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The Moody Blues

April 18, 2011

Saturday night I attended the Drew William ‘Drift’ presentation for Vancouver Fashion Week.  What better excuse to wear one of my own creations! This draped reversible tunic-dress was a part of the VIAVERA Spring 2011 collection entitled ‘Industrial Organic’.  VIAVERA was my thesis collection, a line of travel-friendly pieces designed with packability, versatility, and international relevance in mind.  The basis of my collection’s colour palette, I fell in love with this fabric’s painterly print and muted colours. I call it the ‘waterfall’ tunic for the water-streaked paint effect, and the way the armholes drape into cowls.

Drift: A Fashion Presentation

April 16, 2011

Drew William Invitation

Tonight I’ll be attending the Fall 2011 fashion presentation of local designer Drew William.  A native of Edmonton, this young design star began studying photography at Emily Carr before transitioning into textiles and fashion.  After graduating from Emily Carr, William spent time in Copenhagen learning from Danish designer Henrik Vibskov.  With his arts background and experimentation in cutting techniques and fabric manipulation, I’m so looking forward to seeing what he’s been up to for Fall 2011! Stay tuned next week for a full review of the Drew William collection…

Getting Pretty…Organized!

April 13, 2011

Having organized surroundings makes me feel happy and more likely to be productive…but ‘everything in its place’ doesn’t always extend to the lesser used/seen areas of my apartment, like the bathroom.  I have a bad habit (yes mom, dad, sister, boyfriend, and anyone else who’s ever had to share a bathroom with me, I admit it) of using this area as a dropping ground for dirty clothes, purses, spare change, etc… and tend to leave my makeup and toiletries strewn over every available surface.  It’s frustrating for those aforementioned, I get it…Sometimes More often than not I’m frustrated by my own mess too.  So, when I find something to help me stay organized in the bathroom, I’m all for trying it out.  This beauty is from Ikea (thank you, thank you, thank you Swedish Gods of of organized living on the cheap!) and is meant for inside your vanity drawer.  Since I don’t have any drawers in the bathroom, mine is sitting pretty on the open shelving.  Made especially for makeup, the Godmorgon Box with Compartments is so pretty and functional, it actually makes me want to put things away properly—I spent one morning watching Sex and the City 2 while cleaning and organizing all of my beauty products and brushes!

my makeup before


Mediterranean Pizza with a Kalamata-Infused Crust

April 12, 2011

Homemade pizza holds a special place in my heart, and my stomach! It’s forever linked to Friday movie nights, childhood birthday parties, and 7-Up mixed with orange-pineapple juice. And really, what is better in life than the combination of chewy crust and browned, bubbling mozzarella? I used to only request plain cheese pizza, or pepperoni.  Now that my taste-buds have matured, I’m much more likely to experiment with all kinds of delicious, gourmet combinations.  For this recipe I’ve infused my basic pizza dough with oregano and greek kalamata olives—an easy way take your pizza from basic to brilliant and impress dinner guests.  As the recipe also makes 2-3 pizza shells, I also like to add variety by changing toppings and sauces.

Below you’ll find my favourite dough recipe (adapted from mama mia of course!) with two sets of toppings.

Crust

  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 scant tbsp instant yeast
  • 4-6 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped kalamata olives (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine water, sugar, salt, oil, and yeast in a large bowl (if water is too hot, it could deactivate the yeast).  Mix in flour until dough forms; knead in the last portion of flour.  Your dough should be smooth and pliable, but not sticky.  Cover dough in the bowl with a damp tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, grease your pizza pans and prepare the toppings.

When done rising, divide dough into portions (depending on how many pizzas you want to make) and roll out to fit your pans.

If you like thin crust pizza, you can add your sauce and toppings right away.  For fluffier crusts, cover the dough in your pans and allow to rise again for 15-20 minutes.  Finally, spread with your sauce and add toppings.  Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown.

Toppings: Go Greek

In layering order:

  • BASE: 2 onions (I used 1 brown and 1 red) diced and sauteed until soft and translucent
  • chopped sundried tomatoes (layer these under the cheese so they don’t burn!)
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • diced red onion
  • sliced kalamata olives
  • diced tomato
  • crumbled feta cheese

Toppings: Gourmet Meat & Veg

In layering order:

  • SAUCE: 1 can tomato paste, 1 tsp dried basil, 1tsp dried oregano, 1 lg clove minced garlic (mix all ingredients together and voila!)
  • sliced pepperseed salami
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • diced red onion
  • sliced mushrooms
  • diced green peppers


The lovely thing about making pizza is that you really don’t need measurements for any of your toppings.  Just add as much or as little as you like…its freestyle cooking! While I chose to use olives and oregano in my crust, you can add all kinds of different herbs, cheeses and the like to give your pizza that special gourmet touch.  Go forth and experiment…and let me know what you come up with!

