Great Brights

There are some really fun handbags from Asos and Zara right now. Here's a few of my favorites. They actually all look really good together....would it be weird to carry 4 handbags?

two-tone bowler/ leather portfolio/ buckled messenger/ wrist clutch


Molino de Aceite

I just found my new dream home: this 12th century oil mill in Extremadura, Spain. The mill, which operated through the 1960's but has been abandoned since then, was restored by architect Ricardo Elizondo. Following restoration the interior was decorated by three sisters from the design studio Laminter. I'm very impressed by their work--it can't be easy to make an ancient stone building feel homey, but I think they've done it.


Travelling in Style

Kyle and I are doing a lot of traveling this year. Our next stop is Austin, TX (its my hometown but I only get to visit once a year), then after that we visit Montreal in July, and for our honeymoon in October we'll head to Spain. In honor of all this traveling, here is my little three step guide to having a great trip: 
  1. Pack your camera and a good wide-angle lens into camera bag organizer
  2. Insert camera bag organizer into purse
  3. Take great photos
Isn't that easy?
    Italy photo via feel the current


    Etsy Faves

    Sharing some of my favorite Etsy jewelers. I wish I could buy it all (and make my own, too!).

    mixed crystal ring/ apatite beads/ turqoise earrings/ diamond ring



    This was the first weekend this year that its truly felt like summer. The last couple days I've slept with the windows open, wore short sleeves outside, bought fresh flowers from the farmer's market (aren't they pretty?), and made homemade raspberry jam and ice tea. My favorite season has arrived!


    Friday Favorites

    Ok, you may have noticed that my blog posts have been a bit more sporadic lately. Lots of travelling, work and general life upheavals have been getting in the way. Plus, my computer is 7 years old and every day becomes more of a struggle with it. So I'm changing things up a bit around here. The Wednesday Wishlist will be gone (or at least less frequent), and the Weekly Roundup is being renamed Friday Favorites. In general, I'm going to focus more on sharing my own photography (like the photo my fiance took of 5th Ave, above) and original ideas (clothing design, travel experiences, recipes, etc.) and less on things I find on the internet. Why? Because I started this blog in part as a creative outlet, and its time to focus on creating. 

    So here is my Friday Favorites post, 2 days behind schedule (better late than never). This Friday Favorites is something of a travel guide to New York City--we discovered so many great things there that I want to share.
    1. Blossom Vegan Restaurant. This place has a steak-house attitude with earth-friendly, vegan execution. The seitan scallopini with lemon caper sauce, mashed potatoes, and sauteed kale was amazing. And the porcini cigars--sauteed mushrooms rolled inside crispy phyllo dough and served with cashew basil pesto--were one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten in my life. We'll definitely try to recreate them!
    2. Dirt Candy. This vegetarian restaurant in the East Village takes a quirky approach to vegetables that I really appreciated. Dishes are titled by their star vegetable (celery, carrot, etc), and rather than work the meat-substitute angle, chef Amanda Cohen simply lets the veggies shine. Plus, she has an absolutely hilarious blog.
    3. Hotel Delmano. This little bar in Williamsburg has a totally speakeasy vibe and the best cocktails I've ever had in my life. The Devil's Garden was my personal favorite, and as it turns out this drink has a burgeoning cult following on the intertubes. The bartenders take their cocktails seriously, and you can taste it.
    4. Mast Brother's Chocolate. Absolutely, without a doubt, the best chocolate I've ever had in my life. (I feel like I'm saying "best I've ever had in my life" a lot. But NYC is a seriously tasty place!) Surprisingly, it wasn't the usual fleur de sel or espresso varieties that stole my heart, but the Brooklyn Blend--an unadulterated blend of cocoa beans from around the world with a slightly citrusy, slightly roasty flavor unlike anything I've ever had before. Buy some chocolate and take a tour....or at the very least, check out some nice photos on The Makers.
    5. Brooklyn Brewery. Its a brewery, they serve good beer, they're in Williamsburg, and they have a resident brewery cat. Need I say more?


    Simple Scenes

    I've been getting lost in the photostream from the creator of the blog 3191 miles apart. Such simple scenes of home that reinforce what is really beautiful and important in life. Take a look, I promise its worth it.


    The Garment District

    As you can probably imagine, I wasn't about to let a trip to New York slip by without a visit to the city's famous Garment District. Covering 1 square mile of Manhattan near Times Square, the district was the original birthplace of the manufactured garment. In the early 1900's this dense center of manufacturing actually supplied 70% of women's garments in the US! Of course, as with all manufacturing businesses, much of the Garment District's activities have been outsourced for cheaper labor. That has left this neighborhood, which still serves as the main incubator of up-and-coming fashion labels in the US, at a crossroads. Even among designers who have chosen to keep their garment production in New York, many have moved out to hipper areas like Tribeca and SoHo. Still, if its high-end fabrics and notions you're looking for, there is nowhere else in the world that can compete with this concentrated center of fashion. I made a stop at B and J Fabrics on 7th street to check out the goods, and man, was I in heaven. Ethnic prints, Liberty of London, Italian suiting, fur.....they had it all (although I can't say I felt too good about the fox fur). The stuff was a bit pricier than I'm used to, so I forced myself to leave with only 2 fabrics....but they are awesome. AWESOME. I'll share later this week.....along with more highlights from NYC.


