5/30/2014

GOOD SUMMER STYLE + LINKS...



HAPPY FRIDAY! IN ALL CAPS! Ha. I hope you all had a great week. I had a 4-day week and that in and of itself makes for a fabulous week in my world. What's up for your weekend? My plan is to bring in the month of June by relaxing, getting some good exercise, and enjoying a good dinner with a good friend. Gosh I can't believe that half of the year is almost over! I feel like May just got started! Craziness... Anyway, have a great weekend and enjoy the links!

Tina Fey and Jane Fonda. Together. In a new and funny movie. Can't wait to see it!

What to do with a fridge full of food before leaving on your summer vaca. Loved these tips...

A great list of fashion do's and don'ts for the workplace. I so concur!

Six things you don't have to do at work...  I concur with these, too.

A beauty of a nursery... Really beautiful.

You know I love a good, fresh salad...

Pretty, light and simple...

Rain check??

Truth...

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5/28/2014

HOW I'M UPDATING MY BUILDER-GRADE MASTER BATHROOM...


Pottery Barn Crystal Sconce | Restoration Hardware Mirror (18 x 36) | Gallery Wall $10 Art | Moen Sink Fixture | Williams Sonoma Towels | Moen Tub Fixture | Serena & Lily Stool | Restoration Hardware Round Glass Knobs

This really excites me people... I have been wanting to update my master bedroom and bathroom for years now and it is finally happening!! I'm starting with my builder-grade bathroom. While I would love to replace everything from floor to ceiling, I'm choosing to take the easier and cheaper route. I'm creating what I call a "mini-custom look" by customizing the space with things that are easy to switch out. Since I'm not doing a complete overhaul, I wanted to buy the nicest things I could afford or buy without hyperventilating. I will say that most of these things were purchased on sale, so I'm doing good!

So I'm keeping the big stuff like the floors, the double-sink vanity, the tub and the shower. But I am replacing the big builder sheet mirror over my current vanity with two individual mirrors and upgrading the lighting over each mirror. Lighting is such an easy way to zhush up a space, so I'm quite excited about those crystal sconces! I'm dressing up the vanity with a new set of sink fixtures and cabinet knobs. The knobs match the lighting and I love that...

The backdrop of all of that will be walls painted in "White Dove" by Benjamin Moore. I chose that color for my bedroom as well. I think that is the universal white color and I now see why. It's a creamy white that has no yellow or peach undertones and isn't too white. That is exactly what I wanted. I'm going to dress up the walls with two custom framed prints from Sarah's Etsy shop. Her art is so simple and chic, which is sort of the theme of this space... 

Oh and I'm also going to treat myself some real quality white towels - the kind that are so soft and fluffy that you just want to wrap yourself up in them and go to sleep. Perhaps I'm most excited about that... :)

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5/27/2014

A LOCAL LOVE: JENI'S ICE CREAM


Hi there!! I hope you all had a great weekend. I had a fantastic longggg weekend. The plan was to not have any plans and I think I got more fun things done than I would have if I had a plan. Ha. I relished doing little things like taking a nap during an afternoon storm, watching a movie on Netflix during breakfast as opposed to watching the news, making homemade pancakes for dinner and going to bed late. I even ate ice cream for lunch one day. That's where this gorgeous ice cream shop comes into play. Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is a new ice cream shop here in Atlanta that has been getting rave reviews. I'd heard about the cute decor, creamy ice cream in unique, yet amazing flavors and constant lines of people out the door. So I grabbed my camera and decided to try it out during lunch before the crowds gathered...

My review: I will never go to another ice cream shop in Atlanta again - other than this one. SO GOOD!  I'm glad I had my camera because the decor is super cute and airy. Most importantly, the ice cream is delectable. It's so fresh and incredibly creamy - creamier than really good gelato. It's made from the milk of grass-fed cows and real ingredients. The flavors are so creative. They have unlimited tastings, so I took advantage of that. Flavors like "Goat Cheese w/ Red Cherries" and "Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet" really peaked my interest. But the Brambleberry Crisp won me over. It was like eating a blackberry crisp (with an oatmeal topping) and a side of vanilla ice cream all in one. I had a scoop of that served on a pillow of "Savannah Buttermint." The nice server modeled it for me and then I proceeded to scarf it down while using multiple napkins in the process. It was perfect. :)



Images by me

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5/23/2014

LIBERATION + LINKS...


