I'll bet you thought I was done with those New York photos.

 But I wasn't. Here are a few of my favorite iPhone photos.  You can thank Alaina for most of these.

And she thought I didn't need to bring two coats. Can you imagine that orange coat in every single photo? I miss running around the city with Alaina and hope that we can go back again very soon! And to Paris + London by Sept 2012 when I turn 30. Yes. I'll be 30! I know. I don't look a day over 24. Smile and nod. Or continue with your laughter. I can't see you.

PS - Refinery29 shared my cheesecake recipe yesterday! That's my 2nd food feature on Refinery29. A sign that I should consider becoming a pastry chef? Obviously.

If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?


gift guide / for the pup + giveaway

Let the holiday gift guides begin. Starting with one of the most important guys in my life. My bff and roommate, Buddy. Along with some special treats [he loves treats] my Buddy will be receiving this black and white animal print bed from Harry Barker.  This is one of my favorite shops for the pup. Such chic bowls, beds and toys. 

Harry Barker is offering my readers 20% off of any order through next Tuesday, December 6th.
Just enter toast at checkout!

The wonderful people at Harry Barker are also giving one of my readers $50 store credit just in time for the holiday season! To enter just leave a comment with the item you will choose if you win.

For extra entries:
2. Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway

You have until Sunday evening to enter and the winner will be announced on Monday. 
Please leave one comment per entry.


In the kitchen / Mini pumpkin cheesecake

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a quiet little Thanksgiving with the boyfriend here in Chicago. I cooked, baked & bought a few pre-made dishes since I was feeling a bit uninspired.  I don't eat turkey so Thanksgiving is a day of carbs for me. I am paying for that now -- trust me.

I skipped making a home made apple pie but did make [low fat] mini pumpkin cheesecakes.

8 oz lowfat or fat free cream cheese
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup organic sugar
1 egg
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
9 graham cracker sheets [crushed]
1/2 can organic pumpkin
pumpkin pie spice to taste
whipped cream
1 stick earth balance [or butter] melted
12 muffin liners

line muffin tin wells with liners
mix crushed graham cracker and melted earth balance in bowl to form pie crust 
add crust to muffin tin wells and press down/flatten to form crust
mix lemon juice, cream cheese, sugar, egg, pumpkin, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice in the bowl of a mixer
pour mix over graham cracker crust
bake at 350 for ~ 25 min

cool for at least 30 min + refrigerate
top with whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie spice
Recipe makes 12 mini cheesecakes.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you do any baking?


Thanksgiving is over. Who wants to get a Christmas tree?!

all images via lonny

I usually have more Christmas cheer than anyone I know but find myself feeling unusually un-cheerful this season. I am no Scrooge [trust me] but am not my usual Buddy the elf-ish self, either.

I am not giving up. Pulling out all the stops. I have put up a few decorations, brought out my favorite santa mug, burned over half of my Ralph Lauren Holiday Classic Candle and have Christmas music playing on iTunes. So far it isn't working. Heading to the drug store to pick up some new lights for the balcony and will get a tree as soon as I can.

Has this ever happened to you? What's wrong with me?


A stroll through Central Park.

Saturday was the perfect autumn day in New York. We started with lattes at Starbucks and then walked through Central Park. Once again, Alaina rocked the 7D and took some great photos of yours truly!

We spent the rest of the day on the upper west side with Ashlina. Had so much fun photographing her!


last friday night [in NYC]

Alaina and I took the subway downtown where we had a little photo shoot. I have to give Alaina credit for capturing these photos of me. I am the WORST subject. I talk, look away and am generally awkward/uncomfortable when having my photo taken. She put up with me [and forced me to keep taking photos]. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Alaina is a natural. The camera loves her.

Can you sense the discomfort?

Alaina is obviously smiling because she's just so happy to be in NYC with me.

We walked by the picturesque Cafe Cluny in the West Village and stopped in for some pre-dinner lattes. It was lovely.

