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Fantastic Fall

Happy Monday and happy Fall everyone! After being a little M.I.A. on here, I wanted to peek in to say a quick hello and share some of the prettiest colors of what the season offers just to cheer up your Monday. This has always been my favorite time of the year. The deep warm jewel colors in nature permeating the clothing and decor as well as the wonderful aroma of comfort food filling the air make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside as if I'm wrapped in a cozy well-worn cashmere throw. I don't know, there's just something incredibly nostalgic about the annual fluttering autumn leaves. It's like the trees are smiling a smile of relief for surviving the blistering heat of summer. And the feeling couldn't be any more mutual. 

What do you like best about the fall season?

1// 2// 3// 4// 5+6// 7


Summer Ever After

How was your summer guys? Can you believe it's pretty much over already? When I made my summer plans this year, it was with the purpose to help me re-shift my mental state of what the season normally conjures up in my mind - hot, sticky, uncomfortable etc...etc... How did writing down a list of several of my goals help me you may wonder?
Let's face it, it didn't turn my blistering (ouch) hot days into blissful aaaah (angel's singing) days, but focusing on the plans that had to be reached steered my thoughts away from the many oppressive hot humid days that were even a complete surprise to many Californians this year. The thought of reaching those goals helped me enjoy this past summer more than I would have, had I just waited for life to happen. Though I didn't reach every single one of my destinations on that list, it's okay because I ended up having unexpected ones pop up that far exceeded some of the ones that I'd penned down. 

For instance, I missed out on strawberry picking because I think I made my plans at the time it was happening and missed the boat:-()  This kind of worked out anyway since the unpleasant muggy weather most days had me seeking shelter in the coolest lounges in town for happy hour, which I used to catch up with friends and date nights with the hubby. Although my strategies to maximize my days exploring this new side of me enjoying "blissful breezy summer days" didn't turn out to be exactly as breezy a summer I'd imagined - making a list of what I wanted to do and accomplishing part of that list (aside from entertaining, planning wedding events, exploring Descanso, walking on the beach at sunset, anniversary getaway) kept my mind excitedly engaged, instead of having the usual mental dread of the heat that normally consumes my mind. Therefore, all and all, I'm grateful that my summer turned out to be an amazing one worthy of being documented in a photo book. 

One thing I learned pretty early on in life, is that setting goals does not mean planning out every minute of your life. Flexibility is always needed, adjustments will be required as you go along, and a plan to reach them. Otherwise, they will always be goals and never achievements. On the other hand, when the goals set are reached, there's such a sense of accomplishment and happiness that can't be beat. 

In fact, from now on, I'm going to write down my summer plans every year as a means to help me look forward to the season. If you can't beat them, join them. Right?

Happy Friday!


Currently On The Shopping List: Stylish Home Accessories

After living and moving around in different parts of the country - Nevada, Northern California and Southern California, the hubby and I have returned to our roots in New York. This move back east not only signals the end to a long journey of living in different states, but it 's also a time of starting anew. It's definitely something simultaneously overwhelming and exhilarating. The process of getting our new urban place in the sky (which by the way, I need an official name for) feeling like home excites me, while living chaotically through this period of unboxing though for sure stresses me out. Can't wait to get settled real soon so we can get on with our life and do the things that we really enjoy and missed, especially with fall around the corner. To create a cozy personalized nest doesn't mean going out to buy a bunch of expensive things, rather I look to well-chosen necessary accessory items to freshen things up as I put this place together. Currently on my shopping list are certain everyday/functional items that I need and feel would easily elevate the home without spending a ton of money. Plush Turkish towels are a sure way to add texture to a bathroom and also give you that luxurious vibe of a high end hotel when you're wrapped in one after a nice lingering bath or shower. Since one of my bedroom lamps broke in transport, it gives me the chance to upgrade our bedside lamps. I'm really liking this geometric gold base lamp (but I also like this, this and this) for a touch of glam and shine. Now, instead of using my old basic chrome hooks in our master bath, I'm thinking of personalizing things a bit by getting these alphabet marquee hooks at Anthropologie. Last but not least, a no-shoes policy sign is a must when you're living in an urban city for the sake of preventing the disgusting things on the sidewalks from showing up on beautiful rugs and floors.


