Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bow down for these pumps

Every working woman should have a vibrant pump in her closet, and these shoes by sole society are exactly what I had been looking for:
The colors are beautiful and on-trend, and the bow adds a little bit of sweetness to a shoe that can still be taken seriously. At around $60 a pop, collect all three!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A top to Drive for

Since I now officially live in Texas, it is time to get my TX Driver's License. The last time I got a license was the first and only time, when I was 16 and in CA, and that happens to be the only time I took a picture for one as well. Back then I prided myself on being a bit of a fashionista, but was still in the mode of taking yearbook pictures so I wore a really conservative button up shirt.
This time I want to look my age (28), but want to wear a top with a fun neckline that won't make me cringe every time I pull out my license. This top from J Crew fits the bill:

When was the last time you took a picture for your license? Do you regret what you wore, or did you wear something timeless and stylish like the top above?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stealth Work Sheaths

For those days when you don't want to put too much thought into what you are going to wear to work, but still want to look fresh and put-together, a sheath dress is a perfect option. Here are two great affordable (under $60!) picks:

Left: This dress by Eliza J. is a bold printed sheath that you can wear with any of your sorely neglected colorful pumps.

Right: This floral sheath by Ellen Tracy is subtle enough for work, but fun enough for weekend brunch!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Iced Coffee with a Twist

San Francisco is a food and drink mecca in the U.S., and even something as banal as an iced coffee can be turned into a delicious work of art there. In particular, Philz Coffee  makes a drink called a "Mint Mojito Iced Coffee", which was perfect for the whole five days it was hot when I lived there.

Unfortunately Texas does not have a Philz, and could stand to have a good iced coffee waaaay more than SF. Thankfully this drink is pretty easy to replicate at home though! Only the following ingredients are required:
  • Coffee
  • Ice
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Mint
I only put a little sugar in, but make it to your taste. Enjoy anyone who is still experiencing 80+ degree weather!

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to: Never Pay Full Price for Designer Jeans

One of my fashion philosophies is that a person should splurge on something that they will wear alot, and certainly jeans fit into that category for me. 

I cringe though when I see a $200 price tag for the perfect pair, when I used to beg my mom in elementary school to buy me $40 Bongo jeans. So I have found a number of ways to never pay full price for my beloved designer denim:
1. Piperlime frequently offers 20% off apparel, and combined with with my Banana Republic rewards dollars and free shipping, I can get a good pair for around 30% - 40% off retail price
2. Flash Sites like Hautelook frequently carry brands like J Brand and AG for up to 50% off, but before I impulse buy I make sure to try a pair of the same brand in a store to know my size beforehand. Returns are a hassle and shipping usually takes 2-3 weeks.
3. Sometimes I prefer to try on in store, since jeans are one of those items that require a perfect fit. So I make sure to follow when stores have events that feature discounts on denim. For example, Bloomingdale's has "Denim Days" once a twice a year, where you can get up to 25% off a pair of regularly priced jeans.
4. Consignment shops are an obvious suggestion, but I prefer to shop at these kinds of places for things I won't wear very often
I love my J Brand and Paige denim, but do you think designer jeans aren't worth it even with the discounted price tags?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beyond the Button Down

Today's post is the start of a series called "Work Wear Wednesday", which every Wednesday is going to feauture affordable business casual options.

While every woman needs a basic white button down shirt in her closet, sometimes wearing one can feel a little prim and starched. So it is a good to have a variety of long sleeved white shirts to throw under blazers or cardigans, and the three below by Forever21 are great options.

Left: This top gives a nod to the color blocking trend, and is available in multiple colors
Middle: I love the scalloped detail on the collar and sleeves! I would wear a black camisole underneath and tuck it all in though
Right: Polka dots and peplum! Still looks professional without looking too much like something Minnie Mouse would wear
Would you wear any of these to work? Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Object of Desire

During one of my summers in college, I had the opportunity to participate in research program at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts. This was the first time I had ever been to the East Coast, so on the weekends I took advantage of my new location and visted New York City as often as I could. One of the places I couldn't wait to go to was the MoMA, and when I went I had the chance to see this exquisite object, aptly named Object.

