Festival Chic: Vintage Floral Toppers

April 18, 2014

Music festival style is a well curated melange of denim, merged with feminine items with a bohemian vibe. While this look may not work for most of us on a day to day basis, there are great items to incorporate into your wardrobe to add an element of boho chic.

The sheer floral print top was a big trend at Coachella. Whether it’s a vintage robe or dress, or a new piece inspired by them, these were the topper of choice over denim shorts and bra tops.

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This floral piece with flounced sleeves adds a girlie touch to distressed denim and an oversized tee. Accessories compete the look.

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Long and languid cabbage roses top a laced edge camisole and cutoffs.

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Lingerie inspired boy shorts and bra top are covered by a floral kimono.

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High waisted shorts and cropped top are feminized by a long sheer rose printed robe.

Want to try to inject this into your wardrobe? Try a floral top or dress over jeans, slim pants or even a pencil skirt.  Add some necklaces, and channel your inner hippie.

Photos: Pinterest

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Exercise Your Way Young?

April 17, 2014

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We all know that exercise benefits our health in many ways, but a new study shows it might also help us look younger too.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada found that mice became ill when sedentary, but thrived when given access to a running wheel. The theory was then applied to humans, with positive results.

A group of  men and women ages 20-84 were split into 2 groups; the first exercising vigorously for 3 hours per week, and the other less than 1 hour per week. It was discovered that after age 40, those who got more exercise also had thinner and healthier status cornuems and thicker dermis layers, a skin composition more similar to those aged 20-30.

They also studied a sedentary group of people over the age of 65. After three months on an exercise programs, the participant’s skin was found to be similar in make up to that of 20-40 year olds, and they looked visibly younger.

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Instead of investing in costly lotions and potions to battle the visible signs of aging, perhaps it’s time to start working out. You heart, lungs, bones and skin will thank you.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Festival Style: LACE

April 16, 2014

It’s music festival time, kicking off with Coachella last weekend. Festival dressing has a style all it’s own, with sexy, boho looks ruling the day. While flower crowns and hippie inspired dresses may not fit into most of our day to day lives, there are some trends to be extracted. Such is the case with lace. Textural cotton laces and crochet add a feminine, yet casual twist to any look. Why not try a lace trimmed blouse with your jeans this weekend, and embrace a little festival chic!

Here a just a few of our favorites:

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Softly tiered cotton with insets of rustic lace give this dress a sweet, yet edgy vibe. Add a sheer floral top to complete the look.

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This voile blouse trimmed with cotton lace is tucked into distressed denim cutoffs.The  tapestry bag is the perfect finish to this haute hippie look.

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Vintage lace and high waisted denim looks flawlessly chic.

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These macrame sandal-boot hybrids, leather bracelets, and woven bag take this eyelet top to another level.

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A soft peasant top and lace shorts make a case for tough and tender, when paired with studded leather accessories.

Photos via: Pinterest

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Centering Egg Yolks

April 15, 2014

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With both Easter and Passover occurring this week, many people have hard boiled eggs on their minds.

When making deviled eggs, it’s nice to have the yolks perfectly centered in the whites, to allow them to be stuffed evenly, and to look more presentable on the plate. Here is a little trick that will make that possible.

The night before you plan to boil the eggs, lay the carton on it’s side in the refrigerator. Use a rubber band to keep the eggs from rolling out of the carton. Leave them for 12 – 24 hours. Cook as usual, and viola! Perfectly centered yolks.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Marbled Matzoh Brittle

April 14, 2014

Here is a simple, yet delicious version  of the matzoh brittle we have posted previously. It has all the properties of the perfect confection. It’s a little bit salty, a little bit crunchy and a little bit sweet. And did I mention it has chocolate? What’s not to love?

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Adapted from Salt and Serenity.

Marbled Matzoh Brittle:

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and cover it with parchment paper. If you skip this step, you will be scrubbing for a long, long time. Trust us on this!

Line the pan with sheets of matzoh. If you have room, break pieces to fit the extra space.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 sticks of butter, and 1 cup of brown sugar. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it comes to a boil and blends together. If it looks separated, keep stirring. Stir for couple of  minutes or so until it forms caramel. Pour the caramel over the matzoh, and smooth it with a spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until the caramel is golden in color, and bubbling. Don’t let it burn!

In the meantime, melt 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips. Place the melted white chocolate into a pastry bag. (see our tip for doing this here.)

Remove the matzoh from the oven. Sprinkle it with semi-sweet chocolate chips and allow them to soften. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly across the matzoh.

Cut the end off of the piping bag, and pipe the white chocolate in a zig zag pattern across the matzoh in both directions. Don’t be too worried about precision. Use a skewer, or the tip of a paring knife to smear the white chocolate, forming a marble effect.

Sprinkle the matzoh lightly with sea salt.

Pop the pan into the refrigerator, and chill until the chocolate is firm.
Using a very sharp knife, slice the chilled matzoh into squares, and enjoy! (Don’t forget to share!)

photo: Salt and Serenity

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: What NOT To Microwave

April 8, 2014
Do you think they had a microwave disaster?

Do you think they had a microwave disaster?


