Monday, May 26, 2014

Neon Skirt at 37 Weeks

Towards the end of my third trimester, I was getting sick of my maternity wardrobe.  You can only wear the same black pair of stretchy pants so many times.  I dove back into my pre-maternity wardrobe again for this outfit.  This neon embroidered skirt has a nice elastic waistband that could stretch over my belly.  It was also perfect since I wore this outfit to eat a delicious meal at Faith and Flower, a newer restaurant in downtown LA.  The elastic waistband allowed me to indulge in no less than three desserts.  Such a beautiful restaurant too!

White blazer: Zara.  Maternity black t-shirt: Old Navy.  Neon embroidered skirt: Anthropologie 'Electric Vines Skirt' (old).  Silver necklace: Shopaholic Sample Sales.  Black and white clutch: Stephanie Johnson.  Silver mirrored wedges: Christian Louboutin.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Work Outfit Series: Under My White Coat #6 (Maternity Edition, 37 Weeks)

I have always been drawn to loose, flowy tops (Carolyn has always described my style as a little boho), which ended up being fortuitous since I was able to fit into many of them well into my third trimester.  I used to tuck this silk leopard print shirt into pencil skirts and slim cut pants during my pre-pregnancy days.  During pregnancy, I've chosen to wear it loose and untucked, but somehow the silk material allows for it to still appear professional.  

Here I paired them with my J.Crew Minnie trousers in the maternity cut, which have these discreet side elastic panels.  I'll definitely be wearing them post-pregnancy too!  These were a bit of a maternity-splurge, as my general philosophy throughout this pregnancy has been to spend as little as possible since I'd only be wearing these items for a few months.  And for those that are curious, I bought them in my pre-pregnancy J.Crew size around week 14 during a 30% off sale, and they fit me throughout my second and third trimester.  I wish they were just an inch longer as they sometimes appear a little too cropped, but for the most part, they're a higher quality work pant that you can easily wear multiple times a week.

Silk leopard-print tie shirt: French Connection (old).  Black trouser: J.Crew Minnie Maternity.  Handbag: Fendi Medium '2Jours Elite' in Dove (birthday gift from Dr. S!).  Studded flats: Stewart Weitzman 'Nubeads' Flats (on sale!).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lemon Cream Tart

I obviously can't get enough of lemons (witness here and here), and here is yet another lemon-based recipe!  Yes, I have an addiction.  

If you've been to San Francisco and haven't been to Tartine Bakery, you are truly missing out.  Yes, there's always a line.  But those buttery almond croissants and morning buns are truly worth the 15, sometimes 45 minute wait.  They also make a stellar lemon cream tart that's also to-die-for.  Here's my version below that I brought to a girls' night get-together.  This time I used a seriously time-saving frozen crust from Trader Joe's and adorned that lemony goodness with fresh raspberries.

Lemon Cream Tart (from Tartine) makes a single 9" tart


1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 pre-baked tart shell at room temperature


Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.

Combine the lemon juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely in the pan above the level of water.  Make sure you keep stirring or else you were cook the eggs into hard little pieces!

Place the bowl over the saucepan and whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180° F on a thermometer, about 10 to 12 minutes.  It should thicken to the point that your whisk leaves a trail through the curd.  Remove the bowl from over the water and let cool to 140° F, stirring from time to time to release the heat.

While the mixture is cooling, cut butter into 1 tablespoon chunks. When the cream is ready, pour it into a countertop blender (or I used a food processor). With the blender running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece. The cream will be pale yellow and opaque.

Pour the cream into your pre-baked tart shell and cover with plastic wrap.  Cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to chill for several hours.  Once cooled, place fresh raspberries over the entire tart, and dust with powdered sugar immediately before serving.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Striped in Chattanooga

Between the craziness at work and feeling a bit under the weather, I have not been carrying my weight on the blog.  Fortunately, Sarah has been pretty prolific as she documents her last few weeks of pregnancy.  We have quite a bit going on over the next couple of months, so I'll try to be better about blogging and sharing with you!

This past weekend, we headed to Chattanooga to celebrate our cousin's wedding.  Mr. J is one of 18 cousins and family events are always a great time filled with singing and laughter.  It had been almost 7 years since the last family wedding and everyone was all too happy to get together again for this joyous occasion.


