Sunday, August 31, 2014

Spicy Shrimp & Bacon Corn Chowder

So I like to give credit where do and let you all know I got this recipe from Closet Cooking

Great site with awesome recipes. Of course, I am notorious for never following the recipe so I added my own flare and additional ingredients.

First, I halved the recipe on the blog because I just wanted to make 2 servings for me and my boyfriend. I also used a 1/3 of the amount of heavy cream required to make it more healthy. (I also really hate overly creamy soups)

Additional ingredients are as followed (obviously optional)

1 large ancho chili (adds great smokiness)
2.5 tbs of tomato paste (gives it a sweeter taste)
1tsp of the following: rosemary, sage, parsley, cilantro and spicy oregano

I also grilled the shrimp to give it that charred, smokey flavor!

My Favorite Lipsticks

I recently became obsessed with lipsticks! I thought it was time to share with you some of my favorite lipstick colors. Now to preface, I do have a tanner skin color but I really do think these colors look good on everyone (but I would add some red to the Diva lip color because it does look vampy on pale skin)

1. YSL - Rouge Pur Couture ($35) - Great red lip color, similar to Ruby Woo but a smoother finish
2. YSL - Le Fuschia ($35) - My favorite magenta lip color, because let's be real, red doesn't go with everything!
3. MAC Chrome ($16) - More of satin finish and an excellent nude lip color.
4. MAC Ruby Woo ($16) - Used a lot by Rihanna and is the perfect bright red color. This is a matte finish, so wear lip balm under the color so it doesn't dry out. Add lipgloss for a glossier finish.
5. MAC Lady Danger ($16) - Coral/Orange Red that looks great on a brown/olive skin tone. This is also a matte finish
6. MAC Diva ($16) - Dark red lip color. It's not too vampy on me but can be on a paler skin tone. I would mix it with Ruby Woo to give it a brighter look. This is my go to lip color during the fall.

Can be purchased at:

Photos courtesy of

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Grill Feast: Red Snapper with Veggies on a bed of Quinoa

Happy Labor Day Weekend all!

Since the warm days are about to turn chillier, we wanted to use our grill to make a Labor Day Weekend Grill Feast. It's a very simple and easy dinner. Grilled red snapper and corn with sautéed zucchini and baby broccoli on a bed of quinoa. Now a lot of my recipes, especially this one, doesn't really give step by step instructions, just a general guide. Everyone has their own preference and some my recipes don't call for exact measurements because I just like going rogue! Makes cooking more fun.


1.3 lbs fillet of red snapper
1 bunch of baby broccoli
2 zucchinis cut into circles
1/2 cup of quinoa
1.5 cups of water
Seasonings (your choice)

I first seasoned the fillet of red snapper with a bunch of difference whole foods seasoning from their seafood isle (they have everything!) Put it on the grill for 15-20 minutes.

Baby Broccoli - chop up some garlic in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Put the broccoli in with some lemon juice with the pan cover on. Let it steam for 10 minutes. Soggy vegetables are the worst, so keep an eye on how high the stove is set.

Zucchini - Toss it in olive oil, seasonings of your choice, salt, pepper and cook in a pan for 10 minutes. You want it to remain crispy so make sure it doesn't start getting brown ... it's a sign that it's now overcooked. No bueno!

Quinoa - Boil 1.5 cups of water and 1/2 cup of quinoa. Quinoa to me isn't very good seasoned, so I avoid seasonings.. Don't worry, the other flavors in this meal will compensate. Let it cook for 5 minutes on high, and when the water is bubbling, put the stove on low and let sit. The quinoa will seep up the water and become fluffy.

Corn - Season with your favorite seasonings (I used paprika, dill, garlic&herb, Betts seasoning (all time favorite) and Morton's all purpose seasoning) Cover in foil and grill for 10-12 minutes.

Gnocchi with Shrimp and Asparagus


Gnocchi - 

2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 large russet potatoes

Boil or microwave the potatoes until soft and mushy. Mix in with the 2 cups of flour and kneed into a nice ball. Take a small piece from the large dough and roll it into a skinny snake (you can determine how skinny you want it based on how fat your want your gnocchi to be) Cut with a knife and put in boiling water until the gnocchi comes floating to the top (about 2-3 minutes). Make sure you don't overcrowd the gnocchi, so complete in batches.

Shrimp - 

10-15 Medium deveined shrimp
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional ... I just like spicy food)

Sauté the shrimp in a separate pan and just lightly brown each side. Put aside on another plate


Chop the asparagus into large long chunks and blanche in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Rid of the excess water and set aside.

Shallots -

1 shallot
1/2 tbs of coconut oil

Meanwhile with some coconut oil, sauté 1 large shallot until gold brown. Move the shallots to a separate plate and use the same pan to make the sauce.

