Friday, February 28, 2014

Coming Up Roses

Amidst some good news the other week (thank you so much for your kind comments), we also got some bad news - the gazebo where we were going to get married collapsed due to the heavy snow and ice that had been perched atop it for months.  Yes, panic struck in, even though our wedding is going to be very small, I was just about to press 'order' on our invitations.  We were planning on getting married outside the city, where my fiancé is from and then having our wedding reception in Brooklyn.  Sure we could move it inside somewhere, but the only thing that I always dreamed of for my wedding was to have it outside, in the spring, surrounded by blooming trees and fragrant flowers.  We had to develop a plan B, but nothing like waiting until the last minute - our wedding is in mid-May.  Even if we had another idea it would probably be booked, however, my genius man knows me better than anyone else and suggested the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, a favorite sanctuary of mine but the likelihood that they would have a slot open was pretty slim.  Well, good news, our wedding date was the only Saturday they had left in the month! I am so happy that we will be marrying in the enchanting Rose Garden, a wonderful section of the gardens filled with such an abundance of flowers and a dreamy English gazebo, honestly I couldn't ask for more.  One of the things that I love equally to flowers are manicured gardens.  I am so excited and blessed that everything has worked out.  In order to celebrate here are just a few of the beautiful gardens that I have on my Pinterest page that have me not only dreaming of spring but our wedding.   Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

{On Life} Honoring Your Body

I have been going back and forth if I was even going to post this, but I feel like if I can spread awareness about prominent women's health issues through this platform than I will do so.  I never like to get too personal here, it can make you feel more raw and exposed.

This year was supposed to be an exciting one for me partially because I am getting married to the love of my life, but honestly my new year got off to a rocky start, health wise. I have been very lucky thus far to never have any health issues which I credit to eating right (lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and little meat) and a healthy dose of exercise.  However, when I went to my routine checkup at my doctor two things revealed themselves - she discovered a lump on my left breast and secondly I was one stage below cervical cancer. Hearing one of those things was bad but two issues at the same time, I was a nervous wreck because at 31 these are two things you do not want to hear, or rather these are things you never want to hear at any age.  I will be the first to admit that I can dramatize things when it comes to any sort of illness but for me, this was something that was worse than any other sinus or flu symptoms.  These were two things that can be fatal if not caught early through early detection.  Regarding the lump, I wasn't doing routine self-exams, I didn't think that I needed to (my grandmother had breast cancer but it was later on in life) so if I hadn't gone to my doctor routinely I never would have found it.  Also, in regards to the cervical cancer I was routinely going for six month checkups but somehow my symptoms went from mild to high in the span of a few months which called for immediate action.  I had to go into the office for two procedures and my nerves were at an all time high. I held it together for a few weeks and then one day I just burst.  Did I really have to begin fighting for my health? I ended up having an anxiety attack at work, in the middle of a presentation, it was mortifying.  Thankfully after a sonogram and biopsy, they found the lump to be benign, but it will be something that I have to monitor every six months.  And the other issue was cleared through an in-office procedure.  Why do I tell you this? Because it is incredibly important to honor your body and treat it as an irreplaceable vessel.  Go to the doctor, get your routine check-ups because in case something is wrong they can catch it early.  Life is too precious not too.

Image source FGR

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Best of Beauty Milan Fall 2014

If there is one key translatable trend from Milan it is the impossibly pretty makeup looks that dominated the majority of the shows. As mentioned in my New York recap, so long is the 'no makeup, makeup look' and it is a warm hello to rosy cheeks, kohl-rimmed eyes, lashes out to there and a velvety smooth complexion.  The focus was on the upper part of the face, where boldly groomed brows provided face-framing impact while extra long lashes, either real or fake, created a soft doe-like effect.  What are your favorite looks from Milan?

{Currently Craving} Delicious Desserts

(Deluxe Carrot Cake)
Today I had originally planned on sharing a chocolate hazelnut cake, but for some reason the recipe was an epic fail, meaning it tasted only okay (the recipe called for too much sugar not enough chocolate) and I only want to share the best of the best.  I decided in turn to share some delicious recipes from some of my favorite food blogs that currently have my mouth-watering not just for the recipes but also for the photography and styling.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Petal by Petal:: 'Cloony' Ranunculus

