Frosted Black & White

Dangerously, I have a Crumbs Bake Shop around the corner from my office. Being Friday and all, my boss and I decided to treat ourselves... 380 calories later, I'm feeling good - that frosted black and white was well worth it. Every single bite was out of this world.
(note, that is not my hand)

Baked Shells with Winter Squash

I'm going to make this for Sunday dinner! It looks DIVINE! Here's the recipe.

Dry Shampoo

If you're like me and don't like to wash your hair every day (shhh!), I recommend using T3 Orlando Pita Dry Shampoo when/if you start to get a little oily. Some dry shampoo's can leave a white-ish tint, but the T3 comes in different shades to match your hair color. It's the best, and you can get it 20% off right now on with the friends & family discount!

New Polish

I need a mani/pedi today (desperately), and I'm pretty sure I've already decided that I'm going with Merino Cool, one of Essie's new fall colors. Purple is my FAVORITE, and merino cool is more subdued than your typical purple, adding a soft grey hue. Can't wait!

The Sweet Beet

My friend Sarah K sent me this blog and it's pretty fascinating and informative . It teaches you all about what foods are good and bad for you, along with interesting little facts and figures about foods you intake every day and foods you should stay away from. I recommend checking it out!

New Cookbook

My wonderful friend just got me this great cookbook for my birthday and I can't wait to try out some of the recipes! Thanks Laur!!

Sephora Friends And Family 2010!

Sephora is offering 20% off on all products online now through November 3rd. And free shipping over $50! Enter code FF2010 at checkout.


This lip balm is a must! Keep one in your purse, on your bedside table, and in your office at all times! I swear by it and can't live without. If Bobbi ever discontinues I don't know what I'll do. I ask every time I stock up - we're safe for now...But if you don't want to spend $20 on lip balm, I highly recommend using Aquaphor (thanks Ju!) because it is also awesome!! And you can buy the small tubes too and throw them everywhere!

So Fun

I love these shoes by Camilla Skovgaard (she makes some pretty funky/fab footwear) that were on today. They're sold out though, so sad! I did however book my ticket to the YSL sample sale tomorrow :)

Ciao Roma!

I just found out I am going to Rome for work in January! And they're putting me up at an awesome hotel - I'm thrilled! Now let's hope they fly me first class :) Thanks Economist!

Wildwood BBQ

I had din on Friday night with a group of friends at Wildwood BBQ (same resto group as Blue Water Grill, Dos Caminos, etc). We had to wait almost an hour for our table (place was packed), so they brought us a bunch of apps on the house including the Jalapeno Bottle Caps (eat these at your own risk!). We were all starving and about 4 vodkas in by the time the food came, so we took those apps down. I had the Buffalo Shrimp wrap as my main and wow was it salty - would have been great otherwise. The table shared a bunch of sides including the cheddar grits, brussels sprouts, baked beans and aged mac & cheese which were all fantastic. Would go back for the sides alone.
3.5 Stars

Mexican Night!

Last night we had our friends over for Sunday "family" dinner and I made vegetable enchiladas and a black bean salad. I went to the market and bought all of the freshest ingredients, which I think makes all the difference. Here's how I made them...
corn tortillas
mozzarella cheese
red onion
red & green peppers
tomatillo sauce
sour cream
chicken broth
black beans
Chop and saute your mushrooms and broccoli in olive oil, garlic and salt. Cook for a while until soft. In a separate pan, saute the peppers in olive oil, garlic and salt until soft. Boil 2 cups of chicken stock and add rice, cook for about 20 minutes covered, on low. Grab a 9x12 glass pan (pyrex) and spray it with a cooking spray.
Cut up the red onion and jalapeno, cover with olive oil and salt and roast on 400 for about 12 minutes. Once cooked, set aside half of the onions (you will add these to the peppers). Add 1/2 onions and jalapeno to a food processor along with about 2 cups of the tomatillo green sauce and a 1/4 cup of sour cream, then process.
Stack the corn tortillas layered with a paper towel between each and microwave for about 45 seconds. Heat the oven to 350. Place all of your ingredients in an assembly line to create the enchiladas. Grab a tortilla, fill with rice, beans, peppers, onions, mushrooms and broccoli. Then place each in the pyrex. Once you have all of the shells in place, add the green sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake it for about 15 minutes.
Black Bean Salad:
Can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Can of corn, drained
2 vine tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced green onions (scallions)
1/4 cup diced pineapple
Handful of cilantro (bc i love it)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch ground cumin
Throw all of the ingredients in a bowl, mix, and chill.
For dessert we had a pumpkin cream cheese puff pastry, unfortunately this is my secret recipe and I cannot share ;)

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

When I indulge from something at Crumbs Bake Shop, I usually get one of these whoopie pies because they're oh-so-good. The key to these heavenly little pies is to make sure the cookie/cake is moist and fluffy. Then fill 'em up generously with some cream cheese frosting and its like a little cake sandwich -what's better than that!?
If you want to make them at home, here's a recipe

Cheese Ball Goblin

A festive, yet spooky h'orderve for your Halloween get together.
Here's Paula's recipe

Love Them!

