[photos from Eye Prime]
There were a few looks this week that caught my eye–a bohoemian Vanessa Hudgens rocked a floppy hat by Free People and Kate Middleton looked sleek in a felt dress by Amanda Wakeley that was so fitted it seemed like it had been sewn onto her–but I really loved the outfit Kate Beckinsale wore to go shopping at The Grove in Hollywood. Her trusted Nightingale tote by Givenchy alone is lustworthy, but it was her fur vest that made the outfit pop. Worn with wide leg jeans and clogs, she looked tall and cozy while transitioning to cooler temperatures. Fur vests are always a bit hit or miss to me, but with the sleek lines of her tank and pants the effect was anything but unruly.
SHOP THE LOOK:
[Photo from Bluefly - Givenchy Distressed Sheepskin 'Nightingale' Medium Bag in Taupe, was $1960,
There is nothing quite like a hot biscuit fresh from the oven. The lightness of the doughy inside contrasted with the firm crust of the exterior is heavenly. But the greasy, heavy feeling you get after eating one laden with grams of fat? Not so much. That's why I spent ages trying to find a recipe that reduced the butter on its ingredients list. Eventually I did even better and cut it out entirely. Biscuits without butter may sound like heresy but trust me, these are wonderful. And if you absolutely must, save the butter to use as a spread– although I love mine best with apricot jam.
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
2/3 cup of buttermilk, 1% fat (or skim milk mixed with a tablespoon of white vinegar)
3 1/3 tablespoons of canola oil
1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
2. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.
3. Stir together buttermilk (or skim milk mixture if using) and oil. Pour over flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well-mixed.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently for 10 to 12 strokes. Roll to about an inch thickness (do not over roll or roll too thinly).
5. Cut with 2-inch biscuit or round cookie cutter. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.
6. Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm and reheat as necessary.
The end of September seems as good a time as ever to dismantle the garden. It's a depressing task but for the sake of a neat winter and next year's growth it has to be done. We had a great season, with more blooms and produce than ever. More importantly, my hand-made vegetable and herb labels lasted the entire summer and added a bit of character to my container garden.
To craft them was easy. First, I painted a dismantled trellis with house paint and let the pieces dry. Then I printed the labels in the size I needed, shaded the reverse of the page with pencil, and retraced the front with a heavy hand. This left an imprint of the lead that serves as perfect guide. I filled out the letters with permanent marker and sprayed the whole surface with a clear waterproof sealer I picked up at the local hardware store. The resulting stakes were quirky, useful, and cheap – and not once did anyone confuse the basil plant with the sage plant.
[Photo from Net-a-Porter - $2,465, available here]
When I admit to adoring this jacket at least I can say with confidence that I'm not the only one. It's been worn by an endless parade of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, Rachael Bilson, Rihanna, Nicole Richie, Gweneth Paltrow, and most recently Victoria Beckham in NYC during Fashion Week 2011. VB remined me all over again of how much I adore its structure, most notably the edgy contrast between its fitted sleeves and cascading front. Over a dress or sweater, it's the perfect piece for fall.
I can’t take full credit for this outfit. While I usually avoid directly quoting people whose style I admire, I was fascinated by Pippa Middleton’s pairing of a jean jacket with a white dress. The color combination was flattering and summery. I opted to wear a denim button-down shirt with my white skirt and tank because I find it a bit lighter than a jacket on what was a fairly hot end-of-summer day.
Skirt: Maxi Skirt in "Fresh White," Merona for Target
Shirt: Wide-Strapped Tank in White, Forever 21
Shirt: Denim Button-Down in "Moon Shine Wash," Mossimo Supply Co. for Target
Shoes: Anja Platform Sandal in "Toffee Nubuck", BCBGeneration [$119,
Bag: Hudson Quilted Shoulder Bag in "Stone," Gorjana [was $298, similar style available here]
Jewlerly: Gold Engraved Bangle, vintage; Channel-Set Diamond Band, gift; Thin Gold Band with Bezel Set Diamond, Jennifer Meyer [$150, available here]