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7.31.2012

My Style Pick: Colorblocking


This is my style pick for today - colorblocking. One thing I must say about the hot new trend of colorblocking is that it sure is a way to add some drama to your style. I thought this colorblocking 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.






Vegas Restaurant Suggestions: Off the Strip

I lived in Las Vegas {well, Henderson, NV to be exact} for a while... as a self-proclaimed foodie, I quickly discovered the places that were worth going to eat, especially with my intolerance of cigarette smoke. I had to find restaurants that fit certain criteria: {1}, good food, {2} ambiance {3} a place that offers outdoor seating, and {4} last, but not least, a non-smoking environment with pleasant service.

Usually, when we had friends who visited us from NY... we had our hand selected eateries we took them to. These places always received a thumbs up from our friends, and for NYers that's a plus, since NY is a mecca of top culinary cuisine. Vegas has great food as well, but you have to know the spots - for that reason, I thought it'd be fun to list some of the places we enjoyed while we lived in Henderson, NV for those of you who are visiting and want to venture out and change scenery from the typical casino strip Vegas style dining which always means a hefty check {especially, if you're doing the fine dining}.

Here's my/our roundups:

Breakfast

This small quaint family owned well-decorated cafe Crepe Expectations is located off the strip, but not too far for it to be inconvenient to find. The menu includes sweet or savory crepes and offers a variety of gluten-free and healthy choices as well for those who are health conscious. The crepes are wonderful. They have a water bar that offers self-serve pitchers of cucumber and lemon infused water. Really refreshing especially on those unbearably hot Vegas days! My favorite drinks that I always get are their mimosa trio sampler - out of this world! My recommendations are: Lychee/pomegranate/white peach. The new owner is an executive chef who is personable and really cares about making his customers feel welcomed and tries to offer the very best quality food and service. He usually comes out to chat and hobnob with his customers sharing his passion for the food he offers. They are only open from 9 am - 3 PM so it's a great place to go for either breakfast or lunch. 

Drinks

For the hip/fun personality: Blue Martini. Offers the nightlife/lounge vibe and is definitely the place to let your hair down. It has the best happy hour in town that is worth going to. The drinks and appetizers sure will keep you going back over and over again as we have. If you're into the club scene, BM gets clubby after 8pm. Best thing yet, is that it's upstairs with balcony seating nestled amongst beautiful tall trees which makes you feel like you're not in Vegas at all. I highly suggest the outdoor patio seating.

Lunch:

For the cool, golfer and business type: Firefly of Henderson. The vibe is relaxed with spunk. It's usually full with the housewives of LV. The drinks are amazingly tasty and you have views of the strip and mountains. The place has great ambiance. The food is average, but the drinks make up for what the food lacks. If you must order food {obviously} - try the mussels in the white wine cream coconut curry sauce which comes with a thick slice of grilled bread w/cheese or the stuffed dates wrapped with bacon.

Dinner

A romantic setting eatery, Bernard's Bistro located at the exquisite Lake Las Vegas features French cuisine created by owner and executive chef E. Bernard Tordjman, a native of Versailles. The restaurant has patio seating overlooking the lake and you can take in the view of the ducks frolicking in the water. The interior of the restaurant has soft lighting which compliments the soft dark wood and black and white paintings of legendary Frank Sinatra.  Overall, it has the look and feel of a French cafe' in Paris. Adding to the charm is the piano man that plays in the background.

For a great cocktail lovers and personable service Elements will not disappoint, with its 400+ delicious martinis, and mouth watering menu. The restaurant is small but the d├ęcor and atmosphere is top notch. It's owned by a lovely couple who immediately make you comfortable because they care about their patrons and treat them on a more personal level. They pay attention to the customers and literally make you feel that you've come home to your family where you're loved.  The owner, Katherine describes the desserts {which she makes fresh daily} like you are listening to a succulent love story. To me, even if you're not a dessert person... listening to her describe the different desserts of the day so meticulously with such passion would convert anyone into a dessert lover.

Be prepared to feel and eat like a king! Michael's is one of the finest restaurants where you will experience an exceptionally unforgettable dinner experience. The staff goes above and beyond to please you, and there are five servers to a table, available to you the second you need them.  It's very quiet and has romantically dark lighting. Best yet, is that the tables are strategically placed for privacy, so your dining experience feels much more special as if you're the only one there and you don't feel rushed through your meal. The food portions are sizable and very rich in taste. Depending on what you order, the food is prepared table side which is very cool to watch. For instance, the hubby ordered a Dover sole and they deboned it right there table side. Oh, did I mention, instead of your typical bread and butter tossed at you, you get a platter of vegetables, pickles, quail eggs, olives, crackers set at the table?Next they serve you sorbet to cleanse the palate. What I find very traditional as well, is the fact that the men are handed the menus with the price and the ladies' menu has no price. I Know!:-) I highly recommend this place. Also I would like to note, you have to go with an empty stomach and be prepared to be there for at least two-three hours for it is a five to seven-course meal. It comes with a price tag, but it's well worth it. It's a MUST experience. I'd have my last meal there.

If you're looking for a quiet/cozy fine dining: Todds is the place for you. It's a hidden gem in Henderson worth experiencing. They have a different menu every day. The food is just as good if not better, than some the over-priced restaurants on the strip. If you're into sweet potatoes, you'll love their sweet creamy mashed potatoes. The filet mignon is divine there. The seafood is outstanding! We have high expectations when we dine out, and this place is high on our list. As a matter of fact, we've been there several times.  And that's a lot for us, because we're the type that always try a new restaurant every week, so for us to go to a place more than once or twice says a lot!


**I will be adding more restaurants to this list as soon as I can as this is really time consuming. But please, if you've tried any of these places I'm recommending - kindly leave a comment on this post to let me know what you think. Thank you.

Xo,
Rebecca

"Sharing is caring"




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