How-To / Roast Butternut Squash

October 31, 2013

Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall ingredients. I spend all summer dodging enticing seasonal meals with yellow squash (I'm allergic), that by the time fall comes around I am really looking forward to some butternut squash! I kicked off my first squash of the season this week (my version of Halloween carving this year), and wanted to share a helpful how-to.
Step 1 - The first thing you want to do is wash and dry the squash, and cut the top and bottom edges off. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and follow these steps below.

Once it's roasted you can use it in a lot of different recipes. I'm working on how I can pair roasted squash with kale. I tried it with a peanut butter vinaigrette early this week, but still need to work out the right mix of flavors. 
My go-to is a butternut squash puree with milk and butter. You can eat it as a side all week.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Ikea Hack From Little Green Notebook

October 29, 2013

Have y'all seen Jenny Komedas from Little Green Notebook's feature in Domino Magazine? I knew I loved LGN, but man, LGN + Domino Mag + an IKEA hack?? 
Love at first sight.

I love a good IKEA hack, and this one blows it out of the water. Jenny took three "Pax" wardrobes, painted them, added trim/molding, mirrors to the doors and personalized hardwood making these pieces unrecognizable as IKEA purchases.
I also love the organizational pieces she chose. The red woven baskets are an awesome pop against the dark gray, and I think she's convinced me to try a shoe tree rack.

I also love a good vanity and place for jewelry storage. A decorated chest of drawers might just be my favorite piece of bedroom furniture. The gold mirror brings some glam to the wardrobe and the bust is a fun way to store necklaces.

See the how-to here, and the Domino Mag feature here.
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How-To Cook Steak on the Stove Top

October 28, 2013

Despite being a semi-vegetarian and keeping red meat off my plate for 12 years, I LOVE steak. My mom always tells me how shocked she was when I decided to follow my older sister’s vegetarian proclamation as a 4th grader. As a 2 year old, I would eat mine and hers. This Friday, CT’s flight got in around dinner time, so I wanted to have a nice home cooked meal ready. First off, I want to say that I have never cooked steak before in my life or purchased red meat to cook at home, and have only ever seen steak cooked on a grill. 
Friday, I cooked steak on the stove top and it turned out great, so I wanted to share for those of us who don’t have a grill and still love a good steak.

Before you even start cooking, you need to know these three steps.

Step 1 – Buy Quality Meat
As a never before steak buyer, I immediately dialed my mom for help. The Whole Foods meat counter in Union Square is pretty intense, and I had no idea what to buy since nothing said “Filet Mignon.” I ended up buying two 1 ¾ inch thick pieces of a Beef Tenderloin Roast that the guy had to cut for me. You want to make sure that you get two pieces that are pretty much the same size so when you are cooking you don’t overcook a smaller one and under cook a larger piece.

Step 2 – Invest in a Grill Pan
The trick to cooking steak on the stove I learned was to have a pan that is evenly heated. A grill pan is great for this because it’s in a square unlike saucepans and has ridges to give you a grill-like cook. This kind of pan is also generally oven-safe so you can throw your steaks in the oven if you just can’t cook them as much as you like.

Step 3 – Use Your Hand As A Guide To Tell When Your Steak Is Done
The few times I have watched my dad or CT cook steak on the grill really paid off. My Dad always talks about this hand trick to tell how much you've cooked your steaks so you don’t overcook them. If you look at your hand palm up and relax your fingers, the part of your hand just below your thumb is how the steak should feel when it’s rare to medium-rare. Chart here.

Servings: 2

2, 1 ¾ thick Beef Tenderloin Roast pieces (a little under a lb)
1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
1.5 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp Pepper

  1. Remove steak from the fridge and bring to about room temperature.
  2. Rinse steaks and pat dry.
  3. In a bowl, mix 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir together. With a brush, apply to each side of the steak, cover and let sit until you’re ready to cook.
  4. Coat the pan with the remaining olive oil (This should only be a thin layer). Heat pan of high heat. You want to make sure this pan gets really hot before you start cooking. Once the pan starts to emit light smoke, it’s hot enough to start cooking.
  5. Place both steaks on the pan and sear each side for about 3 minutes each.  
  6. Once you’ve cooked the tops and the bottoms, cook the sides. I used a spatula and knife for this step to hold the steaks on their sides. This step is to ensure you are cooking the meat thoroughly on all sides without burning the top or the bottom.
  7. Use a sharp knife to cut a small slit in the top to judge if it’s cooked to your liking. Red in the middle is rare, rosey pink is medium rare, and pink is medium.

