Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cath Kidston x Kingston Bicycles

2016 Blue Spot

2016 Latimer Rose

2016 accessories 

2015 Cloud
2015 Neon Spot

2015 accessories 

I was so thrilled when I saw the blue dot Cath Kidston bike that I was a bit surprised at myself. When did I become this polka dot-loving woman? (Maybe it was the Bookman reflective dots that won me over). I wish I'd heard about this collaboration when it launched because they had some great accessories. While the 2016 range has been pared down, the bikes on offer look great year to year. The neon dot bike is sold out, but all of the others are available online through the Kingston Bicycles. I can't wait to see what they come up with for next year.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

No More Sad Lunches, I Hope

Baby Baggu in Peach Watermelon

More color coordinated options 

Retro American bento, don't you think?

I've never given much thought to lunch; it consisted of whatever last night's dinner had been. I used to take glass, lidded containers of various pastas to work for a hearty meal that would give me enough energy for the rest of my day and the bike ride home. Now that I've been driving to work and, more in general, I just eat a snack for lunch. I also don't cook nearly as much and have gotten into the habit of eating takeout. I've let myself get trifiling, as my mom would say, and even though I don't have an international farmer's market a bike ride away or a kitchen arranged exactly as I would like it, I can still cook regularly.

Now I have a reason to think about the way I eat lunch or any other meal. Even though my job isn't sendentary and I've lost a bit of weight since I started, I don't get the amount of exercise I used to get. I still have 5-10 pounds to lose (whatever makes my thighs stop rubbing together) and I have to be thoughtful about what I eat since I don't have a bike commute to incinerate every calorie I put into my mouth. Of course, I'm going to get out on my bike more. I'm going to ride at night more (to avoid the severe heat) and I'm looking for a bike rack for my tiny Smart Fourtwo so I can enjoy points of interest on my bike.

My immediate concern is a weekly menu, but of course I started with a lunch box and bag. Through chance and happenstance, I saw the above bento box-by-way-of 1960's-America on a trip to Burlington Coat Factory for plant pots. I loved the aqua, brown, and white color scheme. It was deep and had a steam release button, sure signs that this was for adult lunches. (I can't find it for sale anywhere online and the only information available appears to come from a catalog pdf). Next, I was perusing the Baggu's leather goods when I came across their baby Baggu's. Ordinarily, blue items would end up in my shopping cart, but that watermelon print is just too precious and, happily, it's back in stock. I'll have to get back to you on the menu as I finish my light box and test my food styling skills. I also hope to learn to tie my Baggu furoshiki style (even if I never photograph it) because it's just cool.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chichia x ASOS Africa Sale!

Images from Instagram accounts @chichiagram and @thebazaarbohemian

I just don't pay retail, no matter how badly I want a piece of clothing or a bag. Where's the satisfaction in paying a huge mark-up for something you want, but don't need? That's a surefire way to end with a closet full of regret. Sometimes a piece you want sells out, but you have to live in
hope— even sale items get restocked. I'm hoping the jumpsuit above is returned in my size. It seems a risky strategy, but I got five of the items I highlighted in my Lemaire x Uniqlo post. Stalking one's clothes isn't for everyone. There are some of us, however, who live for the thrill of the hunt. Check out Chichia x ASOS Africa at if you're game.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Picnic Picks

Picnic perfection.

These are the only squirrels you want appearing at your picnic.

I'd love to have a super cute English outing with the Anorak picnic pouch packed in my Goododering pannier

I wish everyone a warm Fourth of July with bright clear skies good for viewing fireworks and having picnics! I hope you can ride your bikes to a prime festivity-having-location. I won't be able to do so, but I'm going to get some use out of my picnic pannier this summer for sure. Here are my suggestions for a picnic-friendly fête:

Bruschetta + good bread
Panzanella or anything called "salad"
Google "orzo"
Assemble-on-site sandwiches, like sausage with peppers (see below)

Carmela Romanello's Sautéed Summer Peppers
from I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
minced 1 red onion, ends removed, sliced lengthwise into semicircular chunks
pinch dried oregano
3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow), cored, seeds and pith removed, cut into strips
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large tomatoes (or 2 plum tomatoes), seeded and cut into chunks
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in large saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat and saute garlic and onion with the oregano until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add peppers and 1 teaspoon salt and cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt; continue to cook another 10 to 15 minutes until the peppers are very soft. Test for seasoning and serve with torn basil leaves and freshly ground pepper.

Serve with Italian sausages, barbecued if you're lucky enough to have outdoor space. Otherwise, grill them on the stove.

Yields: 6 servings
© courtnee cycles chic
Maira Gall