To Read / March

 

     Good morning! To kick off March, I wanted to announce this month's book du jour: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Controversial but classic, Lolita centers on the story of a man's love for a girl.

     Nabokov gives insight into obsession, and all of the complicated nuances that go with a love story. I'm already over half way through, and am intrigued as to how such a story will end, as one can assume it won't end well. With that in mind, let's get to reading! Have a fun Wednesday!

To Bake / White Lasagna

 

     Good morning! Brett is a big fan of Italian cuisine, the theory being that "what's better than cheese, carbs, and sauce?". It usually combines all of those things, which happen to be his favorites. Because of this, I'm always looking for new Italian dishes to make for him, since the routine of Chicken Parm (which is my personal favorite), Classic Lasagna, and Moscatcholi pasta gets a little old after awhile. I struck gold when I found this white lasagna recipe, and as you can probably guess, it was a big hit with Brett. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 stick of butter

- 2 garlic cloves, minced

- 1 tsp. of basil

- 1 tsp. of oregano

- 1/2 tsp. of salt + pepper

- 1/4 cup of flour

- 2 cups of milk

- 2 cups of broth

- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella

- 1 cup of grated parmesan

- 2 cups of ricotta

- 2 cups of shredded provelone

- 1 box of lasagna noodles

- 3 pieces of bacon

- cooked ground beef (optional)

Directions:

1. First, preheat oven to 350 and grease a lasagna dish. Cook your noodles according to the package and set aside, then start your sauce. For the sauce, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan, then add your garlic and seasonings and cook for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then slowly add the milk and broth. Bring to a boil and stir in the mozzarella and parmesan until melted. Set aside.

2. Mix together your provolone, beef or whatever filling you like, and ricotta.

3. Assemble your lasagna by coating the bottom of the dish with 1/4 of the cheese sauce, then adding a layer of noodles. Then, spread the ricotta mixture on top, add another 1/4 of the cheese sauce, and top with another layer of noodles. Spread the last of the ricotta mixture on these noodles, add another 1/4 of the cheese sauce, top with the last of the noodles, and pour the rest of the cheese sauce on top.

4. Top with more shredded cheese and torn strips of bacon.

5. Bake for 45 minutes uncovered, then let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

For the Book of the Month / December

 

      Good morning! For Decembers' book of the month, my pick may or may not have been slightly influenced by its beautiful red cover. My mom bought me this collection of Charles Perraults Classic children's stories, and most people already know them. I just can't resist a seasonally appropriate cover though! That, and it's probably a good idea to end this year on a lighthearted note, all things considered. Now fair warning, the original tales of Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty were far more grim than the well known Disney versions, so be prepared for things to be a bit more gruesome. Regardless, they are still quick and nostalgic to read. Settle in with some cocoa and a cozy blanket, and get to reading!

To Consider a Trench Coat

    

     Trench coats have long been viewed as a classic piece of outerwear. It being winter and therefore coat season, I figured a nice little post on this timeless item was due. The first trench coats started popping up in the 1850's, so I think they definitely qualify as classic. Many consider them a basic essential for any wardrobe. If I recall correctly, my Dad kept one in our coat closet, only to be brought out when it rains. Practical, of course. I bought my first one about 4 years ago from a vintage/second hand shop in Columbia. It's a neutral khaki cotton that is very similar to a high end Burberry, at least in look. I still have it, but I've worn it so much over the years that a couple of buttons need replacing and tightening. Ya, it definitely needs repairs.

     My favorite thing about trench coats, is that they can be dressed up, dressed down, and when in the khaki color, can been worn with pretty much anything (see above). They instantly make outfits look a little bit nicer and more put together. This is why I was in desperate need of a new one. I didn't want the same old basic one though, because it really only needs a couple of tweaks and will be up and running again. I guess I was really more in need of a new style of trench coat. Enter: the recently revived, 70's style suede (see below). In my efforts to start avoiding fast fashion (H&M, Forever 21) I quickly realized anything new was out of my price range, because, suede. Then, I looked to vintage, and found a couple of great options on Etsy. However, I tend to get lazy and let my online shopping wishlists run a muck. I kept putting off ordering one because I wanted the perfect one! I finally found it at a Salvation Army in Columbia, for a rock bottom price. It is from a Boston coat company that looks, from their label, like their at least 40 years old. My favorite part of this vintage find though, is that it's made in the USA. After reading about the importance of supporting American-made clothing, I've been trying to do just that. Also, this coat has a beautiful rust color to it that is starting to become a neutral in my wardrobe. This is a trend I can definitely get behind! 

All street style images found on Pinterest.