Style Survey // Morgan

Name: Morgan

Profession: Advertising

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

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Outfit: coat and shirt: Banana Republic // sweater: Uniqlo // watch: Timex (same!) // denim: Gap // shoes: Franco Sarto // sunglasses: Ray Ban // glasses: Oliver Peoples // socks: Target

Does your style differ from your nine-to-five to your weekend, and if so, how?

Yes, definitely! When I dress for work, I go for more classic, conservative looks. Unfortunately, there isn’t much experimentation. However, the weekend is where I get to express myself. My personal style has evolved to this combination of classic, menswear-inspired, streetwear-style pieces. For example, I love pairing utility pants, a very streetwear-inspired piece, with a classic, double-breasted overcoat. Or I love rocking a beanie with a buffalo plaid shirt and some Doc Martens, which I can’t quite get away with at work. 

Who are your style influences and what qualities about them impact you?

As to no surprise, a lot of my influence comes from Instagram. In particular, Amanda Arends (@amanda.arends) is someone that I constantly find myself emulating. I would love to raid her closet! Since I like to combine classic and streetwear elements, she’s a great individual to turn to for inspiration. Plus, she’s not afraid to have fun and rock some plaid suspenders. My goal in life is to have as awesome a wardrobe as Amanda. 

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh, man! This is tough. I think I would go with a chambray shirt. Olive utility pants — olive is one of my favorite colors. My Doc Martens, which have this awesome brogue detail to them. So they look grunge, but also classic. And I’d tie it all together with one of my favorite pieces in my closet: my double-breasted camel coat.  

Who is your photographer and what camera does he/she use?

While I do rope any one of my friends into taking my photo, my main photographer is my sister, Danielle (@dani_wanders). When it’s spur of the moment, she just uses my iPhone. And for the more thought-out photos, she shoots with a Nikon DSLR.

Where can people find you on social media?

I can be found on Instagram @MorganModa. 

Bauble Boxes

As important as the jewelry we wear is how we store our pieces. For the longest time (read: nine years), I used a jewelry box that I purchased at the Peters Street Urban Outfitters when I took my little sister there for her eighteenth birthday. Along with an outfit for her (a graphic tee and a vintage red Levi’s cutoff skirt), I bought a jewelry box.

It was veneered in pink silk shantung with delicate beading on the top. Rectangular in shape, it opened on the long side so a mirrored underside and a removable tray divided into four sections. Even after my apartment got broken into and half of my collection ripped, I still loved my jewelry box.

Sadly sometime around the autumn of 2014, I realized the silk was becoming detached from the structure of the box as demonstrated whenever opened. The fabric was also discoloring, turning from pink to burnt sienna.

With that I went on a hunt for a new jewelry box. Antique stores, brick and mortar chains, etc., and I was still unable to find new storage; however, a trip to the online store of Target and I bought the jewelry box that I still use today. It does a fantastic job of keeping everything organized. I love the distressed finish and although it slightly larger than last jewelry box only wish it was larger.

 

I found a few other options that were not on my radar back then. Even if I had found any of the others, I likely would have still purchased the above option. Unless, of course, I had an extra few thousand that I could blow on jewelry storage and in that case, I would definitely buy the last option in this list.

 

weathered black jewelry box


 

stackable jewelry box


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jewelry tray


 

deluxe jewelry box

Open Sequin Part III

read part I…

read part II…

What is better than a wrap waist sequin skirt? Have you ever heard of an elastic waist sequin skirt?

Because I found another one and I am here for it!

My husband once advised me not to pack anything with a static waistband (meaning anything but an elastic waistband) for our Thanksgiving dinner with his family in Marblehead. In a stroke of genius, I packed two colors in the joggers that I wrote about back in September. While the pants are a bit casual, even with an silk button up and heels, the outfit in its entirety may be upgraded by replacing the joggers with this sequin skirt, available in both a black / gun metal colorway and a dark navy colorway. Bam! Fancier outfit without having to sacrifice the comfort of a flexible waistband.

