Friday, January 30, 2009

Party Preview

Preparing the night before always makes a dinner party more relaxed. Last night, I dressed the pork loins in garlic and oregano, made a cilantro pepitas salad dressing, stuffed peppers with cheese, baked brownies, peeled jicama and set the table.

Unfortunately, none of my standby damask tablecloths work with my wedding china. So I went with vintage embroidered placemats instead. This is also the debut of my new gorgeous silverware. Yes, that is a little glass-lined salt cellar with matching tiny spoon. I'm in heaven!

What to Wear: Crew Kids Inspired Pink and Orange

I think after seeing Sasha and Malia bundled up at the inauguration, we all want to wear Crew Cuts! Claire wrote in with a request to replicate one favorite in particular:
I totally envy some of the outfits J. Crew comes up with for little girls. I wasn't dressed nearly so cute as a munchkin.

The attached outfit is from the J. Crew kids shop. Can something similar be drummed up for a grown up girl? Sans ladder of course. Its so darn cheerful and would make me smile all day long just wearing it.
I think you could easily make it "grown up" by cribbing the orange and pink color scheme in different pieces. A gray pencil skirt, white blouse, orange sweater, bright pumps and a pink coat or jacket. But let's try to get as close as possible to the real thing - in a look that works for the office - instead:

Skirt - From Forever 21 for $21. You might need to do something about the bow when you see it in person.
Shirt - The white shirt is a key barrier between the two colors.
Cardigan - In just the right shade of bright tangerine. It pulls out the orange highlights in the skirt.
Shoes - Classic brown pumps make this an outfit for grown-ups.
Brooch - A lovely oval diamond estate brooch.
Purse - A classic brown tote from Target.

Top it with a brown scarf and a khaki trench, you're ready to be cheery all day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ladies Activity Club: Game Night

We had our LAC party for January on Tuesday. It was a really great one! Alison invited us over for a night of video games with the girls. And she welcomed us with some delicious food: cheese straws made with a smoked spicy cheese, white bean bruschetta, brie with crackers, dried fruit and Pac Man cupcakes.

















Then the fun really started! We played a trivia game first, followed by a sort-of-jenga game and then Rock Band:













I'm much better at bass or singing than playing the drums! Although, their dog hilariously wouldn't stop barking at me when I sang Blondie's "Call me." Alison's husband provided a lot of tech-support to the group. At one point we ran out of batteries and raided the clock on the wall to keep playing.













We ended with some rounds of Wii boxing and doubles tennis.

Party Recipe: Architecture Menu

Friday's party is getting closer and I have a pretty good menu worked out in my mind. The theme is "architectural nuevo San Diego" aka: fancy mexican food.

Starters:
Pepitas and other little snacks, maybe some fruit with chili powder
Tres Equis beer, pomegranate margaritas on the rocks

Salad:
Stacked salad of julienned jicama, apples, arugula, manchego with a citrus cilantro dressing.

Main Course:
Deconstructed carnitas tacos: roasted pork loin seasoned with oregano, chili powder and garlic served with roasted jalepenos stuffed with queso asadero, fingerling potatoes, roasted tomatoes, fresh avocado and tostada strips.

Dessert:
I haven't finalized this. I'm leaning toward brownies and homemade cinnamon ice cream.

(Photo from Flickr user clayirving)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: More Venues

The search for a perfect wedding venue continues. Jean and Trent were thinking about renting a house in Tahoe, but the logistics were getting out of control. Here are a couple more places that are in the running:

Hacienda de la Flores - In Moraga and a current favorite (thanks Logan!)

Jardines de San Juan - Near the mission in San Juan Bautista. A lot cuter than the photos on their site make it out to be.

Brazilian Room at Tilden Park - A pretty spot in the east bay.

UC Davis Arboretum - Jeans loves her some Davis and plants.

Stern Grove - Another great forest location in the middle of San Francisco. Here's a slideshow of a wedding there. (Thanks Mary!)

