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Preview: Moda di Magno Blog for Stylish Living

Moda di Magno Blog for Stylish Living

People, we need to talk.

Updated: 2018-01-21T12:40:28.590-05:00


Making: Custom birthday goodie


A special mother/grandmother's necklace in fine silver (with lab grown ruby and amethyst stones) with the addition of a pendant celebrating her fifth year, cancer free. I am so fortunate to be a part of special family moments. Thank you Amy Q.


Blizzard Baking: Shaved Chocolate, Roasted Almond Cookies


Nice to have a few hours to work on a cookie recipe during the blizzard, and it's "not time to shovel yet, still snow" aftermath.I had my heart set on chocolate chip cookies, but when I visited the baking cupboard I found 8 ounces of dark Callebaut chocolate that I purchased for baking at Christmas. (Then I got the stupid laryngitis-cold-thing that lingered, and when it came down to rest vs. bake - I chose rest. Or rather it chose itself.)According to my Facebook and Instagram friends, chocolate chip cookies with Maldon salt were the hot item during the blizzard.  Having just done a salt test on pretzels during the Super Bowl, (and not having Maldon salt) I wasn't up for randomly salting a cookie. And yet, I wanted a salty-chocolately cookie.I pulled out the ancient and honorable cookbooks. Books that have photos like these in them:I knew I wanted a thin, slightly chewy, but still crispy on the edge cookie. (More sugar, less flour.) I worked out the basic chemistry, flour, butter, sugar, leavening, salt, egg, delicious chocolate -- and went at it. I found a handful of Trader Joe's less salt dry-roasted almonds in the snack cabinet, so I thought I would try those as my salt element.Here's the recipe I hashed out:2 sticks of butter (room temp, or for the lazy like me, 25 seconds in the microwave.)1 cup brown sugar (I had light brown in the house)3/4 granulated sugar1 1/2 cups flour (scooped from the bag of regular King Arthur flour)2 eggs1 Tablespoon vanilla1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt8 oz shaved dark chocolate1/4 cup chopped dry roasted almonds (lightly salted version)Pre-heat the oven the 375º, oven shelves in the middle.Using the stand mixer, I creamed the butter and sugars, then added vanilla and eggs. I sifted the flour, baking soda and salt, then mixed that it slowly.  Using a silicone spatula, I incorporated the chocolate and almonds. The batter looked like cookies and cream ice cream.I used the big cookie scoop (about a tablespoon and a half) and put six scoops on un-lined, un-greased half sheet sheet pans. That was hard for me, I love my silpat mats, but needed crispy bottom on the cookie or it would collapse.The first batch was in 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Chewy, but crispy. Me likey. I wanted more crispy, so subsequent batches went in for 14 minutes, turning the pans halfway through.I'm really pleased with the taste and texture. Really chocolatey. I might try putting the chopped up nuts on top the next time I make these.[...]

Blizzard baking: Bread


I like bread. I've written about it here before. And before that.

With the blizzard of 2013 bearing down I knew I wanted to make bread. So I pulled out Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, and prepped a bucket of dough. (Check out their website, it's awesome, they share so much info and many tips!)

I baked bread while the storm raged and the glorious aroma made being hunkered down against the wind and snow a pretty good thing.

I combined two of my favorite bread things. I LOVE the Artisan Bread recipe, and I LOVE the baking technique of the New York Times "no-knead" recipe. So I formed my loaf, let it rise for a couple of hours and then tossed it into a hot enamel roaster and ta-da, beautiful, delicious bread. Try it, you'll be happy you did.


Get your flu shot


The flu is very serious business this year.  Boston's Mayor, Tom Menino, has declared a health emergency due to the exceptional number of cases already reported.

You can get a flu shot many places, but please stay away from the van that says "free candy & flu shots".

I got my flu shot at CVS today.




Today brought lunch at the Bristol Lounge and a bit of shoe shopping (I shopped, but the store could not ring it up before the BUY BUY BUY impulse waned.) Are shoe salespeople not on commission anymore?

Presently at the bench filling another wishbone order. Pleased as punch that I cleaned enough of the bench to be able to do so.

