Tough Enough

img_7244img_7216img_7283img_7319img_7262img_7341img_7247img_7327img_7323img_7309Jersey City is a hub of construction — new buildings or brownstone rehabs seem to be on every other block. I thought the rough hewn look of this almost finished condo was the perfect backdrop for this post. While I love all the individual pieces in this outfit, I wasn’t sure about the total effect. But on second look, I’m pretty happy with the combo. It’s a mostly black palette with the pop of red plaid and leopard. And red lipstick! Which I probably dare to wear once a year.

A trio of must-have pieces are the foundation, not just for this one look but for your entire wardrobe: black leather moto jacket, black cashmere turtleneck and a black boots — in this case with a bit of “combat” attitude. (To be honest I also have OTK black boots and 5 pairs of black booties, too.) The red plaid slip dress was just an easy, versatile silhouette. I love animal patterns and monogramming, and this needlepoint clutch combines both!

Jacket: (YSL, old) but this year’s version here and much more affordable options here and here

Dress: (Zara, old)  Similar here and here

Turtleneck: Kit & Ace (a truly indispensable wardrobe staple)

Boots: (old, Cara Delevigne for DKNY) but just bought these (on sale!) and these are the ones that started the whole trend

Clutch: (old, Clever Carriage Company) Similar here and here

All photos by Lydia Filosa and MP Allegaert

Snack Attack: Banana Oat Balls

img_0517One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to eat as healthy as I can — work, life, travel permitting. So for me this snack is the perfect answer to combining healthful ingredients …and getting rid of overripe bananas! My ad agency served as guinea pigs, and I can report that these bite-size balls were a huge hit. Best of all, I literally put this snack together while drinking my AM coffee. Super easy, super good.

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MP’s Banana Oat Energy Balls

Ingredients:

2 (or 3) overripe bananas (prefer organic)

2 cups oatmeal (prefer organic)

1/4 cup mix of chia and flax seeds (prefer organic)

2 tbsp agave syrup (prefer organic)

1/2 cup peanut butter (I LOVE Crunch Time Chunky PB but go with your favorite nut butter)

1/3-1/2 cup choc chips (Your choice! Here I used dark and white, but for my first batch I just went with dark. My favorites are Guittard and Ghiradelli.)

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1. Peel and smash Bananas.

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2. Mix in oats, chia & flax and agave.

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3. Add in chocolate chips.

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4. First line a plate or air-tight container with wax paper. Then start rolling your balls! The mixture is kind of sticky, so you will have to work each ball (about the size of an ice cream scoop) in your hands for a bit. Space out on wax paper, layer by layer ( probably 2). I found I had to rinse my hands in-between layers.

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5. Place plate or container in refrigerator, preferably overnight.

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6. Share…and enjoy! (These will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

All photos by MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

 

Over 50 & OTK Boots

img_0186Over 50 and Over-The-Knee Boots? Yes, you can! The OTK Boot has become an accessory that should find its place into every wardrobe — no matter your personal style or age. Since the trend took hold, I’ve added 4 pairs to my wardrobe. My oldest pair is up at our cabin, while the other 3 are in regular rotation in my fall/winter JC/NYC wardrobe. All are Stuart Weitzman, who’s the King of the OTK Boot as far as I’m concerned. While his boots (and shoes) are not cheap, they truly are investment dressing. If well maintained with water/stain protector and professional cleaning and repair, you will have them for many (many!) years to come.

Here are a few OTK style principles I adhere to:

  1. Stick with a lower or block heel. While the sky high styles look amazing, they are not for me. Or my feet. Or back.
  2. Choose a neutral color: black (duh!), navy, brown (in all its hues from taupe to chocolate) and grey are my go-tos.
  3. When wearing a dress, I’ll match the shade of my tights to the boots (or as close as possible) for a seamless, leg-lengthening look. Skinnies in dark hues are my choice when it comes to jeans.
  4. Don’t be afraid! These boots flatter everyone by elongating and slimming the leg, while adding a touch of sleek chic to any look. They are so comfortable to wear and walk in. And many of SW’s styles (like the 5050 in these photos) combine leather or suede with stretchy micro, so they will fit almost every calf size.

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This first OTK look features my chocolate brown 5050s. I pretty much could not imagine winter life without them. My high waist skinnies (ahhhh!) are in the darkest wash I own, which means they go with everything. I love the fringed hem on this marled wool sweater, along with its easy fit and longer tunic length. Cozy, comfy and camouflage for those not-feeling-so-slim days. For added warmth a fur vest (or faux) is the perfect layering piece. This one even has a head-warming hood. My accessories are vintage: a leather and wood Raggedy Ann necklace that was hand-carved-and-crafted in Nicaragua for my Mother as a child and a mint-condition Coach mini tote I found at Antique & Variety Mall in Plattsburgh NY. Plus my water-resistant suede motorcycle cap which is perfect for need-a-haircut-so-bad days! ) (New haircut coming in next post!)

Boots: Stuart Weitzman 5050 but more affordable here and here

Sweater: Ann Taylor (50% OFF!)

Jeans: J Brand (a favorite), limited sizes in this style but LOTS (on sale!) to choose from here (outnet.com is one of my absolute favorite sites!)

Vest: (scored at Century 21, old) similar here and here

Cap: Tracy Watts New York (old) but all their hats are amazing! Similar caps here and here

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

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img_5837Sorry for going radio silent. This month took off like a (silver) bullet, and it’s been a struggle to keep up. I have 3 TV/Digital Shoots/Edits in January alone. All super exciting projects that you can see starting in February. Of course, when you’re a freelance Creative busy is what it’s all about. But it’s made my own blog shoots just about impossible.

Due to bad weather/interior location this outfit was hovering in the “maybe” folder, but I’ve decided to let it shine. And that all starts with this silver slip dress in a cool, distressed dye effect. Because Winter temps are here now, I’ve layered a long-sleeved, black Uniqlo HeatTech tee underneath. (Come Spring/Summer, it will look great layered over a black or white tee.) On my feet? These sleek, silvery slip-on booties. Love the unexpected circular stacked heel that makes them both unique and a super walkable daytime option. Jacket-wise I like the contrast of “tender” slip dress and “tough” Moto. This YSL one was “shoot loot” I was lucky enough to score a few years back, but there are endless options out there. And every wardrobe needs one. Topping it off? A black wool felt fedora.

Dress: (Zara, old) but like this one and this (short) one

Moto Jacket: (YSL, old) but super designer here and super affordable here

Booties: (Zara, old but selling on ebay!) Great alternatives here and here

Hat: (Biltmore x Madewell, old) but similar here (0n sale!)  and here

All photos by Lydia Filosa and MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

Whiter Shade of Pale

img_9735Woke up to a view of snow this morning and had to post this!

While not much of what I’m wearing is new all of it is of the moment. Typically we in the NYC environs seem to garb ourselves in black from  head-to-toe as soon as autumn fades, but this winter seems to be all about mixing and matching “whiter shades of pale.”

This look started with my amazing Vince coat. Last year, I tried it on in their Meatpacking store but could not pull the trigger. Luckily a few weeks later, it was on sale. Yay!  Kind of broke my Winter 2016 budget but do think it was worth it.

The rest of my look is super easy to recreate: white or cream turtleneck, camo pants, jeweled beanie, coordinating gloves, and pretty snow boots.

Once inside, I swapped out my coat for a fuzzy furry vest and my boots for…Birkenstocks! Yes…ugly is the new cool. And oh so comfy

And yes, that’s a blizzard blasting my face!

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img_9720Coat: (Vince, old) other options here and here

Cashmere Turtleneck: (J. Crew, old) but here’s this year’s version and and another

Camo Jeans: (True eligion, old) but love this and this

Boots: Sperry for J. Crew

Beanie: (old, erica molinari, cashmere & swarovski, a splurge at the time but love!) similar here and here

Gloves: (old, H&M) but love these and these

Vest: (old, karl donoghue) but how about this or this

Birkenstock Sandals: here!

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

 

 

 

Style DIY: Furry Feet

img_9626It’s possible you missed fashion’s insane passion for Gucci’s fur-lined Princetown Slipper. I succumbed to its wild style and ordered it multiple times, only to return it each time. Aside from the steep price tag (Kangaroo fur?!?), it just didn’t flatter my 50-something feet. Then I had an “Aha!” moment and decided to make my own version.

