Monday, January 31, 2011

North by Northwest

Ankle length leggings + crisp white shirt + open, classic trench with sleeves rolled
 + scarf turban + leopard flats = "Hitchcock casual"
& don't forget the sunglasses!

[I'm getting a tripod soon so I can show my outfits all together and not just the shoesies!]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I do not recommend over-the-knee boots for short people. There, I said it. I know that fashion is about expression and instinct, but it's also about honesty and putting your best foot forward. I know that as a tall person, I can't get away with wearing a mini skirt in the daytime without tights or I look like the Jolly Green Hooker, but a shorter girl can. I know that as a curvy girl, menswear tends to make me actually look like a man, rather than a casual and stylish woman, but on a thin woman, menswear is incredibly chic. To me, a  short person in boots over their knees usually looks like they're swimming in leather, playing dress up, or about to go fishing in chest-high swamp water. I am not trying to discourage anyone from buying these, I'm only saying that some trends are geared toward specific body types [monokini, anyone?] and some to others. That's generally what makes them trends; an inability to sustain itself as a relevant item for everyone to buy and wear.

Anyway, I picked these up at JCPenney last year and I've worn them quite a bit. I usually wear them with a long skirt, actually, rather than showing them off. They're really, really warm so these last few weeks have been perfect for running around in these. They are also perfect for my usual "murdered out" look that has sort of become my trademark. I like that these have the little pointed toes, they almost look western! These aren't my only pair of over-the-knee boots, [not] surprisingly. I have a heeled pair as well! I'm sure I'll blog about those little babies soon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cozy Winter Nights

Pitcher tip ... cover your juice/milk, etc with a tea towel when you store it in the fridge or even on the dining table. This is easier than transporting from the plastic to the serving pitcher, back and forth. 

Cozy cocktails! Cranberry/Pomegranate juice with vodka and lime.

I'm not sure I'll ever take this tree out of the bedroom. It is too perfect!

All That Glitters

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips ... really work! ♥

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rainy Days

I almost never complain about the rain, but after a few days of glorious, dreary weather I actually find myself missing Hawaii! I love the ocean and in 2010 I got to see the Pacific for the very first time in the best possible way, on an island in the middle of nowhere. Have you ever lived through something and then realize that you appreciate it more after the excitement of it is all over? I guess that is the effect Hawaii had on me. I think I was so overwhelmed that I'm just now starting to realize how great it was. I know I've shared pictures before, but after my hard drive crashed and I thought I lost everything, I am so happy to see that I still have pictures of that special time on Maui. It was amazing. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to make myself a salmon bagel soon to get that warm and fuzzy, Hawaii feeling back.

I hope these pictures make your rainy day better!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kimmie K ♥

I really love Kim Kardashian. Not because I think she is a role model or because I fervently believe that she may, in fact be the human form of Princess Jasmine [which I do.] I just think she is beautiful and I pretend that my hair looks like that when I daydream. I also love and totally buy into the Kardashian fantasy of painfully successful, impossibly attractive offspring of quasi-famous people turning into even more famous and even likable television celebrities. 

What fascinates and irks me about someone like Kim is her inability or refusal to accept that she is naturally beautiful and does not need to be dripped in Snooki juice every time she goes out just to be accepted. This is what I don't understand: why would you promote this ...

... when you already look like this ...

I mean ... HELLO!?! Her face is wonderfully symmetrical, her hair doesn't look like a wig here and the smile is absolutely precious. Someone probably just told her how much money she made in the last 24-hours, but still ... that is a genuinely beautiful girl.

Stop painting yourself with body glitter and spandex! Just walk around like this ... if your goal is to empower women [or secretly make them want to die of jealousy] ... this will do the trick. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I could eat Mexican food every day of my life. Either that or pizza, but definitely Mexican. I love that bit Jim Gaffigan does about every Mexican dish being "tortilla with cheese meat or vegetables." So true, but the combinations are nearly endless, so I'll take it.

I have favorite salsas all over town. Oyster Bar's is really vinegar heavy, but perfect with the chips and seafood they serve. Tacomania has a nice, hot base to their table salsa and it is really more of a picante; I really like it.  El Compadre might have my favorite; very onion heavy, some cilantro [never enough for me] and it pours well over everything without overpowering but can still stand on its own.

