Filed under: My Cookie Jar
Okay haven’t blogged in a while – summer has been crazy and now just about over. I was unpacking my toiletries yesterday afternoon when we got to the Cape and realized I have some new tried and true products to share with my fellow product whores.
Here are my summer- into- fall picks and the 10 products I am loving right now:
1. WARREN TRICOMI – Protect – Calming Serum. Bought this last month in the Hamptons with my friend Jodi. Needed a quick fix to tame and gloss the mane, seeing I was forced to do it on my own while on vacation and of course had nothing with me (come on when have I ever done my own hair while away). Anyway I love this stuff and will admit it really does the trick. Jodi and Jackie (2 brunettes with similar locks – give it a try).
2. JERGENS Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer. It is light and does not streak. Perfect to keep that summer glow going for a few more weeks and on your legs well into the fall. Booties are all the rage ladies. Wear with bare, tan and toned legs and later with black tights.
3. SARA HAPP The Lip Scrub. This I bought in Park City. The altitude and dry weather had my lips needing some extra TLC. Now I am hooked and use it once or twice week regardless of the climate. Warning you need just a little and scrub gently.
4. OBAGI C -Therapy Night Cream. My hero. This night cream is a must for any girl who loves the sun and the look of a tan, but does not like the prolonged after effects and/or hyperpigmentation. Plus it has vitamins C & E to tackle all of life’s radical damages. After one week of use, your skin will look more even, brighter and glowing. I use it year round.
5. CAUDALIE Instant Foaming Cleanser Fleur de Vigne. This I have been using every morning now for two months. I normally use Sonya Dakar Ultraluxe Wash, but the heat and humidity warranted something lighter and less oily. Voila. It puts me in a good mood every day.
6. BLISS ingrown eliminating pads. Enough said.
7. SMITHS Rosebud Salve. This is not necessarily a new product for me, but I have found new uses for it this summer. It not only keeps my lips super soft and shiny, but combats blisters and unruly eyebrows too.
8. NARS Blush/Bronze Duo in Sin and Casino. I just bought this. This handy compact duo now resides in my bag. It makes you look sunkissed (casino) and like you just know what (sin) all day and night.
9. BUXOM Lips in Dolly. I wear this lip gloss every day. I am now on my 8th tube. It is my all time favorite color and gives you that Angelina pout thing too. Back up gloss for night and with a smoky eye – Giorgio Armani lip gloss # 1. This baby looks sheer and innocent enough, but there are tiny metallic specks that when your lips hit the light just right. . .look out.
10. MRS. MEYERS Fabric Softener in Basil. Don’t laugh – not your typical beauty product I know, but this stuff makes your sheets, towels, pj’s and panties smell so good, you just want to be more beautiful to be in them.
Just about a month ago I had to take a business trip to Atlanta (seems like a lifetime ago now, but so does Christmas for that matter). Being a bit stressed to travel before my vacation and the holidays, I decided to maximize my time and do some holiday planning on the plane ride down south. I brought along a few magazines for inspiration and guidance and found one of my new all time favorite recipes. I love to cook but have never been the baker. This year, I set out to conquer a dessert.
I found a great recipe for a delish caramel and chocolate bread pudding in the March ’08 issue of Bon Appetit. The recipe was from Jill O’Connor’s latest cookbook “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey.” I added and can testify to the YUM!
This recipe serves 8 – 10. I almost doubled it and recommend using an even larger baking dish. It gets better the next day – you just need to reheat a touch and make some extra sauce too. Mom, here is the recipe for you and your friends.
Dulche de leche and chocolate chunk bread pudding:
8 1/2 inch thick egg bread ( I used egg rolls and just peeled off the shell. I bet Challah bread would be amazing here too)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided. (leave it out on your counter – it does the trick)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup dulce de leche topping or caramel sauce (I got the Whole Foods caramel topping – it is made for ice cream)
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons dark rum (spiced works too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 oz (about 1/2 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat over to 350. Place your bread in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons melted butter and toss. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bread is golden or about 12 mins (you can do this ahead of time). Then cool. Brush an 11x7x2 inch glass baking dish with butter.
Stir whipping cream and 1 cup dulce de leche sauce in medium saucepan over medium heat until blended and bubbling. Remove from heat. Whisk eggs and yolks in karge bowl. Add rum, vanilla and salt. Gradually whisk in warm dulce de leche mixture and then stir in the bread cubes. Let this soak for 30 mins and stir it occasonally (smell it too occasionally too – it is amazing).
Mix chocolate chips into custard mixture. Pour into your prepared (the buttered one) baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar and bake for about 35 mins (you want it puffy and set in the center). Let it cool 15 minutes and then dust with powdered sugar. Serve it warm and pass with more warm dulce de leche.
Eat just a small bit to satisfy your craving and then sit back and relish in the compliments from your soon to be a wee bit fatter, but oh so happy friends.
This weekend was pretty much like all others on the Cape, with the exception that there were not five little monkeys under foot. Although I did spend yesterday at the beach with 10 kids, ages ranged 2 – 16. They did their thing and the adults did theirs, the common denominator of the day, something we all talked about, was music.
The ten year olds listened to Hannah Montana, the two teenage girls played their iPod for a while and then Mike put on his top 40 songs of all time playlist. He found this on an old iPod (I think he now has 5) and we decided to bring it along. We listened to some of this playlist on our trip down. Friday’s journey was brutal. It took us just under 3 hours to get to the bridge, so having some classic and pop hits to sing along to made our ride seem to go faster. One song in particular, made me remember some very special musical moments I have been lucky enough to experience. So instead of writing about latest my fun in the sun or give you another CD recipe, I thought I would write about what connects all generations. I reached into the Cookie Jar to document some favorite memories and to share them with you. Read and dream on.
This is one of our best stories. We actually told this one again yesterday on the beach. Mike regularly attended the Montgomery Securities conference in San Francisco. He did this many years and I used to love to accompany him on this business trip. The Ritz in Nob Hill, the shopping, the restaurants and our friends made the annual trip to the West Coast that much more appealing. One night we decided to surprise our friend at his bar. His name is Johnny Love and his bar/restaurant is self named. It was an awesome place; formerly on the corner of Broadway and Polk Streets. It just so happened that there were a few other celebrities in the room that night (besides the legendary Johnny of course). I met Ricky Waters, Harry Denton, Roger Craig and Greg Allman. That old expression “courage from a bottle” really came into play with me. I marched right up to the Allman table and asked Greg to perform for me. “Mr. Allman. Mr Allman. Will you please play Midnight Rider?” I repeated this over and over again. He politely refused me many times, but my third march over to his table brought the rocker to his feet. The third time is always a charm and he walked directly to the stage. The bar features local performers all the time. That night it was Napata and the Chocolate Kisses. This band could rock. Greg jammed with them on stage and they brought the entire house down. He played Midnight Rider, Mustang Sally and one other. All for me.
AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK
A few years back, Denis and his Foundation were invited to attend a special breakfast and product launch with Bill Gates in NYC. Swatch and Microsoft were introducing a new watch, The Paparazzi. That day I got to meet and eat breakfast with Bill, Denis and Mischa Barton. The OC was the hottest show at the time. The watch was pretty hot too. Everyone at the breakfast (including the media) was given one as we left. If you paid attention at the demonstration, you would have learned how it operated. And if you were smart enough to wear and use it that day, you would have received a special message later that same day. The message beeped and appeared on all the pre-programmed watch faces throughout the day at various times, but they all said the same thing: 8 PM tonight and an address. We knew it was an exclusive invitation. But what could it be? I rallied a few friends and showed up at 8 PM sharp. At approximately 8:15 PM, Sting walked into the room and played a private concert for about 200 lucky, and most importantly, Paprazzi savy people. We sang and swayed with this Englishman for over an hour in New York.
This story is truly one of my favorites and this now famous Boston event was definitely one of my most memorable as the event producer. The First Annual “Betting On a Cause and a Cure” hosted by Denis, Cam Neely and Michael J. Fox proved to be a huge success for the three different foundations and for all its lucky attendees. They were treated to an exclusive live concert by Boston’s own Aerosmith. In January 2003, approximately 250 Bostonians enjoyed an intimate show at the stroke of midnight by the town’s original bad boys. There were hints, rumors and a lot of buzz that these guys would be there and would be performing, but until they actually appeared in the room and started to play, no one could truly believe what they were about to witness. Tyler dressed in skin tight black and white striped pants was in rare form. And then the small crowd and the press went absolutely wild when Michael J was called to stage to jam in and play lead guitar on his Back to the Future anthem “Johnny B. Good.” I had tears in my eyes.
I am not sure if I will ever be fortunate enough to enjoy a show quite like that again or if one of my events will ever produce that same wow factor, but I am certainly going to try and dream on.
Filed under: My Cookie Jar
Spring and summer dressing always means effortless chic. Personally, I feel it is easier now to get the look you want with only a few great pieces or accents. Many of which will work with the staples you already have in your wardrobes, but when mixed in, will immediately update your entire outfit.
Today’s Cookie Jar lists spring essentials that will make you instantly chic.
Caramel leather – right now I love wearing my caramel high boots with shorter dresses. Try a pair with a printed dress for day or with a darker solid (navy or black) dress and some great jewelry for a fun dinner ensemble. I also love tucking my dark skinny jeans into these boots with a longer top and fun jacket and/or spring weight scarf. Act quickly though there is only about another month left for this look.
Chunky necklaces – forget all the layering. Find one or two great statement necklaces and wear them with everything from a crisp white blouse and pencil skirt (so Lipstick Jungle) or with jeans and a simple tank. Marni, Chloe, Mawi, Trubman and Lanvin all have some super cool pieces right now. I also spotted some fierce estate (think rhinestone and Grandmother) chunky necklaces at Barneys. But you can get the same look and spend less. I recently saw a great turquoise and gold choker (its called the Bubble necklace)at J. Crew. This with a white tank, white “boyfriend” pants, gold wedges and a tan will be one of your favorite outfits all summer.
Brown wooden platform heels – and no wimpy heels here please. 4 or 5 inches plus the platform translates to ”Hello Glamazon.” I ran around NYC all last week in my new Henry Beguelins. I wore them with all black one day – black pants and black tank and then out that night with dark jeans and a gray and gold top. They will also look great with just about any dress and white pants. I could spend the entire summer in these, my gold wedges and flip flops.
White pants – an absolute staple for me after Memorial Day. For work and or night, look for a wider leg and a smart cut. I just got a pair from Helmut Lang. Always love the fit of his pants. Also love to buy one size bigger for a more relaxed, sexy look. I will wear them with a simple black tank or a darker color frilly blouse and can go to just about any client meeting or function. At night, slip on a super thin leather jacket and you have an instant rock and roll look. For a more casual look, find some that are lighter in texture and an easier fit. James Pearse always makes a good casual pant. Any with a drawstring waist are great to throw on, but save them for the weekend. Pair with a tank and flip flops to you are good to go to your summer destination spot via foot, ferry, or plane.
Metallics – make any outfit modern and memorable. Gold is the metal of the moment both on your back and in your bank! Find a great pair of shoes and a cuff or two and that is really all you need to update any look. I wore my gold wedges everday in Jamaica. And I do mean everyday. I wore them with white silk hot pants and a black halter one night to dinner and then the next day with a long tribal print maxi dress for lunch by the pool. They are that versatile. Bags and earrings are also great accent gold pieces. Find a pair of fun gold disc earrings and wear them with your hair up or in a tried and true ponytail for a chic casual look. Or if your hair is down and straight, wear them with a simple dress and no other accessories and you are effortlessy fierce. Or invest in a great gold bag and wear it with everything from a LBD to your jeans. Don’t apologize for the indulgence and don’t make the excuse you forgot to switch bags. These pieces are intentional.
Detailed blouses – ruffles, prints, bejeweled, bedazzled, florals. The details are what set these apart from the button downs. Wear them with tailored pants, under a suit or with a great pencil skirt. But save your tees, layered tanks and dressy halters etc for your jeans. Personally, I love the smart menswear look. A classic pair of black or white trousers and a great blouse always looks smart and fresh. And I will mix it up – sexy powerhouse or hopeless romantic - depending on my mood. Rachel Bilson was photographed not too long ago wearing a classic pair of almost black pants and a silk blouse with a sunglass print. Killer outfit. I just bought a great Hugo Boss black and white print blouse that I intend to copy the look. I bet you can also find some oldies but goodies in your closet. I know I have a “suddenly new again” blush color (another trend for spring) blouse that has both ruffled sleeves and metal studded floral applique sleeves (more spring ’08 trends) that I will wear yet another season with a great pencil skirt or those white pants and brown platforms.
Wedges – I am forever grateful to the person who created these saviors. And luckily, they are here to stay. Gold metallic to canvas espadrille – wear them with absolutely anything. And you can find them at every price level. Cost per wear, my gold Prada’s are worth their weight, well, in gold. But I am also open to cuter, cheaper ones for the beach. If you are under 5′ 6″, buy as many as you can.
