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 :)

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Simple Pleasures

In our completely technology driven world, sometimes it’s so refreshing, and necessary, to just disconnect. Maybe I’m old school, but I still hold my print magazines dear to my heart and will not trade the feeling of thumbing through a paperback for a nook anytime soon. As much I’m a devoted recycler, I’m also a through and through paper lover, and one of the greatest appeals of this city is the countless used and new bookstores and specialty magazine shops scattered across the island.

I even remember thinking at one point when I noticed the abundance of sidewalk carts stacked with books, “Wow, people really read here. This must be my city.” So it should also not be all that surprising that when I choose to escape into a good book, I often like to read tales about the city that I decided to make my home. I find it fascinating to think of New York at various points in its long history, to think of the many reincarnations it has made, the remnants of which create the patchwork I’m so fond of. There are so many stories here, so many legacies. All the best and worst of New York can be found in these bestsellers, but mostly you’ll find a sense of nostalgia, inspiration, grit, tragedy, vibrancy, and always a hint of humor. These may not be classified as beach reading, but with a great cup of coffee and some quiet time, there’s no questioning that they might provide the same amount of comfort and serenity.

Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos; North River by Pete Hamill; Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; and The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Summer is finally here which means that berries are back in season! On a hot summer day, there are few things better and simpler to enjoy than a handful of ruby red strawberries and fresh, homemade whipped cream. This dessert will always remind me of the first time I picked strawberries in Germany a couple of years ago. I was so amazed that one could just walk over to the local strawberry field if you were in the mood to make a berry tart. The simple pleasure of proudly hauling back my loot to my friend’s house to be eaten in her backyard garden with fresh cream is a memory I’ll always savor.

 

 

To a Sweet 24

I love any reason to celebrate, holidays are heaven for me with all of the potential to decorate, wrap, and eat copious amounts of delicious foods and treats. And as everyone knows, I especially LOVE birthdays. So today, on my birthday, I wanted to take a moment to mention all of the little things that make me happy to welcome another year of life, beckoning opportunities, time with loved ones, exciting outings, and unexpected laughs.

These gifts were actually ones I wrapped and gave to my sister for her birthday a couple weeks ago, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to take a snap of the lovely wrapping. Whenever I need to stock up on some beautiful papers or ribbons, I head to Kate’s Paperie, my absolute favorite paper goods shop. I adore wrapping gifts and I feel the presentation is almost as important as the gift itself, so I always have a field day in there. So that I kept cost down (single sheets of handmade Japanese papers can cost about $8 each), I chose a pretty minty hued tissue paper and accented the Papyrus cupcake wrapping paper I already had with some luxurious creamy grosgrain and satin chocolate ribbon. Adds an elegant touch to simple wrapping.

My birthday week was off to a tremendous start with two tickets to see Florence and the Machine. I had been dying to see her since the first time I heard ‘Cosmic Love’ over two years ago and every time I tried to get tickets, they were immediately sold out or there was a date conflict. Well worth the wait. Her voice was electrifying and even more captivating live. Dream fulfilled.

My sweet sister brought me these beautiful flowers this morning. They smell amazing. Love.

And to continue the birthday morning fun, Margaux and I headed over to the Met to check out the Impossible Conversations exhibit on Prada and Schiaparelli. While it was interesting to take a look back at Prada’s most iconic collections and learn about Schiaparelli, I felt the exhibition was a bit short and was a hard follow up to Alexander McQueen, which took my breath away. Afterwards, we took a walk through the new American paintings wing, definitely worth visiting. Oh how I love the Singer Sargents.

Whenever I’m feeling like treating myself to something decadent, I go to Lady M, one of the most exquisite cake shops in the city. And what better excuse for some cake and coffee than a birthday? A narrow white space marked by silver chandeliers and an ever present enormous arrangement of hydrangeas, Lady M feels like a sweet indulgence, perfect for an afternoon with a girlfriend.  I ordered the coffee mousse cake, which was a great balance of light and rich flavors and Margaux ordered the mille crepe cake, which is light as air and a Lady M specialty.

This year, I decided to go low key and cook dinner for my boyfriend and sister since it’s a Thursday night and I thought it would be fun to share my recent cooking chops. But just because I’m not going out doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be festive! I bought some pale pink tissue flower garlands to string in our tiny studio and I love them! Instant cheer:)

Same sentiment goes for the outfit, though this may be reserved for the romantic dinner Robert and I have planned downtown tomorrow night. Finally get to bust out the Alex Wang bag and the new Manolos! Paired with a Zara skirt, black t-shirt and an oxidized sparkling BCBG headband.

Yes, the dining room is also the bedroom (tiny studio) but I still wanted a setting that would feel special. I have a minor obsession with sea glass colored dinnerware and I love the dreamy sheen of the coupes that I picked up at anthro last year. With the mercury glass tea light votives and some vibrant paper napkins used as place mats, I’m ready to feast!

This is all a birthday girl could ask for.

Baggu Leather Pouches

I have a strange obsession with pretty boxes, decorative bowls and dishes, and little leather pouches. I love to have catchalls for the clusters of things that inevitably clutter my desk top and handbags, leading to a 5 minute search for a chap stick that seems to have fallen into the recesses of an oversized tote.

So I couldn’t express my contentment when I found this perfect Baggu pouch in this season’s “it” color: mint!  I had seen the leather Baggu line on their website, but wanted to see them in person. Lucky enough, while meeting my sister downtown for lunch, we took a stop at Purl Soho, and there beckoning from a glass shadowbox, was the whole collection of pretty little pouches!

The rounded shape is ideal for my essential beauty items including a powder compact, small pot of under eye concealer, a lip balm, and my favorite shade of lipstick at the moment. Great for transferring necessary items from bag to bag and at $20 and made in the US in super supple leather, it’s a sweet little indulgence. I want one in every color!

How cute are these felt elephants??!

Purl also deserves a notable mention as it’s a one stop shop for knitting and sewing aficionados, with every yarn and brightly colored fabric under the sun. If only I had something to upholster or knew how to knit…hmmm, could be my next hobby!