Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Dream Office

 I am still in the process of beautifying my office space and when I discovered these photographs I had an 'aha' moment - this is exactly what I want.  I love how it is feminine, colorful and opulent.  My dream office incorporates gold, mirrors, large bouquets of peonies and an abstract water color painting.  
(This geometric gold screen is so gorgeous)
(A lovely bouquet of peonies and a perfectly arranged vignette)
(I love the pinks and reds in this abstract painting)
(A perfectly organized bookshelf)

All images from here

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chocolate Macaroons with Salted Caramel Filling

Chocolate pairs very well with many things, like peanut butter, strawberries and caramel - and nothing pairs better with caramel than salt.  To play up this complimentary duo, I created chocolate macaroons with salted caramel filling.   I apologize for all of the macaroons! I was working on a project where I was experimenting with various types, not to mention perfecting this finicky cookie.  Nonetheless, the combination of the chewy chocolate macaroon shell and the salty caramel sauce that slowly drizzled down while you ate it was absolute perfection.  
A Few Things: This caramel sauce recipe did not call for salt, but I added it in at the end once it was removed from the stove top.  I added about one teaspoon of sea salt, but you could definitely add more or less depending on the ratio of salt to sweet that you prefer.  This sauce is also excellent drizzled atop vanilla ice cream or quite frankly eaten by the spoonful out of the jar.  It would even be a great gift if nicely pacakaged in a mason jar.  If you don't feel like attempting the macaroons definitely try this sauce, you will be anything but disappointed.  

*All photographs by Alison

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Weekend

(A trip to the Union Square market left me desiring peonies in every shade)
(Also at the market, a mountain of sweet and crispy snap peas and light pink radishes)
(A stop at People's Pops was essential on a day that reached 90 degrees)
(Catching up on some of my favorite European interior design magazines that I scooped up in Greece)

The three day weekend was very relaxing. The warm summer-like days were filled with planting some herbs in our herb garden (we decided on basil, sage, parsley, rosemary, thyme and oregano), taking the dog to the dog beach in Prospect Park and doing some serious home organization.  I have one goal for this summer and it is to get our house in order, we have lived here for over a year and it is my goal to make our house a home.  Happy Tuesday!  

*All photographs by Alison

Monday, May 28, 2012

Paradise Found - Santorini (Part One)

I daydreamed of going to Santorini since I was a very young child. I vividly remember seeing a photograph of the white painted houses and the brilliant blue water and knew that I just had to go.  Santorini was everything that I hoped for and more, at times I had to tell my boyfriend to pinch me - I was in disbelief that I could stare (with my jaw practically to the floor) at the blue-capped churches, the bright white houses and the cerulean blue water. It was almost as if someone was given a a black and white drawing of the island and went in with their prettiest colored pencils to create the landscape.  These photographs feature two of my favorite villages in Santorini - Oia and Imerovigli.  I have never been so stimulated and inspired by color in my entire life.  Everywhere that you look you are inundated with hues that only exist in dreams.  

We entered both towns in an ATV four-wheeler, which initially I was scared to death, but in the end it was so much fun and we were driving like the locals.  We stayed in Fira, just a short drive from Oia and Imerovigli. You enter all towns situated upon the crater from the top and you discover them from exploring down.  I fell in love wandering down gray and white painted stairs that you were not exactly sure where they would lead you. 

One highlight in Oia was walking down (and then up - what a steep climb) the donkey path to the port,  there we were greeted with a restaurant that served some of the most amazing seafood that I have ever tasted (more on that later).  A trip to Santorini with your camera in tow, will have you set for a lifetime of frameable art.  

*All photographs by Alison

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I love how Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, it truly means that from here on out our days will be filled with endless stretches of sun followed by colorful sunsets that parlay you into warm balmy nights under the stars.  I feel like I was lucky to begin my summer in Greece, but now that I am back home I look forward to watching our garden bloom, heading to the local beaches in Long Island and barbecuing - my favorite summer past time.  I hope that you are having a lovely and relaxing weekend!

All images from here

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Beauty of Athens, Greece

(Inside the Roman Agora)

Athens was beautiful, even though before going I was told otherwise.  It is no mystery that Greece is going through an incredibly tough economic period and the news at home paints the picture that there are riots everyone; however, that was definitely not the case while we were visiting.  This portrayal is hurting tourism, not only on the mainland, but also in the islands, so please don't let this stop you from booking your trip.  Once you go, you will be so taken back by the beauty that you will be thankful that you did!

There is definitely a strong clash between classical and modern in Athens, which can seem quite strange when you are looking at ruins and next door you see a rather ugly modern building that seems out of place. There is also quite a bit of graffiti, actually everywhere you look buildings are tagged and there are many vacant stores, but once you look past that it is easy to get wrapped up in the classical side of the city that is enchanting and awe-inspiring.  Some of my favorite moments were the times spent wandering around the Plaka area that has the feel of a white-washed Greek island and was a great prelude to what we would soon experience in Santorini. It is easy to get lost amidst the foliage of grapes and roses and the winding streets.

Another favorite moment besides seeing all of the ruins, in particularly the Acropolis, which I consider to be a wonder of the world, was our hike up Mount Lycabettus.  We intended to take the cable car up to see the sunset over Athens, however, as I prefer it in Europe we ended up hiking it (in sandals and flip-flops!).  From the top the views are stunning, you can see the sea, the islands and all of the historical architecture as the sunset creates a light pink haze over the city.  If you are in Athens, I definitely recommend doing this - the local Athenians also told us to do it too.  I can't wait to share with you the islands of Santorini and Paros and the food of Greece, (oh, the food! and the coffee!), these posts will be headed your way shortly.  Enjoy your Saturday, so thankful it is a three day weekend!
(The walls of the Acropolis)
(A sign for the Acropolis surrounded by a fig tree)
(Pillars inside the Agora)
(A few from our hike up Mount Lycabettus)
(A rainbow appeared over us on our hike)
(Making a wish)
(An enchanting path)
 (My favorite color combination, fuchsia, white and blue)
(A trio of mint green tins holding bayleaf and dill)
 (Colorful bowls)
(An orange tree)
(A taste of the Greek islands in the Plaka)
(One of my favorite streets, I love the melange of colors, in particularly the powder blue and yellows accented with fuschia bouganvilla flowers)
(Enjoying lunch in the shade)
(Weathered blue doors)
(Taking it all in)
(The Roman Arch)
(Grapes in the Plaka)
 (We spotted this near a rose bed, it looks like a fragment of a fresco painting)
(A white-washed home)
(The magnificent and awe-inspiring Acropolis)
(This guy didn't move much, we saw him a few different days just lounging in the window sill next to a miniature olive tree)
(And my handsome boyfriend John for good measure)

*All photographs by Alison