Friday, September 30, 2011

l'élégance du hérisson

they had me at: "madame michel has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside, she’s covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary—and terribly elegant."

do you have any hedgehogs in your life?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

raleigh denim

sarah + victor, by juli

do you ever feel inspired by your friends?  i know that i do when i slow down to really take them in.  i feel so lucky to know some really talented people like sarah and victor of raleigh denim.  i remember when they started making jeans over four years ago and turned it into a fine craft with the entire process of the jeans made by hand and sourced locally.  i recently helped work on photos for a story about how their business has continued to expand into barney's and saks as well as a move into a larger warehouse with a lovely retail space called curatory (which includes their jeans as well as well-crafted and hand-picked clothing, accessories and other items.)  the business is so personal to them and it really shows in the thought and care they put into every aspect of the process. 

details from curatory, by juli

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

fall apples

fall apples, by juli

fall reminds me of picking apples at my uncle charlie's home in alabama.  he has a small orchard on land near my grandfather's farm.  i always loved the tart, crisp apples we picked there.  i live in north carolina now where families enjoy taking a trip out to orchards in the mountains to pick heirloom apples.  we have quite a few varieties here and we just completed a story about their different uses as well as some recipes that i thought all of you might enjoy as well.  btw, if you want to look at some lovely apple books take a peek at "apples i have eaten" by jonathan gerken and "the apple lover's cookbook" by amy traverso.
from left: honeycrisp, empire and mutsu, by juli

Saturday, September 10, 2011

scenes from a life...

wembley at the union

tula mirth + pals

two artists and a bike romance

this weekend is a big one as far as music festivals go in little ol'raleigh with several awesome acts including fellow slow lifer tracy's band, wembley.  it is also a big weekend because tula mirth, at age five, is loving this kind of stuff far more than she once did.  i watched amazed as my daughter befriended an artist who was painting in the front row of the ben sollee show and actually ended up working on the painting alongside him.  she later made some new friends and convinced them to lift her onto a brick wall to dance with them to the rosebuds.  ha!  i have so much love for that girl of mine who is truly a surprise.

happy rest of weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

do you ever get tired of...

tweeting, liking, texting, blogging, tagging, emailing?  

the social remedy by farnell

 yes, me too.  and that is why i just might buy this awesome print.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

my daughter, the muse

tula mirth, age 5

i take a lot of photos of strangers and really have always preferred photographing people i don't know but my daughter has kind of changed all that.  i can't just take a "snapshot" of her making some childhood milestone.  i like to approach recording her life with the same thought that i would put into any documentary project.  there she is growing, learning and being imaginative...and i am just so amazed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

nashville's imogene + willie

i just got back from a quick weekend trip to nashville, tn to visit one of my oldest, bestest friends holly. saturday, we had an amazing and cheap brunch at mas tacos in east nashville. we piddled around town the rest of the day, looking at vintage clothes and furniture.  no, i did not buy any cowboy boots.
i finally got to see imogene and willie in person after hearing about their hand-made selvage jeans for so long. i wasn't really looking for a new pair, but seeing their shop was worth the stop. check out this video...

a few styles...
hazel stretch

maggie sailor short

clyde image

Monday, July 25, 2011

vegan lemon cupcakes!

vegan lemon cupcakes 

1½ cups (6.6 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour*
1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 lemon
½ cup orange juice
cold water
6 TB canola oil
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. place paper cupcake liners in 12-cup muffin pan. set aside.

2. mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl. make sure they are thoroughly combined.

3. zest and juice lemon. set aside 1 TB juice and 1 tsp. zest for icing. place remaining lemon juice and zest in a measuring cup. add water to equal ½ cup liquid.

4. make 2 small holes and 1 large hole in the dry ingredients. pour 1 tsp vinegar in one of the small holes, pour the vanilla and lemon extracts in the second small hole, pour the oil in the large hole. don’t worry if it overflows. pour the orange juice and water/lemon mixture over everything. using a mixer, mix until batter is smooth.

5. portion out the batter in the prepared pan. bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. cool completely before icing with lemony cream cheese-ish icing.

