Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday Favorites #6

Man, holiday weeks are the best. I can see turkey and football in my future, crashing into blissful nap time while doped up on stuffing, cranberry sauce and kugel.

I'm surprised my credit card company hasn't called to report suspicious charges on my account since I've been shopping in some very unexpected places lately. I decided a few weeks ago that I needed a pair of maroon/oxblood jeans to complete my fall wardrobe, and just like your keys (or those 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife), it seems like searching for something is exactly what makes that something so impossible to find. I hit up all the usual suspects until, on a sheer whim, I walked into Hollister and found the holy grail of oxblood jeans. They are oh-my-gosh high rise, which I love, and even come in a 29" inseam so that they hit perfectly at the ankle.

Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to cut my hair back to just grazing my collarbones or if I'm happy with the current, just a little past my shoulder length. I love wearing it down and really undone, with barely-there waves and a little lift and grit, which is what this Bumble & Bumble texture cream does. To be honest, I've had this in my cabinet for almost a year, and hardly used it with my longer hair. Post-chop, all of my hair products just work a little bit better, and this one is now a must-have in my bag, even if I'm just gone for a day.

Ah, Nike Free, how I love thee... the go-with-everything flexibility of these sneakers cannot be overstated. I don't know how else to convince you - go get yourself a pair and then send me a thank-you note.

I'm also obsessed with super-long necklaces lately, and waited impatiently for this lariat necklace to come back in stock on BaubleBar. Even so, it won't ship until Dec. 3, but I'm convinced this will be worth the wait.

It's also beanie weather people, and I just want to put a hat on everything. These are like, $2 at Target, so you have no excuse. Put a beanie on it.

Continuing my obsession of all things gilded, this iPhone case from J.Crew is a fingerprint party, but I don't care. I love the glint of gold at the bottom of my purse... it makes it so much easier to find that bugger in the dark. Plus, it's a gold-tinted mirror for applying lipstick, mascara, what have you.

And last but not least, after weeks of rocking reds, deep purples and blacks on my fingernails, I think it's time for a holiday change-up, something along the lines of this color from Deborah Lippmann. Make your phalanges fancy.
Friday Favorites #5
Friday Favorites #5 by jlrey featuring Topshop

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Crock-Pot Dr. Pepper Pork Tacos & Apple Slaw

There's something about winter weather that makes me want to cook. Warm, delicious smells filling the kitchen, hearty spices and savory flavors blending together in harmonic perfection... I love to cook. But more than just whipping up something in the kitchen, I love cooking for a crowd.

This past Tuesday we threw a surprise birthday party for a friend (she had no clue, which is the best part), and I needed a soul-warming recipe that would feed at least 15 people and required minimal effort. Enter, Dr. Pepper Pork Tacos from The Pioneer Woman.

Full disclosure: I don't drink, or even like, Dr. Pepper. I'm a fully-leaded Coca Cola girl myself, and DP's never been my beverage of choice. But oh my goodness, does it ever make a great sauce.

Using the link above, I adapted The Pioneer Woman's recipe for the crock-pot, and fed a whole crew of people, plus made a tangy apple slaw that nicely complimented the heat from the chipotle peppers in this recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
  • One pork tenderloin, at least two pounds
  • Two 12 oz cans of Dr. Pepper
  • Two 7.5 oz cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (found in the Mexican food section of your grocery store)
  • One white onion
  • Salt & pepper
  • Tortillas
  • A crock pot set on low for at least eight hours
  • Avocado, for garnish
For the slaw:
  • One bag of Dole ready-made coleslaw
  • Two small or one large Granny Smith apple
  • Green onions
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • One serrano pepper
  • The juice of half a lemon
Start by cutting your onion in half, then cutting those halves in half.

 Remove the outer layer of the onion and separate, lining the bottom of the crock pot with the pieces.

Then take your pork tenderloin out of the packaging or butcher's wrap, and set it directly on top of the onions in the crock pot. I hate the way raw meat looks, but there's so much deliciousness in its future!

Then crack open your cans of chipotle peppers. I can't vouch for any other brand, but I use San Marcos.

Pour both cans right on top of the meat, just directly onto it. Let it sit on there. I used a can per half. 

These suckers are spi-cy, but it's the exact kind of spice you want when it's bitterly cold outside. Once you've added the peppers, pour the two cans of Dr. Pepper into the pot. That delicious smell you're getting? It only gets better. 

Then, generously salt and pepper the whole concoction. I had some wedges of onion left over, so I shoved them in there around the edges. Set your crock pot on "Low" and cook for at least eight hours. 

I'm in a position right now where I can run home on my lunch breaks and check in on what I'm cooking, but if you don't have that luxury, just set the timer for as long as you'll be gone. There's enough liquid in here that your meat should be good and hydrated without drying out. I personally set it for six hours around 7:30 a.m., then came home at 1:30, set it for another five hours until I got home.

Eleven hours of cooking time may seem like a really, really long time to cook your tacos (at least, it did for me), but I promise you it makes a difference. All of that spice and Dr. Pepper flavor is soaking into the meat the entire time, and let me tell you... when I pulled the tenderloin out of the pot to shred it, it basically fell apart on my tongs. It was so soft, so moist, so freaking flavorful that I considered calling everyone and telling them the party was cancelled just so I could have a batch of tacos all to myself. 

Take the meat out of the crock pot and put it on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the tenderloin. After all that time cooking, it won't be difficult.

You will get a ton of pork awesomeness out of this. Once you've shredded the meat, return it back to the crock pot on low heat or on "warm," then add some additional salt and pepper to taste. 

