Thank you so much for following along with Epicuriously Living. I have loved every moment with it and you, as readers. I felt like it was time to move on, so this will be my last post. If you want to follow me on my new journey, check out SouthernElleStyle.com.
It’s been a while since I have written. It has been a long time since I have made the time to write. In fact, I didn’t write throughout the entire season that you COULD wear white. Don’t know what I’m referencing? Find out what you missed! (And, no. It’s not a coincidence that my boyfriend and I started dating just a little bit before my last post. What on earth would make you think that?) Anyway, among my many thoughts of “oh, I should write about that…” someone did step up to the plate! I received an email with a request to do a guest post and it came at just the write* time. Get it? 😉 Yes, I know I the difference between “write” and “right”. I just like puns, okay? Point being, I have a wedding to attend next weekend and haven’t even begun to figure out what I should wear. Keep reading for what Sarah Juzar thinks is the perfect solution to any occasion.
All about Cocktail Dresses
Nearly every girl has experienced the headache of deciding what to wear to a formal occasion. Even with a closet full of clothes or a store full of racks, in the moment, it seems like these the worst of times. This is where your cocktail dress comes in to save the day.
Cocktail dresses are not just for parties; they can be your best dress friend to any formal or semi-formal occasion. From office parties to wedding receptions, from date night to engagements, or to just about any social event; you can wear a cocktail dress and look fashionably on point.
When selecting cocktail dresses don’t just go on, mindlessly choosing the first catches your eye.
C H O O S E W I S E L Y
So, you just picked a cocktail dress that looked good on the mannequin, but you are a real woman, so make sure it flatters you and your style. The dress you wear is what will helps you stand out, so look for something that highlights your best features. If you are wishing to get the attention on your upper body (neck and bust) look for necklines. Low neck, neck less, halter neck, boat neck, and off the shoulders are great ways to keep your neck in spotlight. If you have the legs of Carrie Underwood, go for dresses that are not long, but short… just a few inches above the knee works wonders. When you are planning to highlight your lower body area (waist, hips and back) your best choice would be backless dresses, wrap dresses, or dresses with ruched details around the waist. When taking your best feature to the limelight, just keep it to one part at a time. Drawing attention to all parts makes you look like too desperate for attention.
Colors are important too, but most of the cocktail dresses are worn during evening or night, so just go with what complements your skin color and accentuates everything about you.
Now let’s talk about the types of cocktail dresses that will work for as your formal dressing staples. In short, enter the cocktail dress paradise.
Keeping it simple:
There are occasions where you have to dress up but you don’t want to make it too dressy. Cocktail dresses that are simple yet elegant can be worn to these types of occasions. A dress with a decent length and silhouette is what you really what you are looking for…not too much detail or embellishments, but a solid, simple color. A minimalistic dress like this can be easily dressed up or down as per your choice. You can easily take dress like this from day to night. Wear it to work with flats and a chic sweater, then shuck those shoes and cardigan and replace them with a statement necklace and pumps for a night you won’t forget.
Lace it up:
Lace has been a favorite among women for ages, perhaps because it has gives off a sublte charm and can always be modernized. A lace dress will be a very useful and stunning addition to your cocktail dress collection. You can look classy and sassy in a lace dress, without over doing anything. Just a lace dress with the right fit and you can forget all your formal dress woes. To accent the dress choice, don a statement necklace, watch, pair of strap heels and a glamorous clutch and that should do the trick. Just don’t forget to put on a smile after you are done pouting with your red lipstick.
Turn Up the shine:
When you feel like transforming yourself into a glamour queen, you need sequins and a lot of shine in your party dress. Sequins are a way to shine and get all eyes on you without even trying. A striking dress with sequins and sparkle will save this day for you. A dress that is itself too attention grabbing should be accessorized and dressed carefully. You go a little overboard with the accessories and you’ll end up looking like a Christmas tree. Just keep the accessories simple and delicate, wear your right heels, keep your hair simple and you’re ready to twinkle the night away.
Cut out to the cocktail:
If you feel like showing a sliver of skin while managing to stay sophisticated and charming, then a cut out dress is a match made in heaven for you. You can effortlessly draw attention to where you want and look glam. For a dress like this, you can wear your accessories simple and your hair pretty with a loose braided bun and you’re ready to go.
There are still a myriad of options available for cocktail dresses, just keep your eyes (and mind) open for them. You can always dress them up or down based on your own style intuitions! just don’t get too crazy.
Sarah Juzar is a content writer for Sophie & Trey, an online clothing store for women. Offering a large variety of dresses, shoes, jewelry and other women’s accessories. Like them on Facebook to stay updated with their latest deals and sales.
“You can wear white in the winter now. Michelle sent me a Glamour magazine article that said it was totally okay.”
That was a conversation I heard at church a couple of weeks ago. I immediately rolled my eyes and briskly walked to my car. I had had enough of that conversation. Lucky for you, it pulled me out of my blogging hiatus.