I already owned a pair of (very!) white leather Emerson Fry slides I ordered last summer, never wore, but knew fit like a glove. Next up? Finding my fur accents. After deciding to go all white, I found a rabbit pelt at Big Crow Trading, one of our favorite haunts up in the Adirondacks where hunting/trapping/skinning are still a way of life for many people. The fox fur pompoms were an easy find at M & J Trimming in NYC’s garment district. Both, super affordable versus stratospheric. Lastly, I had to muster up my courage to break out my hot glue gun. I can report that my new high style slippers look super chic. I can also report that I got quite a bad burn. So…unless you are Martha Stewart, take your time and be very…very careful.

In the end, this pretty wasn’t painless. But they do suit me perfectly. And while I did use leather slides and real fur, I think these could be super cute in a faux version as well.

Step 1: Assemble your components: slides or slippers, fur for lining, pompoms.img_9513

Step 2: Flip over fur and trace the outline of each shoe.img_9518

Step 3: Put down newspaper or magazine to protect work surface from drips and heat up that glue gun. While you wait, cut out fur shapes.img_9525

Step 4: Start glueing. Through trial and error, I found that sticking the glue gun into the shoe and applying glue to the front half of the insoles first worked best. You have a few seconds to manipulate the fur into place before the glue sets. Once the front half is in place, you can do the heel half.img_9526

Step 5: Fur lining done…now for the pompoms. I eyeballed placement and made a pencil mark for reference. Then just applied a dime-sized dollop of glue, placed the pompoms on their spot and pressed them into place for 30 seconds. img_9529

Step 6: Take a walk on the wild side…indoors or out!img_9532

All photos by MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

Hello 2017!

img_9631It’s January 2nd and I don’t know about you but I feel like the year is off to a fast and furious start. I am booked solid on a slew of exciting TV and Digital projects, which as a freelancer is the best start to your year. But I also don’t want to ignore LAS. It will be hard for me for the next month or so, so I hope you’ll hang in there. It means so much that you do!

I thought I’d take this post to highlight my 9-day Christmas/New Years getaway to our Adirondack cabin. It really re-set me…no TV, limited wifi, a focus on the outdoors not the internal. And long walks in the woods (any time of year) are for me the best mid-opening experiences…on every level.

So here’s a little compilation of the waning days of 2016, the first days of 2017. Hope you’ll stay on this journey with me. Let’s see where it takes us!

I don’t now about you but for us the holiday  season is filled with an abundance of food and drink. What’s not to like? Here, Brioche French Toast and Bacon, Sugar Cookies, Cheesy Meaty Lasagna, and of course, Champagne.

I skied for the first time at 50! In the Swiss Alps!! Many years ago!!! And I lived to tell. That being said, I’m not sure if/when I will leave Mixing Bowl on Whiteface for more challenging runs. I leave that to the Black Diamond Hubs & Sons. Bowie stays home and stays cozy. By the way, I love my Himaltec Climbing Pants from the Mountaineer, now ski pants when paired with Uniqlo’s HEATTECH Leggings.

As often happens, the best laid plans go awry. The Hubs did not feel well on New Year’s Eve, so he went to bed before I could get him to take a pic of me in my “sparkly” outfit. I was seriously worried that he was having a heart attack…no kidding. I can report that he’s fine. And that I stayed up drinking a wee bit more wine, doing the NY Times Mega Puzzle, stoking the fire. It was peaceful and fun…once I knew my husband was fast asleep after suffering severe indigestion and not dying.

Deer Top: Two Harts in Lake Placid

Jeans: Paige, old. But nice skinnies here and here.

Ugg Boots: Love love love these. But if you are not a size 6, how about these or these.

We did two amazing winter hikes. One on New Year’s Eve Day to Ausable Lake (and back) on the spectacular grounds of the Ausable Club (that’s me trespassing right on the lake). And on New Year’s Day, we just hiked our driveway (.7 miles of “tobagan” run), walked to town and along one of our favorite roads (Hulls Falls Roads). Day 1: 17, 544 steps, 42 floors, 8.8 miles. Day 2: 10, 492 steps, 25 floors, 4.7 miles. Advil, anyone?

We also threw our first party at the cabin, built a couple of bonfires in our new firepit, put our “shotski” to good use  (note to self: stock up on Tequila and Bourbon), actually went to the movies (Manchester by the Sea…sad but must see), and caught our uber-talented friend Dave Keyes playing live in Lake Placid at the Northwoods. So after all the eating and drinking and napping, I only gained 1.5 pounds. Woo hoo! It was totally worth it!!

2017? Stay tuned!

All Photos by MP & Chris Allegaert on iPhone 6.