October 31, 2014


Valentina Duracinsky Smith College 1 Valentina Duracinsky Smith College 2 Valentina Duracinsky Smith College 3 Valentina Duracinsky Smith College 4
bag c/o Hoopes Park Studios • head scarf: thrifted • necklace c/o Chandler the Robot
t-shirt: H&M • jeans: GAP • shoes: Bocage • earrings: gift

These days I've been wearing a lot of the same stuff over and over... A little too often, really. I have very little clothes here in the US - mostly activewear. Everything else is already in Paris. I have two pairs of jeans that I wear most days. These and my Madewell jeans. And activewear. And I do laundry more often, which I dislike greatly. My goal was to take as much as possible back to Paris before the summer, and to sell stuff here, and take a few things to Colombia to leave with my mom... But I've been buying books and those are going to be heavy. I love them though! Books, books, books, yay books (hashtag bookworm).
I love this tote bag that the lovely Claire (here) made for me! Perfect colorblock style. It goes with everything and it's oh so practical. Basically the perfect tote bag. 
Secret. The head scarf is the perfect answer to dirty hair. 

October 30, 2014


peach banana mango coconut bread
Averie cooks amazing things: Peach Mango Coconut Banana bread
...YES PLEASE! Check out Averie Cooks blog here

oh wait, I never eat bread.
Weeeell, it depends.

It's true, most of the time, I actually stay away from bread. Not 100% intentionally. It's just the way I eat. I rarely eat sandwiches – salads are my thing. If I eat bread, I want it to be good bread. Like Hungry Ghost deliciousness. The other day, my family and I had a sort of picnic in the sunroom. We ate stilton and 4 year cheddar cheese with Hungry Ghost 8-grain bread and amazing fig jam. Kady brought gooseberry jam, too. That went well with the slices of turkey. As much as I love cheese on bread, my other favorite way to eat bread is very simple: quality butter and rosemary. Oh my goodness, it is the best. I found a bunch of recipes for breads – some sweet, like banana bread (yum) – and would like you to check these babies out. Some food bloggers out there, man, they take mouth watering pictures. I need to stop going on their blogs as often as I do. 


walnut bread. Remind me why we all buy bread instead of make it at home?

This looks good. I've always been a fan of good, dense, moist banana nut bread

but if you're vegan (or not) this is the banana bread for you! (and me. not vegan, whatever)

orange blossom zucchini bread! whattt

I really want this bread to change my life too. It looks divine

French bread! Say no more. Let's make it

earl grey honey whiskey cake (bread) she put it in the 'bread' category, so there

seeded whole grain breakfast bread – now THIS you need to make!

this pear cranberry walnut bread sounds healthy, almost

Smitten Kitchen's black bread

October 27, 2014


Bunny 90s Delicious Luna Bar Sipp Ginger Blossom Bits & Pieces 4 Smith College Botanical Pasta Cacio e Pepe Toblerone Wilder House - Smith College Botanical Garden 2 Smith College

A little bunny in the 90s (me) // A little obsessed with Luna bars // trying new things // botanical garden at Smith // very unflattering picture of dinner I made - pasta cacio e pepe! // gigantic Toblerone bar I've yet to finish // silly pictures for outfit posts // botanical garden again

When was the last time I did a Bits & Pieces post? It seems like a long time ago... It's hard keeping track. I haven't really been taking out the old camera lately. It doesn't seem like there's much to photograph, and whenever I do, it's frustrating to take bad pictures (like that pasta picture. But I wanted to show you that sometimes the best meals are really simple! Parmesan and pepper... so good!) My days go by very quickly. It will be eleven at night and I will be wondering what the hell I did all day. Why is everything accelerating? Then there are those occasional days, like this past Monday, when it's 6PM and I'm counting the minutes until it's socially acceptable to go to bed. It was a weird day. I didn't want to do a thing. Just sleep. Weirdly enough, I ended up going for a long jog "because I had nothing better to do". Speaking of running, I think I'm getting better at it. I think I might even be enjoying it?? Let's hope so. Because when I get back to Paris, I'll be doing most of my exercise outside.

October 23, 2014


Eggs Benedict

amazing photo by my name is yeh - get recipe here!

If you're vegan, sorry. This post is not for you! Next one, don't worry. I actually love eggs. I'm not very adventurous though. My usual in the morning (when I'm home and not at Smith) is a two egg white omelet with cheddar and tomatoes. I also love when Smith has hard boiled eggs because I get rid of the yolk and mix the whites with cottage cheese and pepper... it's delicious. Eggs are really nutritious and healthy and amazing and I think we should all eat them and be adventurous together! Here...


you can eat it without being able to spell it... shakshuka with feta

this looks amazing! garlicky polenta with spinach and runny eggs

simplicity at its best: breakfast sandwich

poached eggs in red wine sauce... finally not a breakfast!

eggs with shaved brussell sprout salad sounds great

I never bake eggs! I see now that I should – baked egg w/ ricotta, thyme & chervil

and as a salad... asparagus, egg & bacon

garlicky sautéed greens with eggs – I like garlic?

seems heavy but kind of delicious? bacon, egg & leek risotto

I've poached one egg in my entire life – Poached egg and avocado toast

Any good recipes out there? What do you like? Have you tried any of these? If you have, let me know in your comments and I'll post a link to yours!

October 21, 2014


Who :: David Byrne & St Vincent 

These days I have very little music on my ipod because I've listened to everything on my computer a million times and I need new music... David Byrne & St Vincent are still on there though. They come and go (I don't want to get sick of the songs by over-listening to them in a short period of time) As is Thom Yorke's new album (perfect timing, Thom. Thank you, and I approve.) Thankfully Pandora is an amazing website and I have been listening to music and making a list of albums to get. Tom Waits is a big one, more Bob Dylan, some Edith Piaf, some Chopin. Need to get into some more Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Talking Heads, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Neil Young... any suggestions? I love when they appear on my Pandora stations. 

October 20, 2014


Pars - Montmartre - David Byrne Paris - David Byrne

How Music Works by David Byrne

Over the summer, I finally got my hands on How Music Works by the master himself, David Byrne. It's over 400 pages long but I managed to stay interested throughout the whole thing (I say this as if it's a triumph because I've been having a hard time finishing books lately!) As a musician, I thought it would be cool to maybe... kind of... sooort of understand the music industry... you know, it could come in handy. How Music Works was wonderful and so useful. I don't know what someone who isn't in the music world would think – if you are a big Talking Heads fan, then it's a must, if you don't really care about knowing more about music or David Byrne, well, get your hands on another classic because we only have one life and there are far too many books to read (I always get anxious about this. I'll never read them all). If you are interested, here are some real reviews:

October 18, 2014


spoleto's 2 spoleto's 1

Forgive me guys, I realize these are not the most appetizing pictures. I didn't take my camera so I asked a friend if I could use her iphone. And, well, you know, there you go. 

spoleto's 3 spoleto's 4 spoleto's 5

In early September, Northampton (oh this lovely town) had a "Northampton Restaurant Week". A long list of restaurants participated. They each offered special 3-course meals for 20 or 25 dollars. Not too bad for three courses! So I grabbed four other friends and we went to a place I'd never been to before: Spoleto's. I have to say, we were all really really happy with our meals. I got the filet mignon with fries and it was amazing. I live in France, shouldn't I have had filet mignon by now!? This may be normal (or not) but I usually always need ketchup with my fries. That's just how I like them. Well the filet mignon pepper sauce was delicious and I didn't even bother with ketchup. Finally, the trio of chocolate mousse, chocolate flourless cake and chocolate dipped strawberry... so good! We left (very) full and satisfied! 

spoleto's 6 spoleto's 7

It's the middle of October and I still have a bunch of places I'd like to go to before I leave in the middle of December. How will I fit them all in my schedule? Or actually, where will I find the money? If you are ever in Northampton, ask me for a list of recommendations! I've been around. 

October 16, 2014


Style Icon - Fashion - Trend

beautiful photo from The Northern Light

Can someone please tell me how the whole "posting pictures from Pinterest onto your blog" thing works? I see so many blogs that post pictures they've found (on Pinterest or other blogs) and then link them or don't link them back to the original source. Is it technically illegal but people do it anyway? I've started looking up every single source for the pictures I post and am only posting if somewhere on the website/blog it says something along the lines of "feel free to use my images as long as there’s a clear link to this website." I think we should all do that... 

Because of my fear that, hey you're not supposed to be posting pictures that are not yours, I will be sharing many links from now on. 

  • when I pinned this image, I got some Pinterest notifications right away. Beautiful, right?
  • Olivia Palermo, so effortless, so lovely! HERE
  • again, the girl from the first picture. Love this image.
  • not that I'm so into colors these days (I wear what I have but if I want to buy something new, it'll be black) but this is lovely
  • see? all black. Looking cool.
  • ooooor black & white & grey
  • also my uniform - HERE

Though I pin a lot of images to my style board, I don't actually know what is going in the fashion world. What is trendy, fashionable these days? Why is everything so baggy? I'm small with kind of wide hips (I think), baggy looks even less attractive on me. A lot of crazy stuff out there... I like simple à la Audrey Hepburn. Oh that lady has style... She's a fashion icon. 

