If you ever wondered what the dictionary definition for cute and proper is, look no further. I’ve found the answer in Betina Lou‘s latest line, for the fall winter season. The pieces are not complicated, and that’s what makes them versatile, and possibly timeless. There are neutral colors, mod touches, and a hint of tartan in the Canadian collection, and that’s everything one needs for a good cold season wardrobe. I also love how the lookbook is styled, with ankle boots, the natural looking model and what appears to be her own jewelry. Very wearable, don’t you think?
One of the biggest discoveries of 2013 in my kitchen was the muffin. I had no idea muffins were so easy to make, nor that they could open the door to so many possibilities. I also learned that they’re a great use for quince, which I find to be quite the pretentious fruit (i.e. not easy to eat fresh, not many recipes to cook). The best part is that you can take the basic muffin recipe and adapt it with all sorts of other fruit (apple and pear work this time of the year, but I can’t wait to try apricots, peaches and sour cherries come summer!). And did I mention nuts of all sorts? Or chocolate chip? They all sound amazing! I haven’t tried it yet, but I hear if you skip the sugar and add something like bacon or sausage, they make a perfect breakfast treat. Have you ever tried anything like that? The whole thing makes me really excited about new recipes to try this year – especially since I believe winter days were specifically crafted for staying in and baking. But enough talk, let me show you how I make quince muffins, which are my favorites so far:
- 150g melted butter
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate
- 2 medium quinces
- (optional) orange peel
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Cut the fruit in small cubes and place in a large bowl. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate. Add orange peel if you're using.
- In a different bowl, mix the wet ingredients (butter, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs).
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones, and mix together.
- Bake in a muffin tray for 20-25 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean).
- You can also use apple or pear instead of quince.
The style of Ian Chan is something I can’t ever hope to attain: the perfect and minimal combination of tomboy and girly, vintage and modern, basics and statement pieces. According to her Lookbook profile (where she posts most of her pics), she’s a fashion designer, and she lives in China. I love how she wears pants (every style seems to fit her like a glove) and vintage low heels, plus she has a tremendous collection of outerwear. And how cute are her geeky glasses? I know you want them.
Watch: American Hustle, with Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence AND Louis CK, most of them looking unrecognizable.
Listen: So how about this Emmy Rossum? First she’s great in Shameless, and then she can sing, too?
Wear: I have no idea where this pic comes from, but it’s the most perfect manicure I ever did see.
DIY: I don’t always travel, but when I do, I’d like to have these custom tags for my luggage.
I couldn’t find much info on this photo, but the description on Tumblr said these girls were members of the 4-H, and that they wore Chimayo coats. That’s a type of Mexican blanket-coat, which I bet is extra warm. It looks nice in every length, and it can become pretty stylish with the right shoes and hat. Would you wear one?
1. Diamond ring by Wearable Planter. “If you wear this ring, you’ll be the flashiest girl at the party while showing off your love of nature and technology.”
2. Leather bangles by Brick + Arrow. A gorgeous set of patterned cuff bracelets, in a subtle color combination, and made of leather.
3. Triangle earrings by Rachel Loves Bob. An exquisite mix of gold and black with triangular shapes, just right to wear in 2014.
4. Collar by SmArtAnna. This modern collar features trendy metallics and suede, with a classic peter pan collar shape.
5. Cube necklace by Sparkle Farm. If you had to only wear one piece of jewelry for the rest of the year… wouldn’t it be this necklace?
6. Silver & concrete brooch by Catrie. The unexpected mix of materials is elegant and beautiful.
There’s literally hours until 2014… What do you plan to do in the new year? I think I’ll stick to my usual resolutions, and hope for the best. Meanwhile, here are some of the things I wore in 2013 – it’s lovely to see I’ve traveled to so many different places, and I’m pretty satisfied with the hairstyle I acquired halfway through the year. Here’s to a fun 2014, cats!
This year, I’ve posted a tutorial almost every week, including some great guest posts (thanks again, you fantastic guest bloggers, you!). We’ve had jewelry and accessories, clothing and home decor, but looking back, these are the 13 most popular DIYs of 2013:
- DIY Cat Toe Shoes (by Scathingly Brilliant) – turn regular flats into cute wearable kitties.
- DIY Lace Necklace – an easy way to make a delicate lace accessory.
- DIY Woven Coaster – weave coasters using a small embroidery hoop.
- DIY Butterfly Nut Ring & Pin – hit the hardware store for cheap jewelry supplies.
- DIY Cloud Earrings – the perfect way to fight against cloudy days.
- DIY Pearl Gloves – keep warm & chic with a sweet refashion.
- Pistachio Jewelry – 3 jewelry ideas using pistachio shells & nail polish.
- DIY Heart Beads Brooch (by Vixy Blue) – a romantic brooch made with repurposed materials.
- DIY Teardrop Earrings – galvanized thimbles make the perfect frame for earrings.
- DIY Cross Stitch Clay Pins – cross stitch looks great on unexpected frames, such as clay.
- DIY Industrial Style Pendant Light (by Jade and Fern) – transform an old fan into a modern lamp.
- DIY Watermelon Shoes – a taste of summer on your shoes.
- DIY Heart T-shirt – upgrade a tee with recycled fabric.
Lora‘s vintage style is not the usual kind: you’ll find her in Marlene Dietrich pants and cat eye glasses, or, as she puts it, in a mix between “1990’s to present day hip hop and the 1960’s career woman”. Hungry Heart Vintage is not just pretty pictures of a layering pro, but also a good, fun read, which is so often overlooked on fashion blogs. As a bonus, it tends to leave you humming Bruce Springsteen’s famous tune.