Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is an amazing holiday and I absolutely do not mean to move beyond it to Christmas without enjoying the holiday I'm in.  But Christmas, for me, is the big shabang of the holiday season.  When Thanksgiving is over that means I'm free to decorate the tree, listen to holiday music and say, "Happy holidays!" to avoid any awkward encounter.

When I was home about a month ago I had my two little sisters for the day.  I took them to Land of Nod to kill some time and I was overjoyed with what I found (I was far more excited to be there then they were).  I don't have any kids and I do realize this is a kids store but their decorations are so on point, who cares!  Green and Red is fine and all but why not include all the rest of the colors?  I am a color addict and these decorations quench my cravings.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

--Allie

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New In Town::: Cow & Clover

The south of Williamsburg is changing rapidly these days. Gone are the days of the grittier, grungier side of town, and in are the days of knocking down the Domino Sugar Factory (it's turning into a whole line of luxury buildings) and closing Glasslands, 285 Kent and Death by Audio (Vice bought the entire building, almost the entire block!) . 

There has also been a whole slew of restaurants closing, with "Commercial Space for Rent" signs posted where the menu use to be. But out with the old, means in with the new and that means great things for restaurant seekers like me and you; and so, brunch at the new spot in town it is!



South Williamsburg welcomes Cow & Clover to Kent and South 2nd street. Self - described as a New American -  "seasonal wood-fired kitchen", Cow & Clover, brings the comfort of  fresh and organic ingredients from their oven right to your table.




Loving the succulents in mason jars at the front entrance!

Every Saturday deserves to be started right; COFFEE!!!!!!


At first glance of the brunch menu, you can tell Cow & Clover prides itself on a mouth-drooling variety of home-made pastries. Biscuits, breads, muffins and cookies oh my! They have both savory and sweet options, so when I saw the Bacon and Goat Cheese Scone (are you kidding me!?) it was a must!


Although, I always have that moment when the French Toast is screaming at me through the menu, since I already ordered the scone, I decided on the Berkshire Pork and Potato Hash. The pork was super tender, and I love how the greens came on the stem, gives you the feeling/taste that they were literally picked off the plant and right on my plate.


My boyfriend on the other hand, you can tell I had the poor guy wait till I got the shot, went with the Smoked Duck Benedict. If there is anything duck on the menu, I can pretty much guarantee he'll order it. I of course had a few bites, and it was amazing!! I think I'll order my own next time because it was just too good; so good he pretty much finished it before I could get another helping.


We got to brunch pretty early compared to the rest of the Brooklyn crowd, which was a great opportunity for a photo op of the place. It has a very minimal and modern style, which I love, but the wood table tops, and brick oven gives it a cozy feeling, like you could be in someone's home kitchen.


I really loved the bar area, which has ample seating for happy hour. I also espcially loved the accented bottled chandelier at the entrance, a unique and creative touch with just the smallest hint of color to welcome guests inside.


I spotted this table on the way out, and thought what a great place for a celebration! The high tables and stools, makes it feel like a fun hang out at the bar, while a little separate from the main seating area, it also makes it feel private, not to mention the details; plants, boxes and logs for the fire-burning ovens.

Overall Cow & Clover seems like a great addition to the neighborhood. Of the duration we were at brunch, we saw couples, families, and infants all gathering around the wood-top tables to enjoy a warm meal during a cold November weekend. This will be the third restaurant opening at this location (the other two unfortunately failed) but I certainly think that the third times the charm.

- Stephanie

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New In Town ::: Cos

During my year studying abroad in Paris (insert pretentious statement here) I spent way too much time shopping.  Not buying (a lot), but more meandering in and out of shops dreaming of owning it's contents.  It's exciting now, 4 years later, when I see those same stores and brands pop up in American culture and I can say to myself, "I saw it first!"

In my second semester I interned for the label Carven, a name unheard of at the time in the US and not carried by any American retailer.  Today, Carven not only finds it's way onto the backs of celebrities and fashionistas alike but they have a store of their own on a brick paved street in SoHo.

Carven does everything beautifully.  Their clothing really is like walking works of art and the price tag doesn't let you forget that.  I was gifted a dress from them right before I returned home and it's one of my most prized possessions, although it seldom leaves my closet, where it's safe.

