Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arugula & ricotta spaghetti with lemon

Many days I have a clear vision of what I want to make for dinner. Usually there is something waiting in the fridge that has its corresponding pieces, which whip up nicely into a complete meal. Other nights, I stare blankly at the fridge and exclaim "Let's have breakfast for dinner!" toast and eggs it is. Last night was the latter, but when I got past the horror of realizing I had only one egg sitting in its little crate, I racked my brain a little more and concocted this recipe for arugula and ricotta spaghetti with lemon. Using ingredients that always tend to live in my kitchen and finally putting to use a few of the dozens of lemons I seem to buy every week, I stirred in the remaining fresh arugula and creamy ricotta to make a surprisingly light summer meal. Although I can never pass up the browned glory that is toast, I was happy with my last minute dinner plans.

Arugula & ricotta spaghetti with lemon
3/4 pack of spaghetti
1 lemon (zest first, then juice)
2-3 cups arugula
1/2 cup ricotta
salt & pepper

-Boil water and cook spaghetti according to package. Before draining, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water

-Return pasta to pot and stir in lemon zest and juice, arugula, ricotta, salt & pepper, and pasta water.

-Stir until ricotta has coated everything evenly.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Private ball

A few weeks ago I dropped into one of my favorite vintage stores to look around for something new. I tend to hunt for summer dresses, blouses, and the occasional hand bag, but this time I found, tucked into the rack of two-piece dress sets and jackets, an amazing emerald green ball gown. A perfectly kept Victor Costa bow dress for about $30 that zipped too! The thought of "where would I ever wear a ball gown" never entered my head and I walked out of the store triumphantly. I like to think if I imagine needing a gown, the opportunity to wear one will come along, but while I wait, I feel a little dress up never hurt anyone. Last night after dinner was finished and the night was winding down, I pulled out my highest heels and threw on my vintage find for a little early evening black-tie affair...ok, so it was only in my house, but the action did cause Paul to exclaim "let's go dancing!" The rest of the night felt a little more sparkly and provided the perfect break in an otherwise average week.

Vintage Victor Costa gown, Christian Louboutin heels

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cast away

1. ABC Home, cast aluminum bench, $855
2. Anthropologie, Genova side table, $298
3. ABC Home, Vintage grape bin, $595
4. Anthropologie, Petite pinched vase, $14
5. Dwell Studio, Draper stripe rug, $250
6. Schoolhouse Electric, Lift lamp, $99
7. Jayson Home & Garden, Canvas leather journal, $45

I love the feeling of walking into a beach house, opening the doors and windows, and taking in the slightly sun stained linens and accessories waiting neatly for their visitors. While many beach houses can take the "sun and sand" decorating tip a little too far, I do like touches of sea water-worn goods. Even though I'll have to dream of a beach house getaway, reclaimed wood, canvas rugs in warm colors, and ocean blue glass always remind me of beach living. I've also been inspired by a few other pieces, like shipwrecked cartons, unfinished lights, and of course a leather bound journal to jot down important sunbathing notes. Added in a few key places, these little bits of ocean decor make the perfect sandy setting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lazy days

Last weekend I celebrated a free day by enjoying the fresh fare at the farmers market, indulging in a leisurely brunch, then switching between a stack of magazines and recorded tv shows for the rest of the evening. While I felt slightly guilty for only being semi-productive, I relished in the fact that I had a day with nothing but lounging to do. To compliment the easy day I paired my favorite blouse with a pair of perfect summer shorts (they are the denim gem I have searched tirelessly for), add a long bag with a little embellishment and I was ready to pop between fresh fruits and veggies and a morning cup of coffee.

Vintage blouse, H&M sandals, shorts, and bag, Ray Ban sunglasses

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The bright and bold

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Siren, Wet n' Wild Mega Last in Smokin' Hot Pink, and Maybelline Color Sensational in Very Cherry

I'm usually more of an eyeliner person, but that has never stopped me from oohing and awing over the vibrant, candy-colored lipsticks in the beauty department. Since everything is heating up this week, I decided to compliment the balmy weather with an equally fiery shade. This has definitely inspired me to pull out a few other bold colors and mix them into the rotation. Fuchsia for an everyday play on the normal pink, classic red which I always carry in my bag, and a summertime orange, which is amazing during the day have become my favorite go-to bold choices.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The perfect blowout

While I would love to say I am one of those girls who can pop out of the shower, knot together a messy braid, then undo my luscious waves around lunchtime, I am afraid my hair routine is a little more high maintenance. For me, a straightening iron and blow dryer are my security blankets, throw in a curling iron for fancy events and I'll be good to go, so when the amazing people at Misikko sent me a straightening iron to test out, I unhesitatingly warmed it up for a try. I decided to pair it with this amazing blowout tutorial because along with my dream of air-dried beach hair, I would also love to master a go-to blow dry routine. The steps are a little tricky in the beginning, but leave a surprising amount of volume in the end.

