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I have decided that this shall be my last post before Christmas. I’m taking the holiday season off from looking at a computer screen!

However, I couldn’t leave for the holidays without sharing pictures of the Reindog Parade that Brad, Lola, and I attended this year in Cincinnati.

The annual parade is put on by the SPCA in Cincinnati. It raises money for the fabulous SPCA that humanely cares for dogs and cats that are awaiting adoption.

If you are at all in the market for a pup, I would strongly encourage you to adopt a dog.

Here is a list of dogs available right now at the Cincinnati SPCA.

Warning: Clicking on the link will melt your heart, and it may make you  really want a new pet.

Check out the dogs.

Anyhow, for this Reindog parade, owners dress their dogs up and then they have a parade through the picturesque hills of Mt. Adams. People line the streets to watch the dogs parade around in their costumes.

Here is a sampling of what we saw:

I’m a sucker for a Great Dane. I think they are so majestic looking (I mean, when they AREN’T donning a Christmas quilt around their neck), and they all seem to be so good natured. This guy looked so happy to be decked out in Christmas gear, right?

Is it just me or do all poodles look like complete ding-a-lings? Seriously, look at that dog.

Check out this Christmas court jester. Loving life.

Then, there’s Lola. She was so embarrassed she didn’t have a special Christmas outfit.

She couldn’t bear to show her face.

It was either that, or she really hates it when we put the gentle leader on her.

Side Note: If I were Oprah, I would give away gentle leaders to all dog owners. Best. Investment. Ever.

This is a pack of angry killer dogs.

Dressed in their Scottish Tartan Plaids claiming allegiance to their homeland.

FREEDOM!!!

Er.

Something like that.

I’ll give you a dollar if you can tell me what kind of dog that is.

It looks like it would be the evil Queen’s dog in a Disney movie.

I swear to you this dog is giving me the stink eye.

He must hate the paparazzi.

I think this dog is about as precious as they come.

I bet she’s stuck up though.

She has that air about her.

Red and white sweater.

Check.

Green Scarf.

Check.

Dog in misery.

Check.

Leah thoroughly entertained.

Double check.

I shall end with this precious pup. I had to get a picture of her nails. They were meticulously painted by her owner.

I asked the owner if I could take a picture, and she happily agreed.

I swear to you, I aimed my camera at the pup, and she winked at me.

Seriously!

Look at the picture above.

She is winking.

Right?

Right.

And then.

AND. THEN.

Without missing a beat.

She lifted her paw.

To show me her manicure.

Like a lady.

Then the pup whispered to me,

“Polished nails, polished lady.”

No. Joke.

Reindog parade 2010.

There you have it.

I’m wishing you all the Merriest Christmas. Take a moment to soak in the precious time spent with friends and family. Eat lots. Love on those people in your life that you only get to see at Christmas. Build tolerance for some of those people you only have to see at Christmas. Give thanks.

And then have a safe and fun New Years.

XO,

Leah

I’m in love.

I’m obsessed.

I have issues.

I blame Brad.

Because he bought me this beauty for Christmas:

I have long been lusting over the Le Creuset cookware. It is so pretty, and it is so functional.

But it is also so expensive.

I wanted to be sure I would use this regularly before investing in a piece (or two… or three).

For those of you that don’t know, Le Creuset is the gold standard of cookware. They are the choice of lots of my friends on the Food Network, and many of my favorite blogs cook up lovely slow cooked meals in their Le Creuset.

For my first piece, I decided I wanted the French Oven (same thing as a Dutch oven, but because Le Creuset is a French company they don’t give their cookware a conflicting name). These French Ovens are created with their own sand mold. This ensures that the lid perfectly fits your pot, and it also means that you have a one-of-a-kind piece because each sand mold is destroyed after doing its oven-making duty.

The biggest selling point is that these ovens heat evenly consistently because they are cast iron. However, they have an enamel coating that allows for easy clean up.

Anyhow, I’ll stop my gush fest now.

I have always known what the inaugural meal would be should I ever own one of these beauties.

Braised Short Ribs.

Both Brad and I love them in an unhealthy manner.

In a restaurant, if short ribs are on the menu I have a hard time not ordering them.

Or if I do resist, I encourage Brad to go for the ribs so that I can partake.

I’m so unselfish.

So, I used a hybrid of two recipes from two of my favorite cooks, Ina Garten and The Pioneer Woman.

I used this recipe from PW, and this one from Ina.

I’ll spare you my step by step recipe, since PW does such a lovely (and way better) job on her site.

But I will show you that this is what my food looked like before going into the oven for the 2 1/2 hour slow cook.

And here is what it looked like afterward.

Can I just tell you that the bones fell to the bottom of the pan while it was cooking. The meat was so tender. Sweet sassy.

I also whipped up The Pioneer Woman’s goat cheese polenta.

And loaded up my plate.

And then I took a bite.

And I died.

And I went to heaven.

And it was magical.

But I decided to come back to earth so that I could continue eating this food.

God Bless the good folks at Le Creuset. They make an excellent product.

And a big fat thank you to my fabulous man for my new favorite thing.

If I were Oprah, I’d be giving these bad boys away this year.

Oh, and here’s a little tip. There is a Le Creuset outlet between Cincinnati and Dayton, Oh. Sometimes they have products for as much as 50% off. Yep. Not bad at all.

Lots of love to you, my friends.

Leah

Well, who knew?

Turns out I love Ethiopian food.

There is a new-ish joint up the street from our house. It is within walking distance, and yet Brad and I haven’t been until this week.

I have wanted to go, but I was nervous.

I have checked out the menu online, but it was way different sounding than foods I normally enjoy and that made me even more nervous.

But then… I got a first-hand recommendation from my friend Erin. She said that I HAD to go. And that is all it took to get us in the door of Emanu.

All of the dishes at Emanu are served on Injera which is a bread that falls somewhere between a crepe, naan, and a pancake.

This is what Injera looks like:

Our food came just like the picture above. Except that on the giant Injera, all of your main dish is plated.

We ordered some meat and some vegetables.

They have several beef, lamb, and chicken preparations. We chose beef that was spicy and delicious, and the flavors were new yet familiar. It was on the left side of the injera.

On the right side, we ordered a sampling of the vegetables. It included cabbage, greens, yellow lentils, red lentils, and roasted peppers and carrots. I know that does not sound overly exciting.

HOWEVER, each of these vegetables were perfectly cooked and perfectly flavored. Bland does not have a place at Emanu.

In my opinion, the best part of the food is that it is intended to be eaten by hand.

You tear off some of the Injera and pile on the toppings. I did have to use my fork to help me out from time to time.

Emanu is BYOB, so it is a completely affordable meal out. Brad and I left stuffed to the gills for less than $30. The food was so so so good. If you live in the Cincinnati area, I suggest you check this joint out.

Oh, and to top it off, the people that work at Emanu are the loveliest.

If you don’t live in Cincinnati… well, too bad for you.

This is what I was reminded of after finally checking out this restaurant- that new foods are my favorite kinds of foods. I regret that it took me as long as it did to build up the gumption to try something that I hadn’t experienced before. If my fear of the unknown had kept me out of the doors, I would have missed out on my new favorite restaurant.

You are welcome for that little life lesson on this Monday morning.

In other news, Brad and I exchanged Christmas gifts yesterday morning.

Yes, I realize we are early.

However, with our work schedules and impending travel, we wanted to make sure we had a nice leisurely Christmas morning together.

I’ll have more on that later this week, but for now I’ll just say that I am now the proud owner of one of these bad boys:

The Le Creuset 7 quart French Oven.

Sweet Sassy.

I’m attempting slow roasted short ribs tonight. Wish me luck!!