Lace Bell Bottoms Chambray and Leopard

Urban Outfitters Lace Bell Bottom Pants, Chambray Shirt, Leopard Clutch, Aldo Leopard Sunglasses, Guess Ankle Boots (similar), Ann Taylor Necklace

The recollections of my childhood are very selective. They mainly range from the traumatizing times to a very limited few good passing moments. On the other hand, other memories surface because of two random photos I've come across in a relative's photo album. It seems that in those photos of me when I was around 5 or 6 years old, I was always in the same style bell bottom pant sets just in different colors - either a bright teal blue, orange or light green color that my mother seemed to have donned me in every time we went somewhere (what made it even worse was the fact that for some odd reason my hair was always all pulled taut back, so from the front...I look like a little peanut headed boy in a straight jacket the way they'd take the photo...). With such memories, you think I would develop an aversion to bell bottom pants. Au contraire my friend, turns out that I have a fondness for any flare leg pants, especially when you it's the right pair that hugs all the right places. In an afternoon shopping excursion with friends in Malibu, I decided to go into Urban Outfitters just to browse and came upon these lace bell bottoms that I immediately grabbed to try on. When I walked out of the fitting room to model them for my friends, they unanimously thought I should get it, including the sale's associate. So, it was a no brainer purchase for me after that. The smooth soft stretch lining and the lightweight overlay of the lace made them a great buy for the hot summer months. In addition, the style of the pants brought back memories of that serious little kid standing there in those bright colored bell bottom suits with her arms pressed against her sides as if to say 'aye aye captain!'. The bright side: it was one of the most comfortable pieces I wore for evening dinner dates this summer.


Grateful Moments

{Fragrant rose water soap that I picked up from this trip}

In spite of a rather busy, overwhelming, running on lack of sleep week, there are still a whole lot of exciting things going on that are by no means little moments and that I couldn't be any more grateful for. For one thing, our personal and business obligations over on the west coast are fulfilled - affording us the opportunity to make our journey back home on time for the seasons that we truly missed on the east coast. In life there are those rare occasions when you experience certain things that sometimes cannot eloquently be put into words. The life lessons, business opportunities, friendships that were forged and the privilege of checking off so many of those must-do things on our wish list on the west coast will be something that we'll forever be grateful for and never forget. Until our next visit, we will cherish those memories for days, months, and years to come as we periodically peruse through the gazillion pictures that I have amassed during that journey in our life.

{Views from our new urban home's terrace}

{One of the hot spots we'll miss for sure from our old neighborhood - so many fond memories there}

{Souvenir from this last vacation with the meaning of my name in Hebrew in the back}

{How cool are these lights!}

{...and no matter how blurry things may be - there's always a light at the end of the tunnel}

Happy Saturday!


Grateful Moments

{Our last big hooray before we left our glitzy neighborhood}

After months of being overloaded with commitments and projects that left me feeling de-energized, I couldn't think of a better energy booster than the opportunity to go back home before my favorite season starts. The thought of that alone fills me with glee. As life gets shorter, the stakes get higher in what, how, and who I spend my time with. Time and again, when I over extend myself, I have to remember that "life isn't a dress rehearsal for some later date." Since tomorrow is never guaranteed, it's best to spend time with those that matter to us, those that upbuild us and bring out the best in us. Never waste an ounce of time in all the minutia of those that are either jealous of us, gossip behind our backs or bring others down to make them feel better about themselves. Now is the only time to enjoy the good moments that uplift us. Hope your weekend plans are spent with beloved ones and take time for yourself. 

{Pretty jewelry displayed on my CA office' shelves brought me many smiles}

{Never got to try this place, but always wondered if it was really that good?}

{Feather earrings displayed in a candlestick in lieu of a candle on my office bookshelf}

{I appreciate restaurants that pay attention to details even in their bathroom fixtures and decor}


