Dress Up Your iPhone.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All cases via Etsy

A few days ago my new best friend Pinterest introduced me to these incredibly perfect iPhone cases.  I can't say there are many cases that catch my eye so when I saw these I was pretty much floored.  They incorporate modern patterns with a personal touch to protect our beloved iPhones that we're all attached to. The only thing that is not so pretty about these cases is the price and for a whopping $55, you can own your very own.  While I would love to have one, I may have to hold back for the moment!

Pinterest Love.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Recently Kelly and I decided to create our own Pinterest accounts and we are hooked, to say the least.  I can (and do) stare at my monitor for hours perusing through the gorgeous photos everyone has pinned. It's been about a week and I already have a laundry list of projects I want to do, food I want to bake, and ways I want to style my wardrobe.  To be honest, Pinterest didn't spark my interest too much initially.  It's not until you're finally using the site that you truly appreciate it. And let me tell you, I have gained a deep appreciation for Pinterest.  Below I've shared some of my favorite DIY projects that I have "pinned." Be sure to follow both Kelly and me on Pinterest!

Cooking with Giada.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When I went to go visit my aunt a few weekends ago, we did a lot of cooking.  For our Sunday night dinner we rummaged through cookbooks to finally settle on a pasta recipe from the wonderful and talented Giada.  We made several tweaks to the original recipe and used a fettucinni pasta, cooked the shrimp on the grill, and eliminated clam juice.  The end product was delicious (and that's a lot to say from someone that doesn't eat a lot of pasta).The only problem with this recipe was that we didn't cook enough!

Pasta with Shrimp & Herbed Cream Sauce

1 pound pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink and is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine, clam juice, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the cooked shrimp, the cooked pasta, and the remaining herbs. Toss together until all ingredients are coated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

Five Things.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beach/park tote & blanket...all set!

I always look forward to Emily's "Five Things" post every Friday. They entertain me so much and all her beautiful things make me envious (::sigh:: one day Kelly, one day). I decided to be a copy cat today and post some of my current favorite things. Enjoy and Happy Friday!

I usually can't go to sleep without sneaking off with one or two Oreos. Guilty pleasure.

I went to Charleston, SC last weekend and found this beautiful handmade berry bowl.
My Aunt also gave me her copy of Martha Stewart's cookies.

Currently reading Water for Elephants. I refuse to watch the movie until I've finished it.

When rummaging through my mags, I always want to rip things out that inspire me.
Now I can with my new pin board I hang in my closet.

Summer Loving.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1. Petit Navy Stripe Texture Boxy Jumper, TopShop  2. Juliette Bag, Dooney & Bourke
House of Harlow Sunglasses, Nordstrom  4. Classic Jenna Bracelet, J. Crew
Square Silk Twill Scarf, Juicy Couture  6. Drive Me Daisy Earrings, ModCloth
Philosophy Summer Grace Fragrance, Nordstrom  8. Blue Stripe Sleeveless Cover Up, TopShop
TOMS Slip-On, Nordstrom  10. White Belted Shorts, TopShop
Maternity Navy Grandad Blouse, TopShop  12. Red Scallop Hem Shorts, TopShop

I have been trying to hold back from shopping lately but a girl can't help but (online) window shop.  With the 4th of July holiday just around the corner I tended to lean towards red, white, and blue for this post.  I have been yearning to buy the Juliette style Dooney & Bourke bag for quite some time and think I may have to take the plunge soon!  This summer I have been loving stripes, not-too-short shorts, and flowy tops.  The red sequined TOMS shoes remind me of modern day Dorothy shoes from the Wizard of Oz (so fun looking).  Even though I haven't been shopping lately I think I'll be treating myself to some new wardrobe pieces pretty soon!

Macarons Take One.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ever since I tasted my first macaron three months ago, I couldn't stop thinking about them.  A month later in New York I couldn't resist my cravings and indulged in a variety of flavors.  They are such a delicate, delicious, and delightful cookie! I wanted to try and bake them and couldn't have thought of a better time than during my visit with my aunt in Charleston.  My cousin gave me the recipe and after reading some tips online I was ready to embark on what I expected to be a tricky baking experience.  And tricky it was!  While they were by no means perfect, it was a great first attempt and they still turned out to be delicious.  I have no doubt that I'll be able to improve on my second try!

