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Black Friday

Fair Oaks Mall
Black Friday.
The day after Thanksgiving.
Traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.
The start of the Christmas season. With Thanksgiving down, we can finally finish out 2010 with our last holiday of the year...Christmas.
One word to describe my full day of shopping on Black Friday? INSANE.
Being in DC this weekend for Thanksgiving, I decided to make use of my Friday and do what every other families did on the day after Thanksgiving. I decided to check out the Fair Oaks Mall which was a thirty minute drive from my cousin's house, to find traffic just entering the mall.
And not just that. Getting in the mall was even harder. There were people everywhere.
First stop? Forever 21. I loved the fact that it was a two-story. There were tons of comfy/cozy sweaters in Forever 21. You can bet I snagged a few ;)
Oh, and what am I on the hunt for?
A leather jacket.

Lady Godiva

This café had the best paninis and crêpes. So good.

                                                                    Oh, how festive.

Of course they had a Cheesecake Factory.
Fayetteville, oh how I've missed you.
Despite the freezing cold weather in DC, it felt great getting out of North Carolina.
But...Thanksgiving Break is pretty much over and it's time to get back home.
Until next November.

An Unforgettable Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)
We all know Thanksgiving Day is always the busiest day of November. It's when you're preparing for the biggest feast of the year. This may include running everywhere around the kitchen, rushing to Honey Baked Ham Co. for that last minute ham, watching mom make mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing... Helping grandma with the pumpkin pie, everyone is helping to set the're inhaling all the scrumptious smells that are trailing around in the kitchen and around the house...
But in the end, it's all totally worth it.
As we all gather around the dinner table with mouths watering, staring down at the delicious meal you've been prepping for all day, you're dying to dig your fork into that steaming turkey that has gravy oozing down on the side. whether you're spending Thanksgiving at home or out of town with family, make the most out of it. Enjoy it with the people you love most in this world.
And then end your meal with these delicious desserts that you'll crave more than anything :)

mini soufflé dishes
To me, serving a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast can be an exciting prospect. All it takes is a little planning and recipes that are delicious and simple to prepare. Thanksgiving classics--turkey roasted with butter and white wine, glazed ham, and cornbread stuffing--are served on a table decked with simple holiday touches. Side dishes, inspired by the Southern setting include: a savory cheese grits pudding, a quick-to-prepare version of hopping John (a stew of collard greens and black-eyed peas), and honey-glazed yams. Pumpkin cream pie ends the holiday meal. As always. What's Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?

the classics: Pumpkin Pie

Sweet ending :)

And of course, as always it's important to give thanks on this wonderful holiday.

Other than that? Enjoy.

I'll be in D.C. for the next few days so updating will be a little hard, but be prepared for more blog updates when I return ;)


Expresso Yourself

Squeezing in some christmas shopping here and there, bumping into familiar faces at the mall, sampling healthy salads at Panera, raiding craft stores, getting my Starbucks to-go and walking from one store to the next, buying ingredients for holiday desserts...I can say that my weekend was a good one. I have some exciting events planned for this week that I'm super excited about. For Thanksgiving, my family and I head up to D.C. every year for our annual family reunion. Oh boy. I'm looking forward to spending my break out of Fayetteville, so I'd consider it a good thing any day.
I've been thinking more and more as Thanksgiving draws near and this year I decided to give the meaning of Thanksgiving a little more thought. I'm thankful for a lot of things. Starting with my family and friends and for the person I am. I'm so thankful to be spending the holidays with people that I cherish and love <3.

Thessalonians 5:18 - "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God."

Here are six things that currently make me happy:

For the sake of my brother and his hungry appetite, I bought him some snickerdoodles. Who doesn't love the fresh smell of baked cookies?

I have a thing for festive dessert plates and mugs. I don't know why but I adore them so so much. They are just the cutest accessories for your kitchen table.
I've literally been living on green tea. Best drink ever. If you knew me then you'd know...

As much as I love my oxford flats, I would seriously die for some oxford pumps.

Went to Forever 21 this weekend and saw a bunch of adorable oversize sweaters. So as of now, I want a big cozy sweater that's cute and comfy to snuggle up in.

Scarf and Gloves Combination
I love the color mustard. And the fact that these are mustard gloves make them undeniably hard to resist. Why does F21 make it so easy to be attracted to?! I can't deny that almost everything on my Christmas list has been from that one store.

xoxo, you know you love. . .this outfit.

Serena van Der Woodsen in "The Townie"
All my favorite things in one picture :)

Love the whole prep school look going on here.
She's got the blazer, messenger bag, tights, coffee...aaand the oxfords!
this is why I love Gossip Girl <3
Eric Daman, (Gossip Girl's stylist..the mastermind behind the incredible wardrobe) never ceases to amaze me.

A Toast to the Host

With all these festivities in the air, I think I could really go insane. What to do...what to buy...
I went to the mall and several places yesterday and began noticing all the Christmas trimming, ornaments and even lights hanging everywhere. And that wasn't it. There were Christmas carols and holiday music playing in the background. I gotta admit, people are seriously ready for the holidays. And so am I.

Undeniable Charisma.
I gotta say, this dress has it all. The aquamarine hue...the adorable white bow..the sailor-esque collar...
this dress is beautiful. It's a blue-ming beauty. hardy har :)
I've been admiring this from ModCloth (Undeniable Charisma Dress) for a little while considering if I should make a slight addition to my Christmas list.
And speaking of Christmas lists, that's right. :) I've already started jotting down a couple of gift ideas for the biggest holiday of the year. The holidays are drawing closer and closer and I can't believe it's merely more than a month away. Instead of waiting last minute to buy gifts, I'm going to make it a resolution to start early. Sure, the malls gets packed down and everything goes on sale, and schedules start filling up, but...why risk all that? I have my eye on a couple of things this year actually ;) but there will be more (eventually) as we get through the month of November so I'm not too sure yet.

