Thursday, May 31, 2012

All that Glitters...

Ok, are these not absurdly, eye poppingly, jaw droppingly gorgeous?!  Insanity!!

I had no idea that BlueNile hosted such a wealth of engagement ring porn!  One might wonder, what I was doing on BlueNile?  I swear it happened accidentally!  I am on their email list after ordering a pair of pearl earrings, and with my 10% off email, clicked through to the site today.  The sparkly baubles on the homepage had me at hello, and forty-five minutes later, here I am.

Halo Settings:
Floating Halo Diamond Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold (1/4 ct. tw.) Heirloom Halo Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum (5/8 ct. tw.) Heirloom Halo Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum (5/8 ct. tw.) Asscher Cut Halo Diamond Engagement Ring in 18K White Gold

Just look at these bad boys - I thought the halo settings above were really spectacular.  I LOVE the floating setting at the top, and don't even get me started on the Tiffany's Legacy replica.  Rings #2 and #3 are SO close to the Tiffany setting, at a fraction of the price).  The last ring above is so pretty but, it's not one I would have asked for unless I saw it - is that stone an asscher cut?  The channels really make it look deep and beautiful, but I wonder if it would be harder to get a quality cut like that...

Solitaire Settings:
Nouveau Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum (1/3 ct. tw.)  Petite Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum (1/4 ct. tw.)
Heirloom Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum (1/3 ct. tw.)  Petite Nouveau Solitaire Engagement Ring in Platinum

Oh the classics - like a Chanel suit, these will always be in style.  The round solitaires on a pave band (#1 & #2) are still my fave, but I also love the heirloom band on the square cut asscher stone (#3 above) - it's so unique and delicate.  While it's not my style, that canary yellow diamond is a stunner - so rare, and so pretty, I couldn't leave him out!

For more ring porn, check out the "Recently Purchased Engagement Rings" section.  (I am not getting paid to say this - it's just that amazing)  In my humble opinion, the fact that they show recently purchased rings - not stock photos - is a HUGE selling point!

Ok... I'm done now, but I think I seriously have an illness.  This diamond obsession is borderline clinical, but I just can't stop!  Look how pretty they are.  Look how sparkly they are.... I just HAD to share some of this glittery eye candy for all the other diamond junkies out there.

The House

Doesn't this look so good?  We had lunch today at a restaurant called The House.  Located in Northbeach, you'd never notice this un-pretentious restaurant, but the food is phenomenal, and the prices are totally reasonable.  I'd describe it as asian fusion - there is a ton of seafood on the menu - all super fresh, and they use really interesting flavor combinations.  So amazing.  HIGHLY recommend!!

Anyways, I have been totally MIA this week - so busy with work!  (why do the short work weeks always feel the longest)?!  I am so looking forward to the weekend already - some warm weather, and a little field trip to the south bay for my best friend's gender reveal party.  Have you heard of this new phenomenon?  Pregnant women throwing parties to reveal if they are having a boy or girl?

I hadn't heard of it, but I am so excited to see her, rub her belly, and catch up.

Happy Thursday!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Despite the fact that it is Memorial Day weekend, the weather is far from warm.  It is snowing in the mountains, raining in the valley, and windy as heck on the coast!!

Since I had the day off yesterday, I spent the day with my mom.  My new birthday ritual - instead of asking for a present - is to ask for a day of shopping with my mom.  I really just love the alone time.  It's sort of been a ritual since high school when we'd go shopping for homecoming or prom dresses.  We  try on dress after dress, and get lunch from this cute bakery.  This year I was very decisive - a trait very un-like me.  After quite a few "no's" I found a yes, and I didn't feel like I needed to try on much else.  Sold!  My new dress (to be worn at a wedding later this summer) is very Betty Draper - white sleeveless boatneck, with a full inverted pleat skirt, with a rose pattern on it.  Lots of peaches, tomato reds, and greens - so summery.  I'm in love.

Today I am heading out for a little wine tasting with my best friend Kira.  Unfortunately for us, rain is in the forecast which makes Napa so much less fun, but that's the way the mop flops, eh?

Hope you all have a lovely, safe, and dry weekend!

By the way, aren't my peonies so beautiful?  $6 at Trader Joes!!  Get em while they're hot I tell you - they will probably only be available for another few weeks!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How Pinteresting: Week III

Here we are... almost the end of another week!  My cold is starting to get really awesome now (lovely hacking cough), but I'm feeling better now that the sore throat and achyness have passed!

The looonnnnggggg weekend is so close, I can almost taste it!  Luckily, my agency is owned by a French holding company, and those Frenchies really know how to vacation.  What does that mean for me?  It means, that I get Monday off for Memorial day, along with tomorrow... just for good measure!

Anyway, on the edge of a lovely long weekend, enjoy the best of Pinterest from this week

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1. House Beautiful's Mismatched Seating 
This room is actually fairly simple if you look closely, but the almost empty white walls allow that amazing chandelier to take center stage, and the mismatched chairs keep the feeling of the room casual, instead of super formal.  I looooveeeee.
Mismatched seating. Designer: Tracery Interiors. Photo: Jonny Valiant. #white #dining #chandelier

2. Recipe for Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Growing up, there was nothing I hated more than brussels sprouts, but now I LOVE them.  Boiled brussels sprouts are still god awful, but broiled with garlic, and dipped in flavorful aioli?? Yes please!  Check out the full recipe here.
Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aioli.... I will be doing these tonight :-)

3. All White Wedding
I already posted on this wedding, but I am just still so in love with the all white brides maids dresses, I couldn't resist.  So pretty.  So simple.
White on White on White - love

4. Neon Accessories
Not for those with uber traditional taste... also not for those who are shy.  There will be no blending into the background in statement pieces like this!  How fun for a girls night on the town, or a summer party.
neon accessories

5. Bold Striped Entryway
You might think that a small space + bold pattern = bad idea, but the black and white stripes draw the eye up, and make a narrow entryway feel spacious.  So fabulous and so French!
Block Print Stripe wallpaper by Farrow & Ball. Design: Hillary Thomas and Jeff Lincoln. Photo: Eric Piasecki. #entry #foyer #wallpaper #black_and_white #stripes

6. Chocolate Peanut Butter Parfait
Um.... how delicious does this look?!  A simple little dessert that doesn't look TOO bad for you...  go here for the full recipe!
s'mores in a cup.

7. Upholstered Headboard with Nailhead Trim
I NEED this headboard!!  I've seen so many from Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn, but $600 seems a bit steep once you factor in the fabric and shipping.  I've toyed with the idea of making one myself, but the lines here seem a big out of my league, to put it nicely.  I love the big empty wall behind it, and the rustic chandelier handing off center.  I have no idea where this came from, but I want it so badly.
Little Green Notebook: Nailhead Trimmed Headboard

8. Cute Nautical Ensemble
Be careful with this one - high waisted shorts are NOT for everyone.  While it looks adorable on this teeny tiny model, I'll pass on the bottom half of this outfit, but the sheer aqua blouse would be so adorable this summer with a lower sitting pair of white shorts and gold accessories galore.

9. The Girliest Bedroom in the History of the World
If I thought I could talk Kris into pale pink walls with matching silk curtains, this would be my room in a heartbeat.  I am fairly certain this is what heaven looks like, and don't even get me started on that mirror... pure glamour all the way.

10. Stunning Halo Engagement Ring
Hummina Hummina... that engagement ring is TO DIE FOR.  I think it's set in platinum (thus the darker metal), and I'd prefer more shine with a white gold, but now I am just getting nit picky.
Well Helloooo there...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sore Throat Remedy

Sore Throat Remedy

I've been feeling under the weather this week with a spring-time cold, and went hunting for a natural remedy for a sore throat.  I've done the Dayquil /Nyquil / Cough Drop combo, and while it does help ease the symptoms, I hate the idea of continually taking medicine.

Wooden Nest reprinted a recipe for a natural remedy to help soothe the throat without medicine.  I am heading straight home to test it out, but with lemon and honey, I'm pretty sure it's going to be awesome.

