Manda Cooks: Ice Cream!

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Yeah, you read that correctly. I make ice cream now. And….I’m obsessed with it. My mom got me an ice cream maker for my birthday back in August and for some unknown reason, I never took it out of the box. (Thinking of all the ice cream I could have made really does make me sad.) Then! My brother got me an ice cream maker for Christmas, and it just seemed ridiculous to have TWO ice cream makers sitting in their boxes just waiting for me. So I broke out one of the ice cream makers and started churning away. I kicked things off with my favorite: green mint chocolate chip with the help of my ice cream tutor, Christina. Then I attempted frozen yogurt, which tastes just like Pinkberry thankyouverymuch. And last week I made peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream you can see above. It was made with a special pregnant lady in mind, but I managed to keep some leftovers too. Any ice cream is good, but homemade ice cream will really really change your life. Ice cream recipes were based off of this one, and frozen yogurt off of this one.

Wishing and Hoping and Thinking…

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I’ve never been one to wear a lot of jewelry: usually my Italian horn necklace and simple stud earrings will do the trick. But sometimes I come across a piece that strikes me and think that I might just be able to become a jewelry wearer if I could call it mine. Specifically interested in Gorjana & Griffin this week, after I was directed to it by two different blogs on separate occasions. The zodiac bracelet below would add a great personal touch to a group of gold bracelets, while the leather wrap bracelet above could easily stand alone. Not only is the site filled with similarly easy-to-wear (and affordable!) pieces, it was started and is run by a couple – how cute!

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Diorific Vernis in Marilyn

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My New Year’s Resolution to stop biting my nails is going alright… but instead of biting my nails, I’ve become mildly obsessed with peeling off my nail polish. Maybe that can be my February Resolution (yes, they exist. I just invented them.) Until I get bad nail habit #2 under control, I’ve been giving myself lots of manicures. And by “lots” I mean “daily”. Friday was Essie’s Sure Thing (my favorite go-to this winter), Saturday I threw back to Essie’s Chinchilly (a great neutral) and for Sunday I cracked open my newest polish acquisition — Dior Vernis in Marilyn from their recent holiday collection. Not only is it the perfect winter red, it comes in the cutest little vintage-looking bottle. Even though it’s the newest member of my nail polish collection of 50(+!), I think it’ll become a fast favorite. (And excuse my dry hands in the photo above! Winter has really reared its head in New York these days and the poor hands are suffering.)

Monday Inspiration


I like to find a little something inspirational on Mondays to help me through the morning (and day, and week ahead). I came across the WWD On Paper site last night and after a quick peek, saved the rest of it for this morning. I just finished reading through the posts and pulled out my favorites here. Lots of good messages about working in fashion and in retail, but many that can apply to all of us, and a great way to kick-start your Monday morning.



Eternally On My To-Do List


Until I do it, that is. I remember reading about The Giraffe Manor in Elle years ago…I cut out the little article and know it’s floating around somewhere. How amazing does it sound, though? Sharing breakfast with a giraffe who is peeking his head through the window…I can’t even imagine. Is it too much to ask that someone please take me here? (It probably IS too much to ask, I know, but someday hopefully I’ll take myself.)


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The First Daughters


Who isn’t obsessed with what the first family wore during the inauguration (and every other event for that matter…)? While Michelle always looks amazing, I thought Sasha and Malia looked particularly good – the perfect mix of chic, trendy and elegant. I loved their monochromatic outwear looks (apparently Sasha replaced the buttons on her JCrew coat!), and was pleasantly surprised to learn that Sasha’s blue dress is from H&M (and she’s worn it before!) and Malia’s purple dress is from Anthro (and on sale!) – those first daughters, they’re just like us! (Sorta.) Bravo, girls! And keep it coming!


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Gym Bag Dreamin’


I’ve gone to the gym so often the past two weeks and I feel like this sort of behavior should be rewarded (with something other than a glass of wine and/or ice cream…) I’m getting a bit tired of throwing my gym clothes into whatever tote I have handy and think a real gym bag (of the super cute variety) could be just the reward I’m looking for. Christina got me hooked on the Lulu Lemon bag above, so we started a little gym pact: visit the gym 21 times before March 1st, and the bag is ours (that is, we will allow ourselves to spend $150 on a gym bag)! We have a google doc tracking it and everything. In the meantime, I’m browsing around a bit to see what other options there are for my (almost) daily travel companion – it’s hard for me to resist cheetah print and hot pink, so we’ll see.



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My Oh Maya!


Introducing little pup Maya! The newest addition to my family : ) I went home for the day to meet her and four hours on the bus was definitely worth six hours with our new sweet little girl. We are all head over heels with her, while Rufus is taking his time adjusting (as emotional, grumpy, and used-to-be-the-only-dog dogs tend to do), but we are sure he’ll come around in no time. How can you not want to smother this little lamb face with kisses?  


Speaking of New Year’s Resolutions…


This post on Design Sponge is amazing! Filled with illustrated resolutions from “artists, designers, bloggers and creative people” – what a good idea! Two of my favorites are here… and I may need to make a few of my own this weekend : )

And speaking of speaking of New Year’s Resolutions, I went to the gym TWO mornings this week, thank you very much. Pretty easy runs on both days because I didn’t get out of bed early enough to make the 6:30am spinning class (but hello! goal for next week!). Getting in a morning workout feels great, but what I love even more is going through the day knowing that I *already* worked out.