Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

(Fallen tree ripped from the concrete sidewalk on Third Ave and E. 73rd St.)
Oh man, what a mess.  I don't even know where to begin. I guess I should start by saying I'm fine, my family is fine, and my closest friends are ok - we're all just massively inconvenienced for the next couple of weeks, months, who knows...

Happy Howl-o-ween! (And Thank You Sponsors)

Roc-LobsterThis picture of Rocco in a lobster costume (Roc-Lobster, get it?) makes me so happy words cannot describe.  And I need to feel happy today because Hurricane Sandy is a such serious downer.  I just found out that Halloween has been cancelled!  Not exactly but the annual NYC Village Halloween Parade has been cancelled - first time in 39 years!  Can you believe it????
October has been an interesting month  - a l'il rain here or there to say the least but other than that...yeah... I am ready for November and all the pie and turkey that will be waiting for me.  But before I go, I would like to say a very special THANK YOU to my October Sponsors!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Macarons

Pumpkin pie macaron
Oh how I love French Macarons!  I've always wondered why these delicious delicacies were so expensive - and it wasn't until recently I finally learned that is because they are so flippin' hard to make!  Although the ingredients* may seem simple, it's the sifting and the egg beating and the piping that make this cookie the perfect masterpiece that it is.(*Sidebar: ever since watching Real Housewives of New Jersey, I have Theresa-isms stuck in my head and I almost spelled ingredients as "ingredientses." Ah! I can't help myself but it's so much fun to talk like her!)
I have learned the hard way that like a meringue, one should never attempt a macaron on a humid day.  And since my tiny apartment traps in a ton of humidity, I like to make macarons during the cooler months. Playing with my obsession of anything pumpkin I came up with a recipe that I think fits in perfectly with this time of year...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Monday!

Cake Face 2Happy Monday! Today I'm celebrating my one year wedding anniversary with the love of my life!  Last year we got married during the only snow storm of the season.  This year, we're celebrating our first year of marriage during a hurricane - go fig.
Happy Anniversary Joe, you are my love and you are my light.  
Thank you for making "my bad days turn good."
I love you ~ Nicole

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Spooky Links

Week 3
Oh I'm so excited to celebrate my favorite holiday!  Before I finish putting together the final pieces of my costume, here are some happy {spooky} links for your hallo-weekend...
  • Very cute bat ring by JuJu Treasures
  • 13 Festive ways to decorate your porch for Halloween over at Babble
  • ...or you can go the other route and decorate your porch like this...
  • Adorable Franken-Kit Kats spotted over at Dash.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Magazine

HowExciting news!  I am so happy to announce that my work is featured in the November issue of How Magazine!  I am very honored to be included amongst the talented designers in the Look section - now available on new stands (or at your local Barnes and Nobles) today!
To view more of my illustration work, visit

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Monday!

100416266661048409_aXrzlasm_c(photo source: Pinterest)
Happy Monday! Here's to a great week - stay inspired! xo ~ n

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Pretty Links

Week 2We've made it to another glorious weekend! Before I head out and get some well deserved R&R, here are some happy pretty links that I hope you find absolutely delightful...
  • Oh how I love this leather peplum top and it's available at Nordstrom.
  • I think these DIY button rings by Lana Red are pretty cool!
  • This lorem ipsum double switch plate by Anthropologie is pretty clever and very cute.
  • Looking forward to trying delicious recipe for Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Barsspotted by Handle The Heat.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sophie Blackall


IMG_5299Sophie Blackall makes me happy.  She does more than that - she inspires and brightens my day. Whenever I ride the subway and I'm packed like a sardine in the middle of the train, I like to stare at her illustration - which was commissioned by the MTA.  I love how she captures the feeling of what it's like to ride the subway in New York.  I also love the little stories that are conveyed with each character.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm Currently Obsessed...

Csera...with these beautiful iPhone cases by CSERA  - which one shall I choose?...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Lasagna

Pumpkin Lasagne is one of our favorite meals. It's a crowd pleaser and it's so simple to make.  When I first came across this recipe in Food & Wine, my husband Joe was a bit skeptical. He's Italian, so the idea of replacing a red sauce with pumpkin puree and swiss chard sounded like an abomination! (I'm also Italian, so we tend to get very dramatic - especially in the kitchen.) I told him to get over himself and trust me. To Joe's surprise, it tasted great and it's one of his favorite autumn also proved that once again that I was right - because the wife is always right!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Miles of Light

(Photographic Print by Miles of Light)
Here's to the start of a beautiful week. Stay inspired! xo ~ n

