Sunday, September 28, 2014

Visiting Friends

Here are a few blogs that I highly recommend visiting. I enjoy them anyhow...
Perhaps you will too. They always have:
  • A fresh perspective
  • Pretty pictures
  • Clever ideas
  • Good Vibes (which you know I like to proliferate)!
Also, they are portals to dream worlds. It's some good old fashioned escapism!

Hooked on Houses is on my Blogroll because I. LOVE. IT.  Julia's niche, all about awesome realestate, is remarkable. I love to go there and eat my heart out.

Bri Emery is the Founder/Director at Design Love Fest. It's a crisp clean blog and she is so charming. You can't help but become enraptured by her and her view.

Creatively Driven is rad. Loretta is real and wonderful. Down to earth and seems like a person you could have coffee with, during which meeting you'd likely learn all about the world.

Bekuh B. has a simple yet pretty blog full of daily inspiration and creative insight.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Weddings Here at P & P

I have a wedding blog that I used to be very active on. I designed folks weddings and thus had a little side business going. I even made shoes for some of my brides (including myself) hence the name La Bottine Couture ("Bottine" means a lady's boot in French). Somewhere along the line I grew disenchanted with the whole thing and sort of threw my chips in. The thing is, though, I still love the pretty of a wedding. The love involved and the care taken in creating the most magical party of any couple's lives still get's me going. I love the dresses, the flowers and the clever details. I have decided, since I have let La Bottine Couture fall by the wayside, I should still employ my loves of weddings, on occasion, right here on Poppies & Paperbacks.

As you might've seen from an earlier post, I love dresses. As I was growing up, my mother used to exclaim, "You are all girl!" I'm pretty sure she meant I was girly and high maintenance. I don't think I'm high maintanance. I just like frills, and lace and ruffles and ribbons and bows and taffetta and organza and....

But I can roll around in the mud with the best of 'em too.

Nevertheless here you go. More fancy dresses of the Bridal variety.

Does anyone know the maker and style number for the image above?

Haley Paige Style 6201
These are called "Wendi" and I made them.

La Bottine Couture
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sun and Soil

A friend told me recently, "You have got to try this new place."
So, Lori picked me up one day for lunch and we went over to Sun and Soil; a little haven of good for you, yummyness. They serve organic, made-from-home, tasting smoothies and juices that are truly delicious and healthful. Plus, drinking there is like visiting an old friend in their well appointed living room. It is bright, airy and clean. It's a progressive spin on the smoothie/organic culture. So refreshing. I do have one tiny criticism, however. Bring a load of cash. Each juice is roughly $9.00 and you have to pay a $2.00 refundable fee for the bottle. $11.00 for a juice is more than a bit dear! The smoothies are more affordable at around $7.00 for a 16 oz. selection. Nevertheless, taking care of our bodies seems worth the splurge.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kids Stuff

I have lots of friends with littles. And I have some friends with new littles on the way. I even have friends with Grand-littles. And especially, I have a niece who will be turning one on October 3rd (that will be it's own post) and a little nephew, too!

Here are some precious things from Etsy that I really admire for the wee ones.

1. Pixie Hat
2. A Tiny Romper
3. Polka Dotted Leggings
4. Majorly Awesome Soft Friend
5. Bunny Dish
6. Critter Pillows
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Anthropologie Presents

I have a really nice friend named Carrie who gifted me this top. It's gorgeous with star bursts of color on it as you can see. It's something I never would've bought for myself and what a shame because I would've missed out on this beautiful piece. Its comfortable and easy to wear with a skirt or jeans. It's from Anthropologie though, so you know it probably wasn't affordable. That is why I call it a "piece."
I have recently submitted this exact photo to be used as an example of a normal, everyday person wearing their clothes. Cross your fingers it gets published on the site. That'd be some pretty cool exposure for P & P! Guys, go shopping!
Monday, September 15, 2014

My Talented Peeps

My friend Joan has always been a fount of knowledge and good advice. What's great about her is that she is even keeled. Because of that even keel, sometimes she doesn't self promote and therefore you find out through various sources that she is even more awesome than you already thought she was. Not only does she give good advice, or cook a mean soup, or keep herself fit by walking a 12 minute mile, but she is as well a clutter destroyer, a frugal shopping maven and a crafty, clever woman of the Martha Stewart ilk.

I received one of these in the mail and was shocked. Embellished with a tiny surged edge and themed, they are of meticulous craftsmanship. Cloth post cards!

She has an older friend with whom she goes on little day trips and to notify her friened of the trip without giving away the goodies, she will send a spooky themed card. Then she picks up her friend and they go on a cemetery tour. So wicked! You want to be Joan's friend too, huh?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Frabjous Finds - All Kinds of Good Stuff

Sometimes we talk about unplugging as a society. There is so much stuff out there that hinders us; wheat, sugar, addiction, dehydration, bad communication and stress, just to mention a few. But does unplugging help to thwart these things? Sometimes, for me anyway, my computer can be a little sanctuary even among the "unplug" whispers. For instance, I love to get lost in Pinterest, it's a little haven for me. Private little morsels, like chocolate chips and moonbeams that are all mine and yet, I am sharing. But the enrichment that technology brings me is a list that is long and comforting and a place where I can window shop (or real shop) without leaving the comfort of my home. It used to be that comfort to me was a rainy day, a kitty, and a good book. Now, comfort is still that little trifecta of goodness, but I have added the complements of the internet (and my hubby). There is no limit to the goodies on display for me here. Let me share some of these things with you...


