Friday, September 28, 2012

Working For The Weekend

I was thinking about it last night and I really hope my kids like me as much as I like my parents.  Loving your parents is one kind of hope it just comes with the territory...but liking them a whole lot?  Genuinely enjoying their company?  Missing them when they're not around?  I'm not sure that happens across the board.  But instead of stressing about my hypothetical relationship with my hypothetical children, I'm just going to celebrate the fact that my Mom is visiting for the weekend!  It's gonna be a busy couple of days but I'm so psyched about what we're gonna accomplish (and generally thrilled to get to spend time with her).  Enjoy those links!  See you Monday!

Checkout my buddy, Dez, and his killer song!

I want these...a lot, a lot...

I don't know why but this makes me laugh so hard.

Great website...desperate to try this!

Sign me up for this setup.


What a site!

Just pre-ordered this.  Love me some Stacy London.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Foodie Files

Let me just tell you, I've been eating all kinds of feelings lately...mostly excitement and gratitude with the occasional twinge of anxiety because of that thing I want to tell you about but can't (but will soon).  If there's one thing I've learned about eating your feelings, it's that you might as well make them delicious enough to merit the calories, hence last week's Nutella Stuffed, Brown Butter and Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies.  This week I tackled a similarly delicious treat: a Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake (with a graham cracker and pecan crust).  I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and will almost certainly make it again in the next month or so.  It's got all the perfect fall flavors mixed up in a not-totally-expected way, plus it's easy and scrumptious.  Truth be told, it might even be Thanksgiving worthy (a high honor if I don't say so myself)!  Hope you love it!

For Crust-
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 TBS unsalted butter, melted

For Filling-
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 TBS heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 generous TBS bourbon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 TBS cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

Create a flat bottom (so it's easier to remove the cake) by inverting a 9 inch spring-form pan.  Lock and grease.  Put diced pecans in a sandwich bag and crush with the back of a spoon to make them smaller still.

Stir together crumbs, pecan bits, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well.  Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and halfway up the side of pan, then cover and chill the crust for about an hour.

Put your oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 350°F.  Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liquor in a large bowl until combined.  

In an electric mixing bowl, stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. 

Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.  Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put spring-form pan in a shallow baking pan (in case spring-form leaks).  Bake until center is just set, about 60 minutes. Turn your oven off and let the residual heat cook the cake for an additional 5 minutes. 

Cool cheesecake in the pan on the rack for about an hour, then chill for an additional hour or two.  Remove the sides of the pan and serve!  

Side note: I added one or two TBS of bourbon to a container of extra creamy Cool Whip and served it alongside the cheesecake.  It was amazing...two thumbs up. 
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Oh, today's Mirror, Mirror...where do I even start?  I'm out of my mind crazy about every single item on here.  Every last one.  Am I the type of person who has the guts to try red gloves as a fashion statement instead of a cold weather accessory?  I don't know!  But I sure want to buy some and give it my best effort!  There's just something about this look that exudes confidence to me, which is one of my favorite things about gives you the power to say something about yourself.  So be intentional!  Cause your outfit is talking whether you want it to or not (no pressure haha)... 

1. Ribbed V Front Dress, Topshop $100  2. Naska Leather Biker Jacket, Rick Owens $3,225  3. Beaded Clutch, Marchesa Resort  4. Gold Plated Leaf Necklace, Oscar de da Renta $695  5. Jackie Leather Gloves, Causse Gantier $240  6. Cosmic Suede Pumps, Jimmy Choo $695
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Get It Together: Fingerpainting Fun

1. Seaweed by John Bucklin, Serena & Lily $650  2. Reclaimed Teak Chair, Safavieh  3. Escheveria In Clay Pot, Jayson Home & Garden $125  4. Saal Wood Candleholders, CB2 $19.95-$29.95  5. Kevin O'Brian Finger Paint Pillow, ABC Carpet & Home $81  6. Cleo Table Lamp, Crate & Barrel $319  7. Parque Camo Rug, CB2 $299-$599

