April 24, 2014

Perfectly Abstract Dress

Navy Floral Print Dress | Luci's Morsels
So. I have some pretty exciting news that I haven't shared yet. After years of talking about it and a couple nags (on my part), my fiance and I are going on a vacation next month to one of our favorite (his favorite for sure) countries in the world - Italy! My fiance surprised me on Valentine's Day with dates and we've been planning ever since. We've both been there before (he lived there in college), so this trip is going to be much more focused on relaxing and eating and shopping than tourist-ing. I kept thinking it was far off in the future, but now it's kicked in how soon it is and we're on countdown! I even had a dream about taking Italian classes the other night... I've started thinking about what clothes to take. I'm definitely taking these walking shoes and I ordered this Eric Javits bag. And now I'm pretty convinced I'm taking this navy and floral dress too! Besides outfits, I'm also planning out my reading and easy hair and makeup while I'm there. So many things to do!

Any recommendations for places to eat or things you must do in Rome, Florence, Sienna, or Venice? What are your favorite daytrips from these cities?

Navy Floral Print Dress | Luci's Morsels

Navy Floral Print Dress | Luci's Morsels
Navy Floral Print Dress | Luci's MorselsNavy Floral Print Dress | Luci's Morsels

Navy Floral Print Dress | Luci's Morsels

Dress: KUT from the Kloth (c/o - available at Lord & Taylor), Purse: Coach (updated version), Shoes: Linea Paulo (old, metallic gray pair), Necklace: BaubleBar, Sunglasses: Prada

April 23, 2014

Smoky + Creamy Mexican Cauliflower Salad

Mexican Cauliflower + Quinoa Salad - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels A few months ago, I got an idea to roast cauliflower florets with dinner. It was so yummy that now I can't stop thinking of flavors to roast with it or ingredients to mix in. It's honestly very delicious on it's own, but that's never enough for me. Last week, I was hit with the idea of a roasted cauliflower guacamole with pureed cauliflower and avocado. I haven't tried that yet, but this is the first step down that path of deliciousness. And the mango + mint margaritas will hopefully be there along the way!
Mexican Cauliflower + Quinoa Salad - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels
Smoky + Creamy Mexican Cauliflower Salad
(serves 6 as side dish, 3-4 as main dish)

Ingredients
1 large head of cauliflower, chopped (approx. 4-5 cups)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1/2-3/4 teaspoons cayenne red pepper
3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper (plus more to finish)
2 avocados, cubed
3 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Cup cooked quinoa (red for color)
1/4 Cup crumbled cotija/queso fresco cheese*
limes wedges for garnish

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly combine cauliflower, oil, cumin, chili flakes if using, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly on large sheet pan. Roast for twenty minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Meanwhile, cube avocado. Remove cauliflower from oven. Mix with avocado, quinoa, and cheese. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Top with lime wedges for garnish for tangier flavor.

*you could also use goat cheese for a creamier flavor. I'd recommend using more spice because of the sweetness of the goat cheese.

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Mexican Cauliflower + Quinoa Salad - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels

Mexican Cauliflower + Quinoa Salad - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels

Mexican Cauliflower + Quinoa Salad - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels

April 22, 2014

Business Fabulous

Business Fabulous - J Brand Blue Luxe Sateen Jeans - Luci's Morsels
I had a business meeting over coffee a few weeks ago and didn't quite know what to wear. Representing myself as a denim blogger but also a professional can be a bit tricky. Luckily, I've discovered the practicality and stylishness of blazers. I've worn my black blazer countless times, but now I'm returning to my white blazer. It's ideal for brightening my looks for the changing seasons. Pairing my blazer with denim has been such an easy and appropriate look for me that I'm turning to it again and again, including for one of three social media lectures I'm giving this week!

I just got these blue J Brand luxe sateen pants and already really like them. I've tried J Brand denim before but find them just as good as the slightly less expensive brands I know and love. This pair cost a bit less than their usual and the color was so eye-grabbing that I pulled them off the rack. Because they're stretchy, I was nervous they'd find and accentuate everything, but as you can see, they're actually quite forgiving and flattering. And they're so soft; I'm definitely a fan! And I didn't realize it for the first wear, but they don't have front pockets. I love my pockets but hate pocket-bunching. And having back pockets (which they do) is much more important to me!

Business Fabulous - J Brand Blue Luxe Sateen Jeans - Luci's Morsels

Business Fabulous - J Brand Blue Luxe Sateen Jeans - Luci's Morsels
Business Fabulous - J Brand Blue Luxe Sateen Jeans - Luci's Morsels
Business Fabulous - J Brand Blue Luxe Sateen Jeans - Luci's Morsels
Business Fabulous - J Brand Blue Luxe Sateen Jeans - Luci's Morsels
Denim: J Brand (cute in pink too), Blazer: Trouve (similar), Top: Calvin Klein (similar tops here and here), Shoes: Nine West, Clutch: Lulu, Sunglasses: Prada, Bracelet: Love, Always

April 21, 2014

Mango + Mint Margaritas

Mango + Mint Margaritas Recipe - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels
I don't really celebrate Cinco de Mayo with any tradition or gusto, but I need absolutely no excuse to enjoy Mexican food and drinks. Whether it's chips and salsa, guacamole, fajitas, fried ice cream, or mango margaritas, you can count me in! I know I've been cooking with a lot of mint recently. One of my friends has a mint plant, so she keeps replenishing my supply, which is constantly inspiring me to use it more and more. It keeps tasting delicious, so I keep using it again and again. These mango and mint margaritas are no exception. We've been pretty obsessed with mango margaritas since having the best of them all at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Reno, Nevada. They're delightfully sweet and satisfying especially when it's hot out. So cheers to a great Cinco de Mayo next week and to warming temperatures!
Mango + Mint Margaritas Recipe with Patron Tequila - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels

Mango + Mint Margaritas
(makes 2 large, 4 regular margaritas)

Ingredients
2/3 Cup tequila
2 Tablespoons Triple Sec
3 Tablespoons lime juice
4-6 Tablespoons lightened mint simple syrup
2 Cups chopped frozen mango
2-3 Tablespoons mint leaves
1 1/2 Cups ice

Instructions
Combine alcohols, lime juice, syrup, mango, and mint leaves in blender. Taste for flavor, adding more lime juice, syrup, or tequila depending on taste. Add in ice. Blend until no more large ice chunks appear.

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Margarita Glasses:


Mango + Mint Margaritas Recipe - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels

Mango + Mint Margaritas Recipe - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels

Mango + Mint Margaritas Recipe - cinco de mayo | Luci's Morsels

April 18, 2014

Fashion Friday: Glorious Gold Sandals

After wearing my gold IT sandals last weekend and the positive response I got on Instagram from the shoes, I decided a gold shoe roundup was in order. I'm in love with the idea of gold flats and gold wedges (no surprise there). All of these would be so fun to wear, but I'm obsessed with these Stuart Weitzman flats (the first ones). I'm always attracted to the bright gold and black juxtaposition and these cuties look so comfortable. Moving these to the top of my wishlist!

We have a pretty lowkey weekend planned. I need to catchup on work and we need to do those necessary cleaning house and laundry things. I'm headed to northern California for the first part of next week to visit with my family, do three social media guest lectures, and get my hair done (oh goodness does it need to be done!). Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Gold Avarcas-PONS

Gold Sandals | Luci's Morsels