I am a minimalist when it comes to jewelry. Usually I am perfectly fine with just wearing a pair of stud earrings and a simple small necklace. I don't know if it is the transformation of the seasons, or my recent purchase of my first rugged frye boots, but I am going crazy over bold, strong, and borderline gothic bracelets. If you think about it, having an awesome bracelet such as the beauties below will be the first thing someone notices when it comes time for an introductory handshake. That's quite the first impression if you ask me.
Rain, rain, go away. At the moment, the one thing that I wish I could wear all throughout today would be a warm, cozy, wear with anything faux-fur vest. With temperatures dropping to 50 degrees, and the winds picking up speed, there's no reason why your style should be affected by the changing season. While doing my usual online "shoppping" this morning, I can't help but be amazed at the colossal price differences in the faux-fur vest category. Specifically these two vests below. One vest is priced around $300 , the other is $44.99 . Before you click the links to reveal the true prices, go ahead and try to guess which one is the splurge, and which one is surprisingly cheap.
Sorry for the itty bitty images! Photo: Shopbop.com, JCPenney.com
When my mom told me that my Aunt wanted us, out of all of the bakeries in town, to make a cake for her birthday, an overwhelming sense of excitement came over me mainly because she is a frosting nut and we could go crazy with the butter cream on her cake. And if you can tell me anyone who doesn't love to go overboard decorating with frosting then I will personally send you a cake and a frosting bag to help you or whoever, experience the thrill. Think of the episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8, when Kate takes the kids for a day of decorating at Charm City Cakes . After the kids were finished, the cakes were piled with, I kid you not, a cornucopia of at least five inches of blue, pink, and yellow frosting.
Since my Aunt has always liked dragonflies, we put together a dragonfly cake without skipping on the excess of frosting. Her birthday was yesterday and I'm pretty sure that she is still buzzing off of a cake induced sugar high. Happy birthday, Holly!
In the world of food, I love two things above all. Potatoes and cheese. So when I can find a recipe that creatively lets me embrace both foods at once, I can't pass it up. I found a recipe for potato croquettes here . I have never before made, tasted, or even heard of a croquette, but after I read the ingredients and directions I figured they were fool proof. The recipe is easy to follow and even though I split the ingredients in half, I ended up with 20 plus croquettes. After these babies came out of the oven, the scent of onion mixed with cheese and herbs filled up the kitchen. The croquettes had a perfect crunch from the outside layer which was my favorite part. Bring these cute appetizers to a wine night with the girls or pair them with a savory dinner, they'll be sure to melt hearts.
Plaid is the uniform of the fall season. You can easily update an outfit from summer to fall by simply committing to one plaid purchase. And with all of the options at all different price points, it's possible for everyone to make the leap into fall. So, go ahead and go a little plaid.
The LBD. Go into any girls closet, anywhere, and you'll find at least one essential and reliable little black dress. My favorite dress I own is a sleeveless Helmut Lang asymmetrical black dress that my boyfriend bought me for my birthday. I wore this dress to my college graduation, wore it out with friends on my birthday, and dressed it down with a pair of flat boots and a sweater for classes. I love it to death but the one thing I wish that I could add to it for the colder season is to implement longer sleeves. If my friend was having a party on her patio I would opt to wear my dress, except for the fact that it is getting chillier, and I would have to find a sweater or a little throw in addition to keep warm. The solution was found while searching on Shopbop.com where I spotted the PERFECT fall LBD. Hello, Michelle Mason. I love this dress because of not only the long sleeves, but also I love the open back. From the front it is conservative and cute, but turn around and its a completely different story. Wear this dress with rugged black boots, or a sexy sky high heel. This LBD will be right with you every strut of the way.
Although Halloween is still a good month away, I have been sketching up little designs for some very festive cupcakes. This morning, at 4am, we recieved our first order for the Halloween season- so perhaps that's what is jump starting my excitement. Last year I helped my mom make our first "professional-esque" cake. A vanilla butter cream beauty decorated with a less than scary black spider. Even though I am not too crazy about the star pattern that the design is made up of- it is one of my favorite cakes that we have made. Maybe it's the simplicity, colors, or maybe it just reminds me of the first time learning professional techniques from the best teacher around- my mother. Regardless the reason, each time I see this picture it brings me back to the crispness and changes of fall.
As I previously stated, my dad's birthday was over the weekend. When thinking of ideas for his birthday cake I knew right away that I needed to incorporate one thing. Beer. Besides, what says "Guy Cake," more than that? After brainstorming for a couple minutes and drawing up some sketches, I came to the conclusion to make a beer bucket cake with rice crispy treat beer bottles that were labeled, "Happy B.Day", perfect.
