Memorial Day


Can you believe that Memorial Day came and went, just like that?
Official Summer Solstice isn’t until June 21 but it seems to have finally arrived in New York. (Which means that the streets are steamy, the subways are steamier, and there is little to no point in attempting to tame the hair due to the frizzfactor.)

I had wanted to get away for the weekend, but sometimes it’s just easier to board a home-bound train. Or, in this case, a boyfriend’s parent’s house-bound train. Brett and I headed to Cherry Hill Friday afternoon looking forward to a sunny weekend by the pool…turned out being quite the cold and rainy weekend (one last wintry weather hurrah!), so the lack of Memorial Day Weekend plans turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We met my mom and Barry for dinner at Parc Friday night, drove up to north Jersey to visit my dad and Carolann on Saturday, and then spent Sunday hanging at the house and enjoying the bit of sun that decided to finally come out with his little sister, Moriah, and the pups (and cats). We made really yummy fish tacos on Saturday night with a kale-slaw (get it?!) that I will post a recipe for separately. And we tore through a couple bottles of wine and one bottle of bourbon…cause that’s what long weekends are for. Brett made the executive decision to head back to New York earlier rather than later on Monday; we took advantage of the weather and had a picnic in Stuy Town (with homemade sangria!) and some time in the park.

Hard to believe June 1st is this Saturday, but I’m happy with my summer kick-off so far.


Make It Count!

You know sometimes when you’re in a gym class and the instructor tells you to “make it count” – something about how you’re in the class for a reason and only you can push yourself yadda yadda yadda. This usually has about a 50% success rate when it comes to me pushing myself harder. Sometimes I just don’t want to turn that resistance knob a little bit to the right, I just don’t. On days when I get out of work at a normal hour but still don’t make it to the gym, however, I have a much higher success rate at “making it count.” Last night was one of those nights; I forgot my gym clothes at home, so planned to run on the river after work, but it was so hot and humid and I just couldn’t…but I made it count. I popped in my laundry and went to the grocery store for the ingredients I was missing  to make granola bars. Once the bars were in the oven, I swapped the laundry then got set cleaning the kitchen (it was my roomie task from two weeks ago that I hadn’t done yet… woops!) Soon enough: sparkly kitchen, clean laundry, and ganola bars. But it’s not over! I made it count, remember? By this point, Nais and Stina were over and we were popping bottles (well, we unscrewed one bottle of wine). Sami grabbed us all Beyond Sushi on her way home, which is our recent obsession so we inhaled it. Obviously. After girltime, I hopped in a cab to meet my brother and sister for a quick drink, then finally headed home to bed. A quick goodnight call from Brett and it was off to dreamland for this girl. Made it count!

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Granola Bar recipe here!
*Make sure you put enough sticky ingredients in (ie butter, honey, brown sugar)…I didn’t quite have enough honey and my granola bars turned into chunky granola when I tried to cut them. Still delicious. But not quite bars.*

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Wishing and Hoping and Thinking… Zodiac Flats


When I was in Paris back in March, I was lucky enough to attend a meeting with Charlotte Olympia and preview the Fall Collection. I fell hard for these zodiac smoking slippers, and now that they’re actually available in stores I’m oh-so tempted to snag myself a pair of Leos. A girl can dream, right?


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Manda Cooks: Saturday Night Dinner

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Brett and I found ourselves without dinner or after-dinner plans last night which might be a Saturday night first. Since we both love to cook, but rarely find time to do so, we headed to Whole Foods to pick up ingredients for dinner. We decided on lemon butter shrimp, sauteed kale with crushed red pepper, and quinoa salad with asparagus, peas, avocado, lemon and basil. And then, since we didn’t want our mint plant to feel left out, Brett had the genius idea of cutting up a cantaloupe for dessert and letting it sit in lime juice, some sugar, and mint leaves. Yum yum yum.

Recipes after the jump!

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Punk at the Met

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When I was in Paris for Fashion Week back in March, I remember the excitement following YSL’s surprisingly punk-y and grunge-y show. Our Fashion Office declared that punk was back, and here to stay. When I returned to Milan the following week to see Prada and Miu Miu’s runway shoe collections, I saw punk influences again: masculine lug-soles, Doc Marten-inspired boots and booties,  and exposed zippers. When the Met Gala was punk themed, I knew it was here to stay. The punk-inspired costumes and makeup were especially fun: SJP’s mohawk was one of my favorites, and I actually loved Kim K’s floral dress (haters gonna hate, but I love her).


This morning I met Jess and Sonya at The Met to check out the Costume Institute’s PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibit which is filled with original punk outfits from the 1970s all the way up to recent designer Ready To Wear. Extremely interesting to see how designers have been inspired and influenced by the punk culture back in the day.
Highly recommend, although don’t expect me to be dressing punk anytime soon ; )


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The Perks of Being Sick


Although I was 110% miserable last week, being sick does have a few perks… you have an excuse to eat chocolate pudding for breakfast (because, you know, your throat hurts and stuff), you finally get to clear out your DVR (all caught up on Teen Mom and Nashville!), and you’ll find a few new favorite shows (hello Girl Code!). Lastly, because your boyfriend is the best (and might be just a little tired of hearing you whine), he sends you the prettiest tulips and iris flowers to brighten your day. Thanks, B!



Already six days into May – when did that happen and how did I miss it? Oh yeah, I was a fever zombie last week. Happy to say I am well on the road to recovery after spending two nights home with mom, Barry and the dogs and a lot of time outside on Sunday soaking in this gorgeous New York weather (that lasts for about three weeks until it becomes insanely hot and humid. Gotta love this city…) May is like the wind-up to summer, am I right? Weather starts getting warmer, weekends start getting busier, and May flowers finally start to pop up everywhere. But careful! You blink and it’s gone! I already have my next three weekends booked, on top of lots of things going on during the week as well (ahem, kickball.) and, oh right, work and stuff. Looking forward to it, and summer here I come!


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Pajama Party



I’ve always been a big fan of PJs, and they’re really on my mind after two (going on three) sick days in bed. I spent most of Monday in my Ralph Lauren cheetah PJs, yesterday I looked like a straight up slob, and today I’m rocking a Honeydew nighty that is keeping me (somewhat) cool despite my 102 degree fever. Aside from the fever, I’m in the market for some summery PJs and this Sleepy Jones Sleep Set is on the top of my wish list. A little pricey, so this JCrew set might be a better option ; )