8/30/2013

SIMPLE RELAXATION + LINKS...


Hi my friends... I hope you had a great week! Just like every other week, I am SO glad today has arrived. My work week was super busy and my kid, aka cat, was sick this week. He has idiopathic cystitis, which is an incurable bladder disorder. Thankfully he is doing better now, but if any of you have cats who have this, any tips on how to deal with this that doesn't include me drinking copious amounts of wine and losing hours of sleep would be much appreciated. :)

It's a holiday weekend here in the states and I am happy to announce that other than doing a little work, I simply plan to relax, unload my DVR, get some exercise and catch up on my naps. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I will see you back here on Tuesday! Enjoy the links!

I absolutely loved this beautifully written and very honest post...

I had the pleasure of meeting having tea with this girl last weekend and gosh I can't wait to see where time takes her. Her story is great and her office... love.

Her products are beautiful and of course her personal dressing room is, too...

Dining al fresco - in Nicole Richie's beautiful new backyard...

A good little Labor Day sale...

To be honest, Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but of course she makes it look so fun. Such an amazing transformation, too!

End of summer outfit roulette.. So so so creative!

So true...

Image via

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8/29/2013

THREE SPACES...

Three different spaces that I'll take any day. They are light, they are bright, and all very different in style. I love the windows in that kitchen. I don't think I would mind doing dishes while standing in front of those windows. I also love that cozy little bedroom. I'd hire whoever styled those shelves in a heartbeat!! Wouldn't you?? And the little garden in the cabinets of that simple Scandinavian kitchenLovely little idea...

Images 1/  2 & 3 ??
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8/27/2013

SAVORING SUMMER: PEACH & PECAN BROWN SUGAR PARFAIT

I've mentioned this several times here on the blog before, but fall is my absolute most favorite time of the year. The crispness of the air and the fashion are so much better, to me, in the fall than any other season. However, when it comes to food, my feelings are completely different. Summer fruits and vegetables have my heart. They are fresh and they don't require a whole lot of fuss to make them taste their best. This recipe is proof of that. Peaches are one of my favorite fruits, so I was really excited when I found this recipe. It's a simple, healthy and really beautiful dessert in my opinion. The ingredients superbly compliment the peaches. Eating this was a bittersweet experience. It tasted so dang good, yet it reminded me that fresh peaches won't be around that much longer... 

Here is what you need and what to do (makes 2 parfaits):

2-3 peaches, washed and diced
Greek yogurt- I used Chobani
Honey
Pure vanilla extract
Dark brown sugar
Pecans, toasted and chopped

1/ In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt and honey together - to taste. Add a splash of vanilla extract and stir.

2/ At the bottom of a small glass, add a layer of peaches and top with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a few pecans

3/ Add a layer of the yogurt mixture. 

4/ Add another layer of peaches, walnuts and brown sugar. Top with the yogurt and a sprinkle of pecans.

Images by me

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8/26/2013

AN EASY DIY: GOLD SCISSORS


Hi there!! I hope your weekend was wonderful. Well today my friends, I am certainly stepping out of the box. I'm presenting my first ever DIY here on the blog. You guys... I don't do DIYs. Ever. They intimidate me and I frankly don't have much patience for them. But lately I've been keeping up with Jenny Komenda's DIYs on her blog and gosh she has a way of motivating me! She recently purchased a new home and is doing one amazing DIY after another. She has inspired me. One of her DIYs was a pair of gold scissors for her new desk. I've wanted a pair of gold scissors since I saw these at Restoration Hardware. They were super expensive, so I stopped thinking about them. But they quickly came back to mind when Jenny explained how easy and inexpensive they can be to make them on your own. So I tried it. And I'm so glad I did. It was so easy to do and I LOVE the way they turned out!


Here is what you need and what to do:




Design Master Metallic Gold Spray Paint #231 (purchased for $8 at Michaels)
Scissors
Painters tape
Newspaper





You could always spray the entire pair of scissors, but I personally like the contrast of the gold and silver. If you prefer the same, then wrap the blades with the painters tape.




Place the scissors on the newspaper and spray the first side with a coat of the spray paint. By the way, this is some GOOD spray paint. It coats beautifully, dries fast and doesn't have a strong smell once it dries. Love it. 

After the first coat completely dries (about 10 min), flip the scissors over and spray the second side. Let it dry.

If you missed some spots on the first application, be sure the scissors are completely dry before applying a second coat.




Once they are dry, remove the painters tape. That's it!

Images by me

Gold sea urchin here, also here
Antique cup purchased from here

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8/23/2013

A NOTE TO YOU + LINKS...



Well hellloooo Friday! I'm quite thrilled to see you. This week was busy and crazy, but I have to say that it was you who got me through it. I wanted to take today to thank you for that. I received so many e-mails this week from you about my blog, more so than any other week. I can't even begin to tell you how that made me feel. I really, really appreciate all of you who visit and enjoy my little corner of the Internet. I thank you...

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the links!

This was hilarious... and real.

Two ingredient pancakes... I've got to try these.

Perfect pumps for fall that are on order...

If I cave to their sale this weekend, then I'd love have this and this...

Pretty and personable, yet simple. This is exactly what I would like if my day ever comes...

For those times when you remember at the last minute that you were supposed to bring the dessert...

She should win an award for the most creative home tour...

Gaby, one of my wonderful readers, made a healthy version of the chocolate chip oatmeal peanut butter skillet cookie that I posted last week. I've updated the post with her substitutions!

My wonderful blog designer, Anna, along with the developers of my blog, Maiedae, launched a fabulous business today called The Brand Market. If you are thinking of starting a blog, are new to the blog world and are interested in learning more about photography, marketing and branding, then check it out!

Image here via Tokketok (currently closed)

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8/21/2013

INSPIRED BY...

{That IKEA planter... Perfect for storing blankets for the fall and winter... }

{The roof, the lighting, the plants - all of it. If I had a home in the country, it might look like that one...}


{That beautiful structured Celine shopper. It's part of their Fall 2013 collection and part of my "if I hit it big" collection. }

{The smokey color of that door ("Down Pipe" by Farrow & Ball) and the subtle reminder that my favorite holiday is FOUR months away! }

Images 1/2/3/4

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8/20/2013

THE EASIEST APPLE TART RECIPE THERE IS...


Alright guys... This is probably the easiest dessert known to mankind. Super easy. I saw this recipe last summer on another blog and wanted to make it then, but never got around to it. Then I saw Ree Drummond make it on her show on Saturday (I LOVE her, by the way), so I made it a point to not let last weekend go by without making this. I adore apple pie and apple season is just beginning, so this is perfect timing anyway. This dessert takes less than 10 minutes to assemble for the oven and tastes like you put a lot more time into it than that. It tastes like a sweet little homemade apple pie with buttery crispy crust. So good. If you have little time, but want to impress your last minute dinner guests or your significant other, look no further. This is it... 




Here is what you need and what to do (makes 2 tarts):

2-3 medium apples, cored and thinly sliced (I used Golden Delicious apples here, but Granny Smiths would work here, too)
1 cup light brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch of salt
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Powdered sugar and ice cream, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees *. Line a large cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the apples, brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir until combined and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Cut the puff pastry into equal halves and place them on the cookie sheet.

Closely overlap the slices of apples down the center of the puff pastry.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the puff pastry is browned.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut it into slices, add to a warm plate and add a side of really good ice cream.

So good! Enjoy!

* Ree set her oven to 425, but I just wanted my apples to be completely warmed through and be ever so slightly crisp. If you like your apples less firm, then set the oven to 425.
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8/19/2013

WEEKEND IN FOUR PICS...

Happy Monday!!!! That's me trying to be enthusiastic about another crazy busy week after having quite a lovely weekend. :) I don't know about you, but I'm a serial list maker and I get so excited when I get to check things off. This weekend, I was able to check a lot off and that feels so good. I went to HomeGoods and was able to find a several things I have been wanting for the house. That never happens in one trip! I also went to see The Butler. I laughed and cried my way through it then clapped along with everyone else in the theater at the end. Very good movie... I also fit in a trip to the Farmers Market to get vegetables for this easy shrimp stir-fry. GOSH it was good!! It's perfect for a quick weeknight meal. Stop by tomorrow for a quick weeknight dessert! :) 



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8/16/2013

STRAWBERRY MASCARPONE TART + LINKS...

How good and fresh does that look?? As I mentioned yesterday, I am really looking forward to fall. But one thing I will truly miss about summer is the all of the fresh fruit. This recipe makes me realize that even more. It's super simple and something I hope to try before the last of the fresh strawberries disappear. 

So what's up for the weekend? I'm definitely planning to see this movie. Oprah is my girl and I'm really excited to see her performance. Now that my guest bedroom is finished (I swear I'll show it to you soon), it's on to designing my master bedroom. After years of living in my house, I still don't have one single picture on the wall, which is pitiful as much as I love decor. But I'm ready to get that together, so the planning will commence this weekend! :) I hope you have a good weekend! Enjoy the links!


I had the pleasure of meeting this talented designer last year and I just adore her. Her home is stunning as well...

Such a pretty, pretty nursery on a newly designed blog that is pure pleasure to the eyes...

I love a cute tee...

I'll definitely be looking to this lady and this lady for fall fashion ideas. Love their style. Love their blogs...

What a perfect thing to make and eat on a weekend morning...

