Monday, December 31, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012

Working For The Weekend (then taking a break for Christmas!)

Well here we are...the world's still turning, it's the last Friday before the holidays and I'm feeling both holly and jolly.  Success on all fronts.  I'm taking my annual holiday break next week so you won't find any new content here until New Years Eve...not too long, but hopefully long enough to miss me.  I'm just beside myself excited to get to spend the next week enjoying my family.  I don't even know how I get to be the lucky one related to all these characters but I sure am happy about it.  I sincerely hope you have the greatest Christmas of your life and I can't wait to see what this 2013 has in store for all of us.  I bet it's awesome.  Merry Christmas and enjoy the links!

Jackie O + Christmas = perfection

Crazy, crazy, crazy about this.

My favorite collection of all time?  Perhaps.

Winter floral pretty...

Perfect for a man's man.

How do I make this happen?


Good heavens, this sounds delicious.

Bizarre but neat.

Ordering this immediately.
Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Foodie Files

While I've not had the pleasure of tasting these scalloped potatoes, I've heard many an individual sing their praises over the last few weeks.  I've been itching to try them ever since my Mom sent me the recipe (and pictures).  They're very, very rich which- to me- is practically required when it comes to holiday food.  If you signed up to bring a side to your family's potluck, I'm thinking this one would make you pretty popular.

1/4 cup of coconut oil
5 tbsp butter
3 large shallots
6 medium-large potatoes
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup goat cheese
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Wash and paper towel dry potatoes and poke with fork in several places to vent.  Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes then peel and slice into 1/4" pieces.  

While potatoes are cooking, melt coconut oil and add diced shallots.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.  Add butter and cook for 2 minutes more on low.  Add heavy cream and cook 2-3 minutes, then add potatoes, mascarpone and goat cheese.

 Make sure potatoes are coated thoroughly, then add salt and pepper.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes and serve immediately.  Serves 6-8. 
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

This is one of those dresses you won't find a lot of neutral responses to...folks will either love it or hate it and- as you can imagine- I am 100% crazy about it.  Since I'm still on a monochromatic kick, I kept things in the purple came together really well.  Point me in the direction of a holiday party (and like $2,000) and I'm wearing this for sure! 

1. Alisija Dress, Natalia Kaut £1,032.00  2. Charlie Purple Clutch, Austique £155  3. Amethyst Necklace, Net-A-Porter $1,750  4. Purple Close Toe Platform, AmiClub $12.99
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Get it Together

1. Gloria Pillow, Jayson Home & Garden $295  2. Amore Weathered Frame, Anthropologie $32  3. Watson Horn Magnifier, Jayson Home & Garden $42  4. Vintage Cage Pendant, ABC Home & Garden $439  5. Fleece Throw, Zara Home $35-$60  6. Sinclair Leather Recliner, Crate & Barrel $2,500  7. Alpine Table, Z Gallerie $169.95
Monday, December 17, 2012

A Note.

I'm a little late on this week's Working For The Weekend.  In fact, lets just be honest, I'm a lot late and the weekend is over.  But I figured this was one of those better late than never scenarios.  In light of the tragic events that took place in Connecticut last Friday I decided to gather my thoughts instead of detailing the intricacies of my weekend plans.  There's a time for that but Friday wasn't it.  I think we all needed the weekend to mourn what happened, to pray for comfort for the families involved, to hug each other tight- to hug the kids in our life tight- and to be sad about the innocence that was lost in Newtown and anywhere in the world that holds a child scared to be in school today.

As I personally worked through the implications of Friday's events, I was reminded of the advice a very wise woman gave me when my uncle passed away a few years ago.  She said that, in times of tragedy, people with wonderful intentions often say the wrong thing.  They say "someday we'll know why this happened".  But they're wrong to suggest we should think about it in those terms.  Should we do all we can to try and prevent something like this from happening in the future?  Absolutely.  Should we find joy in instances where the impossible lessons we learned here saved others' lives?  Definitely.  But no matter what good comes from it- and good will come- we'll never find a satisfactory answer as to "why?".  No reason will ever be good enough and searching for one will only rob us of desperately needed strength.

