Not really, but I did see a lot of J Crew in smaller sizes as well as some Lilly. Hopefully these items get snatched up quick!

My consignment shop is part of a local chain. I frequent two locations. One location has a great selection of designer items from Milly, DVF, Chanel, and more. The other location carries dowdy grandmotherly clothing, but on a rare occasion, carries some stylish items. Here are two of my most recent consignment finds. Both are Talbots and cost $24 and $20.

I hope whomever is consigning these clothes continues to do so! I'm convinced these pieces are from the same person. I'm also convinced the animal print cardigan from my last post was hers as well!

So if you are a hunter, say hi! Also, tell me about your favorite consignment or thrift store finds!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Date Night Outfit: AKA Ideas better than reality

Just last week, I blogged about potential date night outfits. I knew we had a date night on the horizon, so I thought, "Hey, I'll be proactive and plan my outfit in advanced." However, when it came time to put the look together, I realized that it just was not going to work.

For a refresher, here is the Polyvore board of my outfit.

Date Night

Date Night by natylite78 featuring a paisley shawl

Outfit #1 felt way too springtime for me, primarily due to the earrings and the clutch. It was also a tad chilly so I needed to cover my arms.

Outfit #2 mostly worked with the exception of the scarf. Because I needed to wear a cardigan, the scarf plus any cardigans that would have matched looked too heavy. Plus, since it was date night, I felt a little decolletage would be appreciated by J. 

So, I wore quite a few elements from Outfit #2 and added a long necklace and animal print cardigan.

Dress: Navy blue wrap dress, Old Navy
Cardigan: Talbots, consigned
Necklace: Consigned
Earrings: Stella & Dot
Shoes: Tory Burch

I had been searching for a navy blue wrap dress. Thanks to Angela at Diary of a Domestic Failure (whose OOTD pics are my FAVORITE on Instagram), who found this dress for me! It is almost perfect, with the exception of two things. #1: It needs to be hemmed. I'm only 5'2 so this is pretty normal. #2: I needed to safety pin in two places to make sure I didn't have a wardrobe malfunction during dinner. Otherwise, you cannot beat this price and I do love it still.

By the way, I've been killing it at one consignment store lately. My latest finds are currently at the dry cleaners, but I look forward to showing you my finds soon. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably have seen and helped convince me to purchase. Conveniently located near my in-laws, I can drop Jack off and shop alone. Mommies need their alone time, yes?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars AND Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies

For this week's Project Pinterest Hey, That's Pin-tastic!, hosted by the fab AP at I Love You More Than Carrots, I actually have two recipes to share! Since we are still in October, I've been using pumpkin in all of my baking projects. 

The first recipe is for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Squares
Source: via natylite78 on Pinterest

I followed this recipe to the tee. I did have to buy the cream cheese, but otherwise, I had all of the ingredients.  My only issue is that I'm a bad "swirler"! They came out creamy and full of pumpkin spice. 

My second recipe was for Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies. 

I love blondies. I was looking for something denser than cake. Otherwise, this would be too similar to the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars (in my opinion anyways). The comments stated the original recipe was too cakey, so they recommended doubling the egg amount from 1 to 2. 

While delicious, they were still too cakey for my taste. After consulting with my sister (Pastry Chef extraordinaire) and looking at Martha Stewart's blondie recipes, we determined that the baking soda was the culprit. I plan to try this recipe again and omitting the baking soda.

                  I asked J which recipe from Project Pinterest has been his favorite. The Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies were, in his words, ridiculous. I usually send the goodies with him to work. The Blondies were the first one that people actually asked J for the recipe. 

Hopefully, one or both of these recipes are enticing enough for you to try!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What to Wear Where: Date Night

I'm linking up with I Pick Pretty for What To Wear Where? Date Night edition. J and I actually had a date night a few weeks ago. I blogged about it here and even included an outfit pic!
However, I wanted to use this week's theme as an opportunity to put another look together. I have to be "always prepared" for that next date night!

I decided to do two different looks with the same dress, recently purchased from Old Navy.

Date Night

Date Night by natylite78 featuring a paisley shawl

I am looking forward to seeing other date night looks! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Project Pinterest: Pumpkin Chocolate Walnut Cookies

For this week's link up with AP at I Love You More Than Carrots , I'm baking. AGAIN. This project has really sparked my baking mojo. Trying these recipes now will benefit me when it comes to holiday baking. 

Again, I wanted a receipe that did not require that I make any additional purchases. This week's recipe is Pumpkin Chocolate Walnut cookies.

The original recipe notes a yield of 2 dozen, but I got 3. I did use the cookie scoop again so my cookies were a tad smaller than the picture above.

This recipe was a success. The cookies are soft and cakey, so I wouldn't recommend this if you are looking for a crispy cookie recipe. The Pumpkin Pie Spice really set this recipe off! My home smelled amazing when these were in the oven. I sent the cookies to work with J. He said they were a huge hit. Yay!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mixing it Up

I shared that I had purchased an orange dotted cardigan from Target. I mentioned that I had thought of 4 different ways to style the cardigan, as part of my purchasing "rationale". I hopped on Polyvore and came up with the below looks.