Lastly, a win for height inclusivity: this skirt is available in regular, tall, and petite sizes.

skirt

Coq au Vin // @2souschefs

“The end of the year is full of excitement. Late Christmas parties, Ugly Sweater shindigs, workplace potlucks, and New Years Eve soirees packed into the last two weeks of the year. It is enough to make even the most outgoing social butterfly want to stay home. If you’re asked to bring a dish to any of your outings and want to bring one that looks like you have trained under Jacques Pepin for years yet is super easy, you are in luck. Coq au Vin, literally translated to Rooster with Wine, is a simple dish of braised chicken legs in a sauce of rich red wine, mushrooms, bacon, and pearl onions. It is decadent, looks like you spent all day in the kitchen, but is deceivingly simple. This dish will easily serve four as an entree but can be easily expanded.” – Joe

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 4 each chicken leg quarters
  • 1 each bottle red wine
  • 1.5 each yellow onion
  • 2 each carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour

For the Sauce:

  • 2 pounds mixed mushrooms
  • 0.5 pound bacon
  • 1 12 ounce bag frozen pearl onions
  • 0.5 pound whole wheat pasta
  • 1 teaspoon organic olive oil

Directions

The day prior to making the dish.

  1. Combine the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and peppercorns with the red wine in a glass bowl or plastic container.

The day of making the dish.

  1. Remove the chicken and pat dry. Separate the vegetables and wine, but keep both.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pot, add a tablespoon of organic olive oil and sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Add the vegetables to the pot and cook for five-to-ten minutes.
  4. Add the flour and stir to evenly coat.
  5. Add the wine and chicken back into the pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce to a light simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for about an hour and a half.
  7. In a second pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain all but one tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan.
  8. Add the mushrooms to the second pan and cook down until tender.
  9. Add the pearl onions to the pan.
  10. Add the bacon back to the pan.
  11. After the hour and a half, or the chicken has cooked, remove from the pot and strain the cooking liquid to the second pan.
  12. Cook the pasta according to the instructions.
  13. Plate the pasta, scoop the sauce on top, and add the chicken.

Don’t Book Back // UnSweetined by Jodie Sweetin

last read…

Does anyone else watch Hollywood Darlings? I cannot recall how I stumbled upon it two summers ago…or was it last spring? Regardless, it is a sitcom in which three former child actresses portray exaggerated versions of themselves in the vein of James van der Beek in Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. Along with Jodie Sweetin, the series stars Beverley Mitchell and Christine Lakin, and y’all, it is the funniest show that the world is sleeping on. It airs on the Pop Network over the spring / summer transitional period and hopefully will air a third season in 2019.

It was after I finished season one of Hollywood Darlings, I Googled the series in hot pursuit of finding out whether it had been renewed. And with that I fell into a Wikipedia rabbit hole. As I wormed my way out, I realized that I had also purchased Jodie Sweetin’s memoir from iBooks.

It had been a few months since I purchased Jodie Sweetin’s memoir, which was published nearly a decade ago. Once I finished reading Paperbook Crush, I was still doing cardio and needed to pick something else, and quickly. UnSweetined was near the top of my unread queue and I was in the mood for some juicy child star antics.

I read the memoir over the course of three days on the elliptical. Jodie Sweetin’s story reminded me of a west coast version of that of Cat Marnell. So candid and so raw. While she acknowledges that she did not call out all of the bad stuff, she really does not sugarcoat anything. (See what I did there?) I was so relieved when I read that she never traded sex for money or drugs. Her days as Stephanie Tanner bankrolled her addiction.

It is when people share such personal stories and make themselves vulnerable that really gets me in their corner. I hope for a comeback or a Cinderella story for any underdog or anyone who is in a life pit. With Hollywood Darlings concluding a second season and Fuller House just releasing its fourth season, Jodie Sweetin has come back for her second act.


unsweetined


UnSweetined by Jodie Sweetin

Pack a Bag: Ledges Hotel, Part II

for part I…

While my husband and I were in the Poconos staying at Ledges Hotel, we also toured the other two hotels in the Settlers Hospitality portfolio: Settlers Inn and Silver Birches Resort. Both of them have a decidedly different personality than that of Ledges Hotel. All of the hotels are members of the Historic Hotels of America.

While the stone veneer of the Settlers Inn mimics that of the Ledges Hotel, which is native to the area, the former differs in style as it has a rustic Bavarian lodge personality, which was only enhanced by the holiday decor. Picture green garlands and wreaths, a Christmas tree and gingerbread house, and poinsettias that could put holiday cheer in the most miserly grinch. This inn has it’s own restaurant, which is open for breakfast on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and dinner daily. Adding to the ambiance is the Chestnut Tavern, a small bar in the lobby of the hotel.

While the Settlers Inn gives one the sense of being in the mountains of Europe, the feeling of Silver Birches Resort is unmistakably that of lakeside Americana. The holiday decor fell in line with the style of the interior and the setting, in that it consisted of ice skates and snowshoes. The edges of the lake were just starting to freeze and the water was lapping onto the caps of ice. Also freezing? Myself as I walked around the lake before retreating back inside.

