Storing Blueberries

Posted 1 January 2014 at 7:37 PM | Comments (0)

Happy New Year! I know I haven’t been posting consistently since moving stateside; American life has been much busier than I predicted it would be. I’ll kick off 2014 with a simple food post, something I don’t do very often around here.

Healthy and Delicious Breakfast Starter: Raw Blueberries and Walnuts

Since moving back to the Pacific Northwest, my favorite way to start the day is with raw blueberries and walnuts. Some foods just go together, and this is a delicious example. But I’m always stumped when it comes to storing berries, so I’ve had to look it up.

According to the July 2013 issue of Better Homes and Gardens:

“The best way to store berries is in a single layer, loosely covered, in the refrigerator. If you have fresh berries that won’t get eaten in a couple of days, freezing is best. Freeze in a single layer on a baking pan, then transfer to freezer containers or plastic freezer bags and seal. Berries will keep in the freezer for up to a year.”

Classical Concert Poster

Posted 12 November 2013 at 9:59 PM | Comments (0)

Here’s a poster I designed over the summer that never made it to print.

Brahms Piano Quintet Classical Concert Poster

Trashing a good concept is always disappointing, but I’m thankful to have this space to share the best and worst of my trash to those who care (hi, mom).

*Poster details have been changed.

Belle’s Outfit in Dark Hollow

Posted 11 November 2013 at 9:44 PM | Comments (0)

Once Upon a Time is not exactly a force in fashion. While I’m very aware of the period costumes (how incredible are the Evil Queen’s gowns and headpieces?), I have never really made note of the non-period costumes.

But I sheepishly admit that I loved Belle’s outfit in last night’s episode. The scalloped miniskirt, cropped blouse, and flounced cardigan were super girly and cute, but not completely without edge. I love.

Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 7 Belle's Scalloped Miniskirt

Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 7 Belle's Flounced Cardigan

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen’s Living Room

Posted 10 November 2013 at 8:25 PM | Comments (0)

I know better than to worship movie stars, but I admit I have a soft spot for this cute couple. Their newly remodeled living room was featured in the November issue of Lonny, and it only drove home how cute they really are.

The room is a beautiful marriage of Midcentury minimalism and L.A. bohemia. I’m partial to the vintage chair vignettes in every corner and especially—especially—the teal velvet sofa. As you may have already guessed.

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen's Remodeled L.A. Living Room

Aubergine and Gold Floral Brocade Wedding Invitations

Posted 9 November 2013 at 9:08 PM | Comments (0)

I’m a huge fan of the elegant simplicity that Elena and Freddy* requested for their wedding. Their exact request: elegant, clean, simple, and modern.

We hit the ball out of the park on the first try. They loved the hint of floral brocade on the side while the clean type took center stage.

Aubergine and Gold Floral Brocade Wedding Invitations

It was easy to apply their design to the rest of their materials, which was a good thing since their wedding planning was super abbreviated and we, literally, had days to finish it all.

Aubergine and Gold Floral Brocade Wedding Invitations

*Names will always be changed.

Skincare in Your 50s

Posted 8 November 2013 at 7:45 PM | Comments (0)

Funny that I claimed I “never post on beauty,” yet here I am, day three, posting about skincare. It’s the last section in the skincare series I swiped from the May 2013 issue of Lucky magazine and it’s just too good not to share.

So for those of you in your 50s and beyond, read on.

ADD AS MUCH MOISTURE AS YOU CAN IN YOUR 50S & BEYOND

As oil production drops off, your skin’s protective barrier starts to weaken, making it less able to hold moisture, so build hydration into every step of your routine.

Switch to a creamy cleanser, and use face oils, hydrating serums and lotions or balms that sink right in. Together, they’ll strengthen the lipid barrier so your skin feels smoother and calmer.

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, $10

You may need a more moisturizing form of topical retinoid like Renova. If you’re still super-dry, layer on a ceramide moisturizer before the retinoid. “They’re terrifically hydrating, lightweight and anti-inflammatory,” says Brandt. “If you apply a ceramide cream before your retinoid, you’ll get less irritation, and it won’t interfere with the treatment.”

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM, $14

Crepiness starts to be a problem because of lost collagen. A first step might be a lift-and-tighten peptide cream smoothed in with a Clarisonic Opal—the sonic waves help the cream sink in and create a temporary plumping effect that lasts for hours. Dermatologists have more drastic—and more lasting—solutions: Thermage, Fraxel and Ulthera treatments kick up collagen production for long-term repair. Over three months, skin gets firmer and smoother.

Philosophy Full of Promise Treatment Duo for Uplifting Days and Volumizing Nights, $75

Skincare in Your 40s

Posted 7 November 2013 at 7:20 PM | Comments (0)

Yesterday I posted an article from the May 2013 issue of Lucky magazine about skincare in your 30s. Today I got an e-mail from a friend saying, “Too bad there’s no ‘skincare in your 40s,’” to which I replied, “Actually… there is.”

So for those of you in your 40s, here’s the section.

FIGHT REDNESS, BROWN SPOTS AND VOLUME LOSS IN YOUR 40S

This is when your past sun damage comes back to haunt you—in the form of wrinkling, redness, uneven skin tone and brown spots. You might see some volume loss in your face, too.

Take vitamin D to improve skin and hair (plus bones and immune system). “I recommend 3,000 international units a day for women who stay out of the sun,” says Brandt. “Women with darker skin may need more, because they have some built-in sun protection. If you find your hair or nails are getting thinner, I also find biotin can make a big difference.”

Lasers (like Clear and Brilliant, Fraxel and IPL) can supercharge your at-home efforts, brightening skin and obliterating lines, broken capillaries and hyperpigmentation.

Add a peptide cream to your routine. Peptides generally don’t cause irritation, so they’re easy to incorporate morning or evening, and they treat practically every sign of aging.

SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Cream, $350

Switch to a richer moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, ceramides or glycerin—all brilliant for plumping and smoothing. To lock in moisture, apply while your skin is still damp.

Weleda Skin Food, $19

In addition to your regular eye cream, carry a cooling roller-tip gel with caffeine (to reduce puffiness) in your bag. Antihistamines like Claritin can also help with undereye bags if the problem turns out to be allergies.

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector, $40

Lashes grow skimpier and shorter over the years. Latisse, the prescription lash grower, really works. “It’s good for thinning eyebrows too, although it’s not FDA-approved for that,” says Brandt.

Latisse, $76 to $120

Fillers (Restylane, Juvederm) not only restore lost volume but also spur collagen growth. Botox injections iron out wrinkles and, in the right hands, even create a subtle brow-lift.

Skincare in Your 30s

Posted 6 November 2013 at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

Since I’m clueless about, and generally disinterested in, beauty, I don’t share beauty information here.

Until today.

I came across this article in the May 2013 issue of Lucky and found it so relevant that I not only have to share it, I have to hang onto it. For myself. Weird.

ACNE AND WRINKLES? REALLY?! IN YOUR 30S

Wechsler points out that 54 percent of 35-year-old women have adult acne. Brandt agrees: “The biggest complaint is pimples and wrinkles at the same time.”

Maintain a healthy weight. Yo-yo dieting, with fluctuations of 10 pounds or more, can lead to facial sagging. Your skin gets less elastic with age, so as with sleep, it’s harder for it to snap back. “I’m a big believer in the anti-aging effects of a healthy diet, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin supplements,” says Brandt. “I recommend taking an omega-3 to decrease inflammation, plus high doses of vitamin C to boost collagen production and overall health.”

Retinoids treat both acne and wrinkles, as can salicylic acid. If these don’t work for the acne, dermatologists have more powerful solutions, from bacteria-zapping laser treatments, oral antibiotics, birth control pills and prescription androgen blockers to (for persistent cystic acne) Accutane.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner, $45

Add antioxidant serum to shield your skin from free radicals better than sunscreen alone. “Look for ingredients like green tea, white tea or blue ginger,” says Wechsler. “You want a high concentration, so make sure the antioxidant is listed in the top five ingredients.”

Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate, $85

“Exercising four or five days a week increases blood flow to your skin and boosts endorphins to help with healing,” says Wechsler.

Start using eye cream, preferably one with retinol, peptides or both, plus a humectant like hyaluronic acid. If you use a prescription retinoid, use a smidge of it around your eyes, as long as it doesn’t irritate.

Dior Capture XP Ultimate Wrinkle Correction Eye Cream, $85

RéVive Intensité Volumizing Eye Serum Targeted Skin Filler, $350

Manage stress. “Chronic anxiety speeds up aging—I wrote a whole book about it,” says Wechsler, who holds degrees in both psychiatry and dermatology. “It can cause wrinkles, pimples, dryness, redness and irritation.”

Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator, $40

Monochromatic Gray House in Naples, Florida

Posted 5 November 2013 at 9:19 PM | Comments (0)

The gray trend won’t last forever, but it is still going strong.

And gray is the operative word in this Naples, Florida house designed by Marshall Watson. The house is so glamorously tasteful that it makes my brain hurt in a “How did he do that?” sort of way. It’s also brilliant—the soft gray tones will cool down any hot Florida day.

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Family Room

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Living Room

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Dining Room

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Dining Room

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Kitchen

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Breakfast Room

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Master Bedroom

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Master Bedroom

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Master Bathroom

Monochromatic Gray Home in Naples, Florida: Poolside Chairs

*Images from House Beautiful.

Cat Power

Posted 4 November 2013 at 8:44 PM | Comments (0)

In 2012 it was fish, and in 2011, fruit. If I had to pick a cheeky motif for 2013, it would be kitties.

By now you’ve seen one of many A-list celebrities wearing Charlotte Olympia’s kitty flats, but now designers everywhere are scratching the cat post.

I know house cats are not the sexiest animal, but this trend has a retro girlishness that appeals to me. I like it best when it’s in graphic black and white.

Fall 2013 Fashion Trend: Kitty Cats