February 24, 2015 § 1 Comment
Racked’s recent article, “The Meteoric Rise and Painfully Slow Death of Street Style,” suggests that perhaps the era of fashionista trendspotting has come to an end. The apt timeline paints a bleak, yet ironic picture of the fashion world and its obsession with finding the newest, hottest look; no longer on the runway, not even downtown, but rather wherever style flaunters are willing to parade themselves in front of hordes of cameras. As further proof, Amy Odell of NY Magazines The Cut and Citizen Couture notoriety pulls a fast one on fashion photogs by setting a street style trap, and triumphing.
What are your thoughts? Do you think our obsession with street style fashion has run its course? Watch and decide:
February 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
An inspiring work space can make these cold winter Mondays a little more tolerable. Sure, plenty of us have used the kitchen table as a designated surface for tossing mail, paying bills, or catching up on emails, but what an annoyance to have papers piled up around you while you’re eating breakfast. However small your apartment, there are plenty of space saving, home office solutions to satisfy any needs.
Lately, I’ve been admiring the feminine lines and light, airy feel of Pierre Paulin’s designs. My personal favorite is his oak desk with single floating drawer. The metal legs and drawer pull are minimal and chic, while the inset legs provide for a base molding bypass, allowing the desk to sit flush against any wall.
Add a colorful filing cabinet or mid-century magazine rack and you’re literally in business.
The attractive little space you carve out for yourself will be more relaxing, and sure beats spilling coffee and bacon grease on your cell-phone bill.
February 21, 2015 § 2 Comments
In a serious effort to battle these seemingly never-ending, dreary winter days, I’ve taken in some new friends. A cat lady, I’ll never be. Though I love those furry critters, I’m more of a dog person. In my tiny apartment, however, this kind of company could never work. Instead, I’ve been bringing too many of a different kind of friend home: the gorgeous, pluming beauties that instantly add a bright, organic vibe to any space.
In desperate need of some spring lovin’, I’ve been ogling stunning images of surfaces covered in potted plants of all types, ranging from tiny micro-terrariums to the enormous fiddle leaf fig tree. It was just a matter of time before I was hooked.
First came my small collection of succulents: the hearty plants that require little attention. Then came the beautiful Lemon Balm plant, a gift from a friend, whose dried leaves make for a lovely, uplifting tea. Sadly, it wasn’t long before I learned I might be without a green thumb. Much to my surprise, my apartment felt emptier when the lemon balm had to go, and I wanted to bring back the simple pleasure it brought to my home.
Due to my lack of natural gardening talent, I spent much time researching apartment friendly foliage. I moved onto the more urban-tolerable ferns. Then picked up some more succulents. Then came a small olive tree from One Kings Lane, which though had arrived in a broken ceramic pot, seemed incredibly robust considering its long journey.
Each species of plant exudes a different personality, and in my opinion, more plants just add to the party. When spring finally comes around (which though close, feels SO far away), I’d love to welcome a tree for the corner of my apartment. Fiddle leaf fig, I’m coming for you. One problem remains, however: with all of this attractive company around, there should be proper attire. Below are some gorgeous planter selections I have my eye on. Check out the links and you can bring them to your home too!
Tripod Bowl from Atelier Stella:
White Studded Ceramic Planter from Oli’s Cupboard on Etsy:
Handmade Cream and Black Planter from Crackled Up on Etsy:
Tiny Geometric Faceted Copper Planter from Redwood Stoneworks on Etsy:
Three-Legged Cat Planter in Black from Greatly:
Follow my Plants are Friends Pinterest Board for updated plant goodness!
December 6, 2014 § 5 Comments
It’s grey outside. The kind of grey that blankets the entire sky, blocking out every last ray of sunshine. And it’s cold. We’re in for the long haul. Winter hasn’t even officially begun and I’m already feeling moody from the moody weather; the kind of weather that lends itself well to one thing – baking!
For some reason, baking always makes me feel a little better, even if I can’t eat the concoction I pull out of the oven (thank you food sensitivities). The sweetie recently brought my attention to a delicious pastry he wanted to try called kouign amann – a sweet, flakey cousin of the croissant – oh, the buttery goodness. We had been meaning to pick one up while in Montreal, but it never came to pass. Since he seemed downtrodden by missing out, I decided to conjure up a batch for him as a belated birthday present.
Kouign Amman originates from Brittany, France, literally meaning “butter cake” in Breton. It can seem intimidating at first glance. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at baking croissants for as long as I can remember, but all of the butter folding and dough chilling seemed like a real challenge. I didn’t realize this particular pastry called for a very similar technique, but I was in too deep. I had to bite the bullet and give it a shot.
I found a most wonderful recipe at The Kitchn. Emma Christensen provides step by step directions equipped with pictures! Not only is this super helpful, it also makes the recipe totally doable. The whole thing takes a few hours from start to finish. I made and shaped the dough a night before, then woke up early the next morning to let the dough temper and rise and bake just in time for breakfast. Try adding some cinnamon to the sugar mixture for added bliss! I highly encourage you all to give it a shot if you find yourself in a rut from these winter blues. The aroma of caramelizing sugar will raise your spirits and fill your home for days to come.
