Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ruminations On My Domain

Hell's Kitchen....aka Clinton, aka Midtown West, once considered the "underworld," the stomping grounds of Irish-American organized crime. It's ethnic conflicts formed the basis of musicals like West Side Story. Once the bastion of poor and working class Irish-Americans, is now undergoing... gentrification.

For virgin New Yorkers it's referred to as Clinton, while for us native New Yorkers it will always be Hell's Kitchen. It is now largely, the home of theatre actors and musicians and also anyone wishing to live close to midtown Manhattan.

I'm taking this opportunity to give props to our local merchants, who without fail have contributed to the betterment of this neighborhood, before and during the rehabilitation process.

Lopez hardware store: small but efficient, very helpful and friendly staff. Get your keys copied there too.

The Amish Market on 9th Ave: always good, reliable produce, nice variety of cakes and pies for the holidays, well stocked and helpful staff.

Perdition: Quiet and unassuming during the day. Great vibe at night, good local crowd, clean, well stocked bar.

Rice n' Beans: Delicious Brazillian fare. Tiny space but good, hot food and the deliveries are just as good. Try their bobo de camarau (shrimp in sweet sauce)

Laundromat Cafe: Not just your local laundromat, it also features local artist works on their walls and a small section in the front offers hot coffee for patrons. Good drop off service too.

Food Emporium: Reliable supermarket downstairs with just about everything you need, recently revamped their upstairs quarters with ready, to go foods including a deli, pizza, fresh baked bread and assorted soups and sauces.

St. Malachy's Church: along with their Encore Community Program uses their contributions well and gives back to the community by providing low cost housing for seniors. Along with their lively priests and lay people they organize fun broadway trips and really go all out with their fantastic singing choir to bring in the holiday spirit.

Goucho Steak: A new establishment that offers yummy steaks and other meaty portions for reasonably priced local eats. Friendly staff and owner.

Sushi Jun: Opened about 2 years ago. So small, if you're not looking for it you'll walk righ tby it. The corner of 8th and 50th St. Reasonably priced sushi, good and interesting combinations. Mild experimentation with their appetizers and salads. Nice family owned place. Good for friday and saturday night eats.

Tofuyaki: there's no name on the front so it's easy to find! Serves up great japanese desserts, custards, cookies etc and offers a variety of teas, saki's and other beverages to accompany the desserts. Great reviews from Zagat and writes up in the New York Times.

Beer and Cheese: yes, that's what it's called! It's right next door to the wine store and connected to it as well. They pair various beers with the approriate cheese, they offer cheese and meat platters for party orders, some catering and they also host great wine and cheese tasting events.

Dewitt Clinton Park: The forgotten park, somewhat. Houses a great dog park, elevated grounds that overlook the harbor and 12th avenue. Also has a small ballpark where local tri borough baseball teams play. Also the namesake of Hell's Kitchen's renewal.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Decking the Halls...

As the holiday season draws closer, many of you who have not yet completed your holiday shopping will be left scrambling to find gifts that are practical and yet different. Naturally your recipients don't all share the same taste or perhaps they already have everything under the sun otherwise Christmas shopping would be much simpler.

To help you, here's a short list of some items that are not like others and if you hurry, they might still be available. Otherwise, your recipients will have to suffice with rainchecks or I owe you's. This year's theme... food and drink:

Illusion Wine Glasses

Fun drinking glasses that create an optical illusion of a floating wine glass within a pint glass. Bewitching and clever, these modern glasses will give any beverage an unexpected twist of whimsy. Combining inventive design with delightful execution, the wine goblet fills entirely with liquid and seems to float within the surrounding glass, which remains empty. Sold as a set of 4. Priced at $75.00.

The Mono Giro Apple Slicer
The Mono Giro Apple Slicer cuts around the apple core, creating beautiful apple spirals for snacks or garnishes. The Giro Apple Slicer was designed by Jessica Battram and Christina Schafer and features stainless steel. Yes, it's a German design! Woohoo! Priced at $34.00.

One Bottle Tote by Built NY Inc.
The One Bottle Tote by Built NY, is an insulated bottle bag made from neoprene, a durable stretchy wetsuit material. It keeps one bottle of water, wine, champagne, or what ever you want chilled. Protects bottles from breaking. Machine washable.
It's your lucky day because this item is on sale from $11.99 to $17.99 depending on the color at: http://www.lumens.com/lumens/product.asp?s_id=0&pf_id=PAAAIAKGCEGCNOCN. The cost of shipping will probably be more than the gift itself.

Guitar Ice Mold
As seen in Daily Candy...for the hip, yet budget conscious shopper, how about rockin' out the holidays with these guitar shaped ice "cubes." Freeze, stir and chill. 1 tray creates three 3x2x1/4 inch ice cubes with sticks.It’s time to kick back and chill and here’s a cool way to do it! Drop one of these groovy guitars into your drink, and give it a stir. Just the thing for jazzing up your favorite beverage.
expected to ship out 2nd week Dec. Priced at $8.00. Find it at:

Portable Chopsticks Set
For those of you who no longer use forks and knives OR for those of you that wish to sharpen your chopstick techniques. Just pop the chic aluminum chopsticks out of their cloth pouch, screw them together, and make quick work of sushi or dim sum, or even chop suey. They're fabulous at that just discovered Malaysian place, on trips to Asia, and at home for takeout ceremonies. Chopsticks and rest easily assemble and dissemble for transport or storage. The set includes a pair of chopsticks, chopstick rest and cloth pouch. Comes in a red box that measures 5.5"L x 2.25"W x 1.25"H. Price is $56.00. Find it at: http://store.unusualthings.biz/pochset.html

Merry Christmas shopping to all and to all a good night!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Red Carpet Massacre

I'll admit it...
I'm a recovering Duranee. There are no support groups for people like us, no 12 step programs. Only fan clubs and sub-cultures. Growing up in the early 80's Duran Duran were THE band to listen to and not surprisingly they are still considered to be icons of fashion, music and culture. Let's not forget that John Taylor's wife is the brains behind Juicy Couture, not to mention that most of the band members sickeningly married models, YUCK! And in their hay-day they were always on the cusp of the latest and greatest trends in hairstyle and clothing and of course, music.

I won't waste time reminiscing on days gone by and how as a pre-adolescent, pre-pubescent teen they influenced my every thought and decision. How at the age of 13, seeing them in concert, LIVE, IN THE FLESH at MSG caused an even greater addiction to them. I think many of you out there can relate, even those of you who are of the Justin Timberlake era can relate to what this is like. I digress....

I'll just mention that I recently fell off the bandwagon. Duran Duran just completed an unprecedented stint on broadway, playing 10 consecutive shows from Nov. 3 through Nov. 13th. Their gig started at the Ethel Barrymore theatre but their last 3 shows were re-scheduled due to local Union Strikes (writers strikes). These shows were moved to Roseland Ballroom. Needless to say seeing them perform was simply "AWESOME!" It didn't really matter what venue they played at or what night of the week it was. The fans ate them up. I would have gladly had Mr. Simon Le Bon for dessert. They debuted songs from their latest CD, entitled Red Carpet Massacre (released Nov. 13th). But they also played their classics like Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf and Save A Prayer showing that they still know what pleases their audience.

During the show I completely regressed into a screaming, frenzied teen. Embarrassing? Perhaps for my fiance, but well worth it for me. One night of un-controlled nuttiness! I can look back and tell my kids I saw them when I was 13 and again when I was 30 something. They still rock! The sad thing is that they are less one original band member, that being Andy Taylor (guitarist). He split from them recently for unknown reasons and will be publishing a book about Duran Duran soon. Can't wait to read the juicy details!

On another note, Sirius Satellite Radio is helping them kick off the release of their CD by allowing them to do a 3-day take over of the Super Shuffle (12) channel. Their Red Carpet Radio premiered on Nov. 13th at 12 pm, but you can still catch them till the 16th. Their program consists of a few band members hosting and highlighting some of their favortie albums and musicians who have influenced them. They'll also be playing some of their favorite songs from various eras including the British punk and post-punk era (Clash, Pistols, Damned). They play a wide variety of music but I mostly enjoyed listening to the post punk bands X-Ray Spex (The Day the World Turned Dayglo), The Only Ones (Another Girl, Another Planet), Richard Hell and the Voidoids (Blank Generation) but also some American classics like Blondie (RIp Her To Shreds).

I've had a good life!

Up coming appearances include:

  • American Music Awards, Sunday Nov. 18th from 8-11 on ABC
  • Ellen, Tuesday Nov. 20th
  • A&E Private Sessions, Nov. 25th, check local listings

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Found In Translation?

This week I attended a forum which explored how asian cuisines become a part of the American mainstream. It was presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Insitute at NYU and co-sponsored by the James Beard Foundation. The discussions touched upon many Asian foods, but for simplicity sake it focused on Chinese, Indian and Philippine cuisines to discover how these specifically, have been "translated" into American culture and cuisine.

The forum was comprised of a panel of distinguished culinary masters and cookbook authors including:
Grace Young, an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award-winning cookbook author of The Breath of a Wok and The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen;
Amy Besa, owner of Cendrillon, a Philippine restaurant in New York, and an IACP award-winning co-author of Memories of Philippine Kitchens, and
Maya Kaimal, the author of Curried Favors (IACP award winner) and Savoring the Spice Coast of India, and creator of Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods.

Most of us have eaten some form of asian food, more popularly Chinese food. It has been around in this country for over a century but is the chinese food we eat today truly Chinese? The trend today is to find"authentic" Chinese food or rather, the dishes that chefs eat behind closed doors. And Filipino food, which some say is posed to be the next asian food to be "discovered", is the ideal cuisine to watch as it slowly becomes part of the AMerican culinary landscape.

In the 1800's chinese immigrants (mainly of Cantonese descent) were brought to the US to work on the railroad and in mines. They struggled to assimilate into American culture because they would not compromise their ancestral customs. They did what they could to earn money including cleaning and cooking for Americans. They had to learn what flavors pleased the American palette and how to cook with ingredients that were locally grown. As their numbers increased, so did their struggle to make money. By opening restaurants that offered inexpensive meals to curious Americans, they were able to make a small living. Thus Chop Suey was born. Dishes like chop suey helped introduce chinese cooking styles to this country and it was a means for the early chinese americans to sustain themselves. Though the taste of chop suey had little to do with authentic Cantonese Chinese cooking, it did offer a quick appetizing meal to the Americans. Afterwards other Chinese foods were born, like eggrolls and pork fried rice, though these were not the foods that the Chinese cooked in their own homes. Americans didn't realize that Chinese cuisine was far more sophisticated. Today, however we can enjoy more sophisticated Chinese dishes like authentic Shanghai soup dumplings, yellow fish stews and shark's fin soups at establishments that rival even the best restaurants in China. It took 2 decades but now there are Chinese restaurants in every city in the U.S.

We've also seen that Indian food has become more fashionable and sophisticated. For years Indian restaurants in the US offered limited dishes on their menus, the usual chicken curry or coconut curry dishes. We've only recently become exposed to regional Gujarat and Kerala foods, breads like Nan and Puri and various Korma's that incorporate nuts and creamy, tomato sauces. India for many decades was not a restaurant culture. Because of its cast system Indians were discouraged from consuming foods that were prepared by someone of a lower cast and therefore eating out at a restaurant meant not knowing who prepared your food. Since Indians were not accustomed to owning restaurants in their home country those who endevored to open restaurants here offered simple dishes that would satisfy the American masses. All of that is changing in India today with their growing prosperity and booming international trade. Their regional cuisines are no longer "foreign" because airlines now offer direct flights there and American businessmen, as well as other travelers are bringing Indian cooking techniques and flavors back home with them. In general politcs and trade have exposed Americans to new cuisines and flavors all over the world.

As a Filipino-American I know that Filipinos are like sponges, absorbing whatever is put in front of us from language and religion to politics and education. It is a 7000 island, diverse archipelago that was ruled by the Spanish for 350 years and by America for 50 years. Our customs reflect influences from both cultures as well as Malaysian and Chinese. Our staple foods are fish, rice and coconut because these can be locally caught and grown, respectively, though our regional cuisines represent local and "borrowed" inlfuences.

So how does a Filipino restaurateur introduce our regional cuisines to America when the main flavors in Filipino cooking are sour and salty-two things that are not generally appealing to Americans? For example, our regional cuisines include dishes like: Sinigang- a pork dish which uses patis (salted fish sauce) and tamarind paste; Adobo-a vinegar based pork and chicken dish; Kare Kare- a beef (more tradionally beef tripe) dish which is served with a condiment called bagoong, an anchovie paste. Though rice dishes, noodle dishes and eggroll does exist in our cuisine, it is almost redundant to offer these because the Chinese practically own these dishes. How do we create curiosity in Amercians with courses that are distinct from the other asian foods already around? Thai food has its peanut sauces, Vietnamese food has it's French influences with basil, Koreans have kim chi and Japanese have sushi and sashimi. If an American has never tasted Filipino food in the first place, what would make them decide to go to a filipino restaurant? Unfortunately most Americans were not curious enough to choose Filipino over Japanese food. So the Philippine culinary dilemma remained for some time.

For as long as I've lived in New York City, I've only known of 3 filipino restaurants; Cendrillon (filipino for Cinderella), Elvee's "turo turo" (meaning "point point" to buffet dishes from behind a glass partition), and lastly Kuma Inn (a play on the word Kumain- meaning "to eat"). There are so few because there hasn't been much of an American demand. Likewise, for years even filipinos have not gone looking for "home-style" restaurants because they would rationalized, " Why should I pay for that? I can make it better", or "my mom/grandma/auntie can make it better."

Elvee's and Kuma Inn have succeeded in providing more tradional and "authentic" filipino courses to both their own and to non- flipinos. The courses at both places are good. However, the down side is that, because filipino fares like this are not in high demand, they will remain small, low priced establishments. While there's nothing wrong with that and I wouldn't trade the filipino food I grew up on for any other cuisine, it is still a dream for filipinos to find finer spots to eat. It is also a dream for Filipino restaurateurs to open more sophisticated and fashionable establishments that will have a stronger customer draw. Restaurants where they can proudly feature their regional dishes to a broader audience in style, serving foods to modern day, cosmopolitan Filipinos while also attracting hip, curious Americans. Fortunately, in the last 10 years the younger generations of Fil-Ams have begun seeking restaurants that serve the cuisine they grew up on, the flavors that they miss and they are more prone to bring with them their American friends, co-workers and significant others. Filipinos are considered to be the second fastest growing Asian population in the U.S. The doors have begun to open.

So as the Chinese and Indians did before, Philippine restaurateurs, like Amy Besa (owner of Cendrillon) have to find creative ways of serving their cultural foods while at the same attracting more Americans. Amy and her husband Romy Dorotan (head chef at Cendrillon) are attempting to do this. There are some Filipinos who feel that the flavoers at Cendrillon are not "authentic" filipino. But there are 2 factors which are the catalists behind these results. Firstly many of the Filipino foods we filipinos are used to are, in fact generational. Recipes that our families used have evolved from their original form, taking and borrowing ingredients from the other cultures we have come in contact with. Since the Philippines was a U.S. colony for 50 years, the Philippines has seen a massive influx of American food products which have become part of daily filipino cooking. Amy herself admits that her great- grandmother's recipe for a pork dish may not be the same as someone else's grandmother's recipe. Secondly, let's face it, every culture that has immigrated here has had to assimilate in some way. As Asian-Americans we attended American schools, listened to American music, ate popular foods and played American sports. It is an important part of adapting to new environments.

So a refreshing feature about Cendrillon is that they always try to incorporate filipino ingredients with ingredients that are locally available, and the recipes are never quite the same. Their menu changes seasonally to make use of new ingredients that are both locally grown and also brought in from remote locations. This past week they flew in Maine Lobsters, Oysters, Clams and Fish from the renowned Brown Trading Company of Portland and invited guest chef Kathy Gunst to cook with them. Courses included Maine Oyster Ceviche, Filipino Clam Soup and Coffee Roasted Hake with Autumn Vegetables. A One night only event entitled, "New England meets the Philippines." Another item on their menu is called "Grace Rice". This combines suman (a steamed, sticky rice, usually served as a sweet dessert) with pork, baby shrimp, cilantro and basil, served as a side dish. They offer rare Chinese teas, they've also created desserts that were featured on Martha Stewart Living.

I am proud of Cendrillon's efforts to reach out to a wider group of people, showing that Filipinos are adaptable and open-minded. But I'm also proud of the smaller venues like Kuma Inn and Elvee's for keeping true to traditional flavors and serving them in an easy, comfortable manner. Mostly, I look forward to seeing and supporting newer restaurants.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Living Wall Decor!

I absolutely love these Fish Pods! I searched for some time through magazines, websites and stores for cool and imaginative gift items for the holidays and nothing really caught my attention the way these fishpods did. They are, in short, living wall decor.

Fish Pods are wall vases with an innovative design. They're made of a clear, domed lucite, they are lightweight and have an outer lip that screws easily into any wall. There's a hole at the top portion of the dome so you can use them as fishbowls. Simply fill them with water and place colorful beta or goldfish and other sea creatures into them. You can also fill them with flowers or layers of different colored sand to create multi-colored strata. Or how about colored pebbles or grains to create interesting textures. You can let your imagination run wild.

Both adults and kids will get a kick out of these and they are sure to stir up lots of conversation.
They have a 9" diameter and are priced at $35.00 per bowl. Find them at http://www.plushpod.com/item_956.php#

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Equine Fashion

I'm a big fan of the equestrian or riding boot. It's a stylish accessory that can be dressed up or down. When going casual, you can tuck your jeans into them and wear with a long sweater. You can don your boots with a pair of opaque tights and winter shorts (or mini skirt). You can wear them with a dress. I've even worn them with contrasting colored knee high socks that peak through just above the boot. They also offer more comfort than the high heeled boots- sparing you the bunion surgery- youch! I like dark colored boots myself- black or brown.

These "Cinch" black riding boots by Golden Goose are great! They feature genuine leather with a worn effect, a buckle fastening that sits at the back of the boot, a rounded toe and it sits just below the knee.

Price is £520.00

check them out here:
Golden Goose , Cinch riding boot - boot - golden goose - riding boot Stylehive BM 248218 #:248218

or here:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Drambuie Den: The Spirit Lives On

I was invited to an attitude-filled, fun-filled, stylish night of Drambuie cocktails and complimentary hors d'oeuvres the night before Halloween. The event was located at Level V, a subterranean bar lounge stationed under Vento, a swanky italian restaurant on Hudson Street in NYC. As I descended the staircase I was greeted by 4 attractive hostesses all in black, each carrying a tray of yummy Drambuie elixers. The bar lounge was a long and luxuriously dark, dungeon-like space with stone walls, low tables and cherry colored couches. To each side of the hall were small, private rooms, reserved on most nights for the elite or famous with it's own sound systems, but tonight it was ours for enjoying. The DJ was spinning a fabulous mix of 80's and 90's dance and R&B tunes to start, that I hadn't heard in a long time. By the end of the night he had run the gammut from The Shins, Tom Tom Club and Mary J to Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West and yes, Timberlake.

I normally try to stay clear of any venue located in the meatpacking district of NYC because it usually consists of obnoxious 20-something year old's who simply know they look good and want to be seen and whose primary purpose for the night is to get loaded and get layed. However, I was in the company of good friends and tonight's crowd was an eclectic mix of attractive men and women in their late 20's to early 40's. A well-rounded, working crowd from financiers and business folk to designers and artists. Our collective goal was to enjoy Drambuie inspired treats.
The Drambuie Den spared no expense. Aside from choosing a chic venue and an attentive DJ and hostesses. We were not subjected to an obnoxious moderator, trying to educate us about the drink. Rather we were treated as we aught to have been, as people. People who already know about Drambuie. It was a 3 hour affair and though the lounge was packed wall to wall with people, there were un-ending rounds of cocktails and platters of delicious hors d'oeuvres. The cocktails featured were The Drambuie Fizz, Drambuie & Ginger, The Dolce Vita and Drambuie & Soda. The Fizz was a mixture of Drambuie, lemon juice, crushed ice and a splash of club soda. The Dram & Ginger was simply Drambuie and gingerale (my personal fav). The Dolce Vita was a champagne aperitif with 3 parts champagne to 1 part Drambuie. The Dram & Soda was simply Drambuie, club soda and 2 lime wedges.

The hors d'oeuvres featured various dips and sauces made with Drambuie as well as finger foods that paired well with the drinks. They included a sausage and pumpkin pastry puff, foie grois, the cutest mini lamb burgers complete with mini sesame seed buns and carmelized onions, a mini filet mignon on a ruffled potato chip, a puff pastry with fennel and chocolate dipping sauce, finger sized reuben sandwiches with a delicious drambuie basil dip, baked goat cheese with sliced pears and honey, filo crusted shrimp with sweet drambuie dipping sauce, chicken fingers w/ a creamy sauce.
The Legend:
A zealous Scottish prince, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, thwarted in his attemps to reclaim the British throne, flees across the Scottish highlands to elude the persuing troops and avoid capture. He escapes thanks to the kindness of the highland clans. His gift to them? The recipe for Drambuie Liqueur, a blend of spiced honey and aged Scotch whiskies in a formula kept secret by the MacKinnon family since 1745. This finely crafted Scottish liqueur has a rich taste and an adventurous heritage. Once the revered spirit of a daring individual, it is now for all to enjoy.

They're So Cheesy!

For your next wine and cheese party or any party for that matter, why not serve up a good time with these really "cheesy" Smiley Cheese Knives by Patina Store. Sometimes the little kid in us wants to come out and play. Happens to me all the time! The whimsical smiley faces are sure to get a giggle out of everyone, even the serious cheese enthusiast won't be able to contain a smile. The set of 4 are made from high-quality stainless steel. The set comes with 1 cheese fork and 3 cheese knives. It measures 7.5" x 6.25" and can be purchased for $22.00 at http://www.patinastores.com/Products/Smiley_Cheese_Knives_066532.cfm

"Silly" you say? "Darn right", I say! After imbibing a few glasses of your favorite wine, these cheesy guys might become your new best friends.

Take a look at it here:
cheese knives Smiley Cheese Knives by Patina Store - patina - epic products - smiley cheese knives Stylehive BM 250910 #:250910

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This Little Piggy Went to Market

As far as handmade products are concerned, it's always about the details. Almost anyone can slap a couple of pieces of fabric together and stitch it with a needle and thread and call it handmade and original, but not everyone can construct a handbag pattern that will become an original and stylishly designed item.

Highlighted here is an indie designer, Moop, featured on Etsy. Moop's market bag has a beautiful styling with well stitched seems and pleats across the face. It's made of a midweight brushed canvas in sage green and lined with a lighter sage green cotton fabric. The inside has 6 pockets and 2 D-rings for clipping keys, pouches and other small items. It is spacious and strong enough for a laptop, groceries and books. Great for the budgeting college student as well as the ever ready working woman.

Approximate dimensions:12" across the top, 13" deep, 16" across the bottom. When holding the strap in the middle, the bag hangs about 14" down.

Price is $74.00 and unfortunately only 1 left in stock, so hurry!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Recent Splurge

I've been busy preparing for November market and a few weekend trips that have kept me away from my blog for a while, but I'm back! I just couldn't stay away for too long.

In light of the recent opening of the BCBGMAXAZRIA store on 5th avenue and 40th street, I had determined to mark the occasion with a browse through. I hesitated at first thinking it was just another clothing store and I could find better things downtown or online. I did eventually go in. The decor inside was sparse, illuminated by the bright white walls and ceilings. Assorted alibaster skinned manequins were posed multifariously in BCBG garb throughout the store. The sound of uptempo, heavy bassed music resonated all around me, coaxing me into a jubilant, sociable state of mind. I knew it was playing simply to entice me into investing my hard earned money in some fashionable, trendy accoutrement. Ultimately, it worked!

Frankly, it wasn't just the music or the mood I was in that did it. As I browsed I found quite a few items I could see myself wearing. A couple of silk blouses here, a few trousers and dresses there, I tried on several and made my decision based on fit, style, material and price.

I chose a beautiful pewter colored blouse. I'm currently overdosing on grays but I just can't get myself to commit to brighter colors lately, so pewter it was. It's an adorable smock blouse with a pleated scoop neckline, puffy elbow length sleeves with stitched cuffs, a drop shoulder ruffled seam and a button and loop closure on the left side of the hemline. It fits great, I could wear this out to a party, to dinner, for drinks, to work, with slacks, with jeans, with or without a belt, tucked into a slim skirt, with heels or with flats. I could accessorize it with jewelry or wear it without. Maybe I'll wear this to Thanksgiving dinner! The material is viscose rayon/ polymide and is machine washable. It's just so cute!

I paid about $180 for it at retail and that will go a long way. It was a delightful treat for myself and I had to share it.

If you're NOT near a BCBGMAXAZRIA store, you can find it online at:
BCBGMAXAZRIA Pleated Neck Top - - Nordstrom.com - silk top - silk blouse - bcbg Stylehive BM 246913 #:246913

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Out with the old, In with the new

Since I despise clutter and over-crowding of drawers and closets, about twice a year I go through this ritual of throwing out old clothing to prepare for the next season. I never actually throw them out, I donate them to my local salvation army. Over the years I've also honed my skills at shopping for quality clothes that:

a.) stretch or shrink as little as possible when washed
b.) that still look good even when I'm bloated or put on a few pounds and
c.) that are big enough to be layered with other clothing yet fitted enough to be worn alone and still compliment my figure.

My method for sorting out is simple:
a.) if it doesn't fit anymore (for whatever reason)
b.) if I haven't worn it in a full year
c.) if it's completely out of style and can't be salvage or recyced

it goes in the big black garbage bag.

Since I'd recently gotten rid of alot of long sleeve tops I treated myself to a mini shopping spree. My recent purchases include a steal grey top by Flux Nouveau and a mink colored top from Bread and Butter.

The steal grey kimono jacket is double layered with a waist tie, open kimono sleeves and is 100% MicroModal fabric. Needless to say this top is attractive but it's also comfortable and layerable for when it starts to get chilly out.

The mink colored top is a really cute one with a tie at the neckline, elbow length bubble sleeves and is also made of MicroModal fabric. It's a good feeling to get things that you're excited about wearing. Both tops pair well with slacks or jeans.

MicroModal material is a feather light fabric that is a natural skin hugger. It's properties are similar to cotton and the starting material for MicroModal is beechwood from sustainable managed forests, so it is a natural fabric. It blends well with fine fibers like silk and cashmere and can be spun into fine yarns to make even the finest of lingerie items.

Here are the places to find these shirts.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Style, comfort and value in a New York minute

I woke up one morning about a week ago, hurriedly took a shower, got dressed and started off for work. I walked briskly to the corner of my block, frustratingly hailed a taxi (frustrated because I'd forgotten that there would be an excessive amount of traffic that morning due to a general assembly at the United Nations.)

Finally getting a taxi, I got in and braced myself for the crawl through midtown. I preferred to turn around and go back home because in my haste I had been ignoring the pain from a huge, pulsating blister that had formed on my left heel because of the stylish but snug shoes I was wearing. At that moment I decided I couldn't spend the rest of my already trying day, in pain, so at lunch time I ran across the street to a David Z shoe store and looked around for a pair of shoes that were comfortable but not entirely devoid of style and that would still compliment my attire.

I was looking for something with a heel to give me a little height since I'm short and was wearing pencil thin slacks. The thought of having close fitting pants on such short legs with flat shoes on did not appeal to me. I found what I was looking for by Jeffrey Campbell. It was a pair of round ed toe, covered wedge shoes in a grey/green leather (looks more like heather grey) that has a thin, adjustable ankle strap. Since the wedge part was covered with leather it appeared to look more like a pair of ballet flats with an ankle strap. The inside of the shoe was lilac colored and made it look more feminine and appealing. They were cute enough to wear with slacks or a dress. When I tried them on, to my surprise, they were comfortable too. The leather was soft, so it was pliable enough to bend with each flex of my foot. It had a lightly cushioned inner sole so it could absorb shock. The price was reasonable at $80.00 and I knew I would get alot of wear out of them.

I made my purchase and strode happily across the street to the deli to pick up a quick lunch and then back to work. I walked home that day forgetting about the UN and the aweful traffic.

Check them out here: http://davidzinc.stores.yahoo.net/jcmaude-grn.html

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Modern Housewares

Earlier this year I took a short trip to a couple of my favorite kitchen, housewares stores, Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. I found a few things that I didn't already have but decided I really needed to update my modern, well equipped kitchen and as it turns out I can't live without them!

The Collapsible Silicone Pop Colander™ is a gadget you shouldn't be without. So run out and get one, NOW!

The legs fold under and the silicone strainer expands and collapses so it's not only great for space saving but most importantly it fits neatly into the dishwasher along with all your dishes and packs away flat and neat. Heat resistant to 500°F. Silicone and nylon. Dishwasher safe. 10 in. diameter, 2.4 qt.

Since Paul and I both have discerning palettes I try not to fry or saute food too much. I'll bake, broil, boil or steam rather than frying. In which case my new colandar really comes in handy. I've used it not only for pastas but also when I make beer boiled shrimp (which sounds strange but is scrumptious), boiled crabs with white pepper, lemon and red potatoes or any other shellfish, boiled fingerling potatoes and jerusalem artichoke which I then drizzle with a little olive oil and oregano. I've used it for various boiled vegetables and believe it or not, even chinese boiled chicken (to which I add cooked ginger, garlic, onions, sesame oil and soy sauce) mmmm, delish! If you boil any of your food, you can't go wrong with this item.
Available colors: Blue with white trim or red with white trim. Price is 29.95 http://www.surlatable.com/

I also picked up a set of 3 Wusthof cheese knives ($229.00, Williams-Sonoma) that come with a bamboo storage box. Each knife is tailored for cutting different cheeses. The 5 1/2" soft cheese knife has a holed surface so that soft cheeses like Brie or Camambert don't stick to it. The 5 1/2" hard cheese knife if perfect for cutting through semi-hard cheeses like, my current favorite, Mil Ovejas which is a spanish sheep's milk cheese (by the way, this pairs well with banana chutneyand key flower), the knife is equipped with a pronged tip for picking up slices or small cubes. The 2 3/4" knife is a Parmesan knife with a wide surface so you can get long thin slices of cheese.
Wusthof is a reliable name in cutlery. Unfortunate for American cutlery products though, the german engineered steel far surpasses any american made steel knife. It just lasts longer and stays sharp longer. I'll be sure to use this for my next wine & cheese party. Who am I kidding, we love cheese around here...I'll be using it like, today!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why I love New York...

It was great to be a kid growing up in the 70's and 80's in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Our neighborhood was not too diverse at the time though, alot of italians, some irish and a few hispanic people. The brownstone that we lived in was a nice size for a family of 4. With plenty of space we lived modestly yet comfortably. My family, our next door neighbors and our cousins were the only filipinos- CORRECTION, we were the only asian families around an approximate 10 block radius of our home. My sister and I were 2 of only 3 asians in our grammar school for some time. We had a great childhood. Hanging out with friends on the swings in Carroll Park, playing touch football in the streets on 2nd place, dancing around a friends living room to Duran Duran and Big Country on 1st place and playing 7 seconds at my cousins house on 3rd street. I have memories of walking to our neighboring Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights with friends in the summer time. Eating pizza around Henry Street, sitting on someone's stoop on Clinton St. Walking along the promenade with a view of the East River across from South Street Seaport, passing by Pineapple St and Pierrepont Place, buying audio tapes on Montague Street. Most significantly was that Carroll Gardens was only 10 minutes away from New York City so we would take frequent trips into Manhattan for various reasons.

My dad, Fred worked as a computer programmer for some of the best financial companies of that time including The New York Stock Exchange, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, First Boston, and Shearson Lehman (before they merged with Smith Barney and then broke off again and changed their name a few more times). Alot of our trips involved meeting up with my dad after he got out of work on Saturday afternoons. He worked from Monday to Friday but would occasionally switch off a weekday to take a Saturday shift where he could work from 8am to 2pm. Because he worked within the World Trade Center when I was young, he would take us atop the twin towers to view all of the surrounding city. Though as kids we thought it was fun being up so high, we didn't appreciate it half as much as we do now. As part of his company's perks he got special discount shopping privilages at some of the stores within the towers. One of my memories was shopping for fragrances at the Estee Lauder company store.

I also remember one of the companies he worked for hosting a massive sit-down Christmas dinner at one of the offices in the twin towers. Hundreds of families were there and after dinner all the kids got to line up and tell Santa Claus what they wanted for Christmas. Little did we know that inside one of the side rooms were wall to wall toys, everything from matchbox cars, to bikes to dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, model planes and gameboards! Each kid could go in and pick out whichever toy he wanted for free! Since I loved helping my mom in the kitchen when I was young I chose a cooking set that included a stove top, mini pots and pans, a mixer and blender that ran on batteries, dishes and silverware. For my sister and I it was the night of our lives! I still can't believe that companies back then were that generous to flip the bill for humongous family events like that.

During the holiday season we would visit SantaLand at Macy's Herald Square, buy our Christmas outfits on the fifth floor, where the children's and junior clothing was located in those days. My mom would want to see the Christmas trees on the 8th floor and buy beautiful tree decorations. We would then grab a quick lunch at Chock Full O' Nuts also on the 8th floor at the time or stop by a nearby McDonald's. We'd walk along fifth avenue, over to Rockefeller Center to see the tree all lit up. We'd eat roasted nuts from a nut shop in the Rock Center promenade that's no longer there, stand on a long line for what seemed like forever so we could enjoy an hour of ice skating fun and indulge in some family time. When we got tired we'd head home. There were also trips to St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Rockefeller Center Observation Deck, not to mention seeing the Nutcracker and Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall-more perks from working for financial companies.

On non-holidays my dad would take us through wall street to Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty and South Street Seaport. There were trips to the Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum, The MOMA. When he worked at First Boston on 56th and Madison we'd meet him in the Atrium surrounded by live bamboo trees, birds and sculpture. Then we would stroll along Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Center and grab a snack of hotdogs or pretzels from the sidewalk vendors. We were like tourists, taking pictures in the sunlight with the giant gold figure of prometheus lurking in the background. Some weekends would be spent at the Central Park Zoo or just laying out on the grass in Sheepshead Meadow eating a small picnic lunch we would pick up at a deli on the way there.

My aunt (dad's sister) was an optometrist who owned and operated an optical store on E. 40th St. between 5th and Madison Avenue for over 20 years. She worked 6 days a week including Saturdays because Saturday was one of the busiest days since many of her clients lived within walking distance from her store. My uncle would drive in from Queens to pick her up after she was done for the day. So it was not uncommon for the group of us (mom, dad, me, sis, aunt and uncle) to get together and spend a Saturday in Manhattan. Sometimes to have dinner at Wo Hop in chinatown or La Nacional on West 14th st.

Having lived in NYC before buying a house out in Queens and being the sophisticated shopper that she was my aunt always took us to the best department stores in New York City that we would otherwise never have gone into. Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, B. Altman. She also took us down to Soho for more shopping excursions. She loved to shop and still does! It was fascinating to watch her. Even to this day she can still spot the next big trend. She and my dad had a silent, yet powerful influence on me. When we'd visit her and my uncle at home my sister and I would entertain ourselves in her shoe/cosmetic closet and in her attic full of designer clothes for hours. She was always a good sport about it. We would lose ourselves in the eyeshadow colors, the irridescents, the frosteds, the mattes. The images of the brand logos burned into my mind-Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Lancome, Givenchy, Nina Ricci, Clinique, Dior, Chanel, Lauder, Arden, Charles Jourdan, Pierre Cardin, Vittorio Ricci, Gucci, Evan Piccone.

Because of these after work visits we had the opportunity as a family to enjoy the city in ways that most native Brooklynites didn't get to do until later in their lives or unless it was a special occasion. It was fun for us. We got to experience all of these wonderful city landmarks long before our grammar schools or high schools organized class trips, long before we'd have social gatherings here with college friends and long before we started working here.

Sadly shortly after I finished college and was back from campus life, my dad past away. He had been sick but his death was still sudden and unexpected to us. He was a man that we thought was immortal. He was strong, brilliant, sophisticated, wise and yet frail. He was the man that helped us discover ourselves. His influences are with me today in all that I do from my career to my relationships. My mom has since sold our home in Brooklyn and bought a condo in Westchester. My sister moved to London where she now lives and works.

I'm grateful that my family was sophisticated enough to expose us to the cultured and exciting "world" that Manhattan is. It's made my working life here all the more meaningful. I am also grateful that they taught us to enjoy the richness around us and be thankful for the things we have. Though so many people would argue that New York is too crowded, too cramped and too fast, I have a memory bank full of great moments in New York City. This is one of the biggest reasons why living and working here is so fulfilling to me, not to mention that it's great to be able to walk home from work.

I was fortunate enough to have met someone who appreciates New York City as much as I do. This city has so much history and we have yet to learn about it. So now my fiance, the head trader at his firm, a history buff and lover of all things New York and I have spent moments seeking out good eats at places like Cafe Des Artiste, Annisa, Blue Point, Blue Water Grill, El Parador, Roberto Passon, Kelly and Ping, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Yama, Taka to name only a few. We'd buy our meats at Faicco's on Bleeker, buy our cheese from Murray's Cheese. We've grabbed a drink or 2 at Frances Tavern or Chumleys or McSorleys. From time to time I'd have an afteroon of tea at Takashimaya with my mom when she comes to visit. We now order our meats and produce online from Fresh Direct. When we're not eating and drinking up New York we're walking the streets reading the various historical plaques on the buildings and park statues. At the end of the month we'll be with friends and family at Fort Tryon Park near the Cloisters enjoying a day of open air festivities.

My dad left a legacy of love for this city. I hope that when I have my own family I can pass along the fun, wonderful things that my dad passed along to me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Apartment, An Artful Home

My fiance Paul and I had talked about purchasing original artwork or a collectible item of modest value that we could enjoy in our home and also later pass down to our future children and grandchildren. Our thought was to get something that was decorative but had real worth to it, not just in its pricetag but also in its craftsmanship, aesthetics and the fact that we truly liked it.

We visited Gilmor Glassworks, a fine glass gallery in Dutchess County, New York where Paul's brother lives. It's a gallery and studio located near the Birkshires of Massachusetts where you can view the techniques of creating art glass. It was founded by John and Jan Gilmor in 1977. John is an accomplished molten glassmaker and Jan's background is in the fine and performing arts. The gallery houses stunning and original works of handblown glass. The magnitude of shapes and colors that can be created through handblowing glass is amazing! Gilmor Glassworks carries many interesting items including jewelry, stemware, perfume bottles and vases. It obviously takes great skill and time to compose the various shapes and manipulate the transparencies in each piece. We found that the best way to gain a better grasp of its weight and value was through sight and touch. Once we saw them up close, held them and witnessed the glassmaking process it changed our perception of glassware. The first image here is of the Tortoise Collection from the Gilmor studio. They are currently having their 30th Anniversary sale till the end of September. See more at http://www.gilmorglass.com/

We settled on a signed, one of a kind vase of blue, green, mocha and beige because it matched the color scheme of a painting we have on our living room wall and would look great on our mantle. A mantle and fire place in Hells Kitchen, New York is a rare feature but because it's an older building they kept certain architectural details in tact. Fortunately when I moved into this apartment a few years ago it was an inexpensive rental with the option to buy and luckily I had saved some money over the years. I then got a better job, saved up more money and a short time later I bought the apartment. I had furniture from my previous place so the only thing left was to decorate my new place. Within that time frame Paul moved in, so my apartment became our apartment. Now it's not just our apartment, it's our comfy, cozy home which is now furnished with highspeed internet cable, satelite radio, dishwasher, eat in kitchen, backyard view and walk in closet, ok let's just say I got really lucky! It's ours at least till after we're married. Then we'll have to sell, get a bigger place and refurnish, but our beautiful vase will of course come with us and adorn some space in our new home. Now that the vase is ours, it has become a special conversation piece and has helped us to aquire an elevated appreciation for its artform.

To highlight another glass artisan, the second picture above is of vases by Corey Silverman. We don't often view glass as collectibles anymore but the vases pictured here are real keepers. The rich berry color and translucency with swirls of light and dark are stunning. They are handblown and signed by the artist. The art of handblown glass has become somewhat of a lost art with most of the decorative home items nowadays being mass produced overseas. So in its own rite these vases are valuable as well as beautiful. Seeing these stirred something inside of me and reminded me of the beauty of glassware. These vases would be a wise purchase and a wonderful addition to any room in your home.

Small vase: 10"H x 3"D
Large vase: 18"H x 5"D

Large (left) $1725 & s+h: $65

Small (right) $480 & s+h: $20

Set as Shown $2100 & s+h: $85

Berry Smoke Set: Corey Silverman: Art Glass Vases - The Artful Home - art - silverman - artists Stylehive BM 200279 #:200279

Eco-Friendly Fashion

Ok, so there's been alot of concern lately about energy conservation and saving our environment, what with Al Gore's movie "An Inconvernient Truth" scaring most everyone into believing that raw materials like trees and water are not being replenished fast enough to meet our over-consumption. Now LA has banned plastic bags since plastic is not bio-degradable. I personally don't buy into Al Gore's notions of global warming however I still believe that we can do small things on a daily basis or even weekly basis that can alleviate using too much of anything. My office alone goes through copy paper daily like its going out of style. At the end of each week I think to myself, "What a waste!"

I recently purchased a nifty and stylish heavy weight polyester bag by Envirosax at one of my local housewares/gadget stores and I originally bought it because it was attractive and compact. I'm usually drawn to things that are small or that fold up small and fit into my handbag so I can be prepared for almost anything, wherever I am. I carry it around with me in case I have extra things to take home or drop off. Little did I know that it's a re-usable grocery bag, but to me it's more than that because I use it for alot of things- sometimes to carry extra shoes to work, sometimes to carry paperwork, sometimes to carry groceries or other bought items, so upon reading about it on a style network I was delighted to learn that I was being green! I think this product is great because it looks great and it encourages us all to be a little green. Thanks to the Australian based team at Envirosax.

More about it...Lightweight, waterproof, reusable, affordable. This assortment of 5 eco-friendly and super-groovy Envirosax are rolled up in a carrying pouch small enough to stow into a glove box or a handbag. With reinforced seams, each surprisingly large bag holds the equivalent weight of 2 supermarket plastic bags. The "Retro" design is great for guys and gals...so everyone can be Green! Size: 19.5" x 16.5"5 reusable bags in travel pouch; Less than $7 a bag! $7.95 flat rate shipping (no matter how much you buy!) And don't forget to snag some reusable product bags too!

Here's a link to purchase it: http://www.delight.com/Envirosax-Delightfully-Hip-Reusable-Grocery-Bags

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Working Woman

Are you a working woman with a need for fashionable and functional accessories? Look no more- here's what you need. It's a beautiful red AANETA leather handbag by Amuleto Cordoban. Paired with a sleek navy blue pencil skirt, a pair of comfortable pumps and a coordinating pair of dark red framed eyeglasses. This bag has just enough shine on the leather to show it's rich quality. Functional and just a little fancy, this sleek work bag has a demure quality. Leather handbag with zipper closure, exterior pockets, interior zipper and cell phone pockets, two 14" handles and a removable 38" strap for when your hands are full with blackberry and paperwork. Dimensions: 14"H x 18"L x 3"D

At $382.00 you really can't go wrong. You'll get a lot of wear from this bag during the week as well as on the weekends when you're dressed down and going out with friends.

shop for it at shebang :: handbags :: amuleto cordoban - women - gold - trendy Stylehive BM 231336 #:231336

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This was too cute not to write about. It's a wool felt applique white cat on a canvas background snap wallet. That's a mouthfull! I think that expression-less innocent looking face says it all. The details...his button nose really is a button- a snap button that is! The wallet is actually machine sewn around the edges so it's secure but the whip stitching gives it that crafted-made at home by loving hands look. There's an inner pocket that holds a few flat items like credit cards, cash and ID. Pictured here is the orange version but it comes in a variety of colors. Sadly the orange version sold out today on etsy.com. Whoa is me! But if you get lucky maybe they'll post more after they're made. Keep you're eyes out for it- seems to be a catchy item. I happen to be someone who loves both dogs and cats- yes call me crazy! That's one of the reasons this item caught my eye. It brings out the inner child in me (not too hard to do.)

School Boy Chic

"You've been a bad, bad boy!", cried the school teacher. The verdict is in....Oxfords rule this fall. Its a bit different from the preppy look we normally associate with the word "oxford" but it definitely gets its influence from it. The look encompasses a little of that rock n' roll look from the 70's with the platfrom and the high heel and a little of the conservative , signature lace up front and patch detail that we've come to know as the oxford look. Bordering on the masculine side but with a femanine silhouette. Here's a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker rockin' this look. To the far left is one by Benetton. In the center is one by Casadei, $655; at Hu's Shoes, 202-342-0202. Consider this a bootie (not quite a shoe, not quite a boot.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Boots or Shoes? Both!

MARC B by Jenny O

Shoe update, great look!

Welcome fall with these stylish Marc B booties by Jenny O. It has that victorian inspired lace up front with a modern day muted metallic leather and skinny heel. The laces are leather, front panel is fabric and it has a low back. I think this would go great with opaque burgundy hose or dark brown skinny slacks and knitted bubble sweater. It's an exciting new high heeled pump. Be the first of your friends to wear it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week- Spring 2008

Featured Designer: Karen Walker

So it's that time again. New York Fashion week has sprung upon us with great enthusiasm. Welcomed by Mercedes-Benz. The style buzz is everywhere. It's always fun to see what new-ness our American designers come up with. I liked Karen Walker. Her looks embody an American style with a little twist. Not conservative but wearable. A little flirty, very hip with a touch of edge. Note the hats and headwear, very fadora-like. I'm still seeing the trapeze style dresses and shorts. Nice mixes of solids with patterned fabrics. Casual, stylish, daytime to evening. All good. I'm sold!


Large Wall Art

Have you ever moved into a new apartment or home with so much wall space you couldn't decide what to do with it? YEAH RIGHT! Not likely if you live in a New York city apartment, but let's just pretend for a second, shall we?

A great way to fill up a blank wall is with this powder coated metal open air sculpture. It's basically op art that plays with positive and negative space. It serves as a conversation piece and art. It is a great item for those of you who prefer minimalist style. The white version is great for adding contrast to a dark wall. It also comes in graphite grey. It measures 49" x 27" and costs $179.00. Shop for this and similar items at thisnext or at http://www.wingarthome.com/.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Prepared for anything

I support any item or gadget, be it tech, makeup or wallet that alleviates carrying around a bulky heavy bag. I find myself tired all the time because I have a habit of carrying as much with me as possible (thanks, mom for turning me into an ultra prepared woman!) This Christian Dior silver ID bracelet has a secret compartment that holds 2 Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss lip glosses (pink shimmer and light bronze shimmer.) It's great for those spontaneous office meetings that don't give you a chance to primp. At least your lips will show up well groomed. The ID bracelet also has the signature Dior logo on the front.

Check it out here: Dior Gourmette at Sephora - cosm - bracelet - makeup Stylehive BM 36883 #:36883

New moon, new nails

Keep your eyes or rather your nails open for the manicure of the moment...the reverse french manicure or otherwise known as the half moon. Popularized by screen sirens like Jean Harlow, it was a stylish look in the late 1930's and 40's during the great hollywood film era of that time. Now seen sporting this look are Dita Von Teese, Fergie and Gwen Stefani. It was also caught in action during the Dior Fall 2007 runway show as white half moons and tips.

If you choose to welcome fall in with this nail polish glam then make sure to pair the half moons with the right colors, maybe a deep red or deep burgundy metallic. Try it out!

Little Beau Chic

Beau Soleil Beau Knot Dress

I take a liking to things that are different or a bit unusual so naturally I liked this dress when I saw it. It's a grey asymmetrical dress by Beau Soleil Beau. It features a right side strap with knot where the fabric is gathered to one side. It reaks of style and comfort all at once and it's very playful. Easy color to work with, the fabric moves with you but doesn't cling. Wear it with flats or pumps or even strappy sandals before this summer is gone. You can even cover up a bit with a cropped bolero jacket if its a little chilly in the evening. One thing's for sure, you'll have fun wearing it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Giving Tree


We've seen alot of laser cut, open work pendants and earrings as of late. The update to this is the "stamped" or cut out motifs. This is a great example of that and it's especially pretty because of the leaf patterns and the little diamond accent. I've done a similar stamped style of a peacock which should be coming out soon, stay tuned for details...

Since this is gold Vermeil, you get the look of real without blowing your budget. I think its exquisitely done and very tasteful. Kudos to Jennifer Zeuner!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Vanessa Bruno clothing is like crack for the fashionista! You will find many must have pieces that will help you float through the holiday season in a stylish high. Take this coat for instance... Brown wool, funnel neck, pleated bell sleeves, asymmetrcial buttoned placket and slit pockets. So many fun details, so little time! If you can't justify buying something like this for yourself at
$855.00 then consider buying it as a Christmas gift for your best friend or sister who happens to be the same size as you! I mean there should always be a reason for you to enjoy your purchases. Now you won't have to choose between warmth and style. Take a peak at it here...Vanessa Bruno Bell sleeve coat - NET-A-PORTER.COM - wool - brown - seaming Stylehive BM 219153 #:219153