espresso and dark chocolate

Good for all times during the day, but my favorite way to start the day.

cashew shrimp scampi

Use this quick and easy recipe, best used when shrimp is in season (tastier, cheaper, and easier to come by). Very good for entertaining a small group, and this recipe can easily be doubled for larger crowds. Pair with either a simple mixed greens salad and freshly baked country grain or rye bread or some whole wheat pasta for most pleasing results.
Experiment with different wines (although I always suggest sticking to a white when pairing with shrimp), and lastly, enjoy!
This recipes serves 2 or 4, depending on amount of salad, bread, and wine you are providing.

24 large shrimp (deveined and peeled, tails left on)
1/2 cup cashews, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc works well- drink the rest of the bottle with dinner!)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or more- it adds colour!)
1/2 medium white onion, chopped very finely
a few lemon wedges
bread crumbs 

1. Marinate the shrimp in 1/2 cup olive oil, white wine, parsley, and lemon juice for 15-30 minutes.
2. Saute a few spoonfuls of bread crumbs, the chopped onion, the cashews, and garlic   in the butter (add garlic after a few moments), until golden.
3. Add the shrimp, marinade sauce, and juice from a few of your lemon wedges.
4. Cook until shrimp are pink and juices in the pan are bubbling (a few minutes).
5. Serve the shrimp with the sauce for dipping bread or add pasta to it. 
6. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley sprigs.


pulp fiction

I just finished watching Pulp Fiction (very long overdue, I'm perfectly aware) and it was AMAZING. Everyone needs to watch it. Immediately.
It's not particularly gender-biased either (but I guess I do watch and enjoy quite an abnormally large amount of films touted as being 'boy' films for a girl, so maybe my opinion might be slightly biased), so go grab your boyfriends or brothers, or fathers, or whoever! and be caught up in the action of this Hangover-meets-classic-Hollywood film.


phoebe philo is my hero: my favorite Céline pieces

(all photos edited, originals from www.celine.com)

Céline is, and continues to be, one of my favorite luxury fashion brands of all time. Their minimalistic approach to style, the quality of their goods, and their general aesthetics has really appealed to me for a really long time. These are some of my favorite pieces from the last three collections (Spring 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012). I tend to focus on the leather goods and accessories Céline produces, rather than their RTWline.  Pheobe Philo has managed to create quite an impressive brand that I hope will never decline. 
I'm excited to see what pieces will be in the new collection!

the city

Cities are such interesting places, and quite a strange idea if thought about objectively. They contain the stories and hopes and troubles of millions upon millions of people. The lives of people are so intermingled in cities- any one person's actions, whether as subtle as smiling at a stranger, or as significant as causing a car crash, could easily affect the lives of many other people.
And yet, it is a rare occurrence that people in cities acknowledge each other. We see through other spiritually absent citizens of our homes like they are made of air and often ignore the ones who are present and acknowledge us. 
The idea of a city, the concept, is truly one that could only have been thought of by human beings.


trend: sunglasses

For the S/S 12 season, the crazy, beautiful, colourful, neon, and wild are making their place in the fashion world and taking up residence on the faces of some of the most fashionable people in the world. This trend has even taken my heart, formerly a strict lover of only thick/opaque/black sunnies. My favorites are the Karen Walker Number Ones in Crazy Tortoise, the Prada Baroque (a truly gorgeous collectable), and of course, those gorgeously dangerous metal-tipped Alexander Wang sunglasses.


Prada s/s 2012 ad

I adore fashion advertisements. Whether they're digital or in print, if they're long or short, there is always a quality to fashion ads that normal ads do not possess. It might be the glamour, the aesthetics, or maybe just the overall borderline-OCD attention to detail that goes into most of these ads that make me love them so much.
Here's a recent favorite, Prada's Spring/Summer 2012 Advertisement Campaign.


DIY: studded collar

As, you all know, I love collars (click here to see my post on collars). I also love studs. So what better way than to combine the two and make a studded collar? Adds an instant edge when peeking out from under a thick knit sweater. I made this in the same way I made my denim jacket (click here to see how).


kate moss

(all images found on tumblr via:  virare, petrole, modellove, ataraxie-)

Kate Moss, one of the most beautiful and versatile models out there. She was, and remains, an icon. She broke the fashion rules when she first started, like any properly good icon should. Her incredible cool transcends the camera lens and her eyes seem to draw you into the picture like no other model's can. Even her runway walk is unique, like no other model's (probably explains her astounding success with runway modelling despite her height). Even though I've never met her in real life, she seems like the kind of woman who walks into a room, anywhere in the world, and the self-esteem of every other female in that room instantly takes a hit.
And because what blog is complete without a little Kate Moss?


interiors that inspire me

 (all images found on tumblr)

The interior of a room is one of the most important things. The right interior can change a person's mood right around. These are some of my favorite images- I use these images to inspire me whenever I renovate or remodel. Some of these images even contributed to my design process when I redid my room. These feature a lot of white, which contributes to how clean a space feels. I love that they are all pretty open with a lot of light in them.

just a dose of style inpiration

Jess Hart (what-do-i-wear.tumblr.com)

I've actually never heard of this girl, but man, has she got style! I love how causal she looks- that dress looks so comfortable. It looks like a very nice, clingy material- jersey? And that slit up the side really adds some oompf! to that ensemble. I wonder if she cut that herself?
Anyway, she is my style inspiration for the day. Bonus points because it's quite hard to look that good when walking a dog.


shopping in the city

(all photos taken by me)

Just some pictures I look shopping in the city with a friend of mine the other day. We went to one of my favorite spots for lunch- it's a large food market on a sort of island slightly detached from the mainland. It's hard to describe precisely what it looks like, but it has a very nice, different vibe to the one of the city, only 10 minutes away.
I didn't buy anything, but I did take a few pictures.


(All images found on tumblr)

I think I'm in love with collars. A basic collared shirt is always a good staple to have, but you can also play around with it too. Stud it, or add some collar tips to it and it instantly adds edge to your basic shirt. If you manage to find a sheer collared shirt, or perhaps a really nice silk one (I have one- it's worth the investment), it becomes one of the most feminine pieces in your collection. Have the collar sticking out from behind a nice chunky sweater or paired with a maxi skirt and some wedges (or both) and you've got yourself a look. Whether they are in the form of the ever-classic white button down shirt, or if they are silky sheer, or studded, collars are just so crisp and lovely. I hope people never stop wearing them.

got me some teen spirit

Photos taken by my dear friend Abbey.

Went spray-painting some trains with some friends the other night. There is a certain sense of excitement and nostalgia about trains. They represent a bygone era, one that we remember fondly, because what are memories, if we don't think of them fondly?
We were spray painting one of the stationary trains, but one came by as we were doing the deed and we sat within the train, with only a short amount of space separating us and the giant moving hunk of metal blaring its horn beside us. It was something I never thought I'd experience and it was one of those things that you don't realize is on your bucket list until it happens to you.
The first is the subject of an essay I wrote about in french class in re to a french play (the translation: idealism of the young), the second and third are lyrics from a Tyler the Creator song.
The girl in the picture isn't me, but she's one of  the coolest people I know!


DIY: studding a denim jacket

I know there has been a lot of tutorials online about how to do this, and it's not exactly rocket science to start with, but I thought I'd also put my two cents in.
I bought an old denim jacket from a thrift store, dunked it in some bleach to even out the fading (it had been faded oddly- probably something from the 80's), and then I decided to stud the back. The studs were very forgiving in terms of the fact I didn't have to place them in exact straight lines- they sort of managed to fix themselves into straight lines because of how the prongs were shaped. I used a butter knife to push the prongs flat, and the overall project took about 4 hours. However, keep in mind I was also eating and watching a movie- this was during spring break (as if I could do this now).
Well worth the effort, for how much I love it, and how many times I've worn it.

Here is also a video tutorial you may find helpful.

artisan bread

I picked this loaf of bread up from my local Farmer's Market (a Farmer's Market is basically a half-assed North American version of the European street markets, a lame attempt to be "healthy/green/considerate of the planet" and to "buy local/organic/more sustainable produce")
However, this is quite possibly the most delicious bread I have ever ingested. Everything about it was perfect.

