Thursday, April 24, 2014

We're Lovin': J.Crew's Cove Floral Print

The J.Crew new arrivals popped up in my inbox yesterday and when I checked out the new arrivals, I instantly fell in love with the new Cove Floral print!  It's a great print to wear to the office paired with more structured pieces orrrrr you can totally where it on the weekend with pretty much anything.  I especially love that J.Crew made a variety of pieces in the print from all different fabrics.  There are lots of colors in the print that you can play off of, so even if you only buy one piece you probably already have something in your closet that goes with it.  The price points are all over the place $89.50 for cotton drawstring pants to $398 for a dress.  I would wait for a 25% or 30% off deal that J.Crew has been known to run...but J.Crew has been known to completely sell out of an item in the first week if it's really popular.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the collection, but there are more on the website (including girl's clothing!).  I've included some of the materials so you can see how diversified the collection is in the fabric area.

Sleeveless Drapey Top
Image: J.Crew

J.Crew Collection Eaton Boy Short
Image: J.Crew

Drawstring Pant
Image: J.Crew

Merino Silk Panel Sweater
Image: J.Crew

Bandeau Tank
Image: J.Crew
Aren't they great?  J.Crew has styled them all sorts of different ways, but I'm definitely in love with the swimsuit, the sleeveless shirt, and the drawstring pants (how comfortable!).  I also really need to find out where that striped clutch in the first picture came from, because it doesn't not appear to be sold through J.Crew.  

Anyone else loving this print as much as I am?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

$8 Happiness: Coral Nail Polish

I absolutely love our new series $15 Happiness! It was entirely Melinda's idea and I think it really captures an aspect of our Posh Purpose approach to living glamorously within our means. In Melinda's first post in this series, she wrote a great description which you should totally check out if you missed it the first time around.

Now I don't normally wear coral, or really any shade that looks even remotely orange. However, I was drawn in by Essie tart deco at the drugstore by the pinky tangerine color. It is definitely a shade of orange but I was encouraged to try it out because I have a pair of bathing suit bottoms from H&M that is a similar color. 

I am so thrilled that I took a coral risk! I have been admiring my self administered pedicure for over a week. Essie is typically durable on toenails, although I always manage to chip my fingernails very quickly. But no worries there, I don't see myself wearing this polish on my hands. 

Does anyone else have a new favorite summer polish? Melinda and I are always up for a new color. And check out our other $15 happiness posts!

Fresh Citrus Chicken and Asparagus

I'm testing out the waters to see if we want to bring back recipe posts to Posh Purpose. My goal is to use the blog as a way to force myself to get more creative in the kitchen. I am definitely experiencing chef's block, if that is a thing. So no promises on recipes becoming a regular thing, but you should be able to enjoy this one regardless!

I came up with this idea late Sunday night right before falling asleep and cooked it for Monday's supper. It takes advantage of all the wonderful juice oranges we can buy at my local farm ($4 for half of a 5 gallon bucket!) and also went really well with the asparagus I had purchased. For those of y'all who don't know, I base my meals off what I already have; I am not a fan of running to the store for one or two items. If I can't substitute, I cook something else.

Before we get started, I want to share something. While I used freshly squeezed orange juice, I won't judge if you use the store bought variety. I understand that not everyone is lucky to live down the road from orange groves, so if you do purchase your juice you should get Florida's Natural. The oranges are grown all in Florida as a co-op (support the farms!), and quite a few come from my county!

This recipe serves J and I two meals - supper and lunch the next day. Feel free to increase/decrease ingredients according to your guests and hunger levels.

Two chicken breasts (use more if they are on the small side)
One cup of orange juice (fresh squeezed takes about six oranges)
Enough asparagus to satisfy your need for green vegetables (washed and ends snapped off)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Olive oil
Half a tablespoon of butter (for flavor - yum!)
Two cups brown rice
Four cups chicken broth (optional)

1. Marinate your chicken in the orange juice. I let mine sit during zumba, so slightly over an hour.
2. Remove chicken from marinade once you are ready to cook, but make sure you keep the juice! We will be using it later. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You will be adding more salt later, so don't go too heavy here.
3. Heat butter and enough oil in an oven safe pan. I used my all-clad copper core sauté pan. Add chicken and make sure you let it start to burn. The dark bits are where the best flavor is for this recipe.

I flipped the meat back over to get more burnt bits than seen here

4. Once you get your chicken going, start your rice. I cooked mine in chicken broth to add a bit more flavor, but feel free to cook your rice as you see fit. Also preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
5. When the chicken is closer to done than not (about 15 minutes depending on the size), add about one third of the orange juice to the pan and deglaze to get all the delicious flavor off the bottom of the pan. 6. Add the rest of the juice and bring to a simmer so we don't all die of salmonella.
7. Add the asparagus to the pan and stir to get the delicious sauce on all the spears. Make sure you add a bit more salt to the asparagus to help retain the green color
{My asparagus was super skinny so I waited until the chicken was pretty much done before adding the vegetables. I also don't like my asparagus really cooked; I prefer more of a softening rather than a true cooking. If you like your asparagus well done, add it earlier.}
8. Put pan into the oven for 3-4 minutes. When the asparagus no longer looks raw, switch the oven to broil for another 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully because it is very easy to burn at this stage! Lots of experience there..

I arranged my asparagus so that a lot of it was out of the sauce to keep a crispier/less soggy consistency

Once everything is done, plate it up and enjoy! The sauce goes really well on top of the rice and I added balsamic vinegar for even more flavor. J enjoyed it without the vinegar. This meal is really very healthy assuming you control oil usage. It would also go well on pasta by adding white wine to the sauce. If you don't have an oven safe pan, cook the chicken on the stove top and the asparagus separately on a cookie sheet in the oven. I prefer cooking it all together for less clean up, but the flavors should still work out just fine. Let us know how it goes for you!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! Melinda's brunch was a success, and my family's lunch was absolutely delicious. Later this week, she will be sharing all her secrets. While she recovers from all her hard work, I thought we could admire some thrift store finds from our spring break adventures. All of these items were found in the town to the south. 

This tea set was quite lovely and in great condition. It is perfect f you wanted a special gift to give a bride, yet don't want to spend $100 or more. Just make sure she likes gold, because this set makes a statement!

I love these little guys. I think they are bookends? There were two little ones and two big ones, and all four were quite heavy. I should have bought them! If I remember correctly, the price averaged out to about $7 per piece.

This dress was not priced, but the surrounding clothes were all reasonable. I love the shape of the hemline and the sleeves matched! The color is terrible for me, or else I would have bought it since the dress was in such good condition.

I had to show y'all this piece of furniture with the doors both open and closed. While the color of the wood is not to my liking, everything about this piece was very interesting. And for $49, you (or someone you pay) could totally refinish it to suit your other furniture!

This $20 decanter was really pretty. The store was more of a consignment/antique store than the thrift variety, so less digging was needed to find pretty things. Melinda bought her beautiful floral dish here! I will definitely be going back to this store when I need a bridal shower or wedding gift.

This beautiful coffee set immediately caught our eyes when we walked in the room. The finish is iridescent and in very good condition, although not perfect. There were six coffee cups, which is great! Normally, I see sets with three or five cups due to breakage over the years. This would make another lovely gift for a bride, especially if she isn't into the gold set at the beginning of this post.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Briana's Easter Plans

While Melinda is putting on a fabulous Easter potluck for all her friends, I will be doing the exact opposite. My parents are taking the whole family to the grande buffet at our favorite local hotel. Remember when Melinda  mentioned the best fried chicken she has ever had? Yeah, it is that buffet.

Normally, we have lunch at my parents' house, followed up by a huge Easter egg hunt for all the grandchildren. Last year we deviated slightly by having our local Cuban eatery cater the meal - that was great! Mom didn't have to wake up super early to cook for the great hoard. But since we had to reschedule the Easter egg hunt to a more convenient day, Mom thought it would be fun to eat some fried chicken and, more importantly, skip the cooking/clean up that goes along with feeding my large family.

Last Easter, Baby Jillian was only a few weeks old so she mostly slept. But since she is over one year, she may actually participate in the egg hunt. Little kids and egg hunts are the best!

Mom and Baby Jillian, Easter 2013

Melinda and I hope y'all have a wonderful Easter! See you on Monday!