Browsing Category:

Musings

In Musings on
December 6, 2018

Friday Fancies: Holiday Edition

Friday Fancies: Holiday Wrapping with Stuffy Muffy

Hello dear readers! I hope you are all enjoying the merriment of holiday preparations. I have not baked a single sweet and my daughter’s needlepoint stocking will (hopefully!) be finished by next year. What I have managed to cross off my Christmas to-do list is the gift wrapping and savoring of a Yueltide cocktail. ‘Tis the season!

That’s a Wrap

When it comes to gift giving, the presentation is just as important as the present, non? For ribbon, I used a wired, looks-like-silk, coral confection from Lion Ribbon that comes in a variety of classic hues. You can find anything on Amazon these days, including this ivy vine ribbon that’s perfect for zhushing up any package. The charming gift tags are from Carrie and Seash, a mother-daughter duo based in Baton Rouge. Each of their designs, from wedding suites to Christmas cards, is hand-painted in their studio.

Christmas Cocktail

It’s time to get fabulously festive with a Hambone! Mister Stuffy Muffy discovered this warm delight while doing some shopping at H. Stockton, an Atlanta tradition in men’s clothing since 1963. It turns out that it is the signature drink of Mr. Ham Stockton, the founder, and they offer Hambones to customers every holiday season. I love anything with a little history!

  • 2 oz Apple Cider
  • 2 oz Ginger Beer
  • 1 (or 2!) oz Wild Turkey 101

Heat the apple cider in a sauce pan to desired warmth, add in ginger beer, and Wild Turkey and serve in any glass you prefer. Cheers dears!

Mirror, Mirror

Friday Fancies: Infinity Mirrors on Stuffy Muffy

My little art critic and I.

This week, Louisa and I braved the Infinity Mirrors lines at the High Museum and entered the beguiling world of artist Yayoi Kusama. The rooms are very extraordinary—awakening a sense of wonder and critical thinking simultaneously. Kusama, 88, has been grappling with mental illness for most of her life which creates an important lens to view these installations through. Some say we are living in a time when Instagram-worthy art is the only way to get the masses to a museum. I say not so—most of these installations were created in the 60s and immersive art has been around long before social media. If so? Well how wonderful that the arts are resonating with all generations!  If you have the opportunity to experience Infinity Mirrors, you must go!

Advance tickets at the High have been sold out for months, however there is hope! Approximately 100 tickets are available onsite each day through February 17. Bonne chance and bring something to read or needlepoint while you’re in those long lines!

Bon Voyage

The Kennedys in Acapulco, 1953.

I wrote a little piece for Over the Moon on how to honeymoon like history’s chicest brides. Included in the bunch are Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and perennial bride Elizabeth Taylor. From extravagant adventures to stateside stays, there’s a trip you’re bound to want to take (solo or with a soulmate!). Where did you honeymoon? We spent a few nights in Palm Beach during December and it was such a fun getaway.

Have a merry weekend and thank you for reading! xo

In Musings, Uncategorized on
May 3, 2018

Friday Fancies

Spring, you wily temptress! I think she and her delightful weather are finally here to stay. Here are some fancies to help inspire you this warm weekend:

DERBY DRINK

Giddy up, Good Magic! The finest horse race in all the land is on Saturday and here’s a little something to whip up at your bar. I always rely on my Mrs. Lilien Cocktail Swatchbook for an elegant elixir; her punch bowl treat the Lawn Party will be your new spectator favorite.

Hydrates a crowd of 6:

  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup Pimm’s Liqueur
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

In a large punch bowl or pitcher, add 1 cup bourbon, 1 cup Pimm’s Liqueur, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 12 fresh mint leaves and 1/2 cup of simple syrup. Stir well. Add 2 cups of ice cubes, garnish with mint sprig.

FANCY FEET

très cute!

A hybrid of sandal and espadrille to add feminine charm to any ensemble. My size is sold out or I would have snapped them up in a heartbeat! Shop them on Tuckernuck here.

