Friday, April 30, 2010

♥ this dog's life.

i was taking this picture of my darling family dog, charleston chu,
the other day and i thought to myself how very regal he looked.
almost like a great poet looking up from his desk with quill in paw,
or maybe a great president looking out onto a limitless historical horizon?

(my bestfriend's family really does call her dog, "mr president." love!)

so, when i saw this fantastic new website, dorian greyhound & co.,
which actually offers custom portraits of your pet in a more
rustic and paintlerly setting than, say, your own backyard,
i knew i was not alone in my romanticizerd version of my regal beagle.
love it!

(spotted in traditional home)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

♥ take your daughter to work day.

♥ be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

before we found our current apartment, nicolas and i were thisclose to renting out this drafty, old carriage house in ashmont hill. it was one of those situations where the interior was "so ugly it was cute," which is sometimes more fun than something that is obviously beautiful.

the place was like a little bird's nest, perched high above a dusty garage full of antique cars and rusty tools. the apartment was set up like a studio, all on one level, and made entirely from floor to ceiling wood. there were no closets, except for the storage spaces in the eaves. it was colder inside than it was outside and the only means of heating the apartment was an old wood burning stove. there was only one way to exit the apartment, which would technically make it illegal, so in case of an emergency or a small fire i would inevitably start the only other way to evacuate the apartment was by a rope ladder thrown over the balcony! and despite all these flaws, i still puzzled for days over whether or not we could make it work....

someone who did make it work, in a very similar, but way more fabulous situation was michelle de la vega, a seattle based visual and performance artist, whose adorable garage abode was recently featured in the new york times. after buying a house with this accompanying garage a few years ago, michelle rented out the larger property and set to turning the 250 square foot space into a self sufficient, loft style home.

mixing salvaged scrap metals with personal artwork, ms. de la vega's little home is pared down perfection and a real inspiration for how to live simply and live well.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

♥ put 'em where you can see 'em.

in addition to my post about jewelry display, i thought i would share
a cute idea that i saw on the fashionably delicious blog, cupcakes and cashmere.
blog darling, emily, used a number of emerald green glass knobs from anthropologie
to organize her necklaces in a way that is orderly yet exciting.

here are some of my other favorite knobs & hooks:

what they say really is true,
if your jewelry is outta sight, it will definitely be outta mind,
– so hang your best pieces where you can see them –
and i promise, you will never go a day
without a little sparkle.

♥ what is the meaning of living?

that was all.
a simple question;
one that tended to close in on one over the years.
the great revelation had never come.
instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations,
matches struck unexpectedly in the dark: here was one.
virginia woolf

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

♥ pattern and repetition.

the works from my folk lover shop are too beautiful for words,
so please forgive me if what i say does not appear to be enough.

they are simple yet complex. intricate in texture, yet easy to read in black and white.
they are lonely with a sense of longing, mysterious with a touch of magic.

they are made by the ever so clever australian artist, catherine campbell,
and her blog is a meditation on art, a collection of inspirational works,
and perhaps a longer look into the dizzying, dreamy world
that she has built with her own hands.
love, love, love.

Monday, April 26, 2010

♥ vegetarian: a person who eats only side dishes.

perhaps i have failed to mention this,
and maybe you don't think its very important
but nonetheless, i must tell you: i am a vegetarian.

(super cute tshirt from dressing on the side.)

and while it is much more common and even considered "cool" to have such a special diet nowadays, thirteen years ago when my bestfriend convinced me to eschew chewing animals, it was much more of a nuisance to my poor mama who had to try to come up with something for me to eat separately from my brother and sisters.

i ended up adopting what i like to refer to as a"carbotarian" diet, where i ate only carbs and avoided both meats and veggies alike. i ate what i felt comfortable eating, the foods i considered to be "true," which were mainly breads, chips, pastas and pizzas.

it was not until i moved out of my home, bought a veggie steamer, and learned how to cook that i began to change my mind about vegetables. i went from being creeped out at the mere idea of putting tofu anywhere near my mouth and gagging at thought of the word "stir fry" to loving both and subsisting off what nick adorably refers to as, "rabbit food."

yes, my menu options are still limited, but they are alot less restrictive
than they were when the only veggies i ate were canned corn and french fries.

tonight i tried a delicious, nutritious meal from smitten kitchen
for spinach & chickpeas and thought i would share the recipe and the results:

1/2 pound (230 grams) dried chickpeas, cooked until soft and tender* or two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

6 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound (450 grams) spinach, washed
A hefty 1-inch slice from a country loaf or about 2 slices from sandwich loaf bread (2.5 ounces or 75 grams), crusts removed and cut inset small cubes
1/2 cup (4 ounces) tomato sauce (I used canned stuff I keep around)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika**
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon juice, to taste

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add half the olive oil. When it is hot, add the spinach with a pinch of salt (in batches, if necessary) and stir well. Remove when the leaves are just tender, drain in a colander and set aside.

Heat 2 more tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bread for about 5 minutes or until golden brown all over, then the remaining tablespoon of oil and the garlic, cumin and pepper. Cook for 1 minute more or until the garlic is nutty brown.

Transfer to a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle along with the vinegar, and mash to a paste. Return the mixture to the pan and add the drained chickpeas and tomato sauce. Stir until the chickpeas have absorbed the flavors and are hot. Season with salt and pepper.

If the consistency is a little thick, add some water. Add the spinach and cook until it is hot. Check for seasoning and serve with paprika on top, or on fried bread toasts (as the Spanish do).

i have to say, it turned out splendidly and i definitely recommend
it for vegetarians, carbotarians, and meat eaters alike :)

♥ birds of a feather flock together.

one of the many things i have learned while working in interior design is that
some people have a real aversion to birds. believing them to be bad luck,
they will not use a fabric ( no matter how gorgeous) if it contains the image
of a feathered friend.

on the other hand (or in this case, the other wing), there are others,
like my fiance, whose last name ramage translates from french into "birdsong,"
who would absolutely love to have one of these
hanging around. isn't it tweet?

Friday, April 23, 2010

♥ off the wall.

aren't these posters just delicious?
i would like both of them on my walls.
right now, please.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

♥ oh earth, you are too wonderful for anyone to ever realize you.

do human beings ever realize life while they live it?
every, every minute?

happy earth day.

♥ pushing papers.

as you may already know, i have a slight obsession with paper products,
specifically notebooks, and the thought of writing in them.

i used to carry a gaggle of notebooks with me everywhere i went,
and even slept with them fanned out around me in bed, awaiting brilliance.

there is just something so promising in the idea of the blank page,
and i have always aspired to find the right words to put down on them.

so, you could probably guess what i have to say about these
notebooks from archie grand.

pocket sized perfection in a bevy of candy colors– what's not to love?
they should come up with a notebook that reads:
"notebooks i had and liked."
i'd totally buy it.