Shop This Look: Cinderella

Cinderelly, Cinderelly...are you fabulous or what?  For our second official Shop This Look, I took a few cues from the queen of the Disney princesses (don't worry fellow brunettes, Belle is still my very favorite).  Truth is, I'm gonna see Ms. Cinderella on the big screen in a couple days so I keep waking up singing her songs...not that I'm complaining because, be honest, the music in that movie is too good.    Now, if you are A) a Sephora Beauty Insider, B) a Disney fan and C) free this Thursday night, then boy oh boy do I have a link you need to checkout!  Play your cards right and you may be sitting pretty at your town's special movie theater screening, too!  You'll find all the details here.  In the meantime, check out the pieces below inspired by the movie...see something you like?  Just click and buy!  So simple, right?

Monday, September 24, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Something huge (huge!) went down this week.  I's major.  Super big.  Want to know what it is?  Well guess what- I want to tell you but I can't just yet.  And it's killing me cause you're going to love it!  I'm super psyched to spill the beans so I'll be sure to share as soon as I possibly can.  Until then I just can't even say another word for fear that my fun little secret will come pouring out.  Have an amazing weekend and enjoy the links!

Important info...

Be prepared!

I bet this is delicious.

Great 2 year anniversary issue, ladies.

Why do I think this looks cool?  I'm so confused!

Worth a try...

Ooooooh, love.

Something about this makes me okay with chilly weather.


Can you believe this is a real thing!  I want, I want, I want!
Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Foodie Files

You are so unprepared for today's Foodie Files.  So grossly unprepared.  I came across a recipe for (brace yourself) Nutella stuffed brown butter and sea salt dark chocolate chip cookies and  Chocolate chip cookies will never be the same.  If you only follow one piece of my advice in your whole life, let it be this: make these cookies!  Your family, friends and taste buds will thank you.  

2¼ cup all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
1 ten oz package of dark chocolate chips
1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk constantly as the butter begins to foam.  The butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan and give off a nutty aroma after 5-7 minutes...when this happens, remove it from the heat.

Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning.  Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended.

Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined.  Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed until combined.  Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.  Chill covered dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Once dough is chilled, measure about 1½-2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball.  Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand. Place 1 teaspoon of chilled nutella in the middle and fold dough around it; gently roll into a ball.

Make sure the Nutella is not seeping out of the dough...add more if necessary.  Place dough balls on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart and flatten the tops with your hand very gently.  Bake the cookies for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then turn off the oven and let the residual heat cook for another 3 minutes.

Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt, then do a little happy dance cause these are about to revolutionize your life!
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

I had this seasons's first "aw man, I should've brought a jacket" moment while sitting outside during Nashville's Shakespeare in the Park a few nights ago.  It was kind of a bummer (the realization of impending chill, not the play...the play was awesome).  But!  At least it got me a little excited for thick sweaters and trench coats and the wave of full on fall fashion that's about to crash.  Besides...I've got a lot to look forward to this autumn (this is me hinting at something I can't tell you yet...but I will soon!  Stay tuned)!

1. YSL Vintage Sun Necklace, Moda Operandi  2. Waffle Crew Neck Sweater, Peter Jensen $295  3. Suede Leggings, Haider Ackermann $1,535  4. River Island Leopard Helen Watch, ASOS $31.04  5. Heirloom Tote, Uncovet $220  6. Blood and Sand Polish, Scotch Naturals $14.99  7. Annie Boots, Steve Madden $109.65

Long Blue Straw

You know who I haven't spent enough time bragging on?  The lovely lady who designed our new logo, Tracy Hetzel.  I was browsing her Etsy shop, Long Blue Straw, the other day and it occurred to me that I never posted any of her prints!  An 8x10 will run you less than $20 whiiiich is kind of incredible.  I rounded up a few of my personal favorites, but if I was you, I'd check them all out here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Get It Together: Bubbles and Stripes

1. Muriel Chandelier, Jayson Home $3,250  2. Object Recognition Chair, Anthropologie $2,800  3. Wool Throw, Jayson Home $150  4. Black Stripe Animal Shaped Dhurrie Rug, World Market $49.99  5. Green Frame, Gracious Home $75  6. Bubble Clear Glass Tealight Candle Holder, Koyal Wholesale $47.76 for 12
Monday, September 17, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012

Working For The Weekend

Happy, happy...that's me today.  And for good reason!  We're celebrating my roommate's birthday this weekend, my cousin Jessie is in town, and I've got a housewarming party, a play and a few fun activities with friends on the agenda.  It's gonna be a busy but awesome couple of days.  Hope your weekend is just as fun...enjoy the links!

