Three things from my week that made me smile...

1. P.S. I Made This by Erica Domesek. New, awesome DIY book I recently purchased, she also has a blog here.

2. My new diaper bag by Mia Bossi (Style: Lyndsey). I got the bag at 70% off through HauteLook! Sorry for the awful background - I'm running late today!

3. Beyonce's Move Your Body Vid for Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign. I LOVE dance videos, I'm already teaching myself the moves for this one - ha!

 Click here to see original video.

Easter Dinner

I really threw down this Easter and prepared my first vegetarian meal for my family. I'm happy to say that everyone LOVED the mashed potatoes - they tore them lick the bowl tore them up! As for the seitan dish - everyone liked the taste, but not everyone liked the texture - totally understandable. I enjoyed both dishes. Here are the deets on the dish!

Smothered Seitan in a Mixed Mushroom Gravy and Cumin-Cayenne Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Source: Vegetarian Times SS: This dish was based on the classic soul food dish, smothered porkchops, but it is totally vegan (click here to a link to the feature on soul food inspired vegetarian cooking)!
Serves 6

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. button mushrooms, thinly sliced SS: I used regular white mushrooms
1 lb. portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced (including skin)
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled, crushed
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Sauté all ingredients in pot for 5 minutes. Add 9 cups water; simmer 1 hour. Strain.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 lb. button mushrooms, sliced SS: I used regular white mushrooms
1/4 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup unflavored rice milk
1 cup 'Shroom Stock (see above)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper

1. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add all mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in flour and remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes, or until flour begins to brown, whisking constantly.
2. Whisk in rice milk, 'Shroom Stock, salt, and white pepper. Simmer 15 minutes, or until thickened, whisking often.

1 lb. seitan, cut into medallions
5 Tbs. arrowroot powder
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
5 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbs.)
2 cups Mixed Mushroom Gravy (see above)
2 cups straight apostrophe 'Shroom Stock (see above)
1 cup finely chopped green cabbage
2 jalapeño chiles, minced (2 Tbs.)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbs. chopped parsley

1. Coat seitan pieces with arrowroot.
2. Heat 1/2 cup oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Fry half of seitan in oil 3 minutes per side.
3. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate. Discard oil, wipe out skillet, and repeat with 1/2 cup oil and remaining seitan. Discard oil.
4. Add remaining 2 Tbs. oil and onion to hot skillet. Increase heat to high, and sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and sauté 10 minutes more. Add garlic, and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in Mixed Mushroom Gravy, "Shroom Stock, and seitan. Cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Add cabbage, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in jalapeños, green onions, and parsley.


2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
5 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup unflavored rice milk
2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme

1. Boil potatoes in enough water to cover 25 minutes, or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, sautè onion, oil, cumin, salt, and cayenne in skillet over low heat 30 minutes, or until browned. Stir in rice milk and thyme.
3. Drain potatoes, and mash. Whisk onion mixture into potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Skip Spring, Hello Summer

Top - Anthro; Skirt - American Apparel; Belt - Urban; Shoes - All Black via Anthro

Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The weather in Philly has officially skipped spring and moved right on to summer. Just last week the weather was still in the 40s and 50s, and for the past few days, the weather has been in the 80s, YES 80s - WITH SUN!!!

I'm a summer baby - my birthday is in August. Naturally, I love summer, but the weather can be pretty unbearable. I would always look at pregnant women in the hot summer months and feel awful for them. I mean, I know how miserable "too hot" weather can be for me, so I could only imagine what it's like when you're carrying someone else. I now have become that woman that I feel bad for. Only feeling bad for  yourself is self-pity which is no fun. Thus, I will try to keep things composed over the summer by carrying an ice pack and cold bottle of water with me wherever I go.

PS - You already know I'm carrying small. My OB said I would "pop" at 26 weeks - she wasn't lying! I'm 27 weeks on Friday, which is the tail end of month 6, and I finally look like I'm carrying something other than lots of Twinkies! Prior to this week, people would still look at me unsure if the belly was "extra" or a baby.

Easter Sunday

Dress - Anthro; Belt - Urban; Shoes - Urban; Shades - Urban

Date: Sunday, April 24, 2011

The church I typically attend has a very relaxed dress code, thus I wear whatever I want. This Sunday, I went to my parents church which is more of a traditional church, thus I needed something modest and  dressy, and this was the dress I chose. I've had it for several years now, and I love it! However, for some reason, any time I wear this dress, I spill some greasy food on it and feel like I ruin it. However, the stain disappears by the next time I wear it. Either that, or when people point it out to me I act like I didn't know it was there. I'm awful right! This dress cost too much for me to hang it up so early, and that's how I make it work! Have you done that before? Worn something with a small stain with the hopes that you get by unnoticed?

PS - Without fail, I spilled some of my mushroom gravy on the dress. I'm hoping that with a little dish wash detergent, water and time, it too will disappear. (You can barely see it in the last pic)

Just goofy

Top - Anthro; Leggings - H&M; Sweater - Anthro; Shoes - All Black via Anthro; Frames - Urban

Date: Saturday, April 23, 2011

I woke up Saturday with a plan to look really snatched. I then realized that it was pouring raining, and that I was going to be in the car driving for most of the day, AND inside cooking. Coming to this realization, I quickly changed my mind and went for a comfortable and relaxed look.

My brother took my pictures today and he brings out the kid in me. These pictures give you an idea of some of the many facial expressions friends and family see from me. I'm quite expressive and animated in real life, I'm not sure whether that shows through on the blog. I normally tone it down for my photo shoots because I'm already taking pictures of myself in the middle of Philadelphia. If I added goofy faces to the shoot, well...I just don't think they could handle it! However, considering that we took pictures in front of my parents house in the middle of the suburbs, there was no one there to see all of my crazy faces. Ironic - because while I'm shy to share faces in front of strangers when I TAKE the pictures, I clearly don't mind posting them to my blog to share with whomever. HA!

I hope this makes your Monday brighter, I'm surely laughing at myself. I also hope you all had a GREAT weekend, I had a wonderful time with my family, AND I have an AWESOME vegan dish to show you that I prepared for Easter later this week!


Three things from my week that made me smile...

1. Letters for Naja from Anthro. I plan to hang these over her crib. SN: I realized that the 'n' is actually a 'u' - so the final product will vary slightly because the 'n' has a different print.

2. Horizons in Philadelphia, PA. Awesome vegan restaurant that I visited with my old roomy last weekend. Pictured below: Fresh Hearts of Palm Cake, Curried Mixed Squash, Braised Black Lentils, Cucumber Mint Chutney.

3. Thank you cards. I've been getting a couple of gifts from my baby registry in, and I've been slacking on sending out Thank You's. I picked these cute cards up, and thought they were a nice way to show our appreciation.


Top - BCBG Outlet; Pants - H&M; Shoes - Anthro; Belt - Urban (sample); Lips - MAC (Dare You)

Date: Thursday, April 21, 2011

Do you know what it means when you get an outfit picture from the ACTUAL DAY I took pictures? Several things...

  1. Whatever I cooked for the week was lackluster, and not worth posting
  2. My hair is really irking me
  3. I'm working from home, thus I can wear what I want
  4. I didn't take pictures any other time in the week, and I'm probably scrambling for a post idea

Lately, it's been tough getting dressed - my belly is steadily growing, so I'm adjusting to the "new me". Also - I still try to not repeat outfits, and I'm ONLY working with about 1/4 of my wardrobe. Thankfully, I had time to review my Lucky magazine from April during my morning workout today, and I got some new inspiration for styling my clothes. I've been meaning to give you (and myself) more than your regular tunic + leggings look. After flipping through the magazine, I got inspiration for a couple of looks with harem pants = elastic waistbands!!!

This look is a look I wouldn't have thought I could pull off pregnant, but I actually like it. What I like even more is that these pants were $5 at H&M when I got them last year - SCORE! I'm going to be reviewing magazines during my free time to get some inspiration for new looks. Oh - if any of you have any ideas also - feel free to share :)

Mini-Twist Pomp Updo Tutorial

Hello Lovelies! I recorded this video last night to show you how I achieved the hairstyle I've been rocking this week. It's really easy - under 5 minutes and requires less than 5 bobby pins easy. Enjoy!

PS - The number of hair posts I put up is directly related to how I'm feeling about it at the moment. So, now, I'm somewhat irked by it. I'm hoping "we both" come around soon - full update next week!

Go Fish

Tunic - ModCloth; Cardigan - Anthro; Leggings - American Apparel; Shoes - Boutique 9 via Anthro

Date: Sunday, April 17, 2011

I got this fish tunic during ModCloth's 70% Off Cabin Fever Sale in February. It's actually one size fits "all", I loved that it had little fishes on it. It reminded me that a good friend told me that her dad always dreamed of fish before someone close to him got pregnant. I hadn't heard of this "old wives tale" until she told me about it. Supposedly - he's pretty accurate too. Well, I think he must have been dreaming of lots of fishes recently, because every day I find a new friend who is expecting, and is due some time in 2011. It's quite funny. I don't know if it's a sign that I'm getting older, or just a sign that folks were "playing around" a lot in 2010 ;-). Regardless - I think all children are blessings, and I'm excited to be a giver of life.

