Sunday, January 31, 2010

Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk

Those who know me, know that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. To put this in some perspective, let me share that as a child, my older brother nicknamed me "Cookie Monster" (like the character from Sesame Street) and sadly, it stuck.
So true to form, whilst lunching at Blue Plate in Santa Monica yesterday I was certainly not woman enough to pass up on dessert; The scrumptious looking cookie in the pic caught my eye - and oh. my. word... I swear it was the best thing I've eaten in a really long while. Naturally, the next step is trying to make my own version - when/if I succeed I will post the recipe... Stay tuned.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pretty and Witty and... Pink

~ Image via House Beautiful ~

Who doesn't love a mug full of roses? So simple, yet so gorgeous.

~ Image via ~

And how adorable is this up-town-ish purse from Mulberry?

~ Image via ~

... Less "adorable" perhaps; the boudoir trend seems to be everywhere this season. Granted, this look from Jean Paul Gaultier  is pretty awesome - but in polite company I'd throw on a cardie...

~ Image via House Beautiful ~
And speaking of boudoirs, doesn't this room designed by Barry Dixon hit all the right romantic notes?

 Check out House Beautiful, and Elle for more details on all of the above.

Quote of Note

 "A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for."

I'm so happy for my cousin Malin, because she gave birth to her first baby girl today!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A New Season

And just like that, it feels like spring! I was pleasantly roused early this morning by warm, bright sunshine flooding in through our bedroom window. When I looked out, it was as if the world had come alive; The sky had that particular shade of bright, clean blue like it was just thoroughly washed... and I even heard some bird-chirping sounds from a nearby bush. The fruit tree in the  picture grows in the front of our building, and just today I noticed that it's already in full bloom.
These lovely signs that winter is almost over makes me excited to look ahead and think of the new season - what things to do, places to see and people to meet. And then, of course, there's spring fashion...
Apart from reading the usual magazines (Vogue, Elle, In style, Harpers Bazaar etc.) in order to get a good overview of current trends, I also like to visit this web site: It offers very extensive reports from all the major runways, just click through to "Fashion shows" and check out the latest from your favourite designers. To organise the looks you like best, the site even lets you create your own 'Look Book' - a great tool if you're planning an especially substantial shopping spree... Well, a girl can dream :)

Below; some of my points of reference for the coming months.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bath time!

It's still raining her in L.A. And yes, that means it's been going on for almost two weeks straight. Very unusual for California. I've been thinking how glad I am that we're not having any out of town visitors right now; What a shame it would have been if someone had travelled all the way from say, Sweden to get some winter sun, only to be greeted by all this drizzle and chill...

Anyhow, to warm and cheer up in this kind of weather, I just love a good long bath; It soothes body and soul so much better than a simple shower. In fact, having a proper tub where I live has always been of such paramount importance to me, that every time Sean and I move, (and we've moved a lot - we are currently on our 9th apartment in 10 years... And counting.) it tops my list of 'in home priorities'. (Closely followed by hardwood floors and a dishwasher).
For my bath indulgences, I used to favour bubbles, then I graduated to oils. Lately though, I've been all about the salt as I discovered the wonders it does for one's skin. Any old sea salt will do - no need to bother with those fancy coloured and/or scented kinds in the store - there's really no discernible difference other than the price tag. Instead, blend a couple of tablespoons of (coarse) sea salt with a few drops of essential oil (lavender is a fave), put the mixture in a pretty porcelain jar and scoop into a tub full of hot, hot water...

My Bubble Bath
Author: unknown
Once I’m in my bubble bath
I like to stir up more.
Half the suds go in my eyes
And half go on the floor.
The fun is in the bubbles ‘cause
They giggle on my skin,
And when I stick them on my face
They dangle from my chin.

When I splash them hard enough
They pop and disappear,
Then my bath time’s over ‘cause
I’v made the water clear!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quote of Note

Top shelf luxuries; Gherkins, Lemon Curd, Truffles and Champagne.

As I peered into our rather empty fridge this morning, its curiously random contents made me think of this cheerful and reality defying quote:

"Take care of the luxuries, 
and the necessities will take care of themselves"
Dorothy Parker

(Although I suspect that in a very near future, I will still have to do a grocery run...)

Monday, January 18, 2010

I want my money back

     This morning, outside our window 

... So "it never rains in southern California", eh?

(Actually, since it's so rare here, I don't mind a bit of downpour... And it's nice to be able to stay inside and veg out guilt-free for once :) Speaking of, did you watch the Golden Globes last night? Those poor girls in their fancy frocks -you'd think they could have put up a canopy or something. Anyway, I haven't seen Avatar yet (not sure I will either, I mean blue people - makes me think of The Smurfs), so I didn't know what all the fuss was about... But I'm sure it was a worthy winner what with it having taken 10 years to make and all. Ricky Gervais was a hilarious host I thought... But that was to be expected, and I thought Meryl Streep gave the best speach. As for the fashion - below are Elle's picks for 'best dressed'. My personal fave was definitely Maggie Gyllenhaal in Roland Mouret (top left); sophisticated and understated.

Golden Globes fashion

Saturday, January 16, 2010


If you've checked in during the past week, you might have noticed some pictures missing, some text being out of whack. My apologies dear reader - I've been getting used to a new computer and those things take time. For some of us.
However, after several sessions with my technical support person, I am now finally up to speed and it should be smoother sailing here on out. :)

(Sh) it happens.

Quote of Note

...No particular reason for this week's quote other than that I've always liked it as well as the song from which it's taken. (And OK, also because once 30, one tends to think more about age and time passing and things of that nature, words like these suddenly seem more relevant... Am I right?) 

Now the years are rolling by me
And they rock uneasily
And I am older than I once was
And younger than I'll be. That's not unusual.
No, it isn't strange
After changes upon changes
We are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same

From "The Boxer" by Paul Simon

...And speaking of age and change and these kind of things. I've read and heard too many great things about this product to be able to pass up on it much longer. "I'm older than I once was and I'm younger than I'll be." Sure, that's not unusual and no it isn't strange, but because I'd like to stay more or less the same for as long as possible, Genifique youth activator serum from Lancome now tops my beauty wish list. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Baklava Muffins

Baked these today... and trust me, you should too. The recipe is from Nigella Lawson's How to be a domestic goddess - my favourite baking book to date and one that was wedding present from my two gal pals Asa and Johanna. Thanks again ladies for a lovely gift that keeps on giving. :)

Is the text too small? Click on the image to enlarge.

Happy Midweek

Wednesdays. They're kind of blah, aren't they? At the time of "Midvoch"as it is so fittingly called in German, (translation; midweek) days have past since the last weekend, its fairy dust settled and its glow waning... And annoyingly - it's much too soon to get excited about the next, as Saturday and Sunday still lie far off in the future. A day like today, therefore - it's January, it's Wednesday, it's cold (-ish if you're in L.A ) - can feel really, really dull. And that might make a girl blue...

Good thing then, that there's this foolproof recipe for a perfect Winter-Wednesday pick-me-up :) Please try at home:
  • Firstly and very importantly, make sure there's chocolate in the house
  • Turn off any harsh overhead lighting, your mobile phone, your computer and any other unpleasant distractions. (Except your television - because you'll need that in a minute)
  • Light some candles (to set the right kind of mood)
  • Pour yourself a stiff drink in a nice goblet (the prettier the better and bonus points if it's crystal)
  • Place your chocolate within easy reach, then sink in to your favourite cozy armchair 
  • Put your feet up (or down, whatever you prefer)
  • Take a deep breath and let the day's troubles melt away (the aforementioned drink will also help with this) 
  • Now pick a classic film of your choice to utterly lose yourself in. (Ideally one that predates you, as an older film gives the whole endeavour added panache)
  • Slowly devour a piece of your chocolate (try to keep moderation in mind here though, avoiding any pesky feelings of remorse later) 
  • Take a leisurely sip of your drink.
  •  Relax and enjoy the feeling of Ahhhhh.
As you may have guessed, this is pretty much an exact account of how I've just spent my evening :) It was very close to perfect, and right now, I feel fine... My chocolate was Godiva, my drink was whiskey on the rocks, my candles were scented and my choice of film was The Way We Were. 

I mean really, has there ever been a better love story put on tape? And as for two hours spent in the  company of a young, ridiculously attractive Robert Redford? Yes Please.  The whole concept of his golden boy 'Hubbell' falling for Barbara Streisand's curly haired politico 'Katie' - they can't be together and they can't be apart... Soo romantic! Oh and at the very end when they haven't seen each other in years and Barbara, upon meeting Robert's new wife, graciously says: "Your girl is lovely, Hubbell." And then touches his hair.
Oh man... Gets me every time.

Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford the way they were back in -73.

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Artful New Year

Charles Burchfield September C.jpg (72627 bytes) 
September Wind and Rain, Charles Burchfield 1949

"The most famous unknown artist in America" is how Vogue cleverly described mid-century painter and wallpaper designer Charles Burchfield last November. The minute I glimpsed an example of his work in the magazine I new I had to see more. To my delight, the article announced the upcoming Heat Waves in a Swamp - an exhibition displaying the artist's best creations chronologically at a museum literally up the road from where we live. I promptly decided that this exhibit would serve as the perfect launch pad for my 'Year of Art' (coincidentally, one of my new years resolutions for 2010 is to make an effort to experience more 'live' art;  be it music, fashion, theatre or in it's most classical form - paintings). So on Saturday the 2nd, I brought my mom and husband to the Hammer to kick things off in style. We went after dark, which was wonderful and only heightened the experience...
Charles Burchfield, what a find - we marvelled at his incredibly cool, whimsical, imaginative style and the exquisite colour scheme of each painting.  It's been a long while since I've felt this wowed and inspired... Pure artistic pleasure.

Heat Waves in a Swamp at the Hammer Museum is now closed, but will re-open at the Whitney in New York this summer. To read more about Burchfield, see pictures and order books, visit: (Click on "exhibitions" then "past exhibitions")

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