Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Duckies

Word on the street says more snow tomorrow!  Apparently this is the snowiest January since 1925.  Yikes.

It has afforded many a pretty picture though!  Like this one, taken by Ashley Bruhn of Hither and Thither.  She snapped it while on a long lunch break, in Central Park last Thursday. 

I just love birds, especially ducks.  I could watch ducks for hours.  Last summer I spent a shameful amount of time watching the duckies bob along in DC's Capitol Reflecting Pool.

For the Love of...

Let the Valentine's Day countdown begin!  I know this holiday has it's fare share of haters.  But, I think it's wonderful.  It's chance to celebrate your love for someone; a spouse, boy or girlfriend, best friend, sibling, parent or other family member.  I try to focus on that, and choose to ignore the fact that it's become a grossly commercial holiday.  (I mean, really, haven't they all?)  I have so many wonderful people in my life.  February 14th is just another excuse to tell them how special they are!

Illustration by Andrew, found on his sweetheart Mariah's blog A Size Too Small

Confetti Treats

What child doesn't become transfixed by Funfetti cake?  Rainbow colored bursts within white fluffiness?!  Yes.  Yes,  I definitely got pulled into that dessert's tractor beam as a little'un.  While I've mostly grown out of the novelty of Funfetti, I still show some serious favoritism toward goodies with multi-colored flecks.  Check out these scrumptious treats.  Now tell me, doesn't the sprinkling of color give them an advantage over other delectables?  They're just more... FUN!

 Left to right:
- "Birthday Cake" truffles from Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC, found via Oh Joy!
- Colorfully topped "Cake Batter Bark" candy from Stephanie Cooks, found via Pinterest
- Chocolate chip cookies home-made ice cream sandwiches with sprinkles from Slashfood

Friday, January 28, 2011

Four for Friday

It's a bonus post to save and enjoy at you weekend leisure, or to indulge in today!  Four for Friday... quickie post (on a whim) with four lovely pieces of content (whimsy filled, of course!)  Four for Friday might become a routine posting.  Or, it might be a once-in-a-while treat.  We'll see at the close of next week, I suppose.

- Take a look at this beautiful wedding.  How fun would it be to mini-bowl at a reception?! I'm mooning over the floral arrangements, dessert buffet and court-side tables.

- Have you checked out Matchbook Magazine?!!!  The blogger buzz is deafening.  You must peruse!

- Baked chocolate doughnuts with ganache.  Need I say more?  Go to Vanilla Sugar.  Right now.

- And lastly, a stunning fashion editorial for Stylecaster by Decade author/illustrator Bernadette Pascua.

Goodbye January

It's Friday, we made it!  The weekend is here, and it's the last one in January!

I've been looking forward to this weekend for a while, because on Sunday I'm meeting up with a big group of college buddies.  We're doing our annual (three years in a row!) Chinese New Year want-some-dim-sum-get-together.  I'm a huge fan of anything dumpling-ed, so bring it on China Town!!!

What more is in the weekend works?

- Some research on hand-made Valentine's cards... it's almost V-day people!
- I'd like to swing by the Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen, to try something tasty.
- Hopefully I'll make it to Saturday's burlesque drawing.  It's been a year since I attended Dr. Sketchy's!
- It's birthday shopping time for a soon-to-be-fire-fighter sibling of mine.  He's turning 25 next week : )
- And, I owe someone very sweet* a pie.  Perhaps this one, veganized.

*My BF put in 4 (very large) sets of window blinds at my place.  And surprised me with a door mirror (from Ikea, via subway, and then up 5 floors to my apartment).  And installed 6 coat hooks in a brick wall.  And lowered my bathroom vanity mirror so I can see myself without the aid of tip-toes.  And repaired my kitchen light (yes, the one that I didn't use for 6 months because the bulb was bad).  I think owe him a pie every month, for the rest of time.

 Delectable dim sum photo via Fishbowl DC


Arg, it's dentist time.  Wish me luck!

And on a separate but (photo) related subject: isn't it funny how guys aren't fans of red lipstick?!  Read more on The Man Repeller.  It's very funny, promise.  Despite dudes not caring for red hues on the kisser, j'adore them!  What about you, any insights?

Photo found on Tumblr


These little jewel tone babies are instant mood uppers.  Aren't their iridescent colors magical?

Left to right:
- Fuchsia faced birdy found on Flickr (it's an award winning photo, way to go Janine Russel!)
- This green feathered fellow is a Western Emerald from Ecuador, found on Antpitta
-  Love this Purple crested guy?  Download him as a screen wallpaper here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

DIY Business Cards

Just a couple days ago I was thinking, I need to make myself some business cards...

Today I was browsing Creature Comforts (one of my absolute favorite blogs) and stumbled upon Ez's little DIY project.  She was pushed for time before going to Altitude Summit and decided to get crafty.  I love her approach; print out your essential info on heavy watercolor paper and personalize the card face with a little mixed media illustration.  It's a perfectly personal way of doing a small edition of cards.

Cake'spiration and Girly-ness

This flirty cake is such a great embodiment of spring (I'm getting spring fever, I can't wait for flowers and sunshine!!!)  I just loved the mix up of colors and materials;  flowers, bunting, felt birds in an entire rainbow of shades.  So pretty, it inspired an entire outfit!

Cake photo found on the Carter and Cook Event Co's lovely blog.

Below, clockwise from left:
- Polish in stripes and ditsy print found on Fashion Fever, via Pinterest
- Pink hair bow found at Peut-etre, via We Heart It
- Chambray shirt-dress from Patterson J. Kincaid, at Bloomingdales
- Ring found on at Peut-etre, via We Heart It
- Floral clutch available on Etsy

At the Barre

Just a few pretty warm-up photos to kick-off Thursday.

Above, left to right:
- Undone toe shoes found on Everyeskimo, via Pinterest
- From the Josephine album by Mads Teglers
- Arabesque stretch, also from the Josephine album by Mads Teglers

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Wonderland

It's a snowy Wednesday in NYC.  I haven't left my office today, but the window still makes a pretty picture.  I've got crown moulding framing an image of 19th Street lofts, complete with snow globe style flakes fluttering by.  

This pretty picture was taken earlier today, on the streets of Manhattan, by the very talented Bindu Wiles.  Check out her website, a beatious blog full of inspirational tidbits and reflection.  Wiles has a great story too.

This photo was found on her Flickr page.

Sweet Sweatpants!

I never thought I'd say it... but I kind of like the sweatpants trend!  No, they're definitely not the type you see your parents lounging in on the weekends.  Although, they'd be super comfy and cool to lounge in yourself!  They're tailored for a shapely fit, with the perfect little harem "poof" at the hemline.  With all the storms happening in these parts, I'm loving the ribbed ankle- it'll keep all the snow out!

Top photo from Heart Charlie, via Cup of Joe (check out her sweatpant post too!)

Shots below from:
- Lookbook.NU
- StreetFSN
- The Sartorialist

Houseguest Survival Kit

I've totally fallen in love with Apartment Therapy's "How to Make a Houseguest Welcome/ Survival Kit"!  A lot of these things I already do (hand-drawn maps, step by step Metro instructions, insider tips for snack stops, coffee breaks, neighborhoods to shops, sights to see, book stores to explore, parks to relax in, etc!)  I'm eager to admit though, that my assemblage looks far less artful than this one.  What else did I learn over there at A.T.?  Something I never thought to get for my dear guests, earplugs!  Just a few months ago my sisters lamented about the volume of street noise infiltrating my apartment.  I rarely notice it, but others definitely do!  When my parents venture east in a couple months to visit, a parcel such as this will await them!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jade Milk Glass Hobnail

I recently got a super cute Big Ben Moonbeam alarm clock.  L.L. Bean currently carries an update to the original design, check them out here.  It's absolute 50's retro adorableness and an awesome funky shade of pearly jade that flares a little yellow (too chic)!  I've had it in my mind to get some other pieces for a little night table vignette.  This set of jade hobnail is perfect!  Creamer and sugar will now become a sweet set of vases!

Found on Amazon, manufactured by LE Smith Glass

Gorgeous Studio!

Check out this incredible space.  I would be such an inspired artist working out of here!  I mean, how could one help it?!!!  So airy and sun filled; an ideal place to house all my various art and design projects.  The problem is, large & naturally lit spaces are not things you come by easily living in a crowded city.   Top floor penthouse complete with rooftop studio-solarium?  A girl can dream... 

Photo found on the beautiful Tumblr, Nura Loves

Should you have a little extra time on your hands, take a moment to look through the archives of Nura Loves.  These sleeping bunnies are too cute for words and this library is giving me heart palpitations!  I think I could waste the day away finding enchanting images.  Sigh.

