Leopard Lush

I came into my room a few days ago, exhausted after a long day of work, and I sh*t you not there lies no less than five pairs of leopard shoes in front of the mirror that I had vetoed earlier in the day.  Five years ago, you couldn't have gotten me near anything animal print, simply because I felt it was best left to Fred Flinstone and middle aged cougars who were trying to hard.  Now, I'm a full blown Animal Print Aficionado.  I've got leopard flats, wedges, pointy toe pumps, peep toes, and booties.  I've got belts of every size, shape, and hide.  I've got gorgeous coats rescued from the bowels of Goodwill.  There is a poor black and white cow who's been rolled into a pancake and is sitting underneath my coffee table.  It's a little much, but it may as well be a pair of black trousers to me.  It's a design staple, I wear it all the time, and it's going nowhere fast.

Denim: F2, old but love this brighter color
Belt: J.Crew
Glasses: Ann Taylor
Bracelets: Kate Spade, J.Crew, F21, vintage Hermes
Necklace: West Avenue via Max and Chloe

Do y'all have an animal print problem, too?




I don't have much to blab about today, other than the fact that this outfit is strong to quite strong.  Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!!

Vest: Thrifted, similar for $14.99 (mine is kids too!)
Skirt: J.Crew
Tank: Victoria's Secret
Wedges: Steve Madden (old), affordable option here for $35
Necklaces: J.Crew (similar), West Avenue via Max & Chloe
Bracelets: J.Crew, Kate Spade, vintage Hermes

<a border="0" href="http://www.longdistanceloving.net/search/label/friday's%20fancies" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j332/longdistanceloving/fridaysfanciesbutton.png%22/%3E%3C/a>
I'm linked up to Friday's Fancies, not because my outfit looks like any dessert in particular, but because I like ice cream.  And I like AV and her rockstar blog.  That's all folks!



Soul Food Sunday

I've taken on a rather intolerable commute to the office recently and it is really kicking my butt.  I know good, hardworking folks do it every single day and this is going to make me sound terribly spoiled, but I've never worked more than 15 minutes from my home.  Depending on traffic, it can take up to an hour and forty five minutes to get home some days and it's been a trial and error situation to figure out the best times to leave.  Adding ridiculously expensive tolls and gas for my guzzler, it's been an all around mess to say the least.  The drive affects many things, but mostly my ability to get to the gym, and to eat at a decent hour.

I love to cook.  It's therapeutic for me and extremely gratifying.  I'm used to having enough time after the gym to prepare a fresh, delicious meal, that is for the most part healthy.  While trying to figure out this commute, I was so exhausted that I wasn't making it to the gym as often as I wanted to, and I was just stopping to grab something on the way home.  Waste of money and simply not good for me.  I just didn't feel good.

Last week I decided to take control of the food situation.  I made two crockpot recipes that were delicious and  gave me enough for leftovers and freezing.  I made a huge pot of quinoa and veggies that has proved to be a new staple.  The ultimate discovery, though, was these Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.  Holy sh*t.  These are freakin' phenomenal.  I have to credit Pinch of Yum via Pinterest for the original recipe, although I doctored it a little bit. My secret ingredient is salsa verde instead of chilies. I made a big batch of them last night at a friend's house for dinner and they were a huge hit, then I took the left overs to my bestie's house this afternoon.  To tell you the truth, I didn't even care for sweet potatoes until now, but this has drastically changed my mind.  I'll be making these on a weekly basis from here on out.

Do y'all have any good week day recipes??

Find the recipe here!



Heart Throb

My bestie and I were having the discussion yesterday (as I was returning a shirt to J.Crew that has been hanging in my closet for three weeks, not worn) of why do we need so much?  Why do we impulsive buy shit that we either already have a version of at home, or that we will wear one time max, or that we just have to have for no reason at all?  On both our ends, it was a combination of several things: we shop because it feels good and makes us happy, we shop because we like to see pretty things hanging in our closet.  It's very gratifying to both of us to walk through out closets and see all the pretty button downs hanging in a row (with cuffs rolled to create a pleasant marketing effect).  There are several blogs that we both follow who actually make us feel good about our addiction simply because their addiction is worse than ours.  Is there a Promises Malibu for those in need of major retail therapy?

The blogging world is super saturated and competitive, so on my end, I think I want to show the greatest things I've found to my readers as quickly and beautifully as I can.  There are so many incredible bloggers who you are constantly comparing yourself to, so that's a challenge to your confidence, dedication, and passion.  What I realize, though, is that those bloggers aren't successful because they go out and buy everything they can so they can say "Look at what I have", they are successful because they work hard and devote the necessary time and energy into providing really great content, beautiful photography, and thoughtful commentary.  The clothes, endorsements, commissions, and followers are a natural occurrence once those things are held in the highest regard.  If I spent half the time I spend in stores trying to scope out locations other than my backyard to shoot photos, my pics would be phenomenal.  If I actually wrote what I was thinking instead of blabbing about how much I love my new paisley pencil skirt, then I think I would get more gratification out of this whole blog thing.  I'm funny, dammit! If I would stop incessantly adding great spaces on Pinterest and actually hang something on a wall of the home I bought two months ago, perhaps I would have a little more to write about.

I'm at a point, personally, where I feel as though the next step in my life is right in front of me and I have to choose which path to walk down.  I love my family and friends, my job, and my life in general.  I have a new home, a nice car, and I'm healthy.  I think I have to make the decision to go all in with the things that I love and enjoy, and stop doing things half ass or neglecting them altogether.  I'm really good at a few things, but I can be really great if I would just take control and do it.   Funny how something as silly as clothes can make you think in a broader sense, but that is a part of my life that I love, but again, feel is a little out of whack.  I just need to step back and reel it in.  

So if I haven't depressed you enough, let's talk about this outfit.  Sometimes I take photos and when I see them on the camera, I am psyched because I know they turned out really well.  Generally, it's due to how the colors turn out. This happens maybe once every couple months...maybe.  This is one of those outfits.  My response yesterday to every single person that said "How are you doing" was "I'm about to burst into flames at any minute because it's so friggin' hot!!"  It's bad y'all.  It's so damn hot that the news is telling people not to go outfit.  So what do I do?  Logical girl that I am.  I wear a sweater, albeit, with a fabulous cobalt blue lopsided heart on it, and head off for the day!  There was no less than three occasions where I got in my car and took it off, pulled the tank top up without showing my bra, maxed the a/c out, a laid there like a beached whale.  A beached whale having a heat stroke. 

 Sweater: J.Crew
Shorts: Gap
Tank: H&M

Bag: Alex Wang
Wedges: Steve Madden, old but I dig these and these for $35 at Target!
Hat: No label, from Kohl's men's department because I have a huge noggin.  I love this one with the feathers!
Necklace: West Avenue via Max & Chloe
Bracelets: J.Crew, Kate Spade, vintage Hermes
Ring: Yochi NYvia Bloom

A big thank you to all my followers.  You mean the world to me.  I don't think I've ever said that.



Mint and Green

Do you ever buy something that you love and then get it home and have no idea WTF to do with it?  That was my dilemma with this green necklace.  I know it sounds stupid.  What ding dong can't put a green necklace with something??? This one, obviously.  Every time I put it on it looked just a little bit off.  I bought it because I loved this look that I pinned via J.Crew Review  (hilarious site, by the way), and after pulling 17 things out of my closet and throwing them on the floor, I just decided to do my best  interpretation of that look.  Clearly, it's 150 degrees and that cashmere sweater just won't do it for me, so I substituted a light blouse to keep cool.  I think it turned out pretty stink in' cute.

I met my best friend for lunch yesterday and gave her the necklace. Oh well.

Top: Zara (old, but similar)
Denim: Forever 21, n.l.a but similar for $35!!
Necklace: J.Crew
Bag: Alex Wang
Heels: Vince Camuto, sold out
Bracelets: J.Crew, Kate Spade, vintage Hermes
Ring: Yochi NYvia Bloom



Deck Stripe

These photos were taken at my great aunt's farm during our trip to North Carolina this past weekend.  It was so incredibly humid there that my camera was fogging, so these are a little blurry.  They kind of look like one of those photo effects that make your pic look like a pencil drawing or something. Apologies for that.

Stripes are such a staple that I felt it necessary to invest in a great striped dress.  I went out with the intention of finding one at H&M or F21, but then I saw this Dree Dress in Deck Stripe at J.Crew and knew I had to have it.  It's silk, so the fabric is light, but it doesn't really wrinkle.  I also love that the stripes are blue instead of navy.  The only complaint I would have is the zipper is a little thick for the fabric, so sometimes it sticks out in the back.  Other than that, I'm thrilled with it.  I'm thinking of pairing it with a fuchsia blazer, a cargo vest, and maybe a button down underneath.  It's also thin enough to put a sweater on top and wear as a skirt.

 Dress: J.Crew
Shoes: Steve Madden (old)
Necklaces: J.Crew, West Avenue via Max & Chloe
Bracelets: J.Crew, Kate Spade, vintage Hermes

 Hope everyone has a beautiful day :)



Quick Flight

I snapped these pics yesterday before I left for a short visit to North Carolina to see family.  I had a minor meltdown at Target last week, ending up with three pairs of sandals and this smocked jumpsuit.  it's so comfy and easy, I haven't taken it off since.  It's my go to piece when I get home from work or jump out of the shower after a workout.  I generally wear a maxi dress or skirt on the place, just because they are easy and I get cold, so this served the same purpose.  Crazy about it!  

Jumpsuit: Xhilaration comes in 4 colors and only $19.99!
Jacket: H&M, in stores
Sandals: Mossimo, also $19.99!
Belt: thrifted
Bag: LV Musette, ret.
Glasses: Rayban
Bracelets: J.Crew, Kate Spade, vintage Hermes
Ring: from Bloom, brand unknown