Entries from February 18th, 2011

February 18, 2011

weekend getaway | new york city

It’s been more than three years since I’ve been to New York City. A random turn of events rerouted me from a long weekend in San Francisco to a long weekend in New York City with my BGF (best girl friend) Caro. I couldn’t be more ecstatic to spend five days in the city I fell in love with so long ago.

Caro has a jam-packed weekend planned for me. Yes, she actually sent an itinerary and failed to include time to sleep or bathe — but definitely didn’t forget time to eat. Here’s a preview of just a few of the places you may be able to find us this weekend.

Co Pizza

{We'll be sharing some pizza at Co., located in the heart of Chelsea. I hope I meet a GBF there. :) Photo Courtesy Co.}

melissa's cupcakes

{We'll take a shot at creating our own cupcakes at Melissa's Cupcakes. Photo Courtesy Melissa's Cupcakes}

hot chocolate

{The 19th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival will be going on while I'm in town. The only better thing than eating chocolate? Drinking it. Photo Courtesy City Bakery Hot Chocolate}

bisous ciao macarons

{The macarons at Bisous, Ciao look divine. Photo Courtesy Bisous, Ciao Macarons}

February 16, 2011

colors of inspiration | turquoise accent wall

Five months ago, I was dreaming of a turquoise accent wall. I drew inspiration from the serene things in life that I found beautiful — namely ocean water and chunky turquoise jewelry. After months of comparing the slightest nuances in shades of teal, turquoise, sea blue and green, I think I’ve finally narrowed down my color choices for an accent wall in my sweet little suburban apartment.

Olympic Paint and Stain sent me its collection of color swatches, appropriately called “Colors of Inspiration,” to help me find the best interior paint color for my accent wall. I knew I wanted to use Olympic Paint and Stain on my accent wall because the company provides a stellar selection of zero-VOC paint colors and zero-VOC primer — that means I won’t be polluting my indoor air quality while trying to bring a sense of calm to my living room!

olympic paint and stain colors of inspiration

{Olympic Paint and Stain's "Colors of Inspiration" swatch booklet contains more than 1,200 zero-VOC paint colors.}

While I cooed over all sorts of beautiful shades — from fiery oranges to sweet pinks and moody plums — I was still set on finding the perfect shade of turquoise to splash upon my walls. Make no mistake — red is by far my favorite color — but there’s something so soothing about turquoise that I am always drawn to it. In narrowing down my color choices, I looked to items I already owned that seemed to be the perfect shade of turquoise and tried to match the swatches as closely as possible to those items.

turquoise and brown shoe with thich nhat hanh postcard

{Of course I have jeweled shoes that match the colors I've picked for my living room. My Thich Nhat Hanh postcard contains all the elements of calm, too: blue ocean water and soothing words.}

turquoise jewelry

{Some of my favorite pieces of jewelry mimic the colors I've chosen for my living room. Those earrings even showcase my other furniture accent color — orange!}

With several color swatches and my turquoise things scattered over my coffee table, I decided that these four colors from Olympic Paint and Stain were the best contenders for my living room accent wall: Pale Jade, Whirlpool, Mermaid’s Tail and San Juan Spritz.

olympic paint and stain turquoise paint

{They may look really similar here, but these paint colors are so different on the wall.}

After priming my wall (never apply paint to bare walls — the color won’t be in its truest form!) with Olympic Zero VOC Interior Primer, I painted four test squares of my top turquoise choices. (Luckily, I have a large framed poster that lies against the accent wall, so I can cover these swatches when I don’t want to be distracted by these random squares against my stark-white wall!) I now have my favorites narrowed to two from these four colors. Which color do you like the best?

olympic paint and stain turquoise color blocks

{Clockwise, from top left: Pale Jade, Whirlpool, San Juan Spritz, Mermaid's Tail}

February 14, 2011

share the love | happy valentine’s day 2011

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

Happy heart day! Do something that makes you happy — that makes you smile — today. I’ll be admiring my bouquet of red tulips, noshing on dark chocolate (good for the heart!), sipping red wine (also good for the heart!) and choosing a nonprofit organization to donate either my time or money to this year. Share the love. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours.

