Thursday, October 31, 2013

In the Kitchen:: Pumpkin Recipes to Inspire

Fall means a few things, sweaters, boots and one thing recipes filled with pumpkin and spices.  I have yet to open a can of pumpkin, and I will be soon after stumbling across these recipes from some of my favorite food blogs. I would love to make all of these especially the Pumpkin Hazelnut Coffee Cake which looks like a great way to start a fall weekend or a new twist on pumpkin pie combining milk chocolate.  I hope I don't make your stomach rumble too much!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Rose Illuminated

I recently had no choice but to update my camera body from a Nikon D3100 to a  D5200 after the former broke in an unfortunate accident.  Since having my new body, I have been experimenting a lot and playing around with varying intensities of light as you probably might have seen here.  A few weeks ago I came home from work and I stepped out to my porch to see the sun illuminating my Gentle Hermione English garden rose.  It looked magical and I had to capture it.  I wasn't sure that I would be able to see the difference in quality from the two different cameras (I still consider myself a novice that is desperately learning at every chance I can get) but I definitely feel like I am more in control when I am using it. Anyways, here are some of the photographs that captured this fleeting moment.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Fragrance Wardrobe {For the Home}

Building a fragrance wardrobe for your house is just as important as creating a collection of perfumes to sit atop your vanity.  Have you ever walked into a home that you cannot stop smelling because it is scented just perfectly?  My love for luxurious candles developed in college and has only gotten stronger since we have a home to call our own.  Burning a candle in any season makes a home feel cozy and well, like home.  There are many different candles to choose from but one thing to think about is choosing different candles in different fragrance categories (a floral, fruit or a wood) to create a home aroma that has depth and even lends a bit of mystery.  To better help you navigate the market, I have picked a few that are my absolute favorite and others that have recently caught my eye.  Do you have a favorite candle? Please tell!

*My favorites

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Love This Look:: A Tweed Dress

Sometimes the weekends go by just too quickly, especially when you have family in town.  Thank you all for wishing me luck on finding the perfect dress, well, I found three, so I am going to have to narrow it down.  I think the big question is the look that I want since they are all so different. My mom and I made our save the dates which turned out really well, I will be sharing them soon!    One of my favorite colder weathers textures is tweed, it is a classic look, yet a cozy fabric. Here is another one of my favorite looks spotted on Giovanna Battaglia, I adore the maroon pairing both on her dress and her heels.  I hope that everyone has a great week!

Image via

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Few Beautiful Things

I am beginning my weekend early, my mom is arriving today for the weekend which will include wedding dress shopping (I can't believe it!), making our spring themed save the dates and a dinner with my parents-in-law to be!  Before I leave you, I thought I would share a few beautiful links for your reading pleasure. I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

A wonderful article written in the New York Times by an editor that used to live in Paris. He reflects upon his life upon leaving this magical city. He sums it up beautifully stating that when you visit or have lived there you develop a 'lifelong yearning to return'. I couldn't agree more.  

Speaking of Paris, these dahlia's from the Jardin des Plantes are just stunning. 

I just discovered the blog Shine by Three and was blown away by both the fashion and the photography.

I loved this glimpse into makeup genius Bobbi Brown's life shot by the talented Alice Gao.  

These Apple Dumplings look delicious and easy, they would be a perfect fall dessert.  

This Pomegranate Parfait looks divine and the photography is just out of this world.  

So happy for Kristen that she has launched a beautiful home collection combining vintage and new pieces. She has  a white chair and a blue chair that I can't seem to stop thinking about!

This meal is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. 

*Image via Shine By Three

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn

Popcorn, the smell alone makes my mouth water. It's addicting nutty aroma is one of those things that when you are craving it nothing else will do.  I traditionally was held captive to the microwave variety - it was easy, no messes were left behind and it was consistent; however, the past few months we have been making our own popcorn where we can ensure that it is natural and season it as we please.  Making your own popcorn on the stove top is incredibly easy, but I will be honest I was a bit hesitant at first fearing that the hot oil and the kernels would pop out at me, so I reserved this job for the man of the house.  I recently gained the courage to make my own and seeing the yellow kernels blossom into white puffs is quite exciting.  I opted to make a savory (but I believe a sweet flavor is also in order so stay tuned) flavor so I added aged Parmesan Reggiano and fresh rosemary.  This recipe is fairly healthy as I did not use any butter, rather I incorporated extra virgin olive oil and only a dash of salt, since the cheese lends enough salty goodness. Continue for more...  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

And Then Came Fall

Spring and fall are my favorite seasons, yet they are the most fleeting. The trees are only tinted with hints of ruby red and golden yellow for a precious amount of time before they flutter to the ground. Over the weekend, the trees were at their peak in the Shawangunk Mountain ridge just outside of New Paltz, New York, about 100 miles outside of the New York City. We visited Minnewaska State Park, which boasts a stunning terrain that includes a lake, spectacular scenic views and a plethora of hiking trails.  My fiancé had never been hiking, something that was a past time growing up in Ohio and later on in Vermont. I love being in nature, where the only thing that you hear is the crunching of the leaves below your feet and the swaying of the trees.  Here are some photographs that depict the color and the scenery of this beautiful Park.  Continue for more...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Steal Her Style::Giovanna Battaglia

I hope that everyone had a great weekend! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes , my birthday was just what I wanted, relaxing and fun.  The weather was absolutely perfection and the leaves were at their brightest in shades of crimson and golden yellow (photos to come!).  I'm starting this week off with one of my new style favorites, Giovanna Battaglia.  Her off the runway looks combine both new and vintage and I adore how there is always a great deal of color in each of her outfits.  Here are some of my favorite picks and how you can steal her style. I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fields of Gold

So tomorrow is my birthday and I couldn't be happier that it falls on a Saturday this year. Tomorrow we are packing up our Zip car up, with our dog in tow, and heading out of the city to see some foliage and to do some hiking.  Yes, that is what a city girl wants to do on her birthday!  I hope that everyone has a great weekend, but before I leave you, here is a beautiful editorial featuring French beauty Vanessa Paradis posing for Madam Figaro shot by Ellen Von Unwerth.  Isn't the light just magical?   

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Indie Beauty Brands (You Must Try)

In order to get my beauty fix during college I worked at an independent beauty boutique that was stocked full of brands that at the time were up-and-coming, like Aesop, Ole Henrickson and Bond No.9 (now most of these brands have gone mainstream).  I loved discovering new brands since they were not formulated with ingredients that I needed a chemistry degree to decipher what was inside.  There are times that I miss my flow of new beauty products, so I recently set out to uncover some of the latest brands that everyone should have on their radar.  What are some of your favorite indie beauty brands?  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Concord Grape Jam

During my college years I practically lived off of peanut butter and jelly.  It wasn't out of desperation or lack of money, I just loved the taste of (crunchy) peanut butter combined with grape jelly.  Whether for breakfast or lunch, even sometimes dinner, this combination filled me up and really wasn't a guilty meal when using natural peanut butter and jelly.  And then of course comes the grape jelly made from the Concord Grape. I have confessed my love for this fruit a few times, but I wanted to be able to say that I could make my own natural Concord Grape Jam in my own kitchen.  I was pleasantly surprised just how easy it is to make your own - the only time consuming part is removing the seeds from the skin.  This jam is the perfect partner to a peanut butter sandwich (of course) or spooned atop Greek yogurt or dolloped on a crusty baguette. Luckily, these grapes haven't even reached their peak season, so a few more batches might be in order.  Continue for more...  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Petal by Petal:: Mimosa

Mimosa is one of those trees that I desperately wished bloomed here in the Northeast, but alas these brilliant yellow blooms are typically found in California and the South of France.  The mimosa tree typically blossoms in July through November in the United States and in February in France. I recently was visiting and flower market here and New York and was delighted to see them, in fact I incorporated them into these arrangements.   Their is aroma is unlike anything else - slightly green and soapy and can fragrance any room while not being over-powering.  Mimosa is also a common note used in perfumes - one of my favorites is L'Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi, which melds sweet mimosa with violet leaves and blackcurrant buds.  Are you lucky enough to live where these wonderful blossoms bloom, if so, envy you for both their scent and the way their bright yellow shades can color the landscape.  Continue for more...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pinterest Picks

I hope that everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was a busy one spent with family and friends and doing some final decisions on our wedding details - I will be sharing soon! I thought I would begin this week with some things that have caught my eye on Pinterest. I just adore Miroslava's canary yellow heat to toe look and the new collaboration between Amy Merrick and Rifle Paper Company.  I hope that everyone has a great Monday!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Inspiring Interiors: A Beautiful West Village Home

Haven's Kitchen, owned by Ali Caye has been one of my favorite discoveries in New York.  One day while strolling out of West Elm, I peered into a shop that was beautifully decorated and had an aroma of fresh espresso, so I was definitely intrigued.  Haven's Kitchen is a hybrid of a bakery, cafe and general store that stocks goods like Bellocq Tea and Mast Brothers Chocolates.  Her West Village home was recently featured on Domino Magazine's new site and it is a truly beautiful space, from the floor to ceiling windows that allows the light to filter into her home.  On another note, and I apologize for the delay, I am so excited that Domino is back! I have all of my old issues that I have refused to get rid of - they have been with me on 4 different moves, so I think it is love.  I hope you enjoy her home as much as me. Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Gathering at Sunday Suppers

I consider myself a dreamer and if there is one message that I would like to convey about myself in this space that would be it.  Ever since I can remember, my head has been floating somewhere in the clouds conjuring up beautiful places, spaces and ideas.  Living in New York, I am constantly inspired by both the people and the places that surround me, but my main mission is has always been the same - to create beauty.  Recently I was able to do just that by combining business and pleasure, while hosting a dinner party at Sunday Suppers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The space was founded by talented photographer and food stylist Karen Mordechai who created Sunday Suppers to pair food with friends.  I have long admired her work and her stunning lofty white space that hosts spectacular views of Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge, so being able to create a beautiful table setting was sort of a dream come true.    I envisioned rustic, unfussy arrangements that had the same organic feeling as the space, so I paired Astilbe and fragrant Mimosa to achieve this look.  Here are just a few photographs from the space. Continue for more...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

