Friday, June 3, 2011

Change the Message

Seems like a banned ad from The Body Shop is spreading like wildfire today. If you haven't seen it:

Here's the story. I can be very long winded when it comes to self/body acceptance. But the bottom line is:


I understand where is ad is coming from and yes, I felt empowered by its message. But I do want to throw something out there...

We don't have to put one body type down to feel good about another. And we certainly don't have to label specific body types as "healthy" or "unhealthy," "perfect" or "imperfect."

What isn't healthy? Self-scrutiny is not healthy. Self-loathing is not healthy. Self-projection is not healthy.

What is healthy? Giving ourselves permission to accept and celebrate our bodies as they are.  Sounds pretty fucking good to me! 

Please visit these wonderful sites:

Stop "bad body talk":

"Love yourself through thick and thin":

Directly from my bookshelf to yours:

"The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls":

"Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself":

"Venus with Biceps: A Pictorial History of Muscular Women":

"Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance":

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gone Wilde

No words. Just pure brilliance.

Note: I live in a thesis bubble. I have no idea if I've already missed the moment here. Nevertheless, cheeky and hilarious. Quite.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Good grief! I've had quite the absence! Such is life when writing a thesis. (More about that some other time.) What I really want to share is my visit to the Members Preview of "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday!

I've got a golden ticket!

Any expectations I had arrived with were blown away when I entered the exhibition. The space itself had become a reflection of McQueen's voice and vision, and galleries were separated into themes shown consistently throughout the artist's body of work.

 My favorite space was the "Romantic Gothic" gallery, inspired by McQueen's exploration of the Victorian Gothic era. The gallery was dripping with Poe. Walls and floors covered in antique mirrors.  And a soundscape of wind, rain and howling wolves? Yes, please.

"Romantic Gothic" also featured two of my personal favorite McQueen pieces:
black duck feather dress, "The Horn of Plenty"
gold feather and cream tulle gown, "Angels and Demons"

Also of note was "The Cabinet of Curiosities," featuring some of McQueen's most iconic pieces. New obsessions include:

The chess match and knight from "It's Only a Game"

Shalom Harlow's performance in McQueen's Spring/Summer 1999 show:

The experience was awesome, in the truest meaning of the word.

Visit the exhibition's website to view commentary of selected pieces, performance videos, and even a walkthrough of the exhibition itself! Here's the link: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.

Kudos to the Met, The Costume Institute and Alexander McQueen™for making this incredible art accessible!

"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" runs May 4th-July 31, 2011.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Roundup

Hope everyone had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day! I spent the evening celebrating with my family!

Quite the spread, eh?

Now, here at South Mill House, it wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without George's irish soda bread.  Grandpa George knew a thing or two about baking and his special recipe is the real deal! Liz, my sister, is now our official soda bread expert and she knocked my socks off this year!

Wowie zowie!

We decided that a recipe this good just had to be shared.  So from our kitchen to yours...

George's Soda Bread
4 c flour.
 1 c sugar. 
1 t salt. 
1 stick of butter. 
More raisins than you think is wise.
1.5 c buttermilk. 
1T banking soda. 
1 T baking powder. 
1 egg.

Wet into dry. Get a little messy. Shape into round loaf. Do not forget to cut the loaf to let the devil out. 375 bake till done.... About an hour. Best with butter, tea and the Clancy brothers.

 "Our Irish Soda Bread"
♥ George's original recipe ♥

Thursday, March 17, 2011

From the Kitchen: An Irish Tea

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

There will be hubbub and merriment tonight, but for now, the house is quiet. It's the perfect time to treat myself to a homemade Irish Tea.

I've always thought that simpler is better when it comes to tea.  Save the petit fours and doilies for the professionals! When having tea at home, I almost always stick to the basics: Bewley's Irish Breakfast Tea and scones.

If you are a fan of strong, fragrant tea, look no further. This is by far my favorite brew and I love all kinds of tea! Perhaps I'm biased, as I was brought up on this stuff, but regardless, it's definitely worth trying!

Now, we fine folks at South Mill House have a love affair with scones. I've been baking them for years and my boyfriend, David, is English. Enough said. Unfortunately, we're both so busy that it's hard to find time to bake scones from scratch, and store bought scones just weren't making the grade. Say it ain't so! Just when we thought we'd given up hope, the kitchen gods smiled upon us. Behold:

All hail, Hogan's Irish Scone Mix! Hip hip, HOORAY!! Seriously, this stuff is amazing.  Just enough hands on baking to make you feel like you made it from scratch, but simple enough that non-bakers wouldn't be deterred. I'll walk you through it:

1. Preheat oven.  Add 1 cup of cold water to scone mix and stir until combined (texture will be somewhat crumbly). Empty bowl onto floured surface and lightly knead dough until smooth.

2.  Flatten dough to roughly 1 inch thick. It's time to cut out the scones! If you're like me and don't own a biscuit cutter, use a drinking glass! Easy peasy.

3. Place scones on greased baking tray (I use cooking spray) and allow them to rise for 15 minutes.

4. Pop 'em in the oven for another 15 minutes and...


So simple, right?! I like my scones with fruit and blueberry preserves, but really, you can't go wrong. Here's another little shortcut: Want an English afternoon tea instead? Swap Bewley's for PG Tips! Done and done. Now, time for that cup of tea...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Thistle and Shamrock

The countdown to St. Patrick's Day is upon us! Sláinte!

Need some music to get you in the mood? One of my favorite NPR programs, The Thistle and Shamrock, will do the trick! Hosted by Fiona Ritchie, the hourly broadcasts celebrate Celtic roots music, new contemporary artists and unexpected interpretations of traditional Scottish/Irish tunes.

In February, Thistle dedicated an entire broadcast to Celtic piano and I was in love!!!

Make yourself a cup of tea, get cozy, and enjoy:

The Thistle and Shamrock: Celtic Piano

To learn more about The Thistle and Shamrock, visit its official website:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 5 Geek Freak Moments

Happy Pi Day!! Princeton, geeky little town that it is, has been celebrating all weekend long!

Here are my Top 5 Geek Freak Moments...

5. Pi(e).  What would Pi Day be without pie?! These baked goodies were competing for the "Best Princeton Pie Award" at the Nassau Inn on Sunday afternoon.  I believe Sophie's Chocolate and Chestnut Pie won the title. Yum!

4. Riding the Dinky.  While not an official Geek Freak activity, it still makes my list, as I am easily amused.  (For those not from Princeton, the "Dinky" is an aptly named train shuttle from Princeton Junction station to Princeton University.)

3. Pi(e) Throwing. There's nothing like clocking loved ones with pastry.  Am I alone in this? I think not.

2. Look-a-likes.   An Einstein Look-a-like contest. Only in Princeton.  I love living in such a geeky town!

Here's Joe, winner of the adult competition:

And here's Ava, winner of the children's competition:

1. Albert Einstein asks for my phone number.  This actually happened.  And in front of my boyfriend, nonetheless! Cheeky, Albert! Very cheeky!  Those darn physicists...