*do not substitute bleached all-purpose. you can substitute ½ cup bread flour, 1 cup bleached all-purpose flour.

lemony cream cheese-ish icing

3 oz. tofutti cream cheese substitute
3 oz. vegan margarine
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest (for garnish)

place tofutti and margarine in bowl. whip with mixer until smooth. stop mixer. add lemon juice and 3 cups powdered sugar. mix until combined, then whip on high until icing is fluffy and spreadable. (you may need to add more powdered sugar if the icing seems too soft.) frost cupcakes and garnish with reserved zest. 

**my friend amber, of sweet girls bakery, came up with this recipe for us vegans of the world who miss a good lemon bar.  these cupcakes were just as refreshing and light as i remember the lemon bars to be in my pre-vegan days.  if you live in the raleigh area and are interested in purchasing some yummy baked goods, contact amber at

Saturday, July 23, 2011

the 5th birthday

just a handful of photos from my daughter's fifth birthday party last weekend.  she chose the theme of yellow submarine based on the old animated beatles' film which seems to be on constant rotation at our house these days.

happy weekend!

Monday, July 18, 2011

happy birthday tula mirth.

tula + mama, minutes after birth. 7.17.2006

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

                                    i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) 

my wee girl is five and i want to stop time.  it feels like everything is moving so fast and i am not savoring it enough...suddenly we are here at five when my girl's lanky legs hang down to my knees and i grunt when she sits on my lap.  i remember easily when she was so light that she fit into the crook of one arm.

happy birthday tula mirth.  you are my heart.

Friday, July 15, 2011

my kid is funny...

so funny that a couple of my friends started a twitter account for her and demanded that i start tweeting the things she says.  at first i thought it was a little crazy but it has proven to be a nice way to collect all of her quotes in one place, instead of the scraps of paper i usually record them on.  so, check out my funny kid at tula_says.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

north carolina modernism

cassilhaus designed by ellen cassilly of ellen cassilly architect

when i moved to an area in north carolina known as "the triangle" from chicago i thought i would be a little bored with the architecture.  at first glance the sprawl of homes and the fledgling skylines in the triangle cities of raleigh, durham and chapel hill were not impressive but I soon began to learn about the pockets of loveliness that are hidden all around as well as the fact that we have the largest number of modernist homes aside from l.a. and chicago.  here is just a handful of the beautiful modern homes in the area which are all designed by local architects.

shamlin residence designed by randy lanou of studio b

lanning residence designed by tonic design

the phil szostak house designed by phil szostak of szostak design

thomas and kay crowder residence designed by thomas crowder of ARCHITEKTUR

strickland-ferris residence designed by frank harmon of frank harmon architect

do you know of any hidden pockets of modernist architecture?

images: james west for cassilhaus, lanning residence, thomas and kay crowder residence and strickland-ferris residence; studio b for the shamlin residence and casey laborde for the phil szostak house.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

just splendid

jeni's splendid ice creams, a lovely cookbook filled with artisanal ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet recipes, crossed my desk a couple weeks ago and i had to bring it home.  the funny thing, of course, is that i am a vegan and will never eat many of these recipes myself but i can admire a good cookbook when i see one.  plus, there are a handful of vegan sorbets (such as the black plum and black currant lambic sorbet) that are very tempting.  the book is authored by jeni of jeni's ice creams based in columbus, oh, and she breaks the book into seasons with the winter season including a clever influenza rx sorbet which  promises to "clear nasal passages and soothe the body" with ingredients such as citrus juices, ginger, honey and bourbon.  too funny.

when i visited jeni's site i was really impressed with the presentation and was instantly drawn in by the wonderful food film about jeni's shop by george lange.  mmmm...see below.

Good Time from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams on Vimeo.

Friday, July 8, 2011

dear anonymous.

swimmer vivian lundman, 1926. chicago daily news.  courtesy of the library of congress.

thank you for the vintage bathing cap left on my desk.  it was quite a funny surprise this morning and something i have wanted for a while, actually.  i have questioned everyone i work with mercilessly and just can't seem to figure out who you might be.  so thank you.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

so many vegetables...

roasted vegetables on french bread, by juli

so i scored a csa produce box from a vacationing friend which is both awesome and intimidating because i suddenly have a handful of vegetables that need my immediate attention.  as much as i would love to venture into some new recipes, i just did not have the time or the extra necessary ingredients tonight so i opted for my favorite: roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper.  yum!  so simple, yet so good.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

scenes from a life...

fourth of july block party, by juli
when my daughter looks back on her childhood i hope my photos help her to remember just how beautiful and dear these years are to both of us...her experience and my witness to it.  we live in the moment and so often let them pass, i hope to capture whatever i can to help us both remember.  today this one is my favorite.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

father's day

here's to my short daddy, who always asks, "how's the weather up there?"

by juli

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

la domestique

last week i came across an inspiring food blog - la domestique.  each week, jess features a new seasonal ingredient.  she gives a thorough introduction on monday, 10 creative uses of the ingredient on tuesday, a featured recipe on wednesday, a "storyboard" on thursday, and final thoughts and inspirations on friday.  this week she features salad greens, and who doesn't need new salad ideas?

a few images from la domestique...

scrambled eggs and spinach
breakfast in bed

Monday, June 13, 2011

diy: terrarium

did anyone else see the segment on terrariums on this week's cbs sunday morning show?  it inspired me to do a little research on making my own indoor mini garden.  do you have any tips to share?  i'd love to hear about your experiences.
botany factory

here is a nice moss terrarium tutorial from poppytalk.

scenes from a life...

extended day pin, by juli
my daughter's last day of school was friday and she was pinned to move up in her montessori school and become a leader in class.  she was so very proud of herself and i felt honored to watch her lovely life continue to open.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

slumber party

i've had a very special food, music and friend-saturated weekend.  my band got together for a sleepover and 2-day practice.  we worked out 3 new songs, shared a few home-cooked meals, and finished it off with a gig saturday night. 

friday supper // beer-battered fish tacos with slaw, tomatillo + avocado salsa

saturday breakfast // granola, yogurt, blackberries, carrot-oatmeal cookies topped with locally hand-crafted peanut butter by big spoon roasters, counter culture coffee

saturday lunch // scrambled eggs with cheese, local sausage links, and english muffins

team breakfast, by tracy
set list, by temples of grey

Friday, June 10, 2011

the list...

tim'a at the quarry, by juli
summer to-do list (written on the back of a napkin):
- make books
-diy projects
-ice lollies
-short pants
-yummy food
-music shows

Thursday, June 2, 2011

composing the summer mix

every year i put together a summer "mixtape" for friends and i have begun compiling the choices.  my daughter came up with the brilliant "grassy grass grass" by woody guthrie and sung by elizabeth mitchell, one of our favorites when it comes to "children's music."  i just thought it was so perfect for the feeling of summer, i wanted to share it here.

what's on your summer playlist?  please share!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

tula mirth's favorite polenta

my daughter's school is putting together a cookbook for the teachers based on each child's favorite recipe.  the children were asked to illustrate the food in their receipe.  tula mirth chose polenta and i loved her cute little drawing of the polenta.

* recipe adapted from lidia lastianich's polenta via saveur.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

papers in order?

i hope you're all enjoying a restful and peaceful memorial day weekend.  it is hot here and i need a pool to go to!

here is a song for your weekend from my buddy django and his band the old ceremony.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

a front porch in summertime

my husband and i moved into our new house in november and now that warm weather is here, our favorite thing to do is sit in the rocking chairs on our wrap-around front porch.  front porches have always been important in the South, as they provide a place to catch some shade and breeze during the summertime.  before air conditioning, the porch was often cooler than the house!

now, if we could only figure out how to keep the bugs away.

here are a few inviting front porches from around the web...

from new york times
from martha stewart
from the designer pad
from southern living

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

vintage style: athletics

we've come a long way, ladies...

1902 basketball (literally) team photo, via the society pages
1909 basketball practice, via buzzfeed
australian national swim team 1919, via sports girls play
may sutton, california tennis star, via world in sport
female giants pitcher 1913, via world in sport
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