Sunday, February 27, 2011

So Many Topics

I have so many things to write about! Like umm hello we just had a fashion week and I haven't even made a peep about it! I have a million half written blog posts in my repertoire at the moment, but I'm trying to make a conscious effort to take 30 minutes in the beginning of my day to enjoy my coffee and do what I love, blogging for Fashionable Interiors. So here's to making more time for myself and to these unexpected pops of kelly green that are making me long for Spring even more than I already am:

By the way, a Celine bag is currently at the top of my list for coveted items.
Image by Tommy Ton for Fall 2011 Fashion Week

Image via Cottage Living
Pin It!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Living the Savvy Life

My apologies for not blogging all week. I'm hoping to open my showroom by April, so it's all I am working on at the moment. That and ya know just re-evaluating my life and how I spend my money. I ordered the book Living the Savvy Life by Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons this week and love it. It's not an ordinary book on finances. It's all about how to spend your money wisely in the areas of life you love the most. In my case, I love clothing, obviously. Therefore, in order to spend money on clothing, I should cut back on other areas, such as going out to dinner often, shopping smarter at the grocery store, etc. So simple, but yet so many of us don't do it.

Not only am I learning to watch my spending in order to be able to afford the fashion I love so dearly, the book also brings up quite an interesting point. America is very extreme. This can be applied to both dieting and spending money. When Americans want to go on a diet, they take it to the extreme by eliminating all the foods they love and forcing themselves to exercise to the max. As soon as that gets old, which it will, Americans go back to eating unhealthy and abandoning the treadmill. The same goes with spending, which can be seen evidently in the economy as of late. Americans spend, spend, spend in the good times, and as soon as the economy hits a rough patch, they pinch every little penny and start socking money away in their savings accounts. If we all just lived in a nice balance of spending and saving all the time, adopting it as a lifestyle, maybe things wouldn't have been so crazy in this recession.

I loved the chapter on clothing and fashion. It inspired me to go through my ENTIRE closet yesterday and get rid of ANYTHING I haven't worn or hung on to for one reason or another. You know those shoes you bought for way more than you care to admit, but are so uncomfortable or go with nothing in your wardrobe, but you only hang on to them because you can't bring yourself to get rid of something you spent a month's paycheck on? GET RID OF IT! I have bags and bags of clothing getting ready to donate and it feels awesome. I am a little shocked at myself for getting rid of as much as I did, but I walked into my closet this morning and saw all clothing that I would wear. Every single piece. The average woman wears 20% of her wardrobe 80% of the time. That means 80% of your clothes are just taking up space. I am done binge shopping at H&M or Forever 21 only to get rid of everything the next season. It's so simple: Save your money for the quality items. I've always knew this to be true, but am now actively following it.

The book quoted another of my favorite books called Entre Nous - A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl:

How to Shop Like a French Girl 

If she can't afford it, she won't buy it. If it doesn't fit (or make her feel good, or flaunt what she's got), she won't wear it. If she can't find it, she won't compromise. If she loves it, she won't toss it. She reuses it, rethinks it, lets it age.

When a French girl shops, it isn't a solitary act of buying something new. It's part of a lifelong process of editing her environment, making small but meaningful additions to her home, her closet, her life. 

When you shop like a French girl, you buy only one of anything - and make sure it's the best quality you can afford.

Ok enough of my lecturing on spending money, want to see my newly improved closet??

In addition, my hubs and I are trying to save to build our house. They suggest putting photos up in  your house and in your wallet of whatever you are trying to save for as a constant reminder to reach your goal.

On a completely unrelated note, I threw caution to the wind last week and decided to go for this short cut I was saving for my "mom years". Even though I do not have a baby in tow, I am ultra happy with my new do.

By the way, do any of you have tricks or ideas for living a savvy life?
Pin It!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Whether you're single, in a relationship, engaged, or married, I hope you have a fabulous Valentine's Day!
Pin It!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cabin Menu

I know, I know, this is supposed to be a blog on fashion and/or interiors, but I was so happy with the recipes I used this past weekend at the cabin, I couldn't keep them a secret from my readers! The one I'd really like to share with you is Roasted Tomato Soup with Pesto Mozzarella Dippers.

5 lb tomatoes, stemmed and quartered 
(I know, they are so gross this time of year. I've been boycotting them until summer, but I can only last so long)
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups water
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
(I put in way too much and it was spicy. Huz loved it, but my mouth was on fire.)
l/2 cup heavy cream
Sprigs of fresh basil
(this is only for garnishment. If you could care less about its appearance, do not buy an entire thing of basil like yours truly.)

1. Preheat oven to 450.

 Toss tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 cup oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Use your hands to toss. This way you can feel them to coat evenly:

 Transfer to a casserole dish and roast about 40 minutes, or until very soft:

 Meanwhile, saute onions in 2 T. oil in a large pot over medium heat, 5-7 minutes:

Stir in water, sugar, salt, pepper flakes, and roasted tomato mixture. Include all the juice from the roasted tomatoes when adding to the onions - it provides tons of flavor. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, 10 minutes:

Meanwhile, make your pesto-mozzarella dippers. You will need:

Crusty Italian bread, 1/2" thick
4 T. unsalted butter, softened, divided
8 T. Basil Pesto 
(I cheated and used jarred. Hey I was still on vacation)
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced, divided

Makes 4 sandwiches

Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread; spread 1 teaspoon pesto on the other side.

 On 4 of the bread slices, arrange the cheese with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.

 Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium for 2 minutes. Grill the sandwiches 2-3 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn the sandwiches, press firmly with a spatula, and cook 2-3 minutes more, or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Turn once more, press, and cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let stand 3 minutes so cutting is easier.

Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. This makes the soup smooth, rich, and creamy. Do not fill more than halfway. Start on low speed, then gradually increase speed one increment at a time.

 Finish soup with cream:

 And walah! A delicious soup that tastes like it's from a fancy cafe. So easy. It makes about 10 cups, approximately 4 bowls like this one:

And here's my pom Luigi, waiting for some to spill to the floor:

I also made berry crostada, crepes, Beef Bourguignon, and a Bolognese Sauce (omg is all I have to say about that one) I highly recommend planning a getaway with a delicious menu. The weekend could not have been anymore perfect :)
Pin It!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cabin Weekend

This past weekend, the huz and I treated each other to a cabin weekend in the Poconos, PA for Valentines Day. It was so cute and we had a fabulous time. And here it was:


I also cooked some AMAZING dinners (not to pat myself on the back too hard). I'll share the great recipes with you tomorrow!
Pin It!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What I'm Loving Right Now

1. My obsession with drinking Lorina French Soda has worsened. I stocked up when I went to Dean & Deluca's in New York last weekend. The blood orange flavor is to. die. for.

2. The hicks pendants by Thomas O'Brien are popping up everywhere. I'd love to use them on our next model home we build.

3. Diptyque candles are all the rage right now among designers. Of course the company is French. They have a store on Bleeker Street in New York, which was on my list of places to go, but I didn't make it. Guess I have to go again!

4. Once again I'm going to bring up my New York trip (sorry guys, I can't help it) but I walked past a fresh store and wanted to check out this lip gloss all the mags have been raving about. Let me tell you, they've been raving for good reason. They also gave me a sample of their soy based face cleanser and I think they may have converted me from just using water to wash my face. Sephora has a great deal on a package of 2 lip glosses.

5. Why was I unaware of Joe's Jeans shoe line? These are a little pricey and the heel is more chunk than this girl can handle, but I love the idea of them. Peep-toed boots seemed like such an oxymoron to me, but I'm coming around to the idea. How amazing would these look with rolled up boyfriend jeans??

6. Massimo Vitali's prints are so beautiful. I think I'm so into them right now because the weather makes me want to stay in my house until April.

If you're like me, you don't set aside much money for artwork. Here's where 20x200 comes swooping in to save the day with Christian Chaize shown here in Elle Decor:

7. I cannot wait for this book to come out! It's already pre-ordered...
Pin It!