Monday, December 17

Stocking Stuffers VI



Today I wanted to highlight one of my favorite jewelry designers, Kate Miss of For Me, For You.  She recently started working with clay and I'm crazy about this piece.

Photo Credit: Kate Miss Jewelry

Sunday, December 9

Stocking Stuffers V


I might be exceeding the stocking space, but let's assume you have a rather oversized stocking this year.  Fill it with this striped tote bag from West Elm.  It's a classic unisex style that's perfect for toting groceries, taking a weekend trip, or heading to the beach.  Now that my primary mode of transportation is my own two feet, I've found that a reusable, collapsable tote is my best friend.  

Photo Credit: West Elm

Saturday, December 8

Stocking Stuffers IV


For the wino in your life, a reusable grain sack to transport wine.  Wouldn't this be beautiful for a fall picnic?  I'll admit it's a little pricey, but it sure beats all the cheap liquor store wine bags I've ever seen.

Photo Credit: French Farmhouse

Wednesday, December 5

Stocking Stuffers III


Looking for a little artwork to brighten up your kitchen?  I recently saw a framed tea towel, and I've been searching for some affordable tea towels to put in our itty bitty kitchen.  Here's a cheery teacup towel that's just in my price range.

Photo Credit: Suzy Jack

Tuesday, December 4

Stocking Stuffers II


Full disclosure number one: I work at Anthropologie, so my fondness for this item might be based on the mere exposure effect.  Full disclosure number two: this bird note holder is adorable.  With a face like that, $18 seems low.

Photo Credit: Everyday Lovely

Friday, November 30

Stocking Stuffers I

I'll be bringing a full holiday gift guide to you all soon, but let's get the important stuff out of the way first: stocking stuffers.  I'll let you in on some of the fun, inexpensive little items I've found this season, starting now.


Here's round one... pretty matchbooks from Design Darling.  They're available in a variety of patterns, but I love the coral and ginger jar matchbooks.  

Thursday, November 29

A Return from my Hiatus

"Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably." - C.S. Lewis


About a month ago, I was writing a post about taking time to unwind more this fall instead of constantly going to my computer for entertainment, and as luck would have it, my computer (which also serves as my TV) conked out a few minutes before I had completed the post.

So, it's been a few weeks sans computer and while I didn't plan to disconnect so much, I've found I'm not exactly in a rush to get my computer up and running again*.  I can still borrow Laurent's (which made this post possible), and over the past month, I've had no excuse to put off trying out new recipes, going for walks, or getting through the stack of books I've recently acquired.  Here's to a fall full of delicious treats and good reads!

* It also might be because Toshiba no longer makes the part I need to fix my computer and I am not technologically savvy enough to find the replacement part on eBay.  Should I just cave and join the Mac nation?

Photo Credit: I Am An Age Old Tree

Thursday, November 22

Wednesday, November 7

It's Too Early, but...

 
I know Thanksgiving hasn't even hit yet, but with the impending winter storm, I'm feeling like Christmas will soon be upon us.  I received the West Elm holiday catalog the other day, and the bottle brush critters made my heart melt - I mean, just look at that fox!  It looks like 2012 will be the year for an all-critter tree. 


Photo Credit: West Elm

Sunday, October 28

In the Kitchen: Chai Snickerdoodles


A plain old snickerdoodle is usually my go-to cookie, but recently I had a chai snickerdoodle that was perfectly spicy and a little less sugary sweet than the traditional snickerdoodles I've had in the past.  I attempted a couple of recipes, and this one is the closest to the bakery treat I tried.  Mmmm... fall baking at its best!

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare at least 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg). Set aside.

In stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until combined.

Form dough into 2 inch balls and place on the baking sheet. Leave space for cookies to spread. Bake for approximately 13-15 minutes.  Remove cookies and transfer the parchment paper to a cooling rack.

Photo Credit: The Novice Chef   

Tuesday, October 23

Apple Picking

 
Yesterday Laurent and I took a little daytrip to Fishkill Farms about an hour north of Manhattan.  After a few months of busy work schedules and noisy city life, we were ready for a relaxing and quiet trip.  We picked up a couple of pumpkins, drank apple cider, snagged the last of the apple cider doughnuts, and had a little feast on the back patio overlooking the farm. 
 
If you're in the NYC area and looking for a idyllic activity, I highly recommend taking the Metro North train (the trip itself is relaxing and beautiful) and stopping off in Beacon for some fresh produce.  We opted to go on a weekday, but you can also swing by on the weekends for hayrides and live music.

Tuesday, October 16

Horror Movie October


Laurent and I are ringing in year two of Horror Movie October, and I'm turning to the interwebs for some advice.  This year we've watched: An American Werewolf in Paris, Halloween, and The Thing, and we have Silence of the Lambs, Rosemary's Baby, and the Exorcist waiting in the wings (against my better judgement).

Any suggestions?  The campier the better, and I would prefer to not be traumatized. 

Photo Credit: The Eye of Faith

Monday, October 15

What's Your Fall Look?

When fall rolls around, I stop getting creative with my wardobe and I fall back (no pun intended) on the basics. I am always on the search for comfy dresses, warm wool socks, and grandpa sweaters.
 

After searching far and wide this season, I have found what may be the coziest cardigan yet: the Bookshop Cardigan from Madewell.  Soft wool, reinforced elbow patches, two flat pockets for cool walks... be still my heart.  Here's how I would wear it, if I had a few hundred bucks laying around.

What's your go-to fall look?

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Thursday, October 11

Braid Bar


I read an annoucement over on For Me, For You today and while I don't like to repost what others have already posted, I think this is such a worthy cause and fun idea that I wanted to spread the word!

If you're in L.A., you can stop by Braids by Breslin, a fundraiser for Alison Breslin, who is facing enormous debt after having a tumor removed from her ovary.  You get to donate to a great cause and walk away with a great do!  Here's Alison's story:

Over the summer I had to have emergency surgery to have a grapefruit sized tumor in one of my ovaries removed, a sudden and shocking discovery during a routine exam. It was rapidly growing and compromising my organ function, and having been cut off of my insurance just mere days prior by my ex-boyfriend, I had no choice but to hand over my credit card to the hospital to perform the surgery. Which leads me to where I am today: buried in $15,000 of debt. I was incredibly fortunate to bounce back health-wise and I’m doing great now, but it’s impossible to get ahead and a daily stress on my life.

My friends and I put our heads together to figure out a fun way to have a fundraiser to help pay my medical bills. I’ve been braiding hair ever since I was a little girl, when my mom taught me how on my American Girl dolls. I’ve never stopped! Braids By Brislin is a braid bar fundraiser and a fun night of hair braiding and friends – to help me shave off some debt and to make some ladies feel pretty. Whitney of Myrtle has been lovely enough to host the event at her store, so I hope you can join us for a wonderful time.  We’ll be scheduling braids and accepting walk-ins, so email me to schedule a time or if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your support, I’m incredibly grateful!


If you don't live in L.A., but would like to help Alison out, please consider supporting her here.

Photo Credit: For Me, For You

Wednesday, October 10

Listening Library: Don Covay

 
When the weather's cool and the nights are getting darker, there's nothing better than the soulful bluesy style of Mr. Don Covay on his albums Mercy, Mercy and See-Saw.  I think I have to first suggest my favorite, I Stole Some Love.  Enjoy!  There's more where this came from. 


Saturday, October 6

Monday, October 1

Required Reading


My work schedule this week was such that I ended up with a long weekend!  After a couple of busy weeks, I decided to stay in with some hot tea, a pile of blankets, and a few good reads. 

Here's what I have on my shelf right now:

  • Kinfolk, Volume Five (I'm trying to pace myself... I usually go through each issue far too quickly!)
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (a smart, satirical read by a former Arrested Development writer)
  • The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (an old mystery favorite about Nick and Nora Charles, a glamourous couple who solve homicides on the side)
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (a beautifully written memoir chronicling the year after her husband's death)
  • The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson (a story about two adults returning to live with their eccentric, artsy parents)

I would love to hear some more suggestions for great fall reads!

