Sunday, May 26, 2013

Style Sunday: Chic Container

While in HomeGoods shopping for a wedding gift, I picked this fabric-covered and fabric-lined cyclindrical box with lid up for myself...

I love that it has a quatrefoil print.

I put some laundry and closet items I had laying around my closet inside.
I love pretty containers and organizers!

I placed it on the floor inside my closet.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Things To Do: Summer 2013 Edition

I made the most of my summer last year by ticking items off this list of summery things. This shows it's possible to have a fun, eventful and quintessential summer season even on a budget. A list and blog updates also kept me accountable, so I didn't miss out on thoroughly enjoying the pleasures of the season. An item inspired something to do on a lazy summer day.

This summer from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend, I will...

1. mix up a batch of margaritas and toast summer

2. date as much as possible

3. savor gelato

4. stroll down Main Street in Annapolis, Maryland

5. grill kabobs and dine alfresco

6. entertain fabulously at home

7. have a picnic

8. rock a skirt or dress often

9. purchase fresh produce at the farmer's market

10. explore a new place

11. stay out late

12. celebrate Ferragosto on August 15th

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Links I Love: Travel

This image launches daydreams about wining and dining al fresco in a foreign city...
...people-watching and reviewing all the beauty and pleasure of the day... in the moment...

Even more links I love...
 This time, I selected more general travel-related resources...
~ Enjoy ~

Karen's reflection of five years living as a Venetian.

3 Weeks 1 Carry-On Suitcase

How To Pack a Carry-On Like a Boss

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Links I Love: Paris

In my planning for my trip to Paris next April, I have come across these lovely links...

I'm a fan of Rick Steves, who's a fan of Rue Cler in Paris, so I'll definitely visit it.


Of the fifteen, the picnic is my favorite.




Thrifty tips plus how to make Paris your's.






The author of this article is the blogger behind...


I love her photography.
Carin does photo tours, maybe I'll hire her when I'm in Paris. You can too.



More of my pins of Paris.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Style Sunday: Azaleas

My favorite flower is the azalea. These beautiful bushes usually blossom around my birthday on April 15th. Due to spring's late arrival, they're in bloom in my local area now, during mid-May. I especially love the color of the dark pink ones. So, last year, I bought my very own for my balcony. This is what the second season looks like...

I tried to nurture it as much as I could. For example, I took it inside my apartment until after the last frost. After that, I set it on the most eastern corner of my north-facing balcony since this plant prefers shade and to be away from the hot afternoon sun. I also tried to water it properly since it can easily be overwatered. I added ground coffee for about a week to make the soil acidic. Some Miracle Grow too. I haven't done any pruning though... This is one of my most prized possessions.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Style Sunday: Khaki Trench Coat

I love a khaki trench...

...from low end...
This one's from Old Navy.
I've owned an Old Navy one,
but replaced it with one from Banana Republic Factory Store.
I posted about my upgrade here. high end...
From Burberry.

...and everywhere in between...
From Talbots.
I prefer a single-breasted trench with a belt.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Style Sunday: "Collected, Not Decorated"

"A room should be collected, not decorated." ~Suzanne Kasler

I agree. A room's style is always an ongoing process for me. While I do keep the larger picture in mind, the ambiance, I really look to collect individual pieces that I find beautiful. A room of items meaningful to me truly reflects me. I wouldn't go as far to say that I like an eclectic room. I want to achieve a relaxing home, sure, but also a sophisticated, passionate one. As an a former art historian, I love the idea of curating pieces.

Kasler, an interior designer, seems to love quatrefoils as much as I do. Her name rang a bell because I've had this outdoor rug on my wish list for the past year...

I would love one for my balcony. Which color though?

The art above my sofa: street art from Italy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Buon Appetito!

Tonight's Dinner: Bruschetta

...and a glass of vino rosso, certo! 
This is a (Deruta-knockoff) platter full of toasted slices of baguette
around the central bowl of tomato mixture.

Classic Bruschetta

I did have a few bites of proscuitto and cheese, but really thoroughly enjoyed my bruschetta for dinner. I made far too much, oh well... hopefully it's halfway decent leftover for the next couple meals...

My Recipe

3 vine-ripened tomatoes (I think plum tomatoes are suggested but the ones attached to the vine looked way better in the grocery store this time. This is something you might want to have seasonally.)
6 basil leaves
balsamic vinegar
good extra virgin olive oil made for dipping
a clove of garlic
a french baguette
cooking spray

My Steps
First, I sliced the baguette on a diagonal into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch width slices. Next, I halved the tomatoes and removed the seeds with a spoon. After that, I chopped the tomatoes into small cubes. Halfway through dicing the tomatoes, I used cooking spray on my stove-top grill pan and turned on the burners, heating the grill. I rolled the basil, cut it in half and then sliced each half on a diagonal to achieve short skinny strands. I put the tomato and basil into a bowl. Next, I arranged the sliced bread on the pan in a single layer. Turning them with tongs after one side in a bit golden with some grill marks. I, then, arranged them on a plate. I cut the garlic in half and rubbed the top of each piece of toast with the cut end. I drizzled olive oil from a proper dispenser over each piece. I added a bit of the following: salt and pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the bowl full of tomatoes and basil. I folded the mixture, combining everything together with a spoon. When you are ready to eat, top each piece of bread with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. I suggest that you pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy like I did! Dining with others? Wish them a "buon appetito!"

This is so delicious! After years of not making it, I've started to prepare it recently. I had it tonight and also the Saturday before last with Kate from Une Vie Chic. I can't get over that I haven't been making this simple dish all along!