Thursday, August 28

Pocket full of mumbles

Dress / J. Crew
Clutch / Kate Spade
Shoes / Charles David
Earrings / Swarovski

I'm busting out all my summer dresses before the season ends. But then again, as one of my favorite shows stated, "it's never too late [for summer dress]."

I especially like the detail on the sleeves. The eyelet design makes it breathable if the summer heat decides to come back. The loose fit is also forgiving for when your eyes are bigger than your stomach (I especially can't help myself when it's these lemon bars!). I would live in this dress if I could, but people are just not that open minded.

I hope everyone has awesome Labor Day plans. I'm looking forward to a mini "staycation" aka a vacation that's relaxing yet doable over a long weekend (like a marathon of Parks & Rec!). I'll hopefully finish my first ever DIY. I am ridiculously excited over this. I'll be releasing a sneak peek on instagram so remember to check me out @dearsunnylove.

Have a safe and happy weekend, everyone!

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Tuesday, August 26

Last ray of summer flowers

Who doesn't fight trees?

Dress / Boutique in Shanghai
Necklace / Vintage
Earrings / Kate Spade
Shoes / Aldo (old)

These days, I'm taking the time to run around and soak up the sun while I still can. The sun's been staying out later and later, making it seem like there's more than 24 hours in a day. This summer has been cool but sunny for the most part, and I couldn't be happier about it!

But fall is actually my favorite season. There's just a slight breeze warranting you to break out that cozy knit you got from last year's Net-A-Porter sale. Fall gives me the drive to find new uses for my favorite summer dresses in chillier weather like pairing them with cozy knits or structured blazers. So stay tuned for more!

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Monday, August 25

Recipe | All my tart/heart desires

I owe this woman many thanks for all the fabulous recipes, ingenious tips, and step by step walk through of some of my favorite recipes. This woman is Ina Garten!

I spent so much time in college watching this woman cook and host fabulous dinners to amazing guests.

To be honest, I look back at her shows fondly now, but every time in the past when I caught her show, I was somehow hungry! Or maybe I became hungry as I watched her prepare her typical amazing meals. But I'd watch hungry and grumbling, until images of delicious, out-of-my-reach food no longer satiated me. Then I'd mumble to myself out of pure frustration as I rummage through the fridge for something I could make equally amazing.

Now onto the recipe gifted to us by the gastronomic goddess, Ina Garten. I always like to do research before I attempt any recipe. It helps me figure out what I can prepare beforehand, and what needs to be done fresh. The crust you can do the night before, but do not even attempt to do the filling before you start baking the crust. The lemon juice will "cook" the eggs with its acidity, and you will get inedible egg jello before you can even pour it over your crust. Start making the filling AFTER you take out the crust to cool. It doesn't take long, and you'll be less stressed for it.

    The Ingredients
       (source: Ina Garten)

     ½ pound unsalted butter (room temperature)

        plus extra for the pan
     ½ cupgranulated sugar
     2 cups of coarse flour
     1/8 teaspoon salt

     7 large eggs (room temperature)

        plus extra for the pan
     3 cupsgranulated sugar
     2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest

        (6 large lemons/8 small lemons)
     1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
     1 cup flour
     Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

     The Instructions
  1. Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) a 9 by 13-inch baking sheet. For thicker crust, use an 8-inch square cake pan.
  2. For the crust, cream butter and sugar until light (use the paddle attachment for electric mixers).
  3. Add the flour and salt with the mixer on low until just combined. Dump onto a well floured board and gather into a ball, if necessary.
  4. Press the dough into the baking sheet. Build a ½-inch edge on all sides. Chill for a half hour.
  5. After chilling, bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack.
  6. For the filling, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add the lemon zest afterwards then the lemon juice.
  7. Add the flour last and be sure to whisk it in slowly to avoid flour clumps as well as air bubbles.
  8. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is set.
  9. Let cool. Cut into squares, and dust with confectioners' sugar :)

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Friday, August 22

Altuzarra, dress of my dreams. Oh, hi Joseph.

The Altuzarra for Target
released its lookbook this week!

Are you jumping for joy yet? You really should.

In an interview with Target, he expressed a philosophy he keeps in mind as he designs on a daily basis.

