Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Gal Known as "The Hat"

Hi there darlings! 

A lovely gal known as Rachel, The Hat will be filling my shoes today and I'm so thrilled to have her step in for me. I've been following this sweet bird for quite some time now and have forever been inspired by her creative and quite colorful outfits - not to mention she is also a mommy to a cutie pie little guy just like me :-)  Be sure to give her a nice warm hello and check out her ga ga gorgeous blog if you do so fancy.

Catch you all soon!


Hello Lovely Readers of The Shades Of Monet Chronicles!

Marisa has very kindly allowed me a little guest post for you all today! It sure is lovely to 'meet you'!!
I'm Rachel and i blog over at Rachel The Hat, where i mostly prance around in dresses and take photos of where i live here in the Welsh hills here in the UK. Lately we have had soooo much snow which has meant lots of days in with movies and hot chocolates whilst trying not to go stir crazy with cabin fever heehee!
So with all this spare time on my hands i have been creating some fun outfits. I love to make lists of outfits and go through my wardrobe creating fun remixes of some old favorites.

In my wardrobe you will find lots of:
Bright colours, Patterns, Polka dots and Stripes, Florals, bright fun coloured tights, vintage brooches and lots of hats, very similar to Marisa infact! She has great taste doesn't she!

What else is there to know? Well i'm a wife, a mama (to my beautiful boy Neo) and a step mum to my great step kiddos. Im a hard worker (i'm just your friendly Travel agent.. you need a holiday, i'm your lady;-) and generally a very happy soul.

I absolutely love to express myself through my outfits, i have always said that i am an absolutely awful artist; i can not paint of sculpt and i definitely lack the skill to draw (hello stick men!) So putting fun creative outfits together is my form of artwork, expression if you like! The blogosphere sure is full of wonderful inspiration isn't it?

 Dress: Thrifted
Tights: Matalan
Belt: From another dress
Brooch: Vintage
Coat: River Island
Clog Shoes: Lotta From Stockholm
Shirt: Next
Well lovelies, its been great chatting with you and if you ever fancy a chat and a cuppa do pop on over to my corner of the web ! Tea's on me ;-)

Bye For now!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Let's Hang Out in February

Interested in partnering up with The Shades of Monet Chronicles for February?  

There are some fun and nifty things up my sleeve next month, so now is a great time to hop on board.  All my ads are available through Passionfruit and checkout is easy as cherry pie.  Ads will go up right after approval and stay up for 30 days.  

Ready advertise your pretty space?   Click here or on the Advertise tab at the top of my page to get started.  

Happiest hump day darlings!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Water, Snow, and Ice.

Dress & Tights: Modcloth
Hat & Brooch: Vintage
Top: Gap
Shoes: UO

With the weather skipping about somewhere in the single digits, I'm finding it to be such a chore these days to get off my couch and go outside.  Like many of you, I am just not cut out for weather this awfully frigid.  So I survive from day to day covered with warm fleecy blankets and a hot cocoa in my hand.  Not the worse thing, eh?  Unfortunately the cold weather and massive amounts of power consumption on our little side of the mountain has caused numerous blackouts during the nighttime hours where we are left not only in the dark, but with no heat or electricity of any kind for that matter.  So we light the candles and throw on the layers and just cuddle a bit closer.  Though I'm not welcoming any more outages, I am welcoming more time to turn off the tv, close the computer and just do some good old fashion hanging out - whether it be with friends or with family.  Sometimes I think it's just best to simplify and have less.

Now on the one day this week where the weather actually hit the 20s, I did manage to get out of the house, go to the craft store, buy some groceries...and yes, dress-up!  After being cooped up in the house all week in my yoga pants and hoodie with so much ice and snow and power outages - all I wanted to do was put on a dress and frolic around!  Can you blame me?

Fingers crossed that spring will get here soon!  

Keep warm and toasty darlings!

Love Bunches, 

Monday, January 28, 2013


Hello darlings!

I'm all decked out feeling a bit like a Dr. Seuss character today over at Flock Together.  Scoodle-dee-do over THIS WAY and see which loverly doverly ladies contributed to my Seussish ensemble.  

