Fall For Your Favorite Snacks: French Fries!!




{ It’s no surprise that french fries are one of my favorite snacks, meals, medicines, + general past times of all time. But I especially find them appealing in the fall. Fall, in general, is a capital time to snack. For one – it’s #back2school, which pretty much fuels the snack industry. For two – it’s getting just a tad bit cooler, which begs us to whip-up heartier combos. }

My fall snack staples include:

  • hot coca with marshmallows
  • popcorn with evoo, salt, pepper, + a sprinkling of cheese
  • homemade french fries!

I’ll eat anyone’s french fries. But I’ve just discovered that I can fry my own! This tickles me. Before we talk recipe, check out my quick tips for all of these delectable + comforting snacks:

  • Hot Coca with Marshmallows: Healthy for your World.

I buy Fair Trade Equal Exchange cocoa mix + vegan marshmallows from Abundance Cooperative Market. The coca is more expensive. … But so is craft beer, and even I {the woman who can no longer drink beer} know it’s worth it. Plus, Fair Trade Equal Exchange ensures an “economically just and environmentally sound” world. I’m down.

  • Pop Corn: Healthy for You.

I pop my own … in a microwave! Yes. This is true. Scoop 1/2 cup of un-popped, regular kernels into a brown paper lunch bag. Micro as per usual. (I do 2.5 minutes or until the popping slows.) Pour into a bowl + season. How. Much. Fun. Is. That. … And you control the toppings. Recently, I made garlic infused butter and poured this overtop with parmesan cheese. … Instant gourmet snack, in literally 2.5 – 3 minutes.

Homemade Fried French Fries

I cannot find the recipe I used last night. It was that magical.

These are neither healthy for you nor healthy for your world (unless you buy local or organic or IPM … you get the point). But they are flippin’ fun. I recommend looking up your own recipe. (There are a ton!) Here’s my informal version and the tips + tricks I used:

  1. Ingredients + Materials – dutch oven (or huge sauce pan) | canola oil (or peanut oil – any oil with a high smoke point) | russet potatoes (most sites recommend these or any high starch potato) | paper towel | plate | salt | mesh spoon (whatever that’s called) | recommended – thermometer | optional – bowl, water, strainer
    • tips + tricks Mr. Potato Head. It’s a funny thing while stove-top frying instead of deep frying. Most recipes encourage you to buy high starch potatoes for crispy, sturdy, meaty fries.  The recipe I used last night instructed to use a high starch potato, but to draw the starch out, exactly because this is a stove-top fry. I’ll speak more to that soon. In the meantime, I say – use whatever potato you got. (Look up separate recipes for sweet potatoes.)
  2. Prep – slice potatoes to desired thickness (1/4 – 3/8 in.) | soak potatoes if doing so | if not or while potatoes drain + dry: add oil to pot + heat
    • tips + tricks Practice Safe Frying. One time my mom fried a chicken wing and almost burnt her face-off. It’s because we underestimate how much oil bubbles once something’s dropped in. IE – If you’re waiting for your oil to bubble so you can guess how hot it is … DON’T. First – make sure whatever pot you use is no more than 1/3 – 1/2 filled. Second – This is why a thermometer is highly recommended. (Goal temp: whatever your recipe says.) … I didn’t use a thermometer (because I don’t own one), + I felt comfortable eye-balling it. But I was lucky I didn’t overfill my pot with oil. Phew. Once I added those fries, it really got a bubble going.
  3. Recommendation – Add to bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. If you use a red potato, white, or new potato (low starch), try 10 – 15 minutes. This draws out the starch.
    • tips + tricks – The Starch Factor. Apparently high starch is best when frying. But, according to the recipe I used last night, high starch might not be best while stove top frying. I soaked a low starch potato, and the result was perfect. (To my taste buds.) Though I can see how it could have been crispier. Solution? Try something in between: i.e. soak, and then thoroughly dry, a high starch potato.
  4. Fry – When oil reaches frying temp, use wire mesh spoon to gently add potato slices to oil. Flip slices mid-way through. Fry for 5-6 minutes. Drain on rack or paper-towel lined plate when finished. Salt to taste.
    • tips + tricks – Give Them Their Space. Do not add too many at once – fry in batches. This ensures even coloration and crispness. If you happen to pull some before desired doneness, add them back! (Worked for me.)
  5. Rest – Most recipes call for 10-15 minute cool time. … Just don’t burn your fingers or your tongue.
    • tips + tricks – Worth It. I wasn’t that patient. But I also didn’t burn myself. Maybe clean up some of your surroundings while the fries cool. This way, your will power isn’t totally … fried.
  6. EAT – Enjoy salted and plain. As a snack or with a meal. Dress up in a cute cup. Or eat off the grease-stained plate.
    • tips + tricks – You Think You Fancy, Huh. I would include a photograph of my plated fries … except that I devoured them instead. But I did make a garlic mayo (veganaise) and pair it beside ketchup, both of which I placed in bowl and plated amongst my salty, savory, fresh french fries.

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I love fall, and fall snacks might just be my favorite snacks. They’re so comfy + cozy + crispy + yum. What are your fall favs?!?



Spotlight: Jonelle Maira Jewelry.

(All photos + descriptions taken from Jonelle Maira Jewelry website.)


Spotlights are a monthly to bi-monthly series of longer reviews that connect you directly to the artist/business, and to their works, which we love. Watch for Exclusives + Extras in every one!


Jonelle Maira, Rochester native, will be famous. And so will Jonelle Maira Jewelry. Geometric designs to adorn the pages of  Free People. Tribal inspired necklaces to grace the necks of celebrities. Raw and reclaimed, vintage and refurbished pieces to sell fashion magazines. Jonelle Maira Jewelry will be world renowned because…


Arrowhead Earrings 22

Arrowhead Earrings – $22
Vintage textured brass arrowhead, hypoallergenic gold fill ear wires
Urban Pioneer Collection

Tribal Arc Bracelet Multi - 45

Tribal Arc Bracelet Multi – $45
Vintage Belgian sequins are mixed with vintage solid brass cube beads
Color Tribes Collection

WHO Jonelle Maira. From Webster, NY. Now living in Rochester (East Irondequoit), NY.

WHAT Wearable Art: Handmade jewelry, inspired by natural elements, using vintage materials.

WHERE Online: Website, Etsy, Online Boutiques.

WHEN Since 2003. Used to be under the name Poison Apple NYC.

WHY Stories Through Jewelry: celebrating the past lives of jewelry by creating new life, and sharing it.

HOW Shhh, It’s a Secret. Jonelley tracks contacts (think NYC) to source one-of-a-kind, quality vintage materials and pieces.

PRICE Medium. $22-$100+ for larger, more intricate jewelry.

luckofthebrave 36

Luck of the Brave Necklace – $36
100% reclaimed vintage
brass chain
brass findings
brass charms
Luck & Talismans Collection

double_arrow_earrings 36

Double Arrow Earrings – $36
Turquoise gemstones
vintage brass sticks
hypoallergenic gold fill earwires
Color Tribes Collection

broken arrow earrings 28

Broken Arrow Earrings – $28
Hematite, brass, hypoallergenic gold fill earwires
Urban Pioneer Collection


{ EXCLUSIVE Jonelle would not share all of her trade-secretes. But, I have a haunch we might be seeing Jonelle Maira Jewelry, soon, in some of our local boutiques or bazaars. Ring-fingers crossed! }


Jonelle Maira has talent. Jonelle Maira has vision. Jonelle Maira creates cutting-edge Collections with quality craftsmanship and timelessly unique design. Jonelle Maira Jewelry is Wearable Art. (The unique engraving on the inside of my Infinite Arrowhead Ring? Only $5 when I bought it on-sale at Second Storie, this ring is reclaimed 1970’s Vintage Sarah Coventry! Find that anywhere else.) Starting at $22, no one can compete.


Balance Earrings – $50
Belgian sequins
vintage brass bullet charm and eagle
African heishi spacers
hypoallergenic gold fill ear wires
Color Tribes Collection

Speckled Quill Necklace - 65

Speckled Quill Necklace – $65
vintage brass chain
vintage brass tubes
dalmation jasper beads
porcupine quills
Northern Road Collection

Diamond Ladder Necklace - 110

Diamond Ladder Necklace – $110
Vintage brass curved bars
Hand wire-wrapped red obsidian jasper v-shaped beads
Lapis luzuli diamond shaped beads
Brass african trade beads
Repurposed vintage chain scraps
Northern Road Collection


Jonelle Maira (pronounced My-rah) grew up in Webster, NY. At 18, she left to attend the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan where she lived, attended school, and worked for 8 years.

Wearing her handcrafted Hamsa Earrings (Northern Road Collection ) and poised at our tiny table for 2 inside the middle of Boulder Coffee on Park, Jonelle scanned the local paintings. That’s what I used to do, she said. That was my life. Jonelle pointed to the blue, exaggerated portrait of the man with a long face. (Frank Sinatra?) Art like this. FIT, a rigorous program–to say the least–might have dried-out Jonelle’s original passion. But it infused her creativity.


