Tuesday, August 30

je suis très désolée

darlings!  i am such a terrible blogger this week.  first it was sans power & now deadlines deadlines, but i absolutely promise i will return by friday.  until then, have a look back at previous posts & do explore the blogs listed on the right.  also follow me on twitter {@enchanteeblog} for occasional lovely things i just cannot help but share. wish me luck!  xx hillary

Saturday, August 27

enchanted château: far, far away

due to computer difficulties, a new post on this seasons' blush & lace trends remains in the works.  for now, day dream about this breathtaking castle in normandy, france: mont st michel.  i just know that it, like a fairy tale, has never been threatened by a hurricane.  hope all of you lovelies are weathering the storm well.  xx hillary

Friday, August 26

majestic montana: film & reading & travel inspiration

happy happy friday, mes chéries!  lately my mind has been wandering far from my new england coastal town, to the rugged american west.  this is quite unusual for me, generally drawn to glamour & luxury & très-civilized, heel-friendly terrain & i attribute my recent wanderlust to the two epic films set in the state of montana starring the most handsome, young brad pitt, legend of the fall & a river runs through it.  both films in which bold action & tragedy demonstrate strong, un-communicated emotion, the gorgeous mountainous scenery & apparently unspoiled paradise reflects the complex characters: simultaneously strong & fragile, majestic & devastating.

i think i am drawn to a river runs through it also because of the poetic & powerful, evocative prose of its author, norman maclean, in the film & the novella on which its based, telling the story of himself & his family in montana in the 1920s.  his words are as rhythmic as the elegant fly-fisherman's casts he describes & the tale begs to be read aloud.   paired with two short stories, that romance of a river runs through it, oh and that poetry, wipe away all the unpleasant details of frontier life, allowing only its profound tale & perfect majesty to shine through, even for the most girly girl.  i would recommend both the book & film versions for this hurricane weekend {p.s. are you prepared?}.  no matter how feminine & squeamish you are, you may find yourself inspired to google outdoors-y montana vacations, too. bon week-end.  xx hillary.

images via pinterest
p.s. follow me on twitter to receive enchanted updates throughout the day!

Thursday, August 25

vintage glam: behind the scenes kate spade fall

: behind the scenes with bryce dallas howard for the ksny fall 2011 campiagn :

bonjour mes amies!  i was so thrilled when kate spade tweeted this behind-the-scenes video from their fall photo shoot. the star is bryce dallas howard, who plays villainous hilly holbrook in the help {you've seen, yes?}.  i've heard that she is just about the opposite of her character in real life, but she is stunning in the 50's/60's inspired clothing nonetheless.  perfect for kate spade this season.  goodness do i wish mad men was returning to the air this fall.  but here, i am in love with the vintage glamour and the fun vibe {dance if you wanna}.  are beehives really back?  only time will tell!  i hope that your day is off to a perfect start.  weekend is coming coming. xx hillary 

p.s. kate spade's mantra this season is "understated is overrated." no wonder why i'm so enamored.

Wednesday, August 24

special something: beautiful bar soaps

image via {here}
coming across these luxurious soaps by murphy&daughters several days ago in martha stewart living, something about them resonated in my mind.  perhaps because they look like vintage french candies?  almost too pretty to unwrap.  like {upscale} homemade caramels.  or because i nearly felt the silky milky waxy soap & smelled soothing lavender & cooling cucumber just off the page.  although generally an {anti-bacterial} liquid soap user, i have always been attracted to fine & delicately wrapped bars & recently brought a gorgeous fresh bar as a hostess gift.  what are your thoughts on bar soaps?  love them for the wrapping & aroma or for everyday use?  eager to learn your opinions!  & for the next darling friend to host me, a perfect preview. bon soir.  xx hillary 

p.s. purchase {here}

summer sweet: just peachy

image via pinterest
hello mes chéries!  it's late august & can't you just smell the peaches ripening? they are perfect & irresistible & so beautiful in their blushing innocence.  the star of so many dishes, sweet & savory, it's difficult to decide with which recipe to begin.  shall we start with dessert?  here are some of my favorite ideas & recipes:
  • grilled vanilla peaches: perfect finale for a simple bbq.  essentially toss with lemon juice & grill in a foil packet, then brush with the essential combination of brown sugar & cinnamon & vanilla, and serve over ice cream.
  • lavender peaches over pound cake: peaches + lavender = divine.  stew peach slices with lavender & vanilla, spoon over tangy sour cream pound cake & top with whipped cream sweetened with the remaining lavender syrup.
  • peach melba spoom: light & delightful.  frozen meringue = fat free ice cream. swirl it with seasonal pair peaches & blackberries for gorgeous contrast that begs to be served a clear glass.  night in with the girls?  yes, please.  
  • peach ice cream with armaretti cookie crust: broil peaches with brown sugar & fold into softened vanilla ice cream, then pack into crust of the delicious italian almond cookie.  top with whipped cream & more crumbled armaretti.
  • individual peach crisps: dinner guests adore their very own dessert {fact}.  use ramekins or little crocks, so widely available now.  top peach slices with buttery oatmeal crumble & bake until bubbling.  serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  
peaches are so inspiring.  so many savory dishes as well: did you know peaches also pair beautifully with basil & proscuttio? oh & in white wine sangria!  & the peach palette generally, that beautiful blush... perhaps there are more peachy posts to come.  have the most lovely day.  xx hillary 

Tuesday, August 23

autumn inspiration: russian ballet & j.crew

images via {j.crew blog}
combining my loves for j.crew & ballet & an exotic destination was simply not fair.  and this ballet is not avant-garde ballet russe, but classicist, perfection swan lake & romeo + juliet {swoon. now.} how am i possibly supposed to resist the urge to buy everything in the new j.crew catalog, which greeted me upon returning home {along with the new bon appetit, joy!} today was in boston, chatting & long lunch {bin 26 in beacon hill} & frozen yogurt & paper source for new marigold thank-you notes & a petite present {could this day get any better?} with friend & former co-worker & mastermind of halcyon style, so wrapped up in chatter that we failed to notice the east-coast earthquake.

but how striking & delicate these photos are.  for me, the ballet infuses j.crew's new season with elegance & grace & romance, and the st. petersburg location dons an old world exoticism that is simultaneously fresh & clean & open.  i do long to jet off to st. petersburg, for the winter palace & a glimpse into the world of fused european & eastern extravagance.  the photos also make me strangely excited to bring my turtleneck sweaters & leather boots & wool skirts & my perfect belted trench out of storage. perhaps i can translate this russian glamour & suffuse lighting to my very own autumn in new york.  any thoughts on j.crew fall?  xx hillary 

p.s. j.crew used real ballerinas from the st. petersburg ballet for studio models. lucky lucky.  

images via {j.crew blog}
p.p.s. merci beaucoup & enchantée to lots of new readers aujourd'hui!

Monday, August 22

autumn aura: new essie hues

clockwise from top left : carry on : case study : power clutch : glamour purse : very structured : lady like
images via {here + purchase too}

hello lovelies!  what a lovely day i had today.  a {very close to} teary-eyed quick visit back to my alma mater for a dissertation text, browsing bloomingdales with mom, a perfectly portioned lunch {and fro-yo} at their restaurant, 40 carrots & a relaxing mani-pedi at my most favorite ever nail spa, miniluxe.  it's a cross between the local nail salon & a day spa, and the result is just brilliant.  so clean & fresh & girly & with options for extended massage, oh and such fun retail things, the miniluxe experience is positively uplifting.  i had truly missed it!  and although today i chose a summer hue {orangey-red geranium by essie}, i also got a sneak peak at the essie fall collection, which is just divine, inspired by glam travel bags.  which is your favorite?  i am loving loving wine-y carry on, grey-green power clutch & burnt siena-ish very structured & the slightly muted glamour purse, case study & lady like would be parfait for weekday workday.  perhaps i should buy all six. goodness i do love essie.  the early evening air is getting cooler and its mum season.  autumn is on its cusp.  & if its nail colors are any indication, it is bound to be perfectly magical.  xx hillary  

oh & c'est absolument official.  hello christie's september. 

