bacon bloodies and brunch with pinnacle vodka

bloody mary recipe with pinnacle vodka copy bacon bloodies and brunch with pinnacle vodka

 

 

I have to admit–I’m a bit late to the art of the bloody mary. I just tried my first one earlier this year and I have to say, I wasn’t bowled over. Upon first impression, it was sort of like drinking cold tomato soup–not the most unpleasant thing ever, but not my traditional cup of OJ and champy. However, I’ve since gotten them at a few different restaurants around NYC and I’m finally starting to understand the buzz. When done right, bloody marys are gooooooddddd–plus I love that they always come piled high with extras, because more food.

 

bloody mary ingredients bacon bloodies and brunch with pinnacle vodka

 

For my latest post in partnership with Pinnacle Vodka, I decided to whip up my own version of the infamous bloody mary, and serve it up alongside a hearty, saucy brunch. There were so many Pinnacle flavors that would have gone amazing with this recipe (especially Atomic Hot), but I decided to stay classic and just go with their traditional unflavored version. Here’s what you’ll need for each bloody mary:

 

  • 1 shot Pinnacle vodka (or, if two shots is more your style, get at it)
  • 4 parts tomato juice
  • 1/2 part lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 part cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 part juice from the pickle jar
  • 1 part Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 part finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 part hot sauce or sriracha
  • 1 pickle and 1 slice of bacon, for garnish

 

bloody mary cocktails bacon bloodies and brunch with pinnacle vodka

 

Shake up the ingredients in a cocktail tumbler, then serve chilled with an extra sprig of parsley, a speared pickle and a strip of bacon (pro tip: this will make your guests very happy). The hot sauce and pepper gives these the perfect hit of heat, the pickle is a nod to tradition and the bacon is here to party. Game on.

 

bloody marys and brunch bacon bloodies and brunch with pinnacle vodka

 

Serve along a few hearty brunch dishes (I’ll be sharing the recipes for these ones tomorrow!) and you have the formula for a perfect fall Sunday. Cheers!

 

 

 
AuthorLogo Pinnacle bacon bloodies and brunch with pinnacle vodka

Pinnacle Vodka shakes things up with unexpected experiences and delightful discoveries. Explore with other fun flavors at http://pinnaclevodka.com. Also, check us out on Facebook and Twitter, or find more fun entertaining and drink ideas on our Pinterest page.

 

Pinnacle® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission.  This is a sponsored partnership, with Pinnacle® Vodka, via Mode Media.  The information, comments, and ideas expressed on this website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Jim Beam Brands Co., its affiliated companies, or any of their directors or employees.

the year of 50 books: 21-25

book suggestions for fall the year of 50 books: 21 25

 

Something weird happened in this batch of books–I actually didn’t like something. Truthfully, I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to my book (and movie) preferences: give me a psychologically unhinged serial killer or a “just friends” couple where one person doesn’t know the other person is the love of their life and I’m a happy camper. I almost never not finish a book, but I did this batch. Not to fear…there were also plenty I loved! Let’s do this.

 

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Sheltering Rain, By Jojo Moyes Ah I know–more Jojo Moyes. I’m such a bore, aren’t I? What can I say–when I like something, I go all in. I think this was my least favorite of all the Jojo Moyes books I’ve read so far. While the characters were endearing (a mother, her grumpy teenage daughter and ailing, aging parents), I found the storyline tended to drag a bit and just wasn’t as engaging as the past books I’ve read by her. The whole book was about characters who have an achingly hard time connecting with one another–and I, in turn, had a pretty hard time connecting with them. Regardless, it ended up being a decently entertaining beach reach (which is where I turned most of the pages), and if you’re at all a fan of the Irish countryside or culture, you’ll want to pick this up solely for the virtual stamp on your passport. Rating: 6.5 out of 10

 

81XbzO1loHL the year of 50 books: 21 25

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste NG Everything you learn about Lydia, a young Chinese American teenager, you learn with the knowledge that she’s already dead. This book is very Gone Girl or Reconstructing Amelia-esque in that sense…it leaves you to piece together the story, and the characters, already knowing their fate. This debut novel from Celeste NG was exactly the kind of book I enjoy–a character-driven drama with a hint of mystery and intrigue. When Lydia is found dead, her small town–and her increasingly distant family–is ripped apart. Accusations fly and everyone is begging the question, “Who killed Lydia”? I’ll leave you to figure out the answer for yourself–but it’s probably not what you think. What I think NG did really well with the novel is to make each character very three dimensional. Their problems, their reactions, their sadness–it all felt very real and genuine. If you like books similar to Gone Girl, you would probably like this! Rating: 8 out of 10

