Pinch Proof | All Things Green

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It's the time of year where all things in Dublin, Ga., begin turning green! With green bows on mailboxes and shamrocks on doors, there's more than enough green to go around. I rounded up a quick list of a few of my favorite green {and gold!} St. Patrick's things to wear throughout the month of March and into spring.

Of course I love the Charleston Rice Beads green necklace and bracelet combo. These are two great pieces to add a touch of green to any outfit; I particularly like adding it over a black dress or a white top with navy pants. Dainty gold shamrock studs don't scream green, but are definitely festive, and would look so cute with the lime gingham Collyn Raye top with white jeans.

This jade monogrammed clutch is on major sale {50% off!}, and is another piece that can be added to a non-green outfit to make it St. Pats appropriate, just like the cashmere poncho. And finally, who doesn't need some green tassel earrings. These look just like the ones from Baublebar but are only $10 and come in so many colors.  Plus, Prime, so go get a pair or two!

Erin Go Bragh! 

Merry Mardi Gras + Rent the Runway Review

Happy Mardi Gras!

Definitely not one of my "normal holidays" but after all the fun a few weeks ago, it may need to become one. Some of CJM's friends from pharmacy school are from Biloxi, Mississippi, and are super involved in their local Mardi Gras celebrations. They invited us to come to this year's coronation ball as Jacob was being crowned Duke and his brother king of their krewe.

Having never done Mardi Gras before, all I knew was that it was fancy...lots of sparkles and sequins. Que Rent the Runway. I thought I had a dress to wear, but I just wasn't loving it on Wednesday night; mind you, we were flying out before 9:00 a.m. on Friday. I didn't really have a lot of time to find a back up formal gown. So at about midnight, I decided to look into Rent the Runway, and I'm so glad that I did!

I packed my original dress {because a girl can never have too many options, right?} and hoped that my gowns would be at the hotel by Friday evening. So the cool thing about RTR is that you get three dresses with your order: you pick your favorite dress in the size you think you need, as well as another size {larger or smaller depending on reviews, measurements, etc.}, as well as a singular "back up" dress. For my favorite dress, I picked a gold fully-sequined Badgley Mischka dress in my size and a size up, and then a metallic cut-out Adianna Papell gown as the back up.

With the time change and our early flight, we arrived at our hotel at 10:00 a.m., and surprisingly not only was our room ready and they let us check in early, but my RTR package had arrived as well! The gowns came on gold hangers in a fabric garment bag that folds in half and zips up for shipping. I ended up wearing the back up RTR dress for a couple of reasons.

The sequin gown was strapless and really heavy, and would have scratched under my arms really badly. Plus the two dresses were totally different color golds and the one that fit me best was a really brassy gold instead of the more champagne color like the other size. Plus, the Adrianna Papell gown was so comfortable! It was an amazing almost t-shirt material but had a fab metallic sheen to it. The straps and cut-outs were comfortable and fit me just perfectly, and the slit wasn't too high. Some sparkly shoes and jewelry really set it off right.

I ended up flying home with the dresses folded up as my carry on because I'm paranoid and wanted to drop it off at UPS myself and not leave it with the hotel staff, just in case. But yes, I will definitely Rent the Runway again! It makes so much sense...I spent less than I would have on any kind of appropriate dress for that type of an event, that I never would have worn again. Plus, it saves me room in my closet which I definitely need!

"Fancy" Valentine's Day Cookies

If you've been around me in the last two weeks, you've probably heard about my obsession with "fancy cookies." I've long loved these sweet treats, but decided I would attempt making some of my own for Valentine's Day treats for work and for my loves. I went and purchased all the supplies this past week {P.S. Kroger has meringue powder wayyy cheaper than Wal-Mart!}, and got started Friday evening making my dough.

The first batch of dough I used was yummy, but really challenging to work with. I ended up making two batches of this Wilton roll out cookie recipe without any almond extract because that's not my favorite. I made about seven dozen cookies, and this royal icing recipe made more than enough for me to ice them all with with enough for probably another dozen left over! My first batch of dough was from that same recipe link, but I felt like the Wilton recipe was less material to work with, and cut better.

I used three different heart shaped cutters, and found that the wider hearts ended up looking better with the icing on them. I made four colors with gel dye: pink, red, purple and white. I used a variety of techniques and sprinkles to just try to get comfortable with this whole thing! I made only one consistency of icing, and would line the cookies and let it set for a few minutes before flooding it with color.

It does take a while for the icing to dry for stacking, but it's also been raining and will be raining for a lot of this week, so the humidity in the air may have affected the drying time! I'm definitely going to make these again...shamrocks, anyone? I think it will go a lot faster/smoother now that I've done it once and know what to expect. I'll also try to do a couple of different consistencies for decorating and texture.

If you have any royal icing tips or ideas, leave me a comment!