Hecate and Styx have a great friend, Breanna Carlson, who pretty much kicks arse in every respect. She's incredibly smart (professor at Parsons and F.I.T. in NYC), talented (jet-setting architect), accomplished (the degrees and credentials are too numerous to count), fun (viva Miami!), funny (you carried people on your back through the rising water in Venice for REAL?), GORGEOUS, and point blank- a wonderful person. We don't see enough of her up here in the Arctic Circle, but that's why we attempt to document our time together as much as possible. Anyone lucky enough to spend time in this woman's company would be wise to take advantage- she's an incredibly special woman. (I mean, just look at her - she's a work of art)
Last month, Hecate and Bre went to a wedding together (holy hot couple alert) ((yeah right)), and I had the opportunity to hang with those stunning creatures for a night. Followed by Sunday brunch at Hell's Kitchen (go there! ASAP!! It's que ridiculo!!!). The evidence of our happy fun times together:
We enjoyed a wonderful meal at Uptown Italian joint - Rinata. Great food, great wine, questionable service (seems to be the trend these days), and terrific company. If you're in the mood for some pasta, eggplant, bruschetta, or Frank singing "Fly Me to the Moon", head to Rinata. Well worth it.
The next day, Hecate and Bre headed to Montgomery, MN to kick up some dirt, and give the rural town some of the most excitement they've seen since the cowboys and Indians settled their differences. Wonder if anyone noticed they were there??
And the weekend came to a close at Hell's Kitchen, with another amazing friend - Brandy Pickens. Talk about woman power -- between the four of us we have an impressive resume (professional, personal, and otherwise...) and closets full of luscious shoes!
Who said rain showers had to bring out anything less than outstanding footwear? My galoshes of choice:
Robert Clergerie. Yum. Bre- you rock my world with these bad boys. I wear them every time it rains, and those times when I'm having a genX Dorothy moment..
Check out the latest brilliant editorial in Vogue Italia:
Take me there! Oh please! Outfit me in a stunning pant suit and dump me in a backdrop like this (preferably with a glass of crisp vino and a cannoli or ten)!
And I know Hecate's immediate ooohaaahh moment with this one is for the hair. Mine, however, is for the chair. Rrrrrraaarrrr!
(Click to enlarge. It's sooooo worth it.)
Oh Vogue Paris and Vogue Italia. I love thee so. Why must you cost so much in America, where our other choice is the washed up, years behind the curve, Jennifer Aniston-touting American Vogue? Pffffff... thank heavens for the internet. And a grand imagination. (And a liquor store around the corner.)
Something about endless clouds and sub-t-shirt-and-open-toe-shoe-wearing weather makes me cry SANCTUARY! And fall head over platforms for this:
Maybe this gal needs a house cleaner for a winter? Oh shite, what to do with the offspring.... Uh, maybe she needs a dog chaser too?? Dammit anyway..
(image courtesy of decorno.blogspot.com)
I was never all that great of an artist. Musically, sure, I can hang. But putting pen/marker/crayon/charcoal to a surface and making something otherworldly out of it was never really my forte. Hecate on the other hand- she's always had a talent for that sort of creativity, and though I tried to emulate her penmanship for years until my own was formed (yes, sis, I totally copped your style on that one), I haven't ever developed my inner artiste.
When I see work like the below - edgy, current, bold, vibrant - I appreciate it. How can someone put to paper my dazzling dreams of ostentatious outfitting? I want to be these women. I fantasize about them before I know they exist and then I see them and think- wow, that's me, personified. Why can't I do that like they can? Or maybe I do.. and instead of drawing it I live it ?
Art is everywhere among us, and I embrace it in all of its impressive forms. I think I might sign up for sketching lessons now..
OH! And since we're talking about art, check THEEEEEEEEEESE beauties out!!
