Friday, February 27, 2009

Weekly links

Feeling smoochy? If you're ever in need of some lovey dovey, romantic and sweet, (sometimes sexy) images, check out Le Love. Yes, that's where I found this photo. Here are some things to keep you busy this weekend...

make a chalkboard labeled chest of drawers at Apartment Therapy

convert an unwanted painting into a reusable grocery bag at Instructables via Craftzine

make gluten free cubed steak and gravy at Fab Grandma

refresh a laminate sideboard at Apartment Therapy

turn your guy's old work shirts into a rag bucket at Slugs On The Refrigerator via WhipUp

create a faux fireplace at Apartment Therapy

re-purpose peanut butter jars into storage containers for screws at Chez Larsson (Finish the peanut butter first though.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's your favorite gluten free food product?

If you had to choose just one favorite gluten free food item, what would it be?

(Photo via Celiac Chicks)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

11 best foods are gluten free

Remember last month when I was happy to report that Dr. Nicholas Perricone's top ten beauty food picks were all gluten free? Once again some happy reporting. "The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating" (translation: but should be) are naturally gluten free. Yay again. The article was originally published in The New York Times on June 30, 2008 and appeared on their list of most-viewed stories for 2008. Nutritionist and author Dr. Jonny Bowden has several lists of healthful foods people [I prefer saying] could be eating but aren't. His updated list includes: beets, cabbage, Swiss chard, cinnamon, pomegranate juice, dried plums, pumpkin seeds, sardines, turmeric, frozen blueberries and canned pumpkin. Pumpkin. Twice. Who knew?

(Photo via The New York Times)

An exhibit of the ugliest fashion finds: Part 2.

Sherri at The Claw found these two (from the Spring 2009 Collections of Osman Yousefzada and Kai Kuhne) in New York Magazine. Her colorful comments included: "This one's just saying, screw all you--I'm bucking the trend and putting dirty coasters over my boobage" and "Here's a tribute to the tassel gone awry--that model looks pissed. She looks as if she's thinking, if I have to suck my cheekbones in one minute more with Barbie hair coming out of my frock I'm gonna lose it." Thank you, Sherri.

Tanya from Captivate Me also had a hard time choosing just one. "Pretty craptastic" is how she describes all three.

And finally, Leigh at Create loves Michael Kors but finds this shoe hideous.

Thank you, ladies. And the winner is?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Subliminal Advertising

Vanilla Spoons.

(Photos via Apartment Therapy and Flickr)

An exhibit of the ugliest fashion finds: Part 1.

This exhibit represents a collaborative effort and I thank everyone who participated. And now, without further ado...

A knit necklace from Chelly of Seth Adores Jai.

Sara and Danielle of Sweet Nothings want to know if it's a sin to equate Valentino with ugly fashion find. I don't think so.

Jean shorts with a revealing pocket lining found on Lookbook by Melanie at You Are My Fave.

Jennifer from Made by Girl thinks Katie Holmes' rolled-up baggy jeans are "so 90's" and "so horrible."

A Dior dress spotted on Elle by Rachel of American Beauty.

An ugly dress discovered on Ugly Dress by Miss Aimee from Mostly Mod.

A denim wedding dress submitted by Tonya of Kotori.

So which one do you think is the ugliest so far? Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Polaroid perfection

Oooh, how I love a good photograph. Or two or three. These lovelies are the work of Miss Aimee from Mostly Mod. She's been a professional photographer for ten years and shoots about thirty weddings a year. Miss Aimee also photographs children at her studio and on location during the week. Add to the mix a husband and three kids--she's one busy girl!

She has future plans to sell her photography, but for now says she is "keeping busy with clients, trying to organize our house, keep up with laundry, cooking, dining with friends and re-vamping our master bedroom!" Do check out her daily photo showcase of still lifes, weddings and portraits.

[I had the pleasure of being interviewed recently by the fabulous Miss Aimee--pop over to read about how I started Vanilla Spoons and my top gluten free website picks!]

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weekly links

I don't know about you, but this week flew by for me. What's everybody doing this weekend? I'll be watching the Oscars on Sunday--it's sort of a big deal at our house.

Do you think Angelina and Brad will win? I did catch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button--Brad's performance is quite good, but I'm just not sure. Sean Penn already took Oscar home a few years ago for Mystic River. And last night I watched The Visitor starring Richard Jenkins, also a Best Actor nominee. Good but not great. (i.e. movie and Mr. Jenkins.)

Now Mickey Rourke has been a fave of mine forever. But then there's the seventy-one year old Broadway actor Frank Langella who has yet to receive an Academy Award.

