Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Get It Together: Kinda Out There

1. Summertime by Josie Hurst, Peagreen £45  2. Fluoro Light, Tom Dixon  3. Wildlife Candle, Urban Outfitters  4. Retro Tumbler, Zara Home £5.99  5. Michael Aram Tortoise Convertible Frame, Bloomingdale's $119  6. Bentley Blanket, Zara Home £39.99  7. And Pillow, Crate&Barrel $29.95  8. Hadley Bench, Jayson Home & Garden $2,550
Monday, January 30, 2012

I Dream Of Izola

If I had to sum up my experience with the online boutique Izola in a few words, they'd be some variation of "I want all these things".  They specialize in bathroom accessories inspired by old world utilitarian objects and it's as awesome as it is obscure.  We're not talking jewelry and shoes here...we're talking soaps.  I'm freaking out over soaps.  Which brings me to my next point, either A) I'm starting to loose it or B) This packaging is all kinds of brilliant (and there's more where this came from, by the way).  Thoughts?

Images Via Izola

Design Musings

Friday, January 27, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Hello, hello!  Happy Friday everyone.  I'm super pumped about a few things at the moment.  1) I've got a Just Dance marathon on the docket for tomorrow 2) My brother gets home from tour next week (speaking of which, here's their schedule...go see a show if they're playing by you!) and 3) The links for this weekend are pretty legit.  Hope you enjoy them and the chance to catch a few extra Zzz's.  See you Monday!

Such a unique idea!

Cutie, cute, cute...

Someone- anyone- please give me an excuse to make these.

Amazing.  Seriously.

Lovely idea, great cause.

Gonna make these for my cousin Jessie (she's a nurse)...

This is insanity...but hey, if you're ordering, I'll have a bite!

I'm a little obsessed w/ these.

MmmmMmmm, trying it.

Miniature objects get me every time!
Thursday, January 26, 2012


I've been in a crazy, confectionery mood lately and- since weather always makes for a good scapegoat- I've decided to blame the rainy, gloomy sky.  It's not just about wanting to eat or even make sweets (although I did spend a good hour over the weekend researching macaroon techniques), I keep finding myself drawn to any and everything with sweet candy colors and sugar coated textures.  So, while a swipe of cotton candy nail polish might not totally satisfy my sweet tooth, at least it's smile inducing and calorie-free.  And that, I'm sure, is Princess Lolly and Queen Frostine approved.  

1. Cupcake Illustration, Etsy $25  2. Ice Cream Onsie, Little Lark  3. Candy Necklace, Amazon $10.79 for 24  4. Marie Therese Plum Chandelier, Tesco £40  5. Ippolita Earrings, Moda Operandi  6. Ring Pops, Amazon $20.74 for 40  7. River Island Pink Stripe Skinny Jean, Asos $71.62  8. Light of Dawn top, ModCloth $37.99  9. Mini Nostalgia Cotton Candy Maker, Infmetry $48.99

The Foodie Files

If you missed last week's Foodie Files, then you didn't catch my processed wheat schpeal.  Here's the Spark Notes version for those of you who like to stay in the loop: I've been experimenting with various wheat-free recipes since Christmas.  While I haven't cut wheat out of my diet (and I use the word diet very loosely) by any means, I have tried to reduce the amount I eat as of late.  Had I realized I was posting back to back wheat free recipes, I probably would've saved today's for another time...buuut I didn't until just now.  So you wheat-lovers are just gonna have to bear with me.  What I'm suggesting here is risky, but I'll tell you- I was pleasantly surprised with the results.  Before I go on, I need you to promise me you'll keep an open mind.  Promise?  Okay...it's a veggie pizza on cauliflower pizza crust.  Sounds crazy, I know, but it's shockingly good!  Now, in the interest of reasonable expectations, let me tell you what cauliflower pizza crust isn't.  Cauliflower pizza crust is not an option that tastes exactly like regular pizza crust and it's not completely fat free (there's a decent amount of cheese mixed around in there).  It is delicious in it's own right and a great way to get kids (and adults for that matter) to eat their veggies.  I'd absolutely make it again...maybe sooner than later, for that matter.

