2/29/2012

Rustic & Refined




White kitchens are my fave, but rustic ones come in a close second. I am dying over that hood above that gorgeous range. I would love to cook a big meal there for my family.
The brick ceiling is fantastic, too...

My parents have a copper sink similar to that lovely farmhouse sink in their kitchen, so that photo reminds me of home. And I'm missing home right now. Busy weeks tend to make me feel that way...

And the dining area. It's rustic, refined, warm and elegant all at the same time and I like it- well minus the head on the floor. I don't think my dinner guests would like that...

How is your week going?
Images 1/2/3
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2/28/2012

I Heart Toast

If last weekend were 3 days instead of 2, I would have had time to cook up something lovely to post today. But as some of you may know, that little black dress thing took up half of my weekend, so I don't have any personal food photos today. I  honestly feel a bit like a kid who came to class without their homework...


 I do have this fun graphic that I found via Wit + Delight. I love that blog. The graphic highlights a food that I eat daily - toast. Sometimes I like it with plain ol' butter, strawberry jam,  peanut butter & bananas or melted American or pepperjack cheese. Sometimes I like it a little more dressed up like the photos above. I really like #1...

How do you like your toast??
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2/27/2012

Weekend In Six

Hi there!! How was your weekend?? My weekend was not as relaxing as last weekend. Work is crazy and I spent almost an entire day shopping for something. Here's the story along with some random things and thoughts...

1. I think I am still recovering from a whole day of shopping for the perfect black dress. I have an event to go to this week and needed something simple and classic. WHY is it that when I need a simple black dress, I can't find THE ONE?? Does that happen to you? I spent hours looking. I ended up buying four dresses and returned two. I'm very indecisive sometimes.



I found the PERFECT wrap dress and clutch for the event at Banana Republic. That pic is not the actual dress I bought, but very similar. My dress is a little more sleek looking- it is a little longer and has long sleeves. It literally fits like a glove. I'll be pairing it with that BR clutch, a fab pair of black heels that I already have (thank God) and that simple necklace that I found at Target. I bought it a while back and wear it all the time! Oh and I got 30% off the BR dress and clutch... Score.

Then I found the CUTEST shift dress at H&M. It was $17.95 people! And it is fabulously made. It will be perfect with flats, heels, dressed up or dressed down. I'll definitely be wearing it to BlogFest...


2. Speaking of BlogFest, who's going?? Let me know!! I want to meet you!


3. I treated myself to a CamiCakes lemon cupcake after I found the perfect dress for the event. It was heaven in a cupcake wrapper. I so needed it...


4. I am still learning Photoshop Elements. I did that graphic above using Photoshop and I needed another cupcake after I finished it... Learning it (for me) is like learning a foreign language. Does anyone else feel the same way?

via
5. So about the Oscars. I did exactly as I said I would do. I made this meal and was on the couch in time for the red carpet. My three faves were Gwyneth, Maria and Michelle. Gwyneth is just stunning. I'm not 100% sold on the cape, but the overall look is very modern, clean and sleek, which I love. I love the color and flow of Maria's dress. And Michelle finally got it right- in my opinion. 

Did you have a fave last night??

6. It's Monday and I want need another cupcake... 

xo,


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2/24/2012

Glamorous...

The Oscars are this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! I like to cook a good Sunday dinner and be on the couch front and center to catch the start of the red carpet on E!. I can't wait to see all the glitz and the glamour and who got it right and who definitely didn't. Then I look forward to hearing all of the opinions on Fashion Police. I heart Fashion Police... 

Anyway, do you watch the Oscars? If you were to attend the Oscars, would your style be minty, flowy or gold? 

All of these are crazy gorgeous in my book. I could definitely wear all of them. I would only feel comfortable in them after about 1,000 more Pilates classes, but that is a whole other story.  I say that as I am munching on a bowl of chocolate chips... 

I hope you have a fabulous weekend friends.

Images (left to right) 1.2.3.4.5.6
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2/23/2012

Top 10: Veranda Interiors

If I need to make a crazy day a little more calm or a bad day better, all I have to do is browse white decor. It's fresh, it's clean and it just makes me happy...






So when Mel of Veranda Interiors asked me to do a guest post for her, white decor was the first thing that came to mind. I'm over at her beautiful blog today sharing my top 10 white rooms. Click here to check it out!

P.S. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that kitchen with two sinks! Do you?

Images 1/2/3/4
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2/22/2012

One Clutch, Two Looks





How amazingly cute are these reversible clutches?? I mentioned here that I am loving florals for spring, so I'm loving the pink clutch. But I think the gold one is my fave... Do you have a fave?


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2/21/2012

Blueberry Muffins

"Picture it..." (as Sophia hilariously says on The Golden Girls). It was raining last Sunday morning. I woke up and was dying to just stay in bed all day. Rainy days make me feel extra lazy. But I looked over at my to-do list on the nightstand and knew that being lazy was not going to be an option. So I thought that I could at least start the day off on a relaxing note by having breakfast in bed. So I grabbed my extra chunky white robe and headed to the kitchen. I opened Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook and this was the first recipe that I flipped to...


