Saturday, December 22

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

May your Holiday and home be filled with love and happiness!

Friday, December 21

Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is just days away and I'm still not done shopping! The last items on my list are always the small things...the little add-ons to the big gifts I've already purchased. Here are a few of my favorite last minute stocking stuffers.


For the fashion savvy ladies out there, one of my must have nail polishes comes from Deborah Lippmann. Her polish is beautifully pigmented, high quality and super quick drying. You can buy them at department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, or you can purchase them online from I recently bought this gorgeous blue/green glitter shade named Across the Universe, and also adore the gold version called Boom Boom Pow. It helps that the names of each color are super fun!


If the guy in your life is anything like mine, his phone is constantly running low on battery. I saw these handy and handsome chargers in the J.Crew Men's Shop last weekend and thought what a great stocking stuffer they would make. They do come in a variety of colors, but are not currently available online. Check out your local mall to pick one up, or for a plainer but no less useful version, check out the ultimate smart charger on

Men's backup battery for iPhone

One of my favorite little kitchen tools is my fresh nutmeg grater. I got mine at Crate & Barrel years ago, but this one is from Bed, Bath & This is such a handy item and you could certainly use it to grate small amounts of zest from lemons and limes. The bottom (black) portion catches everything you grate for easy pouring into recipes.


For those bath lovers out there, check out or your local brick&mortar Lush store for the most deliciously scented, smooth as silk and bubbly bath bars. My favorite is the Rose Jam which has an incredibly strong, sweet rose perfume and can be split in half for use in two sleep inducing baths. Bonus: you'll smell like a flower for the rest of the night!
Rose Jam

Enjoy the rest of your shopping and remember the best gifts are always the ones that come packed with love!

Sunday, December 2

Comforting Chicken Soup

I'm pretty into soup.  And this simple chicken soup is one of my all time favorites. It's easy. It's economical. It's versatile and above all, it's delicious. This is what you want to eat when that sore throat is creeping up on you, when the days are too short and the nights are crisp.
Start with the basics. Chopped onions, celery and carrots. Then build from there in any direction you choose. If you happen to have any other vegetables handy, like zucchini or squash, toss those in too. The most important thing to remember about homemade soup is that you have to add flavor. And the best way to do that is with lots of herbs, salt and pepper.
I always put a bay leaf in my soup, something I saw my mother do so many times when I was young. I also like to put whole sprigs of rosemary and thyme, you'll find tiny bare branches floating around later, make it a game to see who gets the stems.
Another great flavor addition is a can of white or cannelini beans. Drain the beans, pour half the can into the soup and mash the other half to add a nice creamy thickness to your broth.
At the end of cooking, I like to add a hearty leaf vegetable like kale or swiss chard, it's a healthy alternative to noodles and it tastes amazing!
Whether you choose to use homemade chicken stock or boxed stock doesn't matter, just be sure that it if you do buy it, it's high quality and low in sodium. You need to be in charge of the salt levels. You can also choose to use a raw chicken breast, that will cook directly in the soup, or pre-cooked, shredded chicken (such as a rotisserie chicken from the market). Either way, this soup will seriously satisfy you're whole family and last a while too! I make a pot for my husband and I for two nights of dinner, and you could certainly double this recipe to serve a crowd.
Sprinkle each bowl with a bit of parmesan cheese and dig in.

Comforting Chicken Soup

1 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme
1 bay leaf
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
5 C chicken stock or broth
1  14 oz can white or cannelini beans, drained and split in half
3 or 4 leaves kale or swiss chard, chopped
Cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped, or one large raw chicken breast
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery and zucchini. Brown the vegetables until they begin to become translucent, about 6-7 min. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. Add the herbs, bay leaf and salt and pepper followed by the can of tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. At this point, if you are using raw chicken, drop it into the boiling broth and cook for about 8-10 min. Remove the cooked chicken breast and dice it up, then continue with the next steps.

Bring the soup to a simmer, add half the can of drained beans. Mash the remaining beans in the can with a fork until they resemble a paste. Add the mashed beans to the pot. If you are using cooked chicken, add it to the broth at this point. Gently fold the kale into the soup, shut off the heat and cover the pot to allow the greens to wilt down, about 3-4 minutes. Season again to taste, if necessary.