 

41+kLxub1ML. SY344 BO1204203200  the year of 50 books: 21 25

 

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty Another favorite author alert! I love (love love) Liane Moriarty’s work, and my latest read by her is no different. The Hypnotist’s Love Story follows–you guessed it–a hypnotist on her quest for love. The only issue? Well, the man Ellen finds herself falling for kind of has a little problem–a stalker. I don’t know what it is with me and stalker books lately, but this one teetered just on the edge of creepy–it definitely wasn’t anything close to The Book of You, which I read earlier this year…but still eerie enough to give you a few goosebumps. Overall though, I just really loved the character of Ellen. A little crunchy granola in an endearing way (all that light and love radiating out of you type stuff), her quest for love, even in the midst of an unsettling situation, was relatable and comforting. The takeaway? Even very balanced, zen hypnotists worry about finding–and keeping–the one. Rating: 8.7 out of 10

 

18453074 the year of 50 books: 21 25

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris Annnnnnnd we’ve made it–to the one book I couldn’t stand this go-around. This book in one word? Tiring. In a few words? Dumbfounding, confusing, overly complicated. I just didn’t like it, you guys. That’s not to say that if you did read it and like it, I’m judging you. It’s just that I couldn’t help but think the entire time I was reading it (or trying to): am I missing something? I liked Ferris’ writing style, so that wasn’t the issue. The main character was just in no way sympathetic. He was crass and rude and alienating–and I think he was meant to be all those things, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care much about him, or the comings and goings of his sad life. And then there was the underlaying tone of mental illness or some sort of strange, abstract religion–I’m not sure which (which just goes to show you how confusing this book is). The main character, Paul, is convinced someone is trying to impersonate him online–on Facebook, Twitter, baseball fan forums and a blog for his dental practice. He then dives reluctantly into a journey of self-discovery–which I can’t really tell you how it ends, because I couldn’t finish the book. The only thing I came out of this book thinking was A) I’m confused and B) I should probably floss more. Rating: 2 out of 10

 

art of racing in the rain book cover the year of 50 books: 21 25

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein This was, above and beyond, one of the most lovely, life-changing, magical books I’ve ever read. Honestly, I’m choking up a bit just thinking about it–I’m a sap, but really, truly it was beautiful. If you told me one of my favorite books this year would be told through the eyes of a dog, I would probably look at you and laugh. But Enzo isn’t just a dog–he’s a keen observer of human nature. He’s a protector. He’s a trouble maker and a hero and a best friend and an old soul, all at once. The story is told through his eyes as he watches his family change, grow and experience life’s ups and downs. You start the book knowing Enzo dies (really, it’s in the first chapter, so I’m not ruining anything) and while that seems tragically sad, please don’t let that deter you from reading the book–I can assure you the ending will have you crying happy tears and marveling at how sometimes, life can be just a little bit magical. The Art of Racing in the Rain made me laugh, cry, ponder what I want out of life and everything in between. It also made me less embarrassed at the fact that I talk to my pup like she’s human. Because she is, obviously. Rating: 9.5 out of 10

 

top image via

in bloom: september

in bloom sept opener copy in bloom: september

 

 

If there’s one thing that always make me feel happy (and makes my home feel complete), it’s flowers. I don’t care if it’s a $100 arrangement or a bouquet from Whole Foods–there’s just something about flowers that instantly boosts my mood.

 

For my new job, I’ve spent a lot of time on set, styling photo shoots. My teammate used to work for a floral designer and is constantly creating these insanely beautiful arrangements for our shoots–it’s so cool to watch her put each bloom in just the right place until it creates this dynamic, colorful, eye-catching bouquet. Naturally, I suddenly wanted to know everything there was to know about floral arranging.

 

in bloom september floral layout in bloom: september

 

With that in mind, I set out to the flower market in NYC–which happens to be one of my favorite places in Manhattan–with a little challenge for myself. Each month, I’m going to pick out some new flowers and try my hand at creating a (hopefully) pretty arrangement. I am by no means an expert at real flower arranging, so this is going to be a bit of an adventure (in fact, I had no clue what to even ask for in terms of flowers when I got to the market). But what good is life if we’re not constantly challenging ourselves, right? And really…I think you have to try very hard to make flowers look ugly, so that helps too.

