Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Milly for Sperry Topsider

Some of my favorite shoes are my brown Sperrys. Classic and comfortable, they are my go-to shoes. 

I was excited to see that Milly did a line for Sperry Topsider. Incorporating today's trends like florals and neon, Milly Sperrys are a combination of classic and modern. I have found myself wanting each one of the boat shoes in her line. They are the perfect summer shoe!






Tuesday, February 28, 2012

{recipes} Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup

It was a rainy day here in LA and the perfect time to make some Lemon Chicken Soup. In my freezer I had a whole chicken, and my lemon tree had just yielded many lemons. Having this soup simmering all day made the house smell so good, and my husband was very pleased when he came home. I was planning on there being leftovers, but he almost ate the whole thing! So I had to share the recipe.


The Stock:
Ingredients:
1 4-5 lb whole young chicken
2 carrots, cut up
2 stalks of celery, cut up
1 onion, halved
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 bay leaf
15 or so peppercorns

Directions:
Rinse chicken and place it in a stock pot. Cover with water and add carrots, celery, onion, lemon, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and begins to fall off the bone (About 1.5 hours).

Remove chicken from pot to cool. Skim fat off the top of the stock.


The Soup:
Ingredients:
Your stock (or if you are going to use store-bought, 6 cups of stock
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1/3 cup white wine
8 oz orzo
2 tsp thyme (I used dried, but fresh would also work)
3 egg yolks
juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped.

Directions:
Strain your stock into a separate bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive or canola oil in your stock pot. Saute the onion over medium-high heat until golden and tender. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and carrot. Bring to a boil. 
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and lemon together. Add 1 cup of hot broth from the dutch oven very slowly to the egg yolk mixture, whisking as you pour. Then, transfer the mixture to the dutch oven. Stir in the orzo and chicken.
Add the thyme. Continue cooking over medium-low until the pasta and carrots are tender. 
Just before serving, stir in parsley. Serve immediately with crusty bread, or a greek salad.


Forgive my iphone photos.

Monday, February 27, 2012

6 items for my closet

Sometimes I feel like clothes will make me happier. I know that is kind of ridiculous, but I love the feeling when you are looking forward to wearing a new piece of clothing for the first time. Here are some items that I need want.

{for images and more inspiration, go here)
1. Middie skirt
2. Hooded parka
3. Color block frock
4. Leather leggings
5. Mint skinnies
6. Gold sequin blazer or cardi


Sunday, February 26, 2012

top 5 dress picks from the oscars 2012

This year more than most, I was not very interested in the Academy Awards for the actual awards (I had seen a whopping one of the films nominated for best picture). I was interested in the dresses. All Awards Season, I was waiting for this fashion grand finale, and the ladies of Hollywood did not disappoint. 

Here are my top 5 favorites:

Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood
(Black and sparkly, this dress showed off her statue-like figure and showed her lovely shoes)

 Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab
(She looks gorgeous in this one shoulder, beaded number that shows off her lady-like figure)

Rooney Mara in Givenchy
(Simple, white, and modern.)

Kristen Wiig in J.Mendel
(I am a sucker for blush and sweetheart necklines.)

Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen
(Jessica Chastain stood out in this gorgeous, intricately embroidered gown, which went perfectly with her hair)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gourmet pizza

I used to think I hated pizza. But what I hated, I discovered later, was cheap sausage, pepperoni, and greasy cheese thrown onto some crust. I now know (especially after visiting Rome and getting pizza al taglio) that I love pizza, and love the endless possibilities.

I saw a lot of unexpected combinations in Rome, like sausage, potato, and olives, or zucchini flower and anchovies. Today as I was sitting hungry in class, I stumbled upon Martha Stewart's collection of pizza recipes. Martha Stewart's pizzas have provided that same pleasant surprise for me as I found discovered these new flavors that I plan to add to my pizza repertoire.

