Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Renting the Runway

I have loved the idea of Rent the Runway for a long time. I would peruse the incredible selection of gorgeous designer dresses and try to come up with an excuse to wear a Reem Acra evening gown, but sadly, my life was not that glamorous. 

Sadly, none of these are appropriate for sitting in my cube at work, eating lunch at Chipotle, or riding the metro.

I love shopping for dresses more than any other article of clothing. There are certain pieces of a wardrobe that are just no-brainers. Every girl needs a little black dress (or seven) and something sparkly enough to wear on New Year's Eve. But now that we post pictures for the world to see on Facebook and Instagram of every wedding, party, and family event we go to, it's harder to get excited about wearing the same dress for three weekends in a row.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I had the perfect reason to rent. For my birthday, Hunter and I were headed to New York for a weekend that included a mysterious Saturday night date which required super fancy attire. I picked a gorgeous navy Badgley Mischka dress, brought plenty of accessory options with me, and prayed that one of the two size options (they'll always send you a second size for free) would fit.

So sparkly!!!

The dresses arrived on time and the size I had originally picked out fit perfectly. The amount of detail on the heavily beaded dress was pretty amazing, and for a piece that has potentially been worn several times already, it was in mint condition.

Since the beginning of my birthday surprise was dinner at The Four Seasons, I found myself in a sea of well-dressed people, but I still felt like my dress really stood out. I was also really thankful that I shelled out an extra five dollars for dress insurance, because I ate a million pounds of food without worrying about being on the hook for the full retail price of the dress if I spilled anything on it. The REAL surprise was the fact that after dinner, Hunter proposed! Moral of the story: rent a pretty dress and your boyfriend will probably ask you to marry him.

Also, I must point out that Tom Haverford has come up with basically the same idea. So it must be genius.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'll be totally honest, cooking has never been my thing. I try, but it seems like every time I turn around something is filling the kitchen with smoke or I've added way too much salt or Project Runway comes on and something's left to burn for 45 minutes.

When it comes to baking, though, I've always been kind of moderately successful. Lately I've been trying to turn that mediocrity into something more. I've also been trying to modify my diet to avoid gluten and eat more natural, healthy ingredients.

So instead of eating half of a roll of pre-made cookie dough and burning the rest, I decided to start from scratch.

I've made this recipe about ten times now, and I have to say.... wow. Over several rounds of trial and error, I've made a few substitutions. Instead of vegan palm oil shortening, I use half coconut oil and half ghee (or regular butter, it just depends on what I have in the kitchen). I also like to get a really good dark chocolate bar and chop that up for the chips.

The almond flour gives the cookies a really great texture, kind of like oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal cookies stuffed full of amazing dark chocolate, that is. If you make these they will probably last about an hour.

P.S. - Elana's Pantry has THE BEST paleo baking recipes. There is a biscuit recipe on there (for me, it's turned out more like a scone) that is equally amazing. 

Obsessed: Kate Spade

Why devote an entire blog post to my current obsession with Kate Spade? Because I'm physically incapable of walking by a Kate Spade store without spending half an hour oohing and ahhing at the piles of neon sparkly gorgeousness. And then there's the fact that another Kate Spade boutique opened up a few miles from my apartment, which means that there are now two within a ten minute drive.

There are a lot of brands that I love, but no one can top Kate. I think part of that is that her products are so clever, with cute sayings everywhere from the purse tags to the inside of the bangles. The extra buttons for her clothes come in a bag that says, "button up, sugar cup." I still remember the tag that came on the first Kate Spade bag I ever bought, which read, "Occasionally she dreams of Italy. She dreams of cheese shops, persnickety Fiats, and very fine leather goods." Because of the font, I actually thought "fiats" was "flats" (and I DO dream of persnickety flats!), but still. I was hooked. 

The new hashtag collection is full of that signature sassiness. I love it all. 

Ugh. Now I want an iPad.

Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen? Seriously. 

In case you're working on your Christmas list, there's a necklace, earrings, and a ring.

This is legitimately on my Christmas list since I haven't had a wallet for about two years now and my purse is always an explosion of assorted lipgloss, a pinkberry frequent buyer card that I always think is my Amex, back-up earrings, and seven thousand bobby pins. Every morning and every afternoon at rush hour, I have a minor panic attack because my metro card is "lost", when actually it's in the bottom of my purse or my coat pocket (where I put it because my purse is so messy). It's pretty ridiculous, but I think a pretty wallet would contribute to my organizational skills!

I swear, if I get this I'll never stop at starbucks again!