 

I left the market with bundles of pretty flowers, like silver brunia, viridiflora tulips and spartacus dahlias, in shades of light pink, green, burgundy and grey. Without further ado, the two arrangements I created for September:

 

in bloom sept floral arrangement one in bloom: september in bloom sept floral arrangement 1 2 in bloom: september in bloom sept floral arrangement two in bloom: september

 

My coworker’s biggest tip was to work on creating “color stories” within the flower arrangements, so that’s what I tried to focus on–I have to admit, I’m pretty OK with the way they came out! The burgundy Spartacus dahlia was a great focus point for the first one, and the blooms in the second have a droopy quality that, for some reason, reminds me of the gorgeous spanish moss trees I saw when I was in Savannah, GA earlier this year.

 

So that’s September’s flower arrangement(s)! I’m hoping to take a floral design class and keep experimenting. Stay tuned!

 

 

p.s. If you’re into flowers like me, you absolutely have to check out Alison from Heart of Gold’s “Petal by Petal” series–she takes the most incredible photos of flowers!

 

 

 

 

heirloom tomato, basil and ricotta tart

summer heirloom tomatoes heirloom tomato, basil and ricotta tart

 

 

I have big love for tomatoes. When I was growing up, I used to bite into huge beefsteak ones apple-style in my grandparent’s backyard, inevitably ending each summer afternoon wearing a tomato-soaked t-shirt.

 

A decade later and I’m still obsessing over the vegetable (Fruit? Tomato, tomahto), only now I’m chasing after the yellow, purple and striped varieties of tomatoes that are popping up in the end-of-summer markets here in the city. You certainly don’t need heirloom tomatoes for this recipe, but the flavor variety and varying colors definitely adds something to the final product.

fresh basil heirloom tomato, basil and ricotta tart maldon sea salt heirloom tomato, basil and ricotta tart

 

Two musts for this recipe? Fresh basil and really good sea salt–I swear by Maldon, which you can pick up at any Whole Foods or specialty market near you. I know you’re probably thinking, “How big of a difference can specific salt really make, lady?” but I swear to you, use this once and you’ll never go back to that other stuff.

 

heirloom tomato tart heirloom tomato, basil and ricotta tart

 

 

To start, you’ll need a defrosted sheet of puff pastry–Pillsbury makes a great one. Lay it out on a baking sheet thats been covered with parchment paper. Your oven should be pre-heating to 400 degrees.

 

In a bowl, mix together a cup of whole-milk ricotta with two tablespoons sugar. Once combined, spread the ricotta onto the puff pastry, leaving about an inch of pastry uncovered around the perimeter. Start layering on your tomatoes, sliced thin, until you’ve covered the ricotta almost completely. Finish with fresh basil, a small drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a general sprinkling of Maldon sea salt.

 

 

heirloom tomato tart with ricotta cheese and basil heirloom tomato, basil and ricotta tart

 

Before putting it in the oven, make an egg wash (one egg and one tablespoon of water whisked together) and paint it on the uncovered pastry edges. Pop the tart into the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and brown, and the tomatoes are shriveled (if you can, sneak a spatula under the center of it–it should be firm, not gummy and raw).

 

summer heirloom tomato tart with ricotta cheese and basil heirloom tomato, basil and ricotta tart

 

Once cooked, allow the tart to cool on the pan for 10 minutes–if you try to move it too soon, it can crack and shatter. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

love loss and DVR love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

 

I feel like it’s time I just come out and admit it–I’m obsessed with TV relationships. Not the, “Do you accept this rose until we both leave this romantic island and ink an US Weekly cover” type of television relationships, but the honest-to-goodness, sometimes-dramatic, took-us-seven-seasons-to-get-to-the-kiss television relationships. I’m already fangirling just thinking about it (Warning: This is a long post, but it’s all about love. So I think I get a free pass).

