Favorites from #NYFW

"Every year the women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future… this is known as Fashion WeeK" - Carrie Bradshaw.

If you've ever watched a single episode of Sex in the City, then you know that Carrie Bradshaw was (is?) the queen of fashion and New York. She loved a good statement piece almost as much as writing books about men.

It may come as a shock to some, but I've always been a huge fan of fashion. Growing up you would have never known that considering I mostly lived in sweats and walked around with wet hair… to me, it was swimmer chic.

Fast forward a few years and I moved to Capitol Hill… considered by many to be out of touch with what is fashionable. However, as I've grown as a blogger and gotten more into the wonderful fashion scene that DC does have (yes, there's more to all of us Washingtonians than a black pants suit), I really have started to break out of my fashion shell. I'm taking more risks and really paying attention to the trends.  And that's exactly what New York Fashion Week is about. Establishing the trends for the new season.

One thing I noticed that's going to be a major focal point of the FW2015 scene, statement coats (looking at you BCBGMAXAZRIA). I mean they were everywhere. Not just a simple camel trench or navy cape. Nay! But the bright, colorful and sometimes tribal looking prints. I mean we all know I love a good statement coat, so to say I'm excited is an understatement.

Another trend I noticed that's going to be prevalent will be fringe. I saw fringe featured in quite a few shows… especially Rebecca Minkoff's. Can you say 70s?! Looks like quite a few details from that era are making their way back to fashion this year (still not sure how I feel about it).

At this point you're probably over hearing my ramblings, so we'll get on with it. I watched quite a few shows, scoured the internet for various designer presentations and of course stalked all the major brands, bloggers and Instagram accounts for updates. So here is just a taste of what's to come this fall/winter.

Tadashi Shoji // One of my favorite collections was Tadashi Shoji. It was just purely amazing. At first the collection seemed to be entirely black and white, with some accents of color here or there. Then all the sudden you get pops of emerald green and purple! The gowns were phenomenal. Below are a few of my faves. Did you miss the show? Watch the full runway show here and see a full photo recap here (*Images also via here). 

Rebecca Minkoff // One of my favorite designers, Rebecca Minkoff, featured a 70s-esk collection with lots of fringe. Yes, fringe. I loved it. I need a pair of the fringe boots asap. The bags you may ask? Well they definitely didn't disappoint, but what caught my eye were the clothes. Below are a few of the looks I loved… (*All Images Via)

Speaking of Carrie Bradshaw, a.k.a. Sarah Jessica Parker… SJP definitely didn't disappoint this past week. She also teamed up with TOME to feature her new fall shoe collection in conjunction with the TOME Fall 15 line (on pre-order now). 

Some of my favorite presentations were Kate Spade NY, Banana Republic (making their Fashion Week debut -- see photo below) and the DKNY show. Marissa Webb also NAILED it with her ready-to-wear line. I could see myself wearing pretty much everything in her collection. Oh and for the men, Perry Ellis is definitely one to checkout (shout out to my blogger friend Dana!!).

To give y'all one final look from the past few days of Fashion Week, my pick for most creative runway setup and fashion show -- Tommy Hilfiger. I mean, I love football. I love fashion. So combining the two is pure genius!! (*Image via)

This is just a taste of what I noticed the past few days of #NYFW. Fingers crossed that one day soon I'll be able to attend my first show in person and share some of my own Fashion Week adventures. Till then, I'll live vicariously through social media and other various recaps. 

What were some of your favorites? Not to worry, Fashion Week isn't over just yet (Cannot WAIT to see J.Crew's new collection, EKKK)! See more shows and behind the scenes footage here. Happy #NYFW ladies and gents!!
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Bachelor Viewing Party with ProFlowers

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of reality TV. It's one of my guilty pleasures, with my most favorite show being The Bachelor and all its various spin-offs. There's just something about this franchise that keeps me coming back season after season.

