Monday, August 17, 2009

open air-showers

There's something about summer that makes me want to spend all my time outdoors. This isn't a new phenomenon either. While growing up, I spent a good amount of my summers on the water. Whether beach, lake, river or pool, nothing is better after a hard day of playing outdoors to shower outdoors. Not only are outdoor showers great to get all the dirt, sunscreen and muck off before heading inside it's completely invigorating and adds to that summertime feeling to shower en
plein aire.

Since I'm traveling for a few weeks I asked my good friend and architect, Gina, if she would be interested in putting together a post for me. She mentioned outdoor showers, she's thinking of installing one at her on home in Nashville, and I completely fell for it. Thanks G!

I think I have been enamored with the idea of outdoor showers since I saw one my cousin designed 7 years ago. It was on the 2nd floor of his house surrounded by a solid wall and vivid tile pattern with only a view of the stars at night. Check out the Sakura House HERE on his website for photos.

Since seeing this first shower, they have been popping up on every trip I take. The one pictured here is at a game reserve in South Africa. The houses (there were 5 clustered together behind a fence) were laid out so none of the bathrooms had a view of any other - ultimate privacy. All you could see from each bathroom was the open savannah and the excited baboons and zebras checking you out taking a shower. I have to admit, this was not as relaxing as I had hoped!

On a trip to Little Corn Island in Nicaragua, my friend Ashley and I only had the option of an outdoor shower. You basically filled a cup of water from a barrel to rinse off. The view however made that one of my most enjoyable bathing experiences.

Now, I know a lot of these places sound exotic, but I plan on putting my very own outdoor shower in my Tennessee backyard. There may not be any zebras to gaze at, but maybe that means I will use the shower on a regular basis.

photos: john clark (1st); misha gravenor (2nd); gina (3rd and 4th); roger d'souza (5th).

Friday, August 14, 2009

pomegranite margarita

My sister-in-law Catherine introduced me to these margs a few months ago.They are great alone but when paired with a Mexican fiesta, they have become my new favorite margarita. This recipe is just as simple to double or triple if you have a group. However, a juicer really helps with all the lime squeezing you'll be doing.

Pomegranate Margarita
makes 4 margs

1 cup. fresh squeezed lime juice

1 cup Triple Sec
1 cup Pomegranate juice
1 cup good tequila
Garnish with mint

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher or glass bottle. Serve over ice with a salted glass rim or blended with salt.

Photo: Catherine

Monday, August 10, 2009

made by mosey - for the babes

Wouldn't these buntings be perfect hanging from a little boy or girls bedroom? I love that they are made from vintage fabric and by hand. You can find them here. Each piece is 3m long (approximately 9'-8"). If the length doesn't suit you, be sure to let Madeleine know, she'll whip up a custom size.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

the best french toast. ever.

Weekend mornings are relished in my house. Ideally they involve sleeping in, strong coffee, playing with the pup and making breakfast. Usually in that order. If you know me, you know breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I would skip every other meal just to have breakfast. While I don't always eat a big breakfast, often a piece of toast is just enough, I never miss at least having a little something. I love making breakfast almost as much as I love eating it. I would host brunch for 20 in a heartbeat over dinner for 8. There's something about the combination of savory and sweet and planning a meal that's going to last way into the afternoon, and sometimes evening, that gets me a little giddy.

Recently I picked up Molly Wizenberg's new book, A Homemade Life. I first came across her via Orangette, her weekly blog and musings on food. She's a bit of a renaissance woman, with a degree in human biology, French and cultural anthropology. She writes for Bon Appetit, NPR, PBS, Seattle weekly among others. And if that isn't enough, she, alongside her husband (who she met via her blog) have just opened a new restaurant called Delancey in Seattle. Many meals in my home have been inspired by her recipes and antics, you can't help but love her.

I'm a 1/3 of the way through her book and have made 3 recipes so far, all with a great story. Each thing I made was exactly what I was hoping it would be.
One in particular I want to share, hope she doesn't mind. You'll have to pick up the book to see the rest.

Burg's French Toast
makes 6 to 8 slices
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Canola or other flavorless oil for frying
6 to 8 slices of day old bread cut on the diagonal 3/4" thick
Pure maple syrup


Break the eggs into a wide, shallow bowl. Flat bottom works best here but a bowl will do. Whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg and whisk to blend.

Place a heavy large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat, and pour enough oil to completely coat the bottom of the skillet. By completely coat, she means, this isn't the breakfast where you are watching your calorie or fat consumption. This is what makes the french toast the best french toast ever. The only regret you might have with this recipe would be not following the instructions regarding the oil amount. Heat the oil until, when tested with a quick splash of water or egg batter, it sizzles. Then it's ready.

While the oil is heating put a few slices of bread into the egg mixture allowing them to rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. They should feel heavy and saturated but not to the point where they are falling apart. Once fully saturated, carefully place each piece in the skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes before flipping. Flip when they have reached a golden brown. If the bread starts to burn before it turns golden, turn the heat down. You don't want smoking. Once each side is browned remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

I like to serve my toast with fresh blueberries, thick cut smoked bacon, warm maple syrup (the real stuff) and a big iced coffee. I'm sure strawberries, peaches or bananas would be just as great as would chicken apple sausage.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

be still my heart

As an interior designer, I began this blog to post on interiors, home accessories, architecture and things that inspire me. I see so many interior related items on a day to day basis I decided the blog would be an incredible way to catalogue all that I love, be a good spot to send clients, share with friends and anyone else interested. It's now eight months later and I've barely touched on the subject of interiors and architecture. At first I was a little surprised by this stat. My reasoning behind the lack of interiors posts is simple; after a long day of work I have found music, food and fashion a nice change of pace and an opportunity to explore other things I love.

With that said, these pillow covers are just too good to keep a secret. Etsy shop Be Still has an array of pillows and napkins, each with subtle patterns and muted colors. They would work equally well in a rustic cabin as they would a modern loft. The faded colors and bleeding of patterns reminds me of that transition from summer to fall. Perfect for right now. Thanks to Coco+Kelly for the introduction to Be Still.

And from here on out, I promise to post more on interiors. I've had a bit of blogging A.D.D. this summer. Forgive me for getting off track.

Monday, August 3, 2009

anthropologie - real people, real places, paris

The big box retail store has gone and done it again. Yes, I'm talking about Anthropologie. Their August catalogue is straight out of the books of the Satorialist if you ask me. I love it all, particularly the Paris section. Do any of you have a Paris must see, eat or do? Maybe a macaroon spot? If so, drop me a line or comment below. I'll be heading there in just a few weeks.

PS. Don't you just love this buttery yellow sofa? You can find it here.

dirty projectors, stillness is the move

Happy Monday. Here's a little vid of the Dirty Projectors doing their hipster, indie version of Beyoncé. Minus the dance moves, those are not so amazing. Still a great song and cool llama.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

brooklyn rehab

Remember the film Amélie? Of course you do, how could you forget. Ever since I saw the film I've wanted both a photo booth and a garden gnome. Sadly part one of my Amélie wish list is too large and too expensive to fit my budget and my home. The garden gnome part seemed like a relatively obtainable task. Or so I thought. Yet, most gnomes out there look like they have had a few too many garden mushrooms or even worse, an evil glare.

This is where Brooklyn Rehab steps in. I came across the Etsy store some time ago but just recently found the garden pal. At 6 inches tall, he's perfect for the garden in the summer and will look just as cute inside during the winter months. Be sure to check out all of Brooklyn Rehab's etsy store.