Photo Credit: Kinfolk Magazine

Saturday, September 29

Style Solutions: Rainy Weather


The last couple of days have been pretty rainy here in NYC, which means I've been seeing hordes of tourists in yellow ponchos interspersed with ladies in Hunter boots and business men in full trenches.

What are your go-to's for rainy weather?  I like to layer an easy dress with a lightweight jacket and scarf so I can take off layers if the rain subsides. 

My best tip for rainy weather style is to buy an umbrella that has some sort of unique characteristic so you can identify it easily if you ever set it down.  There's nothing worse than putting your fully-functioning umbrella down in a store only to leave with a similar style that's missing a spring.  I am especially partial to the duck handle umbrellas- just whimsical enough to brighten up a dreary day.

 
Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Wednesday, September 26

Fall Favorites


What are you most excited for this fall?  Sleeping with the windows open?  Watching the leaves change?  Making the switch from light breakfasts to hearty warm meals?  Apple cider doughtnuts?  Hiking without the whole sticky sweat thing?  Cuddling without the whole sticky sweat thing? 

I love all things fall, but I get most excited to bring my wool socks out of retirement.  There's nothing more comforting than pulling on some warm socks and curling up on the weekends. 

I think this year, I'm going to spring for a few pairs of these, the creme de la creme of winter socks. Let the coziness commence!

Photo Credit: Andrew and Carissa

Tuesday, September 18

In the Kitchen: Brie, Pear, and Arugula Toasted Sandwich


Ingredients:

- 1 small package of brie (if you like the rind and it's not too tough, you can leave it on)
- 1/2 a medium sized Bosc pear
- 1/4 cup arugula
- 1/4 baguette, sliced in half
- 1/2 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 4 tablespoons raspberry jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash arugula and drain.  Wash and slice the pear into small slivers.  You can leave the skin on the outside.  Arrange the brie, pear slices, and arugula on a sliced baguette and place in the oven for approximately 6-8 minutes.  The brie should begin to melt and the pears should soften a bit, but you don't want the arugula to dry out or the bread to crisp too much. 

In a small sized bowl, combine the grainy mustard and the raspberry jam.  For this sandwich, I prefer less mustard, but if you like a more savory flavor, you can add more mustard to the mix.  Add to the sandwich and enjoy!

Photo Credit: Sweeteats

Monday, September 17

Farms Near NYC


Laurent and I are looking to take a little day trip soon, and we've settled on visiting a farm for fresh food, apple picking, and animal petting. We're just waiting for the weather to cool a few more degrees so we can enjoy some crisp autumn weather.

I've heard great reviews about the Stone Barns Farm and Fishkill Farms... but I thought I would go to the interwebs to solicit more suggestions*.  Anyone in the NYC area have some tips?  We would love to take the Metro North train along the Hudson River again!

* Ideally the farm would have: hiking nearby, a piglet petting area, apple cider doughnuts available, and a bluegrass band playing throughout our visit.  We will settle for 3 out of the 4. The doughnuts are non-negotiable.


Photo Credit: The Daily Muse

Friday, September 14

Mixing Patterns

 
I was recently watching a New York Times short about Fashion Week, and I heard a great tip from one of the interviewees.  She said that awhile back, she had fallen into a fashion slump.  Then, she began to look at her striped pieces of clothing as neutrals (just as you would a white tee or a pair of jeans) and started mixing them with other patterned pieces.  Don't these ladies look lovely?   


Wednesday, September 12

Fashionable Femme: Francoise Hardy

 
As far as style muses go, French singer/sondwriter Francoise Hardy ranks pretty high on my list.  In my mind, she's the quintessial cool French girl, and her style resonates as much today as it did in the sixties.  She mastered the cat eye look, the heavy fringe look, the striped shirt with faded denim look, the pared-down mod look... I could go on forever.  
 
Instead, let's just look at the photographic evidence and listen to some of her timeless tunes.




 
Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The Daybed


My sister and her boyfriend are coming to visit next month, which means that I'm in the process (the very early stages) of finding a sleeping solution.  Our Ikea couch is comfy for one, but a little cramped to accomodate two guests. 


I stumbled upon this vintage army day bed which folds up, and while this might not be the most sturdy of solutions - Have you ever slept on one?  They can be rickety as hell. - it is the most beautiful use of a cot I've seen.  I would love to have a spot next to a window to curl up and read if it looked like this!

Photo Credit: Hickory and Juniper

Monday, September 10

Do or Don't: Knee Socks

If you stop by Duly Noted often, you've probably noticed that I read A Cup of Jo regularly.  Today, she had two great posts and both featured fashionable ladies sporting knee socks (granted, one was an elementary school student, but hey... I get a lot of great fashion guidance from children)  Maybe it's the suddenly brisk fall temperatures, but I'm hooked! 
 
 
I like how this look can look adorable on someone young, like the lovely Ella (who was featured today on A Cup of Jo, modeling Heidi-style braids) and cozy on someone older (like these Hatch models).

What do you think? 

Photo Credit: Hatch

Thursday, September 6

In the Kitchen: Homemade Pizza


Ingredients:

Dough:
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons

Toppings:
1 small yukon potato
3 springs of thyme
5 cloves of garlic
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
8 oz. can peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup of arugula
1/4 cup of red onion

Directions:

Put bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine.  While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball.  If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces.  Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Roll out the dough to make a pizza crust.  Take the peeled tomatoes and pulse in a mixer for no more than 5-10 seconds.  If you want the sauce to be somewhat thick, you can pour the tomatoes through a strainer after pulsing them in the mixer and use only the leftover thick sauce in the strainer.  Spoon the sauce onto the pizza crust. 

Boil two cups of water on the stove.  Cut the potato into thin slices (they should be as thin as possible, so you don't get a thick crunch).  Place the potato slices in the boiling water and let cook for 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften.  They'll continue to cook once they are in the oven. 

Cut the thyme, garlic, and red onion as you like and arrange on the pizza with the potatoes.  You'll need to cover the arugula with mozzarella the prevent it from burning. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and add the pizza for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until the mozzarella begins to bubble and brown slightly.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then enjoy!

Photo Credit: Petit Chef

Friday, August 31

Have an Adventurous (Long) Weekend!


What are you up to for Labor Day weekend?  We've been having a little NYC staycation the last two days - we already took the tram to Roosevelt Island, treated ourselves to some comfort food on the west side, and got our Eddie Murphy fix last night with Coming to America.

I'm in search of some wall art, so tomorrow I'll be heading to the Brooklyn Flea to hopefully find some vintage prints that will work in our space.  Wish me luck!  Fingers crossed Dough will have some of their amazing donuts at the Flea Market.  It is a holiday weekend after all...

Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts!

Photo Credit: Remain Simple

Wednesday, August 29

Listening Library: Peggy Lee


This week, Laurent and I (well, mostly Laurent) have started the task of sorting through and organizing the hundreds of records we have in our apartment.  We've found so many gems, and I'm especially enjoying American jazz singer/songwriter Peggy Lee this week. 
 
She's most well known for hits like "Fever" and "Lover", but I'm going back in the vault for her breakthrough hit, "Why Don't You Do Right".  Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 28

Fashionable Femme: Violaine Bernard


I'm going to try out a new feature here at Duly Noted to highlight some lovely ladies with amazing personal style.

First up... Violaine Bernard, fashion director at Velour magazine.  I can't get enough of her cozy French look and then there's her hair!  Doesn't her style feel so refreshingly simple and refined? 





Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Monday, August 27

Laughs for Monday Morning


After a brief hiatus, I'm back... and I brought Lionel Ritchie humor with me.  Enjoy your week!

Photo Credit: Pump is Pumping

Wednesday, August 15

PopSpots by Bob Egan

I stumbled upon PopSpots by Bob Egan today, and I couldn't stop checking out his work.  He tracks down the exact location where famous events in pop culture have happened, photographs the location, and overlays the historical photo.

Some of my favorites...


The Who's "The Kids are Alright" album cover


West Side Story album cover


Neil Young's "After the Goldrush" album cover


My Name is New York by Nora Guthrie and the Woodie Guthrie archives

Photo credit: PopSpots
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