Sometimes I look through my blog archive and I am surprised at all the recipes I still haven’t shared with you. This recipe for my ‘famous’ Waldorf Salad with grilled chicken breast, is no exception. I make this salad a few times a month because it’s tasty, healthy and satisfying. Whenever I make it for a friend or family member, I always get requests for the recipe— so obviously it was about time to share.
With a few basic ingredients that make this salad both sweet and crisp, it’s definitely reminiscent of a traditional Waldorf Salad, but with an Apartment 402 twist (obviously). The thing that makes this salad truly complete is the addition of Granny Smith apples and my own homemade fat free honey-balsamic vinaigrette. Check out the recipe below, and as per usual, thank me later!
Grilled Chicken Waldorf Salad
1 lb chicken breast
1 bag mixed greens salad
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup gorgonzola or blue cheese
1 green apple, cubed
1/2 cup nonfat balsamic vinaigrette
1 tsp honey
1 wedge of lemon
Lawry’s Seasoning salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
1) Chicken: Grill chicken on stove top or BBQ. I like to season my chicken breast with a little lemon, Lawry’s seasoning salt and black pepper. After grilling, chop grilled chicken in to bite sized cubes and set aside.
2) Salad: In a large salad bowl add entire bag of mixed greens, layer in pecans, dried cranberries, apple and griled chicken. Mix well. Sprinkle in cheese and mix again.
3) Dressing: In a small bowl add 1/2 cup of your favorite fat free balsamic dressing (ensure it’s at room temperature) and add 1 tsp honey. Mix well with a whisk. Once ready, dress your salad.
4) Wine Pairing (optional): I suggest pairing this salad with either a light red wine blend (I especially enjoy Chariot from Gypsy Wines— sold at Trader Joe’s for just $4.99!) or a crisp Pinot Grigio is also great with this salad in the summer months.
Makes approximately 4 servings. Feel free to add extra nuts, berries, apple or cheese to taste— this salad is best when you have the right balance of ingredients for your palette.
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I did some major springtime damage over at Bath & Body Works for the past few months. Between all of the amazing new collections and awesome promotions they have running all season, I couldn’t help but stock up on a few essentials. Watch my haul video below to see all the goodies I picked up and leave a comment letting me know which B&BW spring collections are your faves!
As always, don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to the Apartment 402 beauty Channel on YouTube.
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(photo courtesy of showmeyourmumu.com)
With all the fun spring updates I’ve made this week, I figured it would be fun to make myself a little wish list of some key spring fashion items I have been lusting over. Since the season is upon us, it’s finally okay for me to consider adding one or two of these pieces to my wardrobe and accessory closet. Below are my top four must-have spring fashion and accessories of the season. I am particularly partial to the soft pastel color palettes, the sweet floral patterns and the unique shoe silhouettes that are popping up all over the fashion scene this year. I can’t wait to wear some of these pretty, feminine, boho-chic looks through the summer.
1. Statement Sunglasses
Wildfox ‘Kitten’ Sunglasses in Pink (available at Nordstrom)
I already have this exact style in black, and there hasn’t been a day this past fall/winter that I have gone without wearing them. I adore this light pink shade for the warmer months of the year.
2. Boho-Inspired Wedges
Michael by Michael Kors Gabriella Wedges in Luggage (available at Bloomingdales)
I absolutely adore platform wedges. And while I am not usually a fan of the branded initial accessories that so many designers include in their collection (ie: Louis Vuitton), I think the understated way that these shoes include the MK initial detail is actually really pretty. Plus, these wedges have a boho flair, but still a classic feel that you can totally dress up or down.
3. Floral Jumpsuit
Mickey’s Girl Floral Romper (available at MickeysGirl.com)
I love the mix of rose colors and the oversized floral print on this flowy romper. I think a romper is such a versatile piece for spring, that can easily be dressed up and worn to events, as an alternative to the staple floral dress. Also, a great item to throw on for a music festival or outdoor event!
4. Midi Skirt
Nasty Gal Collection Tempted Heart Lace Skirt (available at NastyGal.com)
I struggle with the idea of a midi skirt most of the time, but in a soft pastel shade, I think this silhouette is so pretty and feminine. Of course— this look has to be worn with heels, so that’s always a great reason to get yourself a new pair of wedges or sandals ;)
Happy fashion Friday, lovers!
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Picked some fresh new spring colors from Essie to rock this season, from left: Mod Square, Resort Fling, Bikini so Teenie.
I love March because it’s when the world starts peeking out of winter hibernation. It’s the time of year when everything truly feels new. The air is fresh, the grass starts to fill in, and tiny flowers pop up everywhere. Spring is easily my favorite time of the year, partly because I feel like it’s so short-lived, but filled with so much beauty and happiness. The gap between summer and winter might be small, but it’s definitely a time worth enjoying. And with all this in mind, I figured it was about time for me to give you beauties an Apartment 402 Instagram update with what I’ve been up to this past month as Springtime has been blooming.
Sunday brunch outside— another great benefit of spring, restaurant patios open up again! This little spot in LA called The Village Bakery & Cafe in Los Feliz, easily became one of my new favorite places to brunch.
Breaking out the floral print tops and pastel dresses is probably my favorite part about the season— in March my legs can finally get their tan on again!
Light pink lips are a Springtime staple— this month I mixed and match some of my favorites, including this combo of MAC’s Angel Lustre Lipstick and NYX’s Butter Gloss in Eclair.
Spring is when wedding season starts to get into full swing, and with my sister’s wedding just around the corner this fall, I was able to help with a few of the wedding planning trips— including attending her appetizer tasting and venue open house where I found these adorable mini grilled cheeses with tomato bisque in tea cups! Obviously, she has to add these to her menu!
This is a photo I snapped at sunrise on the first day of Spring— California is beautiful all year round, but the sunrises and sunsets in the warmer months are truly breathtaking!
I am so obsessed with the spring scents from Bath and Body Works— and I love to decorate my vanity with their goodies and add touches of pink to my room. Here, I have my all-time spring fave scent Peach Raspberry Marcaron mini candle, mini cake stand candle holder, Sweet Pea body lotion and Pink Party hand sanitizer.
And of course, spring wouldn’t be spring without my annual treat to purchase a new handbag! This MAB Tote from Rebecca Minkoff was an amazing find at Nordstrom. While I was there, I got a new spring outfit for my phone, The Hello Blossom iphone5 case from Kate Spade. And I also picked up these super comfortable and VERY affordable espedrille flats from the new Kendall and Kylie Madden Girl collection.
Of course, my fave Spring cupcake flavor are these fluffy lemon + sweet cream cupcakes I posted about on Monday (see recipe here). The ultimate warm weather baked good!
I also adore the warmer months of the year because it’s when my makeup routine changes to a more neutral palette. I always break out my Two Faced Natural Eye palette and pair it with Naked Basics, for a fresh, clean, illuminated daily face look.
Obviously, the best way to stay up to date with the daily adventures of Apartment 402, be sure to follow the blog on Instagram- @apartment_402.
Happy March, beautifuls!
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If you liked yesterday’s post on Reign Crowns, then boy do I have a surprise for you today! Not only did I pull together a Festival season hair and makeup tutorial video, with tips and tricks for easy, but still very pretty, festival-ready looks. But I also will be giving away THREE Reign Crowns flower crowns to THREE WINNERS on my YouTube Channel! I KNOW, RIGHT!? Check out the video for the details and see below for the giveaway rules. And as per usual, thank me later!
REIGN CROWNS FLOWER CROWN GIVEAWAY RULES and ENTRY:
1. Leave a comment in the bottom bar below the video on YouTube and tell me what event you would wear a flower crown to this season AND tell me which style flower crown in the Reign Crowns collection is your favorite.
