Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Commuter Tote

My girlfriend Elana asked me the other day about which brands make the best commuter tote. She spends her weeks commuting from NYC to Tarrytown and needed a great versatile bag that meets the following qualifications: laptop friendly, straps that are easy on the shoulders, and of course stylish. The best part of her email is that price point didn't matter as she was willing to splurge based on overall cuteness.

Check out a plethora of great black totes that I found that range in price point - most are all reasonably priced, but some are break the bank worthy. Which one is your favorite?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Once - A New Musical

This past Saturday my girlfriend Emma and I got in line at TKTS booth in Times Square and decided our evening would be spent seeing Once. I might be a little late to the party, but Once the musical was truly spectacular. For those unfamiliar with the Broadway sensation, it was once a 2007 film that won quite a few Academy Awards. The story is a modern-day musical about street musician and an immigrant woman who share an eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse, and record songs that tell their love story.

All of the songs are truly magical, but if I had to pick just a few they would have to be "Leave" and "Falling Slowly". Check them out below and then head on over to Bernard B. Jacobs Theater and see the most romantic musical on Broadway to date. Enjoy!

Leave - Once the Musical
Falling Slowly (Reprise) - Once the Musical

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Chic

Jonathan Adler has done it again folks - introducing to "Happy Chic" his new diffusion line at JCPenney.  Mr. Adler believes that "your home should make you happy the moment you walk in." Get excited to decorate and bring your apartment/home to life. There is sunny accent pieces, bold furniture, and quirky kitchen/bathroom accessories, just to name a few. These sophisticated basics will help bring your individual personality to your home in this great new collection!

Check out my top picks below, but head on over to the website for additional chic pieces. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mad Hatter

My girlfriend Jo asked me the other day if I could recommend a good Summer hat for her to wear this season. As noted in my summer essentials guide, I live in my straw hat every weekend. I put together a list of the top 10 summer hats sweeping the web. Which one is your favorite - white, striped or straw with a fun band? I don't know about you, but I want them all!!

1. Bound edge fedora natural with brights, Hat Attack
2. Summer Cloche Hat With Stripe Ribbon, Dickins & Jones
3. White Straw Hat, H&M
4. Banded Lurex Hat, Helene Berman
5. Fine Straw Hat, Accessorize
6. Bow Band Straw Fedora, Charlotte Russe
7. Weekend Raffia Mini Sun Hat, Hat Attack
8. Hatt Attack Fedora, Club Monaco
9. Summer Panama Straw Hat, Lisa Battaglia
10. Woven Summer Hat, Le Chapeau

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Neighbourhood

Despite the British spelling of their name, The Neighbourhood are a quintet from Los Angeles, California. Their sound is a combination of rock instruments with R&B/hip-hop aesthetics. The band has dubbed their style as "black and white" due to its confident inspirations, and based largely on rhythms. Think of an edgier Maroon 5. They just released their full length album, I Love You via Columbia Records. Take a listen to one of their songs below, Sweater Weather, which just peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Alternative Charts. Are you hooked?

Sweater Weather - The Neighbourhood

Friday, July 19, 2013

What's For Dinner: Summer Edition

Since I have recently embraced cooking in 2013, I wanted to start sharing some awesome recipes. Each post will be tailored toward the current season's taste bud palette. In my first installment of What's For Dinner:

Garrett Wade Brignoli (most well known for his awesome architecture and photography skills) took to the kitchen and created a really great Summer Menu. His menu is great because it provides a refreshing cocktail, a healthy salad appetizer, and a fantastic main chicken entree.

Take a look at the amazing finished meal below. Recipes are also included, just in case you want to try this fun menu at home this Summer. Enjoy!

C U C U M B E R   G I N   A N D   T O N I C
3 slices of cucumber
2 oz of gin
1/2 lime
3 oz Tonic soda

Muddle cucumbers in cocktail shaker. Add gin and juice of lime (halve and use a fork to squeeze out the juice). Add two cubes of ice and shake vigorously. Use wedge of a lime to wet rim of glass and add salt. Strain gin mixture over ice and add tonic. A slight stir, and you are off and running.

