Cocktail Hour – The Dark & Stormy

The weather here has been pretty lovely so far this spring, but some places in the US haven’t fared so well. In honor of potential April showers, here’s a few rain gear options to make the dreary days a little brighter.

There’s a lot of options available for every personality from futuristic clear vinyl to classic Sherlock Holmes inspired cloaks to sleek modified trench coats. The key is add splashes of color to bring some cheer to rainy days.

Dark & Stormy

While you’re sloshing through puddles, you can sip on a Dark & Stormy. A deliciously murky concoction of dark rum and ginger beer.

fa-dark_stormyThe Dark & Stormy

1.5 oz of dark rum
Ginger beer

Fill a tall glass with ice, and add the rum. Top with ginger beer, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Enjoy!

 

 

Image courtsey of Liquor.com

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Notes on Paris

11150290_1105531586139379_1003917573469974842_nI’m back from a whirl wind adventure in the city of lights.  What a lovely, refined city.  Full of rich history, unique architecture, delicious food and pastries.  I can’t say enough good things about this wonderful place.

It was a packed schedule of the typical site-seeing stops , but the highlights for me were attending the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Grand Palais, and fabric shopping in Montmatre.

I came across the exhibit by chance in the Metro station near our hotel, and noticed that it was running currently, and had to take the opportunity to see this master’s work.  The exhibit consisted of 182 pieces designed between 1976 and 2015.  He sees it as the ultimate fashion show rather than a retrospective. The show was organized in themed groupings, such as french sailor stripes, corsets, punk, etc.  The mannequins were plain white, but had live faces projected on them (including Jean Paul’s) to bring them to life!   It’s hard to describe what it’s like to be in the presence of such creativity and stellar avant garde (and cheeky) design. It was pretty incredible.   If you will be in Paris before August 3rd, and are a fashion-ophile, I recommend stopping by the Grand Palais to check out this exhibit, you won’t regret it.

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The man himself in his iconic french sailor stripes speaking to exhibit goers

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Fabric shopping in Montmatre was inspiring.  Just to have the breadth of choice within a small vicinity and at great prices (10 euros for 3 meters!) was exhilarating.  I got a little carried away, and my suitcase was bursting (literally, I had to borrow my friend’s luggage strap because my zipper popped open).

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Arms full of fabric

So, stay tuned to see what this fabric turns into!  And, if you get the opportunity, go to
Paris, don’t give it a second thought, just GO, you will not regret it.

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Cocktail Hour – The French 75

FNM_120111-Centerfold-002_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeIn honor of my time in Paris this week, the featured cocktail is the classic French 75. I love this cocktail because it contains two of my favorite libations, gin AND champagne!

The French 75 

.5 oz lemon juice

.5 oz simple syrup

1 oz gin

3 oz champagne

Add all the ingredients except the Champagne to a shaker and fill with ice.

Shake well and strain into a Champagne flute.

Top with the Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

I chose a quintessential french inspired outfit to wear while you enjoy your cocktail.  What is it about stripes that evoke Paris?

 

Follow me on Instagram to see me sipping on a French 75 in front of the Eiffel tower! ;)

*Image courtesy of Food Network

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Packing for PARIS!!

By the time you read this post, I will be on my way to PARIS!!  Can you tell I’m a little excited?  This my first time traveling abroad, and there was a ton of planning involved in getting ready for this trip.

Deciding what to take with me was a challenge.  Comfort is a necessity.  There’s going to be a lot of walking, and it could be a little cool at times. But, at the same time, it’s Paris, so you can’t slack off in the style department.  Traveling aboard can also present some challenges, and I didn’t want to have the possibility of my bag not making the flight, so I decided to only take a carry-on.

So, the challenge, taking a stylish wardrobe for 4 days in a single carry-on.  Easy…….?

It started with deciding on a color palette and identifying multiple pieces that could work together.

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After trying several outfits on, I culled everything down to a handful of pieces.

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I ended up with four bottoms (3 pants, 1 skirt), seven tops, and four pairs of shoes.  Together, they make up 13 outfits, so I’ll have plenty to wear and choose from.

