There is just something regal about white lilies. The firmness of the stems, the spectacular shape of the bloom. Lilies can get pushed to the back of the line this time of year when tulips and peony take center stage. But the singular beauty of the lily can’t be held back. Not only is the flower so lovely, but the scent is heavenly. I love opening the door to the shops or home and being whisked away by the unmistakable aroma. They also can be quite a deal in the dollar department, as lilies just last and last. Each bloom opening as the lower blossoms fade. Clip the withering blooms away, as well as give the stem a fresh cut, and your container fresh water–lilies can last more than a week to 2 if properly cared for. Meaning there is some serious bang for your floral buck. They of course look amazing grouped together, but the beauty of the flower really shines through when put in a single stem container.
Friendship really is a gift. It is one of the most special gifts we can give or receive. Like most gifts, it does take careful thought and tending. I have spent an incredible week wrapped in friendship, and it has me thinking about how fortunate we are to have extraordinary friends in our life. My quick trip to New York last week had me spending time with my oldest and closet college friend Devin. 30 years of unwavering friendship–lucky indeed. Friday and Saturday evenings were spent with the closest of friends, Whitney & Joe, celebrating the 51st birthday of Mister Sive at Tilth, and then the next night celebrating the 50th birthday of our uber creative, architect friend Kate. All 25 year of friendships. Tuesday I had breakfast with my friend Jewel who was a customer of mine from my wholesale showroom days and Heather who is part of the WK family, then later a dinner at Peg & Brian’s–almost 15 years of friendship with them all. Yesterday I had an exquisite breakfast at Cafe Campagne with Catherine, Rise’ & Linda, all friends for more than 10 years. I mention the above because I find it so fascinating how quickly time passes. Friends become a part of our history. They remind us of where we have been and where we are going. Lasting friendships require effort by both sides, which is what makes it so meaningful and rich. When I think of friendships over the years that are no longer, I know they were not tended or looked after, so they withered. The analogy makes me think of caring for a plant–well loved, looked after, watered, given sunshine and happiness, and they thrive. So much of a life well lived is that way, what you put into something is what you get out of it. True, long-lasting friendship, is to be cherished, and it will blossom and grow.
This ‘Wine Wednesday’ pick happened when I was in a hurry at the grocery store, but was in need of choosing wine for a quick dinner. I was not finding my regular choices, so I was drawn to this cool label. Who says a label can’t sway your choice? Boy oh boy, we were quite happy once we started drinking it. What is in the bottle surpasses how cool the label is. I knew of Saint Cosme, but really only for making much more expensive wine. This is a blend of grenache from new and old vines. It is their offering for a table wine. This is always a great tip I learned about long ago. You generally are in good hands choosing a ‘house wine’ from a vintner who is know for making world class wines. This is certainly the case here. For $10 to $14 a bottle, it is easy drinking red for a week-night meal or to serve at a large gathering. We had it with a roasted chicken the other night and it was divine. Working right into a glass by the fire after the meal as we read and chatted into the evening.
We have been trying to eat more brown rice. I am pretty sure it is healthier, but we also feel much more satisfied (also know as “fuller” in our house–I still eat like I am going through a growing spurt in my teens) so I am doing my darndest to try and incorporate brown rice into my cooking more. Challenge for me is, brown rice can often be too dry. My goal has been to jazz it up, while adding a little extra flavor. Here is a very quick vinaigrette to add to the rice once it has been cooked to add a little extra zip and moisten it a bit.
Cook 2 cups of whatever brown rice you like to the package instructions. While that is cooking away, saute cut up crimini mushrooms. Really as many as you like. Set aside when cooked through and browned. Once the rice is done and still warm add this vinaigrette.
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, along with several generous pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper. Again, rice can be so boring, so S&P help tremendously. Mix all together and add into the brown rice. Mix the above, as well as the mushroom, until all are incorporated.
I like to serve this rice mixture under a piece of fish. Last night it was a piece of halibut, with roasted asparagus on the side. Whatever you decide to serve it with, or eat it just as is, it will bump up the flavor of the brown rice considerably. Enjoy!
Orange seems to be a color I come back to time and again. The energetic hue is something my eye is drawn to when I am snapping photos or just want a visual boost. I thought I would share some of my favorite orange shots. The above orange roses at the Kips Bay house I toured in New York last month were just so pretty.
A lovely new Dempsey & Carroll orange leather wallet to hold their cards that I picked up when I was at their shop. I think it will look so fun left out on the desk. The below journal sent to me as an invitation to see the vendor at the stationery show. What a clever idea. It worked!
A happy start of the week to you all!
Oh my word, the peonies are out in full force in stall after heavenly stall at the Market. My Saturday stroll was just extraordinary. The season is so short, I always feel a sense of urgency to enjoy them at every possible opportunity. The creamy whites are what caught my eye yesterday. I bought a big bundle and will shoot them for the book at WestWard tomorrow or Monday, depending on which day has the best light. The fluttery goodness of each bloom ready for its close-up.
As promised, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite new books that have been showing up in the past weeks at Watson Kennedy. Heirloom Modern, by the talented Hovey sisters is one such book. Written by Hollister and beautifully photographed by Porter, Heirloom Modern takes you into their gracefully filled world of stylish patina. If you like mixing old with new, as well as living with objects you love, this is for you. It is filled with page after page of visual design goodness. You all know how important I think it is to use and live amongst the beauty of objects. They do as well, capturing the essence of living with the things they adore and have meaning to them. This is one very special design/idea filled/lifestyle book.
I had to make a quick trip to New York for a meeting yesterday morning. With little time, well actually no time, to plan, I just kind of went on overdrive in the state that we will hopefully soon call our very part-time home. After the plane landed, I hopped the train from Newark into the city. Once at Penn Station, I used my fab Uber app to locate the nearest car in the area to pick me up and take me to Prune. For those of you who have read the blog posts over the past 2 years, you know Prune is a place I hold in the highest regard. I feel so at home in the space. Kind of how I hope friends feel when they are in our home. A place of great familiarity and comfort. I had a sublime meal. Just like always. As well as a lovely chat with the owner Gabrielle. A perfect way to enter the world of New York City. Food, and the remarkable places that create it, makes me feel incredibly comfortable in a place. The next day, before I headed back to the airport I made my way to Buvette. Yes, this was very unexpected, as TPS & I, along with Bailey, had such a memorable breakfast there just last Thursday. This is also a place I feel immensely comfortable in. We so often hear at the shops from customers from both far and near, how much they just like being in the spaces. They love how they feel when they are there. This, of course, is one of the greatest compliments I can paid. Buvette evokes that very same feeling in me. Every detail, and I mean every detail, has been thought through. Attention to great detail takes much work, but the reward is so great. Add to that amazing vibe one seriously glorious meal, and shortly after I was back up in the sky on my way home to Seattle.
It was an up at 5 morning, with many tasks for the day. Fingers crossed–I hope to fill you in on all the details soon…
I am actually tapping this out on the airplane as I look down upon the clouds, saving it on my phone in my notes. Ahhhh, technology. I rarely write a post in advance, but I had a feeling I was going to be quite tired on Friday morning…