Archive | June, 2011

In My Bag

29 Jun

I am a  petite woman. I usually wear heels and  almost always carry a fairly big bag, particularly during the day. I have so many people ask me what I’m carrying and why my bag is so big. I thought this constant question warranted a blog entry.

So in my bag (that I just got on sale at Banana Republic yesterday, btw), I have a host of things that keep me safe, prepared, sane and stylish:

My moleskine journal for all my notekeeping. It also holds my receipts, etc. in the back pocket

My iPhone and my Blackberry (personal and work)

My Gucci wallet (which lacks a proper change purse – a bit annoying actually)

My Tory Burch makeup bag with my essentials such as Kiehl’s lotion, Clinique lipstick, Bobbi Brown bronzer, my Dior Show mascara, a bottle of Essie nail polish, Sara Happ gloss, travel baby powder, a mini-emery board, travel mouthwash, Neutrogena SPF stick, a Tide stain pen, hair ties, blonde bobby pins, my comb and a nice dose of headache meds

My sunglasses

My iPod downloaded with the latest Radiohead, Britney Spears, Paul Simon and Pete Yorn

My keys (on my union jack key ring)

A bottle of water

My Kindle

Two packs of Trident whitening gum in peppermint

A pair of black CitySlips

Chocolate (a mini York Peppermint Patty to be precise)

My stash (and my bag) tends to change daily but I am always well equipped. Makes me feel ready to take on the world – or at least the day. How do you prepare?

Wink,

Style Girl

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Red Lantern is Hot, Hot, Hot

23 Jun

A rainy Wednesday night – not the most popular time to go out after work for “summer drinks” – but you wouldn’t know that if you walked into Red Lantern. I went over to check out this new hot spot with a few colleagues last night. I was a bit hesitant in that the big lantern/heavy wooden doors/Asian thing can easily be made into a cheesy themepark-like experience but I was proven wrong once I stepped inside.

This space is large, airy, colorful and somewhat magical. It feels much more like a place you’d go to in Manhattan than in Boston (that’s a compliment). A new late night alternative was desperately needed in our sleepy city and I think that the Big Night Entertainment Group (mainly of Foxwoods fame) have struck a great balance of chic and comfy at Red Lantern. It’s got a lounge vibe that makes you want to hang out for hours without having low ceilings and too many dark corners. The kitchen is open until 1:30am and the bar is open until 2:o0am. So I give them an A on ambience and on finding the perfect niche in the already crowded bar/restaurant space.

So what about the rest? I don’t usually do a lot of restaurant write-ups so I won’t go on and on about the menu but I will say that our server was adorable (she was almost too adorable in her black bustier) and attentive. The drink menu is creative and extensive featuring the standard scorpion bowls, a long list of martinis, loads of rum cocktails and our table favorite – the grass-fed mule. The food menu resembles a fancier version of P.F. Chang’s  except that it has an impressive sushi offering.  We decided to indulge on some munchies while we took in the scene. The crispy calamari was hot and tasty, the lettuce wraps were flavorful and the pan-fried pork gyoza were salty and perfectly cooked. The best part? The portions were generous! No dainty girl servings here. I ran into some old colleagues who were having a group dinner and they raved about their food as well. I looked around the table (trying not to salivate – I still had to eat dinner when I got home) and I had food envy. The food looked fresh and tempting. So, on food, drinks and service, I give it a B+. Why the lower score? I need to leave room for improvement! Plus I’d like to see even more variety on the food menu.

I’ll be heading back to Red Lantern soon. I get to enjoy alcohol again in about two weeks and the bamboo juice is calling my name. If you’re looking for a spot to catch a bite and a drink (even at midnight), this just may be the place.

Red Lantern – 39 Stanhope Street, Boston

Wink,

Style Girl

From Daddy’s Little Girl

17 Jun

Father’s Day is on Sunday. It always hits at such a busy time of year…graduations,  BBQs, house projects…the weekends seem to get eaten up. But I’m sure you didn’t forget, right? Well even if you did, there is still time left to find the perfect little present. My Dad is easy – he likes endless house projects and is extremely low maintenance. Although not the most creative present, I generally head to Home Depot or Lowe’s for Father’s Day. If you need some more creative ideas, try some of these on for size.

For the sporto Dad

Classic DVDs

Game tickets!

Gear

Bruin’s memorabilia

For the retro Dad

Pac-Man!

70s Tees

Put dad in a cool hat

For the foodie Dad

Steak – can’t go wrong

Nespresso Pixie – love this thing

Pressed sammies are the best

Yay dinner out! (Check out the new restaurant feature for Boston in DailyFaves)

For the restless Dad

 A little race time

A little golf

A little beer

A little fishing

Other ideas I just like…

Sure, grilling tools and some nice scotch are reasonable go-tos for Dad but what about something more sentimental like a framed childhood photo or something personalized like a classic leather satchel?  Or…

Wine from a favorite vineyard – I like Cakebread

A new pair of kicks – Cole Haan is a safe bet

An iPad – it’s just cool…

Or something crazy to do together!

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! May you be treated well this year.

Wink,

Style Girl

A Room for Bebe

13 Jun

Early last year I transformed our second bedroom into a pretty, boudoir-like guest room adorned with bright colors and mirrored accents. Then I got pregnant. Well, I live in a two-bedroom condo and the baby surely can’t sleep in the tub so goodbye guest suite and hello nursery! What did I want? A fun, bright kid-space that would inspire. What didn’t I want? A pastel laden land of teddy bears.

I cannot start a design project without some form of  inspiration. In this case, the gorgeous wallpaper that I had in the bedroom had to stay (my love for this wall runneth deep) but I needed something more than just that – I needed something special, something just for my little one.  A friend of mine introduced me to the work of JHill Design and that’s where I found my “E” – my bright, happy, elephant print. Now I was ready. That’s when I called Jenna of JC Interiors. She’s my creative sounding board and she’s always up for a challenge.

We decided – this would be a hip, bright nursery. We were going to channel my love of India and top it off with a preppy cherry. Working with the existing Morrocan-esque wallpapered accent wall, we flanked the opposing wall with inspirational “E” , which we had blown up and printed on canvas; thus setting the tone for the room.  
 
We chose a bold blue paint color to accentuate our star artwork, and carried the Indian influence to the crib’s bedding by Rikshaw Design, which features darling mini-motifs of elephants, monkeys, and paisley. Knowing that the room needed to stay as functional as possible, we managed to keep all the large-scale practicalities in the space: crib, dresser, glider, temporary guest bed, etc. Since the room had so many furniture items, we kept the design aesthetic fairly monochromatic, with blue and white, so it had a clean and tailored appearance.

For the windows, we opted for blackout roller shades (hello nap time!), banded in blue. We then tied everything together with custom valances and pillows all in the same bohemian inspired fabric. To save on visual space, we opted for a sleek floor lamp with funky drum shade (matched with a ceiling drum too), and brought in a much needed round element in the form of a blue rug in the center of the room. There’s nothing more fantastic and impractical than a three-inch shag rug for a nursery! Top it off with leather elephant bookends, bright children’s books and a Jonathan Adler piggy-bank and voila! A clean, vibrant, hip nursery – exactly what I wanted.

All that’s left is for this little boy blue to make an entrance! Without Jenna leading the creative path I would have never been able to tie a room together like this (especially since she is a textile queen!). If you’re interested in learning more about how Jenna approached the room or how she can help you shape something special of your own – send her an email: jenna@jcinteriors.com 

The countdown continues!

Wink,

Style Girl

I Heart Newburyport

7 Jun

There are so many great day-trips to take in New England, particularly in the few warm months that we have. This weekend I went up to one of my favorite spots, Newburyport. It reminds me a bit of Nantucket but on the mainland. Its mix of water views, sandy beaches, great shops and casual restaurants make it a perfect day-trip destination. Other things I love about it? The 50 cent an hour parking lot, the charming old houses, the endless supply of coffee shops and the fact that you can get there from Boston in about 45 minutes.

Our favorite thing to do while in Newburyport is to grab a picnic lunch at Joppa (an amazing sandwich/gourmet shop that reminds me of the South End Formaggio) and head over to the beach at Plum Island. Although Plum Island is a bit beaten, the beach is to die for. On cooler weekends (like the one we just had), we’ll catch a concert in the park, grab amazing Mexican food at Agave and shop around. We always check out the real estate too – just for fun.

You also won’t find too many chains in the downtown area which is great as it allows for a great mix of creative and unique shopping. Some of my favorite shops?

French Lessons – a great boutique where you can score good jeans, great dresses and possibly the perfect tee (26 State Street)

Wishbasket – quite possibly one of the prettiest home decor shops in New England. The shop offers a great mix of candles, linens, furniture and gift items (50 Water Street in the Tannery)

Red Bird Trading Co. – ok, this might be one of the other prettiest home decor shops in New England. I love the vintage feel and the electic mix of things in this shop. The lighting, the home accents, the gorgeous chairs and the women’s wear make this a place that I could browse in for hours (50 Water Street in the Tannery)

Lively Kids – This is a great kids shop. Carrying great brands such as Tea, Jellycat, 3-Sprouts, Angel Dear, Appaman, Sourpuss and See Kai Run. The owner has been in business for quite a few years and with three kids of her own, she knows a few things about kids (15 State Street)

Best of British – Since I’m a total Anglophile, I love this shop. It’s a necessary stop-off to get my fix of real Cadbury chocolate (22 State Street)

For a small coastal city, there is a lot to do and see in Newburyport. There are over thirty restaurants within walking distance of the center of downtown and there are a lot of specialty shops nestled along the few main streets. If it’s the open water you crave, then you can easily hop on a whale watch or chartered boat as well. Don’t forget to end your day with a famous Lime Rickey from Gram’s Ice Cream.

Add Newburyport to your Summer “must” list!

Wink,

Style Girl

She Wears Short Shorts and Skirts and…

3 Jun

I wish I had long, leggy legs. If I did, maybe I would sport some shorter skirts more often. I’m not a prude and I don’t mind short hemlines but wow, I’ll tell you one thing – tiny skirts, dresses and shorts are in and they are super short. I easily spotted two dozen girls frantically covering their bottoms the other day on Newbury Street when the wind gusts hit.

Short skirts come and go as fast as any trend. Some say the better the economy, the shorter the hemlines. A real testament in confidence? I just believe that short hemlines are fun and hell – it’s summer – so why not? Don’t worry if you’re not a big fan – the hemlines for fall look a bit longer.

There are a lot of ways to wear short hems without looking like a street-walker. A few tips:

Try pairing short dresses with flip-flops, low heels or high boots (to add proportion)

Consider wearing leggings and ballet flats if baring your legs isn’t your first choice

Long sleeve tops with minis look great (and oh so 60s!)

Keep it monochromatic if you want to keep your look simple (the short solid color shirt dress is a perfect example)

Keep accessories at a minimum so you don’t look overdone

Groom and self-tan (if you’re going to sport the legs – give them attention!)

How do you know if a dress or skirt is too short? Bend over, sit down and then cross your legs – you should be able to do all three without embarrassment. Then check your ID – if you’re over the age of 30 triple check your hem length, the time of day and where you plan on wearing your short look. Just remember to keep your bottom covered and your self-respect in check. No one wants to see your panties – even on a windy day.

Wink,

Style Girl

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