Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Someone's Birthday

So, as discussed here, it was my husband's birthday this past Sunday.  Let's just say that he's younger than Tom Cruise but older than Ashton Kutcher.  I'm 5 years younger than he is (yup, he lucked out ~ got himself a trophy wife, me :)) but I have more greys than he does! The innate unfairness of genetics is just another cruel reality in our lives! 

For the birthday dinner, we went out to Route 6, a relatively new seafood restaurant in Philly. I called in advance to make sure they put a candle on our dessert.  Here's a picture of Randy front of a Peach and Berry Crisp with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Feeling very ambitious, I decided to bake Chocolate Lava Cake as I declared here.  I followed this recipe to a tee but the whole thing came out to be one hot gooey mess. I think I should have left it in the oven a bit longer and also buttered and floured the ramekins better. In frustration, I vented out to my friends on FB and I received a great suggestion - just consume the mess of this chocolate with ice cream.  Regardless of this outcome, my husband loved the cake.  Yeah, he's a keeper :) 

Here's a picture of the pre-bake set. 

Here's a picture of the post bake.  The top of the cake stayed stuck to the ramekins and what fell out were these very soft and gooey stuff. Yup, this was a real lava-ly cake.

Btw, do you just love the forever old Corning plate? My mom gave them to me when I left for college!  

I'm going to try baking this again and again until I get it right! You just wait and see! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend.  I had a really busy weekend, mixing work and play (which sorta has been the story for me lately).  I worked both Saturday and Sunday, but also squeezed in a really fun birthday dinner with Randy on Saturday night.  Pictures to come later this week.  

Over the weekend, I came across this really cool website, 'The Glow', which features very fashionable moms with careers in the arts, fashion, design, and acting.  The photos on The Glow are absolutely beautiful and inspiring, showing the love and special bond between mothers and their children.  I also loved the site for the lovely pictures of the children's rooms.  I am not a mom but I do love the idea of decorating children's rooms.

How about the two below? I love that they don't scream out "this is a child's room!"  They are full of colors, fun patterns, nicely contradicted by sophisticated neutral wall colors, all of which are enhanced by a heaping dose of natural light coming into the room.  If you are a mom, can you just see yourself taking a nap with your little one in these rooms?  Heavenly sweet :) 

A.  Reese Witherspoon's daughter's room in their Ojai, California home;  
B.  the room of Jeanann Williams' daughter as featured on 'The Glow';and
C.  I want this lamb in my room...

Friday, July 27, 2012

TGIF - Watcha up to?

Lochte or Phelps?  That is the question. Yes, the Olympics is back and I will be watching the opening ceremony tonight.  Is there anyone who doesn't love the Olympics?!

I am so happy it's the weekend especially because this Sunday is my husband's birthday.  I think we love celebrating each other's birthdays more so than our own. I always try to pick out a neat restaurant and I think I've got the perfect place for this year. I'll reveal next week so as to keep Randy in the dark.  

In addition to the restaurant, I'd like to bake a birthday cake for the first time this year.  I am not a baker and I've never baked a cake before.  So, this is definitely going to be a fun and interesting challenge.  Here are the two I'm thinking of: 

Randy's a chocolate person, so I should probably bake the Lava Cake.  But I love the look of the Triple Berry Cake.  The recipes and pictures come from Cupcakes & Cashmere, one of my go-to blogs every day.  I don't even have the proper bakeware, so that's something I'll have to purchase first.  I can't wait!!   I'll tell you how it goes next week!
Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I need me some black and ivory keys in my life.  I miss playing the piano.  I started taking lessons when I was 6 and stopped when I was about 10.  I practiced almost every day and took lessons, as I recall, at least two times a week.  Rain or shine, I walked to my music teacher's home.  When I was in high school, I went back to taking lessons again.  I had an excellent teacher, who played Chopin so beautifully.  The lessons stopped because it was getting to be too expensive.  When I was in college, I'd walk to the music department and play the piano in a tiny tiny practice room.  I no longer have the free hours I used to have when I was young, but I know that I'll find the time to play the piano.  It's always been something that brings peace to my mind  (even when I struggle to learn and play those crazy Chopin pieces).  It's funny how when I was a kid, I really resented all that practicing. Now, I miss those days!  Recently, I thought of getting a piano off of Craigslist.  I've seen some excellent deals.  We shall see... For now, I think of having these items below in my own little practice room some day.  

