Monday, April 14, 2014

monday links

Happy Monday! Have you finished your taxes yet? Better get on it, procrastinators! If you're in need of a little break this afternoon, watch this silly video featuring Superheroes as the Golden Girls.

Who wants to see Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch's new movie starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as hipster vampires? I'm intrigued by the idea of vampires using their hundreds of years of immortality to read and listen to music rather than being scary ghouls (or sparkly permanent highschoolers, I'm looking at you Twilight). It actually makes the idea of being a vampire sound kind of appealing- imagine having all the time in the world to read every great book there ever was!
Check out the NY Times review, and an interesting interview with Tilda Swinton.

Have you seen Coral & Tusk's new line of embroidered fabric? The first collection features three whimsical prints on upholstery weight linen. It's only available to the trade (arg), but if anyone wants to send me one of these pillows, I'll happily accept.

I recently came across GUDRUN SJÖDÉNa Swedish brand of clothing and home textiles. They have some really fun floral prints for Spring. A lot of their clothes are a little too older hippie lady for me (think flowing tunics layered over skirts over pants), but there are some gems to be found- like these printed sneakers, asymmetrical jacket,  and boatneck dress.  They just opened their first US store in NY, but I think their next shop should probably open in Berkeley (the ladies of 4th street would be all over this). They also have gorgeous prints for the home- I love everything in the Gökotta print.

[Super Golden Friends photo from L7World, Only Lovers Left Alive photo from Sony Pictures Classics via Buzzfeed, Coral & Tusk photo by Geoffrey Sokol via Daily AD, Girl in garden photo from GUDRUN SJÖDÉN]

Thursday, April 10, 2014

i hate perfume

I love perfume, and I hate perfume. I love the idea of capturing the scent of a flower and being able to carry it around in your pocket. I am fascinated by the art and history behind perfume. I love the idea of having a personal scent that people associate with you. But too often, I do not like the reality of perfume. With most perfumes, I am disappointed that the scent doesn't live up to its fanciful name and description. Many times I am left with a pounding headache from over-powering, musky colognes or cloyingly sweet florals. One encounter with a spray-happy employee at Sephora and I'm ready to swear off scent forever.

Enter CB I Hate Perfume.

Christopher Brosius created his line of perfumes as a response to many of the (horrible) mass market perfumes available. He recognized the powerful and personal role scent plays in our lives, how it can evoke memories and transport us back to a specific place or time.

As he puts it in this interview:

“In terms of how my perfumes smell they are often not at all what people expect when they pick up a bottle and smell it. The world has become conditioned to expect a number of qualities from perfume: it’s pretty, it’s abstract, it’s sexy…God knows what that means…but my perfumes actually smell like real things, real places, real experiences."

CB has a huge selection of what they call "single accords"- scents that capture one very specific smell- everything from soaked earth to crayons or roast beef. Though you might not want to smell like roast beef, being able to smell it perfectly captured in a bottle is a wondrous and magical experience- I was instantly reminded of my Grandma's kitchen at Christmas. I have a bottle of Ginger Ale accord, which not only captures the scent, but also somehow the effervescent nose-tickling fizziness of soda.

In addition to the single accords, Brosius has developed a collection of ready to wear perfumes (which happen to be some of my favorite perfumes ever). Each perfume has a story behind it; they are all based on a specific place or memory. My personal favorite is Russian Caravan Tea, which is described as "smoked black Indian tea, bergamot and the hint of shelves full of old books". One sniff and you'll be longing to curl up in the library with a big cup of Early Grey. I also love At the Beach 1966, which perfectly captures the scent of spending a day at the beach- including the Coppertone sunscreen. My husband's favorite is Winter 1972, which is masculine without any of that heavy Drakkar Noir-esque scent I usually associate with cologne (and hate). Rather, it conjures up "a field of untouched new fallen snow, hand knit woolen mittens covered with frost, a hint of frozen forest & sleeping earth". The description may sound a bit over the top, but it really does smell like all that, and I absolutely love the scent. 

