Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Link Love

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and week. I'll be savoring the last of the holidays this weekend with wonderful friends and family. Lots of prepping to do for the NYE party the roomie and I are throwing. I'll be cleaning, baking, cooking and DIY'ing  all weeking. It will be totally worth it on Monday though when I get to celebrate with everyone that I love. In the meantime, here are some fun links from the web this week.

A ridiculously easy and festive DIY wine glass marker.

Pretty nails.

Sole Society is having a buy one, get one sale! I'm loving the Stella and the Alison.

Refinery29's Guide to snowboots that don't look like snowboots.

What I'm thinking...

I rocked it in high school and now it's back. The braided pony. Yes.

10 most Googled search terms of 2012.

Loving this bright color palette.

Signature champagne cocktail ideas (for our classy NYE cocktail party).

And the bacon obsession continues...

I'm thinking about trying clip-in hair extensions. Anyone use them? Any recommendations?

If you're not headed to my house for NYE, some other fun ideas...


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thrifted Thursdays: The Ski Boots

This thrifted Thursday is an oldie, but a goodie, a reaaal goodie.

Last Winter the Wesley and I were browsing Recycled Sports in Frisco, looking for possible treasures, when we struck gold. In a sea of dirty and old ski boots, mine were just sitting there, perfect, waiting for us to walk in the door and take them away.

They were brand new, 2010 Dalbello Krypton boots that retailed then for $700 and now for $400! Plus they came with Intuition LinersHotronic FootWarmers and Booster straps. Wes tells me that with all the bells and whistles these boots came with, they were easily worth $1000. We did not pay that ridiculous amount though. We are better shoppers than that. We Wesley bought them for only $90! Brown chicken brown cow.

So far I have only used them once this winter (mama still needs skis and bindings), but they were glorious; so warm and comfortable (if there is such a thing in ski boots). I love them and they love me too. Excellent thrift find Wesley, excellent thrift find.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas Recap

Merry day after Christmas! I hope everyone had a special day with loved ones. My Christmas was wonderful for so many reasons, from the people to the music to the food to the snow! I'm sad it's over, but so thankful it happened. Check out my Christmas photo recap...

My parent's ginormous Christmas tree

Me and zee brothie during Christmas dinner. If you didn't know better, you'd think we were twins...

Christmas dinner. Wes yelling at Ziggy. Me trying to look light hearted and photogenic...

We sang Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, All. Night. Long.

So did the pups

My dad wouldn't sing...or wear the reindeer hat. Lame.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight! 

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more goodness @mountainsandmode

I'm Baaaack

Did you miss me? I thought so. Please excuse my absence. Life has been crazy (in a good, holiday way). Merry Day After Christmas to you. Good blogging posts are coming. I promise. Stay tuned.....


Thursday, December 20, 2012


As we've discussed, I love the holidays. I think the biggest reason I love them so much is because my family has so many traditions to look forward to. From small traditions like holiday shopping and Christmas movies to more important ones like my family's Christmas itinerary. Every Christmas is the same in my house and I love that. You would think it gets boring, but it doesn't. When you have such a special day that only comes once a year, you treasure it.

Christmas morning my mom is the first to wake up. She makes coffee, then blasts Christmas music to wake us all up (such a peaceful way to get up). We open our stockings, then to my aunt's house for a tasty Christmas brunch. After brunch, we go back home to open all of our presents. After presents, we watch some sort of Christmas movie (this varies between It's a Wonderful Life, Elf and Miracle of 34th Street). While the movie is playing, my parents and I prepare our annual Christmas feast, when our entire family rejoins together to eat. After dinner, we play games and and one of my oldest childhood friends comes over. With full bellies and happy hearts, we go to bed.

This routine is the same, every year. It never changes and I am okay with that. It's these traditions that make our Christmas so special.

So I'm curious, does your family have Christmas traditions? What do you do? Is it the same every year? I'm super interested in hearing.

P.S. I know how blessed I am to have a family to celebrate with and a job to support our traditions. I know not everyone is as fortunate. I feel thankful every day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Easy Apple Tart

I love dessert. I usually find a way to eat dessert with every meal. Breakfast? Nutella on an english muffin. Lunch? Perhaps a sweet latte of sorts. Dinner? Well that's when the magic really happens. Dinner is when I really make that dessert count. You can always expect pie, ice cream and cookies at my house after dinner, probably all three.

Sometimes though, my sweet tooth kicks in and I just don't feel like spending two hours in the kitchen preparing a sweet masterpiece. On these occasions, this Easy Apple Tart comes into play. It's a fresh, delicious and homemade(?) recipe that takes no more than 30 minutes from start to finish. It also takes only four ingredients. Ya boi. Make this for your guests (or yourself) and compliments and happy bellies follow.

