6 Rooms Mixing Matte and Metallic

Norm Architects | Like Fresh Laundry

Erica Tanov | Like Fresh Laundry

Bodie and Fou | Like Fresh Laundry

Black, marble and brass via Michitecture | Like Fresh Laundry

Brass cabinets | RUM magazine | Like Fresh Laundry

Homework architectural design | Like Fresh Laundry

Rooms with enormous hits of metallic have the potential to go a little Liberace, but when they’re done with restraint they can also be completely stunning. These spaces mix shiny surfaces with plenty of matte materials, letting the statement metallics shine. (Pun intended.) I’m in love with the look!

We live in a rental so remodels are tough, but the right accessories would lend a similar feel in smaller doses. My picks are below. The metal pieces would patina over time, which is a nice added bonus.

Metalic and Matte | Like Fresh Laundry

Items: sage smudge / pillow / ice cream scoop / scissors / bowl / cutting board / bottle opener / throwsugar and creamer

Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

 

Suji Halwa

Suji Halwa | Like Fresh Laundry

My mom said suji halwa (pronounced soo-jee hull-vuh) is more of a holiday dessert (often for festivals like Diwali), but to me it’s an “anytime my mom or anyone else who knows how to make it will make it” treat.

For those who are unfamiliar, it’s made from semolina flour, the same type used to make cream of wheat. I’ve also heard the dish described as semolina pudding, which seems about right, although the halwa I’ve typically encountered has a denser consistency than most pudding I’ve tried. It’s rich and buttery and I’ve pretty much always loved it.

My mom was in town for the holidays so I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity and have her share the recipe. It was the only Indian dish I asked her about that didn’t take an hour and a half to prepare. In fact, it’s done in less than 20 minutes! So it’s an all-around winner.

Suji Halwa | Like Fresh Laundry

Suji Halwa | Like Fresh Laundry

Suji Halwa | Like Fresh Laundry

Ingredients

  • 1 cup suji (semolina flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter*
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoons almond slivers
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon pistachios, for garnish

*Note that the recipe generally calls for 8 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter), so if you keep ghee on hand, go for it. I don’t, so we used regular butter instead. And since I figured I’d end up eating a lot of the batch myself (as per usual), I opted for 5 tablespoons instead of 8, which makes for the yummy, more crumbly texture shown here.

Servings: 4

Instructions

  1. Crush cardamom pods with mortar and pestle to separate the pods from the seeds. Set aside.
  2. Add 2 cups water, plus sugar and cardamom pods (not seeds) to saucepan on medium-high heat. Let water come to a full boil, stirring occasionally to ensure sugar melts into the water. Then reduce heat to medium-low and let it continue to boil gently.
  3. In a large frying pan, dry roast suji on medium heat until light brown and fragrant, stirring constantly. This will take 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add butter, cardamom seeds and 1 tablespoon almonds to frying pan and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes until the butter is fully incorporated into the semolina, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce saucepan heat to low and remove cardamom pods. Slowly add water-sugar mixture to frying pan little by little (since it will sizzle), stirring often. Continue to cook and stir for 2 to 4 minutes. It’s done when the water is absorbed and the halwa mixture separates in a mass and leaves some butter visible at the sides of the pan.
  6. Let cool just a tad and scoop into dishes. Then crush pistachio with mortar and pestle and use it to garnish, along with remaining almond slivers.

 

Last-Minute Holiday Tablescapes

 

Holiday Table Decor | Like Fresh Laundry

It is officially the eleventh hour. It’s an hour I know pretty well. I feel like I’ve been getting emails that say stuff like “last chance!” and “OMG get on it” and “forget it, IT’S ALL OVER NOW” for the past week or more, but they didn’t affect me much because I knew it wasn’t really true.

Now, though, is definitely go time. We decided against gifts again this year (it’s all grown-ups in our household), but if I want to pull together a festive holiday table, that has to happen today. And I do! No one in our family really sweats that kind of thing, so there’s no pressure. But everything feels better to me with some sprucing up, and some of the best ideas are often the simplest. So I say, why not.

If you’re in a similar boat, here’s a roundup of clean, elegant tablescape inspiration that incorporates layered neutrals, streamlined foliage and plenty of thoughtful touches.

Holiday Table Decor | Like Fresh Laundry

Cheesecloth = tablecloth. Lovely and so smart.

Holiday Table Decor | Like Fresh Laundry

Cute to send each guest home with a bouquet of herbs. Plus, they make a really pretty place setting.

Holiday Table Decor | Like Fresh Laundry

Tonal tableware really goes a long way, as does a tall vase with flowering branches.

Holiday Table Decor | Like Fresh Laundry

A tonal palette also works so well in a self-service spread. Stacks of dishes, pitchers and vessels of varying sizes add height and dimension.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Deck the Walls

Parabo Press | Like Fresh Laundry

Parabo Press | Like Fresh Laundry

Parabo Press | Like Fresh Laundry

Our (not so new anymore) apartment is coming along nicely, but wall decor is one area that still eludes us. We have more blank walls than I’d care to admit. I think it’s because artwork feels permanent to me, and it also tends to be a pretty big investment. So when my friend Janette reached out and offered to send a print my way from the newly-launched, affordable photo-printing service Parabo Press, I was more than happy to try it out.

And I’m so glad I did! As you can see, I’m happy to report our bedroom wall finally got some love. We chose a picture we took from our trip to Bavaria and it brings back fond memories whenever I see it.

So the crazy part of the whole deal — this “Engineer Print”, they call it, is 4’x3′ (for reference, we have a Cal king bed), and it goes for $25. How’s that for affordable? And since framing can sometimes be a whole ordeal in and of itself, they have alternative options there too. What you see here are the large “skeleton clips”. I used these to secure the print and sidestep framing altogether.

You can find their whole range of options, greeting cards, hardcover photo books, and more, on the Parabo Press site. If you have any too-bare walls or images waiting to be printed, hop over and take a peek.

Print and clips courtesy of Parabo Press.

Barcaggio Beach, Corsica

Barcaggio Beach, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Barcaggio Beach, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Barcaggio Beach, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Barcaggio Beach, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Barcaggio Beach, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

H&M dress, Joie sandals, Cuyana bag

I wore this maxi dress all around Corsica, as one does at the beach. It’s relatively old although I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it over the years (including posts here and here). Surprisingly I’m not sick of it yet and still really like it.

The print and cross back are thoughtful touches but I think the flattering square/bandeau neckline is the real reason behind its staying power. So although this dress is long gone now from the stores, I picked out some other pieces below that share the same style top. Some are classic, some are more trendy but all have that enduring straight, fitted cut.

Pear Ginger Fizz with Snowe

Pear Ginger Fizz Recipe | Snowe Drinkware | Like Fresh Laundry

I enjoy “entertaining”, although I use the term loosely. Really I just like having people over to eat and drink and hang out at our place, whether we’re actually cooking or just ordering in. So, the idea of investing in high-quality drinkware has been on my radar for awhile.

Pear Ginger Fizz Recipe | Snowe Drinkware | Like Fresh Laundry

That’s why it was a welcome update when new home goods company Snowe reached out about their line. They saw there weren’t many options for well-designed, premium drinkware that doesn’t cost a ton, and they’re answering that problem. The company is direct-to-consumer, so they partner with factories themselves (no middleman) which is how they’re able to offer high-end products for less than other stores.

I really like the way the pieces look. So simple and elegant. And we’re not the type of people to have separate everyday and “fancy” glassware (they’re used for everything from wine to yogurt in our household), so the line is pretty great for us.

Pear Ginger Fizz Recipe | Snowe Drinkware | Like Fresh Laundry

Pear Ginger Fizz Recipe | Snowe Drinkware | Like Fresh Laundry

Also, here’s something I found on Instagram — the glasses can withstand this, which seems kind of nuts? I feel like if they can handle that kind of a whack, they should be able survive potential falls from our friends’ kids’ small, slippery grasp. I’m hopeful!

Check out the line here. Besides drinkware, they also offer bed and bath linens.

To take these lovely products for a spin, I thought it would be fun to share a drink recipe. So, below is the pear ginger fizz. It tastes somewhat like a pear-infused homemade ginger ale — light, refreshing and a good way to make use of the yummy pears in season.

Pear Ginger Fizz Recipe | Snowe Drinkware | Like Fresh Laundry

Pear Ginger Fizz Recipe | Snowe Drinkware | Like Fresh Laundry

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 pears, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 inches ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sparkling water

Instructions

  1. Add water, grated pear, grated ginger, vanilla extract and sugar to a large pot and boil over medium heat.
  2. Let mixture gently boil for 30 minutes until pears are soft. (Some of the water will evaporate.)
  3. Remove from heat and strain into a container.
  4. Refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.
  5. Add one cup sparkling water.

Yields four servings. Recipe adapted from The Food Network.

