Saturday, December 31, 2011

Past Meets Future

Well, I have officially arrived and moved in to my apartment in New York City! Logistically speaking, it was both easy and incredibly difficult all at once. Expect an upcoming post about the joys of parking a 15-foot moving truck as close as possible to my building (in front of a fire hydrant...luckily no ticket!) and unloading everything on to the street while making it through a 2-key entry, and trying not to disturb too many people. Luckily, I have an amazing friend, Neil, who literally moved everything from the lobby to my apartment in a million different trips while I took the most traumatizing/nightmarish ride of my life with my father to turn in the moving truck at the deposit location nearly 40 blocks away. I don't think I'll soon recover from that journey...

But with great views, a wine shop (!!!) and an amazing, little Italian restaurant only a block away from my apartment, I am already loving this neighborhood. I'm looking forward to exploring my surroundings, but for tonight, it's New Years Eve and I'm headed to Brooklyn! Meanwhile, enjoy this photo I snapped while meandering around today. Isn't it a funny juxtaposition? A cathedral right next to that funny futuristic (yet dated at the same time...) building? Ohhh, New York, you are so strange and endearing. I love you already.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

pop the cork

Hello! Chrissy from Harve & Polly here, and I am very excited to be guest posting on JSQ during Jenna's move the the Big Apple!

Well, its no secret that New Years Eve is around the corner, and while I may not be celebrating in Times Square, I will be drinking lots of Bubbly here in Boston!

Though Champagne is a New Years staple, its my favorite regardless of the season - so I hope these items inspire you to keep drinking those bubbles all through 2012.

01/ inside-out champagne glass $60.00  //  02/ dance on the table $22.00  //  03/ cork stool $199.00  //  04/ I would rather have champagne $29.00  //  05/ flute and bottle earrings $118.71  //  06/ antique smoke gray champagne flutes $65.00  //  07/ fun flutes $69.00  //  08/ french champagne rings $16.11

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dear Santa...or Kate Spade,

I wouldn't mind finding any one of these party dresses under my Christmas tree in a few days. And while you're at it, I really wouldn't hate finding any of the exact accessories styled with them in my stocking either. I mean, I know I already have enough clothes, and certainly enough jewelry already. (Believe me, I just had to pack it all, so I am well aware that I already look like a spoiled little princess...) BUT, since I just made a very sizable donation to Goodwill last night, you could totally find it in your heart to reward me with these lovely frocks! I would be happy to take them off your hands. Seriously.

Belina Dress  with Bowery Ball necklaces and Karolina pumps in Firefly
Jeanette Dress with Glossy Garden necklace and Karolina pumps in Firefly
Bailey Dress with Karolina pumps in Fern and Putting on the Ritz bangle
Rhea Dress with Glossy Garden bracelet and Karolina pumps in Berry

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Midnight in Paris

Let me preface this by saying that I know I am very late to this party. People have been telling me I needed to see it since it first premiered, but I finally saw Midnight in Paris last night, and it was absolutely perfect. It was my final trip to the very underutilized "Dollar Theatre" on Bethel road. (Why didn't I take more advantage of this theatre? It will probably be one of my life's biggest regrets now that movie tickets will cost me 15 dollars, and popcorn won't even be an option...) Anyway, this movie felt like it was made for me. For one thing, the protagonist spends his life romanticizing another time period and fantasizing about the many ways life was better then. That sounds only vaguely familiar to me... And lots of other people out there too, I imagine! And Midnight in Paris certainly gets to the heart of why we prefer the fantasy of another era to sometimes less-than-glamorous reality of living today.

Regardless, there is nothing unsatisfying about the journey we take in this movie...back to 1920's Paris! And we're in excellent company with bohemians, masterful artists and writers, many of whom we've studied in high school and college, and certainly revisited since we realized maybe there was a pretty good reason we were required to study them in the first place... I won't spoil any of the cameos for you, since meeting and discovering them on your own is half the fun. All I will say is, this is actually my new favorite movie of all time.

By the way, I should mention that after the movie, Cate's mom Annie (a very dear friend of mine) gave me a fantastic idea! I should reward myself for this brave new step in my life by treating myself to a long weekend in Paris this Summer. I've never been, despite my love of the fashion, films, music, and food...and especially the language, which I don't speak, but have always planned on studying. I felt absolutely inspired by this suggestion, and am already mentally saving my pennies! It makes me smile to think about turning this recent streak of independence into a habit.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Final Countdown: 9

Yesterday I had a little farewell dinner and strategy meeting with the publisher and the editor-in-chief at Edible Columbus, both wonderful ladies and former New Yorkers! They surprised me with a nice little gift: The Little Black Book of New York! It's a pocket-sized guidebook filled with pull-out maps of each Manhattan neighborhood, a full subway map, and a ton of suggestions for cool things to do in the city. I've pulled it out of my purse to look up certain things all day today, so I can already tell that I'm going to be using it to plan lots of my future adventures.

I know the city is constantly changing, so piecing together this New York puzzle will be a nearly impossible feat. Once I feel like I've got it all figured out, I'll realize that I'm still missing pieces, or that ones formerly in place will have changed shape. Then I may just feel like Frank Sinatra in this scene from On The Town! But it's definitely better to have a guidebook and goals than none at all. Thanks so much, Tricia and Colleen! I will use my new Little Black Book well!

P.S. Watch a handsome young sailor and a very forward (for the 1940s, anyway) lady cab driver on their ill-fated sightseeing tour On the Town in this video! 9 days!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ColumBucket List: pizza with Pizza

My goodbye tour of Columbus kicked off a few weeks ago, when my amaaaazing bestie threw me the most incredible surprise bash with all my friends at our favorite local watering hole, Zeno's. Since then, I've been trying to mentally wrap my head around the fact that each time I do something I love around this town, it will most likely be for the last time! (Of course I'll visit...but for now, it's time to say goodbye!) While I'll certainly miss friends and co-workers, I'm confident that we'll stay in touch. So the thing that is hitting me the hardest is leaving behind some of my favorite quintessential Columbus foods!

If you were ever lucky enough to be a South campus student at Ohio State, you know perfectly well that the best pizza in this entire town comes from Adriatico's. It claims to be New York style, so I'm praying I'll find something comparable, but who knows!? I've been an avid customer since freshman year when their friendly door was just a block or two away from my dorm. The number has been programmed into every cellphone I've had since I was 19. I have to say, it will be pretty weird to not see it located as #2 on my contact list... Cate and I have our order down to an absolute science. A Medium thick-crust pizza, always covered with green & red peppers and onions. Half with black olives for me, and the other half with pepperoni for my non-vegetarian pal. And, of course, an order of breadsticks with garlic sauce and pizza sauce and a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke.

Then, last halloween, we met a lovely man (pictured above, mid-chew) named Will, who, as luck would have it, happened to be dressed like pizza! I'm serious. He was dressed like a slice of pizza...if pizza happened to accessorize its look with a worn out, blue Kentucky hat. And, very unfortunately for him, we kept making him hang out with us, and the nickname "Pizza" just stuck! Now, over a year later, I can honestly say I love Pizza almost as much as I love pizza. See what I did there? The proper noun and all? So I couldn't think of a better way to spend our last evening together (before he jets off to his medical school interviews tomorrow and misses the opportunity to help me lift heavy boxes into my Uhaul truck...) than by splitting an Adriatico's pizza! A farewell to both the #1 pizzas in my life!

Note: Pizza happens to like his pizza with pepperoni and green olives, which I will just never understand...I'm willing to overlook the blatant cannibalism, but green olives? Never. 10 more days!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Final Countdown: Cold Weather Provisions

This weekend I kind of panicked. It was the first snowfall of the season here in Columbus. The air was getting quite a bit colder than it has been yet, during this otherwise fairly tame December. I found relief by finding my car, jumping in, and cranking the heat! And, as I shivered in my thin, wool trench coat, I realized that in less than two weeks, my main mode of transportation will be these two legs. With some trips on the Subway in between, of course. But, for the most part, I'll be gallivanting around NYC on foot. I am waaay too cheap to spend money on a taxi, unless it's extremely late, and I don't know where the heck I am. Plus, if anyone's seen this movie, taxiing alone seems like a much less attractive option than just waiting for a train with plenty of strangers nearby...or walking with plenty of strangers nearby.

And while I constantly obsess over outwear, like in this popular post, none of it is very practical for extended periods of time navigating between wind-tunnel-esque buildings. I also have quite an affinity for shoes, however none of them are winter-weather-proof either. When I showed a few of my NYC friends some of my outerwear a few months ago, they looked at me and said, "Great. Where's your Winter coat?" That's when I realized that I was going to have to nudge fashion slightly to the side and figure out a way to find some winter gear that wasn't going to leave me dying of exposure in an alley like The Little Match Girl. So, after a weekend of trying on probably 50 different coats, I finally bit the bullet and invested in a puffy coat from Eddie Bauer, even though I was morally against wearing a ski jacket in New York. (I have a weird aversion to wearing tourist-type clothing in NYC, like ski jackets or athletic sneakers, or fanny packs...well, that all depends on the fanny pack...) I found a few things that will make Winter a little warmer, while not totally sacrificing style.

