Friday, December 10, 2010

Is it really December?

And my last post was in August? Oh wow, I really have dropped the ball, haven't I?

Well, my new year's resolution will no doubt be to post more, but in the meantime, I've done a Christmas wishlist over at Trove Interiors for a little fun this holiday season.

Jump over and have a look if there is anyone out there and to all, have a great holiday.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I love a good before and after

One of my daily reads is Erin Gates' blog "Elements of Style," the companion to her thriving design business in Boston. If only I were in Boston, we would be friends perhaps (I also feel that way about Erika Powell, but I digress... blogs somehow make me feel as though I'm creepy without ever intending to be).

This morning, I had to share her kitchen remodel for a client. I can't tell you what a fan I am of marble and white in a kitchen. And I also have a hard time letting people do anything other than white on a cabinet (painted is always fine, but wood makes me really want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them until they drop the subject).

So get a load of this baby:

I love how clean it is, without losing any amount of prettiness. I think that's a hard combination to pull off so kudos to Erin.

These were the befores, by the way:

Had to post this...

Bringing my big whopping grand total for August to three posts. Shameful.

But regardless, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post on this gem: LuAnn de Lesseps from Real Housewives of New York has published her new digs in NY Social Diary.

To be fair, I couldn't bring myself to read the whole article because I'm not interested in her enough (now if it was Bethenny...), and after seeing the photos, I still wasn't interested in reading it more closely. Maybe I missed something earth-shattering... but probably not.

(get a load of that hearth get-up... yuck)

I passed over the more boring images, but you can see the whole article here. Perhaps others like it, but it's not my cup of tea.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You're on my list.

Caviar dreams, tuna fish budget.

Hearty Oats & Summer Fruit

Let's face it, one of the things that really floats my boat is food. Not only is it something I've had a passion for since way back when, it's something that really makes me feel better -- and I'm not talking about the "eat my feelings" kind of way, I'm talking about how making something to share can make me feel like a better person. Also, there is nothing better than when a recipe either turns out perfectly, or when successfully cooking or baking without a recipe can feel like a complete and utter victory.

So get used it, there might be a lot more food posts. Right now, I'm channeling my creative energy into it rather than a house because it is so much cheaper than tearing down a wall or buying sets of glassware.

Yesterday I brought back one of my favorite breakfasts that has now become my lunch and probably quite soon, my dinner. Oats -- but let me say, these are anything but gluey and sticky. By cooking the oats like pasta for only a minute or so, it makes them much more grain-like. My next endeavor is a savory version of this, with probably mushrooms and other summer/fall veggies.

For the time being, here is how to make a quick breakfast -- everything done in the time it takes to boil water and cook them.

Quick Cook Oats with Summer Fruits

Add as many fruits and nuts as you desire, obviously, but I love combination including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, the list can go on. In winter, diced apple and dried cranberries make a great substitution for a lack of fresh fruit.

1/2 c. Old Fashioned/Steel Cut Oats
1 peach in a 1/2 dice
Small handful of nuts, like walnuts or pecans
Brown sugar or agave, to taste

Boil water in a medium size pot. While water is heating, prep fruit and nuts. Add them to your breakfast bowl and top with brown sugar/agave. Once the water has boiled, add the oats and wait for the water to resume boiling. At this point, you should see the oats almost dancing in the water, quickly replaced by the starches from the oats being released and creating foamy water that threatens to boil over -- pour the oats into a fine sieve and once drained, combine with fruits and nuts, about a minute.

For convenience, I usually let the oats cool for a bit in the time it takes me to wash my pot and sieve. For me, it's worth the minute it takes to do the dishes and know I never have to come back to a mess.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Miggies

...Don't say I never did anything for you.

Thanks for being my one loyal reader.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Herbal Housewarming

I've always thought housewarming gifts were somewhat difficult to give. Knowing how particular I am about what I want in my home, I never want to impose my own taste on someone else if I don't know them super well. So when the opportunity arose to go outside with my gift, it felt right. And, it gives me the opportunity to get in on the action of choosing the perfect herbs for my friends.

This week my boyfriend gets a new roommate: His roommate's girlfriend. She moves up from Arizona to quit the long-distance relationship stuff, and as the by-product, I get more estrogen in the house and shows like "The City" on the DVR. Cooking hasn't been something she's spent a ton of time doing, but with a new climate and people to eat with, I think it's something we will both be doing together in a small apartment kitchen .

Choosing the right herbs is a little difficult because you have to get the right mix of things that will come in handy, but also aren't too boring. In the pots for this housewarming are Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Greek Oregano, Curly Parsley (they were out of Italian, a real bummer), BBQ Rosemary and mature Mint (in its own pot). I wish I had chives in the mix, but maybe after we test their heartiness we can add another pot of additional plants.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ask me what I did today?

I dare you. I bet my answer is either a lot like yours, or not at all.

If you happened to have spent your day in line for the iPhone 4, well then, I guess we are soul mates. Today, however, the only people close to me were a bunch of nerds who I learned a whole lot about over the course of 7.5 hours. Yes, 7.5 hours.

There are times when I wish I was a quitter (Lisa, let me save you the trouble -- except for that time I quit working for you) because if I was, I would have told that line to eff off and somehow figured out how to get my phone without standing there for the entire day. But, being that I have a stubborn streak and an intense devotion to iPhones, there I was, for better or worse.

I don't know how I somehow got kicked to the "reserve" option on AT&T last week instead of the "ship to me and have it arrive a day early with no effort at all" option, but I was unlucky. And to make matters worst, my boyfriend was one of the lucky ones, so there was no way in hell I was going to let him lord that phone over me for days, weeks, or (gasp) months. Oh no, sir.

So all of the above means it was just me and some nerds for a day. I was one of the only girls in the line and as the only girl, I almost felt like it was my duty to tell the Apple programmer that he had BO and the Microsoft-y that he had a bad case of dandruff, but in the spirit of new technology, I embraced our differences and let them fly their freak flag... high.

And then, at 2:55pm, after hours together, they cheered me off as I was ushered in to the store. Together we waited, apart we bask in iPhone 4 glory.

(And sadly, my photos from the day were lost in the upgrade, but trust, there were some doozies.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Today has just been one of those days where I feel like I will go to sleep tonight regretting how I spent the day. Don't get me wrong, procrastinating with 9 by Design and various other OnDemand selections felt good at the time, but then you look back on it with regret. It's the to-do list's arch enemy, the equivalent of eating a bag of Cheetos -- so good at the time and then as soon as it's over, you know you did a bad, bad thing.

I did manage to walk to the bank today and also check email, where I found these lovely little $50 dollar items from Daily Candy.

The first is a linen shirt from Nordstrom that I won't be able to buy, because unfortunately, the title is too correct, my boyfriend really does have a shirt like this and the embarrasment of showing up someplace wearing the same thing is enough to make me skip it, even though I really do want it. In all honesty, I might end up getting it and then live a life forever spent phoning ahead to check that we aren't dressed like twins.

Chambray shorts from Gap, that honestly, I can't see looking good on real people, but the concept I love. And sometimes, loving something in theory is just as good as the real thing.

Lastly, in unrelated news, days are numbered for Martin + Osa, so stop by and pick up some of the best tanks I've found lately for cheap. God, I'll be sad to see them go. It's just not right.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just Right, Right?

That's not too big of a pour, right? I think it's just the glass that is deceiving but it definitely put a good dent in the bottle.

Regardless, it is past 5:00 and totally necessary after a hard day's work. Thank you to France for a wonderful $9 bottle (that today only serves 3).

Yes, I get GOOP

This week's GOOP (Gwyneth Paltrow's personal hotlist) is actually kind of interesting. Don't get me wrong, I love the newsletters full of clothes and I even love the cooking segments, but I tend to snooze right through the editions dealing with the emotions. I have even read the weird ones on cleanses, but as soon as I see some type of doctor writing about feelings, I tend to hit "delete."

Not this one! This one is all about the good ol' material things and I love it! While shooting a movie in Nashville, GP found herself needing a house fit for the Paltrow-Martins in just 10 days. Enter Annette Joseph. She is actually a producer/photo stylist, but get a load of what she was able to accomplish in a mere week and a half. The befores are unreal. Then again, it wouldn't be hard to get things done if you could drop the line "This is for Gwyneth Paltrow!"


10 Days Later:

What I also love is that a lot of the apartment actually came from everyday places. Jump through to the newsletter to see more sources, but this is a taste of it:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Little Pieces of Heaven

I haven't mentioned how much I miss Paris right now. It's something about spring in Seattle that immediately makes me long for spring in Paris. It undoubtably has something to do with the beauty that its there, as opposed to here (rainy and windy right now, what gives?).

Last week, I was so desperate for macarons that I almost made them myself. I had all the ingredients, save for eggs and somehow was too lazy to go to the store. I recognize that this is crazy on a number of levels - crazy that I had almond flour on hand, but no eggs; Crazy that I had the gumption to make a complicated little cookie, but nada for a 3 block trip to the store.

So imagine my happiness when Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle had a lovely little row of flavors available for purchase when I was there on Saturday. I was so happy I could have just cried. But unfortunately, it was short-lived. They just didn't do it for me like the ones I would by at Laduree. Something about the flavors -- just too much. I like the purity of just pistacio, or just strawberry. These were crazy combinations, and all just sooo sweet.

So from sad to happy to sad, and now, perhaps happy again when this tidbit came from DailyCandy yesterday: Macarons on your doorstep for $20 dollars.

I love this because I spent 18.50 on a meazly nine and because these seem pretty straigtforeward. Unadulterated macarons just the way I like them.

And I also think they make the perfect gift. That is, if you can't just send them to Paris.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What I've been reading...

Last time I really sat down to write, I was heading off to Mexico, and then I quickly came back to AutoCAD and the most boring class ever, "Building Systems and Codes." Snooze.

But in the midst, I've kept up the guilty pleasures.

I literally stayed up all night to finish this book. It's no surprise since everyone is talking about it, but what's one more good review.

It takes a certain kind of nerd, but thankfully I am one of them. I'm an NPR girl through and through and this little nugget was like This American Life in my suitcase. If you never thought the assassinations of McKinley, Garfield and Lincoln could be entertaining, think again.

Not like she isn't a blog sensation, but Erin Gates has a blog I read almost everyday, happily. She mixes it up, her style is approachable and she is down to earth in a way that not many are. Plus, she is straight up dependable, not a weekday goes by without a post, she a force to be reckoned with with.

Tuned in about a week ago and I'm loving it. Sure, there is a gaping hole with no Decorno, but having some content out there that feels even the slightest bit different is ah-mazing. And she's got lots of wonderful pictures with a nice eye for editing -- content makes sense and you're not left on sensory overload.

Alright Already.

As much as I've tried to ignore the fact that I haven't written, a few people haven't let me forget.

Last week, I received this email from my mother:

It's time you wrote a new post......the last one was in March before your trip. Surely you have an opinion on at least one subject. You can tell I miss reading your posts. I just logged on to Decorno, now even she is no longer posting.
Love you,

Sweet, but ignorable.

Then I got this less-than-subtle callout on my facebook wall from my less-than-subtle former boss, Lisa:

Would you take your blog down? I am tired of checking every day to see if it's been updated, only to have the Famke Janssen surly face girl in the green dress staring back at me. Blogs are for updating. And for entertaining me at lunch. Not for taking up valuable space with posts from March 22. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Love, me.

So, Lisa (and Mom), I will try to find a new lease on life and figure out something to say. Unfortunately, all my gusto comes at inconvenient times and I'm left with that pathetic feeling everytime I even come close to some interesting thought (interesting might be a stretch).

So here it goes, ramp up number I stopped counting.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring: It's Finally Here

Just in the nick of time, Spring is here, and more importantly -- Spring Break (capital "S," capital "B" because you don't realize how wonderful it is until you have it back again).

I mentioned that somehow, through a miracle, I managed to swing a week in Playa Del Carmen, and this time next week, I'll be boarding one of the most heinous plane rides (huge layover in the the Armpit (aka LAX)) and on my way to a week of books on the beach. If I had my way, I'd be doing a little pre-vacation shopping, but alas, it's the real world, so I've turned to the virtual and found the things that I would take in another life.

I love this dress from Parker - it's exactly what I would want for the hot weather and the ruffles shout vacation. Even better though is the racerback, because when you get down to it, I'm not really sweet enough for ruffles, so who am I kidding. It tones it down and adds some reality.

I've been wanting a strapless bikini because I've had way too many summers left sporting that bad tanline that comes with the halter top. There is nothing like going to a wedding and trying to some how cover the lines with self-tanner and make-up. Finally I just have to give up and wear the mark like a scarlet letter.

This suit from J.Crew wins me over with the strips and the light coral. I'm a sucker for the nautical influence and I love the color.

