Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Travel+Jewelry+Organized = Bliss

They call it the "Birkin" of traveling jewelry cases and I would have to agree! I just ordered this amazing travel jewelry case from Close-ette too this week and I can't wait to receive it. I always am taking loads of jewelry when I travel and while I do have a case that I like, I know I will love this one. How could you not?! I think the best thing about this case is that it will keep all my jewelry uber-organized and allow me to see what all I have brought with me thus making it easy to put the finishing touches on any of my ensembles. This would make an excellent gift anytime of the year to any jet setter lady!

The only thing that would make this case better is if they offered monogramming :)

Clos-ette too Travel Jewelry Case

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bangle Me

Bangles, bracelets, cuffs...they have continued to be everywhere and I love it. I usually wear a different mix daily and here are two more that I would love to add to my collection.

The first one from the always glamorous JCREW has been all over the blogosphere, it comes in four different colors but I think the vibrant flame is my favorite. It also rings in at right under $30 which is a nice surprise!

JCREW Golden Stripe Bracelet

The second I found over at a new to me blog (And one that is becoming one of my new favorites!), Sequins and Stripes and I just LOVE it, love the bow detail because its so feminine but the overall design isn't too cutesy. I would definitely go with the cream color as it would go well with almost everything.

LEIF Slim Leather Bow Cuff

What do you all wear daily on your wrists??

Monday, November 28, 2011

Eating + Good Friends = Match Made in Heaven

I recently found this quote over at one of my favorite uplifting blogs, The Silver Pen. It resonates with me so much as I truly love entertaining and cooking for the loved ones in my life. Happy Monday!

One of the delights of life is
eating with friends, second to
that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy,
there is talking about eating
while you are eating with friends.

 - Laurie Colwin

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Current Favorite Lunchtime Meal

This recipe below has become one of my all time favorite things to make for weekday lunches and I've turned so many of my girlfriends onto this recipe too. It keeps super well in the fridge and the ingredients aren't expensive either, two big pluses. I found this recipe over at With Style and Grace, LOVE Lisa's blog. Happy cooking!

Summer "Chopped" Chickpea Salad from With Style & Grace 

Chickpea and Basil Salad
{Recipe adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks}


  • 14 oz can garbanzo (chickpeas) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 english cucumber, diced or quartered
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice – about 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • feta cheese, crumbled (optional)


In a large bowl combine garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and bell pepper. To make the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Drizzle dressing over bean and vegetable mix. Season with salt and pepper. If you can, let this marinate for about 6-8 hours before serving. Trust me, it’s much better after it sits. When your ready to enjoy, top with basil & feta cheese – if you like.
Eat alone, with pasta, over a salad or mixed with chicken (in your pasta)

My Changes/Notes
 - Any color bell pepper will work
- I throw in a few red pepper flakes for a kick, but CAREFUL a little goes a long way
- I usually use dried basil instead of fresh but just about 1 teaspoon
- I always add the feta but use fat-free or reduced-fat, you really can't taste the difference

Almond Butter, Yummmmm

SO I've loved peanut butter ever since I can remember, I literally ate peanut butter on saltine crackers everyday for lunch K-12. Then almond butter came on the scene and now I'm obsessed with that, particularly Barney Butter 90-calorie snack packs. They are SO good and Barney Butter has less saturated fat, more fiber and more calcium to name a few of the positives. Sadly, I haven't found it in a store close to me so I have to buy it online, which yes is somewhat of a pain because of the high shipping costs, BUT through today they have a promo code (Thanks20) that gets you 20% off your order! Enjoy!

Barney Butter Squeeze Packs

P.S. - My favorite "recipe" using the almond butter snack packs is to spread the almond butter onto a whole wheat tortilla and then put thinly sliced slices of a granny smith apple on top and roll up the tortilla, sounds strange but it is SO good.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chic Slippers

While they may not be the hottest shoe around slippers or "houseshoes" as our family has always called them are a necessity and I'm in major need of a new pair. I of course don't want any old pair though, they need to chic of course! I'm loving these two pairs the most and it doesn't hurt that they reasonably priced. Which would you go with?

The Spotted Snowfall Slipper from Madewell
Lodge Moccasins from JCREW

P.S. These would make great stocking stuffers!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Favorite Thanksgiving Sweets 2011

Soooo I definitely baked up a storm this Thanksgiving and it was glorious! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook and I have the biggest sweet tooth ever so baking is right up my alley as well. I baked multiple desserts for the many Thanksgivings we attended but my two favorite are below. One being these decadent chocolate pumpkin bars from the amazing food blog, How Sweet It Is and then also a pumpkin bread pudding from Smitten Kitchen. Both recipes were well received and are definitely keepers. I'm wishing now that I hadn't given my sister the leftover pumpkin chocolate bars!

Pumpkin Pie Fudge Brownie Bars from How Sweet It Is

Pumpkin Pie Fudge Brownie Bars from How Sweet It Is
makes one 9×13 pan
brownie layer
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups sugar
10 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 325 F.
In a small bowl, beat eggs and vanilla and set aside. In a double boiler, add butter, cocoa, sugar and salt. Mix until the mixture becomes a batter – this will take approximately 10 minutes and at first will just look like clumps of cocoa power. Be patient! Remove the bowl from heat and whisk in the egg mixture (very slowly while whisking, so you don’t have scrambled eggs!) until combined. Stir in flour until batter is smooth, then pour in baking dish. Use a 9×13 dish for thin bars, and an 8×8 for thicker bars. For 9×13 dish, bake for 12-13 minutes. For an 8×8 dish, bake for about 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely! Then make pumpkin layer.
pumpkin layer
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl, whisk together sugars and egg until smooth. Add in pumpkin and spice, again mixing until combine. Finish by adding in heavy cream, stirring until everything is mixed, then pour on top of the cooled brownie layer and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 10 minutes (9×13 dish) or 15 minutes (8×8 dish), then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake for 18-20 minutes (9×13 dish)/22-25 minutes (8x8dish) or until pumpkin layer is set. Let cool completely (ideally overnight, or about 3-4 hours) then slice and serve.
***I baked in an 8x8 dish and was very happy with the size/thickness of the bars. I also didn't use a double boiler (I know shame on me!) and instead just melted everything together in a pot and it worked fine, just watch it so it doesn't burn.
Pumpkin Bread Pudding from Smitten Kitchen

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, October 2007
I made a few of my own adaptations to this, using only milk and no cream (to me, it makes no difference to me in dishes like this, so I figure I’ll give my arteries a break), and doubling almost all of the spices. Oh, and I added bourbon, but you probably anticipated that.

1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted* (can skip this step if using the second set of instructions)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Gourmet’s Instructions: Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices and bourbon, if using, in a bowl.
Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Alternate, Come On, Be Lazy With Me, instructions: While preheating oven to 350°F with rack in middle, melt butter in bottom of a 8-inch square baking dish. Once it is melted, take it out of the oven and toss bread cubes with butter, coating thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Pour them over buttered bread cubes in baking dish, stirring to make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

***I did the gourmet's instructions, I didn't add any bourbon and I did use whole milk.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Under $100 Picks at Piperlime

I'm sure most of you get all the promo emails from all of your favorite online retailers, while at times they can be annoying I usually find them so helpful in finding great things. And they usually always have a good deal going on which always helps! Today Piperlime was featuring some of their favorite finds for under $100 and if I could pick anything from that list it would be these two items.

The first item I would choose would be this play on the sweatshirt trend by Theme. Not only do I love the grey neutral color but I love that they spiced it up a bit with the sequins. It makes this casual looking piece a lot dressier but still ok for daytime too. I would pair this with black jeans or ultra dark skinnies and a neutral shoe! It doesn't hurt either that this top was one of Olivia Polermo's picks on Piperlime! Check out all of Olivia's picks here.

Sequin Sweater by Theme
This DV by Dolce Vita black pump is SO fun but classic at the same time thus making it a great addition to ones wardrobe. And the bow detail on the slingback is too cute. They would be equally as cute with skinny jeans and a tee as they would with tights and a cocktail dress.
DV by Dolce Vita Blore

Happy Tuesday and happy shopping at Piperlime!

Who Knew a Mortar & Pestle Could be SO Cute!

You all will soon realize that I have an extreme love of cooking and thus love certain kitchen gadgets as well. While I actually don't own a mortar and pestle and honestly don't see the need to have to have one in your kitchen this particular one below might change my mind. How cute is that?! What a great gift for an avid cook or even to give to a non-cook to use as kitchen decor Too cute!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

LBD Love

We all know that many a holiday cocktail party are right around the corner and while I can't get something new for every function I'm hoping to add one new cocktail dress to my wardrobe. Good cocktail dresses are hard to find and I always encourage my clients to always look for them when shopping, even if you don't have a particular event in mind for the dress its always good to have few standbys on hand! My sweet Mama found the below dress and brought me a picture. I LOVE it...I love that its not strapless and LOVE the sequins. Too bad this dress isn't on Rent the Runway yet!

Also, let me say I don't agree with the shoe choice they have shown with this dress. I would do a simple black patent peep toe or a metallic of sorts. The dress has enough going on, strappy sandals aren't needed here. That is just my extra two cents for you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fridays are for Lustful Items!

Happy Friday, SO glad the weekend is finally here and a short work week next week for most of us too, YAY!

Now while I do pride myself on finding many an item that only looks $$$ but really isn't sometimes you just come across things that you just LUST for, know what I mean?? Like this gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana (aka the designers that are kings of making women feel sexy) dress...not only is it a classic shape and style but its LACE which as we all know is huge this season. All you need are a killer pair of pumps and some earrings of sorts and you are out the door. This will be going on my imaginary wish list stat!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome to The Investment Boenker!

Hi everyone (or least I hope a few people!!),

My name is Natalie Boenker and I'm a  young-20s semi new-newlywed living in Ft. Worth, TX...I currently am the marketing coordinator for Village Homes, a boutique home builder in Fort Worth and have recently launched my very own business called ClosetChic. ClosetChic provides closet organization and personal shopping services. I'm very excited for my new venture and to start this blog as well. So welcome!
Mainly this blog will serve as a sounding board for the MANY shopping finds I find daily, but also I'll mix in some life stories and recipes, cooking is a new found passion of mine.

So that you can learn a little about me, here are some of my loves...
 - Apple crisp with vanilla ice cream (Guess I'm craving sweets this morning!)
 - Turquoise statement earrings
 - Magazines, I'm seriously obsessed and read entirely too many
 - NYC (LOVE this city, who couldn't love it?!)
 - Ikat
 - Polo Roses
 - IOMOI anything...if you have checked out this website you are SERIOUSLY missing out
 - Monogramming...everything
 - November & December
 - Arugula salads

And a few images I'm currently coveting...loving the large scale paintings below, what a statement they would make!

Claiborne Swanson Frank Photography via Vogue