Headlands Center for the Arts - With those great mismatched chairs!

Fort Mason - By the water and pretty inexpensive. (Thanks Denise!)

Berkeley Faculty Club - Another great, low key east bay location.

Mills College, Pedro Point Firehouse, Taber Ranch, Strawberry Lodge, Old St. Hilary's Church - I haven't had time to research these yet (Thanks other commenters!)

Wedding Wednesday: Inspiration Boards

Snippet & Ink seems to have created every wedding inspiration board imaginable. It's a great place to start brainstorming ideas for the little details. Here are three of my favorites for Jean's wedding:

Board 170: Nasturtium and Lime

















Board 135: Felicidades



















Board 199: Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Do: Candles

I'll likely change my mind when the spring daffodils arrive, but I'm off fresh flowers for the time being. They just die too quickly for this economy.

Instead, I've been relying on big bowls of fruit (oranges & pomegranates mostly) and a lots of candles. Recession or not, they seem just right for cold January nights.

For $18, you can get one of these pretty 3-wick Voluspa candles at Anthropologie. Champaca is my favorite and I had the Capri Fig going at my wedding reception. They last a very, very long time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Party Recipe: A Feast Fit for an Architect

Our good friend, Matt, is took his final architecture license exam this week. In honor of this great achievement - and to celebrate the fact that my crazy silverware arrived - we're having him over for dinner on Friday night.

I just need to come up with a menu fit for an architect! "Deconstructed" recipes are an easy match. Something with Mexican-flair since he's from San Diego. And maybe some version of a gingerbread house for dessert. Anyone know Frank Lloyd Wright's favorite cocktail? Any other clever ideas?

One thing's for sure, we'll need some very fancy eyeglasses.

Michelle Obama Raises the Bar on Hostess Gifts

Oh, snap. Not only did Michelle Obama make the genius move of bringing a hostess gift for Laura Bush on the day of the inauguration, she made it personal.

Mrs. O reports: "But unlike many hostess gifts-candy, wine, flowers-this one was a highly personalized selection. It was a leather-bound journal inscribed with a quote from Louis L’Amour, the American writer known for his iconic Western novels: 'There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.' Accompanying the journal was a pen engraved with the date January 20, 2009."

Wow....just, wow. Hostess gifts may never be the same. Michelle has officially set the gold standard.

Book Report: North River

I picked up this novel second-hand for our trip to Pacific Grove and ripped through it pretty quickly.

North River is a timely story about Manhattan life during the long recovery from the Great Depression. Not exactly great literature, but a good, solid love story to cozy up with in the winter.

Act of Kindness: Tootsie to the Rescue

I had a bit of a scare on my way home from the movies on Sunday. Amber and I were saying goodbye outside the theater when a big tattooed guy asked us for some money. We said "sorry, no" and parted ways.

As I walked away, the jerk muttered something foul under his breath and started to follow me to the corner. Very creepy. I was nervous but not too worried; it was the middle of the day, on a crowded street and I carry a big ol' mace in my purse.

While waiting for the light to change and trying to avoid the creepy stare, a tall transgendered woman suddenly walked up to my side - between me and the guy - and asked if I was okay. I said I was but that I appreciated her coming over to stand next to me.

She walked me all the way across the street and down the block. When we were in the clear, she said she'd watch down the street while I walked away just in case. As I waited for the bus and called the police to report the creep, I saw her walking back to her original destination - the complete opposite of mine.

Such a generous, kind and brave thing to do for a stranger on the street! You can only imagine the indignities that she's had to face as a transgendered person trying to just live a normal life - and to stand up for me against this thug...amazing.

Weekend Round-Up: Biking Between the Rain

Of our my goals for the year has been to spend more time visiting out-of-town friends. So this weekend, Rob and I hit the road for Davis in the pouring rain.

We spent Friday night at a housewarming party for my high-school buddy, Jackie. She has a new apartment in The Village, a famous planned community with a focus on bike paths, edible gardens and solar panels. Completely Davis "high society!" (To Sara: your family is practically Davis royalty. Everyone at the party seemed to know you or your parents!)













