Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dark Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Cookies

At our resort, one of the better desserts I tried was their chocolate chip cookies. Sounds simple, but they had extra cinnamon and it was delicious! I knew that I had to recreate the magic when we got home. 
I like to get fancy, so I modified an M&M cookie recipe. Instead of chocolate chips, I took 2 bars of dark cocoa (90%) and broke them down into chunks. I also added a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Baking Up

Don't those chunks look awesome?

While the cookies were pretty good, there are two important lessons I learned.

First, I need to use chocolate that isn't so bitter - next time I'll try the 86% cocoa. Second, like Blue Oyster Cult needed more cowbell, these needed more cinnamon. The cinnamon was too subtle for what I envisioned, so next time I'll try two teaspoons; hopefully that will give it a little extra kick.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Half Said Fred

Every so often at work, we have really important clients who come visit. I expect this trend to grow when our office moves from the burbs into the city. But I digress.

When these VIP clients visit, we get notifications about how to dress. Apparently jeans and flip flops aren't acceptable VIP attire. The extent of fanciness gets designated by Fred. As in Fred Astaire. Full Fred is super fancy attire and Half Fred is business casual.

I'm typically dressed Half Fred four days out of the week, but today I REALLY wanted to wear yoga pants and sneakers. For the record, I've never worn my yoga pants to work unless I was going to or coming from the gym.

I'd like to call today's outfit my conservative attempt at color blocking. I stood in front of the mirror for about 5 minutes going back and forth about which shoes to wear, and ultimately decided on the ones I'm wearing. For the record, I have severe shoe guilt - I should have worn the other pair. Oh well, next time, right?

Laughing at Stephen's expressions here.
And this, ladies, is why the boyfriend rocks my socks. He may have laughed at me a few times and shook his head with disbelief, but when it was said and done, he grabbed the camera, kneeled on the sidewalk and took outfit photos. I think he did a great job, but I have a question for you other fashion bloggers: how did your hubby react the first time you asked him to take outfit photos of you? Stephen isn't a photographer, so it may have been a strange request for him, but I'm curious if anyone else got the strange look the first time. 

At any rate, I think he'll come around. Before you know it, this routine will become the norm.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You Rock My Socks

I'll explain more in another post planned for tomorrow, but I just have to say that the boyfriend is pretty awesome. He takes my level of silly with a grain of salt, and believe me, that is no easy task. I ask him to do absurd things sometimes, and as long as I explain it, he's down for whatever. 

Cryptic, no? 

Promise, you'll understand tomorrow. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Musings

Image Via

Random Musings on my Mind:
Easter - so nice to see so many Facebook updates about Christ and not the Easter bunny
Not that I hate the Easter bunny
The weather on Sunday was awesome
Maybe a sign that winter is finally on the way out and spring is in?
I'm having trouble learning how to use my new Mac. Maybe I was meant to be a PC
I need to work out some more
That week off probably wasn't awesome for me
Considering how many Whoppers Robin Eggs I've eaten
Those candies are addictive
Thank God they'll be pulled off the shelves tomorrow
Kate Spade's Tumblr makes me so happy
Aren't these tulips lovely?
I need to remember to plant tulips this fall
I need a mani pedi. Stat.
Better make sure I get one before heading to Orlando next week.
Super excited to be heading to Disney World. For Work.
Oy vey, work. Where did the weekend go?

Saturday, April 23, 2011


As I mentioned, on Thursday I needed a quick break from work, and met my friend Laura down in Fenway for our first ever clothes swap, hosted by The Swapaholics. 

When we arrived, we were in shock at how awesomely organized this event was, and Laura summed up the vibe best. "Boston feels like such a small town and you know everyone, then you come to something like this and realize you don't know anyone." 

We hung around and talked with some really nice girls, Christine from Moss and Ferns, and her pal Nina, who was visiting from Arizona. We dished about our favorite red lipsticks and kept laughing about how we somehow kept ending up at the back of the line and how that probably meant we wouldn't get anything good. 

When 8:30 rolled around, we finally got to shop. And shop we did. I managed to grab 2 bags of clothes in less than 15 minutes. I got some really nice new things and I'm looking forward to showing you photos of those soon. 

