Monday, April 30, 2012

Welcome to the Jungle

Target Blazer (similar)/ Similar Scarf/ J.Crew Factory Skirt/ AT Tank (similar)/ Steve Madden Flats (similar)
Guess where this scarf is from. Never mind. It would be rude for me to make you wait in suspense, so I will just tell you - Whole Foods!

Turns out they not only have delicious food, making a busy work day's dinner a whole lot easier, but they also have some of the best affordable pieces of clothing. I bought this lovely giraffe print scarf and a mint green t-shirt for a total of $30. Not too shabby.

Anyhow, did you all have wonderful weekends or are you so excited for my Spring 30 for 30 to begin tomorrow that you just couldn't wait for this work week to get here?

Have a great Monday friends!

Messy Jess C.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends! As you read this, I am en route to Louisville, Kentucky to meet up with family and run the Kentucky Derby Marathon (my sister is running the miniMarathon so feel free to send some encouragement her way over at Lifestyles blog).

I hope you all have fun plans for the weekend also.

As you count down the hours, minutes, and seconds until the weekend arrives, check out my round-up of favorite things for the week.

Those of us who like fashion and shopping tend to use the web as a tool in our search for the perfect outfit. Now fashion meets web in this take on famous sites as dresses.
I love style bakery and its style recipes, especially this recipe for '10 spring trends you already own.' How many of these items do you have hanging in your closet?

Love this easy peasy and affordable look from What the Frock?

With campfire season right around the corner, and my love for s'mores (as you know from last week's Friday Favorites), I love this idea from Cookies and Cups for this S'mores in a jar idea.

One of Jesse and my ongoing disagreements is about how long food stays fresh. I err on the side of caution and sometimes I can be a bit overly cautious (insert eye-roll by Jesse here), but thanks to this handy dandy cheat sheet from siansplan, now we can refer to this and keep the peace.

If I lived in San Francisco, I would live here, in the Crown & Crumpet Tea Room. How adorable is this place?

Puppies. 'Nuf said.

If any of you are planning a wedding, please make sure you do this. Hilarious.

Also, from the Washington Post's Lunchline by Clinton Yates - "I've seen some major Photoshop fails in my time, but this one is pretty bad. And it made all the way to print. Yikes." I agree.

I like this easy DIY (or DIT Linds and Jill) project. (For the record ladies, I bet we could manage this better than those wedding invites)

So true...

My friend sent me this Huffington Post article about Turning 30: 30 Things Every Woman should have and know... so maybe I am a little behind the curve, but this is really interesting. Sorry boys, but maybe these could apply to you also?

Finally, Jesse and I went to see Disney Nature's Chimpanzee last week. Go see it. Through May 3, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Jane Goodall Institute to fund protection of habitat, care for orphaned chimpanzees and support Roots and Shoots, the organization's program in 130 places around the world, including the U.S., connecting young people and communities in environmental stewardship. Plus, you will fall in love with Oscar. If you still aren't convinced, check out the trailer below.

Have a great weekend everybody! XO

Messy Jess C.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hello Yellow

Ann Taylor Button-Down (similar)/ J.Crew Skirt/ Me Too Shoes from DSW (similar)/ Forever XXI Flower/ J.Crew Necklace (similar)
It has been way too long since I last wore this skirt - February 29th to be exact, during my Winter 30 for 30 (That's one of the fun aspects of having a blog. It helps me keep track of everything pretty well). Speaking of 30 for 30, it's about that time again.

I plan on starting my Spring 30 for 30 next Tuesday, May 1st, so stay on the lookout for a list of items and in the meantime, you can check out my outfits from my Winter 30 for 30.

If you are new to Messy Jess C. the rules are simple:

Choose 30 items from your closet and make 30 outfits with them.

I personally also choose not to shop during 30 for 30 so I can figure out 1. how to use what I already own to make outfits 2. figure out what articles of clothing I should get rid of, and 3. figure out what I really need when I begin shopping at the end of 30 days.

My 30 for 30 includes weekends. I also only count articles of clothing that can be seen as an item and I don't count shoes or accessories as part of my 30 items. Finally, suits count as one article of clothing.

