Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ruffled Feature:: A Styled Wedding Shoot

One of my favorite aspects about living in New York is the amount of sheer talent in every square inch. I mentioned a while back here, how I was working on special project, well I am excited to share it with you today since this special project is featured on Ruffled wedding blog. I, along with wedding planner extraordinaire Tamra from Ever Swoon, Gabrielle from G! Designs, Jill from Shindig Invites shot by Jessica of Jessica Schmitt Photography, Courtney a talented videographer and Ellen, a makeup artist, brought to life a retro-styled wedding shoot at Colonie in Brooklyn. I assisted in the styling and yours truly made the cake and snowball desserts that decorated the dessert table.  Hop on over to their site for the full shoot!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter White Cake with Blood Orange Curd & Buttercream

I believe that everyone should have a no-fail chocolate and white cake recipe that they can turn to whenever they have the desire or need to bake a cake. I luckily have my go to for decadently rich dark chocolate cake from  Bon Appétitbut until recently I was always on the lookout for a white cake that completely blew me away (and let me say this is no easy task, since I am a chocolate girl through and through).  Luckily, my search has ended and my favorite chocolate recipe has met it's match - meet this white cake that I layered in Blood Orange Curd and topped with buttercream and coconut.  This cake is like eating a slice of heaven. It is incredibly light and moist while the blood orange curd gives it a sort of creamsicle taste and  the coconut transports you somewhere warm - very, very warm, but to bring it back to reality (sigh), I topped with a gilded pine cone.   Continue for recipe...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Inspiring Interiors: A Serene Greek Retreat

Ever since our trip to Greece last May, I have been just dying to get back.  I fell deeply in love with the beauty of that country in particularly the islands (but how could you not).  Luckily there are so many different places to explore like Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Hydra, which makes for a perfect excuse to go back.  When I stumbled across this breathtaking interior in Hydra it moved going back to the top of my list, even though as you saw from my last post it probably will not happen this year.  These interiors are serene and peaceful - which is the one aspect of their design aesthetic that I couldn't get enough of while visiting. I found looking at the bright white walls therapeutic and calming but enlivening at the same time.   On a final note, I would give almost anything to wake up to that breathtaking view in the last image everyday!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lounge Here, Wear This:: Belize

Swim Top  / Swim Bottom / Cover-up / Boucle Shorts / Lace Tank  / Tunic / Sunglasses
Fine Knit Sweater / Passport Holder / Pink Shorts / Dress / Sandal / SPF Lip Treatment

I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend! Thank you for all of your sweet comments from Friday's post.  It is cold in New York, I mean really, really cold, with the kind of air that swirls around you and leaves you feeling bitten by old man winter.  My mind has starting dreaming of somewhere warm and I begin to fantasize about wandering somewhere warm for vacation.  Last year it was Greece - sweet, wonderful Greece.  Traditionally vacation to me means Europe - Italy, France, Spain, escaping to enjoy the rich history, architecture and food - I rarely think of traveling anywhere else.  But this year we have decided to travel to Belize in the early spring to discover the rain forest, ruins and the Caribbean Sea. I am looking forward to lounging by the sea, but also hiking and exploring the rain forest.  Have you guys ever been to Belize?  

Striped Shirt / Cut-offs / Yellow Bikini / Converse / Straw Hat
Binoculars / Parrot Tee / Sunglasses / Camera Bag / Sunscreen Stick

First Image via Las Terrazas Resort
Second Image via 

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Little Bit About Me

I have been blogging now for quite sometime and I always think there is some sort of mystery of the blogger behind the blog, especially since I don't do outfit shots. I would love to do that, I just am way to picky about photographs, hopefully that will change in the future.  In the meantime, I thought that I would share a few things about me that you may not know.  I hope that everyone has a good weekend and if you are in a sunny and warm place I am very jealous of you - it is going to be below freezing here in New York.   