Sauce -

1 cup of chicken broth (sodium)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tbs of butter
2 tbs of all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped italian parsley
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground pepper

Deglaze the shallots pan with broth, wine and butter. Let the ingredients simmer and then slowly add the all purpose flour to thicken the sauce. I would add a little flour at a time until you get the consistency you want. The 2 tbs requirement is a rough estimate I begin with and add more if I need to.

Add some of the italian parsley, red pepper flakes and ground pepper to the sauce. I didn't add any salt because the broth had plenty but feel free to add to your liking!

Once the sauce has thickened, add the shrimp, shallots and asparagus to the sauce. Let simmer for about 5 minutes and toss in the gnocchi. Add the last bit of fresh parsley, some fresh grounded pepper (optional) and toss. Serve immediately.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Top 5 Thursdays! Coffee Table Books

So I decided on starting Top 5 Thursdays! I just love a good list and todays edition features my Top 5 Coffee Table Books in no particular order. I tried to pick books that are between the $10-$20 range which I think is pretty reasonable. I have seem some high-end fashion coffee table books that are about $50-$60... One day...

1. Lauren Conrad Style - Great book with amazing fashion tips and staple wardrobe pieces
2. Humans of New York - It's a conversational piece with amazing photography and compelling stories behind each photo
3. Dirty Side of Glamour - I love celebrities! Tyler Shields is a very unique photographer with some wild and crazy celebrity portraits
4. Post Secret Extraordinary Confession from Ordinary Lives - I just love the anonymity it offers with a gamut of feelings and personality
5. Lauren Conrad Beauty - (I know it appears twice but I'm just a huge Lauren Conrad fan) she offers great beauty advice ranging from makeup and just having that radiant glow!

Quick Kale Salad Recipe

I love an easy weeknight salad! I had some kale at home and decided to make a quick salad for dinner. It's healthy and low-carb!


1 bunch of kale thinly sliced
1 granny smith chopped lengthwise
1/2 cup of walnuts, pistachios or pine nuts


2 tbs olive oil
3 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs lemon zest
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp pepper

If you don't have time to make a dressing, the Dean and Deluca Pear Vinaigrette is an amazing alternative! I use that if I have a long night at work. However, I do advocate making your own since it eliminates preservatives.

Mix all ingredients together, serve immediately.

*** You can add some fresh grated parmesan cheese or pecorino romano to the salad. I'm just not a huge pungent cheese fan since it diminishes some of the healthiness of the salad but it's all preference.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Recipe (serves 2)

4 vine-ripen juicy tomatoes (the juicier the better!)
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
1 buffalo mozzarella ball (or any type of mozzarella)
1 tbs of olive oil
1 tbs of fine balsamic vinegar
Balsamic glaze drizzle on top
Dash of freshly grounded pepper and salt

Instructions: Dice up your tomatoes and mozzarella. Toss everything together (except the balsamic glaze). Drizzle the glaze at the end.

Fairly simple recipe! The balsamic glaze is sweet and really binds the whole salad together but it's all preference. You can purchase it at any World Market, Whole Foods and/or regular/specialty grocery store.

Emmy's 2014 - Best and Worst Dressed

So I am obsessed with all kinds of Award Shows. Emmy's, VMA's, Oscars, Teen Choice... I really don't discriminate. So on this post, I wanted to highlight my favorite (and not so favorite) outfits during the 2014 Primetime Emmys

1. Best Dressed: Heidi Klum in Zac Posen & Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier
2. Worst Dressed: Sarah Paulson in a pom pom (...err Armani Prive) & Lena Dunham (or some blonde girl formerly known as Lena Dunham) in Giambattista Valli.

Images Courtesy of Google Image

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What Farah Wore - Saturday 8.23.14

Shoes (similar) LK Bennett: Sledge Pump  
Lipstick YSL: Le Fuschia
Skirt (similar) Zara: Leather Skirt  

Blueberry Lemon Loaf

So my parents are coming to town tomorrow and I wanted to whip up something for "tea time" (yes, we really do that). I found this awesome recipe from a blog called Hearts of Delight for this blueberry lemon loaf (recipe hyperlinked with blog). My mom and I love lemon, so I added some extra zest than the recipe intends. I also add a handful of chopped walnuts for that crunch.

Had to cook it for about 30 minutes longer because my oven is older but it turned out excellent!

If you run in to that issue and need longer to bake, make sure you cover the top of the loaf with aluminum foil so it doesn't burn but remains a nice golden color.

Note: I stated healthy "kinda" only because it still contains a TON of sugar. All in all, there is no butter, so I consider this a tea time success.

Brand Spotlight - Warby Parker

Real quick post today to talk about my new favorite eyeglass and sunglass brand; Warby Parker!

