June 30, 2014
June 27, 2014
Portland is a very casual city. You can pretty much count on the fact that anywhere you go, if you’re dressed in nice jeans, you’ll be okay. Am I right? Well, I was wrong last night…
Natalie and I were invited by ELLE to join them at Seventy Seven Salon for complimentary consultations, DJ-spun tunes and desserts. Perfect! Except when I left my building in my jeans, espadrille flats and sweater to head to the event, something told me I was looking a little too casual. I ignored my gut (don’t they say never to do that?), and kept walking.
My trusty partner in crime had previous engagements to tend to, so I was goin’ it alone. Normally, that fact doesn’t bother me, but something about my casual look was making me insecure (there’s my gut again). The minute I hit the salon’s front door, I knew my gut was right…my look was oh so wrong.
The event’s photo booth, equipped with a stylish photographer, led into a buzzing crowd of fashionistas, hairstylists, enthusiasts of all kinds, and maybe some Portlanders incognito. Suit jackets accessorized by pocket squares, lovely dress ensembles paired with Manolo Blahnik’s and a lot of too-cool-for-school hair everywhere I looked.
In the end, awesome event that I love to see happening in Portland (thank you, ELLE, for the invite!), but next time, I’ll know to ask about dress code so I come in my most bangin’ dress and heels. A girl can always use an excuse to get dressed up.
June 25, 2014
Modern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected Style by Kelly Wearstler. I could get lost in home decor books, looking at the colors, textures, accessorizing, and this Kelly Wearstler masterpiece is a real treat both for reading and displaying.
Foolproof by Ina Garten. I have almost all of Ina’s cookbooks, but this one is probably my favorite. Really simple food, and with ingredients you can find in your kitchen. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be good.
GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. “A #GIRLBOSS takes her life seriously without taking herself too seriously. She takes chances and takes responsibility on her own terms. She knows when to throw punches and when to roll with them. When to button up and when to let her freak flag fly.” (amazon.com) By that statement alone, I’m on my way to get this book, I love it.
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. I’m about to start the TV series, and everybody knows books are better than any TV or movie production. Must get on this ASAP.
June 23, 2014
My new condo is presenting a real interior design conundrum. You see, I love to cook and have people over for dinner, but there isn’t exactly space for a full blown table and chairs situation (yeah, my condo is tiny). So I’ve been exploring some alternative dining solutions, and I think I’ve found the best fit.
Image via CasaSugar
A variety of poufs and floor pillows laid around a large, low coffee table creates a fun dining vibe – maybe not the most comfortable (sorry friends!) but great for casual get togethers. These are a few seating pieces I have my eye on to create my transitional dining space.
Shelly Kilim Pouf from One Kings Lane ($129)
Moroccan Wedding Pouf from West Elm ($199)
Moroccan Pouf from Etsy ($425)
Alseda Stool from IKEA ($29.99)
Faux Mongolian Lamb Pouf from West Elm ($149)
Moroccan Leather Pouf from One Kings Lane ($199)
June 20, 2014
I just started drinking coffee two weeks ago. I know, right? My parents didn’t drink coffee when I was growing up, and I’ve always hated anything coffee flavored, so I never developed the habit. Well, that changed pretty drastically when Phil brought home a French press and a bag of Sisters Coffee dark roast a couple weeks ago. All it took was one mug of extra hot coffee with steamed almond milk (yeah, I have a milk steamer, I’m kind of a kitchen gadget nerd), and suddenly I’m head-over-heels in passionate love with coffee. For the record, I still hate anything coffee flavored. Some habits die hard.
Speaking of things I’m passionately in love with, please meet Deb from Smitten Kitchen’s strawberry rhubarb crisp bars. Normally, I would never think to make this sort of baked good, but I had a few stalks of rhubarb in my CSA box that I didn’t know what to do with, and pretty much every recipe that came up under a “rhubarb recipe” google search was a riff on the strawberry/rhubarb combo, so I figured, why not?
Wellllllllll, they’re amazing. Especially when eaten for breakfast with a big glob of Greek yogurt on top. And coffee, because that’s what I drink now. The sugar/caffeine combo kind of gives me the jitters, but who doesn’t like a little morning buzz?
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars
(pulled pretty much verbatim from Smitten Kitchen)
makes 8 bars
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup plus up to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1 cup small-diced rhubarb (about 1 1/2 medium stalks)
1 cup small-diced strawberries
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place oats, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar and salt in bottom of 8×8 inch baking pan and mix. Pour melted butter over and stir until clumps form. If the clumps feel soft or look overly damp, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of flour. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture. Press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.
Spread half of the fruit over the crust. Sprinkle it evenly with cornstarch, then lemon juice and 1/2 Tablespoon of granulated sugar. Spread remaining fruit over the top and top with second 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar. Scatter reserved crumbs over the fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and smells toasty and amazing.
Let cool in pan, either in the fridge or at room temperature, before cutting into 8 pieces. Store leftovers in the fridge.