Friday, April 30, 2010

Advice From the Best

I don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one's hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as "Oh, I don't know how to cook...," or "Poor little me...," or "This may taste awful...," it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one's shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, "Yes, you're right, this really is an awful meal!"

--Julia Child, My Life in France

Don't you just love her? Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

One For All

Is it just me or are one-piece bathing suits especially cute this season? I love this old-fashioned, very va-va-voom suit from Anthropologie, which happens to be called the Natalie, which happens to be my name. All signs point to purchase. I just need a big floppy hat and a vacation home on the Mediterranean to complete the look.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Orangette and Oranges

It's no secret that Molly Wizenberg of Orangette is awesome. I highly recommend her lovely book, her husband and wife pizza venture, and perhaps most importantly, her vanilla bean buttermilk cake with glazed oranges.

Isn't this such a happy, little cake? It is light, delicious and equally appropriate for a special occasion or a Saturday afternoon at home. You can find the recipe on Molly's blog or in her book.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cute and Compact

Liberty of London has teamed up with MAC for a limited edition collection of blush, eye shadow and lip gloss with the cutest packaging. This would make waking up at 6:15 to put on my face so much more enjoyable.

And, we have a giveaway winner!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sleeping Beauties

I hope you have a restful weekend, and more importantly, I hope you wear an awesome hat. Be sure to enter this week's giveaway. Happy Friday!

[From: Sleeping Beauties: Newborns in Dreamland]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And it Was All Yellow

Yellow is so not my color. It makes me look yellow, which is not a great color to be unless you're a cartoon. But I've been inexplicably drawn to yellow dresses lately. I guess it's a deep-seated need for sunshine. I hope someone out there can do them justice.

[Dresses available at: Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Nordstrom]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fine Design

Have you guys been watching 9 by Design on Bravo? It follows a married couple, Bob and Cortney Novogratz, who design multi-million dollar homes, while raising seven kids in New York City. On one hand, the show makes me feel lazy and poor, but on the other hand, it's totally inspiring and their design work is pure eye candy. These images are from Bungalow, a hotel on the Jersey Shore (no Snooki jokes) that they did the interior design for, and the closest us mortals can get to their work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Giveaway!

Update: Hope Chella is the winner!

I have a giveaway for you this week courtesy of clayswan. This Etsy shop is filled with the most colorful, whimsical pottery. The trays, mugs, creamers, salt and pepper cellars, and more all possess a unique charm.

Check out the shop, then leave a comment below before midnight on Sunday, April 25th. You could win the porcelain tray pictured above! I'm picturing it filled with cherries on a kitchen counter. One lucky winner will be chosen at random. Open to U.S. residents only.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm with Coco

Last night, the husband and I caught the Conan O'Brien Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour here in Seattle. I don't know when I've laughed so hard. It was so much fun, and the crowd was so positive and excited. As a bonus, Dave Matthews was the night's surprise guest and performed one song. If you're a Conan fan or enjoy the occasional Walker, Texas Ranger clip, I'd highly recommend it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pound for Pound Cake

Last night I spoiled my dinner because I ate three pieces of cake, yes I said three, when I got home from work. It's that good. The flavor is complex and warm and not too sweet. The cake is moist and delicious and is now part of the dessert rotation at my house.

Buttermilk-Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake
Recipe courtesy of Southern Living

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped*
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Garnish: powdered sugar

*2 (4.4-oz.) packages Mexican chocolate, chopped, may be substituted for semisweet chocolate baking squares. Omit ground cinnamon, and proceed with recipe as directed.

Microwave chocolate baking squares in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute and 15 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring every 15 seconds. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate, chocolate syrup, and vanilla until smooth. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack, and let cool 1 hour and 30 minutes or until completely cool. Garnish, if desired.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Grand Planter

Aren't these planters magical and so perfect for a grand outdoor party? I mean if these things were around in the 1920s, they would have been mentioned in The Great Gatsby.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Play Dates

There's something so authentically fun about these various couple and engagement photos. Outdoor chess with lawn flamingos, scooter rides, ice cream cones, library books, record stores and dressing up in vintage clothing. All photo shoots should be this fun.

[Photographers: Mary Wyar Photography, Max Wanger, and Reams Photo]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great Vase

When I flipped to this page in the May issue of Real Simple, I actually said, "Oooo" out loud. I don't know that you can describe a vase as epic, but this is as close as it gets. The vessel is actually composed of 47 bud vases. Split up a store bought bouquet and you've got the makings for a gorgeous centerpiece. The price tag is lofty at $365, but we can all aspire to greatness, right?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend Retreat: Treehouse Point

So I spent Saturday night sleeping in a tree. I love the way that sounds. Back in January, Joanna blogged about a place called Treehouse Point. I immediately fell in love and then discovered the beautiful treehouses were located just 30 minutes outside of Seattle (lucky me!), so the husband and I booked our stay. It was rustic and quaint, peaceful and strange, beautiful and earthy and made for a perfect retreat from urban overload. Bonus points, the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls are just a five minute drive away. I'll let my pictures do the rest of the talking.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Girl in the Cafe

These photos make me want to spend the entire day in a café with a latte and a book. And if I happened to be in Europe that would be okay too. Happy Friday!

[Photos from: alicebgardens; Bueller; littlebrownpen; TheLeftBank; mailelani]


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