I’ll be turning 30 this weekend, and I couldn’t be excited. I think most people morn the end of their 20’s but I’ve always been a driven, goal-oriented person and always eager to reach the next milestone. I have no fear that I’ve left anything unaccomplished and I’m very ready to set new goals and see what the next decade has to show me.
Being someone turning 30, I was born in the 80s, so, I’ve planned to celebrate this big birthday with an 80s theme party! Not the tacky, neon 80s everyone seems to recall, but the everyday-overdone glamour vibe the decade did so well. I’ve organized a sushi and champagne menu, found a mint chip cake that does not represent any colour found in nature but seems so right, dug out all of my collected or self-vintaged 80’s decor, and purchased the perfect dress.
Let me talk about the dress! I usually buy myself a new dress for my birthday party, but I normally stick to the sales and end up with a very nice dress that’s maybe not right for winter. This year, I searched for a dress that was just right and paid full price, it’s a special year after all. The dress is a little out of my mid-century style comfort zone and the cut and the fabric are not something I would typically chose, but there’s something special and undeniably me about this dress. When paired with my practice hair and makeup, it’s leaning a little 70s disco but I couldn’t be more pleased with how the look turned out!
Dress Urban Outfitters
Necklace & Earrings old
Ring family heirloom
All photos by me.
It recently came up, over dinner, that my friends had never seen The Big Lebowski. With this wrong needing to be righted as quickly as possible, we made plans to watch it together the following weekend. Of course, my husband and I informed them that White Russians were required viewing accessories. They were apprehensive about a cream based cocktail but agreed to let me push them out of their comfort zones.
There was a problem with the plan, however: I couldn’t put my money where my mouth was because I have a moderate-to-severe coffee allergy and can’t drink Kahlua. Slightly disappointed that I’ll never know what a real White Russian tastes like, I spent the past week developing a new cocktail, inspired by the classic, so I could join in with the fun.
After some research, I decided the closest swap for coffee liqueur would be chocolate liqueur. I was hoping to find a dark coloured chocolate liqueur to best mimic the look of a Kahlua cocktail, but discovered the only thing available in my area is a clear creme de cacao – so that’s what I used. I didn’t want to be creating what would be, essentially, hard chocolate milk, so I added some kirsch to make things a little more interesting. The result is a decadent, surprisingly smooth and refreshing cocktail that’s just perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Chocolate Cherry White Russian
- 1 oz vodka
- ½ oz Kirsch (or other cherry brandy)
- 1 oz creme de cacao
- 1½ oz half & half cream
- Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and stir until chilled and thoroughly combined.
- Fill an old fashioned glass with a handful of fresh ice and strain mixture over. Serve immediately.
All photos be me.
I love making macarons. I’m still tinkering with ingredients and practising my macaronage (the specific technique by which you mix your batter) and have yet to master this tricky French cookie, but I think I get a little better with every attempt. My favourite thing about making them is coming up with new flavours to try. My husband suggested a chocolate chili vibe a few months ago and I recently realized it would be perfect for Valentine’s Day! I had been sitting on the idea because I wasn’t quite sure how to represent each flavour. I thought about cocoa cookies, spicy jelly filling, chocolate chili chai buttercream, using a fresh chili puree to flavour the cookie, and garnishing a vanilla cookie with cayenne powder or fresh chilies but I ultimately decided to keep it simple with a bright red, spicy, cayenne powder flavoured cookie and bitter, dark chocolate ganache filling. The result is a slightly sweet, seductively spicy, adult cookie.
I used Hisako Ogita’s basic macaron recipe from I Love Macarons and added 1 tsp cayenne powder to the dry ingredients and a whole lot of red gel food colouring to the wet ingredients before mixing. I garnished with cocoa powder after piping the cookies onto silicon baking mats. Bitter ganache is shockingly simple to make, here’s how I do it:
- 100 ml whippingcream
- 3½ oz unsweetened baking chocolate
- Finely chop the chocolate and place in medium bowl with a tea towel underneath to protect your countertop.
- Bring whipping cream to a soft boil in a small pot.
- Pour the hot cream into the bowl with the chocolate and stir until the ganache is glossy.
- Cool to room temperature before spreading between cookies. Reheat using a double boiler if it becomes too cold to spread.
All photos by me.
I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who is organized enough to own a favourite piece of clothing in multiple colours. I never seem to be on the ball enough to go back and grab the same style in a second hue or print after falling in love with the first. I’ve also always wondered, while watching others do it, if this makes good wardrobe building sense.
I bought this skirt from ModCloth a couple of years ago, in yellow, and immediately loved it. I love the colour, the cut, the way it moves and the way I can style it to suit every season. I get compliments nearly every time I wear it and it’s always the first thing I toss in my suitcase when packing for an adventure. I’ve already had to mend it twice and will be utterly heartbroken when it dies.
I’ve been aware since I bought the skirt – and agonized over the colour choices – that ModCloth sells the style in a rainbow of colour options. I’ve kept the notion that I might buy it again tucked in my back pocket but never thought I would pull the trigger; the fashion world is so vast and life’s too short to explore the same place twice, right? But then I saw my beloved skirt on sale, in red, and decided to see what this complete collection thing was all about.
Let me say, I’m so glad I did. I love this skirt as much as the first! The neat thing is, I already know exactly how to wear it… because I sort of already owned it. It seem to me to make good sense when assembling a wardrobe, even on a budget. You know it’s going to work with your overarching style, and match the other pieces already in your collection, because you’ve previously tested it. The longevity of the new investment seems solid too. The risk of the new piece falling out of style or you falling out of love with it are low when the rewards of old one have been so great.
I think I’ve been converted to this way of thinking and shopping. Maybe I’ll become one of those people with the gorgeously curated closet holding a full rainbow of their favourite pieces.
Stockings What Katie Did
All photos by me.