A selection of Brosius' perfumes are available on his website, though you'll have to visit the gallery for all the individual accords. If you are ever in Brooklyn, I highly recommend a visit to his gallery- the selection of scents is truly astonishing. Even if you are not normally a fan of perfume, you can easily spend an hour there experiencing the magic of all the scents. Plus, he doesn't use any of the chemicals that turn many people off perfume, and none of his scents have given me a headache so far. 

CB I Hate Perfume just celebrated it's 10th anniversary with a limited edition box containing the full collection of Brosius' perfumes. If you've got an extra $6500 to burn, how fun would it be to own such a wide range of scents?! My ultimate perfume dream is to commission a custom scent from him though. I don't even know what that costs (I'm guessing not cheap), but whatever it is, I'm sure its worth it. A custom scent blended just for you, that no one else on Earth will ever have- ultimate luxury! While I'm saving my pennies, I'll be dreaming of what kind of a scent I would choose...

[Perfume bottle photo via The President Wears Prada, Brosius photo from Interview Magazine, Perfume photo via CB I Hate Perfume, Gallery photo via Humans Invent]

Monday, April 7, 2014

monday links

It's my husband's birthday today, so I made him a batch of his favorite lemon bars- but made with key limes for a new twist. I always use this recipe for the Ultimate Lemon Butter Bar. It's a fairly involved recipe, but it yields the most delicious bars with a serious punch of tart citrus. Consider yourself warned: I brought these to a bake sale at work years ago, and two older ladies in my office literally begged me every day until I agreed to bring in more! This recipe doesn't make a lot, so I usually double it and make them in a 9x13" pan. Well, more specifically, I double the shortbread base and triple the lemon curd topping. If you want to try them with lime juice, I recommend using 2/3 lime juice and 1/3 lemon juice so they still end up nice and tart.

The Selby featured a home tour of John Derian's NYC apartment, and (not surprisingly) it's filled with an amazing assortment of unique and lovely things. If you're not familiar with John Derian's decoupage, visit his website and prepare to empty your bank account. 

Have you ever ordered from Golden Tote? It's a fun concept: you fill out a questionnaire about your style, pick out one or two pieces you like, and then they surprise you with up to five other items in your tote. My friend Kait is obsessed with it, and has got me thinking about giving it a try. The tote for April was released today, and some pieces are already sold out, but I've got my eye on this sundress for summer.

[Lemon bar photo by Carl Tremblay via Leite's Culinaria, John Derian home photo by The Selby,  sundress photo from Golden Tote]

Friday, April 4, 2014

trendspotting: florals on black

Floral prints have been big for some time now, but lately I've been noticing floral prints with black backgrounds cropping up everywhere. From clothing to art and accessories, the bright flowers really pop against the dark background. These prints seem great for this early spring time of year- the black background means you can still pair them with your darker cold weather clothes, but the flowers give you a punch of springy color. 

Here are some of my favorites:
Clockwise from top left: photo from fashionsaladetiephone casehat, photo by Justina Blakeneydress, pants
This trend seems to be part of the resurgence of 90's grungy style- taking Grandma's floral prints and toughening them up to make them more current. The florals can range from classic cottage garden floral prints to more modern photo-realistic florals. These prints are showing up in menswear as well (remember when I said men were wearing florals?).

Clockwise from top left: girls photo via Genny Wilsonphone case, journal, Doc Martensjacket,

As a devoted lover of all things flowery, I'm liking this new take on floral prints. What do you think?
For even more floral prints on black backgrounds, check out my Pinterest board.

[Top photo via Where Did U Get That]

Monday, March 31, 2014

monday links

Happy Monday! It's rainy and cold here today, but I've got Spring on the mind thanks to this genius project from Jenny Komenda- DIY concrete planters. Big, outdoor planters can be so expensive and ugly, but they don't have to be if you can make them yourself! I'm thinking about trying to make some of these for our outdoor driveway, er, patio. 

