Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Black List

Every month, the authority in "cool" (they're my editor for nearly everything), Blackbook, puts out a celebrity's "Black List" - the bothersome, loathsome, and hilarious (click http://www.blackbookmag.com/article/the-black-list-amy-poehler/6376 for Amy Poehler's answers). Below is my black list - what's on yours?

1. Styrafoam - It makes me want to run from a room screaming
2. Expiration dates - If it's within a week of the expiration date, I won't touch it. Seriously. This especially applies to milk.
3. People calling me Laura
4. Male fashion and grooming- tank tops, gel, square toed shoes, jeans with stuff on the butt pockets. Um, no.
5. Wannabes - just be yourself.
6. Jewelry that can't be fixed - sometimes, Krazyglue isn't enough sadly.
7. People asking me "Why are you so pale? You should get a tan"
8. Having to say, "No thanks, I'm allergic" after nearly every offer of food
9. People who always have make-up on - I am highly suspicious of this
10. The smell of Kombucha

Smathers & Branson

So it's not a newsflash, but that doesn't make these any less cute for Nantucket and Hilton Head alike. Started by college roommates who graduated Bowdoin in 2004, these belts can even be custom made!

My favorite: $165

Ok, my favorite belt - clearly this one takes the cake: $65

They have dog collars, women's belts, wallets, flasks, and more - as long as you stay away from the deliberately blatant (wasps??), you're sure to pick a cute one.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

My stomach growls for this owl!

Finally....civetta! Finally. Ate there the other night with a group of 6 and we ordered plate after plate after plate of food, plus cocktails. I was shocked (!) when the bill came and we each only owed $54! I was expecting at least twice that. Our waiter, a Chris March look-alike (or was it Chris March??), was pleasant, informative, and entertaining. I would love to tell you what I had, but it was all written in Italian. There was baby octopus, risotto balls, little handpies filled with meats and cheeses, a cheese plate, a meat plate, spinach pie....and about 30 wines by the glass. I snuck downstairs into the lounge area to use the restroom and the Victorian candles alone are calling for me to come back and have a few drinks with the girls. The downside? The subway runs literally right below the dining room, but since I lived in the NYU dorm right above Civetta when I was interning, I'm used to this and unaffected. Give it a try, seriously! They've got a few kinks to still work out, but overall, a great experience and my new neighb fave.

Pictures courtesy of blackbookmag.com and eater.com. Civetta is located at 98 Kenmare.

Hey Mama!

Look what Mama Fins made me! (The toile curtains and bolster). Looks tres comfortable et chic, n'est-ce pas? And great with An Elegant Twist's Sea Island prints.

When Impulse Buys Attack

Cleaning out the closet, I forgot I had some of these things...eeks. I bought them all for under $20, but I still haven't found a place to wear any of them. The black sequined one will be great for fall - sequined blazers and sweaters will be on trend. The other two...well, I just couldn't let anyone else snatch them up!

Ok, so I lied...I wore the above black sequined one out once. Tres chic. I think I bought it on eBay for like $12.

This MJ jacket was bought at a vintage store in Georgetown - clearly will never be worn, but I couldn't bear the thought of someone else having it. I think I paid $19 for this.
And this - there was no way I was leaving without this. An Old South dress for $15?! To make all those Old South dreams come true - in my own apt, but still.

Big kiss!

Sea of Shoes

In this month's Vogue there was an article on mother-daughter bloggers, Judy and Jane Aldridge from Dallas, Tx. They have AMAZING style - I'm usually not in to blogs that are all about people posting pictures of themselves in outfits, but they are just so, so amazing. These two blow my mind. Pictures of Jane, below. You can catch her blog at www.seaofshoes.com. Oh, did I mention she's 17???

The Brooklyn Flea

Flea markets have long been a source of unique, one-of-a-kind, stylish accents for WTSTA, but lately shopping at them had become stale. That is, until we took the plunge and ventured across the Brooklyn Bridge to the waterfront. It. Was. Awesome. Right on the waterfront on Sundays (Saturdays it's in Fort Greene, which I'm a little scared to find - baby steps!) is the Brooklyn Flea. I had to go once for the culinary tour (lobster rolls, fish tacos, popsicles, shaved ice, pickles, arepas.....I had to roll myself home), and once to really shop. I tried to keep the spending under control; I went in with only $60 cash and spent it all. Here's what I bought:

Butterfly sweater clip, $15

Victorian silhouette picture, $12

A good portion of the rest of my cash was apportioned to food (of course). But here are some tips to shopping a flea like a professional - I've gotten amazing, cool pieces, and some I've even tired of and resold to consignment shops for a ton more (a Lanvin 70's dress I bought for $15 - sold for $150 in a shop!!). Below, some guidelines:

1. Practice a poker face. If you seem really excited about something, a vendor will expect you to pay what they've put on the sticker.

2. Bargain. They expect it. Low-ball but not insultingly so and work to a happy medium you're willing to pay.

3. Inspect. Sometimes vendors will give you a better deal if they see you're a discerning customer. Do all the buttons button? Do the zippers zip? Are there scratches or will you have to replace something? I generally ask down a few dollars and see if they'll meet me.

4. Shop around. If you're not totally in love (and don't let them know that!), then say you'll come back and think about it. Vendors don't want you to leave their stall, so they're more willing to work with you.

5. Be prepared to walk away. There is always a chance that it won't be there after you've thought about it, so weigh your options. There also might be something better a few stalls down - it's a gamble!

6. Carry small bills. If you sometimes tell a vendor that you have only $15 for something they've got marked for $18, they'll take it.

Happy hunting!

The Daring Book for Girls: The Daring Girls Guide to Danger

Again from the nostalgic classic, The Daring Book for Girls, comes a cute guide to facing your fears. Here are their challenges for summoning some danger:

*Ride a roller coaster: "The scariest coaster ride in America is still the Cyclone in Coney Island. Built in the 1920's this comparably small metal and wooden ride packs an unbelievable punch with sudden drops and hairpin turns." [-ED's note: it's scary because it was built in the 20's! But is now out of service]

*Ride a zip line across the canopy of a rainforest: "A trip to Costa Rica offers incredible adventures, including "flying" across the roof of the world 200 feet off the ground with distances between trees of up to 1200 feet."

* Go white-water rafting: "...A true act of daring is to take a white-water rafting trip down the stretch of Colorado River..."

*Have a scary movie festival in your living room: "Some good ones are The Exorcist, Jaws, Alien, The Shining, and Psycho"

* Wear high heels: "If you can wear heels on a thick carpet, you can do anything. Eventually, if it's a skill you want to learn, you'll be able to run, jump, and do karate in three-inch heels."

*Stand up for yourself - or someone else: "When something's wrong, a daring girl speaks up, for herself or someone else who needs an ally. Summon your courage and raise your voice - real bravery is feeling the fear and doing it anyway."

*Try sushi or another exotic food: " California rolls do not count."

*Dye your hair purple: "Sometimes the scariest thing is just being a little bit different, even for a day."

Big kiss!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Market on Newcastle

Wandering through downtown Brunswick, Ga, I should have known I'd come across some great pieces, but I hit the jackpot when I went into Market on Newcastle. Below, some images of the store:

And these fish plates are awesome! Assorted sizes, $10-$30

I might have to make a cotton boll wreath a Christmas standard - at only $47, it's unique, Southern, and charming.
And for the piece de resistance, the back room - basically a salvage yard of all sorts of china, furniture, and fabric. Imaginations can run wild here - and end up emptying your pocketbook! Thank goodness I couldn't carry anything back to NY.

Market on Newcastle is located in Brunswick, Georgia.

What's New @ Lulu*s

Can't get enough of this website! Quickly becoming a bad addiction.

Here's what's new - you buy it so I don't!

Cheetah Print Dress: $54

Grey Bow Top: $24

Grey Ball Necklace: $24

Tiger Print Dress: $46

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Divine for your Derierre

Even though they're way out of most people's price range ($500 and up), these chairs from The Divine Chair Company are just begging for your tush to make themselves at home

Before I saw these at the Brooklyn Flea, I attempted to make my own version of a vamped up chair - I just haven't mastered upholstery yet so it still sports the same brown velvet it came with (off the street for $40! no worries, I vacuumed the crap out of it). The frame used to be silver - and now it's neon yellow! What do you think?

Big Kiss

Beware of the Donut Plant

You know those square donuts you see at Dean & Deluca? I've never once been tempted by them based on looks. I saw the episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" where he challenged the Donut Plant owner Mark Isreal (and lost to him) and I still wasn't tempted. Then I found out it was 5 blocks from my apartment and something snapped into high gear and I found myself standing outside of the shop, trying to make a decision on whether or not I was adventurous enough to try lavender donuts.

My choices: cake or yeast? I chose cake (ok, so I chose cake the first time. I went back twice in one weekend...and I've gotten over the shame), and then had to narrow it down from blackout (chocolate), tres leches, lavender, and banana pecan. I went for the tres leches - and I nearly passed out. It was the most perfect donut I've ever had! And I can almost predict that the donut is the new cupcake.

The yeast varieties: creme brulee (it's super small, but packs a huge punch), coconut, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate, vanilla bean.

I highly, highly suggest getting these the next time you're at D&D - or, if you find yourself at Norfolk and Grand (and who really does sporatically?), pop on in to the shop and flirt a little bit with the counter guy. I have it on good authority it'll get you a 2nd free donut.

The Donut Plant is located at 379 Grand St (@ Norfolk).

The Daring Book for Girls: Books that will change your life

The Daring Book for Girls is a throwback to all the "essential" information a girl will need to survive in the world -the sister to The Dangerous Book for Boys. Below, their list of "Books that will change your life:"

Anne of Green Gables
Bridge to Terebithia
Caddie Woodlawn
Charlotte's Web
Harriet the Spy
The Little Princess
The Secret Garden
Pippi Longstocking

And books loved by boys and girls alike:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Call of the Wild
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings
Island of the Blue Dolphins
The Little Prince
Mary Poppins
My Side of the Mountain/Julie of the Wolves
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Winnie the Poo
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

More nostalgia to come!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pining for this Pineapple Custard Pie

I found this recipe at www.bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com and was salivating on the spot. I know it sounds weird, but some of my favorite things have been pineapple flavored - it's such an intense flavor without being too sweet! I cannot, cannot wait to try this.

Award-winning Pineapple Custard Pie

Pastry for 9-inch two crust pie, unbaked
3 eggs
2 tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup water, at room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
10 1/4 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Beat eggs lightly. Add water, lemon juice & butter; blend. Add sugar, flour & salt; beat until smooth. Mix in pineapple.\ 3. Pour mixture into unbaked bottom crust. Cover with a lattice top.
4. Bake in pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy Your Stay

Architectural Digest just put up the Top 10 Hotels from Sea to Shining Sea - and guess who topped the list?? The beloved Cloister at Sea Island. Very impressive! In redesigning the storied resort, "the challenge...was that there was such a fond history." The rest of the list follows.

1. The Cloister, Sea Island, Ga
2. The Brazilian Court, Palm Beach, Fl
3. The St. Regis, New York, Ny
4. The Park Hyatt, Washington, D.C.
5. Hotel Healdsburg, Healdsburg, Ca
6. Movie Colony, Palm Springs, Ca
7. Poetry Inn, Napa Valley, Ca
8. San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, Ca
9. Lajitas, Big Bend National Park, Tx
10. Huntley, Santa Monica, Ca

More Parrano, Please!

I have a weakness for find wines and cheeses, and I have hit the jackpot with a new cheese: Gouda Parrano. Technically a Dutch Gouda, it tastes like this unbelievable mix between a Parmesan and a Gouda - soft, tangy, nutty, subtle. Dorkily enough (because I did the research), it won best Gouda 2006.Try it with light crackers (we did it with sun dried tomato crackers) or on a sandwich! You can get it anywhere, which kind of disappointed me - I thought I had stumbled on something unique and new. But no matter - you can now find it in your grocer's cheese section. Bon appetito!

Gifts Just 'Cause

Sometimes giving gifts for no reason is almost better than giving them for a reason: you find what you really think the recipient deserves and it's a complete surprise. Red Envelope has some great offerings up:
xo rings: $24.99 for the set
elephant bookends: $39.99 - write something "cheeky" on this elephant's butt cheeks!
Family Topics Game - $24.99 - to get the conversation started at the dinner table or at cocktail hour

Big kiss

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How the Other .0001% Lives

Speaking of absurd and often true Official Handbooks, here is the newest one on the block: The Official Filthy Rich Handbook. For your convenience and amusement, I'll be condensing several of their lists.

"Where to Live"

Buckhead, Atlanta (No kidding, this was first on the list)
Beacon Hill, Boston
Weston, Boston
Palm Springs, California
Lake Forest, Chicago
Greenwich, Connecticut
Highland Park, Dallas
Bloomfield Hills, Detroit
River Oaks, Houston
Bel Air, Los Angeles
Holmby Hills, Los Angeles
Locust Valley, Long Island
Tribeca, Manhattan
Upper East Side, Manhattan
Upper West Side, Manhattan
Saddle River, New Jersey
Ross, California
McLean, Virginia
Westchester County
Atherton, California
Belle Mead, Nashville
New Canaan, Connecticut
Newton, Massachusetts
Chevy Chase, Maryland

So if you're in the neighborhood for a new, well, neighborhood, consider the above!

