Friday, February 27, 2009


Simple brilliance.

Forever young

My Dad's message to me this 27th birthday was "May you be forever young." 


Comfy nighties

With spring right around the corner I'm in need of a few new bedtime slips. It's nice to have something silky and beautiful on lay away, but for those nights when you want to curl up in bed with a good book, this white slip from Urban Outfitters will do the trick.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A little piece of dessert heaven

This is the amazing pastry work of Paulette Macarons, located in Beverly Hills and San Francisco. You can order them online! Hooray!

Anne, we must go on our next visit to SF!

The joy of onions

My friend, Samantha - blogger extraordinaire at The Vagabond Table - recently posted about her adventure making French onion soup. This is one of those dishes that I've never thought to make, never really think to order but whenever someone brings up how yummy it is I always say to myself, "Next chance I get, I'm ordering it!"

I just couldn't help but re-post the pictures of her onions sauteing in her pot. I adore caramelized onions so I found myself (per usual) drooling over the pictures of these.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Houses by the Sea

On this long, winter day I started day dreaming of a house by the sea. Thanks to the beauty of the internet, typing in "houses by the sea" on Flickr returned an amazing assortment of options to choose from.

Would I like a little house sitting out on a jut of land off the coast of Northern Ireland? What about a summer cottage at Martha's Vineyard? (Sounds a little fancy) Maybe a trip back to Eastern Europe for a dip in the Ionian Sea....

Which would you prefer?

I want this messy hair

Yesterday I curled my hair a bit for the first time in ages. I didn't do it out of desire, but out of necessity - I'd left my straightening iron at my fiance's place over the weekend. What a difference a slight curl makes in your look! I felt like a different woman yesterday and I loved it!

When I woke up today I went back to the tired straightened hair of days prior and felt like I'd lost a little of the 'hair goodwill' I had on Tuesday. Men may read this and think that this entire rumination over my hair is ridiculous but I'm willing to bet that most of my lady friends are with me 100%. A little change from time to time is the spice of life, right?

So now, if I could only swing Alexa Chueng's gorgeous, messy locks pictured above....

Kate Moss in the raw

How often do you catch sight of a magazine cover with a model wearing no makeup? Rarely? Never?

When I picked up my subscription to New York Magazine last week I was stunned to see Kate Moss on the cover appearing to wear little to nothing on her famous face.

The article, "I Am A Woman Now," covers the arrival of her TopShop line in NYC this upcoming month, as well as her newfound "womanliness" that was rather, well, shocking. Where the new curvy body came from and why I'm not sure. Kate says she loves her new, shaplier figure and cheers to that! 

Mexican & Salvadorian food that rocks

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I often find it tough to find really good, cheap food in the District. The more affordable joints like 2 Amy's and Pasta Mia often meet you with unbearably long waits. I just don't have the patience for a long line unless I've mentally prepared myself for such an occassion. If I'm hungry, I'm ready to eat!

El Sol couldn't be further from that reality. A true Mexican and Salvadorian diner of sorts located in the heart of Shaw's "Little Ethiopia" is a dream come true for us U Street/Shaw inhabitants. It's NEVER packed. The service is ALWAYS friendly and attentive. And first and foremost, the food is excellent. Fresh is the first word I would use to describe their dishes. Try their shrimp enchiladas or shrimp tacos. They're mouth-wateringly good. (Just look at the pictures - are you beginning to feel hungry now or what?!)

Be sure to stock up on their chips and salsa. The last time I was there, Sara and I packed in so many of these suckers that we could barely eat our meal!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A real fixer-upper

My fiance and I embarked on a lovely jaunt around Ledroit Park this weekend and came across this run down mansion at 3rd and T Street NW. The house has been split into two apartments but you can imagine that at one time a very important Washington family once inhabited its lavish quarters.

When I see a house as magnificent as this - despite that its seen better days - I often think of the book and movie A Secret Garden, which was an absolute favorite of mine as a young girl. I longed for an enormous palace filled with mystery and intrigue, secrets and strange possessions. As soon as I spotted this gem off the Park, I was reminded of my childhood longings. They still remain despite the passage of time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More loveliness

I can't help myself. I just adore Oscar de la Renta's Fall 2009 collection. Just watch the video and you'll see why. Aren't these pieces just stunning?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oscar de la Renta comes knocking

Perfect model, perfect layering, perfect vibrant color. Oh! I just adore it. 

Thank you Oscar, for always, always, always knowing what women want.

SJP looking very reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw

Doesn't this photo of Sarah Jessica Parker outside the Alexander Wang show at New York Fashion Week remind you of a moment when Carrie Bradshaw might sneak outside of her evening event to talk with Big? She has that coy, excited smile reminiscent of the sexy interplay that never vanished between the two of them. 

(Via Oh?

More animal jewelry for my sister

My sister, Sara, has a profound love for animals, particularly her cats, Frieda and Caritas (Spanish for "little faces" - pictured here). She loves little critters so much that Etsy and various vintage stores in the area seem to have provided her with an endless supply of jewelry adorned with owls, cats, pigs...the list goes on, but you get the picture.

Being the older sister, I, of course, have to roll my eyes at this because, well, that's what older sisters do. Yes, I find it slightly adorable. No, I would never wear a horeshoe fish pin on my jacket's lapel - EVER. But hey, that's what makes us unique :)

Sara, you can start thanking me now because I may have found the next bit of animal regalia for you - wooden reindeer necklaces by Marta, a designer located in Barcelona, whose shop, emedemarta also makes the most adorable clutches with pale pink hearts.

Snooty sales clerks be gone!

We've all experienced it. You're out looking for something really special to wear and although you're mindful of your budget, you think, "What the hell, I'll give Neimans a shot." You walk into Neimans (or a store its equal) and you spot a few sales clerks. They spot you too. And then they ignore you.

You look down at your outfit and begin to wonder, "Did I wear the wrong thing? Do I not look 'the part'?" The second-guessing starts and sends you into a downward emotional spiral, that is, until you snap out of it and say to yourself "Screw them! If I want to shop here, I can. And I deserve to be treated with basic decency!"

There's nothing like the snooty sales clerk attitude that has seemingly been the mantra of high-end boutiques and department stores. Forget trying to venture out of your monetary comfort zone just for a look at the pretty things in stores like Reiss or Ralph Lauren in Georgetown. Unless you look like a million dollars, often times, I've found that sales clerks don't want anything to do with me.

According to the New York Times, the state of our sour economy may effectively have ended this dour attitude (at least for the time being). Check out Eric Wilson's article Economy Adjusts Store Relations on Madison Avenue. If what he says is true, I'm delighted with this news!

I'm interested to hear if you've run into the same situation yourself in the past and if you've noticed any changes since things went south last November.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fab tailoring

Flawless jacket if I've ever seen one. The comments on the Sartorialist are saying that this is the Norwegian model and blogger Hanneli Mustaparta. Whoever she is, does she rent her jackets to strangers abroad?

(Via The Sartorialist)

My photographer, Carl Bower

Thanks to Yelp, we've found our photographer for the wedding. Carl Bower is a documentary photojournalist based in Washington, DC. He was one of two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his series of photographs of a woman's fight against breast cancer. I wish I could pull some of his documentary work to show here but much of his work is in Flash. I've included a shot from one of the weddings he's done that I'm intrigued by. When we met with him he said that he actually had a shot of the bride and her father looking directly at each other in the car, but he felt that there was far more intimacy in this frame than the other.

Dress ideas for my Mom

My sister, Mom and me spent President's Day perusing dress departments at various stores in Friendship Heights for wedding and rehearsal dresses for them.

Sara, my sister, came away with an adorable red dress for the rehearsal dinner. She looked and felt like a million bucks in it - just what you want.

Mom's a bit trickier. She has a very specific idea in mind of what she wants to look like on my wedding day and I'm really digging it. After seeing a spread in Vogue last May with Liya Kebede galavanting around Mali in gorgeous flowy dresses, she was sold. "That's what I'm going to wear at your wedding one day!" she exclaimed. Who would have thought only a year later, her dream might come true? There's a lot that I love in this spread, but I do have a particular fondness for the white dress shirt, unique necklace and colorful skirt on Kebede above. It would be lovely at the rehearsal dinner don't you think?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A scarf for spring

I found this scarf on auto. following hours of sleuthing online after I found myself wide awake at 7:30am on a Saturday morning. My fiance was sleeping soundly, nestled quietly underneath loads of blankets and I, well...I was staring at the ceiling wishing I wasn't on full speed auto pilot and instead, curled up in a warm ball like him.

I know wool is probably the worst choice ever for a spring scarf but in this case I'm willing to ditch common sense in exchange for chic style :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

I wish I was an artist

I do. I really wish I was an artist. I wouldn't necessarily have to be super talented but I'd hope that I could have an 'eye' for whatever my forte might be, whether that is painting, photography, sculpture or dance. I just don't 'create' anything in my life. There's nothing that I spend hours toiling at, take a step back and realize that I've left a mark, some stamp, even if it's the memory of a great performance.

I saw this painting by Elizabeth Schuppe this morning and while my first reaction was "Ohhhhh!! I love this so much" I couldn't help but find myself slipping into a state of self-pity. "Why don't I have a talent like Elizabeth does?" I see her work and think about the passion, energy and even the frustration that must be part of her creative process. Despite the challenges, the end product is hers'. I don't have that.

I think 2009 needs to be the year that I spend energy dabbling in something creative. At least try something regardless of whether I end up being 'good' at it or not.

Poppy season

I'm gotten hooked on a blog by Lena Corwin, a textile designer in Brooklyn. Her apartment was recently used for a photo shoot that included loads of fresh flowers such as these poppies. I immediately thought, "I'd love to have poppies at my wedding!" But my Google searches are revealing that poppies bloom in the spring. Oh well. At least I learned that there's a Poppy Reserve in CA! I would LOVE to visit one day. Seems like a very romantic road trip idea doesn't it?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Honeymoon in Tokyo

My fiance and I are heading to Tokyo for our honeymoon. He lived there for four years when he was just a wee one so I'm excited to catch a glimpse of what his life was like so many ages ago. I'll also admit, as cheesy as it may sound, that I have been obsessed with visiting Tokyo since I saw Lost in Translation. I can't imagine the crowds...but I also can't wait to experience something so different from my life here.

(Via Flickr)

Time for treats

I'm beginning to see a pattern. Every day around 6pm, as I'm closing up shop at work, I begin a last minute search for yummy things. It's not hard to find something totally delicious and appealing to all of my senses. Once I find the "ultimate" dish that I want at that very moment I proceed to generate this horrible pain in the bottom of my stomach that is really a hole where food needs to go immediately. Why I do this to myself when I'm nowhere close to dinner, drinks or dessert is beyond me!

These photos come from Taste Matters, a Portland-based eating design studio (I didn't know such a thing existed!). I'm salivating...and grabbing my coat to get out of here! Time for cake!

(Via frolic!)

XOXO Cookies

Absolutely adorable.

The pastry chef who made these scrumptious Valentine's day cookies is Shuna Fish Lydon, who blogs at Eggbeater. Isn't that the most amazing name you've ever heard?

I had the pleasure of meeting her at a BlogHer conference in San Francisco last summer. She always had really smart, thoughtful things to say about the influence of blogging in the lives of women. Given that my firm was filming much of the conference, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview her, twice. They're a bit long, but you'll get a sense of her personality and amazing passion for food.

I found my wedding dress!!!!

It's true! I cannot believe it! I had an appointment last night at Hitched, a bridal shop in Georgetown, and truth be told, I was not optimistic. Since July of last year I have had my eyes set on the cement gown above with the black sash, which I found on Fashion is Spinach. It looked so NOT wedding dress, is cut beautifully and I loved the draped straps! Being that it was a Fall 2008 piece from the designer, Joanne Reyes, the designer and founder of Vicente Villarin, I knew it would be a tough gown to track down. That definitely turned out to be the case.

Only two boutiques in the states actually sold the gown - Des Kohan in LA and Bellhaus in the Hamptons. Bellhaus sold the one they carried and Des Kohan hasn't been able to confirm whether or not Joanne will be able to make it for me.

I walked into Hitched with an open mind despite my longing for Villarin and was met by Annie, a professional, but down-to-earth sales assistant who encouraged me to try on a bit of everything - a ball gown, something lacy, a little sheek number - all so that I would get a sense of what really looked best on my figure and so that no stone was left unturned. I found something I loved in ALL of them. I shockingly even took to two of the ball gowns! But the one I fell in love with was the first one I tried on. Fate isn't it?!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Michelle Obama graces the cover of Vogue

My friend, Erjona, can testify to my intense loathing of spoiled Vogue covers. Last year she showed up at my apartment with this gleeful look and exclaimed, "Sarah Jessica Parker is on the cover of this month's Vogue!" My response was one hell of a sour puss look.

When you subscribe to Vogue you ALWAYS end up being the last one to get your issue. It became such a thorn in my side that I decided not to renew my subscription for 2009.

So now here I am being a complete hypocrite! I opened up my Google Reader this morning and how could I not read a story titled "Michelle Obama & Vogue"? Could you?

Either way, I'm totally psyched about the spread, which I have NOT looked at even though it's available on, especially since most of the shoot was styled by J. Crew and the pictures were taken by Annie Leibovitz. Should be amazing!

(Via Oh?)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Photography to perk you up

Anxiously awaiting warm weather and sun dresses? I'm counting the days. I love these photo from

(Via Frolic)

" romantic"

My dear friend, Jenna, and I have a shared passion for Le Love. As much as I want to check it every day, I actually like saving it for a once-a-week diversion from the real world. As Jenna said, you find yourself constantly going " romantic" over and over again.

When I saw this pic, I longed for a lazy Sunday morning, rumpled sheets and lots of cuddling :)

Love in the City

I love this picture by Rodney Smith! There's nothing like the excitement of meeting up for a date in the city.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Otello - where the food is good and the people are kind

There aren't too many restaurants in DC that will let their customers come in their kitchensto take pictures of their cooks hard at work. But then again, restaurants like Otello are few and far between when it comes to great service, affordable and delicious food. If you like Italian, and in particular, a really great selection of fresh antipasti, such as calamari, eggplant and lentils, a truly spicy puttanesca and a veal scaloppini that will make your mouth water then Otello is your place.

My parents have been going to Otello for two years now and they've eaten there with such frequency that they're 'known' when they walk in. And what a treat it is to be 'known' at Otello! Raul (pictured up top) will welcome you into the restaurant with a big smile, a clasp of your hand and the warmest greeting you've encountered since you last visited...Italy or the American Deep South.

Next time you pass by Dupont Circle and wonder where to get a great meal on a small budget, Otello should be top of mind.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A great work bag

I'm digging this monogrammed travel bag for my commute to and from work. Between schlepping my swim stuff, lunches and flats/heels to change into, I've found myself lugging multiple bags around every morning as I trudge towards the bus stop outside my apartment. I don't know the designer of this bag, but Michelle Adams picked this up at Ladybird in Columbus, Ohio. I'd love this with my initials on it.

(Via the Scoop)

Why Cate Blanchett rocks

It's been more than a year since I saw the film I'm Not There, but I'm still obsessed with Cate Blanchett's amazing performance as Bob Dylan. She utterly transformed herself into his strange, tortured self and left me mesmerized. There's nothing she CAN'T do, that's for sure. Did you see the film?

Walking through Restaurant Nora

My Mom, fiance and I met today with Camilla, the Special Events Director at Restaurant Nora, to go over the details of our wedding reception. She was absolutely lovely! I appreciate someone who's got their ducks in a row, but nothing over the top and she was that perfect, happy medium.

We'll be using the top floor of Nora for the reception, including their parlor room. Should be really intimate for all involved, which is what we're striving for - simple, small and lovely.

Camilla was kind enough to take us through their kitchen, which is, of course, where all the magic happens! Enjoy the pictures :)