I absolutely love these Loeffler Randall boots and must find a way to get them.

Ikat Fabric

Just like clothing, fabrics and furniture can be trendy. One trend that's fun and popular right now are ikat fabrics. When I was home last, my mom and I went to a fabric store and picked out an awesome ikat fabric. She made me two large 24' pillow cases out of it and they now sit on the sofa in our second bedroom.
The ikat print really spiced up the room, adding a great pop of color and texture.

My Next Bedroom

This picture is taken from an East Hampton home decorated by Pheobe Howard (who has an incredible eye). This room looks so light, airy and fresh. I may have to re-do my bedroom after seeing this...sorry Mike! I need those linens!
Check this amazing home out here.

Pretty Preserved Flowers

I love having fresh flowers in the apartment, but I hate how quickly they die. I've turned to really good fakes like this one from gracious home. They're a little expensive, but totally worth it in the long run. Of course go for fresh flowers on occasions, but these are perfect to have around every day.
Recently, I've discovered Save-On-Crafts which has all kinds of things for the home at great prices. These beautiful flowers pictured above are natural flowers, but preserved so they wont wilt or die!

Lovely Little Room

I saw this sitting/dining area and love its freshness. The light, clean colors paired with the floor mirror really open up the room, especially when working with a small space (like an nyc apt!). I love everything about it.

Look out Fashionistas!

It was confirmed this morning that Lanvin will be designing a luscious, budget friendly line for H&M! Thrilling, but I would get in line the second the collection hits stores On November 23rd as the pieces FLY off shelves and will likely sell out within a couple of hours.

William Sonoma Home Sale

If you're in the market for new towels, these look ultra soft, absorbent and warm for the winter - can't beat that at $12.99!
I would hurry though, these will probably disappear fast.

Fave New Jeans

I ordered these from Free People a couple of weeks ago and love them. They're comfortable, stretchy and fit great. They only have black on the FP site now, but you can find them on Zappos.
I ordered them in long bc I'll wear them with high heels (probably the clogs), and I would even go down a size!

Dilly Beans

In an earlier post about brunch at Hundred Acres, I mentioned how delicious their dilly beans were. I had no idea what dilly beans were, so I had to find out. It's actually just a pickled green been and boy are they delicious! Especially in a Bloody Mary. Grab a mason jar and here you go!
You will need:
2 pounds green beans, trimmed to fit your jars
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can use more if you're a spice person)
4 cloves garlic
2 1/2 cups white vinegar (5%)
4 heads dill
2-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup canning salt (don't substitute regular salt, this is chemistry!)
Pack beans lengthwise into boiling hot (sterilized) jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. To each pint, add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 head dill. Combine remaining ingredients in a large sauce pot (non-reactive, like an enamel or glass pot). Bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid over beans, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Wait two weeks before enjoying.
Happy Canning!

Ross's Ultimate Red Sauce

Render bacon (render means cooking the fat off of something) in a pot, then remove bacon from pot and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add chopped green bell pepper to fat/oil.
Use food processor to finely chop an onion, celery and carrot. Add mixture to bacon fat, olive oil, peppers. Season w/ salt, pepper, red chile flakes and oregano. Caramelize the carrot/onion mixture. Move to one side of the pot and add ground beef. let ground beef get really brown/caramelize (nobody wants to eat gray meat). Once caramelized, incorporate with onion/carrot mixture. Deglaze pot with 1/2 bottle of cheap red wine. Add 1 small can of tomato paste to mixture and San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes (chopped and drained to remove excess water). Add tomato sauce. Re-season w/ salt, pepper, red chile flakes and oregano. Simmer for as long as possible.
Ross recommends adding spicy Italian sausage to this recipe too (he loves Italian sausage). For this, you take the fresh links and use scissors to cut into mini meatballs (works so much better than cutting the sausage and casing w/ a knife). Cut at a 45 degree angle zig-zag style. Add to pot when rendering bacon, top with grated Parmesan, throw it over some al dente pasta and you're eating good!

