Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stalking Fashion

After spending a weekend in NYC, I have been craving fashion. As you can imagine, the streets of Northwest Arkansas aren’t quite the runway that New York City streets can be. In order to indulge my fashion hunger I have gone to the internet. I find it amazing that I can see what people are wearing on the streets of London, Munich, Helsinki, and other fashion capitols all over the world! I have spent a lot of time searching through photos of regular people with exceptional style and trying to figure out how I can incorporate more extreme style into my boring business casual wardrobe. I think I will make it a goal to be more fashionable in 2008. (My brother is a fashion designer, so you would think this would be easier than it is.) I don’t have a lot of options for shopping here in AR, but I will find a way. I also have to keep in mind that I am on a budget, so I will have to get really creative. I am jealous of the people on the blog, Hel Looks, from Helsinki, Finland. Most people say that their looks have come from second hand shops. What I would give for a second hand store with something other than old overalls and moth ball sweaters. I guess I’d have to move to Finland. I have added my favorite “street style” links on this blog (mostly so I can access them easily.) Being Fashionable is a good 2008 goal for me, much better than Get in Shape. I like McDonald’s and chocolate way too much to make a Resolution kind of commitment to fitness. I can just hope that baggy clothes will be "in" next year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Candy Goodies

A few weeks ago at our Pampered Chef party our hostess, Julianne, showed us this really easy recipe for chocolate bar candy. I decided to try this recipe at home and make some goodies to send out with our Christmas gifts. These are such a nice treat that only takes about 15 minutes. These would be great for little gifts for teachers, co-workers or anyone else on your list.

Supplies you need:
Christmas Cookie Cutters (I bought a big stack of them at the Dollar Store)
Cellophane baggies (Another Dollar Store purchase, they have Christmas ones!)

1 package 24oz. almond bark (you can use white or milk chocolate)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup slivered almonds
2 cups Rice Krispies

1. Put a large cutting board in the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes.

2. Break apart almond bark and melt in the microwave. I put in for 1 1/2 minutes and then 30 second intervals to get it totally melted.

3. Stir in a Rice Krispies, a little more than half of the cranberries and about half of the almonds.

4. Pull out the chilled cutting board and cover with parchment paper. Arrange the cookie cutters, cutting side down on the parchment paper.

5. Spoon melted mixture into the cookie cutters. (I filled mine almost to the rim.)

6. Top with the left over cranberries and almonds.

7. Candy should harden on the chilled board in a few minutes. If the candy is still gooey, stick the board back in the freezer for a minute.

8. Once the candy has hardened, you can peel the cookie cutters off the parchment paper and put the cutter with candy in a cellophane bag. Tie up with ribbon and you’re done!

Thanks Julianne, for a great easy recipe!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Weekend in NYC

Last week, work took me to Long Island, so I extended my stay to hang with my little bro in NYC. We had so much fun and what I’d call a “Super Bravo Weekend”.

Day One: I got to Chris’ apartment (up six flights of stairs) on Thursday around lunch time. We ran out and grabbed a slice of NY pizza and went for a lil’ shop in Soho. We stopped at the Bloomingdales where Chris used to work and all the ladies working in the cosmetics department were so excited to see him. They all had flawless make-up and were very nice. That’s when it really hit me that I was in NYC. (The cosmetic Mom’s in my mall in Arkansas just don’t compare.) After shopping we went back to the apartment (up six flights of stairs) and relaxed for a bit. We caught the end of the week’s episode of Project Runway that I had missed since I was in a Red Roof hotel on Long Island. Then we went to dinner at
Craft Bar, Chef Tom Colicchio’s restaurant from Top Chef. We met Anne Ratner, owner of Ratner Company (Bubble’s Hair Salon , from the Hair Show post) and her daughter Kelly for dinner. Dinner was a blast and the food was amazing. We had reservations at 8:15pm and ended up closing the place down at 11:30pm. My good friend from college, Scott, met me at the restaurant and we went for drinks and caught up until 1:00am. He had to work the next day, so I felt extra special that he stayed out so late. I got a cab and made it back to the apartment (up six flights of stairs for the third time Day One).

Day Two: I woke up on the couch with my gluts burning from all the stair climbing. We got up late and went to lunch at my brother’s favorite restaurant, Angelina’s. Chris had to do some shopping for projects he is working on, so we took the subway to the garment district. This was a real treat for me as I’ve never been to that part of the city. It was snowing lightly while we were wandering around which I thought was kind of fun. We went in a few different stores fabric store and I was really astonished. There was fabric stacked from floor to ceiling in huge warehouse like shops. I would never be able to make a decision in a place like that. We stopped in
Mood fabric (made famous by Project Runway). It was really funny how we had to get there. It is located in an office building with no sign that says Mood anywhere. You have to get in an elevator that is run by an operator and go to the second floor to even get to the store. It was packed with customers, so maybe New Yorkers are better navigators than me. Throughout the weekend, Chris was approached in the streets and in stores by fans of PR, but the Mood sighting was my all time favorite. As we were leaving the store, down the back staircase, a young girl ran to the top of the stairs and yelled down, “YOU ARE CHRISTIAN!” I thought she was going to break into tears. Chris just looked back and said, “Yeah, I am. Hi.” and then we left. On the way back to the subway we stopped in Steven, by Steve Madden and got two gorgeous pairs of boots. Then, we went back to the apartment (up six flights of stairs) and relaxed and watched Bravo for a few hours. That evening we went to dinner with Victoria, another contestant on PR, and her husband, Sandro. They were so nice and I could tell they really look out for my brother. They were talking contracts and giving advice how to handle different opportunities that have come about since PR has started. It makes me feel good that Chris has people like that with his best interest in mind. After dinner we went back to the apartment, (up six flights of stairs) watched the Devil Wear’s Prada, and went to sleep.

Day Three: My Mom decided that she would come to visit from Maryland since this is the closest we would get to being together for Christmas. She took a bus into the city and met us at Macy’s. That part of the city was totally packed with tourists and my brother hates crowds, so he wasn’t so excited about meeting there. We walked through the first floor of Macy’s just to see the holiday decorations and it was really beautiful. We jumped on the subway to go see Rockefeller Center and find a place for lunch. We ate at a delicious Italian restaurant and went to see the big tree. Rockefeller was nice, but smaller than I remembered. I guess that would be because I haven’t seen it in person since I was 7 years old and everything always looks bigger on TV. We shopped around for a while at the Gap, Anthropologie, J. Crew and Banana Republic. My Mom got me a new sweater and 2 scarves as a Christmas present. She got my brother a bag at J. Crew and the guy checking us out was a Super Project Runway Fan. He asked to come to the front of the line and told us how he and his friends have a viewing part in Brooklyn every Wednesday for the past 2 seasons. After shopping we jumped on the subway and went back to the apartment (up six flights of stairs). My mom wanted to see the projects my brother had been working on and we didn’t think we had 3 more hours of shopping in us as her bus wasn’t leaving until 6:30pm. After relaxing, Mom jumped in a cab and made it back on the bus and home safe. Chris and I went to dinner at a Korean Restaurant, BonJoo, near his apartment. I hadn’t had Korean food since I was in college and it was really delicious. After dinner I walked up six flights of stairs for the final time.

Day Four: Not much NYC time on Sunday as my flight left around noon and I wanted to make sure I could get through security at LaGuardia airport. I packed my bag Sunday morning and jumped in a cab to the airport to head back to Arkansas. I had such a wonderful time just roaming the city and spending some quality time with my little bro. He’s kind of a big deal.