If there is one thing I can say for certain about this child, it is this: between me and my mother, he will not be lacking for warm things to wrap around him.
When my parents helped me move into my college dorm room during Freshman Week, they noticed that the room didn’t come with any sort of bedside table to set books or a lamp on, and went out to buy me one as a housewarming (dorm-warming?) gift. And then the next time they visited, they saw that my roommates and I had our TV sitting on the floor, and went out and picked up a little wrought iron thing to put it on. And the time after that, it was a wooden one to station next to the door for keys and ID cards and whatnot.
It became a bit of a joke, but seriously: they could not stop buying us tables. I think something about it made them feel better about leaving me alone in the land of keg stands (as a sidenote, this isn’t something they really had to concern themselves with; I did exactly one during the entirety of my college experience. We were not a party school).
And I’m sort of doing the same thing with the knitting. I can’t stop. So far I’ve made blankets and hats, and am now moving on to burpy bibs (those aden + anais ones, while adorable, are sorta expensive for something whose sole purpose in life is to accumulate drool).
This blanket is a basketweave, like the receiving blanket I made earlier this year, but I used a soft acrylic-wool blend (the same one that I used for the Baby Elf Hat) and didn’t double up the yarn, so it’s more of a light everyday throw than a fancy memento.
Click here for blanket instructions (like I said, though, just use a single strand of yarn for this one rather than doubling up).
Click here to learn how to make a Baby Elf Hat of your own. Bonus: this link includes a video of Lucy wearing the thing.
Everyone who gets those gel manicures sings their praises, and even though I’m usually salon manicure-averse (I destroy them too quickly to make them worth the expense), I may need to give it a shot one of these days. Because I hear that they last for weeks without chipping. And because in case you didn’t notice, that’s a grey-and-gold-sparkle upside-down French manicure. Hello!
Orlane Paris Super Moisturizing Light Cream*: In deep winter I like pouring all sorts of heavy things onto my flaky face, but during the rest of the year I prefer moisturizers that don’t feel like much at all, and this one is light as air, smells beautiful, and leaves zero residue on the skin. Perfect for those who are prone to breakouts or have sensitivity issues.
Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil in Golden Triangle: A thick golden-brown pencil on one side and a smudgy tip on the other, this is perfect for creating a summery smoky eye (video here), but is rich enough to take you into fall; try pairing it with layered gold and espresso eyeshadows for a holiday evening look. I’ve been wearing it during the daytime with a nude lip as a softer alternative to my usual black liquid liner.
Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm Multi-Action Skincare + Make Up with SPF 45*: Every. Single. Day. I cannot get enough of this product (full review here), and am considering buying stock. Seriously, it’s the best: anti-aging + moisturizer + tint + SPF, and it makes your skin look perfect in one step. I even wear it on weekends, because it’s so light that it makes you look glowy and lovely without feeling like you’re wearing heavy makeup, and the only other products you’ll need are a little blush and mascara. Try it.
Benefit Magic Ink Jet-Black Liquid Eyeliner: They discontinued the Urban Decay liquid liner I used to use, and the Sephora brand switched the applicator to a sort of pen-tip that I find drags on the lid. I’ve done the research for you, and trust me: if you’re into a sweepy, glamorous cat-eye, this is the product for you. The tip is flexible and comes to an elegant point, deposits just the right amount of liner, and doesn’t drag on the eye one bit.
Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks in Ruby Star (top) and Born With It (bottom): Beyond-favorite new lipstick finds. Ruby Star is a deep burgundy with just a hint of autumn-perfect sparkle (and I love it during the daytime with a nude eye), and Born With It is a slightly shimmery pink that’s neutral enough to wear with just about everything.
Sally Hansen Natural Beauty by Carmindy Eye Shadow Palette in Ocean: I resuscitated this from the bottom of my makeup bag a few weeks ago, and have been using it on almost a daily basis since. The grey, blue, and shimmery white/silver trio is gorgeous with fall jewel-toned clothing, and lately I’m in love with a navy-and-metallic (either gold or silver) eye (tutorial coming up). Be careful when purchasing, because most of the places on the Internet that sell this trio are actually selling the “Storm” trio and calling it “Ocean” - use the link above for the correct palette.
OPI Ski Teal We Drop: I discovered this a couple of weeks ago, and the plan is to wear nothing else on my toes through Christmas. It’s a rich, deep blue-green (more blue than green) with grey undertones, no sparkle or shimmer, and a creamy finish (in-the-wild photo here), and looks best paired with grey, blackberry, or pale pink on the fingers.
Leonor Greyl Masque Fleurs de Jasmin*: First the Huile de Palme (full review here), and now this. This line is awesome. It’s pretty well-known in Europe, and still fairly obscure here…but not for long, methinks. I’ve been alternating Huile de Palme oil treatments with this jasmine-scented deep conditioner (averaging a treatment every five or so days), and my hair has never, ever, ever looked better. I’m sure the prenatal vitamins and pregnancy hormones are helping, but whatever is going on, it’s making me happy, and I’m planning on keeping it up.
Votre Vu Tres Magni-Feet: Want to hear something weird? I’ve developed an obsession with having as-attractive-as-possible feet, because I don’t want to gross out the nurses in the delivery room. And I’m aware that a) my feet will never be all that attractive, b) I’ll probably be wearing socks, and c) the last thing that anyone south of the border will be looking at is the state of my soles, but…I can’t help it. I’m moisturizing them like a lunatic. And the Votre Vu Tres Magni-Feet is what I’ve been using, because it’s rich and delicious, and smells like lemon pie. Done.
*Product sample generously provided by manufacturer.
1. Katie Holmes in Calvin Klein (love the color, the simplicity, the makeup/hair…everything)
2. Sofia Vergara in Vera Wang (yes yes, she always does “sexy,” but wow)
3. Kelly Osbourne in J. Mendel (beautiful and elegant; what I wish Nicole Kidman’s 2003 Oscars dress had looked like)
Runner-up: Gwyneth in Pucci. She’s been getting kind of panned for this dress, but I love that it’s such an original, daring choice…and I bet it looked spectacular in person (she slouches in photos, and this is a dress that does not permit any slouch). And ever since I watched her E! True Hollywood Story I’ve been on the Gwyneth-loving train, so.
So this happened this weekend. On Friday, actually: I was on my way home from a meeting when I felt it. (You can sorrrta see that my stomach has moved down in the photo above, taken during a little rooftop mini-picnic this weekend. Also, digression: this weather! SWEATERS! Yesss.)
"Lightening," for those of you who don’t know (most of you, I’d imagine, since I’d never heard of this pre-pregnancy), is basically when the baby puts on his diving goggles and gets ready to jump. The fact that he drops lower creates a range of new sensations that range from uncomfortable to awesome: you feel an odd sort of pressure and start waddling even more, but you’re simultaneously able to breathe and eat better (woo!), and have more energy that can be applied towards things like obsessive vacuuming and dusting, which was what I decided needed to happen at 10:30PM on Saturday night. While it sometimes means that labor is imminent, it can also mean…well, not much. Other than that at some point in the future, I will be giving birth. And we knew that already.
Pregnancy is full of helpful symptoms like that, which could either mean “TAXI…NOW!” or another month (or more) of waiting, depending. Depending on what, you ask? Beats me, and apparently also beats every medical expert, too, because literally, what these books say is, “Oh that happened?! How great. You may go into labor within minutes. Or next month.”
But we’ll see! The bags are packed and the apartment has been dusted to within an inch of its life, so I’m ready to go whenever he is.
Working in the entertainment industry allows you to cross paths with celebrities for better or for worse. I have a zillion stories from over the years. Here’s one that I just heard today and I wanted to share. All names have been changed* to protect identities, except for Courtney Love’s name.
What shoes do I wear with them? I feel like little black flats are too cutesy for such a trendy item. What do you think?
A. The best thing about colored jeans is that they do the work of making an outfit awesome for you - you can get away with the simplest-ever top and shoes, and still look cute and pulled-together. But that said, I hear ya: while I don’t necessarily agree that black flats have to be cutesy (the Sigerson Morrison for Madewell style pictured above, for example, is sleek and gorgeous), they’re sorta…obvious. And yeah, a little boring.
So here are some more fun shoe styles to throw into the mix:
1. Dressed-up loafers
This fall, slip-on loafer-style shoes are everywhere (I wrote about the House of Harlow driving shoes already, but you can find great options at pretty much any price). I’m partial to black with tassels or studs, and think the pair pictured above is pretty much perfection…but they’re also a fortune. The Steve Madden Madee is a fabulous alternative, and comes in almost any color or pattern you can think of (just make sure to keep your top on the simpler side if you go for, say, leopard).
2. Ankle boots
I recently wore a pair of bright-blue skinny jeans with a pair of thick stacked-heel ankle boots, and loved the look - in fact, I like this heel style generally for fall (here’s another example with sandals and black skinny jeans). It’s OK to let the bottom of the jeans bunch a bit around the boots, but if that bugs you just give them a little roll so you show a touch of skin.
3. Mid-heeled pumps
For a more ladylike, dressed-up option, try a nude mid-heel pump with no platform (like the Steve Madden Unityy). On top, try a cardigan layered over a vintage blouse and secured with a skinny belt around the waist - so cute, and so perfect for transitional weather.
4. Knee-high boots
This is my go-to look for fall days when I want to run around stylishly but comfortably: skinny, stretchy jeans and Steve Madden Roady boots (the brown color would look great with your olive jeans; try the black ones with your cobalt pair).
5. Metallic ballerina flats
Easy, polished, and comfortable, and a nice alternative to black flats (these New York & Company gold ballerina slippers also come in gunmetal and black).
I feel a bit silly about my situation. I threw out my back this weekend attempting to swing my large, heavily-packed totebag onto my right shoulder. I can barely walk! I work full-time and am studying for the LSAT as well so my bag is full of my prep books, lunch for work, water bottle, coffee tumbler, basically everything I own.
Thanks to this incident, I’m thinking I need a new bag that might be better. Do you have any suggestions? I’d just use a backpack, but I’d like something a bit more grown-up. I would ideally like to spend around $100-150.
A. When I was in elementary school, there was at one point a bit of an outcry amongst the students because the teachers all suddenly decided that it was mandatory to wear your backpack straps on both shoulders. And I don’t know what the cool kids are up to these days, but back then it was de rigueur to wear your monogrammed L.L.Bean casually slung over one shoulder; to put it on “properly” was to buy a one-way ticket to Mathlete Land (and I say this as a former card-carrying member of the Science Kids Klub).
But, of course, the teachers were right: those one-shoulder bags are hell on the alignment, especially when they’re packed full of schoolbooks, food, water bottles, and various other enormously heavy things. And while your initial response to a backpack may be “oh, those are for kids”…it sounds like that’s what you need. Fortunately, about a year ago someone decided that backpacks were awesome again (I agree), and now there are gazillions of very adult - and stylish - options out there. Regardless of whether you’re girly, sophisticated, rugged, or preppy, you’ll be able to find something cute at a price that suits you.
And finally, make sure to choose a style with wide-ish and/or padded straps (for better weight distribution), and keep it on the smaller side, so you’re not tempted to carry around even more stuff than you already do just because there’s space for it.
So apparently someone went into my hosting account yesterday and deleted my entire site. I had no idea, because it was cached on my computer and coming up fine, but thanks to an intrepid reader (seriously, Laura, so much appreciated) I discovered that if you went to RG you got a “Site Coming Soon” message. Fortunately, so far it doesn’t seem like anything else (bank accounts, etc) was affected, but of course I changed all my passwords and am keeping an eye on things. And as you can see, the site is back up and seems to be functioning just fine.
I really don’t know what happened - it could have been a hacker targeting me, or a hacker targeting GoDaddy, or something else entirely - but all should be well now. If you notice anything off over the next few days/weeks, though, I would so appreciate it if you’d let me know.
Scary stuff, being hacked. The guy I was on the phone with for two hours last night over at GoDaddy (they’re amazing when it comes to customer service, by the way - very zen, very “I’m right here with you Jordan, let me take care of that for you right now”) told me that when he was hacked his bank accounts were emptied and it took over a month to set everything right. And I think it freaked me out more than I realized at the time, because all last night I had wake-up-screaming-style nightmares about people slamming on our doors and trying to break into our apartment.
Anyway, be safe. Back up your computer frequently. Check your security settings. Buy anti-virus/firewall/anti-spyware programs. Watch your accounts.
Or you could always just take eHow’s anti-hacking advice: “Turn off your computer and disconnect from the internet. Hackers can’t get into your system if your computer is off.”
Related: I am someone who can eat entire jars of pickles in a single sitting, and have even been known to whip up my own…and I have not wanted one single pickle for the duration of this pregnancy. This, to me, feels like a missed opportunity and a tragedy of epic proportions.
Spotted while attending last night’s Kelly Wearstler event at Bergdorf Goodman: Jennifer Zeuner necklaces. The one pictured above, while lovely, isn’t actually the one I wanted to tell you about: they sell tiny, rose-gold plated (so: at $175, less expensive than you’d think) initial necklaces with a lapis stone offset to one side that unique, stunning, and perfect for graduations, birthdays, Mother’s Days, etc.
Alas, I didn’t take a photo and can’t find one online, but you can call (888) 774-2424 to order from Bergdorf’s.
I have been following your blog for some time and I love it.
I am getting married in a few weeks and all of a sudden there is a circus of family drama coming out of nowhere. My sisters-in-law-to-be want to run the show and are stamping their feet if they don’t get their way. It’s unbelievable. My fiance is having a hard time because he doesn’t want to upset or disrespect them, but he knows they’re being completely out of line.
How do you handle family wedding drama?! Help!
A. Hey Lauren!
First, congrats on your wedding! And oh, goodness, I’m so sorry about the drama - but if it makes you feel any better, I have yet to hear about a wedding that hasn’t involved a family tussle of some sort.
I had some drama surrounding my wedding that actually resulted in a couple of family members no longer speaking to me (and we’re going on three years now) because the fact that we chose to have our wedding in Maine meant that a fairly distant elderly relative whom I’d only met a handful of times wouldn’t be able to attend (seriously; it was so bizarre). So I hear ya.
Something about weddings just ratchets up the emotion level to Crazytown…but the good news is that the drama is almost always coming from a place of love (they want the wedding to be perfect and special, and want to feel like an important person in your life). And if it’s jealousy that’s the issue here…well, that’s not your fault, but it can help to understand where their feelings are coming from. Maybe your sisters-in-law are jealous that you’re “taking their brother away from them,” in which case there are things you can do to assure them that that’s not the case (like inviting them over more often).
Most importantly: remember that this is YOUR wedding (and your fiance’s)…not theirs. But because you don’t want to create tons of tension that may last long beyond the vows, I’d give smoothing things over a shot before confronting them directly. And to do this, I’d suggest keeping them distracted. Talk to each one individually, and tell her that you think that she’s sooo great at ___ (a task or two that you don’t mind handing over, like choosing the favors or following up with bridesmaids about fittings) that you were wondering if she wouldn’t mind being in charge of it. Be specific about what you’d like her to handle, and let her know what a huge help she’s being by taking care of this aspect of the wedding, and she’ll feel like she’s participating without horning in on stuff you don’t want her to be a part of.
If that doesn’t work, you’re fully within your rights to take them aside (individually) and gently (but firmly) tell them that while you’re excited that they’ll be a big part of your day, it’s important to you that your wedding represent you as a couple and that you want to make most of the big decisions yourself. And then keep wedding chatter to a minimum when you’re around them; the fewer chances they have to bring up the Big Event, the better.
And finally, remember to take some time in the last few weeks before you get married to shut off the stress and to just spend time with your fiance - it’s the love between you that should be the focal point, and that can be hard to remember when there’s so much noise and drama swirling around you. So pick up a bottle of wine and takeout, and spend a night talking about anything but the wedding.
Cheesy post title; couldn’t help it. Because I am. Mad about it.
If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I wear plaid button-downs with just about everything, and really don’t care whether I’m headed to a fancy dinner or a BBQ - plaid just makes me happy enough that I’m A-OK with breaking it out on occasions for which it maybe isn’t exactly appropriate.
Anyway, there’s really no reason at all to spend a lot of money on a plaid shirt - I’ve found great ones in Old Navy, Forever 21, Bolton’s, vintage stores…everywhere. And if you’d like to go for an oversized look, check out the men’s department at places like American Eagle - I have a nefarious plan in the works to steal Kendrick’s pink one one of these days.
On Friday evening, Francesca and I ventured towards Lincoln Center to catch up over coffee at the Empire Hotel and to check out the goings-on at the tents. (That’s my favorite outfit these days - an oversized, cozy flannel from Bolton’s, of all places + stretchy black jeans.)
Had to show you my new favorite polish color: OPI Ski Teal We Drop, a rich blue-green from the Fall 2010 Swiss Collection. I’m very into teal at the moment, but am also very picky about it: I don’t want anything too bright, too green, or too sparkly. This one is just perfect: deep, luxe-looking, and exactly what I want to be on my toes this fall.
And how cute are Francesca’s shoes? That kind of heel (the low, curved heel you often find on ballroom dancing shoes) is so pretty for fall, in addition to being comfortable enough to wear all around town (or all around Fashion Week, as it were).
In case you were wondering, the french fries at the Empire Hotel are spectacular.
“Blogging isn’t writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.”—
Elliott Gould’s character to Jude Law’s in Contagion. (via natface)
Saw this last night. It was…so weird. It sort of abandoned everything that you would think is important about a movie (like engagement with the characters), but wasn’t bad, exactly. Just…weird. To elaborate: remember that woman in Outbreak (one of my faves) who got sick and had to leave her kids and husband, and couldn’t hug her kids when she left, and then arrived at the quarantine camp, and then the next time you saw her was when a body bag was being zipped over her face? She was on screen for maybe forty-five seconds, and you cared more about her than any of the characters in Contagion.
But what this movie was about was bureaucracy, and the goal was to depict all the kinds of things that would really take place were such a thing to happen, and so it achieved its goal, I suppose. I just would have liked a little dose of Dustin and Cuba to liven things up.
I’ve gotten a few inquiries as to the makers of the bookends in my nursery…but unfortunately, the only information I have for ya is that they were about three bucks each at HomeGoods (for you NYers, one recently opened up on 99th and Columbus). Oddly enough, there’s no manufacturer info anywhere on them.
But these are kinda similar, no? Half-backwards, but similar. And they’re 50% off!
And if you’re feeling flush, these iron ones are crazy pricey ($225; whew), but gorgeous.
Actually, I totally skipped it. No, wait: I passed a salon hosting some kind of event on the way home from the grocery store and looked at the sign advertising the goings-on inside, and then continued on my huffing and puffing way. Does that count?
My plan had been to go to Mulberry to see a friend who works there and then to Saks, but carrying two steaks and five new potatoes home from the store was apparently enough to send me into a coma for the rest of the evening. Seriously, a coma. I was in bed reading Valley of the Dolls for the eighty-fifth time by 9:15.
I am so tired these days. Somebody play a violin for me?
Honestly, though, I was kind of bummed about having to stay in last night, because the truth is that Fashion’s Night Out is without question my favorite part of Fashion Week. It’s like FNO takes everything exclusive and pretentious and straight-up rude about Fashion Week and turns it on its head, and then hands you a glass of champagne and tells you to buy a lipstick already.
I’ve talked before about not being a big fan of the tents, and while I think the shows themselves are exciting - they really are - it’s the whole hullaballoo around them that isn’t really my thing. There’s just so much jockeying for position and judging of others: who’s sitting where and with whom, what are they wearing, what shows did they get invited to…and to me, all this is exactly what isn’t wonderful about fashion. Fashion is dress-up time for grownups. It’s playtime. It should be fun. And while I love talking about trends and styles and what might be exciting to wear next season, I hate the idea of anyone looking down their nose at someone else for wearing something that makes them feel good.
But that’s exactly why Fashion’s Night Out is so fantastic: there are no front rows, everyone gets to participate, and there are wonderful things like roses and samples being handed out everywhere you turn. And sometimes you get hip-checked by Anna Wintour’s bodyguards, and that’s pretty neat. And last year I bought the best hat ever during Fashion’s Night Out, so there’s that.
So let me live vicariously for a moment: what did you do for Fashion’s Night Out?! Tell me everything!
I actually sort of loved it: it was so simple and comfortable (I wore Tory Burch flats while out and about, and slipped on the heels in the Conde Nast elevator — ooh, faux pas, faux pas, must worship at the kneecaps of the Conde elevator fashion show, I know).
I was really into the stretchy, easy-to-wear pencil skirt on the left (picture it with a denim jacket, vintage floral blouse and brown boots).
That’s Anna Dello Russo, who acted as I.N.C.’s guest editor at large for the F/W 2011 collection, on the left. Anna, incidentally, is described in the press release for the line as “famed fashion editrix and cult sensation.” The latter is such an incredible descriptor I had to repeat it here…can you imagine if, when people asked you what you did, you could say, “Oh, I’m a cult sensation”? No big deal.
And on the left, that’s what she wore…to a breakfast event. I understand the “cult sensation” thing now.