Ruffles, Stripes & Flares

img_1484I know, I know…smile. But sometimes you just gotta put your game face on. I would wear this outfit for a business meeting where I need to wow their socks off, or for date night (wow the Hubs) or for GNO (Girls Night Out, wink). Think you get the idea…it’s a look you can wear anywhere, almost anytime — with individual pieces that can change up other looks in a flash. This ruffled jacket (which is kind of channeling Chanel, no?) with a white tee and jeans? Polished. The striped tee with white jeans and silver sandals? Beach chic. (So love the glittery elephant patch.) And these cropped, slit-hem flares from Who What Wear for Target? Simply genius. So comfortable, so flattering, so versatile. I will be wearing them ALOT. They would be amazing on a trip, especially when you want to just do carry-on. To finish it off, a sleek grey top-handled bag and strappy but walkable heels.

img_1490img_1485img_1495img_1524img_1538img_1532img_1512img_1231Jacket: Club Monaco, super sale now!

Tee: J. Crew, love every one in this trio. And you’ve now seen two out of three.

Pants: Target, sold out. But love these and these from the Collection.

Bag: (Rebecca Minkoff, old) but similar here and here

Shoes: Valentino Rockstuds but affordable here and here

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert.

Spring Smoothie

img_1678I had planned to make March my “makeover Month.” A retooled exercise regimen, healthier eating, fewer cocktails. And that’s still the plan with the “slight” hitch of a stress fracture in my left knee. All impact exercise is out, including any more than minimal walking. Swimming yes, but now I need to find a pool. I’m also going to be fitted for a biodynamic knee brace that I’ll have to wear for the next 6 weeks. (It will not be appearing in any fashion posts, even as a prop!) So…I will be retooling my exercise regimen, just not as expected. And healthier eating and fewer cocktails are going to be non-negotiable.

I’m kicking off my “new and improved” lifestyle with a Smoothie recipe that includes nonfat Greek yogurt since my Orthopedist is encouraging me to embrace (some) dairy again, along with the Calcium/Vitamin D supplements I already take.

This recipe also includes Maca Powder, a newly discovered nutritional wonder — at least for me. It’s been cultivated as a vegetable crop in the Andes for over 3000 years!  Maca Root has a higher calcium level than milk and is rich in Vitamin C and Iron. It’s also believed to balance hormones (studies link it to alleviating menopausal symptoms), improve your immune system, and increase energy, stamina, focus, and sexual energy (!). A word of caution: if you have Thyroid issues or are pregnant/breastfeeding you should consult your doctor before taking.

Hope you’ll give this recipe a try one morning soon. Let me know if you do!

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Spring Smoothie Recipe (@ 350 calories)

1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk (my favorite is So Delicious)

1/2 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt (Fage is my one and only)

5 chunks frozen organic pineapple

5 chunks frozen organic mango

5 chunks frozen organic banana (I pre-slice and freeze my own every couple of days)

1-2 tbsp of Chia/Flaxseed mix

1/2 tsp Organic Maca Powder (I get mine at GNC.)

img_1707Tried recipe out at the cabin this morning but with 1/2 cup of organic strawberries and blueberries (instead of pineapple and mango). Delish! (just 10 calories more)

All photos by MP Allegaert

All About Athleisure

img_1558img_1565img_1567img_1610img_1611img_1593img_1656img_1424img_1654OK, we’re not talking Members Only tracksuits. But we are talking workout-inspired, easy does it. We shot this post in our neighborhood park, but I could easily see myself in this look for a day of meetings around NYC. Think it would be pretty great for traveling as well. Pair these track pants with heels and a cami, and you have a pretty cool dinner outfit, too.

Inspiration started with the pants, which are from Who What Wear’s of the moment collection for Target. (I bought another pair of dressier pants as well — upcoming post.) Every piece is carefully curated, super chic and ridiculously affordable. As in under $30! The tee is one of a brand new J. Crew trio. Must confess I bought all of them. Now. Before they sell out. As sunny as it was outside, it was still still February! So my white Moto Jacket was the perfect topper. Accessories include my must-have Johns Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse Cap, black suede sneaks, a girlie pearl bracelet, my beloved “love” necklace, and a mini bucket bag.

All in all, I felt good to go. Anywhere.

Pants: Who What Wear for Target

T-shirt: J. Crew (love them all!)

Jacket: (old, Catherine Malandrino) Similar here and here

Bracelet: (Ann Taylor, sold out) but love this and this

Necklace: Ginette NY, a favorite jewelry designer of mine and luckily my husband as well. Her pieces are delicate yet spunky and eminently collectible.

Bag: Simon Miller but super affordable versions here and here

Sneakers: (old, Superga) but love these and these

All photos by Chris Allegaert on iPhone6.

