Friday, August 31, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

TGIF!!!  This week has been so long for me.  Perhaps because things slowed down a bit at work, finally. Now, we are looking at a 3 day Labor Day Weekend and I cannot be more excited!!!

Last week, I talked about making gluten free popovers (here).  And I did! Look how well they turned out!!





 

I used two recipes - one from Elephantine and another from here.  I used Elephantine's recipe to make the syrupy cherries and the other recipe to make the gluten free batter and follow the baking time.  Let me tell you, I'll be making these every weekend if I can!  The popovers turned out very soft and chewy inside(a bit flaky at the top b/c I left them in the oven just 20-30 seconds too long).  

This weekend, I am going to attempt to bake (yes, bake again!) pineapple upside-down cake from Elephantine. (I love this blog - she has so many easy and most delicious looking recipes accompanied by videos of her making them  - too cute!!).  I want to bring this to the barbecue my parents are having on Saturday.  I haven't BBQ'd w/ my parents in so long - those were the good ole' days!  I can't wait!!!  

I hope you all have a fun Labor Day weekend!!  Here's to celebrating the end of summer and looking forward to a fabulous fall!!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Kind of Shades of Grey

You know what I'm talking about.  It's the talk of the town.  It's been buzzin' for some time. We may see it on the big screen.  Yup, we are talking about 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. The mentioning of this book incites a healthy dose of giggles from women and rolling of the eyes from men.  Well, it's inspired me to come up with my kind of shades of grey.  No worries - it's MUCH much tamer and frankly, much more practical (at least for me!).  Here's my kind of shades of grey!

a. Floral Bowl  b. Chevron Throw  c. Mr. & Mrs. Howard's Armchair  d. Boucle Peplum Jacket  e. Chevron Phone Case

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday Art

When I did 'Wednesday Art' last week, I really enjoyed the process of thinking about my favorite artists, the museums I've been to,and my own desire to become more creative and perhaps start sketching and painting again (past time hobby, no brilliant artistry here).  'Wednesday Art' may be a recurring post like 'Monday Wake-Up Call' because I'm having so much fun with it! :) 

Today, I present to you John Currin.  He is a contemporary artist whose focus on portraying kitsch with the technique comparative to the "Old Masters" of the Renaissance era has rocketed him to his fame.  His paintings reflect his fascination with and love of women and their sexuality and the beauty found in the delicate curvatures of women's bodies.  If you ever see his paintings in person, the colors appear almost transparent,luminescent,  extremely soft, smooth, creamy and almost conjure up a sense of other worldliness.  Based on the various publications I've read in the past (there was one from Vogue many years ago that was excellent and I wish I had kept it1), Currin's steady stream of support for some time has been his wife, Rachel Feinstein, also a well known artist, who actually looks very much like the women in his paintings. (I recall in reading the Vogue article that someone introduced her to him, telling him how much she looks like one the girls in his paintings!!) Here's an interesting NY Times article that gives us a small peak into their personal lives.  Enjoy the art~


                            The Pink Tree

Stamford After Brunch


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back To School Shopping

This past Saturday, I went to Old Navy to look for a cargo jacket you see below. (Btw, have you seen that commercial with Jennie Garth from the old Beverly Hills 90210?!) To my surprise, there were so many cute things that were super duper affordable and actually, appropriate for my age as well as girls like 20+ years younger than me!  Man, I've been missing out on a real fashion gem here! Trying on one thing after another, I felt like I was one of the kids doing their back to school shopping (except, I'm much older and my mom's no longer paying for my clothes). I bought 3 of the five items below (a, b, and c). And I used a 25% coupon, which made me feel oh-so-very-giddy! I'm definitely going to be hitting up Old Navy more often for sure! 



a. Drawstring Military Jacket b. Striped Dress (it's not so apparent in this picture but the sleeves are rouched at the shoulders and very cute!) c. Dotty Cardigan d. Sporty Bag e. Heart Sweater (very reminiscent of this sweater from JCrew's 2011 winter collection)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Good Monday, friends~ 

I had an extremely productive weekend, which is rare!  
I got my long runs in on both Saturday and Sunday - such a great feeling!  I also finally found a used 2x2 Ikea Expedit in dark brown on Craigslist for $25.  This is now sitting nicely adjacent to my husband's big console/table and houses all the paper, binders, and "stuff".  When it's all cleaned up and nicely organized, I'll post a picture of it :) 

I also tagged along my husband for his haircut appointment in the city.  While he was getting his hair cut, I promptly went to West Elm.  (See here for my last tag along).  And I walked out with the bedding set below!  Check out the website for the amazing sale price!! I love how it brightens up our bedroom!

