Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life in a Bubble

My town, Philadelphia

Has anyone seen these pictures of cities captured in a bubble by Tom Storm? What a unique and whimsical idea. I am totally smitten and have been caught by a bit of wanderlust as a result. It's so amazing to see scenes I recognize captured in the bubbles and it makes me want to visit the places that are new to me. Sigh. At least I have a little Labor Day get-away planned!

xx Molly

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pure Barre

This Saturday, I finally got around to using a voucher from Rue La La for Pure Barre Philadelphia. I first heard about ballet based workouts when I read this article from the New York Times. Having danced modern and ballet most of my childhood, I was desperate to try out a class and when I saw the voucher, I snatched it right up. It's safe to say the article had me a little confused, I showed up on Saturday in my ballet slippers and had debated wearing a leotard. Oops. Pure Barre is much closer to an aerobics class than a dance class, which had me slightly disappointed as I was looking forward to reliving my childhood of pliés and relevés; but boy did it kick my butt! After two full days of recovery, today I am finally not oofing and aaing as I move around - my arms, legs, abs, back - everything has been sore. While not what I was first expecting, I'm hooked and will certainly be back for more. If you're interested, check here to see if there is a studio in your area.  

xx Molly

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bruschetta with Blue Cheese and Honey

One of my favorite grown-up desserts/party foods to make is Giada's Bruschetta with Gorgonzola and Honey. To add my own twist, I prefer to use St. Agur blue cheese and opposed to gorgonzola as I believe it has creamer and richer taste. The recipe will wow dinner guests with the combination of savory and sweet, while taking little time for you to prepare. What are some of your favorite party food recipes?

xx Molly

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bald Man Chocolate

For a little post-earthquake and pre-hurricane celebration, my boyfriend and I dined at Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man. It's close to our apartment and we've been walking past it for ages, smelling the delicious chocolate wafting out, and finally got around to trying it. Unlike you might expect from the name, every dish is not focused around chocolate but some include chocolate touches, like the waffle fries which are dusted with chili and cocoa powder. Alex chose the Portobello mushroom burger and I decided on the veggie burger, both of which were very good. The best part though, of course, was dessert. We indulged in a White Russian with melted white chocolate instead of cream, yum, and "The S'mores Concoction" which was a deconstructed take on s'mores using fluff instead of marshmallows (which meant I could actually eat it!). The whole experience was delightful. Now please excuse me as I prepare for Miss Irene's visit.

xx Molly

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday's Threes

Fresh scone with Devonshire cream and jam

Easing back into post-vacation life has been a bit of a struggle as I was thrown right into the midst of a busy workweek and an unpacked, cluttered new apartment. Even so, there's something undeniably wonderful about Philadelphia, and I've been realizing more than ever how it is starting to feel like a second home. Weekend plans are looking to be a continuance of evenings this week - unpacking, unpacking, unpacking - which has me dreaming of relaxation and lounge time. What do you have planned?

xx Molly

This Video. How much would I love to be that kitten right now?

A new workout I'm planning on trying this weekend, hopefully I like it!


To go on one of these vacations in Greece.

An hour or two curled up in this room to read The Help

These booties for fall

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paper Votives

As I mentioned here, I really loved Terrain's idea of the paper covered votives but wanted to try to tackle the project on my own, as opposed to just buying them. By doing it myself, I was able to choose exactly the papers I wanted and use different sized votive holders. The project was easy enough once I got into a rhythm, I found it's best to cut all the paper first and then glue all at once. The entire project took just a couple hours to complete. I opted for LED candles for convenience (they even sell ones with timers now) and I'm planning on putting the finished product in one of our decorative fireplaces. Easy peasy and pretty to boot! 

xx Molly
Start with perfectly cylindrical glass votives. I chose to use different sizes to add dimension and variety

Choose decorative papers that are slightly translucent

1. Measure the votive to determine how much paper you will need to cut. (I chose to leave a slight lip at the top for safety)

2. Using a ruler and grid board, measure the proper size and cut using an exacto knife.

3. Ensure that the cut paper is sized correctly and cut leaving just a small amount to overlap. 

4. Apply glue (I used a polymer medium) to the glass using a paint brush and carefully wrap the paper.

5. Ensure that the paper is lined up correctly and is overlapping just a little.

6. Apply glue to the overlap and to the entire surface of the paper to protect it. 

Voila, the finished product.

