Weekly Columns:















La vie Parisinne

 These covers from La Vie Parisinne are so dreamy.  They take me to another time and place, not to mention inspire me to draw! How can you not fall in love with these beauties?

La Vie Parisinne was a magazine in France popular at the turn-of-the-twentieth century. The magazine was established for the privilaged upper class as a guide on the artistic life in Paris and not only featured many brilliant works from illustrators of the time but evolved into a mildly risque publication (hence the low neckline on the top shirt and the naked mermaid).  I love risque ladies.


Color Love

The color at Tribune Standard for Resort 2012 is spectacular.  


Brucie (Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)

I admit it...I have started to grow tired of the restaurants in my neighborhood.  It's not that they're bad (actually most of the places near me are amazing), it's just I have gone too many times and they have lost the element of surprise and mystery they once had.  On one particular night I was especially feeling very ho hum about my options, and then can Brucie! I had been passing by Brucie for months and I finally decided to go in. The interior is packed to the brim with charming details like gorgeous wallpapers, a rustic wood bar, mason jar chandeliers, and Italian fare ready to be purchased for your own cooking adventures.   

I went to town on the delectable Zucchini Flowers alla Parmigiana and fresh buttery Sea Scallop Tartare with tangy picked rhubarb and crisp beet chips. The winner of the evening was the Pork Belly Milanese with cherry tomato and cucumber salad, a refreshing and brilliantly seasoned combination. I finished the meal with a Cooolhaus Ice Cream Sandwhich (brown butter candied bacon ice cream between a maple pecan cookie) and if that isn't enough to get anyone excited, I don't know what is!!

Brucie 234 Court St.BrooklynNY 11201  at Baltic St

all photos by Danielle Malmgren


The Hottest of Pinks

Just in the mood for HOT PINK

Flowers, Grapefruit, dresses, pink drink, necklace, stripes


Need a jolt?


 I really don't understand how some people don't drink coffee.  Sorry, but I don't.  How do you get through the day, be peppy in front of your demanding boss, not fall asleep on the train, or have the motivation to do ANYTHING? HOW???

Well if your like me and you want it iced, hot, light, dark, dripped or pressed here are a few of my all time favorite coffee spots in two fantastic west coast cities! 


Vivace-This is the best coffee I have had in my life.  THE BEST. I love it.  Every cup the barista pours is not only beautiful, but delicious.  Order a Cafe Nico...A thick foamy milk, espresso, cinnamon and orange zest.

Stumptown- It got it's start in Oregon, but for some reason I also associate it with Seattle cause I lived there. Stumptown is rich dense and chocolatey coffee.  It's an amazing everyday cup.

Victrola-great notable coffee and a great place in Seattle to spend a rainy afternoon.

Cafe Vita- Roasted on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Great to grab a bag of beans and brew in you home machine!

San Francisco

Four Barrel Coffee-I try to stop here every time I'm in town.  They have mastered the science of perfect drip Coffee and the amazing donuts they have from Dynamo don't hurt either.

Ritual Roasters- A San Francisco institution. Drank my first cup in 2000 in the Mission District. Love it.

Blue Bottle Coffee- I am relatively new on the Blue Bottle band wagon, but they are known for the freshest organic coffee out there

Pictures Listed from Right to Left: Stumptown Sign, Vivace Coffee, Victrola Sign, Vivace Cup, Four Barrel Sign, Black Ritual Cup, Blue Bottle Cup, Brown Four Barrel Cup, Ritual Coffee



The things I learned in Florida.

1.  Swedish girls do not tan, they BURN.

2. Take Dramamine 24 hours before starting a 4 hour fishing cruise.

3. It rains in florida usually everyday around 4 (like the world is going to end) and then dramatically stops....or just continues for the rest of the afternoon

4. There are millions of baby lizards and geckos EVERYWHERE...but they're kinda cute so it's ok.

5. The pancake house in Del Ray beach still makes a mean pancake...but lost it's old world charm due to a "renovation".

5.  All the cool, old, swanky hotels are still in Miami...so don't forget to swing by there (see pictured above)!

6. Everyone loves a GIANT American Flag that needs to be hoisted up by a crane.

Hope everyone had a great 4th!!



Should you Maraschino?

I have vivid childhood memories of going out with my family to our favorite Mexican restaurant in California.  As my parents ordered their favorite, frozen, fruity concoctions….my sister and I would beg and plead for our  favorite sugary treat, the sweet Shirley Temple.  The simple, ruby red, sparkling drink (7up and grenadine syrup)  was delicious, but the crown jewel of the beverage was really the majestic maraschino cherry and I couldn't get enough of them.

In the beginning  the maraschino cherry started it's humble life as a Marasca,  a small, black cherry from Croatia. For years the fruit was brined and then macerated in maraschino liqueur,  although this came to an end when Prohibition made the alcohol-soaked fruit illegal.

In 1925 a nonalcoholic version was introduced.  Today a variety of light cherries are soaked in salt to remove there natural color and flavor, next they are pitted and soaked for 30day in natural sweetener. Finally they are dipped in artificial coloring (here is where that dreaded red dye no. 2 comes in).

Today I still catch myself craving the neon, candy sweet , mystery fruit.  I admit that I occasionally sneak one or two at bars when no one is looking or add it to fancy fizzes and boozy cocktails in the secrecy of my own home.  I ask you, would a Manhattan or whisky sour be as pretty without the ruby jewel at the bottom? Of course not!!!
Luckily I don't have to go without and neither do you, because there are so many options of maraschinos that aren't nearly as bad as the shirley temple days of our youth

All-Natural Maraschino Cherries by Tillen Farms-these were actually the first natural maraschino I ever had.  They are quite tasty and are great in drinks!  These are perfect if you can't give up the syrupy sweet ruby red gems of your childhood

Princess Maraschino Cherries-Have not tried but seem to be a good option

Luxardo Maraska Cherries-
This Italian import is the real deal and everything that a maraschino was intended to be and taste like. Not cheap at 17.00 a jar… but worth it.  Use the syrup in the jar for drinks as well.

Or make your own!  Here is a recipe that will give you amazing results. The process is surprisingly easy. When sour cherries are in season stock up and pack the pitted fruit in a mason jar filled with Luxardo (cherry liqueur). Let sit for 2 weeks.  You will find that the cherries will have a deep brandied flavor and cherry almond aftertaste.  This authentic taste will be a more grown up version of the candied fruit from our youth.

Illustrations by Danielle Malmgren