Friday, August 31, 2012

Christen Maxwell

One thing I love about reading so many blogs is finding out about so many NEW brands to me. It's so fun, don't you think? When catching up on posts from La Dolce Vita, Paloma was recapping her finds at the New York Gift Show and had some pictures showcasing all the great goodies over at Christen Maxell...

I'm loving their zipper pouch like bags to store all sorts of things. These would be great in your work tote to group together smaller items like lip glosses or pens, or you could use it to corral chargers and such when traveling and you could even take it out as a clutch! You gotta love a multi useful item.

Anthracite Etoile Jane Zippy 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sprinkle Mania

Who doesn't love a Funfetti dessert? I mean come ON how can you not love anything with colored sprinkles in it...

I made these cookies for some sweet teacher friends of mine who started back to school this week and they didn't disappoint! So hurry up and bake these for the teachers in your life...or yourself! :)

Funfetti Cookies via Tasty Kitchen Blog

Funfetti Cookies from Tasty Kitchen Blog

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Cream the butter and sugar in your stand mixer (or hand mixer) for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add the vanilla, almond, and egg. Beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, sift in the flour, cornstarch, soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and continue on low speed until it’s all added and combined. Mix in the sprinkles (don’t overmix or the sprinkles will start to bleed into the dough).
Roll cookie dough into small balls and place onto cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart (fits 12 cookies per sheet). Bake for about 15 minutes. (Note: Only bake until they very slightly start to turn light golden brown just on the edges. You don’t want them to totally turn golden or they’ll be crisp cookies. Check them around 10 minutes, then 12, and so on.)
Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container up to 4 days.


  • 1 cup Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1-¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2-½ cups Flour
  • ¼ cups Cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½-1 cups Rainbow Jimmie Sprinkles (Use as much as you want!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sister Spotlight

I have a fabulous risotto recipe for you all today courtesy of my best friend and sister, Claire. Claire is getting married in LESS than three months and we just celebrated her bachelorette weekend in Arrowhead, CO. Sweet Claire cooked all us girls dinner the last night of our trip to say thank you.

She made this killer risotto and it was the hit of the meal...SO SO good. I know risotto might seem like a scary and time -intensive thing to make, but it's so worth it.

Mushroom Risotto via

Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

Prep Time:
20 Min
Cook Time:
30 Min
Ready In:
50 Min


  • 6 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, sliced into half inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced into half inch cubes
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste test at this point to make sure rice is soft, but don't overcook as the dish will become too slushy.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In LOVE with Flats

We all know that flats, particularly the pointy-toe variety are in style this fall. I'm been pinning pairs like mad woman. Here is a roundup of my favorites, I'm especially eyeing these!
Elizabeth and James Gwen Flat via Piperlime

Monday, August 27, 2012

Loren Hope Fall 2012 Collection

Have you all had a chance to take a gander at Loren Hope's fall jewelry collection? It's out of the park awesome...way to kill it Loren Hope!

My favorite piece has to be the Clara earrings, but the Roxy earrings and Clara necklace are close seconds. Is it too early to hope Santa brings me a piece from this collection?

Clara Earrings in Lilac

Roxy Earrings

Clara Necklace in Lilac
Did you have a favorite piece from the collection?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Dozzie of a Dozen

Sooo I hope by now you all know my love for LovelyB bangles. I incorporate some into my arm candy stack everyday and am loving all the combinations I can come up with. And NOW LovelyB not only has their ETSY page, but is selling in a dozen TX boutiques! How is that for sweet success??

See the list of TX boutiques that are savvy enough to carry LovelyB below and share share share with all your friends! 

Fort Worth - Maven, Brown Bag and Flirt
Dallas - Flirt
Fredricksburg - Root
Lubbock - Hulla B'Lu
Waco - Roots
Tyler - Cole & Co.
San Antonio - Memory Lane
Midland - The Canopy

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kate Spade - Final Day of Sale

Soooo I have to say I'm proud of myself. I had BOTH these items in my cart yesterday and didn't actually purchase. SO I'll tell all you about my top picks from the fabulous Kate Spade sale that is happening right now.

First this wallet, I just LOVE it. The coral color is my favorite, but I'm partial to the green too. The gold hardware totally makes it.

Grand Street Cyndy Wallet via Kate Spade

Then these "cluster"earrings, so utterly classy and timeless. I attended a wedding this past spring (Hi Whitty P if you are reading!) and the bridesmaids were all wearing these gorgeous cluster earrings that had a similar look to these. Not only were they pretty, but they were a great departure from the normal pearl studs that you usually see.

Cluster Studs via Kate Spade

Cheers to hoping I can resist these goodies!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Polka Dot Steal

I'm in love with my new polka dot pullover from Old Navy and at $25 a pop how can you not be?!

Women's Boat-Neck Sweater in New Camel Brown from Old Navy

I can't wait to pair it with dark skinnies and nude flats for daytime and then black skinnies and colored pumps for a nighttime look. Fall needs to hurry up and get here!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Current Obsession...

I pinned this picture under my outfit inspiration board this past weekend and keep going back to stare at it. I LOVE everything about this outfit. I think I most love that this look looks cozy,  but still chic.

via Elements of Style

I'm hoping to recreate this look come fall!

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Main Dish or a Dip?

I made this yummy dish last night for dinner and we loved it. Let me retrace my steps actually, while my Mom and I loved it my husband thought it seemed more like a "dip" than a main dish, but what does he know!

All in all though we all cleaned our plates. This dish can also be made earlier in the day and reheated for meal time which is so helpful. My husband was onto something though, because tortilla chips served with this to scoop up all that goodness isn't a bad idea.

Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet from Ready Set Eat

Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet slightly adapted from Ready Set Eat


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1-1 1/2 cups quartered and sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Fire Roasted diced tomatoes with garlic, undrained
  • 1 cup instant brown rice (I used Uncle Ben's Ready Microwavable Brown Rice, SO easy!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pepper jack cheese


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, undrained tomatoes and water. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Add rice; stir well. Remove and sprinkle with cheese.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chocolate and Cherries...

...are apparently a match made in heaven! I made these brownies last night and OMG they are so decadent. And you can justify eating more than one because hey they are made with whole wheat flour and that does count for something right?

Erin's blog is full of whole grain baking recipes and they all look delicious. After making these brownies, I can't wait to make more of Erin's recipes.

100% Whole Grain Chocolate Cherry Brownies via Texanerian Baking

  • 3 tablespoons normal butter
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 15)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup pitted fresh cherries
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Spray an 8" x 8" pan with baking spray or get out a piece of parchment paper and place in the pan. Melt the butter and chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring after each, until melted. Add the sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, milk and oil. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir only until combined. Do not over mix! Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Bake for 15 minutes. Store at room temperature.

I would highly suggest purchasing one of these genius cherry pitters (Thanks Mama!) before making these brownies. This tool REALLY came in handy when making these.

Make these ASAP while the cherries are still so good!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sexy + Lace + Sleeves

Have you all checked out the new fall sale at Piperlime? It's fantastic and they have some great stuff and it's all on SALE. What could be better friends?

My pick is this dress. I'm really really really trying to avoid, but I'm just loving it. Sometimes it's so nice to have a cocktail dress with sleeves come wintertime so you don't freeze to death, but I love that this one even with sleeves is still sexy and fun. 

Have you all found anything from the Piperlime sale?

Joie Brea Lace Mini Dress from Piperlime

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ETSY Spotlight - Benign Objects

Don't you all just love ETSY? It's a one stop shop for so many things. Last month I was on the prowl for bachelorette invitations for my sister's upcoming bachelorette weekend and came across the perfect ones. We are headed to Colorado so I wanted a mountain feel, but still fun and bright. Enter Benign Objects...Heather (the shop owner) was a delight to work with and totally went the extra mile to make sure the invitations were perfection!

This was our inspiration...

Camp Bachelorette Postcard Invitation via Benign Objects

and then Heather created these especially for me! Aren't they precious?

Also, a quick shot out to my SIL Hannah for addressing these bad boys...girl over here doesn't have the best penmanship!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gap Need + Promo

Happy Monday friends! You all deserve to treat yourselves with a pair of these this morning, don't you think? They are a great buy for fall and come in so many colors. I got the Mulberry!

1969 Ankle Zip Legging Jeans from Gap

And even better is that they are 30% (as is everything on right now) with code GAPFRIENDS.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chic, Chic, Chic

The title of this post pretty much completely expresses how I feel about this dress. I haven't purchased one for myself yet, but have had two clients purchase one and it fits AH-mazing girls. This is a classic piece that you can wear over and over again. 

And don't wait for this to go on sale, I have a feeling that by that time there wont' be any left!

Well done J.CREW!

Origami Sheath Dress via JCREW

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Fav Chickpea Salad

I've been wanting to try this recipe for ages, especially with my obsession with chickpeas. It was so good and I can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today. I did make a few changes, mainly that I subbed feta (use the fat-free or reduced-fat versions, you REALLY can't tell a difference) for the gorgonzola and I also just threw in already pre-minced garlic with the veggies because that is what I had on hand.

Roasted Summertime Chickpea Salad via How Sweet It Is

serves 4
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 poblano pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 ears of fresh corn, corn cut from the cob
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 (15-ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled 
1 avocado, chopped
3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and add tomatoes, peppers, corn, onions and garlic. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, toss, then roast for 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
While veggies are cooling, add chickpeas to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar and honey. Set aside.
Add veggies to the chickpeas in the bowl. Add in fresh herbs, then crumble on feta. Drizzle with dressing, tossing to coat, then top with freshly chopped avocado. Season more if desired. Serve immediately!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Vacay Wrap-Up...

All last week I was lucky enough to go on vacation with my sweet parents to Southern California and then wrap up the weekend in Austin for a best friends bachelorette party, it was a blast of the week to say the least.

View from Crystal Cove Park

Here is my wrap of what we did and what I would suggest to others if you visit this year!

Corona Del Mar
- Take a run in Crystal Cove Park
- Eat at Crow Bar (Green bean fries are SO yum!)
- Visit South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island for great shopping
- Stroll down historic Balboa Island and make sure to stop off at the olive oil shop

View of Laguna Niguel

From Corona Del Mar we headed to the Laguna area where we go every year around this time. If it's your first time visiting, shopping in the "downtown" Laguna area is a must! If you were a Laguna Beach TV show obsessed girl like me than you will recognize a LOT of stores/restaurants down there. And yes I'm fully admitting that I was obsessed with one of the dumbest TV shows ever, no judging here! So see what we did this trip below.

Laguna Niguel
 - Ate lunch at this stunning hotel
 - Took advantage of this hotel's beautiful pool
 - Finished this great "beach" read (Not groundbreaking literature, but I still enjoyed it)
 - Ate a yummy dinner at Stella's

From California I headed to Austin for a great girl's weekend! Isn't girl time just the best?

Omni Hotel Pool in Austin

Austin (SO much to do, such little were my favorites from this particular trip)
 - Eat at Garrido's (Try some of the tacos, delicious)
 - Eat at Olive & June (AMAZING meal)
- If your looking to stay somewhere with a great pool, stay here

Do you have in favorites in any of these areas? Would love to hear them!