Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Recipe from

2 Large Sweet Potatoes
2 oz. Neufchatel Cheese (if you've never heard of this before, it is basically a low, low fat version of cream cheese)
2 tbsp fat-free milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut potatoes in half length-wise and place cut-side down on a lined foil pan.  (I recommend spraying the foil with cooking spray to avoid sticking.)

Bake potatoes in the oven 30-35 minutes until tender.

When potatoes are done, scoop out flesh and put in a bowl.  Leave about a 1/4-inch thick border in the potato skins.

Combine scooped-out part of the potatoes with milk, cheese, cinnamon and sugar.  Mash together until well incorporated. Return mixture to the potato skins and top with a few chopped pecans.

Place back in oven and cook until a little brown on top.

This is what the final result looks like!

These were really yummy and filling, and pretty simple to make.  They are a little time consuming since you have to wait for the potatoes to bake in the oven, but overall it wasn't that bad.  I think leftovers would probably warm up well in the oven the next day. 

Lagniappe: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamins A & C, fiber (if you eat the skin), protein and calcium. 

These are 4 weight watcher's points per serving.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Odd Things

Sorry for the little blogging break, y'all.  School was sort of crazy this week, and sleep was my number 2 priority after school work.  Hopefully I can get back on the blogging track.

I've been noticing some strange interesting things recently, so I thought I would blog about that.
Photo from
These "boots" are designed for wear with flats and heels.  They are supposed to keep your regular shoes dry, obviously.  Maybe these are designed for people who are just trying to get from their car to a door, because these just scream "SLIPPERY" to me.  If you've ever walked in a big city on a rainy day, you should know that slippery sidewalks and surfaces can be treacherous.  I'm thinking that these things would just complicate the situation since you are actually wearing heels?  
Now, just as a side note,  I have not tried this product, seen it in person, or even heard about it from others- so I really can't judge its effectiveness.  But I will probably never know for sure, because this is not a product that I have any desire to try.  

Photo from
Apparently, Twitter now has its own brand of wine.  That's right, I said Twitter- as in, do you tweet?  The wine will cost $25 per bottle, with $5 from the sale of each bottle going to Room to Read, a non-profit that promotes literacy in developing countries around the world.  See how the label looks like an old school library book return card?  Ahhh... now you see it, don't you? Check out the article for more information.  While I was extremely taken aback when I first heard about this, I think it is actually a great idea.  Why wouldn't one buy a bottle of wine when 20% of the purchase price goes to a great cause?  (That is, assuming one has $25 extra dollars laying around and is really thirsty...)

Well that's about it for today.  Sure, there are plenty of other odd things in the world, but I have to save something for future blogs.

Hope the weather is nice wherever you are.  It's not so pretty in DC today.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Well, sometime this morning, The Eclectic Traditionalist hit the 2000-visits mark!  I know that these little trackers aren't the most accurate things, since it counts any time the page is visited at all, even reloaded, but this is still exciting none-the-less! When I started this blog, I was really apprehensive about whether or not anyone would read it, so I'm glad at least some people read daily... haha! 

 If you read the blog regularly or are new to the blog, I would love for you to leave me a comment to let me know what you love reading about, and what you'd like to see more of!  And if you aren't already a follower, I would love for you to become one!

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Frugal Finds Friday: Low Heel Suede Pumps

You may have noticed that I'm calling this post "Frugal Finds Friday."  I decided that I like the alliteration of this much better than the "Look for Less Friday" that I originally started with wayyyy back almost a month ago.

I'm normally a quality over quantity type of girl.  While I love a frugal find just as much as the next girl, I think there is something to be said for investing in certain things: pieces of clothing, shoes and jewelry, for example. 
But a summer of being an unpaid intern followed by the first semester of graduate school can teach you a lot about yourself. Yes, in an ideal world, I would go for quality, but these days, my criteria for clothing is something like... a) if it fits, and b) its flattering, and c) I need it because I don't already have something similar, and d) I can actually afford it (without feeling like I might have a panic attack) then I buy it.  I understand that when I sacrifice quality for price, the piece may not last past one season, but you know what?  I'm okay with that for right now.

