Friday, December 7, 2012

A Day Late and A Dollar Saved

Greetings grape lovers!  I am so behind on blogging and life in general that it ain't even funny.  But I just HAD to share my latest Thrifty Thursday find.  Long story short, I've been on a search for the perfect over the knee boot.  For three years now!  I know, a good OTK is hard to find - most look cheap, others make YOU look cheap, and few are just perfect.  And perfect is often expensive.  And I already have an expensive tall boot that I LOVE, so I was totally limiting myself on price.  You will D.I.E. when I tell you where I found the perfect boot... ready???  WalMart!  Yup.  Boots, shipping and tax all totaled less than $35.  I'm amazing.  Okay not really, but seriously, these boots are.  

As a new mom, my days of expensive 6 inch heels are not so frequent, so I've been working the wedge like nobody's business.  And I live in leggings.  So this is the look I was going for with OTK:

The oldest KK in her OTKs, via google images

Kristen OTK Boot, $31, WalMart
While we're on the subject of saving on style, has anyone checked out the Neiman Marcus/Target Collaboration?  My Target still had an awesome selection this week.  It was tempting!  What did you buy?  What's on your list?


Thursday, September 27, 2012

{Thrifty Thursday} The Tweed Jacket

Monday we blogged about our obsession with tweed jackets, and today we just so happen to know about a drastically less expensive version.  If you like the look, but are not sure if it's one you'll wear over and over, save big bucks on this perfect version by H&M.  We love it!

Tweed Jacket, $30, H&M

Monday, September 24, 2012

{We're Obsessed!} The Tweed Jacket

Oh you fine tweed.  We are particularly in love with this jacket because it's a sophisticated break from another fall obsession, the motorcycle leather jacket.  It's amazing how the jacket can dress up a simple tee and jeans.  And if it dresses up the most simple of outfits, imagine the possibilities!  

Theory Jacket, $415, shown with jeans, tee, shoes and handbag, all Net-A-Porter

Theory Jacket, $250, Neiman Marcus

Shown are two almost identical versions by Theory.  One is available from the current collection and the other is last season (summer tweed) and half off! 


Thursday, September 6, 2012

{Thrifty Thursday} Smoking Slippers!

Is it odd that in the era when smoking cigarettes has become totally unglamorous, the smoking slipper becomes the ultimate statement of glamor?  Even more, these glamorous slippers are the perfect compliment to cigarette pants worn with just about any top.  There are so many versions out there.  I'm partial to leopard printed ones - Jimmy Choo has a pair, Monolo Blahnik's are pretty hot too.  Even Prada and Dolce and Gabbana have their own versions of the shoe.  Steal the look with this identical pair by Nine West. 

Balenciaga cigarette pants, Chloe top, Prada slippers, $690

Nine West Slippers, $69, Macy's    

Monday, August 27, 2012

{We're Obsessed!} Colored Denim

Happy Monday!  You can probably guess how happy I am that the colored pants look is back for the fall, and how better than to wear color than brightly hued denim?  Since trends don't always make their way to maternity sizes, I missed out on the trend this spring so I'm extra excited to embrace the look this fall.  I went with the blue jeans and coordinated them with a number of tops I had in my closet.  What do you think? 

Blue denim by Mossimo for Target, $23
1. 2. (similar to pictured) 3. (similar to pictured) 4. 5.
And just a few other ways colored denim has been spotted:

Pictures pinned from Pinterest

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thoughts on the Nursery

 I've spent so much of the last few months planning the perfect nursery.  I even joke that it's the nicest room in the whole house.  We have one detail missing, so I can't post pictures quite yet, but I will share my inspiration board and color scheme.  

