Monthly Archives: May 2011

It’s Shocking! Neons for Spring

No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to pull myself away from ne0n colors. Like a moth attracted to an outrageously obnoxious fluorescent light, I keep coming back to this bright and punchy spring trend while never having the courage to just go on and try it. Although you’ll probably (ok, make that definitely) never see me in the lovely Christopher Kane number pictured above, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate a little more fluo-fun into my wardrobe for spring.

This pair of heels from Zara marries two partners of one of the best color combinations, in my opinion: nude and fluorescent. The neutral color of the shoe balances out the crazy pop of bright yellow, making it completely wearable.

If you haven’t seen and/or drooled over one of Cambridge Satchel Co.‘s fluorescent satchels yet, I don’t really know where you’ve been. I can imagine that wearing one of these bags with an otherwise simple outfit would just make such a statement. The other awesome thing is that you can opt to have your initials embossed on the front of the bag, which I think is so old-timey and cool.

Would I wear this dress? Maybe if I had a really, really good excuse to look like a paillette-ed Big Bird. I can’t imagine how much this sucker by ASOS BLACK weighs, much less how you’d sit down in it without ruffling your sequins into a terrible state, but sometimes there are more important things in life than answering rational questions.

I really love the beautiful, tailored look of this Nanette Lepore blouse, and it’s made just that much better by being bright, neon orange. This is definitely a more wearable option than the Big Bird dress, but obviously not as risky. And let’s face it… if you don’t take a little risk and look like you’re lost and trying to find your way back to Sesame Street, how much fun are you really having?

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5 Goals for Summer 2011

After seeing a post about summer to-do lists on Gala Darling last week, I decided that it is about time that I get my own started. In my opinion, New York City is one of the best places to be during the summer. Sure, it’s really hot (I mean, SWELTERING hot sometimes!), but this city really comes alive during the summer months. The parks turn into beaches with people sprawled out on the grass in bathing suits and shades, any restaurant with a tiny piece of sidewalk to spare opens a “patio” out front, and people actually go out and do things after work instead of rushing home to hide away from the weather.

1. Go to the beach — It is really, insanely easy to get to lots of beaches from here, both in New York and New Jersey. Last year, I spent one day at the Jersey shore (no, not that Jersey Shore) and that was it. I grew up about 30 minutes from a beach, and some of my best childhood memories involve spontaneous mid-week trips to the beach with my mom where I ate too much salt water taffy and dove headfirst into the freezing Atlantic.

2. Devote more time to writing — I’m buying myself a new notebook this week and doing things the old-fashioned way. It’s amazing to me how many of my creative ideas when I was younger came from doodles and random notes scrawled in notebooks. I think I need to get away from the computer, sit myself down in the sunshine and let myself be one with the blank page again!

3. Take advantage of SummerStage SummerStage is really one of New York’s best summer programs… they provide a ton of free events, from comedy shows to concerts. I used to go more often when I was in college, but last summer I didn’t go to one event!


4. Learn how to make a perfect margarita — I love cooking and baking, but one area that I haven’t explored much is making cocktails. I chose a margarita for this list, since margaritas are the perfect compliment to a warm summer night and a group of good friends.

5. Laugh more often — Sometimes the weather can really dictate your mood, and since it has been cold here since November, I’m really tired of being in a blah mood! This summer, I want to focus on more of the things that make me smile which means spending more time around the people I care about, trying and learning about new things, and trying not to take life too seriously!

Photo Credits (from top to bottom): (1) National Archives, (2) found_drama , (3) Lilia

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Hell’s Kitchen International Food Festival

The real sign that summer is fast approaching in New York City is the return of street festivals. During the warmer months, it’s nearly impossible not to run into a street festival on any given weekend. This past weekend was the International Food Festival in Hell’s Kitchen, so my boyfriend and I decided to stop by and see what there was to choose from. Hell’s Kitchen is one of the biggest foodie neighborhoods, so it was really nice to see that many of the restaurants that line 9th Avenue decided to join in on the festival fun and pitch tents offering specials for the day.

One of my favorite restaurants, Eatery, was serving an Asian Chicken Salad complete with takeout box and chopsticks. I’ve NEVER had a bad meal at Eatery, and this salad was no exception. It was definitely a welcome break from all of the fried food that festivals tend to offer.

Frank went with a good old-fashioned falafel that was topped with a slice of grilled eggplant, hot sauce and yogurt sauce.

We also sampled a mozzarella arepa, which is a corn cake filled with cheese. It was alright, but I’d honestly say that the ones I make at home are better!

Finally, I tried this guava and mozzarella empanada (aka Romeo and Juliet) from another restaurant called Empanada Mama. This was such a delicious dessert-like empanada! I’ve never been to the restaurant itself, but now I’m intrigued!

I also had a terrible strawberry and Nutella crepe that wasn’t worthy of a picture… I’ve found that the crepes at street festivals are almost never worth it — the crepe is usually rubbery and soggy, and the fruit is never fresh. My favorite crepe place is a little gem in SoHo called Vive la Crepe. Try that one instead!

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Filed under Food, New York City

Macaron Class at La Cuisine Paris

My biggest goal for my trip to France was to take a macaron class in Paris. Not only do I jump at any opportunity to use a real kitchen with tons of counter space, but I also wanted to learn some new tricks for making my favorite dessert. I definitely have experience in making these guys, but I believe that you can always learn something new. I ended up going with a class at La Cuisine Paris, and it was the perfect way to round out my vacation. The class was just two hours long, so it didn’t take away too much time from sightseeing, but I learned so many new things about making macarons that are (dare I say?) rivals to those at Ladurée!

Our instructor Guillemette was really helpful and funny — the class was very hands-on, so we really got the chance to do everything from making the macaron batter to piping it and filling the cookies! We made two flavors: white chocolate raspberry and lemon. I was a little hesitant because I don’t love white chocolate, but with the raspberry mixed in it was absolutely delicious!

After our macarons were baked and cooled slightly, we took to our pastry bags and started filling them. I was really impressed by how glossy and puffy they came out using Guillemette’s method. When I’ve made them differently in the past, they have been a little flatter and they brown quickly in the oven. Before I knew it, it was time to head back to Lyon and bid farewell to the lovely kitchen at La Cuisine Paris. Unfortunately my friend and I were running a bit late, and we actually had to run to the train. Note to self: macarons are too fragile to run with. Don’t worry though, they still tasted amazing and we still ate ALL of them!

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Filed under Food, Travel

Luna Boston Site Relaunch and Coupon!

When Luna Boston still had their storefront on Newbury Street in Boston, I would drag my poor boyfriend in with me to drool over all of the beautiful handbags (for the record, I did all of the drooling… he waited patiently until I was through). I never even thought to shop their website until I moved in with my roommate last year, who has quite a soft spot for Rebecca Minkoff and bought a few of her bags on the site. This week, Luna Boston re-launched their site, and it looks pretty nice (excuse me — “wicked cool,” as I would have said when I lived closer to Beantown)! There are new features that make shopping a lot easier, like lookbooks and more detailed shop by style pages. Personally, I love the videos they made for some of the products so that you can actually see the item in action.

The lovely people at LB were kind enough to offer me a 20% off coupon code to share in celebration of the relaunch — use the code nonplasticblog at checkout to receive the offer through May 31st (The code will not work on Rebecca Minkoff new merchandise/pre-orders, MZ Wallace or sale — sorry!). Now read on for a few of my picks from the site!

This clutch wallet by Lodis is great because it has tons of space on the inside for cards and cash, and it also can double as a clutch since it is big enough to fit a slim cell phone!

I had no idea until recently that LB carries jewelry too! I really love these simple gold earrings by House of Harlow 1960. They are a really sophisticated shape, but the feathers give them a little bit of a bohemian feel.

Ok, so you can’t use the coupon code on this one (sorry!), but I couldn’t round out this post without including a beautiful Rebecca Minkoff bag It is really rare that I don’t covet at least two pieces from each of her collections — she knows how to take a really fantastic and structured bag and make it special with little details, like the multi-colored accents on this one.

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3 great designers to shop in Paris

Shopping in Paris wasn’t quite as much fun as it should have been — the exchange rate is pretty terrible right now, so it’s tough to part with your Euros when you think about how much it is in U.S. dollars. Regardless, I had a lot of fun checking out all of the French designers that our stores don’t carry. I ended up coming home with one lovely dress as a souvenir of my visit, but I definitely had to restrain myself from buying more!

Claudie PierlotThis designer really has the Parisian chic thing going on. Every piece I saw looked beautifully tailored, really unique, but classic enough that wearing them was effortless. Their spring/summer collection has a lot of pieces done in the star print that you see on the blazer — I tried on an adorable silk zip-front dress in the same pattern that was perfectly flowy and whimsical!

MajeAs far as I can tell, Maje is super-popular in France. There are a pretty good number of boutiques around Paris, and the line was carried at both Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, two of their biggest department stores. Maje is definitely for the fun girl who likes her clothing to be a little flirtatious. I saw such pretty asymmetric silk dresses, flashy blazers with sequined arms, and these fun red trousers in the collection. They also have a really cool blog called Un Air de Maje that will make you love them even more!

EtamI’m not sure if I would call Etam so much of a “designer” as a “brand.” There are Etam shops all over France and other parts of Europe, but the ones I really liked were their lingerie shops. The underthings and pajamas that they carry are very affordable, and we also saw some adorable bathing suits at the shop as well. I fell in love with the cotton pajama set on the left, but I sadly left without it. Maybe next time!

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Spring Flowers

Now that we might actually be having a little bit of a spring season before we head into the summer, I’ve been eying the flower department at Trader Joe’s every time I pass by. Growing up, my mom always had fresh flower arrangements in our house. Now that I have my own place, I appreciate how much time and effort can go into keeping up with decor like this! Here are a few ideas I’d like to try:

Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere posted this great DIY project for a floating vase. This idea seems so casual but elegant, and it requires just a few sprigs of flowers instead of an entire bouquet! {Photo Credit: Cupcakes and Cashmere}

During my trip to Europe last week, I flew into Geneva, Switzerland to visit with a friend there for a few hours before heading on to France. I was amazed by how beautiful and green the city was, and even more amazed when I saw that flower beds that lined the sidewalks were planted with vibrant poppies! These flowers are so unique and beautiful that I don’t even think you need to arrange them with other flowers in a bouquet — they definitely stand on their own! {Photo Credit: rebamex on Flickr}

I often go to the Brooklyn Flea on the weekends during the summer to check out all of the fun stuff on sale. I’ve seen Kat Flower there a few times now, and I’m always so tempted to pick up some of the amazing stems they have to choose from! I love checking out their blog, and the idea of a single ranunculus in a simple glass vase seems like a perfect first step for someone with no flower arrangement skills like me! {Photo Credit: Kat Flower}

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