In this sitting room, I really enjoy the sophisticated feeling brought about by the simplicity of the pieces used. The richness of the fabrics on the chairs and ottoman can be seen in any decor. I imagine Ernest Hemmingway chatting about one of his adventures over a glass of cognac with a colleague. The Zebra printed fabric on the ottoman can be comfortably used in a casual setting as well as a traditional one. Animal prints never go out of style, they only enhance the design plan. Now I know animal prints aren’t for everyone, but they do have a place in design and can be seen throughout design history.
Many people go on Pilgrimages to Holy Sites and Lands, leading them to places of sacred and historical value. The goal may be to find peace about a recent troubling event, to seek guidance for a big decision, or to refresh with a spiritual connection to God.
Maybe you don’t need to know that this is yet another dish created last year, during the holiday rush of course. Our friend Carol, a fellow Southern gal living here in Los Angeles, hosted her annual Christmas party, and she requested a vegetarian-friendly appetizer. One of the first things that we thought of was mushrooms. They are flavor-packed, pair nicely with other veggies, come in a variety of sizes and colors and can either be served inside something or act as a serving vessel (think stuffed ‘shrooms, right?). They may be overused as one of the meatier additions in a vegetarian diet, but hey, they would make the cut. Put them in some pastry, and they’d be tasty and cute. Cute food has a special place in some people’s hearts. All you have to do is make something bite-sized and portable, and they are all over it. Once we’d decided on ‘shrooms, it was just a matter of piecing the rest of the recipe together.
Great news for the pet-parent world! On August 21st, California’s governor signed a new bill permitting dogs at outdoor dining locations. Gov. Jerry Brown developed statewide implementations for restaurants to accommodate pets, including having a separate entrance for outdoor seating, and regulating how dogs are to be maintained while dining.
It’s that time of the year again, the fashion industry is wrapping up last minute plans to prepare for the most anticipated and prestige fashion event- the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015. From September 4th to 11th, 2014 we will see about more than 80 shows from well-known brands like Ralph Lauren to international designers looking to debut their creative work in one of the fashion capital cities in New York.
What I Like About This Room
Over the last three years I’ve written about many things. From organizing tips to the next big color to designing with one color. But now I thought I would do something a little different. For the next few articles I want to show you some designs I really like and explain why.
Having a panic attack is no fun. Feeling anxious and nervous certainly isn't very much fun either. But millions of people suffer these symptoms each and every day and don't know how to control it naturally (without meds), and/or they don't take the time to practice what they might know will help: Deep Breathing.
The part of our job that I dislike the most is when I have to deliver the news to a client that their match didn’t feel any chemistry on the date. It’s always a little tough when the feeling is not mutual. Such are the rules of dating. You have to be “in it to win it” and part of the game is putting yourself out there and seeing what comes back.
Baked Peach French Toast Casserole
I just returned from a thunderstorm-soaked weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia, otherwise known as the Peach State. Now that I’m back in California and sharing this peach-centric recipe, I’m laughing inside at the fact that I ate not one furry fruit while I was in the South. Such a shame. And senseless when I really think about it. When I was younger, I spent a few summers going down to Georgia to visit family, and one of the things I vividly remember besides raging humidity, sleeping three to a bed and walking down red clay dirt roads is eating huge, juicy peaches. The kind of peaches that make a huge mess when you take a bite. Although California’s peaches may not have quite the same effect on me, no matter what, I have to admit that summer tastes better once they are in season.
So the other day I was sitting, staring at the laptop, brainstorming ideas for my next blog post and I came to the conclusion that why not write a bog about some of the best free! Fashion apps that I could share with you all so that you can get fashion tips, maybe shop a little whenever you are not reading my posts. I found a few apps that are great for iphone user #teamiphone…doesn’t mean android users can’t download them too. Well, I’m assuming we are all on-the-go people and would really appreciate the convinience of shopping while sitting at your desk or on your way to the gym, some of these actually allow you to shop from some of the biggest fashion retailers and a few give you fashion tips based upon your location.
We all want time and money saving tips to update any room in our home. We see so many ideas in magazines and on TV, which can be frustrating since they can cost so much. So let’s just tackle the kitchen today with a few simple tips to change things up.
In our efforts to tone-up, lose body fat, eat healthier, and build strength; we sometimes forget about the importance of stretching as part of our daily healthy lifestyle activities. Consistent stretching helps to keep our muscles pliable, improve daily activity and sport performances, and it helps to prevent injuries in the long-run.
It's always a good idea to warm the muscles up for about 10 minutes before starting your stretch routine, and then a good 15 minute daily stretch routine should do the trick for most people.
It's important to remember not to bounce or force your stretches. A slow pace process is recommended, holding each stretch for about 20 seconds. (if you are over the age of 65, a 40 second hold is better.)
