Wednesday, August 31, 2011

J Brand Announces Sportswear Collection

Photo credit and story details:  WWD

Summer is not over, yet I am already looking forward to Spring 2012 when J. Brand launches their new 140 piece sportswear line.  As reported on WWD this morning, the collection includes leather jackets, tops, pants, and skirts.  Donald Oliver, new design director, is heading the operation.  “From day one, we wanted her [the customer] to be easygoing, uncomplicated, subtly sophisticated," said Oliver. "We wanted her to feel relevant, not trendy, not like she’s trying too hard, which is why I think the garments have an ease about them.”
I have always considered Vince to be my favorite band when it comes to timeless sportswear that always feels right.  However, the J., Brand launch will be challenging that come 2012, based on the preview looks and my fanatical obsession with their jeans.
What about you?  Are you a J Brand fan?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Barbie Needs a Pool Boy

The closest I come to collecting anything is when I curate items to hang in my closet.  But these Barbie® dolls available today on Gilt made me smile.  The Palm Beach ones are my favorite.  Can't you just imagine them at an evening soiree with the gossip flying over gin gimlets? 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Salad Days of Summer


Last Summer, I decided to do myself a favor and have one go-to dish that I could whip up for all those barbeques and last minute backyard picnics that pop up once the weather turns warm.  That idea served me so well; I wanted to share the recipe with you.
Orzo Salad with Feta
Ingredients
One cup of orzo
Half pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half
Half of a seedless cucumber, peeled (I leave little ribbons of the skin on for added color) and rough chopped)
3-4 ounces crumbled feta (I use the Whole Foods brand, comes in a 6 ounce tub)
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped basil (if you love basil like me, you can add more)
1 and ½ teaspoons of  red wine vinegar (lemon juice also works really well, but increase it to 2 Tablespoons)
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons kalmata olives, rough chop, if desired.
(If you happen to have fresh mint on hand, a couple of  leaves very finely chopped adds a nice flavor element.  No need to make a purchase just for this)
Execution
Cook the orzo in well salted water according to package instructions.
While the orzo cooks, whisk the vinegar and oil in a bowl.  Taste and adjust as desired, add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the orzo is done, toss in the vinaigrette (the warm orzo will absorb the flavors perfectly) sprinkle the chopped fresh herbs, toss again.  Next add the vegetables and olives if using.  Lastly, add the feta and gently toss (you do not want to completely break up all the crumbles of feta, it’s nice to have some little bits running throughout and some bigger pieces).
Enjoy!  This is one of those dishes that really is fool proof.  Love feta?  Add more.  Do not have cucumber on hand?  Use the entire pint of tomatoes. 
Make it a meal
And fresh cooked shrimp or cubes of grilled chicken to make a one dish summer meal, perfect for packing up in a picnic basket.

Friday, April 1, 2011

On the Fringe


Anthropologie fringed basket bag, $238

When I first spotted Anthropologie’s fringed basket bag in a catalog, I was smitten.  It seemed like the perfect thing to wear with this designer I love.  But after looking at it online, now I can’t make up my mind.  And, since I am planning on getting these which I know I will live in it seems like, with the bag, it will just be overkill.  What do you think? 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adoration for Adore Home Magazine

Image property of Adore Home Magazine
Adore Home Magazine just released their April/May edition and it is full of inspiring rooms and great decorating tips.  This online publication comes to us from Australia and is my go-to source for new ideas when it comes to decorating. 

Everything they showcase looks refined but comfortable, unique but welcoming.  Scroll down to see some of my favorite looks from their new magazine.  Take a look for yourself and see how Adore does Spring.  See anything you like?







Image property of Adore Home Magazine


Image property of Adore Home Magazine







Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ryann Rose Designs

Triple Wrap Light Aventurine Beaded Bracelet

With Spring ushering in such strong changes to fashion’s silhouettes, the time is perfect not only to refresh what’s hanging in your closet, but also to take a look at updating your jewelry box too.  Ryann Rose Designs is a new Etsy shop filled with the kind of pieces I want to wear right now.  The beaded bracelets will look perfect with wide leg jeans, chunky platforms and airy tops.  Or, pick up one of the statement rings.  These rings manage to be striking while still having that casual bohemian vibe so they work equally well for day or evening. 
In addition to the Etsy store, where prices range from $15 - $40, Ryann Rose Designs also takes custom orders.  I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my triple beaded bracelet in red bamboo coral.
What about you?  What is your favorite in her shop?


Disclosure: Delicious is related to the Ryann Rose designer by marriage, however this is not a sponsored post.

Friday, March 25, 2011

J. Crew Launches Blog



Because you love “Jenna’s Picks”, because if J. Crew had an offical season it would certainly be Spring, because you already read this month’s Vogue, because you can’t think of one reason not to click here and read J. Crew’s new blog.
And oh, Happy Friday.  What you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Perfect Chair

Images property of Herman Miller

After I bought my first loft in downtown Chicago, I spent any lunch hour I could sneak out of the office shopping for it.  On my wish list was this molded plywood chair by Charles and Ray Eames.  Originating in 1946, it’s still a timeless classic today.  In fact in 1999 it made Time magazine’s “Best of the Century” list for design, beating out the Swatch watch, which was a runner up.  Alas, I sold my loft before I ever acquired the chair.  I wanted it in cherry red back then, but I think I am leaning towards walnut now.  How about you?  What color would you pick?

A Fashion Favorite Returns


Images Property of Haute Hippie

We here at Delicious are breathing a big sigh of relief.  Haute Hippie’s website is back online.  Taken down for a few months to re-tool, the new site includes the Spring look book and Haute Hippie’s look books are always a delight to flip through.
I discovered Haute Hippie about two years ago, stumbling upon their website while I was shopping online (when I should have been catching up on emails, no doubt).  I was instantly drawn to the uniqueness of their designs and timeless, wanderlust feel to them. I remember seeking out a shop in Chicago to go see their wares in person, concerned that the look book may not represent as well in real life. Has that happened to you?  You fall in love online only to be let down when you meet the real thing?  Not the case here.  The care Haute Hippie puts into the design of their fashion is carried right through to the details of execution.  Back then, they were a few people working out of an apartment in New York.  But it is nice to see they have managed to grow without losing touch with what made them so wonderful in the first place: truly unique pieces created with an eye for detail and a care for craftsmanship.
So often when you hear the words “timeless classic” in fashion you think of ballet flats, little black dresses and Chanel-inspired jackets.  For me Haute Hippie is a fashion timeless classic for very different reasons.  Haute Hippie has the bohemian, jet -set feel of a one of a kind frock you score in a flea market overseas.  You know, that dress, bag or belt that is yours and yours alone?  So take a look at how Haute Hippie does Spring. I guarantee you, the wide leg jeans you are snatching up right now will eventually take a backseat in your closet, but you will reach for your Haute Hippie year after year.
Haute Hippie is available in a number department stores including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.  Shopbop.com is where I typically get mine.

So, what did you think of their look book?

Monday, March 21, 2011

C/FAN Fan


Chicago designer Christina Fan's C/FAN 2011 Spring/Summer look book, is just one more reason we are so happy that Spring is finally here.  Her designs capture a sense of movement and have an effortless feel about them.  While plenty of designers are showing ballet-inspired looks for Spring, unlike some, Fan manages to keep the look from turning into a costume.  With pieces that range from dresses to tunics to shorts, you will have a hard time picking just one.  I am already on a waiting list at one Chicago boutique for the caftan, to start with.
For availability, click here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Little Miss Hits the Marc

Miss Marc by Marc Jacobs USB key chain, $38, ShopBop
Office girls of the 50s knew to always have a mini sewing kit, nail file and extra stockings on hand.  I’d say that list still holds, with the addition of a USB jump drive.  USB drives have saved me many times, like when the wireless connection went down minutes before a big presentation or when I needed to do a quick print job in a hotel’s business center.
This Miss Marc by Marc Jacobs USB key chain will make sure I am never without a trusty drive.  Miss Marc has popped up on everything from t-shirts to totes over the years.  While I like her quirky-cute look, at thirty-ahem-something years of age, donning a shirt with her on it never seemed quite right.  But this key chain fits the bill perfectly and I won’t have to worry about anyone at my office walking off with my drive.
What about you?  Do you always have a USB drive on hand?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love, the Second Time Around

