7/31/2012

Juice Of A Few Flowers



I love a good girly cocktail. I always have. My first alcoholic drink I had when I was 21 (or maybe a little younger) was an amaretto sour- the same first drink of so many other women I know. I loved the sweetness and how you really couldn't taste the alcohol. But now that I am older and have to pay my own bills, I like a little kick in my cocktails. 


So when I saw this recipe by Ms. Garten that has one cup of "good" vodka, I thought I might give it a try. First, I love the name of the drink. Very girly. Second, it's very fresh and in fact, very versatile. It tastes fabulous with the vodka, but you could substitute the vodka for gin, champagne or Prosecco. It tastes just like summer without any alcohol. Very refreshing...


Making the drink involves juicing some fruit, so I have one quick tip. Place the fruit in between a set of tongs. Think of any frustrations you might be having at the moment and squeeze the tongs together. You will be amazed at the amount of the juice you will get...


Here is what you need an what to do:

1 cup good vodka
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (2 oranges)
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice (1 grapefruit)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 to 1 1/2 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 limes) 

This drink is best served really cold, so it's good to put the drinking glasses in the freezer about 30 minutes ahead of time. Juice the fruit into a pitcher and add the vodka. I put a strainer on top of the pitcher so that it would catch the seeds and pulp of the fruit. Stir everything together. Fill a shaker with ice and fill it 3/4 of the way up with the drink. Shake it for a full 30 seconds. Your hands will be frozen, but it's worth it. Promise. Pour the drink into the glasses. I planned to add a sprig of mint for garnish, but I liked the lime slice better. Either will work though. I also garnished the tray with lime zest for a little added flair. 

The vodka is quite potent in this drink, so add a little less vodka or dilute it with sparking water if you can't take the heat!

Linked with Tasty Tuesdays
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7/30/2012

Weekend In Six Pics








Saturday morning blog research in bed | My first trip to CB2 | A city bench complete with a party flyer | The Loews hotel & a swanky high rise | Fish tacos | Hydrangeas on my nightstand

Well hi there! How are you? I hope you had a good weekend. I'm sad the weekend is over! On Saturday, I planned to run a few quick errands and watch the Olympics the rest of the day. But after a little Saturday morning blogging in bed,  I just wanted to get out! So I went to Midtown in Atlanta with my camera in tow to shop and shoot a few pics of the modern architecture. I went to CB2 for the first time and pretty much could have bought the whole kitchen section. I loved it and loved the prices! I had some fresh fish tacos on the patio at Lime and ended my day at Whole Foods. I can't go in there without buying flowers or spending less than $20 on just a few items for that matter. This week, it's hydrangeas. Two of them are already dead and one is just gorgeous. But I still love them. 

Did you do anything exciting this weekend?? I hope you have a great week!

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7/27/2012

High Fashion & Hot Bodies






Happy Friday!! I don't have any links for you this week, but I do have these amazing photos featuring model Karli Kloss, some gorgeous gowns and a few hot Olympians. That's ok right?? :) How stunning are they? The photos are by Annie Leibovitz (of course) and I LOVE them! So very creative...

So what's up for your weekend? Other than my typical errands, I will be glued to the Olympics. I'm not a huge sports fan, but there is something amazing about watching Olympians and seeing the incredible things they can do. What are your favorite events? I love track, swimming, diving and gymnastics. I'm also looking forward to the opening ceremonies. Spiced popcorn and wine will definitely be in order tonight! So excited...

I hope you have a great weekend!

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7/26/2012

Lust List #7




Just a few things that I'm loving and needing wanting in my life. I really love the bag (and the $25 price tag) and those Valentino beauties. But my favorite has to be that bar cart. I love the clean lines and it would be PERFECT in a little area in my living room. If only it were cheaper! As soon as a C&B coupon arrives in the mail, I would love to purchase that bad boy! But let me know if you have seen anything similar and cheaper!


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7/25/2012

Gray Goodness...





I'm feeling a bit gray today, but in a good way. I saw that first bathroom on Naomi's blog yesterday and had a moment over it. I wish it were mine. I'll take the other two as well. All of them have little details that make them extra special. I love the chest in the first pic. It warms the space right up. The robes and that bathtub in the second pic - well, both of those would make for quite a relaxing day. It was designed by Melissa of Veranda Interiors and photographed by Tracey Ayton. Love their work. I'm loving the mirrors in that last pic. All of those details make the gray even more beautiful in my book. 

Images 1/2/3

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7/24/2012

Really, Really Good Bread....



So my mom and I were talking a few weeks ago. She said she made zucchini bread and I thought, "Yuck." I just don't really feel like the words "zucchini" and "bread" go together. At all. It just doesn't sound appetizing to me. Anyone else feel the same way?? All of that explains why I have never made it and maybe the title of this post. ;)


Anyway, mom kept talking and talking about how good it was and that I should try it. So I went and bought some really fresh zucchini and made it- so that I could understand what she was talking about...


And she was right. If I think about it, she always is... 

It is insanely delicious and dare I say "healthy."  It's a blend of both summer and fall. It has the warm flavors of cinnamon, allspice and freshly grated nutmeg. It also has a hint of freshness from the zucchini and a burst of sweetness from the pineapples and raisins. One might think that none of that goes together, but it really, really does. 


My point is that you have to make this. There are so many different recipes out there, but I chose this one and I'm glad I did. Here is what you need and what to do:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Stir in the zucchini, pineapple and raisins. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack. Super easy.

