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NEWS: PART 2

October 13, 2011

Hi my lovelies! Months ago (if anyone remembers because it really was forever ago!) I wrote that I would be taking a little hiatus from this blog and returning later with something bigger and better.  Well, I have and now its ready for you to see.  Some of you may have already visited the new site via my twitter and facebook accounts, but just in case you missed it I will present to you, WIT & POLISH.  I can’t wait to see you all over there, and on my new twitter and facebook accounts! Let me know what you think…

News…

May 20, 2011

Dear Everyone,

As you may have noticed, I’ve been on a blog hiatus for just about a month… Bad girl I know! But I’m working on something new and special and so much better! I can’t wait to share it with you, but in the meantime I just wanted to say that I haven’t forgotten you, and I hope you’ll bear with me for now.

Lots of luxelifeLOVE,

Bria

Fit for a Queen…

April 29, 2011

…my new chair that is!! Actually, new might be a bit of a stretch, but its new to me.  When I was on my way to the Drew William fashion presentation a couple weekends ago I got a picture text from my boyfriend.  The photo was of this chair left by a dumpster in one of the alleys near our building—he came across it while walking the dog. “Do you want me to bring this inside?” read the text.  Um, do you even have to ask?!  What a gem! Such an unsual size and shape, can’t you just see it as a telephone station with a tall & slim round side table, and old fashioned phone, with a gorgeous notepad and pen?  I can’t wait to up-cycle this baby by refinishing the wood and having it reupholstered.  I’m thinking either a glossy black or white paint for the wood with a really colourful graphic print for the rest… or maybe a textured neutral fabric and a glossy, bright pop of colour for the frame.  Or I could even go two tone with the upholstery… aaaah so many possibilities!! I’ll definitely be scouring some of my favourite design blogs and magazines for inspiration.  Here’s a list of some current favorites:

  1. for DIY’s and before and after beauties, the Design*Sponge blog takes the cake
  2. Lonny Magazine and sister publication TRADhome are amazing online monthlies that highlight both interiors and designers, and all the in-betweens. (They also do a great job of linking trends to multiple design disciplines.)
  3. Adore Home is another online glossy with issues every 2 months.  A product of Australia, this mag is international in appeal, with excellent themed editorials.
  4. Made by Girl is not an interior design blog per se, but Jen, the blog’s creator is forever showcasing beautiful home tours!
  5. A favorite for real life DIY and personal design style is Beau Lifestyle.  The blog was one of my picks for the Versatile Blogger Award…I just love perusing her home pics and decor finds!
  6. The Decorista and her tumblr blog are extremely high on my list for a daily dose of beautiful rooms. Last seen on LuxeLifeLove’s Five, I seriously can’t. get. enough.
  7. From ebay scores for her own home to decor highlights from major retailers, Little Green Notebook is a great resource and is full of creative solutions to common design issues.
Show those links some love, and tell me what you think I should do with this chair.

Drew William: A Fashion Review

April 28, 2011

As promised (okay maybe its a little later than promised, but I was sick last week so my productivity levels were pretty low) here are my thoughts and photos of the Drew William Fashion Presentation I went to last weekend.  I’ve been thinking about this little show for awhile, wondering how to tell you what I really thought about it.  I debated following the old “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” or sugar-coating the evening with faux praise.  So here it is: this fashion presentation left me feeling very underwhelmed.  After waiting for a good half an hour in a sparse and darkened room (we passed the time by watching the social interactions of Vancouver’s ‘Luxe-Hipsters’, a crowd paying premium prices for new duds to look like vintage-wearing East Van kids), the music revved and spotlights started dancing.  From my experience, this usually signifies the start of a show, or at least a 5 minute warning call.  Instead, we were to continue waiting a good 15 minutes more before the crowd parted and out walked shuffled the first model.  Seeing her hair, I couldn’t help but think of Star Wars…and then collectively, a sharp intake of breath resonated throughout the room as the poor girl just about slipped while trying to step onto the plinth on which she was to be displayed while next model—a male this time—had his moment in the spotlight.  Here we are, two models out and both on display at opposite ends of the room when the lights go on!

Um, is that it? No, they’re probably just letting us take a closer peek at the first two looks.  

But there were no more looks.  The first two were the only two… Oh yes, there’s the designer taking his bow, and everyone is looking so pleased.  Did they just see the same show that I saw?!

So maybe I’m being a little bit harsh.  But two looks does not a fashion show make.  Even if your embellishments (hand-painted, laser-cut leather & beading) are insanely intricate and you made your own jewellery and shoes. Okay so the shoes are pretty awesome, and those bracelets? Love! Even so, it worries me that a designer might only have two looks, and makes me wonder if he/she is capable of creating an entire cohesive collection.  Looking at William’s past seasons, its clear that he is a brilliantly creative designer, and very capable of designing a great collection.  However,  in my opinion his Fall 2011 left a little to be desired as a whole, and he’s fallen short of his past work (never good!). On the other hand, he should really consider accessory design don’t you think? Imagine that leather cutwork as a bib necklace…gorgeous! My favourite details were the hand-made shoes, the bracelets, and the detail of the men’s lapel (its in the shape of a face!).

Overall, the individual parts (ie embellishments & accessories) = great.  The sum of those parts = so-so.  Your thoughts?

Print Party

April 26, 2011

Vero Moda striped shirt | plaid skirt made by me | Guess shoes | Jacob bracelet | Chinese Laundry woven belt

With my mum and sister here this weekend, my personal shopping skills were put to the test. After two days of marathon shopping (my sister may have a hairline fracture in her foot from all the walking…), Sunday was all about resting… on stomachs full of buttermilk pancakes and freshly sliced strawberries! Even though I was pretty exhausted, I couldn’t wait to test out a present from my dad (a tripod!!), and show off my new fave top. I’ve been hunting for the perfect striped shirt since 2005, and I finally found it! Lucky for my wallet, it was also a steal at just over $20.00 (thank you Bay Days).

According to my mum—and this weekend is the first I’m hearing of this—I’ve always been a party girl. (Um, are you sure you’re talking about this daughter? Because I feel a lot more like a hermit these days!) What my mum meant is that I always LOVED the party atmosphere, and when it came to my birthdays, the bigger the better! While my little sister was most happy with just a few attendees, I would insist on inviting absolutely everyone. Today, what I love most about parties and other social events is the chance to dress up and create my own character for the evening.

(Meet Blanche, my alter ego for today. She’s edgy, sweet, quirky, and just a wee bit French.)

All the talk about birthday bashes inspired me to get in touch with my playful side for this photoshoot and have my very own print party! (I must admit, I’ve also been looking for an excuse to wear this plaid skirt that I made for Halloween but didn’t get to wear.)

So, mon amies, have I earned my stripes?

Basil Fettuccini & Lemon Butter Alfredo with Mushrooms

April 21, 2011

Easter weekend is just a day away (and maybe already here for you lovelies on the other side of the world!) and I’m so excited to be spending it with my mum and sister who are visiting until Monday for a much-needed girls weekend. Easter weekend is full of tradition for a lot of families, and I for one am all about the chocolate hunt, great brunch, and time to relax. This aside, I’m not a fan of the traditional ham or turkey dinner. Here’s a recipe I recently created that would be a wonderful choice for an Easter (or spring) dinner party. Not as rich as your typical Alfredo, this sauce is light, refreshing, and still creamy thanks to a hint of lemon. And fresh pasta? Well nothing can beat that!

Basil Fettuccini

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tbsp crushed basil
  • water optional

In a large mixing bowl, pour your flour and make an indentation or well in the middle.  Break the eggs into the well, add the basil, and slowly combine all three ingredients with a fork. (I start with a fork and then use a dough attachment for my hand mixer, or just my hands, to mix and knead the ingredients until a dough is formed) If your dough is too wet or sticky, add flour little bits at a time—we’re talking approximately a tablespoon at a time so the extra flour is fully integrated.  You can do the same with water if your dough is too stiff.  When everything is mixed, lightly flour a surface and knead your dough until it is a uniform texture and smooth.  Form into a ball or log and divide into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Wrap your remaining dough in a tea towel so it doesn’t dry out. With your pasta at the thickest setting, pass your dough through the smooth rollers.  To prevent sticking and tearing during the next few passes through the machine, sprinkle your length of dough with flour and fold in half before rolling it through.  Continue rolling with thinner and thinner settings until you reach your desired thickness. Repeat for each dough portion.   Now switch to the Fettuccini cutting roller. Cut your pasta sheets into the desired length of your Fettuccini.  Pass each sheet through the cutting rollers and hang over the edge of a bowl/chair/something so your pasta doesn’t stick together.

To cook, bring salted water to a boil and add pasta. You may have to cook it in shifts as too much pasta in the pot will end up forming lumps.  Remember that fresh pasta cooks in just a few minutes, so check often for your desired done-ness. (I like mine al-dente!)

