Judge a Book by its Color!

20 Apr

I love color. So I was shocked when I walked into my local West Elm and saw color coded books, that I had never thought of that concept before. The idea stuck in my mind until i finally spent a Saturday afternoon, de-shelving my books and then figuring out what colors the binding was.  Some books were hard to classify.  Is it more orange or white? Or is it more purple or green? I stopped being so anal about my choices and just did it. And voila… my pretty, pretty bookshelves!


Social Media Week: Part 1- Sharing your Pretty Home

6 Mar

Social Media Week was a few weeks ago in NYC and all over the world. I am finally coming down from my learning high and processing all the information I learned and applying it to my social media life.

Since then I have been “active” on pinterest and signed up for some apps that are really groovy and Jetson-esque.

But to start off my campaign of Social Media Week-inspired blog posts, I wanted to share
some lessons learned from the discussion titled “Digital Voyeurism: How Sharing Real Homes in Real Time is Changing the Way We Decorate.”

The discussion featured:
Bryan Batt (@Bryan_Batt), Salvator from Mad Men who also owns a design shop in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jeanine Hays, (@AphroChic), Founder and Creative Director of AphroChic

From aphrochicshop.com.

Christiane Lemieux(@dwellstudio), Founder and Creative Director

The nuggets of wisdom that I took away:

-Forget the karate chopped pillows. Live in your space.

-Love where you live. Start with one thing you love and make your home yours.

-Batt: If it looks right to you than it is right

-Hays loves pinterest because you can check out step-by-step DIY projects

-Batt: Have fewer formal living spaces. Life is too long not to enjoy your dining room. Use it beyond Thanksgiving or Christmas.

From luxecrush.com/style/article/mad-mens-bryan-batt-goes-martha-with-his-latest-style-book

– Lemieux: Social media creates reverse inspiration. Magazines are being inspired by real people on pinterest, rather than the other way around.
-Buy from target. Mix high and low.

– Batt: In the 60’s, you had your room and it stayed that way. Now you can change it. You don’t have to feel constricted by formality.

-Hays: West Elm likes to see how people personalize their products. It is about how people live.

– Hays: I wasn’t seeing me reflected in the market, so I started Afro chic.

– Lemieux: When I design I always think of kids in a space.

-Batt: Details are so important and forget the dirt and clutter. We don’t want to see it.

-Afrochic: We don’t want to see your garbage can or your cluttered desk.

-Batt: Simple things make a difference.

– Lemieux: Move your furniture around.

– Hays: Showcase your collections.

– Lemieux: I like to show off art books.

-Batt: I like to have funny photos up.

-Pinterest helps you see patterns in your own aesthetic

-Don’t blog unless you use your own name.

-Find things that speak to you.

-If you’re creative just do it. Your don’t want to be on your deathbed with regrets.

-Hays: If you have unique voice it is your duty to speak out.

-Be inspired by anything theater, art, nature. Someone designed everything. Think about the world like that.

– Lemieux: I like to hit up my top 10 blogs and then go down the rabbit hole of the internet when I have time.

-You need a pretty picture for blogs

-You’ll never be upset with a flea market find

Happy day!

Did someone say HOT DOG?

27 Jan

Anyone who says they don’t love spaghetti and hot dogs is a liar. Or they’ve never tried it. It is one of my go to easy, comfort foods that make me want to run under a blanket and snuggle. I’ve seen variations on this dish before but I would have never thought of this. I have no idea who this picture belongs to but I can not wait to try it! Results to follow!Image

Ode to Regis

25 Nov

When I was a young lass,
cute as can be,
I often was sick,
so I watched TV.

When I tuned into Channel Seven,
That’s ABC,
I got to see Regis,
and I was filled with glee.

He was like an uncle,
who was sour and grumpy,
especially when compared to his co-hosts
so lucky.

But when I would hear tales
of stars and food,
I never found him
even a little bit rude.

But now at 9 a.m.
when I put on the box,
no more Reeg’,
Just Kelly the fox.

