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Parting Words…

  • 13th March 2014

‘Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.’ – Coco Chanel

 

 

BonConseil

 

 

Chicken Minestrone with Orzo

  • 6th January 2014

Temperatures may be plummeting in many cities worldwide, but cooking up this hearty, comforting minestrone will warm up any household.

 

Chicken Minestrone with Orzo from the Williams Sonoma 'Soups' Cookbook

Chicken Minestrone with Orzo from the Williams Sonoma ‘Soup’ Cookbook

 

 

One of our favorites for the winter months…it comes by way of the Williams Sonoma ‘Soup’ Cookbook.   It’s easy and tastes better every day that passes.

 

 

 

chopped

 

 

Ingredients:

 

3 qt chicken stock or prepared broth

2 skinless, boneless whole chicken breasts

4 carrots peeled

2 large zucchini

1/2 lb. green beans

1 small Asian eggplant

2 yellow onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 small head green cabbage, shredded (We substituted Kale but cabbage is also delicious)

1/4 lb fresh white button mushrooms thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic

2 tomatoes, peeled and seeded then finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped basil

Piece of Parmesan cheese rind

1/4 cup orzo

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

salt and pepper

1/2 cup basil pesto (store bought or homemade—recipe to follow)

 

 

 

cooking

 

 

 

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 6 cups of the stock to a simmer.  Add the chicken breasts and simmer until just tender and no trace of pink remains, 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let the chicken cool in the liquid.  Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch cubes.  Set aside.  Strain and reserve the stock.

 

Cut the carrots, zucchini, green beans and eggplant into 1-inch pieces and finely chop the onions.  In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil.  Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes.  Add the cabbage and sauté it just until it is softened about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes, the reserved stock plus the remaining 6 cups of stock, the basil, and the Parmesan rind.  Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15 more minutes.

 

Add the orzo and cannellini beans and cook until the orzo is al dente about 8-10 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and heat through.  Remove and discard the Parmesan rind.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and swirl a tablespoon of pesto into each bowl.  Serve immediately.

 

Note: Adding the rind from a wedge of Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano or grana cheese, to the simmering soup gives it a unique, nutty, sweet flavor.

 

 

 

soup1

 

 

Basil Pesto:

In a food processor, combine 2 minced cloves of garlic, 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves and 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley.  Process until finely chopped.  Add 2 tablespoons pine nuts and process until finely chopped.  With the motor running slowly pour in 1/2 cup olive oil.  Process until thick.  Add 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and pepper to taste and process to mix.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of: Williams Sonoma 'Soups' Cookbook

Photo Courtesy of: Williams Sonoma ‘Soup’ Cookbook

Baked Risotto with Fines Herbes and Lemon

  • 9th December 2013

Herby risotto is Italian comfort food at its finest. This holiday season as you prepare to entertain, keep this recipe in your back pocket.  It’s very hard to mess-up, deliciously rich and savory and comes to us by way of Martha Stewart Magazine.

 

 

Baked Risotto with Fine Herbs Martha Stewart Magazine

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Magazine

 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) and washed well
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1 1/4 cups dry white wine (try to choose a better quality wine)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups chicken broth, warmed, divided
  • 1 1/4 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely sliced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

 

 

 

Ingredients chopped and ready to go

Ingredients chopped and ready to go

 

 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart oval baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek, onion, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 10 minutes. (Do not let brown)

  2. Add rice and stir to thoroughly coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until you hear the rice toasting (it sizzles and pops), about 2 minutes. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high. Simmer until pot is almost dry, about 3 minutes. Add 3 cups broth, bring to a simmer, and transfer to baking dish. Bake risotto 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes and stir again, then bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is just tender, about 5 more minutes.

  3. Remove risotto from oven and stir in remaining tablespoon butter, Parmesan, herbs, and lemon zest. Gradually add 1/2 cup warm broth, stirring, until rice is creamy. (For creamier rice, add more broth, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches desired consistency.) Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. If risotto thickens upon sitting, add more broth to loosen as desired.

 

 

Ready to serve and eat!

Ready to serve and eat!

Parting Words…

  • 8th November 2013

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg

 

 

BonConseil

Fresh Fig & Nectarine Vinaigrette

  • 7th September 2013

As summer closes and fresh figs, peaches and nectarines flood farmer’s markets, this vinaigrette is the perfect way to celebrate their flavors.  It will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and can be used on sandwiches, salads, to marinate meats and for the perfect savory appetizer, as we have done below.

 

 

Nectarine & fig spread on melba toasts with brie cheese and black forest ham.

Nectarine & fig spread on melba toasts with brie cheese, black forest ham and pomegranate seeds.

 

 

Ingredients:

5 fresh black figs (flesh scooped out)

1 nectarine cut into quarters (flesh scooped out)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (best quality)

1/4 cup olive oil (best quality)

1/4 tbs rice wine vinegar

1/8 tbs soy sauce

4 cloves of garlic quartered

Salt & Pepper

 

 

Fig and Nectarine Vinaigrette ready to blend.

Ready to blend

 

 

Blend and enjoy.  (You can modify the thickness by varying the amount of olive oil).

 

 

Fig & Nectarine Vinaigrette blended.

Blending is a cinch

 

 

For the toasts:

 

Spread a dollop of the vinaigrette on melba toasts.

 

Melba Toasts

Melba toasts available at Surfas in Los Angeles.

Nectarine & Fig spread on toasts

Nectarine & Fig spread on toasts

 

 

 

Add hand-torn black forest ham, sharp good quality brie cheese, 3-4 pomegranate seeds for extra tang, generous salt & pepper.

 

Mini savory toasts.

These mini savory toasts are loved by all.

 

 

 

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Parting Words…

  • 27th August 2013

The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels:  it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.

 

Salvador Dalí

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 25th August 2013

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 5th August 2013

As young as I am, I have observed these three swashers. I am boy to them all three, but all they three, though they would serve me, could not be man to me.

 

Shakespeare

 

 

BonConseil

Vienna Bars Sweetly Serenade

  • 26th July 2013

Even if you are not headed to the ‘city of music,’ any time soon you can still enjoy a small taste of Vienna right here at home.  These crumbly, nutty, fruity bars will rival many of the finest pastries from the city’s renowned bakeries.

 

 

 

Vienna Bars served with ice cream

Vienna Bars served with coconut macaroon ice cream.

 

 

The recipe comes by way of Midwest Living and has been requested time and again by anyone who tries these tarts.  In the below we use and they suggest, raspberry preserves, but feel free to swap in your own homemade jam or preserves of any flavor.

 

 

 

Vienna Bars ready to serve.

 

 

Vienna Bars—Recipe from Midwest Living

 

Makes approx. 30 bars

 

Ingredients:

For the crust

1 cup butter softened (we recommend really making it soft)

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks (we use 3)

 

For the topping

2/3 cup seedless red raspberry preserves (we use 1 cup)

2 egg whites (we use 3)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups finely chopped walnuts or almonds (we prefer walnuts for this tart but either are delicious)

 

 

Vienna Bar Dough

The pastry dough.

Crushed almonds for Vienna Bars.

Crushed almonds for Vienna Bars.

 

 

 

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.  Add 1/2 cup sugar and then the salt.  Beat until combined.  Add egg yolks and beat well.  Gradually add the flour, beating on a low speed until combined.  If necessary, stir in the last portion of flour by hand.  Pat dough evenly onto the bottom of an un-greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.

 

 

Vienna Bars dough patted down.

Vienna Bars dough patted down.

 

 

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Remove from the oven.  Dollop preserves evenly on the crust; carefully spread to cover.

 

 

Preserves for Vienna Bars Spread.

Preserves for Vienna Bars Spread.

 

 

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).

 

 

 

Egg white peaks.

 

Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.  Fold in nuts.  Dollop over preserves; spread to cover (if small amount of preserves gets into the egg-white mixture it does not matter much, do your best).

 

Spread the egg white meringue.

 

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.  White still warm cut into pieces.  Cool completely before serving.

 

 

Vienna Bars sliced up.

Vienna Bars sliced up.

 

 

Vienna Bars ready to eat.

Enjoy with any side of cream!

 

 

 

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Parting Words…

  • 21st July 2013

“When I was younger I had a lot of ideas about what romantic love could do—give my life meaning, make sense out of my past.  But when you make romance the church of your choice, you’re subject to the movement of your feelings all the time.”