That being said, you should know that I believe in a sovereign God who holds the whole universe in His hands.  And I don't believe that God abandoned us Friday.  I think He was there giving wisdom to teachers and courage to first responders and a peace that passes all understanding to the children caught in the middle of the terror.  To the well meaning believers who are implying this happened because "we took God out of schools" I would say that God is any and everywhere we as individuals ask Him to be and knocking and knocking and knocking on the doors we try and keep closed to Him.  Our puny man made legislation can't bind Him.  The reality is, the same free will that allows us to express non-programmed, genuine love also permits us to make unthinkable, horrific decisions that impact others.  Because of that, sometimes humans have a profound capacity for evil.  But we also have an incredible capacity for good.

So what do we do now?  I wish I had a better answer.  There's a feeling of helplessness that comes into play in scenarios like this that I often soothe with one of my favorite quotes.  To summarize Edward Everett Hale, I am only one but I am one.  I can't do everything but I can do something, and I will not let what I can not do stop me from doing what I can.

Don't give up on each other.  That's what we can do.  Be an encouragement.  Speak life into the people around you.  Refuse to get annoyed even when you have an excuse to.  Be kind even when you don't feel like it.  Take a moment to realize that the teacher you want to get aggravated with over some trivial detail would more than likely give their life to protect your child.  The family member or friend that you'll have to "put up with" over the holiday season would probably step in front of a moving train for you if it came down to it.  We are precious to each other.  We can't forget that.  And as my pastor put it yesterday, we don't get to decide how we'll die but we do get to decide how we'll live.  Let's do it well.

I hope you'll join me in praying for the many victims of this senseless act.  I know this type of post isn't exactly par for the course on a design blog but this is just one of those things you can't pretend didn't happen.  I can't pretend it didn't happen.  But I can and will take comfort where comfort can be found- in the holy word of God.  Romans 8:35,37-39 says "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Amen.

Design Musings

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gift Guide: Quirky Pals

I love gift guides!  Probably has something to do with the fact that I love picking out presents for's just too delightful.  There's some quirk and color in this particular guide...if you don't have a friend that would enjoy one or more of these presents then I suggest you find one.  Your life will be way more interesting.

1. Mobile Foodie Survival Kit, Uncommon Goods $26  2. Pick Up Line Coasters, Izola $15  3. What Do You Link? Necklace, ModCloth $43.99  4. You Are Good At Things, Amazon $9.56  5. Out of Thin Air Stationary Set, ModCloth $7.99  6. Maison De Morgana Star Ring, Piperlime $58  7. SomeECards Calendar, $11.89  8. Agate Printed Magnetic iPad 2 Cover, Net-a-Porter $100  9. Ryan Gosling Coloring Book, Urban Outfitters $14
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gift Guide: Lovely Ladies

I broke our Ladies Gift Guide down into two's is for the chic, sophisticated women in your life, tomorrows is a little more relaxed and fun.  I sprinkled a few aspirational presents in there, but there's some practical gems too.  And I couldn't resist throwing a Jadeite plate fact: collecting them is on my bucket list.  

1. Jadeite Plate, Fishs Eddy $16.95  2. Glass Turquoise Necklace, Siman Tu $700  3. Metallic Leather iPhone Case, Anthropologie $38  4. 100 Years of Fashion, Amazon $25.31  5. Crystal Embellished Leather Gloves, Valentino $745  6. Crystal Necklace, Kate Spade $278  7. Marbled Latte Mug, LEIF $20  8. Nars Nail Polish, Sephora $18
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Down In New Orleans!

