Tuesday, December 14, 2010


ately, the Boyfriend and I have been on a shopping bonanza. We haven't actually bought much, but we have definitely been looking. He's much more trendier than I am, and with his body type, most styles look good on him. But I am dying to get my hands on a pair of these:

Pleated Trousers from Zara

Oh and my boots from Cole Haan came in a few weeks back...after going back and forth about buying new boots this season, I decided to take the leap once I found this great deal. They're hot.

Cole Haan Georgina

Ugh I can't stop the madness!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Best Concealer...EVER

ark circles are the bain of my existence. Dark circles and outrageously thick, coarse, and frizzy hair. The kind of hair that makes one spend the ages of 10-25 trying to tame it. Unruly. Wild. Inexplicable. These are the words that come to mind when I think of my hair. However, with the invention of the ceramic straightener and some acceptance on my part, I've come to terms with it. However, getting rid of dark circles and puffy under eyes are not nearly as "easy" as taming frizzy hair. I'm sure I've painted a hideous picture of what I look like, but as is often the case, you are your own worse critic. And I am mine.

In any case, I have found an excellent concealer that really hides my dark circles and doesn't fade or require reapplication throughout the day! It's great, and it's better than the popular Laura Mercier Secret Weapon concealer.

The Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit is a double decker pot, with the concealer and a mirror on top, and face powder on the bottom to set it all in. $32 at Sephora.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Black Swan

lack Swan. I cannot wait to see it. Love Natalie. Love Mila. Love Darren Aronofsky (recently directed The Wrestler -- most depressing and moving movie ever).

I can't make the trailer fit my screen. You get the point.

Read review here. They pretty much starved themselves for a year. Makes law school seem like a cake walk.

Ebates Anyone?

oes anyone else out there use Ebates? The only people I know who use it are the people I've sent invites to. Well if you don't, this will be your online purchases lifesaver! I was introduced to it about...8 years ago (ish) and have been using it for online purchases ever since! Just log on, search for the site you want to go to, and purchase away! For every purchase you make through ebates, you receive 3% (or more) of your purchase back! It's not much, but it makes me feel less guilty about paying for shipping. Ebates will send you a check for your accrued amount every 3 months, as long as it's over $5. If it's under, they roll it over to the next check until you reach $5+. It's. Amazing. But don't forget, you MUST go to your website through ebates to get the credit!

Trust me, you'll love it. It's especially handy for the holiday sales as they usually increase the percentage back. And! You get $10 for your first purchase!

Let me know if you're interested and I can refer you! (and I get $5 for it). Happy shopping!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shopping (and NY) frustrations

am so annoyed with Kate Spade. SO annoyed. I ordered a wallet from them a couple of weeks ago and everything went smoothly. Transaction completed, order shipped, tracking number sent. Then! Then I get an email from them saying that my order has been returned and processed! How? It already shipped! Turns out that it somehow got sent back and returned, despite the fact that 1) they did not inform me in advance 2) they neglected to tell me WHY, despite their "order cancellation" policy, and 3) when I called customer service, all the lady would say is "I do apologize" over and over again. I wanted to scream. And now they are out of stock and of course, I saw it in person and it's gorgeous.

Obviously, I am searching high and low to have one of my own. If I knew how to do a smiley face icon here, I would. But sadly, I will most likely not get it at the price I originally purchased it for.

On another note. I have a constant love-hate relationship with New York. There are so many things to love about this city, yet so many things to absolutely abhor. Like rush hour, subways during rush hour, subways during the summer and rush hour, subways when they stall under the tunnel during summer days and rush hour....you get my point.

But if I hear another parent hiss into their kid's ear, "I will slap you across the face if you don't shut up" one more time, I am going to just slap THEM across THEIR face and see if THEY shut up.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Easy Ways to Update your Outfit

he holiday season is upon us and I am already behind! Thanksgiving is next week and I have made no list of any sort. The sister and I sent out invites to our "Orphan Thanksgiving" and next we have to figure out our dishes.

During the holidays I always get the shopping bug. There are so many sales that it's hard to resist picking up a little something something for yourself, right? Well, I go a little nuts. I become obsessed with finding sales, getting the most for my money, buying, returning, and trying to get the perfect presents for loved ones and...me. My own holiday tradition consists of coupons, internet surfing, and, oh right, baking holiday goods for our doormen and friends before packing up the house and heading off West for Christmas and New Years.

