Thursday, February 26, 2015

Castle Rock


While Greg and I were visiting Big Bear, we went for a day hike on Castle Rock trail, which was packed with sky-high pine trees, huge stacks of boulders, and remnants of ice patches. We made our way off the beaten trail to explore and climbed to the top of the highest boulders we could find to enjoy the breathtaking views of Big Bear Lake. It was so peaceful and silent, all we could hear was the wind rustling the pines. It was such a magical moment and I love sharing all of the memories from Big Bear with my favorite person.


















all photos taken on my iPhone - follow along on Instagram @meghanconard

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Big Bear


Greg and I had planned a trip to Big Bear, California for my birthday last month, but we both got sick with the flu that week. Although we had to postpone, I think it worked out for the better because the weather was so perfect last weekend! It was our first trip we've taken together just the two of us. We rented a cozy cabin complete with a full kitchen, fireplace & Jacuzzi tub. On Saturday, we went for a hike on the Castle Rock trail, which had stunning views of Big Bear Lake (see photos of that here). The neighborhood our cabin was in was so charming, and we went for a chilly sunset walk before dinner. My parents surprised Greg and I with a gift certificate to The Pines Lakefront restaurant, and we had the most amazing meal! It was such a perfect weekend away from the city to spend quality time together! We're already planning our next romantic getaway! 

{our cozy cabin at Oak Knoll Lodge}

{perfect first night: bubble bath with a side of wine}

{pine cone lined trail on our walk around the neighborhood}

{sliver of the moon peaking out of the pine trees at sunset}

{loved this slanted wine glass with shattered effect at The Pines Lakefront}

{appetizer of avocado shrimp with roasted corn & cilantro}

{filet mignon with peppercorn cream sauce, garlic mashed potatoes & roasted veggies} 



all photos taken on my iPhone - follow along on Instagram @meghanconard

Monday, February 23, 2015

Red Carpet Style: Oscars 2015

There were so many greats looks on last night's Oscar Awards red carpet, it was hard to narrow it down to my favorites! Red was a big color trend, as well as blush pink & neutrals. The trend of embellished gowns continues with sequins and the introduction of pearl beading, as seen below on Lupita Nyong'o. Cut out details are still prominent on the red carpet, with unique and interesting placement such as Naomi Watts' Armani Privé gown. See my picks for Best Dressed below. Who was your favorite?

{Lupita Nyong'o / Calvin Klein}
Lupita looks stunning in this custom pearl beaded gown. It's reportedly made out of 6,000 pearls!
One word: Wow!


{Naomi Watts / Armani Privé}
I love the high neckline on this patterned sequin gown. Naomi took a risk with the bandeau and open back but she pulled it off flawlessly! 


{Rosamund Pike / Givenchy}
Rosamund is on trend in red, with a gown made of rosettes. I'm obsessing over the feminine details on this dress: the pretty scalloped bustline and ruffles along the slit.


{Margot Robbie / Saint Laurent}
I love the plunging neckline and sheer sleeves on this simply elegant gown. Margot's hair & makeup were my favorite of the night, as well. That matte red lip was perfection! See my fave matte red lipstick here.


{Reese Witherspoon / Tom Ford}
This sleek color blocked dress is so flattering on Reese and accentuates her tiny waist by balancing it with the off-the-shoulder straps. She looks so chic!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mini Samoa Cheesecakes


This dessert is a combination of two of my favorite recipes: Mini Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes and Samoa Cheesecake. They are a little messy so I suggest eating them with a fork, as opposed to like a cupcake, but they taste heavenly! See the hybrid recipe I used below.


