Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Adventures

While I still haven't gotten my costume sorted (yes, Halloween is just two days away...) I made sure to get a carving pumpkin from the adorable Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in West Hollywood. Mr. Jack O'Lantern may look a little sinister here but on the 31st he'll be nothing but good when I fill his mouth with candy for our neighbors to grab on their way to parties, parades, and other festivities. I also started a new little tradition of roasting his innards. I saved and washed the seeds, let them dry on a baking sheet, sprinkled them with a little melted butter, seasoning salt, paprika, and garlic powder and baked them in the oven for about ten minutes at 350 degrees. Pumpkin seeds are actually really healthy and once they are roasted up with seasonings, are sort of like crack. I've almost decimated the entire batch!

So while I may be going naked a la The Emperor's New Clothes, at least I've had some Halloween fun.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Finally Made It To Villains Tavern

The Belladonna-bourbon, mint, citrus, and berry. I loved it. I can't wait to go back to try one of their hot ciders from the new Fall menu. 

View from the second floor, which is good for groups or people looking to chat while performances are going on outside on the patio. 

These Buffalo Balls by the Great Balls on Tires food truck were frickin' yummy. 

The photos say it all-this is a dark, fun spot perfect for an easygoing evening of tasty libations and beautiful people in a setting as attractive.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Toppers That Take the Cake

Since Mark's older brother has recently gotten engaged (squeeee!), I've had weddings on the mind a lot lately. Sure, two other lovely people getting hitched has nothing to do with me getting hitched, but at some point, even those like me who never grew up expecting to find someone to marry start pre-planning out the details; erm, or maybe just women do that. I suppose given my recent penchant for buying baby booties, it's not much of a surprise that my inner clock is tick-tocking mighty loud these days. My Etsy favorites and Pinterest pages are already filled with various head pieces, dresses, and DIY decor ideas that I pretend apply to any party but really only apply to the Mr. and Mrs. kind. And while I may love thinking about the details, there are some things that I will just never be willing to spend the money on, like a cake. Who even ends up eating it, anyway? But the cake topper-that is a totally different story. I ran across Jennifer Murphy's little wonders a few years ago and they immediately made me think about the bride and groom bears that my parents had when they got married. I used to sneak into the bottom drawer of my mom's dresser and peruse the little treasures she had kept; I love the idea of having things for my future munchkins to discover and which convey our personality in no uncertain terms. These toppers are totally perfect for the perma-child I am and Mark is (if he's lucky enough to share a topper with me one day, wink wink).

All images from Jennifer Murphy's website and Etsy page

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kitty Wrestling

 To the left side of the ring we have challenger Chloe, who stares down her opponent, heavyweight champ Finn the Fiesty. 

 Finn circles his opponent while Chloe aims and readies a jab. 

The fight is on with a body slam from the fearless lightweight Chloe. 

Take heart: this battle was just a friendly bout and ended in a draw (which basically means that Chloe annoyed Finn with her boundless energy and he just walked away at some point).

Mid-Walk Eye Candy

Quite possibly my favorite house in LA, Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.'s Sowden house on Franklin Ave. is sick-the house was built around a pool, looks like a hidden little Mayan temple in a jungle, and generally is just gorgeously unique. Still can't believe one season of those dumbasses on America's Next Top Model got to live in this dreamy space when you know they had no idea who Wright even was.

Bat skeleton stencil means Halloween spirit will last as long as he does.

Jack-o-lantern got in on the action too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Look, Don't Touch

Just because I am on a shopping ban until I'm in London doesn't mean I can't look...right?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Metallic Cupcakes

To celebrate my birthday my grandma invited me up for lunch this weekend, so since she was going to be cooking some of my favorite things I told her I'd take care of dessert. A box of Rainbow Chip mix and a can of metallic gold edible spray later, I had the perfect bright pink and gold cuppies fit for a 7 year old girl or 27 woman. Not to mention the heart and star shaped edible glitters!

Freaks Come Out At Night

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday so I'm thrilled it's almost here. It's just the most carefree, liberating holiday there is, with none of the pressure associated with those like Valentine's, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. You can whip some felt into puppy ears and tail, put your blue eyeshadow on your lips and throw on some tin foil to go for a futuristic vibe, or do a million other painless, last-minute, half-assed things and you're participating with little effort or money expended. And as dark and scary as the connotations of Halloween may suggest, it's got to be the most upbeat, feel-good one of them all. I mean, when else can you consume your weight in candy, dress up as whatever fantasy character your heart desires, or ask your neighbors to feed you without people looking at you funny?

There's no threat of getting coal in your stocking, and even if you hate children and refuse to rot their teeth with candy or dress up, good luck not even cracking a grin seeing just how creative and smart some people can get with their costumes. I mean, look that this picture of someone who made herself into a low-resolution pixelated image:

Homegirl's a genius.

Two years ago I was on a major Hitchcock kick, watching Vertigo enough times to give me vertigo. I found this amazeballs costume of the Melanie Daniels character from The Birds and had to get it-I mean it had a giant crow pecking your head on a headband. I'm a fail though, because this is my only picture. Mark got his not very P.C. costume because the gun holster was replaced with a tequila bottle holster, with shot glasses held in the belt instead of  bullets. Working in a bar, it was the most apropos choice that wasn't bulky and was (shockingly, haha) still available on October 28th.

Last year was the first time since the first night we ever talked (on Halloween!) that Mark's had the holiday off of work so I wanted us to dress as a couple since it's such a rarity. I was still on that Hitchcock kick so we went as Marion Crane and Norman Bates as his mother from Psycho. I had Mark shave his beard to look more baby-faced (so freaky-who knew he looked like Michael Douglas with a little chin cleft under there?) and made our costumes, of which mine promptly fell apart as soon as we started dancing at Micky's. Thankfully we had plenty of time to wade through the Santa Monica Blvd. parade beforehand and see all of the crazy costumes, so it wasn't a total nightmare-even if I almost showed my boobs to an apathetic male crowd at a gay club about forty times.

This year, the mister has the night off again, for the last time in years, so I want us to go the couples thing again while we can but am totally lost for inspiration. Bonnie and Clyde? 80's prom dates? Tobias and Lindsay Funke?

I'm also thinking about forgoing the couples crap and going as a Lichtenstein painting since I think the makeup would be fun as hell and I already own the whole early 60's pencil skirt, secretaryish clothes needed. Really it's just because I don't really want to buy anything and Mark doesn't seem to want to dress up at all. Whomp whomp. Help!

First image from the now-defuct blog at

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lightening the Mood

 Yes, they are *that* big. The people at the store seemed scared for me trying to get these home and I was actually going to get a pale pink one too until they voiced their doubts.

They seriously just barely squeezed into my back seats. Hallelujah for my surprisingly spacious Jetta (seriously, the backseats and trunk are massive-who knew?)!

The finished products a couple days later.

I turned 27 today. I am usually one of those people who loves birthdays and isn't at all concerned with getting older and what that means for my personality, life, sagging skin, etc. This year though, I kind of knew was going to end up a let down, and I was right. While everyone is a work in progress, I think most people have some aspect of their life in their back pocket, something that they feel wholly confident about; meanwhile, it feels like I'm floundering with everything-relationships, career, confidence-the whole lot. Still, despite getting into an over-emotional blow out with Mark, having all my plans for the day fall apart, and coping by eating too many sweets that I'll surely regret when my pants are like second skin tomorrow, these Geronimo inspired balloons added some much needed levity to my pity party. I bought the balloons online, had them filled at my beloved Vine American Party Store, and collected various bits of frill and frippery in the months leading up to make the monster balloons even more awesomesauce. Funnily enough I happened to win a balloon from Jihan of Geronimo via her Twitter two days ago, so just as mine will start shrinking and looking sad I'll get another dose of giant balloon madness!

And now for something completely less moody: my present from my very generous and thoughtful bf. Being Moroccan (one set of my grandparents grew up in Fez), I have for years lusted after one of the handmade Moroccan wedding blankets made by the Berbers of the Atlas Mountains for brides to wear on their big day. Randomly perusing From Morocco With Love back in April, a non-profit that sells Moroccan products and then uses the funds to donate supplies like wheelchairs and school supplies to Moroccans, I stumbled upon their stash of vintage blankets, including one with ethnic banding that struck me a lot more than most of the plain sequined varieties. Out of nowhere Mark offered to get me my dream item for my birthday. Seriously, he's always gets my bday prezzie in the bag months before the actual day! It made me happy to get an actual vintage item (rather than the reproductions so rampant now that the blankets have gained notoriety) and support an agency that used the money for a good cause. I have to keep the blanket boxed up until Chloe moves past the kitten behavior that would undoubtedly have her thinking the sequins are chew toys but here's a peek.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Passing of A Genius

I'm so sad about the passing of Steve Jobs earlier today. As the child of a graphic artist, I grew up using only Apple products (yeah, even before they were cool again) and always respected the way the company sought to meld bottom-line needs and functionality with aesthetics. Forget the fact that in the past ten years the iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc. have completely revolutionized the way that we communicate and live and you still have a man whose standards built a company that allowed users to have higher expectations for the machines they rely on daily to be multifaceted, forward-thinking, and yes-attractive and user-friendly.

It's hard to think about someone with so much vision and creativity being snuffed out so young and I feel for his family, but it gives me comfort to know that the same standards for business that Jobs sought were those he sought in living life and that he lived it to the fullest. Getting high on psychedelics, running off to explore India, and dropping out of college before going on to change the world shows what life is all about-making yourself happy and following your gut, even if you can't quite see in the moment where that's going to take you.

Super Slides

Teardrop Park's minimalist kids' paradise in Battery Park City, Manhattan.

Genius subway station short-cut in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Surreal slides to the Mediterranean Sea at the Hotel Citta del Mar in Sicily, Italy.

Technical University of Munich shows it's forward thinking mindset in Germany.

At the Tate Modern in London, England. Forget vertigo-you had better believe I am sliding down one of these in December!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ballet Flats That'll Get You Closer to God

Apparently this Wildfox Couture x Jeffrey Campbell collab comes out in February. However impractical it is to wear pale pink satin platforms during the rainy season, I have a feeling I'll be wanting to prance around in these ridiculous, dreamy beauties nonetheless.

Via Buzznet

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hats ON!

These 1930's inspired hats by Behida Dolic Millinery leave me seriously swooning lately. They are sophisticated and while they certainly evoke the feeling of being out of the past, have a timelessness thanks to the impeccable craftsmanship and modern choice of colors. $400 plus is a lot to drop on anything, let alone a throwback accessory, but a girl can dream. Or hope to collect gift certificates come the holidays, you know, either one. Distant hope of attainment aside, the work is definitely impressive when it makes you want to chop off all your hair, knowing full well it'll never look half as charming as the models.