Dreaming About A Romantic Getaway…

August 28th, 2009 Posted in Trips | No Comments »

Last year DH, Stella, and I journeyed to Nantucket via a car ride to Cape Cod then a fairly relaxed ferry ride there the next morning. We stayed in a cute B&B in Eastham, Cape Cod. We visited Nantucket for several hours and left about 4 pm. I was very happy we got to take a bus tour and I learned a lot about Nantucket’s history and nuances. The weather was inclement that day.

I’ve fantasized about staying on Nantucket ever since I laid eyes on it. Everyone should visit it at least once in their lifetime. I’ve made two visits there so far. The first was a girl’s getaway with a graduate school friend of mine. We stayed in two hotels located in Orleans, Cape Cod for a week and signed up for a ferry package which included stops at both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Nantucket is my favorite and is so beautiful and serene. In general, I love places with harbors. Next time I would like to visit their museum and then go for a spa treatment. There are also some pet-friendly accommodations and activities. Probably better if the pet is small, like our purse dog. She was inconspicuous to most people =).

Anyway, the bottom line is- you must go! Tell me the pics below aren’t TDF?!

*Photocredit: White Elephant Hotel, Nantucket & Ruelala

First Attempt at Quiche Lorraine

August 22nd, 2009 Posted in Books, Culinary | No Comments »

This is my first attempt at making quiche. The recipe was pretty simple with easy to find ingredients. I really didn’t have to buy much this time. Recipe source: http://www.easy-french-food.com/print-quichelorraine.html. I’m normally not a bacon lover but this quiche was very tasty.

Glad to know based on what I’ve read from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food, that my pantry is basically well stocked minus risotto or polenta (though white rice probably counts). I’ve always wondered what a well stocked pantry should contain for starters. Of course, your family’s and cultural influences may play a big part in what’s important for you to include on this list. I’m fascinated to know what special treats people may keep in their pantry and why (especially those items not considered as basic pantry stock). Write me! I’m a little nosy :)… My decadent treat is condensed milk and I love love love tea of every kind- but especially green tea & brown rice, white chrysanthemum with honey, jasmine, and India Estate teas.

For now, I’m probably armed with the best cookbooks. You don’t necessarily need a library’s worth of cookbooks to make regular family meals. After seeing the movie Julie & Julia last night I’d like to make Child’s Beef Bourguignon along with Raspberry Bavarian Cream dessert. Before this little venture, I’m planning to make Braised Chicken Legs on egg noodles and sauteed fennel. I’ve made the Orange and Olive Salad last night from the aforementioned book and it was sooooo good! I lit up knowing that I had the ingredients at hand to make this on a whim.

Why this growing interest in culinary delights in this stage of my life?.. Contribute to all-around self-improvement… that if I’m to cook for an hour or two most days, I should make the most of my time… Oh, read some great books, try some new recipes with diligence and accuracy, learn along the way from my fizzles and small victories, and progress to the point where I can vary some recipes with confidence and customize it to my or my taster’s liking… The bigger picture… get the most out of life, what it has to offer, and never take things for granted (no more shoveling down food).

With this, I will close this post with a pic of Water’s book, my Quiche Lorraine, and a promise to share more photos of my gastronomic pursuits…

*Photocredit: Amazon

New Shower Curtains for the Bathroom

August 20th, 2009 Posted in anthropologie, Decor | No Comments »

I fell in love with them instantly! So feminine and vintagey; made of eggshell white tulle and lace! The previous Shabby Chic one was due for another cleaning.

*Photocredit: DH

new-vp-shower-curtains1

A Need To Vent A Little…

August 18th, 2009 Posted in Fashion | No Comments »

Why is it that people seem to always have a strong negative opinion about wide leg pants? It doesn’t matter whether someone is tall or petite like me, people blurt out the dumbest things. It’s definitely worse when you’re short and love wide legs… People will say, “gee, what happened, did you lose a bunch of weight?” or “are you sure you like these pants?” (this happened to me at the dry cleaners recently). I’m thinking, “well if I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t have bought them in the first place; don’t even mention spend the money to get them hemmed.” Okay, now that I got everything out, I’m feeling better now :)… There’s nothing wrong if you really like something; even if people around you totally can’t see why.

*Photocredit: Hautelook

Carla Mancini & Bodhi Handbags

August 18th, 2009 Posted in Fashion, Handbags | 1 Comment »

I’ve only discovered these two brands within the past two years. I’m sure they’ve been popular for much longer. The pics shown below are my favorites from CM and Bodhi during a recent online browsing. Though I haven’t changed my opinion regarding suede handbags (doesn’t fare well during rainy weather and therefore limits use), I still love suedes too much to not own one. My fave suede handbag is the chocolate braided Ginger Kooba DH bought for me as a B*Day present a few years ago. I’m babying that bag too much- I know, but it’s very special.

*Photocredit: Hautelook

Panier des Sens Soaps

August 18th, 2009 Posted in curiosities | No Comments »

On a recent trip to the NY Botanical Gardens, I found these beautiful soaps by Panier des Sens at the gift shop. Initially I bought their Fig set which came with the most precious blush colored clay dish (I’m crazy for little dishes). Soon after using the first bar, I ordered some more sets to be given as stocking stuffers later this year (yes, I generally start really early planning for this *blush*). Well, this time I’m actually ahead of myself…

DH and I stayed with friends two years ago in Cabris, France. They had a pretty little kitchen with shuttered windows opened for most of the day looking out to a gorgeous garden view, with a head of garlic resting on the sill. I always find myself thinking back to it- sheer bliss… I adore a window like that and could see my Panier soaps in clay dish sitting on the faucet counter… These soaps are so fragrant and a perfect compliment to such a lovely scene.

*Photocredit: Panier des Sens

Natural Formulations by Korres

August 18th, 2009 Posted in beauty products, Toiletries | No Comments »

I’m all for trying new products. You never know when you will find the one product which will someday become your all-time favorite. I first saw Korres offered on Hautelook and was excited to see such lovely scents like jasmine, vanilla plum, and fig. Since I had so many beauty products waiting-in-the-wings, I allowed myself to buy their Party Survival Kit. I’ve tried a few of their moisturizers so far and really like them. All I need now is a beachy vacation (I like to save my mini products for that).

This is Korres’ description of their PSK, “The perfect post party revitalizing kit, this mini collection includes our best-selling cult favorite products designed to wake up your skin and your senses after a long night out on the town.” This kit boasts:

• Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturizer 10ml
• Evening Primrose Eye Cream 5ml to help conceal dark circles
• Guava Shower Gel 50ml to invigorate the senses and moisturize the skin
• Guava Body Butter 50ml to heal and nourish the skin
• Milk Proteins 3-in-1 Emulsion 15ml to cleanse, tone, and moisturize the skin as it removes face and eye makeup
• Lemon Refreshing Chewing Gum 10pcs to freshen breathe, prevent tooth decay and reduce bacteria.

*Photocredit: Korres

party-survival-kit-by-korres

All In The Details…

August 18th, 2009 Posted in curiosities, Decor | No Comments »

Tracy Porter has really pretty serving bowls and tureens for sale. Great for larger families who still eat supper at the dining table and who have a big pantry. I love to see a beautifully decorated table with a vase of fresh flowers, nice flatware & linens, and delicious food being served in colorful floral earthenware. The same goes for a perfectly planned beach or park picnic. I’m hoping that a picnic will be possible for this weekend :). My mother-in-law gave DH and I one of many thoughtful and romantic gifts a few years ago for our Anniversary- the cutest picnic basket for two. I’m hoping we will finally get to use it and when we do, I will be sure to share pics :).

*Photocredits: Tracey Porter.com & Fresh Promotions, Australia

French-Style Braised Cabbage

August 18th, 2009 Posted in Culinary, recipes | No Comments »

I’ve made this recipe twice, once with red cabbage and last night using green cabbage. Both are so good! You have to try it! It’s also so simple to do.

Braised Red Cabbage (Chou Rouge Braisé)
Source: http://www.easy-french-food.com/red-cabbage-recipe.html

* 1 head of red cabbage
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1 large onion, peeled
* 2 cloves
* 1/2 cup red wine
* 1 cup chicken bouillon
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* bay leaf
* salt and pepper
* 2 apples, diced

Cut the cabbage in four and then cut out the stem. Chop the cabbage finely or use a food processor to shred it.

In a large solid pot (the original French recipe says this is best done in a cast iron pot), melt the butter. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Poke the onion with the two cloves and add it to the pot along with the red wine and bouillon. Stir in the sugar and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook covered for 1 h 15 min on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed.

Add the apple to the cabbage and cook 15 minutes more. Season to taste. Aim for a good equilibrium between the sweet, salty and acidic flavors of this dish.

Makes 8 servings or more depending on the size of the cabbage.

Variations:

* For a more acidic flavor you can substitute red wine vinegar for part or all of the wine, and don’t hesitate to use that opened bottle of wine that’s gone a bit off. It would be perfect for this dish.

* For a more substantial dish, fry six ounces of bacon in the butter before you add the cabbage or try adding canned cooked chestnuts to the cabbage and apples at the end of the cooking.

* Try adding other spices and flavors: a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, orange zest, or 1/3 cup raisins would all work well.

* Feel free to try this recipe with green cabbage and white wine. It will work just as well.

* Many people enjoy a sprinkle of cassonade, or raw sugar, on top of their braised cabbage for a slightly sweeter dish. You could serve the cabbage with a small bowl of sugar at the table.

Leftovers:

Store in refrigerator and microwave to rewarm the next day. Since one cabbage tends to make a lot you’re bound to have leftovers. This is a good deal, because you won’t have to think about what vegetable to serve with your next meal!

*Photocredit: OnApples

french-braised-cabbage

Fendi Sequin Baguette

August 18th, 2009 Posted in Fashion, Handbags | No Comments »

One of the most coveted of all Fendi baguettes. I believe this bag was featured in the movie, 13 Going On 30, starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo. The pathetic thing is, I can’t seem to find any close-up pics of her bag (Fendi silver sequined baguette). Surely someone mentioned/reviewed such a gorgeous bag somewhere on the web? I’ve also included pics of my top choice bags featured at a recent Hautelook sale (solid grey backdrops).

*Photocredit: Hautelook, Various Sources