Monthly Archives: April 2011

Peep Toe Season Has Begun!

The big day is finally here! Royal Wedding? What Royal Wedding? I’m talking about the one-year anniversary of Non-Plastic, guys! Kate and William should be forever grateful that their anniversary will be aligned with my blog’s forever (or maybe they are just grateful that they get to be royal and choose which palace they’d like to take up residence in. Whatever).

On that note, let’s turn our attention to shoes and away from the most over-examined marriage in history. With the weather in New York finally warming up (let it be known that I didn’t wear a jacket yesterday!), it’s time for legs and feet to come out of hibernation and out into the sunlight. After a quick at-home pedicure a few nights ago, I finally felt confident enough to break out a new pair of peep-toe kitten heels that I bought recently (pictured top left). I love that the heels on these shoes are comfortable enough to do some walking in, but the super-feminine details keep them from looking like your standard pair of run-around-town shoes. I’m not sure where I’d wear the sparkly pink Kate Spade heels, but I’m imagining them with a chic white cocktail dress at an evening poolside rooftop party. Because, you know, I go to so many of those.

(From top left, clockwise): Franco Sarto Fine Pump (pssst… I got mine at DSW for less money — check your local store!), Nine West Danee, Kate Spade New York Charm Heel


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Filed under Fashion, Random, Shopping

Easter Dinner

This year, Easter was more exciting than usual for me — my family decided to come down to New York and hold our celebrations at my apartment. Yep, that’s right! I hosted this year. My mom usually hosts every holiday, so she was particularly excited that someone else was taking the reins for once. It wasn’t a very big crowd; just my mom, step-dad, sister, and a friend who was visiting from Europe. On the menu? We started the morning with coffee and palmiers. Then in the afternoon, we had a delicious appetizer that my mom brought of fresh chopped lobster, avocado, red onion, and watercress in a tangy dressing. Dinner was lamb with a dried cherry and port sauce, along with Israeli couscous with asparagus and peas, plus a glazed carrot recipe that used to be my grandfather’s recipe.

Of course we didn’t scrimp on dessert either! I taught my sister how to make macarons, and together we whipped up a batch of strawberry with vanilla buttercream and one of lemon curd-filled vanilla cookies. My mom also brought an amazing lemongrass and ginger creme brulee, which unfortunately we didn’t snap any pictures of before we devoured it. Then of course, there was the chocolate that my Swiss friend never fails to bring with him when he visits.

I think the dinner was a huge success, especially given that my one square of counter space in my kitchen measures approximately 2 feet x 3 feet — not a lot of space to work with! Imagine if I had a regular-sized kitchen… oh, the possibilities!

** All of these photos were taken by my sweet little sister, who properly documented my first holiday as I ran around the kitchen like a maniac. Thanks, Stephi!**

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Filed under Food, New York City, Recipes

Vegetarian Tacos

I’m not a dedicated vegetarian, but I do really enjoy vegetarian cooking. There is something really satisfying about taking a bunch of fresh veggies and turning them into something wonderful, and this recipe for chickpea, spinach, feta and pepita tacos is a prime example of that. Before you get started, note that this recipe cooks down a lot, so I’d suggest doubling it for a one-person dinner serving!

This dish is so simple to make — literally all it requires is for you to chop up a few things, toss them in a pan on the stovetop, and cook for less than 10 minutes. You start with a dash of ancho chile in the bottom of the pan — don’t worry if you aren’t a spicy food person, because ancho is incredibly mild and has very minimal heat. After softening the shallots and garlic, you throw in tomatoes and chickpeas for a few minutes.

Right before serving, mix in the spinach and let it wilt for a minute. Fill up your tortillas with the filling, and top with avocado, feta, and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)! That’s it! The chickpeas fill in for the meat you would normally use in this dish, and they are an excellent source of protein, so rest assured that this meal will stick with you through the day. As an added bonus, there are so many awesome textures and flavors going on here — creamy avocados, salty feta cheese, crunchy pepitas… you really can’t lose with this one!

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Travel Essentials

In just under two weeks, I’ll be taking off for my trip to Europe (can you tell that I’m a little anxious to get there already?). I’ll admit that I’m not terribly fond of flying, partially because I have a constant fear that the engine will die and the plane will just drop out of the sky (it would be a gradual drop, according to my boyfriend the science nerd, but a drop nonetheless), but also because I always feel like crap when I get to my destination. The recycled air is dry and disgusting, and the airline food sure doesn’t do wonders for your breath. In an attempt at being a normal, pulled-together human being when my friend picks me up from the airport, here’s what I’m bringing with me:

Sephora Pop-Up Hairbrush — After resting my head against the seat for 7 hours, I’m gonna need a little brush-through before landing!

Rosebud Salve Tube — Seeing that airplanes are the most drying places in existence, it’s important to have something to keep the moisture in. I love that Rosebud Salve now comes in a tube so that you don’t have to stick your fingers in a pot of it. This works just as well as a moisturizer on cuticles too, since mine tend to dry out on planes!

Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mini — This bitty version of one of the best mascaras (in my opinion) is the perfect size to carry on and touch up with.

Sephora Lush Flush Lip & Cheek Stain — This is my favorite product for adding a quick swipe of color back into my face — it works both on lips and cheeks, which means that I have one less product to carry with me!

Mini toothbrush — Gross airplane breath. Enough said!

Travel-sized deodorant — Again, airplane + 7 hours = freshen up!

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Filed under Beauty, Shopping, Travel

Book Recommendation: Parisian Chic

When the lovely and timeless Ines de la Fressange released Parisian Chic a few weeks ago, I was intrigued. By the time I got around to trying to buy it, it was sold out. The sales people at Borders told me that they had a lot of people asking for it, and Barnes & Noble had not a single copy on the shelf. Luckily, I was able to order it online and I cracked it open as soon as I sat down on the train for my evening commute home.

First of all, this book is going to look quite chic on my bookshelf. The cover is a simple red with gold lettering, and there is a single red ribbon placeholder attached at the spine — love! As soon as I started reading though, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stop. This book has a wonderful voice, and you can almost hear Ines’s lovely French accent as you read through. The writing is very Garance Doré-esque in its sort of random thought-bubble style (in fact, her blog is listed as a must-visit in the book!), which makes it very charmante!

Accessible Fashion: Unlike many things written by the fashion set, Parisian Chic is really lighthearted and inclusive — Ines acknowledges the fact that not everyone can afford to shop at Chanel, and in fact she claims that those who are truly stylish leave people wondering if her jacket is designer or from a trendy lower-priced store because they can’t tell the difference. She focuses on the power of styling, not just purchasing.

All Ages: As a 23-year-old, I really enjoyed the advice that Ines had to give about personal style, but I think my mom would equally enjoy her advice on dressing for ages 40+. She makes getting older seem not quite so scary, but rather just another evolution of style!

The Magnificent Seven: Ines has seven signature pieces that should be in every chic woman’s wardrobe — some of them I own already, and some of them I’m now wondering why I don’t own. I love that she also offers “faux pas” advice on how not to wear things.

Paris Secrets: I was really excited to see that Ines spends a great deal of time making recommendations for visitors to Paris. I’m already mentally dogearing pages in this book for the places I want to check out (no real dogearing in this book — it’s too pretty!).

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants some helpful advice on upping the chic factor in their life. I know mine could always use a little more!

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Filed under Books, Fashion, Travel

Palmiers (Angel Wings)

If these little pastries came with a disclaimer, it would read: “Warning. Do not make when home alone.” Unfortunately, I did not take this into consideration, and subsequently I ended up eating nearly the entire batch of these flaky treats. Let me point out that there is a stick and a half of butter in one batch of palmiers, so I’ll be hitting the gym extra hard this week.

I’ve always liked Palmiers (or elephant ears, or angel wings, or whatever name you call them by), but it wasn’t until recently that I had a really good one from Balthazar. It got me thinking about making them at home, and so I started looking up recipes. Most of the recipes that I found online suggested using store-bought frozen puff pastry. However, anyone who knows me knows that I’m more of the “take the long route” kind of girl, so I found this recipe for a completely homemade pastry dough.

The dough itself was very easy to make. You grate frozen butter into the flour and salt mixture and then add a little water. The real challenge of this recipe is the amount of time it takes — about 5 hours start to finish. After your dough is made, you then have to roll it out, fold it and chill it about 4 times which ends up being time consuming. The end product is totally worth it though! These guys are perfectly flaky and buttery, which makes a nice pairing with a good cup of coffee or tea.

Most of mine came out great, with the exception of a few burned ones when I got distracted by the TV and lost track of oven time (damn you, Juno, and your offbeat musings about teen pregnancy). I should also note that I have no idea why this recipe says that it yields 6 dozen cookies… I got 2 dozen out of my batch.


Filed under Food, Recipes

Planning for Paris

So, I’ve sort of alluded to the fact that I may or may not be taking a little jaunt over to Europe this spring (I planned my wardrobe already). I am actually going in just a little over three weeks! I’ll be visiting friends in Geneva and Lyon who I haven’t seen in a while. I’m pretty psyched about the whole thing… it’s only been a year since I was last in Europe, but the last time I was in France was nearly 10 years ago! It was my first international trip at the tender age of 13 with my grandparents, and I credit that trip for shaping so much of who I am today.

What I’m most excited about is that my good friend from college who now lives in Lyon asked me on Skype a few weeks ago, “Wanna take a few days and go to Paris?” Exactly what I was hoping she’d say! Immediately I had visions of pain au chocolat, macarons, and the glass ceiling at Printemps dancing in my head!

The only problem about Paris is that it’s pretty expensive, much like New York. My friend and I are going to try a new kind of accommodation during our stay in the city of lights: apartment rental! I first heard about short-term apartment rentals when I stumbled across Grantourismo!, a really cool blog written by a professional travel writing couple who traveled for a year staying only in apartment rentals — no hotels! I had the pleasure of meeting one of the writers during their stay in New York, and the more I learned about their experiences, the more I was intrigued by the idea of trying it myself. We’re working on booking now through, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

Thanks to Jason on Flickr for the photo!

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Filed under Travel