2.02.2016

who what wear target collection








Who What Wear is the only fashion site I bother with.  Founded by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power in 2006, these 2 ladies have turned what started out as a blog into a multi-million dollar enterprise. I love the site because it's easy to read and has equal amounts of high-end fashion and fashion more suited for the average working woman.  I couldn't wait to see this collection that they collaborated on with Target.  There really is something for everyone.  Sizes range from 2-24 and nothing is overpriced.  I bought 5 pieces that fit my lifestyle and this what I came up with.






I fell in love with this pencil skirt because it has such a vintage feel to it.  The blue, black, white and mustard colorway is gorgeous and goes with just about everything.






I love it with my chambray.  If I decide to keep it, I'll have to have it hemmed because it's just too long to walk comfortably in.






This is what they call the Birdcage skirt.  So cute and super comfy.  Cute with boots and sweater in the winter and it will be perfect in the summer with a tank top, sandals and straw bag.




I love the linen tee shirts.  I adore the neckline and the sleeve length is absolutely perfect.  They also have a few scarves in the collection.  Although this one is polyester it's still super soft - not stiff at all.





There is so much more to the collection than what is shown here.  If I had more space and money I would have bought more.:)  Have you bought anything yet???  You can see the entire collection right HERE.   

1.25.2016

ralph lauren purple label jacket


Ralph Lauren clothes all have different colored labels signifying different styles and quality of his clothing.  Anything that has a purple label on it from Ralph Lauren comes from his "Collection" line, meaning it was on the runway and the prices are astronomical.  You can take a peek here just for fun. The jacket probably originally sold for between $2k-3k.  Last December M and and I were out in the desert going through thrift stores and I stumbled upon the above jacket.  It fits perfectly and was in perfect condition.  Six dollars, no lie.  I went home and scrolled through his runway shows and found it paired with this sequined skirt.


Made of 100% wool and lined in silk, it is quite luxurious.



Made in the USA.



Here it is in a crooked photo with thrift store ripped jeans and thrift store brown kitten heels. So classy.  lol

I am continually amazed at what I find in yard sales, thrift stores and even antique stores.  This definitely goes down at one of my best finds.  On another note, Country Living Magazine has been contacting me lately with lots of little details.  My house will be in the April issue which means it'll be on the news stand in March.  I'm excited and terrified at the same time. x

1.11.2016

another great target tee...




Please forgive this lousy picture but I'm on my way to work and just wanted to let you know that there is another great Target tee for $12!  I've been wearing this soft 3/4 length sleeve tee non-stop. Mostly like this with jeans and booties and my faux leopard  belt but also with a short black skirt, tights and boots.  It's super versatile, well-made and I see me wearing it all year long.  Throw a coat over and I'm good outside too.:)  Just thinking of you! x

1.09.2016

brown and white



It has been so cold here that we've been doing everything possible to try and keep this swiss cheese of a house warm. At 126 years old she does a pretty good job but lately she has been put to the test.  I put up the lined drapes.  These are sold out at Pottery Barn but I love the color and trellis pattern of these.  Larry has put up new weatherstripping around the doors and we've booked an appointment to see about insulating the attic and basement.




I'm loving the soft browns and white though.  Even though we don't have a fireplace it still feels cozy by candlelight day or night.





My dear friend J dropped by unexpectedly yesterday and dropped off this white mum.  Thank you J.
Do you love the detail on this lamp?  I do.  Are any of you still doing the vegan challenge?  How do you feel?  Lighter?  I hope so.  Clear skin, clear eyes, clear conscious.   x


1.07.2016

white bean burritos with mojo verde cilantro sauce







How's it going on your Vegan Challenge?  A few people have asked me why just one week?  It's one week to show you just how easy it is.  Also, when faced with a big change, sometimes breaking it down into smaller pieces makes it seem doable.  Have any of you watched Cowspiracy?  It's streaming on Netflix right now.  Once you see the destruction that animal agriculture is having on the earth you'll understand that changing our diets is going to have to happen regardless of whether we want to or not.  Watch the movie, you'll see what I'm talking about.

