29 July 2011

vintage vendredi: dream pets

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A few years ago I saw a cute, retro-looking stuffed animal in a local gift shop. Her tag said she was Lucy the Lamb, a "Dream Pet," so when I got home I looked up the origins of the brand.

In 1957, a toy company called R. Dakin & Co. was searching for a way to protect their miniature trains when shipping them overseas. Instead of using boring packaging materials, they began producing small stuffed animals made of velveteen and sawdust to put in their boxes. In time, these Dream Pets became more popular than the trains! (Some call them the precursor to Beanie Babies.) By the end of the 1970s, there were over 200 collectible characters.

I love them all, with their interesting colored coats, long eyelashes, and decidedly geometric, mid-century feel. I wish I had my own collection of Dream Pets!




Image source:  the dream pets flickr group.
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28 July 2011

wanderlusting after.... scotland

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As I've mentioned previously, Scotland is a place my soul longs to be in a way I can't really explain. For this week's wanderlusting after... post, I didn't have to look further than Olivia's beautiful blog for inspiration. Her images from Scotland reawaken my pangs for that land;  many of the shots also remind me of my travels through Ireland, where hillside sheep, lush green fields, and tea shops are also ubiquitous.





All images via everyday musings!
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27 July 2011

oh, winged eyeliner

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Still so obsessed with Sixties-inspired editorials! The second set in particular has to be one of my favorite shoots I've seen in a lonnnng time.




Vogue Australia July 2011, images found here, via banana meet-cute.




V Magazine July 2011, via Cat Party.

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26 July 2011

mix no. 4

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Once upon a time, I read somewhere that "Bigmouth Strikes Again" is on J.K. Rowling's "Desert Island Disc." Some Wikipedia-ing revealed that Desert Island Discs is a long-running BBC Radio 4 program, during which a celebrity guest or "castaway" must consider being stranded on a deserted island. What single book, luxury item, and eight pieces of music would they bring along, and why?

Inspired by the idea, I've kept a playlist in my iTunes called "Desert Island" for the last few years, and it's gone through some serious changes. New favorite songs get added, only to be removed when they don't withstand the test of time. The songs that I can truly listen to over and over without barfing are the ones it seems I can't live without.

Who really knows what makes us like the songs we do? Mine are certainly a motley group of tracks. Judge my personality accordingly if you must! Haha. And if you compose your own Desert Island Mix, I'd love to see it.

Meanwhile listen to mine here!


Tracklist:

01. Oh No - Andrew Bird
02. Loxtep - The Annuals
03. Mardy Bum - Arctic Monkeys
04. I Get Around - The Beach Boy
05. Wine Red - The Hush Sound
06. Afternoon Tea - The Kinks
07. One Night Stand - Jazmine Sullivan
08. Today - Smashing Pumpkins
09. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
10. Each Coming Night - Iron and Wine
11. Oh Well, Okay - Elliott Smith
12. California Dreamin' - The Mamas and The Papas
13. The Idea of a Statue - Curiosity Shop
14. Lithium - Nirvana
15. Walking With a Ghost - Tegan and Sara
16. All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
17. The Funeral - Band of Horses
18. Saint Simon - The Shins
19. Across the Universe (World Wildlife Fund Version) - The Beatles
20. I Can't Stop Your Memory - Of Montreal

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25 July 2011

al fresca

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I now have something else to add to my dream apartment wishlist:  a beautiful balcony.




Lovely images via what dani likes.
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21 July 2011

fairy tales from the north

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Those very tales my grandma gave me are illustrated so wonderfully by Einar Nerman.

I see the particular creepy sadness of Hans Christian Andersen in spades  (the third from the bottom reminds me of this scene!).

Images found here, via Birds of Ohio.
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20 July 2011

a (fourth of july) foodie post

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A little belated post on my last trip home to Virginia, and some new experiences:


- Swimming in a fast-moving, rock-bottomed river. Getting my first tan lines in years (I am teh pale).
- Playing with "poppers" instead of real fireworks (it rained).
- Realizing juicy beef hot dogs on the grill are my ultimate summer indulgence.
- Fresh, homemade pesto from my parents' herb garden.
- Making my very first rosemary-garlic foccacia!
- Swimming yet again, this time in a lake, with family.
- Zuchinni and squash also seared on the grill, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
- Blueberry picking at last! It is much easier on the back than strawberry picking. I was amazed that these berries were pink on the vine, not green.


And then back in NC, baking ensued...



 


1)  Dawn's recipe for quadruple-crust, blueberry almond pie:






Look at those four layers of crust! With almond paste sandwiched in between!

I really, really loved this pie. That almond adds a certain je ne sais pas, and I don't even like marzipan-type things. (Cook's note:  I added about twice as much sugar as Dawn did. Hehe.)






Homemade pie and vanilla ice cream make some lovely, messy colors together, don't they?

I was never one for à la Mode anything as a kid, but blueberry pie was always the exception. I just want to drink that melty blueberry / ice cream juice.


2)  A creative use for some leftover pesto my mama gave me:  Pesto-Alfredo Mushroom & Chicken Lasagna.





(How to:

Grease a 9x13 pan with a bit of olive oil. Layer:

- lasagna noodles
- pesto
- sliced mushrooms
- shredded cheese
- salt, pepper, and garlic to taste
- lasagna noodles
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- grilled chicken strips
- alfredo sauce
- salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

...and repeat one more time. Top with noodles, a thin coating of pesto, and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until gooey.

SUPER rich, but yum. It was all I craved for a week; even my cinnamon buns waited by the wayside for a while. Blasphemy.)






3)  A picnic and panzanella. Possibly the prettiest salad I've ever made.


Not pictured:

4) Orange ricotta pound cake

(based on this recipe, but I subbed 1 tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp orange extract for the zested lemons. I had to use bread flour and it came out fine. Don't let the increasingly browned top scare you - I frustratedly had to wait to take it out until the knife was crumby but clean, but it was the most moist pound cake I've ever made!)

5)  CHAI cinnamon rolls.  (recipe to come!)


(...Since I'm officially moving in two weeks at this point, I'm trying to use up all the ingredients in our pantry like crazy. It's been fun times.)

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