Twenty years ago, when I was working at one of Manhattan's premier private schools, all the fashionable mom's were wearing Ferragamo Vara pumps. They were cute and I wanted to blend in and wear the same "uniform" so I bought two pairs. I wore them while I worked there but thought they were a little too "Upper East Side" for my next job in hospitality, so they languished in my closet. But Ferragamo shoes have gotten a lot trendier in the past few years, so I pulled mine out only to discover that they were now a little on the tight side. Nowadays these shoes retail for $575 a pair so I decided that I had two options: sell them on Ebay or take them to my local shoemaker and see what he could do to stretch them out. Luckily he did an amazing job! The pairs were generally in very good condition so he just stretched them out about a half size and on one pair replaced part of the sole and they now look brand new.
Ferragamo Vara pumps
I'm so excited that I shopped my closet and now have vintage Ferragamos!
I got my glam on last night.....it had been a while. Up until a couple years ago I was going out and dressing up at least twice a week. Nowadays, because of a series of sick pets, I'm lucky if I have time to do that twice a month. I was one of the Vice Chairmen of The Animal Medical Center's Top Dog Gala last night. It's an annual event and always attracts a very elegant crowd. My friend and I organized a fun table and we had a great time. I wanted to look holiday festive and wear some color without falling into the red & green trap so I went for a pink and green color scheme with a pink wrap top and long black skirt and jazzed it up with pink & green accessories, including some Indian jewelry touches.
My accessories....Manolo Blahnik shoes, Judith Leiber clutch, vintage
Kenneth Jay Lane earrings, authentic Indian ring and faux pearls.
I practically live at The AMC with my pets, so always happy to help support the hospital!
I found a super simple recipe for vegan fudge and decided to give it a try. I made the peanut butter fudge and if you like peanut butter you're going to love this! Rather than post the recipe I'll just post a photo and the link to the blog where I found it: Vegan fudge recipe. I don't know the blogger, but she's clearly the Willy Wonka of the vegan world.
This truly was the easiet thing to make and is perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth. Next time I'm going to try chocolate.
There's an annual herb fair where my mom lives upstate. I've always wanted to go, but never been around on the right day, until yesterday when I finally got there. It was just like the weekly farm market, but instead of mostly fruits and vegetables the vendors were selling primarily herbs and products made from them. I'd like to be more familiar with cooking with herbs, but since I'm not, I decided to keep it simple and just buy what I know. I bought fresh mint to make mint tea and I bought lemon verbena soap. I love both of those scents and I've already used the mint in my tea. The aroma is divine!
Fresh mint & Lemon Verbena soap
It was such a warm and gorgeous day I took the cockatoo with me. And, as is always the case for him, he attracted the press. A photographer from the local paper took his photo (not mine, just his) so maybe he'll be in the paper again this year. Last year he got his photo taken at the farm market. Never a dull moment with him, and in the meantime, I'm enjoying my herbal purchases.
My personal passion for, and professional expertise in, jewelry is featured in The New York Times today! It's on line today and should be in the hardcopy of the paper tomorrow. I'm really not a philanthropist, that's more of a Vanderbilt and Rockefeller label, but I've been involved with a lot of charities over the years so perhaps that's why they used that word. Anyway, this was really fun to shoot and I'm so excited to have been included!
Whenever I'm visiting my mom on the weekend I go to the local farmers' market to buy fresh produce. If it's a warm day I take my cockatoo, Chris, with me. Sometimes he'll even get a little treat, like giant sugar snap peas. It was an absolutely gorgeous day today and Chris had a fun time. We got corn and string beans that both the humans and the cockatoo can eat. And, we got two small pies for our friend who we're visiting tomorrow.
Farm fresh corn
On the way out we stopped by the chicken pen so Chris could see his fellow birds. He likes to make chicken noises, so it's fun for him to see real live chickens.
Chris with the chickens!