Here's a few home-based, simple stretches you can incorporate into your daily healthy lifestyle routine:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Raise your right arm up to shoulder height, and move it across the front of your body.
3. With your left arm, pull the right arm in as close to your chest as possible, and hold it for 20 seconds. You should feel the stretch across the back of your shoulder. Repeat this two times, then switch to the left side.
1. With your feet shoulder width apart, raise your right arm straight up over your head.
2. Bend your elbow so that your right hand is positioned close to your left shoulder.
3. Use your left hand to press back on your right elbow.. You will feel a stretch in the back of your arm (tricep) and upper shoulder.
4. Hold for 20 seconds, and repeat two times on each side.
1. Lie down with the small of your back against the floor.
2. Bend your left knee to 90 degrees to stabilize your hips.
3. Slowly raise your right leg off the ground with the knee as straight as possible. Your right hip should not rise off the floor, and the motion should come only from your hip.
4. As your foot approaches vertical, you will feel a stretch in the back of your leg (hamstrings).
5. Hold your leg in this raised position for 20 seconds.
6. After 20 seconds, relax your knee, and then repeat two more times before switching to the left leg.
1. Stand with feet together and hips straight.
2. Bend your right knee back, and hold the front of your right foot in your right hand.
3. Keeping your knees even (do not let your right knee swing forward), bend your right knee back. You will feel a stretch in the front of your leg (quads) from above your hip to your knee. Do not allow your posture to bow forward, but keep standing straight up.
4. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and then relax. Repeat this two times, and then switch to the left quad.
1. Stand with your feet shoulder length apart and your hands against a chair or a wall.
2. Keep your heels on the floor and your knees straight while leaning forward into the chair or wall. You will feel this stretch down the back of your legs under your knees (calves).
3. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat two times then switch to the other leg.
*** If you'd like a 30 minute facilitated stretch session by me to focus on your tight, over-active and/or knotted muscles, I have single session and packages available. In no time, you'll feel less pain, have a better range of motion, and thwart off any potential future injuries.
Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach
"Get Fit with Witt"
Individuals / Groups / Corporate
310.562.5629 Cell / 818.760.3891 Main
* New exercise & diet books "Tight, Tone, and Trim" and "Cut, Cool, and Confident"
These days we are navigating so many worlds in dating. There’s the virtual world, the tech world, the Facebook world and the real world. With so much emphasis on technology, people get so caught up in making a grand appearance. Too bad it doesn’t always match who they are in the real world.
Are we enjoying the summer sun and trendy hot spots? Good! Now share some of the fun with your pets! Sure, the beach is awesome, as always. But any pet who’s any pet is going to be seen at the hottest events this summer. Not in the know? That’s okay, that’s why I’m here. Check out the list below for great events and mark your calendars!
There are some things that should always be eaten as a pair–summer’s peaches and fresh whipped cream, salty fried chicken and syrupy waffles, rich Irish butter and warm, hearty bread. And of course bacon and mushrooms. They are often a match in a number of recipes. Broil bacon-wrapped mushrooms for an appetizer, or saute up a batch as a topping for your burger. You can toss them over a cheesy pizza, or fold them into a creamy pasta dish. The combination is usually decadent, so if you’re going to do it, go all the way! If you are looking for another way to serve up bacon and mushrooms, here is a fried rice dish that is worth a try.
Why bacon and mushrooms? Well, in this case, they add the umami element that many Asian dishes crave. Umami is known as the fifth taste, and it is an underlying enjoyable savory flavor in a dish. The reason is glutamate, which is an amino acid naturally found in many foods. Mushrooms are high in glutamates, and they are also earthy, hearty and, sometimes, meaty. All very much levels of umami. Smoked bacon appeals to the olfactory system, and everything that comes through our nose hits the taste buds. It is rich, salty and pleasantly fatty, and these characteristics also hit umami right on the head. Let’s not forget the soy sauce, which by itself, is also a high-umami ingredient. As I mentioned earlier, bacon and mushrooms are delicious together, but they are often featured in indulgent dishes. This fried rice has lots of garlic chili sauce, fresh scallions and cilantro not just for garnish, but as the perfect complement to the other flavors.
Bacon Mushroom Fried Rice
Author: The Duo Dishes
Recipe type: Main
1 cup long-grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
1 large shallot, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup snap peas
1 cup bean sprouts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 cups mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon chili oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, scrambled lightly
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
Fresh sliced scallions, optional
Fresh chopped cilantro, optional
Chili garlic sauce, optional
Cook the rice with chicken broth according to package directions. Chill overnight, or up to two days.
Heat the first 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over a medium high flame. Once hot, add the shallots and carrots, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the snap peas, bean sprouts, garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the wok.
