Thursday, May 13, 2010

The MET and the American Woman

How exciting! Now on special exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity
May 5, 2010–August 15, 2010
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, 2nd floor

According to the MET's website, the exhibit, (which will probably entice me to go dress shopping at Bloomingdales directly after), " the first Costume Institute exhibition drawn from the newly established Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Met. It will explore developing perceptions of the modern American woman from 1890 to 1940 and how they have affected the way American women are seen today. Focusing on archetypes of American femininity through dress, the exhibition will reveal how the American woman initiated style revolutions that mirrored her social, political, and sexual emancipation. "Gibson Girls," "Bohemians," and "Screen Sirens," among others, helped lay the foundation for today's American woman."

Pretty ball gowns, cocktail dresses, sparkly heels, chic clutches? I'm so there. But, if you won't be able to make it to the Big Apple in time, here's a fantastic virtual exhibit tour via YouTube. The mannequins kind of creep me out, but those dresses, oh the dresses! It's like learning American History by way of frocks, fabrics, patterns, embroidery, lace, sequins, and tulle. How very lovely and empowering!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Zebra Inspiration

The countdown is on: I promised myself I'd be hitting the hay and asleep tonight by 11:00 p.m. at the latest, so a super-quick blog post it must be. This being said, check out these gorgeous Zebra-print towels from pottery barn; on sale now! I'm so sad to see that this print has apparently been discontinued from their line, (hence the deeply discounted closeout prices), but after viewing the Bathroom Inspiration photo (below) in one of their catalogs, it immediately inspired me to hunt down zebra towel replicas at my local HomeGoods.

Indeed, dark-stained wood, a crisp white floor, baskets, zebra print, and a couple vibrant green plants added to the above vanity would quite possibly culminate into a bathroom filled with my favorite colors and patterns ever. While the renting-of-an-apartment (with outdated and tiny bathroom) forces that to stay in my design notebook for the time being, at least I can now relish in my very own stash of safari towels and therefore, bath time chic-ness.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I was reading USA today the other morning and came across this sweet "Ode to Mothers" in a Procter and Gamble advertisement. Though it is indeed an ad, it's still a super cute Mother's Day poem of sorts; this being said, Happy Mother's Day to you, Mom! Thank you for everything you do, and being there for us each and every day. We love you. 

- Oven Zest & The Printed Thought.

Mom will ask you to wash
your hands and wipe your feet.

To mind your manners.
To cover your mouth when you cough.

Mom will ask you to not jump off a cliff,
even though everyone else is.

To stop making that face or it will freeze that way.
To stop fighting or she'll turn this car right around. 

Mom will ask that if you don't have
anything nice to say, to not say anything at all.
To remember that money doesn't grow on trees.

To do your homework, clean your room,
keep your elbows off the table and eat your vegetables.

To not forget your jacket. To brush your teeth,
wash behind your ears and wear clean underwear.

Mom will ask you what you want for breakfast,
when you need a ride home from practice
and if you have any clean socks.

Mom will ask you to be kind and patient.
To be a good person, call your grandparents,
work hard and pay your bills on time.

But there's one thing Mom never asks for:

Thank you, Mom. Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Seasonal Gazpacho Craving

One of the tell-tale signs Spring and Summer are right around the corner is when the delicious, cold, tomato-based, raw vegetable soup called Gazpacho starts appearing on restaurants' "Soup du Jour" menus. Since Gazpacho is a seasonal soup that disappears over the cold winter months, Spring (and warmer weather) for me always initiate intense Gazpacho cravings. As in, if I see it listed on a menu, there's a 99.9% chance I'll be ordering it. But, let's be realistic. I'm on a city-girl budget here, so to stretch my dollar a little further, I like whipping up vats of it from scratch using my baby Cuisinart. Hello generous portions of Gazpacho for lunch and dinner all week!

There are many variations of how gazpacho can be made; the consistency, ingredients, toppings, etc. Having studied abroad for a semester in college in Spain's Southern region of Andalusia (Gazpacho's indigenous homeland), I prefer as basic as a gazpacho can get. Not too chunky and not too pureed or over-processed. Garnish with croutons, shaved cucumber, olive oil, avocado, and pour a glass of Rioja to accompany.

Gazpacho is very simple to make - win! And its also super healthy. Raw, dairy-free, and an excellent serving (or two) of nutritious veggies. Turning to culinary master Ina Garten and her to a T recipes of pure genius, this gazpacho recipe of hers is just that. Perfect. Delish. The quintessential melding of cold, sweet, and tangy flavors suitable for a sweltering day. Here is a photo of my homemade Gazpacho, though for a party - look how posh it looks presented in shot glasses!

Buen Salud!


Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Copyright 1999
Serves: 4-6


1 cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 ripe plum tomatoes
1 medium red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups organic tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil - preferably Spanish
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)


1. Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable into the food processor separately and pulse until it is coarsely chopped; do NOT over-process!

2. After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer the gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.