Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Basket Ideas

Easter is next weekend and that means that I will be home bound next week, which is always a cause for celebration! Furman gets Good Friday and the following Monday off which is pretty generous so I will be heading home Thursday (if not a bit earlier). My family is heading to our beach house for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so this will also give me an extra night of sleep in my own bed before boating and beaching. I am extra excited because it looks like my grandparents and aunt, uncle, and cousin will also be there making Easter a true family affair. 

As for Easter, it usually depends on where we are as to how the morning goes. I admittedly still like it when a few Easter eggs are hidden even though the youngest person there will be 17. Regardless, we still do Easter baskets which is always something to look forward to. And since that Easter egg comment made me sound like a child you should all be pleased to know that I've used the same Easter basket every year since I was little, I guess you could say I like tradition. Easter baskets can be tricky since once you get older the smaller trinkets and goodies you received would be put somewhere and forgotten about. I honestly enjoy receiving candy as much as anything else but I do remember a few years when I got a bigger item for Easter which was more unexpected. One year in high school I got a pair of Lilly shorts I had been wanting and last year I considered my trip to the Biltmore and Asheville (part of a Christmas present from my grandmother) to be an Easter gift. Both were so memorable so if you're completely stumped something unexpected is always fun. Below I have included loads of cute and fun gifts that any girl would love to receive at a variety of price points and all of these would probably arrive in time to be placed in an Easter basket!


While some of these would definitely leave the recipient speechless I think that as long as the gift is something that can be used and is preferably colorful since it is in fact spring then you can't go wrong!

Personally I would love to continue to grow my Evelyn Henson print obsession by adding the "Be an Adventurer" illustration to my collection (hint, hint mom and dad). I also adore those fun sleep shortsand you really can't go wrong with something monogrammed. In the spring and summer I always wear sleep shorts to bed so this would also be super practical. Also, fun fact, my little's mom owns that monogramming store, The Horseshoe Crab, and sells the cutest monogrammed goodies that would be perfect for presents or to keep for yourself. And she has a super fast turn around time if you're in a pinch!

What are your plans for Easter? Did any of these items just make it to your spring wish list?


Written by Dorothy of Prep In Your Step

Friday, March 27, 2015

FF: Floral Midi Skirt


I am excited to say that midi skirt season is here and I can’t get enough of the floral design in this one. I picked a top that complimented one of the bolder colors in the skirt, but I think it would also look cute with a simple white tee if you aren’t as sure about lots of color. I have always enjoyed the way that midi skirts hug your waist and create a a-line shape. My favorite feature of this skirt is also the pockets on the side, it is rare that I say no to a dress or skirt with pockets! It was a beautiful day in NYC while shooting these photos and I knew that this floral midi skirt needed to make an appearance.


floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
floral midi skirt, spring fashion, floral print skirt, washington square park
Photography by Grant Friedman
Cobalt Blue Tank, old (similar) // Floral Midi Skirt c/o (also in black here) // Nude Pumps// Brahmin Clutch, old (love this) // BAUBLEBAR Pave Slim Cuff + Peekaboo Slim Cuff c/o
Written by Kendall of Styled Snapshots

