Saturday, October 20, 2012

Out & About: Phantastic Philly!

     Philadelphia is an amazing place to visit for good food, culture, and of course clothing!  Last weekend Daniel and I visited the city of brotherly love to stop in to one of my all-time favorite boutiques- Nicole Rae Styer Boutique.  I have been a customer of Nicole's for a few years now, and every time I am in her boutique she makes me feel right at home!  If you are in the area you have got to check out her store, not only is it a beautiful feast for the eyes, but she also has fantastic sales, all one-of-a-kind and embellished pieces, and the friendliest customer service.  In her colorful boutique, one can find an affordable and well-made purse, top, skirt, dress or piece of jewelry that no one else will have!  Nicole embellishes each of her pieces using mixed media fabrics, beads, sequins, glitter, lace and other fancy handpicked materials.  What else is so wonderful about Nicole's work is that each item is made using up-cycled and recycled materials, so not only is each piece unique but also easy on the environment!  She also features jewelry and clothing pieces from other local artists, as well as my colorful filigree rings, although I need to restock them! :)  Her whimsical store is the perfect place for inspiration, gifts, and of course a little treat for you!
A closeup up her colorful work.

She even has a little section for the guys!  Here, Daniel is wearing the button-up shirt that she embellished for him, and a tie he discovered during our visit :) Now how cool is that??
Just a few of her amazing bags.
There is a wide variety of items and sizes to choose from!
Slip dresses on summer sale!

An absolutely gorgeous fur colar and slip dress.

Did I mention that she also has fabulously fancy lingerie?

A sampling of her bedazzled smart phone cases and incredibly whimsy earrings. (If I had a smart phone I would be ALL over these)

The beautiful and talented Nicole Rae herself!

Nicole is such a fabulous artist and seamstress, thanks for all of your wonderful creations and allowing me to feature your store, Nicole!  You can check out Nicole Rae Styer boutique from the link above or find her on facebook to find out about sales, events, and other news :)
Another Philly love of mine is the selective vintage thrift shop- Retrospect.  This place is pretty cool, but a little hit or miss.  This time it was a miss- but probably because we had 5 minutes left on our meter and had to leave before I got to look through everything- but last time it was a major hit with an awesome vintage floral jacket and $5 80's secretary dress from the sales rack.  This place has some really fun stuff!  
You can check them out here.
     And what day would be complete without a little cake? For our Anniversary, Daniel surprised me with this amazing red velvet cake from Sweet Freedom Bakery, a magical little place off South Street with goodies that are allergen and refined sugar free- what could be sweeter than that?
Amazing, huh?  It's a great place for anyone with food allergies or sensitivities, or those who want to indulge in something yummy that they can feel good about afterwards!  Some great, creative treats and their cream-filled pumpkin cookies are THE BOMB!
(I am in love with their candy colored chandelier!) 

What a phantastic philly weekend we had, and a great vacation in Virigina to follow!  In my next post I will share some photos from our stay and a cute little boutique I found in our journeys :)  Happy Saturday!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Clashing Correctly: Great Ways to Mix Patterns and Prints!

     We've all seen it before...the outfit that just completely clashes, and not in the right way--at all.  It can be eye-catching, yet disastrous all at once.  And then there are the ones where we cock our heads and say "Wow, that outfit looks amazing but I would never think to put it together!"  Well, fortunately, there is a right way to clash (and to heck with the "right way"really, but if you're looking for a more fashionable or graceful way to clash, I am here to help!!).  I am all about clashing and mixing.  There is a certain art to it and it can take a little practice and experimentation, but with a little bit of tweaking it can come out really fun and make the pieces in your outfit really POP!  Clashing is a great way to really mix up your wardrobe and reinvent some of your favorite outfits without buying anything new.  I find that with enough mixing people still manage to think I wear something different every single day, but shhhhh secretly, I just mix everything up every day!! So don't give away my secret, but please do use it to your advantage!  Remember that as well as mixing patterns and prints, a great way to switch things up is to layer.  Put a skirt over a dress or  pick a cozy scarf to go with an old top; wear some printed tights under a pair of shorts to take them into the fall and use cardigans to go with sleeveless dresses and tops.  Between layering and mixing your patterns and prints, there are so many new outfits just waiting to be unveiled!

How to pair prints and patterns:

The best and easiest way to pair different patterns and prints is to pick ones that have a mutual color or color theme.  The simplest way to do this is to use floral prints.  In my example I used a few floral prints, but I also broke it up with an example of cross-prints if you will- which is really just my term for "two different types of prints" one is polka dot and the other is floral, their similar color is white (they both sport a white background) so even though there is a lot of difference between them- the white makes it work!  Also- the white and black polka dot is neutral- so it is a great pairing with the crazy pink, blue and yellow neons.  The floral dress and scarf on the left both sport a bright magenta and yellow tones, and the cardigan and dress in the middle both have that rich coral orange that makes them work great together.
If you are looking for a little extra "ummph" in your outfit mixing prints is a fantastic way to do it!  Not only does it bring more color and texture to the outfit, but it emphasizes the look and the boldness of each print.

How I wear it:
The mutual color in all of my prints was a bright/almost pink red.  I also tried to go with similar flowers in all of my patterns and chose to do a little color matching.  I went with the yellow headband to go with my skirt, and red leggings to emphasize the red color theme in the floral prints.  I went a little crazy with it and did a skirt/dress, cardigan, scarf and clutch all in different prints, but if that is a bit too daring for you it would be just as well to start with just a cardigan, dress, and statement necklace.  
The yellow headband is part of my collection from the Lemon Moth which can be made to order :)  I absolutely love texture and thought this headband gave just the right amount to top it all off.
Just a close up so you can see how the mutual color really ties all of these prints together, while still giving the look of a "fashionable clash"
Scarf- thrifted, headband "The Lemon Moth", cardigan-, dress- kohl's, leggings-H&M, shoes- fashionbug

And a special thanks to my hubby who gave me this awesome cardigan for our first wedding anniversary, you're the best! <3

Here are some ideas for inspiration- and all super affordable!

Print and Pattern Clash

Happy Friday! <3

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Embracing Autumn Woodland Style

I am so inspired by the colors, scents, and atmosphere of fall.  The summer is so hot, vivid, bright and exciting, yet... sweltering.  And then- so slowly and easily, autumn sweeps in with a cool and refreshing breeze.  Apples ripen- a light musk blows through the air from kicked up leaves, and a release of the harsh humidity sends us all swooning for pumpkin goodies and warm soups.  The trees breathe a sigh of relief as they shed their leaves and start their restoration for the colder months.  So too is a time for all of creation to refresh and restore.  As fall creeps back in, so does my desire to cuddle up on the couch in warm blankets- with a mug of hot apple cider and a good book (or movie ;)  For me- fall is a time to get reconnected with the outdoors, in a comfortable, easy and carefree sort of way.   Finally outdoor yoga feels cozy again, hikes can be done without shedding extra layers, and the possibilities with fashion are endless!  I love layering and mixing different scarves, skirts, tops, and headpieces and fall is the perfect time to do it!  Be inspired by nature this fall and let it shape your style in your own way.  For me that means adding feminine and bohemian touches like hair wreaths, brightly patterned scarves, and soft waves in my hair.  Try incorporating deep berry shades like purple and burgundy, forest green, mustard yellow and "pumpkin" orange to make the transition into fall.

Like this hair wreath?  You can find it here in my newly opened Etsy shop!  I will be adding more fun and romantic items in the next few weeks.  

Hair Wreath, Necklace and Bracelet by The Lemon Moth, Scarf by H&M, dress by Francesca's, Shoes by Irregular Choice

I love the sound of crunchy leaves underneath my feet <3

Happy Fall to All!

My apologies for slacking the last few days on my blog- I have been working hard to try and get my etsy site up, as well as planning Daniel and my first Anniversary trip back to Virginia next week!  We are so excited to go back to Chestnut Hill B&B and can't wait to get a breath of fresh air from busy Delaware!  

What is your favorite thing about Autumn?  Is it your favorite season?  Spring and Fall are equally my favorite times of the year, and I am so excited to try all sorts of pumpkin recipes this October!  Pumpkin pie, cookies, butters, soups, tarts, drinks, I am sure there are many more possibilities and I intend on passing them on to you when I try them out!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Daniel and Alyssa's Delicious Buckwheat Pancakes! (Gluten free, vegan)

 These delicious pancakes are Daniel's and my favorite recipe.  What makes these hearty pancakes so special is that they can be enjoyed by pretty much everyone!  Gluten intolerant, vegan, vegetarian, just wanting to be healthy?  No problem, these pancakes have you covered!  We make them for our friends when they stay over, and we love making them on the weekend when we can actually wake up together!  Buckwheat is a wonderful source of protein, helps stabilize blood sugar, and is wonderfully filling.  These pancakes are pretty dense, so only a few are sure to satisfy!  We hope you enjoy! :)

Buckwheat Pancakes
(Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Makes ~6 pancakes (6”)
Serves 2
Prep time ~5min
Cook time ~10min

1 TBS ground Flax seed
3 TBS water
1 cup buckwheat flour (we use Bob's Red Mill)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup almond or coconut milk
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS cinnamon
1 banana
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

In a small bowl, combine flax seed and water until well mixed. Let set for 2-3 minutes

In a large bowl, add together flour, baking powder, salt, milk, oil, and cinnamon. Stir in flax combination until only a few lumps of flour remain. Dice bananas into bowl and add chocolate chips, mix together. Batter will be thick (buckwheat is a dense flour), for thinner pancakes add 1/4 - 1/2 cup water to mixture as desired.

Heat skillet on Medium. Spoon mixture onto pan to make approximately 6” cakes. Air bubbles will begin to rise through batter and edges will begin to dry out and lift off bottom of pan, this means it is time to flip (these cook quickly, but the grey coloring of the batter makes “browning” difficult to see).

Place on plate and enjoy. Add peanut butter, maple syrup, blueberry-maple syrup, diced fruits, or whatever your heart desires.

Instead of bananas and chocolate chips, feel free to be creative and add whatever you wish for a fun, flavorful breakfast. Mixed berries is one of our favorites. 1/3 cup chopped walnuts adds a nice crunch.

I am a purist about my syrup.  I love plain old, 100% maple syrup, although I do love a good flavored one from time to time.  Daniel found this Blueberry maple syrup at the farmer's market, and I have to say, a drizzle on my pancakes did wonders!

Our tower of pancakes waiting to be devoured!

Daniel enjoying our delicious Buckwheat pancakes
 (with peanut butter on top!)

If you make them, be sure to let us know how yours turned out!

Happy Morning!