Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wanted: Week Six

1. Porcelain lamp, Christopher Splitzmiller  2. The Painters Palate Case, Joss & Main  3. Embellished Bib Necklace, Shourouk $841  4. Pink Pumps, J. Crew  5. Be Class Throw Pillow, DENY Designs $69.99  6. Gold Sequin Skirt, River Island $30  7. Lucite Clutch, Lulus $44
Monday, December 30, 2013
Monday, December 23, 2013

Hip, Hip Hooray for Christmas Vacation!

My annual Christmas blogging vacation came a bit early this year and I'm gonna go ahead and keep it in effect until after the holidays…that means no new posts here through the end of next week.  But never fear!  I'll be back before you know it with the renewed energy and focus that always seems to wash over me after this little break.  I'm hoping and praying Christmas 2013 is your best yet…enjoy every moment with your family and friends (I know I will)!  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Foodie Files

I made dinner for the gentleman of Dismas House this evening and we had such a wonderful time sharing a meal together (in fact, if you're in Nashville and looking for a place to get involved might I suggest giving their website a once over).  Since Davey works there, I had him ask around for meal requests over the course of the last week…when breakfast for dinner came out on top across the board I got straight to organizing my menu.  The centerpiece for the meal ended up being a really tasty Baked French Toast.  I found the recipe here and was delighted with how easy but scrumptious it ended up being.  

1 loaf of french bread
8 eggs
2 cups whole milks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 TBS vanilla extract
1 TBS Butter, For Greasing

For the topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

Grease a large baking pan with butter.  Cut bread into cubes and evenly distribute them in the pan. Crack eggs in a big bowl and whisk together with milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.

Pour evenly over the bread.  Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight is ideal).

For the topping, mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.

Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with warm pancake syrup and sprinkle with blueberries.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wanted: Week Five

This week's gift guide is all about the guys in your life…there's something for dads, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, and buddies alike.  No one knows how to buy for your boys like you but here's a couple of creative ideas if you're stumped.

1. The Mr. Porter Paperback, Mr. Porter $35  2. Anchor the Call Mug, ModCloth $9.99  3. Broadmoor Quilted Jacket in Camo, J. Crew $228  4. Bear Bottle Opener, Amazon $14.99  5. MacBook Pro Vintage Leather Book Case, Amazon $79.99  6. Home Blending Whiskey Kit, Master of Malt $82.04  7. Men's Starter Kit, Kiehl's $42
Monday, December 9, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Foodie Files

I had the great pleasure of checking out the grand opening of Pinewood Social yesterday, Nashville's latest, greatest addition to the foodie scene.  If you're in or around Nashville or planning a trip here anytime soon put it on your list of must visits.  For starters, the atmosphere is killer…very Nashville-esque.  

Since I knew the background of Josh Habiger, the chef who developed the menu (and previously worked at critically acclaimed restaurants like Alinea and The Catbird Seat), I had extremely high expectations for the food.  Long story short, it did not disappoint.  

Their coffee bar is run by my favorite local haunt, Crema, so I went with my standard order of a delicious hot Cuban coffee (so tasty).  

I ordered the lobster roll for lunch and whoa.  It was incredible…so, so fresh!  The menu is extensive and surprisingly affordable.  I can't wait to go back and try a few other things, though I'll be hard pressed not to get the lobster roll again.  They're open very early to very late (7am-1am…pretty incredible, right?) so I'm hoping to get in for a brunch sometime in the very near future.  

As if all that wasn't enough, Pinewood Social offers a few other bonuses the rest of Nashville will be hard pressed to compete with…one of which is this in house re-claimed bowling alley!  Come summer, they'll have a pool, cabanas, bocce ball court and all kinds of other goodies.  I told you- it's a gem.  For reservations, call 615-751-8111…I've got a feeling it's about to get real busy so get to dialing!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

3 Ideas

The holiday season tends to have one of two effects on folks…it either makes you feel completely overwhelmed with shopping and deadlines and planning or it makes you want to slooooow doooooown, sit by a fire, sip on hot cocoa like it's your new job and accomplish nothing.  Obviously, neither is ideal and sometimes both strike at once!  If you find yourself in such a predicament, give a few of these ideas from Forbes a try this week.

1. Don't let e-mail change the direction of your day.  Set aside specific times in your day to check it and respond rather than letting it get you off task over and over (and over).

