Gift Guide 2014: For the Home

It can be hard to pick out items for some one's home. Nothing that makes too much of a statement and something that can be discreetly placed in many places is best. There is so much to sift through, but here are a few of my favorite items for the girl who loves making her house a home. 

1. I love this little plate for a jewelry or key catch all on a nightstand or entry table. C. Wonder $35
2. For the girl who loves to bake, this rabbit cake stand is adorable. Lulu & Georgia $78
3. A design book from one of my favorite bloggers. Includes some of her essays that I love, plus looks great on a coffee table. Elements of Style $35
4. A bright Mexican serape would look great as a throw and is so unexpected. Lulu & Georgia $50
5. Coasters that feel like art. $75
6. The ultimate tray for the hostess. Alexandra Von Furstenburg $220 (other colors too)

Check out all of the other gift guides: 



Holiday Appetizer Favorites

It can be tough with all of the entertaining and company this week and next month. While your table is usually filled with family favorites and traditional dishes, the appetizer can be something you can have more fun with. Everyone loves a nosh when they arrive somewhere or are watching you slave in the kitchen (ha), so here are a few of my favorite appetizers for the season. Click on the name of the dish for the recipe. 

Very few ingredients and truly one of my all time favorite things to make. Travels well too, just assemble at your destination. 

Warm, ooey, gooey, cheese with sweet jam and a flaky crust. Nothing better and comes together in minutes. 

Always nice to have a healthy snack around when all it seems we do is indulge. This is packed with flavor and guiltless. 

I make this for myself because it is so fabulous. Truly a crowd pleaser and is made in advance. Tons of flavor and a creamy cheese makes everyone happy. 

If you need any other menu help for your Thanksgiving this week, let me know! 



Happy Weekend Reading

Though this trip does not include a whole lot of the above, there is some. And those moments are being well enjoyed. The rest of the time is spent watching the kids play and laugh in the sun (my favorite), golf with my man, eating fresh food from the sea, and lots of wine. Life is good. 

I know it is not so good for those back in the cold. Hopefully some of you are headed to warmer weather and if not, here are some links to keep you busy while you snuggle under the blanket. 

If you are headed to Naples, FL, here are some of my favorites in the area. 

Cooking? I love this soup when it gets cold. 

I love this article on morning routines of women leaders from Forbes

And a nice reminder that we are all not perfect, especially when it comes to Mothering. 

Don't forget to check out all the gift guides for your holiday shopping. More to come next week. 

Happy Weekend


Secret Lives of Moms: On Beauty

It can be very hard in the craziness of life (Mom or not) to find the time to make yourself look and feel great. Moms have the added bonus of little sleep and little people running around their feet when they are trying to get ready in the morning. So that makes them also a great resource for beauty products. They have had to streamline their routines and maximize the little time they do have to get ready. Plus, you really appreciate what makes you feel great inside and out when you have 5 seconds to get ready or pamper yourself. So this week's question is….

What is the one beauty product that you swear by to make you feel great and why?

It was hard for everyone to choose just one, and there are definitely some repeats which shows how great some of these products really are. Here is what a few Moms had to say…

Click "read more" below to see their answers...

"My Shu Uemura eye lash curler. Even with dark circles under my eyes and a puffy face, it makes me feel so much better. I use it even if I am not leaving the house, it feels like I made some effort and does not require me to wash my face after. So lazy! "

"I love blush.  If I do just one beautifying thing, it's liberally apply blush. I feel like it makes my face look alive.  I was using Nars in the color Orgasm for years and just recently purchased Chanel's powder blush in the color Malice."

"Just one?  Not possible!  Call me high maintenance...  First -- Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo.  Let's be honest.  I *maybe* wash my hair twice a week.  This dry shampoo gets me from wash to wash without looking too oily.  Fresh.  Second -- Bobbi Brown Corrector.  This is a must for moms who don't have the luxury of a full night's sleep.  Layer underneath your regular concealer.  Magic.  Lastly, YSL Glossy Stains #17 (pink) or #32 (red) depending on your mood.  Long-lasting wear like a stain, yet with the shine and texture of a gloss.  Perfection!"

"Mascara. Thank God for mascara."

"I can't choose just one. It's Lancôme Definicils mascara and Nars Orgasm blush. They make me feel like a human. Unfortunately I only use them when I'm going out, out. Maybe I should use them more!"

