Friday, July 29, 2016

Fashion meets Interiors: featuring Sarah Duquette of Boho & Braids

Today's Fashion meets Interiors feature brings us another fun look that captures the warmth of summer. Take a look Sarah Duquette's fashion interpretation of this whimsical, pastel interior design. Sarah Duquette is a style blogger for Boho & Braids

Boho & Braids is a Canadian blog that features Sarah Duquette's personal style, fashion choices and trends.  As a former teacher, doing what she loves every day is an absolute dream come true. Fashion has been a passion of hers since she was just a little girl, and she feels that every outfit is her very own work of art.

Mahalolena via Vtwonen

The room that my outfit is inspired after has a very fun feel, from the pastel colors, to the shapes, to the flowers, it just makes you want to smile. That's why I knew I had to find a fun outfit to match this super cool aesthetic and what's more fun than a tulle skirt and sneakers. I just love how the vibrance of the coral pink meshes with the pastel of the mint. It's two colors that you would never think to put together, but when you do, it's pure bliss.  There's something about summer that always has me reaching for pastels and bright happy colors.  I think it's all that sunshine that makes me want to shine bright too and what better way to do that than white, pastel and coral.

Whether it's interior design, outfit styling, makeup application or nail art, they're all connected in many ways.  They all take extreme creativity and passion, and they all start with a blank canvas. It's our job as artists, stylists and designers to make a creation that stands out while capturing individuality and mastering aesthetics.  I hope you enjoy my fashion interpretation of this beautifully decorated room.

Thanks to Belle by Joëlle for her fabulous make up skills and a thank you to Jessica Goguen from Pamper & Polish for my fun nails! Be sure to check out Boho & Braids blog the next time you're surfing the web. Check out where my creative fashion mind will take me next.

Fashionably Yours,
Boho & Braids xoxo

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Exploring Ukiyo Home Japanese Kitchenwares

I've recently come across Ukiyo Home, an impressive company bringing thoughtful Japanese product design to the United States by way of Chicago. Their home accessories are not only handmade in Japan and of the highest quality, but their products also boast an attractive and unique contemporary design. Ukiyo Home recently opened a store front just outside of downtown Chicago located at 1260 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL.  

Ukiyo "Readymade Weekender" dutch oven, Available in a Round or Rectangular size.

One of Ukiyo's more popular innovative designs is their stunning Japanese dutch oven named their "Readymade Weekender". The Readymade Weekender comes in two great sizes and can be used indoors or directly over the fire. While this product maximizes function, it also has an intricate geometric design that stands out the more the dutch over is used, as shown in the images below.

Ukiyo also sells other speciality items for the home with a distinct Japanese essence. I love their 10¹² TERRA Hydro Copper Terrarium and attractive brass kitchenware. 

TERRA Hydro Copper Terrarium from Ukiyo. 

Kami wooden mug from Ukiyo

Here are a few examples of Ukiyo's stunning brass kitchenwares I mentioned. This Futagami Knife Stand is so eye catching! (shown below) With everything Ukiyo sells being handmade in Japan, it really builds a story into each home item you purchase from Ukiyo. This is one of my favorite things about globally inspired brands!

Futagami Knife Stand from Ukiyo 

I'm looking forward to seeing what Japanese home and kitchenwares Ukiyo introduces as this brand continues to grow. In the meantime I would love to try out Ukiyo's Readymade Weekender dutch ovens. It truly appears to be a quality product and I really love the fun, geometric design. Which Ukiyo product are you most looking forward to trying?


To see Ukiyo's handmade Japanese homewares in person visit their new store in Chicago. To learn more visit the Ukiyo Home website or stop by their Instagram page. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Entertaining with Style: Cooking Sous Vide and with a Blow Torch!

Today's Entertaining with Style post is all about cooking sous vide and we're featuring the Sansaire cooking brand. Sansaire's technology is changing the way people cook at home, making traditionally professional-grade cooking tools available to the home chef. Valerie Trask, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of the company, shares one of her recent culinary adventures with Interiors by Jacquin blog. 

