Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Shopping Coup

Coup [koo]
 noun, plural coups [kooz; Fr. koo] 
1. a highly successful, unexpected stroke, act, or move; a clever action or accomplishment.

This word seems very underused, but has so many applications. In my family we refer to a great shopping experience as a shopping coup.  I'm not talking about saving an extra 20% or anything here.  I'm talking about one of those experiences where you almost feel guilty for paying such a low price.  Where the store may or may not be losing money on the deal.  These expreriences don't happen often, but when they do you feel great about yourself and your new purchase.  

I felt so good about my latest coup that I felt the need to share!  I scooped up these Loeffler Randal sandals for a mere $35 this afternoon, 90% off of their original MSRP.  Now that's a coup. 

Whaddya think?

Here are a few other styles that I loved. 

Esther Hidden Platform Pump in Bottle Green $450 $135

Lidia Side Zip Knee High Boot in Cognac $525 $263

Willow Flat in Natural/Snake $275 $96

I'm already ready for the weather to get warm again so I can break them out!  Who knows,  with this South Carolina weather it may be warm enough to wear them next week.  Check out other great deals from Loeffler Randall on MyHabit's website here

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weekend in the Mountains

Last weekend Mr. T and I went to the mountains of North Carolina to celebrate my brother in law's birthday.  It was the perfect weekend to be up there.  The air was crisp and cool and the leaves were just starting to change.  Friday night was pretty laid back, the boys made chili and we sat around and talked.  We got up on Saturday morning and went for a hike to Beacon Ridge.  

Later that afternoon we went to Sugar Mountain for their annual Oktoberfest celebration.  I must say, this is the closest I've felt to Germany since I was there several years ago.  Spaten on draft, bratwurst, big soft pretzels, and people walking around in lederhosen- yes people really wear that stuff over there.  

The birthday boy Ian, Casey, and Mr. T

My sister April and me

Later that night we made our way to downtown Boone, and stopped into Boone Saloon for drinks before dinner. 

 We enjoyed two or maybe three pitchers of our favorite beer, Bell's Two Hearted Ale, and headed to dinner.  The next day T and I explored a little bit and found some beautiful spots around the mountain house.  

What a great way to welcome fall! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Goldilocks Boots

I've been searching for the perfect pair of brown riding boots since last year, and I finally decided to fork out the money for the ones I wanted.  Over the past several weeks I've been searching for ones that I liked.  I'm pretty particular, too.

They have to be flat.  As flattering as high heeled boots look on my 5'2" frame, they are impractical and I will never wear them.

They have to be leather. I don't mean to sound snooty here, but fake leather boots really bug me.  They look plasticy and fall apart after one season.

They have to be the perfect shade of tan. Not too dark because it's verging on brown, which I already have.  Not too light because they get dirty.

They have to be the right price. Boots can be pricey, but some brands go overboard.  (Check out the Loeffler Randall ones below)  I'm willing to pay for quality, but not spend a ridiculous amount of money.

They have to be trend transcendent. If I'm paying full price for something (which rarely ever happens)  I want to wear it for the next ten years.  That means no brand symbols, sorry Tory Burch.  No crazy hardware, no booties or knee highs, no studs, and nothing else that's popularity will fizzle out in the next few years.

Here's what I've come up with.

My collection of the perfect Goldilocks boots.  

1. Tahari Andy Boots $195
2. Loeffler Randall Margeaux Boots $695
3. Merona Kasia Leather Riding Boots $75 at
4. Pax 2 Chain Riding Boots $300 at
5. Frye Dorado Polished Leather Riding Boots $498
6. Indigo by Clarks Charlie Zip Boots $215

The Loeffler Randall and Frye boots are a bit out of my price range, but I liked them so much I decided to include them.  I've ordered both the Tahari and Clarks boots from Piperlime, and I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival.  Hope one pair works!  What's your idea of the perfect pair of Goldilocks boots?

Monday, October 1, 2012

How To Season A Cast Iron Skillet

First of all, I gave my blog a little makeover, what do ya think?  I got a little bored with the old decor, so I spiced it up a bit.  Last night I had a little extra time on my hands and decided to season my cast iron skillets.  For those of you who don't know how to do it, here's a tutorial.

Cast Iron skillets have been growing in popularity recently, but it pains me to see people not taking care of them properly.  They aren't like your typical pot or pan, you can't just throw them in the dishwasher. I recently inherited a cast iron skillet that had not been properly cared for, and I was guilty of neglecting one of mine as well.

The skillet that I already had is the smaller one, I picked it up for a dollar at a flea market when I was in college.  It's the perfect size for one grilled cheese or one fried egg.  It got rusty from leaving it in the sink soaking- a big no no for cast iron.  The larger pan that I just received had some minor rust spots and was missing the shiny non-stick surface that these skillets need to have.

If you're interested in seasoning your own cast iron skillet, here's what you'll need:

Dish Soap
Steel Wool or stiff sponge
Clean, dry cloth or paper towels
Cooking oil or shortening

1. Preheat  oven to 325.

2. Wash skillet with warm soapy water scrubbing to remove all of the rust. Typically you should not use soap to wash your skillet, but since we're about to season it, it's okay.

3. Thoroughly dry skillet. Using a paper towel or cloth,  apply a thin coat of oil or shortening to the inside and outside of the skillet.

4. Place skillet upside down on oven rack and place a piece of foil or a sheet pan on the rack below to catch the drips. Bake for one hour.

5.Turn off heat and allow the skillet to cool completely before removing from the oven.

Here's what they looked like afterward.  After continued use and proper care, the larger pan should start to develop the dark patina.  I will season it a few more times to speed up that process.

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