Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Friday lovas and more importantly Happy Halloween!!  I have been looking forward to Halloween all month long since this is our first Halloween in our new house.  We live in a very family friendly community, and there are tons of kids in our neighborhood so I'm hoping we get a really good turn out of trick-or-treaters tonight!  I've been slowly getting my front porch decorated throughout the month, and finally got it finished this week.  I posted this picture over on my instagram account, but in case you missed it here it is!



I"m so happy with how it turned out!  I popped into my local Pottery Barn a few days ago, and they are having MAJOR sales on Halloween decor so I stocked up on the trick or treat banner, the skull lantern, the two black owl luminaries, and the ceramic orange pumpkin all for 60% off!  The selection online is pretty slim pickings, but if you have a Pottery Barn in your area, I would suggest swinging in and seeing what they still have available.  I know I'll have most of this decor for years to come :)




I picked up this "Poison" bowl from Target, and stocked it full of all organic candies.  It has been SO hard to stay out of this for the past few days, and I'll be glad to give it all away tonight lol!  Our plans for this evening involve staying in, passing out candy to the littles, and drinking a pitcher of apple cider sangria which I'll post the recipe for next week!



Hope all of you have a safe & happy holiday! xx

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower and Curry Soup

Who's ready for soup season?  Today's recipe is inspired by one of my favorite local restaurants that Adam & I frequent quite regularly.  Over the summer, they had a roasted cauliflower & white truffle soup that was absolutely divine!  Since I tend to use a lot of truffle oil & truffle salt in other recipes,  I decided to omit the truffle flavor, and give this recipe a playful twist.  

Roasting the cauliflower in the oven brings out the natural sweetness, so not a lot of added flavors are needed in this dish.  Just a hint of curry, celery and onion, balanced out with chicken broth and a touch of half & half.  This soup is the type of soup that begs to have something dunked into it, so I paired it with some homemade croutons which I'll include the recipe for at the bottom of this page.

I really hope you enjoy!




Ingredients

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets {about 6 cups}
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cracked salt & pepper
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup half & half



Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place cauliflower florets on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with ground salt & pepper, and roast in the oven for around 20 minutes, flipping florets once during that time period.  Once they begin to lightly brown up, and can easily be pierced with a fork, remove from oven and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium sized stock pot over medium-high heat.  Cook the celery, and onion until soft and translucent, around 5 minutes.  Stir in the curry powder.

Next, add in the roasted cauliflower {making sure to scrape in the browned bits from the baking sheet} & chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.  If your blender is smaller {like mine}, you may need to do this step in a few batches.  Once complete, transfer back to your stockpot.

Add in the half & half, season with salt & pepper to taste, and simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

To serve, pour into bowls, lightly drizzle with olive oil if desired, and serve with crusty bread or home made croutons {recipe follows at the bottom of this page}.





For homemade croutons:

Take a large baguette, and slice 1 inch rounds on a diagonal.  Place rounds on a baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and lightly sprinkle with salt and garlic powder {optional}.

Place in oven, and bake at 375 degrees F, for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Store in an airtight container.




Thanks for reading!  xx

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What Your Closet Needs Right Now

If you're starting to experience chilly temperatures, I hate you.  Just joking, but I do have a serious case of envy for my friends that live up north and are constantly posting pics on Instagram of gorgeous golden leaves, and all the cute warm weather gear that they get to wear.  Meanwhile, I'm just down here in Miami, patiently waiting for the day that it dips below 80 degrees.  You all can have your winters, I have absolutely no interest in that business.  While you're in the thick of a snopocalypse, buried under a hundred feet of snow, I'm loungin' by the pool, basking in our warm, subtropical weather.  But for now I'm jealous, and your pictures of pretty leaves, and scarves + boots may or may not make me want to kick over your pumpkins.  :)

Let's chat about what your closet needs right now.  I've seen a big trend this year with sweater dresses.  It seems that they're going to be quite popular this year.  Since they usually have a tendency to sell out rather fast, if you find one that you absolutely love, I'd recommend scooping it up fast.  Another huge trend this year is the plaid scarf.  While the plaid scarf is nothing new, different versions such as the plaid blanket scarf, and plaid infinity scarf have been popping up with a vengeance.  Below, I've featured a few other essentials {mostly in budget-friendly prices} that need to take up permanent residence in your closet ASAP.