Turkey Au Vin

One of the things that excites me about fall is the thought of making comfort food - those hearty, easy, one-pot wonders that fill the home with great aromas that just melts your heart with sheer contentment. One such dish is the classic Coq Au Vin. However, my version is a reinvention, a retrofit, if you will, to suit our dietary needs. About four years ago, the hubby and I became allergic to chicken (free range, name it, we can't eat it) and had to cut it out of our diet completely. Truthfully, other than my occasional fun special evenings making Cornish hens (sometimes basted with a silky marmalade glaze on top) for either an anniversary dinner or time with friends, and seeing this fast food option oddity that I never even heard of and have been wishing I could try, we don't miss it. But being a determined individual who believes there's always a different option, I didn't let that stop me/us from eating some of our favorite dishes just because we couldn't eat chicken, including this ultimate French comfort food. Naturally, I rolled up my sleeves and channeled my inner Julia Child by substituting turkey meat in lieu of the chicken for my Coq Au Vin - giving it a dash of 'DaFashionista' flair with an unexpected twist...thus the name in the title which really should properly be translated "Dinde Au Vin" (in French), but I didn't like the way that sounds, so I kept it simple and direct.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 750-ml. bottle of a dry full-bodied red wine (your preference)
1 3 1/2lb. turkey meat, preferably legs, breasts and thighs
1/2 lb. bacon cut into 1/4" strips
1 lb. store bought gnocchi, either fresh or packaged
2 celery stalks, peeled and cut into 2" sticks
1 head garlic, cut in half
1 lb. button mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
1/2 lb. pearl onions, peeled
1 sachet of 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 fresh bay leaf, 1tsp. coriander seed, tied in a cheesecloth with kitchen twine
2 tbsp flour
2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
Handful of chopped parsley
Salt and freshly cracked white pepper to taste.


In a large pan, reduce the wine on low heat to half, then set aside to cool. Place the turkey in a large container with the garlic, mushrooms, onions, celery, bacon, and herb sachet. Cover all ingredients with the reduced wine and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drain the marinated ingredients and reserve the wine liquid. Pat ingredients dry, and season the turkey meat with salt and pepper. Place a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring bacon until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a piece of paper towel. Sear the turkey pieces in the bacon fat (in batches) on all sides until it's a nice golden brown. Remove the turkey - now add all your vegetables and herb sachet, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and cook, stirring until well-incorporated for another 5 minutes.

Add the wine, crisped bacon, turkey, and vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer in the oven. Cook, stirring and basting every 20 minutes, until the turkey is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours*.

TIP: If you want a thicker sauce, remove your meat and vegetables from the dutch oven, return the sauce to the medium heat, and reduce until it's at a desired consistency. Sauce shouldn't be thin. It should coat the back of a spoon. Replace all ingredients back into the pan, season to taste and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

*In the meantime, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Pan fry the gnocchi in a single layer until golden brown on both sides, then toss the gnocchi in your turkey mixture the last 20 minutes of the cooking time.

Hope you give it a go. "It's one of the most flavorful and juicy turkey you'll ever have..." said a friend who came over for dinner the night I made it.


Stella & Dot Dainty Rings

I remember as early as when I was 6 years old my parents would complete my outfits with gold dainty jewelry right before I headed out to school, and then they'd say "make sure to not lose them." Huh? What? You mean to tell me after you made the decision to willingly put these valuable items on me - you now laid this heavy responsibility on top of it, forcing me to preoccupy myself all day long from playing in the schoolyard as children normally do, just so I can guard these necklaces, earrings, and watches that you wanted me to wear? If that was a way to train me on how to become a responsible adult, it sure did work - but I also ended being the prim and proper kid who didn't play for the sake of avoiding getting any of those pieces lost or broken. Suffice it to say, even though this wasn't really that traumatic, I think it messed with my psyche on some level because it seems that as soon as I was able to pick and choose what I wore on my own, I slowly started to lean towards big statement costume jewelry made of every other type of metal other than gold. It doesn't mean that I've written off all dainty gold jewelry that I own, it's just not what I'd necessarily reach for too often. However, lately, I have shown a  preference for those fine pieces that have been silently resting in my jewelry drawer winking at me every time I reach for those bigger statement baubles. As I'm warming up to going back to wearing delicate jewelry, I thought it would be smarter to start off with more reasonably priced pieces, so I won't have to worry so much about losing them. Stella & dot* is making it really tempting with so many on-trend exquisite pieces that I've been eyeing. Between their end of summer sale with an extra 25% off that they're currently having, plus $5.99 flat rate shipping and free returns. I think I might actually do some damage this labor day. Besides, they had me at chevron and stackable rings.

Which one of these picks is calling your name? 

*This is not a sponsored post, but it should be.