Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to pop in early to say Happy Thanksgiving.  I want to say thank you to all of you for following me along and encouraging me everyday, it truly means the world.  We are off to Boston to see my family, but before the festivities begin, I am running in a 10K, so there will be not guilt in indulging on my favorite holiday.  

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fall Entertaining Essentials:: Thanksgiving Edition

I have only cooked one Thanksgiving so far and there were so many moving parts that by the time we sat down to our late dinner I was almost to exhausted to eat.  This year I will be playing sous chef/kitchen help/lead baker and I will focus more on setting the table, something that I love to do just as much as being in the kitchen. I am envisioning a setting with flowers and flickering candles, an over-flowing cheese plate and hints of gold here and there. Here are some of my picks to create this setting.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie {From Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book}

Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie, need I say more?  Let me tell you, if you are looking to impress your Thanksgiving dessert table, I recommend that you make this pie, my second recipe from the new Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. It is a slice of heaven because it basically fuses two different varieties that are loved during the holiday season, pecan pie (but without the nuts) and chocolate ganache pie to create something that is truly out of this world.  There are a few easy steps to this pie, the first being that you toast the oats to give them a wonderfully nutty flavor, followed a sublime gooey layer that incorporates the oats and then finally a decadent layer of rich chocolate ganache that lines the crust that when served at room temperature is just like pudding.  On another note, looking very forward to the short week this week, I am eager to head up to Boston to spend the holiday with my family. Do you have any exciting plans for Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Currently Inspiring:: Pinterest Picks

My mind is currently in a few different places, on one hand I am thinking/planning about our wedding/honeymoon, while on the other I am in full-on planning mode for the holidays.  If there is one thing that can rope me in and make me feel a bit centered on all of my ideas it is Pinterest!  Here are a few things that have left me inspired this week.  You can follow me along here!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wardrobe Staple:: The Camel Jacket

This season is all about the statement jacket, from the Fall 2013 runways at Stella McCartney, Celine to Mulberry this winter staple was front and center.  This season I have been gravitating towards plaids and powder pinks, but if there is one shade that is sorely missing from my closet it is the subdued tone of camel that goes with just about everything.  Here are some of my favorite picks to create this look.  What jackets are you loving this season? 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Salty Honey Pie {From The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book}

I have already sung the praises of my favorite pie shop in Brooklyn, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a gem in the up-and-coming section of Gowanus.  But now I am singing even louder due to the fact that they have just released a cookbook that allows me to whip up their unique pies in my own tiny kitchen. I received a copy of their book and let me tell you it has heart and soul. The bakery was started by two sisters, Emily and Melissa Elson who were seeking a way to share their love of pie, soon word got out just how amazing they were and thus their shop was soon born.   It was hard to pick a recipe from this book, but luckily it is categorized by season so it was a bit easier to narrow down. For the first recipe (a second one is coming your way next week) I decided on the Salty Honey Pie, and boy, it is even better than it sounds.  This pie has the texture of molten pudding and has a distinct and addicting taste thanks to the honey which lends a floral hint and the sea salt flakes round out this amazing flavor.  Continue for more...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Petal by Petal:: Charisma Amaryllis

It is that time of year at the flower market when crimson berries and fir greens take over the bustling scene.  Yet, tucked somewhere amidst the holiday flutter I discovered this stunning amaryllis known as 'charisma'.  The amaryllis is a towering flower that is similar to a lily, but without the heady fragrance and it is like the iris in that it blooms with a cluster of buds.  I was intrigued by its white petals and the delicate strokes of red that tinged each petal.  You can buy these blooms in the bulb form or in the stem at local flower markets.  Continue for more...

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Luxurious Life:: Villa Life

If there is one thing on my bucket list it is to rent a villa in either Tuscany or Provence with friends and family. I would love to spend a relaxing week in the countryside eating the local food (cheese, bread, olive oil and chocolate) and sitting in the town squares sipping the strongest espresso.  I recently discovered Red Savannah, an amazing on-line destination for people looking to do just this but throughout the world.  There are just a few of the villas that I would give just about anything to stay for a week.  Continue for more...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fair Maiden

Perhaps it is because I have white dresses on the brain (I still haven't found the one yet) but I would gladly take any of these frocks featured in the December issue of Harper's Bazaar UK .  They are all feminine, not fussy, a bit bohemian and honestly just magical.  I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Handcrafted:: Decorative Decanters

I love collecting bottles, new or vintage, they serve so many purposes, whether decorative or functional; however, sometimes they need just a little oomph to make them just a bit prettier. I love spray painting them a solid color or giving them the look of mercury glass.  I recently had the idea to turn a plain decanter into a pretty one by simply adding a gorgeous knob on top.  This project is incredibly easy and looks beautiful on your vanity or on a bar cart. Stay-tuned for my post next week where I put something very luxurious inside! Continue for directions...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cinnamon Custard Pie

That time of the year has arrived where all I can think about is Thanksgiving - it is my favorite holiday.  We will be heading up to Boston this year to celebrate with my family but that will not hinder me from baking and cooking away in my sister's kitchen.   I love all of the courses, especially the turkey and whipped mashed potatoes (I don't know what could be more comforting) and then of course dessert.  This year I want to expand my pie repertoire beyond pumpkin pie, so I decided to whip up a Cinnamon Custard Pie to start celebrating early.   This recipe is a wonderful treat, because it still combines the essence of fall (cinnamon) but it is creamy and laced with vanilla giving it an almost ice-cream like flavor and texture. What pie will you eat or bake this holiday?  And stay tuned for some other tasty pie recipes next week! Continue for more...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Prepping the Skin with Ole Henrickson