1. Roasted Vegetable and Wild Mushroom with Pesto
 2. Mini Deep Dish Pizzas
 3. Three Cheese Pizza
 4. Pesto Pizza
 5. Sausage and Olive Pizza
 6. Roasted Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza
 7. Fontina and Arugala Pizza
 8. Clam Pizza 
 9. Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomato Pizza
 10. Pizza Margherita
 11. Beer Lover's Pizza
 12. Pizza Sandwiches (Are you kidding me?)
 13. Fig Pizza
 14. Red Pepper and Spinach Pizza


Aren't they positively mouthwatering? Check out all 43 pizza recipes here.

P.S. I got a pizza stone for my wedding and will never make my homemade pizza on anything else!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

nail inspiration: {ombre}

The other night, I was bored and procrastinating, when I noticed that I only had one fleck of nailpolish left over on my index fingernail. Earlier in the day, I had been organizing my nailpolishes and was thinking how many different pinks I had, and wondering whether I needed all of them. That is when it hit me: I should paint my nails applying the ombre principle.

After several attempts of making my bitten-off nails look good in pictures, I have decided to only post the nailpolishes.


But I did find a picture of Lauren Conrad sporting ombre nails, in pink no less.


I think I also have enough gray and black nailpolish to do this as well (thinking of starting with black and ending with white). Any color scheme would look fabulous, if you ask me.

Monday, February 20, 2012

yea or nay: {floral pants}

How do you guys feel about the floral pants trend?  I can see myself in some, but others I feel belong only in grandma's curtains, and I can see my future children making fun of me to no end in the future should they see a picture of me in them. 

That being said, here are some floral pants that I like (especially #4!)


So what do you think? Do or don't?

Friday, February 17, 2012

designer taste, student budget

As much as I would like to pretend that I am living the dream here in LA and romping around in Louboutins and wearing Prada sunglasses, I must admit that I am not. I am a student paying $50,000 a year for my education and living expenses. However, I am still a great admirer of fashion, and have been wanting a Chanel bag for a while now. No matter how hard I try, I cannot think of any way to justify spending $2,500 on a purse at this point in my life.

I considered going to the fashion district in LA to buy a knock-off. Many issues arose with this consideration, including the law, and looking like an impostor. What is worse, trying to look like you can afford Chanel and being discovered sooner or later, or simply admitting that you like the style but can't afford it? I choose the latter.

I was excited to have found a similar bag on Asos for 1/100th of the price. It is still chic, and I think it will satisfy my craving just fine.

real Chanel flap bag- $2,500





Asos- $28.65




Thursday, February 16, 2012

{recipes} white bean, kale, and sausage soup

Winter has finally come to Los Angeles. It was a 58 degrees today and rained harder than I've seen in a while. It was very unexpected for me, so I was unprepared when I left for school in the morning. After class I was left cold, wet, and in need of some warmth. 

I've been wanting to make White Bean, Kale, and Sausage Soup for a while, and tonight was the perfect opportunity. I adapted this recipe, and it was just what I needed. There was a little bit of spice, and the broth was flavorful. What is really great about it is that it is rustic and healthy, and my husband loved it! He ate 4 bowls.


White Bean, Kale, and Sausage Soup


Ingredients:
1 lb of sausage (I used hot Italian from Trader Joe's, and took half out of the casing and left half whole)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and then chopped into one inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
1/4 cup of white wine
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 cups chicken broth (I love Trader Joe's free range organic)
lb kale , rinsed, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces (8 c. firmly packed)
2 cans of white beans
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest




  • 1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 4 or 5-quart heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, working to break into bite sized pieces, until lightly browned. Cook the whole sausages about 4 minutes on each side. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate, leaving any rendered fat in the pot.

  • 2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high, and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.

  • 3. Add the carrot, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften and brown, about 2 minutes more. 

  • 4. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, salt & black pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute more. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scrape up any brown bits from the pan. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat.

    5. Cut the whole cooled sausages into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces.

    6. When the broth reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium, add the sausage along with any collected juices.

  • 7. Stir in the kale, adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, and simmer until the kale is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (I cover the pot loosely during this step to prevent too much reduction in the broth.).

    8. With about 10 minutes left, add the cans of beans (I do not drain them).

  • 9. Stir in the lemon juice and zest just before serving.

    10. Serve with a crusty bread, and enjoy!

    Serves 6-8

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    J.Crew Studio Fall 2012

    J.Crew has a new head women's designer and I think I love him. Tim Mora stated that he wanted to focus on "head to toe" dressing. You will see this evidenced in the collection, debuted yesterday evening, from the plentiful patterns. He mixes and matches patterns and textures that are unexpected but totally welcome (from my point of view). I was on the fence in regards to this emerging trend of patterned pants, but now I really, really want a pair. Specifically, the green ones in the second picture.


    Read more about the collection and view all of the photos here, and tell me what you think of it!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    vintage rentals

    I am all about parties with outdoor lounges and banquet tables. The whimsy of it all leaves me thinking of any excuse to have a party.

    Did you know that there are places that will allow you to rent beautiful vintage furniture? I happen to be lucky enough to live in the same city as a very popular vintage rental venue called Found. Their warehouse is FILLED with gorgeous furniture that would suit any sort of event from whimsical tea party to Great Gatsby-like cocktail parties.













    All images from Found and Found Blog

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    weekend snapshots

    I had a very relaxing weekend. I hope you did too.

    On Saturday, I went to Old Town Orange (a cute little nostalgic downtown area in Orange County) and had a lovely lunch outside at a Cuban restaurant, then walked around to antique stores. My tastes have gradually shifted in the past year from antique, shabby chic looking decor to a more modern take, but these stores made me want to go back to my old ways and incorporate antiques and vintage items more. There is just something so charming about having something made in the 1800's in your house!

    Here are some pictures from day:



    a plethora of antique books

    a quilt from the 1800's that looks like it would be in Urban Outfitters today

    antique quilts- the detail was amazing, especially considering they were probably sewn by hand. some were over $1500!

    vintage spices

    vintage coasters just in time for valentine's day. i got them for $1!



    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    {weekend to-do list}: valentine printables

    Valentine card printable from Eva Black Design
    When I was younger, I so looked forward to handing out those mini foldable valentine's day cards that came in a box. I would tape a single piece of fun-sized candy to each one, and carefully select which card had wording that would send a subtle message to my crush.Now that I am older, I still look forward to handing out valentines, but I needed to find something more age-appropriate. I found some delightful free downloads that I plan to print out this weekend. Just like when I was a little kid in elementary school, I think it would be so fun to hand out a little card and a treat to my classmates- but replace the cheesy little card with a one of these lovelies, and replace the bite-sized Reese's peanut butter cup with some brownies or cookies.

    Here are some printables that I am considering (I think I'm leaning toward #2 for my classmates, #s 5 and 6 for treats for the husband, and #4 for my out-of-town loves). 



    1. Vintage Valentine Card from Two Brunettes
    2. Treat Bag printable from Twig and Thistle
    3. Valentine Cards from Lime Lane
    4. Valentine Postcard from Walnut Paperie
    5. Valentine's Day Label from Jenny Steffens
    6. Valentine's Lunch Bag from The Sweetest Occasion
    7. Valentine Card from Walnut Paperie
    8. DIY Cupcake Wrappers and Toppers from Creatures Comfort
    9. Valentine Cards from Love vs. Design

    Aren't they adorable? And they're free! Happy Valentine's Day, indeed.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Jason Wu for Target

    It is hard for me to admit my mistakes oftentimes but I am ready to do so. This is a big one: I missed that Jason Wu was doing a line for Target (a big thanks to Lipgloss Break for helping me realize this!). It gets worse: apparently, they sold out really quickly. I am probably more sad than I should be. But I can't help it.

    Did any of you get anything you wanted from this collection? I am continually checking to see if anything has been re-stocked online. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


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