Happy Monday!

And more importantly, Happy Short Work Week to all of you that are working outside of the home!!

XO,

Leah

1. It is snowing in Cincinnati. Snowmageddon 2010. We got about 3 inches overnight, and from the non-stop coverage you would think that we got 3 feet. This city is so strange when it comes to snow. People freak out. And drivers forget everything they know. They should stop it.

2. I spent yesterday with some co-workers volunteering at the Salvation Army Christmas Angel shopping experience. It was a really fun day, and I’m grateful that I work with a company that values giving back to the community. I’m also grateful that I really, really like the people that I work with day in and day out.

I wish I had pictures from yesterday. The best part, in my humble opinion… there was an auxiliary of women who spend all year making doll clothes. The have dolls that look very similar to the popular American Girl Dolls. Every mama of a 5-8 year old girl gets to pick out a doll for her daughter. The doll comes with the most darling hand made outfit on her. AND, the ladies give an additional outfit and a quilt so that the doll has a place to lay her head with her new owner. The work these women did was amazing. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t snap at least one picture.

3. I’m thinking about keeping the Christmas tree up full time. It looks so pretty in our living room. This year, on our way home from the lake we stopped at a Christmas tree farm where Brad was given a saw to cut down our own tree- Clark W. Griswold style. He manned up and sawed the tree down like a true lumberjack.

When the tree hit the ground, three mice ran out- and I ran off.

As fast as I could.

To the car.

The lovely Christmas tree salesman guaranteed that by the time we got home, there would be no more mice in the tree.

When we pulled the tree up to our front door, I thought it would be wise to do one last mouse check.

I pulled back a branch, and…

ANOTHER FREAKING MOUSE!!

Me running inside.

Brad propping the tree up against the house because he had to go to work, and he couldn’t deal with a mouse that REFUSED to leave the tree. Or a wife that was very illogically deathly afraid of said mouse.

The next morning, we went out to rid the tree of the mouse forever.

Only to find that a cat had relieved itself all over the tree.

Now, one of the main benefits of a live Christmas tree is the piney smell that greets you as you walk into your home.

Cat pee does not have the same allure.

I promise you that.

So, it was decided… a new tradition would be born.

The outside fresh cut Christmas tree would don our backyard.

And inside- a FAKE!

Now, I grew up with artificial trees. So, I’m all about a pre-lit tree that stores in a lovely box in the basement. Brad came from a live tree family, but I think he had visions of his crazy wife jumping every time she walked past the tree thinking a mouse attack was impending. Or maybe she would complain of the strange acrid scent filling up her home. Either way, Target provided the gift of the tree for our family this year.

And all I can say is, thank ya Target.

Merry Christmas Friends!!

XO,

Leah

I’m going to end out the week with one last sweet treat. This sweet treat is a simple dessert that I have eaten since I was just a wee little tot.

The best part? It really isn’t all too unhealthy. And after this week of Christmas treat making, I could use a “healthier” dessert option.

I give you the Baked Apple.

Have you had one?

First, I started with a Honey Crisp apple. Oh my, the Honey Crisp.

These are easily the best apple on the planet.

However, I read an article that scared me straight yesterday on eating non-organic apples. This article from Prevention Magazine said that a non-organic apple is one of the top 7 foods that should NEVER even touch your lips. Yikes!!!

So, I may be giving up on the Honey Crisp, but I shall share the recipe with you anyway.

Because I’m nice like that.

Take your apple and carefully remove the core.

When I was growing up, we had this nifty little apple coring tool. It made this step extremely easy.

If you are using a knife, be careful to preserve and protect all of your digits!

I find it extremely rude to not share the fruits of my kitchen labor.

And these ding dongs love an apple core.

So, Miss got half.

And so did Lola.

Pop your apple into an oven proof bowl or pan.

The cooking vessel that you use should be relatively small.

Now, for the fun part… fill your apple with whatever goodness you enjoy.

I started with Craisins.

Then added raisins.

And a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Pack it tightly with brown sugar. I used about one tablespoon on the top.

Then, flip your apple over. Fill the bottom with another tablespoon or so of brown sugar.

Feel free to make this apple your own. I think you could put just about anything in them- cloves, nutmeg, caramel, nuts, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Pop it into your oven.

350 for 20 minutes or so.

You want the apple to be softened and the brown sugar to be all melty and syrupy.

Pull it out when it looks like this:

Cut it in half to share the apple with your special someone.

I highly encourage you to chop this up to make the eating of it easier.

Now, you could eat it just like that.

OR, you could top it with ice cream.

The real vanilla kind. MMMMMMMM.

If you are feeling really naughty, give it a drizzle of caramel.

Yum-a-lum-a-ding-dong.

XO,

Leah

OK, people.

Are you getting tired of hearing about my holiday pseudo-baking endeavors?

I have one more teeny-tiny recipe for you today, and then I’m done talking about holiday sweets for at least another year.

This “recipe” (I’ll use the term loosely because these treats are so easy, the word recipe hardly seems suitable) comes from my cousin Kari’s kitchen. She started making these salty sweet treats a few years back.

And I like I do with any good idea, I stole it.

We’re talking pretzel rods dipped in caramel and chocolate.

Now, Kari is a whiz in the kitchen and she gets creative and fancy with her pretzels adding drizzles of white chocolate sometimes or a green or red smattering of sprinkles.

By this point in my Bake-a-palooza 2010, I just wanted to be done.

I wanted to take my treats and eat them in front of my TV.

So. No sprinkles. No fancy dancy chocolate drizzles.

Please forgive me.

You’ll need a whopping 3 ingredients for these treasures: pretzel rods (I used 2 bags), one bag of Kraft caramels, and 1 bag of chocolate chips (you could use dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate).

Start by unwrapping the caramels.

This is, by far, the only tedious task in this recipe.

Toss them into a small sauce pan, and add 2 T of water.

Turn your burner on to medium, and start a-stirrin’.

Keep stirring until it looks like this.

Resist the urge to stick your finger in there.

Or to lick the spoon.

Both will burn.

I may or may not know that from first-hand experience.

Have I mentioned I have very little willpower?

Take a pretzel and dip it in. I like to dip them in only about halfway.

Once dipped, let most of the caramel drip off of the pretzel. Then further remove excess caramel by giving your pretzel a slide up the side of your pan.

Lay your pretzels out on a (you guessed it) parchment lined sheet pan.

If you don’t remove the excess caramel, you will have giant caramel pools around your pretzel sticks. And those aren’t pretty.

Believe me.

Two years in a row, I had these top heavy, oddly shaped caramel mess pretzels because I couldn’t restrain myself enough to remove the excess caramel.

I have learned my lesson.

Pop those in your fridge to cool and harden up a bit.

Melt your chocolate in a double boiler (see Monday’s post if you don’t know what that is or how to do it).

Pull out your cooled pretzels, and give them a second dip… this time in melty delicious chocolatey chocolateness.

Back onto the sheet pan they go.

Then, back into the fridge again.

When the chocolate has hardened, you are good to package them up!

Or, more realistically- eat them up.

Now, these are the perfect snack for me because they satisfy two cravings.

The salty pretzel perfectly balances out the sweet of the caramel and chocolate.

So good!

Guess what?!?

It’s Thursday!

Yippee!

Happy Holidays,

Leah

Don’t you just hate that person in your office that brings in treats and forces you to eat not-good-for-you foods?

I come into work with my big leafy green salad all packed for lunch. I pack this salad after dinner the night before when I’m full. Now, it’s so darn tootin’ cold outside that I will live with this green leafy salad rather than be tempted by some restaurant calling my name. At work, I am a health nut.

Until that darn stinkin’ co-worker tempts you with homemade holiday goodies.

