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Tartan Plaid Dress and Statement Tights

15 December 2017

I feel like you can't go through the holidays without wearing some form of plaid or another. Whether it's buffalo plaid pajamas or a tartan plaid holiday dress - it's on the list of things you HAVE to wear at least once...

I've had my dress for a few years now but it's still available in red, if you want to get really festive. Since bare leg weather is basically out of the question these days I thought a pair of tights with a little pop of style would amplify this holiday party-ready look. Add a pair of suede pumps and voila, you're ready to walk out the door and deck the halls. 

Dress Chicwish (available in red), Tights c/o No Nonsense, Shoes Pelle Moda, Bag Kohl's 

On The Kennedy Family Farm with Kellogg's Rice Krispies ® + Winter Fruit & Nut Yogurt Bowl Recipe

14 December 2017

This post is sponsored by Kellogg's and Openforbreakfast.com
Growing up, there was no shortage of Rice Krispies in our pantry. I mean, truth be told, the entire Kellogg's cereal squad had a shelf of its own. Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, you name it. Even those little single serving packages bring back memories of sitting on the rocks at the beach. My brother and I would pop a box open and eat the colorful cereals in our bathing suits. That nostalgia kicks in when I see those colorful little boxes lined up on the shelf in the plastic wrap. To this day, Rice Krispies (cocoa and plain) is my cereal of choice. So, when Kellogg's asked me if I'd like to see where the rice from Rice Krispies and Special K® is sourced, I was absolutely along for the ride. It's almost like getting an invite to Santa's workshop! Amirite?

I think the Open for Breakfast team at Kellogg's nails it when they say how important it is to know where your food is coming from and to understand the process from seed to box. It’s important to know that companies like Kellogg’s are using only the very best ingredients and working to ensure they are sustainably grown and responsibly sourced. Kellogg's has made the commitment to responsibly source ten priority ingredients by 2020, including rice.

So down to Louisiana I went to find out the secrets of snap, crackle and pop.

After a hop, skip and a jump from NYC, I landed in Monroe, Louisiana, home to where the first bottle of coke was bottled, where Delta Airlines was born, and the family-owned farm where Kellogg's sources some of its medium-grain Jupiter rice lives. Kennedy Companies has been in the rice business for over 50 years and grows about 8,000 - 10,000 acres of rice each year, including long-grain and medium-grain varieties. For Kellogg's, they grow rice that is used for products like Special K and my beloved Rice Krispies. All the rice is milled at the Kennedy Rice Mill. The entire growing process takes about 120 days and requires the farmers to flood the rice in 4-6 inches of water before harvesting between late August- October.

When we made our farm trip, the crops were already harvested, but that doesn't mean the fields are abandoned until next season. After the rice is harvested and the weather up north starts to cool down, birds flock to the open water in winter time to graze on the old crops, providing acres of wildlife habitat during the off-months.

One of my favorite parts of catching a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a day in the life of farming, aside from the technology advancements, is getting to know everyone involved – from the CEO of Kennedy Rice, Meryl Kennedy, to the Farm Manager and the Mill team. I've never met a group more proud of what they do. It definitely made me scoop up a couple of extra boxes of Rice Krispies for breakfast after coming home, just so I could share with the boys how the little crisps they eat every morning come to life. And it’s not just our personal favorite Rice Krispies -- many Kellogg’s cereals start with wholesome grains; wheat, rice and corn and are cooked with a handful of ingredients including vitamins and minerals before hitting the shelves, then table.   

The whole trip inspired me to create a little something special to help you step up your breakfast game with Rice Krispies. Yeah, they're amazing on their own and I could easily eat a couple of bowls throughout the day without hesitation, but making the mix was fun, and I definitely won the boys over with Rice Krispies Yogurt Bowls. That on its own is a feat because they're creatures of habit, but they have seriously been all about the added toppings and dairy swap since. I personally wanted to keep the 'crunch' from the cereal, and I added more ingredients that would fall in line with that consistency, such as pomegranates, pistachios, and blackberries. But really, you could add just about anything you please. Go nuts! (no pun intended)

Winter Fruit and Nut Rice Krispies Yogurt Bowls
(One Serving)
1 C Kellogg's Rice Krispies
1/2 C Plain or Vanilla Yogurt
1/4 C Shelled Pistachios
1/4 Pomegranate, seeded
5-8 Blackberries
2 large Strawberries, sliced
Optional: Chia Seeds

1. In a bowl, add Rice Krispies and top with your yogurt.

2. Add pistachios, pomegranates, blackberries, and strawberries. Sprinkle on a little chia if you please.

3. Enjoy while doing a little morning reading on Openforbreakfast.com to learn more about where your favorite foods are coming from, and how Kellogg's is making strides in the community with sustainable initiatives.

