Archive for August, 2010

After a Long Day at School, Treat Them!

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Chances are that if you have younger kids, they either just started or are about to start back in school and are STARVING the moment they get back home. We’re all for creative inspiration in the kitchen, and we’re loving this play on traditional apples and peanut butter from Jenny Flake of Picky Palate. It’s a sweet (and certainly yummy) way to reward them after a hard day of readin’ and ‘rithmetic. So why not surprise your kids with something unexpected when they walk in the door? Who knows, it might even fuel them to finish their homework faster!

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Here is your simple line up of ingredients….

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Lay out your puff pastry onto a nice baking sheet.

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Peanut butter and honey time!

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Spread peanut butter mixture over each square of pastry.

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Slice your beautiful apples…

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

…..and layer them over the peanut butter.

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Drizzle warm honey over your apples….

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

sprinkle with sugar and it’s time to bake!

Picky Palate Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Ahhhh, gorgeous…..and delish too!

Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry, thawed
  • heaping 1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey, warmed plus 4 Tablespoons for drizzling
  • 2 apples of choice, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice puff pastry dough into 3 equal size rectangles and place onto a silpat lined baking sheet. Warm peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl until liquid like. Drizzle in 2 Tablespoons of honey, stir then spread evenly over 3 pastry rectangles leaving 1/2 inch border around edges. Layer apple slices neatly over top of peanut butter, drizzle with warm honey, sprinkle with sugar then bake for 30-35 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and puffed around the edges. Let cool completely then drizzle with additional warm honey if desired and powdered sugar. Serve as whole tarts or cut each tart into fourths.

Makes 3 full tarts or 12 slices

Q&A: Anne Sage of The City Sage

We’ve long been fans of The City Sage blog, and are delighted to interview Anne Sage, creative visionary and founder of The City Sage who uses her discerning eye to treat us to the latest and best in fashion and interior design. Anne’s the friend everyone wants to have with an incredible sense of style and humor and is here to share it with us today.

How did the City Sage come to be?
I attended college at Stanford University, where I majored in English and History. After completing my undergrad degree I moved to New York City, where I planned to pursue a Masters of Interior Design at Pratt Institute. I lasted about six weeks before realizing I wasn’t cut out to be an interior designer–I kept trying to turn my design assignments into written essays! So I found a job at a boutique advertising agency, where I worked doing public relations and consumer strategy.

But my dream–really since high school–was always to work at a magazine. I stalked the job boards and applied for every editorial position under the sun, all to no avail. Finally I threw up my hands and said, ‘Well, if no one will hire me to work at a magazine, I’ll just start my own!’ And that’s how The City Sage was born. It’s my own little daily magazine, and I’m the editor-in-chief, the art director, and the producer all rolled into one. I love the freedom I have with the blog; the only limits are the ones I place on myself, and even those are fewer and farther between!

How would you describe your personal style in fashion and home decor?
Fashion wise, my personal style is ‘elegant modern’. I gravitate towards solid pieces with top-notch materials and no frills construction. I like pieces that are feminine without being girly and I definitely focus each season on investing in one or two high end pieces, instead of several trendy throwaway items. I love Vince, J Brand, Elizabeth and James, and Alexander Wang for casual basics; Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Bottega Veneta for dressing up; Miu Miu, Chanel and Loeffler Randall for shoes; Tom Ford and Oliver Peoples for sunglasses; Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent for bags.

When it comes to decor, I love the weathered old-world class of an aging Parisian atelier; the spare, relaxed vibe of a mid-century Scandinavian space; the glitz and graphic glamour of Hollywood Regency style. I’m exposed to so much inspiration every day, it’s hard to decide for my own home so right now my apartment is a hodgepodge of flea market and vintage shop finds.

What trends are catching your eye this season?
For fashion, I’m craving wrinkled, tough-luxe leathers; military-inspired hues like army green and khaki; throwback 1970’s silhouettes such as platform heels or drapey tee shirts tucked into high-waisted trousers; and anything leopard print.

For interiors, I’m obsessed with walls, ceilings and upholstery in a shade of midnight blue so deep it’s almost black; using iconic pieces in irreverent ways (I totally wish my bathroom were big enough to fit a wishbone chair and tulip table next to the tub!); and a faded Edwardian granny vibe complete with chintz, cabriole legs, and antimacassar doilies.

Let’s get to know Anne a little better with a quick-fire round of questions:

  • Blogs I frequent are: Plush Palate, DesignLoveFest, {frolic!}, Coco + Kelley and This Is Glamorous.
  • My favorite color is: a difficult-to-identify shade of mauve. The color of a mouse’s ear where it fades from pink to the grey of his fur.
  • My first job was: working as an elf at a shopping mall Santa booth.
  • I cannot live without: fruit. I think I was a rainforest bat in a previous life. Grapes, cherries, strawberries, watermelon: I haven’t met a fruit I don’t love!
  • The best advice I ever received is: a friend of mine before I left home for college said, ‘It’s okay if you don’t like it.’ And in the ten years since then, I’ve recalled her words every time I feel like I’m forcing myself to do something I’m not passionate about. As a consummate perfectionist, I have to remind myself that it’s okay not to like everything, not to be the best at everything, to put my energy into only the things that truly make my heart sing.
  • My favorite guilty pleasure is: weekly manicures and pedicures–I splurge on the extra 10 minutes of leg massage, and I choose my polish colors based on the names I like best. Lately I love Lapis of Luxury!
  • A cause I care deeply about is: animal welfare. I’ve always loved animals but since getting my two sweet kitties a year ago, I can’t imagine my life without them. I can’t wait until we have a larger house and can adopt more needy furry friends into our brood!

Be sure to check out Anne’s blog The City Sage and the rest of the storyboards and photo credits for “Over The Top Girly Glamour” that is shown above – we’re sure you’ll love it as much as we do!

Expressions of Color: Aqua

A color so refreshing you want to jump right in, aqua adds an instant dash of coastal charm when used in interiors. Equally lovely when used in fashion and jewelry, this color family ranges from whitened tints of sea glass to robin’s egg blue, wafting like a fresh breeze through the color palette. Shop all aqua items here.

The Many Looks of Our Layla Grayce Arroyo Chair

Take one seriously comfortable chair, outfit it in an easy care slipcover that features clean lines and exposed French seams with a unique hand tailored look. The result? Our Layla Grayce Arroyo Chair, custom made for you. Next step? See how this one great chair can work effortlessly into many different design styles. Simplicity and casual elegance – the perfect timeless combination!


Fit To Be Tried: Petunia Pickle Bottom Fall 2010

Just in time for Fall, glorious new textures and colors for fall in your favorite Petunia Pickle Bottom styles. Check out the latest diaper bags and clutches, shopper tote bags, baby blankets and baby slings. Shop Petunia Pickle Bottom new arrivals.

Giveaway and Q&A with BlaBla Kids

Blabla Kids was born from the long time friendship of Florence Wetterland and Susan Pritchett, an inspiring trip to Peru and the talent and gentleness of a village of Peruvian knitters who had kept the tradition alive for generations. Using only natural fibers of exceptional quality grown in Peru, Blabla Kids relies on the ancestral knowledge of the knitters to craft their vibrant and whimsical knit products for children. The resulting colorful collection of dolls, dream rings, backpacks and more reflect the vibrant inner life of a child. Florence, the designer, gives us a peek at the world of Blabla in her search for beauty, authenticity and laughter.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Children books, voyages, memories, the little nothings of everyday life.

Do you have a favorite design related blog that you enjoy or are inspired by?
Studio Violet, they make my heart beat faster.