On Truth

"On Truth" By Harry G. Frankfurt

 After reading Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Albert Camus' "L'etranger", I was looking for books on philosophy in my local library. ("L'etranger" was a required reading for my French class, but I actually ended up really enjoying it and wrote a fantastic dissertation regarding Camus' philosophy of absurdism and how it was reflected upon the main character of the novel, Meursault.) I went to the philosophy section of the non-fiction section (the 100 region is for all books on philosophy for anyone else interested) and a glint of gold caught my eye.
Admittedly, I have a love for all things pretty, and that includes packaging and book covers, and "On Truth" really was no different. The contents of this book, however, surprised me. The author was very clear in saying he did not intend to define truth with this essay. It pointed out several realities I wasn't even aware of regarding why society values truth and why the individual does too.
It explores a lot of interesting ideas, even though it doesn't go extremely in-depth about the subject (but let's be real here: if one were to go extremely in depth about a subject as vast as that, one wouldn't have enough pages or ink in the entire world to figure it all out).
Anyway, if you are looking for a short philosophical book to read to fill some spare time with a really nice cover and a pocket-sized shape, this is not a bad one to try.


leather juxtaposition

I am a big fan of juxtaposition in all things in life. In particular, aesthetically pleasing juxtaposition always manages to catch my eye, such as this image seen here. The leather material not only contrasts nicely to the nice light fabric of the dress, but the colours and shape of both also clash most wonderfully.


            “Who are we? What is this? What is the purpose of all this?”
            This genre of moody thoughts has haunted me quite a lot recently, and has wormed its way into my mind and wrapped itself around each and every one of my thoughts and actions. It isn’t just common teenage rebellious musings, or maybe it is, I don’t really know (and neither do you, unless you know exactly what goes in other people’s minds).
            As children, we are carefree and naive, untainted by society's demands! expectations! reality!. We make up elaborate stories about trivial things and they become true. The world is a magical place where anything can happen and anything we dream of can happen and life is golden, even if we don’t know it yet. We believe with authority that we can dig all day and end up in China.
            But as we grow up, we learn that the center of the planet is made of molten lava and solid iron, and even if we were able to drill a straight tunnel through the planet, we would actually end up in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This realization is the first of many that taint our childhood dreams.
            As teenagers, we lose the naivety that made us believe in the unrealistic and the downright impossible. We lose the comforting simple-mindedness that allowed us to find joy in now-meaningless things like stuffed animals and digging to China. We learn that there are certain things that we aren’t good at, things that we may even be complete shit at, even though we were told otherwise by our teachers/parents/relatives/friends/authority figures in the past life known as ‘childhood’. Our dreams may never become reality because that’s how life works sometimes. The former gloriousness of the world has become gray and crumbling, and we see through the things we were once blind to. We look back on past events and realize the exact significance of them, crushed.
            We change so much throughout our lives.
            If people are such transient beings, it makes me wonder who exactly we are. I question what the meaning of life is every day, or if I even should be bothering to wonder what the meaning of life is, and just let it be, à la existentialism, but I am now also questioning if I will be questioning these things in 2 or 3 year’s time.
            Do we lose this sense of pointlessness as we grow older? Will I lose these occastional bouts of deep thoughts about life and the meaning (or lack of) of life? Do true adults not think about how pointless this all is? (You can’t sneak gold past Death, no matter how much you try) Do people forget or do they just figure out that they have to forget in order to become ‘successful’? (what is ‘success’ anyways?) Is that why we end up bending to society’s demands and end going to university/findajob/getmarried/buyahouse/havekids/die


jil sander pre-fall/winter 2012

 Jil Sander Pre-Fall/Winter 2012

I really loved this collection. The coats were absolutely marvelously shaped and the dresses ladylike, but youthful at the same time. I find it very interesting Raf Simons decided to incorporate so much black into this collection (I do suppose, however, it is a f/w collection and dark colours are to be expected) and the patent-leather material was also an interesting twist on the pieces. The juxtaposition this contrast offers is very aesthetically pleasing.
These pieces are all really lovely- I especially loved all the coats featured in this collection. Summer hasn't even quite fully hit where I live yet, but already I am looking forward to my favorite season of the year- autumn.