What I Wore This Week: Party Edition

Who is a blogger falling behind? This girl! I have a good excuse though. I went to lots of fab parties and events this week! I had a Simmons alumnae event at The Bazaar, the marti gras party, a Fresh and Easy cocktail event (probably the best night ever, recap coming up shortly), and a blogger meet up! Whew. Plus I have a ton of work for school due in the next few weeks. But I cannot complain. It’s been super fun.

The Fresh and Easy event on Thursday was a “less fancy” cocktail party. It was warm out and I didn’t want to wear jeans. After a little thought I came up with this outfit:

Top: Navy Blue Anthropology top – on sale for $9 (!!!!!!!!!!)

Skirt: J Crew gold skirt (on sale)

Bracelet:Gold Cuff Bracelet, Fairfax Flea Market in LA

Jacket (not pictured): Ann Taylor Loft denim jacket

I cannot tell you how much I love this skirt and this top. The skirt was purchased at J Crew last May and doesn’t totally fit anymore (it sits low on my hips but I love it and wear it all the time. The bracelet is also a favorite. I got it for almost no money at the Fairfax flea market. It operates on Sundays and has some great finds! Because the skirt is loose I like to wear a fitted top with it. I got the top off the sale rack at Antro for $9. It was quite the coup. The top is fitted, navy, and has folding details on the top and side. I love this top and wear it all the time… like to Marti Gras and a networking event on Tuesday:

Top:Same Antro Top

Jacket: White eyelet cropped Milly jacket, Consignment

Pants: Dark denim Matchstick jeans J Crew

Same top, another way. For the events on Tuesday I had to move from a networking event to a party and I wanted to be comfortable. These jeans never do me wrong and it should be noted that jeans are acceptable almost everywhere in LA (so long as they’re dark). This jacket is one of my favorites too! I wear it all the time. The jacket is definitely preppy but with jeans it’s not too preppy. I’m in LA now, I need to tone down my prepsterness.

What is your go-to item? I love skinny jeans with flats, that Navy top, obvi, and cute jackets. Can’t go wrong!

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Fat Tuesday

How did you celebrate Fat Tuesday this year? I celebrated by having a Cajun food baby thanks to my fantastic friend David and his authentic cooking.

My friend David spent a year of college going to Tulane and thus is the resident expert when it comes to NoLa flavor. David also enjoys fancy hotels, fried chicken and theme parties. No wonder we’re friends! This year he invited people over to celebrate Fat Tuesday with some tradition eats!

Corn bread. David used a simple recipe but improved upon it by adding melted cheese and jalapenos on top! We all know how I feel about adding cheese to anything/everything. The bread was warm and delicious.

While corn bread is an essential to any delicious southern meal, the star of this show was the jambalaya:

I believe this recipe came from the New Orleans School of Cooking but I might be wrong about it. It had all my favorite ingredients: Shrimp, sausage, rice, and seasonings. David made sure to apply a liberal sprinkling of authentic Cajun seasoning, Tony Chachere’s. It was like a lightly spicy salt. I loved this dish and I definitely want to steal the recipe from him. It would be a great thing to cook and then freeze and eat throughout finals season when I’m too lazy to cook. I had two large servings, it was that good!

David also had plenty of authentic entertainment at the party. As you can tell we had fun with masks. He also had some New Orleans jazz playing in the background and our friend Vivi was handing out beads, although you could get them for calling her pretty. I’m not sure it that part jibes with Marti Gras, but hey, what ever works, right? Overall, it was a really nice party and the food was the star of the show.

I had a major Protestant fail yesterday as I didn’t go to church to get ashes. Oh well, can’t win them all. Being that I am a Protestant, we’re pretty chill about lent and what lent entails. No fasting or not eating meat for me! Also, in lieu of “giving something up” I like to “take something on”. This year I’ve decided to spend the next 39 days being more self loving and self supporting. I am definitely my own worst critic. I tend to set very high standard for myself and when I fall short I beat myself up about it. That is a habit I have aimed at curtailing with my New Year Goals but I really want to take the next 40 days to focus in on self support and self love.