Gwyneth's mother's blueberry muffins. Comforting and warm... I already had all of the ingredients. Perfect.


They were exactly what I needed. Here is what you need and what to do in case you need them, too...

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 organic large eggs
1/2 cup of whole milk
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of fine salt
2 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with liners. In a medium bowl, whisk up the butter, eggs and milk. In another bowl, whisk the flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Then, carefully fold in the blueberries. Fill each of tins muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle the tops with the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. The tops should be golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean.

** These aren't that sweet, so if you need a little more sweetness in your life, add another 1/4 cup of sugar. I think I will add the zest of 1/2 a lemon the next time, too. Lemon zest and blueberries are great friends. **


I put two of these on a tray with strawberries and some orange Tazo tea. I climbed in the middle of my bed and enjoyed breakfast in bed. It was the perfect start to my day. 

Linked up with Tasty Tuesdays

Images by me
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2/20/2012

Weekend In Six Pics

Hi! Did you have a good weekend? I hope so! Here are a few highlights from my weekend + some current obsessions + some random thoughts...


I had tea and a lovely 3-hour lunch with a great friend on Saturday at Cafe Intermezzo. If you live in Atlanta and have not been yet, please put it on your list of places to go. The food is fabulous and their mouth-watering desserts will make you gain ten pounds just by looking at them. 

I am obsessed with Alexia sweet potato fries. They are in the frozen section of the grocery store. I bake them off, sprinkle them with sea salt, put them in a bowl and eat them like I'm eating a bowl of popcorn. So delicious. I made kale chips for the first time over the weekend using this recipe. I almost ate my fingers off...

I have bought white tulips three weeks in a row now. They keep me happy. 

On Sunday morning, I whipped up some homemade blueberry muffins, tea, and fruit. I put it all on a nice tray and had breakfast in bed. Blissful... I will be sharing the recipe for the muffins tomorrow...

I ate a lot this weekend (some healthy, some not) and watched The Holiday-- again.

Some new blogs I'm loving: Stephanie LeAnnFree To Be Lea and The Long And Short Of It

The season premiere of Bethenny Ever After is TONIGHT! I will be glued in front of the TV. Do you watch it?

Photos via Instagram (@savorhome)

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2/17/2012

Friday's Fancies: Beach Essentials

Happy Friday!! Well last week, it was Napa. This week it's the beach! Can you tell I'm really wanting a vaca? The beach is really one of my favorite places on the planet. There is something about them that is so incredibly calming and peaceful. It's the only place where I can completely clear my mind. And it's Friday and my mind needs clearing badly... 

But all I can do for now is just imagine that I am on a white sandy beach where the water is as blue as the sky. I'm staying in gorgeous house right on the beach that comes complete with a chef. No schedules, no stress, all laughs. If I could start packing now, here are some things I would take...




I love everything here, but I must say that I really LOVE that Michael Kors swimsuit!! Maybe I need to work a little harder in Pilates class this weekend... Of course I would take an elegant, yet beachy dress for a nice dinner, a huge stack of mags, great sunnies, and some sunscreen. Good times...

Do you love the beach as much as I do?? Do tell...

I hope you have a great weekend!

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2/16/2012

On Order {K. Slademade}

Sarah pinned this K. Slademade beauty a few days ago and I loved it! But I just repinned it and moved on. Well a stressful day yesterday called for some retail therapy. So the tote is now on order and I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival. I'm now just a little thankful for the stressful moment. Just a little...
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2/15/2012

A Chocolate Soufflé Story

Just because Love Day has come and gone doesn't mean that I won't eat chocolate for another year. I wouldn't do that to myself. That would be absolutely insane... I eat chocolate everyday, whether its a little Dove dark chocolate candy or a handful of chocolate chips. Sometimes I treat myself to something more special, which is what I did last weekend...

One of my favorite desserts is chocolate soufflé. I love everything about them from their texture to the process of making them. I find the process sort of therapeutic... 


I started the process by chopping up this precious bar of organic semi-sweet chocolate.  I melted it down and slowly incorporated it into a mound of fluffy, sweetened egg whites and whipped pale yellow egg yolks...


And this is what I got... I got a spongy, chocolatey, light, delicious work of food art. I photographed these as soon as they came out of the oven as they tend to deflate over time. When their photo session was over, I took one soufflé ( I made two), sat at my kitchen table and had dessert. I think it was around two in the afternoon and I had eaten lunch two hours prior. That's ok right?


After I finished the first soufflé, I poured a jar of creamy milk. Then, I reached over to the second soufflé... and devoured it. Yes, I felt guilty. I ate a salad for dinner that night, which made me feel a little better...

I used this amazing and simple recipe. It calls for bittersweet chocolate, but semi-sweet is delectable as well...

Images by me

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2/14/2012

Mom's Meaning of Love Day


Happy Valentine's Day!!

