The Little Princess

It’s been a bit of a slow, uninspired morning but as I was looking through some recent pictures I came across this one and it put a big smile on my face. This little Cinderella’s coy game of hide-and-seek was just the cure I needed for my case of the Mondays. Her sweet smile and excitement was infectious and I was lucky enough to capture the moment before she was swept away in her carriage, right along with her baby brother.

Hope this puts a smile on your Monday too :)

Phoenix Rizing

There is something particularly special about a woman jewelry shopping for herself. It’s a personal indulgence; a purchase meant to bring her joy every time she looks at her new sparkle, as well as a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes with investing in something purely for adornment. Whenever I think of saving my money for something special, it’s inevitably jewelry. Shoes are my guilty pleasure, but they are better purchased in a fleeting moment of impulse. It makes it more fun.

Jewelry, on the other hand, is something that benefits from delayed gratification. I always felt proud about saving my petty cash for some shimmer. Of course, the targets have changed over the years. When I was younger, it would be a hippie-dippie oversized sterling silver moonstone ring and later it was an enamel floral cocktail ring by Kenneth Jay Lane that I considered a major splurge. After working in jewelry production, however, my sights are set a bit higher as I appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of each piece so much more. My tastes still veer towards the teeny, the delicate, and sometimes the slightly edgy, which is why Phoenix Roze is a fast favorite of mine.

Stepping into this boutique is an experience–the lighting is low, there are mirrors everywhere, and the eye candy is highlighted quietly behind minimalist glass displays. It almost feels like a mini museum of gems, but the mood is anything but stodgy. You are incited to come close, look at the pieces at your leisure, try on something if you like. No scare tactics here. I took my time noticing the subtle nuances of each piece and my wish list grew longer by the minute. Mini hoops set with emeralds (my birthstone), an incredible arrow ring (pictured at top), and a dainty necklace featuring a trio of tiny bezel-set diamonds topped my list.

That is, until Margaux and I spotted this little solitaire ring strung on a thin gold chain. We’re totally smitten! Such a sweet and inventive way to put a ring on it ;)

Regardless of your tastes, each piece at Phoenix Roze feels personal and precious, even if you can only loosen your pursestrings enough for a sterling silver incarnation. I also appreciate the use of colored gemstones, a rarity among many local jewelers who prefer a more monochromatic look and stick to diamonds. Moonstone, aquamarine, chrysoprase and amethyst all have their place here and the selection is so much more interesting for it. I was also lucky enough to meet the designer himself, a man who clearly enjoys every minute of his work. Guy Rozenstrich handcrafts each piece in the West Village spot and really takes care to engage his customers. He came over to show me a gorgeous, custom rose-cut engagement ring and then graciously invited me to an uptown soirée to fête his new boutique opening on Madison. An opportunity to shop some more pretties? Yes, please!

The Upper East Side location is just as special, with lots of organic elements like petrified wood and mineral clusters to enhance the simplicity of the jewelry. In addition to the signature line, there is also a magnificent vintage display that the designer has obviously carefully curated. With a new location close to home, I know exactly where to set my sights for my next special purchase, when the day comes. They say sometimes a rose is just a rose, but I’d beg to differ ;)

I used to collect antique skeleton keys as a kid, so this mini rose gold version is an obvious pick.

I saw a couple of trendy ladies wearing the cat’s claw studs (in the small tray) and I instantly fell in love with them. Tiny, but edgy.

How sweet is that teeny trio necklace?

If you wanna go for a personal choice, these pave initials are instant crowd-pleasers.

These antique ruby and diamond chandeliers are fit for a princess.

I had to try on something shiny! The perfect tiny hoops, with just a little extra dangle to zhush it up a bit.

Landbrot

Sometimes I feel as though you really don’t need to travel to experience all of the greatest cities in the world. Or at least it’s a small consolation prize when you can’t get out of town. New York is one of the few places where every nationality is represented, along with every type of cuisine. As passionate as I am about seeing the world, I recognize that there are few places where you can challenge your palate and your curiosity on a regular basis. In Germany, people primarily eat German food and in Italy, people primarily eat classic Italian food. Don’t get me wrong; I wholeheartedly relished the experience of eating food made by the people who know it best, but it still makes me smile that a traditional German bakery and bar can exist here, where I can have a taste of it any day.

Which leads me to my latest discovery: Landbrot.

Yesterday, while walking around downtown, I came across this sprawling two story German bakery/eatery on 7th Ave. in West Village and the grass green chairs appealed to me so much that I had to take a look inside. What was initially so impressive about the space was the second-floor bakery, where all of the goods are presumably freshly baked. A glass and steel dumbwaiter lowers the breads down to retail level, where they join all of the scrumptious German classics I love so much. Rum raisin, gouda pretzels, schnitzel, and microbrew, Landbrot is a taste of Deutschland in New Amsterdam (New York’s past incarnation).

 

Having been to (and tasted my way through) Germany, I’m excited to revisit my travels here. While I didn’t get to sample the more traditional menu items like bratwurst and schnitzel, I am looking forward to getting my fill of the hearty fare. I had to try something though, so in the spirit of exploration, I walked out with a delicious rosemary focaccia and a piece of perfect apple crumble. Leave it to me to completely bypass their signature items, but the apple crumble was moist, not too sweet, with a pie-like crust that totally exceeded my expectations, so I left a happy camper. Next time I’m comin’ for the schnitzel and a cold glass of Riesling. Prost!

Ebony and Sand

When it comes to a choice between spring or fall fashion, there really is no contest. I’m a full-on cozy sweater addict; I love blazers, and scarves and polished-looking layers. Summer dresses and all of the fussy florals that plaster the windows of shops just don’t appeal to me as much. Plus, no matter how pretty you feel in a light frock, the blasting heat will inevitably make you feel like leftovers sadly suctioned to saran wrap. All that said, in order to retain some of my dignity in 90+ weather, I try to keep things as easy as possible. Cotton t-shirts, simple black shorts and now, my new chic slides.

My shoe family can now say hello to a new member that has been a long time coming. I have many summer sandals, but all with cumbersome buckles, ties, or some other distraction that makes it one step more difficult to just kick them off when I open the front door. Until now, my only slip-on sandal option were my trusty rubber Havaianas; comfy but not exactly on-the-town chic. Thong sandals seem to be one of the only options when it comes to low-key summer footwear, which is why I was so happy to find these uber-cool sandals at Anthro by Schuler & Sons.

Really well-made in my favorite neutral tones, they have just the right amount of style to pull together an effortlessly chic downtown look. I absolutely love the bit of snakeskin texture and I feel so cool when I put them on, á la Gwyneth or Ashley Olsen. They almost make running errands a bit more fun too!

Buried Treasure

I love to shop just as much as the next girl, so I think it’s great when a brand decides to merge that interest with philanthropy to create the perfect win-win situation. Meet Treasure & Bond, Nordstrom’s first New York retail venture which opened last year. Unusual for a big name department store that doesn’t yet have a eponymous presence in the city (only to come in 2018!) to launch such a conceptual store, but this is an idea I can really get behind. All of the proceeds benefit children’s philanthropic organizations in New York, such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Association to Benefit Chidlren and with awesome wares by Erickson Beamon and Vince, among many that are newly discovered, there is no need to sacrifice style for charity. This ain’t your local churchyard charity sale.

Simply by placing this concept store in highly-visible Soho, Treasure & Bond seeks to capture the attention of the eclectic downtown girl on the hunt for the latest cool item. There are lots of artisanal goods, lots of clever home wares, a variety of one-off pieces, and a library’s worth of enviable coffee table books. For the first twenty minutes of walking around, browsing the warehouse-like space, I had no idea that this store was in any way connected to Nordstrom. Only until I saw Nordstrom stamped in white industrial paint on a black trunk and then noticed the Ruben Toledo illustrations all over the elevator did I piece together Treasure & Bond’s origins. Strangely, the fact that it didn’t seem at all associated with Nordstrom elevated my opinion of the department store chain. While the prices are still a bit too spicy for my wallet, this is definitely where I would shop if I wanted a totally individual look to separate me from the crowds of mass-fashion wearing mannequins. When I do have the spare change, I can rest assured that I really will be shopping for the greater good (I have always wanted a real reason to justify saying that!).

These Wayuu Tayu bags would be my go-to beach bag if I actually had a beach nearby :/

I’m in love with summer scarves in vibrant colors!

I have hunted down these Serpui Marie clutches everywhere online and am now even more in love with them after seeing one in person!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Ruben Toledo’s fashion illustrations and I love that he lent his legendary hand to make this space even more unique.