4/30/2014

FOR THE HABITUAL LIST MAKER... LIKE ME.























































I am a habitual list maker. I've always been that way. I have a to-do list for today, for this weekend, and for the year. I have a current grocery list, a blog idea list, a home repair list, a general wishlist, a list of potential Mother's Day gifts - it's kind of crazy. But I can't and won't apologize for it. They keep me straight when my memory has a short circuit (which occurs more often than I would like these days) and they help me prioritize and make decisions. I think cute list-pads make list-making more fun and I particularly love this and this one. They are made by Sapling Press and sold by Greer, a wonderful stationary company based in Chicago. The covers are a thick letterpress cover (love that) made on bamboo paper. The inside is made of recycled paper (love that, too). Greer has curated a perfect little collection of stationary, cute journals, thank you cards, some great vintage signs, plus more. But as a habitual list maker, I'm really loving these little list-pads and I just had to share... 




Pin It

4/29/2014

THE BEST OF: UNIQUE TACOS...


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Mexican food, so naturally I love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I don't always have the patience to wait hours at a crowded restaurant for taco and margarita, so I often celebrate at home. Boring I know. But that's me. Anyway, if I just happen to not have the patience for a restaurant this year, the plan is to make a homemade Mexican meal - with a twist. I am perfectly happy eating the normal chicken or veggie taco with cheese, spicy salsa, guacamole and a touch of sour cream with chips and more spicy salsa on the side, but this year I want to try something different. So I sought out some unique taco recipes to consider and these are a few of my favorite finds. All of these are semi-healthy, very different and full of color, which I love. Do you see anything here you might try? What are your plans for Cinco de Mayo??





Pin It

4/28/2014

BUTTERBUR: AN ALL- NATURAL SUPPLEMENT FOR MIGRAINES THAT WORKS!


I hope you had a great weekend! This post is a little off topic, but I've been praying about being able to say these words since 1997 - that would be 17 years! My hope is that this post might help you or someone you know that might be suffering from migraines...

Back in January, I mentioned here that one of my goals for this year was to work on eliminating my migraines. I think my exact words were, " to kick these migraines in the ass." I've had them for 17 years and they were getting worse with time. Well I've been working on it and I've found something that has worked tremendously! And it is all-natural!

Back in December, my doctor diagnosed me with "chronic migraines," which means I was having 10 - 15 migraines most months. They were so bad and so frequent that they were starting to really affect my lifestyle. So I was referred to a neurologist to come up with a serious plan to attack them. During my appointment with the neurologist, I stressed that I had absolutely no interest in additional medication, Botox (yes, Botox is used for migraine treatment), or anything unnatural. I had done research and knew that changes in diet, lifestyle and certain natural supplements had proven to be very effective in reducing or eliminating migraines. Over the last few years, I got my diet straight (very little processed foods, red meat and sugar, lots of fresh vegetables, lots of water, no caffeine), so I was interested in trying some supplements. The neurologist recommended Vitamin B2 and Magnesium Gluconate (both of which have proven to be effective with migraines), so I went to Whole Foods to buy them for the first time. I needed to see them in person and try them out first before ordering them online...



As I was in the process of looking for the vitamins amidst the plethora of vitamins at Whole Foods, a guy working in the vitamin department asked me if I needed any help. I told him what I needed and that I needed them for migraines. He said he had something better. That is when he introduced me to Butterbur. He said that it was an all-natural herb from a shrub that is grown primarily in North America and Europe. It had been proven to significantly reduce the frequency of migraines. He said it also helped with back pain, urinary tract infections, allergies and asthma. He said that tons of his customers swear by it. I had never heard of it and was skeptical, so I researched it online on my iPhone (thank God for smartphones) as I walked around the store. I couldn't find anything that said it wasn't effective or unsafe. So I bought it. I had such a good feeling about it that I started taking it that night! It was a weekend, so I consulted my neurologist the following week and she said it was ok...

That day at Whole Foods was February 8th. I have been taking Butterbur twice a day since then and things have been SO much better! Supplements take about 6-8 weeks to be effective and I can report that this stuff is REAL for me. The frequency of my migraines has gone from about 10-15 per month to about 4-5 per month. I'll take that!! When I do get the migraines, I still take my prescription meds, but the migraines don't last half as long or make me as tired as they did before I started taking Butterbur. I haven't experienced any side effects. My allergies that are normally terrible around this time of year have been remarkably better as well. So I got a two-for-one deal! Hopefully with time, the frequency of the migraines will reduce. Fingers crossed!