What new characters and product features can we look forward to seeing from Blabla Kids in the future?
For Fall, Lucky Black Cool Cats, Classy Bears, one named after French composer Berlioz, a couple of loving rockers, a lady fox named Suzette (like the crêpes) and a collection of cards and note books featuring the dolls.

We are also working on exciting children’s storybooks, but it is a long project…

Tell us about Blabla’s philosophy on social responsibility.
Our company prides itself on our relationship with our artisans and the environment… a relationship that is based on mutual friendship, loyalty and respect which has created a better world for all of us. We are certified fair trade by the F.L.O. Organization and everything we do is handmade from natural fiber which keeps us very green.

Let’s get to know Florence a little better with a quick-fire round:

  • Blogs I frequent are: Tas-ka, Poppytalk, The Small Joys, Book By Its Cover, among others…
  • My favorite color is: The color that looks good next to the other color
  • My first job was: Working with Michele de Lucchi in Milano
  • I cannot live without: My head always being up (I have vertigo)
  • The best advice I ever received is: “The one who follows is always behind.” I don’t know if it’s the best advice ever, but is very sensible!
  • My favorite guilty pleasure is: Traveling
  • A cause I care deeply about is: Education, it can solve everything!

It’s giveaway time: One lucky winner will receive a Blabla Kids Wink Owl Doll! To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page telling us about the most unusual doll you’ve seen or owned. Contest ends Friday, August 27th at 6pm EST.

Expressions of Color: Hot Pink

This is a color that gets noticed for all the right reasons – it’s sassy and fun, bold and captivating. Girls of all ages walk a little taller when decked out in their favorite shade of hot pink. But be warned, it’s not for the meek. Showcase your creative decorating ideas by adding striking accents of hot pink to classic interior palettes of white, warm caramel and honey. Shop all hot pink items here.

Express Your Style: Live It, Wear It

You love the romanticism of white, of delicate, feminine touches, but how to make it look right for fall interiors, or create an outfit that works for now when temperatures are still hot (but every magazine is showing wool)? Mix your favorite whites with light cream accents and the softest shades of army green to transition into fall – the perfect solution!


Villa Bella Victorian Inspiration for Kids

Villa Bella Angelina Bombay Dresser
Villa Bella Angelina Bombay Dresser
Villa Bella Angelina Bed or Headboard
Villa Bella Angelina Headboard
Villa Bella Nightstand
If furniture could talk, Villa Bella would tell a fairy tale to sweep you off your feet. Breathing new life into Victorian romance, the pieces are exquisitely hand detailed with resin appliqués of rosettes and scrollwork flawlessly finished with touches of gold leafing, soft colors and optional brilliant Swarovski crystals. Breathtaking cribs, stunning beds and curvaceous dressers hallmark this collection for those who believe in living happily ever after.  View the Villa Bella collection.

Kendra Scott Giveaway

It’s hard to wear a piece of Kendra Scott jewelry and NOT get complimented. We are smitten with the combination of colorful semi-precious stones and creative, on-trend styling created by Austin based mother of two, Kendra Scott. With a philosophy of family first, followed by fashion and philanthropy, she has earned this company a huge following. Her pieces are often featured in such magazines as InStyle, Glamour, O The Oprah Magazine, and seen on the hottest Hollywood celebs and trend setters. You can look forward to more Kendra Scott jewelry on the Layla Grayce website in the coming months too! We know you’ll love this brand as much as we do so we’re giving away a pair of Kendra Scott earrings to one lucky winner to try. To enter, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page telling us about the most meaningful piece of jewelry you own. Contest ends Friday, August 20th at 6pm EST.

Kendra Scott Gwen Earring in Basil
Kendra Scott Gwen Earring in Basil
Kendra Scott Moxie Necklace Black With Gold
Kendra Scott Moxie Necklace Black With Gold
Kendra Scott Nyla Earring in Black and Gold
Kendra Scott Nyla Earring in Black and Gold
Kendra Scott Mary Haden Earring in Amethyst
Kendra Scott Mary Haden Earring in Amethyst