Wednesday, April 23, 2014

{A Reason To Change Your Mind About Mules}

This season the mule, once known as the backless footwear for your grandma, has received a youthful makeover. I have to be honest, I have been a little hesitant on this one - but after doing some digging, I've found some favorites that I would welcome into my closet. Whether a chunky heel, or a sleek stiletto, the new mule is something you should think about slipping into. 
The Mule Trend
I want the grey and the cognac! What about you? Are you ready to embrace this trend?

Shop here:  Black Peep Toe |  Grey Perforated | Cognac Peep Toe | Black Buckle | Taupe Pointed Toe |  Black Pointed Toe

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

{Infused Cucumber, Mint + Lime Sparkling Water}

It has taken me a long time, but I am finally a fan of sparkling water. A couple of weekends ago my sister and I were hanging out and decided to grab a drink. She hasn't been able to intake any sugar as of lately, so we decided to make up a drink so she still felt like she was having a cocktail. We called the bartender over and asked him to make the recipe I have shown below. He was hesitant at first because he couldn't understand why we didn't want it to be sweet - or without alcohol, but he made the drink, put it in a pretty glass, and when we both tasted it we realized he 1) hit it out of the park and 2) this was something that we could very easily make at home. You want to know what was most amazing - there was no charge for the drink! He said because basically it was just water from his soda sprayer, and a few garnishes, there was no charge! Boom! The look for less! No one in the bar knew we were drinking non-alcoholic drinks, and while they were drinking $15 drinks, ours were free. Gotta love cutting corners in the NYC!!! So without further ado:
Cucumber Mint Lime Infused Seltzer Water
Directions
1. Cut a few slices of cucumber and a few mint leaves and add into your mortar
2. Muddle the cucumber and mint together to help release the flavors
3. Add the cucumber and mint to your glass - along with a few cubes of ice
4. Pour in your sparkling water and squeeze in a little lime juice

I promise you will enjoy this very refreshing and sparkly drink. If you want to add a bit of sweetness to this drink, feel free to add in berries, or muddled watermelon - or even a splash of simple syrup. 

Enjoy! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

{It's All About The Packaging: Personal Touches}

Over the weekend I had a birthday party to go for a good friend of mine and of course I waited until the last minute to decide on a gift. I thought about a few different things (wine, a shirt, a gift card to one of our favorite stores) but then I decided to do something a little more personal. We recently had a long conversation about life and my friend mentioned how she wanted to get back to following her passion (which is writing, and she's brilliant at it) - but felt uninspired. She also mentioned how while at the grocery store she purchased some flowers to sit on her window sill, and how happy it made her feel when she looked at them, and wanted to start to do little things like this to lift her spirits. So after remembering this conversation, I knew exactly what i was going to get her:
Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 7.56.09 AM
One of my favorite stores is Club Monaco and at their flagship store they have the most amazing book (Strand) and flower shop (Polux Fleuriste - see below) next to the clothing store and I've always wanted to purchase something from there - but never did. Remembering how happy the flowers my friend purchased made her, I thought it would be a great idea to get her a flowering plant that would last a long time and would bloom throughout the year. Unfortunately, since Easter was the next day, everything was really picked over - so I decided to purchase a succulent plant instead. 

I also purchased the book Steal Like An Artist to help inspire her to start writing again. This book put a lot of things into perspective for me as I started to doubt my purpose and creativity - so I knew this would be the perfect book for my friend. 

Finally, I got her a sparkler candle to help her remember to never dull her sparkle. 
club monaco flower shop_thumb[3]
photo 5
To each gift I tied a little message (and succulent care instructions) with silk ribbon, placed everything in the box I received for the succulent (they really did all of the work for me in terms of packaging, the box was just too amazing not to use), and attached a Happy Birthday note to the top of the box.
Packaging 2
photo 4
The next time you are in need of a gift idea - put a little thought into it, think about a past conversation you had with them, add a few personal notes and packaging touches and viola! If you ever need any help or gift suggestions - just send me an email - I'd love to help! japayne3@yahoo.com

Enjoy your day!

Friday, April 18, 2014

{Weekend Plans + Friday Finds}

Happy 3-Day Weekend!!! Can you believe that Easter is already here? I already feel like this year is flying by so quickly.  I don't have a ton of plans this weekend, but I have enough to keep me busy yet still relax a little:
Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 3.01.42 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 8.27.30 PM
1. Tonight I'm going to see the new Captain America movie! I hear its fantastic - looking forward to see it.....and eating popcorn!

2. I've really been slacking on my juice game, and need to get back on track. Tomorrow morning I plan to go to the Farmers Market to pick up some fruits and veggies for some homemade juicing. 

3. Tomorrow evening I'm going to a friend's birthday party at Beauty & Essex. Looking forward to great company, great wine, and great food!

4. On Sunday morning I'm going to visit a church in Brooklyn with a friend. Lately I've been working on my spiritual life, and while I enjoy keeping my relationship with God personal - I'm looking forward to visiting.

5. As long as the weather cooperates, I plan to rent a Citi Bike and take a ride along the Hudson on Sunday afternoon. Then once my sister comes home, we are going to open up the Easter baskets that my parents sent us. Yep - we still get Easter baskets - I have the best parents in the world!!!!

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 3.01.52 PM
1. Have you ever been to Tulum Mexico? If so, I would love to hear what you thought about it as I think this is going to be my next vacation destination.

2. Looking forward to making this Spring Vegetable Risotto with Poached Egg. Lately, anything with a poached egg is right up my alley!

3. Lately I've been seeing a lot of gluten-free carb-free pasta dishes using zucchini noodles. I found this cool little gadget to assist in making those healthy "pasta" meals. 

4. Lately I've been addicted to listening to podcasts and I highly recommend the Jillian Michaels podcast. Of course she talks about getting fit and eating healthy - but she also speaks on topics like Setbacks, Haters Gonna Hate, Fool Me Once, Don't Label Me..... check it out - it's really really good!

5. I've been wanting to try and make Ramen noodles (not like the Ramen from college - lol) and think I may have found a pretty easy recipe - we'll see how it turns out. Stay tuned!

Enjoy your weekend loves and Happy Easter!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

{Decor: How to Fit a Dining Room in Small Spaces}

Thinking forward to my next apartment, I want to create a dining space for me to eat at (as I'm tired of eating meals on the couch), and to entertain. Although space can definitely limit the types of parties you host, it shouldn't keep you from inviting smaller groups of friends over for a dinner party. Here are a few ways to make room for a dining table, even if you live in a few hundred square feet.
How to Fit a Dining Room into Small Spaces
How to Fit a Dining Room into Small Spaces 2
How to Fit a Dining Room into Small Spaces 3