Thursday, February 27, 2014


I try to make sure I have breakfast every morning.  All the "experts" (whoever they are) preach on how important breakfast is to your diet.  I don't believe it's necessarily good for everyone's diet but I do feel that it certainly helps me get going in the morning.

This morning, instead of having my usual peanut butter toast, I decided to do something different.  Pancakes!  I love pancakes... I more or less love them because I think of them as a vessel for lots of butter and sugar.  Yes, I'm in the minority that tops their cakes with butter and sugar, rather than butter and syrup.  If you haven't tried it and you don't care about your waistline you neeeeeeeed to do it.  Oh heavens... that's the way it should be done.

Anyway, this morning I wanted pancakes.  I ALWAYS just buy a box of pancake mix and add water and call 'em good.  But this morning I didn't want to make a version that was really terrible for me (although I strongly believe those are the best).

I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks that literally has everything in it... Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book Bridal Edition (just like the red plaid cook book but a special edition).  It just so happens that I have whole wheat flour in my cupboard so I was in search of a recipe for a whole wheat pancake.  Sure enough, there was one.  You can find the recipe below.

In order to make them appealing to my husband I decided I should probably throw in a few chocolate chips.  And because I had a couple overly ripe bananas on my counter I threw those in as well.  It turns out homemade pancakes couldn't be more simple to make if you've got a bit of time to do it.

The result?  Beautiful looking pancakes......HOWEVER..... I'm not completely sold, but I do think I know what my mistake was and have full intentions of making them again.  The problem was the banana.  I wanted to use up what I had rather than throw away.  Well I should have just thrown some away because it was too much banana.  I  mashed 2 bananas and added them to the batter.  What that caused was a pancake texture that seemed as if they were not completely done.  When I make them again I will either use less or leave out entirely.  I have complete confidence that they will be perfect next time.  Give them a try and let me know how yours turn out!

Buttermilk Pancakes made with Wheat Flour

Start to Finish: 25 minutes
Makes: 12 standard-size pancakes or 40 dollar-size pancakes

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (you can, of course, use all purpose flour)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (if you're using white flour, substitute granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk (if you don't have buttermilk substitute with regular milk)*
3 tablespoons cooking oil

1. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl use a fork to combine egg, buttermilk and oil.  Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy).  If desired, stir in fruit.

2. For each standard-size pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet, spreading batter if necessary.  For dollar-size pancakes, use about 1 tablespoon batter.  Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second side when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry.  Serve warm.  If desired, top with syrup.

* If you do not have buttermilk or sour milk it's easy to make.  Take 1 cup of butter and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.  Let sit 5 minutes.

Per standard-size buttermilk pancake, plain, whole wheat: 117 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 19 mg chol., 179 mg sodium, 16 g carbo., 3 g pro.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

White Shirt Wednesday

We're going edgy-ish today.  
I am not an edgy person but after seeing this necklace I thought I needed to put together an outfit with a bit of edge. The Palladian necklace found here, would be absolutely beautiful when worn with t-shirt and jeans or a simple cocktail dress.  I love this thing and so does (name drop) Jessica Alba.  Seeing this picture of her wearing it is where I first fell in love.

Top | Nordstrom  Jacket | ASOS  Leggings | Don't know, they're maternity...don't judge  Boots | Steve Madden

In case you're more of a white shirt only person

I chose to pair it with an oversized, white, buttoned blouse, my little sister's leather jacket that she does not know I have (thank you Callie), leggings and my Steve Madden boots that I've mentioned in an earlier post.  Wearing my shirt buttoned to the top with the necklace underneath the collar gives it the feel of being a broach (more ways to wear give your pieces longevity).  Playing a supporting role is a simple bracelet found here and a big 'ol silver ring.  Definitely two pieces that can be thrown on with anything.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Love This Look...

I happen to be relaxing this afternoon while baby girl is down for a nap.  While flicking through the channels I catch a glimpse of Elizabeth Hasselbeck on the latest Beyond Candid with Giuliana on E!.
Oh.My.Gosh.  Her outfit was so cute and so Spring.  It got me thinking that it would be so simple to re-create and there are some lia sophia statement necklaces that would work perfectly.

