For anyone who has ever spent hours trying to find just the right paint, you know what a painstaking process it can be trying to find just the right color to complement your room or home.
Well for those of us with an iPhone, Benjamin Moore has made this process a little easier with their "Color Capture" application.
This handy app allows you to take a picture of anything, and it will match your picture to a selection of Benjamin Moore paints that are most like your picture. So if you are in a store and love the coral hue of a cashmere sweater, or if you in the Caribbean and want a paint that remind you of the turquoise waters you have spent the week swimming in, this is the app for you! It also allows you to store a record of favorite paints, and find local retailers that will carry your selected paint color.
Here is a short video by Benjamin Moore that will show you just how this fun app works!
Maybe it's a sign that I am getting older, but more and more my favorite weekend nights "out" are those that are spent just relaxing with family and friends over a delicious meal at home.
The weekend is the perfect time to whip out a cookbook, go to the store, get some fresh ingredients, and master a new technique in the kitchen.
And just recently my husband and I tried a recipe that was so delicious, easy, and affordable, that I just had to share it with you today!
Image from Martha Stewart Living
Now I know what you are thinking...a cioppino...easy?! I promise you that we are not master chefs when it comes to preparing shellfish, and we were both amazed at how easy this complex flavored broth really is to make!
Here are a few photos from our recent cooking adventure...
Sorting the shrimp, mussels, and clams, and getting everything rinsed off!
This recipe does not call for many ingredients...here a few items we already had in our pantry.
Onions and spices simmering away!
Next we added the diced tomatoes...doesn't this broth look amazing?!
Almost done...we added the seafood to simmer for 6-8 minutes...
The finished project! This stew was so delicious. We loved the light consistency of the broth, and the bright bold flavors that we were able to develop in just a few minutes!
And of course you need a little (or a lot) of bread to enjoy with such a delicious stew! Unfortunately our local market was already sold out of baguettes when we got to the store, but these frozen dinner rolls did the trick!
Luckily we had many of the ingredients for this recipe in our pantry already, except for the seafood and parsley, and we decided to substitute shrimp for fish, which turned out great! The total cost of this seafood and parsley was only $13! Not bad! And I love finding recipes that can take advantage of what we already have in our pantry.
Here is the recipe if you are interested in trying this simple and delicious seafood stew this weekend...
Quick Cioppino: Martha Stewart LivingIngredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with juices
2 1/2 cups water
14 mussels, debearded and scrubbed well
14 littleneck clams, scrubbed well
1 pound firm, white fish fillets, such as halibut or cod, cut into 2-inch pieces
Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnishDirectionsAdd onion and garlic, and cook for 4 minutes. Add thyme, salt, pepper, and red-pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Add wine, and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, juices, and water. Cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add seafood, cover, and cook until shells open, 6 to 8 minutes. (Discard unopened shells and thyme sprigs.) Garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.
And in case you are interested in trying this recipe with a new wine, I would recommend the 2009 Vega Murillo Verdejo that is pictured above. We used this wine in our recipe, and also drank it with our dinner. This Spanish white is from the Rueda region of Spain, and is a light, blended wine with a pleasant richness that balances out the citrus flavors in the wine. This was a great pairing for our Cioppino, and at only $12.99 a bottle, it was also a great deal!
Will you be cooking anything special this weekend?
Happy Eating and Drinking Everyone...and Happy Halloween!
OK I admit it...I have a thing for clutches. As much as I love a handy hobo, carryall, or my beloved canvas tote collection, I would give up all of these bags in an instant for a beautiful clutch.
I just love them...I don't know if it is the petite size, the unique structure, or that most clutches always seem to epitomize luxury, whether it be that they are adorned in crystals a la Judith Leiber, or constructed in the most luxurious of materials a la Nancy Gonzalez and Lyle the Crocodile! But for whatever reason, no handbag makes my heart skip a beat like the classic clutch. The only problem is...these fancy clutches, usually come with a fancy pricetag!So imagine my excitement when I came across the EmersonMade collection of Flower Clutches...all for $78 or less! Now you may be wondering...who is EmersonMade?
Picture from EmersonMade
EmersonMade is run by Emerson (right) and her husband and partner Ryan (left).