Sunday morning, the skies were cloudy but dry. We biked to Cafe Bernardo for a huge eggs benedict and burrito breakfast. After, we rode our bikes 15 miles, along almond groves and sheep farms, out to Winters.













We had a great pace on these empty roads and finished all 30 miles pretty quickly. Back at her apartment, we helped with some errands and had a grilled cheese lunch before driving back to the city. Hot baths to rest our sore arms and legs.

Sunday morning, we followed our new routine. Up early to bike to Velo Rouge Cafe, cups of delicious Blue Bottle coffee and breakfast sandwiches. It was a very windy and cold day out but we managed to ride another 10 miles around the city after, focusing on climbing hills. I'm getting buff!

I met up with Amber in the afternoon for a movie. We saw Bride Wars, which was a bit better than expected. A fun cotton-candy movie: sweet, airy, colorful and with no redeeming nutritional value. Back at home, Rob and I cleaned house and prepared for the week ahead.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What to Wear: Bridal Showers

Bridal showers can be lovely. There are so few occasions for a special party with only the closest women from your life. Charlotte has the somewhat-dubious luck of having four bridal showers of a different kind thrown for her this spring:
I really enjoy your blog. I have a difficult what to wear question. Any advice would be super helpful! Wedding showers. That's right, showers plural, because my mother in law and her friends are throwing me FOUR.

She still lives in the mid-sized Midwestern city where she grew up and has a ton of friends and she has thrown showers for lots of their kids over the years. So, I've agreed to the four showers, somewhat to my dismay.


The twist is, they will all be on the same weekend in April or May, two on Saturday a
nd two on Sunday. I won't know almost anyone except my mother-in-law to be. I assume two of the showers will be at lunchtime, one will be a cocktail party, and the last is still up in the air. So really I need four outfits, I guess. But I'm not asking you to do all that.

Do you have any suggestions for a couple of classic pieces that I could mix and match or repurpose from shower to shower somehow? I just won't wear four fancy outfits in my everyday life.

I already have a knee-length, silk, cream and navy blue patterned dress from
JCrew to wear to one shower (I bought it some time ago, so no picture available on their web site), and I was thinking of investing in some really nice heels. Otherwise, I'm a little stumped. Cardigans? A skirt? I don't even know.
Mix and match! This is a fun chance to load up on some cute clothes. I think you'll want at least two skirts, your dress and some tops to rotate:






















Skirt - I wore a satin skirt like this to one of my showers. Topped with a simple sweater, pearls and a pair of pumps and you have a classic look.
Skirt - This sort of pencil skirt in navy is super versatile. You can wear it to a luncheon, work or a cocktail party.
Cardigan - Gray goes with the navy pencil skirt, the yellow skirt and the dotted dress.
Top - Look positively bridal in a ruffled white shirt.
Fancy Top - Combine with the navy pencil skirt for a classy evening look.
Tank - In navy for simple layering.
Shoes - All you really need is one perfect pair of navy pumps. Charlotte has her eye on these from Boden.
Clutch & Pearls - From Forever 21.
Red Necklace - On sale from Anthropologie.

Gift Idea: Baby Shower

Pregnant friends seem to be popping up like spring crocuses. It's shower season!

This moses basket is $45 from Amazon. Combined with a couple hand-embroidered soft onesies and I think you'd have a perfect shower gift.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coveted: Office Fireplace

This may be completely unremarkable, but I don't remember ever seeing photos of the oval office fireplace in use before. I love the idea of President Obama having a crackling fire to keep him warm while working on his first day.

Speaking of which, winter has returned with a vengeance to San Francisco. We went from high 70's on Tuesday to rainy 50's today. I wish I had a fireplace of my own!

Things I Love Today: Paulette Macarons

Mmm! I received a great hostess gift on Tuesday: Alison brought me a box of Parisian macarons. Paulette recently opened a new store in Hayes Valley here in the city - expanding from their other store in Beverly Hills. Lucky us!