I have an aunt who used to get rather persnickety with the whole Best Actor/Actress categories. She said the only true way to determine who is "the best" would be if the same role had been interpreted by each actor, thus five different ways. Whaaat?!! Brad as Nixon? I don't think so.

Anyway, have a good one. Here are your links:

discover ten uses for pillowcases at Apartment Therapy

make a yoga mat bag from old pants at Craftzine

craft a table using old magazines at Re-Nest via WhipUp

make a collapsible travel dish for your pet at Craft Stylish

match a paint color to an object you love at Apartment Therapy

make gluten free gazpacho, Italian salad, pizza AND pasta primavera c/o Emeril at Beyond Rice Cakes (Four-in-one this week!)

turn a grate into a storage space at Apartment Therapy

(Photo via Flickr)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reminder of deadline

Just a quick reminder that the deadline for submitting your ugly fashion finds is this Saturday. Due to the number of contributions so far, I most likely will be presenting the exhibit in a two-parter. Next week.

(Photo via weheartit via sakura love's stream)

He could've been a contender.

A scene from the classic On The Waterfront that used to correspond to my On The Camp Front gluten free gift basket over at Vanilla Spoons. For some reason, I get goosebumps every time I watch this clip.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sweets and The City {Sage}

A great big thank you to Anne over at The City Sage. Last week she featured delicious-looking, heart-shaped gluten free chocolate cookies that she made for Valentine's Day using a recipe she discovered on Absolutely Not Martha. And the best part? She said they were "awesome." So come on, my sweet readers. Try some of the gluten free recipes I post on my weekly links and tell me how you like them. I just might write about it.

(Top photo via weheartit via Les Fifoles; bottom photo via The City Sage)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not ugly.

On second thought, I think it's the windows in the background that I really like here. (Don't get me wrong. I still like the dresses.)

(Photos via Coutorture)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wanted: The Ugliest Fashion Finds

I often come across eyebrow-raising fashion wear while photo browsing. I thought it would be neat to collect photos of these outrageous outfits and feature them in a post next week. Send me a picture of the most hideous couture you can find. My email address is jackie AT vanillaspoons DOT COM. Credit given with link, of course. This should be fun.

(Photo via weheartit)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekly links

Are you looking for Absolutely Not Martha's fabulous weekly roundup of homemaking/cooking/crafting must-do's? Look over here:

discover five ways to use an alcove at Apartment Therapy

make a gluten free, vegan flourless chocolate cake in a Vita-Mix at Karina's Kitchen

add some flair to your typography wall in 13.5 steps at Dreambird Designs via WhipUp (I love fonts.)

make a bubble chandelier at Apartment Therapy

repurpose vintage pant hangers into impromptu frames at Design Sponge

make a Moroccan-inspired paper doily lantern at Craftzine

learn several ways to measure without a tape measure or ruler at Apartment Therapy (This sounds handy.)

make a gluten free spoon salad at Simply Gluten Free (It can't be all about the chocolate this weekend.)

Have a happy Friday the 13th, Valentine's Day, President's Day, school vacation week...anything else?

(Photo by Corrie Bond)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Planning a trip to New York, babycakes?

There's a bakery on New York's Lower East Side called BabyCakes. They specialize in vegan, wheat- and gluten-free desserts. I want to go there. (Numero uno on my list of places to go on our next New York visit.) A recent article in Gourmet features BabyCakes along with a few other vegan sweet spots throughout the U.S.

I love Erin McKenna's (founder of BabyCakes) philosophy about wanting "to create something that would be fun and cool-looking and didn’t make people feel even more alienated by their food sensitivities or choices." I so get this. Recently my son (who is gluten intolerant) was invited to a friend's birthday party. I asked him if he wanted to take along some of his own food. Come on. Just in case. He insisted no. He doesn't want to be viewed as that kid. I told him: "You're not special." We laughed.

So if you're in New York and have a sweet tooth, check out BabyCakes. Let me know if you run into Natalie, Zooey or Mary-Louise. Parker. Weeds, The West Wing, Fried Green Tomatoes...

*Pre-order BabyCakes' new cookbook in which Erin finally shares her trade secrets.*

(Cupcake photo by Horacio Salinas via Gourmet; Natalie photo via Cupcakes Take The Cake via Just Jared)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Running late

I'm about to embarrass myself now. But here it goes. (Thank goodness I proofread.) This is what I originally had written for the description: I swear. Even French type seems more stylish.

It's Spanish.

(Image via Flickr)

Monday, February 9, 2009

A spiel about celiac disease, gluten free food and Vanilla Spoons.

