Life Lately: February and March 2014

Line 1: Cheers to L+G // Ortega River Run // Birthday Morning // Baby Shower for V
Line 2: Windy Pic with My Love // Baby Shower for R // River Run with N // Baby Shower for R
Line 3 {30TH BIRTHDAY BASH}: Bar // Co-hosts // Dinner // Birthday Boys
Line 4 {GAINESVILLE MOM'S WEEKEND}: Dragonfly // Mom // Satchel's GF Pizza // Afternoon at Swamp

I've officially become the WORST at taking pictures of life.  When I think about it, I try to snap some shots on my phone, but lately it seems I don't ever have my phone (much less a camera) with me!  January seems to be a lost month photographically, but looking back on my planner, it was filled with LOTS of meetings, interviews, and angst about which direction life was taking me.  February and March, on the other hand, have been non-stop and fun-filled with birthdays, celebrations, and races.  

My goal is to be better in April, and maybe even start these updates on a monthly basis again.  In the meantime, please share your tips and secrets for how to make sure you have a camera with you when you have a picture you can't pass up...

Happy Monday.  
To make things a little brighter, check out this fun giveaway over on Annie's blog.
AND, stay tuned for some fun news about a new series/collaboration on Ann Elliott!  Exciting times!



Friday Style File: Back to School

 top // jeans // sunglasses // clutch // sandals
 First of all, everything in this collage (except the sunglasses)  is on sale - Happy Friday!  

This weekend I'm headed back to my alma mater -  University of Florida.  (Go Gators - Elite Eight!!)  My sister's sorority is having a Mom's Weekend, and I get to be her honorary second "mom" for the weekend.  I'm looking forward to a little "girl's weekend" in Gainesville with my mom and sister.  Here's hoping for some time to visit some of my old favorites - drinks at Swamp, brunch at Ivey's, sushi at Dragon Fly and maybe even a few new places that have popped up since my last visit.  At the very least, I'll be stocking up at Trader Joe's since we are still waiting on ours to open in Jacksonville.  

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  



Living Room Decor

paint // wallpaper 
dot fabric // navy fabric (Calico Corners) // geometric fabric
gold image // blue and white

Our living room is finally complete!  I couldn't be happier with the completed look, and it's one of those places that truly reflects how I want our home to feel.  As soon as I figure out this whole aperture and shutter speed thing, I promise I will post some pictures.  For now, here are the key pieces that made the room come together...

1. Benjamin Moore Pale Smoke Paint.  Josh built amazing bookcases to frame our couch, and we painted the back of the bookshelves in this color.  It changes colors with different light, but it's the perfect neutral with a little punch for the space.  Josh even added a piece of painted dry-wall over the exposed wallpaper, so we have plenty of this color playing in the room.

2. Grasscloth Wallpaper.  This wallpaper was already up in the room when we moved into the house.  While I love the look of grasscloth, it presented some challenges in decorating.  First, it was a little more red-toned than I would have initially chosen.  (I prefer cool tones and neutrals, and this particular wallpaper is very warm, golden, and red.)  Second, I struggled with finding a rug that might work with grasscloth.  I tend to use natural fiber rugs for their price point and easy care, but I didn't want so much "natural" in one room.  We decided to use golden accents in the room to take care of the first problem, and my friends at The Perfect Rug helped me solve the second with a natural fiber rug in a non-traditional texture and color.  More to come on the rug...

3.  Fabrics.  I knew I wanted navy and white fabrics.  Most of the big pieces in the room are very neutral, white or cream.  The navy and white provide the perfect pops of color, and bring the entire room together.  I recovered our x-benches in the dot fabric, and my sweet momma made me LOTS of dot and solid pillows to scatter throughout the room.  I did buy geometric pillow covers from Etsy, and they are even better than I anticipated.  (Check out the link above for the shop.)

4. Golden Accents.  As I mentioned above, we chose golden accents for the room.  Everything from the metal on the sconces, to the curtain rods, to the hardware in the room is a muted, antique gold.  It plays perfectly with the grasscloth, and it looks classic with the navy and white.  Rustoleum gold metallic spray paint helped me keep the theme consistent throughout...

5. Blue and White China.  I have some blue and white china that I adore, and I wanted to showcase in the room.  Our bookshelves are the perfect place for ginger jars, and our blue and white lamps rest perfectly on top of the chests flanking the fireplace.  Having a few pieces in the room adds a classic touch, and showcasing my favorites has me excited to keep collecting pieces.  

