Really Lane Bryant?

OK so everyone should have a good idea that I love fashion and looking good. As a plus-sized woman a take great pride in how I look so being able to find fashionable clothing is very important to me. One store that I frequent (a lot) is Lane Bryant.  At one point I only shopped there for the bras (topic for another post…good fitting bras and why they’re important) . Lately I’ve actually been buying more clothes. They have been doing designer collaborations with pieces that have been very stylish (although I’ve been wanting more color). One designer they have partnered with was Isabella Toledo, she even did a fashion show with real plus models.

A more recent collection has been 6th & Lane, which they kept with the black and white theme. As I flipped through their look book for the collection I happened upon what I felt would be the ultimate addition to my closet. It was a leather moto jacket but not just any kind of moto jacket. It gave me new life. It seemed to be part Edward Scissorhand part Sons of Anarchy, it made me drool a bit. I proceeded to create ensemble after ensemble in my mind. I went from softening it with a flowy dress, to pairing it with a great pair of boyfriend jeans and some heels.July-6th-lane-leathercoat

Back view

Back view

Front unzipped and relaxed collar

Front unzipped and relaxed collar

In my mind I was in outfit heaven until……I saw the price. $499.99 Really Lane Bryant?  It wasn’t even in store for me to touch and feel, to say yes the leather had come from a cow “that had died of natural causes”. or if the detailings were handmade by fairies.  Don’t get me wrong for some folks $500.00 is nothing for a leather jacket but I am currently not one of those people. I will have to wait until this goes on deep discount before I will be able to get my hands on this.  And pray they still have my size in stock.  SMH!

Football Season is here!!

Giants football

I am a football fan. More importantly I am a New York Giants fan. I grew up watching football 1. because my bothers played  and 2. because back in the day we were a one t.v. household and my brothers were older and bigger and therefore controlled the t.v.  It was inevitably for me to have a love for football.  And so to this day I love football season and all the excitement it brings.

With football season comes Monday Night Football.  The N.Y Giants had their first game of the season on Monday Night Football.  What better way to enjoy than for me to have the usual suspects over to enjoy it with me, my brother Dion aka Santa Dee, my sister-in-law Cassandra aka Sandy, my girlfriend Nykki aka Nykki and my hubby.  With folks comes the need for food.  Menu sweet and simple:

Chipotle Rubbed Chicken Sliders

BBQ Spiced Chicken Nachos

Seasoned French Fries

Chipotle Rubbed chicken tenders on top ciabatta rolls with carmalized red onions, gouda cheese , pesto mayo, lettuce & tomatoes

Chipotle Rubbed chicken tenders on top ciabatta rolls with carmalized red onions, gouda cheese , pesto mayo, lettuce & tomatoes

closed chicken sandwiches

BBQ Spiced cheken  atop tortilla chips with black beans, diced red onions, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, siracha sour cream, shredded cheese and guacamole

BBQ Spiced cheken atop tortilla chips with black beans, diced red onions, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, siracha sour cream, shredded cheese and guacamole

We ate and drank well but My Dear, Dear Giants did not win.  Trying to figure out how I can get a meeting with management, the staff and the team. Until the next game…..

A Quickie…..Cami Cakes

Cami Cakes sign

A dear friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) gave me a short list of places I should visit and try their eats. Cami Cakes was on that list. While out earlier this week I finally made it. I’m not even sure where to start about this place. I have gone to many places where the presentation was phenomenal from the opening of the door to the customer service but then fell flat on the taste of the food. Not so at Cami Cakes. I had the pleasure of visiting their Vinings location. The place was inviting and the staff friendly and most helpful. I wanted to try their Red Velvet cupcake but the young lady behind the counter would not sell me what she had been removing from the case. She said they were no longer fresh (so they aren’t all about profit but good eats). I opted for the Cami Sweetheart since I couldn’t wait for the fresh batch of Red Velvet. The Cami Sweetheart is Chocolate cupcake with a cream cheese filling topped with a chocolate glaze. It was delicious…the cake moist…the filling not too sweet…the chocolate glaze was the truly the icing on the cake. I was in cupcake heaven. I plan to visit their newest location that has a creamery……cake & ice cream. How could you go wrong?. They have several locations and also now ships across the states.  Click here for more on Cami Cakes

The Showcase of yummy goodness

The Showcase of yummy goodness


Presentation is KEY

Presentation is KEY


The Cami Sweetheart

The Cami Sweetheart


Cami Cakes Collage


What’s in Your Pantry?


At any given moment I can whip up something scrumptious in my kitchen.  All because I keep what i consider staple items in my pantry.  Things I feel with a little time and some effort can be transformed into a meal. So what do I consider staples?

  • Pasta (1 long noodle i.e. spaghetti or fettuccine and 1 short noodle i.e. macaroni or rigatoni)
  • Stock or broth ( I keep chicken. beef and vegetable in the 32 oz size)
  • Flour (all-purpose & self-rising)
  • Rice
  • Oil (I like canola for frying & olive oil for sauteing)
  • Canned tomatoes (diced and pureed)
  • Canned beans ( black, pinto red or your favorite)
  • Onions
  • Bell peppers (I prefer colored to green ones)
  • Assortment of frozen vegetables (i.e. broccoli, mixed vegetables,corn)
  • Ground beef
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Milk

With a combination of just a few of these items you can have a wonderful meal.  For instance you can make a quick pasta e fagioli ( broth, short pasta, diced tomatoes, a can of beans)  or maybe a vegetable fried rice( oil, cooked rice, frozen mixed vegetables, onions) or even chili ( ground beef, beans, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers).  Once you have the basics or the items that you use repeatedly in cooking you will always be prepared to whip something great up.

