Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

This month has been a bit crazy for me, thus … my blog has suffered some.  However, I have been able to keep up with my Facebook page, so if you haven’t signed up for that, please do!  That way, no matter what, you’ll have access to all of my freebies, updates, and info.  I have actually posted quite a few Freebie Fridays there, but you can find all of them on my Pinterest page, so I urge you to follow me on Pinterest so you can look back through all the Freebies I’ve given over the past months.

This month we are learning from Katharine Hepburn.  I have had a wonderful time getting to know her.  She was something else, and an inspiration regarding the strength of women.  Her mother was a Suffragette and her father a physician (urologist) who tried to promote awareness of sexual disease and health.  With this type of liberal and strong background, it’s no wonder that she led such an influential and extraordinary life, filled with fortitude and lack of concern for what “normal” women were supposed to do or not do.  She had no idea that there were boundaries that couldn’t be crossed, or barriers that couldn’t be broken.  And because she believed in herself, she became the number one top screen legend of all time by the American Film Institute in 1999 … quite a tribute!!

So, in honor of Katharine, here is your Freebie Friday (click for the full size, and then right-click to save to your computer … personal use only), I hope you enjoy!!

One of Katharine’s four Oscars (out of 12 nominations) was for the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” – and it is easily one of my favorites, hands down.  So, without further ado, and with Memorial Day (for my American friends) in mind, I thought I’d share a recipe with you that is one of my favorites for summer and cookouts.  I’ll be sharing several recipes over the next several days.  What do you usually have for your Memorial Day or Outdoor gatherings?  Here’s one of our family favorites:
TOMATO BASIL FETA SALAD,
courtesy of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa:
Ingredients
4 pints grape tomatoes, red or mixed colors
1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 med. onions)
1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds feta cheese

Directions

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well. Dice the feta in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible. Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature.

*In a pinch, because, let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t have time, or are lacking some ingredients, I have done the following with the same spectacular results:
  1. Parsley is not imperative, but you will want to add a little more basil if you don’t use any.  It will have a stronger flavor, but in my opinion, you can never have too much basil (personal preference)
  2. I have used a vidalia onion or green onions in place of the red.  I do not recommend a white or non-sweet onion.  It will be too strong in relation to the other flavors.
  3. I have used Paul Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette when I realized I didn’t have enough white wine vinegar from the last time I had made the recipe.  It was still heaven!!
  4. I have used flavored feta with great results.  My favorite:  feta with sun-dried tomatoes in it.
  5. I have tried not cutting the tomatoes when I was in a hurry … wasn’t nearly as good, I promise it’s worth the time, otherwise the flavors of the dressing just don’t do their “thing well enough.”
  6. It is CRUCIAL that you let the salad sit at room temperature for least 30 minutes, if not 45 to an hour.  When serving this for a barbeque, I make this salad first, cover, and just let it sit on the counter until we are ready to eat.
Bon Appetit!!
**For more recipes by Ina, please feel free to go to www.foodnetwork.com

Coco’s Electronic Fashion Picks

Well, Mes Amies,

I hope you are having a wonderful week! Are you having fun draping yourself in Coco’s pearls of wisdom, checking out her “picks,” and soaking in her wisdom? I definitely am!!

I wanted to share a few things today to help you in your quest for elegance AND style. Actually some tips that I think Coco would approve of, if she were with us today. Yes … I’m talking about electronic fashion tips – whether you are on a strict clothing budget, maybe a little more “curvy” than the average girl, or for those who aren’t quite sure yet what your style is. So let’s get started!!

TIP #1 POLYVORE: For those of you who don’t have a clue what to wear, what looks good on you, etc. One of the best things you can do is to not over-think it. Go with your gut. It’s usually right. It’s when we start looking at what everyone else is doing that we get into trouble. If we are in tune with our “true” inner self, we’re usually on target. Not the inner self riddled with baggage who says “You’re too fat,” “You’re not pretty enough,” “You would look ridiculous.” It’s the true inner self that loves the “true you.” The one that says … “I’m worth this,” “I CAN be elegant,” and “I WANT to be stylish.” So, as a little aid … try out the App from Polyvore. It’s awesome. It will allow you to explore looks, colors, and trends that “speak” to you, before you ever spend a penny. Whether you have Apple or Android products, there is an app for you. Check out your app store … I promise you will love it!

TIP #2 POSHMARK: Have a beer budget, but Champagne taste? POSHMARK App is amazing. You can trade, buy, or sell clothing and accessories to other “girls” out there in the same position. Maybe you’ve lost weight and want to sell items that are still in great condition but a little too big, and then turn around and buy new clothes in your new size. You can on POSHMARK. My daughter started using this app and I have been absolutely amazed at how little she has paid for some really, really nice brands. Again … it’s an app that’s available in your App store, whether for Apple or Android.