While the shredded meat is soaking in the juices, make the slaw.

In a big bowl, pour 1/4C apple cider vinegar and the juice of half of your lemon into the bowl and mix with a fork. Then, julienne your apple into matchsticks and let it soak in the juice while you dice green onions, de-seed and mince a serrano pepper. Then put your coleslaw into the mix and, while drizzling olive oil into the bowl, toss everything together with tongs. 

Now for the grand finale: Using tongs, serve yourself a portion of the meat onto a warm tortilla, top with slaw and diced avocado. Then revel in your creation and share with family and friends. Or don't, your call.

Crock-Pot Dr. Pepper Pork Tacos with Tangy Apple Slaw
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Images Copyright of Jessica Reynolds & Hey There, Friday

Friday, November 8, 2013

Shopping My Closet: Weekending

As far as I'm concerned, Jenna Lyons can do no wrong. She made red lips cool for the masses, brought back geek-chic with her giant bifocal lenses in big black frames, and print-mixes like no one else I know. And while my budget isn't accommodating of the entire fall collection from J.Crew, I have turned to their famous Pinterest lookbook for more than one instance of style inspiration. I'll be honest, she just makes me want to dress better. So when it came to assembling this weekend's event wardrobe, I just had one question... What Would Jenna Lyons Wear?

Today's outfit is one that has to pull double-duty - a workday look for the 9-5 and something that transfers into an event and an after party.

Leather Pants
Leather Pants by jlrey
I picked up a pair of leather joggers at Urban Outfitters that were on sale and then some, and this is the first time I've worn them. Unfortunately they're sold out online, but here's a pair at Uniqlo for about the same price.

For sitting at a desk all day, I'm wearing Converse and a Korres lip butter in a really pretty Pomegranate shade, but for night I'll vamp up this look with a pair of lace-up heels and Revlon's lipstick in Really Red.

Saturday will be a day-long event, so I want to be as comfortable as possible, but that doesn't mean showing up in Adidas pants and sneakers, unfortunately. Instead of gym clothes, I've pulled a lightweight army green button down (excuse the corner of my cosmetic case in the photo) from Urban Outfitters, Madewell jeans, a striped tank, some of my favorite jewelry pieces and these ultra-comfortable TOMS desert wedges.

And now for the Jenna Lyons-esque finale: Saturday night will be officially print-mixed, featuring a navy & kelly-green striped shirt, a cool black motorcycle vest, leopard heels from Target, a pair of jeans from Hollister of all places, and a great necklace from J.Crew that I bought for my wedding. 

So while I'm out partying away the weekend, search out your own style inspiration and make some daring choices. Happy weekending!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Movember, November, Schmovember

I guess I blinked and October disappeared, but I'm all right with it. November is my favorite month of the entire year. Starbucks comes out with their red holiday cups, there's a hearty chill on the wind, I can wear boots without everyone looking at me like I've gone completely insane, leaves are falling all over the dang place and the heavenly smell of wood burning in fireplaces just fills every blessed breath I take.

Other perks? It's time for a new desktop wallpaper, and I've got some awesome options for you.

First up, this adorable design from Sarah Hearts. Who can possibly resist glitter-dipped feathers? Not me, I tell you.
Image via Sarah Hearts
All of her wallpapers are amazing, and they come in versions for free download with or without a calendar. I especially like this one from September and this one from January, and these Christmas wreaths are going to be perfect for the holidays.

Up for something that's very "brown paper packages tied up with string?" This month's wallpaper from Sugar Paper is really great. Plus, their past wallpaper with gold confetti was a Hey There, Friday favorite for months. 

Image via Sugar Paper Los Angeles

Wondering what else is up around here? Check out my brand-spanking-new About Me page. 

I made a new mix for you! It's perfectly November and I think we all could use a little ear party to make us happy, happy, happy.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Favorites #5

Happy Friday, y'all! Sip some strong coffee, get over your Halloween sugar hangovers, stow your costume in the closet until next year, and get ready to peace out into the weekend.

But first, what would Friday be without some Friday Favorites?

Friday Favorites

1. Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer - I don't remember which blogger was touting the wonders of this highlighting concealer, but when someone starts talking about a cheap way to get the effects of YSL's Touche Eclat, I listen. And truly, I love this concealer. It lasts a long while and makes it easy to cover up dark circles, it's great for highlighting around the nose and under the brows, and I keep it with me in my purse for touch-ups. It's a buildable formula that doesn't leave you feeling like you've spackled an entire pound of concealer on.

2. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned - I love lip pencils because I feel like they're more portable than lipsticks, and easier to use for touch-ups throughout the day. Damned is such a great deep, burgundy maroon. 

3. NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress - The name itself is enough to make you feel super-fancy, but this semi-matte blue-red is a gorgeous color that doesn't have any of the warm, orangey tones that would clash with my skin tone. 

4. NARS Nail Polish in Chinatown - If you're not up for the deep red lips, try this nail color in Chinatown by NARS. OPI has a similar shade called William Tell 'Em.

Not sure how to rock a dark lip? Check out Lisa Eldridge's video on wearing dark lips and still looking great, but good luck still getting work done after delving into her video archive.

I also just picked up this really great leather baseball cap from Forever 21 for just $10, and I can't wait to wear it this weekend. I've been hunting for one for so long, and I was relieved to not have to pay out the ear for it.

And for our last Friday Favorite, stock up on Sriracha and make some delicious spicy treats like this popcorn - perfect for snacking on while you watch college football all weekend long.

And that's a wrap! What are you favoriting this Friday?