3.04.2015

Spring Weddings: What to Wear

They are starting to arrive. All those perfectly calligraphy filled envelopes with gilded invites to a day full of love. And while those of us in the cold can barely get out of our pajamas (if you are wearing short sleeves right now, I hate you), it is really nice to imagine life in a flirty dress in a little sunshine toasting the happy couple. And there are some really great options for all you might need. Rehearsal dinners included. 

Love a black and white, which can be surprisingly "springy" and versatile year round. 

From Left to Right: Worship this graphic Parker $211 (on sale) / Preppy stripes are so fun by Line & Dot $149  / This silk Rachel Zoe is so chic $350 / Love the fringe on this Michael Kors $195

A nice drape in a light fabric always feels great and can flatter

Left: Love this print and ruffled Anna Sui $340 / Right: soft lilac and pretty drape by Asos $83

Florals get a modern touch this season and I would sport any of these 

From Left to Right: I have been on eyeing this Parker $184 (on sale) / A digital print in rad colors Hunter Bell $325 / Love a sleeve and this print is so fun Tracy Reese $298 / This Parker would be so flattering and fun $319

Going long can be hard, but these could be dressed up or down. 

Left: This Shoshanna is both elegant and preppy $395 / Right: Cannot say enough about this Rachel Zoe. LOVE $350

Yellow was a standout on the runway for Spring

Left: The lace and ruffle is so flirty BCBG $268 / Right: This Alice + Olivia is a classic you can wear forever $198

There is also a huge Shopbop sale happening right now (a lot of the above is from there) until Saturday. Use code BIGEVENT15 at check out. 

If you need help for a specific event and want more options email me! Erin@ImperfectPolish.com
Always here to help you with styling and nothing makes me happier!

xo
Erin 

2.26.2015

Retail Therapy

I mean what else makes you feel better than online shopping in the cold? Here is what is in my favorite sites carts currently… 


1. Obsessed with this long pillow which would look cool on my bed. Lulu & Georgia $199
2. A little black dress that could go anywhere. findersKeepers $168
3. In need of a new jean jacket and I love the color and the fact this one stretches.  J. Crew $128
4. Full blown leather leggings are a little out of reach right now, but these have quite a bit of leather and are on sale for $200. June
5. Fringe and cobalt, LOVE. Steve Madden $130
6. Really loving the layered delicate necklace look. This would be a nice addition with my kids' initials.  Bauble Bar $240

If only I could order all of these to keep me warm. ha
Happy shopping and stay cozy. 
xo
Erin 

2.25.2015

Advice from Educators


Nothing seems as hard to any parent as life with a baby. All those firsts and walking around exhausted feels like the hardest thing on the planet to do. And it gets a little easier and easier as the months slip away, or maybe you just get used to it. And you think, "wow, this just gets so much less stressful as they get older." 
And then, they start school. Whether it is preschool or third grade or high school. Your child now has the responsibility of education on their hands.
 From ABCs to ACTs, it can hard to know what is right or wrong for your child. If they are learning at the pace they should. If they are attending the correct school or even in the correct grade. And as a parent, it is your job to make sure they have the access, the support, and the dedication for it all. 
Yea, makes those sleepless nights seem like a dream, really. So I sought out some advice from educators. I wanted to know what they would say to any parent given the chance. Since we all know that their communication can be stifled by rules and regulations. Here is what they had to say to help us all with our little ones...

More after the jump...

2.24.2015

Mexican Lasagna

This is a recipe from the archives that I make all the time. I get asked for the recipe all the time. And I happen to know that those that have made it, make it over and over again as well. So it is time for you to get on board. It deserves a repost on this site and I hope you dive right in. It is so, so delicious. If you want to make this for more of a crowd, just double it and add more layers. 


