Friday, February 27, 2015

Alexandra Von Furstenberg Treasure Box

In December, I received the most wonderful birthday gift from my sister: the Alexandra Von Furstenberg Acrylic Treasure Box in Black Smoke. I've been a HUGE fan of Alexandra Von Furstenberg's neon acrylic items for a long time (this especially), but when I saw the smoke print (available on trays, coasters, and boxes), I just knew I had to have it in my apartment. It's a really interesting piece - crafted entirely of acrylic, it has the smoke print on the bottom of the box and also the bottom of the lid, creating a really cool double-pattern effect. It's a really standout item and I'm so grateful to my sister for getting it for me! That being said, I know that these AVF pieces are big splurges. So in addition to a few more pictures, I've also gathered up my favorite, more affordable acrylic/lucite pieces below so you can get the look for less. Read on to see!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Few Questions With...fitBallet Founder Julie Walsh

A few months back I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Walsh - Harvard grad, lifelong dancer, and founder of an awesome fitness program called fitBallet. fitBallet combines cardio and strength training while maintaining a focus on stretching and ballet technique to help you tone up, build strength, and achieve that lean, flexible dancers body. Julie offers one-on-one training, distance training (conducted online, so anyone, anywhere can participate in this), and group fitness classes at her studio in NYC (available through Classpass as well). I did a one-on-one session with her as well as a distance session, and both were fantastic. Not only is Julie incredibly sweet and encouraging in a genuine way, but she also possesses the ability to help you make those little tweaks to your form that render a certain exercise that much more effective. Read on to learn more about Julie, including how she developed fitBallet and what keeps her motivated.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Photo Essays: Snow in Carl Schurz Park

On Saturday I went out to run a few errands, and wouldn't you know it...the minute I stepped outside it started to snow. After finishing what I needed to do, I popped into my favorite coffee shop to warm up with a latte and a croissant. As I was watching the snow fall through the window I realized I really shouldn't let such an opportunity go to waste, so I quickly walked home, dumped my bags, grabbed my camera (and new lens hood!), and hightailed it up to Carl Schurz Park. It was peaceful and practically empty, save for a few brave Upper East Siders taking in the gray, snowy scenery. Click through to see my pictures:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rice Krispies Treats with Brown Butter and Sea Salt

Rice Krispies Treats might just be the ideal dessert. They require a minimal number of ingredients, take literally 5-10 minutes to whip up, and are inevitably a delicious crowd pleaser. For my sister's Oscar Sunday get-together this past weekend, I decided to make a jazzed up version of the old standby by following Smitten Kitchen's recipe for browned butter crispy treats with coarse sea salt. I was a little hesitant about the sea salt but all I can say is, YUM. It added the perfect touch to take these simple treats to the next level. Make these for your next gathering, book club meeting, or party, and you will for sure see them disappear in minutes.

My brother and sister gave them two thumbs up, and again: they literally took ten minutes to make, with four ingredients, and no baking. Totally ideal dessert situation.

photos by me

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Favorite NYC Bookstores

One of the things that I love most about NYC (which will surprise exactly no one): the bookstores. This is a city still full of independent bookshops that each have their own unique charm: there's the old creaky ones, the "hip," modern ones, the musty used bookstores full of history, and even the big, spacious Barnes and Nobles stores which I still love. I could while away many hours just browsing and wandering around a good bookstore (and often do, on days off). Where I used to live in the suburbs there were four bookstores within driving distance...and over the years, each and every one went out of business (a Barnes and Noble did open at one point, but it was a 45 minute drive away). I found that to be pretty sad, and so I have a big appreciation for living in a place that provides people with plenty of bookstores to browse whenever the mood strikes. Yes, books are way cheaper on Amazon, but shopping online just can't compete with the pleasure and relaxation to be had by spending time browsing real, physical books in a well-stocked bookstore. And personally (though I do buy some books on Amazon), I feel good putting my money towards supporting these brick and mortar institutions. Read on to see my favorites:

Friday, February 20, 2015

On My Wishlist: Brushstroke Lamp

I always find myself very drawn to abstract art composed of random brushstrokes, so Jana Bek's hand-painted Brushstroke lamps greatly appeal to me. I love the black version the most, though I'm also partial to the blush pink (obviously), which I think would make an adorable, yet sophisticated piece for a little girls room. The black version of the lamp also reminds me of this gorgeous fabric from an apartment of Michelle Adams':

It also brings to mind Kelly Wearstler's Channels fabric (which I have on my sofa in pillow form, and am in love with). 

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Three in Arabesque

Back in December when I visited the 73 Spring Shop pop-up, I had the pleasure of meeting talented artist Inslee Fariss. I've been a huge fan of her lovely illustrations for a long time, and she was just as nice in person as I could have imagined. While at the pop-up her gorgeous neon nudes and neon ballet dancers kept catching my eye, but I didn't buy one until later on when I found I couldn't get the ballerina prints out of my head. I chose the Three in Arabesque print and couldn't be happier with it! She offers framed and unframed prints, so I just decided to make things easier and ordered it framed. I think it looks beautiful and it saved me an extra step.

Aren't they so pretty? I'm endlessly fascinated by ballerinas (Black Swan is one of my favorite movies and I'm obsessed with the @ballerinaproject Instagram), and I love the grace and movement that Inslee captured in her watercolor. Plus who doesn't need a touch of neon pink in their life, am I right?

photos by me


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