(pasta rolling can sometimes be a 2 person job…thanks love!)

Lemon-Butter Alfredo Sauce with Mushrooms

  • 3 tbsp total butter/margarine and olive oil
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 lg clove garlic minced fine
  • 1-2 tsp crushed basil
  • 1 ½ cups diced mushrooms
  • 2-3 tbsp flour
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups cream, milk, or combo of both
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and oil.  Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms soften.  Add lemon zest, garlic and basil, and saute for a minute.  Mix in flour, salt, and pepper.  Blend well and cook over med-low heat for a few minutes.  While stirring, add your cream/milk and blend into mushroom/flour mixture.  Continue stirring until it thickens and bubbles. Add the parmesan cheese.  Stir well and remove from heat.  Serve over pasta and garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Do you have any new or old easter traditions and recipes to share? I’d love to hear how you celebrate this holiday!  Enjoy.

The Versatile Blogger Award!

April 20, 2011

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the girls over at Statement Art, Design & Fashion for choosing LuxeLifeLove to receive a Versatile Blogger Award! I was so overjoyed to read their email through the Independent Fashion Bloggers network; it’s my first blogging award and I couldn’t be happier that others enjoy reading LuxeLifeLove as much as I love writing it.

But I have a confession—I’ve been a bad bad girl…  I received this email exactly 27 days ago, and this is my first proper attempt at telling you all about it. Although I did message Statement ADF right away to thank them, the farthest I came to blogging about the award was a feeble attempt at trying to think up seven things about me that you might actually find interesting, and slightly more thoughts on the seven other bloggers I’d like to award, as per recipient guidelines. And there you have it, procrastination at its best.

But here I am finally, at home sick (and taking care of my much sicker puppy, poor girl), squelching my procrastination once and for all for the time being. In my About section I’ve haven’t said much about myself, more about my intentions for the blog, so here I’ll try to get more personal.

Seven Random Tidbits About Yours Truly:

  1. I’ve got 6 years of post-secondary education behind me, and if I had the funds I would probably do 6 more!  I love learning, and there are sooo many programs/courses I still want to take, like more graphic/web design, journalism, and photography.  My first year of university I was enrolled in an International Studies program. I loved the languages portion (I took Japanese, and was asked to apply for a study abroad program where I would complete a degree in Japan…fully in Japanese), but hated all the politics courses.  After that I completed a certificate in Fine Arts, but didn’t really want to pursue being an artist, so I now also have a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design & Technology from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
  2. I’m a huge word nerd.  A walking, talking, breathing thesaurus… according to some friends from highschool. I may not be able to tell you the definition of a word when I suggest it for a sentence, but I know belongs there.
  3. Since I graduated from the Fashion Design program, I’ve become slightly less interested in clothing, and totally OBSESSED with interior design and decorating.  Maybe because my current furniture is either a complete ikea bedroom set (cringe!!!) or hand-me-downs of the super ugly variety.  In any case, while I would love to post more about interiors, you definitely won’t be seeing much of my apartment until I can a) start to replace the furniture with more stylish pieces, or b) move and donate everything to a charity shop so I can start with a blank canvas.
  4. The sound of people chewing—especially crunchy food—without any background noise drives me up the wall, especially when I’m trying to concentrate on something.
  5. Even though I love buying coats and boots,  I despise the cold, and one day I will live in a place that is warm and sunny year round (preferably with great beach access!) I’m a beach baby at heart. As a toddler, my parents had to bring extra swimsuits to the beach because as soon as I got one wet, I’d immediately strip it off! Luckily I grew out of that phase before I was old enough for it to be embarrassing or inappropriate.
  6. Last summer I tried skim boarding for the first time and loved it! I can’t wait to get back at it this summer.
  7. I don’t own any black pants (leggings and Lululemon yoga pants don’t count!).  When I try on black pants, my mind automatically decides that nothing I own will ever go with these pants.  I can’t picture black pants with anything other than tops in black, white, or shades of grey.  But this only applies to me, and only to pants.  Strangely, this weird mind-trick doesn’t apply to skirts or to other people’s outfits. If any of you have a cure, let me know!

The Versatile Blogger Award goes to:

Some are new bloggers, and some are new-to-me. Enjoy!  To the recipients, here are the guidelines of the award:

When you get the award you have to

*thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog in your post
*tell 7 things about yourself
*award 7 recently discovered bloggers
*contact the bloggers to let them know they received the award