IMG_1017Travel outfit

IMG_1019Printed pants with t-shirt or sweater

IMG_1022A little Parisian inspired skirt

IMG_1023Comfy jeans and sweaters if the mood strikes

I’m using some space bags to ensure everything fits with room for souvenirs.  Follow me on Instagram to see these outfits in actions, and travel vicariously with me.

Au revoir!  See you in a week!

 

 

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Cocktail Hour – Easter Brunch

This week’s cocktail hour, I’m featuring two classic brunch cocktails in honor of the Easter holiday this weekend.

On the lighter side is the mimosa.

Mimosa  c05bbfce821e36db_mango-grapefruit-mimosa

2oz. Orange juice
chilled sparkling wine

Add the orange juice to a champagne flute. Fill will sparkling wine.

Stoli-Bloody-Mary-newestIf you want a more hearty cocktail, may I suggest a Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary

Celery salt
1 Lemon wedge
1 Lime wedge
2 oz Premium Vodka
4 oz Tomato juice
2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
2 tsp Prepared horseradish
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch Celery salt
1 pinch Ground black pepper
1 pinch Smoked paprika

Pour some celery salt onto a small plate. Rub the juicy side of the lemon or lime wedge along the lip of a pint glass. Roll the outer edge of the glass in celery salt until fully coated. Fill with ice and set aside. Squeeze the lemon and lime wedges into a shaker and drop them in. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake gently and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a celery stalk and a lime wedge.

Hard to choose? Put on your Easter bonnet, have both, and make it a very Happy Easter!

Eastern Brunch
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Cocktail Hour – The Shirley Temple

IMG_0990I was watching a Sex in the City marathon (I don’t know about you, but this is one show that I never tire of) last weekend, and in one episode, Carrie orders a Shirley Temple while she waits for her friends to show up for her birthday party.  It felt a little coincidental since my birthday is tomorrow, and that the Shirley Temple brings back fond memories of my childhood. Our neighbors, “Mr. & Mrs. B” had a bar in their basement.  And, when my family would visit them, my brothers and I would get to sit at “Mr. B’s” bar .  He would make us Shirley Temples and we’d play “slots” on the machines he had on the bar.  Really wholesome stuff. ;)

 

Since we are all adults here, I found a more adult version of the Shirley Temple

 

The Dirty Shirley
1 1/2 oz Vodka
1 0z grenadine
4 oz ginger beer (or ginger ale)
Maraschino cherries
Ice

 

In a chilled glass mix together vodka & grenadine. Top with ginger beer & some ice. Garnish with maraschino cherries, you can float some in the glass too.

 

To go along with this cheery, fun pinky-red cocktail, is a flirty, girly pink and floral outfit.
Cheers!
Shirley Temple
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Project Design Continued

Many of  you may have been wondering what I’ve been up to for the last six months since I feel off the blogging bandwagon.  You may remember this post from this time last year about getting back into sewing and designing.  And, also this post from September, where I stocked up on fabric for my projects. That pile of fabric sat for a while.  I decided to take a break from blogging so I could focus  solely on finding inspiration, sketching, and re-learning patterning drafting.

With the invigoration of spring, I shook of the winter doldrums, and got back to sharing with you my musings on fashion.   Now, I want to start sharing with you how I’ve been using up my fabric stash.

I started with a beautiful navy and gray stripped chenille shot through with a gold thread.  There were a few ideas; initially using it in a dress, then perhaps a top framed by leather.

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Finally, deciding on a skirt.  The initial thought was a midi-length skirt with a self-fabric waistband.

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It was an interesting process, putting this skirt together,  since I drafted my own patterned.  I hadn’t initially thought about matching the strips, but it was necessary since it’s a dominate pattern. Because of this, it turned out I didn’t have enough fabric.  Yikes!  I decided to sleep on this problem to figure what to do (always a good lesson to learn).   I woke up the next morning with the idea to use 3″ elastic for the waistband (instead of fabric).  It would give the skirt a more modern, casual look.  And, the skirt would just have to be shorter.  In the end, they were both the right decision.

 

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What do you think?  Stay tuned for more designs!

 

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