Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Joplin Fringe

I have always admired those girls that look effortlessly boho. They're like a little bit Miller, a little bit Olsen, but whether they know it or not, a whole lot Joplin and Baez. Much of my style amounts from the music I'm currently obsessing over (see right column for clues). Unfortunately, living in a dorm sometimes means not listening a whole lot during those wee hours, so lately my outfits have been a bit quiet. But since Boston's current fixation is the "drowned-rat" look, I haven't much to worry.
{hippie strangers, circa 1969}
Once my schizo city decides to put on a happy grin and shine some pretty rays, I plan on blasting some Bobby McGee and rocking the fringe. See, I'm convinced that fringe is the key. Janis did it, Joan did it, and now, so are Sienna and Mary-Kate. They also add lots and lots of suh-weet accessories. Need em? Well Etsy's a great place to start, because you'll never find another Ram Ring like this. For less expensive finds there's always that reliable Forever 21. For quirky discoveries with old stories, head to a nearby thrift store...a lesson G-Ma Murphy taught me and I am not soon to forget.

For my first fringe purchase, I am adoring these:

The Fringed MacAllister Boot from J.Crew and at $158, I probably shouldn't bring them through the mud here or here, as much as I'd like to. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Always in the Mood for Food!

So I was just tumbling along on this slow-moving Saturday morning, when I suddenly spotted
OMG your mouth's drooling too? It's ok, I'm glad we're all craving cupcakes so early in the morning. I was transferred from tinywhitedaisies fabulous tumblr, to the you-will-die just reading the delicious words of these recipes on Donal Skehan's, The Good Mood Food Blog. One question, where have you been all my blogging life?! But the best part? She's Irish! Alas, a girl from my homeland to shush my Italian stepdad about my heritage lacking quality food, (he's an incredible cook). Hoo-ray, we are not all meat and potatoes after all!

This dining diva whips up everything from cocktails, yes I mean martinis not just a how-to on pouring Guinness, to stiry fry, goulash, and even an Italian carbonara (ya heard Randy??).

I am super pumped to put these recipes to the test. First on the list are these Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes, because now they're in my head and they won't leave until I have a bite. Plus, I'm thinking they might go perfect for a certain Grown Up Lady Me's belated Birthday song after Sunday dinner.

Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes
This recipe makes delicious, light and moist cupcakes with a fruity taste.
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
For the frosting: 
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons blackberry coulis
Blackberries for decoration
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180c. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions.

In another bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and blackberry coulis. Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and mix on low speed until just combined. Mix in the blackberry coulis/milk mixture. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared paper liners. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and blackberry coulis in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired and garnish with fresh blackberries.
Happy Indulging Friends!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Plant Parade

An hour ago, there were flurries outside my stuffy window. Yes, on the streets of Boston, on this almost April morning, it was snowing. After days of ranting and raving about the upcoming warm weather and overly anticipating for spring I was kicked back to quiet down, this is New England after all. So on this 36 degree day (ouch), I can't hep but think of a story I heard over at Grown Up Lady Me. My friend Carly told a tale, in that amazing way she does, about a little girl walking with her mom on a shockingly nice Boston afternoon. This optimistic and awesomely imaginative youngin'  suddenly exclaimed, "in the summertime, all the plants are going to come up and march down the sidewalks with me." Can you imagine? A plant parade we shall call it, little girl! I can't wait. You need to read the rest of Carly's story here. (p.s. it's her birthday, so shout her out!)

March on sweet colors!
You will lead the group right next to Little Miss and Grown Up Lady Me
Join the parade pretty Dahlia, all flower lovers are also tea-drinkers!
This would not be so spectacular without A Secret Garden
Lots and lots of colors
Mystical law: People crave happiness, freedom, and peace of mind
It's almost Easter, of course we need you
And some Cadillac blue for the dance party at the end!
Time to pack up the plant parade and head back to snowy Boston!

The beautiful and inspirational Grown Up Lady Me! 

