Thursday, May 31, 2012

Flavors of the week

Memorial Day has come and gone, and the humidity is on in New York. On the steamiest of days, what's your favorite frozen treat? This past Sunday, I enjoyed a classic near home — Doc Davis' ice cream in Pepperell, Massachusetts. Then, this week, I splurged again, this time opting for sorbet (one scoop of lime, one scoop of raspberry from Eli's on the Upper East Side). Both are refreshing, and signs of summer, too. :)

Ice cream or sorbet—which one do you prefer? Flavor recommendations? Share them here!

(Images via Easy Living UK)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Color coding at home

What do you do to organize the books and magazines you keep in your home? I've blogged about the number of magazines I keep in my New York-sized apartment before, but right now, I just keep them all in neat piles under my bed. What a clever idea to color code my collection based on the magazine's binding. The bookshelf idea is pretty cool, too.

Any other ideas? Would love to hear your suggestions!

(Image 1, Image 2)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Treasure hunting

I love this post from A Girl, A Style about the art of collecting, and seeking out all kinds of big and little things that make us smile every day. It got me thinking about my favorite finds from May—the items that I didn't know I wanted, but were definitely a delight when found! From top to bottom, Regina Spektor's new album (available today!), Bobbi Brown's Beach body oil that absolutely smells like the beach, the June issue of Easy Living with Debra Messing talking about Smash, and this gorgeous spearmint skirt from J.Crew.

Tell me — what's a recent (and unexpected) splurge that made you smile? 

(Image 1, 2, and 3)

Friday, May 25, 2012

The weekend is here!

Memorial Day Weekend, at last! My dear readers, what do you have planned for the next few days off? I'm looking forward to kicking back and relaxing. And maybe playing some golf, too! :) Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Pretty in pink.

See this play now.

End of an era.

Pretty pillows here and here.

A salad for spring.

Get minted with this design and this one.

Bring it on, Gatsby. (So excited!)

A touching goodbye.

Live pinningsay what?

Music to start your weekend!

(Image via Pinterest)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Party Page: It's in the details!

There are so many ways to make a celebration special, but I love the look of these photo backdrops above. Such a clever way to personalize your next soirée! Each one is a bold centerpiece next to the food and drink, and seems guaranteed to inspire reminiscing as guests come and go.

What are some of the more memorable parties you've attended? What details stood out to you the most?

(Images via You Are My Fave)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Something to make you smile

A little humor for your Wednesday! In the midst of a busy week over here. The good news? A three-day-weekend is coming up fast. :) What are your plans? Share them here!

(Image via Pinterest) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fashion Page: Peplum

I'd love to know—what are your thoughts on peplum? I really like the Trina Turk style above, but I'm trying to decide if this style is flattering or not. I think that Emma Stone rocks it in the orange and hot pink number she wore to the Friends With Benefits premiere, but for everyday, is this a look that is easy to pull off? It's so elegant and glamorous!

Have you tried peplum? Is it a style you'd recommend?

(Image 1, Image 2)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Between two bridges

Anyone who was in the city the past two days will agree: what a perfect weekend in New York! After two days spent eating frozen yogurt, slathering on sunscreen, and soaking up the sun, I found this awesome spot—right between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges—to relish the springtime breeze. I'm not sure which bridge is more beautiful, to be honest. The view of the two from Brooklyn Bridge Park puts the power and might of their architecture in perspective. Sitting between them on the rocky shore made me feel so small!

It's crucial to find a place to escape—away from the concrete—when the warm weather hits the city. I'd love to know: what's your favorite springtime spot in New York?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday! What do you have planned for the next couple of days off? We have tickets to The Great Googa Mooga, an amusement park of food and drink taking place in Brooklyn this weekend! Anthony Bourdain, Tom Collicchio, Marcus Samuelsson — these are just a few of the participating chefs. The Roots and Hall & Oates are also scheduled to perform, and so far, the weather forecast looks great. Expect photos from the day next week. In the meantime, wishing you a wonderful start to the weekend ahead! Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Room with a pool.

Love this print.

How this dog wears a bow tie.

The perfect yellow dress.

Sunset in Paris.

Reese, the glamazon.

Old school hipstamatic.

Red socks.

Green Lake (Part One and Two).

Summer uniform (yes, please).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cooking Page: Take 2, 3 and 4!

I'm thrilled to report: my cooking lessons with Shalah have continued! And I think I'm improving, although I'd still call myself the sous chef. :) We're making the transition from the cold weather to warm in New York, and the dishes above reflect this change. 

The first: a delicious recipe for chicken parmesan. The fresh mozzarella and basil really made the flavor pop. It was a rainy, cold night when we decided to give this dish a try. Definitely warmed us right up!

