I'm excited to start a new monthly series of my 'Favorite Things.' I'm a creature of recommendation and have found some of the best things through friends and casual conversation. I'll share with you, on a monthly basis, some of the things I've come across that I'm really excited about with the hopes that you might enjoy them too!
Kody Stewart Illustration is legit. She creates one-of-a-kind drawings of your people, pets, and homes that are super lifelike, but somehow make you envious of the cartoon version of yourself. Follow her on Instagram and watch her IG stories where she records the process of many of her projects (very addicting) or, order here for a really fun statement piece to include in your house, apartment, flat, abode, or wherever you may lay your head.
As a weekday commuter I'm always looking for a good Podcast to tune in to (so comment below with any recommendations!). Remember Richard Simmons? I had to refamiliarize myself a little bit with his story when I came across the Missing Richard Simmons series but I was instantly intrigued. A fitness guru, Simmons built an empire over the last 40 years through aerobic programs and extremely personal relationships with those struggling with weight issues. On February 15, 2014 he all of a sudden disappeared from the public eye not showing up to his regular scheduled classes, and cutting off his closest friends. The once, uncharacteristically accessible celebrity was now no where to be found. Interested? I was, check it out in a quick 6 part series.
This past March I was able to cross off a big bucket list item when we caught Eric Clapton live in concert. No surprise he brings some great opening acts with him and through this experience I was introduced to Gary Clark, Jr.. Best known for his fusion of blues, rock, and soul music, with some elements of hip hop, he's been deemed 'The Chosen One' sharing the stage with legends like B.B. King, Clapton, and the Stones. P.S. he's only 33. Want a good face melt? Check him out. A few of my favorites: Our Love (Live), Bright Lights, When My Train Pulls In.
Pennant fan? I'm always looking for some cool and different items to include in our home decor and when I came across these guys (hailing from Buffalo, NY woop woop!) I was pumped. They've taken an item that has been around forever and made it cool again. Shop their ever changing selection of pennants, banners, or grab a custom order for a wedding or other event.
Man oh man, I've been missing in action. Life has been busy, but exciting! I've been preparing for Sugarfoot's 2017 Summer Line while also preparing for our little guy, and feeling extra pregnant in the process!
I am at the point in my pregnancy where getting dressed everyday can be a struggle. You're uncomfortable and just feel like nothing fits. When you can throw on a dress you love that isn't "maternity," you kinda feel like it's a win. Although it's really just the specific cut of the dress that allows you to still wear it, it's those small mental wins that can help get you through the day.
Free People is one of my favorite places to shop and the style of this dress is right on par with what I love. The red option is also pretty amazing. Luckily this dress allows you to pull off a more casual look with a pair of high tops, which helps you maintain that comfort level.
Serious props to all fellow pregnant girls out there looking cute. I know it's not always easy and I truly respect the effort this second time around.
DRESS (FREE PEOPLE)
For us East Coasters it seems like forever since we could even think about bathing suit season. But, it's snuck up on us again and I'm soo excited. Ironically, this year I'm doing my suit research while 8 months pregnant so what I'm looking at is slightly different than my norm. I figured since it's a time in my life where I am literally surrounded by pregnant people, it'd be a great excuse to do a round-up of some favorite trends that provide a little more coverage. All of us are looking forward to the weather changing but what comes with that fashion-wise can be stressful for those of us in baby-making mode. There are a ton of options out there that can provide a stylish + fun look in the summer months for us Mama's. Enjoy!
This baby is getting biiig. Everyday I go to get dressed and can't believe how much things have progressed, 12 weeks to go, crazy. Putting outfits together is definitely becoming more challenging, it's hard to find things you can both feel good in and that will keep you comfortable. My go-to for the past months have been leggings + sweaters but as the weather begins to turn I've been reaching for my more comfortable, cute (& stretch-proof) dresses.
I love this one from H&M, the floral print and detailing at the top makes it easy to dress up, but it also has a casual feel to it that makes it easy to pair with some fun accessories. I love any outfit I can pair with a hat, I think it just brings an extra zing to the overall feel.
I think you'll soon be able to roll me like a bowling ball but I hope to share a couple more ways I style maternity before this baby boy comes. If not, you may find a succession of recipes for numerous baked goods as I enjoy the final days of abusing the classic phrase, 'eating for two.'
For complete recipe + directions, scroll to the bottom!
When deciding on a fun Valentines' treat to make I did what I rarely do and skipped the chocolate. Instead I got a little nostalgic and found a homemade recipe to a childhood favorite. My husband loves Pop Tarts and as soon as I came across these I knew it'd be a fun thing to surprise him with. The process is slightly labor intensive, but if you're doing it for a special occasion and it's 20 degrees + snowing, why not?
This recipe requires you to make your own dough but these can also be done by purchasing a pre-made pie crust from the grocery store. I'm sure they would be just as yummy and if you're short on time, that's what I'd definitely recommend. For the special occasion I thought it was necessary to go full bore.
A couple tips,
- I made my dough a different day and put it in the refrigerator for the night. Just another way to split things up and make it a little less time consuming.
- Have some sort of tool handy that you can cut the dough with. I used a pizza cutter, it's also helpful if you have a ruler to help keep your lines straight. I did not use one and they turned out fine.
- Wait for them to cool before you frost and make your frosting a little thicker (less milk). Mine was pretty thick and it still spilled over the sides. Not a big deal but this will help towards style points.
- Frosting, not necessary but so good.
| PREP TIME: 45 MINUTES COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN |
YIELDS: 6-12 POP TARTS
- 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½" pieces (1 stick)
- 6 tablespoons shortening
- 6 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 large egg mixed with 2 tablespoons milk
- ¾ cup strawberry preserves (or your favorite flavor)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk
- To make the dough combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl or food processor. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the cold water and pulse just until the dough starts to hold together. Don't over process.
- Gather the dough together and divide in half. Form each half into a disc. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight (I did overnight and it helped make the process feel a little less involved).
- To make the filling combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water in a small sauce pan. Whisk until smooth. Add the jam and heat over medium until it comes to a boil. Simmer stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool until ready to use.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to rest 10-15 minutes (25-30 if you refrigerated overnight). Lightly flour a clean work surface and dust the dough with flour. Roll the dough to about ⅛" thick large enough to cut into a 9" x 12" rectangle. Cut the 9x12 inch rectangle into 9 equal 3x4" pieces by cutting four lines across on the 12-inch side and three down the 9-inch side (I used a pizza cutter!). Gather dough scraps together and set aside.
- Place the 9 individual pieces of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Beat together the egg and milk. Brush the egg mixture all over the cut pastry pieces. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each pastry.
- Roll out the second pastry disc to the same dimensions and cut into 9 individual pieces. Prick the dough with the tines of a fork, the round end of a small clean paint brush or chop stick to create vent holes.
- Place each piece of vented dough over the filling. Press the edges together firmly with a fork to seal. Repeat until all pockets are formed.
- Brush the tops of the pockets with a little bit of the egg and milk mixture. Place the baking sheet with the uncovered pastries in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the pastries from the refrigerator and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the pastries to a wire rack and cool
- Frost, sprinkle, and serve!