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About two weeks ago I made the transition into working from home.  To most people this sounds like a tiny slice of heaven but, it is a huge adjustment, and I don’t know how well I am actually coping.  The upswing, is that it really has highlighted how sparse my place really is and all those projects I have moved to the back burner.  With the option of frolicking outside slowly dying down, I am going to take this weekend to focus on some house projects I have left incomplete, or have simply just said I’ll do it later.

Finding a great antique settee to re-upholster, and possibly re-finish for my living room.

 

Stripping my kitchen table, painting it white and finding fun mis-matched antique chairs to create a great place to enjoy coffee, friends, and dinner.

Enhancing my persian chic bedroom with more: textures, patterns, and a perfect pink hue that screams soothing and not little girl


Finally, finishing the antique dresser I scored for $25 on Craigs List that has been sitting in my parents garage

Whether your weekend To do list be big or small, enjoy your weekend!

 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

 

One of my favorite parts about living in the North East is the change of seasons.  Every time the seasons change I always declare that it is my favorite, the truth is there is something about each and every season I adore.  The fall stakes the cake for the best sleeping weather, foods with hearty flavors, and cozy sweaters.

Cinnamon Swirl bread is the perfect fall bread: it is delicious straight out of the oven, toasted with a dab of cream cheese or the perfect compliment for outrageous french toast.  I took the recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking School Cookbook since I am not a big raisin fan I didn’t include them but, with or without I assure you its ridiculously scrumptious!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (makes 2 loaves)
– 1 envelope (¼ ounce/7g) active dry yeast
– 480 ml (2 cups) warm milk
– 950g (6 ½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
– 115g (1 stick/½ cup) butter, room temperature, cut into pieces, plus more for pans
– 100g (½ cup) sugar
– 2 eggs, plus 1 egg, lightly beaten
– 2 ½ tsp coarse salt – 200g (1 cup) raisins
– 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
filling:
– 300g (1 ½ cups) dark brown castor sugar
– 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk and whisk to combine. Add the flour, butter, sugar, 2 eggs, and salt. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until all the ingredients are well combined, about 3 minutes. Raise speed to medium-low, and continue to mix until the dough is completely smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes more.

2. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Pat out the dough into a big round. Sprinkle with raisins and cinnamon and knead and fold until they are just incorporated. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and pat into a round. Fold the bottom third of the dough up, the top third down and the right and left sizes over, pressing down the seal. Return the dough into the bowl and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.

4. Make the filling. Combine sugar and cinnamon with 2 Tbsp water in a small bowl.

5. Generously butter two 9by5-inch loaf pans (if you don’t have two, one 7 inch round spring form) set aside. 6. Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and divide in half. Roll each half out to a large rectangle, a bit bigger than your loaf pans – about 10 inch. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle each with half of the filling.

7. With the short end of the rectangle facing you, fold in both of the long sides of the dough in. the roll the dough towards you, gently pressing forming a tight log. Roll back and forth to seal the seam. Place loafs in the prepared pans. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 225°C (425°F)

8. Brush the tops of the loafs with beaten egg, and transfer pans to the oven. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until loaves are golden brown, about 45 minutes. If the tops begin to brown too quickly, tent with aluminium foil.) turn out the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. (if you can wait…) The bread can be kept, wrapped in plastic up to 4 days

 

DIY Homemade Shelf

A couple of months ago I blogged about installing my own chandelier and butting up a mirror in my entrance way (see here ).  It seemed as though something was still lacking.  The space is kind of small so a table was out of the question, so I decided to make a charming shelf.  What you will need:  remnint of plywood according you your measurements,  a piece of fabric that is cut to fit the wood with an inch on all sides of overhang, liquid starch, bucket, and brackets.

To start this project you are going to take your measured fabric and submerge it in a bucket of starch.  The starch may shrink the fabric a tad, but that is why you cut extra fabric.  The fabric is then applied to the wood making sure to press out any air bubbles.  The starch will act as a glue, to seal off the ends fold as a package and allow to dry.  

To install the shelf I selected some brackets from anthropologie, measured and made sure they were level then screwed in with screws.  I placed the bored on top and the rest is history!

