Monday, April 30, 2012

Parm's Ice Cream Cake: The Best Cake $11 Can Buy

$11 say what? I would have paid double for this delicious, old school ice cream cake which went along perfectly with their old school tunes (La Bouche and Boyz II Men, anyone?). My dance moves were just as ancient (and, side note, under appreciated by my counter company...I mean you, babe). Get thee to Parm asap - not only do they have this, but fried calamari with jalepenos, meatball parm sandwiches, fresh roasted turkey, and a hundred other perfunctory items you should eat before devouring this cake.

Wise Words: Teddy Roosevelt

{image by Lee Jenkins}

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How To Wear: Skirts, aka the "New Dresses"

Skirts, skirts, skirts! And more skirts! Keeping with the theme that's been going for a couple of years, separates are so comme il faut and it's only natural that skirts are having a moment. Skirts can be challenging to wear - What to pair with them? What length? What's age-appropriate? What'll last til next spring? But I'm here to help! Even the NYT got in on the skirt show - read about it here and below for my take on skirts. 


Ditzy Prints: 

These liberty-like prints are too juvenile and can be overwhelming in a silhouette like a maxi skirt.

Nina Ricci Rose Liberty Skirt


Maybe, if you're an artsy NYU student. Otherwise, just please don't! It looks weird!

Mullet Skirts: 

Ugh, I just hate. I really, really, do. They remind me of an LA fashion student's final project...that got an F.

Bcbgeneration Striped Cascade Maxi Skirt

Linen Prarie Skirts: 

2000, back to haunt us.

Prairie Skirt

Denim Skirts: 

Mini, maxi, midi - true denim skirts are difficult. Try going for a chambray which is much softer and lighter but still gives the denim effect.

True Religion Sadie Cut-Off Pioneer Denim Skirt With Fringed Hemline

Chambray Clambake skirt

{chambray skirt, J.Crew, $55}


 love it or hate it, neons are here to stay. Make it hot in a mini.

Carven mini skirt


Knife pleats, accordion pleats, pleats please! I love them in knee-length or longer - anything shorter will look like it belongs in Abercrombie kids. Also, just a word of note - make sure the pleats are vertical, not accordion and horizontal.

{knife pleated skirt, Reiss, $210}

{watercolor maxi pleated skirt, F21, $29.90}


Maxi skirts are the jam, mostly because that means I don't have to shave my legs. (Boyfriend, hope you're not reading!) Try wearing it with a blazer and cropped top for the right balance in proportion.

{full skirt, Asos, $81.81}


Somewhere between knee-length and tea length falls the midi. If you're petite, I'd avoid this style all together - the more leg you show, the taller you look (within reason). I'd keep the patterns to a minimum here and use a pencil silhouette for the most universally flattering look.

{metallic pencil skirt, French Connection, $168}

High Side Slit:

Angie did it, and the good news is you can, too! Pair it formally with a slinky top or casually with a racerback tank. And keep it to one slit, please! Double slits is double the trouble.

{high slit chiffon skirt, Rachel Zoe, $294}

Hope my skirt guide helped you guide the skirt space for the summer!


The Dukan Diet, The Manhattan Diet, & Me

I, along with a ton of other people I know (practically everyone in America) want to lose a little weight. I am thin; I want to be French thin and healthy - you know, without the cigarettes and champagne to keep me that way. I work out, eat reasonably healthy about 4 days a week, and yet my jeans do not zip up anymore.

This breaks my heart because I was never someone who had to really worry about gaining weight, even on my diet of mac n' cheese and chicken fingers and artisanal ice creams. But, alas, getting older gets another check in the con's column and I decided to try and diet for the first time in my life. I found two diets that seemed relatively simple: The Dukan Diet (aka The Kate Middleton Diet) and The Manhattan Diet. Today I'm going to focus on the Dukan, and the Manhattan will be in a follow up post soon!

The Dukan Diet: Allegedly, what Kate Middleton followed before her wedding, which is a great selling tool and motivator. The premise is that, depending on your "true weight" which can be calculated on their website (make sure you get the US website, not the UK), Dr. Dukan, who is French, will let you know how many days you need to do each of the below steps:

Attack Phase - an all protein and no-fat dairy phase where you can eat as much as you want, as long as it's a lean protein (poultry, fish, shellfish, even pork and eggs) and no-fat dairy (yogurt and...not quite sure what else). I was supposed to do this for 4 days.

