Thursday, December 29, 2011

an old friend

I'd love to attribute my lack of posting to a spiritual quest-filled absence, or to perhaps some sort of matter of principle type of endeavor (maybe involving me rebelling against cyberspace in general) but really, it's because I've been busy eating.  And by eating I mean drinking.  And by drinking I mean drinking.  It's been a very lovely holiday season despite my new-found friendship with red wine, and thanks to my mom's cooking, I'll likely be spending new year's eve in one of those motorized Wal-Mart wheelchairs, which I'll have driven past the limits of the parking lot, to the side of the road and, hopefully, into oncoming traffic.  On a less depressing note, my favorite part about Christmas this year was the color of the sky.  After dinner, we took a walk outside and, as can be seen by these photos, it looked like it was late afternoon instead of nearly-midnight. It wasn't too cold either, which was a very nice touch for Canada, and provided the best excuse to throw on an old friend: my vintage coat.



Sunday, December 18, 2011

a little kissmas dinner

Once upon a time, I decided to have a kissmas dinner and invited my all-time favorite people (minus a couple of girls who erroneously informed me of their absences this weekend...I'm looking at you, Lindsay and Amy.) For some strange reason, the preparatory process this time around involved me looking like I participate in the occasional gang fight. While cutting the baguette, I somehow sliced my finger open. Staggering out of the kitchen in absolute bewilderment at the amount of blood a little finger can produce, I stepped on a sharp staple, causing half of it to sink far into my foot and causing my foot to follow my finger's lead, gushing more blood. That would've been fine, except in my confusion, I knocked over a piece of equally bloody beef, and still in shock, as luck would have it, stepped right on it, grinding my fresh cut into it. Thinking this scenario is beyond ridiculous and refusing to give in to pain or bovine diseases, I carried on my cooking journey, grabbing the next item that needed to be cut which turned out to be an organic carrot. Here's the thing though: organic carrots are thin and pointy.  This particular carrot also happened to be slippery, causing me to jam it under the nail of my index finger, tearing the skin and...yeah..more blood ensued.  So there I was, bleeding from both hands and suffering from mad cow disease, but all in all, it worked out pretty well. Figs, as it turns out, are out of season and had to be purchased practically on the black market - hello Lebanon!-and I only realized the meringues had to be baked the night before when it was already the night before (and I was moderately drunk)- though still somehow beat those egg whites into submission - but the spirit of kissmas ensued and everything was ready for the arrival of my beautiful guests.  Of exceptional importance is the fact that Tyler actually made it down from Montreal, causing 90% of the photos to be blurry from our laughter-induced convulsions.


Prosciutto Goat-Cheese Figs
Kahlua, Mint, and Raspberry Truffles
My new favorite sparkling wine!
Tyler making a serious effort to be classy..



Just two beautiful girls

Foreground: White Chocolate Meringues with Blackberry Whipped Cream
Benisa just being her gorgeous self..
With everyone at the table, a pretty sight
With Alisa at the table, well...
Our best attempt at a family photo..
Attempt #2..yeah forget it. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

oh sandwich, you bully

The other day, my friend Liam made me a sandwich, and when I bit into it, its deliciousness literally brought a tear to my eye.  I swear on my Lanvin pumps that I have never, ever cried from eating food before, but there was something about the combination of the deli meat and mustard that felt like edible fireworks.  I hope to Christ a sandwich never makes me cry again because there are few things more humiliating than said reaction, but mostly, this reminded me that I don't make them often enough. Truthfully, I think the reason I was so overwhelmed was because I hadn't eaten deli meat in like eight millenia, but at this point who even knows. I wanted to recreate a similar result- but less pathetic- using vegan, organic ingredients, and I'm pretty excited to say I did.  This bad boy is comprised of vegenaise, avocado (the steak of vegetables, really), hydroponic lettuce, steakhouse tomatoes, and the fun part: tempeh 'bacon' strips, grilled and seasoned.  I also used seven grain organic spelt bread which was appropriately toasted. Technically, it's kind of a BLT. Or I guess with an avocado, that makes it a BALT. Or a BLAT. Or an ABLT. Or just a sandwich.

