Next Level Food


This book has changed the way I cook. As my daughter was researching a school project on food flavor combination, we came across The Flavor Bible, which was published in 2008. It lists nearly every edible food and all the foods and herbs that complement it. So, if I randomly opened the book up to…Honeydew, the flavor pairing are listed as:

Basil, blackberries, cardamom, Champagne, chiles, coconut milk, coriander, cream, cumin, figs, ginger, grapefruit, honey, lemon juice, lemon basil, lime, cantaloupe, mint, nectarines, peaches, red pepper flakes, pepper, prosciutto, ricotta cheese, salt, scallions, strawberries, sugar, tarragon, wine (sweet), yogurt.

Some of these pairs I knew from experience, but I didn’t know about chiles, cardamom or Champagne. I’m such a recipe follower and never really learned how to make up my own creations. Now with this amazing book, I am experimenting like never before.

The first 35 pages are filled with advice and musings from the world’s top chefs on how to experiment, prepare and get the most flavor out of your food. The next 340 pages are all flavor pairings and I find it fascinating and eye-opening. One thing I learned is to always season your food right from the start of cooking. If you only salt & pepper at the end, you’ve lost the chance to infuse deeper flavor into food. Wonderful!

This is not a book for learning how to cook. Instead, it’s more for cooks and aspiring chefs interested in taking their food to the next level. Now, when my daughter and I cook together, we consult the food bible to see what flavors we’ll add in today. Not only is that good for the food, but it’s even better that she and I are experimenting together.

Bon Appetit!

x Laura


This blog has always tracked global street style, because I find other cities and people around the world so fascinating. I read books on Geo-political topics for pleasure and it’s my habit to read national news first and then jump over to the BBC news page for a broader world view. There are so many news items that the US papers don’t even cover. Over the past year, I’ve been keeping up on the conflict in the Ukraine and it’s disintegrating quickly and violently.

After reading All The Light We Cannot See at the beginning of the year, it crystallized for me that wars and conflicts are singularly political, and that the people, families and communities always lose, no matter which side they are on.

I wanted to feature street style from Kiev, Ukraine today because it’s important to put a face to places. Conflict touches regular people — these people and their loved ones. I’m not sure what the next political move is by the international community, but I am watching and I care.

Anya (photo: Style in Kyiv)

Anya (photo: Style in Kyiv)

Diana (photo: Style in Kyiv)

Diana (photo: Style in Kyiv)

Diana - (photo: Style in Kyiv)

Diana – (photo: Style in Kyiv)

Yana - (photo: Style in Kyiv)

Yana – (photo: Style in Kyiv)

Be sure to check out more from Style in Kyiv and see street fashion and beautiful faces from Kiev, Ukraine.

We are all one.

x Laura

“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See


Knitting Noodles large wool basket

Waiting on Martha – Dutch crown braid tutorial

Joe’s Jeans – Prosper Open-toe Booties

Ancient Greek Sandals – Althea Suede sandals

Venessa Arizaga silver braided bracelet

Click any picture for more crisscross-y details.

How cute is that Dutch braid? The rest of the tutorial shows how to fix hair  as shown or how to make a braided crown with messy bun underneath. It doesn’t look too done, which is nice. Have to try this on one on my daughter for a test run.

Enjoy the day!

x Laura

“Life is a web of intersections and choices. Your 1st choice is to recognize an intersection. Your 2nd choice is to be grateful for it.” — Ryan Lilly

Slick Silver


First off, Happy New Year!

For one, I’m glad to put last year to bed, and be off and running on a new year. I’m still formulating my personal vision for 2015, but with irons already in the fire, I’m looking forward to it. While 2014 was mostly good, there were more surprises than I’ve had in a while and not the fun kind. I guess some years are like that and all in all, we are happy, healthy and wiser.

As for fresh starts, I wanted to show something besides winter white or cozy sweaters, even though I’m a big fan of those looks. When I saw this metallic shoe punctuating her everyday outfit, it seemed right. Right for winter doldrums and right for ushering in softer spring looks (whenever that will be).

So….I went and found some cool options for pretty silver metallic shoes:

Prada pointy toe leather pump, $650

Sophia Webster ‘Izzy’ holographic leather shoe, $210

Seychelles ‘Majestic’ d’Orsay pump, $109



Tamara Mellon ‘Addiction’ pump, $238

I’ve never worn a metallic shoe like these, but think I’d really dig it. Do you remember these insane Alexander Wang metallic loafers? Wish I had a pair right now…

Enjoy the day!

x Laura

Simply Black and White

Sometimes simplicity is best. It’s easy for me to overthink an outfit, especially if it’s for a special occasion. Today, I saw all these amazing photos of women in black and white outfits and they reminded me how elegant the combo is.

Black maxi skirt + white t-shirt

Brocade skirt, Black shell, statement necklace

Winter white coat with black ankle boots

Oversized sweater with shorts and flats

Nothing boring here! White blouse with black cropped pant, heels

Chunky white sweater, white coat, black silk pant

Stay well and warm!

x Laura

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”
― Ted Grant