According to the company's website, "EmersonMade is a company that believes in celebrating the uniqueness of the individual, the joy of being alive and all the smallness that makes up the Big Beautiful...EmersonMade started as a one woman operation in NYC where Emerson would sell her flowers, sometimes right off her lapel to flower girls and fellas on the street and just like that, another flower would go trotting off into the world!"
Here is a photo of Emerson pictured with one of her gorgeous original flowers...
And now what you have been waiting for...the clutches!
I think this red and navy bag may be my favorite! I love the quatrefoile pattern, but the bright and bold navy flower is my favorite part. This may be coming home with me VERY soon!
Love this grey zebra pattern with the delicate ivory flower...
Another variation on their beautiful quatrefoil fabric.
You can't go wrong with this classic clutch and color combination...and it would be perfect for any Michigan fans in your life!
Don't you love the contrast of the red against this fun black and white dog pattern? This clever and cute bag will definitely not go unnoticed!
Although I loved the "something blue" navy satin clutch that I carried at my wedding, this little number is making me doubt my decision...this would be a beautiful accessory for any bride!
As you can see, I am partial to the clutches, but EmersonMade
also carries a wide selection of other flower adorned items that you could use for weddings, or gifts.Will any of these purses be coming home with you? I know I can't wait to add one of these clutches to my collection soon!Happy Shopping!
A famous Chinese Proverb says, "When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."
Does this sound right to you? I believe this quote hints at the special powers that flowers seem to have in terms of uplifting the spirit, and radiating happiness.
Many others have also commented on the powerful nature of surrounding oneself with flowers, including Lady Bird Johnson who so eloquently once said, "Where flowers bloom so does hope."
But even though so many of us realize the transformative power of surrounding oneself with flowers, it is easy to feel like flowers are a luxury that are too expensive, or just plain out of reach for those of us living on a budget!
But living in New York City we are lucky to have a plethora of delis and convenience stores that sell a wide variety of affordable blooms daily. For example, I can often find hydrangea for $5, or dahlias for $8, depending on the season. I believe fresh flowers do wonders for the mood and decor of your home, and I especially like using local, seasonal flowers whenever possible. If you don't live in New York City, maybe you have a local farmers market where you could find local fresh blooms for a fair price...
But how do you turn a basic collection of deli flowers like this...
into a luxurious arrangement like this?
It actually is very easy to turn a basic bouquet of flowers into a beautiful arrangement in just minutes! If this is something you are interested in learning more about, please check out this short two minute video from Daily Candy
, featuring Florisity's
Katsuya Nishimori, formerly of Takashiyama Floral. He gives super easy tips that even those of us who don't have a green thumb can follow to put together easy and chic floral arrangements from standard, inexpensive, deli blooms. I promise it will be two minutes well spent!Do you have any tips on decorating and creating floral arrangements for less?
This weekend I needed a little pick me up, so I treated myself to a manicure on Saturday afternoon. I know that manicures are an unnecessary expense, but this one little extravagance brings me so much pleasure every time I catch a glimpse of my colorful manicured nails, that in my opinion this little luxury is always worth the the splurge!This week I was brave with my color choice and I went for a deep rosy purple shade that I had never tried before: Essie Angora Cardi!
For today's Tuesday Fashion post I was inspired by this beautiful color, and created a classic every day look that will carry you from fall to winter, and which really pops with the addition of this vibrant nail color
Also, all the pieces I have featured today are from L.L. Bean Signature! Have you seen this new line by L.L Bean? I was shocked when I saw the catalog. Goodbye snow shoes, hello suede handbag! L.L. Bean's new line holds true to the company's rugged sporty roots, while also being infused with more classic, chic, wearable pieces. Now I'll admit that not every piece here is LESS, but I do believe that these pieces are all timeless, priced fairly, and great quality.
Here's a look at a few of my favorite pieces from the new L.L Bean Signature line!
I never thought the day would come that an L.L Bean leather handbag was on my wish list, but it is true! Isn't this pebbled leather chocolate handbag beautiful?
Did you enjoy this nail color inspired outfit and is this a series you would like to see more of?
I would love to know!
