Travelling in Style: Mykonos, Greece

Is it possible to not feel intense pangs of wanderlust when viewing photos of the Greek Isles? I certainly say no. And the beautifully styled Grace Mykonos Hotel has made those pangs even deeper for me. I would love to visit this world of white, blue, and water.

This wraps up my blue-themed posts....and now I'm headed to Chicago for a weekend with my fiance. Happy Weekend!


Wednesday Wishlist

Continuing the blue theme.....here is my current wishlist, complete with a color pallette. Although I'm not planning to do these color pallette posts often, this wishlist was so defined by my current color obsession that I couldn't resist bringing even more attention to those blues.

Ikat dress/ water pitcher/ flip flops/ Madeline Weinrib rug/ sapphire ring/ pillow/ coasters


Sean Fennessy

Today starts a series of posts inspired by the ocean and the color blue. I'm not sure where it came from, but suddenly I have very strong feelings about the color. This is a series of photos by Sean Fennessy taken on the northeast coast of Tasmania. I love the range of blue tones.


Ginger Cream Scones

I normally prefer cooking to baking, but with leftover heavy cream and buttermilk from last week's pancakes, I knew I needed to find some baked goods to make. I'm planning to make some buttermilk biscuits with the buttermilk (future post maybe?), and the heavy cream went towards these delicious ginger scones. This post is light on the photos, partly because flour-y things don't make for the most beautiful pictures, and partly because I felt that kneading a heap of wet dough and taking photos at the same time wouldn't turn out so well for my camera.

So let's get started!

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
  • 4 1/2 ounces candied ginger, finely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces to equal 2/3 cup
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus extra for brushing the tops of the scones

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 F. 

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder, and pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the lemon zest and butter, and pulse on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is pale yellow and the consistency of fine meal.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the ginger. Make a well in the center and pour in the cream. Using one hand, draw in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. (This whole one hand bit is key--you'll want that other hand armed with a fork to scrape the dough off of your mixing hand!)

Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead a few times to gather it into a ball. Pat the dough into a circle about 1 inch thick. Slice (like a pie) into 6-8 triangles. Place the scones 1 inch apart on a buttered baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream. 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the surface cracks and they are slightly browned. 

Ok, so not the most beautiful presentation ever.....but they are without a doubt the most buttery, flaky scones I've ever made. Fit for a bakery!

Recipe adapted from here.


The fairest wall (and the Weekly Roundup)

1. Absolutely, without a doubt, the coolest wall that exists (sorry, China)
2. Really tempted to try these homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs for Easter....maybe substituting marzipan for some of the creme?
3. Continuing the Easter theme....how cute are these and these baby animals?
4.  Big, beautiful flower arrangements I can't wait to try once flowers come back to the farmer's market.
5. Last week it was wildflowers, this week its this photo making me yearn for places from my past.
6. A beautiful post on balancing your passions and motherhood.


Arabella Ramsey

I am so crazy about this collection from Australian designer Arabella Ramsey. Dresses, tees, and leggings printed with feral animals (dingos perhaps?); a kangaroo skin coat (seriously); and floral prints both bright and muted. Its seriously quirky, and I seriously like it. 

Discovered on Pennyweight; check it out here.


Wednesday Wishlist

When I was a kid I wanted to be a barrel racer (what can I say--my family spent a lot of time going to rodeos!). Although I've gotten over the whole rodeo star thing, western wear still does hold some appeal for me. You won't catch me in colored Wranglers and cowboy boots anytime soon, but these urbanized versions of western are hitting the spot right now. Of course, it all has to be anchored by a good pair of boots.


Travelling in Style: Portland, Oregon

First, I have to get this off my chest: I have an Ace Hotel fetish. There are 4 locations in the U.S., each one arranged and outfitted by a different design team, giving them all a totally unique character that jives with local trends and tastes. On top of this Ace Hotel fetish, I also have a serious penchant for Portland. Its cool, its low-key, it has great bookstores and great coffee (keep reading), and the restaurants are amazing. So, of course, I had to do a "Travelling in Style" post on the Ace Hotel in Portland. And this is one of my featured hotels that I've actually stayed in, so it gets my personal stamp of approval! The Ace Portland is in a perfect location--it literally shares a lobby with Portland's own Stumptown Coffee (not to be missed--my best friend's Italian fiance said it was the best espresso he's ever had in America) and is 1 block away from Powell's Books, an entire city block full of new and used literature of every flavor and color. The rooms have a minimalist and off-beat feel and are very budget friendly, with bunk and/or shared bathroom options to help you keep a little more money in your wallet (the more to spend at Powell's later). Plus, there are some serious perks: they rent bikes, allow dogs, and every room is stocked with miniature Malin + Goetz toiletries (the rum soap is heavenly).

P.S. Last weekend Emma of Emma's Design Blogg reblogged my Travelling in Style post on Hotel Aire de Bardenas in Navarra, Spain. It sent my pageviews through the roof, and I'm so happy that Emma and my other visitors enjoyed the post!! Hopefully some of you have come back....and I 'd love to hear your thoughts about what you like and don't like. Thanks!!


Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple Whipped Cream

Pancakes don't have a reputation for being the most exciting of foods: they are a staple, a classic, something you whip together with ingredients on hand on a slow Sunday morning. But if you put just a little extra effort into pancakes, they are exciting--and they can be transformed into a delicious (even gourmet!) meal without losing any of their down-home appeal.

You might need to make a trip to the store for this recipe, so let's review our ingredients:

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tblsp butter, melted
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tblsp maple syrup, plus more for topping
9 oz blueberries

We'll make the maple whipped cream first:

Pour the 3/4 cup heavy cream into a bowl and add 2 tblsp maple syrup. Beat, using an electric mixer on the highest speed, until the cream becomes thick and fluffy. Place in the fridge while you prepare the pancakes.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend. Once blended, add almost all the blueberries, saving just a few for the topping. Mix together.

You already know this part: heat a pan over medium heat. The pan is at the perfect heat when a slice of butter added to the pan sizzles but doesn't burn. Scoop 1/4 cups of batter into the pan and cook until little bubbles start to form on the top of the batter. Flip and cook until the other side is golden.

Now we've come to the best part: arrange your pancakes the way you like them best (stacked? staggered?), then top with a generous dollop of the maple whipped cream, maple syrup, and fresh blueberries.

Enjoy your delicious breakfast!

Buttermilk pancake recipe from Joy of Cooking


An Amazing Attic (and the Weekly Roundup)

1. This thoughtfully designed attic would be the perfect vacation home. Big windows, plush furniture....and its in San Sebastian.Whats not to love?
2. Interactive Style Maps from the NYTimes Magazine. Click on a city and watch the streets populate with cool places to eat, sleep, and shop!
3. A magnetic string of vases, perfect for the flowers you'll be picking this spring (see below).
4.  The Wildflower Report is like the eagle cam for flowers: shows you when and where wildflowers are popping up all over desert USA. The Texas photos are making me seriously homesick (but California's flowers are probably the prettiest).
6. This big and bold loft bedroom from April and May.


Swooning for Sessun

Loving these soft looks from French clothing and accessory label Sessun.....


Wednesday Wishlist

I've outgrown the futon stage in my life, and now I want a real livingroom. Complete with a couch, modern art, and amazing coffee table books.

lamp/ Sam Francis painting/ sectional/ coffee table/ Jet Airliner book/ Maps book


Inspiration Board

Remember the inspiration board I promised last week? Here it is! I've clearly been feeling inspired by flowers, the 50's, and vivid colors. Although my everyday clothes are pretty varied and usually incorporate my buckle up leather sneakers and jeans, when I think about the clothes I'd like to make my ideas are almost always inspired by  a more feminine and traditional 50's feel. There will be natural waistlines, bows and ruffles, to be sure. My first two projects are already completed and I'll be sharing them soon.....but everything else is still an idea waiting to happen.

vintage pattern/ daffodils/ shift dress/ Claire Nereim calendar/ bow blouse/ brass post belt/ halter dress 

P.S. I'm suffering from a bit of header graphic schizophrenia. Still trying to refine the look of my blog, but I'm thinking simplicity is best....