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Get Sandal Ready at Home

I am SO ready for sandal season.
How ready you ask? So ready that I’ve been wearing an old pair of Jacks around the house because right now, my boots, wellies + I need to take a break. See other shoes, you know, the usual. I’ve been feeling a bit claustrophobic lately when it comes to my winter shoes.
But before I officially bust out my sandals, I could really use a pedicure.
At Home Pedicure Tips - DC Girl in Pearls
Soak 
I was lucky with my old apartment because it had a bath where I could hang out and soak my feet but my current apartment only has a shower. An easy + crazy cheap remedy: get a small plastic tub from Target! I have this white dishpan that I snagged at Target for $2!! This is not a fire drill!! Soak your feet in warm water or you could also add Johnson’s Foot Soap. I’ve used this soap for years and I swear it’s magic. As someone who abuses the heck out of their feet, I swear by Johnson’s Foot Soap. It might just be my #1 beauty secret.
Exfoliate + Scrub 
Once your little piggies (I couldn’t bring myself to type out feet or toes one more time) are done soaking, it’s time to get exfoliating! Tweezerman is my favorite brand for (duh) tweezers but did you know they also make a mean foot file? Telling you, this foot file will help smooth out those rough patches. I always get dry patches on my heels, guaranteed. To battle this monster, I first use my foot file as a means of attack and then to really claim total victory, St. Ives Apricot Scrub is the best. I really cannot remember not having a jar of apricot scrub handy, it’ll make your skin glow and look like a million bucks. If we wanted to keep score, St. Ives Apricot Scrub is my #2 beauty secret.
Moisturize 
Right now I’m still working on my jar of Trader Joe’s coconut body butter. I love that it’s non-greasy and I feel like the jar has lasted me forever, it might be the Mary Poppins bag of body butters. But I’ll be honest, I’m more partial to Yes To Carrots Body Butter. I’ve been a fan of their body butter since high school (that’ll be since 2007) because it dries quickly, totally enriches dry skin and has a scent I could only describe as clean. I detracted points from Trader Joe’s body butter because its coconut aroma is rather strong and makes me smell like a piƱa colada. Which isn’t the worst thing at times but for 9-5, it can be a bit much. You might laugh at the name “Yes To Carrots” but trust me, this stuff really works! My college roomie used to tease me about my love for Yes To Carrots until she tried the body butter. And then we had to buy separate containers because neither of us was all that great at you know, sharing the body butter.
Polish
Finally, the most fun step: nail polish!! In the spring + summer, I love to change up and play with a variety of bright hues for my nails. But when it comes to pedicures, I’m solidly on Team Pink. Very, very rarely I’ll switch to a red color but for the most part, my pedicure colors are: OPI’s La Paz-Itively Hot + You’re Such a Kabuki Queen (pictured above) and Essie Mob Square. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Salty PB Chocolate Cookies

salty-peanut-butter-cookies2

Right before leaving for a trip you can find me in my kitchen baking.
I don’t know why this is…maybe because I want something homemade to take on the road, maybe because it relaxes me, or maybe because it’s the best way to procrastinate packing. . . . yes I think it’s mostly that last reason.
This was true last night – before we head to Seattle & Canada, I decided to spend time trying a new recipe instead of packing. I also need treats for our friend in Seattle of course! In my quick scan of our pantry before leaving town (which was scarce)…I spotted our favorite peanut butter, tcho chocolate pieces, and SALT...lightbulb! We didn’t even have any flour or white sugar — but they don’t need it! They are easy and amazing!
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Here are some salty, creamy, peanut-buttery, chocolate chippy cookies for your weekend. Whether you’re leaving on an adventure or staying at home, these will be the perfect treat. 
Here’s your quick recipe! let me know what you think!
{makes about 16 medium-sized cookies}

Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (we love pb&co smooth operator for this, as seen above! )
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
  • salt, to taste {for sprinkling}
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Directions
** Don’t be mad at me when this dough is sticky!! :) It is supposed to be that way. These are flourless, and you will love how soft and creamy they are once baked. For the sticky dough, use an ice cream scoop to make it less messy since you can’t roll them by hand!
  • combine peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla and beat on until fluffy and combined. the sugar should be completely incorporated so that there are no grains…only smoothness!
    (store bought peanut butter is recommended so that these cookies hold together, spread less, and bake thicker.)
  • add in the baking soda and mix.
  • mix in the chocolate gently.
  • using your cookie scoop, drop medium sized-balls onto baking sheet. sprinkle a bit of salt over the top. (you’ll add more after they are baked)
  • cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours or more. (you can do overnight if you want!) if you’re like me and don’t have the patience for that, pop them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes so they set and won’t spread. ***this is important for the texture of these cookies!
  • when you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 250 and bake 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden. cookies should still be soft and chewy, not browned! cookies will set more as they cool – so don’t over-bake.
  • sprinkle some fresh salt onto the top of the warm, fresh cookies. scatter over the top of cookies so that each one gets the salty taste. trust me, this makes the cookies!
  • be sure to let the cookies cool for at least ten minutes (again with the patience!! :) and then transfer them to a tray for serving warm, or store in a container!
salty-peanut-butter-cookies
You can freeze these cookies (or the dough) for later, but we recommend eating them sooner than that :)
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Enjoy and see you from Seattle!

Written by Emi of Well Traveled Wife

Friday, March 20, 2015

FF: LWD + OTK

The fact that it is warming up outside is doing the greatest things for my happiness levels and a good portion of that is because I can now bring out all the spring clothing!  To me, there is nothing more chic than a simple ensemble, in this case a little white dress and over the knee boots.  Super simple, but the crochet detailing in the dress kicks it up a notch and the boots are an unexpected pairing.  I then dressed it down a bit for a casual afternoon with a chambray shirt around my waist at the ready in case it cooled down a little bit.

note: I absolutely love this dress, but it is reallllyy short.  The reviews said to order a size up, so I did, but I would recommend going up two sizes unless you are 5'2"/5'3" or shorter. Any taller than that, and it's going to barely cover your backside!


