Valentine’s Day Cocktail

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Although I’m most definitely planning on spending Valentine’s Day alone this year, (big ups to Anna Howard Shaw Day!), that doesn’t mean I can’t make a kick-ass cocktail to enjoy the day. I love an excuse to drink a sweet, girly drink, especially when I can garnish it with heart shaped drink picks! I decided to create a really simple martini, one that anyone could make, but still looks spectacular with the addition of a cinnamon bear at the bottom.

Vanilla Apple Pie Martini (makes 2):

  • 4 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz. apple pie liqueur
  • 2 cinnamon bears
  1. In a shaker, over ice, pour the vodka and apple pie liqueur.
  2. Shake vigorously, for at least 60 seconds.
  3. Distribute between two martini glasses.
  4. Garnish with a cinnamon bear and enjoy!

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valentine's day cocktail, valentine's cocktail, vanilla vodka cocktail, apple pie liqueur cocktail, vanilla vodka martini, easy cocktail

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Valentine’s Day Dresses 2015

valentine's-dresses-2015
Lovely as Lychee Dress / Peach Heart Print Dress / Flutter By Dress / All For Stun Dress / Louche Lillie Rose Dress / Scarlet Celebration Dress

I always love an excuse to buy a holiday themed dress. Not only is it fun to get into the spirit of holidays, but who doesn’t love an excuse for a new dress? I don’t have any plans this year for Valentine’s Day as of yet, but even if I end up having dessert and a glass of wine with my girlfriends, I’ll definitely take advantage of the opportunity to get dolled up in pink and red!

Brands I Love: DV

dolce vita shoes, dolce vita heels
Seona / Oaklee / Parissa City Sandals / Black Wedge Boots / Toledo Oxford Flats / Cassidy

What started as a sale purchase at Bloomingdale’s has turned into a full-blown love affair. I bought a pair of Dolce Vita boots a little over a year ago for the fall, and quickly began to live in them. Shortly thereafter, I found a pair of brogues on sale, and scooped those up too. Well, and then I started to live in those. And now? I added a pair of metallic heels. And you guessed it, they are now my favorite pair of heels in my closet. Keeping track? Dolce Vita: 3 – Alex: 0.

Dolce Vita shoes are by far the most comfortable shoes I own. And I’m legit not being paid to say that. I’m wearing my brogues as I write this, planning on going out for the night in them. My boots will make an appearance this week at work, and I swear, I’ve been planning outfits around the metallic heels. I can’t wait to scoop up another few pairs!

My Everyday Smoothie

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Last week, I shared my morning routine on the blog, and I mentioned that I try to start every day with a smoothie (whether I really like to or not). I’ve shared a few of my favorite smoothie recipes on the blog before (here, and here), but this is my go-to, every day, always have the ingredients on hand smoothie.

One of my favorite “diet” tips is pretty simple, try to eat the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. I know it sounds absurd, but there are so many days where I don’t get my recommended intake. And generally, if I focus on getting that intake, I’m usually too full to eat much else, so it’s a simple technique I’ve stuck with over the years. With this smoothie, you end up getting 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables, which means your already halfway there! And trust me, this smoothie recipe keeps you full for hours until lunch!

Everyday Smoothie (makes 1):

  • 1/2 cup frozen berries (I use a pre-packaged blend, or if I have leftover frozen berries, I’ll use those)
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 scoop vanilla vegan protein powder
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or plain water if you prefer
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth, enjoy!

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everyday smoothie, vegan smoothies, green smoothie, healthy smoothie recipes, easy smoothie recipes, food blogger, food photographer, food stylist

everyday smoothie, vegan smoothies, green smoothie, healthy smoothie recipes, easy smoothie recipes, food blogger, food photographer, food stylist

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New Staples

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Jeans – Blank NYC / Blouse – Nanette Lepore (eBay find, similar) / Shoes – Aerosoles (old) / Jacket – Gap (old, here it is in gray) Belt – Michael Kors / Necklace – Relativity (similar)

My closet has become pretty simple recently. I wear a lot of denim, patterned blouses, and heels. Have you heard the theory that geniuses wear the same thing every day to remove choice from their lives? Yeah, this must mean I’m a genius, right?