Check list: 
A crib without plain slats and must have carved legs
A changing table that would also serve as an elegant dresser for years to come
Built in shelves
Double curtain rod, blue silk curtains, natural weave linen sheers 
Fabric glider chair and ottoman
Accent Table
Floor Lamp
Garden stool
Rocking horse
Nurseries I Love

I used this to inspire my layout.  This room is much bigger, but the crib, chair, garden stool, changing table, curtains (hung  high and touching  the floor), crown molding and floor lamp are all things I wanted to incorporate into our own nursery.  Source:

My mother tore this out of a magazine a couple of years after I got married.  She was already planning, I guess!  This nursery is so subtle and elegant, I just gasped when I saw it.  Source: Southern Accents Jan/Feb 2009
I just loved the non-traditional crib with the detailed wood work and I used this picture to inspire the built in shelves I had made for the room.  It also inspired the rug I picked out, and of course, it has a rocking horse!  Source: elements of style blog
I mean, what kid wouldn't just love spending his time in here?  Large and airy, it's neither loud nor obnoxious.  It is nursery perfection.  Source: Past and Present Interior Design
This closet inspired a remodel of the closet that was previously in the room.  It added square footage and storage that wasn't there before. 

I had the HARDEST time finding bedding I liked. I was even willing to buy from the super-high-end collections that have more subtle designs, but even those weren't weren't subtle enough for my taste.  I hate obvious themes printed all over bedding.  And I can't stand primary colors.  After searching high and low, I decided the only way to get what I wanted was to pick out some fabric and have it made to fit my taste.  I had a color scheme in mind and thought this fabric would work, but I didn't like the overkill of the skirt AND bumper being all stripes.  Plus, I knew I'd grow out of the stripes with plaid... cute for like, a day, you know?

These stripes inspired a full-on search for the same fabric to custom make my crib bedding.  Source: Rosenberry Rooms. $398 for the setStriped fabric found at    

Inspiration Board for Baby S

The crib, theme, striped fabric for bumpers, blue linen for the crib skirt and rug I picked out for the nursery. 
Stay tuned for pictures of the finished nursery.  Hopefully the  wall art we ordered will be here this week so we can hang it and take pictures.


Monday, June 11, 2012

{We're Obsessed!} Charlotte Olympia Shoes

Oh I've admired Charlotte Olympia pumps for about a year now, so I am just  thrilled to own my first pair!  I see them worn by ALL of my style crushes and figured it was time to spoil myself and just buy some finally, before the already insane prices continue to creep up.  So while in Dallas in April I splurged and debuted them at my baby shower a couple of weeks later.  And as you can guess, I'm obsessed!  

One of my favorite fashionistas, Kelly Ripa, in Charlotte Olympia "Dolores" pumps, $895, Neiman Marcus

Kelly Ripa and Jennifer Lopez step out in Charlotte Olympia Masako pumps, $875, Net-a-Porter

I bought this pair and I love them.  So does J-Lo!  Charlotte Olympia Dolly pumps in raffia, $875, Neiman Marcus

Thursday, June 7, 2012

{Thrifty Thursday} Black Patent Wedges

So you may know about my obsession with Jimmy Choo.  Last year I blogged about one of my favorite purchases ever - my tall, nude Jimmy Choo patent wedges.  I've more than worn my investment's worth out of these shoes and I'm even considering a second pair in another color.  While browsing the sales, I noticed the shorter, mule version is on sale.  But if you think the sale price is thrifty, just wait until you see the almost identical wedge available for much less at DSW.  Check them out:

Jimmy Choo black patent wedge, on sale for $295 from $365,

Kelsi Dagger black patnet wedge, $45,
Happy Saving!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Delicious Eggplant Parmesan

I don't usually go through the hassle of preparing a weeknight dinner that requires several different types of cheese, but this dinner was very well worth it.  It didn't take a lot of effort to prepare, even though the ingredient list was a little lengthy.  

Not only did this recipe yield an amazing Eggplant Parmesan dish, but also, it provided me with a go-to ricotta filling for other Italian dishes, such as Lasagna, Baked Ziti and Stuffed Shells.  This filling is insanely flavorful so don't skimp on the ingredients!  And the addition of the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese added depth to the overall dish.  I was in Heaven!