Ethan Hawke—In discussing Before Midnight

 

BonConseil

 

 

Parting Words…

  • 19th July 2013

He lawai’a no ke kai papa’u, he pokole ke aho; he lawai’a no ke kai hohonu he loa ke aho

 

Translation:  A fisherman of shallow seas uses only a short line; a fisherman of the deep sea uses a long line.

Explanation:  You will reach only as far as you aim and prepare yourself to reach.

 

Taken from:  Proverbs of Hawaii

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 11th July 2013

Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.

 

Virginia Woolf, Orlando

 

 

 

BonConseil

Deux Jours Éblouissants à Paris (kids in tow!)

  • 4th July 2013

Two Perfect Days Visiting Paris (kids in tow and engaged!)

 

Chrysanthemums overflow at the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Chrysanthemums overflow at the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Eli Cornell takes in the grandeur of the Louvre.

Eli Cornell takes in the grandeur of the Louvre.

 

 

 

We are as lucky as it gets to have a special two-part post written by certified Francofile Suzie Cornell publicist extrodinaire and frequent visitor to the city of lights.  The best part of these two days is that it incorporates meaningful adventures for children as well as parentstout ensemble.”  So, no more wondering about planning your itinerary.  It’s all done!  Merci mille fois Suzie!!!  Let’s get right into le premier jour, Day One!

 

The Eiffel Tower all lit up consistently thrills little ones and big ones.

The Eiffel Tower all lit up consistently thrills little ones and big ones.

Eli sketches on the famed 'Ice Wall' in Le Meurice.

Eli sketches on the famed ‘Ice Wall’ at Le Meurice.

 

 

 

 

Madame Suzie Cornell Takes it Away…..

 

 J’aime Paris!  Love is in the air and it’s summer in Paris!!  For the past three years, our family has spent the infamous “April in Paris.”  To clarify family, this included myself, my husband and our two children, Eli and Piper, who are five and under.

My husband and I are true foodies, we actually pick our vacations based on where we would like to try the food.   So we are gluttons for punishment when we bring our children to the culinary capital of the world and want to experience all the Michelin starred restaurants that Paris has to offer.  However, we have come to find out that even your local bistro or café for that matter has fabulous food… in Paris, it is very hard to go wrong.

 

More cheese than anyone can even comprehend beckon on the Île Saint-Louis.

More cheese than anyone can even comprehend beckon on the Île Saint-Louis.

 

 

Where to stay: Left Bank vs. Right Bank

Think Upper East Side vs. Union Square or Beverly Hills vs. Los Feliz?   You have several of the same stores and restaurants in both areas.

But, then in Paris, you also have Arrondissements on both banks that cater to both the upscale and the more casual lifestyles.  As a tourist, you will walk them both but you must pick one to stay on.  The right bank holds your larger, classic Parisian hotels (many of which have been given the title “Palace”).  The left bank hosts the smaller, hipper, younger boutique hotels.  All are family friendly, however I suggest the right bank hotels near the Tuilieries gardens.

 

Tuileries Garden is the perfect place for children.

Tuileries Garden is the perfect place for children.

Kids can take horses in the Tuileries Garden.

Kids can take horses in the Tuileries Garden.

So grab your Louis Vuitton (or Chanel diaper bag) and let’s enjoy two days in Paris avec les enfants….

 

Le Premier Jour (Day #1):

 

If you have arrived from the states the day before, there is a chance you will sleep until noon.

I suggest requesting a wake up call so that you can get up and out.  You will want to adjust to the time zone as quickly as possible.  However don’t fret if you do sleep past noon as the sun will be up until around 10 pm.

Put on your most comfortable walking shoes (I recommend cute sneakers or flats in summer, open sandals don’t fare well in large walking cities) and get ready for une journée incroyable.

 

Quick breakfast—Don’t waste time on a long breakfast on day one.  That will only slow you down all morning. Grab a croissant and cappuccino along the way, but please!!!  don’t take it to go Starbucks-stylebe Parisian.  Tables on the sidewalk abound come summer, so grab a seat and take in the fresh air, the local scene and the fact that you’re in Paris, before you hit the cobblestone.

 

Le Matin—Morning

Jardin du Luxembourg (6th Arr.) – Our kids favorite park… ever, is your first stop!

 

Jardin du Luxembourg is always stunning!!

Jardin du Luxembourg is always stunning!!

 

If you take a taxi, have it drop you off at the south western end of the park, where the playground is located

It’s NOT your typical American playground, starting at the ticket booth to enter (approx. 2.60 Euros for 18 months+ and 1.60 Euros per adult).

But, what this does give you is access to sit down and relax while the kids get their turn to do what they love.  The playground has a life size spider web to climb, structures with slides for kids of all sizes and even a zip line for the older ones.

 

The Spider at Luxembourg Gardens

The Spider at Luxembourg Gardens

 

Now it’s your turn…

 

Head east and north from the playground and stroll through the garden.

 

Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens

 

There is a pond, where you can rent boats and push them with long sticks in the water.

Afterwards leave the park and walk up Rue Bonaparte and you will soon enter the heart of the St. Germain, one of the best areas to stroll and shop.

 

You will quickly encounter La Pharmacie on the corner of Rue du Four and Rue Bonaparte. Any and all French and European beauty products are here under one roof so come with list in hand and go crazy.  (Send your husband and the kids to Ladurée across the street and let them pick some of their fab macaroons to snack on while you shop).

 

Renowned macarons from Ladurée in Paris.  Photo courtesy of:  Ladurée

Renowned macarons from Ladurée in Paris. Photo courtesy of: Ladurée

 

 

Continue exploring the area and make sure to take side streets off of the St. Germain-des-Prés.

 

I came across the adorable children’s store, Happy Garden.  This quaint and very Parisian store carries trendy, well-made clothes that designer Marie-Laurence creates just upstairs.

 

Look for the little boy at Happy Garden.

Look for the little boy in your life from Happy Garden, Paris.

Perfect accessory for your jeune fille from Happy Garden, Paris.

Perfect accessory for your jeune fille from Happy Garden, Paris.

 

 

 

For the latest in high fashion for yourself, head to the nearby Carven on the Rue Saint-Sulpice.  While you can find the brand in high fashion stores in the states, this small boutique carries the brands latest pieces and full collection.  The men in the store were also adorable and spoke perfect English… it’s a winner.

 

Grab lunch at one of the infamous cafes that were home to historical literary masters, our favorite being Les Deux Magots.  Cafés are also a great place to log in to free Wi-Fi and check in back home—they don’t offer it though, you have to ask for a card with the instructions and password (tip—each person needs their own card/code).

 

Deux Magots Café

Deux Magots Café

 

Late Afternoon…

Spend the rest of your afternoon exploring the left bank.  The little streets offer so much charm and you will find yourself coming across amazing churches, gardens and even small playgrounds where the kids can run with le petite français.

Another fun adventure is Montmartre and Sacre Coeur.  You could taxi or metro to the bottom of Sacré Coeur.  Take the funicular up to the top for the most gorgeous view of Paris, it may be a little packed but the kids will definitely enjoy the elevator ride!

 

Famed artists in Monmartre

Famed artists in Monmartre

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

 

Do a quick walkthrough of the church but make sure to prep your kids first, you must be quiet.  We were followed by the “church police” last time as the man continued to hush my children over our shoulder.  Exit and walk down the street to the left of the church and make your first left and wander through Montmartre.

 

Splurge for a chalk portrait of the kids, but stop at the artists down the hill, the ones at the top are pushy and not as good.  (tip:  just outside Sacre Coeur is the Little Train, which takes you on a short-guided tour around the area.  It is a great way to see Montmartre and learn it’s history and the kids will love riding on the motorized train.)

Dinner….

Restaurants in Paris don’t serve food until 7 pm, unless they are an all-day restaurant such as the familiar Le Pain Quitodien.  Smaller markets also close around 5 pm so if you are going to do take out, go early.  If your kids can stay awake, many restaurants in Paris are kid friendly (at least if they aren’t screaming and are entranced by the iPad).  Go at 7 pm when doors open though so you won’t get too many looks.  I suggest a local bistro in your arrondissement so you have a quick escape back home.  If you are still on the left bank, I recommend restaurant Shu (8 Rue Suger, 16th).  It is Japanese, not French, but its all fried skewers and if you have the kids, they will love it.

 

Stay Tuned for Le Deuxième Jour (Day #2)  coming soon from Madame Cornell.  Sip decadent hot chocolate with her at her favorite breakfast haunt, find her ‘little gem’ museum, explore the lobby at Le Meurice with its “Ice Wall,” and see what to do with the kids when the sun goes down and the city lights shine.

 

 

 

joanofarc

 

 

Who is Suzie Cornell?  

Suzie is an entertainment publicist by trade and proud wife and mother of two.  In her youth, she grew up taking family vacations to Europe and studied the French language in Switzerland.  Determined to continue her love of travel and share the world with her children, the family has traveled together to Paris and other other European cities over the past three years.  A self-declared Francophile, she hopes to continue the tradition of yearly trips to Paris and pass along tips to others traveling abroad with children.

 

How can we all learn to travel as effortlessly and gracefully as her?  

Read more of her posts!!!

 

Suzie in Paris

Suzie looks up the cobblestone lane scoping out her next stop.

 

 

 

 

Parting Words…

  • 2nd July 2013

Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.

 

 

Jorge Luis Borges

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 27th June 2013

If kids can learn how to make a simple Bolognese sauce, they will never go hungry. It’s pretty easy to cook pasta, but a good sauce is way more useful.

 

Emeril Lagasse

 

BonConseil

Savory Summer Vegetable Tart

  • 22nd June 2013
Summer Tarts

Summer Tarts

 

Whatever your summer soirée, this is one of the easiest summer appetizers to throw together and looks beautifully healthy and fresh as well.

 

Summer Tarts:

 Ingredients:

1 packet mini tart shells or pastry cups

1 box good quality crème fraîche

1 bunch dill

1 bunch green onions/scallions

1 bunch chives

Coarse sea salt/fresh ground pepper

1 box cherry tomatoes (preferably heirloom tomatoes that come in a variety of colors)

1 long English cucumber or 2 small Persians

 

 

Any fresh summer veggies can be used in these summer tarts which have as their base crème fraîche.    In the above we filled the tart cups 3/4 full with high-quality crème fraîche.  Each cup is topped with a thinly sliced cucumber, skin-on and a cherry tomato halved lengthwise.   Tarts look prettiest collectively if you find a multi-colored basket of heirloom cherry tomatoes that come in varying hues of yellow, red, purple and orange.  Generously sprinkle, chopped dill, chives and scallions on top.  Coarse sea salt and ground pepper add the finishing flourish!

 

• In lieu of cucumber and tomato sub-in differing bright vegetables:

Thinly shaved heirloom carrots

—Shaved baby beets

—Yellow and green summer squash

—2-3 fresh English peas

 

• In lieu of dill and chives try garnishing with:

A mix of fresh parsley, fresh basil and thyme

Shaved fresh green beans

 

• Garnish tarts while they are on your serving tray so that herbs and salt/pepper fall in between the tarts.  The presentation is more, fresh from the garden.

 

Veggies drying

 

 

• Rinse, slice, dry and chop your veggies and herbs the day before, allowing easy assembly the morning of.  Make sure all your veggies and herbs are dry, nothing is worse than a soggy tart!

 

Surfas Cups

Savory Tart Cups

 

 

• We purchased our tart shells from Surfas in Los Angeles, but any variety that is not too sweet will work.

 

 

Summer Tarts

 

 

• Make sure cups are filled generously and herbs and seasonings are heaped on top.

 

 

 

Fête Pyjama!

  • 5th June 2013

Silky and adding sinuous length, the pajama pant has fled the bedroom!

 

 

Stella McCartney Pajama Trousers

Stella McCartney Pajama Trousers; Photo Courtesy of: Vogue UK

 

 

A few tips for bringing this trend street side:

• Pair pants with heels, not flats.  The draped effect looks more elegant with added height.

• Unless you are super long and lean and can carry the full effect, don’t match the pant with a pajama top or otherwise flouncy blouse.  Couple it with a structured white shirt, crisp blazer or tailored, starched, slimming button down.

• Keep your accessories relegated to one area.  One big statement necklace, a flood of stackable bangles.  Jewelry with with a rough texture like grainy wood and agate rings counterbalance the luster of the pants perfectly.

 

 

 

Etro Silk Palazzo Trousers Collage

 

 

Etro Silk Palazzo Trousers, mytheresa.com, € 490.00

Sellida Pleated Silk Blouse Theory, Matchesfashion.com, $277.00

Valentino RockStud Studded-Heel Napa Pump, Noisette, bergdorfgoodman.com, $745.00

 

 

Any of these accessories will work seamlessly:

 

KendraScottElleEarringsEbonyWoodCollage

 

 

 

Kendra Scott Elle Earrings Ebony Wood, charmandchain.com, $70.00

Tory Burch Tina Drop Earrings, toryburch.com, $95.00

Evocateur Norwegian Wood Cuff, ahalife.com, $338.00

 

 

Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders, Photo Courtesy of: Vogue UK

Jil Sander

Jil Sander, Photo Courtesy of: Vogue, UK

 

 

Michelle Dockery in a Silk Louis Vuitton Pajama Top.

Michelle Dockery in a Silk Louis Vuitton Pajama Top.

 

 

Other pajama pants worthy of the day-time spotlight:

 

3.1 Phillip Lim Black Silk Floral Pyjama Pants
Philip Lim Pajama Pant

3.1 Phillip Lim Black Silk Floral Pyjama Pants, boutique1.com, $508.00

or

3.1 Philip Lim Pajama Pant, farfetch.com, $450.00

 

 

Stella McCartney Pajama Pant
Sharon Wauchob Silk Pant
Sally Lapointe Chiffon Trouser

 

 

Stella McCartney (Pre Fall) Silk Print Trousers, mytheresa.com, € 735.00

Sharon Wauchob Silk Pant, farfetch.com, $675.00

Sally Lapointe Chiffon Trouser, farfetch.com, $1875.00

 

A few favorites from JCrew:

 

dual foulard collection shirtdress jcrew
Dual Foulard Collection Shirtdress JCrew

 

 

Cafe Capri in diamond foulard print

 

 

Dual Foulard Collection Shirtdress, jcrew.com, $275.00

Café Capri in Diamond Foulard Pant, jcrew.com, $198.00

 

 

Last Look:

 

The Crop from Zara is Plentiful…Anyone Can Find a Style that Rocks from this Pack

 

Zara Silk Pajama Pant Collage

 

 

 

 

Zara Silk Pajama Pant Collage

 

 

 

 

Marc Jacobs Brings the Pajama Look Up Top:

 

Marc Jacobs Silk Pajama Top

Marc Jacobs Silk Pajama Top

 

 

Sofia Coppola lounging in Marc Jacobs silky pajama top for $695.  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Australia

Sofia Coppola lounging in Marc Jacobs silky pajama top for $695. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Australia

Parting Words…

  • 4th June 2013

From the simple stringing together of lemon garlands for the goddess Durga, to dividing the prasadam or blessed foods for the children first, I came to associate food not only with feminity, but also with purity and divinity.

 
Padma Lakshmi

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 2nd June 2013

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

 

 

Confucius

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 24th May 2013

Still grows the vivacious lilac a generation after the door and lintel and the sill are gone, unfolding its sweet-scented flowers each spring, to be plucked by the musing traveller..

 

 

Henry David Thoreau

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 22nd May 2013

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days—three such days with you, I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.
― John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 19th May 2013

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

 

Saint Augustine

 

 

 

BonConseil

 

 

Parting Words…

  • 16th May 2013

 

What is happening to me happens to all fruits that grow ripe.
It is the honey in my veins that makes my blood thicker, and my soul quieter.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 15th May 2013

Writing is like baking cupcakes, you’re trying to make something from the raw. Like with cupcakes it’s flour and eggs and stuff, and with books it’s ideas and words. The end result is the same though, you want people to eat them up.

 

Emma Shortt

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 11th May 2013

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

 

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

 

 

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 9th May 2013

To produce things and to rear them,
To produce, but not to take possession of them,
To act, but not to rely on one’s own ability,
To lead them, but not to master them –
This is called profound and secret virtue.

Lao-tzu

 

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 5th May 2013

Hong Kong is like an octopus with tentacles reaching out to other parts of Asia.  Europeans certainly have their sense of style but Asians are completely unafraid of mixing and matching.

 

 

Rakhee Shah (Fah Thai Magazine)

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 20th April 2013

All roads indeed lead to Rome, but theirs also is a more mystical destination, some bourne of which no traveller knows the name, some city, they all seem to hint, even more eternal.
Richard Le Gallienne

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 17th April 2013

Mother Teresa said that in India, a woman dying in the street will share her banana with anyone who needs it, whereas in America, people amass and hoard as many bananas as they can to sell for an exorbitant profit. So half of them go bad, anyway.