From 2003 – 2011, Jonelle worked under DBA Poison Apple NYC, same jewelry line as Jonelle Maira Jewelry. While creating her line, Maira also worked for NYC jewelry designers. … We’re talking Alexia Crawford and Laila Rowe. Ironically, Maira mainly worked from a marketing perspective: photography, lookbooks, catalogs, web content. Conveniently, Maira infuses all of these skills into her own incredibly sleek website, complete with its own Lookbook. Since 2003, with jewelry in online boutiques such as Shop Lately and of course Etsy, Maira has undoubtedly established her jewelry.

Now, Jonelle Maira seeks to establish her name in the Rochester, NY scene. I found Jonelle through Second Storie Indie Market, the weekend long fair of artisans and crafts that happens ever November in Rochester, NY. I cannot wait to see more Jonelle Maira Jewelry around town and in our #shoplocal scene!


From sourcing materials to making trips. From selling online to updating web content. From organizing materials to making jewelry: Jonelle does it all, and Maira’s favorite piece is the design. There’s never much time for it, Maira explains. Most time gets allocated to photography and jewelry descriptions. (… Sign me up!)

The making of Jonelle Maira Jewelry fascinates me. With her pieces so beautiful, it’s hard to believe each stems from an actual, strategic, organized, process. From a production line. First, Maira creates an original sample. (Potentially those of which you see in JM Exclusives.) Next, she decides upon the steps. Finally, Maira divvies up the materials. She makes batches of each piece in stock piles large enough to fill wholesale and individual orders. The average time? About 30 minutes to 2 hours per jewelry item. Again: each earring, ring, necklace, bracelet you see are handmade by Maira, herself. This includes individual pieces. The curved arch in these earrings? Hand manipulated brass, each and every one.


chevron_feather_bracelet 42

Chevron Feather Bracelet – $42
vintage brass feather and arrowhead
gold plated chain
gold plated lobster clasp closure
Urban Pioneer Collection

black_pyramid__ring 28

Black Pyramid Ring – $28
Rare & limited antique French jet glass
Superpowered modern rings
Mimicking both the allure of Eqypt and the Gothic Arch in Medieval architecture
Complex Geometry Collection

lapis_arc earrings - 79

Lapis Arc Earrings – $79
vintage brass bars
genuine lapis luzuli beads
porcupine quills
brass trade beads
hypoallergenic gold fill ear wires
Northern Road Collection



Luck & Talismans.

Complex Geometry.

Color Tribes.

Urban Pioneer.

Northern Road.

These artful, almost spiritual, Collections realize a beautifully magical quality that intricately unites all of them while still maintaining distinct identities. Of course Maira doesn’t aim for this divinity. It just kind of happened, Maira explains of her organic process. Inspired by the natural materials she reclaims and the lives of the old she recycles, Maira creates so organically that all Jonelle Maira Jewelry breathes new life into each piece. The fragmented and discarded raw pieces Maira finds to the storybook of unified images she creates, is art. Each individual collection and The Collections as a whole speak their own stories.

{ EXTRA Follow Jonelle Maira’s DIY Blog, Design Thrift, for step-by-step instruction + detailed pics on how to make your favorite jewelry. From the hands of 1 designer to yours. }


The stories that Jonelle Maira Jewelry tells speaks for themselves. All you have to do is shop. And remember, when Jonelle Maira Jewelry is famous someday, you read it here first…






Week Wrap Up: Style Icons.

Alexa ChungBeyonce Knowles | Jennifer Lawrence | Lupita Nyong’o | Kate Moss


The timeless, effortlessly chic look of petite Brit model Kate Moss.

The cult following of fellow Brit and hipster bohemian, Alexa Chung.

The stunning regal ease of Kenyan actress + Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

The world over, international celebrities influence the daily fashion of our closets, outfits, and accessories, work days, errands, and outings. They influence our lives. My Style Icons?

Anastasia | MorganAnjoleeJessica


Demurely Sexy + Business Playful: co-owner of Devil May Care Lingerie on Park Ave in Rochester, NY, Anastasia’s style drips with stylized juxtaposition. 

Avant Vintage: Morgan DeLapa, owner of Treasure Trove Vintage in Rochester, NY, has an eye for vintage, thrifted, + mixing in couture to make it all haute.

Urban French: owner of Anjolee DeMaroux Photography, Anj’s style befits her sophisticated intrigue. (And her name.)

Classical Edge: Professional Blogger, Designer, Writer, { Incredible } DIYer, + Mom-To-Be Jessica Quirk doesn’t live in Rochester, NY. But her blog What I Wore certainly brings fashion to your home.


As I dressed, styled, + shopped this week, I found myself gravitating toward the style of people who I know or who I know of. Those who I see making fashionable, styled clothing work in their every day lives. #Shoplocal items always influence my every daily wearing + buying decisions. This week, Shop Local Style Icons did too. Let’s take a look!

~Click on links to find each style icon~


Demurely Sexy – Business Playful

ana dmc style icon

Work Outfit.
Shop Local – Elle Macpherson panties from DMC | Peppermint Label blouse from Shop Peppermint


Avant Vintage

grunge style icon

Friday Night.
Shop Local – Treasure Trove Vintage 1970’s Plaid Button Up from Treasure Trove Vintage, $15


Urban French


Classical Edge

jessica quirk style icon

Spring Skirt!
Shop Local – Treasure Trove Vintage 1980’s Long Floral Skirt, $15









Couple the convenience of affordable + unique Shop Local finds with the inspiration of your local style icons. Never a dull outfit. Always a fashionable wardrobe.

…Who are your local style icons??





Love. Bobs & Jars: Reuse, Recycle, Reclaim, Refurbish, Relove, Refabulous.

Sometimes you buy the lotion because it comes in a really nice glass jar. Or because it’s housed in this huge tub that feels luxurious when you dip your fingers in and looks snug while sitting in your cabinet. I mean, when so many of the same products make the same promises with negligible differences, why not go off packaging? That’s what you’re paying for. …

So why not reuse the packaging.
Silver bells & Cockleshells.
Promise you won’t feel contrary toward these 8 ideas.

In this post, I show you 8 ways to use 2 different everyday packaging products to make your life simpler &, well, more creativeAnd, of course, to make our Earth healthier.

Rules of Thumb?

1. When you find a glass jar. Particularly a glass tub. Keep it. Only good can come. If–if–you’re going to toss it. Toss it into the recycling bin.
2. Not sure if you’re on Pinterest. (…Still locked out.) But if you haven’t noticed, Mason Jars–and all things resembling–are in. In in in. They will always be in. Or if not in, at least useful. Save your glass jars, people. Save them.
3. Cosmetics packaging? Hm. Expensive. And ah. Beautiful. Why waste? You can definitely work it. Believe.

Recycle. Reuse. Refabulous.
Back Row:
St. Ive’s Collagen Elastin Facial Lotion: Tub. Wegman’s Organic Salsa: Glass Jar.
Front Row: Aldi’s Lacura Face Cream: Glass Jar. Sephora Instant Moisturizer:
Glass Jar. Vichy Night Cream: Glass Jar.

How to Use?

1. Glass Jars:

If it’s Mason-like: Bevis. Teas, Cognacs, Wines, Water. It’s sand & heat & retail’s naturally made tumblr all for us to enjoy. Second thought: candles. Stick one in & burn it down. Candles. Third: flowers. Center piece, done.

If it’s jar-like: Homemade body scrubs. You will see above, in the Lacura brand (love it!) tub, I concocted a brown-sugar body scrub. Completely edible. Great for rough lips. Super simple to make. (Find the recipe I use here at The Beauty Department.) My fav way to use is on tender legs right after a shave. The brown sugar is gentle enough to remove any lingering skin bits & the Extra Virgin, extra moisturizing. Plus, when it’s glass, it looks especially elegant perched on the shower shelf.

I also like to keep a spot of EVOO in my Sephora jar. Right bedside the bedstand. Paired with a Q-tip & nothing more, this once empty jar becomes my nighttime solution to dried & cracked & ripped cuticles. I beg you to find a less expensive & more effective solution than this.

Mini-glass jars: Travel. Trust. So long as the packaging uses thicker glass–which it will; no company wants their goods breaking or cracking during shipping & stocking–and so long as it’s not too heavy, use it to pack. My micro-mini Vichy jar is a great travel token for jewelry, like earrings, and even vitamins when I have 0 room in space and weight for a clunky container. Just be sure of 1 thing: if it originally packaged lotion, wash it right before traveling with anything else. 

If it’s Food-like: Other food. The Wegman’s jar above is a great example of both Mason-like and, well, Food-like. If I don’t want to drink out of this, I can absolutely store pasta sauce in it. The heat won’t affect its constitution. And the lid will secure tightly. Presto!

2. Plastic:

Large, Medium, or Small: Body scrubs, of course. These things were made for oils & bits of granulated scrubbies. Just rinse well between each use.

Travel: Jewels, jewels, & more jewels. Especially with a hefty tub that many of the St. Ive’s lotions & scrubs come in. From chunky bracelets to chained necklaces to dainty earrings. These tubs not only help you travel, but also, they help you accessorize in that packed/not-quite-so-packed stage.

* * *
Aside from being cute & trendy & creative. You should reuse these bobs & jars because, well, why not? Resourcefulness is so underrated these days. Not only will you save some money in buying totes or plastic bags or luggage accessories. But perhaps most importantly, you really will save our natural resources from being depleted. That can only be ridiculously good. If anything.
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(send me pics
of your own