Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Mondays with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  Admittedly, when Instagram first rose to popularity, I had no idea what to do with the app. I understood that my photos looked better filtered, so I uploaded - edited - and promptly deleted them from Instagram before posting on Facebook. It didn’t occur to me to leave the photos up. Years into what has become an entirely new level of social platform, I’ve learned that Instagram’s primary purpose is stalking people you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Ex-boyfriends, ex-best friends, ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriends, ex-best friend’s new best friends, and best of all - celebrities. As it turns out, both the “me, me, me” millennials and the du jour starlets are validated via Insta-likes. This means that most people post for themselves rather than vis-a-vis an agent - simply because Intagram means insta-attention. This translates to the lay person’s ability to live a celebrity-curated lifestyle sans celebrity. One of my most recent Insta-finds comes courtesy of Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts). The glitterati-approved ingenue posts the typical selfie/key product placements, and more uniquely - snaps of the books she’s reading. I’ve ordered a few of her literary reco’s, but I’m most excited about my new studded rose gold iPhone cover from Felony Case. After spying the chic accessory on Miss Roberts’ feed, I knew I had to have one. Luckily for me (and for you if you’re looking for the latest in Apple candy) the cases are both aesthetically pleasing and affordable.

II.  Nothing screams summer quite like a sun-drenched view of the lake, pines, and bikini-clad vacationers in Tahoe. And nothing tops all of those things off quite so nicely as a shot of the three together by Slim Aarons. Whether you’re in the market for a new piece of art from First Dibs, on the print level, or simply desire a small part of Slim on your coffee table - there are a plethora of options to up your seasonal ante with an infusion of the famed photographer in your home decor.

III.  Lately, I’ve found myself cooking at impromptu barbecues more often than not over the weekends. While I pride myself on the ability to turn anything you bring me into something delicious based on the available ingredients at whomever’s kitchen I’ve usurped, my favorites so far have been the straightforward, yet oh so delicious, Blue Cheese Burger, and my newly perfected bistro mushrooms. For the mushrooms - buy a few containers of baby bella, remove the stems, and slice. Warm one stick of butter in a pan over the stovetop until it bubbles, then add the shrooms. After three-four minutes, pour in two cups of red wine, a tablespoon of Worcester Sauce, and three cloves of minced garlic. Let boil for about five minutes, then serve in a bowl with a baguette for dipping. Your guests won’t be able to get enough of the steamed mussels-esque appetizer.

IV.  And then there’s dessert…  Most of the time, I grab a box of popsicles for a post-grilling treat. On the few occasions where I have time to plan the meal, my go-to is a basic Clafoutis with whatever berry I have on hand mixed into the batter. The beauty of this dessert is that you can make it in whatever tin, pan, or ramekin you have at your disposal, and it only requires a few ingredients. With a sprinkle of powdered sugar to finish them off, your friends will never know that the beautiful confection was an afterthought.

V.  I’ve mentioned a few times over the course of my blogging years that up until my 30th, I was a serial monogamist. That meant that I’d spent as much of my life in relationships as out of them… Naturally, all of my girlfriends thought that I’d be the first to have the big fairy tale wedding. We kept clippings from bridal magazines, secret files on my laptop for guest lists and vendors, and a flurry of emails after each runway season indicating who would be wearing which couture bridesmaid gown (J. Mendel was always a favorite). Fast-forward through a couple of years, a few relationships, and dozens of real weddings - I’ve tossed out the bridezilla, and realized that if I’m actually going to make a commitment to be someone’s partner - it will most likely take place at San Francisco City Hall without the painstakingly planned hoopla. I was reminded of this when I came across a stunning shot from Blueberry Photography this morning. The simplicity of the gorgeous couple revealing nothing but their raw love for one another (the flawless Alexander Wang gown didn’t hurt) that would have seemed lacking in my twenties made me smile - because, when it comes down to it, the day is really about the two of you - and all you need is each other (plus an excellent photog). 

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt