Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fashion trends I love

I'm back, later than expected, with a set of fashion trends I am into.

My picks are from a mix of seasons, because in Southern California it's appropriate to wear any season's clothing year-round, but it's also been kind of chilly lately.
Fashion trends I'm loving lately
Fashion trends I'm loving lately by lattelove

Click on the link for all the item details.

  1. Striped layers: lots of options with stripes these days, but I'm a fan of the striped blazer/cardigan looks
  2. Silky blouses: so classy! I'd wear it tucked in with slim pants or belted over a pencil skirt. Plus, colors!
  3. Color-blocking -Don't you love when colors that get put together unexpectedly for you?
  4. Boyfriend blazers - Can I get a holla for comfortable blazers? No more scrunched shoulders with this casual style!
  5. Polka dots - they're still around for good reason: red, blue, or my favorite - camel/black combination.
  6. Booties - E got me a pair for Christmas that I wear...a lot. So comfy, so fun.
  7. Statement necklaces - dress up any boring outfit. They make me want to break out my many neutral separates.
  8. Big patterns - There have been bikes, elephants, birds. I love this take on patterns.
  9. Neon accents - I just love how neon looks in contrast with muted colors and fabrics, like on this little bag from shopbop!
Are any of these on your list too?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fashion trends I'm just not into

As I have spent more time on fashion blogs (including my own) and more time thinking about how to wear clothing better, it's been important to me to have a certain perspective towards fashion trends. I love to read about them all, and appreciate some of them on others, but I have made a personal rule to only implement trends that are me. It's so easy to see something cute on a friend or fashion blogger and immediately want to recreate the look, but I started realizing that every outfit isn't recreate-able. That approach doesn't always help me develop a personal style.

Here are few trends that just aren't 'me'.

Fashion Trends I'm not into

  1. Chambray and lace. For some reason, I just can't into this combination. Maybe because I'm not really a lace girl?
  2. Faux fur vest.
  3. Crazy nail designs. I'm not sure why, but it seems like fashion blogs everywhere recently have been featuring crazy hand-painted nail designs. I can't even keep a solid color on my nails for 24 hours - I cannot do this!
  4. Leather leggings. The thought of doing anything while wearing tight, unbreathe-able leather...eek.
  5. Leopard. No hate - I know how many people love it. But it's just not me at all.
  6. Denim jackets. Ever since I retired the only denim jacket I owned in jr. high, I don't think I'll bring myself to buy another.

I don't intend this post to be critical, I just want to encourage you all that every trend isn't for every body. Now it's your turn - what are some trends that just don't work for you?

Coming up: a post on trends I love!

ps. Trends men love to hate.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tax time

Tax time - the one time every year I am happy about how little we make on our one-income student lifestyle, because it usually means a nice refund.

I did our taxes over the weekend, which was a huge relief - both to be done with them, and to know our bank account is going to be a little bit fatter soon. I never know what to do with our tax refund. It is money we earned after all, not a generous gift, so I feel guilty being too indulgent when our income often leaves us feeling a step behind financially.

There is the really responsible decision - pay off some of our student loans, and feed back into our emergency savings.

But Europe is always calling for another trip. We both have airline mileage sitting in our accounts waiting to take us to a far away country.

And the reality is that most years I just deposit the refund in our checking account and it mysteriously disappears, the way money does over a period of a few months. Immediate indulgences on a few new clothing items or dinners out usually win out to any long term planning.

This year, whatever we decided to spend our refund on, I wanted to be really intentional about it for the long term. So here is my plan:
40%: student loans
20%: emergency savings
20%: travel savings
10%: split in our peach money funds (i.e. discretionary income)
10%: Offering to our church

How do you guys decide where to spend your tax refund? Do you plan, or not?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ira Glass on Marriage

"Actually one of the things that's a comfort in marriage is that there isn't a door at 7 years. And so if something is messed up in the short term, there's a comfort of knowing we made this commitment so we're just going to work this out. And even if tonight there's something wrong or something between us doesn't feel right, we have a comfort in knowing we've got time, we're going to figure this out. And it makes it so much easier. Because you do have times when you hate each other's guts, you know what I mean? And the 'no escape' clause, weirdly, is a bigger comfort to being married than I ever would have thought before I got married."

From the latest episode from This American Life, What I Did for Love

Happy Friday, friends!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Young the Giant Concert

This past Friday morning a friend emailed me that she had an extra ticket to Young the Giant concert in San Diego and invited me along. I've been listening to the Young the Giant station on Pandora for months now, so even though I'm not usually a big concert person, I went along.

The venue, SOMA, is pretty grungy and was full of drunk, sweaty teenagers. But the show was really worth going to (including the opening band, Walk the Moon). Young the Giant is one of those rare bands that sounds just as amazing live as they do on their record. And they're from Irvine!

Apartments, live on Jimmy Kimmel

also My Body & Cough Syrup

If you aren't already listening to Young the Giant, you're welcome!
and if you are, I'm sure you'll enjoy another dose of it this Monday :-)

all photos taken by me via my iPhone.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Caribbean Cruise

We had an amazing time on our Royal Caribbean cruise. It was the perfect amount of relaxing, eating, sunning, swimming. The only thing that was missing was enough sleep. We were on a conference cruise, and got to meet a bunch of new people and stayed up waaay too late every single night talking, dancing, and sipping cocktails. 
And then E and I did crazy things like wake up at 6:30am to watch the sun rise. (you might want to turn down your volume as the wind in the video is kind of annoying.)

I can easily see why people who cruise get addicted to it - we'll definitely try it again! (We'd love to go on a Disney Cruise, and maybe one that is closer to home.)

The ports we stopped in were Falmouth, Jamaica and Labadee, Haiti. All of your comments and the site were really helpful. We ended up not booking any excursions to save some money, but it was perfect for us. We spent our time on the ship - mostly at the pool or the sports deck (that rock climbing wall was crazy high!), or on the beach.


I read the Hunger Games and it wasn't as good I had expected, so maybe a review will be forthcoming. That said, I am excited for the movies, because I think the story will translate well into film.

The food on the cruise ship was better than expected. I didn't have anything I didn't really like, and I got to try things I wouldn't normally eat, like escargot. We loved being able to eat at all hours of the day, basically anything we wanted, and we had a midnight pizza run every. single. night. (I miss it!)

IMG_0276 copy

It was amazing vacation, despite the craziness that awaited us at home. We felt rested and relaxed and ready for E's last semester of school (ever?!) and my busy season at work. Thanks again for all your advice!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Losing Picnik

Are you guys avid Picnik user like me? I don't edit my photos much, but Picnik got me started. I've been using the premium version for a couple of years as an alternative to purchasing a photo editing software (partly because of cost and partly because my old home computer couldn't handle another program). So you can imagine my dismay at the announcement that Picnik is shutting down on April 19! Google purchased Picnik in 2010 and has now decided to close down the site. (boo hoo)

Supposedly the alternative is going to be increased features on Google+. While I'm interested to see what changes they make to Google+, it's hard to imagine it being able to replace the features of Picnik! I use it to make collages, fix red-eye and a million other things.

Are you sad about losing Picnik too, or do you all use other photo-editing programs? Any alternatives I should be looking for?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What to do with leftover prime rib

I realized that this post-Christmas recipe isn't going to be relevant for most of your lives right now (especially not if you're vegetarian). I have 5-6 recipe posts that I've been procrastinating on.

So, in case you have a hefty prime rib to cook this week that will leave leftovers, here is my recipe for cheese steak sandwiches using left over meat. :-) This could be used with freshly cooked ribeye or other steak leftovers. It's simple, it's delicious, it's husband-approved.

1 tbls butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
8-10 button mushrooms, sliced
8 oz slice of brie (I used herbed brie)
1 french bread loaf or 4 small sandwich loaves
leftover prime rib (I had approximately 12 oz leftover)

Remove prime rib from the refrigerator at least an hour before an eating to bring to room temperature. Slice very thinly.

Preheat oven to 450. Melt 1 tbls of butter over medium high heat and add the onions. Stir frequently until softened about 7 minutes, add sliced mushrooms and cook until caramelized (15-20 min total).

Prime rib Caramel using onions and mushrooms

While onions are cooking, cut bread in half, butter it, and toast it face-up in oven for 5-10 minutes. After bread is lightly browned, remove. Pile with thinly sliced meat and generous helpings of cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes.

Cheese steak

When brie is melted, remove the sandwiches from oven and serve topped with the onion/mushroom mixture, a green salad and red wine!



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