It was a long road of decorating, experimenting, and DIY projects, but I'm thrilled with the finished product!



Favorite Things: patterned shorts

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Shorts are a tricky thing.  The wrong pair can leave you feeling frumpy and supremely bored with your outfit.  The right pair, however,  can be worn dressed up or down, feels stylish without being too contrived, and is great for the hot summer months.

So just what is the right pair?  A patterned pair.  

Patterns add a little pop to an outfit, and they can be worn with anything from a plain t-shirt to a silk top and still look great.  Take any of the shorts featured above.  Paired with a tank and flip flops, you look stylish for running errands or a quick trip to the beach.  At night, pair the same shorts with a white silk top and a great tan wedge, and you are ready to go.  The possibilities abound with a patterned short.  Pick up a pair or two today and confidently wear them from now until Fall.  

If you're not sold on pattern, here try these solid shorts.  I'm convinced that four inches is the perfect length for shorts, evidenced by the fact that I used to buy the 5 inch version and have them altered to 4 inches.  Grab a few pairs now without a trip to the tailor!  



recipe: gluten free lemon ricotta pancakes

Whenever I increase my running mileage, I crave pancakes.  Sugar, carbs, a little salt...the stuff dreams are made of.  A few weekends ago, I broke down and decided to try a batch of gluten-free pancakes.  I've been wanting to try lemon ricotta pancakes for a while now, so I decided to go for broke and try two new variations on a classic at once.  I am so, so glad I did.  I made a big batch and had plenty left over to freeze.  We had some of the frozen batch this weekend for a birthday breakfast, and they turned out beautifully.  I can't recommend this recipe highly enough - gluten free or not.  Whip some up, enjoy, freeze, and repeat.  

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Recipe adapted from here


  • Pancake mix  (I used Glutino Fluffy Pancake Mix.)  
  • Ingredients called for on your pancake mix box.  (Mine needed 1 egg, 1 1/2 C. milk, and 3 Tbs. oil)
  • 1 C. ricotta cheese
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Butter for cooking
  • Honey or Syrup
  1. Combine ingredients for pancake batter according to package directions.  Mix to combine, leaving some lumps.  
  2. Add ricotta, stirring gently to keep the lumps in the batter.  Fold in lemon zest.
  3. Heat butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add pancake batter and cook until golden brown. 
  4. Serve warm with honey or syrup.  (We used a creamed honey...it was divine!)
*To freeze leftovers: Let pancakes cool completely.  Stack pancakes in single layer between parchment paper. (My stacks were the number of pancakes I would reheat for a single serving.)  Wrap stacks tightly in aluminum foil and place in freezer bag.  To reheat, remove a stack from the freezer.  Place pancakes in a single layer in a toaster oven for 5 minutes and serve.  You can also reheat in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes, but we found the toaster had better results.  




Thought for the Week: Be Still

original image via

I don't generally take naps.  I always find that I am more tired, groggy, and less productive after a little dozing, and as a result I try to avoid what some people claim as one of life's greatest pleasures...until yesterday.  After the most wonderful weekend spent celebrating Josh and Russell's 30th with family and friends, I was tired and exhausted and succumbed to a nap.  It. was. DIVINE. 
Generally, I am programmed to wake up early, to do list in hand, and conquer the day.  I can't remember a weekend with "nothing to do" in a long time, and I'm not complaining.  On the rare day without an errand to do or task to achieve, I feel a little lost and like the day was wasted.  As a result, I don't often take the time to just relax.  Though one amazing nap may not change my innate drive to "do," I'm hoping more naps and/or times to sit and "be still" are in my future.  Life moves at a break-neck pace, and taking the time to recharge is vital.  Maybe the recharge is in the form of a nap, exercise, or a good book.  Maybe it's just setting aside a Saturday each month to make pancakes and enjoy whatever the day brings.  However the recharge happens, I'm coming to the realization that it's as important (if not more) than the task being trumped by slowing down.  

Ironically, cultivating the discipline to "be still" just found its way onto my "to do" list for the week...

How do you like to recharge and "be still?" 



Friday Style File: Birthday BBQ

top // jeans (budget friendly options here, here, and here) // earrings  (sold out - similar here) // bangle // cuff // wedges

FRIDAY!  We've made it friends!  