(images courtesy of garancedore.fr, igorandandre.blogspot.com, kingdomofstyle.com)
Ever since I started furnishing my first, real, bonafide, adult, long-term home nearly two years ago, I've developed a few obsessions. One is the dining room. Partly due to my love for entertaining (see previous posts for more about that), and in part because I view the dining space as an opportunity for juxtaposition and self-expression unlike any other room, save for the living room (more to come on that), I have an affection for dining spaces that rivals my shoe fetish. But not quite.... (more to come on that, too) Ha!
I admit- I was, and still am, a devoted Sex and the City follower. Can't say I jumped on that bandwagon immediately (I mean, who in college really has HBO anyway?) But when L-Boogie would bring home the box sets back in 2001, there's no question we would blow away hours of every day on the couch with a bowlful of pasta (yes, Ma and Pa, this is why I never graduated from college), transporting ourselves into Carrie's world of big city bliss.
BUT, as big a fan as I still am today (I saw the episode when Carrie and Aidan broke up the other day- broke my heart.. again..), there is only so far my fandom will go. These earrings are too far out:
Know anyone who would actually wear these "handmade" baubles? I don't. Except for, maybe, Carrie Bradshaw..
(image courtesy of regretsy.com)
Junior's quote of the week:
Mommy, I'm a nice boy. I didn't kick my friends. I didn't hit my friends. I didn't bite my friends in the face. Can we go to Target?
Look at this pic of Mr. Wonderful and tell me if YOU believe him. Ha!!
Thursday Inspiration Board
Fall is in full effect here in the great up north, and invariably I begin to obsess. Mostly about shoes/boots and the like, but instead of keeping my little sartorial treasures to myself, I'll share with you today. Here's what Styx is feeling:
Always on point - Paris Vogue. Their style over the pond KILLS American Vogue every time (see comparison here:)
Need I say more?
My hair god refuses to believe I'll ever achieve growth past my shoulders, and maybe he's right.. But in the meantime, I guess I'm doing my part to combat the lack of lustre in Minneapolis living. (Fear not, I'm staying far away from the can of bleach this time.)
(As an aside- hard to believe the pic below was taken just 12 hrs prior to these ^^. The transformative powers of an amazing hair dude are REAL. Just don't go asking Matt for my style or I'm-a-have-ta-cut-cha..)
It's been four years since the Goddesses of the Underworld welcomed a little sorcerer into their lives- the offspring of Styx has impacted our lives in such a way no one could have ever predicted. We love this little dude, and can't believe all it takes to make him the happiest little devil on the planet is to give him some pumpkin socks on his 4th birthday. Feliz cumpleanos bambino!!
Many of us mourned the loss of Domino magazine last year. I would tell Hecate it's a shame they put that aspirational, perfectly-suited-to-my-aesthetic publication under when their sister mag - Lucky - was such a huge pile of crap. Has anyone seen it lately? It's almost like they took snapshots of the reeeally, reeeeeally bad outfits Midwestern soccer moms wear, and endorse it as "the next big thing in fashion!!" So it's total garbage that Domino got 86'ed and I'm still plagued by underwhelming Lucky mags in my mailbox each month, but here's the latest bright spot:
Lonny Magazine is a brand new online magazine that is like the cyberspace little sis of Domino - it's stylish, expansive, deal-driven without losing sight of what works in a space, and they've enlisted loads of former-Domino editors alongside other notable decor-geniuses. It's worth a look - I've already (electronically) dog-eared half of the first issue!
Aw, come ON. Are you serious?
Will anyone please provide me with one good reason why I shouldn't be entitled to a trip to Paris Fashion Week every year? Pffffff, I digress. In the meantime I'm in some sort of diaphanous dreamland looking at the well-heeled bottom half of these three Paris Vogueettes.
(image courtesy of jakandjil.com)
Growing up in Minnesota, Hecate and I were raised with a strong appreciation for two very important things:
Dinner together was SOP in our household- even (or especially) when we were in high school and college with various assorted friends living with the whole brood in our already packed-to-the-gills, albeit modest St. Paul home. And we have an amazingly strong bond with our family and extended family (Shields beautes, here's lookin' at you).