When it comes to flowers the more ruffled and layered the better, hence the amount of roses that I feature on this site in addition to my love for peonies.  Close to both peonies and roses are another favorite the ranunculus, a beautifully layered flower that comes in a variety of colors and is plentifully available this time of year.  Browsing the flower market in New York you are greeted with an extensive selection so it was hard to narrow it down, however, when I came across the 'Cloony' Ranunculus I immediately fell in love.  This particular variety is from France and is beloved for it's faint pink color and the way that it blossoms from a tight rosette to an unbelievably beautiful bloom that is about five inches wide.  The ranunculus is a very hearty flower that when refreshed with clean water every day can last in a vase for nearly two weeks.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

{Trend Spotting} Milan Fall 2014

Fashion months is more than half over and the results for fall have been a steady dose of key trends that will take you through next autumn.  Patterns have been a key trend in both New York and London thus far and in Milan, modern plaids were introduced in a large scale incorporating muted colors like gray and brown as seen at Ferragamo and Max Mara, while sharp geometric prints in punchy primary colors delivered a feast for the eyes at Fausto Puglisi, Fendi and Missoni.  On the other spectrum, designers like Gucci and Costume National sent models down the runway wearing tonal palettes in dusty mauve to electric blue.  Florals, as seen in both New York and London were out again in full bloom in Milan where designers like Marni, Dolce & Gabbana and Aqualino.Rimondi created a dreamy garden of rosette and gerbera daisy prints to create utterly feminine looks. Leather, always a staple when the leaves begin to change was in nearly every show, some noteworthy pieces were the buttery leather skirts and blouses at Gucci to the head to to look in fluttery amethyst at Blumarine.   Finally what women doesn't need a power suit to slip on when the time is right? Fall unveiled a hefty dose of  pieces for the powerful women whether chic in black as seen at Versace or a softer edge at Tod's.  What shows were your favorite from Milan? My favorites were Dolce & Gabbana, Luisa Beccaria and Les Compains.  

Anatomy of the Perfect Outfit {London Edition}

Happy Monday everyone! Boy do I feel renewed, just two days of sun and temperatures in the 50's set me right again. I felt like I was a tulip trying to burst through the frozen soil, I badly needed to feel warm sun on my face and luckily that finally happened.  I love New York for many reasons, one being when the weather is showing even the faintest glimpse of spring people are out in full-force, whether running, walking or brunching outside, albeit some people jump the gun wearing shorts and t-shirts when it is definitely not that type of weather yet but each to his own.  Speaking of transitional weather and clothing, I spotted this outfit outside of the London shows and just loved everything about it - the mules, the fuzzy pastel blue coat slung over her shoulders and the graphic mini skirt that pulled it all together.  Anyways only 23 days until the official start of spring, I am excited, can you tell?  I hope that everyone has a wonderful week!

Friday, February 21, 2014

{Designer to Know} Co Fall 2014

Happy Friday everyone! I am very excited for the weekend if only because the temperatures are going to rise into the mid 50's - I am chomping at the bit to have the snow melt so that I can go running outside, since the treadmill hasn't been cutting it for me lately.  Do you have anything excited planned for the weekend?  I am closing this short week out with a new fashion discovery that is just too beautiful not to share.  Have a wonderful weekend!

A major source of inspiration for me as of late is still life (seen here and here) -  from fashion to food, my eye is drawn into the moody diffusion of light and the emotion that they evoke.  The Fall 2014 presentation from Co was captured through the lens of Amanda Demme resulting in photographs that are like a Dutch painting.  The clothes while dramatic are further accentuated with a dark background and the perfect amount of filtered light which allows for the soft, cozy knits and dramatic rose patterns to take center stage.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

{Fashion Spotlight} Alice + Olivia Fall 2014

Good fashion captures the imagination and transports you. The Alice + Olivia show did just that by debuting their Fall 2014 collection at the McKittrick Hotel, home to the play Sleep No More, on the west side of Chelsea.  Attendees entered the space through two castle-like doors and were led down a dark hallway barely lit by flickering candles.  You twisted and turned until you came across an open space similar to what you would find during the Jazz Age.  A red tinted glow illuminated the other wise dark room and the lively beat of a saxophone and piano fluttered in the background.   Scrolls delicately tied with bows were piled high atop café tables while libations were being served in delicate glasses.  The presentation was aptly called 'Enchanted: The Search for the Golden Monarch' and enchant Stacey Bendet did indeed.  Models were staged throughout the presentation in different fairy tales from Rapunzel to Sleeping Beauty but were dressed in modern form.  Rich brocade textures were interwoven with gold details and ruby red motifs creating for feminine looks, while some had a masculine air about them pairing tweed pants with leopard brogues.  Another winning piece was shift dress suspended by two golden keys that was bedecked with jewels laid by hand the day of which creating a shimmering effect.  Continue for more...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{Trend-Spotting} London Fall 2014