Along with the holiday season comes a bunch of holiday parties as well. For me, I don't own a lot of trendy or dressy pieces. I also find it to be financially impractical to try to always trend up your outfits. I'm all about the classic, iconic pieces that can dress up almost any outfit, without costing an arm and a leg. You can pair a cheap pair of pants (Uniqlo and Forever 21 are my favs), with a simple top, and a statement piece accessory. Or a cute jacket or vest can spruce up almost any outfit.

Here are a few finds:

1. Sequin trim shift dress $149
2. Black poly faux shearling drape front jacket $124
3. Sleeveless draped sweater vest $70

Pair any of these with a great necklace, cocktail ring, or funky leggings and you're set!

p.s. love love LOVE #2

Monday, November 15, 2010

Guilty Purchase...

o I did something quite naughty this morning....but it wasn't irrational. Well, maybe it was, considering that I really don't need it, I'm trying very hard to save as much money as I can, I have tons of loans, and Christmas is just around the corner! Here is my justification (just because I need to make myself feel better): I worked very hard last week and this past Saturday, and I haven't really bought anything for myself in a while. I get deep buyer's remorse and end up returning everything. However, I did make a few splurges the last couple of weeks.....most of which i returned, one of which still needs to be determined....ok but let's not digress.

I did it. I love it. And it's on final sale so I CAN'T return it. Welcome home, Kate!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Once Wed: Whimsical French Wedding

elcome to my obsession with weddings. I love love weddings, especially those that really display the bride/groom's personal charm and taste. I myself am partial to the rustic french feel, with a twist of country, and a dash of homemade DIY accessories. I love it. It's personal and it's sentimental.

During one of my daily runs through some photography/wedding sites, I came across this beautiful wedding featured by Once Wed.

Sigh...isn't it just so romantic?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Seasonal Scents

ne of my favorite things about the fall-heading-into-winter season (yes, I just made up my own season) is the smell of everything. Every season has a scent, and this one is no exception. While Fall reminds me of apples, pumpkin spices, and cinnamon, this in between time reminds me of trees, leaves, pine and the like. I try to keep this smell in my home at all times by finding the perfect candle to fit the mood. Note, I am obsessed with candles and must always have them in my apartment! If I didn't think it was highly dangerous to have candles in my office, I would most definitely light one up. My candle of the moment is Autumn, by Slatkin & Co., available for purchase at Bath and Body Works. The Boyfriend helped me pick this one up and we have received loads of inquiries on this scent!

Bath and Bodyworks usually has great sales, so do what I did and get 2 for the price of 1.

Archipelago also has some wonderful scents, but their candles are usually a bit pricier (around $24.50 for a 5 oz. candle).

And of course, Anthropologie carries a variety of amazing candles, packaged in the most charming holders. Love it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Skincare Overload

ello all, sorry for having gone MIA as of late. I have had a flurry of guests from out of town as well as a very very intense work week. Sometimes, the phrase "when it rains, it pours" is just so apropro. I worked many late nights this week and worked very hard on Friday night so that I could have the weekend off, and boy am I glad I did it! This weekend was lovely, complete with friends, the city, and shopping!

I go through ebbs and flows of the shopping itch. Right now I'm not really there, but the Boyfriend has got it bad. So we went to Soho and shopped a bit. Success! Among other things, he got a really smart pair of shoes from Clark Originals. Love. In fact, just before he got them, I tried on the women's version and fell in love. Don't worry, he is not trotting around women's shoes. If anything, I would be the one in men's shoes.

In any case, the one thing that I have been splurging on is skincare products. I am awful to my skin, almost never moisturizing my hands or feet, and pretty much using the same tub of St. Ives face lotion for the last 1.5 years. I am trying Philosophy's Miracle set, which contains retinol, thanks to Sephora's coupon. So far so good, my face feels smoother, and I kinda like having a nighttime routine. Two thumbs up, Philosophy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Obsessed: Tocca Bianca Perfume

or a while now, I have been obsessed with this new (to me) fragrance, Tocca Bianca. I love soft and feminine scents, especially clean scents. Like laundry. Mmmm....laundry. I've been dropping by Sephora every now and then and spritzing a little bit of this on my wrists. The smell is fresh, slightly floral, and soft. Definitely give it a try!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homemade Focaccia + Roasted Red Peppers and Arugula Sandwiches

haven't actually tried making this yet, but I keep coming back to the same recipe and image. I love this picture, don't you? It's from one of my favorite food sites, Alexandra's Kitchen. She posts the best recipes and the most vibrant and vivid photos, so good it's enough to make your mouth water.

My dad used to make us focaccia bread on a regular basis. Mainly because he owned a restaurant and was always trying new recipes. So the first time I tasted focaccia it was his, and when I asked him what it was I thought he was just being silly. Focaccia? That just sounds funny to a 6 year old.

You can find the recipe for this here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's for Dinner Tonight? One-Pot Chicken with Sausage and Potatoes

ortunately, I am the accidental (but very grateful) receiver of Everday Food Magazine, a great little subscription that comes my way and is filled with simple recipes for, well, everyday food! The previous tenant of the Boyfriend's apartment (his cousin, one of my most favorite persons in the world) was the original and intended subscriber, but since her move to the bay area, she's been unable to have them forward the magazine to her new address! Hey, I'm not complaining...although I do feel bad.
I usually sit through a stack of them and tab the recipes I want to try. Last night was the One-Pot Chicken with Sausage and Potatoes, a very simple and really yummy recipe from this month's issue.

2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a pound of sweet italian sausage, casings removed, broken into 3/4 inches (I used turkey italian sausage)
2 bone in chicken breast halves (which comes out to 4 pieces, each breast is sliced in half)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 yellow onion, diced medium
1 pound of waxy potatoes, halved or quartered if large (I used finger potates and cut them into quarters)
3 stalks of celery, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano

In a large pot, heat oil over medium high. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until brown all over (about 4 minutes). Transfer the sausage to another dish (it won't be fully cooked, but don't worry!) Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and add to the pan, meaty side down. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes, flipping it once. Transfer the chicken to the sausage dish.

Add onions, potatoes, and celery to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft (3-5 minutes). Return sausage and chicken, meaty side up, to pot and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through (about 20 minutes, but I gave it until 30).

Remove lid and increase heat to high. Boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup (5 minutes). Transfer chicken to a platter. Add vinegar and oregano to the vegetables and sausage and stir to combine. Transfer this all to a platter with chicken. Transfer sauce to a gravy boat and serve alongside the chicken. Voila! A really simple and very delicious meal.

I spent about $10 for this whole dish and improvised here and there. But it was really simple and the Boyfriend loved it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Traditions

s noted in my previous entry, I love Fall. I love everything about it. The smell and feel of the crisp air, the crunching of the leaves underneath my boots, the beautiful changing colors of the leaves...sigh. Fall is wonderful and my fondest memories are from this season. Fall is also apple picking season which inevitably leads to apple desserts and baked goods. I'm not a huge cooked apple fan, I think the texture is too grainy/weird/mushy for my liking. Apple pie fans are shaking their heads in disappointment, I know. But! I love love apple loafs! Related to the pumpkin/banana/zucchinni bread family (I'm just assuming), apple loafs are often overlooked. I haven't seen them around much, certainly not in cafes or coffee shops, but they are one of my favorites and I've been making them for the last two years, this year making it three, thus (in my book), a new Fall tradition. Below is the absolute best recipe and it's pretty fool-proof. This recipe is from recipe.com, but for some reason it's no longer there! Good thing I wrote it down!

Autumn Apple Loaf

1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 2/3 cup of sugar
2 eggs, beaten (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 cups of peeled and chopped apples
Optional: 1 cup of chopped walnuts, raisins, etc.

Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix the other dry ingredients in a bowl and sift with a fork. Add the wet mixture to the dry one. Add apples and whatever else you want to include, walnuts, etc. Pour into a greased loaf pan and fill it to about 3/4 high and bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. Make sure to test it to see if it's fully cooked. Use a toothpick and pierce the loaf at the thickest part. If the toothpick comes out clean, it's done. If not, it needs a few more minutes. The top of the loaf will turn a golden brown.

