Flat Lays and Bougainvilleas

Flat Lays and Bougainvilleas

Hello friends!

— Welcome February …

You may notice that there are always new projects I get myself into. Hence my posts are a combination of photographs, recipes, baking, growing the little garden, and playing with flat lays, the latter is something new that I’ve enjoying creating and lining things up in between working and developing the Bella Bohemian brand. Crazy long hours and days with a lot of lovely work to do, but I’m happy doing all these things because I love to create something beautiful everyday. The imagination never sleeps.

I’ll post some of these new projects in the coming days, sharing what inspired me last year, telling my stories through pictures about things that I did create but hadn’t had the time to write about. Working from home, sipping a cup of tea, eating homemade food, doing what I’m passionate about, and loving it all …

Thought of sharing the Autumn flat lays with a wintery atmosphere. Also showing off this 1950s oval shaped vintage mirror that I found in the Flea Market in LA and transformed it into a new shabby wooden board, a project that took me two weeks to complete.

I hand painted each side in two different colors, in simple white and pale moon using matte acrylic distressing paint then finished with rough sand paper and coached with clear wax and now I’m styling products on the board and playing with flat lays as well. The photographs most of the time turned out amazing, showing the vintage brown spots in contrast to placed colors and objects.

Cheers to a great month!!! ✌︎♥︎

Had so much fun playing with these little pumpkins and petals of flowers, then gathering them together and having them pose for you …

The white Bougainvilleas beautifully dancing to the sound of the wind on a chilly Sunday.

Wherever you are, wish you happiness and joy in the simple beauties of life.

Hope you like it and can also follow it on Instagram where weekly I usually post a beautiful, inspiring image.

November and Autumn

November and Autumn

Happy November to all …

Slowly we’ve been experiencing quite the whiter blues in San Diego in the past few weeks. The sun shys away sometimes between the clouds, followed a cool freshness that is most welcome after a hot summer.

The sea is cold but you always see surfers venturing into the frigid waters wearing their full wet suits, children still play in the sand building castles and other cool stuff … To my surprise the city is full of tourists oft given away by a myriad of colorful license plates. Traffic is insane sometimes, even in October!

I’m having a wonderful Autumn, lots of work and play, like I mentioned before, experimenting with flat lays lately and learning new ways of styling photos more beautifully, for my home and website.

As I was digging in some boxes in the garage, still there since my move from New York to San Diego four years ago, found an amazing collection of beautiful things and gifts that were given to me decades ago. Gifts that I hadn’t had the opportunity to display or use yet, until now in my photographs.

Below are some photos I took recently with flowers from a local market, leaves, pine  cones, branches and such that I picked up on my walks home, and fruits and vegetables from the farmers market, all combined.

Have a fabulous month!

 

2016-grapes-closet-up_autumn-photo2-by-rhonya-holman

2016-beautifulmess_grapes_photo3-by-rhonya-holman

2016-fresh-grapes-collage-photo4-by-rhonya-holman

2016-grapes_flowers_fruit_photo5-by-rhonya-holman

Recipe — Carrots Stew with Angus Prime Beef

Recipe — Carrots Stew with Angus Prime Beef

Greetings!

Happy Saturday to all — hope you had a fabulous week! Mine was super cool and filled with new adventures and excitements. I’ve been working on new projects and now putting the finishing touches on a new collection on our website under the title Bella Bohemian Good Living, which will be launching soon. In the photos below is a sneak peek of what’s coming in our new line of lavender linen napkins. Of course I will post a detailed description of what I’ve been creating recently.

Below is a great and delicious recipe with ingredients that I love to cook with! It’s a slow cooker stew with carrots and Angus beef. The best part of this recipe is that if you don’t have time to cook, you just place the excess of the stew in Tupperware and refrigerate it for other meals.

You’re going to say Oh MY GOD  it’s an hour of preparation and cooking, but you won’t notice time passing. At the end it’s worth it and remember you can freeze the rest.

Have an amazing and relaxing weekend!  (◡‿◡) ♥♥ ✿¸.◦*´`✿✿¸¸.

