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The Better 10 Minute Breakfast

October 29, 2014

Eggs, Salmon, Asparagus, Cheese
As midterms come to a close, I am thanking the heavens that I have made it through one of the most stressful periods during the school year without getting sick. I feel like everyone around me is coughing, sneezing or sniffling, and I'm attributing my stellar immune system to the effort rigorous vitamin taking and breakfast eating. 
I used to be a chronic breakfast-skipper, but I now realize there really is no excuse. It's important to take care of myself, and waking up 15 minutes earlier to enjoy a nice breakfast is well worth the struggle of getting out of bed.
I'm especially looking into ways to incorporate veggies into my breakfast, and so far this is my go-to meal that I don't think I could possibly get sick of. It's a 3 egg omelet (that uses only one yolk), an ounce of smoked salmon, sautéed asparagus and just a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

The Better Designer: Tara Seawright

October 26, 2014

Today I'm so excited to be able to share with you some great information I got with the talented, New York-based designer, Tara Seawright. Not only is she an amazing designer, but she also uses her studio art background to help direct clients through the process of selecting art for their homes.
Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 6.18.15 PM
Photo courtesy of Tara Seawright 


Starting the process: Go to museums and start to develop your eye. Do you like sculpture or photography? Give life to the dream; this part does not cost a thing. Expose yourself to new artists by going to gallery openings, museum shows and even by browsing online.

Finding what you can afford: When starting an art collection, you do not need to buy a million dollar piece. There are great affordable online resources such as Uprise Art and Saatchi Art. They both provide a full range of art and prices. The greatest form of flattery is imitation. So another way is to make your own art.

Placement: Certain places beg for art: over a mantel, between a pair of sconces, or above a large piece of furniture. Be creative. The installation is part of the creative process. Put art in unexpected places like above the toilet in the bathroom. Play with scale too. Place small pieces on a large wall or a large piece on a small wall.

Creating a cohesive collection: Think twice about buying from the same artist over and over again. It is important to have variety and to reflect your own interests. Repeating a theme is a great way to reflect the people living within the space. Everyone has their own natural aesthetic which generally tends to be cohesive; they just do not know exactly what it is. That’s why it is so important to expose yourself to different things. The possibilities are endless. Do not limit yourself.

The Better Junior Year Dorm Room

September 30, 2014

Full Room View
Finally, my dorm is complete and I'm so excited to share it with you guys! Generally, the first remark people make is, "Oh, your room is so...small...but you've made really good use of the space." I'll admit, my room is tiny, especially considering that I am an upperclassman (ew, I'm old!) and had many other options. I lived in this building last year and loved it so much the idea of moving was unbearable. So yes, it is small, but the size is never an excuse for sacrificing style, and I'm always up for a challenge (as long as it isn't calculus).
My delicious bed
While I do still have a few pieces from my old room this year was about going above and beyond...almost to the point of complete ridiculousness for a dorm. The peacock, silk curtains really made a dramatic statement, especially with my chandelier floor lamp in front of it. 
I had many e-mails asking for dorm tips, and I think one of the best ways to make your room unique is to shop in various places. As cute as a bedroom set up might look in Ikea or Bed Bath & Beyond, it's usually a bit tacky or overwhelming when everything has been purchased and set up in your own space. I shopped at Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Goods, Target, Neiman Marcus, Ikea, Amazon, Etsy, Macy's, Pottery Barn, and The easiest way to elevate your style is to avoid the matchy-matchy look. 
Book Shelf
To avoid making my room cluttered I really tried not to fill every nook and cranny of my bookshelf. It's so easy to fall into the trap of acquiring more junk just because you have the space to put it. Not only does this hurt your wallet, but it is so easy to become a disorganized mess. 

Five Better Moments of the Week

September 24, 2014

breakfast shoot
Picture from my brunch shoot with my photography bestie, Jolie Greenstone

barnard polish
The campus related nail polish sold at the Barnard store

When everyone in my literature class coincidentally wore jean jackets we decided a photo shoot was a must

The Better Martha Does High Tea

September 16, 2014

I can't believe I forgot to share with you my favorite part about visiting D.C: Lady Camilla's, this fabulous little spot for tea in Georgetown. It is filled with pink and begs for all visitors to wear a floral tea dress (though not required). I chose to get a pot of English breakfast tea, some macarons, a mini cupcake, finger sandwiches, and a couple scones. This was surprisingly filling and kept us energized for an day of shopping and exploring.
bridget teacup teacake copy savories