We met Jenna at Pastis [where Alaina spotted Ryan Reynolds!]. After dinner we ventured over to the Empire Hotel and  ended our night with a glass of wine at The Plaza. Such a fun night.

 It was really dark in The Plaza so the photos are a little grainy. Check out our matching sparkly iPhone cases!

The most perfect Friday in New York. I cannot wait to go back! What are some of your favorite spots in NYC?

And coming tomorrow...our central park photos!


The ABCs of NYC.

Alaina and I took 500+ photos on our iPhones and 600+ with my 7D, so I hope you are prepared for a few NYC posts this week. Here are some favorites off my camera. Let's start with ABC Carpet and Home / our happy place. If you love design + decor, you need to add this to your list of places to go in NYC.

Lunch at ABC Kitchen

I was so distracted by the beauty of Madeline Weinrib's textiles that I did not capture one photo of them. Fortunately, Alaina has a few on her blog.

Thursday consisted of rain, shopping & dinner at Tao. I didn't bring out the 7D but have lots of iPhone photos to share in another post. For now, I'll leave you with some photographs taken after we wrapped a shoot at the NY Design Center.

Up next...Friday night in NYC! The talented Alaina captured some shots of yours truly! I finally have some real photographs of myself taken with something other than an iPhone. Stay tuned!


Saturday in the park

Alaina and I are back from NYC! Such a wonderful trip! Here is a little peek at Saturday's shoot. We took well over 1000 photos in 4 days, so expect a few New York posts this week.

 Jeans: J Brand, Sweater: Vince, Flats: Tory Burch, Gloves: J. Crew, Glasses: Oliver Peoples


I want to be a part of it.

Day 1 in New York City with my girl Alaina. We got settled in and took the subway to ABC Carpet and Home. [It was my first time on a subway in NYC.] We enjoyed a delicious lunch at ABC Kitchen and walked around the showroom, fascinated by the gorgeous decor.

After getting caught in some crazy rain [my Tory Burch Eddie flats were SOAKED!] I picked up some green hunter wellies. I also bought this hot pink cuff and this sparkly iPhone case at J. Crew. Look at me with all this color. We ended our day with an event sponsored by Elle Decor followed by dinner with Julia of The Urban Slant at Park Avenue Bistro. She's a doll. Loved meeting her.

Alaina shared some photos on her blog, and you can follow us on twitter for updates.

Excited to work with a few girls from the New York Design Center today! Happy Friday!
PS. Our new iPhone cases have left us covered in glitter. 


A week of thanks. Liz, Alison + Shari.

Wrapping up a week of thanks with Liz of Sequins and Stripes, Alison of Long Distance Loving and Shari of The Daily Dish. Thank you to all the lovely bloggers who participated! I hope that this inspired new traditions, reasons to be thankful & that you all found some great new recipes to try!

 Liz loves sweet potato pie with marshmallow meringue

My family and a few family friends join together for a Turkeybowl - a game of touch football followed by warm chili to get our metabolisms going for the big meal ahead. It is my favorite way to celebrate this lovely holiday!

1. The good health of my family and friends
2. My huge support system that has allowed me to follow my dreams these last few months
3. Amazing new opportunities on the horizon in 2011!

Alison loves Cajun spiced turkey

I love the few minutes we spend around the table after the meal is done, reflecting on our blessings. It is a simple tradition, but it really brings to life what is important.

1. the health of my family
2. dear friends
3. my husband, {cv}

Shari loves honey cornbread muffins image via

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is helping my mom in the kitchen the morning of. It's always great quality time with her, that I will cherish forever. 

1. First and foremost is of course the typical, family, friends, and boyfriend response. There is nothing more important in the world.
2. My job. While I may not love it day and day out, I am happy to have one and know there are others who are far less fortunate.
3. My blog. It has given me the opportunity to meet lots of amazing people, and attend events I never would have known about otherwise.

What are you thankful for?