Stylish, Stealthy & Healthy.


Things I’m Loving

Well, hello! Happy post-Thanksgiving to you all. How are your pants fitting? Is that a weird question to ask? Mine fit just fine because I refuse to wear anything less than elastic waistbands after November 1st. Really helps to make those extra 5 lbs of holiday wine and carbs that much more manageable. Plus leggings and boots are the quintessential fall/winter wardrobe pieces so it all works out. Hooray!

So it’s been a while since I’ve done a favorites post. And the video thing was fun for a while but, um, holy crapton of hours of work. Not that I didn’t enjoy making them… talking to you guys was extremely fun, but editing is not my cup of tea. Good thing I work for a video company… It’s also a lot harder to ignore how embarrassing your are in video form vs. a poorly-written blog post. Yeeeikes.

So let’s begin!

1. Gigantic chunky sweaters and I are having a moment. Not only do they pair with the aforementioned leggings/boots combo like cheese to a fine wine, but they are so warm and snugly. This winter has already started off rather aggressive (oh hi snow on Thanksgiving), and my office is pretty much always freezing, so I’ve been living in them. My favorite is this one from H&M: (only 29.99!)

hm sweater

All the pink. I also love this one (a great basic) and this one (which I can’t afford). I don’t know what happened but it seems like I don’t own any winter clothing anymore. I think I developed an aversion to sweaters for a while because I wore them every day since I went Catholic school, but now I just can’t get enough of them. Plaid skirts, however, are still on my shit list.

2. Crafts! I try to be working on something at all times, whether its knitting or writing or even drawing. There is something so therapeutic to me about making things with my own hands, and I just need some kind of creative outlet at all times. I tend to shy away from DIY-type projects because a. they always turn out to be more work than I originally intended, and b. the finished product NEVER looks as cute as the inspiration. (I am the epitome of the Pintrest fail.) But something about this most recent project just had me convinced I needed it in my life:



Yes I know my ribbon is completely jacked and the “W” is a little more crooked than I intended, but I just love it so much. I made Brandon go out in the freezing cold and hang it up at like 10:30 at night the minute the hot glue dried. What should I make next??

3. This face wash:



I took a chance on this Alba Botanica face wash randomly when it was on sale, and holy crap. It smells amazing (like peppermint) and makes my skin feel so wonderful. I’ve been dealing with some less than optimal skin issues as of late, I don’t know if it’s the weather or the baby-making drugs they’ve got me on, but my face has not been a happy camper. This has really helped (along with my Clarisonic, which I still swear by). It’s got 2% salicylic acid, which always seems to work well for me, but it’s not the least bit drying. Plus it kind of wakes you up in the morning because it’s so minty and refreshing, which is much needed for this non-morning person. Love love love.

4. Let’s talk under-things! Not like, underneath things, like underwear things. I know we’re all friends here, so I’m going to let you in on a secret. The Gillian & O’Malley stuff at Target is the shiz. Someone actually told me that it’s manufactured by the same people or place (something like that) as Victoria’s Secret, but is just less expensive. I don’t know if they were just selling me magic beans, but I totally believe it because I love their stuff. Their “intimates” (love that this is what they call underwear) are so comfortable, and I basically live in their sleepwear on nights and weekends. Plus they have really adorable pajama sets. So yea, I know this is a random one, but I felt like I needed to share. Your welks.

5. Obviously I have to address my favorite thing to talk about: TV. Somehow I managed to cut ties with a few shows that weren’t doing it for me anymore (namely Revenge and Grey’s is teetering on expulsion) but there are a few that I’ve been absolutely loving. First and foremost, Homeland. JUST YES. I was so worried that this show had jumped the shark, but oh no, my friends. We’ve got crazy chardonnay-soaked-jazz music-listening-breakdown Carrie back, and it is everything. We were so sad that it wasn’t a new episode this week. Newsroom is back for its final season, and I’m along for the ride, but the jury is still out on that for me. The first season was just so so good. At least Maggie’s hair is normal again. The Walking Dead mid-season finale was pretty crazy, but also, was it? I mean… I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I don’t know. Not the most shocking thing that could have happened. Overall I’ve been liking this season a lot, though, so watch on I shall. The Comeback is back! If you didn’t see the first season, and you love Lisa Kudrow as much as I do, run to HBO GO and watch it. And then start watching the new season. You DO want to see that. (A joke only people who watch it will get.) And finally, I have to give it up to my favorite show of the season: The Affair. I actually didn’t plan on watching this until I ended up 20 minutes into the first episode because I was too lazy to change the channel, and I was hooked. The characters make me love and hate them all at the same time. The style of storytelling is SO GOOD and it’s definitely different than anything else on right now. Equal parts romance and drama. Also Pacey. Like I need to say more.

So that’s it for now, please tell me some things that are making you less stabby this winter season!


Orange & Ginger Apple Cider Shandy #howsweetbabyshower

Today I am taking part of a virtual celebration of sorts for one of my dearest friends, as arranged by the hilarious Bev (that Instagram, tho.) and the lovely Ashley! As I’m sure most of you know, Jessica (of How Sweet It Is) is having a baby! A baby who I think might actually come out covered in sprinkles. But like in a cute way, not a weird “wtf is my baby covered in sprinkles?” way. She also just wrote a book. You should order it. Trust me.

apple cider shandy |

Mine and Jess’ friendship was pretty much instantaneous. I think we first bonded over a girl crush on Miranda Lambert and obsession with Felicity, but through this magical world of blogging have since become a real-life friends and I’m so grateful for that. Few people appreciate/share my over-usage of exclamation points, “OMG”s and love of television quite like she does, and also she’s just a pretty great friend all around. When I first started dealing with my fertility issues, Jess was one of the only people I talked to about it, and she will forever have a place in my heart for that.

SO… In honor of the lovely Jessica…

How Sweet Final Graphic (Amazing job with the graphic, Ashley.)

I made something boozy. And perfect for fall!

apple cider shandy |
Ok, so maybe you’re thinking I’m a crappy friend for choosing to make a cocktail for a baby shower. But that’s where you’re wrong. A- I’m an awesome friend so your theory is already bunk. And 2, I know that Jess loves her a seasonal cocktail and so I’m taking one for the team and drinking this in her honor. See? Best friend ever.

This cocktail is one that I have been thinking about since I first saw fresh apple cider make its way into my grocery store. I wanted to make something adult-beverage-y with it, but since I’m not a big liquor person, I went the beer route. The great thing about this drink is that it’s light enough you can have a few, it is only half a beer after all, and it’s not too sweet like some of the hard ciders out there. The ginger and orange add another level of spice that really hit this one home for me and basically made this taste like fall in a glass.

Oh and also, I bought these glasses for Brandon for Christmas, as in this upcoming Christmas which has not happened yet, which I then had to tell him… so now we just have new pilsner glasses and I have to buy him more things. #bestwifeever

apple cider shandy |

Orange Ginger Apple Cider Shandy
Makes 2
Prep time 5 min
You’ll Need:
1 12oz beer (I used Dogfish Head Namaste, but any lager or wheat beer would work great)
1 cup ginger beer
3/4 cup apple cider
1 orange for orange peel garnish

Directions: In a separate glass or pitcher, combine ginger beer and cider. Pour equal halves of the beer into each glass, add cider mixture and garnish with orange peel. Enjoy.

apple cider shandy |
So cheers to you, my sweet friend, and to your little one who is (OMG!!) almost here! xoxo

Now everyone get to a fireplace, pour yourself one of these and take a gander at some of the other amazingly delicious looking recipes made in Jess’ honor!

