Sara Midda’s A Bowl of Olives

sara midda a bowl of olives

Peeking into an artist’s sketchbook is one of my favorite things. I guess that’s why I’ve always loved Sara Midda’s style so much. Each of the books she’s published is like a little watercolor sketchbook. I first fell in love with In and Out of the Garden, then The South of France Sketchbook, now years later, she’s released a new book! A Bowl of Olives: On Food and Memory.

patterns sara midda

Being the food obsessed person I am, it was a treat to get my hands on this book. A Bowl of Olives explores the food through history, places, packaging, Sara’s personal memories, and simple recipes all through her charming watercolor illustrations and hand-written notes. There’s a whole chapter devoted to eggs (!), a two page spread illustrates picnic memories “On the South Downs watching gulls following a plough- we had Scotch Eggs, cold zucchini and potato omelet, ginger beer.”  She discusses setting the table, eating outdoors, veggies, fruit, markets “The market is the soul of every city, town or village and the essential starting point for any visit.”

a bowl of olives

She shares notes, photos, and sketches from visits to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Japan, and to Portugal where I am now! Reading this book was perfect timing as I attempt to delve into a new culture, new groceries, and make new culinary discoveries!

A bowl of olives markets

Sara shares fun facts from history including how teacups got handles and the how the first paper food packaging came about! The recipes are simple and uncomplicated. I am looking forward to trying the Black Currant Fool with Scented Geranium Leaves this summer and for now have tried her simple take on Mujaddara which is simply delightful with a dollop of yogurt!

Read more about this lovely book and purchase it right here.

Photos: Chelsea Fuss. Taken in Portugal. A Bowl of Olives was a gift from Workman Publishing.

My Life in Sourdough: Season 2 Launch + Giveaway!

my life in sourdough

Exciting news! Season two of My Life in Sourdough launches today! In case you are new to the series, you can read our interview with Marie, the filmmaker, about season one right here. This homemade web series is about a French girl in Brooklyn navigating love and cooking, with an emphasis on her passion for baking sourdough bread. Each episode also pairs with a recipe video and a life changing tip. In season two, the main star is Fluffy, her sourdough starter. Here is the adorable trailer for season two:

To celebrate the launch of season two, we are giving away a sourdough starter sent straight from Marie with a jar, wooden spoon, and a notebook full of bread making tips from Marie! To enter your name to win, leave a comment with your favorite line or favorite episode of the series. Good luck! Read our exclusive interview with Marie below!

Did you have anything you wanted to do differently this season?

I really wanted the main character to be in a relationship this time around. And, I guess the relationship she is in, with her sourdough starter, really explains why she has been single all along. 

Any big inspirations for the new season?

Making bread was definitely an inspiration. I love this sentence by Jean Anouilh “I like reality, it tastes like bread.” This new season is really absurd. I always wanted to make the sourdough starter talk and soon enough he became the star of the show! One of my references for this were Ionesco and also the film Her by Spike Jonze. But I am also really inspired by my awesome crew without whom I could not have made this second season.

sourdough season 2

What’s your latest cooking or food obsession at the moment?

Beyond sourdough bread you mean? I’ve been making cinnamon brioche with my sourdough starter and that’s been quite a treat! Recently I’ve been in the editing room a lot so I’ve been eating and cooking eggs for  my dinners. It’s fast and simple and you can experiment with it so it’s different every time- kind of! When I run out of bread, I make soldiers out of blue cheese. I also discovered truffle salt which can really bring a soft-boiled egg to a completely new level.

sourdough season 2

What other new projects should we be looking for from you this year? 

I’m developing a feature film set in the rural East of France about a 13 year old French girl obsessed by kissing who falls in love with a cow. I’d also love to take My Life in Sourdough on a road trip. So I am working on a documentary-fiction about the revival of sourdough bread in this gluten-free era.

Tell me a bit about your new nomadic lifestyle! What’s the plan and/or inspiration for it?

You definitely were an inspiration! Though I have not packed as efficiently as you yet. I decided that my priority this year was to make films so I am more flexible as a nomad. I’ve always admired the gypsy lifestyle. I am going to be traveling and shooting in France and in Romania this summer then back in the US.

my life in sourdough season 2

Big congrats are in order for Marie, as this series is a selection for Tribeca Film Festival! Read more here. Watch the first episode of Season Two right here, and if you are new to the series, start with season one right here (also you can watch right here just below!) And, don’t forget to leave your favorite line or episode in the comments for a chance to win your own sourdough starter and bread tip kit! My favorite episode is the dancing on the rooftop.

