Thirsty Thursday: Lemonade (with Tequila)

Thirsty Thursday. April 28th. One day after Beyoncé kicked off the Formation World Tour in Miami. Warm weather is so close we can taste it. And after last weekend's album release, the other thing we're tasting is Lemonade. Or is it Tea? (Anyone who's listened to the album will get that reference. If you don't, stop reading this and go listen to it now. Seriously.)

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Anyway. It only feels appropriate so share a Lemonade cocktail recipe today, so without further adieu: The Lemonade (and Cuervo) cocktail. All you need to make a pitcher this simple sipper is the juice of 8 lemons, 1/2 cup of simple syrup and 4oz of tequila. Stir together with ice and refrigerate. To serve, add a sprig of mint (if you're feeling fancy) and get in formation.

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A little note to all of you loyal and dear readers and friends. As you know, MOGBLOG is one year old now (yay!) and I just had a birthday over the weekend. Hello 27. And in light of these milestones, and with the continued desire to step my game up for you, I'm going to be taking a brief hiatus before relaunching a brand-new more user-friendly site, full of completely fresh content! It's very exciting, and something I've wanted to do for a long time - but it's a large undertaking, and I appreciate your patience until its ready. In the meantime, you can keep up with all of my antics on Snapchat @mogblog. Don't miss me too much, kids! Cheers! X

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The Virtues of Dressing Monochromatic

Kids. It's time to have the talk. No, not that one. I'm talking about the hard-to-discuss-because-nobody-is-real-with-you-enough-to-tell-you-but-I-will-because-we're-friends one. You wear the same thing every day. And it's getting stale. Sorry, It's true. Have you tried your hand at Monochromatic Dressing yet? Bet you haven't. 

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Humor me. Dressing in one color from head to toe is a great way to switch up your daily uniform, without putting out any additional neurons for it. (Because who wants to do that anyway?)

You may recall, I've touched briefly on this matter before - around this time last year I shared my Whiteout look at the Bates Motel in LA. But if I've said it once, it bears repeating. Dressing monochromatic is a no-brainer. And it just looks cool. Are you sold yet?

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The trick to pulling the look off with ease is varying the tones of each piece slightly. That, and the use of a variety of textures. (Seen here with suede boots, cotton chinos and a linen tee. Each in slightly different shades of taupe.)

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If done correctly, it's not even necessarily something your peers will even be able to put their finger on - did you get a haircut? Grow an inch taller? Lose 10 pounds? For real. Especially if it's in Neutrals. Shades of black, navy, white, grey, olive, camel - you name it. The sky's the limit. 

The best part? You probably have the pieces in your wardrobe to do this already, and just hadn't thought to style them this way yet. Well, do me a favor- let your wardrobe do double-duty and give monochromatic a try this weekend. You can thank me later.  

Thirsty Thursday: Spring Champagne Sangria

The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. And Thirsty Thursday is here once again. I hope you're all having a marvelous week - if you are, good for you. This Champagne Sangria is the perfect way to celebrate. If you aren't, my condolences. This cocktail is sure to cheer you up.

This week, I'm teaming up with my friends over at the SoFab Food Blog to share this recipe - so if you want to see the full details, head over there and check it out. (Psst, just click the link here)

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Give this one a try- couldn't be easier to drink. And it's chock-full of vitamin C, so it's basically good for you. Ok maybe not. But let's pretend, shall we? Cheers! x

I Got Gwyneth's New Cookbook and Now I Can't Stop Eating Avocado Toast

Yes, it's true. I did recently purchase a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook, It's All Easy. Yes, it's a signed copy. Which means, yes, she touched it with her actual hands. And that means I'm one step closer to my queen, Beyoncé. What, you didn't know they were BFFs? There's a dedication to Blue Ivy herself inside the book. Believe it.

Being starstruck aside, I must say the book is filled with nothing less than beautiful food photography, shots of GP in oversized sweaters, and over 130 recipes which - much to my surprise - aren't all irritatingly healthy either. (Mac and Cheese? With real dairy? Gwyneth, sis! The calories!)

