Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Best of 2015: Food & Fashion!

After reminiscing last week on 2015 from a photographic aspect (check out my favorite SaraLily Photography moments from 2015 here!), I started reminiscing about my favorite style and recipe posts from the year. I figured, why not also do a round up of the year in two of my favorite things in this world: fashion and food!?

I know others did this weeks ago but meh, better late than never right?

When it came down to it, man, it was hard to choose but I managed to pick 1 post per month - besides a couple double favorite months. Then there was July. July was one of my favorite months on the blog - along with my Birthday month! - and it had so many good posts that I ended up with 3 from that month!

So without further ado, here is my favorite post from (nearly) every month in 2015!

~ February ~

When I think of February, I think of Valentine's Day. Of course I do! I'm a sap! Anyway, I knew I had to pick my Valentine's outfit for February. For one thing, it's one of my favorite winter outfits (I really gotta wear it again soon!) and for another, it was such a great Valentine's Day. We had a blizzard on Valentine's Day last year (one of our many!)! Cody and I had reservations at The Melting Pot, a fancy fondue restaurant, and we were really excited to go (the snow had only JUST started to fall when I snapped photos of my outfit, see above). The restaurant is also kind of strict with their Valentine's reservations and they would have charged us if we cancelled! We didn't let some snow get us down (ok, it was more than just some...), so we trekked out in the snowstorm and drove oh so slowly to the restaurant! We made it safely and had an amazing night. It was a little scary driving in the snow but my reliable all-wheel drive Juke did just fine and we had one of our most memorable Valentine's Day.


Look at that! February brought us too much snow and now there's March in all its snow-less glory. I think we still had snow in March but one of my favorite posts was of my custom made skirt by Munster Madness on Etsy. I wore it on one of our first semi-warm days. I love how I styled it with a denim button down and red flats. Another outfit I need to repeat soon!

Okay, so March has two features in it. I lied. A little. But look at that cake. I couldn't NOT include this heaven on a plate! I made this Triple Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake for my father's birthday. It was so decadent with both the chocolate chips in the chocolate cake and the raspberry flavoring in the fudgy frosting. It was a hit!


In April, I shared with the world the magic that is Ice Cream Bread. Did you know that if you combine ice cream with flour and bake it, it becomes a sweet and delicious bread? For this post, I shared a cookies and creme version - with Oreos stuffed inside! It's insanely fun to think of other ice cream bread combinations. Cookie dough! Fudge brownie! Birthday cake! Ahh the possibilities are endless. Made with just two ingredients, what on Earth are you waiting for!?


In May, I was really digging this ballerina-esque skirt I found on clearance at Kohls by Lauren Conrad. I paired it with a purple pinup top and channeled my inner Ariel. This post makes me feel May again - it was finally warm! No more blizzards! No more freezing winds! Hooray! May is always a crazy month. EMC World, our company's conference, happens every May. It's always the first week of the month and always in Las Vegas. I've gone the past 2 years and will be there yet again this year! It's a crazy week and afterward, most of the staff takes it easy so the month is a quiet one in the office after EMC World is over.


I was getting ready for summer once June hit and I loved these Raspberry Lemonade muffins. They were so lemony and sweet with just the right kick of raspberry. Can ya tell I love raspberry? Anyway, it was also a fun photo shoot. I loved working with the lemons and a real glass of raspberry lemonade as my props. It's been fun to see my food photography through the past year and see how it improved and got better and better as I learned some trick of the trade - such as DIY photo boards (2x2 wooden boards made to look like surfaces/tables/etc to shoot on!).


As I explained above, July was definitely my favorite! On my vacation week alone I had my birthday, the Billy Joel concert, and the Brimfield Show. SO MANY AWESOME THINGS! Another cool thing that happened in July was my first opportunity to guest post on someone else's blog. My Mary Blair dress from Pinup Girl Clothing (above) was styled and featured on, my friend, Amanda's blog, Sans Scrubs! It was so fun preparing the post for her 4th of July post and I loved the outfit. It also resulted in one of my favorite photos ever (again, above) and I use it for a lot of my blog/promotional stuff.

My second favorite July post is from my day at the Brimfield Show with Red, Massachusett's largest flea and antique fair that happens only 3 times a year. We went on SUCH a hot day. Man, it was HOT! It was the perfect time to wear and photograph my new romper (and FIRST romper!) from ModCloth. Though we were dripping sweat, we had a great day exploring the ginormous fair and checking out antiques and vintage clothes.

My third (and possibly top favorite from the year) was my joint Birthday date to see Billy Joel at Fenway Park with the best date in the world - my dad! I say "joint" Birthday because I got the tickets for his birthday and the concert took place right near my birthday! So we celebrated both our birthdays together with dinner and the show! It was so fun! I get my love for concerts from my dad. He has been to more concerts than he can count and has taught us all he knows! It was great to see Billy live finally - he is one of my favorites. I wore a LindyBop dress that totally screamed Uptown Girl to me and received a lot of compliments from folks at the concert. I was probably the only concert goer in a dress and petticoat but that is nothing new for me!


August's Dress of the Month post makes me laugh - it was kind of a hot mess! I took part in Unique Vintage's Dress of the Month Club from April - August to see what it was all about. For the most part, it was a disappointment (3 out of 5 dresses I got were dark, solid colors - nothing I like!). I cancelled after August. Of course, August's dress comes and it's BEAUTIFUL and my favorite one from the subscription. I died my hair Violet before I received it as well so it matched the dress when I took the photos! Even though the zipper sucked big time and I got stuck IN the dress (Cody had to break me out of it before I had a panic attack!), I managed to get the zipper replaced and wore the dress to my cousin's wedding as well as one of my company's holiday parties. It really is a stellar dress - even with all the mess that came with it!


Oh September. Such a crazy month. I had to turn down a couple wedding inquiries for SaraLily Photography because OF COURSE they were taking place while I was out of the country. For over a week, I was in Amsterdam for a tradeshow, IBC, and while there, I got to meet Anna from Germany! It was so amazing to meet her in person. Of course, we had to have a photo shoot in which we wore our coordinated poppy printed dresses from Bernie Dexter. I just wish it wasn't so cold and rainy and we could have worn them without cardigans in all their awesome glory! I love and miss her dearly and hope we can meet up again -whether it happens when I am back in Europe for IBC in the fall or sooner somehow.


I had a lot of fun with fall baking this year. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite treats and I started wondering what would happen if I combined them with blondies. At first, I was going to just try to make a pumpkin spice blondie but then I wondered what would happen if I were to stuff actual chunks of pie into them instead! So I did it. And I let out an evil genius cackle as I ate them because DAAAAANG they were good!

Another favorite from October was my post for my mother's birthday as well as her anniversary (they are only a few days apart), where I tried on her non-traditional wedding dress! It was so funny to try it on - it fit me almost perfectly! My dad got a good chuckle out of seeing me in it and I had fun posing in their back yard. I forgot to bring a petticoat along but in the end it was more fun wearing it as she did - just the dress, as it is!


Once November hit, I was in full on Holiday mode. One of my first Holiday activities was attending a Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee. Like the Brimfield Show, it was a big antique fair but for the holidays, it was done up for Christmas. I wore my new holiday dress from ModCloth and, of course, snapped pictures among the Christmas-y elements at the show.


You'd think my favorite post from December would be a holiday-related post but surprise! It's not! Since we now experience fall in November and December more than we do winter, December's favorite post looks like it doesn't belong. I donned this adorable fox print dress from Heart of Haute in December. My yard was full of crispy leaves and it was still warm enough to go without tights! It has since gotten frigidly cold and definitely now feels like winter, but we will always remember our heat wave of December...