Lust or Must: Studded Bag

A major accessory trend on the runways this season was the studded handbag. I've been lusting over this buttery soft black and gold Alexander McQueen purse, but can't drop over two grand on a bag right now. Thankfully I don't need four other jobs to carry something similar.

Bags (top to bottom): Alexander McQueen/Michael Kors/Lily and Franc


DIY Project: Peep Wreath

Reasons I Love Easter
1.) The holiday signals spring
2.) Tulips and daffodils are my favorite flowers
3.) Pretty, feminine dresses and sandals
4.) Easter candy

I came across this adorable DIY project on one of my favorite crafting blogs, Tried & True. Peeps, to me, are the quintessential Easter candy. I love that this Peep Wreath uses minimal materials and looks awesome when finished. Check out the blog for the full tutorial.

Photo from Tried & True


Glitter and Pastels

I bought this sequined skirt recently and tried a bunch of different outfit combinations before settling on this one. I love that the mint color of the shirt brings out similar hues in the skirt. The soft sheerness of the blouse creates a nice contrast to the texture of the mini. I kept my hair simple and out of my face and finished the look with some complementary bracelets.

Photo by Michael Marmora


Mad About Metallics

Although it's been great seeing the sweet pastels for spring, metallics are here to stay. I love adding just a touch of gold, silver, or copper to add some depth to my outfits. I like to keep my look simple and solid and then add a hint of shimmer with my accessories. Try adding some subtle shine to your look this weekend!

Photo by Michael Marmora

Photo by Michael Marmora

Photo by Michael Marmora

GAP blazer (old, similar here)/Jaye.e. tank (similar here)/DL1961 jeans/Shoedazzle shoes (old, similar here)/Tory Burch purse  and sunglasses/Juicy Couture cuff/Marc by Marc Jacobs watch/Necklace (old, similar here)


Recipe Box: Perfect Popcorn

Despite Punxsutawney Phil's prediction that spring is on its way, the northeast is expected to get some snow...again...tonight. I've been under the weather and can't wait to snuggle up on the couch with Bravo On Demand and some homemade popcorn. I was inspired by these recipes I found online and can't wait to try them. Here are my favorites:

Bacon Caramel Popcorn from Foodagraphy.By Chelle.
Photo from Foodagraphy.By Chelle.
This popcorn looks amazing. I love combining sweet and savory elements and this recipe knocks it out of the park. This is also guy-friendly so if you're planning to share, make a little extra.


Fancy Pants Popcorn from Smart School House

Photo from Smart School House

The name initially drew me to this recipe but once I read through the ingredients, I was hooked. White chocolate covered pretzels and popcorn adorned with sugar pearls. I plan on wearing a small tiara and emulating Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys when I nibble on this.


Cookies and Cream Popcorn from Chef in Training

Photo from Chef in Training

I'm not a huge chocolate person but I'm a sucker for Oreos. This recipe is super simple and really delicious; the perfect way to satisfy my sweet tooth without going overboard.



Spring Has Sprung: Whites Under $100

I've been patiently waiting for warm weather so I can break out my sandals, pastels, and bright dresses. I'm most excited for crisp, all-white ensembles. I've curated my favorite pieces under $100.




Marisa's Style Rules For Whites
1.) Choose the right white for you.
Although a bright, crisp white looks fantastic in photos and in displays, few people actually look great in this shade. When shopping for the "right" white shade for you, consider your coloring. Most clothing items aren't a stark white so explore other shades such as cream, eggshell, and pearl.

2.) You can wear white-on-white.
All-white ensembles look clean and fresh and are, to me, elegant and chic. In order to pull off white-on-white, you need to create your outfit intentionally. Don't just throw on white pants, a white shirt, and white oxfords without checking it out. It needs to look like an ensemble so don't be afraid to pair true white skinnies with a creamier hued top and blazer. 

I also love combining textures to make the outfit more interesting. Eyelet, lace, leather, and linen are all great materials to try. Lauren Conrad's website has some great tricks for wearing all-white.

3.) Take excellent care of your whites.
Nothing can ruin a white outfit more than a dingy, dirty tone. Make sure you wash your white items carefully and thoroughly; this is not a color that you can be lazy with when laundering. Check out these tips to keep your whites looking fabulous.


Garden Party: Florals Under $100

Bold florals are another popular trend this season, showing up on many a runway, including Moschino, Prada, Zac Posen, and Ralph Lauren. These aren't anything like the Laura Ashley floral prints that you may have been subjected to as a child (thank God my mom had the good fashion sense to spare me of those). Think more garden party: sophisticated, chic, and understated enough so that you don't look like you're wearing a couch cover. These are some of my favorites under $100:

1.) Floral pants-sold out but similar here 2.) Lace dress 3.) Pumps 4.) Sheath 5.) Scarf 6.) Pencil skirt 7.) Jeans 8.) Necklace 9.) Tote 10.) Sneakers 11.) Pin 12.) Cut-out dress


What To Pack: Gym Bag

Getting a workout in is rewarding, but most of us are exercising before or after work, leaving little time to primp before going to our next stop. I often take Bar Method classes in the morning before racing to work or afterwards, before meeting up with my boyfriend or friends. Here are my go to gym bag essentials:

Face: Olay CC Cream acts as an all-in-one moisturizer, foundation, and concealer; Ole Henrikson Truth-To-Go wipes remove dirt and oil and have a yummy orange scent; Revlon Just Bitten lip stain gives a hint of natural looking color.

