Tuesday, July 31

Shameless Puppy Love


Today started off as one of those never-ending days.  After four hours on the phone with our internet provider, finding gum on the couch, and battling with a noisy air conditioner that just went off warranty, I was about ready to call it a day.

But then this photo made its way into my life and all was well. God bless the internet.

Photo Credit: Tumblr

Monday, July 30

In the Kitchen: Black Bean Chili


Vegetarian chili is a tricky meal to master.  When you remove meat from the chili equation, sometimes you're left with watery, lackluster results.  This recipe is the first I've found that delivers full flavor for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.  Throw in a little cornbread and I'm in food heaven. 

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 1 medium onion)
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell peppers (about 2 medium peppers)
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 16-ounce cans black beans
1 16-ounce can peeled tomatoes
salt and pepper 

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Chopped green onions (optional)
Grated Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Directions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, moving them around for about 2 minutes.  Add the bell peppers and continue stirring the mixture for another 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue stirring the mixture for 3 minutes.  The onions should cook down and become transluscent. 

Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans and tomato sauce. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top with chopped cilantro, green onions, and grated cheese.

Photo credit: the Kitchn

Recipe: Bon Appetit via Epicurious

Friday, July 27

New House Project


These embroidered linen bracelets by Kristen Sutcliffe of New House Project are the perfect grown-up version of the friendship bracelet. There seems to be a flood of stackable bracelets in stores this summer, but these take the cake for me. I can't get enough of the color palettes and simple designs she chose.


Photo Credit: New House Project

Thursday, July 26

Style from the Silver Screen: Now and Then

It's time to dust off that VHS player, we're going into the video vault for today's Style from the Silver Screen.  Now and Then was my adolescent go-to film, and when summer rolls around I dream of being transported to a time when you could grab your transistor radio, hop on your Schwinn, and stumble upon Brendan Fraser on a long dirt road.

Let's take this time to listen to "Band of Gold" and pay homage to Roberta, Teeny, Samantha, and Chrissy - four friends growing up in the '70s with looks all their own. 


Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Wednesday, July 25

Men Throwing Rocks With the Other Hand


Have you all seen this gem?  It's a short montage of grown men trying to throw a rock using their non-dominant hand.  It's such a simple challenge, but I love how they all get such a kick out of it.  Behold the beautifully awkward...

Tuesday, July 24

In the Kitchen: Strawberry Shortcake


My love for strawberry shortcake runs deep.  I've ingested pounds upon pounds of Reddi Whip and store bought shortcake, but I realized last week that I've never created strawberry shortcake from scratch.  While it pained me to fork over so much money on heavy cream and vanilla (the price of vanilla these days!), I think the experience of making it from scratch is worth every penny.  Warm, fresh-from-the-oven shortcake with light whipped cream... mmm! You can't beat it.

Ingredients

1 lb. box of strawberries, cut into quarters (if you really love strawberries, go for two boxes)

Shortcake:
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest


Directions

Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally (so there's a top and bottom half).

Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.

Photo Credit: Pinch My Salt

Recipe from: Food Network

Arrow Appreciation Day!

I'm in an arrow daze this week... I blame it on Madewell's newest print ad, which is hanging on my refrigerator - full of arrows, chevron stripes, and triangles. 

Arrows can veer to the side of cheesy (I'm talking about you rhinestone heart and arrow pendants), but I love that the pieces featured here feel so organic and simple.  Wouldn't the arrow note set be great for some sweet love letters? 





Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4

Saturday, July 21

Have a Simple Weekend!


What's everyone up to this weekend?  I'm mostly going to be working, but I scheduled a movie night (NEWSIES!) and made a date with some strawberry shortcake. 

Hope you have a chance to enjoy the wonderful weather!  Hasn't July flown by too quickly?  I hope we continue to have sunny skies well into August and September, because my days in the park are far from over. 

Photo credit: Tumblr

Friday, July 20

Chooka Rain Flats


I'm not sure what the weather has been like lately around your parts, but it has been rainy, rainy, rainy this week!  It went from a scorching 96 degrees to a pleasant 78 degrees in a matter of minutes on Wednesday. 

Now here's the question... what is one to wear during summer rains?  It's too hot to slip on full rain boots... flip flops get stuck in puddles... TOMS soak up the rain... nothing works!

Enter Chooka's (maybe super cool, maybe hideous) rain flats.  I am leaning to the super cool side.  I LOVE THEM!  They keep your toes dry and allow your calves to get some air.  Plus, they're about 10 times lighter than those clunky rain boots, and they remind me of something my Grandma Ruth would've rocked. 

You can pick them up here in red and in navy. 

Thursday, July 19

West Elm - South Africa Collection



Have you seen West Elm's new South African line?  If I had more room I would love to have the Kuba Crescent Bench, which is made from Kuba cloth from the Congo.  I'd like to know a little bit more about the South African workers and where they get the vintage fabric and reclaimed wood comes, but the pieces are gorgeous, don't you think? 

