Friday, March 30, 2012

friday's fancies: april showers

Can you believe that April is here already? And we all know the saying - April showers bring May flowers.  But don't get stuck in a rut just because the weather may not always include clear skies and sunshine. Rainy days deserve a little dress up too.

I tried to put a look together that, I think, would be acceptable for the work place.  My office is pretty casual and on rainy days, it's not uncommon to see people rocking rain boots.  I actually like the idea of wearing boots with a dress but if that's not your thing, flats are always an option!

I am heading to New Orleans with my family this morning so no new posts here til next Wednesday.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

bowtie pasta and mexican pizza

In addition to the orange glazed doughnuts and Hunger Games inspired cupcakes, I also made dinner on Sunday night and lunch for this week {I spent most of the day/night in the kitchen}. This bowtie pasta recipe from The Everygirl and Lara Matos is DELICIOUS. Seriously, it is incredibly good - and so quick and easy to make! I love tomatoes, zucchini, and goat cheese so this trio was great for me.

I suggest trying this out - and checking out all the other wonderful features on The Everygirl - because you will not regret it!

Lunch for the week was Mexican pizza pockets, a recipe adapted from Dashing Dish. I combined this recipe and this recipe to create this one and it was quite the tasty success. In fact, every time I have heated this in the microwave at the office, people asked me about it. I would suggest making some of the dishes from here as well {and even better, they are low in calorie!}.

Have you tried any new recipes lately? What are your favorite food blogs?

{all images via instagram}

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

orange glazed chocolate doughnuts

This has to be one of my new favorite recipes.  These are SO. GOOD.

I bought some doughnut pans {I have this and this from Wilton} a few weeks ago so that I could try out baked doughnuts. And let me tell you, they are great! During my baking and cooking spree on Sunday, I made some dark chocolate doughnuts with an orange glaze. The glaze is a great fruity addition. I am a big fan of chocolate and fruit combinations so this was right up my alley.

{One day, I will get a better camera to take better pictures...}

{... For now, I will settle for my Nikon and instagram.}

I used these recipes form Heather Cristo Cooks but used orange juice instead of blood orange juice. Of course, you can switch these out and interchange them with your favorite combinations - blueberry and lemon, strawberry and chocolate, plain with sugar, the list is really endless.

Have you tried doughnut pans? What are you favorite combinations?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

hunger games inspired

I saw The Hunger Games on Saturday with my mom and I really enjoyed it! I just finished the books while on vacation last week and was surprised at how I much I really liked them. I still don't understand all the hype, but the books and film were excellent.

I wanted to bake a Hunger Games inspired cupcake before seeing it in theaters but unfortunately didn't have time on Friday night. Since I spent most of Sunday starting the grieving process due to Syracuse's loss on Saturday night, I thought it would be a perfect time to bake some up.

I baked a chocolate spice cake with a brown sugar buttercream. They turned out great in my opinion! The cake had the right amount of spice and heat and the buttercream was not overly sweet.

{This picture is horrible. I'm sorry!}

{This one is better.}

The brown sugar buttercream is seriously delicious. It has landed itself on my list of favorite frostings. Sweet and not too thick, it would be a great pair with lots of different flavored cakes.

Did you see the film? What did you think of it?

{second image via instagram}

Monday, March 26, 2012

confetti cookies

Last week, a friend and sorority sister of mine got engaged and I could not be more excited and happier for her! To congratulate her and her new fiancé, I decided to send them a little care package of goodies. Typically, I like to send friends either my go-to chocolate chip cookie or one of their favorites. This time, I wanted to send a cookie that was a bit more fun since this is a very happy occasion.

Enter the Momofuku Milk Bar Confetti Cookie.

OK, I'll be honest. I have never actually been to Milk Bar but it is on my list of places to go! But if you just take a look at this cookie, you know it's good.

{This recipe is very long, so I suggest going here, Bake Your Day, to see it.  Or you could buy the Milk Bar recipe book!}

Who can resist sprinkles and cake crumb inside of a cookie? No one and certainly not me!

Congratulations to Ashley and Matt! I am so happy for you two!

Friday, March 23, 2012

friday's fancies: march madness

I am so excited about this week's Friday's Fancies theme!  I am a huge basketball fan and Syracuse University has a great basketball program {as well as our share of scandals, but I am choosing to ignore those for right now}.  The Orange had quite the nail biter against the Wisconsin Badgers last night, but we came up with the W and are onto to the Elite Eight tomorrow!  Clearly this week's theme was right up my alley so I put together an outfit that I would love to wear to a game.

OK, so I probably wouldn't wear those Jimmy Choos to a game, but I just couldn't pass up including orange pumps this week.

Besides watching the game this weekend, I have plans to go see The Hunger Games.  Any fun plans for you?  If you're team is playing in the tourney this weekend - good luck!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

march birchbox

In the middle of February I decided to finally purchase a year's subscription to Birchbox.  If you aren't familiar with them, Birchbox was started by female Harvard Business graduates who wanted to help women find the best beauty products that would work for them.  For every month subscribed, members will receive four to five luxe beauty samples that have been tried and tested by Birchbox employees.  After hearing about them months and months ago, I decided that this was probably worth the money for a one-year subscription.  There was an option for March to either receive a regular Birchbox or one with Teen Vogue selected products and I chose to go with the latter {why not right?}.  I know this is coming a bit late, but my box came while I was on vacation and we had our mail held until the 19th.  Since I slept most of Monday, I didn't open this until Tuesday.

1. Essie 'As Gold as it Gets' Luxeffects: I actually already own this so I wasn't ecstatic about receiving it.  I do like it though!

2. Kate Spade New York 'Twirl': I'm glad this came in the box because I own the rollerball version of this scent and am starting to run low.  This is my go-to perfume for work days - very floral which I love!

3. Twistband hair tie: I have wanted to try these out for awhile and am planning on using this on Saturday during Bar Method class.  Hope it works well!

4. Kérastase Elixir Ultime: This is a nourishing oil that is meant to help hydrate, smooth, and sleekify your hair.  I don't really use hair products so not sure if I'll use this, but if I do I will be sure to let you know how it works!

5. Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in 'Lucky': This is a matte color and I highly recommend with all matte colors making sure that your lips are smooth.  Matte colors will settle into lines much easier and be more noticeable than other formulas so having chapped lips is a big no-no.  I tried this on the day I opened my box {Tuesday} and felt the color was too light for my skin tone but looked better with a pink gloss on top {which I guess defeats the purpose of wearing this as a lip tint but oh well!}. However, I did like the formula and would consider buying this in a different color and other versions.

Are you a Birchbox subscriber or have you considered buying a subscription?  Let me know if you are or are considering it and if it's turned you onto new brands or products!

And happy 100 posts to me! Yay for a milestone! :]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

on my bookshelf: vacation reads

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday.  I was feeling very under-the-weather and spent most of the day {and Monday afternoon and night} sleeping and laying in bed.  Not at 100% yet, but I am getting there!

I wanted to share with you the books that I read while on vacation last week.  Honestly, one of the best things about going on vacation is being able to read a book.  I've found that since I've started working and blogging, I haven't read as much as I usually do.  Being on vacation changed that though since I was able to finish four {no, really - four!} books in one week.

1. and 2. Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: I don't know what to say about these books or this series that hasn't already been said.  I read them because I knew the movies were coming out this month {on Friday - AHH!} and I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  I never imagined that I would like this series because it fits in the science fiction/adventure genre, genres I tend to stay away from.  But I completely gave in, read all three {one before vacation}, and LOVED them!  The storyline was never dull and made me never want to put them down.  With an exciting and unique plot and a strong protagonist, I highly, highly recommend reading these!

3. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart: This book was recommended to me by a friend and it took me a day to get into it.  I'll be honest, I would not have picked this book up myself if I had seen it at the store.  It's a mix of satire and politics {it's quite liberal} which could be a turn-off to some, but it really was an interesting book that really made me think. I recommend going to this site to read the synopsis of the novel because I know I would not be able to describe it correctly.  Would I recommend this?  Only to certain people.

4. Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult: OK, I'll be honest.  I really like Jodi Picoult.  I started reading her books when I was a sophomore in college and since then, I've read nearly all of them.  I usually can start and finish her books in a day or two and this was no exception {took just one afternoon on the beach}.  It was an interesting storyline with the tie-in of the lives of a wolf pack and addresses the issue of medical science vs. moral choices.  I won't lie, this was a heartbreaker and I did tear up at the end.  I would recommend these though - especially if you are a Jodi Picoult fan!

As for what I am reading right now, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is on my Kindle and I am loving it so far!

What are you reading?  Any favorites or recommendations?

Monday, March 19, 2012

vacation days through instagram

Since I was on vacation last week, I wasn't able to post my photos for the March photo-a-day challenge through instagram.

{follow me on instagram @sheriann_}

Now that vacation is over, it's back to the daily routine today!