Now, moving on to the latest Frugal Find:

Duo Rebecca Pump, $140
If you've never heard of Duo before, you are in for a treat.  It is a UK-based company that offers beautiful shoes and boots in custom sizes.  Shoes are typically offered in narrow, medium and wide sizes, while there are 21 different calf fittings for boots.  And all the boots are real, beautiful leather.  What a breath of fresh air.  
When I first saw these shoes, I thought they were pretty and would be practical for work, but the $140 price tag just wasn't practical at all.

Target's Mossimo Black Veralis Ruffle Demi Heel, $24.99
These aren't an exact match, but they are pretty darn close if you ask me.  They come in a few different colors- I like the purple too.  Like I said before, I wouldn't anticipate these lasting past one good 6-month period of frequent wearing, but I beat my shoes up anyway, so my shoes rarely last very long.

I noticed that Target is also currently offering a free pair of fleece liners with the purchase of any pair of rain boots.  [My hunt for rain boots that can be worn with liners in the winter is a whole other story for a whole other day.]  I'm not sure how long the offer will last, but you should check it out if you are in the market. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beautiful Baubles

I was perusing another blog today, and I stumbled upon jewelry made by Kendra Scott.  Oh. My. Word. Yall.  It's like what i've been searching for.

I've been really bored with my costume jewelry lately.  I have a few pieces of very nice jewelry that have been given to me over my lifetime for all sorts of special occassions, but I also love to mix things up with trendier costume jewelry every now and again.  I'm totally LOVING all of these pieces.
 I love the emerald green color!

These are SO me. Like, beyond...

These beauties are even purple and gold! [Some observations are so hard-wired in my personality that I just cannot escape them.]

These would be beautiful with the right dress- maybe for a holiday party? 

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sarah Palin's Alaska

Have you seen the previews yet for "Sarah Palin's Alaska"? 

It is a new show premiering on TLC November 14.  If you haven't seen the trailer yet, go here
 to watch it.  I do not intend to get political on this blog, and I do not bring this show up because of its relation, if there is one, to politics.  Regardless of my personal opinions of the characters, I think this show will be a trip to watch and I'm looking forward to the series. Entertaining, indeed. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Favorite Skin Care Products

A couple of years ago, my skin got out-of-control.  This prompted me to find a dermatologist I loved and forge a good relationship with her.  I cannot speak enough about the importance of having a good relationship with your dermatologist, especially if you face certain issues with your skin, acne for example.  I am also an extremely fair-skinned person with a family history of skin cancer, so regular visits to the dermatologist are important to me, regardless of the cosmetic condition of my skin. 
Now, having said all that, I thought I would share some of my favorite products for skin care.  Everything I'm going to share here can be purchased over the counter at drugstores or department stores.  
As a side note, I do use two prescription topical medications for my skin that I found with my dermatologist's help. 

Behold the Clarisonic "Mia".  You can learn more about this product here.  I got my Mia about a year ago, and I love it!  I cannot say enough about this product. Apparently, they now come in fancy colors, but mine is the classic white.  The Mia sells for $149, so it is pricey, and I would suggest best-suited for Christmas/ Holiday lists.  There is also a full-sized version of this product.  The main difference is that the Mia has a small travel-size charger while the full-size version has a docking station.  I love my Mia and would definitely recommend to anyone who travels at all- even if it isn't often.  I'm glad I didn't buy the large one with the big docking station.

I use this with my Mia to wash my face every morning and evening.  The Clarisonic line includes cleansers, but you can use anything with the system.  I've had problems with the Cetaphil "Gentle Skin Clenser" and found that the "Daily Facial Cleanser" works best for me.  You can buy it at any drugstore for about $6 for a small bottle.

I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with all Bobbi Brown Products, but this stuff I really love!  It is from her "brightening" skin care line, and it is a daily moisturizer with SPF 50. It is a bit pricey at $38, so on days when I know that I will spend the majority of the day inside, I switch out with a drugstore moisturizer with SPF 30.  Even if you are naturally inclined to tan, I  strongly believe it is important to use a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 every day.  There's nothing worse than seeing a really beautiful woman who has ruined her skin by not protecting it from the sun.  This product can be purchased here or at department stores that carry Bobbi Brown. 

