Saturday, December 26, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I hosted a DYI: Secret Santa Tea Party. The DYI part was that you had to make the gift!
Here is my giftee, she looks confused. Yes, that's what I wanted! That way she would be so discombobulated she wouldn't notice the crappy craftsmanship and crooked stitching!
What did you get Mai?
A cake stand made of a a plate and a vase? A apron made of grosgrain ribbon and a dishtowel? Say you love it. Now!
Oh look at my evil little face! I think I'm either so excited about my gift (a framed jewelry hanger) that I was thinking 'my precious' like Gollum from LOTR or I'm desperately trying to ignore that someone is drinking a soda at my tea party.
Monday, November 30, 2009
They're bringing their funky-romantic style to Target (Tar-jay if you're feelin fancy). The line was hugely inspired by Style Rookie's Tavi Gevinson. The savvy mini (in size only) fashion blogger . She's 13, and adorable!
See the complete look book here. See anything you like? I want the bow belt and lace tights!!!
Hopefully the quality wouldn't be compromised too much. I was not enthused with the quality of Anna Sui's collection for Target a few months back.
The line hits Target stores December 20th!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
- Make a list; check it twice. I keep an excel spreadsheet that list: recipients, birthdays, Christmas lists, and costs. This keeps everything organized and I know how much I'm spending throughout the year.
- Keep notes on what you think the recipient will like. Sizes, favorite colors, likes, dislikes, should be noted.
- If the recipient is one that has everything they need; think little luxuries like accessories (read: neat stuff no one needs but is pretty cool to have).
- Power in numbers: If you found a pretty cool gift and think that it would be perfect for multiple recipients... do it!
- Gift cards are okay! Think about where the person likes to shop and consider a dollar amount that would be useful toward a purchase at that store
- Shop throughout the year: If I find a great deal I'll buy it and store it. I have a cardboard box in my closet where I store cards and gifts.
- It's the thought that counts!
Little luxuries I've purchased for the good girls on my Christmas List:
Scarves: There are various colors, patterns, and textures, just think about the recipient's style
MbMJ Key Pouch: I bought a few of these from Neiman Marcus during a special sale they had for $34!! These are perfect for keys, cash, and credit cards for those nights out. The jewel tones are spot on for the season.
Lumiere Candles: I grabbed a few in Citrus Rind (smells just like grapefruit) for $10 at Anthropologie! Gift cards: I like getting gift cards to places that are useful to the recipient, like Costco or Target.
Statement Necklace: Necklaces like these will perk up any outfit and the recipient too! I love this necklace so much I wanted one for myself.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
for cookie base
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
4 large eggs
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, flour, sugar. Press mixture into unbuttered 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake until just brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
For topping, lightly whisk eggs. Sift together flour, sugar, add to eggs. Add lemon juice, stir and pour over partially baked base. Bake for 20 minutes more or until topping is firm. Chill before cutting.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
One of the best dressed characters is Joan, a sultry redhead, she always wears solids and one statement jewelry piece. She works her curves like no one's business!
Here's my Joan inspired (yet modern) Christmas Party outfit (if I had unlimited funds).
Thread Social dress, $495
Christian Louboutin shoes, $895
By Malene Birger necklace, $315
*Thanks Anton for urging me to netflix the series. I will not be watching SYTYCD though, thanks (but no thanks).
Monday, November 16, 2009
Baking: I baked Pioneer Woman's "Best" Chocolate Cake recipe. The cake is very moist and the chocolate is really pronounced. The frosting was too sweet. I would make this cake again with a semi-sweet ganache for frosting, maybe add some coffee to cut the sweetness, (I really should just cut out some of the sugar, but c'mon!). Plus: This cake is super easy to make!
Shopping: Hooray for Gap's Give and Get Program. I scored this dress from BR for $27:
How I'm going to wear it
Work: Long sleeve black tee underneath, gray cardigan, black tights, and flats or boots
Out: Black velvet blazer, black tights, gold jewelry, and heels
Anthro sale finds:
59.99-This sweater is very "grandma chic". It looks a bit frumpy but oh so comfy! It has pockets and a hood! I'll really have to play this one up with bright tees underneath, brooches, or long necklaces.
49.99-Mad for plaid! This dress is super cute and it stands on its own. Yes I'll wear it with tights too.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
However I'm very excited because I found out we live near a Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet!!
Ho-hos, sno-balls, home run pies, chocodiles.. OH MY! My mother used to frequent these Outlet shops, and it would be the only time we ever got to eat Wonder bread (I used to think it was the best bread ever).
I went for a visit and bought 2 boxes (10 in each box) of chocodiles and one snack pack of sno-balls, which came to a grand total of $4.80!
Chocodiles: In short they are chocolate covered twinkies. Its the same chocolate used to coat ho -ho's and ding dongs. It's not the best, but if you're eating a chocodile you're not shooting for gourmet quality. I'm not sure why, but I never see them being sold outside of an outlet store...
I need to wash these puppies down with some tea!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
That is my current issue. Lack of time has made it super hard to actually do anything about the mess. I feel utterly discombobulated and exhausted (insert dramatic sigh).
Hopefully I can get it all done this weekend.
One a side note, I'm very sad to say that the Target chair (shown below) has arrived but is way too large for the space I wanted to put it in. Such a pity, its a great looking chair but it needs to go on a diet =(
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I love coming up with a color palette and general theme of decor. Rob is only giving me free range on one room, the office. Boo. So I'm going to take my time to think about it, but it'll be girly for sure!
Living Room: Gentle Rain
Halls: Subtle Touch
Bedroom: Light Spring
Office: Custard Cream
Powder Room: Ocean View
Friday, October 9, 2009
Let the food porn commence...
Pork buns from Momofuku Noodle Bar. Momofuku. Momofuku was started by David Chang who developed a certain style of asian cuisine that I do not want to call fusion, but it's certainly an interpretation of asian dishes from a few asian cuisines mixed into one. (Yea that sounds fusion, but that term makes me think of Wolfgang Puck). Will he be the our generation's Thomas Keller? We'll have to see!
I had to set up an account with a credit card to get reservations for the much acclaimed chicken dinner. Its seemed so intriguing in the most pretentious way, that I had to go!
The chicken dinner consists of two (2) whole chickens. One fried southern style and the other Korean style. They were both expertly fried; the Korean style just had better flavor.
Don't forget the veggies!
The chicken was accompanied by four sauces, veggies, and mu shu pancakes for wrapping. Star Sighting! Mario Battali and some suits grabbing lunch. They were having the chicken dinner too! And yes, he was totally wearing orange crocs!
Katz Deli: A New York staple, the boys loved this place. We went here twice.
You have to be a meat lover at this joint.
Pastis: Very cute french bistro. It's located in the meatpacking district on a cobbled stone street. We did see a photo shoot in action across the street! It was featured in an episode of SATC.
Moules frites. Mussels and fries in a very rich butter sauce.
Croque madame. A very fancy ham and cheese sandwich, served open faced. The food was really good. It seemed very authentic (buttery), and the atmosphere is fabulous.
Cafe Habana: Get the corn! At $3.95 for two ears of corn, it was one of the cheapest snacks we ate in NY! The Cubano sandwich was yummy too! Very small 50's style cafe, great after a shopping trip in Soho! Peter Luger: I'm sure you've all heard the tales of meat related to this place. This is a very old school meat and potatoes steak joint. There is no red wine reduction, buerre blanc sauce, not even butter on the side of the steak!
Porterhouse aged and grilled to perfection. We devoured it!
Fat slices of bacon. oink :@)
Halal Cart : 53rd and 6th. There are many halal carts scattered throughout the city. This one takes the cake. Everyone raves about the sauce. I found it a bit mayo-y. The saffron rice is to die for!
The Little Owl: I was totally looking forward to this place, especially after trying to replicate their meatball sliders. It's such a cute little restaurant tucked in the middle of Greenwich Village! Alas i was a bit disappointed... Their ingredients were of great quality, but it all lacked flavor.
Bleecker Street Pizza: After our lunch at Little Owl, we needed to grab a few slices to fill the void.
A slice of their Nonna Maria (marinara, mozzarella, olive oil, basil, and garlic. Their crust is really crispy. I felt it was too crispy, there was no chew factor.
Other Honorable Mentions
Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery: LES. Cupcakes for 1.50 each! They're not super fancy looking but they are good cupcakes that taste homemade.
Brick Oven Pizza 33: Chelsea. I enjoyed their Nonna Maria (does everyone in Italy have a Grandma named Maria?), better than Bleecker Street's. Their crust is crispy but with chew! I guess it's their brick ovens. See pic below. Con: Not the cheapest slice of pizza $4.
Rink Bar at Rockefeller Center: When the weather is good, its a good place to people watch and have drinks outside. May be a bit touristy but they have peach sangria! Con: They close at 11pm
Donut Plant: These donuts are tasty. Not overly sweet, with great flavors like creme brulee (custard filled), Valrhona chocolate, and carrot cake. Con: We spent $27 for 8 donuts
Anthropologie at Rockefeller Center: The Biggest Anthro I've been to (to date). I can spend hours here!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Who am I to rain on Rob's Sunday mornings. I like cooking so I've been working on my breakfast skills. I've struggled with making pancakes for awhile. I've been using this Buttermilk pancake recipe from Martha. They were usually soggy or undercooked in the middle. So I figured out a great way to help them cook more evenly. A big old heart shaped cookie cutter! If I had a round one big enough, trust me I would have used it over the heart one. I think the metal helps conduct heat and also helps the pancake rise, or something to that effect.
Finally! Fluffy and buttery pancakes!
On another note, I found something pretty neat on Amazon!
Chucks imprinted with graphics from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album! My initial reaction was very positive, I wanted to get a pair! I love that album, but then this wave of uncertainty, came over me... It feels too trendy!
Still pretty cool though. Hmm... I have a sudden urge to Netflix The Wizard of Oz!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I recently discovered this recipe for Puffy Maine Pancakes from Martha (yea we're totally on a first name basis now), I was very drawn to how dramatic it looks and loved that it had really simple ingredients.
I tried it out this weekend, and it was great! I used a 12" crepe pan to make one big pancake and it serves 2 perfectly. Rob had it with strawberries and whipped cream while I opted for raspberry jam. The pancake's middle had a very egg-y souffle like taste and the edges were doughy and crispy.
I will definitely make this again! I've already thought about what toppings or flavors I can incorporate in my next puffy pancake; nutella, lemon curd, orange zest, cocoa powder...
Who's comin over for breakfast?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I covet: J. Crew's Navy wool schoolboy blazer. Navy, metal buttons, tailored.... 'nuff said.
1 ½ cup flour (all purpose)
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs, milk, oil, and lemon peel until blended. Mix liquids into flour mixture until smooth. Pour batter into loaf pan (spray with pam and line with parchment paper). Bake in a 350 degree oven until a toothpick (or cake tester) inserted into the center comes out clean (40-45 minutes).
Thursday, August 20, 2009
It was the first time I felt like my cupcakes would be on display, so I spent so I wanted them to be extra special. The guest list was 35! It was also my first foray into fondant territory, so I was a bit nervous!
I used Kara's Cupcakes as models, since I really didn't have a specific theme to work with. I think they look fancy, no?