a. Chair; b. Chopin; c.  Flying Bird; d. Chev Rug; e.  Yamaha Upright  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Floral Edge (again)

I know.  I did the floral edge thing before.  But I can't help it.  I'm drawn to floral stuff. I saw the dress below from Anthro (you all know where I'm talking about!).  Then I thought it would look so gypsy chic if I wore it with a pair of leather boots, so I found the ones below.  So as to avoid looking too gypsy or granny (as floral patterns tend to do), I added the very geometric leather bag to the look.  I would also add to this look a sharp blazer or a classic trench coat.  This look can be worn all year round (ok, maybe minus the boots during the summer).  Now, that's an outfit worth an investment! 

a. necklace; b. dress;  c. boots  d. bag

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Random thoughts & musings

Random thoughts and musings lately...

1.  How awesome is 'Newsroom'?  Shows like this remind me why I can't/shouldn't be watching 'Real Housewives' of anything/anywhere.

2.  The more I work out the more I eat.  Not sure how to ever find the right balance. 

3.  I've got my eyes set on this beauty for some time... it'll be a step closer to posting better quality pictures on my blog...

4.  Lately, I've been obsessing over cookbooks.  Currently in my Amazon shopping cart are: 
     a.  La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life by Beatrice Peltre; and 
     b.  Super Natural Every Day Well Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi  Swanson

5.  Why do we have re-ocurring dreams?  Like this one...

6.  Really curious about the 'Kinfolk' series

Kinfolk Volume Four

7.  Can't seem to get enough of my mom's cold soybean soup with buckwheat noodle and cucumber kimchi.  In real life, the color of this soup is this amazing mint green (typically, it's white, but this summer, for reasons explained by mom which I didn't understand, it's mint green). 

8.  I am wondering if I should purchase a new bag this fall... why do girls like bags so much?  It's such an expensive habit...

9.  I haven't put on a swimsuit yet this year. How about this   sexy hot number for my first outing to the pool?  (Can I borrow her body though?)

Zimmermann Frill Bandeau Bikini Top

10.  Wish I could give my puppies their haircuts without taking them to the groomer... their haircuts cost more than mine! And I think they get their haircuts more than I do in a year.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Monday Monday Funday!  
How was your weekend? I got to hang out with my nephew, who is the cutest little dude I know.  I also spent some time with my mom as well, which means I came back home with bags of homemade korean food. Aren't moms just the best?! 

Although I had fun with my nephew and mom, I could not help but feel the tremendous sadness we are all feeling as a country during this weekend, over the senseless tragedy that took place in Colorado.  It just doesn't make sense...my heart goes out to those families directly affected by this tragedy. 

Onto the usual Monday stuff here on my blog, here's a bedroom board I came up with for today.  Now, this is one posh and serene bedroom stuff!! 

A.  Bed;  B. Artwork;  C.  Mirror;  D.  Votive Holders;  E.  Mint Pillow

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekend - Watcha up to

TGIF! I love this feeling of excitement I get on Friday mornings. I love my weekends.  I love being around my puppies all day, hanging out with my husband, taking my sweet ole' time going grocery shopping, etc.  This weekend, I'm going to be extra ambitious and actually cook something new.  I'm thinking of this pasta dish from Between Your Ears (I recently came across this blog and absolutely adore everything about it!) and/or this cauliflower dish from Goop.  

Here are some photos taken during the past couple of weekends.  Enjoy the photos and have a great weekend! 