Spring Highlights

April 11, 2011


Highlights by Rain Hair Salon | Alexis Bittar Pyramid Studs | Metallic Knit Tank by Jacob

For a couple weeks now, I’ve been MIA in the blogosphere… things have been so busy around here that I haven’t had much quality time with my beloved macbook.  But now I’m back at it with lots to share; first up, my lighter, brighter, spring-worthy hair!  I consider myself pretty low maintenance when it comes to my locks (albeit very extremely picky)—most days I just let them air dry into  a wavy mess.  My use of product is limited to hairspray, and then only when I’ve used the curling iron.  I’m also pretty cheap when it comes to hair maintenance.  That’s right, CHEAP.  For the past year, I’ve been getting $20 or $30 haircuts every 6-7 months from the little asian place up the street, where you’re in and out in less than 20 minutes (including the wash and styling!).

The other weekend I decided it was finally time for a little pampering in the form of highlights and a proper salon experience—the perfect antidote to all this rain we’ve been having.  Of the five years I’ve lived in Vancouver, I’ve never been to a hair salon!  I chose Rain Hair Salon near Granville Island after asking for salon suggestions on Twitter, where @shankysweet and many others raved about their services.

http://twitter.com/#!/shankysweet/status/53524296408121345

A few yelp searches later (with nothing but great reviews for Rain) and I was booking my highlights and trim.  My stylist, Jenny Lynn, completely understood what I was after: a natural, sunkissed look to brighten my complexion.  And boy did she deliver!  She used a less-harsh lightener than bleach, which left my hair just has soft as it was before and gave me the perfect light blonde streaks…my hair really does look like I’ve spent a summer at the beach.

With a glass of white wine and a stack of magazines while my hair processed, it really was a great afternoon, and money well-spent.  Thanks Jenny Lynn and Rain Hair Salon for the great pick-me-up!

Weekend Retreat

March 29, 2011

This weekend I took a bit of a break to catch up on sleep and spend quality time with Ryan and Stella.  I didn’t touch the blog or the broom, and we had lots of fun checking out the antique shops on Main St and taking Stella to the dog park at McDonald beach in Richmond.  I finally broke out my new flared denim from the Gap (I was waiting for the ground to be dry so the hems wouldn’t get soaked!) and I am now seriously in love with these jeans.

Gap 1969 jeans | Michael Kors patent faux-snakeskin ballet flats | Zara herringbone pea coat | Gap tee | Alexis Bittar lucite earrings | vintage necklace

Stella and I were having a bit of a snuggle on the kitchen floor while I was letting my homemade pizza dough rise. Don’t worry, I’ll definitely be posting the pizza recipe very soon!

003 | luxelifelove’s Five

March 26, 2011
1.

I was pleasantly surprised by Ikea’s new collection of feminine, retro-inspired glass accessories for organizing your powder room or dressing table.  With display bowls in different sizes, perfume bottles, and dainty glasses, it’s easy to go from cluttered to cleverly displayed.  I can’t wait to pick up some of these pretty, inexpensive pieces!

2.

I can’t get enough of Chantal’s home design as seen on her blog, Beau Lifestyle.  Her space boasts a beautifully curated collection of home furnishings (many are DIY projects!), décor, and dining accessories (her snakeskin print dinnerware is to die for!).  A beau lifestyle indeed.

3.

SEO basically takes a page and makes it easy for both humans and search robots to read. You can improve your chances of getting that coveted first page spot in search results by following simple guidelines.”

I like to consider myself fairly computer savvy; however when it comes to things like SEO and HTML I can easily admit that I’m more than a little lost.  Enter Kristin Marshall, who’s blog Relatively Chic and new “A Field Guide to Better Blogging” series gives bloggers some much needed clarity on these and other techie areas of the web.  She addresses common questions and problems both visually and verbally, so everyone can understand…

4.

Design Sponge’s new DIY Lampshades post is just what I needed to see!  We’ve been keeping our eyes out for bedside lamps for a while now, but everything new we’ve seen has either been really boring, or seriously lacking in taste. Now that I know how to make over an old lamp (so so easy!) I’m going to focus on finding something pre-loved, with great lines. Thrift stores here I come!

5.

I’ve been obsessed with Christine Breakell Lee’s mixed media artwork since I saw one of her exhibits at Walrus last fall.  I was especially captivated by her dynamic use of colour and brush strokes, with spontaneous bursts of metallic leaf.  This piece, titled “My Path” is my favourite.  I hope to someday have one (or more!) of these babies hanging on my wall.