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The Affogato

Dolce Zza in DC serves this fabulous and easy to make dessert called the Affogato. It is easy to replicate and is perfect for a night next to the fire-place, in front of the TV or as a special treat to your guests. You can make it more or less fancy just by choosing a fancy cup or ornate bowl, or just going for your favorite big mug.

The recipe for one serving is as follows:

You will need one serving cup that can accommodate up to 16 ounces of fluid.

2 espresso shots made fresh. If you don’t have espresso shots then make 8 ounces instant coffee with two tablespoons. Instant coffee doesn’t have the same intensity of flavor, but in a pinch you can get by.

One scoop of a gelato. I prefer a nut based flavor (pistachio or coconut), caramel, chocolate, or vanilla are good as well.

Poor the hot coffee in your serving cup then plop the scoop of gelato into it.

Et Voila! Savor and Enjoy!

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Diane Von Furstenberg’s very DVF apartment

InStyle’s December issue had a spread about Diane Von Furstenberg’s Paris apartment.

The apartment is SO DVF to the point that you would have know it was even if she was not in the picture… Her colorful patterns, abstract art and animal prints are what we have all come to love about DVF. Xoxo

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Thanksgiving: last minute packing! HELP!!!

If your family is anything like mine you probably have been talking about thanksgiving plans for the past few months but none of it was confirmed until this week. Yes, that’s exactly what happens in my family every year. You see, I am one of six siblings and between all the boyfriends, husbands, “special plans”, work schedules and the fact that my parents live in the middle of nowhere, we never ever confirm our plans until the last-minute. Or in this case, the day before thanksgiving. Needless to say, for a savvy business traveler like myself (hmmm), I always forget to pack something important because my list which I only took 2 minutes to think about was incomplete. One year, I forgot my pajamas and my mom graciously lent me hers (it was soft and comfy, but which 20-year-old wears long flowing English-rose style pajamas?). Two years ago, I forgot my unmentionables (how English of me?), so I had to go buy new ones from Target, then I had to launder them before I wore them…who wants to do laundry on thanksgiving? Not me! Anyway, this year, I am resolved to not forget anything, so I am sharing my list with you so we can swap notes, you can make sure your list is complete and help me complete mine if anything is missing.

For my weekend bag:

  •  Jeans (the comfortable ones that you don’t have to unzip after smelling your mom’s apple pie—yes we all own one of those)
  • A comfortable sweater and a t-shirt to wear underneath it for easy layering
  • A belt for your jeans, make sure you don’t wear one to the airport, you don’t want to be the girl who had to take off half of her outfit because the scanner kept beeping every time you went through
  • A lovely dress, like a wrap one from DVF with some color that I can wear for thanksgiving dinner and look like you put some effort into it without having to do that… I have a black one with an embellished neckline that will do the trick
  • A statement necklace, earrings or headband that I can pair with the dress
  • Statement heels I can wear with the dress. I always opt for the comfortable ones but since sitting for dinner doesn’t involve much walking I can get away with the 6 inch heels Louboutain’s I scored at Neiman Marcus Last Call for 80% off… on second thought, my family will stare and think I am out of my mind (did I tell you I was born in Iowa?)…I will just wear my flats the ones with a large sparkly flower
  • Pajamas, the ones to wear to sleep, the sexy kind maybe? On second thoughts my parent’s room is too close for comfort
  • Pajamas, the ones I will stay in the day after thanksgiving…admit it you do it too. They usually involve an old college t-shirt and my husband’s Ralph Lauren pajama pants
  • A couple of extra shirts to change into for shopping or dinner outings, low key but look amazing with that necklace or earrings you packed
  • A comfortable pair of shoes that you can also wear on the flight
  • Lip balm (my favorite is Burt’s Bees in Replenishing Pomegranate Oil), I always keep one in my travel bag and one in my purse
  • In my small C-Wonder toiletries bag I will have my toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, Dr. Pericone face wash, Kate Somerville face moisturizer with SPF cream, body lotion, deodorant, my keratin shampoo and conditioner, my hair brush, and my little vial or vitamins.
  • Chargers for phone and ipad
  • I am going to try to get in a light workout on Saturday so for my flight I am going to go dressed in my stylish Lululemon workout gear and an added bonus: the bulky workout shoes will be on my feet and the fact that I will be wearing socks is über important for the filthy security lines.  I will be wearing my Groove yoga pants, a top with a built-in bra, my fold over cardigan layered with the super warm red faux shearing jacket.

In my shoulder bag, these are the essentials:

  • Passport or photo ID
  • Wallet (with money and credit cards)
  • Phone
  • Books/magazines for the plane or downtime
  • iPad
  • Sunglasses (yes the sun glares in the winter are annoying)
  • Hat, gloves, scarf (nothing is worse than a cold plane or train)

Make sure to free up some space on your iPhone for those memorable moments you may want to picture.

And if you are flying, don’t forget a magazine or a book, that’s all you can do while the plane is taking off or touching down. I always take my iPad, but I never get to use it on the plane.

Last but not least, no one likes an empty-handed guest, so make sure to pick up a hostess gift on the way. If everything fails, flowers always save the day!

All the wonderful outfit ideas were imported from Polyvore, courtesy of fashionistas whose style I admire:)

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My first post!

A few months ago I was a successful manager at a Wall Street firm… It was a dream come true, living in Manhattan and overseeing central park from my 30th floor apartment, Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys steps away, a world of culinary adventures on every other block, new designers and cutting edge fashion to experience, and amazing artists and performers to see. I was traveling back and forth between two residences in New York and Washington DC and flying more than 100,000 miles in one year. I worked week days, week nights, weekends and averaged 80 hours a week. I took calls at night, in the early morning, at the gym, on vacation, and while eating. There was so much work to do,  and so little time to do it.  I was going a thousand miles an hour, and I loved every minute of it…. until I didn’t. I got burnt out and I had to quit my job to save my health and the relationships that mattered to me most. It was March, and I was running to the Lincoln Center to catch an Opera that I can’t even remember now. I had really wanted to see it, and was late in getting my tickets. As I ran up the stairs I realized that they had closed the doors. I had missed the beginning of the show, so I can’t go in until intermission. As I waited outside the doors, I thought about why I was late….I had planned it all impeccably but at the last-minute I had to do something for work and that made me late. I realized that this was my usual story. All the late shows, the vacation trips I cancelled at the last minute, all the season-end sales I have missed, the fashion week tickets I didn’t use, the DVR that could not save any more shows because I have not caught up on any of this year’s shows, and the concealed dissapointment in my mother’s voice every time I told her I can’t come for the Holidays because of work. How could someone who was really punctual at work be so bad in her personal life? I was so unhappy at that moment and I spent the next few hours even after I was let in thinking about everything I loved about the city I was living in and how that didn’t matter because the world I lived in was limited to my office, my client’s office, the back of some black town car and my apartment walls. I could have lived in Ames Iowa (where I was born) and it would have been just as much fun. Before I went to sleep I wrote a list (yes, I love lists) of the most important things in my life. This is what I came up with:

  1. Spiritual and mental well-being
  2. Love and family
  3. Physical health
  4. Fashion
  5. Money

For the longest time, I defined my self by my job but when push came to shove, work didn’t figure out anywhere in what was important to me. I knew then that I had to quit. It was not as much as quitting a job as it was “pressing the reset” button on my life. I don’t focus on the ending, I focus on the new start.  I am making the right choices for this point in my life and enjoying every minute of it.

This blog is a celebration of the things important to me and I know my loved ones will enjoy it as much as I will.

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