Photo: The cement plant from the Leverett Circle off-ramp. It's steam - and totally epic.


Oh hai, blog...


Dining room light at Marcia & Henry's on New Year's Day

Oh hello there blog. Hello twenty-aught-thirteen. How the hell did that happen?

2012 was here, and then not. Facebook rabbit hole. Twitterhole. Instagramhole. Work, travel, jewelry, births, deaths, the longest campaign season ever. Shows, attempts at making a lawn (hah.) No snow to speak of, still went to Florida. Visited my Cali peeps, had a twinge of 'I could live here again' - then we had a reminder earthquake in Winchester, and I remembered why I moved back. Northridge quake still rather fresh after 18, almost 19 years.

I'll be here with pictures and words more often. I still have plenty to shout about. And show off.

Wishing everyone the best year ever - I expect it, I want it, I will it to happen.

PS, it wouldn't be right to post without Isabel the Cat:

Isabel the Cat, Christmas Day, 2012


Isabel Declares the Holidays Over


To no one's surprise, Miss Isabel the Cat has declared that she is over the holidays. Undecorating will begin almost immediately.


Happy Merry to All!


Peace and joy and love and best wishes to all.


Super sale-a-thon - The Lakshmi Clutch to buy a new clutch!


A new clutch! And hydraulic thingies. And I'm guessing things that I don't want named. These are things that are being done on my beloved 10 year-old wagon.So - a sale of Lakshmi necklaces, kicking off on her special day (Diwali!) These are one of a kind. And away we go!Lakshmi 1 - Fine silver Om, bronze Lakshmi, copper design and Garnet drop on an 18" sterling chain.$90 (Regularly $135) - free shipping.Lakshmi 2 - Copper disk with Fine Silver Lashmi & Elephant, red coral drop on an 18" sterling chain.$90 (Regularly $135) - free shipping.Lakshmi 3 - Fine silver flower, copper Lakshmi, bronze design and Turquoise drop on an 18" sterling chain.$90 (Regularly $135) - free shipping.Lakshmi 4 - Fine silver flower, copper Lakshmi, bronze design and faceted Gar drop on an 18" sterling chain.$90 (Regularly $135) - free shipping.Lakshmi 5 - Round Garnet beads in 6mm and 3mm with a bronze Lakshmi, sterling silver Bali daisies and a sterling silver lobster clasp. The necklace is 23" long.$70 (Regularly $100) - free shipping.Lakshmi 6 - Red Coral with a fine silver Lakshmi fragment, sterling silver toggle clasp. The necklace is 16.5" long.$45 (Regularly $70) - free shipping.[...]

Alligators Everywhere


Provincetown, Gloucester, Arlington - beware!


Um. Om.


Like many people, I am trying to remember to breath and be conscious of life and the world around me. Like many people, I enjoy stumbling on reminders.


Busting Out


From recent travels on both coasts of the US. I think I'll be adding a bust to my shopping list.


Pretty Things: Glass


From the Beauport Mansion in Gloucester, MA (and hither and yon.)  Shiny inspirations.


What did you have for lunch?


Today was a nice change of pace from the typical takeout lunch. The team had a potluck to say thanks to one of our friends who is particularly awesome at his job.

For awesome team potluck I baked bread using the basic recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day:  (The authors have a great blog and tips and tricks to make better bread.)

Tons of kudos for something quite delicious and easy to do.  Shake up your table - you can do it!   (Get the book at Amazon.)


The Kid Was Terrible (Piano for Sale)


I received an email from one of my delightful co-workers, and he has given me permission to reprint this because I laughed so hard I sent tea out my nose (and because he really wants to sell this piano!) Click on the photo for more details.-------------------------------------------------------------Beautiful KAWAI ES-4 Digital Piano  — LIKE NEW — $800 or B.O. The kid took piano lessons, we had an old piano for practice.The Kid told us the old piano was making her sound terrible. We purchase a new beautiful piano. The Kid was terrible.We have a beautiful piano for sale.  I can email you more info. We live north of Boston. I can deliver.Please buy this, and I'll add a case of beer; in case your Kid is terrible.[...]

Shoe Spotting: Cambridge Edition


With several members of the Digitas Women's Forum, I spent part of my afternoon visiting Cambridge College to participate in the YearUp mock interview program. We spent a few hours interviewing and coaching students who will soon graduate with certificates in finance and IT support. We met smart, talented and driven young people with bright futures ahead. 

On the way to the Red Line I encountered these FABULOUS shoes by Poetic License on a very nice young woman named Britta, who laughed, but consented to having her shoes posted on this blog. Sunny day, great pedi, an iced coffee and a random and pleasant shoe encounter. A great day all around!


Shoe Spotting: Special Guest Edition


Special Guest Shoe Spotter Jeff S. sent along this studded gem from the East Village in New York. I was hoping to find out that there was an adorable dog at the end of the red leash which would have reduced my urge to have a Godzilla-sized dude rant about those shoes. Wow, wowza, whoa little buddy - those are a serious no-no for Sunday strolling shoes (unless you are Adam Lambert and there is a re-run of Idol on.) NO. Just no.


Winchester Town Day - June 4, 2011


Winchester Town Day TOMORROW, Saturday, June 4th. SUNNY and BEAUTIFUL are predicted. 9am - 4pm, come to Winchester Center for art, craft, music, food and all things local.

The Moda di Magno tent will be in front of the Northmark Bank on Mount Vernon Street (next to the Winchester Fire Station!) Click the link for a map!

Bring the kids, bring the dogs, bring a happy face - it is sure to be a great time!

Shoe Spotting: Spectacular wedge edition


I generally get heart palpitations when I see high wedges, but co-worker Kate was totally rocking these faux-snakeskin Steve Madden's at bagel table on Friday.  I'm not sure I have the coordination to float as gracefully as Kate - but they totally made me wish I did!

And this is why a nice pedi matters! Super sassy!


Shoe Spotting: Alex getting married edition


It's been a while since a pair of shriek-worthy shoes passed my way in the office, but co-worker Alexandra is getting married this summer and her fabulous shoes arrived today. LOVE the color. LOVE the sparkly accessories. SUPER LOVE the classic style. Excellent choice young lady! (And nice pedi too!)

Oh Badgley Mischka, you are so beautiful!


New Bronze Work


Some new bronze work using antique designs from India. These pieces were fired last night and received a light polishing. I haven't finished the polish or applied a patina (or even decided what some of these pieces will be - but the first image is a pair of earrings for me! Bronze on sterling silver wires. This design will definitely make its way to Etsy by this weekend!

A pendant that will probably be hung on a Garnet chain, perhaps some other earrings, a bronze Lakshmi - the others? I don't know yet! Speak to me new bronze!


Rain: Bromfield Street, Boston


That's the weather from here, back to you, Chet.

And putting me in the mind of:


Music & Happiness


Six months and seven days after I ordered it the Elfman-Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box is finally in my hands. 13 films and a whole lot of history and notes and laughs and photos and foolishness is finally here. It will take a long time drink it all in, but today I am a happy girl.[...]

From the Bench


A busy weekend at the bench - many things going many places, but these babies are for me (I'm gonna road test them to see if they should enter the line up.)

Two special Lakshmi necklaces are headed to delightful gallery, Original Souls, in Ellicott City, Maryland. Good luck to Sheila Morrison & Company on their grand re-opening!

The Lakshmi-Jeni with vintage rosary beads, red aventurine, turquoise with sterling bali beads, Lakshmi - the goddess of beauty and prosperity in fine silver, red coral and white coral from Florida.

Lakshmi Bow

Garnet, amazonite, carnelian, Lakshmi with vintage carved wooden bead, red coral, citrine and turquoise.


Compare and Contrast


Like a cruel April Fool's joke - it's Red Sox away opening day (in Texas) and we get a lovely little plop of heavy wet snow.

And then comes the Saks Fifth Avenue shoe spam. Like a truly cruel joke (12 year-olds in heels and apparently without ankles... come on photoshoppers!) It could have been worse - at least they didn't end up with the famed Chanel tranny feet.

Whatevs - home opener against the Yankees is April 8th, the Elfman-Burton music boxes are purportedly shipping and I have a date for Parson's Table tonight.(image)