 

Carrots Stew with Angus Prime Beef

Ingredients: Serves 4 – 8

Time (for the stew) : 1hr between preparation and cooking

  • 2 lbs 1.2 oz natural Angus prime beef chuck for stew cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1lbs 14.3 oz organic carrots [approx. 12 medium carrots]
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp organic garlic, peeled and minced [approx. 3 cloves]
  • 2 tbsp organic yellow onions [approx. 1 medium onion] peeled and thinly chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/4 cups organic fire roasted tomatoes [I used these tomatoes]
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup organic green bell pepper rinsed, seedless and diced [approx. half large pepper]
  • 3 large bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup organic fresh parsley rinsed and chopped [to add after finishing cooking the stew]
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppercorn [for beef and whole stew]

How to Prepare the Stew:

  1. Peel the carrots using a peeler, then puree a quarter of the carrots in a food processor or regular blender with 1/2 cup water if necessary. Slice the rest of the carrots into 1/2 – inch think chunks.
  2. Generously salt and pepper the beef chunks and then dust with the flour.
  3. In a dutch oven, heat a large heavy soup pot over high heat until hot.
  4. Add olive oil followed by the beef in a single layer. Brown on one side until a peek underneath reveals a dark brown crust.
  5. Flip the beef and brown the other side.
  6. Transfer the beef to a large glass bowl and turn down the heat to medium low.
  7. Add the garlic and onions to the pot. Sauté until tender and starting to brown, simmer and gently stir with a heat resistant rubber spoon.
  8. Add the carrots puree and continue sautéing until the carrots puree has started to brown.
  9. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  10. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, water, bay leaves, salt and pepper and return the beef to the pot. Cook for about 45 minutes in low simmer, covered the pot and leave a crack for the steam to escape. The meat should fall apart when prodded with a fork.
  11. Check periodically to see that all the the liquid hasn’t evaporated and add a little water if the pot looks dry.
  12.  When the time is up, add the carrots and 3/4 cup more water and let cook for 25 – 30 minutes.
  13. If it’s still not as tender as you’d like, simmer uncovered until it reaches your desired level of tenderness.
  14. Add the green bell pepper, taste the stew and add salt as needed, and then at last add the chopped parsley.
  15. Meanwhile pour the stew onto plates and top off with white rice, garnish with your favorite greens for freshness, and serve it hot.

Carrots Stew with Angus Prime Beef - 2016 photo 2 by Rhônya Holman for bella.bluelf.me

*Notes:

  • The preparation seems long for a stew, that’s because I don’t have a pressure cooker, but if you have one, it should take only around 35 minutes. Usually a pressure cooker is always faster to cook than pots.
  • And I didn’t mind spending time around the kitchen because to me it’s always a pleasure to cook. I really enjoy taking the time in washing, chopping and preparing all the ingredients and playing with the spices. Also measure the ingredients in the scale, cleaning, setting the table, preparing drinks, you don’t notice the time, just when you start to smell the delicious aroma of your creation.
  • I used great beef chucks for this recipe, without antibiotics, hormones — in other words, cows which were fed 100% vegetarian diet. If you are going to eat meat, its quality is very important. Therefore read the labels before buying any kind of meat, or purchase organic, grass-fed from your local butcher or market.
  • This recipe has been made before with less meat and carrots: 1 lb 5.4 oz beef chucks and 1  lb 10.2 oz carrots. This time I doubled the ingredients of the stew and placed the excess in Tupperware and refrigerated for other meals. It’s an easy alternative for cold days and when you don’t have time to cook.
  • By the way it’s up to you to add any spices that you like, garnish or eat with any combination you feel is good for you. I particularly like to add more green bell peppers at the end without letting them cook too long. I think cilantro goes well with this stew.
  • In my opinion the Muir Glen organic fire roasted tomatoes are the best for any recipe.

Carrots Stew with Prime Angus Beef - 2016 photo 3 by Rhônya Holman for bella.bluelf.me

Portland in Autumn

Hello everyone and happy first day of October! I apologize for my silence i.e. not posting for a while or visiting my blog friends. We have a lot to catch up on here. There is so much to be written, plenty more photographs of my adventures to beautiful places that I’ve been visiting.

So I will be posting things that I did during this Summer, cool projects and news related to my company, new interviews with other artists that are on my waiting list… I’ve got a lot to squeeze in because I just realized that we have just three months until the end of the year. How come time passed by so fast!?

.. the photos below I took recently in Portland, Oregon — a lovely green city with great food, beautiful homes, kind and gentle people.

Wishing you all a wonderful start of the week and new month — stay tuned!!
♥♥♥

– All photos by me

Adolfo Sanchez Autumn – Winter 2012 Collection

Adolfo Sanchez Autumn – Winter 2012 Collection

Hi lovelies! It’s with such pleasure that I now feature an update (via email newsflash from the man himself) to a previous post: The new Autumn – Winter 2012 Collection from Adolfo Sanchez one of LA’s chicest designers.

Below are my personal favorites in evening wear dresses. This collection is simply divine,  made from luxurious fabrics and rich pastels, elegant and comfortable, especially designed to accentuate women’s beauty and body. Every season he surprised us with his ability to create uniquely and beautifully detailed clothing, embellished with magic.

Please visit his official website to view his entire collection.

PS: All images here are used with permission from the designer.