Crush List - January

Seriously!?! How can we be at the end of January already. It's scary how fast the months go by sometime.

I had so much fun creating my Crush Lists last year, and am happy to be continuing them into 2015.

Here you go!
1 - Wallpaper City Guides from Phaidon
2 - hello, I'm So Tired and I'm Not Tired mommy and me shirts
3 - Nine West Margot pumps
4 - Fun throws from Happy Habitat


Vegetable of the Month - Broccoli Part 2

Alright, here's the second broccoli recipe I tried this month. If you're wondering what this post is all about check out the start of the series here for the run down.

I was torn between a couple of different recipes, but ultimately decided on Broccomole!!

Vegetable - Broccoli
Recipe - Broccomole
I made the above recipe last night, and munched on it with some tortilla chips. Bill liked it and declared he would eat it again, but I was a little disappointed. There are certain foods that I like (for example, banana and yogurt) that are okay (even good) the first few bites, but then as I continue to eat will make me start to gag. (Does this happen to anyone else?) This, for me, was another one of those foods. I didn't mind it at first, but after about five bites I was over it. It was more peppery than I would have preferred, and I didn't care for the texture. A little grainy, and not as creamy as I would have liked; but I may be able to improve that by tweaking the recipe a bit.

I certainly didn't hate this recipe, but when it comes down to it; this is not as good as guacamole and never will be. 


Fashion Woes

I don't have a wardrobe. What I have is a hodgepodge of clothes that I make due with. So, to say that I've been struggling for a while now in the clothes department is quite the understatement. I've been in a rut since Madeleine was born a little over 4 years ago. I still love fashion though, and I've decided I'm not ready to give that part of me up yet.

I also think the things I'm struggling with are probably the same things a lot of other women out there are struggling with too. Right now my number one problem is fit. My body has changed so much since pregnancy. I still haven't lost all the baby weight from Seamus, and I carry my weight differently than I did before I ever even got pregnant too. It is very difficult for me to find clothes that fit me in a way I am happy with.

I keep thinking of my weight as a temporary situation too; that I'll just wait to buy clothes until I'm back to where I want to be. I tell myself, why spend the money on "temporary" clothes I won't need once I'm skinny, right? Subsequently, I hardly have any clothes. And I don't mean that in the, I have all these clothes, but nothing to wear kind of way either. With the exception of a few jeans, t-shirts, and pajamas I keep in my dresser, the extent of my current wardrobe.
Seriously, that's it. This was after the laundry was all done too!!

I think it's about time to face reality. I need to finally accept my body the way it is. I need to find clothes that fit and flatter it. I need to start participating in the world of fashion again.

Oh, and accepting my body the way it is doesn't mean I'll stop continually try to improve it. From now on though, I will shop for and dress whatever my current body is at that moment. No more waiting for some day.

Wish me luck, and stay tuned!


Throw Pillow Drama

For some reason I have trouble with throw pillows. I love the idea of mixing different textures and patterns, but have a hard time executing it. Also, I change my mind a lot, so I haven't really pulled the trigger on anything yet. We've had the below simple navy blue throw pillows for the last year. I actually love these pillows (available here from Target). They are so soft and comfy, but the look was kind of boring.
I've been eyeballing the below pillows from Crate and Barrel for months and months now. On a random trip there I spied the pillow covers sitting in the corner. When I found out they were only $7.50 each it was a no brainer. They're no longer online, but you may be able to find them in-store still.
So, here are the new pillows. They look much better. The texture and pattern really bring a lot of visual interest to the couch.
The bad news is I don't think they go with the original pillows. The blues don't work together. I need to find something that pops a little more. So, the search continues.
We're still using both pillows though, as the combination is actually really comfortable.
I know it's a small improvement, but it makes me happy. I was mostly happy that I was able to get something I really wanted for only $15. Yay!


Fan Girl - Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is back in all its soap opera glory. Have you been watching?
Here are my thoughts on how the season is going so far for all our favorite characters.

Robert - Same old Robert.

Cora - OMG, Cora actually has a story line. This last episode was the most onscreen time I think she has ever had. Kudos to her for putting Robert in his place too.

Dowager Countess - Don't ever change, Violet. Don't ever change.

Isobel - I would date the guy just to spite the Dowager.