 

I’ve always been a romantic, but there is special nook and cranny section in my little romantic heart that beats extra hard for television couples. They’re just different–more special, even–than movie couples. Maybe it’s because we spend seasons and seasons getting to know them and rooting for them (or against them, in some cases) and see them struggle, shouting at our televisions, “JUST KISS HER YOU IDIOT!” (<No? Just Me?). Or maybe it’s because we find them at different times in our lives, where the right television episode can be exactly the push we need to be brave, be forgiving, get invested or get over it. Do I want emulate every television couple I fall in love with? Of course not–trust me, I would not trade places with Olivia Pope and her misfit band of lovers for anything in the world (Ok, mayyyyyybeeeeee her Prada bag collection…), but that doesn’t stop me from falling head over heels for the stories of love and loss currently taking up 98% of the available space on my DVR. For you lovers, some of my favorite duos:

 

pam and jim1 love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

Jim and Pam, The Office

I’m pretty sure Jim and Pam win the award for everyone’s favorite television couple–I mean, I know we’re supposed to pretended The Office was about other things besides them, but was it reallllyyy? From long-distance high-fives across the office to angst-y time apart and a wedding in Niagara (Yes, I baked them a wedding cake for a viewing party we had with friends in college, in case you want another reason to question my mental stability), I loved watching Jim and Pam make the full-circle transition from co-workers, to best friends, to lovers, to family. They are just the best, simple as that.

Their best moment: I’m stuck between two. First, the moment Jim confesses his love for Pam during Casino Night (and of course the kiss after), because that whole love-your-best-friend thing is just so painful and relatable to practically everyone. Second, the exact moment, at the end of their wedding episode, that Jim looks at the camera and smiles. Slays. My. Heart.

 

liv and fitz love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

 

Olivia and Fitz, Scandal

I get it, I get it–this is bound to be an unpopular choice. I know this relationship was audultary and no, I don’t condone it but, you guys–clearly Liv and Fitz have that unbreakable sort of thing (and you have to, if you’re going to be the leads in a Shonda Rhimes show…that woman likes her drama dramatic). There’s something I find so fascinating about characters, and people really, that are so magnetically drawn to each other that there’s no escaping it. Their chemistry is undeniable and their “one minute” scenes make me feel so many feelings. He could kill the Supreme Court Justice, she could rig an election–hell, they’re going to love each other anyways. Nothing is ever safe on Scandal, especially not their relationship, but I’m rooting for these two crazy kids to get their crap together next season and just go make babies and jam in Vermont already.

Their best moment: A tie again: either when Fitz tells Liv how he feels in the rose garden or when Fitz tells Liv how he feels at the hospital. It’s always Fitz talking about his feelings and never Liv.

 

ross and rachel love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

 

Ross and Rachel, Friends

Ah, the couple that started it all. I’m sure there were TV relationships before Ross and Rachel that had millions rooting for them, but nothing was ever quite like the will-they-or-won’t-they, on-and-off special cocktail that Ross and Rachel mixed up over those ten years. A lot of my Ross and Rachel relationship appreciation has come retrospectively, because let’s be honest–I couldn’t really understand the complexities of their relationship when I was 12. I could understand the lobster though–everybody gets having a lobster.

Their best moment: Oh, so many. Maybe it’s the kiss from The One With The Prom Video , or when Ross says Rachel’s name at the alter when it’s not her next to him. But really, I’m going to have to be cliche and say it’s the final scene in The Last Oneyou know, the one with the plane? I’ve always wanted someone to wish that hard that I got off a plane–and hopefully it’s not the TSA…

 

mindy and danny love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

 

Mindy and Danny, The Mindy Project

Mindy and Danny very rapidly became my favorite couple on television over the past two seasons–well, first they were my favorite non-couple and now, well–you get my drift. I love will-they-or-won’t-they story lines (I am a firm believer that a little drawn-out angst never hurt anyone) and Mindy and Danny’s has been the best of the best. I mean, best friends who kind of want to kill each other half the time but really are falling in love with each other the other half of the time? Who wouldn’t want to watch that–especially when Chris Messina and Mindy’s amazing wardrobe are involved. Their relationship is only made better by Kaling’s amazing writing–it’s realistic and doesn’t try too hard, but she doesn’t pretend not to love and embrace a few romantic comedy cliches. She’s said in a few interviews that she fully intends on Mindy and Danny’s relationship continuing on in this upcoming season, so YAY!

Their best moment: I mean, every moment when they’re not fighting (and even sometimes when they are). I loved when Danny tried to save Mindy’s speech at her and Josh’s Christmas party, when he danced for her at that other Christmas party and of course, when he ran through the streets of NYC to the tune of Springsteen (start the video at 18:20 for just that scene!) on the way to ESB. Kind of all my favorite things in one.