For the past few years, I've watched each season (almost every episode) with my good friend Ashton. It's our Monday night ritual. We grab some popcorn, catch up till the show starts and silence is definitely in order till each commercial break. We take it THAT seriously (don't judge).

This season has definitely been one of the most dramatic. Whether it's Kelsey's "amazing" story, a cameo from Jimmy Kimmel, or because of Ashley I.'s constant mental breakdowns. It has truly been an ah-mazing season (do I have to put a $1 in the Amazing Jar Jimmy?).

To help share in our drama-filled Mondays, I invited a few more girls over to watch this past Monday's episode with Ashton and me. The lovely people over at ProFlowers (you know the ones who send the bright green boxes in the mail from your boyfriend) sent me some gorgeous roses and yummy snacks for us to enjoy while we counted down to the "dreaded 2-on-1" date.

I love how the flowers came wrapped so well, that they stayed fresh over a few days and not a single stem was broken. ProFlowers even provided the perfect size vase and instructions on how to make the bouquet last as long as possible. It has been almost a week since I received the roses and they're still as gorgeous as the day they arrived.

What's even more special about the bouquet is that it was specially made in collaboration with the Bachelor!! YES, ProFlowers and ABC's The Bachelor, teamed up once again to create a unique assortment. This time, some simple red roses with a pop of diamonds.

I've truly enjoyed having the bouquets displayed in my apartment all week. There's just something about fresh flowers and the aroma of them in the room -- take note gents!

It definitely wouldn't be a viewing party without some delicious sweets. ProFlowers sent over a box of snacks from Cherry Moon Farms, that featured an assortment of candies, gummies and nuts. I mixed those with homemade popcorn and my favorite cookies, to round out a great assortment of sweets.

You also can't have a Bachelor viewing party without some champs. So I made another version of my Bach-Tini, using champagne, Sprite and Cran-Lemonade. I even found some edible glitter from Harris Teeter that I put around the rims of the glasses. Didn't they turn out so cute?!

Recipe for Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was the perfect evening, filled with some fun girl talk and "oh my gosh did Chris really just do that" moments. I mean can we believe how this week's episode ended?! #yougoChrisSoules

Be sure to purchase your Bachelor Bouquet just in time for next week's all new episode, or gents you can order this wonderful arrangement for your lady. Just tell her the Bachelor picked it out and she'll love you forever! 

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**ProFlowers is the official floral partner for The Bachelor. Thank you so much to ProFlowers for supplying the roses and snacks. Photos and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Primp & Proper going. XO


Galentine's Day Brunch

So truth be told, Valentine's Day hasn't always been one of my favorite days of the year. It has either gone one of two ways... 1) wasn't dating anyone at the time OR 2) the guy I was dating at the time just had zero clue. -- probably why things didn't work out, ha! Needless to say over the years I tended to overlook this holiday, aside from the awesome selection of chocolate candies -- really the only purchase I make in relation to Valentine's Day during the month of February.

As I've gotten older though, and as the holiday has progressed, I've realized Valentine's Day isn't just about celebrating with your significant other. Yes, I am sure that's very special. BUT there are plenty of people in our lives other than our significant other that we should celebrate the day of love with. I mean I truly treasure the friendships I have and love all of my friends very dearly.

So why not celebrate Valentine's Day with some of my fave gal pals at a fun Galentine's Day Brunch?! We can lavish ourselves with gifts that we know make us happy, enjoy a delicious meal, toast with some bottomless mimosas and gab about the guys we wish we were dating. It's a win win in my book. #signmeup

Photography by Lisa Chiu

Today's outfit is perfect for a brunch with my best gal pals, like Jennifer from Southern Anchors blog. If we were going to go to brunch this Saturday, this is the outfit I would wear + scroll down to see the fab look Jenn would wear. My look is more edgy-preppy, with the pop of a J. Crew collar, paired with a simple faux leather skirt. I LOVE Jennifer's look too! You'll see below, but I really like how she paired a simple striped shirt with a pop of color in her maxi! So precious!