I have a special guest for you today. Meet my mom, Bunnie. She is pretty much the love of my life, so I thought it was fitting for her to make an apperance today. She is exceptionally talented at writing poetry, so I asked her to whip up a poem that reflected her thoughts on Love Day. And by whip I mean about 5 minutes. That's how long it took her to write this. I just love her...

~~~~~~~~~~~

Valentine’s Day is a day for nothing else
But to be mindful to just love yourself
It is not just a day for a man and wife
A happy frame of mine should be everyday life

Even though I have been married over 35 years
I have never expected all the flowers and frills
I stop and think of others wild about the day
Saying to myself every day should be this way

I think of my children; Love brought them here
Through the grace of God and they are so dear
They give me love more than cupid can deliver
Can’t you just see my lips are starting to quiver?

On this day I try to think of others
That live alone with no family or a lover
I try to brighten up their Valentine's Day
By just giving them a hug and a PayDay

I wish for all a safe and blessed day
Remember that kind words can go a long way
Share this day with your family and friends
Leave the candy alone; Hips is where it will end!


Love, Bunnie

~~~~~~~~~~~

See why I love her so much?
I couldn't agree with her more.
She is the most unselfish person I know and I thank God everyday for her!
Give a friend or a loved one a hug or simply a call today if you can.
I plan to do just that. 

xo, 
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2/13/2012

Weekend In One {An Office Install}

Hi there! How was your weekend? I hope it was a good one. I had quite a busy weekend. Half of it was spent preparing for this week, so I won't bore you with those details. The other half was spent doing an unplanned office install for a very dear friend that I work with. That is what I would like to share with you today...

I spent Saturday with a friend who was looking to decorate her office at work. She asked me to help her out. She collects antiques and has a gorgeous 1960's cottage-style home full of great stuff, so I thought the best place to shop would be her own home. Once we got to her house, she showed me her home office and well, she needed a little help... So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work!

Blogging wasn't on my mind, so I didn't have my good camera or take any before pics. But I will explain the "before" as I go through the pics. 

Note that we did not buy one single thing! Everything you see are things that she already had! Most importantly, the majority of the items have a very special meaning to her. 


This was probably my favorite part of the space. There was a built in desk in the nook with an old computer on it. We knocked out the desk and got rid of the computer. I put a side table in the space added a vintage lamp that she bought at a garage sale years ago. The chair was from another bedroom and the pictures on the wall are vintage photos and frames. 


The space has some really beautiful built-ins. Before I styled them, they were full of papers, old CD's, stacks of books and even a few cassette tapes! I took everything down and started from scratch. I added a few lamps, a few of her favorite books and family photos and a small basket of office supplies. After I took this photo, I did a bit more styling and hid the lamp cord. :)


The desk was what really made me want to redecorate her office. The built-in desk was hidden under 500 stacks of papers and needed immediate attention! The chair was an old "Office Max" type chair that had to go. 


We cleaned off the desk and dumped the old chair. I added a lamp and put one of her favorite paintings on the wall. The chair was from her living room and the blanket on the chair is an heirloom. Oh and she is accountant (like me), so that is why there is an extra monitor there. Two monitors make our work much easier. I styled the bookcases off to the side by adding baskets of office supplies, one her favorite paintings and some family photos.


The space initially didn't have a rug, so we brought in a rug from another room that pulled all of the different colors in the space together. The view from the office is of a beautiful golf course, which I find to be lovely. 

My friend loved it and my heart was so full knowing that she was so happy. After we finished, we sat in her living room and had a light dinner of wine, goat cheese and crackers and stuffed olives. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day. 

How was your weekend?? Do tell...

The winner of the Lo & Sons bags is Shannon of Shannon Hearts! Congrats! I will send you an e-mail shortly!

xo,
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2/10/2012

Friday's Fancies: Dream Love Day


It's Friday!! I'm so happy I could scream!

Today's Friday's Fancies is all about the upcoming Love Day... What are your plans? I will probably be working. I'm incredibly thankful for my job, but there are other things I dream of doing that are a little more exciting. For example...




I would love to take the whole week off next week.
And jet off to Napa Valley with a hot date. I've always wanted to go to Napa- with a hot date.
On Valentine's Day, I would love to have a great brunch at a restaurant overlooking a beautiful vineyard, followed by an afternoon of wine tasting. I love wine, especially with a hot date.
I would wear that outfit. I think it's fashionable, casual, comfy and perfect for the occasion.
And aren't those Kate Spade sandals cute?! You know how much I love wedges...
I love the pop of color from the J.Crew bracelet. We'll pretend my hot date gave it to me for V-day.
Such a nice guy...
We would spend the rest of the trip eating, sight-seeing and laughing.
I would come home refreshed and relaxed with a renewed spirit.

****************

Sounds dreamy right? Sigh... Back to reality, a reality I must say I am very grateful for...

I hope you have a great weekend! And don't forget to check out my latest giveaway!! The winner will be announced on Monday!

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