Add the mushrooms to the pan with 2 tablespoons water, and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from the wok.
Add the last tablespoon of vegetable oil, sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce and salt to the wok. Add the rice, stir and cook for about 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, and toss to coast. Fold in the cooked eggs and bacon.
Serve the rice with fresh scallions, cilantro and chili garlic sauce, if desired.
While doing some light reading to keep up with the fast moving fashion world I came across an interesting article from WWD Online (Women’s Wear Daily). Paris Couture week has inspired some fashion risk takers to take it to the streets, so I thought I’d shared with you all what people are wearing and of course keeping the streets of Paris very interesting this week.
Have you developed a fatty area between your pectorals (chest) and your biceps/front deltoid (upper arm) area that resembles a fat & chubby butt crack? oops, well then; you may have "Rump Lumps".
1. Fresh towels. Adding a new set of towels will certainly update and make your bathroom feel new and fun. You don’t need a whole new set of towels, I talking about adding some on the towel rack for display, or just a few hand towels to dress up the counter or bar.
Last week and throughout this past weekend, I spent several days hanging out with food and cocktail bloggers and members of the Dole Packaged Foods team. Ally from Ally’s Kitchen was in town again to complete another handful of projects as this year’s Dole Social Media Ambassador, including shooting recipe videos and MC’ing this year’s Dole Cookoff. Ally won last year’s Cookoff, and we initially met during March’s Dole Blogger Summit. She is one of the most exuberant and friendly people I’ve ever met, and her love for cooking is the cherry on top. The 2014 Dole Cookoff is over, and a new person sits on Ally’s throne. I served as a sous chef for Naylet LaRochelle whose Breezy Indian Spiced Chicken with Mango Peanut Sauce, Dates and Grilled Mango took the $25,000 prize. I can’t wait to share that experience with you, but now…it’s all about this salad.
Independence Day is upon us! The most patriotic celebration of the year is this week, and Americans nationwide prepare to decorate their yards, stay cool in the heat, barbeque up a feast and shoot off some fireworks. The 4th of July is the day each year that allows us to let loose while we celebrate this great holiday; however, we are not the only ones getting loose! Each 4th of July, shelters see an influx of stray animals as a result of pets running away when they hear the loud fireworks.
Not everything in life has to be complicated. As self-proclaimed foodies, we like to spend time in the kitchen trussing chickens, making sausage from scratch, whipping up dishes with truffle flavored foie gras, or serving picturesque baked delights (French macarons anyone?). On the other hand, we’re not ashamed to admit there are times when we succumb to semi-homemade cooking and eating. Perhaps our eggless ice cream from last week will come to mind. We don’t care if you judge us! The easiest treats can sometimes make you forget about all of those fancy dishes. Sweet endings seem to be our favorite way to incorporate ready-to-go, off-the-shelf products into our food. This recipe was sent to Amir by a coworker, and there was really no discussion about changing it around when the time came to make it.
Summer is just about here and if you are going to be strapless and/or wearing tank tops, it's important that your upper back looks defined, chiseled, and toned. The last thing you need is your upper back looking like there's a hiney attached to it!
As summer continues, kids are out of school, and some are finishing semesters this month we find ourselves contemplating whether to take a sun filled vacation or perhaps get a summer job? For those unfortunate skipping summer vacation this year ( college students) I have some fun looks that will probably get you an ice breaker conversation about your rocking blazer or slacks… or maybe you’ll impress them so much with your outfit you’ll be hired just because they want your amazing tips on how to look good in slacks! Well let me tell you what this blog post is about…what to wear to a summer job interview and still look fashionable. Colors, skirts, prints, and a great website at the end to help you get started with that job hunt and since I am fashionista I got a great website packed with open positions in the fashion industry. ENJOY!
In this final chapter on moldings, let’s talk about base, door and window moldings. Many times here in Southern California our homes tend to be void of these architectural details. The average home might have the customary quarter round base molding from the builder, which is pretty basic, and nothing around the windows. This is a basic detail you might find in a custom or even high-end home. But these details are relatively easy to add for some creative interest.
As with the last article regarding the crown molding, you must first determine the best scale for your space. If you have average height ceilings, you don’t want to add too much. A base molding up to about 5” should give you enough flair and detail. This will still allow you to create a custom look with regard to the style and design. Pairing that with the scale from last weeks crown measurement will allow you to create that custom, updated feel.
If your design plan allows for it, window molding adds just as much detail as base and crown moldings. These, too, come in a variety of styles to compliment any home. The average width is about 3-4” wide. You can install with mitered corners or add a medallion in each corner for an even greater style.
Continued up from the base molding is the framing around the door. Since they usually run together, lets not ignore this detail. It is also directly connected in style with the window molding. The same rules apply here as well regarding the scale and installation as with windows. Just remember, all of these pieces can be found in any big box store as well as any specialty molding supplier.