 

Anne Lamott

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 12th April 2013
The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
Pablo Picasso
BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 6th April 2013

In Luang Prabang, Laos, the Dragonfly represents Three Theravada Buddhist values:

Detachment from stress; Humility of your surroundings; Impermanence of the moment

 

 

 

Dragonfly Amantaka

 

(Courtesy of the Amantaka)

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 3rd April 2013

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

 

Mahatma Gandhi

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 24th March 2013

“A big leather-bound volume makes an ideal razor strap. A thin book is useful to stick under a table with a broken caster to steady it. A large, flat atlas can be used to cover a window with a broken pane. And a thick, old-fashioned heavy book with a clasp is the finest thing in the world to throw at a noisy cat.”

 

Mark Twain

 

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 14th March 2013

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.

To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

 

Henry David Thoreau

 

BonConseil

Parting Words…

  • 11th March 2013

“…the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.”

 

― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

 

BonConseil

 

 

Dollop of Color

  • 10th March 2013

From elegant brushstrokes in hair, to wildly brilliant nails….

 

Town & Country Hair

Photo Courtesy of: Town & Country

Town & Country Hair

Photo Courtesy of: Town & Country

 

 

Victoria Beckham Pink Hair

Photo Courtesy of: Elle UK

Wild Nails

Photo Courtesy of: Elle Collections, Spring/Summer 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top to Bottom, the runway looks for 2013 Spring/Summer are all about bold color

 

 

Eyes at Dior

Eyes at Dior, Photo Courtesy of: Elle Collections, Spring/Summer 2013

 

Here are few fabulous ways to work bright hues into your lifestyle and a few more runway looks to get your inner-palette energized!

 

 

 

stella.it jean skirt

 

skirt, stellajean.it, $544

 

Preen Serpent Skirt
Preen Serpent Skirt

 

 

Serpent Skirt by Preen, modaoperandi.com, $1,210

 

i-wares, seletti

 

i-wares,  Seletti.it and seletti.us

 

 

Stella Runway

Stella McCartney Runway

Stella Runway

Stella McCartney Runway

Stella Runway

Stella McCartney Runway

 

 

Irene Neuwirth Mixed Boulder Opal Bracelet

1.) Irene Neuwirth Mixed Boulder Opal Bracelet, barneys.com, $43,380.00

2.) Wave Vases, dbglassworks.com

 

Cambridge Satchel Company

 

Cambridge Satchel Company, cusp.com, $170.00

 

 

Arnold 100 patent-leather and mirrored-python sandals

 

3.) andreamarques.com

4.) Arnold 100 patent-leather and mirrored-python sandals, net-a-porter.com, $895.00

5.) Burberry London Metallic Leather Trenchcoat, bergdorfgoodman.com, $2995.00

 

 

Candy Chairs, indiamahdavi.com
Candy Chairs, indiamahdavi.com

 

Candy Chairs, indiamahdavi.com

 

Perro Leather Bookmark Coral

 

6.) Festive Wonderland Ornaments Cake, modernbite.com, $100.00

7.) Perro Leather Bookmark Coral, Loewe Madrid, loewe.com, 95 €

8.) Diorite Adizero sneakers, net-a-porter.com, $150.00

 

 

Eye Color at Spring Runway Shows

Eye Color at Spring Runway Shows. Photo Courtesy of: Elle Collections Spring/Summer 2013

Eye Color at Spring Runway Shows

Eye Color at Spring Runway Shows. Photo Courtesy of: Elle Collections Spring/Summer 2013

 

 

Mod Artist's Palette Painting, Horchow
Wild Chevron Giclee, Horchow

Mod Artist’s Palette Painting, horchow.com, $1125.00

Wild Chevron Giclee, horchow.com, $500.00

 

 

Charlotte Olympia Alexa Wedges

 

9.) Flip Flops Asia, Agatharuizdelaprada.com

10.) Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick, Rebelle, chanel.com, $34.00

11.) Alexa, charlotteolympia.com, £325

 

Waterford Araglin Prestige Cobalt 9" Vase
Napoleon Flatware, Horchow

 

 

Waterford Araglin Prestige Cobalt 9″ Vase, na.wwrd.com, $425.00

Napoleon Flatware, horchow.com, $84.90

 

M. Patmos Flora Silk Front Top
Veronica Beard the Skort

 

 

 

 

M. Patmos Flora Silk Front Top, shopbop.com, $395.00

Veronica Beard the Skort, shopbop.com, $495.00

 

 

Boden Seventies Wedge

 

Seventies Wedges, bodenusa.com, $98.00

 

For the little ones:

 

Bo-Kaap Trapeze Mini Dress

12.) Alex Toys Duct Tape Bangle Kit, store.metmuseum.org, $16.25

13.) Bo-Kaap Trapeze Mini Dress, teacollection.com, $27.00

14.) Durban Two Tie Romper, teacollection.com, $35.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parting Words…

  • 5th March 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“He is the king of the South and North, …and Ruler of the East and West.  He walks the outer rim of the world and the Poles melt in his glory.  He draws up the leaf from the seed and covers the land with sweetness.  He is truly the Sun.”

 

Mary Poppins Comes Back, by P.L. Travers

 

 

B

Parting Words…

  • 4th March 2013

“It’s only after a bit of breakfast that I’m able to regard the world with that sunny cheeriness which makes a fellow the universal favourite. I’m never much of a lad till I’ve engulfed an egg or two and a beaker of coffee.”

 

P.G. Wodehouse

BonConseil

Country Crush…Thailand!

  • 2nd March 2013

The world’s longest serving head-of-state King Rama IX is not alone in his love for this “land of the free.”  Designers the world over are drawing inspiration from the former Siam through its resplendent natural beauty, dazzling palaces and colorful markets.

 

Gorgeous Thai Inspired Looks from Anthropologie:

 

Skyscape maxi dress

 

 

Shibori Patchwork Dress
Paisley Trails Tee & Embroidery Tufted Pendant

 

Dao Ikat Jumpsuit
Colima Maxi Skirt and Ruched Pom Pom Scarf

 

 

Skyscape Maxi Dress, anthropologie.com, $168.00

Smocked Malee Dress, anthropologie.com $148.00

Paisley Trails Tee, anthropologie.com, $88.00

Embroidery Tufted Pendant, anthropologie.com, $48.00

Dao Ikat Jumpsuit, anthropologie.com, $88.00

Day Wanderer Pullover, anthropologie.com, $118.00

Colima Maxi Skirt, anthropologie.com, $118.00

Ruched Pompom Scarf, anthropologie.com, $58.00

 

 

Inspired by her trips to Thailand the Caroline Issa collection for L.K.Bennett London,  features sizzling hues, pom poms and rich embroidery.

 

LKBennet Parrot Heel
LK Bennett Bamboo Shoe
LK Bennet Tacca

 

Parrot Embroidered Point Toe Heel, us.lkbennett.com, $445.00

Bamboo Embroidered Flats, us.lkbennett.com, $395.00

Tacca Embroidered Leather Sandal, us.lkbennett.com, $495.00

 

Amanda Brighton’s Thai inspired and produced jewelry.

 

Amanda Brighton Necklace
Amanda Brighton Earrings

 

Amanda Brighton Eastern Star Earrings, wolfandbadger.com, $6,465.00

Amanda Brighton Eastern Star Necklace, wolfandbadger.com, $6,765.00

 

A retro-Thai inspired look that’s a true steal:

 

Siam Red Linear Drop Earrings

 

Siam Red Linear Drop Earrings, 1928.com, $18.00

 

 

Flavors to Ponder:

This mouth-watering salad is a stand-by in our kitchen recipe repertoire and a favorite for entertaining.  It’s copied from the Williams Sonoma Collection Salad Cookbook to which we’ve added a few ingredients.

 

Thai-Style Grilled Beef Salad

 

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Thai chillies or 1 serrano chile minced (if you are preparing for children too try using 1/4 of a chili)

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon brown sugar

4 cups torn red or green-leaf lettuce leaves

1 cup bean sprouts

1/2 cup finely shredded carrots

1/2 cup fresh torn basil leaves

1/2 cup minced fresh mint, plus several sprigs

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 lb beef sirloin or tri-tip

We added a handful of: thinly sliced radish, french green beans sliced vertically down the center, chopped green onion

 

Prepare a fire in a grill, or preheat the broiler.  In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, chiles, lime juice, water, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, and the brown sugar.  Set aside.

