December 30, 2011

2011 Reflections

My family's Christmas tree - the perfect mix of old and new ornaments

As my favorite season and the year come to an end, I wanted to thank everyone for their continued support of ES.  The blog has been an inspiring addition to my life and I am looking forward to bringing new ideas and improvements to it in 2012.  Since I am a very lucky girl, my big Christmas gift this year was a new camera (I've had my eye on this one for months).  I am beyond excited to learn how to use it and bring high quality photos to ES.  During my trip home, I spent a wonderful few days relaxing with family and friends, eating delicious home-cooked food, and watching all of the classic Holiday movies.  In between my time in front of the fireplace and trips to the kitchen, I took some practice snapshots with my new gift.  I certainly have a lot to learn, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites.  Each of them remind me of my cozy house and the wonderful time I had this holiday season.  Happy New Years everyone; see you next year.  Xoxo

My mom's vintage cream and sugar set - perfect for gatherings at anytime of the day

Monogrammed stemless wine glasses

My favorite cuddle buddy, Brody

December 19, 2011

Window Shopping

Festive Trees Along 5th Ave

There is nothing quite like being in New York during the holidays.   And while this is not my first Christmas season in the city, each year it seems just as magical as the year before.  One of my favorite holiday priorities (besides gift shopping of course) is checking out the store windows.  It truly gets me in the holiday spirit and allows me to act like a tourist for a few hours.  This year was probably my most productive window viewing as I dedicated an entire afternoon to checking out as many stores as possible. While Saks and Bergdorf's definitely have the most intricate window displays, it is hard for me to overlook Barney's "Gaga's Workshop" as my favorite.  Which one do you like the best?

Van Cleef and Arpels Window Decor
Bergdorf Goodman "Carnival of Animals" themed Windows 
Bergdorf Goodman's Windows
Barneys "Gaga Workshop" Themed Windows
Gaga's Crystal Cave 

Miu Miu 

Tiffany & Co. Miniature Window Scene

Gorgeous Entrance Wreath at Tiffany's


Tommy Hilfiger
Saks "Land of the Bubblemakers" Themed Windows
Saks Windows
Saks Window
Tree at Rock Center

December 16, 2011

Holiday Hands

Essie "As Gold As it Gets", OPI "Big Apple Red", Rimmel Nail Art in Gold

In light of my holiday mood these days (I have been listening to the Mariah Carey Holiday Station on Pandora all week long), I wanted to do something festive with my nails.  While perusing an amazing nail polish blog, called Steffel's, I came across a very creative way to spice up a red manicure with one coat of glitter polish sandwiched between two coats of red polish (the post can be found here).  I loved the look it created since it was much more bold than your typical shimmer red polish.  I decided to put my own twist on this concept and add in a statement nail with a little gold shimmer.  I was pretty pleased with how the manicure came out but I think next week in preparation for Christmas Eve I might try an even chunkier glitter polish in silver to kick it up one more notch.

Step 1: 1 Coat of Your Favorite Red
Step 2: 1 Coat of Glitter Polish
Step 3:  Second Coat of Red
Step 4 (optional):  Make a statement nail by dotting nail art polish on tip of nail

December 13, 2011

Holiday Sweets

This past weekend a friend of mine hosted a Cookie Exchange party.  It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon and really got me into the holiday spirit.  There were about 7 different cookie options and we all got to take home a variety of each batch that was made.  The apartment was decorated with just the perfect amount of festive cheer and the cookies all looked so amazing that I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures.  I didn't get a chance to take a picture of all of the different sweets (such as the Cowboy Cookies or Buckeye Balls) but I can assure you they were all DELIC!

P.S. I made the reindeer cookies and found the recipe here.  As a side note, I couldn't find any super mini pretzels so I cut up the chocolate pretzels I had to give each reindeer antler some character.  Enjoy!

December 8, 2011

Black and Gold Obsessions

Morgan Hobo

I have always been a Marc Jacobs kind of girl.  It was love at first sight for me when I discovered the classic "Q" bag line and its' chunky gold hardware accents on his signature buttery soft leather.  And while my love of MJ will never go away, there is certainly room for a new man in my life; his name is Alexander Wang.  I have seen this brilliant designer's bags on the arms, shoulders, and across bodies of women all over NYC and I can't contain my love for these gems any longer.  This brings my addiction to black and gold handbags to a whole new level.  With the thick supple leather and gold spiked bottoms, these purses are more than just gorgeous, they are breathtaking.  While the price tag is steep ($900+), I am hoping that a miraculous post-holiday sale will put these bad boys on the sale rack.  But for now, a girl can always dream...

Black Rocco with Pale Gold Hardware

Black Emile with Rose Gold Hardware

Black Millie with Antique Brass Hardware

December 5, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Muffins

As I mentioned here, I have always been a huge fan of anything in the pasta family.  In an attempt to turn this habit into something healthy, I have been trying to eat the "good" carbohydrates such as whole grain noodles, brown rice, cous-cous and my new favorite, quinoa.  While perusing various blogs one day, I stumbled upon a delicious looking recipe for Lemon Blueberry Quinoa muffins (recipe here).  Since I had some free time this past Saturday morning, I decided to cook a batch of these little power muffins for a mid-afternoon snack.  After my initial taste test, I learned that snack is probably not the best word to describe this recipe as they tasted like they were in-fact healthy.  While this of course is not a bad thing, I am going to put my own spin on the next batch where I will substitute vanilla yogurt for the sour cream, add in pecans or walnuts, and a few dashes of brown sugar.  I will be sure to let you know how this version turns out!