Friday, April 18, 2014

vogue : on duty

{on duty} via chevrons & éclairs
{on duty} via chevrons & éclairs
{on duty} via chevrons & éclairs
{on duty} via chevrons & éclairs
{on duty} via chevrons & éclairs
{on duty} via chevrons & éclairs
{on duty} via chevrons & éclairs

{blazer} ann taylor | similar
{top} h&m
{jeans} h&m
{necklace} baublebar
{heels} ann taylor
{lips} powerful by estée lauder
{camera} Canon AE-1

As most of you probably know, I've been dabbling a bit into design consulting for fashion and interior designers along with assisting in photo shoots and conducting some of my very own too {soon to be shared here on c&é}. Though not a professional photographer, I've fallen in love with it. You would never find me without my camera, iPhone or the Canon, and since acquiring a few special items like my father's Canon AE-1, I've taken quite a fondness. Since currently, I don't have much control over my life in terms of outcomes since there is just too much going on such as travel and figuring out, I find photography a nice escape. A way for me to be able to control my surroundings. I utilize what is given to me like manipulating light, ensuring the clouds and the gloom, bringing out the green and blue hues. Ever have such a hobby and interest?

And so this outfit is what I call my uniform for when I'm on duty. A loose blazer and blouse with fitted jeans and always a high heel.

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{photographed by Blush & Jelly}

Thursday, April 17, 2014

five essentials : for baking

I was not much of a baker until recently when my love for tea cakes bloomed. When living in the UK, afternoons were often spent in teashops or cafes or in the kitchen with friends baking. And along the way we came across a few tips to keep in mind...

{key measurements}
Two measurements one should commit to memory, thanks to Melissa's tips, are that three teaspoons are equivalent to one tablespoon. And four tablespoons are equivalent to one-fourth cup.

{icings & frostings}
When making icing and/or frosting in a mixing bowl, make sure to have an extremely clean whisk and bowl and refrigerate for about 15 minutes before making. The coolness will help the consistency thicken faster.

{secret ingredient}
For cakes, cookies, sweet breads I always add a pinch {or one-eighth teaspoon} salt to harmonize the medley of flavors and ingredients.

If you're working in a warmer kitchen, it may help to cool your dough for at least ten minutes before baking. This tip always seems to help for my macaron recipes here and here.

1 cup of eggs are made with 4 jumbo eggs, 4 to 5 extra-large, 5 large, 5 to 6 medium, or 7 small eggs. But most recipes call for large eggs, so they are the best to keep on hand.

via {1} {2} {3} {4}

{a few tea cakes to try}

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

recipe : mother's day barbecue with Uncommon Goods

{mothers' day BBQ with Uncommon Goods} via chevrons & éclairs

I find mothers' day to be such a special day in our household, but of course with fathers' day in the same pool. As you have been told countless times, we as a family, love to cook together. So it was natural for me to put together a meal for my mother to commemorate all her sacrifices, love and support for my brother and I. And with my father helping, it was also natural to go with an idea of a grill out as the weather gets warm too. And with the help of Uncommon Goods I was able to use a red wine and white wine infused planks to make a very memorable meal.

{mothers' day BBQ with Uncommon Goods} via chevrons & éclairs
{mothers' day BBQ with Uncommon Goods} via chevrons & éclairs
{mothers' day BBQ with Uncommon Goods} via chevrons & éclairs
{mothers' day BBQ with Uncommon Goods} via chevrons & éclairs
{mothers' day BBQ with Uncommon Goods} via chevrons & éclairs
{mothers' day BBQ with Uncommon Goods} via chevrons & éclairs
{mothers' day BBQ with Uncommon Goods} via chevrons & éclairs

We started off with refreshing cucumber-mint gin and tonics. They were the perfect choice to accompany the warmer weather and with the sea breeze coming through it made for a rather special occasion. Then for dinner we had a sesame salmon atop the red wine infused plank that gave it a nice smoky tone alongside it's natural nutty flavor. And as the side we wanted to incorporate the seasonal produce and Florida's finest citrus. I combined truffle oil with lemon to make a tangy, but earthy oil and coated the asparagus. The final minute the asparagus were on the grill I added some feta and it was the perfect idea as they slightly melted and added a more salty dimension.

On behalf of Uncommon Goods and I, we wish all the mothers, new and true, everywhere a beautiful day and a very warm thank you for all that you do.

Visit Uncommon Goods to see more gifts for mother's day with some of my favorites included on this page.

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{cucumber-mint gin and tonic recipe}

{sesame salmon recipe}

{asparagus with lemon-truffle oil recipe}

Click on the image to enlarge the recipe.
Print on a 3 x 5 index card setting and store with the rest of your recipes.
For more recipe, visit the recipe index here!

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This post was brought to you by Uncommon Goods in collaboration with chevrons & éclairs

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the joy of : garden escapes

This time of the year when the gardens are in full bloom, I can't help but reflect on the past that is my time at St. Andrews. I know my recent narratives here often reflect on that chapter, but I guess that was a pivotal "growth" period in my life. It left me almost hanging because it was just too short. I remember the St. Andrews summer opened the gates to secret gardens and I have never experienced something so serene or beautiful in my life. The beautiful decay of St. Andrews against the new blooms and clumps of nettles taken up residence in flower beds already swaying with foxgloves. The crumbling walls of terraced lawns carpeted in lichen and moss. And then there were hidden archways leading up to mysterious endings. And what I loved most were the homes that accompanied these gardens ornamented with windows all of which nestled against the views of their respective gardens. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

vogue : florals, pleats & frocks

Recently, I've been packing my heavier winter clothes in the closet and replacing them with dresses from packages from recent shopping trips and storage boxes housing dresses from last year {and they feel brand new again}. It has come to my realization that trousers are lacking in my closet and dresses thrive, which is something I'm not too concerned about though. And so as I go through and pin inspiration of spring florals, pleats and frocks, I must share a few of my favorite looks.

via {1} {2} {3}

Friday, April 11, 2014

{weekend note}


"They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind."
Khaled Hosseini, And The Mountains Echoed

After reading about Hillary Clinton's advice to young women, it got me thinking about my career goals one month from now, six months, five years and ten years from now. It's something I think about often, but sits at the back of my head. So when I have a sudden urge of motivation or inspiration, I do some planning and thinking and networking. Though as of lately, as I see myself developing into a professional and a bit of a scholar in my field {though I say that with a grain of salt}, I got a bit intimidated. My field, both regional focus and the functional industry, are both male dominated. With all that it encompasses I was wondering about my limitations and questioned the rate of my potential growth.

I always am told by friends that I shouldn't think too far in advance, and frankly, I think I scare myself a bit too much when I think of the far future. Though I believe it's important that we recognize a world that is evolving and the lines of industries male- or female-dominated are becoming so blurred. Today, we see more men in the fashion industry doing incredible things. I mean, Zac Posen just came out with a stellar MAC collaboration. We see more female photographers capturing beauties, like Jamie Beck. So, whatever your industry or profession, I think it is safe to say that there is room for everyone to grow. It's more about you, as in yourself. What sort of challenges are you willing to overcome? Are your strengths going to get you to the next level and beyond? Will you take a risk? My risk is to dive into this industry head first, build partnerships that will fortify my weaknesses, and leap into projects without looking behind.

And with that said, it's time to do some planning this weekend. I have several things I need to organize for coming weeks and hope to relax a bit with a good book. Hope this weekend is absolutely lovely and that spring entertains you to the fullest wherever you are... xo -S.

The sweetest mother-daughter yoga photos.

Currently on my nightstand.

Extraordinary Sea Women of South Korea.

Far from having children, this made me laugh.

Veiled Truths an exposure by Hossein Fatemi

An app that measures your bra size? Yes.

the found art of writing Thank You notes.

The reward of finally moving abroad.

5 steps for the perfect manicure.

DIY letter planters for the season.

As always, photos of Paris.

Let's visit Hong Kong.

The one daily habit that makes life more awesome.

Beautiful rose gold sandals for spring!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

parties & entertaining : dinner in the french countryside

As I was seeking a bit of inspiration for an upcoming project {to be shared with you soon enough}, I came across a stunning French countryside inspired event where the sunlight dancing through the vintage crystal chandeliers and wooden paneling. It is absolutely enchanting and I needed to have shared it with you. And so that got me thinking about a few dishes and drinks to accompany this lovely event inspiration that takes you away to Médoc, France as it would be fruitful to you.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

recipe : sweet pepper & chicken stir-fry

{chicken & sweet pepper stir fry}
{chicken & sweet pepper stir fry}
{chicken & sweet pepper stir fry}

April has brought on so many showers. Mornings, trees are draped with a pink hued sunlight and then afternoons invite thunderstorms and rain into the evening. I don't mind since these spring showers bring blossoms and flowers. And in the midst of storms, billowy trees, the scent of rain, I seek comfort. Either under a blanket with tea and a novel or with a bowl of soup next to a window chasing raindrops.

I also associate rain and showers to a family trip long, long ago to Washington, DC. As my younger brother and I stood in the balcony reaching out with our little arms to touch the rain, we were anxious to jump in the puddles and take in the city at that very moment. Slightly chilly and well-damp, we ran into the room and changed into warmer clothes and watched my father walk in with a brown bag with piping hot {and slightly spicy} Chinese food. I guess it's something about these afternoon showers that desires warmth. And so I sought just that one afternoon...

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Click on the image to enlarge the recipe.
Print on a 3 x 5 index card setting and store with the rest of your recipes.
For more recipe, visit the recipe index here!

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