So many people think that coming up with the actual idea is the hardest part. Wrong. The entire day was spent making a four layer chocolate cake with peanut butter butter cream icing. When I went to place the fondant on top of the four layer cake, it split in two, as did I. All day baking a cake and putting so much effort into it, and it literally all went down the garbage disposal. After staring at the mess for a good while figuring out what to do, I sent it on its way down the drain, cleaned up, and tried again with better luck. All in all, my dad was ecstatic when he finally got to see his cake. The mess and stress was completely worth it.
I'm a huge, I mean HUGE sucker when it comes to Girls scout's thin mint cookies, Andie's Candies, and my latest love affair, white lightning ice cream. So when my family and I decided to go to Simon's, a local tapas restaurant with a Japanese flair, there was no way that I was passing up a Chocolate Mint Martini . Luckily, the two bartenders working that night "accidentally" made two, so someone had to deal with downing both of the freshly sweet beverages... I obviously stepped up to the challenge.
Before running out to get my father's surprise birthday present, I wanted to take the time to publicly announce his 51st Birthday today. It takes a special man to make up bed time stories every night until I was seven, to drive 4 hours to Manhattan to pick up his daughter for the weekend, and it takes a special man to stand behind my beliefs and dreams no matter how far fetched they may be. Happy Birthday, Daddy! I love you so very much.
When I was younger, going on walks and hikes was not an activity that my family barely experienced. At least once a week my mom and dad and two brothers would set out on a chilly fall day with lunches packed and a thermos of hot chocolate. Although, at times I would complain about how tired I was getting, it was a time when I was truly happy and appreciative of my life. I am finding that when I take my boxer, Ruby, for walks during the day, especially now that fall is literally down the road, the smell and sound of the falling leaves take me back to those days when I was a little girl.
You can tell that Proenza Schouler's designers, Lazario Hernandez and Jack McCollough, had a lot of fun putting together their Spring '10 collection. Their inspiration for these pieces? "We wanted something young, something that felt fresh, so we looked to surfing and skating, the things we grew up on." Certainly, these elements of boyish childhood shined in even some of the most feminine items. The tie-die, which doesn't even look remotely close to Woodstock.Or the "track jackets wrapped around the waist," look which can easily be mistaken for rough girly layers. I love to see a collection full of vibrant and elaborate color palettes as the cute little dresses below. Shrunken pupils and all, I am very excited for Proenza to hit the stores this upcoming season. But then again, aren't I always.
There's something about them. It's either the crunchy sound they make when mixing, the warm marshmallow aroma, or the golden color, but Rice Crispy Treats always seem to go hand in hand with fall. Today is in the 60's, sun shining, and the hills are turning especially colorful. I think it's time to officially bring in Fall with a little snap, crackle, pop.
My mom and I are taking a gumpaste class locally to learn how to perfect our flower making technique. Well, yesterday night we had the pleasure of covering our cakes with our homemade marshmallow fondant (YUM!) and then following, we placed what they call a, "Handkerchief", on top. And to finish it off, our lovable instructor, Michelle, had us place a fondant ribbon around the bottom circumference of our cheesy cakes. At the end of the class, there we were, zonked and zoned, covered in powdered sugar, staring at two, what I call Superwoman cakes because of the "Handkerchief". Which to me coincidentally looks more like a cape. Fly away!
Mom's cake (left) Yellow Cake, Vanilla Butter cream with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Raspberry frosting, and Marshmallow Fondant.
My Cake (right) Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Butter cream and Vanilla/Marshmallow Fondant Mix.
Last night before going to bed, I was glued to the screen of my phone while flipping through collection after collection being presented during Fashion Week. I found myself frozen on one look in particular. Zac Posen's Spring '10 collection is full of fun dresses that would be perfect for a night out on the town with the girls. This dress is without a doubt, my favorite piece I have seen yet in the Spring collections. Leave it up to Mr. Posen to read my, and many other girl's minds.
November 14th is the launch of... wait for it... Jimmy Choo's new collection at H&M! Which means, stilettos for everyone! The outrageous collection will feature numerous styles of awesome sky high stilettos, accessories for women and homme, while throwing in some clothing options as well! Prices start at $126. Women of Corning, book your seat on the company jet to New York for the weekend of November 14th!
Yesterday, I attempted to make a chocolate cake from scratch. As ingredient after ingredient went into the mixer, it looked as though everything was going as planned, better actually. I soon realized that this was not the case. Normally, you'd think that a cake would be nice and risen after this 3o minute bake time, needless to say, mine remained flat. All of a sudden I related this flat cake to every day life. A promise that doesn't go through. A job interview with no call back. If a cake doesn't rise, you wouldn't give up, throw it out, and admit defeat without a second try. Same in life. If things don't work out in whatever your trying to accomplish, chances are the next time you try again, your interview will go smoother, your pitch will be more persuasive, or your chocolate cake from scratch might raise to perfect heights.
Two years ago there was a pair of fall over the knee boots in my closet which I not only adored but wore almost everyday with everything from a mini skirt and sweater, to a pair of skinny jeans with a loose tee. The Chinese Laundry "Strate" boot was time and time again the essential item of many of my fall outfits. I am so excited to say that I found my beloved boot's sister! Introducing, the Chinese Laundry "Trust Me" boot in gray. The button detail at the top of the boot adds a certain vintage military look and the gray color will surprise you with its kinship with every outfit. Trust me.
As time goes on, there are some things that cease to change. My love for Herve Leger Bandage dresses is one. It all started a few weeks before my 21st birthday. When I saw this one particular purple and silver herve at Intermix, I knew that it was thee dress to wear to celebrate 21 years. Ever since then, Herve Leger, to me, represents fun, youth, and femininity. Although the silhouettes rarely ever change, the color palettes and the classic "OMG" factor remain to alter season to season. My favorite dress from the Spring '10 collection is the pretty little number below. The wrapped bands around the waist is my favorite element to this dress. The boots are pretty awesome as well. I'll take both for my 23rd birthday, please.
Yesterday, I set out on a small adventure to find a pair of sneakers that are versatile while being cute at the same time. I found these shoes during my unfortunate trip to the mall. I believe that the city has spoiled me forever with the countless corner boutiques with anything and everything you could ever want located in quaint little shops. Now when walking into a mall, my heart starts racing- in a bad way, and all of a sudden I'm tense and looking around at other mall people trying to avoid closeness and contact. Anyways, as I was saying, nestled upon a shelf at a sneaker store, was a really adorable pair of Puma's. They're comfortable, feminine, and black. And, they're under $100. Needless to say, I exited the mall doors more excited than when I entered 15 minutes before.
Puma Sneakers $79
If these adorable shoes don't inspire you to kick butt in a spinning class, here's a "Snakes Doing Yoga" cake, created last month for my yoga loving, snake whispering aunt for her birthday. Happy working out.
Dark Chocolate Layer Cake
Cocoa Butter Cream Icing
Vanilla Fondant Snakes, Yoga Mats, Flowers, and Birthday Sign.
If I could have a choice to be gifted with any clutch in the entire world, it would be a tough choice between... all of the Paige Gamble bags. One look at them and you'll understand why I'm so in love. Based out of Manhattan, Paige Gamble's designs are the perfect combination of spectacular gemstones and exotic leathers, and they couldn't be more perfect. Sigh. And don't even get me started on the headbands...
Too many beautiful pieces to post at once. Check it out for yourself at Paige Gamble
Last week, I read somewhere five things to do in the next year to "Spruce Up Your Life". One of the missions was to buy an item of clothing that isn't you. When I decided to take on this challenge first, mainly because it was an excuse to shop, I immediately thought of the Frye Engineer boot. When I first told my friend, Katie, that I purchased the boyish boots she said to me, "But Ker, you're a Brian Atwood!" And she couldn't be more correct. As I mentioned before, I love ruffles, pink, and cupcakes. Not whisky shots, brass knuckles, and sleeve tattoos. But they have something je ne sais quoi about them. I love that when I pair them with a cute short tulip dress, it automatically adds an unexpected flirtatious edginess. I can't wait for colder weather to perfect the layered look and wear them with black opaque tights, a mini skirt, and a little grey leather jacket topped off with a gorge scarf. But for now, pairing with a short feminine dress is what I prefer.
Normally I would try to keep these things a secret as much as I could, but I decided to play fair. September 18th, TopShop comes out with their exclusive collection by Christopher Kane. The pieces in his collection are unique and look just as expensive and alluring as designer pieces. Surprisingly, these items will set you back $30-$300. Just a fraction of Balenciaga, Rag & Bone, and Givenchy, while still keeping up with the season. Mark the date on your calendar and stock up your closets for fall with a sort of girly biker glam items. Grommets, structure, embellishment and all. Embrace attitude.