Our Annual Cleanse

A New Year's Cleanse | OliverandBelle.com

After weeks of cocktail parties and cheese plates and holiday meals and travel and generally not caring about calories or a regular workout schedule, January provides a glorious clean slate. It’s cliche, I know. But just like all of the newbies at the gym this month and every food blogger posting favorite wholesome recipes, I like to hit the reset button on my body and get back to a place of healthy habits. 

Enter the annual cleanse. 

A New Year's Cleanse | OliverandBelle.com

There are TONS of cleanses with varying levels of required discipline. For the past three years, I’ve followed a pretty straightforward regimen: eliminate coffee, alcohol, sugar, meat, dairy and junky carbs. Forget about processed foods (you should probably do that part regardless). Eat lots of fruits, veggies and fish. Drink plenty of water. Get a bit of caffeine from green tea. And take herbal supplements to help push out the junk. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s both sell cleanse kits that do just that. There aren’t specific meal plans, but overall, try to make sure your plate has more veggies on it than anything else. The whole process lasts 14 days and, while the first four days are basically terrible, by day 5, you will feel like a new person. Lighter and more energetic. Your skin will glow. You’ll drop some LBs. You’ll feel really, really GOOD. And when you finish, it’s much easier to keep your healthy habits. 

A New Year's Cleanse | OliverandBelle.com

This year, I’m shaking it up. Intensifying. Brian and I are spending the next 21 days practicing the Clean Gut Cleanse. We want to lose some weight and get back on track. We are pescatarians (a really annoying word that basically means we are vegetarians who also eat fish), so it’s a little more challenging since this cleanse also eliminates things that vegetarian diets frequently depend on – beans and soy. The basics are similar to the previous cleanse, but here are the rules to follow:

Eat: Veggies, greens, lentils, quinoa (sparingly), wild fish, grass-fed meats, organic or pasture-raised eggs, fermented foods (like sauerkraut), nuts & nut butters, avocado, coconut, fresh & frozen berries

Don’t Eat: Gluten, dairy, processed sugar, alcohol (sob), caffeine, beans, rice, soy, potatoes, corn, almost all fruits (except berries)

There are also some specifics about combining items. Like you can’t combine animal protein with veggie protein. So no shrimp and quinoa salad. Instead, combine animal proteins with veggies. And veggies with veggie proteins. Confused yet? It’s not that complicated. I promise.

The final step is a lengthy list of supplements we’re taking with each meal. 

So. It’s intense. And it’s not for everyone. But the idea behind this cleanse is that eliminating all of these items from your diet and then slowly reintroducing them allows you to determine food sensitivities. Plus this kind of cleanse can also be beneficial in boosting your immune system and fighting disease. 

We’re not following it to the letter because I just can’t drink green juice in the morning if it doesn’t have an apple or pear thrown in for a bit of sweetness and, listen, I need soy sauce in my life (though we’ve switched to tamari, which is gluten-free). 

And just to show you that you can still eat SUPER delicious meals while doing this whole cleanse thing, here’s my menu for this week:

Grilled cedar plank salmon with grilled asparagus
Southwestern Mahi Mahi salad with Mexican Green Goddess dressing
Poached cod with tomato and saffron
Shrimp lettuce wraps (with some modifications)
Veggie frittata with a mixed greens salad
Spicy Thai shrimp soup (without the rice)
Pan-seared scallops and shrimp salad

(Recipes to come!)

If you’ve ever considered cleansing, give my basic cleanse a try. Or, if you want to take it a step further, order (or download) the book and join us for the Clean Gut Cleanse. It’s going to be a long 21 days free of cheese or wine, but it’s worth it.

 

Lobster & Crab Mac & Cheese

Lobster & Crab Mac & Cheese | OliverandBelle.comYes, I know. This is the time of year when every blogger in America is posting healthy recipes. Look, there is a place for quinoa and green smoothies and kale. A place that I will be going to on Monday when I begin my annual cleanse (more on that tomorrow). But first, I’m sharing a decadent recipe that calls for a pound and a half of cheese… Your resolution can wait until after you try this. I promise. 