{mini cheesecakes baked to perfection: the center is set but still jiggles slightly}

{golden brown toasted coconut}

{Oreo cookie crust}

{Mini Samoa Cheesecakes topped with toasted coconut, 
caramel & chocolate drizzle with an Oreo cookie crust}

Ingredients:

{Cheesecake}
24 Oreo cookies
1 cup granulated sugar
3 (8-oz) bricks of cream cheese, softened
1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs

{Samoa Topping}
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 3/4 cups caramel sauce
chocolate syrup for drizzle


Directions:

{Cheesecake}
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Place one whole Oreo Cookie in the bottom of each cup.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed for 3 minutes until smooth.
Add sugar and beat for an additional minute until well blended.
Add Greek yogurt and vanilla, and beat for an additional minute, stopping halfway to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Do not overbeat!
Divide batter evenly into each cup, filling almost to the top.
Bake and rotate muffin tins halfway through, until the filling is set - about 22-28 minutes.
Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack to cool completely.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

{Samoa Topping}
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the coconut out in a an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 6 minutes or until top layer of coconut is toasted and lightly golden, then remove the tray and stir the coconut.
Bake for an additional 3-4 minutes until new layer of coconut is lightly golden. (I used the broiler but make sure to keep a close eye so that the coconut does not burn!)
Remove the pan, and pour coconut into a mixing bowl.
Add 1 cup of caramel to the coconut and stir to combine.
Using a spoon, top each mini cheesecake with a layer of caramel.
Then top with the caramel/coconut mixture and press it down until the top of the cheesecake is covered.
Drizzle chocolate syrup and caramel sauce on each cheesecake.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Currently Obsessed


It was love at first sight when I spotted these yellow suede heels on Zara's new arrivals page. The bow detail on the back really sealed the deal for me! I can't wait to wear them with an all white outfit to add a pop of color or with a printed sundress (and a tan!) Hurry up spring! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Work Trip: Seattle and San Francisco



Last week a handful of us from the BCBG Buying Department traveled to Seattle and San Francisco to visit some of our retail stores. It was great to hear from the store managers about their specific clientele and feedback about the product. I had never been to either city so it was nice that our work schedule wasn't jam packed, and we had some time to explore. See some of my favorite iPhone snaps from the trip below.


Seattle

{Seattle Space Needle}


{wine glass display at Miller's Guild}


{Pike Place Farmers Market}


{Pulled pork sandwich with coffee BBQ sauce & potato salad for lunch at Matt's in the Market. See my version of pulled pork sliders here}


{Our hotel served free beer in the lobby so my co-worker & travel roomie Lindsay and I enjoyed our espresso stout in our hotel robes}


{low lying fog + snow capped mountains leaving Seattle}


San Francisco


{basil & strawberry margarita}


{Waterside lunch at Sam's in Tiburon with the San Francisco skyline off in the distance}


{Lindsay & I couldn't get over this breathtaking view or the perfect weather}


{the gorgeous BCBG Runway Resort collection at our Union Square location}


{Best brunch at Taylor Street Coffee Shop before heading back to LA: omelet with avocado, mushrooms, scallions, chicken-mango sausage and colby-jack cheese with a side of sourdough toast & delicious fresh fruit}


{souvenir for me: rose gold Golden Gate Bridge magnet / gift for Greg: California Republic bottle opener}

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Eva for Loverly Collection


I was approached by the wedding planning powerhouse Loverly to help them launch their brand new "Eva for Loverly" bridesmaid collection! I am so excited to share this with you all - I'm totally obsessed with this collection! Loverly's first ever bridesmaid collection is co-designed by Eva Franco, who has designed for one of my favorite stores: Anthropologie! The collection is the perfect mix of romantic, feminine and vintage-inspired pieces. I'm loving the colored lace dresses in pretty pastels such as blush and aqua, with grounded neutrals like navy and champagne. There are several silhouettes to choose from, everything from a-line dresses and skirts to more fitted sheaths. The "Eva for Loverly" collection is right on trend, offering jumpsuits and separates for bridesmaids. Jumpsuits have been all over the red carpet lately (see here and here) and I love that they are now becoming wedding-appropriate! My favorite look is the beautiful textured ivory jacquard crop top and skirt set shown below.

Shop the entire "Eva for Loverly" collection here!

{my fave look, complete with a flower crown!}

{I love the sweetheart neckline & lace bodice on this dress}

{I'm obsessed with the scalloped lace crop top - perfect for mixing & matching to wear after the wedding}

{you can't go wrong with a classic silhouette in champagne colored lace}


Huge thank you to Loverly for sponsoring this post! All thoughts & opinions are my own.
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