Archive for June, 2013

If You are Not Headed to Puglia

  • 27th June 2013

Then, you need to make this pasta for yourself!


There’s the beautiful picture, the flavors it conjures up in our mind (and mouth) and the intimation that it’s a little-known Puglian secret to perfect pasta.  Sold!  We had to try the ‘One-Pan’ Pasta heralded in Martha Stewart.


One Pan Pasta Martha Stewart Puglia

The tantalizing picture of their starting pot. Photo Courtesy of: Martha Stewart Living

One Pot Pasta Martha Stewart

Our starting pot also looked gorgeous (we think!).







The secret here, as is apparent from the pictures above, is that the chef placed dried pasta in the pot with water and all the ingredients for the sauce.  They all boil together and claim to deliver perfectly cooked pasta with a decadent sauce that “coats every strand.”

It was just as good as it looks and sounds!


Perfect One Pan Pasta

Perfectly cooked, coated and delicious.



We used:

1 box of linguine dried pasta

1/2 white onion thinly sliced

1 generous bunch of basil

2 boxes of cherry tomatoes halved

6 cloves of garlic cut in thirds length-wise

Generous pour of good quality olive oil

3 heaping quarter-size mounds of sea salt

Lots of freshly ground pepper

(We skipped the crushed red-pepper since we were serving children, but recommend using it for adults)

5 1/2 cups of water (However, this is 1 cup too much.  If you do not want to ladle out water (see below, it can be useful) then only use 4 1/2 cups)



The trick here is figuring out how much water to use.  However, if you are in the kitchen while it’s cooking you can always ladle out any excess water as everything cooks.  Our step-by-step pictures walk you through it:


One Pan Pasta Starting

The start before the stove is ignited.




One Pot Pasta

Starting to boil.




One pot pasta




One Pot Pasta

We ladled out some water.



We ladled out about a bowlful of water.  Don’t count this as a mistake.  If you taste this broth it has an amazing robust flavor.

Freeze it to use in soups to add flavor or thickness from the starch

Use it in mashed potatoes, quinoa, risotto anything you would use broth in

Save it to add moisture to left over pasta the next day



One Pot Pasta

Almost done….



At this point you have to make sure you are stirring it occasionally with a large fork.  It will start to stick now and the starch makes it extra sticky.  



One Pot Pasta




You can add cheese, but the textures are so silky and rich you don’t need it.  Another sprinkle of fresh pepper and a few herbs are always welcome, but also not necessary.  The pasta tasted delicious the next day as well.




Parting Words…

  • 27th June 2013

If kids can learn how to make a simple Bolognese sauce, they will never go hungry. It’s pretty easy to cook pasta, but a good sauce is way more useful.


Emeril Lagasse



Voleur: Steal this Strapless Look

  • 26th June 2013

You’ve definitely seen this look before, but with the slew of chic strapless dresses available this summer trying it is a must!  The underlying t-shirt is most commonly done in white, but we’ll try a few bright colors below too just to keep it fresh & fun!


Emma Stone in Lanvin

Emma Stone looks lovely in Lanvin. Photo Courtesy of: InStyle

Katy Perry in Dolce & Gabbana

Katy Perry in Dolce & Gabbana. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Magazine





Chances are, you have a black strapless dress in your closet already. But, if you don’t, here are a few to consider.


Lanvin Bow Back Strapless with Brocade Skirt



1.) Lanvin Bow Back Brocade Skirt,, $4,930.00 (Pre-Order, August Delivery Expected)

2.) Izabel London Flower Trim Multi Layer Lace Dress,, £ 26.00

3.) Women’s Leather Panel Strapless Dress by Halston Heritage,, £77.00


4.) Burnout T-Shirt,, $32.00



Bring on Colors!

Any chance we get to mix lemon yellow with french blue and strawberry red we take!


Loft Petite Striped Strapless Flare Dress


Pull it together with…. 


Charlotte Olympia Zodiac Suede Slippers


Petite Striped Strapless Flare Dress,, $98.00

Basic Crop Tee,, $16.00

Charlotte Olympia Zodiac Suede Slippers,, $695.00

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick in No. 4, Deep Strawberry Red,, $34.00



A melon colored ballet t-shirt gives this more formal dress a casual summertime flare.


JCrew Lacey Dress in Cotton Cady


JCrew Lacey Dress in Cotton Cady,, $169.99

Perfect Fit Ballet Button-Tee,, $26.50


Add some great embellishments!


Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Blue Note


Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Blue Note,, $30.00

Lanvin Band Choker Brass,, $486.50

Roberto Cavalli Necklace,, $468.00


Do it Floral!



Zara Floral Print Strapless Dress



Dolce & Gabbana Strapless Floral Print Mini Dress,, $759.50

Zara Floral Print Strapless Dress,, $49.99

Fine Jersey Short Sleeve Women’s T,, $18.00



All you need is a great pair of heels to cap it off:


Sigerson Morrison Keiko High Heels with Studs




Sigerson Morrison Keiko High Heels with Studs,, $237.50

Pollini Closed Toe Patent White Pumps,, $495.00

Luichiny’s Green Daz Ey-Mint,, $74.99



Making Fancy Look Effortless.  White Tank Top Under Organza Strapless.  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Russia.

Making Fancy Look Effortless. White Tank Top Under Organza Strapless. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Russia.

Reflect on This!

  • 25th June 2013

Traffic stopping reflector embellishments are turning up everywhere from Resort 2014 runway shows to bomber jackets for Fall.


Lanvin Dress

Lanvin Embellished Dress. Photo Courtesy of: Paris

Donna Karan Gold Mirror Embellished Onepiece

Donna Karan. Photo Courtesy of: Paris


Mirror, mirror, on me!


