Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Things Im Loving : Plane travel comfort

I'm off this afternoon for a whirlwind tour of well, half the world. At least it feels that way! So todays post is inspired by things I'm loving for casual but chic plane travel. 

Very important ~
Each of these layers on their own is featherweight so they add warmth without bulk. I love the bit of  glamor in the satin detail on this crepe blazer . The pop of color from the persimmon sweater will be great after my 7 hr flight. The pretty color will keep me from looking washed out after the long flight and you can never go wrong with a striped base layer!

I'm pairing the top layers with classics like dark skinny jeans, a chic leather loafer, and animal print belt.  I am seriously lusting after this chunky men's watch. It is a practical alternative to a cuff bracelet, and I know I will get to my flight on time!and the hefty scale is very cool. Of course no plane trip would be complete without the large catch all bag. I love the structure of this leather one and the detail on the handles. 

* I will be in and out of the blog over the next few weeks, but do check back. Regular posting will return after the 8th of July. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fruits of Labor: Vermicelli Salad

I ate tons of this Vietnamese noodle salad in San Francisco. There were so many places that made up big delicious bowls of the stuff! Essentially a salad of lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers & carrots it is topped with thin rice noodles and usually a meat or tofu of some sort. 

I haven't a place here in London yet that I really like so I thought I would try out this staple myself. You should be able to find rice noodles in the speciality sections at the market or certainly at an Asian market and same goes for the fish sauce. If not you can substitute vermicelli pasta noodles. I like to use the thinnest style of rice noodles - 

This recipe serves 2 

To make the Salad you will need: 
1 palm sized head of little gem lettuce per serving shredded (approx 1 1/2 cups)  
1 cup of peeled cucumber cut into matchsticks 
1 cup of shredded or matchstick cut carrots 
1/4 cup of cilantro & mint leaves
1/4 cup of chopped honey roasted peanuts 
6 scallions sliced thinly 
1 cup of bean sprouts 
10 oz of top sirloin (marinaded for at least 30 minutes) 
Rice noodles** 

Marinade for the meat: 
3 tbsp of fish sauce 
3 tbsp of soy sauce 
Juice of 1 lime 
2 tbsp of honey 
1 large clove of minced garlic 
1 tsp of chili flakes 
1 stalk of lemongrass sliced the long way (give it a couple of whacks against the counter before slicing) 

Place sirloin in the marinade and flip over occasional while preparing the rest. 

Sauce for the Noodles:  
2 tbsp of fish sauce 
2 tsp of honey 
juice of 1 1/2 limes. reserve the remaining half for garnish 
1 clove of garlic minced very finely 
pinch of chili flakes
Portion into two small serving bowls and set aside. This sauce will be poured over the dish just before serving. 

To make the Salad:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rice noodles and cook until just past al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. Make sure they are thoroughly drained before adding to salad. 
**(usually rice noodles come in large bunches of 3 within the package and I split 1 bunch between 2 people. If not I usually figure 1cup - 1 1/2 cups of cooked noodles per serving) 
While the noodles are cooking drizzle a pan with oil and saute scallions until very soft. When the are done remove oil and scallions and set aside. Remove the steak from the marinade. In the same pan you just cooked the scallions, cook the steak. 4-5 minutes on each side over medium height heat for medium rare. let stand for about 10 minutes and then slice very thinly. 

Assemble portions of cucumber, carrots, lettuce, bean sprouts, herbs and peanuts in the bottom of a large bowl. Place the drained noodles on top and drizzle with scallions & oil. Place thinly sliced steak on top.  Serve accompanied with previously prepared noodle sauce, large wedge of reserved lime & sriracha sauce. Pour fish sauce down over the top of the noodles just before eating & enjoy !

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Mood Board

Clean lines, simple pallets, good bones & classicism. All of these have inspired this weeks mood board. 
I love the uncluttered outcome. I am conscious of keeping things to an absolute minimum in this new space. I love the architectural details like the black and marble fire place, the 12' high ceilings and the slightly cathedral shaped windows. I want these things to stand out most. 

images: wegner chairs, penn photo, tuliparchitecture, chairs, sculpture, light, watch, stairs, hair, shoe, car

Friday, June 14, 2013

Interior Ideas

Its Friday again! And this time I was inspired by the classic Eames lounge chair. It a perfect casual chic combonation and adds gorgeous sculptural lines to a space. 

Im also looking forward to an outing at the british museum this weekend, visting with out-of-town friends & lunch here 

How are you going to spend your days ? 

see you on Monday

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things I'm Loving : Bucs!

Some times its a case of "an oldie but a goodie". I grew up wearing bucs, one of the only acceptable pieces of footwear for my school dress code, and now I find myself again coveting a pair. This time to be worn with my adult dress code - skinny jeans, a striped top and on chilly summer days a long sweater. They are all boyish charm at its best. And I must admit I do have a crush 

A pair would be perfect for walking around London. Smart, tailored & charming they are right in line with London's style sensibility. Straight to the original source for these. GHBass. They have been making bucs & saddles since the 1800's. I especially love the navy & tan pair. 

Loving these updated versions too! Super stylish for the city. I would definitely put the summery white pair to good use. Maybe with this striped sheath dress -  

all shoes found at GHBass except the turquoise pair here
 images : 1 2 3 4

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fruits of Labor: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

I live for Rhubarb season. Its always a short window at the edges between spring and summer and, especially in Europe, rhubarb seems to dominate the menu. What I love most about rhubarb is, with a little attention, its austerity transforms into something unique and decadently wonderful. 

This recipe is for crumble. A classic that suits the casual nature of summer cooking while yielding sumptuous results. Because of the simpleness of the recipe use only the best quality ingredients & pair with a scoop of the best vanilla ice cream you can find. 

Simply put. This recipe is a 1-1-1, mix & bake. 

About 10 stalks of the reddest rhubarb. Scrubbed and cut into 3inch chunks  
1 pint of strawberries. Hulled & sliced thickly 
1 Orange. Juiced & zested
1 cup of sugar. 

Mix these ingredients in a bowl & let stand. The sugar is really up to taste. I like mine to retain some of the tartness of the rhubarb. But, I also recommend tasting a small slice of the rhubarb to see how tart or sweet it is. You may need more or less sugar. 

For the crust. 
1 cup of whole meal flour
1 cup of quick cook oatmeal 
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of butter (or a 1/2 pound) 
1 tsp of salt 

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Dice butter into small cubes and add to dry mixture. Rub butter & dry ingredients together with fingertips until it is combined and forms small pea sized granules. You can also pulse together in a food processor. 

Spread Rhubarb mixture evenly over the bott0m of a shallow baking dish. Add topping in an even layer over the mixture. Bake at 350℉ 170℃ for aprox 45 minutes or until top is golden and sides are bubbling. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Mood Board

Inspired by pillows in a cozy banquet at breakfast this weekend. I'm seeing indigo everywhere. An ancient dyeing process, it had long been a traditional color and never ceases to capture my attention. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Interior Ideas

I often see furniture that inspires me to design an entire space in my head - down to what plants would be chosen. In moments I have gone through the mental catalogue of designs, textiles, window casings, paint colors & even surfaces I have stored away up there and created a sketch of what I would pair together. 
Being in a new space, I play this little mental design game even more. Everything seems like inspiration and I find myself often off in a furniture ladened day dream.
So why not challenge myself & my photoshop skills and actually bring about a hard copy of these day dreams - 

Here is the first one. Inspired by the black leather & metal chairs at the center 

Happy weekend friends ! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Simple in Style

The Tunic, what else. 

I have long been a fan of this easy wardrobe accessory. Add a pair of jeans, pretty summer sandals and a chunky accessory and that is pretty much it for a chic ensamble. 
They are also a great item to travel with as they can easily go from beach to lunch or lunch into evening 

Its a little Audry, no - paired with a pair of black wedges  and skinny black jeans & these earrings 

The true transition piece - shorts by day, white jeans by night. Paired with some arm candy.  Ready for anything

Perfect for the beach! Just throw it over this fabulous one piece, add book and towel into this summer staple and slip into these pretty things - Off we go. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cherry Tomato Salad

I am lucky enough to have a Sunday morning farmers market just up the road. It has many wonderful cheese, bread and homemade pie vendors who generously offer up samples as I stroll by, but my favorite is TheTomatoStall. They have the sweetest and most gorgeous cherry tomatos. The past few times I have only gotten a single punnet (theres a new measurement for me!) and that didn't even make it home. So this week I pick up two and made a cherry tomato salad that really highlights the sweet fresh flavor of these cherry tomatos and and hints at summer. 
Serve with crusty bread for a perfect garden lunch ~ 
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a salad. 

2 punnets, or about 60 cherry tomatos 
1 large clove of garlic 
1/4 cup of good olive oil 
a small chunk of chorizo sausage cut very finely 
a few sprigs of thyme, 4 -5 mint leaves torn & half a dozen basil leaves. Or any fresh herbs you have. 
1/4 cup of feta cheese 
a few shaves of parmesan cheese 
salt & pepper 
a few red pepper flakes 

Crush garlic clove with a knife blade and place in a mortar along with the salt, fresh black pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Gentle use the pestle to macerate these ingredients & let stand. Only crush the garlic a bit, do not make it into a paste. 

Cut cherry tomatoes lengthwise and place in a large bowl. Add finely minced chorizo, crumbled feta, thyme and torn mint leaves. Macerate garlic and oil mixture again and then discard garlic chunks. Pour oil mixture over tomatoes and toss. Just before serving, add torn basil leaves, a few shaves of parmasen & another grind of fresh black pepper. 

Add more or less of whatever you like, but I like to let the sweet flavor of the tomatos shine and have the other ingredients be background 

Monday, June 3, 2013


Eights months huh. 

Thats is like a lifetime in the blogosphere. 

And in someways that is appropriate. Since the last time I blogged there have been many changes in my life. The most notable perhaps, is that I am now blogging from London. East Putney to be exact. And, this is the biggest reason for my returning to this space. Leaving a place and going somewhere new, totally unexplored, its quite possibly the largest source of inspiration I can imagine. 

I have never lived anywhere but the US for more than a few months, but it is something I always knew I needed to do. And thus far I am incredibly happy. The landscape here is stunningly beautiful. So different from the hugeness and ruggedness of Northern California. In ways it reminds me of the places I grew up, but then again not exactly. They are cousins I would say, but not sisters.  
Living among so many layers of history is mind-boggling and the architecture has grabbed my heart instantly. I am sure there is a ferocity to this city, but I have yet to see that side. No doubt however that I will. 

Everything seems full up with the very best kind of Possibility and there is something quite delicious in that.  

I look forward to sharing the newest chapter here, from 10A. See you tomorrow.