Mexican Lasagna 
Forks  &Amusement 2010
serves 4+
There are 5 layering components, I have separated them out and then we will talk assembly at the end

Meat Mixture
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1.25 lbs. ground turkey (you can use any ground meat you prefer)
1 tablespoon cumin
2 dashes cayenne
salt and pepper

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and add the onion and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes then add a pinch of salt & pepper, stirring to coat with the oil. Cook an additional 5 minutes and add the garlic. Stir occasionally, then once the onions are translucent, add the turkey, breaking it up and combining with the other ingredients with a wooden spoon. Add the cumin and cayenne, sprinkle with more salt and pepper, continue to stir and break up meat. Cook until meat is cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Sour Cream Mixture
16 oz 2% cottage cheese
1/2 cup light sour cream
juice of 1/2 of lime
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside

Other components:
7 oz. or 1 3/4 cup grated cheese (I use the Mexican mix at the market, cheddar and Monterrey jack, reduced fat)
9-12 soft tortillas (use multigrain, low carb, or old fashioned, they all work)
1 1/2 cups salsa or your choice (I use my cilantro sauce from this post)

Assembly & Cooking
Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Spray a standard lasagna pan (usually around 14"x 11") with cooking spray. Layer 3 tortillas on the bottom of the pan. Lay two down, rip the other in half and fill the space. Spread 1/3 of the sour cream mixture onto the tortillas. Sprinkle 1/2 of the meat mixture on top of that. Next sprinkle 1/3 of the grated cheese on top of the meat. Last, drizzle with 1/3 of the salsa. Repeat starting with the tortillas, then the sour cream, meat, grated cheese, and salsa. Top with 3 more tortillas, spread the rest of the sour cream mixture on top, sprinkle the last of the grated cheese and drizzle the last of the salsa. Note that nothing has to look perfect or be done perfectly! Bake for 45 minutes until warmed through and bubbling.

Enjoy!
xoxo

Erin

2.23.2015

Oscars 2015: Best & Worst Dressed

They came and tried to dazzle us. Some succeed, many did not. Did anyone feel last night was a let down? Don't get me wrong, tons of gorgeous gowns, but very few that took a risk and really made a beautiful statement. Of course there were some, so let's start with those ladies. 

Marion, Emma, and Margot are my top of the Best list. I know that Marion is a wild card with this billowing back, but I love it. One of the few that took a risk and I love her for it. It has a mod feel while also feeling glam. Emma kills in this. Love seeing her in some sparkle and that color is perfect for her. Margot in YSL, that necklace, a red lip. Simple, yet screams Hollywood. 

More after the jump…



These ladies in red are my second runners up. Rosamund stuns in this red. Tailored so well and the cut makes it modern. Dakota also looks fetching in red, this photo does not give this dress justice. 

Best Dressed Couples? I could almost give Eddie and his wife overall Best Dressed. His wife's dress is amazing. Bahati's dress is beautiful, hair might be a bit severe, but the Levine's look great. 

The rest of the Best… 
Blushing ladies looking pretty: Jennifer Aniston isn't wearing anything earth shattering, but pretty. Keira's will be controversial, but I think it is beautiful. Jennifer comes out in a full movie star gown that so many actual movie stars should have worn. Why is she at these shows again? Gwyneth is wearing the most perfect shade of pink ever. Love this. 

Heavy metals always look great on the red carpet. Laura could ditch that necklace and hair, but that dress is killer. Rita has done one movie and is looking like an old pro. Love this navy with the gold. Naomi's dress looks terrible here, but on the red carpet this was great (I hate me for saying it, but it is true). Miss Chung is bring it with this gown. So pretty.  

The color combo of this on Nicole is odd, but I like it. Anna looks a little uncomfortable in this gown, but she is so fun. Miss Hudson is gorgeous in yellow and those earrings. I actually think I hate this on Anna. But then I like it. And then I hate it again. 

Lupita could have been at the top of the list with this pearl number, but that fitting on top is strange. And that trend continues with Julianne. That middle row of flowers kills this entire dress. Otherwise, it would be SO good. Carolina looking gorg in this ruffled number. And dare I say I like this on Lady Gaga? The matching gloves, hair piece, and lips are horrible, but the dress is really great. 

