Best of summer recipes!

Do you have a list for summer recipes you want to try? I do but am currently in a total funk. I think I ate salami and tomatoes over the sink for lunch and kids might have eaten some yoghurt, not entirely sure. LOL. Here are some of my annual favorites, hope you’ll like some of those!

Six Minute Seared Ahi Tuna Steak: delicious, you almost forget that its not meat. Love the sear on these, make sure to measure the marinade exactly!

These ahi tuna steaks take only 6 minutes to make! Crispy and seared on the outside; medium-rare on the inside. Healthy, fast, and easy!

Honey Lime Tequila Shrimp Tacos: make sure to make that crema, so delicious! Even the kids eat it and it’s really easy to assemble.

Honey Lime Tequila Shrimp Tacos with Avocado, Purple Slaw and Chipotle Crema

Grilled Ginger – Sesame Chicken Salad: this is definitely one of my favorites, I even served it for a dinner party and everybody loved it. Because its Napa cabbage it holds up better than regular lettuce would.

I keep buying apricots and peaches and often times they are too hard or lack favor, so into this Roasted Stone fruit with ricotta and mint they go or throw them on ice cream for a delicious summery dessert!

Roasted Stonefruits w/ Ricotta and Mint Sugar by Cindy | Hungry Girl por Vida, via Flickr

And of course, there’s nothing easier (albeit slightly time consuming but requires so little effort) than merengues, pavlovas, little egg white cookies mixed with heavy cream and any fruit – so satisfying and delicious. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t love this dessert. Countless recipes out there but I’ve gone by this one from Nigella Lawson.


Designer of the week: Lisa Hilderbrand

How’s your week going? Kids are home, day 1 and everybody’s losing it. It’s been raining so hard all day, I am watching sadly how all the blooms get pounded off. All the rose petals are on the ground like some romantic gesture gone array, peonies got killed off for good and poor phlox cant even stand up under this torrential downpour. Kids are fighting as they are already poured and NOONE is interested in organizing the playroom. Might have overshot there.

I usually do a house of the week but occasionally just feature a designer: Lisa Hilderbrand lives actually really close me here in Connecticut. I emailed her once telling her if she needed an office manager or assistant, I’m her girl. Shockingly she didn’t call asap. LOL. But she (Hilderbrand Interiors) is amazingly talented and has given new life to an antique colonial she lives with her family.

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This photo is tempting me to paint the doors black! And those floors!

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Everyone and I am guilty as well is going for white and grey and marble but I love the moodiness of this room and I’ve always adored paneled rooms, gentleman’s library style. So cozy!


Big farmhouse kitchen.

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One of her son’s bedroom.


Loggia – love.


And really the main reason we should be besties is that her holiday decor style is amazing.  Should you want to bookmark this for holiday, she shared her holiday decorating tips with Traditional Home.

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I like that she didn’t try to make this house something else, she kept it true to it’s style. Here’s another project of hers that I pinned awhile ago, much different look.

Love love love these antiqued mirror panels.



Monday Musings

Hi all! Hope everyone had a great weekend! Kids are almost done with school!

1.I have been reading this book called We Made A Garden – a well known English gardener Margery Fish’s story on how she and her husband bought this dilapidated home on a former farm site and went on to create a classic English country garden.

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East Lambrook Manor Gardens

It doesn’t have any photos which really annoying, it would have been really helpful to see some photos and progression of the gardens. I also get a feeling her husband was a bit of an ass setting rules what she can and cannot plant, forbidding certain plants and colors and assigning certain jobs to her, he deadheads the roses, she has to pick up the petals?! Anyhuu, my point being that her tireless work in the gardens, literally moving rocks and soil etc inspired me to get in the back of my garden and finally clear that area of weeds. And bam, I have poison ivy all over my legs and it ITCHES. I’ve tried everything, might be time for a quick urgi care visit.

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2. I made this dessert for Father’s Day. It’s called Vacherin and while the proper one is made of merengue disks and ice-cream filling, ours was made with vanilla whipped cream and macerated strawberries and it was heavenly!!!

Vacherin – merengue dessert

3.Revolve tends to be geared toward more younger audience but I am really liking some of their stuff!

Love this Sundry dress, I’d probably have to size up but love the pop of color. Hurry though, I am clearly not the only one who likes it!

SUNDRY Sleeveless Dress in Pigment Neon Pink

I love this dress too but I am not buying it. There’s no way you could wear a bra underneath, it’s too low cut in the back. It looks like such a pretty casual summer dress, don’t think I would be comfortable with my nipples sticking out! I don’t understand this type of design, you need to build a bra in for this to work w that back. Ugh.

Line & Dot Lora Dress in White

And I adore this one but will pass on the account that you can see her thong. Does it need to be this see through? Can you not being the SEXY every singly time?

Tiare Hawaii Ryden Dress in Casa Rose Mauve Tie Dye

I like Norma Kamali dresses, they are usually very comfortable and flattering. This Diana gown is no exception plus this color is to dye for, it will literally work for every skin tone.

Norma Kamali Diana Gown in Berry Blue

Love the colors of this Yumi Kim dress also.

Yumi Kim Class Act Dress in Westview Moon

I tend to go monochromatic in dresses but I can resist this adorable print on LPA Fiamma dress.

LPA Fiamma Dress in Sabina Floral

What Do People Want When Buying A House?

A realtor visited  my house to pick up something and she paused to look at my gardens (really a yard at this point with bunch of beds, it’s a work in progress!) and remarked – “You know, most people don’t want all this. Too high maintenance.” Well, perhaps. Though trust me, I don’t want to spend all my waking time in the garden either. I am game for deadheading roses which rewards you so richly with new blooms shortly afterward. Fertilizing, mulching, trimming and buying annuals are a given but beyond that, I hope I am done. One of the things that sold our previous house was actually our yard, the buyers loved the swath of rhododendrons I had planted and mix of boxwoods with knockout roses. So who is right?

A 2018 survey conducted on behalf of National Association of Landscape Professionals found that millennials value the outdoor space and green lawns prioritizing it so much that it ranked 2nd after remodeled kitchens. Most millennials have at least one child, entertain outside and relax at home so an inviting garden and outdoor feature such as a patio, fireplace or firepit or terrace were high on the wishlist.

Another theme that stays constant in pretty much every survey is that millennials do not want to buy fixer uppers like generation before. They are not interested in spending weekends working on projects and are looking for low maintenance, smart, energy efficient homes. While that does sound lovely, they don’t want to pay extra for any of these features. I don’t think there’s ever been a generation that says oh boy, let me spend my free time working on the house. Rather you get the house that it’s big enough and hopefully in a good location and then you slowly go about fixing it up adding sweat equity. So perhaps not surprisingly over 60% of the millennials regret their house purchase according to this study by Bankrate.

  • they underestimate maintenance costs
  • buying a home too small in size
  • picking a poor location

One of the projects I undertook in our previous house was white washing the fireplace.







Monday Musings

Good morning and happy Monday! One week left till summer break also known as the time when my grocery budget skyrockets as kids will need snacks like thousand times a day!!!

1.Speaking of food: made the Mediterranean Grilled Steak Flatbreads for dinner on Sunday and we all loved it, kids even tried red onion and thought it went well with steak. I used skirt steak and instead of a spice rub which I knew would repel the kids, I used this marinade here. You must measure out the marinade exactly, I’ve used this recipe before and once used half a lime on it and steak has a really sour taste to it. I also threw some olives on the plate and thought feta cheese wasn’t needed. I used regular Stop&shop naan bread (the brand was Stonefire), the Trader Joe’s garlic one had twice the calories! It’s a heart healthy dish in that it uses hummus and veggies, you could use chicken  or fish also. Find the recipe here at Domesticate Me!

2.This week the weather has been up and down, over the weekend while kids were at Girl Scout camp I did some gardening but then had to retreat indoors and attempted to organize my Christmas section. The plan was to get to other holidays also but that didnt happen. I felt quite overwhelmed. Pardon the super bright lights. This is the Christmas section, part of it is behind the wall and there’s some stuff in the attic. I lost count how many bins I have, at one point they were properly labeled as White, Red, Candy, Birds, Picks etc. Now there are at least 3 or 4 that just contain picks. Sigh. Please note the newest addition – this darling Nutcracker, a gift from a friend from the Wilton Garden Club. So now I have her hostas and her Nutcracker! Cannot wait to put this bad boy out – to boot he holds a sign that says Welcome. 🙂

Over here I had my hubs install a bunch of hooks for garlands and wreaths. You can see about 1/3 of the wall. The box against the wall are outside garlands. I don’t even know what to do with all that. Obviously need to edit and donate some stuff. And must NOT BUY ANY MORE GARLANDS. It is just SO hard not to. You need to have enough garland for the fireplace and staircase. Then you need options: colored lights, white lights, flocked garland, magnolia garland. I dunno. I have the I have OCD – obsessive christmas disorder – shirt which I thought really applied till I read that it offends people who have actual OCD. I feel like I ought to wear that though.

3.Read this interesting article on how women worldwide are losing money because they agreed to become beauty salesreps. I am sure we all know someone. I really hate to be asked to go to these parties and never go.

‘They have you in a cultish grip’: the women losing thousands to online beauty schemes

4.Do you grow peonies? I love them (I know so original) and have waited for decades, ok, a few years, till they finally bloomed. Did you know if you transplant them, they wont bloom that year? It took forever to get them going but they were worth the wait. Zephirine Drouhin rose also didnt bloom the first year but look at her now!

I hope you had a relaxing weekend! Let me know what your gardens look like!



House of the Week: Joy Tribout Design

Hi loves, meet one of my favorite designers Joy Tribout! She loves equestrian design, does modern glamour which still feels cozy and welcoming better than anyone else. Here’s a home designed by her dubbed Webster Groves.

One of Joy Tribout’s trademarks is definitely the use of color black in her designs and she rarely designs a room without an urn, animal print, metals (preferably silver) and striking print.

I love that door separating dining room and kitchen – reminds of restaurant doors that always swing open.

Here’s some of her older work which I prefer to more current one.

Obsessed with this living room.

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Garden, Home and Party: Designer Joy Tribout