R O A S T E D   V E G E T A B L E   S A L A D
Green Onions
New Potatoes

M U S T A R D   V I N A I G R E T T E 
½ of a shallot
1 pinch of sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mince shallot and mix with white vinegar and sugar in a bowl; let stand for 15-20 minutes. Add mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly start to whisk in olive oil until dressing becomes rich and creamy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop potatoes into ¾” chunks; mix in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay potatoes out on a sheet pan and bake in oven until golden brown and a slight char forms, flipping once half way through (about 40-50 minutes). Roughly chop vegetables and dress with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Lay vegetables out on a sheet pan and cook until slightly golden (about 20 minutes). Once out of the oven, let both potatoes and
vegetables stand to cool. Mix vegetables and potatoes with arugula and dress with mustard vinaigrette.

1   P A N   C H I C K E N
1/2 cup  flour
1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
3 slices bacon
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly slices
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place flour in a bowl; set aside.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour; set aside. Heat bacon in a skillet over medium to high heat, and cook stirring, until its fat renders- about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate; set aside. Add oil to skillet, and working in 2 batches, add chicken, and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 

Add garlic to the skillet, and cook, stirring until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add stock and sherry and return chicken to skillet, skin side up; sprinkle with reserved bacon, along with parsley, and then dot with butter. Transfer skillet to oven and cook, basting twice during the cooking, until chicken is cooked and tender, about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Heat is On

In order to beat the heat and embrace summer time in the city, I have a staple summer wardrobe and beauty routine that I live off of from May thru early September. Whether I'm headed to the beach, off on a weekend getaway, or bobbin' around the city with friends - these 12 summer essentials are a must have during the heat wave season. Check it out below, what are some of your summer essentials?

1. An umbrella at the beach in the summer time is clutch. It keeps the sun out of your eyes and the ultra-violet rays off your skin. I don't head to the beach without one.

2. A fun tote is essential for a day at the beach or a weekend out of the city. It is fantastic for holding all of your summer needs. I love this whimsical Rebecca Minkoff bag and it's beautiful palm tree beach scene. Check out some other options here

3. When the weather gets warm, I live in these Salt Water sandals. Not only are they super cute, but they are also incredibly comfy. They are great paired with a swimsuit or a cute flowy dress.

4. I rock a straw hat every weekend when the sun is shinning brightly outside. Similar to the umbrella keeps the sun out of my eyes and the rays beating on my face. The added bonus of the straw hat adds an extra pizazz to an ordinary summer outfit.

5. A super cute bikini is always clutch to have on hand just in case a friend wants to jet off to the Rockaways over the weekend. I love this style from Zinke swimwear. 

6. Denim shorts are a staple piece in my summer wardrobe. I love this retro style from Zara. 
For a casual look, pair with Chuck Taylor's or for a dressier look, pair with bright pumps/wedges. 

7. I think Ray-Bans are the perfect sunnies. They have a retro, timeless look and are always in style. 

8.  In the winter time, my nails are always painted in dark, rich shades, but in the summer time I love painting my nails in Essie Angel Food and Muchi Muchi.

9.  I love to let my hair air-dry from May thru September. I use Bumble & Bumble's Surf Spray to give my hair either some extra texture and/or beach wavy locks. 

10.  Aveeno makes the best sunscreen - scent free and no breakouts on my skin. I love to lather up with SPF 70 just to be extra cautious.

11.  My skin can get so dry in the summer, especially my lips. Burt's Bees Lip Balm is the best remedy for those extra chapped lips.

12.  Whether it's Perrier or Smart Water - I always remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate in the Summer just to make sure I do not get dehydrated or get a massive headache.

This post has been submitted as an entry to IFB Project #104: Share Your Summer Essentials 

Monday, July 15, 2013


I am so excited to share the band Dresses that I stumbled upon this weekend. They're a dream-pop, Portland twosome, comprised of Timothy Heller and Jaren Ryan Maldonado. Baeble music describes their sound perfectly on their infectious single Sun Shy - "Timothy lures you in with whispery sincerity, and Jared locks you in with a party pop rhythm."

Take a listen to their hit single below. Their catchy and energetic song is on heavy rotation on my summer playlist. What do you think? If this duo hits NYC soon, I am there.