What is sous vide... 

Sansaire makes a sous vide precision cooking device and a Searing Kit with a blow torch and searing tray. While fancy restaurants have been using this technology for years, we helped make it accessible to home chefs. This method takes the guesswork out of preparing perfectly cooked meals. By maintaining a constant and exact temperature, Sansaire sous vide device makes cooking time less important. Not to mention it's ideal for hosting because with a sous vide device all of the preparation work can be performed well before guests arrive. Hosts can finally focus on their guests instead of meal preparation, which helps us all to be the relaxed hosts we truly want to be.

"Sous vide" is French for "under vacuum" and refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food and cooking it in a temperature controlled water bath. The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, all while retaining the food's moisture.

A Tradition of Entertaining:

Every summer, myself and a group of 10-20 hyper-urban Seattleites flock to a cabin in a small town to play like the locals and eat like the kings. While cooking is not officially competitive, we divide and conquer meal preparation and people go big. To add to the challenge, our combined food allergies and preferences along with the sheer volume of people is a feat for us all as cooks. Typically my dinner parties are no larger than eight guests, but for a group of our size we alternate hosting the meals on fun trips like this one, which allows time for relaxation in between preparations. 

Like any proud co-founder, I wanted to show off the breadth of Sansaire’s cooking devices while preparing a meal that anyone could enjoy, which meant that I had to be sensitive to vegetarianism, lactose-intolerance, and gluten allergies. No problem! My menu and advanced cooking tools made this complicated task completely do-able.

On the menu: 
  • Sous vide vegetable hash with colorful fingerling potatoes, beets, carrots, and onion (meat-, gluten-, and dairy-free)
  • Sous vide egg with a velvety yolk (meat-, gluten-, and dairy-free)
  • Buttermilk biscuits with homemade blackberry jam (meat-free)
  • Brûlée peaches (meat-, gluten-, and dairy-free)

The Setting... plus making the most of limited resources:

This year for our group dinner we rented an adorable home on Orcas Island, in northern Washington State. They say that constraints breed creativity, which was certainly the case for this trip. The ferries to the island were overbooked, so our group maxed out our ability to carpool, therefore, forcing us each to pack modestly. For me, that meant I wasn’t able to bring tableware and table décor. Instead, I was forced to wing-it and rely solely on what I could find.

I was pleased to discover that the outdoor table was nestled into a small clearing in a gorgeous garden of lavender and roses, which was all surrounded by wildflowers and tall grass. Bingo! In addition to a colorful bouquet of fresh flowers from the garden, I was able to use lavender stems as napkin holders, a sheet as a tablecloth, and wildflowers as a decorative plating accessory. The white tablecloth, the colorful foods, and the bright flowers came together terrifically. Everyone was blown away by the presentation, especially knowing that it had been pulled together with limited resources. Quite the success!

Preparing the meal:

I prepared a sous vide veggie hash the night before. This way, the morning of I could enjoy a more relaxed pace. I worked with a wide array of brightly colored vegetable colors ––each of which I wanted to maintain its own integrity––so I prepared beets, carrots, onions, and two different potato varieties all separately. In an effort to maintain some textural diversity, I left the red peppers raw and crunchy, but used the Sansaire Searing Kit to blacken the skins.

Aiming for sweet-but-seasonal, I used the Searing Kit to brûlée the peaches. It was a simple way to incorporate fresh fruit, yet show creativity. As a 5’1 girl who wears dresses daily, I always love busting out a blow torch at dinner parties! Making the brûlée peaches was the easiest aspect of the meal, but it garnered me the most style points. Using a searing kit really adds wow factor to your meals, especially when you want to impress guests.

Cooking eggs for twelve people would normally be a stressful task, but I prepared 24 eggs by simply cooking them sous vide in their shells for 23 minutes at 72 degrees C/161.6 degrees F. The result was a medium firmness velvety texture, which is harder to achieve than expected without a sous vide device.

