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Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

16 Jul 2014

Now several weeks removed from the Food & Wine Classic, I still find myself daydreaming on what seemed like a weekend long frenzied reverie filled with gastronomical delights and libations. The festival was held in the heart of the snow-capped mountains of Colorado, in the idyllic and historic town of Aspen. It was a swirling whirlwind sensation filled with impassioned food enthusiasts, great eats and tons and tons and TONS of alcohol.

Bario Neal Silver Knotted Rush Ring Giveaway

Bario Neal Silver Knotted Rush Ring Giveaway

9 Jul 2014

I am so thrilled to announce that Bario Neal, a Philadelphia-based jewelry design company, is giving away one of their beautiful Knotted Rush ring in silver to one of our lucky readers! I personally love the delicate simplicity of this classic ring. It is a gorgeous piece perfect for everyday wear.

Summer Solstice Garden Party

Summer Solstice Garden Party

1 Jul 2014

I celebrated the summer solstice, the official mark of the summer season in Aspen, Colorado- a little over a week ago.

Brown Sugar Peaches with Ice Cream

Brown Sugar Peaches with Ice Cream

1 Jul 2014

So easy, but ridiculously delicious. No, seriously. Seriously.

Braised Chicken with Saffron Jus, Summer Vegetables and Cous Cous

Braised Chicken with Saffron Jus, Summer Vegetables and Cous Cous

1 Jul 2014

I love braising chicken in its own liquid. There’s no need to add too many spices- but the result is always flavorful and juicy.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Gazpacho

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Gazpacho

1 Jul 2014

This gazpacho packs quite a punch! I find that most gazpacho soups tend to be too light to hold on its own court. While this gazpacho stays true to being a refreshing summer staple- the smokiness of the roasted red bell pepper and the textural weight of both the diced bacon and hard-boiled eggs as garnish really give some depth to this soup.

Crab Eggs Benedict

Crab Eggs Benedict

4 Jun 2014

I love Eggs Benedict. It is a rich, sumptuous savory dish between the creamy egg yolks and the satin delicacy of the sauce.

Spring Brunch Garden Party

Spring Brunch Garden Party

4 Jun 2014

Spring and early Summer is the best time for outdoor parties. We try to eat and entertain in our backyard alcove as often as we can.

Roasted Asparagus with Shallot Butter and Shaved Black Truffles

Roasted Asparagus with Shallot Butter and Shaved Black Truffles

4 Jun 2014

Black truffles are such a luxury. Our local Farmers Market would carry them when they are in season- but a thumb sized piece can be worth about $50-100.

Affogato

Affogato

4 Jun 2014

This dessert is deceivingly simple but absolutely surprising. It really doesn’t get any quicker than this to pull off an impressive, delicious dessert

Top 10 Essential Kitchen Investments

Top 10 Essential Kitchen Investments

2 Jun 2014

So, the time has come when you finally feel ready to upgrade your kitchenware- but where do you start? Sure, you already have the basics- measuring cups, whisks, mixing bowls, etc- but which items are worth paying more? As a recipe developer, and food writer I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen- and I found that there are really ten key kitchen investments that can bring your cooking and efficiency to whole new level.

&Learn

&Learn

29 May 2014

I love throwing dinner parties. I take great pleasure seeing my guests gathered around, enjoying each others’ company and eating a great meal together.

Dinner with Luca

Dinner with Luca

27 May 2014

My family and I are avid watchers of Fox’s Masterchef. There is something so supremely satisfying watching food being made- and between the theatrics, the food and the drama, that show got us hooked.

Mothers

Mothers

12 May 2014

I had such a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday. My amazing husband let me sleep in while he took care of the girls. Then Ruthie and Noah made me a delicious breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, bacon and eggs. It was almost commercial-worthy… were it not for the pile of dishes I volunteered to clean up afterwards.

Death of a Pet Chicken

Death of a Pet Chicken

29 Apr 2014

Late last night, we heard a horrible noise. But living off of a busy street, we learned to ignore most noises that manage to filter through our windows. Our dog, Pippi, however was on edge the rest of the night. This morning, I found out why.

Chicken Ramen Express

Chicken Ramen Express

21 Apr 2014

Between seasonal allergies and a cold going around, our house is a mess. So don’t be surprised if the next series of posts will be a week-long tribute to soup. I haven’t had much time to really take care of myself last week, between a sick husband and a sick baby and prepping for our Easter brunch.

Spicy Ramen Noodle Salad

Spicy Ramen Noodle Salad

17 Apr 2014

This recipe is inspired by and adapted from this month’s Bon Appetit Noodle Salad with Chicken Recipe. The original recipe was a bit too spicy so I had to readjust the spice ratio. In the end, the dressing for this noodle salad is just the right balance between savory, sweet and spice.

Easter Fortune Eggs

Easter Fortune Eggs

16 Apr 2014

To be quite honest, I have never dyed Easter eggs before. So this project became a lot more ambitious when I decided that I wasn’t just going to dye Easter eggs, but hollowing them out, and making fortune eggs for people to take home after our Egg Hunt brunch.

Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes

15 Apr 2014

Today is the second day of passover. We usually celebrate passover with my husband’s side of the family, however, because of some work conflict, we’ve been unable to visit them in DC. While we do not observe this holiday, I do love celebrating this tradition together with family.

Muhallabieh

Muhallabieh

14 Apr 2014

Muhallabieh is a milk-based dessert I grew up eating in Saudi Arabia. It is light with consistency that is somewhere between yogurt and panna cotta. When we left Saudi, I thought it was the end of my indulging on a number of my favorite Arab foods.

How to Cook like a Pro

How to Cook like a Pro

10 Apr 2014

Within seconds of of seeing Bon Appetit’s April 2014 cover, I was immediately inspired to recreate their cover dish. It looked delicious and refreshing. Without having read the recipe, I knew I could recreate the look of the dish with a handful of ingredients.

Lunch Salads: Weekday Lunch Tips

Lunch Salads: Weekday Lunch Tips

9 Apr 2014

Weekday lunch was always such a point of frustration in our household. I always planned ahead for dinner, but somehow unless I buy deli meats for a quick sandwich, we end up buying our lunch to avoid midday cooking and dish cleaning.

Potato Chip Omelet

Potato Chip Omelet

8 Apr 2014

Okay- before you say anything, I got the idea from the tapas chef genius, Jose Andres. This amazing Spanish-American chef recently released his own brand of potato chips, and my-oh-my are they delicious.

Peppercorn Mainline

Peppercorn Mainline

7 Apr 2014

It is difficult to talk about Peppercorn without mentioning its past. Peppercorn Restaurant, a recent addition to the Main Line restaurant scene, has had a bit of an identity crisis since it opened July 2013.

Homemade Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta

3 Apr 2014

There’s something downright sensual about making cheese. I think it’s the cream, and the milk and the pillowy softness that results from it. This was my first attempt on cheese-making of any kind, and I must say, that I’m kind of hooked! I may never buy store-bought ricotta again.

