Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Survived Both My Reunion and a Hurricane

 Well friends, I did it! I survived not only my 10-year high school reunion (it was so much fun! everyone should go!), but also survived this amazing pile of junk food. We went home last Friday, when we met up with some of my old classmates for a tailgate at the football game. I've said many times that I grew up in a real honest-to-goodness "Friday Night Lights" type of town, and it brought back amazing feelings to see those lights blazing in the darkness.

On Saturday, the memory lane journey continued with a group lunch at Annette's Dari Barn, a classic fried food 70s-era restaurant that will always have a place in my heart. I spent so many days riding my bike there to pick up cheese sticks! On this visit, I got cheese sticks (natch), onion petals with "orange sauce" and a cheeseburger.

 I forced Sean to get the seasoned crisscut fries. SO good!

 As my mom shows here, they don't kid around with cheeseburgers.

 The decor has barely changed in my lifetime. I hope it never does!

 On Saturday night, we headed out to the sole fancy restaurant in Wise, called The Tavern on Main, for the reunion dinner. Not many people came, but we still had a lot of fun. There's nothing better than giggling with people you met when you were in elementary school!

Actually what might be more fun is legally drinking with people you met in elementary school. HA!

On Sunday, we left just in time to miss the beginning of a blizzard back home and got home in time to beat the start of the heavy winds and heavy rains from Hurricane Sandy. We weathered the storm just fine, and worked all day on Monday making sure our readers knew what was closed and what roads were flooded. 

We are so blessed that's as bad as it got, and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone up north. Half of my family and many friends live in New Jersey and New York, and I'm aching knowing they're suffering, even if it's just from boredom. So much love to you!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Best v.128

Six ballerinas, arranged like a snowflake. I love it. Lovely photo from a series by photographer Dina Johnsen. I'm on my way back home today, hoping Hurricane Sandy gives us a little reprieve while we travel from my hometown, where I was at my 10-year high school reunion! Crazy sauce.

Friday, October 26, 2012

10 Years Later

Today I'm homeward-bound for my first high school reunion. I've been trying to remember what high school was like, what it felt like and who I was. I'm surprised I barely remember, but I can bet it will all come back. It feels like no time has passed and yet it feels lifetimes ago.

How does it feel to look back 10 years on? Well, this girl wanted to be an entertainment reporter at a major magazine, live in a city for a bit, but by now, hoped to be married and buying a historic home in the burbs of a major metro.

I'm a reporter (not quite at a major magazine...those barely exist these days), I haven't lived in a major city but in some perfectly quaint ones. That girl in the pictures might have been disappointed, but I'm not. I'm happily married to my college sweetheart, and maybe I'll be buying an old house in the next year or two. I'm proud that I was able to leave my tiny little corner of the world and make every new place feel like home. Once you can do that, you can do anything.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Homearama: East Beach

 Last night, wine club ventured out to East Beach, a neighborhood in the Oceanview area of Norfolk, to go to Homearama, a builder expo. It's always great fun to get inspired and, let's not lie, do a little critiquing. I wanted to share some of our favorite ideas we spotted in the 10 houses:

Great TV Solution: This brilliant builder recognized the need for a solid wall opposing a fireplace, making it much easier to have a TV without competing with a fireplace. My husband hates when TV's are mounted over fireplaces, but in most homes, it's the only option! This was a good alternative.

Fancy fire pit: Our favorite patio featured this long, skinny brick fire pit accented with green glass. It looked modern and we liked that it was no-muss no fuss.

My favorite kitchen: I loved this white and marble kitchen, but I especially loved the burlap (or canvas?) roman shades with white trim. Would look good in any room!

Sliding Barn Door: I love the sliding barn door trend, but they aren't always practical. This one divided the dining area from the mudroom, so it felt perfect. I could live my whole life without seeing a corny phrase printed on a wall again, though.

Best use of wallpaper: This precious nautical-inspired room was adorable, and the wallpaper made it work! We especially loved the little nightlights.

Clever Kitchen Accessories: I'm all about the idea of a "pot filler," a spout above the stovetop that makes it easy to fill pots with water for pasta, etc.

 Best porch: We were all about this house's curved porch. Everyone struck their best "Revenge" pose.

Best Outdoor Space: The most expensive house's outdoor space was intense. View of the beach, spiral staircase, multi-level decks, firepit...the works. I was trying to convince our whole group that we want to live together like The Real World: East Beach.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Today I Like ... 70s Style

Sean and I finally saw "Argo" last week and people, it is so good. Perfectly paced, relevant and a period piece, to boot! I found myself kinda digging the outfits the ladies wore, which is hilarious because I never could have imagined that a few years ago. But, once I thought about it, I realized everything that was popular in the 70s — neutral colors, jewel tones, plaids, boots — makes a perfect fall wardrobe! How about a quick history lesson?
Yves St. Laurent made safari style chic in the 70s, with the help of his muses, Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise. Lots of tan, big pockets and big sunglasses.

Ali Macgraw popularized preppy chic in "Love Story." is anything more timeless than this tweed skirt + peacoat combo? Paired with Ryan O'Neal in a plaid blazer, this looks like an ad for Harvard in the fall.

 Meryl Streep looked casually chic with tall brown boots tucked under a trench coat in "Kramer vs. Kramer."

And the Charlie's Angels girls managed to make office-ready skirts and blouses look sexy.
Get the Look
70s Working Woman
  1. Get a peachy glow with NARS orgasm blush.
  2. Trench, $91.
  3. Accessorize with a simple gold monogram, $105 at Bauble Bar.
  4. A classic cream blouse, $51.
  5. A perfectly 70s menswear-inspired corduroy blazer, $373 by Boy by Band of Outsiders.
  6. Pop on a floppy felt hat, $44 at ASOS.
  7. The perfect plaid skirt, $265 at The Outnet.
  8. Pull on a fair isle sweater, $98 at Madewell.
  9. Caramel boots might be the only shoes you need this fall, $199 at Lord & Taylor.
  10. Face the morning light behind big sunnies, $95 at Warby Parker.
  11. Sit pretty in red velvet jeans, by J. Brand.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Domestication Update: Buttons be Damned!

When I started this blog, it was to document my forays into becoming something like a wife, rather than the bachelorette/feral cat I had been for most of my life. I'm happy to report that I've progressed from a real fear of raw meat to making meatloaf, and from a I'll-buy-new-underwear-to-avoid-laundry situation to a regular laundry schedule. Heck, I even put my laundry away!

But all that progress came to a head last week when I was reminded just how far I have to go. I was brought to my knees when I realized ... drumroll, please ... I still don't really know the right way to sew a button.

This is a shank button. Instead of having two or four holes, it just has a loop in the back. This makes it inherently a little flopsy, and the likelihood it will fall off (especially if sewn on by tiny Malaysian children) is high.

My hubby was in a rush the other day and had to dress nice. You can imagine my panic when one of his buttons popped off and I had to frantically fix the problem. I realized, HOLY CRAP. I still don't know how to sew on buttons! 

Obviously, I get the basic idea, but I never know how to knot it or how to tie off or how to be sure it's really on there for good. I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, hunting down my Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Sewing and dammit if that bitch didn't even have a paragraph about sewing buttons by hand! I think she thinks I'm supposed to know this stuff or something?! Sean suggested I YouTube it and I waved away his suggestion, muttering, "No time! NO TIME!"

Long story short, I frantically just started sewing, got that bad boy back on the jacket and managed to get my husband out the door without looking like he was a laid off bank executive living in a Hooverville.

It was a good reminder that despite all the progress I've made, I still have lessons to learn. Oh, and if you're curious, here's how you sew a shank button:

The good news is, that's close to what I did, operating purely by instinct. Whew!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Best v.127

Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs, back before he lost all his weight and got tan! How presh are they? Fall is still so busy around these parts...I haven't even cooked at home in weeks. A couple more busy weekends ahead until it will quiet down a bit...just in time for the holidays, of course.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jams of the Week

Exhibit Jam: "Regarding Warhol"

When I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sunday, we stopped by the Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years exhibit, which is open until the end of the year. The show explores themes of Andy's work and how they're present in other artists' works. It's really cool to see the lines of inspiration drawn from Andy to Jeff Koons, or to Robert Mapplethorpe, or to Cindy Sherman. It got the wheels in my brain turning in the best way.
Trailer Jam: "Hitchcock"
I'm a fairly die-hard Scarlett Johansson hater, but I can't wait to see this new biopic of Hitchcock, starring ScarJo, Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. I think it's interesting to see how scandalized everyone was by "Psycho."

