Happy New Year (2013), Everyone!

For me, 2012 has been a year of self discoveries. I've had more downs than ups but I've also grown stronger and older, the latter, not just in years but in life experiences. I'll always look back fondly at 2012 because despite the valleys (there have been quite a few of them), the peaks have diluted their stings. They've been inspirational, satisfying, exhilarating and life-altering. For that, I consider myself one lucky girl.

Thank you for supporting Perception In Print, my darlings. I appreciate you stopping by more than words can express. I wish you all the love, hope and courage as you enter 2013.

Here's a few parting words from Tennyson:

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

Frothy Monochromatic Mint

How lovely does Blaire Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific look in her minty-hued, tulle skirt? In lieu of the red and gold colors often worn for New Year's Eve soirées, a frothy monochromatic hue would be such a welcomed change. That Blaire is such a trendsetter. 

The Best Mac-And-Cheese I've Ever Had At S'mac

Lately, I've been having an earth-shatteringly intense craving for macaroni-and-cheese. I need a fix, desperately. Will you listen to me? I sound like an addict.

Anyway my darlings, when I worked at Penguin Group, I used to eat at S'mac, a quaint little eatery in the East Village that sells solely mac-and-cheese with a variety of different cheeses and toppings. There's something so comforting about the tiny restaurant. As soon as you enter the premises, you are assaulted (in the best possible way) with an amalgamation of delicious aromas from rich, melty cheeses, toasty bread crumbs to an assortment of yummy toppings. Did I mention, they serve you in individual-sized cast iron skillets? It just doesn't get any homier than that.

But, the best part is hearing the searing, crackling sound of your mac-and-cheese as it hits your table. You can literally hear a crack as you plunge your fork into the uppermost layer of the cheese. OMG! It's so good. The last time I was there, I think I had the Cajun.
(Via Flickr)


Eyebrow Envy

I've never been fond of thin eyebrows, I prefer lush, thick, defined brows -- a la Camilla Belle. Alas, I've always sported a scanty pair because I constantly overpluck (I simply can't help myself). In the aftermath, I usually end up concealing patches of bald spots with my eyebrow pencil which unfortunately, has given me that drawn-on effect -- yikes!

I once read that you can achieve fuller brows by applying Rogaine to the areas that need a little growth spurt. Hey, if Rogaine works for your head, why not your brows -- right?

New Year's Do': Waterfall Braids

I'm always on the lookout for new hairstyles, now more so than ever, with the new year approaching. Can you believe 2013 is just a few days away?
There's something so ethereal about the look of the waterfall pattern, don't you agree. It's the perfect hairstyle to ring in the new year!
 Waterfall Braid Instructions
1. Part hair on it’s natural side.
2. Grab a small piece and divide into 3 sections.
3.French braid for 2-3 inches. This will secure the “waterfall” and make sure it doesn’t fall in your face.
4. After you’ve French braided for a few inches, drop the top section of your braid. It’s ok. Let it fall.
5. Pick up a new section of hair from directly behind where you’ve dropped the top piece. This new piece acts as a new section of your French braid
6. Keep moving around the head. Remember, every time you grab a section of hair from the top of your head to add to the braid, let is drop and replace it with a new section.
7 +8. When you reach the other side of your head, secure the end of the braid with Bobbi pins.
*This braid can be a little tricky. But practice makes perfect.

Extra Tips
- You should brush your hair before braiding. Knots and tangles make it hard for the person braiding your hair. Might also hurt a little bit!
- Part on your natural side. Adjust instructions according to your part.
- Day old hair is best. A little grit is good for braids as they hold-up better. Clean hair is too slippery.
- These tutorials are written for someone to braid your hair, not intended for self-braiders. Unless you are really clever and talented!
 (Pictures and tutorial via Once Wed)


An Unabashedly Romantic Pride And Prejudice Wedding

Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite novel so you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this stunning period photography from Lisa Lefkowitz.

Jane Austen would be tremendously pleased to see that her two notable protagonists, the quick-witted Elizabeth Bennet and proud Mr. Darcy -- have continued to influence modern time lovers. Styled by Anne Sage from "The City Sage," the photo shoot is garlanded with pastel pinks, blues, lavenders and ivories. Lefkowitz and Sage truly captured that old world Victorian charm -- with an unabashedly romantic elegance.

 I love themed weddings.


Merry Christmas My Darlings

Wishing you and yours a very joyous and safe Christmas -- and if the forecast in New York is correct, a white Christmas. Oh Joy!
 The time draws near the birth of Christ:
The moon is hid, the night is still,
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92)

 (Pictures via 79 Ideas, Nicole Franzen, Glen Proebstel, From Me ToYou)

Afternoon Craving:Tomato Sandwich With Herbed Goat Cheese

Sometimes a light vegetarian dish can be just as satisfying as sinking your teeth into a greasy bacon cheeseburger.

Right about now, I'd love nothing more than to wolf down this delicious tomato sandwich. The saltiness of the goat cheese mixed with the crusty, garlicky bread, those meaty, refreshing heirloom tomatoes speckled with sea salt and a hint of chives, yum!
 Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Herbed Goat Cheese
4 slices whole-grain bread
1 clove garlic
3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thick
Herbed goat cheese (recipe follows)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herbs, for garnish (optional)

1. Toast bread until golden and crusty. Halve garlic clove and rub the cut side on top side of each toast.
2. Spread toast with herbed goat cheese and layer tomatoes. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with herbs, if using.

Herbed Goat Cheese
3 oz (80 g) chévre (soft goat cheese)
Zest of 1 organic lemon
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon minced basil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper (or red pepper flakes)

Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir. Season to taste. Store leftovers in the fridge.

(Recipe via Whole Living)


Visually Stunning Holiday Desserts

It's too bad I wasn't born with the Martha Stewart gene. How great would it be to be able to whip up delicious and visually stunning desserts in a cinch?

I sometimes daydream about being married and having a bevy of my dinner guests marvel at my culinary genius. I suppose I secretly wish to be a housewife. (he he).

While you won't get the chance to fawn over my baking skills, (I know, I know) you can certainly release a string of well deserved oohs and aahs over the stunning holiday desserts below.
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