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    Welcome to vmac+cheese. Here I'll share with you my love for all things food, interiors, design and style. I like to think of it as musings on a life worth living.

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Behind the Scenes with I Love Your Crazy

I’m lucky enough to have met today’s BTS girl in real life! Shannon and I both attended Alt last month, and trust me, the energy and passion she conveys below? Totally authentic. Yup, she’s equally as genuine and lovable in person. Shannon, who writes the blog I Love Your Crazy, was also one of my “test clients” for Vivaleur late last year, and has been a wonderful friend to have when I need to bounce ideas around, get friendly advice, or just listen. I adore her and I know you will too!

ViceroyAdirondacksGiraffe Manor

The Viceroy Palm Springs – My inner glamour girl is dying to lounge poolside.
2. Adirondacks in the fall … just look at those colors.
Amalfi Coast – The colors and culture are so inviting.
4. Champagne, France (wine region) to celebrate life.
5. I’ve said this before, but it’s my number one pick! Giraffe Manor in Kenya. I would go tomorrow if I could. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes with Cupcakes for Breakfast

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m excited to introduce you to Nikki, the voice behind the lovely lifestyle blog Cupcakes for Breakfast. I don’t know that I’d ever asked Nikki how old she was, so when she sent me back her responses for this post, I was very surprised to learn she was only 24. She’s definitely wise beyond her years! I love checking in on her blog for delicious recipes she’s concocted, and for sage bits of advice too. Nikki’s a real sweetheart, and I know you’ll dig her blog!

sources: one | two | three | four | five

1. Almafi Coast to see the colorful houses along the shore
2. Greek Islands to sail around beautiful clear blue water
3. Barcelona to shop and study architecture
4. Napa to sip wine all day long
5. Surkhet, Nepal to visit the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School

1. A Moveable Feast – a classic, set in Paris, stories of food and glamour
2. In Defense of Food – contemporary thoughts on food and sustainability
3. Spoon Fed – a memoir about women cooking
4. The Lucky One – guilty pleasure!

sources: one | two | three

1. be in love, having a blast and traveling the world with my best friend;
2. happy at work, surrounded by inspiration and continuously working on creative projects;
3. constantly entertaining and sharing meals with family and friends

1. Getting my studio apartment camera-ready. There are just a few more things I’m looking for before shooting my home tour. I can’t wait to share it!

2. Cooking my food wish list. I’ve bookmarked so many recipes that I haven’t gotten to yet. And why not? No more excuses. I’m trying to cross one thing off this list every week. It’s time to make those chocolate hazelnut macarons already!

source: one | two | three | four

Oh I have too many of these! But one in particular is to open a neighborhood Italian market. A one-stop, family-owned, full-of-love shop where you can get all your favorite things: prosciutto, burrata, perfect by-the-slice pizza, cannoli, sfogliatelle and tri-color cookies. (OK, these are my favorite things!) I’d spend half of my time baking, half of my time marketing the store, and every day eating and enjoying life with our customers.

My senior year of college I wrote the beginnings of a food memoir as a final project for my Journalism major, which I named Cupcakes for Breakfast. One of the stories I told was about when “cupcakeries” began opening in DC in 2008. I would wake up early on Saturday mornings and bring a half-dozen cupcakes back to my roommates before most of them even woke up. Much like how my mom used to go out and bring home bagels on weekend mornings, my friends and I had our own family tradition: eating cupcakes for breakfast. (And not the breakfast-y ones like lemon or carrot!) My blog title is a constant reminder that there is a story and meaning behind every food and meal.

So many people! But if I must name few…
My family – they surround me with love and have provided me with so many amazing food and color memories.
Martha Stewart – her attention to detail in entertaining is so enviable.
The editorial staff at House Beautiful – I interned with them one summer and I fell in love with the process of magazine styling and writing. Reading each issue is so much better because I know (and love) the personalities behind its pages. I wish I had this opportunity at all of my favorite publications and brands!
Bloggers – I am just head over heels with this community of creative and supportive writers. I love how we push each other because we all truly believe in what we’re doing.

It’s hard to define this one, but I think it has to do with independence and self-awareness. Post-college life has tested me in so many ways and I’ve been able to come out of it with a true sense of my character and purpose. I’m ready and excited for what comes next, like when I can answer this question with something more tangible.

source: all images by Nikki

I visit Nantucket Island almost every year with my family and my happy place looks a little like this: playing games in the water during low tide at Jetties Beach, late night walks to the Juice Bar for ice cream in a waffle cone, cobblestones, Madaket sunsets, seersucker, hydrangeas…

I started my blog in June of 2009, right after I graduated from college. Blogging is where I get to constantly bring together all of the things I love: writing, cooking, design, desserts, parties, style. Where else in your life do you get to experience so many great things at once?

Behind the Scenes with Makeunder My Life

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to feature today’s BTS girl. Jess Constable, author of the blog Makeunder My Life and also the owner of the accessories company Jess LC, has been an inspiration to me for quite a while now. Confession: there have been times in the not too distant past where I felt total and utter despair when it came to my career path and figuring out what I wanted in my life. Jess’ posts absolutely helped me get direction and made me realize I wasn’t on my own (her worry flashcards were the best idea ever! You can see some of her best life advice posts here). Her business has taken off in the last few years, and I can’t wait to see where this girl goes next. I could totally see talk show. Take it away, Jess!

Jess Constable, 27


(photo credits, Paris,  RomeLondonAustralia, and Thailand)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (again), Bossypants, The Four Hour Workweek, a portion of A Course in Miracles

(photo credits, ringSan Frankitchen)

I’d like to be married, living near San Francisco, and have a home with white marble in the kitchen.

The first intention I have is to spend more time reflecting and practicing my spirituality. To do this, my goal is to get out of bed each morning and spend time on the small loveseat in my bedroom (below) and reflect, read, or write each weekday morning.

The second intention is to read more after work. For this, I want to get Bossypants to start getting in the habit of reading with something that I think I’ll really enjoy.

(photo credit, Emily Anderson for Rue)

Having my own home with my husband – though that involves getting engaged, married, and saving for a house!

The blog got it’s name from the idea that in order to be the best version of ourselves, we don’t need to makeover our lives, but to makeunder them. By peeling back the layers of “stuff” that is hiding this best self, we can become who we’ve wanted to be all along.

I am inspired by Oprah Winfrey and her impact on women and people across the world. I’m also inspired by spiritual and business leaders like Joyce Meyer, Ben Franklin, and Gary Vaynerchuk. They all have done tremendous things while staying completely unique.

(photo credit, Danielle Moss)

I’m proud of the fact that I launched my business full-time right out of college and have made it not only succeed, but to use it to help others design a life with intention as well.

My bed! Other than that, “Fluffy Cloud Island,” which is my couch topped with a giant goose down feather comforter is pretty great too.

January 19th, 2009. It helps me fulfill my purpose: to help people design lives with intention.

Behind the Scenes with Buckets and Bunches

We interrupt this week’s Mini-Alt programming for some, well, regularly scheduled programming. It wouldn’t be Wednesday without BTS, am I right? This week’s BTS girl is someone I have the pleasure of meeting…today! Chelsea, from the blog Buckets and Bunches, is one of my roommates at Alt. I thought it was perfect timing to feature her here! Chelsea is finishing up wedding planning, so her blog is filled with great ideas for the big day, as well as non-nuptial related posts on design, art, interiors, style and more. She’s also just a super sweet girl. I’m so glad that as of today, I can call her a real life friend!

Oh, I love to travel. I would move to Europe (Italy or Switzerland) in a heartbeat. Five places I haven’t been that I would love to go are (1) Japan, (2) Turkey, (3) Israel, (4) Egypt, (5) the Maldives. I actually have been to Istanbul, but I am dying to go to Cappadocia, an ancient rock city in Turkey.

The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon (ok, I am actually about a third of the way into it now and loving it), Gay Men Don’t Get Fat by Simon Doonan, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (yeah, I know it is young adult, so what?).

(1) Michelle and I are planning on turning Buckets and Bunches into a business in the near future. I am so excited and passionate about this project. I love fashion and styling, Michelle loves design and interiors and we dabble in a million creative arenas. Buckets and Bunches will be a styling company for your life.
(2) Babies! David and I are getting married in less than two months so in five years I would love to have started a family.
(3) The suitcase in that image represents a couple of things for me. Travel, for one. Relocating from Houston is another dream. I have made amazing friends here, but I need seasons and a change. I get itchy feet pretty quickly.

(1) Our wedding! It is March 3, 2012 and I am just trying to keep organized. All of the major things are taken care of, so now I am working on the little details to personalize the event. It is SO much fun. Seriously. The best challenge.
(2) I already mentioned it, but building Buckets and Bunches into a business. To get there we are working on all of the little details, registering the business, learning the ins and outs. We are also dreaming about turning my spare room into an office and one of my favorite parts, branding! Hopefully after goal 1, the wedding, is over I will have a lot more time to devote to the biz.

Hosting. We have a house…after living here for almost eight months it is coming together. Yeah, it takes a while. But now that it is presentable I want to have friends over, cook more, arrange fresh flowers, learn how to mix cocktails, organize regular game nights or tv show viewings. That’s right, I am getting domestic!

My friend Lissy always says “love you buckets and bunches.” The blog is all about fashion, beauty, design, people and events that I love. While brainstorming blog names, I found myself stumped trying to find an all encompassing title. Lissy served up the perfect inspiration for my new adventure on the internet.

I am not going to lie, glossies cover about every surface of my house; Vogue, Elle, In Style, House Beautiful…You name it. I read online shelter magazines too, I am loving Rue and Matchbook right now. I actually read Esquire as well, I love the innovative way they have brought their magazine online. Their iPad app is amazing. Aside from my magazine addiction, I find inspiration from my friend and partner, Michelle who just looks at things differently than I do. The back and forth we have drives me to be more creative and think outside my norm. Last, but not least, my mom is incredibly fashionable and follows that up with an incredible house she designed and decorated on her own. I have always borrowed her clothes, jewelry, and style. She also taught me to think globally about design and fashion, which I am so grateful for.

Honestly, my proudest achievement to date is being in recovery from depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. I really didn’t plan on getting down and personal with you, but I want to contribute to eliminating the stigma attached to mental illness and be honest. On top of that, maintaining a loving and caring relationship with my man since I was 18 is pretty awesome in my mind.

Ooh, that is tough. I am going to with lounging on my couch with my computer on my lap and a pup conked out on either side. We call it “the puppy couch.”

I actually started blogging in the summer of 2010. It was fairly short lived for many reasons. But I missed the outlet, the community, and the opportunities so I began blogging again this past July. I stick with blogging because of the people. I love receiving feedback and inspiration from the blogging community, and I also just need the outlet to make sure the creative part of my brain isn’t going stagnant.

Behind the Scenes with Savvy Home

Even though we have never met in person, today’s BTS girl is like my sister from another mister. A kindred spirit, if you will. Gabrielle, who writes the gorgeous interiors blog Savvy Home (if you’re not already following, you’re missing out on some serious decor eye candy), is a Canadian girl currently living in Australia, and is as smart, ambitious, and down to earth as she is stylish! Between you and me, I know Gab has a bright future ahead of her. I’m thrilled to be able to feature her here today. Take it away, Gabrielle!

Gabrielle, 25

Adelaide, Australia

The Amalfi Coast: I’m very much a beach and sunshine person. My mom sailed the Amalfi Coast last summer and sold me on the idea. My favorite travel destinations so far have been coastal – why not try another one?

Spain: I spent a few days in Barcelona last summer, and it was just too short! The architecture and the attention to detail in Spanish design blew my mind. I want need to spend many more days in Spain: Valencia, Madrid, Bilbao, San Sebastian and see more of Barcelona. I want to see it all.

Japan: Tokyo has fascinated me ever since I watched Lost in Translation. Most importantly, I am fascinated by Japanese design and the Japanese way of life. To top it all off, Japan has among the best snowboarding destinations. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.

Savoie, France: Savoie is where I get my name from – it’s where my ancestry originates. Besides, it’s a fabulous ski region and wine region. I really don’t know what I could want more from life.

Argentina: I suppose one could say at this point that I have a thing for latin countries. Buenos Aires has been one of my dream destinations for as long as I can remember. They call it the Europe of South America. Since Montreal is the Europe of North America, I have a feeling BA and I will get along just fine.

Ru by Kim Thuy: I had to sneak a French book in here somewhere didn’t I? My mom placed this book on my bedside table while I was staying with her for the holidays. I actually started reading it on the weekend. Three pages in, I was laughing and crying at once. We’re off to a very good start.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things can Make a Big Difference by Malcom Gladwell: You know those books that sit on your shelf for years, and you really really want to read them, but you never actually get to it? This is one of those books. This is the year.

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts by David McMillan: Joe Beef is a French Canadian institution and one of the most acclaimed restaurants in Montreal.  I’m dying to study all their recipes, especially their famous lobster spaghetti! More than that, The Art of Living is a wonderful account of food and life in Montreal, from Charles “Joe Beef” McKiernan’s first restaurant in 1868, to today.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well by Deborah Needleman: I don’t even understand why this book is not on my bedside table as we speak. I’ve been hanging to read it ever since I first heard about it last fall.

A happy home, a successful business, and lots of stylish traveling – I don’t think I need more in life.

My new year resolutions are: save, focus and keep in touch. I’m planning on applying these concepts in all aspects of my life within the next twelve months. With this in mind, I’m currently working on not spending; and also focusing lots of energy on the blog – rethinking the design, the series, everything! I want to make it bigger, better and more interesting in 2012. And that’s just January goals…

Starting a business has been at the core of my dreams for at least a year. What am I saying, it’s been on my mind for years! Timing is everything, so I’m in no rush but I’m increasingly confident that I will make it happen probably sooner rather than later.

I chose Savvy Home because “savvy” is short for my last name: Savoie. And “home” because my blog is predominantly about interiors. To me, a savvy home reflects the ability to create a stylish, tasteful and beautiful home without it costing an arm and a leg – which translates my views on design quite accurately.

My friends, family members, other bloggers and successful entrepreneurs all serve as inspiration to me. I guess you could say I’m easily inspired. Every little success is inspiring to me, no matter how small. If you open your eyes, there are loads of them around!

Moving from my hometown of Montreal, Canada – all the way to little Adelaide, Australia. It has allowed me to see the world from a different perspective, meet incredible people, and gave me the inspiration to start my blog!

Going to my mom’s country house by the lake in Canada is pure bliss. There, I have nothing better to do but sleep, eat, cook, read, and watch the horizon. Even doing dishes becomes therapeutic. It’s like checking into a spa. Of course an actual spa is not too shabby either…

I started blogging in November 2010 when M and I moved into our first house. It was a way for me to document the process of creating a home and file my inspiration. Over the course of 2011, the blog has become much more to me. It’s become a great networking tool, allowed me to meet some fantastic people, and has given me the courage and skills to pursue the career of my dreams. I don’t think I could ever give it up.

Thank you for having me Victoria! This was so much fun! X

Behind the Scenes with Brunch at Saks

Today I’m excited to introduce you to someone that likely doesn’t even need an introduction. Annemarie writes the blog Brunch at Saks, and it is one of my favorite daily places for inspiration. She’s the creative mind behind that gorgeous glitter bow photo you saw everywhere before the holidays, and I especially like reading her take on favorites made gluten-free (Cheez-its, anyone?). After you learn more about her below, be sure to say hello on her blog!

Annemarie, 25

Los Angeles, CA

Italy, Greece, Australia, Paris, and the French Riviera

Plan B: A Novel by Jonathan Tropper, Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Onassis, The Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith, and An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. I’m sort of an “across the board” reader, so my selections are from quite a few genres!

Family, happy in my career, and a home

I have a lot of food allergies, so it’s been a goal of mine to integrate healthy, clean foods into my daily routine effortlessly. Another goal is to decorate my master bedroom on a budget. I’ve been shopping around Los Angeles for items, plus I’ve been glued to Pinterest and blogs for DIY ideas.

I’d love to explore and journal my way through small towns in Europe for a year.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my all time favorite movies, and Saks Fifth Avenue is one of my favorite places (even if it’s just to window shop!), so that’s how/where Brunch at Saks came from.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis is a huge inspiration for me. I loved her style and her work ethic in the literary publishing world was astounding. I’m a huge reader, so books, magazines, and blogs are a great source of inspiration as well.

Graduating Cum Laude and finishing my first feature length screenplay when I was 20.

Napa or Mexico.

I began blogging in 2006 sporadically, and then created Brunch at Saks in September 2008 as a place to keep all of my inspirations pertaining to fashion and home decor. Since then (and mostly due to the influence of other wonderful blogs) my interests have expanded which have led to me blogging about photography, gluten free recipes, entertaining, and beauty.

Behind the Scenes with The Lonely Wife Project

It’s safe to say that today’s BTS girl would be one of my besties if we lived anywhere near each other. Hilarious, witty sense of humor? Check. Love of a good cocktail? Check! Likes to read books? Um, CHECK (wait til you read more below…). I’ve been so happy to get to know Sabra, who writes the blog The Lonely Wife Project, over the past several months. She strikes me as someone who you’d always want to invite to a party — super fun, yet down to earth, and bright. I like that combination. Read on to learn more about this fabulous gal and be sure to stop by and say hi on her blog!

Sabra, 28

San Diego

New York — Can you believe I haven’t been there?!

London – Can you believe I haven’t been there either?!

Greece – I want to go to Greece while I can still appreciate drunken partying and island hopping, which means I need to go immediately. I don’t have much time left.

Budapest – It’s my brother’s favorite place in Europe and I trust my brother’s taste.

Japan – Because my husband really wants to go there and he gets to pick our next travel destination.

I’ve read 113 books since I got my Kindle last February so I will likely be reading way more than just four next year, but I will read the following in the next couple months or so:

What Alice Forgot – Actually I’m reading this now. It’s about a woman who suffers a head injury and forgets a decade of her life. That is my favorite type of plot line. See also Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me.

The Paris Wife – I believe this is on every female’s 2011/2012 reading list.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Sometimes I read a piece of classic literature to make me feel smart and cultured.

Bel Canto – I just finished reading Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty (highly recommend), so I’m definitely giving this bestseller a shot.

Catherin the Great: Portrait of a Woman – Royalty intrigues me and this particular royal sounds damn intriguing.

I want a house with a huge kitchen, an outdoor entertaining space and a chubby baby.

1 – Find a way to work from home and for myself. I’m currently working my tush off in the corporate world so I could get all the experience necessary to start my own consulting company.

2 – Write a novel. This is actually my goal in life. I have a basic plot and one sentence. Good start.

Is it weird that I dream of having a backyard? Seriously, that’s all I really want. We live in a small townhouse with a small patio, but that’s what I get for living by the beach in San Diego.

Last year my husband decided to go back to school to get his MBA. Sometime between his full-time job and full-time class schedule, I got lonely. My blog serves as my entertainment. It also forces me to cook and take photos of my cooking.

I’m inspired by my blogging besties. Erika, Irene, Elizabeth, Naomi, Victoria…I could seriously go on and on. Without their creative/gorgeous/hilarious blog posts and emails, my brain would be dull. Also, I’m inspired by magazines and my husband who works incredibly hard and still maintains a positive attitude. I hardly work and I’m mostly negative so he balances me out perfectly.

I’m pretty proud that I married my high school sweetheart and that we’re still married and still best friends and still madly in love. That’s a feat if you ask me. I’m also pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished so far in my career. It’s hard being a young woman in the corporate world and I’m dealing relatively well.

My couch. It’s right next to my coffee table where I like to keep a bottle of red wine and my magazines. Sometimes I move to the fireplace if I get cold. Also, cuddling with my animals helps me re-charge.

I started blogging in August 2010 and I’ve posted five days a week almost every week, with some exceptions. That’s a lot of posts. Although, it’s hard to always come up with something interesting to share with my readers, I feel like I would suffer a huge loss if I wasn’t part of the blogging world. I’ve made some friends and I have a creative outlet. It’s pretty good.

Thanks for having me Victoria! This was fun.

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