Yeah, florals are an obvious pick for early spring. But there are so many fun ways to take the old standby of floral-blouse-and-jeans outside the box. This look, for example, feels very non-boring to me.
Let’s take a look at why!
1. Boyfriend-style, cuffed jeans rather than the more expected skinny or bootcut pair.
3. Mixed patterns (snakeskin with florals? Why not?).
4. Extra pops of color, like that grass-green purse (by the way, the Foley & Corinna Mid City remains one of my very favorite picks for an everyday go-to bag. If you’d like to wear it year ‘round, I’d suggest red over black or brown - it’s so much more interesting, and goes with more than you’d think).
5. A mix of rugged and uber-feminine jewelry, like a leather multi-wrap bracelet and a delicate Art Deco-y gold necklace.
So anyway, this is what I wore during the second segment we filmed on Wednesday.
Something Else I Never Wear, And Wore On Wednesday
(You’ll understand what’s going on in this photo, what with the hat and all, when you see the segment.)
And, well, I don’t have many reasons to wear bathing suits generally at the moment, it being March, but what I’m talking about in particular is this retro-ish Freya suit (I wish you could see the cut better in this photo; it’s similar to this one). I love those high-waisted bottoms and fuller-coverage tops when I see them in magazines, but I always thought they would look sort of frumpy on.
Ding ding ding! Style Evolution Moment #2. (Two in one day!)
As it turns out, I felt way better with a touch more coverage than I ever have in the littler bikinis I usually gravitate towards: sexier, more elegant, and even…oh, dear…a little more age-appropriate.
There was this one time that I was swimming on a beach in California with a whole bunch of people whom I really didn’t know very well - they were mostly friends-of-a-friend - and decided to try to body-surf a wave. And you know how body-surfing never really works, and you mostly just end up dog paddling frantically while the wave moseys right on by?
Well, this time it worked.
And I found myself careening towards shore on the crest of a wave - it was all much more “terrifying” than “exciting”, have to say - and was shortly thereafter deposited onto a very hard patch of sand directly in front of all those people whom I did not know very well. Oh, and then? The wave decided to just go ahead and take my string bikini back out into the ocean for safekeeping.
So I was bikini-less, in front of a really enormous lot of people (did I mention that there were a lot of people?), and doing this weird little flailing-burrowing thing while I tried to hide myself in the (inch) of water remaining on the sand after the wave washed back out.
It was not my finest moment.
Anyway, this is all to say that these events likely wouldn’t have transpired had I been wearing a slightly more reasonable swimsuit.
I’m getting ready to move into a new place, and our landlord gave me one set of dimensions for the bedroom…but upon moving in we have found that it is actually a few feet smaller in both directions. I know you have experience with small living spaces, so I figured I’d see whether you have any tips for maximizing storage opportunities but still keeping the room inviting and not overcrowded.
A. You’re certainly right - while our present apartment (pictured above) has a fairly roomy bedroom by NYC standards, I have plenty of experience living in small spaces. In our last apartment (the one in Hell’s Kitchen), you had to actually sit on the bed in order to open either our dresser drawers or closet doors. That was fun.
And although right now our place looks like an episode of Hoarders, what with the boxes that I’m stockpiling for moving day (if it ever comes), baby stuff, and props and such for Jordan In The House, it…well, it usually doesn’t. I’m usually pretty good at keeping even the smallest spaces nice and orderly.
I’ll tell you!
1. First, every single piece of furniture must have drawers, or at least some kind of storage space. Do not buy adorable minimalist nightstands. Buy ones with drawers. Do not buy one of those very chic beds that sits right on the floor. Buy a nice high one that either has drawers you can leave exposed, or at least a space that you can stuff things underneath (packed away in soft bins) and then cover it all up with a (non-ruffly) dust ruffle.
3. De-clutter, but if you must clutter, clutter neatly. Display only what you must, and stash away all your extra bits and bobs in pretty boxes or trays.
4. Think outside-the-box. If you spend a lot of time in your bedroom and don’t want the bed to take up all the available space, a gorgeous day bed might be the perfect option for you.
5. Let no space go overlooked. I stack my luggage one inside the other so that the pieces don’t take up too much room, but make sure that even if you only have one large rolling bag, you use it as extra storage space (for things you don’t use often, like out-of-season clothing or bedding).
6. Make the most of your closet, adding a row of waist-level rods (so that shorter items can be hung on both levels), shoe organizers, and tiered racks for things like ties, scarves, and belts.
7. Don’t let that laundry pile up. I know, if you’re living in a city and need to cart your laundry down the block to get it done, it can be easy to let it go. But a huge heap of dirty clothes is the quickest way to make your room feel cluttered.
