Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shoe Love: Tis the (spring) season

From top down: Quorra ballet flat, Lilian suede low wedges, Janey Liberty print flats, Everly Liberty Art Fabrics pumps 

Although the weather isn't very telling (its still chilly here!), spring is in the air. Today, I wanted to showcase some of my favorite spring shoes that are also conservative enough to wear to a religious service or event as this week is both Passover and Easter. I had to look no further than JCrew. They are nailing it this season! Now I only need to decide which one will put the right spring in my step. Pun intended.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tips to Travel By: My favorite travel blow dryer

When I'm traveling I like to bring my stand-by beauty products but experiment with local stuff. I like to see what beauty is like in that new place and try out a few things for myself. I'm a light packer, too, and until recently did not pack any hair products, flat irons, blow dryers or more than one brush. I would just use the blow dryer and products in the hotel room or at my friend's house. Then I saw this blow dryer, the BaByliss travel dryer, and I had to have it. It is freakin' adorable and basically fits in the palm of your hand. I couldn't resist as I love little things (like baby animals and miniature objects that Barbie might put in her house). Despite its small size, it has the power of a normal sized dryer and dries my hair in the same amount of time. I easily stow it in my make up bag. Seriously. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kitchen Sink Granola

Sometimes when I get home after a long trip or even if I've been up for 18 hours straight working, I don't want to drag out the recipe books and run to the farmer's market. Our farmer's market is Sunday mornings anyways, when I'm usually somewhere else. I used to be a cereal junkie for this reason. It was my go to "I'm not thinking just shoveling this into my mouth so I'm not hungry" meal when I got home from a trip or when I was crazy stressed. Just a box of cereal and half gallon of milk would get me through 48 hours of, well, just about anything (including exam week in college). 

But last year I decided to let go of my addiction. It took a while. I love the crunch of cereal and how the cold milk gets swept up in each bite. Cereal is mostly sugar though and full of crap I don't need to put in my body. So I began experimenting with granola which has many more wholesome bits to fuel my body. 

After using many different grains and ingredients, I came to one conclusion and that is you really can't go wrong with this stuff. Here's a basic recipe that you can change or expand based on whatever you happen to have in the house that day (hence the kitchen sink part). Many of these ingredients have a decent shelf life, so they can even be waiting for you after that long journey home.

Kitchen Sink Granola

Start by measuring out one and a half cups of rolled oats into a mixing bowl. I like to use a glass one so I can see the pretty layers forming before I mix up the ingredients. Then add a quarter cup of both coconut oil and coconut flakes, a tablespoon of chia seeds and one of crushed flax seeds, a half teaspoon of vanilla extract and teaspoon of cinnamon. If I have pumpkin seeds, sometimes I'll add those. Add almonds, crushed, sliced or whole, whatever your preference and as much as you'd like. Just be careful on how much you add because while delicious and nutritious, nuts and seeds can be rather fattening. 

To make a toasted granola, at this point you can spread this mixture onto a baking sheet and pop it into the oven at 350 degrees until whenever you start to smell the almonds roasting. I would check on it at five minutes and again at ten. Once it cools a bit, you can add fresh or dried fruits and chocolate chips for a topping on yogurt or as a replacement for cereal with cold milk. 

OR you can skip the oven and add a few more ingredients to make raw granola and then go really crazy and throw that into the freezer to make bars. Here's the next round of ingredients... add a half cup of creamy peanut butter and one mashed up banana. I also like to add dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, papaya, or apricot. You can also omit the almonds if you find it too nutty with the almonds and peanut butter. Sometimes I omit the almonds and use crunchy peanut butter. I know, it gets pretty wild in my kitchen.

If you want to make bars, spread the mixture onto a layer of plastic wrap on a glass baking dish (size up to you, bigger dish will equal thinner bars). Then cover mixture with another layer of plastic wrap. Throw in the freezer for up to an hour to harden, then cut up and store in individual snack bags in the freezer until consumed. I make these sometimes as breakfast on the go for Gman.

So I'd love to know, how do you experiment in the kitchen? What is your go to food when you are exhausted or stressed?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Style Outtakes from The Magazine

I had a lot of fun shooting my first editorial for High Heeled Traveler, The Magazine. The inaugural issue explores the concept of "home" and I wanted to talk about home in the context of travel. Besides referring to my hotel room as "home" while I'm away, that last leg of the voyage - when you get off the plane but you still have to drive to your house or hop in a taxi - is the most exhausting and always seems to last forever. As soon as I walk in the door I throw down my bags and take off all my makeup. Then I strip down, shower (to get the stale plane feeling off), then put my pajamas on. Gman unpacks his bags immediately then starts the laundry. Another one of my friends does her laundry while on vacation and when she get's home she unpacks clean clothes that are already folded and ready to be put away.

