Week Recap in Pictures

I know Saturday is technically the end of the week, but I felt doing this post on Sunday would be better because that's when my weekend (and week) really ends. And I thought it would be nice to recollect all the fun things that happened during the week so I'm not too bummed out about Monday (yes, even when I'm not going to school I still don't look forward to Mondays). All photos from Plaid Is My Favourite Colour instagram.

Let's start from the very beginning, a very good place to start. (*cue The Sound of Music*)

MONDAY- Monday was a very relaxing-do-nothing sort of day to ease myself back into the week. I took Oakley on some nice walks. I read. I painted. Nothing much, but every second of it was enjoyable.
TUESDAY- On Tuesday I walked around my town quite a bit, as the weather was warm and lovely. I caught up with a friend from my old school and we got ice cream (I'm pretty plain when it comes to flavors, so I got a small cup of vanilla ice cream. Can you get any more simple?) 
WEDNESDAY- Wednesday was much more of a work day than the last two. I wrote a post on scones, managed all my accounts and blogging stuff, and caught up on emails. All while listening to my jazzy French music.
THURSDAY- During the day I worked on the technical aspects of the blog (gadgets, buttons, widths, type, etc.) and later this day my phone got submerged in a swimming pool (a story I will not delve into) and we've yet to go to the store to get it fixed, leaving me without much unnecessary social media. Because I did not have my phone I could not post anything to Instagram today, so no picture for Thursday. Sorry. 
FRIDAY- Today we (being my mother, father, brother, Oakley, and myself) went to the wonderful Long Beach Island. I love the beach, but Hurricane Sandy has left our house with no water, walls,kitchen, heating, or cooling so basically it's just an empty shell. Literally just four walls and a roof. So we brought along jugs filled with water and rinsed off with those after we went swimming. Not the most enjoyable day at the beach, but still a day at the beach. 
SUNDAY- Sunday, or today, my mother and I went trail riding with a friend from our barn, because it is/was my mom's birthday. It was a lot of fun, it feels so much more free riding outside versus riding inside. I rode a beautiful quarter horse named Rodeo and my mom's mount was a sweet paint called Geronimo. Later today we plan to go to dinner to further celebrate her birthday.

It's been a pretty fun week, except of course for my drowned phone, and I look forward to next week, partially because my phone should be fixed by then. 
Have a happy week everyone!

Movie Soundtracks & A Contemplation On Myself

I love movie soundtracks because they convey the emotion and feeling of the film (or part of the film), most of the time without words. I like to play my favorite soundtracks in the background to do my work to. Here are my favorites, try playing them softly to your work. The contemplation on myself starts at the bottom.
1. War Horse (listed as one of my favorite movies in this post). I like the music from this film, prior to the war, at the beginning when they were all happily living in Devon, it has a cheery Celtic feel to it. I personally like the track called 'The Homecoming'
2. Ratatouille. This just carries the perfect traditional French aura to it. Play this album when you are having a semi-casual dinner party and need something jazzy to both impress guests and set the mood. My favorite tracks out of the album are 'Le Festin' and the 'End Creditouilles'.
3. The Lord of the Rings . Like War Horse, I prefer 'Concerning Hobbits' which is a light Celtic inspired piece that is pre-epic-journey-to-destroy-the-ring and is actually quite calming.
4. Yves Saint Laurent (remember I listed this movie as one I was looking forward to in this post). Very French, but not all of the tracks have that fast, lively beat like the Ratatouille soundtrack. Some tracks are more classical and serious, and some are very jazzy and fun and you might find yourself bobbing along to the beat and getting lost in it (I'm typing in sync with the music right now).
5. Downton Abbey. I know this is technically not a movie, but if you watch all the episodes at one time like I do, it takes about as much time to watch as a movie does. Whenever I play it at home it makes me feel like my house is instantly the Ralph Lauren home collection. Very nice to work to, makes everything a bit more dramatic, though.

As I was writing this post and looking it over, I noticed some patterns in my music choices and I also think I forgot how old I was am, as I often do when I'm writing. I observed that I prefer Celtic inspired/English countryside type music (War Horse and The Lord of the Rings), and I also like jazzy French music mixed with classical. A lot of times when I'm writing I forget that I'm a 12 year old (almost 13!) girl writing from New Jersey. If you were to ask me what my favorite song was I would answer 'Le Festin' without batting an eyelash, but I bet if you asked most other 12 year old girls they would answer the latest pop song (I can't even name any at the moment). I sometimes wonder why I'm different to them and the answer  I arrive at oftentimes leads back to my early childhood (I'm still in my childhood, I guess), watching Masterpiece Theater with my mother (who had a British education, so she's not exactly a typical American mother...) and watching the runway shows on Cinémoi (I could always recognize Anna Wintour for her hair and sunglasses), not to mention the operas (the ending of Madame Butterfly scared me when I was little) and ballets. Having a foreign mom helped me become more aware of the world and know that there is more than our small town out there, which I think some of the inhabitants of our area have forgotten. I think living so near to New York City helped me too, we can go for an afternoon whenever we want and I got to know Madison and Fifth Avenue really well (I'm privileged to know that the Ralph Lauren mansion bathroom is the best, but if you can't hold it until then, then the Saks Fifth Avenue restrooms are quite nice too and I bet most kids in my grade don't know about the entire floor of shoes at Saks). I travelled to England and France last summer and learned so much about the culture, language, history, architecture, food, and anything else my brain could bear to take in (although my French is still pretty bad). The movie I'm looking forward to most in summer is in French and nobody else in my area has heard of it (except my family who has heard me ramble on about it for ages). I follow all the fashion weeks and runway shows and collections, but I don't follow any sports, unlike my peers. For sixth grade yearbook I put Downton Abbey as my favorite show (and they spelled it 'Downtown Abby', I was very annoyed). My style is more refined and classical than others my age. I look up to Hamish Bowles and Grace Coddington (I loved reading her book) when most people my age haven't even heard of them. We're not rich, we just prioritize how we spend our money differently. We buy high quality clothes at GoodWill, instead of cheap expensive clothes from the mall. I'm honestly not trying to be pretentious or fancy. I'm just thinking that I am so lucky to be this cultured at my age and I can only imagine how I'd be when I'm grown up. I'm not saying that I'm better or more superior than anyone, I'm just recognizing all the gifts and privileges I have growing up and I'm thanking my parents for all of it.

Bake Your Own Scones

Scones are a perfect summertime treat that are easy and quick to make. Scones are great for breakfasts, brunches, lunches, picnics, and more. And they are customizable so you can finally use those ingredients that have been sitting in your pantry for ages. Eat them yourself or bring a batch to a friend's house.

*makes about 12 scones*

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup cream
1 egg
Handful of add-ons (dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix well. Cut in butter and shortening. In a separate bowl, combine cream with beaten egg then add to dry ingredients. Stir in add-ons. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll dough out and cut into biscuit size rounds or triangles. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown.

Recipe courtesy of FoodNetwork.com

Vogue: the Golden Generation

Left to Right: Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Hamish Bowles, Andre Leon Tally, if you didn't already know.
Minus Andre, he left Vogue (for a Russian magazine and more money, I believe). Just an example how the Golden Days are already declining...

The Golden Generation: as the name implies, the time has never been better for American Vogue, every new issue to come as fresh and interesting as the last, if not even more. Vogue is the parliament in the world of fashion, the rulers, a delicate hierarchy, all controlled under the careful eye of Queen Wintour. Anna, Grace, Hamish, and Andre, plus many behind the scenes, work like clockwork to produce a publication with content and history like no other. Each one of them brings something unique and valuable to Vogue, and having them all together working towards the same goal is truly amazing. Since December 1892, it has been named the fashion Bible. And it really is, because fashion changes from day to day (and sometimes even faster) and Vogue changes with it, every new issue being a new up-to-date Bible. Vogue reflects the time. In 1988, Anna Wintour became the editor-in-chief of American Vogue, at the same time Grace Coddington joined. Before then, the quality we have come to expect with Vogue, was declining, but fashion heroes Anna and Grace came to the rescue just in time to revamp the fashion world. Anna brought a diverse range of covers, for the first time celebrities and public figures were on the covers of Vogue and Grace's editorials have her named 'the unsung hero of Vogue.' I know I speak as if I was there at the time, but in reality I am lucky to only have known a Vogue at its best. Anna Wintour has always been there for Vogue, in my short thirteen years of life.
If you search the phrase, "Vogue is" in google, the first four results are 'a joke', 'over', 'dead', and 'done'. Clearly the masses believe that Vogue is a nonsense magazine whose peak has passed. Clearly they do not understand the work and care that goes into putting together every issue. Vogue influences every article of clothing sold, from high-end designers to no-name t-shirts in bargain bins. I like to use this quote from The Devil Wears Prada to explain. These people may think that Vogue is over, but, this is just one opinion from a 13-year-old, I think the best is still yet to come.
Vogue is not a joke. Vogue is not over. Vogue is not dead. Vogue is not done. Vogue is at its best. 

Easy Homemade Pasta

Impress all your friends and family with this simple pasta recipe from Mario Batali. This is just the dough recipe, you can make it in different shapes, sizes and you can add things into the dough like chopped herbs (I like to use basil), cheese, etc. It tastes much better than what you buy in a box at the supermarket. Happy cooking & let me know how it went for you in the comments! 

  1. Ingredients:
  2. 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 4 extra-large eggs
  4. 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Mound 3 1/2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and olive oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape.
  2. The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated. At this point, start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands.
  3. Once there is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits. Lightly reflour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Add in any extras (herbs, cheese, etc.). Roll or shape as desired. 

Dolce & Gabbana Women Winter 2015 Fashion Show

I enjoyed watching the Dolce & Gabbana women's Winter 2015 runway show, leisurely, at my convenience, from the high definition of my laptop this morning. Since I absolutely loved every aspect of the D&G spring 2014 collection (so classically Italian!), I thought I'd watch the Winter 2015 show, and I was not disappointed. They had me hooked the moment they started playing Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and an ancient looking tree started winding up at the back of the runway. You can watch the full runway show here or the looks here. Some highlights chosen by moi

This is like liquid fabric. Flows perfectly with each one of her steps. It looks like a drop of blood swirling in a basin of water.

 I love this color, a mossy green but not too deep or dark and the fabric looks very light, so although it's for the winter collection, you could use it for spring/summer too. There was also a version of this dress in a deep crimson color, at the show. 


I love the geometry of this dress and it works perfectly with the knee-length boots. 

Again, I love the shape of this dress and the symmetry. 

Looks so modern Medieval.

Lovely color scheme. 

This dress looks like just what I'd imagine in a fairy tale, complete with full skirt and hood.

Very classic and chic, just what we'd come to expect from Dolce & Gabbana.

Chain mail!
The print is tiny keys if you can't see it on the picture. 

Same print from above, but in the flow-y liquid fabric.

I really hope chain mail becomes a trend in everyday street style.

Love the bag, gloves, boots, and dress. 

They ended the show with a fierce army of 6 foot tall, chain mail clad models marching down the runway. 

5 Tips for Staying Organized

1. Everything has a place. Just take the extra 5 seconds to put things where they go and it will save you the hours of major cleaning up all at once.
2. Your room is not a Pottery Barn display. It may look great to have all your nail polishes on display, but is it practical? Always ask yourself that. Investing in pretty storage contraptions is a good choice, but I like using vintage suitcases (from thrift stores or Goodwill) to store things I'm not using at the time like winter clothes in summer, or vice versa.
3. Use your wall space. Feel bad throwing out birthday cards? Have a shoebox full of a bunch of magazine and newspaper clippings? Both save and show them off using cork, chalk, or magnetic bulletin boards.
4. You don't need paint to update your space. Need a cheap update? Try new curtains, rugs, sheets, or even photo frames to give a room a fresh feel without buying paint. You can even pay a visit to your local thrift shop or Goodwill store and find some interesting pieces of furniture and clean them up with that leftover paint or garnish that's been sitting in your garage for ages (sound familiar?).
5. Don't be afraid to throw out or give away. If you really and truly don't wear/use/like/need something just give it away or throw it out. Don't get attached to things that just take up your valuable space.

GOAALLL! {World Cup Inspired Accessories}

Fifa World Cup 2014 Inspired Accessories

Anyone been watching the Fifa World Cup lately? If you has, you know there have been some suspenseful and surprising matches, including Côte d'Ivoire's win against Japan yesterday, and England and Italy's exciting match. Here are some great accessories to help get you in the World Cup spirit! Just click on the picture.
Who are you rooting for?

What to Watch

Everyone loves spending a few lazy Sunday evenings watching movies. I always have a list in my head of great movies (and some documentaries) to watch whenever I'm home sick, bored, or having a nice movie night with me, myself, and I (plus Oakley). 

1. WAR HORSE - I love this movie too much for words. The scenery, the music, the acting, the scenes, everything. My first-choice, go-to movie whenever I'm sick, bored, or having a movie night. 
2. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA - This is a great look into the harsh world of fashion as well as an interesting film. It shows you that it's not all just glamour and fun; there's hard work involved.  
3. VAN HELSING - Stars Hugh Jackman as the second-life monster hunter and Kate Beckinsale as the last daughter in a family cursed to wait in purgatory until Dracula is dead. In addition to Dracula and vampires, also has werewolves and Frankenstein. 
4. FANTASTIC MR. FOX - My favorite Wes Anderson film to date. Based on the children's book by Roald Dahl. 
5. THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE - Shows all the mania and craze that happens to have a wonderful September Issue (as the name implies). From photo shoots, to fashion shows, to editing and layout, and everything in between. 

Also, what I'm looking forward to in theaters
  • Yves Saint Laurent - June 25 (USA) 
    • About a young Yves Saint Laurent taking over one of the biggest fashion houses in France, as well as personal issues too. I like this trailer instead of the one listed on IMDB. 
  • The Giver - August 15 (USA) 
    • In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world. Based on the novel by Lois Lowry. 
  • Mood Indigo - July 18 (USA) 
    • Another French arthouse film, this time about how a wealthy, inventive bachelor endeavors to find a cure for his lover Chloe after she's diagnosed with an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs.

Incorporating Ralph Lauren Into Your Summer Wardrobe

Often during the summer, us prepsters pack away most of our Ralph Lauren (and similar) and bring out our Lilly Pulitzer (and similar). I do admit that donning the bright patterns helps give a brighter outlook on things, which is very fitting for summer, and they just have a more tropical-party-ish feel to them. Ralph Lauren has the perfect autumn look, and can get quite overlooked during the summer. All this said, don't store all your Ralph away just yet. Here are some great ways to incorporate my-bff-who-doesn't-know-me (read: Ralph Lauren) into your summer wardrobe: 

  • POLOS- I have a very serious obsession with polos. To the point I believe it is unhealthy. They come in every color in the rainbow (and then some), a bunch of patterns, and tons of styles. Between me and my mother, I have one to go with just about everything I own. When my closet is organized with all my polos together, it can look like a rainbow field filled with little people playing polo all over because of the logos. They can be casual or dressy, depending on what you pair them with. Just another reason to love polos; they're so versatile. Ralph Lauren makes them out of a perfectly light-but-high-quality fabric, so they don't get too heavy in the summer. Perfect for everything from polo to sailing, plus all the average things the rest of us do like work and buy groceries. 
A selective few from the Ralph Lauren section in my collection of polos. 

  • SHORTS- Ralph Lauren has cute classy shorts that work perfectly with polos (what doesn't work perfectly with a polo?), and other tops. They come in vivid solid colors, or preppy summer patterns like madras plaid. Just add a preppy belt (another thing I have tons of...) and your're all set. 
Preppy d-ring ribbon belt buckles...

...and then a more traditional buckle, what can you expect from Ralph Lauren?