I have been collecting sequin blouses since I was in college, but truthfully I haven’t worn one in quite a while. But, there is no better time to bust one out than the holidays. I was actually given this blouse from someone who didn’t want it anymore, and I couldn’t have thought of a better hand-me-down to receive.
I’m all about pairing this blouse with simple leatherette leggings and black heels to make the blouse the star of the show for the holidays. Finish it off with a simple bright color clutch and a bright red lip and you’re ready to celebrate!
I always find that shopping for the men in my life is always so daunting. I feel like I’m always toeing this fine line between practical, fun, and luxurious. You don’t want to buy them something too practical for fear that it might be one of those types of gifts (the kind your grandparents get you), but let’s be honest, you also don’t want to be that girlfriend that continues to buy your man screenprint t-shirts. There’s a fine line between sophistication and fun, and here are some gifts I think just make that cut.
A couple of weeks ago, I finished the biography of Lee Miller, and while it was quite the daunting book to get through (and so, so heavy for subway travel), I was left feeling endlessly inspired.
Lee Miller was a model, a muse, a war photographer, a journalist, and later in her life, quite the foodie. And while I found so many aspects of this book to be absolutely fascinating, I absolutely loved the recipes at the end.
I’m planning on recreating several of them, but the first I recreated was Lee Miller’s Penroses. I took a few small liberties with these award winning open faced sandwiches to make them more party friendly. These would make a fantastic appetizer for a holiday party, or a shower! And the best part is that, while they seem super impressive, they’re actually quite a snap to make!
Lee Miller’s Penroses (makes 15)
15 closed, fresh button mushrooms
1/3 cup Madiera or Marsala wine
Pork pate or mousse
White toast (I used foccacia)
Salt & Pepper
Thin sliced carrots for garnish
Clean the mushrooms with a wet paper towel. Cut off the stems (don’t rip it out, it will cause the mushrooms to collapse).
Saute the mushrooms open side down first in a bit of butter or olive oil until browned on one side, flip and brown the tops. When browned, add Madiera or Marsala and cook off. Drain on a paper towel and let cool.
Dust the insides of the mushrooms with salt, pepper and paprika. Pipe or scoop the pate or mousse into the tops of the mushrooms.
Cut the bread into small squares and toast in the oven until just warm. Top with butter, watercress, and the mushrooms. Garnish with thin sliced carrots.
A few months ago a friend of mine passed away. It was unexpected, and it was really difficult. He was a person who I had seen socially for years, we had met by chance, and his friendship literally shaped the events of my life over the next few years. And while I remember, so many things about the time I spent in his presence, one of the things I remember is that he had a Geode tattoo on his forearm. I noticed this early on in the friendship, and when I asked him why he had such a tattoo, he said “because geode’s are ordinary on the outside, and beautiful on the inside.” It always stuck with me, and while I’m not about to go out and get a geode tattoo anytime soon, I did recently buy a geode necklace to remind me of him every time I wear it.
It’s nice to have those reminders of people that were in our lives for a time, and although he was taken from us far too early, I know that every time I wear this necklace I’ll think of the fun times we had, the advice that he gave me, and the kindness I received from him.
I love putting together my annual gift guides. But secretly, it’s because I’m making my own personal Christmas wish lists. This is especially the case when I put together my “hostess” gift guide. In my dream world, my kitchen is huge and the storage space in limitless, in my actual world, my Brooklyn apartment is stuffed to the brim.
But that doesn’t stop me from perusing the perfect hostess gifts. It’s always a challenge, because you’re never quite sure what your hostess may already have, but with fun items like crystal bottle stoppers, polka dot serveware, and this amazing wine thermometer, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift for the hostess on your list!