Chinese Money Plant

What has two black thumbs and loves plants? THIS GIRL! HEY-O!  

I'm the botanical angel of death.  I've sent countless plants to their early graves, and can confidently assess that their aggregate numbers would culminate in a fairly large cemetery.  Although I recognize my poor caretaking skills, I can't resist purchasing more doomed plants -- only to repeat the cycle of destruction.  

My twisted love has now turned its attention to the enchanting Chinese Money Plant (proper name: pilea peperomioides).  This fascinating specimen hails from China's Yunnan province, and was introduced to Scandinavia by Agnar Espegren, a Norwegian missionary fleeing the Japanese World War II attacks on China.  The plant was slowly passed along generations of friends and families so that it became quite common throughout Europe.  A rarity in the States,  I'm desperate to have one of my own, even though I'll probably kill it within days.  If anyone has any leads and has no qualms about sending a beautiful plant to a premature death, please reach out! And if you want to learn more about this plant's amazing history, head over to Wild Chicken.  

Photos courtesy of:  Gardenista \ At Swim Two Birds | Joyce Stolte | Wit & Whistle | Multo Multo | Moon to Moon | Lisettes Perler | Erleperle Randia |  Supermama | Black Jungle Terrarium Supply

Stockholm Syndrome

Why are the Swedes so good at everything? They are supremely beautiful, athletic, insanely musical, fiercely intelligent and gifted with impeccable style.  When I visited Stockholm two years ago, the constant presence of towering, lithe blondes with finely-sculpted features awakened my dormant inferiority complex.  Throughout the duration of my trip, I couldn’t help but feel like an obese idiot-midget-troll incapable of ever achieving the heights of their intellect or physical perfection.  And their exquisite aesthetic, which pervaded everything from restaurants to train stations, trumped any other country I’ve seen since then; even the Swedish Visitor’s Center had nuanced, sophisticated décor.  

I wish I had discovered the Ett Hem prior to my European getaway.  Located in the heart of Stockholm, this boutique hotel’s design is so good it makes me angry.  Originally a private residence, this 12-bedroom house was converted into traveler's lodging with sleek décor emanating an inviting warmth so prevalent in Scandinavian design.  From the lush garden to the serene bedrooms, every corner of the space was thoughtfully planned with an immaculate eye, and judging from the reviews, also the perfect setting for rest and relaxation.  I'm already planning my return trip! Who's in? 

Photos courtesy of Ett Hem Hotel | Architectual Digest Espana | The Coolist | Elitism 

Above: The marriage of that striped couch, pale pink Knoll-like lounge chairs and minimal task lamps is so good.  

Above: These two vignettes are my paragon of organic modernism.  I want my entire apartment to feel this way. 

Above, left: I love the cozy vibe of the library, topped off with a Lindsey Adelman chandelier. So good.  

Above, right: Traditional Swedish fireplaces typically resemble a column, topped by a crown symbolizing the country's monarchy.  If I ever own my own house or apartment, I'd love to have one of the babies in my living room.  

Above: This color palette is tops.  

Above: Oh my god. This room is everything. I want to jump into that bed right now!

Above and Below: I'm dying over this bathroom.  That tub! The double sinks! That brass hardware! 

Above and below: Can we talk like Tevin Campbell about how I want to live in this greenhouse situation? 

Above: As we trudge through the last legs of this brutal NYC winter, I fantasize about sitting in this garden with a pitcher of sangria while feeling the sun's warmth on my face.  #Dreams 

The Elephant Man

French photographer Charles Freger captured these stunning images during the Elephant Festival in Jaipur, India. The highlight of this event is a competition in which riders, known as mahouts, paint, dress and bejewel themselves as well as their elephants to compete for the honor of best dressed pair.  Mahouts are not only a rider, but also the trainer and keeper of the elephant.  Typically, they are born into this profession, paired with their elephant from a young age, and bonded for life.   Absolutely compelling, no?  I'm entranced by these beautiful traditions, sumptuous colors and the fascinating dynamic between mahout and elephant.  Anyone interested in taking a trip to India with me?     