I don’t usually venture into mixology; but there’s a first time for everything so I expanded my horizons with a unique breakfast cocktail. I sous vide cooked and blended lychees, combined with sparkling wine to make a phenomenal mimosa. I made fresh buttermilk biscuits with my grandma’s fresh blackberry jam to round out the meal.

Here's how to make my Brûlée Peaches!

Cut the peach in half, remove the pit, sprinkle with raw sugar, and torch the top until you reach the desired crispy amber color. Serve as is or top with vanilla yogurt or ice cream and a dash of cinnamon. It's that simple!

If you're looking to impress your family and friends with gourmet quality meals, Sansaire's cooking devices will certainly assist you. Visit the Sansaire website to learn where you can purchase Sansaire's Sous Vide cooking device and Searing Kit

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Blue Print Store Tour - Luxury Home Furnishings

It was such a treat to tour the Blue Print store in Dallas, Texas! Blue Print sells unique, luxury home furnishings and original art. One of the things that makes this store so special is that it's located in a beautiful, historic home. The first thing I took note of when arriving was the store's welcoming and home-like feel. The Blue Print store has taken their historical residence and created a home-style shopping experience, not to mention the fact that the Blue Print team is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. Visitors can walk around the entire home, both upstairs and downstairs and shop stunning and unique home decor in a home-like setting.

All of Blue Print's furniture and decor is stunning! The Blue Print team sources much of its luxury furnishings from Europe and abroad, including antique furniture and vintage fine art. It is really nice to see all of these home furnishings in a true, homestyle setting. The contemporary decor and vintage finds blend perfectly with the Blue Print team's expert interior styling. 

Blue Print has maximized their space by refreshing the home's original details and maintaining its historic charm. Beautiful decorative molding and ornate sky blue doors are around every corner in this store. With the exception of the eye-catching molding, everything in this store can be purchased from the furniture to the artwork on the walls. 

In addition to home decor, Blue Print also sells stunning jewelry accessories. I absolutely love these earrings shown from Nicole Bathie Designs! (See below)

Loving these earrings from Nicole Bathie Designs!

Fantastic vintage finds and curiosities like these Victorian calling card holders can also be found at Blue Print. (see below) These would be perfect for our modern day business cards and ink pens!

The Blue Print team was kind enough to show me around the store and tell me about the amazing original artwork they carry. While they sell artwork from Europe and abroad, much of their impressive artwork is created by artists local to Dallas. Some of the notable Texas-based artists they carry include Arienne Lepretre, Megan Adams Books, and Brenda Bogart. Blue Print also regularly hosts art shows in their incredible space. 

Gallery wall featuring the figurative artwork of Brenda Bogart

I loved how the Blue Print team has decorated every room so distinctly. I especially love this gallery wall (above) and these gorgeous vases with tropical palm leaves, shown below. I learned that they redecorate on nearly a weekly basis to keep the designs fresh and to make room for new inventory. Their regular redecorating makes for a one-of-a-kind experience every time you stop by the store!

If you're a lover of coffee table books, then you would have loved this oversized dining table filled with a range of chic and highly interesting coffee table books. Each room of the store holds exciting interior decor and accessories, and every inch of the house is lined with colorful original artwork, and more!

All of Blue Print's furniture is high-quality and truly unique, just the type of selection those of you with discerning taste will appreciate. For example, how fab are these unique, yellow chairs!? (shown below) If you'd be interested in adding Blue Print's lovely decor to your own home, you'll have to come by the store in person to shop. However, Blue Print's luxury and bold decor selections are certainly worth the trip! I definitely plan to come back again when it's time to redecorate my own space. Their team is also extremely warm and welcoming, which is always the cherry on top of a great shopping experience.

After an enjoyable visit to the Blue Print store, I'm looking forward to my next visit already! This is definitely THE place in Dallas for luxury furnishings. The Blue Print store is located in downtown Dallas at 2707 Fairmount Street, Dallas TX, 75201. If you pop into the Blue Print store for a visit, let them know that you learned about the store from this blog. Happy shopping!