2/05/2016

AN AIRY ENTRY + LINKS...



Friday is here peeps! So thrilled... What's up for the weekend? I'll be running errands in preparation for my trip to L.A.!! My mom and my brother are going with me and I couldn't be more excited. It's my mom's first trip in a very long time with just her kids in tow, so it should be quite special. Of course a Super Bowl party on Sunday is in the plans with my bestie, so that should be fun, too! Hope you have a great weekend!

Good Things
My new natural alternative to dryer sheets...
Wishlisted for my future dining room update...
These $78 things are on order and I'm hoping they work out!
Update: They worked out perfectly! So comfy!!


Good Spaces
I don't love them, but their homes are stunning...
Another one of her beautiful before & afters...
One of my favorite bloggers has the MOST beautiful home...



Good To Know
The power of a lemon...
The best foods for your skin...
These are essential for your health...
57 small things to do for yourself this year...


Good Food
This book is definitely on order...
30 "fresh" slow cooker meals...
And 16 fresh Super Bowl recipes...
Click here to find out why this cake is so crazy...
Made this soup for my Sunday dinner last week. So simple and GOOD!


Image by Alyssa Rosenheck via Domino
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2/03/2016

INSPIRED BY...


{ The simple styling here... It makes me want to deep clean my house and buy a plant or two...}


{ The little corner view of this home. It has to be a dream home. Has to be... }


{ This little kitchen display... }


{ The bed and the fresh linens on it. Wouldn't a nap here be amazing?? }


{ The perfect mix of textures in this bathroom... So fresh and so clean. }

Images 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
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2/01/2016

ORANGE LIQUEUR TRUFFLE BARS...

Orange  Liqueur Truffle Bars | Savor Home
Happy Monday! So I know that searches for the best chili, hot wings, dips, sandwiches, etc. are probably the most popular this week due to the Super Bowl happening this weekend. I know, I know, I know. But you will have to forgive me for skipping right over the Super Bowl food and heading straight toward something that is probably more suitable for Valentine's Day. I mean, I personally could watch the game with this recipe alone in hand and be fine because it's CHOCOLATE, but still...

So last week I was looking through one of my favorite cookbooks, "The New Classics," by Donna Hay (It's well worth the investment if you love good cookbooks and stunning food photography). I ran across her simple recipe for truffles and it just looked too easy and good to ignore. So I whipped it up a version of it yesterday and well, it's official. These are the truffles I will make when time permits instead of buying them at the store. These are the truffles I will now make for my friends on special occasions. These are the truffles (minus the liqueur) that I will sneak into my future children's lunchbox. They are SO GOOD! The key here is to buy the best quality chocolate you can get (i.e cacoa content of 70% or higher). It makes a huge difference. The truffles have a rich taste and texture with this hint of orange flavor that just takes these over the top. AND if you sprinkle them with a little cocoa powder or sea salt (my fave), then your taste buds are in for the most perfect explosion of chocolate-y flavor. The bottom line is that if you love chocolate and have 10-15 minutes of prep time to spare, then make these for yourself or for someone you love. They will love you right back. Promise. :)

Orange  Liqueur Truffle Bars | Savor Home
Orange  Liqueur Truffle Bars | Savor Home
Orange  Liqueur Truffle Bars | Savor Home
Here is what you need and what to do:

300g dark chocolate, chopped
300g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange liqueur, optional (I used Cointreau)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Sea salt (I used Maldon sea salt)
Cocoa powder

1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Cut the paper a little long so that it hangs over the sides of the pan. This will make it easy for you to lift the chocolate out of the pan when it is ready.

2. Start a bain-marie by adding a small amount of water to a medium sauce pan. Bring that water up to a simmer. Then turn the heat down to low.

3. Add the chopped chocolate to a heat-proof bowl that will eventually fit over the pot of simmering water. The add the heavy cream to a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring it up to a tiny simmer.

4. Once the cream starts simmering (you will see tiny little bubbles on the edge of the saucepan), turn off the heat and pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has completely melted.

5. Add the orange liqueur and vanilla to the melted chocolate and stir until they are incorporated. Pour the chocolate into the pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Place it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours until it has completely set.

6. Once the chocolate has cooled, lift it out of the pan and let it come to room temperature. Then cut it into bars or squares. Sprinkle a little sea salt and/or cocoa powder over the bars and serve!

Images by me
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1/26/2016

FOUR THINGS I'M LOVING...

Are you still trying to thaw out from the weekend?? Geez it was cold over in these parts! But I have to say that I'll take cold air over stifling hot air any time...  Anyway, today I'm here with four things that I'm loving at the moment. Scroll all the way down to see why I think they are quite special... 




{What's Gaby Cooking on Snapchat }

{ Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream }


GT's Gingerade Kombucha

The older I get, the more I need help with digestion. Sorry - just keeping it real here. Taking a daily probiotic supplement and drinking Kombucha a few times a week really helps. Kombucha is a natural fermented drink that contains enzymes, b-vitamins, and probiotics. All of that provides a natural source of energy, improved digestion, and immune support. They come in lots of different flavors, but the Gingerade is my favorite! You can find these at most grocery stores and health food stores. They run about $3-$4 per bottle, but I typically only drink half a bottle at a time. It really does help!


GapFit Activewear

So I am a Lululemon fanatic, but lately it's been really hard for me to justify spending over $100 for a pair of pants and about the same for a top. So I started shopping around for other activewear and I have landed on GapFit! I bought a few pairs of pants and tops and I have to say that I love the quality! It's thick and stays in place when I'm working out. It can be pricey, but not as much as Lulu and not as much if you catch a good sale. It seems like the Gap has a sale just about every day. I got this top, this top, these pants, and these pants all for 40% off!!


What's Gaby Cooking on Snapchat


I am obsessed with Snapchat, particularly those accounts where people post genuine and helpful moments. Gaby is a food blogger who does an awesome job at that and she is hilarious! You can tell that she is genuinely herself. She also Snapchats recipes, which I love. She hosts what's called "Snapisodes" on Fridays where she will make an entire recipe in her kitchen from start to finish. It's so helpful and the food is easy to make and always looks so good!! You can follow along with her @WhatsGabyCookin.

Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream


Thankfully my eczema has pretty much subsided (thanks in part to age, the product in this post, and coconut oil), but I still have really dry hands, especially in the winter. Moisturizing my hands with a potent hand cream at night always seems to help. I picked up this Skinfix hand cream a few months ago at Target and I really like it! It is all natural, paraben free, and fragrance free. It is really thick and creamy, so a little goes a long way - and it's definitely not something I would wear during the day due to the texture. My hands feel really soft in the mornings, so I know this is some good stuff! 


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1/22/2016

FIRESIDE + LINKS...



Happy Friday!! Did you have a good week! My week started off good and ended the same way, so I have no complaints in these parts...  This weekend shall be a continuation of that. There's not much on the agenda other than cooking dinner for a friend, tidying up around the house, and staying warm! I hope you have a great weekend!

Good Spaces
Dream home. Period.
Getting work done here would be lovely...
She has the cutest twin babies and a beautiful new kitchen...


Good To Know
What a fun little trick...
Want to learn something new??
If you have or want a duvet, this will change your life...
Like this page and you'll know how to do pretty much anything. I love it!


Good Food
I am obsessed with this page, too...
How to pretty much freeze anything...
The prettiest - and healthiest- lasagna I've seen...
I'll have one of each of everything on this beautiful blog...

Image via Wit & Delight
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1/21/2016

THAT TIME I MET HODA KOTB IN NEW YORK CITY....

The sites and the food in NYC were really great, but let me tell you about the most surprising part of the trip. A little background first... So my favorite type of person is someone who is genuine and keeps it real - no matter what. I don't have to guess how they feel or what they are thinking all of the time. They just say it like it is and I can therefore be myself around them, too. I don't know Hoda Kotb personally, but gosh I know that if I did, we would be best friends forever. Hoda has been on TV for years, but I started I listening to her show on SiriusXM consistently about six months ago and that's when I really got to know her and love her. She's always happy and she's always open about those little personal things that you might think of or ask yourself in the back of your head, but never say out loud. Her happiness always seems to rub off on me and she just keeps it real... And that's my favorite type of person to be around - or listen to in her case. 

So my dad and I were hanging out outside Rockefeller Center one day last week when we decided to duck in an NBC gift shop to warm up. It was totally empty in there! An employee came up to us and told us that it was empty because everyone was in another gift shop in the building meeting Hoda. I screamed, "Hoda Kotb????!!!" My dad said, "Who is Hoda Kotb??" Ha... We jetted down to the gift shop and there she was. She was having a book signing for her new book, "Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us The Way." I snatched a book (more on the book below), stood in the modestly long line, and the next thing I know she was giving me a big hug. We chatted about how much I loved her show and she signed my book... 