Do you participate in lent? If so, do you follow the traditions? I feel like most of my friends aren’t Catholic/practicing Christians and don’t participate in lent, which is actually kinda cool! Not that there is anything wrong with it, I just love having an eclectic group of friends from different backgrounds.

three things happening now

How’s the week going? Mine’s been busy but good! My meals have been dull (with the exception of last night, which I will get to in my next post) but there are three “little” things that have been exciting this week. Let’s get to it!

1. Monday: Van’s Belgium Waffles, and what I’ve been doing when not blogging

Spoiler alert: They aren’t as good as the regular waffles. WF was out of my normal waffles and I didn’t want to eat flax. I know, revoke my healthy living blogger card. I will say that it was nice to mix up my mornings a bit but I can’t wait to get my normal waffles back! Also note the legal book and the lap top. No more nice, quiet mornings for me. Instead I’m focusing on school work. How much longer until May 12th?

2) Tuesday Afternoon: Starbucks

My favorite coffee house drink of all time is a Venti Black Iced Tea with no sweetener. This is well documented as I’ve had a twice a day habit since high school. Yes. I was that girl, running into advisory with Starbucks. It’s ok because I’m not the only person in my family with a twice a day Starbucks habit. The employees at “my Starbucks” in my parent’s town still know my name, and I haven’t lived there for 6 years. Yesterday was they debuted the new Starbucks logo. What do you think of it? I kinda like it. Plus, now Starbucks has cake pops. That’s a winning moment for everybody, right? Fun fact: the first Starbucks in Chicago opened the same week I was born. Coincidence? I think not.

3) Wednesday Afternoon: Red Mango

Can I take a moment to shout out the Cali weather today? It was 80 and sunny! It felt like August. I went on a 4 mile run in the mid morning. I am so not a morning runner. My legs hated me the entire time and it was super hot, especially in the sun. I even ran with a water bottle and the heat was still almost too much for me. On the plus side, after wards I felt like I’d covered 8 miles instead of 4. On the way home from school I decided to treat myself with a little red mango… Key Lime Pie and Dark Chocolate (random, I know, just roll with it) and various toppings. It was so nice as an after school treat!

That’s just a quick taste of what I’ve been up to the past few days. I have a special update coming about Fat Tuesday later. Let’s just say it involved some dellllicous Cajun treats!

What is your go to coffee house drink?

Brie, Apple, Arugula Quesadillas

Are you scratching your head wondering what’s for dinner? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Last night I was finishing up homework and doing laundry when I realized I had less than 45 mins to make and eat dinner before I had to leave for yoga. I whipped up this puppy in under 10 mins and ate it in less than 5. Yes, it was that good. I even had enough time to fold my laundry before yoga class.

This recipe comes from Cooking Light (2 wedges are 182 calories- just when you thought this recipe couldn’t get any better it DOES!) and was sent to me by my Mother who clearly knows me too well.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 10-inch tortilla (I used whole wheat from TJ’s because it was lower in calories, organic, and relatively cheap)

6 oz. Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into long slices

1/4 of a Fuji apple, thinly sliced

1 small hand full fresh arugula

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Makes a single serving

Instructions:

Spread the mustard all over your tortilla. Place in a large, non stick pan and heat the pan over medium heat.

After the pan heats up, place the stripes of cheese on one half of the tortilla. Let sit for 1 min., or until the cheese starts to melt.

Why hello gooey, melted cheese. Place the slices of apple on top on the melting cheese.

At this time, place your small hand full of arugula over the apples and fold the tortilla over.

Cook for 2 mins on each side and then take off the heat, slice and enjoy!