The highlight of my evening though, was meeting Jen, of famed blog Jen Loves Kev, and Julie of Orchid Grey. They were super sweet in person, and were gracious when I blabbed on and on to them. They were even sweet about commenting on my outfit, which is an added confidence booster for someone who's shy about putting herself out there for the fashion world to criticize. So, expect some photo shots soon - I've got some new found confidence and some new found wares I'd like to share.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Boston Blogger Clothes Swap

It's been one of those weeks. You know what I'm talkin 'bout, Willis. The type of week where you put in 3 days' worth of week (time wise) into 2 days. The type of week where you need a coffee drip inserted into your arm because you can't think straight. Where you think of pulling a George Castanza and curling up under your desk for a few winks.

So yeah, one of those weeks. Which means that this lady is in dire need of a break, and what better break to take than to meet fellow fashion bloggers and exchange clothes? I'll be at the Boston Fashion Bloggers Earth Day clothing swap sponsored by The Swapaholics. I'm really looking forward to getting out and meeting some of Boston's other fabulous bloggers and getting rid of those clothes that Buffalo Exchange wouldn't take a few weeks ago. If you're looking for me, I'll be that exhausted girl curled up in the corner catching a few winks.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Thrifty Bride

Before you get excited about the title and think I'm getting married, lemme stop you right there. I don't have anything to announce yet. BUT, when the time comes, I've got to admit I'm super stoked about this post.

As I caught up on my Women's Wear Daily over the weekend it really struck me that EVERYONE is on the wedding bandwagon. This is good news for brides-to-be though because it means that there are good deals to be had. But the REALLY good news came in reading about ready-to-wear gowns. 
It turns out that one of my favorite designers, Marchesa, has announced that they are planning to offer a high-low bridal combo, and will be launching a more affordable collection of gowns through a deal with Priscilla of Boston

Without even having to think about it for reals (yet), I appreciate the options that brides have now a days, especially when it comes to wearing a dress that you're only going to wear once Kudos to designers for making their designs more readily available to brides on a budget, and helping to make a bride feel even more special on her day.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Welcome Back!

Welcome to the new Michele's Musings. Version 2.0 if you're so inclined. 

This blog will focus on me waxing poetic on a host of things, including fashion, fitness, life and... wait for it... some self fashion photos. I can promise that it won't be every day (not until I learn how to mix like Kendi) but I think it would be fun to take a more personal spin on fashion blogging, and showcase some of my favorite outfits.  

If you know me in real life, you know that I fancy myself a baker, and when the Mr. and I are in the kitchen, we team up like the Neelys. So in that spirit, I'll be opening up my vault of recipes for cupcakes, cookies, and delicious recipes we whip up together in the kitchen. 

Thanks for joining me on this new adventure. I hope you'll enjoy the ride. Feel free to follow my blog (over there --->) so you get notifications when I write a new post. 

Thanks, and until next time.


Well friends, after 3 years, it's time for a change, and I'm so happy to say that I'm moving. 

This blog has been a great sounding board for me over the years, and it was a godsend to have while I was in grad school and trying to balance the stress of work, school, a new relationship and moving to Boston. 

But more than 3 years later, my focus has changed. My passions have changed, and so... this blog must change.

I'll still be Michele's Musings, but I needed a smarter blog address to help narrow my focus and build my following, so from now on you can find me here:

I really hope you'll come on over to the new blog. It's the same me with a new address. Don't worry, no housewarming gifts necessary, unless of course you're into that sort of thing. In which case, feel free to send me a gift. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My First Attempt to Thrift Sell = FAIL

My weekend with one of my favorite gal pals fell through after her work event was canceled this week, so my plans changed significantly. After feeling awesome about my scores at Target, I decided to do some spring cleaning of the closet variety. 

I hand selected about a dozen items (about half with tags on them) to sell at Buffalo Exchange, a national thrift shop with a good conscience. When I arrived there was a line of folks looking to sell their wares, so I waited patiently. I chatted with the woman in front of me who had some ridiculously awesome wares from around the world (think red leather knee high boots from Ireland, a leather cream motorcycle jacket, and an ultra fab tweed coat) and each item the BE buyer pulled from the bag was better than the item before. When it was said and done, BE rejected almost half of the stuff (and seriously, I would have snatched everything up if the shoes had only fit.) Once I saw that, I knew my stuff didn't stand a chance. 