I added the little note pad and coffee mug below, b/c I often make my to-do list in the morning while drinking coffee. I always have my little notepad on my bedside table. My head feels the most clear in the morning. When do you make your to-do lists?

Happy Monday~
p.s. Currently also on my bedside table is this weighty September issue of Vogue! You should totally check it out - the beautiful photos of Christian Dior pieces by Patrick Demarchelier alone make this issue worth the purchase. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

Happy Friday, friends!  Sorry for being MIA yesterday.  Remember how I told you I was feeling a bit "eh" and "ugh" on Wednesday?  Yeah, I just wasn't feeling all that great starting Wednesday.  I did feel a bit guilty about not posting anything yesterday.  Kinda felt like I was skipping school! 

Feeling a bit blah, I decided I needed to spruce myself up a little.  So I actually did my hair, which means, I blow dried it straight instead of putting it up in a ponytail.  Here's a picture of me~ Do you like?  (Note to myself - I need to get my bangs cut!!) 



This weekend, I will have some work to do.  But I will also have time to do some cooking, reading, and all that good weekend stuff.  Last weekend, I made this zucchini salad that turned out to be really yummy.    



The herbs used were cilantro and mint.  Add some olive oil and garlic with lemon, and you've got your very simple and refreshing zucchini salad.  As with my recent dishes, this recipe too came from La Tartine Gourmande.  This weekend, I would like to make gluten free popovers. I'll keep you posted!

Have a wonderful, fun filled, relaxing weekend~

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Art

Do you have days where you just feel 'ugh' or 'eh...'.  I kinda feel that way today.  Perhaps it's waking up to darker mornings, reminding me once again the summer is almost gone and time is passing me by like a swift ghost. This kinda sense of melancholy comes either during your teen years or in/post your midlife years. I believe I've hit the latter! 

I am in need of some inspiration lately.  And I thought what's better than art?  Today, I'm turning to David Hockney.  I had seen his work at the Boston Museum of Modern Art awhile ago (I want to say 2006...) Here are some of my favorites of Mr. Hockney's work. 

"Day Pool with 3 Blues"

"Munich Olympics"

"Nichols Canyon"

"Chair"

"Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gold Rush

When I was in high school, silver was the choice of metal. Silver rings, bracelets, necklaces were all the rage.  But lately, I feel like gold is, or has been, back and back strong.  It exudes such a sense of decadence and celebration. And rather exotic when when mixed with brilliant stones. Gold is hot when matched with sexy dark colors, like burgundy, black, forrest green, etc. Here's a little sprinkle of gold for this fall and winter.  Can't you just imagine wearing this outfit to your work holiday party and be the talk of the town? (or water cooler? haha) Or a romantic night of celebration at a fancy restaurant?  Let's have fun with this gold rush in fashion as long as we can.





a. Rebecca Minkoff Shoulder Bag Affairb. Marc by Marc Jacobs Sweater Dress Mika with Removable Leather Collarc. Alexis Bittar Bel Air Gold Large Druzy Two Stone Hinge Braceletd.Dior Vernis Nail Color In Golden Era; e. Kate Spade New York Peep Toe Evening Sandals Corinne High Heel 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Good Monday!  This past weekend, for the first time in awhile, I did not work much.  I actually had a pretty relaxing weekend.  I got a long run in on Saturday and a Bikram Yoga class in on Sunday.  Working out = natural endorphins.  It's a must! I also started reading Gillian Flynn's 'Gone Girl' and man, I'm hooked!  

I also did a little window shopping with my man. We went looking for a sofa.  We went to Macy's and The Dump.  Macy's was very promising but the price was more than what we were looking for.  The Dump, which I know is always a hit or miss, was a definite miss this time.  Randy hates shopping.  But this time, he was motivated as Toby, my older pup, wet the sofa twice past week. Ugh... 

