Monday, June 30, 2014

The Louvre, Paris

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you had a great weekend! And the good news is that this week is a short one since it is the Fourth of July.   In college, as I have mentioned before, I majored in art history.  Originally I was a communications major, since I wanted to work in magazine editorial, but I changed half-way through because it wasn't giving me the writing that I craved.  My new major allowed me to craft a hefty dose of writing while simultaneously doing so about beautiful art works and architecture.  I love painting and sculpture, but what really drew me into the program was architecture.  Ever since I was old enough to pay attention to columns, moldings and scale I knew that a passion was born, hence my love for Europe. I also clearly have a fascination with royalty, hence my love for Versialles and castles in general. I find it awe-inspiring that kings and queens could live on such a large scale with multiple castles not too far from each other.  The immense size of the Louvre can leave you short of breath, not just for the vastness but for the history that lies behind its columned facade.  One the same morning that I wandered into the Palais Royal to experience the roses, I spent extra time at the Louvre, watching the morning light reflect on the statues and slowly light up the manicured boxwoods that dominate the landscape. It was peaceful. I was one of the only souls there experiencing the architecture.  It was magical.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Few Beautiful Things

Happy Friday everyone! So glad the weekend is upon us, it has been one of those weeks.  I have a fun project going on this weekend, but other then that it should be a fun summer weekend. New York is heating up, weather wise, and it feels great! Before I leave you here are a few beautiful things that I stumbled on this week.  Have a great weekend!

These photographs are works of art, Nicole Warne and her boyfriend Luke Shadbolt are a dynamic duo beyond compare (one glimpse is above)

This is one styling and photography workshop I would just love to attend

Finally, a long awaited post is live on What Katie Ate

I love seeing where creatives work, I adore Apartment 34's new loft space

And a few posts you might have missed here:
Escape to Cinque Terre, Italy, postcards from our honeymoon
At the Market: Fava Beans and Fresh Ricotta, the perfect summer appetizer
The perfect summer outfit, head to toe in white
A breathtaking retreat on the island of Ithaca in Greece, the best part is you can stay there

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Take Me There:: Villa Kalo - Ithaca, Greece

It is quite hard to believe that this beautiful villa was once a dilapidated structure sitting upon a hill on the Greek island of Ithaca.  The romance occurs when you look past what is on the surface to imagine all of the possibilities, which is exactly what photographers Gerda Genis and Robbert Koene did when they dreamed of its potential as a guest house for travelers looking to take in the Greek island.  Greece stole my heart when we traveled there over two years ago, but since they I have added quite a few Greek islands to travel to, this is just another to add to the expanding list.  You can explore the villa here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

At the Market:: Fava Beans (Fava Beans & Ricotta)

Fava beans are one of those quick to arrive and quick to leave vegetables that grace us with their presence in the late spring and early summer.  Just like ramps, garlic scapes and rhubarb, you have to act quickly in order to enjoy their goodness.  I was very lucky to get a preview of fava beans while in France and Italy since they were over-flowing in wooden bins at the open-air markets.  Returning home, I anxiously awaited their arrival and low and behind nearly three weeks later they arrived.  My mind was swaying back and forth, what to make exactly - do I go the soup route or maybe even humus, however, I decided to recreate a dish that I recently enjoyed at Il Buco Alimentari (one of my absolute favorite restaurants) in New York.  Split with a friend we enjoyed homemade ricotta with fava beans and a generous drizzle of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon.  It was mind-blowingly good, so I decided to re-create it.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Escape to Cinque Terre, Italy

When entering the Cinque Terre you think you know the beauty you will stumble upon, but somehow when you actually see it you are left stunned.  Colorful houses stacked atop each other with swinging linens dangling from the window.  Shady lemon trees bursting with fruit all in front of a staggering mountainous terrain that is tiered and manicured with olive groves.  Tangled grape vines dot the land baring fruit that will eventually be swirled into a glass, consumed and savored.  Crimson red poppies and yellow wildflowers color the landscape as the green mountains jet up to the sky as clouds gently move overhead.   The air seduces. Herbaceous lavender and rosemary mingle with creamy jasmine while the salty breezes mesh into the aroma of the towering Italian cypress trees.  The coast is rocky, jetting out from the green hills that tumble into the sea while the waves crash carving out the landscape for days to come. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Love This Look:: White Out

Summer, you feel amazing, don't you all agree?  Spring went entirely too fast, so I am hoping that they lazy days of summer will begin to slow things down a bit.  To start the season on a high note, we ventured to Fire Island on Saturday, which turned out to be a fantastic beach day - not a cloud in sight, just the warmth of the sun and the heavenly scent of salty air made the first day of summer wonderful.  If you are ever in the area and are looking for a tranquil beach experience, I definitely recommend traveling to the island, it feels like you are worlds away from New York City.  

Now that summer is here I am craving two things, bright prints and the opposite end of the spectrum, white.  I adore this look spotted on Victoria Tornegren, who pretty much looks effortless in anything that she wears.  Here are some of my picks to create this easy look. I hope that everyone has a great week! Stay-tuned, this week I am excited to share some of my photographs from our honeymoon.  

Get the Look:

Image via

Friday, June 20, 2014

Resort 2015:: Valentino

Happy Friday everyone! So glad that the weekend is here and even happier that it is the official beginning of summer! Any special plans to usher in the new season?

When fashion makes your heart skip a beat or two, you know that it has to be good. After all inspiring pieces can transform a mood and transport you, in the eyes of Valentino's Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli's it is to a butterfly field (a common motif with the designers).  My absolute favorite from the  Resort 2015 collection included beautiful lace details and dreamy floral prints.  While the collection was a whopping 84 looks, the designers reinvented themselves at a few periods during the presentation, sending forward a nostalgic Valentino print from the 70's.  It is full on color and full on print that is like taking consuming a pill that induces happiness.  Here are some of my favorites from the collection. You can see the rest of it here.  I hope that everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer's Best Dresses

Right now I am craving light summer dresses that have an effortless feel about them, whether washed in denim like this See by Chloé dress or a tad bohemian like this Needle and Thread option.  Summer is about creating easy looks and that is exactly what a dress can do.  We haven't even officially entered summer yet, but summer sales are in full swing.  All of these picks below are on sale at 
Net-a- Porter, so what isn't to love? 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Clean Plate:: Healthy Black Bean Tacos

If there is one type of food that I crave it is Mexican.  The delicious combination of cilantro, mixed with creamy black beans and some cotijo cheese makes me salivate.  During the warmer months when it is too warm to turn on the oven, I like to opt for meals that are easy, fast and healthy.  I have been making these healthy black bean tacos for quite some time, and I thought that this is the perfect season to share them with you.  They combine good for your ingredients that can literally be thrown together in about fifteen minutes or less and are packed with ingredients that offer a nutritional punch.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Gardens of Versailles: The Epitome of Grandeur

I first visited Versailles while studying in Paris. it left an indelible mark on what I perceived as beautiful, spawned my creativity and pushed my love of gardens even further. Until France I never truly understood what perfected nature meant - Paris has it mastered, but the grandeur of the gardens of Versailles have it mastered and then some. I left the sprawling palace and grounds so stunned I ended up writing my senior thesis paper on just the gardens (I majored in art history). I longed to go back and finally years later I did happy to recall all of the amazing facts that make this oasis an inspiration for so many of the other gardens in the world. While wondering through the shady bouquets, labrythons and fountains it is easy to get lost in the beauty as your mind drifts off to how it must have been when The Sun king, Louis XIV, was in all of his glory.  One could spend hours or even days exploring it all, here is just a glimpse of the day that we spent wandering around the grounds.  Also if you are interested T Magazine just had a great article about how a portion of the gardens are being brought into this century, interesting read.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Our Wedding (Part III) :: The Little Details

Happy Monday everyone, I hope that you had a great weekend! Since it was such a beautiful weekend, I tried to spend as much time outside as I could, including a nice Father's Day brunch on our terrace and a stroll down by the river and a visit with the family to the Smorgasburg.  I am excited to bring you the last installment of our wedding which includes the details that made our day special. You can check out my wedding photographs here and decoration here.  

Romantic, rustic with a touch of whimsey was the feeling that I really wanted to create in each detail  of our wedding.  Since we were getting married in a rose garden, I wanted to incorporate a concise floral theme, consisting of season garden roses and peonies by adding a rose botanical print for both our wedding pamphlet and our menu cards.  For our favors, I wanted to tie it back to the venue where we had our dinner, Frankie's 457, a fantastic restaurant that also produces their own olive oil in Italy.  I decanted olive oil into small bottles and added a custom floral label that was placed at each setting.

Friday, June 13, 2014

From the Runway:: Emerald & Cobalt (Chloé Resort 2015)

I love the effect of high impact color combinations, especially when they are in the jewel tone family.  The Chloé resort show delivered just this pairing emerald green and cobalt blue in a variety of ways. Strappy cobalt sandals with a feminine bow detail were paired with a rich emerald lace dress that hits mid-calf while another look included enlarged floral prints complimented a full-skirt.  I also love Merritt's take on this look here.  Below are some of my favorite picks that include there two stunning shades.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Summer Floral Fragrance Guide

Summertime is flower time in my book. Practically every turn you are greeted with ruffled peonies, towering irises and creamy honeysuckle (yes, even in Brooklyn!) whether planted in a garden or at your favorite flower shop.  This time of year is about lightening up and wearing fragrances that are not cloying, but rather give an air of freshness and happiness about them, basically what summer is all about.  I have rounded up some of my favorite for the season by flower type.  What fragrances are you wearing during these warmer months?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Rose Scented Whipped Cream

This is definitely my favorite time of the year at the market - ruby red strawberries are available by the carton next to the long stalks of rhubarb, snap peas are piled high and fragrant green garlic pave the way for the soon to arrive fava beans, blueberries and peaches.  I love pairing these fresh market finds together to create seasonal dishes, whether for dinner or dessert.  One of my favorite combinations is strawberry and rhubarb where the former lends a sweetness while the latter adds a tart bite.  On a recent Sunday dinner with the family, I decided to make Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and topped it off  with Rose Scented Whipped Cream.  This pie is truly summer in a bite!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Palais Royal, Paris :: A Quiet Morning with the Roses

One morning, I woke up early and ventured out when Paris was just beginning to awake to revel in the beauty of the Palais Royal.  I first experienced this garden in the fall and was struck by it's manicured beauty - the perfectly shaped linden trees, the fountains and how it offered a quiet respite from the city, but I had no idea what spring had in store.  The space was practically my own except for the few joggers doing laps with their happy dogs or the older man taking a morning stroll before the crowds slowly make the garden their own. The garden was overflowing with fragrant roses in the lightest pinks to vibrant crimson, their beauty left me breathless.   Here is just a peak into this garden oasis that to me is a little slice of heaven.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Our Wedding (Part II):: The Rose Garden Ceremony & Wedding Dinner

Happy Monday everyone! What a beautiful weekend here in New York full of sun and warmth, I have to admit it feels fantastic.  I am excited to start the week off by sharing with you our wedding ceremony and dinner photographs, truly amazing photography that captured the magic of our special day.  Our wedding ceremony was held in the Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a truly beautiful venue that seemed like somewhat of a dream.  Everything on our wedding day seemed perfect -  the weather, the lush green grass and the budding roses created such a romantic backdrop. We said our vows under the sun-filtered gazebo lined with ivy and roses while our family and friends looked on.  In the evening we had our wedding celebration dinner at Frankies 457, a Brooklyn gem that boasts some of the best authentic rustic Italian food in New York.  You can see the photographs of the reception decor here