The Better Outfit Featuring My Mom

September 02, 2014

Going to college on the other side of the country means that visits from mom are extra special. I don’t know how she does it but every time we reunite, I’m re-hit with the reality that she is way more stylish than me. Right now is an especially great time for a mom appreciation post. Today she did a lot of driving and heavy lifting to get me moved into college. She was even a really good sport when I asked her to make my bed and iron my sheets.
Dress: BCBGMAXAZRIA (sold out) | Shoes: Brian Atwood | Bag: Fendi (old) | Watch: Vintage Rolex

We were visiting New Hampshire for a couple days, and this was the outfit my mom chose for exploring the town and doing a little nature walk. I know right? My mom is a total glamazon (she normally hates heels under 3 inches just FYI).
I adore my mom’s Rolex. She’s had it since my 30-year-old brother was in first grade, and it still looks amazing. For some reason all the watches I see in stores now a day are so flashy: too big, too bulky, too sparkly. I’m really attracted to the simplicity and practicality of this watch, and how its style relevancy isn’t questioned 25 years later.

The Better Martha Takes D.C.

August 26, 2014

This past week it took a lot of willpower to abstain from posting a million photos to Instagram. I was visiting friends in D.C and it was marvelous. It's the only city I've been in where every building is seriously significant. I was walking down the street with Bridget and she pointed out the Supreme Court, the National Archives, and the Library of Congress all within a few minutes of each other--and this was just a few minutes before she took me to the capitol building. 
pointy thing
The Washington Monument

I had an incredible time hitting all the necessary tourist spots like the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Declaration of Independence, and so many more places that allowed me to totally geek out. 
hey there mr. lincoln
Mr. Lincoln at his Memorial

The Better Outfit Featuring Bridget

August 18, 2014

Styled with Bridget 1
This week I've been in Washington D.C visiting my college friend, Bridget. When we first met, I was instantly struck by her kind spirit and old soul. She's the only person I know who reads the classics; handwrites letters, and looks up movie times in the newspaper. I was so excited to photograph her because her personality is so perfectly captured by her style (and also she's just so cute and charming).
Styled with Bridet 2
Her outfit was perfect for a day of sightseeing and afternoon tea. D.C. summers tend to be hot and humid, but Bridget serves as a perfect reminder that dressing well in the heat isn't as difficult as most people (including myself) make it out to be.

The Better Storage Company: Boxbee

August 09, 2014

Choosing to stay in New York for 2 of the 3 months of my summer vacation presented me with a problem that I didn’t expect: what was I going to do with all my stuff? Being from California, shipping was out of the budgetary question; campus storage had already come 2 months ago, and typical storage units are wildly expensive and super inconvenient. When one of my sorority sisters said, “$7.50 to store one box for a month,” I instantly made up my mind that this would be the resolution to all my problems. And I was right.
In one box I was able to fit: 6 knee length dresses, 4 knee length skirts, 2 maxi skirts, 1 jean jacket, 6 long sleeve tops, 1 short sleeve blouse, 1 pair of jeans, 3 sweaters, 2 handbags, 2 pairs of flats, 11 novels. All this and I still had a fair amount of space left which could have fit a few more books or folded items of clothing.

The Better 5 From My Week

August 04, 2014

I've been in denial about how quickly the summer is coming to an end, but today, when I heard an advertisement on Spotify, say, "Now that summer is winding down..." I knew I had to face the facts. Today marks my last week that I'll be spending in New York before I move back to school in early September. As sad as I am about leaving, I know it will make returning all the sweeter. Here are a few of my favorite things from this week. 
Jcrew Loafers
1. JCrew smoking loafers: sold out Similar here
Quick Pasta
2. Quick pasta dish I threw together; I'm trying to use up my groceries before I leave NY
Joe Biden Phone Lock Screen
3. My iPhone lock screen with a picture of young (and very attractive) Joe Biden

The Better One Ingredient Berry Sorbet

July 18, 2014

berry sorbet
The weather here in NYC has been pretty nice for the last couple of days, but Siri has told me not to get too comfortable because we will all be sweating profusely in next week's 90-degree heat. I really can't continue my bad habit of eating half a box of popsicles every day ('cause it's expensive and contains far too much sugar), thus this little trick I've learned is fantastic!!!!!!!!!! (There are not enough exclamation points in the world to convey my excitement).
There is one little catch though. You have to have a masticating juicer (it potentially could work with a centrifugal juicer, I've just never tried it).  
frozen berries
But the good news is all you need are frozen berries. Any kind: mixed berries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries-- really anything you want!
out of juicer 2
You put the berries in the juicer and then they come out of the waste side as these mushed bits that you can then put in a bowl and use a spoon to smooth down into a bowl of "sorbet" nom nom nom.

