Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year of Outfits

With 2012 just around the corner, I thought I'd take a look back at some of my favorite outfits from the past 12 months.

January 2011
I rang in the new year with a blogger swap :) That gorgeous Betsey Johnson number on the right was a part of my haul. While it hasn't made another appearance on the blog to date, seeing it in my closet makes me smile.

February 2011
February was a tough month for me, full of decisions to make dramatic life changes. I think I tried to reflect "strength" in my outfits by attempting to toughen up my look while still sticking with the girly accents I love like frills.

March 2011
March consisted of more girly essentials like full skirts and sheer details. This month I focused on reconnecting on a deeper level with some amazing girl friends. I could have never gotten through that period without you ladies!

April 2011
April was amazing. I got settled in my brand new house, and met the man of my dreams unexpectedly. The outfit on the left is actually what I wore on our first date :)

May 2011
Yay for the warm weather finally moving in! I practically lived in skirts last spring, and these are just a few of my favorites! I welcomed a new member into my family last May too, my gorgeous little pug Coco.

June 2011
More tough decisions this month! Although I had new expenses (love you Coco, but jeez, you get pricey sometimes!), I threw caution to the wind and decided to leave my "safe" job.

July 2011
New job, new challenges, and a whole new level of awesome. I lived it up last summer with lots of BBQs with family and good friends.

August 2011
August involved a wonderful trip to Seaside Heights and New York City with my man. Posting was sporadic, but you stuck with my anyway... thanks lovers!

September 2011
Amazing times in September. I vowed to get a few last wears out of some of my favorite summer pieces, and had the privilege of attending Ottawa Fashion Week SS12.

October 2011
Halloween hijinx and good times all around. There's something special about decorating your house for a holiday that I just loved. Oh, and I got to be blonde for a day.

November 2011
In November I started my Buried Treasures Challenge, which forced me to explore the contents of my closet in new and exciting ways.

December 2011
Which brings us to the end of the year... I figured you guys were having holiday outfit overload so I'm just sharing a few of my more casual looks here.

2011 was Amazeballs.
Here's looking at you 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Feeling Festive

I'm a tad late with this outfit, and I completely failed at taking outfit pictures on Christmas day, but the plan is to re-adorn myself and share them before taking off on the 7th.
We all know how much my blog promises are worth though... I apologize ahead of time!

This outfit is from the 15th of December... it feels like forever ago now! We had our intimate staff party at The Shore Club, a gorgeous place downtown. Believe it or not, I was UNDER dressed, but I still love the ensemble anyway.

blouse - H&M (2011); skirt - Jacob (2010); necklace - Stella & Dot;
belt - Vintage; shoes - BCBG (2009)

Ways I've Worn this Jacob Red Pencil Skirt...
red pencil skirt

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sweet Somethings: Chewy Gingerbread

I get SO MANY compliments on these little beauties. They stay deliciously chewy and freeze really well. If you end up bringing them somewhere as a sweet treat, be sure to bring a few copies of the recipe! You can find the original here.

You will Need:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Gingerbread 01

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and cream together butter & sugar. Then beat in the rest of the "wet"ingredients.
  2. Gradually stir the "dry" ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in a bit of sugar, flatten slightly, and place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Gingerbread 02

Easy peasy, and super delish.
Enjoy with Egg Nog or a Hot Toddy :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Put a Cap on It

Preparations are almost complete, and Christmas vacation started a few days early.
Now to just sit back, relax, and let the holiday festivities unfold in front of me.
I love this time of year.
I can't wait to see family and friends, and enjoy the food, the gifts, and the fun.

knit cap - H&M (2009); knit vest - Dynamite (2009); necklace - F21 (2011);
tee - Dynamite (2010); skinnies - Smart Set (2010); boots - Thrifted (2008)

Ways I've Worn this Blue Knit Vest
blue knit vest

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sweet Somethings: Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

With Christmas only days away I've kicked my holiday baking into high gear!

This was my first attempt at biscotti and it was actually surprisingly simple.

You will need:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts (or any nut you'd like!)


  • You start by mixing the oil and the sugar together until you get a really creamy paste... I don't know if anyone's ever made pizzelle, but it kind of looks like that. Add the rest of your "wet" ingredients and mix well.
  • Next add your flour, salt, and baking powder. I like to "beat" my mixture with a fork. The dough is REALLY soft and I hate trying to un-stick it from the egg beaters.
  • Then add your dried fruit and nuts. I chose cranberries & walnuts, but you could use just about anything. You could even throw a little lemon or orange zest in there for some extra fruitiness!

biscotti 3

  • When you're done mixing in your deliciousness, you're going to form two logs on a parchment lined baking sheet (about 2" wide by 12" long). Don't forget to wet your hands with COLD water, otherwise the batter sticks to you like mad.

biscotti 2

  • Bake at 300F for about 35 minutes, or until your logs are lightly browned on top.
  • Let them cool down for about 15 minutes, then cut diagonally with a serrated knife into 3/4" slices. If you DON'T wait, your biscotti will turn into a crumbly mess - be warned!
  • Put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the sides are browned as well...

biscotti 1

And voila! Yummy biscotti that you're not paying $2 a piece for!