Gosh, I hate that person.

With their witchy ways.

Oh wait. I AM that person.

It is true. I have brought in an abundance of goodies. And I have sent my husband off with the same abundance of goodies to help him fatten up his co-workers.

I’m an awful person, don’t ya think?

I say all that as an intro to yet another holiday treat… this time a savory one.

As I have mentioned before, sweets don’t really do it for me.

But these spicy, salty, herby cashews do.

My dearly beloved friend, Sydne, introduced me to these nuts many years ago and they have been a holiday staple ever since (thanks to Ina Garten’s recipe).

I started with 2 lbs of cashews. The best deal in my city was at Trader Joes. Lay them out on a sheet pan, and then pop them into an oven set at 350 for 8-10 minutes. You want to warm them up and lightly toast them, but not overly brown them.

While those are roasting up, get out a large mixing bowl.

Finely chop 3 Tablespoons of fresh rosemary.

For the love of Pete, don’t use dried rosemary.

In my humble opinion, dried rosemary is the nastiest. I hate getting one of those woody stems in my mouth when eating. Bleck!

Next, add in cayenne pepper.

I added 2 teaspoons, and the nuts are not really all that spicy. So I would use 2 teaspoons as a starting point. If you can handle the heat, you may want to add another teaspoon or two.

Now, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.

Mmmm, salt.

Now, 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar.

Now, look down to ensure that your sweatshirt is matching your mixing bowl.

Yes?

Yes!

Ok, good.

Put 2 T of butter in a small microwavable bowl.

Melt it.

And add the butter to the party.

Mix it up.

As soon as the butter hits that, the most amazing smell starts wafting through your kitchen.

About now, your nuts should be finishing up.
Pull them out, and while still hot mix them up.

Oh man, there ya have it.

Spicy Rosemary Cashews

If you are making these for a party, I recommend serving them warm. They are so cozy and warming and delicious.

If you are making them as gifts, let them cool completely before packaging and handing out.

Make sure you save quite a few for yourself!

It’s Hump Day people, and that makes me happy!

With warmest Christmas cheer,

Leah

My goal this week is for everyone who reads this to pack on a solid 5 holiday pounds.

It is good to fatten up for the colder weather.

And all of these holiday weight gain goals give you ammunition to develop a really strong New Year’s resolution.

So, today we shall discuss peppermint bark.

If you are looking for the easiest possible holiday treat to make and give to people, look no further than the peppermint bark.

You need three whopping ingredients: white chocolate chips, regular chocolate chips, candy canes

You need one bag of white chips, one bag of regular chips, and one package of candy canes per 9×11 sheet pan.

Let’s get started!

Get out your whopper-jangled double boiler. This is what I call my make-shift double boiler.

If you don’t know what a double boiler is, scroll down to yesterday’s post for a quick tutorial.

Melt your chocolate chips. I was making two sheet pans, so I melted one bag of semi-sweet chips and one bag of milk chocolate chips. I think if you could find some dark chocolate to melt, this bark would be elevated to a whole new level.

Line your sheet pans with your most necessary holiday baking accessory… parchment paper.

Spread your chocolate onto the pan.

Pop that into the fridge to harden and cool.

Now, lets start melting our white chocolate.

I used Ghirardelli chips for the white, semi-sweet, and milk chocolate chips. They make a chip that is heads and tails above Nestle or the store brand.

In my humble opinion, it is very much worth the slightly higher price.

While that is melting down, we shall destroy our candy canes.

Take off the wrapper (unless you love that plastic flavor), and break the candy cane into larger sizes. Drop it into your food processor.

Chop ’em up.

Look at that white chocolate.

Mmmm… melty, creamy, deliciousness.

Take about 1/4 of your chopped candy canes and mix that right in to your white chocolate.

Mix it up.

Pull out your hardened chocolate, and quickly spread your white chocolate on top.

