Ooh, my favorite!


The Long and Short
May 16, 2013, 10:11 am
Filed under: Fashion

The weather in Seattle has been nice and mild after our little heat wave, and it all seems like such a big deal because it’s usually cold, grey, and very wet. So after we all pulled our summer clothes from the back of our closets we had to do some mixing to meet the demands of warm days with the occasional spring shower. I, myself, have been enjoying my cut-offs and a nice cozy sweater. I am particularly fond of this because my legs got a nice sunkissed base, but my bod itself (specifically my core) is just not ready for full-on warm weather attire: anything tight, short, and of minimal fabric is off limits. (You saw the recipe I posted yesterday, right?)

I don’t go as short as these (it’s not that warm, and my legs aren’t that toned) but I still love the idea of the different proportions. It’s effortless and casual — perfect for running errands and easily styled for lunching!

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More inspiration here.



Porcini Mac ‘n Cheese
May 15, 2013, 12:42 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

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I don’t know how he comes up with this stuff but when mom gave us some dried porcini mushrooms last week Andrew immediately said he wanted to make it into a powder and add it into his mom’s macaroni and cheese recipe. I was stunned at first as I had to process the greatness of this idea, but after the gears got up to speed I knew it would be the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day (and Dad’s birthday too). Some say to add cheese to mushrooms is a hack and a cheat, but I can’t help but to disagree, especially with this recipe.

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There are a few secret ingredients in here that you won’t be able to taste outright, but they’ll add an insane depth of flavor to the mornay (cheese sauce) that takes this dish into a realm that is like no other macaroni you’ve ever had. Aside from the earthy richness of the Porcini’s there’s a dash of Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Again, you won’t necessarily taste them, but you’ll know there’s something special there.

Give it a go, so simple but deceivingly complex. The best kind of dish, no?

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Porcini Mac n Cheese

Serves 6-8 as a side (or in our case 4 with lots of leftovers for snacking).

We used 2- 12 ounce packages of macaroni. (Actually, Bionaturae’s Chiocciole “snail” shaped. So many big wells to collect cheesy goodness.) Cook to package directions.

Sautée 1/2 cup finely diced onion in 5 Tbs butter.

Add 1/3 cup flour, blend and cook until incorporated and very lightly browned.

Slowly add 3 cups milk and 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk well to combine and avoid lumps.

Flavor with 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1/4 tsp white pepper.

Add 3 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese and mix well. Cook until thickened slightly and the cheese melts.

Add 2 tsp of dried porcini powder (pulse in a spice grinder or food processor). Mix well.

Add the cooked macaroni to a buttered casserole dish (or two) and pour the cheese sauce over the noodles. There may be extra sauce so don’t use it all if you’re worried it’s too much. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. 

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned and the sauce is bubbling.

Enjoy! But avoid temptation and let it cool slightly before snacking.



Skullcap as a sleep aid
May 13, 2013, 10:44 am
Filed under: Beauty, Health

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I used to accept my difficulty sleeping as a part of life. My brain just wouldn’t shut off and I would literally lay in bed for hours spinning. I’ve since become a better sleeper, and while I feel that much of it is because I’m dead tired after work and because I am blissfully happy in my little urban farmhouse with Andrew, I also owe much of it to a tincture of Skullcap. 

If you’ve gone the natural route for sleep aid’s I’m sure you’ve tried Valerian and/or Melatonin, and I’m sure those left you less than enthused. Melatonin, especially, made my eyes heavy and tired but did absolutely nothing for restful, extended sleep. It wasn’t until I met Andrew that I found out about the benefits of Skullcap. (Kind of twisted because he is so much of the reason I sleep so well now, even when he sleeps diagonally across the bed.)

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This vintage Disney reference doing it for anyone? Anyone?

Perhaps that greatest thing about Skullcap is that it’s not a sleep aid directly. Mostly it’s a nervine, meaning that it relaxes and calms the central nervous system while also restoring optimal function (neuro-trophorestorative). So more than anything it serves as a wonderful anti-anxiety remedy that can be used anytime of day. (I will often take a few droppers before busy nights at the restaurant.) But when used before bed it simply soothes your nerves and naturally helps you drift into a very relaxing and restful slumber. The only note of caution I will give is that Skullcap before bed makes for some pretty lucid dreams. If you’re not in the best frame of mind I would skip it until you’re in a happier place. 

When I’m feeling especially wound-up I will take two droppers-full 30-minutes before bed. Because I don’t usually add the drops to water I prefer the tincture in glycerine instead of alcohol, but they’re both the same. (The Herb Pharm brand uses organic alcohol.) Available at most health food stores or pharmacies like Pharmaca.

As always, consult with your physician if you are worried about potential allergies or reactions with other medications. 



Random Access Memories
May 9, 2013, 10:20 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Music

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Daft Punk is featured in French magazine Obsession and it is one badass spread. The iconic helmets are polished to a high shine and the styling and details are fascinating! I love them all, but the glove? I want that framed and on my wall, like, now.

The new album Random Access Memories is expected to release stateside on May 21. You can read the editorial here. Google translate is a bit rough but you’ll at least get the gist of it.

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[Via Trendland, and my friend Chelsea]



The Marlborough Seattle
May 8, 2013, 10:47 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home, Seattle

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After two years the lease at my little apartment is finally up, and of course, I waited a bit too long to start moving and cleaning. I got my butt kicked by the move last week, but still managed to find the time to get a little nostalgic. My small studio at The Marlborough in Seattle’s First Hill Neighborhood was my very favorite home to date (aside from my new home with Andrew!), and it held so many special meanings as it was my home when I returned from San Francisco and was my safe haven during the craziness of restaurant opening and adjusting to a new life.

After living in SF I knew I had to live somewhere with history and charm, and while there are many places in Seattle that would qualify, it’s also disappointing to see so many new, bland, and cheap apartments popping up all over the city. The Marlborough was originally built in 1928, but was just reopening after an extensive remodel/restoration, and even though it was the first apartment I saw (except for an awful condo in Beacon Hill that smelled like cats had lived and died there), I instantly knew it was so very me.

There was the large living room and bedroom…

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…a cozy little kitchen and dining nook…

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…original glass doornobs and crown moulding…

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…the separate DRESSING ROOM with french doors (in addition to a walk-in closet!)…

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(there was no way I was turning it into an office)

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…and killer subway and honeycomb tiles in the bathroom.

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Once well-loved by me, this sweet little home is available now. If, by chance, you’re on the hunt for a bachelorette pad you may want to check it out.

The Marlborough | 122o Boren Avenue | Seattle, WA 98101 | 206.682.8800

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[image via VintageSeattle.org]

 



Met Gala 2013
May 7, 2013, 9:37 am
Filed under: Fashion

I always look forward to the Met Gala because it’s the ultimate opportunity to dress-up, but at an event where risks are expected and should be taken. Last night, however, the Chaos to Couture Punk theme of the evening left me wanting for so much more. The irony of the ideals behind the original punk movement being merged with a glossy (and let’s be honest, superficial) event aside, I was interested to see what would emerge on the red carpet and was looking forward to some major departures from ones typical styling.

I feel like so many celebrities missed the mark though. Punk does not mean slutty (Miranda Kerr) or goth (Anne Hathaway). I wanted iconic like the Versace safety pin dress and I wanted more daring styling. It was so dull that there are only two people worth talking about: Sarah Jessica Parker and co-chair Rooney Mara.

sjpOn the costume end SJP was all about the theme with a crazy and gorgeous headpiece by Philip Treacy. This is precisely what I wanted to see last night! She embraced the theme and seemed to be having so much fun doing it. The carpet should have been crawling with such style. (I only wish Beyonce had stepped it up to this caliber, I had such high hopes.)

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And then there was Rooney Mara who was the epitome of “chaos to couture” in her subtly punk  Givenchy dress: zippers, bold shoulders deep V’s front and back in beautiful white in frilly lace! Then there was the perfectly bold styling: currant lips, strong brows, and slicked back hair. I had so much fun gushing about this look with my friend Christine on Path last night. Each angle made us fall more and more in love.

So that’s it. Just these two. The rest was blah at best. What do you think?

 

 



Uniball Signo gel pens
May 6, 2013, 11:29 am
Filed under: Art and Design

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My fascination with Japanese artisan products stretches far beyond those with centuries of tradition and extends all the way to their modern wares…like pens. There is no other gel pen that can compare; and most importantly, my list-making and penmanship is at its best only when I’m writing with one of these guys. I use the 0.38 tips, but there is an even finer tip at 0.28!

I am such a loyal fan that I sent my brother to my favorite Japanese stationery shop in San Francisco to get more when my supply was dwindling, and I keep one hidden at work because I won’t share or chance it getting taken. Luckily, the Kinokuniya bookstore at Uwajimaya here in Seattle has a great selection, but if you’re not sure where to get one in your area you can easily order them online from the Tokyo Pen Shop. Look at the reviews by the way, these pens really are awesome and worth the $3 each. (They last a while too so you won’t run through them as fast as many other gels.)

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