2. Entry period ends on April 4, 2014 at midnight.
3. Only one entry per person will qualify.
4. I will pick 3 winners and each winner will win one of the following 3 flower crowns (winners and flower crown styles will be chosen at random)
- Winner 1 will receive the Rosebud Side Crown in magenta (aka: Kissed by Marisa style. View crown here: http://instagram.com/p/l8qTELQo3l/
- Winner 2 will receive the Sunny White Daisy Flower crown. View Crown here: http://instagram.com/p/l8uAqIQo8m/
- Winner 3 will receive the Mini Pack-a-Punch Purple Peony Flower Crown. View Crown here: http://instagram.com/p/l2dMN0wo1p/
5. ALL 3 Winners will be announced in a video post to the Apartment 402 YouTube Channel on Saturday April 5th.
6. I will let winners know they have won by replying to their comment on this video. Winners will then have 24 hours to email me with their shipping information to claim their crown!
CONNECT + LEARN MORE ABOUT REIGN CROWNS!
Email to place an order for crowns: email@example.com
Also, per my video— here’s the hair tutorial I referenced:
BEACHY WAVES HAIR TUTORIAL VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ0a8w_wGHQ&list=UUnTfNBfxCIEvwAQt5Vqyz5w
BEACHY WAVES HAIR TUTORIAL BLOG POST:
PRODUCTS MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO:
Bumble and Bumble BB Hairspray
Batiste Dry Shampoo
Tony&Guy Sea Salt Spray
NuMe Titan 3 Curling Wand
e.l.f Tinted Moisturizer
Clarins Beauty Balm
Two Faced Chocolate Soilel Travel Bronzer
L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer Crayon
Milani Baked Blush in #05 Luminoso
Bombshell “The One Stick”
Smashbox Travel Full Exposure Mascara
Stila Stay All Day 24 Hour Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Nars Travel Blush Brush
Anastasia Brow Wiz
Remember to enter the giveaway by April 4th! And there will be 3 winners, so tell your friends!
Happy Wednesday, flower children!
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Mini Sunny Crown with Purple Peonies- $25
With festival season upon us, flowers are bursting out of every fashion edifice possible right now. That being said, you know I am ALL OVER this accessory party wagon. And when my friend Christine brought over samples of her handmade flower crowns from her new line, Reign Crowns, I basically died and came back to flower child life. These uniquely beautiful flower crowns are truly one of a kind. So when Christine then asked me if I wouldn’t mind being the hair model for her flower crown Instagram Look Book, I was absolutely beaming to be a part of the start of this amazing little handcrafted accessory collection.
Sunny Cherry Blossom Crown- $35
Reign Crowns offers a wide range of specialty flower crown styles that aim to bring out the inner flower child in everyone. Each crown is handcrafted to perfection by my friend Christine and she makes them available at very affordable prices— lower than the going rate for similar flower crowns you can find on Etsy. With all crowns ranging between $25 and $45, any Reign Crown you purchase is usually a better deal, (especially for the amazing quality) than what you can find at Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal or on any of the handcrafted crown marketplaces online.
Everyone knows that flower crowns have become a staple accessory at popular music festivals across the country— I mean, I can’t even say “Coachella” without imagining a hippie-haired girl with flowers in her hair and cut-off jean shorts. A bandwagon trend or not, I totally dig it. And with a few music festivals on my agenda for this Spring and Summer, you know I am ordering at least 2 or 3 of these Reign Crowns for my adventures. No matter what event you might be attending, Reign Crowns has a flower crown style for you. I took the liberty of pulling together some of my favorite flower crowns from the collection and making a quick guide of my suggestions for the types of Reign Crowns you might want to consider for your music festival fashion this year:
Reign Crown Music Festival Guide:
Coachella (Indio, California)
My Reign Crown Coachella Recommendation: Pack-a-Punch Multi-Petal Crown - $45
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC- New York, Las Vegas, Orlando)
My Reign Crown EDC Recommendation: Sunny White Daisy Crown $35
Governor’s Ball (NYC)/Lollapalooza (Chicago)
My Reign Crown Governor’s Ball/Lollapalooza Recommendation: Rosebud Side Crown in Magenta $25
Stage Coach (Indio, California)
My Reign Crown Stage Coach Recommendation: Sunny Sunflower Crown $35
Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN)
My Reign Crown Bonnaroo Recommendation: Mini Sunny Cherry Blossom Crown- $25
My Reign Crown Bonnaroo Recommendation: Sunny Cherry Blossom Crown $35
*Note that there are half and full flower crown styles— half crowns are all around $25 to $35 each and they are noted with the descriptor name “Mini”.
For even more flower crowns to gush over, and lots of festival season fashion inspiration, be sure to follow Reign Crowns on Instagram— @reign_crowns. If you want to order your own Reign Flower Crown, email Christine to place your order today and let her know I sent you! EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like what you read today, then be sure to visit the blog again tomorrow for an EXTRA special Festival Season blog post AND video AND a SURPRISE. Yep, I have all the goodies for you guys this week!
Happy Festival Season, lovers!
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When I think of Springtime I always picture fresh citrus, sweet florals and light clean tastes and smells. Spring time is also when my cupcake orders start to increase due to the plethora of baby showers, bridal showers, graduations and other spring events. For a baby shower a few weeks back. a client requested lemon cupcakes and I was so excited because the smell of lemon cake is so warm and enticing, and when I bake these cupcakes my whole house just smells like spring. This recipe is one of my all time favorites, because the citrus cake paired with my light and fluffy sweet cream vanilla buttercream frosting, is a combination that never fails to please a crowd.
Lemon Cupcakes with Sweet Cream Frosting Recipe
2 cups - all purpose flour
2 tsp - baking powder
1/2 tsp - salt
1 3/4 cup - sugar
4 - eggs
1 tsp lemon extract
the zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup - vegetable oil
2 sticks sweet cream butter (softened)
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
3 to 5 drops yellow food color (until desired yellow pigment is achieved)
- Pre heat oven to 350 ° F.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt 3 times and keep it aside.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, whip together the eggs and sugar till fluffy. Now gently add the oil, lemon extract and lemon zest. Whisk again for 20 seconds. Gently fold in the flour mix and mix for 1 min.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the butter together until smooth. Add vanilla extract and mix well. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix till soft peaks are attained.
- Add yellow food color and whip until all color is evenly distributed.
- Cover the bowl of frosting with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for atleast 15-20 minutes before piping.
- Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes as desired.
*Optional: add white pearl sprinkles for a sweet and adorable decoration.
And as a serving suggestion— these cupcakes go great with a sparkling raspberry champagne. JUST SAYIN’.
Happy Monday, lemon lovers.
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A few weeks back I came across this amazing recipe for an Elevated McMuffin and my jaw dropped to the floor. As a [huge] fan of the famous MacDonald’s McMuffin, I was intrigued enough to run out and buy the ingredients that day and make the breakfast sandwich myself. And I was not disappointed in the least. After making a few of my own small changes to the recipe, I dare say, I think the Apartment 402 McMuffin is even better than the “elevated” one. Obviously, the only way to know for sure, is to try it yourself. Warning: Your breakfast might never be the same, kids.
- English muffins
- Sharp white cheddar cheese ( I used Vermont white cheddar)
- 1 or 2 Large eggs
- Paprika garlic aioli (4 tbs mayonnaise, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp minced garlic*, mixed well)
- Muffin pan or ramekins
*I used a minced apricot garlic spread I found at the Farmer’s Market near my house, but you can find all kinds of garlic spreads at your local grocery store
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Spray muffin pan/ramekins with cooking spray, crack eggs into each cup, add salt and pepper, cook for 25 minutes.
2. When the eggs are 4-5 minutes from being done, slice english muffins in half and toast.
3. Promptly remove english muffin from toaster, spread both halves with paprika garlic aioli, place cheese on the other half.
4. When the eggs are done, gently cut around the perimeter of the cups to remove, place the egg on top of the cheese.
5. Place two slices of prosciutto on top of the egg and serve!
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I want you all to prepare yourself for the best salad ever right now. I almost named this post “Best Pasta Salad in the World” but then, that’s kind of subjective…especially for anyone who doesn’t like artichokes. Either way, this is a recipe I can’t believe I haven’t already shared with you, because it’s literally my favorite salad ever. My mom found the recipe a few years back on the FoodNetwork.com— it’s one of Rachael Ray’s original dishes. Since then, mom has tweaked the ingredients a bit and over the years it’s evolved into a potluck staple in our family. I am so excited to spread the love, because once you go Spinach Artichoke Salad—believe me—you will never go back.
Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad Recipe
1 large package Buitoni spinach and Cheese filled tortellini
1/2 bushel fresh baby spinach
1 (15-ounce) can quartered baby artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 red roasted red pepper, drained and chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, cracked from skin and finely minced
1 lemon, zested
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme leaves
A handful sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp course salt
1) Bring 5 or 6 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Salt boiling water and add pasta. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until pasta is just tender. Drain tortellini, then cool the cooked pasta by spreading them out on a large plate or a cookie sheet in a single layer.
2) Coarsely chop baby spinach. Combine with artichoke quarters, roasted red pepper and red onion in a large bowl.
3) Dressing: Add salt to minced garlic it and mash it into a paste with the flat of your knife. Transfer garlic paste to a small bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice and vinegar to it. Whisk in oil, thyme and pepper.
4) Add pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to the large salad bowl. Dress salad and gently toss. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving to allow flavors to marinate.
If you wanted to turn this dish into a meal, you could easily add grilled chicken breast or shrimp, but it’s also delicious on its own as a vegetarian dish. I recommend this pasta salad for potlucks, bridal and baby showers and any family gatherings— it’s always a hit and NEVER disappoints.
Happy pasta salad Thursday!
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Basic Statement One Piece: I love a basic suit and am obsessed with this celeb-inspired trend that adds quirky phrases to simple swimwear, like this Miley Cyrus inspired look from Stampd LA ‘Dope’ One Piece, find similar on Etsy.
For my second installment in the Spring Breakers series, I am addressing the one Spring Break area that no one ever really wants to address—even though it’s pretty much the most important part of Spring Breaking. Yep, I’m talking about that swimsuit wardrobe, people. And for me, breaking out a swimsuit after a long winter of wearing leggings, chunky sweaters and peacoats, is basically pure torture. I honestly believe that swimwear is the one category of apparel that requires a long, hard look in the mirror and a confident reminder to yourself, that by June, when your tan is in full swing, you will look phenomenal. A swimsuit is the hardest thing on the planet to shop for.
On the flip side of all that negativity, swimwear can also pleasantly surprise you. Since everyone’s body is different, no one swimsuit ever looks the same on everybody. With this in mind, swimwear trends can be really fun to try out, and even if you think something will look horrific on you, there really never is any harm in trying it on. Below I have pulled a few 2014 swimwear trends I believe are worth braving the dressing room for.
Flutter Top Bikini
This swimsuit trend is new for 2014, and it is popping up all over the place for spring. I love this crop top inspired look because you can throw on a pair of shorts and go straight from the beach to the bar. Especially in love with this one from Maaji.
High-Waisted Retro Bikini
I am partial to this bikini trend that started popping up last swim season and is now all over the place. The retro-inspired bikinis look great on so many different body types, so even if you’re not usually a bikini girl, this style might turn you into one. This one is from TopShop, find similar here.
Bold, Mixed Print Suits
Nanette Lepore ‘St. Etienne Seductress’ One Piece at Nordstrom.
Nanette Lepore ‘St. Etienne Charmer’ Bikini at Nordstrom.
A suit with a fun print is always a good choice, but I am especially obsessed with the current trend of mixing multiple prints. Not only is it a fun way to celebrate warm weather beach days. but mixed prints are more distracting to the eye and usually help keep attention away from problem areas on your body— allowing you to try different silhouettes you might not feel as comfortable in with a solid colored suit. These two from Nanette Lepore are amazing, the one piece is totally being added to the spring break wardrobe!
70’s Inspired One Piece
Since Coachella season is basically in full swing, all the festival-inspired looks are out to play. I love the current 70s-inspired swimsuit trends, like this one from Nasty Gal.
Preppy Peplum Two Piece
The peplum trend that started last year, has now evolved into all forms of fashion, including swimwear. This flattering silhouette looks classic on all body types and is a fun way to dress yourself up a bit by the pool. I am especially fond of this sleek suit from Zimmerman, available at Anthropologie.
You can find these and more of my fave Spring Breakers swimwear by following my Beach Bunny board on Pinterest. What are your fave swim trends of the season?
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