Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012

Working For The Weekend

What a week, what a week.  We traveled many miles (some by car and some by foot), made some serious progress on an as yet undisclosed very exciting project and discovered we are exceptionally good at road trips.  All good things.  Since my New Jersey trip is winding down, I'm bound and determined to spend the next few days taking it all parents gorgeous backyard, our sweet dogs, hilarious conversations with my Dad and the like.  It all sounds so dramatic, like I'm never coming back or something, but when the people you love are spread out across the country, it's always helpful to capture a few solid memories to play back on dreary days.  Oh, how lucky I am to have so many places to call home.  I really mean that.  So, what about you?  Any big plans this weekend?  Exciting things I should know about?  News you want to share?  Think about it while you browse the weekend links and get back to me.  See you Monday!

Best Cinco De Mayo dessert ever?  Yeah, I think so.

I want to join!  Pick me!


Cinderella's slipper.  Amazing. 

Anyone else need this?  Cause I sure do.

I need directions to here.  And perhaps a few travel provisions.

Gah, Missioni!  You're killing me.

Did not know this existed.  Happy to be in the loop now.

Cute idea.

Nope.  Not real.  Can't possibly be real.
Thursday, April 26, 2012

To Market, To Market

We're heading back from Highpoint Furniture Market today!  In fact, chances are we're en route as you read this very sentence.  Our first market experience was an enlightening one to be sure...we met some wonderful people, soaked up a bit of knowledge and made beautiful discoveries in room after room (after room).  And we barely scratched the surface!  You just can't believe the size of this show...we're talking thousands of vendors in hundreds of buildings and we've got the sore feet to prove it.  It was overwhelming and exciting all at the same time.  I'm super pumped to share some of the treasures we came across, but I need a second to gather my thoughts (and a few hours to look through all the cards and brochures we collected).  In the meantime, here's a few snapshots from a handful of the showrooms we visited.  So pretty, right? 

The Foodie Files

You're in for a special treat!  Since I've been away from my kitchen for the last few weeks, my Mom is taking charge of today's Foodie Files.  She's been telling me about the joys of steam cooking for a few months now, but this was the first time I had a chance to actually try it.  The concept itself is so healthy and simple it almost seems to good to be true.  But the good news is it works, it's delicious and it's easier than you think.  The most important elements to consider are timing and stacking but the result is a quick, one pot meal that tastes great with very little fuss.

1 1/2 lbs Tilapia
1 cup yellow squash
1 cup broccoli
2 cups small potatoes
1 Tbs of coconut oil
1 Tbs of pumpkin oil
1Tbs of olive oil
1Tbs of capers
2Tbs of freshly shredded ginger
2Tbs of sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Asian bamboo steamer tray

Cut and wash potato pieces into quarters.  Cover with water about 1 inch higher than potato line and begin boiling.  While the potatoes are boiling (total cooking time should be 20 min) wash and pat dry tilapia. 

Arrange in steamer tray without overlapping pieces.  Salt and pepper both sides.  Sprinkle with coconut and pumpkin oil.  Add capers, ginger and sesame seeds and set aside.

In second tray add the cut and washed vegetables. 

Stack the fish then vegetables on top of pot which has been cooking the potatoes.
Steam for about 10 more minutes. 

Sprinkle vegetables and potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste right before serving.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Oh, this dress.  That necklace.  Those shoes.  The colors (the colors!).  I can't even handle it.