Shop These Items:

Sweater dress - H&M {available here} //  Wool duffle coat with fur hood {loving the buckles! under $300 here} //  Black suede leather ankle boots - Steve Madden {on sale for 20% off here} //  Oversized turtleneck sweater - H&M {under $50 here} //  Plaid infinity scarf {such a steal for $14 & comes in 2 colors here} //  Felt fedora {comes in many different colors, all priced below $40 here}


Ok, I officially want everything on this list!  How cute is that coat from Zara?!  It also comes in this cream colored version which I ordered for my trip to Austria in December.  I'll report back how it fits!  I'm also in love both the sweater dress and oversized turtleneck.  Both would look perfect paired with my favorite cozy fleece lined tights and those Steve Madden booties!  Top your outfit off with the plaid scarf, or chic fedora and your good to go!


Which item is your favorite?

Friday, October 24, 2014

5 Links I Loved This Week

Hooray for Friday!  This week flew by {seriously, is today really Friday?!?},  and I'm ready for a nice relaxing weekend with my man :)  Hoping that whatever you have planned for the next couple of days is filled with a little R&R, and lotsa love!

Here's a few links that I loved this week:



Leave it to Martha to provide us with the absolute cutest hanging bat tutorial, complete with a free printable bat template!



Hi Sugarplum showed us how to pack for 10 days of travel in 1 carry-on.  Talk about serious skills!



The peeps at Harpers Bazaar showcased the 10 Best Drugstore Lipstick buys.



On Domaine Home, they featured 23 Totally Chic Ways To Decorate Your Pumpkins.  Love this!



And lastly, over on Cookie + Kate {my new favorite vegetarian blog that I recently discovered}, Kate shares this delicious Healthy No Noodle Pad Thai recipe using raw vegetable noodles in place of traditional noodles.  Hoping to make this over the weekend!



Thanks for reading!  Hope you all have a beautiful weekend! xx

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Favorite Spaces Around The House

I have received SO many requests to post pictures of our new home and I wanted to give you all a little new casa update.  We moved into our new place just over a month ago, and I still feel like there is SO much to do!  We have furniture that has yet to arrive, and I haven't hung a single picture or piece of art on any walls {waiting to see how the furniture looks in the rooms once it arrives before working on wall art}.  I've been trying not to rush this process, and only purchase furniture/ home decor that I truly love, rather than purchasing stuff to simply fill up empty spaces.  

Decorating a new house is definitely a labor of love, and while I'm not yet ready to showcase it on the blog via a home tour just yet, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite spaces around here.

Hope you enjoy!



I've been so paranoid about ruining my marble countertops that I purchased a couple of huge butcher block cutting boards and placed them around the kitchen as little work stations.  I love how this one turned out!




A few of my favorite cookbooks displayed with some fresh pomegranates & pears.




I love the look of mixing rustic serving boards against the marble.





My bookshelf is basically complete {full post on how I styled it will come later}.  This was such a fun project for me to work on.




I love the character & untold stories found in antiques.  I found this French terracotta pot that dates back to the 1800's, and love the patina that it has developed over the years.



And the small clay jar that is sitting on top of the Cars book was found underwater in an area of China that was destroyed by a flood.  I love objects that have a history :)



I ended up switching out the console behind our couch to this one which features reclaimed wood, and placed two large baskets underneath which I filled with throw blankets & pillows.




A little fall decor around the house.




I filled this basket weave tray with travel related books for our guest bedroom.




Pretty bedside table vignette in the guest bedroom.




Our hallway is SO long, so instead of having one long runner made, I ordered 2 of the same runners and added a little space between them.  This added a bit of visual appeal to the space and draws the eye to the gap between the two which seems to break up the hallway.




Cheery flowers on our entryway console table.




I took old books, tore out the pages and created fake scrolls.  Kinda fun :)





I like to collect books of matches from hotels that we have traveled to.  I love this look of the matches in a small wooden bowl we picked up in Zambia combined with one of my favorite Diptyque candles under a cloche.  Glass cloches make just about anything seem more interesting! 





Thanks so much to everyone who has reached out to me requesting pictures & home updates.  I am beyond flattered that anyone is even the least bit interested in what goes on around here :)  You guys are amazing!  Thanks for reading! xx

Friday, October 17, 2014

Whats Inside My Shower

Happy Friday!  Hope you all had a great week!  My brother & his girlfriend are visiting, so we've been playing host + city tour guide all week!  This brother {I have 2 younger brothers} has only visited me 1 time since I moved to Miami, so it's really nice to have him here with us :)

I always love to read about what products other gals are using & loving, so today I thought I'd fill you in on what essentials I'm using everyday in my shower.  Let's get started...





Shampoo & Conditioner

I've been using Pureology products for years, and the Nano Works shampoo & conditioner seem to really work best for my hair.  When I was really trying to grow my hair out, using a non sulfate shampoo was essential for me, and I accredit the Nano Works line for helping me get my hair to where it is today.  I now purchase the bulk sizes from Ulta because it really is a better value than purchasing the smaller bottles.

I've also been using It's a 10 Miracle Hair Mask regularly for the past couple of years as a once weekly deep conditioner and love it!  The smaller blue bottle, Pureology Strength Cure Fabulous Lengths is a newer purchase {about 2 months ago} and I'm almost finished with this bottle.  This is a new line from Pureology, and is formulated for long hair, helping to treat & prevent breakage.  I really like this conditioner, and will definitely repurchase.




Cleansers & Treatments

Back in this post I talked about the Ahava Time To Clear Purifying Mud Mask, and also the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser a little more in depth.  Well, I'm still not loving the Neutrogena, it tends to be a little drying, so it has since been moved to the shower where I generally don't really use it {I typically wash my face more at nighttime, not really in the shower}.  The Ahava mud mask on the other hand,  I LOVE!  I use it about once a week, and it leaves my face glowing and feeling completely refreshed.  I have also recently purchased Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, and it's just alright.  It does the job, but irritates my eyes, and doesn't really wow me.  Not sure if I will repurchase this.




Body Products

Without getting too in depth about my "hoohaw", I use Summers Eve cleansing wash because I get those dreaded infections that no girl ever wants to get really easily if I use regular soap down there {I'm apparently a sensitive kinda gal}, so I switched a few years back to this wash that is PH balanced, and I've never had an issue since. Problem solved!  I've even gotten some of my girlfriends to switch {the things us girls talk about!}, and they are now converts as well :)  Ok, moving on.....

I found this pure coconut oil soap from Whole Foods and I really like it!  It's really refreshing because it has peppermint oil in it.  Would definitely recommend. 

Lately, I've also been using Ahava Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Exfoliator.  I received a sample of it when we were in Israel earlier this year and liked it so much that I purchased the full size bottle from Nordies.  I use this about once per week, generally before I apply self tanner or bronzer.  I really, really like this exfoliator and intend on repurchasing once I run out.  All of the Ahava products that I've tested out have been great - definitely recommend you girls checking out that line.

Lastly, my razor.  I use a mens razor because I think they do the best job.  My hubby converted me to his razor, a Gillette Fusion, years ago and I've never used a girly razor ever since.  I just think they get a much closer shave....personal opinion.




Boy Stuff

The hubs is a pretty simple guy.  We share shampoo {Pureology Nano Works}, and for everyday use he's used Dial Magnetic for as long as I can remember.  For special occasions & date nights, he uses Tom Ford Oud Wood Shower Gel.  Oud Wood is his favorite Tom Ford scent, so I purchased this shower gel for him as one of his small birthday presents this year and he LOVES it!  This makes for a great little luxury present for your guy for birthdays, Christmas, stocking stuffer, etc.  Highly recommend it.  



Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my shower products that I'm currently using, and please, fill me in, chicas.  Any products that you're loving & want to share?  Leave a comment below, and tell us about it :)

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sale Alert - Shopbop Sale!!



Hey chicas!  Today marks the first day of the Shopbop friends & family sale!  Shopbop is definitely up there on my list of favorite websites, and although the majority of their items can be on the pricier side, the friends & family event that they have a few times per year is a great opportunity to stock up on designer denim, luxe Vince knits, perfectly fitted Eqipment blouses, and killer dresses all for 25% off.  

If there is one thing I've learned about shopping this sale it's that if you're on the fence about a certain item, buy it!  Most of the good items sell out lightening fast, and with Shopbop's free shipping/ free returns policy it's basically risk free to test drive anything out. 

Below I've featured my top picks for the sale.  Click on any image to be view product info, or to be directed to the Shopbop website.  Happy shopping!







 

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