4/20/2015

NEW TO ME & NOTEWORTHY...

Hi!! Are you still there?? I needed a little break friends... I had a busy week of work followed by a few days off and I decided to take extra full advantage of those days. I met friends for dinner, deep-cleaned my house, read a whole book in two days, took more than a few naps (no surprise there I assume...), did a spa day, watched movies and trash TV in the middle of the day, worked out, rehydrated, cooked lots - and just relaxed. I feel quite revived... Here are a few more things I did, learned, and loved during my time off... 

I mentioned here that I planned to read The Girl On The Train soon - and I did just that last week. I read it almost nonstop for two days. LOVED IT! I have to say that it is honestly one of the best books I've ever read. Paula Hawkins's writing just sucked me right in down to the very last swipe as I read it on my iPad. The mix of characters their issues made for the best- and ruthless I might add- thriller. It's quite the mystery that is just so very good. They hype about this book is real - and I honestly think that it's SO much better than Gone Girl. The characters were better and the slightly unexpected ending was definitely better. If you need a good read, this is it!

The purchased my last pair of nude strappy heels about ten years ago and they were looking more than ten years old. So I purchased these during Shopbop's sale a few weeks ago and BOY did I get a deal. Not only were they on sale, but I promise you that they are some of the most comfortable heels I own. The bottom of the sandal is well padded, but you can't tell by looking at it. The older I get, the more I totally respect a heel that is both cute AND comfortable -  and I have mad respect for these... 

I used my last drop of perfume a few weeks ago, so I shopped for more during my break. I'm not one of those girls who has an abundance of perfume sitting on her dresser to choose from each day. To avoid making yet another decision in a day, I like to just stick to one perfume at a time. I've worn Tocca fragrances for several years and had every intention to try something totally different. That was until I smelled Tocca's Liliana. It's a mix of Italian Bergamot, White Peony, Peach, and a little Sandlewood. It smelled so fresh and clean when I sampled it - so Tocca again it is... :)

I linked to these espadrilles in this post and now that I'd have them, I can tell you that this was yet another successful online purchase. My old black espadrilles saw their final day last summer, so I got this classic pair of espadrilles during one of Banana Republic's 40% off sales (which they have often). These are yet another pair of shoes that I have a lot of respect for. Cute and super comfy! They pair perfectly with anything from dresses, to shorts, to flared jeans (which I'm so happy they are back!). 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you might assume that Porter magazine is one of my favorite magazines. If so, your assumption is correct. I love the photography and the amazing stories of great women. But the last page of the magazine is always my favorite. I love the "Golden Rules" column - a column where influential women tell their ten golden rules for life. I watch Ellen's show every single day, so I was thrilled to see that she was featured. I thought every rule she had was so true - especially #3 and #4 (obviously). Of course #10 was no surprise... :)

And... this week's flowers. :)

Images by me

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4/06/2015

LINKS FOR THE WEEK!!



Hi there!! I hope you had a great Easter weekend! Sorry for the silence on Friday. I was preparing for a big deadline at work that I have this week and my eyelids were just too heavy at the end of last week to put a post together. I have a feeling that this week will be much of the same as I near the finish line with work. I get so much good feedback on my links posts (thank you so much!), so what I thought I would do today is share 25 links that you can peruse at your leisure this week while I work, eat, and sleep on repeat! I hope you enjoy them! Have a wonderful week!


GOOD READS
I could SO relate to this post - except that sometimes I am covered in cat hair...
Good advice and pretty spaces of great creatives...
One of my favorite new places for inspiration...
In case spring cleaning is on your to-do list...
One thing that keeps your brain young...
Six good reading options...
Seven tips for success...


GOOD SPACES
Can't wait to see what she does for the One Room Challenge!
Loving this before & after. California living at it's finest.
I LOVE their work, so I can't wait to get this...
A lovely location for this celebration of love...
Clean, lofty living... 


GOOD EATS
Probably the most creative food blog I've ever seen!
I had this for my Easter dinner and it was SO SO good!!
S'mores smashed between two chocolate chip cookies... Yum.
Found this blog last week. It's now a daily read. Beautiful it is.
"Magical" is how I would describe the photography on this blog...
An "ingenious" way to pack and eat your lunch...
Perfect for a summer brunch...


GOOD THINGS
For those really cold nights next winter. And I mean cold!
Bless her heart for doing this post... Brave and informative.
What to do with those loose receipts that you need to keep!
Loving the style of this. It's creative and looks comfy!
Stylish, classic, and perfect for summer travel...
And I think this dress is perfect for work...


Image by me. Pictured are West Elm Glass Shadow Boxes (love them!), West Elm Large Rectangle Lacquer Tray



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4/01/2015

SIX READS ON MY CURRENT RADAR...


So I'm still working at accomplishing my goal of reading more this year and it is working out quite well!  I used to be a "read one book at a time" kind of girl, but I am learning that in order to read something daily or nightly, I need to read something that is of interest to me at that particular moment.  That could be novel, a magazine, an article that I printed off earlier in the day, a cookbook, or a nonfiction book about something really interesting to me. Here are few books that I plan to add - or have recently added- to my growing stack of options that are currently on my nightstand...

1. Food 52 Genius Recipes: The Genius Recipe column of the Food 52 website is one of my favorite reads, so I have a feeling that this cookbook will be one of my favorites as well. The column as well as the cookbook features 100 typical recipes that are not-so-typical because of the unique way they are made or what they are actually made with. Think "Roasted Waffles," "Red Salad," "Potato Dominos," and "Caramelized White Chocolate." Roasted waffles - gosh that just sounds delish to me...

2.  The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl & Spoon: This book is not honestly not on my radar. It's sitting right here next to me on my nightstand as I write this post. It arrived on Monday (the release date) and I've had my nose stuck in it since then. This is the second cookbook by Sara Forte, the food blogger behind the lovely blog, "The Sprouted Kitchen." I adore her take on whole and healthy foods, but I especially love her take on this book. All of the recipes in this book are not only healthy and whole, but they are made for bowls. That got me. I eat most of my meals out of bowls. Bowls make eating anywhere other than the table much more comfortable and it's an easy way to control portions. Plus, I love mixing my food together. My grandmother used to eat her meals out of bowls, too, so perhaps I get my love of it from her. Eating healthy requires creativity to avoid boredom, and Sara's recipes are far from boring in my opinion. They are all made from a mix of ingredients that are colorful and go extremely well together. Most importantly, they all look simple to make. Her recipes for Double Chocolate Pudding, Strawberry Tabbouleh, Cauliflower Gratin, and Key Lime Eton Mess are certainly on my list of things to make. Oh and Sara's husband, Hugh Forte, should get some kind of special award for his food photography in the book. It's so, so, so pretty. You can see Sara and Hugh's beautiful introduction to the book here.

3. The Girl On The Train: I've been seeing this book EVERYWHERE and this past weekend I found out why. I was in Costco and had some time to waste until meeting a friend for dinner. I saw the book as I walked past the book section. I backed up, picked up the book (because I just had to know WHY I kept seeing it everywhere) and I opened it to Chapter 1. Well - I was almost late for dinner. I literally stood there in the book section of Costco and read the first few chapters of the book  - totally oblivious to anything around me - and as if Costco was a library. The book sucked me right in and I immediately downloaded the book to my Kindle when I got home. From what I read in Costco, it is about a girl who rides the train to and from her job in London every day. She pretty much sees the same things outside the window of the train each day - until one day. She sees something different that day - something not so good - and everything changes. She's got a lot going on in her personal life too that seems quite interesting. It's been compared to Gone Girl, but I can't and won't confirm that comparison until I read the whole book! I'm currently finishing up the sequel to this book, so I'll be reading it soon after I finish!

4. What Katie Ate On The Weekend: Katie Davies received a James Beard award for her stunning food photography in her first cookbook, so.... naturally I'm a lover of her work. Her blog "What Katie Ate" has been on my blogroll since my early days of blogging and I adore it. In her second cookbook, she features more of her inspirational photography of simple recipes that can be shared with friends during weekend dinner parties or brunch. She also offers tips on how to make the most of your time enjoying those friends as opposed to spending that time in the kitchen. You know I love cooking on the weekends, especially for others, so this book is certainly on my list...

5.  Deliciously Ella: I think Ella Woodward is such a charm. I've seen her really good-looking food on Pinterest and have linked to her recipes a few times. But I spent a little more time on her blog as I was doing research for this post and I have to say that she is a new favorite of mine. She developed Postural Tachycardia Syndrome about four years ago, which lead her to her current diet that is a whole-foods, gluten-free, plant-based diet. She credits that diet to healing her, putting her illness into remission, and teaching her how to cook things other than eggs and pasta! Ella finds really creative ways to make not-so-good for you foods out of simple and unprocessed ingredients. I'm so interested to know how she has used those ingredients to create her Classic Carrot Cake, Cinnamon Pecan Granola, and Sweet Potato Brownies. I also love her YouTube channel. It's so informative and I just might love her British even more...

