On Our Bookshelf |June|

June 30, 2013 § Leave a comment


It’s the last day of June, and we thought we’d sneak some last-minute book picks from this month. We’d love to hear what you’ve been reading, as of late!

Unknown-1Clara // VB6: I can’t help but snatch up anything by Mark Bittman. I really respect his philosophy on food, so when a friend alerted me of VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00, I immediately downloaded it on my Kindle. As much as I love dairy and meat from time to time, I wholly support many of the tenets of a vegan diet. Though you might not know it from the recipes I post, I make a point of not eating too much meat, stay conscious of the way heavy amounts of dairy make me feel, and try to make vegetables present at every meal (still working on breakfast). If you’re aiming to have a more plant based diet, but don’t want to give up meat and dairy entirely (like me!), this book is a great tool for making simple but significant changes in the way you eat.

UnknownSarah // Lean In: Apparently I couldn’t help but to jump on the Lean In bandwagon. You’ve likely all heard of it, but have you had a chance to pick it up yet? While it’s not the sort of book I would normally gravitate towards, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. I loved getting glimpses of Sheryl’s life and hearing about her mistakes and successes along the way to becoming Facebook’s COO. Plus, it’s incredibly well-written, and might just be the perfect balance to all those beach novels you’ll likely read this summer!


Gilded-Age-by-Claire-McMillan-198x300Lauren // Gilded Age: My current read, a modern-day spin on the Edith Wharton novel “The House of Mirth,” was kindly sent to me by author Claire McMillan herself. Though a huge classics reader, I never read Wharton’s original story so I can’t directly compare the two. If you haven’t either, it might even be interesting to read them together. Set in contemporary Cleveland, Gilded Age follows Ellie Hart, a socialite who returns to her hometown after a scandalous divorce and period in rehab, and her misguided attempts to remake herself. It’s an engaging tale that keeps you turning page after page to find out what happens next–perfect for an easy, summertime beach read.



Life Lately | June 28th |

June 28, 2013 § Leave a comment


Hello Friday! Admittedly it doesn’t feel like a true Friday this week as my schedule has been a little all over the place. After an extended weekend in DC last week, I had a few days in NYC before my Mom came in yesterday for some mother daughter activities- including a dinner party with some close gal pals (the best). And this Sunday, I’m off again! This time to sunny LA, a place I haven’t visited since my freshman year of college. I’ll be staying with friends in Santa Monica, so if you have any neighborhood recs, definitely send them my way. In the mean time, here are a few things that when down during this whirlwind week…

  • Had the chance to preview the amazing holiday collection at West Elm. That store steals my heart every time and since we’re leaning towards not moving this fall, I’m really itching to incorporate more of their great pieces into our apartment.
  • Indulged in a few fun pieces at the J.Crew outlet last Sunday. The sales are never ending over there! Doing my best to steer clear of the extra 30% of sale items
  • A dear friend from high school who attended culinary school launched her own food blog and it’s pretty darn amazing (a must read for true foodies!). Some of my favorite posts- these brilliant crostini recipes and some great guidance on how to use all your citrus zest in a variety of ways.
  • Speaking of brilliant friends, another friend from college just launched a fragrance line with her husband. The best part? It repels insects. Yes people, gone are the days where you need to douse yourself in OFF in order to escape mosquitos. The perfume uses botanical extracts to keep bugs at bay, not to mention smells delicious. This product is a must for the non-outdoors girl in me.
  • I’m on the hunt for new summer reads! We’ve actually got our ‘On Our Bookshelf‘ June edition going up this Sunday, but if you’ve got any great books I should download before I hope my flight to LA this Sunday, send them my way!
  • We launched a new little series on CC- Topics of Pinterest, where we’re sharing some faves from our Pinterest boards every other week. This week’s definitely got me jazzed about summer desserts- stay tuned for a really great one (involving watermelon!), coming your way this Monday.

And that about does it, friends. Lots to do to prepare before I head out of town this Sunday. LA- I can’t wait to experience your non-humid weather 🙂 Have a great one, guys! xx

Image Source

Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint

June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment


Backyard summer bbqs tend to be few and far between when it comes to summer in NYC, but the rooftop dinner party? Oh they are a plenty! And they most definitely make up for the lack of lawns. Last week VictoriaBeccaLisa, and I gathered at Hitha’s show stopping rooftop for a summer themed blogger potluck (in honor of Lisa’s visit to NYC). In typical girl fashion, we ended up with three veggie dishes. The food was so incredibly good, we had to share the recipes! I brought a watermelon, feta and mint salad, Becca made an insanely delicious panzanella, and V made the ultimate veggie comfort food- ratatouille. Washed all down with Hitha’s addictive sangria and some chilled white thanks to Lisa, this meal was truly summer at its best. You can get the recipe for my salad below, and then hop over to the other girl’s sites for the rest of the recipes and recaps!

What’s your go to summer pot luck and cookout dish?





Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint adapted from the Kitchn
Serves about 6

  • 10 chilled cups watermelon cubes, from about 1/2 of a small seedless watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 8 oz feta cheese drained and crumbled
  • 1 cup packed minted leaves, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper and flaked sea salt

Place the watermelon in a large bowl. Toss gently with the rice wine vinegar. Add in cheese and mint and toss gently to combine. Top with a general pinch of flaked sea salt and several grinds of fresh black pepper. If the watermelon is not cold, chill in fridge for at least one hour before serving.

A Bike to Match My Outfit

June 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Do you guys bike? Or do you own a bike? Brooklyn is pretty much bike central and I’m always spotting such cute ones around the neighborhood. I’m particularly partial to ones with white and mint green details, and a light brown leather seat. The outfit pairings are pretty endless- chambray, crisp white shorts, and vibrant sandal flats, or maybe boyfriend jeans, with a white v-neck and chuck taylors… or even a dress (as shown above)!

Here’s the thing though, a Citi Bike recently popped up a mere block from our apartment, making it super convenient to bike. But I don’t want to bike on one of those bikes, I want a pretty one! Yes, I am that girl. Needless to say I will not be getting a bike. I really don’t think I’d ride it that much. What I need is a “cute bike” instagram to follow, does that exist? In the mean time, this Pinterest board is pretty darn perfect.

Images: bike against brickgirl on bikered bikeje t’aime bikebike with garlicbike basket

Setting the Table: Festive 4th

June 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

channeling contessa 4th of july

Is there anything more quintessentially American than the 4th of July? It’s one of the more nostalgic holidays for me, especially because I have such happy memories of summer in general. I love the smell of charcoal grilling, the first strawberry shortcake of the season, and staying outside well after the fireflies make their appearance.

The basics of our patriotic color scheme include some of my favorite things — navy, red, white & stripes — although I think subtlety is definitely key. They make me want to do things like watch baseball and eat hot dogs (even though I like neither sports nor meat)! This year I’ll be traveling for the holiday, but if I were cooking I’d likely be making my favorite portobello burgers, this incredible salad, and s’mores made over the grill — my favorite thing, ever. How will you celebrating?

PS. Isn’t that sprinkler picture just perfection? It’s by Julia Stotz, and her whole portfolio is definitely worth a peek!

cc 4th produts

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Inspiration: pieshortcakesflagsprinklertable

A Virginia Wine Country Wedding

June 24, 2013 § Leave a comment


Tis the season for summer weddings! Our friends Lisa and David got married at Bluemont Vineyard in Virginia this weekend. This was my first vineyard wedding and I have to say, it kind of stole my heart. Normally I’m not great at taking photos when we’re at a wedding but the scenery, lighting, and sweet decor were just too much to not take it all in. Below are a handful of snaps from the event- some of my faves include Lisa’s amazing vintage backless dress, the sweet name tags for table assignments, and the rustic florals. Beautiful pictures aside, the best part was this wedding felt so true to the couple- down to earth, warm, and generous from the inside out. Hope this bit of pretty gets your week started on the right foot!




Shop Spotlight: Chance

June 22, 2013 § Leave a comment


I am so excited to tell you about my latest shop obsession, and I honestly don’t know how I didn’t hear of it sooner. Anyway, Chance is run by Julia Leach, who was the previous creative director at Kate Spade. She felt the need to give life to her own creative vision, and Chance was born.


The collections focus on the classic stripe, with the current collection being inspired by Greece. The editorial photos (as you can see) are incredibly gorgeous — the perfect way to begin a Saturday morning.


“The striped t-shirt is the paperclip of personal style. There’s at least one in every drawer, and it’s coveted and collected thanks to its simplicity and timeless appeal” – Julia Leach


I keep discovering more hidden gems on the site, the longer I spend on it — for example, these creative film shorts, and Julia’s awesome Instagram account.  I also loved this article on Julia if you want to find about more about the brand. It’s really the perfect place to feed your inner stripe obsession.

Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for June, 2013 at Channeling Contessa.