Five-Minute Apple Dessert

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apple

One of my favorite fruits to use in cold-weather recipes is apples. We often have an abundance of them in the house, and just eat them as they are. Craving change this week, I decided to brainstorm a different way to use the fruit. As a person who doesn't consider herself a baker, a pie was out of the question. I eventually turned to a dear friend I was especially close to in college, the microwave, and came up with something called the Five-Minute Apple Dessert. Check it out below:

INGREDIENTS: Apples (I usually use just one for myself), ground cinnamon or cinnamon sugar, honey (optional), and butter (optional).

1. Wash your apple(s), and cut as desired. You can skin them if you want, as well, but I usually skip this step.

2. Mix the apple slices in a bowl with honey, cinnamon, and 4 tablespoons of water. There aren't really any specific measurements for the amount of honey and cinnamon you can use, as you can't go wrong with adding as much as you like. I usually use about half a tablespoon of honey, and a few sprinkles of cinnamon. Optional: add butter for a more authentic apple pie taste.

3. Microwave for 2.5-3 minutes.

4. Drain the water from your mixture, and enjoy! Suggestion: for a more indulgent dessert, pair your apple(s) with vanilla ice cream or your favorite cookie.

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Blog Design for The Meaning of the Melody

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blog design, freelance blog design, cute blog banner, hand-drawn flowers, stiletto skinny bold font, roses graphic
I recently had the honor of doing a blog re-design for Kayla, the writer of The Meaning of the Melody. Kayla's request was inspired by her love for flowers and pastel colors.

I created the banner and bottom-of-the-page navigation buttons myself, and used a template from The Darling Blog for the rest of the layout. With the template, I kept everything the same, except for the navigation bar and side bar titles, which I changed to better match Kayla's request. To see the full layout, visit The Meaning of the Melody blog here!

Thanks again for the opportunity, Kayla! If anyone else is interested in changing up the look of their blog, I am currently offering custom banners and social media buttons. Email me at sweatshirtdressshirt@yahoo.com for details. Even if you don't want to commit, I'd still love to exchange ideas, tips, and rate information. Also, you can visit my portfolio (here) to see more of my work.

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Bridesmaids Movie Inspiration

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bridesmaids movie outfit inspiration, vigoss studio jeans from nordstrom, silence + noise brand from urban outfitters, nude top with white sequins, brandy melville jewelry, brandy candy, fred meyer jeweler's cat necklace, and a cherry on top via sephora by opi nail polish
blazer: Frenchi via Nordstrom B.P. //tank: silence + noise via Urban Outfitters (old) //jeans: Vigoss Studio via Nordstrom B.P. //rings: kiosk on Hawaii and Brandy Melville //cat necklace: Gifted from G //nail polish: 'And a Cherry on Top' via SEPHORA by OPI

I'm almost embarrassed to admit the number of times I've seen Bridesmaids. Ever since I saw it in theaters, I've been in love with the storyline, characters, and humor, but most of all, Annie Walker's (Kristen Wiig's character) wardrobe. Annie debuts her signature look (the inspiration for this outfit post) in one of the first scenes wearing a short dress paired with a fitted blazer, and doesn't cease to disappoint with similar looks throughout the film.

bridesmaids movie outfit inspiration, vigoss studio jeans from nordstrom, silence + noise brand from urban outfitters, nude top with white sequins, brandy melville jewelry, brandy candy, fred meyer jeweler's cat necklace, and a cherry on top via sephora by opi nail polish

bridesmaids movie outfit inspiration, vigoss studio jeans from nordstrom, silence + noise brand from urban outfitters, nude top with white sequins, brandy melville jewelry, brandy candy, fred meyer jeweler's cat necklace

bridesmaids movie outfit inspiration, vigoss studio jeans from nordstrom, silence + noise brand from urban outfitters, nude top with white sequins, brandy melville jewelry, brandy candy, fred meyer jeweler's cat necklace, and a cherry on top via sephora by opi nail polish

bridesmaids movie outfit inspiration, vigoss studio jeans from nordstrom, silence + noise brand from urban outfitters, nude top with white sequins, brandy melville jewelry, brandy candy, fred meyer jeweler's cat necklace, and a cherry on top via sephora by opi nail polish, oval shaped turquoise ring

The Perfect Boot

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hunter
top: Kensie //jeggings: Cisono via TJ Maxx //rainboots: Hunter //rings: Brandy Mellville and c/o Kitsch

Earlier this year, G surprised me with Hunter boots for my birthday. I loved everything about them, and couldn't wait to wear them. There was just, however, one small problem-- they were a little too loose around my calves. I somehow always run into this problem when trying on boots, and over the years, have complied the perfect list of solutions. If you struggle this problem too, consider the following tips:
  • Pair your boots with a pair of long pants, knee-high socks, and/or a fleece liner for extra padding.
  • With Hunter boots, check out the shorter version instead of the tall. Sometimes the shorter version, even though they may not be narrower, can have the appearance of being narrower because there is less material.
  • Look into children's sizing. For Hunter boots, Aside from the smaller size and lower price, the only difference between the children's boots and the adult ones are the reflecting patches in the back of each boot.
  • Do a lot of lunges to get ripped calves (just kidding... but really).
Have a problem with boots being too narrow? A lot of brands also make wide-calf sizing. Be sure to check it out!

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Superman

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superman

Early last week, Taylor Swift released a new track called 'Sweeter than Fiction'. As I was listening to it yesterday, it reminded me of 'Superman', another song of Taylor's that I listened to A LOT in college, especially during fall quarter of my senior year, when I first met my, now, boyfriend, G. To those that are new to this blog, you can read about our story here.