6. The Body Book: This book is another book that is actually sitting on my nightstand as I write this. This book has been out for over a year, but I am just now hip to the game. Learning more about health, body, and food and how all three of them relate to each other has become a huge interest to me - as you may be able to tell from some recent blog posts and cookbook selections here. I am getting older - like 5 years away from 40 and I'm starting see and feel differences in my body. Overall I feel great and I want to keep feeling that way as long as possible. In the book, Cameron Diaz really breaks down- in layman's terms- how nutrition, fitness, and the mind can all work together to create the most optimal level of health - specifically for women. Yes, Cameron is an actress, not a health professional, but she talks about what she's learned from her experiences with food and fitness and I quite frankly believe her and find her journey to be so interesting. In the book, she presents good facts about healthy food and goes into detail about how the food provides for the body. She also talks about how the body should actually work in general, how to know when it's not working properly, and how the way we think has a huge effect on the body. I often put the book down at night wanting to treat my body even better the next day. That to me is a good read.

What are you reading??
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3/30/2015

CRISPY BREAKFAST PITA W/ ARUGULA & PROSCIUTTO

So - are you missing the last two days as much as I am?? Although I was running around from start to finish, the weather was pretty, I slept in, and I treated myself to a good breakfast (something other than my spinach and berry smoothie) - on both Saturday and Sunday. AND I had it in bed. Heaven. This crispy breakfast pita was my Sunday breakfast and I just have to share it with you! 

Breakfast is truly my favorite meal of the day and I like to really do it up on the weekends if time permits. I often treat myself during one or two of my weekend meals since I eat really clean during the week. This weekend, I made this breakfast pita that I recently ran across in one of Giada De Laurentiis's cookbooks. It looked super good and really fresh. Most importantly, it looked like it was easy to make. I don't eat pork very often, but sometimes I treat myself to thinly sliced prosciutto because I LOVE it. That's another reason I wanted to make this recipe. And of course I thought it was delish! The pita is crispy, the mascarpone cheese is slightly creamy, the proscioutto is a little salty, the arugula is peppery & lemony, and the egg is savory and saucy. All of that made for the most unexpected, yet perfect combination of flavors. I honestly think that this would be perfect for brunch (a part of Easter brunch maybe?), lunch, or dinner. It's also one of those recipes that's easy to make your own by using what you have on hand. You can substitute the mascarpone cheese for cream cheese, arugula for spinach, and the prosciutto for turkey, bacon, or ham. It's just super good and something I know I will be making again!! 


Here is what you need and what to do (makes 6 pitas):

6 pita breads (I used whole wheat pitas)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 large eggs (I always use organic eggs. They taste so much better!)
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese (cream cheese works, too)
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups packed arugula (spinach works, too)
8 oz prosciutto, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a grill pan over medium heat - or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush each side of the pita lightly with olive oil and grill each side for about 2-3 minutes until crisp. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Crack the eggs in the pan and cook until the eggs are set, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Stir until everything is completely combined.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until combined. Pour the dressing over the arugula and toss.

To assemble the pitas, spread about 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone cheese mixture on to each pita. Add a few slices of the prosciutto on top of the cheese. Add a handful of the arugula on top of the prosciutto. Top each pita with a fried egg. Season the eggs with a little salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Images by me
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3/27/2015

DOORS ON THE BEACH + LINKS...







Happy Friday! This week was BUSY, so I'm quite excited about the next few days. What are your plans?? I'll be running some errands (see the first link of the READ section below), doing a little work, hopefully photographing a few recipes for the blog, and catching up with a good friend here over the freshest margaritas (the best I've had in Atlanta) and tacos. Can't wait! Have a great weekend!
                                           
EAT
I'm not a coffee drinker, but my coffee drinking friends LOVE this...
I love chocolate and a good smoothie, so I'm definitely trying this...
A creative spin on a classic dessert... 


READ
If you want a peek into my personality, then read this. Me to a tee...
I can't WAIT to add this to my cookbook collection...
How Oprah spent the best night of her life...


WEAR
Quite a good sale...
And this is a pretty good sale, too...
On order for summer: These sandals & this dress... 


WATCH
I'm not one of her biggest fans, but I always enjoy watching these...


Image via The Blue Bijou


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3/26/2015

HOME TOUR: LIGHT AND EARTHY...

