Friday, December 19

Fashion Friday: Idea Dresses

It's almost Christmas and that means it's also the season of holiday parties! Below we've laid out a few fabulous choices of outfits for office parties, family gatherings, or just plain ol' holiday fun!


For a twist on the norm, stand out by wearing green instead of the typical red. Just add a few simple accessories (like these amazing Steve Madden lace heels!) to this lovely vintage-inspired gown from Modcloth and that's all you need to dance the night away! 
Shoes: Steve Madden 
Accessories: Target
Feather hairpiece: Local Vintage Shop


As we've shown earlier this month, the holidays are all about RED. And nothing says Christmas better than the classic Scarlet and Gold. Pairing a bright red dress with various gold accessories is a classy way to get into the holiday spirit
Dress: My Story
Watch: Fossil
Bracelet, belt, necklace: Lou Lou’s


My personal favorite! They say "simple pictures are best" and this sparkly number by designer Von Vonni is beautiful enough to stand on it's own. Adding a pop of color with these bright red heels from Journey's is all you need to be on your way. 


Not up to the hassle of a dress or feel like going more casual? Well a shirt/skirt combo is perfect! This red top by Modcloth and gold skirt by Von Vonni are my go-to for friendly get-togethers and ugly-sweater parties. The detailing on the shirt will make you straight-from-grandmas-closet appropriate, but without having to descend into the truly “ugly." Bonus points for antlers or other Christmas headwear!
Skirt: Von Vonni
Shirt: Modcloth
Headband: Fred Meyer 


BONUS LOOK: I'll be going out with the old and in with the new by wearing this classy black & gold outfit on New Years Eve! No one knew how to party like the roaring 20's did, and this timeless art-deco dress from Modcloth is just the thing to start the new year right. But most important: no matter what you wear, don't forget a watch so you'll be able to start the countdown and get your New Years kiss right at midnight!
Watch: Fossil
Top hat: Ye Old Hat Shoppe
Shoes: Steve Madden
Necklace/belt: Lou Lou’s

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! It's been great sharing with you and I'm looking forward to more #FashionFriday starting again in January

Love Always,
Jamie (instagram.com/browneyelovely)

Friday, December 12

Fashion Friday: RED!


Jamie Lynn (instagram.com/browneyelovely) is back with another Fashion Friday! Once again, she is ALL about RED! Red is simply the perfect cheery color for winter, and it is especially festive in the days leading up to Christmas. Last week Jamie wore a red coat, but this week her main outfit is neutral and she uses pops of color from her accessories.


Sweater: Macy's, sold out (similar here)
Pants: Basic Denim
Shoes: Payless
Scarf: Gift (similar here & here)
Purse: Coach, sold out (similar here)





Wednesday, December 10

New, New, New!

Today's post is a little bit different than normal as I wanted to share/point out a few new things!


First I want to point out that Jamie is now listed on the sidebar (to the left) of the website! There is a mini profile and picture of her right underneath mine. Be sure to show her some love this Friday!


The second thing is that I cut my hair! I mean, I really cut my hair. I also dyed it dark brown instead of red, which is closer to my natural color. I only have one picture with my new hair, but I plan to update my sidebar picture soon!

Another big update, my husband and I are taking some needed quality time together this coming week. We will still be here this Friday and then won't be back again until the following Friday. Hopefully I'll come back extra refreshed and with some awesome post ideas! I might even do a post on styling short hair, once I've had a little time to play with my new do.

Monday, December 8

Literary Libations: The Girl Who Played With Fire


This weekend I simply drank wine, nothing spectacular, so instead I thought I'd share a flaming drink from someone else's website (since we're reading The Girl Who Played With Fire I thought it would be appropriate). This drink looks delicious and, of course, I'm always fascinated by drinks that light on fire so be sure to check out this drink by Liquor.com. Be careful not to actually drink the fire, though, unless you want to end up in the hospital.

*WARNING: SPOILERS*
The Girl Who Played With Fire By Stieg Larsson quickly pulls you into a round of chaos that seems inescapable. The second book in Larsson's Millennium Trilogy is much faster paced than the first and between literal whirlwinds (Lisbeth gets caught in a Caribbean hurricane), being framed for murder, and bursting open one nation's most well hidden secrets the story never lets you slow down.

The story was so intriguing that I almost forgot about some of the plot holes until afterward, when I was thinking back on it. Plot holes may actually be the wrong way of phrasing it. I'm still reading the third book and it is possible it will eventually come back around and answer some of my questions, but so far I have few questions that have yet to be answered. At the very beginning of the The Girl Who Played With Fire there is a girl who seems to be kidnapped and trapped by a pedophile. The book never actually explains who this girl is, it never returns to the scene, and it never seems to become relevant. I found this somewhat mystifying. After this scene we meet up with Lisbeth in the Caribbean. During this time she has very odd neighbors who she tries research and spies on. Eventually the island experiences a hurricane. Lisbeth runs outside to rescue a friend and, during this time, sees the neighbor couple apparently having a struggle on the beach. It becomes apparent that the man is attempting to kill his wife, but Lisbeth intervenes and saves the wife while simultaneously leaving the husband, now injured, outside to die. This seems like an important development and as if it should come up again later, especially since Lisbeth has gone to the trouble to research their backgrounds. It never does come up again, though, and as the story progresses I found I forgot about this particular event.