B finally said "why don't you just make salsa." Genius! I've done pico de gallo before and it is his favorite. I don't like to just eat pico alone, because I enjoy a soupy quality to salsa. So, last week I created a monster by whipping up what I do believe might be the best damn salsa I've ever had. This just goes to show; if you work with food and cook long enough, you really start to get a feel for what makes different foods work together, how to get the flavor you want. After cooking for about 4 years now, I really think I'm confident enough to say that I have mastered a few techniques; soups and sauces seem to be my forte and salsa might just be the next!

Here are a few pictures of my saucy little salsa venture. I used all fresh ingredients, my trusty Santoku and a magic bullet! I served the salsa with white wine and tortilla chips for an afternoon snack. We didn't even have dinner that night, it was so filling! I'm definitely thinking about jarring some of it to bring to parties instead of wine. I may end up putting the recipe up, but I really think finding your favorite blend is best ... also, I put some secret ingredients in mine that I might  actually keep to myself for once! [not brains, I promise]

My messy butcher's block. ♥ 


Cilantro madness.

The perfect snack.

I advise serving salsa at room temperature and to really taste it, you know, if you're trying to see how well you've done or what you need to add, drink water for little to no interference with your taste buds. Happy salsa-ing!

Pieces of Cheese

I  was going to entitle this post "Random Stuff", but like so many normal words, that one is nearly ruined. Then I was going to call it "Pieces of the Weekend" ... then I started thinking about that Asslee Simpson song, "Pieces of Me" and how I used to sing "Pieces of Cheese" when I heard it. So, there ya go. These are just a few iPhone pictures I was planning on posting over the last week or so but never did.

 "Strengtheneth" ...  !?!?!?!? This is real, not from a website ... I took this at the corner of Youree & Kings.

We call this "Fancy Ramen" ... add 1/2 can of hot Rotel and drizzle 2 beaten eggs over 2 packages of boiling  Ramen noodle soup. De-lish!

"Girls Night" cocktails. Pomegranate & cranberry juice with vodka and lime ... any excuse to set out the Owly pitcher.

My favorite new necklace. From Cookie!

Hot chocolate and Hitchcock movies got me through the night last night. I actually slept great, which almost never happens.

"Snow Day" ... I love how this city shuts down for this.

Feeling extra fabulous today ... Fantasia + 15ct green topaz in the shape of a heart + blogging = Happy Kate

Yay for DMC!

Monday, January 10, 2011

You're different ... we get it!

As some of you know, I am going to be knee-deep in weddings again this year and I couldn't be happier! I recently went back to an old bookmark on my computer, ...

I believe that like everything else I love, mainstream internet hipster doofuses are going to ruin everything I love. Honestly, looking through all of these over-the-top "LOOK AT ME BECAUSE I'M DIFFERENT" weddings is not easy for me to stomach. While I applaud the interesting and creative ways that some couples make their wedding truly unique, for every one of those there are 25 sweet Jesus, kill me now weddings to follow.

Let me attempt to explain ... I consider myself to be a little off-beat, so it pains me to say this, but like it or not, weddings are a tradition! First and foremost I proudly support gay marriage, so this has nothing to do with that, I'm talking about the event itself. I don't mind the re-writing of ceremony traditions and I love the special uniqueness of couples that really create a sense for the guest or witnesses of that wedding that they are in the atmosphere of the bride & groom. But as a nerdy, zombie-obsessed, Halloween hobby whore who  is married to an even nerdier, zombie loving, chuck-wearing, fellow ex-band geek gamer I can say that I would already [just three years later] be kicking myself if I had a Mario & Luigi themed wedding. Sure, B and I had nothing but music and video games in common the first 2 dates together; and sure, the first few years with him were spent listening to Joy Division with chopsticks in one hand and a game controller in the other, but it didn't define who we were/are as a couple and your wedding is supposed to be some sort of expression of that; a way to publicly declare your love for each other, not your fandom.