This weekend is another whirlwind as we celebrate some 30th Birthdays.  Josh has known his best friend, Russell, since they were born (2 days apart), and they have remained best friends for 30 years.  We are having a little BBQ dinner at our house this Saturday to celebrate the birthday boys' entry into the "real adult world" of their thirties.  

Admittedly, I don't know what I'm going to wind up wearing tomorrow night (the weather here has been so crazy - freezing one day, then sunny and hot the next), but I think this look is a likely candidate.  I adore this top (on major sale!), and the emerald green adds a nice contrast to the navy.  I'm also leaning towards wedges - a little height that still allows for walking in the backyard.

Happy Weekend!  Here's to avoiding BBQ sauce stains on crisp white denim!  



Warming Up on a Budget: Under $40 (cont.)

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

Welcome back to "Warming up on a Budget."  My intention was to feature pieces for $60 or less today, but I found so many $40 or less deals I decided to do a "round 2" so to speak.  Hope you enjoy...

1. D'Orsay Flats.  These flats are amazing.  I picked them up at Target last week, and I've worn them everyday since.  I love the tan and black, and I get compliments whenever I wear them.  There is also a great snakeskin pair that I'm thinking of snagging today.  (You might want to try a half-size down.)

2. Stripes + Florals.  This is the perfect piece for Spring as it effortlessly mixes two big trends.  Love the shape.  Love the pattern.  Love the price.  (Also in solid colors AND a matching pair of shorts.)

3. Shift Dress.  A shift dress is the perfect piece in almost any wardrobe.  It was be worn casually with flats, or dressed up with heels and jewelry.  This bright kelly green color is an easy choice.

4. Scallop Dress.  Reminiscent of a certain dress from last Spring, this one is a ponte knit (read: no wrinkles) at a fraction of the price of it's inspiration.  Scallops are back again this year, so if you're uncertain about an investment, grab this dress and try it out.  

5. Patterned Shorts.  I love a cute pair of patterned shorts for Spring.  Pair them with a crisp white top and sandals.  Or dress them up with a wedge.  Or just wear them everywhere and watch people swoon with envy over your effortless style.

6. Tortoise Cuff.  It's a classic that you'll wear for years.  Get a few of this skinny style and stack them.  Seriously.

7. Hat.  Everyone needs a good hat for the pool or beach.  Rather than pulling out your significant other's baseball hat, invest in a cute, stylish hat like this.  A big floppy hat is the preference of some, but I prefer this sleeker more compact option.  As a bonus, you can wear this style when your hair isn't behaving, while the big floppy hat tends to look comical off the sand or pool deck.

8. Colorblock clutch.  I'm still having an affair with blue and white, and I love this clutch.  It's the perfect way to lighten up an outfit for Spring.

9. Silk T.  Every wardrobe needs a few of these.  Thanks to J. Crew Factory you can score them in lots of colors and even a few patterns.  I promise you will wear these constantly.

10. Pointed Flats.  I love these adorable flats - pointy toed AND stripes?!  Perfect.  Wear them with ankle pants, jeans, shorts, whatever.  They are the perfect way to finish off a preppy yet cool look.



Favorite Things: 3.19.14

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 (on sale!) // 6

I think I've become a convert to Chuck Taylors.  I've browsed, I've pinned, and finally I've been converted.  I haven't purchased my first pair yet, but I'm thinking a classic white pair will be mine before this month ends.  I don't need to be converted to this green and white statement necklace, however.  I see it pairing perfectly with white, chambray, navy, or green - basically the backbone colors of my closet!  I'm also in love with this DVF green dress.  Perfection.  AND, despite how much I hate bathing suit shopping, it's time.  Warmer weather is headed this way!  I've always loved a one piece, and this navy suit from J Crew is super flattering.  (Look for a round up of some of my other favorite bathing suits coming soon.)  This bright scarf is a great way to add some color while the temperatures are still fluctuating, but I think it would also be perfect as a sarong during bathing suit season.  Rounding out this week's favorites are these adorable glass and brass boxes - perfect for jewelry, bookshelf styling, or anywhere you need a little touch of something decorative.  

As always, thank you for reading and supporting Ann Elliott.  Friday is within sight!