dark chocolate cupcake with strawberry frosting

{Dark chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting — flavenoids and antioxidants — make me happy. Photo By SisterMaryEris/Courtesy Flickr}

causecast homepage

{Find out how to donate either your time or money to your favorite nonprofits with Causecast.org. Causecast makes it easy to find local volunteer opportunities. If you prefer to donate money to an organization, Causecast helps process donations — for free.}

kim wallace archery summit pinot noir

{An oversized glass of pinot noir is good for the heart in so many ways. Photo Courtesy Archery Summit Winery}

February 5, 2011

happy chinese new year 2011 | year of the rabbit jewelry

Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the year of the metal rabbit (find your Chinese zodiac sign on a placemat at any Asian restaurant, Wikipedia or on Shine from Yahoo – I’m a wood ox!). What better way to ring in the lunar new year than with a few new pieces of precious metal rabbit jewelry? I went through Etsy and found a few charming pieces that might soon find a new burrow – my jewelry display :)

tiny bunny studs in silver

{These simple silver bunny studs are elegant and understated. Photo Courtesy A.N. Original Jewelry/Etsy}

I love these tiny bunny studs from A.N. Original Jewelry on Etsy. Sterling silver with a satin finish, these tiny bunny studs cost $44 and are handmade in New York.

year of the rabbit petit lapin necklace sterling silver

{Multi-colored rabbits dance across your neck on this gorgeous petit lapin necklace made from sterling silver. Photo Courtesy Odettenewyork/Etsy}

These tiny textured lucky rabbits are first carved in wax and then cast in sterling silver. I love the earthy colors and imperfect lines on the rabbits’ bodies. These rabbits live on an 18-inch chain and arrive from New York City packaged in a chic cotton pouch from Odette NY. Add it to your jewelry collection for $75.

white rabbit pocket watch

{The vintage styling on this white rabbit pocket watch is absolutely stunning. I love the contrasting silver and gunmetal shades. Photo Courtesy birdzNbeez/Etsy}

This may be one of my favorite Etsy finds! I am so taken with anything black/white/silver, and that intricate styling around the watch face is just gorgeous. Handmade in the Midwest, this white rabbit pocket watch from birdzNbeez costs $24 – a steal!

How are you ringing in the year of the rabbit? Check back soon for a Chinese New Year foodie post :)

February 2, 2011

dessert csa | natasha’s mulberry & mott | leawood, kansas

Though I’ve been paring down most subscriptions – magazines, e-newsletters, catalogs – I think I may soon be signing up for the type of subscription that will truly make me happy: a monthly dessert subscription from local bakery (and my macaron mecca) Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott.

natasha's mulberry & mott leawood kansas

{Natasha's Mulberry & Mott is located in the Mission Farms area of Leawood, Kansas. Photo Courtesy Natasha's Mulberry & Mott}

Inspired by San Francisco pastry chef William Werner’s (of Tell Tale Preserve Company) “Tell Tale Society” dessert subscription service – lightly called a “dessert CSA” after the idea of fresh-produce CSAs (community-supported agriculture) – local pastry chef Natasha Goellner brought the idea to life in the Kansas City metro after an initial online conversation started by The Pitch’s Fat City blog.

“The dessert CSA goodies will change every month,” Natasha says. “Every time, you will always get macarons, but it will be flavors that aren’t yet offered at the shop. It’s all seasonal, too.”

Half a dozen macarons a month in addition to other fresh-made goodies from this French Culinary Institute-trained pastry chef? Sold.

natasha's mulberry & mott macarons

{Macarons from Natasha's Mulberry & Mott in Leawood are the best in the Kansas City-area! Photo Courtesy Natasha's Mulberry & Mott}

Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott dessert CSA launched last month with a box packed full of the following oh-so-delicious treats:

6 Amaretto Macarons
4 Almond Scones
10 ounces Blueberry Preserves
Bag of Pistachio Marshmallows
6-8 Coconut White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
4-5 “fingers” of Candied Buddha Hand

Natasha is gearing up for February’s dessert CSA now – have you ordered your box of delicious, beautiful, local treats for yourself or your Valentine? :)

Here’s how it works: Every second Saturday of the month (this month, that would be February 12), Natasha will have the dessert CSA boxes ready for pickup at her shop, located at 10573 Mission Road in Leawood. The cutoff date for ordering your box of goodies every month is the Monday before the Saturday pickup. All you have to do is call or come in to the shop to reserve and pay for your dessert CSA. Dessert CSA boxes cost $35 plus tax – quite the steal for all those goodies!

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