To make it even better, grab some room temp butter or cream cheese. Slather the bread with either. Grab a cup of tea or milk or coffee- whatever floats your boat. Then enjoy!

Linked with Tasty Tuesdays!

Images by me

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7/23/2012

Weekend In Five Pics







Two of my favorite things: Rainier cherries and InStyle mags | My nail salon | Blue lamp section at HomeGoods | A little closet organization | Me and my glasses

So how was your weekend? I hope it was lovely!! It's been a while since I've shared Instagram photos, so I thought I would share a few today. One of the photos highlights a little weekend project, which was reorganizing my closet. I organize and edit my closet often, but here is why I did it on Saturday... I haven't purchased one article of clothing since this post. That was almost two months ago! I am on a little "shopping for clothes diet." I am buying some new things for my home, so I gave up shopping for clothes. I have to give up one thing for another. That's just how me and my budget roll.  It's been tough with all of the good sales lately, but it's happening! I reorganized so that I could recall appreciate what I already have and put some new looks together- with things I already have. We will see how much longer I can stand it...

And yep, I wear these glasses almost everyday... I don't like to take photos in them, but I thought I would fill you in on the everyday me. Simply put, my eyes like glasses more than contacts and I'm cool with that. :)

Anyway, I hope your week is off to a great start! If only I could start my day off in that nail salon instead of my office!

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7/20/2012

Modern + Vintage Nursery & Links





Last Friday, I had weddings on the brain and this week I have skipped all the way to nurseries. I just happened to see this gorgeous nursery designed by Nicole Davis of Me Oh My. It is neutral, so that is plus #1 in my book. I also love the mixture of old and new. The modern bed goes so well with the vintage lighting and armoire. I am dying over that rocker, too! Nicole is an amazing decorator. Her portfolio proves it...

I hope you have a great weekend planned! I was in bed by 9PM the last two nights in a row, so I should be well rested! Although doing that again tonight doesn't sound all that bad... Anyway, other than running errands, I am meeting friends for dinner and drinks, making a tasty meal two and visiting some local antique shops. I'm still working on my place... I will see you back here on Monday. In the meantime, here are a few good links from the week...

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. They are starring in this movie- together. I can't WAIT to see it! 

This lovely blogger just bought an amazing house. Her story makes it even more amazing. 

If you are in your 30's or 40's, do you find it harder to meet new friends? I love this article on the topic...

Brownie ice cream sandwiches. That's all that needs to be said. 

A Saturdate...

My feed didn't update yesterday, so check out my post from yesterday if you missed it! I would love to hear your feedback on the subject...

Have a great weekend!

xo,
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7/19/2012

On Patterned Wallpaper...



I know that wallpaper is in, more so now than ever, but I have mixed feelings about it. I grew up in the 80's, a time where just about every room in the house had some sort of wallpaper. I remember our kitchen had dark brown wallpaper with little acorns on it. "Hideous" was the best word to describe it. Sorry mom, but it was. Since then, I think I have been partial to patterned wallpaper. But lately my eyes have slowly been giving it a chance. I'm gravitating towards lighter shades of paper that do a great job of complimenting the space. The spaces tend to be beautifully accessorized as well, which brings out the beauty of the paper...




I surprised myself when I saw that last photo. The paper is a bit darker, but accessories can get me every time.

What are your thoughts on patterned wallpaper? Love it or leave it?


Images 1/2/3/4
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7/18/2012

The Perfect Combination



I have mentioned a few times that I am drawn to spaces that are neutral with rustic and industrial touches.  I just kind of stopped when I saw this kitchen designed by Linda McDougald Design. It has the perfect combination of rustic, modern and industrial. I love the library sconces above the windows, the perfect range and the warmth that has been created by the colors of the cabinetry and the textures of the countertops and ceiling. I want. this. kitchen. Period. I'll take the dining room, too. :)




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7/17/2012

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake



So Saturday night was ladies game night. So fun. We played Apples To Apples and Loaded Questions. Have you played them before?? If not, I highly recommend them. You'll learn lots of things about the people you are with, funny things I tell ya... My friend made the BEST food. She made these chicken flautas and I made Ina Garten's mocha icebox cake. Let me tell you about this cake...


It. Was. Good! It is simply made with layers of chocolate chip cookies and mocha-flavored whipped cream. I honestly could have taken a swim in that whipped cream and called it a day. Heavenly...


But I resisted the urge to swim, grabbed some chocolate chip cookies and got to work. Here is what you need and what to do:

2 cups cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon instant expresso powder
1/4 cup coffee liquor ( I used Kahlua)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 oz marscapone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 8 oz packages of store bought crisp chocolate chip cookies
Shaved semi-sweet chocolate for garnish

Add the first 7 ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer on low. Once the ingredients are incorporated, turn the mixer on high and whisk until the cream forms stiff peaks.

Arrange a layer of cookies in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Break some cookies to fill in any spaces. Add a fifth of the whipped cream evenly over the layer of cookies. Add a layer of cookies on top of the cream, followed by another layer of cream. Continue layering, ending with the cream. Smooth the top with a butter knife or offset spatula. Cover it with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving, run a small knife around the sides of the pan, sprinkle the top with chocolate and serve cold. How simple is that??

We were engaged in good girl talk when we ate this so I forgot to take photos of the inside, but I do have a few comments about it. The recipe says you should have five layers of each, but I only had three layers of each. My cookies were a little thick, so use thin cookies if you want five layers. Oh, one more thing. This cake is RICH! So have a glass of milk on the side for sure!

Linked with Tasty Tuesdays

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