Thursday, January 31, 2013

She was an American Girl, raised on promises...

I read an article an old The Washing Post entitled, 
and it made me incredibly nostalgic.

As a kid, I loved American Girl books and poured over the catalogues
for the dolls and all of their intricate clothing and accessories of hours and hours.
I may be dating myself a bit, but when I was growing up we only had the original 
four girls - Kirsten, Felicity, Samantha and Molly - and then Addy came a bit later.
It appears they now have loads of American Girls.

Which American Girl was your favourite?
What does she say about your personality or aspirations?

My favourite was always Samantha.
I learned in the article that they retired her in 2008 - which strangely
makes me feel a bit sad, like a door of my life has closed forever.
That's how much American Girl meant to me as a kid, I guess.

Here's a bit more nostalgia, courtesy of Microsoft in their new
Internet Explorer ad, which certainly hit a chord - well done, Microsoft('s ad agency).
If you were born in the mid-to-late 80s, watch this.

(PS. yes, this post title is a reference to Tom Petty)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Pair of Pears

A Pair of Pears is a graphic design and paper goods company run by
husband-and-wife pair, Jake and Jamie Bartlett.

I am a regular reader of their branding/design/lifestyle blog,
which I would recommend reading.

But these new travel post cards sent me to their Etsy shop straight away.

I also really love this socks & sweaters card - it would make a great
Valentine's day card for anyone (or just a great anytime card).

These vintage letterpress recipe cards feel like a classic diner
without the kitsch.

The Bartlett's also designed a 2013 calendar that's free to print.

See more of A Pair of Pears' design portfolio here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wish List: Gold Rush

Some of the presents I got for Christmas I had been wishing for especially hard - 

...including these mugs from Target...

...and these pig bookends

Having these beauties in my home has really drawn my eye to gold 

accents lately, and I might need to invest in a few more for my own home.

1. Almoco Flatware, Design Within Reach

2. Between a Rock Lamp, Land of Nod

3. Fontana Bowl, Jonathan Adler

4. May Bud Napkins, Zara Home

5. Good as Gold, essie
(OK not technically for the home but still a decorative accent)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cook This: Homestyle Beans with Sausage and Baked Eggs

I got this recipe from the December 2012 issue of The Simple Things and modified it a bit. 
This made the perfect Sunday brunch.

Side noteThe Simple Things is a new lifestyle magazine in the UK that is really great
and does what it says on the tin - their blog is good too.

Homestyle Beans with Sausage and Baked Eggs
(Serves 2)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sausages, sliced (the recipe said chorizo, we used 4 black 
pudding sausages from Waitrose)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, slived
200g diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 sprigs oregano, leaves picked
2 tsp smoked paprika to taste (added by us)
30ml red wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
200g cannellini beans, drained (we used mixed dried beans we cooked beforehand)
2 eggs (we were hungry and had 4)
Fresh crusty bread, sliced and toasted

We threw in 5 mushrooms 3 mushrooms (dropped 2 on the floor) we had left over.
I won't lie to you, we also put in 3 strips of oak smoked streaky bacon -
we like our food and this was our big Sunday meal.
For non-English readers, streaky bacon is what you will know as just "bacon"
in America - it is streaked with lines of fat - as opposed to what is regular "bacon"
in England (closer to what Americans will know as Canadian bacon)

To cook:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C (390 F)

2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook sausages until nice and brown.
Remove from pan, place on absorbent paper towel to soak up some of the fat and set aside.

3. Add red onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook
for a further minute. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, red wine vinegar and brown
sugar. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer to 10-15 minutes or until
sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

4. Add beans and sausages and stir to combine. Bring back to a simmer. Transfer mixture
to an ovenproof dish. Make indentations in the mixture and crack an egg into each.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until egg whites are jut cooked and yolks still runny.

Serve with toast.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Design Crush: Greg Natale

I saw these bathrooms on Oh Joy! and it naturally led me to
scoping out the portfolio of designer Greg Natale.

Based in Sydney, Greg Natale's residential portfolio is filled
with opulent and very glamorous design that doesn't fail to convey mood.
This is not a designer afraid to work with bold pattern, often striking geometrics.
A lot of well-placed Jonathan Adler accents can be spotted throughout.

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