About

Welcome to my Blog

  • What do you get when you take a southern gal out of Texas and move her to California? A whole new beginning.
  • What happens when you mix a southern gal with the big city? You get Lemonade to Lace…
  • What is Lemonade? Well….It’s southern. It’s simple. It’s refreshing. It’s happiness. It’s a throwback in time to the basics in life. It’s a great big smile.
  • What is Lace? It is feminine. It is sophisticated. It is elegant. It is design. It is a bunch of woven threads leading to all things beautiful.
  • I hope you enjoy reading my blog filled with ideas, inspirations and tidbits of information relevant to style and your lifestyle.

           xx Barbara

           

 

2018 Food Trends

2018 is proving to be an adventurous year in the food industry. I’ve been sipping and snacking my way through ...
Read More

Back To The Basics

Let’s get one thing straight: There’s nothing wrong with being basic! I’m the first to admit that I love statement ...
Read More

Valentine’s Gifts for Couples of Every Age

Valentine’s Day is all about LOVE, which is why I think this holiday is so incredibly special. In a previous ...
Read More

In 2018, I Resolve…

November and December seem to fly by every year, and this year was no different. You may think it’s a ...
Read More

Coats Galore: From Dusters to Heavy-Duty

While most people get excited for sweater weather, I actually look forward to good old-fashioned coat weather. Here’s the reason ...
Read More

It’s A Wrap

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and if you’re looking for ways to create the perfectly wrapped holiday gift, now ...
Read More
Random Things, Yummy Things

2018 Food Trends

2018 is proving to be an adventurous year in the food industry. I’ve been sipping and snacking my way through LA, so I thought I’d compile a list of what’s currently trending! There’s so much going on, from a new water revolution to now-functional mushrooms. Not to mention, souping is the new juicing, and avocado isn’t toast yet – which is a huge “hooray” for me since I’m a major avocado lover. Here are ten food trends to try in 2018:

The Trend: Plant-Based foods Fresh produce is the star of 2018, especially with the popularity of plant-based diets and veggie-centric main courses and side dishes. Bright and bold natural colors are “rocking” in the food world. Think about what the produce section of your grocery store looks like: Colorful, to say the least. Using the entire vegetable, or root-to-stem eating, is the new way to go, because it reduces the food waste that is so common at home and in restaurants. If your goal is to cut back on meat, plant proteins like lentils, black beans and quinoa will take the place of meat proteins in everyday cooking. #MeatlessMonday, anyone?

The Trend: Coffee Elixir If coffee is the first thing that comes to your mind when you wake up, then we have something in common. Now, it’s time to up the ante: Superfoods are not just for your morning smoothies anymore. Revamp your morning cup of coffee by adding protein, maca, mushroom powders and other superfoods that are nutritious and delicious. Imagine actually getting health benefits out of a cup of coffee rather than just a caffeine fix. It’s a win-win!

The Trend: Air Frying Also all the rage? Air fryers. Unlike a deep-fryer that uses vegetable or canola oil, air fryers circulate hot air around the food and perfectly crisp the food in a much healthier way. It may sound too good to be true, but there’s absolutely no downside. From french fries to chicken wings, recipes for air frying are popping up more and more.

The Trend: Fizzy H2O Say cheers to the other kind of bubbly. Drinking a can of flavored fizzy water is more popular than ever and has captured the hearts of millenials and moms alike. Some people I know are so hooked on La Croix flavored sparkling water that when they go to Whole Foods, they buy every case of the lime flavor that they can get their hands on. The bubbly waters make you feel like you’re drinking a soda, minus the added sugar and additives. If you love LaCroix, you’ll also enjoy Spindrift and Perrier.

The Trend: Souping Over Juicing Move over, green juice. Drinkable soups are the hot new thing: Hearty, tasty, filling and convenient. Pureed soups are packed with vitamins and nutrients, making them a delicious swap for juices. Like juicing, souping gives your digestive system a rest, but it’s unlikely to lead to the energy crashes, headaches and weight gain rebound that sugary juices have been known for. Using bone broth as the base to your soup will give you many anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

The Trend: Ghee is the Better Butter Substitute If you’re not familiar with Ghee yet, be prepared to see it everywhere this year. Ghee is clarified butter, which is produced by heating butter and removing the milk solids and water. Ghee is a healthy fat and has been used for years in Ayurvedic healing practices. Ghee has a rich, nutty flavor and can be used in place of just about any other cooking oil or fat in recipes. It is the perfect substitute for butter if you have a milk allergy or are lactose intolerant.

