Friday, March 29, 2013

Amid Flowers

Happy Friday! I am going to keep this short and pretty today with a lovely spring fashion spread featuring Olivia Palermo. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lounge Here, Wear This: Curaçao

Our count down has officially begun - in just a little more than two weeks we will board our plane, leave this temperamental New York weather behind and venture to the warm and sunny Caribbean island of Curaçao. Have you ever been?   For some reason it seems like it is almost impossible to switch from my fur jacket that has gotten way too much wear this year to girly sundresses, shorts and sandals.  It has been a long time since my boyfriend and I went away so I couldn't be any more excited, plus I have never been to the Caribbean!  The items I picked below are all from Zara - that store is just too amazing right now and dangerous on the wallet.  If you have been to Curaçao, do you have any recommendations?  

Image via

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rich Chocolate Rice Pudding

I must admit, I didn't try rice pudding until I was in college. One day, I was walking down Spring Street, here in New York, and  came across a shop called Rice to Riches - I didn't really know what it was so I wandered in. I was greeted with a plethora of rice pudding flavors from pumpkin to cookies and cream served in colorful plastic dishes. I tried a sample and I was pleasantly surprised how combining arborio rice with a thick pudding could be so rich and delicious. Many years later, I am finally getting around to whipping up a Chocolate version and let me tell you, I can't believe it took so long, it was unbelievable. This pudding delivers a heavy punch of chocolate goodness and is best served warm; however, it can also be served cold too. Continue for more...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Petal by Petal: Freesia

I have loved freesia since my first discovery in grade school; however, it didn't come in flower form, but rather a fragrance.  Freesia is one of those fragrant flowers that with one inhale can bring forth memories, whether it is from a perfume or a lush flowering garden.  I adore it's floral and almost citrus presence that has whispers of green notes.  This bloom hold well in a bouquet, so it is great for weddings.  I like the fact that it has a blooming schedule if you will, where the first flower blooms and then the other buds bloom in a row shortly there after.  Freesia comes in a variety of hues like vibrant yellow, as seen here to shades of pink and purple. Continue for more...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Inspiring Interiors: A Greek Island Abode

I hope that everyone had a great weekend! Spring is still trying to make her official appearance here in New York but to help her out, we decided to do some thorough spring cleaning over the weekend. Rugs were up, and mops soaked in peppermint oil and water were out - it felt good to really give our apartment a scrub-down.  Next up is organization, something I am not very good with (sigh) but after seeing this interior off the coast of Thira or Santorini in Greece I am officially motivated, this abode is serene to say the least and has a world-class view.  I have mentioned this before, but what I learned in Greece last year was the power of bright white, it is just so therapeutic.  I hope you enjoy this home as much as I did.  I hope you have a great week! Continue for more...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Little Bits of Happiness

 (I finally did it, I chopped my hair, six inches gone!)
 (Momofuku Milk Bar b'day cake truffles - amazing. If you haven't tried one you need to)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Love This Look: The Bright Pant Suit

To me, nothing says pulled together or more polished than a suit. I admit, I have never worn one in my professional career thus far. Fortunately, my field of work has always been in a creative and more relaxed environment where I have been able to wear what ever I want.  After seeing the looks above outside the fall shows, I am thinking that I want to experience this look in these bright and fun colors. These looks are less stiff and formal then say an all black or gray suit and will definitely command attention at your next big meeting. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I've Been Tagged: Five Things

I am sure that most of you know that there is this things called Five Things floating around on many different blogs, I was tagged by both Albertina and Viv, so here goes! Now my turn to tag - Holly, Amy, Daisy, Nadia and Elle.  Good luck ladies!

My relationship with NYC: I call Manhattan my first love – I moved here when I was 20 and fell head over heels for the energy, the glamour and the infinitive amount of opportunities at your footsteps. I moved away for 2 years and continued my education in Charleston, SC and then Paris to happily move back when I was 23.  I admit after bad (BAD) jobs and even worse living conditions (roommates, apartments, you name it -  I have a story and then some) I grew very tired and frustrated with a city that  used to make my heart skip a beat.  For a period of time I was one of those disgruntled, unfriendly New Yorkers that never smiled and huffed and puffed on their way – where do all of these people come from, why do people walk so slow, why doesn't the subway ever come, etc – it was the little things that added up.  Recently though I had a New York renaissance if you will, I got out of my funk and realized just how much I love this city – new restaurants, the architecture, and how you can be whatever you want to be here.  I think that it might have been our move across the East River to Brooklyn that really set me straight and I realized one day that if you give the city some love, it will definitely return the favor.

My Family:  I come from a large family – I am the second of 7 children, I know, a lot of kids! There are 5 girls and 2 boys.  Growing up, whenever we all went anywhere people would either stare or ask – ‘are those all of your children?’ Growing up it was chaotic at times, especially when there are so many girls in a household, but I am thankful that I have such a large family.

On Student Loans: I like to keep everything happy and rosy around here, but are you anything like me drowning in student loan debt?  I graduated college almost 7 years ago and I am still paying off my debt and will be until the 2020 Olympics.   I admit, I took out a lot of loans to fund 5 years of school and a life-changing study abroad experience in Paris, but I didn't fully realize then just how much it would effect and cost me after graduating. I thought I would get a job just like that and pay just a small portion of my paycheck each month, but boy I was wrong.  I will tell you though when I do finally pay this off I am going to do something crazy like sky dive (okay, maybe not really since I am deathly scared of heights and falling from them) or book a trip to somewhere amazing to celebrate my freedom!

What I Collect: I adore anything made of capiz shell and mother of pearl. One of my most treasured assets is my gold coffee table that has capiz shell inlay that was handed down from my late great-grandmother, it is from Palm Beach circa 1950. I also collect vintage cosmetic compacts, preferably made with mother of pearl and fashion magazines, both current and vintage.  

My Thoughts on Blogging: I will be completely honest about this one, sometimes I freak out about my blog, but luckily I am not the only one. I have read many posts about other bloggers pondering the purpose and meaning of blogging so thank you to everyone that has written something about this.  I started my blog nearly two years ago because my job at the time left me suffocated and incredibly depressed. I always knew that I had a lot of interests,  I just didn't know where to put the effort since my career wasn't leading me in the way that I wanted.  Through blogging I have discovered my love of photography, food and reconfirmed my love for fashion and beauty.  I will admit though that it sometimes stresses me out (this is partially due to my perfectionist tendencies) – are my ideas good enough? Is my content intriguing enough? Will there be enough good lighting to photograph my recipes, let alone where do I think it will go?     At the end of the day though, I blog because I am passionate about the things above and I want to share this excitement with you and hopefully inspire you in turn.  

*Photograph by Alison

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Places to Venture {Brooklyn} - Bellocq Tea Atelier

From the outside of of Bellocq Tea Atelier in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, you would never know that an enchanting tea parlor awaits you.  The exterior is very 'Greenpoint' if you will - it looks like a active brick warehouse; however, you are quickly convinced otherwise as soon as you slip past the large black doors. Inside, a quiet oasis awaits you filled with yellow tea canisters, quince blossoms, the aroma of herbal teas and rays of ethereal light that filters through the large scale windows.  The highlight of this shop is the sitting room, which has a color palette that is impossibly pretty with shades ofsteely blues, dusty pinks with hints of gold and yellow.  Bellocq Tea Atelier, originally from Kings Road, London has moved their headquarters to the New York City area. If you live in New York or if you are planning a visit, I really recommend that you venture across the East River to this beautiful gem.  Continue for more...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Guest Post MadeBy Girl: Sweet Pea Soup with Tarragon

I hope that everyone had a great weekend! I am chomping at the bit for spring to come and stay, we are experiencing yet another cold spell here in New York and even had more snow flurries on Saturday. Anyways, I am over at MadeByGirl sharing a healthy spring-like recipe for Sweet Pea Soup with Tarragon.  Hop on over to check it out!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bright Eyed Beauty

They say that the eyes are the mirror into the soul, so I think it is important to make them stand-out as much as possible.  A makeup tip that I learned while doing makeup in college is to apply a bit of white eye shadow or white eyeliner to your lids to really make your eyes pop in a soft and subtle way - no blue eye shadow needed here.  This look was seen on the runways at the Spring 2013 Just Cavalli show and I find it impossibly pretty. Here are some products to help achieve this look.  I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend!
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner / Sunday Riley Prismasilk Eye Color
MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Eyes White 14L / Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener
Images via 21ème

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Home Goods to Covet - Target Threshold Collection

Have you guys checked out the new Threshold collection at Target?  If you haven't you should, some of the pieces are irresistible not to mention easy on the wallet and on the eyes.  Above are just some of the items that I am coveting, in particularly the floral plates, starburst mirror and the tufted bench.  Sometimes I wished that I lived in the suburbs if only for Target, since sadly the ones here in New York City lack a lot of the goods.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Creating a Luxurious Life:: Linen & Room Spray

 I absolutely adore the smell of fresh laundry - it has a certain aroma that greets you with a warm presence.  Unfortunately, laundry time in Brooklyn is short of being glamorous, especially if you are without a laundry machine to call your own.  I, like many New Yorkers, make the long haul back and forth to the laundry mat with each time making the idea of owning a washer and dryer feel like some sort of dream.   In order to make post-laundry time more luxurious I decided to create different linen and room sprays to make my sheets, blankets and towels fresher and also to fragrance the air with a naturally uplifting scent.  Creating your own spray is incredibly easy and if you put it inside of a pretty container  you will want to keep it by your bedside and spray it on your pillow before going to bed.  Continue for instructions... 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Petal by Petal:: The Anemones

Spring is coming and the flowers of the season are beginning to make their way into florists around the city. There are bright as the sun daffodils, vibrant forsythia branches and tulips decorating almost every corner shop. Included in the spring bouquet of blooms is the delicate anemone or translation in Greek, 'wind flower'.  I think that I have have helplessly fallen in love with their vibrantly tinted petals and dainty presence. The anenome is perfect for a bridal bouquet or for a spring time arrangement.  Continue for more...

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Love This Look: Denim on Denim

Now that are days will be progressively getting longer (more sunshine? Yes, please!) I am in the mood to lighten everything up from my meals, to our apartment and my wardrobe.  I want to peel-off the layers that the winter season brings and start fresh with a new spring season.  One of my favorite transition pieces is chambray (I actually wear it year round, but layered underneath a sweater) and I just love pairing it with jeans.  Here, I accented the look with another favorite, leopard and added nude heels to make this look perfect for a night out or for weekend brunch.  I hope that everyone has a fabulous Monday!

Friday, March 8, 2013

It's a Colorful World

Boy, it has been a busy week here where days have flown by just like that; howeverI couldn't be happier that it is Friday and that we are going to be experiencing spring-like temperatures here in New York (by spring-like, I mean temperatures in the high 50's).  To bring you into the weekend, I thought I would share an editorial that I came across in 
 W Magazine featuring Daria Werbowy.  I love how the nature surrounding her is tinted in bright yellows and pinks and how she portrays such a sense of freedom. I hope that you have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lounge Here, Wear This: Provence, France

I have had a love affair with France ever since I first visited in high school. I have been back a few times since, including an amazing six-month stay in Paris during college.  I really need to get back very soon just to relish in the café  life and marvel at the stunning architecture.  I also have a plan/dream to rent a chateau in Provence - luckily, there are websites like that allow you to stay in luxurious abodes around the world.     This pristine chateau is located in the quaint town of Saint Laurent des Arbes in the Provence region of France.  I imagine a day wearing the items below sitting under the fragrant wisteria and smelling the salty breezes swept off the Mediterranean. Continue for more..

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Ganache

For as much as I love baking, I do think that I have lacked in the amount of posts dedicated to the cupcake; well,  that is changing today as I bring you a Chocolate Cupcake with Whipped Ganache.  This delightful cupcake is incredibly moist, thanks to the addition of buttermilk and is topped with a light, yet intensely rich chocolate frosting.  Continue for recipe...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Places to Venture {Brooklyn} - Four & Twenty Blackbirds

There are so many places to dine at in New York City it can be quite intimidating.  I find it nearly impossible to keep up with the newly opened restaurant section of New York Magazine, Time Out New York or The New York Times.  I admit that I get most of my leads  by watching The Cooking Channel - I am quite obsessed with two shows,  Unique Eats and Unique Sweets (have you guys ever tuned in? You should if you haven't!). 

They recently featured Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a cozy little pie shop nestled in the up-and-coming section of Gowanus, Brooklyn,  They have an amazing selection of pies by the slice or whole pies to choose from - we settled on Lemon Chess and Salted Caramel Apple. Let me tell you how amazing both were in particularly the latter - the inside contained soft, molten apples drenched in liquid caramel while the outside had flaky crust sprinkled with coarse sea salt. It was a slice of  heaven.   If you are in the area of if you aren't it is definitely worth the trip. They also brew Irving Farm Coffee and an assortment of teas to accompany your pie.  I also loved the rustic/refined decor that consisted of aged copper tin ceilings and walls and the large wooden tables to enjoy your pie.  
*Photographs by Alison 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Trending Beauty:: Paris Fall 2013

With the Paris Fall 2013 shows (sadly) coming to a close, there have been quite a few beauty trends dominating the runway. At Lanvin, the models paraded down the runway with a bare face that was finished with one swipe of an attention grabbing lip color in a deep berry wine, while at Nina Ricci the models donned a bright poppy red lip.  Another trend is the 'I'm wearing makeup, but you cannot tell' look that has dominated much of the Spring runways, where a clear and luminous complexion is the clear statement look.  Finally, a trend that was greatly welcomed was the silver lids paired with bright candy colored lips at Dior.  See below my product picks to accompany each look.  Continue for more...

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Luxurious Life: Aerin Lauder

I have admired the style of Aerin Lauder since I was in college. She lends a sort of refinement and understated glamour to everything that she touches and her office is no exception. I absolutely adore  her New York office that is the perfect infusion of gold, color, the occasional antique and statement art.  You can see the rest of her home tour here.  I hope that everyone has  a great weekend!

I have admired the style of Aerin Lauder since I was in college. She lends a sort of refinement and understated glamour to everything that she touches and her office is no exception. I absolutely adore  her New York office that is the perfect infusion of gold, color, the occasional antique and statement art.  You can see the rest of her office tour here.  I hope that everyone