October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween

I am loving this editorial on Halloween decorations by Sweet Paul Magazine. The use of the flat black paint and some glitter, what a statement a little glam can make. And how rich using a flat black paint and a hint of silver can make such a cheesy holiday look so sophisticated. Sweet Paul also has a very "sweet" blog that you should really check out. It is filled with inspirational recipes, inventive tips, how-tos, and lovely pictures to ogle over. 

Wishing you a spook-tacular Halloween weekend! And, if you are in need of a fun Halloween inspired treat, check out this previous Foodie Friday post


*Credit - Styling by Paul Lowe and Photography by Linda Pugliese

October 28, 2011

LSL {Foodie Friday} - Food for Thought


An inspirational quote by the lovely Julia Child. This is something that I am working on. However, I also feel that even if you know what you are passionate about, life tends to get in the way and this quote is a great reminder to remember your dreams and passions and just go for them. 

So, what are you passionate about? How do you keep that enthusiasm or passion going? 


October 25, 2011

FALLing for you accessories

To go nicely along with this post, here is my FALLing for you accessory favorites.  Anyone that knows me, knows I am a sucker for a good purse, scarves of any kind, and pretty shiny jewelry; so composing this list was not only fun for me but also a difficult one. Having to scale down and only pick my top favorites was a challenge, but in true LSL style, more is, well, more. Enjoy!


And the piece de resistance....

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do. And don't be too surprised if the next time you see me, I am rocking one of these beauties.


PS. And, I apologize that I didn't write descriptions, blogger is a little moody today.

*Credits - 123456789101112131415161718

October 21, 2011

LSL {The Lovely List} - Purple + Orange

Halloween is quickly approaching. Have you figured out what you're going to be yet? I am working on mine this weekend but I love that we have a national holiday that requires us to dress up...for candy! As a child this concept was the most extraordinary thing. To quote Jerry Seinfeld's hysterical stand up sketch about this very thing (which I highly recommend you watch, by the way), "Everyone we know is just giving out candy?!?!" Too bad I am just a little old to go door-to-door with my pillowcase.

Instead I thought I would leave you with some much more sophisticated Halloween color inspiration. My two favs, purple and orange.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.


*Credits - photos via 1, 2, 3

October 14, 2011

LSL {Foodie Friday} - Cajun Chicken Pasta

I am so excited to try this recipe! Found via The Pioneer Woman's blog; a lovely place chalk full of delicious, comfort food-style, recipes. And, with this one, it had me at "cajun...pasta...easy." Yes, please. What I love most about The Pioneer Woman's recipes is that following the directions is like looking through a beautiful picture book. Definitely makes my time in the kitchen a much more confident one.

via - The Pioneer Woman

Recipe: Cajun Chicken Pasta    {The Pioneer Woman}

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6

3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste
1 pound Fettuccine
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
1/2 whole Large Red Onion, Sliced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 cup White Wine
1 cup Heavy Cream
Cayenne Pepper To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Salt To Taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste

Preparation Instructions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!

2. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.

3. Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.

4. Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.

5. With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!

6. Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.

7. Top with chopped fresh parsley and chow down!

Bon Appetit and "chow down!"


October 7, 2011

LSL {Thoughts & Quotes} - A Mermaid & A Whale

This story has been going around the web and you may be over seeing and hearing about it, but I wasn't. I thought it important enough to pass on. The pressure we women put on ourselves to be thin, which we perceive to look perfect is overwhelming. I don't know one woman that isn't struggling with her weight or is happy with her body image. And frankly that is sad, and quite scary. 

With that said, I wanted to share this story in hopes that it will open your mind (and mine) to think differently about what we perceive to be "perfect."  This story is taken from French Elle Magazine and the strikingly beautiful model is French model, Tara Flynn.

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

“Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.

They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. 

They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.

They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish? 

They would have no sex life and could not bear children.

Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.

And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies. 

We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.

Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: 'How amazing am I ?!'"

So, try and remember this story next time you look in the mirror, we are all unique and only you can be you.


*Credits- story and pictures

LSL {Foodie Friday} - French Macarons

If you remember from this post, I was up to something. That something was spending the day in the city with my fav friend, Miss CT. We had a frenchie-inspired day planned of making french macarons, enjoying some champs, catching up, and listening to some Parisian music. It really felt like we lifted ourselves out SF and into a 'boulangerie' in Paris. 

CT and I were inspired by this Glitter Guide post. It sparked our interested to try our hand at making our favorite french dessert. And, man was it worth it. But, a word of advice before you start, be patient. These babies take time to make, so relax and enjoy that champagne in your hand.

French Macarons
{adapted from Miss Martha}

Ingredients, Macarons
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
Fillings for Macarons
1. Chocolate Ganache: Substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the almond flour.
2. Raspberry: 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

3.Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.

4. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)

5. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Martha’s Note-
Piping the perfect macaroon takes a little practice. Treat it as you would a rosette, bringing the pastry tip to the side of the circle, rather than forming a peak, to finish.

Let's get started...
Lovely Miss CT starting the sifting

Me, piping it up
Up close before

There's nothing better than champs and glitter
Raspberry jam for the filling on these..
and choc ganache for the chocolate ones
Finished and SO addictively delicious!

I have to say, and I definitely don't boast too much about my cooking skills, but I am so proud of us! They turned out even better than I could have ever expected. And more delicious than I could imagine. Miss CT, I really think we could have a French pastry business in our near future. Thank you for a wonderful day!

Now to all of you, I would love to know what your favorite French desserts are? Have any of you made macarons before? Any tips you care to share?

Bon Appetit, lovelies


October 5, 2011

Oh The Places You'll Go...

via here
"Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no whenever you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here." 
–Eve Ensler

Just something to think about.

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