Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summertime in New York

Summertime is one of my favorite times of year living in New York, from leisurely laying on a blanket in the park to strolling through the farmer's market, this is the time of year that I revel in and want to soak up every minute.  I also relish in the fact of summer Fridays, which are (very) sadly coming to an end this week.  Here are some photographs that I recently took while in Central Park and the Union Square Market that is exploding with so much healthy goodness. And with that I leave you - I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, my plans are to head to the beach, cook some delicious meals and relax.  See you back here Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Banana Butterscotch Ice Cream {No Churn} + Giveaway Winners

For the longest time I had some sort of aversion to any recipes that involved bananas - I am not sure why but thankfully disappeared after I had a chance encounter with the Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery and well, the rest is history.  In my final recipe using Spoonable Caramel I incorporated the Brooklyn Butterscotch into Banana Butterscotch No Churn Ice Cream.  This recipe is so easy and the best part is that you do not need an ice cream machine, just your hand-held mixer.  If you are looking for a quick end-of-summer recipe that allows your freezer do the majority of the work, this recipe could be it.  Continue for more...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Petal by Petal:: Gladiolus

Gladiolus, also known as Sword Lillies, are one of those darling flowers that appears during the late summer months and when they arrive they definitely make their presence known. They have beautiful towering stems with flowering buds that cascade and gently bloom from the bottom to the top and each stem can produce up to two dozen blossoms.  The gladiolus come in a variety of shades from vibrant fuchsia with white flecks to a pale, peachy bloom as seen here.  If you are looking for a bloom to add height (and to not empty your wallet) this is an excellent choice. Continue for more...

**Today is the last day to enter the Spoonable Caramel giveaway! If you already entered feel free to enter again. Three lucky winners will win a jar of Salty Caramel and Brooklyn Butterscotch! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

I Love This Look:: Biker Chic

I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend! The weather was glorious here in New York - I am just trying to wrap my head around the fact that summer is coming to an end.  As the seasons begin to merge there is one piece of clothing that is an essential, the leather jacket, particularly the biker jacket.  I adore how you can dress it down, as seen on Cara Delevingne here or dressed-up, particularly with a floral element.  I will show this Friday a few snaps from my photo shoot yesterday, it was an exciting Brooklyn experience.   I hope that everyone has a great week!

Ink & Iris Leather Jacket via The Outnet / Current/Elliot The Soho Biker Jacket

Image source unknown

Friday, August 23, 2013

Floral Kaleidescope

I am definitely happy that it is Friday! Yesterday I did something I never do, take a day off in the middle of the week. My fiancé and I went to check out the U.S Open qualifying tennis tournaments, but unfortunately we only got to see about ten minutes of playing time before a deluge of rain decided to sweep in.  I love watching live sports, so even though it was short it was fun!  This weekend should be a busy one, I am incredibly thrilled to be assisting one of my favorite food photographers/food stylists, Vanessa Rees on a photo shoot this Sunday. I am sure to come back here inspired! Speaking of inspiration, how amazing is this editorial from Vision China? I love the kaleidescope of florals and how the multi-printed looks nearly blend in.   I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finding Quiet

Quiet. Can you here that? The sound of utter silence - that fleeting, oftentimes impossible thing that seems hard to come by in our busy lives. I recently began thinking about the importance of quiet as I was walking down a city street with sirens blaring, people shouting on their cellphones and all the while a jack hammer is being forced into old, albeit resistant, concrete.   These external factors are one thing, but what about the noise that goes inside of our own heads? Maybe it is my constant juggling of work, blogging, friends, family, life, etc, but my mind is constantly humming with thoughts and clutter making me easily distracted and oftentimes hard to focus.  My mind oftentimes goes on loops with thoughts or things that I should be doing, all the while really not paying attention to the task at hand.

Until recently, I was an avid runner. Running was my solitude and my quiet space where my thoughts could wander or completely dissolve as each foot pounded to the ground. However, injury after injury I had to stop running, or at least go from four days a week to one day (at best) yet, I didn't know what type of exercise I could do that was solitary and would give me that same boost as running. My fiancé suggested that I begin swimming - sure, I found it hard to get out of the water on vacations (I literally swim/float until I become one with the fish) but I didn't see it as a form of daily exercise.  Desperate for something, I tried it and I soon discovered that swimming is not like running, it is really hard work. I did whatever I could to get across my gym pool -  it was either the unglamorous doggie paddle or my own made-up-version of the breast stroke. But day after day I found myself getting better and realized just how much I loved swimming and not just the action - something about water has always soothed my soul, from the vast ocean to a small running stream. I have discovered a new form of serene quietness where motion after motion going under water you hear nothing except your own breath.   Being under water is both peaceful and silent, something that we all need in our daily lives so that we can reflect.  How do you find tranquility in such a busy world?