The above burrito is filled with refried white beans that are so simple to make.  I make mine from scratch but any can of beans will do.  In a skillet first saute a handful of onions and then add the beans. Add one cup of vegetable broth and smash the beans with a potato masher.  I add chopped jalapeno, salt and pepper. It's got to be one of the fastest, easiest and healthiest meals ever.

I happened to have had a large bunch of cilantro and wanted to make a sauce of some sort and came across the recipe of Jose Andre's.  All I can say about it is wow.  It has elevated my ordinary burrito into something quite spectacular.  I used a food processor but his recipe actually calls for a mortar and pestle.  I didn't have cumin seeds so I just used a teaspoon of ground cumin and it tastes fantastic.

Mojo Verde

Ingredients

6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups well-packed chopped cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry-wine vinegar

Directions

Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and salt to a smooth paste. Add cilantro leaves and cumin seeds; mash until well combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while continuing to mash, until all the olive oil is absorbed.
Turning the pestle in a slow, circular motion around the mortar, drizzle in 2 teaspoons water and vinegar. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve.
makes about ½ cup

I also have tried this sauce on plain pasta because it's so similar to pesto and it was amazing that way also.

x

1.04.2016

chateau marmont



You may or may not remember this little top I got at an estate sale last December.  HERE is that link if you want the details about it.  It's old and weighs a ton and was a little dusty so I gave it a bath in cool water and gentle laundry detergent.  This one to be exact.  In so doing I shrunk it a tiny bit which really bummed me out but it needed cleaning.




I wore the vintage Balmain coat with it.

So you all know M right,  If not here is a link that will aquaint you. M has a nephew, Tosh who is a model and his partner, Carmine is the manager of the Chateau Marmont restaurant. I actually share a birthday with him.  M set up dinner plans for us to go celebrate with them.  The first thing I thought about when she called to tell me this was of course...what will I wear?!  The Chateau is about 80 miles from Redlands but it may as well be a million because 1. It's a place where the rich, famous and trendy hang out and that makes me nervous. 2. It's far.  We spoke daily about what to wear or not wear and in the end this is what I picked.  I loved wearing it and didn't care what anyone else was wearing (thankfully) because most people dining came in jeans, tee shirts and tennis shoes. Whatever.

We were both really excited to go mainly because we were getting a tour of her nephew Tosh's home. M comes from a long line of extremely talented decorators.  Everyone in her family has gorgeous homes and are excellent entertainers.  We were not disappointed.

When we got there, they of course had a beautiful tray of food and ice cold champagne to revive us from the long drive.  Here are some snaps for your enjoyment.







I have decided in my next life I want to be a gay man.  They live life so fully and with such joy. They seem far happier than any hetero-sexual person I know.  They have a fun sense of humor and zest for life and frankly I'd like some of that in mine.




Our gorgeous and gracious hosts...Carmine and Tosh.

Okay, so from there we drove over to the Chateau and were treated like royalty.  The food and wine was delicious and the waiters fawned over us.  No wonder people like being rich.

After dinner we were going to get a tour of the hotel when I mentioned one of my favorite movies, Somewhere, with Stephen Dorff which was filmed there.  Have you seen it?  I didn't think so, no one likes it.  Netflix gives it one star but I think it's touching and quietly powerful. I think I've watched it at least 8 times.  Here is the trailer.  I think Sofia Coppola did a brilliant job and I'm sorry most people didn't get it.  So we get a tour of the suite where the movie was filmed.  I knew every square inch of this suite from the stripper pole bedroom scenes to Elle Fanning cooking in the kitchen.  It was so fun.  Here are some pics.




So that was my birthday.  Nice, right?  M, thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a wonderful wonderful night.  xoxo

1.01.2016

day one - butternut squash soup




Happy happy New Year to you.  Anyone still interested in doing the one week vegan challenge? In case you are, how about a warm, delicious, filling soup for day one?  I just roasted a large butternut squash by slicing it in half and putting it face down on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  I scooped out the insides and added it to a pot on the stove that had 1 small diced onion that was cooking in about a teaspoon of olive oil.  You can use water instead of oil if you want.  Then I added 2 cups of vegetable broth and a cup of plain, organic soy milk.  I seasoned with a tiny bit of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.  Heated it through and then blended it til smooth. OMG, so delicious and so easy.  Add a green salad and some crusty bread...heaven.