Do you ever contemplate a purchase, decide against it, and regret doing do ever since?  Oh, I have been positively haunted by some of the things that I let get away.  But with Google, I find myself on occasion typing in the lost item with the hopes it pops up on eBay or elsewhere.  
About four years back, I was putting my husband through a University of Michigan graduate school program and watching every penny.  So despite the fact that a certain resin Marc Jacobs white guitar pendant watch necklace was at a “last call” price in my Neiman Marcus shopping cart, I let it go.  I was drawn to the ease and playfulness of it.  It seemed like just the thing I would throw on with one of the grey t shirts I live in and my Supergas, say to take in the Dinosaur Jr. concert that was paying down the street.  Or some for some other occasion where I could, ironically, care less about the time.   
With thanks to eBay, I will soon know if love really is sweeter the second time around.  And, even better, my necklace will be here just in time for me to throw it on with a grey t shirt to watch the Old 97’s play down the street.
So, how about you?  Anything you have let languish in your shopping cart only to regret it later?

Funny Valentine

Photo is property of Mattia Biagi
I have always loved Mattia Biagi’s tar teddy bear.  Perhaps a little sinister to some, I like the way it takes an innocent form, the common teddy bear, and makes you look at it in a completely different perspective.  The tar drips give the bear a sense of movement before it becomes frozen in time. What does it make you think of?  Does it conjure emotions of the innocence of childhood morphing into something else? 

Friday, February 11, 2011

TGIF

Photograph by Romulo Yanes
How happy are we that it is Friday?  I am not sure what was going on around the blog o’sphere this week but it seems like everyone was anxiously waiting for this day to arrive, me included.  So now that it is here, what are you planning to do this weekend?  I am using dog sitting as a great excuse to stay in and cook the entire weekend.  First up, Saturday breakfast:
Have a Delicious weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Scream, You Scream

Years back, I headed to Cincinnati, OH for a press check.  Despite broken print presses, sleeping in the print shop lounge, and one very difficult client, the whole trip was worth it because I got introduced to Graeter’s ice cream.  Established in 1870, Graeter's uses the French pot process which incorporates much less air in the ice cream than other methods, resulting in the thickest, creamiest ice cream I have ever tasted. 
They ship all over the country, so one Father’s Day I sent my Dad several pints.   He could barely stop eating long enough to call to tell me how amazing it was.  Prices range from $60 to $80 for 6 pints, and $90 to $120 for 12 pints, depending on the shipping area.  Greater’s would make a sweet Valentine’s Day gift.  If an endorsement from Delicious does not have you convinced, according to the February edition of Vogue, Graeter’s is just what Jeanna Lyons is giving this year.

I am curious, do you eat ice cream in the winter or is it just a warm weather treat?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

City in a Box


I always like to buy travel-themed gifts for my nieces, and these wooden cityscapes from Muji  are just perfect.  In fact, I think I might have to get the Paris one for my home office.  Which city is your favorite?   


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Target’s Latest Designer Collaboration Flies Under the Radar

Linea Pelle for Target Studded Hobo in Black $34.99
Available February–June
Since the first Michael Graves whistling teakettle, Target has been known for “bringing design to all.” Their fashion collaborations are usually advertised in glossies and on TV.  Video on Target.com would showcase designers speaking about the collection and the experience of partnering with Target. Editorial coverage ranged from the Wall Street Journal to Vogue.
So it’s surprising that their current collaboration with Linea Pelle has been available in stores since February 2, with barely a mention.  I spotted the handbags, make-up bags and accessories completely by accident while running errands. 
Admittedly some of Target’s handbag collections have left me cold, such as the recent Mulberry one.  Making a quality faux leather is tricky but the Linea Pelle line is worth a look.  There is a cornflower blue top handle bag that would be perfect for Spring and the black one pictured here will hold you over until then.  The line is part of Target’s Spring 2011 Trend Accessories Collection and prices range from $4.99 to $49.99 for handbags, scarves, jewelry, hats and shoes.  While select items from the collection are availible online, the Linea Pelle items are not (as of press time). 
I am curious, would you have made a trip to Target just to check out the line had you known about it?  Will you go now?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vanilla Vixen Cakes

