Friday, August 31, 2012

a labor-less labor day

happy friday, everyone! 
i can't believe that it's already labor day weekend and that tomorrow is september 1! this summer flew by!
unfortunately, i have come down with a nasty summer cold and all i want to do is recuperate in bed with some snuggles from titus (and the boyfriend, too.)

here's my would-be agenda:
my library card has been getting a lot of action!
cozy feet and slouchy stripes!
an old favorite (that house!) and preparations for season 3's UK launch next week!

looks like heaven. now i just have to wait until the end of the day, and then i can spend all weekend recovering :)

happy labor day weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

getting a leg up

this morning there was a slight chill in the air, thanks to a passing storm, but it made me think about fall and, since i was wearing a dress, tights!
i am notoriously hard on tights - they get worn until the bitter end, when my big toe pokes out of one foot and stubborn fuzzy patches have developed on the ankles from rubbing the inside of my boots. to some, 

it might seem a little early to stock up on fall weather legwear, but i prefer to have everything in my drawer and ready to go, rather than realize on that first cold day that my tights from last year are, well, too shabby to wear in public! i also don't like to spend a lot on tights, so while i am sure that wolford and falke make wonderful stockings, they are a little above my price range! 

after much trial and error, here is a round-up of budget-friendly tights that i love:
opaque: urban outfitters opaque tight, 2 for $24 or $12 each - also available in a variety of colors (which i have never been bold enough to try!)
sheer: hue so silky sheer, $8.50
pattern: ann taylor sheer dot tights, $20 - i have not tried these, but i love the subtle pattern!

not pictured, but awesome nonetheless: the back seam tights from duane reade! they lasted several wearings, looked classic, and were under $7!

tights i have tried and don't love: american apparel and j.crew. i found that both brands don't have much stretch, so the tights get all stretched out after one wearing and they don't bounce back. they also develop holes more easily than others i have tried.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

roaring twenties

georges barbier, la gazette du bon ton, 1922

those who know me well know that i have a great love of all things art deco, whether in architecture, fashion, or design. to me, the clean lines, geometric shapes, and symmetry are perfection.
i am waiting with bated breath for baz luhrmann's take on the great gatsby to come out, and i absolutely loved gucci and alberta ferretti's flapper chic lines last spring, reminiscent of great architectural wonders of the 1920s in new york:

i recently stumbled upon rachel zoe's eponymous jewelry line, and its art deco influence is undeniable. i should probably mention that i am not a close follower of ms. zoe, so forgive me if this is old news!
i would love to add one of her pieces to my repertoire:
black, gold, and sparkly? a hint of emerald green? it would be hard to pick just one, though my wallet says one would be more than enough! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

recipe: lemon blueberry crumble pie

hello again, monday! this weekend was such a treat: i went to bikram twice, perused the GIGANTIC fall fashion issues from vogue, vanity fair, and instyle with a glass of prosecco and a good friend, and then made a summery treat for dessert last night!

the recipe is an amalgam of several different things; i only had one frozen pie crust that i wanted to get rid of, so i got creative!

lemon blueberry crumble pie

one pre-made pie crust (i use pillsbury, but you are welcome to make your own crust!)

for filling:
2 cups of blueberries
zest of one lemon
juice from half a lemon
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour

for crumble topping:
1 stick of butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. preheat oven to 400.
2. rinse blueberries well and pick them over to remove stems.
3. combine blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and flour in a large bowl.
3. roll pie crust out and fit to pie plate, crimping edges.
4. fill crust with the blueberry filling.
5. add crumble topping ingredients to food processor; pulse until you have a clumpy, crumbly texture (if it isn't clumpy, add more butter; if it's one huge ball of dough, add more flour and sugar.)
6. sprinkle crumble topping over the blueberries.
7. bake for 30-40 minutes, until blueberries are bubbling and crust and crumble topping are golden brown.

i wish i had an "after" photo, but it was eaten so quickly i didn't get a chance!