Hi there! How was your week?? All I can say is that I am thrilled that today is Friday and the beginning of a three-day weekend! So excited... Other than attending a small Memorial Day cookout, my plan for the rest of the time over the next few days is to not make any plans. I haven't made my usual to-do list for the weekend and I don't plan on making one. I'm just going to see where the next few days take me and I find that to be quite exciting and a little liberating. If you are in the states, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday! I'll see you back here on Tuesday!

This is fun to read if you are an introvert - like me.

The bathroom in this NYC townhome is well... amazing.

Two of my very favorite ingredients married together in a lovely way...

This looks pretty sweet, too...

Her store is beautiful. Of course her home is, too...

Lovely words of encouragement...

Perfect styling. Just perfect.

And some good holiday sales:

Nordstrom: (up to 40% off): Fierce heels, proper wedges, and a cute summer tote...

Serena & Lily (20% off everything):  I am FINALLY purchasing one of these for my new
bathroom...

J.Crew (25% off packing picks): I have this skirt and I wear it out and lounge in it around the house. So incredibly comfy!

Shopbop: (up to 70% off): A DVF wrap dress with a price I can tolerate and a pretty simple piece of neck decor...  

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5/21/2014

INTERIORS: SIMPLE LIVING IN LONDON...


The longer I blog, the more fascinated I become with international interior design. I find that most international design is much more simple. And if you have been following me on my little blogging journey, you know that "simple" just might be one of my favorite words. The necessities in the spaces are the main attractions and they aren't overly accessorized. Like I said, they are just simple and I like that. This kitchen and dining area in this London home is just what I am talking about. The space is open, airy, light, bright and has great mixture of modern and rustic elements. I'm not a huge fan of the bottom cabinets, but I love the upper cabinets, the tile backsplash inside of them, and the pantry doors. Oh and that herb garden in the middle of the island - such a genius idea! When I look at this space, I imagine myself there "on holiday," as the British say... I can see myself cooking for my family in the kitchen and enjoying our meal around that rustic table as we enjoy our little vaca together. I smile at the thought of that. :)





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5/19/2014

ROASTED GOLDEN BEET SALAD W/ MAPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE

If you clicked on the link to the title of this post and are reading this sentence, then I must say, "thank you." Thank you for being interesting in reading about beets- an ingredient that gets such a bad rap. I hope to make it worth your while!

Anyway, so - I had what I call a "complete weekend." I ran necessary errands, cleaned my house, had a TV and reading date with my couch for an entire Saturday afternoon (I literally haven't had a chance to sit on my couch for more than 15 minutes in the last few months), practiced photography, had my first super advanced Pilates session (I'm hurting in a great way today), and picked out my outfits for the week (I NEVER ever have time to do that). I treated my body to homemade healthy meals on Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of these chocolate chip cookies that I made last night. I ate two of them. Ok- I ate three. But I deserved it. All of that was done by 5PM last night, which means I had extra time to relax. I felt and feel complete and refreshed.

But it's a new week and back to regular scheduled programming. I want to start this week off by telling you about that beet salad you see there. Doesn't it look like a dainty little salad that should be served at a summer dinner party?? I think so. I made it on Saturday and absolutely loved it. I'm a beet convert. I used to hate beets- hate with a passion. The beets I knew of as a child were canned or pickled and insanely gross. But over the last few years, I have tried them in a few different ways. Those ways have turned me into a beet convert. And if you don't like beets, perhaps that delicate looking salad will get you on the path to becoming a convert, too...


