Fit For a Princess.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Princess Catherine via CBS News, Prince William and Princess Catherine via CBS News,
Victoria and David Beckham via, Princess Eugine and Princess Beatrice via,
Prince William and Princess Catherine via Daily Mail

It's no secret that Kate Middleton wed Prince William today in London. Like many Americans, I too am fascinated by this much anticipated wedding.  There is something so regal about this day and seeing a beautiful young woman transform into a princess. We all eagerly awaited to see the dress and I was not disappointed in the least. Kate Middleton's Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen gown was stunning and couldn't have been more perfect. I loved the long sleeve lace bodice and found it very appropriate for the occasion. While all of our eyes were focused on Kate, they did wander to the fashion of other attendees.  From celebrity guests to the incredibly posh hats, everyone was dressed in their best.  In all, we are all rooting for this wonderful couple and hope to see much, much more of them in the future!

Closet Dreams.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

1. Closet via The Anonymous Shopaholic at Home 2. Paris Hilton Closet, P. Series Stylist
3. Nanette Lepore's Closet, 
elleDECOR 4. Mariah Carey's Closet, Chic Home Couture
5. Closet via 
The Anonymous Shopaholic at Home 6. Mariah Carey's Closet, Chic Home Couture 
7. Closet via 
Faded Coral 8. Jenna Lyons, elleDECOR 9. Jenna Lyons Closet, Domino
10. Sex and the City Closet, 

These dream closets put my own to shame! Living in the city, space is sparse, to say the least. I have a closet that is about four feet wide and forces me to be creative with the space. I use thin hangers, vertical shoe holders, and shelves to store my clothes, shoes, purses, hats, and everything else a girl may need. If it wasn’t for my dressers, I don’t know what I would do. And I honestly can’t complain because I am lucky with the amount of space I do have for living in New York! I can’t help but envy these spacious, beautiful, and perfectly organized closets. I would love to take a sneak peek into any of these ladies spaces (that are bigger than my own room) and maybe borrow a pair of shoes and a dress while I’m at it!

Beach Bum.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1. Ruffle Underwire Top, J.Crew  2. Pick Your Path Bikini, Anthropologie  3.  High Sun Bikini, Anthropologie 
4. Large Floppy Straw Hat, Nordstrom  5. Tangerine Kaftan, TopShop  6. Beach Dress, H&M  
7.  Karen Walker Harvest Sunglasses, Shopbop  8.  Straw Tote, Kate Spade  9.  Joe's Jeans Sandals, Shopbop 
10. Sun Goddess One Piece, Anthropologie  11. A Tall Order One Piece, Anthropologie 
12. Miu Miu Halterneck Swimsuit, Net-a-Porter

My apologies that we went missing in action for a few days!  Our weekend in New York was wonderful and we can't wait to share the pictures with you. Until then, I couldn't help but get excited for all of my upcoming (not quite planned) beach trips.  Kelly is coming to visit in about two weeks and she pretty much has just one thing on her agenda: the beach.  I think it's time for me to add a one-piece to my bathing suit collection as there are so many great ones out there.  I can always use more two-pieces and that black number from Anthropologie is perfect!  Just add some trendy sunnies, a large beach hat, and a lounge chair and we'll call it a day!

Happy Birthday To Us!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You heard right: the two of us are celebrating our 24th birthday today! And what better way to celebrate our birthday than together here in New York City?! Since embarking on our own separate college journeys five years ago, we've had to celebrate several birthdays apart.  Now that we've graduated, no exam, no homework, or no project can get in the way (except there is a little something called work that tends to get in the way sometimes).  We are both taking Friday off from work and plan to spend the weekend doing a little (or a lot) of retail therapy, being in the company of great friends, and eating delicious food at several restaurants we've been wanting to try. We can't wait to take pictures and share this weekend with you!

Bananas Foster.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I don't know about you but I'm a HUGE fan of everything bananas. The other week at a restaurant I tried bananas foster for the first time in my life and it was love at first site! The strong banana flavor offset by the vanilla ice cream was a perfect combination for me.  After that, I knew I had to try and replicate this scrumptious dessert! I opted for a recipe from the restaurant that created this famous dessert and it couldn't have been yummier.  The restaurant I tried it at got all fancy by lighting the pan on fire.  I attempted to be just as flashy but failed miserably.  Nonetheless, fire or no fire, it was just as good!

Banana's Foster

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
1/4 cup dark rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan.

When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream.

Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Yields: 4 servings

A Lesson in Place Setting.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The other week I found myself stumped on which side the fork and knife went when trying to set a table for a dinner at my sister's place.  Yes, I embarrassingly didn't know how to properly set a table!  Thanks to the internet and a little research, I won't be having that problem anymore.  My aunt told me about a place setting diagram she uses that she taped inside of one of her cabinets.  I think this is a great idea as it will be sure to come in handy when hosting guests. I think a well set and decorated table brightens up any meal.  I'm inspired by the images below created by some of the best designers including Tory Burch, Kelly Wearstler, and Monique Lhuillier. I'm looking forward to an occasion where I can try and produce equally appealing settings!

1. Tory Burch Table Setting  2. Kelly Wearstler Table Setting  3. Casual Table Setting  4. Lunch in the Garden 
5. Country Table Setting  6. Rachel Ashwell Table Setting  7. Monique Lhuillier Table Setting

Animal Instincts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

1.  Lucia - Summer Safari Puma Sunglasses, Gargyle  2. Panama Hat, J. Crew  3. Chambray Shirt, Net-A-Porter 
4. Pleated Silk Blouse, Net-A-Porter  5. Cotton Twill Cargo Jacket, Net-A-Porter  6. Leopard Shorts, Barneys 
7. Ruby Small Top Handle Satchel Bag, Intermix  8. Sam Edelman 'Kendall' Wedge Sandal, Nordstom 
9. Gold Hammered Teardrop Earrings, Charm & Chain

The other day I came across the perfect leopard print wedges (#8) and ran with them to create this style board.  My birthday is coming up (hint, hint to my family) and I would be one extremely happy girl if I snagged a pair of those shoes.  Animal print is so classic and is something that will always be in style.  Here I paired it with neutral tones but it would go just as well with bright colors.  Any way you style it, it will be sure to add the ideal amount of edge to any outfit, which is why I love it so much! 

Brunchin' & Bridgin'.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our good friend, Kathleen, was in town visiting us this past weekend.  We began Saturday with a delicious brunch at Elephant & Castle in the West Village. I had a delicious latte that was served in a bowl (cute, right!?) and the Eggs n' Apple Benedict on French Toast. It. Was amazzzzing. After brunchin' we rode the subway down to Brooklyn and walked the Brooklyn Bridge back. The day couldn't have been more perfect. YAY for Spring finally gracing the City with it's presence!

Sunday Supper.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Philly cheesesteak sandwiches are a Philadelphia staple. Being a native of this great city, my mom sure knows how to make a mean one!  According to her, Philly cheesesteaks are typically made with cheese whiz, however, my mom doesn't necessarily follow the rules when it comes to this meal.  She refers to this perfect Sunday night dinner as a "gourmet cheesesteak sandwich."  Last Sunday evening we all gathered at my parents house to sip on wine and eat a scrumptious home cooked meal.  I did most of the cooking while she recited what to do and I can happily say that next time I'll be able to venture out on my own.

Gourmet Philly Cheesesteak

1.5 lbs roast beef, sliced
Olive oil
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 onion, sliced into half rings
10 Cheese Slices (pepper jack or provolone or whatever)
Sub rolls
Toppings: tomato sauce, banana peppers (optional)

Preheat over to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop the roast beef so that your slices are cut into smaller, bite sized pieces.

Heat a skilled over medium heat and swirl with oil.  Add onions and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Saute until golden and cooked.  (Note, I cooked the onions and mushrooms separately as not everyone likes mushrooms in my family).  Set mixture aside.

Slice sub rolls and place two cheese slices (I used either Provolone or Pepper Jack) on rolls and place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Meanwhile, using the same pan, coat with oil and add the roast beef pieces. Season with salt and pepper.  Cook the roast beef for about 6 minutes or until no longer pink.

Assemble the sandwiches by adding onions, mushrooms, and meat.  While I prefer my sandwich just like this, my mom likes to put tomato sauce on hers for an extra kick.  Feel free to top your with whatever you prefer.  Enjoy!

Yields: 5 servings

Book It.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

1. Lonny Magazine   2. Vogue   3. Lonny Magazine
4. Colour Lovers 5. Hooked On Houses
6. Stephens Lighthouse   7. HGTV   8. Patricia Gray

I think there is something about walking into a room filled with lots of books.  The types of books one owns can say a lot about the person. One day, I hope to have walls and walls filled with books in my house, (all saying good things about me, of course)! One particular book collection I've been wanting to start are these leatherbound classics. That is not to say that I don't want shelves filled with books on travel, fashion, and cooking because I want it all!

So what makes these bookcases so compelling? In order to give life to your own bookshelves follow these tips from HGTV:

1. Put Your Passions on Display  2. Make it Functional  3. Show Off Your Collections  4. Go Big and Bold  5. Forget Symmetry and be Odd  6. Stack Books  7. Mix in Art with Books  8. Arrange Books by Color  9. Add Sparkle & Shine  10. Light it up

Fresh Lemons for Dessert.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lemons provide such a fresh and clean taste to any food.  Wanting to bake a lighter dessert, I opted for Ina Garten's Lemon Cake.  While Ina's recipe yields two loaves, I thought making this dessert in a bundt pan would be just as lovely (and it was!).  I was very satisfied with the end result as it was perfectly moist, had the right amount of lemon flavor, and baked to a perfect golden color.  I served it to my family with a scoop of ice cream for dessert and everyone's plates came back clean, which is always a good sign.  The thing I like best about this dessert is that it makes and equally perfect breakfast (just be sure to eliminate the ice cream)!

Lemon Cake

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 1 bundt pan.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and set it on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. (You can leave out the syrup if you want which is what I did.)  Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cake and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

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