WEEKEND NOTES

This weekend was productive and relaxing at the very same time, and full of sunshine to boot… you can’t get much better then that!  A few tidbits gathered from the internet that I thought you might enjoy…

 

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Garance Dore, one of my all time favorite authorities on style, turned 40 this past week.  Her “Letter to My 20 Year Old Self” was such a joy to read… full of self reflection, honesty and inspiration to all women as we navigate that tricky thing called age.

 

nepal

Nepal has been on the minds of so many this week, and it can be confusing to try and help those who are so far away.  I found this site to be very informative if you want to take action.

 

pot radish salad

Spring is really truly here, and with it comes the very best kind of cooking.  Everything is so fresh and vibrant, and it seems to taste brand new all over again.  Fingerling potatoes have been on heavy rotation in our house lately, and I’m loving this new combination with avocados and radishes by Cannelle et Vanille.

 

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Anthropologie just released their May lookbook, and it is of course, perfectly fabulous.  All those beautiful muted shades mixed with white are making me want to throw out everything in my closet that even resembles winter.  They really manage to know exactly what it is that women want to be wearing, at exactly the right time.

 

flight car

With lots of summer travel coming up on us fast, we’ve been trying to research the smartest ways to and from the airport, always a hassle no matter how hard we try to plan ahead.  We came across a new service called Flightcar, which is playing upon the Airbnb and Uber model of using the resources that are already available to most of us.  Basically, you get to leave your own car at their lot for free, and while you are gone, it might be rented out to someone to drive while they are in your home town, which you get paid for.  You always get free parking and a car wash, even if it’s never used.  How cool and efficient is that?!

 

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Always obsessed with everything that Anna Sheffield makes, but these gold hoop earrings with white topaz stones are making me particularly happy.

 

alex of venice

Venice is one of my favorite parts of LA to visit with it’s laid back charm and easy beach feel. Every time I’m there, I love to play that game of imagining my life in the bohemian mecca of Southern California.  This film will definitely be one I’m going to curl up with on a rainy Seattle afternoon.  “Alex of Venice” looks honest, well written, and beautifully filmed… there aren’t enough movies out there that speak to women on this level, and I can’t wait to see it.

IT’S RAINING AND POURING

In honor of the blustery Friday we’re having here in Seattle, I thought I’d post a few of my favorite rainy day moments.  Here’s hoping that these April showers really do bring May flowers!

 

ralph lauren

Life is always more glamorous in Ralph Lauren campaigns.  Love the sharp look of black and white on a stormy day.

 

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Perhaps one of the most iconic downpours.  Everytime I watch it, I’m reminded I need a classic tan belted trench coat for weather like this.

 

Rain or Snow

Can’t tell if this is rain or snow, but either way it’s ridiculously fabulous.

 

rain watch

An ideal spot to cozy up into and watch the rain come down.

 

Taylor Swift Rain

Ever since Taylor Swift moved to New York, and became best friends with Karlie Kloss, her style has been right on point.

 

fruit umbrellas

Bright, poppy, fruit-inspired umbrellas would be sure to lift one’s mood on a dreary day like today.

 

rainy cabin in ontario apartement thearpy

The perfect destination for a rainy vacay… I can imagine stacks of reading material and steaming cups of coffee in front of a roaring fire.

 

Richard Avedon Rain

Richard Avedon documenting rainy Paris in the 60’s.  So chic!

 

Gossip Girl Rain

I still miss Gossip Girl for all that soap opera drama, draped in couture.  Can’t they make a movie version already??

 

hunter

THE staple for a rainy, muddy day.  Hunter boots are by far the easiest way to look good when the weather is a nightmare.  Loving the girly floral socks peeking out for an extra touch of style.

 

free people rain

Summer rainstorms always inspire adventure and travel.  This image is full of that breezy, carefree quality we all crave come warmer seasons.

 

kate middleton

All our favorite British fashionistas are well versed in staying chic while navigating temperamental weather, something I’m sure they encounter on a daily basis.  It can’t hurt to have a Prince hold your umbrella for you though!

 

rain hideout

What a perfect spot to duck into to wait out a storm… an oasis of color and comfort.

 

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Kate Moss, the holy grail of style, looking like this in a mudpit… amazing and infuriating all at the same time!  We’ll never stop watching her step out, she nails it every time and inspires legions of women to look their very best no matter what the situation.

 

 

images — Ralph Lauren –  Buzz Feed –   Glam Radar – Apartment Therapy Jelanie ShopVogue

THE SWEETHEART COCKTAIL

Happy Valentines Day!  We put together a super simple cocktail that is a major crowd pleaser, along with a nice little appetizer spread. You can’t really go wrong with an evening like this, and it’s perfect whether you’re entertaining a group, or just with that special loved one.