 

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, bean sprouts, carrot, basil, minced mint, and cilantro and toss together.  Spread the mixture on a platter.

 

Rub the meat on both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.  Place on grill rack or on a broiler pan and cook, turning once, until seared on both sides, about 1 minute on each side.  Transfer to a cutting board and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cut against the grain into strips, 1/4 inch thick.

 

Arrange the beef strips over the lettuce mixture and pour the garlic mixture evenly on top.  Garnish with the mint sprigs if desired and serve hot.

 

Variation Tip:  This salad can also be eaten wrapped in a lettuce leaf.  Use 2 cups torn leaves, and keep 8-12 leaves whole.  Toss the torn leaves and other ingredients with only half of the sauce, and put the rest of the sauce in a small bowl for dipping.  To eat, place a leaf in the palm of your hand and fill it with some of the salad.  Fold the sides over and then roll up loosely to eat out of hand, after first dipping it in the remaining sauce.

 

Williams Sonoma Salad Cookbook

 

 This is a great cook book!

 

Williams Sonoma Collection: Salad, overstock.com, $13.39

 

Parting Words…

  • 21st February 2013

“Physiologically, we are informed by mystery, and therein lies our potency.  Our sensitivity to forces outside the self is a gift.”

 

Antonella Gambotto-Burke on ‘The Gift of Feminity,’ Vogue Australia

De Bon Goût—In Good Taste

  • 18th February 2013

It is sweet velvety comfort busting with nutritional value.   Sweet potatoes definitely should not be relegated to fried strips alongside burgers or within a casserole dish only at Thanksgiving.  This delicious soup brings the flavor of sweet potatoes center-stage.  The sweetness and color will vary based upon the variety you choose to use.

 

Sweet Potato & Parsnip Soup

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup with White Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato & Parsnip Soup

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup made with orange sweet potatoes

 

My Mother-in-Law’s Recipe!

1lb parsnips (parsnips are winter vegetables only, that require frost to turn their starch to a sweet sugar)
1 1/4lb of sweet potato
2Tbs of olive oil and 2Tbs of butter
2 large leeks
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1tsp of ground cumin
5 cups of chicken stock
2/3cup of milk or cream (optional)
Salt and pepper
Chives or parsley and or croutons to garnish

 

Sautée leeks and garlic in olive oil and butter.  Add peeled, cubed sweet potato and parsnips and sauté for 5-10 minutes stirring constantly.  Add stock, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until everything is soft.

Blend, and serve with a touch of cream, parsley and homemade croutons

 

 

Parting Words

  • 13th February 2013

…recent DNA evidence suggests that all human beings are related to a single African tribe that lived 60,000 years ago.

 

From the Introduction to: Tribes of the Great Rift Valley, Elizabeth L. Gilbert

A Little Bit of Luck

  • 12th February 2013

Four leaf clovers have symbolized accidental luck since the ancient times.  There’s nothing accidental about how they are popping up adorning jewelry and clothing this season.  With a little bit of luck and planning any of these pieces could be yours if you hurry before they’re gone!

Topping the list of clover-inspired wear this fabulous Milly dress:

Milly Dress

 

Milly Carlin Clover-Print Silk-Georgette Dress, shopping.aol.com, $425.00

 

Clover Silk Skirt Jcrew
Clover Silk Skirt Jcrew

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silk pleated skirt in mini medallion, jcrew.com, $128.00

 

Some Lucky Charms

Mini Clover Jennifer Zeuner Bracelet

Mini Clover Bracelet, Jennifer Zeuner Jewelry, shopbop.com, $143.00

 

Roberto Coin Primavera Smoky Quartz Clover Bangle

 

Roberto Coin Primavera Smoky Quartz Clover Bangle, neimanmarcus.com, $1660.00

 

Shawn Clover Stud Earrings Tory Burch

 

Shawn Clover Stud Earrings, Tory Burch, saksfifthavenue.com, $78.00

 

Jennifer Meyer Gold Four Leaf Clover Pendant Necklace

 

Jennifer Meyer Gold Four-Leaf Clover Pendant Necklace, Barneys.com, $1,325.00

Lucky Ring Spinning Jewelry

Lucky, spinningjewelry.com, $31.95

 

For the littlest leprechauns:

 

Vintage Inspired Jewelry for kids Garnet Hill
Vintage Inspired Jewelry for kids Garnet Hill

 

 

 

Vintage-Inspired Jewelry for Kids, Garnethill.com, $36.50

The Little Black (and White) Dress

  • 11th February 2013

The visual appeal of black and white cannot be understated.  It’s always clean, striking, fresh and modern. From leather to ruffled, A-line to shift, there’s a dress to fit every personality and body type.

 

 

Black & White Dresses

 

Black & White Dresses

 

1.) Alice + Olivia Paige Striped Leather Shift Dress, neimanmarcus.com, $997.00 (Pre-Order)

2.) Bow Tie Cora Dress, katespade.com, $398.00

3.) Colorblocked Zippered Dress, forever21.com, $24.80

4.) Sheri Bodell Namibia Tank Dress, shopbop.com, $194.00

5.) Michael, Michael Kors, Stretch-cotton poplin dress, net-a-porter.com, $175.00

6.) Lela Rose Square Neck Dress, shopbop.com, $1,195.00

7.) Michael Kors Belted cotton-crepe dress, net-a-porter.com, $1,995.00

8. Thakoon Addition Sleeveless Leopard Dress, barneys.com, $490.00

9.) RED Valentino Lace-Hem Striped Knit Dress, neimanmarcus.com, $495.00

10.) Combined Dress, zara.com, $59.90

11.) Theory Nikay B Dress, shopbop.com, $235.00

12.) Tibi Drop Waist Checker Dress, Tibi.com, $445.00

 

Le Ciné File

  • 9th February 2013

Whatever your views on the movie itself, Kristen Stewart’s sunglasses in ‘On the Road,’ are a certain talking point.

 

 Sunglasses On the Road

 

Sunglasses On the Road

 

Here are three that come awfully close to recreating the casual cool…

 

Retrosun vintage Gucci glasses
Ray Ban Original Way Farer
Max Mara Sunglasses

Photo Courtesy of Elle Italia

Retrosun Vintage Gucci glasses, net-a-porter.com, $325.00

Ray-Ban RB2140 Original Wayfarer Sunglasses, ray-ban.com, $155.00

MaxMara by Safilo, Photo Courtesy of:  Elle Italia

 

 

Five more styles worth investigating:

 

Victoria Beckham Aviator Sunglasses

 

Victoria Beckham Aviator-style acetate sunglasses, net-a-porter.com, $535.00

Ray Ban Retro Cat Eyes

Ray-Ban Retro Cay Eye, barneys.com, $140.00

 

Stella McCartney Round Sunglasses in Soft Pink
Stella McCartney Round Sunglasses in Soft Pink

 

 

Stella McCartney Round Sunglasses in soft pink, shopbop.com, $225.00

 

Lanvin Round Sunglasses
Lanvin Round Sunglasses

 

 

Lanvin Round Sunglasses in shiny opaline ivory/brown, shopbop.com, $450.00

 

Missoni by Allison

Photo Courtesy of Elle Italia

Missoni by Allison

 

 

Reine des Roses

  • 9th February 2013

The queen of the roses it is!  A David Austin rose, the quintessential English Garden rose, is typically large, resplendently adorned with petals carrying a heady scent—besides being tremendously in vogue with florists right now.  

Garden roses are being used in all of the most elegant arrangements.  So, why not go straight to the source and order your next arrangement from David Austin itself.  This great tip came from my father, a passionate gardener, rose aficionado, creative thinker and true romantic (luckily for mum!).

 

A few pictures to entice….

 

Vintage Bouquet David Austen
Floral Tapestry Bouquet David Austen

 

Now imagine the scent from these luscious blooms!!  Totally different from your average florist arrangement.  

 

The above two are:

Vintage Bouquet, DavidAustin.com, $90.00

Evoke days gone by with this lavish bouquet. The rich colors and old-world romantic style of Darcey, Miranda and Phoebe give this arrangement an air of nostalgic charm and elegance. Phoebe also has a lovely fruity scent.

