Style Icon: Dame Zaha Hadid

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It’s been almost 2 weeks since the Dame Zaha Hadid has passed away and I still am in shock!!!

It’s not often an architect makes international headlines…But this Iraqi/British architect was often part of controversies. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Award for architects.. Some of her unforgettable works include the London Aquatics Centre (used in the 2012 Summer Olympics), the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany, China’s Guangzhou Opera House, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, and the Riverside Museum in Glasgow.

In addition to her breathtaking buildings, she designed furniture, cutlery, shoes and jewelry with a similar modern aesthetic in mind, most recently she designed a beautiful cuff (thats on my wish list!) in partnership with the Danish firm Georg Jensen shown below.

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I must say that what I loved most about her was her style!! I thought (and still do think) that it was as unique as her designs and architecture … She was a fan of fashion designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, and Miuccia Prada…. She could be spotted in the front row of Christopher Kane shows during London Fashion Week .. she loved the fashion world and the fashion world loved her back!. Her many friends and fans included Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, and Karl Lagerfeld, who held his Chanel Resort 2016 show in her DDP building in Seoul.

“I like things that when you wear them, the form becomes very different from when it’s flat. I was fascinated first by Yohji Yamamoto and his asymmetry, or Comme des Garçons in the ’80s. There is a connection between architecture and fashion because of the way the body is placed within that space. I’m interested in fashion because it’s the immediate thing that shows you the temper of a particular moment”.

I personally loved seeing her in black capes, particularly ones by Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake…

What a great loss! May you RIP Zaha.

Ralph Lauren’s The Polo Bar brownie

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There’s no doubt that Ralph Lauren is an arbiter of classic American style, and now the same can be said about classic American cuisine, too. Since opening The Polo Bar in New York City at the end of 2014, Lauren has been responsible for one of the hottest tables in NY. Many of the restaurant’s comforting yet elevated dishes have been vetted by the designer himself. The restaurant’s eponymous brownie is quite popular. Made with decadent Valrhona chocolate and topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, it embodies the wholesome yet indulgent ethos that the iconic designer stands for… I wanted to share this recipe because my kids love brownies and we make them for school sales all the time…. I haven’t tried this one yet but I can’t wait to do so soon… let me know if anyone of you out there tries this one out😉

Ingredients (serves 12)
680g Valrhona Caraibe 66 per cent chocolate
340g butter
1,020g brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
10 eggs
90g Valrhona cocoa powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
255g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
350g walnut halves, cut into 4 pieces
200g Valrhona 70 per cent chocolate, chopped

Method
In a bain-marie, melt the Caraibe chocolate and butter. Keep it over hot water until ready to use. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the melted chocolate mixture with brown sugar – the mixture will look separated. Mixing on medium speed, add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, slowly, to emulsify. It will still look separated. As you add the last egg, the mixture will all of a sudden turn into a beautiful, smooth and shiny mix. Mix for a further 90 seconds. This last bit of mixing adds some volume to the eggs, which assists in developing the beautiful crackly crust that is the hallmark of an awesome brownie. Add the cocoa powder, salt, flour and baking powder, mixing by hand until almost combined. Stir in the walnuts and chopped chocolate just to combine. Bake at 160°C for 45 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely. When cold, cut them into 7cm x 7cm squares. To serve, warm the brownie in the oven for 4 minutes, then dust lightly with icing sugar. Place in the centre of a small plate. Add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, decorate with chocolate curls and serve with warm chocolate sauce.

Book of the week: To kill a Mockingbird

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Haper Lee, the reclusive author of two books – both amongst the most controversial of their time – has passed away on Friday at the age of 89. For an author who only published two books in her life, Lee’s place in literary history is assured by the quality of the two and the effect they had on American society.

1961’s To Kill a Mockingbird is considered to be the greatest American novel. It introduced the world to Atticus Finch, a principled lawyer who defended a black man against a rape charge in rural Alabama. Most American schools today mandate Mockingbird as required reading.

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The book  was adapted into an Academy Award winning film .. Here Harper Lee is pictured with Gregory Peck, who starred in the movie and won an academy award for best actor for his role as Atticus Finch.

