Old School Summer

It’s been SO friggin’ hot in Boston this past week we are all wilting a bit.  While sitting inside by the A/C (and cursing the fact that we have yet to install central air) I read an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about how summer has changed.  I have to agree- as a kid I spent so much time outside in the summer months- at the beach, camp, in the pool, riding bikes or building forts with my brother.  No one was glued to a cell phone, iPad, TV or computer- it was so much more pure and easy then (ok, maybe not “easy” but simpler!)   The nostalgia for those times hit me this weekend and I want to spend my free time more like that- taking hikes, going to the ocean, going out for ice cream cones…. let’s bring back old school summertime!

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Here are some things that would help re-create an old school summer:
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shorts (on sale!)// jars // bike // wine tote (got this for my parent’s new beach house) // bathing suit // rope bracelet // pie recipe // towel // Bonne Bell Lipsmacker // pajama top & bottom // espadrilles // hammock

 

Kitchen Accessories

As my kitchen slowly but surely comes together I have been thinking that I cannot just clutter it up with all my old, crusty kitchen accessories! Heavens, no! It would be offensive to all the money and time we’ve spent planning, designing and crafting this new beauty, right?  Not that I have any money left to buy fun new kitchen items, but if I could these would be on my list:

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1. I have knives from my wedding registry, and they are still great but this block from West Elm would be SO pretty on my counter!

2. Considering how many striped shirts I have, you can see why I was drawn to this pitcher- perfect for ice water, lemonade or sangria!

3. My favorite soap for the sink.

4. A new whistling tea kettle to brew while I prepare to watch my new addiction, Downton Abbey!

5. Canisters for flour, sugar and Splenda (because we buy that stuff by the case!)

6. Some new monogrammed kitchen towels- proper and crisp, not from a discount store.

7. New cooking tools- I have black plastic ones and they depress me.

8. I DIE DIE DIE for this matte gold flatware for my new dining table (coming in two weeks!)

9. My mom has her mother’s seasoned cast iron skillets and I tell you- cooking with those puts all other pans to shame.  This one is not seasoned with decades of cooking, but it would do.

10. I still need a couple of these bottle stoppers- they are just SO GOOD.

11. A pretty walnut cutting board that would look nice with my new floor color!

12. A simple, but pretty, paper towel holder.

13. I never ever need kitchen string, but this little thing would just be too cute on the shelf!

14. Gorgeous champagne glasses to toast our new kitchen with!!!!

15. I know the VItamix is best, but I cannot fathom spending $600 on a blender. I just can’t.  I like my Breville juicer a lot, so I think they probably make a good blender too. :)

Counters go in tomorrow! They are my favorite thing in the kitchen and I can’t wait to show you!

Now I just have to learn how to be a good cook.

Blog Crush: Sous Style

I was introduced to this blog, Sous Style, via Marni at StyleCarrot and am so glad I was.  While not much a of a cook myself, I have grandiose dreams of someday being the type of woman who makes something fabulous for dinner every night, not just whips up a ground turkey Old El Paso taco kit and calls it “cooking”.  Enter Sous Style, a fantastic new blog by Pippa Lord, the photo director at Elle Magazine (how does she have time to do both?)  She is funny, self-deprecating and showcases not only gorgeous images but great tips, tricks and the like.  I especially love her Wake Up Call feature which details several women’s morning routines and fave products. As well as the House Hunting one. And the Eat With Me one. Ehhhh, just check ‘em all out!

All images courtesy of Sous Style

Hot Stuff

As I ponder homes I also have been pondering kitchen appliances.  To be honest, most of the time when I design kitchens I work with certified kitchen designers or an architect to lay out and pick these pieces (or the homeowner already knows what they want- 99% of the time it’s Subzero/Viking).  Even though for me “cooking” usually consists of whipping up an Old El Paso taco kit for my husband and myself, I still dream of a sexy oven/range to stare at.  They tend to be the showpiece of the kitchen and there are so many great looking ones at different price points. Granted, the best looking ones are the price of a vacation to Paris or a small Honda, but a smaller budget does not mean an ugly oven!

La Cornue is the creme de la creme in my book- such a thing of beauty, even though I have NO IDEA how you bake in there. Do you open the doors to check on your goods? Doesn’t matter, they are SO gorgeous (better looking than the famous AGA in my humble opinion) That chrome and brass trim just SLAYS me.

Bertazzoni is a close second with it’s bold color choices, compact design and option for that sexy trim style I mentioned above. Swoon.

Fratelli Onofri has such a classic, old school look with it’s knobs and hardware details, but you CAN see inside through cute curved windows! And I love how you can get the hardware in brass (because brass is back, baby)

GAH! This thing is a piece of art!

Viking is the go to for high end ranges, but I prefer their colorful small styles.  Although the big momma looks pretty sweet in Windsor Smith’s kitchen!

Smeg, of the cute old refrigerators, has one heck of a sleek looking model for a more modern kitchen.

Going the Sears route, Bosch and Fridgidaire have GREAT design for reasonable price (and we have had a Bosch for a year and have had NO issues!)

And I LOVE the high end look of this KitchenAid range! There is something “Viking” looking about the label too!

Fridgidaire and Electrolux also have some really handsome ranges!

Now if I could just learn to love cooking (baking, I adore, cooking not as much…)

A Shiny Happy Cookbook

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It’s too bad that this genius cookbook is so hard to find in print, because I’d love to own it. It reads more like a lifestyle magazine than simply a collection of delicious recipes.  And since my cookbooks have served merely as inspiration and not instruction these days, I think this would be the perfect one for me.  Neil Roake takes you into the homes and recipe folders of his coolest friends, showing great snapshots of varied, fabulous spaces and the food that is cooked up by the people that live there! How genius is that? I love the hand drawn portraits, the organization by color and the beautiful photography. Where ever am I going to find this?

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