Saturday, I met up with friends at one of our favorite bars in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Bar on Buena.  When the waitress overheard that I had celebrated my birthday the previous evening, she came out with large piece of chocolate cake for all of us to share.  One bite and I knew I had to tell you all about it and how to get it. 
Now, I have had cakes from many of Chicago’s popular bakeries, but this is one of the finest chocolates cakes I have ever had in the city.  This cake had rich chocolate flavor that was the perfect balance between sweet and bittersweet.  The frosting was creamy perfection, chocolate as well but not too much to overpower the cake.  There was also a hint of shredded coconut that added an element of sweet surprise, but what really won me over was the flavor of the chocolate and how light and fluffy the cake was.  Everyone at the table agreed, even my best guy friend who doesn’t even consider himself that much of a chocolate person.
Then, I came to learn that our waitress’s generosity was not the only thing behind the surprise dessert.  She baked it herself!  Heather Reardon of Vanilla Vixen Cakes supplies local restaurants with her confections and also takes custom orders.  My advice this Valentine’s Day, skip the whole prix fixe menu ordeal, stay in, and order one of her cakes to celebrate. 

Besides being delicious, don't you just love her company's name?
For more information or to place an order contact: heather@vanillavixencakes.com

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shake it Up

Modern Salt and Pepper Shakers
I have needed new salt and pepper shakers for, oh I’d say about a year now.  What’s the hold up in getting on that, you ask?  Why the opportunity at stake, of course.  I can’t make up my mind.  Do I go with something whimsical and colorful from Alessi? Or something understated, like these brushed nickel ones from Calvin Klein?

Helping, and at the same time delaying, my decision is Design Milk’s round up of salt and pepper shakers.  A long-time follower of Design Milk, I nearly fell off my chair when I read their Facebook post, “Behind Design Milk there is just a girl who loves design. “A” girl runs this blog?  The features are so diverse; the coverage is so in-depth; the design so lovely, I assumed it was a team of people. 
So please, visit Design Milk and tell me what you think.  And, oh, back to the task at hand.  What salt and pepper shakers would you buy if you were me? 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Chicken Challenge

