Monthly Archives: March 2013

Style Icon Spotlight: Blair Waldorf

Hello, beautiful readers!  Rejoice, spring is in the air, for reals this time!  A time of renewal, making a change, a fresh start!  This is the perfect time for a new hairstyle (a lot of my friends have freshly chopped locks), or some new beauty products (water colour eyeshadow!), or my personal favourite, injecting some freshness into your wardrobe.  Although I’m a summer child, one thing I do like about spring is that colour seems to arrive again in the fashion world, bright colours and pastels alike replace the blacks, greys, and dark shades that festooned store windows since Labour Day.

This year, I’ve decided to inject my closet by choosing a new fashion icon to draw inspiration from.  We all have such icons, and many are mainstays – Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Kate Middleton, Jackie Kennedy, Michelle Obama, the list goes on.  And in line with that, I am debuting a new regular category of posts: Style Icons.  First up, the ever stylish, ever graceful, Blair Waldorf.

Blair is a fictional character on Gossip Girl, the popular drama about the young Upper East Siders in New York City, and is portrayed by the lovely Leighton Meester.  Luckily, it’s pretty easy to imitate Queen B’s style on a budget.  She is always classy in her dress, very feminine with pops of colour.  Also, in the earlier seasons, headbands are one of her signature pieces.  I credit her with bringing headbands out of our childhoods and into a grown-up accessory.  I’ve included a few pictures below to showcase her fantastic taste.

Here, we see a very flattering schoolgirl-chic skirt paired with flattering dark solids, classic pumps, and headband matching the red accents on lips and skirt. Perfection.

So much colour, so much fun! Yellow notes in the blouse, shoes, bag, and headband look great with this emerald green coat, and lavender tights!  This colourful choice is sure to put a spring in your step, and it’s perfect for a date, or looking lovely out on the town.  You never know when you might run into your own Chuck Bass.

Such a lovely close-up here.  Blair looks timelessly pretty in neutrals with lace detailing, and beautiful black accents.

So, what would we take away from Miss Waldorf?  Lots of feminine details, like A-line silhouettes, skirts, bows, heels, and rocking both neutrals and colours.  Also, coloured tights!  These were a revelation when I got back into watching Gossip Girl, since they’re a perfect way to bring some colour into an outfit.  Of course, the office may not be the place to bring out neon tights, but they’re certainly fun for a more relaxed setting.  Personally, I love feminine clothes and dressing up, so it’s easy to see why Blair would become one of my style inspirations.  And I have fallen in love with headbands, they’re the perfect way to add some sparkle when I wear my hair down, which is pretty much always.  Check out my Blair-inspired outfits below, featuring fitted items, headbands, colour, and heels.

What do you think?  Will you be adding some UES prep into your closet?  Who are some of your style icons, and maybe some you’d like me to profile?

(All photos of Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf originally from the CW network)

Fabulous Artichoke Spinach Dip with Chicken

Hi guys!  Since the weather’s been a bit crazy (and ridiculously cold) recently, I thought it was high time to pull out what has become a favourite recipe in our home, and it’s kind of healthy comfort food, kinda, still a bit high on the carbs and fats, but lots and lots of protein so yay!  Let me preface this by saying that when I ask Nick if there’s anything he’d like for dinner, after pizza he requests this recipe.  Super Easy Artichoke Spinach Dip with Chicken.  I love this recipe so much I could sometimes hug my crock pot.

Now the original recipe is here, found with the super-awesome Lydia at Rants from Mommyland, the fabulous blog about parenting, and the one that introduced me to T-boxes (go check out the blog, you will laugh and cry, and fall off your chair – in a good way).  I’ve switched it up a bit, and so I’ve included my version below.  It is literally so easy, I almost wouldn’t call it cooking.

Step 1.  Put the following in the crock pot, I just pile everything on top of the chicken:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cook straight from frozen)
2 blocks frozen spinach (600g, again straight from frozen)
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
½ cup of water or chicken broth (optional, I’ll probably leave this out next time)
Crock pot on high for 6.5 hours, the time would be shorter with fresh chicken by the way.
Drain out some of the extra liquid (again, optional)

Step 2.  Use 2 forks and shred the chicken right in the crockpot, and mix up all the deliciousness so it’s fairly uniform.  Add:
1 block of light cream cheese (250g, I sometimes do an extra bit)
1 cup light mayo
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 normal sized bag shredded mozzarella (300-400g)
salt & pepper
garlic powder – generous sprinkle
Crock pot on high for an extra 2 hours, or a bit more, no hard and fast rules on this one.

Step 3.  Mix everything together until it looks uniform and amazing, let it cool a bit, and serve with tortilla chips or pita, relish in restaurant-worthy taste and enjoy only doing about 7 minutes of work for dinner!  I might even try using this with pasta… or tossing in some goat cheese… mmm…

Here’s a picture of the finished product.

Now, we’re only 2 people, and this recipe usually provides 3 or 4 dinners for us, and reheats really well.  I usually look for low fat, fat free, and no added sugar as a habit, so that’s a great way to keep it guilt-free(ish).  Seriously, give it a try, especially if you love artichoke spinach dip as much as I do, which is a lot.

Let me know what you think, or share some of your favourite recipes to chase away the winter blahs!