We invited a few friends (AKA the best neighbors in all of suburbia) over for a low key New Year’s celebration with this as the main course. And we all went back for seconds. You could leave the crab out and add more lobster (I might go that route next time) or eighty-six the seafood altogether and just enjoy a bowl of creamy deliciousness.

It was the perfect last meal of a pretty perfect year. 

Lobster & Crab Mac & Cheese
Serves 6
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 4 lobster tails
  3. 1 pound pipe regati pasta (elbow mac, cavattapi or penne would work too)
  4. 1 quart milk
  5. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  6. ½ cup all-purpose flour
  7. 12 ounces gruyère cheese, grated
  8. 8 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar, grated
  9. ½ teaspoon pepper
  10. ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  11. 8 oz cooked crab claw meat
  12. 3 slices of white bread, crusts removed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Butter a large baking or casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Butterfly the lobster tails. Using kitchen shears, slice through the hard top shell and then meat length wise, stopping at the bottom tail, then split open.
  4. Heat 1/2 cup water in a large skillet until it begins to simmer. Add the lobster tails and cover. Cook for 8 minutes for perfectly steamed lobster. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Add the sliced bread to a food processor and pulse until they are turned into breadcrumbs. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and pour over the breadcrumbs. Mix well with a fork so they are well coated. You can also use panko or store-bought bread crumbs, but make sure they are coated with butter as well.
  6. Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook for 8 minutes so it's slightly undercooked (this will prevent it from getting mushy when it's baking in all of that delicious cheese). Drain well.
  7. Remove the cooled lobster meat from the shell and chop into medium-sized pieces. Eat one of them. Set aside.
  8. Next, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is hot, but not boiling. Set aside.
  9. In a large saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Continue to whisk for two minutes. Pour in the warm milk in small batches, whisking constantly. Whisk for an additional minute or two more, until smooth. Add the pepper and nutmeg and stir to combine. Remove from heat and add the cheese. Continue to stir until smooth and creamy. (Taste a little bit. Swoon.)
  10. Mix in the lobster and crab meat, then add the pasta. Stir until the pasta is thoroughly coated. Add the pasta mixture to the baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs.
  11. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top.
  12. Enjoy! And enjoy it with a glass of two of your favorite white wine. (Might I suggest a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand?)
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
Oliver & Belle http://oliverandbelle.com/

Basement Renovation: The Inspiration

If you’re following us on Pinterest, you’ve probably noticed an influx of basement inspiration photos pinned among the usual collection of delicious recipes. When we met with a contractor two weeks ago to talk about our basement renovation, I pulled up some of the pics to give him an idea of what we’re going for. I’m always drawn to a sort of rustic meets modern meets traditional style (that makes sense, right?) and my inspiration pics are predictably full of natural elements, lots of white and a fairly tailored, yet casual look.

Here’s what’s making my heart skip a beat:

(Image via Houzz)

Because the basement already has a chair rail, we’re planning to have horizontal tongue and groove paneling (yes, I said paneling) installed on the bottom half of the wall to brighten things up and to provide some interest in the large box of a room. I also love the color of the felt on the pool table (having ours re-felted is on the agenda at some point) and the light fixture over the pool table. It makes it look a bit more classy and a bit less… pool hall.

(Image via Houzz)

The basement stairs are nothing to write home about right now, but I love the idea of installing storage in that unused space. There’s currently a tiny door with a few shelves behind it, but we’re going to open that up and have bigger shelves installed. I expect to style them with books, baskets a smattering of photos and, in the future, a place to store toys. The lighting above the shelves is also an awesome touch.

Wet Bar | Oliverandbelle.com(Image via S.B. Long Interiors)

Our existing wet bar is one big oak-filled 80’s throwback. And I hate it. So we’re knocking out the big bar (seen here) and moving the wet bar against the wall instead. The mix of modern cabinets, quartz countertops, rustic open shelving and stone work makes me swoon. This is what got the wheels turning for us when we first talked about renovation. I plan on having the cabinets painted ivory with a lighter countertop (keeping with that light and bright concept), but I’d love everything else to look very similar to this. Under the counter, we’ll have a wine fridge, a mini fridge and plenty of storage.

(Image via Houzz)

You can just barely see the ancient (and barely working) white refrigerator peeking out from a nook next to the bar here, but we’re planning to remove it altogether and to something different with that space. Like build a little wine cellar. Um, not sure if you’ve met me, but next to my husband, pugs, and cheese, wine is pretty much my favorite. So this is totally making all of my wine loving dreams come true. Wine we’re ready to drink will be kept in the wine fridge. Wine that we’re cellaring or saving for a special occasion will be kept in the new storage. I picture a mix of cubes and individual cubbies. I like that we’ll be using the empty space in a useful way.

Basement Renovation Inspiration | OliverandBelle.com

(Image via Cindy Ray Interiors)

We currently have built-ins that house a VERY large TV circa 1995. Pretty sure it’s the very first HDTV that was ever created. It’s so massive that the thing is on wheels. We’re 86-ing that bad boy and upgrading to, ya know, something made in the last year. Which means the built-ins need to be reconfigured a bit. And painted. I love how the tongue and groove paneling in the photo above is inset into the built-ins.

paint

(Image via House*Tweaking – one of my fave blogs)

As for paint… I want contrast. With the horizontal paneling and painted built-ins and cabinets, I like the idea of going bolder with color. So something dark. Brian has put his foot down on yet another gray room (whoops!), so maybe something with a hint of color, but still something neutral like what Dana from House*Tweaking did in her all-purpose mudroom/laundry room/dining room.

slipcover-only-for-lounge-93-sofa (1)

I’ve had my eye on Crate & Barrel’s 93″ slipcovered Lounge sofa for ages. And the basement seems like the perfect place for a super deep, comfy and nap-worthy couch. Have I mentioned that slipcovered furniture is my jam? No? Welp, it is. We have Pottery Barn’s PB Classic Roll sofa in our living room and I love being able to basically “wash” the entire thing once a month. For the basement, I’m planning to pair the sofa with a chair and a half (maybe in a coordinating fabric, but not matching) and a big square leather ottoman. I’ve also considered a sectional, but am on the fence. Which do you prefer?

We have yet to get the plans back from the contractor, so all of this is still extremely tentative. As in, it might be absurdly expensive and I’ll have to start cutting out “like-to-haves” so we can complete the must-haves. Like, you know, ceilings. And floors.

Once we begin making progress, I’ll be sharing updates. Stay tuned!

Spinach & Cheese Strata

Spinach & Cheese Strata | Oliverandbelle.com

Christmas breakfast is that glorious thing sandwiched between ripping presents open like a crazed banshee and playing with all of your new toys. It’s best enjoyed with coffee and boozy beverages (mimosas and bloody marys, perhaps). And it’s even better when you just have to pop it in the oven as soon as you pad downstairs in your Christmas slipper socks, still bleary eyed with an epic case of bed head. 

Enter the strata. It’s basically savory bread pudding and tastes like a quiche and a frittata made sweet love and popped out a delicious cheesy, crusty, eggy baby. Prep everything the night before and bake it the next morning. Easy as pie. Or strata.