Okay, not really. Montana is really cold, and honestly, it’s not exactly the fashion capital that NYC was. But I’m not complaining. I love having a closet full of simple staple pieces that make it easier for me to make fashionable and comfortable decisions in the morning. I found this Nanette Lepore blouse on eBay in the fall and I love that the monochromatic floral pattern makes it easily wearable in any season. And the shape is great, because let’s be real, I definitely put on a few delicious holiday pounds, and the boxy shape of the blouse manages to be both flattering, while hiding any extra weight.

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Affordable Glasses?! Check Out Firmoo

firmoo-the-dandy-life-1
Glasses c/o Firmoo

I got my first pair of glasses at age five. I remember bursting into tears in the doctor’s office wailing “we’re going to be the glasses family!”

Yup, I was quite the child. And while my parents were awesome and took it in stride, I think they always felt guilty for that, so in turn, I usually could pick out whatever pair of glasses I wanted. And naturally, I had expensive taste.

Looking back, I can’t believe how expensive most glasses are, and now that it’s my own dollar dollar bills going to glasses, I always look for a great deal.

So when Firmoo asked me if I wanted to try a pair of their glasses, I jumped at the chance. I was overwhelmed by the amount of affordable frames they had, and when they arrived I was definitely not disappointed. I thought the glasses might feel like they were poor quality, or be ill fitting, but I LOVE them. I took a risk ordering cat-eye style glasses with tortoiseshell frames, but I feel so chic and put together when I put them on that I haven’t stopped wearing them in the office.

You can check out Firmoo’s site here (www.firmoo.com), and psst, they’re having a 50% off sale, how much better can it get?

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firmoo-the-dandy-life-3

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Weekend Reading

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Photograph by Briana Marie Photography

 

I’m really excited it’s almost the end of January. I love winter, like a lot, but part of me is ready for the weather to warm up and the ice to melt. Maybe it’s that I’m not working two jobs currently, but the weeks seem to crawl by right now. This weekend I’m going to make the most of my free time and head to a small film festival (they’re having a panel on Women in Film, you know I love that), and then on Sunday I’ll be celebrating my dad’s birthday!

Next week, I’ll be a bit MIA, a tv show is shooting an episode here and I’m going to work on it. I’m so excited and so nervous. For such a long time, being on set was where I was zen. I was good at it, but it’s been a couple years since I’ve been on set, so it’s definitely nerve wracking. Here are a few fun articles I saw this week!

  • I love this essay and not being a nice girl! I am a firm believer that nice girls don’t get the corner office, and I feel like I see people walking on eggshells and tip toeing around issues (in friendships, relationships, at work), and I feel like the more I watch it the more I’m just bothered by the fact that it seems to do more harm than good.
  • People sometimes don’t understand why I insist on working a serving job in addition to office jobs, and I try to explain it’s because I just have such a strong desire to travel (not vacation), and the money is good. Levo League wrote an article about how to budget for what matters to you most.
  • They’re attempting to create new reef habitats with old subway cars, and a photograph caught them dumping them into the ocean, these pictures are fascinating.
  • I once read a biography on Clara Bow and why she was an It girl, and in the past few years, we’ve seen a resurgence of the term, here’s an awesome article on The Trouble With It Girls.
  • Need a good cry? How about this video of an autistic teen receiving his dream birthday?
  • People often wonder why I would move back to Montana. Watch this video and you’ll see.

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Picture Perfect (1997)

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There is something about 1997’s Picture Perfect that makes me super nostalgic for the 90s. I’m pretty sure I owned like at least three shells cut the same way Jennifer Aniston’s are in this movie, and those round sunglasses? Tres chic.

But really, the clean-cut, simple preppy look of the late 90s has me swooning. Aniston’s career driven character in this movie has style for days, and is so on point (although I’m skeptical of wearing mini skirts to work). She looks like she stepped out of Gap and Calvin Klein ads with simple baby tees, khaki capri pants, simple shift dresses in pastel colors, and snakeskin accessories. I feel like they borrowed a bit from the Rachel Green character (gee whiz, I wonder why it took Aniston so long to be taken seriously, can we say typecasting?), with the girl next door, living in the big city style.

