Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Andrea Bocelli- Con te Partiro

Andrea Bocelli is coming to Los Angeles! When Bocelli sings, you don't need to speak the language to understand what exactly it is he's singing about. You need only listen and feel...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Girls' Day Out

A couple of girlfriends and I went to West Hollywood to have a bit of a girls' day out -- facials, lunching at Urth Cafe, shopping on Robertson Boulevard etc. I was really looking forward to it, especially since we were going to indulge in a facial at Raya Spa. Besides providing one of the best European facials I've ever experienced, Raya is also one of the most affordable spas I've ever visited. Believe it or not, their prices haven't changed since 2006. The price for a one-hour, full-service facial is an incredibly reasonable $67!!! Crazy deal, right? And no, they don't cut corners. They do the whole shebang -- head, neck and decollete massage, full facial (mask, extractions and all the good stuff that comes with a facial), hand moisturizer with warmers etc. I emerged from my session relaxed, glowing and dewy-skinned.

Afterwards, we strolled down trendy Robertson Boulevard for a bit of shopping. I gawked at all the designer clothing stores and I drooled over the beautiful interior design showrooms. I really wish I brought my camera cause there were so many cool things to see.

In the end, the one and only store from which I actually bought something was a retailer marked simply, "1969". It featured cute, modern clothing for children. I was immediately smitten with a ruffled blouse printed with a skull and crossbones pattern. I peeked at the price tag and was surprised to find out that I was actually inside a Baby Gap! There were no signs whatsoever that tipped me off to this. And the layout, styling and clothing selection were unlike any Baby Gap in the mall. Turns out the Robertson location is strictly a "1969" concept store featuring all their available children's denim plus some hand-selected items from other Baby Gap collections. It was a totally cool kids' store with a hip and modern sensibility.

Apologies for the iPhone photos. It's very rare that Mia would gamely model outfits for me. I just grabbed whatever was near so I could capture the moment. From L-R: Adorable black, ankle-zip skinnies paired with a beaded, heather blue, quarter-sleeved shirt and denim band jacket. The band jacket was on sale for $13 bucks! Who doesn't love a great deal like that? Middle photo shows Mia in the same black skinnies, skull and crossbones blouse and chunky-knit cardigan. For the record, these pics were taken on what had to be the hottest day in 2010. I don't blame Mia at all for sticking her tongue out at me. Last pic shows Mia in purple skinnies and a Rolling Stones tee adorned with glitter. Shoes are blue suede ballet flats with flower embellishments. All by Baby Gap.

Here are some photos pulled from the Baby Gap website. Pretty cool stuff. I always appreciate it when brands surprise me with something new and different.

Monday, September 27, 2010

J'aime mon carre

Hermes launched their J'aime Mon Carre (i love my scarf) site in August. It features stylish girls in New York, London, Tokyo and Paris sporting their Hermes scarves in all sorts of creative, ingenious ways. Not surprisingly, each location exudes a hip vibe unique to that city. Besides it being a great marketing tool for the brand, I find that the site actually provides me with something inspiring and fun. J'aime Mon Carre serves as part lookbook and part tutorial on how to artfully wear a scarf -- a skill I previously thought only French girls could pull off :) Seriously, I've always admired how the French can throw on a square piece of silk with such panache. On a trip to Paris one year, I noticed the entire female crew of our Air France flight had on some sort of silk scarf worn in some cool, creative way. So now, I'm inspired. Check it out. You'd be surprised the countless ways one can make use of a single silk scarf.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Wish List Items #1 and #2: Clogs and Such

(Images by

Fall is finally here! It's drizzling and overcast. The air is crisp and slightly chilly. And all I can think about is how excited I am that I can finally dress for Fall. I've been mentally keeping a Fall wardrobe wish list for the past couple of weeks. If it was written down anywhere, it would look like this:

1. Black clogs
2. Thick knitted socks and stockings to go with black clogs
3. Burberry trench (this has been on my wish list forever!)
4. Sheer blouse in a neutral color for layering (I live in California, after all)
5. Over-the-knee boots
6. Tweed blazer
7. Army green separates
8. Chunky knitted sweater

This post is obviously about Items #1 and #2 on the wish list... The perfect black clog paired with knitted socks or stockings. My perfect clog would be one that transitions well between seasons. It would have a chunky but refined heel. It would be black leather and adorned with gold-toned studs. My perfect clog would be the one worn by Garance Dore (see photo above). Hers is of a Chanel variety -- gorgeous! After some browsing on the net, I found out I can snag a pair for just under $600 on ebay. Don't think I'm not tempted...

(Images via and What's On With Alexa Chung)

Alexa Chung shows us different ways clogs can be worn for Fall. She's quite the fashion inspiration. As a side note, she's also designed a line for Madewell. Anyway, Alexa shows us the versatility of clogs -- (photos from L-R) pairing it with opaque tights and shorts; a frilly dress and woolen stockings; and bare-legged with just plain black socks. Psst, the brown clogs in the middle photo is also Chanel. Further proof that I should just go out and buy myself a pair of Chanel clogs, don't you think?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Delectable Coconut Lemon Curd Cake

I've been wanting to make a coconut cake all summer long. After some researching on the net, I found that there are very few actual coconut cake recipes out there. Most are vanilla cakes with coconut filling or frosting. I almost dismissed the idea altogether when I ran into THIS recipe. I'm not usually a big fan of Martha Stewart recipes (most of the ones I've tried have turned out to be mediocre at best), but since this one is originally from the Clinton St. Baking Company, I thought I'd give it a try.

I did, however, do some substitutions and tweaks to the original recipe. I used All-Purpose Flour instead of Cake Flour. Apparently, basic rule of thumb for this type of substitution is: 1 Cup Cake Flour = 1 Cup AP Flour, minus 2 Tablespoons. I also added ten more minutes to the baking time as my cake took a little longer to set.

In the end, it turned out to be a yummy light cake with the perfect complement of tangy lemon curd filling topped off with coconut-dusted cream cheese frosting. Absolutely dee-lish!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stamps of Disapproval

These stamps crack me up. I work at an ad agency and I've gotten quite a few of these critiques myself. My all-time favorite critiques: "Are you happy with this?" and "Push it out further." I might reply to the former with, "Eh, I can live with it." But the latter usually sends me back to my desk gleefully thinking that I've just been given free license to be as creative and provocative as I want to be. At which point my boss usually has to reel me back in cause I've waded too far out.

I think I may just gift these stamps to my new executive creative director. I say new because in about two weeks, I will be starting a new job. The office is in Santa Monica, about 40 miles north of where I live. Rush hour puts my commute at two hours. One way. Yep, I know what you're thinking. I'm officially insane for taking this on. But hear me out. The agency has a great balance of for-profit and non-profit accounts. I will be working on campaigns that focus on HIV awareness, water conservation, early education for preschoolers and informing lower income families about proper nutrition. The opportunity to utilize my creativity for the benefit of people/society really sparked the do-gooder in me. Marketing with a cause. What could be better right? Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Christopher Peacock Kitchen

(Image via The New York Times)

Kitchen designer, Christopher Peacock, in his signature "Scullery Kitchen." It's sometimes dubbed as the "original white kitchen" and it carries a six-figure price tag. Yup, you read that right. Six figures. Rather pricey, but oh so beautiful with it's white marble, gleaming chrome hardware, clean white cabinetry and stainless steel commercial grade appliances. The aesthetic of this kitchen is traditional. But it's also got quite the modern flair with its simple lines and monochromatic color scheme.

This is one of my favorite versions of the Scullery Kitchen. Dark wood floors act as the perfect backdrop for the white cabinets. I love the Calcutta marble countertops, beautiful Wolf stove, retro-inspired glass pendant lighting and stainless steel sink. Notice the sink is a larger, deeper sink with no partitions. A total cook's sink, perfect for large pots and other cookware.

A mahogany island with a soapstone countertop serves as a focal point for this otherwise bright white kitchen. Personally, I love an all-white kitchen. Something about a clean white kitchen makes me just want to put on an apron and cook. But the dark center island here is quite nice as well. It gives the room a very warm, homey feel.

This kitchen (which I believe is from Peacock's Classic Collection) has a lot of cool design features. Check out the partial butcher block countertop. A fairly bold design element considering the wood drapes along the sides of the island. The espresso-colored ceiling is also a daring choice. I'm not quite sure if I like it. I'd be worried the ceiling would swallow up all the light. But I appreciate the drama it provides. I do, however, really like the floor to ceiling cabinetry, x-frame cabinet doors and the really cool staggered crown molding.

Another favorite of mine. The tin ceiling lends a lot of drama and character. The kitchen itself is a fairly simple, L-shaped design, so the more ornate ceiling and light fixture is a nice juxtaposition. The backsplash is made up of polished subway tiles, which I love.

This kitchen is part of Peacock's Refectory Collection. I had to include this pic if only for the stove. It's a veritable behemoth! I mean, how many burners are on that thing?! Pretty cool if you're an avid cook. I see this as the total entertainer's kitchen. There ain't no dinner party this kitchen can't handle! Not sure if that's proper grammar. But seriously, look at that stove!

For more information on Christopher Peacock, click HERE.