2. Stop throughout your day to ask yourself,  "Is what I'm doing right now productive?"….of course, you've gotta relax at some point, but when you're looking to stay on the ball the best way to do it is to stay cognizant of what you're actually spending your time on.

3. Making a To Do list probably goes without saying, but it's just as important to think of a small way to reward yourself for completing your list!  It doesn't have to be anything extreme, but the promise of a little happy treat can go a long way.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wanted: Week Four

I'm taking our Wanted series to the next level today by using it to post our first gift guide of the season.  The items below are so wanted they could essentially serve as my unofficial Christmas wish list.  If your Mom/Sister/BFF loves fashionable classics, you might find an idea or two here for a gift she'll adore!

1. Leather Opera Gloves, Amazon $68  2. Golden Tassel Necklace, J. Crew $65  3. Fur Stole, Zara $59.90  4. Bow Pump, Aminah Abdul Jillil $195  5. Personalized Monogram Stud Earrings, Nordstrom $48  6. Creme De La Mer, Nordstrom $155  7. Clarasonic Skin Cleansing Brush, Sephora $150  8. Moscow Mule Mug, Amazon $20.20
Monday, December 2, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

3 Ideas

1.  When we were little, my Dad established a really fun way for us to choose our bedtime story.  Every night we'd ask him to tell us a story from when he was a certain age.  His memory is pretty incredible (and his stories are even better) so no matter what year we gave him, he always had a hilarious tale to tell.  Though I don't think he imparted it intentionally, the whole practice (on top of being one of my favorite memories) turned out to be a huge teaching moment for me on the importance and benefits of reflecting on a specific time.  At some point this week, sit down and think of a specific year or two of your life...maybe when you were 4 or 12 or 75 or anytime in between...the smaller the time frame the better.  Think about the people that positively impacted that year of your life and how they did it...you may be surprised at what you remember!  If you want to take it one step further (and I suggest you do) write them a letter or shoot them a text.  Even if you've said thank you a million times- even if it happened a hundred years ago- there's no statute of limitations on gratitude.  It'll warm your heart and theirs, trust me.

2. Pay a waiter/valet/salesperson, etc. a compliment.  The service industry can be such a thankless place, realize you have the chance to turn someone's day around by taking a moment to simply say, "thank you, you're doing a great job".  Don't forget to tip them generously, too!

3.  Send a care package to an active member of the military serving overseas.  While post 9/11 policy changes make it difficult to send a package without the name and address of a specific soldier (and understandably so), organizations like Marine Parents will send your package for you!  Tons of other organizations will send pre-made care package on your behalf along with your message of gratitude so a little bit of Googling will take you a long way.  One could argue that no group of people is more deserving of our thanks than the men and women so willing to sacrifice precious time with their family, their own personal safety and even their life on behalf of our country and our freedom.  If you're inspired by their courage and thankful for their service then let them know!     
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wanted: Week 3

1. Claw Salad Servers, Target $10.48  2. Cooper Wrap Strap, Kate Spade $215  3. Heavy Weight Cardigan, 3.1 Phillip Lim $630  4. Red & Green Rang Biraanga Scarf, Andraab $425  5. Paramount Dinnerware, Z Gallerie $51.80- $79.80  6. Pecan Pumpkin Butter, Williams-Sonoma $11.95  7. Abel Serving Boards, Jayson Home $150  8. Vibrant Tumbled Ballerina Slippers, Topshop $25
Monday, November 25, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013

Working For The Weekend

Happy Friday to you and yours.  I think it's safe to say the holidays are officially upon us which I'm super excited about.  I'm in countdown mode at the moment- just can't wait to see my family next week!  Hope you've got a wonderful plan in the works, too.  Enjoy your weekend and the links!

Oh, I sure do love this.


Some good ideas here.

A bit of Thanksgiving fun...

...and our first hint of Christmas (yay!)
Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Foodie Files

I was craving a bowl of really delicious soup yesterday and was so excited when I came up with this hearty vegetable and lamb meatball recipe.  It's a perfect way to combat the cold and really, really tasty. Hope you love it!

64 oz chicken broth
64 oz water
1 zucchini, cubed
1 yellow squash, cubed
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 large red potato, cubed
3 large stalks of celery, diced
1 1/2 large cups kale
1 lb ground lamb
1 TBS parsley, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour chicken broth and water in a large pot and add zucchini, squash, carrots, potato and celery.  Set over medium-low heat, cover and let cook for 20 minutes.  

Make meatballs by thoroughly mixing ground lamb, parsley, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper and rolling into 1 inch balls.  Grease a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil and place meatballs at least an inch and a half apart.  Bake for 20 minutes. 

Bring soup to a rolling boil, then return to medium heat.  Add meatballs and kale, cover and cook for 20 additional minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3 Ideas

1. Make Funfetti something...Funfetti pancakes, Funfetti Rice Krispy treats, Funfetti cupcakes, Funfetti anything will do (fun is baked right into the name, what could go wrong?).  Add extra sprinkles just because.

2. Do something active that doesn't make you wish you were dead...for example, dance up a storm, go rollerskating or pay your local trampoline gym a visit (oh, it's a real thing my friend.  Google it...).

3. Go to an arcade.  Seriously!  Dave and Busters is a good time and I'm not ashamed to say it (also, I dug up this coupon in case you want to take me up on the idea).  I went with a small group of friends twice in the last year and laughed so hard I thought I was gonna be sick on both occasions.  Race cars, shoot zombies, win tickets, just generally go nuts.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wanted: Week 2

1. Pointed Ballerina Slippers, Zara $39.90  2. Heart Wood Board, Fishs Eddy $19.95  3. Checked Soft Scarf, Zara $29.90  4. Knit Cushion Cover, H&M $7  5. Large Selma Satchel, Michael Kors $358  6. Bottega Veneta Necklace, Net-A-Porter $2,150  7. Mogens Hansen Chaise Lounge, 1stDibs
Monday, November 18, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013

Working For The Weekend

We made it through our week of change relatively unscathed...thanks for sticking with me!  I really, really love how everything came together and I hope you do too.  Enjoy your weekend and the links!

My rockstar brother and his band, Dinner and a Suit, released their new music video this week!  It's legit.

Cool idea...

Love this dress!  Would be great for the holidays.

Such a neat story.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Foodie Files

I made a few minor changes to The Foodie Files, though most weeks you'll still find a test kitchened recipe here.  From time to time I'll also feature some of the snacks and treats I'm currently fixated on (like the post below)...and I may even throw in the occasional restaurant review.  Though the general focus on delicious food will stay the same, I'm excited to have a few more options to share.

1. Trader Joe's Beurre Meuniere Popcorn- Check out this flavor combination: browned butter, lemon, parsley, and thyme.  On popcorn!  Maybe I ate the whole bag in one sitting.  It's possible that happened. 

2. Starbucks' Double Short Mocha- If you've never heard of the "short" size at Starbucks, might I suggest you try it at your earliest convenience.  It's smaller than a tall, though you won't find it advertised on any menu.  The extra shot of espresso makes the chocolate to coffee ratio both perfectly sweet and strong.

3. Pomegranate- My very favorite fruit...delicious, nutritious and finally in season!  

4. Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread Pudding- Not so much a snack as it was a tasty dessert.  I ate a good amount of this with some butter pecan ice cream the other night and it was incredible!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

3 Ideas

Welcome to our brand new series, 3 Ideas!  I'm so psyched about it, I can't even tell you.  So here's how this'll work: every week you'll find a different charge here...make this week productive, make this week meaningful, make this week (fill in the blank).  Alongside, I'll present 3 ideas to help turn that thought into an action.  I was debating on where to place this series in the week and after weighing the pros and cons of both beginning and end I decided to go with smack dab in the middle.  By the time Wednesday rolls around there's a good amount of week left to conquer and not always a lot of motivation...consider 3 ideas your hump day treat.  

1. Bundle up and go for a walk.  Winter is about to set in big time which means we're all living on borrowed time when it comes to outdoor activities (minus skiing, which I'm vehemently opposed to).  Enjoy the beautiful leaves, take a few deep breaths and soak in everything fresh air has to offer.

2. Light a scented candle and read a book...sounds simple enough but if you actually take time to do it...we're talking soul medicine.  Here's some combinations I'd recommend:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wanted: Week 1

I've got a little bit of bad news for all you Get It Together and Mirror, Mirror fans but I've got some good news immediately following it so just sit tight.  Bad news: I'm retiring our regularly scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday programming.  Good news: I'm combining them into one more relevant post...a roundup of beautiful and interesting pieces with a much better chance of availability should you want to actually purchase a featured item (since I'll be able to post pieces almost immediately instead of having to wait until I place them in a completed outfit or room).  Additionally, this edit makes space for a brand new Wednesday series I really think you're going to enjoy...can't wait to launch it tomorrow.  All that being said, I so hope you love week 1 of our brand new Wanted series!  There's some real gems in this bunch, don't you think?

1. Gold Plated Cabochon Necklace, Net-A-Porter $690 2. Taffeta Midi Skirt, Topshop $96 3. Turquoise Bowls, 1stDibs $13,120 4. Love You Ring Set, Barney's $1,300  5. Sequin Stripe Pillow Cover, Serena & Lily $64 6. Bracoo Earrings, Charm and Chain 7. Lounge Sofa, Crate&Barrel $1,699
Monday, November 11, 2013

A Clean Slate

Remember that time I mentioned I was about to make a few blog changes? Well...surprise! They're (obviously) here. I've got a few more minor tweaks in the works, but I think the overall cleaner vibe we were going for is already pretty apparent. In addition to our new look, I did a bit of housekeeping to our editorial calendar. The changes will help me make better use of the time I spend creating content while still allowing me to produce interesting posts I love...I think it's an all around win-win. You'll notice the adjustments to our Design Musing posts are merely cosmetic but I hope you'll check back in tomorrow and throughout the rest of the week as we unveil each new change. Thanks so much for for your support!

Design Musings

Friday, November 8, 2013

Working For The Weekend

There's some serious change 'a comin ladies and gents...it's good change, but it's first and foremost serious.  Some of it is blog related and will go into effect next week, some is a little more personal and won't come into play for a few months, but all of it has me super pumped.  We'll cross all those bridges when we get to them, but I thought I'd clue you in that I'm about to shake some things up.  As for this weekend, I hope you enjoy it so thoroughly!  We'll catch up Monday.

Whew-eeeee!  Prepare for pretty...

These are at the very top of my 'want' list.

Well these are awesome....


Some gems to be found here for sure!

Neat.  I like it.

I just love this idea!

It's that time again...

Very informative.
Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Foodie Files

I whipped up a few lamb burgers the other day and was so happy with how they came out!  The process is extremely simple and the taste is killer...it's a great, hearty fall meal.  I topped ours with a sharp Vermont Cheddar cheese but feta would be delicious, too.  When it comes to add-ons, think anything from sun-dried tomatoes and olives to baby spinach and aioli (which, according to Davey, is just a fancy way of saying mayonnaise...but I like fancy so aioli it is).  I served our burgers plain but use your imagination when you top yours!

1 large shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
24 oz. ground lamb
1 tsp dried Greek seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
6 hamburger buns

Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.  Add shallots and garlic and cook until browned, about six minutes.  In a bowl, mix shallots, garlic, lamb, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper.  Form meat into six 1" thick patties; set aside.

I cooked our burgers in a George Forman Grill, but you could just as easily make yours over a gas grill or with a skillet.  Cook to desired doneness, set on a bun, top with cheese and call it a day.  Delish!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

First and foremost, so sorry for disappearing on you last week.  It was a long one but a good one and I'm gonna keep making adjustments to the blog and my schedule until neither is too strained.  Secondly, isn't this just the loveliest, most ladylike dress you've ever seen?  I'm determined to pull off the elbow length sleeves with long gloves at some point this season so this look offered some real inspiration.  It's just gorgeous!

1.  Amalia Prince of Wales Dress, Emelia Wickstead $2,338  2. Long Leather Gloves, Gucci $157.50  3. 1950's Cream Fox Fur Shrug, Neiman Marcus $1,700  4. Pearl Frame Earrings, Asos $17.80  5. Leather Bag, Marc Jacobs $818  6. Suede Pumps, Gianvito Rossi $400  7. Gold Plated Pearl Bracelet, Rosantica $320
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Get It Together: Head In The Sand

1. Ostrich Pull Down Chart, 1stDibs $1,450  2. Raw Silk Pillow, ABC Home $48  3. Vintage Brass Armchairs, Jayson Home $1,595  4. Red Candle, H&M $4.95  5. Everett Sconce, Serena & Lily $395  6. Indochine Rug, Z Gallerie $300-$800
Monday, October 28, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013

