Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MID-WEEK MUSIC MOMENT: FIRST AID KIT


{ I'll be your Emmylou, and I'll be your June
If you'll be my Graham and my Johnny, too }

This week's music pick has a bit of a country twang, which is unusual for me, I know. However, as a girl who grew up spending summers and holidays in Idaho, can you blame me for needing a little slide guitar every now and then? Today's track, "Emmylou" is by a female duo called First Aid Kit, and they definitely have a bit of a modern country feel. I just recently came across their music, but they've been around since about 2010.

Truthfully, I think a lot of First Aid Kit's songs sound the same, but they have that faraway, folksy storytelling vibe like Lord Huron and Fleet Foxes with a feminine, country twist. Perhaps what might have happened if Haim was from Nashville, not California.

Check out the song below, and listen to more of First Aid Kit on Spotify. (I'd recommend "My Silver Lining" which is much newer than "Emmylou," which is from 2012.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

{NEWLY NOTED} RIFLE PAPER CO...


{various amazing cards from Rifle Paper Co. }

Like most people who might consider themselves "the creative type," I love stationary. I love cards, notepads, postcards, thank you notes, all of it. Hence, when I found my way to Rifle Paper Co. yesterday I nearly lost my mind. This Florida-based paper company was founded by a husband and wife duo who started out running the operation from their 1-bedroom apartment.

Their products, which also include art prints and tech cases are so stinking cute I can hardly stand it. It makes me so happy to see companies thriving around a tradition that's fast becoming a lost art. I admit I have neglected my love of sending hand-written notes—I even used to do all the art on them myself. (For a serious throwback, check out these Valentines I sent to no less than 30 people, back in 2010.)

Anyway, take a moment and browse around Rifle Paper Co's site, and I dare you not to feel inspired to send a belated birthday card or a "just because" note to someone you love. 

Oh—and you must check out their Instagram account, it is seriously delightful. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

{STYLING NOTES} STYLISH STRAW HATS UNDER $100...


{ love this shot from last summer in Sag Harbor of me and Meghan in her J. Crew hat }

Lord knows I love a good hat. And in spring and summer, I really love a straw hat. However, as much as I love them, I can't seem to get down with investing in a really expensive one. I just don't think hats are precious. They're not like cashmere sweaters that you religiously dry clean or fabulous jewelry that only gets brought out for special occasions. The reality of a straw hat, especially when you're traveling or wearing it to the beach is that it's probably going to get lost, damaged or really wet at some point. 

Nevertheless, I can't resist. I already bought myself two from Forever 21—one with a tight weave and a red-and-navy ribbon (here), and one with a looser weave and a lacey white band (here). In my mind, the former will be more of a "city" hat, to wear with boyfriend jeans and tanks on the weekends, and the latter is ideal for keeping rays off my face at the beach. See how easy it is to ration having two of the same thing? In case you've got the same itch, I found a multitude of chic little straw hats (no fedoras, obviously) for under $100. Go on, you know you want to...

Friday, April 18, 2014

A NIGHT OUT WITH POPSUGAR & THE OTHER WOMAN...


The good people at PopSugar and Fox Studios were kind enough to invite myself and a bevy of bloggers to check out an early screening of The Other Woman at the Crosby Hotel on Wednesday night. My roommate had raved after seeing the trailer a few weeks ago, so I brought her along for a bit of a girls night out.

She and I are both unabashed fans of the rom-com, and, like most women in their 20s, consider ourselves to be connoisseurs of the genre, which I think makes us more than qualified to deliver a short and sweet review. But first, the trailer, for you:


Since I'm the only one here, my review sans roommate will have to suffice. After seeing the trailer, I was sceptical that the one-liners and physical comedy might be tiresome in full-length. I was prepared for cheese. However, I was won over (obviously) by the charming camaraderie of the three main characters—even Miss Upton had little sparkle. The movie is a fun jaunt set in two of my favorite places (Manhattan and The Hamptons), and when you combine that with costuming by Patricia Field, you get modern cinematic eye candy.