PRETTY ON PAPER

I have to share these dear announcements done by C. Buxton Designs for Walton Street Stationers that I had made up for Louisa. Our Christmas cards always have an image on them but I was keen on the idea of having the announcement stand alone and including a separate picture in each envelope just like the old days. The custom monogram will be a lovely keepsake for her nursery! If you’re looking for classic paper goods, these two sources deliver in spades.

LADY LOU

Speaking of Louisa, I don’t believe I have formally introduced her on the blog yet! Our muffin is already 5 months old and such a joy. She is very active, a total card and has her own little brand of particularity (don’t come near her with a pacifier! Teethers are okay in her book though!). I’m so excited for all the fun ahead but also savoring these yummy baby moments, they’re going by too quickly!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

In Musings, Uncategorized on
March 1, 2018

Romanoff’s: The Hollywood Hotspot of Yesteryear

romanoffs-beverly-hills

Glamour, gossip and golden Oscars! I imagine I’m not alone in thinking wistfully of Academy Awards past and with the Oscars being presented this Sunday evening, it’s fitting to take a look back. In the glittering heyday of Hollywood, the stars would congregate at Romanoff’s in Beverly Hills to celebrate wins while wining and dining. As it turns out, this restaurant’s history is as captivating as the silver screen celebrities it hosted.

Cary Grant and actress Constance Moore, 1939. Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

In a town where playing make believe was a coveted livelihood, expert imposter Michael Romanoff found the perfect place to reinvent himself and become a successful restauranteur. Harry F. Gerguson (born Hershel Geguzin), a tailor from Brooklyn, tried on a Russian royalty persona for size, opened Romanoff’s restaurant in 1939 and made it the place to see and be seen. Some knew him as Count Gladstone, others as Prince Michael Dimitri Alexandrovich Obolensky-Romanoff and most were hip to his deceptive identity. This, however, intrigued Tinseltown’s biggest names and made Romanoff’s a hotspot for the likes of the original brat pack, Katharine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall and many more.

marilyn-monroe-romanoffs-beverly-hills

Marilyn was a big fan of Romanoff’s signature chocolate souffle.

For 20 years Romanoff’s played host to movie premiere parties such as Marilyn Monroe’s The Seven Year Itch, Natalie Woods’ surprise 21st birthday party and the annual Academy Awards after-party. Set on tony Rodeo Drive, the restaurant served up steakhouse staples such as Lobster Thermidor and Filet Mignon with Bordelaise delivered by smartly uniformed waiters to cushy corner booths reserved for their most dazzling clientele. Romanoff preferred to break bread with his two bulldogs at lunch but in making the rounds would glean plenty of hearsay from his clients which he compiled in a weekly gossip column in his menu called Romanoff’s Round Up.

romanoffs-beverly-hills-menu

a luncheon menu is accompanied by the latest gossip!

 

Anything goes in La La Land…

From Grace Kelly celebrating her The Country Girl Best Actress trophy to Myrna Loy and her husband toasting to their divorce and Jayne Mansfield having that infamous wardrobe malfunction in front of Sophia Loren, the booths at Romanoff’s had seen many a Hollywood insider moment. Julia Child is said to have frequented the L.A. haunt for her fix of Strawberries Romanoff and Bogart would order the same three drinks with lunch every day; two scotch and sodas and one coffee with brandy. While entertaining his glitziest patrons, Michael made sure to give the same white glove treatment to his disgraced friends such as Walter Wanger who was in prison for shooting his wife’s lover. A silver tray with Wanger’s favorite Romanoff’s dishes was served to him everyday in jail, courtesy of the restauranteur.

Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield (Woah, Jayne! A little mystery goes a long way).

The Zanuck family at the receiving line of their dinner dance for the Marlborough School graduating class of 1951. Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

Like most trendy establishments, the once hopping restaurant saw its A-list clientele dwindling and threw one last hoorah on New Years Eve 1962. Slim Aarons was there to capture every star-studded moment as the bon vivant proprietor charmed his guests well past midnight. As the selfstyled prince put it, “For years I have been supplying adventure, by proxy, to those who have desired it. I have given more enjoyment, I think, than I have received.” Cin cin to that! Will we look back on this 2018 awards season with such fondness years from now? I have a feeling all the assault scandals, talk of who arrived in a fuel efficient car and more political commentary than C-SPAN will overshadow any such admiration! Perhaps we can hope for a few lovely red carpet looks?

