It’s back! It’s back! It’s really back! I have been on the hunt for the new issue of Domino since the announcement came that my beloved magazine would be back on stands. I remember when the news came that the magazine was closing, it was right around when I was starting this blog and the pages of Domino played a big part in inspiring my interest to write about design and entertaining. I finally snagged a copy last week when I was catching my train to New York, and I savored every single page of it from cover to cover. I was so happy to see that the new format kept the same styling and tone as previous issues, it was like being reunited with a old friend, we picked up right where we left off!  After I scanned in a few of my favorite pages to share below, the new Domino went right into the stack of my old issues, home sweet home.

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Cocktails are one of my favorite things. And another one of my favorite things? Adorable branding.  Thus my new obsession with Royal Rose‘s line of organic small-batch simple syrups. They are the prettiest little bottles and come in interesting flavors that I’m loving experimenting with in different cocktails.  I purchased the rose syrup to top off glasses of champagne, and the cardamom clove syrup for fall cocktails — I made an apple cider and bourbon punch with it last weekend (recipe to come soon!).  I have a feeling I may need to try the rest of the line, and gosh won’t they look cute on my bar cart?

Simple SyrupImage via Royal Rose

 

Last week I was lucky to join a group of other bloggers at the Ladies Home Journal #GetSocial conference in New York. It was a great day and I got to hear awesome speakers like Kendi, Joy, and Gaby. One of my favorite parts of the day was hearing Joy of Joy the Baker talked about her creative process, and her journey to how she got to where she is today. One thing that stuck out to me in her talk was that she was very candid about her success didn’t happen overnight, she downsized and cut back to make ends meet while working to pursue her passion, and through that hard work and dedication she was able to get her blog turned into a book. I think it’s so important to hear about those ‘behind the scenes’ stories because blogs can often only show the ‘shiny’ side of things — I’m guilty of it too, you rarely see photographs on here of the burnt cookies or failed DIY projects (and believe me, they exist!). It was a refreshing day and I left feeling super energized about my blog and the great community of other bloggers I’ve been able to meet along the way!

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After a rather busy week last week, I was so happy to have a lazy Sunday on the books over the weekend. I caught up on blogs and my DVR, lounged around in my cozy new sweatshirt, and got a pot of bolognese cooking for the better part of the afternoon. Making a big pot of tomato sauce just reminds me of being at my Grandma’s house growing up — the smell of the garlic and onions filling up the whole house. I used a recipe from Williams-Sonoma as my guide, but made it my own with a few ingredient swaps.  It totally hit the spot and exceeded my expectations. It’s a recipe that I’ll be adding to my cookbook file for future reference, comfort food at its best!

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Last week I was run down and had a terrible cold, so I was determined to use the weekend to recharge. To me, there is nothing more relaxing or comforting than being in the kitchen, so that’s where I spent my time. I stayed in Friday night and baked up lots of treats, including mini mason jar apple pies, and sea salt caramel apples — both for a little Saturday project I helped style with two my good friends (more pictures coming soon!). And Sunday I let a hearty kielbasa and white bean soup simmer in the slow cooker all day — which made our apartment smell delightful. It was a delicious and successful attempt at a relaxing weekend.

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Much like my affinity for leopard prints, I love tortoise shell for it’s neutral capabilities — it goes with everything. I’ve been eyeing a whole bunch of tortoise shell accessories lately to update my fall wardrobe — they go perfectly with classic black dresses to wear to work, and look great with casual grey sweaters and tees for the weekends. At the top of my list is that Tuckernuck clutch,  I can just envision it at lots of holiday parties this year! And that sweet little bow hair clip is from J.Crew’s Crewcuts — perfect for jazzing up a preppy ponytail, don’t you think?

Tortoise Shell Accessories

Sources: Necklace, Sunglasses, Ring, Earrings, Bracelet, Clutch, Cuff, Bow Hair Clip

Last night the gracious ladies of BeStyled, a blow dry bar in Chestnut Hill, invited a group of us from Boston Bloggers to have an evening of pampering — and what better way to shake off a mid-week slump than with blow-outs, make up styling, champagne and blogger chatter, right? I love going to get my hair done, and my stylist Kelly did such a great job of giving me some volume and movement.  I feel so relaxed when I’m getting it washed and dried, and it’s even more fun to do it with a group of girlfriends — we took over the salon and had a blast!

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Note: BeStyled gifted all of us free blow outs at their salon. All opinions are my own. 

Just what I needed, another adorable catalog to pop up in my mailbox, right? I’m currently being tempted by new-to-me retailer Joules USA with all of their uber-preppy striped clothing. From cozy cowl-necked sweatshirts and rugby shirts, to cheery wellies, I’m absolutely smitten.  And that fluffy red vest with striped lining just wants to come to home with me! I need it, right?

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One of my best girlfriends has a birthday coming up, and we have a mutual passion for donuts — I wouldn’t be exaggerating by saying we exchange at least 2-3 emails a week about donuts. Which is why I thought it was completely acceptable to make a cake, and then add donuts on top of it for her birthday celebration this weekend.  Conveniently, I had recently purchase a mini-donut pan, and followed the recipe that came with the pan (from Williams-Sonoma). They were surprisingly simple to make and totally jazzed up my box-mix cake I made for the occasion. So remember:  the next time you’re making a three layer chocolate-chocolate cake and you ask yourself “Is this enough?” the answer is no, no it’s not enough, and then add donuts on top of that cake.

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This summer when we were on our cross-country honeymoon road trip, we stopped at a restaurant in Cleveland where I promptly demolished my bridal diet by ordering the baked mac and cheese. When the dish came out the waiter stopped to point out some homemade applesauce accompanying the cheesy dish. All he asked was that I give it a try, dip the steaming hot pasta into the cool, sweet applesauce — he assured me it would change my life. And it did. It makes total sense, I’d heard of people eating a slice of sharp cheddar cheese with apple pie, but it just never occurred to me to try this combination before, but it was completely and totally delicious. So this week I made some macaroni and cheese and had to try making some homemade applesauce to go with it.

Processed with VSCOcamLet me tell you a little secret: making homemade applesauce is as easy as pie (you like that apple joke?).  I peeled and cored 10 apples (a friendly farmer at our farmer’s market recommended using gravenstein apples, if you can find them.) and combined them with half a cup of apple cider, half a cup of brown sugar, one tablespoon of granulated sugar, and three cinnamon sticks. I put it in our crock-pot on high for 4 hours, removing the cinnamon sticks after the first hour, and stirring occasionally. And that’s it, simple as that! Make sure to serve the applesauce cold — I’m convinced the difference in temperature is just as important as the balance of the flavors.