Would You Wear: Clear Heeled Shoes?

I hope ya'll are loving the new layout! It was time for a change, and I am so HTML illiterate so I found out about Shiny Magic through a friend of mine and also a blogger who hooked me up this amazing layout! I love how polished and professional it looks. I think it was worth every penny :)
Charlotte Olympia
All over the Spring 2013 shows, there was a consistency of clear accessories. I wrote a blog post about it on my work blog, Wear to Be if you want to check that out, but here I just wanted to focus on the shoes, arguably the most important accessory. 
I love the Charlotte Olympia heels above, but I could definitely see how people could instantly think of a certain exotic occupation when seeing these shoes. As for me, I think of a horrible pair of all clear heels I bought for a dance sophomore year of high school. Maybe I was just really ahead of the times? 

Left to Right: Darelbida White Pump - ALDO / Aserri Nude Sandal - ALDO / Michael Kors Lana Wedge - Piperlime

Above are some trendy clear heeled shoes I found while surfing the web over the past few weeks. These were my favorites and I actually considered buying the ones on the far left but I am still iffy about them! Because they are $100 for a "trendy" purchase, and they don't have a WOW factor like the Charlotte Olympia pair does, I think I'll be saving my $100. 
 Do you like these modern heels? Will you be buying a pair for your wardrobe?

xoxo, Courtney

Lust List: Sheer, Shiny Metal & Girl Crushes

This is not an illusion. This is really my closet. Well like 1/8 of it.
I seriously may have a problem that requires fashion rehab. I don't know when sheer shirts made their appearance onto the fashion scene, or when I started to accumulate them as fast as I did, but I have so many! I love the simplicity and flexibility of a sheer shirt to wear to work, out at night or even with jean cut offs on the weekend. I have about a dozen in different shades and with different elements like jewel embellishments or cotton sleeves (thanks H&M). And to think I haven't even worn all of them yet...

Metal belts seen on celebs during awards season. Cheaper version at Urban Outfitters
During awards show season, and even before that, metal plate belts were an edgy trend on red carpets. I loved how the metal shined, and became an extra accessory. I love this trend because sometimes you go to an event like a cocktail party or a wedding and you need to belt a dress or skirt but can't use a traditional brown leather belt. Here is your solution, and it is so chic. It instantly makes your outfit look like a designer piece. If someone asks, I won't tell if you say it is. It might as well be. 

Mind, meet your idea of Heaven.
 If you were to ask me who my Hollywood crushes were, I would say Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence. Honestly. Even if I took a few minutes to God forbid think of a few guys it would actually be difficult. There's just too many more awesome girls out there. Everyone that knows me knows I LOVE Emma Watson. She's classy, sophisticated and stylish, and Jennifer Lawrence has definitely joined Emma-ranks for how talented, raw, and real she is. Channing Tatum who?  

Oreo Cheesecake Bars

Now that things are pretty much back to normal, let's celebrate with two of the world's best sweets, because we need them. So meet Oreo cookies and cheesecake. Together in sweet harmony. 

I love Oreos a lot. It's my one, store-bought-sweet-guilty-pleasure. I love Oreo's dipped in milk (it's the only way I'll eat them plain), cookies-n-cream ice cream, Oreo milkshakes, etc. Anything Oreo, I'll order it. So when a friend sent me the recipe to this easy Oreo cheesecake recipe, I had to give it a shot. Plus, it's only a few ingredients, how hard could it be? I'll tell you now, it wasn't!


For the crust:
- 23 Oreo cookies
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
- 12 oz cream cheese, at room temp
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temp
- 6 tbsp sour cream
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract 
- 12 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment  paper, with the sides folded over.
2. For the crust, process the cookies in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. Drizzle the melted butter onto the crumbs and mix until evenly distributed. Dump the crumbs into the lined baking dish and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Leave oven on.
3. For the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese at a medium to high speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar until incorporated. 
4. Slowly add the eggs, and mix well until completely combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla, beating until incorporated. 
5. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos, then pour over the baked crust, smoothing into an even layer. Bake until the edges are set, but the middle jiggles slightly, about 40-50 minutes. 
6. Place pan on cooling rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Then, cover the pan with plastic wrap then place in fridge for 3 additional hours or up to 24 hours before serving. 
7. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container for up to one week in the fridge. 

I think the most crucial part of this recipe is getting the baking time down. The middle parts of my cheesecake were a tad pudding-like, and I think that was because I should have baked it for an additional 5 minutes or so. Also, I didn't have my food processor back from the manufacturer :( so I had to improvise with a plastic bag, a rolling pin, and taking out my anger. :) While it was a good compromise, the finer crust was probably much desirable. 


Prayers for Boston

My mom's Boston Marathon Jacket

Edited: 4/17/13
This was definitely not the post I was going to do today. But considering how close to home the events from today were, I couldn't not say something.

