Looking Back and Thinking About What's Next

Friday, December 15, 2017

Hello all! It is that time of year where you start to think about the past year and what's to come in the next one. For me, 2017 has probably been the craziest year I've ever had filled with incredible highs and really crappy lows. I went from deciding to move to London for my master's to completely scrambling with no idea what to do. But as usual, the universe worked its magic and I was able to find a great position as a gallery curator here in Greensboro. My new job has been challenging in ways I never expected, but has been an incredible experience. I still miss my old job and my co-workers every day, but life happens and sometimes you have to move on. 
With my new job, I've been finding new artists, installing exhibitions, promoting exhibitions, and selling art. It has definitely been challenging, but you can read all about my my exhibitions here. In addition to my regular 9-5 job, I have also been busy writing an art blog on my own, selling baked goods, and selling clothes. And as if that wasn't enough, I am now also apply to graduate school. 
If 2018 is anything like 2017, it will be crazy and hectic, but also amazing and full of new experiences and opportunities. Until next time...

Preppy Tartan

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Button-down shirts have always been something I have loved. I love the structure and how easy they are to layer, mix and match and add jewelry to. Recently, I have been obsessed with tartan of any kind and this tartan button-down was a must when I saw it. With a pattern like this, the rest of my outfit didn't really need much extra. Plus, it gave a great pop of color when I inevitably got cold and had to put on my sweater. 
If you aren't already a fan of the button-down, I would highly suggest reconsidering your stance. It is classic look and if you can find some that fit you well, you will end up wearing them all of the time! More tartan and button-downs to come I'm sure! Until next time,

Making Summery Pink Work for Winter

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and if you had any snow, like us, you were able to enjoy it. With my current jobs, I have to be working professional everyday, although I can be pretty creative with colors and accessories. With that said though, I don't have the space or the money to have a completely separate wardrobe for each season. So I have to make pieces work for multiple seasons. I really don't mind this though because I get to wear my favorite pieces year round and it encourages me to be very creative with my wardrobe. 
This skirt for example, is one of my favorite summer skirts. It is my favorite color and the cut is so cute! I definitely didn't want to give it up for winter and thankfully I haven't had to. Throw on a button-down and tights and it looks just as cute as it does with a blouse in the summer. Everyone always asks me with outfits like this how I came up with it. And the honest answer is a lot of it is chance. With this outfit, I had the skirt, shoes, and top all set. But I was still freezing so I just started trying on different sweaters and this one turned out to be perfect. Sometimes you really don't know how things will look together until you try it! Until next time,

How to...Statement Coats

Saturday, December 9, 2017

As someone who is always cold, it is vital for me to have warm winter coats to wear. However, I also always want to look cute and if I don't like my jacket, I won't wear it. This winter, statement coats have become my go-to. Here are my three favorite winter coats and some tips on how I like to wear them. 

The Perfect Tartan Piece

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Do you ever have that feeling when you are in a store? When you just see something and know it will look wonderful on you and you basically fall in love immediately? That is typically how I am when I shop. I know what will look good on me and I am immediately drawn to certain things when I walk in a store. I live firmly under the philosophy that if I don't absolutely love it in the store, I will not grow to love it over time. 
This dress was no exception. I saw it and fell in love. Fell in love in the type of way that I wanted it right then. Outfit ideas were already formulating in my mind and I was already obsessed. Thankfully, they had my size and the tartan colors worked perfectly with my coloring. 
Finding that perfect outfit piece can be very difficult, but the key is stick to your gut. Walk into a store and see what speaks to you. I know that is cliche but most of the time, your natural instincts will know where to direct you. Until next time,

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hello all! With Thanksgiving and applying to grad schools, I haven't had a lot of time to bake for myself recently or experiment with recipes. But, if you've been keeping up with my Instagram stories, then you know I had quite the baking adventure on Friday night. One of my co-workers recently requested German chocolate cupcakes, which I love. But I wanted to do something a little bit different so I made a German chocolate cupcake and then experimented with the toppings. For half of the batch, I made a coconut, pecan, brown sugar topping. For the other half, I filled them with a coconut, pecan filling and then topped them with a chocolate ganache. I thought there would be one clear winner, but I really can't decide which one I like better! As this is my own recipe and my own creation, if you make it, I would love to hear your feedback. Plus, if you think one sounds better than the other, let me know!


1/2 cup water
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups and 3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Coconut, Pecan Filling and Topping:
4 egg yolks
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. semi sweet or dark chocolate

So the first thing I made was the cupcakes because I wanted them to be cold before I started frosting or filling. 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners. These are a dense cupcake and you need the liners to make sure they stay together. For me, the recipe made 24 big cupcakes and 48 mini cupcakes. It would probably make 36 big cupcakes.
Bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and add the 6 oz. of chocolate. I used semi-sweet because the topping is so sweet I didn't want milk chocolate. I would really recommend semi-sweet or even dark chocolate for this recipe. Whisk until smooth and then cool.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder in a bowl. In a separate, larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding another egg. Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the remaining chocolate chips with a spoon at the end.
Pour the batter into the cupcake liners until they are 2/3 the way full. Don't over fill these! Bake for about 15 minutes depending on your oven. Just wait until a toothpick comes out clean. They really do need to cool so maybe make these ahead of time or the day before.

I filled the cupcakes with the same pecan, coconut mixture that I frosted the half with. For it, whisk the egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar together in a large saucepan. Add the butter and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely and the butter is fully incorporated. Stir this constantly so nothing sticks or burns. Continue cooking this until it is thick. If it doesn't thicken up, add some more brown sugar. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla, salt, coconut, and pecans.

For the chocolate ganache, all you have to do is bring the heavy cream to a boil. Then pour it over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 4 minutes without mixing it. Then whisk until it is completely combined. Allow it to cool a little.

So for half of these I simply used the coconut, pecan filling as a frosting. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop them on the top and then refrigerate so that they stay together.
For the other half, I first scooped out the middle and filled them with the coconut, pecan filling. I then froze them for about 20 minutes so it wasn't too liquid-y. Then I put a spoonful on the top of each one and spread it around.

Until next time, 

A Little Personal for 2 Years

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2017, OOTD, personal, sparkly, turtleneck, J.Crew,

2017, OOTD, personal, sparkly, turtleneck, J.Crew,

2017, OOTD, personal, sparkly, turtleneck, J.Crew,

2017, OOTD, personal, sparkly, turtleneck, J.Crew,

2017, OOTD, personal, sparkly, turtleneck, J.Crew,

Hello all! I hope you had a fabulous Friday yesterday. If you hadn't already checked it out, go watch my Instagram stories. I had quite a baking adventure last night and I would love to get your feedback! Anyways, today's post is going to be a little different than usual because I wanted to talk a little bit about my health. Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my gallbladder removal surgery. Having this surgery ended up having a huge impact on my life as I have had some crazy complications. Normally talking about this kind of thing, especially here on the blog, is not something I would do. But as I have struggled with this for the past two years, I wished I had someone to talk to who understood what I was going through. So let this be an open invitation to all you wonderful readers, if you ever need to talk about anything, please don't hesitate to talk to me. Y'all are so important to me and you have been so supportive so if you ever need my support, I'm here!
Anyways, after surgery, everything seemed to be going well until I was diagnosed with IBS. Those of you who have IBS will know, it is kind of a catch-all diagnosis and doesn't necessarily help you solve any of your problems. For me at least, knowing that I had IBS did not change the fact that I struggled on a daily basis to find food that didn't upset my stomach. Finally, a little over a month ago, I took a food sensitivity test. This is basically like a food allergy, but the symptoms aren't as obvious. They can be headaches or discomfort or inflammation. Thank goodness I took this test because it turned out that I am sensitive to a lot of foods that I was eating regularly. So my diet has drastically changed again, but hopefully I will start feeling better. If you can learn anything from my experience, it is that your GI is temperamental, but listen to it. I went to so many doctors who told me that it would pass or I was just exaggerating. Don't listen to those people. If you feel bad, then do something about it! I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend and stay tuned for the results of my baking adventures tomorrow. Until next time,

Girly Dress Pants

Thursday, November 30, 2017

2017, OOTD, winter, button-down, dress pants, girly, J.Crew, lace, pearls,

2017, OOTD, winter, button-down, dress pants, girly, J.Crew, lace, pearls,

2017, OOTD, winter, button-down, dress pants, girly, J.Crew, lace, pearls,

2017, OOTD, winter, button-down, dress pants, girly, J.Crew, lace, pearls,

I know I wear a lot of skirts and dresses, but they typically aren't my go-to. I love skirts and dresses, but I normally gravitate towards pants. Since entering the work-force, I've started to wear pants less and less because I find that dress pants are not always very flattering for me. However, I have just recently found these pants as well as another pair that I've just added to my wardrobe. They are high-waisted and a little cropped, but they hit at just the right place for me. I love that they are lace because it gives them a girly detail that I am always looking for in an outfit. A white button-down with some interesting details and a girly but oversized cardigan were the perfect accompaniments. Now I still felt like I needed to wear heels just so I didn't feel stumpy, but I love any excuse to wear heels. 
Do you guys ever have trouble finding dress pants? I feel like so many dress pants these days are made for super skinny, athletic built women so if you have hips at all, you are basically out of luck. These, while they do accentuate my hips, do so in a flattering way and I didn't feel constricted wearing them. What do y'all think? 
Also, check out my art blog to read a little bit more about my New York trip two weeks ago! 
Until next time...

Brighten Up Blue with Hot Pink

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Blue and winter white are a fabulous combination. It just feels like snow and winter. However, whenever I wear it, I feel a little dull. Of course, whenever I want to add a little fun to an outfit, pink is my go-to. I just picked up this coat from J.Crew Factory (and it is on sale plus there are some other fabulous coats on their website) and it has been the perfect addition to my winter wardrobe. I'm not going to lie, I was a little worried when I first got it that I had gone too far. A hot pink coat? Maybe it was a little much even for me. But now that I have had the chance to wear it a little, I must say, my new go-to piece is a statement coat. It takes any outfit to the next level and keeps you feeling cute and fabulous even when you are bundled up. Stay tuned later this week for some of my favorite statement coats of the season! Until next time...

Fall- Colored Layers

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

2017, OOTD, fur, vest, turtleneck, stripes, winter,

2017, OOTD, fur, vest, turtleneck, stripes, winter,

2017, OOTD, fur, vest, turtleneck, stripes, winter,

2017, OOTD, fur, vest, turtleneck, stripes, winter,

2017, OOTD, fur, vest, turtleneck, stripes, winter,

2017, OOTD, fur, vest, turtleneck, stripes, winter,

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was good, very busy, but good. Right now, I am obsessed with layering so I can stay cozy whenever I go outside. My immediate tendency is go to all neutral layers, but I've been trying to experiment with different colors throughout my outfits. My favorite look right now is fall colors, especially burgundy. Normally I pair pink with all of my burgundy, but this time, I tried something a little different and I love these yellow stripes. It just feels so appropriate for this time of year and was the perfect outfit for this holiday weekend. I hope y'all enjoyed this time with your family and friends and got some great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday...I know I sure did!
In other exciting news, Lefty Living Life is getting a huge facelift over the next week so stay tuned for a whole new layout and an exciting new direction in December!
Until next time,

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