Monday, December 20, 2010

Modern Wreaths

Wheather it was my own mother or one of the other neighborhood mom's the wreath's, during holiday time, were always spectacular when I was growing up. Most of the wreaths were fresh (or cleverly crafted, in my mom's case) but were always a bit more traditional. Here are a few modern style wreaths that really tickled me. The use of new materials like grosgrain ribbon, leather, paper or adding a touch of metallic flair are great ways to bring a traditional piece a little more up-to-date.

DIY Calendar

This do-it-yourself project spotted on design*sponge is one of the best projects I have seen in a while. It's so simple and easy and you can give it to anyone! (I especially love the idea of giving it to a teacher where it can sit on the desk and be loved and appreciated every day).

Check out the full how-to here & happy giving!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I have always loved the wintery "love" song Baby It's Cold Outside but, check out the new modern version of an old classic with the cute-as-a-button Selma Blair and Rainn Wilson. Second runner up is Jon Heder & Janelle Monae's take on Winter Wonderland!

Busy Holidays

I know I have not been very dedicated to my JuneJuly posts over the past month, but really I have just been off enjoying my lovely holiday season. With working, shopping, getting my first real tree (with the lovely Joe Boyle), spending time with my Austin loved ones and getting ready for my holiday travels to the north east, I haven't exactly had too much spare time - and I have to say I have loved it. But, check out JuneJuly over the next few days for some fun holiday cheer that I just have to share with you before Santa comes sliding down the chimney!

p.s. notice the deer in the tray below the xmas tree above! LOVE!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The New Holiday Card

For those of you who enjoy the holidays but simply can't be bothered to hand write 50 cards and address the accompanying envelopes to send to all your favorite people this year - there is always the option of ecards. Luckily there is for at least the people in your life that will appreciate the gift of laughter. I would still, however, recommend a handwritten card to Grandma. 


Holiday Party Etiquette

Holiday Parties are among us, so here are some tips that offer up some advice on how to navigate this season's social whirl wind!

Q: I would like to bring friends along to a party, is this OK?
A: The answer is usually 'yes' as long at you ask the hostess first. Also, keep in mind that it's much easier to bring friends along to a cocktail party opposed to a sit down dinner. However, this extended invitation does not keep going and going - guest of guests should not bring guests! Under normal circumstances, an invitation generally means you plus one.

Q: I forgot to RSVP. Can I still attend the party?
A: Don't just show up - even if it's the day of the event call or email the hostess and let them know that you will be able to make it. A late response is better than no response at all - and a simply apology for your late reply will go a long way. Seasoned partygoers tend to reply as soon as they recieve the invitation, that way they won't forget - and for this you'll be sure to be invited back every year. 

Q: I can only stay at the party a little while. How do I do so gracefully?
A: Give a big hello rather than a big goodbye. This was you don't disrupt your hostess in the middle of the party and risk hurting the flow of the party. It's fine to slip out quietly, but you don't want to trigger a preemptive mas exodus!

Q: I think I may have gotten a tad too tipsy. How should I recover?
A: Humor is often your best friends in times like these. Tell your host that you had a great time (maybe too great a time) and that you're terribly sorry - a simple apology note or phone call should be enough to smooth things over.

Q: I am attending an event but I won't know that many people. Any tips?
A: Be adventurous! There is no need to wait on your hostess to do all the introductions, put yourself out there and work the room yourself. Strike up conversation (and maybe even dance) with people you don't know. The most important thing is to show up to the party with a festive attitude - If you look like you're enjoying yourself, people will be drawn to you!

All advice based off InStlyle Magazine December 2009 Issue

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving sans Turkey!

Okay, well, I personally will still be indulging in my allotted portion of turkey for the holiday, but many of my friends don't really do the meat thing. So, I found this recipe that I just HAD to share; it sounds terribly delicious (oxymoron?) for both vegetarians and the carnivorous kind - a perfect addition for any Thanksgiving menu! (Sorry to the lactose intolerant, but I can't do without cheese).

Butternut Squash & Cheddar Bread Pudding
6-8 serving

  • 2 pounds peeled seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional for sprinkling
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups half and half
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 day-old baguette (do not remove crust), torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 1 pound), ribs removed, kale coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated 
     Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt; bake until squash is tender, turning with spatula occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.
     Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add half and half, wine, mustard, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt; whisk to blend. Add baguette pieces; fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
     Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add kale; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes (kale will be a bit crunchy).
     Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Using slotted spoon, transfer half of bread from egg mixture to prepared baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of kale over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and kale; sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, kale, squash, and cheese. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.
     Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, about 20 minutes longer.
     Preheat broiler; broil pudding until cheese browns slightly, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit magazine

Monday, November 15, 2010

'tis the season...

Be sure to indulge yourself in all the luxurious smells and textures you can get your hands on this autumn harvest season.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prettiest Pumpkin

This is by far the prettiest pumpkin on the block! I might be doing this project this afternoon, if I can find the time. If you ask me, this project is flawless - you can decorate it for the typical black-and-orange whimsy of Halloween and yet you can still keep it around all season until its time for your Thanksgiving tablescape! Click here for full tutorial on this diy pumpkin perfection!

Happy {Halloween} Weekend

"Witch and ghost
make merry
on this last of dear
October’s days." 
{Author Unknown} Happy Halloween

Black Holiday

This photo shoot and just another perfect depiction of what is feeding the fire in me this Halloween season. The dark and twisted glamour that is both haunting yet indescribable in how it won't let you look away from its beauty. The rest of the series is just as sinister and luscious in its faultless Black Holiday story.

Keep Calm

I know that these posters have become one of the latest fad crazes, but let's face it, the products are well designed and I like what the message is sending out. The history of the original campaign was the British started to produce the posters during 1939, at the beginning of World War II. The message was meant to raise moral of the public people in case of invasion. Two-and-a-half million copies were made for this "last-case-scenario" moral boosting campaign, but it just so happened that the posters were distributed in limited numbers and scarcely used. Sadly, the artist of the original art work and design was not documented and is still unknown. The poster was rediscovered in 2000 and were re-issued by a number of private sector companies stirring up the recent craze of the the Keep Calm & Carry On slogan.

I like the history and I appreciate how it relates to what is happening in our society today. There are a lot of upsets across the country, and across the globe, and we have a long road ahead of us. We need to remember to reset and collect ourselves, every once in a while, so that we can continue to the strong and carry on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Colors of Fall

Well, for your face, anyway. I have already shared a few of my favorite fashion trends for Fall 2010, so here are some of my favorite makeup trends and ways to look fresh faced and fabulous!

Cool Pink Blush for your Cheeks.
A perfect way to look fresh and not overdone. Use simple makeup and softer shades for the rest of your makeup so that your rosy cheeks can really take precedence. Also, try and concentrate the pigment on the apples of your cheekbones so that the color. Take a peek here for some of this seasons best products to help pull off this look.

Smokey Green Eyes.
Especially if you have amber tones in your eyes, this look is for you! The green tones in the shadow will pull out the golden tones in your eye color. I also just like that this is a quick and simple way to add those military-chic colors into your style. Just remember to keep the color below the crease of the lid to avoid looking overdone, and reach for a brown liner for definition, instead of black. Check here for critics favorite cosmetics for this look. 

Persimmon for your Lips, not just your Desert.
There are a lot of bright orange lips on the runway these days which, obviously, isn't for everyone. Persimmon is a slightly pink-ier tone that gives nod to the trend without making you look like a clown. This color isn't considered a bright nor is it consider a neutral, so pick your color carefully. Be sure to test the color before you buy and make sure to take in the fact that the natural color of your lips will intensify the color you apply to them. Look here for your best bet on the best products.


Happy Monday

With only one week left, I am basking in the loveliness of this Halloween season. Every so often the Texas wind will make it feel like the north east autumn I am used to. I love buying the candy corn for the candy dish and lighting the pumpkin spice candles - all the details that make you feel like a kid again. This year especially, though, I am hooked on delicate elegance of black vs. white, shadow vs. light, and all things that make this holiday a particular glamorous occasion.

Aiding me in this Halloween appreciation, today, is the photography of Anna Wolf and illustrations by Clare Owen.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

'tis the season...

Be inspired by the dark and mysterious.

Image credit: Deconstructed mummies image via coco+kelley

Favorite Fall Fashion Trends {2010}

Stripes as layers. I was crazy over stripes all summer long and now i can transition them into fall and winter as well! Don't pack away those stripes, wear them with jeggings and a boyfriend blazer and you're instantly nautical-chic for fall!

Military Chic. I am, for some reason, loving all of the army green and boyish military lines on super feminine girls. I enjoy this look especially when army meets a detail with sparkle.

Add a little sparkle to your life! A perfect transition into sparkles (like i said, i LOVE it with this seasons military-chic) A little glitter or sparkle in your step is this fall/winters best accessory. On your shoes or belt, skirt or blouse, no matter where you wear it, you're bound to turn heads.

Ladies, steal from the gentlemen. How to look comfortable and yet pulled together? Steal from the men! The boyfriend look is perfect for the weekend or a date night to the movies, when you might want to step out of your stilettos, but still dress to impress.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Looking foward to...

Diving into my latest purchase!

For all of you bicycle lovers out there, here is a great little tool (I say little because it is the size of a credit card and can fit into your wallet!) that can help fix life's little adjustments, or at least those pertaining to your ride. Pretty sweet, if you ask me.

For the love of wine {and graphic design}

Jaqk Wine Cellars' tag line is "play a little" and that is JUST what they have done with their brand identity. I love the elegance and wit used throughout their wine labels and website - it makes it so much more fun to support, buy and drink! So, cheers - it's Friday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An apple a day...

Just in time for the first official day of fall (tomorrow), my sweet tooth has started to demand its craving for candied and caramel apples! A delicious urge I get every year around this time. Get some delicious recipes to make your own, right here!

5 Great Kitchen tips!

image via
image from
ONE: Open kitchen cabinets or shelves in place of cabinets make your space feel lighter and airier. Use a combination of open and closed cabinets if you don't want everything on display.   

image via
TWO:  Using a rack to hang your pots will save you storage space in your drawers and cabinets and will make your pots and pans easier to find. Not to mention its a great way to display your collection of stove top items.

THREE:  Don't be afraid to keep out the items you use often or everyday and feel free to display the things you enjoy looking at. Fill fruit bowls with your market fresh fruits and veggies for easy access and a punch of color - or keep your hand and dish soaps on the counter in beautiful trays for organization. Just make sure after all is said and done you have plenty of room to still utilize your counter space when it comes time to cook. 

image via
 FOUR:  Sneak on more shelving to your walls and use up all your wall space, especially if you have a small kitchen and not a lot of storage space. The shelves themselves can become artwork by using ornate and decorative brackets or the items you display can be placed as groupings to make them look more put-together as well.
image via
FIVE:  A kitchen cart/island on wheels provides moveable storage and extra counter space and can easily double as a serving space or , best of all, a bar when there is company over!