Have you ever tried contouring your makeup? There seems to be a ton of dramatic before-and-afters going around the web these days. As someone who is lucky to get out the door with a little eyeshadow and mascara most mornings, I can't imagine wearing that much makeup - unless maybe I had to assume a new identity and needed to look completely different? Check out this round-up of dramatic transformations, and a how-to from The Beauty Department for a less extreme technique. 

Should you go out tonight? Let Morrissey help you decide with this awesome flow chart (spoiler alert: don't go looking for an optimistic answer).

Did you watch the season finale of The Walking Dead last night? Are you thoroughly terrified of the zombie apocalypse? Refinery29 has put together a Zombie Survivial Guide to help you get prepared. I don't think I'm going to bother stocking up on supplies though- I know I'll be too scared to survive if the zombies ever really come!

[Concrete planters photo from Little Green Notebook, Makeup photo from Loulou's Star Fashions, Morrissey photo via American Songwriter, The Walking Dead photo via Collider]

Thursday, March 27, 2014

affordable stacking rings

I've been slowly amassing a collection of simple stacking rings over the last year or so, and I can't get enough of them. I used to be more into wearing silver, but unfortunately, my love for gold seems to have developed just as the price of gold went through the roof a few years ago. Catbird (the undisputed queens of stacking rings) makes some of my favorite rings, but I can only buy so many solid gold pieces before I start dipping into my grocery budget. I recently turned to Etsy for some more wallet-friendly options, and I've been pleasantly surprised with the quality. If you're looking to build some stacks on the cheap, here are two of my favorite shops:

Modern Chromatic has a great selection of thin, hammered bands. Her gold rings are made from gold-filled wire (14k gold bonded to a base of brass), which is obviously not as fancy as solid gold, but is more durable than gold-plating or solid brass. Before I ordered this set, I was skeptical of what the quality would be like since they were so inexpensive (3 rings for $23!), but so far, so good! I haven't taken them off for the last 2 months and they still look as shiny and new as they day I got them. Plus, their shipping was lightning-fast and they arrived in a cute little package with a free polishing cloth!

Stefanie Sheehan is another Etsy seller with affordable options. She makes rings in a variety of interesting, modern shapes. She offers most of her jewelry in either solid gold or gold-filled, depending on how much of a baller you are. I received this three spike beauty for my birthday last September, and I couldn't be happier with it.

Both of these sellers offer rings in a wide variety of sizes, so you can stack from your thumb all the way to the tip of your pinkie! For more of my ring picks, check out my Pinterest page.

[Top image from Odette NY via Triple Max Tons, Middle photo from Modern Chromatic, Bottom from Stefanie Sheehan]

Monday, March 24, 2014

monday links

Hope you enjoyed our series on tea this week! I thought I'd share a link to one of my favorite teas I've been drinking lately - Turmeric Spice from Samovar. It's a spicy, gingery herbal blend that's great for warming you up on a cold night- especially if you're feeling sick. The 5oz box may seem expensive, but it will last you a long time, a little really goes long way.

I'm thinking I probably need to invest in a set of these Enamelware dishes for camping and picnics this summer. I mean, what else am I supposed to do- eat off paper plates like some sort of barbarian?? I'll take the pretty mint green color please.

P.S. check out the full Barn Light Electric site if you're in the market for some really cute retro lighting

Do you love beets or hate them? If you're not a fan, have you tried them lately? This article in the NY Times makes a good case for reconsidering foods you didn't like when you were younger. In the last few years, I've been surprised to find myself enjoying lots of things I previously hated: beets, brussels sprouts, horseradish, and coffee. I'm still against red bell peppers though. Is there anything you've grown to like?

Not into March Madness Basketball? Perhaps Apartment Therapy's Pet Madness is more your speed. You can vote every day for the rest of the month in this ultimate battle of cuteness. The bracket will end up pitting cat vs. dog, and from the look of all the cute entries, competition is going to be pretty fierce.

[Tea photo from Samovar, Enamelware photo from Barn Light Electric, beet photo from the Atlantic, Pet Madness bracket from Apartment Therapy]