8.31.2015

Denim + Lace

Mixing something very feminine with something more masculine is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to styling. It keeps a look from being too saccharin or too boyish, the perfect balance. And no combination is as easy as soft lace and classic denim. I feel like this combo especially looks great during season transitions, like right now. Here is how I would wear it...

Shirt: Cloth & Stone $88, Skirt: Trina Turk $248

Romper: Liv $196, Jacket: Madewell $118 

Top: Cupcakes & Cashmere $100, Jeans: Paige $179

Top: J. Crew $50, Jeans: J. Crew $115

Skirt: Cupcakes & Cashmere $95, Shirt: Loft $59

Top: Anthropologie $68, Jeans: Madewell $135

Shorts: Anthropologie $68, Shirt: Madewell $70

Dress: Madewell $168, Jacket: Treasure & Bond $52 (on sale) 

Happy Monday! 
xo
Erin 

8.26.2015

Fall Shoe Shopping

While I never admit to the end of Summer, even after school has started and the pool is closed. I have to say that this year it is feeling a bit too much of a reality with the Fall like temperatures in flippin AUGUST. I wore a full blown jacket yesterday. 
And while I am already mourning pool time and al fresco dining, like every other woman on the planet I do get excited for chunky sweaters, jeans without breaking a sweat, and a new crop of Fall shoes. Whether it is the back to school mentality (even if you know absolutely no one going back to it), or just that switch to the shortest, sweetest season there is, Fall gets everyone excited for shiny new things in the closet. 
So I rounded up some of the coming season's best pairs to embrace the colder temperatures, everything pumpkin flavored, and let's admit it, leggings. 

1. These are a classic and come in extended calf (which I need!) J. Crew $328 (other colors)
2. Great shape and price for theseTreasure & Bond $119
3. Such a sucker for a pale pink ballet flat J. Crew $125 (other colors)
4. Slide on mules are back. Missed them J. Crew $158 (other colors)
5. These would look great with skinny jeans Dolce Vita $130
6. These booties are so flattering Nine West $118  (other colors)
7. The sweetest little flats Ted Baker $90 
8. Love the color combo Nike $85 (other colors)
9. So comfy and love anything menswear inspired Gentle Souls $149
10. The cut out of these pumps is so pretty Louise et Cie $119 (other colors)
11. The gold detail on these boots is killer BCBG $425
12. My favorite booty style for Fall Kate Spade $358
13. The green is so fun New Balance $79 (other colors)

xo
Erin 

7.30.2015

Nordstrom Sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale ends on Sunday. And even though it might seem like all the good stuff is gone, there are plenty of items that are insanely marked down. This sale is always a good one to find those investment pieces from luxury brands that you can wear forever. I think every coat I own I got at this sale over the years! Here are some of my favorites, but you can find all sale items here
1. The touch of leather elevates this Mackage trench $298 ($450 after sale, also in black)
2. Love this classic Timex $42 ($68 after sale)
3. Love a nameplate and this has a diamond. Jane Basch $98 ($148 after sale)
4. If you still haven't gotten on board, now is the time. Clarisonic $119 ($149 after sale)
5. You would wear these Tory Burch boots every freaking day $319 ($495 after sale, also in black)
6. Obsessed with the combo of leather and wool of this Mackage $459 ($690 after sale)
7. I could live in this Topshop dress all Fall $42 ($68 after sale)
8. A classic blazer from Rag & Bone $397 ($595 after sale)
9. A touch of Italian chic from Missoni $119 ($160 after sale)
10. An anorak for Fall from DKNY $129 ($198 after sale)
11. These slouchy boots look great with skinnies. Via Spiga $194 ($295 after sale)
12. The biggest and smallest bottle of the world's best lotion. Kiehl's $75 ($107 value)

Happy Sale! 
xo
Erin 

7.22.2015

The Cold Shoulder

This past weekend we celebrated a gorgeous bride to be in the city. It was one of those weekends you never want to end. One night, the bride wore the greatest off the shoulder shirt and my envy of it had me searching for one of my own. There are so many styles available this year, especially in a dress. 

1. Rebecca Minkoff $208 / 2. Alice + Olivia $256 (also in white) / 3. Asos $50 / 4. Glamarous $60 / 5. Nordstrom $95 (also in white) / 6.  / 7. Nordstrom $68 / 8. Susana Monaco $132

Love all of these shirts, too. 

From Left: Asos $54 / Nordstrom $98 / Rebecca Minkoff $198

xo
Erin 

7.20.2015

From the Archives: Pork Tacos with Honey Lime Slaw

It had been awhile since I had made these pork tacos. I was actually reminded by some friends about them when they mentioned it is a weekly staple in their house. Running into friends and readers at the market and knowing they are making recipes I have posted over the years is the reason I keep this little site up. Thank you for helping me do so! 
Now back to these tacos, they are so easy and full of flavor. The nice thing is that with minimal effort you can elevate your taco night to something really special that feels gourmet. Bonus is that it is light and healthy. I forgot the peanuts this time around, but if you have them use them. It really takes it over the edge. 


Pork Tacos with Honey Lime Slaw and Peanuts
Forks & Amusement 2011
serves 4

For the Pork:
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and cumin
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced and smashed with the back of your knife to make a paste
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin (could use 1 whole or 2 small)

For the Slaw:
2 tablespoons light sour cream or nonfat Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons honey
juice of one lime
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced

For serving:
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
chopped fresh cilantro 
tortillas of your choice heated according to package instructions

Combine all the seasonings for the pork in a small bowl and stir to combine well. Rub seasoning all over the tenderloin, cover and refrigerate at least for 1 hour and up to overnight.

Preheat grill or grill pan on stove to medium-high heat. Grill tenderloin for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness), turning over once until cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes with a foil tent cover. Cut into 1/2 inch sized cubes and toss in any remaining juices from cutting board.

Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, salt, pepper, honey, lime, cilantro, and scallion in a large bowl. Mix to combine. Add the cabbage and toss to coat. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

To assemble: Place two tortillas on each plate. Fill with some of the meat, top with a little slaw, cilantro and sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve immediately. 

(note: if you like extra spice, add some Cholula like I did in the pic above. Or green Tabasco!)

Enjoy!
xoxo
Erin

7.15.2015

Wish List

With an upcoming birthday, the question is always "what do you want?" I used to be able to rattle off a list of things I was coveting and hoping would be gifted, but these days it is harder. It might be that as you get older you become more satisfied with your current world and the things already in it.  I also find that experiences are much more prized these days (dinner out, a facial, pilates class, weekend away). Time is limited and the kids make certain activities I could do on a whim much harder. So if you are thinking of giving me anything, those experiences I listed would be great. And even though it was a bit harder, I of course still found plenty that would be fun to open for my 34th. 

1. Love this Italian shoe company doing things right. M. Geni $198 (7.5)
2. A sweet little ring by Gorjana $55 (6)
3. Hello sweet Chloe that is on sale $1268
4. This blush coat would be so great for Fall Calvin Klein $149 (s)
5. Puma Golf Shoes $69 to improve my game hopefully! (7.5)
6. In need of a classic denim jacket J. Crew $129 (s)
7. A camel Valentino would be a dream $2495
8. These Stuart Weitzman boots are a classic and on sale! $399 (7.5)
9. Love the offset of this initial necklace $360 (M-T-M)
10. Been dying to try this Mario Badescu duo and it is in the Nordstrom Sale $39
11. This Parker dress would be fun for some upcoming trips $179 (4) on sale

Cases of wine are always welcome and enjoyed thoroughly, too. 

If only I could be so lucky! 
xo
Erin 

7.10.2015

Time for a Party

Sun is out, the grill is warming up, the rosé is on ice, and your friends are arriving. It is time for a party and this is how I would love to set it up. 

