Cool Wwwwhhhhip…


Get ready for a really random post.  First things first…we haven’t had a “Verdict” in a while… I’m definitely long overdue for picking apart celeb outfits and unapologetically declaring one a winner. That sounds hard, but really, they clearly don’t care what I think.

And. here. we. go…

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I was flipping through some photos of some style-stealing celebs and came across this one.  Both ladies are totally gorg and on trend with the sheer blouse, but let’s face it, some people wear certain items better than others.  I’m always a big fan of the “polished” look so for me Miranda Kerr takes this one. The sleek navy skinny pant coupled with the fantastic and always effortlessly chic bare, nude pump really kick this outfit up a notch.  It’s totally casual, but still looks put-together – a “can’t-go-wrong” combo in my opinion.

So where did Jennifer Hudson, the newly slimmed down diva, go awry?  Well, it certainly wasn’t her playful hair or fresh-faced makeup.  For me, it was the sloppy buttoning of the untucked blouse and the navy and black legging pairing.  Now I know the blue/black rule technically no longer applies, but I’m sorry… I just don’t like it.  It almost looks like you got dressed in the dark and you tried to match colors, but failed.  I will say, I love Jenny’s loafers.  These babies are so in right now and I’m dying to get my hands on a pair!

Overall “Verdict”?  The beautious Miranda and her flawless after-baby figure for the win!

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Here’s where things get random.  Wondering about the title?  Even if you aren’t, you should be and you also should have said it in Stewie’s voice…but that’s beside the point.  Anyway, in yesterday’s sweet treats post I failed to mention a really adorable companion to this winter’s inevitable hot chocolate binge: I give you the cool ‘whhhhip’ heart!

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Ta-da!

This couldn’t be easier either.  Simply buy a tub of this creamy goodness, freeze it in a pan, and then use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to instantly make your drab, yet delicious drink, more appealing.

Want another twist on classic hot cocoa?  How about strawberry white hot chocolate. Yup, that’s right. Pink, creamy, chocolaty…did I mention it’s pink!?

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How cute is this!?  Everyone should be drinking this, like, all the time. Even if you aren’t drinking it, just have it near you…it’s that pretty. Thanks to Darla of Bakingdom (such a clever name, right!?), we can all have a little fun this winter.  Check out the recipe below!

WHAT YOU NEED

1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled

1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cups (750 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream (for a lighter version, omit the cream and replace with more milk)
1/4 cup white chocolate, chopped

**NOTE: For a semi-homemade version, replace the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice with 1/4 cup strawberry milk drink mix, such as Nesquik.

**NOTE: If you want yours sweeter, add up to an extra half cup of sugar while the mixture is cooking.

HOW TO DO IT

Slice the strawberries then toss them in a medium bowl with the sugar and lemon juice.

Cover and set aside for one hour.

Stir the strawberry mixture to evenly coat everything, then transfer it to a blender or food processor. Process until completely pureed, then press the strawberries through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

Pour the strawberries back into the processor and add the milk and cream. Process until blended.

Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan set over medium heat in the white chocolate.  Cooking over medium heat, whisking almost constantly, until it just barely begins to lightly boil, about 10 minutes; remove from heat.

Transfer to your favorite mug, top with marshmallows or whipped cream, and any other yummy treats.

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Here’s to hearts and polka dots!

XO

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Diamonds: A Girl’s Best Friend or A Wallet’s Enemy…


Let’s be honest, diamonds are pretty amazing from how they look to how they’re formed (talk about pressure to be beautiful! — sorry for the pun,…just had to). These dazzling beauties are of the most coveted stones on Earth whether they are on your neck, on your ears, or on your pretty little left ring finger. But recent trends have broadened our bedazzled horizons by creating some of the most exquisite, and outrageously lavish, diamond laden designs.

Try the World’s Most Expensive Dress on for size…

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The elaborate handmade dress by British designer, Debbie Wingham, is encrusted with 50 two-carat black diamonds and weighs roughly 29 pounds – that’s a workout in itself.  To put things in perspective, the bustier alone took six months to complete!  As expected, the whopping price tag of £3.5m, or $5,600,000 dollars, reflects the dress’ extravagant nature and intricate designs.

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If that beauty didn’t tickle your fancy, how about this one…

Black. Diamond. Nail. Polish.