I usually chop the apples into small pieces since I don't really want to feel them. This time I made them slightly chunkier and I actually like it! Also, I added 10 more minutes to the bake, since it seemed to take a bit longer than usual. The top of this loaf comes out very crispy and the inside is very soft and moist. It's the best!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Planning My Escape...

or the past 2 years, I have been planning my escape. Gasp! What does this mean? From what? From whom? Where will you go? All questions that I'm sure are filling your head with a look of panic (I kid). No need to fret, it's just another adventure! The Boyfriend and I have always discussed, rather whimsically, living abroad. For just a little bit (or forever)...but until we have a place/city where we want to plant our roots, we want to roam. This is quite difficult for the both of us as our jobs are state specific and require us to take exams and all that other yucky stuff should we decide to change stomping grounds. We have both traveled to a decent amount of places, although in very different parts of the world. He's more rainforest, Amazon, Honduras, etc. and I am more London, Paris, Brussels. And we are both originally from the West Coast and have secretly held a desire to go back. Don't get me wrong, I love NYC more than anything, and I consider it one of the best cities in the world. In any case, we have not stayed anywhere long enough to really know where we'd like to go next. Where to go? I know I need a side gig to sustain us...and all this will not take place for several years. But just thought I'd start planning my escape...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dinner for the Week

hile the Boyfriend gears up to watch his Sunday football game, I've been going through some recipe books and magazines, looking for dishes to cook for dinner throughout the week. Unfortunately, both him and I work very demanding jobs with very very long hours. For me, most of my time during the week (and sometimes during the weekend) is unpredictable. His aren't as fickle, but that just means we know his days are all going to be long. If I get out of work too late, I don't join him for dinner. But I know him and I'm pretty sure that Papa John's Pizza will come a knockin' 4-5 times a week if there wasn't anything ready-made/easily-made in the fridge. I don't blame him...by the time he gets in it's so late that he's absolutely famished and beat from the day. So this week, I'm going with 3 main dishes; 1) a pasta dish, something hearty and meaty, but fairly simple. Maybe a concoction of kelbasa sausage, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and tomatoes, cheese, and pineapples. The pineapples provides a nice and sweet surprise to such a salty mix! 2) a casserole. I love tuna noodle casserole, but he is not a fan of tuna. I may make it anyway one day, but for this week I've decided to try my hand at macaroni and cheese. I never make this dish because I think it's pretty difficult to make. I've tasted many homemade macaronis and honestly, I haven't tasted any that I really like. But I'm going to give Emeril's recipe a go. 3) one pot chicken with sausage, potatoes, and veggies. I know, it's all meat and carbs. But hey, he's a guy, he likes his meat and potatoes.

Next, I was thinking of making lemon bars. I've made them once before, and I've posted about it before. But just as a repeat, here yago:

This is a picture of my first attempt. We'll see how the second one goes.

For the recipe, click on Smitten Kitchen.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall is here!

all is my favorite season of the year. But it doesn't last very long in New York, and I will make the most of it! I refuse to let work or other obligations get in the way of me enjoying my Fall. This weekend, the Boyfriend and I took a day trip up towards Nyack to scope out the town the foliage. Unfortunately, it was a bit too early to catch the changing of colors, but we did see some red ones poking out amongst the many green ones.

Here is my ever growing list of things I love about the Fall:
1) Foliage (obviously). I grew up in San Francisco, and leaves don't really change colors over there in the bay area. So imagine my look of amazement when I saw a red leaf for the first time! I was literally staring at the ground of wet leaves, with my mouth open in awe. By myself.

2) Apple Cider. Preferably spiced, with a little bit of whip cream. This is a must!

3) Day trip adventures with the ever exciting Boyfriend!

4) Fall clothes. I love funnel neck sweaters, cardigans, boots, and coats. Speaking of...I need a Fall coat...

5) Walking/running outdoors and hiking.

6) Fall decorations. I have a stash of faux Fall leaves in my closet waiting to come out.

7) Fall scented candles. I have one burning right now!

8) Thanksgiving.

9) Our anniversary! We will be hitting the 4 year mark...a true milestone for both of us!

10) You've Got Mail. I love this movie, I will never get sick of this movie, and this is the only movie I have seen over 6 times. This movie takes place in the Fall, and Fall would mean just a little less without it.

