Monday, June 30, 2014

Dinner Last Night........Mushroom Pasta

This dinner wasn't actually last night, but a few people asked me for this recipe after I posted it on Instagram. @mackenziepages if you'd like to follow me!

This is what my family and I call "Mushroom Pasta".

My parents are vegan so they do it with whole wheat pasta.
It tastes great with white or wheat pasta, and I'm thinking about getting super ambitious and trying it with spaghetti squash.

What you'll need:

-3 packages of mushrooms (I use one package of shitake, one baby portabello, and one regular white mushroom)
-Garlic- at least two cloves, I LOVE garlic so I use 3 or 4
-olive oil
- green onion 
-truffle oil
-good parmesan cheese
-white or wheat pasta of your choice ( I like to use linguini)

What to do:

Slice and dice mushrooms into bite size pieces. I like to vary between slicing and quartering to give the sauce a good hearty texture. Heat a medium saucepan and add olive oil (probably about 2 tablespoons). Once olive oil is hot, add minced garlic cloves and sautee until fragrant. Add mushrooms and toss with olive oil and garlic. Cook until tender (adding olive oil as needed). Once mushrooms are basically cooked, add chopped green onions and parsley. Remove from heat after they have cooked slightly. Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with truffle oil. Toss mushroom sauce with pasta and generously add parmesan. Serve hot!

Easy peasy and SOOOO delish!

Mid-Century Beauty

As you all know, I'm a sucker for a true mid-century house. I hope to own one of these beauties one day, and until then, there's no harm in shopping the listings. There's a realtor out of Dallas that sells exclusively mid-century marvels like this one and I love perusing his site for the creme de la creme of mid-century homes.

This one in Fort Worth sold recently, and it is such a stunner.

It's clearly had some work/been really well kept up.

Complete with gorgeous and I would imagine original terrazzo floors.

Love the 70's crystal chandelier and the Milo Baughman style chairs in the dining room.

And of course I'm into this room with the Barcelona style seating, and more Milo Baughman style furniture. And let's not forget the gorgeous Slim Aarons print.

The best thing about mid-century homes is the open feel. What's interesting is that open-concept is a must in new construction homes these days, and it was a constant in mid-century built homes. 
So ahead of it's time.

The kitchen is the one piece I'm not crazy about, but it mainly just needs to be updated while keeping with the style of the original house.

This bar is too legit to quit. Complete with that gorgeous brass foot rail.

How ridic is the wallpaper behind that bed? It would look oh so sexy with a fabulous upholstered headboard against it.

I'm assuming that a large portion of this tile is original to the house and it's so cool.
I know we all love white, white and more white these days, but isn't it fun to have a look that's a little outside the box?

And omg, this FREAKING TUB. Would Kelly Wearstler die over this or what?

I'm OBSESSED with this bathroom. Love the emerald color.

The outdoor spaces are just as stunning as the interior.

I have to say, for listing photos, these are pretty fabulous. I think if this were my home I'd try to achieve more of a mix of furniture styles instead of making absolutely everything mid-century, but all in all, it's pretty wonderful.

All images courtesy of

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Attainable Room

I love Pinterest as much as the next gal, but one of the most annoying things about it is the sometimes un-attainable nature of the beast. Yes, it's lovely to look at thousands of photographs of expensively decorated rooms, impossibly gourmet meals, and Martha Stewart on steroids crafts, but doesn't it put your own reality in rather harsh perspective?

The thing I try to remember is that a gorgeous look CAN be achieved on a decent enough budget.
And it doesn't have to look like you were scraping the bottom of the bargain bin.

Like with any fabulous look, the best one's are achieved with a careful mix of high and low.

So I thought it would be fun to recreate a version of the above gorgeous foyer (that I've repinned about 100 times).

This parlor from the Greenbrier is my color inspiration.

I'd start with painting the walls Benjamin Moore's All-A-Blaze.
A gorgeous pinky-coral.

I like how it has the bright aspect of the parlor, but a touch more pink.

BM All-A-Blaze 1304

Funnily enough, after I picked that color out of my paint deck and Googled it for a swatch, Designer and Blogger Erin Gate's recent office re-do popped up. It was the same color she used on her walls. It looks so fabulous in her room and I love how easily it would translate to a variety of rooms.

image courtesy of Elements of Style Blog

Let me tell you something about bright pink walls. My mother has had her formal living and dining room painted in a bright pink for YEARS and she gets NON-STOP compliments.

Here's her color, shown at a shower that Lauren of Pendleton Design and I held for our friend Elizabeth of Elizabeth Olliver a few years ago for her wedding.

I love the console in the House Beautiful picture, and ornate French consoles with marble tops are certainly easy to find. Some of you may even have them already, handed down from your mothers or grandmothers.

But I just couldn't help myself when I saw this elephant head console from Circa Who.

And how amazing would it look lacquered in Benjamin Moore's Picture Perfect?

BM Picture Perfect 743

The console is definitely a splurge at $2800.
A console would possibly be something you had, and certainly something you could find on the cheap.
The most important thing obviously, would be that it is fun, ornate and something with edge.