There are several brands of Butterbur out there, but I take this one (the two-pack is a better deal). It is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA-free). Raw butterbur has alkaloids that can be harmful to your liver, so be sure to buy a brand that says "PA-free" on the bottle.

So my point here is that if you or someone you know is suffering from migraines, know that there are natural options out there that might be just as effective, better for you (and cheaper!!) as prescription meds. The natural meds combined with my diet are really working for me and I couldn't be more excited!

Do you or anyone you know take Butterbur? If so, what is/was your experience? Let me know!

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor by any means, so please consult your doctor before trying anything new! Also, this is not a sponsored post. I just really hopes this helps someone like it has helped me!

Macaron Trinket Box (used as my pill box) via Waiting on Martha

Images by me
Pin It

4/25/2014

PERFECTLY DESIGNED + LINKS...


How pretty and perfectly designed is that space?? That would be just one of many of Ellen Degeneres's homes that she has meticulously renovated over the last few years. The New York Times recently published this great article (with photos) about her love for real estate, architecture, design and renovation. Apparently she is at it again in a new home AND she is just got her own show on HGTV... Yep. I'll be watching...

Anyway, what's up for the weekend? The weather is supposed to be grand, so my weekend includes relaxation, errands and a good dinner and cocktails - al fresco. Good times... Have a great weekend and enjoy the links!

If you need to refresh your summer wardrobe, then this sale (30% off) would be a good place to start... I'm loving this, this (the most comfortable tee ever!) and these...

And another great sale to browse (25% off) for the special summer stuff... This dress and this dress are kind of amazing to me...

I was incredibly excited to learn that my avocado-hummus dip was featured on Buzzfeed Food a few weeks ago! That was a happy moment...

Her renovation skills are also amazing... Can't wait to see how her home turns out!

I watch him deliver the news almost every night, so I got a good laugh out of this...

A fabulous marriage of two of my favorite ingredients - in a cupcake...

I think I would be quite productive in this neutral and elegant office...

25 things you should never stop doing... for yourself. Loved this.

Photo via the New York Times by Everett Fenton Gidley

Pin It

4/24/2014

INTERIORS: CLASSIC MEETS COMFORT & SOPHISTICATION...

If you saw this post or are an avid pinner of interiors on Pinterest, then this space might look familiar to you. I posted a photo of the dining area of this amazing Brooklyn townhome here a few weeks ago. I was and still am in love with the lighting, the millwork and the windows in that space. So pretty! As it turns out, I'm actually in love with the entire home... I found it the other day and finding it was like opening a surprise gift. This home is gorgeous!! The decor is the perfect mix of classic (that pretty piano), comfort (I could see myself grabbing a book from that perfectly styled bookcase and parking myself on that cozy-looking couch outside the kitchen) and sophistication (the modern lighting and very clean lines). The beams, dark cabinetry, butcher block countertops and the rug in that AMAZING kitchen create an invitation of warmth that would make me want to cook in it all day. And that butlers pantry?? Yes and yes!! The whole space is just perfection in my book... 


Interiors: Blair Harris Interior Design
Pin It

4/22/2014

CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY CAKE...

So over the last few months, I have been gathering inspiration for food, food styling and food photography from cookbooks. Like, lots of cookbooks. I've been collecting them and perhaps I might be developing a slight problem. Maybe. But I find them to be so relaxing! One of my recent purchases was Paul Lowe's cookbook, "Eat & Make."  Paul is the editor of Sweet Paul Magazine, an online magazine that is always so beautifully done. In the magazine, Paul shares delicious recipes that are always perfectly styled. So when I saw he was coming out with his own cookbook, I knew I had to purchase it...

One of the first recipes I flipped to was this chocolate and raspberry cake. The recipe inspired me in three ways. One - I love chocolate. That's a given. Two - chocolate and raspberries together are heavenly, so I could only imagine how much better they would be if they were baked together. Three - the list of ingredients was short. I love a good dessert with a short list of ingredients! So I had to make this and I'm SO glad that I did! It was simple to make, turned out beautifully and was delicious. It's a fudgy cake with an intense chocolate flavor. But the intensity is cut once you bite into a sweet raspberry that has baked into the cake. Fabulous... This would be the perfect, simple dessert for a summer dinner party or a special celebration...



Here is what you need and what to do:

10 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and divided
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh raspberries, plus more for serving
Powdered sugar & mint, for garish

1. Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan using the wrappers from the two sticks of butter. That trick works perfectly here! Set the pan aside.

2. Place the two sticks of butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Don't forget to save the wrappers from the butter to butter the pan! Beat the butter and the sugar until creamy - about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time.

3. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture in 3 or so batches to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix well after each addition.

4. Add the sour cream and 1 cup of the melted chocolate to the batter and mix well.

5. Pour the batter into the springform pan. The batter will be pretty thick, so even out the top of the batter using a regular spatula or a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the raspberries on top of the batter.

6. Bake for about 1 hour or until the center of the cake is slightly set. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should be wet, but the sides should be fully set. The cake will be dry if it cooks too long, so start checking it after 55 minutes or so.

7. Completely cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack. Once it has cooled, run a knife around the edge of the pan and then release it. Garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar, and a sprig of mint. Serve with a side of the remaining melted chocolate, raspberries and maybe a scoop of a good quality vanilla ice cream...

Enjoy!

Images by me

Pin It

4/21/2014

PORTRAITS FROM THE WEEKEND...


{Easter tulips... }

Hi there!! How are you? I am back this week with a refreshed mind and a renewed spirit! It's been quite a busy few months on the work front and thankfully the busyness ended last week! I thought I would only need a few days last week to recuperate, but my creative juices were frozen. I also needed to catch up on sleep, trash tv (you'd gasp if you knew what I watched, but it was a wonderful escape!), good friends, errands, cleaning, organizing-- everything. Life is much better now! Anyway, I also started a project that I've been thinking and talking about for a few years. My master bedroom is going to get a much needed makeover! This summer. For real. It's happening. I even gave it its own hashtag (see below). So it has to happen right?? The room is going to be serene with a quiet and neutral vibe. Just what I need and just what I love. Stay tuned... :)

{Wall color options for my master bedroom makeover happening this summer, which will herein be referred to as "#shmastermakeover."

{Those pancakes from this cookbook were my Easter morning breakfast. They were amazing... }


{A favorite fedora from Target that I wore several times last week. Makes me excited for summer... }


{A homemade "lime green juice" that has been in heavy rotation lately... It's the juice of an apple, a peeled orange, a peeled lime and a handful of kale. Simple and delicious I tell ya... }

Images by me


Pin It

4/11/2014

INSPIRED BY...

The windows. The lighting. The rug. The molding. The everything...

I hope you all have a good weekend! This was the final week of my deadline at work (THANK GOD), so it was crazy in my world this week. I am going to take a few days off next week to recollect myself and refresh my spirit. In the meantime, here is a little inspiration to keep you company... I will see you back here later next week!

How beautifully my three favorite English words are framed in two languages... 


The windows - again. 


That soft entry... 

Images 1/2/3/4
Pin It

4/09/2014

I'M WEARING: A FLORAL TOP ON THE TRACKS...

I mentioned here a while back that I have this thing for railroad tracks. They are straight-forward, simple, rustic, and organized. Those are a few of my favorite adjectives and perhaps the reasons why I like railroad tracks. Either way, I thought this was the perfect place to photograph one of my favorite tops at the moment. I really love flowers, but I don't wear them much. But the feel and colors in this top attracted me to it and it was the first purchase I made after the holidays with the money I received from "Santa." It made me excited for spring and thankfully it is here! I just had to celebrate that by wearing this fun top at one of my favorite places...


Top: J.Crew (on sale!!) | Jeans: Joe's | Tote: K.slademade, similar here and here | Heels: Ivanka Trump (old) | Watch: Michael Kors | Lips: "Slopes" by Bobbi Brown

Images by Paula Coldiron

Pin It

4/07/2014

TWO THINGS...


Hi there! I hope your weekend was wonderful... I worked lots (last weekend doing so!), but found a little time to enjoy a few things. I bought calla lilies for the first time. I have always adored them, but have always thought they were so expensive for just a few. But you know what? I have been working HARD, so I paid for them with my head held high, arranged them and flanked them on the side of my computer over the weekend. I was happy. 

Yesterday,  I took a break from work to browse Target. I didn't need anything except time away, which I know is dangerous for the bank account. :) I saw the latest issue of Porter magazine and flipped through it. I'm not a huge fan of Lady Gaga, but I picked it up to flip through it anyway. Before I knew it, almost 20 minutes had passed by. The last issue was good, but this one is really good. The graphics and photography are really great. The articles on several inspiring and strong women are even better. I loved Christiane's "Golden Rules" below... 

Anyway, I walked out of Target with the magazine and about 8 other things I forgot I "needed". Target will do that to ya... :)



Images by me


Pin It

4/04/2014

CASUAL FRIDAY + LINKS..


Happy Friday!! How was your week? It 'twas another busy week here for me. I crave the moment when I don't have to say it was a "busy week" on a Friday. But that is coming. I am in the home stretch of a big deadline at work and I am quite thrilled! So this weekend, it will be working, eating, and sleeping with a side of a quick workout for me! If your plans are a little more exciting, have a little fun for me, ok?? :) Enjoy the links!

Yes, yes and yes.

And speaking of food, this is best place at the moment to find some of the most beautiful food blogs...

Two words that can change a life... Boy this is true.

A home that I wish were mine. Such a beauty...

I ordered these (in navy) last week during the big sale and they are SO comfortable. Big score.

Oh and this classic everyday bag is on sale! I've only wanted one for ohhhh... forever, so I scooped it up this week. :)

A great advice blog on blogging...

The truth...

Weekend reading...

* Image found via Pinterest. Let me know if you know the original source!
Pin It

4/03/2014

HOME TOUR: A MILL VALLEY REMODEL


When I was younger, I dreamed of living in a huge mansion with my husband, kids and my dog. And maybe a butler - one like Geoffrey, the butler on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I loved that show... Anyway, the passage of time has certainly brought about a change in my preferences. I now prefer a home that is a little more intimate. I don't want anything huge, but I'd like a home that is comfortable and roomy in all the right places - like the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms. This home in Mill Valley, California is the perfect example of what I would like. It's bright, the kitchen looks roomy and the bathroom is out of this world beautiful. Even though the home is remodeled, it still has tons of character. The lighting and the specific simple little details do the trick. I'd love to have something like this. Lets just see if my dreams come true...




Images via: Rasmussen Construction
Architect: Chambers + Chambers in Mill Valley
Photographer: John Merkl


Pin It

4/01/2014

CILANTRO-LIME SALMON SALAD...

When I'm working hard, I typically eat really bad. It makes me feel better - for a few minutes. Then I don't feel so good. Food has a way of doing that. But as I mentioned yesterday, I am doing things differently this year. I am eating healthy pretty much all of the time and I feel good pretty much all the time. Do you know what is keeping me on track?? Meal planning. On most Thursday nights, I set aside a few minutes before bed to plan my meals for the following week. I plan easy meals that have quick-cooking ingredients that store well and can be mixed and matched in several meals for lunch and dinner. Variations of this quinoa salad have been in rotation. But this past weekend, I made this cilantro-lime salmon salad that I'm sure will also be in heavy rotation. 

This salad takes about 15 minutes to make. The ingredients are so fresh and go so well together that it barely needs any dressing (in my opinion). Oh and have I mentioned that I'm trying to cut back on my meat consumption? I'm not trying to become a full vegetarian, but I have reduced my meat consumption to about once or twice a week and I feel SO much better. Hence the salmon here in this salad. I have been buying fresh Wild Alaskan Salmon (it's so much better than farm-raised and worth the price) for the last few weeks and seasoning it in different ways for different dishes. It cooks so fast and is so very good and good for you. But if salmon isn't your thing, then shredded rotisserie chicken would be great. To be perfectly honest, this salad is good simply on its own without any meat at all...


Here is what you need and what to do:

Salmon

2 salmon fillets
Juice 1/2 lime
1/2 lime, sliced
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
Garlic powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Salad

2-3 heads romaine lettuce, washed and coarsely chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 avocado, diced
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, cubed
Cilantro, finely chopped, to taste
Roasted sunflower seeds, to taste
Tortilla chips (these are my favorite!)

Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the salmon on a sheet of aluminum foil - a sheet that is big enough to fold into a little package. Season the salmon with the lime juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place the slices of lime on top of the salmon. Place the cilantro and butter on top of the lime slices. Fold the aluminum into a little package and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the fish is flaky and slightly pink on the inside.

2. While the salmon is baking, make the vinaigrette. Place all the ingredients into a jar and shake it until everything is well combined. set aside.

3. To make the salad, place the black beans, corn and avocado, cheese and tomatoes in a separate bowl. Pour some of the dressing over the mixture. Gently toss to combine. Place the romaine lettuce in a large serving bowl. Top the lettuce with the black bean and corn mixture.

4. Once the salmon has cooled, shred it with a fork and add it to the top of the salad. Top it with a few sprinkles of chopped cilantro and roasted sunflower seeds. Add more dressing to taste. Serve some tortilla chips on the side.

P.S. I forgot to add the sunflower seeds to the salad before I photographed it, but I added them afterwards and it was so good!

Enjoy!

Vinaigrette recipe found here

Images by me
Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...