Outfit | New Look ASOS Dress

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There’s really nothing better than a simple comfy frock that’s guaranteed to get compliments. Seriously, I’ve become completely enamored with this dress — the only thing missing (tear, tear) are pockets. Pairing it with simple slide sandals, my map necklace, and a bright lip for summer; looking toward fall with these new Steve Madden kicks and a darker lip; and anxiously awaiting my chance to match it up with sheer black stockings, leather jacket, and the perfect booties!

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Moved

Eclectic Baltimore Apartment 4

Welp, it officially happened. I’m now a permanent Baltimore resident (with a healthy dose of DC dwelling thrown in since I’ll still be working in the District). We’re a few bruises richer, a few $$$ poorer (though not nearly as bad as it could have been thanks to Second Chance), and I’m now actively accepting décor sourcing recommendations! This is the largest space I’ve had the chance to play with so far, and I’m hoping to really make it mine this time around. Especially because there are hardwood floors. And my couch isn’t my dining room table anymore, and my bed isn’t in my living room anymore. Since unpacking is still taking up most of my evenings these next few days, I only really have the energy to muster up some Pinterest scavenging. So here’s some of my inspiration — eclectic and object-driven; mixed woods and textures; plush neutral bedding; a healthy dose of greenery; striking gallery walls; comfortable seating…

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Recipe | Dark Chocolate & Heath Bar Blondies with Brown Butter

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I’ve been a blondie fiend lately.

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Food Should Taste Good Giveaway! | Whipped Ricotta Dip

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So this past Friday, I finally made it out to Jazz in the Sculpture Garden for the first time all summer! I was cutting it a little close (only a few more weeks to go), but there’s really nothing better than live music, cold pitchers of sangria, good company, and great snacks.

My contribution to said great snacks ended up being super easy, too — SO not like me to actually go the chips and dip route instead of my usual overly involved dessert recipe or some sort of app assembly line that takes 50 steps longer than anticipated. Yeah, so I’m not the queen of practical potluck contributions.

But the team over at Food Should Taste Good sent me a few bags of their oh-so-tasty — and thoughtfully crafted — chips and I just knew they were destined for dipping. In keeping with my efforts to effectively clean out my pantry, I reached for the half-finished carton of ricotta in my fridge… that and a few other simple staples and whipped ricotta dip was happening!

Not only did my first foray into the whipped cheese realm turn out FANTASTIC; the chips were a hit — I particularly liked the Olive flavored ones with the dip.

And now for the exciting part:

One reader will win an AMAZING Food Should Taste Good prize package including:

(1) 9-Piece Square Dipping Set
(1) Nostalgia Electrics Fondue Pot, including 6 forks
(1) Stainless Steel Snack Bowl
(1) $100 VISA GIFT CARD
And, of course, a variety of Food Should Taste Good products!

Enter below and good luck!

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Click through for my whipped ricotta dip recipe!

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How to Clean Out Your Pantry Before Moving

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Alright, friends, it’s time to get down to business. Despite committing myself to a quadruple batch of  Joy the Baker’s blondies over the weekend — plus another round of blondies on the agenda for the family crab feast later this week — I am actually attempting to start the process.

That dreaded process of packing — trash bags have been purchased; box purchasing is being avoided; padding the breakables has commenced. But the one thing that I usually neglect to give much intention to is the kitchen’s contents. What with the hodgepodge of recipes I sign myself up for, I’ve collected quite the variety of spices, specialty ingredients, various pasta shapes, the works. Now to strategically use some of it up! Here are my top ten tips for clearing out your pantry:

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Outfit | A Jumpsuit For Brunch

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This weekend was a busy one. Between two days in a row of brunching (Cava Mezze and Bar Charley, both delishhh), a little apartment necessities shopping, baking a massive batch of blondies, and attending last night’s DC United game with the Cava Grill team — AND battling an oncoming cold — I wouldn’t say this weekend was relaxing. But that’s ok. We’ll sleep when we’re dead, right?

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See more photos after the jump!

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Two Years Later | A Recipe Redo & A Giveaway!

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I almost forgot! This week marks the two-year anniversary of when I first started What Dress Code? two long, lively, lesson-filled years ago. And it was actually coincidence that I decided to make oven-roasted tomatoes to pair with my dinner routine this week — the same recipe I posted for my very first recipe post two years ago.

Whew, would ya look at the difference between those first photos (hello, hello light) and these. Between this first outfit post (why were we bolding things?) and yesterday’s? I’ve grown a lot on this platform over the past few years and I want to say thank you. Thank you for coming back — whether via Pinterest, Instagram, email, Bloglovin’, or direct harassment by me. I could never have imagined what a wonderful home I would be able to make for myself on this blog, and I have each and every one of you to thank for it.

And as a little token of my gratitude, I’m giving away a $50 Visa gift card to one lucky reader.
Let’s just keep this simple:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now for what I did with these tomatoes post-roasting…

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Outfit | Black Swing Dress

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So I almost wore this ASOS swing dress to sleep last night. Not intentionally, mind you, but I got home from happy hour, had been working away on answering some emails, went right along with the face-washing, teeth-brushing routine, and nearly hopped right into bed still wearing it.

That’s how comfortable it is.

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about black that makes even this perfectly shapeless, amazingly comfortable dress seem chic. It’ll hide even your most indulgent post-happy hour bloat; it’ll make you wanna spin like you did in your ballerina days; and it’ll go with everything in your wardrobe.

I’m just saying. Oh, and it’s also only $35.

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{Dress c/o ASOS.}

See more photos after the jump!

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Something New

Baltimore Move

I took my sweet time getting around to writing this post, but I figured I should just bite the bullet already…

In about a week and a half, I’m moving to Baltimore! That’s right, the boyfriend and I are finally moving in together after years of long distance. We’ll be doing the whole Baltimore rent prices, Baltimore apartment sizes, splitting our expenses thing, and I can safely say it’ll be good for my bank account.

My team at work has been very flexible about the transition, so I’ll be staying with Cava Grill and commuting for work — Marc train, you and I are about to become good friends.

It’ll be a transition moving to a new city and forfeiting the occasional after-work happy hour in favor of getting home at a good hour — but I absolutely can’t wait. I can’t wait to unearth new favorite dive bars, new favorite neighborhood parks, new favorite hidden gem eateries, new favorite corners of my new (hardwood-floored, non-studio, washer-and-dryer in-unit) apartment.

Oh, and if you have any Baltimore recommendations, I’d love to hear them! I’m from the area, but have never actually lived in Baltimore City, so I’m looking forward to lots of new discoveries.


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A Nova Scotia Escape

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I know this is a photo-heavy post, but I couldn’t resist sharing some of my favorites from my trip to Nova Scotia last week. Most of you have probably never even been to Canada, much less Nova Scotia, or the tiny town of Chester, Nova Scotia, where we visited — but I’ll just say that if you ever have the opportunity to do so, TAKE IT. This gorgeous sleepy town and the surrounding maritime towns in the area are just the most incredible spaces. I feel like I took a few new photos of some of the same views every day and at the time I felt like it was overkill — but the fact of the matter is that no matter how many times I take these photos, the view, the light, the ripples on the water, they’re never quite the same.

Not to mention how much good it did me to unplug for a few days — seriously, the only TV I watched was a handful of Orioles games (and only because the O’s were playing Toronto); the only phone use I had was for an occasional Instagram (hello, first time playing bingo in probably a decade); and the only Internet use was for a work task or two. Good food, cold rum and tonics, daily walks around town and dips in the sometimes freezing water — you really can’t beat it.

Oh, and a fun fact for any of you who happen to be SyFy channel frequenters (I’m not personally but I still thought this was fun) — the show “Haven” is filmed in the town where we were staying and there were film crews all over throughout our visit — my sister who actually does watch the show told me she spotted the stars on numerous occasions. #themoreyouknow

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