Object, Meret Oppenheim

This Surrealist object was inspired by a conversation between Oppenheim and artists Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar at a Paris cafe. Admiring Oppenheim's fur-covered bracelet, Picasso remarked that one could cover anything with fur, to which she replied, "Even this cup and saucer." Soon after, when asked by André Breton, Surrealism's leader, to participate in the first Surrealist exhibition dedicated to objects, Oppenheim bought a teacup, saucer, and spoon at a department store and covered them with the fur of a Chinese gazelle.

In the above MoMA excerpt, it also said that this object is "simualtaneously attractive and disturbing", which is why I think I like it so much.

Do you like Object? Ever been to the MoMA? It is amazing!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jewel Toned Attack on the Cold Front

Last week was my future Mother-in-Law's birthday, so over the weekend we celebrated with her by going out to brunch. I was all set to wear a dress and post about how great it was for meeting up with his parents, wearing to work, etc., but a cold front blew into this part of Texas. So it officially feels like fall is here, which means it is time to eat soup, make pies and wear jewel tones. 

 Top: J. Crew. Scarf: Gift. Jeans: J Brand. Shoes: Forever 21. Sunnies: House of Harlow 1960. Clutch: Jo Handbags, Jewelry: Michael Kors, J. Crew

In particular, I decided to accordingly break out this deep aegean blue pair by J brand, which pairs beautifully with neutrals (grey, ivory) and metallics during the day. It is up to you to decide whether or not this rugged clutch goes with the outfit, but I can't stop carrying it around in any case.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Trouser Times Three

I am one of those people who believes that a work wardrobe does not have to be boring, no matter the dress code. My job requires business casual attire, and while I can transition most of my tops and dresses from every day wear to appear professional, the most challenging article of clothing has always been pants.

When I found these slim cropped pants from Gap, I knew I had solved my business casual pants problem:

These brightly colored pants will definitely add a punch to your work wordrobe, and can even transition into night with a sparkly top and strappy heels. Also, with a 49.95 starting price point (with 30% off being the norm at Gap) these can't be beat.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mama-Style Turkey Meatloaf

In my house growing up, beef was never part of a family meal because my mom didn't eat it. She was the cook most of the time, so instead of hamburgers she would make turkey burgers, and would use ground turkey in spaghetti. Most of the time we didn't know what we were missing, and this was especially the case when she made her "famous" (as she likes to call it) turkey meatloaf.

I wasn't really interested in cooking when I was younger, so I never learned how to make her recipe. But I found one that is incredibly close, and incredibly good, by the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. Recipe is here.

The first time I made this meatloaf, I wanted it to look perfectly symmetrical so I put it in a loaf pan instead of on a baking sheet. DO NOT DO THIS. See all that gross stuff surrounding the loaf in the picture above? That is fat. If you use any sort of pan that surrounds the loaf, the fat has nowhere to go. I learned the hard way that this is not a good thing.
Otherwise this mega meatloaf is really easy to make and is the best I've ever had (besides mom's of course).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's a Sick, Sad World

If you didn't automatically recognize the title of this post, it is the name of the fictional TV show feautured in the late 90s hit MTV show Daria.

I have a love-hate relationship with both the TV show and character. This show made its debut just before I made my debut into high school, and pretty soon my friends were calling me "Daria". Looking back, I can't blame them. Sarcasm, brown hair and Doc Martens were essential components of my high school persona. I didn't wear glasses at the time though, even though I needed to, because then everyone in the whole school would have been calling me her name.

Why did this bother me so much? Because I wanted to be like Quinn, Daria's fashionable and popular younger sister. Instead I got a younger sister who was like Quinn. Well, not really, but she had long red hair and was fashionable. At least our parents weren't like their parents.

It took me a long time to realize it was ok, and even cool, to be more like the older Morgendorffer sister. After all, the show was not called "Quinn". Daria was a fantastically original character, and made it cool to be smart and to be your own person.

Did you ever watch Daria? Could you identify with any of the characters?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jumpsuit Junkie

One trend that I am absolutely obsessed with is the jumpsuit/romper. I always appreciate having to put as little thought into an outfit as possible, and it is more unexpected than the dress. I have flirted with the idea of buying one for ages, but could never really justify it until now.

