Dragon Tattoo

A few years ago I picked up Steig Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and fell in love with it from the moment I started reading (the book begins on my birthday!) even though it scared the crap out of me and I couldn’t even read it in broad daylight at certain points. The actual Swedish title is “Men Who Hate Women” and if you’ve read it, you understand why.  It was unlike anything I’d ever read before, and I quickly devoured it before moving on to the second book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire. By the time I finished the second, the third one, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, had been published in Europe but wasn’t scheduled to be released here for another year. So I did what any book nerd would do: bought a copy from a British seller on eBay and read the behemoth (literally, that book is enormous) early. And then I read the whole series again when the third book was released here. My brother and I went to see the Swedish version of the film together when it had a limited release here. And since then, the book has become wildly popular.

I just re-read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a few weeks ago in preparation of the American film release. Usually I’m not a fan of the American remake of anything, because we tend to ruin whatever we get our hands on (see: Skins UK vs US, Coupling UK vs US, Red Dwarf UK vs US), but the film was directed by David Fincher and was shot in Sweden (in English) and looks pretty promising. Observe:

Needless to say, I’m excited to see it and see how it compares to the original version. Rooney Mara, who plays Lisbeth, looks almost unrecognizable in her makeup and costuming, but my heart still belongs to Noomi Rapace, who played Lisbeth in the Swedish films. There’s just something so sexy about how grungy and goth Lisbeth’s character is that it’s impossible to ignore. Her penchant for piercings and chains and combat boots makes me want to ditch my heels and pencil skirts and take up a life of hacking and riding motorcycles. Sort of. Aside from all the horrific life experiences she endures.

You know how sometimes, several things in your life cross over and create one awesome overlap in interests? Like, your favorite band makes a guest appearance on your favorite tv show and it’s so, so good? Imagine how I felt when I found out that Trish Summerville, the Costume Designer behind The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was doing a collaboration with H&M. My little head just couldn’t process it. You mean one of my all time favorite book trilogies was crossing over with one of my all time favorite clothing stores? And that I could literally be able to dress like one of my all time favorite characters? SAY IT AIN’T SO.

Oh, but it is so. And it is so, so good.

YOU GUYS. I can’t even! The collection opens this Wednesday, the 14th, a week before the movie comes out (which happens to be the day after my birthday!). I couldn’t contain my excitement, so I hustled over to one of the two H&M stores within a 10 minute walk from my house and ran up to one of the sales people and said, “HIWILLYOUGUYSHAVETHEDRAGONTATTOOCOLLECTIONTHISWEDNESDAY? WILL YOU? WILL YOU?” And once the poor girl processed what I was asking, she gave me a sad look and said no. Undeterred, I asked if the other store, a few blocks away would be carrying it. “No, none of the stores in Philly will have it.”


(That was the sound of my head exploding)

I mean, how unfair! What gives? Do I have to go (gag) New Jersey to shop? Do I have to arrange transportation to the closest suburban mall to get my paws on this collection? There are TWO H&Ms a mere 3 blocks from each other (I don’t know why) so you’d think the odds of ONE of them carrying it would be good. But no! It’s like someone just knew how much I was looking forward to buying these clothes and decided to mess with me. Yes, I’m taking this super personally.

But then I decided that I could easily just recreate the feel of the collection with some staple pieces from H&M and a few other stores. And once again, all was good.

1. Leather Jacket / 2. Sweatshirt / 3. Necklace / 4. Scarf / 5. The sexiest boots of all time  / 6. Fingerless gloves / 7. Black eyeliner / 8. Black nail polish  / 9. Jeans

This post was brought to you by my obsessive love of those boots and my nerdy love of Swedish crime thrillers. If you haven’t read the trilogy yet, I’d highly, highly recommend it. Those of you who’ve already read it, are you going to go see the movie? Does Lisbeth’s style inspire you to be more edgy? Super nosy!

Friday Five, Gift Guide pt 2

Happy Birthday to my daddy, who would have been 73 (73!!) today! I wish he were here so I could shower him with presents and we could commiserate over having birthdays so close to Christmas. I really just wish he were here.

