Fashion Week & Weekend Musings

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BCBG-Max-Azria-Runway-Fashion-Week-Fall-2013-PhotosImage from IMAXtree, pulled from PopSugar

Though actually pulling off a trip to New York for Fashion Week wasn’t in the cards this weekend, a girl never gets tired of scoping out photos, Instagrams, and videos galore from the shows. Also on my weekend to-do list…

Trying out this DIY body scrub from Julip Made

Watching this delightful Disney Short on repeat

Shopping the ASOS winter sale and buying ALL of the beanies

Mulling over whether I’m willing to brave the craziness for Prabal Gurung’s collection for Target

Making more of these fantastic margaritas — the boy made me orange-jalapeño-infused tequila for Christmas and this is the cocktail it was born to fulfill

Finally getting around to reading The Marriage Plot

Too many ambitions? We shall see…

tumblr_meonoqYKLI1ribi8mo1_1280From the delightful blog Daily Dishonesty, discovered through Cupcakes for Breakfast

Happy Weekend!

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Du Jour: The Pants

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These pants are just about my favorites — as in they feel like silk PJs — but this may be the first time I’ve donned them in the colder temps. A little layering and some fun new shoes though, and they don’t seem so scary. Time to start scoping out spring-inspired printed pants to add to my collection.

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Blouse – BDG from Urban Outfitters (Similar) – Pants – Forever21 – Sweater – Ann Taylor (Similar) – Jacket – Obey – Stockings – Hue – Booties – Levity – Sunglasses – South Moon Under – Bag – ALDO

In Season: Brown Butter, Chocolate, Hazelnut, & Orange Cookies

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These cookies are the perfect combination of indulgent sugary flavors and the brightness of winter citrus. That, and I have a problem where I must make anything and everything that includes brown butter.

Brown Butter, Chocolate, Hazelnut, & Orange Cookies
Adapted from Tartlet Sweets

3/4 cup butter, room temperature, divided
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
zest from 1 large orange
1/2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt 1 stick of the butter. The butter will begin to foam and bubble. Heat, whisking constantly, until the butter stops sizzling and begins to turn a light amber color and smells nutty and toasty. Immediately remove the butter from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the remaining butter (1/2 stick) and the sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the zest, juice, vanilla, egg, and brown butter, and mix until combined. Add the flour in three additions, mixing just until combined after each. Stir in the chocolate and hazelnuts. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pinch of about 2-Tablespoon portions of dough, roll into balls, and place two inches apart. Bake until cookies puff and edges are just golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Note: My cookies turned out a bit too dense and harder than I would have liked because I used whole wheat flour, but using regular flour and effectively creaming the sugar and flour mixture should make these much lighter and fluffier.

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Enjoy!

Du Jour: Pop of Pink

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Sometimes monochromatic is just easiest. I can definitely say I rely on a good single-hued look as the easiest way to look relatively chic with minimal effort. And a pop of bright lipstick never hurts.

I’d also like to put in a plug for what has to be my favorite place to nab shoes, time after time: DSW. Though it might seem overdone, this shoe haven never fails to impress. Exhibit A) These simple black booties, nabbed at 80% off as the fashion world starts jumping into spring — I don’t know about you, but I’ll take 80%-off winter shoes over can’t-even-wear-’em-yet spring sandals any day.

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Sweater – Boutique in Baltimore – Jeans – J Brand – Booties – Levity – Lips – Revlon Fire & Ice

Super Bowl XLVII

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Sorry I can’t help it, but this is all I could muster up on the day after the Ravens won the first Super Bowl in 12 years…

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But first, the Puppy Bowl..

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I successfully managed to make homemade soft pretzel bites — having never actually made yeast-bearing bread before, this was quite a feat.

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Moving On Up…

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In the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt…

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And with that in mind, I’ve been doing a little spring cleaning around here. There’s definitely still much to be done, but…

I took the leap of purchasing my own website a few days ago — that’s right, What Dress Code? is now officially my property! — or rather http://whatdresscodeblog.com is now my property.