Da Bomb Banana Bread

img_1276I love the Blog Probably This. Its adorable food-and-wine-loving creators, Beau and Matt, have great style and great recipes. Inspired by their “Best Banana Bread” but without a key ingredient (Madeira wine??? Not something we typically stock in our bar.) and unwilling to use another (not a fan of canola oil, sorry) but rich in overripe bananas, I decided to try coming up with my own version.

Now for tasting guinea pigs…or guinea girls. My day job is Creative Director/Writer for a woman-owned ad agency in New York. I love the work and everyone I get to work with, so given the sophisticated palates in the place, this was potentially a bit risky. Why ruin a good thing? But I can honestly say it was an office full of thumbs up…diet or no diet, juice cleanse or no juice cleanse. So next time you look at a bunch of bananas that have seen better days, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try!

img_1160INGREDIENTS:

Organic Bananas, 3 large ripe ones, do NOT peel, plus (optional) one to slice lengthwise for garnish (I needed the rest for my morning Smoothie!)

Organic All-Purpose Flour, 1 3/4 cups (if going Gluten-Free use Coconut Flour)

Organic Sugar, 1/2 cup (next time I will try 1/3)

Organic Brown Sugar, 1/2 cup (ditto)

Full Fat Yogurt (yes! fat can be good!!), 1 cup

Large Egg (just one)

Organic Butter (Kate’s is my all-time favorite), 1/2 cup melted plus 1 tablespoon for glaze

Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp

Sea Salt, 1/2 tsp

Baking Soda, 1/2 tsp

Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp

img_1172PLUS one secret ingredient…

Chia/Flaxseed mix, 1/4 cup (I was out of bran but would have included that too)

(I could not let the opportunity to sneak in something super healthy with all this decadent deliciousness pass by…)

Ingredients for Glaze: 1 /8 cup finest quality maple syrup, 1/8 cup finest quality rum, 1 tbsp finest quality butter. Are we sensing a trend? Set aside. And don’t drink the rum! Unless you are making this after wine o’clock.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place unpeeled bananas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once oven is ready, bake them for 25-30 minutes.

While they’re cooking…

img_1178Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a mixing bowl. Whisk in chia and flaxseeds.

img_1188Prep sugars (measure and mix in small bowl), yogurt and melted butter.

img_1184Remove baked bananas from oven (they will be dark brown to black) and let cool enough to be safely handled.

img_1200Peel the bananas over another mixing bowl. There will be liquid (banana juice?) along with the fruit. Since this was my first time “pre-baking” bananas I wasn’t sure what to do with this mystery liquid, so I poured most of it off. Wasn’t missed.

Mash coarsely with whisk.img_1203Whisk in sugars, yogurt, vanilla, egg and butter.img_1207img_1208Lastly, whisk in dry ingredients — just until blended, don’t overmix. Don’t the chia seeds mimic the “seeds” inside a banana?

img_1193Peel and slice a banana lengthwise. I used a sliver but next time…an entire half.

img_1211Line your loaf pan with parchment paper, then fill with mixed ingredients and place banana slice on top. This is a little tricky/messy. I folded paper origami-like to match pan but cutting the side seams might have been easier. Will try that next time.

Into the oven for 1 hour (or longer) until a toothpick comes out of the center without any batter on it. Crumbs are a good sign it’s done!

While the bread is cooling, make the glaze.

img_1261Simply combine maple syrup, rum and butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, whisking until throughly blended. Then turn up to medium/high and let bubble up just a bit. Set aside and let this cool until warm. You may need to whisk again before glazing.

img_1269Poke holes into top of bread with a toothpick, then brush on glaze. The holes will let it seep into the bread (yum!). I kept coating until glaze was gone.

img_1281Remove from pan, place on platter and slice, then watch it disappear. Warning…do NOT do this alone.

Hope you and yours like this recipe as much as I (and mine) do. Cheers!

All photos by MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

Rainbow Country

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img_1109img_1143img_1146Maybe it’s the grey winter days we’ve been having in Jersey City and up in the Dacks, but lately I’ve been drawn to bright pops of color. Definitely a mood lifter wherever you are, whatever the weather. And rainbow stripes will continue to be a big trend this Spring. They’ve been popping up in designer collections since last year. At the moment, I’m pining for this amazing Sophie Hulme tote. A rainbow and glitter! Haven’t plunked down the cash yet but will keep you posted.

This past Sunday it was our typical round of chores before heading back to “reality” — dump run, Sugar House Creamery for milk, yogurt and more, plus a quick check in at one of our favorite local stores, Big Crow Trading. Must be in the air, because everywhere I looked I saw rainbows! Oh…and lots (and lots) of taxidermy. And I’m sure you noticed that Bowie wore his rainbow stripe sweater, too.

This outfit is a mix of old and new, colorful and comfy. Outerwear pieces: a bright pink puffer, pom pom beanie with a touch of neon, and my warmest Ugg boots. Underneath: a rainbow striped crewneck, skinnies and don’t-leave-home-without-it Uniqlo HEATTECH crewneck.

