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10.30.2012

Turn Heads With A Statement Necklace

1. Buttercup Bauble $36 Bib




Since I'm big on wearing statement necklaces, I received questions from several of you about body proportion to the size of necklace. So I figured I would put together a few suggestions on wearing statement necklaces and some budget-friendly options in varying styles and prices for those who can't afford the big name brands or would rather spend their money on other things that might be more important to them.

These days statement necklaces are seen everywhere. There is no better way to enliven an outfit than to accessorize your look with a bold vibrant hue necklace that can give any outfit an instant lift for sure! The beauty about these lovely necklaces is that they come in every size imaginable - which means huge, chunky, bold, multi-stranded, short, long etc.., you have many options. I think that's so neat as you can be as creative as you want to be.






Now let's get to some basic rules, but as always, go with what makes you feel good.

* When I wear a bold necklace. I usually keep other jewelry pieces to a minimum {i.e.  my earrings...} so as to really let my necklace be the center of attention.

* Also, a statement necklace looks better on a plain outfit. Obviously wearing a big bold statement necklace on a busy print dress or shirt can clash and lose the beauty of the necklace.

* Now as far as your body proportion is concerned:

A) If you're tall and have a nice long neck, consider yourself blessed. You can wear bigger and chunkier statement pieces.

B) As for us shorter girls like myself - long three-stranded, choker style necklaces are a much better option for us. Again these aren't hard and fast rules... they're just suggestions. If you have more suggestions, please feel free to post them in the comment box below. Thank you.



10.29.2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles


This weekend I was invited to a luncheon. My mother instilled in me early on in my childhood to never arrive at someone's house with empty hands. Consequently, now when I'm invited to a friend's house for any kind of event, I find pleasure in picking out something thoughtful for the hostess or if I have time, I usually bake something to bring. I feel this is more special because it shows that you really had them in mind and took the time to make something with your own hands to bring to them. I mean it doesn't have to be something elaborate, but it should be something memorable that will make the host feel special. And what better way to make someone feels special than some homemade rich silky truffles that slowly melts in your mouth! And best yet, these are super easy and quick to make.










And of course presentation is everything - you can package them nicely in pretty gift bags or in these pretty boxes... lined with waxed paper - wrapping them with a pretty ribbon/raffia. Then voila!


Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
24 oz. chocolate morsels (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanuts (finely chopped)

Directions

Heat cream with peanut butter in a saucepan. Whisk together as peanut butter melts. Meanwhile, melt chocolate morsels in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Combine peanut butter mixture with melted chocolate. Add vanilla. Put in refrigerator for 20 minutes. In the meantime, mix powdered sugar and cocoa together.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Using a melon baller to scoop chocolate balls, place rounded small portions onto the waxed paper, spacing so that they don't touch. Roll truffle in cocoa-powdered sugar mixture or ground peanuts.

Tip: If you don't have peanuts or don't want the ground peanuts, you can also substitute slivered almonds . Toast them - then grind it in an electric chopper and use ground toasted almonds which, by the way, taste even better than the peanuts because of its nutty taste from being toasted. YUM!



10.28.2012

Prepare For The Frankenstorm!



I'm sure by now everyone is aware of the impending and unprecedented hurricane Sandy {aka Frankenstorm} that has been churning out at sea and heading towards the Northeast with what sounds to be potentially the worst storm on record for the Northeast.  But it still amazes me to see the adamant attitudes of people who live in the danger areas when they're asked to evacuate their homes for their safety. I would think seeing the destructiveness of Katrina and Irene, that this would impress on people's minds the power of a hurricane and make people a bit more wise and shrewd, but sadly, short-term memory is a downfall for many.

Please be Frankensmart. Do the following:

~ Keep out of the path of calamity. If warning is given that your area has the potential for flooding, please evacuate and get to safer ground. Life is more valuable than a house or other material things.