The Better Ginger Rhubarb Compote: A Guest Post with Rowanne

July 06, 2014

Ginger Rhubarb Compote 
Hi everyone! You've met some of my friends before, but today is the first day one of them will be guest blogging for me. Her name is Rowanne and she's waaaay cooler than me. Anyway, I'll shut up and get out the way so Rowanne can do her thing.

Hi! I’m Rowanne and this is not my blog. It is, however, my guest post. I’ll try to not let the power I’m wielding right now get to my head. Food is a very important part of my life; I spend inordinate amounts of time looking at websites like Monique’s, planning recipes, imagining my ideal food-life. Sometimes it works out and I actually make something. Today is one of those days. 
This past summer I’ve been trying to transition to a vegan lifestyle after being vegetarian for the better part of a year. As a new wannabe-vegan, I find I prefer really simple recipes as I’m a student in New York with a pretty limited budget and no access to fancy kitchenware (ahem, Vitamix).

Keeping all of that in mind, this rhubarb compote is a perfect little addition to my fridge. It’s really easy to make, it uses my favorite vegetable of the season (hi, farmer’s market), and I can throw it onto whatever I want. Usually I put it in my oatmeal for breakfast or onto a piece of toast. It’d probably be great on pancakes or waffles too, but I’ve been too lazy to give that a go yet.
Rhubarb cut up
I put some ginger in my compote this time, but you can make it plain or add whatever you want! I’m sure it’d be great with some cardamom or cinnamon, or fresh strawberries.

You’ll need:
A saucepan
1-2 cups of chopped rhubarb (depending on how much you want to make)
1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger
About ¼ cup of water
2-3 tablespoons of liquid sweetener of choice. I used agave, but maple syrup would work. Or honey if you’re not vegan.

Chop up the rhubarb into pieces a little less than an inch thick- size doesn’t matter much because it’ll fall apart as it cooks.
Rhubarb and water
Put rhubarb, ginger, and water into a saucepan and turn the heat to high and stew until the rhubarb begins to fall apart and get mushy.

7 Better Moments From My Weekend

June 30, 2014

Sometimes it's easy to get into the routine of every day life and forget about everything that this spectacular city has to offer me. Since one of my friends from Trinity (my first school before I transferred) was visiting me I ventured to places I normally pass without a second glance. Here are some snapshots from my weekend. 
Central Park Lake 
1. Boating on the Central Park Lake
Cookie Shot Glass 
2. Trying the very famous cookie milk shot glass from Dominique Ansel's SoHo bakery
3. A trip to Smorgasburg in Brooklyn

The Better Mango Lassi

June 25, 2014

Mango Lassi
So far the New York City summer hasn't been too harsh, but it's becoming obvious that the weeks of perfect warmth, sun, and mild breeze are slipping away only to be replaced with the sticky heat that happens on the east coast. My wallet won't be able to handle multiple trips to Pinkberry in one day, so it looks like home made mango lassis are the next best thing. So refreshing and easy to make, this yogurt drink makes for a great breakfast or dessert (or dessert for breakfast? Yes please!). 
Add truviaCombine ingredients

The Better Pear, Avocado, and Bacon Panini

June 22, 2014

I've been lugging my panini maker around college with me for the entire year, and like 90 percent of people with a panini grill or any kind of specialized kitchen gadget, I really have not used it as much as I expected I would. I saw it sitting in my cabinet all sad and dusty and decided I had to use it or sell it on Ebay. Not being one to easily part with kitchen gear, I decided to create a panini to share with you all. 
And what I came up with is officially my favorite sandwich of all time you guys! It is so delicious I can't even tell you.* The saltiness of the bacon and cheese is the perfect complement to sweet crispy pear slices. And then last minute I decided to throw in a couple slices of avocado because it's summer time, and I'm pretty sure there is an unofficial rule that all summer sandwiches must have avocado.

*Be careful. I really can't afford to be labeled as the catalyst for anyone's budding panini addiction. 
what you need panini-gif

The Better Way to Kickoff the Summer

June 04, 2014

Summer has officially started now that I have completed all my finals and moved out of my dorm (who knew moving was that exhausting?) the fun can begin. To kick off the season of no homework and fun nights out, I spent some time with Mama G in Pennsylvania. 
We had many cappuccinos
cheesemore cheese!
hanging meat
Visited the Italian market in Philly and stocked up for all the cheese plates we made