Today on Weekend Meanderings, ballet flats make a comeback, luxury closet talk, Ina’s Ramen-Noodle Soup recipe and saying farewell to our favorite pig.
Happy weekend, friends!
It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.
Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.
It was another cold and rainy week here in Northern California.
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Aside from complaining about the weather, which has become a bore,
I got out for lunch with my friend, Jane.
Spent a lot of time in Turks and Caicos, on the treadmill.
And managed to get the dogs out for few walks between breaks in the rain.
Are you ready?
Let’s go …
ODE TO BANKSY
In sad news, you may already be aware that our friend, Contessa, lost her pig, Banksy, on Monday. Banksy had been unwell for some time and he’s now in heaven.
Jim and I had the pleasure of meeting baby Banksy way back in 2015 … he was just a wee lad.
I’ve since had the good fortune to enjoy several occasions in the Contessa’s lovely garden with Banksy swanning about.
Rest in peace, Banksy. You were an angel on earth and I’ll never forget you.
I like to say that dogs are the best people I know. And I’ve expanded that to include donkeys. And pigs.
INA’S CHICKEN RAMEN-NOODLE SOUP
The past couple of weeks have been so wet and chilly and soups and stews are what I’m craving for lunch and dinner. Week before last I shared a quick and easy tomato soup topped with salsa verde. It’s one of Jim’s favorites. Another favorite I’ve been making on repeat is Ina’s Chicken Ramen-Noodle Soup from her latest cookbook, Go-To Dinners.
Ina, of course, roasts her own chicken breasts, but I’ve been using a rotisserie chicken picked up at Diablo Foods. I love their naked (no seasoning) chicken.
Yes, that’s right, served with garlic bread. Because … Jim likes garlic bread and who am I to argue?
I’ve mentioned The Chairish Podcast before. Hosted by Michael Boodro, it’s one of my favorites. The current episode, The New Closet: Why Glamour and Luxury Are Essential, is particularly enjoyable with guests Lisa Adams, LA Closet Design, Melanie Charlton Fowler, Clo-sette, and Maria Castro, California Closets.
“Proper organization and storage are crucial to any successful home. But storage has gone far beyond the utilitarian. Luxury closets have become potent fantasies for clients and stars on social media. Creating spaces for everything from an array of Hermès handbags to a hand-made carbon fiber bicycle is an opportunity for designers to dazzle their clients—or disappoint them. How can you satisfy the demand for luxury organization? Three closet designers—Lisa Adams, Melanie Charlton Fowler, and Maria Castro—reveal their secrets for transforming overlooked spaces into useful assets, ingenious ways to upgrade existing storage spaces, and why closets are quickly becoming the most glamorous room in the house.”
As one of the podcast guest points out, kitchens and closets are the first spaces unpacked when moving into a new home. To say they’re important is an understatement. And if you have the opportunity to design a custom closet to accommodate your specific wardrobe needs it’s a real luxury. That said, it’s a luxury more and more accessible at all price points with a myriad of closet organization components available just about everywhere. Organization inspiration and resources abound. My favorite,iThe Home Edit, has published two books, A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals, and Life: The No-Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything, a workbook, filmed a television series in its second season, published a quarterly magazine, and developed product line. They offer endless ideas and inspiration on their website and social media channels.
But I digress, this podcast focuses on the luxury closet market … and the new emphasis on closets as showplaces. I was enthralled and can’t wait to do a deep dive into the guests Instagrams and websites.
Jim and I first indulged in a California Closet when we bought our first house together. And the five houses since. Actually, Snowberry’s closets were designed by me and built by our cabinet maker. Of course, I was heavily influenced by what I learned from my experiences with California Closets. We frequently talk about which of our closets was the best … I know, we’re both closet geeks. One of our favorites was in our Fidalgo Island home.
Some of my favorite closet organization tools ~
BALLET FLATS ARE BACK
Ballet flats are back!
When did they go out? I don’t know, but I haven’t worn mine in years.
That said, I’ve held onto them because one pair in particular is so comfortable I can’t bring myself to part with them. And I’m sure happy about that now.
These are my Jessica Simpson – yes, Jessica Simpson! – ballet flats. At least 20 years old, and well worn, they’ve held up over time and are the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. From day one … meaning there was no break-in period, no blisters, just comfort and classic style at a reasonable price. I love that the soles are flexible, yet even with minimal arch support they are comfortable for walking and all day wear. I wish I could say the same for my pricer Chloe scalloped and Jimmy Choo cork ballet flats (both have given me blisters). In addition to comfort, I love the squared, suede toe.
I have no recollection of buying my Jessica Simpson ballet flats, but I do recall feeling a degree of embarrassment at purchasing from her brand. That seems silly to me now, it’s not about brand status, or price … it’s about comfort, quality, style and durability over time. Jessica, please accept my apology. Your ballet flats are one of the best pair of shoes (not just flats) I’ve ever owned. And I think these shoes will survive in my closet through another round of in-style, out-of-style, back in-style. Heck my nieces may end up fighting over them upon Auntie’s demise. How morbid.
Anyway, let’s look at what’s out there now in terms of classic ballet flats …
Here’s the current Jessica Simpson basic ballet flat …
Seychelles ballet flat, I’m partial to a squared toe …
J. Crew …
And I love these reminiscent of the classic Chanel ballet flat (that you can find on resale sites like this pair on eBay) …
FULL SWING ON NETFLIX
Any golf lovers out there? I’m not exactly a golf lover but I enjoyed Full Swing, a docuseries on Netflix from the producers of the wildly popular F1 series, Drive to Survive. What made it even more interesting was that the filming took place during the Saudi LIV golf tour brouhaha with speculation around who-will-and-who-will-not-take-the-money-and-run. Jim lives and breaths golf and couldn’t wait to binge this series. I was less excited, but as with Drive to Survive, I got sucked in immediately and, I’m going to say it, enjoyed it a lot.
If you live with a golf fanatic who spends endless hours watching golf, when not spending endless hours playing golf, it’s a pretty compelling series and it certainly makes golf more interesting to watch when you’ve gotten to know the players.
And speaking of Drive to Survive, season 5 is now available and we’ve already indulged. It’s the first year of financial parity among F1 teams, overdue in my opinion. (Listen to me talking like I know anything. This is what the show does to you.) Along the same lines, you may also enjoy Break Point, produced by the same group, following the pro-tennis tour. I love that this series features the women as well as the men. The first half of the season (5 episodes) is available now, with the second half following in June.
Whether it’s driving Formula One cars, hitting golf or tennis balls … these pros are incredible athletes. And the physical and mental training involved to compete at the elite level is fascinating and inspiring.
So there you have it.
My weekly favorites.
Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth.
Odds & Socks ~
Unforgotten, season four, an incredibly good Masterpiece series, is available on Prime Video. It took me a while to figure out how to access then stream it on the TV … why do they make these things so difficult? But it was worth the effort. If you haven’t seen the first three seasons, they’re more easily accessed. I’ve mentioned this series before … starring Nicole Walker. It’s brilliant.
Current Favorites ~
Catch up on last weekend’s meanderings here.
And all my Weekend Meanderings posts are collected here.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!