"I love my Jo Malone red roses perfume so much. It smells like roses (duh) and makes me feel fresh even if I'm not actually. Also my Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara. I'm way too lazy to do a lot of eye makeup these days. With some fun mascara it looks like I'm a little bit alive."

"Every night before I get into bed, I put lotion on my hands, and most nights I use L'Occitane shea butter hand cream.  The smell is soft and subtle, and it instantly goes to work.  Between frequent hand washes (due to lots of diaper changes!) and the colder weather, my hands take a beating.  This hand cream helps fend off chapped and cracked skin, and it's one of the simplest and most luxurious parts of my nighttime routine."

"Rosehip seed oil! I use it morning and night after washing my face. I love the way it makes my skin feel. "

"For decades I have held strong that the one item I couldn't live without is black eyeliner (preferably a MAC pencil). I have always felt that bringing my eyes to life was the most essential of necessities. However, as I "mature" and the tired signs of motherhood begin to wear on my face, my must-have item is Clé de Peau Beauté concealerThis little magic stick is stupid expensive ($70/stick), but I just can't live without it-- smooth application, amazing coverage, moisturizing, no creases, evens tone and leaves smooth photo-ready finish. It's THE BEST! "

"I am newly obsessed with the  Yves Saint Laurent 'Forever Youth Liberator' Eye Zone Serum. Makes my eyes feel soft, smooth and literally glow! I put it on under my Touche Eclat in the morning. (FYI girls, they changed their shades so if you use this chances are you are a different number now! I went from a 2 to a 2.5 ) Its great during the day you can place it on over your existing concealer and blend for a touch up. "

"I'm in love with Josie Maran's Argan oil. My mother-in-law bought it for me last year and I swear my skin has never been better. After a long day nothing feels better then washing off my makeup and slathering it on my face. I love the way it gives my skin a natural glow! "

"I swear by my Rodan and Field Make up Remover Eye Clothes that remove all makeup and fill wrinkles at night!! I use their Multi Function eye cream which has been a saving grace for tired eyes and puffiness in the mornings. Love my Bare Minerals Loose powder since I no longer need concealer for my eyes since the eye cream is so amazing."

"Most days I have barely enough time to get a shower in before my husband leaves for work and the children rise for the day. And most days we leave the house to get chores done, or a child to school or a class. I've found that throwing on Lauren Mercier tinted moisturizer, MAC lipgloss, and some mascara make me look less like a dowdy old housewife and a little more put together!"

"My toothbrush? My stretch mark lotion? Nipple nursing cream? Sitz bath? Okay, okay, actually I really like Philosophy Purity Face Wash because it comes in a large pump bottle for the shower. Least expensive during the Nordstrom's anniversary sale!"

"I would say the Benefit lip stain/tint.  I am terrible reapplying lipgloss so I like that this give me a little bit of color when I don't have time to give that much effort."

"My "Wand" hair curler is great! I can curl my hair with it and then go a few days without washing it and will have perfect beachy waves. "

"Mascara. I generally don't wear much makeup, but a little mascara everyday makes me feel semi put together even if I'm not leaving the house. My go-to for years has been Maybelline Full & Soft in Very Black. Never flakes off and washes off easy with soap and water at the end of the day."

"Mine is my Cle de Peau Concealer - it covers up my bags and everything else!"

"My favorite beauty product right now is an oldie but goodie, my 3/4 inch curling iron. I've let my hair grow since becoming a mom, mostly because I can't make it to the salon as frequently. I let my hair air-dry then I put some curls in. I call it my beachy/professional look. The best part is that the texture allows me to go longer without washing and coloring. Break out your old curling iron! Oh, and my Laura Mercier under eye concealer. I can't leave the house without it."

"I have a serious obsession with mascara. No matter how tired I am or how terrible I feel, a little mascara can make my day. Nothing is better than using a new one for the first time too. I like to change my brand of mascara every time I get a new one though, I think it helps my lashes to stay stronger. I just finished Dior Show (always a fave) and picked up Cover Girl Last Blast...best $10 mascara out there!"