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 16, 2012


I meant to take pictures of some of the clothes I had packed for the week before I left but completely forgot while I tried to pack.  It was a little hectic the night before we left for vacation...

See? Hectic.

I decided to take a few photos of my evening outfits while I was here.'s vacation and things slip my mind much easier than usual so I only remembered on two nights.

{Shirt: J. Crew, Shorts: J. Crew Factory, Necklace: J. Crew Factory - old, Signet Ring: C. Wonder, Shoes: Jack Rogers, Nail polish: Essie 'Olé Caliente'}

{Dress: Rory Beca for Forever21 - no longer available online, Belt: Express, Shoes: Sam Edelman 'Gigi' Sandals, Bracelets: Me + Club Med}

Have a happy St. Patty's Day Weekend!

PS.  What do you think of the new blog design? Thanks so much to Danielle of breakfast at toast for working on this for me - you're the best! :]

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

derby hats

I want to let you all in a fear of mine.  I have a fear of getting a sunburn on my lips.  I had a horrible, horrible sunburn on my bottom lip when I went on spring break to the Bahamas with friends my sophomore year of college.  It made my bottom lip so swollen and hurt much more than I thought it would.  Now, I am very adamant about making sure that whatever chapstick or lip balm I use has SPF in it.  I'm also more willing to wear hats now than ever before so I make sure to pack one whenever I go on vacation.

Unfortunately for me, the lip of the hat I brought with me is definitely not long enough to cover the bottom half of my face so I set out to purchase a new one on Monday {I'm still on operation spending freeze but I thought this was a justified purchase - and my parents were the actually the one to buy it}.  I got a big, floppy hat {something I've wanted for a long time!} at the boutique here and it's definitely been getting a lot of use.

I love this new one but would love to own one of these from Marley Lilly!  I love the monogram and the multiple color options.  Even better, you can get purchase a sash to add to these {just an additional $10} and I think those look great too!

{Monogrammed Wide Outline Derby Hat - comes in five colors, $36}

I hope you're all having a good week!

Monday, March 12, 2012

what's in my beach bag?

{Sorry for the bad quality, there is horrible lighting in my room here!}

1. H&M Striped Cross-Body Bag {from spring 2011}: OK, so I bought this bag last spring because someone in my sorority {my grand-daughter actually - my chapter does Mom/Daughter} got this bag in one of her baskets during Mom/Daughter week. I knew I was going on vacation a few weeks later so I headed to H&M and bought one for myself.  I couldn't help it!  I love it though because it's shape and size are perfect for toting things around.  It's got tons of pockets to hold your little essentials and a big enough space to hold your larger items.

2. Amazon Kindle FireStephanie Johnson Medium Flat Pouch: I'm a Kindle user and I love my Kindle Fire. I am disappointed, however, at how poorly I can read in the sun.  It claims that it's better in that sense than the iPad but I beg to differ.  I keep it in my Stephanie Johnson case which is a great size for it since there is still a little extra room for me to fit other things in there.  Currently, I just finished reading the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy and have moved onto the third.  I love these books more than I ever thought I would and highly recommend them! {Edit: I take back what I said about the Kindle. I don't know if it is just how I positioned myself yesterday by the pool, but the screen was incredibly clear today while I was on the beach.  I had no problem reading my book on my Kindle Fire today.}

3.  Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Sunglasses: I actually bring three sunglasses on me while on vacation.  It usually just depends on the day and my mood on what I happen to be wearing that day.  The other two I've brought me are this Michael Kors pair and my prescription Ray-Ban New Classic Aviators.

4. Neutrogena Wet Skin sunscreen: Sunscreen is so, so, so important!  I'm not one to burn easily but I don't like walking around in the sun without it.  I do not want to take any chances when it comes to my skin so I like to apply it often and whenever I start to feel like I may be burning a little.  It's important to apply sunscreen before you start your day and often while you're out in the sun since it usually washes away with sweat and water.  Go here to sign the sun savvy pledge started by Alison and Danielle!

5. Nikon Coolpix Digital Camera + Case: I don't actually use my camera too often {I did for this picture though!} but this is a much better quality digital camera than what I've had in the past.  Not sure of the brand of the case since I actually got it for free with the camera when I ordered it from Best Buy.

6. Neutrogena UltraSheer Liquid Sunscreen and ChapStick LipShield 365 + Clinique case: I use different sunscreens for my body and my face since I like to use a higher SPF on my face.  This Neutrogena sunscreen is a daily one that is great to use under your make up.  I also buy a chapstick with a high SPF and I've found that ChapStick and Banana Boat make ones that are great and smell good too!

