Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hallows’ Eve Libations

The Spellbound Cocktail, courtesy of coco + kelley

Here on the East Coast, Halloween is an especially frightening time, thanks to Frankenstorm.  Many areas are still without power and coastal damage is immense, causing some cities and states to reschedule the holiday altogether. Luckily, Philadelphia was not hit as hard as many other areas, but for me, a quiet night at home still feels like the most fitting way to observe this scarier than usual occasion.

My prescription for a stay-at-home celebration of moderate proportions? A festive drink, a pumpkin-stuffed meal, and a classic scary movie (think The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, Psycho, and the like.) For those without power? Up the creepy-shadows factor with lots of strategically placed candles, substitute a Ouija board (or rounds of monster-themed Scrabble) for the movie, and double up on the drinks. (You've earned it!)

Here are a few of my suggestions for the evening...

Ginger & Apple & Bourbon

Sherwood Forest Cocktail

Campfire Martini

Blood Orange Manhattan

However you decide to celebrate, here's hoping that your Halloween is (safe) and happy! Cheers!

Images: as linked above.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I’m back! I’ll be sharing more about my trip to Paris soon, but today I’m sharing the best part…I got engaged!
It happened on the second night of my trip, when my sweetheart and I were standing together on the Pont Louis Philippe admiring the Seine. Suddenly; he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The idea didn't catch me off guard, (we've been together five years), but the moment did. I looked at him with surprise, the ring with delight, and then proceeded to cry and put the ring on my finger without ever answering him! Eventually, I got it together enough to say “yes,” to the man who has always treated me as if I’m nothing less than extraordinary…

Image: designRlife

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Maison de Verre, Part I

Maison de Verre - The Best House in Paris
One of things I’m beyond excited about with my upcoming trip to Paris is the chance to tour the modernist masterpiece, La Maison de Verre. Are you familiar with it? I read this New York Times article about this great work about a year ago, and became instantly intrigued. 

Pierre Chareau - Maison de Verre from Not Made TV on Vimeo.

From there, I stumbled upon this captivating video, (narrated by a woman with a lovely French accent, of course), and feel in love. I decided to use this fascinating work of architecture as the precedent for my thesis project and studied it down to the last detail.  Over and over again, I was struck by the meticulous care and thought with which it was designed, and the sheer poetic awe it inspired in those that had the privilege to experience it in person.

The Maison de Verre is a private home and as such, is not open to the public. But Robert Rubin, its current owner, is an architectural historian who seems to have a soft spot for others that share his passion and vocation. To that end, limited 10-person tours are offered on Thursdays alone, and open only to those in architecture and related fields. Thankfully, the stars have aligned for yours truly, and through luck (i.e. two cancellations) and a shiny new degree in interior design, I will be visiting the Maison de Verre in person next week. Whoo-hoo!!

(Stay tuned for a full report - Maison de Verre, Part II :) 

Images: 1, 2, 3

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Foodie Friday 10.7.12

Savory Spring Onion and Pancetta Waffles

Ok, so maybe it's Sunday, and not Friday, but...  Two years ago I had the insane desire to make savory waffles. I searched everywhere for recipes, but couldn't find much of anything on the salty side of sweet to inspire me. Until now. When I came across Salted & Styled's recipe for Savory Spring Onion and Pancetta Waffles, I knew that this was the pocketed wonder that would launch my savory waffle sojourn. Rich, salty Italian bacon, fresh green onions and dollops of maple butter... Seriously?? 

Yep, I'm making this one tonight!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Here's to Hue - Orange & Gray

One of my favorite spaces, the Dior Suite at The St.Regis New York, as featured in my recent post for Apartment Therapy. You can see the rest of my picks for inspiring orange and gray rooms here, if you'd like...


Bonjour, Merci, Mon Chéri

Our first Christmas together, my sweetheart gave me two guide books, one for Paris and one for Venice, and said, "pick one". My first reaction was delight (naturally)! My second was, "how will I ever choose??"

To understand where I was coming from, I need to take you back to a few years. First, to my years as an undergrad, when I switched majors and gleefully discovered that my new major had a language requirement. (Crazy, I know.) But I'd always wanted to learn Italian, and now I had the chance. I threw myself into my language classes (well, as much as one can when carrying a full load and working full-time), and by the time a graduated, I was dreaming in Italian.

Fast forward (a few) years. I'm living on the East Coast, in Philadelphia, working as a buyer for Anthropologie. Europe is closer than it's ever been for this California native, and my life has begun to feel, well, more French. Something about the insanely creative people with whom I work, the architecture of my new city, the water... who knows? But suddenly, I'm daydreaming en français. 

I met my sweetheart while deep in my love affair with France, but still with a soft spot for my first love, Italy. Unfortunately, soon after we met, I also started grad school and life, (as it does) got in the way of travelling. Thankfully, my better half was not to be deterred, and last Christmas (four years exactly after his initial guide book gift), he announced, "I'm taking you to Paris for graduation." This time there was no second thoughts. Paris it is! (Yippee!!)

All of this is a very long-winded way of saying that I'm going to Paris. In one week. Yikes! For someone who's been wanting to visit the City of Light for so long, I feel oddly unprepared. I haven't learned French, I still need to loose the few extra pounds gained in grad school and I've only half-read all of the books on French life that I've been collecting over the years...

Luckily, my better half has been to Paris before and knows enough French to pass himself off as an uncertain Canadian (maybe). And I have my blogs...

David Lebovitz's gastro-intensive advice on where to eat (complete with dining and etiquette tips),

(Not to mention his pastry app for finding the best pastries in any part of the city!), 

Little Brown Pen's beautiful visions of everyday life

And even if it rains (which apparently it likes to do in October), I'll still be in Paris! (And I can't wait...!)

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11