 

sydney and vaughn love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

 

Sydney and Vaughn, Alias

Syd and Vaughn were the first couple I really got obsessed with–maybe it’s because they were spies and I wanted so badly to be a spy (seriously…) or maybe because Michael Vartan is a babe or maybe because all the odds were stacked against them (She’s undercover! Her Mom killed his Dad! He married someone else!). I worshiped Alias. Seriously, give me a still image of this show and I can tell you exactly what episode it is from, what dialogue is being said and what music is playing in the background. It’d actually be a pretty cool party trick if it wasn’t so pathetic. No matter, I never stopped rooting for them. And clearly, I know a good thing when I see it, because they lived happily ever after–or at least lived as retired spies on the beach somewhere in California with their spy-in-training kiddos. So yeah, happily ever after.

Their best moment: Pretty much any time they had to covertly meet, like the time in the train station, or when Sydney gave Vaughn a drawer. OR when they faced a firing squad, starred down death and confessed their undying love to each other to the tune of Damian Rice.

 

seth and summer love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

 

Summer and Seth, The OC

Seth and Summer were the little high school couple that could, made even cuter by the fact that they were dating in real-life for quite some time. I’m sure they looked more normal in comparison to Ryan and Marissa, but I always thought they were a really sweet, slightly innocent portrayal of young, first love. And let’s be honest–I could stare at Adam Brody all day. He’s way too adorable.

Their best moment: Gotta be that Spiderman kiss, no? Or maybe Seth’s coffee shop cart confession. Side note: Didn’t The OC always have the best music?

 

tami and eric love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

Eric and Tami, Friday Night Lights

That’s Coach and Mrs. Coach to you, thanks. Arguably the most loving, sincere example of a marriage on television any time in the last decade, I kind of want to be these two when I grow up. It’s no surprise that Coach loves Mrs. T so much–she’s smart and sweet, gives the best advice and has hair that is way too shiny and luscious to come from a human being (WHAT PRODUCTS DOES SHE USE? ANGEL TEARS?!). And he’s just perfect. I really came to respect how the writers treated their marriage throughout FNL–they worked through problems, celebrated each other’s successes, stayed madly in love and always had each other’s backs. #ClearEyesFullHeartsCan’tLose

Their best moment: Any time Coach won a game and Mrs. Coach came running onto the field for a hug. Too sweet.

 

blair and chuck love, loss & dvr: my (slight) obsession with tv relationships

 

Blair and Chuck, Gossip Girl 

I mentioned this list to a friend and she thought I was crazy for including Chuck and Blair–and it’s true, they are so nuts. But their little moments, where they stop scheming and plotting and trying to destroy each other emotionally–those were the moments that really mattered and let you see that deep down they were just two, emotionally disturbed, ridiculously rich teenagers who loved each other. Something we can all relate to, no?

Their best moment: The touching hallway moment in the hospital when Chuck’s dad died, or the train station scene in season four.

 

 

DIY clay jewelry dishes

DIY jewelry dishes DIY clay jewelry dishes

 

 

The other day, a minor home-goods tragedy struck my home: One of my favorite jewelry dishes from Anthropologie fell off my dresser and shattered into a million sad pieces. I love storing my jewelry out in the open and it was truly one of those little pieces that made me really happy every time I saw it, so I knew I needed a replacement ASAP.

 

I was looking for something that had the effect of gold leaf, but I couldn’t find anything at my usual go-to stores. Instead, I thought I’d try my hand at making my own jewelry dish–I mean hell, I took a pottery class in high school that produced one very ugly, retched green colored “vase”, so I could probably handle this, right? Surprisingly yes–but that’s only because it was a super easy DIY, and I guarantee you can handle it too.

 

sculpty clay dishes DIY clay jewelry dishes clay jewelry dish DIY DIY clay jewelry dishes

 

First, you’ll want to work polymer clay in your hands to get it warm and pliable–I used a brand called “Sculpty” from my local craft store, but any oven-bake brand will work fine!  Once the clay feels like it’s loosened up a bit, roll it out on a clean and dry surface until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut a circle of your desired diameter into the clay and remove the excess surrounding the shape.

 

clay jewelry dish DIY2 DIY clay jewelry dishes

 

Mold your clay circle around the base of a dish that will seemingly give you your desired size bowl for your jewelry dish (this may go without saying, but using wider dishes as a mold will result in jewelry dishes with less of a “lip” on them and a flatter base). Make sure whatever you choose to mold your clay over is oven safe, as you will be baking the clay on this and a tray. Cook your clay according to the package directions–most necessitate 15 minutes per 1/4 inch thickness (not how big of a piece you bake, just how thick), and mine called for an over of 275 degrees.

