Well, so if you are counting, I think this is time #5 that I've mentioned London here on the blog. I keep finding photos of really beautiful spaces there, so I am dying to go. I recently came across these photos of another beautiful space in London and I had to share it with you. These photos are of Hally's, a lovely and California-beach inspired deli in the Parsons Green area of London. It was designed by Alexander Waterworth Interiors, a fairly new design firm that has become renowned for their restaurant designs. Their work is really beautiful and Hally's is no exception. The aesthetic is rustic, warm, and slightly colorful - which makes the overall feeling of the space so welcoming and comfortable. I don't know about you, but the more comfortable I am, the more I enjoy the food. But, I always say that the key to good restaurant design is making a first-time patron assume the food is good when they haven't even tasted it yet. I haven't even walked in yet (I've only drooled over the menu) and I already feel that way. Don't you??

Images via Remodelista & Hally's
Photography by Helen Cathcart
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Skin Care Routing | Savor Home

Many of you have asked me about my skin care routine, so I'm finally sharing it with you today! In all honesty, I have been hesitant to share it because I don't feel like I have anything groundbreaking to offer in terms of skin care. But then I thought maybe that's the exact reason I should share it. We live in a time where there are TONS of different products out there that claim they are the best of the best. But for or me, keeping things consistent and simple has been the best thing for my skin. Even though I have been using the same facial products for years, I am a huge believer in good input = good output when it comes to skin. I've made it a point over the last year to eat better, drink more water, and get more sleep. Doing so has made a huge difference in my skin, especially the skin on my face. It's smoother, clearer, and more even-toned. Except for lipstick, I only wear a little makeup for my outfit posts, so that might help be helpful, too. Here are a few more details... 

MY FACE: I have been using Neutrogena products since college - which means I've been using them for a LONG time! Although I am a big fan of all-natural products, these Neutrogena lines just work for me. My skin has rebelled every time I've tried something new, so for now I'm sticking to what works- and thankfully what works are things that are reasonably priced and can be found at my local drugstore! I wash my face in the morning and at night. I exfoliate twice a week with the Clarisonic (using the sensitive brush). It is the best thing EVER! My skin feels so soft and so clean after each use. I also get a really good facial every couple of months. 

MY BODY: Dryness and eczema are the two problems I've had with the skin on my body, so I have sought out products that address those issues. The Dr. Bronner's soap is the best cleanser I've tried. It has worked wonders and just happens to smell so very good, too. It is especially soothing when I have eczema breakouts. I talked more about the soap in this post and the coconut oil in this post... I've been using just those two products on my body over the past year and I've really seen a difference!

One thing that is not pictured is my all-natural deoderant. I bought the travel size of this deodorant and started using it this past weekend. So far, so good! The true test will be if it lasts through a workday. I'll keep you posted!

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So you know how much I love food photography right? Well, lately I find myself more and more interested in interiors photography. I have been practicing around my home and it is much harder than it looks (to me anyway). I don't have any special lighting props or lenses at the moment, which is probably why its hard, but I am quite fascinated with it. So I have been studying interiors photography a lot more lately and recently ran across these interiors photographed by Michael Jones. The spaces are beautiful (LOVE all of the antiques) and the lighting is perfection. Notice that the lights are on in all of the pictures, but you don't see any of the reflection in the photos from the lights themselves. The lighting looks very natural and I love that. I'd love to figure out how to do that beautifully one day and these photos make me even more eager to learn...

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Kale, Farro, and Feta Salad | Savor Home
Well, I am finally at the point where my mom and grandmothers wanted me to be when I was younger - the days when pizza and mac & cheese were daily desires. I now eat my greens. Daily. I eat them via a smoothie, a salad, or as a side on their own. I love them and have grown to appreciate the good things they do to my body. Moms and grandmothers are always right about that kind of stuff. Last Sunday, I fulfilled my daily greens requirement by eating this kale salad. I found a version of it here a few weeks ago and tweeked it a bit based on the time I had and the ingredients I had on hand. I love lemon-y kale and feta, but the farro was my favorite thing in the salad. To me, it's the Italian version of brown rice. It's flavorful, filling (it's full of fiber), and super healthy. Its texture was perfect against the crunchiness of the kale and walnuts. The farro can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, so if you have some leftovers, this flavorful and healthy salad can quite literally be made in about 5 minutes. Gotta love a salad like that... 

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

3 cups lacinato kale, torn or chopped, stems removed (see note)
1 cup cooked farro (see note)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 -3 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Add the kale, farro, feta, zest and lemon juice, and olive oil to a large bowl. Toss with a large spoon or tongs to combine. Taste and add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste until seasoned for your taste.

A few tips:
 - Cook the farro according to its package instructions. I've learned that I can't go by general instructions. You can buy "pearled" or "semi-pearled" farro. The semi-pearled farro is best as it is the least processed and richer in fiber. It also takes a little longer to cook than pearled farro.

- I chop my kale by first removing the stems. I then stack the leaves one on top of the other and tightly roll them up into one roll. I then cut the roll into thin strips.


Images by me

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{This week's flowers...}

Hi there! I hope you all had a great weekend. I relaxed, I cleaned, ate about 5lbs of Mexican food along with some good margs with the BEST girlfriends, watched some mindless TV and organized some things. I also made this super easy recipe for my Sunday dinner. It sounds so fancy, but is the easiest thing ever to make. I had it for dinner last Sunday night, too. And I had it for lunch last week and will have it again for lunch this week. It's. That. Good! I made it exactly according to the recipe, but it is completely customizable. Make it yourself and pass it along to someone who is in need of a quick family or dinner party recipe! Happy Monday!

{My very first pair of gladiator sandals. I'm quite smitten with them.}

{Prepping plans for my master bedroom. My drawing skills are amazing right?? :) }

{ A simple soft leather pouch I snagged at a summer sale (it's still on sale!) that is doubling as an iPad case and a clutch... }

{ Max asked me to share his latest beauty tip with you - although he looks the least bit interested in that photo. Max has dry skin, so I started giving him organic extra-virgin coconut oil. He LOVES it. I give him about 1/4 teaspoon- sometimes 1/2 teaspoon a day. It's also one of the main ingredients in his dry food. His coat is shinier and smoother and his skin is so much better! So if your pet (it's good for dogs, too!) has dry skin, ask your vet about coconut oil!}

Images by me

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Hi there! I hope you all had a great week! I slowwwly got back in the swing of things this week, but am happy has always to see Friday. I'm back with links for you this week and I have some great things to share. There is one link I want to harp on and that is the The Lively Show. If you haven't heard about it, listen up! The Lively Show is a weekly podcast hosted by Jess Lively, who is a Chicago-based consultant who focuses on helping people live with intention. She hosts weekly podcasts (that you can download for free) where she speaks with successful bloggers and business owners about their journey (personal and business) and how they got to where they are. I'm in the process of figuring some things out this year and these podcasts have been really helpful. I have been listening to them in the car via my iPod for the last few weeks and I feel so motivated by these women. The podcasts with Erin Gates of Elements of Style, Kendi Skeen of Kendi Everyday, and Joy Wilson of Joy The Baker are a few of my favorites, but they are all really good! These women worked really hard to get to where they are and I find them to be incredibly inspiring. They talk about everything from life to careers to finances to finding balance to relationships to food - the whole nine! They are applicable even if you aren't a blogger, so check them out if you get time!

Anyway, I'm including two pics today (instead of my usual one pic) from a lovely home that was recently designed by Amber Interiors to break up my chatter. Ha. Keep scrolling for the links and I hope you all have a great weekend!

You know a blog post is good when it feels like you are reading a book rather than a blog. That's how I felt when I read this post.

This food blogger actually posts her monthly earnings from her blog and details to go along with them. Quite fascinating...

This dress is on sale (with an extra 20% off), classic, stylish, and perfect for work. So I ordered it.

changed my password on my computer for a reason other than security. Here's why...

This bathroom renovation was done a budget. It's pretty hard to tell...

The most stylish 80th birthday party I've ever seen...

This is perfect for summer nights out on the town...

I could spend hours on sites like this...

A cozy loft I could live in...

Sunday breakfast...

The BIG sale...

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Renovated German Farmhouse | Savor Home
While I was on vacation last week, I caught up on some of my favorite blogs, one of which is A Perfect Gray. My friend Donna has a love for the color gray and has a way of making her readers love it just as much. Anyway, she recently posted a photo of the kitchen from this really beautiful German 19th century barn turned farmhouse that was featured in the New York Times. I loved the details and the minimalism (something I really love about European interiors) in that one space, so I was eager to see and learn more about the home... 

The barn, which was previously occupied by cows, was merged with the farmhouse and underwent a complete renovation by a couple who wanted something really special and different for a home. They completely renovated the inside of the barn while keeping the outside intact. The inside of the home is all about the details - the various warm woods, the minimal antique furnishings, the lighting, and the small bursts of color. It honestly would be hard for me not to add a green plant or an accessory or two if this were my home, but otherwise I think the beautiful natural details speak volumes on their own... :)

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Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes | Savor Home
I think I have mentioned these pancakes three or four times here on the blog, so I thought it was high time I share the recipe! I LOVE pancakes. They remind me of Sunday mornings when I was a child. Our Sunday morning breakfast often consisted of pancakes made from a boxed dry mix, topped with maple syrup full of corn syrup, with bacon and scrambled eggs on the side. My brother and I loved it! I've become a little bit more educated about food since the boxed pancake mix days and have been hunting for a healthier pancake. I have tried many recipes that lacked in flavor or were really dry - or both...

I recently found this recipe in Megan Gordon's cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings. Friends, these are the pancakes I have made for myself many times for breakfast and dinner. I made them for my dad on Father's Day and made them for my grandfather for breakfast last week. They both raved about them. These are the pancakes I hope to serve to my own children on Sunday mornings. They are so full of flavor, fluffy (my pancakes MUST be fluffy), and are far from dry. Most importantly, I forget that the pancakes are healthy as I am eating them! I always add a little lemon zest to wake up the flavor even more, but have also added blueberries a few times since they are in currently in season. So good! The recipe is also convenient because you can mix the dry ingredients ahead of time and store the mix until you are ready use it. The dry mix also makes a great gift to a new mom or good friend. Oh and they freeze well, too! I just can't say enough good things about them...

Here is what you need and what to do:

Pancake mix (makes 4 batches):

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and stir until everything is combined. Pour the ingredients into a large jar or plastic resealable bag. Store for 6-8 weeks in a dry cool area. It will last even longer (3-4 months) if stored in the refrigerator. Mix the ingredients well before each use.

Pancakes (makes 6-7 large pancakes):

1 cup pancake mix
1/2 cup whole milk (skim milk works, too)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled, plus more for the pan and for serving
Zest of half a small/medium lemon

1. Add the milk, buttermilk, egg, butter, and lemon zest to a medium bowl. Whisk until combined. Add the pancake mix to the milk mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth. Then let the batter rest for 10 minutes. If the batter is too thick once it rests, add a little milk to loosen it up.

2. Melt a little butter to a nonstick griddle or large skillet that is over medium heath. Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop the batter on the pan. Cook on the first side for about 2 minutes or until you see a few bubbles. Flip the pancake and cook on the second side for 1 to 2 minutes. Add a little more butter to the pan as you make each batch.

3. Serve the pancakes warm with a little butter and/or warm 100% pure maple syrup or honey.

These freeze well! If you have leftovers, place them on a plate or cookie sheet (one that will fit in your freezer) lined with parchment paper. Put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until frozen. Don't forget about them (as I have a few times)! Once they are frozen, place them in a well-sealed freezer bag. When you are ready to eat them, heat them up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. If you heat them up in the oven, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cover them with foil. Bake on 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or until hot.


Images by me

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{My mom has a green thumb and beautiful gardens. I'm jealous...}

Hi there!! I hope you all are doing well. I am back from a week off and can honestly say that I feel better than I have felt in a long time. I so needed some time away! I didn't spend my vacation at a typical beautiful beach or anything. Instead I spent time with family in the home I grew up in. That beats a beach anytime... Well, almost. :) I slept- a LOT. It's amazing how much you can sleep when your mind and body are totally at ease. I had a lunch and movie date with my mom. We saw the movie Chef. If you love to laugh and love food, then you will adore that movie. You know I love food, so I made a pancake breakfast for my grandfather and a lasagna dinner for my whole family. This lasagna recipe never lets me down and my family loved it... My brother took me out to a great lunch and dinner (I had pho for the first time - so good!), and we went to the mountains for some sightseeing and photography practice. It's back to reality today, but my mind is clear, so bring it... :)

P.S. Tomorrow I'll be sharing the recipe for those pancakes I keep talking about, so be sure to check back!!

{The best sweet potato fries at The Sandwich Farm... }

{Lunching with my brother wearing these glasses that I honestly wear about 95% of the time. I'm quite blind...}

{A turkey sandwich is a turkey sandwich, but the turkey sandwich at The Sandwich Farm is the best one I've ever had... }

{One morning in bed... Reading and making plans for my master bedroom...}

{More from my mom's garden...}

{Reflecting on the mountain...}

{And my view from the mountain... }

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Hi there... Sorry I've been a bit MIA this week! Between work, life and my home updates (things are coming along beautifully there!), things have been a bit crazy. So I'm going to take a little vaca from all of that, including blogging for a week or so. I'll be spending some much needed quality time with friends and family and recharging a bit. For those of you who are celebrating July 4th, please be safe and have fun! I will see you back here soon...


Image source unknown...
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