Just in case you can't tell how excited I was... :)


Her book "Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us The Way" is a collection of inspiring stories about how people weaved their way through unexpected experiences only to arrive at their sole purpose in life. These people followed their gut, their heart, and path of most resistance in pursuit of the one thing or things that made them truly happy. Some of the stories are those of celebrities (Laila Ali, Mark Burnett & Roma Downey, Margaret Cho). If you still have no clue why in the world God placed you here (as I often feel sometimes myself) then this is one of those books that might shed a little light on your situation and give you hope. Super good...

I'm just still so excited that I met her! :)

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1/19/2016

NEW YORK CITY: THE FOOD WE ATE

{ Best Bagel & Coffee }

So since I had been to NYC a few times before this trip, I was most excited about the food as opposed to the sites. I started researching restaurants before anything else, so you know I was excited! It seems like there are MILLIONS of restaurants in NYC, so the three ways I was able to find some really good eats were:

1. My friends

2. Yelp and Open Table

3. The size of the crowds or length of lines inside of the restaurants...

Obviously it was easy to ask my friends who lived there or who travel there often about their opinion on the best places to eat - and they had some great recommendations. But I have to say that I found some really great places by relying on Yelp and Open Table. I simply filtered my searches by popularity and location and found some good eats that way. The other way a good restaurant was obvious was by the size of the crowds and the lines inside or around the restaurant. If I saw a place with a huge crowd and a long line, I would make a note of it and research the details and reviews on Yelp and Open Table. 

I honestly didn't take many photos of the food we ate. It was either too dark inside or I was too impatient to take a photo! But below I've listed out each place we ate along with my review in case you are interested! 

{ ABC Kitchen }

{ Balthazar }


{ Don Antonio by Starita }

1. Best Bagel & Coffee: If I had to rank my most favorite meal while I was there, the bagel from this place would almost be 1st... SO GOOD! I found this tiny little place by searching breakfast spots on Yelp that were near our hotel. When we got there, the line was out the door, so I knew we hit a goldmine. The bagels and cream cheese are made fresh in-house daily and they had so many different varieties of each. We each opted and egg, cheese, spinach and avocado bagel and a cinnamon raisin bagel to snack on during sight-seeing. They were so fresh and good! I'm still thinking about that dang egg & spinach bagel! The place is super tiny with very limited seating, so getting food to go is best. They have the ordering process down, so the line moves pretty quickly!

2. Tony's Di Napoli: My dad loves Italian food and requested we eat that before going to our play on Broadway. This restaurant was located in the Theater District - and it was packed! All of the dishes were served family style (although smaller portions are available upon request), so we ordered the Caesar salad, which was made table-side, and the seafood pasta. It was really fresh and delicious. But my favorite part of the meal was dessert. We had a classic NY cheesecake and it was quite divine. It was really light and fluffy - yet very rich! I would definitely eat here again. Reservations can be made using Open Table and I suggest you make them ahead of time to avoid the massive line that I saw on our way out!

3. ABC Kitchen: This was my second time going to ABC Kitchen and I already know I will go again the next time I'm in NYC. It was probably my most favorite meal that I had during this trip. The only food they serve is GMO-free seasonal food that is cultivated properly, and free of pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, and hormones. That may sound boring to some, but let me tell you - it's the BEST. I don't eat beef often, but when I do, it has to have those characteristics. We were there for lunch and I had the Akaushi burger (i.e. Kobe beef) with fresh hot fries and I about died. I ate every last crumb of it! My dad had the Kasha Bowtie Pasta and he loved it as well. Oh and we shared and scarfed down a bowl of the best Brussels sprouts I've ever had at a restaurant. The restaurant is right next to ABC Carpet & Home, which if you love interior design, then you'll pretty much be in heaven. Note that this place is always packed, so making reservations via Open Table is highly recommended.

4. Balthazar: Two of my friend recommended this wonderful little French bristro, so I knew I had to try it. And I'm so glad that I did! I think I may have had the best brunch of my life there... My dad and I both ordered the apple cinnamon pancakes and we shared a side of eggs and breakfast potatoes. It was HEAVEN ON A PLATE! It is pricey (the eggs and potatoes were $21!!), but I promise you it is well worth it! I made reservations via Open Table (highly recommended on weekends) for Sunday at 9AM to avoid the regular brunch crowd. And I'd go again in a heartbeat. So good...