Six More Sleeps!

Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away? The month has just flown by!
Fortunately for me, I'm done all my shopping and only have baking left to do...
Unfortunately for me, my uncle will fly in from Atlanta this week and insist we do some last minute shopping on the 24th.
I pretend that this annoys me, but after 10 years of doing of tradition, if it didn't happen, I'd probably end up disappointed.

sunnies - Michael Kors (2011 - thanks Christine!); cardigan - Smart Set (2010);
necklace - Stella & Dot; dress - Dynamite (2010); skinnies - Gap (2010); boots - Sirens (2010)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Church Time

Last night I went to mass for Santa Lucia patron Saint of the Blind.
Now I'm not a religious person - I like to think of myself as more of a spiritual individual - but I did enjoy myself. My young cousins on the other hand did not.
It reminded me so much of when I was younger and dragged to church every Sunday with my mother. I hated it. And it probably has something to do with my current dislike of organized religion. But this got me thinking about time.

When you're young, time seems to stretch on forever. You can't wait for the next day to come and you feel like it always takes an eternity to get here. Maybe that accounts for why they find church so excruciatingly long? As an adult on the other hand, time just flies. There are never enough hours in a day to accomplish everything you plan to, and you dread the next day and the additional tasks it will bring. The hour one spent in church is nothing more than a blip at this point and seems far less boring. You listen to the stories, and the time passes quickly, rendering it far more tolerable.
Does that make sense?

What I wore to church last night...
Blouse - Vintage (mine since 2008); skirt - Smart Set (2010);
tights - Hue (2010); boots - Spring (2011)

You can check out my challenge progress here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

NW: In the Navy

A bit belated with my Navy... by only about 4 days, so really, in the World of Mel, that's pretty darn on-time. You're welcome :)

I'm really loving this man-sweater. Paired with skinnies and a gold chain, I think this worked out pretty well. And to think - I found this in my mom's donate pile back in the fall and never actually thought I'd wear it.
My female boss affectionately told me I look like a Japanese school girl (she meant this as a compliment! I do think I looked pretty kawaii!)... and yes, we have this kind of relationship.

2011-12-01 Man Sweater
sweater - ???; sheer blouse - Jacob (2010); skinnies - Gap (2010);
boots - Sirens (2010); chain - Stella & Dot (2011)

Ways I've worn this Sheer Blouse...
Sheer Blouse

Also, I'm super proud to say I'm kicking ass at this shopping-ban thing. I've been VERY tempted, but in the end, will power prevailed!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Grey & Brown

Neutrals week continues!
Nope, I haven't forgotten, I've just been so freaking tired lately that all I want to do when I get home is sleeeeeeeep.
It seems that no matter how much I get, I could always use more... does anyone else ever feel like this?

Anyhoo... Tuesday was Grey:
2011-12-06 grey
tee - Esprit (2011); cardigan - Jacob (2011);
pants - Max/Miley (2009); boots - Thrifted (2008)

And Wednesday was Brown:
2011-12-08 brown
tee - F21 (2011); cardigan - Jacob (2008); skinnies - Smart Set (2010);
boots - Sirens (2010)

I'll be sure to update my closet tomorrow... but right now.. you guessed it! Sleep!

Monday, December 5, 2011

BT & Black

It's the beginning of Neutrals Week! (Thanks Kiki & Meg for putting this together!)
I thought it would be fun to combine this challenge with my own.

First up is Black. Easy enough.... until of course you go to get dressed and realize everything black you own is in the wash. Go team me.

2011-12-05 NW Black
blouse - Ricki's (2011); cape - LeChateau (2008); trousers - Gap (2010);
Heels - Aldo"Moos" (2010)

Other Ways I've Worn these Gap Trousers
Gap Black Trousers

Thursday, December 1, 2011

BT: To Chop or Not to Chop?

Thank you for all the beautiful comments on my last post - you made my day :)
It almost makes me want to give myself a blow out and look like a glamazon every day - but then I realized that involves waking up early and applying effort and quickly dismissed the thought.

And now I will proceed to disappoint you with slightly frump photos...

I kind of want to chop the sleeves off of this cardigan... does anyone know how I would do that with such a thick knit without completely destroying it?

beltd cardigan + boots
cardigan - Dynamite (2008); LS tee - Old Navy (2010);
skinnies - Smart Set (2010); boots - Lime Light (2009)

Other ways I've worn this Dynamite Short Sleeved Cardi...
Dynamite Short Sleevd Open Cardigan

BT: Throw Some Glitter, Make it Rain

Let the Holiday festivities begin!
Last Friday night I had the pleasure of attending my boss' annual Latke Party, and nothing says "Holidays" like a little sparkle.

I fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it. The animal print & sequins just scream "MEL!" I ended up changing into nude tights just before I left the house, but you get the general idea here below.

sequined dress + black tights
squined dress + vintage
dress - Dynamite (2011); coat - vintage (2010); purse - vintage (2010);
heels - Spring (2008)

I also put together a page for my closet these last few days, so you can check on my challenge progress. I have no idea how I accumulated so many clothes. This is going to take forever.