Shorts: so hard. So hard to find a pair that flatters the legs and so hard to find a pair that doesn't make you feel rediculous. I love this pair for some reason and with all these distressed denim trends going on, it's a nice way to pay homage to the trend, without feeling rediculous. These are from Current/Elliott.

I'm also bracing myself for the terrible flight on the way down (what I'll do for a deal...) so comfort is more of a factor than normal. Usually, I try not to dress down for flights, mostly because I like to contribute to the "This is not a bus!" movement, but also because I hate arriving to a new city looking like I just got off a plane, or rather, rolled out of bed. How did those two things become one and the same?

So in this case, I would try to combine two tasks and wear something like this, from my favorite, lululemon.

It's got a sidezip and awesome almost-motocross detail across the shoulder and back. I have the cocoon wrap already, which is similar, but how can you resist this? It's such a good combination of all that is good.

I would also try to pair it with lululemon Go Lightly pants.

I always end up feeling super self-conscious in things that fall in to the category of 4-way stretch or lycra, but sometimes, you've just got to have it. In this case, I love that the pants don't cling to the ankle, almost disguising themselves as ankle length black pants. Paired with a flat, could they look chicer than most? Especially with a jacket like the one above?

So there it is. What I would buy in a perfect world. Regardless, it's Mexico, so I'm a lucky girl.

What's wrong with this picture?

I first flipped by this photo when browsing and then went back to it. For me, all I saw the first time through were the modified Windsor barstools, and it was SO distracting, that I overlooked what is really a beautiful kitchen.

Am I alone in this? Am I overlooking the statement that was trying to be made, but is really just lost on me? Something way better and much less distracting could have been chosen, and then maybe I would have seen the room for what it really is -- beautiful subway tiles, marble, amazing millwork.

Too bad about those barstools.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ahoy Stripes

I'm loving this dress from Maje. Perfect for late spring and summer. And I'm loving the price of $170 (refreshingly inexpensive compared to it's Net-a-Porter neighbors). It's also shown with Sigerson Morrison sandals that are to die for.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I've come around to (some) plaid shirts

I can hear the grunge jokes already, but there is something about it that I like. I especially like the Shopbop/Madewell price of $68 bucks.

Although, as I write this I'm watching the snowboarding half-pipe and am noticing some similarities...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tea or Coffee?

I don't have too many vices, just the regulars - Bravo, Diet Coke, bulk candy, sales at Barney's, sales on cashmere, Salon shoes at sale prices, you get my drift...

And what's been getting my attention lately? Tea. Like a true addict, it's always within arms' reach and if I don't have it with me, I feel slightly unnerved. In late summer, I virtually abandoned coffee in favor of black tea, full-time. In the fall, the conditioned worsened and by what it now late winter, I'm a full-blown user.

What I have grown to also appreciate is the complex universe that accompanies tea. The varieties, the different cups and mugs, the different brewing techniques... Here are a few of the things that I'm either using, or have caught my addict eye.

Intelligentsia's 333: Introduced to me by some very special people in the know, this is amazingness. Herbal teas usually fall flat for me, but the flavors in this are amazing. The mix of tart rosehips and fresh peppermint is a really nice compliment to the chamomille.

Teavana's Thousand Mountain Jasmine: My Christmas present from my boyfriend (it's a long story), I underestimated how good it would be. With just a little agave, it quickly becomes a sweet treat, otherwise it's a solid black tea.

Hario's 15-oz. teapot, perfect for brewing loose tea for two or one. I love it's design and the glass makes judging strength so much easier. This is on the wishlist.

Breville's Variable-Temperature Kettle: While it's still a little bulky for my taste, I love that it has temperature settings for different varieties of tea. I have loved electric kettles since I used to spend weeks at a time with my cousins in Denmark. Europeans know how to do it with tea, always present and always quickly brewed in an electric kettle. It makes so much sense and it's so quick. While this one is the Rolls-Royce, any electric kettle makes me happy.

And to enjoy, two options for the home:

Crate and Barrel's Latte Mug makes for the most perfect "big cup." I had been on the hunt for the best big white mug for some time, and again, the best, most hip friends in NY opened my eyes to the bargain that was right in front of my eyes.

And for the more urbane, Bodum's tumbler. It looks so amazing when it's filled, and the technology lives up to it's reputation, you really can't feel the heat.

And for on the go:

From Summit Tea Company, a glass and stainless steel tumbler that lets you brew loose tea while not being limited to the pot. Ah, the convenience.