My conversion started with this food photography workshop I attended a few years ago. One of our dinners included a roasted red beet salad that I was completely hesitant to eat. But I put it on my plate anyway. Plus it honestly did look pretty. The beets looked like little red jewels. But looks can be so deceiving... But I took a bite and remember being completely surprised. The beets were slightly sweet, silky and completely absent of that weird metal flavor I loathed as a child. They were delicious. That is where my love for beets all started. Since then I have been enticed to put them in juices (this juice is one of my favorites!). And recently, I have been making various versions of my own roasted beet salads...

This roasted beet salad is one of my favorites. I found a version of it in Sara Forte's cookbook, "The Sprouted Kitchen." I refer to her cookbook when I need to spice of my healthy food life - which is often. The roasted beets here tasted just like they did the first time I had them - tender, silky and slightly sweet. Their sweetness in this salad pairs perfectly with the maple cider vinaigrette - a vinaigrette I pretty much use on most of my homemade salads these days. All of that is offset by the crunch of toasted walnuts and the creamy richness of the goat cheese. I heart goat cheese - especially in this salad. Anyway, if you aren't a fan of beets, just try this salad. Just try it... You just might like it.

Here is what you need and what to do (serves 4 to 6):

Salad

3 large or 5 small golden beets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cups butter lettuce or other delicate green lettuce
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup goat cheese (feta would work, too)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Vinaigrette

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the beets and remove the stems. Rub them with the olive oil and wrap them in foil. Place them on a baking sheet. Bake for an hour or until you can pierce the center of the beet easily with a knife. Set the beets aside to cool. 

2. While the beets are baking, add the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a small bowl. Whisk until all of the ingredients are combined. 

3. Once the beets are cooled, peel the skins off using a paring knife or vegetable peeler. The peel should come off pretty easily. Slice them into really thin slices using a very sharp knife. 

4. Toss the lettuce with some of the dressing and some freshly ground black pepper. Top the lettuce with the beets, cheese and walnuts. Drizzle a little dressing over the salad. Reserve the remaining dressing to serve on the side. If you have leftover dressing, store it in a jar or an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Enjoy and let me know if you try this!

Images by me


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5/16/2014

LOFT LIVING + LINKS...


How light and pretty is that space!! Of course it's lovely because it's the loft of Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34... She transformed her loft into something really warm and beautiful, which I think is sometimes hard to do in lofts. Love it...

What's up for the weekend?? I'm starting off my weekend with a much needed mani/pedi, which will be followed by a few days of downtime, errands, a good workout, and continuing to plan my master bedroom/bathroom makeover. I made my first big purchase this week for the bathroom (two of these classic 36'' mirrors in bronze) so I'm on a roll!! Can't wait to see it all come together. Anyway, have a good weekend and enjoy the links!

I am no handy-woman (at all!!), but my bathroom sink was draining slow and I cleared it up using this all-natural and safe method. It worked like a charm! I felt like Wonder Woman afterwards...

If you love Scandal and Shonda Rhimes, this will be exciting news to you... I can't wait!!

I am so inspired by every one of her Instagram posts. Mad design skills...

Of course her new office space is crisp, clean and beautiful...

And I also loved her thoughts on how to start the day...

I'm also inspired by this blog... My taste buds are, too.

This is so pretty to me... The back is even prettier!

Such a courageous woman. Beautiful.

The perfect summer salad...

And a good summer DIY...

Image by Kim Lucian for Apartment 34
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5/14/2014

HOME TOUR: A CLASSIC CRAFTSMAN...

Up until maybe 10 years ago, I had no attraction to older homes. None. I had no appreciation for real - and by real I mean real hardwood floors the squeak ever so slightly, no appreciation for well-constructed bones, and no appreciation for character. I don't know what I was thinking... Well, yes I do. I wanted something fresh and new that didn't cost anything in time or money to fix up. But after being a homeowner of a newly constructed home for several years now, I dream of really thick walls, quality construction, and having that moment where I can pull up old carpet and find the most beautiful hardwood floors underneath. Perhaps one day I will have the patience and the finances to have that moment. In the meantime, I will dream via pictures. This craftsman style home is exactly something I would love to have. This is a new home that has actually been built to look old and I think the homeowners did an amazing job (I originally thought it was an updated older home!) I love the thick baseboards (why do they not make them like that- standard- anymore??) the old doors and windows, and of course the hardwood floors, which are old, too. The mix of the warm and bright paint colors make the home so inviting. Naturally the decor does, too. Just beautiful... 







