Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BeautiFULL Clothes

So I lost the battle with this cold I have been fighting. It got the best of me, and rendered me helpless today. I laid in bed surrounded by balled up tissues and the sounds of daytime TV keeping me company. Once I was out of my Tylenol Warming Cough & Sore Throat haze, I decided to sit my achy body up and catch up on some DVR'd (man's greatest invention) episodes of one of my favorite shows -- Mad Men.

It's no secret. I love this show to pieces. The clothes, the era, the scandal -- it's all so . . . delicious! But, one of the main reasons I watch it (besides the super dreamy Don Draper) is for my girl crush fix, Joan Holloway. She represents what REAL women look like with her hypnotic hips and chic wardrobe. She's just so fabulous to me:

... And this is where I got the inspiration for today's post. Everywhere you look, you'll find super slim models and celebrities who aren't accurate representations of what the average woman looks like. So, I thought I would do a little digging online and find some chic, stylish clothing options for the plus-sized beauty. Here are a few cute pieces that I came across:

1. Veronique Dress in Berry, $136
2. Gloria Dress, $102
3. Glen Cowl Tunic, $58
4. Animal Print 2 in 1 Dress, $50.96
5. Cutwork Trim Top, $46.97
6. Purple Printed Longline Top, $55.73

A mix of dressy and casual looks that can be accentuated with jewelry and swanky accessories or a killer fitted leather motorcycle jacket. Who says you can be full and fabulous?

Celebrate your curves!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Food for Thought: Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling and freezing time
Servings: Makes 1 quart
Recipe courtesy of David Lebovitz [via LA Times ]

I'm not a HUGE fan of carrot cake, but I know so many people who are. Fall is a great time to start dusting off those recipe books and indulging in some comfort food. Try this modern spin on a chilled creamy classic.


1 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the pecans with the butter.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar and salt. Pour the mixture over the pecans and toss to coat completely.

3. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and cook for 12 minutes, gently stirring halfway during baking to candy the nuts. Remove the tray to a rack and cool the nuts completely. Once cool, coarsely chop the pecans. Set aside.


1/4 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons whiskey

1. In a small saucepan, heat the currants and whiskey until boiling. Simmer until the currants have absorbed almost all of the liquid. Remove from heat and cover the pan. Set aside to cool completely.


2 cups finely diced carrots
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups water

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the carrots, sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a low boil and cook until the syrup is reduced to about 2 tablespoons and the carrots are translucent and candied, 20 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the carrots during the last few minutes so they do not burn. Drain the carrots and set aside to cool.


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream (regular or low-fat)
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon chopped lemon zest
Spiced pecans
Candied carrots

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, blend together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Chill thoroughly.

2. Freeze the base in an ice cream maker. After churning, gently fold in the spiced pecans, soaked currants and candied carrot cubes. Freeze until firm.

Each one-half cup serving: 485 calories; 5 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 54 mg. cholesterol; 173 mg. sodium.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Moxie Monday: Go Ahead, Cry

Crying doesn't indicate that you're weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you're alive.
So go ahead, cry. I won't tell anyone : )

Celebrate your need to release!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Escapism: Wyoming

Come away with me. Today we escape to Wyoming, home of Yellowstone National Park and the majestic Grand Teton.
The tenth largest U.S. state, Wyoming is the perfect place for couple retreats, ski enthusiasts or pure relaxation.

Amangani Resort in Jackson Hole, WY

Sunset in Oxbow Bend, WY [via Flickr]

Where do you want to go on your next vacation?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gossip Girl: "A Nasty Piece of Work"

Tonight, is the season premiere of one of my FAVORITE TV shows, Gossip Girls!
Can I get a whoot-whoot?!

TV is definitely not as good as it used to be, so when I find something I like, I'm happy as a clam.Watching shows like GG reminds me of the juicy dramas I used to watch with my Mom back when I was a wee little gal. Dallas anyone?
The CW definitely hit the mark with this show ... and remember the ad campaigns that they ran last year? They literally took quotes from all of the nay-sayers and coupled the text with saucy screen shots from the show. In case you needed to be reminded:

One word: GENIUS. I'm a sucker for great advertising.
Oh, how I've missed the scandalous drama that occurs between our beloved Upper East Siders.
Are you guys ready? I am.

WTF (Watch this Fall)

You know you love me.
XOXO. Birthday a la Mode.

Celebrate a little drama!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Delectable Designers: Lorick

I discovered this designer by accident and it was such a beautiful surprise.
The new collection makes me think of what one would wear to chic cocktail parties in Paris or after-work dinners with friends in Italy. The vibe is so European and sophisticated and I love it!

You may have noticed some of Abigail Lorick's pieces on Gossip Girl. They played the role of Eleanor Waldorf's runway collection.

GG fans, remember these beauties?:


And are you kidding me? These are from her Fall '09 collection:

Photography by Tom Hines

Her line is only 2-years old, but Abigail Lorick is definitely making a name for herself. See more of her masterpieces here. Definitely out of my budget, but so pretty to look at!

Celebrate haute fashion!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Empire State of Mind

" ... These streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you. Let's hear it for New York ..."
- Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z)

Eight years ago today, I sat in a college classroom and wondered where everyone was. The room was empty and I assumed that class was canceled because the Professor never showed. So, I left.

As I walked back to my dorm room, I bumped into a friend of mine who ran over to me and said, "Did you hear what happened to the Twin Towers?".
I looked at her shocked and wide-eyed and yelled out, "What happened?? My Mom works there!".
She then took a step back and said, "then maybe I shouldn't say anything".

