Sweet vs. Savory Ricotta Beignet with Prosciutto, Cheddar & Rosemary Recipe


The culinary quest that began over the summer at NYC eatery Hundred Acres has now come to a close. Yeah, that took a while, but hey, I am trying to achieve culinary greatness with a toddler.

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Basement Renovation: Operation a Basement that Doesn't Suck



You're probably sick of me yammering on about our basement reno? Not yet? You likely will be soon. We are in the home stretch and I get to start thinking about finishing touches, the fun part! Some of these are already in the works, some are in my dreams, but this is the overall inspiration behind the basement project. You'll get to see all the hideous 'befores'. When I have a pretty 'after' to finally show. Deal?


I wanted to carry the color themes and design aesthetic from our entire house into our tv room/playspace for Miss Daphne. This room is key in hiding 1) the TV and 2) all Daphne's toys. Luckily we have a great large space to do it in.


We are repeating Benjamin Moore's Crisp Khaki from an upstairs space, using it on three walls. The large wall behind the sofa will have the stunning Scalamandre Zebra print wallpaper in Masai, which is pretty chic, but kind of whimsical for a kid's space, right? I have been dying for a chance to use this ever since it popped up on my radar (see: Royal Tenenbaums). Mission accomplished.


I originally conceived of the floors being a delicious warm cork, but fear of moisture in the basement dashed that dream to bits. Speaking of, you can track all my ideas on my Pinterest board - Basement Reno, for more. Home Depot to the rescue on the floor. Yup, you heard that right. Home Depot stocks a mind blowing redwood mahogany tile that looks like a million bucks and costs about 1.99 a sq ft. With a dark matching grout, we have actually fooled people into thinking it is hardwood. 


Our other huge misstep? The couch I originally ordered, waited months for, from Williams Sonoma Home, was discontinued. And truth be told, too big to fit down our narrow doorways. When we got measuring, pretty much EVERY sofa out there was too big. The only one that fits (and is leather, and is roomy)? The beautiful chesterfield we already own in our living room. So we ordered a new design for the living room and will move our beloved current sofa to the basement. Which means my entire living room is going to be up in the air too. Oye. 


We will have a TV over the fireplace (fancy-pants for husband). I can concede placement over the fireplace because we will now have a formal living room upstairs without a TV. If I have to have ONE in the house, a man-classy/man-cave is the spot for it. And a good way to bend my unspoken rule that TV's do not belong over fireplaces. THEY ARE NOT ART. I say this while admitting to breaking the rule in the previous sentence;) 


Daphne's nook will have a fun craft table, some mini lou lou ghost chairs, a lamp, perhaps a pouf or two, maybe some built in shelves, and a huge armoire to hide all her toys. 


Surprise, surprise, we discovered beautiful hardwood under the hideous shag on our stairs- score! We are refinishing it, painting it, and adding a faux bois runner in a neutral sage/khaki. I love this carpet so much, I want to invent more space and ways to use it. 


And my favorite project to come out of this? Framing those gorgeous Hermes scarves from the Real Real. Remember these how-to posts on the framing process and hermes decor? These are the actual scarves I had framed. They are stunners and a really great cost effective alternative to fine art (when the budget just doesn't stretch that far). Downside? They are so large I'm not sure I'll be able to use both in the space! TBD.


We'll have to see how close my vision is to the real thing in the coming weeks. Still lots for us to do down there and lots of painting for me and hubs. I am mighty impressed with his finishing work, though the real reason we can do all this is my amazing father in law. He is superman. Quite literally, figuring out ways to build mantles, hide TV wiring, and mount a TV in a solid stone fireplace. Superman.


Or get the Amazing Kaspar Clear chair for a 1/4 of the price;)


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A New Take on the Classic Scone: A Recipe Round Up



Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the classic in this case.

I mean, when it comes to scones, I am pretty much borderline obsessive. I MUST try any and every scone I see at local bake shops to update my mental inventory of who makes the best. For Sunday AM emergency scone purposes, naturally. Drop, round, traingle, with or without clotted cream or jam, count me in.

All this scone talk got me thinking though, why not kick it up a notch......or twenty and try something new, kind of crazy, kind of fun with the classic?

These aren't your run of the mill blueberry scones but they are 100% delicious. Go on, give triple chocolate a twirl. Or maybe red velvet cake. You won't be disappointed. 


Check out A New Take on the Classic Scone

by Noelani at


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