Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quality Over Quantity

Lately I've been thinking a lot about staple pieces when it comes to my wardrobe. I'm tired of having a full closet with "nothing to wear," poorly made/ill fitting cheap clothing, or things that I don't want to wear anymore a few seasons after purchasing. I've never been huge on trendy items, but I am guilty of having one too many "going out" shirts that haven't seen the light of day recently... or ever. The truth is I don't go out like I used to, and when I do I'm probably just dressing up items I wear on the regular with accessories. 

I'm pretty picky when it comes to what I like to wear. Fortunately/unfortunately I still care about my appearance, and as I've gotten older it's becoming more and more my reality. Gone are the days of dropping $150 at Forever21 for me (there is nothing wrong with purchasing clothes at Forever21 I am just at a point in my life where I would rather save money and invest in pieces I can have for the long run). Sure I came home with 12 items, but those weren't quality pieces that I was adding to my closet. Instead I'm opting for pieces I can build upon, mix and match, and when cared for correctly use for years to come. 

I came across this great list "50 Classics for Your Closet" from Matchbook Magazine and think it's one of the more universal compilations out there. I already had a lot of items on the list, but it made me hopeful that pretty soon I will have everything I need for a classic base wardrobe that I can build upon for years to come. This list helped me cut down on shopping, clean out and declutter my closet, and got me thinking of investing in my clothes (which is ultimately investing in myself). As the quote above states, I buy less and make better decisions about what I do buy. What are your closet staples? I'd love to hear all about them!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Menu Planning Week 2

Paleo Planning

Recipes and images from PaleOMG and Nom Nom Paleo
Frittata/Short Ribs/Meatballs/Hash/Lettuce Cups

This week's menu comes after some deliberating about trying to incorporate the "Paleo" lifestyle in our (the boyfriend and my) diet. I know I'm not willing to go 100% all in, but I think doing 4-5 days a week is pretty doable. I know there is a lot of time and prep work involved in this lifestyle, but I really want to crack down on my carb addiction.

 I searched two well known Paleo recipe sites PaleOMG and Nom Nom Paleo for easy, tasty recipes that I would actually want to make. We haven't started just yet, but I think we're both looking forward to breaking our addictions and honestly eating some "real" food. Has anyone else tried Paleo yet? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Wines

Summer of Sippin'

Gone are the days of creative mixology for me at home. I would much rather have a beer or glass of wine when I stay in because I honestly don't want to have to clean up after my beverage. Summer is my wine season if you will because I lean towards whites in general (even when I'm eating steak or pasta).  Summer wines for me are all about light, crisp, and refreshing flavors. Bonus: all the wines pictured range in price from $8-$15, now that's a steal!

1. Chateau St. Michelle Riesling: If I had a house wine, this would be it. It's mid grade as far as sweetness goes, and typically pairs well with most things I'm eating. It's also a great white sangria base.

2. Twin Vines Vinho Verde: I LOVE Vinho Verde! To me it's summer in a bottle. Don't be fooled this white wine isn't very sweet,and is so smooth and refreshing. This light, crisp wine pairs so well wish shellfish and fresh veggies. 

3. Pasanella & Figlio Prosecco: This doesn't need much explanation, but here goes nothing. Bubbles. Everyone loves them, they are perfect for hot summer nights, and make everything more festive. Change up your game and add prosecco to your rotation.

4. Famega Vinho Verde: This is a total sipping on the patio or deck wine. This vinho verde has some natural effervesence to it so it's a nice hybrid between the clean white and bubbles of a sparkling wine. Drink often.

5. Marquis de la Tour Sparkling Rose: I've never been a fan of pink wine. Normally I would turn my nose up at it, but this brut sparkling wine is delicious and festive. Try it paired with summer fruit, mixed into sangria, or straight up in a fancy flute. You won't be disappointed. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Fall Staples

I might be the only one and I don't care if I am, but I am really over summer. DC has been miserable and this is coming from someone who has lived in Louisiana... it's plain awful here. We're having a really strange weather day since it's only in the mid 70s, but it reminded me how much I love fall here and how excited I am for September to get here. 

Fall is my favorite time of year. Football/tailgating season is back, sweaters and boots are appropriate, and everything is pumpkin or cider themed (really what's not to love???). I especially love my wardrobe staples for the cooler months. I think last year I really started to think of closet staples and investment pieces rather than super trendy cheaper items. I really believe in quality over quantity these days when it comes to your wardrobe. Why buy something you don't love and won't love for another year? I rounded up some of my favorites for fall. These pieces are versatile, can be dressed up or down, and can be mixed and matched in so many ways. What are your staple pieces for fall? Are there items you just can't live without?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Few Updates

Blogging is something I have wanted to get back into for a while now, and I really feel like I'm starting to get the hang of it again. This is my creative outlet and a place to share things that inspire me. Some days creating content happens in mere minutes while other days I feel like I am racking my brain to come up with something people would actually want to read. 

With that in mind, I have decided to keep a steady post schedule of 3-4 times a week. I really want to produce quality content and I think slowing down and really focusing on a few good posts will allow me to do just that. There are some really amazing bloggers out there that can balance dozens of spinning plates, but I can only do a few at a time if I want to do them well. 

