Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quote of the Day



It is possible to experience an awakening in this life through realising just how precious each moment, each mental process, and each breath truly is.
 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Feet

Happy Friday sweets! I will be trading in my flip flops and wearing my leopard heels this weekend-why? Because I will be working all weekend! Hopefully I will still have a chance to go to a few of my favorite tiki bars and relax a bit in the sun...






Here are a few links that you may have missed:


These are perfect for a summer birthday!
An adorable little beach house
Love stripes? Check out these lovlies!
Which new fall handbag should I choose?

Enjoy your weekend!!

{image via Lilac and Grey}

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bag Lovin'

I recently took a look in my closet and realized that I have items in there that have made it through a few moves, but I have still yet to wear any of them. I think it is time to let them go and sell them. If all goes according to plan- I will use my earnings towards a new fall handbag! Here are the ones I have my eye on...


I have been eyeing the Givenchy Nightingale for a while now...Love this cherry red one The Blonde Salad has! Check out more colors available Here




Gwnyeth Paltrow carrying the Alexander Wang Small Emile bag in Dove Grey. LOVE the color! I also love it in ivory...Available Here


The YSL Roady bag that Rachel Bilson is carrying has been on my radar for awhile- I love the simplicity of the silhouette. I think I would get it in this amazing new leopard print, available Here
Hopefully I can sell my items quickly so I can get one of these!!

What bag is currently on your radar?

{image 1 via The Blonde Salad | image 2 via I Shop Too Much | image 3 via Celebrity Fashion}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guest Post: Winifred Bean





Hello, Angela from Winifred Bean here!
When Cara asked me to contribute to her blog I knew it had to be about dresses - after all I am launching a wedding dress line. But I've also found inspiration from her blog, Lilac and Grey, when it comes to beautiful interiors and the natural beauties of the world. So I decided to do another "dresses and interiors" piece that showcases lovely dresses and the settings they would look amazing in. There are so many ways to design your day to make it suit you perfectly - I hope this offers a little inspiration. Enjoy!
xo
WB
Rustic/Country:

I'm from Texas so I lean towards rustic settings, casual coolness and of course good ol' fashion fun. That's why I love the idea of a short, sweet wedding dress and some comfortable boots for a casual wedding. Many brides choose boots for their maids as well - the more the merrier I say



Whimsical/Hippie Chic:
I could spend forever at this table, sipping white wine and watching the sun set. And this dress would be a perfect compliment for floating around your romantic, breezy garden party.


Edgy/Industrial:
I think I'm definitely one to be inspired by my surroundings - as a resident of NYC for the past 12 years I have come to love industrial elements and how elegant they can be. And I love nothing more than the juxtaposition of high fashion and glamour in a cool, industrial setting - so very New York...

Mod/Vintage:

Here's a little inspiration drawn from our current obsession with Mad Men. High contrast color, simple lines and amazing vintage pieces.
Modern/Elegant:
And finally, who doesn't love a beautiful, classic, sophisticated wedding. Who wouldn't want to feel like Audrey Hepburn on their wedding day? Beautiful elegant setting, subtle romantic dress - I would never want the night to end.



Get the look:
1. dress, Ivy & Aster

2. dress, BHLDN

3. dress, Vera Wang

4. dress, Fancy NY

5. dress, BHLDN



Thank you Angela! I can't wait for you to unveil your bridal collection!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weekend Photos

I know this is a day late- but here are some photos from my weekend...



When we go out on the boat we typically always anchor in a little spot called Tices Schoal Above is a photo of our uncle's boat-the bottom is just a random boat that I took a photo of.

Here is just little ol' me..


and Boomey..


 Here I am sitting on the back of the boat, contemplating jumping in...




I went to our friend's baby shower this weekend-here are the little cupcakes they had...aren't they adorbs!


Yummy candy bar!

I hope everyone enjoyed there weekend <3


{photos via Lilac and Grey}

Tuesday Tablescape


This is such a fun and colorful tablescape! I adore the details, especially the peacock feather and over sized confetti. I am totally re-creating this for our next dinner party!





{photo via}


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend Recipe: Olive Oil and Sea Salt Brownies




Chocolate Cake with Sea Salt & Olive Oil on the Half Shell
Special equipment: 
14-18 Large food grade scallop shells (approx. 5" at widest point, found at specialty/restaurant supply stores or here - lots onEbay as well)

Cake: 
7oz. dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter (14 tbsp. or 1 3/4 US sticks)
4 medium eggs
3/4 cups granulated sugar
Scant 1/2 cup all purpose flour (I measured 1/2 cup flour and remove 1 tbsp.)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Rinse and dry scallop shells. Brush the entire bowl of each shell with olive oil; set aside.  Place mounds of sea salt, widely spaced, on a large jelly roll pan. 5-6 shells can fit on a large jelly roll pan.  Set aside.

Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Add butter and stir until butter is melted and well combined with the chocolate.  Remove bowl from simmering water and let stand until later needed.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar together and mix on high speed until mixture turns pale and doubles in volume.  Decrease mixer speed and add the flour a little at a time, then the baking powder.  While mixer is running, pour the chocolate mixture in a thin stream into the egg and sugar mixture.  Mix until well blended.
Fill each shell with 1/4 cup of batter.  If your shells are smaller than 5", just be sure they are no more than 2/3 full.  Balance shells on the mounds of sea salt in the jelly roll pan, making sure each one is flat to ensure they don't bake lop-sided.

Bake for 11-15 minutes.  When cakes are done, they will form a brownie-like crust on top and a toothpick tester should come out clean.

Chocolate sauce:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup half and half
3 tbsp sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 oz. dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, stir together cream, half and half, sugar and butter. Place pan over medium-high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar and melt butter. When sugar and butter has melted, add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.  Add vanilla extract and whisk again.
Remove from heat. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes and then whisk again.
(This is a good all-purpose chocolate sauce and can be stored in refrigerator for up to two weeks.)

Assembly:
1/8-1/4 cup white ready made fondant (you'll need no more than 1/4 cup)
White pearlescent luster dust

Pinch off small pieces of white fondant and roll each piece into a small pearl-sized ball between hands. Brush candy pearl with luster dust.

Spoon a small amount of chocolate sauce over each cake, smoothing it to the edges with the back of a spoon.  Lightly sprinkle cakes with sea salt (don't use a heavy hand with this if using coarse salt).  Drizzle cakes with olive oil.  Add candy pearl and serve to delighted guests.

Notes:
If you want to bake the cake in a normal cake pan, pour batter in a 9" round tin and bake at 400 degreesF. for 30-40 minutes.

The original recipe can be found in the cookbook Nobody does it Better: Why French Home Cooking is still the Best in the World.




Friday, July 22, 2011

Untitled







Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stripes and Everything Nice...


This has to be the CUTEST dress EVER!  I love the peter pan neckline and open back. Available at HERE


Cropped tops are all over the runways and in fashion magazines-but if you are like me and love the look but feel like you are pushing the age (and weight) limit- then this top is a chic alternative. It would look really pretty with a high waisted pencil skirt or shorts...Available HERE.


If you skinny enough to pull this dress off- then this is a MUST HAVE item in your closet! You can also wear it in the fall/winter by simply throwing a cardy or vest over it! Available HERE

This striped L'Agence tube top is the perfect layering piece! Love love love! Available HERE

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Salt Water Breeze

I completely adore everything that has to do with the sea. To get me through the rest of this week-




I am dreaming about...










Sitting on the beach "just the two of us"

{Source: flickr.com via Lauren on Pinterest}











Searching for sea shells...



Source: flickr.com via Teresa on Pinterest





Wearing a piece of the sea....




Source: etsy.com via jill on Pinterest



A refreshing outdoor shower....















Sea salt ice cream pops!





What are you dreaming of today?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Look of the Week


Tuesday Table-Scape



Dreamy... *sigh*

{image via Jose Villa}

Monday, July 18, 2011

Real Estate Spotlight

As many of you may know, my full-time job is a Real Estate Consultant in New Jersey- specifically at the Jersey Shore. It is a fact that millions of people search homes online just to see "what's for sale" or to compare their own homes. When I sit open houses, I always get an out of town visiter who has just taken a ride down from the city and is just "curious." Due to high levels of curiosity for owning a beach home at the Jersey Shore, I would like to dedicate a new series to this blog called "Real Estate Spotlight" where I will feature homes currently for sale at the Jersey Shore...

This adorably charming cape is located in the Beach Haven section of Long Beach Island, NJ. 

Just steps away from the beach and bay, shops and restaurants, you can enjoy endless summer fun!

This kitchen is cute enough to be featured in Country Living Magazine!


If you are not familiar with Long Beach Island, it is approximately 18 miles long and the only access onto and off the island is a single bridge.  It consists of 6 different municipalities, with a historic section where you will find beautiful Victorian homes.  The beaches are lined with multi-million dollar homes, which makes taking a walk on the beach exciting. The island attracts a family-oriented crowd unlike some of the frenzied other area beaches and boardwalks. It is a beautiful quaint little island to own a beach home and get away "from it all" even if it is just for the weekend.

*This home is available to purchase for $549,900.*
If you would like to learn more about this home, or arrange a showing, you can e-mail me at cara.gardner09@gmail.com







{images via Monmouth/Ocean MLS}

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quote of the Day


"Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age." --- Pope John XXIII



{image via}

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hello my lovely readers! Sorry for the lack of posts this week- real estate and a few freelance projects have tackled a lot of the time I dedicate to this blog. 
Plus, my "inspiration" is more of a "drip" than a "flow" these days... I will blame it on the weather *wink*



Speaking of inspiration- here is my photo inspiration for our dining room. I found wallpaper almost exactly like this which I will put on one wall, and then the rest of the walls I will paint a deep midnight navy. It will make our white china cabinet pop! 

What is everyone up to this weekend?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stop and Smell the Roses

On my way to work yesterday morning {right before I got on the major highway} a praying mantis jumped onto the side mirror of my car. I had no time to try to grab him- so he took the ride with me. I went as slow as I possibly could ( with a long line of tailgaters behind me) and kept my eye on the little guy (or girl) the whole time, terrified he/she would fall off.

The good news is that I made it to work with my little friend still hanging on- Alive! I am a BIG believer in *signs* and lessons learned.



I couldn't help but think of summers on long island at my grandparents house. My grandmother would take us out into her rose garden and show us all of her little praying mantis "friends." She would treat them almost god-like, because they were there watching over her precious garden. She would tell us how special they are and I never really understood why until one day when I was a little older (after she had passed away) I looked them up on the internet to see how special they really are (I've always been a big researcher). Knowing my grandmother to be a very spiritual person, I wasn't surprised when I researched praying mantises, and found out that the word "Mantis" is the Greek word for "prophet" or "seer" a being with spiritual and mystical powers. 


{Etsy find! Southern Belle Water Color Available Here


"Follow Mantis" means putting that core aspect of yourself, your foundation of Spirit, at the helm and let it direct your intellect and ultimately your life."




How my little praying mantis friend got on my car's side mirror? I don't know. But seeing that he "hung in there" and never gave up hope, taught me a valuable lesson for the day.  I know it's only an insect, however I can't help but think that he started his day in one town, and ended up 10 minutes away (probably a world away in his eyes) with a whole new beginning...



{image 1 via this is glamorous via Martha Stewart, image 2 via Mai Autumn | image 3 via weheartit | image 4 via iEYAA AAYIE}
  
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