Monday, December 31, 2012

Outfits of 2012 and Giveaway

There are only few hours left in 2012 and I feel like another year has gone by more quickly than ever.Life is busy but so good, mostly thanks to that little man of ours of course. 
I decided to pick out some of my favorite outfits of this past year and looking at them all now I feel like I have multiple personality disorder in the fashion department ;) 
I didn't group them by seasons so I guess that makes it look even worse but holy cow!!! 
For a while now I've been making an effort to try and find more of a true style direction. I've cleaned out my closet, got rid of a ton of stuff and try to be pickier when it comes to the clothing I buy. 
Quality over quantity. 
Looking back at some of these looks I realize that even though I like them, I don't necessarily feel like the clothes will be worn again in the future, which is something I am trying to change.

Change is good, I like to see how my style has evolved and I think it's always ok to change your mind :) Not all of the outfits I have posted throughout the past year I am happy with, but that's normal right? 

This blog has come a long way as well and I am happier with it than I've ever been. 

To finish this year off right I want to give you all a chance to win some ad space here :)
I know it's not much but there is another awesome sponsor giveaway coming up very soon as well. 

If you're a follower, simply leave a comment on this post and let me know what sort of posts you enjoy reading the most here on The Forge. Please also leave your email. 
If you're not a follower yet, now is the time ;) 

Your comment will be entered to win one of four 200x150 px ad spaces that will run for 30 days.

The 4 winners will be drawn on January 4th.

Thank you all so much for reading and have a happy and healthy new year :) 

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Paris pt.I and an outfit

coat: old navy, cardigan: urban outfitters, chambray: jcrew, leggings: american eagle, scarf: gap, hat: timberland, bag: liebeskind berlin, boots: sorel
A few days before Christmas, my parents graciously offered to watch Logan for a few days so that J and I could hop on a train to Paris, take in the city and get away from it all for a littler while.
Obviously, that isn't an offer you turn down so we made plans and went. 
I'd never left Logan for more than a night so it was definitely weird to get up at 4 am, sneak one more peek at him, and leave. Just like that.
The grandparents say everything went great and he didn't seem to have missed us much at all... 
We came back after he was already in bed again so there were no big goodbye or welcome back scenes either, he just woke up and we were there and he didn't even bat an eyelash. Works for me!

Now back to the much more interesting Paris story here, shall we? 
We took the German high speed train ICE from Stuttgart to Paris' Gare de l'est which took under 4 hours and was the most comfortable trip I have had in a long time. Actually makes me never want to get back in a can of sardines on an airplane ever again... 

Since we left so early we got some more sleep on the train and arrived just before 10 am. It was almost like we just woke up there. Almost. 
At Gare de l'est we hopped straight onto the metro that took us to the hotel. I bought our tickets at the counter using my best french of course. I got a weak little smile and the answer in english. Hey, I tried! We stayed at the Le Meridien Etoile which is great because it has a metro station pretty much right next door, friendly staff and we had a very sleek, comfortable and clean room. 

Since we got there so early in the day we went straight back out to explore the city a bit. We took the metro up to Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur and took a nice little stroll. Montmartre was so cute and quaint and even had a small Christmas market. Oh, and if you need some tacky Paris souvenirs or like to be harassed by shady guys in the street that would like to tie a string around your finger, you will find them here as well... and most every other touristy place in the city. Be ready for a shouting match people! 

It wasn't horribly cold and stayed dry all day which was more than we could have expected for traveling in December. I wore my Sorel boots all 3 days and I have to say they were amazingly comfortable and warm through the rain that we did get and with all the walking. Oh the walking!

I took way too many pictures for one post so I'll be posting more pictures as I go through them. 

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

merry christmas

logan wasn't into the whole posing for a picture thing so this is the best shot we got... 
Just popping in to wish you all a Merry Christmas or simply a wonderful time with your loved ones!
We are thoroughly enjoying our time over here, eating a ton of great food, visiting with friends and relaxing :) 

Paris was wonderful and I will be posting about that as soon as I get some pictures edited. 
For now I hope you are all staying warm and enjoying the holidays as much as we are!

Monday, December 17, 2012

oh christmas tree

on saturday we went and bought a christmas tree. our family tradition is to make a trip out to this small village that has a bunch of families selling the trees right out of their garages, driveways or barns. 
it's so much fun hunting for the tree that's just right while drinking hot wine, eating waffles and freezing our toes off. once that tree is found it's of course time for more food! 
i'm pretty sure logan could eat all day long anyway. he also loved riding on his brand new tricycle (yes, it says puky, i know, husband laughed pretty hard) and playing with my brother's girlfriend's phone. it's amazing how easily he can unlock that iphone and open different apps. kinda scary actually... 

so what are your christmas tree buying traditions? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

recipe: chicken tikka masala

Ok friends, this is definitely a recipe you need to try out asap! I fell in love with chicken tikka masala a few months back and since I didn't have all the ingredients needed for a recipe I found online, my own version was quickly born. It's super easy to make and the spicyness can definitely be adjusted to your liking. 

You'll need:

a large can of diced tomatoes (16oz)
a few fresh tomatoes if you'd like, diced
1-1 1/2 cups of chopped mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic or 1-2 fresh cloves
1 bay leaf
1 clove
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp yellow curry powder, or more depending on your taste
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp sugar 
salt and pepper 
1 1/2 cups half and half or heavy whipping cream

2 large chicken breasts, cut into chunks and seared in a pan

chop the onion and sautee it in some oil or butter. add in the garlic, chopped mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. let cook for a couple of minutes. 

add the entire can of diced tomatoes, sugar, all the spices (except for the bay leaf and clove) and stir well. 

add the half and half (or whipping cream). stir again. 

this is how I prevent losing the bay leaf and especially the clove in the sauce: carefully stick one clove in the middle of a large bay leaf and add it into the sauce. make sure not to stir too much now. 
let the sauce simmer for about 5-10 minutes. 

now remove the bay leaf and clove. taste your sauce and add more curry powder if you'd like. also add salt and pepper to taste. finally, add the chicken. 

i love to make this amazing trader joe's havest blend mix of quinoa, pearl cous cous and orzo. it's delicious. you can of course also make plain rice or a different side. 

dig in and enjoy! it's soooooo good :) 

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

holiday style for less

inspiration picture source
vest from ruche
skirt from h&m
turtleneck from target
shoes from pac sun

inspiration picture source
sweater from target
black pants from asos
boots from nine west
shirt from old navy
trench coat from target

With the holidays pretty much right around the corner I've been trying to recreate a few lovely, high-end looks but with a much lower price tag. Holidays are the perfect reason to dress up a little bit while staying comfortable and warm (depending on what climate you live in). 
Most importantly, I strongly believe in always incorporating pieces from my existing wardrobe into new looks. These two looks are so easily put together and you'll most likely have most of the pieces in your closet already. What a money saver!

Have you planned out your holiday outfits already? Do you like to stay comfy and cozy or do you step up your game and go for the glitz and glam? 

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