1.31.2012

Collage Wall

Having a collage wall is nothing new but these approaches are a new spin on an old classic. Which one is your favorite?






Image1 , Image2, Image3, Image4, Image5, Image6

1.30.2012

Dreaming of a New Bed

When I first moved into my apartment I set everything up in a matter of days and haven't really messed with it since. I have been in my place for 7 months and have started to look around with the hope of changing things up a bit. 


Although my style isn't modern, I want to start infusing a few more modern touches to update my look. 


Here is my bed now:




I saw this pic a few months ago and I've been dreaming of it ever since:



First up the artwork...I found these amazing photos from Navid Bartay. I want to get one of them framed with a large mat to hang above my bed. 

Here's how I imagine it...

I can't wait to transition over. It might need to be a slow process because everything above is quite an investment! Sheet set, Fuzzy Pillow, square pillow, throw (google image)

1.27.2012

Pretty Petal Holder

Everyone knows that I LOVE my flowers. I treat myself to bi-weekly manis and weekly bouquets. I have been using mason jars as vases but I am looking for a little variety. 


Some inspiration...



















Here is my shopping list...








all inspiration images from Amy Merrick.  1,2,3,4,5,6 

1.26.2012

Tasty Snacks

I have been really getting into dates as a way to feed my sweet craving in a healthy way. I came across this recipe on WholeLiving.com and it sounded so tasty. I made these as a snack this afternoon and boy are they tasty and filling (and I got to use my new mini-food processor!). 

Here is the recipe...

Ingredients
1/2 cup pistachios
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon milk (cow or almond)
unsweetened coconut flakes
8-10 dates

Directions
Put pistachios in a food processor with a pinch of salt (if they are unsalted) Add in milk. Process until paste is formed. 

Pit the dates if they aren't already. Spoon about a tablespoon of pistachio paste into each date. Then roll top in coconut. 

Enjoy! Thanks Whole Living for the yummy recipe.


1.25.2012

Color Idea: Cobalt

Cobalt is such an amazing color. It is bold but traditional at the same time. I have been posting so many images with it that I thought that it must mean something.










It plays nicely with neutrals and saturated warm tones.






Here are my favorite home details with this powerful color...







all pictures via Pinterest click image for source

1.23.2012

Art of the Scarf

Scarves and I are nothing new. I have about 2 dozen favorites that I use to dress up my basic tees. This Christmas I received this square scarf from Madewell and I think that it is going to change how I wear scarves. 


Square scarves started coming back a few years ago. They were mostly relegated to hipsters wearing plaid. A la...




Let's be honest, I'm no hipster. So the square scarf and I got off on the wrong foot. But then I had the idea to fold it on the diagonal so it was a long skinny scarf. I paired it with a black and white stripped shirt...the result: french chic.



Square scarves can provide a chic paris-in-the-fifties/sixties feeling. 


Anyone want to be like these ladies?
They prove that it is a very versatile accessory. Here are my current favorites...




1.22.2012

Stocking Up

After my cleanse last week, I have been trying to stay on the healthy wagon by making good choices while I'm out and cooking yummy, healthy food. 


On Friday night I tried the delicious leeks and chickpeas recipe I listed below from My New Roots. I also made the black bean cookies (which I admittedly need to perfect, they were a little too pancake-like) 


It is empowering when you figure out how to make healthy food that tastes good--long gone are the days when healthy food means bland and cardboard-like. We are so lucky to have access to fabulous recipes and talented bloggers online.


All of this new recipe trying lead me to a mini-shopping spree at Sur la Table this weekend. I'm excited to share my new gadgets with you!


Blue Bottle coffee (we'll get back to that)


Eggtimer - this nifty little gadget goes into the pot with the eggs to cook your eggs to perfection. I am a picky egg eater, I like them medium poached so I thought this was the perfect little tool for me.


Swiss peeler - sometimes the best kitchen tools are not the fancy ones but the classic, really simple ones. This tool may look simple but the blade is very sharp and it peels veggies better than anything else I've tried. 


  
Cuisinart Mini-Prep Pro - This little guy was why I went to Sur la Table in the first place. A lot of the recipes that I am using ask to place nuts, herbs, sauces etc. in a food processor. Since I have limited kitchen space and I usually only cook small qualities, I decided to get a mini-food processor(bonus, its less expensive). I'm not usually a pink girl but there was something that drew me to this color...shall we call her Lola?




Did I need this last purchase? Not really. But did I want it? Yes. It not only will look pretty in my kitchen but it will make delicious coffee for me to sip on during the weekend. It is a classic that will always have a place. I also bought the very best beans in SF from Blue Bottle. Yum!




Hopefully these tools will help me make some yummy meals. Stay tuned for more healthy cooking! Hope you are having a great weekend. 

1.18.2012

Detoxing

Hey everyone I need to let you in on a little secret. Your food-loving, can't stop eating sweets, would eat cake every day for breakfast blogger (me!) has been doing a juice cleanse for 2 days now. Today is my last day! This post is a little wordier (and longer!) than usual but I had so much to share about my experience.  