Holiday Party-Ready With Raise

12 December 2017

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Raise for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Ok, It's the holiday season and chances are you're looking to treat yourself to something new for  making the rounds through the 'holiday party circuit'. I can't be the only one. The thing is, my budget starts to get tighter and tighter as I make my way down the 'gifting list' leaving a little less wiggle room than I usually have to buy a couple of new looks. You're in the same boat? I'm here to help, or at least tell you about how Raise is here to help. That's the same, right? Basically to sum it up, you're buying gift cards for yourself but at a discount. Don't worry, it's legit, and backed with a 1-year money back guarantee so you can be confident with each purchase. Discounts range from 1% all the way up to 75% off. I've personally noticed the majority discount is within the 15%-30% range, but all things considered saving that extra 15%+ during the holiday season makes a world of difference and we both know it. Sure, it might seem like an extra step in the shopping process but chances are, you're already looking around for coupons so you might as well take a quick detour and check out what Raise has to offer. 

Use it with ease via Desktop or the App (available on Android and Apple) and search the marketplace for gift cards from your favorite brands, Target, Zappos, Dunkin Donuts, Macy's and more. Simply narrow down searches by brand, category or discount, and add to your cart. Voila! Most orders are delivered within a few minutes but can sometimes take up to 24hrs for the order to process. 

Still have a little gift giving to do this season? Shop your favorite retailers with gift cards you bought at a discount. While I don't personally give out gift cards during the holidays I WILL take full advantage of giving gifts bought with gift cards, especially when they make even the items that never go on sale - on sale. (wink.) New shopping secret weapon? I think yes. 

Go ahead and shop my Holiday party-ready look with gift cards (at a discount) from Dillard's, AldoExpress and Kohl's...

Jumpsuit Keepsake, Shoes Aldo (similar), Jacket Express(similar), Bag Kohl's (similar)
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Tan Suede Boots and Shearling Coat

11 December 2017

Yes, you've definitely have seen these boots before just not in this color. I mean, I thought the navy suede was a killer combo but this rich tan hue is REALLY doing it for me. So, I do what I do best in these boots -  kicked off the week in style. Hello major 1970's bohemian vibes featuring my fall staples, the Aerosoles Square Foot Boots, printed shearling coat and Fossil satchel. Shop them all below...

Pumpkin Pie Baked French Toast

07 December 2017

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Eight O’Clock Coffee for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of my favorite things about the fall & winter seasons is the flavors. Ok, yes, everyone loves their pumpkin spice lattes, but I like to dig a little deeper when it comes to my cup of morning Joe. I love that pop of flavor when I'm caffeinating first thing in the morning and Eight O’Clock Coffee Infusions Super Spice blend of Arabica coffee with turmeric and cinnamon flavor is currently doing it for me. Add a little milk and maple syrup to sweeten things up and we're really talking. It's basically fall in a cup without having to get dressed and walk over to the cafe. If you haven't checked out their new Infusions line, I highly suggest you run -don't walk- to the store, and check out all of the Eight O'Clock Infusions blends (coupon to buy online). They're rich with flavor and have some super unique added ingredients across the line including ACAI berries from the Acai Glow blend. If you love New Orleans coffee this is almost spot on for it. They also have Alert Hi-Caffeine with Guarana for Mondays and Relax Decaf with Lavender & Chamomile to help wind down after a chaotic week. 

In honor of the Infusions line and my current favorite flavor the Super Spice blend with turmeric and cinnamon I created an equally spicy and fall-appropriate recipe to enjoy with your freshly brewed cup of Joe. Meet my Pumpkin Pie Baked French Toast chock full of pureed pumpkin, fresh crusty bread and a variety of spices aligning with the Infusions Super Spice. Pumpkin pie for breakfast just became socially acceptable! Enjoy hot or chilled, alone or with the entire family (Okay! I'll admit it: I ate half the pan while shooting the pictures). Pro tip: Don't forget the whipped cream. 

Pumpkin Pie Baked French Toast (4-6 servings)

1 16oz Can of Pumpkin Puree 

3-4 cups crusty bread, cubed

1 Cup Milk, chilled (or Condensed Milk)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 Cup Sugar

4 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

1 Tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp. Turmeric

1 Tsp. All Spice

1/4 Tsp. Ground Ginger 

1/4 Tsp. Salt 

1. In a greased pan add the cubed bread. Set aside. 

2. In a medium/large bowl combine pumpkin, milk, sugar and eggs. Stir in maple syrup and spices. 

3. Pour over bread until it's evenly coated. Tap the side of the pan a couple of times to coat all of the dry pieces. 

4. Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) to soak thoroughly before baking.

5. Bake for 40-50 minutes in a pre-heated oven to 350˚. 

Let cool and serve warm with maple syrup, whipped cream and Eight O'clock Infusions Super Spice

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