The second: our mouths watered at the sight of Deb's recipe for extra garlicky pasta with broccoli rabe on her food blog Smitten Kitchen. As an hors d'oeuvre, we also made white bean dip from scratch, and served it with bread. This recipe was so easy to make. And fresh broccoli rabe — how can you go wrong?

The third: this week, we decided to have a burger party. Shalah picked up some ground bison, and we also made a vegetarian option, following Gwyneth Paltrow's recipe for homemade veggie burgers. The bison was a hit; the veggie burgers might take a bit of practice to perfect. :) As a side dish, we made a fresh zucchini salad, seasoned with lemon, salt and pepper, and a touch of cilantro and mint.

The cooking lessons will continue — check back for more recipe recommendations soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Cappella Page: The Wheatones

For those of you who are long-time readers of this blog, you already know: a cappella music is something I love. Based on this, you can only imagine my delight at having the chance to reconnect with Janine Perry, campus representative and technology liaison for the Wheaton College Wheatones, the group I used to sing with (so many) years ago. 

A bit of background: the Wheatones is the oldest all-female a cappella group at Wheaton. In the last 10 years, the a cappella scene has exploded on campus with the launch of groups like The Blend and Voices United to Jam. Add to this the Whims and the Gentlemen Callers, and you’ve got five groups in total, which makes for an impressive array of vocal talent on a campus with just 1500 students. Here, Janine talks about the Wheatones' most crowd-pleasing numbers, and explains why the community aspect of singing is her favorite part.

How would you describe the a cappella scene at Wheaton? It’s really strong. With five groups, almost everyone on campus has a connection to someone who sings a cappella. At Wheaton, the a cappella groups are almost like fraternities and sororities. Our work is creative and productive and we have a lot of fun, too.

What do you love the most about a cappella? The community. You not only have a group of friends to start off with at Wheaton and stay with until your departure point, you’re also able to interact with the members of the other groups. This year, we actually arranged a song to perform with all five a cappella groups on campus. It was Britney Spears’ ‘Till the World Ends. It was a mess, but it was so much fun to get together and collaborate.

Tell me about SLYPE — it’s basically a cappella initiation at Wheaton, right? It’s one of the most fun nights of the semester. It takes place when we hold auditions. We hear so many wonderful voices, and then we get to welcome a new friend to the group. At midnight, once we’ve made our decision on who we’re going to accept, we pull the girls out of their dorm rooms, run around campus screaming, and sing together under the archway on upper campus. Everyone comes out to watch.

Is the audition process still pretty rigorous? Yes! First, the girls have to sing a song of their choice, then they have to sing scales, and repeat melodies from memory. It’s always a bit scary. You can tell the girls are really nervous, and it’s always difficult. But the ones who are meant to get through do.

Do you remember the song you auditioned with? I tried out after transferring to Wheaton in January of my sophomore year. I sang a song called “The Garden,” by Mirah.

Was a cappella something you always wanted to do? My audition was actually the first time that I sang in front of anyone, other than the person I was dating at the time. I didn’t wear my glasses so I couldn’t see anyone when I was singing.

What are the Wheatones’ most crowd-pleasing numbers? One of our biggest hits has always been “Gangster’s Paradise,” mostly because it’s so unexpected to see girls singing rap. We also just started performing “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne and “C’est La Vie” by Bewitched. Both seemed to go over really well!

Who are the a cappella groups that you’re listening to right now? We just performed with Fermata Town. They’re a post-collegiate group, and they were really excellent. The Dartmouth Aires are also fantastic. We performed with them in 2010, and they were so incredible. Then, of course, they went on to become nationally recognized thanks to The Sing-Off. We were so proud!

A cappella continues to make numerous appearances in pop culture. Is there a TV show or movie that you think gets it right? I don’t really know. I don’t even watch Glee. A few of the girls in the group do. It is cool that it makes people more familiar with what we do. That way, when you tell someone that doesn’t sing in an a cappella group, they have a general idea of what it’s like. It makes people more interested.

Catch a live performance by the Wheatones at the Commencement Reunion Concert this Friday, May 18.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Making an entrance

Such grace, and poise! With these pics, I think Kate Middleton has officially set a new standard for how to make the perfect entrance. Stepping out of her town car en route to an Olympic Gala Concert in London, Kate looked stunning in her teal Jenny Packham dress. I love that you can see her sparkly Jimmy Choos from the moment her foot touches the ground. I give her credit — not only is she elegant, she's coordinated, too! 

(Images via The Daily Mail)

Friday, May 11, 2012

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday, my darling readers! I'm so looking forward to the weekend. My main goal? To read. :) I love Joanna's idea of a book club dedicated to magazine articles only. Two that I'd love to discuss? This one and this one from the June issue of Vanity Fair. Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing weekend ahead (and a happy Mother's Day, too!). Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Puppy love, a la Ryan Gosling.

A British dessert party.

Take me there.

Darling eyebrows.

Lemon, grape and mint — oh my!

Cabin fever.

The app I'm buying next.

Flower arrangements by Gwyneth.

Fashion do: the maxi skirt.

Best. Tumblr. ever.

 (Image via Pinterest)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A toast to Mother's Day!

Happy (almost) Mother's Day! In honor of the occasion, I thought I'd share the photo above — it's my mom and I at the circus when I was little, only five years old. My mom laughs at this pic because she knows exactly what was on stage: the elephants! Growing up, I was obsessed. :) 

Wishing you a wonderful Mother's Day this weekend surrounded by those you love! 

PS-The perfect Mother's Day gift (courtesy of Elephantine).

(Image via Pinterest)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Smile when it's raining

There’s nothing I love more than when photos serendipitously align themselves on Pinterest. For example, the photo of Kate Middleton in the rain that I pinned above. I was delighted to log into Pinterest and see it placed right next to these inspiring words. The perfect reminder on a rainy day!

More rain here.

(Images via Pinterest) 

Rainbow panorama

I can't stop looking at the photos of the Rainbow Panorama by Olafur Eliasson, a new installation on the rooftop of the Aros Museum in Denmark. How incredible is this design? I love the entire concept — what an amazing idea to showcase the beauty of the world in different colors. It would be great to spend a whole day there. Just imagine what it looks like peering out on a sunny day or in the rain. So inspiring and surreal! 

(Images via Black*Eiffel)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fitness in the city

During the summer, what is your exercise routine? I'm considering abandoning my gym membership and committing to working out outdoors. The fresh air always does me good, and without the New York City-priced gym membership fee, I can afford to try other things. Like yoga, for example. This past weekend, I tried my first Jivamukti class. I loved it!

What do you do to fit exercise in during the summer?

Bonus: Garance Doré offered a few creative exercise tips.

(Images via FitSugar)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Advice Page: For the Dogs

A little something to brighten your Monday! Are you a dog or a cat person? I had a golden retriever named Leroy as a kid. He was as loveable as this guy above!

(Image via Pinterest)

Travel Page: Niagara Falls

Finally! Pics from my weekend getaway to Niagara Falls. What a lovely trip it was! So nice to escape the city for some country air. :) We stayed at the Red Coach Inn on the American side — such a charming and adorable spot (and the place where The Office filmed Jim and Pam's wedding!). We were right next to the Rainbow Bridge into Canada so it was easy to hop across the border and access another view. What a spectacular sight! We went on Maid of the Mist (the pic above captures the moment right before I got absolutely soaked) and also checked out the Cave of the Winds (that's me right beneath the Falls!).

Just for kicks, I threw together this video with a shot of the full rainbow we saw on our last day. It doesn't get better than that!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday my dear readers! What do you have planned for the next couple of days off? I'm excited to have a few visitors coming to town this weekend — one from Boston, one all the way from the West Coast! The forecast is predicting rain, but that's okay. It makes it all the more fun to museum hop, shop, and maybe even catch a Broadway show (did you see the Tony nominations this week?). Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Advice from Coco.

An adorable Mother's Day surprise.

Push up pops.

Ode to Kate.

Salad in a jar.

A book for those turning 30.

Paper calla lilies DIY.

Customized with lace.

A new addition that is a fave.

Derby day!

Garden tour.

Say hello.

Please, oh please, take me here.

What to bring to NYC.

(Image via Wit + Delight)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cinco de Mayo v. Kentucky Derby

It's a big question: with the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo falling on the same day this year, which one will you celebrate? I’m torn — I’m a margarita lover, but I also love big, colorful, floppy hats. :) The good news is that if you live in New York, the options are plentiful for toasting both occasions. Grub Street put together a great list of recommendations for places to go. I’m leaning towards Seersucker for the Derby; La Esquina for Cinco de Mayo. I mean, the round-up dubs them the “most festive” of the bunch. You can’t go wrong with that.

Which one will you celebrate? I’d love to know!

(Image 1, 2, 3 and 4) 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pied à Terre in Paris

As I mentioned before, my airfare to Paris is booked! Now, the fun part — plotting out our itinerary with all the places I want to explore. First up? Determining exactly where we want to stay. It's so tough! Every neighborhood offers something unique. I've decided to rely on the recommendations of friends — info that's exceptionally useful since we're planning to book an apartment stay instead of a hotel. I've been checking out Airbnb and Haven in Paris to start, but got distracted when I happened across the Paris apartment that's for sale above. Of course, we're only looking to reserve a handful of nights, but a girl can dream, right? :)

Where is your favorite neighborhood in Paris? Would love to hear your thoughts!

(Images via Sous Style)