 

baking DIY jewelry dishes DIY clay jewelry dishes

 

Once your jewelry dishes have cooked and cooled, you can use an old nail file to smooth out the edges and eliminate any unsightly bumps or lumps. This will make a bit of a mess with the powdery clay that flakes off, so do it over a garbage!

 

DIY jewelry dishes from clay DIY clay jewelry dishes

 

Finally, the fun part–decorating! I opted to do one jewelry dish a deep midnight blue with copper leaf accents, one dish half copper leaf and one dish accented with copper leaf around the edges and in the middle (I originally was going to go for gold leaf, but the copper leaf was prettier and more rose-gold-y which I loved!). Allow the paint to dry completely before applying the copper leaf glue, and make sure to abide by the directions on the leafing packaging, otherwise it won’t stick!

 

diy gold leaf jewelry dishes DIY clay jewelry dishes

 

The end result? Pretty, eye-catching jewelry dishes that took just over an hour to make and provide a special landing spot for some of my favorite rings, necklaces and other pieces. Did they come out perfectly even and professional? Of course not–but I kind of love their unusual, untamed, natural-looking finish. These would make great handmade gift, and I’m seriously considering making them for my girlfriends for Christmas–so easy!

 

 

 

 

sometimes, staying in is better (or, why JOMO is now a thing)

Joy of missing out sometimes, staying in is better (or, why JOMO is now a thing)

 

I had a moment on my couch recently. It was a weekend night, and while I knew I should be out at a bar, sipping drinks and doing 25-year-old things, I was instead laying low, watching trashy television with my roommate and eating my body weight in popcorn, Olivia Pope-style. And you know what? I was freakin’ thrilled about it.

 

I’ve always been comfortably introverted–I enjoy spending time out with friends, but low-key, quiet nights are how I recharge. Even so, there’s always that annoying, four-letter millennial acronym hanging out in the back of my mind–FOMO. Even if I’m happy with my under-the-radar plans for the night, the strange feeling that I must be missing out on something else better is quietly there.

 

Up until recently, that is. Maybe it has come with age, or the realization that people’s lives are rarely as fabulous as they’re portrayed on social media (mine included, of course), but these days I’m feeling more joy of missing out than fear (ahem, JOMO, if you haven’t already heard the recently-coined term). There’s a contentment that comes with doing exactly as you please, regardless of what others are doing. Your friends are going out but all you really feel like doing is staying in and finishing your latest read? Do it. You want to see the newest Ryan Gosling rom-com by yourself on a Friday night? Get at it. There’s nothing worse than doing anything–hitting up a bar, staying late at work, signing up for a Tough Mudder–solely because you feel like you have to. Like if you don’t, you’re somehow a less interesting, less fun, less magnetic person.

 

The term JOMO may have gotten coined in a moment of FOMO backlash, but there’s definitely merit to the idea that sometimes, missing out is the thing that brings you the most joy. And that’s ok–it doesn’t make you a boring, dull 25-year-old (as I used to worry about myself), but rather a person who is self-aware enough to realize what is going to make you the most happy, and the most content, in that moment. My conclusion? The only right way to spend your time is exactly how you want to. If that’s bar hopping on the Lower East Side on a Thursday night, fantastic. If that’s spending Saturday night with Ben, Jerry, a very scary-looking green face mask and When Harry Met Sally, that’s equally as fantastic. Either way, you’re not missing out on anything. You do you, am I right?

 

 

 

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shelter: styling a velvet couch

style a room around a velvet couch1 shelter: styling a velvet couch

 

 

Do you ever walk away from a piece of furniture knowing you should have snatched it up when you had the chance? What if said piece of furniture was free and sitting on the sidewalk, begging you to take it for nothing (well, almost nothing–five sweaty blocks spent lugging it home are a small price to pay). If you’re nodding your head to all this, know you’re in good company–I was the silly person who walked away from an awesome velvet chair last week, only to find it gone when I raced back to get it.

