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


- 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


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


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

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


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
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