Soho night

So last night I spent my evening exploring Soho, stopping by the last day of The Little Black Jacket Chanel exhibition in New York, and spotting Ami from Miami Ink. The usual.

Seriously, how is every person in Soho so cool and chic? This exhibition, put together by Carine Roitfeld (former editor of French Vogue) and Karl Lagerfeld, centered around Chanel's classic black tweed jacket. Dozens and dozens of photographs were taken of various celebrities rockin' the iconic garment in their own unique way.

I really love this capture of three generations between Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. I swoon for mother-daughter moments.

 

I really enjoyed the exhibition. It was very simple but fun, almost effortless looking. Typical Soho. Speaking of, as we left the gallery, my friend Anne Larimer spotted this incredibly chic chick. We both said we wanted to be her, or mostly we wanted her Vespa.

I may not have been created from the Soho laboratory of models, but I love the neighborhood. Although I think I'm an uptown girl at heart (don't have the legs or wallet for Soho).

For dinner, AL and I went to Blue Ribbon Sushi (yum) and ended the meal with green tea crème brûlée (double yum!). Soho success!

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The Little Black Jacket Chanel exhibition
 traveling all over the world
f
 Blue Ribbon Sushi
 119 Sullivan Street, New York, NY
 (212) 343.0404

Fashion Flashback

I have recently become completely obsessed with the show Felicity. You see, I missed the wave of Dawson's Creek and My So-Called Life that swept the 90's (too busy still playing with Barbies I guess). But thanks to Netflix, I have now zipped through Season 1 of Felicity in a couple weeks.

Although it's a show very representative of the 90's (it has Amy Jo Johnson, the Pink Power Ranger, for goodness sake!), I feel it really resonates with my current life. Felicity is a smart, yet rather meek high school graduate who ditches her Stanford plans to follow a crush she barely knows to New York City. Not exactly what I've done... but I can definitely relate with the confusion and humor that comes with struggling to find yourself in such a big city.

Another thing I've noticed is that all the characters wear flannel, like A LOT of flannel. Sometimes the screen is filled with so much checkered pattern, I wonder if it has a hypnotic effect on me. It's put me in a flannel-inspired bend, and it appears I'm not the only person who wants to bring back the flannel craze...

I really like this J.Crew shirt because it's a very subtle, elegant pattern. Flannel often screams 'lumberjack!' but the neutral gray of the shirt makes it incredibly stylish and versatile.

This is a modern version of the classic flannel shirt. I love the colors and most of all, the elbow patches! It's bold but can easily be dressed down with jeans or dressed up paired with skinny black pants or belted over a dress.

I love this shirt. And not just because the pattern is called Dorthy Blackberry Julip (how delicious does that sound?!). The colors add a bit of a feminine flair to this garment, if you nix the bowtie.

Flannel doesn't have to be designated only to shirts. I really adore this red checkered flannel dress. Simple, yet fun.

Long live the 90's!

Baby, It's (Gonna Be) Cold Outside!

Time to bundle up! Being from the South, I still think of snow as something magical... apparently jaded New Yorkers seem to think otherwise. So I've been preparing myself this year for my first 'real' winter. Forget the cute peacoats and wind-blown scarves, here's a list of what I'll be in this winter: (1) long down jacket with hood

This seems to be essential winter garb #1. Make sure it has down feathers and a hood, it's like wrapping yourself in a duvet. I love the Loden color (found on overstock.com)!

(2) rainboots/snowboots with fleece liner

There's nothing more satisfying than fearlessly stomping through puddles (I apologize to those who walk beside me). Come winter time when snow turns to slush, rainboots with liners will keep your piggies warm and dry.

(3) Smartwool/Heattech legwear

Heattech wear helps keep you extra warm by absorbing moisture and generating heat through movement. Both the knee high socks and tights are a a great way to dress up for work/going out and still look stylish without exposing your gams to the elements.

(4) glittens

Because texting with mittens makes me sound incoherent.

