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7.31.2012

My Style Pick: Colorblocking


This is my style pick for today - color blocking. One thing I must say about the hot new trend of color blocking is that it sure is a way to add some drama to your style. I thought this color blocking shift dress is an excellent versatile piece to add to a wardrobe. It can be worn in so many different ways - definitely makes it a great piece for traveling. For instance, it can be paired with a blazer or a trench coat when the weather is a little cooler, with or without a skinny belt depending on the look you're after. Having downsized in space, I'm now more prone to finding pieces that can be worn in numerous ways since my new closet space has limited space.

What do you think? Commenting on the blog is preferred over tweet comments;) Thanks for all your support.


7.29.2012

Design Inspirations: Sofa Hunting


When your apartment gets smaller, I say, just tuft it out. When we were moving into our new small NYC apartment, the movers lugged our lovely L-Shaped off-white leather sofa up three flights of stairs only to realize it didn't fit our new space. BOOHOO...I know. Though it was a sad decision to rid ourselves of a fairly new sofa secretly I liked the idea of shopping for another one that would be much better suited for the style of this pre-war flat.

Knowing that I needed to start sofa hunting, I immediately thought of one with a vintage flair and definitely tufted. Tufted sofas have this sophisticated confidence that I imagined for my new small living room - you know small but mighty in personality and style {giggling}. Here are a few tufted sofas from my inspiration list so far.

{not so keen on the color, but definitely liking the vintage flair and it opens into a bed too! Definitely a two-fer...serving double-duty for a small space}

















Which one is your favorite?

*Images credit: {1} source {2} Urban Outfitters {3} source {4} bobbyberk {5} source {6} source {7} source {8} source {9} source {10} Houz.com {11} source {12} source {13} source {14} source {15} source {16} source {17} source {18} WestElm


Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche


You know how I talked about my craving for ceviche here? Other then being a little time consuming chopping all the ingredients, it is a refreshing and a very simple dish to make, especially during the summer months when being couped up in a kitchen is the last place you want to be.  The dish is pretty colorful and can be very filling - what's more, you can make enough to last a couple of days. It gets even tastier the next day as it marinates in its juices. I love to scoop my ceviche onto tostadas. Tostada means toast in Spanish, so tostadas are a Mexican toasted {or fried;} tortilla. They can be very addictive!


 
{seafood chopped up into bite size pieces}

Total prep and cooking time is about: 2hrs or so...

Ingredients:
2 cups clam juice
2 cups clamato juice
1lb cleaned and deveined shrimps
1/2lb scallops
1 Serrano chili stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (optional - only if desired)
1 small red onion finely diced
1 small cucumber peeled and seeded finely diced
1 tomato seeded, finely diced
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 7 - 10 limes)
Salt and pepper

Directions:
In large glass bowl add shrimp and scallop {if you're not too keen on the juice cooking the seafood all the way, you can bring the clam juice and clamato juice up to a boil seasoned with salt, then drop your seafood in there for 1 minute. Drain, reserving the liquid, and put your seafood in the glass bowl. Add all the ingredients along with 1 cup reserved cooking liquid, the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cover with plastic and chill for 1 hour or so.

Tip: If you put your limes in the microwave for 10 seconds and roll them afterwards...they'll produce a lot more juices for ya;)



*Note: This is one of many variations of making ceviche and you can add or use different types of seafood of your preference. I have made another variation {more gourmet style as you will... for an amuse bouche - will post recipe at a later time} where I put tequila in it served with a creamy whipped avocado swirl on top. Yummo!

Bon Apetit!


7.26.2012

Joie De Vivre: Recounting The Good Things

{Finally put up my Audrey Hepburn inspirational quote picture in my new small dressing area. I sure needed to read it...}

What a week this has been! It's been one of those weeks that couldn't end quickly enough, and I'm one that doesn't like to rush time, but this week was like being on a long arduous roller coaster ride. So I'm looking forward to a needed relaxing weekend which will include an invite to a dinner party getting to know some new friends. Yes! I WILL bring wine. One of my favorite tasks.
{Enjoyed some tasty appetizers with wine at a sidewalk wine cafe in NYC with the hubby}
{Took a stroll alongside the East River - watched the beautiful sunset}

{Pistachio gelato was enjoyed in Little Italy}

{An unworried squirrel chomping on a nut at the park}

Some other cool things that made me smile this week and ended on my wish list - this cute dress... that I would pair with these heels and this sure made me smile.


Wishing you a great relaxing weekend.



7.25.2012

Ceviche Craving


On a hot and humid day of this past week, I had a strong craving for ceviche {which is a mix of raw seafood marinated in citrus juices such as lime - a popular dish of South and Central America}.  I tried it at a local restaurant, but was left very disappointed for it was not even close to what the real ceviche is.  All they served was an acidic mess.

I immediately had a flashback of my friend's ceviche. You see, my love of this dish started when a friend made it for us 6 years ago and being a lover of seafood we were willing to try it. {I say try it, because we were very skeptical about eating it after hearing of how it's made. Essentially, it's seafood marinaded in lime juice... the citric acid "cooks" all the fish, turning the seafood more opaque and firm just as if it had been cooked with heat}. However after we had our first dose, we have been hooked on it ever since. So every once in a while I get a craving for it and have to either find a place that makes it well {and so far other than Dos Caminos, we have yet to find a restaurant that can execute this simple dish well}, or get down in my own kitchen and make it myself and that's exactly what I did this week to satiate my appetite for it.

