Cauliflower Soup & Prosciutto Sandwiches

I have always wanted to make my own cauliflower soup - it's so creamy and filling but still relatively healthy... What's not to like?  This recipe pairs the soup with a prosciutto sandwich (a divine combination).  For the sandwiches, I used an arugula mix instead of watercress and left out the olive oil...

To puree the soup mixture, you will need a blender (I used a normal blender, however an immersion blender would have been really handy)


Paper Beads Continued...

Here are some of the pieces I've created so far with the boatload of paper beads I made! 
Have fun experimenting with different styles, or just make a few simple strands of beads, they are sure to impress no matter how you use them :)

For this first necklace, I chose beads in descending lengths and wove them together using 28 gauge wire:

I also wove these beads together using 28 gauge wire.  While I was initially making this as a necklace charm, I think it was born to be an earring - I will have to make another one to pair it with...

I used 20 gauge wire to string the beads for this necklace in a "W" shape (for my last initial) - like the other pieces, I threw in a few sparkly beads between some of the paper ones...

For this last one, I selected beads of decreasing size and used 20 gauge wire to create my own bead pins which I linked together in a triangular shape using pre-made jump rings.


Paper Beads

I don't know if you ever made paper beads in middle school like I did, but lately I'm on a jewelry making kick and was reminded of how much fun it is to make these in all kinds of patterns.  There are an endless array of options for color - you could choose to make monochromatic beads using simple paper, or pull out some old magazines and catalogs (like I did) and just let the beads fall where they may. Now that I have all my favorite books on my Kindle, it would be fun to grab my old copy of Wuthering Heights and make a meaningful and inspired piece out of the pages...

First, gather your supplies: you'll need your paper source, scissors, glue and a narrow rod to roll the paper on (I used a toothpick).

Next, cut out the pages you'd like to use in a variety of shapes/sizes... The ideal size is probably a 1" x 4" triangle, however I like to have an assortment of bead sizes to use, so I just cut a bunch of different size triangles as well as a few rectangles for more cylindrical beads.

Apply a dab of glue on the opposite (or "bad") side of the narrow end of your paper and begin rolling  paper tightly around your toothpick from the wide edge toward the sticky narrow end... You want to roll while facing the "bad" side of your paper so the "good" side is on the outside.

To make your beads more durable, coat them with clear glue, Mod Podge, or even clear nail polish for a more finished look.  

Coming up tomorrow, some pictures of pieces made with my paper beads :-) 


Simple Parisian Breakfast

When we were in France, we had a variation of the same breakfast almost every day at different cafés (it was pretty much the only breakfast on the menu, and we were pretty much the only people ordering it - the locals seemed content with coffee and cigarettes).  

Aside from the occasional Eggs Benedict, I usually stay away from egg yolks (especially the runny, dangerously prone to salmonella kind)... But, I wanted to eat as the French (I didn't exactly feel comfortable asking for egg whites anyway!) and this is what we had (only it was 3 eggs, not 2 - we're cutting back)

Crusty french bread, butter, and sunny side up eggs, delicious!

So simple and so very yummy! I am also amazed at how filling this is - It is the perfect breakfast fuel for a busy day on the go...  We no longer eat 3 yolks a day, but this simple breakfast is now a go-to for a delicious and simple weekend meal.


Hot Chocolate

In my high school Spanish class, we once took a "trip to Spain" via VHS tapes.  One thing I'll never forget was the part about the "Chocolaté" they drank, so thick they dipped churros in it - this was the late night snack after dancing (according to the VHS tape...?)  How true to life any of it was, I don't know, but if I ever go to Spain, I am hunting down a cup of chocolate with a churro first thing!

This Basic Hot Chocolate recipe can be modified and adjusted any which way to your liking. This time I went with basic simple hot chocolate, but look forward to adding cinnamon and experimenting with other spices in the future.

I halved the  recipe using Lindt brand 70% cocoa smooth dark chocolate

After simmering the milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and chocolate for about 4 min, you are done! 

Hot Chocolate
I made some fresh whipped cream to top it off, infused with vanilla and sugar to taste:



Giving Thanks

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” –Albert Pine

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” –William Faulkner

Here are some inspiring table settings, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Pottery Barn
Real Simple
Martha Stewart
Dwell Studio
Country Living


Ribbon Wrap

Wrapping gifts is half the fun of giving them, and the possibilities are endless!  Rather than use a busy wrapping paper, I like to start with a simple base and enhance it from there.  For this look, all you will need is some craft paper, satin ribbon, artificial flowers, scissors and tape.

The first step is simply to wrap your gift with the craft paper:

Step 1
Next, tie ribbon around the gift and finish with a bow:

Step 2
Finally, tuck your flower/s in under the ribbon for a simply beautiful present...

And it's a wrap!


Holiday Peppermint Fudge

Peppermint makes everything better... Peppermint definitely makes this fudge fantastically delicious!  This fudge recipe from MarthaStewart.com is also perfect if you don't own a candy thermometer.  Just follow the timing in the instructions  for perfect results...

Cook the following ingredients over medium heat until butter and marshmallows are melted:

Cream, sugar, salt


Next, bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 5 min before removing from heat and stirring in the vanilla and chocolate chips until melted:

Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pour the finished mixture in the prepared pan to cool before cutting:

Once cooled, cut fudge and top with crushed peppermint candy:


Homemade Kale Chips

Aside from the hefty price tag, the kale chips I have purchased in stores just didn't feel "healthy" with all the added flavoring (I could barely see green on the "quite cheesy" version!).

I decided to look up recipes to make my own, and couldn't believe how easy they were to make or how delicious they turned out... very crunchy! (So hard not to eat them all yourself as you take them out of the oven).  I used this recipe and love the tanginess that the lemon brings - coupled with the sea salt, they are like super good-for-you salt and vinegar chips :-)

First, coat kale with the olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice & arrange on baking pan:

Place kale in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15min (until crispy):



Stencil Fun

When we moved in to our new place, one of the things we lacked was a pantry - this made stocking up on food essentials difficult and also resulted in cluttered kitchen counter tops.  I decided to convert the awkwardly shaped hallway coat closet into a place to store our dry goods and kitchen essentials.  Amazingly, the Swedish Wood Shelving from Williams and Sonoma offered a perfect fit for our closet, straight out of the box. 

First, I wanted to paint the walls in the closet a fun print.  I used Martha Stewart paint in Aegean Blue as the base coat:

Then, using the Moroccan stencil from Stencil 101 Decor and Martha Stewart's Precious Metals/Specialty finish paint in "Tin", I was able to essentially paint my own wallpaper background... 


Tough Cuffs

This bracelet is dangerous... Dangerously Awesome!  The "TEY" bracelet by DANNIJO is beautiful with some serious attitude.  (It's also on SALE!)

I am also enamored with these bone-inspired pieces by Low Luv x Erin Wasson.... They are edgy, but simple enough to be worn as everyday pieces - on SALE now @ Need Supply!!!

Triple Bone Cuff
Double Bone Ring


Fun gift ideas from Z Gallerie...

1. - Sommelier 5 pc. Wine Bottle Set - so genius!
2. - Chisel Glassware -  gorgeous
3. - Cabana Bar Set - chicest bar set ever...
4. - Moose & Deer Salt & Pepper Shakers - so much rustic charm
5. - Bird on a Wire Photo Holder -photos, holiday cards, notes, string them up!
6. - Champagne Cork Candles - my kind of candle light


Brunch and a Movie

This past weekend, I had a great friend and fellow Gone with the Wind lover over for brunch and screening of the movie.  It may seem cliché, but ever since I saw GWTW for the first time at age 7, it has been one of my absolute favorites. Now, I watch it again every few years and each time I am reminded of how amazing and breathtaking this film truly is.

For brunch, I decided to make Sourdough Strata with Tomatoes and Greens, a favorite in our household.  This recipe is perfect for entertaining, since it can be prepared in advance, making the morning of your brunch as easy as placing it in the oven...


Lunch box

Remember bringing hot food to school for lunch in a thermos?  Trust me, all the cool kids did...  

In an effort to tote my  soup with me to the office, I was in search of the proper insulated device - and now I don't have to compromise style to do it!  All the other kids will be so jealous...

Kate Spade Prize Ball Thermos


Paella in One Hour

I've never had authentic Paella, so I have no frame of reference, but in any case, this recipe was delicious and very easy to make. (Personally, I did not need the ham to enjoy the meal, I will probably leave it out next time)

Spanish Saffron

Smoked ham

Pimiento stuffed green olives


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