eclectic design inspiration

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Christmas Sweater + Ray Bans

The holidays have created a lot of family time lately, and out of this came a little inspiration for a home decor color theme. I fell in love with my cousin's look today: her tortoise shell Ray Bans paired with her new (Christmas gift from Maw Maw) gold & red striped sweater. She better check her suitcase carefully before we all head home from the farm tomorrow. 

I find this color/pattern combo to be very warm, very classy, and very "smart," as Maw Maw likes to say.

After a little searching I was able to find some items that would help recreate this look at home:

The gold pedestal table and red photo frame belong to Jonathan Adler.
The gold lamp with lotus flower is by Arteriors.
The sunburst mirror is by Biggs Powell and the red table is by Serena and Lily.
The tortoise shell mirror, dome floor lamp, sofa and nesting tables come from 1st Dibs.
The candleholders and pillow come from Nate Berkus for HSN.
The red cabinet comes from CB2.
The highball glasses were found on Pinterest, I wasn't able to find a source. Too bad bc it might have been the one thing I could afford!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I'm at my dad's house about to chow down on the second Christmas feast of the day, admittedly being the anti-social one by squeezing in a little bit of internet time before it's back to my mom's farmhouse where no such things exist.

So before I'm dragged away..... Merry Christmas!

And, one of my all-time favorite gifts of the day: Blogger Grace Bonney's gorgeous book, Design Sponge at Home. SO HAPPY. Another reason I've been a little bit in my own world today. ;)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful, warm holiday with family and friends. 'Tis the season to be merry!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hipster Holidays

Today my friend Hannah and I checked out the The Portland Bazaar holiday artisan fair, put on by a few wonderful people of Design Sponge, Antler & Co., and Wood and Faulk. It turned out to be the hipster holiday shopping event of 2011, in a really great way. While I'm too all over the place style-wise to be a hipster (I like sparkles and french manicures way too much.), I am inspired by the look most of the time. Especially when it comes to home decor and little handmade goods.

I attempted to capture the event on my iphone (and, so as always, sorry for the crappy photo quality):

I got a delicious Matcha Latte from Sip.



And some of my favorite companies/goods up close:

from Grove

from Haunt

from Heartwood

from Summerland

from Sketchbook 

from SSOS

from Shwood

from Between Wind + Water

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Recipe: Veggie Broth

Are you sick of playing around on Pinterest and want to actually be productive? Are you feeling really ambitious and in the mood to use a recipe to create an ingredient for another recipe?? Do you want to twirl around the kitchen and pretend you are Julia Child???? Do you want to make your whole home smell like Thanksgiving???!!! Yeah I knew that one would work. It's been what, three weeks?

Let's make some homemade veggie broth. :)

Add 1 tbsp oil to pot, set on medium heat

Chop and add one at a time: 2 whole onions, 5 stalks of celery, and 4 carrots*

Add 1 bay leaf, 10 peppercorns, and 3 cloves of garlic

Add any other veggies in your fridge that you wanna get rid of

Stir and let cook for a few minutes on medium heat, then add 1 gallon of water

Turn up the heat and wait for it to start boiling

Turn down the heat a little bit and let it do it's thing for an hour

Add 2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup of Tamari; let simmer another 20 mins

Strain through a strainer into a pitcher

Now, you are done!

It will last a week in the fridge. Freeze into ice cubes for later use.

*mirepoix (pronounced "meer-pwah")- the combination of three aromatics: celery, carrots and onion, often used in French cuisine

(Don't you feel so cultured now? "Meer-pwah.")

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Music -> Decor: Beyoncé

One of the major perks of babysitting back in high school (besides being paid to lounge by the pool, having unlimited access to Spongebob fruit snacks, and no tax withholding) was being thought of when the dad's company gave him tickets to a Destiny's Child concert, and he didn't know who she was. So, when asked if I would like to have four tickets to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo on the one night the big performer at the end of the evening was NOT a country musician - this country-music-hater said OMG yes! And that’s when three friends and I put on sparkly, bootylicious outfits and danced to Beyoncé and the gals' "Say My Name" in a giant Astrodome that smelled like cow manure. True story.
Flash forward to 2011. Since Beyoncé’s performance at this year's VMA's (the night she almost caused the Twitterverse to implode after revealing her pregnancy), I have been into her song Love On Top. It's one of those songs that puts you in a fantastic, all-smiles-and-sunshine mood, which is really important considering it's November and I live in Portland. Although there is something to be happy about this winter: BASKETBALL IS HAPPENING!!! GOOOOOO BLAZERSSSSS <3 #88 :) :)
Anyway... this post's Music -> Decor is all about Beyoncé: Classy, Fun and Sexy. Like seriously, is there a better example of a sexy woman? I don't think so. She's inspiration to us all.
Because the video is just too good, she gets more than an mp3.