Photos courtesy of National Geographic 

Sarah Jessica Parker's Home Tour

In the mid-2000's, I lived directly across the street from Sarah Jessica Parker in the West Village.  Whenever she stepped out of her gorgeous brownstone, I craned my neck to catch a glimpse inside.   Yesterday, Vogue posted a mini-house tour with SJP, and my years of waiting finally paid off.  Unlike a lot of celebrity homes, Parker's decor is warm, inviting and comfortable; the baby gate, well-worn velvet couch and bookshelves teeming with dog-eared books indicate that its residents actually live there.  

Since I'm a home decor junkie, I watched the video about 25 times to nab the following screen captures for my interior design Pinterest board, but you should definitely watch the interview below.  I've also included a small product round-up showing how to emulate the look -- which is surprisingly very affordable and easy to accomplish.

PS - Pardon the blurry and fuzzy shots, it was a little tricky to get clear footage! 

All photos courtesy of Vogue 

Above: Oh, don't mind my Emmy on the bookshelf...

1. Ikea Besta TV Storage Combination - If don't have custom-built shelving around your TV, fake it till you make it with some Ikea. I'd probably lose the creepy glass doors and also the opaque white ones to give it more of a bookshelf feel.  

2. Lulu & Georgia Waterway Rug in Watermelon 

3. Room & Board Stella Sofa

4. Benjamin Moore Seaweed Paint, 2035-10

5. Indian Kantha Quilt

6.  Ikea Billy Bookcase

7. Vintage Bar Cart via Soulful Vintage on Etsy

8. From left to right: Magic Cabin Illuminated GlobeLand of Nod Illuminated GlobeIlluminated World Globe from By Grass Doll on Etsy

9. Sofa.com Avalon Chair

10. Urban Outfitters Laboratory Lamp

11. Wisteria Sunburst Armoire

Above: I would really love to have room for a ping pong table.  I mean, right now I'd be cool with 200 more square feet.  

True Detective: Courir de Mardi Gras

If you're anything like me, your mind is still swirling with a volatile cocktail of True Detective afterthoughts, theories and disturbing imagery.  The most memorable (and not in a good way) visuals were the terrifying archival photos and video of young female victims outnumbered by faceless men. I was intrigued when Marty and Rust connected Courir de Mardi Gras with this evidence, and needed to know more.  What is this terrifying tradition?  Why the creepy costumes?  What's up with Louisiana?  Let's get physical with some history and learn more! 

Courir de Mardi Gras is a long-standing celebration that stems from rural medieval French traditions.  The literal translation means "fat Tuesday run", and takes place before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  This holiday was originally intended as a means for church congregations to indulge in their vices prior to a period of a renewed commitment to godly and moral behavior.  Eventually this tradition evolved into a time for people to explore different societal roles through alcohol and costume.  Men would dress as women and the poor would pretend to be nobility for a day.  Consequently, inebriated and fully-disguised revelers began to mock politicians, high-ranking members of society and clergy members, which became another ingrained element of this holiday.  

Still practiced by rural communities of Louisiana, guests continue to disguise themselves in full masks, costumes and capuchons (pointy hats worn by medieval nobility, but what many mistake for KKK paraphernalia). Like Halloween, these costumed participants roam neighborhoods in a large group, although they beg each residence for gumbo ingredients rather than candy.  Attendees typically pull pranks and hijinks throughout the day, and the group's captain will mock-whip any members of his entourage who misbehave.  This celebration also includes a chicken run, where revelers chase after a released chicken, symbolic of procuring the most important ingredient of the gumbo.  

Similar to the Mardi Gras we are so familiar with, Courir de Mardi Gras is a joyous occasion, and not associated with human sacrifice, rape or kidnapping.  The creepy rituals depicted on True Detective are a mishmash of practices culled from a myriad of sources.  You should not allow this show to shape your notions regarding Louisiana. That said, and absolutely no disrespect to the Cajun culture, I can't help but find some of these Courir de Mardi Gras photos slightly unnerving.  Did I cherry pick?  Absolutely.  Have I been watching too much television and reading into too many internet-born theories?  Definitely.  

Above: The creepy photo of Dora Lange in her mother's house.  The KKK-esque pointy hats shown in the are capuchon, traditional headgear worn by Courir de Mardi Gras revelers that emulate hats worn by medieval nobility.  They have nothing to do with the KKK.  

Below: Hmmmm...doesn't this pose look really familiar? 

Above: I realize this is a photo documenting a friendly gathering of chums, but through the lens of True Detective, it has sinister undertones.  Those sickles and the oversized scissor-type tool aren't helping.  

