Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays - Chicken Burger

I love a good burger and have spent much time finding my favorite one in LA (Houston's). What makes them so special to me is the dance of textures and flavors that exist within this simple and classic comfort food. It is also the perfect mid-week dinner to whip up in a pinch. You can throw together the ingredients that you should probably already have in your fridge, plus a little extra to make it a treat. I warmed up a whole wheat bun and sandwiched between them a seasoned chicken patty (Costco) decorated with mixed baby greens, a sliced avocado, and a smear of deli mustard. Next time, I'll change it up and try a slice of muenster, arugula, and a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette for a gourmet kick. Bon appétit



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Style Envy - Vanessa Hudgens


Not only is Vanessa Hudgens my doppelgänger (I get this about once a week. Not complaining.), but she is also living my boho fantasy. Last week, while promoting her movie Journey 2: The Mysterious Island around the world, my twin made a pit stop in Paris to shop at the most glamorous boutiques in my favorite city. She seemed to really embrace the chic, Parisian style that I long for with her oversize faux fur coat, skinnies, and black wedges. Pairing all-black with the antique-look cognac crossbody is "so Gigi" and that top knot speaks to my soul. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Mine is packed, packed, packed. Will be treating my favorite cousin to a 40th birthday lunch, heading down to Anaheim to catch Heart in concert (YES!), and watching the Oscars with coworkers. I can't wait to dish on my favorite red carpet looks on Monday! Xoxo


Friday, February 24, 2012

Voyeur Fridays - Tory Burch's Southampton Home


Why don't I live here? Oh, yeah. Because I'm not at the helm of a multi-billion dollar lifestyle brand à la Tory Burch (or Jenna Lyons, for that matter!). Holy cow. Chinois without being chintzy. Gatsby without being garish. And that driveway...oh, that driveway. The scalloped niches. The black-and-white marble. The trellised gazebo. I feel like words fail me as I try to describe the fantasy that is this astounding abode. WHY DON'T I LIVE HERE? Granted, the overly covered walls are a bit much for my simpler taste, but it's nothing a good faux finish can't fix. If they bug me too much, I can just wander and get lost behind the meticulously manicured hedges that surround my mansion. Thank you, Vogue, for giving us city girls a peek at the country chic life.










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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursty Thursdays - National Margarita Day/Fig Margarita

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You didn't think I'd miss National Margarita Day, did you?? If only it fell on a Thursty Thursday... I, although a lover and consumer of the fresh and potent bev, did not have a chance to imbibe this year. I did, however, take the time to appreciate the margaritas I have made, shared, and even sometimes denied. I have admitted in the past to being a purist when it comes to margarita drinking, so when you finish reminiscing about your favorite Thursty Thursday marg posts, you can try my favorite recipe for fig margaritas posted way, way below! Cheers!

{Image: via}

Remember these bad boys? Oh, the days of summer, when a margarita popsicle was all you needed for a good time. It's never too late (or too soon) to relive those days!

Image: {via}

I suddenly got a craving for this concoction: the cranberry margarita. Cold weather fruit + warm weather refreshment = the perfect pre-spring treat!
  
FIG MARGARITA

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Corazon Reposado tequila
  • 1 tablespoon fig jam  
  • 1 ounce agave nectar 
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 whole fig

Instructions

  • Shake all liquid ingredients and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with fig.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Buried; BRB

If only, instead of piles and piles of assignments, I were buried under layers upon layers of tulle...standby.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays - Quinoa, Butternut Squash, and Kale Salad


I try to live my life purely and simply. I'm not much of a drinker, I've never smoked, and I truly try to fill my body with things that will improve, not harm, it. Not only does it make me feel good, I feel it will help streamline my habits once my youth expires and I am required to make more sensible decisions. I don't mean to come off preachy, I just want to share as much of my life as possible with my lovely readers!



I love finding simple, fresh, and healthy recipes that incorporate my love for flavor with my creative nature. I have had the kale and squash in my fridge for a couple weeks now and have been dying to find the best way to show their true colors. I wanted something fresh, sweet and savory, and whole. This is what I came up with (as inspired by Tartelette's tasty recipe)!