Belts - I have always adored belts but really only for jeans. However, my friend Maria has got me wearing them with just about anything these days. A great belt can enhance or change any look. RIght now, both skinny and big bold belts are in. Try them over a slouchy (not chunky) thin longer cashmere cardigan, with an empire waist dress or over a long shirt. I have two new belts this season. The first is a dark gray super thick waist corset from Gary Graham. I wear it with a navy blue goddess short dress that honestly looks like nothing until you cinch that puppy in as much as you can with the belt and slip on a pair of high boots or chunky platforms. The other is a brown patent leather medium width Marni. I bought this at Louis to wear over a black sheath dress that looked a little too proper until Maria added it to the dress. Entirely different attitude now.
The Trench – another staple in my opinion. But sadly to say I have yet to find the perfect one for me. I am on the prowl for either a great classic khaki one or a somewhat dressier black little number. I met Tim Gunn last week. He met my friend Sarah and I for lunch on the upper East Side (so Gossp Girl I know). Sarah’s boyfriend bough her this treat at an auction at one of my client’s events. I just happened to be in town the day she redeemed it and had the pleasure of meeting him too. Love love love him by the way. Anyway, part of her stylist experience was for him to take her shopping. First thing they bought was a black trench. Enough said!
The Dress – summer dresses are my all time favorite. This season there are a variety of styles and lengths to choose from and I suggest you embrace them all. Long maxi print dresses are hot right now and can be worn day or night. Bold prints look fierce with patent leather platforms or simple flats (did I really just write that?). Floral frocks are also huge right now. Try them with a belted cardigan or thin leather jacket to not look so girly. Need to run some errands during the day and then grab a cocktail with your hubby or a BFF a bit later? Try a simple tee shirt dress. Either short and swingy with some metallic flips or gladiators or a sleek (but not clingy) tank with your wedges. Clu, Splendid and Ella Moss have some cute, wallet friendly ones right now. Add one of those statement necklaces from above and you are instantly chic’er for cocktails. And the classic shirt dress is also an easy number to dress up or down. Again try with a belt and bold necklace to help really make your mark. And that being said, you might want to think about how many buttons you button or unbutton here too! Dresses can highlight our assets and our unleash our womanly powers. Why you ask? Simply because guys can not pull off the look.
Bold accents – I saved this one for last because it is the trend I am struggling with the most. Open up my closet and you see a sea of black, brown, charcoal, denim and white. I do have some color – some red tops, a blue dress, some prints and florals but that is truly it. Bold colors are everywhere this season. Yellow shoes, green bags, enamel jewel colored bangles, 80′s inspired chartreuse dresses and rainbow colored jeans. There is an entire palette out there that I have not even begun to explore. I think the best advice is to dress your age and to know what looks best on you. I don’t see myself investing in any lime green numbers, but I do plan on sporting this great bright purple stoned chunky bracelet as an accent to black and white and may even try stacking a few colored bangles as well.
See how easy it is to build your outfits. Now go have some fun in your closet and in the stores. Instant chic is in your spring forecast.
Filed under: My Cookie Jar
Okay I think they exaggerated on this one but I have to admit snow days are fun!
Here are my top ten things to do on a Snow Day:
1. Sleep In
3. Make comfort food (I am thinking pasta tonight)
4. Take a walk (before it turns to brownish gray yuck city color)
5. Watch a movie
6. Watch all the shows you Tivo’d or DVR’d all week
7. Internet shopping
8. Drink hot cocoa
9. Drink red wine
10. Go to bed early
Filed under: My Cookie Jar
This weekend all I wanted to do is forget about everything that is dancing around in my head. I am juggling alot these days – personally and professionally – and was craving a good massage and someone else’s life. So much so that we passed on a few social engagements. I always feel badly doing this as sometimes our friends think that I am being snobby or distant. I am not. But perhaps a tad selfish.
Rest, regroup and someone’s elses worries, unpredictable situations and goals are what I wanted to focus on. Or I guess more accurately to really not to focus on. I wanted absolutely no control.
Skip to I am completely absorbed in a 90 minute identity theft, love story, hunt and never ending chase. See already I forgot about all my concerns. Thankfully I am not Jason Bourne. Or Julia Stiles for that matter – her highligths looked horrible. And she was wondering why he didn’t make a pass at her. . .