The Trend: Donuts With Exotic Fillings 2018 is the year of creative fillings for donuts, not only in your neighborhood donut shop, but also in the fine dining world. Everyone still wants to splurge every now and then and when they do, donuts with fun and interesting flavor combinations are hard to beat. Fillings such as pineapple with basil cream, meyer lemon curd, mojito and mint leaf, lavender and berry with goat cheese are all the rage. Definitely different from your classic glazed donut!

The Trend: Functional Mushrooms Who would have thought that mushrooms and fungi would be the next big thing? Mushroom fans claim that they can cure everything from high blood sugar to arthritis. Medicinal mushroom powders are popping up in bottled drinks and can be added to coffees, smoothies and teas. When I went to check out the Four Sigmatic mushroom shop in Venice, CA, I got a brief education on mushrooms’ many health benefits. There’s even an e-learning course called Mushroom Academy where you can learn all about the benefits of medicinal mushrooms. The best part is, the course is absolutely free.

The Trend: Floral Flavors and Edible Flowers In addition to being used as beautiful decorative touches, more and more edible flowers are being sourced for their specific flavors. Think lavender lattes and rose flavored everything, from drinks to desserts. Flowers like lavender, violet and hibiscus are moving from fancy restaurant plates to grocery store shelves, so keep an eye out the next time you’re baking or hosting a tea.

The Trend: Overall Well-Being Through Food The saying “you are what you eat” has never been more true. The emphasis of body and mind connections are influencing new food and beverage introductions in 2018. Healing the “gut” and curing what ails you through ayurvedic cooking has become increasingly popular. If you’re interested in learning more, www.countertopfoods.com is all about cooking with spices medicinally. Their products “help make the food you already love into food that your body will love you for.” More on this in another post.  

 

 

In 2018 and in the trending food world, you’ll also notice a few other things. Dumplings still dominate. Meatballs are on a roll and tacos are here to stay. Only this time, look for breakfast tacos, dessert tacos and even sushi tacos. Yum! This year’s pizza trend will be square shaped pizzas. Grocery delivery (www.milkandeggs.com) and meal kit delivery services like (www.blueapron.com) will only get bigger. Of course, a few things will stay the same: I can promise you that mocktails will never replace cocktails.

If you’d like to try selecting your organic groceries online, I recommend milkandeggs.com!
Use code LEMONADETOLACE for 20% off your order.

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

About, Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

Back To The Basics

Let’s get one thing straight: There’s nothing wrong with being basic! I’m the first to admit that I love statement pieces and trendy items, but in reality, I know that simple basics are the building blocks of any stylish, versatile wardrobe. By simple basics, I mean the perfect jeans and crisp white tee that make every wardrobe complete. Other basics in my closet include neutral camisoles, black slacks, sweaters and black leggings. They are the easy, wearable pieces in my closet that I know will be in style forever.

These pieces tend to be my first go-to items when trying to put an ensemble together – they look sleek on their own, but you’ll thank yourself for stocking up when you go to style Miu Miu’s latest ballet flats or a bold statement coat. These basics make wearing statement pieces a breeze!

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the basic pieces I wear most are those that are transitional and easy to pack for travel. Layering pieces are essential, so I like to keep certain colors and fabrics in mind when shopping for my basics. It’s common to have days here in LA where the temperature fluctuates 20 degrees, so I rarely leave home without a sweater, a wrap or a jacket.

Keep reading to explore some tried-and-true basics that are my wardrobe staples, along with a list of stores where you’ll be able to score these ‘must have’ pieces for your own capsule wardrobe.

JEANS
The trend du juor in the denim world is, well, not exactly a trend – look for perfect jeans that fit well, are cut cleanly and most of all, flatter your body type. You will LIVE in them. Skinny jeans are still in the forefront and among the most popular because of their flattering fit. Slim, polished and classic, a dark wash denim is perfect for day or night. They are practical and versatile and will be your go-to style for every season. With the addition of raw hems, frayed hems and step cut hems, denim fatigue is currently a non-issue. Big yay! For the past ‘I don’t know how many years’, it’s been the same ol’ same ol’ in the denim world. Every pair looked exactly the same and there was no reason to buy anything new. That was until now, and I have found it fun getting to purchase these interesting new styles and add them to my denim collection. I rarely get rid of jeans, because unique styles tend to come back around!

WHITE TEE
The great thing about a white tee is that it won’t go in-and-out-of-style in the blink of an eye. It’s about as basic as you can get when it comes to clothing. It is that one item that you can mix and match, layer and travel with and enjoy wearing season after season. The key here is whether to splurge or spend. I’ve had bad luck over the years with a few well-known brands who have brick and mortar stores in my neighborhood and in shopping malls across America. Their tees come in all different styles (crew neck, v-neck and scoop neck) but friends, the quality is just not there and they’re not exactly cheap. Several years ago while visiting New York City, I ventured into a Uniqlo store on 5th Ave. It’s a flagship store and happened to be packed with people and loaded with merchandise. Everything they offer is basic, but well made. There is nothing at all exciting about their merchandise other than the quality, easy laundering and good prices. But it turns out, that’s actually pretty exciting! I have so many white tees from them (and black tees too). If you need to update the white tees in your wardrobe, then Uniqlo items are a win-win deal.

*By the way, I love their ribbed cotton camisoles with lace straps. I’m always layering these basics with jackets or sweaters. In addition, I think their airism hoodies are the best and so easy to pack for travel.

The other brand that I’ve seen splashed across the internet is Everlane. I’ve never tried their white tees, but they’ve gotten rave reviews on their high quality, affordable and sustainable pieces. This company prides itself on simple, basic pieces. Their items are classic, not trendy, and can only be ordered online. Plus, they’re worn and loved by Meghan Markle – what more testimony does one need?

Petit-bateau is another t-shirt brand that uses high quality cotton, launders well and can be ordered online if you can’t find it in department stores.

CAMISOLES
As I mentioned above, Uniqlo is one of the best spots to find any key basics at below market prices. They’re just the best at what they do! They are currently sold out of my favorite lace trimmed cotton ribbed camisole and I hate to even tell you how cheap I got it for. I bought multiples and have so many of them that I wear them all the time. I found the exact same one online at Nordstrombut it’s just not as good of a deal. This style looks great paired with any jacket and can be worn layered all year long. I happen to love the lace detail that adds just a little bit of oomph to what would ordinarily be just another basic piece. Another great cami / tank to take a look at is this one by J.Crew 

I think it’s a great look at a reasonable price, and the neutral colors are easy to wear with just about anything.

BLACK PANTS
Every woman and every closet needs at least one pair of black pants. They are timeless, and a high quality pair can last for years. I prefer to shop at Theory  when I’m in the market for a new pair. I know I can go into their store and come out with what I need. Their quality is good. Their price point is within reach and they have a great selection of different styles to choose from including skinny, flair, cropped and relaxed fits. Their different fits will take you from work to weekend and from day to night, which make this brand the perfect one-stop-shop for professionals of any sort.

SWEATERS
For me, sweaters are the trickiest and most challenging item in my wardrobe. Why, you might ask? I’m allergic to wool, which poses a huge problem when shopping for sweaters. Most sweaters are made out of merino wool or cashmere and both of them irritate my skin. Yes, even cashmere gives me an itch! So, If I need to buy a sweater as a layering piece, I have to resort to cotton, which is generally more difficult to find. I’ve had the best luck buying cotton sweaters at both Uniqlo and Zara.

The price point at both stores is incredibly reasonable and the quality is good. A solid color sweater will never be an exciting purchase, but I was able to find a Zara pullover that has a cute side slit so you can achieve a high-low effect. This detailing makes such a basic piece a bit more interesting. It’s lightweight, comes in many basic colors and is perfect for our weather here in LA. I actually just packed this sweater in two different colors for my trip to Houston last week. One was black (of course it was!) and the other was an oatmeal color. The great thing about this particular sweater is that because of the fabric, it hardly takes up any room in a suitcase.

BLACK LEGGINGS
Black leggings are a wardrobe staple for me – you can find me in a pair several days a week. In fact, I think they’re a staple for all Angelenos! I not only wear them when I’m working out, but also when I’m running around doing errands or at home working at my computer. With our casual culture and athleisure so popular among women of all ages, the basic black legging is now considered one of those necessary items for any wardrobe. Lululemon still has the most basic, high quality and no longer see-through black leggings. I am always guaranteed that their “wunder under” style will give me the support and hold me in where I need it to. Lululemon leggings are not cheap, but they are durable, launder well and last. In addition, they are flattering to the figure and in my opinion, worth the investment. There are many other brands out there with fun black legging styles like Alo, Sweaty Betty, Rese and Ultracor, but when it comes to a basic black legging with no design, stick with Lululemon.

Other brands you should check out when you need to add to or update the basics in your wardrobe are Aritzia (now in Westfield Century City Mall in LA), Topshop, Vince and IRO.

A funny quote I saw the other day goes like this: “I could give up shopping, but I’m not a quitter.”