Friday, August 24, 2012

weekly wrap-up

it has been a busy week, and my apologies for the spotty posting! here is one of the things i was excited about accomplishing around the apartment:
adding family tavern sign to our gallery wall! i won't tell where it came from originally (hint: my family did not and does not own a tavern) but it hung in the kitchen of my childhood home and i thought it would look great in the new place!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

travel style: napa

my parents are going to napa in early october with friends, and they have a fabulous trip full of amazing food and wine planned. i can barely talk about it, because i have always wanted to explore wine country!
to ease my jealousy, my mom asked me to brainstorm some outfits for her trip that would pack and wear well. bearing in mind that they will be traipsing through vineyards and drinking a lot of vino, along with changing hotels three times, i am aiming for pieces that can be reworn on other days, and that can transition from day to night. here is one option for daytime!

shirtpantsshoesvestscarf / bag / earringswatchsunnies

october means layering, and i love how warm silk shirts can be while being light at the same time. the vest is the perfect thing to throw on for a little extra insulation if the morning is chilly, or for when the sun starts to go down. the pants shown are the minnie from j.crew, but despite claims that "they look great on everyone" i have found that they do NOT look great on me. banana republic has a similar cropped skinny pant that works much better for my body type and it comes in a variety of colors! i chose patent flats, since you can wipe them off easily if you encounter mud or dirt, and minimalist jewelry with a utilitarian tote (search your local tj maxx and marshalls for the cynthia rowley one pictured above - i scored one in red and it is the perfect size!)

lastly, how cute is that silk scarf?

Monday, August 20, 2012

on the list

as i mentioned in my 101 in 1001 post, i am a chronic list-maker. seriously, i love making lists. every morning when i get to work, i make my to-do list for the day, and i cross off each item as i complete it. then, whatever doesn't get crossed off gets added to the next day's list. in addition, i have a tasks list in my outlook calendar and many reminders set up on my iphone, to make sure i get everything done on time!

even with all of this organization, there is one list that i struggle with: groceries. i cannot tell you how many times i have gone to the store after making a mental list of a few items, or scribbled a list on a scrap of paper and then lost it somewhere between home and the store, and then i forget something crucial, like laundry detergent or the main ingredient of the dinner i plan to make, and only remember when i am halfway home.

the solution? this fabulous pad by knock knock!
it's magnetized, so you can just stick it on the fridge, check off what you need when you run out of something, and then tear the page off and away you go! brilliant.
i have seen them at several stores (and i found mine at anthropologie) but i visited the knock knock website and they have so many other great ones!

shop them all here!


Friday, August 17, 2012

that's a wrap

happy friday, everyone!

this week was kind of a blur in the way that the week after vacation always is. 
notable accomplishments: 
+  i went to bikram twice (and plan to go twice more over the weekend!)
+  i did NOT purchase anything from j.crew's new fall arrivals. yet. #willpower
+  i am finally less sunburned. remember that citrus mint lotion from whole foods? lifesaver.
+  i may have another craigslist whisperer chronicle; if everything comes together, i will have details on monday!
+  the boyfriend made amazing chicken lettuce wraps with peanut sauce for dinner last night. 
i would share the recipe, but he just made it up. 
yummy. and healthy!

tonight is date night at the apartment, and we are making this tyler florence gnocchi dish with peas, prosciutto, and lemon ricotta. it rained pretty much the entire time we were in florida, so sunday morning was spent reading the paper and watching food network. when this episode came on, we looked at each other and said, yup, we need to make that!

otherwise, i am tucking in for some reading, relaxing, and secret single behavior while the boyfriend is at a bachelor party on saturday. what is secret single behavior? well, shannon darrow of i love your crazy did a great post on it, but basically it's the stuff you do that no one knows about. my signature ssb? 30 rock marathon with wine and popcorn. in comfy clothes. probably with a magazine or two.  

best wishes for a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

happy 100th, julia!

yesterday marked julia child's 100th birthday!

in her honor, our sink spouted a magnificent geyser of water after the hot water faucet popped off, which took the boyfriend and I about 10 minutes to wrangle, and so there was no cooking.