While microwave ovens can speed things up in the kitchen, they can also lead to disaster. I actually ended up in the hospital due to  a freak microwave accident,  but alas, that is a story for another day.

Here are some things that should stay out of the microwave:

Metal should never be put into the microwave. Even the smallest bit can send plasma through your microwave, melt the metal, or in the case of aluminum foil, start a fire.

Many plastics are labeled microwave safe, but although those products themselves are safe in the microwave, they can give off unhealthy chemicals that are not safe for humans to ingest. Just. Say. No.

Hot peppers contain an ingredient called capsaicin, which gives them that hot, spicy flavor. Once microwaved, it also gives off a vapor that is unpleasant to inhale. Skip it, and use the stove.

It seems as though hard boiling an egg in the microwave would be a good idea, right? Wrong! The center of the egg gets very, very hot, the steam inside has no way to escape, and bam, you guessed it: they explode.

Have you ever had a microwave disaster? Tell us about it in the comments below!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Overall Impressions

April 7, 2014

Overalls, once the go-to outfit of farmers and toddlers, has made it’s way into the fashion scene. This time around, they have a sexy, almost sophisticated edge, taking the workwear staple to a whole new level. Being a woman of a certain age, I’m fighting the urge to give this trend a try. But looking at these chic ladies, I’m thinking  I can rock this look. You be the judge:

Donna Karan sent these overalls down this runway for DKNY this spring, adding a polished blazer and trench coat to complete the outfit.

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A slim fit, high heeled booties and a great flyaway sweater give these overalls a casual, yet pulled together  sensibility.

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How chic is this women, walking through the Tuileries in Paris, with gold toed pumps, a clutch bag,and her red coat tossed nonchalantly over her shoulders?

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Leave it to Alexander Wang to pair a leather bra top with his white overalls. A little skin makes the look sexy!

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Blair Eadie of the style blog Atlantic Pacific is known for her ladylike chic. Her messy undo, pointy stilettos and red lips and bag give this outfit an air of sophisticated ease.

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Want to try this look yourself? Just abide by a few simple rules.

Overalls should be on the slim side. Nothing oversized or sloppy.

Add a touch of the unexpected, through accessories, makeup or a great piece of outerwear.

Roll the legs and add a chic heel.

Accessorize to the hilt. Shoes, bags and scarves play a huge role in upping the fashion ante. Keeping it chic is key.

Take a little extra care with your hair and makeup. This isn’t the time to get sloppy.

Keep the tops fitted, or go ahead and show some skin. Let the world know there is a woman under there.

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Unrecipe of the Week: Pasta With Seafood + Marinara Sauce

April 3, 2014

This is a perfect unrecipe for those of us lucky enough to live near a place to get the freshest seafood, pasta made daily, and even a homemade marinara sauce in a jar. For me, it’s a quick trip to Chelsea Market.

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I purchase freshly caught Atlantic shrimp and scallops at The Lobster Place, one of New York’s very best fish markets. I sear them with very little seasoning, as the marinara sauce from Buon Italia is full of diced garlic, rich red tomatoes, and slick with olive oil, which coats Rana’s homemade pasta beautifully.

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Sure, this can be done with commercially jarred marinara sauce, and dried pasta with acceptable results. For a few extra minutes

(ok, maybe 15 extra minutes,) you can create the sauce yourself. It’s that simple. It’s that easy. It’s that good.

Shrimp and Scallops in a Spicy Marinara Sauce Over Pasta:

Clean and devein shrimp, rinse scallops and pat dry. It is important to get as much moisture off of the seafood so it sears and browns.( I figure about 1/2 pound of seafood per person )

White garlic from Lomagne

Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté 3 or 4 cloves of diced garlic until soft. Place the seafood in a single layer in the pan so that each piece touches the hot surface. Don’t over crowd the pan. If necessary, do this in batches. Flip it and sear the other side. This should only take a few minutes.

This is our homemake pasta from a previous post.

This is our homemake pasta from a previous post.

Add a can or box* of diced San Marzano tomatoes and a liberal dose of salt. Add a little red pepper and lay a leaf or two of fresh basil across the top of the mixture. The leaves will wilt into the sauce naturally. Heat until the sauce starts to bubble, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook briefly, and serve over pasta.  Enjoy!

*canned tomatoes are a good news/ bad news item. They are healthier, due to the higher levels of lycopine than fresh tomatoes, but their acidity makes the chemicals in the can even more harmful. Whole Foods carries San Marzano tomatoes in tetra pack boxes, which is a much healthier alternative. If you can’t find them, you can use Pomi brand, which has always come in boxes.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Tropical Sports

April 2, 2014

We don’t know which trend for Spring we love more: the athletic trend, or the tropical one. Why choose?
Adidas just launched a collaboration with Brazilian brand Farm, and the mix is pure genius. This is the kind of hybridization we can get our heads around!

Logo tank and running shorts:

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Iconic stripes and logo on a pineapple print!

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The look is  even starting to appear in street style: Tennis anyone?

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Sporty backpacks are back! How about an island style version?

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Knives

April 1, 2014

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Scraping the food from the cutting board with the knife is easy and efficient, but it also wrecks havoc on the blade. Try getting in the habit of using the other side of the knife for scraping, to avoid dulling the blade.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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