Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winter blues

It has hit that time of year where I'm done with winter. So, so, so done. Especially this winter. It has been so consistently cold. I'd kill for anything above freezing right now. That would be a much-welcomed heat wave. January and February are always the hardest months to get through in Michigan, or anywhere really with a winter like ours. I'm trying to focus on the things I do love about winter: dark nights for movie watching, cooking warm meals, hot cocoa, fuzzy socks, cuddling up on the sofa with a marathon of Friends, feeling no guilt whatsoever about not going outside for an entire weekend, you know, those things. But there comes a point when you're pale as a ghost, your skin wants to fall off and die, your humidifier cannot keep up with how dry your apartment is, and you're just freezing all. of. the. time. So, spring, can you come sooner?

On top of everything, I am finally admitting that I caught Eric's cold. Sniffly nose, sore throat, sinus headache. And note to self: don't take outfit shots when you're sick. You'll doubt everything about your appearance. Trust me. But otherwise, everything else in life is good! Work is going well; we had a super fun Valentine's Day in the office. For the holiday, Eric and I just stayed in, ordered a pizza and watched Begin Again (which is super good, by the way). I've been continuing to follow WW, cook lots of meals and I'm trying to keep up with my 5K training plan. I'm definitely excited for a new month though. Plus, worst comes to worst, it can stay freezing cold in Michigan but at the end of March, I'll at least be in warm Texas for the Texas Style Council CAMP! Are you signed up yet?

I received this dress from Ruche as a Christmas present. I love it for winter! I definitely gravitate toward specific colors in every season, and navy blue has to be my favorite for winter. Along with burgundy. Burnt orange and hunter green in autumn. Pinks and peaches for spring. And definitely red in summer. I'm trying to rotate more of my closet too so I start wearing more of the things I have, but I'm really ready for another purge and a spring shopping trip. Well, just spring in general, that's for sure!

Now I'm off to take some nighttime cold medicine to knock me out, and binge watch some Netflix with Eric in bed. Have a good night, friends! xo

Outfit details:
Forever21 Bird Necklace (similar)
Bonny Casual Boot c/o Wolverine 1000 Mile

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A date to Cakabakery

I'm about to get real cute-sy on you guys. But it is technically the week of love since Valentine's Day is right around the corner. In light of the corny holiday (that I absolutely love), Eric and I had a little date at The Cakabakery, my favorite local dessert bakery. And luckily for us, it's right in our neighborhood! If you've never been to this darling shop before, it's a must-visit when you're in town. All of their treats are from local, fresh ingredients and completely homemade from scratch. And it is all so good. Every time we visit, there is a new flavor to try or item to swoon over! The confetti cupcake this time was love at first sight.

Our dearest friends, Drew and Alyssa, met up with us to snap these photos that I'll love and cherish forever! Alyssa is one of the best photographers I know, and honestly, just the best all-around sweetest gal you'll ever meet. We found out we were neighbors last year (through Instagram, ha!), and pretty much fell in love with the both of them the first time we all hung out. I'm really excited to start collaborating with her more on the blog, and even more excited for you all to see her amazing work. She does portrait sessions, and is also booking right now for weddings. So be sure to visit her website + stay tuned for more here too!

One of my favorite online boutiques, Ruche, asked me to be their Valentine this year... so of course, I said yes. (Sorry, Eric.) They sent over this dress that I knew would be perfect for Valentine's Day, and spring, summer, and next fall probably, oh and winter in general. I love this dress! It's so comfortable, flowy and pretty. It can be worn all on its own, but for the sake of our 11º average, I paired my orange cardigan with it most of the day to stay extra warm. Ruche is having a 25% off site-wide sale with code "LOVEYOU" right now, so be sure to check that out!