Rough draft in pajamas

Top - Urban; Blazer - Banana; Pants - Anthro; Shoes - Urban; Necklace - Anthro; Pumps - Urban; Purse - Thrifted; Lips - MAC (Dare You)

Date: Saturday, April 16, 2011

I had a sorority meeting on Saturday, and I was running late, per usual. I ended up editing this outfit up a bit by adding my ladybug earrings, and my black frames - not the Urkel ones. Now that I'm looking at this close up pic - the frames were a NECESSARY addition! This added the nice little bit of pizzaz that I felt was missing.

These pants are a new purchase from Anthro that I got this weekend for $35. I already love them because I can dress them up, dress them down, they're comfy, and they have an elastic waistband. Basically, they're everything I'd ever want in a pant. The comfy aspect was especially great considering that I felt like wearing pajamas the entire weekend, however I knew that I couldn't really wear pajamas. Thus, I wore these pants on Saturday, and some leggings Sunday!

Do you have days where you feel like wearing your PJs? Do you wear them? :) I can't be alone in this longing to wear pajamas for an entire day...right?


Three things from my week that made me smile...

1. Studs and Pearls. An AWESOME new DIY blog I found via a What I Wore CNN feature.

2. Jackson's in Reston, VA. Pictured below - Crabcake sandwich. Do you see the lump crab meat? It's surreal to find crabcakes this meaty these days.

3. Georgetown Cupcakes in Washington, DC & Bethesda, MD. Pictured below - Carrot and Strawberry Cupcakes. I waited in line with my line sister for about 30 minutes. The cupcakes have REAL FRUIT in them. I got two :)

So In Love

Shawl Thing - Anthro; Top - Anthro; Skirt - Thrifted; Shoes - Urban; Necklace - Target

Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Today, I am thinking of the lovely "So In Love" ballad from Kiss Me, Kate. I sang an excerpt of it for a voice class I took in undergrad. Anyway, I got inspiration for this outfit from a Refinery 29 email highlighting five different ways to wear a maxi skirt. This option was basically right out of my closet considering that I had all of the pieces to make the look work. When I got dressed this morning, I was in love with the whole look - just in love!

On the topic of love - I find that I'm falling more in love with my baby girl every day. It's so exciting to feel her moving around - she's like a little alien! I mean that in the sense that I'll feel a kick mid-belly, then high-belly and low-belly in a 1 minute time span. I'm wondering if she's going to be a gymnast :). I can't wait to meet her - I think my mom will have to pull her away from me, because I want to gobble her up already! I tried to do it now, but I can't bend down and kiss my belly.

DIY: Momma's Got Some Brand New Shoes

I really love this season's spring shoes. Espadrilles, wooden heels, wedges - they're some of my favorite styles EVER! Last spring I bought a pair of wedges from Anthro on super-duper discount - I paid something like $12 for them. I rarely wore them in the Summer of 2010, I thought that perhaps if I gave them a color change - I would wear them more. This is a simple dye DIY.

I took these shoes...

And dipped them in a bucket of warm water and Rit Dye, purchased from Michael's for $5. I also used the rubber gloves - safety first!

I did two coats of soaking the shoes in the dye for about 1 hour a piece, and this was my final product:

I also meant to take a side picture, but this was the day that my battery died - SMH. The wooden heel got turned a navy blue color, which I didn't want or expect. I thought that fabric dye would only dye FABRIC - and wood is not a fabric to me...I told you I'm an amateur!

Right now, I'm leaving them as is. However, I may go back over the heel with a wood-color finish. I was looking forward to the navy-wood contrast. I am pleased with the new purple/blue color on the shoe fabric. While you can still see the  print - the new color scheme will give me a lot more options to style these shoes with my summer wardrobe.

How have your DIY dye jobs worked for you in the past? I wouldn't call this a fail, however it's not quite a success considering the wood-staining...

My humps

Top - J. Crew; Sweater - J. Crew; Pants - J. Crew; Necklace - Anthro; Shoes - All Black via Anthro

Date: Thursday, April 7, 2011

"What you gonna with all that junk? All that junk inside that trunk!" 
-Excerpt from Black Eyed Peas "My Humps"

I typically fall in the small booty club. It used to upset me, however I've come to love my body and accept it as is - humps (and lack thereof). When I threw on these pants, I thought to myself, "Ooh, what a nice little hump you have Monique." I'm not saying it's a 'donk', but I did think, "Wow, this pregnancy is giving me humps all over... belly humps, booty humps - just humps." It also made me laugh.