Perhaps I'll see you there :-)

Love Bunches, 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pie in the Sky

Dress & (Headband-free gift): Modcloth
Cardi & Tights: Target
Brooch: Antique Mall
Shoes: Miss L Fire

Weekend Greetings Darlings, 

As you may know from reading along, last weekend I hosted my very first dinner party which included  cooking, baking, and appetizer making for 30 of our very good friends.  Yes, it was quite a crowd and quite an evening!  Many of our friends cooked and baked up yummies for our tummies as well so I was very fortunate to have plenty of food for this lively bunch.  As for what I made, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese, brie in pastry with candied walnuts and currants, and english cucumber topped with smoked salmon, dill cream cheese, and a caper were the hors d'oeuvres that kicked the evening off.  Others contributed empanadas, a plethora of dips, and a nice little meat and cheese spread.  We most definitely did not go hungry and truth be told, most of us were quite stuffed before the sit down dinner even began.  

Being Italian, I whipped up a batch of homemade sauce with meatballs and hot sausage and gemelli pasta to satisfy everyone's taste-buds for dinner and let's not forget about the crusty bread with rosemary olive oil to munch on in between helpings.  Are you hungry yet?  I sure am I as sit here and type this all out.  Anyhow, the best part of the evening was definitely the stories told around the table...I swear we laughed all night.  Having moved to this new town last year, I feel very blessed to have the support of good friends like this in my life.  

Oh yeah, and this is what I wore :-)
Love Bunches, 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight: January, Part II

Hello there darlings,

Meet another bunch of the loverly ladies that were my January sponsors.  Pop on by their pretty blogs and shops and give them a big warm hello if you do so fancy.  These gals are colorful, creative, and pretty darn cool if you ask me :-) 


I'm Rachel from Rachel The Hat and i mostly pay dress-up every week and post photos of it. Im a retro loving, dress wearing mama and wifey with a big love of all things vintage and nostalgic. I am also a keen(novice) knitter, big tea drinker and a regular thrifter.  Do come on over for a lovely natter and a knees up! 

Blog // Twitter // Instagram (@RACHELTHEHAT)


Hey, I'm Becky the mastermind of B is for Becky. This blog is a place where I share my obsession for things like my little furry dogs, random crafts, and adventures in my miniature camper. You will also find some fashion, wine drinking and a husband in the mix. I also co-host a series called Furry Fridays where fellow bloggers introduce you to their furry pets! Stop by because awesomeness like this isn't born everyday!


My name is Hattie and I run a style blog where I showcase my one of a kind hand made jewellery. I take vintage pieces and recycle it in to new and pretty items. You can find me hunting at the local flea markets, reading a book in a coffee shop or in my favourite destination Barbados.


Thank you bunches to my January sponsors.  You gals are as sweet as apple pie.

If you are interested in sponsoring in February, and wish to advertise your pretty blog or shop click here for more details.  All ad space is 10% off if you book now with the code "Heart". 

Catch up with you soon!
Love Bunches,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Amtrak is for Lovers

Sweater: Vintage, in shop here
Blouse: Vintage, in shop here
Hat: eBay
Tights and Socks: Modcloth
Boots: Marshall's

maker gif
Oh hello there, 
I'm back in Philly and back at our plane spotter's nook that the Mr. and I have had so many fond memories at over the years. At the railroad and the water side laying right below the spot that the planes fly lowly overhead before they make their landing is quite peaceful and soothing as we sip our coffees and walk hand in hand.  There are just some places that I will always love, no matter what the weather.

So with that, I wish you one loverly Tuesday darlings!  I'm still in need of some recuperating from the weekend - between hosting dinner parties and leading drama practices (I coach two high school teams), I am quite pooped and rather snowed in.  Methinks the hot cocoa is calling out to me right now :-)

Love Bunches,

Monday, January 21, 2013

What I Made: Eggnog Bread Pudding with Brandy Sauce

Oh hello there darlings!