Easy Apple Tart
makes 4 servings


1 package frozen puff pastry (in frozen dessert aisle)
3 Granny Smith apples
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove 1 sheet of puff pastry from the package and allow to thaw on the counter.

While pastry thaws, peel the skin from the apples and cut in half. Remove the seeds from the middle (I use a pairing knife) and finely slice them, about 1/8 inch thick.

Once pastry is thawed, unfold it so it lays flat. Cut the pastry in half, so you have two rectangles. Lay the sliced apples, in a line, in the middle of each pastry, leaving a one-inch border.

Slice 1/4 inch pads of butter. Put butter pads on top of apples on each tart. Sprinkle the sugar on top of each tart.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden and the apples are bubbling. Allow to cool and enjoy!

P.S. You noticed I didn't post yesterday? I'm sorry. Sometimes I make my own rules and then break them.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Business Caj

Made the trip a trip to the office last week. Listened to this audiobook. Wore this outfit. I call it business casual caj because I like to keep it classy at the office and I also love abbreviations abbrevs.

The skirt is purplicious wool from J Crew that goes with everything. An old, blue button-down from Forever 21 keeps the party going. Tights and my favorite fav Bass loafers tie it all together. You think I look gorgeous gorg? Stop it...

Yes I painted that masterpiece in the upper, left corner. Your welcome.

Top: Old Forever 21 (cute polka dot version!)
Loafers: G.H. Bass
Watch: Timex

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Link Love

Tis' the season! As I've said before, I love this time of year; Christmas, family, food, dessert, parties, New Year's. It's such a magical time. I'm excited to spend some quality time with friends and family this weekend. My parents are coming up to Breckenridge tonight to spend the whole week! I can't wait. My bf Mandi is also headed up tomorrow. We're planning on skiing and backing our things up all weekend long. I hope you have a special weekend too. Enjoy these fun links from the web this week...

An unexpected, yet sexy NYE outfit.

What happened when illiterate Ethiopian kids are given tablets, but no teachers.

5 budget-chic instagrammers you should be following now.

Presidents on their wedding days.

How to set up your bar in 44 seconds.

Give the gift of bacon jam.

This gift guide made me lol.

This gift guide is good and all under $30.

A gingerbread centerpiece for your holiday fete.

Should I buy these or these with my Sorel gift card?

DIY wrapping paper.

Holiday nails. I shall try #3.

6 holiday looks for every occasion.

These, these or these glittery heels would be fun with my NYE outfit. A girl can dream...

Black and white. So hot right now.

This collection by Paolo Sebastion is amazing.

P.S. 3 party posts you may have missed:
*Red Red Wine
*Egg Drop Party
*A Nontraditional, Traditional Thanksgiving


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thrifted Thursdays: The Cocktail Dress

Greatest. Thrift. Find. Ever. (Or maybe just best timing...)

This past Tuesday, I made it official. I made a facebook event for the classy cocktail party Danimal and I are throwing on New Year's Eve. Tons of people have already confirmed. Danielle and I have brainstormed the signature cocktail we shall make. We have discussed menu options. All that's left is the clothes. Ahhh, the clothes.

It's like it was fate. Tuesday afternoon (after I had created the fb event), I had some time to kill. So I headed over to my favorite thrift store, For Pet's Sake, to see what kind of treasures awaited me. I had no idea what would be in store.

As I walked in, things seemed as usual, old 80's business suits and moms jeans galore. Though, as I begun my normal store excavation, something popped out from behind a slutty Rue 21 dress. It was tulle...and dress form! My heart went pitter patter. I pulled the dress out to get a better view and how gorgeous it was. From Banana Republic and in my size? Thank you Jesus I thought.

I tried it on and it fit like a glove. I checked the price...$20. Yowza! That's a lot for a thrift store purchase, but it was brand new and perfect. One of a kind. So I did it, and as I did it, I found a real pearl necklace to go with it for only $4. Damn it's hard to be a gangster.

I can't wait to wear my thrifted cocktail dress to our classy NYE cocktail party. I shall be the hostess with the mostest.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Party Face

Holy gorgeous Emma Stone!

I'm into it. Hot pink lips. Must try asap. (Must buy first). Awesome hair; sort of boyish 80's, don't you think? Dramatic eyeliner and long under lashes? Yes please. And black, sparkly and over-the-top earring are good in my book. She sort of reminds me of a vamped up Marilyn Monroe. That's hot.

I love this look. It would be super fun on a night out! Maybe it shall be my NYE inspiration. Although this look is gorgeous too (and it would apparently play up my baby blues). But truthfully, I'll probably end up looking something like this. I guess you'll just have to wait and see.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Best Sauce Ever

The best sauce ever. Doesn't it look appetizing?

I believe there are two types of people in this world: sauce people and non-sauce people. Sauce people love all kinds of sauces on all kinds of food; dipping sauces, cold sauces, smothered sauces, soup-y sauces and hot sauces alike. Non-sauce people simply don't like sauce on, near or around their food. They prefer it dry (that's what she said). I belong to the former group.

This post is dedicated to all the saucy people in the world. This post is a declaration for the best sauce ever. A sauce I could eat as a soup. A sauce I could bathe in it. A sauce that can and will save any overcooked protein that you forgot about in the oven. I'm talkin' about a mustard cream sauce.

This Mustard Cream Sauce is simple to make, and you probably already have all the ingredients to make it in your fridge and pantry. I think it goes best with chicken, but pork or steak is very nice too. Make it with your next meal. You won't regret it. 

Mustard Cream Sauce (Adapted from the Pioneer Woman, duh)


1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brandy (or dry, white wine)
2 tbsp grainy mustard
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream (half and half works too)
1/4 cup chicken broth


On medium heat, add the oil and butter to a skillet. Add the garlic and saute it for a minute, stirring it to make sure it doesn't burn. Add the brandy (white wine is good too, but I prefer the brandy which gives it a deeper, more caramel flavor). Let the brandy bubble and reduce by half. 

Add the mustards and stir to combine. Add the cream. Taste the sauce and add chicken broth to achieve desired thickness (it's not an exact science, I think I used about 1/8 cup of broth). Allow to simmer for 2 more minutes.

Add whatever you are eating with this sauce (chicken/pork/etc...) to the skillet and let it bathe in all that saucy glory. Yummmm! Enjoy.

P.S. You know when you say a word too much and it loses its meaning. Just happened to me...sauce, sauce, sauce, sauce....but what does it mean?!

Monday, December 10, 2012

All I Want For Christmas Is You

I LOVE Christmas music. Maybe because it's played on TV and in stores months before the date. Maybe because it's played in all holiday movies, ever. Maybe it's because my mother leaves our Christmas carol clock up, all...year...long.

All I know is that Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You Pandora radio station is played on repeat the entire month of December. It's my favorite Christmas song of all time. And can we please talk about the Love Actually, All I Want for Christmas scene? The. Best. Ever.

So, when I heard Jimmy Fallon covered All I Want for Christmas with the Roots and Mariah Carey? Done and done. Check it out. It may be your new Christmas song repeat.

Video via Youtube

Sunday, December 9, 2012


In case you didn't know, it snowed. Everywhere. But especially in the high country. 8 inches! Finally! Thank you Ullr! I enjoyed it. Now continue...

The backyard this morning. 8" of fresh white stuff.  Gawgeous.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Link Love

What are you up to this weekend? I'll be working hard, or hardly working? It's my holiday work party this Saturday, so I'm excited eat some tasty food and get silly with my coworkers. I haven't decided what to wear yet, but I'm thinking something simple and classic, like this. I guess you'll just have to wait and see! I hope you all have a festive weekend too. Here are some fun links from the web this week...

The mother of all gift guides.

These holiday appetizers look so easy and yummy.

I really want this coat. Warm, cozy and chic.

A desk DIY.

The secret of boxed wine.

I am obsessed with tartan this holiday season.

An easy DIY advent calendar.

Bed bugs in books? Ahhhh!

Browned butter (anything) cookies are always good in my book.

Black streetstyle is always chic.

Wowza! Sounds the new generation may never hear. (I had never heard 3, 4 or 7!)

How to do a top knot.

I shall host a cookie swap. I shall make these.

And in case you missed if from last year, Jimmy Kimmel's Christmas present prank.

Image via Flickr

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Running Like Pheobe

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous in the high country. It was almost 50 degree in Breckenridge, making it too nice outside to not do anything. So I laced up my running shoes and hit the pavement. Now usually I prefer to trail run for several reasons. First, the scenery is more beautiful. Second, it's better on my joints (dirt is less impact than concrete). Third and most importantly, I don't like running in public where people can see me because I'm pretty sure I run like Pheobe in that one Friends episode.

Have you ever seen the The One Where Pheobe Runs? When Pheobe and Rachel go running in Central Park and Rachel gets embarrassed because Pheobe runs super spastic and wild? Well that's me. Every. Time. I. Run. I do this weird sway thing with my hips, and let's not even talk about my thumbs-up-hands while I'm in motion.

I look something like this...

It's embarrassing. What's worse is that in the small town of only 5,000 that I live in, someone ALWAYS sees me. While running yesterday, I got honked at by two friends, one friend pulled over to chat and another friend emailed to say he saw me. I guess you could say I'm kind of a big deal, a big deal at looking goofy while trying to accelerate my heart rate.

What do you think? Do you like running in public? Are you a confident runner? Or, are you like me, and prefer to hide your hip swinging, thumbs-up running style in the woods?