My last good skin care tip is to drink a lot of water!  I can definitely tell by my skin if I am dehydrated, and it is not pretty.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I will be bringing these sweet treats to a project group meeting tonight. 

After a failed attempt at making a pastry bag using a ziploc (the ziploc busted... it did not end well) I decided to jazz these up with some sprinkles.  I think they will be well received, don't you?

Hope you are having a great Sunday! 

anthropologie for the home

Here are some items I am loving from anthropologie's for the home collection:

Might I have one of these in every color?
I already have the short champagne glasses from this collection, but I would love to own the tumblers too. 

I've always had an affinity for this shade.

I definitely need these things as much as I need a whole in my head, but it sure is fun to browse and dream.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Studio "Home Office"

Welcome to another home tour with the Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life series!

If you've visited my blog before, you know that I live in a small studio apartment in DC.  Since it is a studio, the whole apartment is one big room.  So... my "home office" is a bit unconventional. Really it is just a small space with a desk, chair and printer.  But just because it is small doesn't mean it can't be stylish!

Here it is!  For the office, I was on a very limited budget, so I opted to purchase the desk and hutch from walmart.  I really like the desk and it serves its function for now, but I'm not sure how much longevity it will have. 

The hutch offers really great storage, and I like that I can display things on the upper level of the desk.  The little black organizational boxes were bought on the super-cheap at Ikea.  The other little pictures and accessories I already had.

These little containers hold my staples, binder clips and paperclips.  They were also bought on the super-cheap at Ikea (I think I paid like $3 for the set of 4.) They were meant to hold spices, but they work so well for this!

Here's the desk drawer.  I love how organized it is! It makes it so much easier to find things.

Here's my little printer stand.  It is a simple little table that I found for $15 at Target.

Here is a similar view of the office.  I wanted to show the faux-bamboo details of the chair.  This was another craigslist find (one advantage of living in a big city).  Right now, I have a temporary cushion on it, but I bought this fabric to recover the cushion:
Waverly Bedazzle Silver Lining
I really loved this fabric in the store, and lately I've been seeing it all over the blogosphere.  I can't wait to show yall how the chair looks once the cover has been done.

If you are new to my blog, be sure to click here to see the rest of my little home.  And if you have time, make sure to check out Kelly's Korner to see other great home offices.

Thanks for touring the home office!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Reads

I thought I would highlight a couple of books that I read this summer today.

This was such a fantastic book!  It follows a community living on an island in the English Channel right after World War II.  The island was the only occupied section of England during the war.  After the war, a writer from London decides to write about the island. The book is written in the style of letters back and forth between the characters.  If you like historical fiction, you should pick this up!  I laughed out loud at some points, as the main character, the writer, is really funny.

This was another read I really enjoyed.  This is one of those books that follows a real historical figure and her life story.  Some of the details are a bit fudged historically, but that's why it is fiction.  The book is very entertaining to read, and it gives you a great peak into life in ancient Egypt, at least among the privileged folks.

Make sure to stop by tomorrow, I will be joining the Kelly's Korner home tour series tomorrow with my little "home office."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

This is a really yummy recipe so I thought I would share it with yall, especially since its sort of pumpkin-y and its fall!  My bff Courtney originally shared this recipe with me, but she doesn't blog, so I am posting this on my blog.  (You snooze, you lose, Court!)

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
2 large eggs, whites only
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
1 15-ounce can puréed pumpkin or pumpkin pie mix (this can be REALLY hard to find when not in season, so I advise you to stock up if you end up liking this recipe)

Yields 12 servings.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix cake mix, pumpkin and egg whites until well incorporated.

Pour into lined muffins tins (you can spray the muffin tin with cooking spray if you don't have liners).  
Top muffins with a few chocolate chips.  You can also mix the chocolate chips in with the batter, but I think it looks pretty on top.

 Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.  The best test to see if these are done is the toothpick test.

Here's what they look like when they are done.  Yum!  These are great warm or room temperature and perfect for breakfast, snacks or dessert.  They are pretty dense, so they travel well for packed lunches too.

If you know anything about weight watchers, these are 3.5 points per muffin.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Eclectic Studio Living Room Space

Welcome to my living room!  This room has been a mini-labor of love and I am excited to show it to you!
This is a photo of the living room when you walk in the front door.  You can also see my bed in the far left of the picture.  This gives you an idea of how large the studio is in general.

This is a view from the bathroom door.  You can see I have my desk/ home office area set up to the right.  That "tour" is for another day. Haha!
You also have a great view of my Cassis poster in this picture.  I love this print because it reminds me of a fantastic place I got to visit in the South of France.

This shows a view from the kitchen.  The rug was purchased at a Pottery Barn Outlet for $150.  I think the original price was $500 for an 8x10 rug. My dad actually found this for me by himself- he went to the outlet in Memphis and sent me pictures while he shopped.  What a great dad!

Here is a close-up of the couch décor. I purchased the couch off of Craigslist for $200 after browsing the furniture section for a really, really long time.  It had only been used for one year and it was a great deal!
The two matching pillow covers were purchased on etsy. Check out DecidedlyChic for great pillow covers!  
The brown pillow was purchased from Ballard Designs.  I like the dark brown velvet because it gives the look some texture, and the middle has my monogram- love that!

This is a close-up of my new table.  You can read about where I found the table here. The lamp and frame were purchased at HomeGoods.  

Here's a picture of the wall opposite the couch.  The wicker piece was in my house growing up.  I wish it had a little more storage, but for now, it works.  The two chairs were purchased from Primitive and Proper.  They are painted a pretty gray and have cane seats.  I bought them to have extra seating when I have guests and because I fell in love with them.  I left my purse in the picture because that is usually where it lands.

Here's a close-up of the shelving above the couch.  It was installed by the owner and I really love it.  It is great for displaying things and storing my wine glasses. 

Here's a picture of the coffee table/ trunk. I found the cute tray at HomeGoods- it has fleur de lis on it.  The two books were gifts- one is a Louisiana cookbook and the other is a pictorial history of Louisiana State University from my friend Elise over at Fleur De-Lectable.

Here's the best part of the coffee table: the storage!  I store extra blankets and my air mattress in here. I found this trunk on craigslist for $20 and so far I really like it. 

I hope you enjoyed the living room tour. Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Organizational Tactics: Staying on Top of Your To-do List Without Losing Your Mind

If your semester is trending in a way that is comparable to mine at all, things are about to get crazy, and I mean, really crazy.  I am a pretty organized person because I like organization.  I need to have everything written down, or else I'll forget and have an unsettled feeling- like I am missing something important.  As the semester enters peak time, I thought I would post on some of my habits for staying organized.

I need an agenda book- the old fashioned paper kind. Electronic organizational tools are great too, but for me, I need paper.  It just helps me to visualize my schedule and everything I have going on. 
On this note, I have a few requirements of a planner:
1. It needs month-at-a-glance views.
2. It must have at least two pages dedicated to each week.  It is best if weeks run Monday-Sunday.
3. All national holidays must be written in already.
4.  The days of the week and the dates must already be written in too. 
All other details are superfluous.  I've had a couple of Vera Bradley planners in college, and for 2010 I use a Lilly Pulitzer planner.  I've used these because the style and layout work for me, being attractive is a plus.

I like the month-at-a-glance views because I like having one calendar that I can write really big, important dates on.  Things like tests, papers, birthdays, and trips go on this calendar (in addition to the LSU football schedule).  This way, I can see clearly the big things that I have coming up.

The individual weeks are for other dates and appointments, and also for recording due dates of smaller assignments.  If I have something due every week, it goes here so my monthly calendar does not get clogged up and unreadable.  Big, important things on the weekly view are highlighted.  Boxes are placed next to projects that are due so that I can check off when they are done.

My to-do list is clipped in my planner each week.  I write this list on Sundays and carry over anything that was not accomplished in the last week.  I cross items off as they are accomplished.  I add items as I think of them.  I've tried other systems before where I prioritize items or put them on different color post-its because they relate to different categories such as school, personal, work, etc., but those systems just don't work for me.  I think the best thing you can do to stay organized is find a system that works for you and stick with it.  

A big calendar in my kitchen is basically a copy of the month-at-a-glance in my smaller agenda.  I like having this around because it allows me to look at things that are coming up easily when I am at home.  I typically look at it in the mornings and evenings as I prepare for the day ahead or the next day. 