"Ok, so I feel like I need 3 to feel normal...these all go hand in hand.  First I have to have moisturizer on otherwise I feel as if my face will crack to pieces...especially now in the winter.  Then I swear by my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage and her Blush in Rose Bloom.  She's just so dependable! "

"Either Vita Liberata Tan Mousse, a little tanner can perk up the gloomiest of days and if you can't tone it, tan it! Or Jurlique Rosewater Face Mist. Not only smells great but is refreshing and gives your skin a nice glow. "

Clearly everyone likes looking bright eyed with glowing skin. Cannot wait to try so many of these! 



Gift Guide 2014: Lovely & Lounging

We all like to feel pampered once in awhile. Especially me. That could come from a beauty product, a blow out, or a silky cami. What ever it is, it has to feel luxurious and make me feel great. Here are some gift options that any girl would love to feel relaxed or gorgeous, and hopefully both. 

1. It is time for an iron upgrade for those fancy curls you have been sporting. T3 $130
2. A lace lined romper in the softest fabric is perfect for cozying up in bed. Journelle $84
3. This smells like heaven. If heaven was a tropical island filled with coconuts and frosty drinks. The perfect body wash or bubble bath. Philosophy $17
4. Because everyone needs a little fur in their life. Even if it is just on their slippers. Ted Baker $104
5. These scream "let's cuddle by the fire and drink wine." J. Crew $69
6. Practical, super soft, and makes anyone feel grown up in a good way. Eberjay $97
7. As far as hand cream goes, this is a total splurge, but I swear it is magic. And this one is for a great cause. La Mer $45
8. I put this on every year, but if you do not have it, you need it. Clarsonic $99
9. Sometimes slippers are not that cute, but feel like a warm hug.  J. Crew $49


Other gift guides: 


Gift Guide 2014: Girl on the Go

Being away is bliss. Not only for the change in temperatures, but also the change of pace. While we stay very busy with the kids, we also unplug and the worries of the every day chores and obligations are far, far away. While I might not be posting every day that I am here, I actually have a little more time to write. So the blog lives on. 

In the interest of staying in the travel theme, my first holiday gift guide of the season is for the girl on the go. Maybe she travels a lot to far off places, has kids that have her all over town, or has a job that has her running around all day every day, these would all be perfect for her. 

1. An eco friendly glass water bottle with the sweetest heart on it. bkr $35
2. The entire beauty set from Glossier is fantastic and travel friendly. $80 The rose water mist and balm dot com is my have. Perfect stocking stuffers. 
3. I love the mix of refinement and coziness of these gloves. So great. Carolina Amato $160
4. A pair of throw back kicks go great with skinnies or leggings for running errands or after kids. Nike $59
5. As a tote or a shoulder bag, this fits everything, including a laptop. Madewell $168 (other colors)
6. Because aviators are always reliable in any situation. And these have a great mirrored finish. Saint Laurent $375
7. The sweetest to go cup for her tea or coffee. Asos $15
8. These chubby sticks are moisturizing balm with a touch of color. Can't go wrong the any color, especially the light pinks. Clinque $18
9. A cozy blanket that packs up well and an eye mask is great for the constant traveler. Target $16

My biggest problem with the gift guides is I want everything! If you are looking for anything specific this season, let me know and I can put a post together. 

Previous gift idea posts: 


Bon Voyage

On our way to this place. Let's just say I am just a little excited. I hope your weekends are filled with a bit of sunshine however you might get it. 


Well Heeled

Shoes are definitely a weakness, but also a necessity. They complete your look and stand so gorgeously tall lining your closet. And while we wish that all of them could have shiny red bottoms, utility and budget trumps that. When we do splurge and get that shiny new pair with the world recognized name, it better be a pair with some longevity. Something that goes with half of the clothes in your closet and can be worn day or night. It is best to stick with the classics. Here are the pairs that would fill some holes in my closet. And maybe yours? 

1. Patent holds up so well, so these nude Christian Louboutin would be leg lengthening for years. $775
2. Always loved these and their cameo in SATC Manolo Blahnik $740
3. The stretchy back of these over the knee boots makes them a perfect fit for anyone Stuart Weitzman $598
4. The first and original bootie. Rag & Bone $525
5. The only thing hanging me up on the Nudist is the color. But nude seems best. Stuart Weitzman $398
6. If they are good enough for Audrey, they are more than good enough for me. Salvatore Ferragamo $450

What classic pair are you eyeing? 



