March 02, 2015

Back to Baking

Well it has been a while since we've posted a new recipe, but unfortunately, an even longer time since I've been back in the kitchen trying something new. I find it difficult not to get stuck in that food preparation rut we all get caught in from time to time. The crazy work week routine of rushing in and trying to get dinner on the table, before the kids descend on you, squashes any sense of creativity you might have been feeling. But no more! I vow here and now to try and make a least one new "non-routine" dish or side a week so I can once more inject some life into my menu planning. Keep your fingers crossed for me - I'm going to need all the luck I can get to keep this resolution going!

I thought I would jumpstart my reaffirmed intentions with this recipe that I adapted from the "Joy of Cooking." I love serving this with any type of pasta dish, or as a substitute for plain garlic bread. My family's favourite is when I butter each slice and sprinkle some extra garlic powder on them. Pop the slices in the oven under broil for a minute or two and voila, dinner is served.

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 3/4 cup shredded old cheddar cheese (be as generous with the measurement as you see fit)
  • 2 teaspoons dry dill
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter


1. Preheat oven to 350o F and lightly grease 3 mini-loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and garlic powder.
3. Then add the zucchini, cheddar cheese, and dill. Mix the ingredients together until they are lightly coated by the dry ingredient mixture.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter.
5. Gently mix in the wet ingredients to the flour-zucchini mixture until just moistened. You want the batter to look lumpy - not smooth and uniform.

6. Equally divide the batter amongst the three loaf pans and place them in the oven.

7. Bake for about 40 minutes. Everyone's oven is different so I always look to see if the edges have started to brown and of course, they must pass the toothpick test. Also good to note that they freeze very well, so I usually make a bunch ahead and then pull them out the night before to defrost.

Let me know how your cheese zucchini bread turns out - I hope it will become a family favourite.

Photography Sources: Simply Sophisticated

February 23, 2015

2015 Oscars: All About that Fashion

I'm not going to pretend that I watch the Oscars for the movie nominations or to fill out the ballots and predict a winner. But I have no problem admitting that I tune into most awards shows for one thing, and one thing only: fashion. OK and maybe hair, makeup and the fabulous bling my favourite actresses get to wear. Once again, my girls Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez and Anna Kendrick really brought their A-game this year and chose silhouettes that flattered them in all of the right places. 

I must say my favourite dress was the one Rosamund Pike wore. I mean come on! Red, bod-con, lace, and up-do, and strappy sandals. It doesn't get much more Oscar glam than that in my eyes.

Lastly, I thought really hard about this one and I think an Honourable Fashion Mention should go to Rita Ora. While I don't love the gold accents on her dress, I found the style of her dress was more Oscar worthy and formal than some of the other gowns we saw grace the red carpet. I mean, it was mermaid cut, and had a train. Need I say more?

Scroll down to see these totally fab gowns and the pretty little things that wore them and don't forget to tell us who your fashion hits and misses were, in the comments below.

*All images from US Weekly and

February 18, 2015

2015 Oscars Style Challenge

As you all know by now, we love awards season, more specially, the red carpet fashion. We can't wait to see what our favourite stars choose to wear and are thrilled when they hit it out of the park. Of course with the highs, also come lows, and as we have showcased over the last couple of weeks, some celebrities are in desperate need of a new stylist!

While we have never claimed to be able to do that job, when Weddington Way, an online boutique who specializes in bridesmaid dresses, offered to team up with us to create a Oscar inspired look we jumped at the opportunity.

The Challenge: Choose and create a winning look for one the 2015 Academy Awards' Best Actress Nominees, styled from the Weddington Way Bridesmaid Dress Collection.

Source: IMDB
While all the actresses in this category are stunning and extremely talented, we chose British actress Felicity Jones to style. A newbie to this category, we learnt that as of last week, she still hadn't decided on her dress for the Oscars - a sure sign that she is in need of our help. After doing a bit of research and taking a look at her previous red carpet looks, we decided upon a romantic, vintage feel for her. Drumroll please....

We chose this full length dual toned gown, with a stunning sequined lace bodice. The illusion v-neckline and open back are our favourite features. We thought we would keep the colour in a neutral palate to keep with her red carpet preference, but we wanted to keep it on the lighter side to compliment her gorgeous complexion. This dress is youthful, yet sophisticated and glamorous.

Since we didn't want to take away from the dress, we opted for a nude patent leather strappy sandal like these amazing Jimmy Choos. The delicate straps offer enough visual interest but won't distract from the detailing on her gown.

We paired a small satin and pearl clutch from Zara, perfectly sized to carry her evening's essentials. Again, nude in colour as not to distract from the dress, but embellished enough to add a little something extra to her outfit.

We turned to celebrity favourite, Fred Leighton, to provide Felicity with vintage pearl and diamond jewelry. As the detailing on the gown's bodice is sequined, we didn't want to add too much competing sparkle. The stunning pendant earrings and ring are the perfect icing on the cake.

Lastly, to complete her romantic vintage style, we love the idea of a softly curled side bun, similar to that worn by Sarah Hyland a couple of years ago. In regards to makeup, we've always been partial to the theory that less is more, so a smoky eye and neutral lip will definitely enhance Felicity's natural beauty while not overshadowing (pardon the pun) the whole look. Top it off with a classic French manicure and she is all set for, what promises to be, an evening she won't ever forget.

A big thank you to Weddington Way for presenting us with this opportunity. We hope you all liked our style choices and perhaps even offered you with a bit of inspiration for your own "red-carpet" worthy look.

February 09, 2015

2015 Grammy Awards - Fashion Rundown

We just love awards season and the Grammy Awards always promise to deliver in terms of fashion. The red carpet is more relaxed and riskier than most of the other shows, so we can always expect some amazing highs and lows! The major trends we saw on the red carpet were pants (which for the most part were well done), semi-sheer dresses, and a lot of cleavage! I guess if you got it, flaunt it - but we are always partial to the idea that a little goes a long way.

We thought we would sum up our Top 3 Fashion Fav's and Fashion Lows of the 2015 Grammy's in one post this week. We would love to hear what you think - did your list match ours? Comment below or tweet us at @SimplySophBlog.

Top Three Fashion Favourites

Source: Glamour
Taylor Swift shone in her colourful Elie Saab gown. Love how she paired purple Giuseppe Zanotti heels with her dress - just the perfect pop of colour. Very youthful, very fun, very Taylor.

Source: Glamour
Although all everyone keeps talking about is Gwen Stefani's famous red lips, or lack thereof in this case, I love that she kept her hair and makeup toned down so that the emphasis was on her amazing Atelier Versace jumpsuit. The unique bodice provides the perfect amount of structure to balance the more relaxed pant style. 

Source: Glamour
BeyoncĂ© rounds out our Top Three Fashion Fav's in her Proenza Schouler long sleeved gown. It's the perfect amount of cleavage and sheerness, that keeps her look very glamorous yet very sexy. But really, should we expect anything less from her?

Top Three Fashion Low's

Source: Glamour
Rihanna was one of the very last to walk the red carpet, and I hate to say it but it wasn't worth the wait. Her pink powder puff looking Giambattista Valli dress was a risk not worth taking in my mind.

Source: Glamour
So let's just come out and say it - Kanye West had a hand in picking Kim Kardashian's Jean Paul Gaultier dress. Whether he encouraged her, or picked it out himself, Kim needs to take back control of her wardrobe. It looks like she bedazzled her bathrobe and just threw it on. And yes, she has fantastic cleavage, but haven't we all seen it a million times before?

Source: BuzzFeed
Jenny Lewis, please pay close attention. This is a pant suit done horribly wrong. For style pointers, please refer to Anna Kendrick (who totally rocked her tuxedo style pant suit!) Enough said.

February 03, 2015

Winter Weddings Inspiration

Source: Pinterest
Still searching for some winter-inspired wedding ideas for your upcoming nuptials? We have got you covered - take a look at some of the most popular winter wedding posts we have shared over the years.
Source: Ruffled

Want your winter wedding featured on our blog? Contact us about a Real Wedding Submission.

January 28, 2015

Fashion "Faves" at the 2015 SAG Awards

I don't know about you, but I found this year's SAG awards red carpet fashion was the pits. Usually I have a hard time narrowing down my top three best dressed/favourite dress picks but this year, it took me over an hour to find red carpet looks I liked. In the end all my picks left me feeling more lukewarm rather than red hot!

Here are my top three picks for best dressed at this year's SAG awards, in particular order...

Did you have a favourite red carpet look this year?

Maria Menounos
Jennifer Aniston
Julie Bowen

*Sources: Huffington Post, US Magazine

January 26, 2015

Fashion Faux-Pas at the 2015 SAG Awards

We thought we would switch it up for the 2015 SAG Awards, and present our top three choices for Worst Dressed first. Unfortunately, for these "lucky" nominees, it wasn't too hard to make our choices this awards show. From horrendous colour choices to ill-fitting silhouettes, these dresses did nothing for the talented actresses who wore them.

If only I had the opportunity to just once ask a select few actresses - did you really take a good look at yourself in the mirror before stepping out onto that red carpet? Because I bet if you had stopped listening to your "stylist" for 5 minutes and actually listened to your gut, you would have chosen a much better outfit.

Thankfully, as fashion taste is quite subjective, there will always be worst and best-dressed lists. I just wish that sometimes people would focus less on the label and more on how the dress actually makes them look and feel.  (Okay rant over!)

We would love to hear your feedback on this - who are your choices for Worst Dressed from the SAG Awards?

Source: E Online
Rosamund Pike is gorgeous, but her dress looks like it is swallowing her whole! She might be wearing Dior Couture, but to me, it looks like she might have just cut a hole in a tent and called it a day. I completely understand wanting to "disguise" some body areas post-baby, but there are much better ways of doing it.

Source: E Online
At least Anna Chlumsky attempted to wear some colour to the SAG Awards this year, but unfortunately for her, her attempt failed. The weird horseshoe detailing on her custom Escada gown was quite distracting and I couldn't decide if she was going for an equestrian vibe or leaning towards a more medieval flair.

Source: E Online
Lorelei Linklater's Honor gown - well let's just say, it has us speechless. Need we say more?


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