Do you guys have any fun plans for Valentine's Day lined up? For the past two years, Eric and I have typically gone out somewhere fancy for dinner (because we usually eat at Red Robin or a taco joint). So we use this day as an excuse to splurge on something special! I have no idea what our plans are this year. He claims to have plans. I'll just have to plan on being surprised! We'll see what happens. But I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love whether you're single, dating, or married for fifty years! Just be sure to treat yourself. Maybe with a cupcake from The Cakabakery. ;)

Outfit details:
Forever21 Heart Locket Necklace (similar)
Macy's Maison Jules Waffle Knit Cardigan (similar)
Seychelles Can't You See Boot in Burgundy (similar)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share these yummy mini cherry cheesecakes! I made these last year for the first time, and I had to make them again this year because they are so good! Eric and I both love cheesecake, but unfortunately cheesecakes can be a bit heavy. This WW recipe lightens it up using light and fat-free cream cheese, egg whites, light pie filling and light butter. They are super easy to whip together, and take only 15 minutes to bake. Just be sure to fully let them cool. I was really impatient and wanted one right after I topped them off with cherry pie filling, and they didn't want to come out of the cupcake liners. These are perfect for a snack and will last a few days in the fridge! Enjoy!! xo


(recipe via Weight Watchers)

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp light butter, melted
2/3 cup low-fat cream cheese
6 Tbsp fat-free cream cheese
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup light fruit pie filling, cherry

Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin. Preheat oven to 375º.

In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, mix well. Spoon 1 tablespoon of crumb mixture into bottom of each liner, and press down gently; refrigerate until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, using a mixer, beat both types of cream cheese until fluffy. Add lemon juice, egg whites, vanilla extract and sugar; beat until smooth.

Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly into muffin liners; bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Top each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon cherry pie filling. Yields 1 cheesecake per serving, for 3 PointsPlus value.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday road

Happy Monday! This weekend was so good. I love a simple, casual life. Friday night, Eric and I went to a concert with a friend and met up with more friends at Grand Rapids Brewing afterwards. Saturday, we had a million errands to run and I had a lot of fun actually! We had a slight thaw here in Michigan; 36 degrees is officially warm to us. But it felt so good, especially with the sunshine! We picked out some decor for our wedding and centerpieces, met up with some good friends to take photos, went to see a bunch of 9-year-olds play a hockey game (highly amusing) and visited with Eric's parents for a while. Sunday, we headed to church in the morning, went grocery shopping, to Denny's for breakfast and came home to relax all day and watch the Grammy's. Busy, but I loved it. I'm not ready to start a new week just yet though - feeling super tired and unmotivated today. So now, I'm off to watch Friends! Byeee! xo

Outfit details:
Diagonal Alley Coat in Black c/o ModCloth (similar)
Forever21 Mustard Sweater (similar)
The Crib Birdcage Necklace (similar)
Old Navy Tall Faux-Leather Boots (similar)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Seven Layer Mexican Dip

I'm kicking myself for not posting this recipe sooner, because this is the perfect dish for Superbowl Sunday. I've made it the past two years in a row, and it's always a huge hit! It was gone within the hour this past Sunday! It's a Weight Watcher's recipe, so it's quite healthy as well. It's only 2 points for 1/4 cup, and you can serve it with baked or whole grain tortilla chips and/or veggies. Both equally satisfying! Even though the big game has passed, this would be a yummy, easy dish for any fun event. Plus, it only takes 15 minutes to make. Enjoy!

(recipe via Weight Watchers)

1 cup fat-free sour cream
2 Tbsp. reduced sodium taco seasoning
9 oz. fat-free refried beans, about 1 heaping cup
6 oz. guacamole (homemade or restaurant), about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
4 medium scallions, chopped
1 small fresh tomato, chopped
6 gm olives, black, sliced (optional)

Combine sour cream and taco seasoning; mix well. Spread refried beans on bottom of a 12-inch round glass serving bowl or platter. Top with guacamole, sour cream, cheese, scallions, tomatoes and olives. Yields about 1/4 cup per serving.