Category Archives: At Home

Updates + What I’m loving this season…

Hey ya’ll, It’s been awhile. My apologies! We’ve been busy busy busy this holiday season so my blogging has unfortunately been on the back burner. But here I am with an update!

I’ve got some exciting posts coming soon…including my very first GIVEAWAY and review! I’m so excited to share with you all, you’ll seriously love it! I’ve also got some other fun blogging projects in the queue so stick with me!

I was thinking this morning, I haven’t done a favorite things post in awhile. So here are some things I’ve been loving lately:

  • Coach Poppy is my new favorite perfume AND it’s a win-win because not only do I love it but my picky-nosed husband loves it too. I don’t think you understand how big of a deal this is.
  • I’m just now jumping on the Gossip Girl train. HOW did I miss this when it first came out? I’m on season 3 right now and loving it. It’s pretty stupid sometimes but I love the clothes, and the drama, and how ridiculous these “kids” are. Obsessed.
  • I wore Mac Viva Glam V on my wedding day and it’s now my new favorite lipstick. Just subtle enough to give my lips a touch of color, but nothing too dramatic. It gives just the right amount of “lift” and it’s super creamy.
  • My Faux Fur Vest has been my coziest obsession this winter. So much so that I even have Carrie Bradsaw moments where I wear it over my PJ’s. Michael thinks it makes me look like a viking woman. Psh….what does he know about fashion?

carrie bradshaw pajamas and fur

  • How am I 24 years old and JUST now realizing that I love Avocados? No clue, but so far I’ve made homemade guacamole, avacado hummus, used it in a veggie wrap and on buffalo chicken tacos. It’s divine!
  • Mornings (especially winter mornings) are so much more bearable with a cup of Coffee. No explanation needed.
  • Bubble Baths are my preferred method for warming up in the winter. When I get “chilled to the bone” the only thing that truly warms me up is a nice hot bath. Add some classical music and candles and voila! Homemade spa!
  • If you’ve never had or seen a Woodwick Candle, you’re missing out on the whole candle experience. My roommate in college introduced me to the wonders of it’s crackling fire sound, plus it burns longer and smells fantastic. Yankee Candle can get outta town!
  • I have a pretty serious collection of Argyle Socks that get’s some solid use around this time of year.
  • So…Michael and I got an early Christmas present this year. Mostly out of necessity, we purchased an iPad 2. Michael needed it for work reasons and while I could have spent that Christmas money a million different ways, I have to admit I’m really diggin’ this whole mini computer thing. Before, I would have said it’s a waste since I have a Macbook and iPhone, but man that iPad is awesome. If you’re in for a splurge, it’s worth it!

What have YOU been loving lately? Don’t forget to come back soon for my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! And gals, it’s a good one!

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Around here…

Since my photography skills are still in the works, I’ve got my trusty iPhone (with the crappy low res lens) and Instagram to share what’s been goin’ on with me lately…

healthy veggie wraphealthy apple nachos

{homemade guac, cheese, lettuce wrap}         {apple nachos from pinterest}

buffalo chicken bitesbanana nut waffles

{homemade buffalo chicken bites}                      {fresh banana nut waffles}

poy boy sandwichapple pie + crab cakes

{po boy sandwich from Papa Roux}          {pie + crab cakes from entertaining}

*Are you noticing a trend? We cook and eat a lot of food. And enjoy taking photos of  said food.

hiking with dogdog and tree

{hiking w/Luna – to burn the food off}        {getting Lu in the Christmas spirit!}

UK dog

{hubby turned Lu into a UK fan}              {glitter remnants from a DIY project}

We are having a great time around here. PS. If you aren’t on Pinterest, you need to become a part of this life changing website. Not even exaggerating. I love that it gives you inspiration to get up and DO things instead of mindlessly stare at pretty things. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easy and delicious the recipes I find on there are. Go for it ladies (and lads)!

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Entertaining 101

I’m no star entertainer, but my husband and I have been enjoying our first string of guests to our home. We’ve been trying out all of the fabulous appliances and kitchen goodies we got as wedding gifts and Pinterest has offered me many a great recipe. We’ve always enjoyed cooking together and having people over to our new place has been a great excuse to practice some of our entertaining. And I’ll go ahead and brag on ourselves…we’re pretty darn good at it.

