Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween

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In the spirit of getting ready for Halloween this year, here are our favorite non-superslutty  Halloween costumes from the past few years:

1. Wasp
Dress like a bee with giant pearls, red lipstick, high heels, big glasses and a chignon – Wasp (Bee) + WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant)
2. Spider
Tight black clothing and then create your “extra” legs by filling sheer black nylons with black trash bags. use fishing line to create the joints and to attach them together. Attach fishing line (or thread) to your arms so that when you move your arms your “other arms” move too. Bonus – create a “web” on your back using cotton or threads.
3. Dia Day Los Muertos
White and black facepaint to create a skeleton like face. Big flowers in your hair and beaded jewelry.  Long gypsy like skirt and shirt. Puffipaint skeleton outfit underneath (mine was glow in the dark)
4. Referee
Black and white striped outfit. Carry around red and yellow index cards and “card” people for party fouls.
5. Mad Men character
So I actually wore this for my Mad Men Christmas Party, but it would be great as a Halloween costume as well. 50s/60s clothing, bouffont hairdo and big pearls.
6.  Q Tip
Buy a white hat from someplace cheap and hot glue cotton balls on it and on white socks to wear over your shoes. Dress in all white. Oh! I also glued Q Tips to some old earrings I didn’t care about to have Q Tip earrings. Gross factor – Fiance put yellow and brown watercolors on parts of his to be a “dirty” Q Tip. G-Ross.
6. Paper Doll
This wasn’t my costume, but my BFF’s and it was AWESOME. Plus all you need is some giant cardboard, some markers, a slip to wear underneath and some serious creativity.
7. Mullet
Business up front. Party in the back. Go to Good Will and pick up super cheap men’s slacks, button down shirt, tie, Hawaiian shirt and board shorts. Cut along the side seams and sew the board shorts to the back of the slacks and the Hawaiian shirt to the back of the button down. It takes people a minute to “get it”, but once they do everyone loves it.

~ c&a


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White(?) Chicken Chili

Speaking of soup, last night I made Jenna’s highly praised Creamy White Chicken Chili.  While it was really delicious and hearty, it was neither creamy nor white.  I had no sour cream on hand and so I used Greek Yogurt instead, but it curdled.  Help, what did I do wrong?!

My sister made it, taking no shortcuts, and it came out beautifully, no colorful autumnal adornments needed.  Moral of the story: sometimes you have to trust the experts, and the fats.

True Creamy White Chicken Chili via phone pic


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Yesterday I was on the Crate & Barrel website looking for (insertsomethingpracticalsomyfiancedoesn’tthinkiwasholidayshoppingalready) when I came across these for $22.95.

Crate & Barrel Reindeer Stocking Hook

So stinkin’ cute, right?

Today I was at Target buying crafts for my super crafty Halloween costume and I came across these for $10!!!!

Target Reindeer Stocking Holders

They are quite heavy, so they’ll be able to hold even the heaviest of stockings, which is good for me since I’ve been very good this year and plan on having a pretty full stocking 🙂

Now I just need to wait until December to put them up…

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What is it about girls and pumpkin?  I’ve lost count of the number of times I have overheard “ooooo, pumpkin spice latte!” on the street this fall.  Pumpkin beer, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin tamales, pumpkin this and that— the world of females goes crazy for pumpkin each fall, and I’m running at the front of the pack.  Why is it justso delicious!

Last week I threw together this pumpkin soup with ingredients I had on hand at home and, sure enough, when I brought some to work, I attracted a crew of my female coworkers… “mmm, pumpkin?! That looks goooood!”

This is a pantry soup:

With the addition of spices and staples you may have on hand:



(ah, adventures of big dreams in a tiny kitchen…)






Spicy Curry in a Hurry Pumpkin Soup

1 can cannellini beans

1 can Pumpkin puree

½ can crushed tomatoes

~ 1.5 cups Veggie broth

2 mini onions (or ½ a medium onion), diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ – 1 whole curly long red cayenne pepper, depending on your personal heat index, diced

1 T pumpkin spice

1T curry powder

S + P

¼ C coconut milk

Cook onion and garlic in coconut oil until translucent.  Add diced pepper and spices, cook for a minute more.  Add veggie broth and stir, scraping up browned bits.  Add beans, pumpkin puree and crushed tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and then simmer 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Let the soup cool enough to ladle it into a blender or food processer and blend until smooth.  Be aware—blending liquid that is too hot can cause the top explode off of your blender, so let it cool and work in small batches until soup is blended through.

Drizzle coconut in once blended.

Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk, a dash of cayenne and chopped green onions as garnish.

~ a

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What Stays and What Goes

Image from The Sartorialist


Here are my tips for going through your closet and deciding what stays and what goes….

