Monday, April 30, 2012

My favorite April posts

Spring recipe: strawberry rhubarb smoothie

Spring recipe: strawberry rhubarb smoothie

I mentioned the strawberry/rhubarb flavor combination in this post, and it's those classic pies that inspired this smoothie. 

I add a bit of honey to balance out the tangy rhubarb. You may want to use more, less, or none depending on your taste. Likewise, if you prefer stevia, agave nectar, or another sweetener, by all means, substitute that.

You may also use more or less of any ingredients to attain your preferred consistancy. By all means, experiment and change things to suit your desires. Customizability is one of the best things about smoothies. 

Ingredients:
3/4 cup frozen strawberries
1 stalk rhubarb (washed)
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup water

Step 01. Add all ingredients in a blender and blitz.
Step 02. Enjoy lavishly. 

Spring recipe: strawberry rhubarb smoothie
Spring recipe: strawberry rhubarb smoothie
Spring recipe: strawberry rhubarb smoothie


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Saturday, April 28, 2012

An ode to my favorite flats

Cuffed jeans, quilted ballet flats American Apparel Tights


They are not the nicest shoes I own, nor the most expensive (not even close), but they are the irreplaceable ones. 

I never predicted when I picked them out from Modcloth three years ago that these simple quilted flats would become such a vital part of my wardrobe. All I remember thinking was that they looked like Chanel but were a hell of a lot cheaper.

Soon, though, I found myself reaching for them more often that I did for any other shoe in my collection. Not only do they fit my feet perfectly, they go with almost anything. I wear them with straight leg jeans and silk dresses alike. These shoes do no discriminate. They love everything I pair them with, and they love to go anywhere I take them.

These shoes are troopers, and they've put up with a lot of wear and tear like true champs. 

However, their leopard lining has come loose several times and had to be re-glued, not a serious repair but a reminder that they are indeed not Chanel and will probably eventually wear out beyond repair.

This is the thought that haunts me at night. I become possessed with fear of the day I won't have these perfect flats to fall back on, and I rise from my bed in a cold sweat to scour the internet for anything that might serve as a replacement. 

But, alas, nothing compares. Even most Chanel flats I see tend to have those horrible bows on them. I despise those bows. I like simple, clean lines . . . I like my flats and no others can replace them. 

So, for now, I'll just have to keep re-gluing their lining, and hoping they hold up. Sheer will can keep shoes from wearing out, right? . . . Right?

(All photos - including those above - link to full outfit posts)


Minimalism
Legs
Minty outfit: mint green cardigan worn backward from Jay Crew, Gap cropped black cigarette pants, studded quilted flats, bangles, chunky ring
Anniversary outfit: vintage fringe dress, vintage Moschino belt, vintage beaded scarf, leopard brocade coat
Black and yellow outfit: thrifted blouse, The Limited A-line skirt, wool tights, Modcloth quilted flats, snake bracelet, vintage Moschino belt
Minty outfit: mint green cardigan worn backward from Jay Crew, Gap cropped black cigarette pants, studded quilted flats, bangles, chunky ring
Vintage pen necklace, vintage gold clutch


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Exciting news

Instragram - Anthropologie window display Instragram - Anthropologie window display
Instagram - Anthropologie window display Instragram Anthropologie mirror armoire
I love these flats with their little charms! Eiffel tower, tennis rackets, and a bee Instagram - loafers at Anthro
(All via my Instagram feed)


You don't have to know me for long before discovering my deep-seated love for Anthropologie. It's more than an obsession (those come and go); it's true love. I've been in love with the store and their aesthetic since I first walked into one when I was around 14 or 15 years old. Everything about it felt so personal, like someone who knew me well had designed the place especially to delight me, just to fulfill all my dreams and give life to the ideas I had bouncing around in my head.

I had never felt that way about a brand before and I never have since. 

Cut to present day. Nearly a decade later, I am still deeply in love with the brand, and I have a slew of pieces to prove it . . .


(Photos link to full outfit posts)


Outfit - Anthropologie wrap blouse, trouser jeans
Outfit - boater hat, Anthropologie wrap blouse, Jeremy Campbell shoes
Blouse by Anthro


Fish scales outfit: Anthropologie cardigan, ruche floral dress with lace yoke, magenta tights, striped canvass lace-ups
Cardigan by Anthro


Neon and neutral outfit: Anthropologie dress, heather gray blazer, neon yellow bag and belt
Dress by Anthro


Bundled up outfit: cuffed straight-leg Gap jeans, vintage riding boots, olive green jacket, fuzzy Anthropologie hoodie, red thermal shirt, hand-knit half turbin
Christmas outfit: Anthopologie sweater, H&M dress, fair isle tights, vintage saddle oxfords
Cardigan by Anthro


