22 March 2011

Other Ways to Help Japan....

Great finds to still help Japan and 100% of the proceeds go to the reflief efforts.

Kate Spade is selling this really cute tote at $18. Also, 100% of the proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross. This will be available at Kate Spade New York boutiques starting March 23, and available for pre-order now at www.katespade.com. (NOTE: I couldn’t find it on their website. So I left them a FB message to see where it’s at. I want one of these!)

Ralph Lauren is selling this ‘Japan Hope Polo’, which is available in navy blue and white for men and women at $98. This polo collaboration is between Polo Ralph Lauren and The United Way Worldwide. The sale of this polo will be donating 100% of the proceeds to the Central Community Chest of Japan. This polo is available at select Ralph Lauren stores and on www.ralphlauren.com.

Images from refinery29

From Kate with Yellow....

Spring has finally arrived everyone!! So happy! This winter has felt so long this year because of all the snow. But brighter, happier days are ahead now. Speaking of 'brighter' days, Kate Spade has launched their new website. It's so bright with the color yellow, which just happens to be the color that they are using for the Spring designs. It just makes you want to smile with happiness. Here are just a few of the new items on their site. Enjoy!

- seersucker patent treesh - $295.00
- sunny kolette skirt - $295.00
- daffodil valerie jacket - $395.00
- shady side magazine tote - $255.00
- tipsy (shoe) - $198.00
- kati pineapple cardigan - $295.00

Images from Kate Spade

Italian Bread at Home....

So the other week, I asked my husband if he wanted to try this Italian Country loaves recipe that I found in a old magazine, which I had saved for all the recipes that were in it. My husband's the bread guy in our family he makes such delicious breads. I'm still nervous myself to make bread, but I'm thankful he likes to do it. *happy smiles*

So we tried the recipe and it came out really good! We were surprised that it really wasn't that hard of a recipe. It was just very time consuming. But it's really good dipping bread, like the kind you get at an Italian restaurant with the olive oil. Also, this recipe makes two big loaves. So you can always share with a friend!

Hope you all like the bread! Enjoy!

Italian Country Loaves
(From the Better Homes and Gardens – Holiday Cooking 1997)
Makes two loaves.


1 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ¾ cups warm water (105degrees to 115 degrees)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dries rosemary, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
7 to 7 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
Olive oil (optional)


Stir together the 1 cup warm water and the yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let stand about 3 minutes or till mixture looks creamy. Stir in the 2 cups flour, ¼ cup at a time; the milk; and sugar. Cover and set in a warm place for 4 to 24 hours or in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Beat the 1 ¾ cups warm water, 1/3 cup olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and salt into the yeast mixture with a freestanding electric mixer on low speed or with a wooden spoon. Beat in as much of the 7 to 7 ½ cups flour as you can.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (2 to 3 hours).

Punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a round loaf, pulling the top surfaces tight and pinching any seams together under the loaves. Place on a large greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (or on parchment paper, if using a bread stone). Cover and let rise till nearly double (about 1 hour).

Adjust two oven racks so one is in the lowest position and the other is in the middle of the oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees. If using a bread stone, place it on the middle and preheat stone for 30 minutes. Rub loaves lightly with flour. With a sharp knife or clean razor blade, cut a crisscross design atop each loaf, about ¼ inch deep. If desired, brush rosemary sprigs with olive oil, and place on top of loaves.

Images from Me; Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens - Holiday Cooking 1997

21 March 2011

Tan Leather on a Motor Bike....

So Keira Knightley's new Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle fragrance ad is out. So pretty! I love seeing her in the all tan leather biking outfit and the tan motor bike. It gives the look of strong and confident woman, but still feminine at the same time. Also, I love her short hair. Not sure I could pull that off, but she doesn't it so well.

Have a good Monday everyone! Enjoy!

Images from Best Clothing Gallery, blavish, keiralove.tumblr.com/

19 March 2011

Day of Silence for Japan....