Changing your skincare routine for colder temperatures is much like dressing for it, you need to add on additional layers to your beauty routine to ensure that you skin is left moisturized and glowing.  One of the best ways to boost your skins moisturizing power is to add a face oil that is infused with antioxidants that increases your skins protection from the harsh elements.  Being a beauty junkie, I am constantly looking for new products that will do just this and when I discovered that one of my favorite brands Ole Henrickson launched Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil  and the Perfect Truth CC Crème  I was immediately intrigued. If you are looking to amp up your skincare routine for the winter season, I definitely recommend these two products.  Continue for more...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fashion Must-Haves:: Isabel Marant for H&M

Have you all marked your calenders for November 14th? Typically when a designer launches a capsule collection, I don't even bother - lines, websites timing out, it usually isn't worth it; however, Isabel Marant's collection for H&M is where I am making the exception.  She is one of my favorite designers, I simply adore her take on bohemian glamour.  Here are some of my favorite picks from the collection comparing it to her ready-to-wear collection.  If you are looking to see if the collection will be in stores near you, see this guide. I hope that everyone has a great week! 

Étoile Isabel Marant's Iona bouclé jacket

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Few Beautiful Things

Thank goodness it is Friday - the past two weeks have been incredibly busy at work but hopefully things should be settling down a bit now.  I am super excited because two of my sisters will be arriving into town today with the mission of helping me pick my wedding dress - I have three/four in the running and of course visiting and catching up.  I love having vistors and showing them around Brooklyn.  To kick off the weekend, I rounded up a few beautiful things that have inspired me this week. I hope you have a great weekend!

I have amped up my workout since our wedding countdown has begun, I am eager to try these moves from workout genius Tracey Anderson.

Cynthia Rowley is making the forray into the beauty world again, this time teaming up with Birchbox.

I would love to set up shop in Lucky's Eva Chen's office, so bright and colorful.

Albertina is hosting an amazing giveaway with Shoe Mint and I am crossing my fingers on this one.

I have always been fascinated by reflecting water, so these photographs took my breath away.

Beautiful new pieces set to launch at Harriot Grace's shop, I have my eye on the copper pots.

This recipe for Kale & Feta bread would be the perfect savory treat.

Salted Maple Butter - what could be more luxurious?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Inspiring Interiors:: Gray & Gold

Gold pairs well with many colors (blush, navy, etc) but before seeing this home in Elle Decor I didn't realize how well it pairs with gray.  This home belonging to French designer Jean-Louis Deniot's home in New Delhi is just so opulent and glamorous.  Her space incorporates a lot of geometric patterns with classical details that somehow mesh perfectly. Her garden is something that I dream about, I adore the classical elements that are reminiscent of a French chateau.  Continue for more...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Donut Muffins

So I finally did it, I opened my first can of pumpkin, since I inspired myself from last weeks post. Deciding what to make was hard but starting the day with a bit of pumpkin is not a bad idea, so I decided to bake Pumpkin Donut Muffins - a unique and delicious hybrid between a donut and a muffin.  They have the moist texture of the former but the comforting goodness of a muffin - the outside is brushed with melted butter and rolled in cinnamon and sugar.  This donut/muffin pairs perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee on a crisp fall day.  Continue for more...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

{Top Five} The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies NYC & Brooklyn

If I ever had to decide one treat to eat for the rest of my life, it would hands down be the chocolate chip cookie.  What isn't to love - it is filled with chocolate goodness, loaded with butter and the texture, oh the texture, ranging from soft and chewy to crispy. I have been stumbling across fabulous bakeries here in New York for over seven years and I am always keeping my eyes peeled for new places to try.  Recently when I was savoring, okay devouring, a Levain chocolate chip cookie (if you don't know what cookie I am referring to, I urge you to board a plane to New York and head to West 74th Street now) I thought how amazing their recipe was but for reasons unique to Levain. Their cookies resemble a rich Southern biscuit and are served warm with a gooey and doughy center while the chocolate chips and walnuts create a melt-in-your mouth texture.  But then there is Ovenly, a stand-out bakery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that boasts a bevy of baked goods including a vegan (you would never know, trust me) chocolate chip cookie that is flecked with the perfect amount of sea salt flecks and incorporates more dough than chips.  
I decided I would do a round-up of the best chocolate chip cookies that this city has to offer and ask my fiancé, John, to decide on his favorite. So on an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon, I sat him down and he happily dug in.  Disclaimer: I have happily eaten all of these cookies before, so I warned him, he was in for a really nice treat.  Continue for more...

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Guide to {Faux} Fur Jackets

Happy Monday all! I hope you had a restful and fun weekend.  For some reason the weekends seem to be going faster and faster and I am sure that this will be the case next weekend when two of my sisters come to visit!  
It is officially that time of year when the warm jackets need to be pulled to the front of the closet. After having a beautiful day here Saturday (temperatures were in the 70s), Sunday was just the opposite, cold and windy.  I typically have a thing against wearing jackets, but it doesn't bother me if it involves faux fur.   Here are some of my picks for different varieties of jackets - which do you like best?  

Friday, November 1, 2013

So it is Fall

What a whirl wind of a week it has been, so much so that I didn't even say Happy Halloween yesterday! I delivered a huge presentation for a client yesterday and it left me scattered brained all week, so you can guess I am happy that it is Friday.  I did manage to eat a few pieces of candy though which made it feel like Halloween even though I did not dress up.  I recently stumbled across this editorial featured in Harper's Bazaar Ukraine. The rich colors, the burgundy lip, bold brows, the architecture and the abandoned castle just pull me in. So do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?  I hope so!