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Pretty Links

Week 2
Oh I am so happy it's Friday, I'm doing the wiggle dance in my chair as we speak! Here are some happy pretty autumnal links that I hope will brighten your day...
  • You tried Pumpkin Spice Latte: The Coffee - now how about trying Pumpkin Spice Latte: The Body Scrub! (spotted on The Craftinomicon.)
  • I adore work by Louise van Terheijden - especially this original watercolor painting of abstract autumn leaves.
  • Anna of IHOD never fails to inspire - check out her yummy recipe for Brown Bag Apple Pie...
  • These Gallop Mid-Boots by Anthropologie are on my wish list...
  • I love to draw so this Woodgrain Eco Sketchbook by Poketo would make a perfect addition to my sketchbook colleciton.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Bangs 3It's happened to all of us.  You're bored on a Saturday afternoon.  You pick up a copy of InStyle Magazine and see picture of Zooey Descahnel and sigh to yourself, "Man I really like her bangs. Zooey Deschanel has THE best bangs.  I wish I had Zooey Descahnel Bangs."  And before you know it, you're in the bathroom attempting to look like the lastest cast member of New Girl.  And it's at the first snip you forehead is too small for bangs!  But it's too late - the damage is done.  
This transcends you to that other time you attempted to cut your own bangs.  You know, the time in 2007 when you swore you would never give yourself Lily Allen Bangs again - and it's at this moment, when you feel completely stupid.  Especially because, you're an African/Italian-American with really thick curly hair living in a city where the humidity goes away for one week during the year - so the odds that you'll ever wear your bangs straight are slim to none.  And no one likes curly bangs... no one!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Primitive Halloween Decorations


Il_570xN.210548073(Primitive Halloween Ghosts by Rock River Stitches)
Halloween is that time of year when I suffer from extreme Porch Envy.  I live in an apartment, I don't even have a terrace to place a pumpkin let alone a sprawling stoop!  But if I did have a porch to decorate, I think I would go the primitive route.  I love primitive Halloween decorations - they are so spooky! They look like they could be props in a Tim Burton movie, or that they could posses magic powers. I love the details and the stitching goes into creating them.  If I were to decorate my dream porch, here are some items I found on Etsy that I think are simply spook-tacular!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

BNUT 2It's Soup Season!  I love soups!  They're so easy and inexpensive to make - not to mention get to use my immersion blender. (Man I love that thing!)  I have to say out of all the soups, Butternut Squash is my favorite.  And I'm not picky - I love trying new recipes and seeing people's different take on this classic autumn dish.  Which is how I came across this recipe adapted from Southern Living. (Sidebar - This New Yorker LOVES Southern Living! My mom always has a copy in her house and now I'm hooked! Thanks Ma!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Monday!

Nicole Alesi - autumn bike(Note Card by Stuff by Nicole)
Happy Autumn Monday!  Wishing you a very Happy Pretty Week! xo ~ n

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Pretty Links

LinksOh how I love a chilly weekend in October.  Here are some Happy Autumn Links I hope you will enjoy...
  • Can't wait to make this delicious Fig and Gorgonzola Crostini spotted on Closet Cooking
  • It's no secret I love West Elm - this Patchwork Dresser would look great in our apartment (wouldn't it, Joe?)
  • Pretty cool!  How to turn your boyfriend's cardigan into your own over at Isla Everywhere
  • Speaking of cardigans, it's coat season! I'm always a fan of the versatile peacoat, like this one by J. Crew
  • I adore these tree and leaf prints by Eloise Renouf - perfect for autumn!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Allison Malinsky

AllisonVentana (window), oil, acrylic stain and pencil on canvas, 2012, 36” x 24” (91.44cm x 60.96cm) 
A couple of weeks ago, I attended an opening art reception by my dear friend and painter Allison Malinsky. This is Allison's first solo show in New York City - however she is no stranger to the art scene.  Her work has been shown at several galleries in the city, as well as Spain and Tokyo.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm Currently Obsessed...

Circle bags

...With this Normandy Park Dot Bag by Kate Spade - Circle bags! AHHHHH-DORBS!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pink Cards for the Cure

Breast cancer awarenessOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To raise awareness, I have created limited edition note cards which are now available in my Etsy shop. The cards are dedicated to my Aunt Linda who is a breast cancer survivor and active member of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. With every sale, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation (  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Monday!

(Print by Wicked Paper Co.)
Here's to a great week!  Stay inspired! xo ~ n