30 November 2010

Basic Black: It's All About the Accessories

Kooba handbag

I wake up each day with visions of different outfits dancing in my head.  But sometimes the grand visions don't sync up with what actually comes to pass in the never ending rush to drag myself out of bed and chain myself to my desk where I sit for hours on end each day.

Fabric/tulle covered beads from Elisha's shop, Chanel brooch

I ended up throwing on a basic black long sleeve J Crew t-shirt and Banana Republic pants but I spiffed it all up with this flower print jacket that I am now reminded has a matching skirt.  I accessorized with this fun tulle covered bead necklace that I bought in Elisha's shop some time ago, my Chanel pin that I've been wearing to death and a hot pink Kooba bag that I rediscovered in my closet in the recent hangbag reorg.

Me Too booties

And since this was one of those days where I couldn't seem to pull it together, you end up with faceless pictures of me.  I almost forgot to put my makeup on today that's how out of it I was.

29 November 2010

H&M Designer Collaborations

I'm delinquent in posting about my experience venturing to H&M to try and scoop up some of the Lanvin for H&M goods.  I arrived at H&M on Newbury Street around 7:45AM and thought to myself that the line didn't look as horrendous as I had anticipated.  It turns out it was worse than I had thought. They were giving out color coded wristbands with each color corresponding to a time you were allowed to shop the collection.  Without belaboring the point, there were apparently people who had arrived around 4AM and my arrival time allowed me to shop at 11AM.  I decided that by the time I got back everything would be picked over so I didn't bother but I did take a moment to peek at the merchandise from afar (it was roped off).  While some things did look lovely, they also looked small; I think I would have had to wear the dresses as tops because they looked way short.

In honor of the H&M collaboration with Lanvin, on Saturday I decided to wear the real thing.

Lanvin top, Rogan jeans, Cole Haan boots
I wore my Lanvin top with some skinny jeans and riding boots for an afternoon of lunching and shopping.

Chanel cross body bag
I'm loving this little Chanel cross body bag and the freedom of not carrying around a ton of stuff all the time!

Chanel earrings, Rachel Zoe for QVC ring
I accessorized with the Chanel earrings my girlfriends gave me for my birthday last year and this Rachel Zoe for QVC statement ring.

For the evening Saturday, I kept with the theme of H&M collaborations and pulled out of the deep, deep, deep archives this tuxedo jacket that I got oh, six or seven years ago at H&M when they collaborated with Stella McCartney.  I bought this jacket which is part of a suit and two tops that I still have to this day.  I'll have to pull them out for you one of these days soon.

Stella McCartney for H&M jacket, Joie lace top, Banana Republic pants, Me Too booties
I paired it with these five pocket leggings from Banana Republic, Joie lace top and Me Too booties.

Banana Republic necklace, Chanel brooch

I topped it all off with some multi-strand pearls from Banana Republic and Chanel brooch.

28 November 2010

Sunday Supper - Steak, Onions and Spinach Rice Pilaf

Yesterday I made the mistake of watching cooking shows after the gym and before lunch.  It's never good to watch food shows when you're hungry but I was watching Rachael Ray and she made steak with oregano sauce and spinach rice pilaf.  Her recipe is here.  As usual, I didn't follow her recipe to the letter but it did inspire me.  

First I toasted up some orzo in butter and olive oil for about 2 minutes then added in about 1/2 of a chopped sweet onion and cooked up for another 5 minutes or so.  See how nice and toasty brown the orzo gets?  Then I added in a cup of long grain rice and a little more than 2 cups of chicken broth.  If your broth is low in salt, you might need to add more salt but you can do it at the end once you've tasted it.  Bring the broth to a boil, cover, turn down the heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is done.

A couple minutes before the rice is done, stir in a bowlful of chopped spinach, sprinkle with some grated nutmeg, cover and take the pot of rice off the flame. 

When the rice is cooking, season the steak and let it sit out until you're ready to cook it.  I bought thin sliced top round and just seasoned it liberally with salt, pepper and olive oil.  To serve with the steak, I sauteed up a sliced sweet onion with a little bit of chopped garlic, red chile flakes and fresh chopped oregano.  I forget how fragrant fresh oregano is and it was lovely with the steak and onions.  Anyway, once the onions were cooked, I added in a pat of butter and the juice of half of a lemon.  As for the steak, I cooked it in some olive oil only for a few minutes each side since the steaks I bought were so thin (I bought thin sliced top round). 

The steak was especially delicious with the onions seasoned with the oregano and I really liked the citrus flavor from the lemon.  The rice was delicious and while I'm sure it's tasty with the feta as Rachael Ray does it, I didn't miss it.

And last, I have a confession.  While I was cleaning up, I noticed that the pan I had cooked the steaks in had lots of meaty juices left in it so I sopped all the juices up with a piece of crusty Italian bread and that was my dessert.  I think it was the best part of the meal!