Outfit - Twenty8twelve 1970s inspired jeans, turquoise American Apparel V-neck, Anthropologie floral blazer
Blazer by Anthro


Christmas eve outfit: green tights, leather boots, vintage suede mini skirt, Anthopologie sweater
Sweater by Anthro


Starbucks
Belts by Anthro


Grunge outfit: Gap jeans, aran fishermen's sweater, flannel shirt, hand-me-down kicks
Outfit - rainboots, jeans, aran fisherman's sweater
Sweater by Anthro

So, when I decided recently that I wanted to get back into retail work, there was only one store that could place at the top of my workplace wishlist. I applied and interviewed, and, a few days ago, I was offered a job. I start on Sunday! I'm pretty excited. Expect lots more Anthro adventures on FIE in the near future.

Wish me luck on my first day! :) Thanks for reading, darlings!


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring recipe: rhubarb crumble

Rhubarb crumble recipe


Don't think for a moment that we didn't have dessert. 

As an American girl, I grew up with no knowledge of anything to do with rhubarb other than making strawberry rhubarb pie. But, a few years ago, this Nigella Lawson recipe opened my eyes to the fact that rhubarb doesn't have to play a supporting role.

Yes, it tastes great with strawberries. But, when you let it go up against a sweet and buttery crumble topping all by itself, rhubarb balances the rich, browned sweetness with the perfect component of fresh tanginess. 

This crumble is not only easier to make than a strawberry rhubarb pie; it's also (in my very humble opinion) superior to strawberry rhubarb pie.

Rhubarb crumble recipe
Rhubarb crumble recipe


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Friday, April 20, 2012

DI(fr)Yday: How to make felt heart bookmarks

How to make felt heart bookmarks
How to make felt heart bookmarks

Since I am utterly incapable of book monogamy, I always have several half-read books lying around, and sometimes I don't have enough bookmarks to keep my place in all of them.

So, when I saw this simple heart-shaped bookmark on Pinterest, I knew it was the perfect project for some of the felt I had leftover after making Barrett's mobile


How to make felt heart bookmarks

I chose to sew my bookmarks by hand with embroidery thread, which is a bit more decorative than the near-invisible machine-made stitches of the bookmarks that inspired me. I also chose to make them a different color on each side, for a quirky twist. What do you think?

This is a very simple, and quick project, and the bookmarks would make great gifts, favors, or stocking stuffers. 


The one tip I would make sure to follow, is to assure that your hearts make a right angle so that they'll fit snugly over you book pages. This is easiest done by cutting them of of the corner of your piece of felt.

How to make felt heart bookmarks
How to make felt heart bookmarks
How to make felt heart bookmarks


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli

Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli
Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli

Here's another thing I made the night my parents came over: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli. It's also from Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home, and it's really quite simple.

This is the time of year you should be eating asparagus! It's quite simple to prepare whether blanching, broiling, grilling, roasting, or stir frying, and it's always a crowd pleaser . . . especially when paired with from-scratch aïoli.

As for the aïoli, it's basically just a garlicky mayonnaise. Now, don't get hesitant if you hate mayonnaise. I hate mayonnaise too. But real, fresh, from-scraft mayonnaise doesn't even resemble the bland, gloppy stuff that you buy in a jar. Instead, it's a delicate, creamy and fragrant sauce that the French like to pair with vegetables and fish. Just give it one try, and then tell me you don't like it. You will eat you words . . . and you will be begging for more aïoli to dip them in. ;)

Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli
Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli

Ingredients:
A 1-pound bunch of asparagus
1 large egg* (the best quality you can find)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup canola oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

*Raw egg should not be consumed by pregnant women, babies, young children, the elderly, or anyone whose health is compromised.

Step 01. Put the egg and garlic clove into a small food processor with a bit of salt and pepper (You can also use a mixer, but I find the food processor to be the easiest way.) and turn it on.
Step 02. Once the garlic is puréed, begin to add the oil, letting the processor continue to run the whole time. Add the canola oil first and then the olive oil, in a steady stream as slowly as you can. It takes just a bit of patience.
Step 03. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, break the ends off of each asparagus stalk about 2 inches from the base or where they snap naturally.
Step 04. When the water is boiler, add the asparagus and cook until bright green and "crisp-tender" (about 2 to 4 minutes).
Step 05. Serve, and enjoy!

Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli
Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli
Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli
Spring recipe: blanched asparagus with from-scratch aïoli

If you cover and refrigerate your aïoli when not in use, it will keep for 2 days. I suggest serving the leftovers (if there are any) with seared tilapia and some rosemary olive oil roasted new potatoes. Yum!

Seared tilapia with from-scratch aïoli and rosemary olive oil roasted new potatoes

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