Some of you have asked me for the low-down on celiac disease and gluten. As the owner of a gift basket shop that sells exclusively gluten free foods, I assume everybody has heard about the gluten free diet. I sometimes forget that before my son was diagnosed with celiac disease ten years ago, I didn't know what gluten was either.

In a nutshell, celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten--the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is literally the "glue" that holds together baked goods and pasta. Although gluten is found mainly in foods, it may also be in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins and lip balms. Now given that I am not a medical professional, nor do I play one on TV, I'm going to send you here to read more about it.

Since there is no cure for celiac disease, a strict adherence to a gluten free diet needs to be followed. This is the tricky part. It involves reading labels, phone calls to food manufacturers, reading labels and re-reading labels. The cool thing is when you focus on all the naturally gluten free foods. Like fresh fruit and veggies; fresh meat, chicken, fish and eggs; potatoes, rice and quinoa; cultured plain yogurt; and aged block cheeses and many varieties of real cheese (assuming dairy is not a problem for you). It almost sounds like the caveman diet, remember that one?

Certainly there are the obvious forbidden foods (bread, pizza, bagels, muffins, donuts, crackers, cookies, cake, brownies, cereal, fried food). BUT the gluten free versions of all these foods do exist. Buying them or making them is just a little less convenient. But since when is convenience usually the healthier option anyway?

I started Vanilla Spoons because it was something I was already doing. (Albeit without pay.) I call myself the Expert Label Reader. I'm constantly searching for new, delicious gluten free food products that are not always found in the mainstream marketplace. Vanilla Spoons represents my view on living a gluten free life. All the food and fun that can be enjoyed. Vanilla Spoons is an experience that combines creativity and deliciousness.

Thanks for taking the time to read this (if you've made it thus far). It's an unusually long post for Absolutely Not Martha.

(Image from here)

Two dapper dudes...but why so serious?

I found these guys on Stockholm Street Style. Nice, hmm? Even nicer when I stumbled upon these two:

Very similar expressions, don't you think? The paintings were done by Andrew Wyeth in 1938. The top one is a self-portrait. And get this: The bottom one is called Young Swede.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Weekly links

Here's some stuff for you guys to try. Let me know how it goes.

remove a stripped screw when you don't have the Grabit Screw Extractor at Apartment Therapy

get rid of curry odor from couch at Apartment Therapy
(I do love Indian food...)

knit a "smitten" (mitten for holding hands) at Craftzine

make gluten free Mexican wedding cake cookies at Gluten Free Gobsmacked

learn to design clothes like a Mexican fashion designer at Wallpaper

get interior design ideas from this Mexican beach retreat at Apartment Therapy (What? Another Mexican link? Incredibly this theme was not by design.)

make a magazine bowl at Apartment Therapy

make can planters using faux bois paper at Apartment Therapy
(This one's for Joslyn from Simple Lovely. Apparently she likes faux bois.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A mini-lesson in existentialism

You can do this by leaving me comments. I want to see lots and lots of comments today, dear readers.

(Image from

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I said vintage, darling.

A cheongsam is a body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress for women. The stylish and often tight-fitting cheongsam that is most often associated with today was created in the 1920s in Shanghai and was made fashionable by socialites and upperclass women. These are 1950's or 60's vintage Asian silk brocade cheongsams. And I like them. Found them at etsy shop Vintage Darling.

the shoes and the bag...

Sparkly gold fabric bags typically aren't my thing. But I find this vintage purse rather lovely. The shoes stunning. Unfortunately I wear size 11. (They're 9AA.)

(These beautiful accessories are also from Vintage Darling.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

funniest movie ever

Now I can't post about things British and humorous without mentioning this hilarious movie: A Fish Called Wanda. It's my all-time favorite comedy. Kevin Kline is genius in it. In fact he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. What's your favorite funny flick?

Brit Humor (not a person's name)

In keeping with the British theme, here's something else I came across whilst (Middle English origin; definition: while) visiting Apartment Therapy. Naughty neighborhood names (like Crapstone and North Piddle) in England were the subject of a recent article in The New York Times. Do any of you live in a town or on a street with an embarrassing name?

Cheerio! (Say it with a British accent. It sounds better.)

Gift ideas for those fond of English culture.

Here are a few home goods and gifts for Anglophiles that I found last week while browsing Apartment Therapy.

Handmade rug with iconic Keep Calm slogan.

Routemaster blind set. I think you're supposed to frame these.

Mugs featuring the names of real London streets. (More names of real places in England in the next post.)