Kamana Sanctuary Hotel

Kamana Sanctuary Hotel

2 Apr 2014

When we were planning our trip to the Philippines, I knew I wanted to plan a trip to one of its famed beaches. However, as much as we would have loved to visit Palawan, an island rumored to have the most beautiful sunsets in the world, we did not feel like hopping on another, albeit significantly shorter, plane ride so soon after we arrived.

Cocoon Boutique Hotel

Cocoon Boutique Hotel

1 Apr 2014

Located within the heart of Quezon City, the largest city in Metro Manila, Cocoon Boutique Hotel was a surprising respite from everyday chaos. What’s more surprising is the hotel’s efforts in providing the first environmentally friendly, green hotel in the Philippines.

A Philippine Adventure

A Philippine Adventure

31 Mar 2014

My family and I just recently came back from our first big international trip from the Philippines together. We had such a wonderful time. But the weeks leading up to our departure was spent agonizing, carefully planning and collecting things we needed to survive the long journey over and back.

Turkish Chocolate

Turkish Chocolate

3 Mar 2014

Sometimes, after the kids go to sleep, my husband and I would have “mini-dates,” where we’d have a glass of wine or a finger or two of scotch or have a cocktail together in the living room. During the summer months, we’d sneak off with the baby monitor to our patio, start a bonfire and sit under the stars while we sipped our drink.

Pukkolla

Pukkolla

27 Feb 2014

I’ve been struggling to find discipline in motherhood. Growing up, my mother worked 60-70 hours a week as a OB/GYN nurse at a royal university hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Mulled Hot Cider

Mulled Hot Cider

24 Feb 2014

Another snow day is coming up. I have lost count on how much snow in how many days we’ve had this winter, because its truly been brutal.

Thumb-Bunny Loves You!

Thumb-Bunny Loves You!

13 Feb 2014

With about two feet of snow in our front door- we are definitely staying in for the rest of the day. So while the kids and I are getting snuggled and bundled, we thought we’d finish our Valentines for our friends and family.

Glogg

Glogg

11 Feb 2014

With just barely a week since the last snow storm, it seems that another one is its way tonight. This winter has been fierce and unrelenting. But I try to continue looking at the bright side of things- namely, winter cocktails!

Ode to Blaak

Ode to Blaak

10 Feb 2014

I have fallen in love with the Beekman Boys. Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge created the lifestyle company, Beekman 1802, which makes pastoral living seem so idyllic. What started off as a fantasy has now become the fastest growing lifestyle brand in America, and with it, the revival of their sleepy town of Sharon Springs, NY.

Cheese Platter 101

Cheese Platter 101

6 Feb 2014

A cheese platter is one of my favorite ways of preparing a hassle-free appetizer or to add a little pizzazz to cocktail hour. We usually have a small selection of cheeses in our fridge so that we’re ready to feed impromptu guests or to satisfy a craving.

The Power of Music

The Power of Music

5 Feb 2014

Recently, I have had the pleasure to work with, MusicWorks, a wonderful non-profit organization. MusicWorks is Delaware County’s premier music therapy service provider. They are also the only music therapy center whose services for special needs children are covered by insurance.

Ultimate Bloody Mary

Ultimate Bloody Mary

4 Feb 2014

I wish I could take credit for this, but I can’t. This brilliant twist on the classic Bloody Mary cocktail is an adaptation of Jamie Oliver’s Spicy Bloody Mary served in his restaurant, Barbacoa.

Terrariums

Terrariums

3 Feb 2014

There is something so charming about life in miniature. Awhile ago, one of my favorite stores, Terrain, offered terrarium-making classes (while sipping wine), so I decided to join in the fun. Terrariums are small-scale verdant vignettes- arranged in clear containers.

Gift Wrapping 101

Gift Wrapping 101

6 Jan 2014

The end of the holiday season is always so bittersweet. The ceremony of getting the house all gussied up for Christmas, the anticipation, the holiday parties and preparation for our yearly Christmas brunch makes parting with this season slightly painful.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

13 Dec 2013

Hello, friends! First and foremost, I am simply humbled and amazed by the incredible support I receive from this community. Thank you so incredibly much! In the spirit of giving gratitude, I want to share five things I’m thankful for from this week:

Blaak'n Bacon Waffles

Blaak’n Bacon Waffles

11 Dec 2013

I love waffles. But you already know that…

Fried Chicken and Waffles Party

Fried Chicken and Waffles Party

10 Dec 2013

Throughout my pregnancy I craved three things- fried chicken, waffles and beer. I knew since then that whether my baby was a boy or a girl, I wanted to throw a “fried chicken and waffles” party for baby’s first birthday. And so it was!

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Joy

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Joy

9 Dec 2013

I love dressing up our home for Christmas. Between all the twinkly lights, the tree and the escalating anticipation for the Christmas Day, the house feels positively magical.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 Dec 2013

During the holiday season, there seems to be an unspoken agreement in our family to devote our gift-giving to the kids. But I still couldn’t resist making some yummy goodies for the grown-ups. I vary it year per year.

Crafting with the Kids: Dyed Scarves

Crafting with the Kids: Dyed Scarves

4 Dec 2013

Ruthie and I made a wide range of presents for this holiday season. This was one of the more ambitious projects we undertook only in that it had a lot more steps to complete but otherwise this was easy and something I would totally do again.

Monsieur Beekman

Monsieur Beekman

3 Dec 2013

After a weekend of non-stop cooking, I usually love to wind down with quick and easy meals for the rest of the week. It takes me awhile to warm back up into more time-consuming dishes.

Crafting with the Kids: Build Your Own Sandwich Shirts

Crafting with the Kids: Build Your Own Sandwich Shirts

2 Dec 2013

This is such a fun project to make for other kids in the family. Ruthie made a series of shirts and onesies for the babies and toddlers of the family.

Tips on Crafting with the Kids and DIY Table Napkins

Tips on Crafting with the Kids and DIY Table Napkins

25 Nov 2013

This weekend Ruthie and I made it a mission to finish her Hanukkah and some of her Christmas presents. I am glad we started the holiday presents early this year because it’s a lot less stressful when spaced out through the course of several weeks.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

22 Nov 2013

Happy Friday, friends! Firstly, an apology: I’ve been having such a hard time keeping up with the blog updates.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

21 Nov 2013

To celebrate Miya’s birthday, I made cupcakes for the teachers and caregivers at the daycare. This is hands-down my favorite cake/cupcake recipe of all time.

Artist Feature: Julia Kostreva

Artist Feature: Julia Kostreva

11 Nov 2013

Growing up, Julia Kostreva knew with deep conviction that she always wanted to be a designer. She went to the Maryland Institute College of Art and afterwards let her whim be her guide- traveling throughout Europe, living in Japan and eventually settling in San Francisco with her friends.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

8 Nov 2013

I feel like it’s been AGES since I last wrote a Five Friday Favorites post! There’s been quite a bit of (positive) upheaval in my personal and professional life lately and I’ve had a really tough time trying to balance the blogging along with it.

Blaak and White Soup

Blaak and White Soup

7 Nov 2013

I first fell in love with the Beekman Boys when I stumbled upon their show on Planet Green. Since then, Noah, Ruthie and I have been following the evolution of their brand, Beekman 1802

Crafting with the Kids: Gilded Notebooks

Crafting with the Kids: Gilded Notebooks

6 Nov 2013

Ruthie and I have been making holiday presents on and off for three years now. I wanted her to understand that the holidays was about the joy of giving back to the people we love.

Ten Years Ten Questions

Ten Years Ten Questions

5 Nov 2013

My wonderful stepdaughter, Ruthie, turned 10 this weekend. It’s been officially five years since she came into my life and stole my heart.

Coriander Shrimp with Beet-Ginger Puree and Papaya-Mango Salad

Coriander Shrimp with Beet-Ginger Puree and Papaya-Mango Salad

4 Nov 2013

So as some of you may know, this weekend I auditioned to be part of Masterchef USA Season 5. I feel exhausted even just from the memory of it.

Fairy Door Project

Fairy Door Project

22 Oct 2013

The Fairy Door project was conceived by the wonderful Carrie Kohs, owner of the remarkable toy store pucciManuli.  The neighborhood shops will be unveiling their fairy doors throughout the season.  I thought this was an inspiring, whimsical project so I decided to be part of it.  I am on a mission to securely place two […]

Fairy Doors

Fairy Doors

22 Oct 2013

Something magical is happening to our neighborhood. Since the summer, Ruthie and I have heard a rumor that there is a fairy migration happening across the country.

Baked Mountain Eggs

Baked Mountain Eggs

21 Oct 2013

All the delicious farm fresh eggs we’ve been getting everyday allows me to be extra creative in finding ways to cook them. With the cooler weather rolling in, I have been craving heartier fare in the morning.

Chicago Marathon 2013

Chicago Marathon 2013

16 Oct 2013

While this 2013 Chicago Marathon was my fifth, this race was a first in many ways. Miya was still fast asleep when I left the hotel, so for the first time, I walked to the start line alone.

Life as a Big Sister

Life as a Big Sister

15 Oct 2013

I love my stepdaughter. Ruthie brings such happiness wherever she goes.

DIY Flower Arrangement

DIY Flower Arrangement

8 Oct 2013

We recently hosted an Oktoberfest party, and I decided to make our own flower arrangements on the tables. This was my first attempt at flower arrangement using a short wide vase, which is an unusual vessel but creates beautiful, cascading arrangements if used properly.

The Truth About Traveling with a Baby Under One

The Truth About Traveling with a Baby Under One

7 Oct 2013

Traveling with a child under 1 year old is never really truly enjoyable. There’s always a sense of relief and triumph through surviving time away from home with your baby.

Hotel Monaco

Hotel Monaco

30 Sep 2013

Hotel Monaco is another feather in the Kimpton Hotel Group’s cap of beautiful boutique hotels around the country. It is Kimpton Hotel’s second property in Philadelphia.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

27 Sep 2013

With all the recent loss, I have been trying to concentrate and remember everything I have to be thankful for. Yes, its been a tough year- but I have supported and loved and that is enough to anchor me in the present

Catalina Bondoc Viray

Catalina Bondoc Viray

25 Sep 2013

2013 has officially kicked my ass. My grandmother passed away yesterday and I have been trying to process that loss since I found out.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Waffles

Chocolate Peanut Butter Waffles

24 Sep 2013

Even before Miya was born, I knew I wanted her first birthday to be celebrated with fried chicken and waffles. I don’t quite know where the desire came from

Create + Cultivate

Create + Cultivate

23 Sep 2013

Writing and blogging can be such an isolated experience. Personally, while I love the creative process of developing recipes, writing about food and shooting videos it can be quite exhausting and uninspiring to go through it alone.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

20 Sep 2013

This Sunday, September 22, is the fall equinox, which marks the official first day of Autumn. This cool weather has me reminiscing about our puppy’s arrival into our lives and on how much I was anticipating Miya’s birth, less than a year ago.

Chanterelle Mushroom Fricassee

Chanterelle Mushroom Fricassee

19 Sep 2013

Fall is a beautiful time for mushrooms. All the humidity that built up during Spring and Summer usually result in delicious, earthy mushrooms.

Mussels with Lemon, Garlic and White Wine Sauce

Mussels with Lemon, Garlic and White Wine Sauce

18 Sep 2013

I can never resist “Moules Frites” in a menu- the combination of the tangy steamed mussels and the crisp savory goodness of french fries has been drooling as soon as I see it.

Cashmere and Studs

Cashmere and Studs

17 Sep 2013

Early fall- that time of year where the weather threads the line between cool and warm. It is also the perfect time to start pulling light cashmere out of the closet.

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

16 Sep 2013

The Farm-to-Table movement has been on a slow ascent for a long time, first studded with only a handful of pioneers around the USA. The movement that took over 40 years to come to full speed and is now finally speeding through the country with a steady hum.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

13 Sep 2013

We don’t have cable TV in our house. We get our TV fix through Netflix, HULU or AppleTV.

Philly Feastival 2013

Philly Feastival 2013

13 Sep 2013

Philadelphia has a thriving and burgeoning arts and culinary scene. This city has been slowly making its mark as a world-class player in both industries.

East Hampton Point

East Hampton Point

11 Sep 2013

While I always enjoy our visit to the Hamptons, its become a challenge to find great hotels with enough space to accommodate a family and still stay reasonably affordable.

Taupe and Teal

Taupe and Teal

10 Sep 2013

As we transition to cool Autumn weather, I am naturally starting to favor my heavier clothing. I haven’t embraced wool weather just yet- but I am shying away from my linens and silks.

Grilled Steak, Watermelon and Fried Green Tomato Salad

Grilled Steak, Watermelon and Fried Green Tomato Salad

9 Sep 2013

I got a bit overzealous when planting my tomatoes this year and decided to plant almost every heirloom tomato variety that came across my path. Some took to soil, and some didn’t- but as a result, the beds are bursting with our Green Zebra variety.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

6 Sep 2013

If you’ve checked my blog or connect with me through other social media channels these past two days you might have noticed that I haven’t been around. It’s been a difficult week. While Miya adjusted very well to Day Care- I have been hit with an intense wave of depression…

Caprese Tart

Caprese Tart

5 Sep 2013

Our garden is bursting at the seams with tomatoes and basil. I have grand plans for canning the tomatoes for winter- from marinara, to crushed tomatoes to homemade ketchup

Ice Cream Giveaway Recap

Ice Cream Giveaway Recap

4 Sep 2013

Two months ago, I hosted an ice cream/ gelati giveaway. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out the materials and logistics that is involved in sending out perishable items.

White after Labor Day

White after Labor Day

3 Sep 2013

It’s September, and I crunched on my first Autumnal leaves this past weekend. The golden, umber of dried leaves dusted over my car despite the muggy weather was a shock. I didn’t expect Fall to arrive so soon!

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

30 Aug 2013

Our week in DC has come to an end. We unfortunately didn’t find enough time to go to all the museums we wanted.

Ruthie's Reviews

Ruthie’s Reviews

29 Aug 2013

A little while ago, we started a new segment on the blog called “Ruthie’s Reviews.” Here, my step daughter, Ruthie, explores various venues and establishments and gives her opinion.

Fashion Giveaway: Stella & Dot Snake Ring

Fashion Giveaway: Stella & Dot Snake Ring

28 Aug 2013

Stella & Dot is hosting today’s wonderful giveaway: a stunning Sidewinder ring. This innovative company is one of the fastest growing businesses in America…

Real Style. Real Women.: Lesley Sico

Real Style. Real Women.: Lesley Sico

27 Aug 2013

I have always been curious about the cerebral process in which various women get dressed. While some women approach fashion in a very practical manner…

Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham

26 Aug 2013

In honor of all our chickens, who started laying eggs this past week- I wanted to create a new egg dish. Our Easter Egger chicken, Mary Lennox, lays beautiful green-shelled eggs, which inspired this playful take on a Dr. Seuss classic- “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

23 Aug 2013

This summer has been a whirlwind. Someone asked me yesterday what I have been up to this summer and I honestly couldn’t answer.

Tropical White

Tropical White

22 Aug 2013

Sometimes I accessorize for the dress, but sometimes I dress for the accessory. With that line of thought, I absolutely love pairing white dresses…

A Classic White

A Classic White

21 Aug 2013

It’s amazing how popular white parties have become as a summer theme. One globally celebrated white party is Diner en Blanc, an event that was popularized in Paris

A Weekend in Review: Five Chicago Eats

A Weekend in Review: Five Chicago Eats

20 Aug 2013

I love Chicago. Once known as the “hog butcher of the world,” this city has since moved on to become renowned for their thriving molecular gastronomy and yes, their delicious deep-dish pizzas.

The Journey

The Journey

19 Aug 2013

I find that people have an increasing level of disenchantment with traveling these days. Between airline delays, overpriced, bad airport food- the magic of airline travel has been reduced to plastic silverware and a peanut-less bag of nuts.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

16 Aug 2013

Summer is quickly coming to a close. We are going for a last summer hurrah and spending the last week of August in DC…

Tapsilog

Tapsilog

15 Aug 2013

In honor of Jamie Oliver and his search for the next Food Tube star, I decided to toss my hat in the ring and give it a shot.

Hotel Palomar

Hotel Palomar

14 Aug 2013

I have stayed in far too many hotel rooms than I care to admit. Perhaps this is the reason I am ever more critical about what constitutes the ideal hotel stay.

Stella Rossa Ristorante

Stella Rossa Ristorante

13 Aug 2013

Stella Rossa, an Italian bistro nestled on the edge of Brandywine River, is a recent addition to Philadelphia’s bustling Italian culinary scene.

Neons, Stripes and Brown Leather

Neons, Stripes and Brown Leather

12 Aug 2013

My camera is an everyday fixture in my life these days. As a result, I have been hunting for the perfect camera bag…

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

9 Aug 2013

Our family is obsessed with Masterchef. We wait for the new episode every week and I may have…

High, Low and Loose

High, Low and Loose

8 Aug 2013

Have I mentioned how much I love OTTE dresses? This gorgeous piece is a tad bit more sexy

Philippine Seafood Paella

Philippine Seafood Paella

7 Aug 2013

Philippine cuisine is a wonderful smorgasbord of various cultural influences. Most notably, Philippines has adopted a bevy of Spanish foods…

Polka Dots and Jeans

Polka Dots and Jeans

6 Aug 2013

As you may notice, I have quite an affinity for dresses. I rarely wear jeans mostly because they are less forgiving…

Blueberry Marmalade

Blueberry Marmalade

5 Aug 2013

Last weekend we went picking for fresh blueberries at a nearby farm. Blueberry picking is time consuming and hard work…

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

2 Aug 2013

Did you know that this week is National Orgasm Week? No, I’m serious! This is an actual, legitimate thing.

Black and Gold

Black and Gold

1 Aug 2013

My husband and I make a commitment to have at least one date night every month. But between busy work schedules, family time and various events…

Neons and Neutrals

Neons and Neutrals

31 Jul 2013

I am having a love affair with neons lately. But only in small increments- usually in unexpected places, like my neck or perhaps my undergarments…

Cherry Lime Sake Sorbetto

Cherry Lime Sake Sorbetto

30 Jul 2013

This delightful and refreshing dessert is a perfect summer treat for adults. It’s a cherry-lime puree spiked with sake.

Eggs and Bacon

Eggs and Bacon

29 Jul 2013

There’s nothing that is as versatile and universally proclaims “breakfast” as eggs. There are 100 ways of cooking an egg.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

26 Jul 2013

And just like that, the weather has shifted and it feels like a brisk fall day! It’s incredible how quickly the weather changes!

Let's talk about sex, baby

Let’s talk about sex, baby

25 Jul 2013

Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be…

Peach Ice Cream Redux

Peach Ice Cream Redux

24 Jul 2013

I made this recipe for two reasons. One reason is to treat all the lovely readers who want to try and make their own ice cream…

Zing! Pancakes

Zing! Pancakes

23 Jul 2013

These pancakes are actually “double chocolate chip buttermilk pancakes.” But that’s a pretty long name, so instead I would like to call the “ZING!” pancakes.

Roasted Figs

Roasted Figs

22 Jul 2013

Can you believe that we’re already halfway through the summer? I feel like I still have so many things on my summer bucket list that I have yet to accomplish.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

19 Jul 2013

This has been an interesting week for me at Daily Ampersand. The heat wave (104F/ 40C yesterday!) has me feeling shiftless and lackadaisical.

Running

Running

18 Jul 2013

I was not always a runner. In fact, I struggled to finish a mile all throughout high school. But since insomnia ran in my family and I was an unfortunate recipient of this genetic anomaly…

Summer Sand Dunes

Summer Sand Dunes

17 Jul 2013

This summer in the city has been brutal; like a pendulum swinging wildly from one extreme to another of either torrential rain or severe heat.

Summer Crostini

Summer Crostini

16 Jul 2013

With all the fresh summer produce, it doesn’t take much to whip up quick, delicious food. This makes for a great appetizer or a light lunch.

Grilled Shrimp with Sage and Pancetta

Grilled Shrimp with Sage and Pancetta

15 Jul 2013

Shrimp is the workhorse of the seafood world. It is an extremely versatile ingredient.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

12 Jul 2013

It’s funny, I call this section of the weekly post my “five Friday favorites” but in reality I actually post 6 different links. The 6th link is what I consider a bonus link- a way to explore other blogs in the web that are interesting or inspiring or BOTH…

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi

11 Jul 2013

Growing up as a child in Saudi Arabia had its advantages. I was exposed to a constant stream of delicious meals from my parents’ diverse group…

Rockin' and a Rollin'

Rockin’ and a Rollin’

10 Jul 2013

It’s difficult to talk about weight, but I will anyway. I gained about 40 lbs when I was pregnant.

Grilled Peach and Carnation Salad

Grilled Peach and Carnation Salad

9 Jul 2013

Summer is all about the pleasures of entertaining. Whether its a casual brunch or a backyard barbeque or a weekend pool…

The Art of Making a Great Sandwich

The Art of Making a Great Sandwich

8 Jul 2013

There’s no dish as universally recognized and loved as a sandwich. Yes, it is not the height of global cuisine, but making a great sandwich is an art form on its own!

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

5 Jul 2013

With one foot in my former profession and another in what I hope to be my new one- I go back and forth between pursuing a career change and just staying in my current path.

Hampton Holiday House White Gala

Hampton Holiday House White Gala

4 Jul 2013

It has been two weekends since the opening night of the Hampton Holiday House White Gala, but the memory of its insouciant luxury and uninhibited sense of ease is still fresh in my mind.

True Blue

True Blue

3 Jul 2013

In honor of the 4th of July holiday, I thought I’d put together a red, white and blue outfit. I have a particular affinity with shirt dresses.

Orange Chiffon

Orange Chiffon

2 Jul 2013

It’s July. It’s a season for light, delicate, fun fare- and not just food but for fashion as well.

Filleting a Fish 101

Filleting a Fish 101

1 Jul 2013

Fresh grilled fish is another favorite summer staple in our family. When I was a child and lived in Saudi Arabia, we would sometimes spend long weekends out of the capital along with other families, sometimes by a riverbank…

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

28 Jun 2013

It’s been a pretty exciting week, hasn’t it? I am so pleased that DOMA and Prop 8 was turned over. I am a big supporter of the Equal Rights movement and this is a wonderful leap towards the right direction.

My Journey into Step-Parenting

My Journey into Step-Parenting

27 Jun 2013

Before I started this site (when it was still on tumblr), I had attempted to document my musings on being a stepmom on a separate blog.

Black, White and Skatepark

Black, White and Skatepark

26 Jun 2013

Sometimes, I wonder why do I do fashion posts? There are many far more established fashion sites out there, so what do I have to contribute?

Sweet Tuesdays Giveaway: I scream for Ice Cream!

Sweet Tuesdays Giveaway: I scream for Ice Cream!

25 Jun 2013

This is my first Daily Ampersand food giveaway! Several readers have expressed how much they like to idea of homemade ice cream …

How to Shuck an Oyster

How to Shuck an Oyster

24 Jun 2013

We had such a restorative time at the beach this weekend! After several weeks of being apart from each other, we were finally complete just in time for us to go to Southampton, NY.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

21 Jun 2013

Lately, I’ve been upping the intensity in producing high-quality work and applying for writing opportunities for various publications. Last night, when I finally got home, Miya is already tucked in and fast asleep in her crib.

Gardening with my Father

Gardening with my Father

20 Jun 2013

I don’t really know what possessed me to get a dog, start a garden and raise chickens in the midst of giving birth and a family crisis, but I am glad I did. I suppose I clung on to the idea of gardening as a way to connect with the memory of my father.

Fashion meets Urban Farming

Fashion meets Urban Farming

19 Jun 2013

I love this navy blue dress by Karen Walker, a New Zealand designer. I am a big fan of anything nautical to begin with and I imagine that since New Zealand has the largest sailing community in the world- that this piece pays homage to her seaside holidays there.

Red Velvet Waffles

Red Velvet Waffles

18 Jun 2013

I love finding ways of eating dessert for breakfast. And when I’m able to combine one of my favorite dessert items with one of my favorite breakfast items? Well then, that’s heavenly.

Lobster

Lobster

17 Jun 2013

In my former life, whenever work took me to New York we would stop by the Oyster Bar and half a dozen East Coast oysters and a fresh lobster dinner to celebrate the end of an incredibly long, exhausting day.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

14 Jun 2013

Here’s another little confession: I am always a little afraid of letting my (sometimes crass and politically incorrect) sense of humor show through my writing.

Maternity Confessions: Five Postpartum Truths

Maternity Confessions: Five Postpartum Truths

13 Jun 2013

Okay, I just have to warn you- this confessional is a bit graphic- so please proceed with caution. In the past 2 weeks several friends and acquaintances have been asking what it’s been like for me as a mother.

Spring Green to Summer Lemons

Spring Green to Summer Lemons

12 Jun 2013

Spring has slipped away leaving behind a lush, verdant summer here in Philadelphia. We already have a small growing list of garden parties we’ll be attending during the summer (and perhaps throw one of our own).

Simple Chocolate Meringue Cake

Simple Chocolate Meringue Cake

11 Jun 2013

This is a great foolproof cake recipe, quick and easy, perfect for a dinner party or simply to enjoy with your family. When paired with the fig and balsamic swirl gelato- it instantly elevates this confection into an elegant, showstopping end to a meal.

Fig and Balsamic Swirl Gelato

Fig and Balsamic Swirl Gelato

10 Jun 2013

As a child I wasn’t able to appreciate the complexity and depth of flavor of a fresh fig. It has an inherent earthy caramel delicacy. The first time I truly appreciated it was in my teenage years. It was a perfectly ripe fig cut in half; its center glistening with deep maroon streaks spreading out like veins in a leaf, speckled with the exquisite texture of its seeds.

Five Friday Favorites

Five Friday Favorites

7 Jun 2013

During one of our final conversations, my father told me that I need to find my passion. It was a novel experience, speaking with my dad in that manner. In my family, passion takes a backseat to success.

Giveaway: Marc by Marc Jacobs Mini-Shoulder Bag

Giveaway: Marc by Marc Jacobs Mini-Shoulder Bag

6 Jun 2013

Known for his impeccable sense of urban styling and flawless structure, Marc Jacobs launched his retro-cool inspired ready-to-wear brand name with cool-girl chic accessories. This brand has cultivated a cult following since its launch in 2001.

Marriage after Miya

Marriage after Miya

5 Jun 2013

Here’s a confession: I hated my husband for awhile after Miya was born. (Just so we’re clear: My husband and I are in a good place now. So you can manually release your butt cheeks if you thought this post was going to end on a sad note.)

French Fries

French Fries

4 Jun 2013

I love French Fries. Since I was a kid, my family always joked that should a man ever propose to me, it should be done with a bouquet of fries. No, seriously. Alas, Noah never got the memo until after- he proposed sans frites. C’est la vie.

Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup

3 Jun 2013

Ketchup gets a bad rap. One could be reprimanded from using this condiment on the “wrong” dish. Chicagoans for example think it’s egregious to put ketchup in a hot dog. I personally like the acidity and the sweetness that ketchup adds- to roast chicken, fries, burgers, and yes, the occasional hot dog.

Leche Flan

Leche Flan

20 May 2013

Leche Flan- literally means “milk custard.” There are countless variations of this recipe in different countries around the globe- “Creme Catalan,” “Creme Brulee,” “Panna Cotta.” Leche Flan is a another “fiesta” dessert- easy yet decadent.

Halo-Halo

Halo-Halo

17 May 2013

Halo-Halo is another quintessential Philippine dessert. It is served in most Filipino restaurants. Halo-Halo literally means “mix-mix.” It is made with shaved ice and topped with a range of confections- from sweetened red beans, jackfruit, garbanzo to coconut jelly, tapioca and ice cream.

