Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Dishes Come True

I love food.  I enjoy cooking at home, being invited over to other people's homes to eat with them, and especially the chance to eat out (no dishes!).  What's especially fun is that my husband loves food like I do, we both will eat just about anything (although I'm the even more adventurous one), and we both love the whole range that's out there-- from takeout pizza to Panera Bread to fancy places.  

Recently my parents, knowing this about us, gave us the thoughtful gift of treating us to a dinner out, someplace we wouldn't normally go that would really be special.  We did lots of researching and asked around for ideas on which restaurant of the many great ones here in Vienna to try, and we finally settled on Steirereck im Stadtpark, an incredible place that has won tons of awards for its food.  We were SO excited about this night that we hardly ate a thing beforehand, anticipating the 6 course menu ahead. 

Steirereck am Stadtpark

Ok, so I know it's cruel to go on and on, but everything was incredible, and it was probably the most delicious meal we've ever had. What I love about an experience like this, whenever you get to go out to a great restaurant, is being re-inspired in my own cooking at home.  I especially loved the presentation for each of these courses and was so excited that I took a photo of everything we had (discreetly, don't worry:)). Check out these beautiful dishes, and get inspired for some lovely presentation of your own.

A gift from the chef






The cheese cart as the grand finale

Happy customers

I hope you were inspired to go home and whip up something special.  I know I am!


The perfect gift

Last weekend I  found myself in the Young Designers Market with my sister-in law. In the past I frequented this shop often, and it is such a fun experience. You speak with the designers themselves, and everything is thoughtfully and passionately made. The Designer's Market in SoHo is fabulous. 

I realize most of the world does not live in NYC, so I thought I would pick up some cards and make some online shopping recommendations.  

The Handbag by Arza Design

These handmade Italian bags are beautiful. They are functional and will set you apart in a crowd. 

The Jewels
Iwona Ludyga Designs

Each piece is so unique and simple.

The Tipsy Topper

Ever since Prince William's wedding, the love of women's toppers has been revitalized. If you know someone who loves these dress toppers, The Tipsy Topper is for you!

Rocks & Salt
handmade in Brooklyn

These rockin skirts are so comfortable and versatile. The skirt band is made of jersey, and they come in a variety of wool plaid designs. If you live in a place where a wool hat is a necessity throughout the winter months, Rock and Salt has something unique for you.

Lastly, for the Cashmere Lover in your life........

I was recently introduced the the beautiful & luxurious Loro Piana. You cannot describe the level or luxury & natural design with words. I often like to escape to their website, and fantasize away. I do own one piece, a vest, which I LOVE. A friend was tossing it out & I had no problem recycling the vest into my wardrobe. I may have to be buried in it.

If you have an appreciation for cashmere, high quality, and true craftsmanship link here
Do you know where cashmere comes from?

Loro Piana

"We check everything to make sure it is pure and of the highest quality," said Pier Luigi Loro Piana. 

"There is good wine and
bad wine; we buy only the good wine."

New York Times

So, if your like me & have fantasized about living on a Yacht,
then you will love a little escape into the world of Loro Piana.

Besos & Happy Shopping,


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Heart Built-In Bookcases

There are lots of little things that are different about life in Germany & Austria versus at home in the US, and one big thing we noticed right away is almost all of the apartments have NO storage, no place to put anything-- closets, bathroom cabinets, in some cases like our apartment in Berlin not even any kitchen cabinets.  So you have to make your own storage, in our case here in the living room with Ikea's least expensive open wooden shelving.

While our exposed garage shelving is great for now, someday I would love to have custom built in bookshelves in a study or library of our own.  With impossibly high ceilings and heavy, original woodwork, of course:)

via House Beautiful

via House Beautiful

via Para Interioros

via Para Interiors

I love these gorgeous ornate door handles by Elegant Additions.  Can't you imagine living in a palatial apartment with super high ceilings, French doors everywhere and these handles to complete your amazing library?   

If you want to create a library at home or update your current shelving situation, but you can't afford to hire a carpenter for custom built-ins, Ikea is a good option for finding the bones of the shelving you'll need, and then you can always add molding and extensions to it to make it more of a custom fit.  Here are some great, affordable options from good old Ikea: 

The Classic: Billy
Billy extension shelf



 These custom built arched bookshelves are from Little Green Notebook's Jenny Komenda.  She and her husband made them out of Ikea's Billy bookshelves, and now they look like built-ins in their New York loft apartment.  Check out her DIY post here.

And for the final touch (what every library needs): a LADDER.
Inreda Ladder by Ikea

Or you could find your own beautiful old wooden ladder and outfit it with this library ladder kit:

from Spiral Stairs of America

I'm pretty sure I would read a LOT more books if I had a library like any of these!


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