Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So long, farewell!

Hello to anyone out there who's still stopping by.

I'm moving - permanently, this time - to a different blog. Maybe when things in general calm down for me, I'll take up this blog again, but for now, I'll no longer be posting here.

You can come check me out at Girl.Dog.Kitchen. I can't promise you'll see anything fashion-related over there, but it's a much more personal blog, and thus much closer to my heart than clothes (and a blog about clothes) can ever be.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

J.Crew: Wool Herringbone Bucket Hat Review

Here's J.Crew's Wool Herringbone Bucket Hat (item #17901). It comes in two sizes: S/M and M/L, and four different colors. I'm wearing the hat in the butterscotch color.

So regarding the size, I'm wearing a size S/M, which is 56 cm (basically 22 inches) around. By comparison, the M/L is 58 cm (basically 23 inches (slightly smaller - 22.8)) around. I debated on sizes for awhile, as I will admit I have a pretty big head. :) I ended up going with the S/M after my measuring my head a bunch of times, comparing the different ways I'd wear it (at an angle, straight up and down, etc.), and eventually settled on the S/M. I'm happy with the fit. I think i would have worked fine with a M/L as well, but I think it would have been just a smidge too big if I were wearing it straight up and down, but would have worked well if I were wearing it at an angle.

The wool herringbone is really nice and soft. It's midweight I'd say, and is a nice thickness. I'd say that it's a really nice fall hat. It's cute and fairly stylish, and is availabe in some really nice, neutral colors. The hat has a band that goes around the front which is attached with buttons on either side and adds a nice detail to an otherwise basic hat.

J.Crew: Silk Frances Cami Review

This is J.Crew's Silk Frances Cami (item #17428), which is also available in petites (item #17932), which retails for $88. It's alpha-sized, and is available in a number of different colors. This is the deep rose color.

I ordered the cami in a petite 2 after e-mailing back and forth with my PS about the sizing several times (including asking for sizing for several other camis as comparison). The P2 fits, but I have wider shoulders, so it's a bit tight in the back sometimes (depending on how I move my arms). It's not tight enough that I'd return these for a P4, but I'd recommend trying on if you can, and if you have broader shoulders, then perhaps you might want to size up. The sizing is very comparable to the Victoria cami.

The silk is a nice, light silk. I would say the sheen on the cami is more like what you see in my pictures, as opposed to a bit more matte finish on the website. I actually ordered this red color based on a catalog picture that my PS sent me, and the red was a bit more red-orange in real life than it was in the catalog picture, but I'd say it's pretty true-to-life to what you see on the website. The other colors I ordered are also true-to-life to the website.

Below is a close-up of the ruffles. These came flattened out from packing, and I have not steamed or fluffed them since the top arrived. They were packed with 6 or 8 little balls of tissue undernearth the ruffles in an attempt to keep them a bit more fluffed up, but they would still need to be steamed or something to look they way they do in pictures.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gap: Rolled Henley Sweater Review

This is Gap's Rolled Henley Sweater (style #635778), which retailed for $39.50. It was alpha-sized, and was available in a number of different colors, a couple of brights and some neutrals. I tried this on in a small, and found that it fits true-to-size, maybe even a bit large, depending on how you would want to wear it. If you're looking for a more fitted look and are on the smaller end of your size, you could consider sizing down in this sweater. If you want a looser, more casual look, then I'd start with your regular size and size down if necessary.

The sweater is made out of 100% cotton, and is a nice, soft knit. It's a nice, breathable fabric for a spring and summer sweater. The sweater itself is lightweight, and it is on the sheer side, at least in this color.

It's a pretty straightforward design - it has 3/4 sleeves, and fairly deep V-neck with buttons. There is a thin strip of trim on the front, faux-cuffs on the sleeves, and a rolled hem on both the sleeves and the bottom hem. Overall, a basic, but somewhat casual sweater.

I liked this sweater, but left it behind. I wasn't crazy about it, although I will say that it was super comfortable on.

What do you think? Do you like this sweater? Do you own it or have you tried it on?

Monday, July 20, 2009

J.Crew FO: Printed Jessie Blouse Review

This is the Printed Jessie Blouse (item #12576) from the J.Crew Outlet. I believe this top was out last summer from retail, and I see it pop up from time to time in the sale section on J.Crew's website. This blouse is numerically sized, and retailed for $54.50. It was available in several different patterns.

I tried this top on in a size 4, and I'm not sure what the actual name of this color is. The top fits fairly true-to-size, but there is no/not much stretch in the fabric, so if you have broader shoulders or a larger chest, you may need to consider sizing up. As always, I would suggest starting with your regular size, and sizing up depending on how comfortable you feel.

The fabric is a lightweight cotton (or possibly cotton blend). It's a nice, somewhat thin fabric that is good for a casual summer top. It's not see-through, but I think this might be in part because of the darker colors and pattern. I picked up this same top in a light yellow, and it's a bit more see through.

The top has an empire waist with a self-tie that helps create a little bit of high waist definition. The bottom half of the shirt flares out a bit to hide your stomach area (if desired) and also slim your waist. The blouse is like the Jessie dress offered last year at regular J.Crew - it has ruffles around the neckline and down the front to the waist, with a few fabric-covered buttons at the bodice. There is a little bit of notching on the sleeves. I like the details on this shirt - I think they work well together.

I left this shirt behind, as I'd already picked one up in a different yellow pattern that I prefer to this pattern. I also like this pattern, but didn't love this shirt enough to get it in two different patterns.

What do you think? Do you like this blouse? Do you own it or have you tried it on? Do you think the outlet version stands up to the retail version?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gap: Eyelet Sleeve Tee Review

This is Gap's Eyelet Sleeve Tee (style #655036), which originally retailed for $29.95, and is currently on sale. The tee is available in a few different colors (white, red-orange, light brown, and this light blue color), and is alpha-sized.

I tried this on in a size small, and I'd say that the tee runs a little on the bigger size. I did go back and one point and tried this on in an extra small, and that would have been the size I would get. If, however, you want to wear this tee pretty loose and casual, then you could try sticking with your regular size.

This tee is 100% cotton, and is a really nice, soft jersey-like fabric. I really love Gap's knit tees, as they are wonderfully soft and smooth. It moves and hangs very nicely. The tee is meant as a casual, more flowy top, and nice and roomy, especially at the bottom.

The tee is fairly basic, with a U-neck, some slight shirring at the neckline, and some contrast banding at the neckline and sleeves. The sleeves themselves have a floral embroidered eyelet pattern with scalloping at the edges. I think it's a pretty, feminine detail that works well with the casualness of the rest of the tee.

I really like this tee. I didn't pick it up when it was full price, but I was very tempted when I saw it on sale for $14.99. In the end, I decided I have enough tees for now, and left this one behind.

What do you think? Do you like this tee? Do you own it or have you seen it or tried it on? Which colors do you like?

J.Crew FO: Pique Strapless Dress Review

This is a dress from the J.Crew Outlet that I'm calling the Pique Strapless Dress (item #15039). It retailed for $59.50, and was numerically sized. It may have come in other colors, but I honestly can't remember right now, as I tried this on awhile ago (sorry :().

I tried this dress on in a size 4, and I thought it fit a bit small. It was a little tight around the chest area, so I would suggest starting with your regular size, but getting a size up for comparison if you can.

The dress is made out of a pique fabric which also has a bit of stretch to it. I wasn't a huge fan of the fabric, as it was a bit coarser than what I typically like, but it was a nice, casual fabric, and worked well with the dress itself. The fabric moves fairly well, but the cut of the dress doesn't really lend itself to a lot of movement.

The dress has a thin band at the top of the bust, and a wider band at the waistline. The dress helps to create a bit of definition at the waist. The skirt is fairly straight, but nips in a bit at the waist, and can easily hide any problem areas on the lower half, but doesn't add much volume. The bottom half of the dress has some shirring at the waistline as well as curved, off-seam pockets.

You could probably dress this dress up a bit with the right accessories, but keep in mind that the pique fabric is a bit more on the casual side. I would probably stick with neutral color pairings for this dress.

I left this dress behind because I thought it was just okay. I didn't hate it, but I didn't think it was really anything special, either.