Clearly, this was a delicious dinner. If melted brie cheese is wrong then I don’t want to be right. The Dijon really made a taste difference and stood out well against the apple and the cheese. My only complaint is that this wasn’t that filling. I had to supplement dinner with an orange and a lara bar (it should be noted that it was my first lara bar in two days).

Then I went off to yoga. I actually ran into Yellow Brick Beauty outside my yoga studio and spent a few mins catching up with her and her husband. It was so nice to see her. It put me in a great mood for my class. There was a substitute teacher for yoga last night which threw me off a little bit at first. I love my Sunday night class because it’s super mellow, candlelit, and involves tons of leg stretches. The sub taught more of a “power yoga” class than a relaxing flow. At first I was annoyed but I started to sweat and I actually ended up enjoying class. I did a rocken’ headstand and left feeling great. I love love love love yoga.

Once I got home I decided to unwind after a very busy (but undeniably awesome) weekend with Desperate Housewives, Brother’s and Sister’s and a little bit of this….

Perfect dessert! Totally hit the spot after a long weekend.

What was the highlight of your weekend? I had a great weekend, but yoga was pretty awesome. Hope you have a happy Monday!

Paper or Plastik

Greetings and happy Sunday! How has your weekend been? Mine’s been busy. I realize that I’ve been a lazy blogger recently. I even got called out on it on Friday night. What can I say? It’s been a busy week. Sometimes law school can feel a little life and death and I like that blogging isn’t. I missed blogging during my mini break but I feel way better than I did a week ago so let’s count this as my return to blogging! I think after my favorite Sunday yoga class tonight I will be back at it and totally WINNING!

Today had been errand filled. I had a law journal meeting at Loyola Law School. Unlike most law journals, the public interest journal is a collaboration between several LA area law schools which is totally awesome. The meetings often take place on Sundays on the East Side. In order to get excited about going I normally treat myself to breakfast on my way east.

Like remember when I went to Kings Road Cafe? That was before a law journal meeting. Today I decided to check out Paper or Plastik which I’ve wanted to check out since Lynn first blogged about it.

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What an awesome cafe/coffee shop! I got there around 9:30 and there were plenty of places to sit. The baristas were really nice. Sometimes in good coffee places you expect the baristas to be pretentious but that is not the case at Paper and Plastik!

I ordered a large low fat iced latte (my “I need energy and iced tea isn’t going to cut it” drink) and a croissant. They have three special sandwiches for the day (goat cheese and preserves, um yes!) and they also had assorted pastries for another cafe. I decided to splurge on a ham and cheese croissant (I have had one in over a year). How was it? Tasty, flaky, buttery and delicious.

The food was up quick and I had no problem finding a place to camp out with my reading.

I spent about 45 mins eating and reading and the cafe was busy but not overcrowded. I wonder if it’s like this on weekdays because I can see it being an awesome finals studying place.

I also wrote a cramped outline for my paper. It looks like something someone would be clutching while getting admitted to an asylum but it’s some serious progress. I haven’t written a paper that isn’t a legal memo in almost two years. It’s nice to see I’ve still “got it”.

Also, Kaitlin posted earlier today about handwriting. This isn’t a cute list of questions but now you can see how terrible my handwriting actually is!

I’m actually pretty terrible at spelling but I also like to think that I’m living proof that you don’t have a be good at spelling to be a successful person!

Now I have to take care of laundry, homework, dinner and yoga! Cannot wait to go back to my Sunday yoga class! It’s been three weeks since I’ve been able to make it to Sunday yoga and man do I need it!

Are you good at spelling? Spelling was always my least favorite subject in elementary school. I blame it on dyslexia.

Fast and Tasty

Hello blog world! Sorry I dropped off the face of the earth this week. In my defense, I haven’t been home the past two nights and we’re getting to “that time” in the semester when I’m realizing it’s going to be non stop til finals are over. I felt a bit harried earlier in the week. Luckily that has passed but it is time to buckle down and get to work.

In that spirit I had a quick dinner in between cases tonight. I got the idea from Whole Living.