Lust or Must?

I love the Mulberry Alexa bag but I also know that it's not inexpensive.  Doesn't this Talbots version give it a good run for its money?
Lust or Must - Mulberry Alexa

I die for these Valentino lace booties but they are over $1000 which is steep. But this Ann Taylor version is just under $200.

Lust or Must Valentino Lace Bootie

Every girl needs a good pair of flats especially the Chanel ballet variety but with a $500+ price tag, they're certainly not affordable. Instead give these rose gold Ann Taylor flats a try.

I can totally picture myself prancing around town in this Miu Miu printed fur collar coat but at over $1700 I don't think I can swing it. This Top Shop coat would do the trick and for a sliver of the price!

Lust or Must Miu Miu Coat

26 November 2010

Wishlist: Black Friday

Instead of fighting the shopping crowds today, I'm nestled in doing stuff at home that's been on my list of to do's for awhile.  So far, I've finally organized all the nail polish, lipsticks and makeup that clutter up my bathroom.  While the bathroom is still cluttered, it's a much more neat and organized clutter.  I've also printed out new photos to update all my framed pictures plus have started the process of cleaning out the disorganized mess in my kitchen cabinets.  But despite my not taking part in the black Friday madness, I'm still doing some mental shopping and adding things to my wishlist.  Today's list encompasses the handbags I'm pondering for myself.  I do have a birthday coming up in January and think I might buy myself one of these as a birthday treat.

Givenchy Nightingale
You've seen this one before but I'm still obsessing over the Givenchy Nightingale and I really think I want it in red.
Stella McCartney Falabella

I love the chain straps on the Stella McCartney Falabella and I've been admiring this bag for awhile.  I think it's great how she let's her dedication to the environment guide her designs though admittedly, I do question spending $1000+ for a faux leather bag.
Miu Miu Matelasse
 Miu Miu has done several versions of this bag over the last few years and I really never tire of it.  I am especially drawn to the braided handle, buckled flap and puckered leather.
Alexander Wang Rocco
My passion for all things bestudded is clear and I've been eyeing Alexander Wang's studded bags since a trip to Opening Ceremony.  I was at that time thinking about the Diego bucket bag but now the Rocco bag is in the running.

Mulberry Bayswater
Finally, last but not least, is the Mulberry Bayswater bag.  I also really like Mulberry's Alexa bag but I think this one is a bit more my style.

I've got a couple months to ponder which one I like the best.  Which do YOU like best??

25 November 2010

My Day of Thanks

I love a lazy day at home with little on my agenda and this lazy day consisted of a trip to the gym and not much else until I ventured out to spend Thanksgiving with some friends.

I got into the spirit of things and put up my little pink tree.

Kate Spade dress, Glenda Gies handbag, Spanx lace tights, Stuart Weitzman boots
For this Thanksgiving, my family was a bit scattered all over the place.  My brother in New York, my sister in Florida with my dad and my mother also in Florida but hours away by car.  So I decided to stay put in Boston and celebrate with my dear friend and her family.  Instead of the typical Thanksgiving at home, we were going out for dinner so I had to gussy up.

I wore this bright pink Kate Spade dress that I hadn't worn since my birthday almost a year ago.  I was lucky enough to get these suede Stuart Weitzman boots at friends and family awhile ago at Bloomies and they look good and are quite comfy too.

I accessorized with a fab chunky black bead necklace and vintage inspired handbag by Glenda Gies.

But enough about the clothes for now.  We had a ridiculously good five course meal at Meritage at the Boston Harbor Hotel and it was truly a lovely afternoon.  We all acknowledged how lucky and thankful we are to have each other.  I'm thankful every day for my family and friends who love and care for me but it's lovely to have a holiday like Thanksgiving that instead of celebrating commercialism and consumption celebrates family and friends.  I'm grateful to have had this day to reinforce how very lucky and fortunate I am.

Orange Pop

J Crew sweater, H&M t-shirt, Paige jeans, Rachel Zoe for QVC bag and necklace, Hermes belt
Yesterday was a lovely relatively short workday; I actually left at 5:30 for a change.  It's starting to feel like winter so I dressed for it.  I bought this navy J Crew sweater a couple years ago on sale and it has been a winter staple.  I paired it with jeans, tall boots and my orange Hermes belt for a pop of color.  I was going to wear the orange bag and coat that you've seen before here but I happened upon this Rachel Zoe for QVC bag that I bought months ago and had never used.  I love the studs and the chain strap but I especially love the clever design.  It's a foldover envelope clutch but the top also has a zipper so you can get inside two different ways.

Then as I was reaching into my coat closet for my orange coat, I noticed this multi-color fur trimmed number that I don't think I've worn in a couple of years.  It's a little too big for me but it does work when wearing a bulky sweater underneath.

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving holiday!

23 November 2010

Lady in Red

I went all out with the red today.  I woke up thinking I'd wear this comfy red dress bought on deep, deep discount ages ago at Lord and Taylor.  But my initial thought was to top it with one of the many Chanel-esque neutral jackets that hang in my closet.  Instead as I reached into my closet, I spotted this red jacket and since the red in the dress went perfectly with the red in the jacket, I decided to go for it.  Plus, how much do you love the animal print inside of the jacket?

I accessorized with my Chanel pearls and my very Verdura Kenneth Jay Lane cuff bracelet, neither of which can I ever get enough of.  I felt just the right amount of festive for the beginning of the upcoming holidays.

On a very different note, the last two evenings have been two nights of complete food decadence; one if by land, two if by sea.  While I was totally remiss in taking pictures to share with you the absolute deliciousness that were my dinners for the last two nights, I must do my best to fill you in.

Last night, on a last minute whim, I met some friends at the relatively new Island Creek Oyster Bar owned by and run by many of the same familiar faces from years of bellying up to the bar at Eastern Standard Kitchen. The space is unbelievably gorgeous and the food couldn't have been better.  You can't go to a place named after an oyster without partaking in the house specialty.  So we had several different varieties of oysters.  I'm personally partial to the East Coast briny, salty varietal so I skipped the melony, creamy West Coast options and they couldn't have been better.  Topped only with a drip or two of mignonette, I appreciated every ounce of ocean I tasted with each oyster.  Then Tommy the GM was kind enough to send over a dish full of goodness from the sea of fresh clams, mussels and tiny little scallops in the shell swimming in the most delicious wine broth that was just begging to be sopped up with the grilled bread.  Finally it was onto my very large lobster roll that I forced myself to finish.  It was too good to leave any leftover but boy was I full.  Just when I think I couldn't eat another bite, my friend offered me a bite of her oyster slider.  Now I'm a purist when it comes to certain things, oysters included.  I like my oysters raw and pristine and without much else so I refused the offer.  But when the thoughtful folks who work at the restaurant were kind enough to bring me out my own oyster slider, that was just an offer I couldn't refuse. And I must say this fried bundle of oyster goodness atop a brioche roll was so delicious I decided I might just make a meal of a few of these on my next visit.  The night ended with a hot buttered rum which was total dessert in a glass.

So now onto tonight.  I was bellied up to the bar with my friend Elisha at Hamersley's where you'll find the two of us often.  Sometimes going somewhere often means you end up sticking to the regular.  But tonight we veered and shared the cassoulet, the green salad with goat cheese and a mashed potato cake.  No one does a cassoulet better that Hamersley's and tonight did not disappoint. And by the way it's a huge plate of food.  The two of us couldn't think of finishing all the food we ordered.  The dish was chock full of pork, garlic sausage and duck confit and it was all so tasty.  I do have to say though that I really love Hamersley's duck confit.  They usually have it on the appetizer menu and I regularly order it as my meal with a salad. 

So that's it for my land and sea eating escapades for the last two nights.  Wish me luck fitting into anything in my closet tomorrow morning!

Holiday Soiree (plus a discount!) at Elisha's shop December 2

Design: Mario Avila Design Illustration: Hana Pegrimkova




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116 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116


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22 November 2010

Wishlist: Looc Boutique Boston

Sunday I had a lovely if extremely filling lunch at the Franklin Cafe Southie with my dear friend Julia.  I stuffed myself by eating the WHOLE big burger so I thought it best to walk home instead of flagging a cab.  I made a stop at Foodie's for groceries and then next door Morse's Fish for my night's dinner.  On my way home, I popped into Looc in the South End.  The store itself is just gorgeous and one of my local Boston bloggers (check her out here) works there part time which makes it fun to stop in for a quick chat.  Anyway, there are several items now added to my never ending wish list.

Thread Social jacquard shorts
You know I've been in the market for some fun shorts to don with tights and boots.  Well this jacquard version by Thread Social that I saw at Looc are high up on my list.  Aren't they just fabulous??!!

Camilla James jewelry
One thing that I always admire at Looc is the selection of jewels, especially statement pieces like the ones above.
Tila March handbag
Looc also has quite the selection of Tila March bags like the chain strap one above.  There were several that I wouldn't mind adding to my collection. 

20 November 2010

Shopping My Closet: Purple Haze

Theory cardigan, Nanette Lepore top, J Crew pencil skirt, Kate Spade handbag, Me Too booties
My weekends tend to be lazy, especially lately since my workdays are 12+ hours most days.  So today I went to the gym and made a fruitless trip to H&M for Lanvin (I'll fill you in on that later).  But other than that, I did next to nothing.  I was heading out to dinner tonight and was quite tempted to just throw on a black cashmere turtleneck with this grey J crew pencil skirt.   But something in me gave me the energy to liven it up a bit. 

Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet, Terry Ross ring
I pulled out this Nanette Lepore keyhole top that I bought about 4 years ago at Loehmann's in Florida.  I added some fun jewels (Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet - I've worn the matching necklace here and Terry Ross ring that my sis wore here) and topped it with the cashmere Theory cardigan that I bought at the Theory outlet.

I topped it all with this fun leopard coat (not my Kate Spade chubbie which you've seen me wear to death) and a grey cashmere ruffle scarf and I was pleased with myself to have added some color to my evening's attire.

18 November 2010

Shopping My Closet: Houndstooth

OK friends, I have three closets.  Now none of them is a walk in, but nevertheless, I have three relatively big closets.  Remember I live in a small box of a city apartment so I'm thankful for every bit of storage I don't have to create for myself.  And create storage I do.  My bed is on stilts with goodness knows what underneath (off season clothes, shoes), one closet goes all the way to the top of my 10 foot ceilings.  I store off season stuff way at the top.  My dresser is almost as tall as I am (and I'm 5'9").  Even my coffee table is storage.

So this lovely houndstooth skirt was not in either of my regular go to closets in my bedroom but instead had somehow found itself in my coat closet in the hallway.  Hmmm, how could that have happened?  Perhaps it's due to the fact that this skirt has a coat to match but who knows.  The point is, the skirt popped into my head so I put it on this morning.  Though instead of pairing it with its matching coat, I wore it with the same Milly jacket I've been wearing to death.  You've seen it...here and here.  Oh and I wore the Me Too booties that I think are glued to my feet.

Can I venture off topic a bit.  Do you see the annoying white spot in the photo above?  Do we think it's user error or the fact that it's time for a camera upgrade?  I'm thinking it's the camera but back to the relevant topic.

I wore the skirt with a little Banana Republic ruffly top that I bought a few years ago and this great vintage-y pearl and bead necklace with the gorgeous rhinestone clasp. 

Happy Friday eve to all and to all a good night.

17 November 2010

Most Stylish Bostonians

I'm sure you've heard me wax on about one of my dearest friends, Elisha.  Not only is she the best friend I could ask for but she is also one of the most stylish people I know.  Well clearly, this is not just my biased opinion. 

Photo boston.com
She is one of Boston's most stylish people.  Check out the article here.

P.S. Her outfit is Kate Spade.

Puddle Stomping

Chanel rain boots

I woke up this morning to the sound of the rain beating down and today was a work day where there was no need to really dress up.  I knew I could wear something totally casual and be practical with the rain boots.  Anyone who knows me knows that practicality is not usually a factor in my shoe choices but when practicality equals Chanel rain boots then I can relate to practical.

Elisha Daniels cashmere hoodie, J Crew tissue T, Mossimo for Target leggings
Since comfort was key today, I wore a J Crew tissue t shirt under my cashmere hoodie that I bought from Elisha's shop.  And by the way, these Target leggings are great.  These and my Danskin leggings are my absolute faves.

Lanvin for H&M in Boston

I was out on Newbury Street to grab a quick bite at lunch and I walked by H&M and what did I see?

Some Lanvin for H&M eye candy staring back at me!

And I know this is hard to see but this window says "IN THIS STORE NOVEMBER 20".  Yippee!

16 November 2010

Channeling Giovanna Battaglia

I've made myself clear that I love Giovanna's style.  So this morning I thought I'd try my hand at re-creating one of her looks.

I know.  My version brought me out of color and back to black yet again but the play on textures makes it fun and interesting.

Zara dress, St John jacket, Spanx tights, Tiziana handbag

I grabbed this Zara dress that I've had for years.  It's not just any old little black dress because it has this lovely pleating at the skirt.  I topped the dress with my old faithful St. John jacket (you've seen it before here).
Spanx lace tights, Me Too booties

Then I threw on these Spanx lace tights and they are fantastic.  I love fun tights but the Spanx ones are the best.  I wore some fun Kate Spade tights recently (seen in the same post you saw the jacket above) and while I beyond adore just about anything from Kate Spade, their tights just don't measure up for me.  The day I wore them I found myself constantly tugging at them.  But the Spanx, oh they suck and tuck in all the right places (and I need that!). 

You may want to try your hand at this too. Here are some similar items.

I have the white boucle Moschino jacket above on my wish list for Santa and it's way pricey.  But the BCBG version above is much more reasonable ($168). By the way, in the short time since I bought the Me Too booties, I've worn them almost every day.  Not only do I love the way they look, but they are quite comfortable even with all the trotting around town I do on my feet.