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Have you seen it or tried it on? Do you own it? What do you think of pique fabric dresses?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

J.Crew FO: Circle Sequin Trim Strapless Top Review

This strapless top is from the J.Crew Outlet. It's item #12646, and retails for $54.50 (the white was on sale for $39.99 when I tried these on). It is numerically sized, and was also available in a white color (at bottom of post). It is the same style as the Floral Eyelet top I reviewed a few months back.

I tried this top on in a size 4, and it fits true-to-size. It's a pretty comfortable fit, with an empire waist and a bit of a flared bottom. Sizing is based on your bust size, and the rest of the top is slightly looser and comfortable. There are some darts to give you some shape in the middle.

I believe the fabric is cotton, but it's a bit of a rougher feel, almost like linen. The circle pattern is a mix of embroidery and sequins, and goes all the way around the top. I prefer the pattern on the blue top, simply because the colors work well with the each other (the white top's circle pattern is all in white).

The length is nice - on the longer side, hitting at mid-hip, and the top has side vents at the bottom to allow for a bit more movement.

I like this top because it's nice and simple, but still has some interesting details. I think the circle pattern is a nice touch that adds some pretty details to what might otherwise be a boring top. This top is easy to dress up or down, and can easily be paired with a lot of different colors, especially the white.

I left these tops behind because I don't wear a lot of strapless tops. I preferred the blue top to the white (even though I think the white is more versatile), and couldn't be swayed by the price.

What do you think? Do you like this top? Have you seen it or tried it on? Do you own it? Which color do you prefer?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Anthropologie: Above-A-Blue-Sky Skirt Review

This is Anthropologie's Above-A-Blue-Sky skirt (style #920067), which retails for $68. It is alpha-sized, and is available in this one pattern, multi. It is available in petites and regular. The skirt is by Edme and Esyllte, and Anthropologie describes it as such:

In Edme & Esyllte's topsy-turvy paradise, wildflowers flourish atop the deep turquoise heavens.
  • Side pockets
  • Pull-on styling
  • Cotton; cotton lining
  • Machine wash
  • Regular: 18"L
  • Petite: 16.5"L
I was instantly in love with this skirt when I saw it. I tried it on in a size small, and it fits true-to-size. There is some flexibility in the sizing, as there is elasticizing smocking at the back waistband which gives you some stretch in the waist. The size small fit me comfortably, so if you are on the small end of a medium or higher end of an extra small, you could also try a small.

The fabric on this skirt is a nice, light cotton. The skirt is lined in cotton as well, and the skirt moves pretty well. It's pretty forgiving on your bottom half without adding a lot of volume, and I think it's a pretty flattering shape overall. I tried this skirt on in the regular, and I like the length, as it hits just at the knees.

The skirt has an overall sort of wildflower/meadow pattern, with a wide teal band on the bottom. I think the pattern is really fun and whimsical, and is really colorful, so can work with a ton of top colors. For the most part, I think this is a casual skirt.

This was my first (and so far only) trip to Anthropologie, and this was one of many really cute things I tried on, but one of only two things I ended up taking home. I love Anthropologie's stuff, but a lot of it is pretty pricey, in my opinion. I do think it is a nice place to get some really feminine, pretty pieces and can't wait to check it out again!

What do you think? Do you like this skirt? Have you seen it or tried it on? Do you own it? What do you think of offering it in petite and regular, but not tall?

J.Crew: Printed Silk Chiffon Whitney Short Dress Review

This is J.Crew's Printed Silk Chiffon Whitney Short Dress (item #11440), which originally retailed for $225, and has been on promotion for $159.99 for quite awhile now. This dress is numerically-sized, and is available in this one color, sweet cantaloupe. J.Crew describes the dress as such:

Whether it's for a wedding or a warm-weather getaway, this dress is a sensational choice for any special occasion. Crafted from lightweight silk chiffon with a delicate crinkled texture, its strapless silhouette features a fitted bodice with knot detail at the center front, a slight sweetheart neckline and a pretty lettuce edged hem at the waist. A-line skirt. Back zip. Interior corset for added support. Fully lined. Falls to knee; 25" from natural waist. Import. Dry clean. Catalog/ only.
I picked up this dress in a size 4, which is my normal size in J.Crew dresses. The dress fits true-to-size, and is a nice, comfortable fit. The fit is based on your bust and waist measurements.