Behold the perfect jumpsuit c/o anthropologie:

The paisley pattern here is just gorgeous, especially on a light silk fabric. I was sold on the details though - the buttons on the front, the tie-waist, and the solid shoulder panels. Oh, and it is on sale!

I haven't bought it yet, but I am thinking this may be an early birthday present to myself. What do you think? Would you wear a jumpsuit, or are you just waiting for this crazy trend to blow over?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Snake Farm

Ever since I moved back to Texas, I've wanted to visit Snake Farm and Animal World. I love animals, and one of my and my fiance's favorite things to do is to visit zoos. I also happen to like jewelry and fossils, so visiting this New Braunfels attraction did not prove to be a mistake.


The weather actually was nice, so I was really excited to wear one of my new
scarves. I had a horrifying image of a goat yanking it off and eating it in the petting
zoo, but the scarf completed my outfit so I decided to take my chances.

Top: J. Crew. Jeans: J Brand. Shoes: J. Crew. Purse: J. Crew.
I am sure the capybaras in the background would agree that skinny jeans, ballet flats and
 a nice scarf elevate a casual outfit and are perfect for walking all day around a zoo, park, etc. 

Luckily, this Llama didn't think my scarf was food.

For all of you snake lovers out there, here is the fattest one I've ever seen in my life.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

DIY? Boho? Updo?

My fiance and I have been engaged for almost a year, but I hardly ever look at wedding blogs or magazines.We will get married eventually though, and I figure the perfect dress/shoes/hairstylist/make up artist will just magically appear on our wedding day without any planning. Nevertheless, I do find myself occasionally perusing Martha Stewart's wedding blog, and came across this hairstyle on a blog post courtesy of Champagne Showers:

Even though I probably won't be a "boho" bride, I do love this hairstyle! But what I loved even more was my fiance's reaction to the title of the blog post "Dig this DIY: Boho Updo":

Chase: "DIY? Boho? Updo? Do you know what those words mean? Is that even English?"

I don't even know what it is like to live in a world where I don't know what any of those words mean, so I simply replied: "Yes."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My new favorite handbag line

Every day, Lucky magazine has a deal which usually gives 50% off an entire website. It is hard for me to resist these deals, and yesterday was no exception. This time it was for Jo Handbags, a company founded by three women in 2010. Maybe it is the growing Texan in me - I went absolutely bananas over their unique and rugged bags! Particularly their use of brass detailing, burlap and boot leather. It was difficult to choose, but I ended up buying two of their bags.

1.  An unstructured leather hobo with suede accents and a chain strap (bottom right)2. A clutch that has a wrap-around leather strap with brass detailing, that can be worn two ways (left and top right)

Needless to say, I can't wait for them to arrive!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wearing your food

This picture by Sarah Illenberger perfectly symbolizes my love for both food and fashion. 

More than the meat dress at least...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kitty Jail

Anyone who knows me well would know that I am practically obsessed with magazines. I think I currently subscribe to about ten, mostly about fashion or food. My nearly constant influx of them into my apartment requires that I occasionally clean out my magazine rack, and little did I know that my kittens would actually be interested in this process. In particular, Eddie (my male kitten) made a point to immediately claim them as his own as soon as I left the room for a second, which included tearing the edges and biting the corners. I caught him in the act though...

...and he subsequently surrendered and voluntarily entered what I now call KITTY JAIL (my magazine rack)

Bail is currently set at one subscription to Marie Claire magazine

Monday, September 24, 2012

Eggcellent Breakfast Sandwich

More often than I'd like to admit, I end up skipping breakfast because I do not have time to make it, and most convenient things are too sweet. I do not have much of a sweet tooth, so I am always looking for a quick, savory breakfast recipe I can make at home. For a while I was eating bagels with lox pretty frequently (which I still do occasionally), but lox can be expensive and a possibly offensive smell if you decide to bring it to the office.

So, being a lifelong fan of McDonald's breakfast, I decided to put my own homemade spin on the egg mcmuffin. Not the most novel idea, but most recipes I found try to exactly re-create it and advise baking the eggs. I definitely do not have time for that in the morning. So here is my recipe, which takes less time than going through the drive-thru:


1 sourdough english muffin
1-2 slices canadian bacon
1 slice cheddar cheese
1 egg over easy
Dash red pepper powder (optional)


1. Heat skillet over medium to medium high heat, depending on how hot your stove gets. Spray with non-stick cooking spray
2. While pan is heating, split sourdough muffin and place slice of cheese on one half. Toast face up in a toaster over until cheese has melted
3. Microwave slices of Canadian bacon until hot and to desired doneness
4. When pan is hot, cook egg over easy.
5. When egg is done, place on one side of toasted english muffin. Sprinkle some red pepper on top if you like spicy food

6. Top with canadian bacon slice(s) and other side of english muffin

The sandwich is especially good if you keep the runny yolk intact while cooking the egg, so you can dip the sandwich in the yolk when it inevitably bursts after the first couple bites.

Other options:

1. Vegetarian: swap canadian bacon for some tomato slices
2. To-go: cook egg over easy, but cook the yolk all the way through

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blazing blazers

Online shopping is practically a part-time job for me, and I spend a lot of shifts looking at blazers. A nice, fitted black blazer is an essential for any professional woman's job, but some of us need something with a little more kick. Red and blue blazers are a nice alternative to black, while still looking professional. Here are some blazers I've been coveting, which can be found here:

A more casual blazer that could be worn both for work and play can be found here and here:

At around $100 each, these blazers won't break the bank and are worth the investment! Would you wear any of these blazers?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The other side of the door

To follow up from my last post, the shoes on the left were the ones that were more expensive. Specifically, $225 from Ash. The ones on the right are the pair I got from GC shoes.

Moving from San Francisco, CA to New Braunfels, TX (A city 45 miles south of Austin) in the middle of the summer was a big change, especially in terms of the weather. Finally, it started to cool down a bit last week, and started raining for the first time since I got here. After a long day at work, this view was a pleasant surprise I received upon opening the door to leave:

I was so excited to see this perfect, beautiful rainbow that I stayed back to show everyone standing in the hall, including the CEO of my company. Rainbows = raises right?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


One of the recent fashion trends which most intrigued me was the wedge sneaker. I always love a good wedge, and find it hard to find fashionable sneakers, so this was an intriguing combination of the two for me. Unfortunately, their debut was mostly from high end designers such as Isabel Marant, and I couldn't convince myself to spend almost a month's worth of rent on a pair of sneakers.

So I decided to wait it out, and sure enough designers like
Ash came out with pairs in the 200-300 dollar range. However, I was pretty sure that my strictly t-shirt and jeans wearing fiance would scratch his head if I spent even that much on a trend that would remind him of the early 90s. No wedge sneakers for me then, until I managed to score one of the below pairs for 35 dollars from GC shoes. Can you guess which pair? My next post will expose which pair cost about 15% of the other.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to: Decorate a Bookshelf

After checking out my first blog post, my friend reminded me "All the world needs is more cats on the internet". So I am happy to oblige all those cat haters out there and post about something unrelated: how to decorate a bookshelf.

Here are some pictures of my bookshelf as it looks now:

This is far from my old bookshelf that I had while living in San Francisco, which had books lined up with no particular order, and only books. Here are 5 tips to transform yours:

1. Arrange books by color. In the picture on the right the top shelf has all my books which are dark red or pink, with some neutral colors mixed in. This helps give the bookshelf a more orgazined, visually appealing look.

2. Alternate between arranging books vertically and horizontally. I stacked my biggest books horizontally, so they could fit on the bookshelf and offer a nice contrast to the smaller, vertically lined up books.

3. If you collect anything, like me, put a couple of them on the bookshelf. Just a couple. I have a ton of elephant themed trinkets that I have collected over the years, and so I decided to put three of them on the bookshelf. In the picture on the right is a closer look at a beautiful elephant piggy bank my fiance gave me, which nicely blends in with the books.

4. Do not put any of those beat up old books on the bookshelf. Store them in beautiful boxes, and put those on the shelves instead.

5. Throw in other visually appealing things, and place them on, in between and in front of books.

Let me know if you have any other ideas for decorating, or if this post helped you transform your bookshelf!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Welcome to my blog, Lone Star Ash! In this blog I will be writing about things that I care about and inspire me, such as fashion, food and my two little felines. To start, here is a picture of my female kitten Sprinkles to tide you over until I get some actual content on here: