Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gawker Stalker

Bye bye productivity...

For those of you not familiar with Food Gawker, kiss your afternoon goodbye.  You can scroll through page after page of the most beautiful food you've ever seen.  Then once you click on a picture, you are brought to a new food blog, which links to other food blogs.  Total Pandora's box that will suck hours out of your life, but well worth it. 

As if that wasn't enough, they now have Dwelling Gawker, Craft Gawker, and for those of you who aren't as jaded as I, Wedding Gawker.

You know where I will be until well into 2011...

The Coaster From Ipanema

I'm in full post-Christmas hangover, planning all of my resolutions that I won't call resolutions because no one keeps those.  Right?  Well, being more financially responsible is my "resolution that isn't a resolution".  So unfortunately these insanely adorable Jonathan Adler Jet Set coasters ($48) will not be a part of my life this year (tear)...
All I want is to sit in the sun and set down a Mai Tai or a Caipirinha on one of these bad boys.  Instead I'll sit at my desk and stare out the window.  At dirty snow. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide... A Little Late

Erin, one of  my few loyal readers commented on how long it's been since I've posted.  So in my effort to get into the holiday spirit (with 2 days to go) here are some gifts that I think would be lovely to give or receive.  Mostly receive.

Now it's back to hot cocoa and blasting Christmas music to try and de-Scrooge and get in the full Holiday swing with just minutes to spare.  It feels a lot like cramming for a test.

1. Wine Monkey - $10 |Fred & Friends 
2. Warm Slipper Socks - $10.80 | Forever 21 
3. Flour Cookbook - $23 | Amazon  
4. Summer Stone Ring – $59.50 | Banana Republic  
5. Sketch Art Cases - $15.95 ea | Z Gallery  
6. Floral appliqué slippers - $19.99 | Gap 
7. All You Need Is Gloss- $26 | Benefit  
8. Trousseau Apron - $38 | Anthropologie 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chic On The Cheap - Holiday Cocktail Edition

My life philosophy is: Wear cheap clothes, take good vacations. I would much rather buy my sweaters at Old Navy & Target if that means there is extra money I can stash away to get out of town.  

With the holidays right around the corner, it had me thinking about cocktail dresses.  And, when you are babysitting on a Saturday night in Brooklyn, what else would you do but troll the interwebs looking for dresses you will never have the occasion to wear?  So I took the opportunity to put together some cocktail looks with pieces from some of my favorite cheapo depots.  Items range from $1 up to $100.  Yes, I said $1!

Also important is knowing what drink to pair with a dress, so I made some recommendations there as well.

Here goes...

When leaves fall one shoulder dress – Shop Ruche |  $44.99
Lace Platform Heels – Forever 21 | $28.80
Party Glam Bracelet Set – Forever 21 | $6.80
Pearl & Rhinestones Ring – Forever 21 | $5.80
Recommended Pairing – White Russian

Sophisticated Faceted Bead Ring -  Forever 21 } $5.80
Wino nail polish  - Lex Cosmetics  | $10  
Recommended Pairing – Gin & Tonic

Clarabella Dress – Shop Ruche| $35.99
Smooth Stiletto Pumps -  Forever 21 | $22.80
Zipper Flap Clutch – Forever 21 | $17.80
OPI  I'm Not Really a Waitress – | $8
Recommended Pairing – Single malt scotch on the rocks

Grand Finale DressModcloth |$67.99
Amazing Lace HeelsModcloth | $39.99
Rhinestone Cluster Earrings – Forever 21 | $3.80
Recommended Pairing – Pino Noir

Gold Dust Gal Dress - Modcloth |$89.99
Doxie Boot Aldo | $90
Recommended Pairing – Ketel One martini, blue cheese stuffed olives

Techno Dive Pumps – Forever 21 | $22.80
Merona® Jeweled Bag – Silver – Target | $16.99
Structured Rhinestone Earrings – Forever 21 |$6.80
Recommended Pairing - Veuve Clicquot Champagne

Simple elegance navy dress – Shop Ruche -  $62.99
Structured Sequin Clutch – Forever 21 | $20.80
Recommended Pairing - Cakebread Savignon Blanc 

We’ve Come So NoirModcloth | $57.99

Impression Suedette Heels – Forever 21 | $27.99
Faux Diamond Ring Set – Forever 21 | $5.80
e.l.f. Essentials Nail Polish in in Burgundy – E.L.F. 
Recommended Pairing  - Kir Royale

There you have it.  Throw on your party dress and throw back some cocktails! 


Monday, October 11, 2010

London Calling!

I don't think I have ever needed a vacation more in my entire life, and in just three days I am heading to London!

I was there about a year ago, but we tried to cram all possible tourist activities into just a few days, so this trip will be a little different.  No real plans except bakerieshigh tea,, and lots and lots of street markets.  I can't wait to eat tons, relax, and spend some quality time with one of my bestest buds. 

I will have a full report and lots of pictures when I return!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sticky Icky Crunchy Chewy Goodness - Flour Bakery

A couple weeks ago, the SOWA Open Market hosted a food truck rally. All of the amazing local food trucks in one place? I could feel my cholesterol rising as a bunch of friends made plans to meet there one Sunday afternoon. Then the heartbreak. I met my friend Lara, and we were walking over when we get the call. The lines at every truck are an hour plus, and they are running out of food. My dreams of chicken and waffles were dashed, and it was time to come up with a plan B.

If you are ever going to be in this (or any) food situation, you want to be with my girl Lara. I mean, she has a blog called Ham on a Plane. She knows and loves food more than anyone I know. Since we were in the South End, our obvious Plan B was to hit up Flour Bakery. My mouth literally just watered when I typed “Flour Bakery”.

This place is insane. I have never had ANYTHING that came out of this place that did not blow my mind. Amazing cookies, cakes, sandwiches, and a sticky bun to die for. Like, I would really lay down and die for this little ball of heaven. It’s been featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” and “Throw Down”.  Bobby Flay is a super fan.  No big deal.

By the time we got to Flour, Lara and I were ready to pass out. Neither one of us had eaten yet, saving all the room in our stomachs for chicken and waffles. We couldn’t wait got our sandwiches, so we started with the sticky bun. Sticky bun as an appetizer. H-E-A-V-E-N.   You can try to make them yourself, but I doubt anyone could be as successful.  I mean, they marinate them overnight in the sticky "goo" and then baste them in it once they are done.  Don't try this at home.  Just go to Flour!  Here is a before and after.

Then it was time for lunch.  In my opinion, a true friend is one who likes to get two things and share.  Love this Lara.  We got the roast beef and the tomato, basil, mozzarella.  Let me start by saying that they are made on house made bread.  MMMMMMMMM!!!!  The roast beef is topped with horseradish cream and the most delicious fried onions.  The TBM was grilled to perfection on nutty bread thats almost a little sweet.  Deeeelish.

To wash it down, no ordinary drink would do.  Of course Flour makes their own fresh raspberry seltzetr. What else would you expect?

After we devoured everything else, it was time for dessert dessert.  The sticky bun before lunch was not dessert, don't get it twisted.  That was breakfast.  Dessert was a house made "oreo" and a chocolate chunk hazlenut cookie.  For the record, this "oreo" was also featured on Food Network.  This place is no joke.  The faux-reo was divine.  Cakier than the packaged variety with a buttery delicious filling.  The chocolate chunk hazlenut cookie was kind of like if you made a jar of Nutella magically crunchy, and mixed in a little butter.  It is by far one of the best cookies I have ever had (outside of this masterpiece)

So if you couldn't tell, I thought this meal totally sucked.  Kidding.  Bummed I missed out on chicken and waffles, but the day was totally redeemed by Flour.  I can not recommend this place enough.  I bet my bottom dollar that you won't be disappointed.  You might gain a couple L-Bs in the process, but well worth the weight.

Work It!

Queue the Missy Elliot...

1. Any responsible office calls for responsible shelving, and this guy does the trick! It’s simple and classic, and would look great crammed with magazine files and storage boxes. Tactfully crammed, not Hoarders crammed.

2. I’m a sucker for a modge podge of art or pictures. I have one on my wall, which I should probably show you some time. These three pieces are from three different places. First is the stunning Couture print from ZGallery. It makes me want to go play with my make up right now! Next is this precious silhouette of two friends from West Elm.  I love it to bits (and could totally replicate it for less than $1). And finally, Boston pride courtesy of Ork Posters. If you have pride in somewhere else, you should still put Boston on your wall. But if you insist, there are other options.

3. You may ask… where will you put a throw pillow in an office? Easy peasy. On the chair, piled on the floor as cushions, or on the desk instead of your laptop. They add personality and charm. Gotta have em. Plus, this one looks like an E. I’ll take it.
4. & 5. Time to get down to business. You need a desk and a chair.

The desk is from West Elm. The color is unique, and adds tons of character to the room. You could pick a more neutral tone, but that would be responsible.

Now to park your fanny. This chair is modern and looks great with the clean lines of the desk. It looks way expensive, almost like a white Herman Miller, but at a fraction of the price.

6 Love this rug. Love it love it love it. Nuff said.

7. Baskets are a touchy subject. It’s easy to be country kitschy. At the same time, you need somewhere to stash your stuff. These are modern, and the weave on these is thick enough to hide your Us Weeklys.

The Canary In The Coal Mine

Some people can go to the mall and legitimately window shop without spending a dime. Not me. The closest I can get is looking at home décor purchases online, knowing that I literally have nowhere in my shoebox apartment to put things, so I can't buy them.

But, if I were to suddenly have a living room to design, this is what it might look like!

1. I first spotted this lamp over on Copy Cat Chic. Which by the way, if you haven't checked it out, check it out.  They find more cost effective versions of beautiful beautiful things.  This lamp is from, but it’s high end step sister is available at Potterybarn, for twice the price. Given the choice, I will always pick the same thing for less money.  Call me crazy.

2. My first instinct was to pick all Boston based art, but I decided to branch out. These vintage prints are all from  and there are plenty of cities to choose from. I think the simple silver frames look great on the cool grey wall. Speaking of… the paint is Behr’s silver screen.

3. I am a total sucker for a console table. Don’t know why, I just love em. I found this Avington console table at Target on the cheap.  I think it just sounds fancy to own a console table.  And I want to be fancy.
Bring on the mood lighting.  This little yellow stunner is from CB2. It adds a nice pop of color and helps create a yellow theme without being too aggressive (in my humble opinion)

3. The heavy hitters! I am obsessed with getting a grey couch lately. Grey is neutral, but a bit different. Once I have a living room, expect to see this guy in it. I visited a Z Gallery on a recent trip to Atlanta and sat in this bad boy and let me tell you… marshmallow!  And since it is called the Nathan Sofa, I would call him Nathaniel at all times. Obviously.

I added This Way And That Pillow from Anthropologie to break it up. And let’s be honest, I can’t imagine any room without something gorgeous from Anthropologie.
And now for the true canary. I die for this Gerber slipper chair. It’s bold but not obnoxious. And at $254? Gimme a break.

And finally a rug. Because my mother says you always need one. I found this one over at West Elm. It’s neutral enough that you could re-purpose it in other rooms, and with any color palette. I’m still poor enough to think this way. Oh, I can’t wait for the day that I’m a baller and don’t have to make responsible decisions.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Anthropologie... This Girl Loves a Sale!

For years I have been outlining (very tactically) what I am going to do with my Powerball winnings.  Right after I pay off my sisters' mortgages my next step is to buy property in New York, London, and of course Boston and outfit every inch of each in Anthropologie.  And while I'm at it, my entire wardrobe.  I LOVE Anthropologie.  I want to live in the store.  I am obsessed with Man Shops Globe.  I want to BE Anthropologie.

That said, I'm cheap.  I buy 99% of my clothes at Old Navy and Target.  Yet, when I hit a sale at Anthropologie an $80 dress seems like a steal of a deal.  My usual test is... "Would you love it this much if it was at Old Navy?"  Usually the answer is no, I have to talk myself down from even the sale stuff.  Until today.

I was waiting for someone to show up to a meeting (they never did... YES!) so I started perusing  I found the beautiful Mimeo Blouse for $19.95 and free shipping!  This is 80% off.  Can't beat it! 

And I love it.  Not just because it's Anthropologie and I can afford it.  I reeeeally love it.  Can't wait to wear it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Comfort Food

Chicken noodle soup may be great for the soul, but what do you do when it’s 90+ degrees out and your soul still needs some comforting? Go to the ocean then bring on the watermelon gazpacho!

I am all about eating seasonally. But let’s be honest. Living in New England gives you about 4 months where you can do that unless you want to live off of snow. If I could eat summer food year round, I would be one happy girl. This recipe is everything wonderful about summer, and I plan to eat it until it’s time for butternut squash and apple crisp.

Big ups to my girlfriend Denise for this one. My friends and I have a friendly competition to see who can bring the best food to the beach. Yesterday Denise’s watermelon gazpacho was a slam dunk! I begged her for the recipe and made it today. I already had it for dinner, and plan to eat it for lunch all next week.

Watermelon Gazpacho
1 large tomato, chopped
2 cups cubed watermelon
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup minced red onion
½ cucumber, seeded and minced
2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
¼ cup toasted almonds, chopped small
Salt and pepper

With a hand stick blender puree tomato and the watermelon in a large bowl. Add vinegar and olive oil and pulse until blended. Add the onion, cucumber, dill and almonds and season with salt and pepper. Puree a little bit more. I like to add extra chunks of watermelon and cucumber at the end so the soup has more texture. Chill at least an hour before serving. We like a sprinkle of feta and a little diced black olive as a garnish. Enjoy!!!!

The recipe is great, and simple. I had planned to use a stick blender like Denise, but I didn’t read the directions and dumped everything into a big pot and the immersion blender didn’t stand a chance. I dropped it all into a regular old blender and let it rip!

I took Denise’s advice and sprinkled chopped cucumber, watermelon, and feta on top. I also added some spicy shrimp. I took cooked shrimp, chopped them up and dusted them in Adobo and chili powder. A little bit of spice was fantastic.

I can’t say enough about this gazpacho. It is phenomenal! And not having to cook in this weather? Amazing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lucky Clover

I don’t go to Cambridge. Ever. Crossing the Charles River requires something insanely good on the other side. I just feel like I don’t fit in there. Like my friend Ly once said, “We can’t go there because we wear makeup and heels.” Just about sums it up. The only problem is that Cambridge has some insanely amazing food. If anything would bait me, it would be a good meal. However Clover Food Lab, who was stationed at MIT, opened a second location on my side of the pond at the Dewey Square farmers market. Hallelujah!
What is Clover Food Lab you ask? A vegetarian, organic (when possible), creative, and amazing food truck. Rumor has it they plan to open a restaurant, but I like it just fine as it is. I love a food truck. I love a farmer’s market. Put them together and it’s perfection. With Dewey Square being about a five minute walk from the office, the food Gods must have been smiling down on me.

My friend Laura and I checked the weather forecast to find the best sunny day of the week, and made the maiden voyage. We also went with our friend Adam who is a Twitter junky, and responsible for us learning of the Dewey location. When we approached the truck it felt like the first day of school. We were so excited and didn’t really know what to expect but knew it would be good.

The line went so far back, we couldn’t see the white board menu, which added to the suspense as we waited. We squinted as we got closer and began to make out the menu. I was immediately sold on the chickpea (since I have falafel running through my veins). It came with hummus and pickled veggies. Laura and Adam couldn’t decide. Then a beautiful thing happened. We decided to get three and share. Adam ordered the pimento cheese, with spicy cucumbers. Laura got the BBQ seitan. We decided on two orders of rosemary fries, and one jicama slaw. I got a black assam iced tea, Adam the rhubarb agua fresca. Sound amazing yet? It only got better.

Now we had to wait. We stood there anxiously as they called out other people, and got disappointed each time it wasn’t us. I suddenly began to remember every person who was in line in front and back of me so I knew when the moment of truth would come. When we heard “Pimento for Adam” Laura and I both cheered like he scored the winning goal in a World Cup match. After a couple more minutes we all had our food, and we grabbed a seat in the grass.

Every bite was perfect. The falafel was delicious, and the pickled veggies were so subtle but complimented it perfectly. The pimento had super sharp cheddar cheese that was mellowed out by pimentos, but still kept on its toes with spicy pickled cucumbers. The BBQ seitan was the wild card for me. It tasted like fantastic BBQ chicken. It was tender and sweet with a delicious tangy sauce. We would each take a turn with a sandwich and then rotate around so we got to try them all. OMG so amazing, I go back there just thinking about it. The rosemary fries were super fresh and so well seasoned. The jicama slaw was crisp and fresh. Mmmmmmm!!!

The breakfast menu was still up when we were there so I snuck a little peak. In addition to coffees and teas, they had fresh banana muffins, oatmeal, and popovers. No one loves a popover more than this girl. Can’t wait to hit it up!
My first Clover outing was an enormous success. It was a beautiful day with great friends and a fantastic lunch. I plan on visiting many times this summer, and I can’t wait to see what else they come up with. I follow both locations on twitter (@cloverdwy & @cloverfoodtruck)  so I can know if there are any menu updates. If Cambridge one ups Dewey, I may just have to cross the river. Maybe.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Amazing Cookies, Fantastic Girlfriends, One Sweet Day.