While Silver Birches Resort does not have a built-in restaurant, The Dock (also part of Settlers Hospitality) is a mere few yards away. Very walkable from the accommodations. I highly recommend the lobster macaroni and cheese.

Sincerest thanks to Ledges Hotel for sponsoring my stay.

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Tartan Tidings

Merry Christmas gang!

A happy and safe holiday to you and yours from the Lucindervention team (i.e. my husband and myself). Since the year 2008, I have sent out hand written holiday greetings, personalized to each person in my address book…until this year. Confession: I am embarrassed to share that I did not get as many holiday cards out as I intended, but in the words of the Mark’s cue cards in Love Actually (hot take: this is actually the most despicable story line of the holiday classic), Christmas is when you tell the truth. I am not going to lie and pretend that the greetings went out without a hitch and on time. To me, life’s imperfections are what makes our journeys perfect.

May 2019 bring you health and happiness.

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I wore this outfit to our dinner at Glass wine.bar.kitchen. at the Ledges Hotel. Two weeks prior to the holiday, we took a getaway to the Poconos, and the midweek trip was completely necessary. Too often, we allow ourselves to get too consumed with our careers and as a result, completely miss out on the important moments.

The last quarter of 2018 has been brutal at the office. My old supervisor left late summer. Though I have excellent synergy with his replacement and even get along better with him, the expectations for my work have increased. This is absolutely a good thing, because it has pushed me to be a better team member and more knowledgeable in the field. I feel like my productivity has improved.

The downside is that I have become much more obsessed with my output and the quality of that. In a job where I formerly worked forty-hour workweeks, I am finding myself working fifty plus hours a week. I am lucky that I have a position in which I love what I do enough to work as much as I have, but as a result the weeks since before Thanksgiving have flown by and I barely have had a chance to enjoy the holiday with my husband. As his job frequently takes him out of town, he has had the busy Q4 as well.

When are we going to slow down? I guess that is what New Year’s resolutions are for. Perhaps we will take more frequent midweek getaways in 2019.

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Love is a Camel Coat

I just finished watching my favorite holiday movie, Trading Places, when I was inspired to put together this outfit. The girlfriend of one of the main characters, as portrayed by Kristin Holby and Dan Aykroyd respectively, has the most preppy, Brooks Brothers-laden wardrobe that would cause even season one Blair Waldorf to turn green in envy. Penelope Witherspoon inspired me to wear tennis whites as athleisure and now that it is winter, my camel coat. Unlike her, I will be wearing mine to brunch and for weekend errands, as opposed to her wearing it to pick up her boyfriend from the drunk tank.

And an outfit was born.

The coat is available in tall, standard, and petite sizing and in several colorways. I bought the Thinsulate version, highly recommended by the way, two winters ago. I stayed toasty all day, running through Center City for last minute holiday supplies. Peach puree for bellinis and finally settling on orange juice, as peaches are out of season and pre-made mixers were sold out across the city. First world problems.

The dress is a wool-cashmere mix and also comes in tall. The dress made a previous appearance on the blog in the pale pink option. I loved it so much that once the dress went on markdown, I snatched up the black option. It was a wise choice, as I have already worn it to my husband’s holiday party, this past Saturday brunch and errands, and I have big plans to wear it to the ballet next Saturday.

The accessories really drive home the lewk. Oversized pearl earrings, Burberry cashmere scarf, huge sunglasses (my eye bags are awful right now; taking recommendations for eye cream), and a rather aggressive arm party, and the outfit went from baseline to an outfit that I actually hoped that I would run into people while out and about.

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Good Tidings in Philadelphia

Walking around neighborhoods and admiring the holiday decorations is the urban equivalent to driving around neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. I grew up in a family in which tradition dictated after dinner at the local fine dining steak and seafood restaurant, we piled into the Ford Explorer and oohed and ahhed at the lights.

Tradition aside, I actually love walking around the neighborhood more. My husband and I have plans to walking around Society Hill tomorrow, Christmas Eve, during twilight and take in the holiday decorations.

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Open Sequin Part II

read part I…

What might be better than the sequin skirt in the acid colors from yesterday’s post?

Please allow me to introduce you to the paillette skirt. It always blows my mind that so many people do not seem to know about the superior cousin of the common spangle, the sequin. Larger in size, it is one of the examples of when bigger is better. Perhaps it is more expensive to produce a paillette-embellished item and that is why they are not as widely available on the market; consequently that is why whenever I find an article of clothing that I love adorned with paillettes, I scoop it.