Lady Mary - Three lovers now and only one was her husband. Mary's officially a slut.

Lady Edith - Can Lady Edith have one good thing happen to her? Seriously, I'm surprised she's not suicidal by this point. One good thing, that's all I ask.

Lady Rose - Not much going on for Lady Rose this season other than a little comic relief. 

Tom - Just get over yourself already and accept you're one of them now. Also, does he maybe have a thing for Mary?

Carson & Mrs. Hughes - Get a room you two!

Anna & Mr. Bates - Ugh! I thought we were done with this story line.  

Mrs. Patmore - Could she have an actual story please? We don't care about her random nephew that we never met.

Daisy - I'm kind of over Daisy. If she's so unhappy in her current position, why doesn't she just move to her farm and leave the show?

Mr. Barrow - The scheming is getting old, but looks like there's a new story line cooking for him.

Mr. Molesley - Mostly just comic relief, but I like his friendship with Baxter.

Baxter - So, she stays like we all knew she would. Now what?

Miss Bunting - I agree with Robert. Get rid of her, Tom! Miss Bunting has got to go.

When you think about it, it's really a very silly show. I love the setting and costumes too much to ever give it up though. 


Book Report - The Invention of Wings

I recently joined a book club, and this month's book is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I had never heard of this book, so I went into it completely blind. I enjoyed it, and learned a bit too.
The book is set on a plantation in Charleston in the early 1800's, and follows two very different women throughout the course of their lives. The first is Sarah Grimke, daughter of the plantation owner with strong abolitionist views. The second, Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a slave on the plantation. Freedom, and what it means to be truly "free" is the theme here. The book takes the point of view that there is a difference between freedom of the body and freedom of the mind, and that you can have one without the other.

For the most part, I liked this book. However, it was constantly comparing the plight of women of the time to that of the slaves, and I didn't think that was a fair comparison. I know women had basically no rights at that time and were also considered "property" in many ways, but in my opinion what the slaves were going through at that time was 100 times worse...really just unimaginable. Sarah Grimke was a real person (this was a historical fiction novel.) She was a very influential abolitionist speaker and did often compare slavery to women's issues of the day, but it just didn't work for me here. Oh, poor Sarah can't become a lawyer because her father doesn't believe women should be educated. Oh, poor Sarah is ostracized from her home for becoming a Quaker. In the meantime, Handful and the other slaves in the book are being physically tortured for the most minor of infractions. It was like comparing apples to oranges. Separate they are both two really great stories, but the combination of the two definitely made one story feel lesser than the other.

I really enjoyed Sue Monk Kidd's writing style though. The point of view flip-flops each chapter between Sarah and Handful, and that really helps move any story along. She is great at character development, and I would definitely read her again.

FYI - I decided to do this reading challenge this year. With this book I checked off "A book by an author you've never read before".

Also, I track all the books I read on Goodreads. It's such a fun site to track what you read and see what everyone else is reading. Feel free to connect with me there to talk books.


2015 Golden Globe Fashion - Crew

Today is the final day of talking about Golden Globe fashion, and we're looking at all the crew neck dresses of the night. I love a great crew neck dress, and thought these were some of the most interesting looks of the night. Ready?

Robin Wright
First up, Robin Wright in this two-piece, black Ralph Lauren gown. I thought she looked great. I loved how the two pieces gave it some edge. She looks cool and comfortable. Nice job!

Anna Faris
Anna Faris wore this nude Reem Acra dress. She looks cute, but the color of the dress washes her out. It's a pretty dress though. I did like her hair and make-up a lot. Such a great smoky eye. Not bad.

Kiera Knightley
A pregnant Kiera Knightley wore this butterfly and feather patterned Chanel dress. The dress is very...unique, but I think she looks really cute. I've mentioned a few times where I've liked the dress, but not the overall look...well, this is the opposite. I don't love this dress, but the overall look works. Nicely done. 

Amy Poehler
I already mentioned Amy Poehler here, but I'm going to mention her again for this cobalt blue Stella McCartney number. I really liked this dress on her too. The color is gorgeous. It's long-sleeved, crew necked, and has kind of dress! I think she should have nixed the necklace, and left her hair down, but other than that another great job for Amy.

