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New York, New York
I enjoy simple things: solitude, cheap sheet cake, and sunlight. I also believe that white is, in fact, a color. Bring me fresh flowers and we can be friends.

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February 29, 2012

I Want Wednesday

I am in love with the crisp, warming weather (and that tiny bit of daylight when I leave work!!!!) and am extremely anxious for the spring and summer seasons.  With vacations and sunshine on my mind, I've been getting ahead of myself with the pastel and floral color palette that is everywhere for spring (I recently purchased these and these).

Yesterday I ordered these totally loud and totally awesome pants and I'd love to sport this entire look for a Saturday BBQ or a Sunday Funday at The Parker House.




I am actually DYING for that Maya Brenner asymmetrical "M" necklace. It is perfectly dainty and is the perfect accessory to a light tan.




Clockwise from the top left:
February 28, 2012

Artist Spotlight: John Murphy

Early in January, I blogged about my new John Murphy print on my gallery wall in my "Weekend in Pictures" post.  Since spotting him at the Brooklyn Flea, I've become infatuated with his work. Clean, bold colors really tickle my fancy and I've fallen in love with his frames, prints, and photographs.


They're simple, fun, and to the point. There's not much to think about, and I can appreciate that.



Shop his work here.
February 23, 2012

How To: Throw a Simple Dinner Party


There are so many amazing and fun restaurants in the city that it is easy to try a new place every time you want to catch up with friends (I have an endless list of restaurants I want to try growing on my phone by the minute).  Unfortunately, going out to dinner is never cheap, especially when you (and your friends) have a liking to spicy cucumber gin cocktails.  Sometimes it's also nice to be able to gather around the dining table, sit Indian style on the couch, eat without any regard for manners, and not worry about getting rushed out.

 


It is surprisingly easy to throw together a simple dinner party for your friends, and it never fails to be a good time.

Here are my must haves:

Invites:
Paperless Post is so fun and free. It allows you to really set a date - and somehow, it makes your guests more excited for your get together!


Fresh Flowers and Candles:
Fresh flowers on a table are really a game changer.  They add such a pretty touch but also make people feel like they are really at a dinner party, not just sitting around your apartment like any other day.  Candles also add to the mood and light scents when guests first walk into your home are comforting, so your guests will immediately relax.

Music:
Pandora is your best friend. I have been obsessed with the Van Morrison Pandora station ever since my friend made it (at her own summertime dinner party) last summer. Make sure the volume is loud enough that everyone can catch their favorite tunes, but low enough that your guests don't have to scream to hear each other.

Abundant Alcohol:
Ask your friends to each bring a bottle of wine. If you have friends like mine, you will end up with more than enough extra large bottles. Have a variety of reds and whites so that everyone can enjoy their favorite kind.

Cheese Plate:
Cheese plates are so easy to prepare (because there is no preparing) and everyone loves the luxury of trying different types of cheeses. I love my slate cheese plate from crate and barrel because I can label cheeses with chalk!

Pizza:
I can't take the credit for this one. My friend Caitie is the pizza master, and has kind of brought about this phenomenon of homemade gourmet pizzas for dinner. Pizza is a crowd pleaser and it is so quick and easy to make that you don't have to prep anything for your dinner party (and you can get dough at Trader Joe's for 99 cents!)  Last night, I didn't even have a clue what I was going to make. I just asked everyone what they felt like and we were able to make two great pizzas that satisfied everyone's tastes with what was in the fridge.

Salad:
Always have something for the friend who is watching what she's eating. A fresh salad is a great compliment to any meal and it's good to have options to keep everyone happy.




February 14, 2012

DIY: Chevron Tray

Another reuse, repaint, and re-purpose post!


I finally got around to repainting this tray I picked up on sale at Target about a year ago.  I had been keeping it on my buffet and it just gathered random things, including dust.  The thought crossed my mind to turn it into a bar tray, but I finally decided against it.  It definitely needed to be repainted, because the color was miserable and blending in with everything.


I started by priming and painting the entire tray white. Once I had a solid white color, I lightly measured out a checkerboard in pencil.  In my case, I decided on 3" x 3" squares.  I then used masking tape (only because I didn't have any painter's tape on hand) and cut pieces to fill the cubes on the diagonals. 

With the masking tape in place, I started painting with regular acrylic gold paint.  It took a LOT of coats to get a solid color - probably about six or seven coats.


Once the paint dried, I peeled off the paint, and the chevron pattern was revealed.


I am currently using it on my coffee table. I actually happen to love the color of my valentines M&Ms against the gold chevron.


Happy Valentines Day!
February 9, 2012

Recipe: Shredded Brussel Sprouts

I'm a huge veggie fan.  Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and sweet potatoes are the top veggies in my rotation (aside from the raw lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers in my salads, of course).  When I feel like switching it up, I bring in the never fail winner: the brussel sprout.  I know most people think they're the worst, but most people are straight up wrong.

Why?
Because brussel sprouts RULE.

I recently went to dinner with a friend at Walter Foods in Williamsburg (I am dying to go back for brunch).  The place is amazing, but that's a different discussion. The first thing on the menu that really grabbed my attention was the side dish of brussel sprouts (my favorite parts of any menu are the appetizers and the side dishes).  As expected, these brussel sprouts were amazing.  I am sure they were probably about as healthy as eating a plate of french fries, but it was totally worth it.  The best part about them?  They were shredded, which allowed them to be super crispy.

I tried to re-create the Walter Foods brussel sprouts side dish in a healthier version last week; I was not disappointed with the outcome.



Ingredients:
Brussel Sprouts
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Ground Garlic
Red Pepper Flakes

Chop up the brussel sprouts and toss them in a tiny bit of olive oil.  I really did not want to use a lot so I used about a tablespoon and really mixed the brussel sprouts in a bowl to make sure that they were all coated.  Next, add salt, pepper, ground garlic, and red pepper flakes generously and toss again to make sure that everything is coated evenly.

Lay the brussel sprouts out in a thin layer on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 450 degrees (the hotter the temperature, the crispier the sprouts).  After ten minutes, be sure to take the sheet out and mix around the brussel sprouts so that they brown evenly.  Repeat in multiple ten minute increments until your brussel sprouts are evenly browned and crispy.

I eat them alone, but they also are great with some grilled chicken or sprinkled on top of a salad.
February 7, 2012

Stenciled Wall Paper

I recently had a moment when something clicked in my head. I love those moments!  The wall behind my mirror and buffet table (pictured in the center) has been lacking something, but I couldn't figure out what. I don't want to hang anything else on the wall because the mirror is pretty bold and I don't know what else it would mix with, but it needs something. I am a huge fan of patterns ( if you haven't noticed) and I love extreme wallpaper.  Unfortunately, due to a bad experience with a DIY wall paper project circa 1984, my parents are totally against it (and I'm a goody two-shoes and always need my parents to agree with me).

Enter my great idea. A compromise --  stenciled wall paper.  No glue, no mess, and if you hate it you can just paint right over it.


I came across Olive Leaf Stencils on Etsy because I had originally been looking for a chrysanthemum pattern- and it popped up on google.  After browsing the amazing selection, I am now leaning towards more of the art deco patterns (top left and bottom right).

From top left clockwise: 1| 2 |3 | 4


P.S. - the Oceana Collection is PHENOMENAL! Jellyfish? I die. They have to be my favorite.. just not behind my buffet table. Although....