Above: All I can think when I see this photo is: "Aaaaaaand now they are transporting the bound girl to Carcosa for the Yellow King."  Louisiana, I apologize.  

Above: This is a beautiful image, but it could easily fit into Reverend Tuttle's photo collection had it been shot in black-and-white.  

Below: See?!!? 

Above: Attendees prepare for the chicken run. 

Below: More eerie photos. 

Above: villain christens first-time participants with whiskey.  Complete coincidence, but isn't there a strong resemblance to Rust, below

Above: A stunning photograph of chicken run preparations.  

Above: These wire mesh masks have been a part of the Courir de Mardi Gras tradition dating back to the turn-of-the-century. As you can see below, they have an unnerving effect by the way they juxtapose one's mask with their true visage. 

Above: This True Detective photo is forever scorched into my memory.  Terrifying, right? 

Below: Here's a photo from an actual Courir de Mardi Gras chicken run.  Also terrifying, right?  Twin Peaks fans, isn't this slightly reminiscent of Bob?  If I encountered this man out in the woods, you bet I'd soil myself.

Below: Photo from a 1972 chicken run.  Not going to lie, this photo makes my blood curdle.  Just a little. 

PS - Did anyone notice that the Jesus tattoo on LeDoux looks a great deal like Rust?  Everything about this show scares me.  

Dreamy Williamsburg Home

I'm in love with Anthony Goicolea's renovated Williamsburg rowhouse. This stunning, four-level structure encompasses a basement studio, first floor kitchen and living room, second floor study and living room, and a third floor comprising two bedrooms.  If that's not enough, Goicolea's impeccable decor only drives the pangs of jealousy deeper into my heart.  

This is the size of my entire apartment.  No joke.  I cry as I type this sentence. 

These two vignettes may be my favorite corners of the house.  I die for that Restoration Hardware Versailles Chair, and double showerheads are the lofty, impossible NYC dream.  

I'm a sucker for a dark bedroom and sumptuous floor-to-ceiling drapes.  

I love everything about this bathroom shot.  I must have that fish sculpture, and something tells me a chalkboard near a toilet could definitely come in handy.  Ha ha! And let's take a moment to enjoy the expertly arranged art kissing the top of the stairs.  So good. 

In my future mansion, I hope to emulate the airy, organic quality of this kitchen. 

Ugh. I don't have a single staircase in my tiny apartment.  One of these days...

via The New York Times

2014 Oscars' After-Party Fashion Recap

"Then after the show it's the after party, and after the party, it's the hotel lobby." 

- R. Kelly

The Oscars' red carpet was disastrously dull, with no real risk takers apart from Cate Blanchett and Lupita Nyong'o.  But what about the after parties?  Let's take a look. 

Above: I was pleasantly surprised to see a good amount of oxblood-colored dresses at the Vanity Fair party.  Model Crystal Renn vamped in a glamorous Zac Posen gown, Behati Prinsloo rocked a modern and minimal look, and Sheryl Crow beamed in laid-back, bohemian Roberto Cavalli.

Above: Deep crimson was another popular hue. Jaime King nailed it in a unique and stunning Ulyana Sergeenko dress.  And I will begrudgingly admit that Khloe Kardashian looked great -- the fit and color of the gown, hair and makeup perfectly suited her.  Naomie Harris was elegant, but her ensemble was missing any sartorial punch. 

Above: Ladies in red.  Sienna Miller's arm jewelry was so different and unexpected, but it's a shame that her thrift-store-esque belt detracts from an otherwise chic ensemble.  I die for Lily Aldridge's sleek, 60s-inspired dress, and based on her figure, you'd never know that Kristen Bell gave birth a few months ago.  Bravo, Gossip Girl! 

Above: Pretty in pink.  I loved seeing these bright gowns! Allison Williams' dress looked odd from the front, I wish she had worn a big necklace or larger earrings to counter the high neckline.  I usually don't care for Kelly Preston's style, but she surprised me with an amazing Steve Khalil gown.  Everything about her look is so good: minimal accessorizing and simple hair offsets the insane draping of her dress.  

Above: Sparkly nudes in classic silhouettes.  These looks are absolutely stunning, but they're missing a wow factor.  It's like a supremely good-looking man lacking an interesting personality.  Nice, but nothing memorable. 

Above: Silver screen sirens.  In the film Empire Records, there's a woman who says, "baby you are sex!" and that is how I feel about Miranda Kerr's smoldering get-up.  Rumer Willis' hair and makeup is a bullseye, but her dress is a little too crazy for my taste.  It's a fine line between kooky and eclectic, isn't it?  And Hilary Rhoda is a goddess in her vintage Halston.  

Above: America's sweethearts.  Slinky black dresses with sweetheart necklines were another recurrence throughout the night. Purrrrrrrrrr

Above: Who knew that one-shouldered white dresses would be a trend?  I love Amy Adams to pieces, but I wish she had worn something akin to her American Hustle character.  Maybe she felt that we had seen enough of her breasts for one year.   

Above: There were many variations on the sequined, deep v-neck dress.  I loved them all.  

Above and below: I'm swooning over these badass sheer cutouts.  They lend a rebellious, adventurous sensibility to classic silhouettes.  This is what you wear to make your ex think: "DAAAAAAAMN.  OOPS."   

Above: In the pink.  Taking a cue from the runways, pale pink dominated the red carpet.  Like her husband, Camila Alves easily won her category with an elegant Gabriela Cadena dress.  The hue and cut suited her perfectly, and the drape lent a sense of old Hollywood glamour.    

Above: Golden girls.  Vanessa Hudgen's look was my favorite variation on this theme.  I loved the interesting fabric and cut of her dress, while Selena and Kristin's gowns feel a little too Vegas-showgirl.

Above: Strapless black dresses with soft details.  Margot Robbie's ensemble was everything.  Her hair! Her makeup! That bow! She perfectly channeled the spirit of a 1940s Hollywood starlet a la Veronica Lake.  And Emma Heming, Bruce Willis' wife, is absolutely divine in a chic gown adorned with bows.  I've never seen pregnancy look so good. 

Above: Pastel party.  Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's Cushnie Et Ochs gown made me gasp: it's a well-done juxtaposition of feminine and classic, modern and badass.   I adore the unique color of Paz Vega's beautifully-executed pale, blue-green number.  And Lupita Nyong'o showcases her impeccable taste in offbeat, sea foam green Miu Miu.  

Above: These were my favorite gowns that defied any categorization.  Model Doutzen Kroes radiated in a minimal black dress with pockets(!!!) and bejeweled heels that I desperately need to own. Anne Sweeney, president of the ABC-Disney Television group, chose a strapless, architectural navy-blue gown that fit her perfectly. I hope Zara or H&M makes a knock-off, because I absolutely need to own this dress.  Kate Hudson should give her stylist a big raise because she epitomized everything a Hollywood movie star should be.  She worked that step and repeat and shut it down.  

And with that, we bid adieu to awards season.  Until next year! 

Photos courtesy of: Zimbio | Just Jared | Fab Sugar | Vanity Fair 

Style Crush: Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o is having a moment.  

The newly-crowned Oscar winner has swept this awards season with a wave of accolades and sartorial slam dunks.  Her spectacular fashion sense gravitates towards lush, bold hues not typically seen on the red carpet, earning her a spot on everyone's best-dressed list.  This year, she gave a compelling masterclass showing how color and styling invigorate a uniform of figure-flattering cuts, comprised of uniquely tailored sheath dresses and floor-skimming gowns. Lesson learned! 

Photos courtesy of Zimbio | Miceala Erlanger | Elle Magazine 

New York Fashion Week Recap

Do you need a little escapism now that you're back at your cubicle after a long weekend binging on House of Cards?  I thought so.  Check out my favorite New York Fashion Week looks from last week's shows.  

Above: Prabal Gurung gave a breathtaking masterclass in layering textures.  I constantly refer to these photos when seeking sartorial inspiration on the snowy, cold days that now dominate New York City. 

Above: Naeem Khan's glamorous, red-carpet ready collection stunned with its intricate beadwork.  I could easily see any number of celebrities in all of the dresses above.  

Above: Delpozo always crafts the most delicate, ladylike looks in spectacular colors.  This collection was no exception.  

Above: Ralph Lauren's timeless elegance in simple cuts and silhouettes proved to be a winner yet again.  I'm hoping to emulate these looks with some H & M and J.Crew magic.  