TIP #3 Gwynnie Bee (for Americans only – but for those of you living elsewhere … this would be an amazing enterprise to start in your country!!): Are you a little curvier and want one of the most amazing opportunities to expand your wardrobe exponentially, but at a regular budget price point? Then go to Gwynnie Bee’s. You are, in essence, renting clothing every month. You choose how many clothes you have out at one time, but you get to turn them in as many times as you want every single month (postage included). So, quite literally, for a set fee, you have unlimited wardrobe options. However, these are not tent dresses, mes amies, they are really stylish. You also have access to a style consultant to help you figure out what suits your body style. They are now offering sizes US 10-26. Seeing is believe with this site. You can click HERE to go directly to their site.

Alright mes amies … it wouldn’t be Friday if I didn’t share a Freebie Friday, so here it is. What is so amazing to me is that the dress illustration is from 1932!!!! It definitely proves the point of Coco’s Pearl! As always, feel free to click on the photo, right-click to save. However, no mass production – personal use only. Feel free to share or pin so that others can come here to get their own copy and help them on their way to Elegance and feeling Beautiful!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!!

Bonjour,

Lorraine

Freebie Friday April 4/5/2013 or Coco’s Spring Cleaning

One of the most revolutionary ideas that Coco Chanel offered, was that you could be comfortable AND elegant. No more corsets, no more fabrics that didn’t breath or move with your body. No more styles that didn’t complement your body. While, some may argue that it’s almost become too easy to be casual, and we forget the word “elegant” when doing so … there are still ways to maintain elegance AND be comfortable.

So, for today’s Freebie Friday, I’ve created a vintage couture poster that shows two women strolling through Paris (see how comfortable, yet elegant they look? I’d wear what they have on today, if I could afford to!!). I’d like to think it is the spring time due to the colors, but the original illustration was for Winter. I’m vetoing that and we’re calling it Spring, because where I am … the trees still look like that, even though I DID see some crocus blooming in someone’s yard yesterday which gave me SUCH hope!!

So, in order for you to download today’s Freebie, click on the photo and then right-click to save to your computer. You may use for personal use only, to print out, to craft with (a card would be awesome) or to use as wallpaper. BUT, I’m adding a request with today’s printable. Look in your wardrobe over the weekend (we can call it Coco’s Spring Cleaning). If you can’t attach the word elegant to comfortable. Ask yourself these questions:

1) What are you doing with it?
2) Why are you compromising your standards?
3) Why would you allow yourself to feel less than you are by wearing something so unflattering?

Here is a picture of a very young Coco who is very casual, but still maintains some elegance:

See how she is wearing very casual clothes, but they fit her well, and still exude some style. That’s what I’m talking about.

So here is your inspiration Printable. Now hop to it, and Be Fashionable Forever!! And, if you need some moral support and can’t be objective, ask your BFF to help you. You know the one … the one who won’t lie to you and will tell you straight up … “NO … put it in the bag for the homeless shelter, Goodwill, etc.

Bonjour Mes Amies … Have an incredible Weekend. And on Monday … I want to hear some reports about how your experience went!!

It’s All About the Head … or the Neck (as the case may be)

It’s been a bit of a tough week for me, and so I knew I needed to blog … not to vent, mind you. I’ll spare you that … but I needed to create my Freebie Friday printable for you and pour some humor into my life. Hopefully, it will offer you a chance to chuckle as well … and yes, I give you permission to laugh at me, I’m laughing at me while I write this.

As I said, it’s been a bit of a trying week. But, I’ve realized that it’s all about perspective. I was griping to a friend of mine about some of my troubles and then promptly moved into another stresser that just popped up, albeit a good one. As any good friend would do, she promptly said “Boo Hoo … it must be rough to have Google wanting to promote you on the internet, I’m sure that’s really terrible.” And … boom … it hit me. What the heck am I complaining about?

See … it’s all about perspective. I’m worrying over my house being perfect for a photographer that Google is sending to my home as they are highlighting me for the state of Indiana with one of their ad campaigns. Who freakin’ gets to do that? Me!!!! I can’t believe it’s happening to me. So, why am I stressing out?  I should be jumping up and down, thrilled beyond my wildest dreams … and GRATEFUL!!!!

Some people don’t even have a home right now thanks to Hurricane Katrina, and I’m freaking out about what is probably the chance of a lifetime, business-wise. So … as I thought about what I could use for inspiration for my Freebie Friday, I turned to Marie. We always think about the fun she had, fashion, wearing anything she wanted, escaping to Trianon to get away from the court politics, and we promptly forget the woman lost her head … literally. So, while this picture is not Marie, it is Marie-esque (do you like my made up word?). I hope you enjoy and get a laugh out of it.

As always, feel free to click on it and then right-click to save to your computer. You may only use it for personal use (print or as a wallpaper for your computer) but may not mass produce. Fee free to send anyone my way to get their own copy.

Have a wonderful weekend mes amies … and keep your perspective straight (and your heads on!).

Never, Never, Never Give Up! (Winston Churchill)

Have you ever had one of those weeks where NOTHING went right?