You can’t fault her though, we all made our errors in the 90s, at least in Picture Perfect it didn’t involve baby clips in her hair or brown lipstick!

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My Morning Routine

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Last week, I shared my nightly beauty routine, so this week I thought it would be fun to share what I do in the morning. I often toggle between being a total morning person, and totally not being a morning person. I seem to be adaptable that way, but recently, with the cold weather I have been anything but. So, as part of the “bettering myself in the new year” cliche, I’ve been trying to focus on simple, and easy routines that make my mornings a little more bearable.

    • Coffee is key. When I moved into my apartment and literally had to buy everything new, I made the mistake of not buying a timed coffee pot. It’s a bit of torture in the morning, but I’ve started to set up my coffee the night before so all I have to do is flick a switch to get it brewing. I’m totally obsessed with Coffeemate Natural in Hazelnut and Vanilla, and this raccoon mug has quickly become my favorite in the mornings!

my-morning-routine-2

    • Lemon Water. Another three times a week habit, but have you read about how amazing lemon water is for your body? I believe that a big glass of water is the best way to wake up anyway, so adding a slice of lemon is just a greater benefit!
    • Morning yoga. I will tell you what, I can definitely feel my body aging. It’s a scary thought, but there are some mornings where I just wake up so stiff and creaky that it freaks me out. So I’ve taken to doing just 20 minutes of simple yoga in the morning to get my blood flowing and to work out the stiffness. I love doing the Yogamazing Podcasts and 20 Minute Sessions from Yoga Download. I’d be lying if I said I did it every morning, but I’m slowly making it a few times a week habit!

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  • Morning Smoothie. I could eat nothing but eggs and english muffins every morning for the rest of my life and be happy, but I force myself to have a big smoothie every morning that I can. It’s one of the best ways to start my day off with a ton of nutrients, bang out 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables, and fuel my body with a healthy option until lunch! I’ll be sharing my go-to smoothie recipe next week!

my-morning-routine-4

There are truthfully a ton of other things I’d love to add to my morning routine. I would love to get up early enough to add meditation, french lessons, and a quick run with Caboose to my list, but let’s be real, I don’t think I’ll be getting up at 5:00AM any time soon, at least not while there is still snow on the ground!

What is your morning routine like? 

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White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

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When I went to university in British Columbia, my favorite weekend getaway was to the small surf town of Tofino, BC. I loved to go up there for a few days with some friends and spend our time, exploring the great outdoors, sitting on the beaches, and of course, eating! My absolute favorite place to go was Breakers Cafe. We’d order pizza from there, get sandwich fixings and have a picnic on the beach, and of course, get yummy, homemade desserts.

My favorite was always the white chocolate chip and cranberry cookies, which was weird considering I don’t love white chocolate or cranberries. But there was something about the combination in a soft, gooey cookie that got me totally addicted. I had all but forgotten about them until Christmas when my former roommate brought my Tofino Cookbook back from New York. I whipped up a batch recently and think they’re a great gift for Valentine’s Day! I mean, who doesn’t love a cookie that’s red and white?

Ingredients (makes 18 or so):

  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 TBSP flour
  • 1/2 TSP baking soda
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
    2. Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg and vanilla extract.
    3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the mixture.
    4. Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries.
    5. Roll into 1 TBSP balls and place on a cookie sheet.
    6. Cook for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Let cool.

white chocolate cranberry cookies, valentine's cookies, cookie recipes, alternatives to chocolate chip, tofino bc, breakers cafe, food blogger, food photographer, food stylist

white chocolate cranberry cookies, valentine's cookies, cookie recipes, alternatives to chocolate chip, tofino bc, breakers cafe, food blogger, food photographer, food stylist

white chocolate cranberry cookies, valentine's cookies, cookie recipes, alternatives to chocolate chip, tofino bc, breakers cafe, food blogger, food photographer, food stylist

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