Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Biscotti


This past weekend I finally made my seasonal visit to Trader Joe's and stocked up on canned organic pumpkin puree.  I can't go to Trader Joe's every weekend because I have zero self control when it comes to buying adorable flower arrangements or eating massive quantities of dark chocolate covered pretzels (and TJ's has the absolute best!). The cashier may or may not have given me a curious look over how many cans of pumpkin I purchased, but I think he was actually accustomed to people stocking up on it.  I remember the canned pumpkin shortage of 2009 - it wasn't pretty. 

When I was home with my canned pumpkin prizes I asked the hubs what he was in the mood for and he quickly returned a follow-up question, "can you make some type of pumpkin biscotti?" 

And Pinterest led me to the Chocolate Moosey's amazing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Biscotti recipe. The recipe was adapted, by adding chocolate chips, from its original source on Simply Recipes


Oh look the ginger came out in the shape of a heart - a good sign of things to come!


This biscotti was delicious. Now I know you biscotti purists might have a criticism that it isn't overly crisp, but that's just the nature of working with pumpkin. Also, I'm not a fan of overly stale, crunchy biscotti and I search out recipes that specifically say that! This made the perfect late afternoon treat - which meant in the fall that daylight was gone when the hubs and I finally sat down to enjoy these. But they were tasty again this morning with coffee on the go! 



Any other pumpkin recipes I need to try? Pumpkin roll is up again for next week, but after that I'm looking for something new to try. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Quick Change



Made in USA: Blazer: Helmut Lang // Jeans: James Jeans // 
Imported/Unknown: Clutch: old Rebecca Minkoff // Boots: old Pour La Victoire (Brazil) // 

Last night I came home from work, tossed my trousers and sensible work pumps aside, and threw on jeans, boots (sensible wedges!), and two coats of mascara. Grabbed a clutch, kissed the pups goodnight, badgered the hubs about how he was feeling (man cold), and then headed down to Annapolis to do some shopping at the Here A Pop Up Shop

Nothing makes me happier than supporting local businesses. Now if only I could have partaken in the alcohol consumption part, but I'm racing the Baltimore Half Marathon on Saturday and needed to cut back on the booze a bit. Hence the sensible wedge boots! I'm still cursing myself for not giving the clothes a better look earlier in the night because by time I got through all the racks an amazing pair of Nanette Lepore trousers had sold out in my size at the WRABYN Boutique. I did come home some amazing embossed stationary and an intent to buy more artwork at the next event. Gotta get the hubs on board with some fashion illustrations :)

Shop a few of my favorite quick change pieces that let you go from day to night by swamping out trousers for jeans. All items below are made in the USA. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shopbop Sale: Made in USA Picks

If you were in the shopping mood and needed to grab a steal this week, well then you're in luck! For the next three days you can take 25% off almost everything at Shopbop with code: FAMILY25 

Above are just a few of my favorite made in the USA picks.

There are a few brand exclusions, which means the beloved Rag & Bone fedora is still $195. Ouch

It's okay, I found another felt fedora that is much more wallet friendly and on sale! Check out this Hat Attack wool fedora that's only $70 include the sale discount.

I'm definitely torn on what to pick up - a pair of staple denim or a dainty piece of jewelry that I'll keep forever. But then my mind reminds me that Clare V. clutches never go on sale so this is the time to pick up one of those. Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

Hey anything to keep my mind from freaking out over catching the flu or worse on the train. I literally saw 2 women this morning sporting those surgical masks in hopes of fending off some disease other than sarcastic eye rolls. Yup, we've entered that stage of our lives!

So Shopbop sale - what are you getting?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Made in USA Moto Jackets



I'm a coat hoarder - well at least according to my husband I'm a coat hoarder. If you can wear a different winter coat every day of the week for at least one week, then in his mind you're a coat hoarder.

But with fall jackets I'm a bit different. I have more than enough blazers to get me through life (although that never stops me from buying more of them), but I don't have a single moto jacket.

