Inspired by jelly beans

Top: Asos (similar here); skirt: J.Crew (similar here and here); shoes: Banana Republic; bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs; jewelry: Baublebar and J.Crew
Easter is just lovely. Any holiday that allows me to adorn our apartment with adorable bunnies and a wide array of colorful flowers gets my appreciation for life.
Growing up, I always enjoyed shopping for Easter dresses with my mom and would wear them pretty much daily until they no longer fit my slow-to-mature body. My mom and grandma would prepare a big feast for everyone and we would usually eat outside because the weather is idyllic in Arizona through Spring. 
My mom is no longer with us and I think of her often during holidays and like to find special ways to make her seem near. Since shopping together was one of our favorite endeavors, I find myself perusing web sales more than usual. (The heels you see in this post were scored at the Banana Republic sale a few weeks ago with a generous ‘friends and family’ 50% off coupon.) 
This Easter we are hosting brunch at our place. There will be seven of us at the house, none of us related by blood, but they are all family to us. I’ll post some pictures of our celebration for you to see. Until then, have an adorable slash amazing weekend doing whatever you do!

3 ways to wear tricky trends to the office

3 ways to wear tricky trends at work
“Dressing for work should not be more difficult than landing the job in the first place.” Despite saying this to myself every morning, I find that getting dressed can be a daunting task. While it’s important to send the right message and feel confident, you must also stay true to your personal style. 

Personally, I’ve been trying to take more risks by incorporating trends like neon, leather and multiple patterns into my work wear. I call attention here to the following trends:

Statement Necklace
Pattern Mixology
Crop top
Statement Earrings
Pointed-toe pumps
Polka dots
Bow ties
Mint trousers
Bright yellow
Arm Candy

I hope this offers you some style stimulation and helps you feel real bossy next time you are getting dressed for a particularly important day. It’s your turn to tell me in the comments below what you like to wear when you need to show the world who’s boss.

‘When you love something’ giveaway

This gorgeous Noir Pendulum Necklace from JewelMint is so rock-glam it disgusts me. Translation: I absolutely love it. You ladies know what you do when you love something, right? You set it free. Duh-zees.
I’m setting this necklace free to one lucky bethanimalprint reader. (Insider scoop: you don’t actually have to be a reader, but you could pretend you are a reader so that I feel great about sending you gems.)  All you have to do is comment below telling me what you would style this sparkler with. 
I will announce the winner on Monday, April 1, 2013 at a random time via Twitter. Make sure you follow me @bethanimalprint otherwise, you will totes miss it when I tweet that YOU won!

Whoa, you read the whole post? You must dig the bling. Sign up for JewelMint here if you haven’t already.
Disclosure: This giveaway is fully sponsored by me.
Thanks for reading and good luck! 

Springtime lusts and musts

Hi there, Internet Friends! I’m beyond happy that Spring is officially here. It is my absolute favorite season for the following reasons,

1. I love Easter. (Not for religious reasons, per se, but because I am a sucker for celebrations that include family time, bright colors and cute bunnies.)
2. Flowers are blooming and trees are less naked.
3. Bulky coats and boots are swapped for skirts, shorts and sandals. (Consequently, this probably means a little bit of shopping will be necessary.)

Every new season leads to necessary wardrobe revamping.  Below you’ll find my list of “Lusts and Musts.”  What are yours?

Casual Friday

You want to feel wind in your face? Wear statement earrings. Not only will you feel a draft from these sparklers gracefully moving near your jawbones, but you will have an instant pep in your step knowing that your ensemble includes fortuitous costume jewelry.
While I adore my statement earrings, both new and vintage, I do find it taxing to find ways to incorporate them into my wardrobe with regularity. Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to wear them to the office since I spend the majority of my time there. 
Here we have my go-to belt (it’s faux… get off my back) and earrings styled with my typical office-bound get up. Spring is officially back so I busted out last Spring’s flats. Are they still acceptable? Totes.

Jeans: Earnest Sewn (similar here & here); belt: Asos (similar herehere), blouse: J.Crew similar here; earrings (similar here) and bracelets: J.Crew; shoes: Tory Burch (more colors)

Gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie

Neither my husband nor I know anything about Irish traditions. We thought Shepherd’s Pie was an Irish dish; apparently it is traditionally an English dish. Mowing this down is our Saint Patrick’s Day tradition (and year round guilt-free treat) regardless of country of origin. Something tells me the absence of beef and potatoes in our recipe would negate any true Celtic roots anyway.

I based my recipe on one from Elana’s Pantry making only a few adjustments to eliminate red meat since we do not have red meat in our diets due to health considerations. (When I say ‘we” I mean Harlowe and I because I know The Banker gets down on tri tips when I’m not looking).