1. Plate Spike Collar, Topshop £16.50  2. Fuchsia Ring, Max & Chloe  3. Otto Asymmetric Satin Trapeze Dress, Elizabeth and James $495  4. Rouge Cream Lipstick in Love Test, Sephora Collection $12  5. Wallet with Gold Studs, Zara $59.90  6. Asymmetric Peep Toe, Zara $49.90
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Get It Together: Old Man & The Sea

1. Coope Pendant, Jayson Home $160  2. Vintage Educational Whale Illustration, Etsy $45 3. Driftwood Balls, Crate & Barrel $25-$35  4. Vintage Copper Plated Tables, Dering Hall $950  5. Louis XV Wing Chair, Cote France  6.  Bottle Vases, Jayson Home $48  7. Copper Linen Pillow, Target $17.99

The Send Something Good Project

Today is just full of firsts: it's my first full day at Highpoint Furniture Market and my first attempt at a link-up!  I'm super pumped about both, although I did manage to bring all the wrong clothes for Highpoint (hello open toed shoes in 40 degree weather) so wish me luck.  In terms of the link up, I signed up for this right-up-my-alley project called Send Something Good and these are all the lovely ladies that signed up too.  The premise is simple: sign up, find out who you're assigned to, investigate the blog of your new secret sister gal pal, and send her a little care package.  I love all these things so much I couldn't help but sign up and sign up fast.  Getting care packages?!  Or better yet sending care packages?!  And don't even get me started on secret pals...who gets to do that past the age of 16?!  As you can see, I'm feeling pretty enthusiastic...and as we all know, there's no telling what will happen when that occurs.  Usually something awesome.  So 1) thanks so much to the brains behind this operation (Gentri, Kaitlyn and Kristy)...I can't wait to get this show on the road.  And 2) if you have a second, why not use it to browse around this extensive list of awesome blogs?  Let me know if you find one you really love!  And if you think of it, say a prayer I don't freeze.  Stupid sandals....

Monday, April 23, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012

Working For The Weekend

It's so interesting to me how some weeks seem to drag on for eternity while others are gone in the blink of an eye.  If this past week is any indication, I suppose the speed is in direct proportion to how much you're enjoying yourself...this one flew by in a flash (thanks in part to healthy doses of family, NYC, Newsies and my complete and total obsession with Downton Abbey).  So while I can't believe it's already Friday, I'm excited about the weekend and week ahead!  I'm thinking it's gonna be a pretty great one.  Enjoy the links!

Experimenting with this at my earliest convenience...

You're gonna want to see this.

Just try and tell me this doesn't sound super tasty.


These cupcakes are looking pretty on point.

Why aren't we all using these on a regular basis?

And I will take it...

A handy little tip-a-roo.

I like it.  I like it alot.
Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Foodie Files

Raise your hand if you're thankful for Pinterest!  Oh me oh my, just look at all those hands.  Mine's raised too, in case you didn't see it.  I can't quite remember what life was like in the P.P.E. (Pre-Pinterest Era) but I hope we don't ever have to go back to it.  I saw something similar to this recipe in passing (on Pinterest, obviously) and couldn't get it out of my head until I got a chance to make it.  I served it as a small bite during our Easter brunch and it proved to be a flavorful, tasty treat.  I'll definitely be making it again, but probably not until the weather warms up a bit more.  It almost seems too refreshing to waste on the chill.  Hope you enjoy it!


1 watermelon
1 shallot, diced
4 TBS feta cheese
2 TBS chopped mint
Extra virgin olive oil

Brown shallots in oil until crispy, then set aside.  Cut watermelon into 1" cubes and scoop out the center with a small melon baller.

Combine feta, shallots and mint and mix thoroughly.  Fill watermelon pieces and garnish as desired.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

There's quite a bit going on here, but the common thread that binds it all together is "sheer awesome-ness".  The color combination on the skirt is seriously killer, don't you think?  And the stripes and the dots and the's just all too good.  Too, too good.