2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
1 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms
1/2 cup spinach

Preheat the oven to 450.  To make the pizza crust, pulse cauliflower in a food processor (or finely chop if no food processor is available).  Place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave uncovered for 8 minutes. 

Beat the egg in a medium sized bowl, then add cauliflower, 1 cup of mozzarella and thyme.  Mix thoroughly, then transfer to the center of a greased cookie sheet.  Pat into a 9" round and bake for 15 minutes.  

Add crushed tomatoes, remaining cheese, spinach and mushrooms, broil on high for 3-4 minutes and enjoy!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Plain outfit with neon accessories for the win.  That is all.  P.S. - Rumor has it Neon will be all the rage come spring.  You heard it here first, folks.

1. Polka Dot Cashmere Sweater, Chinti and Parker $560  2. Slap Dash Sarovski Crystal Bib Necklace, Tom Binns $1,900  3. Optical Frame Glasses, Matthew Williamson $326  4. Coral Stud Earrings, Amazon $51.99  5. Devine Goddess Lipstick, Napoleon Perdis $22  6.  Yellow Fluro Blanket Scarf, Miss Selfridge £7  7. Coral Eelskin Purse, Joseph M £34.95  8. Bamboo Skinny Jeans, Notify $305  9. Time Teller P Watch, Nixon $19.20  10. Showcase Double Platforms, Topshop £62
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Get It Together: Bon Appetit!

1. Carroll Bench, West Elm $269  2. Stanley Pendant Lamp, The Conran Shop UK £328.95  3. Sueded Toss Pillow, Bed Bath & Beyond $14.99  4. Bistro Francais Butter Dish, Williams-Sonoma $19  5. KitchenAid Metallic Series Copper Stand Mixer, Crate&Barrel $499.95  6. Bistro Francais Salt & Pepper, Williams-Sonoma $19  7. Wood Grain Pitcher, Terrain $58  8. Insalata Dishtowel, Crate&Barrel $5.95  9. Kelardasht Kilim, Rugs $2,325  10. French Kitchen Art, Etsy $38
Monday, January 23, 2012

Dino-Mite (Yup...I went there)

There's no getting around the fact that I'm a massive nerd.  I've accepted it...you're going to have to learn to come to terms with it too.  Those still doubting are welcome to refer to my obsession with museums of any kind, my enthusiastic participation in Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movie marathons or my recent realization that I have a big time TV crush on The Big Bang Theory's Dr. Sheldon Cooper.  That being said, it should come as no surprise that the last I was given control of my family's afternoon plans, we ended up touring the Franklin Institute's dinosaur exhibit (How am I supposed to say no to something with 'Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs' in the title?  Can't be done).  While I'll likely save the dino decor for when I have kids, I couldn't help but pull together a few fun Jurassic pieces.  Even in the midst of this Monday morning, these will getcha smiling real quick.

1. Pet Dinosaur Art Silhouette, Etsy $6.99  2. Yellow Dinosaur Pillow, Black Ruffle Brigade $22  3. Ashiato Dinosaur, Tulip Kids $37.50  4. Mini Dinosaur Sweatshirt, Topshop £8  5. Dinosaur Planter, Etsy $14.50  6. Ice Age Tray, ModCloth $9.99  7. Dinosaur Crochet Hat, Beanie Bird $18  8. Dinosaur Planter, Etsy $16.50  9. Dinosaur Planter, Etsy $16.50

Design Musings

Friday, January 20, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Three cheers for Friday, everyone (*hip, hip, horray*)!  Anything exciting going on this weekend that I should know about?  Yes, no, maybe so?  I, for one, am just pumped about not setting my alarm tomorrow morning....it's the small victories, people.  Have a fantastic rest and I'll see you Monday.  Be good!

Nashville!  Did you hear the news?

These are a few of my favorite things.

Can't believe I'd never heard of this before!

Apparently folks are wild about this series...

The secrets behind one of my favorite local dishes....

It's almost that time again!

