11/30/2011

Wishlist: Bags


I admit that I used to buy maybe one purse a year. I know... But thanks to blogs, the change in my sense of fashion and whatever else, I now have a bigger appreciation for bags. I change my bag out on most weekends, which would have been unheard of a few years ago. 

These bags are calling my name...
#'s 1 and 5 would be great for work. 
#1 is a Victoria Beckham bag. I love it. It's sleek. It's classic. It's probably the most expensive. Sigh...
#'s 2 and 3 are Zara bags. Perfect colors. Perfect for the weekend. Perfect gifts, too I think.
I imagine wearing #4 as a crossbody bag. I love saddle bags. I think they are perfect to wear while shopping or traveling.

Would you like one of each, too?
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11/29/2011

Christmas Quinoa Salad

I mentioned yesterday that I put myself into a food coma last week. So on Sunday, I treated my body to some healthy food by making this quinoa salad...


This was my first time making quinoa and I have been missing out! Quinoa is full of protein, iron and calcium, so it is incredible for your body. Whole Foods has a great site all about it. I cooked it with chicken broth and it was very flavorful. I made it even more healthy and flavorful by adding some fresh vegetables and cheese. The colors reminded me of Christmas. Here is what you need and what to do...


1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of chicken broth
Hot house cucumber, diced
Chopped walnuts
Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Feta cheese
Green onions (green and white parts), chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse the quinoa in a fine sifter until the water runs clear. Add the quinoa and the chicken broth to a pot and bring it up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is dissolved. Be sure to cook it with the lid on the pot. Add the quinoa to a bowl and let it cool. Once it has cooled, add the vegetables, cheese, nuts, salt and pepper. You will have about 3 cups of quinoa, so add as many vegetables, nuts and cheese as you like. 

It is good as is, but a lemon vinaigrette makes it taste even better. Just whisk together one part fresh lemon juice, two parts extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Serve with some grilled chicken or fish and you will be in business!! 

Linked up with Tasty Tuesdays!

xo, 
Images by me
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11/28/2011

Weekend In Nine

Hello!! How is everyone doing? Things are good here. I had a great weekend with my family. I ate tons, slept tons and pretty much feel like I am caught up. What a lovely feeling...  Here are some other highlights from last week and weekend:


1. My brother and I were in TJMaxx last week. He saw this coat was dangling on a hanger and asked me to try it on. I gave him a crazy look as I was not in the market for a coat, especially one that looked like that- on the hanger. But I tried it on and SOLD! I love the details and how it fits. Perfect for the holidays...


2. We bought the coat on Wednesday. On Thursday, I had the best time with my family! I also ate myself into a food coma. My brother and I tried to fight it off by taking a walk around my uncle's backyard. It didn't work.



3.  A few reasons why I was in a food coma...


4. My brother shot this while we were on our walk. He loves playing around with cameras like I do. I was so full in that pic. Full of food that is...

5. I hope my coat still fits. I haven't tried it on since Wednesday. I really ate lots.

6. Friday was my mom's birthday. We talked, talked some more, put up her Christmas tree and ate leftovers. No shopping. Hanging out with her in our pj's all day was much more enjoyable.


7. I put the majority of my Christmas decorations up over the weekend! I am SO excited about the holidays. Mom bought this wreath for me at Hobby Lobby and I love it. I hope to photograph everything else this week!




8. I FINALLY had time to figure out how to use Polyvore. Hallelujah!! I know I am lightyears late on learning it. Better late than never...

9. If you need a little inspiration about life, relationships, starting your own business, blogging etc., read this post by my girl Rhoda of Southern Hospitality.

xo,
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11/24/2011

Thankful & Comfy


Today I am giving many thanks with my family. I have so many things to be thankful for. I made lists of some things I am thankful for here and here. Here is another little list...

Today I am thankful for my grandparents. They are in their late 80's and are in perfect health. I am so lucky. 


Today I am thankful for my brother. He ran errands with me other day and patiently listened to me as I complained about some of everything. I was having a moment. Then he took me out for pizza and then to Starbucks. I love him.

Today I am thankful for the food I am about to receive that was cooked by my wonderful aunt- turkey, ham, mac & cheese, dressing, collard greens,  cranberry sauce, apple pie and all kinds of other stuff. My mouth is watering...


Today I am thankful for the time I will have to take a nap. I heart naps.

Today I am thankful for comfy clothes and leftovers. I will look kinda like this later today. Bedhead and scarf will be included...


