Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New York Trip Feb 2009 - Part 3: The Day After

Needless to say, I had a hangover the day after the show. Thankfully, we did not have grand plans for the day. It was absolutely freezing outside and everyone agreed that we could not spend the day wandering the streets. We had breakfast on the third floor in the hotel and my mother went to talk to the concierge about the museums. We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott and the service was absolutely awesome. The staff was really friendly and helpful and the room was a suite, so it was spacious enough for three people to share without trying to kill each other. This is an important statement considering that these three people were me, my mother and Evan. Not exactly the Three Musketeers.

We agreed on the Guggenheim Museum. None of us had ever been and it seemed like a good alternative to sitting in the hotel or braving the cold. We took a cab through Central Park to get to the Museum. It was really nice to drive through since I’ve only ever driven on one side. I did long for it to be spring since the park was pretty bare. There were quite a lot of people in the park considering it was a weekday (Friday) and absolutely frigid cold. While we were enjoying the scenery on Park Avenue, from inside the cab, we noticed that schools seemed to be letting out. A bunch of elementary aged children in school uniforms were swarming the sidewalks being greeted by Nannies and family members. It was a quick glimpse into the every day lives of wealthy New York families. We all enjoyed guessing where they were going and what their lives must be like living in one of the most expensive and exclusive neighborhoods in the US.

Once we arrived at the Guggenheim, I was pretty hungry (and hung over, did I mention that?). We wandered in the cafĂ©, but they only have, what Evan and I refer to as, Starbuck’s food, prepackaged sandwiches and salads. Nothing looked appetizing. We all realized that we were pretty tired so we decided to split up and meet in an hour and a half. The architecture of the Guggenheim is part of the art. It is a big winding ramp that goes around the outside perimeter of the building and each floor has rooms that branch out. The smart thing to do would have been to take the elevator to the top and walk down, but I didn’t realize that until I walked more than half way up. I really wanted to see the famous artist’s works, the Picasso, Degas, Pollock, Warhol, Manet and Monet. I am happy to say that I saw at least one of each. I didn’t make it through the whole museum in our allotted time and my mother and Evan agreed that I missed the two coolest exhibits. I guess I’ll have to go back. Read more here…

Monday, February 23, 2009

New York Trip Feb 2009 - Part 2: The Afterparty

There is always downtime in between the runway show and the after party. I assume this is because New Yorkers like to do things late in the evening. The problem with this is, if I am left in a hotel room with a King sized bed after 8pm, there is no way I’ll make it. We decided that dinner was a much safer option. Jenn and Jenny from CIBU came with me, Evan, my mother, Jan and Molly to eat at Salute a few blocks from our hotel. The concierge recommended the restaurant and I am so happy that he did. This was by far the best meal we had the whole trip. It was only two blocks away from our hotel, but we managed to get lost and ended up right in front of a Payless Shoe store which made us all chuckle a bit. We finally found the restaurant using Molly’s GPS on her phone (thank goodness for those things).

I found this review on opentable.com and agree that it is right on. The service was absolutely fantastic. The whole restaurant experience was what you expect from fine dining in New York. I had a wide noodle pasta dish with fresh mozzarella, Mom had a soup with beautiful meatballs, Evan had a meat ravioli dish and Jan and Molly had a beautiful salad with filet minon. The meal was amazingly light and filling. Usually, after eating at an Italian restaurant, I am ready for bed, but this was the perfect portion in a lovely atmosphere. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone staying in the Midtown area. Go there for dinner!

270 Madison Avenue
(corner of 39th and Madison)
New York, NY 10016

After dinner, we were ready to party. The party started at 10pm (way past my bedtime) at the W Hotel. I don’t remember which W Hotel, but I do know that a few people went to the wrong one at first. We got lucky with travel for the first time on our visit. We jumped in a cab and got there with a few minutes to spare. The bar at the Hotel was all roped off with girls with clip boards at the door. I gave them my first name and while they searched for me on the list, my mother pushed through announcing, “I’m the mother.” At this point, I decided to follow her lead and headed for the bar. To read more and see drunk pictures click here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New York Trip Feb 2009 - Part 1: The Runway Show

As promised, I plan to post details about our New York trip throughout the week. We did so much in the three days we were there. It was an absolute blast!