1. I believe in cyber love: Nearly four years ago, I met my wonderful boyfriend John on-line.  Dating in New York seemed nearly impossible at times, not to mention superficial. After having too many bad dates from guys that I met in bars I decided to try on-line dating, which is where I met John.  If you are looking to meet someone, I recommend it, but be prepared to meet a slew of, ahem, very interesting people.  You have to weed out quite a few people and go on quite a few dates, but I can guarantee that if you keep looking you will find your diamond in the rough - I know that I sure did.  

2. My job: After a somewhat rocky start since college, okay more like 5 years, I finally found a job that is suitable for my skills and passions - besides blogging that is.  Until recently I had jobs that left me feeling depressed and drained to say the least (that could be a whole blog entry and then some).  I am now very happy to say that I am a marketing manager at a fragrance house and feel blessed that I got this job.  It is super creative and I get to smell amazing fragrances and determine trends that could translate into a perfume.  A fragrance house consists of perfumers, sales and marketing teams who collaborate to create fragrances for pretty much every fragrance brand out there.  

3. I am pro-pit bull:  Before we adopted our dog Mickey, I was a little intimidated by the power of these dogs.  One summer, I volunteered weekly at a shelter in Brooklyn and the majority of the dogs were some sort of pit mix.  I walked a different one every week and I couldn't really understand why they had such a bad reputation.  They were sweet, loving and were very generous with their affection, despite the fact that some of the stories behind those dogs, and even our own dog, were just heartbreaking not to mention down-right cruel.  When I tell people what type of dog we have, the immediate reaction is never good - that is until they meet our sweet dog, who would not hurt a fly.  If you are considering adopting a pet, definitely consider this type of dog since they are over flowing in shelters across the country. You will be guaranteed a lifetime of love, not to mention companionship.  One thing to remember is that the dog is not aggressive by nature, it is the people that give them this awful reputation.  

4. I am devoted to vinyasa yoga:  Yoga changed my life.  Before I stepped into my first class nearly 6 years ago, I just didn't get what all of the hype was about - how could I benefit from stretching for at least an hour?  For the longest time I was all about the hard intense run that would leave you climbing hills (I still run about 3 days a week) and pounding the pavement in either sweltering heat or frigid temperatures and everything in between.  For many years I thought it was normal to walk around with your neck tighter than accordion strings and your back tied into many knots. I realized after by fourth yoga class as I lay on the mat that I felt incredible - almost as if I had a good cry.  I felt less stressed, my hips and hamstrings (tired from all of that running) felt open and loose and I realized that I could actually breath.  Prior to yoga I found myself taking many short sips of air through my mouth versus longer slower ones through my nose.  If you are skeptical of yoga, you should really try it - it will change your life and make you more centered. A yoga teacher once told me that yoga won't just center you and make you more present, it will also center others in your life because you are more grounded at present.  

So that is a little bit more about me!

Image via pinterest

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inspiring Interiors: A Melange of Old and New

My dream Paris apartment might just be this - the decorative elements of old grandeur - parquet floors and gilded crown molding mingling with modern and approachable furniture.  Typically I like to steer clear of pieces with rounded lines, however, I think that here, it really balances out the room.  What do you prefer old grandeur or fresh and modern?  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spring 2013 Couture: Elie Saab

 There are two couture shows that I cannot wait to see each season - first is Dior and second is Elie Saab. His Spring 2013 collection was nothing short of spectacular - I adored the crystals encrusted gowns in fairy tale shades of blue and barely there lilac.  I see everyone of these exquisite dresses walking down the red carpet at the upcoming Academy Awards.  

