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Monday, November 24, 2014

A Guide To Kitchen Essentials

Jessica Comingore: Great Kitchen Essentials

As we head into the holidays (I know, too soon), most of us will be spending a good chunk of time in the kitchen, whether we’re hosting a gathering or not. Though I’ve avoided it for years, I’ve slowly started to stock my kitchen with some essentials to make whipping up a a dish (for myself or for a potluck) easy and accessible. It turns out you only need a few great tools to pull out of your cupboard in a pinch to feel comfortable in the kitchen, and the more organized you are, the better.

This article gave me some great tips for stocking my fridge with all of the edible goodies to get me through the week, and I’ve compiled a guide of essential tools over on eBay to keep you moving through kitchen with ease. Take a peek, and sending some good luck your way this Thanksgiving!

1. French Oven: I make everything in mine.
2. Jars: These are perfect for storing nuts, rice, lentils, etc.
3. Sea Salt: I always have some on-hand for seasoning.
4. The Bread Exchange Book: Malin is the kindest soul and the concept behind this book speaks to me in so many ways.
5. Kitchen Towels: I love a little pattern, and a lot of absorbency.
6. Cutting Board: The design of Andrea Brugi’s pieces are so beautiful, they can double as serving boards for cheese and charcuterie.
7. Paring Knife: All you need is one good one to cover all your bases.

Note: This post was created in partnership with eBay. All content, copy and opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

Jessica Comingore Blog: Friday Favorites

1. Alice Tacheny’s hand crafted furniture (the detail on that brass hardware!).
2. This Islamic art pattern from 1879 by Joules Bourgoin from the book, Les éléments de l’art arabe.
3. Everything about this look, head-to-toe.
4. Notter + Vigne‘s portfolio of book design. Hard to pick a favorite, but this one for Bryan Lewis Saunders is up there.
5. A peek into artist Katie Paterson’s Berlin apartment on Freunde von Freunden.
6. One of my favorite photos by Valeda Stull. If you’re not already following her on Instagram, do yourself a favor. She sees such a sense of whimsy and beauty in the every day — it’s a real treat.
7. Talking about a few fun ways to dress up your locks over on eBay this week. Take a peek!
8. The colors in this painting, Le Temps Retrouvé by Cy Twombly.
9. Starting to think about what I’ll be contributing to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner next week and this fromage blanc cake with berry compote is a top contender.

Thank you all so much for your support of The Essential Blouse launch this week (just two left)! It means the world to me as I venture into some new territory and creative endeavors. I’m excited to continue the momentum and have more things to share with you in the coming months.

I once had a friend tell me that success comes in constant evaluation and pivoting, and I’ve been embracing this concept more and more lately; see what works, get your hands into different things, explore the results and move forward in the appropriate direction for what speaks to you and feels right. At the end of the day, life is all about those experiences and navigating the path to where you’d like to be and what brings you happiness. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead and I’ll see you back here next week!

Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse

Oh my, where to begin! I’m so excited to be publishing this post today, announcing the first of what will be a series of product collaborations in the works to roll out over the coming months, cultimating in the launch of the Jessica Comingore Shop. Each piece will be created under a collection titled The Essentials, designed with intention and made with care. All products, whether they be for your closet, home or life, will maintain an attention to detail and a focus on quality materials that can live with you for many years to come.

Today marks the launch of The Essential Blouse, a collaboration I worked on with Los Angeles based fashion designer and dear friend, Jill Yee. I met Jill many years back on a look book shoot for a mutual friend, and have since had the pleasure of witnessing her growing breadth of design work, honing her skills in fabric dyeing, draping and pattern making in the most unique ways. Jill is also an inspiring presence in the Los Angeles creative community, always mindful to connect like-minded and wonderful women who are exploring creativity in different ways throughout the city. She’s kind, thoughtful and inventive in all the ways that make for a wonderful collaborator on a project like this, and I hope this will only be the beginning of us teaming up creatively.

Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse

Now on to the piece! The Essential Blouse is just that — a staple for any woman’s closet that can be dressed up or down and worn through the seasons. The beauty of this top is in the details, from the alluring scooped back silhouette to the raw edge silk hems that only get better with time. The pre-washed fabric drapes beautifully on the body and is finished with elegant French seams and a surprise contrast seam inside the neckline. It’s perfect for pairing with a structured pair of shorts, or tucked loosely into high-waisted trousers. The design is a limited collaboration between myself and Jill, and our first edition includes a run of just 14 pieces, so make sure to get one while you can! The top is available for purchase in Jill’s store starting today.

Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quiet Quality: Morning Meditation

JCS / LC Quiet Quality Goal Setting

Quiet Quality / Quote

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For a long time, my mornings went a little something like this — wake up to the sound of my phone alarm, a rush of panic washes over me as I start to think about all of the things I have to do that day, roll out of bed groggy, hop in the shower and scramble to get out the door. Sound familiar? I think it’s a common occurrence to not give ourselves the time, solitude and reflective quiet it takes to properly start our days. I’ve remedied this in more recent years with earlier bed times, earlier morning alarms and some AM exercise, though it wasn’t until recently that a friend got me on board with the power of morning meditation.

For a long time I thought of meditation as something only a zen monk or yoga teacher could have the patience to practice. My mind is always running a mile a minute, how could I possibly sit still and be present for 5, 10, 20 minutes? For this reason, I never gave it a chance and continued to use my other morning practices as my own form of “meditation” (which is a viable option too, so long as you’re doing them with a clear mind). Somewhere around the beginning of the summer I downloaded an app (which seems slightly contradictory in hindsight) to test drive the real thing — sitting comfortably to guided meditation first thing after I woke up in the morning. As it turns out, all of the expectations I had for what you were supposed to be able to “achieve” during meditation were just that — expectations — and there really is no rhyme or reason to it.

The main thing I’ve learned from my beginning stages of this practice is to never chase your thoughts. It’s something I typically do all day long as a natural worrier and perfectionist, but somehow tacking an analogy onto it (one session compared it to running out into a street of traffic with cars headed in every direction) has made it much easier to be aware and just observe my thoughts as someone standing on the sidelines instead of sprinting after them. Thoughts come in and out of the mind spontaneously, and it’s our job to just let them go the way they come.

I think meditation can be done at any time of the day when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but as all things go, starting your day with the practice sets the tone for a mindful and considerably less frazzled day ahead. I think it’s certainly a skill that needs to be practiced given our societal pressures to go, go, go, but I can feel the difference in just these past few months of taking the time to understand that chasing thoughts is quite useless, not to mention stressful. All we have is the right now, and letting go of what we think we should be doing at any given moment is a powerful tool. If that reminder can come in the form of a quiet 10 minute session each morning, I’m all about it. —Jessica

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Morning time; the time when I feel most energized and calm, the most sacred part of my day. Even if you aren’t a morning person there is something to be said about the power of the first few hours of the day. The beginning sets the tone for what’s to come and I find that meditating actions (including meditation) help solidify my foundation for the day. As a highly anxious person, perfectionist, business owner, human being, I, like many people, struggle with insecurities and lows, times where I am stuck in my head and unable to remember what I have to be grateful for. It’s interesting how a really great book, inspiring podcast, or killer workout and the highs that come with it are often fleeting. I feel like each day I am reborn and have to remind myself the same things to get those same moments of clarity and confidence.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What’s Cookin’: Plum and Almond Tart

Jessica Comingore / What's Cookin': Tart

When it comes to dessert, I prefer something light and slightly savory over over-the-top sweets. And if it can double as a decadent breakfast — even better. This almost-too-easy tart recipe is one of my favorites for all of these reasons. Minus the chilling, it comes together in next to no time with a small list of pantry staples. It’s also pretty enough to work for a dinner party or brunch gathering. The mix of airy, nutty batter and the plums’ sweet, sharp acid work especially well here, but don’t be afraid to mix the fruit up based on what’s in season. I imagine this recipe would work equally well with strawberries, raspberries, peaches, or nectarines.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Make Your Desk Somewhere You Want To Be

Jessica Comingore: Making Your Desk Somewhere You Want To Be

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to productivity lately and how to make your environment conducive to feeling your best and creating your most valuable work. Clarity and peace of mind most often come with clutter-free and sparse surroundings for me, so I try my best to maintain a work space that is comfortable for me to sit down in and create, for what can often be hours on end.

To start, a few (beautifully designed) products can do the trick, but to get more in depth, I created a guide over on eBay about making your desk somewhere you want to be. I’m sharing some tips and tricks that I’ve acquired over the years of a career behind the screen. Read on!

Do you have any surefire ways of enjoying your desk time? Would love to hear.

1. Scissors / 2. Candle / 3. Stapler / 4. Notebook / 5. Tray / 6. Folding Measure / 7. Pencil Case / 8. Sharpener

Note: This post was created in partnership with eBay. All content, copy and opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Favorites

Jessica Comingore / Friday Favorites

1. This ceiling fixture designed by Michael Anatassiades for Flos. I really adore all of Michael’s work — take a peek if you’re not already familiar.
2. Karen Darling’s collection of life drawings over on Flickr. I love how anonymous they feel.
3. Fall has finally hit LA and I’m excited to start layering again. Sharing my 7 wardrobe essentials over on eBay this week — take a peek!
4. This recipe for fig salad with bacon and burrata.
5. The interior of the Tsuda College Library, designed by Kenzo Tange in 1954.
6. Beautiful ceramic mugs and vessels designed by Hasuo Yasuko.
7. Old Books, New Thoughts — essays written by a collection of authors reflecting on their earlier works. I’m in the middle of reading Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and was excited to see him among the group.
8. Saar Manche’s perfectly simple living space in South Holland.
9. The tone-on-tone palette of this printed collateral for Milestone, designed by Multiple Owners.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Desktop Download: Floral Watercolor I

JCS Desktop Wallpaper JCS Desktop Download JCS Mobile Download

Mixing things up today, I thought it would be fun to play around with the floral watercolors I’ve been working on recently and make one into a desktop (and mobile!) wallpaper as a free download to fancy up your devices. I’ve currently got this simple background doning both of my screens and love the subtlety of it.

I personally prefer a pretty stark desktop, and have actually been working for years with a solid white one, so I didn’t get too crazy with the color palette. Somehow this one still satisfies my need for visual cleanliness. And while we’re on the topic, I just created a guide on 8 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Your Life over on eBay. Take a peek!

To download, click the links below. And enjoy!