Well, this has been one of mine.  I literally wanted to crawl in to bed and not wake up until next month, with all of my problems solved for me in the meantime!
So, as I looked for inspiration for today’s Freebie Friday, I realized that I needed to motivate myself and I, hopefully, will motivate you as well.

Because, while I did have a really bad week (fridge water hose sprayed all over the kitchen, ruining 20 tiles drying on my table (as well as the drywall behind) … 20 tiles having to be redone … again because the weather didn’t cooperate, 20 tiles still not drying because of the weather … yada yada yada), I can report that I can find some good in all of this.

I refuse to give up! I truly do. So, while nothing seems to have worked well, I can say that I have persisted, and I will keep persisting til I get everything worked out. So, today’s Freebie Friday is a little pep talk for me, and for you if you need it!

*Personal use only, no mass production, but please feel free to direct anyone to my blog to download their own copy.

So, I’m gonna put “my big girl pants” on (as my daughter says) and get back on the saddle, and get those tiles done!! Whoo … I feel better already, and am smiling again.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend mes amies, and that it is better than my last few yesterdays!

J’adore my followers!
Au Revoir,

Lorraine

“I WANT LUXURY!”

Over the past several months, as I’ve been investigating and researching vintage couture, I have been increasingly aware of how relevant many of the designs are, still to this day. It is mind boggling how truly beautiful and proportionate style can maintain its beauty, throughout the ages.

And, as my mind tends to wander from one idea to the next … I started asking myself … why do we become so attracted to fleeting styles, when often they aren’t something that we could see ourselves in 5, 10, or 20 years from now. I mean, I hope I’m not the only one who looks back at her school or younger pictures and thinks … “What was I thinking?” And, I have to admit, many a time my mother would say she couldn’t understand my fashion choices … to which I thought she just didn’t understand what was “au courant.” And, as much as I hate to admit it, she was right!


So, my mind bounced to the next thought … why do we accept less than the best when we look to fashion? Many would say, well, I can’t afford this, or I can’t afford that. But, one thing my grandmother did teach me was that you don’t have to have a lot of clothes, if the clothes you have are right for you. Once again, they fit your proportions well, they are made with good fabrics, and are well cared for. But, we tend to live in a very consumer driven society where the seasons and fashions change at the drop of a hat (pun intended). And, many of us feel that we have to have the latest, even if the latest isn’t really what works for us!


So, I’ve decided I’m going to go through my closet and ask myself the question … “Will I wear this 5 years from now?” If the answer is no, then what the heck is it doing in my closet? I’ve allowed myself to be influenced by a fashion blip on the fashion timeline, and I don’t want to do that anymore.


Once my son (who was 9 at the time) asked for a CD player for his very own. Now, this is the child who broke every one else’s CD player in the house. So, I told him he could either save up his money to get one, or, he could use an old one that only played the radio and casettes. He was immediately irate and emphatically yelled “I don’t want that … I WANT LUXURY.” Needless to say, I had the hardest time not cracking up!!


But, now I find myself thinking (in caps) I WANT LUXURY!! That doesn’t mean that I want the most expensive or fanciest clothes or accessories. But, I want ones that fit right, I want ones that feel wonderful to the touch, I want ones that make me feel beautiful!  So, in keeping with that thought, I created today’s “Freebie Friday” with just this idea in mind. I hope you enjoy!!

As always, this is for personal use, and not to be mass produced in any manner. However, you may always refer people to my blog for them to save their own copy. To save, click on the picture, and then right click to save to your computer.


And now, here comes my challenge … check your closet and ask yourself the same questions! You’re beautiful and worth having luxury!!


Have a wonderful weekend mes amies!!
Bonsoir,
Lorraine

Brag Monday Entry 09/10/2012

Bonjour Mes Amies,

It’s been a little while since I posted, but I have been out of town off and on, and now I’m back on track!! I wanted to share my Brag Monday entry with you which is held at the Graphics Fairy (see her blog badge to the left in my favorites column). I have had the bezel for this necklace for quite some time, and have been waiting for inspiration to hit. And, Voila, while looking through the Graphics Fairies free clip art, I finally struck paydirt.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of studying lately about many of the illustrations that I use in my jewelry and graphics art. And so I have been spending a lot of time back in history, at least in my head. So, what better decision than to go farrrrrrrr back in time and use a royal coat of arms? Since I absolutely adore French history, British history, truly just history period, for that matter, I thought this would be a fun design to work with.

I have to admit that I have read so many classic novels that center in one historical time period or another. And, many a time I have wished I could have lived then … only with air conditioning and good hygene. I’m not too picky, am I? So, if I were to live in a historical time period, I would definitely want to have been royal, or at least from a noble family. They couldn’t have promised air conditioning, but I would at least have had a shot at wonderful fashion and better hygene!

So, here is my entry. I wanted to create a piece that would work well with Autumn tones, as I cannot wait to get into my sweaters and Fall clothes. Let me know what you think! If you were to live in the past, which time period would you choose, and why?

Au Revoir, mes amies. A Bientot!!

Lorraine