Friday, March 30, 2012

Rainbow Repettos

I'm a lass with high arches, and for those of you who aren't familiar with high arches let me just say that high heels and high arches are not buddies. High heels generally leave me with some seriously achy feet at the end of an evening, and wearing them for an entire day is simply not doable. Sad but true, but as a result I've spent a lot of time exploring the world of flats. My perfect pair is comfy and cute and if they can be colorful too that's an added bonus! Who doesn't love a shoe that pops?

Cue Repetto!

Repetto has long been my favorite ballet flat. I don't know if it's my love of ballet, the super soft and flexible leather, or the multitude of colors that they come in, but what I do know is that I love 'em and can't seem to get enough of them!

Thus far I'm harboring pairs of red, yellow, navy and black and my absolute favorite pair - a pair of cobalt blue ballet flats that I purchased directly from the Repetto store in Paris on the day that my husband proposed to me {a sentimental pair for sure - My darling blue suede shoes!}

Repetto, you have been my true tootsie saver!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Searching for a signature scent that suits your every need can be as elusive as the search for Big Foot. Maybe I've got a fickle nose, but I say why settle?

Everyone hopes to find a scent that they feel can clearly define who they are: Their spirit, their personality, their quirks; and for some the search is easy. Others, like me, find the search to be more difficult, and with an allergy to heavily scented, synthetic perfumes my search was a grueling one.

After many fruitless perfume purchases, I found myself perusing the essential oils at Whole Foods. I found fresh florals, bright citruses, and warm spicy scents. Some can calm and soothe, and others can awaken and invigorate. Aromatherapy anyone?! 
The fun part is mixing and matching as you create a scent that is utterly perfect for you. This is exactly what I've been doing lately - In fact, I've been concocting my very own scented body moisturizer. It involves the slightest bit of DIY work.

Here's what you do: Pick an essential oil or two (or three!) and sprinkle them into a bottle of unscented moisturizer (I like to use Everyday Shea Moisturizing Body Lotion). Shake it up so that the oils are thoroughly mixed throughout the moisturizer and Voila!

Not only are essential oils extremely potent, those tiny bottle have serious longevity - In other words, a little goes a long, long way. I really love this signature scent solution! The scent will stick with you throughout the day, blending with the natural chemistry of your body.

For a while I've been rocking a mixture of vanilla and peppermint, but now that spring has arrived I'm thinking of switching it up and mixing something delicious like vanilla and lemon, or lavender and honey. What's your signature scent? Have you ever gone the essential oil route?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"S'more of what?"

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is where I've been for the last few days - With the close of the season just a week away and temperatures averaging in the mid 50's, the skiing wasn't what I would call epic. It was more like skiing in what felt like mashed potatoes!

Nevertheless, it was still a blast, and as always I indulged in my favorite rustic retreat sweet - The one, the only: the S'more!

"S'more? S'more of what?"

"You're killin me, Smalls! ... First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the 'mallow. When the 'mallows flaming you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end... Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good!" - The Sandlot, "Hamm"

Warm weather, cold weather, any weather is S'more weather!

The soft crunch and crumble of this sweet graham cracker sandwich, followed by the delightfully gooey mixture of marshmallow and melted chocolate oozing out from all sides is a combination that is sure to produce pure bliss. I love 'em!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wingtipped Tootsies

I've always loved classic menswear - It's so... classic! HA! No, but seriously - There's something undeniably timeless about it, and thanks to ladies like Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, who wore menswear with great confidence, we've seen more and more designs for women incorporating styles that men have been wearing for centuries.

Neck ties, suits, you name it I love it, but today I'm taking it down to the tootsies - We're talkin' wingtips ladies, and my days of longingly gazing at my husband's beautiful Barker Black brogues are over!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moustache, anyone?

Ahhh! A combination of things that I love: Big, bold frames, bright red lips, subtle nail art, and lollies!

{side note: The above frames were inspired by the beautiful Grace, Marilyn and Jane.}

When I stumbled upon this picture featuring a "mustache manicure" I couldn't help myself. It was way too cool not to try! Unfortunately, my desire for perfection and my shaky left hand denied me any real possibility of completing a full set of 'staches. However, I must admit I am thoroughly satisfied with just the one - It's provided me a tremendous amount of entertainment thus far!

This featured lolli is a Yummy Earth 'pop - Yummy Earth candies are certified organic, all natural, gluten-free, peanut-free, and have no chemical colors, artificial flavors, or high fructose corn syrup - In other words: They. Are. Rad. Satisfying your sweet tooth and avoiding the weird stuff is actually possible - HEYO! Did I mention they're DE-LISH? Because they are!

