Monday, March 31, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014

Working For The Weekend

We're in Virginia (the state) with Virginia (the puppy) this week having such a delightful time.  Little Miss sure loves her namesake and all her family here!  There's quite a bit on the agenda for this weekend from gymnastics with Ava to a quick trip to Jersey for our very first bridal shower.  Spending time with both our families is such a wonderful treat so we're soaking up every second!  Hope there's smooth sailing ahead for you and yours…enjoy the links!

As if there weren't already enough reasons to visit Italy!

I'm intrigued

Gonna try one or two of these.

Very pretty

Lots of good stuff here.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

3 Ideas

It's spring cleaning time!  I'm in the middle of the ultimate spring cleaning- the process of moving- but I threw together a few simpler ideas that don't neccessarily involve sorting through every item you own.  Even if it's not something you tackle this week, you may circle back around to it at some point.  Just think of how wonderful you'll feel when it's done!

1. If you do nothing else- make it a point to spend one afternoon tossing what can be thrown away all throughout your house…expired food in your fridge and pantry, old medicine, magazines you've already read, junk mail, broken nonsense you keep around for no good reason, and the list goes on.  Throw on some sweats, tie your hair back and don't stop until you're finished.  A little less clutter here and there adds up to a lot less clutter, total.  In fact, I think it's the fastest and easiest way to feel some instant lightness in your home.

2. Decide on your spring cleaning goals early in the process...this check list is a great place to start but everyone's house and mess are different.  Maybe this is the year you attack the attic or the garage…maybe the very thought of that makes you want to hyperventilate and pass out…either way, don't let what you can't do paralyze you from doing anything.  Once you've decided what, decide on when and stick to it.  If you have a really quite exceptionally good friend, you can even invite her over to help (but make sure you head over to her house for spring cleaning round two)!

3. Let's talk long term maintenance…in my experience, the key is to start with baby steps.  As I've said so many times before, setting a difficult goal is noble thing but the goal itself doesn't instantly turn you into a brand new person.  Your schedule isn't changing, your habits aren't melting away, you're gonna have to fight to make that goal stick!  That being said, an important part of the process is figuring out what it is about particular tasks that make them seem so inconvenient in the moment...because that's what it comes down to.  If you can't think of a way to alleviate at least some of the annoyance, you'll always be fighting an uphill battle.  A few little changes can make a big difference.  
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wanted: H&M 2014 Conscious Collection

I took a temporary departure from our usual format and dedicated today's Wanted exclusively to my favorite pieces from H&M's new Conscious collection…because I'm loosing my mind over it.  It's so chic, so reasonably priced and so high fashion I can hardly stand it.  Mark your calendars for it's launch April 10…if your local H&M isn't one of the 150 stores that carry it, don't fret!  They're making the whole collection available online as well (cue sigh of relief).  Good thing I have the next few weeks to narrow down what to buy because- from a monetary standpoint- I could get myself in all kinds of trouble here (affordable isn't so affordable when you buy 10 pieces).  Decisions, decisions…

1. Boho purse, $69.95  2. Shoulder Adornment, $149  3. White Jumpsuit, $69.96  4. Black Ball gown, $299  5. Fringe Earrings, $17.95  6. Shoulder Bearing Lace Blouse, $69.95  7. Metallic Sheath Dress, $69.95  8. Head Wrap, $17.95
Monday, March 24, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014

Working For The Weekend

Of the notable activities this weekend has in store, the top three are: 
1) A fun weekend visit with my cousin and his darling fiancé.
2) the three month mark to our wedding!  and
3) officially doing some damage unpacking at our new house.
It's all quite exciting.  Hope your weekend is fabulous as well, enjoy the links!

I'm in the zone!

You're about to be either very happy of very angry with me.

Try this…and if that bombs, this.

One of my favorite things we ate in Italy (mmmMmmm).
Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Foodie Files

One of our dearest friends turned 30 earlier this week, so Davey (my handy dandy fiancé/sous chef) and I pulled out all the stops for his birthday dinner.  The menu was sublime…shrimp cocktail, mascarpone mashed potatoes, lightly blanched asparagus, a tasty little salad and the pièce de résistance: filet mignon with champagne crab cream sauce (which is the recipe we'll cover today).  You turn 30 exactly one time, so I wasn't about to take any short cuts.  If I had it to do over again, I'd half- possibly quarter- the recipe for the cream sauce.  You can't reheat it and it just made way, way too much (and considering there were nine of us and we all dug in, that's saying something).  As celebratory feast recipes, it doesn't get any better than this!    

For the steak-
9 filet mignon steaks
4-5 TBS butter
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce-
4 TBS shallots, diced
2 cups champagne 
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
16 oz crab claw meat

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Pour champagne and shallots into a medium sized pot over low heat.  Cook for 10-15 minutes.  

While the sauce is cooking, season filets thoroughly with salt and pepper.  Melt butter over medium heat then sear filets for 2-3 minutes per side.  Cook for 10-15 minutes in pre-heated oven (depending on desired temperature…medium, medium well, etc).