Sunday, August 21

entertaining inspiration: weekend brunch

those of you who know me well know that i adore brunch.  and for so many reasons.  the morning is my very favorite time of day, certainly my most productive & i just love waking up & dressing brunch chic {something to do with a silk blouse or dress} or even jumping up to finish preparations i've made the day before, for example, popping into the oven my creme brulee french toast, soaked overnight in thick vanilla scented custard, or for that matter, my goat cheese & proscuttio strata.  or a puffy frittata, which pairs surprisingly well with warm blueberry muffins.  for brunch out, i always indulge in my favorite.dish.ever: eggs benedict.  and fresh squeezed orange juice, perhaps spiked & bubbled with dry champagne.  oh & endless cups of rich, dark coffee.  or, perfect for tailgating {or cure for head spinning} a spicy bloody mary.

i love brunch because it allows me to indulge, and indulge others, in this type of fare that i would never prepare for myself.  and it's always bright & cheery & fresh & there are just oodles of charming brunch ideas to try.  brunch is perfect in a sun-filled room, or perhaps even outdoors, served just as the morning dew still lingers, or alfresco at your favorite brunch spot, with the quiet content of good company & delicious, heart-warming breakfast, all while people-watching the early Sunday risers.  & the very best part is that the day is, then, yours to spend just as you please.  bon appetit, mes amies.  & bon week-end.  xx hillary

images via pinterest
which brunch inspiration above is your favorite?

Saturday, August 20

real simple: the power of color

images via {real simple}
flipping through the august issue of one of my favorite american magazines {which i do not believe is at all available in the uk.  trés triste}, suddenly this brilliant article, demonstrating the power of color to transform the very same space.  j'adore the painting of the crown moulding and the ceilings & particularly appreciate that juxtaposed with each space is a beautifully arranged set of objects in the same palette that can also be used to bring the colors to a space {especially for those of us sans walls to paint in apartments}.  which is your favorite palette?  i've always been drawn to sunny yellow, but i also appreciate the calm of the blue & grey, the femininity of sage & light pink, & the festive, traditional qualities of the blue-green & burgundy.  

the transformative power of color is often something we are often forced to imagine without comparison & i was just floored by the clear illustrations here.  bravo, real simple!  also, would you ever actually paint your ceiling and crown moulding? it's quite bold, non?  may your late-summer saturday be perfectly lovely.  xx hillary

Friday, August 19

charmed interior: distressed french white

image via pinterest
isn't this the most lovely interior?  i adore the antique {or antiqued} carved bergère and footrest carved in that perfect french manner, painted white with just the most charming distress. so feminine.  & the floor length mirror in that gorgeous blue!  i love how it makes the area feel elongated and light.  oh & happy friday!  what are your weekend plans?  it's supposed to be perfect here, but unfortunately deadlines deadlines are getting in the way of my life.  and i signed up for this?!  at least i have a new issue of martha stewart living to keep me company.  i hope your plans are exciting & adventurous & romantic. bon week-end to you!  xx hillary 

Thursday, August 18

summer savory: the best pesto

image via {here}
hello lovelies!  a recent re-organization of my cooking magazine archive {yes archive, what is wrong with me?!}, brought me back to my very favorite pesto recipe.  a celebration of availability of basil en masse that is synonymous with august, the recipe invigorates traditional pesto with some non-traditional ingredients, such as roasted almonds & ricotta & truly works beautifully with pasta.  and so easy in the food processor, although you could also use a blender.  if you dislike olives, you can leave them out, but i would recommend that you do try: their briny saltiness is the perfect complement to the creamy pesto.  i once served this with peak-of-season corn for the most delicious dinner.

roasted-almond ricotta pesto with olives 
adapted from gourmet august 2009 {p. 108}

with food processor running, drop in 1 small clove of garlic and allow to finely chop.  then stop motor and add 2/3 cup roasted unsalted almonds {find these at the market or roast them yourself in a 350 oven until you can smell the nutty goodness}, 4 cups fragrant basil leaves {yes, this is a lot}, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then process until finely chopped.  add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil with the motor running, blending until incorporated.  then transfer the pesto to a bowl & add 3/4 cup ricotta {the freshest you can find} & 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamanta olives {buy pitted or use the tool featured here.  salty goodness}.  season with salt to taste.  then toss with one pound pasta {whole wheat if you would like}, thinning with some of the cooking water.  serve with extra parmesan and bon appétit!

i can just smell the basil already. & pesto is so easy to experiment with: an infinite number of ingredient combinations of nut, leafy green, oil & cheese, suitable for any season.  do try and enjoy this recipe as basil peaks. & feel free to ask me any questions have the most lovely thursday.  weekend is so soon.  xx hillary 

p.s. step-by-step with lovely photos here. 

Wednesday, August 17

links & little things

farm photos via {eat boutique} : banana ice cream via pinterest :
paris wife via {here} : cupcake via {this is glamorous} : kate spade via {here}
happy wednesday mes chéries!  today a few things to share:
  • photos of my farm dinner unaccessible for now due to camera malfunction (trés triste), but another blogger who did a similar dinner justice.
  • have you read the paris wife?: the story of ernest hemingway's first wife, a glorious second course to a moveable feast {what a classic.  read immédiatement!}
  • kate spade fall: 50s inspired glamour à la mad men {my favorite show, by the way, yours too?}
  • my next party will definitely.include.these: gilded cupcake toppers.  i feel as if the early nineteenth century aristocrats consuming my life at the moment {via dissertation} would approve. so chic.
  • you.must.try easiest non-fat bliss: freeze peeled bananas, then whiz away in blender with some skim milk.  same texture as ice cream.  trés trés délicieux!  
do enjoy!  what a beautiful day.  now to take my reading outside.  have the most lovely afternoon.  xx hillary 

Tuesday, August 16

enchanted image: today's hermès

"Someone far away is thinking of you - thoughts filled with blue skies and dazzling colors…"

today's hermès ad.  doesn't the thought of receiving {or sending} a handwritten letter from the french riviera make your heart melt?  je t'aime, hermès.  & happy tuesday.  xx hillary.

Monday, August 15

hidden treasure: bamboo table

hello lovelies!  yesterday i had the most incredible find: on the side of the road {on the way to the movies to see the help.  have you gone yet?  you must!}, deep in the suburbs, a 'FREE' sign leaned up against a coffee table.  upon further inspection, quite dusty, but in perfect condition, asian-inspired with bamboo-sytle legs & spaced apron rails, elegant cusping & a rattan-textured shelf, brass hardware, and a glass top.  do please forgive the images, as my beloved camera is sans screen and iphone camera must do for now.  but i am beyond thrilled about the table!  the first step will be to give it a thorough clean, and then i'm considering painting it: black, white, mint-green or blue.  or should it be au natural

i've included some bamboo pieces and interior inspirations below.  i'm loving bamboo at the moment, as its presence seems to infuse an air of both the natural world & exoticism {perhaps this was why the bamboo form was incorporated into some chinoiserie-style pieces by 18th century rococo designers, too}.  and can you believe it was free?  i'm now inspired to scour local furniture consignment shops & even the salvation army for furniture that, with a little tlc, can become useful, beautiful & unique pieces to cherish for years to come & can fit my budget in the meantime.  have you ever bought a piece of furniture on the cheap and re-furbished it?  oh and what if i painted it gold?  in desperate need of your advice here!  xx hillary  
honestly the most similar piece to my table i could find on the internet.
quite reminiscent of my table with double bamboo legs  

love love the bamboo in an exotic yet functional form 
bamboo seating
sample of painted colors and natural
cream colored outdoor set with similar table in wicker

cream colored bamboo love seat.  don't love the brown, however.

love love bamboo shades

too bright?

love the exotic touch of bamboo molding on this traditional vanity

should i go with black?
one chandelier, two hues.
images via pinterest