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But seriously. There are some pretty solid ideas in there for busy people (who isn't?) who want good food and that's easy to make. One such recipe is her variations on the breakfast/lunch/snack/whenever staple of Avocado Toast. Of which, GP is the self-proclaimed queen. Today I made her Asian-inspired version - topped with veganaise (of course) sriracha, avocado, a soft boiled egg, and - my personal favorite part - furikake. To anyone unfamiliar, it's an asian rice seasoning comprised of sesame seeds, dried seaweed and spices. It's delicious. Get thee to an Asian grocer and pick up a bottle. You'll thank me later.

I'm excited to try more of GP's recipes, since I have been waiting for this book release since way back in September. Seriously, I wrote about it even back then. Who else is getting a copy? I wanna know. Or you can borrow mine. On second thought, nah. I'm gonna frame it. Gotta run, something just came up! x

Festival Season Style

Happy weekend - and happy Coachella! To those of you who are attending. To those of us who aren't (ahem, me) let's all take a moment to appreciate that this is the kickoff to Music Festival Season. Of course, you don't need to be in Palm Springs to enjoy all the style that festival season has to offer, so if you're in need of some inspo (for Coachella or otherwise) look no further.

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If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times - layering is your best friend. Music Festivals often means day-to-night dressing, and the key to nailing that is having pieces you can add and subtract as the temperatures change.

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Of course, another part of the fun of Festival Season is showing a little personality with your look. And contrary to what you may have seen, it's possible to do without appropriating other cultures. Imagine that! (I'm looking at you, Native American headdresses)

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For example, I'm really having a moment with this whole neckerchief thing. It's cute and very throwback Fred-from-Scooby-Doo vibes. I'm here for it. I also threw on a pair of cheap mirrored shades, because why not.

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Lastly, throw on a pair of chucks (or equally comfortable footwear) since you're bound to be standing - and dancing, hopefully - for hours. If you do take a seat, make sure you're wearing something that you can get a lil dirty. Hence these safari-inspired shorts. I feel very Laura Dern in Jurassic Park in these. Which frankly, is the only vibe I'm ever trying to channel at a Music Festival.

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If you need me, I'll be over here, dreaming about Palm Springs and looking forward to my upcoming concerts this summer. Beyoncé anyone???

Thirsty Thursday: Red Pepper Cocktail

Oh Thirsty Thursday, you beautiful weekday, you. It's no secret that I love a good cocktail, and (when the weather calls for it) enjoying it outdoors. With the recent surge of sunnier weather - knock on wood - I figured it was the perfect time to share a fresh springy libation with you. The Red Pepper Cocktail.

Deceptively simple to make, all you need is a red bell pepper, a handful of basil, a lime, and your poison of choice. Today, I'm using gin. Muddle strips of pepper, basil and the juice of half a lime in a cocktail shaker. Add 1.5 oz of gin and some ice and shake. To serve, just pour over a large ice cube in a rocks glass and garnish with a ring of pepper. I also like to add a little pinch of salt, just because.

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Are you loving these vegetable-infused cocktails? Then you should definitely give my cucumber basil cocktail a try. Or, if you're feeling adventurous - make your own cucumber-infused vodka! Myself, I'll be over here enjoying the sun with my red pepper cocktail in hand. Cheers!

Having a Moment: Mock Neck Collars

Happy hump day, all! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and - wait, wasn't it just yesterday that I was trapped indoors watching the rain? That's spring for you. And since I've been having a moment with spring style lately, I wanted to share with you one of the spring trends I'm loving: the Mock Neck Collar.

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The style I'm wearing here is from H&M (and we all know how I feel about their Modern Essentials) and is similar to a polo shirt in style. With a button placket and piqué textile, it feels classic prep, but with modern details - ie, the mock neck collar.

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Of course, the mock neck isn't limited to polos alone, they are also all over sweaters at the moment, too. Just picture if you will, a lightweight sweater with little barely-there mock collar. Love. You could even style it the same way I did, with these joggers that I can't seem to get enough of. Love the joggers, but maybe mock necks aren't your thing? Try a more casual spring style instead.

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I'm already dreaming of the weekend- and with the warmer weather (finally) coming our way, I can't wait to bust out some more looks. What are you looking forward to this weekend? I wanna know! Invite me along, I'm a good date. Promise. x

Spring Fragrance Review: Commodity

Ah, spring. We've had our fair share of ups and downs and we aren't even halfway into April yet. Currently, I'm sitting at my desk, windows open, and watching the rain come down. And though I do my fair share of complaining about the damp weather, there's something about the Fragrances of Spring that I just love. Which inspired me to check out the new collection of fragrances from Commodity.

