A Day of Transformation…or at least Pumpkins

October 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Happy Halloween! When I was a kid, this was the Superbowl of holidays. Mostly because I was able to be someone else for a day. And spend tons of time planning who this new me was going to be.* “Bad” Sandy from Grease? Cleopatra? Cyndi Lauper? And what were the details that were going to make it clear to others who the new Me was that day? These were the things I fixated on until the Day of Transformation…Halloween. Gosh, I loved it, even when I got the dreaded apple with a coin in it for a treat, or somehow felt bested by someone else’s more inventive costume.

It is funny that the things I tend to like about Halloween now are more about witty jack-o-lanterns and things like this most excellent and insane pumpkin decoration (above) that I saw while walking around the Upper West Side last week. I don’t know…they are all just so happy and full of whimsey. And the notion of becoming someone else on a specific day seems, well, unnecessary. I am who I am, and that is always changing as time and life requires, so I guess I no longer see the fun in doing it for a day. But slowly transforming yourself over days and weeks and years into the (better?) person you’d like to be…that does seem fun.

So, I guess I’ll just stick to candy corn and pumpkins for today. Enjoy whether you are being you or someone else this Halloween!

xx

*Props to my Mom for being game on the costume front. Really…there was nothing she would not make for me. And I asked for some pretty crazy stuff.

Since Somebody Asked: Comfy Shoe Edition

October 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

Oh, New York is a horrible place to have feet. You have to walk everywhere and if you feel, as I do, that dressing nicely gives your day A Lift, the shoe thing is a Thing. So, since a good friend of mine asked me what I like for comfortable but stylish shoes that actually let you to walk — especially in the cold — I thought I would share some of the highlights with you. Here we go!

Fantastic but comfortable shoes are NOT a myth. (“Volumizing” mascara is though, I think.) So here is my list of favorite kinds of comfortable shoes to wear when I am not yet in full-on winter boots, but cannot get by thermally-speaking in a ballet flat:

The classic gucci loafer, which is worth the expense because they go well with so many things and really never change all that much. I like them in suede year-round to keep them looking relaxed and fashionable.

http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/329891

A lace-up. I swore a few years ago that I would not wear them, but that black patent pair (https://somecozynight.com/2012/10/16/am-i-really-wearing-these/), and the nude and gray leather ones that followed are all up-to-date and make more conservative outfits feel fresh. Ex: I have this black crepe dress with a kind of boat-neck collar, that hits nicely above the knee. While most women who own this dress probably think heels are what is called for, I love them with the patent lace-ups and tights because it takes the whole look down a level. And, someone did ask to take my photo once last spring when I was wearing said combo. (But I was also with the dogs, so maybe it was them and not the cool outfit…) This week, I walked from 98th and West End Avenue to 70th and Amsterdam in said shoes and aside from my knee bugging me, my feet were fine!

Go for it! There’s lots to choose from:

http://www.barneys.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-BNY-Site/default/Product-Show?pid=502765760&cgid=womens-flats-lace-ups&index=4

Smoking Slipper. So chic. So comfortable. I LOVE my blue velvet ones in the winter and have a great pair of light gray suede for every season but winter. These are also great with dresses, but totally fab with pants…and everything else for that matter.

Just pick a pair:

http://www.net-a-porter.com/Shop/Shoes/Flat_Shoes?topnav=undefined&level3Filter=Slippers&pn=1&npp=60&image_view=product&dScroll=0&excludeFilters=false

I have also determined that finding the shoe maker that seems to work for your foot best allows you to wear 2 – 3 inch heels without too much of an issue. That said, for walking, pumps are a troubled category unless it is more of a bootie or has some kind of strap or detailing in the front that keeps the foot in the shoe. Or, for non-winter, slingbacks (sexy ones) are perfect. And I wear them to death provided that it is somewhere between 80 and 60 degrees.

Happy walking!

xx

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Not That One)

October 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

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It is hard to make new traditions sometimes, but one that I am a stickler about is Pumpkin Day. As I have mentioned before, I have an odd, deep love of pumpkins…they make me really, really happy. So getting my stash each year — A.K.A. “Pumpkin Day” — is pretty much one of my favorite days of the year. And for the last three years, our adorable Nephew has hit the patch with us, making PD even more fun and a sort of new tradition in our family that is blissfully prep and stress-free.

This year, Nephew — now older, wiser and more choosey — went though the field with gusto and also insisted on rolling his cart himself (with the help of my Brother and Mr. H., as he is, you know, only two). He also seemed pretty particular about which pumpkins were up to snuff, which I see as a good skill to cultivate early. And as you would imagine, he was pretty devastated when we had to put his cart away. Seriously, the child was upset. Thankfully, all was forgiven during the dessert course at lunch, where chocolate pudding was served. Nephew may have had ice cream before, but to our knowledge, never pudding. And heavens, did he enjoy it! The All-Over-My-Face kind of enjoyment that you can only have when you are this age.

Needless to say, we’ll be making this particular pudding another part of Pumpkin Day from hereon in.

Here is to Pumpkin Day and making your own traditions.

xx

(Photo of our haul: Mr. H)

Fallingwater

October 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

Sometimes some of the most amazing places aren’t all that far away. While we try to make a point of visiting things that are “close enough”, Mr. H and I had never been to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater*, which was just wrong. It is about 90 minutes outside of Pittsburgh (a kind of cool city, from what I could glean in the few hours we were there) and the city itself really isn’t that far from New York. So, for his birthday this past summer, I planned a Fallingwater Getaway as a present.

Needless to say, it was a present that we both enjoyed, especially with the scent of wet leaves and pine trees floating in the air and the sound of rushing water surrounding us…

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Please make note of the fact that this was built in the mid-1930’s and building a cantilevered structure on a waterfall was kind of audacious — and not necessarily easy to do. But that was Wright’s way, I suppose. I get it.

And while the house is designed to focus you on the outdoors, I can’t help but also pay attention to the interiors as well. I love that this house, built for the Kaufman family, who one could say were “flush”, is 2,500 square feet of interior space and another 2,500 of exterior space. Pretty modest when you think about what they could have built…

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These photos pretty much are the entire kitchen — and the only kitchen — in the house. Our guide said that the Kaufman’s Chef replaced the Aga with an electric stove for a spell, but the thankfully the Aga is back where it belongs. And the living area contained spaces for dining, lounging, working and even steps to a pool one floor below…very chic and seriously new for the time.

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The bedrooms, studies and baths were all equally modest in scale, and had some truly lovely moments…

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And sometimes when there is water rushing all around you, and structure and line begging you to look out, you have to remind yourself to also look up:

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This is just some of the white wisteria that covered a canopy outside Mrs. Kaufman’s bedroom. Even not in bloom, it was beautiful and peaceful. As I think Mr. Wright meant it to be at Fallingwater. If you can, do see it for yourself.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

* Tons of information can be found at these links, and many others:
http://fallingwater.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallingwater

It’s All Good…is Really Good!

October 6, 2013 § 2 Comments

You all know of my mixed feelings about Gwyneth Paltrow. She is kind of a kook, kind of oblivious, but sometimes she and I have scarily similar taste. That said, I would never wear a dress with completely see through side panels, no matter how great my a** looked. I also cannot make it through five minutes of a Tracy Anderson workout with feeling certain that I was going to die.

I am also not a believer in crazy diets, but here is the thing: Many of the recipes found on Goop are delicious and pretty healthy. So when her latest cookbook, It’s All Good was published earlier this year, I decided to give it a try.

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And I have to be completely honest with you: Everything I have tried has been delicious, including…

The Korean Chicken Tacos
The Lentil Salad
Perfectly Cooked Quinoa
The Carrot Salad with Black Sesame + Ginger
The Crazy Good Fish Tacos (seriously delicious)
Veggie Stock
The Avocado Toast (and now I love Veganese)
And my big favorite, which was also last night’s dinner…
Risotto with Peas + Greens

This one has no cheese in it, making it a Guilt Free dinner when served with a side of blue oyster mushrooms sauted in a touch of butter and olive oil with a little white wine, leeks and parsley.

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I have avoided the gluten free baking (but imagine it would be very useful for people who need to avoid the stuff) , yet can’t wait to try the many other satisfying-looking dishes that seem to check out with my overall Recipe Sense. (This is Spidey Sense for whether a recipe looks “right”.)

Basically, the recipes are “Ina Light”. Easy, reliable, and perfect for at-home meals that aren’t complete calorie bombs. As such, I actually keep a copy of the book on my iPhone so I can refer to it when trying to make something healthy for dinner that I would not normally make. Extremely helpful, even if it sounds nuts.

I think a great deal of credit must be given to her co-author, Julia Turshen, who I suspect is the engine that makes all the recipes “go”, but I am going to give Ms. Paltrow the credit she deserves of helping the book happen in the first place.

Enjoy!

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Herb Overload?

October 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

No problem…just put a few in a bud base. Fragrant and lovely.

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Now, I know I have been awfully quiet, but I promise a few longer posts soon.

Until then, be good.

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

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