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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Whatcha Got Cookin? ~ Pavlova Recipe

For this installment of the 'Whatcha' Got Cookin?' series, I chose to do my own family favorite recipe for the Aussie traditional dessert, Pavlova.

I first learned this recipe on the food network but tailored it to my own tastes. Thought the traditional recipe calls for Red Wine or Raspberry vinegar in the meringue, I go with Balsamic. I find that this gives a nicer color and a slightly richer taste to the finished product. Try it both ways and see which you prefer!

4 egg whites at room temp.
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 c. heavy cream
2 T. light brown sugar, packed.
fruits of your choice.

Preheat oven to 350 degreen.

With a hand mixer (or with a whisk) whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a clean, dry bowl until lightly foamy. Add granulated sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla. Continue whipping until smooth, glossy, and stiff enough to not budge when the bowl is turned over. On a sheet of parchment paper (placed on a sheet pan), use a pencil to draw a 9 inch circle. Use a pie plate or a spring form pan bottom to trace. Turn paper over and fill the circle with your meringue, being careful to evenly spread the mixture to the edges of the circle. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees and back 45 minutes more, until the meringue has puffed a little and cracked. It should be about the color of cafe au lait. Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open, and let the Pavlova cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes, to room temperature.

Whip the cream and brown sugar together until stiff. Spoon into the pavlova (cooled) and top with sliced fruit.


Video Tutorial:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In The Dressing Room- With Heartbreaker Fashion!

Ready to break some hearts? Heartbreaker Fashion has been helping gals do it for years!

One of my favorite vintage inspired lines out there, Heartbreaker Fashion is the brain child of mother/daughter team- Teresa and Amanda Becker. By May of 2008, the initially 'home based' business had grown out of its britches and was making its mark at an ever increasing office/warehouse space located in San Dimas, CA. The casual elegance of their travel-friendly styles will certainly keep them growing and adding even more darling designs to their already impressive selection.

Since I already had some Heartbreaker pieces in my collection, I was extra excited to get a message from Mandie Bee, informing me that she'd like to contribute to my Dressing Room Series. She sent me two dresses for your consideration, which I review thoroughly in the following video:

The first dress is their very popular style, The Sweetie Dress. This comfortably cut halter dress has been around since the inception of the business, and it's no wonder! The classic lines, cotton fabric, and easy flow of this dress makes it an absolutely ideal piece for ladies on the go. Pair it with ballet flats for a trip to the park, heels for a dinner date, and a sweet shoulder shrug for those cooler evenings. The dress retails for 90.00.

The 2nd dress they sent, The Monique Dress, is my favorite of the two. It has a classic late 50's/early 60's shape that is universally flattering. Also constructed of a quality cotton, the boat neck really frames the face and the simple sash at the waist creates a clean and complimentary silhouette. Another ideal dress for busy days around the office, it also dresses up nicely for a night out! Simply change your shoes and add a snazzy hair accessory and you're ready to go! Retails for 90.00

The 3rd dress I reviewed is one I've owned for about 3 years, the Astro Dress. Though my particular fabric is not currently available on the site, it's easy to see why the style continues to stick around. Reasonably priced at 88.00, this dress features a crossover neckline, patterned belt at the wide waistband, and additional touches that really help make it special. It works especially well for day, also being constructed of high quality cotton, and though the neckline is a little low for me (I usually wear a camisole underneath), continues to be a go-to dress in my wardrobe.

The last item I wanted to feature (but technical difficulties prevailed) was one of my favorite separates, my Trixie Top. Suffice it to say that I have never owned a knit item that has held up so well to washing, wearing, and *gulp* even pregnancy! It has not lost its shape or shrunken up at all, which is saying a lot. The neckline is decidedly 60's inspired, which I love, and the length is very flattering since it easily sits over the hips and doesn't ride up. Get thee some Trixie Tops now! (I actually think I've mentioned this before on my blog but it bears repeating.)