Time for Wreaths

I never go over board with the holiday decorating, just enough for our house. But what is always lacking is my wreath game. There is usually a scramble for a fresh Home Depot special that looks sad and can barely be salvaged with a red bow. So in an effort to do more in advance this year, I started my search. Almost all of these are dried, so they can be reused again and again. Which makes next year even easier. 
1. Simple and classic. One Kings Lane $99
2. Boxwood has always been a go to. West Elm (varying sizes)
3. Love the subtle glitter with the burlap. Pottery Barn $79
4. Pre lit wreaths are genius. West Elm 59
5. So pretty and girlie. One Kings Lane $99
6. Love the shine on the magnolia leaves One Kings Lane $99
7. This is such a fun way to use birch bark. Nordstrom $64
8.  I worship these LED lights. Makes lighting anything so easy. West Elm $24
9. This eucalyptus is gorgeous and would smell great. West Elm $59

Some of the One Kings Lane options are on a flash sale and only available for a few days.  



Formal Affair

Sometimes the invitation says black tie and a gown is necessary. While I am advocate for the formal short dress, there is something about wearing an elegant long dress that makes an event extra special. With the holiday party season and winter weddings creeping up on the calendar, all of the options can be overwhelming. Here are my favorites that would work for anyone, really...

1. So gorgeous. My fave Anthropologie $348 / 2. A sophisticated way to do sparkle Parker $572 / 3. Fun take on a strapless peplum BCBG $239 / 4. The draping and color are gorgeous BCBG $498

5. A classic column in front, open in back Alice + Olivia $396 / 6. The beading and draping is beautiful BCBG $448 / 7. Love a graphic black and white BCBG $368 / 8. Channeling Princess Kate BHLDN $260 (other colors)

9. The red and gold is a great combo Asos $521 / 10. Gorgeous draping Zimmerman $350 (other colors) / 11. I love a long sleeve and the 70s vibe Halston $495 / 12. Totally obsessed with this. Satin detail on crepe. Asos $295

13. This actually looks comfortable Zimmerman $332 (other colors) / 14. If you are going for bling, this has a great deco feel Aiden Mattox $420 / 15. Stunning emerald color Halston $237 / 16. Cobalt is so pretty and love it with pleats and a draped sleeve Asos $161



Cozy Up

It's cold. 
The wind is gusting and hats are necessary. And to top it off everyone in my house has a cold. 
And even with all of that, it was a wonderful week. A joyful one filled with family and friends. 
Wine, great food, laughter, and cozy sweaters make everything better. Even after a sleepless night. 
Winter's best feature is slightly over sized sweaters that you can curl up in, eat treats with abandon, and still look cute enough to run errands. I hope your weekend is cozy and filled with laughter too. Here are some options to get you started. 

1. Asos $56 / 2. American Vintage $130 / 3. Asos $85 / 4. Soft Joie $96 / 5. Asos $56 / 6. Oak $135 / 7. Gap $64 / 8. Theory $194 (on sale) / 9. Anthropologie $118

I want them all. Seriously. The above all paired with these (on sale) are pretty much my winter uniform. 
Happy Weekend


Affordable Lighting Options

Lighting can be one of those changes that completely changes an entire space. The problem is that it can also be one of the largest investments in a space. I have been helping people not only with fashion styling services, but also home styling lately, (email me!) and most people just need a few pieces to tie their rooms together. Lighting options are usually one of my first suggestions. In an effort to keep everyone's budget in tact, I have rounded up some of the best lighting options that would be wonderful in so many rooms. 

1. This vintage lantern is so fun. Chairish $395
2. A client I helped just hung this above her dining table and it is stunning. Pottery Barn $399
3. A pair of these over an island would be so chic. Or down a hallway. Shades of Light $159
4. Beautiful shaped lantern. Shades of Light $279
5. Such a different take on the rustic look in this metal pendant. Lulu & Georgia $207
6. I have these lining my hallway. Pottery Barn $169
7. I am such a sucker for a lantern. This one has a vintage look without the huge price tag. Pottery Barn $399
8. This would look so great above a rustic farmer's table. Pottery Barn $799

9. It is hard to find a quality chandelier for under one thousand, this has a retro feel I love. West Elm $899
10. This is such a classic look and the mixed metals is fun. West Elm $319
11. Love the shape of this mid century vintage chandelier. Chairish $396
12. Worship the shape and the lined shade. Also comes in navy and gray. Shades of Light $319
13. The mix of wood and metal along with the shape makes this such a statement. Pottery Barn $399



Moody Florals

There is something so sophisticated and a little dark about floral on black. Takes away a bit of the sweetness and gives it just enough edge to pull off in the colder months. It looks great in a dress, top or skirt and best topped with a leather jacket or that green anorak. I have had my eye on this dress as you can see from my other posts. My wardrobe has felt a bit uninspired and these prints are such a reflection of my mode going into Fall. 

1. Great for work or play, this Club Monaco is currently in my cart $229
2. Romantic and moody paired perfect with your have jeans. Joie $258
3. This midi pencil skirt would be so chic for the office with a white button down. Asos $47
4. A classic tea dress works for the office and look perfect topped with a denim jacket or blazer.  French Connection $155 
5. This clutch would be a fun touch for a night out. Rebecca Minkoff $95
6. A sweet little dress by BB Dakota $90
7. This floral dress would even work during the holidays. Ted Baker $244
8. This dress is so pretty and delicate. Jill Stuart $478
9. Obsessed with this romper. Pair with tights and booties for the winter. Blue Life $136



Secret Lives of Moms: How We Start and End the Day

Every Mom out there starts and ends her day in different ways, different times, and with different rituals. I thought it would be great to hear how some extraordinary moms I know spend those times so I asked… 

"What does the first hour and last hour of a typical day look like in your life?" 

And this is what they said. 

"First: I usually wake to the sounds of my kids stirring around 7:15 in the monitors. I lay in bed, check email, social media, and the news. After a quick brush of my teeth and maybe a comb through my hair. I get bottles ready and slam a cup of tea. 
Last: Usually polishing off my second glass of wine with the husband after binge watching something on Netflix. Sometimes I have the strength for a quick face mask, otherwise it is my usual skin care routine and eyes closed by 10pm." 

"First: I wake up around 7 to my oldest. We get up, I make him breakfast and proceed to pump in anticipation of my youngest waking up. I then feed my youngest. 

Last: I brush my teeth, wash my face, and curl up in bed with my trashy gossip magazines."

"First: I try and get up by 5:15, get myself dressed and ready (or at least presentable enough for school drop off ☺️). Then head out to the kitchen to down a cup of coffee and unload the dishwasher. If I'm lucky I can eat my eggs in peace before the first kid wakes up! 
Last: Finish up a glass of wine and TV show with the hubby.  Then jump in the shower, read a few pages in my book or browse Instagram, and lights out by 9:30!"

"First: Lately, it's been a 5am wake up around here from a screaming baby ready to start the day. The first hour of the day involves feeding her breakfast, letting the dogs out and feeding them and maybe squeezing in a quick potty brake for myself...if I'm lucky. 
Last: Wash my face and brush my teeth around 8:30 and get into bed with the intention to read my book. Instead I usually spend about an hour watching tv and scouring blogs and social media on my phone before passing out."

"First Hour: My life has changed now that my son is sleeping through the night (12-5 is sleeping through the night, right?). So as a new mom, feeling chipper and refreshed at that 5 am "first cry" is an understatement.
Last Hour: My last hour of the day is spent feeding, burbing, changing diapers and giving my husband the evil eye across the room because he is fast asleep. "

"First: People think I'm crazy because I wake up super early to workout and get my day started. What they don't realize is I wake up, and for at least that first 45 minutes of the day, I do nothing but sip my coffee, read my emails, and answer to no one but myself. It's my "me" time.  
Last hour of my day usually involves me collecting random escapees from their bedrooms and putting them back to bed, followed by laying down, and reading myself to sleep."

"First: Alarm at 6:05... Snooze... 6:15 check FB in bed...give loud annoying cat treats. Shower... Do hair, get dressed. Open child's door. Tell hubby to get up. Attempt to Do makeup. Tell hubby to get up. Tell kid to wake up with sweet kisses. Tell hubby to get up! Make coffee. Finally do make up at 6:40 :) Hubby gets up kid on potty, teeth brushed, dressed. I do kids hair. Put my lunch and kids snack together. Make travel coffee mug! Scramble to leave by 7:05-7:10 DONE!! That was exhausting. 
Last: Fall asleep on couch...@9 bitch to get off couch @10 . Brush teeth. I have learned to wash my face immediately when arriving home from school because I don't have the energy at night!!  pass out."

