Daily Cookie


TODAYS COOKIE JAR – INSTANT CHIC
April 28, 2008, 7:46 pm
Filed under: My Cookie Jar

Spring and summer dressing always means effortless chic.  Personally, I feel it is easier now to get the look you want with only a few great pieces or accents.  Many of which will work with the staples you already have in your wardrobes, but when mixed in, will immediately update your entire outfit.

Today’s Cookie Jar lists spring essentials that will make you instantly chic.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

Caramel leather Рright now I love wearing my caramel high boots with shorter dresses.  Try a pair with a  printed dress for day or with a darker solid (navy or black) dress and some great jewelry for a fun dinner ensemble.  I also love tucking my dark skinny jeans into these boots with a longer top and fun jacket and/or spring weight scarf.  Act quickly though there is only about another month left for this look.   

Chunky necklaces – forget all the layering.¬† Find one or two great statement necklaces and wear them with everything from a crisp white blouse and pencil skirt (so Lipstick Jungle) or with jeans and a simple tank. Marni, Chloe, Mawi, Trubman¬†and Lanvin all have some super cool pieces right now.¬† I also spotted some¬†fierce estate (think rhinestone and Grandmother)¬†chunky necklaces at Barneys.¬† But you can get the same look and spend less.¬† I recently saw a great turquoise and gold choker¬†(its called the Bubble necklace)at J. Crew.¬† This with a white tank, white¬† “boyfriend” pants, gold wedges and a tan will be one of your favorite outfits all summer.¬†¬†

Brown wooden platform heels – and no wimpy heels here please.¬† 4 or 5 inches plus the platform translates to¬†“Hello Glamazon.”¬†¬†I ran around NYC all last week in my new Henry Beguelins.¬† I wore them with all black one day – black pants and black tank¬†and then out that night with dark jeans and a gray and gold top.¬† They will also look great with just about any dress and white pants.¬†I could spend the entire summer in these, my gold wedges and flip flops.¬†

White pants Рan absolute staple for me after Memorial Day.  For work and or night, look for a wider leg and a smart cut.  I just got a pair from Helmut Lang.  Always love the fit of his pants.  Also love to buy one size bigger for a more relaxed, sexy look.  I will wear them with a simple black tank or a darker color frilly blouse and can go to just about any client meeting or function.  At night, slip on a super thin leather jacket and you have an instant rock and roll look.  For a more casual look, find some that are lighter in texture and an easier fit.  James Pearse always makes a good casual pant.  Any with a drawstring waist are great to throw on, but save them for the weekend.  Pair with a tank and flip flops to you are good to go to your summer destination spot via foot, ferry, or plane.    

Metallics – make any outfit modern and memorable.¬† Gold is the metal of the moment both on your back¬†and in your bank!¬†¬†Find a great pair of shoes and a cuff or two and that is really all you need to update any look.¬† I wore my gold wedges everday in Jamaica.¬† And I do mean everyday.¬† I wore them with white silk hot pants¬†and a black halter one night to dinner and then the next day with a long tribal print maxi dress for lunch by the pool.¬† They are that versatile.¬† Bags and earrings are also great accent gold pieces.¬† Find a pair of fun gold disc earrings and wear them with your hair up or in a tried and true ponytail for a chic casual look.¬†¬†Or if your hair is down and straight, wear them with a simple dress and no other accessories and you are effortlessy fierce. Or invest in a great gold bag and wear it with everything from a LBD to your jeans.¬† Don’t apologize for the indulgence and don’t ¬†make the excuse you forgot to switch bags.¬† These pieces are intentional.¬†

Detailed blouses – ruffles, prints, bejeweled, bedazzled, florals.¬† The details are what set these apart from the button downs.¬† Wear them¬†with tailored pants, under a suit or with a great pencil skirt.¬† But save your tees, layered tanks and dressy halters etc for your jeans.¬†¬†¬†Personally, I love the smart menswear look.¬† A classic pair of black or white trousers and a¬†great blouse always looks smart and fresh.¬†¬†And I will mix it up – sexy powerhouse or hopeless romantic –¬†depending on my mood.¬†¬†Rachel Bilson was photographed not too long ago wearing a classic pair of almost black pants and a silk blouse with a sunglass print.¬†¬†Killer outfit.¬† I just bought a great Hugo Boss black and white¬†print blouse that I intend to copy the look.¬†¬†I bet you can also find some oldies but goodies in your closet.¬†¬†I know I have a “suddenly new again” blush color (another trend for spring)¬†blouse that has both ruffled sleeves and metal studded floral applique sleeves (more spring ’08 trends) that I will wear yet another season with a great pencil skirt or those white pants and brown platforms.¬†

Wedges – I am forever grateful to the person who created these¬†saviors.¬† And luckily, they are here to stay.¬† Gold metallic to canvas espadrille – wear them with absolutely anything.¬†¬†And you can find them at every price level.¬† Cost per wear, my gold Prada’s are worth their weight, well, in gold.¬†¬† But I am also open to cuter, cheaper ones for the beach.¬†¬†If you are under 5′ 6″, buy as many as you can.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

Belts –¬†I have always adored belts but really only¬†for jeans.¬† However, my friend Maria has got me wearing them with just about anything these days.¬†¬†A great belt can enhance or change any look.¬† RIght now, both skinny and big bold belts are in.¬† Try them over a slouchy (not chunky) thin longer cashmere cardigan, with an empire waist dress or over a long shirt.¬† I have¬†two new belts this season.¬† The first is a dark gray super thick waist corset from Gary Graham.¬† I wear it with a navy blue goddess short dress that honestly looks like nothing until you cinch that puppy in as much as you can with the belt and slip on a pair of high boots or chunky platforms.¬† The other is a brown patent leather medium width¬†Marni.¬† I bought this at Louis to wear over a black sheath dress that looked a little too proper until Maria added it to the dress.¬†¬†Entirely different attitude now.¬†

The Trench – another staple in my opinion.¬† But sadly to say I have yet to find the perfect one for me.¬† I am on the prowl for either a great classic khaki one or a somewhat dressier black little number.¬† I met Tim Gunn last week.¬†¬†He met my friend Sarah and I for lunch on the upper East Side (so Gossp Girl I know).¬† Sarah’s boyfriend bough her this treat at an auction at one of my client’s events.¬† I just happened to be in town the day she redeemed it and had the pleasure of meeting him too.¬† Love love love him by the way.¬† Anyway, part of her stylist experience was for him to take her shopping.¬† First thing they bought was a black trench.¬† Enough said!¬†¬†¬†¬†

The Dress – summer dresses are my all time favorite.¬† This season there are a variety of styles and lengths to choose from and I suggest you embrace them all.¬† Long maxi print dresses are hot¬†right now and can be worn day or night.¬†¬†Bold prints look fierce with patent leather platforms or simple flats (did I really just write that?).¬†¬†Floral frocks are also huge right now.¬† Try them with a belted cardigan or thin leather jacket to not look so girly.¬†¬†Need to run some errands during the day and then grab a cocktail with your hubby or a BFF a bit later?¬† Try a simple tee shirt dress.¬† Either short and swingy with some metallic flips or gladiators or a sleek (but not clingy) tank with your wedges.¬†¬†Clu, ¬†Splendid and Ella Moss have some cute, wallet friendly ones right now.¬† Add one of those statement necklaces from above and you are instantly chic’er for cocktails.¬† And the classic shirt dress is also an easy number to dress up or down.¬† Again try with a belt and¬†bold¬†necklace to help¬†really make your mark.¬† And that being said, you might want to think about how many buttons you button or unbutton here too!¬† Dresses can highlight our assets and our unleash our womanly powers.¬†¬†Why you ask?¬† Simply because¬†guys can not¬†pull off the look.¬†

Bold accents – I saved this one for last because it is the trend I am struggling with the most.¬† Open up my closet and you see a sea of black, brown, charcoal, denim¬†and white.¬† I do have some color – some red tops,¬†a blue dress,¬†¬†some prints and florals but that is truly it.¬† ¬†¬†Bold colors are everywhere this season.¬† Yellow shoes, green bags,¬†enamel jewel colored bangles, 80’s inspired chartreuse dresses¬†and rainbow colored jeans.¬† There is an entire palette out there that I have not even begun to explore.¬†¬†¬† I think the best advice¬†is to dress your age and to know what looks best on you.¬† I don’t see myself investing in any lime green numbers, but I do plan on sporting this great bright purple stoned chunky bracelet as an accent to¬†black¬†and white and may even try stacking a few colored bangles as well.¬† ¬†

See how easy it is to build your outfits.  Now go have some fun in your closet and in the stores.  Instant chic is in your spring forecast. 



SPRING PILES
April 21, 2008, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Fashion

Grover’s recovery forced us to stay home this weekend.¬† This combined with the sudden nice weather¬†gave me the perfect excuse to finally clean out my closet.¬† I do this twice a year – in the spring and then again in the fall.¬†¬†Coincidentally, these are the two times I shop¬† – well okay, I shop all the time, but I mean “wardrobe building” shopping as opposed to picking up a piece or two here and there.

The twice yearly ritual is typically a two day plus process for me.  I go through all the clothes in my closet and start making piles.  Piles are as follows: See Ya, New Shoes, Mom, Try Again, and Cape.     

Any clothes that I have not worn in the past two years or that need to go into retirement (those gray suede Prada boots for example) make up the See Ya pile.¬† This is the toughest one for me.¬† I hold up the piece of clothing and just stare at it for a few minutes.¬† Then I start trying to envision myself wearing it or making outfits.¬† I, like my Mom, have become a bit of a pack rat.¬† This trait does not fit in with my new simpler is better¬†or quality over quantity motto’s.¬† Yesterday, I threw away a few pairs of shoes, some old tees, some 80’s looking belts¬†and a couple of cashmere sweaters that not even Louis¬†could weave back together for me.¬†

The second pile has basically the same criteria, but only pertains to¬†my designer pieces.¬† This pile I bring to the consignment shop on Newbury Street and let them sell the shoes that never quite fit , or the¬†many dresses or “two time” outfits I just had to have for a specific event, etc.¬† Such a vicious circle isn’t it? Anyway the cash I receive from these sales I use to buy new shoes.¬† Hence the name. This season that store will be receiving¬†a few pairs of jeans (Paige and Goldsign¬† – the Paige never flattered my rear like they claimed, and the Goldsign are just outdated),¬†some Clu dressy tees,¬†a¬†few shirts and pants from Louis and some Prada outfits that I have now worn two times in Boston and two times in NYC.¬† That explains the two time rule.¬† Twice in each city with different audiences is fine.¬† But after that, ¬†the chance of running into someone in either city that has already seen you in that outfit is greater, and therefore, not recommended.¬†¬†If they can be worn separately and¬†can take on a completely differnt look, then they are worth stashing back in the closet for another season.¬† Great expample of this is a an Alexander McQueen outfit I bought¬†for a client Roast in NYC a few summers back.¬† ¬†The top is a one shoulder shredded black tank and the pants are black satin with tiny silver skull pinstripes.¬† Fierce.¬† I wore it in¬†NYC to the event, I wore it on vacation in Paris and I wore it to a Boston Common Magazine party here.¬† The top I sold last year, but the pants¬†I can still rock with a simple white beater.¬† If you can not make any new outfits with your precious pieces,¬†sell them.¬†¬†They are done.¬† I plan on putting them towards the Marni patent leather platforms or the Christian Louboutin wedges I am currently craving.¬†¬†¬†¬†

There are also few items that I know I will not wear again, but that someone else may want to¬†adopt for their closets.¬† My friends and¬†I sometimes share like this or I always fill a shopping bag or two for my Mom.¬† She just left my house with a great pair of Gucci slides and a caramel and black Gucci belt.¬† Mind you the shoes are a size 7 1/2 and she is a size 6.¬† Which explains why I never could wear them¬†without getting a blister and she can make them work.¬† The belt I still like, but I am not¬†wearing logos right now.¬† In fact, I try to stay away from the obvious ones.¬† Ask yourself, if it didn’t have the logo on it, would you still like it?¬†

The Try Again¬†pile is really divided into two.¬† The first goes to the dry cleaners and the second to the tailors or cobblers.¬† ¬†¬†I just dropped off 6 pairs of shoes to my cobbler Sasso for some TLC.¬† He loves when I walk in with a large bag.¬† He goes through them¬†with¬†a huge smile and has a comment for each pair.¬† Some he has seen before, some are new to him this season.¬† But they all need the same work – new heels.¬† That is what happens when you pound the pavement in two cities.¬† I also bring a boatload of clothes into the dry cleaners, and try to time it when we are eligible for the 50% off discount.¬† ūüôā

The last pile is the easiest pile for me.  It is really more of a transfer than anything else.  This is the pile of clothes that I probably will not wear in the city, but I could see myself sporting  on the Cape. Cute little summer dresses that are not the latest and greatest, but could easily work for dinner at the Club or a summer BBQ.  

So next weekend I will head to the Cape to open up the house, to clean out that closet (which of course means another set of piles minus the Cape one) and to drop off the latest pile from Boston.  It is a great sense of accomplishment when it is all done and gives me the perfect excuse to start fresh.

Pile it on.           

 



GROVER
April 16, 2008, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Sanity | Tags:

Today is the day we had to bring Grover in for his laser hair removal procedure. In fact, he is probably in surgery prep now.  We feel so badly for him.

I swear he sensed something was up this morning.  He always sleeps in the bed with us, and generally is very close to me, but this morning he was literally attached to me.  And kept backing in to get even closer.  As soon as we got up, he started acting a bit scared.  Even when we told him he was coming with us (which is his favorite thiing to hear besides treat), the usual sprint to the elevator and thenthe elevator dance just was not the same.  I let him sit on my lap in the car and tried to calm him down the entire way to Angell.

He forgot momentarily where he was because for a few moments he was back to his mischievous self. The poor little guy was happy as he strutted into the hospital.  He started barking and running around like a madman.  Had to go up to every dog in there, big and small, to sniff them out and see if they wanted to play.  Then we were called into the room and the nurse put a medical ID tag collar on him.  For those of you who really know Grover, this was not good.

He hates his own collar (god forbid I bring out the fleece I bought him at Louis) and truly just loves to be naked.  This new white plastic scratchy thing just made him miserable. Then they tried to walk him away from us.  Grover can be very stubborn at times and just sat down and dug in  Рall four heels.  They had to carry him away.  And of course, he turned around to look at us. 

I wanted to go back and just stay with him until the actual surgery, but I knew this would only make matters worse.  In a few hours it will all be over and he will no longer be sad and scared.  The doctor said he would be back to himself by the weekend.  And the irritation in his eyes would be gone forever (well I am hoping dog laser hair removal is just like humans).

But until then we are the ones who are sad.  I mean look at the face, how can we not?

 

 



APPLE CURRY TURKEY BURGERS
April 11, 2008, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Feast

Before¬†I wrtie about my recent trip to Jamaica Mon, I thought I would share a new recipe that I have now tried twice.¬† I found this one in a great cookbook my parents gave me for Christmas.¬† It’s a book highlighting some of Boston’s best restaurants and their most popular dishes.¬† This was is from the Deluxe Diner.

I¬†love to cook when I have the time.¬† And I must admit I have become a good cook.¬†¬†I truly enjoy it and it makes me feel so domestic.¬†¬†The whole shopping for the best ingredients, and all the prep and presentation, is something I take pride in and feel is a true reflection of my profession.¬† It’s all in the details.¬†¬†

I know I will be grilling these all summer.  Try them with a simple green salad or something with a slightly sweet taste.  The other night I served them with a fennel and avocado salad and just made a light champagne mustard vinaigrette. 

Bon Appetite!

1 tbsp mustard seeds

3 tbsp applesauce (I prefer organic)

1 tbsp plain yogurt (I use Greek non fat)

2 tsps curry powder

3/4 tsps salt (kosher)

1/4 tsps cayenne pepper

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

1/4 cup chopped scallions (about 1 or 2, use the green and white parts)

Fresh mint (chopped, about 5 or 6 leaves)

2-3 tbsps peeled and grated apples (granny smith are best)

2 tbsp mango chutny (I prfer the sweet, but you could try the hot if you are the spicy type!)

Lettuce and tomates for serving

Bulkie rolls (or a brioche or portugese sweet roll)

Toast mustard seeds (this is fun – they actually pop!)

Mix applesauce, yogurt, chutney, curry, salt, and cayenne with toasted seeds.

Add turkey, scallions, mint and apple.

Make patties, but not too tight. Then grill away!

 

 

     



HAPPY BIRTHDAY MON
April 4, 2008, 2:51 pm
Filed under: Events

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Sorry I have not posted in a while, but I have been very busy celebrating my birthday.  Yes, I am a whole year wiser now and already feeling the effects.  The good and the bad. 