Zara Mirrored Waistcoat
Zara Mirror Bomber Jacket



Mirrored Waistcoat,, $69.99

Mirrored Bomber Jacket,, $80.00



InStyle highlighted this ornate mini from Sachin + Babi and we found a similar look with Matthew Williamson.  Each one looks great paired with a monochrome tee.


Sachin + Babi Mirror Embellished Skirt

Sachin + Babi Mirror Embellished Skirt. Photo Courtesy of: InStyle

Matthew Williamson Embroidered Mini Skirt







Matthew Williamson Embroidered Mini Skirt,, $578.44



Denim & Supply Shorts Ralph Lauren

Denim & Supply Shorts Ralph Lauren. Photo Courtesy of Bazaar UK



Two Dresses One Trend… 


Free People Mirror Embellished Swing Dress



Free People Mirror Maze Swing Dress,, $400.00


Matthew Williamson Bhangra Beaded Dress



Matthew Williamson Bhangra Beaded Dress,, $4,045



Less $$ is More


Asos Cropped Sweatshirt with Mirror Embellishment




Asos Cropped Sweatshirt with Mirror Embellishment,, $50.91


Embellished Mirror Statement Necklace


Embellished Mirror Statement Necklace,, $37.00



tasseled paillette pouch




Tasseled Paillette Pouch,, $68.00



Taking the trend inside:


Abeille Side Table Ballard Designs
Sacha Mirror Ballard Designs







Abeille Side Table,, $255.00


Sacha Mirror,, $369.00


Scalloped Diamond Mirror Wisteria




Scalloped Diamond Mirror,, $129.00 (for set of 5)

If You’re Heading to New Delhi…

  • 23rd June 2013

Spotlight:  Nikhil Thampi


Nikhil Thampi Fish & Yellow


When in New Delhi, hunt for contemporary fashions from this fresh talent. With luscious sweeping fabrics dominating his ‘winter’ collections and sheer quirky prints mixed with lemony yellow for his cruise collection, Thampi has shown customers and editors alike the wide range of his craft.


Chain link Dress Nikhil Thampi
Belted Open Dress Nikhil Thampi


For his cruise collection, Thampi references the work of artist Richard Artschwager who is defined by his stylistic independence.


Nikhil Thampi



“His signature works reflect bold minimalism through two-tone geometric installations.. color palette.. and fluid textures. The essence (creating maximum impact using minimum elements) of his works is the crux of my Cruise collection.”



Nikhil Thampi



At the moment, Thampi’s collections are available in two New Delhi locations:  Twist and  The Dressing Room


Gold Pants Nikhil Thampi
Velvet Dress Nikhil Thampi


Thampi is also in talks with retailers outside of India as well as online retailers.  Fantastic!!  So, soon enough we will all be able to slip into his unique cuts and saunter off!!


Nikhil Thampi
Nikhil Thampi




The Dressing Room

Shop No 2, Fiona Building

Juhu Tara Road, next to Aurus



No. 2 Hauz Khas Village

New Delhi, 110016


Savory Summer Vegetable Tart

  • 22nd June 2013
Summer Tarts

Summer Tarts


Whatever your summer soirée, this is one of the easiest summer appetizers to throw together and looks beautifully healthy and fresh as well.


Summer Tarts:


1 packet mini tart shells or pastry cups

1 box good quality crème fraîche

1 bunch dill

1 bunch green onions/scallions

1 bunch chives

Coarse sea salt/fresh ground pepper

1 box cherry tomatoes (preferably heirloom tomatoes that come in a variety of colors)

1 long English cucumber or 2 small Persians



Any fresh summer veggies can be used in these summer tarts which have as their base crème fraîche.    In the above we filled the tart cups 3/4 full with high-quality crème fraîche.  Each cup is topped with a thinly sliced cucumber, skin-on and a cherry tomato halved lengthwise.   Tarts look prettiest collectively if you find a multi-colored basket of heirloom cherry tomatoes that come in varying hues of yellow, red, purple and orange.  Generously sprinkle, chopped dill, chives and scallions on top.  Coarse sea salt and ground pepper add the finishing flourish!


• In lieu of cucumber and tomato sub-in differing bright vegetables:

Thinly shaved heirloom carrots

—Shaved baby beets

—Yellow and green summer squash

—2-3 fresh English peas


• In lieu of dill and chives try garnishing with:

A mix of fresh parsley, fresh basil and thyme

Shaved fresh green beans


• Garnish tarts while they are on your serving tray so that herbs and salt/pepper fall in between the tarts.  The presentation is more, fresh from the garden.


Veggies drying



• Rinse, slice, dry and chop your veggies and herbs the day before, allowing easy assembly the morning of.  Make sure all your veggies and herbs are dry, nothing is worse than a soggy tart!


Surfas Cups

Savory Tart Cups



• We purchased our tart shells from Surfas in Los Angeles, but any variety that is not too sweet will work.



Summer Tarts



• Make sure cups are filled generously and herbs and seasonings are heaped on top.




Game, Set, Match!

  • 21st June 2013

Whether it’s breakfast at Wimbledon, a Derby Festival or Cricket, these chic, sporty pullovers definitely give the nod to old-school sporting style.



Tommy Hilfiger Cricket Jumper

Tommy Hilfiger

Cary Grant Tennis Sweater

Cary Grant dapper in a tennis sweater. Photo Courtesy of:


You can do the oversize cable-knit as a sweater dress with a gauzy slip-like skirt.   Or, don a form fitting version with a crested blazer, channeling Naomi Watts as Lady Diana….


Naomi Watts Tennis Sweater & Crested Blazer

Naomi Watts as Princess Diana. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Italy

Ralph Lauren Wimbledon Collection

The look of Ralph Lauren. Official sponsor of Wimbledon 2013




Some of our favorites:


Joseph Ecru Wool Cotton V-Neck Pullover



Joseph Ecru Wool Cotton V-Neck Pullover,, $434



Tory Burch Ozzy Sweater
Lacoste 75th Anniversary Long Sleeve Cable Knit Cricket Sweater



Tory Burch, Ozzy Sweater, $206.50

Lacoste 75th Anniversary Long Sleeve Cable Knit Cricket Sweater,


Definitely add the ‘tennis sweater’ or ‘cricket pull-over’ to your wardrobe this summer and even as the fans at Wimbledon dissipate, you can wear it well into the fall….whatever you do, don’t pair it with a pleated mini skirt of any kind—stick to pencil, gauzy silk/chiffon or pants.


Tommy Hilfiger Cricket Jumper
Tennis Sweater

Tennis Sweater. Photo Courtesy of:



It’s a ‘Cinch’ with White!

  • 18th June 2013

Summer’s single most sought-after accessory may just be the perfect white belt!  Slap it around a shirt-dress from two seasons past and it looks immediately chic and au courant.  Skinny or extra wide, patent or matte it works wonders on any outfit from short shorts to a jumpsuit.



Giulietta. Photo Courtesy of:

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung. Photo Courtesy of:



Try it extra wide:


White Belt Elle

Photo Courtesy of: Elle




Alaïa perforated wide belt



Alaïa perforated wide belt,, $1225.05



Embossed White Belt Top Shop
Embossed White Belt Top Shop




Embossed Wide Belt,, $80.00



The Sleek Look of Michael Kors:

Michael Kors Navy Skirt with White Belt

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue

Michael Kors Navy Skirt with White Belt


White Coat Michael Kors

Photo Courtesy of: Bazaar Hong Kong



Mix Textures:
Emilio Pucci Canvas & Leather Belt



Emilio Pucci Canvas/Leather Belt,, $895.00


Pair it with any blousey dress!


Emilio Pucci Blouse Dress
Emilio Pucci Blouse Dress




You can do White on White:


Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Collections Paris

Michael Kors

Michael Kors. Photo Courtesy of:




Keep it Simple:


Shorts Vogue India

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue India

Josie Natori

Josie Natori. Photo Courtesy of:


Kate Spade Bow Belt
Dsquared White Belt



Kate Spade Bow Belt,, $68.00

Women’s Belt,, $150.00





Keep it Clean & Modern:


Michael Kors

Michael Kors. Photo Courtesy of:



MCQ by Alexander Mcqueen Cut-out Patent Leather Belt


MCQ by Alexander Mcqueen Cut-out Patent Leather Belt,, $195.65




Summer Specialty—Authentic Minestrone

  • 17th June 2013

Not all minestrone’s are created equal.  Typically we throw our summer’s best into the pot and often find an insipid, watery result.  Not with this standout recipe.  The three key ingredients that add robust flavor are simple and essential:  the parmesan rind; the pureed cannellini beans; the dry white wine.



Minestrone cooking with resplendent aromas.

Minestrone cooking with resplendent aromas.


They provide the perfect back-drop that does justice to the crisp, bright vegetables.


Recipe from Sunset magazine, October 2007



  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed thoroughly
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-in. dice
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-in. pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups shredded savoy or green cabbage
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed and drained
  • 3- to 4-in. parmesan cheese rind
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • About 1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan

We added:

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 leeks, white part chopped


Ingredients for the soup.

Ingredients for the soup.



  1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut stems from Swiss chard leaves by making a V-shaped cut into each leaf around the stem. Finely chop stems, cut leaves into ribbons, and set both aside separately.
  2. Boil tomatoes for 30 seconds. Lift out with a slotted spoon and rinse under very cold water. Remove the skin with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Cut tomatoes into quarters, remove seeds, and chop. Set tomatoes aside.
  3. Whirl half of cannellini beans with 1/2 cup water in a blender until smooth. Set bean purée aside.
  4. Cook olive oil and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add onion, leeks, carrots, zucchini, reserved chopped chard stems, and salt. Cook, stirring, until stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and cabbage. Cook, stirring, until cabbage wilts, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add reserved chard leaves, remaining cannellini beans, the chopped tomatoes, bean purée, chickpeas, parmesan rind, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until all vegetables are tender and flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Remove parmesan rind. Serve soup hot, topped with shredded parmesan.




Minestrone soup ready to enjoy.

Minestrone soup ready to enjoy.

Clearly Delicious…Part Un

  • 15th June 2013

Ditch the traditional white ceramic cookie jar!!  (Well, maybe just put it in the cupboard for a while).  These cookies deserve a more fancified presentation.  


Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel. Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living


We’ll get to the recipe, and some tips on baking them in Saturday’s post (and YOU WANT IT, believe us!)


But, first let’s look at the newest ways people are serving up sweet treats.


Mini Glass Cake Domes by Myriam B. Maguire

Mini Glass Cake Domes by Myriam B. Maguire. Photo Courtesy of: Departures Magazine



The Mini Glass Dome cakes created by Myriam B. Maguire are pure whimsical fun! Only 90 pieces of each style are being created in a limited and numbered collection. Starting from $375.00, for more information please contact Bergdorf Goodman or




Cupcake domes by Myriam B. Maguire




How much fun is this?  “Our La Bonbonniere cloche gives any dessert tableau a sense of sweet Parisian panache. This unique glass globe-shaped lidded vessel sits atop a super tall footed stem.” —Olive & Cocoa


La Bonbonniere Olive and Cocoa



labonbonniere,, $228.00


Why can’t your most fabulous wine decanter grace the table-top with bite-sized cookies and candies cozied up inside?


Bubbles decanter by Saint-Louis
Saint Louis Bubbles Decanter


Bubbles wine decanter by Saint-Louis,, $750.00



Grassland Roads Just Desserts Candy and Cupcake Pedestals


Grasslands Roads Just Desserts Cupcake Pedestal Candy Jars Three Styles,



Shoe Preview—Automne

  • 15th June 2013

New arrivals for fall may not be taking up major retail space in stores right now, but the online world is already showcasing their favorite footwear for the brisker months.