Buckhead Atlanta Home Tour_Photo by Erica Dines | Savor Home
Some mornings on my way to work, I drive through the neighborhood where this gorgeous home is located. It's one of those neighborhoods where driving through gives me extreme motivation - motivation that makes me work harder that day in hopes that the hard work will one day enable me to have a home even remotely like the ones I see. The owners of this particular home decided that they wanted a little big change. So they tore down their old home and decided to build a new one on the same property that reflected their current desires in a home. They hired architect Gregg Palmer and interior designer Amy Morris to bring their desires to life. I find the finished product to be lovely. Of course I love the bright walls and mixed with the warm tones of the lighting and furniture. I adore the windows (I have GOT to have windows like that in my dream home), those little sconces flanked on each side of the window in the kitchen, and the simple artwork in the entry. It's just a pretty and warm space that I wouldn't mind having myself one day... :)

Buckhead Atlanta Home Tour_Photo by Erica Dines | Savor Home
Buckhead Atlanta Home Tour_Photo by Erica Dines | Savor Home
Buckhead Atlanta Home Tour_Photo by Erica Dines | Savor Home
Buckhead Atlanta Home Tour_Photo by Erica Dines | Savor Home


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3/23/2015

ZUCCHINI RIBBON SALAD W/ PARMESAN & LEMON

Hi there! I hope you had a great weekend. I spent most of my weekend just preparing for spring. Spring cleaning was on full effect here - dusting, mopping, organizing- the works. Starting the week off with a super clean house feel so good. Now if it would stay that way... I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen doing lots of meal prep for the week. Meal prep has becoming a big thing for me lately - especially on Sundays. I've found that cooking during the week after a long day at work is not really my thing, so lately I've been spending anywhere from 2-3 hrs on Sunday afternoons cooking things that keep well in the fridge and are easy to assemble for lunch and/or dinner...

This zucchini salad is one of the things I made yesterday and gosh it was surprisingly delicious! I've always thought zucchini ribbon salads were pretty and an interesting way to get in a good vegetable, but have been a little iffy about eating raw zucchini. But I researched a few recipes to try and liked this one the best. The zucchini was good, crisp, and fresh - BUT it was the herbs, the lemon and the Parmesan cheese that really made this salad so very good. The herbs add a good earthiness to the salad and the dijon mustard in the dressing and the lemon adds this zing that is really needed to wake the salad up. The saltiness of the Parmesan cheese really brings everything together and compliments the other ingredients of the salad incredibly well. This salad is definitely a keeper for me!

Here is what you need and what to do (makes 4 servings):

2 medium zucchini
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash and trim the ends off of the zucchini. Use a y-shaped vegetable peeler (like this one) to shave the zucchini into ribbons. Add the zucchini to a bowl and toss it with the fresh thyme, oregano, and lemon juice.

2. Add the olive oil and dijon mustard to a small bowl and whisk them together. Pour the dressing over the zucchini and toss.

3. Add shaved Parmesan to the top. I like LOTS of it, but you can add however much you like. Season with salt and pepper as it is served - not any sooner. Salt draws the liquid out of the zucchini, so the salad will be get watered down if you add it too soon.

Enjoy!

Images by me

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3/20/2015

PATIO PERFECTION + LINKS...


Happy first day of spring!! I adore fall and winter - I do - but I couldn't be more excited for spring. I'm ready for warmer - but not too warm - temps, light trench coats, and brunches, lunches, and dinners on the patio. How are you bringing in spring this weekend? My brother and I have decided to take our first annual "brother-sister" trip together this summer. We'll be beachin' it somewhere on Florida's coast, so I will be spending some of the weekend making plans for that. We are now grown-ups who are settled into our careers and life - which means we can now spend lots of time together without wanting to kill each other, so I'm quite excited! Ha. Other than that, I look forward to a nap, a mani/pedi, and hanging out in my kitchen cooking up something fresh and good for the first week of spring. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the links!



Good Laughs
These kids say the darndest things... 
I've played this over and over and over. So addictive!


Good Spaces
This kitchen makeover makes navy look beautiful...
Small can be good - and very pretty.


Good Reads
A frank discussion about negativity online.
10 everyday secrets of happy, healthy women
Oh Sweet Paul... 


Good Eats
A genius slow cooker meal plan. 
French Toast in a mug. Genius, too.  
I've made this 3 times this week. So good and refreshing. 


Good Things
In case you are looking to reduce your cable bill. I certainly am...
Perfect for summer, your home, or trip to the farmers market...
And perfect for your next vacation - and several vacations after that.
Everything in this pretty little shop is 20% off using code OHYOUFANCY...


Image via Lonny

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