I totally forgot to catch you up on the hilarious "mystery" I mentioned Friday!  Guys, it's so's literally one of the more spontaneous decisions I've ever made.  Long story short I bought a ticket Friday morning to fly to New Orleans that night.  I had the best day to hang out with a bunch of my favorite people in the world, cheer on a friend at his championship football game, eat beignets from Cafe Du Monde and charbroiled oysters from Dragos, listen to the best jazz music late into the was incredible.  Then I hopped on a plane Sunday morning and came back!  I snapped a few pictures so I could share the experience with you...insane, right?!

Mirror, Mirror

This is one of those outfits that looks expensive because it is expensive...sometimes you have to pay for quality (though not necessarily this much).  The dress especially is cut perfectly.  I'm blown away by it. I kept the jewelry and accessories minimal since every piece here makes such a statement...sparkle, metallics, must be the holidays!

1. Draped and Gathered Dress, Lanvin $2,064  2. Yves Salomon Long Sleeve Jacket, Elizabeth Charles $2069  3. Strapy Sandal, Rene Caovilla $1,280  4. Rope and Crystal Earrings, Lanvin $675  5. Gold Clutch, Stella McCartney $2,415
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Get It Together: Festive Colors

1. Red Coral Chandelier, Marjorie Skouras  2. Mohair Blanket, Nordic Interior Design €104.80  3. Rooster Feather Pillow, In Style Decor $445  4. Lex Bookshelf, Redford House  5. Brass Pear Box, High Street Market $24  6. Acapulco Red Currant Candle, Jonathan Adler $28  7. Malachite Toby Table, Marjorie Skouras  8. Jensen Chair, Dwell Studio $1,545
Monday, December 10, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Guys...I'm laughing so hard right now and I wish I could tell you why.  I will Monday- I promise- I just can't at the moment.  Seriously...such a good story.  Due to said hilarious mystery I've gotta cut this post short.  There's much to be done!  Can't wait to chit chat on Monday...enjoy the links!

I love every look in this collection.

Such a unique gift idea.

Just plain lovely.

Their spice rack is my fave...

Don't click here if you'e hungry.  You've been warned.

Kind of obsessed with this dress right now...

'Tis the season!

Holiday Gift Guide: For The Perfect Gentleman

I know you've got a few gentleman in your life...Dads, brothers, boyfriends, husbands...somebody on your list that's begging (possibly literally) for a cool, guy-friendly present.  I rounded up a few ideas that at least merit a good ponder.  Among my favorites: the WiFi hotspot cufflinks that are straight James Bond, the flask with a cigar holder and the tobacco and leather scented candle.  There's quite a range of price points represented here, so hopefully you find something you love.  Only 18 shopping days left *cue panic*!

1. Laptop Messenger Bag, ONA $269  2. Flask with Cigar Holder, Wantful $26  3. Hyper Charged Ball, SkyBall $8.50  4. Hand Painted Book Cover, Etsy $50  5. Do It Yourself Guitar Pick Punch, ThinkGeek $25  6. 2GB USB WiFi Hotspot Cufflinks, $250  7. iPieces iPad Game, Urban Outfitters $15  8. Tobacco and Leather Scented Candle, Mr. Porter $85
Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Foodie Files

While I'm far from having it all figured out, I will say there are a few things in life I know for a fact to be true.  Among those things are the following: Krispy Kreme doughnuts...good, creme brûlée...good, so it stands to reason that Krispy Kreme doughnut creme brûlée should be really good, right?  You never know until you try so try I did.  Turns out, I was extremely correct.  I came across this recipe on (where else?) Pinterest awhile ago and set it aside for a rainy day, though I must admit that was pretty much my whole contribution to the project.  My dear friend Nina gets the credit for nearly every part of the prep work...I basically just put everything in the oven.  Nonetheless, it's a great recipe and I was delighted to serve it last night.  Keep it in mind for a fun holiday treat!

6 Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts
1 pint half-and-half
1 quart heavy cream
12 egg yolks
1½ cups sugar
8 packets Sugar in the Raw

Puree the doughnuts and half-and-half in a blender until smooth.  In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream with the half-and-half/doughnut puree, and heat until scalding (just before boiling).

