Appealing Things

Does your bedside table/night stand look anything like this one? Books piled on top of one another, just waiting to be read.

I have so many books and magazines crowding my bedside table, I don’t know how I am ever going to get through them all. I have another side table next to the sofa in the living room which is also piled high with books and magazines. Lately I can only manage a few pages before I fall asleep!  I used to read a few books at a time, but then I decided I wasn’t getting any of them finished, so I stuck to just one book at a time. Guess what? That approach hasn’t helped either.

I think the solutions is another internet-free weekend so that I can make a dent in some of these books. I don’t usually blog on the weekend, but I do surf and catch up on my RSS feeds and it’s incredible how much time I waste!

Ok, it’s decided. No internet this weekend!  Happy Monday to you all 🙂

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Give a frock Friday

This stunning image shot by Jason Kim for Elle Mexico is actually two dresses.  Styled by Joseph Episcopo, model Kelsey van Mook channels a matador to great effect. The combination of a bright sunny yellow backdrop, the gorgeous emerald green Elie Saab dress underneath and the pretty floral printed dress by Oscar de la Renta are just stunning together. Olè!

Have a lovely weekend!

To kiss or not to kiss, that is the question.

The awkward moment. You know what I’m talking about – when you greet someone and you instantly feel that you’ve over-stepped the mark somehow.  It’s a vibe, an energy that tells you “hey, no hug please, just a peck on the cheek for me”. But it’s too late, you’ve already gone in for the hug and the kiss. Why is there no set guidelines for this?  A Frenchman once told me that in France when greeting someone, you should always kiss on the cheek twice and three times for close and respected friends or acquaintances. Ok, that’s a pretty clear guideline, right? But then I’ve also read that it’s different all over France, it depends on region and class too. What’s a girl to do?

Karl Largerfeld greets Chinese actress Yao Chen with three kisses.

Some of my friends prefer a simple non-committal peck on the cheek greeting. No hug thank you. Other friends like to be greeted with a hug and a kiss and some even like to be held in the hug for a bit of time. Other friends don’t even want to be touched. I now have to go through a mental list when greeting my friends as to how they prefer to be greeted! It’s a social etiquette minefield. My eldest daughter has Aspergers and has very little understanding of social etiquette. She is beginning a course this week that runs for 10 weeks on social skills and tools. I am told that this course instils many wonderful life-skills and will give her new confidence. Maybe then she’ll be able to enlighten me on the do’s and don’ts of meeting and greeting people?

Some times I’m greeted by new acquaintances with a hug and a kiss – usually these are people who have met me through a friends or a relative, so I guess they feel like the know me enough.  I do love to greet my friends with a big hug but I think I tend to give a kiss on the check as I’m already there, right? What do you think, is a kiss and a hug too much? Is it too intimate, even for good friends? Argh, it’s all too confusing.

Rituals: Choc Chip Cookies

I’ve been baking Choc Chip cookies for as long as I can remember.  The recipe I use is from the Australian Women’s Weekly and it’s a fairly standard recipe.  Over the years I’ve tried different types of flours and even added peanut butter to the mix and the cookies always turn out delicious.  But I was bored with this recipe and so I started to look around for a variation.  It didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for on one of my favourite blogs; A Cup of Jo, and the best part is that the recipe is gluten free – bingo!

Jo’s recipe came from Aran Goyoaga from Cannelle et Vanille, a delightful food and photography blog that you simply must visit if you haven’t already.  The photography and recipes are so beautiful and inspiring.

So I couldn’t possibly blab on about these incredibly tasty cookies without giving you the recipe, right?

The Best Chocolate Chunk Cookies You’ll Ever Have
By Aran Goyoaga from Cannelle et Vanille

Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Muscovado and Fleur de Sel (I used Maldon Sea Salt in lieu of not having Fleur de Sel in my pantry)
Makes 2 dozen cookies

If you don’t have issues with gluten, you can use 8 ounces (230g) of all-purpose wheat flour in place of the gluten-free flours. (I used whole wheat Spelt flour)

You’ll need:
1 stick (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 g) packed light muscovado sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
1 cup (140 g) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60 g) amaranth flour
1/4 cup (30 g) tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus more for topping
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (170 g) chocolate chunks or chips

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, muscovado sugar, natural cane sugar and vanilla extract. Mix with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes until light. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the egg and mix until combined.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, amaranth flour, tapioca starch, fleur de sel, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together.
3. Add the chocolate chunks and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
4. Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. With the help of the parchment, roll the dough into a log that is approximately 2 inches in diameter and 12 inches long. Wrap the log with the parchment and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. In this time, preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Cut the log into 1/2-inch disks. Place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats leaving 2 inches in between the cookies.
6. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of fleur de sel. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until edges set and start to turn golden. They might look a bit underdone, but this is fine. They will harden as they cool and slightly under-baking them will keep them chewy and moist.
7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before trying to lift them. Store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

These are definitely the best choc chip cookies I’ve ever tasted. They are a smidgen more involved to make, but the results are more than worth it!

Give a frock Friday

This candy coloured Paule Ka crocheted dress and cardigan is delightful! So much colour and pizazz for a Spring collection, although I think it’s perfect for wearing in our Autumn weather here.

Photographed by Benjamin Kanarek for Vogue Portugal, April 2012 “Candy Color” editorial featuring model Dani Seitz.

Have a lovely weekend!

Cute Accents

As the weather gets cooler here, I’ve been looking for wardrobe inspiration for the colder months.

I love the purple accents, tights worn under jeans that show through the holes. Her striped jumper and her purple gloves in the side pocket of her handbag worn over her shoulder – my favourite way to wear my bag also.

I’m not sure about the shoes, I’m not a big fan of those stacked heels. I wore my brogues yesterday for the first time this season – so glad I bought them last winter, I forgot how much I love them!

Creative Spaces

Isn’t this giant wall decal a great idea? I would love to have a favourite picture of my girls on the wall in our house.  A favourite picture of a pet would also be nice.

I’ve also loved the idea of a forest scene on the wall in my bedroom. I just always felt I would have sweeter dreams surrounded by images of nature.

What image would you like to see blown up and wallpapered onto your bedroom wall?

Images via here and here.

Creative Spaces

I really love an open-plan kitchen, one that uses wall space for open shelving so that all my wares can be on display and for easy access.

Crockery stacked neatly and simply along the shelf.  The huge stainless steel cooker where you never need fight for space. A basket full of utensils and my favourite part is the added rustic elements of the wooden table and chairs.

It just makes it all the more inviting.

I wrote about my love of open shelving on a guest post I did for Design Shuffle last month.  You can view it here.

It’s raining here again. It’s dark, gloomy and muggy. But kind of nice regardless.

Have a great day,

Heidi x

 

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Nice work if you can get it.

So I was just catching up on my daily reads and I came across a story that just, well it irks me.

Diet Coke has recently hired Jean Paul Gaultier as its Creative Director.  Diet Coke. Jean Paul Gaultier. Creative Director of a beverage company.

Since when does a beverage company require the services of a fashion designer, a couturier no less, to sell its product?

I know that designers and celebrities everywhere are paid ridiculous $$ for collaborative projects but, has the world gone mad?

I don’t know, is it selling out? Or is it simply a case of nice work if you can get it?

Obviously this is not the first time a very talented individual has been hired by a corporation to help sell a product.  But honestly, has the world gone mad?

I guess if I drank Diet Coke, I would probably be the first in line to buy one the Gaultier signature bottles.

Maybe I’ve just been job hunting for too long.  Maybe it’s Monday!

You gotta laugh, right?

Heidi x

 

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