Quinoa, Butternut Squash, and Kale Salad

Ingredients:
Makes 4-6 servings
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 large, sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, cored and diced butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped kale (washed and cleaned)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Instructions:
  • In a large pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until all the water has been absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from the heat, fluff with a for and place in a large bowl to cool for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, heat one teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet, add the onion, and cook until it turns translucent. 
  • Add garlic, butternut squash, and kale. Cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. 
  • Remove the lid, check that the butternut squash is tender but not mushy or hard when you poke a piece with a knife. Add the thyme and continue cooking
  • Let cool to room temperature. Gently fold the cooked quinoa and the cooked vegetables together.
  • Toss with pomegranate vinaigrette (recipe below).
  • Serve room temperature or cold.


Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 3 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
 Instructions:
  • Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and dijon mustard together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drizzle onto quinoa, squash, and kale mix.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gigi Eats - Dining Out

It's no secret that I love dining out, especially with people who share an appreciation for the finer things in life. This past Saturday held the promise of a few culinary delights, including trying out a local spot for brunch (Charlie's Pantry) and getting glammed up for some swanky eats at a hotel restaurant (RH at the Andaz West Hollywood).


At Charlie's, an airy, bistro-style market pantry kitchen, the portions were huge and the selection was out of this world. I chose one of my favorite breakfast staples, Eggs Benedict, made a la Stella, with latkes in place of english muffins, asparagus instead of ham, and grated parmesan cheese substituted for hollandaise. Did I mention a handful of crispy pancetta on top? The light, yet savory dish was enjoyed in a space filled with subway tiles and Carrara marblemy faves!


Dining part deux was a last-minute surprise (empty city streets thanks to a holiday weekend) that satisfied my craving for some upscale action. The bread, heavenly. The cocktails, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and coffeedelicious! I love the atmosphere of a boutique hotel nestled perfectly behind a bustling boulevard (Sunset, to be exact). The Andaz was warm, no-frills, and had just enough swank to make this Valley girl feel special.

Between sampling the fresh, local fare at the former and gorging on the French-inspired seasonal menu prepared with local California ingredients at the latter, I found the perfect time to whip up a healthy and hearty meal for the week, featuring quinoa, butternut squash, and kale. Can't wait to share the recipe tomorrow!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Style Envy - Miranda Kerr


Today is a sweet, sweet Saturday. Not only is the week over (hooray!), but I'm also looking forward to spending time catching up with friends I don't get to see very often. It's never fun staying in on a Saturday, so I made sure to fill my day with brunch with a friend, shopping solo, and drinks with my sister. I can't wait to get the day started!
 

Today is also made a little more sweet with the help of Miranda Kerr and the sugary ensemble she donned while promoting her KORA Organics range in Sydney last week. The sheer white paired with the texture of the tweed is a look that is so easy to recreate at any price point. A pop of powder blue heel makes this outfit all kinds of girly. Hope your weekend is off to a great start!





Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New York Fashion Week - Fall 2012 RTW

Though I've attended and covered numerous Fashion Weeks in LA, it is my ultimate dream to sit in the highly-coveted seats in New York and gaze at the looks that the top names in fashion send down the runway. If all fall fashion weeks look like this year's, then I will book my flights in advance to ensure that I am there when it all goes down.

This season was all about the textures, volumes, and silhouettes. My top choices include collections by Helmut Lang, Hervé Léger, Kevork Kiledjian, Kimberly Ovitz, Sachin + Babi, and Theyskens' Theory. Check out my other runway rundowns here, here, and here.

Helmut Lang

Holy funnel neck! Nicole and Michael Colovos [for Helmut Lang] seem to really love layers, layers, layers, layers, layers, layers. Slim, trim silhouettes paired with high, top-heavy volume is what was on the menu and the asymmetry almost jumps off the screen. Urban, refreshing, natural. Brilliant. 

Hervé Léger

When you think Hervé Léger, the word "bandage" comes to mind. This season, Max Azria [for Hervé Léger] dropped the "a" in favor of an "o" and went ballistic with the bondage. Fur-trimmed holsters and peplums added a bit of bad girl to the classic bombshell silhouette we know and love. It's almost as if Azria took the sexpot out of the equation and replaced her with a harder and edgier urban warrior.