So when the going gets tough, just remember, the tough go shopping!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

Valentine’s Gifts for Couples of Every Age

Valentine’s Day is all about LOVE, which is why I think this holiday is so incredibly special. In a previous post, I shared on my blog that I collect heart shaped rocks – so  it should be no surprise that a holiday with a heart theme would be one of my favorites.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, gift giving season is still in session. LOVE is in the air and It’s time to start brainstorming what you should do, what you should give and how you’re going to celebrate with that special someone.

Whether you’re trying to show your special guy or gal how much you love them, or if you’re single and just want to spoil yourself, I’ve rounded up some gift ideas for you to check out in all different price ranges for everyone on your growing LOVE list in 2018.

 

GUYS: 20 to 30-year-olds       

Game of Phones

https://www.uncommongoods.com/Game of Phones

 

BKR 16-Ounce Glass Water Bottle

https://shop.nordstrom.com/BKR 16-Ounce Glass Water Bottle

 

James Perse Classic Zip Front Hoodie

https://shop.nordstrom.com/James Perse Classic Zip Front Hoodie

 

GALS: 20 to 30-year-olds

I Love You More Accent Pillow

https://shop.nordstrom.com/I Love You More Accent Pillow

 

Bath and Shower Goodies From Lush 

https://www.lushusa.com/Bath and Shower Goodies From Lush

 

Ray-Ban Mirrored Polarized Aviator Sunglasses, pink pattern

https://www.neimanmarcus.com/Ray-Ban Mirrored Polarized Aviator Sunglasses, pink pattern

 

GUYS: 30 to 40-year-olds  

Date Night Bucket List

https://www.uncommongoods.com/Date Night Bucket List

 

Barefoot Dreams Cozy Throw

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Barefoot Dreams Cozy Throw

 

Apple AirPods

https://www.apple.com/Apple AirPods

 

GALS: 30 to 40-year-olds

Nars Velvet Lip Glide Duo

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Nars Velvet Lip Glide Duo

 

Not Today Cupid Tee

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Not Today Cupid Tee

 

Mansur Gavriel Mini Patent Leather Bucket Bag

https://www.net-a-porter.com/Mansur Gavriel Mini Patent Leather Bucket Bag

 

GUYS: 40 to 50-year-olds  

Easy Tiger Hot Stuff Porcelain Mug

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Easy Tiger Hot Stuff Porcelain Mug

 

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Candle

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Candle

 

Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones

https://www.bose.com/Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones

 

GALS: 40 to 50-year-olds

Agate Marble Luxe Iphone X Case

https://www.shopbop.com/Agate Marble Luxe Iphone X Case

 

Slip For Beauty Sleep – Pink Collection

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Slip For Beauty Sleep – Pink Collection

 

Clare V Shearling Foldover Clutch

https://www.shopbop.com/Clare V Shearling Foldover Clutch

 

GUYS: 50 to 60-year-olds

eTip Apex ClimateBlock Gloves

https://shop.nordstrom.com/eTip Apex ClimateBlock Gloves

 

Mens Paul Smith Mini-Stripe Cufflinks

https://www.paulsmith.com/Mens Paul Smith Mini-Stripe Cufflinks

 

Harry’s Winston Rose Gold Shave Set

https://www.barneys.com/Harry’s Winston Rose Gold Shave Set

 

GALS: 50 to 60-year-olds

Hey Pretty Lady Ceramic Mug

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Hey Pretty Lady Ceramic Mug

 

Cuddle Up Faux Fur Throw Blanket

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Cuddle Up Faux Fur Throw Blanket

 

Gucci Marmont Red Card Case

https://www.gucci.com/Gucci Marmont Red Card Case

 

GUYS: 60 to 70-year-olds

Nike Dri-Fit Golf Polo Shirt

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Nike Dri-Fit Golf Polo Shirt

 

Build Your Box Of Socks

https://www.nicelaundry.com/Build Your Box Of Socks

 

Ugg Ascot Suede Slippers

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Ugg Ascot Suede Slippers

 

GALS: 60 to 70-year-olds

Caroline Travel Jewelry Case

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Caroline Travel Jewelry Case

 

Baccarat “Lucky” Butterfly, Peony Pink

https://www.neimanmarcus.com/Baccarat “Lucky” Butterfly, Peony Pink

 

Gucci Petite Marmont Leather Card Case

https://www.neimanmarcus.com/Gucci Petite Marmont Leather Card Case

From my heart to yours, I hope you have a special LOVE-filled Valentine’s Day. 