~ Have a plan of action. In spite of all precautions taken, you may still find yourself a victim of an unexpected tragedy. Coping with it will be much easier if you have planned smartly in advance. This means having an emergency kit prepared and ready to go. Wondering what an emergency kit consists of? Here are some of the things you need:

~ Emergency survival kit:

1. A three-day supply of clean drinking water for each individual person

2. First-aid kit

3. Flashlight

4. A transistor radio, in order to stay abreast of news instructions.

5. Clothing, shoes, blankets, undergarments, towel, tissues, canned or dried food, important documents and hygiene products.



Safe wishes to {us} and everyone that's in Frankenstorm's path. Please get out if you're in any of the low lying coastal/or unsafe areas. Save yourself and your family. Don't make these your words ... "shoulda coulda woulda..."



Blending In With The Season: Red Cape

Juicy Couture bag {similar}, Boutique for XXI jacket {similar}, Express tweed pants,  Studded heels, Mix of jewelry: gifts, Kenneth Cole watch

One thing about fall is that it's fun to put outfits together. This outfit, was such a mixture that made an otherwise overcast day cheery as its hue blended with those beautiful red, orange, burgundy and brown displays of pumpkins and Autumn tree lined streets in my neighborhood. Every single piece in this outfit post is ancient, but cape coats/jackets are such a classic - it gives the look an updated feel.


 
 
It's a shame the shoes didn't come out clear enough {next time I'll take pics with my Nikon where their beauty will show;} to see the cute stud details on them. I've had them for a good fifteen years! Now that's a good investment. 
 
*Pictures via: iPhone... so they aren't the best! But couldn't bring my camera where we went. 
 
 
 

10.25.2012

Noteworthy Moments

{Another cornucopia display in my neighborhood - I LOVE fall...the colors are joyful}

It was definitely an exciting week full of anticipation. I got to go to Anderson Cooper's Live show co-hosted with Martina McBride.  Also making an appearance was Adam Levine, the amazing singer/guitar player who is also a mentor on the hit show 'the voice'.  What made the going to the show even better was sharing the experience with some new friends who were visiting NY. After the show, they joined the hubby and I for a lovely breakfast at one of our favorite places - Balthazar in Soho.

Now, it seems like my weekend is going to be used to store food items and water for this "unprecedented hurricane" coming to the northeast as announced by our newscasters. I'm hoping they're wrong, as they usually over-exaggerates at times, but I guess that's for our own safety. Hope your weekend is one filled with fun and relaxation.

{A few new additions to my (rather obsessive) collection of cute notebooks}

{A lovely surprise gift c/o of Kim - I especially love the clasp for its sparkly stone closure} 

{A morning breakfast favorite - chocolate croissant...reminds me of France}
 
{A fun time had at the Anderson Cooper live show}
 
 
 

10.24.2012

Lamb Stew With Dill


As we all know fall is my favorite season. It's a season that exhilarates me not only for its colors, but most importantly for the wonderful robust and hearty flavors that it calls for. During this season, I'm usually drawn to making comfort foods.  My Crock Pot is especially useful to me when it's a busy week where the time doesn't permit me to stand in the kitchen to cook. There's nothing better than to walk into your home that is filled with a pot of stew simmering and ready to warm up the tummy - leaving you with a big satisfying smile on the face from a long tiring day. If you're a lamb lover as I am, you will most certainly enjoy this favorite recipe of mine - Lamb stew.
It's easy breezy!  Here's what you'll need:






Ingredients: {serves 6}
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 onion chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 sprigs fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dried dill
1 bay leaf
2lbs. lean lamb stew meat {I used the lamb chops with the bone for more flavor}
1 cup plus 3 tbsp water
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

Layer your ingredients in the crock pot as follows:
potatoes, onion, salt, pepper, dill, bay leaf, lamb and 1 cup water. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours.