Long Sleeved Ruffle Polo Dress RalphLauren.com $24.38

Lulla Smith Moses Basket laylagrace.com $290

Two Piece Monogramed Hooded Baby Towels $39

Fleur De Lis Believe Print poshtots.com $37.60

Triple Ruffle Baby Headband pinkbowtique.com $12.95

Shabby Chic Photo Frame etsy.com/shops/shugabeelane $25

Last week something very special happened, I became the God Mother of a little baby girl Sienna Rose.  This was so special because Miss. Sienna Rose has three older brothers so she was quite the surprise.  Despite being just perfect, there is something so fun about the gifts you can by a girl.  Here are some of my favorite baby gifts that are the perfect composition of adorable, and girly.  So, instead of referring to the registry to buy a gift for your friends baby, take these  picks and give something fantastic!


Salmon and Broccoli Rabe

 

A friend of mine has been harassing me to post the easiest  and fool proof salmon and broccoli rabe recipe.  Most people are intimidated my broccoli rabe but, it’s really so easy and so delicious!

Ingredients 

* Salmon Fillet

*Olive Oil

* 1/2 fresh lemon

* Italian Seasoning

* Salt/Pepper

* A couple thinly sliced Onions

* One Bunch Broccoli Rabe

* 4 Cloves Garlic

Preheat oven to 400*, place fillets on foil and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Season with about a teaspoon of italian seasonings, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Top with thinly sliced onion (zucchini ribbons, or heirloom tomatoes are also delicious) and squeeze the juice from one wedge of lemon.  Close up the foil and bake for about 15 minutes.

For the broccoli rabe bring, water in a large saucepan to a rapid boil.  Meanwhile trim the stems off the broccoli rabe and roughly chop the rest.  Once the water is boiling add in broccoli rabe, salt the water and cook for about 5-6 minutes be careful to to overcook as it will become bitter.  When done cooking strain, rinse with cool water, and wring out to remove excess water.  Take the sauce pot and over medium heat, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add chopped garlic, and broccoli rabe saute for about 3-4 minutes.  Voila!

The Mtv Video Music Awards were last night and the stars were out in some fun flirty looks.  Common theme for the night were party dresses in black, white and metallic hues.  Here are some of my favorites and some attainable options to rock similar looks.

Right: bebe leather panel dress bebe.com $189

Emma Stone rocked in a leather sheath mini dress, the conservative style was perfect for the sultry fabric.  She paired her rock and roll look with black crystal adorned louboutins.  

Right: Hook and Eye Mini Dress Victoriassecret.com $89

Despite Kesha’s terrible braid and the fact that her dress was made out of garbage bags the cut and style of the dress is fantastic.  The plunging neckline is balanced with the semi covered shoulder. The garbage bag sheen also creates an interesting texture that creates a subtle metallic.

Right: Silver Ruched Party Dress Edressme.com $218

Selena Gomez Shimmered in a silver lamè corset dress with draped grecian inspired skirt.  The draping, killer slit, and shimmering color radiated against the white carpet.

Right: Sequin One Shoulder Dress Arden B $98

Audrina Patridge is the queen of being sultry chic, her sequin mini dress was no exception.  It seemed that she had one too many accessories on with the multi strand belt, and chunky bangles.  I also didn’t love the pairing of the gold balmain shoes with the silver dress,  but the dress alone is delicious.

Right: Black and white Dress asos.com $43.16

My absolute favorite of the night was Ashley Greene, the black and white contrasting frock she war was flawless.  From the lace bodice, the black waist with coordinating white bow, and fearless mini length.  The minimal accessories with her hair down complete the look.

Cozy Throws

1. Pendleton Herringbone Wool Throw pendleton-usa.com $124

2. Sea Green Stripe Throw overstock.com $29.49

3. Martha Stewart Ruffle Throw macys.com $39.99

4. Chunky Tassel Throw WestElm.com $69

5. Hermes Avalon Blanket Hermes.com $1,125

Fall is here and the delicate chill outside makes it the perfect time to open the windows, and cozy up  on the couch.  I have strict policies on blankets they must be oversized to really curl up in, have a luxurious feel, and a stylish appearance.   For this fall and into winter I love wool blankets they are so cozy and remind me of this fabulous Tartan Plaid Ralph Lauren Wool Blanket my Aunt had.  The delicate tonal patterns that match your decor add a new texture and coordinate to any rooms decor.  As we know I love feminine touches so ruffles are a must, and bold of pops of color are great to cheer you up as the temperature goes down.  Chunky sweater throws are my absolute favorite they stretch, are heavy, and cozy a preppy girl classic.  What more is there to say about Hermes its the ultimate luxury the H for me stands for Hall and in terms of color it must be Hermes Orange.  So whatever your style is cozy up in your favorite.