Above: Most well-known for her tribal swimwear designs, Mara Hoffman magically translated her tropical, it-girl vibe to a refreshing fall collection that went heavy on the resort wear aesthetic.  In my fantasies, I'll throw this entire collection in a suitcase and hop on my Bora Bora-bound private jet until spring arrives in the City.  

Above: I loved Tibi's chic, Korean-inspired layering, packaged in extremely accessible looks.  

Above: Marchesa's jeweled, wispy collection included unique renditions of classic gowns.  The floral bead detailing and draping won my heart, and I wouldn't be shocked to see any of these looks on the Oscar red carpet.  

Above: Michael Kors proves yet again that he knows exactly what women want.  His extremely accessible looks infused with incredible juxtapositions of textures translated into ensembles that I wanted to purchase directly off the runway.  

Above: Jenny Packham's show featured an array of diaphanous gowns and evening wear in striking hues and sumptuous fabrics.  I especially love her casual pairing of a sweatshirt and beaded skirt and couldn't resist the beautifully-cut one-shoulder black dress.  My favorite piece was an exquisite, delicate sequined gown that recalled the glamour of old Hollywood, and could easily work on the red carpet or as a wedding gown.    

Above & Below: Zac Posen's scaled-back show aimed to emphasize his returned focus to basics. His gamble paid off: the stunning gowns were the stuff of fairy tales and unique, flattering cuts of the daytime sheaths were made for a modern-day Joan Holloway. I expect to see these gowns at the Oscars and on every 2014 red carpet thereafter.  

All photos courtesy of Style.com

House of Cards: Claire Underwood's Style

To celebrate the return of House of Cards, I've compiled Claire Underwood's greatest sartorial hits from season one.  Sticking to neutral basics and combinations that flatter her figure, Claire exemplifies minimalist chic, whether she's presiding over the Clean Water Initiative or running through a graveyard.  Every working woman I know dreams of being as polished as Claire, and fortunately, her look is not difficult to achieve.  See below for some items to get you there.  

Sheath Dresses: Claire favors fitted sheath dresses in neutral colors that capture the eye with their unique neckline, colorblocking or sculptural details.  

Button-down shirt + Pencil skirt: Claire knows what works for her body and sticks with it.  Her easy formula of button-downs and pencil skirts looks stunning every single time.  

Coats: Claire proves that simple, well-cut coats in neutral colors are not boring, but rather, lend a divine a touch to any ensemble.  Scroll below to see how Claire works her black trench.  

Finishing Touches: In an age of arm parties and layered necklaces, Claire makes a strong case for reserved minimalism.  Her few accessories pack a strong punch, which proves that less can be more.  

Eclectic LA House Tour

Allegedly inhabited by Marilyn Monroe,  Los Angeles-based interior designer Wendy Haworth's pre-war apartment is filled with an eclectic collection of objects and furniture found throughout her travels.  A master of mixing elements from all periods and styles, Haworth's home emanates warmth and personality stemming from meaningful pieces acquired over time.  

Tips: For those of you with limited space, a glass or Lucite table lends the illusion of taking up less space.  If you're shopping vintage and can't find a complete set of chairs, mismatched seating feels casual, but cohesive when they are the same color.  And to create a beautiful table vignette, items displayed at varying heights keeps the eye intrigued. 

1. CB2 Silverado Dining Table | 2. Blue Art Deco Vase | 3. Fix Studio Wire Barstool | 4. Vase of Branches - I loooooove using branches as a centerpiece.  They're the most economical, easy way to make a big impact, especially for those lacking floral-arranging abilities.  My favorite branches include pussy willow, tulip magnolia, cherry and plum, which I usually buy from the weekend farmer's market.  |  5. Room & Board Lange Chair | 6. Boutique Maroc Boucherourite Rug 

Tip: Gallery walls are a fantastic way to showcase your styling prowess and infuse your home with personality or memoirs from your travels.  Haworth's art covers a wide range of styles, but common colors in each piece serve as the thread that unifies the collection into a cohesive whole.  When creating a gallery wall, I like to include one piece larger than all the others to serve as the anchor for the rest of the art, which Haworth has done with the work positioned in the center of the bottom row.  Want more tips for creating a gallery wall?  Check out my favorite Apartment Therapy tutorial and tips from HGTV