J.Crew Button Up (sold out, similar option here or here) // Polo Ralph Lauren Sweater // Loft Leather Skirt // Ann Taylor Black Booties (sold out online, available in some stores -- tall version of boot here) // GiGi Clutch // Loft Bracelet (old)

Now for Jenn's look! I absolutely love the way she mixed a bold color with the skirt and pattern of the top! So chic and classy for a fun morning brunch with girls!! Head over to her blog, Southern Anchors, to see the full look and where Jennifer would brunch this weekend!!

If you're in the DC area, some of my favorite locations for brunch are Zengo, Belga Cafe, El Centro, or Sequoia. Be sure to check them out and make your reservation through OpenTable.

Hope you all have a marvelous Valentines - Galentine's - Single's Awareness Day... however you choose to celebrate February 14th. XOXO

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Peanut Butter & Mascarpone Pie with DuClaw Naked Fish Beer

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, the timing couldn't have been more perfect for DuClaw Brewing Company to reach out to me to try their new Naked Fish Chocolate Raspberry Stout. I'm always down to try new things, especially if it has the word chocolate in its name, ha! So my friends at DuClaw sent over a case of their new stout to try. Instead of simply tasting the beer, I decided it would be fun to incorporate the Naked Fish into a delicious dessert, perfect for a Valentine's Day treat.

DuClaw Brewing Company is actually based not too far from me either… just up the road in Baltimore. DuClaw offers 65 unique beers and countless variations and blends. So basically that's telling me that I need to pay a visit to their brewery soon.

I really enjoyed the Naked Fish Chocolate Raspberry Stout. Not only was the taste very refreshing, but the beer worked very well in the dessert. The recipe calls for just under one bottle of beer total, but the beer offers just enough to give the pie the faintest taste of the chocolate raspberry. So the beer definitely doesn't overpower the delicious mascarpone cheese or sauce.

This recipe is perfect for Valentine's Day. Make sure to head over to DuClaw's website to see all the beers they offer + find other recipes you can try with their brews. If you're in the DMV area, be sure to checkout their Beer Locator, which tells you exactly where you can pickup your favorite flavors.

Peanut Butter & Mascarpone Pie with DuClaw Naked Fish Beer & Coconut Sauce

What You Need - Pie Ingredients 
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups (or 1 pound) of Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Naked Fish Beer 

What You Need - Sauce Ingredients
  • Little more than 1/2 cup or 5 oz. of Naked Fish Beer
  • 1 Guajillo Chile (or dried chili pepper) -- can be found in either the Mexican food aisle or International food section
  • 1 - 13 oz. can of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut -- can be found in the baking aisle
  • Optional - Chocolate Syrup and Raspberries to garnish

Combine all the pie ingredients in a mixer or bowl, except the beer. Either use a hand held mixer or mix on medium speed until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Continue mixing on low and add the beer slowly. Line a glass pie pan with parchment paper and spray with Pam Cooking Spray. You can also use a cake mold or cake pan. Poor mixture into pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze till solid. 

While the pie is freezing, place the sauce beer in a small pot and one Chile pepper, bring to a boil and then reduce by half. Add in the Coco Lopez and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes till the sauce thickens. Pull from the stove and let cool. -- The recipe I was given calls for mixing the sauce and pepper in a food processor, but I decided against this. I didn't really want seeds in the sauce. -- Once the pie has cooled, cut a slice and plate. Garnish with the sauce, chocolate syrup and raspberries. Serve immediately. 

I recommend smaller slices, as the pie is pretty rich. Also, place any remaining pie in freezer or fridge. Enjoy!!

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**Thank you to DuClaw Brewing Company for providing the beer and recipe. Compensation was given in exchange for this post. All photos and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that help Primp & Proper to grow!