This is the category I like to call, I am disappointed. REALLY disappointed. 
These ladies could do SO much better. They could pick any dress, any dress in the world and this is what they choose? While they all look really pretty, they are all quite boring. Cate's necklace is a redeeming factor, but other than that I really wish they would have made some better choices. And risks! 

And now onto the worst...
Whoa, Scarlett. I don't think anyone has looked as scary at the Oscars since Gwyneth forgot to wear a bra. She also is officially a bobble head. Eat a cheeseburger. I want to be on Zoe's side so much because this lady just had twins. Twins! She looks amazing, but this dress cannot be saved. The top is so bad. Everything about Jessica's is so bad. The proportions could not be more unflattering and slit makes it even worse. 

I kind of worship Chloe, but this can't be saved. Too much like upholstery and that band at the top cheapens it. Chrissy has been on the top of the lists the last year, but this entire look is all too much. The slit is way too much and that lipstick is too dark. Felicity, oh how I love her. I just saw The Theory of Everything (amazing) and it breaks my heart to see her as a worst dressed. This dress is swallowing her whole. As are those bangs. 

These two couple need some help. I love the Carrell's but her dress is a big fat no. And wtf happened to Tim McGraw?! He is five pounds, I think Faith could take him in a fight. Not loving her hair either. 

And that's it! What were your thoughts??? You know that I love that we don't always agree, that is the fun of it. 

xo
Erin 





















2.20.2015

Sweaters to Love

Sweaters are getting a lot of play this winter. It is freaking cold. Maybe not so much for you ladies in the winter that is summer area of the West, but for the rest of us, winter blows. My sweaters are all starting to look a little ragged and frankly the thought of investing in sweaters and not in fun, flirty spring dresses does not make me happy. 
Enter Topshop for Nordstrom. I love that you can now shop Topshop in the place where you probably buy everything else in your life. Their sweater game is on point and the options are all under $200 with quality that shocks me a bit, frankly. Here are some of the best, but there are much more on the site



Happy Weekend to you all! I hope you stay cozy and don't forget to watch the Oscars on Sunday (or at least the red carpet), I will have my full run down on Monday. 
xo
Erin 

2.19.2015

Arugula Turkey Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Clearly I have been pretty absent here lately. There was a nice long trip to Mexico to revel in and now the extra QT with the babes to make up for the lost time, so the blog has not gotten the love. But I wanted to share this quick recipe that was so delicious before you all thought I fell off a cliff. I know that grilling in the winter seems insane to us with highs in the single digits, but there is always a grill pan in your house (or just tell the hubs to bundle up). Use it and remember those easy summer days that are (hopefully!) not too far away. We try to go bun less when we are watching what we eat, but these fantastically crispy sweet potato oven fries make it feel as if nothing is missing. 


Arugula Turkey Burgers
Imperfect Polish 2015
serves 4-6

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1.5 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon salt 
2 teaspoons pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
Tabasco or hot sauce to taste 
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (sub regular bread crumbs if you want)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup fresh arugula (baby arugula fine or even spinach)
2 lbs ground turkey

In a large bowl, combine lightly with a fork everything except the turkey. Next, work in the turkey with the fork and your hands until well combined. Use a light hand so the burgers do not get tough. Form the burgers into the size desired. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to the day before. 

When ready to eat, heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. (spray with cooking spray if using a grill pan) Grill each burger until cooked through (cooking times vary depending on size, but if firm to the touch it is probably done). Let rest for a few minutes, then serve warm. 

Crispy Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Imperfect Polish 2015
serves 4-6

4-6 sweet potatoes
olive oil
tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Cut the sweet potatoes into fries about 1/4 inch thick. Toss on a few baking sheets trying not to crowd the fries so they get crisp. Combine all of the spices in a small bowl and set aside. Drizzle enough olive oil on the fries to coat well, then sprinkle with the spices. Toss with clean hands until everything is coated well. Bake until crispy, about 25 minutes. Turning over with a spatula once to twice. 

