Monthly Archives: April 2012

A T-shirt for Who?

Look, you guys. Zara has a t-shirt just for Bloggers!

from here

Comes in two options, neither of which remotely represent the blogger in me. Where is her laptop? Her frazzled demeanor as she approaches a self-imposed deadline but is stumped for content? Clearly I am doing something wrong.

What a weird name for a t-shirt, right? They both feel a bit too hippy-dippy, bad acid-trip to me. She is totally colorblocking pink and red, though!

Pardon my brevity today, I’m fulfilling my civic duty and spending the day in Federal jury duty. I’m just thrilled about it, let me tell you. Aside from getting stuck in an elevator full of spiders, getting picked as a juror for a case straight out of one of the gorier episodes of Law & Order SVU is like my worst fear realized. Let’s hope this case is something tame like money laundering or something, and not, “Oh, so after you assaulted her you used a chainsaw on her body and then dumped pieces across 3 states? Tell me more.” How crazy do I have to act to NOT get picked for a jury? Anyone have any experience getting out of it?

April 16, 2012 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 11

Friday Five

It’s Friday the 13th! Are any of you superstitious? I’ve never subscribed to any of the usual black cat/broken mirror/don’t walk under a ladder stuff, but in general this day is so hyped up for whatever reason that it’s hard to not point out the date whenever it comes around. I’m also not trying to make a big deal out of it because this morning I have my annual performance review at work. This reminds me of that episode of The Office after Jan and Michael drunkenly hooked up and then he has to complete the performance reviews for everyone but all he can talk about is why Jan won’t talk to him, and Angela says, “I really enjoy being judged. I believe I hold up very well to even severe scrutiny.” Not exactly my life’s motto, but I’m oddly excited to hear how I’m doing. Oh, and for a big fat raise if I’m lucky.

Because obviously, even with my best budgeting and my strict savings-plan, I could use more money to buy things. Not lots of things, but maybe these five:

1. Parisian Chic / 2. Glass tumblers / 3. Pillow / 4. Kiwi face scrub / 5. Sea Salt Soap

After brunch with Lyndsey last weekend (smoked salmon tartine for her, brioche french toast for moi, which is particularly funny because she was the one who taught me how to make french toast when we lived together. Just ask her. “Erin. The bread is white and the eggs are yellow, so YES, it’s supposed to be yellow when you put it in the pan.”), we went to Anthropologie and browsed for a while. I’d seen Ines de la Fressange’s (French beauty, ex Lagerfeld muse and current fashion designer/socialite) book “Parisian Chic” before but stopped to thumb through it anyway. Lyndsey gave me one of her famous eye-rolls and said, “Haven’t you been to Paris before? You don’t need that book. You either get it or you don’t, and you get it. Put it down.” Let me just say it is reasons like that why my heart breaks every time she goes back to Portland. I still might sneak back and buy that book, though. It’s filled with a million different life and style tips for perfect that quintessentially French je ne sais quoi. 

After collecting my round-up for Wednesday’s post, I spent a good amount of time on Gilt browsing (just browsing) and came across these sets of tumblers. The last thing I need is more glassware as I need to maintain a ratio of clean-to-dirty to even close my cabinets as it is, but come on. Look at those colors! I’m particularly smitten with that sea foam blue one. Oh! And if anyone wants or needs (like/want/need!) an invite for Gilt just let me know! I’m happy to enable your own shopping addiction.

A while back Annie wrote a post on Porta Romana lamps, and in the process of picking my favorite of the ones she included, I stupidly forgot what the hell a flamingo was. The lamp in question was a pair of flamingo legs with a shade on top, totally adorable and whimsical. And in my most shining moment of intellect, I said it reminded me of  “stork/ostrich animals.” You guys. Stork/ostrich animals! Who forgets what flamingos are?! To her credit, Annie was graceful in her response to me (“Do you mean flamingos by any chance?”) but I will forever see a flamingo and not have to giggle at my own idiocy. So yes, that pillow is just adorable. Flamingos!

I like to think I have my skin care regimen down to a science, but there is always room for improvement. A few months ago I ordered some samples of Mario Badescu skin products, and one of them was a strawberry face scrub. I liked that it used natural strawberry seeds as sloughing agents, and it smelled delicious. I was looking around the other day for a new face scrub to use a few times a week, and remembered how much I liked what I’d gotten from MB. Apparently tons of celebrities swear by his stuff. After work today I’m heading over to Blue Mercury to pick up a jar of kiwi face scrub. I’ll let you know how it goes! The upside is that if I don’t like it I can return it for a store credit, and Blue Mercury also sells Diptyque and Tocca candles. Win-win.

And while we’re on the subject of beauty products, I’m super curious about this sea salt soap. The packaging alone kills me, it’s so perfect and would make adorable party favors for some nautical themed gathering or something, don’t you think? I wonder what the soap smells like, feels like. Too bad I’ll never find out because shipping for it is $2 more than the cost of the soap itself, no thank you. I hate stores that don’t offer cheap or free shipping. It’s 2012, get with it. I’m not paying $9.70 to ship a $7.50 bar of soap to my house. Even if its got an adorable anchor on it and maybe smells like pretzels.

Okay kiddos, what are you up to this weekend? I’m participating in a charity walk tomorrow morning through the Navy Yard with some of my girls from work, and on Sunday I’m having brunch at a friend’s house to meet their new baby. I’ve warned everyone in advance that they’re going to have to pat me down when we leave so I don’t try to smuggle the baby out with me. I love babies. See you all on Monday!

April 13, 2012 / design / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

Like A Picture

I had a follow up appointment yesterday for my esophagus, and guess what? It still sucks (unintentional esophagus pun!), but at least I don’t have Celiac disease (my doctor suspected I might have a gluten allergy that has been exacerbating the spasms) and the results of my manometry testing were perfect. Horray for no motility issues! I had another episode of stabbing, seizing pain on Monday night, but that was my own fault; I had forgotten to take my medicine for 2 days. And I only say “take” because saying “I forgot to lick my medicine out of my own hand” is still just too ridiculous to cop to. If none of this is making sense, here’s part 1, part 2, and part 3. Long story short: debilitating esophageal spasms –> endoscopy –> diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis –> prescribed a medicine I have to lick out of my own hand (still ridiculous!) Anyway, our only real game-plan is just finish off this round of medication and cross our fingers that I dont have any more relapses or episodes. So, cross those toes!

Another week, another installment of Like a Picture, another Lands Downunder throw blanket. I swear I’m not being sponsored by them, but I totally should be for all the free advertising I’m doing for them. What can I say, they have a million different colors and they’re all beautiful. Next week I vow to use a different blanket company. Someone hold me to that.

1. Blanket / 2. Candle / 3. Picture

I am so in love with that picture. Who is that couple? Look at the rain on the ground reflecting those lights! Unbelievable.

April 12, 2012 / art / photo / design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 8

Black Tie Affair

It goes to show how lucky I am that within the past few days that not one, but two different lovely ladies kindly pointed out a fashion piece in The Telegraph featuring Gary Oldman. Thank you Sam & Chi for thinking of me, and for remembering my enormous crush on him! While I like to think of myself as something of a talented internet-squirrel, I have to admit I never would have come across that article and the amazing accompanying photographs had it not been for you girls. Can we just take a moment to admire the eye-candy provided in that profile? Look but don’t touch or I’ll have to kill you.

images c/o

I mean, come on. It is so unfair how gracefully men age. He looks better now at 51 than he did at 31. And I have to say, he cleans up rather well (but I guess that’s easy when you’re wearing a £2,500 Paul Smith suit). I want to go to whatever party he’s going to, and it looks like he’s heading to a black tie event. The pocket square, the piping down the side of his pants, the jaunty bow-tie. Be still my heart!

While we’re on the subject of Black Tie Affairs, I couldn’t resist gathering a little round-up of party-perfect accessories for a chic event. A little black dress, a bright red lip, Mr. Oldman on your arm and you’re good to go.

1. Monogrammed Napkins / 2. Cheese Knives / 3. Champagne Flutes / 4. Topiary / 5. 3-Tier Stand / 6. Coasters / 7. Candle

Nothing says “Black Tie” like a topiary! Or monogrammed napkins. Or cheese knives with French on them. If you guessed that I’m itching to buy those coasters, you’d be 100% correct. They’re on sale! Let me know if you need an invitation to Gilt Group, I can send out at least 2.