A small side chair is also something you might have already. With the overtly 1960's Palm Beach look of the console, I would want to go more traditional/Frenchy with the chair.

This one is from ebay and it's $293.25. Not a huge huge bargain, but you could definitely find a similar item for less if you had the patience.

A small chair in a show place like your entry is definitely the place to use that pricey fabric you've been coveting.

It's not a ridiculously expensive fabric, but it's out of my price range to do something more substantial.
I would have my upholsterer get rid of the tufted back and run the strip of floral down the center of the chair.

I love how it pulls out our two central colors.

For a mirror, I would want something fabulous and ornate.

Here's where we can really get into a cost study.

This pagoda style mirror from Circa Who is $2600. It would be my inspiration piece, and perhaps for the client who wanted to spend a bit more, it might be the ticket.

For the person who wanted to cut costs a bit, here's a similar version off of Etsy for $1650.
I'd probably take some metallic gold spray paint to it.

And for the person who was on much more of a budget, here's a third version off of Ebay for $450

For my chandelier, I'd turn to a 70's modern piece, like this Acrylic crystal piece. Off of Ebay for a bargain price of $99.99

For the accessories, I would turn to Etsy/Ebay or estate sales/flea markets.

I love these wall pedestals. To make them pop against the coral walls, I would probably brush on a dark wood stain.

They're a steal at $65 for the pair.

I have a ton of ginger jars left over from my rehearsal dinner, but I love these off of Etsy for the pedestals.

With all of the symmetry we have going on here, I actually like that they're different.

$45 for the pair

As a discovered when looking for my rehearsal dinner decor, blue and white porcelain is everywhere and you can find it fairly inexpensively. I would fill a large vase like this one with cherry blossom branches when guests came over.

And voila. Fun, Fabulous and most importantly, Attainable.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

About Dinner Last Night........Penne with Creamy Tomato and Turkey Bolognese

At the age we are now, and mostly married, a lot of my girlfriends cook dinner for their husbands/families on a regular basis. Everyone ranges from being a total shortcut type cook to the girls that make everything, and I mean EVERYTHING from scratch.

Me? I fall somewhere right in between. I like to make my own salad dressings, and I prefer to use as many fresh ingredients as possible, while keeping the pre-prepared items to a minimum.

One area where I almost always take a short cut is marinara sauce.

I usually start out with an olive oil, minced garlic and onion base and sautee them and then add in my jarred sauce. This way, I feel like I've at least contributed some fresh ingredients.

At Trader Joe's on Monday, I stumbled across this Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce and couldn't resist. I was out of garlic, so I chopped red onion and basil and sauteed in olive oil, followed by ground turkey and garlic salt/pepper. 

I would usually use ground beef in my sauce, but I'm so glad I used turkey because it balanced out the richness of the sauce.

When all was said and done, I ladled the sauce over penne pasta and grated parmesan over the top.

It was sooooo delicious and totally quick and easy.

Wedding Wednesday......Honeymoon Spot in Belize

Even though I love/never get tired of hearing about weddings, I'm quite certain that some of you don't feel the same. So while I plan to keep doing regular Wedding Wednesday posts, I think we can broaden our horizons on the subject matter.

Today I'd like to talk about honeymoons.

Specifically, the destination that I think Brian and I are pretty much decided on. 

We decided to take a delayed honeymoon for a host of reasons, Work Schedules being the first and biggest reason, and also because, since Brian never and I mean NEVER takes time off from his two businesses, I really wanted to maximize every minute of our honeymoon, and I knew that we wouldn't be able to do so if we were exhausted from the wedding. And now knowing how physically and mentally drained I was on Sunday, April 13th, I am SO thankful that we decided to delay.

We still haven't nailed an exact date down---post-wedding laziness has gotten the best of us, but we think we'll be going sometime this fall.

We've gone back and forth on where exactly we wanted to go, with the following criteria playing into our decision:

1. Budget-While some of our friend's parents have been kind enough to send them all over the world, we're paying for this little trip ourselves. So, we had to pick something relatively economical.
  2.  I HAVE to go somewhere that the water is turquoise- Since my family owns a beach house on the
       Texas coast, we've usually taken vacations that were skiing related or to a city. I've been to Mexico
        twice, but I've never gotten a taste of that gorgeous Caribbean water.
 3. Brian didn't want to go anywhere too "commercialized"- read, no Starbucks, and as few hi-rise
     resorts as possible.
 4. We both wanted a place where we could explore the town- and unfortunately a lot of Caribbean
      destinations are not safe enough to leave the resort.

After looking at all our criteria, I took to the most obvious research tool: Facebook. I looked through several honeymoon albums of both acquaintances and friends and noticed that several people had gone to Ambergris Caye/San Pedro, which is an island right off of the coast of Belize.

After more research, I discovered that while a lot of people stay at Victoria House, which is still an option for us, I absolutely love the look and feel of the more secluded Matachica Resort & Spa

No matter if you stay in the most expensive room or the least, everyone gets their own private cottage.

View from one of the cottages. Yes PLEASE.

Does it not look SO idyllic? Reviews are fab too.

I'll keep ya'll posted on our plans!