1. Recently picked these out at Target. Makes it easy to buy for a big crowd at $1.50 each! 
2. You would use these rattan chargers forever and they go with everything. World Market $14 for 4
3. Simple, but pretty napkins West Elm $24 for 4
4. Break proof and $2 each. Amazing. Sur La Table
5. These acrylic glasses are a game changer Crate & Barrel $5
6. Been eyeing this for some time West Elm $39 
7. A beachy/boho pitcher Anthropologie $88
8. A unique cheese platter. Love the wood. OKL $59
9. Burgers and Brats would get fancy on this tray. Furbish $45
10. Instead of floors, fill this basket with citrus for a centerpiece. Crate & Barrel $19
11. This Lagunitas Sumpin' Sumpin' has been a staple this summer. 
12. three of these down a table would look perfect. OKL $59
13. A chic Bocce set that you can also take to your friends. Serena & Lily $149
14. Mix this coconut tequila with club soda and fresh lime and you are in heaven. 
15. Your backyard turns into the best patio bistro in town with these. OKL $89
16. This would look so great hanging from a tree in the back. OKL $150
17. Would love these around a fire pit. And easy to bring inside. Serena & Lily $263
18. an obvious investment, but I love the modern look of this fire pit. Pottery Barn $2,999
19. Classic little Adirondacks for the kiddies. $78 

Happy Weekend! 
xo
Erin 


7.08.2015

Matched Set


Matching a top and bottom has never looked so good. And let's not forget how easy it is to get ready. Being able to wear together as well as with other items in your closet, the matching top and pant/skirt/short look is a versatile favorite for this Summer. 


1. A mix of preppy and modern from Finderkeepers. top & bottom 
2. This is such a fun set from Asos $67
3. I am picturing this at a backyard BBQ. d.ra top & bottom 
4. This Joie top & bottom is such a pretty print
5. A great alternative to a party dress from c/meo. top & bottom 
6. If a crop doesn't scare you, please wear this sweet set from Love Sadie. top & bottom 

xo
Erin 

7.06.2015

Shopbop Sale

Shopbop just added a ton of new sale items. The perfect way to add to your summer wardrobe with less guilt and plenty of designers you love. I rounded up what I think are the best buys, but you can find everything here

1. A smart dress from Rebecca Minkoff $194 
2. These jeans have the most flattering stretch DL1961 $124 
3. Love this Ella Moss jumpsuit. $173  
4. Love this easy dress by Joie $118
5. A crisp white dress for anywhere Susana Monaco $123
6. Love the navy and espadrille combo Michael Kors $105
7. The perfect one piece. Marc Jacobs $124 
8. The perfect breezy dress. Also in Navy Rory Becca $116
9. A soft pj set that feels luxurious Eberjay $96 
10. The best sweats ever Eberjay $48 
11. Who doesn't love an elastic waist band? Joie $194
12. Pretty much the best summer uniform Splendid $82
13. A pretty chemise Fleur't $65
14. Love me some boyfriend jean shorts One Teaspoon $77 
15. A soft jumpsuit for home or away Lanston $114
16. Love the print and soft fabric of this top Velvet $66

Happy Monday! 
xo
Erin 

6.26.2015

"Healthy" Breakfast Cookie Bars

My kids like cookies for breakfast. 
And when I mean cookies, I mean bars. Of the Cliff, Kind, and Luna variety.
 These are in our house not for them, but for the big people that need food on the go because little people make it hard to eat breakfast. 
But they have been discovered and are now begged for at least a couple mornings a week. 
After seeing that the sugar content was a little scary for them, I hunted for a slightly healthier version that would also still make them think they are eating cookies and getting away with it. 


So I tried a couple, and have landed on this one. It is easy, uses ingredients that you might already have, and you can switch things up based on your tastes. It still has sugar in it, but a whole lot less than the packaged bars. I make a batch and we eat them all week. They go great with my morning tea and early morning play doh parties. 

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Imperfect Polish 2015
Makes about 16 bars (you can cut them any size)

2 1/2 cups rolled oats 
1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk (cow, soy, almond, whatever you want)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 bananas mashed until almost liquid, the riper the better
1/3 cup peanut butter (any nut butter is cool)
1/4 cup chocolate chips 
1/4 cup raisins 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking pan (8x8 or 9x9) with cooking spray. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, mix the oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined. 

In another smaller bowl (I like to even just use a large measuring cup), mix the milk, vanilla, and egg together. Add it to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour in the bananas, peanut butter, chips, and raisins. Mix the batter really well until completely combined. Pour into the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Let them cool a bit, then cut and enjoy! 

xo
Erin 

6.19.2015

Homemade Pizza for Dummies

While I love to cook, I do not love to bake. For the most part I loathe the exact amounts and extended list of instructions. Including that some things need to just hang out for a day or two. That is annoying. And my other, possibly bigger problem, is that I cannot resist anything made from flour and baked in an oven. Be it bread or cookies or cake, that batch will be taken down in a day. Not kidding. 

But, given the amount of times we order pizza and how much I love a good thin crust fresh from the oven (I miss you Piece), I thought pizza dough is really something I want to master. And while the jury is still out, I think I have found the perfect recipe for the absolute novice baker/cook. Seriously people, there are minimal steps and it is fool proof. This coming from someone that always forgets an ingredient and has zero patience for things not coming out right. The best part about this recipe is that you can make the day ahead, the morning of, or a few hours before. It can work into your schedule, not the other way around. 


Lazy Pizza Dough 
Makes Two 9x13 rectangular pies, feeds about 4 people

Options:
  • Overnight Dough Schedule: Begin between 8 and 9 p.m the evening before for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 22-hour dough)
  • All-Day Dough Schedule: Begin between 6 and 8 a.m that day for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 12-hour dough)
  • Part-Day Dough Schedule: Begin around noon that day for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 6-hour dough)
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour (bread flour works too)
Slightly heaped 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (for OvernightAll-Day, orPart-Day Schedules respectively, above)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1 1/4 cup water, plus an additional tablespoon or two if needed 

In a very large bowl, mix all ingredients with a spoon. The dough will be craggy and rough; this is fine (see above left picture), but if it feels excessively so, add another spoonful or even two of water. (See Note up top about altered water level/flour heaviness.) Cover bowl with plastic and keep at room temperature for approximately 22 (for Overnight schedule), 12 (for All-Day schedule) or 6 (for Part-Day schedule) hours, or until the dough has more than doubled(see above right picture). This takes longer in a chilly room and less in a very warm one, but don’t fret too much over this, as the dough is generally forgiving of a loosened schedule.

Spray an old baking sheet very lightly with a nonstick cooking spray before sprinkling it with cornmeal (if you do not have cornmeal, just spray heavier. Heat oven to its highest temperature, usually between 500 and 550 degrees F. 

Flour your counter very well. Scrape dough out of bowl onto floured counter; in the time it has risen it should change from that craggy rough ball to something very loose, soft, sticky and stretchy. Flour the top of the dough, and divide dough in half (or more pieces, if you’re making smaller pizzas. see bottom left picture). Form them into ball-like shapes. Grab first round with floured hands and let the loose, soft dough stretch and fall away from your hands a few times before landing the dough on your prepared baking sheet/paddle. Use floured fingers to press and nudge dough into a roughly round or rectangular shape. Add desired fixings and bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating if it’s baking unevenly, until the top is blistered and the crust is golden. Repeat with remaining dough.

I like to top mine with a thin coat of pizza sauce (the mario batali one is pretty darn good), fresh mozzarella (do not use the one they store in water), thinly sliced onion, and good quality pepperoni. A sprinkling of parm doesn't hurt. Working the dough to a thin layer on the pan is the hardest part. If it is tough, let it hang out a bit and try again. I also found that doing it on top of the slightly warm stove makes it easier. My pizzas tend to take more time then above, closer to 15 minutes. When the dough is starting to brown on the edges, it is done. Let it sit and cool for a bit and set up. This has become a bit of a weekly tradition, so I hope it can be in your house too! 

xo
Erin 

6.17.2015

Blocked Out


There is something about a good hand block print right now. A little bohemian, a little beachy, a little preppy. All great things to be. It is one of those prints that works just as well with clothes as it does in your home. 