Martha Stewart Collection Dinnerware, Kensington 4 Piece Place Setting
At one point, I was weighing the option of leaving Chicago to live in East Lansing, Michigan, home of the Michigan State Spartans and a “certain someone” who I had taken up with.  Convincing me that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this person was easy.  Convincing me to sell my downtown Chicago loft and move to a college town in my home state of Michigan was a bit of a harder sell.
But there was one restaurant, nestled in a strip mall of all places, that helped make the whole proposition of moving a lot more appealing.  And that restaurant is Dusty’s Wine Bar, located just outside of East Lansing in Okemos.  From the macadamia encrusted pork loin, to the whitefish with truffled grits, every dish I had there was delicious.  It’s been about five years since I have eaten at Dusty’s but one of my favorite dinners there has been on my mind so much lately, chicken breasts stuffed under the skin with herb gourney cheese, sun dried tomatoes and spinach.   
Since that dish continued to haunt me, I started Googling for recipes that would help me re-create it, unfortunately nothing came close.  But when I sat down to read the sale fyliers Saturday morning and make my shopping list for the week, I saw chicken breasts, organic spinach and gourney cheese all on sale.  It was like I was being called out to just make the dish.  I mean, how hard can stuffed chicken be?
Fast forward a few hours and I was unwrapping chicken breasts from Whole Foods.  They were perfection, air-chilled and pink like the inside of seashell.  De-boning while maintaining the skin was the first task.  I suppose I could have asked the butcher, but that would have felt like cheating.  And with that complete I set about stuffing the breasts with the mixture I made of sautéed spinach and sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped and blended with the gourney cheese.   Next, I carefully tucked the ends of the skin under in the hopes of preserving the seal.
But it was not the assembly that made me nervous about this dish.  It was the actual execution.  Dusty’s always managed to serve chicken that had that perfectly golden crispy skin, a lovely pocket of filling and moist tender meat.  How was I going to manage to get that kind of sear on the outside without oozing cheese everywhere to burn in the pan?  How was I going to roast off in the oven to finish the cooking process without drying out the meat, especially now that I have removed the bones?  Pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees, I decided on a sear in the pan for 2 minutes and 14 minutes of roasting time to complete the dish.     
I selected vegetable oil for its high smoke point and heated my All-Clad fry pan at medium high-high.  While I waited for the oil to ripple, I popped my chicken back into the refrigerator.  I wanted that cheese mixture as cold as possible once it hit the hot pan.  I figured the only way this was going to work was if the skin cooked fast enough to get the necessary seal before the cheese heated up to ooze everywhere.
Double-checking that the skin was dry as possible, the chicken went in skin side down.  I set my timer for two minutes and resisted all temptation to lift the chicken to check on it once it went down, to avoid tearing the delicate skin.  While the skin sizzled at a somewhat alarming pitch, I made sure my range exhaust was turned on high and felt that there was a good chance of setting off the smoke alarm.  As the last seconds ticked on and I got down to eye level, I was pleased to see a golden amber color creeping up the sides of the meat.  For the first time since I started, I felt like I just might pull this off.  I used tongs to grab the chicken and flip it with confidence then thrust the whole pan into the oven.  The skin looked like amber, crispy perfection now, but how was it going to hold up in the oven to finish the cooking?  With the pan still sizzling loudly and drops of oil smoking in the pan, the thought of starting a grease fire in my oven crossed my mind.
I paced the kitchen like a father outside of the delivery room.  Those 14 minutes seemed like an eternity.  To pass the time, I grilled asparagus and dressed it simply with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.  Finally the moment of truth, the timer went off.  I removed the pan and let the chicken rest on a plate.  There was no way I was going to foil tent it and run the risk of steam ruining that perfect skin.
Cutting into the breast anticipation turned to excitement.  And, with the first bite my excitement turned to elation.  The chicken’s skin was crispy, the cheese filling perfectly intact, the meat moist, tender and juicy.  With one bite, I was back at Dusty’s and in heaven.
What about you, have you ever tried to re-create a favorite dish?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Step Into Spring

It may be another cold, wintery morning here in the midwest, but I am thinking Spring today thanks to H&M.  They have renewed what’s in stores now with florals, breezy silhouettes and fabrics, and punches of color. 
These shoes caught my eye.  I like the architecture of the heel and the ankle wrap style would be so supportive and comfy.  Not to mention the color! 
I can just imagine them with a Honeysuckle pedicure.  And at $34.95, the shoes are quite the bargain.  Available in black too.  Now, what would you wear with these shoes?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You Can Turn it Around

Designers showing sweaters that button up the back is not exactly new.  Marc Jacobs did it in his Fall 2010 collection, Vogue’s February edition features a lemon yellow Max Mara bodysuit that does the same.  Then there are the sweater girls of the 1950s who we can possibly credit for originating the trend by turning around their crewneck cardigans.
But there is something so intriguing about the styling of this conventional v neck sweater, turned backwards, by J. Crew.  Turning around a v neck sweater and buttoning it up the back is so deliberate, it’s more engaging than donning a top that is cut to be backless.
What do you think?  Are you willing to give this look a spin?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Clear for Take-off

Editor’s note: this is not a sponsored post.