1. Adele Blouse, Moda Operandi $238  2. Headline Printed Canvas Shopper, Anya Hindmarch $295  3. Mweri Ibati Statement Necklace, Made $118.16  4. Premium Multi Strand Snake Chain, ASOS $54.54  5. Silk Organza Full Skirt, Stylebop $830  6. Viv Stripe Flats, J. Crew $198  7. Gold and Pink Stoned Ring, ASOS $9.09
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Get It Together: Mid Century Wildcard

1. Haute Culture Mini Garde, A+R $28  2. Sputnik Chandelier, Dering Hall  3. Dotty Pillow, Fine Little Day €52  4. Tory Striped Tray, Furbish $24  5. Paulistano Armchair, Design Within Reach $1,4300  6. Aluminum Jacks, Z Gallerie $9.95  7. Mini Orange Frame, CB2 $1.95


I've got a big time photography crush on Michael Graydon.  I mean, I've got it bad.  I think my favorite thing about his work is his ability to capture that weird phenomenon when the exact right amount of less than perfect makes something exponentially more perfect than you ever thought it could be.  His subject material makes me way happy.  And hungry.  Just look at these photos!  Seriously, how can you not love this guy?

Monday, April 16, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Guys.  I'm crazy excited about the next few weeks.  So excited, in fact, that I'm doing a little jig right this moment while sitting on my couch.  True story.  Tonight, my roomie and I are going to Highballs and Hydrangeas, Nashville's social event of the season (okay, that's probably not true at all but it's totally gonna be fun).  Tomorrow, I'm flying back to Jersey for some exciting meetings and to work on a few projects I'm beyond psyched about.  And the week after that, my Mom and I are heading to High Point Furniture Market, the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world!  I'm gonna be all over the place (literally). And I love that.  Hope you're equally stoked about your weekend plans.  Enjoy the links, see you next week!

Just finished this book and loved it!  Highly recommend it.  

Can't believe this is soap.

Laughed about this 'til I cried.  Laughed 'til I cried.

I like all these pictures.

Sign me up for this!

Best CD I've bought in awhile.

The "come away with us" photo?  Pure gold.  

Super important: Vote here for Dinner & a Suit!  ASAP!

Trying this this summer.

Very cool.
Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Foodie Files

I know, Easter is old news at this point.  But we're gonna talk about Easter Pie anyway cause it took me a million years to make and turned out really, really great.  And I suppose it's not against the law to eat it on a day that isn't Easter...any brunch menu would be happy to have it.  Now, what exactly is Easter Pie?  I'm so glad you's a savory, delicious, quiche-like treat that Italians traditionally serve on (you guessed it) Easter Sunday.  I've tasted my fair share, but never actually made one until this last weekend.  There's nothing inherently difficult about the recipe but it does take an extraordinarily long time (over the course of two days, mind you).  Luckily, I had my grandmother's handy dandy cook book (as well as her phone number which I used several times throughout the course of the process) so at the very least I knew I was working in the right direction.  For the record, the fact that everything came out tasting great was a small life victory for me...I mean, what's more assuring than the knowledge that tradition is safe in your hands?  It's a good feeling...a great one, actually.  One worth celebrating.  


4 cups flour, unbleached all-purpose
1/ 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
2 large eggs (for the dough)
3 tsp iced water
8 oz Italian sausage, casings removed
3 large eggs, slightly beaten (for the filling)
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
2 lbs whole milk ricotta cheese, drained overnight (<--- that part is important)
8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
4 oz pancetta, diced
4 oz sopressata, diced
1 medium egg, beaten (for the egg wash)

Combine flour and salt in a bowl.  Cut in shortening and butter with a fork until mixture resembles large crumbs.

Add eggs.  Stir until blended and press mixture with hands until a soft dough forms.  Add a little ice water if the dough is too dry.  Form two disks: 1/4 of the dough in one and 3/4 dough in the other.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

After removing the casings from the sausage, break up into pieces and saute until no longer pink (about 10 minutes).  Remove meat with a slotted spoon and chop into smaller pieces.  Set aside with the rest of the diced meats.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and grated cheese until well blended.  Stir in ricotta, sausage meat, mozzarella, and diced meats.  Place oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger piece of dough to form a 14 inch circle.