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This bottle of nail polish (varnish) by LA jeweler and self-proclaimed “Black Diamond King”, Azature, retails for $250,000 and boasts 267- carats of black diamonds.  Honestly, I can’ve believe this even exists.  Please take my opinion with a grain of salt, as my nails typically look homeless…I try, I really do.. but my nails just hate me. Anyway, Kelly Osbourne had the honor of clothing her nails in this lovely, sparkly number at the 2012 Emmy Awards. Kelly, by the way, is only the second person to ever wear this varnish – second to none-other than the the ‘glam queen’ herself, Jennifer Lopez.

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Don’t get me wrong, it looks great.. but I really could never justify any more than $8 on any given nail polish (you’re the best, Essie!). Fear not ultimate fashionistas, there is a significantly lower priced Azature alternative for around $25 that is now available at Fred Segal/Ron Robinson. Even at the new “low” price, the alternative polish would have to do a lot more than sit on my nails and look pretty…maybe if it went to work for me, cleaned the house, washed the dishes/clothes, and actually brought in an income, etc. then mayyybeee…

What do you think? Too extreme or every girls’ dream?

XO 

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Easy, Healthy, & Sweet Treats for Fall…


So maybe its the crisp fall air or the changing leaves that make me want to bake little sugary confections and warm up by a fire with some hot apple cider…doesn’t this happen to everyone?

To kick this “sport” (and I use this term incredibly loosely…) into high gear, I’ve compiled some must have recipes for fall.  I fully intend on trying these myself since they look too good, wayyy too cute (and sometimes even healthy!) to pass up.

OVEN BAKED APPLE CRISPS

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Go ahead and try to tell me these don’t look amazing! You can’t. They are super easy, super healthy, and definitely scrumptious – and they even make your home smell festive… talk about a multi-tasking recipe!

WHAT TO GET

2 apples

Cinnamon

HOW TO DO IT

Remove apple core.

Thinly slice the entire apple.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place apple slices on it.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake at 275 degrees for two hours. At the end of hour one flip them over so they bake evenly.Check on them at the hour mark and every 30 minutes after that. Once they look nice and crispy take them out and enjoy!

Pictures & Recipe taken from Delighted Momma.

NO BAKE OATMEAL COOKIE BALLS

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Maybe it’s because of my short stature, but I’m a big fan of anything bite-size.  These fun goodies intrigued me and I am certain Bake-Fest 2012, or in this case “no-bake” fest, will include some of these babies.

WHAT YOU NEED

1 cup of almond meal (buy at Trader Joes) **
1 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
¼ cup of peanut butter **

1/2 cup powdered sugar, for tossing each ball in

(**Note: I am determined to find an alternative for these two ingredients for all my fellow nut allergy friends… sigh…)

HOW TO DO IT

Combine all ingredients, except powdered sugar, in a large bowl and mix until a dough is formed.

Using a cookie scoop, firmly pack the scoop and place each scoop on a cookie sheet.

Chill for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl add powdered sugar. Remove cookies from fridge and toss each cookie in powdered sugar until well coated. Shake off excess.

Place on a plate and chill for 10 minutes & enjoy!

Reminder: Keep leftovers in refrigerator

Picture & Recipe taken from Simply Gourmet.

CREAMY PUMPKIN SMOOTHIE

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TO. DIE. FOR. Ugh… where has this been all my life!? I’ll tell you where it hasn’t been and that’s in my stomach.  If you’ve read pretty much any of my fall posts I’ve mentioned ‘pumpkin’ at least once so I don’t believe this smoothie really needs much of an introduction except that I should have made it, like… yesterday.  Oh, and did I mention that it is actually fairly healthy and protein packed – as if we needed another reason to love this idea.

WHAT YOU NEED

1/3 cup pumpkin

1/4 banana, frozen

1/4 cup non-fat milk or coconut milk

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, non-fat

3/4tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. stevia or extra 1 tsp. maple syrup

3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

4 ice cubes

HOW TO DO IT

Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.

HEALTH INFORMATION

Calories: 156.8, Fat: .05, Cholesterol: 1.2, Sodium: 71.9, Potassium: 268.4,

Carbs: 24, Fiber: 4, Sugar: 13.5, Protein: 14.6

Picture & Recipe taken from Peanut Butter & Peppers.