Beauty Jam: Essie "Da Bush"
So, this shade is from a 2011 collection, but I just snagged a bunch of old Essie polishes at Marshall's and this was one of them. In person it's a bit more celedon than it reads in this picture and makes my nails look like old English china. You can still snag it on Amazon.
Shopping Jam: Upcoming Target x Nordstrom
From the first minute I heard about Target's Christmastime collaboration with Nordstrom, I thought it was a brilliant idea. But seriously...I never expected it to be THIS brilliant. I'm loving the Marc Jacobs metallic pouches, but check out the full sneak peek here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wine Club Oktoberfest

 For the second time, wine club decided to celebrate October with a beer tasting. Years ago, we sampled German and Belgian beers at the Biergarden, but this year, we decided to go to Birch Bar in Norfolk.

The bar is known for its wide selection of craft beers, and it's basically guaranteed most of them are ones you've never seen on a menu at any other bar. We sampled:
  • Stillwater Spiced Saison: Jen sampled this beer, brewed in Maryland.
  • Mead (sorry, I missed the name of it), which tasted like honey.
  • Nogne-o Porter: I had this one. It was rich, with a great aftertaste and easy drinkability. No bitterness like some porters.
  • Champagne cider, sampled by Erica. I missed the name, but it tasted like a sweeter version of Magner's (also known as Bulmer's depending on the country) cider.
P.S. If you check in at the Birch on FourSquare enough times, you can get a fun treat! Ashleigh got a delicious free pretzel with mustard.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Weekend in NJ/NY

 I just got back from a fabulous weekend trip to see my grandparents and visit pals in New York, with my favorite travel buddy, Ashleigh! I thought I'd share some pics from our visit, if you'd like to see.

On Saturday, my grandpa took us to the waterfront where I lived until I was about was radically different, but lovely. We had a very "This is Your Life" afternoon.

 We made time to head down to Freehold, where we had pizza at my favorite pizzeria ever, Federici's and hopped over to Cafe 360 for pumpkin pie and nutella gelato. It was scrumptious!

 On Sunday, we met up for brunch on the Upper West Side. We saw many charming pups on walks, and sweetly decorated stoops!

 Bret and I show off our brunch dishes at Arte Cafe, where we saw the actor who plays Mr. Fitz on "Pretty Little Liars" and proceeded to giggle for a solid two hours about it.

 They have bottomless drinks at brunch, and I thought you might need to know about that.

 Afterward, we went on a lovely stroll through Central Park, hitting all the classic spots: Bethesda Fountain...

 The Conservatory Water, and Belvedere Castle, too.

 We had just enough time to stop through the Met Museum, where we hit the Warhol exhibit.

 I was in love with the roof garden exhibit by Tomas Saraceno.

 I kinda want it in my future backyard. Best playground ever!

 We finished the night with a reunion of sorts with old friends at Barmarche in SoHo. Might I recommend the bacon hummus?

Ash and I drove home Monday, but we weren't content to let the fun end, so we drove a bit out of the way to Ocean City landmark Dumser's Dairyland, known for ice cream treats. I had a super-great peanut butter chocolate chip shake, the perfect cap to a great weekend.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Best v. 126

I'm in New York City today, but I still have some fun links to read for you and of course, some delicious professorial eye candy. Clickety-click!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jean Harlow-Inspired Wedding

If I had: a lithe, lean body + looked great with platinum hair (not a necessity) + had a little dough to drop on sparkle, I'd love to have a '30's starlet-inspired wedding.  When you pause to think: is this too much sparkle? Are these too many feathers?, remember, "What would Jean Harlow do?"
She'd wear more sparkles.

For my starlet-inspired bash, I'd have a ceremony in a beautiful old theater, like Naro Cinema, then hope across town for an elegant, candlelit reception at the Chrysler Museum, with crystal stemware and silver-and-gold everything!

Get the Look
Art Deco Bride

The ingenue bride would wear a showstopper dress, full of sparkle and fluff, with star hair clips, glittering shoes, an elegant bracelet and a gorgeous ring with a history.

Gown by Roberto Cavalli, Giant Dwarf hairpins, Nars lipstick in Autumn Leaves, Lulu Frost bracelet for J.Crew, sequined pumps from Endless, antique ring from 1st Dibs and Chanel's Coco Noir.

Her bridesmaids will also bring a dose of glamour to the festivities, maybe in rich emerald green gowns accented with elegant pendant necklaces, sparkly shoes and an armful of calla lilies.

Art Deco Bridesmaid

Dress by J.Crew, necklace by 1928, shoes from Endless, peacock beaded bag (perfect bridesmaids' gift) from Amazon.