Whoever said blogging was a piece of cake has never tried to wade through this wonderful, winding world with the help of Google searching mania and an extra cup of coffee too late at night.

And though coffee rarely has much effect on me (blame it on my excessive imbibing of it), I was still on a bit of a roll last night, so I ALSO present to you…

My very own blog Facebook fan page!

This little corner of the Internet is finally starting to grow up (slowly). I’d appreciate it ever so much if you’d head over to my page and give it a little “Like” action.

Cheers to a (maybe) snowy weekend full of good food, lots of couch time, perhaps a stroll or two, and the SUPER BOWL — as an avid Ravens fan, I have no problem spreading the love to all who will listen.

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Du Jour: The Calm

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I made it in just under the wire on shooting these photos before the monsooning hit yesterday — I guess it was inevitable given the unseasonable temps the past few days.

On another note, I’d love any suggestions you guys have for where to purchase sheer stockings that last longer than one to two wears. Perhaps I’m just clumsy, but I simply cannot make the things last. I may or may not have put on two pairs before finding a set that didn’t immediately need to be thrown away despite my greatest attempts at creative nail polish use.

My usual approach is to just stick with your classic Target or drugstore renditions to avoid the investment, but if anyone has suggestions for a sheer stockings upgrade, this girl would greatly appreciate it.

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Chambray – J.Crew – Skirt – Gifted – Jacket – Obey – Stockings – Target – Boots – Vintage – Earrings – Boutique in San Francisco – Sunglasses – Vintage – Bag – ALDO

Du Jour: 60 Degrees

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Well, this is weird. 65-degree temps in January, I’m not sure where you came from, but I’ll take it… if only for about 48 hours. The warm weather had me instantly grabbing a dress in the energetic attempt to get away from my perpetual state of pant-hood these past few weeks. It’s such a great feeling to be able to piece together an outfit where I know I’ll get to actually show every component of it, rather than the perpetual lineup of jackets and sweaters that have studded the rest of my January.

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Dress – Vintage – Jacket – Obey (Eye on This One)- Stockings – Madewell – Booties – Modcloth – Scarf – Gift from India – Earrings – ASOS (Love These) – Bag – ALDO – Glasses – Tiffany & Co.

In Season: White Bean Soup & Parmesan Crisps

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Since it seems to be the season of being perpetually sick, it has also quickly become the season of the perpetual lineup of soups. This earthy Italian take went perfectly with my first foray into the world of Parmesan crisps. Note: Do not use wax paper. After ditching the first batch I went for round two to less waxy, far more delicious results. I’ll be the first to say that toasted Parmesan is about 100 times better than regular Parmesan.

White Bean, Rainbow Chard, and Sweet Potato Soup

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can cannelloni beans
4 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large handfuls rainbow chard
1 generous tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
salt to taste

Sauté onion, garlic, carrot, and sweet potato over medium-low heat until softened. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, and tomato paste, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes and add herbs. Continue cooking over low heat for another 10 minutes or so.

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Parmesan Crisps

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place heaping tablespoon of grated Parmesan on baking sheet and pat down to an even layer. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden-brown on the edges. Place atop bowl of soup… or eat all of them immediately. I won’t blame you.

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Enjoy!

Du Jour: Pop of Pastel

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I might as well call these photos ‘how to make you legs look relatively long and then backtrack and make them look super short all in one series.’ At only 5’2” I’m definitely still grappling with the best ways to elongate my frame in photos — I have no particular aversion to heels but let’s just say I’m not going to start wearing them every day any time soon. Oh well, must embrace it…

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Sweater – Splendid (Similar) – Jeans – J Brand – Jacket – Eddie Bauer – Boots – Steve Madden (Similar) – Bag – ALDO – Cashmere Scarf – Gifted (Love This One Too) – Gloves – J.Crew – Brooch – Vintage – Earrings – JewelMint