Category Archives: EAT

Street Walking for the Arts

The Sensoria – Celebration of the Arts at Central Piedmont Community College was a big success last Sunday!  It was a beautiful day and it was all about fun in the sun with an explosion of creativity, music and of course food!

As the student liaison for the Charlotte Chapter of IDS I was happy to contribute, along with Pam Hacker, in educating the public on what we do as Interior Designers and to mentor students in the Interior Design Program at all the local schools.

IDS Charlotte / Interior Design

Photo provided by Nicole Love, a Photo Journalism major at CPCC who is on track to graduate in Spring of 2012

Take a peek at more of Nicole’s work.  She’s got skills!

Student member Angela Peck was also on board with Designer, Artist and Instructor Pam Hacker to pass out brochures, “Why You Should Hire An IDS Designer” and postcards for the May 6th CPCC Interior Design Student Portfolio Show.

PCL Interiors also had a drawing for 1 Free Hour Interior Design Consultation by yours truly…and the winner was Liz Mixon!  Thank you to all that signed up to receive PCL Interiors monthly newsletter.

Sensoria street scene

Kimple Kreations is a brother sister team of talented artist Anthony and Kimberly Daise. I purchased the Blu-lady on the left and now she’s all mine! I just love her!  Of course I thought about Avitar when I first saw it but the artist, Kim, painted it long before the movie and it’s actually a self portrait. Outstanding job Kim.

The Natty Fray had some of the most adorable rings, hair clips and broaches made from frayed fabric.

Mainstreet Creations had some beautiful sculptural paper art by Lisa Underwood.

Amadou African and European Art and Fashions

Zizi’ Vegetarian

Grilled cheese sandwiches and duck tacos with homemade coleslaw was just some of the food for sale at the festival

Luna’s Living Kitchen

Charlotte Clean and Green set up in this amazing party in a “shipping container” called Boxman Studios. So sweet – it’s ultra chic!

Go Green!

Sensoria Celebration of the Arts partnered with Charlotte Clean and Green for a day of education and fun.

Earth Fare

No detail left undone – all the regular trash cans were concealed to promote proper recycle and disposal.

Jump Start the New Year with Style and Flavor

Wow! Can you believe we’re already in the fourth week of the New Year? Appropriately enough given the title of this blog, my new year began with a delicious meal with friends at the retro-chic Poole’s Diner in Raleigh, NC, just a two hour drive from Charlotte.

Ashley Christensen

Owner/chef Ashley Christensen is a young, nationally-recognized and energetic talent whose style sensibilities are evident throughout the space that is once again home to one of the capital city’s dining meccas. Originally opened as a pie diner in 1945, Poole’s became a luncheonette in the early ’50’s to meet the demands of the government workers and other downtown business patrons who often stood in lines that wrapped around the corner in happy anticipation of the “chicken slick” and other delights which awaited. Once inside, customers dined at the double horseshoe counter, which now hugs the bar at the hot spot.

Christensen has seamlessly melded retro and modern touches, keeping and restoring the original red leather banquettes and tin ceilings, while adding decidedly hip pieces such as Lucite chairs and the large slate chalkboards that display both the bar and dining menus.

And whether you need to powder your nose or not, a visit to the ladies’ room is a must.  I’ve been saying it for years, wallpaper is making a comebackPoole’s adds a modern twist by hanging a vintage design on the ceiling.  How chic!

An old-fashioned leaded glass display case houses French lotions and liquid soaps in gleaming clear bottles, while touch-up essentials such as Q-tips, cotton balls, hair pins and even dental floss rest on top in apothecary jars.  (Yes I was inside the restroom sneaking some clicks with my camera) All the while, I was carried away imagining an assemble line of women entering the ladies’ room with one hairstyle to exit with another!

Before I get too carried away with Poole’s design appeal, I must talk about The Food.  Christensen, who is dedicated to using as many locally-sourced products as possible, stated that her goal was to offer “A traditional New Year’s Day meal ensuring luck and fortune for your 2011…  We’d like to reassign the power of black-eyed peas and collards to health and happiness”.  That means NO GREASE!  Amen to that!

Our party certainly felt that our year could not have gotten off to a better start.  Some of us feasted on NC oyster stew with leeks and bacon while others enjoyed mixed lettuces with red wine vinaigrette and “vacche rosso” parmigiano reggiano (featuring incredibly fresh greens from Beth Moore at the NC Farmers Market ).

We all enjoyed crispy NC catfish with roasted tomato aioli (from Carolina Classics Catfish in Ayden, NC), which was the perfect accompaniment of black-eyed peas, cider braised collards, mashed yukon golds and Anson Mills cornbread .

Fortunately, we still had room for dessert (well lets just say I made room) which was an absolutely decadent, warm challah bread pudding crisp with roasted pecans and bourbon hard sauce. It was the perfect end note and reminder that at Poole’s, tradition and modern updates combine to deliver a delicious and timeless dining experience.

I couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to a year that I KNOW will be full of DESIGN, fine living IDEAS and INSPIRATION.  Poole’s serves as a reminder of how a mix of old and new can combine to create a singular, modern signature.

Here’s to you finding and celebrating your unique style in 2011.

The worlds best Bloody Mary that I have ever wrapped my taste buds around! Or maybe it was because I shared it with a wonderful group of people!