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar to combine.  Once the sugar is dissolved, temper the yolk mixture by whisking in a small amount of the hot cream mixture (to be clear, the hot mixture is being poured from the saucepan into the cool mixture).  Once the yolks are tempered, whisk them into the remaining cream mixture. 

Strain the brûlée base through a fine mesh strainer.  Divide the mixture into eight ramekins.  Fill until nearly full, and bake in a water bath at 325 degrees for approximately 30-45 minutes or until the custards are set when gently shaken.

Once set, remove the ramekins from the water bath to cool.   After cooling, dust the top of each with Sugar in the Raw, and caramelize evenly with a kitchen torch or under the broiler until the sugar darkens and bubbles.  Set aside to cool (2 to 5 minutes) before serving.  This will allow the sugar to harden on top (and prevent folks from scalding their hands on the ramekins).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

I don't rock the all black look often, but I'd definitely make an exception for this little jacket and skirt combo.  In terms of accessories, a splash of color was definitely on the must-have list.  And those earrings?  Good gracious...Rachel Zoe can do no wrong.  I'm just loving this look...hope you are too!

1. Boucle Moto Jacket, Rag & Bone $695  2. Tall Skater Skirt, Topshop $76  3. Green Quartz Pave Earrings, Rachel Zoe $250  4. Gold Wedges, Also $69.99  5. Cutout Ring, Pamela Love $460  6. Avery Satchel, Corrente Handbags $435
Monday, December 3, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Christmas is a marathon not a sprint, folks...and I think it's safe to say said marathon has begun.  I'm using this weekend to write my list and check it twice, start my shopping and drink no less than three cups of hot chocolate.  Preferably by a fire of some kind.  I'm particularly fond of this weeks links so I really hope you enjoy them.  Have the holly-est, jolly-est weekend and I'll see you Monday!

Is it bad that I'm seriously considering doing this?

We may need to have a longer discussion about this later...I'm obsessed.

Proud of your state?  Prove it.

The ultimate party dress.


Just...beyond genius!

So sweet...

The least DIY-looking DIY present I've ever seen.

These shoes.  I just.  I can't.


Holiday Gift Guide: One for the Kiddos

There's no getting around the fact that kids are fun to shop for.  Their clothes are adorable, their toys are fun and- if they're smart like my nephew, Blake- they make a big deal out anything you give them...which in turn makes you want to buy them more.  For our first gift guide of the season, I picked out a few nifty items I think kids and parents alike will's almost too much cute for one post.  Honestly, my face hurts from smiling.

1. Striped Bunny, Polaryn O. Pyret $22  2. Orange Fox Slippers, AlexandAlexa $17  3. R2D2 Baby Costume, Etsy $48  4. My Food Passport, Uncommon Goods $10  5. Knit Turban, Zara Kids $9.90  6. Chalkboard Laptop, Anthropologie $68  7. Pride and Prejudice BabyLit Book, Amazon $9.99
Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Foodie Files

The timing on today's Foodie Files is somewhat unfortunate as I spent all day yesterday in bed with a stomach bug.  Needless to say food is the last thing I want to think about at the moment.  But!  The show must go on.  My Dad whipped up this pork tenderloin over Thanksgiving weekend and man, was it ever a hit.  Since my family is pretty giant this particular recipe had to feed many mouths so you may want to scale it down a bit...or better yet, make the whole thing and enjoy a some leftovers.  You'll be sad when it's gone, believe me.

11/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
4 small pork tenderloins
1/2 chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine
1 small package of carrots
1-2 large red onions
3-4 zucchini 

5 TBS of olive oil
5 large garlic cloves
4 large sprigs of thyme
5-6 sprigs of rosemary
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 red wine
1 cup cranberries

Wash and towel dry pork, then salt and pepper to taste.  Brown pork on stovetop in a large casserole pan for about 6 minutes on each side, then deglaze pan using chicken stock.  