Etsy Love/ Window Sill

I just found this super pretty shop, Window Sill.  I'm totally obsessed with the charcoal gray snood my grandmother knitted me for Christmas, so I don't really need another.  But this store has so many lovely ones.  Doesn't this one look heavenly soft?!  It would make such a thoughtful Valentines gift for the special guy or gal in your life.  Check out the wonderful collection of vintage and handcrafted jelwelry items too.  I just love that bee charm!

Top photo: Sparrow Pin
Above, left to right:
- Madagascar raspberry quartz pendant necklace
- Fox-gray alpaca and merino snood
- Petite golden bee charm necklace

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nails/ The French Revamp

When I was back in California for the holidays I spent one blissful day with my best friend Steph, in Los Angeles.  We did things that (5 years ago) we used to do often; shop the Third St Promenade, drink wine at a cute little place for happy hour, grab cheap Japanese grub on National, go to the bank/ coffee shop/ liquor market inside Ralph's grocery!

One treat though was getting a manicure.  I can count the number of professional manicures I've gotten, in my life, on one hand.  Actually, I don't need my whole hand.  Only three digits.  The other two can take a load off.  Kinda sad...  So this most recent manicure was thrilling.  I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't decide on a paint color and went (embarrassingly) with a clear coat.*  But, wouldn't one of these be a wonderful pick?  It's an absolute bouquet of YSL lacquers!!!

Photos found in French Vogue a while back, also visible here

*Truthfully, I still loved it.  It was the most practical pick.  I'm low maintenance (no maintenance) and all the cooking, sketching, miscellaneous crafting takes a tole on polish.  There are few things that make me crazier than looking down at my own chipped nails.  For sanity's sake, I really do think it was the right choice.

Triumph of the Red

Have you noticed a lot of red out there in the world lately?  I've got the advantage in working in the field, hence the trend forecasting.  Brace yourself, because the current red takeover is at it's earliest onslaught.  Red is going to morph and multiply (like you won't believe)!  Deeper shades of scarlet and crimson are gonna get hyped up with a layer of orange infused vermilion.  It's marching upon us; watch out

They've already won me over.  I'm completely coveting the collection of flaming fashion below!

Clockwise from far left:
- Deena & Ozzy patent oxfords at Urban Oufitters
- Leather cuff with stone, Topshop
- Column gown, Carolina Herrera pre-fall collection
- Suede side buckle pump, Sigerson Morrison at Shopbop
- 3 Circle wire-wrapped stone necklace, Topshop
- Square stone necklace, Topshop

Happy Monday/ Bundle Up!

The good news is- it's getting warmer.  Brooklyn was 6 degrees an hour ago, and now it's up to 8 in the city!  Keep that chin up friends; tomorrow will nearly be 20 degrees and by midweek we should be back in the 30s!  Take advantage of the chill by pulling out those sweet sweaters.  Layer them up and don't forget a cap and mittens!

Are you a knitter?  Purchase the pattern for this cute owl sweater here, at Needled's shop.

Pretty photo found on Peppermint Musk, via Pinterest

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Thoughts

So... if you haven't heard and aren't lucky enough to be experiencing it firsthand (yes, that was sarcasm) NY got more snow.  It's a little warm (about 30!) so I have a feeling that lots of melting is going on outside.  Unfortunately, the weekend temps are supposed to plummet, with the highs hovering around twenty and lows of five!  Ugh, all that melty, slushy, dirty snow will re-freeze into icy grossness.  Bummer.  In light of this forecast, I'm taking some time to contemplate my weekend agenda.  On a cheerier note, I wont feel guilty about hibernating.  Definitely planning to stay indoors as much as possible, see my list below!

Cute map print available for purchase on Etsy

- Need to put this book to use and find a recipe for the butternut squash sitting atop my counter
- As mentioned in the post below, I need to practice this (a lot)
- Going to get a little crafty and make one of these since my jewelry box is (literally) busting at the seams
- I'd like to check out this place for the ultimate hot, heavy comfort food: mac n' cheese (vegan!)
- Last weekend I was terrible and only made one tea latte, this weekend I'm going to conquer latte foam art (and try out my new espresso grinder!)

What are your weekend plans, sweet readers?  Will your weather be dictating the activities?  Whatever you do, enjoy!  See you Monday.

Ooh- and just for fun, read today's post from Garance.  So funny!


Celineobsessed you say?  That's right!  I'm so taken with the Celine pre-fall collection that I can't separate the label name from my emotions.  Let's define this new term shall we...

Celine: (nown)  French luxury house founded in 1945 by Celine Vipiana. Today, owned by LVMH.  Phoebe Philo has acted as brand creative director since September, 2008.  She rocks.*
Obsessed: (verb~ used with object)  To dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or desires; haunt persistently or abnormally.

*Okay fine, that's not technically part of the definition.  Geez.  But Wikipedia needed some help!

How to: French Twist

Yes.  It's true.  Last night I Googled, "How to French Twist".  For years I've been unsure... Am I not twisting it up correctly? Is my hair type wrong?  Is my hair cut wrong?  Do I need a different type of hair pin?  Do I need some other hair product?  All of these queries proceeded a pleading, "Why can't I do this?!!!" and an urge to pull out my locks by the root.   Defeat followed next; a bitter mix of disappointment and irritation at my complete failure.  Then enter: hasty ballet bun (or a painfully basic ponytail) and a move-on to some other distracting task.

But now, I have the answer (watch the video here)!

Photo found on Hip Hip Gin Gin

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trinkets/ Les Jumelles

How fun are these little charms?!  I'm smitten with them all.  Les Jumelles, a shop created by twin sisters, is based out of Paris and Barcelona.  They house a collection of contemporary and vintage pieces (read more here) that come together in an eclectic (but thematically seamless) range of jewelry.  And, most importantly, they ship to the US too!

Top photo: Le Messager

Below, left to right:
- Medaillon Petit Noued
- Machine a Coudre
- Alice in Wonderland

Kelly Thompson

Courtney Saunder's writes, "She is a photographer, illustrator and art director, with a creative eye and attention to detail which ensures not only does the job get done, but the job gets done as was envisioned in that nonchalantly sexy way that made you want to work with her in the first place."

Sexy nonchalance it is, in deed.  Check out all of Kelly Thompson's illustrations and photographs.  Select prints are also available on her site for purchase.

Pretty Picture/ Shelved

Isn't this a picturesque row of verses?  Sigh... how I do love books.  Besides clothing, it's books that I have in the most absurd quantities.  When I moved to New York I left them all behind at my parent's home.  I happened to be reading my mother's copy of The Decameron at the time.  It was the only leafy bound beauty that I brought.  A couple years passed, and by then all my babies made their cross country trek back to me.  I felt a little lonely without them; incomplete.  I think being reunited with my treasures makes me love them all the more!

Photo from Seesaw, via Ffffound

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Burberry (Bride?)

I've completely fallen for these three dresses!  Wouldn't each of them make a lovely wedding gown?!  Personally, I'm a fan of non-traditional wedding details (crazy about the idea of going for a short, two piece or colored dress).  And these blooms compliment the misty blush and mauve tones so well!

Photos: stunning flowers from Saipua and gowns from Burberry's pre-fall collection.

Off the Wall !

This funky wallpaper from Mr. Perswall would (of course) be darling in a child's room.  But, I'm actually loving it for myself.  It reminds be of yesteryear; flashcards, picture books, crayons and the like.  The colors are understated enough not to throw my adult living space out of wack.  And the content is just playful enough to inspire a daydream (or maybe even a coloring-book session)

Wallpaper found on Purple Area, via Style Files

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pretty Palette/ Green & Gray

Today's weather is absolutely awful!  It's dark and dismal, sleet-filled with periodic hail.  The pavement is a mess of melted and hard-packed ice, depending on where you step.  It's treacherous!  I landed myself in puddle upon puddle this morning, only to slip across stretches of rink-worthy ice just after. 

On one hand, this moody color palette fits my solemn (maybe even a little surly) countenance today.  On the other, it sure is pretty!!!  Colors like this can't help but bring a smile of resignation to my lips.  Makes me dream of dusky pastoral landscapes in heather green, alla Wuthering Heights... coincidental association?  No, not really.  I was reading it on the train.  Still!  It's totally fitting.

Top Photo: cool blonds found at Scout Holiday, via Pinterest 

Above, left to right:
- Scabiosa Pods from Saipua
- Grey polish from Sunkissed Dreams, found on Pinterest, via A Butterfly in my Hair
- Sunglasses from Tokokaelo, via Pinterest

Ernstwhile Jewelry Co

During yesterday's perusal of my favorite blogs, I came across the amazing Ernstwhile Jewelry Co!  They have such a lovely history; four generations of jewelers, beginning in a seaside district of Russia selling rare belle epoche gems and watches.  The family Odessa functions out of New York these days, but they continue sourcing the most exotic & the unique jewels of ages bygone.  The lovely pieces now range beyond Victorian and Edwardian Nouveau styles, into Deco and uptoward 40s retro.

