Friday, February 24, 2012

flashback friday: beach babe

March 1987.

Today's heat is unbearable. The end.
I'm pretty sure my trip to the dog park will result in a sun tan (or burn).
So let's take it way back today and check me out frolicking on the beaches of Argentina.
Can you say total beach babe?
And also, so strong! Holding up that umbrella and everything.
Happy Friday!
Even if the weather on your side isn't beach weather just yet, it will be soon enough.


Bikini: handmade by my momma!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

warm weather basics


Purely coincidental, almost every part of the outfit is Forever 21. Flip flops: Guess / DSW. Rings: Key West Shell Warehouse. Bracelet: Kameleon, gifted.
Doggy optional.

This weather has been giving me whiplash.
Some mornings are breezy and cool but once the afternoon sun hits, the temperature shoots up to the 80s and I'm left in a puddle of sweat.
Short of going out in your bathing suit or staying in and laying out by the A/C, it's hard to get comfortable.
I find a basic cami, my favorite high-waisted shorts, a pair of flip flops, and a fun, bright bag help.


I bought this purse back in December. I saw it, I fell in love, I needed to have it.
It was my inner desire for summer and sun jumping out and now that the weather is hot and humid and kind of gross, it's the perfect time to wear it.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

my belated valentine




Sure you could wait to make these
next Valentine's Day, but really, if you ask me, it's always a good time for heart-shaped coconut cakes, dunked in raspberry ganache, and coated in M&Ms and Reese's peanut butter cups.


Friday, February 17, 2012

flashback friday: barbie, who are you wearing?


"Just Married". Trying to keep the Ken and Barbie union legit.

When I was about 7 or 8, my mom would pick me up from school and take me back to her workshop where we would stay til the evening, or until the work was done.
Almost always finding ways to entertain myself, one fateful day I decided to pick up some of her fabric scraps, sit down at a sewing machine, and make clothes.
And I'm not talking about clothes for myself, but for my Barbies. The best models, duh.


Just hanging out on a fire hydrant. No big deal.

I like to think I was way ahead of my time. Of course I wasn't, but I had some really interesting ideas.
I would make them pose and take pictures for my, you know, fashion portfolio.


Apparently this was a wedding-themed shoot.

While nothing ever came of that (and my mom was rather saddened by the fact that I chose culinary school), I do find inspiration every now and then and cut up some old denim, transform some old shirts, or even make pillows (I spent an entire summer making countless pillows just for the hell of it. And they were great!).
But I digress.
Back to Barbie fashion. It was fun and it's nice to look back at the creativity I had flowing at 7.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

currently loving: fall 2012

And now my humble look at New York Fashion Week.
Which included so many fantastic pieces, so many incredible collections, so many great things that I absolutely cannot do it justice with one measly post.
Nor will I really be able to cover all of those great things.
Instead I'll share some of my favorites.
A small, small select few in a big, big ocean of fall fashion.
These Fall 2012 collections were nothing I expected, but everything I loved: romantic, beautiful, elegant, rich in dark color, and above all, confident. Is there a better word to describe a pantsuit??
Except for maybe fierce.
Speaking of, I need to get my hands on one. ASAP.

Always breathtaking and inspiring Marchesa.

Equally beautifully J. Mendel. The gloves, the furs, the shapes!

3.1 Phillip Lim, for the chic and bad ass working girl

Sachin + Babi, leather and legs

Elie Tahari for the real woman, fo real.

Naeem Khan shines.

Donna Karan and her brilliant top hats FTW.

Jill Stuart, sheer and beautiful.

For more (see also: better, more detailed, bigger) coverage: NY Mag and
Happy eye candy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

flashback friday: be mine, creatively

circa 2006 and quite blurry.
ceramic heart and glitter heart found at dollar stores; valentine made from felt and ribbon; filled with chocolates and a cupcake; wrapped in cellophane.

I used to really love Valentine's day. Not to say that I don't now, but it was always so
While my girlfriends were moping about being single on such a cookie-cutter Hallmark holiday, I was celebrating friendships with homemade goodies.
Every year I made a new homemade valentine card and paired it with a sweet treat like heart-shaped cookies, pink cupcakes, or even loads of chocolate bars.
The idea was simple: here's a little something I made to say "I love you".
And what better way to show that than with something made from the heart?
It's been years since I've made Valentine's day goodie bags, to be honest, but I did implement a $5 gift rule for my husband and I.
Though, he kind of hates the rule and he always breaks it.
But regardless, the creativity is there.
I really don't like red roses and even in high school, I hated the girls that crowded up the already-crowded hallways with enormous teddy bears and an unnecessary amount of red heart balloons.
So I like to be a little out of the box on Valentine's day.
So should you.
A couple of ideas to help:

Cupcakes and Cashmere's Conversation Heart Cookies
A Beautiful Mess' Wall Art
The Foodie Physician's Stay-at-home Romantic Meal
Bakerella's Cake Pops

Lots of love and creative energy your way!
And for the single ladies moping around on this "holiday", remember:


Thursday, February 9, 2012

a work in progress


There really is nothing like chocolate and peanut butter. The quintessential combination of salty and sweet is perfection. Seriously.
So I set out to make a cookie to emulate that perfection.
It’s Tuesday night and we want some cookies. The husband mentions peanut butter. I peruse through my newly-organized (and super fantastic!) recipe binder and stumble upon a recipe for chocolate peanut butter cookies. Not chocolate chip peanut butter, mind you, but chocolate peanut butter.


The recipe - which I don’t know where I got - seemed a bit off to me, so I tweaked it. I added some things, I took away some things, I rearranged some things.
The final result is still a work in progress. While I wanted a fudgy, gooey cookie, I ended up with a cakey, fluffy product.
Still, it was a tasty cookie. With layers of buttery goodness and tasty crumbs.
While I will continue to work on it, this may kill the chocolate peanut butter craving just the same.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

½ c butter, softened
½ c peanut butter
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 c all purpose flour
1/3 c cocoa powder
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
½ c chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone mat.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butters and sugars until light and fluffy, scraping down occasionally to incorporate fully.
3. Add in the egg and mix until combined.
4. In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Add them to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips.
5. Place by tablespoon-fuls on the cookie sheets a couple of inches apart. These cookies won’t really spread, but puff, so don’t worry about leaving too much space between. If you want a flatter cookie, you can press them down before baking.
6. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, keeping a close eye. It’s hard to gauge when they are done because they’re chocolate, so I usually look at and touch the tops of them. If they look done and don’t feel gooey (but still leave an indent), they’re done.


Enjoy with a glass of ice cold milk. These cookies are also, surprisingly, really tasty (perhaps tastier) when cold from the fridge.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

game day cheese fest


When the husband and I moved into our apartment, we decided to throw a Superbowl get together. It was fun (almost a little too fun), but in terms of food, there were some hits and misses.
And the end of the day, the best food for a game day should be fun finger food. Calories be darned, the stuff should be tasty.
The pigs-in-blankets were big hits, of course, but so were the spinach and cheese dip and cheese football.
Too much cheese? Depends on who you ask. I'm a bit of a cheese-o-holic.
This cheese ball I actually make every year for Christmas time as well. (You can see the little snowman hands and feet spreaders).
Whatever works for you this Sunday, these cheesy recipes will make delicious additions.

Cheese Football
Adapted from

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
8 0z sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 strips bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
dash pepper
1-2 stalks green onion, minced
1 c chopped walnuts
pimento strips or green onions

1. Mix cheeses, bacon, pepper, and minced onion in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
2. With your hands, shape into a football shape. Refrigerate for an hour or more. This is great to make in advance.
3. Roll football in nuts to coat. Add pimento or green onion strips for football lacing. Serve with crackers.

Spinach and Three Cheese Dip
Adapted from The Sun-Sentinel and (now-defunct) Dan Marino's Fine Food and Spirits. The original recipe does call for Tabasco, but I always leave it out. And while it does call for frozen spinach, fresh is just as great. The recipe also says to sprinkle the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses on top and then bake. I usually throw half in with the dip to melt in and sprinkle the remaining on top. More flavor, I think. Optional garnishes include: sour cream, diced red onion, and bacon.

1 1/2 T butter
3 T flour
1 1/2 c half and half
1/4 t salt
1 T Tabasco sauce (optional)
1/2 c + 2 T parmesan cheese
1 (10) oz box frozen spinach, well drained
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Add in the flour and cook for a minute or so, constantly stirring.
2. Add in half and half, constantly whisking to ensure no lumps. Add in salt and Tabasco, if using. Bring to a boil until thickened. Bring down to a simmer.
3. Slowly whisk in parmesan cheese. Add in spinach and 2 oz each mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. At this point you can pour it into an oven safe dish and refrigerate.
4. When ready, preheat oven to 450F. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and cheddar cheeses on top and bake until golden and bubbly. Serve with crackers, chips, or toasty bread chunks.

Let's go anybody but Tom Brady!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

rites of passage


So for Katie's birthday, we headed down to the Keys. Key West, to be exact.
And at a 3 1/2 hour trip, it's a perfect weekend getaway.


7 mile bridge. En route to Key West.

Sure there are countless must-do lists for Key West:
Mallory Square, Sunset Celebration on the Pier, Southernmost Point, Sloppy Joe's, Ernest Hemingway's house, Truman's house, blahblahblah...
But we were only able to stay one day. And in the times I've been there, I've comprised my very own quirky to-do list: A small list of things the husband and I make it a point to do every time we visit.
Yes, you really should do all of the above, but if you've got limited time like we did, and you've already done all of the above, these are just as fun.

Scootin' on my Scooter



It's an island. And as an island, it's kind of a pain in the ass to have to get in your car to go somewhere or walk a couple of miles. The most popular rentals include bicycles and electric cars, but the most fun is, by far, the scooter. Some places require a ridiculous deposit, but some don't. Ask a concierge.


Shell Warehouse at Mallory Square



I've been coming to this place for as long as I can remember. The first piece I bought was a really great yellow shell necklace that I wore almost every day. when it broke on a trip to Maine, I knew I had to go back for a new one.


Every trip I make it a point to purchase something. This past weekend I bought a couple of really cute shell rings I've been wearing like crazy. The place is kind of touristy, sure, but it's got a fantastic selection of shells and kitschy shell items for great prices. I love.


Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie on a Stick



So the keys are known for their key limes. It's no wonder you can find key lime pie everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. But the best is the frozen chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick. The more predominant place in Key West now is the Key Lime Pie Factory. While the husband got the original, I opted for raspberry flavored instead. This stuff is to die for.

Relax. Have some fruit. In your drink.
Island time. Relaxed attitude. Fruity drinks galore. And lots of them.


Blue Mojito at the Blue Mojito Bar at the Hyatt Key West (where we got married!:)

And so much more we could have done with more time...