SHOP THE LOOK
goodnight macaroon dress c/o - size up! || forever 21 chambray || ebay boots (investment pair) || nearly identical earrings || old sunnies (splurge/save) || kendra scott ring c/o || loren hope cuff || loren hope braceletvia rocksbox - use code marykatherinexoxo for a discount!
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Written by Mary-Katherine of Gold-Hatted Lover

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How To Complete Your To-Do List


Some days my to-do list is so long that I feel like I'll never finish it in a decent amount of time. And when I see that I have a lot of stuff to do, it doesn't give me any motivation to do it. So, I've developed a system that helps me to crank out my to-do list, and it works really well!

one // set a reward
Setting a reward to get when you finish your to-do list is a great incentive to find motivation to get things done. The incentive that I always choose is going to the gym. My life is so busy that I usually have to carve in a certain time for me to go to the gym, even though I love going! By telling myself that I'll have enough time to go to the gym if I finish everything, it really makes me want to get everything done. Another great reward is watching a couple of episodes of whatever series you're currently watching on Netflix. I just started One Tree Hill on Netflix this past weekend (and almost done with the first season, sorry not sorry!), so having enough time to watch some of it during the week is relaxing and awesome.

two // stay focused
Sometimes when you have a lot of things to do, especially ones that bore you, it's easy to get distracted. I especially get distracted while on social media, so I try to stay away from that! Put away any devices that might make it easy for you to get distracted. Take a little break every hour or so in order to go back to your list feeling refreshed and motivated, but try not to take too long of a break because then it will be harder to go back!

three // write it down
I write down everything that I need to do. If I don't write it down, I'm guaranteed to forget about it. It's also super rewarding being able to physically cross out any completed task; it always motivates me to keep going and gives me an idea of how much I have left to do!

four // create a schedule
Create a schedule of certain time frames for each task. This helps me to stay focused. It also lets me know if I'm falling behind on time or if I'm getting through things quickly. Finishing tasks before the allotted time is done also motivates me because it lets me know that I'll have even more time to spend on my reward, or going to the gym!

How do you stay focused?


Written by Ashley of Private School Prepster

Monday, March 16, 2015

DIY Donut Cork Coasters

DIY Donut Cork Coasters | dcgirlinpearls.com
By now, I think it’s safe to say you all know I have a bit of an obsession with donuts (Exhibit ABC).
It’s not my fault though. I swear. Psychology is all to blame!!!
The colorful glaze + sprinkles just scream “PARTY!” and I can’t help but grin like I’m looney tunes whenever I see a donut. Any photo of a donut on Instagram is a guaranteed like from this gal. It’s like Pavlov’s dogs but with less puppies and more sugary bites of fried dough heaven.
But with swimsuit season fast approaching, I’ve begrudgingly been more cognizant of what I’m eating and trying to load up on veggies + fruits instead of sugar. So I had to get my sweet, sweet donut fix elsewhere…
What if I told you the donuts above are calorie-free?! ;)
I know, I know. Such a tease.
GAH I wish!!
You know what would go great with that cold glass of milk? A donut. Just sayin’…
And now I really want a donut. Note to self: Cork coasters are not edible, cork coasters are not edible.
DIY Donut Cork Coasters | dcgirlinpearls.com
You know I can’t resist a good DIY so pick up a set of cork coasters, some paint brushes and acrylic paints + let’s get to work on these DIY donut cork coasters!!
DIY Donut Cork Coasters | dcgirlinpearls.com
DIY Donut Cork Coasters | dcgirlinpearls.com
DIY Donut Cork Coasters | dcgirlinpearls.com
DIY Donut Cork Coasters | dcgirlinpearls.com
DIY Donut Cork Coasters | dcgirlinpearls.com

Supplies

Set of cork coasters
Foam brush
Kids’ paint brushes
Acrylic paint

Directions

1. Using a foam brush, paint each coaster with a base layer. I used 2 thin coats to cover the coaster + let them sit to dry for 2 hours.
2. With a small kid’s paint brush, go wild + paint as many sprinkles as you want! Let coasters dry for 2 hours.
Other ideas: Add a magnet to the back of each coaster to create a fun kitchen magnet or attach the donuts to the wall with Command strips for a colorful addition to a gallery wall!

Written by Lauren of DC Girl In Pearls