Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Recap!

Happy Monday lovies!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Our Oscar Party was so much fun last night...and of course I was THRILLED to see Mila Kunis wear the gorgeous lilac Elie Saab dress that I blogged about here!


I was literally showing my dress picks to my girlfriends last night and then low and behold...there Mila was wearing this beauty!  Doesn't she just look stunning??? 

Everyone brought an appetizer or two to share at the party.  My contribution was Ina Garten's Savory Palmiers.


These are comprised of puff pastry and then a filling of pesto, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts!  Working with puff pastry is VERY easy...but the end result is quite elegant.  Your guests will think you spent hours prepping and making these appetizers, when in fact it only takes about 10 minutes.

For dessert, I followed a recipe from a fellow blogger Homemade by Homan.  The Snicker Cupcakes were a huge hit!



I used a dark chocolate cocoa powder and poured the caramel on top (instead of on the inside).  These were the perfect balance of rich chocolate decadence...and the caramel wasn't bad either!


Of course no Oscar Party is complete without some champagne!!!

We had a lot of great food, great drinks, great company...and we all placed bets on who would win in each category!  I'm sad that the Awards Season is over now!  I definitely need to go watch the King's Speech..stat!

Check back tomorrow for some fun and exciting news...someone {it's me!} just won her first giveaway!  Details tomorrow!

xo natasha

linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Glamour!

I've noticed a lot of fun posts on Oscar Fashion and what we would all wear, if were cool enough to go!  So, in looking around at all the beautiful fashion out on the spring runways...I came across Elie Saab!  I am just obsessed with his spring collection...all of the dresses are GORG!  Take a look:


I love this blush pink...the above image especially reminds me of the dress Angelina wore at the Golden's, but this looks much more demure and rich.


The texture on this dress is to die for.


I love how colorful and whimsical this dress is...very fun!


 This lilac color is subtle, but the lace and cutouts makes it a real crowd pleaser.


This crystal gray color is gorgeous...it has a similar look/feel to a dress Cameron Diaz wore awhile back.


This color is definitely different, but I can't help but love the cut of this dress and how it's sheer in places.

 
I. DIE. over this dress...the color is stunning!


Sometimes a short number can be pulled off...this has a "Mad Men" feel to it!


There were SO many black dresses to choose from in this collection, but this one has it all for me...texture, lace, ruffle, a little sparkle...and of course, I love that it is slightly sheer.  Just lovely!

To see the entire Elie Saab collection, go here.

And I couldn't end this fantasy shopping spree without a pair of shoes, clutch and jewelery:


I love the look of these Giuseppe Zanotti strappy sandals...they're elegant and not too distracting for the dress.


I love the look of this Marchesa crystal encrusted clutch.


These Bulgari beauties have a little bit of everything...diamonds, rubies, turquoise, and emeralds!  They would be show stoppers on their own.

Siiiiiighhh!  If only we were actually going!  :)

We're having a little Oscar Party on Sunday...can't wait to see what everyone wears!

xo natasha

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Breakfast in Bed

There is nothing better than breakfast in bed...especially during the middle of the week.


This is a simple scramble with pan fried red onions and bell peppers, topped with mozzarella and basil.  Of course you can't have breakfast without toasted sourdough topped with blackberry preserve.

How are you spending your Friday morning?

xo natasha

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fireplace + Mantel

You all remember this monstrosity of a fireplace, right?


Thought so!  What I haven't showed you yet, is our new and improved fireplace (the one with the switch!).  I thought I would show you the journey...since hubs and I worked on it.


Yes, that is me actually tiling...that was pretty much the only thing I learned to do during this entire home renovation process!  The bathrooms floors, the backsplash, and the fireplace!  I'm out for hire if anyone is interested!  :)


Sweet hubs making sure the tile fit!


The face of the fireplace...now for the sides....


We "splurged" on the tile and got real travertine!  I love how each piece is different and beautiful!


Here's the final product! 


I've never had a formal mantel before, so I've been having fun decorating!  

The mercury glass candle pillars and small glass candle holders are from Pier One.  The others are random vases we had around the house.  The mirror is from Lowe's.




And the print was a Valentine's Gift for my hubby from Fancy Prints (originally inspired from Erinn's post here--see I told you I would get it!).  The trunk has our initials and wedding date on it.  I love how special it is...we'll have it forever!

Oh and the frame is from here.

Now the only question left is whether we actually buy a "real" mantel.  I have some ideas...but I'd love to hear yours!

xo natasha

Linked to: Flaunt it Friday

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

5 Favorite Kitchen Things!

The hubs and I really enjoy cooking (and the occasional baking) together.  It's a chance to bond at the end of a long day and we've discovered a lot of great recipes over the years.  We've also discovered some great gadgets and helpful items around the kitchen that have helped us along the way. 


The food chopper is a must-have in the kitchen!  Hubby's parents swear by this tool, and now so do we!  We primarily use the chopper for garlic...it's a huge time saver and since we use garlic in everything most of our meals, this thing comes in handy all the time!  It can also be used for veggies, nuts, chocolate...the list goes on!

 via Macy's

Gone are the days of waiting for that high-pitched whistle to blow, signifying boiling water!  The electric kettle is a dream...boiling water in in just moments!  I use this kettle every morning for my tea...but don't let that limit you.  I also love that this is not hot to the touch on the outside...like the traditional kettle (and stove!) would be.


via Amazon

I could literally write a whole post on wine gadgets (idea!) but this is the best of them all.  The Metrokane "Vertical Rabbit" is the BEST wine opener I know of.  There are no tricks, no batteries needed, or multiple parts...this baby has one lever and it's literally as easy as 1-2-3.  Anyone can use it and it makes opening a bottle of wine a cinch...which could be dangerous after a bottle or two...


It goes without saying that the KitchenAid Mixer is the creme de la creme of all things kitchen, and I have the Professional 600 Series, pictured above.  However, are you aware of all the glorious colors this now comes in???  There are over 25 colors to choose from...some of my favorites are:

tangerine
yellow pepper
green apple
ice 
boysenberry

To see all the colors, go here.

   via Target

No, this is not a joke!!!  The  'Ove' Glove is amaaaaazing!!!  It is {obviously} great for the oven...heat resistant and you can grip all those tricky pans and trays while they're in the oven.  It is also known to open jars, manhandle the BBQ, change out light bulbs (we haven't actually done this, but we might!)...who knows the possibilities!  And having the fingers actually does make the difference...no more worries about those over-sized mitts falling off.  

There are TONS of other kitchen appliances and tools that we love, but these definitely top our list!  Oh and one last thing I must share with you:


This is my new water bottle--the Natural Glass Water Bottle by Starbucks!  I've been reading more and more about the bad effects of plastic and since I drink water at my desk all day long, I thought it was time for a change.  This bottle is glass, but has a protective silicone sleeve around it, so it won't break.  Also dishwasher safe--love!  I feel like I drink more water all day long now too!  :)

So tell me...do you have any of these kitchen gadgets?  What am I missing that I need to know about now?  Hopefully I've shared some new things for all of you to check out!

xo natasha

Monday, February 21, 2011

{OOTD} Recent Purchases!

One of the things I love most about blogging, is the catalog of "wishes" and "wants" that is ultimately created.  These things are derived from hours of pouring over all of your lovely blogs--I read your reviews, sales notices, tips, advice, etc.  And given that there is a not a mall around the corner, I really value everything you have to say as it has helped me make my purchasing decisions more often than not!  So this post is really a thank you to all of you and for the community of {shopping} support that you have surrounded me with!


First, I HAD to show off my new Tory Burch Steffi tote, last posted here!  I wanted to give it a couple weeks to really get a feel for the bag and qualify a sound review.  I really do LOVE this bag as much as I expected.  The size is right...and it's not too heavy, like you might expect with a bag of this size.  The leather is dreamy!  Very soft and it already has a broken in feel to it.  I love the gold accents and that it has some compartments for storing all my "purse" things.  Overall it was a great buy...OH and because I saw that it had gone on sale cheaper elsewhere (though it was sold out everywhere), Tory Burch gave me an additional 25% off!  SCORE!  So good piece of advice ladies...even if it's sold out on a site, it's worth asking for the price adjustment...you never know what they'll offer up!


This past weekend I was in Sacramento for the night (the location of our closest Nordstrom!) and I walked away with these "Always Skinny" jeans from Gap.  I first saw them on Veronika's Blog here and thought they would be a great addition to my closet.  I have some thinner "jegging" type jeans but these are great as they are more of a true jean material and can be dressed up or down!

ALSO, you might notice that I used my Christmas/Birthday gift certificates on buying the Eddie Flat, last posted here and truly inspired by Erinn's post here.  I must say, I would never have thought that I would spend $178 on flats, but these are SO comfortable and classic.  I just love them so much!  For a similar look, check out these City Flats by Gap.  They don't have the tan patent online, but I saw them in the store.

I guess the saying "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" must be true!  Thank you for the inspiration!

Other items:
Tunic-H&M (from a couple seasons ago)


And last but not least, I had to post about these darling earrings I received as a gift.  You may remember them from this post here.  I love these earrings!  They're so different and yet so classic.  Love.

Sorry for this being a text heavy post, but I so value all the great advice you put out there and I wanted to be sure to return the favor!  Did you have any fun shopping sprees this past weekend?  I'd love to hear!

xo natasha

Friday, February 18, 2011

Romantic Dinner In

Happy Friday!  The Tahoe area has been hit with a boat load of SNOW and so tonight will be about flipping on the fireplace (yep-no firewood here!), cozying under the blankets and eating in!

 View of our backyard!

This meal is one of our favorite go-to dinners.  The menu is pretty basic: chicken, potatoes, and asparagus-but it's all in how you prepare it that makes it special!


The chicken is a Tuscan Lemon Chicken by none other than the fabulous Ina Garten.  The key to this recipe is to marinate it overnight to really lock in the lemon flavor.  The end result is a super moist chicken full of flavors of lemon, rosemary and garlic.


For the starch in the dish, I love these Mustard Roasted Potatoes (also by Ina, but more directly from her cookbook, than online).  The combination of the stone ground mustard and charred onions makes this a huge hit!  There will be little-to-no leftovers!


The Parmesan Asparagus was done off the cuff, but it's quite simple!  Lay out freshly cut asparagus on a foiled cookie sheet.  Drizzle with good olive oil and toss with salt and pepper.  Cook in 450 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan on top and cook for 2 more minutes. 

 
The asparagus, if cooked right, should still have a bite and the salty parm on top makes a lovely touch!

Serve with a glass of red wine (I prefer a Cabernet or old vine Zin!) and voila!  It's a great meal for just two or to have your friends over and dazzle with.  
So..do you have any tasty meals planned this weekend? 

Have a great weekend!  Bon Appetit!  

xo natasha

Added to: Tasty Tuesdays

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ruffles

I love ruffles.  I love how girlie they are and I love the texture they bring to an outfit or room.  Heck, I love them so much, I even had them incorporated in my wedding.  Here are some ruffled inspirations:

pillows


cake 


duvet


bedspread


decadence  
{ok I know this also cake, but I couldn't resist!}


pillows & duvet
{both are achievable with the right balance}


tutu


shower curtain


skirt
{or grown up tutu}


wedding party


carnations


 All above images via here.

And below are some images from our wedding...





Photos by Albert of Mulberry

Don't you just love them?  I clearly have a little obsession!  And I think they transcend age...ruffles are youthful yet ethereal.  Have you incorporated ruffles into your style lately?  I'd love to see!

xo natasha
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