Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Recent Reads: Summer

Today I've got a little round-up of the books I've read in the last few months that I really enjoyed, and would very much recommend (see another here, if you missed it). I'd like to make an effort to do book reviews more regularly! It's tough because I do wind up reading a decent amount of things that I don't enjoy, but I never really wanted to write about those books (just seems negative and kind of mean). If you're just burning with curiosity, you can always check out my Goodreads. Anything you see that shows up on there and not on the blog can guess how I felt about it! Onto the good stuff:

1. The Art of Fielding: This book was one of the best that I've read in a long time, which I'm sure everyone already knows because I'm way behind the times on this one! I wasn't sure if I would like it since at first glance it's a book about baseball, but I was completely wrong. It's about way more than baseball. It's about relationships, psychology, pressure, people's inner lives, encompasses a lot, and the writing is just amazing.

2. Goodbye to All That: This was one that I started off feeling "meh" about, and by the end I was totally hooked. I love reading about NYC but at first I felt like I wouldn't be able to relate to any of the stories. However, as the essays progressed I did find a few that I could relate to, and even those that I couldn't, I still enjoyed. I also found that as the stories went on, (not sure how to say this), it felt like they got more...modern? Not sure if that's the right way of saying it, but it felt like as the book progressed more and more of the stories seemed to be from women closer to my age, or just felt more relevant to me. For an example, the essays in the beginning seemed to talk more about NYC in the 70's and 80's, then as the book moved on it was talking more about NYC in the 90's....does that make sense? It was like a sense of time moving forward as you read on, which I'm assuming was done on purpose.
My favorite essay was a reprinting of My Misspent Youth by Meghan Daum, which originally ran in the October 1999 issue of The New Yorker (unfortunately, doesn't seem to be available to read online). It's the one I'm still mulling over.
I obviously love New York City and love living here, but I often don't really think about's just the place that I live. But reading this book, it was so interesting to see how Manhattan really meant something to these writers. To some it meant negative, horrible things. To others it meant everything. But to all twenty-eight writers, New York City was an entity, a character that played a huge role in their lives. And who knows, maybe when I look back, it will be for me as well.

3. Delancey: I really enjoyed Delancey, the story of Orangette's Molly Wizenberg, and her husband Brandon, opening a restaurant soon after they got married. It seemed to be more about the restaurant than about their marriage, but that didn't bother me. If you like foodie memoirs, I think you'll enjoy this and also Molly's first book, A Homemade Life. I just like her and her writing, and I found the process of building a restaurant from the ground up (literally), testing dough recipes, buying dough mixers on Craigslist - really interesting. I'm actually planning on making some of the recipes she included too, like the penne alla vodka.

4. The Book of You: I read this based on Alyssa's review, and it was just super creepy and freaky and entertaining and a stay-up-all-night page turner. You have to be into thrillers to read this one, and you have to kind of have a thick skin too, because there was some horrifying imagery thrown in there. I did have some issues with plausibility over one central point, but I don't want to give anything away, and it didn't really impact my enjoyment of the book anyway. I thought the author, Claire Kendal, did a good job of rendering the creeping sense of hopelessness, isolation, and loss of control that the main character felt, which really added to the dark atmosphere and sense that something very bad was about to happen.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Aerin Lauder at the New York Design Center: Part II

As promised, I'm back with Part II of my pictures from the Aerin Lauder showroom at the New York Design Center. (You can see Part I right here). The showroom vignettes featured all of Aerin's lovely products, encompassing a plethora of shining gold items, feminine accents, and elegant, timeless furniture pieces. Walking through the showroom really gave you an overall sense of the Aerin brand and aesthetic, and after this experience, I've certainly become an even bigger fan! Read on to see all of the pictures.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Aerin Lauder at the New York Design Center: Part I

Aerin Lauder showroom What's New What's Next at the New York Design Center

The newly opened Aerin Lauder showroom proved to be one of my favorite parts of the New York Design Center. I had previously visited Aerin's Southampton store and fallen in love with a lot of the products and the luxurious, feminine aesthetic, so I was thrilled to be able to view the new showroom while at What's New What's Next (and catch a glimpse of the lovely Aerin Lauder herself!). The showroom brings together all elements of the expansive Aerin product line, including furniture, lighting, candles, accessories, and much, much more. Aerin's various product lines have been designed in collaboration with various manufacturers and partners, and are all being brought together for the first time at the NYDC showroom. Read on to see more of this glamorous space!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Few Good Links

I loved this round-up of great sources for home accessories on Lark and Linen. Jacquelyn has excellent taste (and an excellent name, I might add :) so I definitely trust her recommendations! Some of the stores I actually hadn't come across before, so I'm psyched to check them out.

This post from Jamie Meares of Furbish Studio was quite interesting. I really respected her take on the NY Times article about which she wrote the post, entitled When Blogging Becomes a Slog. My take on it - I think anything has the potential to become a slog, when it shifts from fun hobby/escape to "work"...even something that initially you loved, like blogging (unfortunately). What that means is different for everyone, but I think it's important to keep in mind. Read the article and post!

I'm really liking this slightly modernized version of the classic ivory cable knit sweater for fall.

Pretty much head over heels for the festive fun that is the new Society Social lookbook for 2014. Roxy and her team just knock it outta the park when it comes to styling their amazing furniture pieces and accessories. Check out page 11 - so good.

I LOVED these Lena Dunham videos that Cup of Jo posted. They made me laugh, they made me think, they just made me happy. Lena Dunham is such an original and so genuine. The second I saw the videos I realized I hadn't pre-ordered her book yet, a situation which I quickly rectified. Cannot wait for September 30th when it comes out!

image credit

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What's New What's Next: Celerie Kemble at 1stdibs

Another cool thing that we saw while at What's New What's Next at the New York Design Center was the 1stdibs gallery on the 10th floor, chock-full of amazing one-of-a-kind pieces and antiques from dealers all over the country. There was a collection curated by interior designer Celerie Kemble, who recently designed a line of products for Hendredon and Maitland-Smith. For this exhibition she paired her pieces with vintage items from 1stdibs, and it made for such an interesting mix. I loved this sitting room that she put together using amazing chinoiserie wallpaper that she designed with Fromental as a bright backdrop. 

Amazing antiques at 1st Dibs:


In case you missed it, my first post from What's New What's Next is right this way.

photos by me

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Caitlin McGauley Watercolor Prints at Tiger Flower Studio

Are you guys as obsessed with Caitlin McGauley as I am? I've mentioned her here, here, here, and here, and for good reason (geez, I really am obsessed!). She's a talented New York City based artist who has illustrated for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Domino magazine, Hermes, and more. Her watercolors are sophisticated, whimsical, colorful, and downright beautiful. A lot of the prints on her website are sold out, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover a site that sells her work - and even many pieces that I wasn't familiar with! It's called Tiger Flower Studio, and they sell limited edition prints by some very talented artists.

Caitlin's prints cost a pretty penny, but I can't imagine anything more worth spending money on than her beautiful, timeless art. If only I could afford an original! 

Here are a few of my other favorites from Caitlin: 

Caitlin also recently did a wallpaper line with Studio Four NYC, which is, of course, completely lovely:

What I wouldn't give to wallpaper a room in one of these! I especially love the tulips, the pink one on the bottom left, and the black and white dots - which also comes in a pink colorway. Perfection. 

first two images via Tiger Flower Studio, others via Caitlin McGauley, wallpaper image here

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Best Jeans for Fall

I've spent years (not exaggerating) - and over those years, a lot of money - searching for the perfect jeans. What makes for perfect denim? In my book: it's got to be comfortable, look great, not sag and stretch over the day, and not pinch in the waist or require constant hiking up. Specific to my body shape, they need to be on the higher-waisted side, and need to come in long inseams. Not so easy to find! Until now, that is:


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