Anyway it was a good movie. Predictable yes, but it did the trick for me last night. And it also got me thinking about why I love the movies, and yes, my all time favorites. So in no order in today’s cookie jar are are my top 10 all time favorite movies. Grab some popcorn and twizzlers.
1. The Thomas Crown Affair – love Pierce, love art and absolutley loved Renee Russo’s wardrobe. I love the original too but Celine did not exist then, so for outfits alone I have to go with the remake. That black lace dress was fierce.
2. Cinema Paradiso – it was the last movie I ever saw with my grandfather. Ironically, the movie centers around the main character’s memories of his childhood. My Papa was the best.
3. Pretty Woman - I have watched this movie more times than I can remember and can probably recite the lines from every scene. Edwin Lewis is one of my all time favorite heroes too.
4. Love Actually – is actually a Christmas movie with the perfect sentiment and a great soundtrack. The scene when the guy speaks to the true but forbidden love of his life via messages on cards melts me.
5. Finding Nemo – Dude, I adore this little fish and put it in when I am sad and need to cheer up. It also reminds me of a college friend’s little girl who I have only met once in my life. We were in the ocean in Puerto Rico a few years ago and she was shouting at the water in Spanish. I asked Moomie what she was saying and she told me she was calling her friend Nemo. I joined her.
6. Sixteen Candles – reminds me of high school – my friends, my boyfriends, the cliques, the proms and basically what is was like to be a teenager. Oh and I wanted to marry Jake.
7. Pulp Fiction - this movie was pop culture. The year it came out I dressed as Mrs. Mia Wallace for Halloween. My husband made a mouse pad out of this picture of me. Guess he liked the movie and the look too.
8. Life is Beautiful – I cry every time I watch this film. The circumstances horrific, but love the father had for his little boy is absolutely beautiful and his imagination, an inspiration. Bongiorno principessa.
9. Breakfast Tiffany’s – yes I know its a classic. There is a reason for that. Audrey Hepburn was one cool lady.
10. Me, Myself and Irene – I had to list it. . . I am in it.
Filed under: My Cookie Jar
I just love when my “fans” write in asking questions and wanting info. Hell I just love that I have fans! Sharky as requested, this one’s for you.
The top 10 Beantown restaurants in my cookie jar right now (you know me) are listed below. Please note, they are in no particular order. These are just the places that I love to go and like each one for very different and specific reasons. Shocker!
1. Uni – best sushi and sashimi bar around. Order the fish tacos, poke, wagu and an Enter the Dragon. This drink has changed lives.
2. La Verdad – best guac ever and the margaritas with the agave juice are like drinking fruit punch. Sometimes they go down a little too easy. Hola Amigo!
3. Mistral – Order the lambs lettuce and Dover sole. Always good, always a scene (well at least when my posse is in the house). Did I ever tell you about the night we didn’t realize the place had closed and we were still at our table trying to order more wine. Chairs placed upside down on the tables so they could sweep is normally a good tip off. . .
4. Neptune – If you like oysters, this is your place. The bellinis are pearls too. Forget the tables – eat at the bar. I like it because its nestled in the North End but you feel like you are in a tiny little French bistro. Also because the oyster/bellini combo has a great effect on me. . .
5. Boston Public Meat – The ribs, salmon and buttered and salted edamame are fierce. And it doesn’t hurt that you can simply walk in this magic door and pow you are in one of the best stores in the country. AmEx loves this place for the very same reasons. Believe it or not we have stories here too. . .lunch lasted nine hours one day or was it nine bottles of wine?
6. Sonsie – Get the Mee Krob and it will instantly become one of your all time favorite dishes. Oh and check out their drink list. They named a drink after moi. My Mom wanted to take home the menu to show her friends. She is proud of the fact her daughter frequents the place so much they named an adult beverage after her. Got to love my Mom and got to support your local watering hole.
7. No. 9 Park – Great place for a date! No other description needed.
8. Butcher Shop – Great wine bar and great snacks. The bolognese is out of this world. I stock pile it in my freezer. I am also a huge fan of the mint pea soup. Love sipping a glass of wine while waiting for my meat order. Also the best Sunday afternoon winter spot to hang and get cozy.
9. Shabu Zen – Japanese hot pots and yummy smoothies. Opposites attract right? This place is always good, always packed and it’s good for you. How can that be? Great for the power, but not in your face power lunch.
10. Toro – okay one word. Corn. No bull – get the corn. Wash it down with pitchers of sangria. Sit at the community table and make a new friend. Don’t share your corn.