On that note I have so exciting news to share: I will be a weekly contributor to Sweet Lemon Magazine starting this week! I'm so excited to work with all the great talent at Sweet Lemon, and come up with some fun content for them. When you have time hop on over to Sweet Lemon Magazine's site and check out the latest issue!

I'll be posting some new content tomorrow, but in the mean time let's keep in touch!

Twitter: @alib1106
Facebook: Ali Bentolila
Pinterest: Ali Bentolila
Instagram: alibento
Email: alittlelovelier@gmail.com

Monday, July 22, 2013

Menu Planning

In an effort to get myself in the habit of eating better and eating in more often, I have decided to go back to weekly menu planning. Years ago I did this and I saved tons of money and calories. I don't feel great about eating out a ton especially when my boyfriend and I are really good cooks. So we kind of had our "come to Jesus" moment over the weekend where we committed to being healthier in general. No better way to start than by getting a delicious and healthy menu together for the week. What are your go to recipes for fairly easy, healthy, and delicious meals? I would love more ideas!

Menu Planning Week 1

You can find all the recipes at the links below!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Geeking Out

Geek Chic

Phone Case/ Ear Buds/ iPad Folio/ Purse

I like to think of myself as pretty tech savvy, but I also like fun accessories to go with my gadgets. Bright colors, monograms, sleek design, and multipurpose tools are a must for me! What are you currently coveting to make your tech gear even more stylish?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Paleo Dessert You Will Want to Try

Happy Monday! After last week I really needed a weekend away with friends. It was great to relax, have some quality girl time, and not partake at all in social media. Unplugging and having fun was exactly what I needed to recharge.

I am sure many of you have heard about the Paleo Diet where you eat basically like a caveman. Even though I know people who swear by it, I have always been pretty skeptical about any diet that pushes animal fat and red meat. I am more of an "all things in moderation" diet believer simply because I don't do deprivation well. At our girls weekend two of the girls were on Paleo, so many of the foods served were Paleo-friendly.

One of the girls made a Paleo fruit tart which looked really pretty, but again my skepticism got the best of me and I assumed no sugar or butter could not yield good results... I was wrong! The tart was so good, so refreshing, and so light that I had to google it as soon as I got home so I could make it too. I think trying something and liking it really peaked my interest in this lifestyle. I don't know if I could or would want to fully commit to it, but it's definitely something to experiment with. Has anyone else tried Paleo? 

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Fail: to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fall short

It’s one of those weeks were I seem to fail at everything. Something goes wrong at work and it’s seen as a failure. I feel like I have failed as a friend for not being as good about keeping up. And it seems that I have failed pretty miserably at being a girlfriend lately. I think I just need to unplug and recharge for the next few days. So I’m taking a break from the blog, social media, and distractions to do a little “detox” if you will. I’ll be back Monday hopefully feeling energized and ready to fix what needs fixing and mend what needs mending. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bar Hopping

Bar Hopping

Chia Bar, Kind Bar, Think Thin Bar, Lara Bar, Luna Bar

I have been doing a lot of taste testing trying to find the perfect protein/nutrition bar. At one point, I think I had six different kinds in my purse that I sampled throughout the week. So far I have found some good ones, but I am still on the hunt for my hands down, go to, order a case off of Amazon bar. I need your help! Which bars do you like? I want something filling, doesn't taste too minerally, and it must be palatable. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Post Series: Weekly Wants

Weekly Wants

I'm starting a weekly series called "Weekly Wants" where I'll be sharing my items on my never ending wish list. What are you currently lusting after?

Monday, July 8, 2013

So Fresh and So Clean

Hair Savers

DryBar Detox/ Suave Professionals/ Oscar Blandi/ Not Your Mother's Clean Freak/ Ojon Full Detox

I am guilty of all the major hair sins: over processing, over styling, heat damage, brushing when wet, and washing my hair too much. Yes, there is such a thing as washing your hair too much. On top of all my hair infractions, I also happen to have very fine and oily hair which means it is even more temperamental...yay! 

About six months ago my stylist begged me to stop washing my hair so much because it was in such bad shape (brittle and dry). I didn't think I could do that because I have oily thin hair  that just looks plain dirty the next day, and let's be honest that just isn't a good look for anyone. I started experimenting with different dry shampoos and honestly it was life changing. I can now wash my hair every other day and no one is the wiser. 

Dry shampoo is such a game changer. Not only does it extend that freshly washed look, but it also gives me a much needed boost in volume. My hair is fuller, shinier, and the breakage has significantly decreased since I began washing my hair less often. I have tried all of the products listed, and am currently in LOVE with Drybar's Detox dry shampoo. It's on the steeper end at $20, but it saves me close to 4 hours a week in washing and styling time.  Have you jumped on the dry shampoo band wagon yet? Which brands do you love?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Festive for the 4th

Festive for the 4th


Have some fun with your wardrobe this year and sport a little Americana on the 4th! I'm not a fan of head to toe stars and stripes, but any of theses pieces could work into your current repertoire.  Any of my friends can tell you my most prized swim suit it my American flag one that I've had for years. What are your favorite red, white and blue pieces?

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