Hope this look inspires you to brighten up your wardrobe. Now and come Spring. Let me know!

Jacket: (old, Aqua) Similar here and here (both on sale!)

Sweater: Crazy Stripe by Gap (on sale!)

Jeans: (old, Paige) This year’s model here and super steal here (with of-the-moment uneven hem for when you don’t tuck them into boots)

Beanie: Penfield for Madewell (on sale!)

Boots: Ugg, my tall style and short style (on sale!)

Crewneck: (not seen) HEATTECH by Uniqlo (on sale!)

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

 

Pink Power

img_0963What the world needs now? Love, sweet love. Not just for Valentine’s Day but for our future. This outfit was pretty much what I wore for the Women’s March in NYC on Jan 21st. And it really made me feel as happy as that day did. I also marched with my son Pierre’s girlfriend, April, which  was a special moment for me. I am so glad I shared it with such a stellar person, someone who’s going to light the world up in so many ways. And without getting too political that was the vibe of the March. A rainbow of people marching to make sure we all embrace the love, not the hate.

img_0328img_0882img_0904img_0909img_0924img_0957img_0983img_0986I love love love this coat. It’s a subtle dusty pink that was so fun to wear on our crazy warm day last week and will be my go-to come Spring. I love its fitted silhouette and bell sleeves. My sweater? I couldn’t resist it. LOVE in a rainbow! Otherwise, my outfit was pretty basic: white button down as seen here, scarf as seen here, new comfy jeans, and my treasured silver high tops as seen here. (Side note: I wear these plus Dr. Scholls insoles on shoots all the time, because I am on my feet for up to 12 hours!) I didn’t have time to get a Pink Pussy hat for the March but already had this beanie. It was perfect. And it looked like it had ears, right? Wink, wink.

Coat: (Club Monaco, on sale but limited) but also like this and this

Sweater: (Gap, sold out) but love this and this

Shirt: (J. Crew, old) Similar here

Jeans: (J Brand, old) but these and these on sale!

Sneakers: (Ash, old) but love these and these (the coolest for Spring 2017!)

Scarf: (J. Crew, sold pout) but similar here and here

Beanie: (H&M, old) but fun options here and here

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert.

 

Sneaky Style

img_0877Who What Wear, the Bloggers Blog, recently posted about the “Sneakers every Blogger owns.” I’m definitely a sneaker lover and glad to have their three style categories covered…and then some. Theirs: Black, White, Designer. My adds: Singular Slip-ons and Wildcards.

BLACKimg_0990Left to right: Converse One Star as seen in this post. No longer available at Target but these are the High Tops originals that started the craze. And look at these in 22 colors!img_0992

Vince styles these Slip-ons in perforated black leather for an understated yet edgy look. I wear them with…everything.img_0993

Superga refers to themselves as the People’s Shoes of Italy. They are the perfect combination of timeless classic and modern cool. My suede ones are old and no longer available, but I have a feeling you’ll find at least one pair to love on their site.img_0996

 

WHITE

For me, there is only one pair to own: Adidas Superstars. They are the epitome of super cool, super comfortable. And I even got mine monogrammed! (You can too.) Every time I put them on I really do feel like a…superstar!

DESIGNERimg_1018Left to Right: Penelope Chilvers are the shoes of choice for London’s Sloane Rangers. And now I know why they love them so.While a bit of a splurge, you will love and wear these upscale sneakers for years. My old navy blue Jungle Ponies are lined in shearling, so I can wear them all winter long. These are too and the color is of the moment. (Love these, too.)img_1023

COMME DES GARÇONS low tops are classic Converse kicks with a quirky twist — created in collaboration with NYC artist Filip Pagowski and legendary designer Rei Kawakubo. Think you’ll heart these as much as I do.img_1027img_1031

ASH gives the High Top high style. My silver ones are old and no longer available but check out these and theseimg_1033

 

SINGULAR SLIP-ONSimg_1010Left to right: Love the tweedy black-and-white fabric and eye-catching bling of my Kate Spade’s, and you knew I had to have at least one pair of grey sneakers! Both are old so no longer available, but love these and these

WILDCARDS: COLORFUL!img_1040Left to right: Both by New Balance with J. Crew. Moss/Lilac and Bitter Lemon (size 5 only) are no longer available but similar here and here

WILDCARD: FLIRTY!img_1054

Zara does it again with this sweet yet sophisticated satin pair. They have the look of Lanvin or Balenciaga but not the sky high price tag. In fact, they are Spring’s steal at $29.90! I love this feminine buff hue, but they also come in black. Another amazing designer-inspired option here too.

I hope there’s at least one look here that inspires you. Let me know what sneaker (or two) you seek out. And happy shopping!

All photos by MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.