when i was four years old and on vacation with my parents, i found a shivering baby bunny all alone under a bush. it was grey, and i named it thumper. i wrapped it up in a towel and begged my parents to let me keep it…but they convinced me that it was a country bunny, and that it would be happier at the zoo than in our hell’s kitchen apartment. so to the zoo it went.
to make me feel better, my parents bought me a tiny stuffed bunny from FAO Schwartz. it was grey, and i named it thumper.
a week later, i left it in the food court of a mall…and when we went back to look for it, it was gone.
Meet Jordan, founder of the blog Ramshackle Glam. Check out her blog for everything from tips on cooking, to how to spruce up a guest bedroom – perfect for any fabulous woman.
What was the best compliment you have ever received about your business or your business efforts?
My best compliments have been from readers who have written in to tell me that something I wrote changed their lives in a tangible way. One reader, for example, wrote me that she was frustrated with her career path: things were going fine, and she didn’t hate her life, exactly…but it also didn’t excite her. She said that her true passions were in the lifestyle sphere (cooking, entertaining, etc). I advised her to write guest posts for some blogs that she enjoyed, and offered to let her write the very first post for the Ramshackle Glam Community. She came up with two fantastic posts, and a few weeks ago she wrote me again to tell me that she’s decided to start her own dessert catering business. No better compliment than that.
I was also psyched that the Daily Beast recently called Ramshackle Glam “a single girl’s survival guide for those who don’t have a clue how to be domestic”. When I first moved back to New York to get a job in journalism I couldn’t have gotten myself hired by the Daily Beast if my life had depended on it, so to get such a positive review from them was pretty exciting.
What is the best lesson you could give a young woman who wants to start her own business?
If you’re looking to start your own business, you need two things: 1) passion, and 2) the ability, or at least the potential, to excel. I think that it’s vital that you pursue something that you love with all your heart – for me, that’s writing and hosting – but there also has to be an element of realism involved. Lots of people want to act: if you’re going to become an actress, you better love it…but you also better be pretty damn good at it. A great way to see whether you’ll truly be able to succeed in your chosen career field is to test the waters a bit: if you want to start your own catering business, try catering a few friends’ parties first and get some feedback. If you want to be a blogger, try writing guest posts for some sites that you admire. Imagine doing that every day for years: does the idea make you happy? Think about the businesses that already exist in your chosen field: what would you do differently, and what would you do better than anyone else?
What do you wish you had known when you started your own business?
I think that one mistake I made when I started was relying a lot on my faith that things would work out. I’ve been extremely lucky in that regard, and have been presented with amazing opportunities, but I think that I could have benefited from seeking out some more concrete advice from established colleagues. I also wish that I had been more savvy about my business practices: I have a habit of trusting people without getting to know them first, and while I think that openness and congeniality is important, you also have to take care to protect yourself. If you’re starting your own business, go over your plans with a lawyer and an accountant, and get everything – everything – in writing. Keep careful records (especially when it comes to your finances; receipts for everything!), including hard copies of important documents.
Describe a moment when you might have said, “I can’t believe I am getting paid for this?”
I recently flew to Charleston, South Carolina, to cover the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament for BetterTV. I woke up early on the morning of our first shoot and went to a nearby café, where I wrote out the day’s scripts while eating some fantastic grits, and then strolled around town for an hour or so while I went over my lines in my head. Later that day, I got to interview locals on their thoughts about the weekend’s activities while checking out some of the world’s best tennis players. So that was pretty amazing.
But really, every single day I feel lucky beyond words to be doing something that I love so much. Every day brings something completely different – and, more often than not, completely wonderful.
How do you think the current economy affected your entrepreneurial choices?
In some ways, I think the economy made me feel freer to pursue what I really wanted to do. A few years ago, when my friends and I graduated from college, most of them catapulted into (extremely high-paying) careers in finance, and I’ve definitely had my moments where I’ve felt “behind the curve,” or have questioned my decision to take a less conventional path. Today, though, high-paid jobs are no longer as secure or as available, and I think that’s made a lot of people reconsider their values, perhaps realizing that an enormous paycheck doesn’t necessarily equal stability – or happiness.