While looking for our future sofa, I realized that our puppies too can use an upgrade. So, for today's Monday Wake-Up Call, I present to you these puppy beds from a really cute and affordable Etsy shop, The Olive Crow.  If presented with a new bed, perhaps Toby will stop wetting our sofa?  Hmm... that may just be a wishful thinking on my part...

a. River Rock Chevron;  b. Yellowkelp Diamond; c. Gotcha;  
d. Denton Chevron

Friday, August 17, 2012

TGIF - Watcha Up To?

TGIF!!  Aren't we so glad it's the weekend? 
I've been so busy at work that I didn't even get to post anything yesterday.  Remember when I talked about having a plan 'B' for such situation? [Here] Knowing that this week was going to be a very busy week, I was really good about it and had 3 posts ready to go by Sunday night.  I thought I'd have enough time to write up another post for yesterday.  Well, that kinda fell through.  I feel like I have to come up with Plan B's Plan 'B'!  Ah, never enough planning, right?! 

Last week, I posted about making this corn soup.  That also fell through (ok, this post should be titled "fell through").  BUT, I made this amazing vegetable tian instead and man, it was a success!!  Here's a picture. 



I relied on a very easy recipe from Bea Peltrie's 'La Tartine Gourmande' (you know how much I've been talking about this book!).  The layering of various veggies went like this:  tomato; zucchini; eggplant; fennel; and in between the layerings, was a dab of thyme + garlic + olive oil rub.  In the oven for an hour and a half ~ voila!! The aroma of the garlic and thyme, and the oozing of all the veggie flavors = amazing!!!  I could totally see this being served with a slice of mozzarella cheese and turn it into a warm panini. 

Well, I am all about trying out new recipes these days, so more food posts to come, friends!  

I hope you have a great weekend~ 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last Summer Jewels

While summer feels like it's slipping away at a rate parallel to a blink of an eye, and all the shops are stocking up on fall merchandise, I'm still holding onto this summer, hoping to have that one last blast of fun before it all fades away. 

I also don't want to let go of all the bright and cheery summer colors like turquoise, mint, pink, etc. and hope to incorporate them into my fall and winter wardrobe. 

Here are some jewels of bright colors that I can totally see on a black or grey cashmere sweater tucked into a snug wool pencil skirt.  Or anything camel and beige would also work with these bright colored jewels.  These jewels will contrast nicely with the darker and more muted tones of fall and winter outfits.  


  
a. Jess LC Jackson Bead Strand Necklaceb.Jcrew Cabochon Fan Necklace  c.Jess LC Jackson Aloe Bauble Bracelet d. Jess LC Flea Flamingo Bracelete.Tory Burch Perez Bead Dangle Earring f.Furbish Margot Earrings 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Getting Out There

While I have no qualms about expressing myself in the presence of family and friends, I don't necessarily like garnering attention from people in general. But I'm coming out of my own shell a bit.  I love the blog community and how it encourages someone like me (i.e. semi-shy) to be more expressive and share my creativity  at my own pace, terms and style.  

So, when I saw a design contest being held by one of my favorite bloggers, Jess Lively, I figured I had nothing to lose but get out there and do my thing, and even if I don't win, perhaps I'll make a couple of blog friends and garner some attention to my own blog.  Btw, do check out Jess's blog, 'Jess Lively'.  She's an amazing entrepreneur with her own jewelry & accessory company of her names sake, 'Jess LC'.  Just glossing over her blog will energize you with her creativity and obvious love for life.  



a, b, d, and e are all from Jcrew Factory Outlet, which I just visited last Saturday and purchased the top and bright Winnie pants (got it in black too!).  The rest, 'Flea Graduated Tortoise' necklace (here) and the 'Quincy'iPad cover (here) are the two items from Jess's collection I incorporated into my look. (I already know I'm doing this again next year as I now see what I'm allowed to incorporate!).   

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Wake--Up Call

Good Monday, friends! The weekend went fast, didn't it? :(
And how about that Olympic closing ceremony?  That was one fabulous rockin' concert! I also loved the super model Kate Moss's cameo, although she's like the last model I'd think of in association with sports (no offense to KM). 

Lately, I've been pushing myself to try different things.  So,I'm trying out new recipes, mixing and matching different colors and patterns in my wardrobe, and also, thinking a bit differently about design and interior decoration.  Here's a bedroom board I put together that's a step or two away from my usual clean and modern look. My husband thinks it looks a bit granny.  I bet in person it may actually be very pretty. I don't know, I'm just in a funky phase of my life where I want to try something different and new.  Do you have those kind of moments too? 



a. Lamps; b. Mirror; c.Daybed; d.Rug; e.Side Tables 

Friday, August 10, 2012

TGIF Watcha Up To?