Okay, she actually gets two videos:

And for Beyoncé's music translated into decor...

I've come to a conclusion: Beyoncé should hire Kelly Wearstler as her interior designer because it turns out these are all her photos. It's such a perfect match it's KILLING ME that I can't introduce them! I guess I will have to trust in fate for this one.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

No-Turkey Day (Yes, I went there)

Thanksgiving came and went pretty quickly this year, so I’m going to make the post about it quick as well. I’m honestly so over Thanksgiving leftovers that it’s hard to write a post about how good the food was - even though it really was good! The first four times I ate it. :)

I did things a little differently this year, inspired by the last chapter of Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals, and took on the culinary challenge of a vegan Thanksgiving. I know, I know, SO controversial. What a hot topic! No turkey, and NO tofurkey. The feast consisted of mostly traditional dishes, using ingredients that I haven’t cooked much with before: coconut milk, almond milk, egg replacer, and Earth Balance.
Everything (except the stuffing...sadness) turned out well, but there were two big hits that are especially worth mentioning, both from Oh She Glows. Photos from OSG as well.

Sweet Potato & Pear Holiday Soup. (I am now fearless about using my blender for non-smoothie recipes)

Fluffy White Dinner Rolls. (Ummm why have I not tried kneading dough before? It’s my new favorite thing. Too bad bakers have to get up so early or I would consider it my new dream job)
Overall the meal and holiday were really enjoyable. A great reminder of how much I have to be thankful for. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Autumn bo Bautumn

If you haven't noticed, I'm on a kitchen kick and as a result, have been trying my best to shop locally and cook within the season as much as possible. Below is a pic of me with my loot from the Portland Farmers' Market in the PSU Park Blocks. Hands down one of my favorite weekend activities, not only do I get to try at least a dozen samples of locally made cheeses, chutneys, pickles, salsas, pestos and savory dips (sometimes I end up making two or three rounds) ... I get to buy amazingly fresh fruits and veggies that have been grown by family farmers just a morning's drive away from Portland. And it's cheaper than what I could get at a grocery store!

don't worry, I've switched to a more moisturizing conditioner since this pic was taken ;)

There are three main reasons why we should shop locally and in season whenever possible:

1) Vegetables at our local grocery stores that are not in season have often traveled thousands of miles to get from a "farm" to your city. Does that sound so fresh (and so clean clean) to you?

2) Vegetables at the grocery store that are not in season are picked when they are immature, so they aren't spoiled by the time they finally make it to your shopping cart. Vitamin degradation and nutrient loss is the trade off! Um, isn't that why we eat vegetables in the first place?? Oh, you heart the taste of broccoli? Maybe it's just me...

If you MUST have that summer corn (por ejemplo) in the dead of winter, go for the frozen kind because it will have more nutrients than anything you can find in the store that is out of season. Truth.

3) Finally... just think about how much better it would be for the environment if we didn't have millions of fruits and veggies shipped cross country all the time. We like to be green, now, don't we????

For your convenience (I'm all about good reader service), I've compiled a list of some of the most popular autumn fruits and veggies. You may see a lot more on the list than you expected:

Apples, Grapes, Pears, Beet roots, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Pumpkin, Pomegranates, Onions, Carrots, Persimmons, Yams, Potatoes, Lettuce, Winter Squash, Mushrooms, Celery Root, Cauliflower, Garlic, Kale

Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Beet Greens (I am not so sure if I'll be making those beet greens again... just being honest)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Superfood: Beets

They are rich in folic acid, calcium and iron. They have lots of fiber and nutrient compounds that protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.
Let's go.

Wash fresh beets and remove stems and tail
Place in baking dish with a half cm - half inch of water
Roast in oven for for 30-45 mins at 425 degrees (should easily slice with a knife)
Run under water and slip off skins
Slice or chop with purple onion
drizzle with olive oil, red wine vinegar and fresh black pepper

Honestly though, I've realized my favorite way to eat beets is just raw, on a salad. 

This photo was taken with my phone during my lunch break at work. I admit I was a little self conscious about standing at the counter in the office lunch room, shredding beets with my giant cheese grater, but it was So worth it.