Monday, September 30, 2013

The Most Perfect Banana Nut Muffins. Ever.

This weekend, while the rain was actually breaking records here in Washington, I decided to bake (like I need a reason). I had annoyingly too ripe bananas lying around, so naturally I made some banana nut muffins.  As I just mentioned, I love to bake. I bake something probably every other day or so. I also love banana bread. So I've tried many recipes from many books. But this is seriously the best. Hands down. The muffins are delicate and rich and delicious. They are not too sweet, nor are they overwhelmed by the flavor or the bananas, but instead strike a perfect balance.

This recipe is amended from one of my favorite cookbooks, Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw.
To make them, you'll need:
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of salt
3 very ripe, mashed bananas (sometimes I only use 2, and it tastes fine)
2 lg eggs
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (you can use dark or light, depending on your taste)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional... but I'm not sure why you'd want to omit them from banana nut muffins. Unless you have a dangerous allergy. In that case, carry on.)


Start by sifting together your dry ingredients.  Then, mash the bananas up! 
It's amazing how something so unappetizing looking can transform into such delicious-ness.
Then, in the bowl of you mixer (or in a regular mixing bowl if you are really cool and good at mixing things by hand. I don't want to say that I'm not strong enough to do this, but I'm not) combine the brown sugar, bananas, egg, sour cream, vanilla and melted butter.
I hate to be one of those baking snobs, but this vanilla extract is amazing. I can remember  being obsessed with the smell of vanilla extract as a little kid baking with my Mom and Grandma. Caveat: don't taste it. I learned that lesson early on. 
After you have combined the wet ingredients, slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Be sure not to over mix, because you don't want to over activate the gluten in the flour. This is what makes things like muffins and cakes too stiff and dense.

After you have mixed all of the ingredients together, fold in the nuts with a spatula. Then, fill the muffin tin pretty much to the top. I like to use a small ice cream/cookie dough scoop with thicker batters like this because it helps control the batter better than a spoon. 

Finally, you can top with turbinado sugar or streusel (I personally love the latter!). I am currently on a little bit of a health kick so I left them plain. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or so, or until a cake tester comes out clean. 

Voila! I hope you enjoy! 

Until next time, 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Making Camo Work

I was in LA a month or so ago visiting some of my friends, and we of course went shopping. My friends down there tend to be much trendier than me, as I usually stray from buying into/buying fads. But, I seemed to catch trend fever while at Kitson one day and bought these camo jeans on a whim (another uncharacteristic move for me). I got them home and had absolutely no idea what to do with them, my only solace being that People Style Watch said they were cute. So after tearing apart my closet, I came up with this.
Sweater: Vince; button-up: Madewell; jeans: Black Orchid

I decided to pair them with an oversized white crew neck I had recently bought. I thought that the leather elbow patches would play well with the edgier print of the pants. I also added a collared shirt underneath in order to add some polish. This button up from Madewell makes so many appearances in my daily life! 

Shoes: Tory Burch 

I have had these unadorned, metallic Tory Burch flats forever, and while I don't wear them as much as my classic Reva flats, they are great for outfits like this when I don't need a lot of competition coming from my shoes. 

Here's a close-up of my collar/sweater combo.  I just love the look of a crisp collar under a sweater, and I think this monochromatic take offers a fresh spin. 

Until next time, 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Burgundy Love

It's raining here in Seattle (shocking, I know). But, unlike the usual drizzle, it's outright pouring here. And it's cold! So dressing for going out last night was interesting. Which is why I grabbed this embellished sweater peplum from Dolce Vita. I bought it last weekend on my shopping binge with my Mom at Anthropologie... that store always has some hidden gems.
Sweater: Dolce Vita; Jeans: J-Brand (old, but similar here)
I paired it with my favorite black J-Brand jeans (this brand always fits me perfectly), and my incredibly scuffed black Tory Burch flats. They are so worn that they've become my going-out/it's raining and I need to look nice shoe. 
Shoes: Tory Burch

I of course added some arm candy for good measure. 
Wrap bracelet: Tory Burch (old, but similar here); Watch: Kate Spade

I was given the Kate Spade bow watch last Christmas, and I absolutely love it. It's the perfect watch for a night out. Or really any time. The Tory Burch wrap bracelet was another gift for my birthday a million years ago. And the jeweled bracelet is from Anthro? Maybe? I have had it forever and honestly am not sure where it's from anymore. 