**This post is sponsored by Snowe. Thanks for supporting our supporters.**

French Island Life in Corsica

Cap Corse | Like Fresh Laundry

Lots of updates to share — we’re back from a trip to Corsica, Italy and Istanbul. One for the books. So first up, Corsica! I’d chanced upon images of Corsica a few times online. It had stunning beaches and the bluest water I have ever seen (so it seemed in the photos, anyway) and that’s all it really took for me to start wanting to plan a trip there. Badly.

So I convinced Chris we should go, although he didn’t need much convincing. Having now returned from the island, I can confirm the beaches are ridiculously blue and just as they appear in the pictures.

Erbalunga, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Some background — Corsica is an island off the coast of France, and a popular vacation spot for French families. But since we visited after “summer break” was over it was just us, locals, and a few French senior citizens, for the most part. Calm waters on all fronts. I’d describe Corsica as nonstop gorgeous beaches (that’s saying a lot but I don’t think it’s hyperbole here) and wild, unspoiled beauty.

Erbalunga, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Corsica is fiercely nationalistic and some Italians who visit frequently told us it has the reputation for opposing (okay, bombing) property on the island purchased by outsiders. And while the lore is probably overblown, it has contributed to preserving the natural beauty of the territory. The land is still relatively undeveloped and untouched by tourism. The whole place is cliffs after charming towns after cliffs.

The photos above were taken in Bastia, the northern tip of the island, right after we flew in and got settled at our hotel.

Cap Corse | Like Fresh Laundry

Cap Corse | Like Fresh Laundry

Cap Corse | Like Fresh Laundry

More vistas and more vistas!

Island cows on Barcaggio Beach, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

I was worried I had under packed but this was absolutely not the case in Corsica. The coast is one beach after another, so it was just swimsuits and cover ups the whole time. And on another note, check out these island cows. They just chill on the beach because why not?

Barn in Saint-Florent, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Bonifacio, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Directly above is Bonifacio, a town perched on top of sheer cliffs.

Floating, Petit Sperone beach in Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

And here is Plage du Petit Speron, one of the most celebrated beaches on the island, and one of our favorites, too. You walk for about 10 minutes, head down the steps cut into the cliffs and it opens up to a small, paradise-like cove.

Palombaggia Beach, Corsica | Like Fresh Laundry

Another favorite beach, and one of our fondest memories from the entire stay, was Palombaggia. It’s a spot everyone raves about so we were worried it would be crowded, but actually the opposite was the case! We arrived just before sunset and had the place to ourselves. The water was so still and stayed relatively shallow a ways out so we alternated between wading into the distance and taking tons of pictures when the sky turned to spectacular cotton candy colors.

7 Ways to Display Air Plants

7 Ways to Display Air Plants | Like Fresh Laundry

Air plants are just a part of life in California. They’re everywhere and are so cool and crazy-looking! And because of their freaky, wild tendrils, plus the fact that they don’t require soil (still a little mind-bending no matter how many times I see them), people around here tend to get really creative in the ways they show them off.

I did some shopping in Oakland a couple weeks ago and every boutique found a different way to display them — in dishes, on cake plates, in tiny hanging planters, even perched on top of pebbles. The possibilities are really endless for these guys since they get all their water and nutrients through their leaves.

So I got inspired to do some air plant rearranging at home. Our tillandsia, as they’re technically called, are now nestled in ceramics and a conch shell, pictured above. And in case you’re doing a little redecorating of your own, here are six more ideas to get the juices flowing. Get your driftwood and snail shells ready…

7 Ways to Display Air Plants | Like Fresh Laundry

7 Ways to Display Air Plants | Like Fresh Laundry

7 Ways to Display Air Plants | Like Fresh Laundry

7 Ways to Display Air Plants | Like Fresh Laundry 7 Ways to Display Air Plants | Like Fresh Laundry

7 Ways to Display Air Plants | Like Fresh Laundry

Images via my home, Floragrubb, Lonny, Gardenista, Mrs. Peasy, Airplantman and Remodelista

Flares

Flare jeans

Flare jeans

Flare jeans | Like Fresh Laundry

Flare jeans

AG jeans, Clare V. clutch (old, fold over clutch here, crossbody style here and messenger here), Topshop tank, J. Crew belt, Topshop jacket, Erica Tanov sandals, Ray-Bans

For much of my life I’ve had relatively modern wardrobe tendencies but as a West Coast transplant, California style has been seeping in over the years. I think my Canadian tuxedo here (and this one and actually this one, too) are telltale signs of the transition. And it’s at its peak right now — I get my most boho in the summer.

But then again, maybe we all do? It’s a slippery slope when the sun starts to comes out. First the sandals, then the flares, and before you know it you’re lounging around in crochet dresses.