For those of you who didn't know, yesterday was the Bloggers Day of Silence for the disaster in Japan. Also Japan held a day of silence Friday for when the earthquake/tsunami happened. Please take a moment to donate if you can. Thanks everyone and take care!

For Japan With Love...

Image from apartment 34

16 March 2011

Blossoms for Japan....

For everyone who wants to help Japan, but wasn't sure how. Here's the link to NBC Nightly News - Japan Earthquake: How to Help.

Take care!

Image from Me. Tokyo, Japan 2005

14 March 2011

Prayers for Japan....

So, thank god my husband's family is ok in Japan. They live in Nagoya, Osaka, and Kyoto. They really only had some shaking from the earthquake. But our friend's wife is from the Sendai area. Her family is safe. But it's so hard to see the pictures of what has happened. Please keep Japan in your prayers, and if you can help, please do.

Take care everyone!

Images by me from Nagoya, Japan in 2005.

08 March 2011

All In One Photo....

Sometimes it's all in one photo. Not two or three or more. Just one. And you know that you love it... with just a bit of white ruffs to go along the way. Enjoy!

Image from STREETFSN

05 March 2011

Trouble With Some Cheesecake....

So I tried my first hand at making homemade cheesecake the other day. Never done this before. I've always just made them from the box. *Smiles* But I got in the mail last week the King Arthur Flour's the baker's catalogue, and it had a recipe for vanilla bean cheesecake bars. So yummy looking! So I decided to try it.

It's a pretty easy recipe to follow. However, it's not good to make your first homemade cheesecake at the same time... that you're trying to listen to a late night conference call. Doesn't work very well. I ended up putting one teaspoon of lemon zest in the cheesecake, instead of 1/2 a teaspoon. I put the cheesecake in for 34 mins., but it was still very wobbly in the middle of the cheesecake. So I ended up putting it in there for 6 mins. more. Then 6 more mins. Then a few more. Then my husband had to watch it cause I got pulled away. And well... we cooked it a little too long. Well, I think we did since it doesn't look like the picture.

So some advice for everyone. Please do not over cook your cheesecake. Watch your cheesecake, and don't listen to calls at the same time you're making your first cheesecake.

Oh well, it did taste really good! That's all that matters. Enjoy everyone!

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars
(from King Arthur Flour)

Yield: 16 servings.

- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 8 whole crackers
- 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons melted butter

- 16 ounces (2 large packages) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- 2 to 3 teaspoons Vanilla Crush or vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel, optional
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2) To make the crust: Stir together the crumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and melted butter.
3) Press into the bottom and about 1/2" inch up the sides of an 8" x 8" square pan.

4) Freeze for 15 minutes if using a metal pan (not necessary if using ceramic or glass). Note: this is to prevent the edges of the crust from slumping. If you're not worried about slumping (and in our testing, it only happened some of the time), you can skip this step.
5) Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until set; the color won't change much.
6) Remove the crust from the oven and cool for a few minutes while you lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

7) To make the batter: Mix the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.

8) Add the cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice; mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you mix.
9) Spoon the batter into the crust.

10) Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set but still soft in the center. An instant-read thermometer, inserted into the filling about 1" in from the edge, will read about 180°F.

11) Remove the bars from the oven, and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
12) Just before serving, top with fresh berries, fruit pie filling, or whipped cream.

Images from Me; Recipe from King Arthur Flour

02 March 2011

Pink for a Day....

"There are those who work all day. Those who dream all day. And those who spend an hour dreaming before setting to work to fulfill those dreams. Go into the third category because there’s virtually no competition."
— Steven J Ross

Images from flicker, the Ardent Sparrow, Paris in Pink; Quote from pas de deux

01 March 2011

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips...

Hello March! I still can't believe how fast February went by. But we're that much closer to Spring. So I thought I'd share some pics with you that I took last year in Washington D.C. at the National Tulip Garden. And yes, they have one! Enjoy!

"... Knee deep in flowers will stray, we'll keep the showers away. And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight, will you pardon me? Come tiptoe through the tulips with me!" 

- Tiny Tim

Images from Me.
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