I’ve been going to Barnacle Billy’s every summer since I was about five (my very first boyfriend, Paul, was a waiter here), and as far as restaurants go, it’s pretty much everything I’m looking for. Cozy and warm inside (there’s even a fireplace for cooler days) and a rustic outdoor deck with a spectacular view of Perkins Cove…and amazing, amazing lobster rolls. Also, anywhere you can eat off a tray while wearing a bib is my kind of place.
Here we are waiting on the (sort of long) line to order dinner. This was also the site of our wedding weekend kick-off: on the Friday night before our Sunday wedding, we encouraged everyone who had already gotten into town to join us for dinner at Billy’s, and we all sat at long tables with our trays of lobster and plastic cups of chardonnay. It was the perfect start to the weekend.
Aaaand…here they are (crab roll on the left, lobster roll on the right), served alongside some of the best bread-and-butter pickles in the world. If seafood isn’t your thing, try my Mom’s order (she’s allergic to shellfish): the half chicken, some “native sweet corn,” and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
If you can’t make it to Ogunquit this summer, I highly recommend checking out Pearl Oyster Bar - it’s the best lobster roll you’ll get south of the (Maine) border.
For my birthday, Kendrick decided to surprise me with a weekend in Ogunquit - where I spent time every summer as a little girl, and where we got married (at Clay Hill Farm). It is actually my favorite place in the entire world: at present, I’m sipping coffee and looking out on the Marginal Way (a long path that winds down the seashore towards Perkins Cove) from the terrace of our B&B…and last night, I got some serious lobster roll action.
Part of the deal was a king-size, dog-free bed, so the first stop was at Pets at Play, a daycare, boarding and training place on West 45th Street. Lucy and Virgil normally have crazy separation anxiety whenever I drop them off anywhere (desperate, pleading looks backwards, floor-scrabbling, etc), but after one previous boarding session at Pets at Play, they actually dragged me down the block towards the front door and bounded into the arms of Alex, who was working at the desk. Whew.
We got stuck in insane traffic on the way up, so we ended up only making it as far as New Haven by lunchtime. Kendrick insisted that we head over to Frank Pepe Pizzeria for lunch, and it turned out to be more than worth the detour. See that thing up there? We ate it ALL. Every single bite. Pepe’s is a must-not-miss; it’s basically the Platonic ideal of pizza. Go, please.
Q. I just…read your post about disclosure, and I just wanted you to know how much I love the blog and that I think you’re doing a fabulous job! I think one of my favorite things about Ramshackle Glam is that you don’t try to be an expert. Lord knows that there are soo many blogs out there written by people claiming to be experts on this that and the other thing!
So it’s refreshing to read a blog where someone basically says “I’m normal, I know what works for me, and now I’m going to share it so maybe someone else can learn from this!” That being said I would love it if you would do a post on some great places to shop in the city on a limited budget. I know you’re a big fan of TJ Maxx, but maybe you can suggest some other cool places that are equally wallet friendly?
A. Of course! When it comes to shopping, I’m a bit of a creature of habit: I gravitate towards stores where I can buy on the cheap and then tailor my finds to my liking (like I did with this KMart dress). That said, I have a few more favorite shops on my quick-fix list.
- Salvation Army, 46th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. Best for furniture, but if you’ve got time to sift through rack after long rack, you’re sure to come away with some great pieces (on a recent trip, I found a Marc Jacobs-esque silk blouse and a few perfect button-downs for Kendrick).
- Coup de Coeur, 789 9th Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets (for other locations, click HERE). My one-stop shop if evening plans arise at the last minute. A ton of gorgeous cocktail dresses in the $30-$50 range, and jewelry that’s way less expensive than it looks.
- Outcasts, 660 10th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets. Fabulous vintage store in Hell’s Kitchen (with fun extras like china and purses).
- Madewell, 486 Broadway at Broome Street. Like J.Crew for the hipsterish crowd; not super-inexpensive, but it’s worth spending a little more for their tiny floral prints, perfectly cut shorts, and soft denim button-downs.
- So Good Jewelry, 448 Broadway just south of Grand Street. A virtual warehouse of incredible finds, from bangles to barrettes, and my go-to shop for purse hooks.
When I lived in Los Angeles, my bedroom had bright blue walls that matched exactly none of the bedding that I owned. I decided to try out a country-livin’ vibe to mix it up a little (for the past few years, I had skewed towards DKNY Home’s modern romantic look), but when I went hunting around for a quilt, I discovered that most of them were (way, way) out of my price range. Finally I happened upon the one that currently adorns our bed on GarnetHill.com, and ever since then the site has been my go-to place for inexpensive bedding that looks anything but.
My much-loved ’80s-style pair of ridiculousness has, as my mom would say, “had the biscuit,” so the other day I traipsed over to 86th Street in search of an optical shop. At Kalmus Optical (217 East 86th between 2nd and 3rd; 212-737-7874) Mr. Singer, the optometrist, gave me one of the most thorough eye exams I’ve ever had (none of that in-and-out, perfunctory LensCrafters stuff), and then declared that one of my eyes is perfect…and that the other is 20/400. Yikes.
But better times were ahead! After scanning the racks of new frames, I noticed a case towards the back filled with a totally bizarre, eclectic mish-mosh of styles.
Apparently the optometrist had a warehouse for several decades that he recently cleaned out…or something like that. I asked if the vintage frames sold particularly well, and was told that no, they don’t really - so if this is your style, they’re yours for the taking! Please note the pale-pink pair on the far right, second from bottom. Amazing.
And check out my selection:
I LOVE them - they’re one-of-a-kinds from the late ’70s - and think that they should always be worn with red lipstick and a vaguely confused facial expression. I also expect a wee bit of mockery to come my way.
Since it was about five zillion degrees yesterday, I decided to take a quick breather from the afternoon dog walk to plop down in Carl Schurz park and get some sun. Before heading into the park, though, I stopped at a deli to grab some water for Lucy and Virgil. In the summertime, it’s super-important to always have a water source handy when you take your dogs for a walk (these are great, but coffee cups from the corner store also work in a pinch…as you can see).
For more hot-weather-health tips for your dog, click HERE.
Former NYT food critic Ruth Reichl’s memoirs, including Garlic & Sapphires and Comfort Me with Apples, are some of my favorite reads ever. That said, I don’t often try out the recipes she includes in them - they’re really just not the kind of stuff I usually make (Dacquoise, Miang Kam, etc). When I read her recipe for what she calls her ultimate comfort food, Matzo Brei (rhymes with “fry”), though, I had to try it: I am all about the comfort food these days.
Matzo brei is basically just matzos scrambled into eggs (it’s often called “Jewish french toast”), but it’s hearty, simple, and yep…comforting.
MATZO BREI (Adapted from Ruth Reichl)
What you need:
4 eggs (best-quality)
Salt to taste (I like about a teaspoon)
3/4 stick butter
What you do:
1. Crumble matzos into a sieve.
2. Run the sieve under cold tap water until crumbs are evenly moistened (10-15 seconds). Don’t worry if they seem really wet; you just don’t want to get them to the point where they disintegrate entirely.
3. Shake off water and pour moistened matzo into a large-ish bowl. Add eggs and salt to taste (I like a lot, but take it easy with the salt at this point; you can always add more later). Stir eggs into matzo gently, with a fork, until mixed fairly well.
4. Heat butter (I know it sounds like a lot of butter, and it is…but that’s what makes it taste good) in a large pan until foamy, then add matzo/egg mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until eggs are cooked through and matzo is just a touch crispy. I sometimes find it tough to get the matzo to crisp; that’s fine. It tastes good anyway.
Alternative 1: Saute some chopped onions and mushrooms in a separate pan and add to the egg mixture after it’s mostly cooked through for a savory twist.
Alternative 2: Instead of the salt, add 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a dash of vanilla; serve with maple syrup or a little honey.
On June 7, I’ll be speaking at an Internet Week event on Women in Tech-Media (hopefully I’ll be a little less nervous than I was last time). If you’d like to attend - and please do; I’d love to get a chance to meet as many of you as possible! - click HERE to register (it’s only $5).
Last night started out at La Palapa, where Jenn and I discovered that during happy hour, this quite large and delicious thing costs only $4.
Incredible. The guacamole ($3.85) at La Palapa leaves much to be desired, but after two of these, trust me: you won’t care much.
After La Palapa, we headed over to Kingswood for the B5 Media party (above, I’m with TheGloss.com’s Lilit and Daily Candy’s Jenn; photo via RandomNightOut). I wish you could see my outfit better: I’m wearing a leopard-print H&M romper (yeah, yeah) that I bought earlier that day for only $9! It had a tiny rip in it, but hey…that’s what safety pins are for, no?
I was very impressed by the party’s drinks menu (kudos to Lilit and Jennifer):
The Kate Moss: Diet Red Bull and vodka with sugar (white, of course) around the rim
The Karl Lagerfeld: Ice with a splash of Diet Coke
The Bitch Please: Pineapple juice with vodka
The Lust Object: Strawberry Bellini (had a couple of these; yum yum yum)
The Retro Snap: Vodka and tonic or ginger ale, with an umbrella in it
Strawberry Bellinis are super-simple to make. All you need is about 1 1/2 to 2 cups pureed fresh strawberries per bottle of champagne or prosecco; just combine in a frosty pitcher and stir. Serve in champagne glasses or coupe glasses (pictured above) with a slice of fresh strawberry or a mint sprig for garnish.
Tip: go cheap on the champagne when making strawberry bellinis; no need to spend much when all you’re going to taste is sparkly berries, anyway. I like Friexnet, which goes for about $9 in most liquor stores (it’s the stuff in the opaque black bottle).
…I dreamed that I was hanging around outside a Fashion Week party with my parents. We sat on folding chairs pushed up against a wall, waiting our turn while everyone else paraded in, my father radiating general disappointment in me and my life choices (which had conspired to land all of us sitting in the cold outside a Versace party). I felt something uncomfortable in my mouth, and reached up to discover that I had accidentally left in some tooth whitening molds. I tried to pull them out, but they were stuck, and when I finally dislodged them with a hard yank, all of my back teeth and parts of my front ones came out, too. I clapped my hands to my mouth and turned to my parents, crying hysterically. My mom sighed, rolled her eyes, and said, “Well, that’s going to cost you a fortune to fix.”
Let’s not even try to analyze that one - it’s just too easy, having that dream the morning of the day you turn 29.
But then I woke up to find these lying on the pillow next to me, and instantly felt better. Pink peonies will do that to ya.
"In light of this digital age, people are asking “Should I still have a business card?” The changes in new media have people using digital business cards and connecting through wireless phone applications, but there many reasons to still use business cards to exchange information…"
My friend Natasha’s cousin’s wedding invitation is one of the most original things I’ve ever seen. Drawn in the style of the “Little Miss/Mr." books, each page contained a different piece of information, from how they met to where the reception would be held (at least, I think it did - je ne parle pas Francais).
For another head-spinningly original invitation, click HERE.
Kendrick spent the entirety of yesterday in bed with a fever (I think I gave him whatever I had last week), only emerging to sort of halfheartedly watch Arnold Schwarzenegger films (totally loving the new James Cameron category on Movies On Demand) and force down some of the super-simple soup that I make whenever anyone, anywhere is sick. If you are similarly afflicted, it will cure you. I promise.
What you need:
1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces (optional)
Olive oil (optional; you only need it if you’re using chicken)
A big handful of baby carrots, cut up
2-3 small potatoes, cut into small pieces
6-8 cups chicken broth (at least to cover vegetables)
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
3 celery stalks, cut into small pieces
1 bay leaf
A couple of big handfuls of whatever pasta you have lurking in the back of your cupboard (I used a handful of farfalle and a handful of some vaguely crustacean-shaped pasta that was called “Gnocchi” on the box but most certainly wasn’t.)
Salt & pepper
What you do:
1. If using chicken, season well and place in heavy-bottomed pot with a good dose of olive oil. Stir the pieces around until they’re just about cooked through (if not using chicken, skip to step 2).
2. In same heavy-bottomed pan, add chicken broth. Once broth is simmering (try not to let it boil), add vegetables and bay leaf; cook until onions are translucent and vegetables are tender. Add the pasta about 10 minutes (or whatever the instructions on the box say) before you estimate the vegetables will be done.
3. Remove bay leaf. Taste, and season a bit more, if necessary.
Serve alongside a nice big shot of NyQuil, homemade or otherwise.
I bought these overalls at a flea market on Columbus Avenue when I was in high school; loved them then, love them still. Just a wee bit embarrassed to wear them in public.
Sure, overalls are at-home wear (or at the most, weekend-morning-at-a-diner wear)…but that doesn’t mean you can’t make ‘em look cute. Definitely button both straps (let’s banish the one-strap-hanging-down trend to the ’90s, please), and try pairing them with a simple white tank, or - even better - a super-thin plaid shirt in a bright color, cuffed and buttoned low to show off a little skin up top. Add bare, flat sandals and a ponytail: very country-girl sexy.
Mine has been looking a little run-down lately (that’s what happens when you mix white surfaces with cosmetics), so this weekend I applied a fresh coat of paint to the top, and voila! Like new. (I’m touching up the black paint later today.)
I think adding a fresh coat of paint is such a lovely, inexpensive way to brighten up your home for the spring. After my success with the vanity, I ran around the apartment touching up the other pieces of furniture I’ve painted (plus a door that had seen better days), and now feel like it’s the same gorgeous, sparkling place we moved into nearly a year ago.
I wrote the below post last summer, a couple of months after Kendrick and I moved from Hell’s Kitchen to the UES, and got to thinking about it last night because a) it’s been almost a year, and I’m still completely in love with our place, and b) it’s one of my favorite pictures of Lucy ever.
I LOVE my new apartment. The first two years after I moved back to New York, Kendrick and I lived in a 300-square-foot one-bedroom in Hell’s Kitchen. It had a dishwasher, which was great (the new place does not), but 300 square feet does not a functional relationship make. And Lucy (pictured, with her best friend George) was miserable. In May, we went to visit our friends Stephen and Dave, and fell totally in love with their adorable pre-war Upper East Side two-bedroom apartment…which happened to be THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER MONTH LESS than what we were paying for our shoebox. As fate would have it, the apartment directly above them was opening up on the very same day that our lease expired. Two months later, we were in.
My favorite thing about this apartment is the fact that when Kendrick goes to the other end of it, he looks very, very tiny (it’s a railroad, so you can look straight through from one end to the other). This also means that if you leave your phone in, say, the kitchen, you don’t hear it from the bedroom. As problems go, however, this is a good one to have.
My second favorite thing about this apartment is the fact that I have space in my bedroom for a vanity. Never before have I had one, and let me tell you: it is awesome. My nighttime routine used to consist of folding myself into my postage stamp-sized bathroom and trying to extract moisturizer from the cabinet without sending everything crashing down on my head (and usually, to be honest, I just skipped it). Now, I sit down, I relax, I brush my hair, I pat on various potions…it’s a really nice way to end the day. I also love my vanity because it cost a total of $55: the mirror was free (scavenged from the garbage room at my parents’ place), the vanity itself was $45 from the Salvation Army, and they threw in the chair for nothing. I painted it myself for $10.
OK, I’m a convert. Gabrielle and I spent Friday afternoon taste-testing a variety of absinthe preparations (all using her homemade recipe), and I was pleasantly surprised to discover how delicious absinthe is. Gabrielle’s blend is refreshing, deeply herbal…almost like a mild, licorice-infused tea when prepared as described below. There’s a video coming in which Gabrielle explains the history of absinthe and dispels the many myths surrounding the stuff (it’s not illegal in the U.S., it doesn’t make you hallucinate, etc)…soon. The one I shot on Friday had less-than-great sound quality (I’m slowly learning that shooting outside with “equipment” like mine - an otherwise fabulous Canon PowerShot - is a bad idea).
All of the below recipes use 5 parts water (or other non-alcoholic liquid) for every 1 part absinthe; this stuff is strong, and is meant to be savored, not downed.
Using a large glass and a spoon (a regular old spoon works fine, but how much more fun would this be with a special absinthe spoon?), slowly pour 5 parts cold water for every 1 part absinthe over sugar until it dissolves.
In a large glass, muddle together absinthe, a touch of simple syrup (or some sugar), a few squeezes of lime juice (and maybe a dash of lemon, if you like), and a few mint leaves (or substitute a bit of loose peppermint tea, as we did here, if that’s all you have handy). Fill glass with sparkling water; garnish with a sprig of mint.
Absinthe “Egg Cream”
In a large glass, mix together absinthe, a little sugar, sparkling water, a couple of big spoonfuls of good-quality vanilla ice cream, and a touch of heavy cream. Die happy.
All of the above cocktails are especially delicious when paired with dark chocolate (I recommend brownies), white chocolate spiked with cardamom, or other strongly-flavored treats.
A few days ago, I attended a fancy event at Bergdorf Goodman’s Bar III (did you know Bergdorf’s has a bar?! I didn’t…which is a good thing, because two glasses of Shiraz in I’m prone to breaking out the Amex) for Dr. Vranjes. To appease my obsession with having a beautiful-smelling home I usually buy room sprays or candles, because I’ve found that, alas, diffusers simply aren’t strong enough to expunge the scent of puppy, but I’m now sold on the concept: I put the Rosso Nobile diffuser that I was given at the event in our bedroom, and it completely infused our entire apartment within minutes. Not in an overpowering way, mind you - it’s like a prettily scented breeze just sailed through, washing away everything about dog ownership that used to bug me.
I’m actually not over-the-moon about the Rosso Nobile scent - it’s a bit fruity for my taste; I prefer florals for the home - but I adore Acqua (pictured above) and Tuberosa. They’re pricey (about $85), but here’s how I’d rationalize the purchase: I go through approximately one $20 candle a month, and the diffusers last four times as long…so it evens out to more or less the same thing, minus the fire hazard. I also think these diffusers (which, BTW, are gorgeously packaged) make fabulously unique bridesmaids’ gifts (I gave each of my bridesmaids a set of La Perla underwear, but I think about half of them would have appreciated this even more).
I spent Saturday afternoon wandering around the Hester Street Fair (open Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM-6PM); highly recommended for great vintage buys (and lobster rolls!).
My favorite find was Corvus Noir, a company specializing in reworked vintage costume jewelry. I almost bought that piece in the middle, which they fashioned using segments from a whole bunch of different necklaces. Really unusual, spectacular stuff.
Above: the most incredible frog brooch ever (the legs move; wanted it desperately), and - lovely surprise - an Australian Scent booth!
Saturday started with brunch a deux at one of my favorite spots, Essex (on the LES). It’s definitely a scene - and one of the louder places I’ve ever been in my life (very odd acoustics in that place) - but you can’t beat $18 for a fantastic meal plus three (!) Bloody Marys or mimosas. I ordered a juicy, drippy burger topped with cheddar and a fried egg (a strange little touch that turned out to be incredibly messy, but also incredibly decadent and delicious; I will be adding this to my repertoire in the future) and served alongside some of the best fries I’ve ever had (really), and Kendrick got “The Deep South” (chicken-fried steak, scrambled eggs, and biscuits). I’d say my breakfast was better, but it’s not really a fair contest: there’s a limit to how good chicken-fried steak can be (in my experience, at least)…and that burger was sheer perfection.
Just wrapped this afternoon’s BetterTV shoot over at 44 & X. The spot we were working on today was for a company called The Hyperfactory (a New Zealand-based mobile marketing firm), and focused on a fun new iPhone app that helps you find the perfect beer to pair with your dinner.
Above, two of the dishes that we taste-tested alongside the beers: 44’s spicy salmon tartar (paired with Bud Light, yay), and short ribs with basil mashed potatoes (paired with Stella). I am presently in a beer-and-short-rib food coma.
At the ripe age of 23, with only one full-time professional job under my belt, I’m not exactly an expert on what employers are seeking. I don’t know the best resume template or what to say when an employer asks, “If you were a fruit, what kind would you be, and why?” But I do know this: if you’ve been out of a job for 6+ months due to the recession, explaining on your resume that you’ve spent your downtime re-watching every season of Lost, while impressive, isn’t going to cut it. While I’m not suggesting you have to get a job at Dairy Queen handing out dilly bars in the meantime, I do know there are ways you can spend your time wisely that might catch the eyes of a hiring manager, and might even put your professional skills to use.
Volunteering has spiked since the recession. With so much free time on their hands, unemployed Americans across the country are driving themselves (and their families) crazy by spending so much time at home, and probably watching more reality TV than anyone ever should (my cable guy actually told me the recession has resulted in more cable subscribers). Volunteering is a way to get out of the house and continue to impact society, regardless of job status. Volunteering is part of my profession; that is, I work for a non-profit that provides volunteer opportunities for Chicagoans. I know that we wouldn’t be able to provide so much after-school tutoring for kids if it weren’t for the unemployed - who else is available at 3pm on a Tuesday? I can’t tell you how many volunteers I’ve met who commit to spending time helping the community each week “until they start working again.” One unemployed volunteer even came in to our office twice a week to put his technology skills to use by creating a comprehensive curriculum for adult computer skills classes offered in public schools, shelters, and various other community centers.
Volunteering isn’t just for the unemployed, though. Check your employee handbook - a lot of companies offer an hour or so a month for their employees to take off work to volunteer. Many companies match their employees’ monetary donations, and some even sponsor employee volunteer days. Beyond that, it’s a great way to meet new people, explore areas of your community you’d never venture into otherwise, and put some energy toward changing the problems we all know our country faces. Go ahead, have a warm and fuzzy feeling by helping out your community.
Volunteering is easier than you think. For my fellow Chicagoans, you can visit www.chicagocares.org to sign up for opportunities as frequently or infrequently as you’d like; commitment is not required. The same is true for New Yorkers (www.newyorkcares.org). Check out HandsOn Network to find opportunities in your area.
This is me en route to a TJ Maxx/Marshalls event around 10AM. See how serious I look? That’s ‘cause it was a seriously rough day. (I kid. It was awesome.)
I started out at Aspen Social Club, where Carla and I hit up TJ Maxx’s Cozy Up For Fall event (yes, we’re looking at fall fashions already…sigh). Most amazing find of the day: a backpack that I want DESPERATELY (check it, Verena).
Top Trends for Fall (way, way in advance of when you’ll actually need this information…but good to know anyways):
- Slouchy, loose knits
- Metal details (zippers, studs and grommets) on bags and shoes
- Faux fur & military-inspired touches
- Black, grey & blue
- Oversized jewelry (preferably in darker metals)
Some more images from the event:
Clockwise from top left: Carla checks out a stunning Alexander Wang-esque bag; perfect fall strappy sandals; to-die-for costume jewelry; Carla with the perfect year-round sweater; my dream boots; I salivate over a leather jacket that could easily cost thousands (but probably goes for more like a hundred).
"…I can’t tell you about their fall line until it launches in mid-July (check back then!), but I can tell you that I had the opportunity to check out their new, limited-edition lip gloss collection…and it is perfection in a tube (well, five tubes). Each gloss is based on one of the line’s most popular blushes, and I just about levitated with joy when I saw that yes, my much-adored Angelika has been transformed into the perfect bright (but not too bright) pink lip gloss with just a hint of shimmer. I will be wearing this gloss all day, every day this season – mark my words…"
Check out the full article on NadineJolie.com by clicking HERE!
I arrived home from the Sophie Elgort event around 9:30, half-starving, only to find my husband in the same condition…and almost nothing in our refrigerator. We did, however, have the four ingredients I needed to make this ridiculously simple salmon pasta.
Just rub a large piece of salmon (1 piece is fine for two people) with a little good-quality olive oil (maybe adding a squeeze of lemon), season to taste, and then place on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 350F oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Add a generous serving of farfalle (or whatever you have in your cupboard) to a large pot of salted boiling water, and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, return to pot, and throw in about a cup of peas and the flaked salmon (just use a fork to gently pull it apart, discarding the skin). Toss it all together with some vodka sauce (I used Newman’s Own because it was getting on towards 10PM - and because I like Newman’s Own - but if you’re so inclined, this is a nice, simple recipe for the homemade stuff).
Last night, Andrea joined me at the Sophie Elgort Studio launch at Alibi NYC Salon, sponsored by Sobieski Vodka and Hint Water. Re: the water, I have to say - not usually a big fruity beverage fan, but I loved it. Recommended!
Above, I’m with Justine McCarthy (fabulous publicist and founder of Simply Chic PR) and incredible makeup artist Bonnie Yoo, who (fingers crossed) you’ll likely be seeing on my webcast one of these days.
I also got to catch up with Caroline, who I haven’t seen in a couple of months, and meet her awesome friend Lauren.
Check out Sophie Elgort’s gorgeous fashion and lifestyle photos HERE.
Oh, I am all about the giveaways these days…but that’s because spring is here, and there’s nothing better than a few fun new products to help you feel gorgeous for the season. My friend Natasha works with a new company called Australian Scent (sold in Whole Foods and online), a family-run affair specializing in chemical-free, hypo-allergenic beauty products, and when she sent me a few products to try out I had to ask them if they’d be willing to let you give it a go, as well.
My favorite product from the line is the Balm of Gilead (pictured above), which comes in Unscented, Lemongrass/Orange, and (my favorite) Lavender/Geranium. The balm is a moisturizer for both the body and the face, and is one of those miracle potions that goes on a touch oily, and then dries to a totally baby-soft, matte finish.
And…Australian Scent would like to offer one lucky Ramshackle Glam reader the chance to sample some of their gorgeous products! They’re giving away a gift bag with samples of some of their top sellers, including the Balm of Gilead, Cleansing Stream (a cleanser and toner in one), and Intensive Wrinkle Therapy for Eyes (with omega-3s, collagen, and elastin).
To enter, just comment below with your favorite beauty product for the summer.
Two ways you can get an additional entry to the contest:
1. “Like” my Facebook page and leave a note on my wall telling me what body product you can’t live without in the summer (can be anything!).
"My kitchen window receives at least two hours of sunlight every day – so I put a small planter there with two basil plants, an oregano plant and a Venus fly trap (for fun) to see if they could survive. I’m forever buying bushels of herbs at the grocery store, using them for one meal and then watching as they go bad in the fridge. I wanted to stop being so wasteful, and also have herbs on demand. So far, so good!…"
One of the many things that I excel at is killing plants, so I’m looking forward to using some of Yay! DIY’s gardening tips to keep my new buddy Tompkins Thyme alive and well. I’d love a windowsill herb garden, but I’ll see if T.T. makes it an entire month before investing in some basil, oregano, and rosemary friends for the little guy.
Very wonderful news: Anzie would like to offer Ramshackle Glam readers a $50 gift certificate towards purchases of $200 or more on their website, www.anzie.com. Just enter promo code “RAMSHACKLEGLAM” at checkout!
Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the press preview of Anzie’s 2010 collection…and I could not possibly have loved it more. I’m super-picky about jewelry - I’ve even, unromantic as it sounds, told Kendrick that it’s best to clear styles with me before buying me anything, because I don’t want him to spend his money on something I won’t wear - but I loved the entire collection. It’s just exactly my style. Note to my husband: you officially have the all-clear to purchase me anything - anything at all, I say! - from this place.
This is me with Anzie, Jaclyn, and Joanna Stein, the mother-and-daughters team behind the company (Anzie and Jaclyn design the jewelry, and Joanna handles marketing). My favorite things about the line: nearly every piece comes in either a gold or a silver setting, and a lot of the earring sets incorporate “opposites” (basically, one earring is the reversed image of the other, like these; so very, very cool). Yeah, this is splurge jewelry…but if you’re gonna splurge, splurge on stuff that looks like this.
Click HERE to buy one of Anzie’s Lifesaver Bracelets (part of the proceeds from each sale go to support various charities). I think they make great graduation or birthday presents, and particularly like this piece, which supports Paws for Life, an organization that helps to rescue stray dogs.
Last night, Kendrick and I were slogging our way home through the rain when we suddenly decided that we couldn’t go one step further without some pasta…and stopped into a totally random spot that we pass every single day of our lives, but have never before thought to try out: Tony’s Di Napoli.
I have no idea who patronizes this oddly sprawling restaurant, but people certainly do: by the time we finished our meal, around 7:30PM, the place was swimming. Tony’s is kind of confusing, to tell the truth - it’s bigger than your average Italian spot, has a lobster tank (?), and is staffed by a score of adorable, blonde, Montana-bred waiters (we asked). Basically, you feel like you could be dining absolutely anywhere in the United States…except for in NYC.
Not that that’s a bad thing: Kendrick and I split the Baked Ziti Napolitano (the pasta platters, about $19, serve 2-3) and a small house salad, and left more than full (and quite happy with the bill). We’re not talking gourmet, but on a cold, rainy night it’ll absolutely do.
I feel totally bedraggled. And damp. Not quite this bedraggled and damp, though:
On rainy days, I have to dump the babies in the bath after Every. Single. Walk. And when you’re housebreaking a puppy, that’s a hell of a lot of walks…and a hell of a lot of baths. At least the stuff we use - Earthbath Coat Brightening Pet Shampoo - smells like lavender, which, as we know, makes me happy.
P.S. It’s not a great idea to use shampoo on your dog’s coat too often, as it can dry it out a bit. In rainy, muddy weather, I usually just rinse off their tummies and paws every time we come in the house (those paw-wipes don’t even make a dent in the stuff Virgil gets himself into), and then give them a full shampooing with a gentle product (like the one I recommend above) once a week - twice, at most.
When I was a little girl, both my parents worked full-time, and so the cooking was more often than not the work of whichever young Irish girl was presently watching over me (our favorite in this regard was Veronica, who later became a chef; our least favorite was Nora, who was - in my opinion - the best ever, but who nevertheless went down in my family’s lore for her inability to make instant rice). Sometimes, though, Mom got home early enough to make dinner for us, and those were my favorite nights: the three of us crowded around one end of the table, me in the middle reading an Archie comic while my parents quietly discussed incomprehensible, parent-type things.
You probably have most of the ingredients for this pineapple chicken sitting in your cupboard already, and it takes 15 minutes, tops, to make.
MOM’S PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
What you need:
A few chicken cutlets, cut into smallish pieces
1 can pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
1 green pepper, cut into pieces (I hate pepper, so I substitute snow peas)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp butter (or a few glugs of olive oil)
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper
What you do:
1. Saute first five ingredients in melted butter (or olive oil) until chicken is cooked through.
2. Sprinkle in the flour and blend well.
3. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, 1/2 cup of the pineapple juice (you can discard the rest at this point), lemon juice, and salt & pepper to taste, and let bubble at low heat for a few minutes.
A few weeks ago, I had the following conversation with Kendrick.
Me (holding out potato): “Babe? Could you peel this potato for me?”
Kendrick (looking at potato as if it is UFO): “…How?”
Me (incredulous stare): “How…do…what?”
Kendrick (as if this makes perfect sense): “How do I peel it?”
OK. So we’ve established that the boy legitimately cannot cook. I love him very, very much, but after the brief tutorial in potato-peeling, I more or less banned him from the kitchen (he’s excellent with the cleaning, and I think that’s a nice division of labor).
But last night I had a bit of a fever (I’ve been under the weather for the past couple of days), and so Kendrick suggested that he give cooking a go. I sent him a list of ingredients for my mom’s pineapple chicken (a pretty basic and very delicious stir-fry), and he came home with…well…most of them. He got the pineapple, and the chicken, but unfortunately the store was out of snow peas (my replacement for my mom’s green peppers, and the ingredient that would have given the dish its color), so it ended up looking a little…brown. He also purchased a packet of Thai seasoning for some unknown reason.
No matter, though: the dish ended up tasting quite good, and just look how proud he was of himself:
Seriously, though, I think this was quite awesome of Kendrick. He doesn’t have a natural interest in cooking, but wanted to try doing something that means a lot to me…and whether he admits it or not, I think he actually had fun. And to me, that’s the whole point of cooking: having fun, and maybe making something at least vaguely edible while you’re at it.
Sunday consisted mostly of sitting on the couch, giggling and watching these two creatures do their thing. (BTW, that’s Lucy’s favorite place to hang, and her favorite position. She’s an odd one.)
Kendrick played with his new 3-D Batman video game, and I read a Stephen King novel cover-to-cover (Gerald’s Game, about a middle-aged couple who go to their cabin in the middle of nowhere for a night; the husband handcuffs the wife to the bed and then has a heart attack, leaving her totally alone - naked and immobilized - for days).
On Saturday morning, Kendrick and I hit the 9th Avenue Food Festival. On our way there, we realized that this exact festival - on this exact day, three years ago - was the site of one of our very first dates. Basically, how our relationship worked was this: went on 1st date in NYC during Fashion Week, went on 2nd “date” (he basically moved in for the weekend) when he came to Los Angeles on tour, went on 3rd date (to 9th Avenue Food Festival) when I came back to NYC to spend some pre-birthday time with my family and friends, went on 4th date when I flew to Ohio to spend my actual birthday (which is next week) with him. 5th date was our engagement, in Vegas. How jet-setty were we?!
Total items consumed at food festival by marital unit:
We also thought about picking up one of those Chocolate Souffle Cakes from Kyotofu pictured above, which were voted New York’s Best Cupcake by NY Mag, but thought better of it post-fried Oreos.
I hadn’t been planning on going out straight from the Food Festival, but when Kim called to invite me to happy hour at the Maritime, I couldn’t resist. After a quick stop into Coup de Coeur (my favorite cheap dress spot - you can always find the perfect last-minute nighttime outfit for $30-$40, plus gorgeously underpriced jewelry), I swung by my parents’ place down the street for some evening-appropriate footwear. I found these vintage slingbacks with crystal-studded heels - which I had totally forgotten I owned - on the top shelf in my old closet. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Kim and me at the Maritime Hotel enjoying some Prosecco, mixed olives, and rice balls. This is one of my favorite warm-weather spots in the city: great people-watching, delicious (and semi-reasonably priced) appetizers, and a beautiful outdoor patio where seats, surprisingly, aren’t all that hard to come by.
And the final (and most random) event of the day? I went back to Mom’s place and we painted pictures until midnight. I ended up with more paint on my head than on the page (one of the tubes of acrylic exploded on me), but it was totally fun.
Friday afternoon, I had the very tough task of stopping into the Rossano Ferretti Hair Spa (595 Madison at 57th Street) to sample their services for a freelance piece I’m working on. Pictured above, the black velvet-curtained VIP room (yes, at a salon) and manicure station.
After Friday night’s piano lesson, Mom treated Kendrick and me to dinner at 44 1/2 to celebrate a couple of fun little career developments on both our ends. Clockwise from left: filet with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes, salmon with melon (one of the evening’s specials), and lobster pizza. While I loved the salmon/melon pairing and will definitely be trying this at home, I have to say: 44 1/2’s pizzas are just to die for. If you go, get the lobster or the mushroom, and be prepared not to share.
I’ve made this recipe half a dozen times since reader Felicity sent it my way. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot this week: it’s just about the simplest thing ever, and is the perfect pasta for a hot summer evening.
Tip: Use the best-quality ingredients you can find; good mozzarella and olive oil really make a difference with this dish.