I cooked my steaks flipping them from side to side and top to bottom for about 15 minutes all along doing the hand test to reach medium rare. 

Inspiration Junky #12

October 25, 2013

Happy Friday Everyone! This weekend is one that I have been looking forward to for a while now. CT and I are spending back to back weekends together, which in long distance dating is pretty much unthinkable, AND one of my good friends from work is getting married!! She is also being featured in the Times this weekend - Congrats Tif!! 

This week, New York has gone from pretty much summer to the freaking dead of winter. It was 39 degrees outside this morning. What. Is. Up. With. That? Despite the ridiculously cold weather, I am not ready to give up on Fall. I am loving a chunky sweaters and blankets (the cold weather helps), pumpkin flavored food (who isn't, plus funnel cake is my fave) and am really into eucalytus in home decor. 

Link For Your Weekend - What State Matches Your Personality?
Turns out, I belong in Georgia...

Homemade Halloween Decorations

October 23, 2013

Forget dressing up, I am loving these clever DIY Halloween decorations floating around the blogosphere. I love decorating for the holidays, but it can get really expensive or cluttered trying to store all your decorations from one year to the next. These DIYs use inexpensive materials or everyday items that you can reuse out of the season.  

I love this spooky idea from House of Earnest. It's a really fun and clever way to add some Halloween spirit to your home without over doing it. The trick is solvent based ink that washes the spiders off after you use the plates letting you use them year round.
This bar cart from The Simple Swan is amazing!! I love the mix of gold and black and the chalk board bringing Halloween into the mix with a scary quote. Looking more closely, this bar is decked out in a lot of chic Halloween gear from the subtle skeleton on the cup stem to the black matte pumpkin!

No carve pumpkins from Lovely Indeed are a great idea for keeping your pumpkins longer from Halloween into Thanksgiving.

Lastly, I'm surprised that I love these undead pumpkins from Martha Stewart. They are totally creepy but cute in a weird way and totally original.

Gift Ideas For Him

October 21, 2013

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. This weekend, CT came to visit and we celebrated his birthday. It's also been 10 years since met each other, which is pretty crazy!

Last week, I was running around like a crazy person trying to find the perfect gift. After 10 years of birthday and Christmas presents, finding a good gift was insanely hard. Throw long distance dating on top of that and I can't even go for my usual - tickets to some kind of activity we can do together. I pulled together some of my top items in case some of you are struggling with gifts for the men in your lives too!

Decor-Eat Gets A Makeover

October 17, 2013

Word Art Print - Etsy
Hi Everyone, Happy Thursday! 
I am so excited for the weekend. It's been nearly a month since CT and I have visited each other and this weekend he is coming to NYC for his birthday weekend!

This week, I have spent a few too many late nights learning about html coding and redesigning Decor-Eat. I'm excited to launch the new site, and am sure there will be a few tweaks to make along the way.

What do you think of the new look?

Hump Day Home Makeover / Conquering Clutter

October 16, 2013

I have really been envying organized bathroom cabinets. A weird thing to envy, right? 
Ok, but hear me out.
When my college friends stayed with me the other weekend, they laughed at having to sit diagonally on my toilet to avoid the 10" inch shelves in front of it. So yep, having the space for a bathroom for a cabinet would be amazing! If you get the right pieces you can really mask clutter and necessities for a chic look. 

For today's Hump Day Home Makeover, I've picked out the top 7 things I'd buy to conquer clutter in a bathroom. Fill the shelf with your pretty perfume and hairspray bottles - they can double as necessities and decor.



Do Work - Decor-Eat Is Getting A Makeover

October 15, 2013

Oh the glamorous life of blogging...

This week, I am working on a site redesign! I think this is chalking up to be one of my favorite parts about blogging. Designing the page and pretending like I know how to html code. ha. I am being totally stubborn and refusing to buy a pre-made template and conquering coding on my we'll see how that turns out.
These tutorials from Net Tuts + have been really helpful! Phase 1 | Phase 2

In other news this week, did you know there's a site where you can create your own font?? It's actually pretty cool. You go to, download the template, fill it out with your handwriting, scan it into the computer and submit it.