Recipe: Tuscan Lemon Chicken

We almost always have boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders in our freezer.  They are one of those items that I pick up in bulk when they are on sale.  Generally, I don't have a plan for how I will use them, but they are great to have for baking, grilling, shredding into a recipe, etc.  A few weeks ago I pulled some chicken tenders from the freezer and flipped open a Barefoot Contessa cookbook.  I decided to try her Lemon Tuscan Chicken, despite the fact that her recipe called for a chicken with "skin-on."  Even with my modifications, the chicken was delicious - the mark of a really good recipe if it had been followed exactly.  The original recipe calls for a little more pre-work and planning than I had time for when I made my modifications, but based on my result I would say the original recipe is worth the effort.  Give it a try and let me know what you think...or just invite me for supper.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken
Original Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

  • 1 (3.5lb) chicken, flattened  (I used boneless, skinless chicken "tenders" since this was what I had on hand.  They were good, but I think having a "skin on" chicken would be even better!)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 C fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved.


  1. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp. salt on each size.
  2. Combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 1 tsp. pepper in ceramic or glass dish, just large enough to hold the chicken.  Add the chicken and turn to coat.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning once or twice.  (I didn't wait the four hours and the flavors were still OK.  I trust Ina though, so if you have time - cover and wait!)
  3. When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on one side of grill.  Spread 1/4 of coals across the other side of grill.  Place chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weight down with the dish you used for marinating.  Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown.  Turn the chicken to skin side down, weight with dish, and cook for another 12-15 minutes until skin is golden brown and chicken is cooked through.  Place lemon halves on cool side of grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking.*
  4. Remove chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  Cut chicken, sprinkle with salt, and serve with grilled lemon halves.
*Once again, I varied the recipe here.  I simply baked my chicken for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  I didn't have the skin on the chicken, so I didn't have the crispy factor that the original recipe would have produced, but the overall result was still very good.  If you have time, grill and follow the original recipe.  If you are short on time, however, baking the chicken with the original flavors is still delicious!




Thought for the week: Happy

original quote via
This weekend was all about being happy.  Happy to compete in the River Run.  Happy to have weeks of training behind me.  Happy to make it to the top of the bridge.  Happy to finish (despite a disappointing race.)  Happy to have a decorated living room.  And mostly, happy to celebrate a baby girl that will be coming this way in 6 short weeks.  (Pictures later this week!)

R and C - we love you and Baby A so much.  We couldn't be happier for you as you begin this journey as parents, and we can't wait to meet your sweet little one.  Thank you for letting us be part of the happiness; you really can never have too much.

Happy Monday.  



Friday Style File: Baby Shower

dress // bracelet // shoes // earrings
Friday again, and it's a busy weekend around here.  Saturday is the River Run, and I'll be tackling the Hart Bridge at mile 8 along with 20,000 other crazy runners.  Prayers are welcomed and gladly accepted!

On Sunday, I'm hosting a baby shower for one of my dearest and oldest friends...at our house!  I'm so excited to be hosting with such a great group of ladies because they have done lots of the heavy lifting on details, while I've worked to finish painting and furnishing the living room of our house.  I love this bright pink dress to honor the sweet momma and baby GIRL headed our way, and I like that the bracelet adds some interesting color and texture.  Throw on some simple earrings and heels to finish the look.  

Happy Weekend!



Warming Up on a Budget: Under $40

 1// 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

I don't know about you, but Spring is one of my favorite times for shopping.  Since shopping anytime can take a toll on the budget, I thought I'd share some of my favorite budget Spring finds over the next few weeks.  There's nothing like a good deal, and here is the first round...all for under $40.  

This week's entire collage is from Old Navy.  [Not sponsored- I was just super impressed last time I went into the store!]  I don't generally shop at Old Navy, but I went in looking for metallic flats, and walked out with some incredible finds.  

1. An oversize tote bag.  This bag is the most expensive item on the collage, coming in at just under $40.  Believe me though, it looks much more expensive than that in person.  I love the tassel, and the warm tan is beautiful.  (Also in navy blue.)

2. An open weave knit sweater.  I love this look for Spring.  You can still feel a little covered up if you're in the air conditioning or cooler temps, but it's open enough to not feel like you are still wearing heavy layers.  Pair it with cute sandals and jean shorts for a chic, laid-back look.

3. A striped cover up.  I have a hard time finding cover-ups that I like, but this one fits the bill.  It's not too see through (in case you want to venture inside during pool season), and the stripes give it a little something extra.  (Also in white with navy stripes.)

4. A patterned sweater.  I saw this in the clearance section of my store and considered buying two.  It reminds me of a much pricier Equipment top, and it's the perfect for dressing up or down.  Love it, Love it, Love it.