{That 'stache makes me giggle every time I look at it!}

Monday, March 19, 2012

"You know you look so good!"

If you've seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off you're familiar with the scene when Ferris spontaneously hops on a float, mid parade, in the streets of Chicago and lip syncs to "Danke Schoen" and The Beatles version of "Twist and Shout". It's a pretty epic scene if you ask me, and it happens to be one of my favorites from the movie (if you haven't seen this flick, you MUST!).

I love how supportive and involved the crowd gets - the dancing, the singing along, the absolute fun of it all. It makes me wish I was there to twist and shout with them too. I can't help but smile when I watch this, and on a Monday who doesn't need a smile?! Watch for the group of dancers on the stairs - They're the best!


{Side note: I love Sloane Peterson's style, who's with me?!}

Friday, March 16, 2012

Topsy Turvy Technicolor

I'm loving the technicolor denim craze that seems to be going on right now! Denim can be found in just about every color imaginable, and with spring around the corner what better time than this to get yourself a pair or two in your favorite colors!? What colors are currently in your closet, and what might you be dashing out to get?!

Snag a pair and satisfy your colorful denim craze at a totally reasonably price at either Topshop or Free People!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fabulous in Frames

Do you guys remember ever wanting glasses when you were younger (or even now!)? My big sister had glasses and I just thought they were the coolest. 

The funny thing is, at the time I completely disregarded the fact that the person wearing them might not be able to see very well or even anything at all without them, and glasses, to me, were really more of an awesome accessory. 

I used to go into the school's yearly eye exam with fingers crossed, hoping that I wouldn't be able to see some of letters. Whelp, I ended up being 20/20 for many years! It actually wasn't until glasses became irrelevant to me that I actually needed to get them. Go figure!

Anyway, here I am, a wearer of glasses (near sighted) and I am in need of a new pair! I decided to turn to google for some inspiration, and I was floored! Would you just look at the drop dead gorgeous beauties who donned spectacles in their day. Total cuties!!

Jane Fonda
images via herehere & here 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Jelly beans

 I love nail art! I truly, madly, deeply do. BUT something that looks bad to the bone in a picture and something that I could wear and actually feel comfortable in both the professional and personal worlds I live in are two different things. It's a delicate balance. For that reason I tend to be drawn to the more subdued nail trends.

Refinery29 is my go-to place for nail art and trend inspiration, and they never cease to get my nail-painting wheels turning, but more often than not my left hand's lack of coordination hinders the fun. (Why can't I be ambidextrous?!) So I try to keep to interesting colors and fun color combinations.

That being said, I am loving this weather, and it's prompted me to rock some bright, candy inspired colors. I've gotta say, every time I look down at my fingers I can't help but smile!

What are you rocking on your nails these days as spring has nearly sprung?

Wearing Deborah Lippmann in: Supermodel, My Old Flame, Yellow Brick Road, P.Y.T., Shape of My Heart 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Coffee Cubes

Every spring, as soon as the temperature pops a degree above 60, I practically gallop down the street in the mornings to the nearest coffee shop and grab myself a deliciously wonderful iced coffee. To me, this beverage is pure bliss in the mornings and without it my day just doesn't seem right!

It was 2 years ago when I came across an iced coffee that knocked my socks off. I was in Oriental, North Carolina. It was a hot and humid August day, and I was in desperate need of something cool and caffeinated.

We strolled over to the local coffee shop (the only one in town) and ordered up a couple of iced coffees to-go. What we were given tasted anything but ordinary.

Immediately the comments began to fly:
"Wow, this is good stuff."
"Yeah! The best I've ever had."

Then we realized, wait a minute! We're talking about iced coffee for crying out loud. There aren't many ways to make this stuff so we inquired within.

"Oh! We use coffee cubes instead of ice cubes", said the barista. Coffee cubes? Yes. Literally, iced cubes of coffee. Genius!

The difference that it made in the quality of the beverage was incredible. Instead of gradually becoming watered down and weird it remained potent and delicious to the last sip. Why the deuce hadn't we experienced iced coffee like this sooner?!

Honestly, now that I know the secret, I'm surprised that a place like Starbucks doesn't capitalize on this by having a direct line of coffee feeding their ice making machine. I suppose the coffee cube making process is better suited to the DIY, smaller coffee shops which all in all is A-okay with me!

Speaking of DIY, all you really need to make this iced coffee happen in your own home is an ice cube tray and pot of freshly brewed coffee. Pour your brew into the tray and let the freezer do the work!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Who's-its and What's-its Galore

I am a lover of antiques and vintage objects of all kinds. These treasures from the past are usually found retired in basement boxes after years of neglect. For me, each object holds a bit of magic; a story of it's own, and with a glance or a soft touch it has the ability to transport you to distant decades where their story began.

Mackey Blue, a tiny store in Hoboken, New Jersey is a treasure trove of vintage stuffs. This brick and mortar story book is a window into the past with it's many baubles. 

Tiny tin boxes that once held chewing gum and other sweets hold court on the shelves of a creamy mint colored metal pie cabinet. Vintage suitcases of all shapes and sizes, showing signs of wear and tear from journeys unknown, occupy a corner of the shop. Mason jars, glass apothecary bottles and old soda pop and seltzer bottles are aplenty, and black and white photographs are littered throughout the store like scattered memories. 

There were endless nicknacks to marvel over, and marvel I surely did. I felt a little bit like Ariel from The Little Mermaid in her cavern of gadgets and gizmos. I didn't walk away with anything in hand (though I was seriously eyeing a vintage type writer), but I did walk out with my imagination fully charged.

All of these objects were once special to someone. The lobster pots may have been a housewarming gift to a young couple after the purchase of their first home - The typewriter could have been the pride and joy of an ambitious journalist - The round suitcase could have accompanied a flight attendant on her many flights all over the world. One of those soda pop bottles could have been the very bottle of pop that someone's high school sweetheart bought them just before they got down on one knee and proposed. You just never know! But there is magic in all of it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring time Sippin'

NYC got a taste of spring this past week - Mid to upper 60's, sunny and absolutely gorgeous.

It's days like these, when we're on the very cusp of springtime, that make me (and I think the rest of the city) completely giddy for the coming months. 

I was gearing up to retire my bulkier winter coat and welcome layering and lighter jackets into the rotation when mother nature cruelly yanked us back into a blustery chilly world. BOO!

So here I am, on this brisk Friday evening, having already had to, begrudgingly, pull on my thick wool coat and face the chill.
Here's to fantasizing about warmer, sunnier days filled with sandals and sundresses, ice coffees, al-freso brunches and cocktails. Speaking of cocktails, my mind takes me to two refreshingly cool, warm weather treats: The Bellini and a blended Prosecco Mint Lemonade*. Neither are too sweet, and both are wickedly delicious. I can't wait.

What are you yearning to sip on come spring???

*I couldn't find a recipe for this! 
  BUT all you need to do is follow 
  the frozen mint lemonade recipe 
  and add Prosecco to the blended fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

For the Love of Beauty

My love of beauty products has been fickle over the years. It would wax and wane, and my desires and opinions seemed to be ever changing. I would read about something new, buy it, think it was great, use it religiously for a month or two and then POOF!  All of its appeal would vanished as another product would come into the limelight. I have to assume this is a pretty common occurrence amongst us ladies. We're constantly in search of the right products - Products that have magical powers to balance, heal, and enhance.

I've written before about my journey into the land of clean products and just how drastically it changed my perspective on beauty and the kind of products I wanted to use. I've since, painlessly and without breaking the bank, found products that I absolutely, whole heartedly love! I have not, in almost a years time, changed course on any of these products. It's love, folks - the real deal!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cones of Cake

I was cruising this afternoon with ice cream on the brain (it was sunny and 60-something outside so you can see why). I came across this ridiculously cute recipe that I've gotta share - Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Um, awesome! 
You bake the cupcake inside the sugar cone! What a novel idea - Why can't I ever think of these things? Leave it to Martha.
Then, in normal cupcake fashion, you top 'em off using your icing of choice. Decorations? The sky's the limit! 
Aren't they adorable?!  

Yellow Fever

Picture this: A tall glass of freshly squeezed lemonade; A bunch of beautiful daffodils; An adorable set of newly hatched chicks... Yellow is one of the friendliest colors, in my opinion. Whether you're accessorizing with it or rocking it in full force with a dress, top, pant or skirt, you can't go wrong with this warm and inherently cheerful color! 

Get the look:
Jeunesse Sleeveless Blouse Clare Vivier ClutchK. Jacques SandalsA.L.C. SweaterRag & Bone Zipper Capri JeansDVF Double Wrap BeltDeborah Lippmann nail polish - Yellow Brick Road; Alice + Olivia Canvas SandalsNixon Chrono Watch

images via & via

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blazing Pickles

There aren't too many things that I can recall loving in both childhood and on into adulthood, but one thing come to mind. Pickles. I have loved them wholly and consistently my entire solid-food-eating life.

As a kid I used to sidle up to my Great Grandpa (that's right, GREAT Grandpa - I was a real youngin' at the time) and ask for the whole jar. Not just a few or a handful, but the whole dang jar. Now that's love!

