December 29, 2011

..A Steal on Heels

1. Steve Madden "Sarina" - $99
2. Target Mossimo Pemota Chunky Heel Pump - $29
3. Steve Madden"Sarina-L" - $130
4. Target Mossimo Pemota Leopard Chunky Heel Pump - $29



Dear Target,

I know we haven't really met up in a while, and I mostly just visit you around the holidays because of your awesome shatter-proof (aka kitty proof) Christmas ornament selection, but I just wanted to tell you that you still seriously rock my world and really are the bomb-diggity. You make my feet extra happy.

XO,
Erin
 

Jacket & Dress: H&M
Tights: Gap
Shoes: Target
Necklace: Gift from madre, no idea where she got it!

Oh,  one more thing.. meet my bangs. I haven't introduced you yet because they are kind of my arch nemesis right now.




December 28, 2011

..White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies


OH YEAH. These super tasty monsters were created from the recipe provided on the back of the Ghirardelli white chocolate chip package (slightly altered).  They called for macadamia nuts, I just switched that out for dried cranberries.  End result = sweet sweet deliciousness!

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups white chocolate chips (11 oz)
1 1/4 cups dried cranberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350º. Cream together butter and sugars until combined well (scrape down the sides). add vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda.  Slowly (add about a cup at a time) the dry ingredients to the mixture little at a time. Once batter is completely combined, fold in the white chocolate chips and the dried cranberries.  I used a tablespoon to scoop them onto the baking sheet to make them evenly sized.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.







December 27, 2011

..Say Cheese!


Welp, I got me a new toy and I feel like a little kid on Christmas again! (aka ripping through the wrapping paper like its on fire and then make really high pitched screams of excitement).  I can't wait to capture better photos to share with you guys (thanks to the greatest parents ever).  I feel slightly like operating a space ship would come more naturally to me because this thing has so many buttons and gadgets (it's a Nikon D3000 for those who are curious) but I picked it because I hear it is great for beginners, so I guess we'll see about that. This is the first self-snapped pic and I actually think it looks really cool! (beginners luck?) Hope everyone had the BEST holiday!


December 22, 2011

..A Very Merry Christmas


I am finally taking a few days off from work to enjoy holiday time with friends and fam.  These little nuggets make me smile inside so I thought I'd share the photos I used to make this years Christmas card.  Since I don't have oober cute babies to show off.. I have subjected my pets to insaely adorable Christmas photo shoots so I can at least be in the greeting-card game.  Say hello to Ella the Grinch, and little Alba Who.  They may not be cherub-faced toddlers in matching outfits (who can compete with that?), but you have to admit they do know how to work the camera. Merry Christmas!

Love,
Erin

December 20, 2011

..Christmasy Nails


This one is pretty self explanatory.  Swipe on some red polish, put two pieces of tap on your nails to create the straight and voila! Add some topcoat and you have some festive fingers :)

The Thrill of Brazil - O.P.I. & Wet'n'Wild - The Gold and the Beautiful


December 18, 2011

..Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes


Yup, that's a strawberry cheesecake flavored cupcake.  I'd say it was a hit as every single one was eaten at my work pot-luck par-tay.  I was really conflicted about what flavor to make this year.  There are so many fun Christmas recipes floating around like gingerbread, chocolate peppermint, etc. but I decided that these are just as good of a holiday selection, who doesn't have cheesecake at Christmas?  AND they are red and white, so there you have it!

1. Bake white cake as per box instructions.
2. Stuff cupcakes with good quality strawberry spread.
3. Blend 1.5 Packages of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, 2.5 cups of confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla for frosting.
4. Crush 2 graham crackers (I did three and it ended up being WAY to much) and sprinkle over frosting
5. Top with 1/4 strawberry.






December 16, 2011

..Friday Favorite: Cookie Exchange!


Thanks to my friend Katie for being the best cookie exchange hostess with the mostess!  Everyone's cookies were so delicious and it was so nice to spend time with girlfriends that I miss and don't get to see as often as I'd like.  It was my favorite part of this week.  Check out the spread!  My cookies are the ones with the white chocolate chips and you can find the recipe here (thanks, Georgie!).  Happy Friday.


My loot!
Cozy cookie parties are the best.

December 14, 2011

..Pink Suede Fun


Just a little somethin' to brighten up your Wednesday.

I have been borderline stalking all things bright colored & suede recently and especially love this pretty pink color.  However, the old champagne taste on a beer budget problemo emerges once again!  I really think the budget friendlier option isn't too shabby in this this case!  What do you guys think?