This goes back to what I was saying about marriages being disposable. I keep getting the idea that these people are thinking, "well, if it really isn't that serious, why not make fun? Why not show everyone how different we can really be. Does anyone else find this disturbing? We are the culture of the one-uppers. "I love that band" ... "well, I have a tattoo of that band" ... "well, I quit my job to follow that band around the country" ... "well, I gave my kids to my parents so I could have re-constructive and sex-reassignment surgery so I could look like the lead singer of that band" ... okay, I'm getting carried away. But, I feel like we are constantly trying to prove to everyone how different and awesome and unique we are by taking self-expression to the highest, most self-absorbed level. I have to constantly stop myself from doing the one-up back-and-forth when someone mentions that Halloween is their favorite holiday. I mean, seriously ... they have nothing on me, but is it worth looking like a sniveling, attention\approval-seeking imbecile?  Of course not.

I really enjoy tattooed brides and grooms in hats, I love quirky venues and alternatives to champagne toasts, unity candles and first dances. I really, really love holiday weddings [when done tastefully] and themed weddings as long as the theme doesn't swallow up the part that is most important; the wedding! I think wedding dresses can be pretty much any color and wedding favors are a free-for-all. I don't enjoy cookie cutter, boring, soul-less weddings that bore you to tears or make you think "wait, haven't I already been to this wedding, and what I really don't enjoy and am starting to see more often is the mockery that some people are seeking in order to one-up each other in the wedding game.

I've looked through about 30 [okay, 65] pages of "off beat" weddings with titles like "Angel and JoJo's epic, eco, totally-rad, non-fail, all-win, retro, bluegrass, hindu-infused wedding, ZOMG!" and nearly all of them say "DON'T JUDGE ME!" or "I WILL NOT BOW TO THE NORM", etc in their bio or explanation of the wedding. Do they not realize that they are the cliche now? Chances are, if you start your life together in a fantasy, the rest may very well fall short. A wedding shouldn't be a person's biggest and best day, just one of the most important and hopefully that won't involve getting a tattoo on the altar or giving vibrators as bridesmaids gifts [yes, that happened] just to get those ever-desired side glances so you can rebut with something witty, albeit painfully transparent.

Let's stop trying to be different for the sake of being different, okay? 

Here is the formula for today's "different" weddings:

"Goth" - Red, black, white ... no frills, too much edge, not enough pretty and way too much of a theme that goes nowhere beyond the harsh color scheme and lack of originality. There is a way to have a gothic wedding without looking like you just ran out of HotTopic!!

"Vintage/Retro" - tea length dress, some sort of hair piece, colorful shoes, guys looking like extras in a cheap movie, some form of retro/swing dancing, lace everywhere [doilies, even], cup-cake wedding cake [done to damn death, people!!!] ... vintage and retro should really focus on the delecate, not the obnoxious.

"Hipster" - non-wedding wedding dress, cloth or brooch flower bouquets, V.W. "Melissa" shoes [enough with those, already!] eco-friendly wedding favors, home-brew beers, cupcake or pies instead of wedding cake, rock-band reception ... a couple of these might seem like great ideas, but when you cram all of them into a 4 hour event, it reeks of "you're different, WE GET IT!!!!"

You get the idea ... here are a few "weird" wedding touches that I totally love and get. I won't show you the one's I don't like ... I'm sure I did a great job explaining, you've probably seen them a hundred times and I don't want them on my page! Ha!

 This reminds me of Gwen Stefani's wedding dress ... beautiful, unique [but not obnoxiously so] bride!

 I love alternative venues!! This looks so romantic. 

Rubbing their rings for good luck. So unique!

 Hah! Funny pictures are always welcome!

How amazing is this dress!? The front is totally ivory, catches you by surprise!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dear Bunny ♥

My gorgeous husband has just left town for the weekend and I'm feeling a little ... reminiscent! It reminds me of the time we first started dating and I was going through a little bit of the oh-man-I'm-officially-a-crazy-person-about-him phase. He was in a band back then and spent some weekends scream-singing into microphones in other cities. Whenever we would spend time apart, especially when we were in different cities, we didn't call each other unless something was wrong. Now, as infinitely busier married people in 2011, we text [much to his chagrin, believe me] and e-mail little updates to each others' smartphones, but I can sharply remember waiting all weekend to hear from him or see him when he came back, unexpectedly. He quoted Bill Shakespeare, saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" ... and I was amazed by how true that was. He was never interested in owning or containing me and it really taught me a lot about what makes a relationship strong. Thinking about those times makes me wonder; how do people date nowadays?

