Thursday, July 31, 2014

Inspiring Interiors:: Nordic Inspired Pied-à-Terre

Recently my aesthetic eye has been gravitating towards Nordic-inspired design.  Something about the minimal touch where everything has a purpose has begun to lure me in.  While this pied-à-terre is located in Paris, the Nordic principles of design are clearly in place.  This space has a level of refinement tempered (marble touches and crown molding) with a raw presence (parquet floors and sharp lines).  Here is a peak inside this gorgeous home.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches with Sea Salt Flakes

During the hot summer days there is nothing like treating yourself to ice cream.  Growing up, one of my favorite seasonal treats was an ice cream sandwich that was usually obtained by waiting for the ice cream truck to drive by our house.  I was feeling a bit nostalgic and decided to make my own super soft chocolate cookies and filled them with gelato, Talenti, to be exact.  Having made a different variety of ice cream sandwiches before, the key learning is to bake the cookies just until they are set, so that once they are cooled they are chewy and can be easily enjoyed with ice cream. Topping the cookies with Maldon sea salt flakes is the perfect way to take a childhood treat and elevate it to something 'grown-ups' will like.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beauty File:: Beyond the Fringe

To cut or not to cut, now that is the question that I have been toying with as of late.  I had bangs when I was about eight years old, but let me tell you they were the 80's variety that were permed (I cringe as I write this!) and before that, probably around the age of five my older sister took to them leaving me with a sharp angled amount of fringe, much to my mother's horror.  Recently I have found myself in need of a major hair change, primarily because I am just bored with the same old look and I have been gravitating towards a 70's inspired look à la Jane Birkin or Kate Moss.  The question I ready for the commitment? Stay-tuned!

Life Thoughts:: On Dreaming Big

Recently I have been doing a lot of thinking about what it takes to be successful.  Of course the definition of success is different with every individual and can vary at different times in life. For me success means achieving my dreams and carving out a path of my own and starting a new venture.  Recently I have found myself hungry to find how others have achieved success by digging for inspiring quotes, hearing stories and watching it happen before my own eyes.  One of the most inspiring things that I read was the commencement speech that Tory Burch delivered to the Babson College Class of 2014.  In her speech she spoke about the power of the entrepreneur and emphasized the power of passion, hard work and believing in your vision even if there is noise around you telling you that all you might have is a pipe dream.  Something that resonated with me the most was when she stated ‘If it doesn't scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.’ Wow. Yes.  How often do you have a dream that ends up scaring you straight and then you abandon it shortly thereafter for fear of rejection, failure of just plain lack of confidence. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

I Love This Look:: The Little Black Dress

I hope that everyone had a great weekend! To kick things off for the new week let's talk about the little black dress, an essential piece that is the go to when 'you have nothing to wear' and don't we all have those days?  The key to having a standout LBD is having a detail that is unexpected like lace or perhaps a leather detail and pairing it with heels that are bold and colorful.  Here are some of my favorite picks to help achieve this look. 

Image via Stockholm Streetstyle

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Few Beautiful Things

Happy Friday everyone! I feel like I have had a weekend mindset pretty much all week, so I am glad it is actually here.  Before I leave you, here are a few beautiful things that I have stumbled upon this week.  Have a great weekend!

This Dior video is magical

Looking forward to the Yasmin Sewell x Barneys capsule collection 

This Paris apartment, when can I move in? 

This parfait looks unbelievable

Pistachio Kale Pesto with Zucchini Noodles looks like the perfect summer dinner

Preserve, Blake Lively's new lifestyle site

Nicole Franzen's photographs make me want to book a trip out west 

A few things you might have missed this week:
Memories of Portofino, Italy
Cherry Skillet Crumble, the perfect summertime dessert
My newest style crush, Leila Yavari

Image via from Marie Claire, August 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Currently Inspired:: Amy Merrick at Elmwood

If you follow bi-coastal floral designer Amy Merrick on Instagram, you have probably already seen  her serene retreat in the countryside of New Hampshire aptly called Elmwood.  Her bucolic home is surrounded by wildflower fields that serve as the base for her whimsical creations.  In the most recent issue of Martha Stewart, the magazine profiled her work and her creative space that has been passed down from generation to generation.  Here is just a glimpse inside of her dreamy country home.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At The Market:: Cherry Skillet Crumble

Last year on a very hot summer day we headed to Upstate New York to go cherry picking. It was one of my favorite memories from last summer.  This year we will not be picking our own, but luckily the farmer's market is bursting with pints of this ruby fruit.  For a recent dinner, I wanted to get off my pie kick (something that is hard to do since I find baking a pie like therapy) and stick within the same family and make a crumble and bake it in a cast iron pan.  If you are like me and you love crumb topping you will love this recipe since there is a nice layer of crumbly goodness sitting atop juicy cherries.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Portofino, Italy

The beauty of Portofino was exactly as I had dreamed it would be – still  turquoise water, Italianate mansions perched high atop a cliff and a enlivening breeze of lemon blossoms and salt water.  We drove from Genoa to Portofino with a goal of laying in the sun, lingering over a long afternoon lunch (that was finished with gelato) and climbing to the top of the hillside to see the view from up above.  The end of May is the near the end of the mid-season and right before high-season which allowed us to spend an entire day not completely overwhelmed by fellow tourists.  We ended up hiking from Santa Margarita, a beautiful seaside town just under two miles away from the port town of Portofino.  The trail we hiked took us high into the hills where all you could hear are birds chirping and the invigorating smell of the water and towering cypress trees.  Like that of the Cinque Terre you enter Portofino from the top and make your way down the hill, where you are quickly surrounded by luxury boutiques and outdoor cafés.  A hike to Castello San Giorgio is definitely something that anyone exploring the town should do since it gives way to one of the best views of the port.  The colorful architecture of Portofino is very unique.  The facades are painted in tromp l’oeil and are made to look as if they actually have textural details.   Here are some of the moments that captured the beauty of this stunning Italian locale.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Love Her Style :: Leila Yavari

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that you had a great weekend full of relaxation, fun or both!  I am having a major style crush and it is on Leila Yavari, the fashion director of the UK retailer Stylebop.  She bridges the perfect balance between feminine silhouettes and pushes the envelope when needed (like the last two looks below).  Below are some of my favorite picks to help recreate her style.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Little Bits of Happiness No. 11

(Living out a fairytale in Italy)

Happy Friday everyone! Today I am going to keep it short and share some photographs from my Instagram feed, which has been a long time coming. You can follow me here! I hope you have a great weekend.  
(An iconic photograph from Portofino, Italy.  Photos still to come!)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Poolside Dreaming + Swimwear Picks

Today might only be Thursday but I have my sights on the weekend.  Although I rarely find myself lounging my the pool that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to jump start the weekend by doing so!  Recently I have come across so many serene pool settings on Pinterest I couldn't help but find myself daydreaming and inspired. Here are just a few of my favorites in addition to some bathing suits that I am currently loving. Speaking of swimwear, have you checked out Net-A-Sporter yet? I love to workout but I think their edited selection might take that to a whole new level!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

White Peach & Rose Lemonade {I HAVE MOVED TO ROSE & IVY JOURNAL!)

To discover more recipes and beauty, please visit Rose & Ivy Journal by clicking here!

Growing up I loved lemonade for it's sweet and tart taste and how it could put a few dollars in our pockets by having a stand on our suburban sidewalk.  As I have gotten older it hasn't been a drink that I have gravitated to as much, until now.  I decided to get creative and craft a more feminine and grown-up version of this iconic sip by blending fragrant white peaches with rose water for a refreshing summer drink. Not only is the shade of this drink beautiful, but it strikes the perfect balance between sweet, floral and tart.  The white peaches and the rose water lend a delicate floral aroma while the lemon provides the right amount of zest. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Skin:: A Guide to Deep-Cleaning Face Masks

If you are anything like me you love summer, but perhaps do not love what summer can do to your skin.  Congestion is a common issue thanks to sunscreen, balmy days and if you live in a city like me pollution.  Luckily there are amazing miracle workers out there that are targeted to thoroughly clean the skin and leave behind a luminous complexion.  The key is to find clay-based products that will allow impurities to be lifted from your pores.  Here are some of my favorites that are guaranteed to do the job.

