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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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This weekend…

Today I’m also going to try switching up Friday Link Love a little bit, and instead of featuring a longer list of things to check out, I’m going to share my favorite blogger, blog post, article, whatever. Less to sift through, and you’ll know I mean business — each Friday’s link is definitely a fave!

This week, I was blown away by this DIY ‘melting heart’ tutorial from Erin. How pretty (and easy) is this? And can you believe it’s actually made out of crayons? So neat.

A little announcement that’s leading up to a big one: be sure to check back in here on Monday. I have some very exciting news to share with you! That’s right…the project I’ve been alluding to for months is about to be revealed! Get excited. I know I am.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and enjoy the Super Bowl!!

{Image Credits: Project Foodie, The Galley Gourmet, Daily Mail, Jose Villa, Greg Considine Flickr, Jamie Beck

Splurge/Save: Jason Wu

Which one would you choose? And PS, are you going to be shopping the Jason Wu for Target capsule collection, which hits stores February 5? I’m loving sooo many of the looks (this one, this one, and definitely this one)…but after the Missoni for Target madness, I’m a bit leery. You?

{Image Credits: Nordstrom, Fashionologie}

Herringbone Bags + Refinery 29 Reserve Giveaway!

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?

The castle behind Downton

Are you watching Downton Abbey? If not, you should be. If the fact that it picked up 6 Emmys last year, and was nominated for 4 Golden Globes (it took home best miniseries/television film) doesn’t sway you, then trust me, the gorgeous costumes, lush interiors, and compelling story line should.

The background is this: the series opens up in April of 1912, on the morning after the sinking of the Titanic. This sets in to motion a series of events that carries us through the whole of the season. In the second season, currently available to watch for free online, the story is set during World War I. Downton Abbey is a period drama, to be sure, but it also takes a look at how the elite and the help interacted, with their own class and with each other. I LOVE IT.

I was curious to learn more about the gorgeous house that has such a big roll in the series. Here’s what I learned.

Downton Abbey is actually ‘played’ by Highclere Castle, a large home situated in Hampshire, UK. Like in the series, it has belonged to one family for generations, and major building of the house began in the late 18 century. One fact that I thought was very interesting: the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, along with Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of King Tut in 1922!

[spoiler alert] Similar to the series [seriously, if you don’t want to know anything, just skip to the next paragraph], Highclere was converted into a hospital during the First World War, although the lady of the house, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, was a bit more willing than Cora to have wounded soldiers under her roof, and was well-remembered for her efforts in caring for these men.

Check out the mini-Highclere tour, after the jump! Continue reading

Blog Tip of the Day

“Do you know where this photo is from?”

I’ve read that (and typed that myself) so many times since starting a blog. Sometimes it feels like the battle to properly credit photographs (that is, not listing Pinterest, Tumblr, or some other photo sharing site) is never ending. It’s tough these days!

Last week Meg posted a great Alt Summit recap that included her own notes on image crediting. I am in complete agreement with her that it’s vital to pin and source from a permalink. Oh, the number of hours I’ve spent combing through someone’s Tumblr because an image credit listed just a Tumblr page versus a post URL…

Sarah turned me on to a great bookmarklet recently that can help you source images, because it integrates with Google Image Search! It’s not foolproof, but it’s worked better than any other photo searching resource I’ve tried, including TinEye. I was a little confused the first time I opened it, so here’s what you do. Once you open the page, drag the blue link that reads ?¿src-img to your bookmarks bar. Then, on any webpage (it can even be a Pinterest or Tumblr page), click on the bookmark whenever you want to try and source an image. Question marks will appear on every image on that page — click the one you want to source. A new window that contains a Google Image Search will open up! For some images, you’ll have to comb through pages and pages of re-pins and Tumblr posts, but if you’re sleuthy, you can often pick a couple blogs and odds are that one of them will mention where the photo is originally from. Give it a try!

PS — The response to Mini-Alt Week ‘n such was so good that I decided to keep the momentum going. So I’ll be popping in now and again with a blog tip of the day. Do you love it??

{Image Credit: Lonny Magazine, Nov/Dec 2011. Photograph by Patrick Cline}

Loving Les Composantes

I’ve been a little obsessed with Les Composantes ever since Erin blogged about it last summer. When I read that post? Immediate subscription to the LC blog. They don’t post too terribly often, but when they do…holy gorgeous photos.

Les Composantes is a French fashion label that makes classic handbags, pretty shoes, and I think clothes too (some parts of their website can’t be translated, and my French is definitely not good enough to tell!). I’ve had their Nola bag pinned for, like, ever, but as best I can tell, they make limited quantities of everything, announce it on their blog when new items are available, then once they’re sold, they’re sold. They also have a section called “Selections,” which includes a unique shop of 100 vintage and contemporary items, only available for 48 hours. You’ll know when new selections are coming, because the LC blog will announce their “prochaine selections” (or next selections). Way to build up demand!

Whether or not I ever get my hands on one of these gorgeous bags, I’m happy to drool over their photos in the meantime. Just lovely, right?

It’s becoming more and more apparent that I should’ve been born French.

Psst — get more Les Composantes goodness (who doesn’t need a little inspiration on a Tuesday?), right after the jump! Continue reading

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