Décor Ideas to Fall for

Here are some really simple fun ideas to incorporate this time of the year.

Leaf Place Cards are
perfect for a festive dinner party.

Pumpkins are a dime a dozen (well not exactly, but close)

Pumpkin Votive Holders

Pumpkin Candy Jars.
A different hue for each canister.  And you won’t be tempted to eat them.

Pumpkin Vase

How many pumpkins are too many? Never too many in October!

Pumpkin Fireplace Filler. Considering you have a fireplace of course.

White Pumpkin and Lavender Basket
makes for a pretty palette.

Pine cones are plentiful right now and make a lovely looking centrepiece.  Sometimes I just put some in a bowl of varying sizes.

Pinecone and LED Vases

As for leaves… you can pick them up right outside your door.

These large maple leaves make for a simply stunning coffee table centrepiece with tealights (in individual glass holders) on driftwood.  Images: d. king

Let your imagination run wild and enjoy what nature and the pumpkin patch has to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

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Style: Sweater Weather

This time of the year I’m FALLing for cozy oversized  knitwear.  From cashmere to wool, crew or turtleneck, be it bright or neutral (my favorite), easy to wear, warm  knits are the ultimate casual attire for a cool day.  And it appears I lean towards full spectrum shades of grey

Stay comfortably CHIC

 

Healthy (no sugar) Zucchini/Carrot/Apple Bread

This fluffy moist zucchini bread recipe which I adapted by adding carrot & apple, is made healthier with whole grains, honey (or maple syrup) and coconut oil instead of butter. It is easily made vegan and/or gluten free (see notes). Recipe yields 1 large loaf or 3 mini loaves. A great breakfast bread or afternoon snack with tea.  Guests wanted more.

Photo: d. king

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup roughly chopped raw walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk of choice or water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + more to swirl on top
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini (you’ll need 1 small-to-medium zucchini, about 7 ounces—if your grated zucchini is very wet, squeeze out the excess moisture over the sink before stirring it into the batter). * I used a mix of zucchini, grated carrot and grated apple to make this recipe my own, and what I consider to taste even better.
  • 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour

    Photo: d. king

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, and grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan to prevent the bread from sticking.
  2. Once the oven has finished preheating, pour the chopped nuts onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and honey. Beat them with a whisk until they are combined. Add the eggs and beat well. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 20 seconds in the microwave.)
  4. Add the milk, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg, and whisk to blend. Switch to a big spoon and stir in the zucchini (and/or grated carrot and apple), then add the flour and stir just until combined. Some lumps are ok! Gently fold in the toasted nuts now.
  5. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with additional cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
  6. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing it with a sharp, serrated knife.
  7. This bread is moist, so it will keep for just 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months or so. I like to slice the bread before freezing and defrost individual slices, either by lightly toasting them or defrosting them in the microwave. I dusted the tops with icing sugar (but you don’t need to – it just looks prettier).

A Note on Oils: I used unrefined coconut oil in this recipe.  Olive Oil will lend an herbal note to the bread.  Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, but the average vegetable/canola oil is highly processed, so better to use cold-pressed sunflower or grapeseed oil if you prefer that.

MAKE IT VEGAN: Use maple syrup instead of honey, replace the eggs with flax eggs and choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.
MAKE IT DAIRY FREE: Choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.
MAKE IT EGG FREE: Replace the eggs with flax eggs.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: I haven’t tried myself, but I have heard from a reader that Bob’s Red Mill’s all-purpose gluten-free mix worked well here.
MAKE IT LOWER IN FAT: Replace the oil with applesauce if you’re following a low-fat diet.

I had all positive reviews for tasters on this one, so I’m going to make it again.  How about you?  Do you have a favorite loaf/bread  recipe?

 

Monday Mood Board #12

ART Immortal – the Holy Grail of art rediscoveries to be auctioned at Christie’s.  If only I had an extra 100 million dollars to spare…. 

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” unveiled recently at Christie’s. Credit: Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In something of an auction coup, Christie’s has secured two blockbuster works for its November Contemporary sale: the last known Leonardo da Vinci in private hands, “Salvator Mundi” or “Savior of the World,” and Andy Warhol’s final silk-screen, “Sixty Last Suppers.” – The NY Times

Andy Warhol’s “Sixty Last Suppers,” at Christie’s New York. Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Christie’s Auction House

The Leonardo da Vinci work is estimated at $100 million and the Warhol at $50 million. Each has been guaranteed by a third, undisclosed party.

Read the whole New York Times article here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/arts/design/christies-leonardo-da-vinci-and-warhol.html

PICASSO’S OLD ART SCHOOL

L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière,

At the unchanged atelier of L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière, you might find yourself sitting in the very same chair where Pablo and a few of his friends, such as Manet and Cezanne, sat sketching their model a century ago. It’s open to the public for sketching workshops in the afternoon, Monday to Saturday, except on Wednesday when there’s an evening session from 7-10pm. No reservations are necessary, just show up with paper and pencils, no teacher, just the model. (14 rue de la Grande Chaumière, 6eme; See the ‘Free Workshop’ and ‘School’ sections of the website for all prices and timetables: grande-chaumiere.fr/en).  Oh by the way, this is in Paris.

