Purple Flowers and Mustard Yellow

As I've mentioned before, my workplace is pretty conservatively dressed, so I've been afraid to stray from the blacks, neutrals and classic pieces just because I don't want to stick out too much, and want to make sure I am being viewed as being appropriate and professional. So with that being said, I've been slowly playing with colors and incorporating it more into my outfits. Here is what I wore yesterday -- I paired one of my favorite purple floral blouses with a mustard yellow cardigan and my new denim pencil skirt.
Outfit Details
Mustard Cardigan: Target -- Blouse: LOFT -- Denim Pencil Skirt: LOFT 
Love Necklace: Tiffany & Co -- Gold Watch: Fossil -- Wedge Heels: Tory Burch
 TGIF everyone!
Happy Friday and I hope everyone has a great weekend : )

-Pretty Little Things


Fall Bucket List #25: make cozy fall comfort foods - Healthy Black Bean Chili

Lately I've been trying to stick to my healthy eating lifestyle (let's not call it a diet) and trying to incorporate more "real" foods in my diet as well as the right foods I need to slim down, feel more energetic, and overall just more healthy. Plus with the weather getting cooler - nothing is more comforting than hearty comfort foods.
What resulted was healthy black bean chili over brown rice. Topped with diced avocado.
Last night I cooked up this black bean chili (black beans are so good for you!) over a bed of brown rice (also excellent and full of vitamins in comparison to its white rice counterpart) and topped it with some diced avocado (which is seriously a superfood and full of all the good fats!) It was really delicious and I felt like I was sticking to my "healthy eats" so I wanted to share it with all of you. You can also opt to make it with turkey (which would make this recipe even leaner) but I used ground beef which I already had in the fridge. 

Healthy Black Bean Chili 
(recipe from finecooking.com and can be found here.)

3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained 

1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes 

1 medium chipotle plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce) 

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 

1 lb. 85% lean ground beef 
Kosher salt 
1 large red onion, finely diced 
1-1/2 Tbs. chili powder 
2 tsp. ground cumin 
1 lime, juiced 
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 ripe avocado, cut in a medium dice 

Put one-third of the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with the tomatoes and their juices, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Process until smooth and set aside.

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or similar heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering hot, about 2 min. Add the beef, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a large plate using a slotted spoon. Add half of the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and soften, about 3 min. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook for 20 seconds. Add the remaining black beans, the puréed bean mixture, and the beef to the pot and simmer for 10 min., stirring frequently. Add half of the lime juice, half of the cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. If the chili is thicker than you like, it may be thinned with water.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining lime juice and onion with the avocado. Season generously with salt and pepper.

**The original recipe says you can top it with sour cream, but I opted for the avocado which  is cool and creamy like the sour cream but much healthier -- and of course some fresh cilantro -- LOVE**

Enjoy : )

-Pretty Little Things


Fall Bucket List

It's no secret that this is my favorite time of year, and that fall is my absolute favorite. Between the changing of the leaves, the crisp cool air, the first time you slip on a cozy sweater and boots, football sundays and pumpkin flavored anything -- I couldn't wait to put together my fall bucket list!

Pretty Little Thing's Fall Bucket List

1. pumpkin picking
2. apple picking
3. go to a Giants game
4. carve/decorate pumpkins for Halloween
5. make a gingerbread haunted house
6. do a corn maze
7. visit a haunted house
8. go on a hayride
9. creative Halloween costumes
10. watch scary movies all day
11. try cooking a new recipe every week
12. play in the leaves
13. work on my photography
14. go hiking
15. attend college homecoming
16. decorate apartment with fall/halloween decor
17. go on a weekend roadtrip
18. make homemade hard cider
19.  have a pumpkin carving party
20. throw a Halloween party
21. do more projects from pinterest (less pinning more doing)
22. work on my scrapbook
23. spend Thanksgiving with family and friends
24. go shopping on black Friday
25. make cozy fall comfort foods like soup and chili
26. attempt to start my Christmas shopping early
27. watch the new season of American Horror Story
28. go to a murder mystery dinner
29. go wine tasting at a winery
30. watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"
31. Hoboken Music and Arts Festival
32. try pumpkin flavored anything
33. eat apple cider donuts
34. visit the Salem Witch Museum in MA
35. host a day after Thanksgiving cocktail party with friends
36. have more creative (and surprise) date nights
37. get into college football with D
omg I'm scared already!!
39. enjoy the fall foliage
40. try to leave work at work, and live in the moment : )
I sure have a lot of my list, but I'm excited to try to achieve them all!
Hope you all read along to keep up with my autumn adventures...