October 14, 2014


Granola Bar Fall Recipe

Picture from wonderful my name is yeh

Pinterest is dangerous when it comes to pinning pictures of food. You just start getting so hungry... You start craving everything you just pinned. Being in college, I eat whatever is in the dining hall or go out to restaurants, so I try to keep the food pinning at times when I know it won't kill me to look at pictures of food! It's interesting to note there are certain times of day I can look at food and say, That looks good, I'll make it some day and others when just one picture of a fallen soufflé chocolate cake means I need something sweet right now. When I get home, I don't even know where I will start. There are so many recipes to try. I might be able to try a few at Thanksgiving. 

Fall is a time for warmth and pumpkin (yes, I am one of those people) and soups and coats. I'm glad my last semester at Smith is in the fall because autumn Massachusetts is all they say it is. It's a wonderful place to be at this time of year. We start to crave food that is rich and decadent and hot. It's funny to see what I've been into lately. I've added quite a few new subcategories to my food Pinterest board. I've had a "Pumpkin" Pinterest board since the very beginning but I just added a fig Pinterest board, a matcha Pinterest board, an "alcoholic desserts" Pinterest board! Honestly, if you're strong enough to resist temptations, I urge you to check them out. I've pinned some pretty delicious stuff. Here are 10 recipes that I'd like to make now... (11 if you count the picture, which I do)


ohhhh brown butter pumpkin granola

Debatable, but I'm certainly in – rabbit in almond sauce

pumpkin streusel muffins

I want salmon no matter what the season... salmon with beet sauce

I bet this is better than the fake *$ kind... pumpkin spice latte

oh so delicious sticky buns

apple, sage & cheddar scones... thanks I'll take one

bourbon ice cream, anyone?

smoked almond gravy to put on everything

healthy crustless pumpkin pie

What do you guys think? Worth making these recipes, right? I just got a fresh batch of the homemade granola Jim (dining hall cook) makes in Emerson/Cushing. I'm the number one fan of that granola and he even let me watch him make it once so I could learn. So when I get back home, I am definitely making granola. Top of my list, it is! Pumpkin, or not. Let me know if you try any of them out and I'll post links to your blogs in the next round! Have a great day. 

October 12, 2014


Holy hell, how is it already 3:30pm? What a blogger I've been. Procrastination comes oh so naturally to me. It's like a gift. A talent. But I had to write eventually... I guess that's now. It's October break. That lovely time of year when we get two days off which means four day weekend! Everyone leaves and the campus is almost empty. The festivities started Friday evening. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep at around 11pm. Such a grandmother these days. Waking up at 6:30 every morning is haaard though! Apart from spending far too much time on Pinterest, dreaming up menus, inviting my friends in Paris over for brunch or dinner, cooking up a delicious storm... 

 photo french-kids-eat-everything-book-.png

I also finished a book in three days. I love the feeling of wanting to just sit down with a good book! And that book was French Kids Eat Everything. I'm also still in the middle of The Omnivore's Dilemma and it's safe to say food is on my mind constantly. I work at a daycare and one of my jobs is unpacking the toddlers' lunches. At first I was amazed at how well the kids ate. It seemed like they had all these organic, natural things in the lunch boxes... but these days I see things differently. Sure, organic is great but a kid doesn't need organic apple juice and a banana. In fact, what is with all the juice? Real fruit is far better. Then I realized that so many were getting pretty much no protein. Ah, I could go on and on. Maybe I'll write a whole post on this topic. I absolutely recommend this book.

 photo OmnivoresDilemma_full.jpg

I'm still reading The Omnivore's Dilemma but it is damn interesting and terrifying. Even though I haven't finished it, I will go ahead and recommend it. I want to read as many books as possible on all these food topics, even if I don't intuitively agree with some things. You have to know to have an opinion. 

 photo 41bgerqvwsl.jpg

I read this last year and really enjoyed it. Far easier to get into than The Omnivore's Dilemma (it took me forever to finish the first chapter about corn. snooze... kind of. Sorry). This was a great read! Get it!

I just ordered a few new books on education, and food politics, etc... Any suggestions?

PS. You should definitely follow me on Pinterest – I pin a ton of good stuff on there ;)

October 7, 2014


Agnes Obel :: The Curse (Berlin Session)

I've bought a few concert tickets for the Iron Horse this semester. In November, I shall be going to see miss Agnes Obel. Exciting! Here is one of her songs. I hope you enjoy xx

October 6, 2014


IMG_3920 IMG_3921

And we are all impressed with my excellent iphone pictures of food. Hmmm tasty, right? No really, don't go. It actually was really good! This one morning when I was kind of hungry in between breakfast and lunch (all the time, why!? I eat decent breakfasts) and since I'm trying to be healthy and eat less fat, less sugar, better portions, I made a quick and delicious little snack. And now I've got an obsession with figs. 

