Saturday, July 30, 2011

Midwest Must-haves {Guest Post}

There is no better way to spend a Midwestern summer than on the lake. The Midwest is taken over by humidity and heat, so the lighter of clothes you wear the better.  Unlike the preppiness of the East Coast and the boho style of the West, the Midwest takes on a much more realxed and simple style of clothing for the summer months. For my summer wardrobe I depend on a variety of different stores, two in particular: J.Crew and the Minnesota-native Target. Both provide simple clothes that can be used for layering. Layering is important because of the roller coaster heat waves we often experience here. Midwestern style relies heavily on simple pieces like a plain t-shirt and basic jean shorts; to make these easy pices more exciting I often pair them with a fun, brightly printed piece. This summer I'm really into tribal/Native American-inspired prints along with my personal favorite - animal print. Further, I love anything oversized (like the Free People sweater you see below). Flowy pieces like these are perfect for summer, whether you pair them with jeans for day or a tight skirt for night.   

The goal for Midwestern style is dressing simply but fun. Pair something plain with a fun pattern and make your outfit look effortless. For the perfect accessories look no further than fun sunglasses or a Twins baseball hat. Always have a swimsuit and sunscreen on hand. You never know when you'll jet off to the lake.

My key pieces for staying cool during a Midwestern summer:

  1. Mix & match Target bikinis - lazy days on the lake means lots of swimwear!
  2. A Twins baseball hat to represent the homeboys
  3. Pullover sweater
  4. Day-to-night dress
  5. Target striped T
  6. Colorful statement necklace
  7. Sperry wedges
  8. J.Crew flat sandals
  9. Basic denim shorts
  10. Native American-inspired T
  11. Barbour rain jacket - you never know when you'll get caught in a torrential thunderstorm.
  12. Colorful wayfarer sunglasses
  13. Eclectic statement necklace
  14. Minnetonka moccasins - living on Lake Minnetonka means these are a wardrobe staple for weekends. 
I hope you enjoy my "Midwest Must-Haves!"


*     *     *

About this post: After high school, my close group of best friends scattered across the country. We're still close as ever, but whether it be the West Coast, East Coast, Midwest or the South, we're all over the place. As I've been featuring some fashion on The Sweet Talker lately, I thought it would be fun to have guest posts from my friends covering regional fashion. This post is the 2nd in the series. Click here to check out “Southern Style.” I hope you enjoy!

XO, Linds

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

{The Best} Chocolate Chip Cookies

I just wanted to take a moment to share with all of you the best chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever try. 


These Levain Bakery inspired cookies from My Baking Addiction are crispy on the edges, soft and gooey in the middle, and did I mention they're also huge?!

There is just something so satisfying about sinking your teeth into a huge chewy cookie.

It's easy for me to get caught up in making something new, exciting and impressive, but sometimes there's nothing better than a classic chocolate chip cookie.

Keep reading for the recipe.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A College Essentials Checklist: What to Take

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the Bay Area Colgate send off for incoming freshmen students. It was so fun to see all of the eager (and slightly apprehensive!) students and parents, and to remember how excited and nervous I was at my own send off only a couple years ago.

In the spirit of "back to college," I decided to compile a list of my college essentials.

A few things you shouldn't leave behind when you pack up this fall, and a couple of fun extras:
  1. At least one nice dress is a good thing to have on hand in case you go out to dinner with professors or are attending a social event or formal. This Cynthia Steffe ruffled dress is a great option for both dressing up and more casual looks.
  2. You'll want to bring a good weekly planner to stay organized. I prefer one with a soft cover that has a lot of space for me to write notes.
  3. Cheap tie-on curtains are an easy way to customize an otherwise bland dorm room.
  4. If you attend school in the snow belt like I do, you'll need to invest in rain boots and snow boots that will keep your feet warm and dry. Hunter boot and L.L. Bean are both reliable options.
  5. Most dorms require you to walk to a communal bathroom - this monogrammed wrap towel with velcro will keep you covered in style! And shower shoes? An absolute MUST.
  6. It's important to have a sturdy book bag that can take the weight (ahem my 3000 page Shakespeare book). A nylon bag like this MICHAEL Michael Kors Back to School Tote will stand the test of time.
  7. Throw pillows are another quick way to personalize a dorm. This duo will keep your room looking cheerful and bright.
  8. Don't be the girl with an ID lanyard around your neck. This Vera Bradley zip ID case will keep your ID handy and save your from the inevitable freshman faux pas.
  9. Have a fitted blazer on hand. You never know when you might have an improptu job interview or will want to dress up for a class presentation.
  10. Since you won't have mom around to wake you up anymore, an alarm clock is absolutely necessary! Plug in your iPod to this iHome alarm clock for a more enjoyable wake up call than a blaring buzzer.
  11. Finally, of course you need to show some school spirit! A comfy hoodie representing your campus pride will be a library staple.
What do you think? Are there any other necessities for a smooth transition after high school?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula

So last night I was definitely in the mood for comfort food. And for me, comfort food means carbs (anyone else?). Since we've had irregularly warm and sunny weather lately in San Francisco, I was craving an option that was light, easy, but still delicious and filling. This pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes and arugula turned out to be the perfect choice - the arugula adds a crunchy bite and the cherry tomatoes lend a note of sweetness to contrast with the nutty herb and garlic flavor of the pesto. And taking only 15 minutes from start to finish (with pre-prepared pesto), I didn't have to spend all night in the kitchen to enjoy a tasty homemade meal! 

This one is super easy. All you need is some dried pasta (penne is my favorite, always!), cherry tomatoes, pesto (if you'd like to make your own, try out this recipe), arugula (baby preferred) and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Tips for perfect pasta:

  • Generously salt your boiling water for well-seasoned pasta
  • Add a bit of olive oil into the boiling water to keep pasta from sticking together
  • Test pasta a minute before the box says it's done, and remove from heat a tiny bit underdone for perfect al dente pasta
  • Reserve a 1/4 cup of the pasta water in case you need to thin out your sauce
  • After you drain the pasta, return it to the pan (off heat) to mix in the sauce, some of the cheese and the tomatoes. This insures that the pasta is well-coated and everything is incorporated evenly. Then transfer to a serving bowl or individual plates.
  • For pesto pasta, use smaller ridged shapes like penne that absorb sauce well. Fusilli is ideal.

Buon appetito!

Dried penne pasta (a general rule is 100g per person)
Pesto (for homemade, try Ina Garten's recipe here)
1 c. cherry tomatoes
1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
A handful or two of arugula (baby preferred)
Extra parmesan for garnish
  1. Make pasta according to box directions.
  2. After draining, return pasta to the pan (off heat) and add pesto sauce, cherry tomatoes, and the parmesan, stirring to incorporate.
  3. Transfer to serving dish or individual plates/bowls.
  4. Top each serving with a small handful of arugula and garnish with fresh parmesan. Try adding grilled chicken if you need some protein with your meal!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lindsay's Look of the Week {Chloe Rose}

My look for Chloe Rose this week: Top by Greylin, Denim by MiH Jeans (Style is the Oslo in Kara), Necklace and Ring by Vanessa Mooney, Earrings by Skinny, Shoes are Tory Burch.

Visit Being Chloe Rose for the full post and two more fun looks this week!

XO, Linds

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Eclairs {and homemade truffles!}


After receiving the Petite Sweets by Beatrice Ojakangas cookbook a week ago from my mom, I have been poring over the pages of mini custards, cakes and tarts, every one as precious and seemingly delicious as the last. The idea of miniature desserts appeals to me because they are the perfect portion for a sweet snack or final note to a meal. With the help of your votes last week, I settled on baking my first real pastries: eclairs with chocolate hazelnut filling. I know I always say this, but I was once again surprised by the simplicity of this recipe; each component has 4 ingredients or less! If you have the right tools (namely, a pastry bag), this recipe is a snap to make and you'll be satisfied knowing you conquered the slightly intimidating - yet totally worth it - delicious tiny eclairs.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Harmony Scott Jewelry

In love with this Harmony Scott leather wrapped pearl bracelet I got for my birthday. From a small Aspen designer, it's eclectic yet versatile: perfect to dress up a T and jeans for day or stacked with an "arm party" for a boho look at night.

