The Swinging London

My eyes slowly fluttered closed to the Teutonic rasp of Anita Pallenberg, reminiscing
about that most incredible time, 
when fashion, art, and music made love nightly
and the counter culture ruled the day.

You see, dreary, stodgy old post-war Britain had shape-shifted, seemingly overnight, into a colorful burst of youth and excitement, hell bent on shaking things up...

As Time magazine put it,"Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop."

Can you picture it?

biba boutique, the . mecca of 60's cool

biba boutique, the . mecca of 60's cool

Fading into kaleidoscope visions, 
each bat of my eyelash a click on an old Viewmaster scene,
dazzled by her smile
getting lost in Syd Barrett’s stare
lulled by Mick’s soft lion's purr…

I awoke to a misty rain, and a scented chill in the air.
Without even thinking I slithered into one of my favorite dresses - 
a deep blue curve-hugger, adorned with tiny wildflowers, a short, flirting hem, and a keyhole neckline.
I recalled the day I tried it on in a London boutique a few years ago. Sliding back the dressing room curtain, I saw the irresistible grin of my co-star. He said simply, “Oh yeah.”

Every time I have been to this energetic city, it's been a blast. I’ve scored incredible clothes from Carnaby Street to Camden market, danced in chic nightclubs, lounged in groovy bars, and, despite it’s reputation for horrid fare, always managed to secure London’s one culinary treasure: amazing Indian food. 

So, to celebrate this glorious city, an era like no other, and my darling Mick’s (slightly belated) birthday, I give to you a lively, sexy chilled drink that's purrfect for a wet Summer day.

Or, in Mick's words, let's "drink your health in scented jasmine tea."

Shall we?

The Swinging London

Serves two

  • 1 tsp organic Earl Grey tea
  • 1 Tbsp organic jasmine pearl flowers
  • 2 C pure water
  • A splash of unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste

Loves, we can easily make this into a caffeine-free libation by losing the Earl Grey...but, if you want a little extra charge for a labor-intensive day (of shopping?), leave it as is.

After all, black tea has its benefits. It's full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease. Way better for you, my sweet Beasties, than coffee. 

Fire up your pure water until its just warm, but not boiling, then submerge your loose teas down deep for about 3 minutes. (If you leave the jasmine in too long it will be bitter.) Allow it to cool. 

When it's ready, add the vanilla, lemon essential oil, and stevia. Pour it into an appealing glass. In goes the ice, and a splash of almond milk to your liking.  Fabulous!

Jasmine not only possesses an incredible scent and taste, but holds the magical prowess of attracting spiritual love. If you burn it in the bedroom, it ignites prophetic dreams. And lemon, of course, invites warm friendships and sensual love, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin C. This is why it's so important not to overheat the water - you get the full wild benefits of leaves and flowers when they remain in a technically "raw" state, nutritionally and otherwise.

But enough talk. Just get loose. Enjoy the seductive aroma, the sensual flavors, and the way it makes you feel.

Beautiful, yes?

Dig it!

xxx Alise

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The Minx's Stole

I am so over Winter. Already.

It’s been snowing endlessly. And yes, it’s pretty. 

But it’s cold. Really cold.

Mick understands.

Mick understands.

It’s only mid-January, but already I am restless. My winter womp-womp has set in. Don't misunderstand...lazy, snowy days are poetic. Breathtakingly so. I love a good curl-up as much as the next cat. A delicious book, a steamy cup of something...warm bodies entwined, watching the white-tipped trees through the bedroom window...it’s all too beautiful (cue The Small Faces)...for the first two months.

But then the wanderlust creeps in. And with it the realization that it’s too cold to wander, hits like a snowball in the face.

Let's shake this OFF. Let’s do a fun project together.

I call it,

How To Make An Easy, Yet Outrageously Glam Scarf In Less Time Than It Takes To Complain About Winter

Ready? Here’s what we’ll need:

  • Faux fur fabric scraps, (you can buy 1/8 yd of fabric in most shops,) or re-purpose old coats, collars, even sofa throws. I just picked up a discounted furry throw for $15 that I can easily get two pillows and a scarf out of it.
  • large sewing needle 
  • thread    
  • Giant snaps 

Step 1: Trim the piece to size, trim any jagged edges (yes it will shed!)  You want it to be reasonably neat, because we aren’t going to sew a hem (I told you this would be simple!)

Step 2: Wrap the fabric around your neck, check it in the mirror to see how you would like it to lay, and mark with a pin where you want it to close so it fits perfectly. (approx. 3-4” from opposite edge of fabric.)

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Step 3:  Take one end, gather the corner in toward the middle, then do the same with the opposite corner, creating a triangle.

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Step 4: Sew a few “stay stitches” to tack the fabric you just rolled, it will keep it in place.

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Step 5:  Sew a giant snap at the point of the triangle, then sew the other snap half onto the fabric where you marked it with a pin. Here’s a tip: all snaps have a male half and a female half. You can figure it out...

**Make sure you are sewing the snaps on the right side-a good way to cheat it is to keep the snap snapped when you are placing the second one down, then when you know you have it, unsnap and sew.

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Put it on, snap it closed, tuck the stray ends under and you’re good to go.

Et voila!

Gorgeously glam, super-warm, cruelty-free. 

How sexy is that?

Of course...if you want...you can get fancy and adorn your stole at the closure with a vintage brooch, a flower pin, or sew on a trinket to personalize it. I kinda got carried away. I made four. One in brown, white, red, and this large, wolfish, grey-tipped one. And you know what? I've had so much fun, my grump-ass mood has vanished completely. 

 

Meeeooowww. And some howling.

xxx Alise