Photo Credit: West Elm

Wednesday, July 18

Daytripping


Laurent and I are nearing the one year mark in NYC and the other day I realized that while we've done our fair share of exploring the city itself, we haven't really taken advantage of all the amazing places that are just a few hours outside of the city. 

I'm not an expert on East Coast hot spots, but luckily I got an amazing suggestion to visit Cold Spring which is just an hour and half away from our apartment.  It seems so quaint - the population is only 2,013! - and I can't wait to do some hiking and kayaking in the late summer.  Plus it's nearly 15 degrees cooler there right now!  Now we just have to settle on a day...

Do you have any East Coast day trip suggestions?

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

A Little Shopping Rule


Each month or so I sort through my closet, trying to keep only my very favorite can't-live-without-'em pieces.  Now that our apartment is a measly 250 square feet, this ritual is now a necessity. 

So a few months ago I started thinking about ways to be more conscious about my clothing purchases and I came up with a rule that I think has improved my closet, curbed my shopping, and helped my bank account in the process:

"Is this something I would and could pass along to my children?"

Granted I don't have any children, so this question is purely hypothetical, but it's a really succinct question that helps me to think about what I buy.  It helps me weed out the overly trendy pieces that will only work for a few seasons and forces me to focus on the quality of a piece rather than just the price tag (those sales can be so tempting!). 

What do you think?  Do you have any tips for more mindful shopping? 

Photo Credit: Tumblr

Friday, July 13

Have a Carefree Weekend!


What do you guys have planned for this weekend?  I have a fairly open schedule this weekend, so Laurent and I are going to play mini golf at Hudson River Park and try out Parm, a recommended-by-everyone-we-know restaurant. 

Then it's pizza and beer tomorrow with my friend Anna at Lombardi's, my go-to when I'm feeling like eating my body weight in cheese. 

Here's a few fun finds from around the internet...

An amazing home near Sequoia National Park that was built across a river, a chromatic typewriter, a sneak peek into designer Julia Leach's home, an accurate portrayal of what happens when "Somebody That I Used to Know" plays on the radio, and a beautiful woven basket that supports women in Rwanda.

Photo Credit: Viciously // CYD

The Worst Haircut Ever

Brace yourself for the world's most gripping interview.  Jeff Cohen, a WNPR reporter from Hartford, decided to sit down with his two daughters: Sadie, 5, and Eva, 3, and interview them about a DIY haircut gone awry.
 

My favorite line: "That was really, really, really terrible, but everyone does that kind of stuff sometimes.  It happens like once, or twice, or three times in every life.  Or twice. I mean once."

P.S. Doesn't the dad sound like John Krasinski?

Wanted: Simple Summer Hat


Over the years I've collected my fair share of winter hats, but for whatever reason summer hats are so tricky!  I see so many women walking around NYC who have nailed the effortless sun hat look, and I want in.  And my nearly translucent skin could use all the protection it can get...

Any pointers? 

Photo Credit: Raspberry and Red

Wednesday, July 11

Back to the City


I'm back from Indianapolis and my whirlwind Fourth of July extravaganza!  I had such a great time at home, and while getting my wisdom teeth removed over Fourth of July weekend wasn't the ideal situation, it did force me to lay low and sleep more than I ever have in a 6 day period. 

What are you all up to this week? It's so hard to get back into the swing of things after such a relaxing time at home... I just have to finish out the short work week and then it's time to plan a fun Friday night date night and Saturday with friends.  Any suggestions for cheap NYC fun?

I'm going to cozy up with the new issue of Kinfolk and slowly ease my way back into exerting energy.

Photo Credit: Tumblr

Saturday, July 7

Listening Library: Beachwood Sparks and Cee Lo Green

There's nothing like a good cover, am I right?  Here's Beachwood Sparks covering Sade's "By Your Side" and Cee Lo Green covering "I Can't Go For That" by Hall and Oates.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 4

Hasta Luego!


I'm off to Indianapolis to get in some serious r & r (and to get my wisdom teeth removed... wah wah).  I have my fingers crossed for nice weather, lots of movies, board games, and delicious food. 

Enjoy your Fourth of July!

Photo Credit: Sorakeem

Tuesday, July 3

Style from the Silver Screen: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


Anyone who knows anything about anything knows that Paul Newman is the man.  I've said it once, and I'll say it again. 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid tells the story of two Wild West thieves, played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford, as they migrate to Bolivia to escape the law.  The film perfectly captures the true off-screen friendship Newman and Redford had, and it seems as though many of the film's most quotable lines were ad-libbed by the duo. 

Butch Cassidy: Is that what you call giving cover?
Sundance Kid: Is that what you call running? If I knew you were going to stroll...

Here's a little dose of their rugged outlaw style. 



Photo Credit: Quite Continental, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Kilim Coasters


When we first moved into our apartment, I had hopes of getting a kilim rug. Then reality set in as I realized that a.) our apartment was so teeny tiny that a rug of any sort would cover virtually all of our floor space and b.) kilim rugs are not so pleasant on the skin.

Enter these kilim coasters! You can get a mini dose of pattern and if you're a wimp like me, you can enjoy the fabric without worrying about the itch factor.


 Photo Credit: Sukan
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