Lucky Fabb: Part 2

I've got a whole detail filled, Lucky Fabb-centric post on the docket for next week but in the meantime let me just say this: yesterday was amazing.  I can't wait to elaborate on what resonated with me and share a few killer brands and blogs I was introduced to...there's some real gems coming your way!  But for now, let's talk day 2 ensemble.  Whereas yesterday's outfit was dark and sleek, today's is light and dainty.  I'll tell you what both outfits had in common, though- they're so comfortable!  I'm really relieved I made that a priority.  The sweater is from H&M, the heels are Steve Madden and the fun ballerina skirt is actually homemade!  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lucky Fabb: Part 1

I'm off to New York City this morning for day 1 of Lucky Magazine's annual blogger's conference, Lucky Fabb...let me just say I am psyched.  I had what I'm now calling a dress rehearsal yesterday and snapped a few pictures to show you the uber awesome Michael Kors jumpsuit I'm donning for the occasion.  I paired it with this Moroccan Stone necklace from J. Crew and my favorite pair of Aldo wedges (that they no longer produce...shucks).  It's a 2 day conference so maaaaybe, just maybe you'll find another style post up here tomorrow (you will).  You never know (you definitely know).  Looking forward to meeting and connecting with lots of great people today- wish me luck! 

The Foodie Files

We've talked about my Dad's Most Interesting Man In The World-esque hobbies on many occasions (bee keeping, brick oven baking, chicken raising, vineyard operating, wine making and the list goes on) but today's Foodie File incorporates one of his most recent interests: aquaponics.  In case that doesn't mean a thing to you (and really, why would it?), allow me to explain.  Aquaculture is the raising of aquatic animals in tanks, hydroponics is the growing of plants in water (without soil)....put those hands together and you get aquaponics.  We've enjoyed many delicious vegetable offerings since his aquaponic greenhouse was built last summer, but the tilapia he's raising only recently reached the point where they can be eaten.  So!  For the farm to table meal of all farm to table meals, he and my Mom recently prepared the dish below.  While I didn't get to taste it (ah, the perils of living halfway across the country from your parents), they really loved how the flavors came together (and it certainly sounds amazing).  Though chances are you won't be preparing this dish using tilapia you raised in your backyard, I went ahead and wrote the recipe out in a way that accommodates using whole fish.  The thought of cleaning, scaling and deboning a fish may seem scary, but it's kind of a fun challenge- don't you think?  And bonus: whole fish are even much less expensive.  Just an idea to consider...might make a good New Years Resolution.  One last note (just cause I'm so ridiculously proud of him)- everything in this recipe except for the black olives, olive oil, salt and pepper came from my Dad's greenhouse.  Is he amazing or what?

4 tilapia, whole
1 bunch broccoli rabe
1/3 cup black olives
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large shallot, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 lime
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scale and clean tilapia thoroughly, remove the side fins and head, then make 2-3 small slashes in one side.  Salt and pepper tilapia inside and out.  Blanche broccoli rabe for 1-2 minutes, then mix with olives and half of your diced shallot.  

In a separate bowl, combine lime, olive oil, shallots, chopped peppers, parsley and wine.  Place Tilapia on top of broccoli rabe, then pour mix over the entire dish.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until flaky.  Debone as you eat (tips on how to do that here).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

Getting ready for Lucky Fabb has me in a jumpsuit kind of mood.  I suppose I can't quite explain what a jumpsuit mood actually feels like, but if you've ever been in one you understand exactly what I'm talking about.  I love this jumpsuit look in particular because it's polished but tough and really, really sharp.  The lines are unusual but flattering and the tailored jacket and top balances out the width of the pants so perfectly...it's just a killer ensemble!

1. Leather Bag, Andrea Incontri $820  2. Pear Necklace, J. Crew $150  3. Bergamot Wax Bustier Jumpsuit, Stella Jean $570  4. Leather Biker Jacket, Balmain $6,705  5. Multi Bar Cuff Bracelet, ASOS $26.70  6. Showbiz Platforms, Charlotte Olympia $995
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Get It Together: King of the Wild

1. Fox Archer, Etsy $25  2. Antique Crystal Sconce, Jayson Home $750  3. Chain of Alexander, Etsy $5.50  4. Rope Chair, Currey & Company  5. Velvet Cushion Cover, H&M $9.95  6. Antique Faux Bois Stool, Jayson Home $895