Follow Marie on Instagram at EstOuest and My Life in Sourdough here.

All photos courtesy of My Life in Sourdough. Giveaway open to international readers and ends May 1st.

Make: A Spring Bouquet

spring bouquet

During the spring, I love making little bouquets as surprises for friends, just because. Make this easy spring bouquet for a friend or loved one in just a few minutes. Get creative with ingredients, looking around you for free foraging materials in abandoned lots or your own backyard.

Flower Recipe:

muscari- 3 stems

lily of the valley- 1 grower’s bunch with leaves

crabapple- 1 branch

jasmine- 1 stem

hyacinth- 1

How to Make It:

Remove any excess leaves from the bottom of stems. Remember, any leaves left under water will create bacteria and make the bouquet age faster. Create the bouquet by adding a few stems at a time, and turning the bouquet as you go. Tie off with twine! Wrap in newspaper and gift to your friend who should clip the stems again, just a little and put in water straight away!

Enjoy! Happy Spring!

xo

Chelsea

P.S. If you’d like to learn the art of flower arranging, you can take my online course right here.

More flower tutorials:

A Musky Spring Bouquet

A White Lilac Bouquet

5 Winter Bouquets

A Seattle Spring Flower Class

Springtime at Noncha + An Easter Special!

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copper purse frolic high res

I am happy to be partnering with Noncha today, an eco-friendy, slow fashion, online boutique with simple, effortless pieces that I adore for a thoughtful wardrobe. I’ve included a few of my favorites here and a special gift for you!

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Please enjoy an Easter special with the code: Frolic! You will receive 30% off available for the 3 day Easter holiday. Then Monday it will turn to ​20% and the week after 10%. I hope you find something special for yourself or someone you love during this holiday!

IMG_6139 FullSizeRenderFind Noncha on Instagram right here for up to the minute updates and the rest of their social media below:

Online Shop

Facebook

Pinterest

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Don’t forget! Use code: Frolic! at Noncha to take advantage of this limited offer. Have fun! Happy Easter!

Items pictured:

linen top

copper purse

linen blouse

linen pants

spring cardigan

floral dress and cardigan

Update: Enjoy 20% off at Noncha until May 1st! xoxo

Photos courtesy of Noncha. This post is sponsored by Noncha. If you’d like to be part of our group of Frolic! sponsors, get in touch at [email protected]

happy spring!

pink tulips

Happy spring! Spring is my favorite season. After winter, I can’t get enough of bulbs popping up through the ground, the first sight of forsythia, and daffodils, and muscari! I miss my lovely Pacific Northwest but it’s been grand to be in a Mediterranean climate and observe the different vegetation as well as have a bit of sunshine. I am currently in Montenegro, in Kotor and loving being near the water. Here’s a bit of springtime inspiration from the Frolic! archives. I am working on some super fun upcoming posts I can’t wait to share.

Make a Scalloped Bag (free download!)

How to Make a French Hand-Tied Bouquet for Mother’s Day

An Easter Lunch

A Farmer’s Market Spring Lunch

Seattle in the Spring: A Flower Class with Aran Goyoaga

How to Make a Dotted Flower Wrap!

A Spring Walk through Portland’s Elk Rock Gardens

A Walk Through the Bluebells

Flower Recipe: A Musky Lilac Bouquet

Free Download: Make this Liberty of London Collar!

Mix Your Prints with Sweden’s Polarn O. Pyret

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As always, there is more in the archives!

What are you wearing, making, and loving this spring?

Top photo by Chelsea Fuss. Bottom photo by Lisa Warninger for Frolic!

Flower Arranging in Brixton

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flowers brixtonlondon flowers frolicflowers easy diy flowers

brixton flowers chelsea

flowers london frolic

A couple of weeks ago I went to London and did a little project with Airbnb for their blog all about spring flower arranging tips! Thanks to my friend Sarah Berry for the help. You can see the post right here. I spent a week living on top of The Brixton Market which I just went crazy for! The energy was just what I needed. I used flowers from the lovely Flower Love London who have a gorgeous stall at the market. I’ll be sharing more photos of the market soon. I always adore my stopovers in London with sweet friends and hope I can spend more time there soon!

Photos: Chelsea Fuss. With assistance from Sarah Berry.