Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Scottish Engagement

I am loving these Scotland engagement photos by Jessica Claire
The shoot was done in Edinburgh and when looking at the photos on her website I immediately fell in love with that historical city all over again.
And I love the kilt. 
Few things are more impressive than a guy who can rock a kilt. 

If you had a destination engagement photo session where would you chose?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reliving Memories in Black and White

I want to be wearing this...

While walking along this... 

While doing this ...

I have this memory that I can't shake. I'm in Paris standing atop the steps in Monmartre.
I remember feeling overwhelmed by the beauty of Paris, the Sacre-Coeur, and the artists around me.
Nothing really significant happened except for the distinct feeling that being in that exact spot would stay with me forever.

Hopefully when I go back to that place in Monmartre I'll be dressed in glamorous attire and holding hands with my true love.
Can you believe he's never been out of the country? We need to change that, stat!

dress, shoes, coat
Paris image by Brassai, 1933
Kissing image via here

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Weekend in Black and White

Basically this weekend I hung out with my awesome nephew. 
Well, him and his awesome parents, grandparents, and uncle, Mr. Branflake.
Speaking of Mr. Branflake- doesn't he have the hugest hands ever?
Very convenient for giving hour long back rubs while watching episodes of 30 Rock on DVD.
One day we'll have little Branflakes of our own that he'll hold with those massive hands.  

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Elegant Dancing Branflake Thanksgiving Dinner Party

Do you remember a time when dinner was an occasion and you had to dress up for it, hence the term dinner jacket?
And a holiday dinner?
That was The Occasion where you certainly dressed to the nines
(you would not want the main course to look fancier than you. Ha!)

The Decor
I love the hanging chandelier, flowing window treatments, and curved candle sticks.
From Elle Decor

The Menu
Presentation is everything.
Roasted baby pumpkins, Crown Roast of Pork and Rosemary, Carmelized Apple, Onion, and Gruyere Tarts, Butternut Squash and Apple Soup , Roasted Potatoes with Sea SaltPumpkin Creme Brulee

What I'm Wearing
Clutch, dress, earrings, perfume, shoes

The Favor
I love this elegant twist on the classic caramel dipped apple.
Let guests take a glistening box of these back to their maisons.

I hope you have an elegant day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Traditional Dancing Branflake Thanksgiving Dinner Party

Families, countries, and friendships are rooted by tradition.
Sometimes it's tempting to break away from tradition. 
Mr. Branflake and I jetted off to a romantic getaway last Thanksgiving
but we found ourselves at the fanciest restaurant in Monterey eating turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.
So although traditional things may be boring to some I think Thanksgiving is a way for us to tip our feathered hats toward these wonderful traditions.

The Decor
This is the most traditional Thanksgiving setting I could find.
Rustic, elegant, and a clear celebration of the harvest.
Photo from Martha Stewart

The Menu
does not get any more traditional than this.
If you want an amazing stuffing recipe just tweet or email me and I'll send it to you.
My family loves it and I make it every year.
Images from Williams Sonoma-
Green beans, turkey, stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie

What I'm Wearing
I love the classic look of lockets, sweetheart necklines, feathered hats, and leather gloves.
Classy and simple.
Locket, dresshat glovescuffclutchshoes

The Favor
I just don't think we decorate enough Thanksgiving cookies.
I think I need to start this new tradition.
From Beaucoup

Do you embrace traditions?
For all my friends not in the U.S.:
I promise if you invite me over I will cook a huge traditional Thanksgiving meal for you- any time of year.
I promise.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Outfit Idea: Brown and Black

I was always told there were two rules about wearing black:
1. Don't wear it with blue.
2. Don't wear it with brown.

Oprah's stylist recently announced that it's okay to wear blue shoes with a black dress and now I'm announcing that it's okay to wear brown anything with black everything.
(Because, you know, I have as much pull and influence as Oprah and her team of two thousand.)

I don't know if you remember, but I wore this dress last Thanksgiving when Mr. Branflake and I went on our getaway to Monterey and had a fancy schmancy dinner at a restaurant where I still won't tell him how much it cost (it was a surprise gift from me. Go here and here to read all about it).

This time I added the black tulle slip, the black sash, and the black booties.
I forgot, though, the gold diamond cuff, my wedding ring, and a statement necklace to add a little more zing to the outfit. We were in a hurry and were losing light so I kind of just forgot about accessories all together.

But you get the idea: brown and black is okay. (I hope)

What are your feelings about brown and black?
Brown and blue?
dress: Ross?, shoes: DSW, clutch: Macys, slip and sash: Banana Republic

Friday, November 18, 2011

Real Talk

1. I had the worst cramps yesterday. 
Hollie of (And Baby Makes Three tweeted me to tell me I should take B vitamins. 
What are your cures for cramps? 
My cramps were the 'grab the table and wait for the spasms to pass' type of cramps 
that lasted until I taught my last ballet class of the night. 
Not fun for me or my students.

2. Last night at Jack in the Box at 10 pm I ordered jalapeno poppers, a hamburger, curly fries, and churros.
I held back and did not order the cheese sticks although I should have. 

