Friday, August 31, 2012

Foodie Friday: Black Bean Burger Quesadillas

Today's Foodie Friday recipe comes to you from my dear friend Sara, who blogs at 7 Twenty-Somethings.


Ingredients (makes two quesadillas):
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 black bean burgers (You can buy them or make your own. This recipe is great!)
4 tortillas (I used whole wheat)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


1. Heat the oil in a pan, and add the onion, bell pepper, cumin, salt & pepper. Cook until peppers & onions are cooked to your preferences.

2. Crumble & add black bean burgers.

3. Add salsa (as much as you would like), and remove contents from the pan.

4. Lay one tortilla in the pan and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese onto the bottom of the quesadilla. Spread half of the cooked burger mixture over the cheese, and top with another 1/4 cup of the cheese. Top with another tortilla. Flip the quesadilla and cook to your liking. Repeat with second quesadilla.
5. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


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Button Down: Forever 21
Dress: thrifted
Belt: thrifted
Sunnies: Old Navy
Purse: Charlotte Russe
Ring: American Eagle
Sandals: Forever 21 

A couple of weeks ago, Tashia wrote a blog post about the challenges of styling dresses. I feel her pain. After wearing this dress, one of my favorites, only a few times, I felt that I'd run out of styling options. I've worn it on its own, I've worn it with a cardigan, and I've worn it with a pullover sweater. So what else can a girl do with a dress? Here, I obviously decided to pair it with a belted button-down shirt, and I'm happy with the result - even if it isn't particularly creative.

So what's your favorite way to style your sundresses?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Granny Style

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Top: thrifted
Purse: Charlotte Russe
Shorts: Forever 21
Flats: Gap

When I found this blouse, I almost left it hanging on its rack because I was convinced it had belonged to some grandma before ending up at the thrift store. I'm still not entirely convinced that isn't the case, but in keeping with my new philosophy of "I'm going to buy & wear what I want without worrying about other stupid crap," I bought it anyway.

And I'm glad I did. As you almost surely know about me by now, I can't resist a good floral pattern - and this one is pretty great, right? Plus, the color palette is really pretty & will transition perfectly from late summer to early fall.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stone Zoo

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Hat: Burlington Coat Factory
Sunnies: Jessica Simpson (TJ Maxx)
Blouse: TJ Maxx
Shorts: Levi's
 Purse: Fossil (Macy's)
Sandals: Forever 21

Last week, B & I drove the short distance from Salem to Stoneham to visit Stone Zoo. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a warm summer afternoon!

The zoo is rustic, small, and easy to navigate. It's also full of great exhibits, which are conveniently arranged in five distinct areas. Yukon Creek, which recreates an abandoned research site in a Canadian forest, contains reindeer, a bald eagle, black bear, and a gray fox. Treasures of the Sierra Madre boasts a selection of animals found in that mountain range, including bats, coyote, coati, cougar, jaguar, and roadrunner. Inside Windows to the Wild, you'll see African crested porcupine, flamingo, tamarin, hornbill, hyacinth macaw, inca tern, meerkat, and two-toed sloth. There's also a Barnyard, which holds goat, pygmy zebu, guinea hog, and rabbits. In the Himalayan Highlands there are animals native to the Himalayas, including black-necked crane, markhor, yak, and, my personal favorite, the snow leopard. This summer, Stone Zoo is also featuring a free-flight, interactive bird show. Admittance to Masters of Flight: Birds of Prey is included in general admission to the zoo.

You can learn more about Stone Zoo here, but keep reading to see some of my favorite photos from my day at the zoo.

Adorable black bear being silly. Look at that foot on the wall!
To be honest, monkeys generally creep me out (they just look like little, furry people), but these guys were doing some cool stuff!
Otters are always so much fun to watch.
These Barnyard animals are seriously adorable, aren't they?
B loved this yak, and I have to admit he's pretty cute. But our favorite exhibit, hands down, was the snow leopard. How beautiful & majestic is this animal?
Disclosure: I was granted free admission to Stone Zoo for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Leopard Pants

T-shirt: Gap
Pants: Urban Outfitters
Purse: vintage Coach (thrifted)
Heels: Payless

These pants are a bit of a contradiction; they look fancy, but they're as comfortable as pajama pants. This outfit is an embodiment of that contradiction, as I'm wearing both a super casual t-shirt & heels. (Truth be told, I mostly wore the heels to ensure no one would think I was actually wearing pajamas.)

I wore this outfit last week on on of my sister's last nights here before moving back to school in Florida. We spent the evening playing board games & getting tipsy at Gulu-Gulu, my favorite cafe in Salem.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer Staples

Hat: J Crew (men's)
Button-down: J Crew
T-shirt: Gap
Shorts: Calvin Klein
Purse: Charlotte Russe
Flats: Gap

Since the beginning of August, many bloggers, myself certainly included, have been writing about how eagerly we're anticipating fall's arrival. I hate to wish time away, though, so I'm making an effort to enjoy every last bit of this summer - a summer that has been busy & exciting & wonderful.

I'm trying to embrace that attitude in my outfits as well, so here I decided to wear a few of my warm-weather favorites: white denim shorts, a light, summer plaid, and a fedora. It was the perfect outfit for a cool summer night of drinking blueberry beer at Salem Beer Works.

. . . But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to pumpkin beer.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Foodie Friday: Bean Tacos


Here's a quick & easy meal I made for dinner last week. Of course, you can substitute and/or add ingredients as you see fit, but I do think these tacos were yummy just like this.

I used whole wheat tortillas & filled them with the following ingredients:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Black beans
White beans
A squirt of lime juice

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Feelin' Floral

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Sunnies: Steve Madden (Macy's)
Top: Two Girls Shop 
Belt: Old Navy
Purse: Fossil (Macy's)
Shorts: Forever 21
Sandals: Gap
When I moved to Salem, I was surprised to discover that this small city has quite a few women's boutiques. One of my favorites is Two Girls Shop, which sells new & pre-owned women's clothing, as well as an eclectic mix of jewelry & other accessories. When I was in the store a couple of weeks ago, I bought this pretty, pre-owned floral top for $8. I had to resist the urge to stock up on fall goodies (Two Girls has an awesome selection of boots & scarves), but I'll be back for some of those soon. In the meantime, I plan to get plenty of wear out of this top, which will pair well with many of my cardigans when the temperatures start to cool.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Big Check, Little Check

Scarf: Gap
Dress: thrifted
Belt: Forever 21
Purse: vintage Dooney & Bourke (thrifted)
Wedges: New York & Company

I relish those first summer evenings that are cool enough for me to don my favorite accessory, the scarf. Salem experienced one such evening last week, so I rescued one of my favorite scarves from its box in my closet & built the rest of my outfit around it.

I wore this outfit to dinner & drinks with B at In a Pig's Eye. We're constantly discovering new & delicious restaurants in Salem, and In a Pig's Eye is our current favorite. B & I both ordered the fish cakes, which was one of the best meals I've had in quite some time. We can't wait to go back on a Monday or Tuesday, when the restaurant features its Mexican menu. Yum!