Category Archives: Style and the City

Doing up my apartment, finding those geeky glasses and discovering new ways to look good in the Big Apple

Bread

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That sister of mine is quite magnificent at the thoughtful present. She really achieves a relevant gift and this usually entails me working for my dinner.

Just before Christmas, I was advised to keep Thursday 20th December free. A highly anticipated prize, I was turning down every Tom, Dick and Harry so that I was prepared for whatever she could throw at me: impromptu space flight? dinner with Alec Baldwin or one of my other crushes? really the list is endless.

What she is capable of never ceases to amaze me.

Well, long story short, turns out the bread baking class she had signed me up for, at Le Pain Quotidien (Bleecker Street venue), was cancelled last minute and thus the surprise had to be revealed prematurely and the class rebooked. For February 16th in fact.

And so here we are.

I have just returned, via the F train, back up to my apartment, laden with enough bread to feed 5,000. Jesus, God bless him, could have done with me a while back. I have made deliveries en route however, some might say like a wheaty Robin Hood, and now I am left with a couple of baguettes, 3 dinner rolls filled with chocolate pellets and 2 batards of walnuts, apples and sultanas (my personal favourite). I also have a quarter of the pizza we made and dined on at the communal table and that, dear readers, will be for my lunch tomorrow!

So, now lethargic from over-doughing myself, I am going to cheat a bit and show you my afternoon spent in SoHo insteaad of telling you any more. I do hope you don’t feel short-changed.

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My apron

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I spy with my little eye? A highly desirable Kitchen Aid AND the pizza toppings for later on

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Yep I was covered in flour (King Arthur Company in particular) from toe to tip

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Squidgy, bubbly dough weighed out on some retro scales

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This is where we filled the proofed dough with toasted walnuts, apples and sultanas

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Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

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Baguettes in their couche (snug as a bug in a rug as you can see) and a monster pizza shovel

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Yes that is chocolate and butter. And yes they are going in the middle of mini dough balls

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The posh “Pain d’Epi” style. Tres joli

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Pain d’Epi d’Ashbridge

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Yeah. I pretty much made all of this toute seule!

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Making our dinner to finish. A combination of dough, gravity and knuckles (in summary)

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Preparing the bread for the oven. Give the old carbon dioxide some pretty holes to sizzle out of

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Eh voila. I think my work here is done.

Magnifique? Super? SUPER COOL? 

Mais oui!

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Long hours at work =

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Blog time! I know. Lucky you right!? Well I have a deadline on Friday. Hundreds of samples processed in triplicate need to be finished by the weekend and fully analysed. I am a little overwhelmed and so no adventures for me this week. Sort of. I am such a mysterious cheeky charlie am I not?

As my acrylamide gel runs steadily along I am reminded that my first trip back to the orthodontist on Monday is causing me more grief than face smashing ever did. In fact, Dr Orthodontist was so kind as to remove the surgical braces (=ugly) and replace them with the lovely, discreet white wire that I have grown to “love”. Nevertheless, she was a bit of a tease. In exchange for relieving me of the obvious metallic wiring in my mouth she put in place some unsightly elastic bands. Now I look like Fang. Rubbish.

Well one shouldn’t complain. Practicing all the talking is clearly going to go to waste now. My mouth tied back together and my teeth raw nervy prongs, I am back to the softest of soft food. A little step back from the impending modelling career (of toothpaste). But I am hopeful. As always, I hope you’ll agree. Of course, I can still afford posh deli goodness from Upper East Side establishments. Small blessings. Truly, I have soup coming out of my ears. Snazzy, luxurious soup that is. I drink chocolate milk as if my life depended upon it. Anyone see Men in Black 3? Will Smith and I have plenty in common and chocolate milk is one of them. Big arms is another. Only difference there is that we both prefer to see them on Big Willie Style.

This experiment is truly like watching paint dry. But luckily I have Gawker and despite not having HBO I really feel connected to that “Girls” show now. Not sure it is what Lena Dunham would have wanted as my only experience of her show is through the eyes of Hamilton Nolan¬†. He does amuse me though, with his little rants about rich white girls and their connections in the biz of show.

Had a little trying on splurge in Bloomingdales. Second from the left is my current desire. Will just have to save up those cents then!

In other news my new obsession with nail polish is becoming troublesome. I am so intoxicated by my own finger nails I keep changing up the colour. The resulting mixtures are less than sublime. But these minor issues in the field of life are just some of the Wednesday thoughts I can/am choosing to share with you.

Who said blogging was trivial!?

My introduction to the world of geeky chic

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A few weeks ago a friend of a friend (yes I have indirect friends in the city now) was showcasing her very chic spectacles at a housewarming party. I was immediately taken with these “spectacular” items and was moved to ask where she had acquired them. Fabulous Fanny’s. Enough said.

Ansel: Black

I have been pining for the geek chic look now for several months and yesterday I managed to take that final step towards making my entrance into the world of Geek Chic. Fabulous Fanny’s is a small store in the East Village on a street of vintage clothes shops, tiny independent stores and antiques galore. As soon as you step into this retro world of glasses you are presented with an array of choice. From vintage Chanel to Dior, Bausch and Lomb to Willis and Geiger. From sunglasses to cateyes, metal frames to tortoise shell plastic, oversized to skinny frames. I defy anyone to come away wanting.

1900s oval

Although having said that I did come away wanting. Wanting too many frames. I was spiralling quickly into the world of the Geek. I would soon be parading around Manhattan making a statement. Whether I wanted to or not. I was going incognito. I was in disguise from myself. The M&S girl of plain T shirts and a cardigan or two was going to be on show permanently. I would be accessorising my face and was sure to be photographed at some point or another and that next audition would definitely be going my way. I was sure of it.

1980s J. C. de Castelbajac

So after selecting the frames that best suited my round chubby cheeks and my desire to go “oversized” I took my newly acquired chic downtown to Canal Street. One needs the lenses to see where one is going after all. Sat now in the heart of Chinatown I get my eyes checked and hand over copious amounts of toy-like cash to the opticians who humour me on my mission to look cool. Wanting all the frames and wanting instant gratification to boot I was slightly deflated as I walked back out onto Mott Street wearing my contact lenses and not my society eyewear. Next Sunday just you wait. I will pick up my pass to Planet Groovy and flaunt it around like I am on a stage. In fact I might just find a stage and strut about on it! People will see me better that way.

Manhattan Icons

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I don’t know if I want Frank Sinatra on my wall. He is a legend, that is without question. But, when decorating my apartment with iconic posters, instead I plumped for the other classic and a smidgen more glamorous Miss Marilyn Monroe (and a yellow cab in Times Square).

Not too original I admit but those whitewashed walls in my apartment were too reminiscent of a Holiday Inn hotel room and I need to stop thinking I am on holiday!