Monday, December 12, 2011

ChuChai Romance

A few weeks ago I visited my better half, Tyler, in Montreal and finally obtained tangible proof of edible heaven.  Completely vegan, completely thai, and completely phenomenal, ChuChai (as I recently raved on BeSleek) tempts the palette of even the most discerning carnivores. With items like duck in red curry sauce and shrimp in peanut sauce with deep-fried spinach, you know you can't go wrong.  We also shared (well, destroyed) a plate of crispy seaweed, which to this day remains my favorite appetizer of all time.  ChuChai has been my favorite restaurant for several years now, so it's only fitting that we found romance in the same night. Oh and the very last photo is the best summation of the effervescent nature of our relationship.





  

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

kissmas, you're almost here!


This year, I opted to stray from the popsicle stick reindeer and popcorn garlands for the Christmas tree, and went with an aquamarine+white theme instead.  Just kidding about the popsicle stick reindeer and popcorn garlands..I wouldn’t dare.  My sister was kind enough to help me string the little (well I’ll just say it) blue balls, and the decorating process was warmly accompanied by Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas, on repeat.  




Then I put together a centerpiece for my upcoming dinner, which looked a little something like this, and left my apartment covered in tiny Styrofoam balls…


Money Tree was feeling a little excluded so I bestowed upon him my newly acquired (and very prized) ornaments- glass peanut and toadstool- purchased on a lovely afternoon with Anais:


After putting together the tree, I realized something vital was missing. I needed something to top it, something angelic, ethereal, pure, beautiful, and as holy as it gets: Daniel Craig.  Here he is:


I'd like this year-round, please.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

oh pastels

Every time I eat maracons, I promise myself it's my last indulgence for a 'while'. That while lasts a few weeks at most, before I'm back in the arms of my incurably sweet tooth.  Well this time these rose, lavender, pistachio, apricot, and spiced chocolate treasures will really be my last...until next year, at least...because the flea market is officially no more, thanks to December stepping in (and by the way, yay! November, as can be seen by my sparse blogging, was so uninspiring).  Luckily, I've found something else to tide my pastel cravings over - the pastel nail color line from American Apparel. Move over, neon.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Versace x H&M

So it's Saturday the 19th, and we've just sat outside in the cold for nine hours overnight, waiting for H&M to open its doors to Versace's launch.  After being heckled with clever quips pertaining to starving children (contrasted against our greediness) and forgetting the feeling of owning complete sets of toes, there we finally are, by the front doors, hands shaking as we strap on our admission bracelets.  While in the waiting area, I'm getting shoved in various directions despite there not being anywhere for the traffic to really go...but that's life. As our bodies are subjected to this involuntary mosh-pit, eyes bloodshot from the lack of sleep and previously-mentioned overnight torture of completely right-angle bend of camping chairs in 'youth' size (which, by the way, is more like fetus than youth if our asses have any say in this), we see an elderly woman with a little Louis Vuitton bag casually approach the security guards.  "Excuse me sir, but my daughter called me this morning and asked me to buy her some Versace. Let me in," she says.  The security guard leans in, probably because he can't imagine actually having heard the request correctly. "Sorry? Come again?" he asks.  "I need to buy some pieces. Let me in," she says.  "Madam, these people have been waiting since yesterday afternoon. They have bracelets to get in. We've given all of our bracelets away."  The woman shakes him and his explanation off with her little hand, and walks over to a second security guard, repeating her request.  We laugh and brace ourselves: they're about to move the little gate to let us in.  Two girls at the front- the lead shovers- begin fidgeting.  One of them starts repeating the words "Imma get it", and the other begins to nervously perform a series of wrist stretching exercises. Whatever. "Madam, you don't have a bracelet and I can't just let you in without it."  The old woman is rejected again.  Tension is rising in the holding pen: someone pushes someone and swearing erupts. A young thirty-something Asian man clings to his mother's arm.  "Easy does it," a security guard says, before lifting the gate.  Easy does not do it, however, and the wrist-stretcher bursts out of the cage, in that same moment tripping over the not-yet-fully removed gate, falling flat on her face.  Imma-Get-It, having closely followed her and not having accounted for this sudden change in plans, falls flat on top of her, smashing the wrist-stretcher's mouth against the railing of the gate.  The rest of the crowd rushes over and past their bodies as the wrist-stretcher lifts her face to reveal a bloody mouth with newly acquired gap.  Wrist-Stretcher plunges into fits of screaming and moaning interspersed with silent moments of patting her freshly exposed gums, as security guards rush past the DJ, drunk off the freshness of his beats and completely oblivious to the whole thing.  Imma-Get-It is now screaming too, hand outstretched in the direction of the clothing racks, but, amazingly enough, too crippled by guilt to leave co-psychopath unattended.  Meanwhile, the elderly lady, having climbed into the waiting area, is now pulling on the bracelet hanging limply from the victim's hand.  Victim, with one hand in mouth and with other hand haphazardly patting the floor in search of missing tooth, is still screaming, now with a bit of a questioning tone at the end of the moans, directed at the elderly lady's persistence in pulling off her bracelet.  Elderly lady is yelling "You don't need it! Just give it here!" fighting the now semi-conscious Victim.  The scene unfolds amazingly quickly, and before bandages are applied and Elderly Lady is escorted out with help of security guards, we've acquired a couple of pieces, ourselves...






Tuesday, November 8, 2011

what are you, man?

Aside from the tear-stained face of Charlize Theron parting with the quivering (and effortlessly chiseled) jaw of Keanu Reeves in the movie "Sweet November", this month doesn't really conjure up any particular thoughts, really.  It's not quite fall anymore because the trees have parted with nearly all that was left on them-much like the last five minutes in a stripper's repertoire-and it's not quite winter either so what the hell are you doing with that tree? Put it down and chill out a little. November is sort of a twilight zone, an in-between, the rebound, and the Sarah Plain and Tall of months, so the only way to dress it up is to eat lots of cupcakes (duh) and drink fun lemonades.  Here, I was about to do just that...


Auntie Loo's pumpkin spice cupcake (amazing!!) and Santa Cruz organic mango lemonade..perfection.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hey, I remember you...

I was punishing myself with one of my most dreaded tasks - organizing photo folders on my computer- when I came across a set of pictures that I had forgotten to post, taken sometime in August.  These were taken in the football field near my mom's house, where there are some fantastic Katy Perry-make-out-esque bleachers.  While my facial expression undeniably scared off any potential make out suitors, the last fading days of the summer were still a perfect canvas for Lanvin (necklace) and vintage (heels). I think one of my favorite purchases of all time is this pair of heels, because I have worn them literally year-round, and their versatility is absolutely brilliant.  Oh, also, I'm really loving the cool tones of the colors. It's a bit like I'm underwater or in a peppermint dream.




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bruschetta, or what I do when in isolation...

Every time I see Anais, I always leave with exciting meal ideas, but I rarely have time to bring them to life. Enter Laryngitis.  I lost my voice last week and finally gave in and went to see a doctor who told me to stay home and not talk to anyone until I sounded like a female again.  So, faced with the option of recording my first album of sexy raspy music or putting some of Anais' meal ideas to use, I went with the latter, resulting in this Bruschetta.  Anais, please correct me if I missed anything, but here is how I made it:

Start with some mini heirloom tomatoes, some basil, and a clove of garlic sliced in half. Set aside some extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and find the most fragrant baguette around (I bought mine at the farmer's market).


 

Cut the baguette into slices, rub with garlic, and throw in the oven to toast until just crisp. Meanwhile, (and this meanwhile should be short so keep an eye on that bread!) dice the mini tomatoes, tear the basil leaves into little pieces, and throw them together, mixing in the olive oil and vinegar.  Layer the tomato mix onto the toasted baguette and sprinkle with a little sea salt, or in my case, Himalayan salt.  Et voila! Thanks Anais!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sombre Detune

I've been meaning to photograph this painting of mine for a while now, but when photographed as a whole, it would lose its 'breath' or meaning.  I then took some close ups, and the interplay of the textures conveyed the modest yet (in any possible way) effervescent nature of the idea.  Still, I wanted to wait until I found a shot to complement the mood of the composition, and on one dreary day, the shine in my hardwood floor against the grey sky made for the perfect counterpart..



