Tuesday, January 29, 2013

homemade pizza: tomato, basil, mozzarella

Occasionally, I make something and then try it and think, "My goodness, I am a good cook". This was one of those times.

tomato basil mozzarella pizza, homemade pizza


  • pizza dough, found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • fresh mozzarella
  • basil leaves from a plant, washed and dried (I purchased one at the grocery store and keep it in my kitchen)
  • olive oil

If you are using a pizza stone, heat it up in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes. Remove it and spread olive oil onto the stone (so that the pizza doesn't stick to the stone). Stretch out your pizza dough onto the stone, and spread olive oil on top of the dough. Cover with basil leaves, approximately an inch apart, leaving space for the crust edges. Top with tomato slices. Cover with mozzarella slices from your fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes, until edges are browned. Then you can email me and tell me how amazing it was!

Monday, January 28, 2013

sweet little somethings

or why not pull a Kimye and get custom-made earrings with both of your initials?

Though we don't normally do gifts on V-day, these are a few sweet little things I wouldn't say no to (or may even gift to myself).

I find Valentine's Day to be one of those Hallmark holidays that either a) bums you out because you're single and it feels like everyone else has plans or b) you are one of the paired off and go out with your s.o. but then feel guilty about how much that prix-fixe dinner is costing. This year I've requested that we go see the newest Die Hard movie (yippie ki-yay), which conveniently comes out on 2.14. And then we will spend the weekend celebrating Mr. Sprout, who turns 2 on the 16th!

What do you do for Valentine's Day, if anything?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

where the wild things are

I'm loving the animal accessories trend going on, and I could definitely add some of these pieces to my collection of rings and bangles.

animal ring, owl ring, emerald ring, zebra bracelet, bird ring

Monday, January 21, 2013

First Lady of stylish outerwear

Regardless of your political views, there is one thing we can all agree on:  The First Lady has incredible style. I cannot imagine the schedule and the stress behind being the FLOTUS and living in the White House, but Michelle does it with grace and a clearly positive attitude.

I'd like to point out that aside from mixing designers and mass market retailers like nobody's business, this lady is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law, is an attorney by profession, and focuses her time as First Lady on nutrition, poverty awareness, and getting rid of childhood obesity.

Smarts and style = lady's got it all!

back to school

This week my break from school ends and I head into semester #5 of my MBA (if you don't count my summer sessions). I'm excited to continue learning and to be one semester closer to graduation. It's tough working full time and going to school part time, but I definitely enjoy it. That might change in the middle of this semester, though, which features finance as my core requirement.

I have always been a fan of inspirational quotes, and I'm loving this sign. It might be a good thing to hang near the front door, like Michelle did in her home, so I remember to be awesome all day, even through my classroom hours.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

style feature on Mary Costa Photography

One of my very good friends, Mary, is a photographer in Los Angeles. When she was home in NH for Christmas, we went to a nearby pond and took some photos in the chilly morning. Go check out her style spotlight, featuring yours truly!

Mary Costa Photography style spotlight, winter style

January covet list

My January covet list includes mixed metal baubles, girly touches for the home, and a hint of gold. 

a reminder for life - image via Pinterest // name-inscribed pencils // BaubleBar tassel necklace // chain wrapped earrings from Max and Chloe (only $40!) // mixed metal bracelet via ShopBop // Zara Home paradise tumblers // makeup table image via Glitter Guide

Sunday, January 13, 2013

clean out Saturday

photo via

I spent a good chunk of Saturday cleaning out, and while I don't have "before" photos and won't show you "after" photos (well, yet), it was crazy how much stuff came out of the guest room and my office. We're talking 6 trash bags of clothes, curtains, bedding, and a few other things that we had totally forgotten we even had.

For some reason we decided a while ago that the guest bedroom closet would serve as our storage closet for out-of-season clothes, extra bedding, and a variety of other items that probably should have never made their way in there. I'm a bit of a pack rat by nature, but T is amazing at reminding me what I can part with:  And once I get going, I have a hard time stopping!

If you're in the market to part with some tangibles, here are some closet clean out tips:

1. If you haven't worn it in a year, you're not going to. I've heard some people turn their hangers around at the beginning of the season and anything that isn't worn (visibly, because the hanger is still turned the wrong way) is donated or thrown out.

2. If you don't love it now, you never will. Why are you keeping that shirt you bought that is kind of an okay color but was a really great deal? I have had my share of "just in case" items- what if you need it for a Halloween costume? That, my friends, is why there is a goodwill and why it is so busy the week of Halloween. You're never going to love it, so just get rid of it.

3. If it hasn't fit you in 6 months or more, it probably won't fit you again. I have hung onto quite a few pairs of jeans because they used to look great on me. Key words: used to. Probably won't ever again, because my body has just changed. Unless you have recently gone through an illness or a pregnancy or are on track to lose (or gain) weight to get back to your previous self, forget that you might someday possibly fit into those clothes again.

4. Remember- there probably is someone who needs it more than you do. So you haven't worn it in over a year, you don't really love it, and it doesn't really fit you anyway. Good news, there's someone out there who would probably love it, would fit in it, and would wear it. Donate it! Trust me, you'll feel so much better after you do.

Not sure where to send all of the stuff you don't need? There are quite a few organizations that will pick up your donation, including the Vietnam Veterans of America and Epilepsy Foundation (New England area). You can also do a Google search to find local donation boxes for Planet Aid, or drop off at your local Salvation Army.

Friday, January 11, 2013

brushstroke dress: do I dare DIY?

This Amy Matto Brushstroke Jacquard Dress showed up on ideeli today and I immediately thought to myself, "That is awesome. Can I recreate it?" It definitely looks like something that Jen would be able to make. I'll keep you posted if I decide to take the leap and paint up a dress!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

style inspired by Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey, Lady Mary

I was loving this look on Lady Mary in the Season Three premiere of Downton Abbey. A simple, burgundy maxi shift would look great on anyone. And is that a long necklace she is wearing backwards? 

Downton Abbey, Lady Mary

Create a modern version of the 1920s style by pairing a maxi shift dress with a long necklace - and why not wear it backwards, so that the tassel piece hangs down your back, especially if your shift has a low back or a gorgeous deep V? I wouldn't go with a 1920s hairstyle, unless you are heading to a costume party, so keep your locks long and wavy or maybe tied back in a low bun.

White eyelet and orange silk - clearly, I am ready for the start of summer!

Downton images via 1, 2

Monday, January 7, 2013

everyday beauty favorites roundup

Rosebud Salve via Sephora // CoverGirl Perfect Blend Pencil (for me, nothing beats this pencil) // Maybelline Falsies Mascara (my "save" version of Benefit's "they're real!" mascara, which is 3x the price of this Maybelline product) // Sephora Nano Pencil (at $5 each, perfect to keep in your purse for touch-ups on the go or long work days that go into nights out) // Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment // Neutrogena Naturals Moisturizer (with SPF!) // Essie Mademoiselle (a pretty, soft pink color that is perfect for between-manicure work days)

These are my everyday beauty favorites, tried and true! While I have found some great products from high-end makeup stores, I often find myself spending extra for those brands and then going back to some old favorites, like the CoverGirl eyeliner and Maybelline mascara above. Being so fair-skinned, I have to have SPF in my moisturizer, and it's a plus that fresh puts it in their lip products as well.

Do you have any favorites that you keep in your beauty bag? I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas canvas decor DIY

Early in the Christmas season, I came across this canvas tutorial by View Along the Way and decided to try my own version of it. Rather than using the wooden letters and nativity Kelly did, I used all acrylic paint (aside from the silver Sharpie I used to write "adore" and the gold Sharpie I used for the North Star). 

I was pretty excited with how it came out and hung my little creation at the bottom of the stairs, visible from the living room (where you can also see our navy curtains in the dining room). 

I don't always love how my DIYs come out, but I'm packing this guy away to use again next year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

on the hunt |bedroom curtains|

image via

I've been on the hunt for bedroom curtains that are a) gorgeous b) stylish c) in my price range. Last spring I put up some pretty sheer white panels that brought in the romantic vibe I was going for, but with the onset of winter in New England, those quickly were out of season. And yes, I have procrastinated on purchasing new wintry ones because I cannot make a decision on these curtains. What a dilemma to have.

West Elm has some beautiful velvet options, but I've never been a big fan of the grommet top. Same for Overstock's velvet options. And let's not even talk about Restoration Hardware's velvet beauties. I guess for now the hunt continues...
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