the beautiful things

{things i learned} ’cause i’m not thinking straight

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[obsessed with the fresh scent of this soap]

 

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[nothing says celebration like my chocolate devil's food cake]

 

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[unsurprisingly, i love these angelina paris “crepes dentelle”]

 

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[valentine's day outfit planning has begun and this DVF lytton clutch is a strong contenter]

 

 

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[typical january day uptown]

 

It's weird: one day I catch myself thinking I can't believe how quickly it's become the end of January (twenty-fifteen no less!) and the next I internally grumble that the month is dragging massively. I suppose it's because I'm looking forward too much: to the disruptiveness of possible snow storms, to Valentine's Day treats, to spring, to warmer weather, and to lots of outdoor plans. It's dangerous to avoid living in the present–you really do miss out on so much when you're so preoccupied by what might eventually be. My takeaway? Appreciate the now, which posts like this always help me do.

 

 

{things i covet} stud earrings

earrings

 A few days again, my boyfriend pointed out that I never ask for or talk about earrings when discussing upcoming gift-worthy occasions. He has a point–and it confused me when he made it. I love all things sparkly and literally never go out of the house without wearing something in my single-ear piercings, so I'm not quite sure why I haven't spent time window-shopping tiny baubles that would match my similarly styled rings, bracelets, and necklaces. It's turned out to be a costly question–now I've got my eye on all of these gorgeous pairs! 

 

[clockwise from top right]

Rose Cut Black Diamond Picture Frame Studs, Megan Thorne [$1045] // Diamond Bar Studs in Yellow Gold, Jennifer Meyer [$675] // Buttercup Post Earring in Yellow Gold, Megan Thorne [$575] // White and Blue Sapphire Colette Studs, ILA&I [$960] // Tiny Diamond Studs in Yellow Gold, Jennifer Meyer [$1250] // Mosaic Baguette Studs, Megan Thorne [$1815] // Quatrefoil Studs with Diamonds, Cathy Waterman [$815] // Pave Screw Studs in Yellow Gold, Sydney Evan [$990] // Diamond Opal Inlay Circle Studs in Yellow Gold, Jennifer Meyer [$1250]
 

 

{things i wore} colored denim

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I love a good sweater–though they're tricky to store with all that bulk!–but this one's extra special. Isabel Marant's line for H&M may have dropped a year+ ago, but I'm still loving the coziness knits I managed to score. It's warm and stylish (seriously, compliments abound whenever I put it on) making it a great layering piece when navigating New York's chilly streets. If you know me, I'm not all too keen on color, but the bright primary ones here–red and blue with my favorite white and black–make it a look I'm happy to embrace.

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Purl Knit Sweater, Isabel Marant for H&M [similar] // Ribbed tank in Black, J.Crew [$25Jeans in 'Bright Blue,' Team Colors, c/o Skinny Jeans [$169] // Riding boots in Black, Banana Republic // 'Holly' in Black, c/o Oushka London [$240] // Thin Gold Band with Bezel Set Diamond, Jennifer Meyer [$175]; Catbird Jewelry [$44]; X3 Diamond Ring, 18k Gold Diamond Anniversary Band [$1400] Round Cut Studs with Tension Back and Filigree Setting (0.84 cts. each) in White Gold, c/o Diamond Nexus [$249]; Nails: Essie's 'Licorice'

{things i shopped} drugstore beauty staples

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I use a lot of makeup–which is probably pretty obvious!–so by now I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't for me. I'm willing to give any brand a try (something I highly suggest after a little online research), which means what I wear is a mix of higher- and lower-end products. Here are my drugstore favorites–I literally replace these as soon as they run low and have yet to find anything I love more. Read below for what makes them work for me and the other similar products that didn't quite make the cut!

[clockwise]

Colour Riche Extraordinaire Lip Liquid, L'Oreal Paris  [$12.50- great color that stays put and is just the right consistency 

what didn't work - Plumping Lip Glaze, E.L.F. Cosmetics [$2]

 

Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup [$14] – full coverage, locks in moisture, and doesn't oxidize 

what didn't work - Moisture Sheer Tint SPF 15, Clinique ​ [$27]

 

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Peach Blush [$8] – smooth formula, stays where you put it, and blends easily 

what didn't work - Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher, Clinique [$21]

 

Exaggerate Eyeliner, Rimmel London [$13] - doesn't flake, is super pigmented, has a precise applicator

what didn't work - Liquid Line Eyeliner, Almay [$7]

 

Cover Stick Concealer in Light Beige, Maybelline [$5] – smooth application, brightening, and full-coverage

what didn't work - Nearly Naked Cover Up Stick, Almay [$8]

 

Easyliner for Eyes Retractable Pencil, Black, Milani  [$5] – smuge-able, pigmented, and draws easily 

what didn't work - Automatic Eye Pencil, Basic Black, New York Color [$8]

 

{things i made} blueberry cornmeal pancakes

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A good weekend can happen for a variety of important reasons–for example, having a special excuse to go out or to stay in–but it can also happen for something a whole lot more simple. These pancakes can elevate any lazy morning into one worth raving about. I had never had cornmeal ones before but i must say I was impressed–they  are light and airy yet still toothy, and perfectly hit the sweet-tooth spot.

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1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, rinsed and dried (to ensure frozen berries do not bleed, rinse under cool water in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear, then dry)

1. In a sm​all bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, milk, and zest; set aside.
2. In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
Whisk egg and oil into milk until combined. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients; pour in milk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined (do not over mix).
3. 
Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes; add 1 teaspoon oil and brush to coat skillet bottom evenly. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto 3 spots on skillet; sprinkle 1 tablespoon blueberries over each pancake. Cook until large bubbles begin to appear, 1 1/2 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side, 1 minute longer. Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining oil as necessary.

 

{things i learned} good for a weekend

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[a very cold and very abandoned washington square park]

 

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[there's nothing better than warm apple cobbler à la mode]

 

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[i can spend hours staring at these jewel-like faberge eggs at the met]

 

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[i don't know what it is, but i just love tea sandwiches]

 

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[pre-gaming for valentine's day starts now]

 

Three day weekend anybody? I'll definitely take it. I don't know what it is about January but it's just so hard to hit the ground running.  I guess post the gift-, sugar-, and carb-filled high that is the holiday season, motivation to do anything is sorely lacking. The extreme cold weather hasn't helped either–it's been pretty brutal here in the city, day after day. The mini-break is just what I need, and I hope to catch up on some TV, projects, and of course sleep. Enjoy!

{things i shopped} scarve staples

scarves

 

Baby it's been (and still is) cold outside–which means one thing: layers. Scarves are my favorite winter accessory–my thick hair makes wearing hats tricky and I'm always misplacing my gloves. I have three types I keep on rotation in the cold weather so I though I'd share them here. First, I love a good, wide pashmina: it's lightweight enough to not be a bother, can be worn many different ways and provides good coverage when doubled on itself. Next, a well-made infinity scarf is handy for providing warmth without any bulk as it hugs the part of my neck that's most often exposed. Lastly, a chunky knit scarf has been my newest (and current favorite) addition: it's the rare combination of stylish and practical because no matter how you drape it, it always looks good. Do you have any winter styling tips?

 

first look // full post here

second look // full post here

third look // full post here

 

{things i covet} try, buy, spy

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{try} 

a chocolate avocado smoothie that looks as decadent as a milk shake [blend]

exciting new beauty products for 2015 [look]

a step-by-step guide to washing your face [relearn]

{buy}

Antiqued Chrome Hand Mirror, 5.5", Frasco Mirrors [$496]

Sac de Jour Small Suede/Leather Tote Bag, Light Cognac, Saint Laurent [$2,990]

Easy Come Easy Go T-shirt, Zoe Karssen [$75]

{spy}

shoe trends and some long-standing celebrity brand favorites [compare]

a history of the pleated dress, in photos [timeline]

all the glitz and glam of the golden globes' red carpet up-close [swoon]

 

{things i made} apple-cranberry pie

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If this past summer was all about this yummy blueberry pie recipe (read about it here), then this winter is has been about this apple-cranberry pie. I've made it–I'm almost embarrassed to say–a total of five times (here are three), for work parties, family get-togethers, and Christmas day itself. And it's still got legs–the warming spices work well to temper the tart brightness of the cranberries and apples making a cold weather treat that transforms the summer dessert staple. The filling's pre-cooked, but don't be afraid of things getting mushy–the inside actually becomes a perfectly incorporated jam studded with still-firm apple slices. Everyone who's tasted it has literally exclaimed their delight–so odds are you will too!

 

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2 2/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup oil
6 tablespoons milk

1. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Put the oil in a measuring cup and add the milk without stirring. Pour mixture into the flour and mix briefly (do not refrigerate).
3. Flatten dough by rolling on floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper. Place in pan. Repeat, with a second batch of ingredients, reserving for top crust.

 

3 1/4 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/​4 tsp. ground allspice
1/​8​ tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp.
ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
10 oz. fresh cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
 
​1. Prepare pie crusts and set aside. In a large pot, stir together the apples, brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch until the apples are evenly coated. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and vanilla, and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, stir together the cranberries, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the orange juice. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have broken down slightly and the liquid has thickened to the consistency of a loose jam, 15 minutes. Let cool. Add the cranberry mixture to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
3. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the apple-cranberry filling to the pie shell and gently place the dough round over the pie or weave your dough strips for a lattice top pattern. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish and press the top and bottom crusts together to seal. Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour, covering the edges with aluminum foil if they become too dark. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving. 

 

{things i wore} camel coat

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I've wanted a camel coat for a long time, but a good one is surprisingly hard to come by. This year I had narrowed it down to two choices, this one by Ralph Lauren and another by Zara. I in the end opted for the slightly warmer feel the Ralph Lauren one offered, though it's a bit narrow in the arms (don't you hate it when that happens). Still, like a chambray shirt or beige trench, the color/cut combination practically styles itself. Wearing it was a nice change from all the down that's been necessary lately. I know it's still early–and sorry gorgeous new coat!–but I simply cannot wait for spring.

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Waffle Crewneck Sweater, J.Crew [similar] // Boy Jean, American Eagle [similar] // Single-Breasted Wool-Blend Walker Coat, Lauren Ralph Lauren [$300 $180] // Saffiano Lux Double-Zip Tote Bag in Black, Prada [shop here] //  Leather Stiletto Shoes, Zara [$99, similar here] // Thin Gold Band with Bezel Set Diamond, Jennifer Meyer [$175]; Catbird Jewelry [$44]; X3 Diamond Ring, 18k Gold Diamond Anniversary Band [$1400]; Gold & Pavé Diamond Tiny Disc Ring, Sydney Evan [$375]; Nails: Essie's 'Licorice'




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