Fall Dinnerware

I'm loving this set and may just have to purchase it. Reminds me of the pillows in my living room.

Bone Chillers!

In the spirit of all things Halloween, these ice cubes would be great for party cocktails. And they're only $9.95!

Sweet & Salty Carmel Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted caramel is one of life's little pleasures - I love the extra element the salt adds to really give it that delicious bite.
Here's how to make them:
Bake cupcakes from a store bought chocolate cake mix
Make chocolate butter cream:
4 sticks of softened butter
6 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy cream
Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and pour over heavy cream. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is smooth (be careful not to over heat). Refrigerate for 15 minutes until cool.
With your electronic mixer, whip butter and 4 cups of sugar for 3 minutes until fluffy and smooth. Pour in chocolate mixture and 2 more cups of powdered sugar. Whip until smooth. If necessary, add more powdered sugar to create the thickness.
Put the frosting in a pastry bag (or ziploc bag) and cut 1/2 inch opening at the bottom of the bag. Pipe in a swirl on top of the cupcake (be very generous with the frosting).
Caramel Topping:
Caramel Sauce:
1 cup of sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Making caramel is FAST, so be careful not to burn it. Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a thick-bottomed saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be a dark amber color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Watch out, this becomes foamy. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth, let cool slightly, and drizzle over frosting and add salt flakes.

10 Minute Meal Idea

I love this little steamer and use it all the time for easy weeknight dinners. I'll pick up a fresh vegetable of choice after work such as asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower. Then boil about a cup and a half of salted water in a pot, place my steamer inside and add veggies. Cover and let cook for about 4-5 minutes.
While this cooks, throw your protein (whatever you prefer) in a pan with a little butter, olive oil, salt and pepper and cook it on medium heat.
For your starch, I recommend grabbing a couple sweet corn ears, butter them, salt them, cover them in foil, and place in the oven on 400 degrees for about 10-15 mins.
Within about 10 minutes you'll have quick and healthy meal!

Pumpkin Place Cards

If you're hosting a Halloween or Fall dinner, I think these are adorable if you want a festive & creative place card for your guests.
You can spray them silver, but I think they might look even better in gold. They're simple and you're guests will love this special little touch.
Here's how to make them:
Get enough mini pumpkins for everyone
Grab a spray paint color of your choice (gold, silver, really anything)
Cover the stems with a painters tape so that the spray paint doesn't cover the natural color of the stem
Cut a vertical slit in the stem for your place card (don't cut too far down, just enough for the card to sit comfortably)
Make the actual name card in the shape of your choice
Put the name card in the cut and place it on your guests plate!

At Home in Urban Outfitters

I was in Urban Outfitters over the weekend and they have really great home stuff. The selection in stores is somewhat limited (if your Urban has home goods at all), but if you go online you can find tons of awesome stuff like this sofa. They always seem to have a great sale going on as well.

My New Napkin Rings - Thanks Mom!!

I absolutely LOVE these! My mom (who has excellent taste) got me two sets of these Michael Aram napkin rings for my birthday and they're beautiful. I can't wait to see what they look like with a gorgeous linen. I couldn't let them go unseen though so they're now hung as a decorative piece above the bookshelf. I'll take them down if I need them ;)

Brunch at Hundred Acres

I had brunch this past Saturday at Hundred Acres. It has the same owners as 5 Points (which I love), so I had to go. The bloody's were great - they were garnished with something called pickled dilly beans and I couldn't get enough. It was packed so it took us a little while to be seated, but it was worth the wait. We started with the squash soup and split the grilled cheese with pears and candied pecans & the red pepper scramble - yum. The grilled cheese was buttery and delicious. Next time, I'll get the donuts too.
3.5 stars

Birthday Dinner at Del Posto

I had dinner this past Friday night with my boyfriend at Del Posto. Being recognized as one of Mario Batali's best and most well known restaurants, we were really excited to try.
The restaurant itself is gorgeous and the service was excellent. The food, not so much. We had a couple of snafoo's (food undercooked being one) which were unexpected in such a fine dinig establishment, so I don't think I'll be returning. My boyfriend liked it much more than I did though (he had the duck). Despite the mishaps, we still had such a great time together.
1.5 Stars

Sarah K's (and Hershey's) Decadent Mocha Chocolate Frosting

My very good friend (and loyal blog follower) Sarah K makes me a chocolate cake for my birthday and it is oh so good! Will you be bringing me one tomorrow, SK?
She pairs the frosting with Pillsbury Devil's Food Chocolate cake mix. You can make this cake layered or with just a single tier - up to you (layers are always super delicious though).
Here's how you make it:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sarah uses coffee in place of the milk to make it mocha. And she doubles it.
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
To make the cake cute (and even more decadent), place Hershey's Kisses all over the sides (bottom against frosting) and pile on top of the cake. You can also use malted milk balls, piling them on top and around the base.