Design Your Look - Vote for Me

I've never been great when it comes to politics, so this is my one plea to vote for me in the Design Your Look contest. The winner wins $200 to put towards their look, and two courtesy pieces from Jess LC. Here's my look.

Click the picture below to go to the site and vote for me by typing 'Monique E.' or 'Sofullsista' in the comment section. SN: I have no 'E' initials in my name, but that's what's on the site!

No shame in my game

Top - Anthro; Jeggings - Gap Maternity; Blazer - Anthro; Shoes - All Black via Anthro; Necklace - Borrowed from mom

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Today's pictures aren't that great because my camera battery died on me. I recognized my battery was dead in the morning and I could have charged it all day. However, somewhere in between working and eating, I forgot that my camera battery was dead.  There was about 20 minutes of sunlight left in the day by the time I got home - so I needed to move quickly. As soon as I got home - I charged my camera battery for all of 15 minutes. I quickly rushed outside to take the pictures. I got four shots - three which were the same - and then my camera battery died, and it was dark outside shortly after. Once my battery was charged, I reviewed the shots, and my feet were cut off, the lighting was poor, and I have awkward facial expressions. Yet, I'm still posting the pics because there is no shame in my game...and because this is a perfect example of a non-maternity top that is really maternity friendly.


Three things from my week that made me smile...

1. Top 10 Sandwiches in America Veganized. Pictured below: The Lasagna Bolognese. Mouth-watering, salivating, and healthier versions of some American guilty pleasures. This really made me smile. I plan to try to make one of these sandwiches on my own in the near future!

2. My little bro ham turned 12 on Monday!!! I was home and celebrated with my family. I made him hold up his fingers like that - LOL. I can already predict I'm going to be such an embarrassing mom - I LOVE IT!!!

3. Lola's Cookies and Treats in Leesburg, VA. Pictured below: Vanilla Cupcake.

Design Your Look Contest Entry

I found out about a contest from a fellow blogger, that another blogger (and Wolverine) is hosting.  Jessica of Jess LC Jewelry is hosting a Design Your Look contest for Spring! Jess designs jewelry that I would describe as classic, unique and special. Everything is adorable!

To enter the contest, I had to come up with a look for Spring for myself. Knowing that I'll be huge this spring, I was somewhat limited to what I could pick. However, I still managed to find some pretty awesome pieces that are right on trend, that I would definitely wear. Check it out below.

I plan to tie the scarf around the purse for a little extra POW! I can imagine this looking absolutely lovely this spring accompanied with a big, fluffy afro. What do you all think?

I'll post an update to how you can vote for me later this week. While I would love to win (who couldn't use $200 and two courtesy items from Jess LC), I really just thought it would be a cool contest to enter. And another way to help me sharpen my Photoshop skills - POW!

DIY: Studded Belt

This is my first DIY of all time!!! FYI, I'm not the most creative person when it comes to making anything non-food related. Now that I'm preparing for another person - I've really taken a hiatus on shopping, outside of the necessities (diaper bag?). I've been eyeing a handful of DIY projects, but never had the actual motivation to start the project...until now! My first project was a really easy one. My inspiration came from this oufit from the April 2011 J. Crew catalog.

I love the entire look, however I totally zeroed in on the studded belt, which is retailed at a whopping $98. I recalled that I've had a studded belt in my wardrobe since 2004. The belt is from The Limited, and is black leather with gold-plated "diamonds." I rarely wear the belt, but I have yet to donate it. I also recalled the February 2011 issue of Lucky Magazine, that talked about dyeing fabrics. Putting two and two together, I thought - I should dye the belt a metallic silver color and I'll get a lot more wear out of it. So that's just what I did! I couldn't find the tarrago dye used to dye leather, so I actually used a Sharpie paint pen, and a concealer brush that I never use - don't judge me!

The Sharpie cost $2.99, and the concealer brush was free :). I didn't color the inside of the belt, because no one will see it. I used the Sharpie and filled in the spots, I used the paint brush for the hard to reach spaces. The entire project took me about 2 hours. Here are the before and after pictures:

I love my "new" belt - I'm sure I'll get a lot more wear out of it now. I love that this total transformation only cost me $2.99 - HOLLA!