Plate: Anthropologie (old) | Glass: Schott Zweisel, Williams Sonoma | Fork: Almoco Flatware in Copper, Design Within Reach
A few months ago, S took me out to dinner at one of our favorite local places, Theodore Rex, for my birthday dinner. They’d just undergone a reinvention of sorts – new name, decor, menu and pricing structure. But they kept the same staff, and the type of the food remained the same. We always enjoy chatting up their resident sommelier, who delivers her pairings with a lot of knowledge, humor, and wit.

During this particular dinner, we decided to pick her brain about Madeiras. We weren’t necessarily unfamiliar with dessert wines (S’s dad is a Port fan), but neither one of us had ever tried a Madeira. After a brief lesson, we sampled 2 of their 3 offerings with our last two courses, and our interest was piqued.

Things kind of got busy – we got married, had family in town, followed by the holidays… but we found ourselves back at T-Rex a few weeks ago, this time for S’s birthday. Remembering our mini Madeira tasting from the previous visit, we opted to split 2 pours of two different Madeiras again. 1 we had tried on the previous visit, but we were told was leaving the menu (we may have even been tapping the last bottle), and 1 that had been recommended to pair perfectly with our Paris-Brest – D’Oliveira 5 Years Medium Sweet Madeira.

The recommendation was perfectly on point, and we are slightly hooked now. Their version of the Paris-Brest is filled with a “sweet” Swiss cheese cream, unlike the traditional hazelnut cream filling (one of my favorites), and the D’Oliveira Medium Sweet complimented the tartness nicely. The Madeira has a beautiful nuttiness to it, as well as notes of toffee and dried fruits. Honestly, to my tastebuds – the combination tasted like an otherworldly tiramisu.

We’ve since been able to purchase a bottle locally to enjoy at home. This Madeira pairs super well with not too sweet desserts – cobblers and cheesecake for sure, but it is also nice to just sip alone or as an aperitif with some savory nibbles.

 

The D’Oliveira 5 Years Medium Sweet Madeira can be purchased online here or here, if you live in one of the states they can ship to. Otherwise, it should be pretty each to procure through your local wine merchant!

 

 

Happy Sunday!

It will become abundantly clear that one of my biggest loves and weaknesses in fashion (and home decor, and paper, and, well…pretty much everything) are stars! And constellations, planets, and other celestial bodies. Cue angels singing…


Gucci Sequin-embellished metallic jacquard midi skirt
Unfortunately, I don’t currently lead a lifestyle where I would get a lot of wear out of this, or it fits into my budget. (Or…fits my body! I’m a pear shape, and at this point, it is nearly completely sold out – still one or two left for some lucky size 40s)

But, picture it.

Option #1 – you work in a fashionable office


1 (there is a 15% coupon available when you sign up for their email list) / 2 / 3 (also here) / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7
 

 

Option #2 – you work in a creative field / job / office

1 / 2 (on sale here) / 3 / 4 / 5 (we’ll chat more later) / 6 / 7 / 8
 

 

Option #3 – you like to be a little extra on the weekends


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

A couple of years ago, I decided it was time to revisit my old hobbies – web design and blogging. I’d just bought my first house (moving in with my boyfriend), and was feeling inspired by all of our plans for said house and DIY adventures.


Well, life and stress got in the way, despite my best-laid (or so I thought) plans. Don’t get me wrong – DIY adventures, misadventures, and decorating have happened. As have life, love, and travel – it just wasn’t captured here!


Flash forward nearly 2 years, and I’m feeling the itch again. This, arguably, has been the busiest time of my life – I’m going through a major career/job transition (ongoing for about 6 months now); I’ve been dealt some health issues that I’m doing my best to tackle; life continues – family, friends, doggies, commitments and obligations… but most exciting of all – we are getting married!


Engaged engaged2


I’ve always loved weddings, but actually planning my own has been a blast. Not only does it have my creative juices flowing again, but it has uncovered some hidden passions of mine and awakened old ones. Besides the obvious – forming a true unit with my best friend and the love of my life, and all of the adventures that will come with that – this journey will hopefully generate a different type of voyage entirely. But – that is a topic for another time!


In the meantime, you may notice that this space has changed a bit, and may continue to do so in the short-term, as this blog finds its stride. However you may have found your way here – I am glad to have you, and hope that you will stay with me!


Our Sunday will be spent enjoying coffee and breakfast at our favorite spot, and then cleaning and preparing for a Labor Day brunch. Thiss will be the first time we have this many people in our new house at once, so hopefully the place will clean up nicely.


I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend!

Favorite places around the web this week…

1) I almost feel like I’m cheating by sharing this, as it isn’t gluten free – but it is too yummy not to share! Ashley, of Not Without Salt, has partnered with Anthropologie to give you Skillet Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. In addition, you can snag her cookie mix at a discount (and part of the profits go to charity, to boot)!


2) An extremely enabling Sneak Peek of the 2015 Holiday beauty collections


3) If I had some extra (ok a lot of extra) cash laying around, this Chloe Dress would be in my closet!


4) 20 People from Famous Paintings Who Literally. Can’t. Even. Right now


5) 129 of the Most Beautiful Shots in Movie History


6) Sinderella – one of my favorite bloggers! Documenting the misadventures of a 20 something on the hunt for true love in the big city, using what else but the modern day matchmaker: Tinder (I can definitely relate – hang in there Sinderella!)


7) On my to try list: Coffee Tonics! Coffee addict? Check! Fan of Gin & Tonics? Check! Love trying new foodie things? Double check! What could go wrong?


8) Traveling to Paris soon (or are you just lucky enough to live there)? Then I’m jealous of you, because you will get to visit Shakespeare & Company’s new cafe, which is opening this Fall!


Listening to this week…

Tom Ford beauty products are a relatively new addiction (yes – *ADDICTION*) for me – I started trying and purchasing his products in early April of this year, starting innocently enough I suppose. I was on the hunt for 2 great lipsticks: 1) something solid that I could wear every day, whether to my office day job or just on the weekend. 2) A great (blue based) red. With the help of a very friendly (and honest) sales associate, I settled on Pussycat for my everyday color, and Ruby Rush for my Red. She also set me up with some fragrance samples and I have been tumbling down the rabbit hole ever since.

For anyone who is a good little addict like me, and follows beauty news and message boards, the new Illuminating Duo in Moonlight – is a must have! As of this writing, the duo is still Limited Edition, but word is being spread that it will become a permanent fixture in the Tom Ford beauty line. I pre-ordered online through TF direct, but it never shipped out, so I wandered over to my local counter  and they had it in stock. The SA (who was *extremely* friendly, by the way), excitedly put it on me (I was wearing makeup already, which included bronzer but no highlighter) – it is definitely subtle and beautiful. However, as I began to play with it, I realized it is very buildable as well.

Swatches first on my (very white) skin – lighter color (Daylight) on the right, darker (Candlelight) on the left.

 

Daylight is extremely light and soft, making it difficult to capture on camera (even my DSLR). Candlelight is definitely a nice bronze shade if you have fairer skin, but is a the perfect highlighting shade for anyone who is darker. On me, Daylight gets applied to the very apples of my cheeks, bridge on my nose, and central forehead and chin. Candlelight is applied under my cheekbones and along the edges of my face.

Tom Ford, in my mind, has pretty much mastered the “adult” version of shimmer – and I absolutely LOVE shimmer! It’s visible in his lipstick and eyeshadows (<3 his Celestials), and it is most definitely visible in Moodlight. Previously, my go-to highligher was always Benefit’s Watt’s Up. As I have drier skin, the creamy formula was always preferred, and I enjoyed the blending/buffing tool attached to it. It is still a great option for me, and I still wear it, but I’ve been finding myself reaching for Moodlight most days the past couple of weeks! So much so that I opted to purchase a back up, just in case it didn’t make it to Permanent status.

Below, I’m wearing it with my “full” makeup.

 



Makeup Details:

Face:
Lancome Teint Visionnaire Foundation (plus concealer) / Stila Custom Color Blush in Self Adjusting Bronze / Tom Ford Illuminating Duo in Moodlight

Eyes:
Georgio Armani Eye Tint in Rose Ashes / Urban Decay Blitz (super gold from UD Vice Ltd palette) / MUFE ME-302 for liner (green from artist’s palette)

Lips:

Tom Ford Stavros (not available online, but will be re-released in November/December) / NARS Pasiphae layered on top / UD Blitz on top of that (just a smidgen)