It should come as no surprise that the woman who famously outfitted Carrie Bradshaw (and Ugly Betty!) would turn what could have been a very typical wardrobe situation into something truly fantastic. Anyone who watches movies and TV for the outfits (Scandal! Clare Underwood! Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games!) will appreciate each look down to the last detail. From cool Spring 2013 Altuzarra to Isabel Marant kicks and Ray-Ban shades, the fashion is undeniably covetable—especially with summer on the horizon.

After the screening, we were privy to a special Q+A with Patricia Field, which was kind of like Inside The Actors Studio for the fashion set. Among her pearls of wisdom? "I hate trends." This, from the woman who started them all.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fox through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about The Other Woman, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

REMEMBER THE 'COOL GIRL' PASSAGE FROM GONE GIRL?


I'm just going to assume you've already read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. And if you haven't, you're insane and you have just received your required reading for the weekend. (Get it here.) I'm also assuming you probably flipped your lid when the first trailer for the movie, staring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike was released earlier this week. (No? Here you go.)

Anyway, I listened to most of the book on audio with my parents during one of our annual road trips to Sun Valley, and finished the rest with a borrowed copy from this lady. (Which I still have, by the way! Eek!) Both in its unique narrative and its completely engrossing plot, Gone Girl is a powerful read, especially for women. I vividly remember listening to the below passage somewhere in middle-of-nowhere Oregon. I was in the backseat of the car kind of freaking out. The woman who narrates Amy's perspective does a brilliant job of bringing the page to life, and I cannot—I repeat cannot—wait to see how David Fincher handles the duel perspectives and telling flashbacks from the book on screen. (Alas, we must wait until the film debuts October 3, 2014.)

Every woman who read the book remembers this passage because it hits a nerve. Every woman who's ever feigned interest in football, in foreign films, in vegan food or chili dogs for a man knows exactly what Amy is talking about below. 
“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. 
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)”

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

{VIA LIFESTYLE MIRROR} 25 MAJOR MAD MEN FASHION MOMENTS...



Watching Mad Men is as much about the clothes as it is about the characters. In anticipation of the Season 7 premiere this Sunday (and sort of by accident), I recently re-watched quite a few episodes from the past six seasons. The show is definitely a thinking man's drama, with slow plot progression and serious focus on character development—much of which is illustrated through the costuming. It's worth watching if only to see what the Draper wives wear season after season. 

I reflected on all the amazing costuming and fashion moments from Mad Men over on Lifestyle Mirror today, and—not to toot my own horn, but—it's definitely worth a look. The costumes of each female character on Mad Men represents their place in the world as well as their understanding of it. 

I (rather painstakingly) went back through all six seasons to select 25 stunning looks from Betty, Megan, Peggy and Joan, as well as equally important fashion moments from young Sally Draper, Trudy Campbell and Jane Sterling. Not to mention, I threw in a few forgotten-yet-fashionable minor characters who all made an impact over their small arcs. Remember the scandalous widow Helen Bishop? What about the mysterious Joy from the Palm Springs episode? 

Anyway, Check out the story here and let's get pumped for Sunday.

MID-WEEK MUSIC MOMENT: DAN CROLL...


{ In then I'm out, out then I'm in and I'm on my way }

Sometimes all it takes is an unabashedly happy song to pull me out of a mid-week funk. My friend Pat introduced me to Dan Croll via Spotify last week, and I've been hooked ever since. As soon as I heard "In/Out" I was instantly lifted. It's quick and upbeat, and sounds like an electrified version of some of our favorite 80s and jams from Duran Duran, Bowie, etc. 

I found the accompanying music video over the weekend, and couldn't resist sharing it instead of just the MP3. It's so goofy and fun and colorful, it's just what your Wednesday needs, I'm sure of it. Enjoy "In/Out" above, and check out more of Dan Croll on Spotify.

*I went ahead and added this jam (plus a few others) to my #MarchMadness playlist, so keep checking back on that for a continually improving spring mix.