Any and everything you'd want to know about NY Fashion Week.


Kind of a neat idea...

Everyone do this!

Aww...very sweet.

There's something super fun about this.

Nashville!  Get your tickets before they sell out again!

Guys, I seriously laughed so hard.

You need to know this.

Can't wait to see this movie!
Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Foodie Files

I came across a recipe for honey-ed fig preserves the other day that really stayed with me (ask either of my parents and I'm sure they'd be happy to confirm how many times I brought it up while I was visiting).  With only four ingredients, two of which we had on hand and in abundance (my Dad's figs and honey) it seemed simple but perfect.  And it was!  In fact, I can't think of a better way to capture the last bit of summer...very sweet, very seasonal, just delicious!

2 lbs. figs
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
5 TBS honey
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Wash, stem and slice figs in half.  Place in a medium sized sauce pan, then add all remaining ingredients.  Stir, then allow figs to sit for 15-20 minutes before continuing.  

Set the figs over low to medium heat, and let cook for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has begun to break down. Using a potato masher, smash the figs to desired consistency.
Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook for another 10-20 minutes, or until the jam has thickened to your liking.

Spoon preserves into freshly cleaned jars, and seal tightly.  Process in a water bath (don't know what that is?  I didn't either.  Read up on it here), and set aside to cool. Properly sealed jars should be stored in a cool dark place for up to several months, and open jars in the fridge for up to a few weeks.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

I know, I know...this outfit is crazy as the day is long, but that's what I love about it!  It's got the pajama vibe that's so in style right now (pajama cool, not to be confused with pajama people-of-Walmart), a killer statement necklace, some fun splashes of color and one of my all time favorite touches- leopard as a neutral.  Love, love, love.

1. Lulu Frost Demeter Collage Necklace, Shopbop $420  2. Leopard Pumps, Christian Louboutin  3. Giorgio Armani Tapered Silk Pants, The Outnet £185  4. Samara Print Pale Mint Winged Back Top, Reiss $240  5. Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch, Michael Kors $250  6. After the Apple Clutch, Karen Walker $250
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Get It Together: Citrus-y Cool

1. Adam & Viktoria Wishbone Pillow, Zinc Door $192  2. Worchester Gold Leaf Iron Bookshelf, Arteriors $3,840  3. Stilt Floor Lamp, Blu Dot $399  4. Otto Tangerine Pillow, Dwell Studio $98  5. Turtle Table, John Lyle Design  6. Nutmeg Crosby Sofa Slipcover, World Market $349.99
7. Capel Rugs Junction Wool Rug, Zinc Door $223  8. Golden Yellow Flowers, Antique Prints $47.99
Monday, September 10, 2012

Shop This Look: How to Steal a Million

Wanna hear something exciting?  We're launching another new series today!  Pretty awesome, right?  The general premise goes a little something like this: step 1) I research pictures from the movies, books, and shows I'm currently loving...step 2) I share said pictures with you alongside a guide that highlights a few fabulous, referential pieces.  The benefit here is twofold...not only do I get to tell you about the entertainment that's inspiring me at the moment, but you can shop the look right on the spot by clicking the accompanying pictures!  Since it didn't seem right to launch with anything but an Audrey movie (good heavens, I just love her), I picked the most recent one I watched.  Believe it or not, I'd never seen How to Steal a Million before my sweet friend, Nina, introduced me to it last week.  Obviously I instantly loved it (as I'm a firm believer that instant love is the only appropriate response to an Audrey Hepburn movie).  It's not one of the first movies you think of when you hear Ms. Hepburn's name, but it's definitely chocked full of her charm and style.  I mean...who else could make me desperately want to wear what can only be described as a daytime sleeping mask?  Impressive, Audrey...very impressive.