Back to the song-- I seriously forgot how true it spoke to my actual experience. Something I've never told you guys: Even though G and I are the same age, G was actually one of the TAs for my class, while I was a student. Of course, romantic relationships between TAs and students were forbidden, so all I could do was dream (I'm not trying to sound creepy... I swear!), which is what this song is mostly about.

I say this a lot, but it's strange how fast time flies. Later this month, G and I will be celebrating our two and a half year anniversary. In just two and a half years, we went from being strangers in a classroom of 200, to talking about all the pets we're going to get when we live together in the future.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement, especially to those that have given me advice since the beginning!

More posts about G:
What I Wore on Our First Date Proper
The First Time I Posted About Him in 2010, Asking For Your Guys' Advice
Our First Time Meeting and Dating Advice

Shades for Fall

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sweatshirt: TNA via Aritzia //pleather skirt: Forever 21 //necklace: Forever 21 (gift from K) //rings: Brandy Melville and c/o Kitsch

This fall, I'm most excited to embrace the rocker chic trend. I love the idea of burgundy, army green, and black shades in combination with combat boots, studs, exposed zippers, flannel, and a whole lot of leather. This outfit, even though I wouldn't consider it to be totally rocker chic (more like the toned down version), is one that I can't wait to wear when it becomes colder outside.

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Bold Red Skirt

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gold statement necklace, going out outfit ideas, urban outfitters, leopard skirt, red
top: Lush via Nordstrom Rack //skirt: Urban Outfitters (old) //cross-body bag: Michael Kors //necklace: Nordstrom B.P. //rings: Brandy Melville and c/o Kitsch

This summer, I've done a lot of cleaning and organizing, particularly in my closet. I came across a number of old boxes of stuff dating back to high school, college, and even elementary school. Even though I was able to give a lot of things away, I was also able to find a few treasures to keep, such as this skirt that I got when I went shopping with R, almost two years ago for Black Friday.

gold statement necklace, going out outfit ideas, urban outfitters, leopard skirt, red

gold statement necklace, going out outfit ideas, urban outfitters, leopard skirt, red

gold statement necklace, going out outfit ideas, urban outfitters, leopard skirt, red, dainty gold rings, brandy melville jewelry, brandy candy

gold statement necklace, going out outfit ideas, urban outfitters, leopard skirt, red

Favorite Fonts

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fonts
Recently, I've gotten really into typography. I love the idea of being able to change the "look" of an entire image, just from changing the appearance of its words and letters. These past few months, I've downloaded more fonts than I can count, and have had a lot of fun using them for different projects. Here are a few of my favorites (they're all free!):

1. Geosans Light
2. Brain Flower
3. Society Editor
4. Josefin Slab

Coffee Filter Flowers

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During week's Crafternoon, my friends and I made coffee filter flowers (tutorial here). Under the instruction of my craftiest friend, K, we were able to successfully create beautiful, immortal white peonies and dahlias. When they were all finished, I couldn't help but to think of one of the only Taylor Swift songs, where she sings a line about coffee-- 'Holy Ground'. The lyrics may not make sense to you in the context of this DIY, but for me, they serve as a tribute to my idol.

A little tip regarding the flowers: in the tutorial I mentioned above, the lady recommends using a stapler to keep the coffee filters together after you've created the flower. I found it helpful to use hot glue in between every 2-3 layers, instead.

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Hob Nob Glass-Inspired

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urban outfitters, hob nob top, cute white blouse, cute white top, pins and needles, pins and needles brand, high waisted shorts, summer outfit ideas, warm weather outfit ideas
top: Pins and Needles via Urban Outfitters //high-waisted shorts: BDG via Urban outfitters

I'm always on the hunt for unique blouses and t-shirts. With this top in particular, even though its style is far from extraordinary, the hob nob milk glass-inspired texture of it has the ability to transform my laid-back fashion sense into being so much more, with zero extra effort.

By the way, who ever said you couldn't wear white after Labor Day?

urban outfitters, hob nob top, cute white blouse, cute white top, pins and needles, pins and needles brand, high waisted shorts, summer outfit ideas, warm weather outfit ideas

urban outfitters, hob nob top, cute white blouse, cute white top, pins and needles, pins and needles brand, high waisted shorts, summer outfit ideas, warm weather outfit ideas

urban outfitters, hob nob top, cute white blouse, cute white top, pins and needles, pins and needles brand, high waisted shorts, summer outfit ideas, warm weather outfit ideas

Loving Him Was Red

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red1

For those of you that are fans of Taylor Swift, you will know that she is currently on tour. This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to see her for the 3rd time with two of my best friends, and as you can probably guess, she was beyond amazing (more on that later). During the months leading up to the concert, I had so much excitement, I could barely contain it. I started to dream about seeing her live almost every single night, and the night before the concert, I had to falsely convince myself that the concert was actually two days away, just so that I could get some sleep.

I've been a fan of Taylor since 2006. She has impacted my life in a way that I can't really explain, and truly deserves the title of being my idol. I looked to her music during times of rejection, times of loss, times of extreme happiness, and pretty much... all the time. She's not afraid to be personal with her music, and I truly admire her for that, because her courage has helped millions.

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Back to the day of the concert. Something I wasn't expecting was for the day to be incredibly stressful. A lot of things happened to my friends and I that set us back, such as heavy traffic, getting into the arena late, having the concession stand run out of food, and trying to get past crowds of people, just to climb the mountain of a staircase to get to our seats.

Despite the bad luck, I was incredibly grateful to have been at the concert, and forgot all about our struggles when Taylor began to perform. Even though I wished we could have had closer seats, Taylor's ability to reach out to every corner of our 20,000 seat stadium made our "nosebleeds" a million times better. I already cannot wait to see her the next time she comes to Washington.