Hair: Emi-Jay hair ties don't leave ridges or creases in my hair so they're perfect for tying it up during a workout. They can easily transition into holding a top knot for a night out; Oscar Blandi volumizing dry shampoo eliminates the need for a shower and lifts locks without blowdrying; DryBar lemon drop brush adds shine and quickly detangles.

Body: Dove deodorant  goes on clear so it doesn't stain my clothes; fresh rollerball perfume in Hesperides Grapefruit has a clean citrus scent that is appropriate for day or night; commando girl short.


Recipe Box: Lemon Spaghetti

Lemon is such a fantastic spring flavor and a little goes a long way. I recently made this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis and fell in love. The ingredients are simple, clean, and fresh (and can probably all be found in your kitchen) but the flavors of the lemon and the Parmesan cheese add depth. The pasta tastes decadent while being light. I used whole wheat pasta but any kind would work well.

Lemon Spaghetti
Makes 4 dinner portions or 6 side portions.

Photo from Giadadelaurentiis.com 

2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
1 pound spaghetti
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon zest

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and 3/4 teaspoon of sale and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to blend. Set the lemon sauce aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce, and toss with the basil and lemon zest. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls and serve.


Must Haves For Spring: Pastels Under $100

I love the sherbet toned pieces that are everywhere this spring. The soft, muted pieces seem utterly feminine and dainty. No longer reserved for the ladies who lunch, these pastels are modern and chic (and everything is under $100!).

1. "Everything Illuminated" skirt /2. "Julep You Learn" dress/3. Nude and gold pumps/4. "Emma" platform wedge/5. "Quinn" mini satchel/6. Lavender jeans/7. Boyfriend cardigan/8. "Midnight Chain" top/9. Tricolor cabochon necklace/10. Mint and peach clutch/11. Suede ballet flat/12. Spearmint bangle/13. 3" Chino shorts


How To: Wear Bright Pants

I love the neon trend and frequently wear brights, but I've had many friends ask me how to incorporate these pops of color into their wardrobes. I have three rules when it comes to wearing bold hues.

Marisa's Style Rules For Brights:

1.) The color should complement, not overpower, you.
Choose a color that flatters your skin tone and makes you look bright and alive. If the first thing you notice in the mirror is the color, try something else. You want the focus on you, not the garment.

2.) Wear as much (or as little) as you need to.
Some people are comfortable wearing a bright dress or color blocking. Others only want a hint or a pop. Determine your comfort level and how much of a statement you're trying to make. A lemon yellow shift with a cobalt clutch will look just as amazing as a black boyfriend cardigan topped off with a thin poppy belt.

3.) Have fun!
Adding brights to your wardrobe shows personality. I love adding color to liven things up and it's a great way to make items you've had for awhile, or wear frequently, seem new and fresh. 


I've styled three outfits using bright pants, one hot trend this season.

How do you like to wear brights?


Glam on the Go: Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact

I love a perfectly red pout but getting it right on-the-go can be a pain. Guerlain's Jewel Lipstick Compact solves this problem. The lipstick is packaged in a sleek stainless steel tube that looks like something a Bond girl would carry. One click opens up a small mirror, making touch ups a breeze. The colors are vibrant and the formula leaves lips hydrated, smoothed, and plumped.


Recipe Box: Southwestern Black Bean Burgers

I'm getting really antsy for the spring weather roll in so I've been trying my hand at warm-weather inspired fare. I'm a burger fanatic, but it's not nice enough to fire up the grill quite yet. Black bean burgers are satisfying and I love creating my own variations. Tonight I'm putting my own Southwestern twist on this Cooking Light recipe. Bon appetit!

Southwestern Black Bean Burger (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 tablespoon plain, dried bread crumbs 
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 (15.25oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Frank's Red Hot
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
4 mini whole wheat pitas or whole wheat English muffins, slightly toasted

1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup Guacamole

  1. 1.) Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
  2. 2.) Combine 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, and beans in processor; pulse 8 times or until beans make a thick paste. Scrape bean mixture into bowl with breadcrumbs. Stir in rind and remaining ingredients. With moistened hands, divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions (about 1/3 cup mixture per portion), shaping each into a 3-inch patty.
3.) Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan; reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes or until bottom edges are browned. Carefully turn patties over; cook 3 minutes or until bottom edges are done.

4.) Put pita halves onto a baking tray and pop them in the oven until slightly toasted. You can also use a toaster for the same results.

5.) Assemble burgers on pitas/English muffins. Top with a dollop of both salsa and guacamole.

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