An Open Letter to Brad Pitt

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Brad, I thought you were very cute in “Thelma and Louise”. I liked you in that vampire movie with Tom Cruise (but I was just a girl then) and I even tolerated the “Legends of the Fall” Hair because you were still so young and “new” to us all. I appreciated your relationship with Ms. Aniston, which seemed legit, and could not help but think it was just too much of a temptation with Angelina. And, you two do rather well together, so I guess it works. But I have to draw the line at the new bob you are sporting, coupled with those silly, silly glasses. Do you even need glasses? I know you need a haircut. And I know I am being a tad mean, but, you know, I had a bad day. And that haircut isn’t making it any better. And neither are those glasses.

Please fix it!


The Year of the Diamond — ummm — Dragon

January 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

If you didn’t already know, we are in the midst of all manner of celebration of the Chinese New Year and 2012 is a very special one: The Year of the Dragon. No, not the 1985 Mickey Rourke movie, but the luckiest year of the Chinese Zodiac. Way down in Chinatown I passed by revelers dressed in those fabulous paper dragon costumes doing the traditional dance, which never fails to make me smile.

Meanwhile, uptown at Harry Winston this special time was being recognized in a slightly different way:

(Let’s zoom in a tad, shall we? I think these earrings were as big as the madeline that rounded out my lunch at Bergdorf’s today.)

This, too, made me smile. And not only on account of the pretty, sparkly things. Although they are awfully pretty…

May your Year of the Dragon be just as sparkly.


(Photos: Some Cozy Night, with apologies for the slightly blurry earring shot. I think it was just too much for me.)

Have I mentioned??

January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Just a quickie note: While I am clearly not their target market, I must say that I love American Apparel’s tights. At $14 a pop, they are an easy way to add a punch of color to your wardrobe without getting too invested. AND they are comfortable and made rather nicely. Today I am wearing pale blue (called “Citadel”) ones with a black and yellow dress and black knee-high boots. Makes me look like less of a traffic sign. Color up!


The Perfect Excuse

January 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Happy Saturday! I stumbled out of bed after a 36-hour bug to find this outside my window:

“Did it snow?” I asked myself. I checked again. Yes, it had. Even though the weather report had not indicated that we would be getting more than an inch or two and I was not convinced we would get any. For the record, we definitely got more than and inch or two.

I surveyed my options and while the thought of building a snowman crossed my mind, after assessing the accumulation a little more closely while out with A+O, I decided my best course of action was a day indoors. A perfect excuse to catch up on some reading…

I have been meaning to get to this Jansen book for well over a year. And it is fascinating. (As is Know Your Rodent, but that is a much quicker read.) While reading about the many amazing homes this venerated design firm decorated well into the later part of the 20th century, I began to get The Craving to order a few more books on some of the more infamous and glamourous figures who made up much of Jansen’s clientele and their circle, including the Mitford sisters and Nancy Lancaster. It seems to me that these topics could take me through a number of other snowy days and it is totally possible that this weather is here for a spell:

Really, who wants to go out in that, which isn’t even as bad as it could get. Much better to be curled up with a book and a dog, I say.

So, I fixed the fire…

Which enabled Mr. H to build upon said fire…

Leaving me with nothing to do but order my books, keep reading and then make dinner for friends*, starring a fresh bolognese from Marcella Hazan, who is pretty much that last word in these matters.

So, it will have been basically a day of loafing and pasta-eating, which we all need from time to time. So, thank you very much Surprise Snowfall.


*Although even that might be a Mr. H production. At least I set the table. And pulled out the necessary ingredients.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night, who left her good camera in the city.)


January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

While my taste in clothing, art and furniture runs on the modern side of things and my work is thoroughly planted in The Future these days, I would never consider myself hip or cool. I have lots of fabulous friends who are, but I am just not. So when it comes to going out, I like the classics.

Maybe that is part of why I love New York so much (except when I hate it). At its best, it is a satisfying mix of new and old. And one of the very best bits of “old” is one of my favorite restaurants, the about to be 50-year-old La Grenouille. Even the matchbook — which has real matches — is a throwback to Different Times…

The dining room is full-on Sixties French: Gold papered walls, red velvet banquettes, fabulous little lamps on each table, with shades lined in pink so everyone in the room looks rosy. And then there are the flowers. Goodness, the flowers…The owners pride themselves on them and rightly so. Up-to-the-ceiling arrangements on every partitian and beautiful clusters of the freshest blooms on each and every table.

The wait staff is the closet to those in Paris that I’ve met: Informed, accommodating and friendly, but not “familiar”. (I swear this is a good thing.) Unlike many places in the city, they even ask you if you want to enjoy your cocktail first before seeing the menu. Far more civilized than having it rammed in your face before you are even in your seat. It is all very proper, without feeling stiff.

The overall effect is warm and lovely and totally Old School Classic. As is the menu, which is the only place in New York that still makes quenelles. They are light, tender and beyond yummy. Last night I had them with a few oysters to start, a glass of champagne — ok, two glasses — and a soufflé to finish. Perfect.

Two hours later* we were back outside, surrounded by the lights and skyscrapers, with the city’s steam rising up from the streets. And it must be said that the effect of that was pretty classic, too.


* See, it does not take a lot of time to have a little fun.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

And Now I Feel Bad…

January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

You may recall my retracting my “like” status for Moda Operandi in a recent post. While I am still a die-hard Net-a-Porter fan, and quickly becoming a La Garconne fan, MO sent me a lovely little gift today:

I cannot tell you how much I love NARS products. So the arrival of this lip crayon, especially during my latest “maybe I can wear a red lip” phase, was the perfect little reminder that these folks get their clients. So, I will continue to open their emails and keep you posted.


(Photo: Some Cozy Night, at my desk once again.)


January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Let me begin by saying that I am working on some more “transportive” posts for the coming weeks as it seems like I have been doing nothing but sitting at my desk or at the stove for some time. So, a small injection of fun, pretty and whimsical is definitely overdue.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you proof that one can get a typical orchid to rebloom. So here we are before the holidays, after a few months of letting the stem s-l-o-w-l-y grow:

And then nearing full bloom this afternoon:

Needless to say, I am ever-so-pleased. And remember, flowers perk up the place, even the powder room…

Definitely worth the little bit of effort it takes.


Please do not overlook deep red, white or super-pink carnations. They can be terribly chic. Better still, they last forever, are economical and smell fabulous.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Awesome Wife Production

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

So, I went a little nuts yesterday and spent the day cooking and freezing to make at-home dinners a little more within our grasp. The goal was to make several soups, a few things with our beef*, and a number of sides and sauces that will enable me to cook up a chop or two, make a salad or get some nice cheese and call it a meal.

When I began at noon, I didn’t really think about the end game exactly. I just bought a ton of stuff and got down to cooking. Here is some of the fruit of my labor:

Please note that it is very hard to make edible food look nice in a photo. But this was my “cooling” center where prepared food was left to get cool enough to freeze and avoid freezer burn.

A recent Development Area that I decided to work on in earnest this year was to begin labeling the things I make and freeze. No matter how certain I am that “I’ll remember”, I do not. And it is silly to pretend that I will. So, here are my very casual labels.

And here is the end result, with everything in the freezer.** Again, not pretty pictures, but I am still pretty proud. In fact, it was around this time, either in a fit of delirium or just too much dancing around the kitchen to the Scissor Sisters, that I proclaimed myself “An Awesome Wife” for doing all this stuff.

So, what did I make? I’ll tell you:

– Three containers of Roasted Veggie Soup with Spelt Pasta
– Three containers of Escarole, Bean and Sausage Soup
– Two Sautéed Broccoli and Pine Nuts for use over pasta or as a side
– Two Sautéed Brocoli Rabe with Garlic and Red Pepper as a side
– Two Sautéed Bok Choy, Ginger and Mushrooms to be combined with thin chicken slices at dinner time
– Two Sautéed Kale with Onions and Red Pepper as a side
– Five mini-meat loaves
– Thirty meat balls
– Five containers of Tomato, Basil and Garlic sauce, for use with said meat balls

I finished at around 7PM, just in time to have a little dinner, wash all the food off of me and settle in for my reward: the season premier of Downton Abbey. A very good end to an Awesome Wife Production indeed.


* Have I mentioned that Mr. H and I do a beef share every year with about ten friends? It sounds nuts but it is excellent.

** And there’s the beef. And some lamb from our CSA. And other important items like ice cream. (You have to have priorities.)

(Photos: Mr. H, who also put everything into the freezer for me. That was an Awesome Husband Production.)

My Sin

January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

OK…the title is a tad dramatic. But Mr. H was just in my office trying to help me with my printer. Turns out you not only need to plug the printer into the outlet but also into the computer. I don’t recall doing this the last time I hooked the sucker up, but apparently I did…or it was done for me. Who knows, really.

ANYWAY, over the course of diagnosing my printer problem, Mr. H asked if I had “the cable”. And I replied that I had a whole drawer full of cables right in my (seemingly) organized credenza:

I am rather meticulous when it comes to keeping that travertine top free and clear of the junk that accumulates while living. And yet, I was confronted with this grim reality when I showed Mr. H my “cable drawer”:

Seeing the contents of the credenza through his eyes filled me with the same feeling I get upon seeing my uncovered and out-of-shape upper arm in a photo: horror and disgust.

So, I have decided that right after I finish sharing My Sin with you all, I will clean out the darn thing. It is the beginning of the year after all — the perfect time to take care of such matters. Maybe I’ll do a few triceps exercises, too.


(Photos: Some Cozy Night, who is leaving the internet now to clean up that mess.)

Quite the Way to Treat a Lady…

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

It appears that friends of ours know how to perk up a cold Wednesday afternoon: Macarons! And not just any macarons…Ladurée macarons.

Also known to me as the best one’s made on the earth.

For years I could only get them in Paris, but New York was blessed with a shop late last year. And while they don’t “send out” from the New York store (believe me, I’ve asked since they are uptown and I am not), our friends made it happen by purchasing this lovely box at the store and sending them to us directly. While I’ve always been fond of these gentlemen, I am even more so today.

Merci, guys!



All you need to know, except that the Rose and Lilac ones are not to be missed…

(Photo: Some Cozy Night.)

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