Sun Shy - Dresses

Friday, July 12, 2013

Phantom Lover

One of my favorite vintage websites was Ramona West. It was a website gem - always stocked with handpicked high quality one-of-a-kind vintage pieces to satisfy your current fashion needs with vintage authenticity. I was so sad when it closed its web doors last Summer and have anxiously awaited Marybeth's next unique venture. My prayers have finally been answered; Marybeth Murcia is at it again with a brand new projected titled Phantom Lover

Launched in July 2013, Phantom Lover is unique destination for inspiration, illustration, and shopping. Drawings by illustrator/stylist/designer Marybeth Murcia bring to life a curation of carefully assembled outfits, where every piece featured is shoppable. It’s like having your own personal stylist – or more importantly, a little inspiration to spark your own creativity.  The site is updated 3 times a week with new illustrations/stories.

Take a peak at some of the styles illustrated above and how you can shop the trends below. I want to print all of her illustrations and hang them all around my apartment. I am so excited to check back a few times a week to see her new illustrations and shop the trends. What do you think?

Cheap Thrills // Ants, Bats, and Polka Dots

Proportions // Long + Cropped

Timeless // Seasonless

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Stud Finder

For those that know me, they know that I have a big obsession with earrings. I have never been a big fan of chandelier earrings or anything that dangles. I really love stud earrings. These studs can be big or small, whimsical or artsy, colorful or plain jane - they always grab my attention. Check out the ultimate stud finds below from a plethora of designers. None of them break the bank either, which design is your favorite?

From Left:
Wishbone Studs, LC Lauren Conrad
Sunburst Button Studs, House of Harlow
Lacquered Triangle Studs, Forever 21
Goreski Glasses Studs, Kate Spade
Pink Flower Studs, Betsey Johnson
Cool Ice Pyrite Studs, Tinley Road
Camera Studs, Betsey Johnson
Ahoy Multi Flag Studs, Tory Burch
On Par Studs, Kate Spade
Seashell Pearl Studs, C Wonder
Gold Tone Citron Crystal Studs, Bar III

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Politics

Copenhagen, Denmark definitely has something to talk about these days - New Politics. The band is comprised of David Boyd, Søren Hansen, and Louis Vecchio, who each had solo careers before coming together and making music. Their sound is very similar to the All American Rejects, Sum 41, Fall Out Boy, or just about everything that was played on the alternative radio station in the mid to late 90s. It is a nice blend of punk, pop, and electronically induced dance rock. 

Their single "Harlem" has me shaking my hips around my apartment these days. Check it out below. You dancing yet?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mrs. Butternuts

I have always had an obsession with sock monkeys - they are just so cute and make me smile. The other day my girlfriend Becky shared the most amazing sock monkey gracing the internet. Meet Mrs. Butternuts.

{Mrs. Butternuts - Wife and mother of three. Livin' the dream. Sort of}

She is quirky and sassy. She's got a family and tons of friends. She is featured in small vignettes and already making adults and children laugh all around the world. So who is behind Mrs. Butternuts? The creator has chosen to remain anonymous, but has started a blog and twitter.

{Mr. Butternuts - Husband to Mrs. Butternuts. Confused about whether or not he is a rockstar. He is not}

{Eddie Butternuts - Oldest of the Butternuts children. Third Grade. Rainbow mohawk. Not in line for the Spelling Bee Finals}

Her blog is filled with whimsical and witty vignettes. Each scene features different characters posed in a unique and funny way followed by a couple sentences depicting the scene above. Take a look at some of them below, which one is your favorite?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Puss N Boots

Don't be fooled by the name - it has nothing to do with that adorable cat from the movie Shrek. Puss N Boots is Norah Jones side project. And what a wonderful side project it is. I was fortunate enough to catch them last Thursday at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Norah, Sasha Dobson & Catherine Popper are the ultimate country super girl group. They sound a little bit like the Dixie Chicks but with extra spunk. The band played mostly cover songs from the likes of Wilco, Johnny Cash, Doris Day and more. My favorite was their opening number - Johnny Cash's "Bull Rider".