Cos, on the other hand, is within reason.  Although not cheap, the prices are much like the higher end items at Top Shop or Zara, I promise you the quality is superior for it's price tag.  Fortunately for us they will be opening their first US store on December fifth, as reported by Refinery 29.  This is what I will be trying on when I inevitably walk through their doors come December.
--Allie

Monday, November 24, 2014

Closet Updates

Stephanie:

My 25th birthday was last weekend, and so you can only imagine what my recently added items look like. I'm the type of girl who takes full advantage of her birthday, and there's no hiding it. I remind people weeks before, "my birthday's in a week, my birthday's in 3 days".

On the Saturday before my birthday, Allie and I met in SoHo to shop aimlessly and also with a # 1 priority to buy new hats. We went into a cute store on Bleeker named City Hats and immediately started trying on their wall of different styles. By the end of it, we were best friends with the sales associate and walked out with two fresh hats, tags detached and without a bag. I purchased a Bailey's Briar Style hat for a reasonable $85.



 We carried on to Mango, Zara, and checked out Sam Edelman's new clothes collection (we almost both also walked out with new blazers; one fringe, one gold sequins) but didn't quite find anything until I walked into Brandy Melville and found the softest grey sweater and this shirt.



Shirt:
I'm really loving that the graphic tee has phased it's way back into the fashion scene. Whether it's a band tee, a souvenir tee from a recent trip or a quirky saying, I'm really liking that a little humor and some bold statement text is bringing  the comfort of jeans and a tee to the main-stage of street style. I'm a coffee lover, I buy myself a warm latte (iced in the summer) as my special little prize for waking up and taking on my work day, so this OK, But First Coffee tee was just to perfect for me. Plus, I've been to Alfred's on Melrose and their coffee was so delicious it's a sweet little ode to their signature motto. I recently wore this with my new hat, One Teaspoon jeans (seen here), and leopard shoes. A perfect casual weekend outfit for a day around town.



Skirt:
When I recently went home a few weekends ago, my mom and I ended up at the mall (a rarity for me since we live in the city, a mall, oooo so nostalgic), we walked by Ann Taylor and they were having a 60% off sale, which never happens at AT, we went at it and I ended up walking away with 4 pairs of pants, 2 tops, 2 dresses, a skirt and a blazer for about $350, then I ended up with an extra 20% off coupon and literally walked away feeling like I robbed Ann Taylor! $750 worth of clothes for $250. Cha-ching, Jackpot! This faux leather skirt was one of my favorite purchases. The faux leather is so soft, it's as close to leather you can get without the leather price. I think this was a great addition to my closet because I can either dress it up with a nice blouse and blazer, or dress it down with a tee (even the one from above). P.s my friend told me she stole this look from North, I'm not mad about it.


Sweatshirt:
This purchase is more of a continuation of the shirt up top. I'm really obsessed with graphics, as you can tell, and when my cousin showed me Rad.com (and they were having a 40% off sale at the time), I couldn't help but browse through the pages and pages of sweatshirts and tees. My favorite collection they carry is the one by Fly Art, one of their contributing artists. Fly Art mixes classic paintings with rap lyrics and the result is just genius! Dali's Melting Clocks layered with Outkast's Ms. Jackson, 'forever, ever, forever, ever'? BRILLIANT. I personally went with this sweatshirt of Kanye's Bound lyrics over one of my favorite paintings Gustav Klimt's The Kiss, (I also purchased Beyonce's Bow Down lyrics over Botticelli's Venus tee). Again, I could match this sweatshirt with jeans, or a skirt if I felt like dressing it up with an athletic aesthetic. ((It's still 30% off!)).

Allie:

My 25th was not last weekend, although I pretended like it was.  I stuck with my desire for a gray hat but found one similar to the Rag and Bone for just 75$.  I can proudly say that is all I purchased on our shopping spree that day.

Although recently, in general, I haven't been quite so good.  

I could wear this turtle neck everyday.  I wear it more days then I should.  I am so tempted to go back and get it in another color.  It. Is. Glorious.



This dress is like wearing a giant sweater but it looks much more put together then any giant sweater could.  It fits very well, I'm petite and the drop waist does not look weird on me!  Miraculous.  It's currently on sale with an extra 50% off!  I also bought this dress on sale and I like it a lot too.  Great for work.

I found this black scarf in the mens section at Gap.  I've been looking for an affordable, warm black scarf and this seemed to do the trick perfectly.  Also, with an extra 30% off, I was sold.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lady Links

Is it just me or do you also tend to break the buttons on your pants come Sunday?  Sunday through Thursday I'm all like salad this and green juice that, then Friday strikes and I'm like BAM gimme that pizza.

20/80 is this rule I've heard about healthy living.  Meaning eat healthy 80 percent of the time and you can relax the other 20.  Unfortunately, I think I take that rule too seriously but my proportions are off. My life would inevitably be closer to 30/70, but nobody's perfect, right?

This is not a diet post, that will never exist here.  That word makes me sad.  This is all the delicious food I plan on eating (and drinking) this weekend and if you ever find yourself in Brooklyn, I suggest you do the same.

1.


Mesa Coyocan, also known as one of the best mexican restaurants in NYC.  The tacos are out of this world and the entrees are creative and enlightening. How happy does this mustached margarita make you?  I suggest the cucumber margarita, it's light and delightful.  They also offer a plethora of flavors, another favorite is the watermelon.
2.

This suggestion will require a lot of trust, but I'm Jewish and I have done the bagel hunt in NYC (I used to live half a block from Essa Bagel) so I believe I have some clout.  The bagel sandwiches at New York Muffin are breakfast perfection.  Get the red special on an everything bagel, thank me later.  The coffee is delicious as well, even black.  Did I mention your total will be around 5 dollars for a bagel sandi and coffee?  Yeah, it's crazy. 

3.

And this would be my plan for Sunday.  A slow day calls for a slow cooked meal.  I plan on using this recipe and drinking the remainder of the merlot.  We also take football quite seriously in my apartment so it will be just in time for Sunday night's Cowboy game.

So put away the diet, take advantage of winter sweater's disguise and LET THEM EAT CAKE!

Happy Weekend!

--Allie



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ladies We Adore ::: Helena Bordon

Tory Burch

While I’ve always been a fan of the minimalist/ normcore look and style. There is just something about fashion that is so much more than denim and a white tee. Don’t get me wrong,  jeans and white t-shirt are always and most likely my go to while getting dressed in the morning, but fabrics, textiles, textures, embroidery all the small details and methods of making clothes that have developed over the years just simply can't be ignored.

OutfitIdeaBlog



Details that are literally fun to take in. So while street-style in New York City has begun to take it’s muted approach to all items black and gray in order to match the hue of the city in the fall. You can’t blame Brazilian fashion blogger and daughter of Vogue Brazil’s Editor Helena Bordon for keeping the colors, textures and prints going through the endless Brazilian summer season. Bright colors, funky type and details, details, details are making us crush hard on Helena Bordon.

-Stephanie

On Abbot Kinney

Saxa Store

gastrochic

gastrochic

thegirlispolished

helenabordon.com

The Coveteur

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gifts for Even MY Budget ::: Men

In my giant family (I'm not kidding, my grandpa has 50 grandchildren and counting) we do a big secret santa thing.  They say it's random, I've doubted that for years, but that's not my point.  This year I was given my cousin's fiance.  He's around my age, he travels a lot, they have a new baby and he has a good amount of swagger.  The only issue is I don't know him that well.  Everything I know about him I like but it does make it slightly more difficult to buy a gift.  

I put together some of the gifts I've been thinking about getting him.  Everything for under or around a 100$ budget but still thoughtful and good quality.





On top: Everlane Weekender Bag and Dopp Kit.  Everyone is bursting with support of Everlane and I'm completely in agreement but I haven't heard much about the men!  They have great stuff!  I mean check out the prices on this hat, scarf and gloves, it's amazing for what the quality I promise will be.  You can put together a combo of whatever you can afford.

In the middle: Everyone needs a good chambray, this one from J.Crew, and this tie is like WHAT?! 3.90$ that's three dollars and ninety cents, get out of town.

On bottom: A jacket and backpack looking real cool in black leather.  Jacket is from ASOS, another company we don't often associate with men.  Unlike the backpack, many a man know and love Top Man.  And finally, the safest of all the gifts in my opinion, a classic pullover from J. Crew.

A big note about J.Crew, most winter items are 30% off right now!  Get it before the holiday rush!

--Allie

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Trend Report ::: Monochromatic Accessories

I am mesmerized by color. As a kid I was always drawn towards the sensory overload stores (Claires & Sanrio) bursting with pops of hot pinks, electric blues and blinding yellows. As a teen traveling to Portugal (with frequent visits across the border to Spain), I was always impressed with the bravery in which the women played with color. Mixing blues blouses with pink skirts and yellow flats, the most eye-catching of them all being the women dressed to the nines Sunday mornings on their way to mass, which basically serves as the European elders’ Friday night.


