ponedjeljak, 20. veljače 2012.

Piece of Cake!

Hello all!

Sometimes I’m lucky and a recipe idea works out the first time I try it.
Calories!!! Who cares? Who doesn't love sampling great cheesecakes that were produced from favorite recipes? It's obvious that it is a favorite dessert for many people...just take a look at restaurant menus.
I love cheesecakes and I've been wanting to make one.
It's got sour cream, cream cheese, and heavy cream, so it's very rich and very creamy.
Let me start off by saying that I am not the best cook in the world. In fact, because of my lack of skill in that area, it is one of my least favorite things to do. An exception to that is making desserts and in particular cheesecakes. Every time I make one for family or friends to enjoy, they always seem incredulous and can't seem to believe that I actually made it.
Everyone who has tried it (friends, family, co-workers) says it's the best cheesecake they ever had!

Believe it or not, they are really not that hard to make and you end up with a dessert that is sure to delight and amaze your friends when they see what you have created.

I love cheesecakes.

And best of all, I want to share my cheesecake recipe with you all.
So, here we go...

Getting Ready
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare springform: Cover removable bottom with foil. Click sides into place and fold excess foil up the sides. Prepare waterbath: Place kitchen towel on bottom of a roasting pan or cake pan. Place one 9 inch springform in the pan to determine the water level. The water needs to be two thirds the height of the springform. Bring determined water amount to boil while the making the cheesecake.

1 1/2 cup crushed graham cracker
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
7 tablespoon unsalted butter(melted)
1. Combine graham cracker crumbs with sugar.
2. Add melted butter and blend until combined.
3. Press into pan. Set aside.

Lemon Cheesecake
(4) 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and mix until smooth.
3. Add egg in one at a time, making sure to completely incorporate each egg before adding the next.
4. Add in lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest, mix until combined.
5. Pour into prepared springform pan.
6. Bake at 325 degrees F or 50-55 minutes or until sides are set and center is just a bit jiggly when pan is tapped. The center will firm up as it cools from the permeating heat.
5. After five minutes of cooling run you’re a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cheesecake from the sides of the pan. This will further prevent any cracks that may occur.

Balsamic Blackberry Reduction Sauce
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
3 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt
1. In a heavy-bottom saucepan over high heat, combine blackberries and water. Macerate the berries with a potato masher or a roux whisk. Bring to a boil. Push mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Disgard solids.
2. Pour liquid back into saucepan and add balsamic, sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to a hard boil for 5minutes. Reduce heat to a soft boil and add honey. Continue on a soft boil, while stirring continuously until the sauce is reduced by half or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
3. Let cool before pouring over cheesecake.

They can be as simple or as complicated as you want but the results are always the same...delicious!

Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

 Njam njam,

Idda van Munster

srijeda, 15. veljače 2012.

How to create a classic Hollywood cat eye look

The perfect cat-eye liner look brings to mind those 1960's actresses that graced the silver screen.

1960's eyes make-up
Sophia Loren

I do cat eyes every day.
Eyeliner ... friend or foe? Eyeliner can be one of the best tools in your beauty arsenal, if you know how to use your weapon right. The way you should line your eyes has a lot to do with the shape of your eyes.

Applying eyeliner well takes concentration and a relaxed hand. I recommend starting with a pencil liner to get the hang of it, and possibly graduating to a liquid liner when you feel more confident. Because there are many variations of the cat-eye look, ranging from sharp, thin and pointed to fat and supersmudgy, there are as many techniques.
My cat-eye look
All you need is:

1. A steady hand. Don't even think about trying this at home if you're jacked up on coffee or in a rush. Take deep breaths and relax.

2. Black eyeliner. I'm using Bourjois eyeliners or Essence waterproof. I like this Guerlain Divinora eyeliner too - because it looks so elegant and the brush is needle sharp. Liquids rule.

3. A neutral eyeshadow -- peach or taupe. You don't want to add color to the lid or diffuse the cat eye by blending. I'm using MAC: wholesale benefit naked eyeshadow.

4. Apply Mascara or False Eyelashes.

I always wear false eyelashes.

Let's do it:
Brush the neutral shadow on entire lid. Blend this color from your lids softly up to your brow bone, as your base shadow. You may want to add a bit of subtle shimmer under the arch of your eyebrow.
Starting on the inside of the eye, trace the black liquid eyeliner right along your upper lash line with a steady hand. The line should be ultra-fine. The only way to create a thicker line is to go back and add another right next to the first one. By doing this, you already have a straight line to follow. (It helps to gently pull the lid out to create a straight lash line.
You want to flip the line upwards at the end toward the temple. This is a very retro look and you can go more subtle and still get some oomph.
Add a boatload of mascara to TOP LASHES ONLY. I am talking like two, maybe even three coats. You might want to either add a few false eyelashes to the outer lashes OR just add more mascara there. The longer the lashes at the outer end, the more of a cat eye you get.