  Trashed Up Salads

  1. Gimme Some Oven – Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Sauce
  2. The Lemon Bowl – Brussels Slaw with Tahini Dressing and Za’atar Crostini
  3. With Style & Grace – Kale Salad with Apple, Hazelnuts & Bacon

Trashed Up Cocktails

  1. Dine & Dish – Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail
  2. Food For My Family – Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy Cocktail
  3. Minimalist Baker – Bourbon Pumpkin Milkshakes
  4. Me – Apple Cider Shandy
  5. A Spicy Perspective – Preggy Punch Mocktail
  6. Girl vs. Dough – Boozy Maple Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake
  7. Honestly Yum – Maple Bacon Pisco Sour
  8. Cookin Canuck – Pink Grapefruit Margaritas
  9. A Thought For Food – Mezcal Citrico Cocktail
  10. A House in the Hills – Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer
  11. The Novice Chef – Ginger Bourbon Apple Cider
  12. Bran Appetit – Citrus Cider Punch Floats

Trashed Up Burgers

  1. Edible Perspective – Meatloaf Veggie Burgers with Mashed Potatoes + Gravy
  2. The Little Kitchen – Salmon BLT Sliders with an Avocado Aioli & Brie
  3. Daisy At Home – Balsamic Beef Burger with Mac and Cheese
  4. Cookies & Cups – Candied Bacon Maple Cheddar Burger
  5. Climbing Grier Mountain – Trashed-Up Steak Burger with Chicken Fried Bacon & Dijon Gravy
  6. Dessert For Two – Bleu Cheese Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries
  7. Country Clever – Fig Rosemary Roast Chicken Brie Brussels Sprout Panini
  8. Foodie Crush – The Best Cheeseburger Soup
  9. Lady and Pups – Spicy Sambal Chicken Meatball Sub with Eggs
  10. Two Peas & Their Pod – Sweet Potato and Kale Grilled Cheese
  11. Bake Your Day – Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich

Trashed Up Tacos

  1. Spoon Fork Bacon – Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos
  2. The Fauxmartha – Boozy Beef and Butternut Tacos
  3. With Food + Love – Harvest Hash Breakfast Tacos
  4. Mountain Mama Cooks – Crispy Kale and Brussels Sprout Tacos with Bacon
  5. Heather Christo – Bahn Mi Tacos with Spicy Sriracha Honey Sauce
  6. A Couple Cooks – Loaded Huevos Rancheros Tacos
  7. Fitnessista – San Diego Lobster Street Tacos

Trashed Up Desserts

  1. Table for Two – Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, and Brown Butter Shortbread Bars with Sprinkles
  2. My Name is Yeh – Mini Vanilla Loaf Cakes, All Trashed Up
  3. Picky Palate – Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch Sprinkle Cupcakes
  4. Sprinkle Bakes – Cake Batter Confetti Cupcakes
  5. Averie Cooks – Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
  6. Sweet Phi – Trashed Up Shortbread Cookie Bars
  7. Love & Olive Oil – Loaded Junk Food Brownies
  8. Lauren’s Latest – Bakery Sugar Cookies
  9. Cookie + Kate – Peanut Butter, Banana, Honey and Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
  10. Flourishing Foodie – Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
  11. The Sugar Hit – Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream Cake
  12. Hummingbird High – Breakfast Cereal Cake Donuts
  13. Top With Cinnamon – Triple Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake
  14. Bake at 350 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sundaes
  15. Simple Bites – Lemon Layer Cake
  16. Bakerella – Baby Block Cake Pops
  17. She Wears Many Hats –  Chocolate Covered Grapefruit

Trashed Up Pizza

  1. Bev Cooks – Beer Battered Fried Calamari Pizza
  2. Rachel Cooks – Apple and Chicken Sausage Pizza with Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Crust
  3. Foodie With Family – Trashed Up Barbecue Turkey Pizza
  4. Shutterbean – Pesto Potato Bacon Pizza
  5. i am a food blog – Grilled Cheese Pizza
  6. My Life as a Mrs – Chili Cheese Dog Pizza
  7. Simply Scratch – Steak + Blue Cheese Pizza with Crispy Fried Shallots and Honey Balsamic Drizzle
  8. The Beeroness – Beer Cheese Tater Tot Pizza
  9. Yes I Want Cake – Roasted Pumpkin Pizza
  10. Two Red Bowls – Bacon mashed potato pizza
  11. Dula Notes – Pork Bahn Mi Pizza
  12. Weelicious – Trashed Up Mexican Pizza Pockets
  13. Take a Megabite – Beet Peetza
  14. Hungry Girl Por Vida – Hard Cider Braised Pork with Sour Cherries and Cheesy Polenta
  15. Bakers Royale – Trash’d Street Tacos


Thoughts on Lady Friends and Being Inspired

It’s true that I loved – and I mean LOVED – the Spice Girls when I was 11 (ok 12). Alright, fine, maybe I was 13. In fact there is a picture floating around somewhere of me and a few friends dressed as them and lip syncing a choreographed live performance at a friend’s summer family picnic. I was Sporty Spice, obvi. And yes, my signature Sporty high kick was on point, and yes, it was completely mortifying.

Why am I talking about this iconic 90’s girl group and classic awkward tween Jess moment? Because “girl power”, that’s why. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the amazing group of women that have become influencers in the world today and in my daily life, and that it actually surprises me that I value them so much.

For a long time I felt like I would never be a girl’s girl. I was always “one of the guys”, partly because I though out made me sound cool, but also because I found girls to be kind of… well, mean for most of my young adult life. I wasn’t ever lucky enough to be one of those naturally pretty/thin/sweet girls that people gravitated towards. I was tall, loud, and pretty much always felt like a square peg in a world of round holes. Even when I was part of a group, I always felt like the odd man out. Sure, I would find a few people here and there whom I felt really understood me and didn’t mind my my quirks. And not the adorable kind of quirks, the kind that make you want to be homeschooled after people find out you watch Anne of Green Gables with your mom instead of MTV, which you don’t even have because your parents blocked it. (Just to be clear, I loved watching those movies with my mom and totally understand now why they thought Singled Out was inappropriate for a 10 year old. But you see what I mean.) And honestly I think those friendships formed solely over a bond of feeling “different”.

SO. I’m writing all this to say that as I continue to move into my 30’s (AHHH)… I find myself  actually seeking out women in my life to motivate and support me. And through doing so I’ve realized that I’m not the only one who felt the way I did – kind of a loner, desperately wanting to fit in, despite a false confidence that screamed otherwise. I think I was always a bit of a “floater” because I was afraid of getting too close to any one friend for fear they’d turn on me and tell all my secrets. (Now I realize how much of a mistake that was and the value that female friendships have to offer.)

I’ve found so much comfort through reading books that divulge the trials of some of my favorite similarly off-beat women (Tina Fey, Mindy Kahling and can’t wait to read Amy Poehler’s!) that have made me actually feel validated having gone through similar experiences. Every day I read the blogs of women that have built incredible careers and built their own successes for themselves, and I want to have Sex & the City style drinks with them all and have them spill all their secrets. (Like her, her and her.) And not to mention the amazingly wonderful friends, family and mentors I’m blessed to have. (I hope you know who you are.)

What I find to be crazy is that every time i have this conversation with another woman, they pretty much know exactly what I’m talking about. So this tells me two things: A. I’m not a special snowflake and growing up is hard for everyone, and B. there needs to be more. More conversations with girls about how to be nicer to each other. More opportunities for young women to find mentors that can help them navigate through their sometimes fun but more often tumultuous early 20’s. More discussions on how to work together professionally and not root against each other, or get caught up in jealously or competition. More celebrations of each other’s successes and support during challenges.

I know… This is a bit of a kumbaya/Mean Girls moment, but I feel like it’s an issue that needs discussed. I think there’s been a lot of amazing progress and I really hope to see it continue. Especially since we’ve decided to try and have children, I think about if I had a girl of my own and what I’d want the world to be like for her. And even though that might not happen anytime soon, or at all, in the meantime I think we can all probably agree we can do a little more. And at the very least we can be sure and thank those who do.


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