Friday, 27 May 2011

I'm itching for something new, but my ideas are still forming in my head. I would love to make this place a little more professional, more consistent. While these ideas are banging around in my head, I thought I'd ask you for help. In your opinion, what is(are) the best feature(s) of this blog? Of course, you're welcome to give constructive criticism!

In the meantime, I've been totally wrapped up in the world of Flavia de Luce (I have to run out and buy the third book, A Red Herring Without Mustard, this weekend). Other reviews pending completion of the Flavia series.

I shall leave you with a list of things that I'm inspired by at the moment.
1. When I was little I really wanted to have glasses and braces, I thought it was the epitome of cool. Later, I did get those braces (twice)... not so cool, mostly painful. But, I still really want glasses. Are fake ones weird? ...they might be too weird.
2. Jenny's new collection for Wikstenmade. Arrow scarf, anyone? Wow.
3. Collected magazine. Hands down my favorite online magazine. I love the clean white layout. I also wished it came in print. 
4. Another great online magazine (via Ill Seen, Ill Said), Pure Green Living Magazine. Coriander Girl is featured with a how-to for making posies!
5. Despite my recent disasters in the kitchen which include soggy banana bread, flavorless gazpacho and runny lemon tarts, I would love to make Soy Seasoned Tofu via Bap Story.
Tulips on Avenue

Recommended Reads: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Sunday, 15 May 2011

This series will usually take place on Friday, but due to this week's blogger mishaps, it is late.

I’m so excited to be back writing recommended reads posts, not only because it means I am able to share my favorite current reads, but it also means that I’m reading for fun again!  First up is a book I’ve absolutely devoured, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. The main character, eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, is a charming, if unreliable narrator. Flavia is an aspiring chemist with two older sisters against whom she is often plotting revenge (her chemical skills come in handy when she puts poison ivy oils into her oldest sister’s lipstick). When she stumbles over a man lying in her family’s cucumber patch, he whispers “Vale” with his last breath. Thus begins Flavia’s quest to determine the man’s identity and solve his murder. Flavia has spunk, and I don’t know about you, but I dreamed of solving mysteries when I was her age. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a light and entertaining read. Perfect for spring.

A favorite quote: “For a moment, I thought of breaking the silence, but, on second thought, decided against it and walked away in a careless manner, whistling the “Harry Lime” theme from the Third Man.” This quote jumped out at me seeing as I just watched The Third Man the weekend before, it’s a great film noir with Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. 




Thursday, 12 May 2011

the perfect spring day.

This week is off to a great start. I've read on park benches in the sunlight, eaten rose and vanilla macarons, visited the cherry blossoms and now I'm making lemon meringue tarts.  I thought I'd take a page out of Kate Miss's book and share with you some videos of the cherry blossoms. What a perfect spring day.

my computer background

Extended Absences and Chocolate Macarons.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Chocolate Macaron with Chocolate Ganache.

I didn't mean to be away for so long, really. It just happened. At first, I was overwhelmed with course work during the last few weeks of my master's degree (which I can now proudly announce that I will be graduating with a Master of Information degree in June!). Then, I was overwhelmed by the aftermath of completing my master's and transitioning into the job hunt (still going!). Then, (would you believe there's another then?!) I felt an enormous amount of self-induced pressure to come back to blogging with something really impressive. All that pressure led me to create a list of things I would like to learn how to make or do this summer (in addition to job hunting!).  One of the first items of business was to make French macarons from scratch. So here you have it! My chocolate macarons made from Cannelle et Vanille's super awesome recipe. So, while I'm not the first or last to successfully make macarons at home, (and owe a lot to those lovely bloggers who wrote extensively re: how to avoid macaron failure) I'm just really glad to be blogging again. I missed it so!

Chocolate Macaron with Chocolate Ganache. 
And, because they were really pretty, here's a picture of the ranunculus that I managed to kill in during my time away from the blog (moment of silence here). As it turns out, my apartment's near desert-like conditions (okay okay, it could be my black thumb) kill anything but hardy ivy and succulents. :(

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