Even if you aren't dressing up for Halloween, it's hard not to get excited about this spooky and scary holiday that gives adults a great excuse to eat candy all day long, and children a reason to dress up as their favorite characters...and eat candy all day long!
So in honor of Halloween being only a week away, I rounded up a few of my favorite Halloween inspired entertaining accessories from Target...must of which are $20 or less! Now who says you can't party in style on a budget?!
What an easy way to make Halloween inspired cookies for your family and friends!
I don't think they have these at Crumbs or Magnolia, so if you serve skull cupcakes at your next Halloween party it will definitely be memorable!
This candy bowl with a spooky purple hand popping out sure gives my boring mixing bowl a run for it's money!
Here is the super luxe candy dish...stylish and scary!
What a great idea! A skull dip bowl and spreading knife. It takes a lot of energy helping all those trick or treaters, so why not have this spooky dip bowl on hand to help you refuel while you stock up your neighbors candy bags!
Who doesn't love a little glitter in the their life? Especially on Halloween!
I love the bright colors on this skull serving tray! It's the perfect way to serve your Halloween shaped cookies or skull cupcakes...
And of course you need the colorful skull beverage tub to match!
These beverage tubs would also come in handy, and are a little more traditional. You could also use these tubs to store candy!
And if you are having a small and intimate Halloween party, impress your guests and indulge in these skull and crossbones stemless wineglasses. There's nothing wrong with having a little vino while you wait for the next batch of trick or treaters to arrive!
Do you plan on entertaining for Halloween this year?
It's been a long week, and like many of you, I am so excited for the weekend! I can't wait to take a few minutes to just sit back, relax, and hopefully enjoy some delicious food and wine with my family and friends.
Doesn't this glass of wine, cheese, and crackers look delicious?
To get your weekend started I thought I would share one of my favorite quotes about wine...
"Here's to the corkscrew - a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship, and the gate of pleasant folly."
- W.E.P. FRENCH
Will you be opening a bottle of anything this weekend? I believe my husband I plan on sharing a bottle of this...
My husband and I are big fans of Guigal's Cotes du Rhone. Priced at less than $15 it is an affordable wine that is easy to drink, and big on flavor. But don't just take my word for it! Here's a review of this wine
if you would like to read more about this delicious red...
Have a wonderful weekend!
This week at Living Luxe for Less
I am featuring different companies and products that are not only luxe for less
, but that also benefit a good cause.One of my favorite ways to shop for myself, while also helping others at the same time is to shop Fair Trade.Fair Trade stands for the relationship between the seller and the consumer, and it is a system that ensures that sellers receive adequate pay for their work, and guarentees humane working conditions.Today I will be featuring one of my favorite Fair Trade companies: Indego Africa
is a non-profit organization which according to their website is "built on core values of transparency and good governance
– that attacks systemic poverty by delivering access to export markets and job skills to African women." There are five key principles to Indego Africa’s business model:
- Partner with cooperatives of female artisans from Rwanda.
- Sell these cooperatives' products at both high end retailers and online.
- Pay a fair wage, including 50% in advance.
- Return 100% of the profits to Indego Africa's ground-breaking educational training programs.
- Partner with Generation Rwanda, a program that provides university scholarships to Rwanda's top students. These students teach classes on economic independence and sustainability to Indego Africa's artisans.
Still curious about how this program works and who it helps? Here is a video from the Indego Africa website featuring one of their artisans speaking about her experience in the Rwandan genocide, and how Indego Africa has helped her and her family...
Want to support Indego Africa and their goal to create economic sustaniabilty for women and their families in Rwanda? It's as easy as buying a few of their beautiful artisan products! Here are a few of my favorites from the Indego Africa website...
Each one of these fair trade Agaseke baskets takes up to five days to complete and is hand-woven using needles and sisal threads by women in the Covanya cooperative in Rwanda. A traditional African wedding gift, and today a symbol of peace which represents the reconciliation of Rwanda following its 1994 genocide.
The Indego Africa Plateau Baskets
are crafted with needles and imigwegwe
plant threads by the women of Covanya cooperative
in Rwanda. It takes great skill to make these beautiful baskets, and up to seven days to weave.
These striking baskets require great craftsman expertise, and are made with needles and imigwegwe plant threads by the women of Covanya cooperative in Rwanda.
