Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monday Mood Booster

I think most of us know that an outfit you feel fabulous in can make you walk a little taller, boost your confidence, and generally make your day a little better.  Do you ever do this on purpose??  I did. 

My office doesn’t have a strict dress code at all, but even still everyone pretty much dresses business/business casual most days and more casual on Friday (although if I felt like wearing jeans tomorrow no one would care...)

I also LIKE dressing up and usually always prefer dresses and skirts over pants, but I tend to mix it up depending on my mood and the weather.  This past Monday wasn’t anything special, but it was sunny out and I just felt like putting a little more effort in and it really did make me happier throughout the day!

I don’t know what it was exactly, but I just really liked this outfit!

(the lighting + iphone didn’t make for the best photo) 

  • Navy blazer – Banana Republic outlet
  • fitted white T-shirt
  • light pink skirt – Banana Republic (recently!)
  • grey tights – Nordstrom (DKNY)
  • navy belt – was my grandmothers
  • necklace – Forever 21
  • T-strap heels – Nordstrom (Seychelles)

Close up of the shoes! (Grey, gold, and yellow)IMG_0814

  These were one of those pairs of shoes that were on the sale rack and I loved, but of course was wondering what I’d wear them with.  I’m telling you, those are ALWAYS the shoes I end up loving most!!  Once you stop worrying about “matching” them to your outfit, they become  an awesome accessory that will add a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to a “normal” outfit!

Dinner Ideas: Quick and SUPER fast!

First, the quick.

Remember that incredible Mac and cheese I had at my aunts house??  The one that used “low carb” pasta??  Well I bought some.  I’m not trying to go low-carb or anything but it was actually really good pasta!

It’s Dreamfield’s brand pasta, and bonus points for having more fiber and less carbs :)


I like my pasta al dente and this had a superb chew to it!  LOVE it!

I had some asparagus on it’s last legs, and a handful of green beans to work with.

I was also in the mood for lemon and sun-dried tomatoes…but not just any sun-dried tomatoes!  The Santorini sun-dried tomatoes we brought back from our Honeymoon!


It’s crazy how different they are than the regular sun-dried tomatoes you buy!  The color is much darker and they have a much more rich, sweet, deep flavor.

Lemon + Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2-3 T chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • splash (approx 1/4 cup) white wine
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon (add less if you prefer…this was VERY lemony!!)
  • pasta of choice – about 1/2 box ( I used penne)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, hard ends removed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2-3T ricotta (optional)

1. get water on the stove for your pasta
2. add olive oil to a large sauté pan and heat on medium
3. Add garlic and shallots, stir and sauté for 2-3 min
4. add sun-dried tomatoes, cook another 1-2 minutes
5. pour in wine, lemon juice, and zest and stir while scraping the bottom of the pan.
6. simmer on low
7. Meanwhile – cook pasta according to instructions on the box, while adding in the asparagus (or other veggies) for the last 1 min.
8. Strain pasta/veggies and add to sauté pan with the sauce.
9. Salt and Pepper to taste.

At this point I thought it was actually TOO lemony!!  Which is crazy coming from me, but this is when I stirred in a big heaping spoonful of part-skim ricotta and stirred that in.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese! (I used the Romano and it was fantastic)



BIG fan of this meal and this pasta!  Try it out!!


Now for something SUPER fast!!

I call this: Burrito (or tamale) Salad!

I suppose you have to like frozen burritos for this one, but I don’t think that’s a stretch for most people.  I love to cook, but having a couple savior items in the freezer is always good especially when you get home late and just want something super fast!

My current favorite product for this meal are Trader Joe’s tamale’s

(I actually like the beef version better than this chicken and cheese one)


  • Fill a bowl with your favorite salad items: baby spinach, lettuce, onions, peppers, carrots… 
  • Heat burrito or tamale according to instructions
  • Cut cooked tamale into pieces, and place on bed of salad
  • Top with salsa and sour cream
  • maybe even a squirt of fresh lime juice!



5 minutes later I had dinner.  I just used some baby romaine lettuce and chopped red bell pepper.


Sure you can use Greek yogurt for the sour cream (and I’m all for that substitution in baking or cooking), but for me, nothing beats real (light!)sour cream…mmm.

IMG_8489 Lovely.

About that salsa…  Homemade is the best, but we usually end up buying our salsa.  So what’s your favorite brand???  I can’t seem to find one I love.  This is Newman’s Own brand and so far I really like it, but I like trying out new ones!


  1. bahhhh my comment didn't post...

    LOVEEEEEEE the outfit! The shoes are super cute! I just bought some new wedges that I cannot wait to wear. Both meals look great, but I'm all about that pasta dish. Adding veggies to pasta dishes is the best. Salsa wise, I usually go Newmans own...but I will try whatevers on sale too ;)

  2. Cute outfit! I think we have the same iPhone case! That pasta looks great!!

  3. cute shoes!

    love sun-dried tomato!! definitely pairs well with pasta dishes


  4. I've done the burrito on top of salad before. The best quick meal ever!

    I love Herdez salsa brand. Tastes the most authentic to Mexican salsa!

  5. cute outfit! I am a sucker for Tostitos salsa... but the corn salsa at TJ's is also amazing. It's got a ton of sugar so I usually make my own or get something more plain.

  6. LOVE the outfit! Sometimes a new outfit or putting together something new with items you've already had can make you feel FABULOUS!

  7. I always love your outfits whenever i see you in person. this one is super cute and the shoes are awesome. gotta love the sale rack finds!

  8. Super cute shoes.
    I've never tried Trader Joes tamales, so I'm picking some up next time. Have you tried their garlic chipotle salsa? It's really yummy.

  9. That outfit is adorable! LOVE the shoes!! :) I had noo idea TJ's had tamales, but I'm psyched to hear it! Definitely need to try!


  10. I love the fresh salsas at Trader Joes by the cheese! Yum!! Love the outfit! Update me on the training : )

  11. Those shoes are so cute!!

    I love the fresh salsa from Whole Foods...

  12. Green mt. gringo spicy version - it is nice for a tomato-ey salsa...but you know me - I need some kick!! Also for kick (major,super duper kick!) is la victoria red salsa jalapena - extra a great way to add a super hot sensation to any salsa that you barely need any, and can actually add it to anything!! (I have ordered a case of this a few times on line just to know I have it on hand...)

    Also - love the heels!! The combo of colors, with the grey tights was super!! Absolutely loved it!! <3

  13. your shoes are adorable! totally vintage chic :)