And so on Friday,
November 18, 2011
Regis Philbin’s TV career
went to heaven.

But we can be glad
because even though it is his eve.
We never know what he has
up his sleeve.

When Life Hands you Thanksgiving Make…

24 Nov

…Thanksgiving Pie!

I’m an idea person. I come up with plenty. Sometimes implementing can be somewhat fishy, or turkey as the case may be. I’ve been watching The Chew and reading Thanksgiving recipes online and I was inspired to try something new. A sort of “dyslexic thanksgiving meal,” as one friend put it.

And so I created the Thanksgiving Pie.

Starts out with a layer of oatmeal mixed with brown sugar.
On top of that, canned pumpkin, mixed with pumpkin pie spice.
Sounds good so far…right???
But this is where it gets a little too weird…
Browned ground turkey with salt and pepper.
Homemade stuffing, i.e. sautéed carrots and celery with sage and rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper, with some toasted bread crumbs and chicken soup stock.
And on top of that, canned cranberry sauce topped with a little bit of brown sugar.

The bottom layers were quite excellent, but when the turkey meshed with my wierdo stuffing a big thumbs down. BOOOOO!

Even though this was not a total success, I still learned a lot. Maybe hold off on combining sweet and savory?  Maybe I just should not have had the stuffing? And maybe I’ll try this again?

Until next time, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Dina and Julia

13 Nov

When I was little and saw Julia Child on TV (and I was always watching TV), I thought she was weird and boring and always flipped past the channel quickly.

A few years later, while watching Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, I got reintroduced to Julia Child through her Belgian waffles and chocolate cake, which looked killer.

And then a few years ago, I saw Julie and Julia. Since then I have been a wee bit enamored with the legend. Meryl Streep was amazing and dead on, especially compared to the lackluster “Julie” portions of the film. Later on, at a book reading at my local Barnes and Noble (R.I.P), when I saw the real Julie Powell describing cheating on her husband and making cased sausages…the feeling was equally lackluster.

In the film, I love Julia’s passion for food, Paris and life. I was so inspired that I bought My Life in France, from which the film was partially adapted. In it I learned that Julia only found her passion for food when she was 36. Isn’t that amazing! It took Julia Child and her partner, Simone Beck, ten years to complete the manuscript and get Mastering the Art of French Cooking on book shelves 50 years ago. There was plenty of rejection, but Julia and Simone stuck to their guns with encouragement from another friend, Avis DeVoto.

I also learned that she spent a few years in Germany and Norway. Her husband’s career as a USIS (United States Information Service) officer forced them to move around the world based on his assignments, which is how she wound up in Paris in the first place.

When I was in Paris, I had the privilege of visiting Julia and Paul’s first apartment in Paris, 81 Roo de Loo (81 Rue de l’Universite) It was so cool to see the place where she first started cooking and slept as she fell in love with French cuisine. Walking around the quiet neighbor sandwiched between the Musee d’Orsay, Musee Rodin and Les Invalides, its no wonder she had such a wonderful time in the City of Lights.

Bon Appetit!

Eat the Chicken. Take the Broth.

4 Nov

I know Rosh Hashanah was a while ago but I must tell you about this amazing pomegranate chicken I made. It is from Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design, a great book with phenomenal ideas and very awkward commentary that I sometimes find myself copying (like when you try to describe wine with a hint of cherry in an oak barrel, but really it just tastes like wine.)

While the recipe was great, I had all of this wonderful chicken, pomegranate broth afterward that I just felt to guilty to throw out. Not only do I hate wasting food but stocks are some of the best ways to make soup or marinade meats.

So, after some thought, I saved the broth for about a week in a rubbermaid container and took out my Le Crueset dutch oven and went to my local butcher and asked for 1 lb. of brisket. They looked at me like I had 9 eyes and said how many people are you cooking for? I said 2 and they happily cut off a slab of beef. And so, I put the broth (after skimming the fat)  in the dutch oven with the brisket, let it come to a boil and simmered for 2-3 hours and VOILA a yummy flavorful slice of meat that was super easy to make and eat 🙂