Annndddd, meet me in the kitchen.  Let me know if you try any of these!

XO

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Warm Up With Zucchini…


As you all know, I’m mildly obsessed with all things pumpkin, especially once the Fall weather hits.  What you don’t know is that I also happen to love zucchini bread.  That’s right, a veggie and bread have come together for a delicious union.

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Now, I’m no master chef and I don’t have a long-standing family recipe to share, but I did find one online that was described as “really, really good and moist…”  While the word ‘moist’ seriously bothers me, I have been known to make exceptions for its usage in regards to breads, cakes, muffins, and cupcakes.

Needless to say, the recipe peaked my interest.  I gathered the ingredients and went to work.  The results?  Well, true to its statement, the recipe yielded (dare I actually use it myself…) moist bread – and muffins since I had extra batter.

What You’ll Need

  3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups white sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

How To Do It

  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Recipe by allrecipes.com

Here are a few pictures of my baking adventure…

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Maybe it’s the warm, fresh-from-the-oven consistency or the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla that makes me enjoy this treat so much, either way, its delicious and you should probably give this recipe a whirl!

XO

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Great Fashion Finds…On Wheels!…


Yep, your eyes are reading that correctly.  You aren’t still reading about cupcakes on wheels, this is all new!  Stationary stores are so last year. Allow me to introduce you to The Fashion Truck. I’m not good at math, but this is genius x 12452.

Don’t believe this one either?  Check this out – Image

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Completely fab, right? Ab-so-lut-ely.  I had the pleasure of meeting the face behind the boutique, Emily Benson, and she is just great. Not only is she obviously business savvy, but her fashion IQ is through the roof.  Having worked with big name companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Henri Bendel, and Club Monaco, she is well versed in classic styles and current trends which makes for a delightful shopping experience – both for my eyes and my wallet.

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On a budget? No problem.  The Fashion Truck’s merchandise all retails for $100 or less!  This price point makes for some serious steals on great pieces – especially accessories, but I may be biased. I walked up her steps with curiosity and left with a chunky, gold link necklace with navy enamel embellishments. Chunky? Gold? Link?  Check, check, andddd check – I’m coming for you, Fall.

One last thing!  A big plus for us fashion forward, Olivia Palermo wanna-bes is that Emily’s inventory is constantly changing to reflect the most up-to-date styles, as well as those on the verge of becoming “the next big thing.” Bye-bye months of waiting for the latest trends to hit stores, The Fashion Truck probably already has them.

Ah-mazing.

Looking for Emily and her Truck?  She tends to set up shop in the Boston/Greater Boston area. Or you could always have her come to you by booking a “Truck Stop” for a party – so fun!

For someone always on the go, she’s pretty accessible:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Let’s face it, mobile isn’t just for phones anymore and I’m liking it.

XO

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Experience The Runway…


Alright, so I was going to put together this great post about the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week complete with pictures and commentary, but then I thought… not only have people probably gotten enough info from every media source imaginable, but all we’re used to seeing is the final presentation captured by us, the viewers.  Then I came across a pretty innovative initiative launched by Google and Diane von Furstenberg (DVF), my pretend BFF.

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Google and DVF partnered up for NYFW to give those who aren’t quite fortunate enough to attend as a guest, model, or designer an inside look to what goes on behind the scenes.  Each model and Diane, herself, were equipped with Glass, Google’s latest innovation allowing its users to capture moments as quickly as they happen.

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Ironically, the glasses aren’t the most fashionable.  But really, who cares if you look like the guy from Star Trek!?  You’re a walking, talking, breathing technological marvel!  Everything you could ever need (at least information-wise…) is displayed before your very eyes… literally!  I can’t even begin to describe all of the advancements taking place without severely butchering them, as I don’t speak tech-talk.  To learn more, click here!

Now, back to how this brilliant pairing relates to fashion.  DVF and her models wore the glasses at various points during the week, including down a pass of the runway.  The results are an amazing glimpse into the most fabulous week of the year…take a peek!

XO

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Cozy Up With A Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte…


Hold the phone…homemade pumpkin spice lattes!? Yes, please… I’ll take 28 2 because I’m modest. Honestly though, this is so great. Check out this recipe (and scrumptious pictures) posted by Lezoemusings. Your taste buds with thank you later.

