It’s all in the (Ladylike) Details

While I was underwhelmed by most of last night’s Oscar fashion, I thought two people got it exactly right: Tina Fey and Emma Stone.

Tina, like Michelle Williams, had an adorable peplum dress that was both flirty and flattering, and her hair was basically Oscar Night Barbie, but in the most glamorous way possible.

 

Emma, on the other hand, went for all out drama with a touch of whimsy, in a deep wowza red with a giant bow, in contrast to Michelle’s bow, which was of the twee variety. Since she is a person of the twee variety, I suppose that’s okay, but I like my bows giant and up near my face area. And who doesn’t?

Sadly for Emma, all the websites and newsy people seem to be slowly and sadly putting her on the ubiquitous and dreaded Worst Dressed lists.  HuffPo UK is even calling her a “massive dress error.” Dislike.

What do you think? Do you dig the giant bow? The tiny peplum skirt? Do tell.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go tell Sandy the rest of her dress is finished and she can ditch the white t-shirt. Also, I’d like to slap the beige right off Kristen Wiig, but I fell asleep just looking at her.

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Fabulously French Friday

Last weekend, my sweet girlfriends came over for a Fabulously French Friday. Film, art and current affairs were debated, gossip and news were exchanged, the corks were popped and the joie de vivre was fizzing around the room.

Sometimes I look around and I bemoan our lack of grace. Americans run around in gym clothes with wet hair, in sweatshirts and sneakers, talking loudly and listening never. We talk with our mouths full, eat while we run, text while we wait, and are generally a bit impatient and more concerned with instant gratification than anything else. I’m as guilty as the next girl of so many of these, so French Friday was our little way of making space in our week to savor. To sip. To have conversation, good food, put down the iPhones and indulge in a little la vie en rose.

To throw your own French Friday, you’ll need:

1. Good quality chocolate, like Dagoba Organic.

2. Soft cheese, like brie or triple cream goat cheese.

3. A French film of your choice. Midnight in Paris, Amelie, Chocolat or Gigi, anyone?

4. A great champagne. Veuve du Vernay brut rose is my go-to.

5. Something that makes you feel comfortable and sexy at the same time. I’d live in black Lanvin flats, a swipe of red lipstick and a J. Crew stripey long-sleeved tee if I could. And, you know, some pants. Maybe.

Viva la France!

Oscar Party Inspiration

Who’s pumped for the Academy Awards this weekend? I completely am, but not for the reasons most people are. I’ve only seen two of the nominated movies (The Descendants and Barber of Birmingham – GO AMELIA!) and I have very little interest in Billy Crystal. Nope, I am strictly into it for the fashion and the food.

In honor of this yearly explosion of fabulosity, I’ve compiled a little inspiration board to help guide my party planning. This year’s event will be a black tie affair, with a twist – pink!

On the menu: greyhounds, popcorn, movie theater candy, and a large tray of perfectly pink peppermint JoJos.

Also, for those truly committed to the cause of throwing an amazing party, Twig & Thistle’s DIY Oscar Party Kit will knock your socks right off. I mean it. Right. Off.

Friday Scraps

{A tiny little treat from the best French bakery in SF, La Boulange}

. Um,  I do this, too. I just don’t film it.

. Would you wear these?

. Just purchased this and it’s a bright spot – literally and figuratively – when I open my purse!

. Parenting la vie en rose

. I definitely have some downloading to do

. Finally got a long overdue haircut and manicure this week, at Mara’s in Hayes Valley. I was impressed! If you’re looking for a legit, reasonably-priced haircut and a great mani, I recommend this cute spot.

Happy (long) President’s Weekend, you guys! I’m getting on a plane early tomorrow morning to see my best friend and her brand spankin’ new little boy! I can’t wait to give her a big hug and smooch some chubby baby cheeks! What are you doing?

Secret San Francisco Picnic

Did you all have a nice Valentine’s Day? Ours was…interesting. Sometimes I think God/the universe/whatever you believe, waits for we humans to have a great notion (Sunset picnic! Flowers! The theatah!) just so it can smite us, tiny powerless beings that we ultimately are.

Smiting? Is that still a thing? Are people smiting? Is it in any way related to smithing?

This is all a very dramatic way of saying that my Valentine’s day flowers never showed up (harrumph, Teleflora!), the weather was fuh-reeeezing and the grass was wet, and the play we saw was completely mediocre.

However. However. Because humans, powerless though we are, are also inherently optimists, I am very pleased to tell you that we did find something awesome that basically makes up for everything else: a secret picnic spot!

Deep in the Yerba Buena Gardens, at the back of the field, is a beautiful waterfall:

Behind it, you’ll find a little stone walkway, with a little corner tucked away, perfect for a picnic!

If wet grass, cold weather, bad plays, or a general lack of things going right happens to you, get some cheese, some wine, some friends, and get thee to this sweet little spot. Poof. Romance, restored. You won’t be smote, but you just might be smitten.

Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs

 

 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I was thinking about some of those classic pairings Hallmark would like us to believe this holiday won’t be complete without: champagne and chocolate, red roses and a schmoopy card, overpriced dinner and a piece of jewelry you may or may not wear.

While good quality champagne and truffles are hard to beat, and Chanel No. 5 with a red lip are the most glamorous pair ever, what about the other stuff? My personal perfect pairs are pretty easy to identify:

. a good book + a cup of coffee

. toast + Nutella

my bicycle + a sunny San Francisco day

. an open trail + hiking boots

. clean sheets + a hot shower

                             

What about you? What do you love to pair together? Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

Pickled Carrots

photo 1

What is this, a granny blog? Did Laura Ingalls Wilder hog tie me and put me in the back of the shed while she feverishly unloads her favorite recipes before she is forced to go back into the field and pick corn or heat water for something?

Negatory, although that would be cool and very Mission:Impossible of her. I’m just slowly reverting to some previous life wherein I didn’t have to work, and instead, would stay home and pickle and can and cure salt pork (what even is salt pork?) and wipe my sweaty braided brow before going to sleep at 8:30 all tuckered out. I miss that life.

Really, the credit for these newfound pioneer projects lives with my dear friends. We’ve learned how to make bread and cheese with Jo, and now we’re going to learn how to pickle things with Daniel. So fun, my friends!

I filtered these through cross process, so they’re all washed out and vintage. Which befits the art of pickling, really. It’s a vintage art, I think. Even my great grandmother didn’t pickle anything, to my knowledge. She mostly baked sprinkle cookies and drank white wine. Classy!

We used David Lebovitz’s excellent recipe, but in the past I’ve adapted a few things (more garlic, namely) to suit.

photo 2 copy

 

PICKLED CARROTS

Ingredients:

. 1 pound carrots, peeled
. 1 1/4 cups water
. 1 cup cider vinegar
. 1/4 cup sugar
. 4 garlic cloves, lightly-crushed
. 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel or dill
. 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
. 2-5 bay leaves, to taste

Instructions:

1. Peel your carrots, then cut them into quarters – cut them in half to make them shorter, then split them open , then halve again. Bring a medium-sized pot of lightly-salted water to a boil.

2. When the water boils, drop the carrots in and simmer for one minute (aka, blanch them). Pour them into a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain thoroughly.

3. In the same pot, heat the remaining ingredients. Once they begin to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes.

4. Remove from heat and add the carrot sticks. Cool until room temperature, then put into jars and chill.

Carrot sticks should be made at least one day in advance, and will keep for up to four weeks in the refrigerator. We have big plans for a Bloody Mary-inspired brunch party, and these carrots, added to some grilled shrimp and jalapeños, will make the perfect garnish.

EAT YOUR VEGGIES.