Beer Battered Chile Relleno with Chipotle Cream Sauce and Jalapeno Corn Relish

This recipe was inspired partly by the microbrewery culture in the northeast, and partly by our Texas roots. One of the best parts of this recipe is drinking beer while you make it! But just a warning: the chipotle sauce and jalapeno corn relish are SPICY. To tone it down, try adding less chipotle and less jalapeno. Or if you love the heat, keep it as is!

First, assemble your ingredients (serves 2):

1 plum tomato
2 jalapenos
1 ear of corn
juice of 1/2 lime
4 poblano peppers
6 oz. white cheese
1 small onion
14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
6 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 c. heavy cream
3/4 cup beer (we used Hebrew Genesis Ale--one of my favorites!)
1 1/4 c.all-purpose  flour
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Start with the corn relish, which you can prepare and put aside while the rest is cooking:

Boil the corn then rinse with cold water to cool. Finely chop the tomatoes, jalapenos, and corn, then sprinkle with the lime juice and mix. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

For the sauce, finely chop the onion and sautee over medium-low heat until cooked through and translucent. Add the onion, chipotles in adobo sauce, and drained tomatoes to a food processor. Process until blended, then add 1 cup to a pan (you will have some leftover). With the pan set over low heat, add 1 cup heavy cream to the 1 cup of tomato/chipotle mixture. Whisk to blend and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low.

Now we've come to the heart of the recipe: the chiles! Broil the poblanos by setting 5-6" under the flame of your oven's broiler, with the broiler set to 525 F. Broil 4-5 minutes on each side, until skin just begins to blacken but the pepper is still firm. Dunk chiles in cold water to loosen the skins, then peel off by hand. Cut a slit from the top of the chile to 3/4 of the way down. Remove the seeds of the pepper through the slit, being careful not to tear the chile. Fill each pepper with cubes of the white cheese. Prepare the batter by mixing together the beer, flour, eggs, milk, salt, and baking powder. Dip the chiles in the batter and let stand 30 minutes. Once you're ready to cook the chiles, heat several tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Place the batter-coated chiles in the pan and cook a 3-5 minutes on each side, until the batter turns golden and the cheese begins to melt. Remove chiles from the pan and top with the chipotle cream sauce and jalapeno corn relish. We accompanied ours with black beans and, of course, beer!


Bells and Buckles and the Weekly Roundup

1. I'm totally enamored with these two lovely ladies that appeared on Stockholm Streetstyle. I would gladly steal their outfits, head to toe.
2. Farmhouse style and a huge kitchen from Emerson Made-creator Emerson Frye's New Hampshire home.
3. Beautiful interior design from Australian design studio Ara.
4. Call me a hippy...but aren't these crystal earrings amazing?


Body armor

I'm really liking the tough-girl armor look lately. Makes me feel like I can get dressed up and still knock someone out. (Or at least convince someone that I could knock them out. Same difference, right?) I'd pair these with something simple and feminine, like a flowy black or white tank top, to soften the look a bit.


Wednesday Wishlist: Papa Bear & Pattern

I've never met a papa chair or a geometric pattern I didn't like. These are the things I would love to have (and wear) in a little home office. Slight obstacle: I have yet to find a papa chair for less than $2K--which makes this a BIG wish. Anyone know where I could find a cheap(er) repro?

Papa Bear Chair/ anatolian kilim pillow/ sweater dress and scarf/ twists rug/ round end table

PS. My header got a redesign, thanks to my fiance with the Adobe Illustrator skills!


Spring Violets, and My Summer Wardrobe

These delicate little violets have suddenly carpeted my backyard in a wash of purple. For me this means I can at long last put the winter behind me, and, although it snowed here in New York just a week ago, finally embrace the spring. And since spring will soon lead to summer, this also means that I need to get started on my summer wardrobe! I bought several fabrics this year that I'm very excited about, most of which have some sort of floral pattern. Too much flowers you say? After 5 months of wearing snow boots and a bulky winter jacket, I disagree. I'm ready to feel girly again. Check back next week for my inspiration board, which will give a little glimpse into what I have in mind for these fabrics!



My first thought when I saw these was "holy f***." (Apparently good interior design has a strong effect on me.) I can't begin to tell you how captivated I am with these interiors by design group Commune--who also did the Ace Hotel Palm Springs. And since everything the Ace Hotels do is cool, you bet these guys are cool.