Included in my wares today were a pair of studded suede pumps that I wore once, plus cropped black silk pants, olive ankle pants and a white linen skirt, all from Ann Taylor Loft. After going through all my items, BE took ONE top - a cheapo top from New York & Company. When I asked why, the girl said that most of these items were too "worn" to be considered. HOW could clothes with tags on them be considered too "worn" to take? 

Since this is my first time to thrift sell, I'm curious if this is the norm, and if so, what should I consider when taking clothes to a consignment shop?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Have you Seen Target Lately?

Once a go-to staple for shopping, I admit that I've neglected Target for a while. Every once in a while I see something cute, but for the most part I haven't seen anything inspiring, even the recent re-releases of the Go Collection. I know, I know, that's almost blasphemous; please don't hate me or take away my fashion card for saying that. But everything changed this past weekend when I went to pick up some toiletries.

I spent at least half an hour in the dressing room trying on everything I could find, and eventually settled on these two items:

Buy here
This Merona striped tee is normally $20, but it was on sale for $17 - hello deal! This will be perfect for a casual Friday at the office with some sandals, or on weekends when I want something comfy and still a little dressy. I can picture a pair of Chuck Taylor's being the perfect shoe for walking around Boston and soaking up the sunshine.

Buy here

Also from Merona, this Phiona faux lace skirt is really cute and totally office appropriate. I picture pairing it with a melon or pink shirt and nude pumps for the office.

Despite only settling on these two items, I loved half a dozen others, so if you haven't checked out Target lately, I strongly suggest you get down there ASAP. I guarantee you'll find something you can't resist.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday

Happy Friday lovelies! TGIF! I thought you'd enjoy one more picture from my Jamaica vacation. Each year I take a photo of my feet lounging at the beach, and these always end up being one of my favorite photos from the trip. 

I have to say that my first week back from vacation was really tough - ouch! - but luckily I have a friend visiting from Texas and the weather in Boston is supposed to be downright balmy, so it's going to be a doubly good weekend if I do say so myself!

What do you have on tap? Whatever it is, I hope you have sunny skies and warm weather so you can get out and enjoy the time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Swimsuit Fashionista

I got the sweetest email from Pop.Bop.Shop commenting on my outfits during Jamaica, and she sweetly suggested I share those photos with you. Never one to turn down a request from a loyal reader, I present my Jamaica fashion for those .001% of you who are not my Facebook friends (but we can change that if you really want - just e-mail me.) 

With the fabulous twinlets, Jess and Jo. The necklace belonged to my grandma - it's one of my fave costume pieces. Dress, from Hemline boutique in Dallas, TX.

With the handsome hubs. Weird that I already call him the hubs and we're not engaged yet? Nah! Wearing a SeerSucker dress picked up from Francesca's Boutique in Cambridge, MA.
Roasting marshmallows at the beach. Wearing a top I got at a gently used boutique in Dallas (best $5 I ever spent) and white pants from Second Time Around (again, gently used.) 

Lounging on the beach in one of my fave Victoria's Secret bathing suits (and congratulating myself for working out so hard.) :)

In my new favorite Victoria's Secret bikini. At the private waterfalls in Ocho Rios. Can you believe how tall Stephen is (and how handsome)?
So there you have it - my Jamaican outfits (the ones that were good enough to show you.) I don't normally like showing off outfits (especially when there's not much to show) but this could be the start to doing more fashion outfit photos. Let me know if you'd be down for seeing more - I can't promise it will be often, but, like I did for P.B.S. in this post, I'm happy to oblige my readers.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rested and Relaxed

I'm finally back from Jamaica; rested, relaxed and back in full force. I'll have photos from my trip up later, but Stephen and I had a wonderful trip. We spent the first half of the trip with my twinlet friends, where all we did was lay by the pool, reading and drinking fabulous drinks (you can read about it here and get a sneak peek at my very handsome beau.) After the twinlets left, we moved our selves down to the beach (to read and drink) but ended up getting way more active. We took out the Hobie cats and sailed on the ocean, played numerous games of beach volleyball, and went hiking up the famous Dunn's River Falls

The trip was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries and continue strengthening my relationship with Stephen. It's amazing how much a week away from the routine can do you good.

I hope you all had a wonderful week while I was out, and I look forward to catching up on everyone's happenings as well. I'll be back to usual posting tomorrow. Yeah, mon!