An Apple Harvest & Apple Oat Muffins

Apple picking is something that I look forward to each year for both the tradition and the beautiful scenery of the Hudson Valley.  The landscape is a welcome reprieve from the city with its gentle rolling hills and billowy white clouds.  As the season is beginning to settle in, I look forward to reintroducing certain ingredients that make fall, well fall.  I begin warming up my baking routine with spices like cinnamon, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg, nothing is quite like a home that is fragranced with this aroma. After picking an extremely large bag of apples, I decided to make Apple Oat Muffins to welcome a recent weekend.  These muffins are lighter than traditional muffins because they do not require any butter, just buttermilk to give them a lot of moisture, while the oatmeal gives them a wonderful texture.  Continue for more... 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Glamorously Edited Home

I often find it hard to edit and curate our home, I credit this to my inability to zero in on one type of style since I seem to sway back and forth between bright and colorful or vintage and rustic; however, one of my dear friends, Nuria has this skill mastered and then some.  She and her husband live in an ample-sized studio, on one of the prettiest streets in Brooklyn Heights, located just off the promenade.  She has a strong eye for beauty and knows how to create beautiful vignettes and I have been eager to photograph her space for some time.  The palette in her home is subdued, as she combines a lot of grays and whites in addition to antiqued mirrored surfaces which give her home character and like me she also has a weakness for gold, especially when it comes to mirrors - she found her gilded mirror hanging over the fireplace in a thrift shop in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn. I can always count on walking into her home and seeing bouquets of flowers,  a multitude of fragrant candles burning (she likes Nest, Voluspa and Diptique) and the latest must-have fashion coffee table book.  Here is a glimpse into her well-edited home.  Continue for more...

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Love This Look:: Chunky Knits & Skirts

I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend! We are currently still celebrating summer temperatures in October and at times it feels like sweater weather will never come and stay. I am on the fence about it anyways because after the crisp fall temperatures comes icy cold temperatures.  I often like pairing two pieces together that are seemingly opposite like leather and lace for example, another look is chunky sweaters with skirts.  This is another one of my favorite looks spotted during fashion week, where either a slim pencil or flowy skirt offsets the textured sweater.  Here are some of my picks to replicate the looks here.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Boot Round-Up

The weather here in New York seems to be tipping the scales towards fall and this means a few things, one being boots and booties can come out in full force either dressed-up or dressed-down. Last year near the end of the season I was on a boot kick, buying a few pairs that were on sale, this year I am looking for a great pair of navy boots that can transition from work to play and a pair of boots for everyday.  These are just a few that I am currently dreaming about, what are you looking forward to wearing this fall?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Beauty Flash:: Paris Spring 2014

It is hard to believe that spring fashion week has come to an end - so many amazing trends emerged especially in beauty.  The Paris shows revealed an elaborate display of looks, whether at Givenchy where models donned faces that were encrusted with colorful jewels to the absolute opposite at Chloe where makeup artists let an even complexion and super straight hair take the main stage.  There was also modern interpretations of the smokey eye, seen at Elie Saab, where smokey gray was used instead of black and at Stella McCartney a cat eye was achieved using a chocolate brown liner instead of traditional black.  Do you have any favorite looks from the show? Below is a round-up of some of my favorite look from the City of Light. Continue for more...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guest Post:: A Rustic Plum Tart

I love a rustic tart because it looks slightly imperfect yet tastes fantastic.  Hop on over to see my full post for MadeByGirl where I share a recipe for a Rustic Plum Tart. Continue for more...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Floral Details: Spring 2014 Runways

(Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2014)
One of my favorite trends that has emerged from the Spring runways is the stunning florals woven organically onto feminine dresses.  At Dolce & Gabbana it was petal pink cherry blossoms blooming around soft green leaves and twisting branches while at Giambattista Valli it was yellow and purple pansies clustered together forming glorious bouquets.  Here are a few details from those shows that were simply magical.  Continue for more...
(Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2014)

Fall Inspired Apple Desserts

I love traditions, especially when they involve family.  Over the past three years, my boyfriend, turned fiance have ventured to the Hudson Valley for our annual apple picking trip (stay-tuned for photos).  The air is usually crisp, the smell of apple cider donuts is in the air and vibrant orange pumpkins decorate the rustic farm shop.  We load up our car with our bags of apples and then the question becomes, what to do with all of these apples? I do my recipe research ahead of time so that I can use the apples at their peak of sweetness, because nothing is like a fresh-picked New York apple.  In order to get me started, I created a gallery on to help guide me (and my stomach) towards tastes and flavors that are authentically fall.