Monday, April 27, 2009

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2010 Trunk Show

Happy Monday, my dear readers! I just know your week is off to a fabulous start. I received something very special in my inbox this morning. The fashionable Mark Ingram is hosting a trunk show for my all-time favorite designer Oscar de la Renta this week at his New York Atelier showcasing Mr. de la Renta's Spring 2010 collection. Be sure to call asap to make your appointment.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday's Escape: Palazzo Versace, Gold Coast Australia

There is fabulous and then there is fabulous. And today's destination, my lovely dear readers, is the latter. Palazzo Versace is the brainchild of none other than Donatella Versace, herself. Located on Australia's exclusive Gold Coast, this hotel is at the same time classic and contemporary, bold and refined, elegant and vivacious. The property includes 205 guestrooms, 72 condos, 3 award-winning restaurants and even a private marina. Does this mean we're going yachting? Oh, I do hope so. I need to work on my tan! Happy weekend!
Gorgeous aerial views. I'm such a sucker for blue water.
I am not a huge fan of yellow, but somehow this works.

Imagine what I could whip up in this ballroom!
I. Must. Have. Those. Chairs.
Would we ever leave this gorgeous pool?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Food For Thought Thursdays: Cinnamon Chocolate Gelato

One thing I never tire of is good chocolate, the darker the better. I'm not a huge chocolate ice cream person because usually the flavor leaves a lot to be desired. When I came across this recipe, I thought this just might be the ticket. It has the richness of the chocolate and the spice from the cinnamon. Time to break out the ice cream maker. If you don't have one (tsk, tsk, summer is right around the corner), Williams Sonoma carries a really cool one.

Cinnamon Chocolate Gelato with Toffee Bits
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch salt
2 cups whole milk, divided into 1/4 and 1 3/4 cups
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped toffee bits/candy bar pieces (I left these out)

Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in heavy medium saucepan until blended. Gradually add 1/4 cup milk, whisking until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in remaining 1 3/4 cups milk. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and comes to boil, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook 1 minute longer, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until melted and smooth.

Transfer gelato base to medium bowl. Mix in cream. Place bowl over large bowl filled with ice and water and cool, stirring often, about 30 minutes.
Process gelato base in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, adding toffee during last minute of churning. Transfer to container; cover. Freeze at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. Enjoy with friends!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's Escape: The Residence, Tunis

I have been feeling a bit exotic lately. Must be due to these sandals Franki posted a few days ago. They called to mind desert sands, flowing white linen, and blazing sun. Tunisia seemed perfect. Now if we're trekking to northern Africa, a weekend jaunt is not sufficient, a luxury 10-day excursion is the order of the day. The Residence Tunis is a gorgeous property bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy!
Loving the architecture
Manicured garden & grounds
Soothing neutrals in the bedroom suite

I love this bathroom. Could be in there all day; luxe & sparse.
Perfect for lunch after exploring the city.
Loving the indoor pool.
My golfing buddies would have a blast here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Food For Thought Thursday: Grilled New York Strip Steak with Argentinian Chimichurri

I think it's about time for a good steak, wouldn't you agree? I'm not much of a red meat eater, but sometimes nothing but a juicy steak will do. I found this recipe and knew I had to share it. I'm sure my male readers will love any excuse to fire up the grill. Happy Cooking!

Marinated and Grilled New York Strip Steaks with Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce
(Serves 4)
4 New York strip steaks (or something comparable), about 10-12 ounces, 3/4″-1″ thick

1 cup Dos Equis Amber
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk.
2. Put steaks in a dish large enough to fit all of them (i.e.: 2″ deep baking dish), pour marinade over them and refrigerate for 1-4 hours (turn them over halfway through marinating time).
3. Set grill to medium-high heat. Remove steaks from marinade, pat dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
4. Grill steaks about 8-10 minutes total to medium-rare. Let stand about 10 minutes to let the meat rest before serving.

(adapted from this recipe from Gourmet magazine)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano leaves (or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano)
1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes

1. Finely mince all of the herbs and whisk all ingredients together (or whiz it all up in a food processor). Refrigerate for about two hours.
2. Serve over steaks as soon as they come off the grill

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lilly Pulitzer Perfect For Spring

Your co-worker is getting married this year and her style is prefectly preppy. Not sure what to get her that would be a good fit? Try Lilly Pulitzer's new picture album. Divine for displaying her fabulous honeymoon photos.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Style Inspiration: Mykonos

I'm working on a new project in shades of blue and Mykonos, Greece with its deep blue sea and white stone buildings immediately came to mind. I found this amazing picture and thought I would go where the design flowed. The striped linen seemed perfect for the sailing; the place setting echoed the blue of the sea; and the pillow will be ideal for the chair. Gorgeous for a outdoor cocktail party. What are you going to serve? Why, something fresh from the deep blue sea of course. Be sure to let me know how it turns out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Gold List Monday: Say It With Flowers

Happy Monday, dear readers. I trust you had a splendid weekend. Today I have an extra special treat for you. I'd like to introduce to you one of the rising stars on the floral scene, Shoshona Snow Le of ShoSho Designs. Her work is nothing if not fabulous.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My most recent career highlight has been forging a relationship with StudioWed Atlanta and working with the area’s top event industry providers. I recently worked on a “Black, White and Modern” birthday bash with several vendors from StudioWed last month including Lemiga Events, Blue World Studios, I Do Linens, and Sugarplum Visions. This combined pool of talent created a SPECTACULAR event!

Please tell us a bit about your services and how you got started in the industry.
Although I can work in any style requested, SHOSHO Designs specializes in creating contemporary arrangements using chic, stylish and unique floral designs and products. I have always had a love for flowers which led me to completing the Georgia Perimeter College’s Floral Design Certificate Program. I was fortunate enough to design for a few high-profile clients and to forge lasting relationships with other vendors within the event industry early on.
I continue to attend floral design seminars, assist and hold floral design classes, and network with today’s top event providers to remain current with industry trends. I love to pass all that I learn on to today’s modern brides!

How soon should couples begin looking for your services? What questions should they ask?SHOSHO Designs is able to handle last minute design requests as close as even a few weeks prior to the event. However, ideally, it is best to contact me at LEAST 3-6 months in advance. This way, we are able to brainstorm, discuss, and revise designs, as well as reserve or procure any additional items necessary to complete the client’s vision.
Here are some very important questions couples should ask, once they have confirmed availability:
1. What are some new and innovative concepts and products that you are offering? (I’m always up to something!)
2. Are my flower colors and choices in season and available for our event date? If not, do have suggestions for alternative choices?
3. How can you make our vision fit our budget?

What do you bring to the industry that’s fresh?
I believe my best assets to the industry are a relaxed personality, a willingness to listen, a quest for innovation, a unique ability to create dramatic arrangements using minimal products, and of course…a competitive pricing schedule.
Additionally, I offer access to a large inventory, unique rental props and products, affordable chair covers and linens (including nylon spandex stretch chair covers – my FAVORITE “new product”), and referrals to high quality industry partners.

Describe your ideal client:
My ideal client has a concept for their event already in mind, but is flexible and open to suggestions for making their event even more special. The ideal client has confidence in my services, is communicative, and allows me a fair amount of artistic license in design.

What would you suggest to the couple that wants something different than the usual floral centerpieces or wishes to use florals in a new way?
I encourage these couples to focus on products and containers that emphasize pattern, structure, and texture. Unique non-floral centerpieces can be designed using a huge number of resources including candles, river rocks, glass, acrylic, branches, paper, fruit, fabric, wood, metal, etc…
Additionally, I advise these couples to draw inspiration from their personal environment and experiences, to explore cultural influences and art and architecture, rather than traditional wedding magazines.
Above all, I advise couples to be creative and NOT be afraid to think outside the box!!

What other creative design elements have you worked with?
Although I received my B.S. degree in Biology, my true passion lay with the Fine Arts, and I have had the unique opportunity to train formally in drawing, painting, and printmaking.
I continue to incorporate the fundamental ideas of balance, perspective, spacial placement, color theory, and aesthetics in my floral works.
How do you incorporate the dress into the design elements of the wedding flowers?
More than any other element of a wedding, I believe the wedding dress and the bridal bouquet best capture the personality of the bride, and usually the overall atmosphere of the wedding. For this reason, I love to incorporate elements of the dress into the bridal bouquet, including beading, unique ribbon-tying techniques, and jeweled accents.
Along similar lines, I am creating a new series of commissioned oil paintings titled “Girls in White Dresses.” These oil paintings do not follow the rules of traditional portraiture, as the aim is to capture the essence of the bride’s personality through a painted rendition of her wedding dress…not her face.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tonic:Good For The Soul

Happy Easter, Everyone! I hope today was full of friends, family and reflection. While reading Town & Country Weddings, I came across a company doing fabulous work. Tonic: "We are a media company focused on the good that happens each day in neighborhoods all around the world. Our world is defined by a philosophy that people want to matter and make a difference instead of being defined by age, race, income, gender or geography." They offer support for every charity imaginable to shopping for globally minded products/services. You can even set up a personal page, register your favorite charity and create custom invitations to your party. An awesome alternative to the usual engagement or birthday party.
Donna Karan tee
Aarong bracelets
Luella Bartley tote

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday's Escape: Hotel Casa Fuster, Barcelona

Are you ready for the weekend? I know I am! Well this week, we're heading off to Barcelona, specifically Hotel Casa Fuster.
"A 5-star luxury hotel (listed as a landmark building dating back to 1908), boasting a perfect combination of a modernist atmosphere, unique architecture and a mix of Art Deco and traditional furnishings. The hotel is situated at the highest point of Paseo de Gracia, giving its guests the opportunity to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city of Barcelona. Hotel Casa Fuster is located in the heart of Barcelona, in the residential and cultural area of L’Eixample – within walking distance to designer shopping, clubs and restaurants."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Food For Thought Thursdays: Asparagus and Leek Quiche

Leek & Asparagus Quiche:
1 pie shell, pre-made crust is fine
a bundle of asparagus, trimmed of woody stems, & steamed (I microwave them for 2 minutes)
2 leeks, washed and trimmed
3 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled (or 1/4 cup of diced ham)
3 eggs
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup of heavy cream or half & half
3/4 cup of Gruyere cheese, shredded
salt & pepper

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