A Small Preview Follows:


This glam take on camouflage hits the top of the list.  It will match with absolutely everything this fall from your favorite pair of leather pants to a sleek cocktail dress and will add panache to a pair of evening shorts.



Gianvito Rossi Camouflage Haircalf Pumps with Tassles



Gianvito Rossi Camouflage Calfhair Pumps with Tassles,, € 610.00


Style Tip:  Try them with a cherry red A-line skirt or bright red cigarette pants for maximum impact.  



Boots are still a must for fall.  While everyone is wearing above the knee sky-highs (and we will do a post looking at favorites soon), be the outlier who sports these unique biker boots.  Why we fell for them…the rosettes are perfectly unexpected on this tough pair.  


Valentino Rosette Combat Boot


The Biker Boot:

Valentino Rosette Combat Boot,, $1795.00 (Pre-order)


Style Tip:  On top, try Chanel’s Camellia Embellished Fingerless Gloves for your hands!


Chanel Fingerless Camellia Embellished Gloves



Burgundy, plum, whatever you call it, it’s still a hot hue even for the colder months!


Gianvito Rossi Suede Ankle Boots
Jimmy Choo Drift Woven Suede Cage Boots


Best in Plum:

Gianvito Rossi Suede Ankle Boots,, € 695.00

Jimmy Choo Drift Woven Suede Cage Boots,, $995.00



Designers are still switching over, bringing brogues and oxfords into the women’s world in a beautiful way.


Best in Menswear:


Marni Ponyhair Vamp Slipons



Ponyhair Vamp Slip-On,, $855.00


Gatsby Oxford Freepeople
Poppin Flat in Caramel and Gold



Gatsby Oxford,, $178.00

Poppin Flat in Caramel & Gold,, $278.00


 Style Tip:  Brogues look best with a sleek, mini, sheath dress



Cuffs are not just for your wrist, the chicest looks are wrapped around the ankle.  


The Cuff Trend:


Manolo Blahnik Evolu Cuff-Pump



Manolo Blahnik Evolu Cuff Pump,, $995.00 (Pre-order)


B-Brian Atwood Correns Stretch Suede Sandals


B Brian Atwood Correns Stretch Suede Sandals in Nude,, $395.00 (Pre-order)


charlotte olympia take 110 metallic sandals



Charlotte Olympia Take 110 Metallic-Leather Sandals,, $895.00


Style Tip:  Cuffed heels look fabulous with 3/4-length stovepipe pants



Studded embellishments are still sitting pretty….and look gorgeous on this Valentino stunner


Studs Still Reign:


Valentino Rockstud Crystallized T-Strap Slingback


Valentino Rockstud Crystallized T-Strap Slingback,, $3545.00 (Pre-order)


French bulldogs are giving Charlotte Olympia’s kitten flats a run for the money.


Dog vs. Cat:


Boutique 9 French Bulldog Loafers
Marc by Marc Jacobs French Bulldog Smoking Flat




Boutique 9 French Bulldog Loafers,, $150.00

Marc by Marc Jacobs French Bulldog Smoking Flat,, $228.00

Indian Flavors to Make Your Meatloaf Sing

  • 14th June 2013

Meatloaf is true comfort food at its best.  But, come summer, you can liven it up with herbs and spices and lighten it up with freshly diced veggies.  Suddenly, it becomes quite the exotic, dressed-up version of itself!



Spices for the meatloaf

Cumin, garam masala, turmeric, red pepper, fried onions and ginger-garlic paste ready to add.



This recipe, passed-down by truly one of the best Indian cooks we know, is fabulous.


As a rule, we love make-ahead dishes and this one fits the bill perfectly.  If you’re serving it as a main for a party, marinate the meat 2 days ahead and the spices will be richly complex.



Meatloaf mixture before baking

Meatloaf mixture before adding mashed potatoes for binding and Thai chiles for kick.



The morning of, add the eggs, fresh cilantro, green onion, green pepper, tomatoes, mashed potato and garlic (all of which can be diced/mashed the day before).  Cue up the oven about 1 1/2 hrs prior to your serving time and allow guests to enjoy the decadent aromas.




1.5-2.0 lbs of either ground chicken, ground beef or ground turkey

(You can mix any two meats as well)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red pepper (you can substitute cayenne pepper but, red pepper found at an Indian store is preferable)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garam masala  (available at Indian, Asian and gourmet food stores)

1/3 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 tsp ginger/garlic paste (see quick tip below)

1 tbs friend onion (see quick tip below)

1 handful chopped fresh cilantro

2 medium sized potatoes mashed thoroughly

1 egg

1/2 tomato diced

2 cloves fresh garlic diced finely

3 green onions diced finely

1/3 of a green pepper diced

1/3 thai green chili de-seeded finely diced



Marinate meat for at least 5-6 hours (can be left for up to 48 hours well refrigerated) with salt,  ginger/garlic paste, red pepper, turmeric, garam masala, cumin and coriander.  Before baking add one egg, mashed potato, green onion, green pepper, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and chiles.  Mix very well (preferably with your hands).


Bake for 45 minutes—1 hour at 350 degrees

Serve up and enjoy!


Indian spiced meatloaf with garlic, spinach pasta

Garlic infused spinach pasta complements the Indian spiced meatloaf perfectly.



Quick Tip—Ginger-Garlic Paste:

Adu Lasan, (ginger-garlic paste) is an incredible tool in the kitchen, easy to make and stores well.  Simply blend equal parts of chopped fresh ginger and chopped fresh garlic with just enough water to get a smooth consistency (see the picture below). Adu lasan is used for marinating any fresh meats.  It’s super healthy, flavorful and can even be frozen in glass bottles for weeks.


Adu Lasan for Marinating

The consistency for preparing Adu Lasan.



Quick Tip—Fried Onions:

Fried onions are a base in cuisines the world over.  For Indian cooking they are essential.  We often make a big batch of friend onions every few months.  Take the time to properly drain them.  Lay them on paper towels to soak-up excess oil and when cooled completely, freeze them in small batches in mini ziplock bags.  They are easy to defrost and pop into any dish.

Show Your Stripes!

  • 13th June 2013

The right stripes are always chic, conjuring up images of a French seaside resort.


Dolce & Gabbana Green and White Striped Dress

Dolce & Gabbana’s Playful Green and White Striped Dress. Photo Courtesy of: Instyle UK


This season they are ever easier to achieve courtesy of these perfect pieces.


We love Dolce & Gabbana’s striped dresses from Spring 2013. But, if the price point is too high opt for these instead….


Pastel Striped Dresses from River Island

Pastel Striped Dresses from River Island. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue UK



Striped Dress,, £60.00


This halter top matched with a spearmint skirt is a crisply tailored alternative


Striped Devon Halter Top
Spearmint Striped Skirt,



Spearmint Striped Skirt,, $78.00


Striped Devon Halter Top,, $78.00



Both Bright and Boldly Fun Loving!


Dolce & Gabbana Organza Striped Sundress
Oasis Stripe Fit and Flare Sundress





Dolce and Gabbana Organza Striped Sun Dress,, $1961.00

Oasis Stripe Fit and Flare Sundress,, £ 35.00



Marc Jacobs Red & White Striped Dress

Marc Jacobs Red & White Striped Dress. Photo Courtesy of: InStyle UK

Black & White Striped A-Line Mini





Black and white stripe A Line Dress,, £28.00



Mae Dress Anthropologie


Mae Striped Dress,, $118.00


From the red and white shorts at the bottom to the boat neck striped tees, all of these looks are worth prying out your inner copycat for!



Stripes in Bazaar Magazine

Feature on Stripes Courtesy of Bazaar



Nancee Striped Shorts
Zara Striped Shorts



Nancee Striped Shorts,, $95.00

Striped Shorts,, $59.90



Rope Stripe Sailor Short JCrew
Rope Stripe Sailor Short JCrew








Rope Stripe Sailor Short,, $75.00



Zara Striped Top
Striped Valence Boatneck Anthropologie






Striped Top,, $59.90

Striped Valence Boatneck,, $19.95



JCrew Engineer Stripe




Jcrew Engineered Stripe Boatneck Top,, $45.00



No. 2 Pencil Skirt Striped JCrew


Jcrew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Navy-White Stripe,, $118.00



Michael Kors Red & Navy Stripes

Michael Kors Red & Navy Stripes. Photo Courtesy of Vogue Australia

Jcrew Voile Skirt in Stripe





Voile Skirt in Stripe,, $99.99




Kors and Miroslava Duma

Kors and Miroslava Duma. Photo Courtesy of: British Vogue

Floral Fantasy

  • 13th June 2013

In reading about the Spring Collections recently we came across this picture in the UK InStyle showcasing the “couture” garden creations which popped up at Chanel, Dior, and many of the major fashion houses.


Spring Collection 2013 Florals

Photo Courtesy of: InStyle UK


Yes, these lush pieces are gorgeous, but if you break them down the flowers are not that extraordinary and it got us thinking about a few specific roses and one signature green flower that your garden requires in order to create truly bespoke, and unique florals.  


Let’s start with the three roses that are simply for your cutting garden.


1.) Scentimental is not new by any means.  But, you will be hard-pressed to find this unique, paint-splattered rose in an arrangement done by your local florist.  It’s a floribunda that will keep producing throughout the season.  It will not add pop or much interest to your garden in general, but as a cutting-rose it creates standout arrangements with the most amazing perfume.


Scentimental Rose Up Close

Close up of ‘Scentimental’ in an arrangement

Scentimental in the yard

Scentimental in the yard



Scentimental,, $18.95

2.) Blue Girl  is also not a new comer.  This hybrid-tea bursts into bloom in silvery, bluish lavender with long hardy stems.  Again, for the same reason it is not a knockout in the yard, it is perfect for singular arrangements.  The color is unusual, subtle and not replicated by any flower-shop finds.  A fantastic bonus is that the perfume is second-to-none.


Blue Girl Rose and Scentimental in a gorgeous flower arrangement

Blue Girl Rose and Scentimental in a gorgeous flower arrangement

Blue Girl Rose in the yard

Blue Girl Rose in the Yard


Blue Girl Rose,, $17.50


3.) Koko Loko is an absolute rookie!  This newcomer has the color of the creamiest latte.  It is amazingly rare to find a flower this attractive that is a beautiful, nutty light brown.  It gives any arrangement a vintage look and a true elegance.  It carries no perfume.




The Light Brown Koko Loko up close

The ‘latte brown’ Koko Loko Up Close



Koko Loko,, $19.95


We have nothing against hydrangeas, but in the spring you can achieve a much lacier and delicate effect by substituting in young Viburnum (also called Japanese Snowball) into your florals.  Viburnum flowers prolifically and while it comes on a sturdy woody stalk the weight of the flower ball allows it to drape just perfectly over the side of your vase.


Viburnum in a floral arrangement with roses, poppies and tulips

Viburnum is the green ball on the lower right side

Viburnum amongst hyacinth, peonies and roses

Viburnum amongst hyacinth, peonies and roses





We recommend picking the viburnum while it is still green otherwise it matures into a snow white flower.  Unlike the roses mentioned above, viburnum looks truly lovely in your yard and brings a night garden to life.


