Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FEED the hungry

While you are sitting down to your Thanksgiving feast, there will be millions of people that will go to sleep hungry that night- 400 million of them being innocent children. If you are asking yourself how you can make a difference-YOU CAN-and here is how!

FEED Projects, founded by Lauren Bush, makes it their mission to sell as many eco friendly products with the proceeds going to feed and educate hungry children around the world.

Show your support and purchase a FEED product..YOU can make a difference!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gifts For Her

David Yurman $1850

I thought I would kick off this post with this David Yurman Crossover Ring. I am sure this would be on any woman's wish list-it is just drop dead gorgeous!


This bag is perfect for the leading lady in your life (or you can add to your wish list)... I am always looking for a navy bag-and this one by J.Crew is so lovely!

I love love love Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb! This fragrance smells exactly how it is named-if you love floral scents-you would love this! This would make a great gift for any woman. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue $100

Smashbox Lights, Camera, Action Blockbuster Kit, $99

Sephora has the most amazing gift sets in all different price ranges. This Smashbox set has everything to get you camera and party ready this holiday season-and it includes the handy carrying case for traveling.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gifts For Babies

Nursery Horse Rocker, Pottery Barn Kids $99

Robeez are my "go to" gift for babies...they are just the cutest little things!

Robeez $28.95

I absoluetly fell in love with these towels (babies not included)

Bath Wraps, Pottery Barn Kids $24

Gifts For Kids

For Boys

LOVE this work bench!

Alex Toys, Barneys $90

This Fire Engine car is just too cute for words

Airflow Collectables Fire Engine Pedal Car, Johnsons for Children $240

Dress up is not only for little girls-I found this trunk filled with boys costumes that will bring your little guy's imagination to life!

Boys Dress Up Trunk, Sleepytime Store $62

I think the best part about this basketball hoop is the chalk board to keep score-LOVE that

Basketball Hoop & Ball, Pottery Barn Kids $59

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gifts For Kids

For Girls:

How precious are these little Juicy Couture sets? I Love them so much I wish I was five again!!

Juicy Couture Princess Dress Up Kit, Saks Fifth Avenue $98

Juicy Couture Tea Party Set, Saks Fifth Avenue $98

And where else will your little princess have her tea party? In her Butterfly Cottage Play House of course!

Saks Fifth Avenue $500

And....Drum roll please....

Barneys $170

I don't think I can stand all the love I have for this chair-I seriously might order it for myself!

Coming up...Gifts for Boys

Gifts For Him

Vivre $280

This leather watch roll is great for the guy that has it all

You can never go wrong with cuff links for a guy- all these Ravi Ratan cuff links available at Nordsrom. They range from $50-$165.

Coach $118

A scarf makes a great holiday gift-and perfect for every age group!

Saks Fifth Avenue $325

Love this Tumi duffle bag-it is perfect for weekend getaways or a carry- on

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide

All week I will be hosting a Gift Guide series here on Lilac and Grey-check in daily for some great gift ideas for everyone on your list!

For the Host/Hostess:

Anthropologie $12.00

LOVE this antique bottle opener! Perfect for anyone hosting a holiday dinner party

Williams Sonoma $39.95

How awesome is this steak brand? This is such a personalized gift-who wouldn't like their initials on their steak-just make sure the are not vegetarians!

Restoration Hardware $29

These olive picks are great! They remind me of James Bond-more luxurious then regular wooden tooth picks

Friday, November 13, 2009

Giving Thanks

The holidays are a time to come together with friends and family and reconnect. After surviving a particularly tough year for most Americans, this Thanksgiving will be an extra special time to "Give Thanks."
Whether it is your first time hosting Thanksgiving or your thirtieth-you may find some inspiration in these table settings.

Images via Country Living

This Thanksgiving, lets all remember to "Give Thanks" to all of the little things in life that we take for granted-and in these tough economic times-look to the future-because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

What are you all thankful for?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tickle Me Pink

I am sure my husband will never allow me to decorate any of our rooms pink- but hey-a girl can dream! Check out these lovely interiors

[image via interiordivine.blogspot.com]

image via www.squidoo.com

[ Photo from Elle Decor UK ]

This room is insanely gorgeous! It belongs to none other than -Betsey Johnson!

[ image via Country Living]

[image via Country Living]

If this was my office-I would never stop working!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sweet Little Things

I don't really have much of a sweet tooth-but give me one of these stuffed mini cupcakes and no doubt I will devour it!

These yummy treats are Baked by Melissa and come in flavors such as Peanut Butter and Jelly, Red Velvet, and Cookies and Cream. The best part about them is that they are the size of a silver dollar-so you can try them all!! In fact that was the inspiration behind the brand. I always love a good success story, and no doubt these will be a big hit at your next party.
They can be ordered online for delivery in Manhattan: bakedbymelissa.com, (212) 842-0220.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No More Bitterness

I am not sure what really drew me to purchase broccoli rabe in the supermarket for the first time. Maybe it was the hot pink label that wrapped the bottom of the greens? Or maybe it was my curious nature to try new things?
Growing up in an Italian family, we pretty much lived off of pasta and sauce. Both my parents worked full time, so for my mom, pasta was her “go to meal” because all she had to do was boil the water and heat up my grandmother’s sauce (our garage was filled with a year’s supply). On Sundays- we got an extra treat- she would add sausage and meatballs to the sauce. That was pretty much as far as she would go. I have to hand it to her, we were very picky eaters. Even the easiest meal of pasta and sauce was made difficult for her because I would only eat long spaghetti and my sister would only eat penne or ziti-so she would make us both ( I know, what a saint).
Even as a young girl I was always intrigued by cooking shows. I remember watching Julia Child’s show on Sunday’s with my dad; both of us drawn to her impeccable skill and distinct voice ( I am waiting for Julie and Julia to come on TV). My dad loved to cook, and experiment with new recipes. He just rarely did, because he didn’t have the patience for it.
When I was in college I realized I did have the patience for cooking, and I started to actually cook all the recipes that I would rip out of my Gourmet magazines. No longer a “picky eater” I discovered I was only a picky eater because I was never given many options. At first, the recipes that I followed called for ingredients that I had never even heard before. I was very intimidated. I would find myself roaming the isles in the supermarket until I finally asked someone to point me in the right direction.
My curiosity and love for food turned into a love for cooking. I find it to be a very rewarding experience. When I complete a recipe, and it not only comes out edible-but good-I feel such a great sense of accomplishment.

So-somewhere along the way I picked up the bunch of broccoli rabe. I brought it home and asked my mom if she knew how to cook it. She responded, “No, because it’s too bitter.”
I was determined to find a way to make this very bitter vegetable, not bitter. After several trials and errors, I believe I have perfected it. So with many requests (mom included), here is my own recipe for Broccoli Rabe and Sausage with Orecchiette.

Photo by Cara Gardner

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage with Orecchiette
Recipe by Cara Gardner
Photo by Cara
( Adapted from Gourmet)

Serves four

1 bunch broccoli rabe (washed, stems cut, and roughly chopped)
1 package Italian sweet sausage (casings removed)*
1/2 pound orecchiette ( ear-shaped pasta)
2 garlic cloves ( sliced thin)
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons garlic powder
fresh ground pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring two pots of water to boil (one for pasta, the other for broccoli rabe). Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in large frying pan. Add sausage. As it browns, break it up so it becomes small crumbles and cooks through.
In the meantime, add broccoli rabe, butter, and 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder to boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes, then drain.
In another large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO. Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add broccoli rabe to garlic chips, season with fresh cracked pepper and remaining garlic powder. Saute for 4 minutes. Add sausage (drippings included) and pasta to broccoli rabe, adding more EVOO as needed. Stir about 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese and toss until well coated. Top with fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

*I use Premo brand sausage ( I have used other brands and it just is not the same)
you can also use Italian hot sausage if you like a “kick”
I have discovered the two “secret steps” to get the bitterness out of boccoli rabe. First is adding butter and garlic powder to the water. And second, sauteing broccoli rabe in EVOO and garlic chips

Mellow Yellow

Today I wanted to feature some interior spaces highlighting one of my favorite colors-yellow.

How fabulous is this room! I love the use of butter yellow with the dark wood. I don't think I have ever seen a book case as interesting as this one here!

Viceroy Hotel, library, Santa Monica, CA. Photo: Grey Crawford

I love the use of blue and yellow-there is just something so comforting and homey about the combination. The wallpaper is rich and fabulous!

Barclay Butera, Inspired Styles

(via desiretoinspire.blogspot.com/)

I LOVE this room! The mix of traditional crown molding and the modern bed design make this room super chic and interesting! The use of yellow in this room just pops!

If you want to experiment with color, but not read to commit to a large room-start in the bathroom! I LOVE the stripes-perfect for a beach house!

Country Living

The zebra carpet is a perfect complement to these bright yellow walls-the grey accents tone down the contrasts in this room.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The New Power Pump

I am back! Sorry I have been MIA all week. I am currently in the process of pursuing a career in Real Estate. What is the best way to kick off a new career? Well, new shoes of course! Just because you may have a more "conservative" career does not mean you have to dress in square cut suits and old lady pumps. I found the perfect up-to-date pumps by Stuart Weitzman, that can be worn to work or out at night. I love the color! You can wear them with anything-and nude makes them extra chic!

I also love the round toe-which is so hot right now!
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