Beauty and the Beat

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Now that the election is over, what else is going on with movies, music, art?  Well, I’ve been eagerly waiting for the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, to open and guess what, it opens tonight!  The buzz is that the movie has garnered a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been called a huge blockbuster.  I love the suspense, high-end cars…and of course, lovely Bond ladies like the gorgeous Berenice Marlohe in the photo above.  It’s definitely a ‘going out to the movies’ kind of weekend coming up!

If you haven’t noticed already, many shops and sites are already advertising their holiday sales.  Black Friday already?  Here are some links to get your shopping mood (and holiday mood) in full swing!

1. Every girl needs her lip shades for the holiday circuit. These Tom Ford beauties are worth the splurge!

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2. How about changing up those iphone earphones for these cool headphones from Beats by Dr. Dre?  I love the white ones, but they come in multiple colors.

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3. Go from running errands to making this a statement accessory.  The Dotted Circle Scarf from Madewell.

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4. Premium, delicious olive oils for your foodie friend at Sabatino.

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5. Coffee table books for your creative and fashionable friend.  You can never have enough!  It’s on my to-do list to purchase some additions to my table.

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Happy weekend and enjoy the links!

It’s the Weekend!

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It’s Friday!  Here’s a little outfit inspiration for your Saturday night out this weekend. My friend is celebrating her birthday tonight and we just might be doing a little dancing!  It’s been a while since I’ve gone on a ‘night on the town’ so I am super excited.  Be sure to check back for photos of the new dress I’ll be wearing.

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How gorgeous is this holiday palette from AERIN?  Aerin Lauder is the grand-daughter of Estee Lauder and she has struck out on her own with her collection.  It’s a pretty palette with all the essential colors.  See the rest of the holiday collection here.

Some favorite links from this week:

1. A structured bag from PLIA Designs (in beautiful Italian calf leather).  Hm, time for another new work bag?

2. Fuschia (one of my fav colors) throw pillow from One Kings Lane.

3. Japanese brand Muji makes the best pens.  They write very well and I always grab a few colors of these pens every time I visit Asia.

4. Delicious lemon and basil eggs over foccacia recipe from Giada De Laurentiis (perfect for Sunday brunch)

5. Colorful bonbon duo drop earrings from Baublebar.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Happy Weekend!

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Happy Friday!  I am super excited for the weekend.  I will be attending two Halloween/birthday/housewarming parties Saturday night and the invites call for costumes…still deciding (yep, last minute) on the costumes but I’m looking forward to dressing up.

It’s supposed to be gorgeous this weekend (80 degree weather), so I’m happy to be ditching the sweater dresses for now and donning some skirts.  Just ordered the cute peplum top above from Zara and can’t wait for it to arrive!

Here are some links I found this week that are inspirational and fun:

Bootights: tights specifically made for boots?  tights with socks for your feet? Um, yes please!

This unique belt is fun to cinch up and accessorize those sweater dresses.

On the topic of accessorizing…these baubles from A-Thread are great to punch up any outfit.

Stumbled upon Jennifer Chong’s photography and design blog and Pinterest page…check out her photos…food never looked this good!

Have a great weekend and happy Halloween!

For Love and Lemons

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Haven’t posted about food and entertaining lately, so this post is dedicated to a lovely new site I stumbled upon. The site is Love and Lemons.  As you can see, Jeanine Donofrio and her husband Jack, take some beautiful pictures of the food they make (mostly vegetarian and some gluten-free) that make your taste buds salivate.  Although I am generally a lover of all foods and eat everything (meat, seafood, you name it)…this site hits the spot for those days when you want a clean, colorful salad, a warm comforting soup, or a delicious, feel-good sandwich.  Gotta get in those daily veggies, right?  I’ll definitely be subscribing to this blog and trying some of the recipes.  Hm, is it time for lunch yet?  Check out the site and you can also follow their twitter at @lovelemonsfood. Enjoy!

Wine Bar Wednesday

Last night I attended my first formal ‘Intro to Wine’ class at the SF Wine Center in San Francisco.  Let me just say that it was a great class. Finally, the class I’ve been waiting for where I really learn how to taste wine.  Taught by Mary Burnham, freelance food and wine writer at Food & Wine and the author of the 2011 & 2012 Food & Wine Magazine Guide to Wine, the class was fun and educational, all packaged in one 1.5 hr class. I highly recommend this class and cannot wait to take some others at the SF Wine Center!

Here is the Cliff’s notes version of how to taste wine:

1. Start with color or hue: how light or dark is the wine color? Intensity? Rim variation?

2. Swirl the wine and take a deep whiff: what do you smell?  How complex and intense are these smells?

3. Take a sip and observe how the wine feels around the mouth: sweet/dry? what is the weight of the wine? (heavy or light) Is it acidic? Are there tannins?

4. Notice the length of the wine’s finish.

5. Other factors to describe the wine: balance, consistency, vintage, climate where the grapes were grown and harvested, old or new world, etc.

I leave you with a fun quote:

“I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.” — W. C. Fields

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100 days of Summer Salads

It’s been pretty hot lately in the South Bay and all I want to eat are salads for lunch…and dinner. A hearty and colorful salad is not only a great way to get your vitamins, but also your daily H2O.  These delicious and beautiful salads from Food & Wine caught my eye and I can’t wait to make them this week!

ImageImageImage          Kale salad with chicken, Smoked fish with pickled beans and egg, Peanut noodle with cucumber and roast pork

YUM!

Wine Bar Wednesday

It’s hump day and the Style Bar is ‘serving’ wine today!  Each Wednesday, I will highlight a bottle of wine (I have either had or will be having that week) and provide basic details of the wine as well as compare my tasting notes to those of others (the pros).  Depending on the week, I may share experiences from a recent wine class or tasting.  Although I enjoy drinking and pairing food with wine, I still consider myself a ‘beginner’ wine enthusiast and would appreciate any comments and suggestions on this part of the blog!

Back to business…so today’s featured wine is 2009 Clos de L’Oratoire Des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  Yep, it’s a mouthful.  Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a French wine AOC located in the Rhone wine region of southern France.  Chateauneuf-du-Pape has 13 grape varieties and is a classic red wine–one of the most popular in the Rhone valley.  Perfect served with red meats, game, and coq au vin!

 

Red Rhone Blend from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France

This is a great bottle of wine.  Deep ruby in color with aromas of spices and dark berries. The wine starts ripe with black fruits and currant flavors, a hint of cinnamon, and has a smooth and fresh finish.  Very well-balanced and from what I’ve read about it, will taste even better in the next 5-10 years.  The wine consists of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault.  Tonight, I will be pairing this wine with grilled pork chops in a garlic mushroom sauce, rosemary baked potatoes, and sautéed greens.  Yum!

Which French red wines have you tried and liked?  Please post in the comments section below!

Illy Coffee

One of my favorite morning rituals is having a cup of espresso before I head out the door.  Since I’m all about efficiency (business background here), espresso gives me that extra punch in the morning in one little shot. I buy the ground espresso cans so it’s an easy process to make a cup.  If you drink coffee/espressos, I highly recommend Illy coffee, particularly the ground espresso coffee.  The medium roast is the perfect blend of robust taste and a smooth finish.

Try one of Illy’s amazing Italian coffees or espressos!
If you’re ever in the San Francisco area, go to their downtown coffee shop:

Espressamente Illy, 123 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94104

Wine 102: Cabernet Sauvignon Appreciation

Having been a wine enthusiast for several years (aka I am very good at wine drinking), I recently decided to up my game: attend a formal wine class.  Through some browsing on the web, I stumbled upon localwineevents.com, a site that provides a listing of food and wine related events by your region/town of choice.  After a quick filtering of events for San Jose, CA, I came across the J. Lohr Wine Center’s 2012 Wine 102 Education Series.  Bingo!

My first class was a wine appreciation seminar hosted by Lawrence Lohr, Director of Wine Education, at the J. Lohr Wine Center.  The cost was $30/pp.  We tasted Pinots from Burgundy and California (emphasis on J. Lohr wines), learned about the soil and climate conditions of growing the grape, and discussed the tasting characteristics of the popular red.  All in an intimate setting of no more than 15 people.  I had so much fun that I’m looking forward to attending the next class – Cabernet Sauvignon.  Sweet!

Here are the details in case you are interested:

Wine 102: Cabernet Sauvignon Appreciation

J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center

1000 Lenzen Avenue
San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 288-5057
Also, do check out your local food and wine events at localwineevents.com!