Monday, June 25, 2012

Easy Vinaigrette

via Food 52
I found this recipe for an easy French vinaigrette on Joanna Goddard's website, Cup of Jo. I can't wait to try it out.

There are two kinds of vinaigrette makers. Those who add honey, agave or some sort of sweetener to button up the acidity and tone down any strong flavors, and those who embrace the vinegars and uncouth garlic, and let it all hang out. I'm firmly in this latter group. I like a masochistic salad with bitter greens and an assertive dressing. I like to know I'm eating salad, damn it, and that the dressing is my master.

Green goddess, Caesar and bagna cauda sauce are my heroes. And my go-to vinaigrette is an homage to them all. I mash together an anchovy with just a tiny tot of a garlic clove (garlic doesn't take much to get its point across) and salt. The salt helps grind them up. Then I dilute this paste with fresh lemon juice--and do use a fresh lemon, an old lemon will ruin this dressing and your dinner--and Dijon. You can season the dressing with freshly ground black pepper, but I sometimes like to add the faintest spark of pimento d'espelette (or the like: cayenne, crushed red pepper flakes). Then it's up to a good but not fancy olive oil to lash it all together.

Recipe: My Go-To Vinaigrette

You'll need:
1 anchovy
1 small garlic clove
Juice from half of a nice fresh lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil, something good but not too fancy
Freshly ground black pepper or small pinch piment d'espelette

In a mortar and pestle, mash the anchovy, garlic, and a pinch of salt to a paste. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir to break up the anchovy paste. Beat in the mustard. Either beat or whisk in the olive oil, a few glugs at a time. The vinaigrette should emulsify but will never become super tight and even, and that's ok. Season with the pepper or chilis. Wash some sturdy or bitter greens, and you're on your way to salad paradise.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012


These works of art are made from the text of the books they represent. The above print is made from approximately the first third of Emma. Gorgeous!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Polaroid is BACK...and better than ever

via Brit

Oh. My. Goodness. I want this! Polaroid has created an instant photo camera that allows you to preview the pictures and then print them out immediately (providing the instant gratification of the old school Polaroid with the modern improvements of digital cameras). It's a little pricey but I think it might be worth the cost. Thoughts? There is also this much less expensive instant camera from Fuji Film. Time will tell which one is worth it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Striped Pillow

These pillows would look great in the summer time but have the ability to transition throughout the whole year. They come in some pretty great colors, too!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hydrangea Tray

This melamine hydrangea tray is so gorgeous that you can leave it out on a table as decoration. It also serves a purpose as a tray. Beautiful and practical. What every house needs.

(I find so many handsome decorations in Country Living Magazine that I just have to share everything.)

Friday, June 08, 2012

Nautical Necklace

via Hallelu

Summer is here so I am all about anything and everything nautical inspired. I found this necklace online at a little shop called Hallelu and I just adore it! Now I just need the tan to go with it. 

Nautical Love

Oh how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love this charming nautical set for children so much that it makes me want to have a baby YESTERDAY just to decorate the room!

Sarah Jane said she set out to make nautical feminine and she did just that! The fabrics, the patterns, the soft colors. It all works beautifully and cohesively to create a soothing and inspiring look. 

Starbucks Moves to French Bakery

Starbucks is moving into the bakery business. According to recent news, Starbucks has purchased a small artisan bakery chain Bay Bread and its 19-unit La Boulange bakery brand. Apparently Starbucks is looking to expand beyond coffee. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Last year I made a pact with myself to find something to be grateful for every day. It was a beautiful and inspiring pact, a great idea, and it really did change the way I viewed life. I found myself looking, really looking, for the things in life to be grateful for and the lessons that could be pulled from every event/conversation/obstacle. Unfortunately, I stopped doing this after one month. I don't know why I stopped and if I look back I'm sure I can find tiny reasons that added up and caused me to stop documenting. But I didn't stop searching, I've never stopped. I have continued to see the blessings and feel gratitude every day of my life. It's just who I am. But I stopped documenting it publicly. Work got in the way. Daily tasks got in the way. Exhaustion got in the way. But I really want to bring this back because I think it's an inspiring way to publicly express my gratitude for the way things fall into place. The cosmic alignment, if you will. The lessons that are everywhere, if you choose to look for them.

The writers whom I most greatly admire are the ones who can find those lessons, those poignant moments, in every day life. I want to give them credit here because I would love it if more people read their words and were inspired by their observations on life. Aidan Donnelley Rowley, Lindsey Mead, Ali Edwards, Elise Blaha. These are just a few of the people whose blogs I read on a daily basis. They write poignantly about life and love and struggles and conflict. They write about finding beauty where none seems to exist. They are positive and upbeat. They look for the best in things. They are honest and authentic. They don't sugarcoat their lives but they try to find the piece of truth in everything they experience. And as my nine-year old niece tells me, "Everything happens for a reason."

Today I am grateful for words. The words we write. The words we read. The thoughts expressed that make us feel less alone, more understood, united. Pat Conroy said it best, "From the beginning, I wrote to explain my own life to myself, and I invited readers who chose to make the journey with me to join me on the high wire." This is my journey.

Stately Sandwiches

Stately Sandwiches is the brainchild of design student Kelly Pratt. She is busy creating a sandwich board for all 50 states. My home state of Massachusetts is the "Fluffernutter" but unfortunately, I'm not a peanut butter and fluff fan. I might have to buy California because the "Powerhouse" seems much more my taste. (Pun fully intended!)
Here's more from Kelly:
I've set out to make the sandwich for each of the 50 states, hence the name Stately Sandwiches. It will be quite a delicious journey across the US. Before I make each sandwich I do research on the internet, call local sandwich shops, ask foodies on twitter and check out a few books to be sure I do my best to properly represent a state. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Are you joining Oprah's Book Club 2.0? She relaunched her club on Monday with a great selection, WILD by Cheryl Strayed.

Beach Blankets

I just discovered these beach blankets on Joanna Goddard's blog. I love the look of them! The stripes, the bright colors and the size. According to Joanna, "they're thin and lightweight, so you can carry them easily (or stuff one into a bag), and then spread them out for a grassy picnic or napping on the sand. We've used it a million times; I'd highly recommend them!" 

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Rainbow Table

What a clever way to brighten up a table! I found this on Elise Blaha's website and just had to share. I love a DIY project that is simple but creates a splash!


These calendars from Red Stamp are a great way to brighten up your desktop background. You can also get them for your iPhone or Androids. So vibrant and femine! Check out their Facebook page for downloads.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Cute Birthday Cards

I just love these birthday cards. They are so cute and clever. Color in the number of candles that corresponds with the number of years your recipient is celebrating.