Cruise Phase - you alternate all-protein days with days where you can eat approved fruits and vegetables in moderation

Consolidation Phase - you continue to work along in the cruise way until fully incorporating back a full diet. There's a formula for how long that should last based on the weight you want to lose.

Stabilization Phase   - you commit to doing one attack day a week forever, say, Thursdays (he seems to like Thursdays), always take the stairs, and following a regularly healthy diet.

It seems simple and a plan for healthy living overall, but let me tell you - I lasted only l day before I cashed in my chips for, well, chips. In my defense, I was sick - I needed sustenance. All protein wasn't too hard - eggs, turkey, chicken, no-fat dairy...but after a couple of days I would be craving vegetables, oddly!

The Manhattan Diet: The basis of this diet is that Manhattan women  use moderation and don't starve themselves. It sounds simple, being as it's basically the life I live - protein and fiber in the morning, a salad or wrap with good choices at lunch, and fish and veggies at dinner...with a large allowance for sweets. However, this NY Post article mentions kind of insane things some women do, for example, pour water on leftovers so there's no temptation of eating them ( I just have cultivated a really bizarre fear of expiration dates - to each their own). Here are the basics:

Keep snacking to a minimum, and when you want to snack, do it on nuts.

Don't keep "trigger" foods like peanut butter, in your house.

Indulge in small portions - a bite of cake or a couple spoonfuls of risotto, for example.

Stay away from fake foods like Diet Coke and low-fat anything.

Dilute your alcoholic drinks.

Eat when you crave it - just the other day I had a turkey sandwich for breakfast.

Where Manhattan women really have the advantage is the walking - I walk to work and back, which is 20+ blocks or 1 mile. Add in some spin classes and yoga a couple times a week and it's no wonder I've been able to stave off the extra pounds, albeit with a little extra somethin' (hey, I'm not 20 anymore!).

What about you? What do you diet on, if at all?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wise Words: CZ Guest

{image by Arthur Belebeau}

Turn Your Salads From Blah to Bad***

How GORGEOUS are these salads from Memoirs of a Coffee Addict? Light, healthy, and just screaming "summer." I can't wait to make them!



Greek Dressing:
1 tablespoon dill, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cup olive oil
1 pinch salt
sugar to taste

Greek Salad:
1 teaspoon red onion, diced
1 teaspoon nicoise olives, halved
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoon cucumbers, diced
1 tablespoon feta cheese, crumbled
1 piece small, ciabatta bread, torn, grilled/toasted
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
celery & dill for garnish

Blend all but the sugar until well combined. Add sugar to taste. Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Combine vegetables and bread until evenly distributed. Toss with approximately 2 tablespoons Greek Dressing. Top with cheese and garnish, and serve.



5 mangoes peeled and diced
2 red onions, diced
10 ounces jalapenos seeded and diced
1 bunch mint
2 1/2 cups lime juice
10 ounces (approx.) spring lettuce salt to taste

To soften the onion, place in iced water and soak for about five minutes. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. Serve the mango mixture over spring mix lettuce. Makes two servings.



8 ounces olive oil
4 ounces Red wine vinegar
2 ounces Creole mustard
2 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon diced shallots
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Sat & pepper

8 ounces spinach
2 organic large eggs
3 ounces rendered bacon
2 ounces onions, sliced
1 teaspoon rosemary

Blend ingredients until well combined.

Poach eggs. Render bacon and onions in pan until caramelized. Toss spinach in bowl with 2 ounces of dressing. Turn out onto plate, top with bacon and onions, poached eggs and drizzle a little more dressing.

Enjoy! xo

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mother's Day Is May 13th: Get Her Something Good!

Gift Guide, my favorite! I know that I go back to the same retailers and items again and again, but it just proves their versatility in giving and their elegance! I just love 


Diptyque Fig Candle, $60


Anya Hindmarch Receipts Pouch, $129


J.Crew monogrammed pajamas, $78


Anthropologie pegnoir, $128


Smythson Leather Card Case, $150


Iomoi lucite tray, starting at $150


Crane "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" Correspondence Cards, 10 for $20


Etsy personalized compact, $20


Smythson "Supermum" Wafer Notebook, $60


H. Bloom membership, $35 per bouquet

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Milk Bar & I Finally Make Contact

And as usual, I went about it wrong. But we'll get to that.

Momofuku Milk Bar, located on 13th st and 2nd avenue, dangerously close to my apartment, has, for one reason or another, not been too high on my list of priorities which is shocking given what they sell. Their wares include soft-serve in flavors like cereal milk and fried apple pie, cake truffles in birthday cake and chocolate malt, candy bar pie, crack pie, and a great range of interesting cookies. Um, yum! 

Faced with too many options, I got a trio of cookies and the infamous "Crack Pie" and made it as far as the bench outside before ripping open all four of the containers. I made the grave error of taking down the crack pie in exactly one half of a block. That thing was damn good. Butter, brown sugar, egg, and just a few more ingredients all swirled into a slice of ooey gooey goodness. 

{my crack pie}

Corn cookie: sugar, butter, flour, corn powder, corn flour

Compost cookie: brown sugar, butter, flour, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, graham crumbs, pretzels, potato chips, cream milk powder, coffee grounds

Cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie: butter, flour, cornflakes, brown sugar, sugar, chocolate chips, marshmallows

I then, being the democratic and experimental type, proceeded to open each and every cookie I got and nibble bits of each off of them as I walked. However, my palate was so stimulated by the Crack Pie that I couldn't even begin to comprehend the flavor profiles exploding on my tongue. I reassessed when I got home and deduced that 

the corn cookie was quite good, albeit very corny

the compost was a home run with the pretzels and coffee grounds and graham crumbs

the cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow was dense adn not my favorite 

Have you had Milk Bar? What do you like? I'm dying to try the cereal milk soft serve next! 

Beautiful & Inexpensive Art: PaperMojo

How chic is this? Paper Mojo, based in North Carolina, has a beautiful bevy of designer paper in stock, which can be custom-cut to fit any sort of project you might have. They would make beautiful wrapping papers, but how cool would they be as artwork? I've zoomed in on some of the great prints - classic, almost chinois-like and ikat and modern - there's a print for everyone!

Prices are reasonable, ranging from $3-$8 for these particular papers. You can visit Paper Mojo here

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Prom Spending Reaches A High

Ah, prom...Prom 2k0, Prom 2k1, Prom 2k2....what a disaster, all of them. 

Nowadays, apparently kids are dropping anywhere from $500 to $1000 on prom - geez! Thinking back, I started to do the math....dress, $ + hair, $ $100.....bag $50.....and that's just for me, not counting the tickets, limo, tux rental, and dinner.

Well, not dinner for me my senior prom because I refused - REFUSED - to eat at a Benihana's. Gross, right? Smell lingered, y'all, regardless but I was on a hunger strike.  Sophomore prom - I can't even talk about the tackiness of the orange thai silk disaster I wore. My junior prom dress looked like it belonged on an Oscar golden girl (fully beaded gold, simple style with backless) and my senior prom dress looked like this, but with one shoulder and more beads:

Gotta love the South. My hair was sleek and simple, which set me apart immediately from the buckets of curls surrounding me. Always been a trend-setter, even in the category of tacky. 

We all got our dresses at a true pageant shop, where each dress and girl and school was carefully logged, lest there be any repeats. That is customer service!

If I was going to prom today and had about the same budget, I'd go with another pageant-style dress, because truthfully, when are you going to get to wear something like that again unless you're Miss USA? So my "dream" 2K12 prom dress would be:

{Vionnet, $5040, @ Net-a-porter}

And, on a limited budget for anyone in high school reading this, take a cue from my cute little cousin who "secretly" orders her dresses online from Asos, which is still foreign to her classmates. I'd (and she'd) probably go with something like this:

{BCBG, $288 @ Lord & Taylor}

{Jessica Simpson Collection, $209, @ Lord & Taylor}

Ah, Lord & Taylor, still the preferred place to get "special occasion dresses"!

Got any great prom stories or photos? I want to see!


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