What about you?  How do you keep up with all the things you need to get accomplished?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Weekend of Antiquing

My aunt has been traveling to the DC area all summer for her job, and this weekend marked her last planned trip up here for work.  To end the weekend on a nice note, she stayed over for Saturday and Sunday so we could spend time together.

Our original plan was to go to Annapolis for the weekend, but because there was a boat show (I think?) happening there this weekend, we were not able to get a hotel room.  Instead, we stayed in northern virginia in the area she's been staying in for work and traveled out to do some shopping yesterday.

About 30 miles from her hotel is a great set of outlet shops in Leesburg, Virginia.  They have a ton of outlet stores: Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Barney's New York, J.Crew, and the list goes on.  We had a great time shopping at the outlet mall.  Here's some of my loot from the day:

An herb saver.  I've wanted to try this product for a long time, and I found it at the WS outlet for a reasonable price (plus I got to use my gift card!).  Once I've had the opportunity to see how these work, I might post a review on whether or not I think they are worth the money.

Yep! I broke down and bought the melamine mixing bowls too!  I think this color probably differs from the bowls offered on the WS website, but these were discounted at the outlet and on sale.  I couldn't pass that up!

I bought these two pillow cases to fit the euro pillows on my bed.  The only problem is... these are standard size!  I seriously don't know how this happened because I genuinely thought I picked up the euro size.  I hope I will have a chance to return these in the next month, but if not I think I may just keep them.  (It is sort of unlikely that I will be able to return them since they have to go back to the outlet and I don't have a car here in DC with me...)  I mean, they are classic white and quilted, so surely I will use them eventually.  I'm just so ticked at myself for not double-checking!

After the outlet mall, we stopped for some lunch and then headed to some antique stores I had been researching online.  Antiquing is absolutely one of my FAVORITE things to do.  In fact, we had a choice of two outlet malls, but I picked the Leesburg one so we could do some antiquing too.  Even if you don't find anything you want to take home, or if you can't afford to take anything home, antiquing is always a fun time.

We first went to a place called Old Luckett's Store.  It was AWESOME. I could kick myself for not taking a picture of the building's exterior, but if you google it, I found some pictures of the exterior on other blogs.  I didn't really take any pictures there worth posting, so you should check out their blog and website to see some of the great things their vendors offer.

My aunt did find this outside: 
I know what you are thinking: Katelyn why did you post a picture of this old, janky dresser?  Well, my aunt and I are both pretty sure that this dresser is the matching piece to a crib that has been in our family for generations.  My dad was the first baby to sleep in the crib, then his siblings, then many of his cousins, and then me.  We still have the crib in our attic.  Pretty cool, huh?

Next, we headed on On A Whim down the road. Check out their blog here.
I thought this silo was really cool, and although I'm not a big fan of pink, it looks cute and goes well with the aesthetic of the store.

They had all these displays of pink pumpkins outside the store.  Again, I thought the pink was a bit much, but the pumpkins sure did get your attention!  Come to find out, they were selling the pumpkins and donating part of the proceeds The National Breast Cancer Foundation.  What a great cause and a fun idea!  It certainly caught my eye!

I LOVED this piece!  If I had the space and the fundage to buy it, this baby would have come home to DC with me.  It has cane detailing on the sides.  I don't know what's gotten into me, but I love caned furniture these days. 

And this little beauty DID come home with me!  I've been on the hunt for a side table to finish off my living room for forever, it seems like.  I finally found this table at a great price of $45.  Now that I have this and some pillows for my couch, a post on my living room should be forthcoming.

Details of the table top.  It was decoupaged with sheets of music on top. 

After On A Whim, we headed to downtown Leesburg and stopped in a couple of antique stores there. 
Although I didn't find anything to buy downtown, I thought this door was so beautiful! 

Since we had a late lunch, we didn't eat here, but I was so excited to find this restaurant!  It is called The Cajun Experience, and they even had little crawfish on their building.  The next time I am out in Leesburg, I have to stop in and check this place out!  They even had some Saints memorabilia that we could see in the windows.

Thanks for reading this long post.  I hope you all had great weekends too!  I'll be spending the remainder of my weekend studying for a midterm, so I was glad to have this fun break.