You know, she modeled here

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rock Down To Electric Avenue

Last season, when brights and neons were all the rage, I was off searching for ear plugs to block the screaming sounds of Cutting Crew and Huey Lewis. For some reason I could accept leggings, but electric pink was taking it too far back to 1988. Now this year, I'm just craving warm weather so I can paint on some ecstatic purple polish. I have no reasoning behind my sudden change of heart, but I think it has something to do with a trip to Mexico and a whole lot of yappy sorority girls from Minnesota. These girls made a shocking yellow swim suit hot and fun, not like Jessie from Saved By The Bell with a scrunchie. So come 70 degrees, I'm going to take a walk down Electric Avenue, even if I'm holding hands with Eddy Grant in 1982, and pray it wasn't just the heat of Cancun or too many Margaritas.

Find the best neon polishes by Barry M Nail Paint

Deep In My Heart I'm A Warrior
Electric Avenue
1. Alexander McQueen Skull Tank- $225
2. Old Navy Neon-Piped String Bikini- $17 top/$17 bottom
3.James Jeans in Twiggy Jean Alto- $155
4. Keds Champion in Multi Neon Lace Up- $22
5. Michael Kods Runway Clutch- $600
6. Old Navy Neon Digital Sports Watch- $11
7. Kirra 5 On Card Metal Headband- $6.50
8. Jack Martin Bueller Neon Sunglasses- $13
9. MAC 'Viva Glam VII' Lady Gaga Lipstick- $14
10. Barry M Nail Paint Shocking Pink- $4.34

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mellow Yellow

Let's walk through a field of these
And after, we'll refresh on this
We'll shade ourselves under this
Then we'll go to the most beautifully lit dinner here
And show up wearing this

A reminder for Spring...

Have a wonderful Wednesday friends!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ray Allen Raises Awareness for Juvenile Diabetes

Being a local Celtics fan, I simply cannot ignore the great Ray Allen's recent dunk for charity. The shooting superstar has teamed up with Muze, a clothing brand that combines pop culture tag lines with modern graphics, to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Allen's 3-year-old son, Walker, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in June of 2008.
100% of the T-Shirt proceeds go to JDRF. Swing over here to learn more and purchase your own shirt to help support the cause.
The T-Shirt's design is truly inspiring. You'll notice a paper plane taking off and flying through various colored basketballs. Muze designer and CEO, Bill Deacon, explains this illustrates Ray Allen's life. The paper plane represents his childhood on a US Air Force base, while the colorful basketballs display Allen's career path beginning at Lincoln High to the University of Connecticut, Milwaukee, Seattle, and finally, Boston, as #20 on the Celtics. The W.W.J.S.D. stands for “What Would Jesus Shuttleworth Do?” a tribute Ray Allen's character in Spike Lee’s “He Got Game."

Although the front is very thoughtful, I think the back of the shirt is my favorite. The movie line, “No journey is too great, when one finds what he seeks,” from the 80's classic and Ray Allen's favorite, "Coming to America" in Ray’s own handwriting. It is apparent how dedicated Allen is with this charity and finding a cure for his son.

Watch this video for more on Ray Allen, his family, and their struggle with Juvenile Diabetes:

The Garden Brunch

After a weekend of gorgeous Spring days and walking through the early bloom of the Boston gardens, I am reminded of one of my favorite warm weather traditions, brunch! Bostonians love brunch almost as much as they love beer and it is never a shock to see lines from the city's best restaurants out to the streets on Sundays as groups eagerly await a patio table to enjoy an omelet and a mimosa, or two. Some of the best Boston brunches can be found at Stephanie's on Newbury, The Beehive or Paramount in the South End, Sofra in Cambridge, or Zaftigs in Coolidge Corner.  If you're interested in a traditional Irish or English breakfast, hit up the pubs like Matt Murphy's in Brookline or The Squealing Pig in Mission Hill. For a healthy bagel sandwich and organic iced coffee, there's no place like Bagel Rising in Allston Rock City. 

Of course, like most aspects of my life, when I venture out I venture all-out. So when Sunday brunch comes calling, so does my wardrobe. What do you wear to brunch on a sunny Boston morning? I've always advocated for matching your dress to your drink, I find it's more appealing to city spectators, paparazzi glamour shots, and poetic consonance. I also discovered that nothing matches mid-day juice cocktails quite like a floral sundress. It's classy, it's cute, and the bright colors will inevitably hide any puffy eyes leftover from Saturday evening's engagements. 