Hens and Sprouts

Hens and Sprouts

16 May 2013

The weekend before I left for the Philippines, I planted all the seeds for our vegetable garden and set up the chicken coop from Green Chicken Coop for the chicks. When I came back, it was a wonderful surprise to see some sprouts all abloom

Ube Halaya

Ube Halaya

15 May 2013

This is a classic Filipino dessert. It is made out of grated purple yam, sometimes called taro or the Okinawa purple yam. Depending on the consistency you’re looking for- making Ube can take anywhere between 30 minutes or HOURS.

Traveling with a Baby

Traveling with a Baby

14 May 2013

Miya was 2 and 1/2 months old when we first took her on a plane ride. We only had a week to prepare. My dad’s condition worsened, and I knew I had to bring her with us so that her grandfather could see her possibly for the last time. I searched for a lightweight umbrella stroller and purchased the Bumbleride Flite through amazon.

Philippine Street Food

Philippine Street Food

13 May 2013

I recently came back from a 3-week trip to the Philippines. My mother and I along with my baby, Miya, flew to the Philippines to put my dad’s ashes to rest. It has been a harrowing experience to travel with a baby- especially when the trip takes about 32 hours from door to door.

Poached Duck Egg with Wild Mushroom Saute

Poached Duck Egg with Wild Mushroom Saute

8 Apr 2013

Over the Easter holiday, our local farmer’s market was flooded with all kinds of eggs- including duck and goose eggs. I was curious about what ducks eggs would taste like. I only recall one duck egg recipe in my youth.

Mango Ice Cream with Coconut Macaroon Crumble

Mango Ice Cream with Coconut Macaroon Crumble

5 Apr 2013

Mango ice cream was one of my father’s all-time favorite flavors. He loved fruit-flavored desserts, especially if they were tropical fruits such as jackfruit, avocado and guava. The ice cream in the Philippines is typically very creamy and sweet. For this recipe, I decided to use ​duck ​eggs.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

4 Apr 2013

A Banh Mi is a Vietnamese style hoagie. It is a great example of how the French culture has fused with Vietnamese cuisine, using the a baguette as a foil for of all these traditionally Asian flavors. In Vietnam, they are traditional street food- often sold on food carts, each made to order.

Chicks: An Experiment into Urban Farming

Chicks: An Experiment into Urban Farming

3 Apr 2013

Confession: I have an impulse control problem. So before I even read a single book on keeping chickens, I convinced my husband that we should keep chickens. We’re officially starting a garden this year, and somehow the leap from having our own vegetable garden and raising our own eggs sounded very appealing and idyllic.

Beef Ramen Noodles

Beef Ramen Noodles

2 Apr 2013

I love Japanese Ramen noodles. There is something immensely satisfying about eating those squiggly noodles. While this recipe is not authentic to the Japanese method of making noodles- it produces the desired effect- springy and light noodles over fragrant broth. For a truly flavorful soup, it is best to make homemade beef stock, but I understand that not everyone has the luxury of time.

Miya Nariko

Miya Nariko

1 Apr 2013

After 57 hours of labor and 3 return trips to the hospital, Miya Nariko was finally born at 8:02 pm on November 17 in Philadelphia. This is her birth story.

Chicken Pho

Chicken Pho

29 Mar 2013

This is one of my all-time favorite soups. The secret is all in the homemade stock. It really has to be made from scratch or else it doesn’t have the same complexity of flavor that one looks for in such a simple soup. I like to make stock at the end of the day before I make dinner.

Knife Skills

Knife Skills

28 Mar 2013

As a precursor to the upcoming food posts- I wanted to share some essential knife skills tips and tricks. We filmed this ages ago when I was still 8 months pregnant and ready to pop but I have not been able to get around to posting it until today.

Life after Death

Life after Death

27 Mar 2013

It’s been a rough couple of months. As I have mentioned briefly before- my father was diagnosed with Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma a year ago. Last week, he passed away. My husband recently wrote a piece about what it has been like in his last day. I’ve been traveling back and forth between Philadelphia and Chicago as often as I can for the past 2 months.

Fall Pies: Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie

Fall Pies: Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie

1 Nov 2012

Firstly, let me apologize for my abrupt hiatus from blogging! The third trimester exhaustion has hit me hard. On the bright side, I have been able to create new material so I will have new entries for you from here on out!

As my first post for this comeback, I hope you enjoy this little tutorial on making some classic Fall Pies.

Shrimp and Rarebit Risotto

Shrimp and Rarebit Risotto

11 Oct 2012

Rarebit risottos are perfect for cold nights. They are made with beer and cheddar cheese, which are not typical risotto ingredients, but makes this heartening dish great comfort food.

Challah Creme Brulee French Toast

Challah Creme Brulee French Toast

10 Oct 2012

Every Sunday, Dixie Kitchen in Evanston, IL makes a mouthwatering créme brûlée French toast. The crisp Fall air made me nostalgic for Chicago. I miss weekends spent over this warm, indulgent breakfast item.

Planning a Garden Party

Planning a Garden Party

9 Oct 2012

Last weekend, we threw a little soirée in our garden with some family and friends to ring in the new season and announce the gender of our baby. It was the largest get-together we have ever hosted in our home.

The Perfect Cup of Tea

The Perfect Cup of Tea

8 Oct 2012

I still remember my first cup of English tea. It was at a nondescript Bed and Breakfast in London when I was 9 years old that I first fell in love with this beverage. Before this, I’ve only every had Lipton, which is good in its own right- but was a bit bitter for my taste.

The Art of Flower Arrangements

The Art of Flower Arrangements

2 Oct 2012

I am sure you’ve heard me rave about my friend’s flower shop, Inspired Blooms. Megan, the owner, arranged the flowers for our wedding celebration. For that occasion, we wanted to make the venue feel as if it was an extension of our backyard…

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

1 Oct 2012

So, this past weekend, we hosted our first garden party in our home, and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. I couldn’t wait to share all the details of this wonderful little event as soon as the photos are ready.

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

26 Sep 2012

With the cooler weather settling in, I’ve started seeking comfort in log fires, warm apple cider and stews. While it does take significantly longer to make stews- these dishes taste better overnight and could be kept in the fridge for 5 days.

Dutch Baby

Dutch Baby

25 Sep 2012

I love Dutch Babies, also known as German Pancakes. They are sweet popovers that are typically served at breakfast but delicious any time of day. I typically like mine with some spiced nectarines, a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of whipped cream

Black, White and a Touch of Cadmium

Black, White and a Touch of Cadmium

24 Sep 2012

My thighs are now the size of tree-trunks. You’d think that that would make me more stable and yet during this pregnancy so far, I tripped and fell twice. No harm done except on my poor knee. Strangely enough, both times were when I was wearing flats.

Fall Gardening

Fall Gardening

19 Sep 2012

I have gardening guilt. We have a decently sized backyard, with plenty of space to create a garden, but I haven’t taken advantage of the space. There’s always some excuse, like work or the weather or lack of time.

Crêpe Mille-Feuille

Crêpe Mille-Feuille

18 Sep 2012

So last week, I made an enormous amount of crêpe batter. I decided to use the rest of the batter to make a creêpe mille-feuille and boy, did it taste amazing! I made some strawberry-vanilla whipped cream to layer between the crêpes

Pink Spots and Butterflies

Pink Spots and Butterflies

17 Sep 2012

Nothing is more sublime than seeing two wonderful people in love. I went to my cousin’s wedding this weekend, and it was such a warm and wonderful affair. Everything from the ceremony to the reception was a fun, candid and inspiring reflection of their relationship.

Little Delights: Soft-Boiled Eggs

Little Delights: Soft-Boiled Eggs

13 Sep 2012

The first time I had soft-boiled eggs, I must have been around 8 or 9 years old, but I remember it clearly as if it was yesterday. My cousin and I were playing in her bedroom when my aunt came in with 2 small mugs, each filled with 2 soft-boiled eggs, a pinch of salt and pepper and some bread.

Sweet and Savory Crêpes

Sweet and Savory Crêpes

12 Sep 2012

I was in the mood to make crêpes last night. I made a large amount of master batter so that I can experiment with different flavors and crêpe styles this week.

Autumnal Gold

Autumnal Gold

10 Sep 2012

I have to admit that I now truly enjoy the process of finding outfits that work for my new frame. There’s a level of creativity that applies in styling the maternity body that I haven’t experienced before. Comfort now takes precedent in my wardrobe buying process, while style and design are secondary.

Kain

Kain

6 Sep 2012

Last year, I started a countdown of the top 5 t-shirt labels that dedicated their brand into the creation of the perfect-fit tee, but I never finished the series. I previously wrote about Splendid and James Perse.

Pippi, the baby and being an only child

Pippi, the baby and being an only child

4 Sep 2012

We have a new member in our family. Her name is Pippi (after Pippi Longstocking). She is a beautiful red-haired Cavalier-Poodle mix. Our life shifted, as we expected, scheduling our day so that we can take her out on frequent walks in our attempt to house train her.

Wedding Celebration Anniversary

Wedding Celebration Anniversary

3 Sep 2012

Happy Labor Day! I hope that everyone who celebrated this holiday did something relaxing to commemorate the last day of Summer. For everyone else, I hope you’re having a great start to your week.

Hampton Classic 2012

Hampton Classic 2012

30 Aug 2012

Our dear new friend Carrie Kohs, owner and founder of the unique and beautifully curated toy store Pucci Manuli, invited us to experience the Hampton Classic Horse Show. We didn’t quite know what to expect.

The American Hotel

The American Hotel

29 Aug 2012

This trip is my first time in the Hamptons, and I was excited and naturally curious to see what the fuss is all about. We’ve been exploring each town bit by bit- and yesterday, we decided to head down to Sag Harbor.

La Maison Blanche

La Maison Blanche

28 Aug 2012

Tucked away in a corner of Shelter Island is “La Maison Blanche,” a piece of idyllic country paradise. The Victorian property with its wrap-around porch was recently acquired and renovated by two Shelter Island business men, Alistair MacLean and John Sieni…

Homemade Peach Jam

Homemade Peach Jam

27 Aug 2012

I have been an armchair canner for over a year. I bought 2 books on the subject- “Putting up” by Stephen Palmer Dowdney and “The Art of Preserving” by Rich Field, Lisa Atwood and Rebecca Courchesne.

DIY: Welcome Basket

DIY: Welcome Basket

21 Aug 2012

For as much as suburban living gets lambasted by pop culture- from movies to novels to music… I do love our little neighborhood. While its far from quaint, the folks here are warm and kind and I have managed to befriend the local merchants in my favorite neighborhood markets.

40 Days of Summer

40 Days of Summer

20 Aug 2012

With summer drawing to a close, I’ve been contemplating on how I’ve spent summers as a child. I grew up in Saudi Arabia. Whenever summer would roll around, my parents and I would spend 40 days in the summer with my relatives in the Philippines with no agenda but to relax and enjoy our time together.

Dear Dad

Dear Dad

15 Aug 2012

I found out my dad has stage IV cancer in the beginning of the year. About a week after that, we found out I was pregnant. It has been hard trying to reconcile my anger and devastation with the wonderful news.

Bohemian Summer

Bohemian Summer

13 Aug 2012

One of my favorite spaces in Philadelphia is the Reading Terminal Market, which was one of the first open-air markets that flourished in the city since its founding in 1891.

Chambray Jumper

Chambray Jumper

7 Aug 2012

Another amazing maternity piece from Hatch Collection- the Chambray jumper! I bought this piece when I was still only 8 weeks along, and wore it with a belt around the waist to cinch the look.

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

6 Aug 2012

Hello lovelies! How was your weekend? Mine was surprisingly productive! I usually set ambitious weekend goals which I never finish, but not this weekend!

The Magic of a Midnight in Paris

The Magic of a Midnight in Paris

2 Aug 2012

It was Paris in New York. Within a bronze dome nestled on the corner of the infamous NoMad hotel rooftop, 10 guests including myself enjoyed an evening of French cuisine with a 360° view of the New York skyline.

Dressing for a Midnight in Paris

Dressing for a Midnight in Paris

2 Aug 2012

As an extension of the Taste Architecture- Midnight in Paris feature, I wanted to share with you what I wore that evening. The dress code for the event was “Parisian Chic.”

Simple Beet Salad

Simple Beet Salad

1 Aug 2012

In contrast to the heartier, more complicated Beet and Shrimp Salad entree from last week- I wanted to prepare one that is simple and perfectly portioned as an appetizer.

Chambray and Silk

Chambray and Silk

31 Jul 2012

I no longer fit any of my shirts; it simply doesn’t button all the way down anymore. I saw this cool outfit trick from Wendy Nguyen of Wendy’s Lookbook on making a maxi dress look like a maxi skirt.

Maternity Confessions: A Private Matter

Maternity Confessions: A Private Matter

30 Jul 2012

Okay- I feel that I have to give everyone a fair bit of warning for this blog post. This is really a bit more of a confessional on a topic I don’t feel a lot of maternity books cover: libido, spontaneous orgasms and “maintenance.”

Design Philadelphia 2011

Design Philadelphia 2011

28 Jul 2012

Design Philadelphia 2012 is just around the corner- so in the spirit of that event here is an article I wrote about Design Philadelphia from 2011.

A Golden Summer

A Golden Summer

26 Jul 2012

I highly admire Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. These style mavens launched two incredibly successful fashion houses, which include Elizabeth and James, a company named after two of their siblings. It is effortlessly cool and a reflection on the twins’ eclectic taste.

Beet and Shrimp Salad with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

Beet and Shrimp Salad with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

25 Jul 2012

I love a good, hearty salad. Something too leafy without something to sink my teeth into just feels less satisfactory. This salad recipe could easily be a simple beet salad without the shrimp- or you can substitute the shrimp with some seitan for a vegetarian/ vegan friendly meal.

Into the Deep Blue

Into the Deep Blue

24 Jul 2012

I have mentioned previously that I have not been able to bring myself to buy maternity clothes. There is one exception- and that’s the Hatch Collection. I have been on the hunt for pieces I could wear at work throughout my pregnancy but still be wearable and fashionable after the baby is born.

