Thursday, March 29, 2012

Old Movies

Every Sunday, the hubby and I spend about the entire day watching old movies. The black and whites...usually set during war time through the following two decades. But sometimes we catch shorts from as early as 1926 and as late as 1970.

Our latest adventures in old time films have been Going My Way, Hotel, I Was a Male War Bride, My Sister Eileen and Sweet November.

Going My Way has the best soundtrack and Bing Crosby who won an Oscar for best actor. The film itself won 7 oscars in 1944 and was nominated for 10! Some of the music includes Carmen, Ave Maria, Tura Lura Lura and Swinging on a Star - perhaps one of my all time favorite songs right up there with Down By the Old Mill Stream.






This is a video from the film "Going My Way" of the boys choir singing "Swinging On A Star."All of the films we see can be caught on Turner Classic Movies.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tillandsias - Air Plants

They are so special. And relatively low maintenance. And, um, did I mention...AWESOME!

I love the Tillandsia's. Part of the Bromileiad Family they are certainly realted to succulents and of course, they're pretty. The most famous type of Tillandsia that you are probably aware of is Spanish Moss.

Look at these....

Anytime possible, I try to support Etsy sellers. This and the following photos are all from Etsy shops. If you like these support these artisans buy contacting them! This is a Stripey Jellyfish Terrarium and I want it! It comes from a sensational seller called "Petit Beast!" They have trademarked these Jellyfish Air Plants - Genius!  Please have a look.

This one is called a "Steampunk Air Plant Terrarium." It's by a shop called Lovely Terrariums. The shops owners are "Mike and the Dogs." :) What a great photo.
Different and pretty! By a store called Gass Etc

Whad'ya think? I love this little guy! Although this post is about the plants themselves, it's clear that I am also quite attracted to the containers that they rest in! You can find this at Boy-Girl Tees.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Frabjous Finds -

'It seems very pretty,' she said when she had finished it, 'but it's rather hard to understand!' 'Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don't exactly know what they are!" Alice in Wonderland 

Frabjous: Possibly a blend of fairfabulous, and joyous. Definition from Oxford English Dictionary, credited to Lewis Carroll.

Listen, I hate giving free advertising to giant corporations. For a few reasons really: #1 I feel like I should receive a tit for tat...I advertise for them they should mention P & P!! #2 They're they need little old me to mention them again? They pay millions to an advertising agency to promote them. And last #3 The Book. That's right...if everyone is out there liking them and they are doing still more supplemental advertising on "The Book," then why do I need to tell people how great they are?

However, there are some companies that are so great, that I love so much, that I visit online so often, that I must must must mention them! And is one of those companies! It is a veritable shopping Mecca that cannot be ignored and the best thing about their treasures is that the items listed are modern, chic, enticing, enviable and most importantly more often than not, affordable! Talk about a frabjous find!

Every time I go to this marvelous shopping site, I learn something new, find something sensational and want to shout it to the world. So world, here it is...FAB.COM!

Look at some of these treasures found only at Fab! at reasonable prices.

This first treasure is by a midwestern artist whose eye is fresh and uber cool! His name is Ryan Kapp and his paintings are on sale on right now. I also think you should peruse his website to really get the flavor of his thumbprint. I just ordered one of these!

Look at this! This is a sweet dress from Sub_Urban Riot. I found this on Fab, too! Their clothes are natural fibers and very fashion forward all at the same time! Go look at their website! Although I've shown a dress, they have lots of clothing for both men and women. And they have a blog and they totally love "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," an irreverent hilarious show- which I love too! They are super modern if not a little bit hipster (their current give away is for a "fixie" bike) but very cute, cozy and comfortable.

Who doesn't love this? Your kitty as King Kong! I love this too much, and it's on sale right now at! It is created by an awesome company called Luckies of London. They have a clever tea diffuser in the shape of a yellow submarine, barbeque swords, and wallets for car documents

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's Saint Patrick's Day

I was reading about St. Paddy's Day in Huffington Post today and realized I need to post about it. There are all kinds of misconceptions surrounding this the most Irish of celebrations! My best friends are Irish and I have travelled to Ireland several times, both with them and on my own, but never have I once been served corned beef and cabbage. I am quite certain that that is an American take on the Irish celebration. I do, however, believe that as a nod to our Irish brethren we should wear green, anyway, it looks quite good on most everyone.

I love Ireland.  I truly believe it to be Heaven on Earth. It is green, hence the "Emerald Isle" nomenclature but more than that the spirit of the place is hardy, kind and poetic and perhaps most importantly, never lacking in a sense of humor. It is unlike anywhere else on Earth and if you have travel plans in the near future, you may want to put Eire on the list.

I moved to Italy in my youth and my first friends were Irish folks. I am still friends with them today. I cherish them, though they are far away...O'Donoghue Clan, Cooney's too...I love them.  Irish people are some of the greatest people I have ever met in my life! Lorraine at our wedding, entirely entertaining, the Murphy's extraordinarily generous, Eimear and Brian beautiful and clever, Adrienne, Carrie and Nicky, the best and most loyal friends anyone could ever ask for, Sean perhaps the best humor of anyone I've ever met in real life and Fintan an outstanding host!

Since I was 9 years old I have found myself wishing I was truly Irish, not an American with some Irish ancestors...I mean really, really Irish. On a particularly theatrical day, or when the mood strikes, I am fortunate enough to be able to, quite authentically, mimic a fine Irish accent - that's what Alan Murphy has said, anyway.

St Patricks Day, even with myths and misconceptions is a celebration of the Patron Saint of one of the most charming countries in the world. And we celebrate by wearing green, eating, drinking and being with friends. And donning the beloved Shamrock! I feel like this post is sort of all over the place. I'm feeling a bit sentimental. Enjoy St. Patrick's Day, all!



 It has long been believed that Ireland has no cuisine to call their own. I, however, have been educated by an Irishman who is to be respected for not just his knowledge but his strong brogue and fine hand at pulling a pint, about the history of Irish cuisine - Thank You, Neal McEnearney. There was a clear and definite gastronomy in Ireland but unfortunately, the sweet land of myth, legend, history and Tir Na Nog, was invaded by barbarians, The Spanish, Vikings and the English over and over  again so their culinary arts, unfortunately, were overrun by invaders. Good thing brown bread  (soda bread) survived! I have a recipe from my second mother (Maiden name 'Finn,' married name 'Murphy') but I think it would be a breech of family secrets to share here. So sorry, but if you click here, you'll be led to a good authentic recipe.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Art Nouveau

When I was in college, I studied art. I was so intrigued by the creativity of others, I thought I would try my hand at developing some creativity of my own. Never feeling wholly satisfied with my own creations I collected a handful of art movements to study - one in particular - such music, such richness, was Art Nouveau. The era went from 1890-1914 and produced some of the finest designs seen still, even today. Some of the greats include Alphonse Mucha perhaps the most popular, Gustav Klimt,  Aubrey Beardsley and Rene Lalique.

Today's post is a simple collection of beautiful pictures by the greats of this intriguing art movement.


"Dance" by the famous Alphonse Mucha, Czech by birth educated in France and perhaps the most popular of the Art Nouveau movement.
I love this drawing! Aubrey Beardsley was famous with ink on paper. His lines are as straight as an electronic device could make and his cleverness cannot be emulated. Look at the money and lest we forget her boobies! The title "Lady with a Monkey" seems obvious enough.

As an art student, Judith and Holofernes is thrown in your face daily. I think I have perhaps seen at least 150 different images of the same 'couple' from about 26 countries spanning several centuries. But this version of Judith and Holofernes is by far my favorite. Judith has just slain Holofernes the leader of the Assyrians. The best part of this painting is the indignant look on her face. She was the first feminist! If you ever have the opportunity to see this in a museum it is more than worth the live viewing. She speaks volumes in her silence! 

I cannot find where I got this image. My apologies. However, please look how stunning this pendant is . Rene Lalique is most noted for his glass sculptures but it is often forgotten that he made the most spectacular jewelry. I want her!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A History - Keep Calm and Carry On

The Original

My family are all Anglophiles. There's just no other way to explain it. I know, perhaps, more about British History than I do about US History and I have a great appreciation for my roots, though I am American legacy.

I was so touched by this wee history of Keep Calm and Carry On that it inspired me to post about it here today. Let me know your thoughts! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Frabjous Finds - Little People Project

Sometimes you come across things that are so great you just have to share them with the rest of the world. I tend to be one of those people, duh. I have a blog after all!

I found the Little People Project when I was trying to figure out how to switch this blog off this email and onto another. Obviously, I got a little sidetracked! I want all of these photos. For crying out loud, Iwant to have begun this myself. It's so clever and so charming!

Slinkachu has a book. "A frivolity to spend your hard earned cash on!"

Look at these...! I giggle every time I see them. I need to start a Pinterest page just for these teeny street people.


They're Not Pet's, Susan

Wet 'n' 'Wild

Paddington Doorway

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Springtime Treat

I recommend reading this! Very educational and just in case you think I'm a nut for eating a weed...
I mean, I do not advocate going out and traipsing through the forest and arbitrarily eating the flora without knowledge of what you may be ingesting - but right now, it's Wood Sorrel time. It's a sweet little weed that has purple, white or in my case bright yellow flowers. They are also sometimes called wandering buttercup. Their scientific name is Oxalis. And they have a sweet sour taste. When used in moderation they are a welcome little enhancement to cuisine. Aphids love them. Because aphids love them and they are a weed that's impossible to get rid of, they are not ideal for the garden. I don't really mind them though. It's sticky weed that is the bain of my garden's livelihood. Traips all you want for the buttercup - it's yummy!

I'm going to use the stem and flowers in a spring salad today. Weird. I know. But being the daughter of a hedge witch, I just have a draw to the romance of mother nature - so here it is.

Wash 3 stems of the Wood Sorrel. Cut 4 big Nasturtium leaves and if you have let your garden go through the winter then perhaps you have wee peppers like I have...

Cut the stems of the flowers like you would chives, chiffonade (cut 'em skinny as if you were cutting basil) the nasturtium leaves (they're a treat as they are very peppery), set the flowers aside. Cut up the wee peppers being cautious to discard the seeds.

Wash a handful of greens. I like to use a wild baby lettuce mix - mine are not garden fresh :( - and place in a bowl with the other ingredients.

Top with a simple citrus vinaigrette. 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs lemon juice. Salt ( I like to use Jane's Krazy Mixed Up) and pepper (Trader Joe's has concocted a clever little Flower Pepper - {read more here}) to taste and a dash of sugar to balance to sour. Add some home made croutons for an extra oomph or some pumpkin seeds.

There it is. Enjoy!

More salad pictures....