 Striped silk dress: Kate Spade New York 'Britta Dress'. Nude pumps: Christian Louboutin 'New Simple'
Clutch: Celine (vintage). Earrings: Banana Republic (old).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Neon Brights at 35 Weeks

Throughout my pregnancy, I've gravitated towards black.  It's easy, slimming, and matches everything.  As the weather warms up and all my non-pregnant friends are wearing fun, colorful spring clothing, I find myself longing for some color.  I found this loose shift dress in the back of my closet and was happy to see that it still fit (barely!).  Throw on some equally bright accessories, and I had the perfect outfit to bring me out of the doldrums of boring black maternity wear. 

Purple dress: Jigsaw (old, here's one with similar lines).  Embroidered handbag: from a street market in Thailand.  Neon pink sandals: Zara (old, these neon Valentino ones are super cute).

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pea and Mushroom Risotto

Canned peas have a bit of an icky connotation.  They're mushy and tasteless, often accompanied by also mushy canned carrots and onions in a bland casserole-type dish.  Frozen peas are a significant improvement from the canned variety, as the sweetness is often preserved.  Fresh peas are by far the best, but sadly require extra time for shucking.  Lucikly, Trader Joe's comes to the rescue once again, providing pre-shucked fresh peas, a perfect time saving ingredient.    

I was in the mood for a rich, creamy dish, and this risotto perfectly satisfied my craving.  I even tricked myself into thinking I was being healthy by adding the fresh peas and mushrooms.  Throw in some vegetables and that offsets the butter and cheese, right?

Pea and Mushroom Risotto
Recipe here

8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 -ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms and garlic. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Maternity Staple: Basic Black Legging at 33 Weeks

One of the most essential maternity staples is the basic black legging.  They're perfect for layering under dresses (as they are comfier than tights) and longer tunics that cover the bump.  I highly suggest purchasing an actual maternity legging rather than any-old legging, because they are cut to accommodate the growing belly.  As with most maternity pants, they come in two varieties: those that are lower cut that have elastic under the bump, and those with a large panel that pulls up over the bump, right under the chest.  

A good friend gave me these amazing leggings from Hatch, an ingenious line of clothing designed to fit women through pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and post-pregnancy.  I absolutely loved these and wore them at least twice a week (thanks Jeanyoung!) from when I was in my first trimester through my third trimester.  I loved how opaque they were, and the lycra material was nice and thick.  I will admit though, that once hitting the late third trimester, they were a litttle tight on the waistband creating more pelvic pressure than I really wanted.  Another great option is this legging from Ingrid & Isabel (maker of my other favorite maternity item, the BellaBand).  I tried these on in the store, and they were suuuuper comfy.  They pulled up easily over my third trimester belly too!

Outfit 1: Trenchoat: Zara (old).  Gray striped maternity dress: Old Navy (tank version here, black version seen in this post).  Leggings: 'The Premium Legging' by Hatch.  Suede booties: AllSaints 'Hessian' Boots.

Outfit 2: Tunic: Rosie Pope 'Alison Blouse' in Wishbone print (spring version here).  Leggings: Hatch.  Necklace: Vintage optic lens.  Sneaker wedges: Ash 'Bowie'

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Breakfast at Tiffany's Bridal Shower for Jen

A few weeks back, when I was 33 weeks pregnant and much more full of energy, we threw a bridal shower for one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jen.  We go all the way back to the 2nd grade, and for as long as I have known her, she has always loved Audrey Hepburn.  So what better choice than a Breakfast at Tiffany's based theme?  Jen was the mastermind behind my own amaaazing bridal shower (featured here), so I felt the pressure to make sure we used every last drop of our creative juices to pull together a fabulous fete fit for such a talented bride.  And of course, this party would never have come together were it not for the hard working bridesmaids (many of whom put up with my anal-retentiveness and need for perfection).  Thanks, guys!

Warning: picture heavy post ahead!


 Breakfast at Tiffany's-esque sunglasses for everyone, and napkins wrapped in pearl necklaces.

Cronuts and scones!

 Honey panna cotta.

 Heart garland, seen in this post.

 Paper cups decorated with LBDs and ribbons.

 Who doesn't love maple bacon with pecans?

 The beautiful bride (and me)!  Love her dress!

 Guests posted notes of advice to the bride.

 And lastly, Cracker Jacks as the perfect favor for a Breakfast at Tiffany's shower!

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