Today I'm back with a very delectable little dessert recipe I made for some friends who came over for a visit last week.  It's winter, so naturally I love warm, brown-sugary, ooey gooey, bready desserts.  Who doesn't?  I promise this one will satisfy all your taste-buds and give you the warm fuzzies on the inside.  I first partook of this scrumptious little delight last winter when my mom opened up the Paula Deen cookbook and made it for us.  Of course, being the experimenter that I am, I had to change it up just a bit - my version calls for Eggnog (or flavored creamer and some cinnamon and spice).  Even better, it's so simple to make and really doesn't take much expertise in the kitchen if baking is really not your thing.  So without further ado:

2 cups granulated sugar 
5 large beaten eggs 
2 cups eggnog (if you don't have eggnog, you can use 1 cup of whole milk with another cup of flavored coffee creamer - The Bailey's Irish Cream kind is delicious!)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 
3 cups cubed french bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened  
1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted 
1 egg, beaten 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1/4 cup brandy

Tahitian vanilla gelato - (I found mine at Wegman's)


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.
2.  Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and eggnog in a bowl; add vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.
3.  In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.
4.  Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce: 
Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. 

Cut a piece of bread pudding (warm up if needed), top with vanilla gelato, and drizzle your brandy sauce on top.  

Bon Appetit!  

PS - Thanks for all the suggestions you gave for my dinner party this past Saturday.  The whole night went off like a hit, but more on that another day :-)

Love Bunches, 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Birds and the Squirrels

Dress & Hat: Target
Cardi: Modcloth
Blouse: Thrifted
Tights & Socks: We Love Colors
Shoes: Seychelles 

What a even year this is shaping up to be so far!  Some pretty splendiferous things are on the horizon for me and the fam, but I'll save that for another time :-)  As for now, I have a nice little (or big) dinner party on the horizon for me this weekend.  Yes, I am hosting and to be honest this is the first time I've prepared dinner for a large crowd other than for my family, so of course I'm just a tad nervous.  Right now I'm thinking about the Hors d'oeuvres - pastry wrapped brie with blackberries, spinach balls (they are yummier than they sound), perhaps some kind of dip.  The possibilities are quite endless, you see?  So darlings tell me - what are some of your go-to Hors d'oeuvres, that you make for special occasions?  No need to be shy - I'll welcome any recipes or Pinterest pins etc, so share away to your heart's content.

Other than that, I'm all crittered out today with birds and squirrels.  Seemed pretty appropriate that my duck and swan friends wanted to join in with me on the photos as well.

Happy Tuesday darlings!

Love Bunches, 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tick Tock Teal

Hello hello, I'm back over at Flock Together today with another swap. Fly on over HERE to read more and find out which lovely gal sent this pretty little slip dress over my way. Perhaps I'll see you there :-)

Love Bunches,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight: Meet Z

Hello Darlings, 

I just wanted to take a moment to introduce one of my mid-month sponsors to you all.  Meet Z, she's one cool gal, you will want to know.


Hey all - I'm Z and I run sometimesztakespictures. Originally from a tiny town in Wisconsin, I moved to Boston last year so I could go to angsty underground concerts, eat way too many burgers, and realize that maybe I can pull off a lip ring. (And occasionally I go to class to study creative writing, but that's more of a side thing...) On my blog you'll find rants about cooking pizza, over thought out playlists, and the chronicles of my yellow backpack Henry who accompanied me on my cross-country tour of Europe last semester. 

Oh, and sometimes I take pictures.

You can find Z hanging out at these places:

Blog // Facebook // Twitter

Be sure to pop on by and say a warm hello :-)  

See ya soon!

Love Bunches,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gatsby Gal

Pullover: Modcloth
Headscarf: Thrifted
Blouse: Vintage 
Skirt: Gap
Belt: Vintage from Grandfather
Tights: Modcloth
Boots: Marshall's

Holidays spent in the Philly always include a day of shopping around Rittenhouse Square.  I'm actually not much a shopper - or perhaps not much of a mall rat would be a better word for it (I loathe malls!), but there is something about city shopping that always gets me bubbling up with excitement and has me feeling quite energized.  With that being said, this part of Philly has the best Anthropologie I've ever been too - 4 stories, in an old building that looks like it was once a church or bank or something elegant like that.  Yep, it's hard to yank me out of that place.  Add in some other favorites like Lush, UO, etc. etc. and a trip to the patisserie to grab some french macarons and a hot chocolate and I could quite happily call it a very good day.

So with all that being said, here's wishing you a very good day darlings!

Love Bunches,


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