The dress is fairly straight. From the bust to the waist is a straight line, then the skirt flares out a bit in an A-line shape. I wouldn't say that the dress creates a lot of waist definition, but I think it's a nice silhouette overall. I like the length, but wouldn't have minded if it were a couple of inches shorter, so that it didn't go past the knees as much.

Brief tangent on sizing: Normally I might say that I wish it had been offered in petites, but lately I've noticed that I've had some issues with the petite "equivalent" size dresses being a tad bit smaller than the regular sizes. For example, a P6 strapless dress will be just a tad bit tighter around the bust than the regular 4, and can potentially lead to the dreaded bust/armpit bulge (yuck).

The dress is lined in white, with a really nice silk chiffon overlay with a pretty light orange and white floral print. The silk chiffon is a really nice fabric - it's light, thin, and really soft. It moves and flows incredibly well, and is a really pretty spring and summer dress. There is some nice crinkly detail at the bust and waistline.

I'm not sure how casual you could make this dress, as it seems pretty dressy. I think you could wear it in a lot of different places, but I think for the most part, it'd be for more dressy occasions. I also think it would have been nice to see this dress offered in other spring or summer colors, like a light purple, pink, light green, or even a red or cobalt blue.

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Have you seen it or tried it on? Do you own it? Are there any other colors you would have liked to see it in? Do you prefer the short dress or the longer version?

Old Navy: Smocked Jersey Maxi Dress

This is Old Navy's Smocked Jersey Maxi Dress (style #633407), which retails for $29.50. It is alpha-sized, and is available in black, blue, purple, pink stripes, and navy stripes. I had been resisting the maxi dress trend all year, but finally caved and tried one on when Old Navy was running a special on skirts and dresses (picked this one up for just $15), and was surprised to find that I actually liked it.

This is a size small, which is the size I normally wear in Old Navy dresses. I think the dress fits true-to-size. It's definitely too long, but the dress is also available in petites (and talls) online. The jersey fabric is a nice, medium weight fabric. It's soft and smooth, and moves and flows very nicely.

The dress has a medium V-neck with a triangle top and spaghetti straps. It has an empire waist with a band of elasticized smocking underneath, which adds some nice detail to the dress as well as a bit of definition. The dress flares out just a bit from the empire waist, and falls in a fairly straight line.

I think the dress creates a fairly flattering shape with a bit of a slimming effect, and I was honestly surprised at how much I liked it. I had expected it to make me look incredibly short, but when I tried it on in-store, I thought it actually had the opposite effect, which is nice. I would wear this dress mainly as a casual dress, and think it's a nice, basic piece. You can easily change the look of this dress with the right accessories, and the solids will work well with a lot of different colors.

J.Crew: Silk Indigo Floral Skirt

This is J.Crew's Silk Indigo Floral Skirt (item #16701). It is numerically-sized, and originally retailed for $128. It only came in "regular" sizes. J.Crew describes the skirt as such:

A soft silk pencil skirt makes an elegantly feminine statement in a gorgeous dark, floral print. Sits at waist. Curved pockets. Back zip. Back vent. Fully lined. 22 1/2" long. Import. Dry clean. Catalog/ only.
I am not usually a fan of brown (a running discussion between Boyfriend and me), but I love the way it is paired with the shades of blue in this skirt. I pre-ordered this skirt, and am really glad I did, as it appears to be sold out already.

I ordered this skirt in a size 4, and I believe that it fits true-to-size - I definitely wouldn't have tried this in a smaller size. If you're taller and looking for some length, you may consider sizing up to wear it lower on the waist/hips. It's a very comfortable fit, but there's not a lot (if any) stretch in it as there is some other pencil skirts. I would order in your regular pencil skirt size to start. I love the length on the skirt - it works really well even for a real shorty like me.

The fabric is incredibly soft and smooth, but has more weight to it than I expected, but I like that. It makes the skirt just a bit less delicate, which I think is a plus (I know I'm always on pins and needles wearing something that is super delicate in terms of fabric). It is a standard pencil skirt shape - fairly straight up and down. It nips in a bit more at the waist, so you get a little bit of definition there. There are curved off-seam pockets which are a nice touch, and not super noticeable or out-of-place.

I'm not really sure how much you could dress down this skirt. I know that J.Crew styled it on their website with a half tucked-in shirt, a bigger necklace, and some T-strap sandals, but I think the fabric and overall pattern makes this skirt more dressy than casual. I plan on pairing this skirt with neutrals to keep the attention just on the skirt.

What do you think? Do you like this skirt? Have you seen it or tried it on? Do you own it? What do you think of the pattern and the colors? How would you style it?

Check Out Another Review
A Bigger Closet - includes some really nice styling options

Monday, July 13, 2009

J.Crew FO: Marguerite Dress

This is the Marguerite Dress from J.Crew Outlet. I picked both dresses up about a month ago. The dress retails for $79.50, but I was able to get it for about $47 after promotions and discounts. The dress is numerically sized, and was available first in the navy floral pattern, and then in the black polka dot pattern. I don't believe that these patterns were both available at the same time at my local outlet.

I picked up both dresses in a size 4, and I believe the dress fits true-to-size. It's a very comfortable fit. Size is mainly determined based on your bust size, as it is an empire waist with a more voluminous skirt.

The neckline is a thick, twisted rope-like neckband, and is a nice detail, in my opinion. The fabric is a stiffer material, and I believe it's cotton. The fabric is very smooth, and the skirt has two layers of fabric. Because the material is a bit stiffer, the skirt doesn't move or flow really well, but I don't think it's meant to be a flowy dress. The skirt itself is a bit voluminous, owing to the shirring at the waistband.

The dress itself is very comfortable. It doesn't create too much of a waist, but it is very forgiving on your lower half. If you're uncomfortable with poufiness or extra volume on the bottom, then you should definitely try it on yourself to see how it looks in person. I personally like this dress silhouette, but I know that it's not for everyone.

I think this dress works well as both a casual dress and a more dressy one. I think you could leave it as-is and throw on some casual sandals for a dressed-down look, or dress it up with a wrap or a pretty sweater and the right accessories and shoes.

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Which pattern do you prefer? Have you seen it or tried it on? Do you own it yourself?

New York & Company: CityStretch Tiered Colorblock Dress

This is a dress I picked up this weekend at New York & Company. I'm not positive on the name, but the same style is available online in a print. It is alpha-sized, and was also available in a bright teal/green/yellow combination in-store, which I really liked, but was not available in my size. I also saw the same style dress in some solid colors (white, black, coral). The dress originally retailed for $42.95, but was on sale during the summer clearance, so I snagged it for about $21! I cannot find this exact dress online, but there are a couple of other options: CityStretch Tiered Printed Dress (#07448645) and CityStretch Color-Block Flounce Dress (#07465709).

I tried this dress on in a size XS, and it fit all right, but I would have liked to try it on in a size small just for comparison. There were no smalls available in any color in my store, and because the XS fit, I just went with that. Because the dress has a lot of stretch and is really only fitted at the bust, you can definitely try a size down if you like.

This is a knit dress, made out of a jersey material with some stretch in it. It has a crossover V-neck empire waist, and wide band sleeves that work as basically cap sleeves. I think you could also probably tuck these sleeves under your bra straps to do a more sleeveless look, but I haven't tried it yet. The jersey material is nice and solid - the dress has some weight to it. It flows and moves very nicely, and is extremely comfortable.

I really like the color combinations in both dresses - they are really fun and summery. I think you could dress up this dress a bit with some nice accessories - maybe some nice metallics or a neutral colored cardigan.

I am a big fan of knit dresses, and I'm glad I was able to snag this one!

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Have you seen it or tried it on? Do you like any of the other alternative options that are available online?

Update: This dress is online. It's called CityStretch Tiered Colorblock Dress. It is style #07448644.

J.Crew: Dressy Jersey Empire Dress

This is J.Crew's Dressy Jersey Empire Dress (item #12564). I'm not sure what the original price was, but I picked it up when it was marked down to $39.99. It is alpha-sized, and came in this tea rose color, and I believe it also came in at least a light heather grey and a dark grey.

I'm wearing the dress in a size small, and I think it fits mostly true to size. The dressy jersey fabric is just like the other dressy jersey dresses - nice weight, very soft and smooth, flows and moves very nicely. I'd say it fits fairly snugly at the top, but there is plenty of stretch in the fabric as well.