Day Five of our "What to Pack?" Series
In our final installment of travel essentials, we turn our attention to the one product I can’t embark on a journey without: Pond’s® wet cleansing towelettes.  I discovered these when the TSA cracked-down on gels and liquids in carry-on luggage and I wanted to swap my facial cleanser for a cleansing cloth.  I tried a few brands before I discovered Pond’s and trust me, not all cleansing cloths are created equal.
The Ponds model foams up and works, without a drop of water. The texture of the cloth removes all make up, even waterproof mascara and eyeliner, without tugging or irritating.   I recently took them on a two week trip and noticed after using the cloths for that long, my complexion improved overall (clearer, better moisturized skin).  In fact, I loved them so much when I returned from my trip, I started using them as my daily routine, not just for travel.  Two separate people asked me what I was doing different with my face the week I got back. 

They come in packs of 30 and I have found travel packs of 5 at Target.  I keep a travel pack in my carry-on and use them to remove make up prior to a trans-Atlantic nap.  That, and a healthy dose of night cream, let’s me wake up without my mascara under my eyes and the dry skin that stale airplane air causes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Carry On

Day Four of our "What to Pack?" Series
When I was in college, I borrowed my father’s camera for an introductory photography class I was taking.  Dad was a photojournalist with the Army in Vietnam, so when he delivered the camera to me it was still in his U.S. issued, army green shell bag with a well-worn leather strap.  I loved that bag and needless to say when the class was over, I returned the camera but kept the bag. 
The year was 1993 and that Christmas, under the tree, was my very own shell bag, complements of Dad from Duluth Pack.  If you have never heard of the Duluth Pack, get friendly immediately.  Their products are timeless, guaranteed for life, made in the USA and beyond reasonably priced.  And, if an endorsement from Delicious is not enough, what about Barney’s?  Duluth collaborated with the New York fashion force to produce an exclusive line.  And, out of respect for Duluth, I am not one to drop names but I can tell you Barney’s is not the only retailer who is interested in their wares.  
Eighteen years later, I am still carrying that same bag on my journeys (and in my daily life).  Oh sure, at times it went to the back of the closet for a spell (you remember the “it” bag trend after all, don’t you?) but I always come back to my shell bag.  I love it for travel because it can hold all the essentials but the blend of canvas with leather makes it more lightweight than an all-leather bag, plus I love the contrast of materials.  And last Spring when I saw Chloe roll out the military trend in their looks, I put down my wallet and pulled my Duluth bag out from the closet.
Priced at $80 and available in a variety of colors.

So what do you think, is the return to all-American craftsmanship for you, or does it make you go running to your Chanel?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Get Wrapped Up in It

Day Three of our "What to Pack?" Series
It seems that airports and planes are either chilly or sweltering, but never just right.  Layering works well for trans-Atlantic flights and a big, comfy scarf is a must.  I always travel with at least one long, wide scarf that can double as a blanket or wrap in-flight and at my final destination.  All scarves work well because they are so versatile, but don’t add a lot of weight or bulk to your suitcase.  You can use a longer oblong scarf as a belt one day, headband the next.  Or, tie a square scarf into a turban-a look that I have been seeing more and more of lately. 
In terms of versatility, this organic cotton scarf from Organic Giraffe is about as good as it gets.  It is light weight enough to loop the neck, but unfurls to a full wrap.  For sales info, contact sales@organicgiraffe.com.  And the stripes seem just right for Spring, don’t you think?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

These Boots were Made for Walking

Day Two of our "What to Pack?" Series
Now that you have picked your perfect travel coat, the second most important item to consider for your travel wardrobe is your footwear for day.  Of course you need something fashionable, but it also must withstand walking long distances, navigating over cobblestones and climbing the stairs of say the piazza di Spagna, aka the Spanish steps, in Rome. 
When I was looking to build my travel wardrobe, I knew a flat boot was just what I needed and spent considerable time searching out the perfect pair.  After much debate, I settled on my Paige boots from Frye in “saddle”.  I felt the camel color was a bit unexpected and would work well with the skinny dark denim jeans I live in on trips.  Also, the style was unique and would lend itself well to the inevitable “distressing” that comes with any journey. 
My advice: after you have purchased your perfect travel boots, test drive them on a long walk at home to break them in properly, ensure you pack the correct weight of sock and to see if you need to get any inserts for them.