Orange Cardigan 4 Ways

Then I realized that all my outfits were orange and navy! I guess it does make it easier to style something new when it fits into your favorite color combination!

So I went to Twitter and asked what colors BESIDES navy, white, black and khaki would go with orange. The responses I received included purple, maroon, hot pink/magenta, teal, grey, varying shades of blue, brown, and olive. I have to say, my Twitter friends are awesome! I loved these recommendations and went back to Polyvore to put more looks together.

Orange Cardi: Twitter Style

True to my exercise, I used only what I had in my closet. I don't have a lot of pink, teal etc that is appropriate for the fall season. I would love to add another pair of colored denim to my wardrobe, but I'm resisting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Impulse Shopping?

I wish I could say I was one of those shoppers who carries around a list of "fashion needs", thus avoiding having a wardrobe of separates rather than outfits. While I love list making, I like being a little carefree and dare I say, "predatory hunter" when I shop. I like to discover things that I never knew I wanted. However, I have had to curb this as I end up doing a lot of "buy and return"/

Just today, I was in Target and in the clothing section. I had received an in-store coupon for $5 off a $15 Merona purchase. OF COURSE, I took this a sign to shop. I debated over a pull over sweater like this:

I decided against it because I have a blue and grey one that is very similar. Also, I would not get as much wear out of this as I would a cardigan. Florida weather lends itself to necessary layering. I looked at the cardigans and picked up this cute sweater:

I held this sweater in my hands for a good ten minutes. I stood in the middle of the clothing section and tried to think of ways I was going to incorporate this into my existing wardrobe. I could only think of one pairing! Then I thought, "If I bought a black dress..." That's when I stopped. If I have to buy something to make something else work, it's probably not the best buy at this time. I already have enough stuff I'm trying to incorporate. But I did end up getting this:

I can think of at least 4 ways to wear this (jeans, navy dress, navy chinos, pattern mixed with striped skirt)! Off to Polyvore I go!

Anyone else have tips on stopping impulse purchases?

Monday, October 8, 2012

What to Wear Where: Travel to-go outfit

I am linking up with the stylist PhiPhi at PhiPhi's Blog: Adventures of a Petite Shopaholic for What to Wear Where? This week, the theme is your travel to-go outfit. When I travel for pleasure, I'm usually headed somewhere cold. I need yearly breaks from the oppressive Florida heat and humidity. We went to Chicago last year. I found a picture, taken at 6am-ish, from when I was in the airport.

Here's a Polyvore of featuring inspired pieces from the outfit.

Airplane outfit

Friday, October 5, 2012

How I Met Your Mother

When Jeff and I first met as work buddies in 2005, he told me about this new show, How I Met Your Mother. I was living in Chicago at the time and he was in Florida. It was the show's first season. Lily and Marshall were not yet married. Ted was with Robin. Barney was Barney. 

At the end of season 6 (Spring 2011), Lily reveals that she is pregnant and spends Season 7 pregnant. It was pretty funny to us. We found out we were expecting in November, so "Lily" and I were pregnant together. 

Season 8 premiered a few weeks ago and showed a sleep deprived Marshall and Lily with their newborn son, Martin. Again, funny as we were the sleep deprived ones just a month prior. Also, I was yelling at the TV that they needed to swaddle Baby Martin!

It has been fun having this show to share with each other through the life of our relationship. Seven years goes by quickly!

I think this should be the last season. I'm ready to see who is the mother! Anyone else watching?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Planning a Weekend Getaway

Jeff and I have discussed taking a weekend away before I return to work. We are fortunate to live within driving distance of fun weekend destinations. For us, the main focus of any weekend away is great dining options. From hole-in-the-wall joints to James Beard award winning restaurants, if the food is tasty and creative, we are there.

Last year, we went to Charleston, Chicago and Washington D.C. All great food cities!

We think we've selected our next destination: Atlanta! 

Jeff has never been to Atlanta, other than the airport. I went to a Braves game 10 years ago and also traveled for work in 2005. In other words, we are due a trip.

So, friends. I'd love to hear your favorite places to eat, drink and shop in Atlanta!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What to Wear Where? - Pumpkin Patch

Today, I'm linking up with Amy at Forever 29 for What to Wear Where - Pumpkin Patch edition. Truthfully, I don't get into the fall spirit till the end of the month. It is so hot still in NE FL However, I can pretend!

Jack's a little young for the pumpkin patch, but we will definitely take him next year. So honestly, I'm not sure what is exactly appropriate for "pumpkin patching". I've been playing on Polyvore a lot lately and I think the below outfit may work. I'd love to hear your feedback if I'm on the right path or not!

Burnt Orange and Navy Blue