Our Entertaining Tips:

  • Ambiance is everything! Having a clean house makes for a warm welcome, as do candles and a warmly lit fireplace. {Ours is electric but has pretty good fake-out fire lighting, and it feels warm!}
  • Guests First!: If you’re not used to entertaining, it’s easy to get bogged down with worrying over the food. But don’t forget the reason you invited people over – to spend time with them! Do what you can ahead of time so you can enjoy time with them as well. Don’t forget to offer them a beverage upon arrival and if dinner isn’t for awhile, an appetizer is always welcome.
  • Little details matter: Surprising details are always crowd pleasers. Pinterest is littered with great ideas for place settings, table decor, or fun party games. Those are the things your guests will remember! We used this idea from Cupcakes and Cashmere for fancy-ing up regular old water for Italian night with my parents. I love things like this! *Psst: we got our bottles from Ikea for $3!

I have great intentions of taking photos each time we cook, but I’m not a pro photographer OR pro chef so 1. my focus has to be entirely on producing a good meal and 2. I’m usually too excited about the food we just cooked to even think about photographing it. Crappy iPhone versions is about all I can manage for now. Anyway, here’s a mashup of the meal we served to Michael’s Dad and his girlfriend when they came to visit this past weekend. PLEASE TRY THESE RECIPES! If they can turn out fabulously for us, I assure you, they’ll fair well for you as well!

{Photos from pinterest and marthastewart.com}

easy crab cake recipe

This recipe from Noble Pig was so super easy. I’m not a huge fan of crabcakes but these were AMAZINGGGG and really easy. The great thing about these were, I made them 2 hours ahead of time and then just returned them to the oven for a few minutes to reheat them. I’ve learned that timing is everything when it comes to entertaining. No one wants to be stuck in a kitchen attempting to man 3-4 recipes at once while there are guests waiting! Ahead of the time prep takes the cake every time.

balsamic flank steak recipe

Grilled Balsamic Flank Steak = Easy and probably the most delicious thing ever. Flank steak is one of my favorite cuts of meat because it’s easy to control portion size and cooks beautifully. The marinade was SUPER easy, and while I found the recipe, husband manned the grill and turned out a steak that looked exactly like this photo. It was superb. The only change we made to this recipe was marinading it for about 6 hours instead of 30 minutes. We also pounded the meat out quite a bit so the marinade could soak in and the meat would be extra tender. Okay…I’m drooling. And there were no leftovers 😦

asparagus with parmasean recipe

This is one recipe we crafted ourselves, although it’s not super fancy and we’ve eaten it somewhere before. Asparagus is another favorite and pairs very nicely with beef. Here’s the recipe:

Lay asparagus flat on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Recipes normally call for about 2 tbls. but we didn’t measure and I’m pretty sure it was more than that. We brushed the oil to cover the asparagus entirely. Sprinkle salt and black pepper over asparagus and pop in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Take it out and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. We used shredded parmesan cheese, though you can use the canned “sprinkle” kind if that’s all you have. Return to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese has melted. Viola! Perfect and easy asparagus. 

And we finished our full bellies off with:

easy apple pie recipe

Martha Stewart’s homemade apple pie recipe. It was easy and SO tasty. Paired with vanilla bean ice cream of course.  I also made this ahead of time and returned to oven to reheat it. Pies seem intimidating but I found this to be pretty simple. I did cheat on the pie crust though, I bought that pre-made and saved myself a mess and a headache!

Paired with a fresh salad, good wine and beer from our favorite brewery, it was a lovely night! Entertaining is probably one of my favorite reasons for being a “grown-up” 🙂

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Neutrals

 

The lack of color can be quite powerful. Behold neutral chic!

 

And Nine Newsworthy Neutrals for your Wishlist…

1. Antick Batik Lisa Mini Dress $404.25

2. Bobbi Brown Pink Quartz $39

3. Debenhams Light Cream Linen Jacket £48 (sorry American shoppers)

4. Anya Hindmarch Valorie Gold Glitter Clutch $395

5. Sandra Dini Square Crystal Cuff $1,395

6. Butter London Nail Polish $14

7. Dolce Vita Lulu $96

8. Club Monaco ‘Marcia’ Pleated Skirt £150

9. Marc By Marc Jacobs Snappy Barrel Bag $535

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cocktail Hour

I definitely don’t consider myself an excellent bartender, but if there’s one thing I do know, it’s whether or not a drink is tasty. Check out my Drunken Grapes Cocktail Recipe over at the HauteLunch blog! It features a lovely frozen grapes wine combo that’s perfect for spring! Tara’s blog features fab giveaways, how-to’s, fashion tips and cocktail recipes every Thursday! Be sure to stop by and say hello!

wine cocktail

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