Monday, January 31, 2011

Loving: Anna Bond Stationery

When it comes to stationery, I could spend hours fawning over beautiful paper and coordinating envelopes. I'm currently smitten with Anna Bond's whimsical Valentine's Day cards. I couldn't agree more with Rifle Paper Co.'s, the brand started by Anna and her husband Nathan, philosophy on stationery:
"We strongly believe life's personal stories and moments are best told through the gift of a hand-written card or note, and hope that our goods inspire you to share these moments with others."
Anna's designs have been featured in magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, O The Oprah Magazine, and Real Simple Weddings as well as numerous blogs.

This Valentine's Day, I think I'll take a note (eh?) from my elementary school days and send a few pretty paper reminders to family and friends. After all, everyone deserves a little piece of art to display on their desk on Valentine's Day.

If you're in need of inspiration, be sure to check out Anna's blog as well. Now to narrow down a print...

Images via Rifle Paper Co.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chicken, Onion, and Balsamic Pear Tarts

When I saw Real Simple's recipe for Flaky Mushroom and Gruyère Tarts in their January 2011 issue, I marveled at life's little coincidences. I had just bought puff pastry the week before (it was on sale, and I couldn't resist. Food sales are even worse than clothing ones for me, because I know I'll find a use for the product), and this seemed like the perfect use.

I ended up altering the recipe quite a bit, because my dinner companion is not a mushroom fan. Instead, we subbed onions for the mushrooms, threw in garlic for flavor, and added chicken on a whim. When I couldn't find gruyère at the store, we used a mild white cheddar. The pears and balsamic were the last addition to balance the flavor of the garlic and chicken. The result was a delicious flaky tart with the perfect combination of savory and sweet toppings. I'll definitely be making this in the future.

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 200 g chicken breast, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grated white cheddar
  • 1/2 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • Heat oven to 400° F (220°C). Unfold the pastry and cut it into 4 squares. Place the squares on a lightly oiled baking sheet and, using a fork, prick the dough all over.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cook lightly, and then add the chicken. Cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is lightly browned. Add the onions and cook until soft.
  • Dividing evenly, sprinkle the pastry squares with half the cheese, leaving a ½-inch border on each. Top with the chicken and onion mixture, pear slices, and remaining cheese. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Louis Vuitton Resort 2011 Campaign

I know that in six months I'll be bemoaning the heat and wistfully longing to wear cozy sweaters and snow boats, but at the moment this dreamy image has me wishing spring would arrive already with its breezy fabrics and soft pastels.

This image is from Louis Vuitton's Resort 2011 ad campaign featuring Anne Vyalitsyna and shot by Mark Segal. I love the slight "Pink Ladies" vibe of this image. Though I'm not likely to wear head to toe pink (except notably, on Valentine's Day), I love the styling of the full skirt with casual tee and draped jacket. Now if only I had a car like that in which to lounge around...

Image via FashionLover