Thursday, October 28, 2010

Party how to: Pumpkin theme

I promise this is my last post about Halloween. The holiday is finally here, which means after this weekend I will no longer mention pumpkins, skeletons, or fun size candy bars...unless I find a way to implement those things into my life permanently. Last weekend, after discovering that pumpkins were buy one get on free at the store, Paul and I had a few people over to carve the orange gourds and sip some Fall themed cocktails. Our living room was full of tasty treats, the kitchen table was mounded with stringy insides and oval seeds, and it all came together with a few little pieces of decoration and some easy recipes.

A few appetizers from the store, quick bites that have become my staples in the kitchen, a new cocktail, and a sweet treat from a friend made the food selection gourmet but casual

Dark purple napkins and curry orange plates in different designs added a little more interest than the usual bright orange and black

A table filled with pumpkins, knives, and templates let everyone pick their favorite and carve together

pumpkin bits and pieces and a bowl full of seeds

The perfect glow

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Slightly obsessed with

Tangled Pathways. pins, enamel, and thread; 49" x 106" x 1.5" From

The artwork of Katie Lewis. Her daily recordings give form to what is normally considered objective or purely a sensation, creating a map that becomes an unexpected piece of work.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin spice cupcakes with brown sugar frosting

After receiving an unexpected package of Halloween treats, from my mom in the mail, I decided to put to use the seasonally themed decorations and bake something sweet. Using this recipe, I made a batch of cupcakes, topped them with some bright sprinkles, and wrapped them in yellow cups from Layer Cake Shop, to make a dessert that fit perfectly with the weekend's pumpkin theme. The cakes came out light and fluffy, while the frosting had the perfect creaminess (even after hand mixing it...thank you in advance to the person who buys Paul and I the hand mixer for our wedding). The batch quickly disappeared after dinner, but I did manage to save a few for the next morning's breakfast.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Living with decorations

To get ready for a weekend full of Fall and Halloween activities, I had to find a way to incorporate a few October touches into my place. I hate spending a lot of money on things that can never be used again and are shunned to a box left in the attic for the rest of the year. This October I mixed a few dark touches into the everyday items that decorate my place. A dark candle and fresh pumpkins mixed among the coffee table decor, glitter skull left to add a bit of sparkle on the side table, an anatomically influenced serving platter, and a touch of orange for the dining room all mingle well with the normal decor without looking childish.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dark, mysterious, and cheap

Left to right: Target Bleeding Skull Candle and D.L. & Co. Skull with mandible Candle

The moment October began, I was on a mission to fill my place in Halloween spirit. Without going overboard, I managed to incorporate the dark decor with the everyday items normally displayed on the table, the nightstand, and in the kitchen. Of course, the skull was an obvious theme to work with and I was pleasantly surprised to find a frugal version of the D.L. & Co memento mori candle. While I often dream of a home filled with the company's chic and mysterious goods, the waxy Target version was a welcome way to add a bit of darkness.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Camel pack

1. Portolano Gloves, $75
2. Current/Elliott crop skinny jeans, $190
3. Topshop knitted cardigan, $100
4. Maje leather top, $485
5. Surface to Air shawl coat, $675
6. Topshop belted shorts, $80

To embrace the most popular color for Fall I've been inspired to incorporate the caramel hue into all aspects of my wardrobe. Soft sweaters, broken in leather, and tailored coats add some warmth for the colder climate.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Draped leather

Jacket, Top, Shoes; H&M. Jeans, Urban Outfitters. Jacket, Target

I've found that my closet has a good selection of black. jeans, tops, sweaters, even little black bows, but the thing that I always grab for on a chilly night is the black leather. It's the perfect balance to a feminine dress and the worn in material looks tough but feels buttery soft while pushing up the sleeves. I came across this draped version at Target (amazing) and after pairing it with this heels and socks combo, and my everyday denim, it quickly became my go-to jacket.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slightly obsessed with

Bruno Mars "Doo-Wops & Hooligans", the doo-wops are for the girls and the hooligans speak to the guys, masculine or feminie it's the perfect album to relax to. Make sure to listen to the adorable songs "The Lazy Song" and "Marry You"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Artisanal hostess treats

1. A luxurious topper to Sunday morning pancakes: Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Syrup, $16.50
2. Hints of lavender make give this classic herb mix its surprising taste: Herbs of Provence, $18
3. Sourced from local farms and Co-ops, these chocolate bars can even coordinate with the decor, Mast Brothers Chocolate, prices vary
4. Put your gifted food to use with easy cooking tips and tricks, D.I.Y. Delicious, $25
5. Unique flavors like blood orange and lemongrass are a welcome alternative to sparkling water, DRY Soda, $19 for a 12 pack
6. Vegan cookie dough packaged in adorable containers, EatPastry, prices vary

With the season of cocktail parties, potlucks, open houses, and get-togethers quickly approaching I thought it was a great opportunity to round up a few hostess gifts that are nothing like the standard bottle of wine (...although this is never an unwanted gift). With the culinary world heavily saturated with artisanal goodies, many for a few dollars more than the mass produced variety (ok a bit more), I thought these gifts would be a welcome change for any chef or food lover.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PB & J

I think I should begin this post by saying that last night I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner...let's not try to hide it, I actually chose the classic combo over a real adult dinner. I did however opt for a spread that has a little more culinary pull than the blue lid tucked away in the cupboard, Justin's Nut Butter. I'm a big sucker for packaging and on my last grocery shopping excursion I fell in love with Justin's clean white packaging and simple peanut, hazelnut, and almond illustrations. Simple ingredients like sea salt, maple sugar, and dry roasted almonds are the only things that go into these incredibly tasty flavors (honestly, I may have licked the last little bits off of the Maple Almond pack).

The growing company produces their nut butters in small batches, uses organic ingredients, and is dedicated to reducing their environmental footprint through their products...and the fun styling makes you feel a little more grown up when making a PB & J.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Night out

Since getting my first dress and pair of shoes for a high school dance, I've always loved the process of getting dressed up for a special night out. Taking a little extra time with makeup, staring at the hangers a few moments longer, and teetering on tip-toes comparing one shoe from the other, is a process I gladly welcome when the night calls for a little more flair. This weekend's restaurant week was the perfect excuse for one of those nights, so I pulled out one of my favorite cold weather styles, a cocktail dress with long sleeves, threw on some tights, and headed into the city.

Dress, Erin Fetherston for Target; Belt, vintage; Tights, Hue; Shoes, Steve Madden