Work quickly. You know, your hot white chocolate could start to melt your dark chocolate if you aren’t a Speedy Gonzales.

Once you have your white chocolate spread all over the regular chocolate, sprinkle the rest of your chopped candy canes on top.

Isn’t that the prettiest thing you have ever seen?

It’s tasty too.

Pop that back into the fridge as well, and let the whole shabang harden up.

Once it is hardened (15 minutes or so), break it up. I used a knife to help me, but uniform pieces are not required. Just crack it until it is delightfully un-uniform in shape.

There you have it.

Holiday Treat Numero Dos.

Tomorrow, I shall give your sweet tooth a rest (just for a day!). I’ll be giving you a savory holiday treat recipe.

I am getting more in the holiday spirit all of the time.

Have a Lovely Tuesday my friends.

With Christmas Cheer,

Leah

Well, this weekend I officially got into the holiday spirit. My fingers are practically worked to the bone after spending both Saturday and Sunday pulling out all of the stops to make my holiday treats.

Confession:

The Take 5 Candy Bar is the greatest candy bar on the planet.

Have you had one?

The 5 in the Take 5 refers to chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, caramel, and pretzels.

I’m not sure how I made it 30 years before I got to tasting my first Take 5. But, this devil woman in my office makes them available at all times, and she wore me down.

I only call her a devil woman because she lures me in with her sweets.

And I normally don’t have a sweet tooth. Give me cheese on a cracker over dessert any day.

But that darn Take 5. It has a hold on me.

With that said, I decided that I needed to try and recreate the Take 5 at home for a holiday treat. And then I decided that I could do Hershey one better by amping up my recipe.

So, without further ado, I give you Holiday Treat Numero Uno… the homemade Take 5.

That Take 5 actually turned into the homemade Take 7 because, well… you’ll see.

The most important part of holiday baking, in my humble opinion, is purchasing parchment paper.

Parchment paper makes the baking process AND clean up infinitely easier.

And aren’t we all looking for infinite ease?

Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.

And then throw on pretzels to cover the entire bottom of the pan.

Next, we’ll add our peanut butter. I thought that Reese’s peanut butter cups would be the easiest way to get the messy peanut butter portion of the Take 7 incorporated into the recipe.

And you know what?

I was right.

Gee, I love it when that happens.

Pulse them a few times in your food processor, and dump them on the pretzels.

Please note, this is not a precise recipe. Just add more or less of your favorite parts of the candy bar.

Add some salted peanuts on top of that.
I pulsed the nuts in the food pro as well.

It is looking good already, isn’t it??

Now, we’ll add our caramel sauce.

I used one bag of Kraft individually wrapped caramels.

To melt the caramels, unwrap them, toss them in a sauce pan, and add 2 T of water.

Turn the heat on medium, and start stirring.

Keep stirring until it looks like this.

Now drizzle all of that onto your candy concoction.

At this point, I was wondering if this little experiment of mine was going to work.

I RARELY wing it in the kitchen with dessert-type recipes. But I figured that worst-case scenario, I would be gnawing this off of parchment paper all by myself while watching the final season of my girl Oprah.

At this stage of the recipe, I say MOVE OVER HERSHEY.

Because I added some Rice Krispies.

Yes, now my Take 5 is a Take 6.

But why stop at a Take 6 when I do think this could be elevated to a whole new heavenly level.

So, look out.

Here comes the Take 7.

Mini Marshmallows.
You heard me.

And so did Miss and Lola when I opened the marshmallow bag.

Why do my dogs immediately start drooling when they see marshmallows?

If you have an answer, I would love to hear it.

Thanks.

Top that off with your chocolate.

Now, I don’t mean to knock on Hershey.

Because as previously stated the Take 5 is my hands-down favorite candy bar.

However, I do declare that Hershey’s chocolate used on the Take 5 is not the greatest.

Sorry, Hershey.

I upgraded to Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips found in bags in the baking aisle.