I wanted to wait until near the end to share with you because I have a few more insights now that I probably would of had at the beginning (and I wanted to know that I could actually do it!). 


First question everyone asks me is why? Why are you only drinking juice for 3 days? For everyone its different but for me it was about having a fresh perspective on eating. I have been known to eat every single meal out in a week. All of those extra-large portions and restaurant-style preparations (i.e. lots-o-butter) are not good when you have them all of the time--it is hard for your body to process all of that. I wanted to take away all of that and give my body a break. 


Second question...are you making your own juices? Answer: no way! I knew that I had to have it locked in for me to follow it. Otherwise I might get lazy and chicken out. I decided to do the Blueprint Cleanse out of NY. It seemed easy, people enjoyed the taste and the general feedback was positive. I will say that it was not cheap but I considered it an investment in me. It was like a spa treatment for my insides so I could splurge a little.


So off I went and said goodbye to solid foods for 3 days! 


On Tuesday morning my shipment came of all 18 juices. Embarrassingly I stocked them in the work fridge (in a drawer thank God) with a sign saying "Please don't touch, Lauren's food"






I drank my juice every other hour with green tea in between. There were some good flavors P.A.M (pineapple apple mint) and some flavors that didn't go down so easy (Carrot Apple Beet Ginger). I craved salt in the evening so I ended up having a 1/2 an avocado (on their approved "cheat" list) which totally filled me up (true story) My favorite of the drinks has to be the cashew milk with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. I will actually miss that and might make my own version. 


To summarize my experience: the first day was surprisingly easy (maybe I was full from the day before?) The second day was the roughest so far because I think my body realized it was only getting juice and not solid food. I was doing pretty good strength-wise but then in the afternoon I felt a little weak and headachy. Who knows what the third day will bring...I hear it is usually good!


Perhaps the better question is how do I feel. I feel pretty darn good for just drinking juice all day. I feel lighter, less bloated (sorry if thats TMI) and in general pretty energized. 


Which leads me to the most important part of this experiment, what am I going to take with me moving forward?


1. If you eat the right, meaning nutrient-packed, foods you dont need to consume a large quantity. For example if I ate a cup of chicken breast and kale I would be more full than eating a cup of pasta. It seems so logical but this experience really proved it to me. The body needs nutrients to survive so you can eat all of the pasta you want (not really) but it won't deliver on what the body needs.




2. I love food. I'm a foodie--that isn't really going to change. What is perhaps is that between those decadent meals, which should be a treat not a typical meal, I should be eating healthier and stocking up on nutrients. 






3. Breaking habits is hard. When was I the most hungry? When I was watching TV. That showed me that I probably mindlessly munch on things while I am in front of the TV. I associate watching TV with eating and that is a dangerous place to be in. I would like to start eating dinner at a table without the TV on.






4. I would like to start eating more nutritious meals and wasting less food. My favorite uber-healthy blog is My New Roots There are some awesome recipes that I would like to try. Here's a few of them:
- Homemade granola (I've done this before but would love to try again)
- Poppyseed crusted Butternut squash and kale salad 
- Lemony Leeks with Chickpeas and Feta
- Maybe even squeeze in some black bean cookies





Thanks for listening about my journey. I hope that we can enjoy some healthy treats together in the new year (and don't worry we can still sneak in some not-so-healthy ones too).

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Belizian Holiday

Finally! Time to share my much-anticipated pictures from Belize. There are some stunning ones below. I separated them out into the three legs of our trip. The trip was so amazing and relaxing and adventurous. It was also very inspirational and made me want to travel the globe! Enjoy. 


Location #1: Turtle Inn Placencia


This beautiful location was the most relaxing place ever. From the minute we stepped off of the place it was idyllic and so calming. My sister and I got to stay in our own hut complete with shell phone, indoor and outdoor showers and a jar full of freshly baked cookies. 


Location #2: Blancaneaux Lodge

Next we went up to the dense, jungly mountains. Here it was more about adventure and less about relaxation. 

Location #3: Victoria House Ambergris Cay

Our last location--back to the beach and the turquoise waters.



This was a once-in-a-lifetime amazing trip. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I wish I could go back to the tropical beaches and jungle (minus the mosquitos ;-) 

1.16.2012

Amazing Weekend

I didn't do anything especially exotic this weekend (say, go to a tropical island) but I did do some fun exploring around the bay area. First on Saturday I went to the SF Zoo and had an amazing time observing the animals. Then on Sunday I drove up north to Healdsburg to visit a friend. Then Monday a friend and I grabbed some wine and oysters. What a great weekend. Hope you had a nice long weekend.  





all pics are mine using instagram

1.12.2012

Color Inspiration

I love to help decorate a new space. Nothing gets me more excited. I just helped a friend buy pieces for her whole her bedroom. Can't wait to see how it turns out! 

First we started out by pulling things in the Hollywood Regency Style...





Then we narrowed it down to yellow and gray with mirrored and silver accents. Here's a look at the elements so far. So cute!