Sunday, September 28, 2014

Guest Post: Transitioning Your Wardrobe From Summer To Fall


Hi Everyone! Today's OOTD is a guest post by the lovely Mallory Brown from chromobeauty.blogspot.com. Enjoy! :)


I don't know about you, but my year has gone by FAST, and I'm currently still in mourning my summer that disappeared in the blink of an eye! It feels like I just broke out my summer clothes last week! Today's outfit is a perfect transition outfit from summer to fall because it still keeps some of the bold colors from the summer months, but it gets you ready to mix things up for fall with some neutrals.



For this look, I began with a neutral, black. I kept it flowing throughout my look with the little black pocket on the top and black bracelet from 23 Jewellery that I got a few days ago and have been wearing constantly ever since! Since I'm still in the transition phase going from summer to fall, I added little pops of colors throughout the look to keep a small element of summer style.


Here in Alabama, the weather is still going from hot to cold on a daily basis, so I chose to stick with short sleeves for this look to accommodate the warm weather that was sure to follow the morning chill! This is a really bright, loose turquoise top from Rue 21 that I decided on because I was in the mood for something bold, and it stood out really well against my black jeans! I also love the studs along the pocket that add a cute, edgy twist.


My other splash of color to this outfit were my colorful wedges from Maurices! I snagged these little beauties a few weeks ago on sale at only fifteen dollars! These wedges really add to the summery feel of the look while keeping things safe for the cool weather by pairing them with my dark skinny jeans. These shoes are also really good for when you're in a place where you're going to be walking a lot but still want to wear heels! Since these are flat wedges, I was able to wear them to school without having any problem navigating the overcrowded hallways and numerous staircases.



That concludes my fall transition! I hope you liked these tips for bringing summer and fall together as we begin this new season, and have a fantastic fall!


Check out my Fall Trends & Transitions post on Mallory's blog here!  Preview is below :)


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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cafe Cubano, Farmer's Market, and UVA in Charlottesville, Virginia!




As many of you know, I ventured down to Washington, D.C. and Virginia this summer for a gorgeous southern wedding. While there, we visited the fun and quaint college town of Charlottesville. Charlottesville (aka c-ville) is known as the "localvore" capitol of the world, meaning they source a majority of their ingredients locally, from nearby farms and the like. 

Knowing this, it makes sense why we had one of the best brunches ever during our stay here! Cafe Cubano (now bought by Para Coffee) is located on Main Street, an adorable stretch of pedestrian-only cafes, bookstores, boutiques, and restaurants. All of the cafes put their outdoor seating in the middle of the walkway. It's so adorable! 


Of course, my sweet tooth ordered the French Toast with a side of fruit. As you can see, they are super generous with their "side of fruit!" 

I loved the fresh, colorful and local ingredients which were so plain to see on my dish. It was scrumptious, filling, and stood out from the many other french toasts I've had! 


This is the Cafe Cubano Breakfast Burrito. Look at that bright green salsa on top! I loved the presentation of this dish, and it was even more delicious than it looks (if you can believe that)! 

The kicker, though, was that side of home fries. They were seasoned to absolute perfection - definitely the best I've ever had! 

I hope the menu stays exactly the same now that Para Coffee has taken over Cafe Cubano. If they're smart, they won't change a thing!


After brunch, we stumbled on a localvore farmer's market.


These Honeybunch Cookies were sweet and healthy - the perfect combination!


My favorite booth was the Inedible Jewelry shop. A young woman makes polymer clay jewelry in her own oven - of every food imaginable! She even has a cookbook with instructions so you can make your own. I just had to buy the Avocado earrings!



Next, we visited the gorgeous University of Virginia (UVA) campus. 


The southern architecture is so different from anything in SF or Boston. It's always interesting to see a new style. It was really a time warp though, and felt like you were back in the 1800's. 





We saw symbols such as that giant Z printed all over the UVA campus. Apparently they're the markings of secret societies. So interesting!

Comment Challenge: There are so many great college campuses with amazing architecture - do you have a favorite?
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Paint Nite & Downtown Lunch at The Merchant


lunch the merchant review

I'm fortunate to work in a neighborhood with plenty of lunch options! The other day, we had a work lunch at The Merchant - the type of venue that has suits bustling in and out during lunch hours. It's great for casual office meetings, with it's hardwood floors, polished tables, and tall, open patio windows. 

I ordered the classic Fish and Chips, with beer-battered cod, shoestring fries and tartar sauce. Usually I get part-way through fish & chips, and get tired of all the fried-ness. This dish was so delicious, though, I polished the plate! The fish was fried to absolute perfection - not too thick & greasy, yet not falling apart either. It was a light, flaky portion.

lunch the merchant review

Croque Madame, with smoked ham, gruyere, bechemel, and of course a giant fried egg!

lunch the merchant review

After work, I met up with some friends for a fun-filled Paint Nite at the Hard Rock Cafe! Our goal was to paint the Boston Skyline at sunset.

lunch the merchant review

Blending the sky.

lunch the merchant review

Almost done!

lunch the merchant review

My finished product! I'm so proud!

lunch the merchant review

Paint Nite was way too fun - we got a Groupon for it, which made it so affordable and worth it!

Comment Challenge: What's your favorite after-work activity?

The Merchant on Urbanspoon
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Coppa Boston: Italian Dinner in the South End



Coppa Boston

Summer dress by Tobi, tote by Target,
flip flops by Old Navy, wooden wayfarers by San Franpsycho

The other night, we went to the famed Coppa in Boston's South End. Nick found a great Gilt City deal for the venue, and we set out to try this Italian enoteca! 