Spinach & Cheese Strata
Serves 6
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
  2. 1 large yellow onion, diced
  3. 2 tablespoons butter
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  6. Dash of ground nutmeg
  7. 1 loaf ciabatta, cubed
  8. 1 cup gruyere, grated
  9. 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, grated
  10. 2 1/2 cups lowfat milk
  11. 8 large eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cube ciabatta and spread in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly toasted and dried out. Set out until cooled to room temperature.
  2. Thaw spinach in microwave and remove all excess liquid. (My handy method is to wrap it in one million paper towels and wring it out.) Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and continue cooking for one minute. Stir in spinach, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Grease baking dish with remaining tablespoon of butter. Spread half of the bread cubes in the dish and top with half of spinach mixture and half of cheese. Repeat layering with remaining bread, spinach and cheese. Whisk eggs, milk, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over the strata.
  4. Cover strata with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered in the middle of the oven until golden brown and cooked through, 50 minutes. To get it extra crispy on top, broil for 1-2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Eat, sip your mimosa and help yourself to seconds.
Notes
  1. As an added bonus, the strata reheats really well in the microwave the next day. So it can be like Christmas morning all over again. Minus the presents.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Oliver & Belle http://oliverandbelle.com/

 

Silver Lining

Let’s be honest. Discovering that, oh, 100 gallons of water had been cruising through our living room into our basement thanks to The Great Aquarium Disaster of 2013 was horrible. Not only did Brian lose years of hard work, but our living room lost a beautiful piece of art. Like nature that was also art. We were both pretty bummed about it for the first few weeks. But now. Well, we’re trying to find the silver lining.

It turns out that the silver lining is realizing this is as good a time as any to start a basement renovation project. If we’re going to have crews taking over our home to redo hardwood floors and patch walls and ceilings and paint and replace carpet, well… we might as well bite the bullet and bring our late 80’s basement into the 21st century. 

Here’s what we’re working with: 

basementHello stairs. (And random foam roller and yoga strap.) The carpet is perpetually dirty, though you can’t really tell in this pic. We’re going to go with something low-pile that can hold up to lots of foot traffic. Because eventually this will become a combination of entertaining space, movie room, man cave and kid’s playroom. 

basement-2This is… the most boring bathroom in America. Also possibly the most beige. That shall be remedied. Don’t you worry. 

basement-3And that brings us to the main event. Beige everything. Oak everywhere. A TV that probably weighs more than a human. It’s currently a dumping ground (hence the randomly placed Rock Band instruments and other assorted household goods), but hopefully this will become one of our favorite places to hang out. 

basement-4And here’s the view from the other side of the room. More Rock Band instruments. The pool table that we negotiated into our home purchase. More beige, possibly made even worse because the walls have been sponge painted. SPONGE PAINTED. 

basement-8And now the wet bar. We definitely plan to have a wet bar in the basement, but this configuration doesn’t fit the space as well as it could. 

basement-7The other side of the wet bar. And a fridge that definitely does not keep anything at an appropriate temperature for food safety. I would like to keep that bottle opener, however. All of the hoses and equipment are part of the cause of The Great Aquarium Disaster of 2013. Good times.

basement-5Oh hi workout room. You can’t see it, but the carpet is either ruined or in need of a deep cleaning thanks to aquarium water. 

basement-6And this is why. 

While it may be difficult to picture this room as anything other than filled with oak built-ins and beige everything, we have some major changes in store. Think rustic meets modern meets cabin meets basement meets traditional. Or something. Wish us luck.

 

 

{Good Things} Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Holiday Gift Guide: For Him | Oliverandbelle.com1. Backpacks are soooo 1998. If your guy is still lugging around his laptop in anything made out of canvas, it’s time for an upgrade. Like this handsome Kenneth Cole Reaction leather messenger bag. Have Amazon Prime? Get it in two days. Boom. 

2. I love a man in a cute preppy scarf like this little number from Banana Republic. Stop by your local store and pick it up just in time for the main event.

3. I don’t know what it is about buying gifts for men that makes us automatically think “booze,” but if your man is into whiskey (as mine is), perhaps he should start a little urban moonshining operation. Or at least enjoy reading about how to do it with this handy guide. Ahem, Amazon Prime. 2 days. Done.

