You Are Cordially Invited to Champagne Sundays …

I love to cook. Quiet time in the kitchen trying a new recipe, music playing in the background on my iPad, and a wonderful smelling candle burning on the countertop is über relaxing to me. Now, I don’t consider myself a traditional cook. I like attempting more non-traditional recipes. I enjoy the challenge of shopping for ingredients I wouldn’t normally keep in my spice cabinet and recreating the presentation in the recipe picture. Recently, I tried a recipe that would be great for a Sunday afternoon lunch al fresco.

catfish-sandwiches-ck-l

Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwich with Greek Yogurt and Cilantro Coleslaw.

1 3/4 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups packaged cabbage-carrot coleslaw
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 (1-ounce) slices sourdough bread, toasted

Preparation
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of
fish with paprika mixture. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.
Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add fish; cook 4 minutes on each side or
until desired degree of doneness.
2. Combine yogurt, juice, and honey in a medium bowl. Add cabbage and
cilantro; toss well to coat. Top each bread slice with about 1/2 cup slaw
and 1 fillet. Top each fillet with remaining slaw.

Recipe and Image: Cooking Light.

The recipe was relatively easy to prepare and a huge hit in my home. But, Sundays wouldn’t be “Champagne Sundays” without the perfect bubbly to pair with your dish.  Try this Dibon Cava. It’s an awesome Spanish Wine. We tasted it recently at a local wine bar and have kept it stocked in our bar ever since.

cava

Image: Josh’s Wine Blog

Check back next week for a new “Champagne Sunday’s” recipe! Salut!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

All Hail the Sun Pt. Deux ~ Friday Quick Post Give Away!

Whether you’re into pastels, neons, Minx or you’re a traditionalist who favors nudes or a French Manicure, manis and pedis are a must during the warmer months. (Actually, they are a must all year around! Don’t let anyone tell you different.)

However, like our skin, the sun can also take its toll on our polish. Several years ago, I noticed that my polish would “yellow” during the summer months, turning a perfectly pretty manicure unsightly. But, a trip to the local “beauty bar” and I found the perfect remedy ~ Essie Non-Yellowing Top Coat. This little bottle is a life saver! One coat and your polish will maintain its color for life your manicure.

So, in celebration of fabulously-trendy manicures and pedicures this summer, today’s “Friday Quick Post” is a contest! The first three dolls who sign-up to follow “Pretty Domestic” via email will receive a bottle of Essie Non-Yellowing Top Coat. The contest doesn’t begin until 5:00 EST today, May 18th. NOTE: To follow, you have to confirm that you wish to receive posts from “Pretty Domestic” by clicking on the link you will receive in your email inbox.

And don’t forget to follow Pretty Domestic on Twitter @1prettydomestic! Happy Following!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

All Hail the Sun!

I’m a product of the slather on the baby oil and lay out in the sun for hour’s era. I shudder to think of it. But in the words of Ms. Angelou, “When you know better, you do better.” May is Melanoma Month, so what better time to remind ourselves of the importance of protecting our skin against the sun as we approach the summer months. The options for practicing “safe sun” are endless. Here is a list of skin care products to ensure you are well-protected during the summer months, but more importantly, healthy afterwards.

Peter Thomas Roth Sunscreen in a Brush. This super cool, mineral-based powder protects you from the sun, while also fighting against the aging process. Small in size, it will fit perfectly into your summer tote or beach bag.

Sunscreen in a Brush

Tocca Stella SPF 30+ Sunscreen Towelette. I love these! Not only do they protect you from harmful UV Rays, not only are they so compact that you can carry them in the smallest clutch, but they are also scented in Tocca’s classic scent ~ Italian Blood Orange! Bella! tocca stella Soleil Organique. This 100% natural sunscreen is made for you more eco-friendly dolls, and is available in both face and body formulas.

EcoFriendly Sunscreen_Instyle

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads. If you’re not in to tanning at all, this exfoliator also gives you a little color ~ “glow” ~ upon application. I recommend trying one of the pads on your inner wrist first, which tends to be the same color as your face. You want to make sure you are comfortable with the results.

Beautiful, well-protected skin gives the option of forgoing makeup or playing with beachy, bronzy summer color palettes. Love this Beach Lover Set by NARS with gold, copper and peach hues. NARS Beach Lover_Sephora Two of my FAVORITE all-time “go-to” products for the summer are NARS Body Glow and Michael Kors Leg Shine. A little of each on your legs, arms, and chest and you’ll radiate sun goddess! nars body glow leg shine Finally, summer wouldn’t be summer without the appropriate sunglasses. I tend to favor the classic Ray-Ban Aviator. No one rocks them better than my Daddy and Brother; but I love them too with my hair slicked back in to a neat ponytail.

dj and daddy

And for a more dramatic look, I always reach for a classic Jackie O. inspired larger frame.

Jackie-O-glasses-

Image: Femme Fatale

What’s on your summer beauty checklist?

Until Then,

L.

~ The Pretty Domestic

Pretty Organized

For years, my family and friends have commented on my need for organization. I literally become paralyzed if my home and office are not completely organized ~ everything has a place. I laughingly remember the story of my BFF, Allyson, asking me to come and organize the closets in her newly purchased home. While she unpacked boxes in other rooms, I joyously organized her clothes by style, color, season and so on. At the completion of my task, I beamed with pride at my work. Allyson, on the other hand, was completely overwhelmed by the sense of order. While she absolutely appreciated my time and effort, “It’s just too much,” she laughed. I’ve since come to realize that organization and order are relative to the person and their lifestyle.

Girlfriends that know me well (not Allyson ~ smile) often comment that they would love for me to visit their homes and help them get organized; that I should also consider turning this into some type of business. I’m not there yet, but who knows. In the meantime, I thought that I would share some organizing tips that I have come to swear by.

Start small. Don’t try to tackle every room in your home in one day, or one week. Whether a closet, dresser, medicine cabinet, or linen closet decide on what needs the most attention and begin there. This year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to tackle a room a weekend. I organized one room each weekend, and voila, I finished in short order, without feeling overwhelmed.

Purging is key. My general rule is that if I haven’t used or looked at it in six months, I throw it away. This includes unnecessary paperwork, bills, and old make up. Of course, there are certain caveats to this ~ off-season clothes in storage , unexpired medicine, etc. ~ other than these items, get rid of it. [Note: I’ll post about closet organizing very soon.]

Everything has a place. Storage options are endless these days. Some functional, some fashionable, but yes, everything has a place. In my bathroom for example, I use storage baskets with handles to organize my numerous creams, potions, and lotions. Try using baskets to organize by the following categories: (1) Skin care products; (2) Nail polish, remover, files, etc.; (3) Vitamins; and (4) Hair products, accessories and styling tools.

With stores like TJMaxx and Home Goods, purchasing baskets is an inexpensive endeavor. These resemble what I use in my bathroom; but don’t forget about your own sense of aesthetics. Select baskets that reflect your personal style. I chose brown baskets to pick up the colors in my bathroom. (Even though no one sees them once I close my bathroom closet door.)

Storage Baskets

Baskets can also be used for other areas of you home. I keep a basket by my bed for all of my magazines. Instead of them piling up on the floor and sliding all over the place, they are neatly stacked and out-of-the-way.

But what about the mounds of paper that we accumulate and are unable to throw out ~ appliance warranties, user manuals, large purchase receipts, etc.? When I purchased my home one of the best gifts I received was the Home Improvement Guide and Document Organizer. Barnes & Noble describes it as two products in one, and it is! The first part of the guide contains over 100 pages of home improvement information, but it’s the second part that counts. It’s an accordion file that allows you to store all of those documents that tend to get stuffed in a drawer somewhere. The sections include paint, flooring, windows and doors, cabinetry and hard surfaces, tubs, toilets and sinks, lighting and lamps, appliances, electronics, exteriors, and miscellaneous. I use this to store receipts, manuals and warranties anytime I purchase a new appliance or pay for work performed in my home.

Home Improvement Filing System

Now there are times that call more stylish storage; for example where you keep your keys and mail, “inspiration tears” from your favorite magazine, or other files. Here are some of my favorites.

These Horchow Desk Accessories can be used to hold keys and other small items that we tend to throw around our home.

Horchow Desk Accessories

I also love these Mariposa Desk Trays from Horchow to hold your keys.

Horchow Desk Trays

Place mail in this cute box instead of cluttering surfaces in your house. When it’s full and the lid doesn’t close, you’ll know its time to purge.

Mail Box

Finally, many of us are now addicted to Pinterest ~ raises hand. I love using it to create personal inspiration boards to capture styles I love, as well as interior design and entertaining ideas. But as a lover of magazines, I also see styles, products and ideas of interest among the glossy pages. I love tearing out pictures of a lipstick I want purchase, a tote I’m coveting, or a chaise I want to price. Yes, I type these things into the notes section of my iPad or iPhone, but I need the picture. Saving pcitures can cuase clutter, were it not for these stylish file folders. Check your local papier for style selections.

Leopard File Folders

Once you’ve organized your files. Consider storing them in a stylish file box.

circle box

Next week, I’ll post on some very non-traditional organizing tips. If you have questions about organizing in your home, or office, feel free to email me at 1prettydomestic@gmail.com. Happy organizing!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

What to Get???

Sometimes the best laid plans get away from the most organized of us. We knew Mother’s Day was right around the corner, but somehow believed we had more time to shop and prepare than we actually did. So here we are, three days away from Mother’s Day sans gift.

Here’s a quick list I put together of great gifts for your Mother that can be purchased in store or online. Granted you may have to pay a little extra for shipping so close to the holiday, but isn’t Mother worth it? (Disclaimer: These gifts reflect my taste and that of my Mother, but I bet yours will enjoy them just the same.)

David Yurman Perfume & Body Lotion. I started wearing David Yurman several months ago, and while my Mother tends to wear the same fragrance, she loved the smell. Nordstrom will wrap your gift and enclose a personalized note for $5.00. They also offer free shipping, but at this late date, unless you don’t care about your gift arriving post-holiday, you may want to spend the extra money for rush shipping. However, if you live in the same city as your Mother, drop into Nordstrom and pick up this great fragrance gift.

David Yurman PerfumeRalph Lauren Cable Knit Throw. My Mother travels a great deal, but there’s always the headache of packing for warmer climates, versus the cold of the airport and plane. This throw is a fabulous gift for any Mother on the go. She can also use it to throw over her favorite reading chaise. If you order by 5:00 p.m. today EDT, Amazon guarantees delivery by tomorrow, May 11th. Here are the details.

Ralph Lauren Throw

Bvlgari Bath Soap. Whether working in the home, out of the home, or a busy retiree, what better way to help your Mother relax than with luxurious soaps to accompany her bath? Again, at Nordstrom.

Bvlgari Bath SoapsTory Burch Nylon Ella Tote. What Mother doesn’t like a new handbag? From her readers to her favorite novel, or if your Mom has gone techie ~ her Kindle Fire or iPad 2 ~ this bag is the perfect classic, yet trendy tote to hold all of her must-haves.

 

Tory Burch Tote

 

Henri Bendel iPad2 Case or iPhone 4 Case. Speaking of which, has your Mother gone techie? Henri Bendel makes these very cute and whimsical iPad and iPhone cases.

Henri Bendel iPad Case

 

Henri Bendel iPhone 4 Case

These are just a few last-minute ideas for Mother’s Day. They are material items; but for most Mothers the gift of our love and time is more than enough. Happy Mother’s Day!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

La Fascination …

A month ago I attended a luncheon hosted by a women’s organization to which I belong. Held on a gorgeous spring morning, many of the women donned beautiful hats; and many were sporting the latest accessory ~ Fascinators. My fabulous mentor, FT, and I got into a discussion about the trend and decided that we weren’t Fascinator type of dolls.

Fast forward three weeks. I was invited to attend an afternoon tea being hosted by one of the alumnae chapters of my sorority. I was to be the guest of one of my favorite, über stylish aunts, who insisted that I wear a hat. Now, I’m not a hat kind of doll. For “dressier” occasions I usually have my hair in a high bun; and for the tea, I fully intended to wear it the same way, so a traditional hat would not do. Would that mean that I would have to don a Fascinator? And if I did, it couldn’t be just any Fascinator. It would have to have some flair for the dramatic. I certainly didn’t want to end up looking like Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie at the Royal Wedding.

As luck would have it, the day before the tea I attended a second event; and as I walked into the lobby there was a woman selling all types of chapeaus. I hesitantly asked if she had any Fascinators. “Of course I do,” she said. And there it was, the perfect Fascinator (for me)!

Yesterday came, and off I went Fascinator in place. I loved it; the plumes, the veil; all of it! My most stylish dolls thought it worked well with my dress. I’m sold! I am officially a Fascinator lover. Are you a lover of the Fascinator?

The Fascinator The Fascinator_2

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

You Are Cordially Invited to Champagne Sundays!

I love Sunday brunch. Not quite breakfast, yet not quite lunch, the breakfast and drink choices are endless. While I usually try different cocktails, I almost always select a waffle for my meal.

Any city has numerous restaurant selections for Sunday brunch, but sometimes it’s just as nice to prepare brunch at home.  In my home waffles are still the number one choice. However, we make them a little special by using our Heart-Shaped Waffle Maker from Kalorik. Not only do the waffle cooks evenly and taste great, they present wonderfully!

Heart Shaped Waffles

Image: Brunch this morning at the Pretty Domestic home.

Hmmm, but what drink to serve? At most restaurants Mimosas are the brunch drink de rigueur, but there are so many options if you are preparing brunch at home. With Peach season quickly approaching (June/July), why not try a Peach Prosecco to accompany your Sunday brunch.

Peach Prosecco

Peach Prosecco

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce peach nectar
  • 1 ounce peach liqueur
  • 1 ounce Prosecco
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers peach bitters (optional)

Garnish with a Peach wedge.

Check back next week for a new “Champagne Sundays” recipe! Cheers!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic