7/31/2013

I HEART MADDIE THE COONHOUND...


Alright guys... This post is a bit off topic, but I can explain. This week has proved to be just as I mentioned it would be on Monday - crazy. So when I stumbled across this yesterday, it instantly gave me a lift that I really needed. If you have seen photos of this beauty of a dog before, I apologize, but her story and photos deserve to be shared again. Maddie was rescued from an Atlanta shelter by her sweet owner, Theron Humphrey. Theron was in the midst of traveling across the country working on his documentary, This Wild Idea, when he decided he needed some company. That's where Maddie came in. He then began to photograph her and produced this beautiful series. Theron recently published a book of photos of Maddie appropriately titled Maddie On Things, which I'm quite sure I will buy. If you are an animal lover like me, I hope this makes your day just a little bit brighter... :)

P.S. You can follow Theron's Instagram account for your regular dose of Maddie...

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7/29/2013

WEEKEND IN FIVE PICS + THIS WEEK...




Hi there! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! My weekend was quite good. It's always great to get away and spend time with family, which is exactly what I did. I ate well (as you will see in a moment) and slept beautifully. I always seem to sleep better when I'm home. Are you that way, too?? I went antique shopping with mom, talked life and work with dad and sat out on their big southern porch with a cool beer while I read magazines and admired my mom's green thumb that I wish I had.

Now it's back to real life and this week is shaping up to be really busy. I have a busy work week plus I'll be putting the finishing touches on a baby shower that I'm hosting this weekend. So I can't promise I will be here that much this week, but I will certainly pop in when I can! Have a great week!

{Southern porch necessities...}

{Preparing a little something for this weekend's baby shower...}

{Saturday's outfit of the day... Similar dress here (on sale!). Necklace here (on sale, too!!)...}


{Family steak dinner...}

Images by me
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7/26/2013

PERFECT STYLING + LINKS...


TGIF! I hope you had a great week! This busy week flew by just like last week. Summer in general is flying by right?? Fall will be here before we know it. Is it bad that I'm SO looking forward to fall already?? I hope I'm not the only one. Anyway, what's up for the weekend? I'll be spending the weekend with my family, which is exciting because I haven't seen them in a few months! I hope your weekend is just as exciting. Enjoy the links and I will see you here next week!

This girl's DIY skills NEVER cease to amaze me...

A pure feast for your eyes - and for your belly.

I'm praying that I've already experienced my last bad break up, but I've bookmarked this post just in case I haven't...

I'm not a mom yet (I will be someday), but I am thoroughly enjoying this series. So interesting!

What does your birthdate say about you? What this site revealed about me was spot on... Scary.

I'll refer to this the next time I host a few friends for dinner...

So touching... Hope you have a box of tissues nearby.

A two ingredient cocktail that is perfect for the hottest of days...

In case you've been questioning yourself...

Image via The Hunted Interior (Love that blog!)
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7/24/2013

JEANS CASUAL...

 


It's been a while since I have done a post completely related to fashion and style. That by far doesn't mean that I no longer have a passion for it. My credit card usage is proof... These are just a few looks that I have been drawn to as of late. While nothing about this look is groundbreaking, I'm still drawn to them because I work in the corporate world. That means there has to be a special event for us to have a "jeans casual" day- which means it doesn't happen often. So I get SO excited when I get to pull a relaxed, yet classy look like this off on the weekends. In addition to being comfortable, this is a look that can be achieved with the basics like tees, cardigans, jeans, blazers and a classic black bag. Super simple. Here are a few of my picks!

SHOP THE LOOKS...





Images 1/2/3/4
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7/23/2013

THE BEST OF: HOMEMADE ICE CREAM



So it's summer and summer is obviously synonymous with ice cream. I love it, a lot - so much so that I bought my own ice cream maker. I bought it when I made this 4-ingredient ice cream last year. Since then, I have preferred to make homemade ice cream when time permits. It's easy to make and I know exactly what's in it. For whatever reason, it often tastes better. I love to make it, put 2 or 3 scoops in a bowl, top it with my homemade chocolate sauce (2 TB semisweet chocolate chips with a splash of almond milk melted in the microwave for 30 seconds) and curl up on the couch. So I couldn't let the summer go by without rounding up a few ice cream recipes that are not only beauties to the eye, but pleasing to the tummy... Do you make your own ice cream?? If you do, please share your favorite recipe! I'd love to hear!





