Friday, December 30, 2011

Cheers to the new year

I always get excited around the new year because I start thinking of all the things I would like to accomplish in the next 12 months. Career goals, personal landmarks, even simple changes seem somewhat attainable at the turn of a new year. 2011 was definitely full of amazing moments as well as a few tough ones along the way. Working on this blog and seeing it grow has been one of my favorite things to look back on. I'm so excited to watch it transition through another year and I hope you will all enjoy the journey as well. Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Life lately: On vacation

I'm halfway through my holiday trip at home and have been taking full advantage of the free days, sunny weather, and endless new and favorite spots to try. After wrapping the final presents, Christmas came and went so quickly, but the days following brought a traditional holiday tea, a museum visit, and lots of good food along the way. I'm looking forward to keeping this vacation feeling going all through the week and weekend, before it's back to reality on Monday. I hope everyone is enjoying the short week and getting ready for New Years!

A sneak peak of Chris Burden's new piece "Metropolis II" at LACMA

Fresh scones at tea

A new fuchsia Kate Spade tote big enough to hold my camera

Tacos at The Mission Cantina in Hollywood

...followed by dessert and espresso at Pazzo Gelato in Silverlake

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy holidays

Last night Paul and I headed home to Los Angeles for Christmas and New Years. Being back always relaxes me and this trip I'm looking forward to a week filled with new places, relaxing, and visiting with friends and family. I am so thankful for everyone who has followed along with my blog this year, it's been amazing sharing everything with you and getting to know new people along the way. I hope you all have wonderful holidays and enjoy your time with loved ones. I'll be posting a bit next week too, but mostly catching up after the holidays.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Layered up

London Fog trench, H&M sweater and scarf, Forever 21 jeans, Steve Madden shoes, Marc Jacobs bag, Chanel Rouge Carat nailpolish

It hasn't quite yet turned into the winter wonderland I expected the Midwest to be, but the weather has still lived up to its chilly nature. This season I am much better at layering and keeping warm than I was for my first Michigan winter last year. Still, I find it a little hard to pair multiple layers while still looking somewhat cute. To help make dressing a bit easier, I've made sure to collect some good staples that can carry me through the winter. A trusty trench coat, poncho sweater, and a blanket-like scarf are a few of the pieces I use to to help with this process. Layered on top of each other, with a shoulder draped jacket, I always feel much more polished, but even more importantly, much warmer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mache salad with goat cheese purses

This past weekend, Paul and I celebrated our pre-Christmas. It's a little tradition we've been doing for the past three years where we cook a fabulous dinner, unwrap gifts, and toast with a good amount of champagne. This year felt extra special since it will be our first holiday season as a married couple, so the dinner had to reflect the sentiment. Sometimes the simplest ingredients can give the best restaurant quality meal and these phyllo purses of goat cheese, lemon zest, and chives were quick to make and tasted pretty special next to a bed of simple greens. They can even be made ahead, frozen, and baked as needed, perfect for a little impromptu entertaining when a bagged salad just doesn't seem special enough.

Mache salad with goat cheese purses

For salad:
1 bag mache lettuce leaves
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tblsp olive oil
salt and pepper

For goat cheese purses:
3 sheets phyllo dough
1 small log of goat cheese
1-2 tblsp chopped chives
zest of 1 lemon
1 tblsp butter melted
salt and pepper

- Unroll package of phyllo dough and separate 3 pieces. Roll remaining dough and place back in fridge or frreezer.
- Lay 1 sheet of dough on baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Lay second sheet over and repeat. Continue until the 3 sheets are stacked and brushed with butter.
- In a small bowl combine goat cheese, lemon zest, chives, salt and pepper.
- Divide mixture into 4 mounds on the phyllo dough, cut into 4 squares.
- Gather the squares around the mixture, gently twisting at the top to form a closed pouch.
-Bake according to package (about 15 min.)

- While purses are baking, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl, whisking to create an emulsion.
- Pour over mache and toss to combine.
- When purses are ready, plate salad and top with warm goat cheese pouch.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wrap it up

This year I'm wrapping up my presents and shipping them back home so they can safely rest under my family's Christmas tree, rather than make my luggage that much heavier. I like to take my time picking the perfect paper, color coordinating the adornments, and finishing everything off with embellished handwriting. Of course, it's a little over the top, but with the array of vibrant colors and fun additions to choose from, I really can't help myself. Since shipping these meant I couldn't go overboard, I chose three simple elements to work into each package, gift wrap, a tissue paper cumberbun, and ribbon. Add a simple tag and the goods were perfectly adorned for their temporary FedEx homes.

To make the tissue paper cumberbun, start with the shiny side of the paper facing up and pinch both ends of the paper a few inches from the bottom. Fold the strip slightly above the edge of the paper. Pinch another strip slightly above your fold and repeat. Continue until sheet is completely folded.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tangerine Tango

1. Kartel, Lizz Chair
2. DL Rhein, Zig Zag Orange Pillow
3. NIV, Jacqui Coffee Table
4. Kate's Paperie, Paperthinks Notebook
5. Karma Living, Pom Pom Blanket
6. Anthropologie, Climbing Vines Curtain

I am a big Pantone fan so when they announced the 2012 color of the year, Tangerine Tango, last week, I already started thinking of new ways to infuse the hue into my decorating. A tangerine lip or a bright dress are my first thoughts when it comes to the citrusy shade, but I'd also like to incorporate it in a way that can last a bit longer. Adding a pop of tangerine in the living room, office, even on the walls seems like the perfect way to acknowledge the trend without going overboard. Mixed with cream, white, silver, even similar shades like coral and fuchsia, tangerine can look fun and sophisticated.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Life lately

I know it is the saying of the season, but this year the holidays came up way too fast. I always have an image of finishing all of my shopping ahead of time, baking for every friend, family member, and acquaintance in my life, and hosting a few cocktail parties in between. After realizing that in a few short weeks I'll be heading home to Los Angeles, my grand plans were quickly shortened to one day of baking, a weekend of shopping, and an acceptance of Christmas blues. A much needed journey through the photos I've snapped these past weeks was just the thing I needed to point out that the season has been full of fun memories, little things that make the day prettier, and even some time spent decorating the house.

New makeup that have become my go-to products

An ornament to add to our collection

A decadent dessert during lunch with friends

Adorable pastel boxes of chocolate, perfect to give as gifts

A new cookbook that inspired a Sunday baking fest

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pancake mixer

Breakfast is my go to meal without a doubt. Even if all I have time for is a piece of toast, the early morning meal is something I always like to enjoy. While I tend to go for easy things like cereal during the week, the weekend is my time to spend a few extra moments at the stove. Because plain old pancakes can get a little predictable, I've been throwing in a few additions to the batter to add some more flavor. Starting with a simple box mix batter, you can create a handful of gourmet varieties with tasty ingredients like ripe bananas, fluffy ricotta, or a mix of seasonally fragrant spices. Hope you enjoy this little illustrated guide I made to help make the next griddle adventure truly tasty.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Twinkle toes

H&M sweater and flats, Gap jeans, pin, vintage necklace

For the past three weekends I have been out of town so when Saturday rolled around this week, I was eager to take full advantage of lazy days and do a bit of cleaning and Christmas decorating while staying warm in some relaxed layers. It was one of those days where I didn't make it out of the house until the afternoon and my slippers were permanent attachments on my feet. On days like that, I like to mix cozy pieces of clothing with a few sparkling items. A silver sweater and glittering flats added some shine against a pair of well worn jeans and messy hair. Topped off with feminine accessories, my lazy day outfit transitioned perfectly to a casual evening with friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


As a lover of traditional things, I've always found the act of setting a table, complete with multiple pieces of silverware, glasses galore, and not one, but two plates at each spot, to be a truly beautiful act. The excitement of walking into a hotel or restaurant that has gone the extra mile with their tables is something I like to create for friends and family at home. This Thanksgiving was the perfect excuse to liven up the table a bit, especially since 20 people were going to sit around it. While I didn't have an endless supply of china and silver, I took inspiration from more ornate tables and pulled together new and antique items to make a toned down, warm setting that felt perfect for the holiday.

Mismatched silver patterns always look better than everyday pieces and solve the too few place settings problem

Vases filled with seasonal items like chestnuts are perfect candle holders, while shimmery ornaments add sparkle to a muted linen tablecloth

Mix in delicate antique glasses with water goblets to help keep the table from looking to uniform

A low and long centerpiece allows guests to chat while filling a large expanse. Stagger different objects throughout, like tea candles, to keep everything moving visually

Don't forget to enter my Angel Court Jewelry giveaway too! I'm picking a winner on Friday