A close up of the sweater's embellishment. 

Until next time, 

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Different Kind of Stripes

This past weekend I went home to San Francisco to visit my mom.  Which in my house means I went home to shop with my mom. I found some super cute pieces to add to my fall wardrobe, including this navy blue, zebra adorned button up from Alice and Olivia. Love! It adds a little safari spice to my typically preppy button up and skirt uniform.

Blouse: Alice and Olivia; Skirt: Theory

Arm party
Watch: Kate Spade; bow bracelet: Kate Spade; heart bracelet: JCrew (old)

A close up of my shirt 
And to finish it off... Kate Spade sparkly loafers from last Christmas (no longer available, but similar here). 

Until next time, 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Inspo of the Week

Charade & Givenchy

One of my all time favorite movies is Charade, starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. I love pretty much anything with either actor, but Charade takes the cake as a witty caper set in 1960s Paris. The piece de resistance in the film is however, Ms. Hepburn's wardrobe, designed by Hubert de Givenchy.  From her pill hats and peter pan collars to the wonderful fur pullover she wears in the beginning of the film, her style is perfectly ladylike and timelessly chic. 


The colors used by Givenchy are gorgeously bright and surprisingly relevant today.  The yellow coat above and the red funnel neck coat below are some of my favorite examples of costume design of any period. 

Red and leopard are such a timeless combination, don't you think? As is her cream shift dress and black belt combination. It's perfect for work or a holiday party!

Basically, we would be so lucky to get Givenchy to make original designs for us to run around Paris in. Instead, we can just take it for inspiration and maybe add some colorful coats and timeless silhouettes into our fall and winter wardrobes, I know I will! 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Valentino Rockstud Flats

This week's obsession: the Valentino Rockstud Flat. 

All images from

I have long been a fan of Valentino's feminine yet modern designs, and these shoes are no obsession. Quickly becoming a classic "it" shoe thanks to the likes of Alexa Chung and other style icons, this shoe is the perfect blend between punk rock and classic chic. 
Guess what will be on my Christmas list this year... ;)
Until next time, 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Walk

A fall walk on a drizzly afternoon in the North West
Jacket: Barbour (old, but similar here); shirt: JCrew; Skirt: old JCrew; Shoes: Tory Burch; Bag: Kate Spade

The first day of fall is the perfect day for Blackwatch plaid (close up of skirt)

My trusty Reva's. 

Until next time, 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Rainy Day Essentials

I absolutely love rainy days: sitting inside with a good movie or book, cuddled up with a warm blanket and a cup of tea - what could be better? 
Dressing for the outdoors when it's raining though... that gets tricky. 
So here are some items that I think would make an rainy day outfit that Audrey would approve of, with a fun twist of course. 

Umbrellas are great, but with the slightest bit of wind you're suddenly drenched. And, if you have anything to carry you better be good at juggling. So I think a good rain coat is an absolute essential. This Burberry coat is a great option, and the sweater is a cute and practical way to stay warm! 

These Ferragamo flats are great because they're patent leather, which is more water resistant than flat leather. And, unlike regular rain boots (although I do love my Hunters!) these are a a little dressier and more appropriate for work or a brunch date.  The JCrew Minnie Pants are great, because they can tuck into boots if you decide to wear them, and also look fantastic and chic with flats. 

Until next time

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Indian Summer

An Indian Summer kind of day in San Francisco 
Sweater: Club Monaco; shirt: Club Monaco; shorts: BCBG; sunglasses:
Jimmy Choo; shoes: Chanel 

Leather details on a tweed sweater 

My trusty Chanel flats 

And, last but not least, my favorite Jummy Choo sunglasses. 

Until next time, 
xoxo T 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Currently Craving

The Kate Spade New York Beau Bag

Photo: Kate Spade New York 

I have a confession to make: I have fallen in love with Kate Spade's newest bag.  I will admit that I am abnormally susceptible to all things bows and Kate Spade, but this bag really takes the cake. 
It is the perfect size for work and travel, as it would fit a tablet or laptop perfectly. And, with organizational pockets to spare, all of the odds and ends that make life easier have a spot, too. 
With my birthday coming up, a girl can dream, right? 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cat flats and sparkly collars

Outfit of the day: 

Shoes: Charlotte Olympia; pants: J Brand

Sweater: J Crew 

Watch: Michael Kors; bracelet: Kate Spade