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Random Things

In 2018, I Resolve…

November and December seem to fly by every year, and this year was no different. You may think it’s a little late to be writing a post on my 2018 New Year’s Resolutions, but I actually think the timing is perfect. It’s not just “a whole new day” (said best by Oprah the night of the Golden Globes award show) but it’s a whole new year. And trust me: I know I’m late to this party, but I’ve decided to listen to Nike and… “Just Do It,” because it’s better late than never.  

We went on a little vacation at the end of December and I have to say, even though we live in a pretty great vacation spot, it was really wonderful getting away. This trip was a ‘playcation’ with no work involved for my husband, which was especially nice. Initially, our plans were to be in Santa Barbara, but due to the fires and evacuations at the resort we were supposed to stay at, we came up with a Plan B.

We decided to go to Miraval, a health and fitness resort outside of Tucson, Arizona, and it was wonderful. It was kind of like being at an adult day camp with fitness classes and activities all day. There were also many different spa services in a beautiful setting that were out of this world. Being away from home and having quiet time to myself at this beautiful desert oasis gave me a chance to sit back and reflect on the challenges of 2017 and to gather my thoughts about my goals and intentions for 2018.


The thing that I noticed when I was there was that I was loving trying something new every day. I was doing workouts and signing up for classes that I’ve never done before. I was up for trying anything and everything. This has been a big part of my being ever since I moved to LA. I like to push myself out of my comfort zone. I enjoy a challenge and I love to learn.

And this brings me to the point of my 2018 New Year’s resolutions. Because most people take on their resolutions in such a fast and furious way, I’ve noticed that by the end of January many of these people lose steam. This is the reason why I’ve chosen to call my New Year’s resolutions my New Year’s intentions. To me, resolutions are mostly about shortcomings and what I could do better, so I’m just reframing things and approaching 2018 in a whole new way. I’ve found that intentions are more inspiring than resolutions. I want to celebrate the things that I did well last year and continue to do them again this year. Here are my intentions:

  1. Just Show Up
    Soon after I moved to LA, I had to have gum surgery that was really painful. The day after the procedure, my dear friend Teri showed up at my home with two containers of homemade lentil soup. When I tell you the soup hit the spot, I’m not exaggerating. I’m also not exaggerating when I say that this thoughtful gesture meant the world to me. I didn’t know many people in LA, and her kind gesture let me know that someone here cared. She was the one who taught me that if you even think about whether you should go visit someone, just call. If they don’t feel like having company, drop off a little something at their front door. If you live out of town and want to be there in spirit, call or text to check in. If you find yourself debating about whether you should send a card or thoughtful note to someone, then send it. If someone new has moved to town, reach out and make a plan to meet for coffee. In other words, if you’re thinking about doing something thoughtful for someone, act on it and just show up.
  1. Exert Every Day
    Whether this means taking on a new challenge at work, taking up a new hobby, signing up for an online class (and trust me, there are some interesting ones) at www.skillshare.com, or making a difficult recipe, just exert. When I moved here, I knew no one. I had to make a life for myself. I needed to meet people, to join organizations I was passionate about and to make a community for myself. Sometimes it’s really good to step out of your comfort zone. Keep doing, keep moving, keep exerting and keep on keeping on because at the end of the day, it just feels good and you’ll feel really accomplished.
  1. Try Something New
    I’m lucky to live in a pretty awesome city. There’s so much going on here and I’m always up for a day full of exploring. As I’ve said before, many new trends start here. New culinary trends, new fashion trends, new exercise trends and new beauty trends are right in front of our eyes here, and I really enjoy checking out new things happening all around town. It’s never the ‘same old, same old’ here in LA.

As you’ve noticed, I’ve left the following off of my list: I’m going to lose 10 pounds. I’m going to cut out caffeine. I’m going to read two new books each month. Going through life focusing on the ‘should haves’, ‘would haves’ and ‘could haves’ can be exhausting. Instead, I’m taking this moment in time to continue to focus on the positive and what I know is attainable for me, not on what I can do differently. For me, it’s about right here and right now, being present and being the best version of myself I can possibly be.

Share your resolutions and intentions in the comments – I’d love to know what you’re up to and support you in 2018!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

Coats Galore: From Dusters to Heavy-Duty

While most people get excited for sweater weather, I actually look forward to good old-fashioned coat weather. Here’s the reason why. For most of my life, I’ve lived in temperate climates where it rarely (if ever) gets to freezing temperatures. The temperature here in Santa Monica today is 65 degrees. When the evenings dip to 50, I love having the opportunity to wear one of my coats since we don’t have many days like this. Yes. This is our winter in Southern California. I know it’s hard to believe that it’s even possible to have mild winter weather like this in January at the same time our friends up north are experiencing temperatures in the 20’s. Even Texas has 20 – 30 degree temps this week.  All I have to say to weather that cold is “Yikes” and “Brr!”

