Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thoughts on the Nursery

 I've spent so much of the last few months planning the perfect nursery.  I even joke that it's the nicest room in the whole house.  We have one detail missing, so I can't post pictures quite yet, but I will share my inspiration board and color scheme.  

Check list: 
A crib without plain slats and must have carved legs
A changing table that would also serve as an elegant dresser for years to come
Built in shelves
Double curtain rod, blue silk curtains, natural weave linen sheers 
Fabric glider chair and ottoman
Accent Table
Floor Lamp
Garden stool
Rocking horse
Nurseries I Love

I used this to inspire my layout.  This room is much bigger, but the crib, chair, garden stool, changing table, curtains (hung  high and touching  the floor), crown molding and floor lamp are all things I wanted to incorporate into our own nursery.  Source: houzz.com

My mother tore this out of a magazine a couple of years after I got married.  She was already planning, I guess!  This nursery is so subtle and elegant, I just gasped when I saw it.  Source: Southern Accents Jan/Feb 2009
I just loved the non-traditional crib with the detailed wood work and I used this picture to inspire the built in shelves I had made for the room.  It also inspired the rug I picked out, and of course, it has a rocking horse!  Source: elements of style blog
I mean, what kid wouldn't just love spending his time in here?  Large and airy, it's neither loud nor obnoxious.  It is nursery perfection.  Source: Past and Present Interior Design
This closet inspired a remodel of the closet that was previously in the room.  It added square footage and storage that wasn't there before. 

I had the HARDEST time finding bedding I liked. I was even willing to buy from the super-high-end collections that have more subtle designs, but even those weren't weren't subtle enough for my taste.  I hate obvious themes printed all over bedding.  And I can't stand primary colors.  After searching high and low, I decided the only way to get what I wanted was to pick out some fabric and have it made to fit my taste.  I had a color scheme in mind and thought this fabric would work, but I didn't like the overkill of the skirt AND bumper being all stripes.  Plus, I knew I'd grow out of the stripes with plaid... cute for like, a day, you know?

These stripes inspired a full-on search for the same fabric to custom make my crib bedding.  Source: Rosenberry Rooms. $398 for the setStriped fabric found at fabric.com    

Inspiration Board for Baby S

The crib, theme, striped fabric for bumpers, blue linen for the crib skirt and rug I picked out for the nursery. 
Stay tuned for pictures of the finished nursery.  Hopefully the  wall art we ordered will be here this week so we can hang it and take pictures.


Monday, June 11, 2012

{We're Obsessed!} Charlotte Olympia Shoes

Oh I've admired Charlotte Olympia pumps for about a year now, so I am just  thrilled to own my first pair!  I see them worn by ALL of my style crushes and figured it was time to spoil myself and just buy some finally, before the already insane prices continue to creep up.  So while in Dallas in April I splurged and debuted them at my baby shower a couple of weeks later.  And as you can guess, I'm obsessed!  

One of my favorite fashionistas, Kelly Ripa, in Charlotte Olympia "Dolores" pumps, $895, Neiman Marcus

Kelly Ripa and Jennifer Lopez step out in Charlotte Olympia Masako pumps, $875, Net-a-Porter

I bought this pair and I love them.  So does J-Lo!  Charlotte Olympia Dolly pumps in raffia, $875, Neiman Marcus

Thursday, June 7, 2012

{Thrifty Thursday} Black Patent Wedges

So you may know about my obsession with Jimmy Choo.  Last year I blogged about one of my favorite purchases ever - my tall, nude Jimmy Choo patent wedges.  I've more than worn my investment's worth out of these shoes and I'm even considering a second pair in another color.  While browsing the sales, I noticed the shorter, mule version is on sale.  But if you think the sale price is thrifty, just wait until you see the almost identical wedge available for much less at DSW.  Check them out:

Jimmy Choo black patent wedge, on sale for $295 from $365, bluefly.com

Kelsi Dagger black patnet wedge, $45, dsw.com
Happy Saving!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Delicious Eggplant Parmesan

I don't usually go through the hassle of preparing a weeknight dinner that requires several different types of cheese, but this dinner was very well worth it.  It didn't take a lot of effort to prepare, even though the ingredient list was a little lengthy.  

Not only did this recipe yield an amazing Eggplant Parmesan dish, but also, it provided me with a go-to ricotta filling for other Italian dishes, such as Lasagna, Baked Ziti and Stuffed Shells.  This filling is insanely flavorful so don't skimp on the ingredients!  And the addition of the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese added depth to the overall dish.  I was in Heaven!


2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray 

1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten 

Remaining ingredients:
1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese 

1. Preheat oven to 375°

2. To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes. 

 3. To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg). 

4. To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

All photos: my own

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Creating: Baby Bassinet Bedding

I totally got crafty over the weekend in preparation for the arrival of our baby boy.  My dear friends gifted me a gorgeous bassinet from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child, which we've put in our bedroom.  I originally meant to buy the coordinating white bedding but then decided to have darker bedding custom made to fit our room decor and hide any blemishes made by baby!  Instead of commissioning the work as I've done with our crib bedding, I decided to give my old sewing skills a try and with a lot of time and patience, I got exactly what I wanted and saved myself a small fortune in the process.  I am so happy with the finished product but just as happy to not have to sit at a sewing machine a minute longer.  Sitting at the machine all weekend reminded me why I never took up sewing as a serious hobby!

Inspiration: I loved this bedding set for $219

The fabric I ended up choosing for my weekend project

the bumper for the bassinet took the longest to make
The fitted sheet (above, right) was the easiest to make

And I even made a portable changing pad with the leftover fabric
It had been years since I sat down at a sewing machine (at least 8 years...) so I took a refresher sewing class this spring and am happy that my first independent project turned out so well!