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Saturday, January 31

Hello from Nashville

Hello lovelies,

I apologize for the recent lack of posting, but I have taken a small weekend vacation to visit K in Nashville. Stay tuned for pictures about our Tennessee experience! Bon weekend mes amis! xoxo.

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Wednesday, January 28

J'adore Dior

Some of my favorite inspirations from pre-Fall 2009....

Christian Dior combines feminine silhouettes and structure. I also love the splashes of red along with the grey and black. It is one of my favorite ways to add interest to an outfit. 

I also really adore this look from Givenchy, especially the structured nude sandals, and hope to recreate it in the near future.

Alexander McQueen was among my favorites mainly because of the playful equestrianism of his collection. 

Overall I found that black is the new black, and architectural femininity is key. What do you think, my lovlies? 

images courtesy of
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Tuesday, January 27


I would surround you with sentiments of grace
I would paint your portrait over everything mundane
More colorful than Easter sunday

So Long Sweet Misery by Brett Dennen, musician

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Monday, January 26

Family Ties

My grandmother recently passed down quite a bit of her vintage furniture and cookware, and it is currently abiding in my kitchen. (Unfortunately, most of the furniture is residing in storage until August.) Among some of the items that she gave me were sets of pyrex dishes, salt and pepper shakers, old cracker and coffee tins, a set of heavy mixing bowls, and a lovely soap dish. All of the kitchen accessories are things that I would have bought at an antique store, so to receive them for free was very exciting. Not to mention the sentimental value in that they were hers. Because I am so close to my mother, spending time with my grandmother was quite natural, especially since she lived across the street. Each time I cook or bake using my grandmother's cookware, I will have wonderful memories of doing the same at her house when I was young.

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Sunday, January 25

Banana Not-so-Coffee Muffins

As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite pastimes is baking, and yesterday I decided to give the Banana Coffee Muffin recipe a try. Although the muffins turned out quite tasty, there was no trace of coffee flavor to be found. I was slightly disappointed since I brewed extra strong coffee and used a bit more than what the recipe suggested. Perhaps next time I will use espresso instead. Even still, they were a delicious addition to my morning cuppa joe.

The muffins did, however, provide an opportunity to utilize the lovely cake stand and serving tray that my sister gave me for Christmas. Merci ma soeur!

  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted or raw (I actually used walnuts and placed them on the top of the muffins instead.)

  • How to:

    Preheat oven to 350, and prepare muffin tin with grease or with paper liners. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, coffee and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the chopped pecans. Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.

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    Saturday, January 24

    Overs and Unders

    Although I have not (yet) received a visit from the Fiary Bootfather, I have had some great luck finding boots as of late. Here's a peek at what I wore running around town today. xoxo.

    Blouse, Patrick Robinson; Jeans, Paige Denim; Boots, XAppeal; Necklace, Ann Taylor Loft

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    Orla Kiely + Target

    One of my favorite designers, Orla Kiely, has created a line of houseware items for Target that will be available beginning February first.  I have been a fan of Kiely's designs for quite some time because of her bold, girly patterns. I adore  the vintage-inspired look of theses kitchen items, especially the plates! I've been checking my local Target regularly for the past two weeks, but nothing is out yet. I am excited to add Orla Kiely pieces to my vintage kitchen, especially the apron and canisters. 

    images courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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    Monday, January 19

    Wishing for Warmer Weather

    I think I'm quite ready for warmer weather and days at the beach.

    day at the beach

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    Sunday, January 18

    Everyday Italian Expedition

    image courtesy of The Food Network

    Ever since I saw my first episode of Everyday Italian on the Food Network, I have been convinced that Giada and I would be friends. Each of her recipes sounds and looks delicious, and she is simply adorable. Today I decided to take a shot at her Chianti Marinated Beef Stew, and I believe Giada would have been proud.

    Here's what you need:
    • 2 1/2 to 3 pound beef brisket
    • 1 (750 ml) bottle Chianti wine
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 (4-ounce) piece pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) kalamata olives, halved
    • 6 ounces green beans, halved
    • 4 medium red potatoes, quartered
    • 2 sprigs rosemary
    • 2 sage leaves
    • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 4 cups beef broth

    Here's what you do:

    Place the beef in a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish. Pour the wine over the meat and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the meat over and marinate for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove the meat from the wine and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the wine. (I suggest chopping up the veggies at this stage to save a bit of time.)

    In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Using tongs, place the meat in the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the meat and add the remaining oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.

    Add the carrots, celery, garlic, olives, green beans, potatoes, rosemary, and sage. Cook for 3 minutes. Pour the reserved wine, tomatoes, and beef broth into the pan, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

    Return the meat to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

    Remove the meat and the rosemary sprigs from the stew. Place the meat on a cutting board and cut into quarters. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Add the shredded meat to the stew and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

    I only had a few minor complications... the local butcher shop was closed, and Publix didn't have a brisket, so instead, I used a roast. I also left out the pancetta. I think that it would have added to the saltiness of the stew, but I was quite fine sans la pancetta. Finally, make sure to use a large dutch oven. The one I initially used was a bit too small and resulted in a slight over boil. Overall, the stew received a great response, and I will definitely be making it again. Perhaps next time I will add more carrots and olives....

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    Wednesday, January 14


    You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
    -- Henry David Thoreau

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    Monday, January 12


    "At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear. It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us. You can love completely without complete understanding."
    -- Normal Maclean, A River Runs Through It

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    Sunday, January 11

    Resolution in Motion

    I decided to attempt my NYR with today's outfit, and although somewhat simplistic, I am pleased with the outcome. I went for basics with small pops of texture or color, and I simply adore the heels. So far, so good, at least in my opinion.

    Details: cardigan and pencil skirt, F21; camisole and necklace, Ann Taylor Loft; tights, Hue; pumps, Target. (That's Max my Mini Cooper making his fashion debut in the background.)

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    Another Resolution

    I know, I said that I don't believe in resolutions, but it seems that many of my friends (both in life and in blog life) have begun to rub off on me. Alas, I have adopted another resolution for the coming year and beyond.

    It is safe to say that I have recently been in a sort of fashion identity crisis. I love everything in my closet, especially all of my shoes, but I often find that I wish to dress simpler (gasp!). What I mean is that I am tending to follow the "less is more" theory as of late, and it is actually a bit harder than one might think. I want a style that is more chic and put together without being too over the top. I want to dress older and more professionally without being boring.

    Fashion Crisis,
    by Marilyn Minter; credit

    Some things that I have decided to do in an effort to really create my own style are:
    1. Add more black to my wardrobe in distinct, special pieces.
    2. Wear more skirts and dresses, especially with the lovely little booties in my closet.
    3. Accessorize with distinct pieces, especially vintage jewelry, but only a bit.

    Although I definitely have a vision for where I want my style to go, I recently found a wonderful source of inspiration. XS. The chic simplicity of her style is breathtaking. Each of the outfits that xs puts together inspires me to continue on my fashion remake.

    Now, where do I begin?
    To be continued....

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    "I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul."
    Jean Cocteau

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    Saturday, January 10


    Dick Avery: "You are mad, aren't you?"
    Jo Stockton: "No, I'm not mad. I'm hurt, and disappointed, and... and mad."

    From Funny Face (1957)

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    Friday, January 9

    Dear Fairybootfather,

    London Undgerground Bit of Romance Boot

    If you were to leave these under my bed (I doubt they will fit comfortably beneath my pillow), I would be the happiest lady in Athens. Thank you.


    image courtesy of
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    I do not know what it is about you that closes
    And opens; only something in me understands
    The voice of your eyes is deeper than all the roses
    Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.

    E.E. Cummings, from Somewhere I Have Never Travelled, Gladly Beyond

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    Thursday, January 8

    Daily Inspirations 08.01.09

    In keeping with my personal effort to live a more peaceful, centered life, I have decided to begin a sort of daily inspiration through pictures and quotes. The pictures will be originals from either K or yours truly with quotes from some of my favorite writers/artists/musicians. Some posts may be serious, some funny, and some just interesting. I want it to serve as a physical reminder that we all need to slow down a bit and take a look around us.

    "The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." Anne Frank

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    Sunday, January 4

    Like Mother, Like Daughter

    Considering my love of Carolina Herrera's designs, I shouldn't be surprised to find that I adore her daughter's decorating taste as well. Domino magazine did an article on Carolina Herrera, Jr in May 2005, and I always seem to forget how much our styles match. Herrera blends feminine colors with interesting prints and textures for an unexpected but personal style.  

    I love the combination of striped wallpaper, a leopard canopy, and blocked carpet. The mixing of patterns and textures throughout the room really gives it an eclectic, yet personal feel. 

    The rug is simply incredible, especially since it is sitting on top of wall-to-wall carpet. This gives the bathroom/dressing room a cozy, comfortable feeling. 

    I am quite fond of using a chalk board as a substitute for traditional cork inspiration board for many reasons, one being that it saves pictures from pushpin-sized holes.

    images courtesy of Domino Magazine

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    Kitchen Inspirations

    As spring is creeping into my thoughts, I can't help but be drawn towards the vibrant colors and vintage patterns in these lovely kitchens. 

    images courtesy of flickr

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    Tag Time Again

    My lovely friends the AsianCajuns tagged me with the six random things, and I haven't been too inspired lately given the humid excuse for winter in Georgia, so I figured it couldn't hurt to post this. Perhaps next week will bring a bit of winter so I can pull out the overcoats and scarves...

    The Rules:
    1. Link to the person who tagged you.
    2. Post the rules on your blog.
    3. Write six random things about yourself.
    4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
    5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
    6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.


    1. I make my bed every single day.

    2. I will often binge on fiction books, reading no less than five in about five or six days.

    3. I want a vintage fridge like no one's business. 

    4. I am admittedly obsessed with vintage pyrex.

    5. Most things in my home are organized by color (ie, my closet, towels, bookshelves, etc.).

    6. I still confuse certain words between English and French and sometimes write "et" instead of "and" when taking notes. 

    So, to continue the thread, I am choosing:

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