The trip started off with a bang. Actually, it was more like a thud. It was the sound of our Amtrak train hitting a dear on the tracks. We had to stop for about 15-20 minutes so that someone could clear off the debris. Gross. Then we had to stop again because of who knows what, but we made it safe and sound to our hotel with plenty of time to relax and recoup before the runway show that evening. Or so I thought. I had a bag waiting for me at the desk with an amazing brown drapey skit, brown tights and the most amazing pair of his Payless runway shoes in a teal hieroglyphic print. The only thing missing was a top to this look. Did this mean I should go topless? Is that what is happening this season? A note said, “Maybe a turtleneck would look chic?” No color, no real description of what goes with the brown and teal. I wear all black at work everyday. I’m not good with color. What the hell? At this point we were about 4 hours away from the runway show, and Evan and I were off on a mission. My mother was in agony with an abscessed tooth, so she sat in the hotel lobby, looking pitiful and the concierge found a room she could check into early. Keep reading (and see more picures) here!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weekend in NYC

We are headed to the big city tomorrow to see my brother’s new line and enjoy a weekend in NYC. I am very excited to see this runway show. He is showing in the Bryant Park tents this season which should be a lot of fun. During our visit at Thanksgiving, I saw some of the original sketches of the clothes and the shoes, so it will be really cool to see these things come to life. As it turns out, my brother has something for me to wear including a pair of shoes from his collection. Payless is one of the sponsors and they made a pair of his runway shoes in a size 6 just for me! He is sending a box of clothes to our hotel for me to choose between a few options. I am a pretty lucky big sister. He really takes good care of me, considering all the little brother torture I put him through. Needless to say, the Anthropologie jacket is going back on the rack and my bags are packed with accessories for any occasion. After his show, we will probably do dinner and an after party. Hopefully, I will last longer than I did at the last after party. I am going to try to nap on the train so that I can stay awake and in good spirits for the end of the evening. Friday day, we may do a little shopping and lunch with my mom. Friday night, Evan and I have tickets to see Avenue Q. I am really looking forward to seeing a show this trip. We went to Wicked last February and it was awesome. I know this show is a lot different than Wicked, but the reviews look really good. Saturday we will pack up, have lunch and head home. A quick trip, but we pack all the fun in a short period of time. I plan to have Evan taking lots of pictures, so the blog should be back in action next week. Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti is one of my favorite comfort foods. This is one of my 5 recipes that I can cook with confidence and everything else is an experiment. This is my “go to” recipe when I know we have guests that will be staying for a few days. It refrigerates and reheats really well, so if people get hungry they can scoop some Ziti. There are only four ingredients, my kind of recipe.

1 lb box of ziti, cooked al dente (penne will work, too)
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
2 24oz jars of tomato sauce
4 cups mozzarella cheese

1. While the Ziti noodles are boiling, brown meat in a large sauce pan until cooked thoroughly. Drain meat and stir in tomato sauce.

2. Spray bottom and sides of a baking dish (I use my Pampered Chef Stone). Layer the tomato sauce and meat mixture then noodles then cheese. Repeat the layers. Make sure your top layer of cheese completely covers the noodles or else they will dry out.

3. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until the top of the cheese starts to brown.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fells Point, Baltimore

This weekend, Evan and I went to lunch in the Fells Point area of Baltimore. We have done the Inner Harbor a few times and were looking for a new destination. We walked around for a bit, popped in a few shops including TAG Galleries and Su Casa Furniture Store. It was a bit chilly out for a full day of wandering, so we decided on Kooper’s Tavern for lunch. I have only ever been to Fells Point in the evening (after a few drinks), so I was pretty clueless as to where to go for a meal. This place seemed pretty popular and we got a really nice window seat right away. Evan ordered a turkey sandwich with coleslaw on pumpernickel bread and I tried the Kobe Beef burger with brie and “onion straws”. My burger sounded amazing in the menu description, but there were just too many onions and they weren’t fried onions like I was imagining. I am not a big onion eater, so it was my fault for ordering something that was a bit of a gamble. If I had caught it in time, I could have pulled the excessive onions off, but the brie was completely melted by the time I realized the onion problem and without the cheese, this burger would have been blah. I know that is a lot of information about my burger, but I have been watching a lot of Top Chef lately, so I can't really help it...Even though my burger wasn’t the best, we still had a really nice day. I can not wait for spring weather when walking by the water can be an all day event, not just a few minutes to the end of the dock and back. Sunny days, please come back.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I HEART Cupcakes

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day this Saturday. Evan gave me the best Valentine's gift possible. He told me that I could stay on the couch all day and watch as many romantic comedies as I could stand. I watched the Jane Austin Book Club, Definitely Maybe and Dazed and Confused. I know Dazed is not a romantic comedy, but it is one of my favorites. I took a short break from the movies to make cupcakes. I have been wanting to make these V-day inspired cupcakes since my birthday last year when I received my cupcake recipe book. "Cupcakes and Other Goodies". They didn't turn out quite as beautiful as in the pages of my book, but they were still fun to make. I baked regular chocolate cupcakes with a cake mix and cut off the tops. I used a mini heart shaped cookie cutter to put the heart in the middle and frosted in between the top and bottom with canned frosting dyed with food coloring. This is low maintenance baking recipe was a nice distraction from the movie marathon.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Peanut Butter Crackers

I’m sure that you’ve heard about the Peanut Butter Crisis that is sweeping across the country. This has affected me in a big way. I have a pack of Keebler Peanut Butter Crackers for a morning snack, every day. I get teased about them at work because I eat them kind of funny. I open them up like Oreos and eat the peanut butter out of the middle and then eat the crackers. I get hungry around 10am and if I don’t have something, I am not pleasant by lunchtime. When the first tainted peanut butter story came out, I got emails and calls from coworkers worried about what I would do without my snack. I still haven’t found a good substitute. I was continuing to eat them after the warning went out, but recently a friend got sick and was told it could be tainted peanut butter. At that point I decided to throw my stash in the trash. If anyone has any suggestions of a good, portable, protein packed snack that could be a breakfast substitute, I am currently auditioning new recommendations.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Top Chef

Last night I stayed awake to watch the entire new episode of Top Chef. This is not my normal routine. Usually, I fall asleep half way through even though I always start with the intensions of staying awake. It is not that I don't love the show, but it doesn’t finish until 11pm which is way past my bedtime. I always catch the reruns, repeatedly. Luckily, I had 3 diet cokes at dinner with my friend Jill, so I was wide awake. What a great episode! I just love Eric Ripert. It is funny because I don’t eat seafood which is what he does, but I would consider him one of my favorite chefs. In the age of reality TV, my “favorite chefs” are characters that I watch, not people whose food I’ve eaten. What a concept. The only three chefs that I could name that I’ve eaten their food is my stepbrother, Ben (Chesapeake Bay Beach Club), Tom Colicchio (Craft) and Spike (Good Stuff). Two Top Chefers and a family member. I really enjoyed the show last night, but wish that Carla would have won. I am voting for her for Fan Favorite on Bravo’s website. She is just plain fun to watch. Plus she is from DC, so how could she not be my favorite?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


My mother is all a buzz about our plans to go to New York in two weeks. My brother is showing in the tents at Bryant Park! Very exciting! So today, I bought a jacket at Anthropologie for the event, but now I’m just not sure about it. I still don't have the bottom figured out, but I'm thinking a skirt with some fabulous tights. Not sure.Neither here nor there, the purpose of my post…I started thinking about all the interviews and comments I gave at the last fashion show in September. After the show I was so obsessed with buying up newspapers and searching stars in his designs that I kind of forgot my 30 seconds of fame. I Googled my name (which is always an interesting thing to do) and found this old video from the September Fashion Week show. I was so full of adrenaline and excitement that day that I don’t really remember the interviews that I did or what I said. It was fun to watch the playback.