Cheese Boards for Beginners

Cheese Education on Lost and Fawned

I love cheese.  Who doesn’t, right?  I’m not fancy and I certainly don’t know a lot about cheeses and pairings, but I find the whole culture and history quite fascinating.  Plus, cheese is delicious.  I often end up bringing a cheese board or plate to parties because they are super easy (very little prep) and are always a huge hit.  Lately I’ve been doing more reading and plan to up the ante a bit.

To start upping your game when it comes to cheese boards, you will need a few things…

  • AN EDUCATION  ::  Learn a little about cheese.  Maybe try your hand at making some cheese, so you can understand the science and art.  Pick up a cheese book.  The one I feature in this post is a great beginners guide.  Or look up some of the thousands of guides online.  A quick Pinterest search turns up tons.  Learn about pairings and the origins of different varieties.  Visit a local cheese shop (or if you are lucky, maybe you have a cheese vendor at your farmer’s market) and try some new cheeses.
  • CHEESE TOOLS  ::  You’ll need a basic cheese tool kit that includes cheese knives and a cheese board (a wood cutting board works great as well).  Why not pick up some cute cheese markers or fancy little bowls (which you’ll need for the next part).
  • FANCY FIXINGS  ::  Try something different with your cheese.  Honey and chutney are both traditional choices, but not something you see everyday.  Fresh fruit, herbs, nuts and olives are also classic pairings to cheese.

Here are a few of my picks for cheese newbies like me…

  1. Cheese Storage Kit from Fromaticum  /  $18.99
  2. Ohio State Cheese Board by AHeirloom  /  $48.00
  3. ‘Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese’ by Tenaya Darlington  /  $16.66
  4. Cheese Marker Set from Modcloth  /  $24.99
  5. Italian Cheese Kit from Uncommon Goods  /  $24.95
  6. Adjustable Cheese Slicer from Amazon  /  $11.73
  7. Raw & Unfiltered Honey from Rodale’s  /  $12.00
  8. Old Yorkshire Chutney from Cachette  /  $4.30
  9. Cheese Chart from Uncommon Goods  /  $29.00

Living for Less / A Sunny Office Space

Living for Less - Office with a Pop of YellowI’ve decided to go back to my roots in interior design and start a new series.  Introducing ‘Living for Less’, a blog series where I will take amazing magazine inspiration and help you build the look in your own home for a fraction of the cost.  I plan to do my best to use inspiration images that don’t rely on architecture and “good bones” so that the look can be achieved in almost any home.

This week’s ‘Living for Less” is inspired by this beautiful office designed by Doherty Design Studio (as featured in EST Magazine) in Melbourne.  The palette is pretty simple featuring a base of white, wood and black.  It’s the addition of the sunny yellow that really makes it sing.  It’s a perfectly clean and sunny look.

The chair is still a little bit of a splurge, but since the original chair costs $1200+ (check it out here) it’s a pretty good replacement and is a real statement piece.  For the desk, I’d pick up a simple white desk top from Ikea and some legs for one side.  The other side would rest on top of this gorgeous yellow filing cabinet.  I wish I could find a deal on that stunning herringbone floor, but this rug is a lovely substitution for smaller budgets.  Accessorize the shelf and desk with simple simple framed prints (Bonus Tip:  Society 6 sells cards for cheap.  Frame one and keep the rest to send thank you notes), boxes to stash office supplies and some fresh potted plants.

Here are my picks…

  1. Bisley Filing Cabinet in Yellow from Container Store  /  $199.00
  2. RANARP Pendant Light from Ikea  /  $24.99
  3. Safavieh Bandelier Chair from Lowes  /  $300.38
  4. RIBBA Frame from Ikea  /  $1.99
  5. ‘The Artist’ Print by 1100 Illustrations  /  $24.00
  6. ‘People’ Photo Print by Anne Staub  /  $19.76+
  7. Kensington Rug from Target  /  $129.99+
  8. White Storage Box from Amazon  /  $9.69
  9. Matte Black Ceramic Planter by eGardenStudio  /  $13.50
  10. RISKORN Pot from Ikea  /  $5.99

Pantone Fall 2014 Colors

Pantone Fall 2014 Colors  on Lost and Fawned

Whether we like it or not, fall is right around the corner.  I always miss summer once it’s gone, but like a lot of you, I look forward to boots, layering and autumn fashion.

This season’s color forecast isn’t what you normally expect when you think of fall hues.  Many of the featured colors from Pantone lean toward the cool end of the spectrum and are soft and muted (with the exception of a few bright pops).  I love the idea of mixing these with the normal range rich of fall colors, like a Misted Yellow sweater over super dark jeans and rich brown ankle boots.  Or mixing a Mauve Mist scarf with a khaki utility jacket.  Of course the color of the year is Radiant Orchid and it’s a killer unexpected shade to adorn your nails.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to wear this season’s hottest colors…

Bachelorette Party Day-to-Night Look

Bachelorette Weekend Day to Night Look on Lost and Fawned

Bachelorette parties are so not my thing.  I’m a homebody, especially at night.  Once the sun starts to set, there is nowhere else I would rather be than sewing in the dining room, gaming with my husband or snuggled up in bed with the dogs and Netflix.  But, when you have an amazing sister-in-law that is getting married in a couple of months, sometimes you have to bow to fate and hit the bars.

This weekend I will be headed up to Cleveland for a brewery tour followed by dinner and the out for drinks and dancing.  My closet is not well equipped for this kind of outing, so I have had to get creative.  There won’t be much time to gussy up before going to the nighclub, so I’ll be switching out a couple of accessories and shoes to feel a little more fancy.

Here is a similar look to what I will be rocking this weekend.  The day look is for the tour and dinner and the night look is for dancing and drinks.

D R E S S  ::  Paint Love Grand Dress from Modcloth  -  $59.99

D A Y  L O O K  ::

  1. Pointelle Cardigan in Coral from Target  -  $9.18 SALE
  2. Narrow Embossed Belt from H&M  -  $5.95
  3. Right Chevron Time Necklace from Modcloth  -  $27.99
  4. Defined the Scenes Flats in Black from Modcloth  -  $29.99

N I G H T  L O O K  ::

  1. Emerald Clutch with Crossbody Strap from Target  -  $26.99
  2. Bright and Brilliant Earrings from Modcloth  -  $12.99
  3. Gold Metallic Skinny Belt from Target  -  $14.99
  4. Stagefright D’Orsay Sandals in Tan/Metallic by Seychelles  -  $34.82 SALE

Whale of a Tale / Etsy Round-Up

Whale of a Tale - Etsy Whale Round-Up on Lost and Fawned

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ll be heading home in just 2 weeks to spend 10 days with my family.  A good chunk of that time will be spent at the coast.  The last time we went to visit we got to catch the beginning on the winter whale migration and could see spouts from the deck of the house.  If you are ever given the opportunity to go whale watching, don’t hesitate.  One of my fondest memories is seeing whales up close and personal in their natural environment.  They are such beautiful creatures.

Here is a collection via the craftsmen and shopkeepers on etsy inspired by the beauty and power of whales.  Enjoy!

Summer Travel in Comfort

Traveling in Comfort and Style on Lost and Fawned

I’ll be getting on a plane in 2 weeks to visit my family.  I go 2 (sometimes 3) times a year and it’s a very familiar flight for me, so I have my routine and packing list down to a t.  So today I’m sharing my favorite outfit for summer travel.  As always, this is what works for me on my 8-10 hour itinerary.  Here are the details…

  1. A Roomy Tote Bag:  I usually shop for price, but my carry-on bag is a place where I am willing to spend a little money.  I don’t like to carry and purse AND a tote (mostly because I have to save one of my bags for my rolling suitcase), and this beautiful leather tote works as both.  It carries everything neatly and unzips to open wide enough to not need to rummage around blindly.  /  Setauket Travel Tote by Lucky Brand
  2. A Jersey Maxi Dress:  I get cold, but on longer flights I hate being stuffed into jeans.  A soft jersey maxi is about as close as you can get to pajamas without actually wearing PJs.  It’s not for everyone, but it works really well for me.  I love this one because it has a waist without having to wear a belt to take off in the security check.  I have a similar one in black I will be wearing on my flight.   /  Summer Night Stroll Dress from Modcloth
  3. A Watch:  I try to keep my jewelry minimal, but I like to wear a watch when I fly.  Running for gate to gate is stressful enough without having to dig through your bag to find your phone to check the time.  I bought myself this classic little watch for my birthday this year and it’s great to wear casually, professionally and in dressier situations.   /  Mini Marci Gold Mirror Watch by Marc by Marc Jacobs
  4. Flat Stud Earrings:  If you are going to wear earrings I prefer to wear a flat stud, just in case I want to sleep (try leaning your head on a pillow with raised or dangley earrings) or wear headphones.  Plus they are minimal enough that you can probably wear them through security (don’t quote me on that).  /  Matte Gold Flat Metal Earrings from Jacobs & McCartney Collection
  5. A Cardigan:  As I mentioned earlier, I get cold.  A little cardigan is easy to stuff in your bag or ball up for a pillow if needed.  I have a very similar to this one that I wear constantly over summer dresses.  /  Merona Cardigan in Oatmeal from Target
  6. Easy to Slip Off Sandals:  I prefer to wear a sandal or open flat when flying in summer.  I like a little bit of ventilation around my toes.  These are easy to slip off (no buckles) in line for security or in flight when you are ready for a nap (I like to bring a pair of fuzzy socks for longer flights).  /  Concentrate Gladiator Sandals by Seychelles
  7. A Scarf:  I always travel with a big, lightweight scarf.  I use it as a pillow, blanket and wear it instead of a necklace (which would set off the metal detectors).   /  Fringe Fest Scarf in Lilac from Modcloth

In my Carry On Bag on Lost and FawnedI also wanted to touch on a couple of my favorite things to bring in my carry-on bag when I travel.  This isn’t everything I bring, but it’s a good collection of some of my must-have type items.

