8.26.2014

Best & Worst Dressed: Emmy's 2014

So the Emmy's have always been kind of the forgotten step child of the red carpet scene with the Golden Globes and Oscars taking the much deserved spotlight. 
But let's get serious, there are maybe three movies a year that I actually get excited about seeing, and my DVR and Netflix are full of every tv show I can possibly devour in the shortest amount of time (current obsession: Damages). 
So while we missed the Great Cate and Lupita's swagger last night, let's give the ladies of the Emmy's red carpet some props and be glad that they dressed up to be judged. 
There were a lot of amazing looks, let's start with those… 

I know this will be controversial, but I love Lady Mary's Rosie Assoulin. The color combo is so different and pretty. Allison Williams looks perfect. Worship that dress so much. Zooey chose a a great color and swayed from her usual too retro look. Lizzy Caplan, aka Janis Ian, was unreal. This is the back and this...

Is the front. Donna Karen perfection. 

Only Julia knows how to pull off a short dress, which I normally hate at event like this, but since it is so embellished it works. This two piece Christian Siriano set on Sarah is lovely. I know a bit prom 99, but I think that is what I love about it. It looks great from all angles. Velvet, oh what a tough one, but this dress on Allison Janney was beautiful. This pic of Gwen does not do this Versace justice, the girl rocked it. Two piece, Swarovski crystal encrusted, amazingness. 

Heidi is so hit or miss and I love this caped Zac Posen. Although she is looking super thin, even for a super model. Juliette was stunning and her hair looked pretty. Sophia's usual mermaid look got a slight modern update that really worked. Loved the lack of sequins, so chic. Taylor looked relaxed and pretty. Doesn't she always kind of look like she is having a good time? Which has got to be hard at these events. 

Amy glammed it up, not her best look, but I love her. This pretty frock on Amanda Peet looked better on tv, she is pregnant and this was just so feminine and sweet. The half up bun is up for serious debate.  Kiernan, man I love this girl. This was a bit heavy, but I love her wiliness to take a chance. Debra Messing has been a hot mess in the last few years, this dress was modern, flattering, and she looked beautiful. 

Now the not so beautiful…

I actually loved this dress from Peter Som on the runway, but the blurriness does not translate well on the red carpet and the mock turtleneck is killing me. I do not think I have ever liked anything Kelly Cuoco has worn. The girl bugs and this can just be added to the list of cheesy and not cute. Sarah Silverman's dress is unflattering and wrinkled. This frothy tulle number on Sarah Paulson could be really great and fashion forward, but it went too far. Like three layers of tulle far. 

While I love the color of this Prada on Kerry, it was ill fitting and the fake shorts underneath, um no. While I actually like this on Kate Mara, it is too similar to Anna Kendrick's Oscar gown. And her hair is awful. You have got to love January Jones for her fashion forward eye, but those bangs are unforgivable. You know when you have bangs and just wash them instead of your entire head before going out? Well she did that, but then never blew them dry. The Prabal Gurung dress is gorge though. Jessica Paré is so pretty and this is SO unflattering The necklace was weird too. 

Claire is so great, this just has too much going on for me. I also really want to love this DSquared number on Julianna Hough, but the bow is strangely placed and she should be in something more fun for her age. What is this gold pleated awfulness? And lastly, I actually really love this dress on Kristen Wiig, but the fit of this is unfortunate. 

These are pretty much the worst of the worst...

I feel like Katherine Heigl got like one last shot to be a part of a tv show, because she is so widely speculated to be a total a-hole, and she showed up wearing a dress she found in her attic on her farm in Utah. Just when you think Blossom couldn't get any worse, she decided to go grandma glam. Too much lady. While I appreciate Lena's quirkiness, I cannot get behind this combo. It is like she has been such a naked grown up on her show she wanted to wear exactly what a ten year old girl would pick. And her hair cut. There is so much wrong with Lauren's dress, that not much needs to be said. Those dark eyebrows are so rough. 

What did you think? I know that we don't always agree and I kind of love that about red carpet picks. 
xo
Erin 





8.21.2014

Cozy Cardigan



 

We are headed to the North Woods tomorrow for a wedding. It is going to be a high school reunion of sorts and watching a dear friend get married is always the best. While the usual wedding attire is being packed, the addition of some comfy separates for late night bonfires is required. I am realizing that though my closet is filled with cozy knits that I am psyched to start wearing, there is still room for one more in gray. These are on my radar and I wish I had one for this weekend. 



1. Free People $128
2. Gap $69
3. Asos $106
4. Soft Joie $228
5. Three Dot $144
6. Oak $135

I hope you all have a great rest of your week and weekend. Hopefully I can share some of my trip up north next week. 

xo
Erin 


8.19.2014

Black Tie Affair

With wedding season pretty much never ending for us twenty and thirty somethings, the black tie dress code can be a monthly affair. This dress code can be the hardest as the dress cannot be worn to many other functions and you never know just how dressy people will get. The trick is to find something classic that you can switch up with accessories for different weddings. I recently put together some options for a friend and now I am hoping for a fancy event in my future as well. 



This simple, but stunning dress would look gorgeous with gold accessories and a statement shoe. $250


A romantic, pleated dress gets an edge with a metal gold belt. This dress comes in many colors. So pretty. $106



If you go all out with the jewelry, shoes, bag, hair, and make up, short is totally doable for black tie. I love that all of these have an interesting architectural element. 
The pink peplum would look fab with a blingy statement necklace ($116). 
The halter dress would be gorgeous with chunky gold cuffs and a drop earring ($63 on sale). 
I am obsessed with this flutter detail on the skater dress. The ultimate way to make a statement with a LBD. $106

And if you really want to make a statement, the jumpsuit would be so fab. Both the deep v with the mesh version and this killer black and white would be a show stopper. Just make sure you do it up with the rest of your look. 

xo
Erin 




8.18.2014

Chicken & Sweet Potato Asian Lettuce Wraps

With the addition of sweet potatoes, the usually too light for an entree lettuce wrap becomes a filling meal. Crunchy water chestnuts and a sweet and salty sauce made this a hit with the adults and the kids at the dinner table. 


Chicken & Sweet Potato Asian Lettuce Wraps
Imperfect Polish 2014
Serves 4

For Filling: 
3 large sweet potatoes, diced
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger (this is how you do it or buy this in produce section)
1.25 lbs ground chicken
1 can sliced water chestnuts (Asian food section)

For Sauce: 
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (Asian food section)
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil (Asian food section)

For Serving: 
Bib or iceberg lettuce leaves 
chopped scallion
chopped cilantro
hot sauce like sriracha

Place sweet potatoes on large sheet pan and toss two coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside. (Can be done a day in advance)

In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Set aside. 

Place a large skillet or wok on the stove over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot,  add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until just starting to get tender. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds, add chicken. Cook and stir all ingredients together, breaking up the ground chicken as well, until chicken is done. Add the water chestnuts, sweet potatoes, and sauce cook until warmed through and well combined. Turn off the heat. 

To serve, place lettuce leaves on the plate and scoop some of the meat mixture inside. Top with scallion, cilantro and hot sauce to taste. 

Note: You could make the filling in advance and then reheat later. 

Enjoy! 
xo
Erin 






8.15.2014

Weekend Golf


Though I did not grow up playing golf, it has become one of my favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors in the last few years. I was able to learn pre-kids, which gave me a lot more time to dedicate to it. Now I get out when I can and soak up the time away doing something active and fun. Matt and I use it as a date in the summer months and though our games are not always where we want them to be, it is a great way to spend time together away from the kids. 

The fashion can be less than great when it comes to golf. I usually go for a simple sporty look, black and white. But recently I have gotten really into dresses for golf. The hemlines are longer than their tennis counterparts, but still a little sassy for the links. You can tailor them a bit too for your frame. 

From Left: 
This white drop waist dress is adorable. Nike $114
Love this classic black dress. Puma $60
I own this Smashing Golf dress and it is beyond comfortable. $135
The bright color and piping is cute on this Lole dress. $60

And in case you were wondering, all of these dresses come with little shorts. Makes it easy to maneuver without getting to fresh. 

Happy Weekend. Swing easy if you are golfing this weekend. 
xo
Erin 


8.14.2014

Puddle Jumpers

Since I have already gotten excited about coats for Fall, you know that boots are following close behind. I have a great pair of fur lined moto boots that I live in come winter, but I think some new rain boots for that in between time of it being cold and there actually being snow on the ground would be a nice addition. Hunters are the logical choice, but they have some new styles this year and there are some other brands that have my eye.  

1. This beige pair by Sloosh Italy are kind of amazing. The color and buckles are gorge. $220
2. This Gucci pair would be an investment, but the shape is perfection. $450
3. Coral is my jam. These would brighten up a cold day. Hunter $148
4. Snakeskin gives this pair by Dav a chic look $80
5. The shape of these Hunter's would be very flattering on anyone. $175
6. I am a sucker for a equestrian stripe and buckle. Dav $110
7. The classic Hunter, but in a great moody navy $148
8. These new glossy black Hunter's have an adjustable back for better sizing (i.e: perfect for people like me with larger calves) $152


And because I cannot resist, although she may not be able to sport them anytime soon, how cute are these for Miss Mary? 
The glossy black are to die and the sweet yellow pair would be adorable on rainy days. 

xo
Erin 


8.13.2014

Blurred Reality

This is for all the ladies out there (including myself) that have a really hard time believing that all those selfies being taken are really a true perception of what someone may actually look like. We all have flaws, even the plastic faced darlings of celebrity instagram. And you say that they may just be taking a quick pic, adding a filter, and sending them out into the world so that women everywhere want the name of their dermatologist, it must be how they actually look. There is no time for photoshop. 

And maybe that is true. But let me show you an example of how you can take any picture from no make-up reality to a much more perfect version of so in about 30 seconds.  


A few swipes of your finger and every line is gone, teeth are whiter, under eye circles gone, skin tone is even, and eyes are crystal clear. And while I am really tempted to use this app all the time, I won't because it is gross, really. 

So next time there is a headline about a celebs flawless morning glow without make up, think twice about feeling mediocre. Because more often than not, they had at least a little bit of help. #nofilter is BS. 

And your beauty is real. 

The flawed, starting to wrinkle, needs a pluck, has something in their teeth, trying to cover up that zit on your chin, face of someone that doesn't need to blur the reality of the happy moments of your life is who we all want to see anyway. It is more beautiful that way. 


xo
Erin 


8.12.2014

Fall Jackets & Coats

I know, it is still August and the thought of cold weather is anything but great, but I cannot resist to start looking to Fall. Jackets and coats make me giddy. This coming season there are lots of new, fun takes on some old classics. So while you might not want the temps to drop, these numbers may change your mind. 

Leather sleeves and shearling are a great update to the asymmetrical flap coat. 

From Left: Vera Wang $348 / Sam Edelman $148 / Mackage $690

Military is always a Fall staple. I am loving the soft dove gray of this coat and the shape of this shorter version of the usual anorak. 

Burberry $995 / Rag & Bone $242

Moto can be a bit hard for my taste, but these jackets have just enough of this trend. 

Treasure & Bond $328 /  Generation Love $282 / Marc New York $328 

Obsessed with these soft pastel pink pieces. 

JOA $134 / Splendid $168 / Rebecca Minkoff $498

These quilted jackets are a lot less mom-ish than their usual counterparts. 


Adding knit makes denim more soft and cozy. 

Free People $148 / Maison Scotch $335 

Just think, order now and enjoy later. I always wait until it is actually cold and then scramble to make a decision on something new. 
xo
Erin 

8.11.2014

Not Just for Tweens

I have been having some busy days around here and soaking up this summer with the kids. Mary turns one at the end of the month and I am savoring every last second with her before she is no longer truly a baby. 

I did have time this morning to put together this fun bedroom after I was looking around for some accessories online. Who knew that PB Teen had such style? The site is of course chock full of preppy teenager options, but there is some seriously fantastic pieces that would work for grown ups, too. Bonus is that the prices reflect more for a kids room, so your budget goes a lot further. 


1. I love a good pom pom drape and these are black out. $89-$119
2. Pretty chandelier $129
3. Obsessed with this petal abstract painting. Beautiful colors and scale. $149
4. This canopy bed has been pinned to death and there is a reason. It is gorge. $599-$899
5. Pretty scalloped bedding that can be monogrammed is always a good idea. $29-$159
6. This tray side table is a fun alternative to the usual shapes. $98
7. A soft Moroccan Diamond Rug is perfect for a bedroom. $143-$169
8. This navy velvet love seat is the perfect size for in front of a bed. $799

Happy Monday. I hope your week is off to a great start. And I hope to post more this week. Anything you need help with in beauty, design, food, travel, or fashion? I love getting ideas for posts from you. Upcoming wedding, living room refresh, cooking dilemma, happy to help ladies. 

xo
Erin 

8.06.2014

Pork Tacos with Honey Lime Slaw & Peanuts


This is a great one from the archives over at Forks & Amusement (side note: this was my previous blog with just recipes). Sometimes I forget about these older recipes and I love going over to the other site to find recipes for the week. This recipe uses lean pork tenderloin and gives you the added bonus of some crunchy slaw. Pick whichever tortilla you like (the soft whole wheat ones have been a hit here) and you can even ditch it and serve as a salad just as well. This is an easy way to mix up your usual taco night. 

Pork Tacos with Honey Lime Slaw and Peanuts

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

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, and sprinkle with 

the peanuts. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! 
xo
Erin 

8.05.2014

Work Wardrobe

I have not worked in a professional setting for quite sometime, so work day essentials are not on my radar. Though while shopping, I can't help but get a bit nostalgic for what I might be wearing to the office these days. I was always about classic, tailored pieces that could be mix and matched easily. Everything in neutral colors that looked crisp with a few tasteful pops of color in the seasons current favorites. Though I may not be in need of a work wardrobe, I have plenty of friends who do (one in particular, you know who you are) and put together what I would be stocking up on for now and this Fall. Just mix in your favorite (and most comfortable) pumps, statement necklace, slick watch, studs, and opaque black tights for the colder weather. 


Dresses: 1. J. Crew / 2. DVF / 3. Madewell / 4. Tory Burch 
Jackets: 5. Theory / 6. Two Penny Blue / 7. Loft
Skirts: 8. J. Crew / 9. J. Crew / 10. Loft
Pants: 11. J. Crew / 12. J. Crew / 13. Loft (on sale)
Sweaters: 14. J. Crew / 15. J. Crew / 16. J. Crew (all available in many colors)
Tops: 17. Joie / 18. J. Crew / 19. J. Crew

Many of these pieces can be mixed in with your every day or evening wear, which is a huge bonus. Some of the pieces are bigger investments, but when it comes to work wear you need it most days so it will be worth it. If anything a great pair of black pants, a snug but flattering sweater, a blazer, and a white shirt like the one above is a great start. 

And just to show you how versatile these pieces can be, here are just a few of the ways you can mix and match. 
And let's just pretend you closed the deal of a lifetime, this bag would be quite the statement at the office. #treatyourself



xo
Erin 




8.01.2014

33 Years And Counting


Yep, today's my birthday. 33 feels pretty good. 
Pretty great, actually. 
And while I have learned a lot over the years, this is what my previous year has taught me. 


1. Taking care of your skin is the only thing that is going to make you look better (besides the knife), so invest ladies. Sunscreen, serums, retinol, and no picking (guilty!).

2. Kids will change your life and make your heart burst out of your body every day. It is awesome. 

3. But not so awesome that you do not need alone time and breaks from being a Mom. Moms make 1,347 decisions every day for themselves and everyone in their house. It is a lot and sometimes we just need to go to Starbucks and read Vogue for an hour. Or go away for a weekend and make one decision a day. Red or white. 

4. The Internet is the best and worst of everything all at the same time. Seeing professionally airbrushed pictures of celebrities wearing clothes they did not even have to buy, posts of vacations abroad in incredible cities you are not in, perfectly staged gorgeous rooms and kitchens on Pinterest, DIY projects you admire but know will never happen at your house, pictures of pretty much the best moments of every one's life you have ever met and not the worst moments. It messes with your head! But we want to see it, the thing I have learned is to take it for what it is and remind yourself these are glimpses and not reality. 

5. Eating good food and drinking good wine are necessary for happiness. Spring for the slightly nicer bottle every time. And always treat yourself each day. And I am not talking about a square of dark chocolate, Jessica Alba, I am talking about real indulgence. Butter, extra cheese, ice cream, crumbled bacon. Not all the time, but once a day at least.