  • I do not subscribe to the “if you haven’t worn it in the past 6 months throw it away” theory for a few reasons – 1. Having some amazing statement pieces (dresses etc) that you only wear twice a year is a great idea. 2. Styles come and go, but well made pieces are forever. I bought some tasselled loafers my freshman year at Trinity College, but I only wore them a few times because the look was way too preppy for me. Well on Friday I wore them with skinny jeans, a red and blue striped shirt and some lipstick and the look was TOTALLY different from how I wore them 9 years ago. I finally figured out how to style them to work for me.
  • If something has sentimental value – KEEP IT! A worn in sweater you stole from your dad, a funky piece of jewelry you bought abroad… these sentimental items are worth the space in your closet because once you throw something away, you ain’t gettin’ it back.
  • Same goes for something you love, but your friends/magazines/trends don’t. The photograph at the top of this post was posted by The Sartorialist a year or so ago and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. He posted this and basically said that while this look isn’t “on trend” right now, it is obviously her look. And nothing looks better than being creative and confident in your choices. (Though now the 70s ARE in style, so maybe she was just ahead of the curve..)

Favorite Blogs for fashion inspiration

  1. The Sartorialist
  2. Refinery29
  3. Saucy Glossie
  4. Lucky Magazine
  5. What I Wore
  6. Kendi Everyday
  7. J Crew (the lookbook)
  8. Zara (the lookbook)
  9. Pinterest (Search “fashion”, “women outfits”, “wear to work” etc)

~ c

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Because we all have to give up some of our clothes at some point in our lives...

This weekend I am doing a serious overhaul of my wardrobe. Throwing away ratty shirts, giving away things that don’t fit and organizing what I do love so that I wear it more often. Here is my plan of attack:
  1. Friday Night 
    Going through my entire wardrobe piece by piece. Once you have the basic piles set out (throw away, give away, sell and keep), ask a friend (or a sister) to help you make the tough decisions. For instance, I have a pair of beautiful heels that are just slightly too big for me. I’ve had them for 6 years and have only worn them out of my house ONCE because I walk out of them. Time to bite the bullet and let them go.
  2. Saturday Morning
    Head to the tailor (which I’ve been putting off for weeks despite the fact that they are literally in my building on the ground floor). I have 4 pencil skirts (black, pinstripe, magenta and mustard) that all hit me at an awkward spot below my knees. Time to shorten them to J Crew worthy length.
  3. Saturday – Sunday 
    Check out my favorite fashion websites, blogs and magazines for inspiration. When I see a look I like, PinIt, bookmark it, print it, create a collage.. anything! This way when you are looking at your closet thinking you have nothing to wear you can have inspiration at your fingertips.

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DC Wine Week: DC Wine Bars

Sometimes you want a glass of wine and your own lAzEbOi chair, and sometimes you want to put on some red lipstick and have someone else wash your wineglass.   In honor of DC Wine Week, here are my favorite places to go out and get a glass of vino around the area:

Photo taken from washingtonian.com/ Photo taken by Brian Liu/ToolboxDC

Cork (1720 14th Street, NW)- A true wine bar.  Exposed brick and little outside two-toppers, a knowledgeable and pleasant wait staff.  This would make for an intimate date spot or a perch from which to people-watch with your sister over a bottle of dry rose.  (Guess which situation I’m still waiting on.)*


Photo taken from Estadio website

Estadio (1520 14th Street, NW)—a tapas restaurant with fantastic food and all Spanish wines.  They serve their vino in stemless whiskey glasses which makes it feel homey.


Photo taken from Bodega Website

Bodega (3116 M Street, NW)— This tapas restaurant is smack in the middle of M Street, a place near and dear to my heart and my work.  This is one of only a handful of restaurants I’d recommend right in the heart of Georgetown, because it is neither mediocre or a chain, like many M Street eateries.  It has a great happy hour and I come here for the sangria because it is chock-full of fruit and not syrupy sweet.


Photos taken from Cheesetique website. Photography courtesy of John Herring.

Cheesetique (2411 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, VA) — this place needs to get a better name, as it sounds like a spin-off of Cracker Barrel.  It is actually a super cute little shop that sells things like slate cheeseboards and spiced quince preserves and has a restaurant in the back.  I once went here with a wine-and-cheese-loving friend and it was so fun to have the opportunity to actually test out lauded “wine-and-cheese” pairings.



Photo taken from 1905 website

1905 (1905 9th Street, NW) You might feel as though you are trespassing into someone’s apartment, but once you emerge from the staircase you’ll understand why 1905 is so special. The brick walls and draped ceilings makes this secret spot incredibly intimate (and dare I say, even sexy). Plus the wine list is extensive and the bartender puts a lot of thought into making sure you like what he’s pouring for you.**


Photo taken from DC Wine Week's Facebook Page. Photo by Justin Gutwein.

Vinoteca (1940 11th Street, NW) A wine bar with bocce. Do I really have to say more? With indoor and outdoor seating, the servers are knowledgable and friendly. Plus for a really special time, bring an unsuspecting friend on a Sunday night when you’ll be treated to a flamenco show as well. Plus all Spanish and South America wines are half price! Olé!

Happy wine-ing!

~c & a

*Going here tonight to celebrate Allie’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLIE!!!
**Shout out to our friends Liz and Tim for bringing us to one of their favorite spots.

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