Over the holidays, I ran into so many friends and all of them asked me about my kitchen. Well, not much has happened since the end of November but tomorrow, someone is finally coming to pick up where they left off. The floors where my old cabinets were need to be filled in and the walls need to be put up, they are all exposed. I think my timing was just not great and people got busy but hopefully, I will get back on track. Once the walls and floors are done, they can install the cabinets-which have been done for months. Not having a kitchen for this long has been a challenge and I think of how fun it will be to walk in my new, white pretty kitchen sometime soon and get a Diet Coke with the amazing ice from my ice machine. That sounds like heaven to me.
On the cooking front, I am also equally excited to get back to baking. I used to be an awesome baker but my confidence wavered with the last two oven I had, they were never right and things kept burning. So frustrating. The very first thing I will make when I have a new kitchen is these chocolate chip cookies. This picture popped up in Instagram from Williams-Sonoma and it stopped me in my tracks. I am a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies! If someone wants to try this recipe out first and let me know, I can't wait to hear!
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the chocolate chips.
Using a small ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned and the tops feel firm when lightly touched, 10-13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 30 cookies.
This weather is quite a way to start off 2018! Right now I am wearing a puffy coat inside, it is a little chilly in my office. The pictures from up North are so crazy, this "bomb cyclone" has certainly blanketed the Northeast with snow. It even snowed in Tallahassee for the first time in almost 3 decades. Of course online retailers are taking advantage of people being trapped inside to entice online shopping. Even without snow, I have been sucked into all the sales being offered.
J. McLaughlin has an amazing sale right now. Before my Chicago trip, I purchased a neck warmer and a head band. They were amazing and kept me super warm as you can see by my selfie below lol.
The headband is sold out but the neck warmer is now super on sale.
Well, I made it through the holidays! A few times in December I thought..I can't wait until January! This year, I sold stuff through Christmas Eve with my last sale around 2pm in my driveway. Love the last minute shoppers!
One of my last shows was on Sunday the 17th. I found an adorable invitation from Dixie Designs and set up shop at my friend Laurie's.
Surprisingly, it was one of my better shows! So many friends came to hang out and shop. Laurie's niece Catherine, one of my old friends, bought a pair of my new tassel earrings.
She picked the red ones and was excited to wear them that night. She said when she got home from her party, she put them by her sink in her kitchen. A few days went by and she went to grab them to wear and couldn't find them. She looked all around and in her jewelry box and no earrings. She called her housekeeper and asked if she had seen them. She said no and suggested looking in her bathroom. Catherine was stumped. Now, while she was telling me this, my mind was racing ahead not sure where this story was going. Then she said about an hour later, her housekeeper called her back. She said, look on the tree! She thought they were ornaments and had put them on the tree.
Sure enough, Catherine went to the tree and both of the earrings were hanging there. She was cracking up telling me this story and then we were all dying. They do look like they belong on the tree but they are much cuter as earrings!
Hope you all had a great holiday season and are as excited as I am to hit the ground running in 2018.
If you have ever even glanced at my blog, you will know that I have been obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow for years and I know I am not alone. I have seen most of her movies many times and own quite a bit of them. Favorites are A Perfect Murder, Shakespeare in Love, Emma and Sliding Doors. There is so much hate out there for her and I am one of those people who just don't understand why. But...that is a whole other post....
Last week, I got a text from Grimsley with the screen shot of GP's Instagram post letting her peeps know she would be at her Goop Gift pop up the next day from 3-4pm. Holy cow, my head was spinning with this news. It is C R A Z Y at work these days and I have been running around like a madwomen trying to sell as much as possible before Christmas but not much could have stopped me from going to see her. Helen moved back our department celebration to accommodate my plans.
Friday, I left my office around 2:20 and headed to the Design District. I parked and went to find the store. There was already a small line that had formed.
As soon as I was standing there, alone, I realized how crazy that none of my co-workers had wanted to come with me. Not long after, I made friends with some girls in line and we chatted away all sorts of Gwyneth nonsense. Everyone has a GP story. One of the girls in line's niece was her nanny. Verdict? She was ok but Chris Martin was the most amazing guy and super duper nice and everyone loves him. Hmmm.
Then, one of her workers clad in an all white industrial looking jumpsuit came out and let everyone know that they would be selling the books in line to keep things moving along. I bought her Goop Beauty book and they filled out a post-it so she would know how to sign it. They also handed out tons of Smart Water to everyone, so nice.
Then she arrived...fresh from a huge Escalade, looking fabulous in a black dress and sandals.
The paparazzi attacked her and it was a wonder she made it inside. Then things started speeding up. They let some people in who had already purchased their book. A while later it was our turn. We walked inside and formed the line on the left.
There were security people keeping it all in check and there was little room for error.
When it was my turn, I walked up and seriously not sure how I formed a sentence. I told her it was a thrill to meet her and she was so nice. She signed my book and the security dude took my picture.
Can you see how hard I am smiling here? No joke, that was how happy I was.
I bolted out of there when I was done to make it to my late lunch and didn't check the picture until I was in my car. Thank goodness it was good. The whole experience was amazing and she did not disappoint. I was on a high for days. What an amazing experience!
Not sure about you, but I am still on a high from last week's Royal engagement news of Harry and Meghan Markle. Such fun, happy news in between some rather dark news days. They look so deliriously happy and in love, it's hard not to get on board.
Personally, I have never watched Suits, so I only know about Meghan from the press since she started dating Harry, but she has been on the Today Show commenting on fashion and even had her own blog call The Tig. Once her future started veering towards the UK, she shut down her blog and that happened before I could check it out. I just found a link to the archives of it and it is very interesting to read. Click here.
I am so excited for the months ahead with all the Royal wedding news and of course, the arrival of Kate and Will's 3rd baby. Experts are betting that a girl will be Alice, Victoria or Elizabeth and a boy would be Arthur, Frederick or James. We will have to wait and see on that. It has also been reported that Kate plans on having this 3rd baby at home. Remember when she popped outside on the steps of the hospital with her blowout mere hours after Charlotte's birth? It was amazing. If there are no perceived complications, I think the home birth is likely, home being Kensington Palace!
Thank goodness the Emmys were on tonight to distract everyone from thinking about hurricanes. Things are still so shockingly off kilter in Miami from Hurricane Irma and now Maria is barreling towards us. Not sure if people can take another big storm. Anyway, I love a good red carpet and there were some pretty dresses tonight. Here are some of the highlights...
This damn hurricane. I have never felt a sense of panic in my entire life as I do right now waiting for this storm to come. On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to get out of town and arrived in Austin late afternoon. This is my first visit to Texas so at least this is a slight distraction. I am traveling with a dear friend and her children, one is the cutest baby ever so that is also keeping me distracted but every time I look at my phone and see the posts on Facebook, the panic returns.
My trip was decided rather quickly and I didn't have too much time to thoughtfully deal with everything in my condo like I would have liked. I put some photo albums and important papers in bins and put them in my bathroom. I closed my hurricane shutters in my bedroom but my living room sliding glass doors don't have shutters. The lock doesn't work on those doors so I had to tie-wrap them shut. I used 4 tie wraps so hopefully they hold them shut. All the furniture was moved away from the windows and doors and I unplugged all my electronics.
Now from afar, I can't do anything about it but wait and hope and pray that my condo will be there when I return. I personally think we through the terms "thoughts and prayers" around too much and they lose a little value over time but I am seriously praying that things do not turn out for the worse. I hope it turns just enough to spare my pretty town of disastrous results. Please pray for us!
If there is any silver lining of this storm it is the feeling of community something like this brings. I have heard from so many friends and family members offering me a place to stay, calling to see if I was ok or if I needed anything. On Facebook, tons of posts with helpful hints like putting really special papers in your dishwasher for safekeeping, which gas stations don't have horrific lines and words of support from people all over the country. It is really something.
The company that I work for, Royal Caribbean, has really been supportive and wonderful during this crazy week. They secured pallets of water and gave them out to all employees on Wednesday, secured our gas truck to come to fuel up all the cars and turned a canceled Bahamas cruise into a safe haven for employees and their families for free to get out of Miami. If I didn't go to Austin, I would be on the Enchantment of the Seas for sure. They leave tomorrow and will return when the Port of Miami reopens.
Hurricane Andrew hit Miami 25 years ago the day I left for college to start Fall semester. My Mom called my apartment in Gainesville at 6:30am the next morning to tell me they "made it". They were up all night moving furniture around as water poured in from the roof. I didn't realize how awful it was until afterward and my house then became the neighborhood hang out. My Dad had installed a gas water heater in our guest cottage so all the neighbors showered there and the kids all swam in our pool. They made so many lifelong friends from that storm, neighbors they would have probably never met otherwise.
Hurricane Watch...it's the scariest and worst. There are two sides to hurricane watching, the positive is that you have time to prepare and get supplies, the negative is that you have days to wait in dread. After days of watching the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we have our own nightmare barreling towards us, Irma! I live in a solid, old building that has withstood many storms and have hurricane shutters so I feel safe there, but it is the aftermath that is hard to deal with. The weather down here is jungle hot, so the thought of days without electricity seem unbearable. I ventured out yesterday to Home Depot with my pal Carolyn and we were like comic relief...trying to buy things that would be helpful in a storm. We got the last of the batteries and some moon shaped battery-operated lights..or moonlights. We ordered the rest from Amazon including LED flashlights, batteries, lanterns and more. I ventured out yesterday to Whole Foods and stocked up on lots of snacks and then had Prime Now deliver Diet Coke and other drinks. So, I am stocked up with supplies, now the waiting game. If you are wanting to help with Hurricane Harvey, there is plenty of time to still do so. I think the relief efforts are going to be ongoing for months. I follow @25Park on Instagram and she has been rallying her troops to find direct places to donate rather than donating to large non-profits where the money will not be 100% directed towards the people who truly need it. One of her suggestions is to support the Rick Anthony Athletic Foundation by putting backpacks together for students starting school who have lost all of their belongings. This is such an easy thing to do and the people who are collecting them will put them right in the hands of deserving recipients. They have partnered with 4 local Houston elementary schools which have low income students. Their goal is 2,500 backpacks and they have 605. Here is the info:
Send the backpacks to:
Rick Anthony Athletic Foundation
405 Main St.
Houston, Texas 77002
One of my friends who lives in Houston said people are in serious need of plastic storage bins to protect the valuables they were able to save. I sent some from Amazon directly to her and she will put them into the hands of people who need them. There are many ways to do things like this. I personally, am not the biggest fan of the Red Cross in times like this. After reading articles about how they botched the Haiti relief efforts, I am hesitant to donate to them. Friends in Houston have suggested Catholic Charities of Houston and Houston Food Bank.
Nothing like being on vacation with nothing to do when your brain can't stop thinking about all you have to do when you get home. My kitchen plan is well in the works but I have hit some road bumps along the way. One of my issues is that I have to pack up my entire kitchen before they demo the existing and leave time for them to paint, patch and whatever else needs to be done. That means that I will be living with piles of boxes and plastic bins filled with everything in my kitchen. This gives me hives. I don't necessarily have a contractor yet confirmed and I know there are things I am not thinking of that are going to pop up and throw me off my plan and budget.
Once I pack up the kitchen, the next hurdle is the enormous Ikea cube bookshelf that is quite full of books, papers, business samples and a ton of other stuff. I need to pack that up as well and find a new home for my bookshelf. The pink hutch in my kitchen is moving to my dining room. The pine dresser by my front door is moving to my bedroom, the pine dresser in there is moving out to my living room and the one that is currently there is moving to by my front door. Everything listed above needs muscles so that is a whole other set of problems.
On a more positive note, I met with my website guru Cara today to discuss my new site and how we can get it up and running FAST. I am putting together a bunch of stuff for her to load up this week and I am hoping to have it up and running by August 28th. That is my new goal. It's going to be so amazing.
Nantucket is so fun. The weather is so perfect..not so hot during the day and a little cool at night. We went out to Madaket last night to see the sunset and have dinner at Millie's. The crowd for the sunset watching was intense. The sun looked like a crazy red/orange fireball.
It slowly slipped down into the water. It was so beautiful.
This is my office this week...
I am working on my current to-do list. Hopefully I will have it done before I leave for Providence on Monday!!
Just when I unpacked from my road trip, I packed up more stuff to head up North to Boston/Nantucket/Providence for 12 days. I have been looking forward to this trip for months. We (Newport roommates) rented a house on Nantucket for this whole week and I am so excited to be here with nothing to do but have fun. Of course, I am working a tiny bit on the side so things don't get too backed up at my real job. My old pal Dede picked me up at the airport and we went to lunch..next stop to Tara's in the North End. We ventured out for dinner and waited in line at Giacomo's.
This guy was walking up and down the sidewalk with a tape player serenading everyone with songs...
Tara and I in line...
After dinner, we hit up Mike's Pastry. What a zoo. The cannolis were delicious-definitely worth the line.
Saturday, we ran errands and were all over the place but made it to Flat of the Hill right before they closed at 5pm. I walked in and couldn't believe my old crystal necklaces were hanging by the register. They were tucked away and they found them so they put them out. They looked so cute and sparkly, I think I should start making these again.
Lucky for me, the owner Katherine was there. She is my most favorite store owner and I got to catch up with her and check out her amazing store..still my favorite ever.
Sunday morning, we packed up all the stuff and headed to the Cape. We overpacked as usual and I was so worried it wouldn't all fit in our friends' Jeep. Tara, ever patient, was not worried.
We didn't quite make the ferry we were scheduled on, but we got on the next one with our bags and our Jeep came over a little later. We headed to Baxter's to wait around and started the trip with Mimosas.
Tara was in serious travel mode making sure we hadn't forgotten anything before boarding (notice her awesome See Designs tote with an enormous monogram)...
We made it to the island by 3pm. The weather is amazing!
This is my room for the week, a window a/c unit and a ceiling fan. Those two things will make me happy.
We went to Brandt Point Grill for dinner and ended up at Cru for cocktails after. Such a fun start to our week.
Monday, after a quick brunch, we hit the streets for some shopping. One of my favorite stores on the island is Monelle. They have a location in Newport as well. I have never seen a store with so much good stuff....
Lots of good shoes, jewelry, dresses, jeans, tops, tunics, hats, wraps and so much more. Everything is so cute, I could spend all my money here!
After shopping, I went back to the house to do some work. I got lost along the way and kept stopping to take pictures of all the cute houses I saw...
This blog is filled with the day to day shenanigans of a native Miami jewelry designer who enjoys traveling, reading and hanging out with friends. Spending summers in Newport, Rhode Island for the last few years has changed my life..it is the most beautiful place...Miami isn't too bad either. Read about my adventures all year long...