4. They call Cards Against Humanity a party game for horrible people and, well, that’s accurate. Especially if you hang out with our crew of friends. But it’s probably the most hilarious game you’ll ever play and assuming your gent has a good sense of humor and isn’t easily offended, pick this up from Amazon as well. Did I mention 2 day shipping?

5. Hello sexy whiskey glasses from CB2. I purchased these for Brian a few years ago and he still uses (and loves) them. They fit nicely in a big man hand and would be a great way to showcase that homemade whiskey, am I right? One day left to place your order to get them in time for Christmas (plus free shipping!). Or if you have a local CB2 store, pick them up there. 

6. These awesome ice molds are perfect for the aforementioned whiskey and cocktail glasses. The cool orbs of ice will melt slowly in his drink, meaning his bev of choice won’t be watered down. Pick them up at your local Crate & Barrel (or place a quick last-minute order before noon tomorrow and get free shipping!)

 

This is a handpicked selection of items that I really like. No one paid me to write about them. Not even Amazon. I just really love our Amazon Prime membership and use it at least once a week. 

 

Vegan Broccoli Salad

Vegan Broccoli Salad | Oliverandbelle.comWhat can I say? Sometimes I love an old school classic side dish. Granted, broccoli salad is way more summer BBQ than winter wonderland, but sometimes you just have to break the rules a bit.

I have a problem. A food hoarding problem. Specifically involving boxes of Trader Joe’s Mahi Mahi burgers. The deep freeze in our basement probably houses a minimum of 20 boxes. Last year, the Mahi burgers came and went so quickly that when they came back on the shelves this year, I stocked up. Maybe a little too aggressively. What can I say? They are healthy and delicious and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

So since the Mahi burger is a weekly staple, I’m always looking for a different side (other than a rotating variety of spinach salads). 

Enter the classic broccoli salad. Only I’ve lightened it up quite a bit. And made it vegan thanks to my good friends Vegenaise (better than mayo, I swear!) and Bacos. Yep. Bacos. No, it’s not the same as bacon, but I swear to you, you won’t miss the real deal in this salad because it’s the perfect amount of healthy veggies, crunch and sweetness.

Vegan Broccoli Salad
Serves 4
A lightened-up version of the potluck classic. All of the flavor. Less of the junk.
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 heads of broccoli (or one bag of Trader Joe's organic broccoli - my go-to)
  2. 1/2 cup Vegenaise
  3. 2 tsp sugar
  4. 1 tbsp white vinegar
  5. 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  6. 1/4 cup Bacos
  7. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Chop the broccoli into small pieces, removing most of the stems. Transfer broccoli to large serving bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the Veganaise, sugar and white vinegar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the Veganaise mixture to the broccoli and top with the onion, Bacos and dried cranberries. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes so the flavors can combine.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Oliver & Belle http://oliverandbelle.com/

 

Our Holiday Home Tour

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Carter house. Ok, so really it’s been looking an awful lot like Christmas since the weekend after Thanksgiving. There are also a few details involving coming home from our Thanksgiving vacation and discovering that Brian’s 75-gallon saltwater aquarium had been overflowing for 8 days. More on that later… But first, let’s take a look around, shall we?

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comI made this wreath last year, but added a little Pinterest-y flair with the letter C (found for a few bucks at Michael’s) and some white ribbon. Easy breezy.

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comI recently updated the foyer with a new rug and bench, plus some fun pillows. The rug was a total steal on clearance at Crate & Barrel. The bench is a Home Goods find and the pillows are from Home Goods and Target. Last year I dressed up the foyer with live garland and bows on the banister, but quickly discovered that live garland, while pretty to look at, is a total pain when it comes to clean up. 

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comI styled the entry console table with a mix of goodies from years past, though the little penguin is a new addition. 

