Monday, October 14, 2013

Current Obsessions: October

October is my favorite month and that's not just because Halloween is my favorite holiday. October also means the return of Pumpkin Spice, leggings season, and mostly importantly, the beginning of sweater weather. Here's what I've been coveting this month.

Clockwise: Cowl Neck Sweater (I bought this one), Hunter rain boots in dark ruby, NARS palette in Ramatuelle, Kate Spade agenda from the Swoozies collection, Lilly Pulitzer Hopeless Romantic necklace, and Essie polish in After School Boy Blazer.

What are your October must haves?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rosemary Olive Oil Crockpot Bread

When I ran across this fantastic Rosemary Olive Oil Bread recipe from A Hint of Honey, my mouth was watering with the nostalgic taste of homemade bread. It reminded me of saturday shopping trips to Central Market (where they have the best Rosemary Olive Oil bread EVER) and baking bread from scratch with my grandfather on his farm. 

A huge, freshly baked hunk of the bread and my little red Crockpot that could, Scarlett!

A Hint of Honey said that she adapted it to her liking, then I modified it as well using her recipe and this crockpot bread recipe, so here's a double adapted and double delicious Rosemary Olive Oil Crockpot Bread recipe!

Rosemary Olive Oil Crockpot Bread

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp. organic cane sugar 
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 2 tbsp. dried rosemary 
  • 1/4 tsp. House blend or Italian seasoning (I used the House Blend from Archer Farms brand from Target that has marjoram, fennel, thyme, cilantro, ginger, anise seed, dried onion, dried garlic, and ground mustard) 
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper 
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup bread flour 

  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes to proof. Meanwhile, preheat your Crockpot to the high setting. 
  2. Stir in the salt, pepper, rosemary, seasoning, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. Add the bread flour and stir until the flour is fully incorporated and sticky. 
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth. 
  4. Form the dough into a round loaf. Place it on a flour dusted piece of foil, no rise time needed. If you prefer a fluffier, less dense bread cover and let rise for about an hour. 
  5. Place the bread loaf in the foil into the crockpot. Cover with another piece of foil, then cover with the lid. 
  6. Bake in the crockpot for 1-2 hours or until the top sounds hollow when tapped and there are no remaining soft bits.

Happy baking!

Texas Women Bloggers

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dig These Jams: Andy Bull - Keep On Running

This jam has been on heavy rotation lately in my apartment. Like, on repeat pretty much all of the time. It's been out since February, but I've just now run across it, and at the perfect time too. "Keep On Running" is by Andy Bull, a little known alt-pop singer based in Sydney, Australia. The repetitive beats and carefree pop sounds appeal to even the most lecture exhausted ears.

The song, which was apparently produced and created completely by Bull himself, has highly relatable lyrics and a hook that's a dead-ringer description of my mid-semester feelings about time management; "I tried so hard it isn't funny/Tell me how I, how I should have done it/And I keep on looking/Will you tell me something/How long do I have to keep on running, running?".

Like many of you, my schedule is insane. I have sorority responsibilities, deadlines to meet as a student journalist, studying for midterms to do, papers to write, and near literal mountains of portfolio artworks due at the end of each week. Sometimes you just have to remember to take the time out of your busy schedule to kick back and listen to a good jam.

Comment and let me know how you feel about this Jam!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Style File: Mama Cass

"Mama" Cass Elliot

There are loads of style icons from the 1960s & 70s, but none quite like Mama Cass, the frontwoman of the folk band, The Mamas & The Papas. Her sultry voice and powerful presence were evident both on the stage and on the streets.

Fat visibility, man. Groovy.

Arguably, the best thing about Mama Cass's style was that she dared to be FAT AND SEXY! Even among her much smaller (the Twiggy look was still going strong in the late 60s & early 70s) friends, her bold, laidback style stood out. Channel the Mama herself in this modern-day rendition of her hippie-chic style.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dorm Decor from IKEA

IKEA is pretty much the best place to shop for dorm decor and furnishings because IKEA is all about utilizing space, minimizing clutter, and maximizing design. Last weekend my boyfriend and I took a drive out to our local IKEA, located in Frisco, Texas, and did a little back-to-school shopping. I came back with lots of affordable treasures, including new dishware, desk storage, and even a bright print to hang on my wall!

Clockwise: BILD poster print "NY Love" by Susie Brooks, RASKOG kitchen cart, FÖRHÖJA birch boxes, SNILLE office chair in white,  ULLGUMP dot rug

I am especially in love with the mint green kitchen cart, that I'm going to use as a coffee cart/bedside caddy! Waking up to my Keurig brewing me coffee in bed will be a great motivation to get up for my 8 a.m. class... or not.

The birch boxes are a three box set for $14.99 (talk about a steal!) that are going to go on my desk. They're perfect for holding pens, highlighters, and in the lidded box, index cards and stationery.

What have been some of your favorite IKEA finds?

Monday, August 12, 2013


Instagram user Shaina, @_CustomMonograms, makes lovely, personalized iPhone wallpapers for FREE. No, there isn't any fine print you're missing, she really does this all for the love of the monogram! Just send her a message on her Instagram post, including all the requirements for the request, and she will make you your own Lilly Pulitzer, Cath Kidston, or chevron printed background with your monogram inside a colored medallion of your choice. Really the possibilities are endless, and if you can dream it, she can make it!