The Official Preppy Handbook: Lesson 3

Your friendly lesson of the day!


Friday Night: Slumming
Slumming actually means performing activities that are perfectly normal to non-Prep society...they don't have a chance to go home and change, so they end up in all these places in their work clothes.

Saturday Night: Dancing
Preppies love to dance...drink lots of wine or champagne. After dinner everyone piles into cabs and goes off to a night club. Ideal dancing conditions consist of a roomy dance floor, and cheap drinks. The preferred style of dancing is a hybrid of a discreet two-step and an animated jitterbug...Southerners and Princetonians excel.

Sunday: The Brunch
Sunday brunch was invented to give people an excuse to drink during the day...all you have to talk about is your hangovers...a thorough post-mortem of the previous evening is also sure to amuse. The hour is late; one o'clock is standard. Dress is cozy.

$4.99 - 4 Real!!

Don't believe me? Pull up Urban Outfitters and check out what they have on sale for $9.99, including this adorable, on-trend neon camisole! Perfect for perfecting that 80's look, or when you want to pretend you live in an American Apparel ad.




$9.99 (tee)

Big Flavors at Little Branch

Just off lower Seventh Avenue, there is usually a line outside a very discreetly marked brown door - the opening to the adorable, lovely, and inventive Little Branch. I highly recommend it for a date spot! From the same people who brought us the praised Milk & Honey, Little Branch knows how to do it right with fresh ingredients and innovative cocktails. And, just like M&H, they have the same list of rules - see picture for reference. This creates an atmosphere that I cannot pinpoint - visit it for yourself! In a pre-prohibition bar style, every ingredient is freshly made. Grapefruits and oranges are squeezed a couple of hours before opening, and nothing gets mixed until ordered - master mixologists at work. The process is almost as magical as the drinks. So grab your guy or gal and jump in the only line we'll wait in in New York City.

Little Branch is located at Seventh Avenue South and Leroy Street.
(pictures courtesy of nymag.com)

Grace Oliver

This adorable coin pouch could be used for all sorts of things, and at $18, you can't beat the price. The website also offers other Peruvian made goodies, such as felt purses.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shopping for your Shape - Vintage Edition

Pat Field's on Bowery

It's hard enough to go shopping for new clothes in high street shops and department stores, let alone vintage. An Australian magazine offers these tips for shopping vintage for your shape:


60's a-line shirts and minis
Maxi dresses from the 70's
Large patterns


Cropped cardis and jackets from the 40's
80's boleros
Liberty prints


50's anything - celebrate the waist
Babydolls will provide tummy control
Wrap dresses


* Ask if they have anything else that might flatter you - shop assistants know what they have and can help you when it becomes overwhelming. They usually have back stock in the basements too and might be able to pull something out for you.

*Look for any broken zippers, missing buttons, etc. Ask if something can be worked out if you feel you'll have to take it to a tailor. Most of these types of problems can be fixed for about $10.

*Don't pass up those weird length skirts!!! Take them up as minis. Very few skits can't be taken up to make them cuter.

*Make sure you mix your vintage with newer, more modern pieces - an old dress with a neon belt, a bright mini with a racer back tank. This is how you avoid looking costume-y.

Big kiss

Peanut Butter Cremes

The other day I was having a serious hunkering for Girl Scout cookies, and miraculously I was linked to this delicious recipe. I have yet to try it, but it just looks beyond tasty...with some chocolate ice cream, yum!

Recipe from sweetnicks.com

Peanut Butter Cream Sandwich Cookies
Recipe courtesy of November 2008

  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • 1 recipe Peanut Cream Filling, below

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In bowl beat peanut butter and shortening with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in baking soda, salt, and as much flour as you can. Stir in any remaining flour.

2. Form dough into balls, using a level teaspoon each. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten by making crisscross marks with tines of fork dipped in sugar.

3. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack; cool.

4. Spread one teaspoon Peanut Cream Filling on flat side of half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Freeze unfilled cookies up to 1 month. Makes about 4 dozen sandwich cookies.

Peanut Cream Filling:In medium bowl whisk together 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter, 3/4 cup marshmallow creme, 3 tablespoons milk, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon; and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (I confess I skipped the cumin. Just couldn’t bring myself to add it). Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons powdered sugar.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fred Flare in a Flash

Just a few things Fred Flare has up today, quirky and weird as always:

French Toast Stamp, $6

Gingham top, $38

Elephant Earrings, $8

Roman Coin Sandal, $28


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...