     Tumblr

For a girl who loves the idea of color I find myself  being drawn more and more to neutrals as I gets older. I have slowly but surely gathering a collection of quality neutral basics that can be mixed with less expensive trendy pieces. Sometimes mixing too many colors (i.g red bag, green polarized sunnies, gold jewelry) can be overwhelming and come off looking sloppy. So how did the Spaniards do it?


                                                       Lovely Pepa

When admiring photos of the congregation dressed in their Sunday best, I picked up on the element that made these women glamorous personified versions of a Sanrio store; their monochromatic treatment of color.

Blue suits, with a pink blouse, hat and high heel; Green dresses with purple costume jewelry and a matching green and purple handbag. Blue, green, purple and pink were suddenly all the new black. These women were turning colors into neutrals, and it worked! Beyond that they looked like rock stars who obviously has a closet stocked up with enough handbags, hats and blouses in every color combination possible to make any outfit look like a million bucks.

Bittersweet Colour

There are moments in life when you become inspired by something you see on the streets of NYC, or the small towns of Spain that makes you want to immediately take on the style yourself. Being from east coast, it’s hard not to allow neutrals to take over your wardrobe. My perfect compromise has been purchasing bold monochromatic colorful accessories. My advice would be to choose a color hue you enjoy, and start buying accessories, one color at a time. When you feel like you’ve had enough, move on to the next color.

 Sticking with a color theme when purchasing accessories allows for your outfit to look put-together. Imagine how intentional and fun your neutral outfit can look if it was fitted with blue sunnies, a blue bag and a blue belt or hat popping from an all white or black ensemble. I can guarantee you’d make the Spanish woman use the Lord’s name in vain as you walked by church exclaiming (sinfully), “oh my god”.


-Stephanie

Song of Style

Lovely Pepa

Tumblr


Monday, November 17, 2014

Entertain Me ::: Murderous Mysteries

Is it just me or do the seasons seem to have suddenly moved on to winter before fall ever really began?  It's gloomy and rainy in New York, a style we seem to be sporting a lot lately.  Rainy days make me want to do nothing but snuggle up on my couch and watch a movie.  A spooky movie to be exact.  Gloomy skies put me in the mood for murder mysteries and horror.

I'm not a crazy horror fan but a bad horror film is something I cannot turn my eyes from.  The other day I was watching TV on saturday afternoon,  I had hours to kill and was looking for a good TV movie, when I found one entitled "The House On The Left."  Harmless, I thought.  It had my favorite actress from Parenthood, Monica Potter, and the always entertaining Aaron Paul.  So, instantly, it seemed like a good idea.  About thirty minutes in teenagers smoking pot turned into a bloody mess and it was horrifying, yet I didn't turn it off till the end.

Let's be clear,  I don't recommend this movie.  I was in some sort of trance, I swear.  It by no means reflects my taste in media.  Contrarily, these are the spooky entertaining things I do recommend right now:


1. If you are not already listening to the podcast Serial, I envy you. I can't praise this program enough. I wish I could un-listen to them all and listen to them again.



2.  This is not a new movie but I watched Hitchcock for the first time last night, so it's new to me.  You can find it on HBO Go!  It's just eerie enough and of the right time period to fit the mood I'm going for here.


3.  After watching the movie I was drawn to read the book Psycho, the book that inspired the movie Hitchcock is making in the film.  I've been reading it for free online here until I can get my hands on a hard copy.

I took a class in college around this time of year called Gothic Literature and I'll never forget the joy I got from reading spooky novels in the right setting.  So here I am, trying to recreate the golden years.  (Also, I am alone on G-chat because Steph has the day off.  Maybe that puts me in a horrific mood... just maybe)

--Allie

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wait, Is This Weird?

So I don't really want to talk about the Kim photo because frankly, I'm sick of seeing it everywhere.  The more I look at it the more I change my mind.  Is it photoshopped?  It's definitely photoshopped.  Maybe it's not photoshopped and that waist training really is working.  Is this a slutty move?  No this is not a slutty move.  Wait, she is a mom.  Would I care if my mom did this?  I mean, that would be pretty weird.

Then I remember... Why do I care what Kim Kardashian chooses to wear in a photo?   I don't think I do.  But this, on the other hand, I think is so hilarious.

E Online

Look at Chelsea's tiny, tan lined butt!  I love it.

But really, am I supposed to care passionately about this?  Am I a bad feminist?  What's going on?