I hope your holidays were beautiful and your new year healthy and peaceful. xo


12.20.2015

vegan challenge







Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.  I hope all your homes are decorated, shopping is done and all your holiday parties have been great.  I haven't done much decorating or partying but thankfully my shopping is done. :)

What I'm really excited about is the new year which is coming so fast...right?!  Where did this year go?  I was recently approached by blogging friend, Laura Henderson who is the Executive Director of an organization called Pasado Safe Haven, a non-profit working to end animal cruelty and create a more compassionate world.  She asked me if I'd be interested in doing a New Year's resolution post and because New Years is my favorite holiday and I love personal challenges, I said Yes. Pasado's Safe Haven is launching a new initiative called 7 lives in 7 days which inspires people to try and hopefully maintain for life, a vegan diet.

Click here for a full 7 day menu of healthy, delicious meals.  

They include a shopping list and a swap list.  To be honest, I don't eat that fancy throughout the week.  I eat oatmeal every morning and a salad for lunch.  Dinners revolve around beans and pasta dishes.  It's so super simple, super economical.




Not only will you be doing your health an amazing favor, who doesn't need a healthier happier you right now?  You will also be helping stop the horrid treatment and suffering of beautiful animals that needlessly die to feed us.  Also, animal agriculture is the most destructive industry on this planet. What a way to start a new year!  You can start today or you can make it the best New Year's resolution ever.  My suggestion would be to have a good pantry and refrigerator clean out right after Christmas.  Stock the kitchen with lots of healthy foods for this challenge and then just go for it.
You in?

P.S. - I'm back on Instagram

11.27.2015

where there's a will



...there is a way. Yesterday we had 24 guests inside our house for a sit down dinner, a feat I never thought possible and yet it worked.  Cold drizzly weather left us no choice.  It was cozy to say the least.  These are the before pictures, I was too tired to take afters.



I clipped foliage from the trees outside.





We had to move the refrigerator in order to squeeze in a table for the food.  That essentially cut off a good portion of the house.  So instead of being in 970 sq ft, we were in about 600.










The black and cream toile is a drapery panel.  The napkins are just cut fabric, I didn't have the time to sew them but no one seemed to care.  The flatware is from my childhood.



The stuffed portobello mushrooms were a big hit even with the meat eaters. All in all it was a success.  I'm exhausted but giving thanks that I don't work today.  The linens are being washed as I type and the house will slowly be put back together.  How was your day? x


11.18.2015

autumn stuffed portobello mushrooms


Hello from crazy land.  I honestly cannot remember when I've been this busy and I want it to stop. I also feel bad I haven't posted any good vegan recipes in a long time.  Also, this will be the first year in a long time that turkey will be served here.  I won't be preparing or eating it but we have about 25 people coming and for some reason that's what they want to eat.  I'll be ordering most of the meal from a local market.  I'll make the vegan main though and this is it.  It's so easy you can do it in about 30 minutes, unless you follow the recipe Stephen Andrew Jones gave me for prepping the mushroom caps.  Have you been following his Thanksgiving preps? They have been so good and hilarious at the same time.  I think we should all band together and try to get him on TV somehow. Can you even imagine how great that'd be?





Autumn Stuffed Portobellos

6 Portobello Mushrooms (I used mini ones here but the large ones will work)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used brown here but wild rice would be pretty)
1/2 cup fine dice onion
1/2 cup fine dice celery
1/2 cup fine dice apple
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Saute the onion and celery til soft in a little olive oil
Add the apple, cranberries and sunflower seeds and saute for about 3 minutes
Add the rice and mix thoroughly
Drizzle in the balsamic vinegar - add more to taste if needed
Season with Salt and Pepper

Stephen Andrew Jones mushroom prep in his words, "make them totally vegan and do an herb/garlic "butter" of olive oil, salt, tons of thyme, cayenne, and like 25 cloves of garlic in the food processor. I rub that all over them, roast in hot oven for a few min to evaporate moisture"

Or you can brush the inside with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and put them in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Stuff each portobello with 1/4 to 1/3 cup mixture and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and serve.  They are good hot or at room temp.  The mushroom is soft and delicious and there is a nice crunch from the celery, apple and sunflower seeds.  These will go well with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans so you will not feel left out.  xo