London, while the shortest out of all of the runway season always delivers shows with a vibrant punch.  Of course there are the main-stays like Tom Ford, Burberry Prorsum, Erdem and Matthew Williamson, but there are many other emerging talents that are giving them a run for their money.   A few key trends have emerged and the first being prints - glorious prints that were included in nearly every show from Matthew Williamson where there was a strong astrological influence where dresses and sheer chiffon frocks were dotted with star appliques and shooting star patterns.  Designer Peter Pilotto,  known for his spot-on clashing prints translated his signature motif seamlessly onto jackets, skirts and dresses.  A favorite texture from London was the collage effect that looked like fabric was stitched piece by piece creating statement looks as seen at Jonathan Saunders and Roksanda Ilincic.  Florals typically reserved for spring were adapted in an electric way with tulips lining a simple shift dress at Mother of Pearl and over-exposed versions at Christopher Kane, while Giles incorporated calla lilies which provided a gentler twist to the grungier look that it was styled with.  What have been your favorite looks from London?  

Angel Food Cake with White Chocolate Ganache Frosting

I have a recipe for you today that is like eating a sugar coated cloud kissed with white chocolate.  I typically make angel food cake during the summer -  it is the perfect summer dessert since it is light and a great way to incorporate fresh berries.  This version here I am dubbing the 'winter version' - Angel Food Cake with White Chocolate Ganache Frosting. If served slightly chilled the frosting takes on an almost ice cream like effect (cue the sugar and cream) while the cake inside is moist and incredibly fluffy.  Generally speaking I am not a white chocolate lover, but when incorporate into a ganache frosting it is unbelievably delicious.  If you are looking for a cake that can transition you to spring (only 29 days left, but who is counting?) this just might be it!  Continue for more...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

{Beauty Profile} Revlon x Marchesa

 Each Marchesa runway collection is fit to be called a work of art - the intricate detailing, the luxurious fabrics and the dream-like silhouettes are something you could only imagine in your mind, yet Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, the insanely talented designers behind the brand bring the fantasy to life.  It is only fitting that they would eventually make their foray into the beauty world to let the rest of us experience a little bit of their undying magic. Launching this month, Marchesa has partnered with Revlon to introduce a Limited-Edition Red Carpet collection that will not only make you feel glamorous but make you feel good at the same time since a portion of the proceeds will be given to Half the Sky: Turning Opression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, an organization that helps end oppression for girls and women world-wide.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Few Beautiful Things

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day is filled with love, lots of love.  What a week it has been, busy yet exciting between work and fashion week the days flew by leaving my  head spinning. I love meeting other bloggers and this week I met the wonderful Merritt, Rachel and Emily and had a fun dinner full of laughs.  I am looking forward to the long weekend ahead which I plan on baking, enjoying the snow and tuning into the beginnings of London fashion week.  

These photographs by Alice Gao are just dreamy

This is one of my favorite winter palettes, light pink and white

Seventeen years old and writing a cookbook, Izy is insanely talented both in the kitchen and behind the lens

This winter picnic has my mouth watering

I dream of owning my own business and when I do I would like my meetings to look like this

Everytime I read Mimi's stories I want to be transported to France

Floral arrangements inspired by Dutch paintings are simply stunning

Image via Elle Poland

Thursday, February 13, 2014

{Beauty Flash} NYFW Fall 2014 Beauty Trends

After several seasons where the beauty looks sent down the runway were muted and natural looks dominated, fall took a different direction and albeit refreshing turn. Get ready, because next fall will be about makeup whether applied to the eyes or dotted on the lips.  Next season the focus will turn to the eyes if inspiration is drawn from the runway where eye shadow provided a major impact.  At Donna Karan models wore a stunning silvery shade with a subtle sheen that was paired with a nearly bare lip while at DVF models donned an incredibly flattering mauve shadow coupled with a lipstick in nearly the same shade.  In addition to shadow, the cat eye was also seen in different renditions whether a subtle winged effect seen at Rag & Bone and Ralph Rucci or a smoldering smokey as seen at Sophie Theallet -  all imparting a dramatic, yet modern look.  Many of the looks spotted on the runway had a 'pretty' quality about them - at Ohne Titel the models complexions were luminous like they were lit from within and at Michael Kors cheek bones were accentuated with a peach blush with bronze undertones and groomed brows. The hair styles were either windswept with a dramatic side part tossled off-center like at Richard Chai and Giulieta or an undone updo nestled together with pins at Jason Wu.  Overall the beauty looks floating down the runway breathed new life into the season and I cannot wait to see what lands in my makeup bag come fall.  Continue for more...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Petal by Petal:: Rosa 'Maria Theresa '

Some might say that the gift of roses for Valentine's Day is a cliché, I might agree but not if they are beautiful, fragrant English garden roses like this variety Maria Theresa. Out of all of the roses that I have profiled in my Petal by Petal series, this might be one of my favorites for the amount of romance that they evoke.  The Maria Theresa rose has a vibrant pink shade and layer upon layer of petals that form a beautiful rosette shape.  They omit a wonderful aroma that is both sweet and floral without being overpowering like the majority of roses can be.  Are you looking for more rose ideas? How about 'Juliet' or 'Pink Piano'.  Speaking of Valentine's Day, do you have anything special planned? Continue for more...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

{Trend Spotting} NYFW Fall 2014 (Part I)

New York, New York - how sweet you are.  Fashion month has officially begun starting with a strong presentation of shows in New York.  There have been many trends, new silhouettes and dominating colors making the arrival of another fall season more than welcome.  Dominating the color scheme was a sea of blues varying from opulent cobalt to light and sugary blues making pastels extend past spring.  Another detail was the re-introduction of feathers whether inspired by a colorful peacock seen at Nicole Miller or layer upon layer of wispy feathers at Peter Som.  Last Fall it was all about the coat but next season there are belted varieties seen at Delpozo and Christian Siriano.  During the spring it was all about baring your mid-section, for fall the shoulder have their chance in the spotlight whether in feminine off-the-shoulder silhouettes or a more daring version with a plunging neckline.  What shows have been your favorite so far?

Monday, February 10, 2014

{Inspiring Interiors} Eclectic & Colorful

Happy Monday everyone!  Was it me or did the weekend fly by incredibly too fast?  If so, how about I brighten up the beginning of the week with an interior so colorful and eclectic it is equivalent to a dose of caffeine.  This space belonging to Edie Parker founder Brett Hayman is just like her clutches, statement worthy.  I absolutely adore the Venetian glass inside of her bedroom, it is as if there are clouds floating in her room.  Hayman has a knack for bringing life to a space even if the majority of her rooms have white walls, she manages to incorporate a pop of color that adds both vibrancy while not being overdone.  I hope that everyone has a great week!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Little Bits of Happiness

(The launch party of the Marchesa x Revlon Red Carpet Collection - it is so pretty, stay-tuned for an upcoming post)
(A highlight of my year so far, talking to the talented and gorgeous designers behind Marchesa, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig about their Revlon collaboration)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

{Artist Spotlight} Sara Winward Flowers

As you know I adore flowers - their color, texture and aroma.  I stumbled across Sara Winward Flowers via Pinterest and immediately fell in love. Her arrangements are organic, whimsical and echo that of a still-life.  I adore these bouquets because they incorporate poppies, a flower that I have been trying to get my hands on in the flower district for the past three weeks. They are currently being imported from Italy, but apparently the crop isn't that great this year due to the large amount of rain fall, but stay-tuned.  For now, I hope you love her work as much as I do.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentines' Day Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Rose Jam

My inspiration for posts can come from a lot of places -  this particular post was inspired by the vintage purple and gold tin that I picked up at a thrift store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  I loved the combination of lilac, navy and gold and wanted to make a Valentine's Day dessert that would compliment it perfectly.  Instead of opting for the traditional chocolate, I decided to make heart-shaped Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Rose Jam that are then dusted with powder sugar.   They were delicious and would be perfect for your Valentine.  Continue for more...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Guide to Winter Citrus

Walking into Whole Foods the other week, I was surprised by the variety of citrus piled high atop each other - clementines, heirlooms navels, pomelos, satsumas, all delicious just waiting to be eaten.  I decided to take the guess work out of all of the citrus gracing shelves right now so that you can better navigate the produce section whether you are looking for a great snack, citrus without seeds or just a piece of fruit that tastes just like candy.  I hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 3, 2014

{Inspiring Interiors} A Marrakech Retreat

Are you anything like me in that you have a  list up-to-there of places to visit?  At this point I have the Maldives, Seychelles, Scotland, South Africa (for a safari) and Morocco, just to name a few.  When I came across this serene retreat featured in the February issue of Elle Decor in Marrakech I know why I want to visit so badly.  Traveling to me is about relaxing but more about experiencing new places and getting inspired by design and color.  I adore the use of white textures that create a bright and breezy space, isn't it just dreamy?