On Wednesday afternoon I swung by the rustic, adorable Spot Dessert Bar, on St. Mark’s Place, to film a segment in which celebrity chef Pichet Ong (of P*ONG and The Bubble Lounge) taught me how to make a Yuletide Log. I think I made one once before, when I was twelve or so. This one turned out better.
I’m not really a sweets person, and certainly not a cupcake person…but the cupcakes at Spot are intensely good. I had the Vanilla Yuzu Lemon (above, 2nd from bottom), which has a delicious touch of crunch and a creamy, lemony center, and Aunt Trudy (who came to keep me company) had the Mocha Maldon Salt Caramel (in the foreground above).
I’m on it! Was going to say “post to come”, but then realized that I have a few ideas for you off the top of my head.
1. Knit. Knit anything. Handmade scarves (or mittens, or hats, or whatever) are always welcome, and you can personalize them by ordering custom labels online that say “Happy Holidays From Olivia” (or whatever you like).
2. DIY your own body scrubs (I’m doing a post on this in the next couple of days, but the gist of it is that all you need is sugar or coarse salt, some kind of oil, and something that smells nice) and pour them into plastic squeeze bottles (easier to ship). Include an expiration date on the bottle - DIY-ed scrubs don’t last much longer than a month.
3. Fill plastic spritzer bottles with DIY-ed linen water and add a pretty ribbon. Include a note with suggestions on how to use it (fill iron; spritz on sheets; etc).
I don’t have a ton of money this year for Christmas presents (hullo, wedding), but I’d love to get my future in-laws some awesome gifts. I love crafting, but I hate when craft-gifts look too kitschy…what are some awesome DIY (and cheap) gift ideas for the holidays? (PS. I looove the mason jar idea, but these have to be shipped to Chicago!)
Over on Obvious’ blog, you’ll find pics from the shoot that Francesca and I did last week on my rooftop. Francesca styled a look centered around an Obvious piece for each of us, and then showed how you can add layers and accessories to take it from sun to snow.
Above, I’m wearing an Obvious muscle tee with rope detailing, Urban Outfitters sunglasses ($10!), my very best friends ye olde jean shorts, Rachel Roy earrings, & Aldo boots* (in later photos Francesca added on her own knit sweater, a Katherine Kwei purse*, a Trovata coat, and Cole Haan gloves).
1 quart sized jar
2⁄3 tsp salt
1 1⁄8 cup flour, divided
1⁄3 cup cocoa powder
2⁄3 cup brown sugar
2⁄3 cup white sugar
1⁄2 cup chocolate chips
1⁄2 cup white chocolate chips
1⁄2 cup walnuts or pecans
Wash, rinse and dry canning jars then layer ingredients as shown above.
Make sure you also print out a set of cooking instructions for your recipient.
Preheat oven to 175C. Grease a baking pan. Pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl and mix well.
Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil and 3 eggs. Beat until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Does anyone have any tips on how to search Etsy? I’ve looked for specific things on the site before, but unless I have a specific “find” in mind, I find the vastness of the site overwhelming. Suggestions?
That’s an excellent question, and not one I really have an answer for, as I rarely go to the site with a specific purchase in mind. I treat Etsy sort of like a thrift store; I’ll browse around a bit and, if I’m lucky, happen upon something spectacular.
Thanksgiving is coming up and we’ve reached out to a few of our favorite bloggers who love both fashion & food to talk about their passions and share one of their favorite recipes. Up first? Jordan Reid from Ramshackle Glam.
We’ve fallen hard for Jordan Reid and her blog, Ramshackle Glam. Created as a Haphazard Guide to Happiness, Ramshackle Glam is a sweet slice of Reid’s life and a happy read of ours. In addition to blogging, Reid is a freelance correspondent for BetterTV, a self-described semi-obsessive dog owner, blissful road tripper, and a reckless romantic. She went to high school at Dalton, and then majored in cognitive neuroscience at Harvard. She’s also studied at Lee Strasberg (acting), the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (acting), Parsons (fine arts), and University College London, and has completed half of a Master’s in Hospitality at NYU. Oh, and she met her now-husband through Facebook (she first friended his band), she’s adorable, and she cooks!
