Friday, March 30, 2012

Strawberry Jam

I have loved jams, jellies and curds for as long as I can remember.  There is nothing better than the taste of homemade jam spread across an English Muffin and watching it seep into the nooks and crannies.  They're not only incredibly tasty, but they make a perfect addition to a housewarming gift basket.




Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh strawberries
1.75 oz pectin
1/2 tsp butter
5 1/2 cups sugar




Instructions:

1. Place 1 cup of berries in a heavy pot.  Use a potato masher to crush berries.  Continue adding berries and crushing them until you have 5 cups crushed berries.  Stir in pectin and butter.  Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.

2.  Add sugar and return to a full boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

3.  Ladle immediately into hot, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe jars rims; adjust lids.  Process filled jars in a boiling-water pot for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to a boil).

FYI- As the jam cools, turn the jars occasionally, top to bottom, to help evenly distribute the fruit and prevent the fruit from floating to the top of the jars.  Store upright, however, to protect the seal.
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easy kitchen pendant lighting

Pendant lighting in the kitchen can be both practical, beautiful and a cinch to install. 
Due to the changing out of the appliances, I figured I would stick with the stainless theme.
With the rest of the lights out and after the sun goes down, the simple light casts a soft glow throughout the kitchen. 
{Inspiration lighting #1}


{Inspiration lighting #2}


{Inspiration lighting #3}

{Light before}
{Remove the housing}
{Screw in the pendant and tighten the cord}
{After}

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Theater room surprise

My fiance's birthday was earlier this month and I completely racked my brain trying to figure out what to get someone that never want's anything.  I then had a brilliant idea, I figured I would include him in on my decorating plans which is a win win for both of us :).  From day one he was in love with our basement, but griped about not having a theater room.  Well I fixed that! while he was at work the process began.  My concern was not having a completed project when he return but thanks to awesome theater room installers (or what ever they are called)  I was able to surprise him.  He loved it with the exception of the Sex And The City poster and possible wall color change.





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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easy 10 minute sauteed kale

The past few months I have been on a major kale kick.  I have made kale chips, kale with smoked turkey, kale with turnips, and the easiest is sauteed kale.  In addition to kale being delicious, it's low in calories, fat free, cholesterol free, and filled with vitamins A and C.

 
Ingredients

2 lbs kale, with stems removed
4tbls olive oil
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 + 3 tbls chicken broth
salt + pepper
2tbls red wine vinegar

Instructions

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion and cook until soft.  Raise heat to high, add the chicken broth and kale, mix well.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper and add vinegar.  Make sure you don't add too much salt due to the chicken broth being salty.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Modern Suit

I recently read an article stating there's been a change in fashion where women a few years ago wanted to look sparkly, and girlie, now they want to look smart and polished.  I  agree to a point, suits are back and hemlines are longer.  One thing that never goes out of style is a smart sexy woman so there's nothing wrong with dressing the part.

{Blazer- BCBG Max Azria, Skirt- Theory, Heels- Giuseppe Zanotti, Belt- Kate Spade}


{Suit- Hugo Boss, Watch- Chopard, Folio- Mulberry, Heels- Emilio Pucci}


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Monday, March 26, 2012

Cupcake Mania

This past weekend while in New York I couldn't leave without stopping by the best cupcake spot EVER!
Baked By Melissa has the tiniest, most moist, flavorful cupcakes in the world.  I had them for the first time a few years ago when they only had the walk-up window in Soho, now with two additional locations I am guaranteed my fix when I visit.   I was tempted to try the UPS shipping option but once I discovered the price tag of $108.62 for only 25 tiny cupcakes, I wanted to boycott! How is that possible when I'm only a few hours away by car.



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Beauty Buzz Anti-Aging

With my birthday fast approaching, the thought of aging was topic of discussion this past weekend.  The question is not will we age? but how will we age?  From exercise and diet to supplements and skin treatments, here I have come up with a few effective ways to hold back the hands of time.

Daily vitamin routine
Omega 3
Green tea extract
Iron
Vitamin D
Phtyo hair, nails, skin
Multi vitamin
Calcium
Power C immune support
Heart One cholesterol support


Daily Vitamin Packed Meal Replacement Shakeology with super antioxidant blueberries
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Green with envy

With all the exciting colors I'm seeing everywhere, I'm inspired by the color green in all shades.  My love of this color goes way back to my cross colors days.  My fashion choices have certainly matured but my love of green remains.
 1. Alexander McQueen
2. Proenza Schouler
3. Walter Baker
4. Herve Leger
5. Citizens of Humanity
6. Top Shop
7. Halston Heritage
8. Marni
9. Rescue Beauty Lounge
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

A little piece of home

Growing up in the Midwest with a mother that was a chef, fresh food was and still is a big part of my life.  I can remember as a child having a home cooked meal every day with at least one item that came from my mothers garden.  Having a garden was normal to me so I decided to bring my childhood into my own home.  Who cares if my neighbors give me the side eye.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My new BFF

When it comes to following trends, I try to stay away and stick to what I'm drawn to and what fits me best.  This season's bold bright beautiful colors have me singing a slightly different tune.  You won't see me in a orange skirt, yellow shoes , and pink top but I have found myself drawn to beautiful vibrant colors.   So when I saw these amazing heels, I couldn't resist.  

Manolo Blahnik Pointed Toe Pump similar color found here
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Decorating on a budget

Lately I find myself consumed with reading every home decorating, DIY magazine ever gone to press.  I have so many ideas my only issue now is implementation on a budget.  To combat my constant decor change, I now have a game I play with myself to see how under budget I can get.  If you have time to shop online, at local model home liquidators and the clearance section of your favorite stores, you may get lucky.

My starting six

{Powder room before}
{Powder room after}
1. Mirror- Home Goods $29.99
2. Curtains and rod- Macy's clearance 32.87
3.Allen + Roth chocolate corduroy wallpaper- Home Depot clearance $62.94
4.  Soap dispenser- Home Goods clearance $5.00
5. Picture- Model Home Interiors $21.00/Frame- Ikea clearance $7.00
6. Candles- Bloomingdales clearance $5.00
7. Paper dispenser- Moen.com clearance 8.00
8. Toilet brush- Home Goods clearance- $10.00



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Monday, March 19, 2012

Best Margarita EVER!

This past weekend was spent working and re-decorating, so after several hours I decided to take a break and hit one of my favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurants for the biggest, best most insane margarita  ever made.  Afterwards a walk was required because I swear I consumed a 10lb chicken burrito.


Tunic- Vince
Jeans- J Brand
Shoes- Ruthie Davis







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