Remove lamb and potatoes with a slotted spoon; cover and keep warm.
Remove dill weed and bay leaf. Turn heat to HIGH on the crock pot.
In a small bowl, stir in your flour, 3tbsp water and add 1 tsp sugar {secret ingredient;}. Mix well and pour into crock pot. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Return lamb, potatoes and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes until heated through. Garnish with fresh dill, if you wish.

Optional: serve with a nice green salad or your favorite fall side dish.

*Note: If you're not into lamb, you can always substitute with whatever meat you prefer.





10.23.2012

If Art Could Talk...

 
I've been swooning over watercolor paintings for a while now, especially living with white walls in our temporary city apartment. This has led me into searching for some fun, quirky and colorful artwork including some cool looking antlers and animal heads as I previously talked about here. We figured why go through the trouble of painting walls in the apartment if it's only short term which is why the walls are still white.



We have artwork from our prior home, but the style doesn't go with the look and feel that I'm going for now. We've always been fans of those vivid watercolor bulldog paintings that David Bromstad on Color Splash {a favorite TV show in our house} once painted for a couple, which complimented his design makeover.  Ever since, the hubby and I have been wanting them, and now living with some empty dreary walls that are missing warmth and personality has me eager to find the right watercolor paintings that I think would be the exclamation point on the rooms.

These watercolor pieces of art feel so alive and soulful, although they're not quite what I have in mind.  However, they certainly give you that happy feeling - each one telling a story of its own. If this artwork could talk, I wonder what they would be saying? Hmm...


Hubby's favorite dog - the bull terrier





 


 Dog: a true loyal companion that is loving all the time
 
 
I love sunflowers... they're like sunshine
 
*Images: {1} source {2} Etsy {3} source {4} source {5} source {6} source {7} source {8} source {9} source {10} source {11} source {12} source {13} source {14} source {15} source 
 
 
...more on art.com
 
 
 
 

10.22.2012

Favorite Things I Spend On...

From left to right: {1} Orange tote {comes handy for traveling}, {2} Electric blue suede heels, {3} Royal blue foldover clutch, {4} Ankle strap sandals, {5} Ring bracelet

Over the years, I've been asked 'what is my most favorite thing to enjoy and spend on?' I had to really think about it for a minute, because I have so many favorite things that bring me enjoyment. For example the following items are some of my favorite things that I would spend money on. {one} interior design and architecture, {two} fashion, bags, jewelry and shoes... I love shoes so much that if I had a choice to use my last dollar on food while I may be starving or to buy a favorite pair of shoes, I would buy the shoes. I know... sick! {three} I thoroughly enjoy entertaining - being a gracious hostess and making my guests feel special brings me true enjoyment and satisfaction. {four} I equally love traveling - exploring our beautiful globe as much as I love fine dining which also is one of my guilty pleasures. By now, I am sure you realize why narrowing down one of my favorite things that I spend money on is so difficult.

How about you? What is your most favorite thing to enjoy and spend on?

...some favorite shoes on the wish list:






































10.21.2012

Express Yourself

Old shirt {tag is removed...can't remember where I got it}, Covington trousers, Kenneth Cole shoes {similar}, Vintage sunglasses, mixed jewelry: {necklace seen here}, Kenneth Cole watch, pearl necklace worn as a bracelet, gold bangles, Heart necklace a graduation gift {similar}, Black Juicy Couture bag {similar}
 
 
I think the best thing about dressing yourself is the fact you can create a look that perfectly reflects your personality allowing YOUR creativity to shine. For instance, the clothes in this post have been part of my wardrobe for some time now - I had fun pairing this good'ol shirt with these old pants - making for an easy breezy outfit for a mild autumn Thursday. I like the gold shimmery threads in the pants and the combination spandex/silk fabric made for a comfortable fit. No fashion rules can stop me from wearing the things I like and feel comfortable in. Fashion is about self-expression, so break the rules. Express yourself! Look at lady Gaga...