Commodity offers 10 specific scents (all with one-word names like "Wool" or "Gold") and is color coded into two categories: White and Black. I couldn't decide on just one, and that's what Commodity is best for - the brand encourages mixing their signature scents into unique "cocktails" - so that everyone can have their own personal fragrance blend. (And to be honest, anytime the word cocktail is involved, I'm on board.)

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My personal favorites for spring are the rich and earthy Moss, or the lighter and fresher Rain or Tea. What I appreciate about these three is that their nature-inspired scents all blend well together, and can be layered throughout the day to build a unique scent profile. (Start with Tea in the morning and by afternoon, layer on Rain or Moss!)

Which fragrances are you loving for this spring weather? I'm always happy to try something new! Be sure to let me know, and I'll check them out. Happy Spring! x

Spring Break Style for (almost) Any Climate

How was everyone's weekend? (I almost don't want to ask, since I know us East Coasters were hit with a cruel mid-april snow storm on Saturday. How rude.) Lucky for me, I was able to escape down south to visit my sister in Virginia for a little Spring Break of my own. And I wanted to share with you some of my tips for dressing for Spring Break when it isn't exactly ideal weather. Behold:

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To me, its about layering. (Isn't it always? If you take one style tip away from me, let it be known that layers are always your friend. Fact.) Personally, I always embrace the beach vibes and wear swim trunks even if the water is far too cold to consider dipping a toe in. It just feels wrong to me to wear normal pants on the beach. You feel?

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Up top, I wore one of my classic J. Crew button down shirts. You can also throw a crew neck sweater over this if it's extra chilly. I personally like the look of more layers up top and less on the bottom. To that end, I like to keep the footwear simple, so I finished the outfit with these basic slide sandals that can easily go from the beach to the oceanfront bar. (Crucial in times like these.)

If you're looking for some more tips on what to pack for your Spring Break adventure, check out my Packing Guide chock full of outfit and skincare ideas for any climate.

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Oh, and as a nod to National Sibling Day yesterday, I'm going to fulfill my duty as an older brother and share this outtake of my gorgeous sister being a siren on the beach. (She's probably going to kill me for this, but it's worth it.) Cheers!

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Having a Moment: Satin Bomber Jackets

TGIF. The weekend is here again. Is it just me or has this week seemed to drag on for ages? Maybe it's all the back and forth weather we've been having. Yeah, let's blame it on that. Since April has been unusually cruel, I'm choosing to look on the bright side, and see it as another opportunity to wear some of my favorite outerwear, the Satin Bomber Jacket.

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I've written about my love affair with the bomber before and yet, it bears repeating. This satiny finish bomber has become an absolute essential of mine. No surprise of course, seeing as it came from H&M and we all know how I feel about their Modern Essentials.

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This piece has truly become a go-to in my wardrobe. Easy and effortless, but still clean and sharp. Especially since my default errand-running outfit is usually some kind of jogger and sneakers. It really ties the whole athleisure trend together in a v chic way.

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It seems silly to even say I styled this look, since, let's be honest - it couldn't be more of a no-brainer. I'm all about low-effort-high-payoff this week, can't you tell? But the good thing about wearing a great jacket like this is that you can wear it with pretty much anything, say, a tee shirt and joggers, and still look pulled together.

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In fact, I'll be bringing it along with me on my travels this weekend. Where am I going? On a little spring break adventure down south. That's right. Want to follow along on all the fun? Then make sure you add me on Snapchat @Mogblog to keep up! I'll see you there. Gonna grab my jacket and bounce! Happy Weekend! x

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Thirsty Thursday: No-Fuss Mojito

My favorite day of the week is here again. Thirsty Thursday. Aka almost Friday. Aka basically the weekend. Aka the week is almost over so it's ok to be thinking about Cocktail Recipes even though it isn't quiiiiite 5 o' clock yet. (But surely it is, somewhere.)

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Now sometimes, you have the time and energy to commit to a luxurious multi-step recipe, and other times, you want that luxurious complex flavor, but want to spare the energy spent creating it on other things. Like drinking. Today is one of those days. Luckily, my dear friends at Powell & Mahoney have days like today covered.

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If their name sounds familiar, perhaps it's because you've seen them at your local grocery store. Or maybe you've seen them written about on your favorite blog. Aka, right here. Either way, their line of all-natural mixers are a no-brainer. And making a Mojito with this sparkling Mojito Mix couldn't be simpler - combine 4oz of all-natural mix with 1.5 oz of light rum. Pour over ice and serve. No muddling. No cutting limes. (I wasn't kidding when I said it was a No-Fuss.)

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So, don't mind me kicking back and enjoying 1 or 3 of these. And if you knew what was good for you, you'd join too. Let's kick back and enjoy our Mojito's and pretend it's warmer outside than it really is, k? Cheers! x

Hang Your Own Gallery Wall: Part II

Happy Hump Day, everyone! Today, I wanted to provide you all with a little midweek Interior Inspiration, so I'm sharing another one of my favorite topics: The Gallery Wall. You may remember I shared my process for creating the Gallery Wall in my living room previously (which you can check out here) but today I'll be sharing some new tips from the one I recently hung in my bedroom. Check it out.

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Ain't she a beaut? (No, not the dog, though she took residence while I was shooting this, and who am I to deny a face like that?) I'm even more pleased with this one than I am with the one in my living room (if that's possible!) Like any artistic endeavor, there are no real rules here, I just wanted to share a couple tips to help make your Gallery Wall as good as can be.

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First, make sure to choose a color palette - it can be as many or as few as you like. I personally always keep mine on the smaller side, but do you, boo. I wanted a bit more color in my bedroom than the living area, so I incorporated a couple bluer tones in addition to the neutrals. Second, remember a variety of textures, shapes and sizes are everything. Think outside the frame! Use small objects, polaroids, postcards - even something unexpected, like my little bottle and flower.

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And as always, remember to make it personal. You want it to feel like yours, so find or make pieces of your own that feel special to you. Don't have any ideas on where to start? Check out this Easy Printed Canvas DIY I did here - the pair of them ended up on my wall, and I'm so pleased with their look!

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Final note- is having too many Gallery Walls in your home a thing? Is it wrong to love them so? If it is, then I sure don't want to be right. Who's with me?

April Showers (and How to Dress for Them)

Ah, Mondaze. April is officially here, and as we know, that means we have our fair share of chilly rainy days ahead. I spent the weekend exploring Old City with some friends, and on the way, wanted to wear a little something that could withstand the elements.

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This trench from Topman is ideal for this unpredictable spring weather - lightweight, but still protective from the rain and drizzle. 

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I styled it with a black tee and my trusty ripped jeans to keep it casual. The trench has a tendency to feel stuffy and formal when dressed up, so I felt this tee-and-jeans combo was just right for a little weekend stroll around the city.

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Dig the trench but wanna see it styled a differently? I've got you - check out my athleisure take on the trenchcoat here!

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Wishing you all a good start to your April as we move ahead into the week. Here's to warmer weather and clearer skies ahead! Cheers!

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You Should be Making: Smoothie Bowls

Ah, the weekend. What we've all been waiting for. Time to sleep in, kick back, and treat ourselves to a little something good. And I mean gooooooood. If your instagram feed looks anything like mine, you've been seeing Smoothie Bowls for months now. If not yet, you're about to. What's a Smoothie Bowl you might ask? Look no further:

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Spoiler: ok, so smoothie bowls really are as simple as the sound. That's right, a smoothie in a bowl. But when topped with all sorts of delicious add-ons, the humble smoothie becomes something delicious, and obviously, very instagrammable. Which of course, is of the highest importance.

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It seems silly to even offer a Smoothie Bowl Recipe, but here it is. The basic formula for a successful Smoothie Bowl contains 1 cup of frozen fruit, 1/2 cup of greens, 1 banana, and 1/2 cup of liquid of your choice. Of course it's the toppings that come afterwards that are the fun part. Today, I made a spinach/avocado/blueberry/banana concotion. Yum. Not a fan of your smoothies in a bowl? Prefer something a little greener instead? Check out my healthy green smoothie recipe here.

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Maybe green isn't your thing (don't blame you) but you still want an energizing morning smoothie. In that case, let me recommend my Yellow Power Smoothie. However you spin it, smoothies (in a bowl or nah) are here to stay. And with spring break, and summer swimsuit season quickly approaching, I'd say it would behoove me to step up my fruit and veggie intake a bit more. Who's with me? Cheers!

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Modern Essentials Part II: Nautical Stripes

TGIF. Amirite? For some reason, March has seemed to drag on for at least 3x longer than it should have. I, for one, am pleased that the weekend brings April along with it. And, what better way to the start off the weekend but with another great piece from the H&M Modern Essentials collection.

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Now, you may recall that I've shared one of my picks from the Modern Essentials collection previously (which you can and should revisit here) but this Nautical Striped Sweater by David Beckham has become a new favorite of mine. While it may officially be April on the calendar, the temperatures haven't quite caught up yet, and this lightweight sweater is just the thing to wear until they get the memo.

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As is the case with this collection, the beauty in this sweater lies in the details. It features a boat neck collar, and a unique ribbed texture, all the while being lightweight enough to wear on it's own or layer with a light jacket. PS, more more tips on layering for spring, be sure to check my previous post here.

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Like I've said time and time and time again, I'm not sure what it is about the spring that brings out my inner prep-style, but this sweater falls right in line with that vibe. Dig the prep look but still dipping your toe in the water with it? I feel you. Maybe something like this is more your speed. Hey, I'm just trying to help.

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Of course, I styled them with my favorite trusty, rusty Clarks. Which I have been absolutely living in lately. Enjoy them while they still look cute, surely by summer they will be completely worn in. (Let's be honest, I'll still be wearing them anyway.)

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What's everyone doing this weekend? I want to know! Be sure to follow my nosey self on Snapchat @mogblog so I can follow you back and we can creep on each other all weekend. K? Sounds good. Happy Friday!

Thirsty Thursday: Gin n' Juice

My favorite day of the week is here again - Thirsty Thursday. And boy have I got the perfect cocktail for your unpredictable early spring weather. The Gin n' (grapefuit) Juice. Also known as the Greyhound, it's chock-full of Vitamin C... so it's basically healthy. Right? Can't be getting sick as the temperatures are (slowly) starting to rise.

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Immensely simple in preparation, but the elegance of this cocktail lies in its simplicity. Of course, I'm going to put a personal twist on it, but you wouldn't expect anything less, would you? To make my version, muddle a couple basil leaves in the bottom of a shaker and combine with 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice and 2 oz of Gin. Top with Ice and shake.

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To serve, simply pour over a large ice cube, and finish with club soda or tonic water if that's your thing. Garnish with a basil leaf because they're pretty, and presentation is everything. Ps, if you're into basil in cocktails, be sure to give this one from a couple weeks back a try, my Spring Basil Cocktail. Or, for a full list of MOGBLOG approved cocktail recipes, check out all of my past Thirsty Thursday posts, you're bound to find something you like. Cheers! x

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Life Hack: Clear Nail Polish

Are you ready to have your mind blown? It's Tuesday morning and I know I could use a little post-weekend help, so I'm sharing a life hack with you that I recently discovered. Presenting, the virtues of clear nail polish (You know the kind they always want to put on you after you get a manicure and you not-so-reluctantly oblige? No? Just me?)

You see over the holiday weekend, in a flurry of excitement - drinking, cooking, cleaning, drinking, entertaining, drinking - I noticed a button was beginning to come loose from my beautifully starched oxford shirt. Not having the time to sew it back on myself (a skill that I advocate all human beings possess) I used just the smallest drop or two of clear nail polish to set the fraying threads. Et Voila, Life. Hacked.

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This isn't the only non-beauty application for the stuff, either! There's a multitude of household uses, from sealing envelopes, to covering splinters in wood furniture, to keeping your belt buckles looking shiny and new. Just a quick tip for you on this early weekday! Get a bottle of the cheap stuff ($5 or less) and store it away for a rainy day... you'll thank me later. Cheers!

Spring Layering: It's All in the Details

Happy Friday - happy Easter weekend! I know many will be spending the next few days traveling over the river and through the woods, to spend time with their families - and for some, that means to chillier climates than they're in now. That's the problem with Easter in March - sometimes it's just too cold for that Sunday best. (Not that I'm complaining, I'm not fond of wearing multiple pastels myself, anyway.)

But when you're out on the go and chillier weather is in the air, layering is your very best friend. I find myself doing a lot of walking here around the city, and while it may be chilly in the mornings, by midday the sun is a lot stronger than you may think! That's why I turn to classic outfits like this - perfect for travel, and whatever the March weather may throw my way.

My base layer is a classic white T (I don't even need to explain this one, do I?) and top it with a grey crew neck sweatshirt. On a more mild day, this is a great look alone. But for an extra brisk morning, I throw my trusty denim jacket on top of it. Easy to pull on or off, this piece is an absolute classic. Seriously. I've had this one since I was in high school a million years ago.

In keeping with the athleisure vibe inspired by the crew neck, I finish the look with a pair of joggers (they're here to stay) and my beat up white sneakers. This way, I'm able to be mobile, comfortable, and chic for whatever the day brings.

A word about the details: what takes this look from something you'd see on a mannequin to something a little more personal is in the way you accessorize it. For example, I wear this vintage gold bangle that was given to me as a birthday gift years ago. It's something that nobody else has, and gives the look a little special touch. I also like wearing this little bandana around my neck, because it serves dual purposes. Not only is my neck warm, it's a nice subtle nod of pattern in an otherwise solid look.

As always, I'm wearing sunglasses because, well. It's just my thing. And with that, you have an easily adaptable, easily travel-able (is that a word? it is now.) look perfect for any March weekend plans. Speaking of, what are all of you up to this weekend? I hope you'll let me follow along - if you're wondering what I'm up to, don't forget to follow me on Snapchat @mogblog! See you there! x 

Thirsty Thursday: Lavender Collins

It's my favorite day of the week again! And contrary to popular belief, it isn't Friday. It's Thursday. Something about the potential for the upcoming weekend is often more exciting to me than the weekend itself. It's sort of how like Tuesday's always end up being worse than Monday's even though you expect it to be the other way around. (Anyone else like that? Just me? I hope not.) Anyway...

Another reason I really love Thursdays is because I get to shamelessly treat myself to a fancy cocktail in honor of the approaching weekend. And being that we're in the throws of Spring, and Easter is this Sunday, I thought this floral-inspired libation was just the thing for a day like today. 

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I call this little number the Lavender Collins. It's a twist on the classic Tom Collins, subbing the usual gin and sugar for a little vodka and lavender-infused simple syrup. The delicate flavor and pastel hue is just begging to be in your hand alongside your Sunday best this weekend!

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To make it, start by creating your infused simple syrup. Combine 1 cup each of sugar and water, with 2 tablespoons of culinary lavender (no, not something you just picked up from your neighbor's garden... you need the food-grade stuff here.) Once it has dissolved, allow it to cool, and then strain into a separate container.

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To assemble the cocktail, combine 1.5 oz vodka, 3/4 oz of lavender simple syrup and 3/4 oz of fresh lemon juice in a shaker and mix. Serve over a large ice cube and top with fresh seltzer. Feel free to garnish with a sprig of lavender. Presentation is everything, after all. Cheers!

Now Trending: Bomber Jackets

Ah, spring.

One day it's sunny and 75, the next, it's cloudy with the threat of snow. That's March in the northeast for you. I act like I'm complaining, but to be honest, I'm happy to have another chance to share some of my favorite outerwear with you all. 

A big trend (for men and women!) this season is the bomber jacket - and I'm totally on board with it. No bulky collar, cute cropped length, and scrunchable sleeves (you know I love an exposed forearm) they're the perfect piece for early spring. In keeping with the season, I felt this petrol green suede number was a just right for the chilly weather, so I hit up Love park here in Philly to show it off.

I especially love this jacket in because it has so many great little details. Plaid lining, a scalloped vent in the back, matching green buttons on the pockets. What's not to love? Did I mention it's vintage? I picked it up for less than 40 bucks at one of my favorite second hand spots in Pittsburgh years ago.

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Because the color is so bold, I kept the rest of the look simple - white shirt, grey jeans, and these rust-colored suede Clarks. Something about this chilly early spring weather just calls for a suede-on-suede moment, no?

So what do you think? Is the bomber look for you? If you know what's good for you, you'll say yes. Get out there and give it a whirl before it gets too warm to wear it anymore! Cheers! x