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bidding Adieu

A couple years ago, I bought a pair of the most beautiful pumps I've ever seen.  Five inch heel, patent leather, perfect curvature of the toe, soft cream-colored backing...they were (and still are) exquisite. I bought them around the winter holidays, and I remember running around town trying to find them in my size. I had bought the last pair and though they were a little tight, I was so high on the adrenaline of having found them that I felt nothing but elation. Through the weeks that followed, I realized they were actually extremely painful to wear.  So much so that after slipping them on for a dinner party, I had to slip them off just an hour later.  I didn't want to believe that something so beautiful could bring me so much pain, so I kept them in my closet and admired them, constantly making excuses not to wear them.  Finally, a few days ago, I realized I was running out of space for my new acquisitions, so I knew it was time to let them go.  I had been lying to myself for years, but the truth was that these shoes just didn't fit. Truthfully, I had attempted to sell them once before, but shortly after photographing them for the advertisement, I realized I couldn't go through with it and put them back on the shelf. This time, though, I knew I had to be strong, and I knew it was time to say good-bye.

 

Wrapping them was an emotional experience. I had so many plans for us, so many cobblestones to cover...but even as they lay in their shoebox, they seemed to smile a shiny, innocent smile that said hey, we'll remember you too. Will they?




The person whose bid won the shoes lives in the Netherlands, and I imagine she is a very nice girl who will give my shoes something I never could: the right feet.  I hope she washes them after a long night out, and gives them their very own spot on the shoe rack. I hope she wears them on first dates, and to evenings out with the girls, where someone will say "nice shoes!" in Dutch, and she will look down and smile at them the way I've done countless times.  Most of all, I hope she loves them.  Or actually, I hope she hates them and sends them back, but that's beside the point.  I wrote her a little note in Dutch extending my gratitude for her taking them in and my hope that she enjoys them.


Maybe something will get lost in translation and she'll read something along the lines of these shoes must be sent back immediately. Or maybe she doesn't speak Dutch at all, and all of my intentions will forever remain solely in my heart.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Caramel Saturdays

My weekends usually rush by because I somehow manage to have a million things to take care of, and I am almost never home- at least not in the daytime.  However, I've been reading a wonderful book by Osho in which it's said that down time is no less important than running errands, and absolutely needs to be scheduled in every now and then.  With that in mind, I baked some Caramel Peekaboos (Caramilk chocolate bar squares embedded into chocolate cookies) and mixed together a hazelnut latte, in preparation for the laziest Saturday I've had in months. The only decision to be made is whether I want to catch up on fashion reads, or re-watch SATC for the hundredth time...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

I feel like most of my life is spent explaining to everyone why I love autumn (see BeSleek columns here and here) and quite frankly, I'm not about to stop.  What I will do, however, is limit my gushing to one small three-letter treasure: Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  The PSL is wonderfully multi-functional: it's the surest sign of autumn (so throw away that Far Side calendar), the best thing to sip on while catching up with girlfriends, and one of the best things to look forward to on a Monday morning.  I personally prefer Starbucks for these (and for all dessert coffees, really) but Second Cup does a nice attempt at it too :)  Here, the elements of a perfect fall day, with the Pumpkin Spice Latte as a delectable headliner.

Unapologetically Bling-y Michael Kors watch...yes I finally caved into the trend, and I love it!


Amazingly comfortable furry loafers!


I'm also really loving the high collar these days. This Jacob blouse is just the perfect level of crisp-ness to pull it off - the important thing is for the collar not to be droopy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When you find the right ones, you just know

I'm definitely not a pro when it comes to wearing heels..grace is not my forte with an extra five inches added to my height. Still I try to put the effort in and be a girl once in a while, and being a girl often involves creating the illusion of accentuated height.  I've been looking for ankle boots for a while now and nothing seemed to work until I found these incredible beasts at Michael Kors.  I still feel slightly wonky when walking in them, but they're perfect for standing in or ...spinning long wisps of chiffon.  They also look super fun with neon socks..