I couldn’t let the occasion go unnoticed, so today’s Friday Five Gift Guide is a collection of gifts that would be perfect for him. Or for any man in your life who has ever made full meals out of cheese and crackers and full pints of ice cream, has the best beard, can quote Kevin Kline movies at the drop of a hat, loves literature and classical music, and maintains imaginary affairs with French, redheaded burlesque dancers named Trixie LaTharge. That last one might have been just my dad, but hey. He is my favorite guy in the whole universe, you’ll have to forgive me wanting to show him off:

 Here I am at age 2-3, rocking bangs and a turtleneck, trying to grab the flash from my dad’s camera while he is just trying to take a decent picture of us.

Here we are, ages 6 and 54 respectively. I have bangs. And I’m wearing a Bambi shirt. But do you see the card I’ve drawn for him? Clearly I did not inherit his talent for drawing.

Also in that picture I’m giving him a present for what I’m assuming is Father’s Day? Given that I’m in just a t-shirt I’m going to assume it isn’t winter. In the spirit on his birthday and the holidays, and to continue the Friday Five Gift Guides, here are 5 gifts that were inspired by my dad:

1. Complete ‘Law & Order’ Collection / 2. Lambswool Sweater / 3. Sea Monkeys (!) / 4. Cheese of the Month / 5. Paris Moleskine sketchbook

My dad’s favorite show of all time was Law & Order. We used to (try to) watch a new episode of SVU every Friday night, and it was always a contest to see who could stay up for it. Inevitably, we were both passed out 5 minutes in, me from clamping my eyes shut at all the scary parts enough times, and my dad just from being exhausted from a long week at work. My dad always joked if he ever suffered from insomnia, all he would have to do is put on an old episode of Law & Order and wait for the “dun dun” gavel sound that opens every show. It was a sure fire way to knock him out. At $450 for the all 20 seasons, it isn’t exactly the cheapest gift in the world, but it is definitely one I know he would have loved.

I feel like every holiday necessitated the purchase of yet another wool sweater for him, but this one, from J Crew, just seemed too perfect to pass up. It’s gray (one of his favorite colors) and looks so comfy and warm. I The collar would have been totally up his alley, too. Today I’m wearing one of his sweaters, a dark green cable-knit number with wooden buttons that is probably not entirely work appropriate, but I couldn’t not wear it today. I’m sure it’s my imagination, but it still faintly smells likes him, and it’s wonderful.

My dad was never what you would call an “animal” person (to put it mildly) but we did have several pet water frogs for a few years. They were very, very cute and very, very tiny. My dad really bonded with one of them, Otis, and even upgraded his tank and bought him special food and could be found having conversations with him if you snuck up on him. But since there have been a bunch of salmonella outbreaks linked to water frogs recently, I figured the next best non-pet with the least amount of responsibility would be Sea Monkeys. Did any of you have these growing up? I had a couple and they were awesome. I figure this would be the type of pet my dad would appreciate: the kind where the eggs come dehydrated in a packet and then hatch in the water and become teeny tiny brine shrimp. Knowing him, though, he would end up attached to them and try to keep them alive forever.

I mentioned above that one of my dad’s favorite meals was a block of stinky cheese and a box of crackers. Maybe some spicy mustard and jam. No one loved stinky cheese more than my dad. Murray’s Cheese Shop, in New York, has a huge assortment of cheese (stinky and non-stinky), and you can even buy a 4, 6, or 12 month “Cheese of the Month” gift basket for any occasion. Every month, the recipient gets a 1/2lb of cheese (or meat, or a pairing if you pick that basket!) delivered right to their door. Can you think of anything more magical? Or delicious?

My dad never went anywhere without a sketchbook or two for moments of inspiration (or an emergency preparedness kit that included first aid supplies and a flashlight that worked 1000m below sea-level and a wallet-sized pen that could write in outer space, all of which fit in a small little pouch), and loved carrying a Moleskine datebook to keep his appointments and notes in. Moleskine has a line of city notebooks that include transit maps, neighborhood maps, and plenty of pages for sketching or documenting your trip. His heart belonged to Paris (just like my own) so this would have been a perfect stocking stuffer for him.

Happy, happy, happy birthday, Daddy. I miss you so much.

Have a wonderful weekend, kiddos. This weekend includes picking up and decorating Fitz’s very first Christmas tree. Do you think he’ll try to pee on it?

And please consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society this holiday season! 

Girl Crush

Im going to put a disclaimer for this post here: this has absolutely nothing to do with anything else I’ve ever written about, but sometimes you need a little (random) change of pace.

You guys, I’d like to introduce you to someone. She stole my heart a few years ago and has yet to give it back. Her name is Clemence Poesy. Some of you might know her from playing Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter series, or maybe as Eva in a season of Gossip Girl (sidenote: what happened to that show? it used to be entertaining for its ridiculous story lines, but now everything has been taken to such weird extremes it’s become unwatchable. Michelle, I know you disagree with me.). Or maybe you know her because she is God’s most perfect (French!) creation and her existence brings joy to your everyday. No? Just me? Got it.

She is so gorgeous I can’t even stand it. Of course on top of being leggy and blond and pouty and having perfect hair she just has to be French. Naturellement!

I know I’m not alone in this. Girls always get crushes on other girls (at least, I do), in a admiring, you-inspire-me-to-try-harder kind of way, I mean. So spill: who are your girl crushes (celebrity or otherwise!). Any other takers for Clemence? TOO BAD, SHE’S MINE.

More Macarons

Yes, my obsession with macarons has reached an all new peak. I printed out this flavor poster and hung it in my cube at work. It is safe to assume my productivity has fallen off a cliff. Well, my work productivity has. Saliva production is at an all time high. Seriously, do you know how much I just stare at it and drool? I’m doing it now!

I was completing my morning newspaper-reading and came across this article, on those Judith Leiber clutches (#7). I don’t know what you could even fit in them besides a tissue, but hot damn they are adorable. Macarons have obviously been on my mind recently, but they’re also popping up everywhere these days. Clearly macarons are having their moment in the sun. Well, actually, since they have to be kept chilled, they are having their moment in the bottom shelf of your refrigerator (where Ladurée insists they are kept once you take them home).

1. Scarf / 2. Necklace / 3. Lip balm / 4. Pillow / 5. Wallet / 6. Tote bag / 7. Clutch

I got to thinking about all of the macaron-printed goodies over at Bonjour Mon Coussin and realized I needed to make some sort of compilation of all the yumminess.  Between the scarf, pillow, clutch and bag, I am totally overwhelmed by how simultaneously delicious and evil all of it is. Sure, I would LOSE MY MIND over having a wallet or pillow covered in macarons. But I’m already totally useless just by having a poster hanging on my desk, I don’t think I’d ever be a functioning human being again if I had any of these things. Lip balm that smells like macarons, are you kidding me?? An adorable polymer clay necklace? Pretty sure I’d eat it. One time when I was 3 I ate an eraser my parents won for me on the boardwalk down the shore because it looked like a strawberry; clearly I am a threat to devour things that are not intended to be edible. And considering the lip balms $10 each, that’s actually a more expensive snack than actual macarons. But hey, Urban Outfitters is offering free shipping on everything before the holidays, so maybe it evens out?  If I had to pick one thing to buy, it would be that tote bag, even though it’s $60 after the conversion rate.

What about you? How cute is that necklace though, seriously? Etsy is swimming with more of necklaces of equal cuteness: rainbow cake, snowcones, and sushi!

100th Post!

This marks my 100th post (!!), as you probably figured out from the title. I started this blog back in February as a way to keep myself occupied at home in between looking for a job and napping whenever I wanted, and I never thought I had the attention span to keep it going for almost a year, or that I’d meet some really amazing fellow blogger ladies in the process. Sometimes I get stressed out about posting and I have to remind myself that this is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and really, how stressed can I be over things like home design and gratuitous pictures of the Eiffel Tower?

I thought about posting  a list of “100 Things You Never Knew About Erin” to mark the occasion, but that bored even me (and I ran out of things after #31), so I tried to think about what I enjoy most. And I couldn’t think of any other way to celebrate my 100th post than to share some more gorgeous interiors with you, you lovely group of readers. It’s my favorite thing, looking at and lusting over beautifully styled homes all day. (Rather than list the image credit underneath each photo, I’ve just linked the image to its rightful owner, lest you think I’m not linking with love.)

It’s somewhat of a milestone for me, 100 posts. All I know is that I hope I have 100 more, and then 100 more after that. And maybe at my next 100 I’ll have something way more exciting to share with you than all-white interiors. Maybe by that point I’ll have moved on and won’t get weak in the knees over Swedish houses. But who am I kidding, we all know it’s only going to get worse. I hope you’ve enjoyed these last 100 posts, and I hope you all stick around with me for the next batch. It’s endlessly cheesy of me to say, but I couldn’t do this without you.

PS. My first post!

Friday Five, Gift Guide pt 1

Today I’m spending the day with my grandmother (feels weird calling her that, she’s always been my Mom-mom) baking thousands of Christmas cookies and messing up my aunt’s kitchen with food coloring and tons of sprinkles. I have been looking forward to this SO MUCH, because my Mom-mom is an amazing baker and I basically live each year in anticipation of her Christmas cookies. She makes these sugar cookies with green food coloring in the shape of little Christmas trees…my god. They are to die for. In between baking and decorating I’ll be taking lots of pictures, trying not to get flour all over my camera.

Is it too early for me to start talking about what I want for Christmas? Yes? DON’T CARE.

Right now I’m experiencing the first ever twangs of remorse that I didn’t call this series “Friday Five Hundred” because trying to pare down what I want for Christmas into five measly items is like expecting a puppy doped up on sleeping pills to solve a quadratic equation: it’s just. not. happening. And don’t give me the spiel about how Christmas isn’t about the material objects but the time spent with family and the cherished moments between friends. No. Christmas is about the presents, and you and I both know it. I’m just spoiled enough to admit it. Although, truthfully, I am pretty stoked on getting to hang out with my two lovely cousins who are flying in from Arizona and Oklahoma for the holidays. But not because they’re awesome. But because it means two more people who could potentially give me presents. (KIDDING, Ilene and Stacy!)


1. Marc Jacobs watch / 2. Plane Tickets / 3. Canon 50mm lens / 4. “Taschen’s Paris” / 5. Ladurée set of 2 candles

Now, this is what I would ask for if money was no issue and I was on drugs. Realistically, I know better than to even ask for a watch that costs as much as 3 of the other gifts total, but a girl can dream, right? And I’ve lusted after this watch for a while and even came extremely close to buying it when Bloomingdale’s waas having a 20% off sale, but chickened out. Same story with a plane ticket to some European city, only on a much larger scale. I’m not insane, though. That 50mm lens comes in at just over $100, which seems like such a steal! I had a 50mm on my last DSLR and the thing was my best friend. If they had sold the camera with a kit that included that lens, I would’ve ordered that instead. 50mm lenses are my favorite. I figure I can use it to take pictures of my ever-growing coffee table book collection, especially if “Tashcen’s Paris” was included. It combines all the best in Parisian shopping, eating, and sights. And it’s cute. You know I’m a sucker for cute!

The last time I was at Ladurée I failed to buy a candle (or two!) despite my original plan to stock up. I don’t know what I was thinking, but clearly the combination of the endless rain and the delicious macarons (DRINK!) sitting just inches from me made by brain short circuit. That, or the $65 price tag brought me back to reality. This set of two includes Strawberry and Brioche (can’t you imagine how delicious the Brioche candle smells? My mouth is actually watering) and I found a place that isn’t Ladurée that sells them. Of course, they’ve upped the price and they’re sure to overcharge on shipping, but a small price to pay in the name of macaron scented candles! (DRINK). Plus, it’s actually cheaper than a roundtrip bus ticket to New York to go back to the store and NOT BE AN IDIOT and forget to buy one while I’m standing right there.

So! Now that I feel sufficiently greedy, distract me: what are you asking for for Christmas? Anything extravagant and crazy? Or more low-key? Have a great weekend, kiddos!

Love Actually

Happy December! Where did this year go? It doesn’t matter, let’s not dwell on the past, because it is officially December 1st, and that means I can start watching Love Actually on repeat. Yay! Last December I think I managed to watch it almost 15 times; I’m going for 20 this year. If you’ve seen it, you know it is the perfect holiday movie. If you haven’t, REASSESS YOUR PRIORITIES. It is one of my all time favorite movies, and is the perfect blend of heartbreaking sweetness and big, full, belly-laughs. The characters are endearing and relatable, and the entire thing is quotable to no end. Don’t even get me started. Too late! “I am on Shag Highway, heading west.” And, “You mean there was more than one lobster at the birth of Jesus?” (Answer: DUH.)

I’m beyond excited to skip home after work, put it in the DVD player, and snuggle on the couch with Fitz. Seriously, how could I not be excited knowing that this gem is awaiting me:

I’m telling you, the moment he shimmies across the hallway I just lose it. I love it so much.

What are you favorite holiday movies? Do you have any go-to staples? And don’t recommend “A Christmas Story” to me; I saw it too late in life to appreciate it. I know, I know, bah humbug to me. I did, however, just watch the classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and fell even more in love with it.