As you can see from my creepy, "take a picture of you while you're on TV" pictures, the gist of her outfit is a denim jacket, Spring-y pants and a statement necklace.  What I love about this look is that she made the jacket into her shirt as opposed to the jacket being added to a shirt.  This look would also work if you used a typical chambray or denim shirt but I just think that there is something so unexpected about using the denim jacket.  Anyway, the jacket is buttoned up with the collar "popped," and then a statement necklace is thrown on over it all.  I just love it.  

This look could easily be re-created with your own denim jacket, a pair of colored or patterned pants (please, no denim.  A Canadian tuxedo is not the look you're going for here...or maybe it is, I don't want to discriminate) and this necklace, or this necklace, or maybe this necklace (seriously, go to my website.  There are SO many options  Throw on a simple little earring like this or this add a watch and you are B-E-A-UTIFUL!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Loves...

To my excitement on Wednesday afternoon, one of my favorite men stopped by the house...the UPS delivery man.  He dropped off a nice little box of goodies and there were a couple of things in it that I just HAVE to share with you right now...  I am in love...

with the "Initialed Necklace."  I am one of those people that would put my monogram on everything I own if I knew it wouldn't make me look crazy.  So when I saw lia sophia had a necklace that you could get with your initial on it I had to have it.  I was so pleasantly surprised when I received it.  It's on such a dainty little chain it makes it feel so feminine.  This necklace also mixes silver and gold and features a small crystal.  Since Wednesday I've been wearing it with everything.  Whenever you have the option to personalize something, I say go for it.  It instantly makes the item look and feel more expensive, as if it were custom made for you.

My second love...

well, technically, there are two loves in this picture.  The first, are simple stud earrings (the 3.5 ctw ones) that are so sparkly and pretty I haven't taken them off since I took them out of the box.  The only thing better would be if they were actually diamond.
The second earring are these little cuties.  L-O-V-E love them!  Love the gold, the script font, love the cut crystal.  These little babies can be worn by themselves but my favorite is to wear them with a stud.  For a more modern approach find a sweet, statement earring like these and wear it in your second hole if your ears are double pierced.  Or, if you're like me, only one ear is double pierced because you weren't able to keep the other one open but decided to just go with the look anyway.  The "Lovefest" earrings also come in silver,  if that's the way you swing.

My 3rd, and favorite love...OF ALL TIME...

little Boo... in her bathing suit... so cute.  We're in a hotel this weekend so I could return to the mothership (Mall of America) for a little while, I was getting the shakes being away for so long.  Patrick and I decided it'd be fun to buy baby girl a bathing suit and take a dip in the pool.  She didn't quite know what to think of it but she still kicked those little legs.  Gah... so cute!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

White Shirt Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

For this White Shirt Wednesday I wanted to more or less show you how you can accessorize an accessory.

I love wearing scarves, I feel like they can instantly bring up the look of an outfit and just make you feel better.  I love them on those days when you're lucky to run a comb through your hair and all you want to do is throw it up in a pony.  If I only put my hair in a pony I just feel bleh...but if I do this and then throw a scarf on I instantly feel chic.  Depending on the kind of scarf you choose, they sometimes can feel a little casual.  Your first idea might be to put on some statement earrings to add a little something extra.  But what about a necklace?  It might not be your first thought, but it should.  I love the look of a necklace peaking out from a scarf.  I thought this tasseled necklace would be a perfect fit.  You could also try a shorter version with more color or stones or something more bib-like that's on a longer chain to really make a statement.

What my look is missing that I really would have loved is a statement ring.  I loooove statement rings and can't believe I didn't have one to go with this outfit.  But if I did, it would have been this one.  More gold, more stones, totally trendy when worn on your index finger.  Also, if my head would have been screwed on straight, I probably would have thrown on my little gold watch with this bangle as well.  I've featured it before but it really is so good.  Add a simple stud and, for once, you look effortless without actually putting in much effort!

While I'm on the topic of my jewels I would just like to say.......IT'S HERE, IT'S HERE, MY JEWELRY IS HERE!  All of my glorious jewelry came in a big 'ol box last week and I couldn't be more thrilled.  Let's have a really, call me, let's have a party.  I want to come over.  Please?  If you're in the mood to get your gals together and have a cocktail or ten invite me over.  If you love to drink and you love to shop, why not combine the two?  We all know we make our best decisions after we've had a few.  If you love the idea of getting some new accessories at great prices but are a little apprehensive about having people to your messy house, let's talk.  If you're apprehensive about having people over because you can't cook, let's talk.  We can make something work.

Oh, oh, oh and lastly; I probably should mention that so far, for White Shirt Wednesday, I've just been throwing on a Hanes men's white tee.  I pick packs of them up from Wal-Mart or Target and throw them on under everything.  Try it in a v-neck, my fav.  
I also want to say that I promise not every White Shirt Wednesday will include a cardigan. I just love me a good cardigan.  This one is the Jackie cardigan from J.Crew.  Jeans are from Loft and shoes, no joke, have been around since I was in 8th grade.  My scarf was a gift and isn't actually an infinity scarf.  Solution?  Tie the ends together, duh.  I put the knot in front and tucked the tassels in and, voila, it's a chic infinity.  Play around with your look, have fun.  Make your clothes work for you.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What I Wore...Valentines Edition

It's our first Valentine's Day with our little peanut.  To celebrate Patrick and I made reservations at a local restaurant that we had yet to try.  I wanted to be casual but wanted something a bit more special than the usual jeans.  To be quite honest I really just wanted to be as comfortable as possible.  Clothes still aren't fitting me quite right since having baby and the idea of tucking both my shirt and my stomach into my pants just didn't sound appealing.  I needed something that was a bit oversized in feel and would just float on me.  Because it's not quite caftan/muumuu weather just yet I went for a blouse from Gap and leggings (that I confess, are maternity).  I just love the way they come up high enough to cover my chest to make a highly attractive, sausage looking, tube onesie outfit.  It's my typical weekend wear, Patrick is so lucky.  But that's another post for another day.  
To top the whole thing off I threw on  a pair of Steve Madden boots that I just adore.  The exposed zipper is purple, so fun.
For a bit of "fancy" I chose the "Christina's Joy" necklace, which can be found here, and the "Amplify" bracelet, here.  

I first want to touch on the necklace.  It is SO pretty.  To be quite honest, when I first saw it in the catalog I was not thrilled by it.  It just didn't photograph well.  But in person, it's a looker.  It can easily be worn with a dress or jeans and a t-shirt.  The color works well with nearly anything.  The peachy resin really has a lot of brown in it so it comes off as a neutral and can be worn with so much.  I wore mine with navy tonight.  When you check it out you might decide the price point is a bit more than you want to spend.  Well guess what?!  If you host a party/book party you can get it at a ridiculously discounted price.  Consider it.  I'm really fun to hang out with :)

The "Amplify" bracelet definitely will work with anything in your closet.  I wore mine on the same wrist as my watch.  It was a cute complement.  I will also be stacking it with other bracelets as I love a layered look.

And now, for your viewing modeling the goods.
You can not deny it, obviously in my past life I was one of "Barker's Beauties" on The Price is Right.

To add the cherry on top of my evening I'm already in my pajamas enjoying this...

Happy Valentine's Day friends!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

White Shirt Wednesday

Although I mentioned that I do not have the majority of my jewelry I still wanted to get started with my White Shirt Wednesday's.  Today's White Shirt Wednesday is brought to you by Callyn whose white shirt is from Carter's and probably features some spit up stains.

Because the weather has been so cold and because we've all been quietly saying a little prayer for Spring to come, I decided to feature a necklace that screams warmer weather.  Statement necklaces are in right now and this necklace is no exception. Flowers, brightly colored stones and blue beads make this necklace fun.  Get it out the first day of Spring or pair it with a cardigan and skinnies to make it more Winter appropriate.  You can find "Full Bloom" here.  See below for some styling ideas from my own closet.

For a casual, every-day look that is more inline with the season try this.  The colors in the necklace are really brought out by my bright orange cardigan but are kept season appropriate by pairing with a pair of navy chinos.  Of course jeans would look just as great.  For some added texture I went with a braided belt.  As far as complementary jewelry goes, I chose a pair of knotted hoops (they also come in gold) that can be found here and a silver ring that has a bit of interest and goes with absolutely everything.  Check it out here.

For those of you concerned about the necklace being around my six month old's neck, you can rest assured that she was supervised the whole 30 seconds it took me to take the picture.  As soon as her face started to turn purple I took it off (sarcasm).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cooking With(out) Lia

Okay, so this post will literally only feature a smidgen of Lia Sophia as I do not have pictures of myself making dinner with my LS jewelry.  I was faaar to lazy to shower/change out of my sweats/do my hair/put makeup on/style myself.  You win some you lose some.  HOWEVER, I did want to tell ya about our dinner tonight because it was yummy.
Since about November, Patrick and I have been trying to be more cognizant (like that vocab?) of the things that we choose to eat.  I refuse to say I'm on a diet, because I'm not.  "It's a lifestyle change."  I also do not want you to think that I'm on a health kick and the next time you see me take a bite of cake you should knock the fork out of my hand.  We still eat whatever the heck we want, we're just trying to be more mindful when we're at home.  What that means is we (try to) eat breakfast every morning, we choose to eat a healthier lunch, we have a small snack in the afternoon and I make a dinner featuring more vegetables and eat according to provided proportions.
This evening I decided to try out a new "skinny" recipe.  "Parmesan Baked Penne," which does not sound "skinny" at all.  If you're trying to be a little more mindful of what you're eating but want something a little more indulgent this is a good option.  The dish features whole wheat pasta, reduced fat cream cheese, pesto, more cheese and chicken.  I loooooove pesto so I had to try it.  
I've provided some shots of the process, along with the recipe, but didn't include everything as I was a little more concerned with making dinner than taking pictures.

You start by chopping some veggies 

Saute for a bit and then make a sauce using skim milk that I did not include pictures of because I just didn't...

You add your veggie, cream and cheese sauce to some penne and chicken and layer half on the bottom of a baking dish.

Blluuuurrryyy.  On top of the pasta add a bit of pesto...

and then some cheese.  I put the remainder of the pasta on and then topped with more cheese and threw in the oven.

And then it comes out all hot and bubbly and yummy.  

You can find the recipe here.  Amber does a MUCH better job of taking step by step pictures.  I should mention that I used store bought pesto.  Didn't spend time making my own.  I also now realize I forgot to add the fresh basil...sad.

And now for the Lia portion of this program...

I do not have all of my jewels in yet, therefore, I don't have much to feature.  However, I did want to show you guys this bangle.  This is one of those simple pieces that just feels special.  It's a bit better than your regular 'ol gold bangle.  Throw this baby on with any bracelet or 2 or 3 and you make a statement.  You can find it here on my Lia Sophia website that is now up and running (

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lia Sophia in the Media

Just flipping through the latest Real Simple magazine yesterday when I find that the Glazed Bracelet is featured.  Crystal accents are on trend right now and so is this bracelet.  Love the crystals, love the hardware, love that it's resin.  So fashion forward, so on point and is such a versatile piece.  Wear them to amp up a "sale-rack" dress and give yourself a more "luxe" look as Real Simple suggests, throw them on with jeans and a white tee to give yourself a little edge or just layer them on your arm with your other bangles.  In three colors you'll be sure to find that they can work into any wardrobe.

Monday, February 3, 2014

To New Things...

Cheers to trying something new in the new year!
My something new?  Well, for starters, this blog.  This blog is a new venture for me and a place to share my creativity and my love for my other new venture... Lia Sophia jewelry.  I've decided to take a leap of faith and give selling and styling a try.  My hope is to feature some of my favorite looks and new ideas in my little corner of the interwebs.  

What can you expect to see?  
- My favorite pieces from Lia Sophia.
- A weekly installment of "White Shirt Wednesday" where I style a simple white shirt (found in every girl's closet) with Lia Sophia jewelry.  I want you to feel that you can go from blah to beautiful with little to no effort.  
- "What I Wore..." A section dedicated to featuring what I picked for myself to wear to different events (which in a new mommy's world means "what I wore to the grocery store").
- But more often than not, my posts will consist of ridiculous ramblings and ridiculous content.  I'm toying around with the idea of a "Cooking with Lia" segment that will feature my love for all things food while being outrageously overdressed and styled in my Lia Sophia baubles while making, say, a grilled cheese.

I imagine this blog will change and take shape the more I share so I appreciate your patience and I appreciate you spending a bit of time with me.