After much back and forth, she finally explained the story to me, and from there, we ran back to our rooms to turn on the TV.
A group of us gathered and watched as channel after channel showed horrifying images of a plane crashing into the building that we New Yorkers know so well.

The phone lines were out, the campus was in complete chaos. It was a day, like many others, that I will NEVER forget.

Today we look back and remember. We remember a day when so many lives were changed and a city was brought down to it's knees. We remember that tomorrow isn't promised and that life should not be taken for granted. But, most important of all, we remember life lesson #15, as told by Regina Brett. "Everything can change in a blink of an eye. But, we need never to worry, because God? He never blinks".

9.11.01: Always Remember.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

45 Lessons + 5 To Grow On

A little something I like to read whenever I need a pick me up. It doesn't matter how many times I read it. Every time is like the first time.
Enjoy : )

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Wednesday Wishes: Pump It Up

I wish for sexy sky high heels that lend me height and add a little sugar and spice to my Fall wardrobe.

1. Brian Atwood 'Lola Suede Leather Pumps', $680
2. ASOS 'Leather Square-Toe Court Shoes', $119.54
3. Nine West 'Jezebelle Ankle Bootie', $86.90
4. Steve Madden 'Tayla Multi-Strap Pumps', $119.95 on sale for $71.97
5. L.A.M.B 'Hip Bootie', $249.99
6. Christian Louboutin 'Lady Page Pumps', $995

Celebrate standing tall!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Escapism: Greece

When we got married, my husband and I said that before the kids came, we want to try to get as much "traveling the world" in. Two big vacations a year is the plan. We already have Maui, HI booked for this December, but we're now working on making plans to visit Greece towards the end of 2010.

Traveling, I think is something everyone should treat themselves to -- provided you have the means to do so. What could be better than escaping to a new and foreign place where no one knows you and new adventures along with memories lie beneath every step you take?

So come away with me! Snapshots of places around the world always provides me with a little escape throughout my day.

Here's a shot of the Oia Village on Santorini Island in Greece:


Oia at dusk:

And a shot of the Blue Palace Resort & Spa on the island of Crete:

Breathtaking right?

Where do you want to go on your next vacation?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Moxie Monday: Dance To YOUR Music

Work like you don't need money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
And dance like no one's looking.

What have you done for yourself today?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Birthday: Beyoncé

Today is the 28th birthday of "the hottest chick in the game", Beyoncé Knowles. Love her or hate her, you have to admit that she's got star quality. And while her style may not be for everyone, she's definitely a trend-setter.

I myself am a Beyoncé fan. I was fortunate enough to see her perform this summer during her "I AM" tour. She never ceases to amaze me. The girl works HARD and it shows. Her live performances are always flawless and her body . . . TIGHT (no homo):

I mean, seriously?! I really need to go to the gym after I write up this post.

I'll leave you guys with a cute little video I came across. It's a touching montage put together by celebrities and fans wishing the fierce and gawgeous Bey a very happy birthday!

Happy "Burfday" Bey! From one diva to another (at least I'd like to think so!)

Friday Fab: Let's Hear It For The Girls

So, Labor Day weekend is officially in full effect. My husband left for Vegas yesterday to celebrate our friend's last month as a bachelor. While I definitely miss him, it's the perfect opportunity to chill out with the girls and enjoy the last couple of days of summer.

This weekend won't be too crazy. A few libations here, a bbq there and a little partying thrown in the mix. Tonight, a girlfriend of mine and I are headed out for some eats and drinks at the Cheesecake Factory. I'm not the hugest fan of corporate chain restaurants, but there are a few that take the cake. Cheesecake is one of them. Casual and inviting -- plus they have THE BEST pink lemonade cocktail.

So, what do you wear for a night out with the girls? Here's the look I put together:

Top / Jeans / Earrings / Bracelet / Shoes

I centered this outfit around the shoes. Oh, how I covet those Giuseppe beauties. But, at this point, I am not in the position to treat myself to them. I'll have to attempt to find a suitable knock-off, or pray that they go on sale for like $20 or less. A girl can dream.

What's great to me about this look is that it's casual but has a little nightlife packed in. I kept it kind of simple, but this is an outfit that you can have fun with. You can rock it with candy colored baubles or a funky pink clutch like this one from Dorothy Perkins ($25). The possibilities are endless. So go out and enjoy gossip, giggles and champagne. It's good for the soul.

Celebrate girlfriends!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Picture This: Love & Music

Another thing I love, love, love is photography. I love taking pictures, I love simply looking at them and I love framing my favorites and displaying them for all to see.
I dream of the day when hubby and I purchase our first home so that we can have a museum style wall, jam-packed with images that capture all of the good things that make up our lives.

I have an active imagination, so I sometimes like to just browse the internet and pull images from sites like Flickr and Photobucket just for fun. I've come across some really hot shots and beautiful portraits that I sometimes create my own stories for. Maybe it's because I'm the daughter of an artist, but I have an affinity for art and creativity.

I've decided that every once in awhile, I will post some of my favorite images and the short stories that I create for them. I think it would be a fun addition to this blog -- plus it's my site, so I can do what I want : )

Here's the first selection:

Photography by William Claxton

The pair showcased in this picture are an inter-racial couple involved in a romantic and forbidden love affair. She's a nanny who loves poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar and he's a struggling musician who thinks the world of her. He loves to play smooth melodies for her on his trumpet. The kind of melodies that tell stories of love, passion and happy endings.

What do YOU see when you look at this picture?