1. Jonathan Adler Bond Console | 2. The Turkish Bath by Picasso | 3. Rorschach by Andy Warhol | 4.  Vintage Metal Flower Sculpture | 5. Vintage Mirrored Round Tray | 6. Antique French Art Nouveau Brass Easel | 7. Eroded in the Silence by Chikara Umihara | 8. Target Metal Lasso Lamp

Photos courtesy of One Kings Lane

Advice from Tina Fey

Last year I was petrified of making mistakes in all arenas of my life.  This intense fear prevented me from growth, progress and ultimately, robbed me of many amazing opportunities and moments.  Looking back, I regret living under an umbrella of anxiety, and decided that 2014 would be the time to let go, stop worrying and accept my inevitable shit nuggets.  

I'm learning that done is better than perfect.  I'm less obsessive about my "permanent record".  And I'm always back in the trenches on Mondays, panning for gold.  

Ikea Trendig

Born of a collaboration between Swedish and Chinese craftsmen, Ikea's new capsule collection, Trendig, marries Eastern and Western cultures.  The 30-piece line includes tableware, textiles and furniture that showcase classic Chinese lines and colors juxtaposed against traditional Swedish materials.  Just in time for Chinese New Year, this limited-edition collection launches online and arrives in stores on February 1.   I can't wait!  

tableware.jpg

Mapping Manhattan

Above: Liz Bartucci.  I sense a lot of my artist friends will relate.  Bartucci is the author of The Secret Lives of the Unemployed.  

Writer and cartographer Becky Cooper traversed New York City for years with hundreds of blank Manhattan maps, and asked legions of New Yorkers to translate their City experience on these empty outlines.  What ensued was a fascinating, touching, and sometimes heartbreaking collection of stories, which Cooper assembled into her book, Mapping Manhattan.  As a long-time New York City resident, this book had me captivated for hours.  I highly recommend as a gift for anyone in your life who loves the Big Apple.  Buy it here.

All illustrations courtesy of Mapping Manhattan

Above: Yoko Ono.

Above: Malcolm Gladwell.  I love his little jab at the Upper East Side.  

Above: Anonymous.  The notion of Manhattan as a ghost town rings true to my own experience.  The longer I live here, the more apparent the City's transient nature becomes.  From ever-changing storefronts to a constant influx and flight of friends, certain landmarks and institutions will forever be marked or viewed through the lens of a particular memory.  Like ghosts, these long-past experiences continue to thrive whenever I encounter certain locations, lending a certain haunted quality to Manhattan.  

Above: Anonymous.  Boy, can I relate to this one...

Above: Anonymous.  Totally accurate, by the way.  

Above: Anonymous.  Also completely accurate. 

Above: Anonymous.  I adore the colors, memories and handwriting of this one. 

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

My big mistake of 2013 was sliding back into my morning bagel habit.  I consider the bagel a gateway drug into other dangerous diet downfalls like eating fries at lunch or ice cream every night--and that's exactly what happened around September.  By the of December, I had the energy levels of a sea slug, so like many of you, I resolved to take better care of my body in 2014.  Easier said than done! Although we're only 22 days into 2014, I am struggling to pry myself away from the cookie jar and back to the gym.  To tackle my poor eating habits, I am slowly revamping how I approach all of my meals.  I decided to start with breakfast, and have been adhering to a formula of protein + fruit + carbs.  Below are some of my new morning meals, and I'd love to hear your breakfast thoughts and ideas! 

1. Good Food Made Simple Egg White Patties + Thomas Bagel Thins + Fruit salad

Good Food Made Simple is a frozen-food brand I discovered shopping at Target over the holiday.  They focus on providing healthy frozen options that are fantastic for anyone with a busy schedule.  These egg white patties are quite good, and only take a few minutes in the microwave to prepare.  I like to pretend I'm indulging in a greasy breakfast sandwich by pairing them with a Thomas Bagel Thin sprinkled with pepper and garlic powder.   If you wanted to get really crazy, try adding in Morningstar Farm's bacon or sausage patties.  Watch out. And to ensure I'm getting my fruit for the morning, I'll eat a pre-made fruit salad if I don't have time to make one at home. 

2. Van's Whole Wheat Waffles + Low-fat peanut butter + Sliced bananas + Cary's sugar-free syrup

This is my healthy homage to the Elvis.  Van's waffles are delicious and Cary's sugar-free syrup tastes so good, it's hard to distinguish from regular syrup.   

3. Good Food Made Simple Burritos + Fruit

These burritos are incredibly tasty and very filling.  I highly recommend! 

4. Fiber One Pancake Mix + Blueberries + Good Food Made Simple Egg White Patties

Fiber One Pancake Mix is shockling good and not that bad for you.  I like to make a big batch on the weekends and add in fresh fruit, like blueberries or bananas.  Then on the weekdays, I can easily grab some with Good Food Made Simple's egg white patties for a super-satisfying and "decadent" breakfast. 

5. 3 Boiled egg whites + Thomas Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin + Apple 

Pretty basic breakfast.  I like to salt and pepper my eggs, and sometimes I'll put some low-fat butter on my English muffin.  

6. Banana + Fage 0% yogurt + Whole-wheat toast 

My favorite Fage flavors are blueberry, strawberry and raspberry.  I switched over to Greek yogurt a few years ago after I discovered how much more filling they are than Yoplait or Dannon.  

H & M Picks

I stopped by H & M the other day and there's a lot of good stuff! I pulled these photos off the USA website, but many of great items found in the store aren't listed on the site.  Pop over there if you can! 

1. Mohair-Blend Sweater - There are a zillion ways to wear this sweater.  PLUS, stripes!!! 

2. Crepe Dress - This dress fits like a dream (hides my potbelly) and has pockets. Event planner friends, take note! 

3. Boots - I really love Isabel Marant-vibe of these boots. They are online-only so I haven't tried them on.  

4. Cupro Dress - It's hard to tell from the photo, but this dress has subtle allure.  It fits loosely, but triangular sheer mesh panels on the front prevent it from feeling dowdy.  Constructed from the same mesh material, the back is completely sheer.  Also, the store carried this dress in black and a beautiful deep plum, which doesn't appear online.  

5. Mini Wallet - Perfect for stashing coins, hair ties and chapsticks

6. Tuxedo Jacket - I've been hunting around for a white tux jacket and this one offers a great fit at a really affordable price.  Great way to dress up a t-shirt and jeans. 

7. Sandals - Easy in its simplicity. 

8. Pink Cashmere Sweater - Very soft and very versatile. I can see myself wearing this a lot. 

9. Elastic Belt - Loving the Isabel Marant-ness of this belt.  

10. Wool Hat - A nice, trendy piece that doesn't break the bank. 

11. Pencil Skirt - FINALLY, someone made a pencil skirt with an elastic waist! This one fits really nicely and hugs your body, so it looks custom made. 

12. Sneakers - If Celine and Chanel had a baby, these would be their shoe offspring. 

New Year, New Apartment

We're really hoping to move apartments within the next few weeks, and I've been eyeing the big box retailers' new inventory for our soon-to-be nest.  After combing through pages of inventory, below are some of my favorite new small to mid-size products on the market.  

Top:  1. Nate Berkus x Target Side Fringe Pillow and Nate Berkus x Target Fringe Pillow (I'm really loving the Isabel Marant-vibe of these pillows.  Don't they remind you of this sweater or this sweater?  2. West Elm Clint Mini Task Light | 3. Nate Berkus x Target Chevron Frame | 4. CB2 Surplus Stool | 5. Nate Berkus x Target Decorative Gem | 6. CB2 Janey Pillow | 7. West Elm Dotted Towel | 8. Nate Berkus x Target Faceted Platter | 9. Ikea Ranarp Table Lamp | 10. CB2 Marble Bathroom Accessories | 11. CB2 TPS Pink File Cabinet

Below: 1. Williams & Sonoma Horn Bowl | 2. CB2 Chevron Frosted Cooler Glass | 3. Marimekko Oiva Green and Yellow Plate | 4. Marimekko Pirput Parput Pillow | 5. Marimekko Loistava Yellow Candle Holder | 6. West Elm Metal Floor Mirror | 7. Threshold Round Accent Table | 8. Nate Berkus x Target Faux Tortoise Shell Photo Frame | 9. CB2 Division Red Orange Pillow | 10. Crate & Barrel Busani Pillow | 11. Crate & Barrel Jemma Pepper Side Table | 12. Ikea Stockholm Mirror | 13. West Elm Leather and Fur Sling Chair | 14. Steven Alan x West Elm Round Side Table