Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sip & Shop

Sip on this Apple Pear White Sangria...



...and shop this Lilly Pulitzer Marlowe dress, which is available in two different prints and is a score at less than $100. I love how this versatile fabric dress can be spiced up with a cashmere cardigan or long kimono. 



OR 





Have a great start to the weekend! Happy Saint Patrick's Day. 

XOXO, 



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Season Favorites

Spring has pretty much sprung, and I am so excited about all of the new releases from all my favorite brands, even if that just means browsing! 

First of all, I have been waiting forever for the release of the Too Faced  "Fall in Love" collection, and it is released as of March 9th! Could these shimmery nudes be any better? I love that there are so many options for blending. Too Faced is my go to for all makeup, including my concealer, their Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara, and blushes / bronzers. I don't ever have to use a primer because their makeup sticks all day. 

And I won't forget to mention...they are having a huge sale and many of their cosmetics are up to 60% off right now. 



And, all of the Lilly Spring 2017 arrivals are gorgeous. All of the crisp blues and whites have me ooo-ing and awe-ing because as you know, I am obsessed with any hue of blue and all resort wear. Will and I are trying to plan a few quick getaways this year and I hope some of these releases get listed on Poshmark or in the Lilly After Party Sale in the summer so I can snag a few. 



Lilly Spring 2017 by aduchessandablog on polyvore.com

What new releases are you loving this season?

XOXO,



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Blue and White Everything

I am excited because many of my new favorite things are blue and white. 
To follow along with my favorite things daily make sure to follow along on Instagram at @theduchess1317. 


I am three stethescopes deep into my career (yes, I have broken three in 2 years). 
That is a lot of stethe-debt, but I am excited to try the renowned quality of this rainbow and navy Litmann. 


Overstock had a huge liquidation sale and I scored this gorgeous and huge area rug for my office. It is 10x14' and covers the room so nicely. 


Obsessed does not even begin to describe how I feel about this blue and white lamp that I also picked up at the Overstock sale. Let it be noted that they send out coupons all the time if you sign up for emails, including an initial 10% coupon for signing up initially. Don't forget to use eBates too for extra cash back! 

I want allllll the blue and white details this season!
XOXO, 



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My Week in Photos

Finally, back to the blogging world. I have been fighting bronchitis and a sinus infection for three weeks. I made the mistake of waiting for 2 weeks to go to the doctor, thinking it was a flu, cold, or something I could fight off. It was the most miserable decision that I could have made. I am finally 3 days away from finishing a round of antibiotics and am feeling better. 

I was so excited to have a series of days off of work to catch up on everything from grocery shopping to seeing people I love to just being a person. Today we went to the auto show, tomorrow is a scheduled girl's night with one of my coworkers, and the following evening is a celebration of my grandfather's birthday. This past weekend Will and I also threw in a movie night where I made steak on my new cast iron pan, a visit to the West Side Market for fresh bread, produce and macaroons. I am so excited to have my life back on track, including regular trips to the gym where I can lift the heavy weight that makes me feel like I went there to work out with a purpose. 


I had yet another clearance find at TJ Maxx. Seriously I need to stay out of that place. I just can't help myself when they have items for so cheap that I would have otherwise paid a fortune for. I am one of those people who thrives off of aesthetically pleasing spaces, and my apartment is no exception. I am also a sucker for chochkies. I admit that I love a fresh and modern space with a clean interior. However, I can't help but surround myself with things that make me happy, which is what I believe Lorelai Gilmore said in Gilmore Girls. There is a huge difference between clutter and most loved chochkies, and I like to keep a fine balance. 





On one of the days I started to finally turn the corner on my plague, we took a quick pit stop to the park to take a look at the lake. It was freezing, but we feel SO blessed to live by a large body of water. We take it for granted, but there is nothing like a walk on the lake during the summer to watch the sunset. (We also were walking off the guilt of the macaroons we had just eaten at the West Side Market.)


Ironically enough we ended up stopping for cake donuts at my favorite donut place in the world, Spudnuts. We took 2 home for later. 


Did anyone else hear about the death of Bill Paxton? I was deeply saddened. He was such a fantastic actor and every movie he was in was better because of his presence. We had actually just finished watching Titanic a few hours before I found out. 

Lastly, I have been crushing on the Michele Deco Diamond watch. 


Maybe a purchase far into the future. I never used to like watches just because I didn't like to wear anything tight on my wrist. Lately I have begun to appreciate the beauty in a well made watch. Timepieces are things that can be handed down to your children and grandchildren for years to come. There are certain family heirlooms and timepieces that the women in my family have that I have always admired and I can't wait to pass down coveted pieces of jewelry to my loved ones. This is one of the reasons I think it is important to invest when you are able in things that last for years and years rather than throw money away on trends. 


I topped off the end of my stretch of days off with a wine and mermaid tail night with one of my dear coworkers! 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week. 

XOXO, 




Monday, February 27, 2017

Hasselback Stuffed Caprese Chicken Recipe

I have yet another amazing recipe that I stumbled upon while browsing Pinterest. This was a favorite for me because not only was it fast (prep time less than 15 minutes), but it was easy to make a large amount of which means lots of leftovers. This is a key component when it comes to making dinners for one. The last thing I want to do is prep a meal for myself every day of the week, so I love when I get a meal that warms up well. This Hasselback stuffed chicken warms wonderfully in the microwave because all of the juices keep the dish moist. 

One thing that I did add to this dish was a quick and simple touch. I marinated the chicken in Italian dressing for a few hours prior to making the dish. It gave the chicken extra flavor and added to the moistness of the dish. Also, for added moisture place a baking dish half full of water on the bottom rack of the oven while you bake. 

I unfortunately forgot to take a photo of the "after" dish, but you get the picture...it is delicious. 
This recipe was borrowed from Walking on Sunshine Recipes, which is a fantastic blog for foodies. 


2 chicken breasts
Sliced mozzarella cheese
Grape tomatoes; sliced in half
Basil leaves
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
salt, pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
  1. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut slits across the chicken breast about 3/4 of the way through the chicken breast being careful not to cut all the way through.
  2. Depending on the size of your chicken breast, you're going to want around 6 to 8 slits per chicken breast.
  3. Stuff each slit with a slice of mozzarella cheese, half a grape tomato and a basil leaf.
  4. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish that has been coated with non-stick baking spray.
  5. Brush each chicken breast with olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  7. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees.

Enjoy! 

XOXO, 



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What I'm Crushing On

Some of the things I am crushing on lately include...


This unbelievably sweet Sylvie Mini Chain Handbag  which will never be mine due to price constraints. However, the colors, crispness of the bow, and buttery leather are to die for. I will be stalking ebay and The Real Real in the future for this on consignment. 


My mom found me this adorable mini shopping card at a closeout store, and I am using it for my shopping list. I love all things that tiny that are not usually intended to be tiny. So cute, it makes the thought of going to the grocery store a little less dreadful and is so appropriate in the kitchen. 


I love this covered ottoman which I found at (you guessed it) TJ Maxx. My storage closet was overflowing. Every single time I closed the door I ripped a hole in my scrapbook bag, boxes for my ebay listing fell off the stack, and the avalanche began. I had so many things stacked on my storage containers that they were bowing and it created a war every single time I needed to find something. Having this extra storage space is a dream, and it looks so tidy. I wish I could take a nap on it, but it isn't long enough. I love that I have the option of using this at the end of a bed in the future if I wish. 

XOXO, 





Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Secrets to a Happy Coffee Table

I LOVE coffee tables. Actually, let me use this opportunity to announce how much I love tables in general. They are such a simple aesthetic yet they express so much about our decorating scale, our own personal happiness and our likes. They are the perfect place to lay out things that make us smile, make our hearts dance. Things we love to look at. The perfectly decorated table makes a perfectly decorated room...which is why I am only allowed into TJ Maxx every once in a while because I end up walking out with another table. I wanted to share a few of the secrets that I think make the perfect table top, be it your coffee table, night stand, end table or entry way decor. 


1. Faux flowers can be very tasteful in small amounts. Of course fresh flowers are preferred, but I find that shallow jars of flowers are my favorite. 

2. Coffee table books in stacks are a must. I always keep on hand a book of prints from my favorite artist (Monet!), a book I am reading, and a neat stack of magazines. Although difficult to see, I have multiple stacks of books underneath the glass. 

3.  A mirrored catchall is also a must. Try to get one at a closeout store like TJ Maxx , Marshall's or Homegoods. They bring the table together and the mirror opens up the area even more. The reflections of a candle off of the glass also is gorgeous for ambiance when the rest of the lights are dimmed. 



4. I am a huge fan of candles stacked on top of books. It makes the pile look complete. If not candles, use gemstones, large trinkets or cute bookends. 


5. A stack of coasters is a must in every room. Try to avoid wood or paper coasters. They look cheap. 


6. All kitchen and formal tables should have a table runner (I had my grandmother sew this one for me with fabric of my choice), formal napkins, a centerpiece and adjacent decor to balance. For instance, I always use a round bowl with some type of filler and then use something on each side of it, whether it is a set of taper candles, these cute bunnies, or tumber jars. 



And though not a tabletop, I am just as big of a fan of feng shui in the bathroom. Always have a luxurious pair of lotions out for guests. Use a solid soap dispenser rather than a plastic jar or a bar of soap which can get melted and look messy. Use a neutral photo in a frame and a funky jewelry catchall for extra spunk. 

What are your secrets to the perfect table? 

XOXO,