First thing I did to “celebrate” or really rather “reverse” the clock, was to schedule an appointment with my¬†esthetician Robin.¬† I have been seeing Robin now for almost 5 years.¬† She has captured the fountain of youth.¬† I guess that’s what happens when you work with a plastic surgeon everyday.¬† Anyway, I am still searching for that fountain.¬† I search at Robin’s office, I search at Sephora, I search on line, I just keep searching.¬† Because, as I say all the time to my clients, it is better to be a fountain than a drain.¬† “Sand the¬†shit out¬†of my face,” is what I greeted her with last week.¬† Basically this translates to I am feeling old, make me look 25 again.¬† My microderm appointment lasted over an hour that day.¬† She sanded my face, my neck and my chest. I left the appointment feeling like I was twenty-something and with alot of excess crystals in my mouth, ears and hair.¬†

Second thing I did was mentally prep myself.  Being an only child has taken its toll on me.  As I grow older, I have become more obsessed with things.  Remembering birthdays is one of them.  I even track who calls and in what order.  Bobby Orr was my #1 caller three years ago (Note Mike does not factor in here.  I figure if you wake up next to someone and they can just nudge you, it should not count). My Mom and Aunt Jubes still have not recovered.  This year Mom won.  She is on a roll РEgg Queen and Birthday Caller.  Jubes was my second caller.  I think she did that on purpose.  Last year she was number one and has been on eggshells ever since.

Candy and Sue and my in-laws are always in the top 5 and the calls, cards, emails and means to celebrate came in all week.  My family celebrated early with me on Easter Sunday and treated me like an absolute queen for the day (I graduate one day a year from princess to queen), their gifts were both practical (now burning a hole in my pocket) and sentimental, Becky gave me a super fun and of-the-moment enamel Bendel bangle, Denis sent me a flower arrangement that I swear if I did not know any better I would have thought someone died (this thing was funeral parlor size), Crazy T brought me treats (Bit O Honeys) and a singing card that I still play and dance to every day, and Maria treated me to my favorite lunch (the cod at Boston Public) and gave me the coolest little top that I will rock all spring and summer.  

I also prepped by making sweet Michael promise he would not throw me a surprise party.¬† I am not good at surprises – giving or getting.¬† I also probably drove¬†him crazy with all my lists of what I did not want to do etc.,¬† but he somehow managed to give me an incredible day and threw in a few surprises to boot.¬† It started with breakfast in bed and ended with a great dinner and presents.¬† He made us rezzys at Banq, a new restaurant in the South End.¬† Great room, not so great food,¬† great company.¬† We tried all the small plates and drank delish wine.¬† I looked up to see two people walking towards me wearing skull caps, giant glasses and spoons hanging on their noses.¬† Oh it’s just Candy and Sue in our favorite disguise.¬† We used to do this back in our hey day (immaturity at its best) and always had a blast in the process.¬† They surprised me by showing up and relived the memories for me.¬† They also brought me a box of my favorite cupcakes.¬† Obviously, they read my blog regularly because I now had 6 red velvet cupcakes to enjoy!¬†¬†¬†We ordered another bottle of wine and in walked Maria and Mario.¬† Our regular Tuesday night double date.¬† So we ordered yet another bottle of wine and continued the party at our home.¬† I was now the one on a roll.¬† The celebration continued through Thursday when I got to see two of my other BFFs.¬† Mosey and Di (and newcomer brunette Deanna) shared a fun dinner with me at Pho Republique that involved numerous¬†mango margaritas.¬†¬†Which is the perfect¬†segue to my next thing and paragraph.¬†

Presents one of my all time favorite things.  All I wanted this year was a trip and time on a beach.  And preferably a beach in St. Barts.   Our friends were building a house there and last fall we made plans to use it.  I had been dreaming about it ever since.  End of March was our week. Middle of March came and we got the word.   House was built, but there was no furniture or linens.  They are a tad slow on the islands.  Big problem mon.

Another thing I tried to do now that I was a year older was not to sweat the small stuff (maturity at its best).¬†¬†That day I did not nag Mike about being on the computer all day.¬† He was¬†charged with living up to his motto of “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”¬† In this instance translating to finding a new and available beach.¬†

Welcome to Jamaica Mon.