6. Sleep is everything. It cures everything, it makes you a better person, makes your skin look good, and you can never have too much. So enjoy it when you can get it. And if you are not getting it (looking at you new moms), I wish for you restful nights and early bedtimes very soon.  

7. Be grateful. Every day. Even when it is the worst day ever. 

Excited for the next year and what it will bring.
Cheers! 
xo
Erin 

PS: Thank you for all your votes on my outfit for tonight. I will post later when I am all dolled up! 


7.31.2014

"Book Club"

Yesterday was just one of those great days. The weather was perfect, the house was clean, the kids were in the best of moods, and "book club" was at my house that evening. 

Miss Mary 


Took the kids out for a picnic at the edge of the property. Feels like a field trip, but we don't have to get in the car. 


I use quotes around "book club" because there is no book at the moment. Everyone is either a new mom, about to become a mom, or has multiple kids under 5, so books are a bit of a commitment once a month. Wine and food we can get behind. It is a great group of girls that I am so lucky to have become close with. It was so fun hosting this time and the weather outside made for great al fresco dining. 







I stocked up at Target on plastic plates, cups, and silverware. I like to use the clear plates to class it up a bit when I do not feel like doing dishes. Target has cute cups and napkins in fun colors. I have been cutting hydrangeas from the yard and they have wilted within hours every time. But, I tried a new trick that I read about online and I am happy to say they are going strong. 

1. Clip hydrangeas from bush and put directly in room temp water. 
2. Take out of water when ready to trim, cut to desired length and place stem in very hot water, almost boiling for 30 seconds. 
3. Place directly into room temp water in vase you want to use. Repeat with each stem or do quickly with a bunch. 

Here are just a few of the few of the menu items, wish I would have gotten pictures of everything. It was delicious. 


Lemon Quinoa with Arugula and Parmesan 

Whisk together 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 chopped shallots, 1/3 cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons), 2 teaspoons of honey, 1/3 cup of olive oil

Cook one package of quinoa according to the package directions and place in a serving bowl. Let cool a bit. Season and toss the quinoa with the vinaigrette (you may not need all of it) to taste.  Refrigerate until chilled. (Can be made a day in advance)

Toss in a few handfuls of arugula and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan. Toss to combine and serve. 


Water, Feta, and Mint Salad

Simply cube up watermelon, chop some fresh mint, and crumble on the feta. 


White Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Bocconcini 

2 pints cherry tomatoes, 2 cans navy beans (drained and rinsed), 1 pint extra small bocconcini (mozzarella balls), handful of chopped fresh basil, 3 cloves of garlic minced

Mix all in a bowl and season with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Toss well to combine and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. 

Great served alone, tossed with pasta the next day, or salad greens. So yummy. 


Fresh Tomato Pasta with Mozzarella 

Chop 3-4 fresh tomatoes, crush two garlic cloves, rip up a handful of fresh basil and throw in a big bowl. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Let sit at least one hour and up to all day. 

 Remove the garlic cloves. Cook your favorite pasta according to the box's instruction, drain and toss directly into the sauce. Add in 1 container of  bocconcini (mozzarella balls) and toss to combine. season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. 

xo
Erin 


7.30.2014

What to Wear

When you get married your husband becomes your roommate for life. And while I love living with Matt, I miss the days of having a girlfriend down the hall to raid her closet and give me an opinion of what to wear. I got a taste of this again when I was with my friends in LA and it was so fun trying on outfits, dressing each other up, and giving the honest truth. And I could use some help with my choice for a Friday night out with my friends to celebrate the birthday. Can you help a girl out? 

Choice #1: White tank & Leather mini


Would add some bangles and cuffs and stick to the white, black, and gray palate. 

Choice #2: Navy chiffon top & pink skinnies


This top is actually see through with an open back, so I could wear a lacey cami to sass it up in back. It is actually on sale now in pale pink



Choice #3: White tank & Neon striped bandage skirt


Not sold on my shoe choice with this, but could switch it up with some pink pumps. 

So ladies, which should I choose? Would love your opinion! 

xo
Erin 

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