Add wine and reduce to half.  Wash and cut vegetables into pieces (2 bites each size), then add vegetables to meat and stir until pieces are coated.  Cook in a 350 degree oven for 11/2 hours.

For the sauce, brown garlic in olive oil till golden.  Add cranberries and cook on low for 2-3 minutes.  Add herbs.  Add stock and cook for another 5 minutes, then wine and let simmer 15-20 minutes more.  Salt and pepper to taste.  

Arrange pork and vegetables on a platter and spoon on sauce.  Serve immediately with extra sauce available on table.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

There's so many reasons to love the get to give presents, you get to get presents, you get to decorate cookies and have classic movie marathons and wear incredibly cheesy pajamas.  But if you're lucky, you get to dress up (and if you're really lucky, you get to dress up a lot)...for parties and plays and various's just the best.  I put together a dressy ensemble that strays a bit from a traditional color palate (Christmas or otherwise).  The little black dress is famous for a reason, but sometimes you've just gotta add a little interest to the mix.  You didn't see that yellow skirt coming, did you?  That's what I love about it.

1. Nightfall Statement Collar, Noir Jewelry  2. Animal Jacquard High Neck Cami, Topshop $56  3. Shannon Wool Crepe Skirt, Jonathan Saunders $735  4. Fur Scarf, Urban Outfitters  5. Blush Heels, Just Fab $39.99  6. Courtney Lady Printed Canvas Clutch, Anya Hindmarch $650
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Get It Together: Haute Heirlooms

1. Set of 8 Silver Trimmed Highball glasses, High Street Market $68  2. Louis XVI Gilt Bronze Chandelier, Branca $5,500  3. Heirloom Fringe Velvet Pillow, ABC Carpet & Home $125  4. Belmont Brass Table Lamp, High Street Market $395  5. Vintage Pair of Side Chairs, High Street Market $895  6. Forest Park Gold Table, Shor $825  7. Agate Stacking Boxes, Lillie $95-$140
Monday, November 26, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012

Working For The Weekend was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was pretty magical if I don't say so myself.  The food was obviously on point, but it was the lounging and the laughing and the plain 'ol quality time that was my favorite.  There's something special about people you can do absolutely nothing with and still have the best day ever...I'm super thankful to have a big family full of them.  But enough about gratitude (kidding), let's talk Christmas.  Are you venturing out into the madness today?  Any war stories to speak of?  I'm gonna have to live vicariously though you guys on this one cause I can't quite bring myself to face those crowds.  Too scary.  So excited the most wonderful time of the year is here, though!  Enjoy it and I'll see you Monday!

Man, does this sound good.

Pick your poison...

I love a lot of these.

Everything about this is good and right.

So incredibly cool...


What a lovely print.

Neat concept.
Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Be-Grateful-Stuff-Your-Face-And-Hang-Out-With-Your-Family Day!  Seriously, is the premise of this holiday awesome or what?  You can't beat it!  Enjoy every moment and don't waste it with passive gratitude...tell the people you love just why you're thankful for them.  Which reminds me...I'm thankful for you!  Now go eat some turkey and we'll catch up later.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

We've discussed holiday outfit best practices before, but it's time for a Thanksgiving refresher.  Here are a few simple guidelines I always find helpful on Turkey Day...

1) Wear something nice.  I know you want to be comfortable...I want you to be comfortable, too.  But I also don't want you to cringe every time pictures from the day resurface (because there will be pictures taken and they will resurface).  This is the age of Instagram and Facebook, my friend!  You're gonna be popping up on newsfeeds across the country.  Dress accordingly.

2) Wear something with some give.  Thanksgiving is a marathon eating day, so it goes without saying that you won't want to feel trapped in anything too constricting.  A note to the ladies: I've been uncomfortably full in pants and I've been uncomfortably full in dresses and let me just tell you right now, the dress experience comes out on top every time.  Choose a fabric that's forgiving and you're set.