7. Magazines: While I would rather read books while on vacation, I do bring a few with me on trips.  This time, I actually brought six which I thought was a bit excessive.  Given how the Kindle Fire seems to work in the sun, I'm actually glad I brought so many.  My mom gave me this trick of keeping them in the clear plastic case that bed sheets come in when purchased and it works so well in keeping them dry and in good condition.  If you've kept those plastic cases and have no idea what to do with them, I recommend using them for this!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

leavin' on a jet plane!

¡Adios New Jersey! ¡Hola Punta Cana! I'm off to Club Med in Punta Cana until the 17th.  I am so excited for sunny weather and can't wait to lounge around on the beach.  I'll be popping in a few times next week {I chickened out on asking some of my favorite bloggers to guest post - next time!} so look out for those!

Enjoy the weekend! Have a great week!

Friday, March 9, 2012

friday's fancies: spring break!

The weather was so warm here in the city yesterday.  Warm enough that I was able to walk around for a bit without a jacket.  The temperatures and buzz around the Garden {where I was during an extra long lunch break to watch Syracuse take on UConn in the Big East Tournament} had me thinking of college and spring break.  Alison of long distance loving could not have picked a more appropriate time for a spring break Friday's Fancies theme.  I know that I am definitely thinking of sunny days, warm temperatures, and white sandy beaches.

I am actually heading off to Club Med Punta Cana with my family bright and early tomorrow morning until the 17th.  To say that I am excited is a bit of an understatement.  Whatever your plans are, I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.  

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

operation spending freeze: wish list #2

Even though it's only been two weeks, I am considering operation spending freeze to be quite a success so far.  I haven't spent any money on clothing, accessories, or make up since deciding to start this little journey on Ash Wednesday.  But of course that doesn't mean that I haven't been window shopping or browsing some favorite shops online.  I think if I were spending money, I would have purchased a few of the following items.  For now, I will just have to wait!

What's on your current wish list?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

timeless trench

The weather here in New York City and the suburbs has been a bit all over the place.  Sunny, cloudy, rain, a few flurries - we've had it all lately.  Today it's in the mid-40s, but it will be in the low to mid-60s tomorrow and Thursday.  The change in temperatures has me thinking of spring, which of course makes me think of necessary spring apparel.

The trench coat is a coat that I think is essential for spring and its mild weather.  Even better, it's such a classic and timeless piece and would be a great addition to every closet, no matter the color {even though I choose to stick with the typical}. Hopefully, one of these will be finding their way into mine!

Monday, March 5, 2012

minty fresh

A few weeks ago after discovering Natalie's blog, I saw her post on some of her current favorites in early February, including a nail polish combination of mint and gold.  In fact, I loved it so much that I actually used it on my nails twice in a row, something I never do.

Since then, I've been loving all things mint.  It's a hot color trend for spring so now {or for me, after operation spending freeze} would be a great time to pick up a few pieces in this fun and bright color!

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

friday's fancies: tangerine tango

This week's Friday's Fancies theme was based on the Pantone Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango.  Five years ago, I would have told you that I hated the color orange or any shade of it.  It is a much different story after four years at Syracuse where our school color is orange.  Really.  The official school color is just orange.  I got over my dislike for the color very quickly and now love when something comes in the any shade of it.  I loved this week's theme just for that.

I like pairing orange with shades of blue {though I think mint or neutral colors would look great too!} and I really love the color and look of the Dolce Vita wedges.  I think the denim jacket makes it a bit more casual and the bangles add just the right touch of sparkle.

I can't wait to see what everyone else puts together for this theme!  

I'll be heading up to Syracuse early tomorrow morning with my parents for the last home basketball game of the season and I am so excited!  Any fun plans for you?  Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

march photo-a-day

Giving this photo-a-day challenge another go!  Hopefully I'll be able to actually get through all of them and not miss a day or two.

{image via Fat Mum Slim}

Follow me on Twitter or Instagram to catch my photos during the month!  Let me know if you're doing it too and I'll follow you!

Happy March!

february photo-a-day challenge round-up

This photo-a-day challenge was more difficult than I thought it would be.  Sometimes I would be so preoccupied with other things that I would completely forget to take a picture for the day.  It was interesting {and fun!} to also try to find a way to put a creative spin on the word prompt for the day and to see what other people were doing for that day too.

And just as a reminder...

{image via Fat Mum Slim}

Here is my round-up of photos from February!

{Note: Each row should be read left to right.}

If you participated in the photo challenge let me know because I want to check out your photos too! Look out for a post on the word prompts for March later on in the day!