Short But Sweet

Picture from my cousins wedding. (Dress: Anthropolgie, Shoes: Badgley Mischka)

Sorry for my absence my darlings, but vacation rules had to apply. My week in Rochester flew by and was over before I knew it, but I managed to squeeze in many of my preplanned activities as well as some relaxing float time in the pool. I'm extremely close to my parents; I talk to them every single day, so of course the extra time with them was the best part. It seems that no matter how much time passes in between a visit, the moment I arrive things slip back into comfortable routines which makes leaving all the harder. Although I must admit, coming back to my beautiful new apartment with my sweet boyfriend waiting for me, with welcome home flowers no less, certainly made the transition back into non-vacation life easier.

xx Molly

My mom's birthday celebration at La Tea Da, a tea house

Farmer's Market spoils

Tofu, tarragon crepe from Simply Crepes

Sunday, August 14, 2011

V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N in the Summer Time

Me and my gorgeous cousin, the bride (picture from a couple years ago)

This week I'm home visiting my parents and getting my rest and relaxation fix after the big move. I can't exactly describe it, but there is no place quite like the home I grew up in to make me feel comfortable, at ease, and happy. My parents and I have oodles of activities planned - art projects, mini trips, cooking, just to name a few. I'm looking forward to kicking back and spending warm summer days in my home town.

I want to say congratulations to my cousin Yolanda and her husband Jim, who were married this past weekend in a beautiful ceremony followed by a rocking reception. I wish you both tons of love and happiness!!

xx Molly 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Girl Talk

Pierre-Auguste Renoir: A Girl with a Watering Can, 1876

I recently read Lisa Bloom's article, "How to Talk to Little Girls" and it was completely eye opening. The author discusses how our cultural norm is to complement little girls on their clothes, their hair, or something else looks related and how this instils a concept of beauty being the utmost important. As I read, I realized I am completely guilty of this. When I see my boyfriend's niece, I always complement her on her dress, or shoes, or pretty curls, never considering that I'm helping to encourage our culture's looks-centric expectations.  Instead, the article suggests talking to girls about something of substance, like books or activities, to help promote and encourage individual thinking and education. While I'm not sure I can completely end all beauty compliments, I mean little girls really are adorable, I've made a vow to increase my substance-based comments and decrease my looks-based ones. What do you think; are our compliments helping to influence beauty obsessions for little girls?
xx Molly

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stay And Rest Awhile

Our new apartment has a long, wide entry hall. I intend on putting my wardrobes from Ikea there for extra storage and would also like to add a bench by the door for putting on shoes in the morning, resting after a long day at work, or whatever my heart desires. I had posted about my dream bench here, but it's since been vetoed by my boyfriend, too feminine, not that I blame him. Instead I've rounded up some of my favorite benches but I need help deciding. Which do you think would look best in an entryway?

  1. Oak Finish Bench $184.99
  2. Pottery Barn: Benchwright Hall Tree $599
  3. Anthropologie: Windsor Love Seat $1,498
  4. Ikea: Sigurd $79.99
  5. Crate and Barrel: Brighton Storage Bench $349
  6. Wisteria: Linen Tufted French Bench $199.50
  7. Ballard Designs: Antigua Large Bench $139
  8. Pottery Barn: Blakely Rustic Bench $199
xx Molly

How similar are these two benches? The anthropologie bench is definitely out of my price range, but the look could be replicable on this bench. I'm feeling a DIY in my near future.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Busy Bee

Please excuse me if my posting isn't up to normal standards this week. Above is how I spent my Sunday...and Saturday for that matter...and probably something like it for the rest of the week. BORING! But at least there's a beautiful, sunny apartment waiting at the end of the long, dark moving tunnel. Wish me luck!

xx Molly

To Organic Or Not?

Trips to the grocery store usually go something like this:

Boyfriend: Wow, look at these beautiful blueberries. They look delicious, let's get them.
Me: Are they organic?
Boyfriend: No, but they're local, from New Jersey.
Me: You get them, but I'm not going to eat them. (I'm a pain, I know.)

At this point the conversation usually dissolves into bickering about what organic really means, not giving too much trust to labels, and large distributors vs. small farms. I'm sure our fellow grocery shoppers love us.

In reality, our disagreements stemmed from neither of us having an exact understanding of organic labels, which I think is common problem. The information is out there, but it requires research. My boyfriend and I sat down together to ensure our understanding of organic to help ease grocery store tensions in the future. Since I believe what you put into your body is of the utmost importance, I thought I would share my knowledge to help everyone understand just what organic can mean.