These beautiful boxes are hand woven with banana leaves from the women of the Twiyubake Family in Kayonza, Rwanda.
These Wine Bottle Bags come in a variety of fabrics and are hand-sewn by the women at Cocoki cooperative in Rwanda and are made with Dutch wax cloth.
These colorful wine coasters come in packs of four, tied with a banana leaf, and are a great way to brighten up your table or cocktail party. These coasters are also made by Dutch wax cloth, and are hand sewn by the women in the Cocoki cooperative in Rwanda.
And you can also buy Indego Africa products at a variety of retailers. This fall Anthropologie
has partnered with Indego Africa and is selling this beautiful scarf hand sewn by the Ingenzi Knit Union
cooperative in Rwanda.
Will any of these Indego Africa products be coming home with you soon?
What a great way to treat yourself or someone you love!
If you want to learn more about Indego Africa and the community you will be supporting when you make a purchase, I will leave you with one more video from their website about this social enterprise and the communties which they help support....
In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, today I am featuring my nine favorite products that will help you look great, and support a great cause!
Clean up and smell sweet all while supporting a great cause...100% of the profits from this delicious shower gel will go to benefit breast cancer awareness!
I can definitely get behind supporting breast cancer, and painting my nails this perfect pink!
Bobbi Brown is my absolute favorite makeup line. Bobbi has really got it down when it comes to products that create a natural, flawless look. This shimmer brick is an amazing product that you can use to create a natural glow, and brighten cheeks and eyes all at the same time. And Bobbi will be donating $35,000 of the sales from this product to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
Don't you love this beaded hot pink sheath? I would love a dress like this for the warmer months! It would look great with a pair of metallic sandals or an espadrille wedge, and 5% of the sales from this dress will go to the BCRF!
This shiny little lip gloss delivers a shot of hot pink color, along with powerful moisturizer to keep your lips kissable! And $5 from the sale of each lip gloss goes to CEW's Cancer and Careers fund. If you see my lips looking shiny and pink the next time you see me, you will know why!
I heart this bag, and I heart that 10% of the benefits from this sporty tote will be donated to the BCRF in October! Need I say more?!
I've tried other tweezers and hands down Tweezerman is the best! When it comes to my eyebrow grooming, this is the only pair I will trust!
Who doesn't want softer feet? And 100% of the retail profits from this foot pampering combo will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade foundation!
Don't you love this classic black and beige flat? It is named in memory of Marc's sister Jodi Fisher who lost her battle to leukemia last year, and 100% of the profit from this shoe will benefit Breast Cancer Research.
Do you have a favorite beauty or fashion Breast Cancer Awareness product?
If you are just tuning in to Living Luxe for Less
this week, I will recap you on yesterday's post, and let you know that this week I am focusing on companies that have partnered with outside charities or foundations to give consumers the opportunity to shop for themselves, while also benefiting a good cause!One of my favorite designers, Tory Burch, has done an incredible job of using her success to support and benefit American woman by creating the The Tory Burch Foundation, a non-profit organization that
provides economic support to women and their families in need.
According to The Tory Burch Foundation website, "Fashion designer, mother and entrepreneur Tory Burch launched her Foundation in 2009. Based on her own experiences as a working parent, Tory believes that one of the most powerful ways to create change is to economically empower women. Under her direction, the Tory Burch Foundation helps women access financial tools which improve their lives." Click here if you would like read more about this foundation.
Want to know how you can support this great cause? It's easy! Just make a purchase from Tory's own line of Tory Burch Foundation products
, and 100% of the profits will go to benefit the economic empowerment of American women and their families!Don't know which Tory Burch Foundation product to put in your virtual shopping cart? I know it's hard...they are all so cute! Here are two of my favorite Tory Burch Foundation products, the tote and the pendant, paired with an otherwise entirely Old Navy ensemble. Who knew Tory and Old Navy could look so good together?!
And if you only have $100 to spend, but you want to treat yourself while also supporting American women in need at the same time, this is my pick of the week...
I love this studded cuff, and I think it is so versatile! The orange is definitely my favorite....
Have any of these Tory Burch Foundation products caught your eye?