Bought this for my bestie...it was well received. 

Gonna be an awesome series, I can tell.

Consider this on my to do list.
Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Foodie Files

Occasionally I'll hear something I don't want to be true, so I just decide not to do any more research on the matter...you know, just in case I'm accidentally convinced.  If that sounds irresponsible or ridiculous, it's cause it is.  It's one of those terrible things you probably shouldn't say out loud (whoops) but, more likely than not, you've been guilty of at one point or another.  The most recent idea I was not trying to hear had to do with the fact that the processed wheat I eat in nearly every meal might not be all that good for me.  In fact, it may very well be bad for me.  My family circulated the book Wheat Belly around over Christmas and the author makes some interesting, valid arguments.  Now let me just say upfront, I won't be cutting all wheat out of my diet...I don't have that kind of willpower.  I did, however, think it might be interesting to give a few new recipes a try.  This particular recipe for lamb meatballs is one of my parents' favorites.  Instead of spaghetti, we tried serving it with spaghetti squash...just for experimental purposes, of course.  Come to find out, it's delicious.  Moral of the story: it's always good to know you have options...and tasty options at that.

1 medium shallot, diced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup Piave cheese
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
6 large sage leaves, chopped
1 egg
Tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Piave cheese is a tad expensive and sometimes hard to come by, so if you have to substitute it with a Locatelli or Romano cheese, feel free to do so.  If you can get your hands on Piave, by all means grate it up and use it.

In a large saute pan, brown chopped shallots in extra virgin olive oil.  While they're browning, mix ground lamb, grated cheese, sage, quinoa, and egg until ingredients evenly distributed.  

Roll into (more or less) 1 1/2 inch well packed balls and brown alongside shallots.

Drain excess oil, add tomato sauce and cook on medium low for 30-40 minutes.  Then, enjoy!

Aaaaand one picture with the spaghetti squash...I'm telling you, it's good. :)

Art Deco (It's the Bees Knees)

I have a bone to pick with the movie Midnight in Paris (Did you see it?  Cause you absolutely should).  If their objective was to make me appreciate the time I was born in, they shouldn't have made Marion Cotillard's 1920's wardrobe so drop dead gorgeous.  Actions speak louder than words, Midnight in Paris...actions speak louder than words.  Consider this post an ode to compromise- a few modern items with some Art Deco flair.  Since dressing like a flapper everyday would be fun, but is (at least for now) out of the question, this'll have to do.

1. Anais Metallic Jacquard Dress, Milly $435  2. Crystal Earrings, Shop NBC $39.50  3. Clutch, Judith Leiber  4. Art Deco Pillow, Ralph Lauren Home  5. Savoy Bracelet, Jewel Mint $29.99  6. Christian Louboutin Daffodil, Barneys New York $1,095  7. F. Scott Fitzgerald Series, Coralie Bickford Smith  8.  Callia Diamond Deco Dessert Plate, Ralph Lauren Home $95
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

I have a deep appreciation for all things Disney Princess, so I'm loving the modern day Snow White vibe this little number has going.  In fact, it made me think of one of my favorite Design-Muse posts from last year (fellow Disney fans- you've gotta see this one).  Speaking of which, who wants to take me to go see Beauty and the Beast 3D?  Seriously...

1. Datya Jacket, All Saints $343  2. Ochre Cutout Dippy Dress, Miss Selfridge £15  3. Dolcetta Architectural Wedge, Urban Outfitters $69.99  4. Nars Lipstick, Nordstrom $24  5. Black Fringe earrings, H&M  6. Leather Bracelet, Etsy $35  7. Triangle Ring, Urban Outfitters
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Get It Together: It's a Jungle Out There

1. Natural History Birds, Z Gallerie $59.95  2. Metal Filament Pendant, Restoration Hardware $129  3. Gold Athena Tray, Jayson Home & Garden $45  4. O'leary Ottoman, Jayson Home & Garden $1,595  5. Iron & Twine Nested Baskets, Terrain $118  6. Contact Stool, CB2 $129  7. Claw Candlesticks, Jayson Home & Garden $62  8. Handpainted Bird of Paradise Pillow, Anthropologie $228  9. Handpainted Tiger Pillow, Anthropologie $228