French Almond Macarons

1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ cups (4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground, or almond flour
3 large egg whites (let sit covered 2-3 days before using)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ recipe Swiss Meringue Buttercream (increase vanilla to 2 ½ teaspoons)

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats, and mark circles using a 1-½ inch cookie cutter dipped in flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy; add salt. Gradually add granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the whites reach medium-soft peaks. Transfer to a large bowl.

Sprinkle half of the sugar-almond mixture over the egg-white mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, fold until just incorporated. Add ¼ teaspoon vanilla and remaining sugar-almond mixture, folding until just incorporated. Firmly tap the bottom of the bowl on a counter or work surface to eliminate any air pockets.

Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch plain tip. Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheet. Let sit out for about 20-30 minutes prior to baking.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until macaroons feel slightly firm to the touch and can be gently lifted off the parchment (the bottoms will be dry), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment and macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a small offset spatula, carefully remove macaroons from parchment. Spread 2 teaspoons buttercream on the flat sides of half the macaroons; sandwich with the other halves, keeping flat sides down. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Yield: About 30 sandwich cookies

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon vanilla


In the heatproof bowl on an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160˚F).

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-whit mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixture on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.

Friendship Bracelets (For Grownups).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Image via Honestly...WTF

When I was a kid I used to love making friendship bracelets. In fact, I still have all my thread at home (thank goodness I saved that)! I still wear an assortment of bracelets on my arm and really cannot wait to bring this childhood memory back. Honestly... WTF has a great tutorial on how to make these and even added a modern twist by incorporating rhinestones into the bracelet. Fancy schmancy! I'm going to visit my family back home soon and I can't wait to dig into all the thread to start making these lovely and nostalgic bracelets.

A Charleston Vacation.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The other weekend Javi and I took a little road trip to visit my family in Charleston, SC.  Prior to the trip, I would constantly tell Javi what a great city Charleston is due to it's southern charm, beautiful waters, and relaxing vibe.  He needed to experience it for himself and I think it was even more enjoyable than he would have imagined.  It was wonderful to spend the long weekend with my family, including the newest addition, baby Ava.  The weekend was spent cooking lots of delicious meals, baking macarons (more to come), fishing in the marsh (but not catching fish, unfortunately), and taking a joy ride in my uncle's Corvette.  I loved just spending a relaxing weekend at my family's house playing with the dog and walking around in their garden. 

I absolutely cannot wait to go plan my next trip back.  Kelly is paying them a visit this upcoming weekend and I have no doubt that she will have a great time.

Baby Ava and one of her many faces

Javi taking a joy ride in the Corvette

Hydrangeas growing in the garden

The herb garden on the porch

Lilies in the garden

One of two Weinheimer dogs (this is Hayley)

Home DIY Projects.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

All images via Pearl Street Interiors & kojodesigns

While browsing through some of my favorite blogs recently, I stumbled across two home DIY projects that I am head-over-heels in love with (and that is an understatement). Joanna from A Cup of Jo introduced me to an incredible DIY chandlier and Jaclyn from The Late Afternoon showed me a stunning DIY duvet cover.  I think putting the duvet and sputnik lamp in a bedroom together would look amazing but I think one day I'll be spreading out these projects across my home.

Pearl Street Interiors transformed the plain IKEA Maskros chandelier into a beautiful gold sputnik piece. I was floored at how simple and cheap this DIY is and I have filed it away as a future project for myself when I have the space.

I'm sure you've seen the Anthropologie Rosette Duvet or something similar and my mouth was hanging open when I saw a DIY version on kojodesigns. From the sound of it, it doesn't seem like a terribly difficult project, rather a more time consuming one.  The best part is that the price tag is reasonably low at around $30! I don't know how to use a sewing machine (or own one for that matter) but I am tempted to buy one and learn.

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