The dining room at Romanoff’s. Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

PS Have you all seen any Best Picture nominees? I had high hopes for Lady Bird but found it less dazzling than Mistress America, an independent film by the same director. All the Money in the World and I, Tonya are on my to-watch list!

First image courtesy of Beverly Hills: The First 100 Years by Robert S. Anderson

 

In Musings on
November 16, 2017

Friday Fancies

Happy weekend dears! Autumn leaves are falling, there is finally a slight chill in the air and Thanksgiving is fast approaching; what a time to be alive! Here are some fancies to usher you into the festive week ahead.

MARVELOUS MURDER

murder-on-the-orient-express

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

On the Orient Express, that is. My husband and I went to see this star-packed delight last Friday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the cinematography, period costumes and nostalgia of a great Agatha Christie tale, Murder on the Orient Express is the perfect movie to take in with the whole family next week. No covering Grandmother’s eyes or ears, this flick is clean as a whistle!

SHOWHOUSE SPLENDOR

clary-bosbyshell-design

Image by Heidi Face.

If you live in or around Atlanta, this year’s Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse looks sublime. It is open through December 10th for touring and they have plenty of fabulous events to attend as well. I’m partial to the ethereal swan and blush adorned powder room by Clary Bosbyshell of Margaux Interiors Ltd. and can’t wait to see the rest of the home!

DECADENT DESSERT

While everyone enjoys a lovely pie, I veered from tradition last Thanksgiving and made a pumpkin bread pudding and accompanying Grand Marnier caramel sauce. I don’t have photographic evidence of it so you’ll have to take my word, it was absolutely delicious and a big hit. Ready to wow with your culinary prowess on Turkey Day? Here’s how to make it:

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

via Taste Love Nourish

1 pound challah or brioche bread

2 large eggs

2 1/4 cups milk

15 ounces pumpkin puree

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter, diced into small cubes

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9 inch baking dish.
  • Cube the bread into 1 inch pieces, place them in the baking dish.
  • Whisk eggs in a bowl, add milk, pumpkin, sugar, spices and salt. Mix all the ingredients to combine then pour mixture over bread.
  • Dot the top of the bread with butter and walnuts.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until set. Allow to cool, serve warm! (Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, win win.)

Grand Marnier Caramel Sauce

via Averie Cooks

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon light-colored corn syrup

1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (or a little more!)

1 teaspoon salt if you prefer salted caramel

  • Making this is always a bit intimidating for me! In a large saucepan add sugar, water, corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking until sugar has dissolved.
  • Allow mixture to boil for 5-12 minutes or until it turns caramel colored. Stir it occasionally, making sure the sugar mix doesn’t get on the sides of the saucepan too much to prevent crystallization.  It will most likely be smoking a little, keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn! Once the perfect caramel color has been achieved, reduce the heat to low.
  • Ever so slowly, add in the cream which will bubble vigorously so watch out!
  • Add the Grand Marnier and salt very slowly as it will bubble again then whisk until sauce is smooth. Boil it for an additional minute so it becomes thicker.
  • Store in a glass heat-safe container uncovered until it reaches room temperature. Put a lid on it and it will keep for at least two weeks!

TABLE TOPIC

van-gogh-grasshopper

Image courtesy of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Need a headline to get the Thanksgiving table conversation off of football and on to how culturally informed you are? Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 “Olive Trees” is a cautionary tale of how plein air painting conditions can go awry. It has just been discovered that there is actually a very old grasshopper stuck amongst the thick layers of paint in this work along with some flies. van Gogh was a master at his easel and an unsuspecting entomologist too! For the full story, go here.

OH BABY!

Our daughter is due to arrive any day now and I’ve finally finished her nursery in the nick of time. Above is a little sneak peek of the room, I promise to share more soon! I’m also looking forward to having some down time, or as much of that as you can have with a newborn, to work on some interesting art history and decorating posts (my favorite kind!) so stay tuned.

Wishing you all a fabulous Thanksgiving!