It’s no secret that I have a mega blog crush on Joy the Baker. She is witty, hysterical, and I want to eat every single thing she posts. But why the heck would I bake dozens of cookies or big ol’ cakes just for little ol’ moi? Well, today was my day. Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies here I come! 

My bestest bestie is visiting from Atlanta and we went out for a lovely day on “The Minnow” which is the baddest pontoon boat in the Metro West. I was asked to bring a sweet treat. I had a boat load of ladies to feed.  Literally.  This was my chance to bake! 

The recipe is super simple. My only concern was whether I would be able to find Dulce De Leche by the jar. I walked into Whole Foods, my Mecca, and there it was near the peanut butter.

Joy’s post is fantastic, so I will just offer a few notes from my experience.

This recipe will not disappoint. Satisfaction guaranteed.

• When I read “Spoon the dough onto the lined baking sheets using a heaping teaspoon of dough” I didn’t believe it. It seemed way too small, so I used more like a tablespoon. Joy was right. These suckers spread. A teaspoon is the way to go.

• When at the store, I looked at the jar of dulce de leche and wondered if one jar would be enough for the dough and filling 30 sandwich cookies. It seemed doubtful, so I bought two. Best thing I did all day. One wouldn’t have been nearly enough.

• A sprinkle of sea salt should be required, not suggested. Skipping this step should be punishable by incarceration. It’s delicious. It’s addictive. It’s borderline magical.

• What could possibly make these cookies even better? Nutella. I would eat Nutella on dog food.  I brought it with pretzel rods as another snack, but slather it on top of one of these cookies, add a spattering of sea salt, and let the sugar coma ensue.

• Pick the seat next to your friend who has the strongest affinity for sugar, and who is the least likely to judge you when you begin a marathon binge session on these little gems. If you are as lucky as I am, you have a friend like my Rebecca who will not only hold your drink while you slather Nutella, but repeatedly suggest that the two of you share just one more. Love you Beezie.

I can't say enough about these cookies.  It's definitely my new go to.  Simple enough, delicious for days, and another excuse to drive home and spend some time with my mom while hijacking her Kitchen Aid.  It was kind of fun to offer her the beater to lick when I was done.  I remember waiting around the kitchen as a kid counting down the seconds until she gave me that chance.  Plus I got an amazing mom-ism.  "Cookie dough tastes so good because of the raw eggs".  So poo-poo to those who are afraid.  It's cookie dough.  Raw, cooked, whatever.  Count me in!

Ahhhh... Dulce Vida.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Knock Off-Of A Knock-Off Table

Would I like a Jonathan Adler table? Yea, but $595 is not realistic. Would I like something similar from West Elm? Yea, but I could spend that $180 on a flight to visit my BFF. Can I make something close enough for pennies? Damn right I can.

I’m kicking myself for saying in my pillow post that one of my pet peeves is when people make things with supplies they found around the house. I’m doing it again, BUT… you could buy everything I used for around $30. So there, I saved you hundreds. You’re welcome.

So, what do you need?

A snack table like this beauty. $10 at Walmart or Target, or find one in your parent's basement that's been sitting there since you graduated college.  Just saying.

A tray like this or this.  I got mine at Target a few days after Christmas when all of the holiday stuff was 80% off. So, $15 tray for $3. I didn’t need it for anything so it sat on my coffee table for a few months. Now, it’s reborn!

Spray paint – A couple bucks

I wound up cutting down the edges of the table top just a bit, because they were rounded and just sticking out. Then a few coats of spray paint (how much fun is that) and I put the tray on top. Voila! Knock-off of a knock-off table!

I’m not delusional. Well, not completely delusional. I know it’s isn’t the same, but I think it’s pretty damn close. And I didn’t have to buy a single thing to make it. This makes me feel better about buying random things when they are on sale. You know you might need it one day. And who can say no to a $3 tray?

As of now, my version is the reverse of the Jonathan Adler and West Elm versions just because I had a silver tray and white paint on hand. I’m thinking about doing the legs silver at one point, but for right now I am plenty happy with it as is.

OK one more thing.  The whole living in a shoe box thing.  This table takes up close to no space.  I can use it as a coffee table, or as a bed side table.  It folds up and is totally portable.  If you can't tell, I really like this table.