Monthly Archives: March 2011

Shoe Love: Marais USA

I’m in the market for some new shoes — big time. I tend to be one of those people who wear shoes into the ground, and my go-to flats are definitely feeling a little drafty lately since there is a hole in the toe. Oops!

A few weeks ago, I saw the shoe collection from Marais USA, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. The shoes are really cute and not overly expensive. The thing I like most about them is that they have really clean and simple designs, which I think would translate into a really easily wearable pair of shoes!

The Two-toned Flat is a great basic flat with a kid suede toe. I’d love them in the cranberry color to replace my favorite pair of red flats that are falling apart!

Another great basic with a sporty side-cutout! The Mercer Flat comes in a pretty sick key lime color that would instantly breathe life into an otherwise plain outfit.

This Kitten Heel style has everything a great warm-weather shoe should have — bright color, a heel low enough to run around in, and plenty of peep toe to show off your pedicure. And even better, it’s on sale right now!

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Little White Dress

White has never been my best color. I’ve convinced myself over the years that my skin is just far too pale to carry it off, especially when it comes to dresses. I love the idea of a pretty, flowy, feminine white dress, but I picture myself looking more like Ophelia (you know, after she drowned in the river) than like the free-spirited hippie frolicking in a flowery meadow.

I finally got over my fear and ordered a white dress from ASOS last week, but when it arrived today I was disappointed — the color and style were great, but the dress was cut a little awkwardly and the fabric was so sheer that even wearing a slip underneath revealed more than I was willing to show off in public. So now the good news is that the color (or absence of color) looked good on me. The bad news is that I need to find a dress constructed well enough to conceal what needs to be concealed. Here are a few I’ve got my eye on.

Staring at Stars Gauze Dress at Urban Outfitters — This dress is lovely and simple, and the off-white color of the fabric works a little better on pasty girls like me!

Trina Turk Geralyn Dress at Piperlime — Oh, how I wish I could afford this beauty right now. The cut of this dress is so pretty and flattering, and the lace adds a nice touch of class to it.

Sunburst Maxi Dress at Free People — This is definitely something I’d have to wear a belt with so that it didn’t look huge, but I’m really liking the length of this dress and the pleated detail at the bust. It would look adorable with a brown belt cinched at the waist and a really bright bag to add a little color.

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Cherry Macarons

Happy first day of spring! In honor of one of my favorite spring fruits, I whipped up a batch of cherry macarons this weekend, which turned out quite lovely! I just filled a vanilla cookie with a buttercream that I added cherry preserves to. I topped the macarons with diced bits of dried cherries for some decoration as well!

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts at Alta, NYC

For my birthday this year, my boyfriend took me out for a nice dinner at Alta, a tapas restaurant downtown. A friend of mine recommended the restaurant to us and told me that we couldn’t miss out on their brussel sprout dish. I like brussel sprouts, but they definitely aren’t high on my “must-have” vegetables list — as my sister once put it when she was little, brussel sprouts are sort of just little “cabbage wannabes.”

The dish at Alta ended up being delicious, and so naturally I wanted to re-create it at home. I found this recipe online that was pretty close to what we had at the restaurant. I didn’t have any pistachios on hand, so I went without them this time, but it was still a successful dish! The sweetness of the apples balances out the slight bitterness of the crispy outer leaves. The balsamic vinegar and honey reduction pulls everything together nicely and makes this an easy side dish to baked chicken.

 

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Thinking of Japan

I was shocked and saddened at the news of Japan’s massive earthquake when I woke up this morning. Of course this disaster is as terrible as any of the many natural disasters that our world has faced over the past few years, but this one hits an emotional ch0rd for me as I have many friends there (most of whom I’ve confirmed are safe!), and a real appreciation for the people there in general. I studied in Japan during a summer six years ago, and the people I encountered there welcomed my slightly scared and inexperienced 17-year-old self with open arms.

I enjoyed Nicholas Kristof’s op-ed today, which talks about the incredible way in which the Japanese people are part of  a strong “social fabric” that keeps them together during times of crisis like this. I sincerely hope that this is what we see coming out of reports in the coming days and weeks as the country tries to pull itself back together.

And so, to everyone in Japan: ganbatte kudasai!

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Under the Weather…

So, I really haven’t disappeared off the face of the planet… I’ve just come down with a terrible cold that has made every day this week a bit of a struggle so far. While I’m off sipping tea and trying to get better, enjoy this (picture of a) cupcake that I made using this recipe from my friend Emily’s blog. Her version is done with lavender buttercream, but since I couldn’t find any dried lavender at my market, I went with a bit of rosewater in the buttercream instead. Yum!!

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Wagashi from Minamoto Kitchoan

So, it’s my birthday. Wahoo. I’m not feeling particularly celabratory about this one, but I’m still a young 20-something so I can’t complain! I’m looking forward to spending a long weekend with my boyfriend, visiting my sister and seeing some friends along the way! My awesome roommate gave me my birthday gifts last night, which included these amazing wagashi from Minamoto Kitchoan, a beautiful Japanese sweets shop in New York.

She even remembered that my absolute favorite seasonal treat is the sakuranbo (pictured above in the pink wrapper), a rainier cherry suspended in a subtly cherry-flavored gelatin. It was too tempting to wait to eat them, so naturally I brewed myself a cup of hot tea and dug in! If that isn’t a nice way to start a birthday, I don’t know what is!

Also, did you notice that my pictures are exponentially better in this post? Of course you did! That’s courtesy of my awesome Dad and step-mom who gifted me with a brand-new Canon Powershot SD1400 for my birthday! I’m beyond psyched, especially as I have an upcoming trip across the pond (more on that later!).

 

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