All you have to do is section hair into 5 sections (6 if you have thick hair) and secure with a clip. Then dry each section with nozzle down, rolling hair around the brush. Blast each section with cool air then repeat until head is dry. I like to use the straightening iron to smooth out the entire look, twisting each section around the iron to create a soft wave. I was particularly amazed at how shiny this one made my hair and loved how soft it felt before I even added any product. Check out a few of these professional blow dryers and straightening irons from Misikko to help with the blowout routine, they even tuck in fun goodies like makeup and hair products into their packaging. Does anyone else have some good hair tricks?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fancy Friday

New vintage necklace & skinny glitter belt from J.Crew

This week's fancy things are all about glitter and sparkle. It only takes a small amount, but the twinkle of a new gem or a skinny belt can make anything feel a little more luxurious, which is a perfect break in the routine or a less than sparkling week. Hope everyone has great weekends, I'd love to hear about your little indulgences.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Retro stripes

Marc by Marc Jacobs dress, Michael shoes, Chanel clutch

I love getting dressed up for special events. There's something about taking those few extra moments on your hair and makeup, or trying on a couple of dresses before choosing the right one, that makes going out a little more fun. For my cousin's wedding this past weekend I did just that and pulled out one of my favorite dresses for the occasion. This retro halter piece has been with me for several years and every time I wear it I feel perfectly dressed up, without being over the top. The heavy cotton fabric and playful stripes keep the look young, while the dropped back skirt makes twirling a necessary occurrence. Paired with a high ponytail and bow shoes, I felt perfectly polished and ready to enjoy a night of dancing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Watermelon and arugula salad

Whenever I have a weekend full of sweets and less than healthy eating I love getting everything back on track with a light and refreshing meal. In the summer my fridge is always full of fresh fruit stored in little bowls perfect for snacking and recently one of those has been watermelon. After this past weekend I wanted a cool entree for dinner, so I used this recipe and headed for the fridge to pull out the chilled ingredients. A simple toss and whisk of the lemon and olive oil vinaigrette and the salad was ready to go. My idea of a perfect hot weather anti-heat recipe.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A weekend in Portland

Multnomah Falls

This weekend I attended the wedding of my cousin at an insanely gorgeous vineyard perched high above Hood River, Oregon. It felt so good to be back in an area with towering mountains and lush trees, the entire visit reminded me of camping trips with the family and vacationing in Yosemite (that's my inner nature girl coming out). Although the trip was short, we managed to get in a good amount of sightseeing and spent the remainder of the afternoon strolling through the Northwest District, snacking on locally made ice cream and popping into a number of hidden boutiques and vintage stores. My favorite stop being a huge waterfall located between the city and Hood River which made for more than a few staggering photos.

Great open air sandwich shop, Kenny & Zukes Sandwichworks

Lemon lavender ice cream from Cool Moon Ice Cream

Incredibly eclectic vintage store, Pop Up Shoppe, packed to the ceiling with jewelry, clothes, and home goods

Adorable sweets display at Two Tarts Bakery

Iced coffee with homemade vanilla simple syrup and a box of goodies to go from Two Tarts

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A little thanks

Stationary from Wedding Paper Divas

It's been 2 months since our wedding and I still feel like I'm catching up on real life (did anyone else have this problem??). The empty frames are just begging for some reception photos to fill them, while my wedding shoes are still boxed waiting to get a good cleaning...white shoes and the outdoors really don't mix well. I am happy to say that the biggest thing looming over me is on it's way towards completion, the "Thank You" notes. To make the task more exciting I decided a fun card was the only way to go and while my weeks of narrowing down and comparing one possible card to the next is the main reason I'm starting this process so late, I did manage to find the perfect note. A simple flat card is always my top pick. They look clean and always pop out of the envelope declaring a sweet message on first glance. Seen here, letter writing is a favorite thing of mine and hopefully these notes will help get me back into the swing of things quickly.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Zara skirt, Cynthia Rowley top, vintage bracelets, vintage belt, Prada boots

I love creating outfits with the pieces in my closet that I just can't let go of. While I may stare blankly at the closet more than a few times a week thinking "If only I had something like this...", I do like to keep my favorite pieces in the rotation. This vest was one of my first vintage purchases and I have worked it into my attire ever since I found it hanging on one of the stuffed racks in a vintage store back home. Paired with a skirt that gets the same amount of wear, I put together a look that worked in my favorite silky materials for the season.

On a side note, you may have noticed that the plants from this post are gone. That's because I accidentally killed them and their little twiggy remnants are carefully cropped out. FYI, I can't keep plants alive unless they are cut, wrapped in paper, and ready to drop into a vase.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eat, drink, sparkle

This weekend Paul and I hosted a little fourth of July celebratory party that included lots of fresh food and sweets, friends, a bit of impromptu karaoke, and a mini firework show topped off with large amounts of sparklers. Our cozy place definitely reminded us that it was incredibly hot outside, but we kept everything flowing by placing a bit of food in every room, setting out pre-mixed drinks and glasses for easy pouring, and taking advantage of the open lawn for our sparkler party.

Cutting boards and fruit bowls doubled as platters for appetizers, like this pea pesto crostini, and fresh fruit.

The china cabinet made a perfect dessert display for lemon meringue cupcakes while lace-inspired place mats tied to whole look together.

The counter made a perfect spot for a mini bar where all of the ingredients for our blueberry vodka and lemonade could easily be found. A decorative silver bowl and vase of fresh mint added a special touch.

Each room had little snacks, like this platter of cookies and strawberries. The place mat could be seen throughout the house, while the napkins tied in the yellow theme.

A jar or bright sparklers added to the decor, while inviting everyone to grab a few and light them as soon as it was dark.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fancy Friday

A well stocked display of beautiful things & a small plate of Bacio chocolates.

This has been one of those weeks where everything feels slightly off, so I'm looking forward to a long weekend of cooking and relaxing, mixed in with a bit of partying too...maybe even a sparkler here or there. This week's Fancy Friday is all about the little things that make spaces slightly cuter. A collection of wonderfully feminine trinkets or a plate of metallic wrapped candies are all it takes to make the setting luxurious and the moment memorable. Hope everyone enjoys their 4th! I'd love to hear your little fancy activities too.