L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière,

Channel Gabrielle, the eternal rebel (new Chanel perfume teaser) with a message

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxYRrb7nJ9M

It’s madness out there

“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.” – Rita Mae Brown

There is no great genius without some touch of madness – someone said.

 

 

Self Care: Dinner for One

I’m slowly getting back to some of the usual happy rituals that make my day complete.  One is the enjoyment of cooking dinner.

Broccolini with shaved Vermont cheddar, baby potatoes & wild sockeye salmon with salsa verde (Botanica recipe posted on October 17th – absolutely delicious).

Over dinner (many times accompanied by a glass of wine) along with pleasant music playing in the background, there is conversation. Which means normally there’s another person to converse with. Someone who can talk about pretty much…anything, which makes the ritual that more gratifying. Of course I talk to the dogs but it’s not the same.  They’re really not up on current affairs, however they’re very good listeners.

So it has taken me at least two months to get back into some kind of norm of cooking only for myself.  It’s not that I don’t have the inclination to invite someone else to join me, it’s just that I feel the time has come to look after me, in the same way I used to do for two. So I went grocery shopping and thoughtfully put together a proper dinner, taking time to do so, incorporating healthful ingredients. And I enjoyed every bite.  By myself.

I’m not gonna lie; I much prefer dinner for two. But there is something to having a routine even if it’s only meant for one. It brings meaning to everyday living.  And besides,  I enjoyed the company.  Maybe next time I’ll try taking myself out on a date!

But really; looking after ourselves is as important as looking after another. Even if it’s not as much fun.

How about you?  Do you take the time to make a nice meal just for yourself?

Wine + Dinner = Winner                                                                                                        (image: d. king)

 

Words of Wisdom

On Life

Life Lessons from Het Patel

At the beginning of October 2016, Het wrote a list of his life lessons.  Sadly, he died unexpectedly and suddenly two weeks later at the age of 37.  The one year anniversary of his passing is coming up this month.  I would like to share with you a selection from his 34 philosophical quotes on living. His life was cut short and he had so much more to give. But even in times of mourning there are moments to feel good about. Think about it:

Our brains are our greatest asset and our worst enemy.

A smile can hide the deepest pain.

The fabric of life is change.  We can’t often stop it.  We can’t always fight it.  Acceptance is, most of the time, the best way to deal with change.

We barely understand ourselves, yet we’re confident that we can understand others.  That’s kind of silly when you think about it.

The best moments in life are spent in the company of loved ones – regardless of what you’re doing.

Nothing in life has meaning, other than the meaning we put on it.

Accepting that we will die one day, is key to knowing how to live. – Het Patel

 Life Lessons from Dogs

 Living moment to moment, no worries whatsoever, an innocence, acceptance, playfulness and trust that escapes most of us humans.  Refreshing!  If only we could live like that!

We can all cope with the battles of today.  It’s when we add the worry of tomorrow, and the regret of yesterday, that we break down. – Het Patel.

Have a happy weekend.  No regrets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty in a Box

Useful, beautifully thought out items for women on the go. Courtesy of the Zoe Report.

Aside from the leather clutch/shoulder/computer bag here are the other items in the Fall Box of Style:

THE MANE MASTER

If you spent too much time in the sun and pool, Oribe’s Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream is here to rescue your summer-loved strands. Imbued with a heavenly scent, massage a small amount of this leave-in conditioner post-shower, or midday, for a silky treatment.

THE ONE-TWO PUNCH

Vegan and cruelty free, NUDESTIX gives you a natural way to get gorgeous. Their two-in-one crayon is moisturizing and vitamin-enriched — the perfect pick-me-up to give your lips and cheeks a pinch of color at a moment’s notice.

THE TRIPLE THREAT

The perfect travel skincare set. My skin looked fantastic after using it. Call in a weekend staycation, or fake a spa visit, with Skinesque’s multi-tasking mask. Paraben-free and dermatologist approved, it will brighten up your visage with skin-loving ingredients from green tea to bamboo and charcoal.

THE DYNAMIC DUO

A little luxury goes a long way, and these stackable baubles prove it. The choice item in the fall box, they deliver delicate diamonds on 14K Gold Plated Brass rings.

TRAY CHIC

Overhaul clutter and make a modern statement via this metallic tray. Whether placed atop your work desk, coffee table, or vanity, it will effortlessly elevate your space.

Order your box here (while supplies last) –  http://boxofstyle.thezoereport.com/            Save $20 on your Fall order. Use CODE  FALL20

 

Style is in the Bag

THE MULTI-TASKER

GiGi New York Convertible Leather Clutch

Style meets Function

I’m still getting the Zoe Report Box of Style and it’s always fun to unwrap the fashionably curated and useful findings inside each seasonal box.

For Fall 2017 Rachel Zoe and her team have an

exclusive collaboration with GiGi New York

featuring a luxury carryall in unexpected navy which converts from a computer case by day to a chic clutch come night.  Made of quality textured leather, it comes with a detachable strap for slinging across your shoulder for casual wear from office to evening. Of course the tassle sets it apart.

“Every woman is so incredibly busy, we need practical yet stylish pieces for every day.”  Rachel Zoe

A new favorite fall companion!  I’ll tell you about the rest of the box tomorrow.