Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crystal Proof

I've always had an affinity for crystals; These completely mesmerizing, beautiful and mysterious rocks have, for ages, been believed to possess healing powers. Whether that's true or not, they're pretty rad in my opinion. For me, it's knowing that they come from the earth and are naturally occurring that continues to blows my mind - So when I found a necklace that combined the raw, natural beauty of a crystal and also had an edgier flare to it I was in love.
Crystal, meet bullet casing. You two are a match made in "opposites attract" heaven!

Handmade by Unearthen, who also makes a plethora of other super cool pieces featuring crystals and other earth elements, these necklaces support my favorite trend - Femininity with Edge.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Warmest Regards

Remember that pre-Valentine's Day post when I paid a visit to Albertine General? I went there expressly to treat myself to a little something special that I had been pining over for quite some time.
This is that something! 

I saw this ring in one of the cases at Albertine the very first time I visited the store. It's a Regard ring. Comprised of a ruby, an emerald, a garnet, an amethyst, another ruby, & a diamond. It's simple and totally beautiful in my opinion.

Regard rings were popular as engagement rings during the Romantic period.

{side note: It's kind of amazing that there's actually a period of time in history referred to as the Romantic period. I digress}

A ring that spells out how you feel? Completely romantic! You rarely hear the word regard used in that regard anymore. It is, in itself, a reflection of the era's rhetoric - The sophisticated stuff you read in books like Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice; Love stories that transcend time.   My point is, I just know that if Mr. Rochester had whipped out a ring when he proposed to Jane Eyre that it had to have looked something like this.

Needless to say, for me, it was love at first sight in Albertine, but damnit man, every time I would try the ring on it was far too large for any of my fingers. I chalked it up to fate telling me to stay away. However, about a half a dozen visits later, I realized that every time I stopped into the store I would inevitably find myself lingering in front of the regard rings. I'd stare at them longingly until finally asking to see one, secretly hoping that it would no longer be the object of my desire and that our love affair would finally be over, but no.

I'm not sure what it was about February 13th, 2012, but I woke up that morning and said to myself, "I'm doing it. I've coveted this long enough - I must have it." Naturally it didn't fit - but that day I didn't care - "I'll take it!", I said!

And here it is, on my hand, accompanying some Sarah McGuire stackables (also found at Albertine General).
I know I made a big fuss about this ring, but there's something about it - Maybe it's the simplicity of it, maybe it's the romantic history of its existence, or perhaps it's because it makes me think of a love like Mr. Rochester and Jane's. Either way I'll love you forever, regard ring.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Backward or forward?

I recently hunkered down on a rainy evening and watched Midnight in Paris. I had heard mixed reviews but decided I had to give the Woody Allen film a chance, not only because it's Woody, but because it's Paris!

So I whipped up some popcorn, grabbed my softest blanket and fiercely snuggled up to my husband.

While I was, of course, enchanted by the unparalleled beauties and charms of Paris, I was really quite taken with the concept.
How amazing would it be to go back, or even forward, to a time period of your choice?! And although we've seen this before a la Doc Brown, Marty and the Delorean in Back to the Future, Woody made the idea of time travel much less technical, utterly seamless and infinitely more romantic. It got me thinking...

If I could choose one time period to go back to, what would it be? Or would I choose to see what the future will look like?

Sorry future, I'd opt to go back in time for sure. To when, I'm not sure, but I know that I'd love to experience at least several different eras, all of which, not so coincidentally, happen to involve women wearing exquisite dresses and donning dainty accessories.

What about you - What would you do? Where would you go and what would you want to see?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A fabousse mousse

I was at dinner with friends on Sunday night when one of them declared, "I just had the most incredible chocolate mousse cake today."
Whoa whoa whoa, incredible chocolate anything? "Where?!", we all demanded.
"At Sant Ambroeus", she replied.

Sant Ambroeus? I had never been. I decided  that I needed to pay a visit to this establishment, pronto. So I called up a friend, made a date and set out this afternoon to meet her at the cozy and cute Sant Ambroeus on W. 4th and Perry St. in the West Village.

We ordered a couple of glasses of wine, the Insalata Di Quinoa - a quinoa salad with diced vegetables and pine nuts -  as well as the Toast Farcito - parma cotto and swiss cheese, with marinated artichokes and roasted peppers - to split between the two of us. Utterly delicious. We ate, we drank, we gabbed, we laughed. Then it was time for the pièce de résistance - the Sant Ambroeus, a chocolate mousse cake with a chocolate custard center. 

Ohhhhhh yeaaaah - It was everything my friend had described and much, much more. I assure you that this dessert deserves an OMG...or several! Decadent, delicious, light, chocolatey perfection and the ideal portion to boot. Chocolate mousse can be rich and heavy sometimes and this was far, far from it. 

If you are in the neighborhood I highly suggest stopping by - The atmosphere is warm and inviting, the staff incredibly friendly and the food - délicieux! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Me Lucky Charms

"Hearts, Stars, Horseshoes, Clovers, and Blue Moons" - These lucky charms are not made of marshmallow! 

Charms have a history. We're talking a pre-historic, Dark Ages, ancient Eqyptian and Roman Empire kind of history. I think it's safe to say, charms go way back. Beginning as a way to keep the scary, the bad and the evil away, charms were originally made using shells, clays, woods and bones. Gradually they evolved away from super earthy elements - I'd like to think that was because people began to appreciate the sparkly things in life - And people started using gems, rocks and various metals instead. 

You've gotta love that Miss Cleopatra herself was adorned in said charms, but it was Queen Victoria who brought this trend galloping toward present day and in bracelet form. Shifting gears, the charm itself took on a new meaning. It drifted away from it's superstitious roots and became a sentimental treasure to the wearer; A keepsake.  Queen V donned charms such as portraits and etchings of her family as well as lockets that held sentimental tokens from her life. It was here that the charm bracelet that we know today was born.

Before mine was given to me, I have to admit, I didn't consider a charm bracelet an adult piece of jewelry (sorry folks, it's just the way that I felt) - So imagine my surprise when last year my Mom pulls me aside to present me with a charm bracelet, one that I now treasure, and my eyes began to fill with tears. She had spent hours sifting through antique charms in a small, dimly lit store in Manhattan, and selected each one based on what had occurred in my life over the past year. I was blown away by how much it immediately meant to me, not only the thought behind it, but the sweet memory that each charm represented. Now, I don't necessarily consider my charms to be the kind that bring luck, but I cannot deny that every time I look down at them I feel incredibly lucky to have those precious memories.

**What are your lucky charms? 

Monday, February 20, 2012

...stripes forever!

La Marinière - What's not to love?!

A shirt so versatile that, depending on how you wear it, you can either look tomboy chic, classic and clean, fun and flirty, or you can even rock it on the edgier side when you pair it with the right pieces. 
I love it! So do Brigitte, Jean, Audrey and Natalie!

Get the look at:
Saint James

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Long and Short of it

Are you reveling in your Rapunzel, or are you partial to your pixie? Both are beautiful and bold, and sexy and sweet in my opinion. I can't make up my mind which I love more. 

I have, for the last several years, wrestled with the idea of having my hair cut from the medium/long, shoulder blade length that it usually is to an extreme "Twiggy" length short cut. However, every time I seem to get this harebrained idea and find myself in 'the chair', I'm never brave enough to go through with it. Instead, I opt for a safer chin length bob, and thus, I continue to lust after this adorable-do and the enviable courage that goes along with it.

On the other hand, I'll see girls with extraordinarily long hair and be envious of the Rapunzel locks that they possess. I never seem to have the patience to let my hair grow to great lengths, and when I try I inevitably become restless and feel that I'm in need of a change. This dooms me to be forever in the strike zone of hair length - somewhere between chin & chest. (Sigh!) 
I've promised myself that one of these days I will crop and chop until I've reached my desired Twiggy length - It's just too cute not to try, I mean look at Audrey! - AND I will have patience and persevere to great lengths. Either way, I think it's clear just by looking at these four beauties that no matter which direction you choose to go, you can't go wrong.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Happy Saturday

Hmm... A cappuccino, pain au chocolat and an apple turnover! Too aggressive to start a Saturday? I think not! 

I woke up this morning wishing I was at the beach - Not the tropical climate kind that you probably all thought of immediately, but the chilly winter North Carolina beach, where the sound of the waves and wind make you want to bundle up, snuggle up, and cuddle up! 

Winter time at the beach is always much quieter, much more subdued, and in my opinion, totally and completely romantic. I envision walks, hand in hand, on the beach during the day, complete with hats, scarves, gloves and jackets, leading to an evening bathed in candle light, glasses of red wine and a game of scrabble. Delightful. 

These photos are of the Outer Banks, North Carolina - It's beautiful down there.
walks at sunset
My favorite fisherman

Have you seen the film Nights in Rodanthe, with Richard Gere and Diane Lane? That's the house! It looked like it was about to be swept away by the incoming tide! 

Side note: As I was writing this post, enjoying my cappuccino and pastries, a bestie of mine, who is currently living in Ireland, just sent me a picture of her "4pm snack - to warm her innards" - HA! That made my heart smile - Miles away and we were practically doing the same thing. Here's to wonderful friends, delicious foods and beautiful days!

Have a marvelous Saturday, beauties.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What a!

Living in a city, especially one as busy and as bright as Manhattan, you begin to miss those incredible sparklers in the sky - The glow of all those city lights just makes it too bright out at night to appreciate the stars, and after a while you get used to not seeing them... but when you do get out of the city, and you take that first look up at the sky you'll find yourself in complete awe.

I love the stars - I really, really do. The immense beauty of the night sky will never cease to amaze me. These pictures, images captured by the Hubble telescope, blow my mind when I look at them. Can you even believe that this is out there?

Crimson lips

I love, love, LOVE crimson lips. It's a look both classic and bold, and one that seems to transcend time. Icons like Grace, Audrey and Elizabeth all rocked red lips and in my book those ladies can do no wrong. Red lips, in my opinion, are the equivalent to the right pair of classic black heels; Dress it up, dress it down and it will always make you look and feel fabulous! With some serious versatility you can wear it with the simplest of outfits, jeans and a tee is one of my faves, or you can rock it on an evening that requires serious glam.
In the past our ancient gal pals resorted to using a variety of methods to achieve this enviable rouge pout - Everything from crushing semi precious stones to use as lip decor, to using the juices of crushed beetles, ants, plants and roots as lip-stains! Fortunately, we have way better options (not to mention options that don't make you want to yack up what you just ate)!

My favorite red lip recipe is a combination of lipliner in Cannes and Ilia lipstick in Bang Bang. I outline my lips first with the liner, and then continue by filling them in. Once I've slathered my on I top it off with a fresh coat of Bang Bang! I find that the combo of lipliner and lipstick really gives a nice bold look while significantly lengthening the wear time. What are your red lip recipes?

And a great big cheers to all you ladies who rock crimson kissers!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Exposed light bulbs - So rustic and romantic, I love them!

I love you, honey

This past year I began my journey away from the world of chemically laden cosmetics and body products and took to using cleaner, friendlier versions of the above.

It all started with a desire to stay way from sulfates and parabens for the obvious reasons. Then one afternoon I found myself in an Organic Avenue on 8th with a book in my hands that intrigued me and would change my life - No More Dirty Looks, by Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt

I flipped open the book when I got home and spent the greater part of the evening reading page after page of jaw dropping dirty truths about many popular body products, several of which were currently in my bathroom cabinets. Well, it was time for a serious product overhaul.

With the help of their book, which also happens to cover a bounty of clean and totally safe product recommendations, and their blog I have abandoned all toxic products!

While I have many, oh so many new products that I love dearly, I feel it necessary to pay homage to the one I love best - HONEY.