Ruth Wilson
Ruth Wilson wore this green and blue, geomatric Prada gown. I really wanted to like this dress, it was just so different; but the sleeveless look bothered me and the neckline was too high. It would have worked better if it was strapless. I did like her hair though.

Christine Baranski
Christine Baranski looked stellar in this burgundy Zac Posen gown, but when doesn't she look great on the red carpet? She always brings it. The dress is feminine, fits well, and age appropriate. Her hair and make-up complete the understated elegant look. Great job!!

Ellie Kemper
Ellie Kemper's metallic Naeem Khan dress was one of my favorites of the night. The silhouette is so simple, but the art deco pattern and pops of red made it really visually entertaining. Her hair looks good and the red lips compliment the dress perfect. She looks great!

Julianne Moore
Double nominee and winner, Julianne Moore, wore this awesome metallic, ombre Givenchy Haute Couture gown. What a great dress?! I loved the liquid silver look on top, and the gradation of the feathers from silver/grey to black was spectacular. Her hair, make-up, and accessories were all spot on. Awesome job!!

Dianne Kruger
Diane Kruger wore this beautiful Emilia Wickstead metallic silver dress. I loved this whole look. She is so statuesque and the dress really shows that off. A perfect example of how important good fit is. I mean, a glove. I would wear this dress in a heart beat. Beautiful job!


Felicity Jones
Ultimately, I ended up picking Felicty Jones in Dior Haute Couture as my favorite crew neck dress and overall best look of the entire night. This dress is gorgeous! I loved the color and the shape. The detailing around the neck and bust were just so lovely. The hair and make-up were perfect and I loved the earrings and ring - so pretty. She looks regal and beautiful and I loved it!

Well, that concludes my Golden Globe fashion review. What was your favorite dress? Did you agree or disagree with me? I was so impressed by Felicity Jones. I'm not sure how she is going to top this at the Oscars, but I can't wait to see.

Have a great weekend!

All photos from here except for Julianne Moore, Ruth Wilson, Felicity Jones, and Ellie Kemper's which are from here.


2015 Golden Globe Fashion - Strapless

By my calculation the classic strapless dress was the most popular of the night. Let's get to it!

Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts wore this yellow Gucci gown. I thought it was a fun, cute look. The color was great, and I loved the belt. I almost wish the fabric was not draping on the bodice though. It would have been a much sleeker look without the folds. There is a slight fit issue on the bodice as well. Her hair and make-up look great though, and how cool is the snake necklace? I loved it.

Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and star of the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey film wore this silver metallic Chanel Haute Couture number. I didn't really care for this dress. It reminds me of Christmas tree tinsel and looks rather flimsy. I think it's the hi-lo hemline that is throwing everything off for me. I would have rather seen it as just a full-length gown. This one was a miss for me.

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o wore this lovely purple and white floral Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown. This was one of the most visually interesting dresses of the night. The color looks gorgeous on her, and I loved her hair, make-up, and accessories too. Well done!!

Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek wore this white Alexander McQueen dress. There was just way too much going on here. The dress itself is good, but the hair bow, big earrings, belt, bracelet, rings, and bag takes it from simple ballgown to bad prom. I would have kept the earrings and belt only. Her hair and make-up look great though.

Allison Williams
Allison Williams wore this gorgeous red Armani Prive gown. The dress itself is perfect. It's a bold color, and the horizontal ruffles and sparkles really up the fancy factor. It's a shame that she sort of blended into the red carpet though. Also, her hair and make-up is too severe and she is looking way too thin. Great dress, but not a great look overall.

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal wore this rose Miu Miu dress, and I actually liked it. The color one we don't usually see on the red carpet and the column silhouette looks good on her. The fit is a little off on the bust - a bit too tight and too low. Not bad though.

Joanne Froggatt
Downton Abbey's, Joanne Froggatt wore this embroidered, floral, navy Marchesa dress. The more I see this dress, the more I like it. The color is gorgeous (navy dresses are my favorite), and the embroidery is really cool - especially along the bust. Her hair is absolutely adorable, and her make-up and earrings are spot-on. Great job!!

Katie Holmes
Kate Holmes wore this purple Marchesa number. I was unimpressed with this dress. The color was great, but that's about it. It's just kind of boring, and unfortunately wrinkled (a red carpet no-no). Her make-up is nice, and I liked the sleek hair (although the pony tail is way too long). This one was just 'eh for me.