And of course, don't forget the knitted scarves, grandpa sweaters, ear muffs, and hats! Cause the last thing I wanna feel is this...

food & fashion: sites i love

http://cupcakesandcashmere.com/

LA girl Emily Schuman incorporates posts on food, fashion, and home design all with IMPECCABLE taste. it's a high quality blog from someone of a younger generation which I especially find inspiring! it's hard not to be sparked by creativity from the beautiful photographs of Emily's blog-- makes me go California dreamin' every time.

http://www.instyle.com/instyle/

I love my Vogue but for more realistic fashion inspiration I look to Instyle. The Look of the Day always piques my interest. It also does a great job of breaking down new trends and beauty tips-- I call it my personal stylist.

http://pinterest.com/

addictive. i used to use flickr.com to find inspiration photos on recipes, clothes, and decor, then bookmark them. the beauty with pinterest is that you create your own personalized bulletins that contains all your favorite finds all in one spot! GENIUS-- i really wish i would have thought of this. feel free to follow my bulletins!

http://renttherunway.com/

you have that special event coming up (graduation, wedding, holiday party...) and after rummaging through your closet find you have absolutely nothing to wear. i hear ya sista. the problem is that you don't want to spend tons of money on a dress that, let's face it, you'll probably only wear once or twice. that's the beauty of rent the runway. this site allows you to borrow top-designer garbs and accessories without paying the full price. i LOVE it and highly recommend it!

http://www.tastespotting.com/

when i'm in a bit of a cooking rut, i always look to tastespotting to pick me up. it's a compilation of food photos submitted from fellow bloggers. the quality of the photographs is magazine worthy and it keeps me up-to-date on new techniques, food trends and unique recipes.

http://smittenkitchen.com/

This was the blog that started it all. I remember discovering this site freshman year of college and it catapulted my idea of what an 'amateur' blog could be. Not only will you fall in love with the beautiful photographs and recipes but also the witty writing of NYC resident Deb Perelman. It's one of two food blogs that I am subscribed to, which to me is a huge deal.

http://stumbleupon.com

And if all else fails, there's always stumbleupon.com. By personalizing to your likes and interests, stumbleupon is similar to pandora.com in its approach.  I promise it will help you find your next favorite website/blog as well as waste hours upon hours of precious time.

What's your blog/site obsession?

Just another Manic Monday...

here's a silly text conversation between two working girls in the city (myself and my friend Anne Larimer). she bought me a beautiful monogrammed mug from Anthropologie for my birthday which I was so happy to bring to work today!

M: Seriously love my mug! Perfect for this chilly weather xo

AL: Yummy is that hot chocolate?

M: No I wish! Ginger green tea. With honey :)

AL: My twin mug and its coaster :)

Speaking of all things beautiful and British, did anyone see Kate Winslet (in Elie Saab) at the Emmy's last night? stunning in red.

and a big hip-hip-hooray to Downton Abbey for winning four Emmy's including Best Mini-series! Can someone in England please send me a boot-leg copy of Series 2?! I can't wait til JANUARY!!

my favorite look of the night, however, was Christina Hendricks (in Johanna Johnson). so sparkly and va-va-voom!

happy Monday everyone!

what's a Kar-dakh-ian?

When New York goes out, it goes ALL OUT. Hence, Fashion's Night Out was a lively affair! The streets of Soho were so packed with people in stilettos last night, I felt even more miniature than usual. I was so surprised to learn that this was only the 3rd year of this event as it seems like 'the scene' for anyone remotely interested in fashion to mingle and be seen. For one night, all the clothing stores and boutiques in New York City stay open until 11p with fun events and performances going on throughout the night (plus free booze and food... if you get there early). FNO has also spread all over the country to over 250 cities, which just means fun for everyone!

The night began when I met up with my friends Anne Larimer and Beca at the MAC store to get prettied up before we hit up all the designer stores. Little did I expect my eardrums to be busted from the shrieking screams of hundreds of people when the Kardashians arrived at their nearby store DASH. complete and utter mayhem as I stood outside the MAC store and waited for someone to hand me a glass of champagne :) life in the city is rough yo.

Afterwards, we headed to Marc Jacobs (one of my favorite designers), proceeded to see the most wonderful $12,000 coat made out of bunnies (which I will conveniently block out of my mind. It was SO soft!) as well as Dakota Fanning. I was more interested in the coat. Then we just walked around stopping by several other stores before ending at Diane von Furstenberg (another favorite!) and Betsey Johnson. It's just so nice to feel completely indulgent every now and then.