1. Pretty duvets with in lots of colors from Rikshaw Designs
2. This would be perfect on the end of a bed. Furbish $225
3. Cannot resist a good pineapple print Tuckernuck $78
4. Darling little dress from Carousel $59 (on sale)
5. A soft scarf for chilly evenings World Market $10
6. Obsessed with this pillow John Robshaw $95
7. I usually like white, but this navy comforter set would be fun. Target $90
8. Pretty napkins for your table Stitch & Shuttle $25 for set of 5
9. This would be so great for al fresco dinners. Calypso $179 (on sale)
10. Love the gold detail of this shirt  J. Crew $69
11. Perfect table cloth for the Summer Pomegranate $88
12. Love a great shear, and this leaf print is sweet Serena & Lily $50
13. For cute little tushies J. Crew $25


xo
Erin 



6.15.2015

Maxed Out


Warm breezy days call for something long and flowing. Not just because it looks great, but function plays a role as well. I learned this the hard way on a windy day at the park. That lightweight sun dress I love was suddenly showing way more than was appropriate. But aside from function, the maxi dress can elevate a look simply by having a longer hemline. Somehow that makes it fancier, more grown up. And let's get serious, some of us are not into showing leg all summer long. Especially pale, extra sun screened ones. 

You cannot go wrong with black or white. Especially loving the look of a white dress right now. 

1. Love an off the shoulder First & I $50 / 2. And in white even better Madewell $158 / 3. Pleats and swing shape for days when anything tight just will not do Asos $118 / 4. I love this tasseled, sweet number so much Asos $118 / 5. Soft and slinky, this has got to be so comfy Velvet $139

This Summer, cobalt blue and soft pink are having their moment. 

1. Your favorite t-shirt turned into a flattering dress Soft Joie $124 / 2. Love the moire waist and roomy skirt Rachel Pally $166 / 3. This is the perfect shade of blue and could go day to night Madewell $148/ 4. This dress has a great drape and I love a drawstring Velvet $128 / 5. This can be feel dressed up with minimal effort Felicity & Coco $98

Whether soft or loud, a print is essential for the warmer months. 

1. Obsessed with this floral print. Not too sweet. Asos $182 / 2. Girlie and fun BB Dakota $56/ 3. Strapless with a defined waist is my jam  Joie $198 / 4. I like the slightly shorter hem of this. And that I can add my own belt Soft Joie $168/ 5. She knows her prints and this one is perfection Mara Hoffman $240

A shirt dress style lends more sophistication to a maxi. Depending on where you work, this could be a go to option for the office. 

1. You would where this dress forever. Love the navy. Vince $191 (on sale) / 2. Love the neckline and the included slip  Splendid $270 (also comes in black) / 3. Such an ease to this dress. And would make a great cover up for the pool. Everlane $65 (also comes in white) / 4. Add your favorite belt to this.  BB Dakota $88

And then the always in my heart, striped dress. I literally always try one on every time I shop. It is a problem. 

1. Extra soft with a biased stripe. Soft Joie $198 / 2. Probably not every one's favorite, but I digging the colors. Felicity & Coco $58 (on sale) / 3. I usually loathe a high low, but I really love this Faithful $155/ 4. The perfect color combo Sundry $138

xo
Erin 


6.03.2015

Brussels Sprout & Almond Salad

Life has gotten busy. And unfortunately this little blog suffers first.
  Work has picked up, with closings and new clients. The season truly has brought out the buyers and people are ready for fresh starts in new homes. Lucky me. 
And then there are the little people. I thought I was busy when they were babies, but toddlers require much more attention (I basically walk around with four arms wrapped around my two legs). And with nap time disappearing with one of them (in serious mourning), the days longer. 
SO, free time for writing, reading a magazine, and watching garbage has gotten harder. And I hate to say that plowing through a Vogue in my half hour of "quiet time" with a diet coke feels really great. 
I have still been putting cooking on my priority list, so that gives me something to share with you besides great ways to entertain toddlers (combine this & this for hours of fun) and this salad is a real winner. Just a few ingredients with plenty of crunch and the perfect side for outdoor BBQs. 


Brussels Sprout & Toasted Almond Salad
Imperfect Polish 2015
serves 4

1/2 cup almonds chopped, slivered or sliced (marcona are best if you have them)
1/3 cup light mayo
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil 
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stems removed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

Scatter almonds on a pan over medium heat on the stove. Toast, tossing every minute or so, until lightly toasted on all sides. Remove from heat and let almonds cool on a plate. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, honey, and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk in the oil slowly until combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning. 

In a large salad bowl, add the Brussels sprouts, almonds, and cheese. Dress with desired amount of vinaigrette (you may have more than you need, use on any other salad that week) and toss to coat. 

Enjoy! 
xo
Erin 

5.22.2015

Hello Weekend

What do you have planned for the long weekend? I am hoping the weather stays decent and that I get a nap at some point. Big goals! ha Actually, we have some fun plans with friends a couple of days and maybe a trip to the pool if the kids are up for freezing water and chicken fingers. Meanwhile, here is some randomness you might enjoy… 

1. Kind of digging this packable sun hat with the big bow. So preppy Tuckernuck $60
2. Funny and so very true, these cartoons on how smart phones are ruining our lives. Helps me to remember to enjoy the weekend with the family sans phone. 
3. About to reorder this truffle salt. It is by far the best one I have tried for the price. True truffle flavor with just a small amount. I use it on popcorn, eggs, and risotto. 
4. Pizza night tonight and I am trying this dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I will let you know how it turns out. 
5. Looking at runners for the kids hallway. Something that can stand up to wet feet from the bath and possibly markers. Need a very long one and this gray stripe and blue stripe are the top contenders. Which one do you like? (dark floors, white walls)

Have a great Memorial Day friends. xo
Erin 

5.21.2015

New Suit

Though I am not ready to give up the bikini entirely, chasing after two small people at the pool has made for many almost wardrobe malfunctions that no one needs to see. So a new suit with less string and more coverage is a necessity and actually on trend.

I might try for a new two piece that has the ability to move with with me and not away from me. One a little sassy and the other a little sporty. 

Left: L Space Top $73 Bottom  $66 / Right: Bikyni Top & Bottom $50 each 

I have not ventured into one piece territory since middle school, but I am loving the look and the fact you can throw on a pair of shorts or skirt and head out the door. 

A little black suit sounds about right. Feels very French Riviera to me. 


1. Size up in this great v neck from  J. Crew $118 / 2. I love the simplicity of this one Gap $59 / 3. This is the throwback suit that you probably owned in the 90s. Love J. Crew $88 (on sale & comes in tons of colors)

Something in a blue or gray would be fun too. 

1. A classic tank in a fun color  Solid & Striped $148 / 2. The blocking of this suit would be so flattering Tory Burch $225 / 3. This is one of my favorites Marc Jacobs $148 / 4. Great suit if you like to show off some leg, but not your tummy L Space $132

Stripes and patterns can make it even more fun and even flattering. 

1. Another one of my top faves  J. Crew $98 (on sale and lots of color options) / 2. Gingham is so hot right now Solid & Striped $158 / 3. Kind of 80s/beetlejuice, and I like it Wildfox $150 / 4. The banding on this is so flattering Nanette Lepore $148

And I am always a sucker for a little ruffle action. 
1. This has a nice low back too Shoshanna $138 / 2. A little retro and I bet comfortable Toni Praver $149 / 3. The peplum comes on and off and it comes with straps. Zinke $136

You think you might take the one piece plunge? Join me! ha

xo
Erin 


5.19.2015

Tips on Meal Planning


We all have the best intentions. 
We go to the grocery store, we try and get what we think we need for that day/days/week, we make a list, we scan the aisles, we unpack the bags, we know what is there. 
But then the week gets in the way, the kids are a nightmare, traffic is a joke, a meeting runs late, you need wine more than food. And spaghetti it is and groceries go bad in the fridge. 
This scenario is not only common, but also totally fine. 
We cannot all have it together and get a meal on the table each night. I certainly do not and I am one of the fortunate ones who actually have minor skills in the kitchen. It is even harder for those that are dipping their toes into the wide and overwhelming world that is cooking. 
But, there is hope and a few ways to make your kitchen a safe haven (experience or not) and not a stress and sweat induced room that gives you anxiety around mid day. 

