Whiskey Sour and Nomaddicts


This little nugget is the newest (and oldest) addition to my small but stead purse collection. My dad is probably rolling in his khaki's right now, because he gave me specific instructions not to use his grandfather's flask carrier as a purse, but I think it works better as a purse than Media-Unit-Shelf decoration! (When I rescued this baby, it had been on top of the wardrobe that houses our TV and various electronics in the family living room for over 10 years, I would speculate). The handle was completely disintegrating, and the threading was coming lose, but it was still in tact and even still contained the glass and silver flasks marked "scotch" and "whiskey", plus a little silver shot glass! I especially love the little gold initials J.K. on the front. It's a living piece of history! I imagine my great grandfather taking this on long trips by train across barren landscapes...ok I'm drifting into Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman territory now.

I had a friend, Victoria Chan of Nomaddicts, give it a little TLC. She lovingly restored the handle, and while the bag itself is a little haggard looking, I think that gives it character, oui?

Here are some of Victoria's amazing handmade leather pieces -
 Black Perforated Drawstring Clutch and Bag



Gray Suede Fringe Clutch & Bag

 Istanbul Solo Utility Bag, $300

Studded Envelope Wallet

Handmade leather Gauntlet, $80. Shannon Sossamon would definately have worn these in A Knight's Tale.

I'm really loving the Transformers collection, which are, as the name implies, versatile pieces that can be worn as a belt or taken apart and used as a clutch/wallet
Tuxedo Transformer, $200

Hojas Transformer, $200 - Loving the colors, perfect for Fall colorblocking.

 Sheepskin and Malbec leather Rockasins, $150 - these look SO cozy!

Check it, bebes.

Cheers,
Renata

Stella McCartney Cake by Apollina



Apollina, of the www.apollinas.com fame, is a genius. Her blog is amazing, she has great taste, even her name is super cute. She created and baked this stunning homage to Stella McCartney, and I, along with the rest of the blogosphere, am beyond impressed. She shared her inspiration board, photos, and the recipe with the world, so I'll do my part to make sure the word keeps getting out. Check out the gorgeous creation, and try your hand at it, if you dare!

 

Here is Apollina's recipe - I do recommend reading her comments first, because she gives some additional tips and pointers, plus how she came up with the recipe.


Citrus Cake with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon & Orange Icing
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pans
  • grated zest of 2 oranges
  • grated zest of two lemons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Blood oranges*, regular oranges, lemons, limes sliced to arrange on top of the cake
  • fresh mint, also to arrange on top of the cake

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8″, 9″ or 10″ round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter again, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. Using an electric (or hand mixer -that’s all I have at the moment!), beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the grated zest of the oranges and lemons. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (don’t over mix).
  4. Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans, leveling the top of each with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick from the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans, 22 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans and 20 to 22 minutes for a 10 inch pan. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely. (After they cooled, I wrapped and froze my cakes until the next day).

Transfer one of the cooled cakes to a plate and spread with the lemon curd. Top with the remaining cake and refrigerate to set, 30 minutes. Then frost the rest of the cake!

Lemon Curd Filling (adapted from RealSimple)
Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions
  1. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Add the butter. Set the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened (like the consistency of mayonnaise), 12 to 15 minutes. UPDATE: the lemon curd could take longer than 15 minutes to thicken up, just keep on whisking, I promise, it will happen.
  2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper directly on the surface of the lemon curd and refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Fresh Orange Lemon Frosting
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar (about 3 3/4 cups), sifted
  • pinch salt

Directions
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and lemon zest on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the orange juice. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the sugar, then the salt, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Ice the cake! UPDATE: I covered and refrigerated the icing overnight and then frosted the cake the next day after it thawed on the counter.

Bon Appetit!
Renata

Fashionable Night Out: In which I uncharacteristically wear all vintage.


Last night was the Boston Blogger mixer at 28 Degrees, in Boston's South End. What fun!! I've got to admit - since I moved back here a few weeks ago, I know, like, 5 people, 4 of whom I am either married to or live with, so being out, in public, among some of Boston's finest and most fashionable was a great night indeed! I didn't get to speak with everyone, which I regret deeply because there were so many interesting people (pure speculation, judging by their covers) but I did get to talk to:

-The impossibly tall and gorgeous Noelani of Mon Petit Chou Chou
-Blonde-and-Texan Michele Moore
-Stylish Amy Allen of the Stylish Year blog and Loft (yeah, that Loft - jealous!)
-I finally met Kristin, who I can always count on for a.) beautiful posts on her blog The Boston Fashionista, and b.) sweet comments on my own posts. An Oklahoma girl with so much great energy!
-The affable girls who created the soon-to-launch, highly anticipated Directory B
-Covetous Creature Holly, who was wearing an amazing spiked shoe-harness as a belt and who's white hair matched her cream-colored, pleated dress
-Najeema, single and a great photographer, as documented by her blog A Stylized Hysteria
-The adorable, and not-foreign-despite-her-accent-which-sounded-foreign Shanna of Shannaseyeview
-RAW, the creator of Blog Sales United, who walked me all the way to the Arlington T stop
-The spring-roll loving creator of Boston After Six
-A Struggling, Single Twenty-Something blogger
-Fascinating fascinator-lover Amanda of Red Bird Vintage
-The Skinny and beautiful Stacey of SumoSkinny
-On the way out, A.V. from Long Distance Loving
-And of course, the woman behind the planning, orchestrating, and throwing of the mixer and who, according to rumor, is leaving Boston soon, the Sassy and Just a Little Bit Outrageous Kinsey Micheals.

I took a total of about 3 photos at the mixer, because I was having so much fun chatting, so sorry for lack of evidence. However, I couldn't not take a picture of Holly's spiked belt. Too cool!

Now for my outfit - I wore basically head-to-toe vintage, and all of it either belonged to my grandmother or my great-grandfather. I hardly ever even wear vintage, let alone an entire outfit, but I think because I knew I was going to be in a room full of bloggers, I got overly excited and a little nervous (as SumoSkinny and I discussed, girls dress mostly for other girls, because guys don't notice all the details and hard work that goes into looking shmawesome!) so I wanted to wear my most cherished pieces, all at once!





I wore the silk flowered dress that my grandmother bought for my uncle's wedding 30 years ago, a leather whiskey flask carrier that I use as a purse (sorry dad!) that belonged to my great grandfather, "J.K.", and armloads of bangles. I used the sash from the dress as a headband/hair wrap, and Nine West flats, which aren't exactly vintage but they are from last year.

More on the bag in the next post - I'll also share with you the lovely lady who lovingly restored the bag's handle.

Cheers,
Renata

WanderLust

This post is dedicated to those of us in the world afflicted with a serious syndrome: Itchy Feet. Yes, it's real. Some of us out there were born with a predisposed inclination to wander the globe, never settling, never settling down. Always looking for the next adventure, and a partner in crime to share it with. We are shocked by nothing, but quietly in love with everything. We think our passports are the best, most timeless accessory (as long as they are not expired). And the part that shocks doctors around the world : There is no cure for Wander Lust, although many millions of dollars, euros, shekels, pesos, liras, bones, and clams have been spent trying.










photos courtesy of pinterest and oneofthesedayssomeday
 The last two are my photos - Cape Cod with the girls!

Cheers,
Renata

In Which I Get What I Want


I finally got my mitts on the Palm Skirt from All Saints. (Remember this post?) I've experienced this before - I try something on in a store, I love it, I need it, it will make my wardrobe, but for whatever reason (usually money, or the fear that it may not be wearable), I don't buy it right away. I go home, mull it over, and usually forget about it. But this skirt (much like the Umit Unal wool coat I bought a couple years ago) haunted my dreams and my waking moments. I checked online several times a day to make sure it was still in stock, in my size, and just to admire it. I asked second, third, fourth opinions. I asked my roommate's Turkish uncle. He liked it. I sent photos to my dad in Mexico. He liked it. Internationally, it was well received. But for some reason, I just knew it wasn't in my budget, and I couldn't get it. Then, last Friday, my darling Auntie sent me a check, and I ran to the ATM, cashed it, and ran home to buy the skirt. It's mine! And here's how I wore it for the very first time.





Body Cuit :  AA
Skirt : All Saints
Shoes : random
Bangles : Aldo (the silver bracelets are from Sicily)
Sunnies : Kenneth Cole

Getting what I want, by hook or by crook : Priceless


Cheers,
Renata

Gold is Another Word for Culture

Gold is a girls best friend, oui? It's the only color that matches everything and is always, always a good gift for the girl who has everything! You can wear it, you can eat it, you can go for it, the streets are paved with it, what could be better?







photos courtesy of The Sartorialist, fffffound, pinterest

Go for the Gold,
Renata

Early Week Inspiration 0002

I have a fresh batch of great Black and Whites for you to start off the week. I love sharing the photos that inspire me to be the best, most fashionable, devil-may-care brand of chic there is! Plus, being a bit of a Monk-esque clean freak, I rather enjoy cleaning my computer and filing the overflowing photos that I've "collected" into "Done and Done."

Enjoy, and have a fresh start to a great new week!








Cheers,
Renata

PS - oh, and while your having a great Monday, how about following me on Blogloving, Twitter, Facebook, or Google Friend Connect? Thanks!!

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