Mambo Italiano

Oh Etsy, why must you insist on torturing me with your wonderfulness?  It's impossible to keep up with (and subsequently resist buying) all your treasures!  I found these in a cute little shop called Anek and they made me miss my Dad so much I almost purchased all three on the spot.  Their translations are: A little kitchen makes a large home, Olive oil is good for you (the mantra of my people) & A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.  True, true and true.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Prima Ballerina

I was out and about the other night when I read a tweet sent by my roommate...and I quote "Eating an extra large dessert while watching the Miss America swimsuit competition is normal, right?".  Needless to say I laughed out loud (she's a hoot), then came home immediately.  My plan was to intervene, but I was no match for the magnetism of Miss America...so we watched the last 20 minutes in a half mesmerized, half horrified state.  The one seriously redemptive factor was the beauty queen ballerina...while I don't remember her name, state, or any of her identifying features, I do remember her portion of the talent segment being the only one that didn't make me visibly uncomfortable.  Watching her performance made me miss my glory days as a ballerina (okay, fine...I was 4 when I quit) and inspired me to dig up some tutu-friendly inspiration.  Here's to a graceful Monday!

1. I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina, Amazon $25.99  2. Ballerina Cashmere Wrap Cardigan, Crumpet $625 3. Le Vernis Nailpolish, Chanel $26 each  4. Ballerina Silhouette Pendant Necklace, Etsy $59  5. Ballerina Glitter Flats, Zara $19.99  6. 1950's Wedding Dress, Etsy  7. Stretch Jersey Leggings, Splendid $60

Design Musings

Friday, January 13, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Earlier today I was thinking about the things I consider when I measure my week.  On a good week, I get spend a lot of time with the people I love (whether it's face to face or over the phone for all my far-away peeps).  I feel productive and excited about work.  I make lots of food.  And I have the perspective to see that even my bad weeks aren't so bad at all.  So, this week...the one that just ended- it was a good one.  Maybe even a great one (I've got the leftovers to prove it).  And- I don't know- this may just be the can-do spirit that tags along with the New year talking, but I'm thinking next week is gonna be pretty swell too (for both of us...no worries, I'm taking you with me).  Enjoy your long weekend and be safe in the cold!

Fellow coffee lovers- this could be a game changer for us.

Pretty Little Book Covers.  A whole site of 'em.

I'd like to wear all of these...just lovely.

Went crazy over these!

Amazing idea...probably gonna do it at some point.

My kind of discount club.


My outrageously handsome & talented friend.  Prepare to swoon.

For whatever reason, I laughed about this for 20 minutes.

Oooooh...what word to choose, what word to choose....
Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Foodie Files

One of the first things my Mom made in the mini pie maker I got her for Christmas was a crazy delicious savory meat pie.  Since I've been craving the flavors ever since, I thought I'd give my own version a try.  I didn't have a mini pie maker available and I've never worked with puff pastry before but I had a 'how hard can this be?' moment in the grocery store and decided to go for it.  Turns out, not too hard at all.  I learned a few things for next time (don't let the dough defrost too much, use a slotted spoon when you transfer the meat, make sure you add the cheese before you seal, etc.) but it was tasty enough to ensure there will be a next time, so that's always a plus.  My favorite thing about them was they really captured the authentic Spanish flavors we grew up on...had my Mom been available to fly in for dinner, I think she would've been proud.

Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large shallot clove, diced
1 1/2 lbs 90/10 ground beef
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup diced spanish olives
3 TBS sofrito
1 cup monteray jack, colby and cheddar cheese mix
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Saute shallots for about 5 minutes, then season, brown and drain meat.  Add and sofrito, tomatoes, olives and let simmer for 15 minutes.  

Cut puff pastry dough in half...

...and place meat on the far end of the dough.

Add cheese...

...and fold over.  

Use a fork to seal edges and lightly wash with egg.

Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes.  I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but was thrilled with how they turned out!  This one's a keeper.

Sly as a...

F-O-X.  Admit it...foxes are cool.  I don't know why either, but you know it's true.  To that end, I pulled a few fun fox items for you to peruse...snazzy, no?

1. Knitted Painted Fox Jumper, Topshop £38  2. Henry the Fox, Walnut Animal Society $78  3. Le Red Fox Stud Earrings, Etsy  4. Beau-tea-ful Surprise Mug, Modcloth $24.99  5. Aceo Fox Print, Folksy £5  6. Foxes Graphic Knit Blanket, Dwell Studio $58  7. You're a Fox Card, Rifle Paper Co. $4
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

There are more than a few pieces in this outfit that- I can tell- want to live in my closet.  I'm not sure if there's actually any room for them at this point, but that's neither here nor there.  I love the mix of statement pieces (I've never seen a necklace like that in my life) with versatile items (*cough* perfect shoes *cough*).  And while the small leopard print meets medium leopard print was a new thought for me, I think it's just crazy enough to work.  Could be one of my top favorite looks of...ever- definitely in my top five of 2012 (get it...cause I haven't even posted five yet?  See what I did there?).

1. Blue and Me Forever Dress, ModCloth $59.99  2. Animal Print Scarf, Miss Selfridge £7  3. Den Black Tights, Miss Selfridge £12  4. Sandidge Wedges, Aldo $120  5. Leopard Print Cashmere Cardigan, Crumpet $555  6. Gold Dipped Geo Earrings, Etsy  7. Knot Ring, Cheap Monday $27.27  8. Engraved Metal Bangle Pack, ASOS $6.36  9. Square Necklace, Solange Azagury-Partridge  10. Black Tear Drop Lock Clutch, Miss Selfridge £16

Sweet Succulents

Things I like in a plant that I own:
- Low maintenance 
- Looks awesome
That being said, it's a miracle my house isn't covered in succulents like these...a miracle I tell you!  I just really think they look sharp and interesting.  And these pictures would have me believe they're versatile as all get out, too.  Very cool, succulent plants...very, very cool.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Get It Together: Mod & Odd

1. Starlet Red Accent Pillow, Cort Event Furnishings  2. Yellow Pillow, Etsy  3. Rock Pendant, ABC Carpet & Home  4. Ryder Rocking Chair, West Elm  5. Geometric Wood Candlesticks, Etsy  6. Queen with Red Earring Pillow, Etsy  7. Knit Stool, Clair Anne O'Brien

Quill and Fox

Since one of my new year's resolutions was to send more handwritten correspondence, I've been buying up notecards like they're going out of style.  Thus far my favorites are from Quill and Fox, an adorable little Oregon based Etsy shop with the prettiest designs I ever did see.  About five minutes after opening this Terrarium postcard set, I jumped back online and ordered another little somethin' somethin' for a few unsuspecting friends (Could be you!  You never know...).  Now let the letter writing (and in your case, mailbox watching) commence!

Images Via Etsy
Monday, January 9, 2012

Leanne Shapton, the Brilliant

What I've recently lacked in real people crushes, I've found I more than make up for in things like....shoe crushes and restaurant crushes and- in this particular case- art crushes.  It's a complicated life, but apparently someone's gotta live it.  I've been dwelling on this one all weekend, and since paintings aren't best known for their Facebook walls (the traditional way to obsess over a crush), I've had to find alternative means of investigation.  Needless to say, I've done my fair share of Googling over the last few days.  And here's what I found: the artist's name is Leanne Shapton and she's even more talented than I initially suspected.  Not only is she a massively creative artist, she's also an acclaimed author.  Rumor has it her second book Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry (yes, that's the book's name...did I mention she may be just the slightest bit eccentric?) will eventually be released as a movie (starring Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman, no less).  There's no denying Shapton is wildly talented, but after scouring her work in publishing, art direction, illustration, and writing- my favorites were her lettering and design pieces and flower series paintings.  I pulled a few for you to check out...there's just something about them I'm really feeling.