instead, i leave you with a little julia-inspired round-up of goodies, and the phenomenal viral video that reminds us that we need to eat more fat so we can process our vitamins, and that the smell of cookies makes you feel at home.
dearie: the remarkable life of julia child by bob spitz
j.crew french hen sweater (i personally love the navy!)
wusthof knife set / le creuset dutch oven / mastering the art of french cooking

bring on the roasted potatoes!

photo credit: npr

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

slouchy chic

it is still high summer, but i would kill for a crisp saturday morning and one of these sweatshirts to throw on for a coffee run!

only the french would know how to dress up the ultimate dress-down attire. 
on another note, i bet they would both feel nice on my VERY sunburned shoulders. le sigh.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


closed for vacation from the 6th to the 26th

in italy (and much of the rest of europe, for that matter) everyone takes a serious vacation in august. most stores are closed, restaurants are shuttered, and entire cities settle into a sleepy pace.
i am wrapping this week up early because i am heading to florida tomorrow for a little ferie of my own: a long weekend celebration in honor of my dad's birthday!
let us all raise a beachy bloody mary to his health!

i shall leave you with a few highlights from this week:
+  celebrated summer with an impromptu clambake, complete with cat/lobster encounter.
+  made some pesto from our garden basil!
+  tried a fabulous new recipe for tandoori salmon, courtesy of a new favorite food blog, french revolution.

and, notable but not pictured:
+  i went to bikram 4 times (and plan on going again tomorrow before our flight!)
+  west elm is having an upholstery sale! jury is still out on whether it is a good time to make that new sofa purchase, but i'm thinking this one in dove gray!

see you next week, hopefully with a tan :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

going for the gold(enrod)

i think goldenrod is one of the quintessential fall hues: a deep yellow reminiscent of leaves turning and colder weather setting in.

as much as i love goldenrod, it is not the best color for me, so i prefer to use it as an accent.
thankfully, there are plenty of small pieces out there to get the look without it being overwhelming.
on that note, i rounded up some goldenrod accent items for home and for you in preparation for fall:
for you:
j.crew belt / kate spade wallet / anthropologie scarf / j.crew pencil skirt / j.crew bag (on sale!)

for home:
west elm throw / design darling matches / west elm tray / target home towel / dwell studio pillow

image credits: olivia palermo for tatler russia, madewell, real simple, and the style files

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

on a pedestal

a cake pedestal, that is! 
dear friends gave us the cutest cake server as a housewarming gift (pictured below!) and i would love to add an equally amazing cake stand to our collection. read more after the jump!

Monday, August 6, 2012

current obsessions

happy monday! 
i hope everyone had a great weekend - mine was incredibly productive, with a heavy dose of olympics!
most notable accomplishment: i finally got over my fear of trying bikram yoga (i like to be perfect at things, even when i haven't done them before... i know, it's a very practical trait) and i went on saturday AND sunday morning! i can barely walk today, but i feel great and will definitely be back tomorrow night!

i am debuting a new series today that covers current obsessions, since who doesn't love to share new discoveries with others?!  
here are a few things i can't get enough of lately:
i'm a huge fan of mr. samuelsson's, and i couldn't wait to read about his culinary journey. great read so far!
i found mine at stew leonard's and it is incredible!
i wasn't initially attracted to this j.crew shirt when i first saw it, but somehow it's gotten under my skin.
this weekend i finally made it over to terrain in westport. anthropologie meets home and garden: let's just say that i will need to stay away from there for awhile, for my wallet's sake!

Friday, August 3, 2012

that's a wrap

it's friday - hooray!
for some reason, as the summer drags on, i feel more and more tired by friday. probably because my exercise schedule has slid to an almost complete stop, despite my best efforts (who am i kidding? the only effort i am making is the one it takes to hit snooze as soon as the alarm goes off!)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

animal instinct

i have the good fortune of working in a zoo, so i get to see animals every day. 
fortunately for everyone else, there are all sorts of amazing animal motifs popping up for fall, and i am especially loving snake print!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

it's so wednesday

i would like to introduce you to my spirit animal: a very disgruntled owl
he embodies how i sometimes feel about wednesdays, including this one.
i will be back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.