Garden Brunch Sundress
Garden Brunch

Items in this set:
1. ModCloth Rivulet Dress- $36
2. Miu Miu Jersey Ruffle Dress- $195
3. Forever 21 Garden Woven Dress- $25
4. Forever 21 Casual Dress- $18
5. Forever 21 Sheer Striped Floral $27
6. Acne Gorgeous Pre Pink Cotton- $310

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mad as a Hatter

I finally saw Alice in Wonderland last night and despite contradictory reviews, I thought it was wonderful! Johnny Depp was, of course, amazing as the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska was positively stunning, a perfect Alice. Tim Burton put his imagination to the ultimate test in creating a genius Wonderland and all the characters fit beautifully with those in Lewis Carroll's story. Two things I could have done without, the 3D and Anne Hathaway. Never truly been a fan of either, but neither forced a turnoff. If you have not seen Alice in Wonderland yet, I highly recommend it for an evening escape!
My dear friend, Betsy, has created her Wonderland on polyvore and I just can't get enough of Alice's dress! I'm dying to throw a Mad Hatter Tea, complete with costumes, vintage tea cups, a few pots of gin-infused tea dangling notes, "Drink Me," and of course a croquet game.  I just need some Wonderland weather for this outdoor occasion!
Betsy's Wonderland

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Into Strappy

I have been seriously crushing Valentino's sandals for more reasons than just the luxurious brand. The collection's darling flower details, comfortable leather straps, and go-with-anything array of colors are the perfect combination for any Spring occasion. Unfortunately, my post-Spring break budget hardly allows for a $695 sandal purchase so I've been searching high and low for pedicure friendly footwear of similar taste.
Crave or Save for Summer
1. Valentino Black Leather Flower Sandal - $695
2. Topshop Flower Chiffon Sandal- $70
3. Valentino White Leather Flower Sandal - $695
4. Pierre Dumas Gold Leather Flower Sandal- $39
5. Valentino Petale Thong Sandal- $575
6. Gap Crinkle Flower T-Strap Sandal- $34.50

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vintage Alert :: Bows & Bandits

My weekly update from the folks at  Lifelounge is like a triple fudge sundae, complete with heaps of ice cream, gooey caramel, swirls of whip cream and topped with a decadent cherry. The team indulges us with the good, the bad, and the beautiful in our favorite creative spaces from photography, to fashion, music, to video, it's everything you always knew you always wanted.

In this morning's email, I learned about the Austrian vintage brand, Bows & Bandits. After visiting their website here, I instantly began loading up a shopping bag. Then I realized, as I often do when visiting international sites, that 22 euro means a lot more to my credit card. My shopping bag got a bit smaller after numerous conversions. But trust me, the one-of-a-kind finds are worth the international rate.

Check out their Winter lookbook (as we eagerly await for Spring) :

Here is my darling Bows & Bandits outfit for Spring:
Bows & Bandits Spring

1. Short Sleeve Knit Pullover- $33
2. Floral Skirt- $48
3. Green Brown Leather Mid-Heel Shoe- $44
4. Oversized Sunglasses- $33
5. Woven Straw Clutch- $26
6. Butterfly Brooch- $19

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Material Girl

Just two days ago, Madonna reported to WWD and Vogue UK that she is moving to some new sounds, the fashion beat. That's right, the Material Girl herself is launching her very own fashion line in a 50/50 venture with Iconix Brand Group Inc. The launch, to be called MG Icon LLC, will be a series of projects in the fashion retail industry. Vogue UK reports that Madonna will first launch at Macy's with a junior line called what else, Material Girl, and eventually team up with a designer label for an eyewear collection. The Queen of Pop was quoted saying, "I look forward to working closely with Neil and his team to create and translate my vision and ideas for MG Icon."

I love Madonna but all I can say is, thank god Madge's style has evolved since "Like a Virgin." I wish her all the best in the fashion industry because I think Lady Gaga has taken the pop seat in music. Also, Gaga please do not start a fashion line for at least 10 years. I'm not quite ready to browse racks of gothic bondage and leather masks.

Madonna's Style Evolution:
{Like a Virgin}
{The pointy bra}
{Papa Don't Preach}
{A revolutionary with the androgynous look}
{Was she in The Cell??}
{American Life}
{In a nutshell.}