Artistic loft

This amazing loft apartment in Toronto, Canada is designed by Stephane Chamard agency. It used to be a Candy Factory …. I love how Stephane Chamard design their  homes….their home designs are what I always try to achieve in my homes! They always manage to turn the home they are designing into an art piece in itself!  Here for example the apartment is an art piece rather than an apartment! Everything is designed around the art … it feels like there are art pieces within art!! … not sure if I’m making any sense!! but have a look at those pictures and you’ll know what I mean!

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Am I making more sense now?

A Chic Nursery

 

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I love the way Kathy Kuo designed her daughter’s nursery in her NYC home!… She designed the nursery in away that her daughter has lots of room to grow and last till her teen years! I like how she mixed the patterns but stayed within the color scheme… The room looks so chic, not too themey, and yet very child friendly and cozy! I love it.

Super stylish home office secrets from IKEA

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One of the trends thats been around a lot lately is using one room for more than one activity. And who better than IKEA to show us how its done! I really like what they did to this studio/office …. They shared 3 helpful tips to help make this stylish work space in any home:

  1. Stick to a color palette
    Here they chose, black and white colors with natural materials like wood to give a classic, established look. By sticking to strong basics you get a much longer lasting style too.
  2.  Show off your work history
    Don’t hide your work away, display it! Even if you’re not working with vintage drafting tools and antique cameras, take some inspiration from your profession’s glory days to create a display that shows off your work and sense of style. A good way to work on displays is to make a backdrop on the wall behind using pictures of different sizes, then, stack books and boxes in front to make some height with smaller signature pieces sitting on top, like a camera for example.
  3. Make your desk a feature
    Put a big table right in the middle of the room. That way it becomes a centerpiece. You can use it as your desk when working and you can use it for other things too, like maybe mixing drinks or a dessert buffet!

A Turkish Delight!

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This apartment belongs to Sefar Caglar, owner of an interior design and architectural firm called Autoban and his wife Merve Caglar, Executive Director of an association that supports contemporary art in Turkey SAHA.

I just love this apartment…its decorated in true contemporary style, combining modern design with classic materials. Walls and partitions have been demolished to give a feel of a loft bathed in the beautiful light of Istanbul.

Sefer likes to describe his home as a”contemporary house gallery” and I agree!…You can find a carefully curated art collection and some iconic modern pieces mixed with hand made pieces!… There is so much personality in this place and you sort of read their story when you walk into this home… Sefer and Caglar show us how its done… how a house can reflect the personality and lifestyle of the people who live in it without compromising in either style or comfort!

 

 

The Glowing Green Smoothie

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I have been obsessed with my NutriBullet … it honestly isn’t like the other blenders and if you haven’t tried it yet then you really are missing out! What truly sets NutriBullet apart from the rest is its incredible extraction abilities with its exclusive Bullet cyclonic action, specialized blades and powerful motor, it converts any vegetable, fruit, nuts, and seeds into an exceptional liquid smoothie…

I have tried many green smoothie recipes and was so happy to come across Kimberly Snyder‘s Glowing Green Smoothie. Drink one GG smoothie a day – packed with fruits and vegetables – and feel the effects that real, unprocessed, nutrition-extracted whole food can have on your health and well-being… I have been feeling more energized and been feeling that my immunity is much better than before… there is no miracle here! You have to drink it everyday to see the benefits!!

Thought I’d share the GG smoothie recipe here but do try out different ones till you find one or two that you can stick to!
Ingredients
1-2 cups very cold, filtered water
¾ pound organic romaine lettuce, rough chopped, about 1 head
½ head large bunch or small bunch organic spinach
3-4 organic celery stalks, halved
1 organic apple, cored, seeded, quartered
1 organic pear, cored, seeded, quartered
1 organic banana, peeled
½ fresh organic lemon, peeled, seeded
bunch organic cilantro with stems (optional)
bunch organic parsley with stems (optional)

Instructions
Place water, romaine, spinach, celery, and optional ingredients, if using, into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
Starting the blender on a low speed, blend until smooth.
Gradually moving to higher speeds Add apple, pear, banana and lemon to the blender and blend until smooth.

Note:

Kimberly encourages to mix and match your greens and fruit. Vary this recipe with kale, chard, arugula, and the like. Just avoid melons, as they don’t combine well with other produce.

This recipe is freezable!