Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Polished Details

The collar trend has been around for a while now, but you can't help but notice that it's everywhere lately. I went shopping the other day and found this adorable collared top. I love the combination of white and black, and the lace adds a nice touch. Can't wait to wear this!


Collars instantly dress up any outfit



Close-up of the lace detail


Don't own any collared clothing? Try wearing a necklace version like this one from Topshop:


Pearl Collar, $28


 Have you tried out this trend yet?

-Lauren

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cookie Cravings

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite desserts. My mom used to bake them all the time when I was a kid, so I always associate them with good memories. Not to mention they are delicious! I don't bake very often, but this weekend I was feeling unusually inspired. I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. These cookies are crispy around the edges and soft and chewy in the middle.



 The finished product - not bad for a novice baker!


Try to measure out your ingredients beforehand. It'll make the process much easier.


 
 I don't have a mixer, so I used a wooden spoon to blend all of the ingredients together.


Grease your cookie sheet or line with parchment paper, then roll the dough into balls.



Let your cookies cool on a baking rack, and then enjoy!



Overall, this is a great recipe. The cookies tasted great, and the steps were really easy to follow. I highly recommend.

What's your favorite cookie recipe?

-Lauren

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Busy in the Big Apple

I just got back from my trip to New York City, which was a ton of fun. Lucky for me it stopped raining while I was there! I love how NYC is so different from Los Angeles. That's the great thing about traveling - you can always try something new. Here are some of the pictures I took while staying in Manhattan:


New York style pizza with black olives and sweet red peppers. Amazing!



 Lots of great architecture in the city



 Lunch in midtown with a friend. My salad and croissant were delicious!



Tons of giant billboards in Times Square



The famous Trump Tower


I had a great time but I'm glad to be back in L.A. Have you been to New York before?

-Lauren

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dreaming in Pastel

I'm loving the latest pastel fashion trend, which has been really big this Spring. It's light, feminine, and perfect for the warm weather. Pastels are also a nice break from the bright colors that recently dominated the scene. I have to admit though - my closet is pretty void of anything pastel. Sounds like a perfect excuse to go shopping!



Chanel 2013 collection
 (image via)


Not sure where to start? Here's some inspiration for your wardrobe:



  (Collage made on Polyvore)



What are your thoughts on the pastel trend?

-Lauren

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Seeing Red

One of the biggest beauty trends of the year has definitely been red lips. Practically every shade has been seen on the runway - from bright corals, to deep berries, to true, classic reds. Sometimes red lipstick can feel really harsh, especially during the day. Try experimenting with different shades and textures. Glosses and sheer formulas are a softer alternative.




 
(Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)


My favorite red lipstick? MAC Lipstick Lustre in Lady Bug. This tomato-red shade has a sheer, glossy finish, which gradually builds color the more you layer it on.

(image via)


Are you a fan of red lips?

-Lauren


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Getty Adventures

This weekend I visited The Getty museum, which is nestled in the hills of Los Angeles. I hadn't been in four years, so it was nice to experience it once again. The Getty has the most amazing views of L.A., and lucky for us, it was clear and sunny out while we were there. An interesting fact I learned: The Getty was built based on a 30x30 square grid, which the architect thought was the perfect scale for design.



I love how the clouds mimic the shape of the building in this photo



View of the entrance. So beautiful!



Crazy cactus garden 



Loved the Herb Ritts photography exhibit



I have a copy of this Vincent van Gogh painting in my apartment


What did you do this weekend?

-Lauren

Friday, May 11, 2012

24 Hours in New York City

This month, I get to go to New York City for work. I've only been once when I was in high school, so it's been a while. Luckily, I have one day off to explore the city and do whatever I want. That being said, it's going to be very hard to choose what to do with just 24 hours. After talking to some friends and doing research, I think I've narrowed down my list pretty well...



(photo via)

You can't go to New York and NOT get pizza. That's just plain wrong. The more I Google "best pizza in NYC" the more confused I get. No one seems to have the same answer! My goal is to narrow it down to a few top places - I'm sure they're all wonderful.

 

 (photo via)

I'm a recreational ballet dancer, so I definitely need to take a dance class while I'm there. NYC is home to some of the best dance schools and companies in the world like the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater.



(photo via)

I love museums, so MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) is high on my list.



(image via)

Everyone is telling me I need to go to Shake Shack. It's a burger stand that's also famous for its shakes and hot dogs. I must say, their fries do look pretty good...


NYC locals/enthusiasts: Where do you recommend visiting with only 24 hours to spare?

-Lauren

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Perfect Living Space

I stumbled upon this photo of an apartment which I simply love. I'm drawn to the clean, modern lines and bold pops of color. The yellow couch is perfectly balanced with the white walls and cream colored rug. This look can be easily recreated, no matter what your budget is. All it takes is a little bit of creativity.


(image via - click to see more photos from this apartment!)



 Here are some pieces I found that would create a similar look:


 


And if you're really feeling bold...



What do you use as inspiration for decorating your own space?

-Lauren

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cooking with Kale

Tired of eating the same vegetables week after week, I cooked kale for this first time yesterday. Kale, which is part of the cabbage family, is rich with nutrients like beta carotene and vitamin C.

Kale can be prepared in many different ways, but this time I prepared it as a simple but yummy side dish. I used this Bobby Flay recipe for sauteed kale with garlic, and modified the measurements for one person. Warning: Kale shrinks down a LOT - I definitely didn't make enough! Use double of what you're expecting to eat.

Ingredients (4 servings):

-1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
-Salt and pepper
-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I didn't use this ingredient)

Steps:

1. Chop kale into strips, getting rid of the thick stem in the middle




2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until soft.
3. Add kale and broth to pan, slightly raising the heat. Cover and cook for five minutes.




4. Remove cover, and cook until broth has evaporated
5. Season to taste. You can use salt, pepper, and/or vinegar 




There you go, an easy side dish that takes about 20 minutes from start to finish!

Have you had kale before? What did you think?

-Lauren

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Very Gatsby Party

I don't know if it's because I recently watched Midnight in Paris, or because I got inspired by my hair brooch post, but I am loving the idea of throwing a Great Gatsby themed party. I had to read the classic novel when I was in high school, but I appreciate it more now in my twenties than I did as a teenager. There is something so alluring and glamorous about the roaring 20's, which is captured perfectly by the novel's reckless socialite characters.

Here are some sources of inspiration for throwing your own swanky soirée:


 The perfect 1920's party dress: Boxy, loose fitting dresses were very popular at that time
(image via)


Gin Rickeys: F. Scott Fitzgerald's favorite drink
(image and recipe via)


 Festive table settings: Metallics were all the rage in the 20's
(image via)


And of course, good company!
(image via)


Have you ever thrown a themed party before?

-Lauren
 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Closet Intervention

Do you ever feel like you have nothing to wear with a closet full of clothes? That had been happening to me recently, but I wasn't sure how to target the problem. This past weekend, I took charge and decided to really take a look at my wardrobe. I started by organizing my clothes (specifically tops) by color. It was quite simple to do, and didn't take long at all.




Once I finished and stepped back to take a look, I realized that over half my clothes were black, grey, or neutral tone. No wonder I was frustrated! My wardrobe lacked variety. Now that I've identified the problem, I can focus on buying more colorful clothes, and staying away from what I own most. I highly recommend trying this out if you're having a similar problem.

Do you have any wardrobe organizing tips? What did you learn through the process? Share here!

-Lauren
 
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