2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray 

1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten 

Remaining ingredients:
1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese 

1. Preheat oven to 375°

2. To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes. 

 3. To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg). 

4. To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

All photos: my own

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Creating: Baby Bassinet Bedding

I totally got crafty over the weekend in preparation for the arrival of our baby boy.  My dear friends gifted me a gorgeous bassinet from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child, which we've put in our bedroom.  I originally meant to buy the coordinating white bedding but then decided to have darker bedding custom made to fit our room decor and hide any blemishes made by baby!  Instead of commissioning the work as I've done with our crib bedding, I decided to give my old sewing skills a try and with a lot of time and patience, I got exactly what I wanted and saved myself a small fortune in the process.  I am so happy with the finished product but just as happy to not have to sit at a sewing machine a minute longer.  Sitting at the machine all weekend reminded me why I never took up sewing as a serious hobby!

Inspiration: I loved this bedding set for $219

The fabric I ended up choosing for my weekend project

the bumper for the bassinet took the longest to make
The fitted sheet (above, right) was the easiest to make

And I even made a portable changing pad with the leftover fabric
It had been years since I sat down at a sewing machine (at least 8 years...) so I took a refresher sewing class this spring and am happy that my first independent project turned out so well!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

{Thrifty Thursday} THOSE shoes!

You've seen them everywhere.  They've been dubbed "The Aniston" because the actress is seen wearing them all summer long.  We're def not the first ones to blog about the Stuart Weitzman Alex wedge, but in case you've admired them for the last few summers and haven't been able to pay the whopping price, we are happy to tell you that you can get replicas at Target for less than one tenth the price of the Alex!

Mossimo Pam Wedge, $25, Target

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{Wine Wednesday} Sparkling Red

I have been plagued with oh but the worst of problems lately. Dallas is having some fabulous evening weather lately and I have been frequenting a lot of patios for happy hour. So what's the problem? Well I'm a big red wine drinker and not a lover of white. Jackie keeps telling me that as soon as I turn 26 I will fall in love with Whites because that's how it happened with her. Well, dear sister, I am a mere couple months away from that day and I have yet to fall in love--so we'll see. But I digress....

The problem? A glass of red just isn't as refreshing as you want it to be while enjoying some time on the patio. Beer makes me feel fat (and I have to drink a lot of it just to feel a good buzz), and any sort of cocktail at happy hour renders me completely unproductive (and drunk) by the time I make it home. So what's a girl to do? Drop a few ice cubes in the vino tinto and hope nobody sees you? WRONG.

On a trip to the oh so so so fabulous The Cedars Social I was explaining my dilemma to the ever patient waiter when he assured me he had the answer to all my problems. He quickly reappeared with a bottle of Red Engine Sparking Shiraz. That's right. A sparkling red. I can remember it perfectly, the way the sun hit the bottle. It was almost celestial. With the first sip of the delicious, refreshing treat--I knew my problems had been solved.

So here's to you lovers of red looking for the perfect refreshing summer drink--try some sparkling red. You won't be disappointed!

Oh, and have no fear--our favorite vendor, has a lovely sparking red for purchase on their site. Check out the Fizz 56. I just ordered a bottle (or two!) for myself.

Engine Room Sparkling Red

Alianca Tinto Bruto

Fizz 56 Sparkling Red found on 

Friday, May 25, 2012

{Good Grapes Destination} The Big Easy

I've been extreely fortunate in life to not only be blessed with the best family a girl could ask for (a special shout out to my fellow good grapes J & A) but I also have the best friends a girl could ask for! This weekend I'll be heading down to the Big Easy aka NOLA aka Nawlins aka New Orleans to celebrate the end of single life for one of my favorite ladies--Daniele! You might remember her from when I went to San Francisco last year. 

Daniele and I met at UT where she was in my sorority and it was an instant connection. It's hard to put our friendship into words but she is literally a soul mate. We can have the most intellectual and heartfelt conversations and I literally ask her advice on everything. We like to refer to eachother as sisters of the heart. But Daniele isn't the only one I'm looking forward to seeing--[almost] the whole group will be reunited and I am beyond thrilled to regroup with the girls and have a super fun weekend!