I'm being judgmental, yes ... but, honestly ... doesn't anyone court anymore? I loved that Brandon didn't have a cell phone when we were first going out. Of course, texting wasn't the beastly, brick wall to emotional connections it is today, but it was definitely in our lives at that point and he just refused. I remember getting so giddy when he would call because I knew he had to make the effort to get to a phone and call me. I cherish the fact that my relationship didn't start off with "lolz ur hot wan2 bang?" or something equally void of any real risk. He was actually interested in my schedule and instead of texting/emailing and waiting, he took interest and I appreciated the effort; when I'd be home, when I'd be in the library or shoe shopping [some things never change!]. It made things more real, somehow and I never took it for granted.

Now, more than ever, as a married fuddy-duddy with quite a few single friends, I'm realizing how tough women [and men] have it in the dating game. Stalk on Facebook, a few flirty, non-threatening comments, maybe go out in the real world, dump via text or just fade out, move on, etc. What a nightmare! Is this really what is going on? I am constantly asked "do you think the internet will replace books," when I feel like the more important question is ... will the internet replace relationships? Before I'm bombarded with bitchiness, let me say ... I love the internet, don't get me wrong, but if I were single, wrapped up in the game instead of a safe observer, I would feel desperately disconnected from real life at some point. I'm pro-partnership, whether that means getting married or just having relationships, whatever ... I just think that with the break-up or divorce rate [or the getting-married-to-someone-you-just-met-because-you're-desperate-or-terrified rate] is this high, it makes you think ... what is all this based on? "The foolish man built his house upon the sand ..." to quote Matthew.

Anyway, ... one morning after a sleepover at the house on Maryland that I used to share with my roomie Nicole, Brandon got up and left for a weekend on the road, leaving me a letter by my pillow. It was written on legal paper with pen that looked like it was on it's last drip of ink. Filled with inside jokes and the perfect mix of funny and sincere, that note is now framed in The Fort as a reminder of how lucky I am to have found him. The last line also gave me my mantra for happiness in our marriage ...

"I just like how we fit ... I love being with you even when I'm asleep. 
So, just keep me around, I'll keep you around, and we'll take over this whole fucking world!!"
                                                                                     J.B.H. 5/26/05

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Miss Mary Jane

Classics never die! Sassing them up with sexy tights is my favorite way to wear these. I have a ton of colored opaque tights from WeLoveColors and these oldies I got at Goodwill years ago. My favorite part about these black, patent leather beauties is the scalloped edge and the antiqued little buckle. They're also a seam tipped almond toe [1/2 way between a pointed toe and a rounded toe] which makes them easy to dress up or down. 

Cute patoots! Also, did I mention I need a tan?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spring 2011 Prêt-à-Porter MEGA POST!!

So ready to do this post!! I've logged some heavy time selecting my favorites from this season's ready to wear shows. A few things you should realize ...

1. This is going to be insanely long and detailed; I live for this stuff and the joys of being a blogger and having a little corner of the internet is being able to express and manifest fetishes in a healthy way. Basically, if you don't like fashion ... stop reading now!

2. There is a big difference in what you and I think is "ready to wear" and what this same term means to fashion designers. Basically, a RTW or prêt-à-porter line is ready to be sold in stores, as is ... or close to it. This usually means that the big, showy couture fashions are absent, but buyers for stores and celebrities can play shop and order right off the runway! This is my favorite type of show and often where I get inspiration for new clothes, etc. I actually have a journal that I write down to predict this type of thing each season ... 

I think I did really well this year; I predicted lots of nudes, menswear and mono-chromatic mayhem. I also predicted wedges and long skirts would eventually come back [although, admittedly I thought it would be next Fall]. But I wasn't all right; I have to say that the Africa stuff came out of nowhere and I could not have been more wrong about Louis Vuitton as well. I like surprises, so I don't consider this a defeat. 

I'm going to list a few favorites here and then give a "jump" that those of you who would like to hear me ramble and see shots from the heavy hitters can click on for more.

Now, let's get started with my favorite lines ... Chanel, anyone?