Holiday Tree-t Ornaments.
It's never too early to get those Christmas ornaments for December. In fact, the sooner the better. And these ornaments? Not only are they just the cutest things, but they look soo scrumptious...yuuum.

It never hurts to have a simple but elegant cocktail dress in your wardrobe in case a formal after party occurs. You can shine and dazzle in these shimmery cocktail dresses from ModCloth at your next Christmas party.
Classic Beauty Dress$109.99

Without Equal Dress $399.99

Onyx Intentions Dress
I love baking. PERIOD.
Last Christmas, it was all about those sugar cookies and brownies, but this year I want to do something different. I've always wanted to make those cute christmas treats that look so adorable you don't want to eat them (but still end up eating them anyway).. but I never really got the chance. So this Christmas, I plan to raid stores looking for cute Christmas recipes. It's always fun to make with your family. It's a tradition of mine at my house. What's better than eating delicious Christmas cookies than with your family?

So what are some of your favorite or traditional Christmas treats?

Give your dessert a snowy touch.
Christmas comes year round. We all know it's a festive time of year when we pull out our most impressive and creative desserts. As the jolly holiday approaches, we'll spend hours in the kitchen baking dozens of cookies and cookie bars, cakes, pies, candies, and other creative confections that we proudly reserve for special occasions.

“These dazzling desserts are all drizzled, dusted, glazed, sprinkled, or dipped in something sweet and white,” says Sandra Lee, with her latest collection of Christmas recipes. “Whether or not your town enjoys a wintertime snowfall, you can bring a frosty touch to your holiday table with one of these clever recipes.”

These chocolate filled Peppermint Meringues would make an attractive and delectable addition to your Christmas table. Get the recipe from Martha.

Model Behavior

Walking the streets in NY looking like this?
woo wee, who could not resist staring?

Leave it to Olivia Palermo to attend a premiere wearing a rocking black dress teamed with bold accessories (scarlet clutch and mustard heels). The look literally screams confidence with a hint of sophisticated but yet sweet. With mouths drooling over this outfit, who cares what anyone else was wearing?

a pair of loosely fit jeans (+1)
an Alice + Olivia striped black and white tee (+1)
a fitted chic black blazer (+1)
large sunglasses (+1)
an oh! so cool Valentino studded slouchy hobo bag (+1)
oh yeah, and a Chanel shopping bag (+10)

...all you need to look stylish while out and about shopping on the streets. The Chanel shopping bag was a joke however haha. It's just Whitney Port carrying it makes everything classier ;)

 models keeping it classy from the runway to the streeeets.

As the weather gets colder. . .

As the temperature starts dropping and leaves start falling, we all know this is another way of saying winter is on its waaay. And it seems to me that November is that month where everyone feels lazy and starts bumming more. Sweatpants, sweatshirts, jeans...if you know what I mean.
Winter to me is like playing dress up. Since it's colder out, I feel more comfortable and warm bundled up in peacoats, boots, scarves... ;)
Another big thing? Tights.
So why not try something new?
After all, New Year's is only two months'd be a great way to start off the new year.

Do's and Don'ts of wearing tights in the winter:

 Ok. First of all, GROSS.

DON'T pull a Gaga (unless you are Gaga)

DON'T mix and match.

Waaait. Halloween was last month...right?
I mean, it looks like this lady couldn't decide which color tights to wear so she decided to wear both.  Don't ever wear two different colored tights. Not only does it grab attention (not the attention you would want, trust me), it also looks trashy.

DO tone down tights on a bright outfit.

Neutral colors like these opaque gray tights look amazing on actress Madeline Zima. It makes the outfit really pop out more.

DO experiment with patterns.

I've always had a thing for patterned tights. It's not an everyday thing to see a person walking down the streets wearing a set of plaid tights. Or maybe if you lived where I lived, wearing colored tights are supposedly not an everyday thing's weird. I know because I LOVE colored tights. I wear them all the time, especially now that the weather's gotten a lot colder :)
Wearing them with plain outfits make them look more subtle.

We all get those cravings. . .

Last week after a long, tired tennis match in Cary, I've realized how much I've missed Panera Bread. It's not like me to crave for food, but that night I couldn't resist.
Out of all my visits to Panera Bread in the past, I've never been able to take my eyes off the pastries they have on display. I've always wondered why they put all their yummy treats in the front before you order. Probably because they know you'll pick one out eventually while waiting in that long line! (another thing, their lines are always long)
Haha, what do you knooow.
You know, I've been thinking lately and I'm so glad we're finally getting one here in Fayetteville. I couldn't be even more excited :) And now if we could get a H&M and a better mall...

haha kidding but that would be nice...

Plus, Panera Bread is a healthy alternative choice when going out to eat and I'm a fanatic when it comes to eating healthy.

I'm just ecstatic about the Panera Bread coming in Fayetteville. I seriously hate passing by the construction every other day on Skibo Road seeing the half built Panera. It's disappointing, really.
Since my stomach is growling at this moment, I'm probably going to go on and on about how delicious their food is. I don't mean to make you guys hungry haha, but I definitely hope it's working... They don't disappoint, I'll tell you that right now.
Panera Bread Mediterranean Veggie sandwich on tomato basil bread = amazing!
their delicious baquettes...mmmmm..
 Baked potato in a sourdough bread bowl. Yummm :)

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