A few of my favorite shots from the last time I was down in NOLA

A few shots of the ladies I am most excited to see this weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blooming Tuesday

Don't you love the difference a little pop of color from a floral arrangement makes to brighten up a space?  Last year I had the urge to splurge on annual plants at Home Depot and I asked Z to plant them in our unsightly dirt patch in the patio.  I am so happy that this year those plants are just starting to yield buds and blooms.  I've snipped a few roses from our rose bush and the two hydrangeas that bloomed to make beautiful arrangements in our home. 

What's better is that I see more hydrangeas blooming and our lilies are starting to bud as well.  Soon I can use those fragrant lilies to fill my empty bud vases.

A floral arrangement in my home office makes the workday more pleasant.  Vase: Vera Wang Duchesse for Wedgewood

is it just me or do these roses beat the ones you can find in a store?

Hydrangeas and roses in the living room.  Vase: Waterford's Lismore

All photos: my own

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yogurt Parfait Pancakes

I have to admit, while I've been feeling generally fantastic throughout this pregnancy, my creativity has diminished almost completely.  The house is in disarray (so not like me!), I can't seem to make the nursery look anything but cluttered, and when it comes time to cook dinner, I'm at a total loss.  I usually like trying something new every night and lately, I can't even whip up old favorites.  My whining aside, I've surprisingly been cooking delicious new brunch recipes (last week's French Toast was just one of them).  

I'm on a pancake kick and you already know how obsessed I am with all pancakes (pumpkin, lemon-ricotta, and just about all other varieties).  Well, this weekend I came up with a new pancake recipe - the yogurt parfait pancake.  I looked through all of my pancake recipes and adapted a basic recipe to incorporate some Greek yogurt since I had some on hand.  The result was Heavenly!  I had to share.

Yogurt Parfait Pancakes.  All photos, my own

1 cup flour*
1 tbsp sugar*
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp melted butter*
4-5 tbsp milk*
Granola crumbles
Fresh strawberries
Whipped cream

*My suggestions: I wanted to vary the flour, so I used 1/2 c. all purpose, 1/4 cup whole wheat, and 1/4 cup cornmeal for texture, although if you do half and half white:wheat flour you'll also get plenty of texture; I used 1/2 granulated and 1/2 light brown sugar; I used melted Crisco shortening.  I find it makes the fluffiest pancake.  Canola oil and butter are excellent to use as well; I used organic fat free, and it worked well.  I want to try buttermilk next time


Heat griddle iron on medium heat.  Heat oven to 250 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Add yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract and butter.  Mix well.  Add milk, one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.  

flour variety and Chobani Greek nonfat yogurt, vanilla flavor
Mixing flours and sugars for a better-for-you pancake
Spray griddle with cooking spray or melt butter over griddle.  Pour batter onto heated griddle iron, about 1/4 cup per pancake.  Add granola crumbles to raw pancakes.  When they start to bubble, flip.  Let pancakes cook through before removing from the griddle.  Place cooked pancakes on cookie sheet at keep in preheated oven while you cook the second batch.  

granola goes on the batter
 Top with whipped cream and strawberries.  Serve with pure maple syrup.

 Makes 6 large, fluffy pancakes.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Scream for Gelato!

Get it?  Haha. 

But seriously, if you're a Dallas girl, you know exactly where to go for the tastiest Gelato on this side of the Atlantic Ocean: Paciugo.  It exploded in popularity when it opened it's first location in Dallas in 2000 and so you can imagine my surprise and delight when I learned that since I've moved from Dallas, Paciugo has expanded right into the lower level retail space of my company's headquarters in Arlington, Virgina!  It's been open in Clarendon for only a couple of months and I've already paid multiple visits.  As the temperature climbs and takes us into summer, I can't think of a more perfect cool down than a visit to the all-new Paciugo Gelateria and Caffe. 

Welcome to Arlington!

My picks: a trio of dark chocolate, red velvet cake and cappuccino flavored gelatos
Gelato selection at the new Arlington location.  Photo: from