 Karl is always looking to re-invent that perfect suit and I'm not mad at him for it. This year, there are some pretty cute and chic booty-short versions of said classic, but when I'm picking my faves from RTW, I always try and keep in mind the fact that I'm picking stuff that I would be ... ready to wear! Above are two of my favorite renditions of the Coco suit from this collection that I like the most.

Remember this skirt? Miss Keira did a great job modeling this outfit, better than the model, I think!

I will forever love Chanel. I will forever love Karl Lagerfeld. He is the inspiration for my alter ego. I love when he calls people fat and makes no excuse for wearing the same thing every day and never looking people in the eye. Beyond that, Chanel is the epitome of fashion for me. 

Next favorite line ... LV

Jazz!! This is a perfect party dress!

This kills me, in a good way! I would wrap some tulle around the bottom, obviously ... something similar to my favorite Chanel skirt from above. The colors in this line are gorgeous, so different from the nudes and poppy colored designs from other houses. But, LV can pretty much do whatever they want!

Just a "touch" of Africa. [take notes, Gwennie]

Yes. Yes ... just, yes.

I love curve balls ... where did all this oriental shit come from?? I could only pick a few from my one of my favorites, Louis Vuitton. Marc Jacobs is doing a fantastic job ... I almost died over the Fall 2010 line, but this is quite a shift. Several of these designs have a 20s feel [which I also predicted, but didn't think would manifest itself through the big LV], but also ... the eastern feel is undeniable. 

On to Bensoni ... 

Bensoni is probably my favorite newbie label. I'm not even sure I remember them before 2009, but I'm a huge fan! Great flow, great feel for trends and expressing them uniquely without shitting all over classics. I'm big on minimalistic, classic looks with some sort of flare and I think these two designers really get that. These long striped skirts are amazing and there is even some chartreuse chiffon thrown in the line. Chartreuse is one of those colors that I'm never going to really be able to wear, but damned if I don't love it!


I would wear this every day. I say that a lot, but I mean it with this! More chartreuse, which is a trend I really enjoy, but I'd probably have to have this in a different color. But, look at this ... gorgeous!

My perfect idea of menswear ... and this nude, monochromatic theme that is running through pretty much every line this spring is officially approved and endorsed by yours truly. But this is feminine and  non-threatening menswear with bright touches and easy mix-and-match ability. Those pants are amazing.

Like butta ... Jesus H.!!

Nude doesn't mean neutral ... there is nothing neutral about this pinky, naked number. LOVE.

I truly love this man. I always have and judging by this bombshell of a line, the love will continue. I get the feeling that Elie Saab really loves women ... or at the very least, he gets us. I mean, look at this stuff!! It was so hard for me not to pick every single look. Menswear without being manly, salmon [okay, maybe it's coral] never looked this good ... and sparkly nude anything wins [think Britney's Toxic bodysuit!] ... this collection took my breath away.

Often times, a designer will get in a mood and you'll see the pattern ... a few suits, a few nudes, a few pops, a few randoms, etc. This is one of the most cohesive lines I've ever seen. Everything is good; it all works. Do yourself a favor and look up the rest of his Spring 2011 line ... amazing.


Okay, yes ... the tan is a bit much. Kind of made me jelly ... you can see my veins through my skin I'm so white right now. But, this is really well-cut menswear.

Don't you just see yourself running errands in this stuff? My oxfords go with nearly everything in this collection and these fedoras don't strike me as the kind a douche bag in a pink bathing suit would wear, but more like the kind my favorite Olsen [Ashley] pops on before crouching down the NYC streets for more anti-growth serum [coffee].

Pretty sure that is corseted. And perfect.

I was just telling Cookie how I want a cute little slip type dress to run around in that would go with a bunch of jackets ... I guess this is the super-fashionable version. Love.

DSquared2 is usually a bit "urban" for me ... kind of like Rock & Republic; just on the verge of being too "Fergie" [woof!], but I was pleasantly surprised this season. The boys pulled out some really nice pieces. 

Okay, if you like what you've read so far, please click for more!! I cover some more major houses and a few more of my favorite designers like Rodarte, Chloe, Jason Wu, Lanvin and two of my tops for going over the top ... Monique Lhuillier and Oscar de la Renta ... you'll need another hour to go through it all. I will not apologize, however. This is my most fabulous hobby.