P.S. My pantry list is a little longer than the one I have included because I have a pretty sized family and lots of friends who like stop by to eat)

P.S.S.  This post is dedicated to my son, Akeem, the newly wed and apparently the chef in his new household

Brunch OOTD

Green Jessica Simpson Dress- Dillard's Cork sling back Wedges- Goodee2shoes Earrings & Bracelets- Gems and Baubles

Green Jessica Simpson Dress- Dillard’s
Cork sling back Wedges- Goodee2shoes
Earrings & Bracelets- Gems and Baubles



All That Glitters Ain’t Gold

So in appreciation of all the time energy and MONEY we spent on their marriage, my son and his wife invited us, the parents, to have brunch with them at the Georgian Terrace. I was overly excited,it has been somewhere I wanted to go since I moved to Georgia. The Georgian Terrace is on of Atlanta’s Historic sites first opening it’s doors in 1911. I knew we would be in for a treat…..but all that glitters ain’t gold.

The Up View of the lobby in the Georgian Terrace

The Up View of the lobby in the Georgian Terrace

We were to have lunch at their restaurant/bar …The Livingston. It was beautiful….historic with a modern flare

Table for Four with a view

Table for Four with a view

But that was where all the glitter started to lose it’s shine.  I still don’t know our waiters name but let’s just say he left a lot to be desired.  I was excited to see on the menu ( view Menu)Sweet Potato Donuts ( anyone that knows me knows that anything with sweet potato as an ingredient is going to be on my radar). We placed an order for the donuts to start with our teas and coffee and then ordered our brunch. There were 2 orders of the Livingston Omelet, 1 for the Black Truffle Omelet, 1 Double Cheeseburger, 1 Mini Quiche Lorraine and 1 Chicken Monte Crisco.



Sweet Potato Donut

Sweet Potato Donut

The Livingston Omelet with a side of  breakfast potatoes

The Livingston Omelet with a side of breakfast potatoes

Mini Quiche Lorraine with a shaved salad

Mini Quiche Lorraine with a shaved salad

Double Cheese Burger with house made potato chips

Double Cheese Burger with house made waffle potato chips

My meal for the afternoon.... Chicken Monte Cristo

My meal for the afternoon….
Chicken Monte Cristo

Now the presentations were nice but the tastes fell short.  The sweet potato donuts were okay as a yeast donut but wasn’t enough sweet potato for it to carry it as a main ingredient. The omelet that my husband and son had both tasted way too salty. My son’s father-in-law’s double cheeseburger was over cooked ( actually he said it was burned along the edges) and his mother-in-law felt her quiche was just “alright”.  As for me and my Chicken Monte Cristo, well, let’s just say the brioche bread was the best thing about the sandwich.  It came off pretty mediocre.  We all agreed that their potato products were really good.  The house made waffle chips, the breakfast potatoes and the french fries were well done and very enjoyable. I really had high hopes for the meal here but my feelings were dashed.  I hope it was that the chef was having a bad day but i will never know cause I’m not moved to visit them again.


Mother of the Groom


Gown: Ralph Lauren Nordstrom’s Necklace, Earrings, Bracelet & Clutch: Gems and Baubles Hair: Chic Strands Make-Up: Shalawn Architect Beauty Wilis

And so I’m back….

So I’ve been gone for a minute….more like an hour…okay, okay….It’s been a few months but no worries I’m back. I never stopped cooking or experimenting with new recipes or styling new clothes….I’ve just been living life and well…not really documenting it. Since last I’ve written I managed to quit my job, start planning for my son’s rehearsal Dinner and Wedding (which both of his siblings are in…$$), re-launched my business Gems and Baubles (check out the website celebrated yet another year on this earth. I turned 42 this month and I think I look damned good for it(just my opinion)

cass pool

Poolside at The W Hotel Midtown wearing Bathing Suit Lane Bryants Cover-up Gems and Baubles Straw Hat Gems and Baubles

I plan  to do a whole lot better with my postings but always gonna keep on living life to it’s fullest.

A Quickie…..Crab Bisque


The Crab Bisque at Nordstrom’s Bistro Cafe has me wanting more. It’s the kind of soup that leaves you scraping the bottom of the bowl. I had a cup with my lunch today. Can we say ”YUM”? It’s served with what they call a gazpacho and a parmesan crostini. The gazpacho was a brilliant addition to the soup. The acidity of the tomatoes helped to cut the richness of the soup making it the perfect blend. If you’re lucky enough to have a Nordstrom’s near I highly recommend stopping by the Bistro Cafe and ordering a bowl (not the cup) of Crab Bisque.

The Chef In Pearls

Cassandra Sinclair is a Lifestyle Chef and Gourmet Cooking Instructor who enjoys demystifying the art of cooking for One. You can catch her live demonstrations across major social media as @TheChefInPearls.

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