I've always been in love with this Lilly print, First Impressions, and Shaina really made it perfectly personalized with my own script initials. I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

Thanks Shaina! Every time I look at my lock screen, it makes me smile! <3

Visit @_CustomMonograms and get your own personalized background for your iPhone!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dig These Jams: CVURCHES - Gun

Scottish trio CHVRCHES (pronounced Churches) has danced its way into my heart with their infectious synth pop tunes. Their latest single, "Gun", is altogether too catchy to contain these dark lyrics crooned by the adorable and petite frontwoman Lauren Mayberry, "Hide, hide, I have burned your bridges/I will be a gun/and it's you I'll come for". The dichotomy between bubblegum pop beats and the emotional lyrics in their music is stunning. Hear it for yourself:

Their first full-length record, "The Bones of What You Believe", will be released on the 23rd of September. They are also kicking off a stateside tour this fall including show dates in major Southern cities. I really hope to see them live in November in Dallas at the South Side Ballroom.

Comment and let me know how you feel about this Jam!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Beauty Product Review: Philosophy Microdelivery Peel

Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel is a "two-step, in-home peel that resurfaces and rejuvenates sun-damaged, hyperpigmented, and aging skin". Of course I don't have "aging skin" necessarily, but I've heard that it's never too early to start an anti-aging skincare regimen.  I'm a longtime fan of Philosophy's products. Their Hope In A Jar is the only moisturizer that has ever saved my skin against harsh Texas prairie winds. This kit includes a small jar of vitamin c/peptide crystals and a container lactic/salicylic acid activating gel. I picked up a sample of this stuff at my local Ulta and I decided to give it a try for a quick skin pick-me-up!

The first photo shows my skin with the vitamin c/peptide crystal "mask" on it.
The second photo shows the "foaming" effect around my jawline that indicates that the activating gel is working.

The first step is the vitamin c/peptide crystal "mask". The coverage of the solution is very sheer but it has the granulated texture of the crystals to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. Massage a teaspoon sized dollop of this into your skin for 60 seconds before moving on to the second step, the lactic/salicylic acid activating gel. Put another teaspoon sized bit of gel over the crystals and let it work for about 2-3 minutes. Check your email, organize your bathroom cabinet. The gel creates a warming sensation and "foams" up in reaction to the peptide crystals. Then come back and thoroughly rinse off the peel with water. You're all done, in only four minutes! Pat your face dry and beam at your renewed skin!

Unedited, no makeup photo taken after the peel. I have bright, clear, soft, gorgeous skin! Thanks Philosophy!

The best thing about The Microdelivery Peel is the smell, or lack-there-of. While other DIY skin peels smell like chemicals, the vitamin c/peptide crystals product smells like fresh, citrusy oranges. It's relaxing and you can really feel the tingling while the vitamin c works its magic. Another MAJOR benefit is the exfoliation of the crystals. I have small, but deeply embedded blackheads and they completely disappeared after the Microdelivery Peel! And my sensitive skin isn't red or irritated! It's a summer day miracle!The verdict on Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel? The price runs about $40 per kit, but I think it's totally worth it because the quality of product you're purchasing is excellent. A little, teaspoon sized bit goes a long way with this stuff. Plus, if you factor in what you could be paying for similar spa facial treatments, you're getting a deal. I will definitely be buying a full sized kit whenever my samples run out!

                                              Happy exfoliation!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wardrobe Change

This week I held a back-to-school clothing swap with some of my closest friends. It was a great chance to see each other before we all move off to college and it was the best way to get an entirely new wardrobe for free!

This is what I wore to the swap (which was held in my mum's living room- hello living room!). I wanted to be comfy because I knew I would be moving boxes of shoes and piles of clothing around the room. I am about this shade of neon, electric, bubblegum pink these days. It's girly and edgy and can be paired with a moto jacket and tights for the fall.

Cardigan: thrifted from my mum's closet ;-) // Skirt: on sale from Target, similar here // Tank: old, Kirra

Plus this necklace, which has become an accessories staple in my wardrobe. It's very Audrey Hepburn, if you ask me... just the right amount of simple and elegant!

Necklace: old from Forever 21, similar here // Sneakers: old from Converse, here

I didn't get any clothes for myself at the swap (I wasn't fast enough!) but I did grab a cute teal knit hat for fall and a pair of darker teal colored chevron bangles for my stack. My friends unabashedly devoured my swap pile and I can't wait to see how they all look in my clothing!

Of course, seeing my friends for one last time was bittersweet, but I know we all have big things ahead for us. I start my new job on campus next week so I'll be very busy, but I will be sure to share with you all what I wore for my first few days on the job!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Crafternoon: Washi Tape Keyboard

Okay, I will admit it. I am a washi tape addict. I swear, washi tape is the crack of the crafting world. Not only is it incredibly versatile, but it's affordable and accessible! Most crafting companies produce this stuff these days, but my personal favorites come from where this sticky stuff originated, Japan. Just a search away, you can buy a ton of it on Etsy for as low as $0.75 a roll! Bunnies, chevron, animal print, polka dots... trust me, once you get started you won't be able to stop.

After running across some photographs of washi taped keyboards on pinterest, I finally caved in and decorated my MacBook keyboard. I used this pattern (below) as a template.

Photo courtesy of CarrieLoves

And my own keyboard turned out to be a candy colored beauty!

My new, patterned keyboard! Washi tape is from Queen & Co.

What I love about this particular template is how simple it was to make and how random, yet cohesive the different washi tape patterns are together on the board. Below are more patterns I loved, but didn't have the patience for!

Photo courtesy of HerNewLeaf
Photo courtesy of CarrieLoves

What do you think of washi taped keyboards? What's your favorite washi tape craft?