I just started reading Whole Living and so far I really like it. For the record I subscribe to/read: Real Simple, Entertainment Weekly, Runner’s World, Sunset Living, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. I have a thing against “woman’s magazines” but that’s a story for another day.

Anyways, Whole Living had an article this month on how to use healthy frozen foods in quick meals. They used Trader Joe’s pot stickers in two recipes and I tried one tonight.

Ingredients:

4 tbls. Olive Oil, divided in half

1 serving Trader Joe’s pot stickers (about 7)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbls. water

handful of swiss chard, washed and chopped

dash of salt

dash of red pepper flakes

dash of white wine (recipe called for white wine vinegar, but obvi I upgraded to the real thing)

Directions:

Heat 2 tbls. of olive oil in a saute pan. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Add the swiss chard and cook until wilted.

Once the chard is wilted. Add salt and wine. Stir, let the wine absorb and set aside off the heat. Now, get yo pot stickers ready!

Heat 2 tbls of olive oil in another pan. Add the frozen pot stickers and brown for about a min.

Add the water and cover. Cook the pot stickers until brown. You want to monitor is closely, I kind of burned the sides a little bit. Once done cooking the pot stickers, combine with the chard and serve!

Quick, nutritious (hey, Swiss Chard), and fun because how often do you have pot stickers with dinner? Not too damn often! This dinner was good. In the future I will probably add more red pepper flakes to enhance the spiciness. I’d also watch the pot stickers more closely because they stuck to the bottom of than pan a little bit. Overall this meal was wonderfully garlicky, green, healthy and easy. Three cheers for Whole Living!

What is your favorite quick, go-to meal? I definitely need some fresh ideas!

bar addiction

Let’s chat about snacks. I’d be lying to you if I said I put a lot of time into planning my snacks. I love to snack but more often that late recently I’ve been grabbing bars on the go.

Like this…

And this…

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and now this…

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I have to admit, it is ideal because 1) almost no thought goes into it and 2) I can eat these unobtrusively in class. Not so easy to snack in class when your that girl with a mini wheel of brie.  I tend not to feel that bad eating KIND bars and Larabars because both of them only have like 3 ingredients in them (ie: not a ton of preservatives).

But I will admit that my bar eating has gotten slightly out of hand of late. Like two a day which is a bit more than I should probably be eating in terms of health. Not to mention that its a drain on my grocery bill. Normally what happens is that I have either a Kind bar or a lara bar as a filling mid day snack and then I have a chocolate chip z bar as a dessert bar. Hence, up goes the bar consumption. At around $1.20 a bar times roughly 10… you can imagine.

So here is my action plan: 1 bar a day. I will only buy 6 at a time. I don’t have to tell you how much this reduced my grocery bill this week. I was under budget for the first time in a long time. The easiest  way to successfully accomplish this is to eliminate my “dessert” bar so today instead of a z bar I had blanched slivered raw almonds with chocolate chips. So good! I am very excited for this adjustment.

And since it’s March 1, how about a little check in on my 2011 goals? Yes, good idea:

1) Continue living my healthy lifestyle: done and done. I’ve dropped to a size 4 (my goal size) and I have kept running and incorporated once a week yoga.

2) Floss more: I floss more, but I’d still like to floss more than I do right now. Still working on it.

3) Run a marathon: I registered for the Chicago Marathon in October!

4) Explore California: I have plans to travel to San Diego in June for a half marathon, possible travel plans over spring break with my mom and am actively chatting with friends about possible trips. Hopefully I will take another trip this summer.

5) Continue blogging, refine the focus: Still blogging, still evolving.

6) Be more mindful: So far this has been a major success! I don’t know if its yoga or smudging my apartment or my overall vibes but I have been consistently happy the past two months than I’ve been in the past two years. The challenge will be going in to March, April and May when I have more work for school and finals etc.

How are you doing with your goals? What is your favorite bar?