Monthly Archives: October 2011

Sweater Season

This weekend put to an end any hope for a warm or mild fall and winter.  It was snowing in DC and all up the East coast.  It is officially time to pull out sweaters, scarfs, mittens and boots – and that’s okay.  In addition to being the “most wonderful time of the year” – it is also the most fashionable time!

In my fall wardrobe a little sweater goes a long way.  Because I am almost always cold, I like the layer a basic tank under a slim sweater.  The sweater and skinny jean combination has become my fall uniform because it allows me to go to warmer or cooler in a snap.  Trade out flats for boots and add a jacket and then I’m ready for winter.

Sweater Season: Fall 2011

This little sweater triumvirate is great because it sort of eliminates the notion that a sweater is either a. sweats, or b. grandma or art teacher attire.  These are chic, fun, and as young as they are sophisticated.  I would wear all of these sweaters at any time, you know with the rest of the uniform (skinny jeans + tank + flats or boots).

Be retro collegiate in slim sweaters with stripes of various sizes.  The retro vibe comes from the neutral and rust color palette and the modesty of the crew neckline.   The fit here is slim and youthful, and would be great paired with a school girl jacket.   Tip: Pick a sweater with the most skin tone flattering colors a the top (near your face) and with darker colors at your midsection)
Shop: Bold, Skinny, Many
Be runway inspired, and take a cue from Jason Wu’s use of lace and ladylike embellishment for Fall 2011.  These slim sweaters go undercover and add an element of feminine mystique with embellishments like subtle bows, and dainty lace.  Pair these with tailored pants and skirts for a fall/winter dinner engagement, or play with opposites and go sporty and tough with your lace.  Tip: You can also easily DIY this look with the simple stitching of lace on the sleeves of a favorite sweater.
Shop: Bow, Trim, Shoulders
Be ready for anything but the gym in sweaters inspired by sweats.  I am enrolling in Fashion Ed. as opposed to Phys. Ed. and embracing the easy fit of a sweatshirt with the added embellishments and details that make it fashion.  Still here: ribbed cuffs, hems, and vent stitching at the collar.  Gone are the oversize silhouettes, and anything resembling a Hanes Beefy anything.  In its place is delicate stitching, sequins, and playful patterns.  Find the right slim fit, too big and bulky you might as well wear sweats.  Tip: Look embellishment that is delicate, the emphasis here is playing with opposites.
Shop: Cropped, Hearts, Spots


What is your sweater style this fall?

Saturday Wardrobe: Halloween Weekend

This weekend is Halloween, and whether you’ve been planning your costume since November 1, or if you were more like me and scrambling at the 11th hour – I hope you have a fabulous and look good too.

I am suggesting this fabulous Cat Woman costume that is more sophisticated than spooky.

Saturday Wardrobe: Halloween Weekend

Shop: Candy, Boots, Sweater, Pants, Mask, Lashes, Lip

This outfit, plus or minus a few critical accessories is perfect for fall, and could easily be a go-to all season long.

Happy Halloween, may your parties be fun and your candy bag be delicious!

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Orange Biscotti

If we’re being honest, any time of the year is a good time for cookies, but the start of Fall seems like an especially good time for cookies that are meant to enjoyed with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.

This little cookie is inspired by the season and full of flavor, so really 1 or 2 (or 3 or 4) is enough.

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Orange Biscotti
1 cup blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon GF corn starch
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/8 teaspoon of Kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice
1/8 cup dark chocolate chips
1/8 cup pistachio nuts
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
Sprinkle of sugar
Set oven to 350 degrees
In the bowl of a food processor combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, corn starch, baking soda and salt.  The ingredients will pulse to be even finer and fully integrated.
Then add the orange juice and the agave syrup and pulse again until the ingredients start to form together into a ball. (Helpful hint: scrape with a spoon the batter away from the edges).  Add the pistachio nuts, the chocolate chips and orange zest and pulse one more time.
Pour all of the ingredients onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Use your hands, or the parchment paper to guide the dough into a loaf shape, about an inch tall and 8-10″ long.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool – for about 15 minutes.  Then with a sharp knife cut the loaf in a diagonal and if you’d a little extra sweetness, sprinkle with sugar.  Then separate the slices cookies by a few millimeters and rebake for another 15 minutes at 300 degrees.
Finally, you know what to do… eat and enjoy!

The NY Wedding

You’ll have to excuse me, I am still on a bit of a NY kick… Walking around NY on Saturday we didn’t spot one wedding, but I did see plenty of wedding worthy spots.  And, as the Girls (and boys) of Sex and the City proved, there are so many ways to have a New York Wedding.

John James Preston and Carrie Bradshaw: City Hall

Charlotte York and Trey McDougal: Church

Steve Brady and Miranda Hobbes: Outside

Harry Goldenblatt and Charlotte York: Synagogue

Stanford Blatch and Anthony Marentino: Over the Top

What do you think?  What type – if any – is your type of wedding?

Eating Our Way Through New York

This past weekend we went to New York City for a whirlwind trip of less than 48 hours.  New York is a big city, but you’d be surprised how much you can see, do and eat in that short time frame.

We arrived in NY at around 3:00PM and went to our hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square – perfectly convenient.  Then we were off on our separate ways; Mark to a meeting, me to 5th Avenue… everyone has their priorities!

Fifth Avenue

We reunited at our friends’ apartment in TriBeCa, where we got to hang out with a pretty cool 2 year old, and her new little sister.  Perfect time to see friends, catch up and relax.

Dinner: Ordered in sushi – only in NY can you order in sushi, that is presented just like at a restaurant.

On Saturday, Mark told me we would be going for a big walk.  Having once lived in NY, when he goes back he likes to see as much of it as possible.  And, walk we did!

13.3 Miles in NYC

Breakfast was a quick bite of eggs and bacon at a nearby diner.

Then, we started at Columbus Circle and walked through the winding trails of Central Park.

Central Park

Central Park

After Central Park we walked back down Fifth Avenue and passed Rockefeller Center.

Snack: At Rockefeller Center I spotted a California transplant, the one and only (of only 5 locations) Bouchon Bakery.  We dropped in for a cup of coffee and fresh OJ, and I didn’t think for much else.  Then I spotted macarons.  Made with almond flour, these delightful, multi-color discs had the potential to be a gluten free hit.  Here is my advice: go to NY just for these!  They were the amazing, melt in your mouth, perfectly smooth, fragrant from real vanilla bean goodness that a macaron should be.

Bouchon Bakery Macaron

And then we kept walking and decided on a lunch stop which brought us through Times Square, Murray Hill, Chelsea and eventually the Flat Iron District, for our first visit to Eataly!

Lunch at Eataly

Lunch: I have been looking forward to visiting Eataly for months – that sounds crazy, but I’ve even written about it here, on this blog.  In the shadows of the Flat Iron building stands Eataly, part food court, market, and piazza.  I loved it.  We ate at Verdure, the vegetable focused mini restaurant and watched the store’s motto, “We Sell What We Cook & We Cook What We Sell”, in action.  I ordered an eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti squash, and Mark had a combination lunch of lentil soup, raw salad, farro and vegetable fritto misto.  Of course, we ended our visit with a cup of gelato.  Buon Appetito!

Then we continued our journey through Grammery, Bowery, NoLita, Soho Chinatown, Wall Street, the World Trade Center, all the way to Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan.

The New World Trade Center

Wall Street

The Statue of Liberty from Battery Park

Then, we turned back and walked North to the West Village for our favorite meal of the weekend, at Recette.

Dinner: This is our second time at Recette, and this time we decided to go all out and ordered the Chef’s Five Course Menu.  Tip: Do the same, you’ll be thrilled to follow this chef’s leadership and choices.  The meal by, the cousin of my cousin, Chef Jesse Schenker, was completely memorable.  Each dish of the five courses, amuse bouche and sorbet, was unique and featured new flavors, ingredients and techniques.  After devouring the Scallops with Artichoke, Asparagus spear, and Thumbelina Carrot in a Caviar Beurre Blanc sauce we asked Lindsay, Jesse’s wife and Recette partner, “How does he come up this?” She told us, before running to check on another customer, “he’s like a writer that comes up with crazy stories and surprises…” I’ll finish the thought, the meal like a good book, keeps you wanting more and yet still completely satisfied at the end.

Where are your favorite places to eat in New York?  Have you been to any of these?

Tell me in the comments!

Kids on the Computer

Monday mornings, especially after a long weekend (which I had), are always a little tough – so I figured a fun video could get you through your first cup of coffee.

Here is a classroom of first or second grade students in 1984 – when I was born – explaining to their teacher what a computer is.

My niece and nephew are about the same age, and they are so well versed in technology it is amazing what a difference 25 years makes.  Even more impressive is my 2.5 year old nephew who has mastered the iPad and Angry Birds…

This video is a delight; it is awesome in it’s simplicity.

We went to New York City this weekend on an impromptu trip – more details later!

Bridal Trends: Fall 2012

I have been married for nearly two years and for the past week I have reviewed more than 800 wedding dresses!  800!  (It is borderline insane.)  Anyway, the research came after Bridal Market, akin to New York Fashion Week for weddings.

I have identified many trends, and as a reminder, my rule for identifying a trend is that it has to appear at least three times, three times a charm (and a trend)!

Let’s walk down the fashion aisle together!

Color and Prints: The runway for Fall 2012 showed a lot of beautiful gowns that went far beyond the traditional bridal white.  I loved the unique patterned treatment in the Seeing Spots collection for a modern and sophisticated bride.  The dresses in Golden Moment stand apart for the bride who wants to make a statement.  The dresses in Black Magic  are for the bride who is fashion forward while abandoning tradition.


Shape and Design:  There were a lot of very specific construction trends I identified.  Starting at the top, several designers showed visible corset and boning construction, see The Core Set, in a way that was at once sexy and sophisticated.  The Mini to the Max collection is a favorite new trend, and is definitely for the bride that wants to stand out, it would make for a fabulous party dress.  The Tiering Down set  showed the very common trend of full skirts assembled from layers of cascading handkerchief hemmed chiffon and silk.  Thigh Do is a strongly contrasting look, cut close to the body – but not tight – the emphasis of this trend is all in the slit.  The Princess Bride set is significantly reminiscent of a famous bride from this year, it is full of volume, but still conservative and demure in the styling.


Details: Lots of trends were found in the little details.  A favorite new trend is in the Shoulder Moment, the design showcases the bride’s collar (always flattering) with a demure half sleeve in delicate lace.  Another very popular trend was the use of sheer fabric and netting to create illusion necklines and panels, as seen in the It’s an Illusion set.  Pockets are back, I don’t personally love this trend, because no bride is actually holding her keys in her dress, but I can appreciate a trend in Corner Pocket(3x is the rule).  Lastly, texture is key in the Light as a Feather trend; in seasons past runways were filled with oversized creped roses, I like the softer feather trend in this trend.


Do you want to say “I Do” to any of these trends?  Tell me in the comments!

Halloween DIY: Use Your Closet

Halloween is just two weeks away and if you, like me, want to look fabulous, without breaking the bank I suggest digging through your closet to build out a perfect (and cute) Halloween costume.

Let’s travel through cinematic time for our inspiration:

The 70’s

Shop: Jacket, Top, Pants, Wig, Hoops, Gloss, Slides

The 80’s

Shop: Sweatshirt, Leotard, Spray, Legwarmers, Pumps

The 90’s

Shop: Shirt, Pants, Wig, Lip, Nail

The 00’s

Shop: Tank, Tutu, Spray, Pins, Newspaper, Shoes

All of these looks are worthy of an evening of trick-or-treating, or a night on the couch with Netflix and popcorn.

What will you be for Halloween?

Butterfly Bash 2011

On Friday night (10/14/2011) more than 500 people, 60 organizations and 30 corporations came together at the Andrew W. Mellon auditorium to celebrate Fair Chance and its work supporting more than 50,000 children, youth and young adults at the 5th annual Butterfly Bash.

Fair Chance was founded in 2002 by Amanda Marshall, who spoke at the event saying, “When I started Fair Chance in 2002, my vision was to provide dynamic and passionate nonprofit leaders with critical business skills so they could not only help more children, but be around for years to come to support the families who were counting on them the most. And, it has worked! In less than 10 years, we have supported almost 60 organizations which in turn have positively impacted the lives of over 54,000 children in the communities of greatest need in DC.”

Amanda Marshall, Founder of Fair Chance awarding Katharine Weymouth, Publisher and CEO of the Washington Post and 2011 Butterfly Bash Honorary Chair

Also speaking at the event the Honorary Chair, Katharine Weymouth, Publisher of the Washington Post, and Co-Chairs Julie Maner and Megan Rupp.

The 2011 Butterfly Bash smashed previous years’ fundraising records, bringing in $200,000 including more than $22,000 raised in a live auction at the event. These proceeds allow Fair Chance to support an additional 10 organizations and the thousands of children they serve within the next year. Fair Chance has impacted over 54,000 children and youth living in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8 and helped transform nearly 60 nonprofit organizations. The organization’s proven Partnership Program, provides more than 300 hours of free coaching and support to small, youth-based nonprofits helping them do what they do better and do more of it.

About the Event…

The Good: The food!  Great catering from Ridgewell’s Catering, particularly fabulous were the caprese skewers.  Also delightful were the take home treats from BLT Steak that were devoured before the valet arrived.

Take Home Treats from BLT Steak: 2011 Butterfly Bash

The Better: The set up of the room encouraged guests to mix, mingle and dance to the fun Jangling Reinhardts, the evening’s band.

The Jangling Reinhardts: 2011 Butterfly Bash

The Fabulous: A crowd that came to celebrate and support a great cause.

Saturday Wardrobe: Charity Event Weekend

This weekend we are going to the Butterfly Bash, a celebration and fundraiser of Fair Chance, an organization that supports entrepreneurial non-profits that benefit DC Youth. We have gone for the last two years – it’s a great reason to dress up, mix and mingle, and support a worthwhile cause.

The Butterfly Bash is one of many “events” in DC; in fact October is affectionately known as tuxedo month because of the sheer volume of events.  Luckily, tonight is more festive than formal so I’ll be dressing to match the cocktail attire description.

This is what I am wearing.

Saturday Wardrobe: Charity Event

Shop:Wine, Pumps, Halter, Skirt, Bracelet, Clutch, Gloss

For a cocktail party in DC – this outfit works.  It’s easy to wear, it’s conservative enough for DC and young enough for me.

For more information about the Butterfly Bash or Fair Chance.