As a nation, we’ve come to our senses about the harmful effects of processed food. Knowledge of the benefits of real food has grown exponentially. But just because we are eating more raw and organic food, does that mean our pets should be eating it just as much? How can we be sure our pets get all their nutrition without all the added benefits in one product?
The answer is simple and it relates directly to the answer we give ourselves: we lived just fine (or better) before processed foods, and we can live without them now. The biggest risk in processed food for our pets is that we can’t be sure what has been added to them such as chemicals, preservatives, fertilizers, hormones and pesticides. We have no idea how the food we feed our pets could be harming them. The only way to control that is to feed them organic food. Diet and lowered health risks are some of the reasons we’ve switched to organic, the same should go for your four-legged loved ones. After all, shouldn’t we all care about our pets’ health the same way we care for our own?
If you’re still on the fence about the decision, consider the following facts about processed pet food. If you’re like the way I was, you buy canned, pre-cooked, wet dog food because you think it tastes the best and want to spoil your pet. However, as we know, cooking food typically eliminates the nutrients in food, so the vegetables included in that canned pet food is significantly less nutritious to start.
Think of it this way, when we “juice”, “cleanse”, or go through a “vegan challenge”, what happens? We see dramatic results in our health, weight, and overall well-being. All of this happens because we only put organic, whole foods into our bodies. Doing so cleans out our systems and heals many health problems, as well as enables us to think more clearly and have more energy. A lot of the pet food in commercial retailers claims to do the same thing
Think of it this way, when we “juice”, “cleanse”, or go through a “vegan challenge”, what happens? We see dramatic results in our health, weight, and overall well-being. All of this happens because we only put organic, whole foods into our bodies. Doing so cleans out our systems and heals many health problems, as well as enables us to think more clearly and have more energy. A lot of the pet food in commercial retailers claims to do the same thing, and because we do want the best for our pets, and we have good intentions, we buy them.
Here’s a new challenge that will improve your pet’s health and quality of life: incorporate organic foods into their meals. Use raw vegetables (for the most nutrients), and organic meats. You don’t have to make the switch abruptly, or make the switch completely, just add whole and organic food to their regular diet and it will make a difference. Try it! You have nothing to lose, and your pet has everything to gain!
The Duo’s Ethnic Exploration: Spain
What I remember most about my trip to Barcelona was the good food. Amir wasn’t along for the ride, but I’m sure he’ll make his way to Spain again in due time. My friends and I rented an apartment in El Borne–a quiet, quaint section of the city known for its strong cultural flair. We were in walking distance to so many great restaurants just down the street from our apartment, and if we couldn’t walk there, we would just hop on the metro. Our tapas meals were often a mix of the same types of dishes, including tortilla española, chorizo and patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a spicy, creamy sauce), as well as a few that you may not have had before–buñuelos de bacalao(salt cod fritters), mejillones (mussels), pimientos de padron (pan-fried Padron peppers) and habas a la catalana (broad beans with Ibérico ham in olive oil). Last but not least, there were empanadas.
To follow up the last blog about wainscoting, lets investigate crown moldings. When adding any trim to a room you must always take the scale into consideration. If you have a large room with high ceilings you can use larger pieces and even stack the pieces to create a very custom and highly dramatic result. Make sure the molding fits the style of the space and home. Also know when and where not to use moldings.
We're all busy right? We all have to work longer and harder at our jobs to succeed. We all have family issues to deal with on top of that. We all try to stay relevant on social media like Facebook and Twitter and Instragram, and that eats up our precious time.
Thought Public Libraries Were For Reading Only? Ralph Lauren Stages His Fall Kids’ Line at The New York Library.
It’s that time of year when the days are longer and hotter, the night feels sexier and more people are out and about. Ahhhhh, the sweet smell of summertime when the possibility of romance pulsates with promise. The business of matchmaking is on fire right now. Summer is a wonderful opportunity for singles to shift their perspective and approach in their dating life and tilt the odds in their favor of meeting someone special. Here are a few tips to do just that:
Your Lazy Fast Pass
Today seemed like a good day to talk about ice cream. Not because of the holiday and not because of the summer weather. Mostly because there hasn’t been an ice cream post on this site in the longest time. Last August, there was a Double Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cups based on one of Alton Brown’s recipes. That one was rich, smooth and creamy due to the chocolate of course, but also half a dozen egg yolks. Just imagine. This summer, there have been a few successful ice creams churned in the kitchen that do not include eggs. Yes, you can whisk together an eggless ice cream base in seconds, churn it in minutes and eat it not long afterwards. It is the best way to have homemade ice cream in no time if you’re feeling somewhat lazy.