--Allie

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Work Week Woe is ME!


USA Today

The philosophy of the work week has come up more than one while g-chatting with Allie, coincidentally while we're both sitting at our desks at work.  When living in a metropolitan city like New York City, the biggest city in America, industry and business seem to make the world go round.

Before the industrial revolution, the typical work week lasted six days, leaving the seventh day (Sabbath/Sunday) for rest.  Six day work weeks were integral for the days when agriculture was the Industry.  Laborious long hours were determined by the sun as mother nature always needed attending to.  It wasn't until the industrial revolution and the creation of unions that the work week became standardized.

Maria Konnikova writes a fascinating article, Why Not a Three-Day Week?, for The New Yorker stating that it wasn't until 1926, when Henry Ford proposed a five-day work week so his workers could receive a two day weekend for the same amount of pay that the standard 5 days on, two days off became the norm.

janet-exploreresearch.blogspot

However, competition in the free market created a new breed of human: workaholics.

 Workaholics from every industry work long hours to get work done and usually not for a salary increase.  For doctors, lawyers, financial brokers, bankers and creative industries, weeks surpass the traditional 40 hours.  Timesheets spread upwards of 50, 60, 80 plus hours, leaving employees with less time to keep their personal lives in order and enjoy the stress-free leisure side of life.

Love Taza

Since I work in a creative industry, my timesheets are part of that bucket that long surpasses 40 hours a week.  Although I'm grateful for having a full time job in New York City that allows me to be financially independent and supports my individual lifestyle when you do the math and realize you're spending most of your time at work, more time with your coworkers than your own home and family, it starts to feel overdone and frustrating.  You no longer have time for the simple things, like laundry, time to see your old friend who's in town, or to plant the herbal garden you've been dreaming about.


Life.Time.com

It is routinely "another day another dollar," but what if we made that dollar cost even more by eliminating some of the days?

Working in management for my agency has taught me that if everyone worked a little bit more productively and possibly a few hours longer each day we could potentially work four days a week and have a three day weekend!  This idea was proved to work this summer when my agency implemented summer hours.  Summer hours allowed for each employee to take up to four Fridays off and allow for a three day weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

 Many businesses in NYC have half day Fridays every day during the summer.  Having these three day weekends left me feeling refreshed and ready to be production by the time Monday rolled around, instead of feeling rundown and stressed about every aspect of my life.

Daniel Skarlicki, an organizational psychologist, explains that when studying non-union employees the more days they worked without feeling like they're getting paid enough can lead to negative energy in the work place.

New York Times

Konnikova points out that in 1930, John Maynard Keynes' philosophy predicted that because of the potent combination of technology and capital people would no longer have to worry about basic problems of survival, leaving the average human with ample free time.  Sounds good to me!

 Unfortunately, the opposite seemed to have happened.  Nowadays with the advances of technology we can't get away from work,  even on weekends we are expencted to be on stand-by to answer emails and phone calls leaving us with less and less free time.

Recently, Mexican mogul Carlos Slim proposed a three day work week promoting more productive and healthier employees.  The trade off?  Working longer hours during those three days and continuing work into your seventies.  The benefit? Gaining time to find your own way and do all the things you never found time to do like getting more sleep and doing production things for yourself or your home.  In turn, maybe we all will be physically capable of working into our seventies!

More countries have already adopted this method of a shorter work week in exchange for more productive work days.  The Netherlands, Germany and Norway take the cake for the shortest working hours, while South Korea, China and Greece have some of the worlds longest work hours.  In 2013 Forbes ranked Norway as the happiest country in the world.  Could their standard low working hours have something to do with this?  I think it's too good to be just a coincidence.

Americans could learn something from these statistics and at the very least reexamine what makes the most sense.  If it was up to me I would be in transit to Norway already.  Or France, just this year they passed a law that would effectively stop the work day at six o'clock.  Making it illegal to work after six, c'est la vie!
-Stephanie

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lady Links


A few "o00ooo" and "AhhHhhh" links shared between us through the work week...


                                                                                         Comedy Central 

        1. YASSSSSSS!!!! The trailer for season two of Broad City is out!


                                                                                              Fast Company

2. Yes, ill-witted white middle-aged man, Clinton could rule better than you at any age.


                                                                          Design to Inspire

3. A fantasy safari stay at the Segera Retreat in Kenya. A dream vacation on the top of our list.

                             Cosmopolitan


              Mommyish.com