Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bill Cunningham New York

What are your plans for this weekend?  I will be heading out to the Film Forum Theater to see Bill Cunningham New York.  For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Cunningham, he is the street fashion photographer for the New York Times.  He was the Sartorialist light years before the blog even existed.  I'm so excited to learn more about Bill Cunningham's fascinating and unconventional life.

Edit: The movie was in one word, phenomenal.  You must see it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Digging Ellie Goulding

This past summer when I was in Bali I was watching the European music stations and discovered Ellie Goulding, a UK singer/songwriter.  Her music video Guns and Horses was on all the time.  But then I forgot all about her... until yesterday when I saw that she would be playing at Coachella this month.  I immediately downloaded her album, Lights off iTunes.  And let me tell you, it's awesome.  She has such a unique voice and her songs have a great beat and are just pop-y enough.  It's the perfect album to listen on your ipod while walking through the city.  I should know, that's exactly what I did today!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Make Really Good Croutons

I'll admit, my favorite part of salad is the croutons.  Who doesn't loves croutons?  And homemade one are the best.  Here is my recipe:

Start with a loaf of really good, day old bread.  I used ciabatta bread.  Next, cut into cubes.  Mine are rather large, but you can make them as big or as small as you want.

Next, melt 1/4 stick of butter in a large saute pan. 

Chop up two cloves of garlic and add to the melted butter.

Now here's my secret ingredient that makes all the difference in the world.  It's anchovy paste in a tube.  Don't get scared... anchovy paste doesn't taste anything at all like fish.  It just gives a great salty, rich flavor (the background flavor that you get in Caesar salad dressing).  You must give it a try. 

Here it is in the pan.  Doesn't look so appetizing, does it?  Don't worry...

It melts right in so it just looks like you have brown butter and garlic.

Next, toss in the bread and coat with all that wonderful butter.  Right about now your kitchen will be smelling great.

Finally here are the last ingredients, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Toss the bread soaked with butter on a foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with a little bit more oil (if you need) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  You can also sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for even more flavor.  I didn't have any on hand but usually I do load it up with cheese.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes stirring once.  And voila, you have croutons!

I use these in regular salads and I also make a delicious panzanella salad with these croutons.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Navy Friday

Happy Friday everyone!  See you Monday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I'm usually not one drawn to super cutesy things but I am obsessed with these little Japanese crocheted stuffed dolls called Amigurumi.  They are just too adorable for words.  So I've decided to teach myself to crochet.  Not that I need another project to add to my ongoing to-do list but I couldn't resist the urge to drop everything and crochet.  I visited Lion Brand Yarn Studio in the city and bought a skein of yarn and a crochet hook and I've been watching tons of how-to-crochet videos on You Tube.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Etsy has a treasure trove of both Amigurumi dolls and patterns.  However, my favorites are by Amy Gaines.  I will be purchasing her patterns for sure.  

All photos by Amy Gaines

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The New Navy Bean

Surprise! Navy Bean has had a face lift!  I've been thinking about a blog redesign for quite some time now and I was thrilled when I discovered the amazingly talented Lindsay at Lindsay Nicole Design Studio. She has designed some of my favorite blogs such as My Cup of Te, Truely Smitten and Besotted Brand Blog so I knew she was the right designer for me. Lindsay was super organized with an extremely fast turn around time and was a pleasure to work with.  I highly recommend her!

My new design is simple and fresh with clean lines and larger photos.  I'm also loving my new simplified link bar to the left.  You'll notice some new features.  I've finally linked my new Navy Bean website: for my business.  It's still in the works but you can now see a professional portfolio of my past projects.  And I've linked my Etsy Store which I will be adding to in the next couple of days.  My old labels section is now under the Archives tab and I will be updating my daily reads link shortly.  Feel free to click around and get used to the new site.  And if you have any questions or are missing something from the old blog set up, please let me know.  I hope you enjoy the new Navy Bean!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fail Harder

I've been on a huge documentary kick lately thanks to Netflix.  This weekend I watched: A Man Named Pearl (recommended by Besotted Brand Blog), Objectified and Art & Copy.  They were all enormously fantastic and inspiring.  However, one segment from Art & Copy especially caught my eye.  It featured a wall art installation at Weiden + Kennedy, an advertising agency most famous for Nike's "Just Do It" campaign. 

The installation was created by the students at Weiden + Kennedy's advertising school.  The unique thing about this installation is that it's made up entirely with clear thumbtacks.  How brilliant is that?  I'd love to try this at home except on a much smaller scale and using foam core board instead of punching thousands of thumbtack holes in my walls. 

The thumbtacks sparkle and shimmer in the light and create a beautiful backdrop.  Plus the sentiment is pretty awesome as well.

Here's the video of its creation that took over 351 hours to create.  I love how they started off by pushing each tack in by hand but eventually switched to a retrofitted screwdriver.  Ouch, those thumbs must have hurt!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Navy Friday

Toweling off after a bath

Happy Friday everyone!  See you Monday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Calligraphy Projects

I've been working on lots of calligraphy projects lately now that it's wedding season.   Here are some samples:

A while back, I did some work for Lindsay at Everything LEB and the other day she posted about her gorgeous invitations that she designed.  I'm so honored that I got to calligraph her envelopes.  Click here to take a look.  Thanks for the lovely compliments Lindsay, it was a pleasure working with you!

If you are interested in my calligraphy services or would like to see samples of my work, please email me at: for more information or visit my Etsy Store.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My heart goes out to all of those who are suffering in Japan.  Tragedies like this make you realize the power of human strength.

Source: via Navy Bean on Pinterest

Monday, March 14, 2011

Add to your Netflix Queue

Over the weekend I watched the best documentary I think I've ever seen: Exit Through the Gift Shop. It is the Academy Award nominated film by notorious British street artist, Banksy and it documents the underworld of that genre.  It's a documentary that has been twisted around and turned on it's head while tackling the age old question, "what is art?"  All I can say is watch it and form your own opinion.  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Navy Friday

Happy Friday everyone!  See you Monday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fabric Walls on Nate Berkus

I was watching the Nate Berkus show today and Nate shared (in his words) his "most precious design tip, ever."  Wow.  I have to say it's pretty amazing.  Watch the video:

So what do you think?  Has anyone ever tried this?  After watching this I really want to "fabric" my walls... like... tomorrow.  It certainly is a great temporary option for us renters. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shopping in the City: Eataly

Mario Batali's latest venture, Eataly is a combination high end food court slash Italian grocery store.  It's a fun place to browse and I always pick up a few Italian goodies when I'm in the area. 

Eataly is huge... it takes up 50,000 square feet and has five restaurants.

I love the high stand-around bistro tables... so European.

Salumi and Cheese counter.

Mmm... fresh bread. The focaccia is fantastic.

Fresh fruits, artfully displayed.

This is one serious cappuccino machine!

We can't forget the fresh pasta...

Or the aisles and aisles of dried pasta too.  A sight to behold.

I love the colorful bottles of the imported sodas...

and the bottled water.

But my favorite part of Eataly?  It's the section of imported Italian candies.  I adore the packaging and the tiny tins. 

And it looks like I'm not the only one who spotted these pretty tins.  See what was featured in last month's Martha Stewart magazine:

So pick up some pretty Italian candies and save the tins!

200 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(Entrances on 5th Avenue and 23rd Street)

Open everyday 10-11

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