Here is the result:
The look: Cat-eye

With love,

Idda van Munster

A special thanks to my friend Safet Hadzimusic for the photos.

četvrtak, 9. veljače 2012.

My great inspiration: Marlene Dietrich

"I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men... I am at heart a gentleman!" ~ Marlene Dietrich

Ever since I was a child, I have wanted to look like the actresses of old Hollywood. Marlene’s films have always been a source of style inspiration for me. She would wear the most outrageous of outfits or indeed the most wearable down-to-earth clothes which can easily be worn today, and they are. Ah, Marlene!
Can I choose a single favourite film by Marlene? No. Why would I settle for a starter if I can have a whole three course meal?
But if I had to choose a single must see, I’d say Morocco (1930) in all its glory.

Marlene Dietrich sings dressed as a man in Josef Von Sternberg's "Morocco" ( 1930)
Cold blue angel
She is my great, great inspiration. I just can't get enough of Marlene! I'm ready to look at her all the time and at her incredible eyes with big eyelids! I have always loved Marlene. Her glamour was over the top, surreal, dangerous, androgynous and unforgetable.
Inaccessible, mysterious, fascinating and rare beauty. Cold, blue angel and a glamorous femme fatale.
Marlene Dietrich singing in Morocco!

Me as my inspiration © Safet Hadzimusic

© Safet Hadzimusic
© Safet Hadzimusic
Color & Black-white

The mystery of your beauty lies in the care of your loving kindness of the heart!

Love you all,
Idda van Munster

How to recreate a 1920's look - How to Be a Flapper Girl

"A well dressed woman, even though her purse is painfully empty, can conquer the world." ~  Louise Brooks

1920s Flappers: The flapper look is seen frequently during the show in the women’s costumes. This look that we associate with the 1920s, was about achieving a boyish shape.

What's going on?
With the twenties came an outburst of optimism for the war was over, the factories were full and the stock market was climbing.  People had money and they wanted to have fun, fun, fun.  It was the era of the flapper, bathtub gin, organized crime, the model T, talking movies and the Charleston.  It was a time of change and rebirth.  A time to celebrate.

When I think of the twenties I immediately think of the “flapper” which is totally out of whack because flappers didn’t come into being until 1926. Must be Hollywood messing with my head again.  The fact is, dresses and coats were calf length throughout the entire decade.  Short skirts that revealed the knee were only worn during the official “Flapper Period” between 1926 to 1928. The Flapper liked to shake things up and seemed to have fun doing it.  She wore short sleek hair, a short shapeless dress with a flat chest.  She wore makeup, smoked with a long cigarette holder and danced the nights away.

Flapper styles were different or odd for that time.  How to Be a Flapper Girl, here are some steps:

1. Know what a Flapper girl is. The dictionary defines a flapper as - "A young woman, especially one in the 1920s, who showed disdain for conventional dress and behavior." That is, conventional in the 1920s. The style came around after the first world war, and women were tired of trying to conform to society's idea of normal - women were gaining more independence (e.g. being given the right to vote), and the face of America was changing! Flappers were most commonly known for their dancing, drinking, smoking, wearing a lot of makeup, and a love of films.

My 1920's extreme Flapper Make-up & Costume
2. Research some famous Flappers. What better way to learn than by example? Here are some women you may want to look up -
  • Anita Loos (Author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)
  • Clara Bow (Actress in film It)
  • Louise Brooks (Actress in film Pandora's Box)
  • Josephine Baker (Performer in the Folies Bergere)
  • Helen Kane (Singer of I Want To Be Loved By You)
  • Zelda Fitzgerald (Socialite, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald)
3. Dress like a Flapper. So, you know how to act, how to talk... but how do you dress? Well, Flapper's had a very distinctive dress sense - it was like nothing else around in the 1920s. Go out to your local clothes shops, boutiques, thrift stores and vintage stores, or click on eBay or a specialist vintage retailer, and try to find these items.
Behold the shoe of the 20s! This shoe, and versions of it, were ubiquitous through the 20s and remained popular in the 30s as well. Look through the photographs of the time and you will see this shoe in huge variety with “Mary Jane” or t-straps.

Not all women wore the short skirts or flippant styles of the flappers.
T-straps were popular

4. Get some Flapper Glamour: Make-up. You could easily be regarded as a Flapper now! Your wardrobe is the bee's knees, but what about your makeup? Well, don't worry about it, we'll sort that out next. You might be surprised to hear that many brands popular in the 1920s are available today - Avon, Max Factor Elizabeth Arden were all popular among flappers. 

