Hello Friday! Link Roundup

Happy Friday! Are you looking forward to a long, three-day weekend? I know I am!

I will be spending the weekend relaxing in the city. We’ve had some bad weather this week (hot/humid and/or raining), so my only hope is that we great a little break.

Lunch in front of the New York Public Library.The view from my favorite lunch spot in front of the New York Public Library.

Here are some things that caught my eye this week:

This One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta recipe looks delicious and seems easy! I’m definitely trying it.

I’m obsessed with salted caramel, and these Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles sound amazing. I’ve rounded up some other salted caramel recipes on Pinterest, too.

If you are looking for a fun bathing suit, check out this Elephant One-Piece from Lime Ricki. So cute!

Grand Central StationGrand Central Station

This Merona Cap Sleeve Dress from Target looks like the ideal summer dress. I’m hoping to pick one up this weekend!

Check out this cute updo from The Beauty Department. It’s perfect for the hot, humid weather we are getting in New York.

I love this bright and cheery kitchen corner makeover via Design Sponge.

Rooftop View on a rainy New York day.The view from our apartment on one of our rainy days this week.

If your Dad is a reader, get a head start on your Father’s Day gift with this Photo Bookmark Template from Simple As That. Now all you need to do is pick out the perfect book!

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the perfect Lazy Summer Dessert from Style Within Reach.

Enjoy the long weekend and Happy Memorial Day!

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Beach Essentials

Who is ready for a long weekend? I know I am. To me, Memorial Day signals the start of summer, and that means it’s time to hit the beach

I’ll be stuck in New York this weekend, but if I were going to the beach, this is what I’d bring.

Beach Essentials: One Piece 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

I love this pretty Liberty print tank. I’d pair it with super bright accessories, plus a touch of gold. A fun, easy read is a must, too.

Beach Essentials: Bikini1 / 2a 2b / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

For a classic bikini, you can’t beat this red suit from Old Navy. This look is all about the accessories: a fun polka dot hat, striped sandals, floral sunglasses and towel, and an ombre tote. Add a book from Jennifer Weiner, and you’re set.

What are your beach essentials?

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Lentil Brown Rice Salad + Weekly Meal Plan

As I’ve mentioned before, I like to create a weekly meal plan. If I’m staring into our refrigerator at 7:00 pm trying to come up with dinner ideas, I will most likely end up on the phone with our favorite Mexican place instead of cooking a healthy dinner.

Walking on the beach in Chacala, Mexico - www.HelloLittleHome.comIt doesn’t take much to put me in the mood for a Mexican vacation dinner!

I like to keep it super easy during the week. Some of my favorite time saving meals are hands-off crock pot recipes, big salads (ala Elaine from Seinfeld), and one pot dinners, such as soups or curries.

Or, I’ll cook a big pot of brown rice early in the week and use it for multiple meals. That’s what I did when I came up with this week’s meal plan:

Here is my totally customizable recipe for brown rice salad:

Lentil brown Rice Salad

Lentil Brown Rice Salad
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (cold)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1 pkg cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped

Lentil Brown Rice Salad

Cook lentils in boiling, salted water until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside to cool.

Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper.

Combine lentils, rice, cucumber, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Mix well. Add dressing, feta, and basil. Toss until well mixed. Adjust seasoning, adding additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Notes: This recipe is very flexible. Try adding nuts, olives, roasted peppers, or marinated artichoke hearts. Replace the lentils with garbanzo or black beans. Substitute quinoa for the brown rice. The possibilities are endless!

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Hello Friday! Link Roundup

Happy Friday! I started a new job this week, and thankfully, it went really well. My brain is on overload though, so I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

My week in pictures: pretty leaves outside my door.Pretty leaves outside my door.

Here are some ideas that caught my eye recently:

This tutorial for polka dot shorts looks cute and easy!

We had out neighbor over last weekend for wine, and I put together an easy cheese tray.We had our neighbor over for wine last weekend, and I put together an easy cheese tray. Yum!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars would make a healthy snack.

Try adding a whimsical touch to a basic frame with a chalkboard marker.

These Sweet Strawberry Turnovers look so good! I must try this recipe.

spring flowers in my neighborhood.Spring flowers in my neighborhood.

Are your walls bare? Try creating your own DIY Geometric Art.

I love curry, and I love pizza, so I’m pretty sure this Curried Cauliflower Pizza must be amazing!

Around my home.Corner of my living room: doesn’t everyone have old bowling pins laying around?!?

This article on small makeup tweaks that make a big difference is great.

Kick of your weekend right with a citrusy Bee’s Knees cocktail.

Have a great weekend!

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Decorating a Tiny NYC Living Room

When my husband and I moved to New York, we sold most of our furniture. It was just too expensive to ship it across the country, and after a few bad U-Haul experiences (ahem … my husband taking out a fence), we knew that wasn’t an option either. Plus, most of our furniture was just too big for a tiny New York apartment.

My New York ApartmentOur apartment before we moved in. The gorgeous windows were definitely the selling feature!

I won’t lie: I had a lot of fun putting together our new place! It’s not often that you get to start with a blank slate when decorating.

Although we left our furniture behind, I did pack my favorite lamps and some blue and white pillows. The lamps and pillows were my inspiration when planning our new living room.

my NYC living room mood board

I like to create a mood board when designing a room. A mood board is a great way to ensure that everything works well together, and it keeps you on track when making purchases.

I was going for an eclectic look. Although I like warm wood tones, I didn’t want the room to be too brown, so I mixed in some bright colors and white, too. Our living room does double-duty as an office, so a small desk was a must. We have lots of books, so storage was a necessity, too.

I’m still pulling everything together, and I’ve made a number of changes from this original plan, but I’m happy with the progress. I promise to post pictures soon!

Where do you find inspiration from when decorating your home?

Sources:

Lamps: White Ceramic Bamboo Lamps
Side Tables: Cost Plus World Market Tribal Carved Wood Accent Table
Sofa: West Elm Henry Loveseat
Coffee Table (similar): Renate Coffee Table
Rug (similar): Barclay Butera Mango Maze Rug
Chair: Cost Plus World Market Ravenna Chair
Desk Chair (similar): West Elm Porter Upholstered Armchair
Desk: West Elm Parsons Mini Desk
Gold Pillow (similar): Wild Mannered Mother of Pearl and Sequin Pillow
Ikat Pillows: DRK Designs Blue and White Ikat Pillow Cover
Bookcase: IKEA Billy Bookcase

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