1  Lodge Down Parka in Silver from Eddie Bauer. It's water-resistant, long enough to keep the wind out, and the tag says it's good for temperatures from zero to twenty degrees...any warmer, and you'll be too hot!
2  White Touch Gloves from Target. These are touch-screen friendly, so you can text all you want without your fingers freezing to your iPhone.
3  Pendleton Patterned Wool Scarf from I am currently coveting this ultra-warm scarf. And digging the Native American pattern as well.
4  These Recycled Yarn Boot Socks from American Apparel are super warm and comfy. Perfect for insulating those boots!
5  I picked these Herringbone Boots up a while ago from Target. They keep the water out, which I'm told is pretty important. And the rubber will repel those nasty salt stains that find their way onto your suede boots. I fully plan to change shoes once I get to work...which I assume is fairly standard.

I have no idea if these provisions will work out for me, but I will certainly let you know how it goes! I arrive in NYC in 11 days, whether it rains, snows, hails or sleets. I just hope I'll be prepared for anything!

New City, New Mood

I've been thinking about redecorating my bedroom all year long, but never really got around to it. I primarily focused on my living/dining area instead since, for the past year and few months, I've lived in my own place and had no immediate plans of doing anything crazy like moving to New York City... But now that life has changed, and plans have changed, I'm happily planning on investing some time really decorating my NYC bedroom. My goal is to keep it bright, but calm, and a little eclectic. Totally me. Of course, I needed to find a way to combine my living room pieces with my bedroom items, because now that I'm moving in with people who've already lived together for a year, a lot of their furniture and decor is mostly figured out. That makes this an ideal time to really overhaul my boudoir. So for your viewing pleasure, and with the hope that you'll give me some budget-friendly ideas, I've created a little mood board.

1  Mix and Match Lamps from World Market. Base: Martina Aged Mirror Table Lamp Base Shade: White Mulberry Paper Table Lamp Shade.
2 This ultra-cheap Room Essentials Leaf Comforter from Target is reversible, and super soft to the touch.
3  I have a ton of painted gold frames that I've picked up at Goodwill and garage sales. And a vanity mirror to match!
4  The hardwood floors in my new bedroom (the first one shown in this video tour) are just about this color. I think? Maybe just a bit more red.
5  I fell hard for this Silver Recycled Bangle Jewelry Box from Urban Outfitters.Very art deco.
6  This Room Essentials Bright Exploded Flower Rug from Target currently lives in my living room, but will be making the switch to my bedroom in NYC.
7  I'm planning on jazzing up my room with a good old-fashioned frame wall!
8  I'll never forget my old stompin' grounds with my Columbus Neighborhoods Map from These Are Things. Maybe I'll get a matching NYC map once the city really feels like home?
9  Concealed storage is the only way to go. Classic white boxes from Ikea will have a home in any place I ever live...
10  Not my exact dresser, but the same finish, Birch Veneer, from Ikea. I'll replace it eventually, I'm sure, but for now, it works just fine.
11  Just an idea, but I'm thinking about painting a subtle, thick stripe on my walls, or maybe even a chevron wall behind my bed...depending on how much smaller it may make the room look. We'll see when I get there!

So this is the direction I'm headed when it comes to nesting in my New York bedroom. What do you think? I wanted to go with something a little more adult for my actual bedding, but then use the bright colors in the rug to really make the space cheery and fun. We shall see how it all turns out, once I move into my permanent apartment in February! In the meantime, I'm sure I'll just keep compiling more ideas. Or be so busy exploring my new turf that I won't think of it at all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Final Countdown: A Renter's Tale

I saw my new apartment for the first time today, via video-tour recorded on my new roommate's iPhone. I should start by saying that I absolutely love it, and can't even believe that I am lucky enough to be moving into a recently gut-renovated apartment in Manhattan(ish) for $250 dollars less per month than I am currently paying in Columbus! It seems like a dream come true! Or too good to be true, I thought, until I saw this video and my mind was finally put at ease. I think I'm handling myself well considering I'm headed to a city where I've never lived, to an apartment I've never actually seen (in person, or in video until today) and starting work at a new office with people I've never met before! Come to think of it, I haven't actually seen the office either, since my interviews were done through video correspondence. In 13 days, I move, pretty much site-unseen.

I'm just relieved that I know all of my roommates, and that they shouldered the brunt of the apartment hunt for me while I chillaxed in Ohio. Thanks, guys! It's all brand-new with hardwood floors, 1.5 baths, granite countertops in the kitchen, and pretty decent sized bedrooms. While it's not Selling New York material, it's definitely nicer than anything I ever expected... I guess it helps to pony up for the broker's fee...

Hear the entire saga of our apartment hunt (which was definitely not as easy as I just made it sound) after the jump!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Live in the Sunshine...

