Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mac 'n Cheese + Holiday (See Jane Recap)

This past week was spent at my parents' house in Ohio, where time goes by slowly and the refrigerator is perpetually stocked.  Thanksgiving was fantastic and much quality time was spent with my parents, siblings, and adorably mischievous nephews.  I'm still in holiday mode and I don't see myself snapping out of it until 2011.

To keep the holiday spirit going, may I recommend a delicious mac 'n cheese recipe?  I ended up making this for Thanksgiving and I think this dish may have officially made the roster for holidays to come.

I also need to get on the ball with gift buying.  Luckily, so many great bloggers like Nikki, Alicia, and Taylor have already put together great gift guides--I'll definitely be referencing them in the upcoming weeks! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet Emily (See Jane's Sister)

Meet my sister Emily.  I've mentioned her in my blog several times and now here she is, getting her own feature post.  While I was home for Thanksgiving, I asked her if I could pick out an outfit for her and take pictures.  As soon as I saw this sparkly cardigan hanging in her closet, I knew two things: first, that she had to wear it for these pictures, and two, that I had to get one for myself.  Let's just say that both things were accomplished that day (the sparkly cardigan is originally from Urban Outfitters, but it was on sale at the local TJ Maxx for $19).

Banana Republic jacket, Level 99 jeans, Gap top, TJ Maxx scarf, UO sequin cardigan (via TJ Maxx) + booties,
She wore this outfit the entire day (and night) before Thanksgiving; the sequin cardigan worked for both day and night and I'm thankful that I got my hands on one, too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Early Thanksgiving (See Jane Eat)


I'm taking the rest of the week off to spend time with my family so I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving in advance.  I hope you all have a great week spending time with loved ones, eating lots of delicious food, and giving thanks for everything in your lives.  I have so much to be thankful right now and I hope you all do, too.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas (See Jane Cook)

ready for the oven
In honor of the glutton-fest that's about to occur (i.e. Thanksgiving), I thought I would post the chicken enchiladas I made the other weekend.  I could honestly eat Mexican food almost every day.  I love fresh tortillas, avocados, tomatoes, and of course, cheese.  I prefer the healthier versions of these dishes, such as fresh fish tacos (no cheese, just fish, cabbage, and vinaigrette), but sometimes I love a good ol' Tex Mex meal.  I made this recipe of Chicken Enchiladas and it was surprisingly easy.  I kicked up the spiciness a notch with extra peppers and chipotles (because I crave the spice of life) and it was delicious.

fresh corn tortillas

shredded chicken breast
the final product, topped with avocado, creme fraiche, and cilantro
How do you feel about Mexican food?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday Suit (See Jane Wear)

Thanks for all of your birthday wishes, everyone!  Your kind messages definitely soothed the sting of turning 26.  This weekend, I enjoyed a delicious meal at Stephanie Izard's (Top Chef winner) resetaurant, The Girl and the Goat, tried on a couple more wedding gowns, and enjoyed spending time with friends.  On Sunday, my actual birthday, Eric and I got massages.  It was unusually warm for the end of November yesterday and I thought it was the perfect weather to don a puffy vest.  I've had it since college (it's a little dingy) but it's the perfect piece to wear before it gets too cold, which, unfortunately, should be any day now.

J Crew shirt, Gap sweater (lusted after here), Banana Republic vest,  J Brand jeans, Zara socks + boots (worn here), Rebecca Minkoff bag

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Year... (See Jane Age)

...and none the wiser.  

Yes it's true, I have a birthday looming this weekend.  I turn 26 on Sunday and the number just sounds daunting.  Gone are the days when I check the 18-25 box on forms.  Below is my 21 year old self just raising a solo cup and toasting to all that's ahead.  Cheers...
oh, how the years fly.
I'm not much of a birthday diva so I plan on laying low--dinner, spending time with friends and the fiance, and maybe some shopping to ease the growing pains.  What are you up to this weekend? 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Caprese Bruschetta (See Jane Make)

Everything I love, in bite-size.
I was in a time crunch after work and ran to Whole Foods without a list--a terrible idea for me in so many ways.  I'm not the kind of person who fares well at the grocery store without guidance.  I end up throwing a bunch of random things in my cart that could hardly create a simple dish, let alone a cohesive meal.  When I arrived home, I realized I had bought basil and mozzarella (probably for a salad or a pasta that I'd eat throughout the week) and a garlic-herb baguette, which was probably to go along with my alleged pasta or salad.  When I got home, I knew I wanted that bread, then and there; since I always have tomatoes on hand, I decided to create a little bruschetta, caprese style, and it was just what I needed. 

