Monday, November 23, 2009

A Vegetarian at Thanksgiving!

Whether you are a vegetarian yourself, or hosting some for Thanksgiving, there are plenty of ways to make sure everyone is happy, full, and stress-free!

  1. Communicate well in advance: This is so your hostess can prepare to have meatless options for you. This also goes for anyone with special dietary concerns. It's always better to make sure the hostess is well informed.
  2. Explain your dietary concerns in detail: People, especially older individuals, tend to not get what it means to be vegetarian! Plus some vegetarians eat fish, some eat eggs, some eat no animal byproducts whatsoever. Which type are you? Let your hostess know!
  3. Offer suggestions: Plenty of hostesses aren't hip to the ways you can exclude meat from your cooking. Recommend replacements for things, like vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. You are a pro at cooking for yourself, so offer your insight without taking over.
  4. Always ask: This is always a rule for Vegetarians no matter what meal it is, but make sure you ask before taking a bite, just in case there's surprise bacon in the green beans or something!
  5. BYOT- (Bring your own Tofurky) or other meatless food items for yourself! For those non-veg folks, Tofurky is basically a meatless turkey substitute with stuffing rolled up inside. Vegetarian? Don't expect your hostess to know what this is or where to find it, especially if they're older, because she is probably not used to shopping for meatless dishes. One sure way to not be left out is to bring this yourself!
  6. Bring enough for everyone to try: Wow, it tastes just like real turkey! You can't bring something new and different to a dinner party and not expect everyone to want to try it. Make sure you have enough for yourself, and for everyone else to have a taste.
Hosting Vegetarian Guests?
  1. Ask questions: Don't hesitate to ask what your guests do or do not eat! This is the only way to make sure that you are clear as to their dietary concerns. If you don't understand something, the best way to learn is to ask!
  2. Ask for Help: You are the hostess, but everyone needs a hand in the kitchen sometimes! Don't hesitate to ask for help from your vegetarian guest to make sure you're getting it right.
  3. Plenty of side dishes don't involve meat at all: Sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce. These are all great Thanksgiving staples that are meat-free. Make sure you don't put gravy on the mashed potatoes yourself, but rather pass around a gravy boat. This will allow your vegetarian friends to enjoy the mashed potatoes with butter or other toppings.
  4. No Tufurky necessary: Don't feel pressured to buy commercial meat substitutes! Plenty of vegetarians don't actually like these and would much rather fill up on the other delicious sides mentioned above! Ask your guest if they would like to bring their own meatless substitute if you are uncomfortable shopping for them! And if you do buy some, refer to Vegetarian tip #6 and have enough for everyone to try!

Gap Cheer Factory

I can't decide if these commercials are cute or obnoxious, but either way they are pretty intense and styled beautifully. You can send a silly customized greeting cheer with a friend's name in it here! With choices like Mo' Mistletoe or Big Ol' Piece of Peace you'll be sure to bring someone holiday cheer...or at least a good laugh.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Coco Avant Chanel

Tonight, Cate (my period piece viewing partner) are going to see this movie. I am tres excited because the cinematography and costumes look absolutely beautiful. Take a look at some stills from the movie below.

Thanksgiving Invitations

My mother has hosted Thanksgiving Dinner at our home for as long as I can remember, so each year it is assumed we will be having it. She usually just makes a few phone calls to her sisters-in-law saying, "Same time, same place."

I personally love the idea of sending formal invitations for Thanksgiving Dinner. If you have the time, it's a personal touch that goes a long way!
These invitations are from Chelle Paperie and are just so uniquely beautiful. They definitely add a rugged charm to America's first holiday. They are die-cut and then placed inside the custom linen bags along with an RSVP card telling the guest which dish they should bring.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clothbound Penguin Classics

These beautiful, beautiful books are on my Wish List. The complete set, of course! What a great gift idea for the design savvy reader in your family. Their covers were illustrated and designed by Ruben Toledo, and they are so bright and fabulous that any recipient would be thrilled to have these adorn her bookshelves. Take a look!
They are going for $20 at Anthropologie, or $13.60 at Amazon. Amazon it is! The cover for Jane Eyre looks like Buckeye leaves!

Stories For/From Students

I have been working on a really fun project at work called "Stories For/From Students." It is a campaign where OSU students donate money and books to young readers. They wanted to go with a fairytale/storybook theme. Here is what I've been working on so far!
For those of you who are not OSU students, the building on the top is our University Hall, which I illustrated to look like a bit like a Fairytale Castle.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Must-Have #9

These are something I discovered in High School on many, many trips to our favorite Thrift Store Locale, The Village. I started to think about accessories and really putting together entire outfits back then, and there was a whole area under glass devoted to these beautiful and sparkling Must-Have items.

#9 Jeweled Brooch
They are stunning, whether vintage or vintage replica. You will never stop receiving compliments on the ones you are sporting on a sweater or jacket, they can instantly dress up a daytime look for an evening out, and they just make you feel decadent! What else can you ask for?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cranberry Sauce: No More!

Does this sight make you feel excited about Thanksgiving? Yeah, me either. I am not a huge fan of cranberry sauce, and I know it's a traditional November dish, but there is an alternative that I am very comfortable with. Cranberry Apple Crisp!

  • 3 cups chopped peeled baking apples
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

  • Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and flour
  • Pour into a greased 11x7" baking dish
  • In a bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly
  • sprinkle over apple mixture
  • Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes, or until fruit is tender
  • Yield: 6-8 servingsNutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 407 calories, 15 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 122 mg sodium, 66 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein.
  • [information from]

Must-Have #8

This Must-Have item is one of the few I've blogged about that I don't actually own, myself. I am in the market for one this Winter! In terms of outerwear, I'm a firm believer that you should always let it work with your outfit, rather than against it. I love bold colors, and interesting fabrics but also appreciate the simplicity of basic black. However, there are some situations where a person is in dire need of this item

#8 Camel Coat
A camel coat is a staple because it is the perfect coat to wear when black just seems redundant (i.e. over an all-black outfit) or when white seems to contrasting. It also goes splendidly with brown or navy blue, which alone makes it a Must-Have. The best part is, it has the power to dress up jeans!

This particular coat is from Express, and it is slightly out of my price range at $168.00. Is it in your budget this Winter?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Must-Have #7

This is going to seem like a pretty specific Must-Have, but it's important. You will live in these shoes. Dress them up, dress them down! wear them with pants, opaque tights, or bare legs! Wear them during every season, or type of weather imaginable! They are a necessity. Why? Because when you wear them, you are channeling this fashion icon:
#7 Black Patent Leather Flats
These are all options available at at varying price points. Links from top to bottom: here ($270), here ($79) and here ($59).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wrapping It Up!

I am in love with this glittery ribbon and snowflake wrapping paper from Crate&Barrel. It is beautiful, and I love the idea of monochromatic yet multidimensional looking gifts under the Christmas tree.
Buy the ribbon here. Buy the giftwrap here. Buy the gift tags here.

Must-Have #6

With the Holidays fast approaching, we'll all be heading off to plenty of parties that will be an excuse to get a little extra dressy. This is why every woman needs this Must-Have item.

#6 Jeweled Evening Bag
Why jeweled, you ask? Well, jewels aren't so important as flirty and feminine details that make the bag interesting, or exquisite like this one from Banana Republic. The bejeweled portion is pictured in detail below. It comes in red (an online exclusive color), smoky topaz (not pictured), gray and black, and can be yours for $89.50. It's perfect for dressing up a casual outfit, or carrying while fully glammed up for a party. I especially want the red one!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Must-Have #5

#5 Spectator Pumps
I am absolutely in love with these shoes, whether they are in-style or not, because they're CLASSICS. You see Bette Davis step off to board her cruise ship in Now, Voyager or you see Julia Roberts wearing them to the polo match in Pretty Woman. They clearly stand the test of time.

You can try them as a Mary Jane, or a flat, and they come in plenty of colors besides black & white (see images below). However, I am a self-professed traditionalist, and I definitely prefer the classic pump shown above.

Must-Have #4

With Winter quickly blowing into town, outerwear becomes more and more important. Everyone needs a good coat that can make the transition from Autumn to Winter to Spring, and that brings me to the Must-Have 3-season coat.

#4 Pea Coat

Originally designed for Sailors in the Navy, the Pea Coat is probably the most classic coat you can incorporate into your wardrobe. It's got beautiful lines, big buttons, and traditionally comes in black or navy blue but is now available in a wide array of colors like this red version from The Gap. My favorite versions are made of wool, which is traditional. It is also the warmest, but don't be afraid to try the Pea Coat in a myriad of different materials!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Must-Have #3

Sunglasses are important no matter what season it is. First and foremost, they protect your eyes from harsh sunlight, but they also prevent you from squinting which reduces the appearance of fine lines or "crow's feet" around your eyes. Not to mention, Rachel Zoe calls them your "Ultimate Do-Not-Disturb Sign." With the right outfit, they have the ability to transform you from the girl on her way to the office to Jackie O. Which brings me to the third Must-Have item.

#3 Tortoise Shell Sunglasses
The reason I love Tortoise Shell so much is that it is versatile. It goes with black, brown, navy blue, or any other color. It also works beautifully on people with any hair color or complexion. These are both from Target. Here are the links to the first and second images. Both are $16.99 and would be excellent stocking stuffers.

Note: People only associate sunglasses with Summer, but when the sun is reflecting on all that white snow, the light can be even brighter in the Winter!

Must-Have #2

#2 A Matching Luggage Set
I am someone who takes a very traditional viewpoint on luggage. It should always come in a matching set. Those with an eclectic style may see things differently, and that's totally fine! Other musts for luggage is that it must be durable, good-quality, and easily identifiable.

In the end, I would prefer a four-piece set, but I found the most gorgeous 3-piece set from a company called SteamLine Luggage that looks too vintage and beautiful to pass up! It's called The Editor Series, and is available in a vanity case, a carry-on, and a stowaway. It's a bit pricy, so if you find something like it for half the cash, let me know!

Must-Have #1

I have always been very interested in Must-Have pieces for women in terms of both fashion and accessories. I received Nina Garcia's book, The One Hundred last year as a gift, and it completely inspired me. Though I don't feel that I need everything in that book, there are certain things she hit right on the head, so I have decided to start dedicating posts to my own personal Must-Have items in no particular order.

#1 Bright Leather Gloves

Why? Because there is nothing more luxe than a pair of leather gloves that are softer than butter, and keep your fingers toasty during the harsh winter months, while also making you look fabulous. I like them in bright colors because they are chic, unexpected, and instantly transform your black wool coat into an outerwear ensemble.

The gloves pictured above are from Tommy Hilfiger, and are lined with cashmere. The little bows on them are a detail that takes them from ordinary to extraordinary! I saw them on The Cut this morning, and fell in love. Also, if leather is not your thing, there are plenty of faux options that are just as soft and equally as beautiful.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bump It Up!

So, we all know I am obsessed with anything vintage and old fashioned, and I've always secretly hoped that I could have hair like these photos. So, I saw one of those "Bump It" kits at Target and I bought it! It was only 10 dollars, and I can't wait for an excuse to wear it.

So totally going to pretend I'm in a 60s Girl Group.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Poster Design

Below is an image I've been working on today for Off The Lake Productions. It advertises their Autumn cabaret show, which is titled "Our Junk" this year.

Beautiful Boudior

At the end of a stressful day, I come home to a fairly messy apartment, a disorganized kitchen and an unmade bed in a room filled with clutter! I am in desperate need of a bedroom makeover to create a serene, relaxing place that's all my own. That's where I found some inspiration photos from HGTV came in handy. Their article, 12 Stylish, Sexy Bedrooms provided me with plenty of inspiration.

This bedroom is more like the size of a large studio apartment! But I love how lavish it feels with the abundance of furniture, plush pillows, and greenery.

I love how a lot of the rooms featured in the article use a mainly monochromatic color palette to make the bedrooms seem like beautiful and calm places to crash after work, family, and everything else we do during the day!

What are your suggestions for beautifying your bedroom?

Strictly Ornamental

I am absolutely in love with this piece from Crate&Barrel. It's a centerpiece, or a mantlepiece that you hang ornaments on. I want one for the mantle of my non-working fireplace this Christmas.

This little beauty can be yours for about $45.00. Just provide your own ornaments!