5. Don Antonio by Starita: If you love pizza, then you can't be in NYC without eating a slice of NY style pizza! This place kept popping up on my Yelp searches, so we tried it out. Again - another winner of a restaurant. The pizza - specifically the ingredients on the pizza were super fresh. We kept it simple and ordered a margarita pizza with prosciutto & mushrooms and a white pizza with burrata, cherry tomatoes, and basil. The dough was thin and crispy - as a good NY style pizza should be. But I just remember thinking about how fresh and authentic everything tasted. Super good...

6. Buddakan: My dad had a taste for Asian food one night, so at a friend's recommendation we tried Buddakan. Wow is this place is fancy - but really fun!! The atmosphere and chic decor inside blew me away. The food was super tasty, too. They offer so many different types of dishes, but we kept it simple by sharing the General Tso dumplings, lobster fried rice, and vegetable fried rice. All of that came out to the table pretty quickly and it was really good!! Just a side note - this was the restaurant that Big and Carrie had their engagement party at in Sex & The City the movie.

7. Pret A Manger: Dad and I mostly had only one big fancy meal each day (with the exception of maybe one day), so this was a place that I retreated to a few times to get something quick, light, and healthy that would tide me over to our big meal of the day. Pret A Manger is just about on every other block in Manhattan and it is really good. I noticed my first day there that all of them always seemed packed. So one day I ducked in there to see what was going on. Their food is made fresh daily and is all-natural if not organic. And gosh it was delish!! I stocked up on a few fresh green juices and had a small lentil soup for a quick lunch one day. That was honestly one of the best lentil soups I'd ever had. It was hot, fresh, and not too salty (like most take-out lentil soups are).

What are your favorite NYC restaurants?? I'm already taking notes for my next visit! :)

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1/18/2016

NEW YORK CITY: THE SITES WE SAW...

{ Dad & I in Central Park...}

Gosh I can already say that this is probably going to be one of my favorite weeks here on the blog! My dad and I recently took a trip to NYC and I have to say that we had the best time... I've been there a few times, but this was my dad's first time there! So we thought we would take a little father-daughter trip there together. We walked a lot, talked a lot, ate a LOT, and pretty much did that on repeat for 4 days. We bought a CityPass (which I highly recommend for first time visitors) that gave us discounted tickets to all of the top touristy places like Top Of The Rock, Statue of Liberty, the 911 Memorial, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We saw The Lion King on Broadway, which was absolutely amazing. We hired a guide to show us around Central Park. And since we have similar personalities, we even made time for afternoon naps. :) 

Naturally I took a ton of photos! Since I have so many of them that cover different things, I thought I would take this week to share them with you. Today is all about the sites we saw and tomorrow is all about the food we ate. I have so many good recommendations for food! Later in the week, I will give you the details on one of the MOST exciting and surprising parts of the trip for me. It was such a fun time!

{The Flatiron building never ceases to amaze me... }


{The new One World Trade Center Building is so beautiful - especially from a distance. The saddest part of my trip was visiting the 911 Memorial right next door to the building. It was so beautifully done, but I  was so totally unprepared for how emotional it would be. There were things like actual fire trucks, plane parts, shoes, workpapers from desks, wallets, helmets of responders - all kinds of things from the rubble that were preserved and put on display. It's one thing to have seen all of that on TV, but to see it in person is a whole other thing. Goodness! Despite that, I think it's definitely worth seeing. Just be prepared! }




{A view in Central Park of the prestigious San Remo apartment building on the Upper West side... Apartments in the building range from $5.3M to $75M. Cheap right??}


{The architecture of the buildings in Manhattan is stunning... I don't think they make em' like that anymore... }

{After only seeing her in photos, I found it breathtaking to be this close to her in person. She's a beauty... }


{This was an atrium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dad and I knew the museum was big, but it's actually HUGE. We may have made it halfway through. It's totally a whole day experience. Of course my favorite exhibit was at the the Anna Wintour Costume Center. It is currently featuring the wardrobe of Countess Jacqueline de Ribes from the 1960s. It was gorgeous! She was WAY ahead of the game in the 60s... }

Images by me
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