I have been obsessed with this quote since I was in high school. My AP English teacher, Mr. Whittaker, spent a good long time hammering us students with the Transcendentalists...and I knew right away that the movement was something that interested me. The philosophy, the beauty of the writing, the emphasis on goodness. I remember it being the last thing I really liked in the category of "required reading." Well, not to discount The Great Gatsby, of course! But while the real Ralph Waldo Emerson quote reads "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, Drink the wild air's salubrity," it most often gets cut short, like in this gorgeous illustration by Katie Daisy. I found it this morning and I'm pretty much head-over-heels in lurve with it. What about you guys? Any closeted Transcendentalists out there, or did Mr. Emerson lose you at that whole "transparent eyeball" thing?

Illustration by Katie Daisy

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Final Countdown: 15

Have you ever been to New York City during Christmas time? I took a hellish 10-hour bus trip a few years ago with my mom but, once we arrived, it was an experience like I've never had in my life! It just feels like Christmas was invented in New York! The hustle and bustle you hear written about in Silver Bells had to have been happening in Manhattan. The song Baby It's Cold Outside must have been describing some NYC holiday fete. Or so I always imagined it... Who knows? Maybe I just watched Home Alone 2: Lost in New York one too many times. But who hasn't really? 

Honestly, nothing can compare to the feeling of actually seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling the city during the month of December. Snow (well, sludge) dusted the streets while the air spit wet flurries at the thousands of shoppers who carried bulky bags and bumped into one another, laughing it off like they were all in this mess together. More people poured out of revolving doors into the streets as we passed every single store. But the window displays were exquisite things to behold! And if I remember one lesson from this experience, it's that I'm going to be doing my holiday shopping a few months ahead of time. Trying to pop into the 34th St. Macy*s resulted in the most insane "salmon swimming upstream" moment of my entire life as hundreds of people charged toward the doors to get out of the store. I could barely get a leg inside before giving up, and heading back out into the cold.

After the stress of the crowds got to us, we found a restaurant and warmed up inside for as long as we could, getting a chance to catch up with Ryan Dean (my future New York roomie!) during his break between matinee and evening theater bar-tending. Finally, we met our bus group at Rockefeller Plaza, where I saw a man get down on one knee and propose to his girlfriend in front of the giant Christmas tree. She said yes, of course, and the huge crowd of people surrounding them erupted in applause! It was crowded, but because there were so many faceless people there, it was kind of like the two of them had their own little moment together anyway...

Then I bumped into Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl) outside 30 Rock, where he was smoking a cigarette and shivering without a coat! He was surprisingly not mobbed by throngs of teenage girls like you'd imagine. Instead he was just enjoying a quiet moment, standing there next to me, watching the snow fall. While I was glad to get back on the bus and head home, just to get out of the cold and snow, I felt a little heartsick for the energy of the city. And while I'll be missing my first NYC Christmas this time around, I will spend the entire year looking forward to what that experience will be like as a true New Yorker. Only 15 days to go!

iPad Letterpress

Spotted this on the ever-inspiring blog Harve & Polly yesterday! LetterMpress is an app for your iPad that simulates the experience of hand-setting type, selecting colors, locking, inking, and printing letterpress prints! You can even create multiple impressions. While I think the idea of using an iPad to kick it old school with letterpress is kind of ironic, I think this would be something I could spend hours playing with on a long subway commute... And it's also a really great educational tool for someone who didn't get the chance to try all of this stuff in design school like Chrissy (author of Harve & Polly) and I did!

The only sad part is that while the process is basically the same, there's still nothing like holding an actual printed piece! Running your fingers over the impressions, smelling the fresh paper and ink... Maybe I'm just romancing it, but there are some experiences that computers, tablets and smartphones can't quite recreate. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Final Countdown: 16

Photo for sale at Eye Poetry Photography on Etsy  I  $35.00
So we're getting down to the wire here. And I'm going to be very honest with you all. Throughout the entire month of December I've been calm, cool and, for the most part, unaffected by the realization that I'm about to make a pretty drastic move in a few weeks. I was combating stress by packing a little bit each day and using the move as an opportunity to regain control of my ever-growing pile of material possessions. I was unemotional about leaving work and friends. I kept thinking, "Moving to New York is about the easiest life decision I've ever made! Bring it on!"

Uhhh... Let me just tell you, the thin, linen veil separating me and pesky reality is now officially threadbare. My apartment is a mess. My head is in a million different places, none of them productive. I've crossed zero new things off my to-do list since I clued you in with my bragadocious packing tips. And if I don't get back on track in the next few days, I'll be riding to New York on the Hot-Mess-Express train. Wish me luck!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Beautiful J. Crew Shoe

Have you guys met Mona? We're on a first-name basis apparently, but in case you're utterly confused, Mona happens to be a shoe from J. Crew that literally comes in every conceivable color and material under the sun. From glitter to suede, matte leather to patent leather, Mona can't be beat! It's a round-toe pump with a simple, elegant silhouette. Classic all the way. I'd conceivably like to own every single one, but at $238.00 dollars a pop, it doesn't look like Mona will be coming home with me anytime soon. However, this doesn't stop me from picking out, oh...just my 8 favorite pairs. My motto is, if you really love it (and also really rich) get one in every color.

1  Mona Patent Pumps in Warm Bisque
2  Mona Oxford Pumps
3  Mona Suede Pumps in Retro Lemon
4  Mona Glitter Pumps in Metallic Graphite
5  Mona Suede Pumps in Wild Berry
6  Mona Patent Pumps in Black
7  Mona Leather Pumps in Pale Peacock
8  Mona Patent Pumps in Poppy

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pack That Thang Up...

Packing. I'm doing a lot of it you may have heard, here! And instead of feeling extremely bogged down, like one might expect, I'm actually becoming quite an expert at it. In the past 8 years, I have lived in 2 different houses, 3 different apartments, and a dorm room. So you'd think I would be able to live out of a suitcase (or a few) at this point, but believe me, I have had plenty of chances to accumulate junk...

Image via Pinterest

I am what I like to call an organized hoarder. I have LOTS of things, mostly clothing related items (does any twenty-something really need 15 different coats?) but they are all hung up, grouped by item (i.e. skirts, shirts, dresses), and organized by color. I also collect those $5 DVDs on sale at Target like it's going out of style, but they are all alphabetized and live in white boxes like this one from IKEA. I also archive back-issues of Martha Stewart Living by year in these white boxes. You never do know when you're going to want to revisit a really great craft idea, I always say. But thanks to blogs and Pinterest, perfectly lovely daily inspiration, these mags are getting tucked away in storage until I own a sprawling country home like Martha...

Obviously staying organized is still a challenge when I have so much stuff crammed into a 1-bedroom apartment in Columbus. But it's about to get even crazier now that I'll be trying to fit everything I own into one bedroom in a 4-bedroom Manhattan apartment with minimal closet space. I had to downsize. And it felt good! So good, in fact, that I decided to share my downsizing and packing strategies with all of you. Check them out, after the jump!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winter Edible Has Arrived!

Columbus residents: come one, come all! The Winter issue of Edible Columbus magazine has officially hit advertiser locations. Support local C-bus businesses, and our fabulous Edible advertisers, and pick up your copy TODAY! I'm giving you a preview of the cover, featuring a gorgeous photo by Catherine Murray of Photo Kitchen, and my partner for our Cocktail Couture series in November. What do you think?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Printing Party

Wow. I had an incredible Friday night... And it started at 6:00 when Cate and I went to the Igloo Letterpress Holiday Printing Party. Kendall was there too, working, since she does her other internship at Igloo! I had never been inside Igloo before, so I was seriously mesmerized by what I found. Gorgeous, colorful, letterpress items coming (literally) out of the woodwork! Trays of movable type, tiny cubbyholes filled to the brim with envelopes and paper in every shade imaginable, and above all else, design inspiration. Everywhere.

A highlight was getting to meet and chat with Omar and Jen from These Are Things. You guys know I love them and their beauteous graphic maps because I've blogged about them here, here, here aaaaand here. Needless to say, I was excited to meet them, and score some free swag, but I about died from obscure-up-and-coming-blogger joy when they recognized me from Jenna Sais Quois! I hate getting designer starstruck, but These Are Things (And still Jeremy Slagle) invoke this feeling in me, and I can't really fight it. So I won't... But anyway, check out some images from the party that I pilfered from the Igloo and These Are Things facebook pages...including one of me with my new Ohio Letterpress Print. I am going to want lots of nods to my Ohio roots once I get to NYC, so I am beyond jazzed about this print. Plus, I even got to ink the press!

Images from here and here

Friday, December 2, 2011

A December To Remember

Since yesterday I was busy blogging about my birthday, and my REALLY BIG NEWS, I didn't really have time to remark about how excited I am that the holiday season is upon us! Are you listening to Christmas music on the radio yet? Have you been since Halloween ended? I have, and then haven't (closer to Thanksgiving), and then have again lately. I like that the holiday season comes in waves for me. This way, I never feel overwhelmed, or get sick of it! 

But speaking of the holiday spirit, nothing has gotten me more inspired for December dressing than the 2011 December J. Crew catalog! I have probably flipped through this digital version at least 30 times already. I love the styling, the photography, the sophisticated's 100% a hit for me. And I love how bright and colorful the clothes are. Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to put away your colors and just wear black, white, and gray. Here are some of my favorite pages from the piece:

All images via the J. Crew December Catalog

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Birthdays and Big PLANS!