Here are some outtakes from the story in the mag, a little peek inside just for you. What do you do when you get home after a long day of travel?

Purchase a copy of High Heeled Traveler, The Magazine here to see the full story.

and last but not least...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DA+AH: Torpedo Factory Art Center

Besides the many fine museums and art galleries in Washington, D.C. there are many talented artists living and working in the Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland area. It can feel overwhelming trying to see them all. It seems like there are show openings every week and there are as many types of art available for sale as there are interns working on the Hill.

Last week I spent the afternoon browsing the artists at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. The factory is located on the waterfront in a building that was used to make torpedoes between the World Wars. In the 1970s it was retrofitted as art studios and finally properly renovated in 1983 with new walls, floors, and heating and air conditioning. What's cool about the space, besides its historical significance, is that there are 106 artists represented and 82 working studios. Meaning 82 artists actually work there and you can see them creating when you visit. You can chat with the artists, browse their work, and even buy it right from their studio! It was really inspiring to see so much creativity in one place and mediums ranged from oil painting to ceramics to jewelry and sculpture. It was almost voyeuristic to be walking around peering into windows and studios, as the artists were deep in concentration or taking little breaks to drink coffee with fellow creators. There’s a coffee shop in the building if you too need a pick me up. Upstairs, there is also an art school for children, The Art League School, and the Alexandria Archeology Museum.

It is a unique experience to talk to artists first hand about their work as they are covered in paint or deep in thought about their next project. I enjoyed being able to see so much in one visit and to walk away soaked up with the creative energy of so many people working in one space. I highly recommend a visit here. What would be a better souvenir from your trip to DC than the artwork of an artist you spent the afternoon chatting with?

Friday, March 15, 2013

High Heeled Traveler, The Magazine

Hello, dear readers! As some of you already know my labor of love, High Heeled Traveler, The Magazine is finally hot off the press! I'm so excited to finally share this project with you. The first issue of the magazine is all about home. We explore the topic from childhood to adulthood from physical homes to memories of the good times though original stories, poetry, photography, artwork, and music compilations. I hope through reading this you will ask yourself what home means to you and share the conversation with friends and family. 

Check out the magazine page here and purchase your copy or a subscription here

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Exploring Wine: A Cider

And now for something completely different...

Etienne Dupont, Cidre bouche brut de Normandie, France, 2010 $14
My rating for this bottle? I would drink a few sips (although it did grow on me).

Contrary to popular belief, I do drink other things besides wine (like coffee, whiskey, and beer... OK, OK and water and sweet tea, too). My cousin raves and raves about his favorite French cider to the point where one time he made me take a special trip to the wine shop to see if they had it. He insisted that French hard apple cider from Normandy was a regional thing and much different than English cider like Strongbow. He loves drinking it and just one sip transports his imagination back to the moment he first drank it in Normandy.

My first sip wasn't as pleasant as my cousin lead me to expect. The taste of fermented apples was overwhelming, not sweet at all, and the bubbles rushed down my throat making my eyes water. The taste was new to me, something very specific and definitely not like English cider. After a few sips the flavor started to grow on me. It became complex. I kept taking another sip to try and determine the nuances.

I would love to buy this again and have my cider drinking friends give me their feedback. Have you ever had a Normandy cider?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shoe Love: Candella Fall 2013

I still can't stop thinking about these beautiful embroidered smoking flats I saw at the Candella presentation during New York Fashion Week. I love the bird motif and the blue is perfect for that transitional time between summer and fall. You could wear these with a cotton dress one day and wool trousers the next. I'm already starting a countdown to September... what are the odds these are mildly affordable? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Art to Inspiration: Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods by Laura E. Pritchett

For some reason as soon as I saw Laura E. Pritchett's painting Out of the Woods I thought about all those times Gman has dragged me out of the city and into rural America; like when we went camping. Whenever I think about going into the Great Outdoors I think about tick checks, having to pee really bad in a remote place, sweaty clothes, and missing happy hour. I don't see the peacefulness Gman imagines until we are in the midst of it. I remember seeing the light the way Pritchett depicts it here, brightly shining through the leaves and warming my face through the shade. There is something mystical about it, something soothing. A feeling totally worth leaving the city for.

Check out the rest of Laura E. Pritchett's work here.

Started by the lovely Supal of Chevrons and Eclairs, Art to Inspiration is a once a month blog post inspired by a work of art. If you would like to participate in Art to Inspiration, click here to read more and sign up.

And in case you missed it here's July's, August's, September's, October'sDecember's and February's Art to Inspiration.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...