What is your favorite go-to jewelry?

Stay tuned for an {Eat} update tonight!

XO, Linds

Friday, July 15, 2011

be back soon!

I'm headed to...

To enjoy some...

{blue skies}
And some...

{poolside drinks}
And hopefully some...

{nap time}
Have a fabulous weekend!

XO, Linds

Favorite Summer Beauty Products

To me, summer beauty means glowing skin, lots of sunscreen, and absolutely nothing heavy. With hot days and humidity, I can't be bothered with slathering on piles of makeup, but I still want soft coverage that leaves me looking fresh faced without melting off.

Here are my current summer beauty product obsessions:

  1. Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer with SPF 15 - I put this on my face and neck every day as soon as I get out of the shower. It leaves my skin soft, primed for makeup, and protected all day long. I have fair skin, so this step is essential in my beauty routine!
  2. Kiehl's Creme de Corps body lotion - I have very dry skin, so this luxurious product keeps my skin hydrated without feeling greasy.
  3. Benefit You Rebel tinted moisturizer - This one is a new beauty buy for me this summer. I have pretty clear skin, so I never thought I needed the coverage of a tinted moisturizer. As soon as I tested this product out, however, I knew I was a convert! The moisturizer gives me soft, flawless looking skin, and the hint of color gives me enough coverage to even out my skin and give me a little summer glow. The best part is that the product is sheer enough to wear in even the stickiest summer weather so you don't have to worry about sweating it off.
  4. Benefit Girl Meets Pearl highlighter - Perhaps best described as a "luminizer,"I dab a little of this silky highlighter above my cheekbones for a subtle pearly glow. I am obsessed with this one!
  5. Kiehl's Lip Balm with SPF 15 - Getting sunburned is up there on my list of "least favorite things." Even worse? Bright red puffy sunburned lips. This lip balm with SPF 15 is a lifesaver - and slightly addictive!
  6. Bobbi Brown Blush in Poppy - Although it looks bright, this blush is sheer enough to give just a hint of color for delicately rosy cheeks.
  7. Physician's Formula Gel Eyeliner for blue eyes - Easy to apply for a liquid eyeliner look, or smudged a little for a smoky eye, the best part of this trio (besides the fact that you get three fun colors!) is that it stays put all day (or all night) long.
  8. St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub - Like I mentioned before, my skin is on the dry side, even during summer. This great-smelling scrub gets rid of those pesky little dry bumps leaving skin fresh and arms tank-top ready.
  9. Physician's Formula Eye Enhancing Shadows - This wonderful palette with eye enhancing colors has three formulaic groups: natural, playful and dramatic. Or mix and match to create your own look!
  10. L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara - I've been searching for my go-to mascara and think I have finally found "the one!" This mascara has an "excess wiper" built into the tube, eliminating the icky clumped-on look that bugs me so much about new mascara. One coat of this mascara glides on clump-free and gives me a bright-eyed look. Love it!
What are your favorite summer beauty buys? On my lookout list: bright lipstick or gloss. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Picasa 3 {Photo Editing}

Lately, I've been enjoying using Picasa 3 as my photo editing software. It's no Photoshop, but it's free and is good for quick fixes and adding text. It's what I've been using for my fashion posts such as {Southern Style} and {Flats} and how I created my header.

Today, I made this little email sign for Chloe Rose Boutique in San Francisco:

The sign has been put up next to the iPad where customers can enter their email.

How do you like to edit photos? Any tips, tricks or preferred programs?

image via Atlantic-Pacific

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

Using Nigella Lawson's recipe from the, I made this incredible chocolate raspberry pavlova for a pre-4th of July dinner party at the lovely home of family friends. I was a little nervous about providing the dessert, because the hostess is known to be a Little Miss Martha Stewart herself and has had her home - and fully-equipped jealousy-inducing kitchen - photographed many times for Pottery Barn. Luckily, this light and airy treat turned out beautifully, was a great "make ahead" dish, and was a crowd-pleaser, leaving a few coming back for seconds.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Sun Tea

Here's a simple alternative to brewing Iced Tea with hot water - all you need is a sunny summer day.

Citizen Cake Cupcakes {Happy Birthday To Me!}

I had the pleasure of enjoying these Citizen Cake cupcakes the other night as part of my birthday celebration.

Owned by Chef Elizabeth Falkner, I had been dying to try these treats ever since seeing her many times on the Food Network.

We divided up the cupcakes so we could each get a taste of the different flavors, and my favorites were the Citizen Signature (cocoa genoise cake filled with marshmallow fluff and ganache glaze) and Vixen (devils food chocolate cake with burnt caramel injection, fudge frosting and fleur de sel). The other flavors, like Carrot, Red Velvet, and Caramel Apple, were delicious as well.

Thanks to everyone for helping make my birthday so very special!

XO, Linds

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Southern Style {Guest Post}

I think my friend Caroline explained it best when she said, “true to my Vanderbilt training, I ALWAYS go out in a dress and heels.” I don’t think there is any such thing as being too dressed up for the occasion in the South – it seems perfectly appropriate to attend a tailgate in a floral dress and pearls. When I’m shopping for school, my staples are sundresses, cardigans, and light scarves that I can pair with any outfit to change it up a bit. Also, try rethinking the lbd and reach for a lwd – little white dress – that you can dress up with fun, colorful jewelry.  
For accessories, you can’t go wrong with croakies from Southern Tide to attach to your wayfarer sunglasses (another Southern staple with all the sun we get!). As far as footwear, Jack Rogers are abundant (although I admit, I find their wooden heels very uncomfortable. Ah, the price of beauty!) and boat shoes are always classic. I personally have my eye on these Sperry’s with the adorable pink and blue plaid accents.
And for the men, you may think I’m crazy, but pastel button downs and pastel shorts are not only acceptable, but encouraged!

{Click for larger image}
  1. Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses
  2. Michael Stars Striped Seaside  Scarf
  3. Southern Tide Skipjack Croakies
  4. J.Crew Featherweight Cotton Cardigan
  5. Sperry Top-Sider Boat Shoe
  6. Shoshanna Button Front Sheath Dress
  7. Shoshanna Gathered Bodice Dress
  8. Jack Rogers Palm Beach Navajo Sandals
  9. Mikimoto Pearls
  10. Milly Signature Cuff
  11. kate spade "Cut to the Chase" Necklace
  12. Lily Pulitzer Betsey Eyelet Dress
  13. Spun Abstract Sunflower Print Scarf
  14. {For the boys} Brooks Brothers Shorts

Thanks for reading!
*   *   *
About this post: After high school, my close group of best friends scattered across the country. We're still close as ever, but whether it be the West Coast, East Coast, Midwest or the South, we're all over the place. As I've been featuring some fashion on The Sweet Talker lately, I thought it would be fun to have guest posts from my friends covering regional fashion. This post is the first in the series. I hope you enjoy!

XO, Linds

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

To continue with our patriotic theme this week of 4th of July Fashion and America's favorite pastime, I thought the beloved All-American Whoopie Pie would be an appropriate addition to the lineup.

And while the traditional whoopie pie features a chocolate cookie with a vanilla creme center, I thought this recipe with peanut butter filling seemed like a decadent twist on an old classic.

After all, there is no combination more American (or delicious) than peanut butter and chocolate, right?

These little heavenly sandwiches would be a welcome inclusion at your weekend BBQ, and a perfect last-minute dessert to wow your friends and family for the 4th.