3) Wear layers.  Your body temperature rises when you eat (true story!) but you'll want a nice, comfy sweater to wrap yourself up in for your post-meal nap.  

Did I leave anything out?  Let me know in the comments section below!

1. Cap Sleeve Flippy Tunic, Topshop $40  2. Chunky Knit Cardigan, Helmut Lang $550  3. Amanda Classic Tote, Tory Burch $495  4. Belle Slippers, Sigerson Morrison $139.99  5. Burgundy Tights, Falke $38  6. Wishbone Studs, Uncovet $19.99
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Get It Together: Thanksgiving Feast

1. Reed Zinc Chair, CB2 $149  2. Five Piece Horn and Stainless Flatware Setting, Branca $90  3. Handwoven Orange Salmon Napkin, Flechada $6  4. Industrial Cage Lights, Rewire LA $750  5. Dot Dessert Plate, Jayson Home $40  6. Mosaic Charge, Jayson Home $110  7. Rosaline Drinking Glass, by nord  8. Succulent Rectangle Arrangement, Jayson Home $100  9. Pewter Stoneware, Jayson Home $18  10. Felted Birds on Branches, Anthropologie  11. Braid Dessert Plate, Jayson Home $40  12. Verge Dining Table, ABC Carpet and Home $1599
Monday, November 19, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Reflections on my first week working from my new office are as follows:
-This is surreal.
-I'm exceptionally thankful.
-I know all your secrets, Nashville...I work in a salon now and the gossip flows free!
-It's really cold in here...bring extra layers.
-This week was great.  I bet next week will be even better.

I think this whole deal will really hit me after I roll out my list of styling packages just after Thanksgiving.  It's about to get real, folks.  (Speaking of which, keep said styling packages in mind when you're planning your Christmas shopping!)  As for this weekend, you'll find me hanging out with my BFF Jess who's visiting for Thanksgiving and counting down the hours until my parents get here (gosh, I miss them).  Hope your weekend is perfect...enjoy the links!

Love this idea.

I'm confused about how awesome I think these are...

Yup.  Want these.

A honey tasting, eh?  I'm listening...

This is dangerous.

Just too cool.

Gotta get this and fill it.

What can't she do?!

This is either the best or worst idea ever.
Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nicole Marie Salon & Spa Sneak Peek!

I've been in the Nicole Marie zone lately trying to get all our social media in order.  We're moments away from launching the website but I wanted to sneak you guys a few pictures of how things turned out before it goes live.  Our full before and after post won't be up for a few more weeks (you know how finishing touches can drag on) but here's a couple shots of how things look at the moment.  Oh, and follow us on Twitter (@NMSalonSpa), Pinterest, and Facebook if you get a second!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Does the beautiful house on this landscape print have anyone else counting down the days 'til Downton Abbey season 3 starts?  Just me?  Okay then.  I think I'd love it even if it wasn't reminiscent of my favorite show...just like I'd love this cozy looking sweater even if I wasn't currently freezing and wanting to curl up in it (I haven't quite worked out the temperature situation in my new office).  All I know is come this time of year, you can't beat a good autumn color palate!

1. Landscape Silk Top, Moschino Cheap and Chic $450  2. Leather Skinny Pants, Current/Elliott $900 3. Tweed and Cashmere Jacket, Sonia Rykiel $2,195  4. Pyramid Stretch Bracelet, Hive & Honey $26 5. Fox Head Earrings, Tory Burch $88  6. Bibi Lou Smoking Slippers, Piperlime $130
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Get It Together

1. Handpainted Linen Pillow, ABC Carpet & Home $120  2. Turquoise Glass Pendants, 1stdibs $1,000  3. Carey Accent Table, One Kings Lane  4. Coro Glassware, Serena & Lily $48 for 4  5. Loomed Plaid Throw, Anthropologie $398  6. The Clarke Chair, Jayson Home $1,350
Monday, November 12, 2012