"First hour is me crawling out of bed anywhere from 6:15 to 6:45.  Make the bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed.  Warm baby's bottle, then toddler's.  Depending on which one is up first, make their bed, get them dressed then get the other.  We then have our morning bottles on the couch watching Wild Kratts or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Then I start making their breakfast, however I try to sneak in "mommy's yucky coffee" at some point.
The last hour is picking out what I will wear in the morning, brushing my teeth, washing my face, changing into my PJ's and hoping in bed to watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives or something we have already DVRed. "

"First hour:  Wake up between 6:30-7am. Get dressed. Try to do something with my hair and a little makeup if I am not working out that day. Downstairs by 7. Make coffee and lunches. Hubby takes care of breakfast prep for kids. 1/2 hour of TV for kids, then they dress, brush teeth and do hair. Socks and shoes on, backpacks loaded, and out the door at 7:55 for school drop offs.
Last hour:  9:30 or 10pm. Brush teeth. Face regimen. Watch news or Friends." 

"First: My 9 year old is our alarm clock. Soon after he visits us I get up and run for the coffee pot so I can have some before the baby wakes up. School days I make two lunches and three breakfasts and throw on whatever I can grab first to wear for drop off. Baby usually stays in Jammie's and we hit school looking like mommy and baby Frankenstein. Weekends I cuddle with our baby in the bed as long as we can. 
Last: Laying in the couch with my husband watching a show and periodically telling our daughter to get back in bed. She's our night owl. We make an effort to spend time the two of us but usually I end up asleep 5 min into the show."

"First: I wake up around 6:30 and can hear my husband and son downstairs.  I lay in bed barely moving until they come upstairs soon after.  My son and I lay in bed with cartoons on the tv while my husband showers and gets ready for work.  I'm lucky that most mornings my husband wakes up with my son.  If my husband is surfing or out of town than I'm woken by my son around 6:15 in which case I promptly bring him back to bed with me.  He watches cartoons for about 30min while I lay like a dead body until we get up and shower.
Last: I'm normally on the couch for the last hour of the day (8:45-9:45ish) watching TV until I go upstairs and brush my teeth and put on PJ's. I try and be lights out by 10pm. "

"First: I haven't slept very well this pregnancy, so sometimes I wake up when I hear my toddler stirring in her crib (around 7am), but often I'm up when my husband gets up (always by 6am) and catching up on email and social media updates from bed until it's time to get the little one.  Once we're both out of bed, I always grab her a cup of milk and let her watch a show on Sprout while I get myself a cup of coffee and then the day really gets rolling by 7:45.
Last: Usually on the couch catching up on some previously recorded show until one of us (myself or the hubby) starts nodding off and the other makes the call to head up to bed (always by 10pm). Brush teeth, wash face, try to slop on eye cream and or a quick exfoliating treatment, then moisturizer, and take prenatals (ugh). Proceed to pass out until I have to get up to pee (twice a night��)
Now that I've written this down, I actually feel like I need a morning and evening activity makeover... But with #2 coming in a few weeks, I'll probably just stick to the basic survival techniques. Que sera"

What does the first hour and last hour of your day look like? Would love to hear it! 



Happy Shivering Halloween!

If you live or have lived in the Midwest, you know that almost inevitably the weather will be terrible for Halloween. It is so cruel given that every kid I knew growing up had to endure many a Halloween with their adorable costume covered up with a giant puffy coat and their chosen identity for the night unrecognizable. Somehow our parents still braved the weather so we could collect all those Reese's cups and Starburst, thank God for them. 

But now I am one of them. Though my kids are still too young to know if they even missed trick or treating, I know they cannot. Even when the high today is 45 and snow is in the forecast. 

So bundle up super Mom and Dad. It is our turn to endure the weather. Our parents did it for us. 

