Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vegan Itty Bitty Carrot Cake Cookies and the Oscar Goes to...

Me, myself and I in the baking category....


I used to bake a lot when I was a little girl and we are talking chocolate pound cake, banana bread, pizza dough from scratch, cookies, tarts you name it ladies and gentlemen and they used to turn out delicious as in so delicious that oh-my-god-I-want-to-inhale-this-whole-cake-in-under-5-seconds kind of delicious...

Then something happened and I stopped baking for some 10+ years or so and the next time I attempted to bake again was a DISASTER ( I tend to get distracted by shiny objects :-) ) so much so that the fire alarm went off and I ended up with burnt cookies in the oven and Fire Department at my door ( albeit those firefighters were super hot - I always welcome eye candy - but that's not my point today :-) )

So anyway, I am here today to give a shout out to a healthy  living / eating blog Oh She Glows that I have stumbled upon through a former FIT classmate & uber cool lady Mia's Blog Aesthetic Lounge. Thanks to Mia, I am now following Oh She Glows and yesterday I tried one her amazing recipes Itty Bitty Carrot Cake Cookies.

Take a look: no disaster this time :-) (phewww ) Simply delicious, light, vegan goodness MMMMMMM sooo good!

Ok, I am now off to brunch with friends then to the Oscars Party I go!

You can see the offical ballot on the photo above - I desperately need help filling it out!

So far I have Natalie Portman for leading actress, King's Speech for Best Picture and Inception for Cinematography!

I hope everyone has a GREAT Sunday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Remember Now by Karl Lagerfeld

Art Gallery much?

Yantra , 2010
mixed fabrics and sequins on canvas
64 x 63 in.
Trolling the streets of Chelsea on a cold, slushy, icy, rainy ( insert correct weather condition here ) on a Thursday night may not seem the ideal way to begin the evening, but I soon learned that wet, cold and open to anything is actually the optimal state for attending gallery openings.

Installation View
"Karma Cash & Carry" exhibition at Tyler Rollins Fine Art
Chelsea in the 20′s around 11th Avenue is packed with gallery spaces, and it’s remarkably easy to find openings on weekend nights usually on Thursdays between 6 and 9 p.m. Warm and cheerfully lit, these openings present the perfect escape-the-cold atmosphere, complete with free wine and the opportunity to culture yourself.

A long-time favorite of mine is Tyler Rollins Fine Art Gallery on 529 W 20th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Installation View 2
"Karma Cash & Carry" exhibition at Tyler Rollins Fine Art

Their upcoming exhibit is Agus Suwage’s The End is Just Beginning is The End opening on March 3rd, opening reception on March 10th @ 6pm on, you guessed right, a Thursday of course.

I am looking forward to it since I have lately found myself very much attracted to contemporary art from emergent areas in the Southeast and Southwest Asia and I have a thing for skulls :-)

Beautiful Dead #2, 2010
oil, acrylic, and gold leaf on zinc
27 1/2 x 36 in. (70 x 92 cm)
So go ahead and do some gallery hopping for the sake of art if not for free wine, lively conversation and the satisfied feeling of having done something worth snobbishly slipping into conversation at the party you continue to when the galleries close at 9 :-)

Let’s face it, “wine at gallery openings” sounds so much better than “shots at Whiskey Tavern,” right?

Cookies and Surprises

I know of a super cool woman who lives thousands of miles away.
 Meet Ildem ladies and gentlemen! She's kind-hearted, beautiful and very talented.

 I was lucky enough to meet her through work though not in person (yet) and she has already touched our lives (mine and my family's ) with her wonderful baking skills.


I wanted to take a moment and thank her whole-heartedly on my blog for the fun, delicious and beautiful cookies she has baked with love, decorated with creativity, put together and shipped over to mommy dearest whom I miss dearly.

Mom, Dad and our beloved puppy Cookie enjoyed them very much!!!

Mission Accomplished Ildemcim :-) I was able to surprise Mom and and put a BIG smile on her face thanks to you...

Happy Mom = Happy Daughter

Ildem bakes cookies and cakes for weddings, birthdays, baby and bridal showers, holidays and for those just because moments when you want to surprise a loved one just because...

Please check out her blog and exquisite work here:

What I'm LOVING right now - Home Edition

Blame it on the long, frigid winter we have here in New York ( well, I do ), but I have been feeling like nesting lately.

And I mean business!!!

Long gone are the cruel 2 hr- long spin classes after work and cruising downtown with the gang till the early morning lights only to wake up in an hour or two and do it all over again :)

We are talking coming home after work and curling up with a steaming hot cup of Mariage-Freres Teas and watching How I Met Your Mother, reading on Kindle 3, online shopping for candles, pillows, dinner parties, Friday nights in with DVDs, popcorn and wine in our private movie room :)

Guests bring food and dessert unless we cook together and I provide blankets, popcorn, hot cocoa and wine.

And really, who wants to go out when the temperature is below freezing anyway ???

Speaking of Mariage-Freres, my favorites are Eros - puts a smile on my face everytime I smell it - HEAVENLY - and The Vert Marco Polo.

You can buy them in France, order them online or simply go to your local Dean & Deluca where they carry the most popular selections if you live in New York City. 

I take them to work as well and brew them in my new favorite Starbucks Mug by who else but Jonathan Adler :-)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jonathan Adler's eye for design and his fun, colorful pillows. I want them ALL!!!

If you are a fellow home fragrance/candle lover, I highly recommend the Voluspa Japonica 3 wick candles I posted below.

You cannot go wrong with Makassar Ebony Peach and French Cade & Lavender. They both smell lovely, very subtle yet very distinctive.

I get compliments from my guests every time I light them, never fails :-) You can find them at Anthropologie and Bloomingdale's not to mention online candle stores.

And this Kate Moss painting by Rene Gracia Jr. would go above the couch in the living room, if only I could get my hands on one of his artwork  *sigh*

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spring 2011 Trends

Look Forward To: S/S 11 Trends

Here is your cheat sheet for the season and a taste of what's to come in S/S 11 - Enjoy!

Definitely my least favorite trend since there are lots of other noteworthy shoe styles available for spring—clog details are still big, as are other '70s-inspired options like wood platform heels and wildly huge wedges. The flatform is exactly what it sounds like: a uniformly tall platform wedge, which gives you some height without wearing a pitched heel, per se. These shoes turned up as strappy sandals at Chanel, menswear-inspired styles at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Prada, and complimenting Derek Lam's minimalist ensembles. While the majority of flatforms haven't hit stores yet (THANK GOD!!!), here are a few options already in stock. Check out Derek Lam's
Stacked Wedge Platform Pumps ($590), Marc Jacobs' 110 MM Glitter Mule Wedges ($828), and Fendi's 110 mm Platform Wedges ($1067).

What up, disco madness. So what does this mean for your wardrobe? Well, the runway interpretations involve vivid violet jumpsuits (Fendi), maxi skirts and dresses with thigh-high slits (Louis Vuitton), plus billowy, high-waisted pants, big-brimmed hats, and platforms galore (Marc Jacobs), to name a few key looks. Be on the look out for spaghetti-strap leotard tops, ultra-long earrings made out of slinky metals.

Downtown Lady
Last season, the ladylike trend meant lots of full skirts and polished beauty looks (remember Louis Vuitton? ), in other words: pretty, but prim. For spring, we're still seeing a certain amount of soignée styles, but this time around, they have a much more youthful vibe. For example, at Loewe, designer Stuart Vevers updated a classic sheath dress by making it in walnut brown leather, detailing it with tiny embroidered leather flowers, and styling it with sharp pumps and a leather headband. Proenza Schouler also offered timeless staples—a
Tweed Skirt ($1570) and Terry Tweed Jacket ($1839)—albeit in an anything-but-sedate fluorescent yellow. Or consider the accessories at Valentino, like the Small Chain-Strap Flap Bag ($1845) with its understated silhouette and pyramid-studded details: it's luxe but tough. All in all, this look is very cool and is already turning up on trendsetters like Alexa Chung and Gaia Repossi, so start pulling similar pieces now!

Tiny Pleats
When you're shopping for dresses and skirts this season, I highly suggest investing in at least one pleated piece. I am so mad at myself for giving away my vintage pleat skirt last year!!!!  Simple versions were shown at Michael Kors and Chloe; the former created an almost casual
Floor Length Pleated Skirt ($1195) in the perfect shade of grass green, while the latter offered a ballerina-like Mousseline Midi Length Skirt ($2836) in the most delicate shade of blush. Interested in a more '70s-inspired take on the trend? Preen showed a Printed and Pleated Georgette Skirt ($4049) that has a disco earthiness, thanks to a combination of a mosque tile-inspired print and lurex thread details. Or check out Haider Ackermann's Silk Satin Pleated Skirt ($1639), which has a voluminous shape, up-to-there slit, and knockout Yves Klein blue hue that's perfect for a modern Studio 54 queen. Whatever style you pick, just make sure you go for something with small (ideally accordion) pleats to get the most of-the-moment look!

Rainbow Brights
Perhaps in response to the slew of neutrals that have been so popular lately, one of the boldest trends for S/S 11 is ultra-bright colors on everything from shirts to shoes. We love the way brights were shown at Jil Sander, where designer Raf Simons offered simple ways to wear this look (a vivid tangerine
Fish Tail Fluorescent Skirt ($1674) with a simple white t-shirt), as well as more intense iterations (like wide-leg bright yellow pants with a fluro pink shirt and a sprightly green jacket, shown above). While there were contrasting brights galore, we also adore simple, monochromatic ensembles as well, like the orange look from Fendi, above. If this seems like too much for your personal taste, don't fret, wear a bright shoe or bag with your favorite all-white outfit; Prada, Versus, and Sonia Rykiel all have amazing options to pick from.

Relaxed Minimalism
One of the biggest buzzwords for spring is minimalism, but that overarching idea can mean lots of different things. While some designers went for an austere, '90s Calvin Klein interpretation of this look, we think the more approachable version shown at Celine, Michael Kors, and Stella McCartney is going to be equally, if not more, important. So what does that mean? Think: typically monochromatic ensembles with unfussy silhouettes, like the gray linen gauze turtleneck and floor-length skirt shown at Michael Kors with a tonally harmonious trench. Refreshingly understated, but still full of style, no wonder this is a trend to watch!

Skinny Belts
Looking for a fun new accent piece to freshen up your wardrobe essentials? Go for a skinny belt! A neon belt will add the perfect pop of color to your favorite neutral or white pieces, or you can always invest in a classic tan, brown, or black option too. Regarding the latter, don't miss Michael Kors'
Long Skinny Trouser Belt ($225) in Peanut, which would look amazing with an easy gray maxi dress, per the runway. Need more head-to-toe styling ideas? Check out Burberry Prorsum, Proenza Schouler, and Miu Miu for inspiration.

Wide-Leg Slouch Trousers
In addition to buying a clean pair of high-waisted flare jeans—Derek Lam's
Denim Trousers ($550) are the gold standard—the other key pant shape this spring is the wide-leg slouch trouser. These silky, relaxed pants turned up at Celine, Dries Van Noten, and Proenza Schouler, and they offer an excellent way to try the season's minimalist look or you can make them a part of a slightly '70s, cocktail chic ensemble. Check out Haider Ackermann's Silk Satin Trousers ($1144) in cobalt blue or Marc Jacobs' Belted High Waist Silk Pants ($950) for inspiration now and keep your eyes peeled for the perfect pair!

Neon Lips
Whether it was a shocking pink pout at DVF or a tangerine smile at Marc by Marc Jacobs, when it comes to spring beauty, one thing is certain: neon lips are the next big thing. So put away your nice nudes and get ready to start wearing strong, sunny shades this season. Ready to try this look today? We suggest picking up some of our go-to hues, like Shiseido's
Perfect Rouge Lipstick ($25) in Day Lily, NARS Lipstick ($24) in Schiap, and MAC Lipstick ($14.50) in Neon Orange or Something New.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

That 70s Denim !!!

It's time to take your jeggings out of heavy rotation and give the skinny jeans in your closet a much needed rest ladies!!!!

For spring, instead of going for those familiar favorites, we need to find the perfect pair of '70s-inspired jeans.  Whether it's a full-on flare or a wide-leg style is totally up to you, just make sure you look for two things: a mid/high-waisted silhouette and a clean, monochromatic wash.

Here are some of the season's must-have styles for your shopping pleasure. Pair them with uber high wedge sandals or YSL Tributes and show them what you have got ladies!!!

My favorites are by J Brand. I am a loyal J Brand fan as at 5' 9'' no other jeans fit like they do.

BUT I caved in and ordered a pair by GAP yesterday (the 30%off coupon lured me in to be honest ) and I am sooo curious about how they will fit!!!

Update 2/24/11: So the GAP denim arrived and OMG they are way too big, as in I could have fit 2 small kids in each leg :)  so I had to return them. Looking forward to trying on the J Brand version! 

Happy shopping!

Accessory Report via WWW: Black Sashes

Though skinny belts are certainly in their prime this spring, they aren't the only waist-hugging option you can incorporate into your wardrobe.

Behold our current obsession du cinch: THE BLACK SASH! No longer relegated to little girls' party dresses or bridal gowns, the black sash is now defining waists on both runway looks and red carpets alike.

Whether it's snugly tied in a small, prim bow or long and loosely knotted, ladies like Eva Mendes and Emmy Rossum are embracing this easy-to-wear accent and we think you should too.

It adds a touch of unfussy attitude to anything it's paired with—whether that's rainbow bright stripes or romantic frocks.

Now, if you're searching for a top-tier runway reference for this sweet accessory trend, look no further than Sonia Rykiel's colorful S/S 11 collection. Rykiel showcased a slew of sashes—specifically, obi-like belts—wrapped around pleated paperbag pants, color-block cardigans, and tops with zippy stripes. The resulting outfit is playful without being overly girly, and decidedly refreshing.

Of course, there are many ways to wear the black sash, most of which do not involve sporty stripes. In fact, the majority of our celebrity examples seem to prefer the sash as an accompaniment to their dressier, print-free looks.

In these instances, the dash of black serves as a palette cleanser, removing some of the sweetness from unabashedly feminine pieces.

For example, last month Emmy Rossum attended a party celebrating Genlux's Winter Issue wearing a head-to-toe DKNY runway look.
Now, imagine that pink ruffled skirt and red blouse without the black accent at the waist—very different right? 'The bow sash is like a perfect frame—it gives definition to the look AND keeps the colorful combo from looking too girly and really elevates the outfit: talk about a high-impact accessory!

Carolyn Murphy used a sash in a similar way a few months ago, when she arrived at a celebration for W magazine's September issue. The supermodel made her peach chiffon dress look a little stronger by adding a short black sash—tied in a jaunty, off-center bow—and black ankle boots for a thoroughly delightful ensemble.

In addition to taming an ultra-feminine frock, a bow-tied sash can also be used to update a retro-inspired piece, as Eva Mendes and Lea Seydoux demonstrated recently.

Mendes attended the 2011 Spirit Award nominations in Hollywood wearing Peter Som's Bouquet Floral Chiffon Dress, which comes with a long sash.

Alone, the floral maxi would have a very '70s bohemian look, but the addition of the statement sash takes the dress out of that specific era and makes it much more contemporary.

Leydoux gave us another great example when she attended the Los Angeles premiere of Somewhere in a '50s-inspired, sleeveless, button-up dress. The combination of the full, flouncy frock and retro ankle-strap heels give off a ladylike charm, but the sash tied in the middle keeps it from feeling saccharine.

Happily, executing this smart dressing idea is a rather simple task. First and foremost, you need a sash. My suggestion: head to American Apparel and pick up
The Sash ($16), or try to snag DKNY's Runway Sash Belt ($45) or Halston Heritage's Skinny Sash Belt ($95).

From there, if you're looking to recreate Emmy Rossum's sweet combo for Valentine's Day or just love a fresh pop of color, try pairing Equipment's Hard Feelings Blouse ($175) in Red with either ASOS' Flippy Hem Jersey Mini Skirt ($26) or Kimichi Blue's Full Skirt ($48). Just make sure to tie your sash in a prim bow and shift it to the side to give your look a Rossum-inspired playful finish.

Those of you who love Eva Mendes' take on the trend will want to pick up a floral maxi or two. Our favorites are Lipsy's Lace Trim Floral Maxi Dress ($107) and Rebecca Taylor's Runway Dress ($407); both floor-grazing frocks will take you straight through spring and summer.

Finally, to master Lea Seydoux's retro pick, you should definitely check out Topshop's Cream Spotted Scallop Collar Dress ($55). Simply tie your sash so that it hangs in a loose bow in the center and you'll have nailed this look!

(Photo of Emmy Rossum, courtesy of Getty Images, photo of Caroline Murphy, courtesy of WENN, photo of Lea Seydoux, courtesy of Bauer-Griffin, photo of Sonia Rykiel, courtesy of First View )

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fatto a Mano / DIY Fendi anyone?

~Fendi strongly believes that creativity and the flow of ideas are the Fuel for the Future ~ Silvia Venturini Fendi Accesories Creative Director

"Fatto a Mano" is Italian for "hand crafted." 

I came across Fendi's Baguette Mezzo Punto "half stitch" while browsing through Bergdorf Goodman's Cruise 2010 Magazine (not sure how I missed it the first time around but here it is! ) a few days ago and fell in love with this "concept" bag. It reminds me of kindergarten arts and crafts hour :-)

It's basically a semi-DIY project. The plain canvas baguette comes in a box with needle, thread and diagrams to custom sew the logo or whatever design you wish.

As much fun as this looks like, I have mixed feelings about this concept since HELLOOO!!!! $995 is alot of money to spend on a bag I have to finish myself, and especially if I make a mistake.

However it would surely make one fantastic- albeit super expensive - gift for creative friends who enjoy and excel at arts and crafts!