TGIF!!  The weekend's finally here~~ BUT I have a lot of work to do this weekend, which is making me a bit sad and anxious...

So, I am going to make sure to squeeze in a long run somewhere, and perhaps even a bikram yoga class, which I haven't gone to in awhile.  Exercise always de-stresses me, so it's a must when I know I'm feeling anxious, down, depressed, etc.  I'm also going to cook something yummy.  Sometimes, there's nothing like cooking that relaxes me.  Those who like to cook can understand, I'm sure.  So, with the corn season in full throttle, I'm going to try to make this corn soup using Bea Pelte's recipe from her inspiring blog and book 'La tartine gourmande'. Won't you agree with me that soup is one of the most soothing and comforting food? Both emotionally and tummy wise?  

Enjoy your weekend, my friends ~ 


[photo via here]

p.s. I'll also be reading the latest Vanity Fair style issue, thanks to my husband who brought it home a couple of nights ago.  Sweet little gestures like this makes me so happy :) 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Window Shopping

Ever since online shopping has become the norm, I now do my window shopping while sitting in bed. In a way, the whole online window shopping thing has gotten me to be more creative and expansive in my design interest.  I think it's because you get to see so many different options and designs without the cost of actually driving or flying out to the actual brick and mortar store.  Now, don't get me wrong.  There's still something super special about being in an actual store and seeing the object(s!) of desire in person. In any event, you know how I've been honkering for a new sofa/sectional (see here).  I've been window shopping a lot (although still not ready to take the plunge).  And now, I'd love an entire make-over of my little living room!  Haha - this is what happens when you window shop online. You keep wanting and wanting! What do you think of the look below?  I love the clean modern lines of the floating console and the sofa.  And I LOVE the Ankara chair from Crate and Barrel. For now, these will stay on my wish list :) 


a. Pink Paris; b. Floating Storage Console; c. Sofa; d. Ankara Chair

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Celeb Style Crush - GP

Almost every girl has a style icon.  Right off the bat, Grace Kelly, Audrey and Katharine Hepburn, come to my mind. You've seen a couple of my celebrity style crushes here,  here, and here. I love those ladies but I have to say, my biggest modern day celebrity style crush is Gwyneth Paltrow.  For as long as I can remember, I've always admired her for her acting  skills. How amazing was she in 'Seven', 'Shakespeare in Love', 'The Great Expectation', 'Emma' and 'Sliding Doors'?  And as for her looks, let's not even go there.  She's always had that long lean body any fashionista or a designer would die for.  I also love how she's become so dynamic - while some people frown upon her talking about her lifestyle (check out her lifestyle blog, Goop) heck, I welcome it.  If I can't afford to live the luxurious lifestyles of some people, I can certainly appreciate it and also, be inspired to make the best of what I have.  
So, the real point of this post is how much I love her style.  Whether she's in her casual outfits or the real deal haute couture dresses, her style exudes confidence, a sense of fun, glam, and feminine beauty.  Here are some of my favorite looks on GP.  



a.  b. c.  d.  e.  f.  g.  h

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vamp Me Up

Are you a fan of 'True Blood'?  I am, for sure, although I am not so fond of where the new season is going. How about the fashion in that show?  I love how the bad vampires wear really sexy dresses.  I came across this painterly dress and thought it would look really cool with dark, and vampy nail polish and lipstick.  I love the dark plum nail polish from YSL and the deep red lipstick (or gloss?) from Shiseido below.  These remind me of that vampy look that was so popular when I was in college (mid-late 90's) when Jennifer Aniston's Rachel hair style in Friends was on every other girl's head.  I think this time around, we tone down the look with simpler hair (in a chignon or ponytail), carry an edgy purse like the one below from just-out-of-the-designer-room Marni, and finish off the look with a pair of sexy booties, like the one below from Vince Camuto.  I can't wait to vamp up my style this fall!! 

a.  Marni Sculpture Bag;  b. Helmut Lang Jersey Dress;  c.  YSL Laque Couture in No. 15-violet-baroque;  d.  Shiseido lacquer rouge;  e.  Vince Camuto Platform Booties