After Lisbeth returns to Sweden, things get interesting. Upon returning she gives her apartment to Miriam Wu, Lisbeth's on-and-off-again girlfriend, with the rent paid for a full year in advance and Lisbeth herself moves into a very expensive house that she purchases under Wasp Enterprises rather than her real name. Wu's only requirement is to handle Lisbeth's mail. This is why, when Lisbeth is framed for three murders, no one can find her. Lisbeth has told no one her new address, not even Wu. The murders were of Dag & Mia, who are connected to Millennium Magazine, Blomkvist's magazine, and Nils Bjurman, Lisbeth's guardian. The weapon has Lisbeth's fingerprints and the case appears open and closed, except that no one can determine a motive and the main suspect is nowhere to be found. Blomkvist also poses a problem as he is determined that Lisbeth is innocent and that he will somehow prove it.

As the story moves forward we learn more about Lisbeth's past and eventually the puzzle pieces begin to fit together. We learn that Lisbeth's father is largely absent, but that when he does show up he beats her mother. When Lisbeth was 12 years old her father, Zala, beat her mother, Agneta, to the point of brain damage. As he gets in his car to drive away Lisbeth throws a Molotov cocktail into the car and Zala is permanently disabled. Lisbeth has lived with the consequences for the rest of her life. What she didn't realize at age 12 was that Zala was defected soviet spy who sought refuge in Sweden in exchange for Soviet secrets. He is a national secret that must be protected at all costs, so Lisbeth was declared incompetent and was shipped off to a mental institution to keep her from telling anyone about her father.

Was Zala somehow responsible for the three murders, despite the fact that he is disabled and practically homebound? Who framed Lisbeth and why? Will Blomkvist be able to prove that Lisbeth is innocent? To answer these big questions I'm going to make you read the book. The characters are fleshed out so that you feel intimately acquainted with them, the sense of danger is palpable, and the mystery is intriguing. Well worth the read, once I picked up The Girl Who Played With Fire I couldn't set it down.

Have you read The Girl Who Played With Fire or do you plan to? If you've read it what was your favorite detail or scene?

Friday, December 5

Fashion Friday: Hello December


Fashion Friday is back with all sorts of wintery, Christmasy goodness. Jamie (instagram: instagram.com/browneyelovely) is here to share some of her favorite winter clothing items as well as winter locations. These pictures were all taken in the historic college hill district of Pullman near Washington State University (WSU).  The church is Greystone and has since been turned into apartments. Some still have the stained glass windows!


Coat: Modcloth
Pants: Basic Black Leggings
Shoes: Steve Madden, sold out (similar here)
Hat: Zumies


Since this week is the start of December we are all about red. Red stands out so prettily against cloudy skies and white snow, yet it never seems out of place for the season. Red is festive, warm, and the perfect way to stand out this winter. Red coats, red sweaters, and red accent jewelry against neutral pallets are some of our favorite ways to bring in pops of color this season. Happy Holidays!



Wednesday, December 3

Ridiculously Practical Meals: Pomegranate Salad


A week ago my mom sent me an awesome salad recipe. It sounded so good I had to make it right away! I made it for lunch and Hubby and I shared it. We were quite full afterward, so it is perfect for a full lunch, but you could also use this as a side for dinner. Below I've posted my mom's e-mail for you to follow and I've added pictures from when I made the salad. She even gives an easy way to separate the pomegranate seeds! Bon app├ętit!


Hi Sweetie Pie,

Here is the salad I mentioned on the phone today:

Romaine lettuce cut into strips (or sometimes I use spinach leaves)
Red onion in thin slices

After mixing these two ingredients in our salad bowls I add a little salad dressing because I prefer the dressing mainly on the greens. I use orange poppy seed dressing.

Top with:
Feta cheese
Pomegranate seeds - I usually use quite a few and they are good for you - antioxidants
Toasted almond slices (or sometimes I use candied pecans)

Optional - can also add grapefruit slices with the skin removed from the slices (supremed).

Anyway, I think it is a pretty salad because of the red pomegranate seeds.

For the pomegranate pick one that is heavy as that should indicate it is juicer.
Score the skin with a knife down to the seeds all the way around the equator.
Break it in half on the score line by just pulling it apart.
Gently stretch the outer skin by giving it a little pull, rotate, repeat to loosen the seeds from the shell.
Hold half of it over a big bowl with the seed side facing your palm, skin side up.
Spank the pomegranate all over with your big spoon! The seeds should just pop out!

The pomegranates I've gotten have been fairly large so there were a lot of seeds for a number of salads. The seeds are also good in yogurt, and just by themselves.

Love,

Mom