Bosica Luminizing Black Mask / Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask  / Tarte Amazonian Clay Double Detox  Exfoliating Face Mask  / Eve Lom Rescue Mask

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana:: Alta Moda Fall 2014

Dreams blended with reality as Dolce & Gabbana presented their Fall 2014 Alta Moda collection in Capri this past weekend.  Elaborate gowns, Italian-inspired prints and the brand's signature lace were on full display for the fortunate few that were able to revel in the collection with the aquamarine Mediterranean as a tranquil backdrop. Here is a glimpse of this show that is truly awe-inspiring.  

Shop to Love: Cos + The Perfect Shift Dress

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that you had a great weekend.  Lazy summer weekends are just the best making Monday mornings a bit difficult, don't you agree?  Regardless, there is nothing like fashion that can get you jump-started for a new week.  Mega Swedish fashion brands (from parent company H&M) that I have been lusting for on-line are making their way to the United States like the long awaited & Other Stories, set to bow in Soho by December and then Cos Stores which will also open by the end of the year on Spring Street.  In the meantime you can shop the entire Cos collection here, but to guide you in your browsing, they have the perfect shift dress in a variety of colors and prints.  It is one of those effortless pieces that you can wear dressed-up or dressed-down.  Happy shopping! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Few Beautiful Things

An entire wall of white orchids at Dior Couture, just breathtaking

A new food blog discovery that is as visually compelling as the dishes are healthy and delicious

A dream is to walk through field upon field of sunflowers in France

Amy Merrick is one of my favorite floral designers, her home is New Hampshire is just as dreamy as her bouquets

Alyssa's photographs of Italy are making me dream of the beautiful country yet again

Looking to celebrate Bastille Day and happen to be in New York City?  Head over to the Maille Mustard Mobile to sample some authentic mustards and even create your own flavors!  You can follow the trucks location here

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Christian Dior Fall 2014 Couture :: Details

When I was a young girl, one of my favorite movies was Cinderella. Not only for the love story, but I loved the dresses – the full skirts and the corseted tops from the 18th century.  Well, Raf Simons brought this fairytale to life at the Fall 2014 couture Christian Dior show.  Here are some of my favorite details from the show.  

Currently Coveting:: Tory Burch Lip Color

I am an absolute sucker for gorgeous packaging, however, when what is on the inside matches what is on the outside it is a match made in heaven.  The Tory Burch Lip Colors are the perfect example of this. I have spoken before about my utmost love for vintage makeup compacts (I have a growing collection of cigarette cases encrusted in gold and mother of pearl) and I am so thankful that the Tory Burch brand feels the same way.  Housed in her signature orange shade and accented remarkably in gold, these lipsticks are meant to be displayed.  They come in a variety of beautiful shades from Smack Dab, a daring red (my favorite) to a more subtle shade of Saucy, a sheer pink.  In a world where packaging is disposable, it is quite refreshing to see such a beautiful package that is meant to be kept around once the tube is finished.  

Pretty Baby / ScoundrelSmack Dab / Saucy / Just Like Heaven

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fall 2014 Couture:: Giambattista Valli

The Fall couture shows are in full swing, one of my favorite seasons since it really evokes the dream that is fashion with exquisite details and silhouettes that push the envelope.  Giambattista Valli presented a floral explosion that included daisies and violets atop floor length chiffon gowns and full dresses comprised of ballerina-esque tulle. His take on the sheath dress carefully curved with the body and undulated from colorful blooms to a sheer finish. Volume was a key theme as well, where dresses carefully ballooned at the hips or dresses with nipped in waists and full skirts. Here is just a glimpse into Giambattista Valli’s beautiful world.

At the Market:: Gooseberries & Blackberries (Gooseberry & Blackberry Pie)

It is officially berry season! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries  and my new favorite berry, the gooseberry.  While you can purchase berries all year long (frozen or fresh), there is something extra special about eating them while they are in season and local.  They just taste much better being ripened by the warmth of the sun.  I have been picking up as many cartons as I can carry at the farmers market, since not only are they great to eat raw but they have a great way of making your complexion look better.  When it comes to berries I am not partial to one kind, although I have been eating crates of raspberries and blueberries and as I mentioned a new favorite, the gooseberry.   They look like grapes and have the same juiciness but they have the floral sweetness of a raspberry.  They are great eaten as is or a wonderful addition to a pie or crumble.  Also, blackberries, when in season taste completely different then their over-sized grocery store counterpart that are heavily seeded.  In season, blackberries are incredibly tender and sweet, with not nearly as many seeds.  In order to celebrate the season, I made a Gooseberry & Blackberry Pie, perfect after a summer dinner.  This pie is the perfect ratio of tartness to sweetness!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beauty Flash:: Atelier Versace

You can always count on Donatella Versace to deliver a show with a heavy emphasis on femininity and full-blown glamour.  To flatter the looks sent down the runway, think bold jewel tones and floor length gowns with a slit that sat high up on the thigh, Pat Magrath painted a liquid teal shade across the lids that formed a cat eye reminiscent of Verushkha.  This dramatic look was paired with a glossy nude lip and heavily shaded cheek bones.  While quite dramatic for day, this look could definitely be translated to night.  Here are some beauty picks to achieve this look.  

Jardins des Tuilleries, Paris

Wandering around Paris it is hard not to get pulled into the beauty of the Jardins des Tuilleries, a vast garden oasis stretching from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde.  Dotted with fountains, sculpted boxwoods, blooming flowers (ruffled garden roses, heady lavender and pink fox glove were in full bloom in May) and green iron chairs that are spread out so the modern day flâneur can relax and take in the beauty of their surroundings. Meanwhile, gardeners are out in full-force manicuring even the littlest corners to make sure that its perfected beauty remains that way.   During the day, the garden is bustling with tourists and Parisians alike, but come sunset or sunrise it is the perfect place to take in a deep breath and enjoy a few minutes of peace, where you can hear the water splashing from the fountain and the birds chirping from high above the linden trees. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mary Katrantzou Resort 2015

If there is one key piece to take away from the resort shows it is bloomers as seen at Mary Katrantzou. This retro short silhouette was perfectly high-wasted, belted and paired with sheer floral tops creating an ultra feminine look. The collection also featured her signature prints with ornate calligraphy lettering paired inside an intricate lattice pattern with floral details.  The collection can be pre-ordered at Moda Operandi.  I cannot wait to see what she brings forth in her spring show.  Stay tuned...

Style File:: The New Overalls

Happy Monday everyone! It is so hard coming back after a three day weekend, really wishing that it never ended.  I relaxed, something that I very rarely do but badly needed, by going to the beach, long walks with the dog and just being still.  

There have been quite a few times in my life when I have worn overalls - when I was a toddler, and during my teenage years (remember when it was deemed cool to wear one shoulder unbuttoned? Got to love the 90s). Now that I am in my 30's my liking has returned but thanks to a more modern version that doesn't make you look as if you should be on a farm.  The new overall is worn in, perfectly torn and no longer just in one shade of denim.  I am loving worn in white and bleached options below.  What are your feelings on overalls?  

Image source unknown 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Currently Inspired:: Pinterest Picks

I am very eager to start the weekend early, what about you?  It's hot in New York and the only thing on my mind is the beach and other outdoor activities. I hope that everyone has a great Fourth of July! See you back here Monday.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Strawberry Soda

Growing up there can be many rules that you do not understand at the time, one rule that my mom had was 'no soda in the house'.  Actually at the time, we were living in Ohio and called it 'pop', but our move to Vermont made us transition to call the fizz drink 'soda'. Anyways, out of all of the rules, this was one of them that I am very glad my parents instated.  Besides being loaded with artificial ingredients (have you ever checked out the label - caramel flavor and high fructose corn syrup? No thank you) it can lead to weight gain, which can then bring on unwanted disease.  Last Christmas my husband received a Soda Stream, one of the best gifts ever, that allowed us to not only make seltzer with the click of a button but also allowed me to experiment in the kitchen.  I love carbonating cucumber or lemon water for a refreshing drink. I recently purchased two pints of strawberries from the fresh market that were unfortunately not that sweet.  Instead of turning them into pie, I opted to make equal parts jam and strawberry syrup.  One basically creates the other so you can get more out of doing less, don't you just love that? 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Guide to Summer Lipsticks

Lipstick should be the final touch to any outfit.  The right color can do wonders.  The summer months are all about experimenting with fun shades and textures.  Lately I have been wearing bright pinks that border along the line of fuchsia and brilliant tangerines that when applied makes me look like I am wide awake (even when I am not).  To take the guess work out of finding the perfect summer shade(s), I have rounded up some of the best colors out there that will flatter any complexion.  Cheers to a colorful summer!