To make this, I simply drizzled olive oil on baguette slices and stuck them in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees.  Then, I layered basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes (I used canned dice tomatoes with garlic and olive oil--told you I was in a crunch) on top and sprinkled all of the pieces with kosher salt, black pepper, and some balsamic vinegar.

Crusty, fresh-baked bread
Slicing fresh mozzarella

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

J Crew Wedding Boutique (See Jane Shop)

Touching what I'm not supposed to...

Well, aren't you lucky?  It seems to be wedding week over here at See Jane.  I like to mix up my posts throughout the week, but I really want to share some pictures of my visit to the J Crew Wedding Boutique in NYC.  It's gorgeous and impeccably decorated; I wish my living room looked just like this, naturally. Because I was overwhelmed and focused on dresses I didn't even break out the camera that was in my bag.  Luckily, my good friend Maggie took a ton of pictures (God bless her). 

This was my first time trying on wedding dresses and I will definitely need to try on a few more to get a gauge for what I like. (I'll be checking some out next week with my mom and sisters while I'm home for Thanksgiving.)  I did really love one dress I tried on this weekend, but since my fiancé reads this blog, I won't post a picture of it--but I will show some others that I'm not getting (and you'll see why). 
Laughing, probably because it weighed 10 lbs and I felt like a flamenco dancer.
Pretty dress, but I felt like a Grecian column.

I liked this one, but liked the vest next to me better.
All in all the wedding boutique was a great experience.  Regardless of what dress I end up buying, I would definitely recommend it and wouldn't mind stopping by the next time I'm in NYC.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wedding DIYs (See Jane Craft)

While I wait for my friend's pictures of our weekend in NYC, I thought I might share what I'm planning in terms of DIY wedding projects.  Sometimes I think I may have taken on too much, and other times I think that there's so much more I can do.  I bit the bullet a few weeks back and started to order some necessary supplies.  I received some of my craft materials in the mail last week and plan to tackle some of them this weekend--perhaps while sipping on coffee with whipped cream (my signature drink) coupled with a Bravo TV marathon blaring in the background.

The projects at hand:
I'll add some twine or striped string and double up for people who bring dates.
I'll need my mom's help making these.
I won't personalize them, but I will display them next to jars of sparklers.

Crafty, I'm not, so please cross your fingers that these turn out well.  If all goes as planned, I can't wait to post my steps and ultimately show you the end result! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

New York Cares (See Jane Love)

west village at dusk
I have an inexplicable love for New York City.  I'm pretty certain that no one understands why I feel this way;  in fact, it's safe to say that I don't even understand my unwavering love for the Big Apple.  Similar to young love, I am blind to its faults and tirelessly defend it to others.  I constantly daydream about moving there and fantasize about the day that I'll be able to do so.  In the meantime, I'll have to settle for visits.  I had a great time with friends this past weekend and was sad to see the Manhattan skyline disappear from my view as the plane flew towards Chicago.

I also tried on my first wedding dresses, which was very exciting.  I have more to try on but am definitely starting to get a feel for what I like (and don't like).  The J Crew Wedding + Specialty Boutique was heavenly and I'll have to steal some pictures from my friend Maggie, who took several of the interior--it's really an aesthetic dream. 

How was your weekend?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jet Set (See Jane Pack)

I travel often for work and have become somewhat of an expert packer for my weekly jaunts.  Unfortunately, my expertise is limited to that of a corporate wardrobe and when I have to pack for fun trips and weekends away, I tend to over pack just like everyone else.   The only tip I have to offer is to wear your heaviest shoes on the plane so that you don' have to lug them around and have more room for other things.  Thus, tomorrow, I'll be wearing my scuffed boots on the plane; they're comfortable and will be perfect for walking around this weekend.

a few options included a sweater, dresses, top, + blazer

packing a few bracelets, one necklace, and my watch

I'm headed to NYC this weekend to visit with friends and visit the J Crew Bridal Boutique.  These will be the first wedding dresses I'll be trying on so I'm just really excited to finally begin the whole process, even if I walk away empty-handed.  Mostly I just can't wait to be with my friends in my favorite city, walking around and catching up.  Since this is technically my 'Friday,' I'm bidding you adieu for the week.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Easiest Scones Ever (See Jane Bake)

Fresh out of the oven.
When I made pumpkin-turkey chili last weekend, I knew a starchy accompaniment was needed to round out the meal.  Pressed for time and creativity, I stumbled upon these Quick and Easy Scones on allrecipes.com; once I saw the simplicity of the recipe, I was sold.  Because I'm such a rebel (or perhaps a glutton) in the kitchen, I doubled the amount of cheese, garlic, and threw in an extra tablespoon of butter for good measure.  These were my first scones and they definitely won't be my last.  I still can't believe how simple and delicious they were and can't wait to make other tweaks and variations to this basic recipe.

Be sure to buy self-rising flour for breads and scones.

