Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{what's in my camera bag}

**I'm skipping Wishful Wednesday today. It'll return next week!**

I sort of stumbled upon the hobby of photography about five years ago. I was given the opportunity to travel to Montana to study photography, & I fell in love with the art.

I'm completely self-taught, but I did take a high school course on digital photography & a history of photography course in college. I just fiddle with my camera, read the manual every now & then, & look for tips online.

But the most crucial way I learned was through EXPERIENCE. Just use your camera. Get more comfortable with it. Whether it's a small Canon Powershot or the lust-worthy 7D, using your camera is the best way to learn. Simple, right? ;)

Many people ask me my opinions on cameras, what they should buy, etc.  I'm completely brand loyal to Canon. I love their cameras. I haven't tried any other brand--maybe one day--but for now, I'm a Canon freak. {But I've heard wonderful things about Nikon & Sony!}

Click "Read more."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{dylan's recipes: chicken enchiladas}

Welcome to the longest post to grace this blog so far!  I have photos & recipes galore.

Click "read more" for the recipe...

Monday, May 28, 2012

{apple streusel pie | gluten-free goodies}

Flaky Pie Crust

1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powered
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 large egg
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Sift together tapioca flour, potato, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, & salt into a mixing bowl.

Cut cold butter into dry ingredients. Blend with a pastry cutter until butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients. The dough should hold together when squeezed. Beat egg with vinegar & mix into dough.

Form dough into a ball with your hands. Add a little tapioca flour if the dough is too sticky. Roll out the dough between two sheets of wax paper. The dough should be about 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter than the pie plate.

Peel one sheet of wax paper away from the dough. Place pie crust in pan. Remove top sheet of wax paper. Trim excess dough & crimp edges to form a decorative border.

Tip: If the recipe calls for a baked pie shell, prick the dough with a fork & bake at 350*F for 10-12 minutes. Cool before filling.

Apple Streusel Pie

1/2 cup sugar                                                    For the topping:              
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch                                       1/2 cup brown or white rice flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon                                           1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg                                                1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice                                                1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 lemon                                                     1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup apple juice                                                    1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
6-7 medium baking apples,                                        1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine (optional)
      peeled, cored, & sliced

Preheat oven to 425*F.

Pre-bake shell according to directions.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add apples, sugar, & spices. Cook over medium heat until apples begin to release their juices. Sprinkle with cornstarch & stir in apple juice. Cook until the apples are tender but not falling apart. Pour into prepared pie shell.

For streusel: Mix together flour, sugar, spices, & walnuts (if using) in a small bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumble.

Spread streusel mixture over apples & press down gently.

Bake for 25 minutes until bubbly & the crust is crisp. Enjoy!

{Since I was busy baking my brownies during the class, I didn't get to take a picture of each step. Here's some I took in between melting chocolate!}



I'm not a huge pie fan, but this was soooo good. Doesn't it look delicious? I can't wait to bake it again!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

{gluten-free in nyc}


For my gluten-free readers, if you're ever in must eat at Risotteria!

I've been three times, & it gets better each time I go. It's pretty tiny, but well worth the cramped quarters.


Their menu is gluten-free heaven. They have GF pizza, risotto, paninis, & salads. The best part? They bring gluten-free breadsticks TO THE TABLE.




That never happens!!

Below is a picture of my chicken, mozzarella, & pesto panini. 

Can you say YUM?

In addition to the restaurant, they also sell baking mixes, gluten-free brownies, cupcakes, & other goodies. My mouth is watering just thinking about it ;)

Risotteria is located at 270 Bleeker St.

Do you have any gluten-free recommendations for NYC? Tell me!

Friday, May 25, 2012

{fashion friday}

Happy Friday!

Today I'm going to talk about my favorite accessories from this week. Just some small things that made an outfit go from just okay to fab.

Colorful Purse 
I'll admit--I'm a black/brown/grey purse girl. I just like bags that can go with every outfit.

But I think I changed my mind. I loved the bag my mom used this past weekend. Totally chic. I found it to be an unexpected choice at first, but it looked really awesome with her outfit. I loved the double stripes look :) {It's no secret that I love stripes!}

Here's fabulous is this bag?? It's so colorful!  It reminds me of the Bauhaus movement. Want.


Straw Fedora
My sister & I both bought this fedora last year, but she seems to pull it off way better than I can. Fedora + Ray Bans = good combo.

Okay, so this price is TOTALLY insane, but I'm head over heels in love with this fedora. I adore the rope detail.

Polka Dot Sunglasses
I got these in NYC last weekend at a new store called Story. The concept is really unique, {the "story" changes every few weeks--the current story is color} & I can't wait to go back! These sunnies just make me smile :)

The brand is not on my sunglasses, otherwise I would link you, but I did find this other pair below. Mint green is totally "in" right now!


As always, three outfits from this week!

What are your current favorite accessories? Tell me!

I have a shortened workday today, thanks to the Memorial Day weekend, & Monday off ;) I'm headed to the beach. Hopefully the weather is nice! Do you have any fun plans?

Have a lively day!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

{homemade coasters}

Ready for another DIY project? :)

I cannot take credit for this...I learned it from my friend Holly. But now I'm addicted!

I was in Paper Source {seriously my favorite store} the other day, & I saw this nautical paper. I thought it would be perfect for some coasters for our beach house!

I also thought it would be the perfect opportunity to record the step-by-step process for you all.

{Just a heads-up..the lighting was really bad in my dining room. The pictures aren't the best.}

Here's what you need:

1. Paper Mod Podge
2. Acrylic Sealer {any brand}
3. Felt {I use the kind with a sticky-back}
4. Brushes
5. White tiles {16 cents each!}
6. Decorative paper

You can buy all of these at any craft store, like Michaels or AC Moore.  The tiles are from Home Depot or Lowes.

Step 1: Clean the tile with a wet paper towel. It gathers quite a lot of dust on the shelves!

Step 2: Using the felt, trace a square around the tile. Then, peel the sticky-back and put it on.

Also, I used a very sturdy piece of felt...not the flimsy kind. And in the picture below, you can see the white paper you peel back for the sticky part.

Step 3: Same thing as above. Using the tile, trace a square outline on the paper you want to use. You'll probably not get it perfect on the first cut, so make sure you keep checking how it fits on the tile. I cut it so the paper is about a millimeter from each end.

Step 4: With your brush & Mod Podge, paint a thin layer of 'podge on the tile.

Step 5: As carefully as you can, place the square on the tile. Make sure there are no creases or air bubbles. {But if there is, it's not the end of the world. You can use a small blade/needle to poke a hole in the air pocket & it'll disappear.}

Step 6: After waiting 10 minutes, paint another thin layer of Mod Podge on the paper.

Then wait 15-20 minutes & paint another layer.

Then wait another 15-20 minutes & paint another layer. :) total, there will be THREE layers of Mod Podge on the paper.

After that dries completely...

Step 7: Go outside and spray the tile with the acrylic spray.

Here's the final product!

I LOVE them! 

It's also my mom & stepdad's anniversary, so I wrapped them up as a little gift. My stepdad is an avid boater in the summer, so he really liked them :)

Here are some others I've made this year. 

The girls are from a 1958 French ELLE Magazine & the other two are from a map of Paris.

Two more from the French ELLE.

Sheet music! 

I don't have pictures, but for Christmas, I made some with the funniest quotes my grandmother has ever said.  She loved them!  They make really great personal gifts.

See? Endless possibilities! :)

If you try to make them, let me know how they turn out!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{wishful wednesday}

1. Hot Dot Underwire One-Piece
I'm on a bathing suit kick. This is utterly adorable! & so retro ;)

2. Horticulture Art Print
This is just beautiful. Makes me breathe a happy sigh :)

3. A Trip to Asia
My dad is in Singapore right now {pic below} for business, & I am so jealous! 
I just want to see that part of the world.

 4. Time
Boring answer, I know. But I need there to be more hours in the day!

What's on your wish list? Comment or link me!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

{my weekend}

I had such a busy weekend! I was all over the place.

On Friday, my sister & I ran errands around town & did no-nonsense stuff. I don't remember what we did that night, but we went to bed early since we had to be up early to catch a train on Saturday morning. We headed to the lovely NYC to meet our dad for a few hours. The weather was GORGEOUS. I was so excited to finally walk on the High Line {the old railroad tracks now turned into a garden walk} & it was perfect weather for it.

Here's the view of 12th avenue from the High Line.

We got to NYC around noon, walked the High Line, had lunch, & cabbed it up to Central Park for a bit. We were only there for a few hours, but it was a fun trip. 

We high-tailed it back home just in time for a graduation party for one of my closest friends. He showed us all up by graduating from college a year early. Smarty pants :P It seems like just yesterday we were graduating high school...& now he's out in the real world! :)

On Sunday, my mom, sister, & I took a mini-road trip to a neat little town on the border of our state. {And by border, I mean...we literally walked across the bridge & were in another state!} We've never been, but it had always looked cute in pictures. It's right on the water & the view was amazing!

So that was my weekend. Perfect way to end my "summer" before my internship started! :)