Ricotta with Rosemary Infused Honey and Pears

 For the longest time I was not a fan of combining fruit and cheese. I am not sure why; I think I was afraid that these two flavor combinations just would not work together.  However, this quickly changed during college when I tried the combination of baked brie and raspberry jam - I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  I was surprised how the sweetness of the raspberries brought out the saltiness of the brie and from that moment on I was hooked.  The other weekend I met a friend for brunch at The Smile on Bond Street, and we decided to split a dish that inspired me to make this recipe for Ricotta with Rosemary Infused Honey and Pears.  Continue for recipe...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Petal by Petal:: The Yves Piaget Rose

Flowers make me dream. They constantly intrigue and inspire me – from their soft layered fragrant petals to their romantic aroma -  I just can’t get enough. I adore how they can paint a landscape into a dream-like setting or turn a plot of land into a garden lover's dream.   I have been a lover of flowers for as long as I can remember.  My first memories are from my grandmother’s garden.  She tended to her roses everyday, she had beds bursting with bright shades of yellow to moody blooms in deep reds and burgundies.  She had dahlias, pansies and hyacinth arranged beautifully among herbs and a miniature pear tree.  When I close my eyes I can still imagine looking up at the rose covered trellis with the sun shining through and the grass beneath my toes.  It is a precious memory that I hold dear to my heart.  
I am always thinking of ways that I can incorporate more of what I love into this little space on the web and besides food and fashion, I want to incorporate more flowers (let's refer to them as the three - f's).  I love venturing to the flower market - the bustling street brimming with  every type of flower you can imagine.  So welcome to the new series, Petal by Petal, where I will be sharing with you various types of flowers twice a month to give you inspiration if you are planning a get together or an even larger event like a wedding.  Today I will begin by sharing with you the Yves Piaget rose, prized for it's fragrance and depth of petals. Continue for more...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Spring 2013 Couture: Dior

 Colorful studded lips and petal appliques were some of the main elements that drew me into the Dior Spring 2013 couture show.  The couture shows always send a great level of excitement through my veins.  It also appears that pastels (I loved the dusty mint greens and pinks) are having another moment in the spotlight  and for that I could not be happier.  

I Love This Look:: Black & Red

I hope that everyone had a great weekend! It certainly felt like spring was on the horizon here in New York as the temperatures reached up to almost 60 degrees yesterday.  The majority of the year, I like to infuse a lot of color into my wardrobe - I am definitely not the stereotypical New Yorker that only owns black clothing.  However, during the winter months when it is dark when I wake up in the morning and dark when I come home, I feel like I need a little bit more motivation to wear my brighter colors. Instead, I like to add a pop of color here or there, which is why I love this look - nothing goes better with black than red (and okay gold, of course).  I love how it has a bit of a 1980's vibe without being over the top, although this look definitely takes me to Richard Palmer's Addicted to Love video.  I hope that everyone has a great week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Little Bits of Happiness

(A vibrant pink winter rose growing before a beautiful gray brownstone)
(Enjoying a leisurely wintery walk around the Central Park Reservoir)
(Chicken & Dumpling soup to appear on an upcoming guest post)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Under the Flowering Branches

 My jaw literally dropped when I saw the stunning Bluemarine Spring 2013 ad campaign shot by Camilla Akrans. One of my favorite things about spring is when the cherry blossoms bloom creating a fluffy pink backdrop to the city.  Just looking at this is making me want to start a countdown until these beautiful trees blossom.   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vegetable & Farro Soup

Growing up, one of my favorite soups included barley, or as the Italians called it, farro.  Even this day, I still love to incorporate this healthy grain into my homemade soups, especially since it holds it's form so well, making for a heartier soup and it is also packed with nutrients and fiber.  I recently made this Vegetable and Farro Soup and was very happy that I got to eat it for about four days for either lunch or dinner. This soup pairs perfectly with a grilled cheese or a light salad. Continue for recipe...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Luxurious Life:: Miranda Brooks

 Do you remember how last week I was singing the absolute praise of Miranda Brook's Brooklyn townhouse that was featured in Vogue? Well, finally the photographs have surfaced digitally and I want to share them with you just in case you missed the feature.  I love the amount of rustic English charm infused into each room; I adore every room in particularly her work space - it is airy with the perfect amount of light filtering into the space.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Love This Look:: Pattern on Repeat

I go back and forth about combining prints of the same pattern because I don't want to  look overly matchy-matchy. I love this particular look though because it looks seamlessly put together without being over the top.  How do you feel about combining two patterns together?  I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend, it was warmer here in New York so the majority of my time was well spent outside. I hope that everyone has a fantastic week!

Image from here

Friday, January 11, 2013

Erdem Pre-Fall 2013

 The Erdem Pre-Fall 2013 presentation was a dreamy collection of watery florals, layered yet not over done sequins and featured the 2013 Pantone color of the year, emerald.  Erdem is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows each season, as I just adore the feminine silhouettes and florals  patterns that seem to be incorporated with each collection. I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Party Planning:: Floral Styling

 Since the new year arrived, I have been thinking about different things that I would like to accomplish.  Instead of making resolutions or restrictions, I like to make goals that I strive to achieve. As I continue to blog, I am slowly uncovering more and more passions like food, photography and design atop my love that already exists for interiors and fashion.  I have another interest that is on the cusp of blooming: party planning, since I love paying attention to the details to create something that is special.  In fact, next month I will be throwing my sister a baby shower, which I couldn't be more excited about (my pin board is growing quickly).  Another creative interest of mine is floral design because I just adore flowers - their shape, texture and fragrance, which is why when I saw this idea of hosting your own floral styling party I immediately added it to my list of things I want to do.    I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon than arranging blooms surrounded by tea cups and champagne.  Can you?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I could not be happier that it is Meyer lemon season.  The Meyer lemon is the friendlier version of it's traditional lemon counterpart that lingers on store shelves throughout the year, until each winter, it's slightly sweeter and less bitter cousin greets us with its sunny presence.  I love this variety because it is a cross between an orange and a lemon and it is the perfect compliment to your water or better yet an addition to a dessert.  As you might have noticed, I have an affinity for traditional Italian food, which is why I decided to make a Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake, the perfect post-holiday indulgence.  This cake is incredibly light and fluffy and has a slightly salty/sweet crunchy top, thanks to the sprinkling of turbinado sugar and sea salt just before baking.  This cake serves perfectly alongside an afternoon cup of tea or a demitasse of espresso.  Continue for recipe...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Handcrafted Greeting Cards

I have a profound love for stationary, both collecting it and sending it. In today's world that seems to move a mile a minute with tweets, texts and emails flying back and forth, it is nice to slow down and relish in a handwritten letter. The only thing better than buying beautiful paper is making your own and it is so simple and the results are limitless.  Here I fastened pretty buttons to scalloped card stock and wrapped them in velvet ribbon.  This could also make a great gift or could serve as an invite to your next soirée.   

Monday, January 7, 2013

I Love This Look: Leopard & White

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend! Unfortunately I was feeling a bit under the weather so I took it easier this weekend and thankfully the weather won't be nearly as freezing as it was last week.  

Lately I have been on a leopard kick, I love this print - on flats, booties, blouses or pants when the rest of the outfit is kept neutral.  I am just loving this look here, so chic and sophisticated and I can't tell if the leopard blouse or full white skirt is making more of the statement.  

Image from here

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fields of Cotton

I am very happy that it is Friday and that it has been a short work week!  I feel like I am still recovering from the holidays - I have a lot of catching up to do on the blog and a list of what I want to do that stretches for miles. However, I am trying to approach 2013 with a great deal of serenity and peace and that is exactly what I feel when I look at this editorial. How fun would it be to just run freely amidst the cotton fields?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Garden Dreamer:: Miranda Brooks

I have long been a fan of landscape architect and Vogue Contributing Editor Miranda Brooks for how she can take a piece of land and turn it into something ethereal and magical.   As I was flipping through the January issue of Vogue, I was taken back by her newly renovated townhouse not too far from me in Brooklyn.  Her garden is nothing short of beautiful, she even raises chickens with her daughters.  My favorite part of her home was her greenhouse and work space on the top floor that is bright and sunny;  it is no surprise that she surrounds herself by beautiful things to get inspired.  Here are some of her other works that are making me dream of owning my own piece of land and turning it into something as wonderful as she has done.