Instead of using nonstick spray, I drizzled olive oil on the baking sheet.

Just call me Poppin' Fresh.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mind the Gap (See Jane Shop)

I just realized that I bought a a few months back that is about to expire.  Lucky for me, the deal is for $50 to the Gap.  The caveat to this deal is that I need to spend it soon, as the expiration date is looming.  Though my visits to the Gap are less frequent these days, I've always held a special place for it in my heart since childhood.  I loved Gap hand-me-downs from my sister almost as much as I loved stealing her own tops that were easily three sizes too big on me.  (But, I wore them anyway.  It was the early 90s and practically everything was worn three sizes too big.)  When I begged my mom to take me to the mall when I was a wee middle-schooler, the first stop was always the Gap.  However, I didn't only shop there for their hip, logo sweatshirts; I really loved using their iconic, blue, plastic bags to carry my gym clothes in junior high--in fact, I insisted upon it.  Ah, the frivolity of youth.  If I could tell my 6th grade self anything, I think it would be:  'It doesn't matter if you carry a Gap bag to school--no one will think you're cooler.'

 *clockwise from top left - all photos via the Gap

Anyway, whenever a deadline is put upon a situation such as this, I get anxious.  Will you help me choose?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Old Bag, New Tricks (See Jane Revive)

Don't you love it when you buy something that withstands the sands of time?  I originally bought this Kooba bag during the summer vacation (remember those?) before my senior year of college.  It's black, roomy, and made of supple leather--thus, it's timeless, in my eyes.  I often forget about it as it hangs behind more popular bags in my rotation but every once in awhile, I'll pull it out it and use it for a few straight weeks.  Even if I'm fixated on certain trends of the moment, I know I can always rely on my black bag of yesteryear to keep my in check--ol' faithful.   

Kenna-T jacket (worn here), J Crew skirt (worn here), Free People top, Gap tights, Urban Outfitters heels (t-strap platforms made into ankle strap, à la these), Kooba bag

Do you keep old bags for future use?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Save The Date (See Jane Send)

Here's another sneak peek into some of my wedding planning.  I wanted to give Save the Date cards out as soon as possible so that my guests could start planning accomadations in Mexico.  I wanted something fun, destination related, and old-timey; I went with these postcards on Wedding Paper Divas.  Originally, I had picked a card from Minted but these were about $150 cheaper and I thought that would leave me room to splurge on the actual invitation.  I customized the envelopes with some rubber stamps and chalkboard ink from Paper Source, just to give it a personalized kick.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Chili (See Jane Simmer)

Although Christmas decorations may be up in stores already, it's still harvest time which means pumpkin until Thanksgiving!  I found this recipe through one of my favorite websites, allrecipes.com, and once I saw the words 'pumpkin' and 'chili' side by side, knew I had to try it.  I improvised a bit and added a few things, including corn, black beans, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, jalapenos, and extra garlic.  That's what I love about cooking--there is definitely room to experiment, where as in baking, you necessarily have that wiggle room as it's more of a science.  As hoped, the chili turned out delicious and it went perfectly with a super-quick scone I made (pictured above), which I'll post about soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Giants Win (See Jane Excited)

I may not care much about baseball and I also may let out a big sigh every Monday morning when I board the plane to San Francisco, but I loved feeling the excitement in the streets after the Giants won the World Series.  San Francisco really is a magical place, even if my exposure to it is limited as I'm generally cooped up at work while here.  Regardless, I've grown to love many things about this place and even when I leave, I know it will always hold a special place in my heart.  Here are my favorite things about the city by the bay (I've included links, in case you're interested):

 The mountains, the oceans, and the fog.
It never seems to dip below 50 degrees
The W in SoMa (my second home) 
Delicious/fresh sushi at the most unassuming places.
Westfield Mall in Union Square (sometimes you need a mall--and this one is awesome)
 So many restaurants serve local, organic, and delicious food
Cheapest (and best) eyebrow waxes/nails

"San Francisco:  The city that knows how."  William Howard Taft, my fellow Ohioan.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Scuffed Boots (See Jane Wear)

My favorite boots from last year are in dire need of a shining and/or buffing.  I wore them tirelessly through a slushy winter and it apparently shows.  I love these boots because they're dead ringers for Loeffler Randall's classic Matilde boots, which I wanted badly a couple years back; instead, I paid a fraction of what they cost and bought these Steven by Steve Madden beauties.  I wore these boots for the first time this season when out to brunch with some friends this past weekend.  They're my go-to pair when I'm running around the city during the day; they make me feel instantly put together (even when I'm not) and they're comfortable to boot!  Pun intended.

Zara sweater, H&M tank (worn here + here), Joes Jeans jeggings + fringe bag, Steven boots