As my Dad always says, "There is nothing like sleet on Halloween." 


photo via: the city spot


Farro Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan

I had forgotten about this side until I came across it in the archives over at Forks & Amusement. If you are into brown rice and quinoa, farro is another grain you should try. It has a nutty taste and heartiness while having the consistency of pasta. You could swap out the farro for any grain or even pasta, but look for farro where the rice is in your market (if not there, check the Italian food section). It is delicious and this salad is filled with so many yummy ingredients. Make it as a side for dinner and enjoy for lunch the next day. It is even better. 

Farro Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan 
Forks & Amusement 2011
serves 6-8

1 lb farro
2 quarts chicken stock or water
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 2 cloves
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, more if you like it spicy
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (to toast, just place in a hot pan on the stove until toasted, flipping over the nuts every once in awhile)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cover the farro with cold water and soak up to 25 minutes. Drain and place in a pot. Cover with the stock, add some salt. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered about 25 minutes, of until tender. Drain and set aside to cool in the fridge or spread on a baking sheet first to cool faster. (can be done the day before)

Meanwhile, combine the mustard, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil to make the dressing.

In a large serving bowl, add in the cooled farro. Add the onions, bell pepper, and walnuts. Pour the dressing over that and add the parmesan. Toss everything to coat evenly. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve at room temperature or cold. can be made 1 day in advance.



Ultimate Wish List: Bags

So I know that Christmas is far away (kind of) and for those that have been extra, extra nice this year and are thinking Santa will be bringing them the bag of their dreams, I thought I would put some together. Investment pieces tend to take a little more time to shop for. 

Any of these classic bags from the most beloved designers are investment pieces that will stand the test of time. In neutrals, blush, and navy, you cannot go wrong. 

And if it is Santa that is reading this and needs some advice for his lucky lady, you can always email me for advice about these bags and any gifts for that matter. Feel free to forward on, ladies. He needs the help! ha 

1. This Valentino rock stud is roomy and swoon worthy. $2345
2. Every cool Parisian girl is carrying one of these is seems. Saint Laurent $2750
3. I am a sucker for the throwback Gucci G logo. This bag feels so 70s in the best way possible. $1950
4. This Proenza Schouler PS1 is one of my favorites. I have it in coral, but this navy is amazing. $1695
5. A cream bag is so chic and this Chloe satchel makes it even more so . $1950
6. The Saint Laurent logo bag is on every must have list right now. $2265
7. The peek a boo Fendi  is a new classic with that gorgeous fold. $5750
8. This Valentino rock stud cross body is perfect. It had to be ripped from my body when I saw it recently. $2395
9. This bright navy Prada is a great size and shape. $1630
10. The dusty pink of this classic Balenciaga is so pretty. $1635
11. The 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli satchel in this jade color always sells out quick. $895
12. This lady like Givenchy is extra roomy and stunning. $2435

Are you drooling? 



If you are a fan of Into the Gloss (which if you love beauty products, add to your daily reads), then you probably saw that the founder of the site launched her own skin care line called Glossier. The girl literally writes about all things beauty and interviews everyone from Karlie Kloss to Kate Bosworth on what products they use for those flawless faces. So you have got to think that when developing her own line she really had done her homework. 

They have launched the brand with four products and an affordable price point and so far I love them. the packaging on its own is so simple and pretty, and the products themselves are very simple and make you feel pretty. So basically a huge win. The priming moisturizer of a thin, but powerful product that really plumps the skin. You are supposed to layer so someone with dry skin can really lay in on thick, while an oily skinned person can start with just a dab. Emily is all about the dewy skin look, which really does make you look younger in my opinion, so I like that "glossier" look. 

The face tint comes in three shades (I got medium) and it is just a hint of color to even out skin tone while still maintaining that "I woke up like this" natural look that I so covet right now. 

The rose water spray is refreshing and great to start your day, refresh yourself for an afternoon pick me up, or even at the end of the day to relax a bit. It would be perfect on a plane flight. And speaking of plane flights, the products are delivered in the cutest pink bubble wrapped quart sized bags to really up your travel game. 

And rounding the pack out is the Balm Dotcom. It plumps lips, moisturizes dry cuticles and fingers, and can be used on anything that needs some love. At $80 for the full suite, I would say your money is being well spent (you can buy products a la carte as well) and these products will be in your rotation in no time. 

Have you tried any of the products? Let me know what you think. 


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