After the farm market we drove into town and did some errands. Chris loved the people and they loved him. Just another beautiful day in the country........
I love tacos just like everyone else, but as a vegan I've had to modify the ingredients. Instead of ground meat I use a meat substitute called Boca Veggie Ground Crumbles. It's made by the same company that makes Boca Burgers. Over the summer I used the Boca crumbles to make tacos and I chopped lettuce and tomatoes to make traditional style tacos, but tonight I decided to make a variation and cook all the ingredients together to cut down on the do-it-yourself assembly at the table. The result was simpler -- but just as delicous -- tacos!
Boca Veggie Ground Crumble (1 package)
Two tomatoes chopped
One onion chopped
Two cups baby spinach leaves
Daiya Deluxe Cheeze Sauce Cheddar Style (yes, cheeze with a 'z'),
1. Heat oil in skillet
2. Throw in onion first and cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently
3. Add in Boca crumble, but first break apart since it tends to clump
together in freezer
4. Cook Boca & onions together for about 10 minutes, stirring
5. Add in spinach and cook another 5 minutes, stir continuously
6. Finally add in tomatoes and cook until soft, keep stirring!
7. While cooking the taco filling above heat up the taco shells according
to directions on box. (Monitor carefully so they don't burn.) This only
takes about 6-7 minutes, so if you want them warm & crispy do this
around the same time you add the tomatoes to the mix.
8. Heat up Daiya Cheeze Sauce in the microwave for 1 minute
I love winter squash like the acorn & butternut varieties and there are so many ways to incorporate them into meals. I cook with them year round, but Fall is the perfect time to add them to your menu if you're looking to try something new. I've even got my non squash loving mother enjoying them. Last night I made a stuffed acorn squash side dish and watched with glee (okay, simple things make me really happy) while she polished off every last bit of it.
Baked acorn squash stuffed with rice, raisins & walnuts
Usually when I bake squash I fill it with a mixed vegetable & tofu medley so it's a whole meal. But last night I didn't have time for the whole shebang, but wanted to make something healthy for my mom to eat before I drove back to my own place. This was really simple to make and delicious to eat! Here's the skinny:
Ingredients: One large acorn squash
Rice (any kind, but I used Jasmine Minute Rice that comes in microwaveable cups.)
Tamari soy sauce
1. Cut squash in half horizontally and if it won't stand up cut a small piece from each end. It's important that it stands upright in the baking dish.
2. Baste the inside of the squash first with the Tamari and then a little olive oil. A tablespoon of each on each half should be enough. It's very important to baste with the Tamari first.
3. Bake at about 350 for approx 30 minutes. The time and temp will vary according to your oven. So check every ten minutes or so to see if the squash is getting soft. When you can slice all the way through the flesh with a knife it's done.
4. While the squash is baking prepare your filling. You can certainly make rice the long way, but I use those handy dandy Minute Rice cups. It only takes 90 seconds to heat up two cups. Transfer to a bowl. Then throw in the raisins and chopped walnuts and add a tablespoon of Tamari & a tablespoon of olive oil and mix well. This should be ready for when the squash is cooked all the way through.
5. Add the rice mixture to the inside of the squash and put the rest in the baking dish around the squash. Bake another 5-10 minutes until the black raisins are plump. Then you're done.
You now have a delicious & nutritious vegetable side dish. Some people may even find that half a stuffed squash is enough for lunch. And, the sweetness of the raisins makes this appealing to children as well.
If you've been paying attention to the earrings we're seeing for Fall you've probably noticed the trend is very large and very sparkly. Lots of rhinestones and pave crystals. These are not for the faint of heart and they look best with short hair or hair pulled back into a ponytail, away from the face.