Design Musings

Friday, September 7, 2012

Working For The Weekend

What...a...week!  There's part of me that wants to say my legs feel like jelly and I'm a bit fried but I don't think you get to talk about how tired you are when the reason you're exhausted is from having too much fun?

"I mean, we just walked up and down 5th Avenue in Manhattan shopping and shopping and shopping, and the day before that we had to carry all this free stuff for blocks on the way back to the hotel!"

...That's not okay, right?  Didn't think so.  But it is true.  Also true: I had the best time at Lucky Fabb and I'm so thankful for the experience!  I met some incredible people, learned a ton, and discovered a bunch of fabulous-ness I can't wait to share with you.  In fact, every link in this week's Working For The Weekend is connected to something I experienced or encountered at some point during Lucky Fabb.

But first!  Wanna see a few snapshots?  I thought you might...

While I loved every last bit of Day 1, the vast majority of these snapshots are from Day 2.  Because as much as I adore Rachel Zoe (who was incredible, by the way) and Lauren Conrad and the hilarious Simon Doonan, Day 2 was just a little more...picturesque.  Case in point: this is me at Tiffany & Co. with a five karat ring on.  

No, I'm not engaged.  No, I'm not dropping hints to anyone in particular (unless, of course, Prince Harry is reading which case, I most certainly am).  It just so happens that I started yesterday off by having breakfast at Tiffany's (can you even believe that!?) and trying on a bunch of jewelry.  Their jewelry.  Tiffany's diamond jewelry.  It was the "Am I dreaming?" moment of a lifetime.

At that point, someone could've punched me in the face and it still would've been the greatest day I've had in recent memory.  But no...there was no punching...only more incredibleness.  From Tiffany's, we headed towards Bergdorf Goodman where we reveled in a few more "is this real life?" moments...

...and where I'm pretty sure I had the best cappuccino ever made.  From this point on, the day became fun for reasons that had less to do with shopping (though there was still a good amount of shopping-induced-joy going around).  I made some great friends (who we'll talk more about in a second) and got to spend the rest of the afternoon getting to know them and enjoying their company.  It was delightful.  

Oh!  One last thing before we get to the weekend outfits!  I wanted to make sure I delivered on my promise to post a few pictures today.  If I can get some better shots up later I most certainly will.  My Day 1 outfit isn't too far off from the inspiration pictures I posted in this week's Mirror, Mirror- right?  I really loved how it all came together.  And I know...I'm the worst...I didn't even get a full length shot of my Day 2 dress.  And it was incredible, too!  Floor length, really was a definite gem.  Speaking of gems...allow me to point out the sad but true fact that that's not my necklace.  It's actually $1.4 MILLION dollars worth of diamonds from Tiffany & Co.  Seriously.  Unreal.  So...yeah...great day.  Great freaking day.

Now (finally) for the weekend links...enjoy and I'll see you Monday!

So important and so overlooked!

I love getting these every day...

Great blogs and fun new friends:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

If this book is anywhere near as hilarious as it's author's interview was, we should all read it.

I just love great ideas...

Pumped for this!

Looked for her all week long but never had a sighting...

Everything in Zara is to die for right now but especially these and these!
Thursday, September 6, 2012

Inspiration Piece: Gorman X Rhys Lee

Within three seconds of seeing this picture I wanted to respond in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: yelling "this is awesome!", painting all over my clothes, painting all over the walls, and sharing the photo with you.  In lieu of options B & C, I rounded up a few items that capture the textures, colors and shapes found in this pretty little work of art.  FYI: this jumpsuit goes on sale this Friday as part of artist Rhys Lee's collaboration with designer Lisa Gorman.  To check out killer photos of the line and/or hear some super fun insights into the Gorman X Rhys Lee launch, check out this post on The Design Files!  

1. Vanessa Mooney The Mesa Dangle Earrings, Shopbop $50  2. Abstract Polymer Clay and Resin Ring, Etsy $20  3. House of Harlow Robyn Round Frame, The Outnet £55  4. Kevin O'Brien Fingerpaint Pillow, Joss and Main Photo Via: The Design Files

The Foodie Files

So we've talked about my Dad's world famous pizza before, but we haven't discussed his recent preoccupation with einkorn flour.  Long story short, einkorn is an ancient grain...which means it doesn't have any of the unnatural nonsense you'll find in modern processed flour.  Einkorn is packed with nutrition, high levels of protein and is lower in gluten than it's regular counterpart.  Making einkorn pizza dough is a little bit different than the pizza methods we've discussed in the past so I wanted to do a quick overview of one of my Dad's recent creations.  Though it goes without saying, there's some mega deliciousness going on here...


For Starter:
1/2 cup einkorn flour
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp molasses

For Dough:
1 1/2 cups mature starter
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups einkorn flour

For Toppings:
Extra virgin olive oil

2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated reggiano or locatelli cheese
About 2 cloves sliced garlic
4-5 sliced figs
1-2 sliced peppers (hot or mild)
1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
1/4 black cured olives

(Makes 2 large pizzas or 6-8 personal pan pizzas)

There are 2 ways to ferment the dough...using starters, you can use a 'warm rise' or a 'cold rise'.  My dad usually uses the warm rise method and leaves the dough covered with a kitchen towel out in a stainless steel bowl overnight.  For the starter, mix flour, water, yeast and molasses and let it stand until the next day.  Using this starter requires less yeast and jump starts the dough.

The next day combine your mature starter with olive oil, salt, and flour.  Mix ingredients, working in the flour until you have a soft dough. If the dough gets too dry, add some more starter. If you've used all the starter, add a bit of water.

Once you've kneaded the dough, use a kitchen aid mixer with a dough hook.  Cover and let rest for half an hour to an hour should double in size (this lets the dough relax so forming the pizza is easier).

Preheat oven to 450F (some people prefer hotter...try 550F if your oven will take you there).  Heat pizza stone inside oven (we used an out door brick oven, but that's another story).

Pat down and shape your dough to whatever size you want.  Once the dough is rolled out, spread a little corn meal on a pizza peel.  Spread 1-2 TBS of olive oil on dough, then add mozzarella cheese, grated cheese, sliced garlic, sliced figs, sliced tomatoes, olives and a dash of salt and pepper.  Shimmy the pizza dough off peel onto pizza stone and bake 10- 15 minutes watching carefully.  Simple and scrumptious!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Today is kind of a big deal.  I'm sitting in my hotel room in New York city...during fashion week...getting ready to go the Lucky Fabb Blogger Conference.  Is that too freaking cool or what?  I decided to use today's Mirror, Mirror to showcase the inspiration behind the outfit I put together for the occasion.  As you'll see when I post pictures this Friday, my actual outfit is alarmingly close to the one below.  Oh victory, you taste so sweet.

1. Pleated Leather Dress, Alexander McQueen $4,795  2. Classic Link Necklace, J.Crew $165  3. Blake Crocodile Embossed Satchel, Michael Kors $1,195  4. Rachel Zoe Hudson Platform Wedges, Forzieri $495  5. Tortoise Bracelet Watch, Anne Klein $65  6. Gold Bangles, BCBGeneration $38
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Get It Together: Midcentury Modern Flair

1. Suzanne Kasler Sunburst Mirror, Ballard Designs $99  2. Feathered Fanfare Lampshade, Anthropologie $998  3. Red Velvet Lumbar Throw Pillow, World Market $16.99  4. Ivory Mongolian Lamb Pillow, Instyle Decor Beverly Hills $79  5. Apollo Pillar Holder, Z Gallerie $24.95-$29.95  6. Vintage Zebra Chair, One Kings Lane  7. Iron Swivel Barstool, Zinc Door $552