Transfer dough to a 9 inch spring-form pan.  Press against bottom and sides of pan.  Fill with egg, cheese and meat mixture.  Roll out remaining dough into a 9 inch circle.  Cut into strips with a fluted pastry wheel.  Criss-cross strips over the top of the pie forming an open lattice.

Pinch around the edge of the crust.  Brush top with a beaten egg.

Bake 1 hour or until crust is golden brown and filling is puffed.  Cool on a wire wrack for 10 minutes.  Remove sides of pan and let cool.  Serve warm or room temperature.  Cover tightly and store in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Since I made my Easter Pie the night before I served it, I covered it with aluminum foil and re-heated it for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  It warmed all the way through and tasted spectacular!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

I absolutely loved my high school art teacher.  She had a hippy vibe, all kinds of passion and this incredibly memorable speaking voice I couldn't even begin to describe to you.  I haven't seen her in years, but I'll tell you what- I hear her voice every time I so much as think of an art term.  You say chiaroscuro...I hear Mrs. Maines.  Impressionism?  Mrs. Maines.  Juxtaposition?  A Mrs. Maines favorite!  Which explains why I couldn't stop hearing her while putting together this outfit.  Good 'ol juxtaposition...a prim and proper shirt with ripped jeans, pretty crystal studs adorned with gold spikes...every time I surveyed the final look it's all I could hear.  I tried to anchor the ensemble with some classic details and I'm psyched about the way it came together.  In fact, in an exciting twist, I'm wearing a similar look today.  Gotta practice what you preach!

1. Striped Cutaway Shirt, Topshop £32  2. Gold Scale Bangle, Miss Selfridge £14  3. &Squin Jeans, H&M $39.95  4. Gold Crystal Spike Earring, Miss Selfridge £5  5. Circle Ring, ASOS $14.32  6. Date at the Diner Scarf, Spotted Moth $14.99  7. Cat Eye Fame Snakeskin Sunglasses, Net-A-Porter $735  8. Pollard Sandals, Aldo $70  9. Miss Sartorial Karung Clutch, Net-A-Porter $1,385

Downton Abbey + Kate Moss = I'm Listening...

After months of hearing everyone sing it's praises, I finally got a chance to jump on the Downton Abbey bandwagon.  And it's good.  Real good.  If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and get on it ASAP.  It may very well consume you (as it has me) but it's an enjoyable kind of consuming...the type filled with gorgeous furniture and timeless dresses and the most amazing jewelry you've ever seen.  And also a pretty great storyline (in case you're into that sort of thing).  I came across these beautiful Tim Walker photos of Kate Moss lounging about the Ritz, Paris and they instilled the same kind of awe Downton stirs up in me.  Now, if only I could work out a plan that would allow me to wear evening gowns to family dinner every night...I'll let you know what I come up with.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Get It Together: Clean Cut & Cool

1. Maker's Bookshelf, Dering Hall $1,375  2. Twinkle Clock, Magpie Lovely $68  3. Foscarini Twiggy Lettura Floor Lamp, Switch Modern $1.986  4. Vesuvius Bottles, Z Gallerie $39.95  5. Topiary Candleholders, Crate & Barrel $14.95-$18.95  6. Format Tray, CB2 $39.95  7. Pillow Cover, RK Design €30  8. Pillow Cover, RK Design €30  9. Loll Swing, Design Within Reach $225
Monday, April 9, 2012

Gabrielle Beretta, E.B.H. (Easter Brunch Hostess)

Yesterday was kind of a big day for me.  It may seem like a silly thing to be excited about, but it marked the very first major holiday I was solely responsible for hosting.  And I was determined to make it awesome.  Whenever I want to take something- anything- to the next level I usually ask myself one simple question..."what would my parents do?".  In this particular scenario, the answer was fashion lots of bright flowers into beautiful arrangements, prepare delicious and colorful food, create beautiful place settings and invite as many guests as the house will hold.  So that's what I did.  I'm sharing a couple of the recipes I used over the next few weeks, but for now I just had to show you a few snapshots of the table.  It really came together beautifully!  *Phew* 