April 11, 2012 / art / photo / design / Gary Oldman / LEAVE A COMMENT / 28

Tuesday Tunes

I mentioned on Friday that I’ve been listening to Adele non-stop, finally catching up with the rest of the world. Next up I think I’ll listen to the Beatles, everyone says they’re really good (I’m totally kidding). All of the praise that has been bestowed upon her is justified a million-fold. It is refreshing to see someone who can actually sing receive tons of awards and recognition for her voice rather than someone who wore a dress made out of meat. Give me talent over theatrics any day of the week.

But this isn’t just any day of the week; it’s Tuesday, which means I’d be remiss if I didn’t devote a little attention to Adele. I normally try to post only album versions or official music videos of the songs I pick for these posts (maybe with the occasional hommage to George Michael’s eyebrows). But for this particular track from her album “21” I went with a live performance, because her voice is seriously so flawless that there is no difference between her singing this live or in a studio. Good lord, girl, you can do no wrong.

So since this is a cover, I have to ask: do you like her rendition or the Cure original better? Or do you like both equally, for different reasons?

April 10, 2012 / Tuesday Tunes / LEAVE A COMMENT / 10

Inspiration

Yesterday marked 5 weeks until I officially depart for Belgium and Paris. And you guys, I’m like…90% packed. Ninety! I’m waiting on my trench coat and ballet flats to get here (more presents in the mail!), and I obviously haven’t packed all of my toiletries since I, you know, need them in the interim, but every outfit I’ve planned and bought for the entire trip is folded and ready to go. It’s a sickness, this anxiety of mine. But hey! Better over-prepared then scrambling at the last minute, right? Right.

Anyway, you know how sometimes you’ll come across something and think it is so perfect that you just know it was made for you and you alone? Perhaps you are not so solipsistic. But this happened to me over the weekend when I stumbled across the following kitchen and my jaw hit the floor. It is the first kitchen I have seen that is almost an exact replica of the kitchen I’ve been designing in my head for years, and my immediate thought was that someone out there knew my deepest desires and brought them to life. Why? Because I’m destined to have this kitchen, that’s why. Let’s take a look:

from here

As far as kitchens go, this room is pretty dreamy. Come on. Don’t stare too hard, you can’t have it. It checks off all my major requirements, with the exception of a white floor (but that’s easily remedied), and I know this might sound wildly optimistic, but this is a kitchen that would actually make me want to cook. A feat that is as of yet unconquered in my life. Ahem.

I spent a fair amount of time checking out inspiring interiors online yesterday, and since we’re long overdue since my last batch, here are some of my other favorites.

from here

This is a stairwell in Paris, surprise surprise. Wouldn’t this make a great venue for a wedding, especially with those lanterns?

from here

If that isn’t the comfiest bed you’ve ever seen. And that painted white brick wall!

 from here

I don’t even have words right now. You know that mirror is divine, right? I don’t need to tell you that?

from here

You know that scene in “Closer” when Clive Owen comes home from his business trip and heads to the bathroom and says, “Every time I wash in it I feel dirty. It’s cleaner than me. It’s got attitude. The mirror says, ‘Who the eff are you?'” Yeah, that’s what I’m getting from this gorgeous room.

from here

Like I needed one more reason to go buy a sheepskin throw.

Alright, lovelies. Which of these is your favorite if yo had to pick on? How was everyone’s weekend? I’m dragging today; I slept horribly last night and woke up a million times all sweaty. Fingers crossed I’m not coming down with something!

April 9, 2012 / design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 9

Friday Five

Happy Passover to all those celebrating! I don’t have much connection to my Jewish heritage, unless you count eating matzoh on the regular; I never went to Hebrew school, never got a Bat Mitzvah. I took ballet classes for 11 years instead (though you couldn’t tell from my posture these days). Sure, we celebrated Hanukkah (along with Christmas) and lit a menorah every night and I know the whole prayer, but I was really just in it for the presents. Funny and unrelated Hanukkah story: one year my mom bought me this awesome pair of black velvet overalls (I’ll let you soak that all in. I was 10, so this is some time ago, and yes they were fashionable) and as she was heading downstairs she tossed them over the railing aiming for the pile of laundry she was collecting to take to the basement, only her aim is a lot like mine in that she doesn’t have any. She missed the pile of laundry by about 4 feet, and the overalls landed on the dining room table on top of the lit menorah. All we saw were bright blue flames. Thankfully no one was injured and we put it out rather quickly, but being that the overalls were made of velvet, there was a sizable and smelly hole in them. Because my mother is the original Bargain Shopper Extraordinaire, she returned them for a full refund to the Gap the next day and got me a new pair. L’chaim!

But anyway. Passover is technically less fun because you don’t get 8 nights of presents and there aren’t impromptu pyrotechnics, but this is the one holiday a year I look forward to with an overzealous fervor. THE FOOD, oh my god. Passover dinner is what I would ask for if I had to pick a last meal. It will be Boyfriend’s first official full seder, complete with reading the Haggadah and wearing a yarmulke. He is stoked, let me tell you.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m having brunch and probably one too many cocktails with one of my favorite people in the whole world, and since Boyfriend is going to be stationed in front of the tv all weekend following The Masters (snooze), I was trying to organize an outing to see Titanic in 3D. Somehow, all of my girlfriends were “busy.” I’m suspicious to say the least. But let’s get right into this week’s Friday Five, shall we?

1. Salted Caramel Ice Cream bars / 2. Booties / 3. Clutch / 4. Adele “21” / 5. Chair

In a moment at the grocery store on Wednesday when I felt like I possessed magical powers, I made a rare turn down the ice cream aisle (being lactose intolerant does not lend itself to frequently eating ice cream) thinking, “I wonder if they make salted caramel ice cream bars,” and then they appeared on the shelf. Never one to turn down salted caramel anything, I picked up a box and you know what? The crazy stomach pain is totally worth it. These are delicious.

Speaking of delicious, can we just pause to drool over those Sam Edelman suede booties? I wish they weren’t $160 and I also wish I wasn’t on a spending-freeze for all non-Europe related items. My friend Aisling asked me if I would keep my eye out for a nice pair of blank ankle boots for her, and in my search I found these. Lucky for me, she wasn’t as instantly smitten with them as I was, so I can eventually buy these without worrying I stole her dream shoes out from under her. They just look heavenly. Maybe they’ll go on sale over the summer since they’ll be out of season? Fingers crossed!

I wish that clutch would go on sale, because while I’d happily spend a lot of money on a purse that looks like my favorite book of all time, I think $1500 is just a wee bit expensive for something that could barely hold a cell phone and a chapstick, but hey. What do I know. This clutch reminds me that I should re-read “The Great Gatsby” for the 30th time (I tuck into it once a year, and still find new things I love about it each time).

I know I’m like a million years late to the party with this, but oh my god Adele’s album is so good. And because I am way less cool than my mom, she’s the one who lent me her copy of it. Everything that could be said about Adele’s amazing voice has already been said (and reaffirmed with the 400 Grammy’s she won this year) but wow. If you don’t already have this CD because you live under the same rock I do, go get a copy.

We made some living room changes last weekend, most notably swapping out the leather sofa for my IKEA sofa that’s been hanging in the den downstairs. Neither of us had the forethought to understand how much dog hair a fabric sofa would attract, but it’s been well worth the multiple lint-roller sheets I have to use daily: that thing is comfy. But now we’re left with a leather chair and ottoman that matched the other sofa, and that will likely be moving to the den, too. So now I’m on the hunt for an arm chair for the living room, and while this one doesn’t look like the kind of chair you can curl up in, it is really, really pretty. I’m trying to find an excuse to buy it.

Alright, kiddos! How was everyone’s week now that we’re at the end? Any Passover or Easter plans this weekend? Take care and a lot of naps!

April 6, 2012 / design / eat / drink / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / LEAVE A COMMENT / 6

Like a Picture

This is the second installment in the “Like a Picture” series I launched last week, after a warm reception (thanks, you guys!). If you look on my sidebar, you’ll notice I’ve added a new section of “Weekly Features.” Down the road, either when I run out of blankets or when there’s something else that better fits the image, I might change it up. But for now I’m happy sticking to a striking photograph, and pairing it with a blanket and candle. Because seriously, “blanket and candle” could be my middle name.

 

1. Blanket / 2. Candle / 3. Picture

What is the next holiday or gift-giving occasion coming up? Is there some culture where “Saturday” means “Buy someone a gorgeous photograph”? I need to investigate. In the meantime, my wish-list has a 16×20 print of that Daeja Fallas photograph at the very top. Potential gift-givers, take heed! Imagine how dreamy that would look framed and hanging on a dark wall. I get goosebumps thinking about it.

And before anyone asks, yes I know that’s the third blanket I’ve used from the same company. No, I’m not getting any sort of commission for it, I just seriously love their blankets that much.

April 5, 2012 / art / photo / design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 7

Son of a Sailor

I’m single-handedly keeping the Post Office in business, I just know it. I take this responsibility very seriously, though it’s almost become a running joke at work about how many things I have delivered here. To be fair, living in the city means there is no place for a delivery truck to leave a package without it getting stolen. But let’s be honest, even if there was a secure area to leave packages at my house, I’m much too enamored with getting presents in the mail in the middle of the work day. Aside from my adorable coworkers (you know who you are ladies…and Hunter), it gives me a reason to feel excited about sitting at a desk all day. Oh, what’s that you say, USPS email? My package is scheduled for delivery today? How exciting! 

It’s obviously no surprise that I buy a lot (A LOT) of stuff. Clothes for Europe have been at the top of the list recently, but around Christmas time? Hoooo boy, it’s like I had an Amazon distribution center at my beck and call (thank you, Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping) for all the presents I bought for people online. It’s rare when I post a Friday Five and don’t end up buying something from it, or when an item in the round-up was included because I already bought it. Judge me all you want, I’m still putting away more than 40% of my monthly income in savings. Come on, did you expect anything less from the Master Bargain Hunter Extraordinaire? Psh.

Which brings me to this necklace by Austin-based studio Son of a Sailor (I wrote about it in a Friday Five a few weeks ago). Since it was sold out, I went on one of my many Internet-Squirrel adventures and ended up getting in touch with the designers, who happily agreed to make one for me. Custom. I pounced on the offer. And then, on Monday, it appeared in my mailbox as if delivered my little Christmas elves on special assignment. And you guys, it’s even more beautiful than I expected.

I heartily recommend getting one for yourself; they can customize the color with a few different options. Not only is the craftsmanship impeccable, the packaging, oh my god the packaging. The necklace came on a hand-stamped card with a piece of striped washi tape on the reverse side to hold the rest of the chain in place, tucked in a vellum envelope. I almost didn’t want to open it. Then, because they were really trying to make my head explode, Jessica and William also included a small card with “orner” on one side and the definition (“to decorate”) on the other. It’s like they knew French verbs were my weakness! Also included: a giant playing card with “I love Texas” on the back (I got the 7 of clubs). With packaging that thoughtful and whimsical, I kind of want to buy a million more things from them. Oh! And Jessica said she liked my blog. I swooned. (Hi Jessica!).

So between the scarf from Nina and this necklace and a pair of turquoise jeans from Forever 21, I’ve been on quite the package-opening high. What about you? Buy anything fun recently? Is it just me or is buying things online way more exciting, even without the instant gratification factor?

April 4, 2012 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 19

Tuesday Tunes

Continuing the wonderful 80s streak we’ve got going around here (Theresa posted a delightful Yaz song yesterday), I thought it was only fair to pay tribute to one of my all time favorite songs. A song I love independent of the decade it was released in, though the fact that it’s an 80s classic doesn’t hurt either. I find it oddly fitting it was released in my birth year. Supernatural connection? I think so! This song, by Australian supergroup Crowded House, also made an appearance at the end of one of my all time favorite movies, “Cosi”, making it one of those rare crossover moments where two things you love immensely collide in beautiful harmony. Like if I ever saw a picture of Gary Oldman eating macarons, that kind of perfection. My dad and I must’ve watched “Cosi” a million times, and I never let him turn off the VCR (yes, I said VCR) until the credits were over, because I didn’t want to interrupt this song. So, without further ado…

Theresa talked yesterday about the sensation of hearing a song and being brought right back to the moment in time when you first heard it, and all the feelings you associated with it. That’s true of a lot of songs for me, but this one in particular really stands out. I’m brought back to my dad’s apartment, and the lazy weekends we used to spend watching rented movies. Miss you, poppa.

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April 3, 2012 / Tuesday Tunes / LEAVE A COMMENT / 11