There is a bit of fan pleating at the bust, and this pleating sort of flows down the front of the dress, and adds some movement to the dress. The dress itself is a fairly straight line. You don't get a lot of waist definition with this dress, given the empire waist and then the line of the bottom half. On the plus side, the bottom half of the dress would be good at hiding any lower half problem areas without adding volume.

Overall, it's a very nice dress. You can easily dress it up or down with the right accessories.

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Have you tried it on or do you own it? Which colors would you like to see this dress in? What do you think of J.Crew's dressy jersey dresses?

Gap: Knit and Cotton Tank Dress

I cannot find this dress on Gap's website, but I'm pretty sure it is style #655030. It is alpha-sized, and retailed for $39.50. It was available in a number of saturated colors, including bright pink and bright blue. This is a rich, purple color in size small.

This dress has a knit tank with a pocket for the top, and a cotton skirt bottom. The skirt itself is very light, and the top is like wearing a really comfortable knit top. There are tiny pleats all around the waist. The dress itself moves all right, but is not super flowy, owing to lightweight cotton and the straighter shape of the skirt. I think the dress looks better from the front though - looking at the picture below, it looks kind of weird from the side, as it's not distributed evenly from front to back.

The dress fits true-to-size, and fits based on your top and waist size. There is a lot of room to hide any problem areas in your lower half, without adding extra weight. To me, this dress is a really great alternative to J.Crew's Cottage dress from earlier this season (in fact, I prefer it to J.Crew's).

The dress is a really comfortable casual dress. I think you could dress it up a bit with the right accessories, but I'm not sure that you could dress it up too much. Overall a really nice, summer dress, but I think you should try it on if you can to see how you like the skirt.

I was tempted to pick this one up, on more than one occasion. The first time I tried it on, and another time I almost grabbed it in the pink color, but I resisted both times.

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Have you seen it or tried it on? Which color would you pick it up in?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Daily Dinner: Wannabe Southwestern Chicken Empanadas (But Really Just Kind-of Chicken Pot Pies)

Boyfriend and I have decided to try to eat at home more often. When I was at school three nights a week, it became really easy just to go out to eat every night (Chili's Happy Hour!), but now we're trying to cut back and get back to eating at home. It's cheaper, and to be honest, we like it better. (Except for the dishes. Why would I want to do dishes?) Since the beginning of the year, we've tried to reduce the amount of red meat in our diets, so we eat a lot of chicken.

So tonight for dinner, I decided to try at "What can I make from items in my pantry" exercise. I was kind of feeling some Southwestern-style chicken dish, so I settled on a sort of empanada. I already had the chicken, the puff pastry, the cheese, and all the ingredients for a Béchamel (white) sauce. I was going to add some black beans and corn to the filling, but decided to forgo the beans, and honestly, just forgot about the corn.

I thought these little wannabe-empanadas were pretty tasty, but could have used a lot more flavoring, a.k.a. spices. I went easy on the spices to start, because Boyfriend and I don't like overly spicy things. In the end, the wannabes reminded me more of just a miniature chicken pot pie than they did empanadas. The good news is that this means the recipe is easily adaptable to whatever flavors you're craving.

Regarding the recipe, measurements are approximate. I don't think I've ever measured my cream or milk for a Béchamel sauce, so I'm not going to be much help in that department. I used 2 sheets of puff pastry, so essentially doubled this recipe; the ingredients and measurements I'm listing are approximate, as I'm trying to halve the recipe.

1 sheet of puff pastry
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
heavy cream or milk (at least 2%)
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/4 - 1/2 pre-packaged nacho/taco cheese mix
Kosher salt

1. Fill a saute pan with a couple of inches of water. Salt the water, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breast and cover the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high, and let cook for approximately 7-10 minutes. (This will cook the chicken and keep it nice and juicy.)

2. While the chicken is cooking, make the Béchamel sauce. Melt butter over medium heat and then whisk in flour until fully incorporated. Add heavy cream or milk (start small - 1/2 cup to start, then add more as you go), and continue to stir until sauce has thickened. Sauce should be thicker, but not really thick or heavy. Whisk in chili powder over the heat.

3. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken and place in small bowl. Sprinkle kosher salt and coriander over chicken and stir.

4. Pour Béchamel sauce over the chicken and stir. You want the chicken to be lightly coated, not drenched in sauce. Add cheese to bowl and stir. Set aside.

5. Roll out puff pastry to 12" x 12" square. Cut square into either 9 or 6 squares, depending on how full you want the little pies to be. Place equal amount in the center of each square.

6. Seal each square into a triangle. You can wet your fingertip and run it along the edge of the square to help seal the pies. Use a fork to crimp the edges. I would also recommend using a knife to cut a small slit in the top of each pie to allow steam to escape during baking.

7. Bake pies on aluminum foil-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until golden brown on top.

If you want more flavor, I would definitely increase the spices, or add some stronger ones. In addition, for a more southwestern flavor, I might add in some tomato paste or chipotle peppers to the Béchamel sauce. You could also try the following variations:
  • Italian - crushed tomatos, basil, oregano, Parmesan cheese
  • Asian - soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, shredded veggies
  • Other - caramelized onions, thyme, Cheddar cheese

Sunday, June 28, 2009

OOTD: June 21, 22, 23, and 27, 2009

June 21: For Father's Day we went to my uncle's house for dinner. I wore:

  • Yellow print dress (Eddie Bauer) [Heavily tailored]
  • Black sweater with white faux-pearl buttons (Vintage, from my mom)
  • Black Jinger sandals (Payless)
June 22: Went to work and school. I wore:
  • Black Publicist pants (Express)
  • Black beaded cami (Gap Outlet)
  • Red tie-front sweater (Banana Republic Outlet)
  • Black chunky boots (Mudd)

June 23: I went to work and school. I wore:
  • Pink cotton pants (Banana Republic via JCA Exchange)
  • Black fine rib turtleneck (Gap Outlet)
  • Pink flower necklace (J.Crew Outlet)
  • Black Judy round-toe pumps (Payless)
June 27: I had to go to school for the day to work on a school project. I wore:
  • Dark purple tee (The Limited)
  • Khaki chino shorts (J.Crew)
  • Light purple flip-flops (Old Navy)
I have another OOTD from Friday night, but it's on another camera, so I'll post it later!

Gap: Pintucked Drawstring Shorts Review

These are a pair of shorts from the Gap, the Pintucked Drawstring Shorts (style #620780). The shorts are alpha-sized, and originally retailed for $39.50, with colors on sale online for $19.99 through $34.99. [Again, if you happen to like these shorts, check a local store if you can, as they may be cheaper there.] This is the rolling bay blue color.

I tried these shorts on in a size small. They fit true-to-size, although to be fair, I don't wear a lot of alpha-sized bottoms that aren't skirts; however, I fit into Gap's numerical equivalents to a size small, so I think you'd be safe going with your regular size. If you are on the smaller end of your size range, you could potentially considering sizing down, as the shorts have an elastic waist with a drawstring.

The shorts are a cotton/viscose rayon blend, and they are pretty soft. They're fairly comfortable, with a more relaxed fit and cut. The shorts themselves are also very comfortable - the leg holes are cut very comfortably, and they are a nice lounge/very casual pair of shorts. The fabric is a tad bit on the wrinkly side, but not overly wrinkly.

As I said, these shorts are pretty casual. I don't think there's a really wide range of styling options for these shorts. If you get them in a more neutral color, I think you have some more room to play with color pairings and dressing them up or down a bit more, but in the end, the details and fabric are pretty casual, and don't lend themselves too easily to being dressed up.

The waist is elasticized with a drawstring. There is pleating on the front with slant pockets in the front, and button flap pockets in the back. I don't like the waist detail - there is too much going on for me.

So I left these shorts behind because all I can see when I look at them is gym shorts. They remind me of the pair of shorts I would bring to school once a year, put in my gym locker, and then wear with shame once a week while I attempted to be athletic. I don't mind gym shorts, but I mainly keep them to inside the house (and SCUBA diving - you can wear whatever you want when you go SCUBA diving :)), and I already have a lot of "around the house" shorts.

What do you think? Do you like these shorts? Have you seen them or do you own them? Would you consider picking them up now that they are on sale?