We sat down with the Jill of all trades to discuss cooking, her favorite restaurants, and to get her killer recipe for Chicken cacciatore. Enjoy!
StyledOn: It seems as if you’ve been cooking forever! When did you first get into the kitchen? Jordan Reid: I started cooking around age 14, but didn’t really get into it until I moved back to NYC a few years ago and started cooking for two (myself and my husband, Kendrick).
SO: What kind of dishes are your favorites to make?
JR: My favorite kinds of dishes are those that can be made with whatever I already have on hand. I steer clear of fussy, complicated dishes, and prefer simple, quick, and delicious. I also love making one-pot meals, because we are sadly without a dishwasher, and my husband and I have an unfortunate tendency to get into dramatic kitchen accidents when we wash dishes.
SO: What makes for a great meal?
JR: Butter. Garlic. Wine. And maybe a cute dog or two snuggled up around your feet.
SO: If you had to chose one: fashion or food?
JR: Food, but there’s no reason to abandon fashion while you cook: I’m a big fan of stylin’ aprons.
SO: Favorite restaurants or chefs?
JR: I have an enormous crush on Anthony Bourdain, and the majority of my cooking lessons came straight out of Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks. When it comes to restaurants, my favorites are hole-in-the-wall finds where you can get a great, home-cooked meal for just a few dollars, but I do have a couple of top spots in the city: for a romantic night out, I’d go to wine-and-cheese bar Casellula, and for brunch with friends, I’d hit 44 ½, an awesomely fun place (with great food) in Hell’s Kitchen.
Good news: the e-commerce site for Tuleste Market (the makers of the stamped crocodile and stingray bangles that I wear just about every single day of my life, pictured above) is finally up and running! I first discovered the line when I went to the press preview many months ago, and ever since then it’s been one of my favorites - very reasonably priced for the quality and look (many pieces are under $100), and super pretty and unique. I’ve been wanting to tell you about them ever since, but prior to the launch of the e-commerce site I found that the pieces were a bit tough to find online. No more!
A shot from last night’s puppy playgroup: Virgil losing his mind over a Hartz chew toy while Cooper looks on in envy. This toy actually had to be taken away from the dogs moments after this picture was taken, because they all started fighting over it.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a response like this to a toy (except maybe Lucy’s blue bunny, which has, sadly, been retired): the woman who runs Max Tamara’s said that she stocks up on a ton of them every couple of months because the dogs just adore them (plus they’re great for the teeth). Weird, because to me this looks like a completely boring toy, and not one I’d ever think to pick up off the shelf…but now I’m sold.
you may recall my strong affection for this proenza schouler necklace. well the crafty cats over at one of my fave blogs: honestly wtf have recreated their own version. and i am in lurve. slightly reminiscent of my neon bracelet creation too.
(In the background is John, a cameraman at MVS, a fantastic guy, and my frequent partner-in-crime nowadays.)
I’ve had the lamp pictured above (the one on my vanity) ever since high school, and in subsequent years it’s moved around the country with me from New York to Boston to Hollywood to Sherman Oaks and back again (a miracle that the only thing that’s happened to it is a lost finial, which I replaced with a pretty pink crystal one that I later lost as well…sigh). It’s a lot more traditional than my usual style, but I think it’s very clean-looking and adds nice polish to a tabletop.
Trying to keep warm pre-shoot with a giant scarf and a monster-sized cup of coffee. OK, now I’d really like my landlord to turn on the heat (but in the meantime, I’ll have to stick to these quick cozy-up-your-home ideas).
Want to know why your eyes water up when you chop onions? At your service! It’s because damage to the flesh creates a chemical reaction that releases a powerful eye irritant.
How to minimize chopping-associated pain?
We’ve all heard that of that chewing-gum trick…but I don’t feel that like that really does anything. And I don’t like gum. So here’s what works for me: I chill the onion pre-dicing (in the refrigerator, not the freezer), and then make sure that the knife I’m using is super-sharp (this minimizes cell damage and results in the release of fewer irritants).
In the comments under my couch post, reader Olivia wrote in about the custom sofa company, Home Reserve, that she used when looking to furnish her own apartment. It sounds pretty awesome, especially for anyone living in a small apartment where space is at a premium.
Sofas start at $299 (the one at left is $398), you can customize everything from fabric to style to accents, and it all gets delivered within ten days (as opposed to something like 6 weeks for many other companies’ custom couches). They have washable and pet-safe fabric options, as well as cover sets that you can use to switch up the look from season to season (or to replace damaged areas at low cost). Oh, and every piece incorporates storage, which is awesome.
I’m probably going to stick to the Pier One design I wrote about yesterday just because I love the shape so much, but thought this might be of interest to those of you looking to do a little redecorating of your own!
So after brunch Kendrick, Mike, Elli and I stopped into Pier One, and I fell completely in love with this couch (which is a deeper, more chocolately color than it looks here). We’re selling a couple of pieces of furniture at the moment, and if we can sell our couch for the amount we bought it for as well ($150), we won’t have to pay much extra for this one. Here’s a shot from the website that shows the color:
Our blue couch doesn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped it would, and isn’t particularly comfortable…and this one is like warm-bath-level comfort.
The other big event of the evening: watching the Joaquin Phoenix faux-documentary I’m Still Here. I hated it, with a viciousness that I’m a little confused by, to be honest…I usually don’t have such strongly negative reactions to films. But to me, this felt like two bratty, egotistical stars (by which I mean Joaquin - who is, in my opinion, an absolutely unbelievable actor - and director Casey Affleck) screwing around with the people in their lives (and the public) for no demonstrable purpose. I understand that it was trying to explore the constructs of celebrity and fame and artifice and the line between performance and life, but I thought it took the easy way out by focusing on sensationalism (hookers! drugs!) and trite stereotypes of how stars act (sunglasses indoors! rude!).
When Kendrick and I were discussing the movie later on, I said something along the lines of “But it served no purpose!” and he looked at me, sort of surprised, because one thing I definitely believe in is entertainment for entertainment’s sake, and I don’t believe that a movie has to serve a greater purpose. But when you’ve so clearly set out to make a “statement” (which I feel like this movie did) and then create something that’s simultaneously uninteresting and unthoughtful…well…that’s not a movie I want to see.
So you can probably tell that something about this movie made me really angry. And I’m not quite sure what, exactly…but I think it has something to do with feeling like I’ve been taken for a ride, and not enjoying the sensation at all.
But. The movie obviously sparks conversation, and inspires strong reactions. And maybe that means that they pulled the whole thing off pretty brilliantly.
Have any of you seen the film? What did you think?
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of BidOnTheCity. All opinions are 100% mine.
I was born in New York City, and in the years since I’ve only left twice: once for college, and the other time to pursue a career as an actress in L.A. I think it’s safe to say that I love the place, and that living here is pretty much a dream come true.
What I do not love about New York City is the fact that it seems 100% impossible to own an apartment here. Which means I think that Bid On The City is pretty cool. It’s a live online bidding site for luxury Manhattan and Westchester properties, and starting November 16 you can watch and bid in real time for 18 properties worth $30 million. Oh…and the bidding starts at $1.
The property shown in the photo at the left (which has…I’m sorry, is that a washing machine?!), for example, was originally listed at 279k. I’m not looking to move, but that’s an amazing price for a 2-bedroom - granted, it’s way up on 135th street, but for under 300k I would deal - and right now the bidding for it is starting at ONE. DOLLAR. I can’t imagine it going for less than 250k - in fact, I can’t even imagine it going for that (a 2-bedroom!) - but how awesome would it be if you snagged it for less?
Also! Bid On The City is giving away $100K if you guess the final bidding price on 10 consecutive properties. I’m terrible at guessing property prices, but if that’s something for which you have a talent, why not give it a shot?