Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stripes Galore


I am loving catching up on all my new January fashion magazines. I am starting to see a common theme that Stripes are going to be huge this Spring/Summer. I know that stripes can be hard to pull off, but I think if you find the right stripe and right fit they can look awesome. I love that stripes can be so classical, yet have a trendy twist. How do you feel about stripes? Love them or hate them? I will definitely be adding some striped pieces to my summer wardrobe. Here are a few of my favorites:

Thread Social Stripe and Pattern Dress

Rachel Pally Stripped Maxi Dress

Pleasure Doing Business Mini Skirt

Marc Jacobs Stripped Purse

Diane Von Furstenberg Bandot Stripped Dress

Diane Von Furstenberg Stripped Meka Sweater

ALC Dress

This one is definitely my favorite, check out that back, gorgeous!

All pieces from SHOPBOP

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Eat This- Cheesy Baked Farro

I have cooked with many grains before. I am a huge fan of quinoa, barley, and couscous. However, I have never cooked with farro until now. I bought a huge bag of farro at Costco, my new favorite place to shop. I mean they have LaCrema for $13 a bottle- enough said. Most health food stores like Earthfare and Whole Foods carry farro too. If you are not familiar with farro, it is a tiny grain that looks kind of like a seed.

This recipe is what Giada calls her Italian version of Mac and Cheese. It is delicious. This is cheesy baked goodness filled with three different cheeses, tomatoes, mushrooms and breadcrumbs. I like to think this is healthier than mac and cheese because it is made with a grain, but who am I kidding? Either way this dish is tasty. In retrospect I probably should have made my first recipe post of the year a healthy one since most people are probably dieting. Oh well, bookmark this and make it in two weeks. You know you'll be done with the whole diet thing and back on the food train by then.



1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups warm whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups faro or barley, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
For the sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 8 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
For the farro: In a large bowl, add the cheeses and stir to combine. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and reserve. In a large stock pot, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the farro, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the faro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Add the farro, thyme, and sauce to the bowl with the cheese. Stir until combined and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake until the top is golden brown and forms a crust, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

**Note- I used Giada's recipe from her Cookbook, Giada at Home. It called for 2 cups assorted mushrooms and 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes diced. You saute them both until soft and then add to the cheese mixture. I liked the addition of the two veggies. The recipe I found online for some reason did not have those two ingredients included.**

Print Recipe HERE

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Modern Glamour

I was lucky enough to get the Kelly Wearstler book, Modern Glamour The Art of Unexpected Style for Christmas.

It is truly a beautiful coffee table book. I have finally had some downtime since the holidays and I have been reading it. It is a fabulous design book, I am definitely going to have to buy her other books. She is such a style icon and I like her even more now that I know she grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC. I adore a Southerner with great taste. I highly recommend this book if you love interior design!
Some of my favorite rooms she designed and featured in her book were at the VICEROY Hotels.

I love how she combines unexpected pops of color with patterns and modern furniture. Now I just need to get Matt to take me to one of these hotels! I am voting for the Viceroy in Anguilla. It looks amazing and who doesn't love a tropical getaway! Although at $895 a night I don't think it will be happening anytime soon.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Talented Friend

I have the joy of naming Katie Stevenson as one of my dearest friends. We met while pregnant with our boys and have been good friends ever since! Our boys ended up being born exactly one week apart, so it is so fun to watch them grow up together. I soon learned after meeting Katie, how talented she was. Not only is her house gorgeous and decorated impeccably, she is also a brilliant artist. In addition to that Katie is one of the sweetest, funniest, and most genuine people I know! If you live in Charleston her artwork is featured in many galleries here. If not she has a fabulous website featuring her work. I hope to one day get Katie to do a special painting for our home! Here are a few of my favorite pieces she has done:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

HomeGoods Finds

Every New Year I always look around my house and think about what I want to change. What furniture and accessories to get rid of, and what new pieces I need. As I looked around my house I realized I have found some fabulous pieces at HomeGoods. I thought I would share some of my cheap and chic finds!

Kate Spade Zebra Decanter and glasses

Nailhead Ottoman

Fabulous Lamps

Snakeskin Mirror

Sunburst Mirrors

Mirrored Dresser

Calvin Klein White Crocodile Leather Frame

If you don't frequent HomeGoods you should! They get in great new stuff every week! If you live in Charleston the HomeGoods in Mount Pleasant on HWY 17 is awesome!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

We're Gonna Party Like its 2011

Our New Year's Eve was a blast! We had 3 other couples over with their kids, plus my sister and her hubby stopped by. This was our first "kid-friendly" New Years. It in no way stopped us adults from having a good time!

The Ladies

Me and my sweet sister, I wish she would move here!

The Men having their "5 minutes" of baby duty.

All the Kids loved Sterling's new car, which made him like it even more!

As the night wore on, you can tell the champagne was flowing....

And this is the aftermath from the boys, a bushel of oysters demolished and our Christmas Tree burned to a crisp!

Overall New Years at The Mason's was a huge success, kids and all!