I tossed the whole bag on top.

Now, throw this whole mess of sweet, waist-busting food into your oven (set at 325) for 8 minutes.

After 8 minutes, pull the pan out and use a spatula sprayed lightly with cooking spray to spread the marshmallow and chocolate.

This does not, I REPEAT, does not have to look pretty.

Allow the pan to cool for 10 minutes.

After it has cooled slightly, cover the top of your treat with parchment paper.

Get out another sheet pan, and FLIP the whole kit and caboodle over.

Your chocolate and marshmallows will now be on the bottom, and your pretzel layer will now be on the top.

We have one more step to finish up this masterpiece.

More of the good chocolate.

Get out your double boiler.

Or, if you are like me and don’t have a fancy-pants double boiler, get out a large sauce pan and fill it with and inch or two of water.

Bring the water to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, place a metal bowl over the sauce pan.

Add your some chocolate chips to your bowl.

I used a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.

Start stirring.

Until it looks like this.

The double boiler method is fantastic because it perfectly melts your chocolate without running the risk of burning it and ruining it.

Pull out your hot mess of a Take 7.

Peel back the parchment paper.

And slather those pretzels with your melted chocolate.

Hello Lover!

Pop that into the fridge for 20 minutes or so to allow the chocolate to harden.

Then, use all of your power and might to cut this into small squares.

Pop one into your mouth to taste their heavenly deliciousness.

OK, pop another one in.

It’s the holiday season after all.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that these little morsels of yumminess could probably change the world.

I feel that if only world leaders could have a Take 7 before meeting, we could achieve peace on earth.

How could you not feel goodwill toward men while noshing on 7 layers of sweet treat delight?

Happy Holiday Season, and Happy Monday!

XO,

Leah

If you are looking for the perfect holiday gift for me, look no further than J. Crew. I pretty much love everything that the store has to offer.

So, while I’m not shopping there for myself right now, don’t be surprised if you get your holiday gift from me- and it’s from J. Crew.

The store, for me, is perfection because the clothes aren’t complicated and they are classically stylish. I’m not a fashion-forward dresser, so I like it when I can buy something off of the rack and have it just work for me.

Have you ever owned cashmere?

If you haven’t, I don’t recommend it. Because it will ruin you.

Every other shirt will forever feel itchy and miserable.

I love this simple cashmere pullover. I’ll take one in every color…

Sequins and silk- yes please!

How perfect is this shirt for the holidays?

You can layer it up for colder days, and you can wear it all the way through the summer.

I’m obsessed with crisp white collared shirts.

Anyone of any size can wear one, and I think they look great on everyone.

I like to wear mine (and I have quite a few) under a blazer (from where else? J.Crew!).

I couldn’t find my exact black blazer, but this one is pretty similar.

Nothing does more for a waistline than a blazer.

I promise.

Wear it with some skinny black jeans and some knee/thigh high black boots.

HELLO!

Here are some more things I love.

Yes, I know.

I have a problem.

I really only like neutrals. I would bet that more than half of my closet is white, black, or gray- and I’m ok with that!

I wear color from time to time, but black and white does it for me.

J. Crew has mens and kids clothes too, of course.

Now, I do recognize that these clothes may be a bit pricey for some, but I have a solution!! Visit your local outlet store. In Cincinnati, there are 2 J.Crew outlets within an hour of me… aren’t I lucky!!??

And here is my stance on paying more for clothes. You are paying for quality. When you spend more, you can expect more for the clothes. And if you choose timeless pieces, then you can wear them for several seasons.

I recommend buying the really trendy stuff from a place like Forever 21 or H&M where the prices are dirt cheap. Because, if after a season, you are over the clothes- you can get rid of them guilt-free.

Anywho, I’m hoping to (gulp) get out to the stores this weekend. Hope you are enjoying your holiday season thus far!

Happy weekend!

XO,
Leah

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