  • Cover your face and your lips with a thin layer of foundation that matches your skin tone (your lip colour should be the same as your skin colour, now), and top it off with some powder on your t-zone. Apply blusher at your own discretion - if you do choose to, keep it up at your cheekbones.
  • Pluck your eyebrows. Flappers were known for having tiny eyebrows. They should be very thin, and either straight or slightly turned down. Highlight your lovely brows by going through them with a dark brown eyebrow pencil.
  • Flapper's wished to achieve the large, doe-eyed look. Wear smudgy, smokey eye-makeup. Finish with some dark mascara and false eyelashes, to really make a statement.
  • This is possibly the most important part of the Flapper look - the lips! You'll want to have cupid-bow lips. Before you begin, make sure your lips are properly coated in foundation. There are two ways to create this look. The first is to take a red lip liner and draw two dramatic peaks on your top lip - don't fill these peaks in, however, nor the rest of your lips. Or, if your prefer, you could take a jar of lipstick, dip your thumb in, and rub it twice over each of your peaks (a lot of girls did this.) This is where your pouting practice will become useful - you'll look very silly with a big grin and cupid bow lips! 
5.  Get Flapper hair. Your flapper look will not be complete with out Flapper hair. A Flapper's hair was extremely important. Ridiculously important. Flapper's wore their hair in bobs. If you have straight hair, or hair straighteners, have a sleek and smooth bob. If you have curly hair, have a wild and unruly one! The choice of having a fringe, or "bangs", is completely up to you. Some people find comfort hiding behind long hair. Well, that has to change. Be loud and proud! NOBODY doesn't suit short hair - there are many different styles of bob to suit different face shapes. Ask a professional hairstylist about what will suit you best. You could also try "finger rolls" in your short hair. Flappers held hair out of their eyes while dancing with headbands decorated with embroidery, beads, or a feather.

6.  Wow. You now have the knowledge, the personality, the hobbies, the lingo, the looks and the dress sense of a true Flapper girl! Have fun with it, and remember to stay true to yourself!

The Jazz Age one which will never be forgotten
With love,

Idda van Munster

četvrtak, 2. veljače 2012.

In my little boudoir

Hi all,

Love the romantic nostalgia of classic Hollywood films? Then you'll love vintage glamour photography in boudoirs.

How long does it take to get ready?
It really depends what I'm getting ready for. Sometimes I can be ready in 15 minutes. I could take as long as 1 hour if I want to look my best for a night out, or if I'm getting ready for an important shoot/ interview or meeting. My make-up usually takes the longest. Clothes and hair are super quick. But, never too busy to be beautiful!

Photos by my friend Safet Hadzimusic.

© Safet Hadzimusic

© Safet Hadzimusic
With love,
Idda van Munster

srijeda, 1. veljače 2012.

Bring back seamed stockings & girdles!

Seamed stockings, the best way to create beautiful legs!
I absolutely adore seamed stockings, I feel like I’m wearing a bit of history on my legs when I wear them! I usually get comments from older women, some who remember wearing them years ago, asking me “where did you find those?” in an astonished voice. They are so surprised to see someone still wearing them in 2012!

My seamed fully fashioned stockings

 It's time to bring seamed stockings back to the mainstream. Tights are all the rage but they make us bulge in the wrong places and show through our clothes, and they're really only good for daytime. We should be seeing seamed stockings out on the streets, on the buses, on the underground and in the bars.Think Marlene Dietrich and 30s glamour, and Dita von Tesse in her burlesque shows. 

I feel like I’m wearing a bit of history on my legs
Seamed stockings were so vital in the war that women drew lines up the back of their legs with eyeliner when they couldn't get them on the black market. It's an insult that they've been abandoned!

So girls, next time you're shopping for tights, but some seamed stockings instead, and wear them with high heels!And boys, buy them for your girlfriends, or anyone who you'd like to see wearing them! Let's bring back some old wartime pride and look great in the process.

1950's elegance

When many modern gals hear "girdle", they think of an uncomfortable, confining, matronly torture device reserved for Grannies. Over the years, a girdle has been associated with repression and being unattractive. The girdle is making a come-back, though as women try to shape their figures when exercise and diet cannot. For us vintage girls, a girdle is a wardrobe must-have! All classy ladies wore girdles from the 1920's to 1970's. When women left the house "ungirdled", they were considered to be sloppy and unladylike.

A woman wearing a girdle will walk and sit with a charming, careful grace that is distinct from the impressions produced by ungirdled informality. In addition to the pleasant tactile feeling of a girdle, many women enjoy the "vintage" feeling, the sense of dressing and moving like the truly classy Hollywood actresses." A girdle is like a great fitting bra, it is the foundation to any incredible outfit and will give the wearer support and confidence to look and feel her best.

My favorite girdle: The nude color one
What Katie Did girdle
 If you are a vintage lady, this is really a must have!
Have fun and stay slinky...
Idda van Munster