Return to sauce and add 1 cup heavy cream.  Bring heat up to medium low and reduce by half (about 5-7 minutes).  Whisk in butter then remove from heat and add crab.  Stir, serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wanted: Week Fifteen

1. Vintage Malachite Rolex, 1stDibs  2. Wool Baseball Cap, Stella McCartney $300  3. La Playa Pillow, Trina Turk $140  4. Arthur Glass Table, Z Gallerie $299  5. White Marble Cover, Case Scenario 14,99 €  6. But First, Coffee Print, Etsy  7. Steph Gladiator Sandals, Loeffler Randall $250  8. Pride and Prejudice Mug, Amazon  9. Sandbacka Green Sofa, Ikea $999
Monday, March 17, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014

Working For The Weekend

Well…through no fault of my own, I've turned into a crazy dog lady.  In addition to our new puppy Virgina, I'm watching my parent's dogs for a few weeks and so far it's been a trip.  Wonderful!  But a trip.  Truth be told, there was some chaos at first but we're all settling down into a lovely little routine and I love all three of them to an almost embarrassing degree…they have a lovely little corner of my heart.  Hope your weekend is happy as can be!  Let's catch up Monday…enjoy the links!

Super cool, super pretty.

Can't wait to check this out at Target!

Not entirely sure what I think about these but I'm intrigued...


I know this is ridiculous, but I watch it and laugh about once a week
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3 Ideas

Dancing around like a crazy person just for the heck of it is one of life's great gifts and no one will ever convince me otherwise.  While you'll never find me "in the club", we could easily make awkward eye contact at any given traffic light when I realize you saw me dancing in my car.  To that end...

1. Put a little pep into your morning routine by jumping on Spotify and playing a few of your favorite go-to high energy songs…be they Whitney Houston's "I wanna dance with somebody", Elvis Crespo's "Suavemente", or something far more ridiculous still.  Even if all you do is bob your head a little whilst you brush your teeth (though I don't even understand how anyone could have the self control to do only that), it's a great way to start your day. 

2. Sign up for honest to goodness dance lessons.  They're not nearly as intimidating as you'd think and they really are fun!  Bonus: there's almost always a dance related Groupon or Living Social deal floating around that offers lessons for practically peanuts.  Wedding season is quickly approaching (a fact I know all too well) so you know it's a skill you can put to good use soon! 

3. Play any variation of any Just Dance game on any device you can.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, playing Just Dance is my favorite and a guaranteed good time.  Put it on your agenda stat!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wanted: Week Fourteen

1. Granada Lanters Rombus, l'aviva $485  2. Geo Era Embellished Crepe Dress, Net-a Porter $425  3. Gatsby's Green Light Special Necklace Set, Modcloth $39.99  4. Teardrop Earrings, J. Crew $68  5. Onward & Upward Bottle, Izola $44  6. The Meridian Bracelet, Coordinates $214  7. Metal Chest, Zara Home $59.90
Monday, March 10, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Foodie Files

I'm pre-tty excited about this Dark Chocolate Soufflé Cake.  I made it for our Oscars dinner on Sunday and have enjoyed a little piece every night since.  I first spied it on Scientifically Sweet, a really interesting website that takes a scientific approach to artisanal baking…there's way more to discover there so check it out when you get a chance!  Don't let this recipe intimidate you- it's not nearly as difficult as it seems and it's at least twice as delicious as you'd imagine.

10 oz dark chocolate chips
7 TBS unsalted butter
6 TBS sugar
4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F then butter the sides and bottom of a 9x5-inch loaf pan.  In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter together until smooth.

Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of the sugar, the egg yolks and flour.  Using a mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and whip until the whites are smooth, glossy and hold firm peaks.

Use a wide rubber spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg whites until the chocolate mixture. Once incorporated fold in the remaining egg whites in two parts just until the mixture is smooth and no white streaks are visible.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake has puffed up and feels slightly firm in the center.  Do not over-bake.  Let the cake cool in the pan.  It will collapse as it cools.  Let it cool to room temperature before serving.

My favorite part?  It's rich but not too rich and very, very decadent.  I'd suggest serving it with some freshly whipped cream, berries or vanilla ice cream…or if you have them on hand, all three!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

3 Ideas

1. Try something you've heard of but never tasted.  For example, reading C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as a kid always made me curious about Turkish Delight.  When I finally saw it in a specialty grocery store in college I was so excited!  Come to find out Turkish Delight tastes disgusting, but my lifelong fascination with it made me so happy I tried it anyway.  And remember, you don't have to tread into "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" territory to broaden your horizons…start with a loop around your favorite grocery store or by perusing the menu at an interesting restaurant you've never tried and see what you find!

2. Get creative with your flavor combinations.  If you think about it, someone somewhere was the first person to pair fruit and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate and hazelnut, and the list goes on.  No pressure to come up with a pairing that's quite as prolific but the possibilities really are endless.  True story: my parents made me a delicious broth soup with a poached egg in it over Christmas that all but changed my life.  Its not something I would've come up with on my own but it's a dish I've dreamed of over the last few months.  You may kiss a few frogs before you find your prince but the possible payoff is huge.

3. You know those foods you didn't like as a child and haven't tried since…give a few another shot!  You may be surprised to see how much your palate has changed.  Order one as a side at a really terrific restaurant or Google a really tasty looking recipe to make another…what's the worst that can happen?
Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wanted: Week Thirteen

1. Indigo Raw Silk Pillow, ABC Home $48  2. Sophia Emerald Earrings, Loren Hope $34  3. Elliana Feather Clutch, Kate Spade $398  4. Juliska Field of Flowers Oriental Poppies Dinner Plate, Neiman Marcus $47  5. Stripe Satin Dress, Topshop for Nordstrom $140  6. Triton Embellished Sandals, Charlotte Olympia $1,095
Monday, March 3, 2014