Photos by Tracey Ayton ( I adore her and her photography!) for Style At Home... 


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5/12/2014

FOUR REALLY GOOD THINGS (TO ME...)

Peanut butter and sliced fresh strawberry toast. This concept might be old news to you, but I tried this for the first time over the weekend and about DIED! This will hands-down be my version of PB&J this summer. The sweetness of the strawberries combined with the saltiness and creaminess of the peanut butter, and crunch from the toast - so very good! The bread was a whole grain bread fresh from the bakery, the peanut butter was all-natural (I use this one) and the strawberries were organic and fresh. I think fresh is really best here since there are so few ingredients and a lack of sugar-laced jam. I bet this would also be good with summer-ripened blueberries... Anyway, all of that made for a little slice of heaven - literally.  

Old Navy "Sweet Heart" Skinny Jeans. I bought these jeans a few weeks ago and am still in awe for a few reasons. They fit me better than pretty much all of my designer jeans. When I tried them on in the dressing room of the store, I just stood there in disbelief. They fit perfectly in waist, hips and thighs and are extremely comfortable. This fit is designed for curvy, pear-shaped figures. So if that is you, you might want to try these out! Oh and did I mention that they are only $29.50??? I'm still in shock... #notsponsored

Fresh peonies. Because fresh peonies are just necessary during this time of the year... 


My  kid. I'm not a mom to a child yet, but I am a mom to this fur baby. He is my alarm clock every morning. He goes off at 6:30AM EVERY morning, including weekends. But it was like he knew it was Mother's Day yesterday because he was quiet until 8AM. That made for a great start to the day...

Images by me


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5/09/2014

MOTHERLY LOVE + LINKS...

I couldn't just pick one photo for today's post because all of those are just so precious to me! Obviously I thought they were appropriate for Mother's Day - which to me is a celebration of THE hardest job in the world. It's a job my mom was stellar at and a job I hope to be stellar at one day, too... Do you have plans for the day? My mom and I are getting together another weekend, but she certainly won't be far from my heart and mind!! Whatever you do, I hope you have a great weekend. Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing, multi-tasking, strong, and giving mothers out there! 

There has been a One Room Challenge going in blogland and the reveal was this week. I absolutely loved this makeover and this makeover... So good. 

A chic and slightly modern, yet warm Long Island home. I could live there...

My summer wishlist. I'll be buying a lottery ticket this weekend...

10 ways to stay sane on the Internet. #10 might be my favorite... 

If you love Ina Garten (like I do), then you might enjoy this...

The sweetest surprise! Just wait for it...


And hard work pays off...

Coconut + chocolate together...

*All of the photos were found via Pinterest. Let me know if you know the source!!
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5/07/2014

INSPIRED BY...

Wouldn't it be nice to cook an amazing dinner in that kitchen?? Can't get over that lighting...

I'd be happy with cooking in that clean, crisp eat-in kitchen, too...


But eating out there would be even better... Just beautiful.

I'm so inspired... 

Images 1/2/3
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5/05/2014

SIMPLE SPRING VEGETABLE FRITTATA...

Happy Monday my friends... I have to start off by thanking those of you who gave me a pep talk on Friday's post. I read each of your comments and e-mails 3 or so times because they were just so nice, heartfelt and helpful! I sincerely appreciate it. I thought a lot about things over the weekend while I was out enjoying life outside of my computer. Things will slow down just a little here going forward until I can get a better balance. In the meantime, my goal will be to continue to provide you with posts that will stimulate your eyes and your taste buds. My hope is that this particular post does both!

So one of my favorite things about spring is the abundance of fresh green vegetables that are in season. I try to work something green in every single meal I eat, which means I have become my mother - the mother that told me as a child to eat something green at every meal. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I feasted my eyes on this spring onion frittata over at Love & Lemons. If you love to primarily eat healthy or have a goal of eating healthier food, then you should bookmark that blog. It's quite lovely... That frittata inspired me to head over to Amazon and purchase an 8-inch cast iron skillet to make my first ever frittata...

And my first every frittata was amazing... The first bite was a complete burst of freshness. The vegetables were cooked, but still slightly crunchy and flavorful. They are added in at two separate times, so they are evenly distributed throughout the frittata. Love that... The eggs were extremely fluffy. That was the result of the mixing them up in a blender and using a little heavy cream (I allowed myself that since there were so many vegetables). The cheeses were the perfect blend of savory (mozzarella) and salty (feta). It was just perfection and so easy to make. I just might have to make it again for Mother's Day... 



Here is what you need and what to do:

5 eggs, preferably organic
1/3 cup water, milk or heavy cream (I used heavy cream)
1 clove garlic
3 spring onions, white and green parts, cut on the diagonal
1 cup curly kale, finely chopped
1/2 cup asparagus tips
1/2 cup peas, thawed or frozen
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. Pour about 2 teaspoons of olive oil in an 8-inch cast iron skillet. Saute the garlic, spring onions, kale, asparagus and peas for 2-3 minutes, or until the kale is slightly wilted. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

3. Add the eggs, cream (or milk or water), salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until the mixture is slightly frothy.

4. Wipe out the skillet used to saute the vegetables and coat it with some olive oil. Be sure to coat the bottom AND the sides! Pour the eggs into the skillet. Sprinkle the eggs with half of the vegetables. Bake the frittata for 15 minutes...

5. After 15 minutes, gently pull out the rack of the oven holding the frittata. Sprinkle the remaining vegetables, mozzarella and feta cheese on top. Gently push the rack back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the eggs are puffed and set.

6. Sprinkle the frittata with fresh thyme leaves or a few red pepper flakes for spice if you like...

Enjoy!

Images by me

P.S. Happy Cinco de Mayo! Click here if you need a good last minute, healthy, quick and most importantly GOOD recipe!!
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5/02/2014

A FEW THOUGHTS + LINKS...



Hi there! I hope you had a good week! My week was good, but can I be honest with you today about something?? I've been having a hard time tapping into my creative side lately. I thought it was because I was busy with my day job, but that apparently is not the case. Maybe that has shown in some of my recent posts. Maybe it hasn't. Prioritizing my free time, which I don't have a lot of, has become harder over the last few months. Lately, I am finding that curling up with a good book (I'm FINALLY reading this), meeting a friend for dinner and chatting for hours over a really good bottle of wine, and exploring my city and others is more appealing to me than spending time in front of the computer. I'm not sure if this is a phase or if it is permanent, but I just feel like I need to get my thoughts down here at the moment. I love blogging. I really do. But I have got to find more of a better balance. I have also got to stop comparing. I was doing so good at not doing that, but lately the explosion of amazing new blogs and content out there are pulling me back into that hole. Just being honest here...

Anyway, I'm not going to stop blogging- at least for now- but I need to figure out a way to be more comfortable moving forward. Perhaps putting this out there is a first step. That way, I can easily refer back to it. And perhaps you might have some eye-opening insight that might help. If so, I'd love to hear. And perhaps I just need a refreshing weekend ahead! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and please enjoy the links!

I love a graceful, thoughtful blog that makes me feel hopeful about life no matter what. This blog makes me feel that way. I wish I would have found it sooner...

How to really wash your face. Really good and incredibly informative...

The epitome of a classic, traditional NYC wedding. Beautiful...

Everything here is mouthwatering. Everything.

The before and after of this pantry is fabulous...

I do pretty much all of these things... Do you?

A food lovers cleanse... Loved this.

Also loving the newly redesigned Lonny! Good weekend reading...

Derby worthy and beautiful-looking...

Think big...

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