Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Decisions

So it's been about a year coming, but I've made a decision to stop blogging on Lilac & Lace and move my attention to my new blog Heather Hearts.

I really hope that all of you lovely readers will continue to follow me and subscribe to my feed on my new internet home, because you all are the reason I have kept this blog going - You're my friends, I appreciate you and all that lovely dove-y stuff.  

But I feel like I need a new, fresh start and managing two blogs just wasn't going to work for me.  I started Lilac & Lace in 2009 if you can believe that, and it's been through so many changes, so many ups and downs, that I just feel it's time to let it go.  I haven't been feeling particularly inspired to blog in this space and I'm hoping a change of scenery will do the trick.

With Google reader ending soon and after reading this post from one of my favorite blogging friends Alycia, I felt like now may be the best time to start over in a new place, with a clean slate.  I won't be deleting this blog, so you can still reference your favorite burgers, ballet posts and craft tutorials and I will even be taking some of those series with me...(the boy would have a conniption if we stopped the Burger Quest!) 

I will give more details when the move is officially over but for now, check out the new blog, Heather Hearts here:

HeatherHearts.com

Thursday, March 14, 2013

LA Magazine Party


Last night I attended Los Angeles Magazine's March Issue launch party and it was the perfect example  of a chic West Hollywood rooftop party.  The people were great, the food was great (mini hamburger sliders and Sprinkles Cupcakes?  Heaven!)  And the atmosphere was one of positivity and optimism.  LA has never quite found it's footing when it comes to designer fashion, but we seem to be hitting our stride, and LA Mag's March issue is just one example of how the city is beginning to find it's way.   




Friday, March 8, 2013

Fashion Inspiration on Heather Hearts

Today I want to point you in the direction of my other blog, Heather Hearts, for a bit of 1960's television fashion inspiration courtesy of the Dick Van Dyck Show! 



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Current Makeup Must-Haves

Just a peek into my current favorite makeup products...


1.  Clinque Moisture Surge Moisturizer  2. Maybelline Falsies Mascara  3. Garnier BB Cream  
4. Bare Minerals Eyeshadow in The Hidden Agenda   5. Bare Minerals Angled Brush   
6. Revlon Balm Stain in Rendezvous   7. Nars Blush in Orgasm


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Burger Quest: Bill's Burgers

Bill's Burgers is open 8:30am - 4pm weekdays only and it's in Van Nuys, which is a fair trek from our Beverly Hills hood, so we were a little concerned about how we'd manage to fit Bill's into our quest.

However, the Boy was delighted to find himself in North Hollywood last week for a meeting, and stopped by Bill's with his work buddy for a morsel. He is convinced that by simply bullet pointing a few facts about this place he can demonstrate its greatness without too much description.

- It's been around for 45 years
- They don't do fries
- It's under a billboard for McDonalds
- Bill, 85, is still flipping the burgers

There's a sign inside that says 'This isn't Burger King. You Get It My Way or You Get It No Way'. Or something like that. The Boy doesn't take photos the way I tell him to.

The burger, at a joint like this, seems less important, but it is a pretty solid burger at that, with simply lettuce, tomato and mayo.  But it's enlivened somehow by the depth of the valley history around it and the way Bill flips the burgers on the griddle and presses his fingers into the bun he's going to deliver to you.
That's the man himself!
It's going to compete, big time, for the best joint in Los Angeles when we get round to tallying this quest into a table of results.

Long live Bill. Long live Bill's Burgers.

*Side note: I think this is a burger joint my grandmother used to take my dad and his sisters - She used to sometimes get the first burger of the day!  Glad to know Burger Questing runs in the family! 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Degas Dancers







When the boy suggested we visit the Norton Simon Art Museum in Pasadena, I thought it sounded like a fine idea, but I was completely unaware that the museum's collection included a large selection of Edgar Degas' ballerina paintings and sculptures - Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised.  

I've always been fascinated with the impressionists work.  And I'ved loved the Little Dancer of 14 Years Sculpture ever since my grandfather gave me a charm of the famous work when I was about eleven.  I even decorated one of my first apartments with nothing but Degas prints I cut out of an old art book.  

I feel privileged whenever I get to see great works of art that I admire up close and the Norton Simon museum did just that.  If you're anywhere near Pasadena, I definitely recommend a trip.  Admission is only 10 dollars and they have a myriad of amazing pieces, including works from Van Gogh and Picasso.   

Monday, March 4, 2013

Project Life

Scrapbooking has always been something I enjoy, but lately I just haven't managed to find the time for it.  So I figured I'd give Project Life a try.  It's simple, streamlined and much faster than traditional scrapbooking.  Here's a look at what I've done so far...





I have just a random assortment of pictures, so it's a bit all over the place, but I kind of like that.  I am itching to do more and stock up on more page protectors and accessories.  Looks like I've got the Project Life bug!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Easy Being Green


Thursday, February 28, 2013

3 Phrases Overused by Bloggers:


I am such a fan of other bloggers and nowadays I pretty much read blogs more than anything else.  But there are a few blog trends that, I must admit, drive me nuts!  The above three phrases top the list.  It's not so much that I find each phrase overly cute, (which I do) but that all three seem to be rampantly used in the blogisphere. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Burger Quest: The Bucket

There's nothing nicer than dragging a burger location from the 'Burger To-Do' folder on Google Earth into the 'Burger Quested' folder. And after that we turn out little wrench icon into a flame.

If you don't believe me, here's the complete Burger Map:


A few things to note: look at the size of LA County!  It's vast!  From Sonic in the North to Utro's Cafe in the South it's 62 miles as the crow flies. We're dealing with a vast and densely populated county here. There's no tougher place in America to do a burger quest. Period.

Do I seem like I'm trying to waffle to avoid talking about The Bucket burger? Well, maybe a little.  It's a meaty morsel of a burger.  The place was filled with bikers and men who looked like bikers, and the burger showed why. Their signature burger is simple, no frills, with a glob of mustard that was very unevenly distributed. The joint didn't look like a 1935 establishment, but it could probably have passed for a 1975 joint, and one that maybe Clint Eastwood would have street boxed outside with his orang-utan.

The burger didn't impress us a great deal, but showed a heck of a lot of promise. The meat was superb - juicy, chargrilled and well cooked. But there was nothing much to compliment it in the bun.  Sure, there's other burgers on their menu that may have done the trick - there's one called the Mild Cardiac and another called The Cardiac (sounds a bit scary to be honest.)  But the signature burger kept things pretty basic and low-key.

But overall, the burger was pretty good.  We may return here, but for the time being we're just delighted to drag and drop it.

The Scores:

Meatiness - 4
Succulentiousness - 2
Flavor - 3
Bun - 3
Stay Togetherness - 2
Joint - 4


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

White Pizza with Arugula


There was a time when neither the boy or myself could cook much more than pasta or a basic stirfry.  But luckily for me (and my stomach) the boy has taken to cooking like a goose takes to squawking.  And he seems to enjoy it too!  

The other night he made White Pizza with Arugula that was simply divine (though I do love just about any pizza you put in front of me.)  Here's the recipe we used from The Barefoot Contessa... Just keep in mind, this is enough for 6 personal pizzas, for the boy and I we divided everything by 3. 

Ingredients

For the dough:

1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
Good olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the topping:

3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
11 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces baby arugula
1 lemon, sliced

Directions

Mix the dough.

Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

Knead by hand.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.

Let it rise.

Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Make garlic oil.

Place 1/2 cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)

Portion the dough.

Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Stretch the dough.

Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you've chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)

Top the dough.

Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.

Make the vinaigrette.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Add the greens.

When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.

Read more at The Food Network

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Little Bit of Luck


With St. Patrick's Day coming up soon I wanted to make something in the spirit of luck.

I am lucky that I actually do come from Irish decent, and the boy is 100% pure Irish.  I know he actually finds the way Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day rather offensive, and it is terrible the way we stereotype the culture.

But looking on the bright side, I feel like St. Patrick's Day reminds me to be proud of my heritage and I do feel very lucky to be Irish!  

Plus, it's the only holiday in March and sometimes I just need a holiday.  ;)



Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Antique Asylum and other Lancaster Craziness

Remember how I said the boy and I went out to Palmdale for our Sonic Burger Quest and we sort of justified the trip out there with antique shopping?  Well here's a little look at what actually went down...
 After Sonic's we drove into Lancaster, the next town over to see a hotel that had been there since 1888.  
We saw it and we left it.  Not very much to see or report on that one, except that we can confirm that Lancaster, like Palmdale, is weird.  There were lots and lots of cars parked on the high street, but nobody actually out.  It was windy, but desolate, like a ghost town from a western, except the town has modern shops like Walmart and Target.  There was just something weird about the place.  

As far as the Antique Asylum, well there were plenty of slightly crazy people  in there and the prices on many of the items were incredibly reasonable, but selection wise it didn't quite hold up to the place in Whittier or Wertz Brothers.  Still, I'd say it was worth the trip.

I did happen to find this strange ballerina painting which I insisted we take home, I mean how can I pass something like this up, right?
But altogether, I'm not in any hurry to go back to Palmdale or Lancaster.  It was interesting enough for a one-time day trip, but to make the trek out there again anytime soon?  Well that'd be just crazy.  


P.S. You may notice some strangeness with the blog design over the next couple days....I'm messing with it and hope to have a swanky new look by the weekend.  So, sorry for the inconvenience and stay tuned for a new design to be finalized soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Burger Quest: Sonic Burgers

So many of you have probably eaten your fair share of Sonic Burgers.  This national franchise calls itself "America's Drive In" and many still have the old drive-in set up where food is brought to your car on a tray.  But there actually aren't many Sonic's in Southern California.  The closest one to us is way out in Palmdale - Which is actually just barely inside the LA county line.  It's far and required more than a Sonic burger to get us to make the trek out there.

Luckily, Palmdale also has a large antique mall that I had been anxious to visit.  So we made a day of it and drove out to shop and eat. 

All in all, we feel pretty confident that we never need to return to Palmdale.  The Sonic Burger was completely unremarkable.  The boy stated that it was the blandest burger we've tasted to date, and I have to agree.  I suppose it wasn't bad - Definitely not as disgusting as Burger King - But it has all the flavor of a cardboard box.  The only thing this burger had going for it was the stay togetherness, which I am sure was in large part due to the mayo that essentially worked as the glue, holding this burger together.  Easily forgettable and certainly not worth the trip. 


The best part about Sonic (besides the fact that boys on roller-skates were delivering the food) was the tater tots.  Not many fast food joints offer tots in replace of fries.  So for that (and that only) I salute you Sonic.  Still, you are better as a hedgehog in my opinion. 


The Scores:

Meatiness - 2
Succulentiousness - 1
Bun -1
Flavor - 2
Stay Togetherness - 5
Joint - 2

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A 1940's Valentine

So a bit late in my recap, but better late than never right?  The boy and I had a lovely Valentine's Day at home last week, but in an effort to make it unique, we celebrated the night with a 1940's theme...
We got dressed up in 40's garb, listened to jazz records from the era, and ate re-heated chicken pot pie.  The boy gave me a $5 bouquet of tulips and he remarked at how they were expensive (as this was the 1940's after all.)






We stayed away from our many computer screens, iphones and television shows for the night and just enjoyed some quiet time together.  It was perfect.  

We did also exchange gifts, though they weren't really in the theme of the night - I have the boy some new threads and he gave me a fancy-shmancy electric toothbrush.  Not that romantic, but certainly needed.




I really do like any excuse to tell the boy how much I love him; and as cheesy as it is, Valentine's Day remains one of my favorite holidays!