Video via here

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Tiramisu is my favorite. dessert. ever. My love affair for the coffee-soaked cake began as a child, obviously passed down from my mother. We would each ask for it every year as our birthday cake, special ordered from only the classiest of bakeries restaurants, The Olive Garden.

I know what you're thinking. The Olive Garden? But that's the classy establishment that I go to for bottomless soup, salad and breadsticks (also all you can eat pasta during that one month of the year). I've never heard about their tiramisu. Well bitches, I'm hear to set you straight. The Olive Garden, hands down, has the best, most decadent, rich-but-light-at-the-same-time tiramisu in America! Go get some now.

I digress. Last month, while browsing Camille Styles, I found a recipe for pumpkin tiramisu. Whaaat?! I emailed my mom right away and said we must try it for Thanksgiving. Our all-time, favorite tiramisu getting up, close and weird with the Thanksgiving, classic pumpkin? It's was our destiny to make it.

The recipe turned out super well. The overall flavor of the tiramisu was definitely the amaretto, so if you love amaretto, this recipe is for you! I was hoping for more of a pumpkin flavor, so I think if I make it again, I'll add more pumpkin and less amaretto. Overall though, it was tasty and beautiful; and although there are a lot of steps, it was super easy to make.

Pumpkin Tiramisu (original recipe here)
Makes 8 (huge) servings


3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup oil (I used Canola)
4 eggs, room temp
1 15-ounce can pumpkin pie filling (I used pumpkin puree and added pumpkin pie spices)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange zest

Almond Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
pinch of cream of tarter
1 1/2 cups mascarpone
2 vanilla bean seeds (I used 4 tsp of vanilla extract)
2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
1 bag of amaretto cookies, crushed


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two, 9-inch, round cake pans. Spray with cooking spray, then line the bottom of pans with parchment paper; spray again and dust pans with flour (this step is super important to a layer cake, so your cakes don't stick and look pretty and even).

Sift flour, baking soda, baking flour and salt into a bowl. In a different bowl, beat sugar and oil with a mixer until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add pumpkin pie filling (or pumpkin puree with 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice), vanilla and orange zest; beat until well blended. Add flour mixture; beat on low until just incorporated. Divide batter between pans. Smooth tops.

Bake cakes about 40-50 minutes, until knife comes out clean in the center. Cool cakes completely in pans on rack. Run knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment paper. Turn cakes over, rounded side up. Using a serrated knife, trim rounded tops of cakes to level, then cut


In a saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Strain into a bowl, allow to cool, then cover and store in the fridge.

When ready to use, mix in amaretto


In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and cream of tartar. Beat again until stiff peaks form.

Combine mascarpone, vanilla and amaretto in a bowl. Beat with a whisk to combine. Fold into whipped cream.

Brush a couple spoonfuls of amaretto syrup onto the cut side of each cake

Put the first layer, uncut side down, on a cake stand and spoon a layer of mascarpone filling over the top. Sprinkle a layer of crushed amaretto cookies over the filling.

Repeat this process until al the cake layers are used. Drizzle a little extra syrup over the top layer. Enjoy. Stores in the refrigerator.

Image from here

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

This past weekend, Wes and I picked our first Christmas tree! We walked out into the National Forest  backyard and legally chopped down our first Charlie Brown tree. It may be a little sparse and uneven in places, but it's beautiful none the less. We decorated it lights and ornaments. Cranberry and popcorn garland to come soon.

And so the adventure begins...

           Could this be our tree? No, too small.                       Could this be our tree? No, too bendy.

We found our tree! A Charlie Brown tree!

      Fam Picture                                                                   A real man

Then I picked fresh holly. Stay tuned for a DIY.

$3 thrifted Christmas tree stand from the Breck FIRC!

  Ta da! Our perfectly, imperfect Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Love, Actually

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, full of love. Love between families, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, coworkers, roommates and strangers alike. Love actually is all around (yes, that's a quote from Love, Actually).

All this love really gets me thinking about relationships during the holidays. It makes me think about how easy this time of year can be for people in a relationship and how awkward it can be for those single ladies and dudes.

When you have a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, it's easy to know who your date will be to your annual holiday work party. There's no stress necessary to know who shall be your New Year's kiss. But, when you find yourself in the single situation during the holidays, it can be awkward and stressful. Who do you ask to the holiday party? A friend? A love-interest? Who will be your New Year's kiss?

Sorry to bring all this up, it's just been on my mind lately. If you're in a relationship, do you find the holidays easier to enjoy? Or is it more fun and exciting to be single and mingle and wet your holiday jingle?

I think I'll just watch Love, Actually on repeat. That's the ticket.

P.S. Why being single rocks during the holidays

Image via here