Maternity Confessions: Love and Step-motherhood

Maternity Confessions: Love and Step-motherhood

23 Jul 2012

Falling in love is a strange thing. The sensation of falling in love with my husband, Noah, felt like falling backwards- ungovernable and breathtaking yet curiously secure. On the other hand- falling in love with my step-daughter, Ruthie, felt more like leaping forward

Petite Culinaria:  Adventures in Sloppy Joe

Petite Culinaria: Adventures in Sloppy Joe

17 Jul 2012

One of the ongoing struggles I’ve had with my dearest stepdaughter, Ruthie, was getting her to try new dishes. While she’s always been an enthusiastic kitchen helper- she never really wanted to eat anything beyond her usual range of favorite dishes.

Maternity Confessions:  Nakedness and Cravings

Maternity Confessions: Nakedness and Cravings

16 Jul 2012

Nakedness has become a trip to the fun house mirror. My body looks dramatically different in the morning from what it does in the evening and I am actually quite impressed at my body’s ability to stretch the way it does.

Emeralds in the Summer

Emeralds in the Summer

12 Jul 2012

This is yet another gorgeous piece from Yigal Azrouël. I first spotted this dress worn by the beautiful Hanneli Mustaparta during the New York Fashion Week SS2012. She paired it effortlessly with silver Alexander Wang heels and purse.

DIY: Housewarming Care Package

DIY: Housewarming Care Package

11 Jul 2012

I love putting together care packages for friends and family. One of my favorite people in the world, Monica of Sincerely Nutrition, recently moved from Chicago to Ohio and I just finished putting together a little housewarming care package for her.

Edwardian Watercolors

Edwardian Watercolors

10 Jul 2012

Confession: I am a Downton Abbey nut. It is among the handful of TV shows that I truly care about. I look forward to the Season 3 premier in September with great anticipation. In the meantime, I wanted to stave my desire for some Downton goodness by trying to replicate and reinterpret the essence of Edwardian era fashion in a modern way.

Maternity Confessions: Depression

Maternity Confessions: Depression

9 Jul 2012

One of the many delightful and unexpected side effects of the being pregnant are sudden waves of hormonally charged depression. This is an occasional occurrence, typically occurring between 11pm to 2am. I have determined that this “incident,” as I’ll call it, typically manifests in 5 stages.

Vermillion

Vermillion

5 Jul 2012

Hello lovelies! I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July! Yesterday was the first time that I didn’t go out to see the fireworks. It was simply too muggy and balmy last night, so my husband and I opted to stay at home and watch Independence Day instead.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

3 Jul 2012

At week 21, I definitely felt an appetite and hormonal shift. As I was about to sleep on Sunday night, I suddenly felt extremely depressed and proceeded to cry for the next 2 hours until all the crying finally knocked me out.

Jumpsuit Sailor

Jumpsuit Sailor

28 Jun 2012

Let me tell you something: I am so thankful to be out of the first trimester. Not that the second trimester is any prettier, but I do feel a hellavu lot better! While there are still a lot of left over yuckiness that carried over (perhaps it runs through the whole pregnancy? I don’t know. I haven’t gotten to that part of the book yet!) to the second trimester

Little House on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie

26 Jun 2012

I am not going to lie, I love dressing up. But then again, you may already know that. As a result, one of the biggest (albeit trivial) challenges I encountered so far during this pregnancy is maternity wear. I have not ventured much into maternity stores. I cannot seem to justify the cost of buying clothing I will only wear for less than half a year.

Feet- a Disappearing Act

Feet- a Disappearing Act

25 Jun 2012

Last night, I felt the baby move for the first time. Of all the strange pregnancy related changes and experiences I’ve had so far- this has got to be on top of that ever growing list. It felt like something between caffeine induced heart palpitations and really bad gas.

The Big M

The Big M

22 Jun 2012

Hello everyone! Firstly, welcome to my new blog! Actually, the content is the same, just that lay-out is different. What do you think? Do you like it? Still ironing out a few kinks here and there but I wanted to stop procrastinating and start sharing because I have some exciting news!

Pan-Fried Artichokes

Pan-Fried Artichokes

6 Jun 2012

Pan-Fried Artichoke Hearts with Lemon and Parsley

Ingredients:

2 tbsp canola oil/ grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)

Mongolian Inspired Stir-Fry

Mongolian Inspired Stir-Fry

6 Jun 2012

My husband and I have decided to lower our meat intake. As a result, we’ve been eating a lot more whole foods- from vegetables to grains and even experimenting with tofu, Seitan and tempeh.

Cook Philadelphia

Cook Philadelphia

6 Jun 2012

Philadelphia is in the midst of a revolution. The city has waged a quiet rebellion against the image its been dealt. Known for its pretzels, cream cheese and cheesesteaks, a growing number of the Philadelphians are staging a coup and have started to redefine its culinary reputation. One such part of this revolution is “Cook.”

Frittata

Frittata

6 Jun 2012

A frittata is an Italian style flat omelet. The beauty of a frittata is that you can put almost anything you have in the kitchen in it- left over vegetables, cheeses and meats.

Elizabeth David's Table

Elizabeth David’s Table

6 Jun 2012

I recently threw a small dinner party- and must say that it was the best menu I have ever put together. The food came together so well! Usually, when I pull together a dinner party menu, I tend to pick and choose from several cookbooks for variety. However, for this last party- I decided to primarily use Elizabeth David’s recipes.

Buttermilk Pancake/ Ebelskiver Recipe

Buttermilk Pancake/ Ebelskiver Recipe

6 Jun 2012

I celebrated my birthday this past month- and one of the exciting gifts I received this year was an Ebelskiver pan! Yes, I say this without irony! I am genuinely excited about this awesome new kitchen toy.

Doughnut Vault

Doughnut Vault

6 Jun 2012

I have just recently gotten to know one of Chicago’s new little treasures. Gilt Bar’s owner, Brendan Sodikoff, made brilliant use of the unusual space off of the restaurant’s main dining room by converting it to the Doughnut Vault in April 2011.

A Weekend in Review: NYC Spots

A Weekend in Review: NYC Spots

6 Jun 2012

I spent this weekend in New York with my husband to celebrate my birthday. I always love visiting the city- and there never seems to be enough time to truly do everything we want to do- but we were able to enjoy some wonderful spots, eat great good and most importantly- spend time with our friends.

Terrain

Terrain

6 Jun 2012

Urban Outfitters (UO) has evolved a lot since its conception in 1970. The company first started as a mail order apparel catalog and eventually became a lifestyle store that operates five other retail brands- Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN.

James Perse

James Perse

6 Jun 2012

James Perse launched his eponymous brand in 1996 as a nod to the warm West Coast indoor/outdoor casual chic look, trending towards the minimalist low-maintenance high-fashion aesthetic. As a result, the label has everything from stretch jersey dresses, knitted jackets to the perfect-fit tee. T-Shirt prices range from $50-150.

Splendid

Splendid

6 Jun 2012

The classic T is coming back with a vengeance. The trend of wearing a t-shirt with couture was brought back by Jil Sander for her SS2011 collection. She paired her bold, bright, citrus and incarnadine maxi skirts with plain tees and since then, the t-shirt and a statement skirt became the power pairing of the spring and summer look of 2011.

 

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