Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Toast for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday.  I love that it's a day devoted to giving thanks and celebrated by eating lots of delicious food and spending time with family.  So because it's my favorite holiday, this post is a double feature with an outfit post and a baking post.

This year (and every year), I am thankful for so many things.  Most people take for granted the fact that they get a holiday off of work.  But those working in medicine know that no holiday is guaranteed.  So I am thankful that I not only got Thanksgiving off, but I was also able use some vacation days and take the whole week off, affording me plenty of time to fly back to Michigan and spend the holiday with my family.  I'm thankful to have ended long distance with Mr. J and we are able to enjoy our lives without having to worry about basics like food and shelter.  I'm thankful for my friends, who have been extremely supportive the past few months, and to everyone who reached out to me after my last post.  And most of all, I am thankful for my health and my family, both of which I often times take for granted.  

So Cheers! Kanpai! Salud! Skal!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

'Cheers' Sweatshirt: J. Crew. Chambray shirt: J. Crew. Jeweled bib necklace: J. Crew factory (old). 
Distressed jeans: Dylan George 'Lucy Low Rise Skinny Jean' (last seen here). Herringbone oxforts: TOMS 'Cordones'

Whenever I'm home, I always make time to see my best friends from high school.  We scattered across the country after high school and by some miracle, we all ended up back in Michigan after college.  These girls kept me sane during medical school.  We always met up at the same coffee shop and would sit and chat for hours.  We started a birthday celebration tradition and stood in each other's weddings.  One of our oldest traditions is a holiday cookie baking extravaganza, when we would bake a bunch of different cookies, place them in decorative bags, and distribute to friends and family.  I hadn't been home for any of the winter holidays in a long time, so this visit, we decided to bake cookies while we caught up...for old times' sake.  Instead of baking 4 or 5 different cookies, we settled on an autumn-inspired candy corn sugar cookie.  We were so busy catching up, that I unfortunately didn't get to take many pictures.  So for the full tutorial (with better pictures), you can go here.

We used the sugar recipe below, which I totally messed up and put in regular granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar (because I was so busy chatting).  Oops.  The end result still turned out soft, sweet, and delicious.  We sprinkled some with sanding sugar, dipped others in white chocolate topped with white sprinkles, and the rest we just left plain.

Sugar Cookies

1.5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Mix together the first 5 ingredients.  Stir in by hand the dry ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To make regular sugar cookies, divide chilled dough and roll to 1/4" thickness.  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes.

To make candy corn cookies, follow the instructions here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Killer Heels

I've been extremely behind in blogging as I've packed, moved, and partially renovated our new condo in the last month.  It's been hectic to say the least, and I most definitely would not have survived it without Dr. S by my side.  We are living amongst boxes and our kitchen cabinets still don't have doors on them, but we are thankful to have at least unpacked a good amount of our things.

I wore this outfit over a month ago (time flies!) to a dinner at Bestia with one of our favorite couples.  The shoes are not the most practical heels, but I fell in love with them when I spotted them at Wasteland in Santa Monica.  Plus, they were a steal for $75!   

Contrast sleeved textured shirt: Zara.   Pleated sheer skirt: Anthropologie.  Clutch/Ipad case: Kate Spade.  Sunglasses: STUNglasses.  Necklace: Forever21.  Multi-strap calf hair heels: Proenza Schouler.

Sunday, November 10, 2013



The past couple of weeks have been really rough.  I was completely defeated and broken.  There were days where I could muster only enough energy to be barely functional.  With the help of my doting husband, loving family, and supportive friends (and some retail therapy), I have been slowly piecing myself back together, and each day I'm feeling stronger and more like me.  I've realized that bad things happen and when they do, it's okay to feel bad for yourself.  And it also took this big loss for me to really appreciate all of the good that I have in my life.

It's only fitting that my slow return to normalcy coincides with my and Mr. J's 14 year dating anniversary.  Yes, that's right…dating anniversary.  May 12th may have been when we became husband and wife but November 10th will always be the day that we became us.  So with something to celebrate this weekend, I started wearing real clothes again (instead of my depressing uniform from the past few weeks, which consisted of scrubs, yoga pants, and leggings).  These pants were the perfect transition piece - soft and stretchy like leggings but the thick ponte material with seams and a zipper closure (but still with an elastic waistband) made them more appropriate for social settings.

Our love is the same age as a rebellious teenager.  At 14, it already feels so complete and fulfilling...I can't wait to see what it's like when it becomes a senior citizen.  Happy Anniversary Mr. J!

Owl print blouse: J. Crew. Ponte knit pants: J. Crew 'Pixie' Pant. Leather jacket: Muubaa 'Tehmi' (dip-dyed version here). Jeweled necklace: J. Crew (old). Earrings: via StitchFix. Wood-heeled pump: YSL (old).

Thursday, November 7, 2013

DIY Camera Strap Cover

During Sarah's visit to the Bay Area, we wanted to squeeze in a DIY project.  We were looking for something quick, practical, and easy for Sarah to take on the plane back to LA.  Enter this no-sew DIY camera strap cover!  And did we mention that it was reallreally easy and also very inexpensive?

We picked up just half a yard of this patterned fabric, a roll of Stitch Witchery, and a yard of fusible velcro at our local Jo-Ann Fabric.  In addition to that, you only need a pair of fabric scissors (or any pair of sharp scissors), an iron, and an ironing board, all of which we already had at home.  We didn't even use measuring tape!

Using our camera straps as templates, we cut the fabric the length of our straps with an extra 1/2-1" on either side for hemming and about 3x the width of our straps, again with an extra 1/2-1" on either side for a clean hem.  We used the Stitch Witchery according to package instructions to create an even, no-sew hem and finally laid down the Velcro strips to fasten and secure the strap cover.

This was a quick and affordable way to personalize our camera straps that took less than an hour!  We still had plenty of time to meet up with friends, catch up on girl talk, and of course, eat lots of good eats!

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