 2 rice cakes (bjorg 17 cal)
1 fig (37 cal)
3 tablespoons cottage cheese
sprinkle of bee pollen

120 calories!

Not bad for a snack, huh? And not boring either. The good thing is that you can make this with peaches too. I tried it. YUM... Best of luck being healthy! It gets easier with time. 

October 5, 2014


Valentina Duracinsky :: Hand


local milk – lamb looks good!
Atlantic Pacific – luuuucky to be at the beach
Manger – I've never tried oysters... I should


so stylish! All black
oh madewell, I'm loving this bag
to look like Audrey: One / Two / Three / Four

funny / interesting / beautiful

Kurt Vonnegut's writing tips
this lovely picture. All those plants!
Audrey looks beautiful here
I'll be dreaming of living somewhere like this...


Sticky buns: because I'm obsessed! One / Two 
Pumpkin Spice Latte - the real deal at home!
Mooncakes - these are beautiful and so intriguing!
So into figs, I am... Here
These all look delicious and beautiful: One / Two / Three

October 3, 2014


Flour Bakery 1 Flour Bakery 2 Flour Bakery 3 Flour Bakery 4 Flour Bakery 5 Flour Bakery 6 Flour Bakery 7 Flour Bakery 8 Flour Bakery 9 Flour Bakery 10 Flour Bakery 11

Flour Bakery

I'm writing this on a Sunday morning with black coffee in my hand and an empty stomach. Breakfast in my fridge is banana and peanut butter. No desire for that while I stare at these pictures of Flour Bakery sticky buns... oh, sticky buns... I'm pretty sure I haven't had one since that day, that lovely lovely day, in Boston. It was soooooo good. Sticky buns are my favorite! Look how amazing and gooey and delicious it looks! My mom had some egg bacon breakfast sandwich which looked good and all, but you know, I mean come on. Sticky bun. I quite enjoyed going to Flour Bakery! The decor and set up is a bit similar (in my head) to a place in Paris called Frenchie to Go. Or maybe it's the atmosphere. Anyway, if you're in Boston, Flour Bakery is a lovely place to go for breakfast! 

October 2, 2014


IMG_3328 IMG_3327 IMG_3320 IMG_3323 IMG_3324

Sweet Cupcakes

It would not be a lie to say I have a huge sweet tooth. However, I try not to give into the bigger things (other than those "degustation de patisseries" moments). Most nights, I'll end with some chocolate (a square or two) or yogurt... I eat a lot of greek yogurt with honey. I read too much bad stuff about the effect of sugar on your body and guilt myself out of certain things. Furthermore, if I do give in, then I want the treat to be TOTALLY worth it. Cupcakes are hardly my favorite dessert but I like to try them sometimes. The best cupcake I've ever had (then again, I haven't had that many) was most certainly, without a doubt the salted caramel one from Georgetown Cupcakes in Bethesda. I had that one more recently than I had the cupcakes from Sweet Cupcakes in Boston so I'm having a very hard time recalling my feelings that day. I know that I enjoyed them and it was very hard to choose. If I remember well, we tried a caramel brownie one and a pumpkin one... because, hello, pumpkin obsessed woman right here. It was a very sunny Sunday afternoon and we were the only ones there for a long time. The place was very cute and girly and a nice place to sit and enjoy a treat while shopping on Newbury street (Madewell!). 

Let me know if you ever make it there and what cupcake you try! 

October 1, 2014


Neptune 1

Last year in October, I spent a weekend in Boston with my mom. I've finally come around to actually reviewing some of the places we went to. In the next three days I will post some great places to eat in Boston. Here is the first.

Neptune 2 Neptune 3 Neptune 4 Neptune 5 Neptune 6 Neptune 7

Neptune Oyster

Before my mom moved back to Colombia last year, she came to the US for a month. She visited some cousins and then she came to stay with me for a week. I met her at the bus station in Boston and we spent a beautiful fall weekend there. Boston is one of my favorite cities ever. I love Boston so very much. I also love good food. I am a foodie, I should say. I had never had lobster rolls before so I needed to get one while we were in Boston. I read recommendations, and Neptune Oyster was right up there in the list. We went and had to put our names on the hour long waitlist. But guess what? It was worth it. It was a spectacular lobster roll and even the fries were delicious! I am dying to go back to Boston and when I do, I truly want to go back to that marvelous place. 

If you find yourself craving lobster in Boston, you know where to go. Actually, if you find yourself craving SEAFOOD you know where to go. The menu was full of yummy suggestions, but we just wanted the warm lobster roll that night! Expect a wait and expect to pay a little more than usual (quality stuff). 

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