Honey is truly one of the coolest and most versatile cure-all's I know. Sticky sweet and utterly delicious, it has long been known as an antiseptic, antioxidant and cleanser with amazing healing properties. This natural powerhouse fights infection and significantly reduces inflammation, and is also known to aid in digestion.

Aside from loving it for it's many culinary uses and because Winnie the Pooh has an affinity for the stuff, I love putting honey on my skin. That's right, on my skin. My face to be specific. I use it as my facial cleanser morning and night. When I first tried it I was floored by how gentle and incredibly effective it was. I had been battling with cleansers that were too harsh for my skin (even natural ones) and they were making my already oily skin even oilier. When I turned to honey as a cleanser my skin became soft, supple, bright and completely balanced - It is my wonder product, and now I can't and wont live without it.

So, if I've peaked your interest, run out to your grocery store, pick up some raw organic honey and slather that stuff on your face. And heck, if you decide that it's not for you, you've got yourself a delicious treat to put in your cupboard.  Also, if going natural interests you and you haven't already heard about these wonder women, check out Siobhan O'Connor's & Alexandra Spunt's book and blog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I went to visit a friend in Soho the other day and neither of us had eaten lunch yet. Ravenous doesn't even begin to describe the state that I was in. "Let's eat!"- he proclaimed!
"I know the best veggie burger on the planet", and well, who can turn down that?

We arrive at Delicatessen, a restaurant on the corner of Prince and Lafayette, and the lunch crowd had pretty much dwindled so we were seated right away. With floor to ceiling windows the place was bright, open and airy, and I don't know if it was just me but it totally smelled like mulled wine - It was kind of amazing!

We order our respective veggie burgers, his with goat cheese and mine with mozzarella, and subbed out our ordinary fries for truffle fries.

What popped out about 15 minutes later was a vision. First of all, it was served on a small wooden cutting board with a respectable amount of pickles, and condiments ready to go (the pickles are hidden underneath the lettuce in the picture). Presentation A+!

Now let me explain, I have tiny hands. They are ill equipped for large sandwiches, over stuffed falafels, massive burritos and yes, you guessed it, large burgers. This was a LARGE burger! But it was veggie so the more the merrier. Needless to say it was messy, but that's just me because: a) I'm a bit of a pig when I eat (I knocked HALF of those heavenly truffle fries onto the table), and b) my cursed tiny hands are a hinderance. Although I ended up resorting to a knife and fork, the burger was sublime! It was as fresh as they come, folks, and made with real chopped veggies! Instead of a ridiculously tightly packed patty that's tough and chewy, it was tender, melt in your mouth veggie burger heaven. I would certainly recommend it!

I am always on the look out for a good burger - regular, veggie, turkey or otherwise. What's the best burger you've had??

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day MASH

Remember playing MASH??? 
Click on the i heart MASH below and I guarantee you will giggle like a 14 yr old: 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Albertine & Stage

Valentine's Day is literally rapping on the door!  You may still be on the lookout for the perfect something to give to your honey, or for your honey to give to you, or maybe you're just looking for something to treat yourself to - Look no further! Albertine General, a little boutique shop in the West Village, is the place to go!

I know I've said it before, but let me just reiterate: I adore this shop! Case after case of simply spectacular jewelry. They've got everything from one of a kind vintage and antique pieces, to a plethora of newer, more modern jewelry designs - Many of these pieces are exclusive to their store.

Jewelry not your thing? Hop next door to Albertine, their clothing boutique, and scoop up that incredible, sexy, soft and totally feminine floral dress in the window.

So, I wandered over to this favorite haunt of mine this afternoon looking to treat myself to a little somethin' fabulous and as I walked in the door I was greeted by the most beautiful hot pink flowers. Jessica Stage of Stage Floral Styling was there bringing in some fresh, impeccably styled bouquets for Valentine's Day. These flowers are drop dead gorgeous. The perfect blend of sweet, fun and flirty.

I said look no further folks, and I meant it - Not only can you find the perfect Valentine's Day gift inside Albertine, you can snag one of Jessica Stage's sublime bouquets. It's a one stop shop! Does it get any easier than that?! I think not.


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