Tomorrow, I'll be sharing this week's Hump Day Home Makeover feature of conquering clutter in your bathroom! Much like this...


For The Love Of Art / Joni Scully

October 14, 2013

The other weekend my best friends from college came into town for our yearly reunion and we hit Soho for some shopping. I had totally forgotten how much it is to shop with your best friends. In Piperlime, we all separated to dig through the racks and 5 out of the 6 of us picked up the exact same shirt. Really makes you miss shareable college closets. 

One of my favorite things we found all day was artist, Joni Scully's stand around W. Broadway and Broome. She paints oils of buildings around New York from the Empire State Building to Grand Central to Union Square. Her colorful paintings have a whimsical flair making it my favorite addition to my gallery wall.

Check out more of her work here. 

Links For Your Sunday

October 13, 2013

Happy Sunday everyone! This weekend has been exactly what I needed to relax and recharge. Today, I'm sharing some fun DIY projects for fall. How cool are these DIY bloody cups?! And the white pumpkin really make me want to carve a pumpkin this year. 

Hearty Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Soup {fork and flower}

Suspended Fall Leaves Table Decoration {Modern Furniture Design}

My Style Finder - What's Your Decor Style? {Lonny Mag}

DIY Closet Wallpaper Organization {Apartment 34}

Health Benefits of Apples {Building 25}

DIY Bloody Cups {almost makes perfect}

DIY Decorative Owl Pumpkin {a modern dame}

Sweet Sanctuary Is Right / Suzanne Kasler's Atlanta Home

October 12, 2013

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Magazine featured award winning and Atlanta based interior designer, Suzanne Kasler's classic and elegant home this month. Her mantra? "A room should be collected, not decorated."  I wish my collecting could be this put together! I am loving her mix of whites, light blues and gold accents. It feels very Parisian chic to me. Suzanne also has a line at one of my favorite home decor stores, Ballard Designs.

Inspiration Junky #11 / Tartan, Oxford Shoes & Pumpkins!

October 11, 2013

I'm bringing Inspiration Junky back! There have been a lot of great trends going around for fall this season. If you couldn't tell from my influx of fall fashion posts, I am super into it. In Atlanta, we just didn't really have fall. You could get by most of September and October wearing summer clothes and a light jacket, no problem. Fall in NY is clearly different and I will be adding some much need fall shoes and patterns to my wardrobe. I love the oxford shoe look with casual jeans. Tartan looks great with a leather jacket that is also trending at the moment. 

Don't forget to check out my blog sale!! 

Bedroom Progress!!

October 10, 2013

I've been reading a lot about One Kings Lane's start up story this week in New York Mag and Matchbook Mag. The company's moto is "Design Is Never Done," which has definitely been my mantra during my bedroom makeover. I have been picking up different pieces along the way, changing my mind, changing it back and turning my room into a space that feels like me. It's been WAY too long since I shared an update, so I wanted to share my progress with y'all today.

My antique vanity is one of my favorite pieces in my room. I picked it up when I first moved to New York at a vintage shop in Gramercy. With my bathroom being so small and having NO counter space I knew I was going to need a place to get ready in the mornings. I love the tiger maple wood mixed with the faux fur bench.

Rug - One Kings Lane
Faux Sheepskin Throw - IKEA
Foo Dogs - C.Wonder
Empire State Building Jewelry Holder - Anthropologie
Jewelry Stand - Anthropologie 

The curtains have been my biggest struggle so far, seriously I have three pairs of other curtains that just didn't work. These beige ikat are doing the trick bringing a pattern through a neutral color to this side of the room.

Headboard - DIY here
Beside Table - DIY IKEA hack here
Lamp - IKEA
Side Table Knobs - Anthropologie

My gallery wall has been my favorite addition to my room so far. I am a huge art enthusiast and have been for as long as I can remember. I was that kid that actually loved going to museums, took art in high school and bought an easel pretty much my first week in NYC. My favorite piece on the wall is my newest print from New York artist, Joni Scully, of Grand Central Station. Look out for a post on her work next week!! 

Happy Thursday everyone! One more day to the weekend!
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