Diet and Design; A New Year’s Resolution

A Design Driven Life – by Sam

As we enter a new year, also comes the conventional  new year’s resolution. Every year millions of people say that they want to eat better and lose weight for the new year. I haven’t actually said it out loud, but deep down this is mine too!

Another one of my secret resolutions (that I don’t typically like to say out loud in case of failure) is to actually make some design decisions, and go through with them, for my own home! I recently just came across this inspiring image that I think will help to remedy both issues. Open shelving is a hot trend in kitchens that I have been considering for mine.  And then I get caught up on what would I really want to display.  After searching for images of open shelves, it dawned on me, that in addition to displaying my china, I could also display fresh produce,   healthy cook books, and whatever else I “should” be eating this year to keep on track!

Fresh Look and Fresh Produce

I always say, I work better under pressure and if there is whole grain pasta constantly in view, I’m more likely to eat it as a reminder of the healthy lifestyle I intend to achieve this year. So I’m off to tackle my first step toward a successful new years resolution; updating my kitchen and starting a healthy way of eating.  Wish me luck!

Now that I have a plan, I’m off to tackle my first step toward a successful new years resolution; updating my kitchen and starting a healthy way of eating.  Wish me luck !

(courtesy of donkeehouse.com blog)

Happy Birthday Jesus & Merry Christmas To All!

Christmas is my favorite time of year!

It’s a time that I celebrate the birth of My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It’s a time to spend celebrating life, family, friendships, blessings and lessons learned.  I am so grateful for the life that I live, especially during  the sweet spots AND rough patches.  Through it all I continue to learn that God is always with me to carry me through.  My prayer is for others that I know (and don’t know) to be blessed physically, emotionally and spiritually as well!

What’s on your mantel?

I ask that because in my home its second to the kitchen where we gather around. I enjoyed decorating the mantel with all the greeting cards we received in the mail, a stocking for our two puppies and a beautiful pink one for our God daughter.  The three little stuffed dolls on the top left are from my favorite childhood Christmas movie, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Sam the Snowman, the scary (as a child and still a little now) but really misunderstood Abominable Snow Monster and the brave prospector, Yukon Cornelius.  I gave away Rudolph and The Dentist a few years ago, but I’m hoping to find replacements soon. Anyway, what a classic.  I watch it every year and it takes me back to such a magical time.

Christmas would not be Christmas without something delicious to eat.

Today I’m slow cooking pork chops which are almost done.  I quartered potatoes, carrots, celery and added them to the bottom of the cooker. Then I browned the chops in a little oil and layered those in the cooker with Lucks sliced apples. I mixed some beef broth and Lipton Onion Soup mix and poured that over it.  Talk about melt-in-your-mouth tender!!  With it we’ll have some traditional collard greens, mashed cauliflower, rice and crescent rolls.  I am a Southern girl you know.

Now we are just waiting for the snow which the weatherman predicts will arrive sometime this evening.

Hope your Christmas is filled with LOVE and LAUGHTER!

Finally Getting Into The Thanksgiving Spirit!

A Design Driven Life – posted by Sam

Yes, I know, it’s a shame. As Thanksgiving approaches quickly and is just days away, I am finally feeling the holiday spirit! Soon, my family and I will be boarding a plane to small town USA or in other words, Plattsburgh, NY! Not too far from Lake Placid, this is where my grandmother resides. This is my very domestic grandmother who can pretty much do anything! I’m super excited to see what new talents I’ll come back with, don’t worry, I’ll give you the scoop! But back to thanksgiving, I figured I’d leave you all with a few fun things for Thanksgiving… Enjoy!

There is enough stress and pressure involved with cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner that your table setting should be the least of your worries. This table setting is very pretty and simple to create, and is sure to impress your holiday guests. You could create this table setting with a strip of burlap fabric (can find it in any cut yardage fabric store) and run it down the center. Then grab a couple of bud vases or small pottery pieces that you may have around the house and pop in a couple of beautiful leaves from your yard, and even naturally growing flowers you may have. Place these randomly on the table or even at each table setting. Last, use your best china (that you never get to use!), or even mis matched dishes (to create a less formal feel) to set the table, add in water glasses and cloth napkins. Your result will be a cozy and stylish table setting that could work all season long.

A simple, yet festive table setting for the holidays

Creative centerpieces are always a big hit at your holiday dinner. Try one of these great ideas using a traditional pumpkin

An unexpected look for your traditional pumpkin

Add a little sparkle where ever you can, especially for the holiday.

Looking to find a new recipe to mix things up this thanksgiving? New York magazine recently did an article on top chefs and their Thanksgiving family recipes, one of these will surely be a hit!

Try a new recipe this year, one of these recipes is bound to become one of you family's Thanksgiving regulars!

If you’re like me, and aren’t cooking the turkey this year, be sure to bring your holiday host something sweet to show your appreciation! These cocktail mixers are a great way to bring in the holidays and a thoughtful way to say thanks!

Bring a fun gift for a hard working host

I hope you all have enjoyed reading and have a fabulous holiday, now enjoy this last link, you’ll love it!  —>Happy Thanksgiving!

Photos courtesty of Country Living, New York Magazine, No Fuss Fabulous, & PureContemporary.