Spaghetti Squash with Goat Cheese Marinara

Have you ever tried adding a little goat cheese to your red sauce? Something so simple changes everything. Next time you're making a pasta dish, add a few crumbles. I also like to caramelize a vidalia onion and throw it in there too. Try Prego Traditional - I always have a jar in stock.
Then throw this mixture on spaghetti squash or 100% whole wheat pasta.

Here's how to cook a spaghetti squash:
Cut in half lengthwise (use a sharp knife)
If you are baking it, bake rind side up for about 30 to 40 minutes at 375 F. If you microwave (how I usually cook it) cook on high for 6 to 8 minutes in a bowl with water (let stand for a few minutes afterwards)
Or you can boil it for about 20 minutes or so.
Once it is tender, separate strands with fork

Bloody's in Bed!

I crave Bloody Mary's on the weekends. Sometimes I don't feel like leaving the apartment for brunch, so I'll make them at home and they are absolutely deeeelish! I like mine spicy, but if you don't like the burn, I would leave out some of the horseradish.
Here's how I make them (individual glasses, one at a time):
1 1/2 cups Mr. and Mrs. T's mix (or something comparable)
Belvedere vodka (as much as you'd like)
Few dashes of Tabasco (red or green) hot sauce
Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
Few dashes celery seed
Few dashes celery salt
Few dashes pepper
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp horseradish
Dash of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Throw the mixture and ice cubes into your cocktail shaker and pour into a celery salt rimmed glass. Garnish with a celery stalk, lemon, lime and olives. Enjoy!

Halloween Witchcakes

You can make these fully homemade (which will take a while) or you can store buy the cake mix and frosting if you're on a time crunch.
I like all Pillsbury cake mixes, and of course the always spoon-able Pillsbury vanilla frosting.
You will need:
Brown mini M&Ms plus
Cake Mix
Chocolate sugar cones
Black licorice laces, cut into 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch and 2-inch lengths
Candy corns
Here's the full recipe:
Cover the tops of each cupcake with a generous mound of frosting. Insert one candy corn into each cupcake to form a nose. Using brown mini M&Ms, insert two into each cupcake to form eyes. Place two short lengths of licorice above the eyes to form eyebrows for the witch. Place the shorter licorice lengths above the eyebrows to form bangs. Place an inverted cone on top of bangs, pressing gently into frosting to adhere. Place the longer licorice lengths under the cone hat to form the hair.

Simmering Do-It-Yourself Fall Potpourri

My mom would always fill the house before parties or fall holiday dinners with this warm and cozy scent.
This is all you'll need:
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tbsp of cloves
2 bay leaves
4 cinnamon sticks (2 crushed)
1 tbsp fresh nutmeg
Allow pot to simmer on the stove. Add more cider to the ingredients as it evaporates. (You can also mix ingredients and place in a small crock pot for slow simmering).
Relax and enjoy!

Thanksgiving Cookies

If you're going somewhere, hosting or just want to make a festive treat, try these adorable sugar cookies!

You will need:
Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
Pipe frosting on the outer edge of half the cookie (for the candy corn)
add candy corn pointed end down
Pipe orange icing onto each cookie to create a turkey beak (arrow head pointed down) and turkey feet (each shaped like a pitch fork). Use orange icing to attach two Mini M&Ms to turkey face for eyes. For centers of eyes, dip a toothpick into remaining chocolate frosting and add on top of the M&M's.

Some of My Favorite Makeup Pieces

I've been using voluminous since the 7th grade

The best under eye concealer - I use light bisque

Great light coverage to help blush stay on well

Love these blushes (sometimes together) - Lorac Desire and Cargo Louisiana
Shishedo lipsticks are great (if you like an actual lipstick like I do)

You can pair it with a gloss, I really like YSL glosses

Mac Expensive Pink is a nice, neutral, everyday eyeshadow

Great Knobs

New knobs can turn an old dresser, night table, closet or cabinets into something new again. My kitchen cabinets had plain white knobs so I decided to swap them out for something more colorful. I chose Anthropologie's knobs and they add a nice pop to the room.