Don’t have French pastry equipment sitting around? Check out the following links to outfit your kitchen with goodness:
Sleek Measuring Spoons from One Kings Lane:
Marble Pastry Slab from Crate and Barrel:
Tapered Rolling Pin from William Sonoma:
Large Wire Cooling Rack from Bed Bath & Beyond:
Dough Scraper from Hunting for George:
December 3, 2014 § 2 Comments
There is no lack of delicious eats in the city of Montreal, with plenty of places for culinary indulgences that would stand out just about anywhere. I was lucky enough to visit a few of these foodie outposts on a recent trip over a long weekend. I had the good fortune of going on a dimly lit, romantic dinner date at Le Bremner, and it is fair to say I tasted the best chicken of my life at Joe Beef. The sweetie and I also managed to grab a meal at La Salle À Manger, Lawrence, and Garde Manger. After all of the plates we licked clean, however, I can safely say that nothing stole my heart quite like Olive + Gourmando.
Oh Olive et Gourmando. Won’t you be mine. It was love at first sight with this cafe/patisserie/coffee spot. I noticed it the first time I passed by, late at night mind you, long after the place had closed. I could just tell there was magic inside. The warm wood-framed windows are filled with produce, plants, and colorful knick knacks. “What is that, a farmer’s market in there?” Being the restaurantologist that he is, my man recognized the name right away and promised we’d come back for breakfast the next day.
A small, rounded entry vestibule greets you as you walk in – a very clever trick to keep out the frigid weather during the colder winter months. As you step inside, you are welcomed by a large counter, covered with an overwhelming assortment of goodies. The place is equipped with all the standard rustic accessories, still on point to give that farm-to-table vibe, not trite just yet. Olive + Gourmando strikes that perfect balance of clutter and kitchiness without feeling contrived. Most of the items lining the reclaimed looking wooden shelves are for sale and not just there to take up space. Patrons can purchase t-shirts, coffee, and of course, any of an assortment of food options.
On our first visit, we ordered a chocolatine and the house made ricotta “salty” – a delicious concoction of roasted squash purée, pears, watercress, toasted Marcona almonds, Piave cheese, and Aleppo peppers, served with toast. I relaxed with a lovely mint green tea, while the sweetie made a ghost from the foam in his much enjoyed latte.
We made sure to stop in every morning before our adventuring around town to pick up coffee and tea. Sadly, due to the limited foods I am currently eating (thank you food allergies), I wasn’t able to try much of the baked goods beckoning to me from across the counter. I was assured by many of the clientele and by my tough critic of a boyfriend that everything was mind-blowingly delicious.
Some menu highlights include: the house made ricotta “salty” or “sweet,” the banana chocolate brioche, the brownie, the daily salad, and the “poached egg on your face” panini. Check out the tasty offerings below —
All of the ingredients are super fresh, many are organic, and are a true reflection of the cafe’s seasonal mission. Though there’s usually a line noodling its way towards the door, it’s well worth the wait, and if you’re in a rush or eager to get out and experience the city, you can always grab something at their to go counter. Enjoy and Bon Apétit!
Olive + Gourmando is located at 351 Saint-Paul W., Montreal, QC H2Y 2A7 Phone: 514-350-1083 Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm
December 1, 2014 § 2 Comments
There’s nothing like walking around with your sweetheart on a Fall day, all wrapped up in knitted layers, feeling a nip in the air, and taking in the intoxicating scent of smoked meat. Oh Montreal, how I love you. I passed this intriguing street art piece while walking to Eva B, one of the city’s most entertaining vintage boutiques (costumes, coffee, cookies, and clothes — yes please). I love the colors and the subject matter. Looks like the skeleton’s about to eat that car!
November 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
It’s that time of year again. After hours of cooking, stuffing ourselves with Turkey, and having those obligatory family catch-ups, it’s just about time to sit on the couch and unbutton the top of your pants a little. It’s the holiday of excess, soon to be followed by a consumer free-for-all. These days, however, it is no longer necessary to stand in a crowd of people, pressed up against the glass doors of a super store, waiting for that 5am sale to commence with a stampede soon to follow. We can sit in the comfort of our own homes and prowl the internet in our pjs. Ahh, modern times.
If you’re looking for something a little more personal and environmentally conscious, may I suggest going Vintage for your Black Friday needs! There are countless reclaimed and gently used items that bring instant chic and warmth to any home. Below are a selection of a few goodies that I myself have been lusting after.
Collection of Mid Century Candlesticks from Charlie’s Nest:
Pair of Cavalier Corp Mid Century Modern Side Tables from Charlie’s Nest:
Beautiful Ridged Glass Vanity Set from As You Like It Vintage:
Stunning String of Wood Bungs / Beads with Amazing Patina from Copper and Tin:
Gorgeous William Morris Travel Trunk with Working Lock and Key from The Parson’s Pleasures:
Mid Century Teak Tray by Faber from Betty Home:
Techron Bakelit Deco Clock and Time from Finding The Floor:
Mid Century Flexible Black Candle Holder from Dot Dot Dot Shop:
Reclaimed Silver Receipt Board – Perfect For Display – from Copper and Tin:
And for you Fashionistas, Vintage “No Comment” Moschino Belt from Little Loco: