An Eye on Irene– A Worthy Mention From Inside the Hurricane of the Season

29 Aug

It was Friday, August 26th, the calm before the storm. The blue skies and gorgeous heat were distracting, how was there a hurricane coming? With enough warning shouted through all media forms, people made last minute phone calls to their insurance companies making sure they were covered from what was about to blow their way. The storm was moving quick, and instead of Sunday afternoon, it was making its way to the northeast Saturday evening. During the outside wedding on Saturday, of which my trip was focused on, people held their breath throughout the ceremony in the hopes that the bride and groom would be able to share their first kiss under a dry sky–they did. The storm held out for the young couple who were cracking jokes about the omnipresent gloom that was about to crash over us. Sunday morning we lost power and running water at 5am. The eye of the storm spared lower Westchester and we woke up without branches in our hair. Later that day, the wind still blew ferociously, but the damage was done. While driving to a friends house to run showers and eat a hot meal, trees blocked our route, open power lines swayed in the wind and streams and rivers could have passed for lakes. I have never seen anything like it and we were in a Category 1 zone.

Seeing the photos in the New York Times this incredibly gorgeous Monday, I couldn’t imagine experiencing what people in North Carolina, Virginia, Keen and on the eastern seaboard must have gone through. Even though mudslides and flooding have closed the I-87 making it VERY difficult to get back to Montreal; here in NY, at on of the only local cafes with wifi and power opened, citizens and I share outlets so we could all charge our devices–we are all fortunate that this is our biggest problem coming out of Hurricane Irene.

 

 

Some photos of the damage along the northeast: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44271560/displaymode/1247?beginSlide=1

Villainous Vintage– An Exclusive WM Interview

22 Aug

Serina Adele is a 21 year old Montreal native who has always had a fascination with vintage fashions and DIY projects. As a child, Serina would always alter her clothing and would continuously sketch designs. She studied creative arts in college but Serina said, “The second paint got on my new indian boots, I stormed out and knew I had to do something else”.

She was introduced to Gustavo, VV’s second man, through her boyfriend at a house party, and pitched an idea for a fashion line and there, Villainous Vintage was born. The two partners share the same vision for their vintage line, a retro take on punky, bas-ass pretty. They went vintage shopping for bras and jeans, to punk stores to purchase the most amazing studs and emblems and also ventured to fabric stores to get leather, lace and other creative finds. Serina says that she has always wanted a spiked bra and that was her inspiration to create VV‘s first piece. Some of her pieces are very controversial but Serina explained that it comes with the territory. Commenting on her shorts with upside down crosses, Serina mentioned, “We’re not for or against religion, we’re just expressing our rebellion against everything mainstream.”

Some of Serina’s inspirations are Alexander McQueen and Lemmy from Motorhead. VV is an industrial art form, without the aid of a sewing machine, Serina uses pliers and fabric glue to customize all her pieces by hand. She fringes, shreds, cuts, and has mastered the art of acid wash and dye. How does Villainous Vintage make sure people know they’re wearing one-of-a-kind VV pieces–every piece has a metallic skull attached somewhere on it to enforce the villainous rebellion.

Right now, Serina and her team are working out of her kitchen but by Fall 2011 they will have an office up and running alongside their own etsy account, VillainousVintageMTL and possibly a new website.

Prices range from:

Shorts: 40-100$

Bras:

short: 40-60$

medium: 50-100$

long: 65-150$

Shirts: 15-50$

All of her pieces are hand wash only. 

What’s in store for Villainous Vintage in the future? Serina wants to focus on jean jackets, leggings, boyfriend jeans, plaid shirts, socks and hoodies for her fall collection.

Preview of the fall collection will be up soon on her Tumblr!

Here’s an exclusive:

Long term plans?

Making her own clothes and bras with a vintage twist, however, she will always keep the jeans vintage as well as looking villainous.

If you’re in the Montreal area, make sure to catch up with Serina and the Villainous Vintage crew August 26th at BlueDog Motel, 3958 Blvd St-Laurent for a fashion party shoot! Also interested in buying some  VV? They are having a pop-up shop the 9th,10th and 11th of September at Galerie Dixset, 17 rue Maguire at 7pm.

Keep up with the villainous rebellion:

Facebook Group: Villainous Vintage

Tumblr: VillainousVintage

Twitter: @sovillainous 

eff is for […] –the eff spot.

18 Aug

the eff spot, is a combination of a few things that writer, photographer and chef, Vanessa loves, which are most obviously food and fashion. Vanessa loves breakfast, and has created the breakfast project–a challenge to create a twist on traditional breakfasts while keeping them healthy and fun. Vanessa’s combination of food and fashion leaves her readers in an aesthetic frenzy with every post.
Make sure to follow Vanessa:
Facebook: the eff spot
Twitter: @theeffspot
Lookbooknu: Vanessa K.
eff is for [FOOD]
The breakfast project started on 21st June 2011, in order to add variety to my otherwise monotonous breakfasts which have been on a rotation of porridge (oatmeal), toast, yoghurt and cereal for years now… I was first inspired by Bamsesayaka, a Japanese photographer and several other photographers and blogs I have discovered. For my project, I record and blog my breakfast every day (or as much as possible) and share the new and interesting recipes I have found.

So what are you waiting for? Check out recipes for the breakfast project here

eff is for [FASHION]

It was hard to turn down the warm winter sun for a photo opportunity and I thought it was about time that I did a little more fashion blogging. The only problem was… I didn’t have an outfit in mind. So whilst my boyfriend was waiting, I spent an hour trying to put something together. Initially, I spent half the time attempting to do some colour blocking and desperately tried to match a bright coral shirt with anything I could find. Which as you can see, obviously failed. So I opted for an outfit similar to one I wore to uni last semester.
 Enjoy!

A reVamped Society–The Legend of a 500 year old Vampire

17 Aug

A 19 year old man in Texas today used the age old, “I’m a 500 year old vampire” excuse after being caught breaking into a woman’s house in order to bite her neck. When officials came to the scene, the “vampire” said he’s been around for 500 years and needed to be fed.

As much as Twilight has become an insane phenomena, so has many other preteen novelties: Glee, Harry Potter, High School Musical… but do people now all think they can sing and dance while casting a spell? Maybe they do, we don’t know–but what we do know, is that if our new and vamped society focused more on worthwhile causes like climate change, food for the needy (click to help), perhaps we’d be hearing stories of a man thinking he was a born-again hippy while breaking into a park one night to plant trees rather than violent vampires. The media informs adults about what’s going on worldwide on a nightly basis, why not educate our youth as well, they are our locomotive towards change.

(Don’t forget to click on the links to get informed, they are the WM for this post)

Colorless-Liz Chan

16 Aug

Liz Chan likes to write about things that inspire her: graphic design, fashion, photography, while also posting about her own recent projects as a graphic designer. A graduate from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a BFA in Graphic Design, Liz is currently working as a book designer at Columbia University Press. Her most recent personal project is a photo series called “Colorless” that she worked on with friend and photographer Hansen Hanggodo. Liz Chan’s blog is a wonderful compilation of creative endeavors and great insight.

Visit her portfolio at www.liz-chan.com

Visit Hansen Hanggodo’s portfolio: http://www.hanggodo.com

Worthy Blog: Liz Chan

Colorless – A new photo series by Liz & Hansen!

Ladies and gents! Behold, a new photo series by Hansen Hanggodo and I. It is our most recent project, and probably one of the most spontaneous photo shoots we’ve had. Originally, our idea was to comment on the recent debate concerning the safety of food coloring: Foods may look more attractive with artificial color enhancement, but do we really want to put “edible” dyes into our bodies? We started by spray painting fruits and vegetables — nature’s rawest form of food — white, like the color of a blank canvas. Then we proceeded to experiment, by painting and splashing food coloring onto the surface. What we ended up with were food images that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but not necessarily edible or safe to eat.Please click to enlarge and zoom in with Picasa (it’s the little magnifying glass icon in the top right)! You will not get the full experience without this step.I also included a detail crop for each photo. Staring closely at every puddle and droplet starts to look like you’re looking into a little universe after awhile. I may sound crazy, but just do it. Trust me.


And, a little behind the scenes photo! Here’s Hansen hard at work, painting some cherries in the little mini studio we set up


Mixing food coloring colors! It was messy…but in a fun way that left my hands stained for a week.

Let us know what you think! We’d really appreciate feedback from you guys :)

Coca-Cola Cupcakes- A Cozy Kitchen

15 Aug

A Cozy KitchenACozyKitchen.com is a wonderful place to find the most unique and delectable recipes. Adrianna, writer and chef, likes to bake and cook grown-up versions of what she used to eat as a kid. Adrianna definitely makes her readers feel as if they are in her cozy kitchen, smelling and tasting her oh-so-good creations.

Make sure to know what Adrianna is up to:

Worthy Blog: ACozyKitchen.com

Facebook: A Cozy Kitchen

Twitter: @acozykitchen

I don’t drink coca-cola. But I do eat it. Weird. Yeah, I dunno.

It’s way better eaten. Let’s take a look, shall we?

There’s some dark and white sugar cooked with dark dutch processed cocoa powder…and a can of coke! Your kitchen will smell all sorts of delicious.

There’s some the ol’ that pouring into this and this pouring into that. No biggie.

There’s some mixing. No equipment needed. This is an old school kind of recipe. 


Take a little PAM and spray the liners–this is a sticky cupcake batter. Then the usual 3/4 of the way fill up in your cupcake liners.

UPDATED TIP ALERT: A few of you tried this recipe and sprayed them and the cupcake still stuck. Using foil liners should fix this problem. If you don’t have ‘em just know that the cupcake will stick a little. They’re still awesome.

And then the normal baking.


This frosting isn’t frosting–it’s just whipped cream. I had plans on a coca-cola buttercream, but my inability to plan properly (read: leave the butter out), forced me to improvise.

And guess what? I kinda dig whipped cream as frosting. I might be doing this mistake on purpose next time.

Next, cherries on top!

P.S. Why are maraschino cherries so cute looking, but so gross tasting. WHY? Someone needs to fix that.

Coca-Cola Cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Baked: The New Frontier

Yields 15 cupcakes

Print this recipe!

Cupcakes:
2 cups Coca-cola (do not use diet!)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

Whipped Cream Frosting:

1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Maraschino cherries (for topping)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of the cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, heat the Coca-cola, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy–do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners/tin and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until medium peaks form. Transfer to pastry bag with a 5B star tip. In a circular motion, pipe on whipped cream and top with one cherry.

Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Squash Blossoms–BetsyLife

13 Aug

Although much of BetsyLife‘s blog revolves around cooking, for her, it’s really more about trying new things and creating something from nothing. Betsy, Southern California local, sees her cooking and photography as sort of a quick gratification work of art. She starts with nothing, and shortly thereafter, she has created something! That’s really what drives Betsy. She is a huge believer in the notion that something really great could be around that next corner, you just have to go out and find it. She loves interacting and sharing ideas with other bloggers in hopes of learning something new that will enrich her life, and that she can then turn around and share with her readers in the hopes that someone else will gain something as well.

Betsy actively working on her Seasonal Potluck, something that her and a friend have started not only to learn about cooking with fresh ingredients and trying new recipes, but also as a forum to connect with others who share their love of food. Alongside being a chef, Betsy is also  a painter and a visual artist, BetsyOriginals, and she is hoping to teach herself to knit in the next couple weeks just for the hell of it!
Check out what Betsy is up to:
Worthy blogs:  BetsyLife and BetsyOriginals
Facebook: BetsyLife Page
Twitter: @betsylife
Here is one of her delicious recipes:

Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Last Saturday I walked over the farmers market with my friend, Jen. The only thing I really had in mind to buy was some flowers (they always have the most amazing selection from the Carlsbad flower fields), and figured I’d scope the selection to see what else looked good. As we perused the stalls, I wound up with some blueberries, an eggplant, and some onions. Then, we rounded the corner and I spotted the squash blossoms. I was stoked! I’d seen people make stuffed squash blossoms on TV before but never had access to them to try it for myself. As I busted out my cash to buy some, Jen said, “what the hell are you going to do with those?!” Little did she (or I) know, they make and awesomely tasty afternoon snack!

I read a bunch of recipes online, but wound up just using a bunch of stuff I had around the house, including fresh herbs from my THRIVING herb garden!

Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms

1/4 c. ricotta cheese

1 T. thyme

1 T. oregano

1 T. parsley

1 T. Sage

1 c. vegetable oil

eggs

milk

cornmeal

1 t. baking powder

squash blossoms, as many as you’d like to make


Ok, I didn’t really measure anything. I just chopped up a bunch of herbs and mixed ‘em in a few large spoonfuls of Ricotta until it looked really “herby”


Carefully spoon the cheese mixture into the squash blossoms. Beat the eggs together with a splash of milk (I used 2 eggs for 5 blossoms and that was way too much). On a plate gently toss together the cornmeal and baking powder.


Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, dip each squash blossom into the egg mixture, then immediately into the cornmeal mixture. Shake off any loose crumbs. Fry the blossoms in oil until they are golden.


Oh boy, these were good. We dipped ours in sriracha, but I can imagine a million possibilities! I think they’d be good stuffed with goat cheese or queso fresco. I think they’d also be good dipped in a spicy tomato sauce or something similar! I’m definitely heading back to the market on Saturday to see if I can get some more and experiment further!

Nicole by OPI Something About Color Collection–Sassy Fashionista

11 Aug

Alana is sassy gal from a small town in New Hampshire. She has always been a tid bit obsessed with makeup ever since she was six-years-old and found herself applying a ridiculous neon pink lipstick.

When the Sassy Fashionista graduated high school, she immediately left and went to College in Boston for Journalism. While there, her love of all things beauty-related grew. Alana worked in television briefly for a style segment. While it was exciting, her true passion was still in writing.

In 2007, Alana moved back to New Hampshire and created a small style blog, Sassy Fashionista, to release her pent up love of new products, and hatred of hideous trends that were simply unflattering. Since then, she has become more involved with makeup. The fashionista became a certified beauty advisor in 2008, and has continued along happily writing about her one true love: style. As a fun fact: @sassyalana owns more than 100 lip glosses. You can definitely say that she is dedicated to her craft! Alana loves to write about hideous fashion faux pas, but she also enjoys helping her readers find the perfect products and outfits for any and all occasions.

You can catch the Sassy Fashionista not only on her blog but  in Applaud Women magazine where she writes various fashion and beauty articles on a freelance basis.

Make sure to check out the Sassy Fashionista :

Facebook: Sassy Fashionista

Twitter: @sassyalana

Worthy Blog: Sassy Fashionista

Nicole by OPI Something About Color Collection

Nicole by OPI has some fab new shades just in time for fall.  The four new hues are superb and very unique.  The colors are perfect for the summer to fall transition.  Per usual, the names of the polishes are what really get me excited!!! Here’s the rundown:

Green up your Act– This shade is an olive green with a hint of blue to it.  It’s kind of murky-looking, but for some reason, I’m utterly addicted to it. It seems to be taking over as this seasons “greige” (gray-beige) neutral.  The color looks scary at first, but it’s actually quite flattering on most skintones.  This is a color that will be all over the place this fall and starting with your nails is a great way to get a jump start on the color trend. The finish is smooth and gorgeous, with an almost creamy quality to it.

Sounds Grape to me–  Definitely more of a “raisin” color, than anything resembling other grape-colored polishes I own.  That said, I really like the color.  I might hold off until fall to bust this one out, but wine is always a good color to wear.  While it’s still warm out, rock the color on your toes.  As it gets a bit cooler, pack up your pretty pastel polishes and use this as a basic go-to polish for your fingers.

It’s Not Me, It’s Blue–  The prettiest periwinkle polish I’ve ever laid eyes on!  This color is by far my fave of the collection.  The color is difficult to explain.  It definitely has a periwinkle base, but it also has more gray than you would expect. Normally, I’d consider periwinkle more of a spring color, but the gray adds depth and a darker quality that is perfect for the upcoming colder months.

I Love You Cherry Much–  This hue is a bright, sparkly red that I think is actually quite seasonless.  You can wear this polish all-year-round for a glitzy, glam look.  The red has some cooler undertones to it, hence the “cherry” desciprion in the title.  I’d say that’s pretty accurate.  And being such a huge fan of red polishes, I can already tell that this will be one of my new fave reds of all time!

The collection is absolutely to die for!  Each polish retails for under $8 and is available in August 2011 only at select Target locations and at Target.com.

The Vegan Challenge–Ticklepea

10 Aug

Ever wonder what it would be like to be vegan? Are you an aspiring vegan or do you think it’s impossible? To meat-loving carnivores, this lifestyle is unattainable and unimaginable! But to others, with a little thought an creativity, this can be a fun challenge! Lindy, writer of the blog, Ticklepea, took the challenge and went full vegan for a week! In this contribution, she speaks about her efforts on the first two days of this challenge. If you’re wondering if she completed the challenge and her thoughts about it all, make sure to catch up on the rest of her week on her blog, Ticklepea or her Twitter,  @ticklepea.

The Vegan Challenge: Days One and Two

So I said that one of my goals for this month was to eat vegan for a week, and in the spirit of getting things done this month I thought I would start this week. So here we go, days one and two…

Day One

Breakfast was muesli and soya milk plus a vitamin tablet. Whilst I try to have a vitamin tablet everyday anyway I figured it would be particularly important whilst I’m playing around and restricting my diet. And here is where I encountered my first problem- muesli isn’t vegan. The one I buy has whey protein in it which is derived from cows milk. However I only brought this pack of cereal last week so I would feel very frivolous buying a replacement hence- it stays I’m afraid.

Lunch was some spicy lentil soup and a pitta bread with a handful of cherries and a couple of satsumas. I snacked on cashew nuts whilst a work and all in all was feeling quite pleased with myself until I got home, read the soup packet and realised that it wasn’t vegan either!

For dinner I made southern fried quorn style burgers in a pitta with tomato, cucumber, salad and reggae reggae relish with a side of peas. This was a) very scrummy b) I think it’s possible that I believe every meal is better with peas and c) yet again not vegan. Quorn isn’t vegan, much to my surprise, which at the end of my first day left me realising how difficult this would be. I thought I had been really good in my food choices but to eat a truly vegan diet you have to cut out much more than the obvious meat, fish, milk, cheese and yogurt, it would seem that most things are off the menu. Day two was going to require a lot more planning methinks!

Day Two

So breakfast was a repeat of yesterday since this is pretty much my staple breakfast regardless. I’m using un-sweetened soya milk at the moment and I’m surprised how much I’ve liked it. I can chug back a carton of the vanilla flavoured soya in a day it’s so delicious but I’ve always been a bit suspicious of the un-sweetened version. Possibly because my Mum hates soya milk and gave me a lasting suspicion of it as a child! Despite the fact my cereal isn’t completely vegan I’ve made the switch to soya milk and some change is better than no change!

For lunch I made myself a large couscous salad with tomato, cucumber and carrot . This was delicious mostly because I’ve discovered that if you make couscous with vegetable stock rather than just water it makes it taste 10 times better. No seriously you should give it a try! And this was a 100% vegan so score one for me! Though out the day I snacked on my vegan banana bread, which I rave about on here regularly and some dried fruit as well.

For dinner I made this lentil and spinach soup which I know is 100% vegan because I made it from scratch! Whilst this doesn’t look particularly nice it tasted pretty good and was fully of nutrients from the spinach.

I think I’m going to christen this week ‘vegan light’. I will try my best to eat as vegan as I possibly can but I’ve been surprised how difficult this really is. Hopefully later in the month I will learn from this and be able to try a week eating completely vegan.

Have you ever tried changing your diets my friends? How successful were you?

Lindy xxx

Amy Winehouse and rehabbing the stigma of substance abuse– FemThreads

8 Aug

FemThreads explores, critiques and celebrates feminism and fashion in the 21st century. The nine contributors offer a feminist analysis of news and culture, and explore the ways to define and play with personal style – which means they will sometimes give a serious critique of the latest trends.

One of FemThreads’ (@FemMonster) contributor and writer of this article, Meg Wiegand, didn’t realize “feminist” wasn’t a dirty word until she fled her conservative hometown for that bastion of academic liberalism, The Ohio State University. In her free time, Meg runs long distances, knits square things and geeks out about music. An Ohio expat, Meg’s lived in Taiwan, China, Missouri and—currently—DC(ish). She still has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up (suggestions welcome).

FemThreads is a fantastic blog to peruse while still getting your pop culture fix. We know that we’ve definitely become an addict and are confident you will too! This contrition is a heartfelt look on the changing reactions towards Amy Winehouse after her death. A definite Honorable Mention.

Make sure to check out

Worthy Blog: FemThreads

Facebook: FemThreads

Twitter: @FemMonster

Amy Winehouse and rehabbing the stigma of substance abuse

JULY 23, 2011
by femthreads

I’d wager that Amy Winehouse fans – casual or otherwise – had a similar reaction to the 27-year-old singer and fashion muse’s death: tragic but not entirely unexpected. You’d only need to listen to a few tracks off her brilliant 2006 album Back to Black to know that Winehouse’s demons were the crux of her too-short existence.


Winehouse’s struggles with drugs, alcohol and mental illness became as much of a part of her identity as her black eyeliner and beehive hair. Her personal battles were relentlessly demonized in all-caps headlines splashed across the front page of tabloids and celebrity gossip websites.

We rolled our eyes when she was arrested – yet again – for drugs, assault or whatever trouble she found that day. We chuckled at yet another disastrous live performance caught on YouTube while quietly willingBack to Black producer Mark Ronson to dust her off and drag her into the studio for another round of that soulful, hip-hop-infused blues-rock we all craved – like in “Love is a losing game.”

Perhaps we owe it to Winehouse to take a step back and consider the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on our friends, families, neighbors, co-workers – and how these struggles are stigmatized by media and society. We run marathons for lymphoma, wear red for heart health and convince pro athletes to don pink cleats for breast-cancer awareness. What about depression? Eating disorders? Alcohol abuse?

We loved Winehouse for her unapologetic honesty and her take-no-prisoners attitude. But addiction and mental illness are far from easily conquered for even the strongest among us with a hearty support network. Now as we’re left to shudder when Rehab pops up on our playlists, let’s start reconsidering how we view substance abuse and mental illness before we lose another star, famous or otherwise.

–By Meg Wiegand

 

 

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