Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Mini-break

GG Central is taking a little break of about a week to get some writing finished. Have a great week!

ciao-meow/the Management

August 10 Update - A little under-the-weather + internet problems = delay in return. You can follow us on Twitter! Also, please check with the World Food Programme about Somalia(& the entire Horn of Africa) famine relief. Thank you.

August 21 Update - We hope for internet to be fixed soon. The Verizon strike is causing tremendous problems. No matter that Verizon claims that it is not.

(photograph by Sadie W. Harris via Ms. Muse)

Time for the Fair

County & state fairs have begun in the States. Check in at Countyfairgrounds USA 2011. Giulia is having a fit because she's not allowed to attend our local fair this year. Honestly, can't you just see it? She'd be trying to horn in on the duck or pig races. The mind reels...


(photograph by Nikodemus Karlsson)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Reading

We don't subscribe to the light-reading-for-summer program. Mix it up. Check in with Tina at the English Muse. She regularly asks her readers what they're reading; the comments are full of good ideas. Us? We're reading a great biography of Oscar Wilde, rereading Anna Karenina & The Bay of Noon. New-to-us reading: the latest from Andrea Camillieri & Donna Leon.
For ideas for children, visit the excellent children's site on The Guardian. There's a cute video for making art.

ciao-meow/GG Summer Central

(photograph credit of Emma Stone in her swim cap, we're still looking - via automatism)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Wishes - Amalfi

It's nearly a word-less Wednesday, here. Andrew, a Kiwi, of the Cuba Gallery has taken some gorgeous photographs in Italy, including Amalfi, in Calabria, along the Mediterranean . Isn't it enchanting? Giulia would love Amalfi. Cats are well-loved in Italy & her love of la passeggiata would be indulged. Her editor loves the Amalfi coast, too. Since we can't be there today, we're swooning over Andrew's photographs.

Visit Italian Notebook to look up places you would like to visit in Italy.

ciao-meow/GG Travel Central

PS: Here's an
eggplant Parmesan, Amalfi-style. It would be great for Meatless Mondays.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Throw an Art Party

It's really hot. Everyone is cranky. It's expensive to take everyone to the movies one more time this month. What can you do? You can avert boredom with a bunch of art supplies. (Our favorite store is Utrecht. They're having a huge sale right now.) Whether fancy & many or a box of crayons & a few doesn't matter. Be creative but don't stress out over it. Giulia is our muse, of course. If you're all good, we'll post our portraits of the redheaded one this autumn.


PS: Remember these free coloring pages; also the online museum resources for inspiration.

(photographed and styled by Friedemann Hauss and Jana Pokorny for the Feb 2011 issue of Marie Claire Australia. Via automatism)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kids' Farm at the National Zoo is Saved

Thank goodness: A generous $1.4 million gift from State Farm Insurance to the National Zoo guarantees that the Kids’ Farm exhibit will remain open through 2016.

If you live in the Washington area, we urge you to visit the Farm (as soon as the temperature goes down a bit, oof). If you can't be here now but would like to look around, you can pay a virtual visit to the Farm. There's a slideshow, a Barn, a Pizza Garden (yum), & more.

Have a great Monday!

ciao-meow/GG Central

(photograph by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian's National Zoo. See the whole set on flickr)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Sermon - Party On

"A man asked his wise old uncle - 'Could it not be simply that we are alone and aimless, doomed to wander in an indifferent universe, with no hope of salvation, nor any prospect except misery, death and the empty reality of eternal nothing?'

The uncle replies - 'And you wonder why you're not invited to more parties." --Woody Allen, Getting Even


If you are bored, you could plan a party for cooler weather. (It will happen. Keep repeating it.) Or plan one for next weekend & have a cool place for guests to escape.

Have a great Sunday evening!

ciao-meow/GG Sunday Central

(photographer unknown via Pinterest, via Sunsurfer)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Have a Wonderful Weekend

If you're in the heat wave that is engulfing so much of the States, we hear you. Try & stay cool. Those in areas where it's 60s & 70s, stop complaining! (You are, we just read a bunch of comments about it. No sympathy for you, sorry.) GG's editor is concentrating on cool photographs & no-cook salads. (Also, of course, ice cream!) No links today. We're just limping along due to our continuing internet-less crisis.


(photograph via
Inspired House of Wright)

Writing in Coffee Shops

Friday a.m. update - Giulia's editor remains in exile (for writing purposes) at a coffee shop. The little redheaded one remains at home. It's hot. As the kids say, this blows. All of it. Don't even get us started on the debt ceiling talks.

An article on writing in coffee shops. So far the charm eludes us. Fume.

ciao-meow/the Management

(photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ice Cream (Without a Machine)

You could do this tonight. David Lebovitz is a smart (& sweet) cookie & he has developed an excellent ice cream-without-a-machine recipe. David points out that people were making ice cream long before a machine was invented. It's great if you have one, but times are tough & many of us can't purchase one anytime soon.

ciao-meow/GG Summer Central

PS: July is National Ice Cream Month. Just in case you need a reason.

(Françoise Hardy & Sylvie Vartan
via ScoutandLo)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Swedish Sunset

It's so hot here that we're unwinding by looking at some lovely photographs from Sweden. Visit Powi's summer set here. And more blogs from Sweden (the official website), here. Have a relaxing evening.


Don't Just Stand There

So many crises in the world can be daunting, even overwhelming. But you must start somewhere. There are many links on this page that will lead you to many worthy causes. It doesn't take a lot of money or a lot of time. Everyone can do something. It's especially important to teach children early in life that they are able to help others.


(lovely photograph by

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Cherry Season

The Bing cherry is a favorite but other varieties (such as the Rainier & the Queen Anne) are gaining in popularity every year. Life may not be a bowl of cherries, but few things so simple can make people so happy. Even Giulia is enamored of this stone fruit, much like her comrade-in-fur in the photograph. Here are more cherry recipes than you probably know what to do with...that Martha, she's on top of it, as usual.

Remember to visit the new litter of kittens at the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee. We're down to the last week of the fundraiser & there are treats galore waiting for you. Following a litter of kittens from their shaky start to their adoption is a good thing. Trust us.

ciao-cherry-meow/GG Summer Central

(photographer unknown but via

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Madiba!

Celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day by visiting the Mandela Foundation website. Find out what you can do to emulate a true hero & an inspiration every single day. Happy birthday!


(photograph by Alet van Huyssteen via Mandela Foundation)

She Doesn't Get It

We're still trying to sort out this internetz connection crisis. Talk amongst yourselves. Visit the links on the right sidebar; also visit GG's editor on her blog where she is also complaining or on Twitter. She'll be sitting in a coffee shop in Washington, DC later today. You'll recognize her because she'll be shaking her head & saying out loud, "I don't get it! I absolutely don't get it!" Giulia is so glad that she can stay home.


(image via comically vintage)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Styles

Sunday is a good day to try out something new in the hair, wardrobe, & beauty department. Giulia doesn't have to fuss much with her fur; her editor brushes her twice a day & GG does the rest, as cats will do. Otherwise, she is gorgeous. Her editor, though, that's a different matter altogether.

This afternoon, we'll be trying out some new (& some old favorites) hairstyles. Here are some great hair ideas & tutorials if you have long hair (but it's not as thick & heavy as ours).
Have a great Sunday evening!

ciao-meow/GG Central

(photograph via pinterest)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Triangle of Stars

"More than any other month, July is the month of the Summer Triangle. At mid-northern latitudes, the Summer Triangle’s stars – as if a trio of school kids on vacation – stay out from dusk till dawn, dancing amidst the stars of our Milky Way galaxy. As our Earth turns tonight, Vega, Deneb and Altair travel westward across the sky.

The Summer Triangle shines high overhead in the middle of the night, and sparkles in the west as the rose-colored dawn begins to color the sky." -- Read the rest & see the configurations so you can follow the triangle series starting tonight. Via
Earthsky Tonight.

ciao-starry-meow/GG Sky Watch

(photograph by Beata Rydén)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Running Late

We'll be at the café soon to begin our day. While we're sure to be running late, you can check in at the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, meet Charlene Butterbean & learn how you can help little kitties & big ones, too. While you're at it, be sure to add Charlene as a Facebook friend. Giulia urges, neigh demands that you check the committee out. We always listen to Giulia (you should, too). *whisper...she made us type that & she's not even here!

ciao-rush-meow/GG Central

PS: It's Saturday morning & we're still running late. This coffee shop blogging is for the birds.

(photograph by Stefany Alves)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Bastille Day!

To all our friends in France (& around the world), have a festive day/evening. Giulia's editor is sitting in a café, trying to hear herself think. Headphones will have to be purchased if this internet crisis lasts much longer. Here is a post on GG's editor's blog if you'd like to say hello. For all posts on France, click here. We'll be back tomorrow, even if only to say bonjour!

ciao-festive-meow/GG Central-in-Exile

(photographs via Eiffel Tower & Martin Soler)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Go Fish

We're having a serious internetz crisis at GG Central. We're in a cafe typing this post. While we work around it, please stay cool. Inside, if possible. If children are pestering you as you read this, print some fish & ocean animal coloring pages for free. Hand out crayons. Deep breathe.

We'll be by to visit other blogs & comment as soon as possible. We are tweeting @juliethecat if you'd like to finally join & keep us company.

ciao-(silent-shriek)-meow/GG Central in Exile

PS: Here are the rules for Go Fish.

(photograph by rin-ka)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Dinner & a Movie - Manhattan

Groucho Marx, Willie Mays, the 2nd movement of the Jupiter Symphony, Louis Armstrong’s Potato Head Blues, Swedish movies,
Sentimental Education by Flaubert, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, those incredible Apples and Pears by Cezanne, the crabs at Sam Wo’s, Tracy’s face.-What make life worth living - character in Manhattan

One of Woody Allen's most brilliant films, Manhattan, is available on Netflix Instant again. Depending on where you are, there's still time to invite someone on a Sunday afternoon/evening walk (or go by yourself & people watch). If you haven't read a real Sunday paper in awhile, the Sunday Times is always fun (no matter how much we complain about newspapers today).

Then pick up some take-out (semi-healthy is available) or stop by the market for quick cold dishes on your way home. Queue up the film & have a great Sunday evening!

xo from us at GG Sunday Central

(photographs via IMDb & Every Woody Allen Film)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Have a Relaxing Weekend

We'll try to do so, as well. Visit the Dalai Lama's website - maybe that will help. No links tonight, just best wishes to all.


(photograph via Cup of Jo)

Stylish Summer Cool

Just wow. This is Julia Sarr-Jamois, editor of Wonderland. (Here are some more photographs of her; here is an interview.) Julia lives in London but is half-French, half-Senegalese, all stylish. (Psssst, Julia. Drop the cigs.)


(photographs via
Vogue Italia & Coco & Creme)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pick Your Own Summer Flowers

We usually pick our flowers at the farmers market as we haven't a garden now. But there is a lovely alternative (when it isn't near 100 degrees) & that is a pick-your-own flower farm. It allows you the fantasy of frolicking in a field of flowers, choosing blooms.

There is a farm not (too terribly) far from
GG Central that is actually named Fields of Flowers. We're definitely going to invite some friends go there this summer. Giulia is a flower-loving little cat but she'll stay home for this outing. No worries, though. She'll have lots of fun picking the flowers out of the vases here at home. *Sigh*

A list of pick-your-own farms (including countries other than the States & Canada).

ciao-flowery-meow/GG Summer Central

(photograph via
Timzou Galerie via Pinterest)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Wishes - Sunset Apéro

At a Fourth of July party we met up with an acquaintance who was flying off to France & Italy the next day. Her excitement as she detailed her itinerary for her much-delayed first trip to Europe was exhilarating. She flew into Nice & so today we are wishing that we were meeting her for an apéro somewhere in Provence/the French Riviera. Lest you think that you would never take children to the Riviera, how wrong you are!

Where do you want to go? Are you planning an itinerary? The 36 Hours travel series from The New York Times can get you started.

More inspiration is always available by visiting Jilly Bennett's beautiful photography blogs: Menton Daily Photo & Monte Carlo Daily Photo.

ciao-meow/GG Travel Central

(photograph via Pinterest)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Salads

We're running behind today (this week, last week, this year, last year...) but below are some great summer salad recipe links. We just boiled our first pot of quinoa (we're a bit behind the times) for summer salads. Well, GG's editor did...Giulia is flooping about in the (empty) bathtub, cooling her ear-tips & paw-pads.


The always-helpful Mark Bittman's 101
Minimalist Simple Salads

Green Kitchen Stories
recipe index

quinoa salad with pickled onions looks good. As does this Corn & Black Bean salad. Both are on the to-do list today. The onions are pickled & cooling right now. The excitement builds....


(photograph by
Green Kitchen Stories)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Have a Fun Weekend

We're still under-the-weather but we hope to see the fireworks on Monday. A few links from around the blogosphere:

This traditional midsummer Swedish cream cake would be a great Fourth of July cake, as well. Just add some blueberries.

Throw a sprinkler party. Decorate your bicycle, even if you're not in the parade!

Five unusual ways to stay cool in hot weather (we need these now!)

Another bicycling in skirts ride in NYC!

If you're in the DC-area, you must attend the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Even if you're not here, check out the website. There's a festival radio player. We just made an R&B playlist for our holiday weekend (& summer). Giulia is grooving to Sam & Dave as her editor types.


(photograph by Benoit Paillé)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Let's Bring Back Swim Caps

GG's editor wears one anyway but we have the style-blahs presently. Our mum has told us that these let the water in but honestly, water creeps into the excellent quality cap we wear now. (She calls these 'bathing caps' btw.) Our hair has grown so crazy-long that the flower appliqués might hide the weird lumpy-bumpy look, too.

There are two cute &
affordable caps available on The Vermont Country Store site.
Here are some cute caps at Headcovers.

ciao-meow/GG Swim Central

PS: Here's Jeanne Moreau looking fabulous in her cap. We're convinced. C'mon, join us!

(photographs via Pinterest)