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comI love anything cable knit and these trees, plus all of the gold and silver, make me really happy every time I walk in the door. The print in the background is a super cute drawing of the Kansas City skyline from Etsy seller albiedesigns

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comThe dining room is free of holiday decor this year, but the prints on the wall are new, so I had to snap a pic. All three are from Etsy. It’s the best place to find fun, affordable art. And if you know me and Brian, you know that we love wine and manhattans. So why not put them on the wall?

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comWhen we moved in last year, we transformed the hearth room from a tiny living room into a dining space, so now we have a true eat-in kitchen. This is where I choose to hang out because it’s warm and inviting and it just makes me happy. Plus hanging out there makes access to cheese and wine incredibly convenient. I updated the centerpiece after our annual holiday dinner party on Saturday because, well, there was a bit of a candle wax incident.

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comAs in, picture all of those candles melting everywhere. It took a bit of googling, a credit card, and some elbow grease to get the table cleaned up. And those really awesome Nate Berkus for Target candleholders? Toast. Like so covered in candle wax that they couldn’t be salvaged.

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comOne of Brian’s favorite holiday touches is the lighting behind the bar. He arranged a string of snowflake lights along the shelves so everything glows. It does make pouring a drink a little more fun. 

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comAnd now? The living room. By far the most festive spot in the house. (Don’t mind the pug jumping up on the couch…)

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comThe stockings are from Pottery Barn and we added monogram “L” and “O” ornaments to the ivory quilted stockings for our furry friends. We’re looking forward to adding more stockings to the mantle over time as our family grows.

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comI have an obsession with reindeer. And cone-shaped trees.

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comLola and Ollie approve.

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comLet’s talk about this situation for a minute. This is where the aquarium lived. Until The Great Aquarium Disaster of 2013, that is. The one that resulted in the death of everything inside the tank, serious damage to the hardwoods, a hole in the wall that’s hiding behind those bookshelves, and a giant chunk of missing sheetrock in the basement ceiling. But we’re making the best of it. I pulled these shelves from the basement, attempted to style them, and am still planning what to put there permanently. For the time being, this hides the giant hole in the wall and some of the floor damage, but the space is begging for something more substantial in size. And as we start on repairs to the house, we’re looking to make some updates in flooring and hopefully a major basement renovation.

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.comDisasters aside, it’s so nice to snuggle up in the living room, play marathon games of Monopoly (a Carter family holiday tradition), and sip manhattans and pinot noir by the fire.

Our Holiday Home Tour | Oliverandbelle.com

{Good Things} Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Holiday Gift Guide For Her | Oliverandbelle.com

Can you believe we’re only 12 days away from Christmas? I am sooooo close to being done with my shopping list thanks to the power of Amazon Prime and Ebates. Here’s a selection of gift items for the special lady in your life with options from my own wish list (and a few that I’ve already treated myself to): 

1) After years of buying cheap sunnies at Target and H&M, I finally went for a splurge and took home this lovely Tory Burch pair. I love the yellow pop of color and the logoed hinges.

2) With a little motivational message and a whole lotta sass, this print would be the perfect office (or nursery) accessory.

3) I’m OBSESSED with the collaboration between West Elm and Baggu and love the functional and affordable totes. My favorite – the navy striped tote with the gold-dipped bottom – is sold out, but this adorable monogrammed version has also stolen my heart.

4) Even after five years of wear, my very favorite Gap pajama bottoms are still holding strong. But I’d love to add to the collection with a cute plaid pair. 

5) When I travel for work and when I go out on the town, I prefer to take a wristlet with me to hold the essentials. This darling preppy Kate Spade number would be perfect tucked inside my work tote or hanging off my wrist while I boogie down.

6) I’ve only read good things about Sephora’s Formula X nail system. As someone who loves to change it up with fun shades of polish, but hates how quickly it can chip and peel (even with the magic of Seche Vite top coat). This kit may very well change all of that.

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