Thursday, June 29, 2017

Broccoli Salad

Looking for a side dish for your 4th of July barbecue this weekend? This broccoli salad is it. Full of flavor (and pretty healthy!) with sweet cranberries and a little crunch in the form of toasted almonds. 

Hope you all have a safe & fun holiday weekend!

2 heads of broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup mayo (plus more to taste)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 cup cranberries (I used craisins)
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
2 pinches of sugar
salt & pepper to taste

Wash broccoli and chop into small florets. Place in a large bowl and set aside. Chop onion finely and add to the broccoli.
Spread almonds evenly over a small baking sheet and add 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter.
In a toaster oven (or regular oven) toast the almonds under the broiler. Stir every couple of minutes until golden brown. Watch closely because they are known to go from white to burned in what seems like a matter of seconds. 
In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup of mayo, the honey and lemon juice. Whisk until creamy. Pour over the broccoli and add the toasted almonds & cranberries. Stir until everything is lightly covered with the sauce, then add more mayo as desired. Sprinkle a couple pinches of sugar and season with a little salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Stripes + Suede

Unless it's something for the wedding, I've pretty much been on a shopping-freeze. Lately I've been getting creative and styling my current closet staples in a new way. This look, for example, consists of pieces that I've worn multiple times before (tank / skirt / headscarf) but mixing them all together feels fresh. 

We've been getting a ton of rain here in the sunshine state, so outfit shoots have been a challenge recently. But good news: Greg is back to working days! Hallelujah! It's been almost 2 years of working opposite shifts and seeing each other about one day a week so it's really nice to actually see my fiancé! Feels kinda like we're back to dating again, when everything is new in the beginning, but the little things mean so much more after time apart. Waking up in the morning and enjoying a cup of coffee together is priceless. Hope you all have a great weekend & Fathers' Day!

{outfit details}
Tank - Zara || Skirt - Tobi c/o (last worn here) || Headscarf - Nordstrom || Bag - Zara || Sandals - Target || Lipstick - NARS "cruella"

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Chambray Hat

Another day, another monochromatic outfit. White on white has been in my rotation quite a bit this year (such as here & here). When it comes to styling, it's all in the accessories. This chambray hat, which I scored through work, is the perfect addition to top off a casual summer look. One of the most fun aspects of my job as an accessories buyer is designing pieces for our private label brand. Everything from fabric to silhouette to embroidery - it's challenging but so rewarding when something I've helped create turns out to be a best seller! Looking forward to seeing the collection come to life for Spring 2018!

{outfit details}
Tank - Zara (similar version here) || Jeans - Current/Elliott c/o Shopbop || Hat - sample (similar style here) || Bag - Rebecca Minkoff c/o Shopbop || Sandals - Steve Madden || Aviators - Ray-Ban || Watch - Michael Kors || Lipstick - NARS "schiap" || Nail Polish - Essie "coconut cove"

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salty & sweet is a seriously addicting combination and these salted caramel chocolate chip cookies are no exception. I dare you to stop at just one...

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package vanilla pudding mix
1 bag of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips
1 bag of Ghiradelli caramel baking chips
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars on low speed. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda & salt. Gradually add the flour mixture, stopping halfway to scrape down the sides of the stand mixing bowl to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated. 
Add pudding mix and beat well. On low speed, add the chocolate chips and caramel chips, just until mixed throughout.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, place dough on a non-stick baking sheet about one inch apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle the cookies with sea salt. Let stand on baking sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy warm or store once completely cooled.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fringe Kimono {500th Post!}

The easiest way to add a bohemian touch to an outfit is by throwing on a kimono. I love these light-weight layers, which are perfect for summer. Although my office dress code is casual, sleeveless tops are not permitted so kimonos are my favorite way to cover up while still looking cute. This printed fringe one is a few years old but I still reach for it often and pair it with everything from denim to dresses.

This post marks my 500th!!! When I started Creative Outlet, I was a Junior at Florida State procrastinating studying for finals and thought it would be fun to create a blog instead of cram for my fashion merchandising exams. Now here we are, 7 years, countless hours and photos later, and I still get excited every time I click "publish." Sharing my passions has been the best part of blogging and hope you all continue to enjoy reading my next 500 posts! Cheers!

{outfit details}
Kimono - Forever 21 (cute kimonos here) || Dress - Loft (similar on sale here) || Sunglasses - Warby Parker || Clutch - Divas & Devils Boutique || Booties - Steve Madden (almost identical pair on sale here)|| Lipstick - Revlon Ultra Matte in "flirt"

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mixed Print Top

I bought this top a couple of years ago when I was a buyer for BCBG. In the fashion industry, I'm always working 6 months ahead and looking for the next trend, so sometimes I lose interest in an item by the time it hits stores. This top however, I was still lusting after and picked it up right away! It's so perfect for Spring, with pretty florals and a built in mixed-print design. The neckline is so unique, definitely my favorite detail. I paired this top with my go-to cut-offs, which I wear on the weekends more than I'd like to admit! Cognac accessories provide grounded accents to this shades of blue outfit.

Wedding Planning Update: We are less than 5 months away from the big day and getting so excited! We booked our honeymoon! Originally we were planning on Hawaii but 2 full days of traveling and expensive flights forced us to get creative. We live in paradise on an island by the beach and our wedding is a destination in Key West so we figured we didn't need to honeymoon in a tropical place. I'm so excited we will be spending a week in San Francisco & Napa Valley - hiking, wine tasting, a hot air balloon ride & more! I can't wait! 

{outfit details}
Top - BCBG || Shorts - Levi's (last worn here) || Bag - Dooney & Bourke || Sandals - T.J. Maxx || Sunglasses - Ray-Ban || Lipstick - Revlon "flirt"

Friday, May 5, 2017

Mama's Guacamole

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today I'm sharing a recipe for one of my favorite foods: guacamole! It's surprisingly easy to create from scratch, and pretty healthy depending on what you choose to dip in it. My mom is the queen of guac - she makes the best homemade version, with chunks of avocado, tomato and fresh cilantro from her garden. I could eat guacamole on just about anything - tortilla chips, carrots, burgers, you name it! Looking forward to celebrating with margaritas & guac this weekend...hope you all have a great one!

2-3 Hass avocados, diced
1/2 of an onion, grated
1/2 of a tomato, diced
1/4 of a lime
cilantro, chopped
sea salt to taste

In a bowl, gently stir together avocados, onion & tomato. Try to not smash the avocados in order to keep the ingredients a little chunky and more flavorful. Squeeze fresh lime juice and stir. Add a little cilantro & coarse sea salt to taste. Enjoy as an appetizer with chips or veggies for dipping, or use as a topping - I love it on spicy black bean burgers.