Monday, March 30, 2015

Spicy Mushroom Marinara Sauce

YUM! That is all I have to say about Louisa's guest post today. This looks like a dish you'd find in a restaurant. Not going to lie, when I make pasta I tend to use sauce from a jar that I get at the grocery store. This sauce sounds delicious (love mushrooms) and seems super doable for anyone. Definitely an upgrade from store-bought!

Spicy Mushroom Marinara Sauce
Guest post by Louisa from Living Lou

Many of the recipes you’ll find online for pasta sauces yield a huge amount. Which is great if you’re feeding a family or have room in your freezer, but if you don’t, you’ll just end up wasting food or eating pasta for an entire week. I’m here to solve that problem with a simple recipe for a spicy mushroom marinara sauce. (You may have spotted the preview on my Instagram last week!) 

Remember when I shared my five tips for cooking for one? Well this recipe uses a couple of those tips! First of all, to make this recipe you’ll be buying bulk produce. For this recipe, you’ll need to pick up some white button mushrooms. Buying bulk produce means that you can pick up the exact amount of produce you’ll need, in this case, four or six mushrooms. I’m a big fan of mushrooms, especially when it comes to healthy, budget-friendly cooking. A couple of my favourite mushroom recipes: Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf and Mushroom and Green Bean Pasta.  

Like the rice and beans I shared last time, this recipe actually yields a couple of servings which means you can use the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. But I guarantee that you won’t be eating mushroom marinara sauce all week. This will become one of your favourite single-serving recipes! 

Spicy Mushroom Marinara Sauce

– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
– 2 cups crushed tomatoes
– 1 tsp sugar
– ½ tsp hot chili flakes (use ¼ tsp for less kick)
– ¼ tsp salt
– Serve with pasta (I like whole wheat penne)


1. In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. 
2. Add garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. 
3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, chili flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. 4. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
5. Toss with pasta and serve. 

For more healthy recipe inspiration, follow along on Twitter and Instagram

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Quick Trip to DC

 I have to do a quick recap of our trip to DC. I was invited to speak at a student-led conference at Georgetown and I couldn't wait for it. I have been back to DC, but had not been on the campus since the day of my graduation almost three years ago.

Because of my schedule, I knew it was going to be a short trip but I was happy to have Garrett able to join as well... I was really excited to show him where I went to school!

It ended up being the best 36 hour trip ever. Even though I went into the trip with high expectations, the reality was that the trip far, far, far exceeded them. We had such a good time and fit in so much fun.

We had an early train out of the city and hopped in a cab once we were in DC, zipped over to the hotel, and immediately walked to Georgetown for lunch at Tombs! Of course. If you're ever in DC, you have to swing by for lunch or dinner, it's a Georgetown institution. I have a grainy photo of me floating around somewhere getting my forehead stamped there on my 21st birthday.

I wanted to show Garrett the campus so we did a short little tour.

It was a little strange to be back. I didn't necessarily forget anything, but there were times when I had to think "what path is the quickest to get to the business school again?" and then it would all coming flooding back to me. The school felt exactly the same and also different... the library is as ugly as ever but the new student center is pretty amazing (fireplaces?!).

We also just wandered the streets of Georgetown a bit. I lived there for four years and definitely took it for granted. It's really a beautiful town and now I feel like I appreciate how special going to school there really is.

We had a few hours to kill so we cabbed our way to DC for some time at the museums. Free admission to Smithsonian museums is one of the best parts of DC. We went to our favorite exhibits at the Museum of American History (I love seeing The Star Spangled Banner and the First Lady dresses) and the Museum of Natural History (the gems are my favorite and was so disappointed the dinosaurs were closed).

Then we were back in Georgetown for a little photo shoot session with our friends at Tuckernuck. I love absolutely everyone who works there and we had such a fun time trying on clothes, chit-chatting, and goofing around in the studio. Hint hint, Tuckernuck is going to have a vintage section soon! (Their vintage ski section was a massive hit.) I was kind of in love with that vintage Lilly Pulitzer skirt I wore for photos.

WearingBarbour rain jacket (c/o) + Striped Shirt (similar) + Scarf + Jeans (c/o) and Barbour coat + Jeans

That's some major #tuckernucking going on there! We went to a Mexican restaurant for happy hour (aka all the chips and guacamole) where Thirds (a popular bar when I went to school there) used to be. Then Garrett and I went to dinner at Peacock Cafe, one of my favorite restaurants in Georgetown.

I was up super early to get ready for the conference. I love getting my hair done before speaking anywhere. For me, it's both one less thing I have to worry about and also gives me a little bit of extra confidence. (Anyone else?!) Georgetown's DryBar has to be the prettiest location out of all the DryBars across the country. I had the first appointment of the day and couldn't resist snapping this photo of the empty chairs.... love.

Wearing: Scalloped Coat (c/o) // Striped Dress // Pumps (very old, similar) // Handbag (c/o)

A quick note about the dress... I looked everywhere for a dress. I needed something that was long enough, professionalish, good for midseason (it was freezing on Saturday), and something that I would feel both comfortable and confident in. This was all those things. It was also on sale and will look cute this summer dressed down with flats and a denim jacket.

After the conference, Garrett and I grabbed lunch at J. Paul's and shopped down M St. Oh, and I changed into something more comfortable... my favorite sneaks (everyone needs a pair) and jeans.

One last visit to Georgetown... in matching sweatshirts, of course... before making our way back to the train station.

Again, shortest trip, but the most fun.

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Black and White Striped Dress

I'm really happy to share this outfit from last week's trip to Mexico. I had found this dress online but wasn't completely sold... until I knew I had at least one place to wear it. Now that I've given it a test drive, I know it's going to be a summer staple for dinners out and weekend jaunts.

I'm not sure what's gotten into me or where the influence came from, but I have been absolutely gravitating towards bold black and white patterns. I just fell in love with the dress and the gorgeous cut out back.

^^ Sorry guys, the sunburn does not come with the dress.

I didn't try it on until I was already in Mexico and I definitely need to have a few alterations made. It runs large, but the cut is great for anyone who has a hard time finding dresses to fit "swimmer shoulders." However, it's a pretty great price and a few nips and tucks as necessary are worth it. 

(Per usual, I popped into LOFT last week and saw a super similar version... The only major difference being the back.)

Photos by Stacy Heitlinger

While looking for sandals to go with the dress, I stumbled on a cute pair from Sole Society. I have yet to wear a pair of shoes from Sole Society that aren't super cute and super comfortable. This pair was no exception. In fact, I actually told my sister that they were probably the most comfortable pair of heels I've ever worn. (The straps are elastic so the sandal fits like a glove without a pinching/rubbing feeling.) 100% need to get the navy and white version as well before summer is here.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Vineyard Vines Giveaway!

Are you ready for weekends at the pool and quick getaways this summer? Vineyard Vines knows this and they're ready to set you up with the perfect accessories for your spring breaks and summer vacations. Vineyard Vines absolutely knows how to make time by the water extra special. And this season is no exception. The new arrivals are extra perfect– and the St. Barths backdrop doesn't hurt!

How cute is this pom pom cover-up and chevron tote?! Both could be yours!!! The pom poms and embroidery are the perfect touches. 

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below:

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Good luck!
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