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Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  As we transition into chilly autumn weather, I find myself spending more time in the kitchen cooking for friends and family.  With Halloween right around the corner, I’ll be making these outrageously delicious Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Filling.  To make things easy, I start with a box cake mix and add pumpkin puree.  The entire process takes less than thirty minutes from start to finish, which makes these ideal for a post-work treat.

II.  Hillary Thomas has devised the perfect way to update your table lamps with her new line of finials.  The San Francisco-based interior designer makes lamp-toppers in every shade you can imagine, so you’re sure to find one to match your color scheme.  If you’re in the area, stop by her adorable store on Sacramento Street.

III.  I’ve been obsessed with the Mongolian lamb stools in this photo for the last year, but I haven’t been able to find a reasonably priced version.  I’d almost given up on them when I stumbled upon a blog featuring instructions to do it yourself.  The genius blogger used an IKEA stool and pillow cover to replicate the chic design.  I can’t wait to make one for my apartment!

IV. I hope that you will consider joining me for the Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo Inaugural Ball on November 1st. The non-profit transforms chemotherapy rooms into beautiful tranquil spaces for patient treatment and healing. The goal of the gala is to raise a million dollars for the amazing cause in one evening. Taking place at Hotel Nikko, the gala features a Vasily Vein couture fashion show (a favorite of Sonya Molodetskaya who will be modeling), seated dinner, and dancing.

V.  If you’re a night owl (like me) find a place to watch the Orionid Meteor Shower this evening. Orionid is caused by pieces of debris left by Halley’s Comet.  When the debris hits the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere, it burns up creating the flashes of light that we see.  The crescent moon will set the perfect backdrop for the shower.  Give yourself an hour to spend stargazing because the meteors come in bursts starting around midnight.  

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt

Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  Constantly on the look-out for inventive ways to entertain, I was thrilled to come across this table design.  If you’ve followed my blog, you’re familiar with my obsession with black and white - so this cloth paired with gold flatware is my idea of heaven on earth.  What I particularly love about the setup is the black balloon with gold lettering attached to the centerpieces.  All that you need to add instant personalization to your event are a few helium balloons (most grocery stores carry them in the floral department for around a dollar per piece) and a gold Sharpie.  So chic.

II.  Confession: I’ve carried the same Louis Vuitton Babylon handbag since 2006.  After many attempts at resuscitation, I’ve finally resolved myself to parting with my old friend.  Carrying a gigantic (some of my friends might say monstrous) bag meant that I had room for everything from full bottles of wine (perfect for sneaking into movies) to my laptop.  Downsizing to a black quilted Marc Jacobs meant losing a lot of things - including my clutch-size wallet.  After researching the options, I fell in love with this Alexander McQueen card case.  It fits my credit card, driver’s license, health insurance, and Costco card - plus there’s a space in the middle for cash.  If you happen to be looking for something similar, here are a few of my favorites: (1) Tory Burch Card Case; (2) J. Crew Magic Wallet; (3) Louis Vuitton Pocket Organiser; (4) Chanel Crumpled Studded Cardholder; and (5) Rebecca Minkoff Dex Cardholder.

III.  Last night, a friend stopped by for dinner unexpectedly, which meant that I had to prepare something delicious in a hurry.  When I first concocted my beer-braised shredded chicken recipe, I made it weekly.  As months passed, and newer recipes entered rotation, I forgot about the chicken - and also how easy it is to make.  Luckily, I had all of the ingredients on-hand, and whipped up tacos for my guest in less than an hour.  If you’ve yet to try this dish, I highly recommend it.  The only ingredients you need are two chicken breasts, a jar of salsa, and a bottle of beer.  Seriously.  Do it!!

IV.  What’s better than watching the Blue Angels?  Watching the Blue Angels on a boat.  With live music.  And cocktails.  In the name of charity.  Skip your plans to roof-hop this weekend, and grab a ticket to the Blue Angels Boat Party on October 11th, benefiting The Guardsmen.  With the weather set to perfection, you won’t regret the chance to get out on the Bay during the most exciting event of the year.

V.  While perusing Instagram over the weekend, I came across a photo that a friend posted of her house warming party.  I was instantly obsessed with her Make Your Own Moscow Mule Bar. Recreate at your next party with: lime juice, vodka, and ginger beer; red + white paper straws; mason jars (or copper mugs if you’re extra fancy); and a standing chalkboard.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt

Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

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I.  Nothing makes me happier than a roaring fire on a cold day, which means that if you have a fireplace, I am incredibly jealous…  For those of us less fortunate, I am constantly on the look-out for interesting candles.  I enjoy the aesthetic appeal of filling an unused fireplace with birch logs, so when I found this birch votive holder, I was instantly smitten.  I’ll be ordering several to display around my apartment this season.

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II.  Lauded for her baggy cable-knits and boho spirit, Isabel Marant describes her design philosophy: “I always want to do something comfortable and cozy.”  Yet, for her Fall collection, Marant seems to be stepping away from her go-to grunge.  I’m in love with these brass and black buffalo horn earrings, which will go with everything in my closet from formal frocks to skinny jeans.

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III.  Speaking of brass and black - I recently used the combination for the interior design of a three-bedroom home in the highly coveted San Francisco neighborhood Potrero Hill.  The formal living room features a built-in bookshelf adjacent to the fireplace.  After nixing the idea to knock it out, I decided to fill it with objets d’art.  The collage above features the pieces that I used (the finished product can be found in the Design section of my professional site).  From top left to bottom right: Glass Bubbles, Wire Cubes, Gilded Skull, Spiked Brass Sculpture, Knotted Ball, Ceramic Vase, Black Urn, Brass Spiked Sphere, Dahlia Candle Holder

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IV.  If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift, look no farther - I found it!  Some friends recently posted a photograph of their lobster clambake, and I immediately became obsessed with the idea.  Evidently, a company appropriately titled Lobster Gram will overnight a variety of lobster meals to you and your loved ones, including the clambake - featuring two live Maine lobsters, fresh littleneck clams, clam chowder, potatoes, corn, lemon, clarified butter, shell-crackers, seafood forks, lobster bibs, moist towels, and a cooking pot.  Sidenote - I didn’t realize where the saying “You’re My Lobster” came from until today, if you’re out of cultural touch comme moi, check this clip out!

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V.  With the equinox ushering in wintry weather, I’ve been craving stew.  My favorite is Chicken Pot au Feu - an entire chicken roasted in broth, white wine, carrots, onion, celery, Dutch yellow potatoes, and basil, then whisked together with a classic roux.  The result is insanely delicious, especially when served with fresh buttery biscuits.  

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt

Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

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I.  With my birthday weeks away, I’m toying with the idea of indulgences.  Though I’m not one to spend the entire week celebrating my existence (which, let’s face it, has far more to do with a frisky New Year’s Eve party and nine-months of my mother’s hard work than anything I contributed) I would like to commemorate the occasion with a girlish frock.  And what could be more girlish than tulle?  Cue budding atelier blissTULLE.  Moments after discovering this adorable shop, I knew that the black millefeuille mini was the perfect thing to wear to birthday cocktails.

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II.  Speaking of celebrations, I’m obsessed with papery company theBannerie.  They make custom handmade banners for any occasion you can conjure.  For example, the founder crafted this “Wild One” banner for her daughter because her hair is so unruly.  This made me smile because, as anyone who has ever seen me pre-flat-iron will attest, my naturally curly hair is more electrocuted Barbie than supermodel sleek…  I can’t wait for excuses to order more of these charming glittered garlands.

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III.  Is there anything better than Nutella? A week ago, I would have said absolutely not.  But then I tried homemade Nutella, and my palate is forever changed.  The recipe is incredibly simple: melt 100 grams of dark chocolate with 100 grams of butter in the microwave (whisking every 20 seconds until combined), mix in a tablespoon of shaved hazelnuts, two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, a teaspoon each of dark rum and vanilla, and a pinch of salt.  Pour in short canning jars and cool in the fridge for an hour.  These delicious pots of chocolate are perfect for holiday gifts!

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IV.  Indian Summers through the month of October in San Francisco require the perfect balance between light healthy fare and autumnal comfort food.  My solution is the Greek Quesadilla - melted mozzeralla and feta, topped with spinach, olives, onions, capers, oregano, and sundried tomatoes. For extra Mediterranean moxie, serve with a side of homemade tzatziki.  

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V.  The entire world is abuzz about the J. Law v. iCloud mishap, which will surely make the final Film Night in the Park showing of American Hustle on the 27th one of the best attended of the season.  Arrive early to Dolores Park for the free screening equipped with a soft blanket and picnic supper from legendary nearby spot Bi-Rite Market.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt 

Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

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I.  I’ve been a Jenna Lyons devotee ever since Domino published photos of her exquisite home in 2010 (in fact, I almost painted my bedroom completely black to mimic her bold nursery, but shied away once I realized that my tiny room might look more “creepy cave” than “rocker chic”…).  As if her roles as interior design guru and president/creative director of J. Crew were not enough, she’s also evidently a beauty expert.  Take a peek at this piece from Bee Shapiro on Jenna’s routine in The New York Times Style section.  I especially love the bit about diet and fitness…

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II.  A few sleepless nights ago, I turned to Twitter to keep me company.  One tweet that caught my eye from New York Magazine touted “Hot Honey” as the new Sriracha.  A sucker for anything that brings the heat, I quickly clicked on the link to an article about the entrepreneur who discovered it at a Brazilian pizzeria.  Luckily, Whole Foods will be carrying the condiment soon.  Until then, order it here.  I can’t wait to try the spicy/sweet combination with my cheese plates this holiday season.

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III.  Speaking of spice, last week’s Symphony Opening Night Gala reminded me of my favorite culinary indulgence - Neiman Marcus Chili Blanco.  Before the iconic shopping destination removed the dish from its cafe menu, my girlfriends and I ritualized the day after opening night with a gossip session over a glamorous bowl of cheesy chili and a glass of bubbles.  With the end of summer upon us, it’s the perfect time to make a batch to warm up cold nights this month.

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IV.  Wedding season is wrapping up, but baby showers are still going full tilt.  I’ve found that this type of party is particularly stressful to plan because it’s detail-intensive.  Adorable hors d’oeuvres to make, cute activities to orchestrate, presents to track, and pale pink or light blue hued decor to curate.  Including a chic Mom-osa Bar at your fete will infuse a little adult fun, while keeping with the infant-inspired theme.  Simply provide fresh peach, orange, and grapefruit juices in glass carafes, bowls of berries, flutes with pink or blue paper straws, and (of course) lots and lots of champagne.

V.  Finally, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my new professional Table + Teaspoon site.  Nearly a year after leaving the law to build my company, I decided that it was about time to make it official online.  I will be eternally grateful if you check it out and send your friends my way!

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt