Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Aw, Giada shows off her little girl!

LOVE Giada De Laurentiis (uh, who doesn't) & I stumbled on this video of her promoting her new cookbook-had to share! She was inspired to include some kid-friendly recipes & brought her daughter along for the promotion. A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Love this idea for evening (straight from Paris)

So, was sorting through the Paris shows, as promised, & fell for the awesome, edgy Balmain show. I LOVE this idea for evening. Jeans, great flashy jacket & heels. The possibilities are endless, really. For more Balmain, VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

(photo by Marcio Madeira from style.com, design by Balmain)

Paris, finally!

So, fashion week has blown through New York, London & Milan. Finally, it's Paris' turn. Photos up from the first shows, am so excited to share. The collections are super edgy! Will post some favorites when I have a few free moments!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Because I'm her biggest fan...

So I promised to post more of my mom's work on the blog. I mean, it only makes sense. I post a lot of style/design related articles, & plus, well, I'm her biggest fan! I couldn't be more proud-she's the most talented person I know! Here's a before & after. Wow.

More from Milan: Donatella Doesn't Disappoint

So, more (scaled-back) coverage of Milan's fashion week...the Versace collection was shown on 9/25 & I LOVE it. Love the heart detail on the bust of some of the dresses. The collection is smokin'. VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

(photos by Marcio Madeira for style.com, designs by Versace)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"I hate my husband pie"

So, I wasn't able to do any baking last night...planning on baking up a storm this weekend though! Anyway, all this pie talk so reminds me of Waitress, the oh-so-adorable movie that came out a little over a year ago, I think. Love this movie. So funny!

Too fun!

"How Did We Get Into This Mess"

So, yesterday I found this article on the Duke Today site. A Fuqua professor breaks down the financial/Wall Street crisis. Now, be warned, this is not sexy stuff...I'm not going to lie, I might have dozed off while reading it.

But anyway, after Bush's address last night, & the extreme measures he & others are pushing for (to quote my brother: "that's 700 billion with a B!"), I really wanted more information. This Duke article helped. It's titled, "How Did We Get Into This Mess."

Read article here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I need some of this.

It's (relatively) chilly & breezy this morning. I have a long day ahead of me, but for some reason (maybe the weather), I really feel like doing some baking tonight. I'm thinking something sweet, warm & rustic (i.e. a pie or tart). I'm thinking maybe either this free-form fruit & nut pie (above) or this spiced apple & pear pie (below). See foodnetwork.com for recipes. Mmmmmm.

(photos from foodnetwork.com)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take a seat (or 2)

Found this image on msn.com. I LOVE the two chairs at the foot of the bed. What a great way to make a statement in a large room, or if you have a smaller (full or queen size) bed & some extra space, this would be perfect.

Or if you don't have room for this, I love the coupling affect, so why not use smaller slipper chairs or even two great upholstered ottomans/cubes? Actually, with its neutral colors, simple fabrics & minimal accessories, this entire room would be so easy to replicate.

(photo by Simon Upton for House Beautiful via msn.com)

Below, Avondale Stool, $299.90, neimanmarcus.com

Fashion Week hits Milan

Fashion week for the spring 2009 ready-to-wear collections swept through New York (finished), then London (finished), so this week, it's Milan's turn.

I love the Giorgio Armani collection & had to share! VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

(photo by Marcio Madeira for style.com, design by Giorgio Armani)

Congrats, gentlemen!

So, while reading The New York Times, I stumbled on the wedding announcement of Simon Doonan & Jonathan Adler. I'm a huge fan of potter/designer/Bravo Top Design Judge/man of style, Adler. In fact, I will never forget reading a quote from an interview he did with Oprah about doing what he loves.

Once upon a time, he was a talent agent dying to do what he loved, sculpt pottery. On going to work everyday at a job he didn't love, Adler said, "I felt like an imposter." I found his story so inspiring. I love his work (& to think, he had a teacher actually tell him he was talentless)! From his pottery to his rooms for clients like Nanette Lepore (check out her home in September's ELLE Decor on newsstands now), his work is always so happy & inspirational!

Doonan, creative director at Barney's, is a columnist & author.

Congratulations, gentlemen. I bet this wedding was beyond stylish!

Check out Jonathan Adler's site here.

Read the wedding announcement here.

(photo by Jennifer Altman via The New York Times)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Local airtimes for Spain...On the Road Again

In the RTP/Raleigh/Durham area, Spain...On the Road Again will air on PBS beginning Friday October 3rd at 10 PM.

Here's an interesting article from The New York Times on the show, exploring celebrity & public television.

(photo from American Public Television via The New York Times)

2008 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer - Raleigh 10-04-08

Raleigh, non-competitive walk, no registration fee/fundraising minimum. For more information, go here. To participate in this walk in another state, go here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yeah, Pack!

My father raised me to be a Pack fan. I'm nothing if not loyal. Congratulations, State, that win was beautiful!

(photo by Jeffrey Reeves from wral.com)

Friday, September 19, 2008

I LOVE this dining room!

When I saw this image on the House Beautiful site, my heart skipped a beat! I had to share it! I'm in love with this room. There's something very Barbie-dream-house about it, but it's sophisticated & fun, too. And the peonies, puh-lease, stop my heart!

(image from housebeautiful.com)

LOVE this powder room

So, I love design & love posting images of gorgeous rooms on the blog. I honestly believe design can change your life. I think we are all influenced by our surroundings. I think being surrounding by things/colors you like is good for the soul, too. Anyway, my mother, an INSANELY talented artist & muralist, has created some amazing rooms. I'm going to try to post some images of her work more often.

I've always loved this powder room she did for a client. I mean, how can you NOT be happy getting ready for your day in this room. I love it.

Football fashion trend...

Ok, I think this article is absolutely hilarious. It's titled, "In Name of Fashion, Embracing a Trend."

Read full article here.

(photo by Larry French/Getty Images via The New York Times)

This NYT's article is disturbing

So, a lot of bad news stories this week & last...gas price gouging, Hurricane Ike, big market problems, etc. I think this story made me the most sad, though. It paints a grim picture of the future of financial aid for college students. The article is titled, "Pell Grants Said to Face a Shortfall of $6 Billion." Great.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"He's Just Not That Into You"

So, a film based on one of my favorite books is coming out this fall. I AM SO EXCITED. Since I read this book, He's Just Not That Into You, more than a year ago, I've recommended it to EVERY woman I know! I think it should be required reading for girls in middle school, then again in high school & finally, again in college.

The book was written by Greg Behrendt, a former story editor for Sex and the City. The book is hilarious & ultimately very very empowering (I would actually recommend men pick it up, too). It's great. If you haven't already, read this book (it makes no difference if you are single, married, divorced, widowed, etc, anyone can benefit)!

So, the film's cast includes Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Ben Affleck (it goes on & on)! I'm really excited. This film has a lot to live up to, as far as I'm concerned. I really loved Greg's book. Oh, & Peggy, if you're reading this, we HAVE to go see this together!

(movie poster from about.com)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Party in a Pinch

I am not claiming to be Martha Stewart (although I am PROUD to be a big fan of her's), but I do know a thing or two about hosting a party. I live about halfway between my parents' home & where most of my extended family live, & I seem to host a lot of little fetes at my place because of this. Here are some lessons I've picked up along the way...

1) make it meaningful for the guest of honor: for example, when I hosted a birthday party for my brother, I hung old photos of him, documenting his life, on my chandeliers, lamps, etc. This was free, entertained the guests & hopefully made him feel special. My mother also made him a cake in the shape of a surfboard (he's a pretty avid surfer). This was a huge hit. Similarly, when my dad stopped by for cake & gifts on his birthday, I used a framed portrait of him in his uniform as a centerpiece & covered the table with his favorite chocolate mint candies. Don't forget who you are celebrating. Let the party reflect this.

2) set a mean table: please, no paper plates! This is a huge pet peeve of mine! I mean you go to the trouble of cooking a good meal only to slap it on some flimsy plates? Really? Well, that & the environmental impact make paper a no-no in my house! Instead, I collect white dishes & serving pieces. It's practical. I can combine different shapes & styles of white dishes & have a beautiful table. I use colorful glassware (bought on sale at department stores or at flea markets, thrift stores, etc) & other pieces to break up the white, but I would highly recommend white as a foundation. Also, I like to layer fabric to add interest. Finally, I love decorating with cheap, fresh flowers when I'm having people over. I like tea roses because they are cheap & beautiful. I have a modest collection of vases/urns, etc that I put the flowers in. I would recommend picking up some of these when you see them on sale. They make great centerpieces when combined with fresh flowers.

3) pick a theme: i know, this could go cheesy if you let it, but don't. I try to use a theme when I am serving larger meals for larger crowds because it really makes my life easier. For my mother's birthday party this year, the crowd was larger than usual, so we decided to serve quesadillas, chips & guacamole, etc. For a dinner party I hosted for 3 girlfriends of mine, I chose an Italian menu & cooked pasta, pizza, breads, shrimp starters, etc.

4) learn some dishes & perfect them: learn how to cook something...if you're good at it & it's a success, cook this often. I have a cold shrimp/cheese spread/English cucumber recipe people love. I use this often. A lot of people like my pesto bread, so I cook this often, too.

5) wear a nice outfit: you are the host, so dress like it. For my mom's birthday party I wore a colorful bead necklace, colorful cross & flower pin to go along with the food & decor. For my brother's party I wore an ocean blue dress with a huge turquoise pendant (he likes the ocean & surfing). This is not a requirement, but it is a nice statement. I care enough about you people coming to my party that I took the time to dress up.

6) relax: chances are things are not going to go as planned. The table linens will get stained. You will run out of something & have to send a guest on a convenience store run. Go with the flow. People will arrive late. Worse, people will arrive early! Enjoy your guests & most importantly, have fun!

7) seize the day: life is short. When an occasion comes up where you can host your beloved friends & family, jump on it!

And finally, if you are a guest at a party, bring a gift for the hostess. Flowers. Wine. Anything. He/she deserves it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

London's Fashion Week

I know, I know...I promised less fashion this week since we are all still recovering from a big NY Fashion week last week. BUT, I just wanted to share one image from London's Fashion Week (Spring 2009 ready-to-wear). I just love the colors & I LOVE LOVE LOVE the set of this show with all the green as a backdrop.

From the Luella Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear (VIEW FULL COLLECTION HERE)

(photo by Marcio Madeira for style.com)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Still loving Stella

New pieces by Stella McCartney are up on her Adidas site. I'm especially loving her running tights & this awesome dance top. Whether you view fitness as a way of life, a beloved hobby or the exercise you begrudgingly do, fashionable/practical gear makes fitness fun.

See more Stella gear here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tina Fey is awesome

The sun sets on Fashion Week

So, it's over. I'm a little sad & relieved at the same time (keeping up with all the big shows was a job)! Hopefully you've enjoyed some of the fashion.

I found this blog to be an awesome way to absorb all of the shows so look for more in the future from the shows in Paris, London, Milan, etc!

(photo credits: by Joe Schildhom & Patrick McMullan, from the Calvin Klein 40th anniversary party, September 6, 2008)

8 more shows, 1 more favorite...

My favorite today is the Badgley Mischka collection. Why? Because I want, no make that need, every skirt & dress in this collection! VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

(photo by Marcio Madeira for style.com, design by Badgley Mischka)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

13 more shows, 1 more favorite...

More dispatches from Fashion Week...big names posted in this batch include Calvin Klein, Vera Wang & Zac Posen.

My favorite today: Reem Acra. Why? The colors, the sheen...so happy. VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

Big museum day today. Will post updates either tomorrow or early next week! Bon week-end!

(photo by Marcio Madeira for style.com, design by Reem Acra)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mario + Gwyneth + great food = can't miss TV!

Not a big TV fan, BUT I'm soooo looking forward to Spain-On the Road Again! Mario Batali & Gwyneth Paltrow & wonderful food??? It almost sounds like a dream!

Get more info here.

(image from spainontheroadagain.com)

17 more shows, 1 more favorite

More big names: Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, etc...my favorite collection though, was that of Douglas Hannant. Why? Because I LOVE his dresses. A lot. VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

(photo by Marcio Madeira for style.com, design by Douglas Hannant)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A word on Fashion Week

Hopefully nobody has suffered a fashion OD from all my Fashion Week posts! After this week, a lil less fashion & a lil more everything else! I promise! But, I LOVE fashion, so please indulge me for a few more days! xoxo

Happy Birthday, Carrie!

So, I must send a happy birthday shout out to a loyal blog reader & friend, Carrie. Happy birthday darling! Inspired by Carrie, a huge Kate Spade fan, I went to the Kate Spade site & look what I found. Is this stationary not awesome? Loving it!

Brushstroke Peony Boxed Set, $30

19 more shows, 3 more favorites...

More big names today, including some of my favorites like Behnaz Sarafpour, Derek Lam & Narciso Rodriguez. Here are my favorites, though...

Matthew Williamson: Why? Because there isn't a woman I know who wouldn't look brilliant in at least one piece from this collection. VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

Philosophy: Why? Because I love these dresses! Especially the floor-length dresses! VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

Vivienne Tam: Why? Because I can't resist all of the purple! VIEW COMPLETE COLLECTION HERE

(photos by Marcio Madeira for style.com, top to bottom: designs by Matthew Williamson, Philosophy & Vivienne Tam)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

16 more shows, 2 more favorites…

So, it was a big posting on Style.com. I mean big names: Marc Jacobs, Peter Som, Proenza Schouler (among others). True, I’m pretty busy, but I really wasn’t too inspired. I couldn’t tell if some of the shows were spring or fall. Some of them were so overreaching, etc. Anyway, my 2 favorite collections today were Carolina Herrera & Luca Luca.

Carolina Herrera: Why? She never disappoints. Predictable-yes. Glamorous-yes. VIEW ENTIRE COLLECTION HERE

Luca Luca: Why? Clean, airy & chic. VIEW ENTIRE COLLECTION HERE

(photos by Marcio Madeira for style.com, top to bottom: designs by Carolina Herrera & Luca Luca)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

17 more shows, 3 more favorites…

I’m busy with other work, so these fashion week posts are going to be a little shorter. 17 more shows up (including DKNY & Diane von Furstenberg), 3 more favorites here.

Charles Nolan: Why? Because I can see everyone from Lucille Ball to Daisy Buchanan wearing these dresses & they are still modern looking. VIEW FULL COLLECTION HERE

Jonathan Saunders: Why? Because his color combinations are to die for! VIEW FULL COLLECTION HERE

Tracy Reese: Why? This line is very feminine but never too sweet! VIEW FULL COLLECTION HERE

(all photos by Marcio Madeira for style.com, top to bottom: designs by Charles Nolan, Jonathan Saunders & Tracy Reese)

Monday, September 8, 2008

4 Fashion Week Favorites so far…

So, as of Sunday, 29 shows (including photos of the complete collections) were posted on Style.com. I sorted & narrowed them down to my four favorite shows. Some big names, like Lacoste & BCBG Max Azria were up, but my four favorites were: Erin Fetherston, Jason Wu, Koi Suwannagate & United Bamboo.

These 4 collections were very different, but they all had a wispy, light-as-air quality thread throughout the collection. A couple of these collections (Jason Wu & United Bamboo) had vintage vibes or detailing, while others (Erin Fetherston & Koi Suwannagate) incorporated wonderful modern cuts.

The details:
Erin Fetherston: I became acquainted with this designer’s work when I picked up some of her pieces designed for Target last year. I love them. Her spring ready-to-wear collection is so light & airy, with pieces that looked as if they could flutter down the runway sans models. Really, the lightness of this collection is breathtaking...if I had to title this collection I would probably call it “Heaven on the Runway.” VIEW FULL COLLECTION HERE

Jason Wu: He’s been compared to the likes of Oscar de la Renta & there certainly is a timelessness to this collection. Knee-length dresses in shades of coral, white & yellow layered with belts, sweaters & blazers & accessorized with hats were stunners. His punchy use of color added a sense of whimsy to the collection & everything appears to be completely wearable. Both vintage & modern in feel, this collection & its styling (check out the runway, shoes & jewelry!) is such a feast for the eyes! VIEW FULL COLLECTION HERE

Koi Suwannagate: If I had one fashion wish it might be that my spring closet was filled with pieces from Koi Suwannagate’s spring collection. There was a definite balance with the sandy-hued basics transformed by amazing details. There were occasional pops of color (like the berry-colored top & skirt in the image above) that were striking. I wonder how you could NOT have fun wearing these clothes. This collection is fantastic! VIEW FULL COLLECTION HERE

United Bamboo: This was another collection that definitely tugged at my vintage-loving heartstrings. I loved the separates, the subtle & the calm, happy colors used here and there. Mostly, I liked how wearable the entire collection seems to be. Pieces of this collection can truly be worn to the day job, on the weekend or on date night. I loved it! VIEW FULL COLLECTION HERE

(all photos by Marcio Madeira for style.com, top to bottom: designs by Erin Fetherston, Jason Wu, Koi Suwannagate & United Bamboo)

For the love of fashion...

New York Fashion Week has begun, people. So, what would cause me, yesterday on my day off, to sort through 29 fashion shows picking & choosing my favorites? The love of it, my friends.

So, this week is when designers present their ready-to-wear collections (as opposed to couture collections) in New York. Dozens of shows, daily. Parties, etc. Will try to stay on top of the shows & post often! The spring shows are my favorites, so it might as well be Christmas!

I’ve picked my four favorite shows so far…will post details later today!

17 more shows have been posted on Style.com. Check in often for the latest!

Please check out BYLU Jewelry!

With jewelry collections inspired by historic maps, architecture, the female form & graffiti, it's no wonder I'm in love with BYLU! I'm particularly infatuated with a pair of earrings from the Compass Rose collection. They are long & composed of 14k gold & chips of historic maps. I also love the assorted brass & enamel bangles from the onefortyfive.sixty line.

Check out the BYLU site here.

(images from http://bylu-nyc.com)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Grand Prix Schedule 2008

I've been meaning to post this...the Second Empire Grand Prix Series 2008 kicks off this month & includes nine races ranging from mile runs to 10 milers.

March of Dimes
Spastic Paraplegia Foundation
Anna's Angels Foundation
Autism Society of NC
Camp Woodbine
NC Lung Cancer Partnership
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Arthritis Foundation
St. Michael School

Get more details here. Happy running!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And the bride wore...gold?

Ok, so I found this recent image of LeAnn Rimes & her husband. Apparently they were celebrating their 7 year anniversary (wow, didn't realize LeAnn Rimes was old enough to be married seven years). Anyway, I love this image. How lovely would this dress be for a chic bride to wear on her big day. I'm thinking it feels like a sophisticated vineyard wedding or swanky museum reception. Or even a second marriage maybe.

Anyway, I would so wear it (without veil). I think it is absolutely stunning!

(photo by Joe Buissink from People.com)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Interesting NYT Article on Women & the Office

The article is titled, "Girl Power at School, but Not at the Office." It's both interesting & frustrating.

Read the full article here.