I am a bit of a traditionalist (that might be an understatement) and my Southern roots go down deep. One thing that has been instilled in me, is that you put your white away after Labor Day, and you don’t take it out until Easter rolls around. As a child, every Spring I’d not only get a new dress for Easter Sunday, but a new pair of white shoes to pair with it.
*side note: I wore pantyhose to church even in the summer, well into my middle school years. Thanks, mom.*
First of all, let me be clear. Winter white is an actual color. It is a creamy white and by no means stark. If you were to walk into my office wearing creamy, dreamy pair of cords, that would be a perfect example of winter white. Have you ever seen bright white corduroy pants? I didn’t think so. There’s a reason for that. You’re not meant to wear white in the winter. To tell poor girls that white is suddenly acceptable in the winter because there’s a new hue called winter white is just plain sad. But it’s equally as sad that they actually eat that information up.
Second of all, you will never see me wear white in winter, no matter what magazine “grants” me the ability. (Not to mention, my grandmothers would roll over in their grave if I did). One thing that I love about the South is its tradition. The unwritten “white” rule is just one of those.
So to answer my question “what the heck is winter white”, it’s a color that has been around for a while and accepted in the southern society. It’s nothing new and it certainly isn’t as stark as what some fashion publications are portraying.
But don’t take my word for it, just take a look at history. Some of my biggest fashion inspirations are Audrey and Jackie O. (surprise, surprise). Take a look at them. Did they wear white in winter? The answer is simple: N-O. The reason they are still relevant today is because they weren’t trendy, they were classic. Something that is currently trendy is wearing white in the winter. I rest my case.
Now go shine up your white shoes and make sure your white sundress hasn’t yellowed. Easter is 71 days away.
It doesn’t feel like fall at all.
It feels like icemageddon played ding dong ditch at my home in North Texas.
Technically, winter begins December 21st a the start of winter solstice; however, this year it showed up a little too early to a party that it was never invited to in the first place.
Global Warming? Where you at?
Here are some yummy goodies to help you finish fall strong and bring you right into the Christmas spirit!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Streusel Topping
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
Prepare filling by beating together all ingredients. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
Line 18 muffin cups with paper baking cups or grease and flour the muffin cups. Heat oven to 375°.
Muffins: In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, combine the 2 2/3 cups of flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add eggs, pumpkin, vegetable oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until well blended.
Streusel Topping: In a small bowl, combine the 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and butter. Work together with a fork or fingers. Set aside.
Fill muffin cups about one-third full with the muffin batter, then put about 1 tablespoon of frozen cream cheese mixture in the center of each. Top with about 1 more tablespoon of the pumpkin batter, or until cups are about 3/4 full. Make sure all of the cream cheese is covered. Sprinkle each muffin with a little of the streusel topping. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, until firm.
Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese filling and Chocolate Ganache. *I know this is a terrible picture but it was all I had left*
- Pumpkin Cake
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup softened butter
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 10 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
Dark Chocolate Popovers and Cinnamon Whipped Cream.
- 4 tablespoons butter, browned
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk, slightly warm in temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped and tossed in a bit of flour
- whipped cream
- 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush a popover pan (muffin pan or deep mini cake pans work well too) with 2 tablespoons of the browned butter.
Add the eggs to a blender and puree until combined. Add in the warmed milk, the vanilla, remaining butter, flour and salt, blending until the batter is combined.
Place the pan in the oven and heat it for 5 minutes. Remove it from the oven and pour the popover batter in the pan, filling the tins 3/4 of the way full. Add half of the chopped chocolate to the tins. Bake for 25 minutes and do not open the oven!
Once the popovers are finished, remove them from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate. Let cool slightly before serving with whipped cream.
Add the heavy cream to the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until peaks form and the whipped cream is thick. Beat in the sugar and vanilla extract. I added 1 TSP of cinnamon and used it in Mexican hot chocolate, as well as with my popovers. It was delicious. I plan on making it again using real strawberries. The possibilities are endless! Refrigerate any leftovers.
Turkey Wild Rice Soup.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked, cubed turkey breast
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add carrot, celery, onion, green onion, rosemary, thyme, pepper and garlic. Sauté about 8 minutes or until browned.Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
Stir in turkey and rice; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes or until rice is tender (15-20 minutes if using quick cooking rice).
Combine flour and milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until there are no lumps. Add to soup and stir well.
Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently. Season with salt, to taste.
As I have been iced in since Thursday night, I’ve had ample time for crafting. These things are so cute and make great gifts.
Find a mug you like- I bought mine at Target and choose your medium. I did one with sharpie and the other with sharpie paint. If you choose paint, a little goes a long way. If you use too much, it will bubble when you cook it.
Bake the mug for 30 minutes at 350. Hand wash to ensure design will be maintained. You can wash it in the dish washer, but the design might not last as long.
Celtic Knot headband.
Literally all I had to do was watch this video. I chose to make mine with grey polar fleece. I LOVE the way it turned out.
I love pine cones any time of year, but Christmas pine cones are the best because they’re scented with cinnamon. I hot glued some onto twine and hung it in my cube at work. Now my desk is winter wonderland. I also paired some with cotton in a vase, for a chic-southern look.