And I am certainly thankful for you. Your comments and e-mails keep me going more than you could ever know. I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! See ya on Monday.

xo,


Images via
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11/22/2011

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes



Don't those look yummy?? Well, they are! They are these moist and delicious one-biters that my friends devour each time they eat them. A good friend of mine shared this recipe with me and it would only be right if I shared it with you. Here is what you need and what to do for the cupcakes...

2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves and ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 16oz can of pumpkin puree
1 cup of canola oil


Not the healthiest I know, but the recipe makes 96 one-biter cupcakes. Feel better? Good. Feel free to half this recipe if you need to. 

Preheat the oven to 350. Place liners in the mini cupcake pans. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk all of the wet ingredients together. No mixer is necessary for the cupcakes, but you will need one for the frosting. Fill each mini muffin cup about 2/3's of the way full. Bake for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Your nose will also tell you when they are ready. 


Here is what you need and what to do for that FABULOUS frosting...

3 cups of confectioners sugar
2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1-2 tablespoons of whipping cream
2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the butter and sugar. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and cream and beat for another minute. Add a little more cream if you would like a thinner frosting. Then add the cinnamon and beat until it is incorporated. I put the frosting into a Ziplock back and piped it on the cupcakes, but you could frost them any way you like. 

Linked up with Tasty Tuesdays!

Images by me


P.S. On a totally different note, I am over at Gaby's blog, The Vault Files, participating in her "In My Makeup Bag" series, so stop by!
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11/21/2011

Weekend In Seven

Hi guys! It's the start of one of my FAVORITE weeks of the year! Thanksgiving! I spent the weekend tackling my to-do list and thankfully was able to get a lot done. Here are a few of those things mixed with a little randomness...


1. Well, I put up a few Christmas decorations. Just a few. I usually wait until the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but I couldn't help myself. For some reason, I am more excited about this Christmas than I have been in a long time. Am I the only one? Decorating will commence on Sunday... :) :)


2. This was a mocha that I devoured at brunch on Sunday at West Egg Cafe in Atlanta. If you are ever in the neighborhood, do yourself a huge favor and eat there. The food is fantastic and that is probably the best mocha I have ever had. Sorry Starbucks...


3. After brunch, I headed to the grocery store to stock up on some veggies to nibble on for the next few days. Eating super healthy the next few days will make me feel better about eating really really really bad on Thursday and Friday. I know that's not the best rationale...


4. I took a stroll through Restoration Hardware over the weekend. Sigh... My wish list gets longer every time I go in there! I added this bed to the list. Nailhead heaven.


5. Is there an awards show for the best commercials? If so, the Target 2011 Black Friday commercial should win the Oscar of all commercials. I saw it several times over the weekend and I laughed every single time! That lady is hilarious! That is the commercial just in case you haven't see it yet.



6. My weekend wouldn't be complete without pinning. Do you ever think Pinterest will go out of style? Anyway, this was my top pin of the weekend- camera lenses for the iPhone 4/4S. You can find them here. Genius I tell ya.



7. Thanks to all of you who have voted for my photo in Giada's Facebook photo contest! I really appreciate it! Voting is still open and will be until December 2nd. If you are on Facebook and would like to vote, just click here! You can even vote once a day if you like!

Happy Monday!

Oh and P.S. I'm over at Laura's lovely blog, Bright Bold & Beautiful sharing three things that I am thankful for!
xo,
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11/18/2011

Write It Down: Minted Journals

 I don't know about you, but I am always making some sort of list and have recently started a gratitude journal. Lists keep me and my mind in order and I am in a much better mood when I am reminded of reasons to be thankful. So these journals and by Minted make me super happy...





These are a few of my favorites. I think the last one with the pic of my Maxwell might be my most favorite... And don't you think they would be a great gift? They are available here for $16 each. OR you can click here to head over to Camille's beautiful blog. She is giving away a $75 gift certificate towards the purchase of these journals!

What's up for the weekend? Speaking of to-do lists, I have one a mile long. Why can't I ever seem to get caught up?? Sigh... I'll be tackling that list and getting ready for Thanksgiving! I hope you have a great weekend!

xo, 
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11/17/2011

A Little Gold: Serena & Lily

I made a visit to Serena & Lily's the other night I must say that I love their new items for this season. These accessories really caught my eye...






It's no secret that gold is in and I am loving the gold detail on these items! Those bowls would be perfect for serving snacks at a holiday party or maybe as an accessory on a dresser or nightstand. I think the detail on that lamp is quite lovely. And well, you know I love circular mirrors. Hurricanes remind me of the holidays. Those would be pretty all lit up at a holiday party, too. Gosh, now I want to plan a party...
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11/16/2011

A Winner!!!


The lucky winner of this one of these cuddly super soft West Elm throws is...


Amanda of Amanda Carol Interiors! Congratulations!

Amanda is an amazing interior designer. This home office she designed is one of my favorites...


and her living room is really beautiful as well...


I think the throw would look perfect in there!

Her blog has much more eye candy, so be sure to check it out!

Congrats again!

xo, 
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11/15/2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Neimans Style

Me and chocolate are BFF's, so I love a good chocolate chip cookie. By good I mean rich, soft and delectable. I'm not a fan of hard cookies. At all. Their are lots of good recipes out there, but the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie fits the bill- my bill that is.


The first time I had this cookie was at the Zodiac Cafe (now NM Cafe) in Dallas, TX. It is located inside of the original Neiman Marcus. They served the cookie to me warm on a warm plate, with a cold glass of milk. I took a bite and I melted. For real. The waiter told me the recipe was online. I smiled. It's the only chocolate chip cookie I have made since then and I serve it to my friends the same way. 


You should try it. Here is what you need and what to do:

1 stick of unsalted butter- room temperature
1 cup of light brown sugar
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 large egg- room temperature
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream them together for about 2 minutes. Add the egg and the vanilla. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches. Using a spatula, fold in the espresso and chocolate chips.

Drop the cookies on nonstick cookie sheet or greased cookie sheet using 1 ounce ice cream scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure. Gently mash the cookie so that it forms a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are light brown. Bake for about 23 minutes if you want a crispier cookie. But they taste better soft, served warm, on a warm plate, with really cold milk. Trust me. 


Images by me                                              
********
Today is the last day to enter my West Elm throw giveaway! Click here for your chance to win!
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11/14/2011

Weekend in Six

Hi guys! I hope you had a great weekend. I only have six things for ya today. I unfortunately got a nasty sinus infection that decided to show up last Friday. So the fun weekend I had planned with my mom didn't happen. Blah. 

1. Even though mom and I didn't get to have our fun weekend, she still took care of me. I admit that I am not that much fun to be around when I am not feeling well. 


But she still made me lots of tea and made sure I drank lots of water. She also taught me how to use a Neti Pot. Genius invention.


AND she made me a big ol' pot of chicken and vegetable soup. I love her.


2. Because of the gallons of water I drank, Mucinex-D, mom's soup and rest, I felt good enough to get my first fall manicure on Sunday. I chose "We'll Always Have Paris" by OPI. There is nothing like a fresh mani...




3. I used Instagram to take the photos above. I've become a little obsessed with it lately. I have developed this love for photography and I enjoy seeing creative photos by others.  I love photos by @glitterguide, @lemonandlavender and @heygorg.


@taza of RockStar Diaries is also a favorite. Her husband and adorable daughter Eleanor have the same hair in that photo. Too cute.


4. Being stuck in bed with wireless internet is not good sometimes. My online shopping carts start to fill up. I almost bought this necklace by House of Harlow. Love it.


5. I am really ready for Christmas. I saw the Hershey's Kisses "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" commercial over the weekend and got so excited. That commercial never gets old to me.


6. Are you on Facebook?? Do you have any friends or family on Facebook? If so, the voting for Giada's Facebook photo contest starts TONIGHT! 


I submitted this dish and am hoping to win at least and honorable mention! I would love your vote! And your friends vote, too... Click here to view and vote for my entry!


I hope you guys have a great week. Thanks mom for taking care of me!


Oh and one more thing... I'm giving away a soft and snuggly West Elm throw to a lucky reader! Click here for your chance to win!


xo,
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11/11/2011

Chandy On The Side


I was browsing one of my favorite tumblr sites and this elegant image instantly caught my eye. Of course I love the soft green color. The framed fabric headboard is beautiful (a good DIY?) and the antique chandy on the side is quite lovely. I'd love to spend my weekend in this space, but my mom is here with me. Spending time with her is much better. 

I  want to thank you for all of your beautiful comments yesterday. It was honestly one of the best birthdays I have had in a very long time and your comments definitely contributed to that. Thank you so very much. 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. And happy 11/11/11!

xo, 
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