 

Floral Tapestry Bouquet, DavidAustin.com, $90.00

Bring the spirit of the garden into the home with this vibrant bouquet. Darcey, Phoebe and Juliet create an explosion of color with their spectacularly bold blooms. Phoebe also has a lovely fruity scent.

 

 

If you are looking for more mono-chromatic tones you can try:

Juliet Rose Garden Bouquet

Tranquility Bouquet David Austen

 

Juliet Rose Garden Bouquet, DavidAustin.com, $90.00

Juliet’s soft peachy shades intermingle with ruscus and hypericum creating an arrangement that radiates warmth and romance. Juliet has large, elegant flower heads with spectacularly beautiful rosette forms. Its unusual coloring and sophisticated form explains why Juliet has become such a highly desirable rose. There is a delicate Tea Rose fragrance.

 

 Tranquility Bouquet, DavidAustinroses.com,$90.00

The pastel tones of Juliet and Patience harmonize perfectly in this ultra-pretty bouquet. Patience has a captivating fresh old rose fragrance.

 

(All descriptions courtesy of the David Austin site, davidaustinroses.com)

Short Order

  • 8th February 2013

A look at some of the best shorts to kick-start the season!  A few are almost sold-out already…

Calypso St. Barth Silk Short
Calypso St. Barth Silk Short

 

Silk Short, calypsostbarth.com, $145.00

 

Gucci Floral Linen Short
Gucci Floral Print Linen Short

Gucci Flora Infinity Print White Linen Short, gucci.com, $795.00

 

Giambattista Valli, Leopard-Print silk-shantung shorts
Giambattista Valli, Leopard-Print silk-shantung shorts

 

Giambattista Valli, Leopard-Print silk-shantung shorts, net-a-porter.com, $795.00

 

ALC Cash Leather Shorts
ALC Cash Leather Shorts

A.L.C Cash Leather Shorts, shopbop.com, $751.00

 

Carven Paisley Printed Shorts
Carven Paisley Printed Shorts

 

Carven Paisley Print Shorts, mytheresa.com, $220.00

 

Band of Outsiders Travel Printed Shorts
Band of Outsiders Travel Printed Shorts

 

BOY. By Band of Outsiders, Travel Printed Shorts, matchesfashion.com, $205.00

 

Anna Sui Embroidered Chiffon Shorts
Yigal Azrouel Tech Crepe Shorts

 

Anna Sui Embroidered Chiffon Shorts, shopatcrystalbeach.com, $280.00

Yigal Azrouel Tech Crepe Shorts, saks.com, $370.00

 

Rag and Bone Yvette Shorts

 

Rag & Bone Ivette Shorts, barneys.com, $255.00

 

 

Collection Gilded Brocade Jcrew
Collection Gilded Brocade Jcrew

 

Collection Gilded Brocade Shorts, jcrew.com, $138.00

 

Butterfly Shorts Jcrew
Butterfly Shorts Jcrew

 

Butterfly Short, jcrew.com, $65.00

 

Parting Words…

  • 7th February 2013

On writing:

“The approach to structure in factual writing is like returning from a grocery store with materials you intend to cook for dinner.  You set them out on the kitchen counter, and what’s there is what you deal with, and all you deal with.”

 

The New Yorker, January 14, 2013, “Structure,” by John McPhee

des Animaux (pour les petits)

  • 6th February 2013

We can’t totally leave the kids out!  A few fun finds that even the little ones will enjoy.

 

Beba Bean animal friends are adorably elegant in all white and super cuddly.  A soft addition to the crib and never hard on the eyes when left all over the house.

Beba Bean Knit Sack Animals

Beba Bean Knit Sack Lion

 

 

 

Beba Bean knit sack animals, bebabean.com, $14.25—$22.00

 

darlingclementine

 

 

 

Blue Elephant Plate, darlingclementinesshop.com, $16.00

My Lion, darlingclementinesshop.com, $28.00

Giraffe paper, darlingclementinesshop.com, $4.50

Le Zig-Zag

  • 3rd February 2013

The inverted “V” chevron pattern is popular with everyone from the military to migrating birds.  Here are a few fresh takes on the design which is as old as Ancient Greece.

Chevron Clothes

 

1.) Chan Luu Chevron Sequin Mini Skirt, calypsostbarth.com, $295.00

2.) Gorjana Chevron Tribal Earrings, shopbop.com, $65.00

3.) Current Elliott The Ankle Skinny Jeans, shopbop.com, $218.00

4. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Chevron Sweater in Vita Multi, revolveclothing.com, $460.00

5.) Milly, Carina Chevron Sheath Dress, saks.com, $375.00

6.) Stella McCartney Chevron Mesh Sweater, bergdorfgoodman.com, $880.00

7.) RHIÉ Chevron Stretch Pencil Skirt, barneys.com, $350 (available on pre-order)

8.) Trina Turk Corinne Chevron Dress, neimanmarcus.com, $268.00

9.) Wayuu Bracelet, Silvia Tcherassi, shoplatitude.com, $120.00

10.) High-waisted chevron shorts, forever21.com, $19.80

 

 

Pour La Maison

 Chevron Decor Collage

 

1.) Chevron Banded Drum Shade, anthropologie.com, $118.00-$128.00

2.) Blue ZigZar Tibor, emiliaceramics.com, $185.00

3.) Chevron Picture Frames, garnethill.com, $28.00

4.) Mint Green Zig Zag Pillow, zazzle.com, $49.95

5.) Grey Chevron Pouf, littlechoux.com, $116.00

6.)Chevron Patterned Knit Throw, neimanmarcus.com, $195.00

7.) Chevron Mirror, Wisteria.com, $379.00

8.) Threshold Chevron Shag Area Rug, 5’X7’, target.com, $279.99

 

What I Love Today…

  • 3rd February 2013

My amazingly health conscious, Ashland-Oregon based friend has been turning up aces recently with a wide range of all-natural delicious treats.  Many of them are blog-worthy, but this 100% pure Maple Candy is in season right now and not for long.  A delicious dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, guilt-free gift for yourself or someone else.

 

www.coombsfamilyfarms.com

Coombs Family Farms Maple Candy
Coombs Family Farms

De Bon Goût—In Good Taste

  • 2nd February 2013

On Robertson Blvd., in an area not even slightly reminiscent of Capri is the enchanting bakery for the Ivy, Dolce Isola.

The ambiance is classic shabby chic café/bistro, perfect for a lazy Saturday morning and the treats are far from ordinary.  While their gelato is suitably creamy and their croissants flaky and buttery what truly is worth the trip is the baguette and cheese crackers.

Serve the baguette at a dinner party and it will steal the show (trust us).  The inside is light as air, like cotton-candy and the outside crunchy, crisp and salty.  With the right cheese (Surfas is just minutes away), it’s heaven.  Tangy, sharp, a bit spicy and salty, their cheese biscuits are divinity.  They must be pre-ordered one day in advance so plan ahead suitably.

If you do not reside here in sunny Southern California, don’t fret.  We have a similar cheese biscuit recipe clipped from Bon Appetit (tried, tested, delicious and easy) and a tip on how to recreate the café ambiance at home.

 

Dolce Isola Los Angeles

 

 

Savory Parmesan Shortbread Rounds 

(recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit)—Serve with pre-dinner drinks and salumi platter—Makes 24

 

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1/2 small garlic clove, properly minced

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix flour, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic, and cayenne pepper in processor.  Add butter and, using on/off turns, process until dough begins to come together.  Gather dough into ball.  Divide dough in half.  Roll each half into 12-inch log, and cut each log into 1-inch pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball.  Arrange dough balls on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Press each ball into 2-inch diameter round.  Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over.

Bake shortbread rounds until tops are dry and bottoms are golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Transfer shortbread rounds to rack and cool completely.

Shortbread rounds can be made 1 week ahead.  Store rounds in airtight container at room temperature, or freeze up to 1 month.

 

Cheese crackers, Dolce Isola Los Angeles

 

 

Dolce Isola, 2869 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, 90034

310-776-7070

Hours
8am – 4pm, Monday through Friday
8am – 3pm, Saturday
Closed Sunday

 

Voleur: Steal this Look

  • 2nd February 2013

Dolce Isola Bakery Los Angeles

Dolce Isola Bakery

Recreate the Euro-chic café look at Dolce Isola with simple unframed artwork, brightly-hued bistro chairs, generous bunches of multi-colored flowers and over-sized blue & white vases.