By the end, I was completely girl-ied out. The damage: $0. The experience: fashion euphoria.

Fashion's Night Out
http://fashionsnightout.com

the one and only, the Met.

i don't think i could ever get sick of walking up these steps.

every weekday (and some weekends) i wake up, take the 4 or 5 line to 86 St then walk across to 5th avenue. and every morning, i seem to be even more exhausted and drained than the last. but when your walk to work includes seeing lines of people patiently awaiting hours before the museum even opens, it perks you up better than a shot of espresso.

my internship at the Met has been both physically and mentally challenging, yet completely rewarding. within the first two weeks, we met with curators and educators of every department from Art of the Ancient Near East to Modern and Contemporary Art. it was unbelievable meeting and hearing from the best of the best in each specific field. i found myself learning so much about topics that i never thought i would have interest in. (if you ever want to learn about slit gongs from oceania, hit me up).

in addition, each intern is responsible for designing two guided tours to the public. the first incorporates the "highlights" or most well known works at the Met. out of a list of 115 or so items, each intern picks 6-8 works with a theme linking them all together (mine is "the working woman found in art").

the other tour is an open-ended special topics tour in which any works can be chosen to develop a very specialized tour of our own interests (mine is entitled "European Art through the Five Senses").

i found this process to be at first daunting, and now utterly empowering. i appreciate that the Met doesn't spoonfeed us a list of "top hits" that must be included in every tour, but instead gives us the leeway to design very personal, individualized tours. every tour you get at the Met will be completely different from the next because it has been carefully tailored by that tour guide through hours (and hours) of thought, consideration, and immense research.

some of my best moments at the Met so far have been:

  1. meeting all of my fellow interns and realizing that we genuinely like each other (you never know with art folk)
  2. seeing the alexander mcqueen exhibit early one morning by myself (so scary, yet so stunningly genius). i must say i never understood how moving fashion could be, until i saw this.
  3. having a visitor ask me how to get out of the museum. and me actually knowing!
  4. rediscovering just how lucky i was to finally listen to my heart and follow my passion, art.

so if you ever find yourself at the Met this summer, let me know. you will find yourself on a tour with me around the museum, whether you're willing or not.

"There's no way back for me now. I am going to take you on journeys you've never dreamed were possible." Alexander McQueen

 
 
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th avenue, ny ny
(212) 535.7710

bombardment of bridesmaids

pink taffeta dress. bridezilla-slave. never a bride.

since when did the word 'bridesmaid' develop such negative connotations? well, let me tell you, i (and Pippa Middleton) refuse to fall into the pitfalls of forgotten gowns and hideous hairdos. lucky for me, i have a great friend who also refuses to let her bridesmaids become a walking travesty.

i still cannot believe my high school friend, rebekah, is getting married this july! to say i'm excited is like saying ke$ha needs pants or that i had problem hair in middle school (bit of an understatement). so what's a bridesmaid to carry in her arsenal for back-to-back bridal showers? two words: butter and booze.

rebekah's first shower was a brunch and recipe swap. for this, i brought two versions of these dreamy cream scones: cheddar chive and cranberry lemon. i've made these scones before as the base for a strawberry shortcake, and they were this time as they were then, perfection. how perfect? you know when someone brings you a nice bottle of wine as a gift and then proceeds to drink half the bottle over dinner? that was me scarfing my face with these scones during brunch. ladylike? no. delicious? mMmm-hMm.

Dreamy Cream Scones adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream + extra for brushing 

(1)  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F. (2)  In food processor: Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in the work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse six times. Remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add cranberries and zest then pulse a couple more times. Transfer dough to large bowl.      By hand: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Distribute the butter and cut into the flour with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the cranberries and zest then mix together.  (4)  Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds. (5)  Dump the dough and all dry, floury bits onto a countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. (6)  Form scones by rolling the dough onto a lightly floured work surface into a ¾-inch thick circle, cutting pieces with a biscuit cutter, and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece and cutting until dough has been used up. (7)  Place rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. (8)  Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.  

For Cheese Chive version: Omit sugar, zest and cranberries. Increase salt to 1 teaspoon and add ¼ pound of diced sharp Cheddar Cheese, 2 T of chopped chives and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. When ready to bake, brush the tops with heavy cream but do not sprinkle with sugar.

Makes about 2 dozen scones

  

rebekah's second bridal shower was a lingerie & painting party. at a small studio called faithful strokes, each guest painted her own variation of the same picture as a gift to the bride. afterwards, we got our giggles out as rebekah was surrounded by mounds of tissue paper and lacy lingerie. and what goes better with giggles than sangria? 

white wine peach sangria to be exact. and boy, i do love me some sangria. each fruity bite brings you closer and closer to tipsy bridal shower bliss. this recipe is perfect for summer. refreshing, cool, yet slightly tart. just like the perfect bridesmaid. 

White Wine Peach Sangria

  • 2 peaches, cubed
  • 1 orange, halved and sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) white wine (Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
  • ½ cup peach nectar (I used apricot nectar, which was fine)
  • ½ cup peach Schnapps, optional
  • 1 ½ cups seltzer water, chilled
  • Ice cubes

(1)  In a pitcher, add the peaches, orange, and lime. Sprinkle the sugar over the fruit and let sit for 15 minutes. (2)  Next pour in the wine, peach nectar, and Schapps (if using) and stir gently. Chill mixture for at least 1 hour, 4 or more is better. (3)  Add seltzer water and ice cubes just before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings

 
outfit: H&M dress and belt, Target wedges, vintage cameo necklace from Grandma Choo
 
Faithful Strokes
122 N. Spring Street
Murfreesboro, TN 
(615) 275.6636

my alma mater, y'all

my friends and i would often joke about how at times our university seemed more like a finishing school than college.  but the truth is, i'm so incredibly proud to call myself a graduate of vanderbilt university. and although i technically graduated last december, it didn't seem to truly set in until this past friday, may 13, 2011 when i walked across the stage to receive my diploma. 

i have to admit the entire day was not all strawberries and champagne (which were to come after the ceremony). at 5.30 that morning, i received a text alert stating that commencement had been moved from the beautiful alumni lawn on campus to the basketball gymnasium due to severe weather (which never came). i then arrived late to the gymnasium and haggardly ran onto the floor of the gym after the ceremony had started.  yet even on this unluckiest of superstitious days, some wonderful moments seemed to have slipped by.

sitting in the sea of thousands of black caps and gowns, i couldn't help but think back to my own high school graduation 5 years earlier. the 18 year-old me saw graduating high school as completely passé. it was merely the last hurdle to the ultimate goal: college. i felt ready to leave, ready to move on to bigger and better things. and now the 23 year-old me was sitting in a similar gym, wearing an almost identical cap and gown completely humbled by the fact that somehow i had managed to graduate college. i felt grateful for every moment because i knew that i had worked for it so much more than i had ever worked for anything in high school. i don't know if anyone's ever told you this but, college is tough. if you don't have moments of sheer panic or existential meltdowns about what classes you're going to take next semester, you probably don't care about your future. honestly, there were times when i didn't know how i would ever finish a paper, much less graduate.

so i didn't care that they handed me an empty diploma (because my real one had already been mailed to me months earlier) or that i was sweating bullets due to the lack of AC in the gym or that i didn't graduate summa cum laude of my class. because for once, finishing the race actually felt better than winning it.

Margaret Choo, Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University

i cannot tell you how elated i felt when the last name was finally called. because now, i could finally celebrate! my friend and fellow graduate alyssa and i did just that. our families and friends dined at one of our favorites restaurants sambuca and then headed downtown that night to boogie as only newly-minted vandy alums can.

congrats to all the graduates of 2011!  as for me, i'll be off to nyc in 3 weeks :)

my outfit: Tibi dress, Target wedges, David Yurman jewelry

outfit-of-the-day

i absolutely adore this outfit, worn by ashley greene. 

patterned scarf, color block clutch and bold red lips. i think it's the perfect way to showcase accessories that POP! she also pulls off the leather leggings (which can often look very Grease!). but in this outifit, they add that needed bit of edge and youth. 

her outfit:
  • Louis Vuitton leather leggings
  • LV cardigan
  • LV clutch
  • silk scarf
  • black peeptoe pumps