Wednesday
Mar022011

Mon Petit Chou Chou: Framed

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Remember the print I posted about last month (here), with my very own blog name all cutisfied into a gorgeous graphic design?

I finally got a frame for the print and ceremoniously hung it in my bedroom/office this week. I am really tickled at the way it turned out and wanted to share the results.....as well as feature some more work from the fabulous creator behind the Etsy shop Gingiber, who has a new web home at ShopGingiber.Com.

There is a certain whimsy to the designs that is just so darn delightful. I want them all! I have a particular friend (in the baby way), whom I know to be looking for elephant paraphanelia for her new nursery- parfait! I just ordered the elephant print below. I think our shared love of elephants is hardwired to manifest at the strangest times (go Jumbos!).

Some more of the delightful work from Gingiber is below.






Monday
Feb282011

Birds of a Feather





I love this recent feature in InStyle entitled Rare Birds. What better way to start off the work week than a little shoe porn? It's like they channeled directly into my brain and syphoned out all my latest shoe obsessions.

This editorial is a fanciful homage to spring wedges, "just hatched". I have a serious case of lust for the leather and rope Prada espadrille. It promises an extra 4-5 inches of height along with a sneaker sole for comfort and tread. Clearly one could wear these works of art all day without fear of an unsightly stumble.

While I will continue to pine away after these totally insensible shoes, I ended up at J Crew to purchase some sensible flats for sightseeing in France. In the queue for immediate shipment, some new black flats and a gladiator sandal.

Which flight of fancy is your favourite?

Friday
Feb252011

APC Prep

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Above: A.P.C. jeans, vintage pennyloafers, J Crew jacket and top, vintage Gucci bag.

After a few bumps and bruises, we are well on the way to breaking in my new pair of raw denim A.P.C. jeans purchased a few weeks ago.

My second wearing of the jeans went even better than expected! There has been a noticeable softening of the fabric and they are becoming genuinely comfortable. I am debating whether to have them hemmed an inch, but I usually wait until washing them to see if they shrink up.

There seems to be a real debate on raw denim, wash to break in, or just don't wash at all to maintain the custom effects of breaking them in? What side of the debate do you fall on regarding denim? I love the artisan look of a well broken in pair of jeans but I usually fail to go very long without washing them (my OCD/need for clean tends to win out against whiskers).

Also note, my hair is down! As you can see, I didn't attempt any drastic changes at my last hair appointment, just a few more highlights and a trim. My plan is to ease my way into a lighter shade for the summer. Slow and steady, rather than drastic and heaven forbid, brassy! Quelle horreur! At least my hair is getting ready for the Spring, even if mother nature continues to unleash her fury upon us.

Stay dry!

Wednesday
Feb232011

Come a Calling

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I was recently schooled in blogger etiquette while attending my first Boston based fashion/blogger event. All the classy, divine women I met that night were happy to hand out even classier and divine business cards. Qu'est-ce c'est? Oh hello, calling card of the well-prepared sophisticate.

In organizing myself for the Independent Fashion Bloggers conference recently held in New York, I decided to take the plunge and order some cards for myself. I blame my initial reticence on not taking my blogging seriously enough. Which begs the question, if you don't take your blog seriously, why should others? Then I started really over analyzing my dilemma to unhealthy levels (I have a tendency to do this) and my quest for the card that embodies "me" was born.

Luckily, I have a lovely friend (full disclosure) who happens to be a graphic designer and has a shop on Etsy called Designeraged along with her equally talented husband, selling....wait for it....business cards. Parfait.  After a little hand holding, followed by a lot of questions and advice, I ended up with this gorgeous final product. My card makes its debut at the ball!

I am so smitten with the idea of business cards that I feel I need to take it to the next level, with a personal calling card. As the lovely Mariah, from Quite Continental detailed in a recent post on the matter: "A fabulous lady definitely deserves a fabulous calling card!". I couldn't agree with her more. One of the many reasons we hit it off so famously in NYC.

I plan on utilizing the talents of my friends once more for this new, personal endeavor, instead opting for a cotton, square, debossed card. The feel of the cotton, the luxe metallic foil, the hounds tooth debossing, lightly tossed with a minimalist design definitely represents "me", in paper form. And of course it would also be the most expensive option they have, as you can always depend on my innate ability to gravitate toward to the most expensive item. I call this a gift really, though husband is more likely to view it as a burden. C'est la vie.

Monday
Feb212011

Brocolli Cheddar Soup in a Bread Bowl

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We had two blissful days of 60+ degree temperatures here in Boston. Overnight, I was all about grilling and margaritas again. My street was lined with over eager college students sporting shorts and gloating to mother nature. Then wham, as fast as you can say cold snap, that delicious warm weather is over and we are back in the abyss of a never ending winter.

Here's hoping you survived the cold, have today off, and have some hearty soup to warm the bones.

This recipe meets all my standard prerequisites. Easy, big on taste, and come on, it is served in a bread bowl. You save on dishes and literally get to eat your serving dish. The doughy insides of a fresh loaf of bread, being my absolute favourite, was reserved for dipping. I made a few luxe substitutions, using some leftover truffle butter to saute the veggies and a maple smoked cheddar for the cheesy goodness. This dish is a cheesy carbloading festival for your mouth. Enjoy!

Read more for the full recipe and more photos.

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Recipe

Ingredients


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish

 

 Directions

 

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.
Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you'll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)
Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.