Image via here

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Salted Caramel Peach Pie & A Spoonable Caramel {Giveaway}

Spoonable Caramel first had me at Salty Caramel, then there was Brooklyn Butterscotch followed by Flowery Lavender Caramel. I was first introduced by this brand by strolling through my local Whole Foods - I needed a sauce to drizzle atop a dessert I was making and I was short on time.  I choose the Salted Caramel and it was a fantastic combination of buttery goodness with a salty-sweet finish.  The fresh market right now is brimming with local ripe peaches and besides eating them by the fistful I wanted to make them into some sort of dessert.  I was inspired by a slice of pie (Salted Caramel Apple) that I had eaten at my favorite pie shop in Brooklyn, Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  It combined sweet apples and caramel, it was just perfection.  I decided to make Salted Caramel Mini Peach pies using Spoonable Caramels Salty Caramel Sauce and it was a slice of heaven. The sweet peaches practically become molten when mixed with the salted caramel sauce, a slice of heaven!

I am also excited to announce that I have partnered with Spoonable to give away a jar of Salty Caramel and Brooklyn Butterscotch to three lucky winners! You have until next week to enter, so please feel free to do some more than once and then next week I will have another delicious recipe using the Brooklyn Butterscotch, so get your spoons ready!  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paris On My Mind

You know from this post that I have Europe on my mind, but I particularly have a taste for France, especially Paris. As many of you might have read before, I spent a wonderful amount of time in France. I was lucky enough to live in Paris for almost half a year in college, in addition to a month while I was in high school.  Paris means so much more to me than some sort of stunning European city - for me Paris means freedom and possibility.  I set off to discover the city twice years ago and for me it mean embarking on an adventure by myself not knowing anyone in a foreign city.  As the years go by (it has been far too long) I never want to loose what Paris symbolizes to me. I actually always wanted to work in France at some point and who knows where the roads might lead me (I am lucky to work for a company that has it's main headquarters in Paris).  I never want to become scared of the unknown or let me dreams falls to the wayside, in fact, I take pride in embracing it.  So many people have that dream of wandering to a foreign land and fortunately these days they blog about it.  I have recently fallen in love with a few that are dedicated to the City of Light, if you click, I am sure that you will also.  One of my favorites is Paris in Four Months - I literally spent an entire afternoon going through Carin's blog.  She not only features stunning photography from around the city, but she also features her favorite desserts and her fashion week snapshots (she shoots for Elle Sweden). Below are just a few of her stunning photographs that really transported me for a day back to one of my favorite places in the world.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Interior to Outfit: Shades of Gray

I hope everyone had a great weekend! The weather here in New York was just so beautiful, so an early morning run to the farmer's market was in order and then there was dinner with all of the zucchini and tomatoes I purchased.  I stumbled across this Mary McDonald interior in the September issue of House Beautiful and was immediately drawn into the subdued shades of gray.  I love how this monotone sitting room is offset by luxurious details like tufted and mirrored surfaces.  One of my favorite tone-on-tone color palettes to wear is gray - it is the perfect color to transition with.  Below is a look that I put together and I am currently in love with that Zara sweater and skort.  I hope that everyone has a great week!

Image via House Beautiful

Friday, August 16, 2013

Little Bits of Happiness

 (A picnic in the park - fresh ricotta, heirloom tomatoes with fresh thyme, peaches and fluffy a ciabatta)
 (A field of colorful zinnias)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Petal by Petal:: Delphinium

 The color of the delphinium, also known as larkspur is mesmerizing, almost like a painters palette combining bits of cerulean blue with flecks of violet and a tinge of mossy green.  This blooms first makes an appearance in spring, but can be purchased all-year at floral markets. The delphinium works well in a bouquet, especially if height is needed, as these beauties can grow up to seven feet tall! Continue for more...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Berry Yogurt Pops

When it comes to frozen summertime treats it is a toss-up between the popsicle and ice cream. Since I do not have an ice cream maker yet (it is on my list, I just have no where to put it) I recently decided to venture into popsicle territory, which do not require any sort of machinery and are incredibly easy to make.  I settled on Strawberry and Blueberry Yogurt pops, a delicious recipe that fuses summer berries at their peak with creamy Greek yogurt and honey.  Continue for more...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beauty Cravings

As the summer months begin to come to a close, I began thinking more about my beauty regimen.  I will be the first to admit that I become a little bit lax during the summer months - sweltering humidity will do that to a gal and I usually only apply minimal makeup atop by daily SPF.  But with the fall season comes richly pigmented lips ( I want to try the new Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream) and a multitude of face oils.  I thought I would highlight some products that are on my 'must-try' list.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nostalgic Postcards:: Florence, Italy