 

I had all sorts of grand plans–deep blue velvet and a new coat of stain on the wood, but now I’m just going to have to wait until the next “right” piece comes along. Coincidentally, I spotted this amazing room on Pinterest and sourced it to Katherine Vo’s home tour on The Everygirl–how amazing is that velvet couch, paired with the Moroccan shag rug? Need. It. Now. And here’s the good news–I’ve pulled together the pieces that will help you bring it all home.

how to style a velvet couch shelter: styling a velvet couch

Majestic Sofa, Sanctuary Boutique | Kenza Moroccan Pouf, Lulu & Georgia | Reclaimed Wood Tray, West Elm | Ikat Damask Pillow, Society6 | Kenneth Cole Faux Fur Pillow, Bed Bath & Beyond | Gold Leafed Floor Lamp, Zinc Door | 2-Tier Square Coffee Table, High Fashion Home | Modern Moroccan Rug, RugsUSA | Blue Agate Knob, One Kings Lane | Linnea’s Lights Vanilla Nior Candle, ABC Carpet & Home | Untitled Abstract print by Tchmo, Society6

 

 

Start with a saturated blue velvet couch, like this one from Sanctuary Boutique and accent it with a timeless gold and glass coffee table. A shaggy Moroccan rug and faux-fur pillow add texture and warmth to the space, while a colorful print above the couch draws the eye. Finish off with chic accents like an agate lacquer box and vanilla-scented candle–then settle back into that velvet sofa and admire your handiwork.

 

 

 

 

pretty in (pale) pink

pretty in pale pink pretty in (pale) pink

 

It started out innocently enough; I walked by a pale pink, creamy leather bag in the Florence, Italy leather market this June and thought, “Oh, that’s so pretty.” And kept walking.

 

Then I walked back and asked about the price. Any sort of math is like French to me, so I had to walk away to crunch the Euro-to-dollar numbers and save myself the embarrassment of struggling it out in front of the shop owner.

 

Then I walked back again. The pale pink wasn’t me, but that’s what I kind of liked about it–it was soft and elegant and could be worn girlie or edged up. And it’d work for all seasons, I told myself. And so I bought it, and kicked off my next great color love affair.

 

how to style pale pink clothes pretty in (pale) pink

Skirt, Topshop | Elysee Flats, Kate Spade | “Romper Room” polish, Essie | Sweater, Topshop | Crossbody Bag, Rebecca Minkoff | Scarf, Nordstroms | Pave Drop Earrings, Kate Spade | Dress, Goodnight Macaroon | Idiom Bangle, Kate Spade

 

Now, I guess you could say pale pink and I are having a moment. Suddenly, I want it everywhere–in dresses, shoes, earrings, bags and furniture. I’ve already amassed quite the collection for myself and I can’t wait to wear it through fall and into winter. Above, some of my favorite picks I’ve found lately. Join the pink side–you know you want to.

 

 

 

**I’ve put a picture of the bag in question on Instagram today because I was too unorganized to photograph it in time for this post. Alas, that is life!

 

 

top image via

summer peach panzanella salad with goat cheese

fresh summer yellow peaches summer peach panzanella salad with goat cheese

 

 

One of the best things about summer has to be the fresh, flavorful produce that seems to be everywhere. I could spend countless hours (and countless dollars, if I had them) perusing the Union Square Green market, on the hunt for juicy berries, sweet peaches and colorful veggies. I try to take advantage of it as much as possible during the weekends I’m in the city, because come winter I will be a sad little hermit in Queens, dreaming of farmer’s markets to pass the time.

 

And although I rarely go into a farmer’s market day with an exact plan of what I want to make for a dish, I do stick to one tried-and-true rule: keep it simple. Often, the picks are so flavor-packed and fresh that it’s best to treat them very simply to let their flavor shine.

 

baked bread for panzanella summer peach panzanella salad with goat cheese

 

Take this peach panzanella salad, for example. Panzanella salads are an Italian-born traditional dish that basically pairs fresh vegetables with chunks of bread. Sounds pretty easy, no? And it is–the only thing you have to worry about “making” for this salad is the chunks of bread, and that’s as easy as cubing up a fresh loaf, tossing with tons of olive oil (truthfully, tons–double what you’d think you’d need) and sea salt and then popping it in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the cubes are browned and crunchy.

 

summer peach panzanella salad summer peach panzanella salad with goat cheese

 

Instead of sticking to the traditional bread-and-tomato combo for this salad, I decided to mix it up a bit and add in goat cheese, baby kale and tons of fresh peaches. It was a winning flavor combination–the bread added that desired crunch, while the combo of the peaches and goat cheese was out of this world. Finish yours off with a little bit of a balsamic drizzle and call it a meal. You’ve done the farmer’s market proud.