Friday, June 6, 2014

Currently Inspired:: Pinterest Picks

Happy Friday everyone! I am so very happy that the weekend is nearly here since I have been playing catch-up all week.  I will be honest, after being away for two weeks it has been hard to get back into the swing of things - I am still in a vacation state of mind.  There are two things that fuel my inspiration - traveling and Pinterst.  Here are some of the beautiful things that have caught my eye over the past month or so. You can follow me here. I hope that everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Inspiring Interiors:: A London Townhouse

Let's talk dramatic interiors - dark walls, emerald green velvet with glowing light.  Everyone once in a while I stumble upon a moody interior like this that makes me want to paint all of my walls a dark inky blue or black shade to provide a dramatic effect.  This is a London home belonging to a stylist and a photographer couple that of course have an amazing eye for design.  I adore that inside of the darker interiors there are pops of white and yellow to break up the palette.  Here is a peak inside of their home.  P.S. I am working on our honeymoon photos, they will make their debut in a few days!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Site to Love: Dagmar's Kitchen

While traveling there is one thing that I miss, my kitchen.  Despite it's incredibly petite size, it is the place that I enjoy being in the most.  I got to enjoy quite a few delicious meals that have inspired me to try to attempt my own variation, so this weekend that is where I will be, my kitchen.  Until then, I am excited to share a new site that I stumbled upon recently, Dagmar's Kitchen, written by Sonja a food and lifestyle photographer based in Sweden.  Not only is the photography stunning, but the recipes are healthier than normal since they are gluten-free are without refined sugar.  Here is just a glimpse into her delicious world. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Anatomy of the Perfect Outfit:: Stripes, Lace & Leopard

Let me start this by saying, can you believe we are already in June? For some reason, I feared that when we returned from our honeymoon we would be greeted with cold weather, I dreamed it snowed in New York a few times while on our honeymoon.  Instead the weather feels like heaven, warm and sunny with everything in bloom.  Lately I have been about effortless and easy pieces, which is why when I came across this inspiration image it sets the tone for dressing right now - classic pieces that when paired together create an unexpected look, as featured here a masculine-inspired striped tee that has been perfectly worn in paired with a feminine lace skirt that is finished with the perfect leather accent. Here are some of my picks on how to create the look.   

SEA Pleated Lace Mini Skirt (Love this option too)

Image via 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Our Wedding (Part I) :: Our Dinner Decor

Well, we are back! After a wedding that felt like a fairy tale and a honeymoon that was stretched out for nearly two weeks in France and Italy, I have many amazing stories to tell.  They say your wedding day is one of the best days of your life and I could not have agreed more.  Not only did I marry the most amazing man and my best friend, but I was surrounded by the people that mean the most to me.  In order to tell how everything unfolded I am going to break it up into three parts starting with the reception decor.  And the honeymoon, oh, stay tuned! I took so many photos to try to capture the beauty of France and Italy and I hope that I was able to do it justice.  

When choosing our wedding venue the most important thing was that it was a reflection of who we were as a couple.  We decided to forgo the traditional reception and do a dinner where there conversation would be flowing, the location a bit rustic and the food would be exceptional.   Frankie's 457 in Brooklyn was an easy choice, not because it is around the corner from where we live but because it had everything that we wanted and more - exposed brick, long tables, a European flair (we adore the rambling grape vines and twinkling Thomas Edison style lights that create a romantic ambiance) and delicious food that would have our guests talking for months to come.  Since I have a great love for styling, flowers and baking, I decided to take on all three - it might seem crazy for a bride to do such a thing but this is something that I live for and being a bit particular (okay huge perfectionist!) I wanted to be the one behind the scenes, plus this is something I would dream of doing one day.