Enjoy! 
xo
Erin 


2.09.2015

Best & Worst Dressed: BAFTAs + Grammys

To say that the BAFTAs (Oscars of UK) and the Grammys are different style wise is a a huge under statement. You won't find crop tops and see through anything in London, it is much more buttoned up and proper. So it is fun to be able review these two red carpets together form last night's festivities. 

BAFTAs first…

By far the stand out of the night were these two. His hair is awful, but her dress is so so lovely.

The other best dressed of the night. Kristen Scott Thomas looks like a real lady. Amy Adams's hair is strange, but this dress is gorg. I do not know who this lady in white is, but I love it. And Julianne is channeling a little of her Boogie Nights days and its fantastic. 

These train wrecks on the other hand. Again, not sure who this is on the left, but how do you walk a red carpet in something like this??! Alice Eve (otherwise known as Charlotte's nanny on SATC) is so so pretty, this dress swallows her whole and her hair and make up are not great. Natalie Dormer, what are those gloves? And the seams? Too much lace, too much everything, and that side smirk is getting really old. 

Now onto the craziness of the Grammys. 

Though they may call Beyonce the Queen (or does she call herself that?), Rihanna is seriously dethroning her year after year. 

This will be a either a love it or hate it moment, but I freaking LOVE it. This is from one of my favorite collections from Paris (Giambattista Valli) and it makes such a statement on a carpet where statements are usually made with less clothes, not more. Her hair and make up also is flawless. Best dressed for sure. 

Some other ladies that got it right as well..

Miranda looks polished, but cool. Beyonce is kind of a snooze, but looks great. While I am totally on the fence with the color of Taylor's dress, I like the overall look for her. Keith's hair kills me, but they always look like such a great couple. How does Nicole not age?! 

The length of Gwen's jumpsuit is a tad short, but otherwise I worship it. Miley bugs SO bad, but this dress is just enough naked to look good and not trashy. Katy is looking pretty in her fringe. Rita Ora is the only person who can pull this off and I love her platinum pixie. 

Chrissy pretty much kills it every red carpet. She looks great in white. Zendaya's (pretty sure I have that wrong) could be bad, but I like the 70s vibe and that she took a risk. Needs to lose that lipstick stat. Cool girl Anna could use some more jewels, but I love the tux. And Iggy's crown is horrid, but that dress is gorgeous  on her. Lots of cut outs last night done well. 

Now the horror section…

Kim's look could be really cool, but it looks too much like a bath robe and those hip pockets are unflattering. Madge! Love you lady, but this is straight up ugly. Like not even cool in anyway. Ciara shows us the wrong side of volume compared to Rihanna's amazingness. Too much. Everywhere. And while I wish that I could rock a skin tight green jumpsuit at 70, This is WAY too much for Jane. You have to give her props though. 

Katherine is trying to "get back into the scene" and a wrinkled cheesy dress with horrible hair is not going to get you there, lady. Lady Gaga's dress could be great. But the fit on top and that necklace between her boobs is just too much and unflattering. It is so hard to wear a sheer skirt without looking cheesy. Megan crossed that line and I bet her stylists did not do the full flash test and it looked great when she got ready. Chris Brown, looking even more the part as lady beater with that nasty goatee and slobbish tux. That hat. ugh

Pharrel and his girl really made a statement last year. And this year Pharrel went with shorts again and his girl prefers camel toe. Yep, I said it. Mandy Moore should be toasting her divorce when she sees her ex in this tight Canadian tuxedo. Wow. And wtf was this Jonas brother thinking with this? Clearly he thinks it is a great look for the ladies. It is mind boggling. Last but not least, Kanye. I could have maybe got behind this velvet number, I have a weakness for it, but with cowboy boots? Or whatever those are? Plus that pose, it is a worst. 

Dying to know what you all think! Especially on Rihanna! 

xo
Erin 







2.06.2015

Winter Escape: What to Pack

There is nothing as lovely as escaping winter and going somewhere warm. You leave someone where below freezing and thaw out in the sunshine a few hours later. Heaven. 
Everyone seems to be either going south or headed there soon. Luckily, so I am this month with friends  to Mexico. Here is what I am packing if you need any ideas for your suitcase as well.  

1. The perfect bright dress. Clove $118
2. Go with everything wedges. Jimmy Choo $450 or these 
3. A light tunic for the beach. J. Crew $89
4. Printed silk pants to pair with your fav tank. Splendid $138
5. Classic cut offs. J. Crew $79
6. A striped bandage skirt. Alexander Wang $168
7. My go to jumpsuit. Splendid $138
8. A printed maxi. Tbags $57
9. A simple romper for the pool. Shopbop $119
10. Diving into this book. 

Bon Voyage! 
xo
Erin 

2.04.2015

Storage for Sanity

These winter months keep us inside where the mess never ends and the toys seem to multiply in every room. My house currently looks like a tornado ripped through it. Who invented all of the toys with all of the little pieces?! A place for everything would be nice, not just all of the random baskets I have layer around. Storage can be hard to find that can actually blend in with the rest of your decor. But there are options that are not only great for toys and books, but adult messes too. 

1. Mix and Match. Love these. Land of Nod $199
2. How adorable are these hat boxes? Restoration Hardware $39-$69
3. A linen covered storage bench could go anywhere. Hayneedle $205
4. Coral is a fun addition to the typical basket. Target $29
5. Love the patina finish and the fact this is on wheels. Restoration Hardware $199-$295
6. A place to corral all of those books. Land of Nod $149
7. Preppy basket with a lid from Serena & Lily $98
8. A short book case for shot people. Serena & Lily $698
9. A sweet and simple storage trunk. Hayneedle $125

xo
Erin 

2.03.2015

From the Archives: Choc Chip Chili

When chocolate is in the recipe for chili, it makes you take a second look. This one also uses different meat than your standard ground and really utilizes all of those spices collecting dust in your pantry. If you love chili (and who doesn't in the winter months), make this immediately. 


Choc Chip Chili
Nigella Lawson - The More the Merrier
serves 12

10 or 5 linked pairs chorizo sausage (not the salami sort), about 1 1/4 lb
3 1/4 lb boneless beef shank, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (stew meat could also be used, but will not be as tender)
3 onions, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 fresh long chili, seeded (could not find this, so I subbed in 2 teaspoons chili powder and a serrano chili)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
seeds from 3 cardamom pods (not a fan of this spice and I left out)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (I added a bit more to great results)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
4 - 15 oz cans red kidney beans, drained
3 - 14oz cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup water (swished out in one of the diced tomato cans

Preheat oven 300 degrees (You could also use a slow cooker)

Finely chop, or process the onion, garlic and chili.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan (with a lid) or cast iron or enameled dutch oven and fry the onion, garlic and chile until soft, on low for about 10 minutes, then add the cardamom seeds (if using), cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes.

Stir the oniony spiced mixture together and then add the chorizo, sliced into 1/4 inch coins, letting them ooze their paprika-orange oil.

Drop in the cubes of beef, turning them n the pan with the chorizo and onion mix, to brown the meat.

Stir in the tomato paste, ketchup, drained kidney beans, diced tomatoes and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the water and bring the chili to a boil.

Once it is started bubbling, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the chili and give it a good stir. Put on the lid and transfer to the oven.

Cook a this low heat for 3 hours. Once cooked it is best left overnight to improve the flavor.

Enjoy!
xoxo
Erin

2.02.2015

Oscar Dress Predictions

Paris Couture Week has ended, which means it is time to do some predicting on what we might see in a few weeks on the red carpet. Like last year, I have creepily pasted the actresses heads on the models from the runway. So hilarious, but helps you see what it would look like more! Here are some dresses I think would be gorgeous. 

Amy Adams would be a dream in this Monique Lhuiller. She loves a classic shape, but this lace is so soft and pretty and would look great with her red hair. 

Emma will probably be in custom Lanvin, her fave, but if she were to pick off the runway this Valentino would be so pretty on her. The color is perfect! 

Felicity seems to like structure and this white dress with the yellow bustle is so pretty. Yellow was a huge trend, so I think we will see some come Oscar night. This is by the new cool girl designer, Rosie Assouline. Obsessed with her and this dress. 

Julianne loves a Tom Ford, but this Valentino would be fantastic on her. Just the right color bronze and the structured top with the flowing skirt is a great mix. 

Preggie Keira likes a little volume, so this Giambattista Valli would be so sweet on her. This dress screams Keira with the cap sleeve, soft pink, and just a little bling. 

Lupita is going to turn it out and this Oscar de la Renta would be unreal on her. The most gorgeous coral with a pop of yellow. So fun and so her. Obsessed with the shape of this dress. 

Marion is pretty loyal to Dior, but this Giambattista Valli would be perfect. The shape and floral appliqué would be a stand out on the red carpet. 

You are probably confused on this one, but hear me out. Imagine if Ralph Lauren made this in white for Naomi. White! She loves a collar necklace and this is quite a work of art. I love the ornate top and the simple and perfectly cut dress. 

Reese always goes a little sweet when she dresses and this has a bit of a nod to her Southern roots in the lace. You can't go wrong with Oscar on Oscar night either. 

Rosamund is a wild card, which I love. She certainly does not go safe. Though the girl needs some better tailoring and structure in her life. Yellow would be so pretty on her and the lace gives it originality. By Naeem Kahn. 

Sienna is my girl crush, always. She is not going to go all glitz on the carpet and usually dresses more for comfort and ease. This Jenny Packham is a beauty and would be so great on her. Lace would be a huge departure and unexpected. 

Someone needs to wear this Naeem Khan. Dakota is a great candidate. 

And here are some other dresses I love and would be great to see that night...


What do you think? Any favorites? 

xo
Erin 




1.30.2015

Packing for Paris

No, I am not headed there anytime soon. Le sigh. 
But, I did have someone who wanted some styling help for a trip this Spring and I had so much fun looking, I decided to share with everyone. 
When in Paris I think about dressing very classic, but with an edge. Think Kate Moss with pearls on. 
All of these pieces can be worn together and interchanged so you get the most out of your suitcase space. Black, white, gray, nude, gold. You cannot go wrong and all of these pieces would look perfect against that oh so beautiful back drop that is Paris.   

1. Philip Lim $825
2. Goes with everything washed silk shirt. Equipment $214 or Piperlime $34 (more colors)
3. An updated gray to your usual skinnies. Frame $219
4. Your go with anything everywhere flat. VC Signature $195
5. Stacked or on its own. Perfect. Barney's $100
6. A pleated midi screams perfect Paris day. Topshop $105
7. Obsessed with these pants. Great for travel or dressed up with heels. J. Crew $98
8. The perfect jacket to go with everything. Trouve $298
9. A nod to Breton stripes. Treasure & Bond $78
10. Gorgeous d'orsay pumps. Steve Madden $100
11. A great day or night dress. Stripes on the side. Madewell $98
12. A clutch with just a little pop. Claire V. $190
13. A tassel goes with all of it. Bauble Bar $13
14. The perfect book for your flight. $25

Happy Weekend! 
xo
Erin 


1.28.2015

Slip On Sneakers


Slip on sneakers came back on the scene last Spring and it seems they are here to stay. I have a pair of classic Bensimons that I love, but I think a black pair might be great for when the snow starts to melt. They look great with a skinny jean as much as a boyfriend. And your cool girl status goes way up when you pair then with a skirt or dress. A great alternative to the ballet flat. Here are my faves. 


1. Classic white Vans $45 
2. Love the suede on these Steve Madden $79
3. These Vince are so cool $195
4. Preppy and fun from Coach $125 (other colors)
5. The perforated canvas updates the classic Vans $59
6. The quilting is so fun Steve Madden $59 (other colors)
7. A basket weave is fresh by Rachel Zoe $195
8. These leopard might just be it by Splendid $64

xo
Erin 

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