  1. Boar Bristle Brush:  I started doing the whole “no-poo” thing a little over a month ago, and one of my favorite discoveries was a boar bristle brush.  It’s great for a little light de-greasing in the summer and leaves my hair baby soft (sometimes staticy, but a paper towel with a little water tames it right down).  I keep one in my purse for when I get off the plane to freshen up before meeting my loved ones.  /  Spornette DeVille 100% Boar Bristle Brush
  2. Hand Sanitizer:  Space for liquids in my bag are limited, but I make room for a little bottle of hand sanitizer.  Bathrooms can be crowded in airports and they can also be pretty icky.  This sanitizer from the Honest Company is my favorite.  It has a much gentler scent than conventional brands which makes it ideal to use in-flight.  /  Hand Sanitizer Gel from The Honest Company
  3. Hair Ties:  If a brush can’t save your hair after falling asleep during your flight, keep some of these in your bag and throw it up in a messy bun or teased ponytail.  /  Signature Hair Ties from Mane Message
  4. A New Magazine:  I usually treat myself to a new magazine at the newsstand while I wait to board.  It’s my own little traditions when I fly by myself (along with buying lo mien while on a long layover).  Dwell is one of my favorites.  It totally beats the in-flight magazine.  /  Dwell Magazine
  5. A Page-Turning Book:  I like to bring a really suspenseful book with me.  I get easily distracted in airports so I need something that is really going to hold my attention.  Bonus tip:  Tell the librarian you are going on vacation when you check out the book and they can sometimes extend the length of your check-out time.   /  Annihilation by Jake Vandermeer
  6. My Tablet:  It’s practically glued to my arm when I’m home.  Obviously it goes with me when I travel.  This case is adorable.  I just wanted to share it with you.   /  Heritage IPad Sleeve by Herschel Supply Co.
  7. A Special Treat:  These are my guilty pleasure.  I treat myself to a bag when I fly.  Seriously these are awesome.  I get them at Target for under $5.  /  Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Candies
  8. A Sleep Mask:  I think this is pretty self explanatory.  I save this for if I have a window though.  It might as well be a “do not disturb” sign and I don’t like to trap people in their seats.   /  Travel Mask by Ganesha’s Rat
  9. A Backup Battery:  Unless you are lucky to be in a seat with an outlet you are at the mercy of the batteries in your electronics.  I keep a backup battery in my purse just in case I get stuck somewhere or can’t find a free outlet at my gate.  Its nice to keep on in you dashboard in the car too when you are not traveling.  /  Pilot 2GS Dual USB Portable Charger from Poweradd

Happy travel this summer!

Something Charming / Charm Necklaces

Something Charming for Everyone - Lost and FawnedStatement necklaces are still going strong but lately I have been hooked on layering delicate charm necklaces and pendants.  I have a decent (and growing) collection of mixed metal charm necklaces.  Some are meaningful or heirlooms, others are just pretty fashion pieces.  I love mixing different lengths and metals with a v-neck tee and jeans or a sundress.  The end-look is always effortless.

Here is a mix of “charming” pendants in all shapes, colors and styles.  I think I found something for everyone.

  1. Coral Branch Necklace by The Vamoose  -  $36.29
  2. 14k Rustic Heart Necklace by Andrea Bonelli Jewelry  -  $204.00
  3. Solitaire Rose Gold  & CZ Pendant from GlitterLounge (via Amazon)  -  $28.95
  4. Delicate Silver Spike Necklace by Minnie Grace  -  $18
  5. “Stop and Smell the Roses” Necklace by Kate Spade (via Amazon)  -  $34.80
  6. Soho Initial Charm from Stella & Dot  -  $18.00
  7. Simple Circle Charm Necklace by Juliet Jewelry  -  $24.00
  8. Gold Charm Necklace by Lucky Brand (via Amazon)  -  $39.00
  9. Zodiac Braille Necklace by Leigh Luna  -  $39.00

(Early) Anniversary Photos with Ashleigh Saylor Photography

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It’s not our anniversary yet, but I couldn’t wait to share these.  After recommending a friend from college (who is now a photographer) for my sister-in-law’s upcoming wedding, we were given a free mini-shoot.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a couple of photos to celebrate our upcoming 5 year wedding anniversary.  Ashleigh came out to our home and I’m so pleased with how they turned out.  I wish I had run a brush through my hair (it needs to be cut) but that’s just me being picky.  The dogs were difficult and hilarious, and Jared was patient and tolerant even though he hates being in front of the camera.

Check out more of Ashleigh’s work on her Facebook Page.  She is super sweet and very talented.  Thanks so much Ashleigh!

Summer 2014 Mid-Season Update

Summer 2014 on Lost and Fawned

We are in the middle of a very busy summer.  We are about halfway to autumn, so I figured it was a good time for an update on everything that is occupying my time.

  • 4th of July weekend was a whirlwind.  We took our 4 year old niece to the zoo for the day.  She has more energy than any other kid I’ve ever met.  We stayed at the zoo from open until almost close.  That afternoon we picked up a huge pan of fried chicken and went to fireworks with Jared’s whole family (all 6 kids and their families).  Traditionally we celebrate 2 birthdays at fireworks every year (including mine), and this year we added one more due to the birth of our nephew last summer.  The next day we had another birthday barbeque to attend.  By the end of the weekend we were passed out in bed in front of the fan.
  • My birthday was lovely.  Jared took me to dinner, but we ended up skipping the movie since I had a little migraine forming between my eyes.  I went to bed early.  Jared bought me a new gaming mouse to replace the one I wore out and a white jelly roll for a quilt I’ve been planning.  I treated myself to my first watch (this classic beauty from Marc by Marc Jacobs).  From family I received a generous amount of gift cards for the local craft store, some adorable bookends, nail polish and a dress I’ve had my eye on.
  • Our garden is flourishing.  It may be our best garden year yet.  Our tomato plants have exploded.  We started getting ripe tomatoes this week.  Soon we will have more than we can eat.  Our herbs are also completely out of control.  I can’t use them fast enough.  I’m going to have to start cutting and drying or freezing soon.  Our peas are about done, but were delicious while the lasted.  I froze one bag to save for a later stir-fry.  We might get our first bean harvest tonight.  The new trellis we built is amazing.  I’m so pleased with the design.  I’m going to have to put together a DIY post next spring.  The one thing I’m regretting not planting is onions.  It totally slipped my mind and I’ve really missed having them on hand.
  • We picked up this notebook to start keeping a thorough record of our gardening ever season.  I’ve recorded the brands and types of seeds we planted this season as well as planting dates, added nutrients and other important details.  Every year we will reference it, learn from it and add to it.
  • The wedding shower I’ve been planning is this Sunday!  I have a busy weekend ahead of me, mostly shopping and cooking.  I’ve never cooked for this many people.  I have a lot of help, but I still have to make multiple dishes, including the largest batch of chicken salad I’ve ever made.  Wish me luck!
  • My flight to Portland is booked.  On the 5th I’ll be heading out to spend 10 days with my family on the west coast.  I’m counting down the days.  I can’t wait to see my mom and spend a few days at the coast drinking Mexican Coca Cola on the deck and watching Netflix.  My brother and I will have to track down the best nachos in Portland (as is tradition) and do something touristy.  And I will of course have to spend a day shopping at Nordstrom with my grandma.
  • I’ve been shampoo and conditioner free for over a month.  It seems to be going well.  I don’t miss the suds of shampoo yet and my hair looks light, shiny and soft.  I’ve added some oil to my after-shower routine to keep the ends from drying out and I’m loving playing with essential oils to add a little fragrance to my hair.  I’ve also given up face wash and I’m trying the Raw Honey challenge with Crunchy Betty.

I hope your summer is going well!  Wishing you all beautiful weather and plenty of adventures (or plenty of time relaxing if that’s more your thing).  I’ll be popping in with new collections, covets and content next week!

Birthday Dream Outfit

Dream Birthday Outfit on Lost and Fawned

Today is my birthday!  Twenty seven years and counting.  When we have a free weekend we will do our annual zoo trip, my favorite birthday tradition.

Tonight Jared and I are doing dinner and seeing a movie (Tuesday is discount tickets day at our favorite theater).  I plan on dressing up a little for our date, but if I was granted a wish to pick out the perfect outfit for my birthday date, here is what I would pick out.

  1. Kate Spade Initial Necklace
  2. Day After Day Dress in Aviary
  3. Classic Hillier Hobo in Black by Marc by Marc Jacobs
  4. Kate Spade Skinny Mini Bow Earrings
  5. Swedish Hasbeens Heart Platform Sandals

I typically focus on more budget options, but birthdays are special, especially when you are granted imaginary wishes to shop to your hearts content.  So happy birthday to me!