An Etsy favorite...

A new online store for those who love pretty things for the kitchen... like me.

A great reminder...

How to do anything...

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8/15/2013

FIVE FALL FAVORITES...



You guys... I'm SO ready for fall. It's my favorite season of the year in terms of the weather AND fashion. The air is crisp and fresh and the fashion is fabulous. Can't wait! Blacks, browns and golds are my favorite fall colors and these are a few things that I've got my eyes on. That clutch has been a favorite of mine since last year and this year I just might bite the bullet... I've always loved anything tortoise, but I must say that my love for dragonflies is new. I've seen dragonfly prints and jewelry in the fall magazines and I like them! They make such a pretty little statement... 

Are you just as excited for fall as I am?? 
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8/13/2013

CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL SKILLET COOKIE


Well thank goodness for blog post titles. If it weren't for them, you might be thinking, "What in the WORLD is that??" Well that, my friends, is simply a huge, amazing cookie that is baked in a skillet. It's sinfully delicious - like for real sinful. It's gooey. It's chocolate-y. It's my new favorite dessert. Like - for real.

I found this dessert on Pinterest and I was itching to whip out my skillet the minute I saw it. I've seen a few recipes that involve making a cookie in a skillet, but nothing like this one. This one has it all - peanut butter, oats, chocolate, butter AND sweetened condensed milk. Everyone knows that anything with sweetened condensed milk is pretty much a winner...

And this was a winner people. I made this and photographed it whole before I dug in. That seemed like the longest few minutes of my life! It smelled insanely good. Once I dug in, I saw that the sweetened condensed milk turned into a a caramel-like sauce. That sauce mixed with the melted chocolate, peanut butter and the crunch of the oat topping - I swear it is one of the BEST things I've ever tasted. If you love those sweet things and easy to make desserts, then you must whip out your skillet and make this. 

Here is what you need and what to do:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole oats (regular, not quick cooking)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
ice cream

1/ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray an oven-safe 10 in skillet with cooking spray or brush it with melted butter. Set aside.

2/ Add the melted butter, egg, sugar and vanilla to a large bowl and whisk for about 1 minute or until the batter is fluffed. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and stir with a spatula until just incorporated. Add the oats and stir until combined.

3/ Add a little less than 3/4's of the batter to skillet. The batter will be a little sticky, so have a little patience in spreading it out. Slightly wet hands will help with the process. Reserve the remaining batter and set the skillet aside.

4/ In a small bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter together until smooth. Pour the mixture over the dough in the skillet.

5/ Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top of the condensed milk mixture.

6/ Drop tablespoon-sized chunks of the reserved dough over the chocolate chips in the skillet. This will form a crust over the top of the cookie, so drop the dough as uniformly as possible.

7/ Bake for about 25 minutes or until the edges of the cookie are slightly crisp. The center of the cookie will be very gooey, but it will set as cools in the skillet.

**This cookie tastes heavenly in not one - but two ways. It tastes amazing right out of the oven with a dollop of ice cream on top. But once it cools completely, you can slide it out of the skillet, cut it up into bars and store it in a sealed container for up to 3 days or so. I served it to my co-workers in the form of bars and they LOVED it!

Enjoy!

For a healthier cookie, substitute the peanut butter for almond butter, flour with quinoa flour and oats with a 5-grain blend!

Images by me
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8/12/2013

AROUND MY HOUSE + A QUICK DSLR CAMERA TIP...


{World Market Oversized Carrier Tub Basket in the front of my living room fireplace...}

Hi!!! I hope you had a good weekend. The number of exclamation marks you just saw explains how good my weekend was. On Friday & Saturday, I got some good shopping in for fall, had two great dinners with two great friends, had a fantastic Pilates workout, got a mani-pedi (this polish is my new favorite) and just relaxed. Good times...

On Sunday, the lighting in my house was crazy. It would go from totally sunny outside to totally cloudy outside in a matter of seconds, so I thought I would get some practice time in with my camera.  These are a few of my favorite little spots and details in my home. Quick camera tip: If you are looking to learn how to use your DSLR camera using the Manual mode, then taking pictures indoors when the light is constantly changing outdoors will give you some great practice. You have to constantly and quickly adjust the settings to get the right photo. So if you have a little time and a lot of patience, refer to the chart in this post and practice! I'm still practicing myself. Certain areas of my guest bedroom, which I just finished decorating, has strange lighting all the time. So once I figure all that out, I will be sure to show you how the room turned out!

I hope your week is off to a great start! Oh - if you love chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter and caramel, check back here tomorrow. I've got something for ya... :)


{Soft light in the guest bedroom...}

{Pottery Barn Pocket Watch Clock in the guest bedroom...}

{Not house related - but a FABULOUS article I read this weekend by Barnard College president, Deborah Spar, in this month's issue of Glamour magazine. It's about women trying to do it all - all perfectly that is. Loved those last two sentences (circled)...}


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8/09/2013

FRESH + CLEAN + LINKS...


Well how was your week?? I hope it was good! Like every week, I'm elated to see the weekend. My work weeks are about to get a tad bit busier, so I plan to enjoy every second of this weekend. Pilates, a mani-pedi, two dinners with two good friends, tackling my growing magazine stack and a Sunday N-A-P. It's gonna be good! :) Here are some good links for you and have a lovely weekend!

My name is Tiffany and I'm an introvert. I've always known that, but this blog post confirmed it even more. It perfectly describes how I often feel. Can you relate?

Needs vs. wants. Hilarious...

This was about people in their 20's, but I'm in my 30's and apparently I have some things to work on...

Love her pretty blog. Love her pretty office.

Perfect for fall...

Gazpacho soup. A peach one... Love it.

There are so many good lifestyle websites out there, but I just discovered my new favorite site this week...

I'm totally recommending this to my married girlfriends who have kids. Such a great idea....

In case you get thirsty this weekend...

Or in case you need some inspiration this weekend...

Image via
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8/08/2013

A DAY OF INSPIRATION...


So last night, I was going through my Pinterest boards searching for inspiration for future posts. I wound up spending more time browsing through my "Lovely Quotes" board more than any of my other boards. I don't know about you, but I'm just as attracted to pictures of quotes on Pinterest as I am a picture of the perfectly designed space or perfectly styled dessert. I enjoy finding confirmation that I am thinking the right way and that I'm headed in the right direction. That makes me feel validated. I also look to these quotes to inspire me to get through the next minute, day or week - which means I look at this board often. At times I often worry about something bad that may or may not ever happen, get impatient about why the good things aren't happening fast enough, forget to find the positive in the negative - you know, the feelings that the events of everyday life bring to light. These are a few quotes that I love that address those thoughts and have helped me during my little moments. They are simply put and in plain black and white, which inspires me just as much as the quote. That tells me that life can be simple as long as we choose to think of it that way.  



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8/06/2013

THE BEST PARTY PUNCH... EVER.

So this, my friends, is the Best Party Punch... Ever. In all honesty, I posted this punch here a few years ago, but it's so good that it deserved to be posted again with new pictures. I made this punch for the baby sprinkle I hosted this past Saturday and pretty much everyone that had it came up to me and asked me for the recipe. I made this a few years ago for another baby shower I hosted. I did a search online for baby shower punch and ended up piecing together a few recipes that I liked. This one is fresh and fruity with the perfect amount of effervescence. It's also easy to make which is always a huge plus for me when it comes to parties...




Here is what you need and what to do (makes about a gallon):

1 cup frozen concentrated lemonade (thawed)
6 oz  frozen concentrated orange juice (thawed)
2 cups cranberry juice
3 cups water
1/4 cup super fine sugar
2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
Freshly sliced lemons and oranges
Ice

Add the lemonade, orange juice, cranberry juice, water and sugar to a container that has a lid. Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved. Cover and chill the mixture for 1-2 hours. When you are ready to serve the punch, add the mixture to a drink server along with the soda, ice, lemons and oranges. Stir and enjoy!

** If you are hosting a party where alcohol is appropriate, then a few splashes of vodka would be really good!!

Images by me
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8/05/2013

A BABY "SPRINKLE" + A FREE PRINTABLE!



Hi there! I hope you had a great weekend! So, question. Did you know that a small baby shower for a mother who will be a mom for the 2nd time is called a "sprinkle??" Neat right? I had no idea until a group of friends and I started planning this sprinkle for our friend. We hosted it at my house on Saturday and it was so fun! Since it was a sprinkle, we kept it simple and had a "sprinkle" theme. Multicolored balloons, M&Ms, straws and flowers were scattered about. The food was also simple and SO delicious. We had silver dollar stacked pancakes, mini quinoa breakfast cups, turkey and cheese pinwheels (from Costco) and fresh fruit. The cake was a stacked Krispy Kreme chocolate sprinkled doughnut cake. Sinfully delicious... Equally as delicious was the punch. I get rave reviews every time I make this punch and I'd be crazy if I didn't share the recipe with you. It's coming up tomorrow!

Oh! The favors. The favors were simple as well. I put some M&Ms in small shallow mason jars. Most people love M&M's and the jar could be used for other purposes.  I'm all for favors that can be reused! I created the thank you logo in Photoshop and taped it to the lids using double-sided tape. If you scroll down, you can save the logo and print it off for free! Happy Monday!


Here is the free printable! Enjoy!



Images by me
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