I love Matcha Green Tea at Starbucks. But to get a Matcha Green Tea Latte costs around $4.00 dollars and 300 calories. That is quite a price to pay. A little secret, though, if you order a "Matcha Water" at Starbucks you'll incur a $.75 charge and 50 calories. Much better. Or you can go to Tea Pigs and buy your own Matcha powder. You'll increase your metabolism, get anti oxidant benefits and not have to give any more money to the Starbucks Kingdom. Tea Pigs have cute stuff and lots of teas and reasonable prices. Best!

How would you like a brand new piece of furniture? Or, if you're gonna really go for it, a brand new kitchen? Amsterdam Woodworks  has won the best of the best on Angies list several times. Arno is an exceptional person, too, something that is rare in the artisan trades. Like him on Amsterdam Woodworks facebook page.

I went to the 20th and J Farmers Market last Saturday and I found a real gem. Mama Willow Tree has imported goods that she hand selects from many different regions all over the world, primarily Africa, Peru and Thailand. The colors are vibrant and the goods are high quality and functional and ALL MADE BY WOMEN! Talk about empowering.  I want these. Also, Tiffani is sweet and happy. She has a beauty that sparkles from the inside out.

Also,  Atelier 20. Kristi Hughes is the artist/designer and she's local. You've got to visit the store in order to really get her vibe.

The final finds are some awesome food blogs. Apparently I've been hungry this week.

1. Paleo Paparazzi - Kendra is a personal friend but she is also a resource for health and wellness. If you are endeavoring on a Paleo or Primal path I highly suggest consulting her and her blog. She has a great recipe for gourmet tuna stackers, similar to one I have here.

2. I Am A Food Blog - Great photos, do-able recipes, down to earth instead of I'm so awesome text.

3. My favorite foods are Jewish, Turkish, Italian, Irish and Dutch. All of them are part and parcel to my heritage. A really short history: my grandmother made the best pot roast and fed me excellent tongue and rugelach too. On my mother's side I am Dutch and that really stayed with her, she has Delft all over the house. Also my cousin was raised in the Netherlands - big part of us. I married a Turkish man - by making Pide and Lahmahcun. And I lived in Italy so that goes without saying and finally, I grew up across the street from Irish folks and have travelled to Ireland many times. I found recently a couple of Dutch food Blogs that warm me: this one and this one. Try out some Dutch food. In the coming winter months I will post Soup Mandlen (Jewish) and Spezzatino (Italian)! If you want turkish food try the Poagca and if you want Irish food try the Barmbrack.

4. Last but definitely not least is this one. Oh, Molly! You are a charmer. I'm a little jealous she's so cool at such a young age. I want to be cool too. Molly is funny and beautiful as are her photographs and styling. Also, the recipes at Molly Yeh are top notch.
Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Inspired - "He Said..."

He Said...

I want to go somewhere new and I want to take you with me.
I smiled and couldn't believe  that this man could stand me enough for a trip.
He began doing little things; tying my shoe, hanging a picture.
The little things grew to be big things; buying me a camera, meeting the folks, cooking me dinner.
I really don't deserve him and yet somehow he thinks I do.
He is handsome and cool. No, not like Arthur Fonzarelli; better. Not like the cute guy at school, either; better.
I asked him. "Why do you love me?"
He said, "Because you're you."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good Vibes

Sometimes I wake up and just feel my magic. You know, the magic that you know is inside each and every one of us. The magic that makes us who we are. The magic that is not our job, or our spouse, or our house but that is our heart and soul; our blood, sweat and tears. The thing that makes our spirit what it is.
Other days (which are unusual), I wake up comparing myself to others, like Justina Blakeney because she's doing what I love and what my undergraduate degree is in. I hear myself saying, "Why wasn't that me?" or "Where did I go wrong." Or I grow jealous of people like Grace, who's young and just starting out and is galaxies ahead of where I was (and still am) at her age. And then there is this place. Awesome right? I know! I feel overwhelmed with pride in Erica (One of the partners at Escape to Shape and a beautiful woman, with whom I went to high school) yet sadness in myself that I am not where I know I want to be.
They say comparison is the Devil. But sometimes it's nearly impossible not to look at other folks like the ones mentioned above and not feel like I should be more, do more, see more, speak more, love more. Like I'm not doing enough already. What am I searching for?
So today, I resign to being nothing more than who I am; I resign to "be a proliferator of good vibes." I have the magic. Perhaps even more than others. I have lots of friends, I am in the best shape of my life both physically and spiritually and I have an enduring family that loves me. I also have a husband who is wonderful, not only handsome but a true gentleman. His spirit is warm and masculine. His mind is sharp and his arms loving and secure. I am a creative. I am a chef. I am a style maven. I have arms and legs and a heart that work. And, the most important, I am blessed everyday. #thankful #grateful #loved

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding is a recipe that is not only tasty it is also a snap to make. It's great as dessert but if you sort of mess around with the  ingredients you can create a sweet treat for a lazy Sunday morning too. When you bite into this steaming treat, it should be gooey and custardy and delicious. It's sure to be a crowd-pleaser as it is at my house! Can you think of any variations? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding

  • 2 Cans peaches in heavy syrup drained, half cup of syrup reserved
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  •  Loaf of Hawaiian Bread, crusts removed
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut bread into 1 inch squares.
  3. Drain the peaches and spread on the bottom of an 8x8 pan or 9x9 pan.
  4. Melt the butter with the brown sugar 
  5. Pour over peaches
  6. Sprinkle bread over peaches/brown sugar.
  7. In a blender mix the sugar, half and half, eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  8. Pour mixture over bread.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Variations: instead of peaches cut up apples and instead of sugar use maple syrup for a breakfast treat.