Sunday Brunch feat. Warby Parker

Anyone who knows me or has followed my Instagram knows that I love a good Sunday brunch. Despite the fact that I don’t like eggs, it is still the highlight of my week to venture out with J in search of a fantastic Sunday Brunch and whatever adventures follow after that. Yes, I know, how do I like brunch and not like eggs? One word: waffles. Oh wait, and a few more words: corned beef hash. My favorite items on any brunch menu hands down.

With spring and summer weather right around the corner, it’s time to find the perfect pair of sunnies to accompany all those fun Sunday Brunch outfits! Warby Parker has a great new Spring Collection for 2014 that features all kinds of fun frames & colors. They also have this exciting new feature called Home Try-On where you can select five of your favorite frames to be sent to you for five days, giving you a chance to experiment and play with the different frames before deciding on a pair. Free shipping, just a $1.00 collateral charge. I’m super indecisive about sunglasses so this was right up my alley.

I received my box of five frames last week – I chose two from the Spring 2014 Collection and three from their Women’s Sunglasses Collection and paired them with some of my favorite Sunday brunch outfits.

Winston - Old Fashioned Fade

Casual brunch (@ Denica’s in Walnut Creek) with the fiancé followed by errand running.
Gap Shorts, Lace Vintage Tee, Echo Silk Scarf, Juicy Couture Necklace, Anne Klein Watch, Warby Parker Winston Sunnies in Old Fashioned Fade

 

Thatcher - GreystoneBrunch with the bestie to discuss everything under the sun (@ Va de Vi in Walnut Creek)
Empyre Skinny Jeans, Loft Striped Blouse, Boutique 9 Heels, Juicy Couture Necklace, Warby Parker Thatcher Sunnies in Greystone

 

Neville - Redwood AshCatching Up with College Girlfriends (@ Chop Bar in Oakland)
Superdry Flannel, Forever 21 Bodycon Skirt, Vintage Necklace, Chinese Laundry Flats in Brown (not pictured), Warby Parker Neville Sunnies in Redwood Ash

 

Reilly - Marzipan TortoiseLazy Day Brunch (@ Zachary’s in Santa Cruz) with J followed by beach lounging
Forever 21 Cat Blouse, Old Navy Shorts, Forever 21 Bikini, Havaiana Sandals, Warby Parker Reilly Sunnies in Marzipan Tortoise

Lowry - Green CitrineCoffee & Pastries (@ Starbucks, but during the brunch hour) with my mom & sister
Empyre Skinny Jeans, Juicy Couture Chiffon Tank, Juicy Couture Necklace, Vintage Scarf, G by Guess Sandals, Warby Parker Lowry Sunnies in Green Citrine

I really loved all the frames but my absolute favorites were the Thatcher in Greystone. I never take selfies but I was really enjoying the look of the Thatcher frame with this outfit so I figured one selfie was acceptable. Needless to say, I will be ordering myself a pair of these frames ASAP.
Selfie - GreystoneTheory Blazer, Empyre Skinny Jeans, Lucky Brand Vintage Tee, Echo Silk Scarf, Juicy Couture Necklace, Forever 21 Heels, & Warby Parker Thatcher Sunnies in Greystone

What do you think of the new Warby Parker Spring ’14 collection of frames? I love that there seems to be something for everyone. I was on my way to ship the frames back and both my sister and mom stopped to try on the frames and both found a pair

Also, who has Bay Area brunch recommendations?! I’m always on the lookout for new places to try!

Editor’s Note: Warby Parker invited me to style their frames with some of my favorite spring/summer outfits, but this is not a sponsored post.

Moving Essentials

Moving Essentials
I just saw a great post from Joy the Baker about prepping for her big move to New Orleans (which I have to say I’m a tad jealous – beignets ALL THE TIME??? Pure awesomeness.), and it prompted me to want to make a post about my move. My move is far from cross-country. It’s just a hop skip and a jump from where I currently am, but really any move is a big move..or a small move I suppose, depending on your perspective. Anyway, I was inspired by Joy’s Overnight Box and Morning After Box. These are super important – the very first box you open and the box that gets you through unpacking all the other boxes. This move coincides with my VERY LAST DAY OF GRAD SCHOOL. So needless to say, chaos will be had by all.I have combined the Overnight Box & Morning After Box into one Bare Essentials Box since I am hoping to be done unpacking boxes within the first 24 hours. Wishful thinking I know, but I always think it’s better to be positive.

Bare Essentials Box

-cleaning supplies (antibacterial wipes, windex, swiffer wet/dry mops, etc…) [yes I know a cleaning crew will have already cleaned, but my OCD side says this is important]
-phone chargers, laptop chargers, laptops [and yes, I will actually unpack and not get distracted by House of Cards or at least that's what I'm telling myself]
-toilet paper & paper towels [because duh]
-bottle of wine & wine glasses [to christen our new home]
-blanket for indoor picnic on the ground since we won’t have a table yet [this will likely consist of whole foods takeout & disposable utensils/plates, but it will be awesome nonetheless]
-cat food, kitty toys, & litterbox to keep the fur babies content
-candles, matches, & lightbulbs [scented candles make everything better & lightbulbs are simply an essential because no one likes to sit in the dark]
-a bag of potato chips [taking a cue from the Ninja Turtles clearly, but why not? Snacks!]
-scissors & tools to assemble things [because we have things to be assembled]
-first piece of artwork for the living room [to be pictured later]
-and of course a sensible unpacking sweatshirt to change into because the moving sweatshirt is now dirty

I think that’s it for the bare essentials of the first box. What are some of your essentials for moving?

Recipes & more will be coming again in the near future now that I have finally reached the end of grad school. Also, coming soon, updates on the new place :) Oh and in other big news, aside from moving, I got engaged! Details on that to follow too.

Cheers to the weekend!

xx

-C

sunday brunch outfit

sunday brunch outfit
Spring is fast approaching, which means it is time once again for those Sunday Brunches, sitting out on a patio, sipping orange juice (or mimosas), and enjoying that special catch-up hour that is brunch.

Apple Pie Chai

It’s not hard to see that I am pretty obsessed with Fall flavors. Pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, apples, etc… So of course, following with my love for Autumn treats, here is a quick recipe for Apple Pie Chai. It encapsulates the wonderful cinnamon-y spice apple flavors of apple pie. All you need is apple juice and chai concentrate. My favorites for apple juice are Simply Apple  and of course Tree Top. My favorite for Chai Concetrate is Tazo, mostly due to its availability (you can find it at Starbucks, Safeway, and Target these days).

This can be made hot or iced. But with the warm afternoons we’ve been having, I’ve been sticking to iced.

Apple Pie Chai

3/4 Cup Apple Juice
3 – 4 Tablespoons Chai Concentrate (you may want to add more to your own taste)

Iced Version: Fill a glass with ice. Pour the chai concentrate over the ice, then add the apple juice. Stir to combine. Add a straw because straws make iced drinks more enjoyable.
Hot Version: Steam the apple juice either with a hand steamer, or you can heat it over the stove for a few minutes, until just simmering, or alternatively you can microwave it until it reaches your desired temperature (I would recommend 1 minute 30 seconds). Add the chai. Stir. Sip. Enjoy.

That’s all you need. Pretty simple, but way enjoyable. I would definitely consider making a carafe of this (either hot or cold) for an Autumn Party!

Note: You can also order this at Starbucks – order a chai latte but sub apple juice for milk :) I recently discovered these at Starbucks which is how I came to make them myself at home. Deeeeeelicious.

Happy Almost Friday!

xx

-C

Monster Mash! Aka The Greatest Snack Ever

1236159_10151831082043076_1131677840_n

 

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn. Yes, that is correct, I did say Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn. It’s a giant ball of sugar and I love it! Combining some of the iconic flavors of Fall all into one very sugary yet delicious treat. The perfect cure for the Monday Blues.

The recipe is super simple and easily makes a giant batch. But be warned, a sugar coma is likely to follow if you eat the whole thing yourself.

Monster Mash (Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn)

Recipe slightly adapted from Young Married Chic

Popcorn, popped (you can air pop, stove pop, or microwave – your choice!) (At least 3 oz, but the more the better in my opinion!)
1/2  butter, salted (1 stick)
1 cup yellow cake mix
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (I did 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and a dash of cloves and ginger)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of candy corn
1 cup of honey roasted peanuts
Halloween Sprinkles (optional – they definitely make this more festive but it’s still a little early in the season so I wasn’t able to find any yet)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside for later. Pop popcorn as you desire (at least 3 oz, if not more) – remove unopened kernels and pour into a large bowl.

In a small heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the cake mix, spices, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a slow simmer, making sure not to boil or burn the sugar and stir constantly for 3-4 minutes. You should have a glob that is starting to amass together in a ball.

Pour mixture over popcorn in the bowl, stirring until all corn is coated. Stir stir stir and make sure you get every last kernel.

Spread the popcorn evenly over the baking sheet and place in the oven

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the caramel has turned light brown. Remove from oven and let cool. It will begin to harden at this point.

Break the popcorn up into smaller chunks and stir in the candy corn and peanuts. Store in an airtight container. Or if you’re feeling friendly, package individually to give away to people to prevent yourself from eating it all in one sitting like I may or may not have done.

I have decided that at least one day every weekend for the remainder of Autumn will consist of making my favorite Pumpkin Treats or testing out new ones, making&eating my favorite Autumn Dinners, & watching Halloween Disney Movies or Halloween episodes of old TGIF shows :)

Hope you’re all enjoying the start of the Autumn season as much as I am!

xx

-C

 

AUTUMN 2013

It’s that time of year again! The time for back to school, falling leaves, awesome patterned tights paired with boots, chilly weather for scarf wearing, sweaters, but most importantly…Halloween movies galore, and PUMPKIN EVERYTHING! Clearly it is time for my favorite time of year.

And why yes, I have had multiple Pumpkin Spice Lattes since they were released a week ago :)

1001442_10151821695313076_881963928_nDELICIOUS. Even more delicious because this one was a surprise from one of my 8th graders right before first period. I know it’s silly, but I’m loving the fact that my students actually like me, rather than just tolerate me as the kids did during my student teaching.

ANYWAY…pumpkin! So as most of you probably know, I love everything pumpkin related this time of year, that being said. Here is a roundup of some of my favorite pumpkin recipes, and some I am excited to try! I already picked up one can of pumpkin puree, but I can see I will definitely be needing more!

Pumpkin Bread – totally a classic and a must make for every year.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll - definitely a win for special occasions, when you’re trying to impress someone, or just because you feel like eating a fancy roll cake (I find any of these reasons to be valid for making this delicious dessert).

Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes – if I had the time, I would make these fresh every morning and snack on them throughout the day because they are the perfect accompaniment to morning coffee/tea, the perfect small post-lunch dessert, the best afternoon pick-me-up (with coffee of course), and obviously a great dessert for ending the day. Hmm…this makes me wonder, is this worth getting up at 5:00am so I can have some to bring with me to work? Quite possibly yes. And yes, I know, I have a pumpkin problem.

Some other pumpkin recipes from around the blog world that I can’t wait to try…

Pumpkin Oat Loaf – from Young Married Chic. A breakfast bread that sounds like it would be awesome slathered in peanut butter (really, is there any other way to put peanut butter on things?) It sounds like it’s almost baked pumpkin spice oatmeal in loaf form. So basically an awesome on-the-go breakfast.

Pumpkin Gingerbread – also from Young Married Chic (it’s slightly possible that Kris actually loves pumpkin things more than I do!) But yes, this pumpkin gingerbread sounds like an amazing combo of all things autumn/winter so I can’t wait to try it – maybe for Thanksgiving as a transition to winter.

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn (aka Monster Mash) – and one more from Young Married Chic! This caramel corn basically sounds like Halloween in a bag and therefore I think it’s awesome. Definitely will be contemplating bringing bags of this to school for my kiddos during Halloween. Or you know, just making for me to eat every day during the month of October. Don’t judge.

Pumpkin Cake Pops – from YumSugar. Pretty sure the title speaks for itself. Pumpkin + Cake Pops. Clearly no additional words are needed.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – from Smitten Kitchen. I’m not sure why I’ve never made these before. I pinned the recipe a while back and just found it but I can’t wait to make them! I mean come on, pumpkin. cinnamon. rolls. Yeasty, doughy, sweet deliciousness with the magic that is pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. PLUS A CREAM CHEESE GLAZE. Yes, these must be made asap this weekend.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes – from HealthyFoodforLiving. Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes? The question is not why, but rather why not?!

I can’t wait to get started making some of my go-to pumpkin favorites and trying out some of these other recipes!

What are your favorite pumpkin recipes?

Happy Start of Autumn!

xx

-C

 

Tote Bags

Tote Bags
Canvas tote / Canvas tote / Black handbag / Shopping bag / Kate Spade leather purse / Forever 21 cat tote bag / Forever 21 woven purse / Kate Spade handbag
This summer I developed an obsession with tote bags. They’re just the best thing ever – they’re light, they can hold a bunch, they have cute prints, AND they are usually under $10 which is AWESOME (with the exception of the Kate Spade totes, which btw I love/want, but are way out of my price range for a tote bag).
I realized while flitting to/from different summer weekend events (i.e. brunch, beach, etc…), that I really did not like lugging around a bulky purse, but when I would wear a small crossbody bag, I felt restricted to only bringing my wallet and maybe a lipstick. Enter the best solution: TOTE BAG. Now I can bring along my wallet, my lipsticks (oh yes I need multiple), my nail polishes, a book or two, my phone charger, and whatever else I want to bring! Also, because they’re so affordable, I won’t be devastated should one of the nail polishes in my bag explode (oh yes, this has happened recently. In my Coach bag for work >< I have since learned my lesson. Well sort of. I still have one in my tote bag right now to touch up my nails. It’s necessary! Right? Well maybe not.)
Current favorite tote: Forever 21 Canvas Tote Bag with a Bicycle Print. It looks a lot like the cat face one pictured above. Cost: $3.80. Totally worth it.
What do you think? Tote bags – yay or nay?