Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fashionable Collaborations

Last week I saw a commercial for the 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited edition. I was sucked in to this commercial. It made me NEED this car, which is odd because I do not know how to drive and we already own or car payment free. I figured out why I needed it, though. In general I am a sucker for John Varvatos. In my opinion, not much smells better than a man in John Varvatos cologne. If  he is wearing a pair of John Varvatos Converse sneakers, well that just makes him even more appealing (yes,  hunny I am talking about you!). However, the real reason this car appealed to me was the collaboration -  Two great companies coming together to offer the consumer a great item. I love collaborations. The idea that I am able to buy one item that represents two companies I like is very appealing. Often times these collaborations bring high end designers to stores that are much more affordable. In the case of Feed for Target and Michael Kors Watch Hunger Stop, they benefit an important cause. Retailers, obviously, realize the financial success that a collaboration could bring to them. Here are some of my favorite ones:

J.Crew's In Good Company category features over a dozen collaborations for adults from New Balance, Birkenstock, The Laundress, FACE Stockholm and Thomas Mason, but it is their children's collaborations that are really impressive. They carry diaper bags from Sea Bags, clothing and accessories from Nature Baby and K-Way Claude Klassic jackets. 

Banana Republic has turned out some fantastic collaborations in the last few years. Their 2 Mad Men collections featured such fun, flirty and affordable work and party pieces. Earlier this summer, Banana Republic showcased preppy pieces from Milly (many of which are on sale on the site still!). Their current collection is from Issa, the company who made Kate Middleton's iconic blue engagement dress. It features figure flattering dresses, colorful cardigans, blouses and some great accessories. 

Target is arguably at the head of the class lately when it comes to affordable collaborations. Jason WU, Neiman Marcus, Prabal Gurung and Missoni have all done wildly successful  collections for the mass retailer. Currently, Sam and Libby for Target features the most adorable, fashionable and affordable shoes I have seen all summer. Later this year Phillip Lim will be available in Target stores and I cannot wait. The look book was just released and it is amazing. I will definitely be waiting on line when my local store opens up on September 15 because I NEED that yellow bag. 
Phillip Lim for Target 

I can only hope that this holiday season will bring us some great collaborations once again. Last year's Neiman Marcus for Target and Disney for Barney's blew my mind. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

100 Days

One hundred days ago, I was blessed with the most amazing gift ever. Cordelia Jude was born three weeks early, weighing 8 pounds 4 ounces. After seven years of trying, hoping and wishing for her, she was finally here. Hunny and I are constantly in awe of her - often looking at each other and saying how lucky we are. 

In one hundred days, your hair has turned from black to the lightest brown (with a short period of a fantastic horseshoe hairstyle). You have gone form waking up every 2 and a half hours to sleeping throughout the night. You have started to coo so much - even in your sleep. You give us kisses and your smile could light up a room. In 100 short days, you have grown so much and I cannot wait to see what the next 100 days brings us.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I have not left the house today

I could give a million excuses why I do not leave the house with the baby when hunny is at work  - I do not drive. The heat wave is unbearable. I am too tired. I have too much to do around the house.  None of those are the real reason why. Honestly, I am simply afraid. Maybe it is because I watched too many episodes of Law and Order : SVU when I was pregnant or because there are so many horrible news stories about children being hurt, but the idea of leaving the house with CJ kills me. Every parent wants to protect their child, but I worry that I am taking it too far. I live in a wonderful neighborhood filled with good people. I grew up here. It is a great place to raise a family. Yet, I still worry that when I walk out the door with the baby, some crazy person is going to hit me over the head and steal her. Is this a common concern? Am I taking it too far? I am really not sure anymore. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Five: A Little Bit of Paris

Happy Friday. I cannot believe it is already the middle of July. This Summer is flying by so quickly. CJ is already 11 weeks and I am baffled at how that even happened. I hope to make the most of the next few weeks and create some wonderful memories. Here is my Friday Five for this week. I hope it gives you some great ideas for making your own memories!

Bastille Day Festival-   I have blogged about this before, so it is no surprise that it should make the top of my list. The Bastille Day festival is this Sunday, July 14 on 60th Street in NYC from noon - 5 pm. Can't wait until Sunday to check out the Bastille Day festivities? There are several other celebrations happening across the city to celebrate Bastille Week. Attend a ball, indulge in a decadent French meal or play a traditional game of petanque. There are plenty of ways to celebrate this French holiday. 

Fete Paradiso - This traveling festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels is making its way to Governor's Island this weekend to coincide with Bastille Day. This attraction features a collection of 19th and 20th century rides that are open to the public until September 29th. In addition to the nostalgic rides, Fete Paradiso will feature a beer garden, musical performances and plenty of French food (crepes, please!). 

Cronuts - There is a new dessert craze that is stomping all over the macaron and the cupcake. It is the cronut. Part croissant, part donut, the cronut was created by Chef Dominique Ansel this past May. Getting an original cronut is no easy task. There is a 2 cronut limit per person at Chef Ansel's bakery and only several hundred are made each day. It is  not unusual to see a line forming at the bakery before 7 a.m. daily. New Yorkers are seriously into the cronut. There are even those who peddle the dessert on craigslist . When a $5 treat gets $50 on the secondary market, you know it is just that good! If you don't want to wait on line or cannot get to the bakery, Stew Leonard's sells their version of the cronut and I hear it is pretty good, too. 

St. James for J.Crew -  One of my favorite things about J.Crew is there "In Good Company" section. Partnering with amazing companies across the globe like Comme Des Garcons and The Laundress, J.Crew In Good Company brings clothing, accessories and sometimes home goods to their customers. Their  collaboration with French clothing company Saint James is one of their best. The classic French striped shirt is offered for men, women and kids (check out the adorable striped hat on sale right now). 
Saint James for J.Crew shrunken tee in ivory navy

Films on the Green -  This free outdoor French film festival has been produced annually in New York City by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the City of New York Parks & Recreation since 2008. The Festival brings both classic and contemporary French cinema to New Yorkers. This year's theme is Love - a subject synonymous with the city of Paris! Running through September 5, the festival even has a film (U)  that children will love screening on July 26.   

U, 2006

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Five: Welcome back, Summer

Today is officially the first day of Summer and there is so much to celebrate - longer days, no more school and plenty of outdoor activities. I plan on spending the entire weekend outdoors with hunny and CJ. I hope you enjoy the gorgeous weather in store for the New York area. Here are my five favorite things for this week. 

1. A Midsummer Night's Dream: This is truly my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. How could it not be? There are fairies, lovers tricked by fairies and an Amazonian Queen in love with a donkey. It is brilliant and very funny. This play is the perfect way to honor the summer solstice. If you do not have time to read it this evening or even watch a decent movie version (it is harder than you think to find a "decent" version), check out Midsummer Night's Dreaming ,  a digital theater project from the the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

James Cagney as "Bottom" in the 1935 movie adaptation

2. Smorgasburg: Every Saturday and Sunday during the summer, Brooklyn Flea hosts an open air food market featuring vendors from New York City and the greater New York region. Saturday's location is on the Williamsburg waterfront and Sunday's is at the Tobacco warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge park. From doughnuts to Thai food, Smorgasburg is a foodie's dream. Not only are the offerings delicious, but everything is created by locally and purchases support the regional economy! This weekend, Smorgasburg welcomes Kelso Barrel aged wheat beer. 

Kelso Beer

3. 2013 Mermaid Parade: Saturday is the 31st Coney Island Mermaid Parade. This annual parade marks the beginning of summer and always features colorful and adventurous parade goers, floats and costumes. The event is rain or shine, but tomorrow's weather calls for warmth and sunshine. This year's King Neptune is comedian Judah Friedlander. The Queen Mermaid is Carole Radziwill - princess, author, and Real Housewives of New York City cast member. This is an all age event, but be prepared for some risqué costumes. 
photo courtesy of coneyisland.com

4.  Haagen-Dazs Gelato: If you have not already tasted this, run to your local supermarket an get a pint of Haagen-Dazs sea salt caramel gelato. It is amazing. There are seven flavors of gelato, but to be honest, I liked this one so much I did not try any others. This is not going to take the place of home made gelato, but it is not so easy to find an actual gelateria.  For those of you on diets, just remember, gelato has less fat than ice cream!

5. Monster's University: After 12 years, fans finally have the long awaited prequel to the beloved Pixar film Monster's Inc. This film takes place while the monsters are in college before Mike and Sully became friends. Even though there is no Boo in this one, I am still excited to see the monsters learn to scare!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Five: Summer Summer Summertime

Even though today is a terribly gloomy one in NYC, there is a bright side : Summer is in full swing. There is so much to do in NYC and most of it is free. Here are my top five events for some fun in the (hopefully) sun.

1. Figment NYC- From June 8 - 9, Governor's Island is turned into a large-scale collaborative art exhibit for the entire family. This free event features every medium of art and encourages visitor participation. This year, exhibits include an audience hoop dance, where you can learn the dance in advance and the Carl Wagan Bookmobile. The bookmobile is a mobile gallery and classroom where Carl teaches workshops in printmaking, writing and bookbinding - all in a VW camper. For Game of Thrones fans, Kostume Kult brings its iron shopping cart throne to the island for some costumed interaction. Figment NYC is a rain or shine event and definitely worth braving a little bad weather. 

Kostume Kult's Iron Throne Experience

2. Museum Mile Festival - Tuesday, June 11 is "New York's Biggest Block Party." One day a year, ten of New York's museums on Fifth Avenue open their doors for free to all visitors for a mile-long block party and celebration. The  stretch of Fifth Avenue from 105th street down to 82nd street is closed to traffic and the street becomes a party zone, providing activities such as music, dancing and crafts. 

From the Museum Mile Website

3. MoMA Nights - Every Thursday in July and August, the Museum of Modern Art provides a free concert experience for all of their visitors. These concerts relate to the museums exhibits and take place in the beautiful outdoor sculpture garden. In case of rain, the concerts are moved indoors to one of the museum's theaters. The museum offers a wide array of snacks and beverages, making this the perfect setting for a night out with friends or a date. While you are at the museum check out the rain room - you will not be disappointed. 

4. Bastille Day - I am sort of obsessed with Paris and all things French - macarons, poodles, crepes, croissants, Degas (I could go on, but I will spare you my list). Since I have yet to go to the actual country, I make sure to go to the 60th Street Bastille Day Festival every year to get my fix. I am never disappointed. Although it can get a little bit crowded, there is so much to do and see. There are activities for every age, such as wine tasting for adults and crafting for children. There is live entertainment including a mime and several live musicians. Of course, my favorite part is the food. Cheese, crepes and pastries always make for a good time. This year the festival takes place July 12.

5. Hester Street Fair - There are tons of street fairs happening every weekend in NYC, but Hester Street happens every Saturday and in my opinion has the best vendors.  Artisanal foods, jewelry, vintage clothing, jewelry and more can be found here. While you are there, make sure to try a treat from  "It's a Cuppie" - a cupcake with a cookie baked inside. Brilliant!

Strawberry Shortcake Cuppie

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Back at it!

The past ten months have been insane, hectic and wonderful all at the same time. After many years of trying to conceive, my husband and I finally got pregnant through IVF. It was a long process that spanned over a year and made me very sick. I decided to take the time off from blogging and from school, to focus all of my energy on my pregnancy. CJ was born on April 23rd - 3 weeks early. Today is her one month birthday. It has been the most amazing month of my life. The sleepless nights are killer, but her smiles make it all worth it. I am happy to get back into blogging, and hopeful that I can get back to school in September. So be prepared for more art, fashion and adorable baby items!