LOFT Haul + Fried Chicken Strips!

I stopped by LOFT this week to return the Candy Dot Trench Coat (because it isn't really my style, I didn't love the fabric, and I prefer full length sleeves) and decided to browse a bit before leaving since there was a 40% off sale items promotion going on and ended up leaving with six items that cost way more than what I returned (story of my life). Here's snapshots of the items I didn't leave with:

Tops from left to right: Edged Ruffle Cami, Gathered Neck Tank, Cotton Knit Button Down Shirt, Faded Chambray Softened Shirt, Trim Front Blouse.

Tops from left to right: Striped Roll Neck Sweater, Scalloped Neck Cotton Sweater, Textured Open Stitch Sweater, Knit Open Blazer, Textured Tweed Moto Jacket.
Everything I tried on was petite-sized (I limit myself that way) and of the six items that I decided to get, pictured below, three weren't even on sale but I liked them too much to walk away without them so I'm on the lookout for a full-priced item online sale now, which LOFT tends to have every so often. :)

Tops left to right: Hidden Button Blouse, Striped/Chambray 2-in-1 Shirt, Hi-Lo Hem Open Stitch Sweater, Scalloped Neck Cotton Sweater, Open Stitch Sleeve Sweater, Textured Stripe Open Jacket.

I really like the subtle white polka dots on pale blue of the Hidden Button Blouse I have on, which you can't quite see in the photo so here's a close-up below.


It's only available in solid colors online but can probably be found in stores. I also really like the striped/chambray top because the denim hem and neckline is actually attached to the striped knit so it looks as if I have on two shirts. Unfortunately, I couldn't find this online but it should still be available in stores. The next piece I got on sale is the Hi-Lo Hem Open Stitch Sweater, which is a chunky open-stitched sweater with a subtle hi-low hem in a marbled neutral colorway that I find comfy yet pretty. The scalloped neckline of the Scalloped Neck Cotton Sweater is what really sold me because it's just so pretty. I tried it on in pink too as you can see from the photos above but settled on the white, which I'm excited to wear now and also into the Spring. The cut-out detailing on the sleeves of the next piece is unique and I've really been drawn to white pieces recently, which is nice since my closet consists mostly of black. Last but not least, I'm very happy with my purchase of the Textured Stripe Open Jacket despite purchasing it at full price because I've really been looking for a tweed coat for the past year or two but haven't found one I really like because they were usually too stuffy for my taste and made me look too old. This one, however, has a pretty color scheme of black, cream, light blue, and tan and has gold zippers that are the perfect edgy accent I need for a piece like this. And most importantly, it fits nice and snug without any need for alterations.

I really thought I was done with shopping for a while but here I go again. And while on the topic of indulging with shopping, here's a recipe for indulging your stomach - fried chicken strips!

BRIETTA'S FRIED CHICKEN STRIPS RECIPE

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup milk
1/4 cup hot sauce
2 cups crushed cracker crumbs (like saltines)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
canola oil, for frying
barbeque sauce, ranch dressing, or honey-mustard sauce for dipping

Directions:
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, and hot sauce. Add chicken, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to four hours.
2. In a shallow dish, combine cracker crumbs, garlic powder, and paprika. Dredge each piece of chicken in the mix, taking care to coat both sides evenly.
3. Heat a couple of inches of canola oil in a deep skillet to 350 degrees. (If you don't have a thermometer, drop a small piece of bread into the oil. When it bubbles, it's ready.) Fry a few pieces of chicken at a time, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Leaving you with the fortune-cookie quote, "Honor yourself, and others will honor you, too."

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