Womp. Womp.

Thankfully I found few beauties above that are all made in the USA and shockingly cheaper than the leather jacket I bought in Italy years ago (rookie international travel mistake). Which is your favorite made in the USA moto jacket as seen above? Or have you found another one that I didn't list?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Smash the Cake Session Outtake


I photographed a Smash The Cake session this weekend for a freshly, minted, one year-old. Is there anything better than a half naked kid, in a custom tie and diaper covered, smashing a perfect cupcake?

Nope!

I'm not cool with sharing any photos from the session, even if they are ridiculously cute (I'm biased), because the only time those photos are seeing the mass light of day is when his parents put them in his yearbook his senior year of school. Or show them at his wedding reception.

Focusing and white balance were a tad off in this photo - so it's going to the garbage folder! But hopefully it gives an idea of the setup we used. Although the cupcake and accompaning cute kiddo were safely positioned on the floor and not on a brick fireplace. That white brick was just perfect for bouncing all the natural light in the room back into my camera lens.

Random nitpicky question - there are little white dots visible in the fireplace. There is a large metallic candelabra in the fireplace. Should I remove those spots in post production to make the black doors more uniform? Or is that too crazy and I should just leave them in there because that's how the fireplace appears in real life?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dannijo Architectural Minimalism Collection - Handmade with Love in New York

Mae ($168) // Bitty ($78) // Magna ($148) //
Vice ($98) // Rory ($158) // Verity ($148) // 

I've been a fan of Dannijo's crazy, beautiful statement necklaces for the past few years. Thanks Man Repeller for fueling that addiction. However, with a lot of jewelry pieces made in the USA the price point was a little out of my league. I have a Dannijo cuff that I scored on mega sale and I get giddy every time I wear it (true story). 

So when I heard earlier this week that Dannijo released a new minimalist collection that was not only timeless and classic, but also more wallet friendly I was hooked. Every single piece in the Dannijo Architectural Minimalism Collection is handmade with love in New York. And every single item is priced $158 or less. 

Yes, please. 

I'm all about the bracelets in this collection. Don't get me wrong, the other pieces are insanely gorgeous, but those bracelets man. There aren't words to explain how gorgeous and perfect they are and how I could wear them every single day because they're work, day, and night appropriate. 

Which is your favorite piece? 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jeter's Farewell Tour


Made in USA: Jacket: James Jeans // Jeans: Paige Denim // Tee: U.S. of Awesomeness // Necklace: c/o Kris Nations // Bag: vintage Coach (similar)

I begged, pleaded, and then begged some more with my husband that we should go to Derek Jeter's last game at Camden Yards. Over the past seven past years of living in Baltimore I can't even count how many O's games we've gone to, but I know we've only gone to a handful of Yankee games when they're in town. Although we did go to both Orioles v Yankees playoff games in 2012 (Game 1, Game 2)

Two major reasons:
1. I'm a NY Yankees fan :)
2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards gets overrun with fellow Yankee fans when the Yanks are in town. Especially during a weekend series - forget about it!

Thankfully, my persuasion won the hubs over and we were able to go to Jeter's last game in Baltimore. There was a pre-game celebration honoring the 200th anniversary of when the Star Spangled Banner was written in Baltimore. Then, the Orioles gave Jeter crabs. Yes, that happened. They also gave him other gifts that were perfect for the occasion - including an official Navy Captain's hat. A captain's hat for the Captain!

That Sunday night was a sad affair. Derek Jeter has gone off to retirement and he's officially the last of the good guys I grew up with as a kid. I sincerely hope that this generation of young baseball fans finds their Cal Ripken Jr., their Ken Griffey Jr., and their Derek Jeter. Those guys don't come around too often and I'm so happy to have seen them all play.

I think this means I'm also officially no longer a kid anymore because the guys I grew up watching as a kid are now all retired. I'm calling it, at 31 years old I am officially no longer a kid.

Womp. Womp.