 

Wisteria

 

1.) Fermob Bistro Metal Chair, thegardengates.com, $198.00

2.) Happiness Pots, wisteria.com, $239.00

3.) Chinese Lidded Jar Floral Garden, wisteria.com, $89.00

4.) Altered Ego Chair, Spindles, Anthropologie.com, $348.00

5.) Red Geraniums print, ballarddesigns.com, $159.00

6.) Poupée Porcelaine, Anthropologie.com, $948.00

 

Lace it Up!

  • 1st February 2013

It’s the combination of dense embroidery and open space, coupled together, that makes the delicate pattern of lace so incredibly dynamic.  At the moment it is also ubiquitous, but there are still a few pieces that stand apart.

 

Lace collage

Lace Collage

 

1.) Sacai Luck Floral Lace Striped Dress, barneys.com, $895.00

2.) Lace Print Pencil, anthropologie.com, $118.00

3.) RED Valentino Skirt, store.valentino.com, $850.00

4.) Pre-Order Collection Lace-Stripe Tuxedo Pant, Jcrew.com, $445.00

5.) Milly Walker cotton-blend lace top, net-a-porter.com, $250.00

6.) Christian Louboutin Milady 100 Chantilly lace and satin peep toe pumps, net-a-porter.com,  $995.00

7.) Lanvin One-Shoulder Floral Lace Top, barneys.com, $2095.00 (available on pre-order)

8.) Dress, H&M, Navy Lace, $29.95, available in-store

9.) Panther Lace Pants, shopbop.com, $170.00

10.) Daisy Lace Minaudiere, Jcrew.com, $278.00

11.) Faux Leather Cut Work Skirt, zara.com, $79.90

 

For lace, vintage can be an exquisite option.  Many specialty vintage boutiques provide lovely lace waists (waist is a common term for a woman’s shirt from the early 19th century through the Edwardian period) that look amazing paired with your favorite broken-in boyfriend, or skinny black jeans.  The two below are from Paris 1900.  Enter this gem of a boutique in Santa Monica to find a curated collection of vintage and vintage-inspired lace blouses, dresses and boleros.

 

 

Paris 1900 Santa Monica
Paris 1900 Lace Shirt

 

Battenburg Tape Lace Top with hand-done brides, Circa 1900, $650.00, Paris 1900, Santa Monica

Edwardian Vintage Waist, Circa 1910, $325.00, Paris 1900, Santa Monica

 

Add an Edwardian touch to your home décor with this delicately modern table by moooi

Moooi Crochet Table

 

Lace crochet table, moooi.com

If You’re Heading To…Mumbai

  • 31st January 2013

In the world of sumptuous, all-natural, hand-woven textiles, the buzz centers around, Creative Bee.  Accessing more than 400 handloom weavers in several states of India, Creative Bee truly celebrates the rich Indian Heritage of gorgeously detailed printing and weaving.  Luminous raw silk exploding with color, gossamer light scarves hand painted with flowing watercolor strokes await….

Creative Bee Textiles
Scarves Creative Bee

Scarves purchased at Creative Bee

Creative Bee is located in Mumbai at:  3-4 Piroja House, 45, Forjett Street (opposite:  Saibaba Temple)

August Kranti Mrg, Gowalia Tank, Mumbai 400 036

Tel: 91.22.665.68580

Creative Bee also has locations in:  Delhi, Surat, and Hyderabad

Bulk orders and more information available at:  www.creativebee.biz

 

creativeprinting1
Creative Bee India Printing

Photo Courtesy of: Creativebee.biz

Creative Bee India

Photo courtesy of: Creativebee.biz

Duppata Creative Bee
Saree Creative Bee

Photos courtesy of: Creativebee.biz

Saree Creative Bee

 

Hear Me Roar

  • 31st January 2013

They may be too young to actually go on a South African safari, but there’s nothing stopping young fellows (or young  ladies) from having uproarious fun in these adorable safari-inspired t-shirts from Tea.

Coming in a wide range of wild creatures from leopards to rhinos, the shirts range in price between $19.00 and $30.00.

Boys (or why not girls?), 6M- 12 Years, teacollection.com

 

Tea South African Shirts

 

What’s in a Face?

  • 30th January 2013

Once popular in Ancient Rome cameos can still hold their own.  They are set-off perfectly when paired with a thoroughly modern pant suit or pair of sleek leather leggings.  If you were slow to pick up on this trend early last year, don’t fret you still have options. Miu Miu’s nod to these objets d’art are a pop of color with whimsical profiles.  While almost completely sold-out you can still find their necklace in stunning scarlet at mytheresa.com.  (I think there’s just one left! and on sale too!)

 cameo collage

 

 

1.) Cameo Necklace with Brooch, Lanvin.com, $1715.00 (Hurry on Sale!)

2.-3.)Cameo Circle Earrings and Linear Earrings, neimanmarcus.com, $160.00 and $140.00

4.) Rhoda Cameo Gown, anthropologie.com, $348.00

5.) Velvet Necklace with Cameo Pendant, Miu Miu, mytheresa.com, € 335.00 (Hurry on Sale!!)

6.) Juliet & Company Cameo Stud Earrings, shopbop.com, $28.00

7.) Vintage Antiqued Bronze Queen Cameo Bracelet, amazon.com, $5.99

What I Love Today…

  • 30th January 2013

Doris Duke’s Shangri La, A House in Paradise

From Jali doors and windows commissioned from Delhi to early 18th century wood panels from Damascus, Syria,  Doris Duke’s, “Spanish-Moorish-Persian-Indian complex” successfully integrated architecture and interiors from India, Iran, Morocco and Syria with a large collection of Islamic art.

This book is a glorious feast of 17th century Iranian tile-panels, mother-of-pearl Syrian trunks and Indian suzani textiles.  One can get lost in the colors and patterns for hours.  It’s perfect company for anyone especially after a harrowing day of traffic and carpool—made better with a cup of Turkish tea and a rose-water infused biscuit.

Doris Duke's Shangri La

Photo Courtesy of: Doris Duke’s Shangri La A House in Paradise

Doris Duke's Shangri La A House in Paradise

Photo Courtesy of: Doris Duke’s Shangri La A House in Paradise

Doris Duke Dining Area

Photo Courtesy: Doris Duke’s Shangri La A House in Paradise

 

Doris Duke

Photo Courtesy: Doris Duke’s Shangri La A House in Paradise

 

 

Doris Duke’s Shangri La, Amazon.com, $34.65

 

 

Pool Doris Duke Shangri La

Photo Courtesy of: Doris Duke’s Shangri La A House in Paradise

Doris Duke's Shangri La Book

 

Parting Words

  • 30th January 2013

Never look back, except for an occasional glance, look ahead and plan for the future. Success is not built on past laurels, but rather on continuous activity. Keep busy searching out new ideas and, experimentally, keep ahead of the times, or at least up with them.

 

Dorothy Draper

 

Des Yeux de Chat

  • 29th January 2013

Cat-eyes are creeping up everywhere from the most glamorous runway shows to city sidewalks.  This trend featuring the feline seems to spring up in the Mediterranean (think Cleopatra, Sophia Loren…), so naturally, we have turned there to bring you the most beautiful inspiration.  (Photos courtesy Vogue Italia)

Cat Eyes Italian Vogue

Photo Courtesy: Vogue Italia

 

 

 

Cat Eyes Italian Vogue

Photo Courtesy: Vogue Italia

 

 

 

 

Cat Eyes Italian Vogue

Photo Courtesy: Vogue Italia

 

How to recreate this dramatic effect?

We recommend a trio of:

3-Coleurs Glow Luminous Graphic Eye Palette Eyeshadow in Nude, Dior, $48.00

The Khol Pencil Intense Khol Eye Crayon, Dolce & Gabbana in jet black, $29.00

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking in deep black, $30.00

All available at Sephora.com

sephora eye makeup

 

Couple these with a steady hand and you have the look mastered!

If you’re going all out with the eyes, why not top it off with this sleek, feminine, yet ultra bold clutch available now for pre-order? So gorgeous, so Italian!

 

Gucci Bright Bit Python Clutch

Gucci Bright Bit Python Clutch, saksfifthavenue.com, $2300.00 (available on pre-order now)

 

 

 

 

Mark Your Calendar for Love

  • 28th January 2013

Prabal Gurung & Target’s design collaboration debut’s on February 10 and his central inspiration:  L’Amour! (with wearable creations from first-crush to the alter).

Flipping through their LookBook, we’ve highlighted the most glamorous.