If you are interested in participating in a 30 for 30 starting May 1, email me so I can provide a link up for your blog and we can help each other stay motivated.

Messy Jess C.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Target Blazer (similar)/ J.Crew Top/ Gap Pants/ Nine West from DSW (Similar)/ J.Crew Necklace (similar)
Something rare happened this week. I watched all of my favorite TV shows at their scheduled times. Usually On Demand is my best friend and I usually finish catching up on my shows as the next round of shows begin. I know I shouldn't brag about watching hours of TV, but I have to say, it's been really nice just being a couch potato the last few nights.

Watching my shows on schedule also means I caught Quinn Fabray wearing this very shirt on Glee. My shirt is famous!

Hope you all have a lovely day!
Messy Jess C.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The North Face Endurance Challenge - Washington, DC {Giveaway}

Click Here to Register for The North Face Endurance Challenge

Hello fellow runners! Check out my new post over at Messy Jess C: Personal Training to learn how you can win a free entry into a North Face Endurance Challenge - Washington, DC event of your choosing.

Messy Jess C.

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New Recipe Double Feature: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken and Red Velvet Brownies

Traveling the past six weekends have made weekly menu planning and shopping tough so I have been opting for easy recipes when I do have time to cook.

This past weekend, I was finally in DC for a whole weekend! I stuffed as much into the weekend as possible too - lots of errands, running, and cooking. I still opted for easy recipes, but it was so I could make lots of food, including two new recipes.

I am excited to share these recipes with you today - Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken and Red Velvet Brownies.

Lately I have been loving our crock pot. It still floors me that tossing a few recipes together in an appliance containing a dial with just a few settings - low, high, warm, and off - can make such delicious meals. It also cuts down big-time on prep work. I found today's recipe for Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken on Iowa Girl Eats blog. I love all of Kristin's recipes (and other blog entries for that matter). Most of them are easy to follow and a lot take no time at all to prepare. Today's Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken was no exception. It took about 5 minutes to prep and then with the twist of the dial I was on my way to a yummy meal.

First I combined a can of chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, a can of black beans, a cup of frozen corn, three sliced green onions, one teaspoon each of cumin, dried cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and salt to taste in the crock pot.

Next I salted the chicken breasts and placed them on top of the crock pot mixture.

Once the meal was cooked, I removed the chicken breasts from the crock pot and shredded them with a fork. Then I returned them to the crock pot to stir and combine them with the other ingredients. Then you eat. We ate our Santa Fe Chicken with some cheese, flour tortillas, and brown rice.

But you could eat it out of taco shells or on top of nachos. You can also top with more green onions, sour cream, cheese, and fresh cilantro. Yummy!

Of course, you can't forget dessert and what goes better with Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken than Red Velvet Brownies?

I have been wanting to test out this recipe for Red Velvet Brownies for a while and I am so happy I did. They taste great and they were fairly painless to make, if you don't count the dying fingers red from food dye part.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter and flour a 9x13 baking pan.

Next, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Next stir in the food coloring and vanilla.

Mix flour, cocoa, and salt in a separate bowl.

Slowly add flour mixture into the red batter until combined.

Pour the better into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick (or if you are me and out of toothpicks, a shish kabob skewer) comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies.

Set aside to cool and then cut into bars and serve.

Find these and other recipes I have made on my What's Cookin' page.

Messy Jess C.

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Once Upon a Time

Forever XXI Blazer/ Banana Republic Top (similar)/ J.Crew Factory Skirt/ Me Too Shoes from DSW (similar)/ J.Crew Necklace (similar)
This picture was taken back when we had days filled with sunshine and the thermostat rose above 50 degrees. Ahh, those were the days...

Wait a minute...That was just last week you say? Well, if I didn't have this photo as proof that it was, in fact, warm enough to wear skirts without stockings and leave the apartment without a coat, I wouldn't believe it. Once again, Mother Nature has kicked us back to winter. Her belated Earth Day present to us I guess?