Today I am 26 years old. I can remember thinking 26 seemed ancient when I was a little girl. And today I feel a strange duality. It seems like I've lived nine lives already, because I've kept so busy with books, activities, organizations, sports, music and art. And that was all before graduating from high school. In college, I kicked it into even higher gear trying to learn everything I could on top of design school, dating, more music, friendships, socializing, etc. Every year I've made new friends, and kept some great old ones along the way. I feel tremendous love and support from all of you blog readers (alot of whom are the old and new friends I speak of...) and for that I am so thankful! But while I've lived a lot of life so far, I feel like it's all just beginning! Which brings me to my big announcement!! After a lifetime of fascination and a great deal of recent consideration and blogging (here, here, here, here, here, here, here AND here...) I have finally decided to pick up roots and move!

Every time I've visited the city, I've literally fantasized about latching on to a lamp post so that nobody could pry me away and make me go back... So I'm experiencing a bit of disbelief that when I arrive just days before New Years Eve, I will get to stay. And work as graphic designer at a new, exciting office doing new, exciting things! And change my entire life. Maybe for a couple of years or maybe forever! The beauty is that I just don't know!

Hopefully you'll all be along for this crazy ride with me... With any luck, I'll be even more inspired to blog about fashion, events, cocktails, and other delightful topics! And I can throw in some advice about starting over in the Big City as well!

So thank you all again for reading, and I hope you are as excited as I am to take this show on the road!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

May I have your attention please?

...Tomorrow is my birthday! But as exciting as getting another year older is for the mid-twenties-aged female (hah!) that is not my big news. I actually have some really big news to share with you all, and it will all be revealed tomorrow!

And let me clarify here... It's not just really big. It is a REALLY BIG, HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT. Dare I even say it falls under the category of "Life-Changing?" Any guesses, by the way? (Don't guess if you already know...friends, family, MOM...)

Check back in tomorrow, on my 26th birthday, because I've been sitting on this carton of dynamite for about 1.5 weeks now, and I've been waiting for a really special occasion to share it with all of you!

L'Amour List: Rose

It's time again for another L'Amour List. This time I am thrilled to be featuring an Ohio State student, fantastic marketing intern, and all around lovely lady named Rose. I'm very excited, as is Rose, to show you a few of her favorite things. I hope you enjoy them!

1  Harney & Sons English Breakfast Tea is her absolute favorite!
2  Rose love photorealistic paintings. Especially this one by Ralph Goings. It's also a dream of hers to be a "regular" somewhere, at a diner or breakfast place or something, which is why she loves this particular painting so much.
3  She loves art inspired outfits like this one on Polyvore. She loves black, white, and the gorgeous champagne color...not to mention this very poster is hanging in her room right now!
4  This dress from Modcloth is on Rose's wishlist! Red is her favorite color, and sheath dresses are her favorite silhouette for sure.
Pugs! They are her favorite dogs.
6  Dystopian Novels are Rose's favorite genre... She's not quite sure why, but she's read 1984 and Brave New World several times each!
7  Her go-to scent, especially in the winter months! It has a deep, rich, spicy scent that's perfect for holiday parties or spicing up an otherwise dreary winter day. Unfortunately she just ran out, so a new bottle is on her Christmas wish list!
8  Another great dress from Modcloth in Rose's second favorite color...(and MY favorite, obviously.) She loves how this color dresses up an otherwise conservative cut. She would pair it with a cropped jacket and red heels. Super cute!
Rose has been eyeing these vintage-looking earrings, also from Modcloth.
10  Last, but certainly not least, the Chipotle burrito! Her favorite food of all time...everyone at work knows this. She can't NOT mention Chipotle.

There you have it! Rose's L'Amour List. (I truly can not believe no one has ever mentioned Chipotle before in these...Can you??) To see other great L'Amour Lists, click here! And while you're clicking away, be a doll and follow me on Bloglovin'!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I got 99 Followers, but YOU ain't one!

Haha, ignore my cheesy nod to this rap song {not safe for work, btw...} and think long and hard about whether or not YOU would like to become my coveted 100th blog follower! I would love you forever and ever and ever. I would make a L'Amour List featuring YOU. YOU could have the power to make me very, very happy just two short days before my BIRTHDAY! Okay, begging over. But seriously guys...

Editors Note:  Thanks so much to DENISE, my official 100th blog follower! You are one delightful lady! I am excited to feature you in an upcoming L'Amour List! Start thinking about tour 10 favorite things...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cocktail Couture: Middle West Spirits White Russian

This week's Cocktail Couture finale features one of my all-time favorite cocktails, repopularized by The Dude, but enjoyed by the likes of Don Draper and Roger Sterling in 1963 as well...The White Russian. And not only is this my favorite of our drinks, but I am absolutely in love with the glamorous photos taken by none other than Catherine Murray of Photo Kitchen and the blog Freshly Baked. She has utilized some of my favorite budget-friendly jewelry pieces (both the bangle and the cocktail ring were less than 15 dollars each!) and the most glamorous piece in my entire jewelry arsenal, the vintage necklace I picked up at Funky & Functional down in the Short North. It is so excitingto see the way she's styled the pieces with this gorgeous marble she picked up at Columbus Architectural Salvage.

We've blogged about Middle West Spirits (here for a refresher course) in our Hot Apple Toddy recipe, so if you need to get caught up to speed, check that out! And I would love to recommend you guys prepare your White Russians using Snowville Creamery products so you can rep Columbus through-and-through! Bottoms up!

All photography by Catherine Murray of Photo Kitchen
And in case you need a refresher on Cocktail Couture, read our description below:

"Haute Couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing, usually made from high-quality expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques...The hand-crafted (local) alcohol is created by those dedicated to their craft, making award-winning bottles of gin, vodka, whiskey, wine, and Tessora." 

Catherine and I both believe that the handiwork and detail that goes into the brewing and distilling of our local-to-Columbus spirits are nothing short of couture themselves, especially when paired with fun jewelry and accessories...and you all know I am a firm believer that the cocktail you sip is as much a part of the statement you are making as anything else on your body! So let's get creative!

To walk you down memory lane of our fun photo series, first there was the Watershed Gin Pumpkin Drop featuring Columbus' own Watershed gin, and next the Tessora Lemon Capuccini made with Tessora Limone! Then came the Hot Apple Toddy, made with Middle West Spirits Whiskey followed by a bottle of Chilean Pinot Noir from Camelot Cellars. See all the recipe cards for the Cocktail Couture series below:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratuitous Clinique Moment

So I gave myself away when I clued you all on what I keep in my makeup bag, and I am pretty loud and proud about the fact that I love me some Clinique... It's not just the fact that every product seems to work miracles (though that certainly does keep me coming back for more), but moreso the fact that everything is beautiful, from the cosmetic color palette right dow to the packaging. Everything smells clean and fresh, and feels youthful and affordable but luxe at the same time. Clinique, for me, is an experience. I am continually surprised by each new product I try. Case in point: the Chubby Stick. (Cue to the choirs of angels shining beams of light down onto the Chubby Stick.) What is this strangely titled product, you may ask? Essentially, it's a sheer lipstick and a moisturizing lip balm all wrapped up in what looks like a big, fat crayon. And it's really the new frontier of lip color.

These days, unless you're wearing statement lips, like red, dark wine, or neutral, lipstick feels a little bit...old. And it just sits ontop of your lips feeling gummy...when it's not accidentally on your teeth! But the Chubby Stick glides on, enhances your natural lip color, and makes you look pretty but doesn't make a big deal about itself. I loved how they felt and looked so much that I bought two! (Fuller Fig and Mega Melon, to be specific)

1  Richer Raisin
2  Fuller Fig
3  Graped Up
4  Mega Melon
5  Super Strawberry
6  Woppin Watermelon
7  Chunky Cherry

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cocktail Couture: Camelot Cellars Chilean Pinot Noir

This week's installment of Cocktail Couture features a glass of wine recommended to me by Catherine Murray, food photographer extraordinaire behind Photo Kitchen and the blog Freshly Baked. And believe me, you are never going to want to pass on this glass...straight from Camelot Cellars, an "Urban Boutique Winery" located in the heart of Columbus' Short North district. With long, rustic wooden tables, cozy seating, soft, industrial lighting and a wall of literally every type of wine you could ever have dreamed of, Camelot Cellars is the perfect place to explore your passion for wine. And there is truly no better guide than Janine Aquino, the mastermind behind the revamping of Camelot Cellars, and one of the most personable ladies you will ever meet. If you stop by and introduce yourself, she would be more than happy to chat with you about the latest episode of any show on Bravo TV, follow you on twitter, and most importantly, introduce you to a bottle of wine you will really love. If you aren't a fan of wine, that's simply because you haven't met Janine and given her a minute to recommend the perfect bottle as though she were an oracle of grapes. Or, better yet, get you and your friends set up for a private wine tasting!

Below you will see more of Catherine's favorite, the Chilean Pinot Noir, which she bought when we were shopping together, and foolishly left at my apartment...You can bet an unopened bottle of wine doesn't last long in my natural habitat! So, although I felt a bit guilty about it, I cracked it open for myself and a few out-of-town guests, and all three of us were obsessed. Of course, I replaced Catherine's bottle, so it was a win-win for us all. Catherine describes the flavor best on her post, saying that it "has a scent similar to strawberry jam, but the flavor is smooth, rich, just slightly fruity, and a little smoky."

I highly recommend you check out Camelot Cellars and this delicious Pinot Noir immediately! And bottles of wine, as well as wine tastings and wine making parties, are perfect gifts for the upcoming holiday season! Salut!

And in case you need a refresher on Cocktail Couture, read our description below:

"Haute Couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing, usually made from high-quality expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques...The hand-crafted (local) alcohol is created by those dedicated to their craft, making award-winning bottles of gin, vodka, whiskey, wine, and Tessora." 

Catherine and I both believe that the handiwork and detail that goes into the brewing and distilling of our local-to-Columbus spirits are nothing short of couture themselves, especially when paired with fun jewelry and accessories...and you all know I am a firm believer that the cocktail you sip is as much a part of the statement you are making as anything else on your body! So let's get creative!

First there was the fantastic Watershed Gin Pumpkin Drop featuring Columbus' own Watershed gin, and next the Tessora Lemon Capuccini made with Tessora Limone! Then came the Hot Apple Toddy, made with Middle West Spirits Whiskey. See all the recipes in this Cocktail Couture series below:


A Designer's (EXPENSIVE) Toolkit

I had a very expensive day today... The kind of day where you're literally just s t u n n e d.
The kind of day where I saw basically a year of scrimping and saving (and freelancing my pants off) flash before my eyes with just one swift swipe of the debit card. And I left not wanting to scare the nice gentleman helping me carry my new treasures to my car by quietly weeping...

You will know this feeling well if you've ever been a graphic designer who desperately needed to stock up on new hardware AND software all in the same hour-long trip to the technology store. I am feeling better about it now, especially since while I was going swipe happy,  I added a pair of Warby Parker glasses to my expenditure tally. You gotta be able to see straight (and look cool) to be a designer, I've learned! And I didn't end up really loving any of these ones... Once I crack open this new Macbook Pro, upload all of my new software, and try on my new glasses, I will just be a brand new lady! What do you think? Have you guys ever taken a soul-crushing trip to the Apple store? Here are a tally of today's purchases:

1  15-inch: 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro
My 3-year-old MacBook Pro has survived an exploded battery, a blown left speaker (which has left it whistling like a tea-kettle), 2 years of design school, a senior thesis project, and a job designing a magazine... It's officially time to retire him. Also, you should note, I NEVER go without AppleCare protection. It has saved me twice in the past, and I'd definitely rather be safe than sorry...

2 Adobe CS5.5 Design Premium
Who could pass up an Ohio State Employee discount on Adobe CS5.5 Design Premium when instead of costing the usual $1,899.99 smackers, I got it here for a miniscule $350 dollars??

Microsoft Office:Mac 2011
I once again chose to utilize my Ohio State employee discount to get this software down from $149.99 to a mere $85.00. Thanks, Wired Out!

A FREE HP Deskjet 3050A e-All-in-One Printer/Scanner/Copier 
I use a printer next to never, but why turn down a freebie? And who knows? Maybe I will use it more than I think I will?

Crosby Burgundy Fade glasses from Warby Parker
This was the biggest surprise of the day, actually. Libby, my lovely coworker, had utilized Warby Parker's amazing 5-pair "Try Before You Buy" offer, and we were so excited to get the package today! I love trying on glasses, so I snatched a few pairs to try on for myself, and kinda-sorta fell in love with this pair. They are exactly what I was looking for in a pair of big, plastic statement glasses. And I love the coloring, because it looks almost black on top when they're on, but with the red fade pattern, they go well with my hair. It was a great surprise, because I really never would have tried these on if they weren't sitting out on a table in our office. I ended up loving these way more than the ones I debated in this post...and thus, I was sold.

So I am truthfully stocked up on every piece of equipment a good designer could possibly need to do her job. I don't even know what to do next. But the answer is probably design something, so I can make back some of my squandered money!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yeah, I Bought It

I treated myself to this lovely little Coach bag for a number of reasons. I will now list them for you. One of them being the fact that my birthday is coming up in 10 days. Another being the fact that I have been working very hard on the Winter issue of Edible Columbus. A third being the fact that I work very hard ALL YEAR and have never treated myself to something so beautiful that it literally had to be pried from my hands by the sales girl without me wanting to weep... so instead of saying "aur revoir, mon amie"...I said "I'll take it, please and thank you!" Because that's what 26-year-olds who consistently work 70+ hours per week get to do. Right? Right!? I am sounding a little crazy... It's been a very eventful week. More later, darlings!