Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Mid-Summer Night’s Read




I love a good summer read, and as the temperatures began to rise here in DC, I escaped the heat by curling up with my latest novel, “Witches of East End” by Melissa De La Cruz.

This fun, sexy and magical novel about the Beauchamp family, headed by Joanna Beauchamp is a wonderfully wicked ride as Joanna’s daughters, Freya and Ingrid, begin to come out of hiding and become the true magical beings they are.

This wonderful story about embracing oneself and all that comes with it, is only enhanced by De La Cruz’s use of mythology and magic.

If you’re searching for something to entrance you this summer, I recommend that “Witches of East End,” makes it into your travel or pool bag!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Easy Summer Dessert

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I’m fortunate enough to have a farmer’s market right outside my office on Friday mornings! This past Friday, I picked up some blackberries, but was a little overzealous with the amount I purchased...

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we added them to cereals, in yogurt parfaits and even added them to oatmeal…and still I had a ton left over. I needed to use them before they went bad, so I decided to make a summer dessert.

As I was searching for an easy dessert option, I remembered last year’s “Dandy Dessert Contest Winner,” Katie Egan’s peach cobbler recipe. I thought, “Why not make the same dessert using blackberries!”
So, off to the pantry I went and collected the necessary ingredients and in an hour whipped up a delicious summer dessert that everyone enjoyed! Find the easy to prepare recipe below!

Thank you again Katie for your delicious and easy recipe!

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Lazy Peach Blackberry Cobbler Makes 6-8 servings
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 cups peeled sliced peaches blackberries
Melt butter in 1.5-2 quart casserole dish. Mix flour, sugar and milk together.  Pour over melted butter into casserole dish (DON’T STIR INTO BUTTER).
Place sliced peaches Blackberries on top of batter (DON’T STIR INTO BATTER).
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

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Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream…you know…to cut the sweetness!
Enjoy!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Time for a Change…

I recently wore my favorite watch and realized it needed some sprucing up.

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I love the signs of the zodiac on the face, but the brown leather watchband feels so heavy and drab for summer.

After scouring the internet for something a little more summery and fresh, I came upon threechickadees.com; A company that specializes in ribbon products and accessories. I loved their fresh and preppy ribbon watchbands and the price was perfect!

I loved their packaging
After perusing the many options, I ended up buying two bands to wear with different outfits…one needs options after all!

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And as each band is easy to attach and remove it’s fun to swap them in and out when getting dressed in the mornings!

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Hmmm……

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Looks like it’s cocktail time!

Three Chickadees also offers great belts, gifts and madras clothing for men and women. Check out their website here!

Love it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Dandy in New York…The MET

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Last weekend, my husband and I were in NY for the Alexander McQueen exhibit “Savage Beauty.” We wanted to catch a glimpse of the designer’s incredible couture exhibit before it left the MET, and I highly recommend you check it out as well!

After patiently waiting in line (I suggest going early in the morning, when the line tends to be smaller) we finally entered the Cantor Exhibition Hall...

where our first introduction to the exhibition was this exquisite dress from McQueen’s spring/summer 2001 collection titled, VOSS. As Andrew Bolton, curator of the exhibition explained, McQueen used red and black dyed ostrich feathers and glass medical slides painted red, to represent beauty and the blood that is underneath each layer of skin.

After our first glimpse of this gorgeous creation, the exhibit continued to enrapture us with its gorgeous mix of fabrics, textures, images and ideas all created by this remarkable talent.
A few of my favorites included this jacket from his autumn/winter 1997-98 collection titled, It’s a Jungle Out There.

The gorgeous silk and cotton twill fabric, printed with an image from The Thief to the Left of Christ by Robert Campin, ca. 1430 pulls you in and causes you to not only see the beauty and workmanship of the jacket, but also feel the emotional pull of the image of the thief on the cross.

Another absolute favorite was this dress from his autumn/winter 2010-11 collection titled, Angels and Demons.

The remarkable balance that the glove lends to the dress is ingenious and beautiful. And the rich texture of the gold painted duck feathers playing off of the printed silk satin is gorgeous when viewed up close and in person.

In addition, the dress is paired with these incredible shoes.

At first glance you are struck by the richness of the anklet and heel, but upon closer inspection you realize that the heel is actually a sculpture of an angel with wings spread wide behind her. The detail and exquisiteness of McQueen’s work is extraordinary.

Another gorgeous creation is this cream silk tulle and lace dress with resin antlers from McQueen’s autumn/winter 2006-7 collection titled, Widows of Culloden.

