Things I’m Heart-ing

I ♥ NYC. The concrete and constant movement never get old. Tree lined streets and Central Park tend to satisfy any need I have for green.

I recently went home, my childhood home, to visit family. My parents are the hardest working people I know and created such beautiful surroundings for my 3 brothers and I to grow-up in. Lounging on the deck and looking onto the backyard, the basil plant gracing my apartment windowsill seems a little wanting. However, I know how lucky I am to have this special place to ♥.

{the knot garden my mom designed}

{a bridge built by my dad and brothers}

{signs I painted with the distance to places significant to my family. Upside down ‘Bloomington’ is a tongue-in-cheek reference to my sense of direction}

{the treehouse}

{the patio and trailing ivy}

{large planter + green grass}

{a hidden bridge and ‘look-out point’}

{stone steps}

{tree steps}

{a caterpillar in the early morning}

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”

~Elizabeth Lawrence

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Black Beans & Rice

Cheap & Easy. Not two words I usually associate with myself. But hey, sometimes we all must make exceptions.  When it comes to a quick and delicious dinner that costs just a few bucks, ‘Cheap & Easy’ is an exception I will happily make.

Black Beans & Rice is a flavorful meal with creamy black beans and bright yellow rice that’s easy on the eyes as well as the wallet. For this recipe I use Vigo Saffron Yellow Rice. It’s infused with rich flavor and color and doesn’t require an (expensive!) pinch of saffron. Beans are mixed with green chilies, garlic, and spices. Spoon them over the rice and enjoy–it doesn’t get much easier than that!

Black Beans & Rice
Serves about 6 people

Beans
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic
3 Serrano chilies, halved and seeded, or 4 oz. can green chilies
2 – 15oz. cans black beans, drain 1 can
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat sauté onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer then add chilies, black beans, cumin and cayenne. Cook until the mixture is heated through. Serve over rice.

Rice
1 package yellow saffron rice
Chicken broth

Cook rice according to package directions substituting the water for chicken broth.

“All things are cheap to the saving, dear to the wasteful.”

~Benjamin Franklin

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Things I’m Heart-ing

This week I’m ♥-ing bright pinks. The weather in New York has been rather rainy and grey and these pops of blush, fuchsia and rose have brightened my day.

{My closet is ♥-ing this cashmere tee}

{My toes are ♥-ing Essie polish in Punchy Pink}

{My coffee table is ♥-ing these peonies}

{My lips are ♥-ing Tarte lipstain in Lucky}

{My bar is ♥-ing The Little Pink Book of Cocktails}

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
~Audrey Hepburn

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