Bow ties are my favorite thing to make, so I love incorporating them into Christmas decorations and giving them as gifts.
It may be time to move from pumpkins to peppermints, but glitter deer heads are always in style. I simply got a wooden piece and glued it to to a canvas, painted, and glittered. Christmas nails are also a must. I always love O.P.I. and Essie, but my newest obsession is Julep.
May your Christmas season be filled with JOY!
Baylor football’s defense might be making it’s strongest show ever this season, but I having been playing defense for Baylor for years.
I have always been a Baylor fan. I have always stuck up for Baylor when
rude jealous people made downgrading comments. I was ready to fight back with quick and witty retorts for God’s favorite team. (Other than the Dallas Cowboys, that is). I didn’t love it for the football team, I loved it for the tradition, spirit, memories, and values.
On the same Baylor swing when I was 6, circa 1997, then when I was 21, the day I graduated, December 2012.
Being a Texas girl, I’ve always loved watching football, so I attended every game I could- despite the win or lose probability. I was always happy to be a Baylor Bear, but it was a great day when we won an actual football game.
I’ve always thought that Baylor Bears were classy fans. I’ve watched Tech fans throw beer on fellow Bears; I’ve heard Aggies yell inappropriate comments that their mothers would be ashamed of. I obviously know that there are exceptions, but for the most part I believe we are nice fans.
Toward the end of my time at Baylor, our Wins to Losses greatly shifted. We finally had a team to be proud of and a scoreboard to match.
I remember the night we beat OU. I remember the night RGIII won the Heisman. I remember the celebratory burning of couches on 10th street. I remember attending my first Baylor Bowl game.
The list goes on and on…but one thing I don’t forget about is our past.
I remember losing.
I remember obnoxious teams with their unsportsmanlike conduct.
I hope I never forget.
Because you know what? Our past is part of us. Our past is one of the reasons why our present is so amazing. We used to be scrubby little Baylor.
You won’t hear me mouth off at the office. Sure, I’ll talk about my Bears, route for them, and perhaps engage in a little friendly rivalry, but you will never hear me downgrade another team in the hopes of making my Bears look better. I’m going to leave that to the scoreboard.
So, my what’s my hope for alum, current students and future Bears?
Stay humble. Remember our past. Have Baylor pride. Be nice. And remember that the sweetest revenge is winning.
I think Drake said it best…
Thanks and Sic ’em.
It’s Saturday, November 9th- over a week from Halloween 2013.
If during every other week at work you can gain the Corporate 15, the day after Halloween, you can gain the Corporate 20.
People bring their leftover candy and leave it to tempt you in order to overcome their lack of self control.
As of yesterday afternoon, most of the candy was gone. The Starbursts, Skittles, and Snickers had all been snatched up.
Key word: MOST.
There is still a sad bowl of candy sitting on the table in the kitchen. It contains countless jaw breakers and gobs of lollipops of a brand I’ve never heard of. It’s as if that candy was never touched.
When it comes to Halloween candy, you have two choices:
1)Buy brand name candy that everyone will love
2)Buy off brand candy that no one will eat
If you choose option 1, you will pay for those brand names and have 0 leftovers. If you choose option 2, your wallet will thank you, but at the end of the night, it will just be you and that bowl of candy. So did you really save any money? The candy you purchased will actually go to waste, as no one chose to eat it.
Often times, people will live their lives like option number 2. They cheat themselves…they fill up on cheap worldly highs, which in turn deprives themselves of true joy, then wonder why they’re empty inside.
So, don’t be tempted by that sour gumball surprise. Choose the real deal and choose joy.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
This weekend was my first alumni homecoming at Baylor University. It was a wonderfully exhausting weekend.
Having graduated almost a year ago (last December) it feels like everything is the same…but it’s not. And I mean more than just our football team being ranked 6 in the nation.
It’s funny because while you’re in college I think you don’t really appreciate how close everyone is in relationships, as well as location. Graduating college is like a break up going as well as it possibly can. You graduate, leave, and move on. You have fond memories, but the more you go back, the more you realize the growing distance between you and the town that helped shape who you are today and how you’ve changed since you left.
There are certain things that are expected of you once you graduate, especially from Baylor. I think I told people where I worked my job description no less than 20 times; however, my favorite question was the namesake of this post. “You’re so cute. Why aren’t you married?” I mean… what exactly am I supposed to say to that? I just laughed. I’d like to say that was the most embarrassing thing, but that, my friends, I attribute to my love for mens flannels. I wore one that I fell in love with from the men’s section in Target. I was waiting in line for a funnel cake, when I noticed the guy in front of me kind of eyeing my shirt. Turns out he liked it enough to buy it and wear it to the BU game too. Oops.
Something that I love about Baylor is that they genuinely help you and expect you to succeed at life.
Baylor seriously has my heart and I could not have imagined anywhere else I would rather have gone. This is one happy and proud alum.
Alright. My sappy Alumni post is over.
Thanks and Sic ’em for reading.