Cheers to cooler weather -- and happy fall everyone! : )

-Pretty Little Things


what's inspiring me lately...

I haven't done one of these posts in a while, but thought I'd share some things that are currently inspiring me...all images can be found on my pinterest page.
My dreams of one day having a lake house. This is my heaven : )
The coziness of this outfit.
Yup, this is me. More on this in tomorrow's post...
 The simplicity of this dish - pasta tossed with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes. YUM!
Fall sangria with farm fresh apples.
 all the new fall nails colors in rich, creamy dark shades -- love!
Yes, she did.

What's inspiring you lately?
 Hope you all have a lovely day! : )

-Pretty Little Things


Navy and Lace

One of my dear friends from college married this weekend, so I wanted to share some pics of what I wore, and some snapshots from the night. Enjoy : )
Outfit Details
Lace dress: Express -- Clutch: Tory Burch -- Heels: Cole Haan
Watch: Michale Kors -- Love Necklace: Tiffany and Co. -- Bracelet: Swarovski 
My mom wasn't the greatest taking pics on the iphone -- but this one actually turned out pretty funny so I decided to share it!!
 Me and the girls.
 The beautiful bride -- double fisting her drinks of course ; )

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday! : )

-Pretty Little Things



Pink Hearts and Charcoal

I'm seriously loving the trend of heart sweaters seen at J.Crew and Old Navy. Since J.Crew can sometimes be out of my budget -- I loved how ON created the piece for such an affordable price. In fact, so affordable I got another one in a different color -- and can't wait to show that off soon ; )
Outfit Details
Heart Sweater: Old Navy --  Black Pencil Pants: Madewell -- Leopard Flats: Payless
Love Necklace: Tiffany & Co -- Gold Watch: Fossil
 And I know to most, this photo looks like a really crappy manicure -- but in fact, this is my self-manicure that I was actually really proud of in the fact that it didn't look like a four year old painted it. I've been trying to save money lately and doing my own nails (those manis/pedis can get so expensive) and this is what I ended up with. This color is the Nicki Minaj Collection for OPI -- Pink Friday.
 Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have a lovely weekend : )

-Pretty Little Things


food lovers.

For all my fellow food lovers out there, I wanted to share some of my recent eats to tantalize your taste buds. You're welcome ; )
Hawaiian food at the food court while taking a break from shopping.
Some of the yummiest bruschetta I've had in a long time.
My favorite salad when we dine out. 
Mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
I got the shrimp and scallops.
After hibachi = soooo stuffed.
D's famous apple pancakes. More on these found here.
Boston Market. They do still exist.
shrimp and scallops over linguine.
Authentic homemade sauce/gravy over angel hair and garlic bread.
more on how to make your own here.
And trust me, it is the complete opposite of the"sketti" recipe found on Honey Boo Boo here. YUCK!
D's creation what he calls "pasta and peas" -- so yummy with bits of bacon : )

Hope you all have a lovely day : )

-Pretty Little Things


Caramel and Polka Dots

Another conservative work look. A camel colored sweater with some polka dots.
Now that I'm getting more comfortable -- be on the look out for more color, coming soon!
 Polka dot sweater - Old Navy, Black pants - Madewell, Watch - Michael Kors
Love Necklace - Tiffany & Co., Wedge Heels - Tory Burch
ps. most comfortable shoes for work - EVER!

-Pretty Little Things


Pretty Little Snapshots

Here's some pics on my iphone that I thought I'd share with you -- Enjoy : )
Seriously obsessed with my new chalkboard ; )
Newest pinterest project. 
Coffee beans and votive candles in small hurricane glasses = amazing smelling apartment.
Me and little Ava.
Me and D at the Pocono 500.
  It was a photo finish!!
 dinner with the parentals.
 Cute tea canister I snagged up @ TJ Maxx.
 Our little cutie.
Braid in the hair, just don't care.
 My first self mani that it didn't look like a 5 year-old kid painted them!
Color is Case Study by Essie.
 Savoring one of the last night of summer @ Pier 13.
Sweet notes and a special dinner made for me for my first day of my new job : )
gorgeous peach roses.
sweet ending for a sweet night.
 Getting our games faces on and ready for football season - GO GIANTS!!

Hope you all have a lovely day!

-Pretty Little Things

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