We hear all the time from the fashionistas of the world that we only need a few basic pieces, and our wardrobes will have endless possibilities. Yeah right. I collect clothes like hoarders collect free trash. I LOVE shopping, I love having a full closet I can just stare at. However, this means I always have a too-full closet, overflowing drawers, and clothes seemingly decorating my floors (but really–how do clothes end up in the kitchen?!). Maybe there is such a thing as excessive clothing, but I really hope not.
I decided to see if my favorite work dress could really be used for more than just work. This dress is just a little black sheath dress from Gap. I bought it years ago, but I found a similar version at Ann Taylor for your purchasing pleasure. I wear it all the time for work/grown-up events (engagement parties, dinners, yawnyawnyawn), so it seemed like the perfect piece to use. I took three different occasions: a museum trip with my family, a more casual day at work, and a night out with the girls for Whit’s birthday. Let’s see what I did.
Outfit #1: Museums with the Fam
Chambray Shirt (Ann Taylor Loft)
Tights (Amazon–I love Capezio tights; they last forever)
Bobble Necklace (Eastern Market)
Black Flats (Tory Birch)
Yellow Suede handbag (Hand-me-down from my boss)
I loved this outfit because it was easy, carefree, and yet I didn’t look homeless. It was also nice because I could just take off that chambray shirt and be dinner ready.
Outfit #2: A casual day at work
Gold Studded Belt (Betsy Johnson)
Black Flats (Tory Birch)
Gold Ring (Goodwill find!)
Gold bracelets (B Thrifty and Off Fifth)
Black quilted jacket (Burberry)
Cross body small black purse (Dooney and Burke)
This Burberry jacket is my favorite jacket ever. I love it more than I could love a child (not a joke). As you will also notice, I love to wear gold. I will always try to bling out, and this is my way of blinging at work. That studded belt is fun and edgy, but with the dress/flats/jacket combo it tones it down enough to be work appropriate. This is basically my fall/spring wardrobe.
Outfit 3: Whit’s Birthday Dinner
Gold Studded Belt (Betsy Johnson)
Gold Sparkly Pumps (Enzo Angiolini)
Gold bracelets (B Thrifty and Off Fifth)
Black A-line skirt (Ann Taylor Loft)
I’d thought about pairing a dress with a skirt for awhile, but never did it (if you’re wondering what I sit around thinking about…you’re definitely in for some disappointment as I am sitting around thinking about pairing skirts with dresses). I love this outfit, because it accentuates those shoes. My grandmother bought me those shoes. I’m not joking. Best. Grandma. Ever. When I go out with the girls, I want to sparkle, and that night I sparkled (but not more than Whit, because it was her 4th birthday party…of the week…and she outshone even the smores pie).
What amazes me about these three outfits is that it’s just 4 pieces of clothing overall: the dress, the shirt, the jacket, and the skirt, but I could get 3 very different outfits out of it. This is useful when traveling, on a budget, or when you have very little closet space.
Try taking one piece and basing a few different outfits off of it. We’d love to know how you did–so tell us in the comments or shoot us a message!
WE ARE CALIFORNIANS!!!
That shout alone should let you know three things about us: 1. Snow is a place, not a weather pattern. 2. Yes, we WOULD rather be at the beach. 3. We L-O-V-E In ‘n’ Out.
Now, In ‘n’ Out is pretty strict about where they’ll build their restaurants. In the foreseeable future, there is just no way we’re getting one within 1000 miles (and we probably wouldn’t drive more than 500 for a burger–but we would def drive 500 miles for an In ‘n’ Out burger if that were an option). Luckily, some crazed chef did a serious breakdown of an animal style double-double. Here is the link. That man is a saint.
With recipe in hand, we tracked down all the necessary ingredients.
What you’re looking at is:
-half pound burger patties (the recipe calls for 2 quarter lb burger patties, but we’re rebels)
-a head of lettuce
-mayo (for sauce–2 tablespoons)
-sweet relish (for sauce–2 tablespoons)
-ketchup (for sauce–1 tablespoon)
In ‘n’ Out Animal style burgers have a few components that make them different than a regular In ‘n’ Out cheeseburger. The one that really stands out when you take a bite, though, are the caramelized onions. Oh my. Those onions…they are perfection.
Now, the recipe says that the onions take a while to cook. A while? A while is the length of a sitcom. This was forever. It really should say, “the onions will take forever.” But when we want something, we put in the hours. Hours. 3 hours. Not joking. Start the onions EARLY. We thought this would be a lunch meal, but it ended up being dinner, because of these onions. However, let us say two words: WORTH IT!
So! Now that you’ve got your six onions in hand, chop ’em up. We stuck ’em in the food processor after chopping. And LG left quite a few on the floor, too.
After chopping/food processing the onions stick ’em in a pan with some oil over medium heat (let’s be honest, we started them on high heat and then realized that impatience didn’t make them cook more quickly–it just burned the bottom ones). After about an hour, pour 3/4 cups of water over the onions to “deglaze” the pan. We’re not chefs–that’s just a word the chef used. But it works, so whatever.
When the onions FINALLY start turning brown, turn the heat down a bit. Get up from your game of Wii Monopoly about once every hour to deglaze the pan again. You’ll end up doing it 3 times.
No joke. Here is what you’re left with at the end. It’s delicious. It’s fragrant. And it’s about 1/6 of what you started with. This is the bowl we used to move the onions (one at a time) to the pan. They REALLY cook down.
So, now you have your onion jam. Next step: make your special sauce.
So, this is where we thought the recipe guy got a little nuts. You broke down the exact amount of ketchup, mayo, and sweet relish of the sauce? I bet they don’t even try that hard at the restaurant. However, we thank him, because it’s delicious. The special sauce is easy: take the 2 tablespoons sweet relish, 2 tablespoons mayo, and 1 tablespoon ketchup and mix them. Easy peasy.
Now it’s time for burgers!!!
Whit did our burgers (LG is scared of raw meat…unless it’s fish. Weirdo). She added some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the meat for taste. Then the magic happens: mustard. What? Mustard. Whaaa? Mustard. For real. We’ve more or less decided anything cooked on a pan should be cooked with mustard. What? Mustard. Whaaa? Mustard.
SO! After seasoning, we threw the burgers in a skillet. Then mustard was added to the top. THEN we flipped the burger. The smell of that mustard cooking is so good. SOOO GOOD! Then throw some cheese on top and let it melt. Once your burger is cooked through (please make sure your burger is cooked through) it is ready to go!
We won’t run down burger assembly–we’re assuming you can assemble a burger. We wrapped them in lettuce ’cause LG-the-weirdo doesn’t eat carbs.
The burgers were AMAZING! We made ours with thicker patties instead of two patties, and it worked just fine.
Really, what makes it great are: the onions, cooking the burger with mustard, and the special sauce. We figured it out! And yet, we will definitely still pay for In ‘n’ Out every time we’re back home.
We’re giving this a HELLA INVOLVED rating, because the onions took forever.
We are Central Valley natives–we can’t even claim Southern Californian, much less south-of-the-Mason-Dixon Southern. At Taste of the South, however, everyone gets to be Southern for one night. Taste of the South is an annual soirée to benefit a number of Southern charities. It’s one of our favorite events of the year! Each state provides local food and beverage (and swag!!!).
One of the best parts of TOTS is getting dressed up. I am a hair person: I love any opportunity to play with hair. Here are a couple up-dos I did for the event.
Whitney has shoulder length, thick hair. And when I say thick, I mean thick. I may have a quarter of the hair she has. If I had Whit’s hair growing talents, I’d go full Rapunzel. I digress. This style looks complicated, but it’s not. That’s the best type. Really tight up-dos aren’t super in right now (except the beloved sock bun), so I went for a look that seemed polished, but not overdone.
I started by putting tight spiral curls in 6 layers of Whit’s hair.
Then I ran my fingers through each curl.
Then I pinned the curls into what I’ve started calling a curl-hawk. I made sure that none of the curls were pinned down too tightly. Next I gathered the hair at the bottom of her neck into a low-ponytail and pinned it under.
Next, I tackled our friend Leslie’s hair. Leslie had already curled her hair. All I did was a low topsy-turvy ponytail. Then I pinned the bottom of the ponytail over the topsy-turvy loop. Easy, simple, and super elegant. This took, maybe 5 minutes.
Remember, when getting ready properly you MUST take all the obligatory pics!!!
Like the group shot:
Or the “awkward prom” pic:
Or the “stacked friend” pic:
Now you’re ready to have fun!
Thanks to Leslie for the invite/ticket/letting me borrow a cocktail dress. It ended up being somewhat of a girls’ night, which just made it that much more fun. TOTS was such a spectacular event! Congrats to the committees for their hard work! If you’re interested in going next year, check out the Taste of the South website. We promise, you will have a fabulous time and support some great causes.
Here we go! After much hype (as I’m sure you’re all hyped up!) our blog is about to launch! For our first post, here are a few things about us. Soon, you will be able to enjoy our Pinteresting (and our Pinteresting fails), the recipes that are rocking our world’s, some fashion fun, some new ‘dos, and reviews on books, movies, and events. We hope you enjoy our blog as much as much as we’ve enjoyed making it!
Hola! I’m LG. I’m a California girl in Washington, DC. I spent 11 years of my life in Fresno, including college. I came out to DC to get out of Fresno, but of course just found myself another Fresnan to cling to. I work in government affairs. I’ve got a giant boyfriend who we call Big Sug. If I’ve had a terrible day Big Sug takes me shopping. I would not call myself a fashionista, but I do an OK job of getting myself dressed in the morning. I rarely leave the house without makeup. If I’ve had a mediocre day or it’s a weekend, I’m doing crafts. I am a short sentence writer, because I was always reamed in school for my run-on sentences. I take very little seriously. I am often mistaken for Snooki.
Hey! I’m Whitney. Until 3 years ago, I’d never lived anywhere other than the beautiful Golden State. And then I decided to pack up and move to the other side of the country, just because I could. I adore DC but I had to find another Californian to hang out with to make it truly amazing. I used to work for the federal government but since my boss retired, I’m searching for my next gig. I’m single and frequently tell LG and Big Sug tales of my ridiculous social life, in exchange for rides to Costco and home cooked meals. I’m a t-shirt, jeans and ponytail girl, but I love to trick LG into dressing up me and my hair and making me look fancy on occasion. I’m obsessed with make up but frequently can’t be bothered to put on anything but mascara before I run out the door – usually 15 minutes late. I clearly have no problem with my use of run-on sentences.