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Wake-up Call

Good Monday!  How was your weekend?  I don't know about you but my weekend was blazing hot - weather wise.  It's been so hot here on the east coast - I actually felt like I couldn't breathe on Friday.  It didn't help that I was practically immobile from a pounding headache that started Friday morning until late Saturday afternoon.  I really think it had something to do with this awful weather.  Regardless of the headache, I decided to take a very last minute trip to NYC to see some friends.  And I'm glad I did.  My headache went away eventually and we had a really lovely time with our friends.  We dined at a really cute and cozy restaurant called, Bread located at Spring & Mott.  They offer good size appetizers, salads and amazing ciabatta sandwiches.  Although I didn't try it, I'm told their tomato soup is to die-for.  So, give Bread a try next time you are in that rockin' city known as NYC. 


As always, here's my little Monday Wake-Up Call about going back to sleep ~ which would be so easy to do in a bedroom that has these loverly items.  



Duvet Set;  Mirror;  Vases;  Candle

Friday, August 3, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

OMG - it's Friday, isn't it?  This week had so many ups and downs that I don't even remember how I breathed through it all.  My work has been so busy and hectic, and the twitching of the skin under and above my right eye continues for now over a month. I'm told it's due to stress, lack of sleep, and/or too much caffein intake.  I blame all three.  


To get away from the daily grind and stress is why I blog :) 
So, on a much much lighter note, if I could have a weekend  brunch with someone famous, and this is a fun brunch not like a serious biz brunch, these two ladies below would just be perfect!  Anna (whom I pronounce as Ah-Nah) and SJP are two of the most fashionables of fashionables.  Gosh, I'd love to hear what they are talking about in this picture!  



And of course they look so fabulous.  I was so giddy'd upon seeing SJP reading  Gillian Flynn's 'Gone Girl'.  I'd love to get a hold of this book, preferably from the library (those ibooks are costly! and add up pret-ty penny fast!!).  

How about you? If you could have a girly fun weekend brunch, who would that be?

Enjoy your weekend~

p.s. I'm off to the Phillies game tonight where I'm sure I'll be more interested in soft ice cream served in a plastic baseball cap than what's going on in the field! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mixing It Up

Lately, a lot of the water cooler conversation around my office has been something like this:  "Can you believe the summer's almost over already?!";  "Time flies... can't believe July is over"; "I can't believe the summer is almost over...did you go away yet?" 


'Fin de siecle' is a cool word I learned back in college reading a book I never finished. (I was so pretentious reading a book I thought was so "deep"!!) It means: "turn of the century", but also both the closing and onset of an era, as it was felt to be a period of degeneration, but at the same time a period of hope for a new beginning (Wiki definition).  That's how I feel whenever summer is nearing its end and fall is about to start.  Now, I don't feel like we are there yet and I still feel excited about the rest of the summer.  And when the weather does start gettin' a bit cooler, while I will feel a bit sad about the summer going away, I'll get excited about all the new fall outfits that'll start popping up at my favorite stores.  Already, I'm seeing some new stuff (and some sale items) that are perrrfect for that summer-into-fall weather.  Here's an eclectic mix I'm really digging right now. 

a.  Comfy Peplum T-shirt;  b. Zigzag Sweater;  c. Bright Orange Necklace;  d. Throw Pillow;  e. Polka Dot Flats;  f.  Stackable Rings

I threw in the pillow into the mix (no pun intended) just because it'll be nice to get some new things for the house as well.  How about you?  Do you feel pre-seasonal change anxiety and/or excitement?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Little Shopping Spree

One of my favorite online shops, Whimsy & Spice is having a summer sale with 20% off everything.  It's a husband and wife operated bakery shop, with Jenna Park, the wife, being the face of the business as she from time to time, talks about the business through her own personal blog, Sweet Fine Day.  It is one of the most authentic,real,unique,and personal blogs out there. 


Here are the items I purchased - I really had a hard time deciding what to pick as I wanted to get just about everything!! (By the way, these pictures are all personally taken by Jenna). 


Kitchen Conversions Tea Towel


Rose Vanilla


Massaman Peanut Butter


I can't wait to get these in the mail!!  I've tasted their Hazelnut Whiskey sandwich cookie before and it was to die-for.  So, please do treat yourself to some amazing sweets from Whimsy & Spice.  The sale ends 8/6.  


BTW, I am 100% not being paid for this :)  It's just another day of me gushing about the small things in life I love!  
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