So far, the salted caramel and violet cassis are my favorites.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Locations

The hunt for a wedding venue continues! Jean and Trent are looking for a low-key, fairly inexpensive ($1,000 to $2,500) place that would seat 100. In Northern California, near an airport and hotels. And ideally, in a wooded area, near the ocean and/or mission style.

Here's what I've found so far:

La Perla Del Mar - A sweet little mission style church and reception hall in Shell Beach near our hometown and the ocean.

Lucie Stern Community Center - Another mission-style venue, this time further north in Palo Alto.

Mission on the Hill - In Vacaville - near Trent's hometown - and with very few details on the site. Looks pretty though.

Oz Farm
- Expensive, but a lovely farm location up in Mendocino.

Mountain Home Inn - I've had lunch here before - pretty fancy - but a nice location up on Mount Tam in Marin. Here are other outdoor wedding sites in the region.

Presidio - San Francisco's own woodland, ocean-facing, historical area. We have friends who were married in the little chapel by the cemetery and had their reception at the log cabin. It's nice because you're in the city, but it is an open space with lots of parking.

Know of any other hot locations we should be considering?

Inauguration Party

Last night was a lot of fun! Eight of us gathered to have dinner and toast the new President. I dressed up in my best "American" outfit - denim dress, red cowboy boots and silver and turquoise jewelry.

We shared a magnum of good champagne (turns out that you can saber a magnum just like any other bottle). Ate good cheeses and bread for our appetizer. And had a dinner of baked potatoes, Obama's chili recipe and salad. Followed by spiced peach cobbler.

The centerpiece is red tea roses and Peruvian lilies. I covered the three vases with blue paper and red ribbon to match.

PS: Have you seen Mrs. O?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations to Us All



To Do: Day of Service

This was an uplifting and fun way to spend MLK Day! Rob and I signed up last week to be a part of the National Park Service volunteer day on Alcatraz Island.

On our groggy walk along the embarcadero, we had a chance to start our service a little early: helping an elderly woman who had been knocked down by a bicyclist. Rob directed traffic around the scene while I called 911 with the details. The fire department arrived quickly and the woman looked like she would be fine. We headed off to our real destination with one good-deed under our belt.

We met up with the other 40 volunteers at Pier 33 and rode the boat over to the island at 8:30 am. I'd never been before, so it was a treat. We spent some time listening to the volunteer coordinator, clapping for her 29 years of service to the National Parks, getting a little emotional about Obama and being very excited about our new park volunteer hats embroidered with "day of service" on the back.













Rob and I went with a group of 10 to work on the "agave path" area of the island, along the water and facing Treasure Island. We shoveled erosion, raked eucalyptus leaves and joked around until 12:00. This sign was my particular domain. Our finished product looked great!













As a thank you, the park arranged for the volunteers to get a special behind-the-scenes tour of Alcatraz. We saw the movie theater/chapel and got to walk around on the roof for a great 360 degree view of the bay. Plus, our ranger was so proud of the volunteers: he got emotional talking about the new president (most of the volunteers were there because Michelle Obama had asked) and seemed to enjoy telling onlooking tourists that our group had "served our country" that morning. Not too bad for a little bit of brush clearing!

















You can see all our photos from the Day of Service online.

Weekend Round-Up: California Dreaming

Whew. This was one action packed weekend! We definitely made the most of the January heatwave that is ending today.

On Friday, we walked from work to a used bookstore on 16th and then met Meg and her fiance for dinner at my favorite Indian restaurant. We had a great dinner with a ton of food, a sampling of beers and lively conversation. Rob and I walked home after and spent the night preparing for our overnight trip.


















We left for Pacific Grove on Saturday morning after an oatmeal and coffee breakfast. A bright and sparkling day, with lots of artichoke fields along the beach and temperatures in the high 70's. We parked at Lover's Point, unloaded the bike and hit the road.