    Citrus Medley

    Isn't citrus the most beautiful fruit? Here's a little collection of citrus photos from some of my favorite bloggers, in lieu of a recipe post.

    The posting has been light lately due to long hours at work and lots of travelling. We just returned from a fantastic weekend in NYC filled with amazing food, cocktails, and shopping. I'll share some of my favorites from our trip soon!

    Photos: For Me For You/ House of Brinson/ The Blue Hour/ Weekend/ The Blue Hour


    Wedding Envy

    Without a doubt the most stunning wedding photos I've seen. Why oh why do we westerners have to wear white?

    All photos via Inside Weddings


    Happy Mother's Day!

    There are some really great photos of my mom as a teenager in the 70's that I would love to get my hands on, and that's really what I wanted to share here.....but since I don't yet have them, here are some photos of Arizona Muse with her son for the J.Crew spring line. See the rest here. Happy Mother's Day!


    Gorgonzola Gnocchi

    Since moving to New York I've been exploring Italian food a lot more. I was never a big fan before, but New York's amazing Italian cuisine has converted me. And what's more Italian than making your own pasta?

    But before we dive in, I should give you a heads up: if you've never made your own gnocchi before, it can be a challenge. The recipe I used from online was rife with comments about the difficulty of finding the right balance of wet and dry in the gnocchi dough. I, too, had problems finding this balance. Like a lot of flour-based recipes, I think making gnocchi successfully involves some trial and error. But despite this challenge, this is a recipe I will definitely try again--the allure of being able to make homemade pasta is simply too great for me to be deterred after just one try. Of course, if you're looking for a fool-proof recipe, you can just buy gnocchi from the store. The gorgonzola sauce is both easy to make and delicious, so no fears there!

    • 2 1/2 lbs potatos
    • 3 cups flour (roughly)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • butter
    • 3/4 lbs gorgonzola dolce (ie, creamy gorgonzola)
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 4 tblsp chopped fresh herbs, such as chives or parsley

    Pierce potatoes several times with fork. Microwave until tender, turning once, about 16 minutes total. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop potato flesh into a large bowl. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Mix the egg into the potatoes. Sift flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg over potato mixture, then stir to combine. Knead gently. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece on work surface into a 1/2-inch-diameter rope. Cut dough into 1-inch lengths and make grooves in each piece with fork (if you can do this without smashing them--I couldn't. Try a gnocchi board instead). Now is where a little bit of intuition and experience go a long way: we found that the gnocchi dough should be dry enough that when you slice it with a knife, it doesn't stick to the knife or the countertop. If your dough is still sticky, add more flour and roll it out again. Repeat this until you achieve the right consistency. Finally, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the gnocchi and boil until the gnocchi rise to the surface. Boil 1-2 minutes more. Drain gnocchi in a collander. Heat 2 tblsp butter in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the gnocchi, in batches, until it turns golden-brown.

    For the sauce, bring the heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the gorgonzola and stir until the gorgonzola is melted. (see, isn't that easy?) Toss the gnocchi in the sauce and top with a tablespoon of the fresh herbs. Enjoy!

    Recipe adapted from here.


    Friendship Necklaces and the Weekly Roundup

    1. These necklaces remind me of friendship bracelets....on acid at a jam band concert. Pretty awesome.
    2. Marimekko everything. Spent a lot of time playing and eating in the Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville on my last trip to Chicago, and now I've got Scandinavian on the brain.
    3. Seems I'm a bit behind, I've seen images from the Brick House around for a few months now....but I just discovered their source. Everything in the home cost under $100. How did they do it?!
    4. These lovely photos from Cartagena have me dreaming of a South American vacation.
    5. I literally want everything in this store
    6. Paintings by Katherine Sandoz. I'm obsessed with colors, and she's got lots of 'em.


    Piazza Sempione = Summer Perfection

     I'd gladly take anything from this collection by Piazza Sempione. So light, so textured....so perfect for summer.


    Wednesday Wishlist

    I like to think that all the decisions I make are moving me closer to my dream of being able to live (yes, live) in a French cafe. This is delusional, but I'm going to keep thinking it anyway.


    Treasure in Tunisia

    I am head over heels in love with this Tunisian villa. The whole house has such a breezy and vibrant feel. The sitting room with the kilim-covered sofa and the kitchen with the buffalo plaid tablecloth really steal the cake for me. Its making me think about how to incorporate both neutrals and color into my home....


    Chocolate Dreams

    Made a tasty Italian meal last night, but haven't had time to put the photos and recipe together yet. In the meantime I'll leave you to dream about this decadent chocolate world, delectably captured by photographer Janne Peters.