The ideal foods are locally-grown, fresh, and organic. The label to look for when buying organic, and the only one that matters, is the USDA Certified Organic label. Farmers whose produce uses the USDA seal have met strict standards regulated by the USDA's National Organic Program, whose requirements apply to both fresh and processed products.

The USDA term organic means that crops must be grown without synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Products labeled "100% Organic" are completely organic or made with only organic ingredients. Products labeled "organic" must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. Items labeled "made with organic ingredients" or "contains organic ingredients" will not have a USDA label and must contain at least 70% or less than 70% organic ingredients, respectively. This means, that unless the product has the USDA label, the organic claim is meaningless.

It's also important to know that some items are more important to buy organic than others. Through testing, it's been found that some fruits and vegetables have higher and lower levels of pesticides after washing and peeling. As organic foods are more expensive, make your money count and purchase the most necessary organic items. (I saved these lists on my phone so I always have them for reference at the grocery store.)

Fruits and vegetables to always buy organic:
·         Apples
·         Bell Peppers
·         Carrots
·         Celery
·         Cherries
·         Grapes
·         Kale
·         Lettuce/Spinach
·         Nectarines
·         Peaches
·         Pears
·         Strawberries
·         Potatoes
·         Raspberries
·         Celery

Fruits and vegetables with the lowest pesticide levels:
·         Asparagus
·         Avocado
·         Broccoli
·         Cabbage
·         Corn
·         Eggplant
·         Kiwi
·         Mango
·         Onion
·         Papaya
·         Pineapple
·         Peas (sweet)
·         Sweet Potato
·         Tomatoes
·         Watermelon

This site can be used as a source to help to answer many questions regarding organic foods. Happy eating!

xx Molly

Friday, August 5, 2011

PS...Villy Custom

Did anyone notice this Villy Custom bike on One Kings Lane today? And how the pink and orange color scheme ties perfectly with today's post? Must. Have. Now.

xx Molly

Oh, and this basket too please. K, thanks!

Inspired Brights

Room was by Domino Magazine, no longer in print. Gosh isn't it just amazing? I can totally see myself adding a desk and turning it into an office.
I have always, always been drawn to vibrant colors whether in art, fashion, or decor. Growing up I had a powder pink room which I switched to bright yellow in high school, clearly color has never been something I've been afraid of. As I get older though, I'm increasingly inspired by rooms that incorporate color not only on the walls but in the furniture and decorations - apartment living is always conducive to wall painting. I've included some of my all-time favorite room inspirations as the use of color is impeccable but also replicable. I'm planning on trying to replicate some of these ideas into our new apartment. Honey, you don't mind bright purple, right?!

xx Molly

One of the reasons why the colors in these rooms "pop" is the use of complimentary colors. Remember elementary school art class? Complimentary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel and using them together makes the colors appear more vibrant; for instance purple and yellow or orange and blue. So instead of overwhelming the room by adding two vibrant colors, the use of a complimentary color actually helps to balance and enhance

Not sure where this is from, it shows how even pale color can enhance a room and may be a good starting point for those who are more hesitant to use brighter colors

Isn't this the best idea ever? What a great way to incorporate color without going overboard or breaking the bank buying new pieces. If you ever decided on another color scheme, just repaint it! (Sorry, I don't remember where this one is from either)

Room from Elle Decor, beautiful example how different shades of the same color can work together perfectly

Also from Elle Decor, this room looks masculine and strong but still uses purple and green. Proof that color can work for both men and women

This might be my absolute favorite, the purple and yellow are stunning together and I love the use of all the different shades. By using the bright pops of color on an otherwise neutral background the room looks inviting and cozy, but not overwhelming. I just love it to pieces! (By Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design)

From House Beautiful, that chandelier is gorgeous!

Also by Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design, the wallpaper is stunning and balanced with the orange chairs doesn't overwhelm the room at all

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday's Threes

Thursday night Mexican, at Distrito

For some reason this week has been utterly exhausting. My days haven't been extra busy, work hasn't been too challenging, but for some reason all I want to do is curl up on the couch and watch TV when I get home. I know I'd better snap out of this rut soon as I actually do have busy days ahead of me. My upcoming trip home couldn't be approaching at a better time and I'm looking forward to floating in the pool and getting some quality reading and family time in.

xx Molly

Pretty papers for an upcoming DIY project

Champagne to celebrate nothing in particular

Crossing my fingers for:

An afternoon in Paris...

wearing these shoes...

and this dress. Sigh, a girl can dream right?