*perfect summer sky*

Toby guarding his boney*

*Speedz aka Littlez loving his boney *

*Toby & Speedz (bad angle for Speedz) doing their thing* 

*Toby and Speedz post their summer buzz cuts (btw, this is the sofa discussed here)*

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Barneys for Inspiration

I was in much need of inspiration.  I was so ready to publish a rather lethargic and blah of a post.  And that's the reality of blogging.  Sometimes, there isn't much to say or gush about.  Then I went on to Barneys.  There, I saw the dress first, the bag next, the shoes, and the earrings.  I couldn't choose between the two earrings.  The whole look is very soft on the eyes.  Although the pumps are black, they accentuate the soft colors of the dress and the earrings.  I love Barneys(minus the mind blowing price tag on just about everything...) 

a.  Narciso Rodriguez Two Tone Pump;  b. Dolce Gabbana Tapestry Print Waist Tie Dress;  c.  Renee Lewis Pink Diamond;  d.  The Row Doctor Bag;  e.  Federica Rettore Amethyst Drop Earrings

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Dreaming - Beautiful Sectionals

One of my favorite things to do on a Friday night is to cuddle up with my husband and our Westies, and watch a movie or two.  Yeah, I'm a homebody.  Always have been. The only problem with this picture is our sofa. It's a sofa I purchased 6 years ago when I moved out of my parents' home after graduating from law school. A boyfriend turned fiance turned husband and two puppies later, this sofa has seen its better days and is starting to fall apart.  Plus, the bigger problem is the size. It's simply not big enough for all of us to cuddle up.  So, we've been looking around for a new sofa, possibly a sectional, but as of now, haven't found the right one.  That means we haven't found the one that's big enough, comfortable enough, and slashed down in price enough. For now, here are the sectionals I am dreaming of...  


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

For the Love of Stripes

I can't remember if I've ever discussed my love of and obsession with stripes.  If not, here it is.  I love stripes. I have at least 10 striped shirts.  And I've been eyeing this stripey duvet set from Dwell Studio. Stripes exude a sense of something classic, timeless, casual, youthful, and fun.  And it's a pattern for all ages - no matter how young or old you are, you can always make stripes look good.  I came across these two collages below from Fabsugar. Outfits like these continue to inspire us to wear stripes in many ways and occasions.  

My go-to for stripes is mainly JCrew. JCrew continues to provide us with cheerful, fun, classic, and practical stripey pieces for our daily wear! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Wake-up Call

It's just another manic monday ~ wish it was Sunday!  Sound familiar to you?  Yup, the Bangles said it best.  But the good news is the 20% sale on all beddings continues on West Elm this week. I'm loving the light grey set below. Check out the lamp and side table below too!  

I have another busy work week but I hope that means the week will go faster~ Hope you have a great Monday!

Lamp;  Organic Diamond Texture Duvet;  Night Table

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekend - Watcha up to?

TGIF!  We made it through another week. Yay!  
i was really looking forward to relaxing this weekend until I saw on my calendar that I have a work-related event all of Saturday and a part of Sunday.[sigh] It'll be in Hershey, PA - so, at least there'll be plenty of chocolate, which is great because I'm kinda addicted to chocolate. I don't need a lot of it - I just need to have a piece or two every day, usually around 3:00 p.m. or so. You should see me on a day without any chocolate - I'm like a zombie who's extremely cranky!! 

So, although I'll be at a work function, it'll be a sweet sweet weekend.  Hope you have a sweet weekend too! Work or no work! 

image from here

Thursday, July 12, 2012

If I went shopping today...

There are a couple of things I've been eyeing for some time, that aren't too outrageously expensive, yet I have not been able to allow myself to purchase.  I think it's because they are not absolutely necessary in my life right now and therefore, they seem frivolous. Now mind you, I still treat myself to lots of unnecessary things, but for whatever reasons, I can't seem to go forward with these items.  But if I had the funds to purchase whatever today, I'd happily grab these items off the shelves (or you know, click away online). What are some of the things you've been eyeing but just can't get yourself to go forward with the purchase?  

In clockwise order: Botanical ServewareBird MirrorDress; PillowBowls; Gold Sea Urchin

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vino under $15

While surfing the net, I came across this list of the best wines under $15.  I am no wine expert, so I love seeing lists like this.  I prefer red over white, but am open to drinking white during the summer or when the dish calls for it (more like when the chef or sommelier recommends it).  I'm also no fan of anything too sweet.  Here are my three go-to reds, all under $15 (at least where I am).  I am also recommending this lovely book, La Tartine Gourmande.  A great chef friend of mine, S, showed this book to me recently and I fell in love with it instantly.  The pictures in this book are so beautiful, you want to frame them.   
Wine & Food/Food & Wine - a perfect combination to take the edge off on any given Wednesday night!      

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Floral Edge

I love floral patterns, especially colorful ones. The trick to wearing a bright floral top like the one below, is to mix it up with something edgy and sexy, like a pair of pointy toe pumps and bright nail polish.  You want to tone down all the brightness with something neutral, like a tanned color leather purse and a light lip gloss.  I think this look is appropriate for both a long day at work as well as a fun night out in the town.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Happy Monday!  Is it really Monday? And did we really just celebrate 4th of July?  Time flies, don't it?  We still have a good amount of summer left and I am determined to make the most out of it.  But for now, I've got the Monday-itis and I cannot help but wish for another day of rest...   

a. Serena and Lilly - Chakki Stool; b. Piamita Isabella Pajama Shirt; c. No. 14 Grey - Jackson Pollock; d. Room and Board Hoffman Queen Bed; e. Ballard Designs Abigail Buffet Lamp

Friday, July 6, 2012

4th & 5th of July

Today's the last full day of my vacation in Aspen, Colorado.  I'm going to really miss this place :(
Here are some pictures from this memorable vacation. 

Aspen Mountain and the crowd enjoying the 4th of July parade.
Green statues of liberty?

A very festive puppy.

July 5th Hike to Maroon Bells

Crater Lake at the top of the Maroon Bells Trail

Randy and Me

Beautiful wildflowers throughout the Maroon Bells trail.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!!  I am dutifully blogging from Aspen, Colorado, where air is fresh and the town is buzzing with visitors and locals, all happy to celebrate the 4th.  Since arrival, we've caught up with our dear friends and already had our share of a glass or two of wine, beer, and some amazing food from two local hot spots, Jimmy's and Mezzaluna.  

We've got our 5 miler today and the 4th of July parade to attend.  And more catching up to do with our friends for sure!  

Here is my "I wish I had these things for the 4th" board :) 
I hope you have a great, fun-filled 4th!  

  Canon G12;  JCrew Tillary Purse;  Juicy Coutre Hat;  Zara Tshirt;  Cotton Candy;  Tom's Wedges

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Aspen in the Summer

My carry-on is packed.  The house is sorta clean.  The puppies are with their grandpa. And we are ready for our 4th of July vacation to the magical world of Aspen.  I've never been there during the summer.  I'm told people fall in love with Aspen during the summer, not winter, which is the season most people associate this town with.  Randy and I have a couple of activities planned out - a 5 mile race organized by the local diner, Boogie's, the very early morning of 4th of July, hiking to Crater Lake, going to the Aspen Museum picnic, and watching the Aspen 4th of July parade (no fire works though due to the recent wildfires throughout the various regions of Colorado).  

Have a wonderful 4th of July - stay cool and safe!!

This is a very small town.  You can walk the entire town in less than 2 hours.  [Map from here.]
A beautiful wintery sight of St. Regis Hotel, a landmark in Aspen.  I know, it's not a summer photo, but I couldn't help it.  [Photo from here.]

This is a view of the commercial side of Aspen.  Within the last couple of years, I've started seeing more and more paparazzi just hanging around waiting for that perfect shot of Kate Hudson or Paris Hilton.  I wish they would just leave Aspen the way it is and not make it another extension of Hollywood.  [Photo from here.]
Roaring Fork Valley (Another name for the Aspen Valley. I haven't been to RF Valley, but clearly, I need to!)  [Photo from here.]

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Did anyone notice that my Monday posts are titled "Monday Wake-Up Call" but lately, I've been talking about nothing but bedroom stuff?  Haha.  Initially, my intention behind the Monday Wake-Up Calls was to talk about something that'll instantly get your attention and get you started for the week.  But as the weeks progressed, and my love for Mondays just could not be disguised, these wake-up calls became more about going back to bed! So, here's another sleepy Monday Wake-Up Call for you guys.

branch coat rackbedroom;  furry ottoman;  silk organa drapery;  book
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