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
    • 1 pound turkey cut into 2 inch slices
    • 2 cups diced carrots
    • 2 cups diced celery
    • 1 pound organic turkey
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 2 large heads cauliflower, trimmed and chopped 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° 
  2. Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a very large frying pan and saute the onion until soft.
  3. Add bacon pieces to pan and sauté until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add carrots and celery to pan and sauté with bacon for 10 minutes until soft
  4. While sauteeing bacon, place cauliflour in a separate pan with steam basket and steam until soft enough to cut with a wooden spatula
  5. Add ground turkey to pan with bacon and sauté until brown
  6. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika
  7. Add chicken broth and cook down broth until mostly evaporated. Leave an estimated 1/4 cup of liquid
  8. Place cauliflower and remaining olive oil in food processor and blend until smooth
  9. Pour ground turkey mixture into a 9 x 13 inch glass dish
  10. Then, pour cauliflower puree over the turkey mixture and smooth with a soft silicon spatula
  11. Place in the oven  350° for 30 minutes 
  12. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving
The delicious looking bottles in the image above were used to make the best Saint Patrick’s Day cocktail. Recipe is courtesy of my friend Gina of The Fitnessista. She has some scrumptious looking healthy recipes on her blog, and this cocktail is the only one I’ve made (fail boat). I’ll be having this one year round. 

Business in the front, party in the back…

(Dress: Flying Tomato; bra: Victoria’s Secret; necklaces vintage and Anthropologie; bracelet: Baublebar; shorts: very old cut-offs; shoes: Shoemint; bag: Marc Jacobs)
I am a phony. A fraud. How could I write a fashion blog when I only own (confession!) three handbags…one of which was ON CLEARANCE at Banana Republic. (Gasp!)
Even more shameful, the other two handbags in my collection were acquired as a.) hand-me-downs from lovely friends with less lovely (but generous) ex-boyfriends and b.) a gift from my very lovely husband.
From my perspective, it’s rationalized. My lifestyle (work, change diapers, sit on couch) requires me to carry around my laptop 80% of the time (which I put in my Longchamp… kind of chic?) and carry around diapers and other objects that distract toddlers when worn as hats. I’m so not putting puréed plum pear squeezable pouches in a Celine tote.
Anyway, let’s back up a bit. Remember how I told you my husband is lovely? Well, he bought me this new Marc Jacobs bag. He liked the color. How cute is that?
Since we’ve been blessed with Spring-like weather in Northern California lately, I wore my new bag with one of my staples, denim shorts, and a dress (tucked in the front) that is almost as loud as my new bag.  Monochromatic is so cool when it is fluorescent.

I’m feeling 22

Yeah, this dress is from Forever 21. The blouse underneath is from Rampage. Yes, Rampage: the junior’s apparel store. This seems like an appropriate time to admit that not every label in my closet is as cosmopolitan as I would like it to be. I think I’m okay with that.
 I am loyal to this dress because a.) it hasn’t fallen a part and b.) it’s color story makes it fair game for any season so long as it is styled properly. Here, I added some roughness to the girly frock with an embellished collared blouse and my absolute favorite blazer on top.
My most recent days have been marked by sheer fascination with pattern mixing. Boldly-paired prints gracing the pages of my favorite Spring glossies (magazines) have left me dizzy with inspiration and are partially responsible for what you see here. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.
Jacket: Silence and Noise via Urban Outfitters (in black here); dress: F21 (similar here & here), blouse underneath: Rampage (similar here & here); bracelets: F21 & Tiffanys; shoes: Calvin Klein (slightly more exotic print on sale here).

Luck o’ the Irish

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 

Today, we will be lounging at home making (Paleo) Shepherd’s Pie, listening to bizarre Irish music and drinking guinness floats. We first started this little tradition two years ago as we experimented with shepherd’s pie recipes; we ended up liking the paleo version so much that we eat it year-round (spoiler alert: post on said Pie is forthcoming).

Our St. Patty’s Day traditions make the holiday one of my favorites. There really isn’t anything that leaves me wanting. That being said, IF the luck o’ the Irish were to hit me like a ton of super-fortunate bricks, I could be seen expensively dressed in green garb from head to polished toe… and I’d devour a red green velvet cupcake made with REAL flour. 

So, in the spirit of my favorite spring holiday, I present this year’s thematic food and clothing lusts, (Just in case there happen to be any generous Leprechauns reading.)

                                      I hope you all thoroughly enjoy your St. Patty’s Day!

Scarfing down sequins

Six years ago, I saw this dress at a vintage store in Arizona, and I was like, “shut up!”  Admittedly, it was probably a year after purchase that it was first worn, but it continues to get consistent use because sequins make my soul sparkle.
I love the neckline; it’s utterly unique. Pairing it with a white blouse makes it less appropriate for the Vegas strip and more appropriate for date night in Palo Alto. The scarf provides a casual twist on sequined glamour, which I prefer to straight-up glamour.
I’m surprised at the amount of use I have gotten out of this vintage number (the formula for fabulous prevails!). Have you impulsively picked up any pieces that have unexpectedly earned your loyalty?

Dress: vintage; shirt BCBG (old); scarf: hand-me-down from Grandma; shoes: Shoemint; sunnies: RayBan