February 28, 2013

Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits

I've had buttermilk left over that I've been wanting to use, but I knew I didn't want to bake a cake with it. I got to thinking...warm biscuits with Trader Joe's Honey Apple Butter came to mind. Perfect after a long day at work and freezing temperatures outside. So, as usual, I turned my tv on to Bravo and got to baking!

Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

Mix in the cubes of cold butter...

In goes the buttermilk

Roll out the dough

Don't forget to glaze the tops for that gorgeous golden color

In about 10 minutes you'll have these beauties. They didn't last very long in our house...

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk, chilled, plus additional for brushing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork. Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough comes together in a ball.

Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into three inch rounds with a lightly floured cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush with buttermilk.

Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

February 27, 2013

Wish List Wednesdays

Snow is in the forecast the remainder of the week which makes me crave spring that much more. I'm obsessed with neutrals and floral at the moment...can you tell? What are some trends you're looking forward to this spring?
1  2  3  4  5

February 25, 2013

Best and Worst Dressed: Oscars 2013

Last night, the Oscars concluded the 2013 awards season. For the most part, the women played it very safe in their dress choices. Even though the dresses were simple, the details on most of them were worth being noted. I loved that the focus on hair and makeup was equivalent to the dress (absolutely loved Amy Adams hair). Some obvious trends included pale colored gowns, shades of red, and a few pops of color and sparkle.

My top pick for last night was definitely Naomi Watts - the dress fit her like a glove. Anne Hathaway's gown was debatable. I loved the cut (minus the darts) and the color on her, but the material was just terrible. It reminded me of gift wrap ribbon. She mentioned on the red carpet she didn't know what she was wearing until 3 hours before the show. I think she could've done a little better since this was such a big year for her. 

Best Dressed

Jennifer Lawrence // Charlize Theron // Amy Adams // Amanda Seyfried

Sally Fields // Olivia Munn // Jennifer Aniston // Kerry Washington

Jennifer Hudson // Salma Hayek // Jennifer Garner // Naomi Watts

Worst Dressed

These women unfortunately did not make wise fashion choices. Although there is nothing wrong with wearing H&M to the red carpet (to each his own), the fabric and the wrinkles on Helen Hunt's gown did not photograph well.  Melissa McCarthy's dress does not flatter her figure the least bit, Kristen Stewart appears to have rolled out of bed, and Nicole Kidman's dress had all sort of beading and sequins on it. Maybe it just wasn't their day...

 Helen Hunt // Melissa McCarthy // Nicole Kidman // Kristen Stewart

What were some of your top picks for best and worst dressed?

February 22, 2013

C Wonder

The one store I've been anxiously waiting to open up in Chicago is C Wonder. I accidentally stumbled upon this store last year while taking a stroll in SoHo with some friends. The store instantly caught my eye - the bright colors, bold prints, and the welcoming ambiance.

The feel was very similar to Henri Bendel, Kate Spade, and Tori Burch...and why shouldn't it be? C Wonder is created by Tory Burch's ex husband, Chris Burch. The line includes jewelry, shoes, apparel, handbags, and home goods. All of these items can also be monogrammed which is my favorite part. For now, online shopping is available, but here's to hoping a Chicago location is in the works!

Some of my current favorites:

Hope you have a good weekend. I'm looking forward to relaxing after a crazy 4 day weekend last week.

February 21, 2013


No post today, just some words to live by. I think I'm coming down with something from this bipolar weather. Have a beautiful day!

February 20, 2013

Favorites: J.Crew

Happy Wednesday! The winner of the Henri Bendel giveaway is Rachel Tindall. Thank you to everyone that joined my page and for the support!


February 19, 2013

Weekend Recap

The weekend was super busy and filled with delicious food, but I had an extended weekend so it also gave me plenty of time to just relax. Now that February is coming to an end, I think I've officially over celebrated Valentine's Day. The entire month of February was spent celebrating - from baking red velvet goodies to a Valentine themed brunch and birthday party. I really do enjoy this holiday because of all the reds, pinks, and hearts that are tied to it.

Red velvet crinkle cookies

Sushi lunch date

Nails for a 30th birthday/Valentine's party
Fondue date for Valentine's with the hubby

Valentine's gift from H...someone's been reading the blog
(love the rose gold and white leather combination)

Valentine's outfit: Prabal Gurung blazer, Zara Jacquard pants,
Christian Louboutin nude pumps

Brunching on President's Day

Hope you had an amazing weekend! Don't forget, today is the last day to enter my giveaway by simply joining my site via Google friend connect.  I'll announce the winner on Wednesday!


February 17, 2013

Baked French Toast

It's Sunday which means brunch day!! I made this French toast last week and I couldn't believe how delicious and easy it was. I'll definitely be making this again. It's perfect for big groups because you can prep it overnight and bake it for just under an hour the day of. I served mine with maple syrup and berries.

Baked French Toast
8 eggs
2 cups half and half or heavy whipping cream
 1 cup milk
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (a little less if using table salt)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 loaf of french bread
softened butter for greasing baking dish (2-3 tablespoons)

4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons cold butter

Whisk eggs, half and half, and milk with brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.  Set aside.

Butter bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish.  Cut (or tear) bread into 1 inch chunks and place in dish. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread making sure all of the bread is coated. Spread out evenly, cover dish, and place in fridge overnight.

For the topping, place brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and stir to combine.  Cut cold butter into very small pieces and add to bowl. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to break up butter and combine mixture until crumbly.  Cover and place in fridge until morning.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove cover from dish and sprinkle topping evenly over top.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let it cool for about 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven. Serve with toppings and syrup of your choice. 


February 15, 2013

Henri Bendel Giveaway!

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm excited for my first giveaway to my readers. I've been saving it especially for today because I thought it was fitting for the holiday.

I was first introduced to Henri Bendel last November when they finally opened up their Chicago location. It's not hard to miss this store because of the gorgeous set up and their signature striped print. It almost feels like a giant accessories closet. Besides the jewelry and accessories, I'm obsessed with their fragrances which is why I'm giving one reader a set of Henri Bendel's scented soaps.

To Enter:
Follow my page via Google friend connect located on the right sidebar

Additional Entries
Post the link for this giveaway on your Facebook, Instagram, blog, or twitter

The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Wednesday, February 20.

Hope you have a great day with your loved ones!! 


February 12, 2013

Trend: Brass Hardware

After I got past Jennifer Lopez's $5M jewelry at the Grammy's, I couldn't help but drool over her Tom Ford shoes. The brass ankle strap made the shoe standout against her plain black gown. The metal accent has been popping up everywhere recently (here, here, and here). It adds an instant glam factor to any outfit.

Brass Hardware at the Grammy's

Olivia Palermo sporting the trend at NYFW

February 10, 2013

Grammy Awards fashion

Some of my favorite looks from last night were the brightest and boldest choices. Rihanna and Natasha Bedingfield looked gorgeous in red (just in time for Valentine's day!) although Kelly Rowland didn't fall far behind in black.  Surprisingly we didn't see as much metallic as we have in the past.  I guess black is the new...black?

Solange Knowles // Florence Welch // Katy Perry

My favorite trend from the red carpet was the cutout details on the gowns!
Rihanna // Taylor Swift // Natasha Bedingfield

These 3 ladies stunned in pants last night.  As a girl who prefers pants over dresses any day, I'm happy they're finally getting the recognition they deserve. Pants can equally be as formal as dresses.

Beyonce Knowles // Rocsi Diaz // Kaley Cuoco

We saw every cut and style of black dresses last night, but these stood out the most in my opinion. Although Carly Rae Jepsen's is more gunmetal, I love the fabric and detailing on all of these gowns.

Kelly Rowland // Carly Rae Jepsen // Chrissy Teigen

What were some of your favorites from the Grammys?

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

February 8, 2013

Recipe:Red Velvet Cupcakes

The only dessert that's more fitting than chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine's Day is red velvet.  I made these cupcakes this weekend and was pleasantly surprised at how yummy they turned out.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
from Laura in the Kitchen

1 ¼ cup of all Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp of Cocoa Powder
½ tsp of Baking Powder
½ tsp of Baking Soda
¼ tsp of Salt
¼ cup of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
¾ cup of Granulated sugar
¾ cup of Buttermilk
1 Egg
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Red food Coloring

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl mix together the first 5 ingredients and set aside.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter, add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined and creamy.

With the mixer running on low, add half of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk, make sure its combined and add the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk making sure to combine everything together but not over mixing. Add red food coloring to get the desired shade of red. Fill the cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes.

February 7, 2013

Valentine's Gift Guide: For the Domesticated Diva

The last valentine's gift guide I'm posting is for the girl that loves any goods for the home over clothes or shoes, such as myself.  Now don't get me wrong, I love clothes and shoes, but sometimes it's nice to invest in the home as well. My friend's bought me the Kitchen Aid stand mixer last year for my birthday and every time I use it (which is often), I can't help but think - what a perfect gift! It can be used over and over for multiple purposes. The Nespresso is next on my list as soon as H and I move into a permanent residence.

February 6, 2013

Valentine's Gift Guide: For Him

In recent years, I've found it more and more simple to shop for men.  Whether the man in your life is a traveler, gadget junkie, or simply fashionable, there's plenty to choose from. There's such a wide selection of accessories in various colors and prints which makes shopping for a guy almost as fun as shopping for girls! Here are some great ideas for guys if you're still looking around for the perfect gift.

February 5, 2013

Valentine's Gift Guide: For Her

Valentine's Day is next week!  Even though it's a total Hallmark holiday, I can't help but to love it. I've come up with a gift guide for all of the last minute shoppers.

Henri Bendel bangle // Zara flats // Burberry lipglosses // Forever 21 cardigan // Flowerbomb perfume // Clarisonic Mia // Michele watch

Take time out this Valentine's Day to spend it with your significant other or loved ones.


Superbowl Cupcakes

I know this post was due yesterday, but work has been chaotic lately. Some of you may know I'm on a new project at work. I will be writing some posts related to this project later in the month! Anyways, back to my weekend. I ended up making chocolate peanut butter-filled cupcakes with chocolate frosting for a Superbowl party H and I attended. I didn't cover the entire cupcake with frosting to give it a football shape. The only thing I would change next time would be thinner consistency for the white frosting so that it could lay on the chocolate frosting better.

Chocolate Cupcakes 
from Martha Stewart

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.With an electric mixer, combine cocoa and 3 tablespoons hot water until a thick paste forms. Add butter, buttermilk, egg, and egg white; beat until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until smooth. Scoop (or spoon) batter into prepared tin(s). Bake about 20 minutes.

Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confections' sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and peanut butter until combined. On low speed add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag and fill cooled cupcakes.

Chocolate Frosting
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine chocolate chips, milk, butter and vanilla in microwave-proof bowl. Microwave for 30-40 seconds. Remove and whisk until chocolate chips melt in and mixture is smooth (return to microwave for a few seconds if necessary). Add powdered sugar and continue whisking until smooth.