While en route to dinner, we saw the cutest Rabbit & the Hare statues in Copley Square. Love this story & had to snap a shot with this adorable little guy.


Coppa Boston

Coppa Boston

We sat out on the patio to soak up the summer rays before the sun set. I loved the bright colors and how the patio sat on a street corner - great for people watching!

Coppa Boston

We started with the Ostriche - oysters escabeche with rhubarb verjus (and that's just the stuzzichini, or Italian small bar snack)!

These oysters were so good - and very different than any I had tried in the past. The rhubarb gave them a more rustic, earthy flavor that you don't usually get from oysters. It was a pleasant change and complemented the briny flavors nicely.

Coppa Boston

For our antipasti, we ordered these amazing Fried Fontina Bites in tomato gravy. They were perfectly crisp on the outside, and filled with warm melted fontina cheese inside. So tasty!

Coppa Boston

I've recently learned that I prefer white wine to red - it doesn't make me so sleepy (red wine will knock me out), and it doesn't leave me with a headache - which is much appreciated!

Coppa Boston

Our second antipasti was another unique dish: The Squash-Stuffed Cod, with peppers, cucumber, zucchini and squash. That's right, this incredible dish came with a cod stuffed with seasonal squash! 

It was absolutely scrumptious, as the subtle flavors of each complemented one another nicely. I loved the colorful presentation as well!

Coppa Boston

We ordered a Seafood Pasta, which came with mussels, green peas, and sea urchin (you can see it there in the bright orange color)! I was excited to try the urchin, since I had never had it before and always love trying new bites. 

Despite my excitement, I wasn't a fan of the texture or consistency of the sea urchin. The creature's skin is not smooth, but bumpy with tons of ridges, and it melts in your mouth in a strange way - it's hard to describe, but I don't think it's for me.

Coppa Boston

Look how healthy! For our last dinner plate, we ordered the Parma Woodfired Pizza, which came with tomato sauce, plenty of arugula and prosciutto di parma (it's there under all those greens). 

This was a delicious savory end to our meal, but I must warn you: Do not order this pizza if you have an aversion to salt! The prosciutto was extremely salty, even with all that arugula as a buffer. It was scrumptious nonetheless.

Coppa Boston

There's always room for dessert! Our Coppa meal was so good, we ordered this dessert dish that everyone from staff to fellow diners were raving about. Meet the Sciocchezza: A layered concoction of Sake soaked chocolate cake, miso dolce de leche, and cashew-sesame crumble all served in a mason jar. Simply devine!

Coppa Boston

Coppa Boston

Coppa Boston

Walking off that Italian goodness, we stumbled upon this amazing community art project outside of the Beehive (another great South End restaurant on my list)! 

The setup consisted of 3 ping-pong tables melded as one, and hooked up to a speaker system which echoed each time a ball hit the table. How fun is that??

Coppa Boston


Comment Challenge: I love trying new foods! What's the "weirdest" food you've ever tried? 

Coppa on Urbanspoon
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Friday, September 19, 2014

SF Rooftop Bar: El Techo de Lolinda



el techo de lolinda SF

This past weekend, I made a brief trip home to San Francisco for a wedding. While there, some friends and I met up at El Techo de Lolinda, a trendy rooftop bar for dinner! El Techo is known for its Latin American street food and great SF views.

El Techo de Lolinda SF


el techo de lolinda SF

See the fog bank rolling in? It actually just stopped right there and never came all the way down to us, so we got a great view! 

el techo de lolinda SF

el techo de lolinda SF

el techo de lolinda SF

Love the small details, like this El Pato salsa de chile fresco-turned-napkin & silverware holder! It gives a more authentic, rustic feel to the Latin American restaurant.

el techo de lolinda SF

One of my favorite things about El Techo is that they offer Mexican Coca-Cola. For those who don't know, Mexican Coca-Cola is made with real, natural cane sugar instead of factory-processed sugar. I much prefer the flavor to American Coke. 

Here you see my Cuba Libre, with  rhum, lime & Mexican Coca-Cola, alongside a (very strong!) Margarita.

el techo de lolinda SF

Chips, guacamole & tons of salt to start. I kind of went around the salt, but the guac was great!

el techo de lolinda SF

Our first dish was the Sopes de Pibil, which came with braised pork, black beans, guacamole, red onion, chipotle-honey, and tortilla. They may seem tiny, but they were absolutely jam-packed with flavor! The pork and guacamole is a combo for the ages.

el techo de lolinda SF

Next, we enjoyed the Quesadilla de Pibil, with braised pork shoulder, oaxaca cheese, and salsa on the side. In case you're wondering - Yes, El Techo has more than pibil on the menu. We just happened to pick these dishes that are all about the braised pork!

The quesadillas were stuffed to the brim with pibil and oaxaza cheese, and the salsa was amazing! A little sweet, a bit of a kick, and it complemented the dish perfectly.

el techo de lolinda SF

Last, but clearly not least, we dined on the half pound Chicharrones de Carne! This plate came with roasted and fried chunks of pork-shoulder with house made tortillas, lime, salsa, black beans, and escabech. 

It was a filling an delicious end to this Latin American meal. 

el techo de lolinda SF

You can still see the view & fog bank once the sun had set!

Comment Challenge: I love branching out. What's your favorite non-American dish?

El Techo de Lolinda on Urbanspoon
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