Kevork Kiledjian

I had never heard of Kevork Kiledjian before last season (this is his third), and I still wonder where he came from. When I stop wondering, I just stare, because I can't take my eyes off of the sleek, modern, and futuristic aesthetic that he wove into the collection. The architectural details are a bit reminiscent of the fall/winter 2008 runway trend, but are still relevant. Uber luxe.

Kimberly Ovitz

Have you read Hunger Games? How about Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? I've gotten through a sizable portion of each and seeing this collection makes me imagine what a cross between Lisbeth Salander and Katniss Everdeen would look/dress like. Do I have your attention? I see Lisbeth's gothic sensibility. I see Katniss' rustic simplicity. And that fur strip is MAJOR.

Sachin + Babi

Sachin + Babi knows how to design for the modern woman. No longer a slave to the traditional silhouettes thrust upon us by designers past, the S+B woman isn't afraid to accentuate her wide shoulders, toned upper thighs, and don a monochromatic cover-up in the name of fashion.  Leather, tweed, fur, and silk compose this wearable and slightly whimsical collection.

Theyskens' Theory

Clean lines get a kick of modern glamour when Olivier Theyskens adds unexpected details to classic pieces. A long, sheer suit skirt, voluminous fur sleeves on a coat dress, and disappearing hems on a modest evening gown. Theyskens appeals to the bohemian fashionista who likes to keep it simple and knows how to look good without trying too hard.

{credit: Style}

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays - Sweet Pocket Pies






Aren't they beautiful? Everything you plan, make, and nurture with love is perfect, even if nobody else thinks so. Take a moment today to enjoy the ones you love and make sure to remember that it shouldn't be the only day you recognize how much they mean to you.

You may be wondering why I chose to make a handheld pie [aka my version of a Pop Tart] for Valentine's Day. The answer: there is something so comforting about a warm, flaky crust filled with a rich, gooey filling that screams love. Also, I love puff pastry and to not recognize it today would just be preposterous. What? Food love is a thing!

I hope this recipe fills your homes, hearts, and days with love love love!


Ingredients:
> 1 package puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm)
> Cherry preserves
> Strawberry preserves
> Nutella
> Egg, for the wash
> Flour, for dusting

Instructions:
> Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
> Take frozen puff pastry sheets out of the freezer approx. 30 minutes prior to use.
> Unroll pastry sheets onto flour-dusted parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
> Using a pizza cutter, cut each sheet to end up with six rectangular pieces (there will be 12 total).
> Separate each rectangle to leave one inch of space between each piece.
> Spoon desired filling into center of rectangle, leaving half an inch of border space.
> Crack one egg into a bowl and, using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the rectangle with the egg mixture. This will help the top piece stick to the bottom.
> Cover the filled bottom rectangle with the corresponding empty sheet of pastry and press down on the edges with the tines of a fork to create a seal. Hint: I dipped my fork into flour before pressing to avoid a sticky situation.
> Poke holes to let steam out while cooking.
> Brush tops of covered pastries with egg wash for optimal browning.
> Pop into the oven for approx. 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
> Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack until serving.

 




Enjoy!

I also want to share one of my favorite love quotes, even though The Notebook is the ultimate cheese-fest, this little love letter never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul 
and makes us reach for more, 
that plants a fire in our hearts 
and brings peace to our minds. 
That's what I hope to give to you forever. 

Happy Valentine's Day! Xoxo

Monday, February 13, 2012

The List of Love








Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that is a bit confusing to shop for. You don't want to make too big a deal of it because you want to show that you love your partner just as much that day as you do any other day. On the flip side, you want to make sure to show your honey that the "day of love" is meaningful and worthy of celebration. So, what do you get that says all those things without too much pomp and circumstance? I hope this list inspires you to treat your lady love to a little bit of whimsy, wonder, and words of wisdom. In other news, I needs me a slice of that crack pie. Momofuku, holla!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Style Envy - Jessica Stein

This skirt needs to be mine NOW.

Girl crush alert! When WhoWhatWear featured Jessica Stein on their Style Stalker feature last week, I was bummed, because I was dying to make her my Saturday Style Envy! And, I never miss an opportunity to give props to another blogger (also, here) for her impeccable style. You go, Jessica Stein, for experimenting with daring silhouettes, sticking to classic sensibilities, oozing femininity, and for your overall cool factor.

Aqua on aqua is a must try!
{all photos courtesy of tuulavintage}
 
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