"One of the guiding principles of Altuzarra is that fashion can be transformative, changing not just the way you look, but also the way you feel."
--- Joseph Altuzarra

I can now officially claim, without a doubt, that Joseph Altuzarra is a man after my own heart. In my last outfit post, I had drawn the same conclusion. Clothing, fashion, it holds this amazing power to unleash an unseen inner beauty whether it be strength in character, resilient determination, or just the kindest of hearts.

My first run through and I had dog eared half the collection. I did another run through, thinking about what I really wanted, and decided to buy things I could wear to work (plus one that I just have to have).

First, I want to start with this dreamy creation that has eluded me for so long until now, it is within reach of me and my wallet. A few months back, I saw this dreamy beaded gown by Zuhair Murad on ssense. I fell in love, but my wallet cried when it saw the price tag. Even on sale, I couldn't justify a dress that I'd wear once, if I could even find an occasion to wear it.

But then, the much anticipated high-low collaboration between Altuzarra and Target was unveiled, my eyes landed on this long, flowing, beaded dress and my heart (and my wallet) leaped for joy!

I fell in love with multiples pieces (but want to buy all of it), but some of the ones that resonated with me are below. I hope I'm able to find my size on September 14th. I can never seem to gauge Target's sizing correctly. Wish me luck on my hunt for these treasures, and let me know how you style your favorites!

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Wednesday, August 20

Recipe | Grown up Rice Krispy Treats

This post was only made possible by my all time favorite food blogger, the one and only Deb Perlman of Smitten Kitchen. She is like the mother I never had for all my baking/food related needs.

Don't get me wrong. I love my mother more than the world, and I owe that woman everything. But she could not bake to save us from an impending alien invasion. If it were up to her baking a simple batch of chocolate chip cookies (that's not from scratch) to save us, we might as well start waving white flags now.

You never know, the aliens might be nice like E.T. :)

I remember when I first started baking/cooking, I didn't know that 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of milk were two different measurements (don't worry, I got that sorted out already). I also didn't know the sheets of lasagna pasta had to be cooked first, before baked in layers. My cooking/baking expertise has come a long way through much trial and error, and am extremely proud (and excited) to show you guys!

    The Ingredients
       (source: Smitten Kitchen)

     4 ounces unsalted butter,
     plus extra for the pan

     1 10 ounce bag of marshmallows
     ¼ teaspoon of coarse salt
     6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
     (about half a 12-ounce

     The Instructions
  1. Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.It will melt, foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom (they're the best part). Don’t take your eyes off the pot because the period between the butter taking on color and the point where it burns is less than a minute.
  3. Once the butter becomes a nutty color, turn off the stove and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I use a piece of parchment paper to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners.
  5. Let cool, and cut into squares :)

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Tuesday, August 19

Real elegance is in the mind

Real elegance is in the mind. It isn't determined by how much you spend, or how new your clothes are.
It is the way a person views themselves, and how they carry themselves on a daily basis.

Floral cloth corset / Stradivarius
Pink skirt / Vintage
Silver pumps / BCBG Paris (find it here)
Earrings / Kate Spade (similar here)

Clothing doesn't change a person, but can change how they view themselves. Old trends become new when a designer views it in a new way. People change their views of others when they change the way they dress. It can make some women feel sexy with the right LBD while others feel they can conquer the world with a pair of heels.

The power of clothing is amazing, and I am in awe of it each and every day.

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Thursday, August 14

All I see are treasures

Sky blue top / Thrifted vintage
Gauze skirt / J.Crew (snatch it up here)
Multi-tone sandals / Charles by Charles David (find it here)
Earrings / Swarovski (gifted)

I have this fondness and admiration for those who can find new life in things that were once precious to another human being. That's why I'm always fascinated and enthralled when I visit flea markets, vintage shops, even goodwill.

A few years ago when I was still in college, I had this weekly (sometimes daily!) habit of hitting up all my favorite thrift/vintage shops in one go. I'd spend hours sorting through racks of clothing for that one piece that would make it all worthwhile. And sometimes I lucked out with a gem like this one.

This is one of my favorite vintage tops. It's a bit fragile as it's a loose knit of two colored strings. But I always feel the urge to wear it in the summer as the colors remind me of a summer sky spotted with puffy, white clouds. Despite how it looks, it's actually perfect for summer since the loose knit creates a holey effect on the top allowing you to feel the summer breeze. Just one of the reasons I love this top.

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