Thursday, January 31, 2013

Featured Outfit: NC Lilly Scarf

Last weekend I was able to make a road trip to visit some good friends, even though the ice delayed my departure 24 hours! On Sunday I wore my North Carolina print Lilly Pulitzer Murfee Scarf for the first time. I loved showing off my North Carolina pride while visiting friends in a different state. I wore this ensemble with a gray pencil skirt and tights to church, then afterwards changed into my skinny jeans, pictured here:
Cardigan: Lilly Pulitzer; Camisole: LOFT; Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer; Jeans: Joe's Jeans; Boots: Banana Republic Outlet; Earrings: Kate Spade; Ring: Lilly Pulitzer

And here is a closer view of the scarf print. Of course I'm a little biased but I think the NC print is one of the prettiest of the States Murfee scarves that Lilly has released thus far:
This scarf is quickly on it's way to becoming one of my favorite accessories!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recipe: Layered Hot Feta and Artichoke Dip

I haven't posted a favorite recipe on here in awhile, so here is one for a delicious hot feta and artichoke dip. I originally found it on Pinterest, and the original recipe is here. This is a very easy and simple appetizer and would be great to take to a Super Bowl party this weekend!

8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced (I have been fine using a smidge of crushed garlic paste)
1 small red pepper, chopped (I have used green pepper before too)
3.5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp sliced black olives (I have left these out before and it does fine)

1. Mix cream cheese, artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, and garlic until blended.
2. Spread into 3-cup ovenproof dish and top with pepper and feta
3. Bake for at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.
4. Serve with pita chips or cracker of your choice.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spring Has Lilly Pulitzer

After experiencing some icy mess this past Friday, it was about 70 degrees today in NC. I wish the spring-like weather would just stay for good but sadly it's supposed to cool down again in a couple days. The good news is that Spring 2013 is here for good at Lilly Pulitzer. The first shipment of their Spring 2013 collection became available online on Monday and Lilly stores all over have been posting pictures of the lovely new items that are arriving. Here are my favorites from Lilly's first installment of Spring 2013:

Normally I'm not a huge fan of statement necklaces. But since this one combines two of my favorite things, Lilly and pearls, I am loving it! I will definitely be asking for this for my birthday in a couple of months! In fact, this necklace might be my favorite thing from the Spring 2013 collection so far.

This bracelet is another lovely Lilly and pearls combo!

I love any dress with lace overlay, and this color is gorgeous. The classic slim-fitting shift cut and scalloped hem make an unbeatable combination!

Another gorgeous lace overlay dress.

A fun, flirty mini skirt in the same beautiful lace pattern as the Pearl dress.

A classic printed Lilly shift dress with cut-out detail at the neckline that extends all the way to the upper back. Love it!

This striped short sleeve dress with a full skirt is so fun!

This new top looks very similar to the Elsa, but is 100% cotton and thus machine-washable! The one Elsa top I have is cotton, but Lilly seems to only make the Elsa in silk recently. Perhaps I will add a Holmes top to my collection, since as much as I love the Elsa I try to avoid dry-clean only clothes as much as possible!

What are your favorite things from Lilly's Spring 2013 collection so far?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Five

1. Duke gets destroyed by Miami!
As a hardcore UNC fan I cheer for two teams: Carolina and Anyone Playing Duke. I even have a t-shirt with this motto. Thus, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Duke get pounded by Miami this past Wednesday night! Plus it was an exciting night for Miami- their rout of Duke marked the first time beating a #1 ranked team in school history. Then right after that UNC had a decisive victory over Georgia Tech! This was my favorite day thus far of the 2012-2013 college basketball season and I'm excited to see what's ahead in the next couple of months!

2. Cooking Lesson/Girls' Night
Last Friday one of my friends, who is an excellent cook, had a few of us over for an interactive cooking lesson. She walked us through the preparation of an impressive but not overly complicated entree: Cider-Glazed Chicken. It required a good bit of stove time but the end result was delicious and so worth it! The garnish of fried sage leaves added a nice touch. We enjoyed this dish with a side of broccoli and brown rice. It was so much fun learning how to prepare something new, eating, and chatting for hours with some good friends!

3. UGGs
During the frigid winter temperatures we've had recently I have lived in my classic tall UGG boots while relaxing at home. I know there's some mixed opinions about UGGs out there. While they definitely aren't as cute as cowgirl boots or riding boots they are so warm and comfortable. I've had mine for about two years and have enjoyed them.

 4. Feel-good quote
One of my friends shared this recently. A great reminder that ups and downs are all part of life's journey!

5. New Lilly Dress

We may be having the coldest week of winter, but the UPS guy delivered my Easter dress the other day, which makes me even more ready for spring! I have wanted the Lilly Pulitzer Franco Dress in Multi Plaid Seersucker ever since it came out as part of the Summer 2012 collection. I never got it, so when I found it for 70% off at 6pm and they had exactly ONE left in my size I knew I had to jump on the opportunity! (PS. 6pm has lots of Lilly for great prices right now). I am looking forward to debuting this dress for Easter 2013 (March 31) and will of course wear it many more times after that!

Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Featured Outfit: The Scarf I Dreamed Kate Middleton Had

Here is an outfit I wore to work one day last week. The night before I wore this outfit I actually had a dream that Kate Middleton was featured in People wearing this Lilly scarf and I was all excited about doing a blog post about how Kate and I have the same scarf. Then I woke up and realized that Kate Middleton and I do not actually have identical scarves. Nevertheless, since I do actually own the Lilly scarf I dreamed about I was inspired to wear it that day, along with a cashmere cable-knit sweater (that I got for an excellent deal at the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet about six years ago) and my amazing multi-purpose pencil skirt that's cute, work-appropriate, and goes with everything!

Sweater: Ralph Lauren; Skirt: Banana Republic Factory Store; Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer (Lilly's Pink Purrfect Paradise from Spring 2010 line); Tights: Merona sweater tights from Target; Boots: Banana Republic Factory Store; Earrings: Kate Spade; Ring: Lilly Pulitzer Cherry Blossom Critter Ring (from Spring 2012 line)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reading Rec: When Joy Came to Stay

A couple weeks ago I read another great Karen Kingsbury book- When Joy Came To Stay. This is one of KK's earlier stand-alone novels and like all her books, it was fabulous. Maggie Stovall, one of the main characters, appears to have it all together on the outside. She has a successful career as a newspaper columnist and is married to Ben, a well-respected attorney. But deep down, she is harboring a secret that she has kept for the past eight years and has reached her breaking point. Maggie's world as she knows it comes crumbling down as she succumbs to the darkness. Ben doesn't know what has hit his beloved wife, especially when Maggie claims that he doesn't really know her. Meanwhile, there is Amanda Joy, a precious seven year old girl who has experienced unfathomable horrors in foster homes over the past two years. Yet her faith never wavers and she continues to pray without ceasing that God will help her find her real mother. Read When Joy Came To Stay for yourself to see God's grace, healing, and redemption in the lives of Maggie and Ben Stovall and Amanda Joy.
In When Joy Came To Stay, Karen Kingsbury tackles a sensitive issue: clinical depression. She portrays depression as a disease with a biochemical basis that does not entail one is weak or crazy or less of a Christian if they struggle with it. Hopefully KK's detailed depiction of clinical depression as a trial in one of her character's lives can serve as one small step to continue to eliminate the stigma of mental illness in our society, and encourage those battling it not to be ashamed of seeking the help they need.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this book:

"I'm not an expert but from what I know depression is pervasive. People like to think it only happens to weak individuals, those without faith or character or inner strength. But nothing could be further from the truth."

"God had given her real, lasting joy and along with it, an understanding that in Christ alone there is victory over the darkness-whatever trials might come."

"Our faith can help us through the valley, but it won't always give us a way around it."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beauty Buy: Kate Spade Twirl

My newest beauty obsession is Kate Spade Twirl perfume. I had been wanting to try Twirl for awhile because I love Kate Spade. Months ago I had seen some at TJ Maxx but didn't buy any. Last week I found a bottle of Twirl again at TJ Maxx and this time I bought it. I absolutely love this fragrance and it might be my new favorite perfume! The Kate Spade website describes Twirl as a mixture of pink watermelon, blackberry, and red currant with luminous musks and French macaron. You really have to smell it yourself to appreciate it. I wish that there was a way to incorporate a scratch & sniff patch onto this blog! Twirl is a great perfume to wear year-round and for all occasions. As much as I love my Lilly Pulitzer Beachy perfume, I was starting to feel silly wearing it in the winter. I used to wear Banana Republic's classic scent but hadn't seen any at the outlet recently. Kate Spade Twirl provides a perfect fragrance to switch to while my Lilly perfume is out of season. While you can order it directly from Kate Spade, I recommend searching your local TJ Maxx to see if they have some. You can save a lot of money and in case you don't like the scent (which I highly doubt will be the case), you won't have invested a lot of money in trying it. I was so impressed with Twirl that I actually bought another bottle at a different TJ Maxx yesterday, so that I would have a back-up for whenever my current bottle runs out. In addition to smelling fabulous, Twirl comes in the most precious packaging. But of course you wouldn't expect anything less from Kate Spade!
Do you have a favorite perfume? Where do you get it? Do you buy directly from the designer or cosmetics counter or do you like to bargain hunt for fragrances at TJ Maxx?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Five

1. Jack Rogers in January
We may have gotten snow last night, but last weekend it was warm enough to wear my Jack Rogers! I took advantage of every moment because that is very unusual for January, even in the South!

2. Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers
Last Saturday night I watched the Miss America 2013 Pageant, and I was so bummed Miss South Carolina (Ali Rogers) didn't win. First runner-up is still something to be extremely proud of, but I feel like she got robbed! Her talent was clearly the best (for those of y'all who didn't see it, she played an amazing piano arrangement of Jackson Five's I Want You Back), she nailed the answer to her question, and she carried herself with class, poise, and grace. Her personality was so great as well-I loved how in the introductions she defended Southern accents by saying "Y'all are the ones with the accent." 

3. Lilly Pulitzer Lana Top
Back in early December I got this Lilly Pulitzer Skye Blue Lana Top on sale from Pink Bee, one of my favorite Lilly Via shops. I wore it for the first time during the warm snap last weekend, and I'm hoping to wear it to a UNC basketball game sometime soon, since the color is pretty close to Carolina blue! I love all of Lilly's basic cotton slub tops, and the rucched sleeves add a nice touch to the Lana. The embroidered tonal logo at the bottom right corner of the top is an extra little detail typical of Lilly that I adore!

4. Kate Spade Tortoiseshell Sunglasses
About a week ago I found these precious tortoiseshell Kate Spade sunglasses on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. They were 75% off suggested retail and I just couldn't pass them up! And I absolutely love the pretty pink and orange Kate Spade case they came with, which makes it an even better deal!

5. People magazine Letter To The Editor
Taylor Swift used to be one of my favorite singers, she really did. I even saw her in concert back in 2009. When her "Fearless" and "Speak Now" albums were released I went to Target and bought them the day they came out. I couldn't bring myself to buy "Red" this past fall though. I didn't even find a single song worthy of downloading from iTunes. I don't care for the direction T.Swift has taken musically or personally. I miss her older more country stuff. Her newest songs don't sound country at all. Even though she still tries to pass herself off as a "country pop" singer I consider her "pop." Her personality also used to be so cute and sweet and now she just comes across as annoying and desperate. I came across this Letter To The Editor from a recent issue of People and I couldn't have said it better than Bonnie Oliver from California! Please, Taylor, take a hint! It really is better to be single than be in the wrong relationship just for the sake of having a boyfriend!

Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Featured Outfit

The focus of today's Featured Outfit post is a removable sash from a spring/summer Lilly Pulitzer skirt. Earlier this week I used this sash as a fun belt to add a pop of print and color to a basic black cardigan, white cami, and jeans!
This is my Avery skirt in Cherry Begonias from the Lilly Summer 2011 collection. I would look rather silly wearing this skirt in the middle of January (regardless of temperature).
However, I can remove the sash and incorporate it into my winter wardrobe perfectly:

Cardigan: J.Crew Jackie Cardigan; Camisole: LOFT; Jeans: Citizens of Humanity Avedon skinnies; Sash: Lilly Pulitzer; Earrings: Lilly Pulitzer Critter Bow Earrings (Resort 2012); Pearls: Honora; Rain boots: Merona by Target

Are there any ways that y'all like to add a twist to your winter wardrobe by incorporating a piece from your spring/summer clothes? I also have a removable sash from my Lilly Pulitzer Adrianna Dress in "Daiquiri Pink Wishing You Were Here" from Resort 2009 that I can do this with as well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Really Love My...

...Citizens of Humanity Avedon Skinny Jeans! These are some of my favorite jeans and here are a few snapshots of me wearing them:
Relaxing and catching up with a childhood friend!

Friday night out with friends!

Ram's Club function!

Catching up with a college friend!

Before a Haunted Hayride!

Decorating the Christmas tree!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Lilly Lifeguard Press Spring 2013 Preview

Hope y'all had a fabulous weekend and were lucky enough to enjoy some unseasonably warm weather! Lifeguard Press, the company that manufactures Lilly Pulitzer gift and stationery products, will be releasing their Spring 2013 items very soon. The Pink Pelican, a Lilly Via store in Alabama, already has pictures of the new products available to pre-order on their website. There are some great completely new products I am especially loving. Here they are:
This will be absolutely precious for backyard BBQs and parties in the spring and summer. I think it may have to go on my birthday list in a couple months!

I honestly don't know exactly what these are, but they sound really fun. I am truly a kid-at-heart!

I don't think I've ever seen a more adorable USB drive. And it doubles as a keychain-definitely cute and functional!
If you're on the go a lot and don't have easy access to a wall outlet, then you can plug this little mobile battery into your iPhone to extend the battery life.

And of course there are also some old favorite items in new prints:
I have one of these in a different print that I got a couple of years ago and actually use mine as a beach bag.

I already have three pairs of these Lilly croakies. They are reversible and the side opposite the print is pink with a fun sassy saying.

Lilly picture frames make great gifts!

Lilly wine glasses are so much fun!

You can never have too many Lilly koozies. As Lilly herself would say, "too much is never enough."

Have you seen the new Spring 2013 Lilly Pulitzer Lifeguard Press line? What is on your wish list?