On a trip to NYC during Memorial Day Weekend, I stopped by the Warby Parker location in Soho and was just amazed by the quality, selection and most importantly, price of all their inventory! For about $140.00, you can get a complete pair of eyeglasses from their store or online shop (Warby Parker). Great steal and look for more than half the price of other designer (and non designer) glasses. 

Also, for those who are blind as a bat as myself, the price applies to high powered prescriptions as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Favorite Green Juice

So I'm still not a juice connoisseur and I really am a novice to this. However, there is one green juice that I like and will share my recipe. I had something similar during one my travels but had to figure out the recipe through taste. The excessive amount of vegetables in juices are not my thing... yet...

Below is my favorite green juice recipe. I used a regular juicer, but be aware, I used a ton of kale and and it only amounted to this much juice.


1 bunch of kale leaves (stalk removed)
1 chopped apple
4 strawberries
1 tbs of fresh grated ginger
1/4 of a lemon

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Detox Tuesday - Grilled Turkey Salad with Salmon

So I'm still detoxing and decided to post my recipe for this grilled turkey salad with salmon. I know.. salmon again... I just made a ton, its healthy and tastes delicious!


1 piece of grilled Alaskan Salmon (6 oz) - I used about half for the salad
1 grilled turkey burger sliced
4 bunches of romaine lettuce leaves (chopped)
1/4 of an english cucumber (sliced thick)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon
1 tbs Coleman's Mint Sauce
Dash of fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup of grilled onions
1 small vine ripen tomato diced
2 hard boiled eggs sliced
4 piece of blanched asparagus spears


1 tsp hummus
1 tsp roasted red pepper spread (I used the Trader Joes version)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp Coleman's Mint Sauce (I purchased it from Amazon - Coleman)

Please refer to my previous post for cooking and seasoning the salmon.

Turkey Burger: I would season the heck out of it just like the salmon. I added one tbs of panko crumbs and one egg to bind it all together but I really just added every herb (rosemary, parsley, oregano, sage) in my garden and every seasoning I own. I also added a dash of cinnamon and cumin to help enhance the flavor, but other than than, go crazy!

Boiling the Eggs: The best trick I have found is to boil the water and then toss in the eggs for about 9-10 minutes to get the perfect yellow yolk!

Asparagus Spears: To blanche asparagus spears, boil your water and add in the spears for 2 minutes. You want that bright green color but for it to remain crispy as well.

Once you have all the ingredients above prepared, mix it all together before adding the dressing. Once tossed, add the small amount of dressing and mix (it may seem as if there is not enough dressing but the flavors from everything else will enhance the salad). Add more pepper if you would like and serve immediately.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Detox Monday - Salmon Salad with a Lemon Olive Oil Vinaigrette

It's Detox Monday! After eating pizza and pasta during my business trip, it's time to get healthy! This recipe is very easy and fast for those long work weeks!


1 piece of grilled Alaskan Salmon (6 oz) - I used about half for the salad
4 bunches of romaine lettuce leaves (chopped)
1/4 of an english cucumber (sliced thick)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon
Dash of fresh ground pepper

Get a large piece of salmon and season with all your favorite seasonings. The salad itself is pretty plain mainly because the flavors will come from your cooked salmon. I do overdo my seasonings since salmon can still be fishy! I added cumin, crushed red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and some of my favorite Whole Foods seasoning mixes (post soon to follow). I also added some sliced lemons on top and fresh dill.

Grilling - (on a cedar plank) Takes about 15 minutes (just make sure you can flake off the salmon which to me ensures that it is cooked thoroughly)

Bake - Put the seasoned salmon on a baking dish with aluminum foil on the bottom. Seal the dish with additional aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for about 35-45 minutes until the salmon flakes with a fork.

Mix all the ingredients together and serve, chilled!

Coffee Table Decor

We have a large rustic coffee table in our home which my boyfriend built. It's about 40 inches wide and desperately needs centerpieces and decor to cover up all that dark wood. Below I have some photos from my home which shows how arranging colorful decor the right way can make your coffee table beautiful and liven up your home!

I love to start off decorating my coffee table with a centerpiece. My centerpiece right now is my Anthropologie vase. (Since I actually staged it with two different decorating ideas). You can always add faux florals, but nothing comes close to a fresh bouquet of flowers. I used hydrangeas that I found for about $5.99 at Trader Joes. I love the neutral look which helps showcase and highlight all the other pieces. Everything else I picked as a decor complimented my central piece (my vase). I purchased some blue coasters, and kept my candles simple with white, gold, and a hint of turquoise so it didn't look over-cluttered with color overload! Note to self: Clutter is the ultimate enemy

The second photo includes more color. I'm really into blue, gold, white, and different shades of pink. I love the vintage look of gold with a touch of femininity of pink. The flowers were a gift from my boyfriend and were $9.99 from Whole Foods. As for the candles, I kept those more neutral to focus attention on the flowers and teapot. Now... the teapot. Seems like an odd choice, I know. It was given to me by my friend Jeni, and I never want to use it because it is such an awesome decoration piece. The white and gold chevron print really compliments the vintage, cottage chic look.

The remaining two images are actually ones I found on the web highlighting ways to decorate coffee table books and decorative trays. I just started my coffee table book collection, but websites such as offers great sales to allow you to stock up!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Crazy for Candles!

I love candles! I really can not get enough of them as I am completely obsessed with smell and scents. Here are some of my all time favorites. (The list is actually much longer, but I figured I should truncate it.. for the sake of not making this post a novel)

1. Nest Moss Mint: This retails for about $34 (mini is $15) and can be purchased on or Its a light, refreshing scent that will freshen up the entire house. I know I cook a lot and this really helps eliminate those cooking odors. It may be a little pricey but definitely worth the money if you want a great staple candle for your home.

2. Diptyque Baies: The Diptyque candles are actually very popular and very expensive. These retail for about $60 (for the large size) and about $30 for a mini candle. Baies is a berry-perfumed scent which makes your home smell without it being lit! I know I usually prefer cleaner scents, but this berry doesn't give you a headache 20 minutes later and smells like a luxurious and light perfume. It's a great gift and stocking stuffer for the holidays as well. This can be purchased at and

3. Voluspa French Lavender and Cade: This may be my favorite yet. It's a very clean, linen scent.. I would probably pair it with Nest Moss and Mint. Light and Refreshing. This retails for about $26 for a large jar, $18 for a medium jar, and $12 for a mini. Can be purchased on

4. DW Home Vanilla Bean: I'm a huge vanilla candle fan but am very picky. I don't like a strong buttery vanilla scent (e.g. cake batter, etc...) but prefer something lighter. This is it! It retails for about $7.99 for the large jar and can be purchased at any Home Goods or Marshalls location. Ironically, Harris Teeter (if you live in the South) as well. Make sure you stock up if you see these because inventory is never guaranteed. If you want a great vanilla scented candle, this one may be it!

Images Courtesy of

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sausage and Tomato Bow Tie Pasta

Good Afternoon Readers! Just a quick introduction to this blog. I started out with Instagram but decided to broaden my horizons and create a lifestyle blog featuring fashion, cooking and home decor. Enjoy.

This is a pasta recipe that I came up with one weeknight with some random items in my fridge. As far as recipes go, I will try to be as accurate as I can, but I usually just eyeball.. so my motto is start with less because you can always add more.


3/4 Box of bow tie pasta
3 spicy italian sausage links (In case you were looking for a recommendation, Whole Foods has the best italian sausage out there)
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves (I'm a huge garlic and onion fanatic --- you can put more or less garlic based on preference)
Salt, italian seasoning, oregano, and pepper, crush red pepper to taste (1 teaspoon each) - add more while you taste - or less based on preference
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 of a green, red, and yellow pepper
1/2 cup of fresh parsley, basil, and oregano
Olive oil (you can sub in coconut oil)

1. Boil water, with half water and half low sodium chicken broth (1 cup of broth - if you want to be exact). Add a little bit of salt so the pasta doesn't stick. Right when the water is boiling, add your bow tie pasta and cook for about 7-8 minutes; stirring occasionally

2. Meanwhile, get out a large pan with olive oil to cook your italian sausage. (the pan should be large enough to mix your pasta and sauce for later) That should take about 6-7 minutes, but make sure you check the inside so its not pink and cooked thoroughly. I usually chop up the sausage while cooking to make sure everything is evenly cooked. Once the sausage is done, set it aside on a plate with a paper towel on top to soak up the fat and oils.

3. In the same pan, add a little bit of olive oil to cook your garlic and onions. (trick of the trade: if you remove the middle stem of the garlic, it won't be as garlicky tasting, in case you don't to sweat garlic later on). Once the onion and garlic has browned, add the crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of broth, 1/2 cup of wine, and chopped up fresh parsley, oregano, and basil, with all the seasonings listed above. Let it all simmer for about 5-10 minutes

4. Now, time to cut the peppers length wise (thin strips) and toss them with a little olive oil and pepper. Preheat your oven to 400 and roast the peppers. A little char on them is a good thing, as it will enhance the flavor. (You can also do this on a grill, but I used the oven since my boyfriend doesn't let me use the grill when he isn't home.. as he is afraid I will burn the house down #legitimateconcern).

5. Add the sausage and roasted peppers to the sauce. Let simmer for another 5-10 minutes and toss in the pasta and serve immediately. I always add a little bit of fresh basil, oregano, and parsley for garnish. You can add parmesan cheese at the end... but it's all preference.