Mature Viburnum in the garden

Mature Viburnum in the garden





Last Look Florals


Green Powder Room with Gorgeous Floral Appliques

Powder Room with Hand Painted Aluminum Flowers Created by designer Katie Ridder. Photo Courtesy of: Elle Décor

Dolce&Gabbana Floral Earrings

Dolce & Gabbana Floral Earrings and Pendant

The Glamour of Gingham

  • 10th June 2013

Transitioning seamlessly from spring to summer to fall, the glamour of gingham never misses a beat!  From beach-side shorts to a preview of looks to come in the fall, gingham grips its place center-stage and won’t let go!


The Inspiration:



Michelle Dockery in Prada Gingham

Michelle Dockery in Prada Gingham. Photo Courtesy of: Bazaar, UK

Pastel Pink Gingham Vogue Japan

Pastel Pink Gingham Vogue Japan




The best gingham looks for summer and spring

Photos Courtesy of: Vogue and InStyle




Prada Lilac Gingham

Prada Lilac Gingham Dress



Our Favorite Dresses: 


Kate Spade New York 'Aubrey' Silk Blend Wrap Dress



1.) Kate Spade New York ‘Aubrey’ Silk Blend Wrap Dress,, $398.00

2.) Marc by Marc Jacobs Stacy Check Dress,, $278.40

3.) Love Moschino Gingham Ruffle Dress,,  £300.00

4.) Miu Miu Shirt Dress with Gingham Balloon Skirt,, € 495.00




Lela Rose Strapless Gingham

Lela Rose Strapless Gingham. Photo Courtesy of:, Paris




Our Favorite Shorts:


Lily Pulitzer buttercup gingham shorts
Thom Brown Gingham Bermuda Shorts




Lily Pulitzer Buttercup Shorts in Fiesta Pink,, $40.80

Thom Browne Bermuda Shorts (For men, but gorgeous enough for us to borrow them!),, € 770.00



Our Favorite Bikini:


The inspiration!

Gottex Gingham Bikini

Gottex Gingham Bikini, Photo Courtesy of: Vogue




Laurence Doligé Bucket Bikini


Laurence Doligé Bucket Bikini,, 85,00 €


Favorite Tops:


Comme des Garçons Patchwork Gingham T-Shirt



5.) Comme des Garçons Patchwork Gingham T-Shirt,, $543.62

6.) Frilled Hem Gingham Top,, $65.00

7.) C&C California Tie Front Shirt in Gummy Green,, $88.00


Two Skirts to LOVE: 


Stacy Check Skirt by Marc Jacobs
Love Moschino Gingham Bow Skirt




Stacy Check Skirt by Marc Jacobs,, $348.00

Love Moschino Gingham Bow Mini Skirt,, $189.03



Socks & Shoes:


Top Shop Gingham Ruffle Sock
Tod's Heaven Gingham Check Slipper Shoes




Top Shop Green Gingham Trim Ankle Socks,, $6.00

Tod’s Heaven Gingham Check Slipper Shoes,, $341.00


Hats & Scarves:


Jonathan Adler Straw and Ribbon Fedora
Vicose Scarf in Gingham Motif


Jonathan Adler Ribbon and Straw Fedora,, $68.00

Vicose Scarf in Gingham Motif,, $55.00


Perfect for the Home: 


Square Gingham Pouf Serena & Lily


Square Gingham Pouf,, $88.00



 Last Look:


Prada keeps the gingham trend going well into the fall!


Prada Gingham Skirt

Prada: Photo Courtesy of Vogue Collections Paris

Prada Gingham Dress

Prada: Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Collections



Prada Check Handbag

Prada: Photo Courtesy of Vogue Collections Paris

Prada Pink Gingham Trench

Prada: Photo Courtesy of Vogue Collections Paris


We absolutely LOVE:


“Finding beauty in the unloved is important to me,” says Danish designer Nina Tolstrup.  Indeed:  In conjunction with London design gallery 19 Greek Street, Tolstrup created a standout limited-edition line of day-beds, sofas, chairs, and tables using discarded seating from London second-hand shop and bolts of kinky fabric left-over from Marc by Marc Jacobs’ spring 2013 collection.” (Text and below photo from Elle).  Fabulous!!!!

Nina Tolstrup chair with Marc Jacobs fabric






The Perfect Cover

  • 6th June 2013

The white way to cap off your outfit… for summer meetings or cooler evening cocktails.  White blazers are clean, thoroughly modern and a super flattering match for a fresh summer glow.



Our two favorites are below and reign supreme due to their unique cuts and affordability.


Edge to Edge Blazer Anthropologie

The sharp cut of this blazer helps it stand out from the rest. Pair it with brightly hued stovepipe pants or skinny jeans.

Ruched Porcelain Blazer Anthropologie

The ruched sleeves give this blazer a relaxed feel. Pair it with dark colors to bring out the tuxedo like cut.




Edge to Edge Blazer,, $148.00

Ruched Porcelain Blazer,, $128.00


You can rock this studded look.  Here’s how to pull it off.


White Studded Blazer Miss Selfridges

The neckline of this sleek black dress & the graceful curves of the heel below offset the boyish, rough nature of the blazer.







Cream Stud Shoulder Blazer,, $80.00

Graham & Spencer Deep V Dress,, $268.00

Gianvito Rossi Asymmetrical Sandal,, $685.00


Tweed for a lunch-date or the office—with jeans, just as it is shown, maybe some oversized pearls channeling Chanel and bright pumps on foot:


Rebecca Taylor White Blazer



Rebecca Taylor Tweed Blazer,, $395.00


Emmy Rossum in Rebecca Taylor White Tweed Blazer

Emmy Rossum takes cues from our post.




A Sparkly, Sexy Look (pour le soir):


Alice + Olivia Wheeler Sequin


Alice + Olivia Wheeler Sequin,, $638.40


Last Look:

Call it a deal, call it a steal…it’s almost too good to be real!


MNGby-Mango White Blazer



MNG by Mango Textured Collarless Jacket,, $55.00

The New Iced Tea

  • 6th June 2013

Move over traditional iced-tea and make way for tamarind…


Tamarind Juice

Iced Tamarind Juice at the Amantaka, delicious and refreshing alongside freshly made plantain chips


This sophisticated sweet & sour drink is perfection iced on the hottest days.  Thus, its popularity in tropical climates.

Try this replacement for the standard iced-tea, either in your fridge in the heart of summer, or for your next home-based gathering.

Tamarind is a leguminous tree indigenous to tropical Africa that likely reached South Asia by way of humans thousands of years ago.

It is here in South Asia, Laos to be precise, that we fell in love with the iced-drink.  It is high in acid and sugar, thus providing an unmistakable sweet and sour taste, as well as Vitamin B and Calcium.


Tamarind Juice Amantaka


The Amantaka was very hospitable in sharing their signature recipe for this tropical classic.


Tamarind Juice:


500 grams Tamarind

300 grams honey

200 grams sugar

3 liters of drinking water




1.)   Cover the tamarind with the water and boil for 40 minutes

2.)   While the tamarind is still hot add the sugar and stir until dissolved

3.)   Strain liquid and add the honey.  Adjust the taste with more or less honey to obtain the perfect sweet and sour taste.

4.)   Chill.  Serve with ice




The primary health benefits of tamarind appear to be related to ease of digestion.  It can serve as a very very mild laxative.  Tamarind is also a great anti-oxidant and assists with inflammation.



Fête Pyjama!

  • 5th June 2013

Silky and adding sinuous length, the pajama pant has fled the bedroom!



Stella McCartney Pajama Trousers

Stella McCartney Pajama Trousers; Photo Courtesy of: Vogue UK



A few tips for bringing this trend street side:

• Pair pants with heels, not flats.  The draped effect looks more elegant with added height.

• Unless you are super long and lean and can carry the full effect, don’t match the pant with a pajama top or otherwise flouncy blouse.  Couple it with a structured white shirt, crisp blazer or tailored, starched, slimming button down.

• Keep your accessories relegated to one area.  One big statement necklace, a flood of stackable bangles.  Jewelry with with a rough texture like grainy wood and agate rings counterbalance the luster of the pants perfectly.




Etro Silk Palazzo Trousers Collage



Etro Silk Palazzo Trousers,, € 490.00

Sellida Pleated Silk Blouse Theory,, $277.00

Valentino RockStud Studded-Heel Napa Pump, Noisette,, $745.00



Any of these accessories will work seamlessly:






Kendra Scott Elle Earrings Ebony Wood,, $70.00

Tory Burch Tina Drop Earrings,, $95.00

Evocateur Norwegian Wood Cuff,, $338.00



Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders, Photo Courtesy of: Vogue UK

Jil Sander

Jil Sander, Photo Courtesy of: Vogue, UK



Michelle Dockery in a Silk Louis Vuitton Pajama Top.

Michelle Dockery in a Silk Louis Vuitton Pajama Top.



Other pajama pants worthy of the day-time spotlight:


3.1 Phillip Lim Black Silk Floral Pyjama Pants
Philip Lim Pajama Pant

3.1 Phillip Lim Black Silk Floral Pyjama Pants,, $508.00


3.1 Philip Lim Pajama Pant,, $450.00



Stella McCartney Pajama Pant
Sharon Wauchob Silk Pant
Sally Lapointe Chiffon Trouser



Stella McCartney (Pre Fall) Silk Print Trousers,, € 735.00

Sharon Wauchob Silk Pant,, $675.00

Sally Lapointe Chiffon Trouser,, $1875.00


A few favorites from JCrew:


dual foulard collection shirtdress jcrew
Dual Foulard Collection Shirtdress JCrew



Cafe Capri in diamond foulard print



Dual Foulard Collection Shirtdress,, $275.00

Café Capri in Diamond Foulard Pant,, $198.00



Last Look:


The Crop from Zara is Plentiful…Anyone Can Find a Style that Rocks from this Pack


Zara Silk Pajama Pant Collage





Zara Silk Pajama Pant Collage





Marc Jacobs Brings the Pajama Look Up Top:


Marc Jacobs Silk Pajama Top

Marc Jacobs Silk Pajama Top



Sofia Coppola lounging in Marc Jacobs silky pajama top for $695.  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Australia

Sofia Coppola lounging in Marc Jacobs silky pajama top for $695. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Australia

Lemony & Lime Basil Infused Cookie

  • 4th June 2013

This delicious buttery cookie blends the tart flavor of lemon and lime with the zest of basil and the richness of shortbread.   How can you resist?


Basil Lemon Lime Cookie



The below recipe comes from Bon Appétit Magazine.  It only makes 16 cookies, so you might consider doubling the recipe to make more!


Lemon Lime & Basil Cookie

Recipe from Bon Appetit



Two tips:

1.) Sprinkle with sugar and serve them for dessert with something rich like ice-cream.  Or, leave off the sugar and the cookies add a more savory twist to tea-time

2.) Freeze some of the batch to bake at a later date.  Shortbread freezes perfectly.  Roll extra batter into a log and freeze.  Slightly defrost, cut into rounds and bake.


ingredients before mixing, lemony,lime, basil cookies

Ingredients before mixing



1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 Tbsp. sliced fresh basil leaves

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Sanding sugar (optional)


Dough before baking Lemony Lime Basil Cookies

Dough before baking

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Place flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zests, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until large, moist clumps form. Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls. Place on a large baking sheet, spacing 2″ apart. Lightly dust the bottom of a flat measuring cup with powdered sugar and press cookies into 2″ rounds, dusting cup bottom with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Sprinkle tops of cookies with sanding sugar, if using.
  • Bake until edges are brown, about 14-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.



Lemon, Lime, Basil Cookies

The cookies all ready to eat!



(We only baked them for 10 minutes so baking time may vary)


Lemon Lime Basil Cookies

The buttery rich inside


Parting Words…

  • 4th June 2013

From the simple stringing together of lemon garlands for the goddess Durga, to dividing the prasadam or blessed foods for the children first, I came to associate food not only with feminity, but also with purity and divinity.

Padma Lakshmi



If You’re Heading to…Roma

  • 3rd June 2013

You cannot, absolutely cannot miss Ciampini!


Ciampini Gelato
Ciampini at Night




We tried a lot of gelato in Rome, a lot!  Every time it was not Ciampini we regretted it.  A few times we actually frequented somewhere new, threw away our order and headed back to Ciampini.  If in Rome eating gelato, we had to eat the best.


Making Gelato at Ciampini
Ciampini Tartufo




Why is it so amazing? According to their web site, they use a technique which allows for more air, thereby increasing the softness of their gelato.  We agree, it is like liquid velvet.  They use the highest quality ingredients and the most ‘noble fats.’  (An excellent term)!


Ciampini Crema/Pistachio
Ciampini Desserts


Beyond their gelato, their food is actually delicious as well.  Their Cacio e Pepe is simple in presentation but wonderfully rich and flavorful.  The ambiance rivals the food as to which is the bigger draw!  The piazza is perfect for people watching, spacious enough to give you breathing room yet quaint enough to feel cozy.  It’s right off of a main artery for strolling through Rome, Via del Corso, so the location is ideal and easy.


Ciampini Ambiance
Ciampini Ambiance


Our favorite gelato flavors:  Zabaglione, Gianduja, Chocolate Fondant


Piazza S. Lorenzo in Lucina, 29
00186 Roma – Tel. 06/6876606

Via della Fontanella di Borghese, 59

00186 Roma – Tel. 06/68135108



Fall Preview—The Box

  • 3rd June 2013

Think in the Box!

The fall silhouette for keeping the chill at bay is shaping up to be absolutely square.  Here’s a sneak peek at a few of our favorite iterations of the boxy shape that waltzed down the runway in plaid, leather, shag…for when the weather takes a turn….


Stella McCartney Plaid Bomber Jacket

Stella McCartney Plaid Bomber Jacket; Photo Courtesy of Vogue Collections Paris


Dries Van Noten does a lovely tailored version as well:


Dries Van Noten Victoria Plaid Bomber Jacket

Dries Van Noten Victoria Plaid Bomber Jacket



Dries Van Noten Victoria Plaid Bomber Jacket,, $960.00


Hermes Motorcycle Jacket

Hermes Motorcycle Jacket; Photo Courtesy of Vogue Collections Paris


The flight jacket version:


Balenciaga Flight Jacket



Balenciaga Flight Jacket,, $2950.00


Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Jacket; Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Collections Paris

Max Mara Jacket

Max Mara Jacket; Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Collections Paris



Moschino Cheap & Chic

Moschino Cheap & Chic; Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Collections Paris



Last Look:


Cut from the same shape


Isabel Marant Bomber
Quilted Spike Leather Bomber Jacket


Isabel Marant Bloomen Leather Bomber Jacket,, $2815.00

Quilted Spike Bomber Jacket,, $140.00

Allure d’Asie Part Three

  • 2nd June 2013

Asian inspired rooms are typically warm and beautifully balanced.  Add lacquer and some bamboo accents and you’re all set! The allure of Asia is easier to recreate than you think courtesy of some prime pieces that are more accessible than ever.



Play up the Pagoda

Pagoda Bar Cabinet, Century Furniture

Pagoda Bar Cabinet, Century Furniture


Pagoda Bar Cabinet,



Pagoda Console Apartment 48


Pagoda Console,, $1995.00



Zig Zag Pagoda Prints Horchow



Florence de Dampierre “Zig Zag Pagoda Prints,”, $425.00 each (available on pre-order)


Cathay Pagoda Light Fixture by Two Worlds Art


Cathay Pagoda Light Fixture by Two Worlds Arts,



Pagoda Hooked Wool Rug from Garnet Hill

Pagoda Hooked Wool Rug from Garnet Hill



Pagoda Hooked Wool Rug,, $328.00


Chinese Chippendale is Consistently Classy


And it looks particularly fresh in stark white.  


Taryn Desk Ballard Designs





Lacquer White Chinese Chippendale Mirror,



Taryn Desk,, $699.00

Lacquer White Chinese Chippendale Mirror,, $778.00


A Fresh Springy Lantern Print for Kids:


Chinese Lanterns Percale Bedding from Garnet Hill

Chinese Lanterns Percale Bedding from Garnet Hill



Chinese Lanterns Percale Bedding,, $30-$90


Clash of Civilizations

Lacquered bamboo meets a Greek fret pattern to create a distinctly unique and unbearably chic piece!



British Colonial Cabinet Navy Wisteria



British Colonial Cabinet Navy,, $1199.00


Asian Aristocrats


Prince Tole Wastebasket
In the Emperor's Forest Lladro




Prince Tole Wastebasket,, $69.00

In the Emperor’s Forest,, $6700.00



Accents for Your Table


China Town Tart Tray

Si Kiang Dinnerware



Chinatown Tart Tray,, $75.00

Si Kiang Dinnerware,, $98.00 and up


A new take on the classic centerpiece 


Gold Bonsai Tree z Gallerie



Gold Bonsai Tree,, $99.95



Last Look:



horchow Eastern Console




Parting Words…

  • 2nd June 2013

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.







De Bon Goût—In Good Taste

  • 1st June 2013

In the spirit of delicious Cacio e Pepe, just a few months back, Bon Appetit came out with a fabulous recipe for this simple, gratifying dish.  Enjoy!!


Cacio Pepe Bon Appetit

Photo Courtesy of:


  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino


  • Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
  • Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.

Recipe Courtesy of:  Bon Appetit

The below link includes a video to watch preparation of this dish.



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