Anyhow, I definitely borrowed, okay, stole the idea for this outfit from my friend Laura J. who was wearing similar colors in a similar way last week. My friends are so stylish! I seriously pick up some of the best fashion inspiration from my friends - that and a lot of online window shopping and magazine reading.

So next time you have no clue what to wear, take a look around. You never know what might inspire you.

Happy Tuesday my friends!
Messy Jess C.
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

Ann Taylor Button-Down/ Thrift Pencil Skirt/ DSW Shoes
Yes, I am aware that today's outfit looks nearly identical to this outfit, but I added a flower, went with an all black skirt, changed my shoe color, and added sunglasses. In my book, that adds up enough to make today's outfit new and unique.

Let me also let you in on a secret. The reason I am wearing sunglasses is because I don't have any eye makeup on - or any makeup on for that matter. Sunglasses are definitely my secret weapon when I am not wearing makeup and the bigger the better with sunglasses as far as I'm concerned. If I could get away with it I would probably wear a shielded mask if it could protect more of my face from the sun and those little clusters of bugs that always seem to find find my face when I am running.

Anyhow, I hope you had a lovely weekend. Check out my instagram page and twitter feed for highlights from my weekend. Happy Monday!

Messy Jess C.
Love Messy Jess C? Then don't miss it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mother Earth

Today, April 22, is Earth Day.

I have to admit, I am not always the best at going out of my way to carry out any of the R words above, but I am working on it and being more eco-conscious is on my 30 for 2012 list. I now have a recycling bin in my office so I can recycle papers rather than trashing them. I bring most of my disposable water bottles home to recycle them when I can (I get this from my mom). I try to remember to turn off all of the lights when I leave a room and unplug most appliances when we aren't using them. Still, there is a lot more to be done and I hope to improve over time.

Anyhow, Happy Earth day my friends. Hope you made it a good one.

Also, as an extra bonus, I wanted to share this adorable Earth Day cupcake recipe with you. I don't think there is any sweeter way to thank the Earth for all she does for us.

Messy Jess C.
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GW Parkway Classic and Tips for Staying Motivated

Check out Messy Jess C: Personal Training for my new post on the GW Parkway Classic and tips for staying motivated.

Happy Weekend Friends!

Messy Jess C.
Love Messy Jess C? Then don't miss it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Favorites

Good morning friends and happy Friday! Here's a round-up of my favorites this week. Enjoy!

I love Cake Events Blog for this crafty idea for a s'more bar. How big of a hit would you be at the next party you throw or attend, because, let's face it, who doesn't like a good s'more? Also, how delicious would a peanut butter cup and banana s'more be? Yummmmm

Have you ever thought: I wish I had a way to test-drive this outfit to see if I like it before spending my hard-earned money? Now you can with Stitch Fix. Basically, after filling out a style survey to figure out your style, Stitch Fix will send you a package with five clothing and accessory items based on your style. You can try on everything and keep what you want and send back what you don't. The average price point of items you decide to keep is $75. Not too shabby.

My favorite recipe discovery of the week is Sprinkle Bakes blog's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Devil's Food Cake Cheesecake. Is this even legal? 'Nuf said.

Ever since I saw this on pinterest earlier this week, I cannot stop thinking about this top from Anthropologie. How great would this go with just about anything from a pencil skirt to a pair of skinny jeans? It's also available in navy and pink.

I also think this chevron bracelet would complement the top above very nicely. Simple and lovely.

If only I had this lemonade stand when I was a kid. I can guarantee I would have been very successful! Also, in looking at this photo, I am beginning to crave a nice cool glass of lemonade. What a cute idea for an outdoor wedding or event.

As for favorite products that I probably don't need but think are hilarious, that goes to the crustache. This is the perfect gift for people that are anti-bread crust and I can guarantee this would make lunch time a million times more fun.

This is my favorite quote of the week.

Finally, as we head in to the weekend I thought we could all use some humor. Check out Buzz Feed's 21 Absolute Worst Things in The World. I think we can all relate to lots of these. So funny.

Have a great weekend friends! XO

Messy Jess C.

Love Messy Jess C? Then don't miss it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.