5. Distressed jean shorts.  As I typed this I heard the chant "Gator Fans wear jean shorts."  While this isn't usually a compliment, I do love a good pair of distressed denim.  These are the perfect length for my short legs, and a fraction of the price of most of the distressed denim you see out there.  There are plenty of different wash options (including non-distressed) as well.

6. A short sleeved sweater.  I was ecstatic when I saw this in the store.  First of all, the cream color isn't too see-through which is a huge bonus in my book.  (I hate having to layer a tank under a light weight shirt - it defeats the whole purpose!)  This one also happens to be super cute.  I would pair it with jeans or shorts all season and through the Summer.

7. Neutral flip flops.  These remind me of my favorite pair of Tkees that I wore all last Summer.  At under $15, you can afford to stock up, leave one at the pool, or just have them available to throw on whenever.  A great staple!  (Also in black.)

8. Metallic flats.  As I mentioned, I originally went into Old Navy looking for these.  Unfortunately, they only come in whole sizes, and I couldn't comfortably make the switch in either direction from my usual 7.5.  These are right on trend for Spring though, so if you can wear a whole size- snap them up in gold and silver!

Check back next week for more budget friendly finds.  As always, thank you for reading and for all of the support.  

This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  


Favorite Things: 3.12.14

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 (on sale!) // 6
With warming temperatures and the imminent arrival of Spring, I'm still loving blues, greens, and aquas.  I think just seeing these colors reminds me of a Caribbean get-away, and I happen to love them paired together like with this top and shoe.  I've been buying tulips almost weekly, and I love them in tall vases like this one.  They instantly bring a pop of color and happiness to any room.  Speaking of color - I love this geometric print.  I can picture it on a bar cart, in a guest room, or just about anywhere you want to add a little spunk to your decor.  Finally, I just picked up this makeup brush over the weekend, and I love it.  It's a great price point, soft, and makes applies makeup smoothly and evenly.  I'm still new to using a foundation + brush, but so far I'm loving it.

Happy Wednesday!



Baked Shrimp Scampi

Whenever I don't know what to make for dinner, I turn to Ina Garten.  I've been working my way through every one of her cookbooks, and I haven't found a recipe that disappoints yet.  Last week, I was feeling particularly uninspired, and I flipped to her recipe for baked shrimp scampi.  It does require a little prep work, but it can be made in advance and popped in the oven 15 minutes before dinner.  I cut the recipe in half since I'm not a fan of having leftover seafood.  We've had it twice in the past week, and each time was divine.  I've served it with everything from cheesy polenta to brussels sprouts, and I don't think there is much that wouldn't pair well...it's definitely a keeper.

Baked Shrimp Scampi
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics


  • 2 lbs. (12-15 count) shrimp, cleaned, deveined, and butterflied.
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. dry white wine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 12 Tbs. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 C. minced shallots (I've left these out both times, and it's still been delicious)
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 C. panke (Japanese bread crumbs)  (I use a gluten free corn based bread crumb - hence the yellow in the picture above...still delicious!)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Place shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with olive oil, wine, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper.  Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a small bowl, mash softened butter with garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper until combined.
  4. Starting from outer edge of an oval gratin dish, arrange shrimp in a single layer, cut side down and tails facing towards the center of the dish.  Pour the remaining olive oil mixture over shrimp. 
  5. Spread butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. (This is a little tough as the butter mixture is usually sticky - just spread it across the top of the shrimp with your fingers and make sure each shrimp gets coated.)
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
  7. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over shrimp and serve immediately.



Thought for the Week: Have Fun

We had a wonderful weekend of Family Reunion"ing."  It was an exhausting and especially "programmed" weekend, but there was plenty of time for catching up with cousins, chatting over meals, and having fun.  We even got to have N, G, and O stay with us in our new house (Hi Girls!), and we LOVED every second of having them here.  Josh is a bit worried he might wind up with triplet girls (who will all be 16 at the same time,) but he handled so many girls under one roof well.

One of the highlights of the weekend was Laser Tag.  I was serious in my post on Friday when I said we would be playing.  We had a course set up in my in-laws front yard, and it was amazing to watch the mix of family members get so into the game.  It was muddy, funny, and perfect for everyone from age four to fifty-four (ish.)  One of the things that struck me most about playing, however, was that to really have fun it helped to be "all in."  I couldn't worry about getting muddy.  I couldn't worry about looking silly.  I couldn't worry about getting "out" quickly.  I just had to go with it and have fun.

I think the idea of letting go and having fun is a great lesson for life.  There will be times when you are dealt tasks that are outside of our routine or comfort zone.  There will be times when life calls for an undertaking that really isn't "you."  There might even be times when something doesn't sound fun at all, but circumstances require you to participate.  It's in these times that finding a way to embrace the situation and have fun is key.  I can't say that every monotonous task at work or wait in the carpool line will be fun if you just "let go," but I do think seeing the situation for what it is and allowing for the possibility of having fun will often result in a good outcome.  At the very least, the task might be a little more bearable, and at the very best you just might have some fun.



Friday Style File: Weekend Errands

sweater // jeans // bag // sunglasses // earrings // shoes
This weekend is all about looking casually pulled together.  We have Josh's family reunion, and our weekend will be full of meals, service projects, laser tag (for real), a few errands and plenty of family pictures.  I want a look that is casual and comfortable, but that still looks put together and doesn't involve my usual Saturday uniform of yoga pants.  

I love this sweater - it's cool and lightweight - perfect for Florida Spring weather.  AND, it's a total steal...seriously, grab three today.  I'm not totally on the bandwagon with Chuck Taylor's, but I'm working on becoming a convert.  I would generally reach for my Nike Frees, but there is something undeniably "cool" about Chuck Taylor's with cuffed denim.  Throw in a big, striped bag for toting your necessities for errands, and you're done.  

What's your weekend "uniform?"  More importantly - convert me to Chuck Taylor's...tell me how you wear them!!



Dreaming of Santorini

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8
Like most of you, I receive tons of magazines in the mail each week.  Sometimes I flip through them, but many times I recycle them without looking at them.  This week, however, I flipped open the new Boden catalog, and I immediately began drooling over their location shots in Santorini, Greece.  I was literally standing at the recycling bin about to drop the catalog into oblivion, when I casually flipped open a page.  I drew in a breath, took the catalog back to my desk, and I promptly began putting together this post.  

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
Maybe it's the cold rain we've had for days on end.  Perhaps it's Boden's perfect pattern and color blending.  Maybe it's just my need for a vacation sneaking up on me.  Whatever it is...I'm craving sunshine, beautiful beaches, and Europe.  The blue and white of Santorini is calling my name, but I'd settle for just about anywhere with some culture, great food, and warm temps.

Anywhere in particular you're dreaming of visiting?



Favorite Things: Blue and White

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

I've been on a major black and white kick all Fall and Winter, so it's only natural that my tastes would veer towards blue and white for Spring and Summer.  Whether it's decor, clothing, or accessories, I love the classic crispness of blue and white - even on trendier pieces like these shoes or earrings.  

Do you have a favorite color combination?  Does it change with the seasons?
Tell me about it on the new Ann Elliott Facebook page. 


Recipe: Chicken with Goat Cheese + Basil

There really isn't too much to say about this chicken, other than make it...tonight.  It has six ingredients you likely have in your pantry/fridge, it can be prepped ahead of time, and it's delicious.  It also looks and tastes impressive - almost like you slaved in the kitchen for hours.  It's on constant rotation in our house, and I promise it will be at your too.  

Chicken with Goat Cheese + Basil
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa at Home

  • 6 boneless chicken breasts, skin on.
  • 8-10 oz. garlic and herb goat cheese.
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan.  Loosen the skin from the chicken with your fingers, leaving one side attached.  Cut the goat cheese into 1/2 inch thick slices and place 1-2 slices plus a large basil leaf under the skin of the chicken.  Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won't become too dry.  
  3. With your fingers, rub each piece of chicken with olive oil then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  
  4. Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through.  



Thought for the Week: Birthday Wishes

Thank you all for the outpouring of love and good wishes yesterday.  I had an amazing day celebrating with family and friends, and I couldn't think of a better way to kick off the last year of my twenties. 

 Since it seems strange to give myself birthday wishes, this quote is my wish for all of you in the coming year.  Here's to time for chasing your dreams, good madness, lots of books, kisses from your love, and plenty of surprises.  More than anything, I hope this year brings you the strength to trust in yourself and an ability to find peace and joy in whatever comes your way.  
Here's to nine, twenty-nine, ninety-nine, and anything in between.  

PS: As an added birthday bonus, check out Ann Elliott's new facebook page here!