I Need Your Help!

So I need your help!! I am trying to make a decision on THE perfect black bag and I need your opinion. I know there are FAR more pressing decisions to make, but this has been on my to-do list for not one, but TWO years. During those two years, I have bought a few much cheaper, yet cute bags, but none of them have been "the one."

But now it's time. It's time to make a decision. I've worked my butt off to save the money. I've saved. I'm ready. 

I think. 

That's where you come in. The visual and analytical side of me created this list of pros and cons to help with the decision making process. The lists are small because in a perfect world, I'd buy all three of these classic babies. That's how much I love all of them. But I can only get one. And the Shopbop sale ends today!

Which one would you choose and why? Do you have either of these bags? If so, what do you love about it? 

Help a girl out please!

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Clear Concoctions...

I have always had this fascination with clear cocktails. They are mysterious (because you never know if it's a cocktail, water, club soda, sparking water or Sprite alone or with a splash of juice) and they are sophisticated. I thought I would do a little round-up of some very sophisticated-looking clear concoctions that have caught my eye as of late...

Do you have a favorite clear concoction??

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Weekend In Four Pics

Well hello! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Even though my weekend was uneventful, I still enjoyed every second of it. I read, I slept (a lot), ate an entire Hawaiian pizza by myself (I'll refrain from revealing the size of the pizza), made a little care package for a sweet friend and bought new lipstick for spring. It's the only makeup I wear, so you'll have to excuse my excitement. :) I LOVE my new red lipstick. I feel quite grown up when I wear it. 

I made the EASIEST, most delicious soup for my Oscar dinner. I made this Italian turkey sausage, white bean and swiss chard soup. It's a Paula Deen recipe that has a five star rating on Food Network, so you know it's good! 

I ate the soup while I watched the gowns on the carpet. My two votes for best dressed go to Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain. Stunning...

Have a great week my friends...

Images by me
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A Neutral Territory...

Happy Friday! I hope you had a good week. My week went something like this: Eat, sleep, work, eat again, sleep again and work again. So I didn't get to spend a ton of time online this week which means I don't have any links for you today...

BUT, I do have this GORGEOUS neutral space to share with you today. You know how much I love neutral territories, so I was super excited when I ran across this one. It's the home of designers David Nault and Paul White, who are the owners of Boston design firm Weena & Spook. The space is comfortable, clean, modern and chic and cozy all in one. It's the epitome of the perfect weekend getaway that I so desperately need right now! 

There is no perfect getaway planned for the weekend, but I do plan to relax and make a good meal to eat while I watch who wears what on the Oscar red carpet. Will you be watching??

Happy weekend! 

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Just a few things that I am absolutely in love with at the moment. I saw those Zara heels in person over the weekend and they are CUTE!! That bracelet will me mine sooner or later. It's just so simple and dainty and I love simple and dainty jewelry...

Oh and the pens... BEST. PENS. EVER. I'm always on the hunt for the perfect pen and I think I found it. They are comfortable to write with and are precise. I actually have them in every color that you see there and I just felt the urge to tell you how wonderful they are. :)

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Banana-Stuffed French Toast

A few weeks ago, I took a cooking class at my local Sur La Table. I could spend hours in Sur La Table, so I knew the class was going to be fun. Turns out, it was AMAZING! The class was a brunch-themed class. We made a fresh mango smoothie (which we sipped on all during class), a hash brown quiche, roasted pears with a greek yogurt sauce and banana-stuffed French toast. We made all of that in a huge gourmet kitchen equipped a beautiful glistening white subway tile backsplash, every kitchen tool known to man and a dishwasher - in the form of a person. Two seconds after we finished using a utensil, she swiped it up and washed it. I WISH she could have come home with me!

Anyway, today I need to tell you about the banana-stuffed French toast we made...

I've always loved French toast, so I was so excited when I saw this on the menu. My mom made French toast for my brother and I almost every Sunday morning when I was younger. Now my favorite breakfast is toast with peanut butter, bananas and honey. So this recipe blends of the best of both worlds for me. 

My favorite things about this particular recipe is that the French toast isn't soggy or too eggy. I'm not a fan of soggy French toast. It's also super easy to make and sweet - but too sweet. Most importantly, it tastes REALLY good. If you have kids, this would be perfect as a surprise breakfast before school (since it takes no time to make) or as a fun weekend breakfast. 

Here is what you need and what to do:

4 1-in thick slices French bread
1/4 cup mashed ripe banana
3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (I used skim milk and it worked beautifully)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pure maple syrup and/or powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease or line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket horizontally into each slice of the French bread- almost halfway through the bread.

In a small bowl, stir together the banana and cream cheese. Spoon about a tablespoon of the mixture into each pocket of the bread. In a shallow bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together the chopped nuts, sugar and cinnamon. 

Dip the stuffed bread into the egg mixture, turned the bread to coat. Then dip it into the nut mixture, turning to coat. 

Place the stuffed slices on the prepared baking sheet. Bake on one side for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the slices over and bake for another 5 minutes. Your house will smell DIVINE!!

Garnish with powdered sugar or a little or a lot of maple syrup. 


Images by me

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Weekend In Five Pics

This week's tulips | Mussels - Sunday dinner | Clear blue skies- an exciting thing after a few weeks of rain | The details of my new Zara blazer | Max's furry paws...

Hi there! I hope you had a good weekend - or are still enjoying the long weekend. My weekend wasn't quite as relaxing as planned, but I'll take it! I spent most of the weekend looking after my little one. Max had another episode on Friday that warranted another scary trip to the vet. More meds and a new diet later, he seems to be doing better. He has been sick on and off for the last month, which means I'm 200% more obsessed with him which explains all of his appearances as of late on the blog. You'll have to excuse me... :)

With all of that, there's always things to be thankful for. Tulips are in season, which means there's a new bunch on my nightstand every week, I found that cute blazer on sale at Zara for $29 bucks during a brief shopping trip on Saturday and the weather was beautiful the whole weekend. The little things...

Have a great Monday my friends...

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Perfectly Cozy...

How dreamy would it be to spend the whole weekend in that cozy looking room with no interruptions, tons of good books, a bottle or two of good wine, a personal chef at your disposal and maybe a DVR full of your favorite shows??!! Oh my... My weekend won't be quite like that, but you know me... I'll make it as relaxing as possible. I'm also hoping to go see Safe Haven at the movies. I'm always a sucker for a good sappy love story. Aren't you??

Here are a few good links for your weekend! See you next week!

What a stunner of a gown...

Based on the title of this blog, every post is true...

Probably the most beautiful DIY video I've ever seen...

A hot mess that looks SO good!!

40 handwritten and fun graphics for your blog. Did I mention they are free???

She just started a new column and I know it's going to be one of my favorites...

Their spring line arrives on Tuesday. I'm definitely going to treat myself to a piece or two...

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Me & Mom: On Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine's Day my friends! Well I have something special for you on this day of love. Last year, I had my mom, the queen of poetry (at least I think so) stop by to share her thoughts on Valentine's Day. This year, I asked her to write another poem to share with you. This time the poem is sort of a combination of her thoughts and mine. She asked me to send her a list of words and thoughts that I associate with Valentine's Day. I sent my list to her and she wrote this beautiful poem in all of about 10 minutes. Hence, the queen of poetry...

Whether it's just you are two, I hope you have a beautiful day!



Love you mom!!

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Orecchiette w/ Turkey Sausage & Broccoli

So I often get questions about how I find the perfect recipe to make and photograph each week for the blog. Sometimes I'm inspired by something I see on Food Network or Pinterest. But most of the time, I refer to whatever my taste buds are in the mood for at the moment. Then I refer to my cookbook collection or sites like this or this to find something that will satisfy my taste buds. It's just that simple. Being that Valentine's Day is in a few days, I feel like I should be posting something sweet or chocolate-y. But that's not what my taste buds wanted last weekend. They wanted pasta. And that's what they got. 

I found this orecchiette pasta in one of Giada's cookbooks and I've seen her make several versions of it on her show. I have always been fascinated with the shape of that pasta, so I decided to try it out. Let's just say my taste buds were ecstatic! This was incredibly delicious, slightly spicy (I used hot Italian sausage cause' I love spicy food) and so easy to make. The juices from the sausage and the pasta water create this light and wonderful sauce that is SO good! It took me less than 25 minutes to make this from start to finish, so it would be a great weeknight dinner. 

A little side note: The recipe called for broccoli rabe, which can be a little bitter. So I substituted baby broccoli, which is slightly sweet and much more tender than broccoli rabe and regular broccoli. If you have kids, they might favor it more as well. 

Images by me
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Weekend In Five Pics

Tulips and a note for my new neighbor | My baby Max | Weekend inspiration | Pizzelles courtesy of Nona Rosas Kitchen | An afternoon snack courtesy of The Spotted Trotter

Hi!! How was your weekend?? Well, I'm writing this post at 3PM on Sunday afternoon (yesterday). I just woke up from a good nap - the kind that's so good that it takes a few minutes for you to come to when you wake up, and I'm sipping on a steaming hot cup of tea with Saturday's episode of Barefoot Contessa playing in the background.  Oh and the rain is trickling on my bedroom window. That should give you some idea of how relaxing this weekend has been. On Saturday, I welcomed my new neighbor with those tulips that I arranged, as opposed to cookies. You would have thought I told her she won $1M dollars. If you haven't done something special for a good neighbor, you should. Best feeling ever. 

I also had dinner with a good friend and finished editing the last of my photos from last week's photoshoot at Bella Cucina. That's where I had those beautiful and tasty Pizzelles and the freshly cured meats. I'm still thinking of those good eats. 

Speaking of good eats, I shot the most DELICIOUS pasta recipe for tomorrow's post! My first video post on the Vine app will give you a good idea of how I set it all up!

Happy Monday!
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Lovely Lighting + Links...

Hi friends! I hope you had a great week. I am certainly welcoming this weekend with open arms. Other than Pilates, a few errands and baking a batch of these to welcome my new neighbor, I plan to sleep in, wear my pj's until noon, browse my Google reader and crack open my Kindle that I have neglected for the past few weeks. What are you guys reading these days? I'm almost finished with The Happiness Project and would love for my next read to be something fun and lighthearted- nothing too serious. Any suggestions would be great!

Here are some good links for you! I hope you have a great weekend.

Julia Child's childhood kitchen renovation. I think she would be a proud woman...

This is on my spring wishlist...

This blog just makes me happy. And hungry.

She always makes me laugh...

Five things bloggers should do in 2013...

Just in case you need a delicious quick last minute dessert for the upcoming day of love...

Image via
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Inspired By...

These simple, yet perfectly detailed spaces. They are the perfect example of how textures, natural light, statement lighting and perfectly placed accessories can turn a basic white palette into quite a beauty.

I am especially inspired by that bedroom designed by Caitlin Flemming. She designed that beautiful space for her mother. I love how she created a crisp, clean, yet comfortable look by pairing antiques with new pieces. Just gorgeous...

Images 1/2/3/4

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