For the record, my favorite brand of pickles has changed over the years. I used to love Vlasic dill slices back at Great Grandpa's house, then my favorites became Clausen's, and now that I've discovered McClure's pickles... Well, let me just say: McClure's you trump them all! This tiny, friend and family, Brooklyn based operation produces the finest, freshest pickle around.

I was first introduced to McClure's pickles by my brother at Wilfie & Nell in the West Village. I had grown up with a Mexican Mom who fostered a love of spicy foods in all of her children, so when I met my brother for a beer and some Shepherd's Pie he told me about these amazing spicy pickles that we had to order... Spicy pickles?! "Sounds spectacular", I said.

Out came a dish of sandwich friendly slices that had a look about them that reminded me of Great Grandpa's house and my Vlasic dill slices. I popped a slice in my mouth and POW! The spice hit me like a ton of bricks. It's the kind of spice that hurts, but it hurts so good! As a lover of red pepper flakes, tabasco sauce, franks red hot and sriracha sauce I'm going to declare these pickles not for the faint of heart or those of you with a sensitive-to-spice palate. One slice led to another, and before we knew it we had demolished the lot of them and ordered another.

I went home that night raving about them to my husband who also shares my affinity for pickles as well as all things spicy. I wasn't sure if they we're a Wilfie & Nell exclusive or if I would be able to run out and get a jar somewhere, because that's exactly what I wanted to do - Needed to do! He had to try them! I checked the online menu and saw that these pickles were dubbed 'McClure's Spicy Pickles'. Thanks to a quick Google search I found their distributors and the very next day I was off to get a few jars of my own - One for me, one for my husband and one for "later".

If I've peaked your picking loving interest the Williams Sonoma in Chelsea carries jars of McClure's (which are also made in non-spicy form for those of you who are not a fan of spice) and the Whole Foods on Houston in the Bowery carries them as well (click here to find a distributor nearest you). If you are a lover of pickles I say this earnestly, you MUST try McClure's - You will fall in love, for I have never come across a better pickle.

GGL - this one was for you!

Shopping with Mario Brothers on the mind

You've gotta love New York City - You never know what you might see! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ode to a French Bistro

French bistro, I love thee.
You are my respite 
From the storms of everyday life. 
With unsurpassable casual coolness,
And a croque monsieur that rocks my world 
I choose you above all others. 
Yours is a cappuccino that melts my heart. 

Okay, so I'm no poet, but when I saw these bistro inspired goodies from Williams Sonoma I couldn't help but think of lazy afternoons spent sipping frothy cappuccinos from these cups and nibbling on a pain au chocolat street side in Paris. I'm no Paris resident, though I wish I was, so thank you to Williams Sonoma for letting me have a little taste of Paris in my Stateside kitchen!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Best Pancakes EVER!

It was 5 years ago when I was first introduced to the wonder that is the Clinton Street Baking Company.
This tiny, unassuming establishment located on the lower east side of Manhattan oozes charm. The menu is chalk full of creative comfort foods, and did I mentioned that everything and I mean everything is utterly delicious? Because it is! Incredible food, crazy cozy atmosphere - If it wasn't for the two hour shut down between 4PM and 6PM used as a shift change, menu change and to dim the lights for the evening crowd, I would probably find myself becoming a permanent fixture there from breakfast thru dinner.

On this particular afternoon I made my way over to Clinton St. during my late afternoon lull and snagged a seat at the bar, which quaintly sits only two. Man, oh man - What to get? I hadn't been there in a while and I was dying for their blueberry pancakes but their buttermilk fried chicken is to die for as well so... What was a girl to do? 3PM? ... Pancakes!

I had also been eyeing up their shakes, made from ice cream provided by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (YUM!). I settled on Butter Pecan.

I put in my order and with lightning speed a warm stack of fresh, fluffy, wild Maine blueberry pancakes with a side of hot maple butter (a delicious mixture of maple syrup and creamy melted butter) appeared before me. Heaven.

These pancakes are literally the best I've ever had in my long pancake loving life. I wish I could tell you exactly what it is about them that makes them perfect, but I can't. Maybe it's the farm fresh ingredients, or simply a genius recipe by the chef, or it might just be the amazing maple butter; Either way, whatever it is, I contend that they are hands down the best pancakes known to man.

The owners of Clinton Street Baking Co. assert that their goal is to make the best version of the most classic foods with the freshest ingredients.

A sign hanging in CSBC urging you to EAT. Gladly, I say!
{Hint: The wait on the weekends for brunch is ridiculous for a reason so go early!}


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