I loved McQueen’s quote regarding the £2,000 lace embroidery that is pierced by the antlers. He states, “When we put the antlers on the model and then draped over it the lace embroidery that we had made, we had to poke them through a £2,000 piece of work. But then it worked because it looks like she’s rammed the piece of lace with her antlers. There’s always spontaneity. You’ve got to allow for that in my shows.” McQueen was not afraid to take chances. And the results, transformed his works into otherworldly pieces of art.

And the MET’s exhibit space only enhances the designer’s creations. My favorite room of the exhibition was “Romantic Gothic.” The wall size antiqued mirrors and foreboding lighting is the perfect setting for Alexander McQueen’s dark and gorgeous creations such as this coat of black parachute silk, black synthetic pants and Philip Treacey hat. 

and this dress from his, autumn/winter 2009–10 collection titled, horn of plenty.

Created from duck feathers that were dyed black, it gives the impression of a raven, which as explained by the curator was a romantic symbol of death. The creation embodies McQueen’s vision as he states, “It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle—everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.” Drapers, February 20, 2010.

While one would not wear most of these runway outfits on the street, McQueen said it best when he stated, “For me, what I do is an artistic expression which is channeled through me. Fashion is just the medium.” Muse, December 2008. These are not simply frocks to wear about town, but they are works of art created by a master designer and storyteller who is now lost to us forever.

If you wish to catch the exhibit before it leaves on August 7, log onto metmuseum.org for more information. And to see more on the exhibit, go to blog.metmuseum.org/alexandermcqueen/.

There are so many more wonderful creations on exhibit at the MET and I highly recommend going to see them all in person.

Friday, July 15, 2011

P-Town Bound

P-Town Bound! Check out this week's Domestic Dandy Column on page 22 of "Baltimore OUTLoud!"



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Dandy in NY

This past weekend, my husband and I were in NY for the Alexander McQueen exhibit “Savage Beauty.” Before we headed to the MET, however, we had a wonderful evening in Chelsea.
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It began with a beautiful stroll along the High-Line, and ended with a romantic dinner at Cookshop (156 Tenth Avenue) where owners Marc Meyer, Chris Paraskevaides & Vicki Freeman offer an exquisite menu dedicated to fresh, farm raised ingredients, and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Their mix of seasonal fruits are also apparent in their cocktails. My favorite being the “Spiked  Watermelon Mint Lemonade” featuring vodka, crushed watermelon, muddled mint & lemon. This refreshing drink was just what the Dandy needed after a long day of touring Central Park and the City.

To make your own version of this delightful cocktail try the recipe below!
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Spiked Watermelon Mint Lemonade Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 7 cups water
  • 3 cups diced watermelon
  • 40 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup of vodka
Instructions
1. Combine sugar and lemon juice in a 2-quart pitcher or jar. Add water and mix well.
2. Puree watermelon into a juice. And add to lemonade mixture. Stir in mint leaves, (muddling them as you stir) and serve over ice.
Serving Information
Makes 10 (1-cup) servings
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Pour, drink, and enjoy…ahhh!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Dandy Start to the Day

I absolutely love peanut butter and one of my favorite times of the week is peanut butter bagel morning! This low fat/high protein breakfast fills me up and gets me ready for a busy day.

What makes it low fat? When you think of peanut butter, it’s not one of the first things that come to mind. However, I love this product called “Better’n Peanut Butter!”
Image3aIt contains 85% less fat and 40% less calories than regular peanut butter. And the taste is wonderful! It’s smooth and creamy and delicious!
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When paired with yogurt it’s a delicious breakfast treat that everyone demands!
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Try it for yourself!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Flower Power

Whenever we have a party at our house, I enjoy creating a special centerpiece for the table. This not only makes the tablescape beautiful, but it also enhances the atmosphere I want to create for the event.

For a recent garden party, I wanted to create a centerpiece that felt natural, maybe a little wild and featured flowers from our garden.
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As I was looking around the house and garden to see what I had to work with, I decided to use our tree branch candleholder as a base and cut some of our annabelle and royal purple hydrangeas and some of our hostas for the arrangement.

After taping a block of flower foam to a dish, I placed the dish underneath the candleholder and began arranging my flowers.
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Once I was satisfied with the placement of the flowers, I then placed the glass globes on the candleholder and added votives.
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I was pleased with the final product and loved the mix of the purple flower of the hosta and the royal purple hydrangea and the greenish hue of the annabelles.

When you’re thinking of your next party, remember to have fun with your arrangements, and don’t be afraid to try something new!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Must Haves!




Summer Must Haves!
Check out this month's Domestic Dandy Column in the July issue of "Front Row Monthly!"
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