Sore Throat Remedy (originally printed on Homelife)

2-4 slices of lemon
2cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced
A handful of mint sprigs
1-2 cinnamon sticks
Freshly boiled water
Teapot or boil-resistant jug
Honey, to taste
Infuse the lemon, mint, ginger, and cinnamon in boiling water for 5 minutes. Pour into mug and add honey to sweeten and soothe the throat. 

Summer Dinner

You can tell it's almost summer from all the amazing produce in the stores!  Last night, I was in the mood for a light summery dinner (even though the fog rolled in around 5pm) and stopped by Molly Stones on my way home.

I found the most amazing melon, and so I thought I'll just add a little prosciutto and call it a day!  When Kris works late, I don't have to worry about making a dinner that will fill him up (a dinner that usually involves some sort of starchy potato or carb like pasta), and so I picked up some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes for a caprese salad on the side.

The secret to a good caprese salad is in the balsamic.  I don't usually splurge on fancy balsamic, but I will tell you there is a huge difference between the $4 balsamic in the store and the $40 balsamic at the farmer's market.  Unfortunately, I only had the $4 balsamic, so I'll let you in on a little secret.  Reducing this in a pan on the stove for a few minutes does wonders!  Just put the balsamic in a non-stick pan, turn the stove up to high, and let it simmer and reduce until it has a syrup-like consistency.  You will be amazed at how sweet and yummy it is.  Just drizzle over the sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper!

So simple, and so delicioso :-)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Frugal Fashion Finds

Happy Monday!!

I had a fabulous weekend - did a little shopping, a lot of eating, and somehow managed to survive Bay to Breakers!  Does anyone watch How I Met Your Mother??  If anyone is obsessed with that show like I am, than you can fully appreciate my reference to the Murtaugh list.  There are no extended clips online but take a look at this BRIEF clip, and you'll get the gist. I believe Bay to Breakers (while fun) is going on my "Murtaugh List", if ya know what I mean ;-)

On Saturday, I did a bit of retail therapy, and went downtown to H&M.  If anyone knows what the downtown is like on a weekend, then you know that I was a brave soul to venture out there with all the tourists, wandering aimlessly with their maps. Anyway, I am SO glad that I took on the masses, because I walked away with some true gems!
This dress is actually my FAVORITE thing that I walked away with this weekend, and of course I can't find it on H&M's site to save my life!  Luckily for me Google Images supplied me with a very similar (if not the same) dress, but in navy.

I'm not loving the navy, so I feel like this blurry pic does not come close to doing my new dress any justice, but I picked it up in the prettiest shade of pale mint green, with a lovely apricot belt!  They also had the same dress in taupe with white polka dots... it was a tough decision. Between the oh so fun color combo, and the flirty, twirly full skirt, I cannot wait to wear this baby!

The bonus?? It's price tag, at just $29 bucks!  OH YEAH!

Kris has promised me a "dressy date night" this weekend, so I think I will get to show off my new dress sooner than later!

In addition to my ladylike dress, I took home a new sundress, a cute black tulip skirt (sans tacky belt), a peach lacy top (pictured below in aqua), and a new bikini courtesy of Victoria's Secret.

Now if only I had Victoria's Secret to looking that fabulous in a bikini, I'd have all the answers... (pun intended)!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Weekend!


I am seriously considering buying this poster and having it framed just because I love it so much!  When my sister and I were younger, our family vacation would not be complete until we'd jumped into a pool, ocean, or lake of glacial temperatures.  Mainly just to see if one of us would chicken out, but if one went in, both had to go in - ALL THE WAY.

This weekend is Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, and for those of you who don't know what this is, it's a marathon that has turned into one big party.  Almost no one runs, but everyone dresses up in costume parade around the city.  I've been saying for months that I was not going to do it again this year, but my best friend, Kira - god love her - has somehow talked me into going.  Her childlike enthusiasm in life is infectious, and I just can't say no to her... and so, we will be going - as Batman and Robin no less.

Anyways, I had been such a grandma, INSISTING that I was not going to do B2B this year, but on Wednesday I was thinking, and decided that since I'll only be young once, i need to go for it.  A few years from now, I'll be juggling babies and real adult responsibilities - most likely wishing I'd done it just one more year.   So... tomorrow I'll be "jumping in ALL THE WAY" - at 6am.  Wish me luck!!

To all, have a happy, and safe weekend, and do at least one thing just for fun.

Friday, May 18, 2012

White Wedding

Oh my dears, it's Friday, and I can't think of a better way to end the week than with a stunningly beautiful all white wedding!

I've long loved the look of white on white on white.  My parents would tease me growing up because I loved my white, and while some might think me crazy, I sort of LOVE the idea of having your bridesmaids wear white in a wedding.  Actually it's quite traditional to have bridesmaids wear white - back in the day, this was the custom - but as brides are constantly worried that they will be "outshined" (outshone?) on their "big day" the idea of having the bridesmaids wear white has faded away.

I mean, how pretty is this?  Varied shades of white, creme, and even the palest of pinks. So whimsical, and I think it really creates the look of a special event.

Of course, white flowers to match the white dresses, tablecloths, etc.  What else would you expect?!

Such a lovely wedding, and such amazing inspiration.  Thank you SMP.

A Jaunt Through Provence: Fashion Inspiration

I recently posted about my fashion inspiration for a trip to Paris, and as I get the itch to get out of the country, I've gone beyond Paris, to daydreams of Provence.  Exploring old towns, biking through the countryside, and drinking wine at the local wine bar, bistro, or restaurant.

Hope you enjoy a few of my inspirations for a Jaunt through Provence.

1. Full Skirted and Feminine

Provence I

Perfect for meandering through fields of lavender, or touring the local wineries, castles, and chateaus.  Look for full skirted patterns with a sweet floral print - perfect for summertime, and perfect for the country.  As a side note, my sister and her husband spent their honeymoon last summer touring France (along with Belgium & London) and as a word of caution, the wine tasting in Provence (specifically the Loire Valley) is not at all like it is here - the doors to the winemakers homes are closed, so be prepared to walk up, knock on the door, and make conversation before tasting!

2. Figure Forgiving Floaty Fabrics

Provence II

Like the alliteration on this one?? Ha!

I love the idea of lazy days in the country, riding bikes, daily picnics, and many MANY naps under shady trees.  Floaty fabrics, and forgiving silhouettes are a must in order to accommodate all the cheese and baguettes you will inevitably be consuming.  Stick with a palette that can be mixed together - I'm still loving variations of coral and aqua - here its apricot and mint.  Stripes have to make their way in here one way or another, and neutral flats and fun sunnies cap things off.

3. Bistro People Watching + Dinner

While people watching, sipping a cold white wine, and eating your daily steak and frites at the local Bistro, you'll still want to be chic!  I'd go for fun prints, and colors that will glow by candlelight as dusk turns to dark.  Dress it up from basic flats to kitten heels - still friendly for evening strolls back to the hotel, but a bit more dressy for the evening.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Best Meatballs You'll Ever Have

A CUP OF JO: The Best Meatballs You'll Ever Have

Not to totally re-post, but I saw the most AMAZING meatball recipe on Cup of Jo today, and I just had to share.  Not only does this recipe sound fairly easy (who can't put meatballs in the oven) but it sounds perfect when cooking for a big group!  You can even make these ahead of time and store in the freezer for an easy dinner.

Now, all I need is a great recipe for homemade tomato sauce!

Check out the full post and recipe on Joanna's blog :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How Pinteresting - Week II!

Here we go my friends!  Here is a round-up of all my Top 10 faves from Pinterest for the last week!  The most inspiring, pretty, funny, or useful... let's just call it, the best of the best!  Feel free to follow me if you can't get enough <3

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1. Lauren Conrad's Two-Week Bikini Boot-camp
Sounds hard since it requires more than an ounce of discipline, but look how FABULOUS she looks!  It really goes to show what dedication to a regular workout routine and careful eating choices can do!  Definitely want to test out this two week Bootcamp!

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2. Chalkboard Serving Dish DIY

Originally from Wit and Whistle I am just LOVING how easy (and inexpensive) this one is - perfect for labeling cheeses, cookies and other little goodies!

Inexpensive serving dish + Chalkboard Paint = Awesome idea! 
(shop Ikea for some awesome inexpensive serving dishes - you can't beat $5)

Chalkboard serving platter.  Love the idea!

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3. Peonies in the Bedroom
Do I really need to explain any more??  Best of all... they are in season!
peonies in the boudoir

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4. House Beautiful's Chandelier in the Bathroom
This room was also featured in their magazine, but the entire home was one of my favorites in a long time.  Home owner Annie Brahler has a STUNNING chandelier adorning every room in her home, and I love her for it!  How dramatic are these dark chocolate walls with the white floors, claw foot tub, and blown glass chandelier??  It's food for the eyes I tell you!
Such an Awesome Bathroom - thank you HB

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5. Bright Bud Vases
From a first look, these stand out to me as a cool DIY - simply glue down a graphic paper to a cheapo glass vase, but these are so much cooler than that!  What a great option for bringing some color into a room without a huge commitment.
bright patterned vases

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6. Turquoise and Yellow Statement Necklace
Is this not the perfect statement piece for summer?  Bright colors that go with so much!  If you are feeling bold, pair this with tangerine, or just wear it to spruce up a neutral outfit!

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7. Framed Chalkboard DIY
This idea struck me as being so cute and SO useful as soon as I saw it!  Can you imagine keeping this in the kitchen to write down shopping lists as soon as you run out of something?  Leave cute notes for your honey in the mornings? Doodle...  I have a few empty frames, and I think I know JUST what their purpose is going to be...
Chalkboard for kitchen!

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8. Wall Garden
Living in San Francisco, we have zero outside space (sad face) but for the lucky who do (my old apartment had a fabulous deck), this would be the ideal way to get some greenery around without taking up the square footage.  And succulents need so little maintenance... how perfect!!
vertical garden - cool idea for a compact outdoor area

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9. Homemade Oreos
Um.... such an easy recipe, and these look mouth watering.  If it weren't for this dang "get healthy /lose weight for summer" nonsense, I'd be making these tonight!

Homemade Oreos

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10. Neon Yellow Skirt
It does not get hotter than this!  Short skirt, high neck lace.  So chic, and so flattering!  Must find full pleated skirt like this ASAP!

neon yellow

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunburst Mirror Update

Remember this post when I used a little paint to transform a cheapo sunburst mirror from Bed Bath & Beyond into something much cooler?  Well it's only taken me two months or so to actually hang it (oh the shame), but there it is!  It's made a home in our hallway that after looking at these pictures could quite frankly use a bit of sprucing.

After several years of service, the once life-like silk hydrangias are looking a bit sad.  I'd like to replace them with something a bit fresher.  This little hallway table is where all the stuff that doesn't have a home goes.  The candles need to be downsized and stored, (but on the plus side, we are totally prepared for a power-outage) and I'd really like to find a new runner for this spot - something with a bit more contrast and color.  It's hard to see from these photos, but its dark, and brown, and it served its purpose for many years, but it's ready for retirement.

Here is a view of the hallway from the dining room.  Wouldn't it be great if we could paint the storage cabinet in the hallway with a fun pop of color?  A light Kelly green would really wake things up, or even a darker version of the wall color in the dining room for continuity.  I used Benjamin Moore's Opal Essence (look here for a photograph that really showcases this color).

For more intense versions of the dining room's blue, I really like Kelley Moore's Fair Farmington, Sherwin Williams' Eerie Island, and Behr's Gazebo.  All of them are very pretty blues with a little aqua and grey.  If it weren't so permanent, that cabinet would be painted in a nano second.

Unfortunately for me, I'll already be repainting the dining room when we move out - no fun!