Tory Burch’s Weekend Brunch

Croque Madame has always been one of my favorite comfort food. I have tried many recipes but this one from Tory Burch is my favorite and has become a staple in my kitchen the past few weeks. The only thing I do differently is that I use smoked turkey instead of the ham!

 

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I haven’t mastered this one yet…. but its so good…You must try them both.

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Happy Weekend everyone!

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Style Icon: Dürrüsehvar- The Ottoman Princess

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It’s not easy to portray simple, elegant, timeless, and regal style when wearing a traditional or should I say a national dress. Yet Durru Shehvar has somehow managed to pull all that in this one picture! This picture alone turned her to a style icon in my books! That necklace is beyond beautiful. Her makeup is perfection and her eyebrows are on point! Wish I knew what color her Sari was!

Born in Istanbul on January 26, 1914, she was the only daughter of Abdülmejid II, the last Sultan to rule over the Ottoman Empire. Growing up in Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, the princess was exposed to a world of art and literature at an early age thanks to her father, a cultured man who spoke several languages including Turkish, Arabic, French and German. In addition to composing music, he was an accomplished painter, producing landscapes and scenes from Ottoman history, which in later years she went to great lengths to buy when they surfaced at auctions.

With the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, in 1924 the sultan and his family went into exile splitting their time between Paris and Nice in the South of France. She was soon sought by the Shah of Persia and King Fuad I of Egypt as a bride for their respective heirs, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Farouk. But also vying for Dürrüsehvar’s hand was the Nizam of Hyderabad, who wanted her to marry his eldest son Azam Jah, Prince of Berar and heir apparent to the throne of Hyderabad. The Nizam won and in 1931, 18-year-old Dürrüsehvar married his son Azam Jah. `The wedding took place in the south of France, and their marriage was widely hailed as a “union of two great dynasties”.

After the honeymoon, the couple returned to Hyderabad, where they settled into the lakeside palace of Bella Vista. Already fluent in French, Turkish and English, the princess quickly learned Urdu and took to wearing French chiffon saris embellished with Art Deco embroideries by the leading Paris couture houses of the day.

Her arrival in Hyderabad would also cause a seismic shift in the lives of local women, and it began with her efforts to end the practice of purdah. Until the reign of the seventh Nizam, the women of the royal family were never seen in public; that is until the princess moved to Hyderabad. In 1933, Dürrüsehvar became the first female member of the Nizam’s family to attend a tennis match where she presented the winning team with a silver cup. It would be the first of many public appearances including charity events, polo matches, and state banquets. Over time she became a respected public figure who advocated for women’s rights and the education of young girls, establishing a junior college for women as well as a nursing school and hospital that still carry her name today.

In 1937, she traveled with her husband to England to attend the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Westminster Abbey. Although statuesque and regal in public, Dürrüsehvar was also intensely shy and private. Known for shunning publicity, she closely guarded her friendships, which included one with the noted fashion photographer Cecil Beaton and the famous actress Greta Garbo, who often referred to the princess as “our Turkish friend.”

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A few years after the marriage, she realised her incompatibility with her husband, and left with her 2 children, Mukkaram Jah and Muffakham Jah, to London where she lived and visited Hyderabad occasionally. Her last public appearance was when she presided over the opening ceremony of the Nizam’s Silver Jubilee Museum in 2000…. She passed away in her London apartment on Queens Street in 2006 at the age of 92.

Medici: Masters of Florence

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I love historical dramas and have been waiting impatiently for this TV series to air this autumn! It is airing in Rai1 on 17th of Oct and although the series is in English, it will air in Italian. So far no dates have been set for the show to be aired on other networks!

Here are is the list of the incredible cast that you will see in the 8 episodes of season 1, the cast is composed by both Italian and American actors:

Dustin Hoffman – Giovanni de’ Medici
Richard Madden – Cosimo de’ Medici
Giorgio Caputo – Federigo Malavolti
Guido Caprino – Marco Bello
Stuart Martin – Lorenzo de’ Medici
Tatjana Nardone – Emilia
Annabel Scholey – Contessina de’ Bardi

I hate spoilers so I won’t mention anything about the plot, however, I thought of giving you a small background or a history 101 on the family to help you know what the series is about!

The Medici family have played an important part or I should say helped shape the history of Florence, Italy, from the 15th to the early 18th century (during the Renaissance).

They built their fortune from banking activities, rose to become the rulers of Florence with political intrigues and then became one of the most powerful dynasties in Europe. In the Medici family tree, there were countless Cardinals, two Popes, two Queens of France, and seven Grand Dukes of Tuscany.

The Medicies are remembered as somehow very open-minded people, and as the greatest art collectors in history, who ignited the Florentine Renaissance: among the countless artists working for the family, across the generations, are the names of Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Giorgio Vasari, and Benvenuto Cellini.

I have been lucky to have been to a few of their homes or rather palaces that have been converted to museums and I just can’t wait for the series to come out… I have a feeling that it won’t be a disappointment for those of us who love historical dramas!

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