Friday, November 30, 2012

Italian Dream

Happy Friday everyone!  I am definitely glad that the weekend is almost here. Starting a new job can be a lot of things, exciting is definitely one of them but I am a also bit tired, I think I just need to get used to getting back into the routine.  I thought I'd share with you an editorial that really makes me want to jet off to Lake Como, if only for the weekend.  With that said, have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Colorful Pick-Me-Ups

Do you have anyone on your holiday shopping list that loves coffee?  Well if you do, these bright little caffeinated contraptions will make someone really happy. Don't you just love the fun colors?  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Spiced Buttermilk Glaze {I HAVE MOVED TO ROSE & IVY JOURNAL!)

To discover more recipes and beauty please visit Rose & Ivy Journal by clicking here!

I had intended to post this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Donuts  with a Spiced Buttermilk Glaze last month, but time seemed to have gotten away from me! Well better late than never, because these are delicious.  I made these for my boyfriend's dad's birthday, as he likes nothing better than a donut served alongside his morning coffee, so I think that he enjoyed them.  I am not that big of a donut fan (I know that is strange), but this recipe might have me thinking differently, as they are that good.  Continue for more...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Day at the Christmas Tree Farm

For the past three years, my boyfriend, his parents and I have had a tradition of heading up to rural Connecticut to cut down our Christmas tree at Maple Row Tree Farm.  We drove up last Saturday through the winding wooded roads with our dog in tow to find the perfect tree.  This is my favorite time of the year so it is a ritual that I definitely look forward to all year round.  The past two years have been particularly exciting, because we have been able to pick our own fir tree for our apartment.  The air was brisk and the clouds were billowy and moody, allowing for some snowflakes to swirl past us as we found our tree.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Love This Look: Blue Textures & Yellow

I hope that everyone had a great weekend!  Did you brave the stores and hit up the sales on black Friday?  I opted out of the madness and wandered into a few vintage stores in Williamsburg instead.  

Now onto the fashion - I love this look because it has one statement piece that makes the entire outfit - here it is the cobalt blue fur that is tousled over her shoulders.  I also love the contrasting combination of yellow and black.  When turning this look into an interior, I wanted the sofa to be the star (I mean isn't this sofa is so pretty?) and added floral, yellow and black elements.  

On another note, I am starting a new job today after having two months off between jobs (it has been nice, I am not going to lie).  I will still be keeping up with all of my favorite blogs, but I might be commenting a bit later in the day.  

Yellow Lamp / Sofa  / Gold Leaf Bird I & II / Leather Chair / Floral Rug 

*Image from Stockholm Street Style

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Magic of the Holidays in New York

I hope that everyone had a wonderful (and filling) Thanksgiving with family and friends! The food was delicious and I believe that I slipped into a food coma around 4p.m.  yesterday, but that has since thanks to a green juice from the Vitamix (more on this amazing appliance later).  
I am one of those people that can't really think about Christmas until after Halloween and Thanksgiving. Anymore I feel like these three days are getting crammed into one another not allowing you to enjoy each day when it arrives.  Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I can now get into full-on Christmas-mode, but believe me a few weeks ago I was giddy with excitement when the tree arrived in Rockefeller Center and I have been biting at the bit to play holiday music.  In my opinion, New York is the place to be during the holidays. The city streets are magical and it is one of those times of year that you want to become a child again, whether walking down Fifth Avenue and or ice skating in Central Park.  One of my favorite elements during the holidays are the windows, in particularly the Bergdorf Goodman windows. I have said this before, there is talent and then there is talent.  These windows just like every other year are spectacular.   Click to continue to see the awe-inspiring Bergdorf Goodman windows...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Day of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving! There is so much that I am thankful for this year, I am not exactly sure where to start, but here it goes:

*My boyfriend, family, friends - I would be no where without their love and support
*I am going to be an aunt (!!) - I am elated that my older sister is pregnant
* A more centered self - It was a hard year in a few ways but things are ending on an incredibly high note
* You - Thank you for your continued support. It wouldn't be the same if I did not receive your encouragement on a daily basis and for that I am so grateful:)

Unfortunately I am not celebrating with my immediate family this year but I love and miss you and  especially to my sister Chelsea in the Peace Corps in Guyana,  I miss you and love you and I can't wait to see you in the spring:)

*Photograph from Martha Stewart

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanking the Host & Hostess

I have only cooked Thanksgiving dinner once, it was with my sister in Boston and boy, it was a lot of work. By the time the last potato had been peeled, the turkey sliced and the gravy poured, I was almost too tired to even enjoy dinner. It was then that I had a true appreciation for the effort and time that my mom put in each year to ensure that all of the dishes were served at the same time and tasted delicious for that matter.   I hope to host Thanksgiving again, but this year we will be heading to my boyfriend's aunt and uncle's house who will be the gracious host this year.  I will not be arriving empty-handed, but if I were I would love to bring one of these items to thank them for all of their hard work.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Thanksgiving Appetizer:: Fig and Ricotta Crostini with Honey & Thyme

It is only Tuesday, but my mind and stomach has switched to full-on food mode, after all Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I have an idea of what desserts I am going to make - I am thinking about a chocolate ganache tart and a classic pumpkin pie.  But for starters, if you are looking for a simple yet delicious appetizer, I recommend you make this Fig and Ricotta Crostini with Honey and Thyme. It is incredibly simple, but delivers a heavy dose of flavor for your guests to munch on before the Thanksgiving table is set.  Continue for recipe...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blooms & Style:: Oxblood and White

Oxblood is the color of the season, but I have yet to write about it!  I really can't think of a shade that works better for fall, especially as the colored leaves slowly descend from the trees and the air has a certain crispness to it.  Not only does this shade look good in just about every fashion piece that I have seen, but it also stuns when arranged in a bouquet.  I love the addition of the burgundy artichokes and purple basil paired with the white roses, stunning and perfect for Thanksgiving.  

Image from Style Me Pretty

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Dinner Table:: Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli with White Wine Sauce

I do not have one bit of Italian in me, but sometimes I think I do, if only for my love of Italian food - hazelnuts, cappuccino, olives, bread and pasta.  I oftentimes think that I could trade the big city for a small town in Italy where life is simple and pleasures like food are greatly appreciated and celebrated.  

When it comes to pasta, typically I eat store bought whole wheat pasta, but recently on a crisp fall night, I had my mind on making ravioli filled with pumpkin and ricotta cheese.  Making your own dough is a labor of love, but definitely worth the effort.  I made this pasta dough recipe and filled it with this pumpkin ricotta filling and this white wine sauce - it was divine, absolutely heaven.  If you are looking for a great fall meal to celebrate the season, this should do the trick and then some.  Continue for more...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Fall Setting

 How magical are these photos taken just before the sun sinks into the horizon? The colors and textures here evoke fall - from the rich burgundy and golden hues to the burning candle sticks.  I would love to replicate this setting for a Thanksgiving feast.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Metallic (Shoe) Moment

Metallic shoes are having a major moment. It seems that everywhere I look, I see pairs of shoes with highly reflective surfaces.  Perhaps it is because the holidays are coming up, or perhaps not? Maybe these shoes are here to stay,  I sure hope so!  Here are just a few that I am currently coveting.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guest Post:: Meg Biram's The Edit

         Hi everyone! No, I am not turning this blog into a food blog, but I wanted to share with you my guest post today on Meg Biram's blog, The Edit.  Please click on over  where I share a festive Thanksgiving dessert - Cranberry Vanilla Pavlova.  

*Photograph by Alison 

Inspiring Interiors:: Hollywood Regency with a Twist

I am a fan of many decorating styles, but Hollywood Regency tends to be one of my favorites.  It is subtly glamorous with all of the right opulent details.  I adore the use of color and patterns, typically I would not gravitate towards a leopard chair, but done here it just works

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rustic Apple Tart

 Is anyone else out there in disbelief that Thanksgiving is next Thursday like me? Boy, time sure is flying around here! While I will not be cooking the dinner this year, I will be bringing along a trail of desserts and possibly some appetizers.  One of my favorite fall desserts is apple pie -  to me nothing says the season like the combination of apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and a dash of ginger.  I recently made this rustic apple tart and quickly fell into pie love. It was so easy to just arrange the apples in a rosette pattern, fold up the crust, sprinkle on sanding sugar and place in the oven. I have considered completely forgoing using a pie pan going forward, it is that easy. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Interior to Outfit: Blue Accents

Thank you everyone for your sweet comments yesterday, they mean so much. So many things have been happening over here, yesterday, I worked on a photo shoot here in Brooklyn with Tamra of Everswoon - can't wait to show you the results!

Now onto interiors and fashion: There are so many facets about this bedroom that I love, I am not sure exactly where to start. I love a tonal color palette in the bedroom that features a cascade of shades, especially calming blues as shown here.  I also adore the graphic black and white bench and the neutral curtains and bedding that anchor the room in a sea of blues.  Do you like varying tones of the same shade, or do you prefer different colors? 

Image from

Monday, November 12, 2012

Heart of Gold & Luxury Featured on Bon & A Guest Post

Something very exciting happened on Saturday, I found out that my recent post for Spinach and Feta Puffs was featured on - the magazine that I consider to be 'the magazine' when it comes to food and cooking.  There are no words to describe how flattered I am, so merci, Bon Appétit !

I am also super excited to be guest-posting on the fabulous Everswoon blog today! I am showing how to make homemade tea bags to serve as a favor at a bridal shower or wedding. Please stop on over to see this easy and fun tutorial!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Dinner Table:: Cauliflower and Leak Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

When the weather turns cold (and believe me we have already had our first burst of cold here in New York, including our first snowfall!) I find myself craving soup.  There is something about sipping a bowl of soup on a cold day that can really warm you from the inside out.  Soup is a healthy and can serve as a hearty meal or a great compliment to a salad or sandwich.  Today I am sharing with you an incredibly healthy and easy soup, Cauliflower and Leek soup that has been blended to perfection and topped with grilled cheese croutons.  Continue for recipe...

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Beauty Cabinet:: Beauty Savers

We all have those beauty products out there that we tout as being 'life-savers'. Whether it is a mane than needs tamed, skin that needs perfected or lips that need to feel baby soft, there is a product out there that you can do the job.  It is just finding it out there in a sea of beauty products, which is the hard part.  Here are some of my 'cannot live without items' that I deem, life savers.

Ole Henrickson Firm Action Mask:: This skin perfecting mask not only smells amazing, but it also really works.  Unlike traditional masks, this one stays put on your skin for up to 25 minutes and leaves you with some seriously glowing skin.  I have used this product for years and it has really improved my overall skin tone, as it sucks out all of the impurities in it's path.  

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15:: During the summer or winter, this lip treatment never fails me.  It has a sweet citrus fragrance and really protects my lips, plus now it comes in a multitude of flattering shades.  

Renee Furterer Fioravanti Shampoo:: I discovered this silkening shampoo when I was living in Paris.  I would frequent the pharmacies, if only for the beauty products.  When I use this shampoo, I rarely need to apply styling products, as it works miracles to prevent frizz.  

Juara Candlenut Hand and Body Balm:: This cream practically melts into your skin and has been another favorite for years.  This is one of my staples throughout the year, especially during winter, as it prevents chapping on both the hands and body.  

PHYTO Phytodefrisant Botanical Hair Relaxing Balm:: This is my go to styling product when I want to ensure a smooth blow-out.  You only need to apply a small dollop before drying and you will quickly see why this has one so many beauty awards.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Inspiring Interiors:: Elegant in Manhattan

I love the neutral tones of this apartment, slightly muted but definitely glamorous.  I love the silvery shades in the sitting room and bedroom and the bright white kitchen accented with marble - gorgeous!

I just wanted to thank everyone for their sweet comments yesterday, seriously, it is your comments that make me strive to bring this blog somewhere, so thank you from the bottom of my heart:).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Creating A Luxurious Life: The Breakfast Tray & Homemade Pain au Chocolat

I am excited to start off a new series today called 'Creating a Luxurious Life', which will be a monthly feature that shows little ways to incorporate bits of luxury into your every day life.  Today, I am beginning with one of the weekends biggest indulgences - breakfast in bed.  

Breakfast in bed seems like such a luxurious idea especially during the fast-paced week.  But on the weekends when there is more time to linger, nothing is quite like waking up to a beautifully arranged breakfast tray with hot aromatic coffee, a flaky pastry and fruit served alongside the weekend newspaper.  When it comes to eating breakfast I'll be honest, I am not that big of a fan eating something sweet first thing in the morning. I will have the occasional muffin if I make them but I usually like to stick with eggs for breakfast, however, I will make an excuse for my favorite french pastry, a pain au chocolat or chocolate croissant.  Continue for more...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Styling the Home:: Vintage Frame to Chalkboard

Happy Election Day! I hope that everyone can get out there and vote. I know that my eyes will be peeled to the television tonight awaiting the results.  

  I have developed quite a liking for turning pieces that you might not give a chance, a chance, and turning them into something beautiful.  Oftentimes there is a piece in a thrift store that you might pass by thinking that the color or fabric is off and you are left buying it's counterpart in stores that is usually over priced and definitely doesn't have the potential like it's vintage store counterpart.  I recently was in a shop by my house and saw this empty frame - I think that it held a mirror. I spotted it as soon as I walked into the store, in particularly the elaborate molding on top; it was piled behind a slew of other frames.  I immediately began to dream of the things that I could do to it, like make it into a bulletin board by buying cork or turn it into a chalkboard. I decided to do the latter and I am so happy with the results, I ended up with a gorgeous piece hanging in my office.  

On another note, Gabrielle Aronas, the talented floral designer behind G! Designs is donating 100% of her net proceeds during the month of November to hurricane Sandy relief efforts in the New York and New Jersey area.  Her goal is to deliver 100 arrangements and make a donation to the Red Cross, so please help her meet her goal! I am sure there is someone special in your life that you need to say 'thank you' or 'happy birthday' to and there is no way better to do this than giving back and helping those that lost their homes and are displaced due to the storm.  
(It is all in the details - this is what lured me in) 

Monday, November 5, 2012

I Love this Look: Primary Colors

I fell in love with this look the minute I saw it, because I am a lover of bright bold colors.  I love how her cerulean blue jacket is the statement piece and how her green pants add a contrast to her leopard heels and and geometric blouse.  Are you a fan of combining primary colors, or do you prefer to focus on what color instead?

On another note, Sandy allowed mayhem to arise in one of the best cities in the world, New York. There were no subways, buses and stores were out of stock right after the storm (luckily that has changed).  We have been stuck here in Brooklyn for over a week. I am itching to get back on the subway and venture into Manhattan, but in the meantime I thought I would share with you what this storm has taught me:

1) Gratitude - I am so thankful that my family and friends are okay, but my heart and prayers go out to the people that lost loved ones and their homes. I cannot even imagine what they are going through.
2) Adventure - Being trapped in Brooklyn isn't the worst thing, but I realized just how frequently I go into New York. Being home-bound I did quite a few things that I wanted to do like: begin teaching myself Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign and bits of Illustrator.  Luckily we have the internet and I have been glued to Adobe TV and You Tube for instructions. I have made progress over this past week!  I am also thinking about taking this on-line course here.  I also pushed my culinary skills to the next level with two new recipes headed your way soon...hint, hint - one is a flaky pastry. I also did a few DIY's that will be appearing here soon.  
3) A Co-Dependent Issue- I never realized just how much I depend on the city, but Sandy gave me and I am sure all New Yorkers that realization - electricity, water, transportation, things that were all were greatly disrupted.  Even though the subway drives me nuts 90% of the time, I am so grateful that it exists.  I can't imagine walking over a bridge to get to work everyday.  Luckily, as of last night our train is back up and running, I cannot wait to go into Manhattan tomorrow and walk down the streets and have them remind me that it is one of the best places in the world. I love you New York!

Image from here

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Beauty Cabinet:: Face and Body Oils

I have been using a blend of essential oils on my face and body for years.  I love how they add a bit of aromatherapy to my skincare routine without having to go to a spa.  Today, every beauty company seems to be adding these to their product line-up quite rightfully so, as oils are great to massage into your skin before you layer on your moisturizer.  Oils are a great addition to your regime especially as the temperatures begin to plummet leaving the skin more susceptible to chapping due to harsh interior (dry-heat anyone?) and exterior (blustering, sub-zero temperatures) elements.  

Another important fact to know about oils is that oftentimes people with oilier skins think that adding an oil into their regime will cause them to break-out, but that is not that case. There are different oils for all skin types, and one thing to remember is that you need oil to combat oil, it is an oxymoron of sorts, but it is true.  
Dry/Mature:: Fresh Elixir Ancien - A luxurious blend of oils that truly leaves skin soft and supple. Using this during the harsh winter months is an essential to keep skin moisturized and glowing. This oil is even hand-blended in a monastery, just like the Crème Ancien, it's cream counterpart.
Combination:: Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil - This oil is suited for skins that are combination (oily t-zone and dry everywhere else). It is also infused with Rosehip Oil, a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to help prevent and reduce wrinkles.  
Oily:: AROMESSENCE Ylang Ylang Oil - This oil is heavenly scented and targets skin that tends to be more oily.  I love to use this during the summer, as it provides enough hydration to layer under my SPF, but doesn't let my makeup slide off my face either.  
Nighttime::Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - This oil is intended to use at night, as it has features an intense blend of oils that repair the skin, but during the winter, I use it under my moisturizer during the day.  I really think that applying this oil before I go to bed helps me sleep at night and I always wake up with more vibrant skin.  

 Elemis Exotic Frangipani Manoi Body Oil - An exotic cocktail of amazingly floral frangipani. This oil is absorbed directly into the skin without leaving anything but soft skin behind. 
Nars Manoi Body Glow II - A wonderfully intoxicating aroma of gardenia that can double as a great base for perfume. 
L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil - If I could drink this oil, I would.  It has the addictive fragrance of almond oil and it also comes in a shower oil too that is just as divine.  
Burt's Bees' Lemon & Vitamin E Bath & Body Oil - This dual-purpose oil is lightly scented with refreshing citrus oil paired with the healing powers of Vitamin E.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spinach & Feta Puffs {I HAVE MOVED TO ROSE & IVY JOURNAL!}

For more recipes and to discover other beautiful things, please visit Rose & Ivy Journal, by clicking here!

Today I am sharing with you an unbelievably quick and savory dish, Spinach and Feta Puffs from the November issue of Bon Appetit (I could cook my way through the whole issue this month by the way).  Ever since we returned from Greece I have greatly welcomed the chance to incorporate both of these ingredients into as many recipes as possible.  These puffs are a take on Spanakopita, the wonderfully flaky Greek pastry made of phyllo dough, spinach and feta, but instead calls for puff pastry.  This is a great compliment to a soup or salad or would be a tasty appetizer to serve during an upcoming holiday party.  

On another note, I am super excited to announce that I will be contributing food and recipe posts for Meg Birman's new website (formerly Mimi + Meg). Stay tuned for my first post to be up in the middle of November and check out her amazing list of contributors here