For some, Halloween might kick off the holiday season, but to me it’s all about Thanksgiving. I’ve gathered up a slew of ideas to help get your table set for the holiday. Continue reading
Let the sales come to you.
Friends, I have a little secret for you. It’s called PoachIt. And it’s kind of brilliant. You select things that you like that are for sale online (like the J.Crew silk blouse I wrote about here). PoachIt tracks their prices and sends you an email when they drop.
VISIT: Union Way in Portland. My sister and I finally made it this weekend to check out this attractive experiment in urban re-development. An “alley” was carved through a city block to create a row of shops connecting Powell’s Books on Burnside with the Ace Hotel on Stark. Not only is it a lovely space of rough-hewn beams with sun streaming in from above, but it also features an impressive line-up of tenants. These include Steven Alan, Danner, and Micah Camden’s Boxer Ramen. I also discovered two new favorites: Spruce Apothecary— check out the amazing fragrance lines they carry, and Marine Layer— for San Francisco-made comfy-stylish clothes at reasonable prices.
BROWSE: the quarterly magazine and website of the resurrected Domino. The design magazine with a cult following is back with a new business plan. You can pick up the holiday issue, their first new issue in four years, on news stands until mid-January.
- This roasted butternut squash and cauliflower soup from Whole Living is a long-time favorite at my house. It’s simple enough for everyday and elegant enough for company. The secret: the sweetness of the butternut squash is perfectly balanced by the cauliflower and balsamic caramelized onions.
- I think I found the perfect lentil soup recipe this week, courtesy of The First Mess. I made two minor tweaks: I added a about half a cup of Pinot Noir Rosé add let it reduce a bit before adding the tomatoes for an extra layer of flavor, and for simplicity, I used Herbes de Provence instead of adding thyme and tarragon separately. Use French green lentils if you can, they keep their texture while other lentils will get a bit mushy.
- At the top of my “to try” list is this leek fennel apple and walnut soup, also from The First Mess. The unique flavor combination (not to mention the gorgeous photo) caught my attention.
LEARN: all about the many types of gluten-free flour and their respective strengths in this brilliant compilation from Meg of Beard and Bonnet. Bonus: Meg provides a curated list of amazing-looking recipes for each flour type. I want to bake my way through pretty much the entire list. Thanks, Meg!
Since October provides a brief pause between the sunshiny revelry of summer and the merry-making of the holiday season, it seems like a good time for a bit of a re-set. I’m setting out to get rid of bad habits that have crept in and re-commit to good ones that I let slide. For me, that means fine-tuning what I eat (and drink) and getting in three good workouts per week. Since it’s not always easy to know what works best, I rely on two local ladies to guide and motivate me (and you can too!).
EAT + DRINK: All things apple. Sip some cider from the experts at Finnriver. Their elegant and easy-to-drink champagne-style artisan sparkling apple cider perfectly balances crisp and tart notes with the slightest bit of sweetness. Great on its own, but also pairs easily with food from apps to dinner to dessert. Bake this apple gallete from La Tartine Gourmande, my hands-down favorite source for simple and delicious gluten-free baked goods. Mix up some fall warmth with this simple cocktail made of bourbon, ginger beer and apple cider, courtesy of Portland’s own Tampopo Press. And last but not least, dig into this slow roasted pork shoulder with apple onion gravy from Simply Recipes. It’s nearly effortless and super delicious. Did I mention it’s paleo?
READ: Ann Mah’s Mastering the Art of French Eating. Think of it as a food-focused French vacation for your brain for less than the cost of dinner. According to Ann, eating is every bit as much of an art form as cooking. I pretty much love her and will be curled up with this book over the holiday weekend.
TABLETOP: It’s the time of year when Heath Ceramics releases its limited edition winter seasonal collection. The serving bowl and mugs featuring their striking seasonal color, blue pine, are my favorite.
WEAR: Handmade porcelain and gold jewelry with a flair for the nautical from Boston-based jewelry designer Kimberly of Porcelain and Stone. Her love for her craft is evident in each of her unique and stunning pieces that work equally well with jeans or a wedding gown.
HIGH TECH: Paperless Post offers a stylish and efficient way to make sure you have addresses for all of your family and friends. Select an address collection card and send it by email (for free). Your loved ones reply and their addresses are saved to your Paperless Post address book. Now you’re ready to send any of their well-designed holiday greetings, party invites, save the date cards, etc. with a few quick clicks. Despite the name, you can send their cards by email or through the mail.
LOW TECH: Sometimes there’s nothing like putting pencil to paper. And Blackwing writing and drawing pencils are the best– the stuff of pencil legend. Plus, they’re as nice to look at as they are to use. Choose your favorite (Palomino, 602, or Pearl) and then stow them in a chic pencil case. I’m having a hard time choosing between the smartly printed Galsford from Jack Wills and the Pendleton Wool Nevilyn from Sea Echo.
Medina Rain Tall Boot from Sorel
Yesterday, I shared some of my favorite rubber rain boots. Today’s round-up features stylish and waterproof leather boots. Not too long ago, this was the impossible dream. But now, there are more and more options to love. Great news for practical fashionistas everywhere. My top tall and ankle boot picks after the jump. Continue reading