Pictured: Gold Diamond Star Pendant (And isn't it just gorgeous?!  It reminded me instantly of the stunning chandeliers in the Metropolitan Opera House.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mini-Donuts & the Enduring Mystery of Babycakes

Someone very sweet (who's heard the rehashing of, and witnessed firsthand, the misadventures of my vegan and gluten-free baking) gave me the wonderful gift of 'Babycakes'.  Inside the glorious bake book, Erin McKenna shares her sought after recipes.  She also kindly supplies guidance; advice for common pitfalls in vegan and gluten-free desert baking (I payed special attention to this section).

But, after reading through my main question was, "where are the baked mini-donuts?!!!"  Alas, the cookbook includes them not.  Sneaky temptress, that Erin!  I should've known better than to think that all the secrets to Babycakes would be revealed.  I will have to suffice with an internet supplied recipe.  If ingredient adaptions are necessary I'll run to 'Babycakes' for substitution advise.

And, as fourtune would have it, some additional inspiration fell into my lap.  Oogle worthy photos?  Oooh, yum.  A Wilton pan for baking?  Bookmarks- Amazon - One click purchase!

Photos from Such Pretty Things, found via Twig & Thistle

Bunney (And Bunnies!)

Jewelry brand Bunney is all about simplistic design. They aim to create, "beautiful, intriguing and understandable" pieces which encourage the wearer to, "consider and compose [the jewelry in] a variety of combinations".  They manufacture the loveliest badges (Brit speak for "pins").  I like the solid sliver pyramid studs, they look great in a row fastened onto a shirt collar.  The Black Onyx and Amethyst studs are pretty too.  I especially love their 2010 advertising, the bunnies melt my heart!

Discovered via Ffffound

Initial Rings

Saturday evening I did some leisurely window shopping in the neighborhood.  Since returning from vacation I haven't been out much in Brooklyn.  My BF and I wound throughout Williamsburg, hitting our favorite spots along Bedford Ave; snaking a block east, then west as the night progressed.  We made sure to devote lots of time to our beloved Bedford mini-mall.

Amidst many finds, I happened upon a collection of delicate initial rings.  I loved the concept, but not the rings in particular (they were cheaply adjustable and overpriced).  But I did find these pretty flourish-filled wire rings on Etsy.  There are lots of letters available, in both gold and silver.  I particularly love the 'g' pictured here and this golden uppercase 'A'.  Go check them all out!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sarah Rose Storm

Check out this darling little watercolor!  Sigh, how I do love butterflies.  And birds.  She's got lots more birds at her Etsy store, Created by Storm.  I'm loving this gorgeous gold breasted birdy and these somber seeming Aspens.  Sigh...

But, wait.  There's more... this talented Miss is more than just a paintbrush.  She's got a degree in environmental science and biology!  Geez.  Professionally she's a horticulturist (plants? cool!) who enjoys entomology (bugs? oh yeah!)... so neat, right?  She's definitely an artsy nature maven after my own heart.

Pretty Palette/ Chocolate & Honey

I go through brown phases, and it's definitely a love hate thing.  Right now I'm loving deep espresso against a range of warm chocolates.  These browns look especially beautiful paired with multiple shades of earthen khaki, and hits of honey gold.

Top photo: by Garance Dore

Photos above:
- Star Anise from While the Sun Shine's flickr, via Pinterest
- Macaron images from Mad Baker's flickr
- Brown bunny from It's Mary Ruffle, via Pinterest
- Danish Modern bedroom/ office on Apartment Therapy

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Latte Art!

I received so many wonderful gifts this Christmas.  One of the most surprising was an Espresso machine!  Unfortunately, I've been forced to go with caffeine free beverages so far.  I seem to only have milk-steaming free time after 8pm (late evening plus espresso being the ultimate recipe for insomnia).  But my herbal tea lattes have been super tasty thus far.  I'm dreaming up lots of caffeine/ soy milk creations for the weekend- complete with foam designs!  Can't get over these little flowers, so adorable!

Photo via Flickr

Pretty Picture/ Winter Table

It's been a wild morning... but this image brings me back to a peaceful rest.  A noontime pause, before I jump back into the day's madness.  What an unaffected, provincial, charming centerpiece!  It's a bountiful display of winter's vegetables; deep aubergine cabbage heads and potatoes, two-tone ombrey turnips,  pebbly kale bouquets and bundles of sinewy green onions.

Photo styled by Joy Thigpen for Once Wed, photographed by Tec Petaja.  Found on the design blog Mint