A monkey could tell you that midi skirts are great for the tall girl. Even if there is a back vent, one does not run the risk of flashing one’s choice of undergarments. On the tallest of us, this cut will never hit mini proportions. Hemlines will not creep up into inappropriate and questionable territory. Other than assuring that the cut is not so binding around the legs that one feels as though she is wearing a disco tight jacket around her bottom half, the tall girl is guaranteed comfort.

What would I wear this with? How about a micromodal v-neck, tucked into the skirt? For skirts of this length, I typically finish with a pair of high heels; however if I was going the casual route with a knit on top, I would slip on a pair of skater sneakers. Perfect for a Saturday wandering around Center City after a lengthy brunch at Parc or Maison 208 or Farmiccia or The Love.

This skirt is significantly less expensive than the one featured on the blog yesterday. The vendor site calls it out as running large and directs the consumer to order a size smaller than usual. That hits the trifecta of sparkly skirts, right? And the bonus: it is available in extended sizes. 

skirt (also available in extended sizes)

Open Sequin Part I

I saw this spangled skirt earlier in the season in the jade (center, below) and acid pink (far left). While I love a sequin, lately I find them difficult to wear in different ways. As I am in the office five days out of the week, and upwards of ten hours a day, I do not think that a sequin skirt would serve me during my “nine-to-five.” Waking up during the five o’clock hour to be in the office during the six o’clock hour is not conducive to putting a ton of effort into one’s outfit, let alone even hitting hair with a blow dry. When working in a male-dominated industry, I have found that these matters are not even matters at all. Effort is turned down to zero.

So when would I really wear this skirt? Dinner, the ballet, a museum party, and that is about it.  Granted we have one of these about twice a month, but with work picking up during the fourth quarter, I barely have enough energy to make the nights out, let alone getting amped for them and consequently putting as much effort into my outfit as I previously enjoyed.

Something clicked in my mind in the last week and now all I can think about is either this skirt in light gold (second to the left) or the bright blue (far right). I would wear either to the office with a Breton stripe tee. I would wear either on the weekends with an oversized cashmere sweater (budget).

Is a sequin skirt going to be my answer to look like I put much more effort into my lewk than I actually did? Maybe it is about time that I start looking like I turned the dial up to twelve?

 

skirt (also available and on sale here)

Miso Chicken // @2souschefs

“Inspiration for a dish can come at unexpected times. Menu changes and planning at the restaurant are some of the most difficult challenges I face in my profession. I need my books, notebooks, a cup of coffee ,and plenty of time to dream of interesting flavor combinations or of a way to put an imaginative spin on a classic dish. For some, inspiration may come while they are cooking a different dish or simply chopping herbs for the evening service. I am not so lucky. But like I said, the most unexpected times.

This dish came while we were flipping through a food publication. A recipe for Miso Glazed Duck Legs was pictured. The combination of miso (fermented soybean paste) and any bird or fowl is a match made in heaven, but duck is pricey. The next best thing is chicken legs. Leg Quarters are the whole leg: thigh, drumstick, and a part of the hip joint.

I wanted to challenge myself in creating something unique for dinner. Miso and tamari (gluten free soy sauce) go great together, this I know; however between perusing social media and cookbooks I noticed an ingredient called gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste). Having had my eye on a brand at our specialty grocer for a while, I thought what the hell. The blind leap of faith came with great reward. A feisty, but not too spicy, kick was added to the already flavorful chicken. We also made a light ‘salad’ of bok choy and other veggies with cooked soba noodles seasoned with sweet chili sauce, but the dish would also pair well with rice or on top a salad of simple greens.” – Joe 

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 2 Tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 Tablespoon tamari
  • 4 Tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 Tablespoon organic olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion – rough chopped
  • 4 clove garlic – rough chopped
  • 1 pint water

Directions

  1. Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of organic olive oil.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sear on both sides, flipping with a pair of tongs, for about four minutes on each side or until it is golden.
  3. Once seared, place in a nine by eleven inch casserole dish. Take one tablespoon of gochujang and spread it over the skin on the chicken.
  4. Once all the chicken has been seared and had an gochujang applied, add the onion and garlic, and roast lightly.
  5. Add the water, miso, and tamari to the large skillet. Bring to a simmer, then pour over the chicken.
  6. Cover the nine by eleven inch with aluminum foil and place in a 300 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven. Cook for 25 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the foil and set your oven to broil. Continue to cook the chicken until it is golden brown on top or for about another five-to-ten minutes.
  8. Remove from the pan, allow to cook slightly, and serve.