XO

That time of the yr is inevitably approaching. The time when the foliage begin their natural color change, the air is crisp, and falling in love (all over again) is ideal.

The first gift that I ever received from my husband (also happened to be the first time we met in person…yep, we are an online couple!) was a poem, handwritten by him on a piece of opaque paper. Behind the paper was an image of fall w/ the trees & their fallen leaves lining a barren road. It’s beautiful! That was 12 yrs ago & now the piece of art hangs in our living room.

I LOVE autumn b/c for me it signals a slew of holidays coming. Not to mention, fall festivities are so much fun! They totally prepare you for the holiday spirit.

But nothing screams the initial approach of fall more than latte sipping tendencies… pumpkin…

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One Lovely Blog Award…


I am excited to announce that my little blog baby has been nominated for the mysterious One Lovely Blog Award! How great is that?! Isn’t it lovely in itself just to be considered a good read by another blogger you admire? (rhetorical, but yes…yes, it is!).  Being fairly new to the blogosphere, blogoverse, or whatever you want to call it, has really given me the opportunity to share some passions of mine that tend to get lost in the day to day hustle and bustle of life.

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Thank you to all my family and friends, new and old, who frequently visit my little space in the world and faithfully read my ramblings.  Hopefully the loveliest parts of my blog are yet to come!


Step One: I would like to thank Kirsten of Tutus & Stilettos for nominating The Style Verdict for this award!  Kirsten’s blog is adorable, informative, and one I frequent – if nothing else ever comes from this post, you should at least give her a visit.

Thanks again, Kirsten, you made this blogger smile!

Step Two: Share 7 Random Facts About Yourself

1. I can recite most, if not all, of the prepositions in the English language in a sing-song fashion.  Please, hold your applause.

2. I have a yorkie.  She is the biggest, little lady in the whole world and we’re pretty much soul mates.

3. I secretly wish I were famous. Well, guess that secret’s out.  Honestly though, who doesn’t!? Not that this is a shock, but I’d love the free clothes and shoes…

4. Sometimes after listening to music, I think I can physically play the songs on a piano.  This wouldn’t be so far fetched if I actually knew (or could remember) how to play and read music.

5. I am allergic to nuts and various other peanut products, but I love the smell.  Can’t a girl get a Snickers?

6.  Fall is my favorite season. Oh hi, crunchy leaves!

7. I’m a lover of some trashy, reality TV…Kardashians/ Khloe and LamLam, Teen Mom, Dance Moms, The Voice, an occasional episode of Jersey Shore… don’t judge me…please?

Step Three: Nominate 15 (or so) other bloggers you admire and leave them a comment notifying them of the nomination.

1. SunnySideUp

2. My Yogurt Addiction

3. Deux Chicago

4. Le Zoe Musings

5. Dear Food Baby

6. Mess of a Life

7. The Fashion Medley

Once again a big thank you to Kirsten!

Until tomorrow, lovelies…

XO

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“Gucci, Gucci, Louis, Louis, Fendi, Fendi, Prada…”


That and so much more…I’m talking about Fashion’s Night Out and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week… Hello September, could you BE more amazing already?! Unfortunately, I wasn’t cool enough able to attend either, but one day… one day, I will and it will be glorious. Hey, if I can’t be there, I’ll blog here…right? Right.

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For those of you who don’t know, Fashion’s Night Out, of FNO for short, occurs once a year across the globe.  Jet-setters get your passports ready, FNO spans 19 countries from Australia to China, to Italy to Russia, to the UK and back to the good old US of A. FNO events showcase designers, models, fashion editors, and celebrities and was created in 2009 (2011 in Boston) by American Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC and Co. and the City of New York.  According to NYCgo.com, FNO “began as a collaboration intended to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the industry’s economy, and put the fun back in shopping.”  Judging by its overwhelming publicity and countless instagram and twitter photos, it looks like the objective was certainly met.

Check out a few FNO pictures from my spot in the world!

This was just a small prequel to some fantastic Mercedes Benz Fashion Week coverage coming soon! Until then, enjoy the fall-ish weather if you’ve got it, step on a few crunchy leaves (with a cute boot of course), and continue to drool over all the great fall patterns, colors, and fabrics, I know I will.

XO

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