8. And when it comes to decor, try sticking to a simple, calming color scheme, and investing in a couple of pretty mirrors for your walls.
You see, I had forgotten the cardinal rule when it comes to hairstyling…and on the very day when I advised a reader not to do the same. The rule: do not get into fights with the weather, because you will not win. On days when just stepping out the door turns your clothing soggy, the only way to roll is by embracing - and then working with - all your lovely natural texture. Choose the right products, and then go to town with what you’ve got. Braid it, twist it, turn it, work it…but don’t wrestle with it.
And I lost.
And so what I ended up with was half-wavy, half-straight, and all kinds of messy. (I put it in a topknot after taking these shots.)
But you know…that weird little twisty thing my bangs are doing looks…sorrrrta ’50s…ish?
Isn’t that dress pretty great? I’ve had it for ages, and actually have a sort of funny/sort of sad story about it.
I bought it years ago, to cheer myself up during a time when lots of things were going wrong in my life: my relationship was in tatters, my career wasn’t exactly blowing anyone out of the water, and I felt generally lonely and desolate. I definitely couldn’t afford it - it’s DVF, so it had to be in the $400 range, even back then - but it just made me feel so…I don’t know, capable. Like a dress that a woman who could deal with things would wear. It made me feel like the kind of woman I wanted to be, and at that time I was willing to grab onto anything that might make me feel that way, even if that thing was only a dress.
And so I brought it home. And then just a couple of days later - before I’d even gotten the chance to wear it - an acquaintance sent me a link to some red carpet photos of a movie premiere taking place about ten minutes away from my house featuring my live-in boyfriend of nearly two years, whom I had thought was out of town, and the woman who, as it turned out, he was also in a relationship with.
So that was a nice surprise.
SHE WAS WEARING MY DRESS.
No joke. The exact same one. And the worst part?
She looked so much better in it than me.
More than that: she looked poised, elegant, pulled-together, successful, and more or less exactly like the woman I had hoped to look like when I bought it. Let’s not forget that she was also at the premiere of a movie that she had acted in with my boyfriend…so she also happened to actually sort of be that woman.
So I spent many months picking up the pieces of where I had thought my life had been headed, and figuring out which direction to turn in next, and most definitely not wearing that dress, because every time I looked at it I thought of my (now ex) boyfriend and his new girlfriend.
And really, I had nowhere to wear it to anyway.
But something I’ve learned in the years that have passed since: You don’t need to have the perfect place to wear a dress to in order to put it on. And you don’t need look like the most perfect person who ever wore a thing to wear it. Your hair can be sorta weird because you spaced on reading the weather report before leaving the house that morning. You can forget to shave your legs, and be too pale, and have a wrinkle or two in your skirt, and maybe have chipped nailpolish and dry feet and circles under your eyes because you got up early just to drink your coffee all alone in the quiet.
And you can still feel Pretty. Freaking. Chic. Because being totally pulled-together? That’s for red carpets. It’s for show.
Clothing is for you. For real. And that dress was - is - for me. The real me. Frizz and all.
On me: DVF wrap dress, necklace c/o Stone Savant, Mikimoto earrings, Lena Erziak purse, Chinese Laundry heels, GANT sunglasses, vintage Seiko watch.
What I wore during the first JITH segment we filmed on Wednesday: a dress (part of a spring styles collaboration with Very.com), in a silhouette that I have quite literally never worn before…and now plan to wear a lot. I usually go for either no sleeves or 3/4 sleeves over short sleeves, rarely cover up all the way to my neck, and generally don’t favor fitted on top/flouncy on the bottom. But that dress I wore last week, with its nipped-in waist and full-ish skirt, inspired me to experiment.
As it turns out, I really like this look. It’s just as comfortable as the more potato sack-y stuff I usually wear, and felt a lot more elegant.
And even…dare I say it…more flattering?
I remember when I was twelve or so, and all about the Paris Blues bellbottoms (remember those?), saying that I would never ever evereverever be caught dead in “tapered” (by which I meant “skinny”) jeans. The horror! And my mom said, you know…styles change. But NO. I WOULD NEVER CHANGE AND WOULD NEVER EVEREVER WEAR TAPERED JEANS AND YOU COULD NOT MAKE ME. Ever!
Well, we know how that went.
And when I was eighteen, I swore up and down that my low-rise jeans would be dragged from my cold, dead fingers, because there was no way that a high-waisted cut could ever be flattering.
And then there was that time that Francesca made me throw away my Western-y button-downs partly because they were ugly but mostly because I had been wearing them nearly every day for a good year and she was probably sick of looking at them, and I almost cried, because I couldn’t imagine ever thinking that they weren’t just paisley, pocketed style perfection.
But once that habit was broken, I realized that there were lots of other tops in my closet just sitting there, waiting to be worn…and if I was telling the truth…well, those shirts were kinda ugly. (And also kinda awesome. Just saying.)
Anyway, this is all to say that I am someone who gets very worked up about my commitment to one look or another and simply can’t imagine ever changing my mind. I usually wear dresses like this…so it was a little tough to imagine what this blue, buttoned-up dress would look like on - forget about how I would feel in it.
But I felt great.
Sometimes being open to a little style evolution is just what you need to keep on moving in the direction you want to go.
I know, you’re thinking, “Bad purchase what? That’s what you wear every day, Jordan!”
And you would be right. Which is why the Sold Design Lab neon shorts (which I picked up in three colors during Saturday’s shopping trip) and the perfectperfectperfect grey t-shirt (it’s Vince, which I usually find too expensive, but not at an outlet mall!) was such. a bad. purchase.
Because I have this tendency to be very lazy about what I wear on a day-to-day basis, and if I have nowhere to be and no cameras to prattle into tend to more or less default to variations on the same outfit. In the winter, it’s black skinny jeans and black t-shirts, and in the summer it’s short shorts and relaxed-fit tees.
And I’ve been trying to break that habit mostly because, you know, my other clothing deserves some love, too.
But now I own these things. And they are every single thing that I like about getting dressed in the summer, and now I’m not going to wear anything else, ever.
Look at those. You might as well glue them onto my legs right now, and scrape them off come September.
Q. Jordan, I’m having major issues with my hair. It’s not doing anything, just super duper flat. I’ve decided to try and invest some TLC to get things back on track and am going to see Karmela at John Sahag Workshop.
Since this is going to be a spendy endeavour - do you have any advice on how to get the most out of a haircut/salon visit?
A. Hey Megan!
I actually gave Karmela a ring to get her tips for how to make the most of a salon visit, and above all, what she emphasized is being totally honest and open with your stylist. For example, let him/her know the following:
- Whether you feel comfortable using products on your hair.
- How often you exercise (you may want a style that allows you to pull your hair back if you’re big on exercise).
- If you have time to blowdry/style your hair in the mornings, and how handy you are with styling tools.
- How much time and effort you feel comfortable putting into your hair on a daily basis.
To that, I’d add that you should feel free to ask your stylist to show you a couple of tricks when they’re blow-drying and styling your hair post-cut. Some won’t be particularly into giving you a mini-tutorial, but my feeling is hey, you’re paying for the service, and if you’re gracious about your request I don’t see why they wouldn’t. At the very least, pay attention to what your stylist is doing; don’t just sit there through the whole process with your nose buried in your magazine.
Because I ordered a whole bunch of enormous Mason jars in preparation for my blue Mason jars tutorial, but since I ended up deciding to use regular-sized ones instead, I now have…well, too many Mason jars.
But as it turns out, there is no such thing as too many Mason jars. Endless uses, I tell you. Endless.
DIY CHALKBOARD STORAGE JARS
Start with your basic twist-top jars. If you’re using them for things like flour and sugar, go ahead and get the big ones. If you’d like to use them for spices or smaller-scale things, the regular-sized ones should do.
Pick up some chalkboard paint in either black or green; whichever you prefer (your local Home Depot should carry it, or you can get it here).
Mark off the area that you want to paint with tape (I used the writing on the jar as a sort of ruler to make my edges straight). Be careful to lay your tape against totally flat areas, because if you lay your tape over ridged spots the paint may run into the cracks.
Apply two coats (use a good-quality brush to avoid streaks), allowing to dry in between, and gently remove the tape.
Final step: Pick up some pretty colored chalk, and label however you desire!
This is also a neat little trick to use for weddings (write guests’ names on clear votive holders and use them to indicate the seating arrangement) and parties (paint chalkboard squares onto stemless wine glasses so that guests don’t lose track of which drink is theirs).
I know so much about you from your site that I feel I am writing to an old friend. So, dear friend, I’m Delia and I have a dilemma.
I’ve been invited to a wedding, and after church [there is] a late lunch in a beautiful location by the sea. The theme is “tea party.” I have a beautiful emerald body-[conscious] dress that I’d like to wear…but what accessories would you recommend? How do you feel about gloves?