Our route took us up through Monterey, into the hills for a few big climbs, over to 17-mile road, down to Pebble Beach and along the water all the way back around the peninsula. 33.5 miles in all!


















I got off the bike feeling up for doing another lap but quickly bonked once on solid ground. In our excitement for the ride, we hadn't really eaten much all day. We checked into our hotel and went straight for dinner in downtown Pacific Grove. I felt much better after a little pizza and a lot of soaking in the hot tub.

The next morning, we checked out and drove all over Santa Cruz looking at wedding venues for my sister. My favorite was the Seymour Marine Center, which is an active science facility and a small museum. Look at their view!













A nice lunch at Kelly's French Bakery. Back in the city around 4:00. I read for a while and started decorating the house for the inauguration party.

Sunday morning: up way too early for our Day of Service activities. I'll detail all that awesomeness in a separate post. We got back home at 2:00 and Margaret came over. Bocce ball in Dolores Park to enjoy the rest of the sunny day.


















Grocery shopping, party prep and then out to see Defiance at the fancy Sundance Kabuki Theater to end our busy weekend. You can see the rest of our photos here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Packing List

I couldn't resist scanning this post-it and sharing it with you. Best packing list for a overnight vacation ever? Maybe.

The real question is why do they all start with "B?"

To Do: Mini Vacation

Rob and I are off for a quick jaunt this weekend. We got a good deal on a hotel in Pacific Grove (between Monterey and Carmel) for a night. A long bike ride, a soak in the hot tub, a walk on the beach and checking out a couple wedding venues for Jean & Trent.

The weather looks amazing all weekend. Have a nice three day break!

What to Wear: Student Teacher

This week's What to Wear is from Amanda:
I start student teaching in a third grade classroom in a few weeks. I want to make a good impression on my cooperating teacher and my new students. I want to look professional, but I want my outfit to show my personality as well (I am bubbly, humorous, and very organized). I am on a budget because I have no income right now due to my internship and grad school. I have a lot of staple pieces in my wardrobe, maybe we can punch something up. Green and brown are my favorite colors.
I admit it: I've daydreamed about being a teacher before and, yes, it was all about the clothes. I just believe that if you're in a position of authority over children, you should dress like a grown-up. Here's one way for Amanda to pull off a young academic look on a budget:

Necklace - The starting point for the whole outfit. A lot of personality for $42 from Anthropologie. Valentine's Day present?
Skirt - I love corduroy skirts, this one is at Old Navy for $20. Pair it with nude fishnet nights for a little extra coverage in the winter.
Sweater - On sale from J. Crew for $30.
Cami - From Old Navy.
Shoes - Yes, they're pumps...but from Naturalizer. So you can look great and still run around in heels.
Bag - Big leather tote from Etsy.
Glasses - Of course! A trendy item that happens to match your occupation perfectly.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Party Recipe: Inauguration

We're having some friends over on Tuesday to celebrate the Obama inauguration (I still can't quite believe it!). We'll be decorating the house with red, white and blue and serving dinner. Here's what I've got in mind so far.

Food: Depending on how many people RSVP, I'll either do a casual buffet: baked potatoes, Obama's recipe for chili, salad, Obama's favorite peach cobbler. Or a sit down dinner: a version of the official luncheon menu.

Drinks: The second magnum of champagne (we drank the first on election night). Pomegranate spritzers.

Decorations: White tablecloth, blue runner, red napkins. Candelabras with red bows tied on. Flags. Bunting.

Activities: Some presidential trivia, the TV tuned to news coverage, judging of fashion choices at the various balls.

To Do: Weeds

Sorry to be so late today! I fell into one of those tv-series-on-DVD black holes last night with the last disk of Weeds.

My sister got be hooked on the show when we were in North Carolina. Mary-Louise Parker is awesome.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Custom Wedding Banners

Thank you Etsy! Where else could you find a source for custom Mexican paper banners. The ladies of Ay Mujer will make custom flags with your names.

The mini flag design would be super fun for save the dates.

Wedding Wednesday: Flower Combs

Sometimes, it's the smallest things that turn out to be the biggest inspiration. Jean picked out these flower hair combs from the latest Martha Stewart Weddings issue. They're casual, bold, mexican-related...perfect for a starting point.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inspired: Maya Lin

We went to the de Young on Saturday for the Yves Saint Laurent and stumbled on an amazing Maya Lin exhibit. The show is all about topography and maps, wood and wire. If you are a cartophile, you'll think it is very cool.

The cutouts in atlases (pictured) were especially detailed and be sure to check out the slideshow of construction for the giant mound of wood in the lobby.

To Do: Tunisia?

Tunisian food on Sunday combined with a description of a trip in Tunisia in Tender to the Bone, have me thinking about an exotic trip to Northern Africa.

The New York Time's travel section is always the first place I start my research.

Monday, January 12, 2009

To Do: Martin Luther King Day of Service

Martin Luther King Day is next Monday (wow, this month is going fast). I'm looking forward to the unexpected three day weekend.

For the first time, Rob and I are going to take part in the National Day of Service. In the past, I've always seen it on the news at the end of the long weekend and regretted not signing up to help.

If you're not sure where to volunteer, there are two places to look: Obama's USA Service website or the official MLK Day website. A great way to start the New Year and to ramp up for the inauguration on Tuesday!

Book Report: Tender at the Bone

Tender at the Bone was my Christmas stocking book and my companion on the cross-country flight to North Carolina. It's a vivid read about food critic Ruth Reichl's childhood and love affair with cooking. Plus, it comes with recipes!

I especially liked her descriptions of a different era in New York, one with cooks and maids. Our tiny turn-of-the-century apartment is set up with a service entrance to the kitchen, which always astounded me. A one-bedroom apartment with a full-time cook?

Weekend Round-Up: I ♥ SF

When the weather is this perfect, there's no better city in the world than San Francisco. New York? Paris? Meh, they can't compete with a clear and warm winter day by the bay.

We started our weekend with a long walk: 3 miles from the office in Portrero Hill to a dinner party in Russian Hill. We walked the full length of Polk Street, including the up-and-coming Tender Nob area. I love this sort of trek and seeing all the hustle-bustle along the way. We stopped at a cute cheese market near Broadway to get wine and bread. A fun dinner party and a great night!

Saturday, we both woke up feeling worn out and under the weather - this flu will just not leave me alone. We had a quiet morning with Rob working on the LAC website and me cleaning house.

Margaret came over after lunch and we took the train to the de Young Museum. We saw over 100 amazing outfits at the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit. Golden Gate Park was packed with happy people enjoying the nice day. Back at home, we hung out in the apartment the rest of the evening.

Up early Sunday morning to finally make the most of this winter heat-wave. Rob and I took the tandem bike out at 8:30 for a long breakfast ride across the city. Blue Bottle Coffee at Velo Rouge cafe and then out to the beach and back for a total of 16 miles. The sparkling waves were packed with surfers. Back at home only briefly before taking the car to get Matt and go to the climbing gym where I practiced my lead climbing for an hour (I'm going to be so sore!)

On the way to dropping Matt back off, we stopped for lunch at a tasty Tunisian cafe. Humus and schwarmas all around. What a great find!

In the afternoon, Jill and Peter came to pick us up for a quick jaunt to Berkeley for some shopping. Jill's due in a few months, so it's extra fun to check in with her and the babe-to-be. The Gardener was my favorite shop. We saw the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge on our way home. I love this city!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Resolutions

Wow. I did pretty well with my resolutions for 2008. I didn't even realize I accomplished most of these before looking at the list today:

2008 Resolutions:
  1. Cancel cable TV. Free HD channels by antenna are the best!
  2. Put on lipstick every morning. Keeping a stash of shades by the door has helped.
  3. Find a new dentist.
  4. Buy measuring spoons. It has occurred to me that I may not be an inherently terrible baker...just not a good guestimator.
  5. Camp on Angel Island.
  6. Get the dark freckle under my left eye zapped off. It makes me look tired.
  7. Be thicker skinned.
  8. Take bass lessons.
  9. Paint the dining room.
  10. Don't worry. Be happy.
  11. Wear more red.
  12. Judge others less.
  13. Channel the bad-ass-ness of female rockers like Von Iva and Nancy Wilson. Oh, and the laid-back-ness of Kerri Russell.
  14. Plan the wedding without undue stress.
  15. Go for long rides on the tandem bike along the beach.
  16. Make a website for the Ladies Activity Club.
  17. Be a better listener. Try to really focus when people are talking and come up with good questions to ask back. Listen to a lot of Terry Gross for pointers.
  18. Redecorate the bedroom. (Done, although re-messed up.)
  19. Start climbing 5.10 c's and d's.
  20. Cook healthy food from scratch at least twice a week.
Let's do it again for 2009:
  1. Good posture. This is my main goal for the year. I'm tired of seeing photos where I'm hunched over.
  2. Camp on Angel Island. Rob booked a July campsite yesterday.
  3. Make the LAC website. Coming soon, I promise.
  4. Host at least one dinner party each month.
  5. Plan an international vacation.
  6. Help Jean & Trent with their wedding.
  7. Take an art class.
  8. Wear more sneakers.
  9. Be bona fide. Defined as: authentic, authoritative, card-carrying, credible, for real, genuine, good-faith, legitimate, natural, official, original, pure, real, rightful, straight, true to life. Kathryn Hepburn and Diane Keaton are muses this year.
  10. Make the most of what I have.
  11. Have an incredibly fun year!

To Do: Sneakers

A fresh pair of sneakers should be a New Year's tradition! What better way to set out for 12 months of new adventures? Plus, they're very Kathryn Hepburn/Tea Leoni when paired with wide leg pants, a blouse and blazer.

Tretorn (they're a friend of the blog and recently sent me a pair of sweet boots to test out) has some classy pairs on sale that would do the trick quite nicely.

Things I Love Today: Jacket Potatoes

A baked potato (the brits call them "jacket potatoes" which is way more fun) and a big green salad has to be one of my all-time favorite simple dinners. Easy and cheap! We had them last night, loaded with pepper and cheese, after our NERT meeting.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What to Wear: Riding Boots

Kate got a great present for Christmas this year:
My husband surprised me with an early Christmas gift of beautiful black riding boots. I usually lean toward a bit of a heel and a pointy toe for boots, but was surprised by how much I loved these when I tried them on. Can you suggest a work-appropriate outfit that would go with these great boots? I'm 5'7" and a size 10, and though I work in a fairly conservative environment, am desperately trying to add some interest to my wardrobe!
How fun! Let's pair the boots with a sleek sweater dress:

Dress - $40 down from $200 for this Design History dress? Nice. America Ferrara rocked her hourglass figure in a similarly belted dress on The View this week. Add your own wide belt if you want more structure. Wear your hair up to accentuate the neckline.
Tights - My favorite thing this winter. Or, you could add even more flair with a pair in blue.
Jacket - In bright persimmon red from Anthropologie on sale.
Boots - Kate's own, with Nike cushions and a little sale to boot.
Bracelet - I have this one from many years ago. It's darling, and half off at $22.
Scarf - In cream and gray from Forever21.
Earrings - On sale at the Met.
Bag - On sale at Urban Outfitters.

Throw a classic khaki trench on top. Comfy and polished for winter in the office.

Thank You!

The internet really is the best! Thanks to your 136 comments on the holiday comments-for-cans post, I'm going to donate $150 to the San Francisco Food Bank.

This amazing organization turns every $1 donation into $9 worth of food for the community. That's $1,350 worth of food thanks to EmilyStyle readers. And not just canned goods; 50% of the 33 million pounds of food they deliver each year consists of healthy fresh produce.

Thank you for your support and for helping the hungry. We're in for a great year!