I eat mine with tostadas because that's how my friend always served hers and I like the crunch eating it with the ceviche.  I'll post the recipe soon. So stay tuned!


7.24.2012

Get Her Look: Kelly Ripa

Charlotte Olympia red heels, Miu Miu flared three-quarter length sleeves dress with ruffled cuffs, ruffle at dropped waist; Net-a-porter // Yves Saint Laurent leather fold-over leopard-print calf hair tote // Michael Kors large shoulder tote with golden hardware // {I really wanted to add this bracelet}, but accidentally added the Juicy Couture chunky multi-chain bracelet to this above collage.

Kelly Ripa has an effortlessly classic and elegant style. On today's show, I thought she looked stunning with her bright red Miu Miu dress and red Charlotte Olympia's heels chosen by Lola.  She chose a well-suited outfit for Michael Buckley's {co-hosting day} energetic personality. That is one ensemble that is sure to make you stand-out. If you're stuck in a rut and looking for a change... take a cue from this style icon and you will always have a timelessly classic style. I have also created the same look on a much more affordable budget below:





Happy Hump Day Fashionistas!



7.22.2012

Black & White

The Limited blouse {old}, Larry Levine stretch black pants, Grey Charlotte Russe pumps, Red patent leather bag {old}, Aviator sunglasses {similar, here and here} + freedom tower in the background

I wore this outfit to a couple of NYC designer shop interviews then out to lunch with the hubby. I'm not one for pizza really, but every now and then, I get a craving for it. So we headed to Brooklyn to Grimaldi's which is under the Brooklyn bridge.  As usual, there was a long line and it took us an hour to get in. Heads up, if you're visiting from out of town {as the line for the most part is made up of out of town visitors that come from far away places to get a taste of that well-known good tasting pizza}, don't go hungry because it takes a very long time to get in and there are no reservations. Also FYI - it's a cash only place.






7.19.2012

Joie De Vivre

The little things this week that brought me joy. Hope your week was a fulfilling one.

{This Tiffany blue knob (makes me cheery) will brighten up any piece of furniture}

{This lemon meringue dessert I enjoyed with the hubby...a cloud of sweet goodness}
{I just love sparkly shiny candle holders... 'twinkle twinkle little star...';}

{A very colorful wall mural at an old neighborhood diner that I haven't been to in more than 10 years - going there sure brought back lots of memories...}

{My new wall art from NYC street vendors: fashion + all four of my favorite places}


Happy Friday!



7.17.2012

The Timeless LBD


These past few weeks have been pretty hot and humid which makes wanting to dress up a drag, but of course it doesn't stop me from imagining putting ensembles together. I want this entire outfit in my closet for it is a timeless classic. Those shoes certainly make a statement.


7.16.2012

City Living: Creative Displays


Living in a small space doesn't necessarily mean you have to live in clutter because of not having the space to store necessary goods. It just means being creative in how to store things and how much stuff to purchase at once {talked about here}. I've always been one to buy just what I need, so limiting what you purchase instead of paying for that 'buy one get one free item' will make storing things much easier. For example, here's what I decided to do with some of my necessary bathroom items. Savvy storage can make a small space super-efficient and more enjoyable to live in.

What do you do with a grimey tiny one shelf medicine cabinet? After dousing it with Lysol, cover it with pretty contact paper as I've done here.

With a few clear organizing caddys and small clear shelves you can arrange your daily- use items neatly, while having a pretty cabinet to look at for your morning routine. Doesn't the purple nail polish remover in that cute little bottle look much better than the usual plastic bottle it comes in?


Imagine a bathroom with no under the sink cabinet whatsoever. Well, how else can you store items that usually would be inside that cabinet? Take advantage of wall space - going vertically. After installing some shelves on the smallest wall space { 5" x 11"} above the toilet, I stocked it with typical medicine cabinet products such as alcohol, peroxide, witch hazel, etc. The normal packaging for these products are usually unsightly but now they're stored in these pretty air tight bottles on the shelves {labeled of course}.

The mouthwash is now nicely displayed in a carafe {similar to this one} on the shelves along with the hygienic paper.

Lotion, cotton balls, room spray, displayed on shelves

What kind of storage ideas have you found to be efficient and pretty for your tiny spaces?


Lovely Wedding Updos


Six months ago, in search of a wedding updo hairstyle for my girlfriend, I decided to write a post 'Wedding Hair Updos' on some of the hairstyles that attracted her, and to my pleasant surprise it's been one of the top posts for a long streak now. So in honor of that, along with my recent wedding gown posts part 1 and part 2, I figured I would do another wedding hairstyle post with some modern and vintage updos. This time, I focused more on the current trend of braided hairstyles that are appearing on the red carpet this year. I really like that look for it's understated elegance, yet it's chic enough for the big day, especially on the sweltering days of summer. 





  




*Images: {1} source {2} source {3} source {4} source {5} source {6} source {7} source {8} braided bun  {9} source {10} braided updo {11} twisted side braid bun {12} source {13} source {14} source  {15} source {16} source {17} retro style  {18} short hairstyle  {19} pinged up ringlets {20} short hairstyle