Reese Witherspoon
I almost picked Reese Witherspoon's metallic, silver Calvin Klein as my favorite strapless of the night, and if you ask me tomorrow I may say it was. It's really gorgeous and fits her absolutely perfect. I mean, seriously! Amazing job!!


Leslie Mann
Ultimately, I decided Leslie Mann's yellow Kaufmanfranco gown as my favorite strapless of the night. It fits her perfect, and the silhouette is great. I loved her hair and red lips, and the jewelry was cool - those earrings! Ultimately, it was the color and shimmery fabric that I just loved so much. It was so bold and risky, and it payed off. Beautiful!

All photos from here except for Naomi Watts, Joanne Froggatt, Leslie Mann, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Katie Holmes which were from here.


2015 Golden Globe Fashion - Halters and One-Shouldered

Today let's look at all the Golden Globe dresses with halter and one-shouldered necklines.

Calista Flockhart
Calista Flockhart wore this white Raoul gown with jeweled halter neckline. I liked this look on her a lot. It's understated and simple. Halter tops are all about showing off your shoulders, and this one does it perfectly. She looks lovely.

Taylor Schilling
Nominee, Taylor Schilling, wore this red Ralph Lauren number. This look was great from the waist up. The halter top is so flattering, and her hair and make-up looked great and complimented the look. I thought the bottom of the dress was too big though. It would have been so hot if it was column silhouette instead. The dress was different and bold though, so I give her big props for that.

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston, also a nominee, wore this black Saint Laurent dress. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this look. It fits her well, and the sequined bodice and cummerbund waist adds a bit of drama; all the while still looking very California casual. It totally works, but...she does this same look all the time. Because of that, even though the dress isn't boring in of itself, the whole look still feels a bit boring to me.

Uzo Aduba
Another nominee, from Orange is the New Black, Uzo Aduba wore this silver and red metallic Randi Rahm gown. I'm afraid this was not a great look on her. Like I said, halter tops accentuate the shoulder, so if you have broader shoulders they are not the dresses for you. The dress itself isn't my favorite either. It looks really heavy - like chainmail, and I think sort of cheap.

Emily Blunt
Nominee (and one of my favorite actresses), Emily Blunt, wore this lovely white Michael Kors dress. I loved this entire look. The fabric drapes beautifully, and the dress fits her perfectly. Her hair was just adorable, and the turquoise jewelry accented the entire look well. My only complaint was the cut-out on her stomach. I can't quite tell if it is distracting, or if it makes the whole look. What did you think?

Alright, onto the one-shouldered dresses!

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
I thought Julia Louis-Dreyfus looked fantastic in this white Narcisco Rodriguez gown. I liked the simple, clean silhouette on her. Again, not the most exciting dress, but it fits her very well. The hair and jewelry really compliment the look well too. I hope I look this good when I am her age.

Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette wore this black Escada number. This dress has way too much fabric on the one shoulder and is just overwhelming her. The overall fit on her is not great either. Unfortunately, not the best look for her.

Heidi Klum
Heidi Klum looked ever the super model in this red Atelier Versace gown. She really looks fantastic. I didn't love how the neckline was sweetheart on one side and one-shoulder on the other, but she's really so beautiful that it's not as distracting as it would be on someone else. I loved her hair, make-up, and accessories too. Great look!

Laura Carmichael
Laura Carmichael wore this black James Galanos dress. It fits her well, but what is with the starfish? The dress is so simple that I agree it needed some embellishment, but why not put it up on her shoulder? As it is, it's placed in such an odd spot - I just didn't get it. This was just an okay look for me. 

Amy Adams
Amy Adams, a winner that night, wore this gorgeous blue Atelier Versace gown. On the surface it looks like another simple dress, but there is so much going right here that really elevates it to one of the best looks of the night. The draping of the fabric that starts on her hips and moves upwards and over the shoulder is so flattering. Then, the small train makes for a great silhouette. Finally, the color is so different and very flattering on her. Awesome job!!

All photos from here, except for Calista Flockhart's photo which was from here.