What is your favorite footwear for day when you travel?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't Trip Up: Travel Packing Made Easy

I have the good fortune of doing a fair amount of international leisure travel, which I love.  And I forever seem to be answering the question, “When you take a trip overseas, what are your must-have items?”  So each day this week I will be featuring a different item that I consider to be the perfect traveling companion and why it works so well.
The coat you wear is of utmost importance when you take a trip.  You need something that works for touring sites outside (no matter the weather), is not too bulky to have on inside museums and such, elegant enough for dinner or the theater, and practical enough for hoping on a train for a day trip.  For me, that’s my rain-proof Burberry trench with a zip out wool lining.  I purchased my coat back in 2002 and it is still a staple of my travel wardrobe.  A Burberry is an investment piece, but when I think of all of the use I have gotten out of mine it has definitely earned it’s keep.  The trench style is one of the most fashionable and practical choices a girl can put on before she takes off.
This silhouette can elevate the most basic of looks, as a defined waist brings polish.  Water-proofing and a removable lining let’s you travel through variety of climates with ease.  Alas, I scoured the web to try to find my exact coat to share with you, but Burberry does not appear to be making zip out linings anymore.  However, this model features a button trim that changes a full length trench to a cropped one which is another very clever solution.
Here are several takes on this classic style, all at a variety of price points.  

 1, 2, 3, 4 

What about you?  Do you have a favorite coat to take when traveling?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Road Trip!


What are you up to this weekend?  I am braving the winter roads to travel to Michigan with my husband to visit his family.  I am really looking forward to seeing everyone, especially my niece and nephew.  So what’s in my bag?  So glad you asked….


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, *Winter Kate, sold out online.  Originally purchased at shopbop.com.

What are your road trip essentials?  See anything missing here?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creature Comforts

Whenever I have the time, I pop into Bloomingdale’s Home Store downtown Chicago.  Housed in a renovated Medinah temple, shopping under the gorgeous dome and amongst the stain glass windows transcends the browsing experience.  From linens, to silver and china, to kitchen cookery and appliances, you will find it there.  But at Bloomingdale’s the opulent shares shelf space with the whimsy, as evident by this charming dog dish from Alessi that I fell in love with. 
Admittedly, I could not make peace with the $90 piece tag.  But this jar I found for $40 may soon make its way to my shopping cart.  Can’t you just imagine it holding mini dog treats?  
What do you think – design for the dogs taking things too far?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Last week, I brought you my New Year's resolution-friendly lunch time special.  Today, in honor of the snow dump the Midwest received yesterday, I bring you banana bread oatmeal.  This is just what you want to eat on a wintry "I don't want to, but have to" go to work kind of morning.  It has all the flavor of banana bread, but the oatmeal makes it more satisfying for the first meal of the day.  And yes, once again if your New Year's resolution had the word "healthy" in it, this one's for you.

In a microwave- safe, pretty bowl, place:

1/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 small, ripe banana, broken into large pieces
1/3 cup water (note, if using an over-ripe banana use slightly less water)
1 dash of nutmeg
1 dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Microwave on high for 1.5 minutes
Stir vigorously until ingredients are blended and oatmeal is fully cooked.
Add a splash of milk (if desired)
Stir in 1/4 cup walnuts

Enjoy!  Much tastier than any pre-packaged store bought brand and healthier too.  Do you have any favorite weekday morning breakfasts to share?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pantone® Passion

       My first job out of college required a small bit of pre-production work; hence I was awarded a Pantone swatch book to verify color breaks.  As a Communications major, I had never taken a color theory class, let alone saw a Pantone swatch book.  I quickly became obsessed with flipping through the book, picking out everything from potential home décor colors to color combinations I simply thought looked fantastic.  Ever since then, Pantone always makes me smile.

      Whitbread Wilkinson - W2, a London based design firm, sells Pantone giftware globally online with items such as purses, book bags, notebooks and more.  But my personal favorite is their mugs.  I mean, how can your day be anything less than fantastic when it begins with coffee from your very own Pantone Mug in Egg Yolk 137 C?  Enjoy a 10% discount on orders placed in January.
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