1. Christian Louboutin heels - $610 & Moschino Cheap Chic suede clutch - $390 (Ahhh!)
2. Dolce Vita platform high heels - $199 & J.Crew clutch handbag  - $118 (Better..)
3. Jessica Simpson platform high heels - $90 & Miss Selfridge suede clutch - $44 (Now we’re talkin'..)


December 13, 2011

..Broccoli Cheddar Soup


So the freezing cold weather finally showed up at the last minute here in DC.  We've pretty much been sailing through with decent temperatures up until last week.  Who doesn't love a home-cooked bowl of soup after a chilly walk home?  This broccoli cheddar soup is easy (the recipe is slightly adapted from here) and delish.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 chopped onion
2 tablespoons flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 lb fresh broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrot, shredded and chopped
1/4 tsp nutmeg
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese (doesn’t matter what kind)
8 ounces grated colby jack cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Baguette (for dipping!) - Optional


Directions

1. Sautee onion and garlic in butter for a few minutes then whisk in flour.  
2. Whisk in milk, half & half, chicken stock until it starts to simmer.
3. Add in the broccoli and carrots to the simmering liquid for about 15-20 minutes (until they are nice and tender).
4. Season up your soup with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg.
5. Add in your cheeses and stir until they are melted into the soup and let it simmer (another 10 minutes or so) and your soup is ready to serve.  I guess I should note that you don't have to add all the cheese, you can play with the amounts to suit your tastes, I say the cheesier the better!

December 12, 2011

..Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies


It's recipe day for the "Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

I can't wait to check out my swappers recipes because they were SO good!  I have another cookie exchange this Wednesday and I am definitely going to be trying out one or two to bring to the party :)  Below you will find the recipe for the chocolate chip-peanut butter-pretzel cookies I made.  I had seen pictures of cookies like this floating around and they seemed simple enough (basic choc-chip cookie recipe with pb chips and crushed pretzels thrown in there).

The following blogs were my cookie recipients:

Aislinn from The Toasted Sprinkle
Shannon from Family Bites
Liz from Southern Charm

My cookies came from:
Georgie at Georgie Cakes (you can also see her amazing cookies here)
Erin from Erin's Food Files (her's were so cutely wrapped I almost didn't open the package!)
Kristen from A Healthy Balance (her oatmeal chocolate chunk's didn't stand a chance against Mike.  They were gone in about 5 minutes). 

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
3/4 cup crushed pretzel pieces (I used "snaps")
Sea Salt

Directions
  1. In a one bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugars together then slowly add the egg and vanilla extract.  Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until they are completely combined.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and crushed pretzels then cover and refrigerate for until the dough is firm enough to work with (1 hour or less).
  4. Preheat the oven to 350. Scoop tablespoon size balls of dough onto baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes. 






December 9, 2011

..The Friday Favorite: Holiday Lobby Decor


Oh, HELLO lobby! 

Last Friday I did my usual walk home from the metro to my apartment and THIS is what I walked into!  It made me so happy I whipped out my camera and started snapping pics on the spot (sorry they're a bit blurry).  Didn't they do a great job?  It's like having Santa's workshop just an elevator ride away! I love that they got so into the holiday decor, it almost makes up for the monthly $80 dollar charge to throw my trash down a shoot.  I guess that extra cash goes to the x-mas fund! YAYYY!


Complete with faux-snow!

December 8, 2011

..Pretzel Bites

Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzel Bite

I actually went to a MALL last weekend (which is very rare for me as I do everything online) and got a whiff of those tasty soft pretzels from the token mall food court and needed to have one.  Then I realized this may be something fun to try on my own so I followed this recipe and made regular, garlic, and cinnamon sugar pretzel bites.  They were yummy! Especially in the dipping sauces, the cinnamon sugar in the cream cheese dipping sauce was obviously my favorite.  Mmmm.

Garlic & Salt Pretzel Bite

Cheddar & Cinnamon Cream Cheese Dip


December 6, 2011

..GeorgieCakes.com



As you know, I signed up for the "Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap" a few weeks ago and the swapping is in full swing.  The first batch I got in the mail was from Georgie at GeorgieCakes.com  They were (let me break this down) brown butter-cranberry-maple-shortbread cookies topped with TOASTED white chocolate chips (a.k.a. perfection)! Did I hit the jackpot with this swap or what?  They were AMAZING!  My only complaint is that there were only 12 of them, seriously if someone told me they were poisoned I'd consider eating them anyway.  My life is now complete (and these photos just don't do them justice).  I can't wait for her to post her recipe on the 12th I NEED to try them on my own!

She even threw in a cute little cupcake tatoo! Love this touch!

December 5, 2011

..Makin' a List


This is the Christmas season check-off list that is now taped to a door in our apartment.  It may seem oober cheesy and silly but I feel like this time of year is so special and always flies by too fast for me to do all the things I envision, so this was created to help (check out my awesome doodles).   We've already got the tree decorated but still have many items to complete.  What do you guys want to do this year?

December 2, 2011

..The Friday Favorite: Gorgonzola Steak Sauce


This Gorgonzola sauce that we poured over our steak Tuesday night was the most delicious thing! I would have eaten it like soup if that were acceptable. This entire meal was cooked up by my boyfriend all on his own.  The recipe for his sauce is below.  It's really simple but makes your steak insanely delicious!

Gorgonzola Steak Sauce
Melt 1 1/2 tbs butter in a small sauce pan then add 1/2 cup whole milk. When the milk starts to simmer slowly whisk in 6-8 oz of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese until creamy and smooth.  


December 1, 2011

..Dear Santa

1.       Elizabeth Cole Turquoise Howlite Pyramid Esme Stud  Earrings - $95
2.       KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Edition Countertop Appliance - $300
3.       Anthopology Jitterbug Apron - $32
4.       Ralph Lauren Romance - $67
5.       Classic pavé link bracelet  J.Crew- $118
6.       Intyce Steve Madden Boots - $150
7.       Hunter Original Tall Gloss Pillar Box Red Wellies - $125
8.       Golden Samantha Sequin Dress French Connection - $298
9.       DÉFINICILS PRECIOUS CELLS Lancôme - $29
10.   Invitation clutch in leopard J.Crew - $138
11.   Essie polish - Going Incognito - $8
12.   Keurig® MINI Plus Brewing System - $99

Yup.  It's December.  Can you believe it?  It's also one of my favorite months for the obvious reasons (shopping, Christmas music & baking, decorations).  This is my hypothetical Christmas wish list!  Since I already know what I am actually getting from my folks this year (this awesome baby which is also what I want most eeeep!) I just put together some things that Santa can bring me that would definitely make my Christmas merry!  Twelve things just seemed natural.  What would make you guys jump for joy?

November 30, 2011

..Thankful


Baby Alba
Holiday fluffer-nugget

The last couple of weeks have been a bit challenging for me to say the least.  There are things happening on all fronts on my life that are stressful and mostly out of my control, which I admit is hard for me to deal with as I very much like to be in control.  To make this week extra crappy my car was towed and ticketed for some sticker I needed to update which set me back roughly 800 bucks (which totally bums be out right before Christmas shopping), and I forgot my metro card this morning so I had to go put money in the machine and was late to work because I missed the train I was trying to catch. Grr. Grr. Grr.  Oh and GRRR!

Since this funk that I have been in is making me withdrawn and grumpy which is not very characteristic of me I decided I should make a list of things that make me happy/I am thankful for.  I know I'm late on this since everyone else did this at Thanksgiving but hey, better late than never, right?  I also made an AWESOME Christmas season bucket list that will come at a later date (instant mood booster).
  1. Family (especially siblings).  Although you are far away (and sometimes drive me crazy) I love you.
  2. My health (although I really need to take this more seriously starting after the holidays and get my butt to the gym).
  3. My DC family, aka having so many truly wonderful lifelong friends, a blessing which I have recently realized not everyone has. 
  4. Mike, who loves me.
  5. My little (or not so little) kitty cat, Ella, who makes me smile every day.
  6. Alba for making Mike smile every day.
  7. Having a job, this I feel thankful for more and more each week.
  8. My little blog for being my outlet for creativity that keeps me sane and balanced.
  9. Chocolate, cheese, & avocados.
  10. Hair straighteners (Amen).
Happy humpday,

Erin

November 28, 2011

..Spinach-Zucchini Lasagna


Ever have one of those days where you see tons of yummy foods on Pinterest.com when you are hungry (BAD idea - like grocery shopping while hungry) and feel your stomach start growling with starving agony as you re-pin your heart out? Well I decided I was going to put my foot down and actually MAKE something I found on there. This simply DELECTABLE spinach-zucchini lasagna was my choice. You can find the recipe here.  I did vary it slightly by skipping the pre-packaged onion-chive cream cheese and just making my own (1 package cream cheese, chopped fresh chives, and finely chopped sauteed onion seen below), and I switched out one zucchini for a yellow squash.  The end result was a perfect Sunday night entree.

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