In addition to these lovely frocks, Heartbreaker has also broadened their options to include (quality) hair accessories, intimates, and swimwear!

It's easy to see why the company's motto is:
'Made in California with Love and No Regrets.'

So get to clickin' on that link at the right and once again, 'Happy Shopping, Ladies'!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kelly Osbourne says 'Come Up and See Me Sometime'....

She might have been slightly overdressed for the Emmys. Looks like an Oscar dress to me.

But... holy cow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sponsor Salute! -Queen of Heartz and Kelly Grace!

Time again to pay homage to those lovely companies that help keep Lisa Freemont Street on the 'map'! I'm proud to have as my sponsors those websites that put a little extra emphasis on beauty and form.

Kelly Grace-Artist

New to my site is artist Kelly Grace, who really has an amazing and unique style. Her pieces are for sale on Etsy and have a definite vintage feel. I really love the hues she works with, since they maintain a level of tradition but still feel modern in many ways.


Queen of Hearts

This month, I wanted to show another of my favorite dresses by Queen of Heartz. You all remember the company from my popular Dressing Room series, which I linked here on my blog last month. Since we are transitioning into fall, I thought the following dress was a lovely option for wearing alone or layering with a light cardigan or blazer. This 'Priscilla' brown floral dress maintains the colors of fall but the lightness of summer.

Pair it with some colorful shoes and a jacket or sweater in a complementary hue! The dress retails for 132.00.

Happy Shopping!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Movie Review-'A Room With A View' (1986)

Directed by: James Ivory
Starring: Julian Sands, Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith

A hopeless romantic since grade school, this movie is an inevitable choice as my favorite sweeping 'period romance'. I have adored it since I first saw it at age 15, and it is one film that has not diminished over the years. Now, I appreciate different things about it than I did as a teen, but it still appeals to the romantic sensibilities that I have never outgrown.

Initially set in 1908 Florence Italy, the story opens with young Lucy Honeychurch (Bonham-Carter) staring out of the window of the Pensione Bertolini-complaining of her view. She is touring the country with her elder cousin Charlotte (Maggie Smith), a prim and proper English spinster who is far more intent on preserving Lucy's purity than broadening her horizons. Lucy has a stifled passion for life that is only evident when she plays piano, but becomes more apparent when she meets George Emmerson, a young Englishmen who is also touring the country with his 'free thinking' father. Over the course of the few days in Florence, Lucy's life abruptly changes direction , much to the chagrin of her straight-laced cousin. The aftermath follows her home to England where she tries to get back into the groove of English society, even accepting the proposal of laughably sober Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day Lewis). But the passion of Italy soon re-enters her life and forces her to make some major decisions.

When it comes to love stories, it is hard to beat the sheer 'atmosphere' of this one. I swim in it. It simply envelopes you, from the opening credits and the gorgeous Kiri Te Kanawa arias placed strategically throughout the film, to the final satisfying moments. The lush musical score, the breathtaking Italian vistas, the perfect cast, the impeccable costumes...all these things combine to make a purely awesome cinematic achievement.

Though as a teen I was mostly drawn to the brooding hero and heroine of the story, as an adult I have come to realize how brilliant the supporting (Oscar nominated) players are, in the success of its execution. Maggie Smith is prude and proper perfection. Denholm Elliot (as George's father) is floundering and endearingly sympathetic. Daniel Day Lewis is a wonderfully memorable fop, Judy Dench a feisty authoress, and Simon Callow turns in possibly his best performance as the open minded clergyman 'Reverend Mr Beebe'. The dialogue (adapted from the book by E. M. Forster) is faultless, funny, and always entertaining. I think I've quoted it more than any other film ('Miss Teresa, you have flowers in your hair'...'We all have our little foibles and mine is the prompty settling of accounts.'). Merchant/Ivory has never had a more succesfully realized vision than this one, if you ask me (though critics prefer Howard's End and The Remains of the Day, it seems).