3. After Jack in the Box I came home at 11:10 pm and the first thing Mr. Branflake said to me was 
"Do you want to see a galaxy?!" 
He was out in the backyard with his fancy telescope (he was an astronomy major in college) 
and couldn't wait to show me the Andromeda Galaxy. 
It was the perfect way to end the night.

4. I love Chuck Norris.
image via my Pinterest Board.
Are you Pinning?

Have a wonderful Friday.
Do you have anything real you want to talk about?
Let it loose!
(Unless you want to be mean to me, then you can hold your roll or else I might stick Chuck Norris on you.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Don't Even Know Where to Begin

Ladies in gentlemen, I'm in a little trouble by Mr. Branflake.
What did I do?
It's more of a question of what I didn't do.
I mean, I don't do a lot of things I should; like put away my shoes or eat breakfast,
but this one has really put him in a tizzy and I need your help to get me out of it.

I promised him that I would have a slide show done of all my Scotland/England pictures.
It was supposed to be done by September. He set a new deadline to November 1st
and I honestly haven't even started.
He knows this and still loves me (I think) but I really really have no clue where to begin.

I mean, I was obsessed with everything there so I have pictures of basically everything I saw.
Believe me when I say that all the photos I've posted so far are just a tip of the gigantic iceberg. 
I was there for a month;
I took photos of basically everything I ate, every monument I saw, and every man in a kilt.

No, he's not in a kilt but that would be funny if he were!

So, to all my blogger friends who I know are big time travelers and photo takers: 
Have you ever done a slide show for your friends and family?
If so, what software/format/organizational things did you use?
Do you include the artistic photos are just the ones you think showcases your trip the best?

Please help a highly disorganized woman out!
My goal is to get this done by Thanksgiving to show my family so I have exactly one week .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cotton Candy Cake

If you know me then  you know that my favorite candy is of the cotton variety, or floss if you're British.
(I can easily eat an entire bag of it at a baseball game. Why else do I go to baseball games?)
So when I saw this cake on Pinterest last week I told Mr. Branflake 
"We need to have another wedding reception and this needs to be our cake." 
Smart man he is, he said "Why don't we throw you a big birthday party and this will be your cake?"

Well played, Mr. Branflake. Well played.

Cake by the amazing Heather Baird from Sprinkle Bakes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dancers Go Shopping... and Get Weird Looks

Jordan Matter, the mastermind of the great photography series, Dancers Among Us, has once again reminded us that no matter where dancers are, what we do, or who we are with, we are always dancers.

Especially while Christmas shopping in New York.

Are you excited for Christmas shopping?
Nothing gets me warm inside like being surrounded by fairy lights and holiday music.
(I thought I would post this at the beginning of the holiday season to give you a little pep in your step before the madness begins...)

I first blogged about this series over a year ago. How time flies!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Glorious Food Moment: Red Velvet

All these red velvet recipes are so beautiful and creative I think they each deserve their own post. 
But I'm not a patient person and I couldn't wait to share them all with you.
I mean, a Nutella and Red Velvet dessert?
Sharing is caring!

The classic red velvet by Bakerella, the best baking blog in my opinion.

Red velvet donuts by Taste and Tell.
I love donuts, I love red velvet and I can't stop thinking about this.

Red velvet trifle by My Recipes.
Can you say perfect holiday dessert?

Red velvet whoopie pies by Let's Dish.
Perfect holiday gift.

Red velvet brownies by Smells Like Home.
Just like the cake but more portable so you can eat them anywhere, including the gym.

Red velvet cake balls by The Velveteen Baker.

Red velvet cheesecake by The Willow Bird Baking

And last but certainly not least....

Red velvet Nutella cake in a jar via Babble.
In. Love.

Will you be baking red velvet anything this holiday season?
Have you ever smeared the red batter all over your hand to scare your husband into thinking you slashed yourself with a knife?
I hope that wasn't just me.

Friday, November 11, 2011


So, this post is really a shout out to my awesome grandfather. 

He's a U.S. veteran of World War II.
He likes gardening, taking long walks, and Burger King Whoppers.
He also likes movies so violent my skin crawls as I overhear someone getting hacked into pieces.
He owned a mechanic shop in Oakland and for a while was the main mechanic of the Black Panthers.
In his heyday he built hot rods from scratch and still thinks American cars are the best.
He doesn't say much but basically charms the pants off of everyone he meets.
He's 94 years old and is quite possibly the cutest man on earth.

To all my U.S. friends:
I hope you get an opportunity to show some love to a veteran today.

image taken a few years ago in DC

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cutie Pies!

How adorable are these pie recipes?
There's something so comforting about pies with their the warm insides and buttery crusts.
It got bitter cold here in Northern California almost overnight.
I might just have to make some pie pops in celebration.

by Testado, Provado, and Aprovado

by Twig and Thistle

by Bakerella

Hello, Pie Season!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

City Love

I am in love with these 'City Love Prints' by Etsy artist Megan Nolton. 
She captures all the big cities such as Portland, London, Dublin, and Boston. 
Such a sweet way to remember a romantic getaway or give as a gift to a pair of lovebirds. 



San Francisco



What one would you buy?
(I'd buy the Dublin one because Mr. Branflake is Irish and we've always wanted to go there.)