Monday, November 30, 2009

caboose on the style train

Over the past couple of months I have been seeing this look all over the fashion blogging community, and with good reason (see above: Julie of Orchid Grey, Kyla of Blue Collar Catwalk, Indiana of Adored Austin, Amy of The Bargain Hunter Extraordinaire). Adding a belted scarf is a super-easy way to spiff up any so-so outfit. I especially like it because it is remniscent of a vest, but instantly more flattering (thanks to the belt).

(tunic: probably TJMaxx or Marshall's but I can't remember; scarf: thrifted; belt: thrifted; tights: GAP; boots: ALDO; peacock necklace: UO; bracelet: F21; ring: mom)

I scored big in many ways over Thanksgiving (in pumpkin & apple pie if not in Trivial Pursuit pie), not the least of which was my mother's decision to give me this beautiful tiger-eye ring. She got it from her grandfather years and years ago, but she has a much more precious stone on her finger now and I've never seen her wear any other rings... oh well, more for me!

I'm becoming ring-obsessed!

I've been wanting to wear this tunic as a dress for a long time but it's kind of inappropriately short. I did end up throwing some jeans on underneath for my trip to the office, but my vision for the outfit did not include denim, so it was not photographed. It's the vision that counts, right?

This weekend was pretty lovely. K took me to the Nutcracker Ballet on Saturday night and it was everything I dreamed it would be (although it seemed incredibly short... we still haven't determined if it was a condensed version).

We were kind of rushed before the show because we spent the day antiquing (I got some exciting goodies!) and couldn't decide on a restaurant to go to beforehand (did I mention I seem to have lost my appetite?) so we had to speed-eat our way through dinner and it didn't end up being all that enjoyable. But! I did enjoy the ballet, and I got to wear my mink coat, and it was nice to be out on a real date where K got dressed up and looked very dashing, and all-in-all it was a great start to the Christmas season.
Get out your advent calendars! I can't believe November is already over...

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Very Log Town Thanksgiving

The Flood family homestead is affectionately known as "Log Town Farm," because our house is at the dead end of Log Town Road in Woodbury (I know, you'd think we were lumberjacks or something...).

(This is not the house that I grew up in. It is my mother's garden shed. I helped my father construct it as a youngster and we used it as a playhouse for many, many years).

Although I can't say with any degree of truth that November is the most beautiful month in Vermont, my fabulously talented photographer* managed to make these overgrown gardens look positively romantic (in a broken-down kind of way)...

It's a good thing I didn't use these apples to fill my apple pie:

(dress: TJMaxx; skirt: vintage; tights: Ralph Lauren; boots: ALDO; fur: H&M)

After our photo session, K and I retired indoors for an afternoon of snacks (mmm port wine cheese), wine (+eggnog) and lively conversation before the main event:

(clockwise from 12 pm: vegetarian stuffing; creamed onions; cranberry sauce; parker house rolls (baked by little bro); squash; mashed potatoes)

I don't eat Turkey (of course), but I don't feel the need to replace it with "Tofurkey" or anything silly like that. The side dishes are more than enough to keep me stuffed for the rest of the night (although I did manage to fit two slivers of pie--apple and pumpkin--into my bursting belly before the end of the evening). It was all incredibly delicious and I could do it all over again today if I had the day off (I have to be in the office on Black Friday and I don't even work in retail anymore!)

After dinner/before dessert we played Trivial Pursuit and I loved it (as usual) even though K and I lost pretty horribly to all of my supremely knowledgeable family members (although I still hold fast to the fact that I did win one year...)

Thank you, Thanksgiving. You were a wonderful day :)

*thanks, K!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

grammy's apple pie

In exchange for all of the delicious foods I get to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day, I gladly make the annual Apple Pie. This recipe has been passed down through the generations and never fails to satisfy the masses.


Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup ice water

1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. flour


5 - 6 cups apples (peeled, cored, sliced)

I bought this handy-dandy apple peeler/corer at the Christmas Tree Shops (knowing that I will probably be making this pie for years and years to come, it was a solid investment at $7). Sometimes it can be a little bit frustratingly finicky, but that's probably just because I'm too lazy to adjust the parts to make sure it's working properly.

Combine flour, salt, vegetable oil and ice water in a large bowl. Mix with a fork until blended (do not over mix).
Divide the dough into two halves and set one aside for later.
Place dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll out (yes, I am rolling out the dough with a wine bottle because I do not own a rolling pin. It works very well!).
Drape dough in 9" pie dish and arrange apples in layers. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture over each layer.
Sprinkle 1 T. lemon juice and 2 T. butter over heaping apples.
Roll out top crust, place over apples and seal. Cut vents into the dough.
450 degrees farenheight for 10 min.
375 degrees farenheight for 40-50 min. (or until tender and slightly browned).
Serve to happy people!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i want to live in this movie

Last night I watched Stephen Frears' new film, Chéri, and was absolutely salivating over its deliciously overindulgent decadence. Not since Marie Antoinette have I seen such cinematic eye-candy--and although the narrative wavered and lacked substance, the depth of the decor and the captivating costumes were substantial enough to carry the weak plot.

The story opens on Lea de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer), an aging "courtesan" (read: prostitute), living at the height of the Belle Epoque in 19th century France. Though she is still stunning, Lea has decided to retire into a life of luxury and accept her age gracefully at the end of a long, successful career (basically, to quit while she's ahead). The one thing she doesn't anticipate after a lifetime in the business of love is to find it--especially with an only peripherally post-pubescent man-boy (Chéri/Rupert Friend) whose mother openly encourages their coital coterie in the hope that Lea will make a man out of her son. Six years later, the same meddling matron arranges a proper marriage for Chéri and that is, as they say, "the end of the affair."

The "problem" with this film is that there are really only two scenes, repeated ad infinitum over eighty-six minutes and broken up by abrupt costume and location changes that attract the eye and the mind more than the actual storyline. How this movie could possibly be based on two novels is beyond me (I imagine that Miss Colette must have spent an awful lot of time setting the stage), but in my opinion the balance of minimalism and extravagance in this adaptation is perfectly pleasing. The real poignancy to be found is not in the expected failing of a doomed love affair, but in the heartbreaking contrast between the unfailing resplendence of Lea's luxurious backdrop and her own fading beauty. We almost don't care about Chéri... he's only as relevant as the mirror on her dressing table. The intent of the film was not to make us believe that a fifty-year-old woman was truly, madly, deeply in love with an arrogant, angst-ridden teen (if it was, I reject it), but the helplessness she felt as youth slipped slowly out of her grasp.

And it's really pretty. So I like it :)


I really like the way that my outfit just fell into place this morning (although the same can not be said for my hair... ever try teasing semi-damp locks in a frustrated effort to avoid dreaded flat-head? Here's a clue: don't bother).

I started with my gray striped dress (because I love it), but I knew I wanted to mix it up a little because it can border on bland when it stands alone.
The skirt is another one of those old favorites that I stole from my mother and hemmed to high heaven (I brought it up to knee-length last fall but since decided that it needed another lift). It might actually be my favorite of the three skirts I "salvaged"... I absolutely adore the classic brown herringbone print.

Finally I threw on my red tights, but felt that there wasn't enough of a difference between the first time I wore this dress and this supposed "remix," so I took the wise Lindsay's suggestion and overlaid them with my black lace for a lovely layered look! Pretty awesome :)

Originally I was also wearing my UO "Je t'aime" necklace but the damn thing busts a link every time I put it on and I didn't have the time/patience to baby it this morning... UO, je ne t'aime pas aujourd'hui.

(dress: H&M; skirt: vintage; tights: HUE & TJMaxx; boots: ALDO; rings: Minion)