Since those St. Paul days, Hecate and I have moved out of Minnesota and back again, possessing a whole new appreciation for the dining experience with those we love. And now that we're big girls, the gathering spot has shifted from our childhood home to our own homes. Enter the new era of "Ladies Who Lunch" - a smattering of sisters, god sisters, mothers, Irish women and otherwise, and pretty much anyone who loves a good community effort in the kitchen, with the promise of excellent company (and endless British and Paris Vogue magazines!). You gorgeous women made my day last we met (and we all know I needed it- I love you all for that..), and I can't WAIT for the next date!
Hecate's Yorkshire pudding is always a smashing hit, and our Labor Day brunch last month also featured a delicious Salmon Frittata (the remains of which you miiiight be able to detect in the photo above). Try this recipe out, it's surprisingly easy:
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
8 new or red potatoes, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
12 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lb smoked salmon, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
3 tbsp fresh rosemary
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to high broil.
2. Saute the onions and potatoes in olive oil in a 10-inch oven-proof deep pan.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add milk, dill, rosemary, smoked salmon, goat cheese, salt and pepper (to taste).
4. Pour the mixture over the softened potatoes and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to harden. Sprinkle additional rosemary and goat cheese crumbles on top.
5. Transfer the pan the oven and broil for about 20 minutes, until it puffs and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Message from Junior:
"My birfday is Octover fourteenf, I want spaghetti and cake and Spidermans and Hugo dinosaurs and a Power Ranger scooter."
Anyone care to join? (For the spaghetti and cake part) Hecate has the night off (!) so I'll (Styx) have a little birthday shindig for the kiddo on Wednesday, October 14 at my house. Let me know if you'd like to take part in the festivities of a newly ordained 4 year old boy.. Probably something along the lines of screaming and running around in his underwear while dancing to Lady Gaga in between handfuls of fruit snacks. Hey, now that's livin'!
Soup for you! Hecate and I LOVE soup. Love. I could scan and present every soup recipe in that fabulous French book (previously discussed), but I recommend you pick the book up yourself- it's so worth the read, revelations and recipes.
Feast thine eyes on our latest favorites, soon to be whipped up over a glass of Veuve Clicquot with Carla Bruni crooning in the background:
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 25 min
Makes: 4 servings
2 lbs carrots
2 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar, divided
3 tsp sesame seeds, toasted and divided
2 large garlic cloves
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1. Peel carrots. Ribbon 1 carrot with a vegetable peeler, and transfer to a bowl. Toss ribbons with 1 tsp rice wine vinegar and 1 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish; set aside.
2. Cut remaining carrots crosswise into 1-inch pieces, and add to a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water to cover. Bring water to a boil, and simmer carrots 15 minutes. Add garlic cloves, and simmer 5 minutes more or until carrots are very tender.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer carrots and garlic to a food processor. Puree carrots and garlic, 3 cups cooking water, and ginger until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan, and stir in remaining 1 tsp vinegar and sesame oil. Bring soup to simmer.
4. Ladle soup into 4 bowls, and garnish with carrot ribbons and remaining 2 tsp sesame seeds.
And since we're taking a little trip to the apple orchard this weekend, this is tops on our upcoming culinary agenda:
APPLE-BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 50 min
Makes: 4 servings
1 tbs olive oil
2 lbs butternut squash, halved and seeded
3/4 lb Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths, plus more for garnish
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 3/4 cups quartered shiitake mushroom caps
3 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbs pine nuts, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread oil in a 9- x 13-inch baking dish; place squash on half of pan, cut sides down. Arrange apples, onions, and mushrooms in 1 layer on other half of pan. Roast in middle of oven 45 minutes or until tender.
2. Remove from oven. Turn squash cut side up to cool. When cool enough to handle, puree squash in a food processor in batches with broth, Parmesan, garlic, half of the onions and apples, and three-fourths of the mushrooms until smooth. Transfer puree to a large saucepan.
3. Add remaining roasted apples and onions to pan with 1 cup water to reach desired consistency. Bring to a simmer. Ladle into 4 bowls, garnish with apple slices, remaining mushrooms, and pine nuts. Serve immediately.
(recipes courtesy of Health Magazine)