Tuesday

Almost Red-y

Just one photo today. It was all I could grab before heading out to work!

I've loved colored jeans for quite a while, and now have red and green jeans in addition to the usual blue. But I haven't quite found my comfort level with them. So far, all I've been able to pair with colored pants are neutral hues.

scarf: Limited
sweatshirt: Target
jeans: Target
boots: Steve Madden

Saturday

Snow Problem

Somehow I accidentally ordered 20 pizzas online the other night. I had meant to order 5 for last night, but instead the order re-submitted itself 3 additional times, and for RIGHT THEN. That was an embarrassing phone call to Papa John's. I'm just glad it was caught in time. 

sweater: Gap
skirt: Anthropologie
tights: Gap (old, I've somehow had these since High School!)
boots: Steve Madden


It started snowing while I was shooting these photos. Just a light little dusting, but it was  comfortingly there. I was worried we'd miss winter entirely this year. I'm ready, though, armed with the most comfortable skirt in the world.



Friday

Still Sleepy

I feel asleep last night around 1 a.m. on our bed as I was folding laundry. When I woke up this morning I was still holding a sock. 

We have one of our 3 times yearly staff trainings this weekend. And I'm already tired going into it. Hopefully I can get some rest soon!

scarf: Target
shirt: J. Crew
pants: Target
boots: Steve Madden


Monday

Recipe: Healthier Chicken Parmesan

I love Chicken Parmesan, but I don't love the calories, nor the typical chicken patty that you'd get at a restaurant. This was my attempt to make a "better-for-you" Chicken Parmesan. It turned out really well, with a golden crust and a flavorful, tender chicken. 

This was a dish I winged making, using several different recipes' ideas in order to bring this together. It will definitely be made again! I did use pre-made sauce from Newman's Own to cut corners, but I'd love to make this some time with a scratch tomato sauce.

Using Panko for the breading made it light, while still yielding a good crunchy exterior. (Panko also doesn't absorb as much oil as a typical breadcrumb.) We also used a finely grated Parmesan, instead of mozzarella, over the top of the chicken when baking, and served it with a whole wheat pasta.

So, while it's not a "healthy" meal, per se, it is still healthier. Good enough, right?


Chicken Parmesan
4 chicken boneless chicken breasts
1 egg white
1-1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
salt & pepper
1 T dried basil
1 t garlic powder
3 T ground Parmesan
Olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. In a bowl, mix the egg and milk and whisk to combine well.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry Panko, basil, garlic powder, ground Parmesan and a few turns each of the salt and pepper.

4. Heat a 12 inch skillet to Medium-High and spray with an olive oil sprayer. (Or you can just pour in 1 T olive oil.)

This is my olive oil sprayer...you can find them for about $9 and it's my new favorite thing!



5. One at a time, coat the chicken breasts throughly, first in the egg/milk mixture, then in the Panko mixture. 

6. Place the chicken breasts in the heated skillet and cook on each side for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown. 



7. In a small baking dish, or pie dish, place the chicken breasts. Pour red sauce over the chicken, then cover and place in the oven. 


8. Cook, covered for about 25, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees internally, using a thermometer to check the temp. 

It's not quite done yet!
9. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and place chicken back in oven until cheese is just melted. (It should take less than 2 minutes.) Serve with spaghetti and red sauce, and, if you're really wicked, bread.

Friday

Simple

Somehow, I've gotten it into my head that a sweater/shirt combo is menswear. But I felt incredibly feminine in this outfit. It might have been that I felt a bit '40s-ish, with the silk blouse, wide jeans and red lipstick: A bit--a very small bit!--like a modern Katharine Hepburn.

sweater: Anthropologie (on super sale!)
blouse: Thifted
jeans: Gap
heeled booties: Seychelles

I was really enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, but today it was 22 degrees again! Is it bad that I'm already excited about Spring coming soon? BRRRR!!!!

Wednesday

Twilight

"Twilight" used to be one of my favorite words. Then a certain book series came along and RUINED EVERYTHING. 

sweater: Target
t-shirt: Target
skirt: J. Crew
tights: Gap
boots: Steve Madden

She begged to be picked up, but wasn't planning on that!
We went to Memphis last night and saw one of my very favorite bands, The Civil Wars, perform. It made for a rather late night, and photos just didn't happen until this evening. 

I really like this color combo. I've been seeing so many pastels for Spring, the likes of which I haven't seen since Elementary School Easter Sunday. The outfit was an attempt to "winter-ize" the colors.

And just for fun, here's my favorite cover the band performed last night: 


Monday

Joan-sing

I felt very "Joan Holloway" in this outfit, but without the gross husband and the old man on the side. If only I had remembered to wear my pen necklace.

bow blouse: Gap
skirt: thrifted
tights: Target
oxfords: Seychelles, via eBay
out of focus photo: running late for work

We also added to our little family this weekend by adopting a rescue Cairn terrier that we named "Halle". 

She's a spunky wee thing and we're so glad to have her. While I took these photos, she defended our yard from an advancing tree's attack. The tree must have won, because she ran behind me and hid.

Trees, man, they'll get ya.

Friday

Novel

This may come as a total surprise, but I'm not really reading in this photo. But I have been reading this book, Wildwood, and am thoroughly enjoying it. I needed a book with some whimsy and this--by one of my favorite musicians to boot--has just fit the bill. The illustrations are beautiful, as well. 

Next up, I think I'll be re-reading The Phantom Tollbooth as a new annotated edition was just released. 

I think I have just the outfit to match it. 



sweater: Target
pants: The Limited, thrifted
flats: Target (old)

Wednesday

Smizing

I look terribly irritated in these photos, and I want to blame it on both my camera and back-up camera running out of battery today. It was also 22 degrees! But, let's be honest, I kind of looked like this Monday, too.

cardigan: Target
dress: Anthropologie (bought during the 50% sale sale)
belt: Old Navy
shoes: Ruche, courtesy of giftcard
watch: F21
lipstick: Sephora It Girl

It's a shame, because I really like this outfit. Let's just pretend my face isn't part of it.


Tuesday

Recipe: Bang Bang Shrimp

I love seafood, but as my husband says, he doesn't eat "anything that used to swim". I told him that in the New Year, I'm trying new recipes, including some seafood, and it's ok if he doesn't like it. He agreed to try them. This, other than hibachi shrimp, was the first kind my husband didn't hate!

This recipe is a hybrid of the Dynamite Shrimp at P. F. Chang's and the Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill. I served it with the sauce on the side, edamame and brown rice. So good!

I liked that the cornstarch made for a light, yet crunchy breading. I hate fried shrimp that's heavy and greasy. And the sauce was pretty hot, which we like, but it would be easy to cut the Sriracha in order to curb the spice. 


Bang Bang Shrimp
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c cornstarch
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
salt & pepper

oil for frying

sauce:
1/2 c mayonnaise
4-5 t Sriracha
1 t rice vinegar
1 t sugar

1. Mix cornstarch with onion powder, garlic powder and salt & pepper.
2. Dredge the shrimp in the cornstarch mixture, making sure each one is fully covered.
3. Place coated shrimp in bowl and refrigerate for about 20 min, which will help breading stick to shrimp when frying better.
4.  Heat oil to 350 degrees in pan. You'll want about 3 inches of oil.
5. Working in 2-3 batches, fry the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes per batch.
6. Drain the shimp on a papertowel covered plate. 
7. In another bowl, mix up the items for the sauce, and mix the drained shrimp in with it. 

I skipped this last step in case the husband didn't like the sauce and/or shrimp, so he had more control over the meal. We just dipped the shrimp into the sauce, which was pretty tasty!




Monday

Spotted.

Today was a day off from work, and so a casual day, which I spent running errands, cleaning house and catching up on movies.

I had seen this sweater at Madewell several times, so I got pretty excited when I spied this one at Old Navy. So excited I bought both the pink and blue version for about $10 apiece when they had sweaters for $15, plus 30% off at my city's store. 


sweatshirt: Old Navy
leggings: Target
brogues: Steve Madden

Sunday

Resolved.

Happy New Year! Hoping for a year of more joys than sorrows for each of you.

We spent the evening with some old friends, first at dinner, than a house party.  Since it was so dark out by the time we went out, I tried some indoor shots. 


top: Gap, last year
bracelets: they were my grandma's
skirt: Forever 21, two years ago
twisted tights: Target
shoes: Nine West
shoe clips: vintage clip-on earrings

I wound up fixing my tights in the car on the way to the party. Showed them who's boss.

I've only made a few resolutions:
  1. Travel more this year. We have trips planned for Austin, Memphis and Dallas, with the hope of some international travel this summer.
  2. Less TV, more reading. (I've started "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" this weekend...any recommendations for my reading list?)
  3. Blog more consistently, and with passion.

I may have another 1 or 2 up my sleeve, so stick with me to find out what they are!

Edit: Here's a photo of our great NYE party friends

My husband has been friends with the guy on the left since 8th grade, and the one on the right since 6th grade! They have an amazing friendship that's uplifting and encouraging. It's just really fun to see them interacting, as they all become so energized just by being around each other!