I have a serious case of (European) wanderlust. There is something about a trip to Europe that does something special to me - perhaps it is the history, architecture, food (particularly the coffee, bread, olive oil and cheese, yes in that order) or just simply the stunning beauty that really makes a jaunt across the pond seem like a real vacation. A few years ago, long before I started this blog, I ventured to Italy (Rome and Florence) with my dear friend Christi. I didn't have a fancy camera in tow, it was just my two feet and my eyes that magically moved me throughout the stunning city of Florence, Italy.  Majoring in art history during college opened my eyes to the Renaissance and allowed me to develop a deep-rooted love for architecture and paintings, so it was truly remarkable that I was able to see everything first-hand. I am not shy to admit that I became overwhelmed with emotion (yes, my eyes welled-up) with pure wonder when I first saw the Duomo.  I strolled the streets eating gelato and ate the best caprese panini known to man. I lingered for hours in the Boboli Gardens, in particularly the rose garden, where the autumn light was so magical casting hazy sunny rays onto the Italian country side.  I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I loved going back into my traveling archive! Continue for more...
(The view)
(Casting shadows in the Boboli Gardens)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Vintage&Modern:: Ladylike in Shorts

I would first like to thank you for your support from yesterday's post, it is good to know that I am not the only one with the same sort of feelings and what I might deem as 'perfect' is probably far from it.  
Now onto fashion, as the long summer days come to an end, I want to get as much wear as I can out of my shorts by continuing to transition them from day into night. I absolutely adore this vintage photograph where the model dons a voluminous blouse, high-waisted shorts and a red lip, could this look be anymore glamorous? Also, on another note, Marc Jacobs Beauty has officially launched at Sephora, I am interested to try this collection out.  I hope that everyone has a great weekend!

Image via here

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mastering the Perfection of Imperfection

When it comes to trying to achieve anything in life there is one hurdle that I fight to overcome each and every time - perfectionism.  Rarely do I share any sort of personal thoughts on this site but I feel that with blogging comes this idea of trying to achieve this flawless and beautiful world - a world that I find I am trying to create for myself.   I found myself suffering with this unrealistic idea of perfection long before I began blogging over two years ago (body image, career, etc) and found that it has gotten somehow worse since doing so.  I find myself comparing my blog content, photographs, comments to others and I know that this is detrimental and not a wise thing to do.  I set the bar high for my content and photography and sometimes I find myself beating myself up because something might not look 'perfect' in my eyes, whatever  'perfect' looks like and while doing so become overwhelmed with anxiety. 

It is my goal now to focus on letting go a bit and realizing that if I do not place so much emphasis on creating these ideals for myself, I might actually find myself doing more and achieving better results.  All too often I get paralyzed and cannot progress forward because I am trying to make something look flawless. One of my favorite passions is photography and styling what I am about to photograph, however, I realized that since I have not been filling my past few weekends with this hobby I have felt a bit freer.  I pour hours into each of my photography posts and while doing so I wonder if I will please my readers (you guys are amazing by the way) and ultimately myself. There is nothing wrong with trying to be better, I think constantly setting new goals for yourself is incredibly important in life, but I do think that taking small steps along the way and acknowledging progress is essential, something I am guilty of not doing along the way.  I am trying to find the balance of walking away from something and knowing that if I have put my all into it the results will be more than great. How do you respond to this idea of perfection?

Image via

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Heart of Gold Dessert Roundup

Since I am temporarily without a camera, I thought that in lieu of my weekly recipe post, I would gather a round-up of my favorite recipes so far that I have whipped up over the past year or so.  As you might be able to tell, I am quite the food lover, especially when it comes to desserts. Each month as I flip through my favorite food magazines (there is a long list that keeps growing, not to mention blogs) I get overwhelmed with different ideas, which is why the majority of my pages are folded over making a note to myself for the future. So while I continue do that, are there any particular types of foods that you would love to see on the blog? If so, please let me know!  In the meantime I hope you enjoy the round-up. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Petal by Petal:: Vermont Wildflowers

Our recent trip to Vermont allowed me to tap into my inner flower child.  As I mentioned, the cabin we stayed in was surrounded by field upon field of fragrant wildflowers, so I was able to roam free among the rolling hills decorated with such beauty.  All too often, they might be considered weeds, as they take over empty lots here in the city or line the busy highway, but these flowers really help create a beautiful landscape.  Here are a few photos that I snapped while away.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Inspiring Interiors:: Bedside Decor

I am in desperate need to do something fantastic to our bedroom.  It is the only room since we have lived in our apartment (almost coming up on three years now) that is seriously lacking, I think I mentioned it before and yep, still no progress! I am hoping for that to change and there is one word in helping me do so, wallpaper! Even though I am a renter I still dream about adding a decorating layer that really packs a pretty punch, which is why I have my eye on temp wallpaper. Below is the type of bedroom that I am dreaming up in my mind. I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, August 2, 2013

It Finally Has Arrived...

Yes, my love for fast-fashion runs deep and I am so excited that as of yesterday, H&M is now offering on-line shopping! All too often I go into a store here in New York and they are out of my size, but I am hoping with a few clicks that will not be a problem.  Here are some of my picks that will definitely transition into fall.  I hope that everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Office Crush:: Moda Operandi

I adore Lauren Santo Domingo's style for both fashion and home (I follow her on Pinterest and find myself repinning nearly all of her pins), so it would only be fitting that the Moda Operandi New York headquarters would be nothing short of fabulous.  I adore the dusty rose shades paired with bits of gold and the salon/fitting room belongs in Paris overlooking the Seine.   Continue for more...