 

The supplies are very low fuss.  Pick up a bottle of Prosecco, some fresh cranberries, and black cherry juice for your cocktail recipe.  Along with the drinks, I’ve been enjoying serving cheese and meats in a new way.  Simple & Crisp has these great little packages of dried sliced fruit, that I’ve been using in place of a cracker.  They add a new dimension of flavor to a standard cheese plate, and are of course, a very pretty addition to the spread.  I also found the orange slices make a gorgeous topper to any drink, as the fruit catches the light in that stained glass window way.  So pretty and festive!

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For the Sweetheart Cocktail, measure out 1 ounce of the black cherry juice and pour into your champagne flute, then pop that bottle!

 

vday drink 1

 

 

Fill your glass with prosecco, and carefully place a few cranberries on top.

vday drink 2

 

 

Garnish with a bright piece of the Simple & Crisp dried orange fruit thins.

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Set out your appetizers, pass along a cocktail, and enjoy your Valentines Day this Saturday evening!

Valentines Day Spread with graphics

 

 

Images by KettleWerks

 

 

TREAT YOUR VALENTINE!

Valentines Day might just be the most hotly debated holiday of the year.  Some of us revel in the act of planning elaborate date nights, or crafting over-the-top candy favors, while others loathe the idea of all that forced romance and pressure to create the perfect day.  I’ve found myself on both sides throughout the years, and have finally settled somewhere right down the middle.  The perfect solution to me, is to find a relaxed and simple way to tell those you love in your life, how much you care.  Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, the gesture of love is always appreciated, and we thought we’d showcase two easy ways to make this happen.

candy-hearts

For that love interest, instead of fighting the crowds for a table at some restaurant Saturday night, why not surprise him with a tray of his favorite morning goodies?  A little New York Times for reading, pastries from that bakery down the street, a great cup of coffee… breakfast in bed is always appreciated by all!  Spending the whole morning together in total relaxation mode is always a winner.

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A spread of fruit and croissants is perfect for this type of morning.  If you’re here in Seattle, stop by Bakery Nouveau on Capitol Hill.  Their pastries are to die for, and it’s definitely worth getting there early to skip the long weekend lines.

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For a less traditional Valentines celebration, why not spend a little time with that friend you care so much about?  Invite them over for a perfectly pretty breakfast spread, and spoil them with thoughtful details and delicious mimosas!  I always wish I had more time to spend with my girlfriends… a relaxed breakfast or brunch at home is the perfect chance to catch up on each other’s lives.

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Locally made granola with seasonal fruit is an easy and delicious breakfast option for a low key get together.  We love Marge Granola for their variety of unique flavors, and the fact that they’re based right here in Seattle.

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We love keeping the colors soft and feminine… pale pink flowers and white china set a calming scene.  And an extra touch we love?  Hard candy spoons made of honey… perfect for stirring tea or for eating that yogurt parfait.

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Of course you can’t forget the sweets, the perfect finish for any celebration.  Order a batch of sweetheart cookies, or send that friend off with a gorgeous chocolate bar, and you’ll have made their day.

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Happy Valentines day to all who celebrate love!

 

Images by KettleWerks, Styling by Adrian Perry

CARROT CUPCAKES

In the spirit of starting fresh, and looking towards Spring, I decided to do a little light baking last weekend.  I was craving something very un-holiday-ish… anyone else feeling weighed down by rich chocolatey sweets and just flat out decadence?

Carrot Cake, one of my all time favorites immediately came to mind.  I love the addition of grated vegetables in baked goods as it adds substance but doesn’t dry out a cake or a bread.  Of course, you can’t have Carrot Cake without that classic cream cheese frosting… totally negating any hint of healthy-ness, but just so tasty it’s worth it.  I found theses pretty floral paper cupcake holders, which are perfect for Spring, and got to baking!

 

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For 12 cupcakes you will need…

 

1 cup of flour – I prefer to use cake flour…makes for a better consistency

3/4 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 cups of carrots grated

2/3 cup of vegetable oil

2 eggs beaten

Set oven to 350. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and powder. Separately in a larger bowl, combine the carrots and oil. Slowly add flour mixture until just mixed. Add the eggs, and stir lightly. Prep your muffin liners in the cupcake pan, and fill each one about 2/3 of the way up with batter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and springy to the touch. Let cool, and then frost as directed below.

 

For the Cream Cheese Frosting you will need…

 

4 ounces of cream cheese

4 tablespoons of butter

2 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until nice and smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, and then top your cupcake.  For a slight variation, I sometimes add 1/2 a teaspoon of orange zest, and 2-3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice.  This adds a brightness of flavor, perfect for beating off those Winter blues!

 

 

Image by Kettlewerks