P.S. Another "Best Of" - Veggie Burgers

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7/22/2013

WEEKEND IN FOUR PICS...

{A Laundry shirt dress I found at TJMaxx for only $39.99! AND it fits perfectly!}

Is it Monday already?? The last two days flew by and I want them back! This weekend was one of those weekends where I was able to check a lot off of my to-do list and for that I have to be grateful. A few highlights include snapping more pics at the farmers market and snagging these classic riding boots online during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. That's the ONLY thing I bought. Now the key is to stay away from their site and store during the rest of the sale... :) I actually bought that dress at TJMaxx last week. I rarely shop their clothing section (I don't always have the patience), but that dress was hanging at the front of a rack that was on my way out the store. I love when unexpected finds fit perfectly, are quality and are priced beautifully... Oh and remember me saying that I was going to make these for dinner?? Well I did and you should, too if you love Mexican food. I'm making them again for dinner tonight...

Anyway, I hope your week is off to a great start!

{The prettiest heads of savoy cabbage I've ever seen at the farmers market}

{My favorite bible verse as of late: Matthew 6: 25-27. I unintentionally flipped to this last week as I was looking for another verse. I've been worrying about some things lately and of course God knew that...}


{Max carefully observing me as I restyle my living room... }

Images by me

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7/19/2013

PRETTY SIMPLICITY + LINKS...


Hi there! Was it just me or did this week fly by?? Either way, I'm grateful that today has arrived! What's up for the weekend?? I'm hosting a "sprinkle" baby shower here at my home in a few weeks, so let the planning begin! I'll be working on that, visiting the farmers market and doing some shopping for my guest room. The room is 90% done and it's only taken me about 6 years to get it together. Pitiful...

I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the links! Oh! I've contacted the winner of the Minted giveaway, so check your e-mail! Thanks to all of you who entered!

Such a great way to start the day...

Brad Pitt's million dollar movie trailer... Fascinating.

I'm not a New Yorker, but I find this to be fascinating as well...

Love this girl's style...

Motivational downloads for your desktop...

Six "Instasalads"...

Interesting...

Hoping not to do too much damage while shopping this sale, which starts today...

This will be my Sunday dinner...

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7/18/2013

BEAUTY IN THE BATH...

So this past weekend, I spent some time doing some deep cleaning, which means I spent some time cleaning my fiberglass shower that is complete with sliding doors made with some kind of material that I can't quite define. But it's obviously useful, it works for me and for that I'm thankful. But that doesn't mean that I don't have dreams of having a bathroom that looks something like this one. This one is tranquil, bright, has clean lines and a roomy shower complete with honeycomb tile flooring, marble walls and gorgeous steel doors. It also has a bathtub that puts my garden tub to shame. But it's all good. Dreams do come true, so I'll just keep on dreamin'... :)

Design by Kate Bartlett, Photography by David Christensen

Images via

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7/16/2013

AN EASY WEEKNIGHT MEAL: PENNE ROSA WITH SHRIMP


Does that look good or what??!! This is one of my all time favorite quick meals that I find hard to believe that I haven't shared with you already. This recipe was one of my first pins on Pinterest and I have made it several times since then. Not only is this particular recipe easy to make, but it is REALLY good AND healthy.

Penne Rosa is a pasta dish with a spicy tomato sauce made of tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, red pepper flakes and heavy cream. This recipe is healthy in that pasta is a whole wheat pasta (I've shared my secret to making whole wheat pasta taste good below). Instead of using heavy cream to luxuriate the sauce, this recipe uses plain Greek yogurt - 0% fat plain Greek yogurt that is. That may sound like such a turnoff compared to heavy cream, but I swear it tastes so good...

This dish takes all of 20 minutes to make, so it's perfect for a weeknight meal. I have used shrimp as my protein in this dish, but it's also great with chicken, Italian turkey sausage, or absolutely no meat at all.

Here is what you need and what to do:

12 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I like it spicy, so I added a whole teaspoon)
8 oz portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
4 cups fresh spinach
1 pound medium raw shrimp, cleaned and peeled (I left the tails on)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt 
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

1. Cook the penne pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain the pasta and set aside. To make the pasta NOT taste like cardboard , add a big pinch of kosher salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. Also, I've tried many different brands of whole wheat pasta and Mueller's is my favorite. 

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Saute for just a few minutes or until the garlic is slightly softened.

3. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms start to give off their liquid.

4. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are slightly pink, about 2-4 minutes.

5. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the spinach. Stir until it's wilted.

6. Add the pasta, marinara sauce and yogurt to the skillet and stir until all of the pasta is well-coated with the sauce. Continue to heat until everything is warmed through.

7. Pour the pasta into a serving bowl and top with the Parmesan cheese and basil. Enjoy!

Images by me
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7/15/2013

WEEKEND IN ONE PIC...


Hello! I hope you had a splendid weekend. If I had to describe my weekend in one word, it would be just that. Splendid. This was the first weekend in a while where I had no schedule and gosh it was beautiful. Yes, I ran errands, did some deep cleaning, paid bills- the boring stuff. But I also cleared my head during a long walk at a beautiful trail, decreased my magazine pile (I got to go through every single one you see there) and satisfied a late night craving for something sweet by making this peach crisp with a bunch of fresh local peaches. It was THE BEST and so easy to make! I highly recommend it. A weekend minus schedules called for just a little shopping, so I picked up those bangles and few of these tees. If you are looking for the most comfortable, soft, versatile tee, then that one fits the bill.

Back to my regularly scheduled program... Yay. Happy Monday!

Image by me
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7/12/2013

GREEN + WHITE + LINKS...


Happy Friday my friends... I hope your week was wonderful! My week was good one. It was just one of those weeks where I had a good balance of work and downtime. Work was busy, but I made it to bed early each night and had lots of laughs with friends at lunches and dinners that I had throughout the week. Those things make the workweek so much easier to get through. This weekend I plan to just chill out, take advantage of my new Netflix subscription (I'm SO late on that one I know...), make something in the kitchen and take a nap - or as my friend recently put it, "take a horizontal life pause." Love that. Enjoy the links and have a great weekend!

For the DIY'ers and bar cart lovers...

These incredibly comfortable-looking things belong on my feet...

Five ways to beat the beat the summer heat. Tip #2 is genius...

This is also a genius idea that looks so very good...

If I lived in NYC, it would be lovely if my apartment looked something like this...

And if I had a little home near the beach, I'd want it to look something like this...

Dustin Hoffman beautifully explains something that most, if not all women have experienced at some point during their lives...

16 little ways to be happier...

I'm so glad many of you like this as much as I did...

In case you missed my giveaway this week - win a $100 gift certificate to Minted!

Image via

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7/10/2013

GIVEAWAY:: SENDING A LITTLE NOTE WITH MINTED (CLOSED)


So I've mentioned several times here that I LOVE pretty stationery. It can be so incredibly personable and being personable in ways other than by text or e-mail seems to be well- a thing of the past these days. I admit that I'm bad about it at times, but lovely stationery always seems to help. One of my favorite places to look for stationery is Minted. They have tons of lovely options and I was lucky enough to test this beautiful set of stationery out. I love the mint green accent color (of course), the striped back and the thickness of the card. Minted is now offering a new TripleThick™ paper option that makes the stationery look even more crisp and professional. Love that!! Their pretty gold striped washi tape seals the deal and adds a little personal touch...

Lucky for YOU, Minted has graciously offered a Savor Home reader (*) a $100 gift certificate to use towards any purchase on their site! If you are already all stocked up on good stationery, then you are still in luck. They offer beautiful art, journals, greeting cards and more! Or if you are a planner like me, you might already be on the lookout for the perfect holiday card... :)

Keep reading for details on how to win + a discount code!




To win the $100 gift certificate, simply enter here!

I'd also love for you to look around Minted.com and come back and tell me what you would purchase if you win!

Enter by Wednesday, July 17th by 11:59 PM PT. The winner will be announced on Friday, July 19th!! 

AND Minted is also offering all of you 10% off + free ground shipping towards all stationery, journals, art and greeting cards. Enter code SAVOR10SHIP at checkout. The code will be good through July 18th.

* Sorry, giveaway ($100 gift certificate) is limited to U.S. readers only. 

Images by me

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7/09/2013

SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIES...

So I fell in love over the weekend. This is a big deal people. You know why? It's a big deal because before Sunday (when I made these) I was not a big fan of caramel- at all. But over the long weekend, I was flipping through cookbooks for inspiration. Anything with chocolate always stops me from flipping pages, so I stopped when I saw these brownies in Ina's Garten's latest cookbook. I'd seen them several times before, but eventually would keep flipping because of the caramel. But this time I stopped flipping, put some clothes on (I was in my pj's) and headed to the grocery store for some caramel. I love brownies, A WHOLE LOT, and I just felt like these needed to be made despite my feelings about caramel...

So I baked them, let them cool and almost stopped there. But I kept going cautiously drizzled the caramel on top and sprinkled it with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes - an ingredient that will be in my kitchen for the rest of my life. I heart it. And I must say that I heart these brownies. The marriage of the rich and  very moist chocolate brownie with the caramel and flakes of salt are absolute perfection. Beyond perfection. I could have easily killed the whole batch, but I left that up to my co-workers - who killed it for me in about five minutes. So very good I tell ya...

Here is what you need and what to do:

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 oz unsweetened baker's chocolate
1 cup + 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Caramel sauce (store bought)
Flaked sea salt (I used Maldon Sea Salt)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9x2 baking pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray. Set aside. 

2) Melt the butter, baker's chocolate and 1 cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes. 

3) In a large bowl, mix the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla extract and 1 cup of the sugar together. Sift 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder and salt together over the egg mixture and stir. 

4) In a small bowl, mix 3/4 cup of chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of flour. This will keep the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the pan as the brownies bake.

5) Once the melted chocolate mixture is cooled all the way, add it to the egg mixture and stir. Then, add in the chocolate chip-flour mixture and stir. 

6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

7) Right after the brownies come out of the oven, heat the caramel sauce in the microwave. Remember to remove the lid first! Drizzle the sauce over the warm brownies, then sprinkle with the sea salt. 

8) Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy!!

Image by me
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7/08/2013

LIFE AS OF LATE...



{Tea roses are this week's flowers...}

Hi there! How was your weekend? Despite the fact that it rained here nonstop for 4 days, I am incredibly thankful. It was just one of those long weekends where I actually felt rested and prepared for today's arrival at the end. I slept, treated my body well with healthy food and exercise, met friends for lunch, read the current issue of Vogue from cover to cover all in one sitting (1st time ever doing that), started and almost finished a book and had a wonderful afternoon at the spa. Whoever declared 2-day weekends is crazy... I also made an AMAZING dessert that really surprised me. I'll tell you about it tomorrow. Chocolate and Maldon Sea Salt are involved and I promise you won't want to miss it! 

{Me capturing my first time seeing a giraffe in person at the Atlanta Zoo...}

{The most beautiful bunch of fresh basil at the Farmers Market...}

{Lavender I purchased that is now dried in a bowl in my nightstand. Smells heavenly...}

{A display of a mouth-watering wrap outside of a food truck that I photographed during my first visit to a food truck park last week. I've been missing out...}

Images by me

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7/04/2013

HAPPY 4TH + LINKS...



Happy 4th!! If you are in the U.S., I hope your holiday is off to a great start. Mine certainly is. If you need a visual of what my day is looking like, that picture will tell you everything. I'm not exactly on the beach (it's actually pouring down rain here), but I am relaxing like her. I am going to throw a quinoa burger on my indoor grill, take a late shower, change into another pair of pj's and just chill on the couch with my Kindle, some magazines and the remote! Spa day and a few errands are up for the weekend and I can't wait. I'll also be working on a fun giveaway that I have planned for next week! It's my first giveaway in FOREVER, so you know it's good!

Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy the links and I will see you back here on Monday!

5 perfect ways to start your morning...

I need to read this each and every time I go on vacation...

So, so, so true...

I fell in love with her home feature, then I fell in love with her blog. Such great style...

Speaking of style, she definitely has it and a new Instagram account that I'm totally following...

I just had to bookmark this Vimeo account. So beautiful...

A floral fantasy...

She has given me a whole new love and respect for Ritz Crackers...

I've seen many bar carts, but this one might be one of my favorites...

In case you need a cocktail for the 4th...

Image via
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7/02/2013

CLASSIC TABBOULEH SALAD


Before I tell you about that tasty salad you see there, I just want to explain one quick thing... I was looking back on my last few recipe postings and I realize that they are all quite healthy. I can promise you that all of my recipes won't be healthy! I let loose on weekends for sure. This past weekend, I downed a large piece of key lime pie like nobody's business! But during the week, I get serious, which is where this salad comes in.

I was cleaning out my pantry over the weekend and I found a bag of bulgar wheat way in the back. I remember seeing Ina Garten make tabbouleh on one of her shows a while back and I have wanted to make it since then, but never got around to it. The bulgar wheat way back in the pantry reminded me of that and it was perfect timing. I made this on Sunday night for week. It not only tastes both refreshing and good, but is the perfect side for a cookout, easy to make and it only gets better as it sits!

Here is what you need and what to do:

1 cup bulgar wheat
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 cup diced English cucumber
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup minced scallions
Feta cheese
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1// Place the bulgar wheat, cold water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for about 12 minutes or until all of the water has dissolved. Once it is cooked, fluff it with a fork and put it in a large bowl to cool.

2// While the bulgar wheat is cooking, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the warm bulgar wheat. Fluff again with the fork and set aside. 

3// Chop the vegetables and add to the cooled bulgar wheat. Add the feta cheese and gently toss the salad. Taste for seasonings and add more salt or pepper if desired. 

Enjoy!

Images by me
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7/01/2013

PRACTICING PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE FARMERS MARKET


Hi! Was your weekend good to you? I hope so... My weekend couldn't have been better. I spent some time with good friends, ate the BEST key lime pie here, slept late, pinned lots and watched a few hours of Million Dollar Listing NY. Not sure why I love that show, but I do. One of the best parts of my weekend was walking around my local farmers market. I had the best time tasting fresh food made with a lot of love, talking to the vendors, taking in all of the colors and appreciating the art of good and healthy food. But I had the most fun taking pictures...

Many of you have asked me how to learn photography. My #1 answer is to practice, practice and practice some more. One of the BEST places to practice photography is at an outdoor farmers market. There are tons of colors and textures everywhere. Most of the produce is already beautifully styled for you, so you are bound to get good photos, whether you are using a DSLR camera or the camera on your phone. Here are four quick tips if you plan to take your camera on your next trip to the farmers market...

1 // Always ask the vendor if it is ok to photograph their items. They usually don't mind, but it's always polite to ask. 

2 // The best photos come from taking picture of objects that are out of direct sunlight. Going earlier in the morning is the best time to go since the sun is not quite all the way out. It's less crowded then, too.

3 // Since everything already looks pretty and is styled perfectly, this is the time to focus your energy on playing around with your camera settings. If you have a DSLR camera, the best photos come from using the Manual Mode. This post has a great chart on how to use Manual Mode. My suggestion would be to start with a medium aperture of maybe 5.6 and play around with your shutter speed to get the right balance of light in the photo. It was cloudy outside (which is ideal), so I took all of these photos with a 50 mm lens, an ISO of either 400 or 800 and an aperture of 4.5 - 5.6 with various shutter speeds. 

4// Most importantly, have fun and try not to get frustrated when your photos don't come out to your liking. Just try again. You will get it!




P.S. My photos of the Charleston Farmers Market here and here...
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