Design Musings

Friday, April 6, 2012

Working For The Weekend

I just noticed that today is my 700th post...kinda fun, huh?  I'll have to think of a way to celebrate.  Any suggestions?  Speaking of celebrations, I hope everyone is excited for Easter this Sunday!  If you're looking for a great church to attend, I happen to know a few awesome ones...especially if you live in or around Nashville, Miami, Shreveport or South Jersey.  If you don't call any of those areas home but are in the market for a church recommendation, please oh please let me know.  I'd be thrilled to use my phone a friend lifeline and help you get connected to a church in your area (I may not have all the answers but I know a few folks that do).  Have a great weekend, everyone!  Enjoy the links.  And Happy Easter!

Very convenient!

Will I be making this?  Yup.  Sure will.

Lots of eye candy here.


Nashville friends: we should all do this.

The birth of a peep...

Get your passport ready!


Someone get married and buy one of these!

Reading this = my Easter Saturday tradition.  It's all kinds of good.
Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pretty As A Picnic

Pick a style icon, any style icon, and I can all but guarantee you they've worn their fair share of gingham.  From class acts like Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn to bombshells like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Lauren...even modern day "it girls" like Gwen Stefani and Blair Eadie can't get enough of it (oh you want proof, huh?  I thought you might.  Booyah).

Talk about style rosters I wouldn't mind adding my name to!  Good grief.  I'll tell you one thing, it made this round-up a no brainer.  I'll take it all!  

1. Mint Lapis Stationary, Stripe & Field $5  2.  Navy Blue and White Stud Earrings, Etsy $11  3. Miu Miu Slingback Pumps, Bergdorf Goodman  $595  4. Tea Spoons, Anthropologie $24  5. Gingham Shorts, J. Crew $54.50  6. Gray Keds, Sears $17.49  7. Dolly Maillot, Anthropologie $168  8. Coffee Mug, Crate & Barrel $5.95  9. Fabric Button Ring, Etsy $6.95  10. Spatulas, Sur La Table $9.95

The Foodie Files

According to my Facebook newsfeed, everyone in the whole world is about to have a baby.  Either that or they just had a baby.  Or they're dealing with the April Fools aftermath of falsely claiming they're having a baby.  Now, despite the fact that I'm many moons away from bearing a child of my own, I love a good baby picture.  Luckily, this allows me to keep two feet firmly planted in the "ooh and ahh" zone.  The truth is, I've done nothing but contribute to the overflow of baby pictures that is Facebook ever since the addition of my cousin's newborn, Vivian.  The child is perfect.  That's all there is to say about that.  In the spirit of baby mania, I've affectionately named today's Foodie Files "Vivian Pasta Salad" for a variety of reasons.  For starters, I chose striped farfalle pasta so the base of the dish would look like little pink bows (the perfect nod to baby girl, don't you think?).  Secondly, this just so happens to be the meal I brought Vivi's mama when she got home from the hospital as one of those "thanks for birthing a gorgeous child we're all in love with" gestures.  It's got a Mediterranean flair to it that I think you're gonna love, not to mention a flawless namesake.  All, win.


1 10 oz package of tortellini
3 cups farfalle pasta 
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large yellow pepper, diced
1 cup Ciliegine mozzarella balls, quartered
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette 
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook tortellini and farfalle according to package instructions and rinse with cool water.  In a medium pan, saute seasoned zucchini in extra virgin olive oil for about 3 minutes, or until just tender.  Remove from heat completely and set aside. 

Mix pasta, zucchini, yellow pepper, tomato, mozzarella, artichoke hearts and balsamic vinaigrette until evenly distributed. 

Cover and chill for about an hour, then serve.  Look at that little pink Vivian bow...too, too cute (and delicious to boot).