Plan out your week, then plan out your meals. 
Take the time to get every one's schedule together for the week. Throw out the nights you know that dinner will be a struggle (take out! leftovers! scrambled eggs!) and focus on the nights you know that cooking is possible and plan around the prep time you have. Once you know how many dinners you have to put together, you can make a grocery list, and know exactly how your week is (most likely) going to go. 

Keep it healthy and work by the numbers. 
On the weekends we tend to have a diet free-for-all, so during the week I try to stick to a protein and veggie heavy menu. So especially for those weeks when I want to keep things simple, I buy one protein, one veggie, and ingredients for a salad for each night I cook. Proteins can always be grilled or roasted and veggies can always be roasted or steamed. It is simple and when a new recipe sounds like more work than any fun, this is the perfect plan. 

Designate each night as a certain dish. 
I recently read this on Cup of Jo and thought it was genius. To keep meals super simple, you make the same type of dish each night of the week. Example: Monday is stir fry, Tuesday is tacos, Wednesday is pasta, Thursday is soup and salad, and Friday is burgers. Then you just switch up the ingredients for those dishes each week so it does not get stale. 

Go to the market the least amount you can. 
Errands, ugh. The ultimate time suck. Plan your week, make a list, and get everything you need for the week. This makes you plan ahead and then you will be more motivated to execute your menus if the food is already sitting in your fridge. 

If you are up for an adventure, just try one new recipe a week. 
No one is judging you in the kitchen except yourself and whoever you may be feeding. Who by the way are lucky to have you and anything you make. So don't pressure yourself to go off your already well beaten cooking path if it keeps you sane. But if you are up for something new, pick one meal or even just dish a week. Low pressure equals better success and more fun. If you are looking for any new ideas look here or my previous cooking site

Do you have any tricks you use to get dinner on the table? I would love to hear them! 

xo
Erin 


5.13.2015

The Summer Day Dress: Under $100

 Some of you are already well into Summer, other of us are still patiently waiting. We have been teased every other week with a glimpse, but soon I know it will be blazing hot and it will be time to finally ditch the jeans and lulu leggings and put on something breezy. By far the best thing about Summer is that one piece dressing is a reality. So a few day dresses that look as good for errands and summer camp pick ups, as they do for casual al fresco dinners and brunch with your babe makes getting dressed effortless. I am ready to stock up and I found plenty of options under one hundred dollars so we can have some fun. 

It is fun to play up some pattern with little dresses... 
1. Gingham is on point right now and so cute. Glamourous $72 / 2.  Poppy's look perfect on a shift dress Asos $68 / 3. Love this navy palm print. Glamorous $72 / 4. Sucker for a paisley Asos $40

Stripes are kind of always a good idea. I want them all. 
1. This dress is so sweet Loft $49  / 2. Breezy shift from Asos $54 / 3. I could pretty much live in this Asos $54 / 4. I like the bolder stripe and swing of this Asos $46

 Nothing like the feeling that you are wearing a t shirt all day. 
From Left: Gap $49 / Asos $27 / Asos $61 / Asos $45

(Clearly I am a fan of Asos. Specifically for every day prices like these dresses)

And when it gets nice and warm, a tank dress is essential
1. The drawstring is flattering Cheap Monday $70 / 2. Huge fan of the jean dress BB Dakota $75  / 3. Classic and comes in other colors Madewell $78  / 4. A little 60s nod Asos $40 / 5. Love this color Asos $33

And for those that need more day to night...
1. This color is stunning Madewell $74 / 2. The lace is so sweet Topshop $68  / 3. This has a fun split back Topshop $55 / 4. This has a cute scalloped back Asos $50

Pair any of these with a leather sandal or even a white tennie and you are set for your day. 

xo
Erin 
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