Prabal Gurung Target

Clothing ranges in price from $19.99 to $199.99

Accessories and shoes, $12.99 to $39.99

Available in-store and at Target.com

De Bon Goût—In Good Taste

  • 28th January 2013

Totally unrelated to its alcoholic counterpart, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste originates from Madagascar and is named for the islands off of its coast.  Deliciously smooth and decadent it masterfully replaces any call for “essence” or “extract” in a recipe and adds a gourmet look, remarkable scent and unparalleled taste to baked goods. Made by Nielsen Massey it is available at igourmet.com

 Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, igourmet.com, $12.99

Try it in these rich, soft sugar cookies which garner a request for the recipe wherever they are served (seriously!) 

(Recipe courtesy of, “The Gourmet Cookbook,” edited by Ruth Reichl available on Amazon.com, $26.40)

Sugar Cookies (Page 669)

1 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for shaping and sprinkling on cookies

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 cup vegetable oil (may seem odd at first, but keeps the cookies super moist)

1 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Here’s where we substitute with vanilla bean paste)

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

4 cups all-purpose flour

Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 375 F.  Whisk together granulated sugar and confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl.  Whisk in oil, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar until combined.  Add flour and stir until a dough forms; dough will be dry and slightly crumbly.  (It’s quite dry and crumbly.  Keep patting it together and have faith)

Form level tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls with bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar (edges of cookies will crack), then sprinkle cookies with sugar.

Bake cookies in batches until set but still pale for chewy cookies, about 8 minutes per batch, or until pale golden for crisp cookies, about 10 minutes per batch.  Transfer to racks to cool.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day heart cookies and Easter egg cookies!!

Indian Express

  • 27th January 2013

Spotlight:  Ritu Kumar

These two dresses, which started out as kurtis were purchased in Mumbai with the Screen Actor’s Guild After Party in mind.  An intoxication with all things Indian has never waned since colonial times, and now it is easier than ever to access the most lavish Indian designs from coveted labels without packing any bags.

Ritu Kumar Dress
Ritu Kumar Dress

 

 

 

Ritu Kumar is a leading Indian fashion designer, based in Delhi but her universal designs are available at boutiques worldwide and online.  Patronized by such style icons as Princess Diana, Jemima Khan and many Miss Indias her unique creations will set you apart elegantly at any event, black-tie or cocktail casual.    Find more beautiful designs a ritukumar.com

Ritu Kumar Collage

 

Style Tip 1:

Look for lavishly decorated bridal kurtis and ask your favorite tailor to make them into a dress.  The aqua and burgundy dresses below began as kurtis as well.  The dupatta doubles as a gorgeous gauzy wrap.

Ritu Kumar Magenta
Ritu Kumar Dress

 

Style Tip 2:

Invest the time in locating an expert tailor in your city of residence.  Any kurti can be made into a gorgeous gown with a few snips and tucks here and there.  If you are a lucky Los Angeles resident, we recommend:

Paul’s Tailoring

9417 W. Pico Boulevard, 1/2 block east of Beverly Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90035

310-552-1624

(He did the above dresses beautifully and quite economically)

What I Love Today…

  • 27th January 2013

Indian-inspired clothing and accessories are consistently à la mode.

Georgina Chapman

Georgina Chapman, Courtesy of Vogue Magazine

Harvey Weinstein's Daughter

 

We love the combination of gold zardosi work with smart trouser pants from Dondup Italy

 

Dondup Trousers

Dondup Trousers, Photo Courtesy Vogue Italia

 

Available at Dondup boutiques worldwide.

 

http://www.dondup.it

Parting Words

  • 27th January 2013

Indians are the Italians of Asia and vice versa. Every man in both countries is a singer when he is happy, and every woman is a dancer when she walks to the shop at the corner.

Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram


Rose et Bleu

  • 26th January 2013

As deep purplish blue woodland hyacinths and pale pink crocus poke through the ground in Los Angeles, we are reminded of one of nature’s most beautiful combinations…blue and pink. It´s the sea meeting a rocky pink cliff, the twilight sky over sand dunes set a-flame in the sunset. Whether it’s a landscape or spring blooms, this pairing has inspired artists for centuries.

monet

blueandpink

pissarro

 

 

 

Try pink and blue and incorporate a luscious combination into your spring wardrobe.

 

Zara coat

anthropologie lace tee
Melissa Obadash

 

 

Navy turtleneck, Zara boutiques nationwide, $16.90

Navy leggings, Zara boutiques nationwide, $35.90

Baby  pink overcoat, Zara boutiques nationwide, $159.99

 

Eyelash Lace Tee, Anthropologie.com, $48.00

 

Melissa Odabash Sanela embellished jersey maxi dress, $294.00

Nicholas Kirkwood Elaphe & patent-leather sandals, net-a-porter.com, $995.00

 

Take a cue from Mother Nature and bring deep-purplish blue and baby pink together in homage to the season. This stunning centerpiece, begging to be painted by a master, was created by Designs by David, Los Angeles using hydrangeas, hyacinths, orchids and garden roses.

flowers2
flowers1

 

If you are trying to recreate this look you can also try delphinium, tulips, asters, lilac, ranunculus, but only hyacinths will give this syrupy smell.

Designs by David, Los Angeles, 310-854-3544

2222 Federal Ave, Los Angeles, 90064

 

Last Look…Rose & Bleu pour Elle Francais

French Elle

Des Coeurs Partout

  • 25th January 2013

Who is not in love with hearts?  Apparently, designers the world-over are falling for this trend (just in time for Valentine’s Day!)  Heart prints by Sonia Rykiel are sold-out nearly everywhere, but there’s one fresh look still available (see below!).  Here are a few fun ways to insert yourself into this love affair this spring.

 

heart collage

 

 

Play Comme Des Garcons Converse Sneakers, Jcrew.com $100.00

Lanvin Clear Heart Brooch (doubles as pendant), neimanmarcus.com, $650.00

Gorjana Peace and Heart Studs, Shopbop.com, $31.00

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Heart Tee, Shopbop.com $150.00

iPANEMA Black & Gold Summer Love Heart Flip Flops, amazon.com $24.99

Chinti & Parker Love Heart Cashmere Sweater, net-a-porter.com $545

Heart Graphic Lounge Pants, Forever21.com $20.80

For 8-18 yr. set

Fun Jumper, Bodenusa.com, $44.80

What I Love Today…

  • 25th January 2013

patchi box

Chocolate decadence out of the Middle-East comes by way of Patchi.  We’ve all heard of Lindt, Maison du Chocolat, Ritter Sport, Lake Champlain, Bissinger’s, Godiva, the list goes on and on, but…if you are a certified chocolate lover you need to meet Patchi.  I just did on a recent trip to Oman and I am in love. They are not new, just not that well-known here.  Originating in Lebanon, Patchi is famous for integrating roasted nuts and using only the finest natural ingredients.  Here are some flavor favorites—read and drool!

 

patchi truffle

Patchi25—Dark chocolate filled with gianduja cream and hazelnut pieces

The Parfait—Dark chocolate filled with a caramel truffle

Emotion—Dark chocolate filled with Pistachio croquante

Charmante—White cotton candy with sprinkles of roasted pistachio bits blend into a traditional treat of milk chocolate

Peanut Butter & Caramel Dolce—Roasted peanut butter chunks are mixed into a peanut butter center and topped off with a layer of caramel an rich chocolate

The Chocolate & Spice Box—Ginger, Chili, Pink Peppercorn, and All-Spice blended in gianduja cream in milk or dark chocolate.

Elegant wedding favors, adorable gifts and party favors are also available for children.

http://www.usa.patchi.com

patchi dog

patchi wedding favor
patchi ballet

 

 

 

Show-Stopping Sandals

  • 25th January 2013

The title says it all! I’ve tried most of these on and had a very hard time taking them off!  These sandals are definitely worth a shout-out.

 

sandal collage

 

Ponyhair Strappy Thong Sandal, Chloe, Barneys.com, $645.00

Dion Demi Wedge Sandal, DVF, Shopbop.com $228.00

Kiveli Demi Wedge Sandal, Shopbop.com, $305.00

Thong Flower Applique Sandal, Prada, Barneys.com, Pre-Order Now, $650.00

Basketweave Sandals, Forever21.com, $19.80

Metallic Corded Suede & Leather Sandals, Gucci, $595.00 net-a-porter.com

Belle by Siegerson Morrison Roma, zappos.com, $225.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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