A few years ago I did a blog post about a vintage costume jewelry collection and the collector had lots of big sparkly earrings. One of the designers she had a lot of was Thelma Deutsch, who designed from circa 1980 - 1995. Recently I was searching on Ebay for something else very specific, but came across a gorgeous pair of huge Thelma Deutsch earrings and fell in love. I made an offer that the seller accepted, plus I had an Ebay coupon (because I'm a regular seller myself) so I ended up paying just $85. Totally worth it for these three inch long stunners!
Vintage Thelma Deutsch earrings
So, for a beautiful pair of vintage earrings, I paid less then going to a major department store and buying something similar at the same quality, and I won't be seeing the same earrings on everyone else. I can't wait to wear them this Fall! They're going to be stunning for holiday parties, too.
I'm in Jamaica right now....I'm lying in the wet sand near the water's edge as gentle waves crash at my feet and an island breeze tousles my hair. The intoxicating smell of my coconut scented suntan lotion and warmth of the tropical sun are trying to lull me into an afternoon nap....or am I already dreaming?......Neither, I just spritzed myself with Nateeva's scent Jamaica and it transported my senses back to a tropical paradise.
Nateeva's island fragrances
The kind folks at Nateeva sent me generous sized samples and they are all a vacation for the senses! My mother and I spent an afternoon spritzing ourselves and our favorite is Jamaica. I'm wearing it now and I smell amazing and I swear I can hear a steel drum band in the distance.
I went back to the thrift store where I found the beautiful vintage Karl Lagerfeld pin and bought two more.
One is also vintage '80's, a dragonfly pin with Gripoix glass, by Deanna Hamro. I can't find too much info about her, except that she designed costume jewelry in the 80's & 90's, but otherwise designed fine jewelry.
Vintage Deanna Hamro dragonfly pin
The other is a Christian Lacroix sun pin, which I think may also be vintage '80's. I will probably sell this one on Ebay, but keep the Hamro.
Christian Lacroix sun pin
I love how glitzy and glam the '80's were. Makes for great statement jewelry!
We went vintage/consignment shopping today. There are two consignment shops and a vintage store in the area. It's really fun to check in them occasionally to see what little treasures are in stock. I spotted this brooch from afar and it turned out it's by Karl Lagerfeld and I think it may be a vintage piece. When I got home I checked on Ebay and found it for sale for $329. I paid $65. Score!! I think it will be a great accessory for a blazer or high neck blouse this Fall.
My mother, Barbara, loves horses, and some time back in the 1980's she and my father went to an event at a racetrack where vendors were selling horse related items. Miller's Saddlery, which is a very well known saddlery in NYC, had a brand of horse patterned clothing being sold there. Some of the clothes were probably intended to be worn while riding, because riders like horsey clothes when hacking around. My mother loved the line and bought some in pink, green and tan. She got me a waterproof green jacket with matching green polo. I loved the mint green color, but I was either in high school or college and I felt it was too childish a pattern for me to wear so I gave it back to her. Of course, she had kept all of the pieces all of these years and this morning she emerged dressed for Church in the pink ensemble. I told her she looked like Rose from The Golden Girls. Rose used to wear lots of patterned sweaters that were often country girl sweet. My mother loved Rose's style and she's wearing it still!
Barbara in her vintage pink sweater and polo.
This is a Rose Nylund ensemble for sure!
Pre My Little Pony
The matching polo
I'm guessing there was an entire outfit with the tan background, but it must have sold out, because all my mother got was an umbrella.
I do love the umbrella
The green set is actually really pretty. I just felt it was too immature for me at the time. I would totally wear the jacket now, although maybe not with the matching polo. I have a feeling next time it rains my mother will be trotting out this ensemble. She's making everything old new again as we sort through her stockpile of clothes & accessories.
The mint green polo & jacket
Miller's mint green jacket
The design on one flap of the jacket
I love the jacket's buttons. Those boots are Miller's insignia.
The green polo
We love The Golden Girls, even today I love watching the re-runs. They always made old age seem like a lot of fun. I actually bought this set of The Golden Girls collectibles for my mom for Christmas. Today when she was out I put the Rose figurine on her chair to tease her since she was totally channeling Rosy Nylund's fashion!
There is an amazing vintage store in Katonah/Bedford Hills called Vintage!. I've posted about a couple of my shopping trip treasures from there before on this blog. I love browsing the jewelry and am always looking for '60's flower pins in pretty colors. I was able to make a vintage pit stop in the store yesterday as I was running errands and, as always, I was not disappointed!
I found a vintage flower pin in a really pretty shade of pastel pink.
Vintage '60's flower pin
I have a small collection of these pins and plan to eventually do something creative with them, but for now I occasionally wear them with a suit.
I also found a super cool pair of vintage earrings. Unfortunately, they are unmarked, so I don't know the provenance, but I just love the discs with the red centers. They're both glam & mod. I can't wait to wear them with a black cocktail dress!
I'm looking forward to another visit to Vintage! later this summer when I can spend at least a full hour poking around.
Always in style in the Southwest these American Indian iconic necklaces entered mainstream fashion in the 1970's, including with celebrities like Cher and Raquel Welch. I've noticed that turquoise squash blossom necklaces are popular once again, and appearing around the necks of the fashionable and famous like Kyle Richards, Katy Perry & Anne Hathaway, who just wore one a couple of weeks ago to another celebrity's wedding. I got one over a year ago, just because I love them. Summer is a great time to wear them, so time to get one and make it a summer staple.
You can find authentic vintage ones for thousands of dollars, but there are fashion jewelry examples for under $100, I got my small version from The Southwest Indian Foundation catalog, where every purchase helps impoverished Native Americans.
My squash blossom necklace
And P.S. I've posted about this necklace before the recent resurgence in popularity, but thought it deserved another look. Southwestern Style
I was shopping in Bed Bath & Beyond and saw a jewelry display form with tray and snatched it up. There's a form for a necklace, two side trays for earrings, brooches and bracelets and a section for rings. I plan to use it to pull my jewelry ensembles together when I'm getting ready to go out. And, in between occasions to dress up I'm going to use the necklace form to display a beautiful necklace for inspiration. I have a lot of statement necklaces that I rarely wear and this will encourage me to rotate them and use them more often. I'm always in a rush and often just don't have time to pick out lots of jewelry in the morning, but now there will always be one at my fingertips!
The jewelry display form & case
It's been beastly hot here the past couple of days, more like the dog days of August in Santa Fe than mid June in NYC, and a favorite summer staple is Southwestern style turquoise so I'm displaying a fun faux turquoise necklace at the moment. I love this necklace and I'm going to incorporate it into an outfit this week.
I love slides and their close cousins, mules. I adore the 70's vibe and remember my mom wearing them when I was a little kid. When In Style Magazine featured them in their April 2016 issue I immediately wanted a pair and I've been drooling over the ones in the photo ever since. But $425-$475 for the ones pictured just wasn't in my budget.
From In Style magazine, April 2016
Fast forward to a last week when I decided to stop in Lord & Taylor's as I passed by the store after a business meeting. I hadn't been in L&T in years, and I don't know why. L&T always had really nice clothes and accessories and great sales. And, guess what? They were having a major sale and I found my dream slides there reduced to only $46 dollars! They are a beautiful chartreuse color that I'm obsessed with at the moment. And, they have a fabulous lucite embellishment on the heels, which make them even more retro. Made by Nine West, they are super comfortable. I haven't bought Nine West shoes in a long time, in favor of more expensive and "upscale" brands, but these were just as nice, if not nicer, than the more expensive, similar styles in the store.
Nine West slides
The heel is half lucite
As always, Misty had to investigate my new purchase. I think she was an accessories editor in another life.
Misty checking out the shoes and the view
We're expecting a Nor'easter snowstorm this week in NYC, but hopefully I'll be able to take them on their maiden voyage very soon!