Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Las Vegas Weekend

Last weekend was spent in Las Vegas for a library conference (trust me, librarians can tear it up like nobody’s business) and despite heat over 105˚ every day it was interesting to be back—after having been gone for a decade. Despite the recession, tearing its housing market to shreds Vegas is still a city that knows how to put on a show.
Some of my favorite window shopping (because no way can I afford anything in any of these shops):
 This is H&M, Las Vegas style. The music and lights were brighter and louder than most nightclubs, but it was energizing. Probably the only store on the entire strip where I could shop.
Home of the ubiquitous red soled shoes. Owning a pair is on my bucket list even is they cost a mortgage payment.

Trendy, chic fashion. Clothes and designers you won't find anywhere else.
 L.K. Bennett is best known for making the nude pumps that Kate Middleton made famous because they go with everything. Now, they have stores and I want to shop there simply because the Duchess of Cambridge does.

Carolina Herrera is on of my all-time favorite designers because her looks are timeless- just like this gorgeous dress in the window. Classy lady, classy clothes.
Yes, you're in the middle of a desert but you'd never know it by the abundance of water features and flowers. I know it is a wicked waste of a dwindling resource but it is beautiful for the eyes.
These floral balls are absolutely exquisite and perfume the walks of the Wynn hotel. Decadent to the extreme, they're replaced every day. I would still like to have them in my backyard.

Massive mosaic pool with fountains at the lower level of shops in Caesar's Forum.

A little bit difficult to see but this a wall of water that flows into a reflecting pool at the Wynn hotel. The sound is delicious and the water makes it possible to sit in the outdoor patio without melting.
 Whimsical ceiling painting and ornate light fixtures at Wynn.

Yes, I love the shopping and extravagance but let's not forget the food! Las Vegas now hosts some of the finest restaurants in the United States. We opted to return to an old favorite- Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. This is the fresh corn tamale (the masa is handmade) with grilled tiger shrimp and a garlic cream cilantro sauce.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Met Gala 2014

Look I’m not interested in being one of those blogs that revels in bitchery but when a fashion event goes as far off the rails as the Met Gala did last week than I have to jump in. And usually, when I do, I try and mix the good with the ugly but this year it was all I could do not to pluck out my eyes.

Setting aside that Beyonce had just witnessed her sister try and beat down her husband in an elevator, there is still no excuse for this underwear covered by a sheer sparkly wrap look. And Naomi Watts has no excuse at all. This is diaper couture and adding meticulously layered bits of ombre chiffon doesn't make it any better.

This is the sheer maxi-skirt for the younger, hipper set and honestly, it's not the overlay that's the problem here, it's the mash-up of pattern and texture. Kristen Stewart, in all her awkward I-don't-want-to-be-here posing has chosen a skirt length that is just that- awkward. Shailene Woodley's embroidered silk overlay is lovely but the Game of Thrones feel to the top does nothing for her skin tone or figure.

I see a slip covered with a fishing net studded with feathered fishing lures. Why Prada thought this was the best way to showcase the beauty of Lupita Nyong'o is beyond me.

Fashion 101: horizontal stripes do not work on anyone. Trying to disguise them with a multi-hued effect and feathering of the fabric only makes this look like a craft project. The fact that this is Chanel makes me really sad.

Oh, Rodarte, really? You are usually so attuned to women's figures- what happened here? A hip length, frilly tier and bunchy, fussy top are just, well...unfortunate.

I respect Lena Dunham so much for her belief in herself and her refusal to play the shame game but, honestly, for big red carpet events someone needs to step in and style her. This is not a style to flatter her figure and her hair...she's so much better than this.

I am rendered almost speechless by this but then that would be no fun. Katie Holmes has spent years perfecting a style that gets her on best-dressed lists around the world but this, this, this is shockingly dreadful. The slightly crazed look in her eyes doesn't help.

In case, you don't recognize her under her vintage mop cap this is Kate Upton, widely acknowledged as the hottest model in the world and undisputed favorite in the Victoria Secret's runway shows. There have certainly been times when I've been jealous of her looks and figure but this is definitely not one of them. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the girl whose prom date she stole in high school styled this look for her.

On the brighter side, she wins for most heinous look of the evening.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Aspire: Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn in all her timeless perfection.
from Special Photographer by Leo Fuchs
Let's get it out there now- I idolize her. She is the epitome of class and style and there will likely be more photos of her to come because I have never seen one that I did not think was breathtaking So get over it because you know I'm right. 
Happy birthday, Audrey- you are missed to this day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Loganberry Books in Cleveland

Earlier this week I was in Cleveland and had the great fortune to visit Loganberry Books in the Shaker Heights neighborhood. I’m fortunate to have a sister-in-law who knows bookstores are one of my favorite destinations in any city so she insisted we stop by.
Loganberry Books is one of those marvelous stores where the front windows cannot convey just how much depth lies within. Not just the size of the store but the experience as well. That and the creative energy that goes into making the space a special and inviting one for books and the people who love them, makes this a marvelous place to browse, read, and buy. If you're in Cleveland, you've got to stop by this wonderful, friendly store! 

The floor to ceiling book shelves are set off by lovely and comfortable seating and tables with displays on various subjects. 



Numerous smaller displays are scattered throughout the store:

 Edward Gorey Books

A selection of poetry books
Not in the mood for company? A quiet, plush chair and lovely local art- all alone in the back

The sleeping cat endorsement: Nothing says books and relaxation better than a happy cat!
 I loved Loganberry Books but if you can't make it to Cleveland for a visit, and you're lucky enough to have an independent bookstore in your area PLEASE support them. They support authors and the community with events and programs and very often offer the same amenities as those found at the big guys online (who shall remain nameless). Buy local!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Words of Diana Vreeland

I'm a great believer in vulgarity - if it's got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste - it's hearty, it's healthy, it's physical. I think we could use more of it. NO taste is what I'm against.

One of the many reasons I love her. She had a flamboyant sense of style and was a fashion icon and style maker for decades. Her memoir D.V. is as lively and fascinating as she was and the new DVD about her life, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is what I watch when I'm feeling devoid of inspiration. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Seattle Food: Bodrum Bistro

Since moving to Seattle we've been staying close to our neighborhood and exploring its restaurants. Saturday night we went to Bodrum Bistro, a tiny restaurant where two smiling women were in the back room, working a grill and managing to turn out delicious Turkish food in a small amount of space. It turns out Bodrum is the area in Turkey where the family is from. The menu is small and the food simple, but everything is so fresh and the spices so carefully done it tastes marvelous.

While we watched from the front window it rained with apocalyptic force causing people to run by with anything they could find clutched over their heads. It looked horrible—cold and drenching—but inside it was warm and cozy with lighting coming from filigree hanging lamps. Our waitress graciously endured J’s mangled Turkish pronunciations of our order and later, when I had baklava for dessert (of course!) educated him about Turkish coffee. It comes in the teeniest cup but has the sugar already whipped into it (so don’t ask for sugar) and packs a caffeine punch.

 We shared this Mezze platter—a combination of four of the appetizers on the menu: red lentil patties, rice with tomatoes, mint and cinnamon wrapped in grape leaves; white beans with red onion, fresh yogurt, paprika and parsley; and grilled eggplant with tomatoes, peppers, feta, and garlic.

My entrée: chicken with pine nuts, leeks, and currants, wrapped in phyllo dough. Tender and delicious.

J had spiced, grilled meatballs with rice and a yogurt mint sauce. We both had the salad which had this marvelous slightly sweet dressing on it.

The famous Turkish coffee

Friday, March 28, 2014

Has Spring Sprung?

The first day of spring was last week and while I know that’s a cruel joke for some of you as you’re still getting snow. Here in Seattle it is hit or miss- gorgeous and sunny some days and some days overcast with a bite. Still, I have my own gauges for spring and here’s what I’m seeing to make me think it’s here.

Strappy high-heeled, and sexy sandals

Massive shrubs of camellias in a rainbow of colors

Cute, fun, practical, and pink (of course!) sneakers

Gorgeous pink blooms that fill the air when the wind blows making it feel like you've just gotten married.

Floral accessories (Tory Burch bag)

Sweet shy narcissus with their graceful bowing heads

Crisp white shirts (even if they are tucked into an impossibly short skirt- which is cute- worn by an anorexic model)

What makes you think of spring?

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