My mom ran the Boston Marathon Monday, her first time in the prestigious race. She had qualified before, but sickness and injury had enabled her from competing. So this was her year, and getting to say that "my mom is running in the Boston Marathon" made me so proud. She works hard, almost too hard when it comes to her fitness, and running is her release, her drug, per se. 

I wanted to go to Boston to watch her run for it's probably a once and a lifetime chance, but work issues made me stay at home. Plus, she would be able to reunite with her brother and sister, a mini reunion of sorts. 

So Monday morning came, and I sent my mom a good luck text and started my work day. I didn't hear myself about what happened, I found out when I looked at my phone and saw half a dozen text messages asking if my mom was okay. It took many phone calls (I think I counted over 40), and too many texts to count to put together the pieces of that morning. I first talked to my brother Dylan, who told me there were explosions at the finish line at the 4:09:00 finish time and that is roughly my mom's pace. 

When Dylan said this, I had a mini panic attack because I had yet to know the extent of the tragedy. I also was thinking about my aunt and uncle who should also be at the finish line to watch my mom come in. 

After a call to my uncle back in Arizona, he passed on the information to me that my aunt and uncle saw my mom around mile 20 and she motioned she wasn't feeling well and slowed her pace down. After that they got on the train to meet my mom at the finish. Luckily they were still on the train when the bombs went off. 

When they did, things got chaotic, cell phone towers jammed, and it took hours for her to find my aunt and uncle. She explained that she couldn't hear the explosions, but a hoard of runners came toward them looking concerned and yelling things at them. The thousands of remaining runners were rerouted, but the runners were still in a craze. My mom said she was so cold and in "pretty bad shape" when a spectator gave her her fur jacket. We have been hearing a lot about the selflessness of others on Monday, and my mom said spectators, EMT and Police were outstanding in responding to the events.

Now that I have had time to decompress, calm down, and relax, I am overwhelmed with emotions yet again. I am terribly shocked about what happened, and that my mom was there in all of the chaos. I am saddened by the loss of life, but glad that more were not taken (I hope this stays true as the days go on). I am so sad and upset that my mom had to go through something like this alone, confused, and on a day that is supposed to be so exciting and fun. But in the end, I am so angry and sad for my mom, who was so excited to finally complete one of her biggest goals and accomplishments, only to have it cut short by half a mile.  

My Style: Oversize Sweater and Oxfords

I was able to sneak away for a few minutes with my photographer at work and get a few shots of my outfit last Friday. I wanted to get a rough idea of what we can do in order to get some better looking outfit shots for my blog and maybe the blog I manage at work. Here's what we came up with in a matter of 3 minutes (literally). Is that a record?

Sweater: Rubbish - Nordstrom (similar) / Jeans: Joe's - Nordstrom (similar) / Necklace: Beaded Feather Charm Necklace - Forever 21 / Oxfords - Old Navy (old), (similar) / Bottom Wedges - Target

I got these Joe's distressed cuffed jeans 2 weeks ago and they are already a favorite in my closet. I love how versatile they can be, as I wore them to work in my over-sized sweater and oxfords, then switched into wedges for a fancy-schmacy dinner at night.

Will ya'll be rocking distressed cuffed jeans for the transition from cold weather to warm? 

Photos by Steven Williams

Fab Find of the Week: Fringe Necklace

Forever 21 Faux Turquoise Fringe Necklace $10.80
When I saw this fringe necklace online a few weeks ago, it had to be mine. I immediately fell in love with the turquoise stones combined with the texture of the fringed chain. I think pairing this necklace with just a white t-shirt and a pair of jeans will make a statement because the necklace is so captivating on it's own. At $10.80, this statement piece is well beyond it's small price tag. 

Will you be rocking this tribal inspired trend in your clothing and accessories this spring and summer? Show me your favorite pieces.  

My Style: 4/4/13

Items Clockwise from Left to Right: Forever 21 Stacked Rings / Forever 21 Raglan Sweater / Forever 21 Tribal Inspired Horn Necklace / Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish in Green Envy / Pink & Pepper Wedge Sandals / Joe's Jeans Destroyed Cropped Boyfriend Jeans (similar)
I loved my outfit from yesterday so much I thought I needed to share it with all of you! Except my minor problem of not having a willing photographer on hand, this is my next best option. I am so envious at fellow fashion-bloggers who have such cool photos. I always wonder if they make their spouse take them, or if they have arranged something with a professional photographer. I find this all quite ironic, as I work in the fashion industry and I can't even seem to get a decent picture of my outfits every week! Hopefully this will change soon, I would love to present them in a more personal way, as opposed to the sad collages I make. :( 

As for the outfit, it really was very easy, and most of the items are still in stores, and aside from the Joe's Jeans are all under $30! With the weather turning to spring, and yesterday in particular, the temp was a comfortable 75. I took that opportunity to wear cropped jeans and peep toe wedges. But alas, it was pouring today so I had to return to my boots and puffer jacket. What a tease.