The Easiest Bolognese Sauce Ever

Hi lovelies!

There are some days when you are just craving comfort food. For me, this usually happens on cold, winter nights and when it’s raining – it’s intensified! While at work, I decided that it would be a good idea to make a pasta with a bolognese sauce that night. Not sure what triggered this epiphany  I had – perhaps it had to do with the fact that I was really missing our honeymoon in Italy.

Let me just start out by saying, I’ve been trying desperately to brush up on my cooking skills since the hubs and I are big fans of good cuisine and like to consider ourselves “foodies”. I wanted to find a recipe that was easy to follow but one I could potentially build on. If you search on Pinterest or Google “bolognese recipe”, I guarantee that you will find thousands. The one that I ended up going with was simple, fresh and a recipe I could certainly add my own little flair to.

So here it is.

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What you need:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 celery stalk (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. ground chuck beef
  • Shredded or grated Romano cheese
  • The pasta of your choosing

Directions:

In a large pot, add the olive oil and cook on medium-high heat until it’s almost smoking. Add in the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion becomes soft and almost translucent (approximately 7-8 minutes). Next, add in the chopped celery and carrot and saute (around 5 minutes). Turn the burner to high and add in the ground beef. Stir until the beef is broken up and fully cooked (no longer pink). Lastly, turn your burner on to medium-low heat and add in the tomatoes and parsley, stirring occassionally until the sauce thickens (about 30 minutes).

While the sauce is cooking, go ahead and cook your pasta in a separate pot. Once the sauce is thick and your noodles are done – it is ready to be served. Pour the bolognese sauce over your bowl of pasta, top with the shredded or grated Romano cheese and enjoy!

What’s great about this recipe is it lends itself to be eaten as is or you can get creative and add your own touch to it. For the olive oil, I used a local, basil-infused olive oil to give it a little extra flavor. I also added some dried basil and Melting Pot’s garlic and and herb seasoning because – well, the stuff is good on everything! Something I’d like to attempt next time? Adding a little bit of red wine…but that’s for another day!

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2015 Trend Report | Home, Fashion, Beauty + All

Happy Friday!

Although this is the second week of January, I would like to pretend it’s the first real week of the year as many people were still in vacation/holiday mode last week. I am actually very excited for 2015 because it’s a great excuse to make a fresh start.

With a new year, comes a new you. Part of that happens internally but the other part can be external or what is on the surface. Sometimes people like to make a drastic hair change or try out a new style. Of course, what we choose is very personal but perhaps I can help get your wheels turning. Below are some of the big trends to watch in 2015 for every aspect of life. Enjoy!

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{ HOME } Eclectic Style. Pops of Color. Jewel Tones.

Think vintage, retro, mixing patterns and textures, personal touches, rich colors.

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ECLECTIC STYLE – The Rundown: This is probably my favorite trend for 2015, mostly because I feel like the style encompasses me as a person: incredibly eclectic. The mix of new and old, everything is random yet it somehow seamlessly comes together…it’s amazing. If you’re looking to change up the look of your home this year, this is a great way to do it.

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POPS OF COLOR – The Rundown: Looking to make some subtle changes to your home decor? Adding pops of color will surely do the trick and it’s big in 2015. Pick up some colorful chairs, pull out your vibrant KitchenAid mixer, or even simply paint a door a different color like in the image above.

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JEWEL TONES – The Rundown: Deep, rich jewel tones are a heavy hitter this year. There is something sophisticated and tasteful about them. I’m loving this look in the office/study below.


{ FASHION } Wide-Legged Pants. 70s Retro. Boho. Lace Up. Gingham Print.

I honestly could not be more thrilled about these style trends for 2015. Mostly because they remind me of the vintage, sepia-toned photos of my parents from the 60s and 70s. It makes me smile.

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WIDE-LEGGED PANTS – The Rundown: Although I do not think skinny pants will completely disappear, I do think wide-legged pants will soon be ruling the world, and in my opinion, we are long overdue for a new silhouette.

70s RETRO – The Rundown: As mentioned above, the 70s style is back with a vengeance (and I cannot contain my excitement).

BOHO – The Rundown: The bohemian look is also making an impact on the runway for Spring/Summer 2015…so go ahead and channel your inner flower child.

LACE UP – The Rundown: Lace ties are also quite prominent for the new year – just check out the Louis Vuitton runway images alone.

GINGHAM PRINT – The Rundown: The gingham print (yes, it may also remind you of a picnic) was gaining traction in Fall 2014 but will be huge in 2015. It’s feminine mixed with classic mixed with chic and I love, love, love it!

{ Check out all of the runway images here }


{ BEAUTY } Minimal Makeup. Bold Brows. Dewy Skin. Statement Lips. Negative Space Manis.

We are now living in a time where less is more, beautiful skin is everything and making a statement on your lips and nails is a way of life.

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MINIMAL MAKEUP – The Rundown: A big trend this year is the minimal/nude makeup look. In 2015, less is more. We’re not saying absolutely no makeup, but a more natural look, nude shades and a “fresh face”.

BOLD BROWS – The Rundown: Remember being young and plucking your eyebrows to make them thin was cool? Well, times have certainly changed. Heavier brows are in. But not an unruly brow, a very structured, well groomed brow.

DEWY SKIN – The Rundown: This ties into the “fresh face” look mentioned in the Minimal Makeup Rundown. Bottom line: dewy skin is in. Looking clean and natural with a slight sheen is what you’ll be seeing a lot of this year.

{ Images can be found here —> Minimal Makeup, Bold Brows, Dewy Skin }

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STATEMENT LIPS – The Rundown: For Fall 2014, we saw a good bit of the wine stained/vampy lip. It will definitely translate to 2015, even in the Spring. But let’s be real, any statement lip is big this year. Whether you go for the newly popular orange-red, a classic red, or even a true pink – you’re in good hands.

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NEGATIVE SPACE MANIS – The Rundown: This look is all over the runway for 2015. Negative space nails are without a doubt, the next big thing.

{ Images can be found here }


{ EVERYTHING } Marsala

If you missed my post on the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala, you can read about it here. But to reiterate, Marsala will be huge this year. In every aspect of life – design, home decor, beauty, fashion…you name it! Below are some inspiration images of how you can implement the Pantone Color of the Year into your life!

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{ HOME } is Wherever I’m with You

So in case you are not already aware, the hubs and I are starting to move into our first real home as a married couple – weeeee! It’s the cutest little bungalow in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, NC and we couldn’t be more ecstatic! New hardwood floors are in and the counter tops should be here and installed any day now (it is seriously gorg).

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{ Our recycled glass counter tops in “Ocean Shell” }

As exciting as all of this is, we are now faced with the daunting task of purging and packing. Let me just tell you, if I could pay someone to do all of this for me I would because when I say I loathe moving…I mean it in a very passionate way. However, I have opted to take on the beast because I do not want to shell out extra cash for someone to pack my things for me while I am very capable of accomplishing it on my own. The problem is, I tend to look at everything from a macro perspective and when I see everything that I have to go through and prepare to move, I get slightly overwhelmed. Even with us leaving our wedding gifts in their original boxes, we still have a ton of belongings and it frightens me that so much has to be transported from one house to another. #firstworldproblems. Aside from having to remind myself to breathe during this process, I have to provide myself with little things to look forward to in order to stay motivated. As the saying goes…gotta keep on truckin’. So in light of this stressful situation, I’ve decided to focus on the fun components of it and dedicate this post to my decorating plans for the new casa.

We are going to first touch on my color inspiration followed by the look we’re trying to achieve and ending with the paint colors I’ve chosen. However, I’m going to ask you (my lovely blog readers), for feedback regarding the kitchen color. Just comment at the end of the post with your vote because I am quite stumped and desperately need your opinion! Enjoy, loves!

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Shahin and I are on the same wavelength regarding the hues of the new house. We both really love grays, neutrals and blues. I’ve never met anyone who loves the beach as my as my husband, so he was immediately sold on the idea of utilizing ocean colors in our decor. I myself have always been a big fan of the dusty blue color (a light shade of blue with a gray undertone) and drawn to different grays and neutrals. Above is a mood board that I created which include my inspiration and the words that come to mind when I think about the feng shui of our new home.

Style

Now, you can imagine how over the last year I have been trolling Pinterest to nail down the look and feel we are going for in the new house. Shahin and I are both very similar so it made choosing our signature style fairly simple. We’re both free-spirited, music lovers, DIYers, eclectic, enjoy art and love a mix of modern, handmade, vintage, primitive, flea market chic, simplistic, farmhouse, rustic, natural and eclectic. I know, it’s a lot and some of these descriptions contradict one another. But once you see all of the elements together, it will make perfect sense. Imagine: Etsy, West Elm, Pottery Barn & Crate and Barrel…all mixed together with some thrift store and antique shop finds.

Paint

I have to admit, I have become rather obsessed with Benjamin Moore‘s paint colors. Like WHOA. I have spent countless hours in Lowes, Blackhawk Hardware and the Benjamin Moore store itself…just standing there like the crazy paint lady comparing different swatches. For me, trying to determine the perfect shade of gray and the perfect blue was fairly difficult (it’s the perfectionist in me) – but I eventually accomplished what I set out to do. These beautiful paint colors are what I’ve nailed down for the new place. However, I am still pulling my hair out over the kitchen color and I’ve narrowed it down to three (yay for progress). So what do you think? I’m officially taking votes so leave your comments below!

Building a home can be so much fun…stay tuned for more updates to come! I can’t wait to share all of my decorating, entertaining and DIY projects with you!

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