Abu Dhabi, UAE
A. Fun question! And what a fun-sounding wedding.
Of course the more traditional attire for a tea party-style wedding would be florals and/or pastels, but I love that you’ve chosen something different. With an emerald, knee-length dress I think there are two ways you could go:
1) Slightly over-the-top, Alice in Wonderlandish, and dramatic (in which case, hey: do the gloves. How many chances in your life do you get to wear something like that?)
2) Refined and elegant with a retro twist (I love pink with emerald, provided you choose the right shade).
Product info is after the jump…along with a few more budget-friendly suggestions.
I, like everyone else on the planet, love outlet mall shopping. I mean, obviously. But, because I live in Manhattan and do not own a car (yet! I’m gearing up for a guys-tell-me-what-kind-of-car-to-lease - cheap! and good mileage! and safe! - post), I never get to do it.
On Saturday, I got to do it, at the Tanger Outlets in Deer Park, where I went in search of fun spring-y stuff for upcoming segments. (I look so serious in that shot! So Matrix-y. It’s the sunglasses.)
Want to see some of my favorite finds?
First, this Patterson J. Kincaid dress that I really wish I had bought, after looking at this photo. Ah, well. Maybe they…deliver?
Tell me these DVF clutches aren’t incredible.
Hanky Panky! Always good.
Obviously an essential purchase. (If any of you know some great baby apps, by the way, would love to hear about them. The only ones I’ve downloaded are extremely weird and make terrifying noises, and are all sorts of not-entertaining.)
And why has no one ever told me about Christmas Tree Shops before? Has everyone secretly been sneaking off to this place except for me? Is it somewhere that everyone else in the world has heard of, and I’m about to get made fun of for being all shocked and awed that it doesn’t sell exclusively ornaments and such? I have a feeling that the answer to the latter to that is a big old Yes.
Anyway, it’s more or less The Store Made Exclusively For Jordan’s Enjoyment, so I spent awhile there. I got too overwhelmed by the options, though, and ended up only purchasing a bunch of baby wipes (really), so…I need to go back. For furniture. Because I spotted a wrought-iron patio set for fifty bucks, and almost bought it despite the fact that the only place in the apartment with space to put it would be actually inside the baby’s crib, along with the baby.
Here’s my feet and my spoils. (The baby wipes are on the left.)
Is that not the saddest-looking mini-daffodil you have ever seen?
Why can I not keep a plant alive? Whyyyy?
I’ve tried everything with this little guy, trucking him around to different parts our apartment in search of the right balance of light and air, watering him religiously, blowing him little kisses…and still.
Anyway, I am the last person you want to get apartment gardening tips from. But click here for some ideas from girls who seem to have a better handle on these kinds of things.
What, you don’t wear shoes like these when you go bowling?
Yeah, neither do I. I may dress weird at times, but I am not crazy. It’s treacherous enough putting me in the same room as enormously heavy balls and black ice-slippery lanes.
Those black ice-slippery lanes, incidentally, are why I cannot prove to you that I am a genius at bowling.
Oh, I’m lying. I’m not a genius at bowling. I had a genius moment, though. We were shooting part of a JITH segment at Bowlmor on Wednesday, and for the last shot I figured hey, I should bowl! Whee!
But I haven’t bowled in forever, so obviously this dramatic first-shot-in-ages was going to be a gutterball. Right? Obviously. So our cameraman walked out into the lanes to get a good angle, and I was all prepared to do a post-gutterball sad face to camera…and then, just as I released a PERFECT, SENT FROM THE ANGELS SHOT…
our cameraman - and the camera - slipped and went crashing to the ground.
He was fine. The memory card in the camera, not so much. And so the fact that I GOT A STRIKE (did you hear me? I GOT A STRIKE) was lost forever to the winds.
It made me so sad I got blurry.
But I got over it.
This (what I wore for the non-bowling parts of the segment) is like Mary Tyler Moore (capris!) meets Jordan (plaid! leopard!).
P.S. As you can see, I’ve been having a little trouble getting great style shots on the fly. Blurry. Weird lighting. Etc. So we’re going to try a new tactic: taking the actual photos of the looks in my place before heading out for the day, so you can see all the details clearly, if you’re interested.
So that’s what being a fully-functioning, out-in-the-world human being feels like. I had forgotten.
I couldn’t have possibly been in a better mood yesterday afternoon, and it wasn’t just the (awesome, awesome, perfect) weather. It was the fact that for the first time I went out and grabbed lunch with Indy, and it was cool. Not that it’s been “bad” going out with him up until now, not at all…just, it hasn’t been easy, exactly. Other than for work, I haven’t really wanted to leave the house all that much, both because I tend to hibernate during the winter and because the further away I got from our apartment, the more my anxiety grew. Car seats and stairs and taxis and Ergos and forgotten burpy bibs and pacifiers and bottles and total strangers telling me he was too hot or too cold or wasn’t wearing the right socks, and it all added up to a whole bunch of wow, is it ever easier to just stay put at home.
I certainly didn’t drop into restaurants just to hang, just ‘cause.
But yesterday it was just us, grabbing lunch, chilling out, and playing in the sunshine. No tears, no worries, no inclement weather or fears of disaster…just me and my son, happy as little burger-eating clams.
I see where all this is headed now. Good places.
Sorry. Couldn’t help it.
P.S. For those of you who asked about the dress, it’s this one from Very.com - I’m doing a spring styles collaboration with them over the next couple of weeks.
This was the first location we shot in yesterday: The Burger Joint, which you get to in a very neat way, by wandering through the fancy-pants lobby of Le Parker Meridian Hotel and then ducking behind a thick burgundy curtain (the only indicator of what’s to come is a small neon hamburger on the wall).
Inside, a super-cool (and tiny; go early or face completely crazy lines) space with wood paneling, vinyl booths, and one of the best burgers in the city (get it fully loaded with cheese).
Anywhere with lampshades like that has my official Seal Of Approval.
My husband and I have just booked a trip to Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket specifically). I would love some suggestions on what we should definitely see/do while there and also some suggestions on what to wear, mainly while in Bangkok. My primary concern is footwear. Would I be OK walking around Bangkok in flat, open toe sandals?
A. So exciting - you’re going to love that part of the world. Our honeymoon (in Thailand and Indonesia) was…jeez, nearly four years ago now, and unfortunately we didn’t spend much time in Bangkok, so I don’t have a ton of recommendations for you. I do remember wishing that we’d spent much more time there, though: we were advised to just use the city as a hub, but it’s such an incredible place, and the couple of nights that we spent there just wandering around and checking things out were my favorites of the entire trip.
One caveat: below are my recommendations for clothing, beauty, and footwear, but whoa am I not an expert on this part of the world, and when I was there actually ended up dressing myself in things that resulted in my having leeches on my butt (in the photo above, I have leeches on my butt but do not yet know it, hence the smile). So. If anyone who’s spent more time there has any recommendations or advice, please do leave them in the comments!
Thailand is very hot andhumid, so think lightweight and loose. It’s a city, so people are used to seeing tourists in lots of different styles (and the Thai people, in my experience, are extremelypolite and seem likely to forgive errors in judgment), but nevertheless: you’re a visitor in another culture, so I’d err towards the side of modesty, choosing short- or long-sleeved tops rather than tanks, and going for shorts that aren’t too short. Basically, just use common sense, and cover up when you’re visiting temples, historic sites, and government buildings.
A few examples of the types of things I wore are pictured above: light cotton tops that were easy to wash and dried quickly paired with loose cotton pants during the day, and no-wrinkle dresses with pretty embroidered wraps (pick these up once you get there) to cover my shoulders at night.
On that same note of No-Joke Heat And Humidity, remember to tailor your approach to beauty accordingly: make sure you bring hair products that will work with your natural texture so you don’t have to spend time wrestling with your blowdryer (that’s a battle you’re going to lose), and try to winnow your makeup down to tinted moisturizer (with SPF!), waterproof mascara, and a little gloss.
Go for more or less what you’d wear in any city in hot weather: light, easy-to-walk in sandals with decent support for trekking around, and maybe something a little prettier for nighttime (there are lots of fancy restaurants, but I didn’t go to any when I was there, so I didn’t find that heels were necessary). And remember to break them in before you go! I never remember to do that, but it is such a good idea.
I have a big old crush on motorcycle boots and cowboy boots, so me and Frye? Friends 4 Eva.
Below, some favorite picks from the Fall 2012 preview.
This is what cowboy boots should look like.
But for city-wear, shorter + studded is the way to go. Oof, these are cute.
I love the wear and tear on this bag - the distressed effect can look cheesy if not done just right, but this looks exactly like a bag that you were lucky enough to spot in your local thrift shop, or a decades-old hand-me-down from Mom.
And these! Love these. Everyday easy plus just a touch of tough.
Count Me Healthy Bracelet (starting at $88): This is a pretty neat twist on jewelry, especially for a new mom or someone who’s into setting health goals for themselves: you slide the little beads on the bracelet from one side to another over the course of the day to track your progress towards a goal (every time you, say, drink a glass of water).
Fossil Stella Mini Watch ($115): Who wouldn’t love a rose gold watch in a classic shape? And this one is (well, relatively; it’s still a watch) affordable.
bamboopink Rio Coral Hoops ($34): I actually just gave my own mother a pair of these - their striking color and beautiful details make them gorgeous for both everyday and special occasions.
Absolis Patyka White Grape Body Wash (about $44): This smells exactly like champagne. Give it to mom along with a bottle of the real stuff, and that’s a nice night in, right there.
Ugg Travel Moccasins ($100): These are pricey slippers, sure, but I own a pair, and they’re great: super-comfortable, sturdy enough to be perfect traveling companions (for hotel rooms, airplanes and such), and they’ll last more or less forever. And I love the orange color.
Bond No. 9 Perfume (prices vary): New Yorkers (or cityphiles) will love Bond No. 9’s range of fragrances, each named for a specific location in or around NYC. My favorite scent, Nuits de Noho, is a blend of jasmine, vanilla and patchouli.
Archipelago Home Excursion Diffusers ($45): With scents inspired by everywhere from Fiji to Charleston to Dubai, there’s sure to be one that’ll serve as the perfect reminder of Mom’s favorite travel spot.
Alexandra Satine Hamptons Bag ($320): If you’re looking to splurge, this is the way to do it. Because this bag is ridiculously pretty, but is also two-for-the-price-of-one: the purse you see above can go out during the day, and then the tiny black insert can be removed and worn alone with the chain at night.
I used to find red lipstick pretty intimidating, and certainly didn’t consider it something to wear during the daylight hours. You may have noticed that that’s changed, though, and now I wear it…sort of all of the time. There’s just nothing like a little red lipstick to make you look (and feel) instantly pulled-together and sprightly.
Good morning! I would like to introduce you to my (and, I think, your) new favorite lipstick.
Lipstick Queen in Saint Eden is one of the latest creations from Poppy King (the famous red lipstick-wearer), and it’s a sheer watermelon shade that feels great (no dryness) and is completely wearable, even if you’re an all-gloss, all-the-time girl.
Really, for those of you who are still a little nervous about the whole red lipstick thing, this color is the perfect way to start dipping your toes into the waters (and trust me, once you’re there, you won’t go back). And for those of you who’ve already embraced the idea…this is how you do it up for daytime.
On Friday night, this arrived, which obviously was wildly exciting for me. I’ve had my eye on this faux Eames rocker for ages now, and finally decided to just do it, since we’ll (hopefully) have lots more rooms in which to put things like pretty chairs once we move.
Have to say, though: man, that thing is going to get dirty fast. But rather than being lunatics about it - there’s nothing I like less than owning things that people can’t touch and use - Kendrick and I have decided to just go Jackson Pollock on it once it starts to show some age. (Doesn’t that sound kind of cool?! Picture red and yellow paint spatters all over it.)
Saturday meant St. Patrick’s Day outfits, and I was pretty excited about this one.
After a walk in the park with the dogs, I headed downtown to help my friend do her makeup for a wedding that she was in, and then stopped into John Sahag Workshop to see Karmela for a quick trim on my way back to the UES.
Godiva is very unfortunately located directly next to the 51st St subway station. I say “unfortunately” just because it’s very difficult for me to avoid purchasing chocolate-covered strawberries when they cross my path, but wow, are those things ever expensive.
They’re aso not nearly as good as the chocolate-covered salted strawberries that I make myself for about one zillionth of the price. Lesson learned: patience, grasshopper. Do not buy on the fly.
(Want to make your own? Click here for the how-to.)
We didn’t want to let St. Patrick’s day slide by without a little celebrating in beer-form, but since most of the restaurants with outdoor seating in our neighborhood (the ones with names like Johnny Foxes and Jack Russell’s) weren’t exactly baby-friendly at the moment (whoa, falling ladies and screaming guys), we compromised. So the pints we had at Gina La Fornarina were Morettis rather than Guinnesses. It worked for us.
After awhile, though, things took a turn towards the grumpy…
And so we ended the festivities with a little on-the-go napping.
How gorgeous are these? And so perfect for weddings, parties, or just everyday decor.
Step-by-step tutorial after the jump.
What you need:
Needle-nose pliers (I just used my fingers to bend the wire, but I destroyed my manicure, so if you care about the state of your nails use pliers; also, you’ll get a neater result)
Wire (I used 18 gauge because I like the look of thicker wire, but 22 gauge would be easier to work with)
Start by pulling out a bit of wire - about 8-10”, and then leave the end hanging and loop the wire a few times around a pencil.
Remove the pencil and give the wire a twist to hold the loop in place.
Bring back your 8-10” end to meet the wire on the opposite side of the jar (securing the wire under the lip), and twist the two pieces together.
If you have enough wire left on your 8-10” piece to bring it back around to meet your loop, do that (I like the look of the doubled wire). If you don’t, cut it neatly and tuck in the end so it doesn’t end up wounding you later.
Hook your loose end into the loop, and neatly trim whatever’s left dangling with the wire cutters.
Note: You can always give the loops on either side another twist with needle-nose pliers to tighten things up. You can see that because I was using my fingers to do everything the wire isn’t particularly tight around the lip of the jar; if you do the same, just be certain that it’s at least tight enough that the jar won’t fall out.
Now go back to the other side, where you have the rest of your length of wire waiting for you. Pull out enough to make about a 4” handle, and then pull out an inch or two more.
Hook the end of the wire through your loop…
…and cut off any loose pieces. That’s it!
Fill with candles (set into a little sand), flowers…whatever you like.
Click here for another handy step-by-step tutorial.
I’ve written before about Sue Devitt’s Eye Intensifier Pencil (it’s the key element in my Summery Smoky Eye), and the Lip Intensifier Pencil is just as all-around useful: it’s a chunky pencil that comes in four shades (I use Kirakira) and pumps up your own lip color just the slightest bit.
I’ve been using it in two ways: 1) As a base under my red lipstick, to keep it staying put longer, and 2) all on its own, for a slightly-better-than-natural look. One note: while the Lip Intensifier has more moisture in it than a traditional lip pencil, it’s still a very matte look, so you may want to pair it with balm or gloss.
I would also like to tell you that Yo Gabba Gabba has now officially become a part of my brain chemistry. You know how I wanted to end this post?
"Try it…you’ll like it!"
There are some of you who know exactly what I’m talking about, and will now have that song stuck in your head for the remainder of the day.
Put those together, and it’s just too much. Brightly-colored plaid shirts?! Yes, obviously. Tiny little chinos with grosgrain belts? If you insist. And THIS:
Heart patters. (I just bought it.)
Want to win some warm(er)-weather duds for your own little one? Chaps KIDS, makers of the adorableness pictured above, is giving away a set (for either a boy or a girl) to one RG reader. To enter, just head over to my Facebook page and “Like” the Chaps Giveaway post. That’s it!
Love these classic roses for a smallish room - it reminds me of the old lady in Fried Green Tomatoes. who papered her room with cut-out roses. And I don’t know that “associations with the old lady in Fried Green Tomatoes” would be on everybody’s list of Decor Musts…but…
Today’s question comes from one reader in particular…but I’m publishing it (with her permission) because it’s a question that I’ve received in one form or another so often, from so many of you. I’m saying this not to diminish the importance of these feelings; quite the contrary, I’m saying that I’ve felt like this, and I know it feels lonely, and I also know that if you feel like this, you are not alone.
Q. Hi Jordan,
I’m not really sure how to start an e-mail like this, even though I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and feel like I “know” you. All I can say is that I’m at a point in my life where I’m feeling so lost and confused that for some reason I feel compelled to reach out to you, especially after your recent post recapping your engagement and whirlwind romance with your now-husband.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for five years, [and] we’ve built a pretty solid life together. About a year ago we started moving steadily towards engagement, and about six months ago he went an bought a ring. Knowing that the proposal was coming, something inside me snapped and I started to panic.
Something has always felt “off” in our relationship, like something was missing. What scares me is that while I love him so much and our relationship shines in so many ways, I don’t know that I could ever love him in the can’t-live-without-you [way]. I guess what scares me is the indecision of it all, wondering if I’m throwing away a really good, solid, stable relationship because I’m chasing the pipe dream of something great, something more than what I have right now. I so desperately want to feel the things for him that I don’t right now, but I’m not sure that I ever will.
I know that at the end of the day I’m the only one who really knows what it is that I’m feeling, but I guess what I’m hoping so desperately for is that you will share with me if, in your experience, that full-spectrum love exists. I know that you’ve mentioned that you were in a serious relationship in the past that ended, and when you met your husband something about it just felt right, felt different than what you had before. And I guess that’s what I need to hear right now: is that there is a difference between loving someone but still feeling empty, and finding someone who makes you feel complete.
A. This is a tough situation that you’re in. And you’re right: of course no one save for you can say for sure whether this relationship is right for you, and I don’t want to tell you what you should or should not do, but you wrote to me for honesty. And so here’s what I think.
I’ve actually been in three long-term relationships that at one point or another seemed to be headed in the direction of marriage. In one, I contemplated marrying a guy because he was great, and we were best friends, and he would have given me a “good life” and stability and all those nice things that don’t necessarily add up to true love. In the others, I came close to engagement because I felt, for one reason or another, like I had to: with one man, it was because my job and the life that I had been building felt contingent on the success of our relationship (and because I remembered how our relationship had been in the past, and always held out hope that we would return to that incredible time, though we never did), and with another man it felt like I had given up so much to be with him (the aforementioned relationship, job, and life) that to not marry him was tantamount to admitting that I had made an unspeakably enormous mistake.
Look: people choose to get married (or not) for all sorts of reasons. Happiness can be scarce enough in this world, and long as a person’s choices bring him or her joy, then that’s really great. I mean that. And there’s something to be said for prioritizing companionship in life, even if that companionship doesn’t come in the package you may have expected or hoped for. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the way your priorities lean, and it’s not the way mine do, either.
To my mind, there is no reason to marry someone other than the belief - the full, wholehearted, all-of-you certainty - that you really, really want to (I originally said “must”, but I think the key element here is desire, not destiny). That you have met someone who recognizes those parts of you that no one else in the world even sees, and whom you recognize in return. This isn’t to say that things are always blissful and dreamy - there have been times when my relationship with Kendrick has grown so rocky that we’ve both struggled with it, for sure - but there has always been the strong, steady knowledge that no matter what happens, we were made to hold each others’ hearts. There is no one on this planet who would hold mine with such care as Kendrick does; that’s just the truth.
Another truth: marriage is very, very difficult. Those people who say “relationships shouldn’t be work”? I’m always hesitant to judge others’ perspectives, because to each their own, but in this case I’m pretty prepared to say: nope, that is wrong. Relationships - especially ones that last decades - are hard. Marriage is hard. And it’s hard - often harder than you were prepared for - with the person that you are truly, deep down, meant to be with. With anyone else, it would be impossible. I believe that.
Did you ever read my post called Love And Living Rooms? In short: there is no checklist in the world that I could reference to explain why I married Kendrick. I married him not because he fulfilled some needs of mine; I married him very simply because he is him, with everything that means (and doesn’t mean).
Whole-heart, all-in love exists, but it’s not glitter and rainbows: it’s real, and it’s a struggle…and it’s all worth it. It’s not the swoony romance of those early months or years; it’s sometimes that, too…but mostly it’s much more: it’s caring for another soul the way you care for yourself, and experiencing the certainty that you are cared for in that way in return. And I would encourage you to look for that, because it’s not something that you want to miss out on. Even the hard parts: they’re so good, and so very very much the point of it all.
Here’s the thing: when it comes to cleaning, I’m…OK. I keep it together. Sometimes I do a better job than others (like, say, when I’m not trying to get all of my work done while caring for a five-month-old and still be a sane human being capable of smiling at my husband when he gets home at night).
But when it comes to neatness, I’m fairly particular. A little obsessive. I do things like line up remote controls, organize all the little weebils hanging out on my desk into bowls, and generally tidy up as a matter of course all day long.
My coffee table? I like it nearly empty, with just a single candle set on it. Maybe a remote control or two. Lined up.
A few weeks ago, I was struck by a post by Jaclyn Day in which she talked about how before she gave birth to her daughter, she tried to figure out how to pick baby items that would be relatively inoffensive in terms of decor (charcoal grey and muted yellow, yes, rainbow brights and cartoon characters, no)…but then quickly realized that what baby likes, baby likes, and so be it. I remember thinking the same thing during my registry trip through Buy Buy Baby: I sought out activity mats, bouncy seats, and high chairs in (relatively) subtle shades, skipping right over anything eye-searingly bright or bedecked in primary colors.
What’s amazing is not what I quickly discovered - which is that it’s not a diabolical conspiracy on the part of Fisher Price to sell us ugly things, but rather a simple fact of life that babies really do prefer bright colors and contrast - but rather the extent to which I don’t care. I definitely care that my apartment has become a virtual maze (trying to get from our bedroom to the bathroom in the middle of the night is like running a Death Gauntlet of baby toys and totally-not-asleep dogs - and, seriously, dogs? GO TO SLEEP), which is why we need to move, like, yesterday…but the primary colors?
I like them. And sure, when guests are coming over I make a halfhearted effort to put all the baby stuff away - or at least organize it into piles - but really, I’m over it. Because I’m someone who cares a lot about the things I surround myself with…but there’s simply no color scheme or pretty vase that I’m ever going to find more thrilling than something that makes my son smile. Truth.
And besides, you know…it’s not forever. Years from now - maybe when Indy’s gone off to college - there will once more come a day when those remotes will be sitting on my coffee table, all lined up in their proper places.