There are are moments of this movie that will go down in history as some of my all time favorites: The kiss in the barley field, the 'bathe' in the 'Sacred Lake' (hilariously honest nude scene), and the moment when Lucy finally confesses her 'muddled' feelings to George's father-among many others.

Because of that, the girl in me will never ever outgrow this one...and the woman in me will constantly find new things about it to love.

My rating: 10/10

Style Score: 10/10
Though the early 1900's are not my favorite time period for style, there is no doubt that the period costuming and hair styling are flawless. To so completely convey an era through modern film is a very special accomplishment.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Doing the 'Whirling Turban' Happy Dance!

So perhaps you've heard the rumors...the ones that I spread myself. Lisa Freemont Street is joining forces with her very favorite online company for vintage reproduction clothing...Whirling Turban! See that pretty little link over there in the right hand column under the word 'Affiliates'?

Let me tell you a little about this company. I posted a blog entry to Whirling Turban a while back, describing my experience with my custom dress as I stepped along through the process. When I received my dress, I posted the following video, showcasing some of the details and featuring a simple hairstyle that I felt complemented it.

Katherine Robinson is the owner of Whirling Turban and she puts her personal touch on every dress that leaves the Bali based shop. The shop has only about a dozen expert employees and operates largely by natural light...a small touch that I felt was really special. You must see the video on their home page to see how lovely the work environment seems to be.

Katherine was a seamstress in Hollywood and KNOWS how to craft an expertly fitted dress from a distance. She offers these services at only a fraction of the price that most stateside companies could afford, and therefore your experience with Whirling Turban may end up being the closest thing to movie-star attention that you'll ever have. The fabrics are all chosen deliberately, with special attention to quality and beauty.

While custom dresses have always been the main focus of the company, Katherine knows that many ladies can't afford the extra touches so she is broadening her business and opening up a lot more options for those of you searching for 'ready to wear' items in the Whirling Turban Boutique. Items here are undergoing a 'mark down' that will make these things more affordable for the average gal...and the custom stuff? Well it's getting a bit of a revamp as well.

From now on, the majority of Katherine's custom skills (excluding small alterations to boutique items) will go into her fabulously gorgeous wedding dresses! The dresses
are droolingly perfect...unlike anything you will ever see a traditional bride on 'Say Yes to the Dress' try on. These gowns are couture one-of-a-kind masterpieces that any bride can be proud to wear. Not only that, but Whirling Turban has also opened up an affordable option for Bridesmaid dresses so that your bridesmaids can wear complimentary dresses to yours without having to shell out the big bucks! This option features a wing bust, full skirt, and can be dyed to match any color you like! Plus, it starts at only 199.00 including shipping!

So where do I come in? Well, as a blog affiliate, if you click on the tab to the right and buy a dress, I'll get a commission. However, that wasn't enough for me-a long time fan of the company! So I am terming my association with Whirling Turban as 'Active Affiliate'. This means that I not only get the standard blog commission but I am assisting in thei inquiry process as well! I will be assisting brides through custom designing their dresses (my favorite part!) and helping buyers decide which boutique options may work best for their body type. Katherine is walking me through all of the particulars because, as most of you know, I do NOT sew. But I'm hoping to lend my styling sensibilities to this collaboration and help make Whirling Turban THE place to go for custom wedding and special event dresses!

I'm so excited, as you can tell. However, I want to assure all of you that this does mean that I am going to bombard you with sales pitches on Youtube or that I am abandoning my new 'Dressing Room' series in favor of a slew of Whirling Turban videos. Katherine is a specialist, which means she focuses her attention on authentic reproduction 1940's and 50's styles with specific pattern details. There are things she doesn't carry that other companies do; and I intend to continue to alert you to other businesses that offer retro inspired clothing. Lisa Freemont Street on Youtube will continue to provide you with free beauty tutorials and product reviews.

But I hope all of you will share my positivity in this new step forward and keep Whirling Turban in mind for your next vintage dress!