So yes, while we definitely need jackets right now, we Californians aren’t really in the market for heavy duty fabrics…which brings me to the duster coat.

The duster coat is the perfect kind of jacket on a slightly chilly night. It is a guaranteed way to add another chic layer to any outfit and takes any look from basic to sophisticated. It is quite versatile and can be worn from day to night. You can throw it on to keep warm but still stay cool, all at the same time. It’s effortlessly glamorous and makes for an extremely stylish look – even when worn over black jeans and a white t-shirt or henley.

When I am in New York during the winter months, I love checking out street style winter fashion. There’s always such a variety of fabulous coats to look at while walking the streets. It’s a great time of year to “people watch”. My friends who live in cold weather climates truly believe that all you really see of an outfit in the winter is your coat (especially if you’re outside), so why not have a fashionable coat, or two or three? It totally makes sense, because when it’s summer here in LA, we wouldn’t wear the same top every day; why would people who live up north continually wear the same coat? Here are a few of my favorite duster coats and heavy duty coats to get you through the winter months while looking fashionable – no matter where you live.

DUSTER COATS

X Revolve Nico Duster – $198
House Of Harlow 1960

http://www.revolve.com/House Of Harlow 1960

X Revolve The Siamese Duster – $132
L’Academie

http://www.revolve.com/L’Academie

X Revolve Sienna Duster – $198
NBD

http://www.revolve.com/NBD

Tie Sleeve Duster – $100
J.O.A.

http://www.revolve.com/J.O.A.

Menswear Maxi Duster – $298
Free People

https://www.freepeople.com/Free People

Jacquard Shantung Duster Coat – $479
Lisa Perry

https://www.barneys.com/Lisa Perry

 

HEAVY COATS

Down Fur Trim Coat – $473
ADD

http://www.revolve.com/ADD

Prelude Layered Puffer With Faux Fur – $198
Tularosa

 

http://www.revolve.com/Tularosa

Wool Coat With Fur Trim – $595
Soia And Kyo

https://www.bloomingdales.com/Soia And Kyo

Fox Fur Trim Cargo Coat – $1,495
Jocelyn

https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/Jocelyn

Long Sleeve Cashmere coat – $597
Sofia

https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/Sofia

Rita Fur Coat – $168
Free People

https://www.freepeople.com/Free People

Faux Fur Coat 84 – $318
LPA

http://www.revolve.com/LPA

Winter is the time of year for comfort, for good food and warmth, for a touch of a friendly hand, for a talk beside the fire and for a mug of hot chocolate. It is the time for home…and a new coat.

By the way, the flower coat at the top, the model, and the photograph are courtesy of my dear friend Kathy Trank.

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Beauty, Pretty Things, Random Things

It’s A Wrap

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and if you’re looking for ways to create the perfectly wrapped holiday gift, now is the best time to shop for all of your supplies. There are so many choices at The Container Store, Paper Source, Papyrus, Target  and Michael’s. Beautiful wrapping paper, bows, gift tags, ribbons, gift bags and all other sorts of added touches are abundant this time of year. Since stores have such a vast selection of whimsical items, it’s actually kind of difficult deciding what to buy!

When our boys were young, I remember most of the gifts that were toys came in really big boxes. I’d always set one night aside to get all of the gifts wrapped while the kids were sleeping and would call that late night session a “wrap-fest”. Thinking back, it actually would have been nice having a glass of wine by my side with holiday music playing. Before I sat down for my late night wrap session, I always wanted to be certain that I had enough paper and ribbon to wrap all of the gifts in one sitting, and not have to go back out and fight the crowds. (It’s surprising how one large gift can take a whole roll of wrapping paper!)

If you want to learn some new gift wrapping tips in person and need inspiration to kick off the holiday season, The Container Store is offering Gift Wrap and Bow Demonstrations at each of their stores at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM through December 23rd! I totally love that they’re offering these experiences to their customers.

Check out the handy items below if you need help storing and organizing your gift wrapping supplies.

Double Sided Hanging Gift Wrap Organizer – $19.87

https://www.amazon.com/Double Sided Hanging Gift Wrap Organizer

Gift Wrapping Organizer – $28.95

https://www.containerstore.com/Gift Wrapping Organizer

White Elfa Mesh Gift Wrapping Cart – $199https://www.containerstore.com/White Elfa Mesh Gift Wrapping Cart

Gift Wrapping Cart – $90.99

 https://www.amazon.com/Gift Wrapping Cart

Clear Gift Wrap Organizer – $6.99
https://www.amazon.com/Clear Gift Wrap Organizer

And, if you’d like some handy tips for perfect gift wrapping, check out the link below from The Container Store.

Guide To Gorgeous Gift Presentation (PDF)
https://www.containerstore.com/Guide To Gorgeous Gift Presentation

I hope each and every one of you a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Beauty, Pretty Things, Random Things, Yummy Things

Amazing Holiday Hostess Gifts

There’s nothing better than being with family and friends during the holidays. Attending parties, going to home gatherings and celebrating is what this time of year is all about. It’s also about giving. Showing up with a gift is a nice way to show appreciation to your hostess for being included in their Thanksgiving dinner or holiday party.  Below you’ll find some thoughtful and creative ideas.

Chalkboard Cheese Markers – $12.95
https://www.crateandbarrel.com/Chalkboard Cheese Markers

Beauty Chef Cookbook – $35
https://www.anthropologie.com/Beauty Chef Cookbook

Bath Bombs – $19.99
https://www.amazon.com/BathBombs

Caramel S’mores – $16
https://bondbars.com/Caramel S’mores

Hand Soap – $20
https://shop.beekman1802.com/Hand Soap

Geo Printed Dishcloths – $24
https://www.google.com/Geo Printed Dishcloths

Estate Collection candles and fragrance oil – $35 – $43
https://shop.lisaparigi.com/Estate Collection candles and fragrance oil

Monogrammed Mugs – $10 each
https://www.anthropologie.com/Monogrammed Mugs

Kitchen Towels (for the hostess with a sense of humor) – $5 each
https://www.etsy.com/Kitchen Towels

Honeycomb Vase – $32
https://www.anthropologie.com/Honeycomb Vase

Bottle Stopper – $16
https://www.anthropologie.com/Bottle Stopper

Fragrance Diffuser – $45
https://shop.nordstrom.com/Fragrance Diffuser

 

I hope this list provides you with ideas and inspiration for the perfect hostess gift. I’m ready to get this holiday season started. As my kids would say, let’s do this!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Random Things, Yummy Things

My Go-To Thanksgiving Dishes

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is around the corner. For those of you who know me well, I’m a tried and true holiday girl and I love the cooking that goes along with it. Give me a holiday, a birthday or any special occasion and I’m ready to celebrate. Out of all the holidays throughout the year, Thanksgiving happens to be my very favorite food holiday. Southern favorites are always a highlight at our meal whether we’re spending Thanksgiving in Houston or here in LA. I’ve gathered a few of my favorite recipes below to share with you.

MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH BROWN SUGAR AND PECANS

Serves 12 to 14
Ingredients:
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt

Method:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, pecans and butter in small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Let stand in colander 15 minutes. Purée sweet potatoes in processor.Beat eggs, syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt in large bowl. Mix in puréed sweet potatoes. Transfer sweet potato mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over mixture.Bake until sweet potato mixture is set and topping bubbles, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

Recipe from: Epicurious.com
Photo courtesy of: theodysseyonline.com


SOUTHERN CORNBREAD DRESSING
A traditional southern cornbread dressing flavored with onion, celery, and sage. Super moist and flavorful.

Serves 8
Ingredients:
Cornbread
1 cup self-rising cornmeal, I use Martha White
1/2 cup self-rising flour, I use White Lily
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil

Dressing
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
3 medium onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 pieces toast, crumbled
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 to 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons butter

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients for cornbread. Pour into a lightly greased 9-inch cast iron pan or a 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Before using, crumble into small pieces.
Heat butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add celery and onion and cook until soft.
Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper to onion mixture.
In a large bowl combine crumbled cornbread and toast.
Whisk together milk and eggs and add to bowl. Stir in 2 cups of chicken broth.
Stir in onion mixture. Mixture should be very moist. Add more broth if necessary.
Transfer to a greased baking dish. Cut butter into small slivers and scatter on top of dressing.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it turns light brown on top.

Note: The cornbread should be made a day or two in advance.

Recipe from: Christin Mahrlig
Photo courtesy of: thekitchn.com

PUMPKIN BREAD
Makes 1 loaf. Enjoy this popular southern recipe!

Ingredients:
 3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
 3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup chopped walnuts and/or chocolate chips

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda.
Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, ¼ cup of water and the spices together in a separate bowl. Then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts or chocolate chips.
Pour into a well-buttered 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Bake 60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let it cool on a baking rack.
Can easily double the recipe.

** And by the way, I got the Pumpkin Bread recipe above from my college roommate and dear friend Judy Finer Freedman. It’s one of her family’s favorites and now one of our favorites. Thanks so much for sharing Judy!!

Photo courtesy of: Sugarmamacooks.com

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Random Things, Yummy Things

Farm to Table Fresh: When to Buy Organic

I’m constantly amazed at how many conversations here in LA center around food. People who live here take great pleasure in choosing, buying, preparing and cooking healthy food, and I’ve noticed that more and more people have very different eating habits than I was used to before moving to California.

Every fall, I find myself spending more time in the kitchen trying new recipes and cooking old favorites for family and friends. The holidays inspire me, and I find it easier to cook and bake for a group rather than just for two – what a happy feeling.

That said, the holidays find me making many traditional recipes that are not exactly low in calories. However, the recipes are so delicious that the holidays wouldn’t be the same without them. I try to choose organic and pure ingredients to prepare these recipes for my family’s favorite meals of the year.

We all have so many options when it comes to the food world, and it can be confusing knowing what to avoid and what to buy. In one of my cooking classes here in LA, I vividly remember my cooking teacher telling us that the single worst item you can eat is butter, so if you eat it or cook with it, she always recommends using organic butter. This is one tip I always take into consideration even when it comes to baking.

I buy organic when I can. This includes fruits and vegetables as well as milk and meat products. When time allows, I enjoy going to our Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. There’s really such a difference in the freshness and flavor of farm to table seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our favorite strawberries at our neighborhood farmer’s market are from Harry’s Berries. They are so sweet that they literally taste like strawberry jam.

Buying all-organic produce all the time is not always realistic, as it can be expensive and hard to find. However, if you’re trying to eat right and can only choose a few organic foods, “The Dirty Dozen Plus” lists the most important fruits and veggies to buy organic in order to avoid pesticide exposure.

The 2017 Dirty Dozen Plus

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce


The 
following list of “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables have the lowest amount of pesticides and can be bought conventionally.


The 2017 Clean 15

  • Sweet corn
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit

 

You might want to take a photo of these 2 lists and keep them on your phone for easy access as you grocery shop.  If you enjoy shopping from home and don’t mind someone else picking your apples, check out the website milkandeggs.com. There are so many organic foods to choose from and your groceries will be delivered right to your front door.

On this final note, I thought I’d share a funny story with you. Last year I was at a deli here in LA ordering some chopped liver for the Jewish holidays. The lady standing at the counter right next to me heard me placing my order and said, “do you know how unhealthy that is for you?” I turned around and said to her, “Yes, I of course I do. But I love it and I enjoy eating it during the holidays and every now and then, it’s okay.” And one more time here in LA, it was an aha moment of sorts…..a definite “Dorothy, you’re not in Oz anymore” or “Barbara you’re not in Texas anymore” kind of moment.

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

To a Tee

Back in the day, when I would go card shopping for birthdays and anniversaries at the neighborhood Hallmark Store, Walgreens or CVS, you’d find me in the greeting card aisles chuckling at all the funny cards. There were so many good ones to choose from. That was then and this is now. To be perfectly honest, it has become much harder to find really great cards than it is to find really great statement tees. Some of these tops are so hilarious they make you laugh at loud.  








The statement tee was a big fashion trend in 2016. Once again that trend is continuing through fall 2017. This past weekend I was browsing around the Malibu Country Mart. I saw quite a few adorable tees with very clever sayings. If you’ve ever watched the Chelsea Handler show on Netflix, I’m sure you’ve noticed that she loves a good statement tee and can rock it in a way that any streetstyle addict would be jealous of. She regularly pairs these tops with sleek pencil skirts and pumps, pulling off this look like a well-seasoned fashionista.


While following coverage of Hurricane Harvey this week, I’ve seen many Houstonians wearing statement t-shirts with the slogan, “HoustonStrong.” You can call this an ode to their beloved city as well as the state of Texas. Many shirt designs with this sentiment are selling online for a limited time with 100% of proceeds going to disaster relief efforts. Below are the links to some that have touched my heart.


https://www.highfashionhome.com/houstonstrong-tshirt.html

https://www.chipperthings.com/houston-strong-tee
https://www.theshopforward.com/texas-forever

What kind of statement tees do you have hanging in your closet? Take a selfie and share.

Smooch!

Xx Barbara