There ya have it! Am I missing anything?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recipe Cards

f course, I'm distracting myself while I'm supposed to be researching cases. Of course. But I wanted to post about something I'm very excited about and wish I owned a quality color printer so that I could print for myself! I found these beautiful free recipe cards on How About Orange. I am a bridesmaid for one of my dearest friends who is getting married in October, and one of the bridesmaids' gifts for her bridal shower was a recipe box with each guest's favorite recipe written down. We used a different template, but I love this one and wish we found it in time for her shower! Please click here for the download at Tie that Binds blog.

And...We're Back! I hope....

ello. Do y'all remember me? I've been MIA for a while now, life has taken over...well, my life, and it's been a very busy spring and summer! Work has its ups and downs, busy days and not so busy days, but it seems like the busy days have far outweighed the not so busy ones. In any case, I've realized that I must carpe diem and seize the day(s)! That's redundant, I know. One of the many things that bring me much joy is this blog, and sharing the things/thoughts/musings in life with whoever chooses to read my little blog. So everyone (or no one), I'm back and I hope that I don't fall behind again. And if I do, please bear with me. I'm still learning.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Honey Lemon Tea

think my body has been trying to tell me something for the last 6 weeks. It does not like to be woken up before 8, it is revolting against the late hours of staring at a computer screen, and it is boycotting the stress poured over dumb mistakes made at work. Since I've started working, my tension headaches have continued on, I've gotten multiple cankersores (gross, I know, it happens), and now I have a cold. What's a girl to do? Just throw in the towel and call it quits? Not this girl. I'm taking the rest of Sunday off and reading Pride and Prejudice, watching tv, taking a bath and drinking the best cold remedy ever, honey lemon tea. My sister and I learned of this tea from our previous pastor's beautiful and wise wife. She actually had a blog called "honey lemon tea" a couple of years ago but 4 baby girls later, that blog has long been put to rest. But whenever my sister and I catch wind of a cold, we take a walk to the store and buy several lemons, a jar of honey, and whip us up some honey lemon tea. Right now I'm sitting with my tea on hand and ready to start getting better. I buy about 8 lemons, slice them up into lemon wheels, put them all in a mason jar with a 12 -16 oz bottle of honey. Then I spoon some into my cup and pour hot water and voila! You're very own remedy in a cup.

Happy Sunday everyone, and have a great week. Oh and please remember, it takes very little to share some happiness, and very little to ruin someone's day. So please remember to smile to those who pass you by and say a little word of encouragement to anyone around you. I'm learning more and more everyday that this makes a big difference.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who's the Breadmaker Now?

uring my 5 month I-Have-Nothing-To-Do-But-To-Cook stint, I really wanted to take a shot at baking my own bread. You know, take it back to the roots....old school....I've gotta feed my young? Except, I have no young and my ancestors were probably not baking a whole lot of bread and instead were crouched low and making enough kimchee to store for the entire village. Anyhoo, I wanted to try my hand at it but I don't own a bread mixer or maker and I've been told that the entire process could be quite challenging. With the spirit of Julia Child behind me and her chapter on mastering the art of baking bread in a conventional oven, I was ready to do it! After much, much, MUCH research, I found a no fuss no muss recipe over at one of my favorite food sites, Alexandra's Kitchen (who has recently moved her site to here). It's simple, easy, and quick. The bread came out great but I wish the crust browned a little more. I put a little egg wash over the top to keep it shiny and brown but it didn't seem to do the trick. I'll have to try again another time.

You can get the recipe here.

Apologies for the dull lighting but I had to make do with what I had. Happy Baking!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shoes galore!

his week I went on a shoe binge and bought two pairs. I know, I know, I really shouldn't be spending money but my work shoes are scuffed up like crazy and I needed a pair of comfortable flats. I own this one pair of green flats that I LOVE from Urban Outfitters, but I've worn them down so much that they have holes! So here they are!

MIA Hepburn in embossed snake skin.

Rampage Victory in black patent leather. Perfect with a pair of black tights and a dress. Both were $34 on sale at Piperlime!

I have to say, both pairs are very comfortable and really really light! Today, as I was walking 6 blocks downhill in heels carrying 3 bags full of documents, laptop and my bag....I was in dire need of a comfortable pair of shoes. Looks like these are it!