2015 Golden Globe Fashion - V-Necks and Sweethearts

Today we're looking at the dresses with v-neck and sweetheart necklines. Let's start with the v-necks. On the off chance you don't know the difference between a regular v-neck and a plunging v-neck, the below picture captures the difference perfectly.

Jessica Lange
Nominee, Jessica Lange, wore a red J. Mendel gown with a black belt and clutch. I liked the way the fabric folded around the sleeves. It was a nice detail. The dress is very age appropriate, but a little plain. I also thought the belt was a bit distracting. I liked her hair, but wished she had added more jewelry. A bracelet or long earrings would have upped the fanciness factor a lot. 

Laura Prepon
Laura Prepon, from Orange is the New Black, wore this black Christian Siriano gown. I didn't like the swirls, but I did like the train a lot. This dress would have worked better for me if it was just all solid black instead. She also could have gone without the necklace. Necklaces with a v-neck are hit or miss, and I thought this one was a miss. Mostly though, I just really wish she went back to being a redhead or blonde. The jet black hair does not look good on her.

Jemima Kirke
I kind of liked Jemima Kirke's two-piece Rosie Assoulin gown. If nothing else, it was different and suits her bohemian style. The two different fabrics work well together, and the long cape helps elevate the whole look from simple to a space queen. Her hair and make-up really compliment the look. Good job!

Rene Russo
It's been ages since I've seen Rene Russo on a red carpet. At first glance I actually thought this was the chick from Nashville, and couldn't figure out why she looked so off. Anyway, Rene chose this navy blue and black J. Mendel gown and looks lovely. Navy blue and black is such a cool combination, and I think it worked well here. Instead of the long earrings though, I would have chosen a big jeweled pendant. The look is pretty plain, and needed a little more sparkle. Her hair and make-up look nice too.

Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick wore this blush Monique Lhuillier gown with berry colored accents. I'm glad she opted for the classic ball gown look, and this dress is really pretty. The color is not great on her though and washes her out. It's also a little too long. The look could have been improved if she left her hair down. The bun is too severe and clashes with the softness of the dress. Great dress, just not on her.

Next, let's move onto the sweetheart necklines!!

Kerry Washington
I wasn't a fan of Kerry Washington's Mary Katrantzou gown. It looks simple, but actually there is way too much going on here. First, the color blocking. I much preferred the darker color and wished the entire dress was just that color. Where the color change occurs also makes her hips look extra wide. Next, there is the pattern. It's too busy, and again would have worked better if the dress was just one color. It would have provided a nice texture then without being distracting. I didn't care for the sleeves either, and would have preferred to just let the sweetheart neckline be the star. Finally, the shoes and accessories just don't match. This was one big miss for me.

Natasha Lyonne
For Natasha Lyonne, this cobalt blue column dress (couldn't find the designer) was fantastic! As an overall Golden Globe look though, it was only okay. She has a very straight figure that is accentuated by the column silhouette of this gown. However, the sweetheart neckline and wavy hair really soften the whole look. This is the most feminine I have seen her look in a long time. So, a win for her, but far from the best of the evening.

Zosia Mamet
Zosia Mamet from HBO's Girls donned a gray and pink Jason Gn two-piece gown. This was a miss for me too. Both the bodice and the skirt are much too long for her. Despite the two different colors, the dress is lacking contrast. It's need more texture, and either the top or bottom should have been made out of a different material or had some embellishments. The jewelry was too simple and the grayish hair color was just awful. She also needs to learn how to pose on the red carpet because her slumped shoulders aren't doing her any favors either.

Gina Rodriguez
Surprise winner, Gina Rodriguez, wore this black Badgley Mischka gown. She looked very pretty, but this dress is just so simple. There is some sort of macrame detail on the bottom half, but it hardly showed up on camera. Great hair and earrings though. Overall though, not a bad job for the newbie.


Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren knocked it out of the park in this red Dolce & Gabbana gown. It fits her like a glove. It's modest, but the sweetheart neckline makes it a little sexy too. It's simple, but the embellishments around the neckline add glamour. Her earrings are gorgeous, and her hair was super cute. I could have done without the Charlie Hebdo tribute pen attached, but if anyone could pull it off it's her. Well done Dame Helen!!

What was your favorite of this bunch? It was slim pickings, I thought. Thank goodness for Helen Mirren!!

All photos from here.