Wednesday, December 29, 2010

OOTD: AC, baby, AC!

My boyfriend and I are spending the remainder of 2010 in our favorite east coast vacation destination: Atlantic City. No need to check your browsers; you have not stumbled upon "Stuff Jewish 80 Year Old Retirees Like." I genuinely love the place. New Jersey generally gets a lot of raised eyebrows from our friends, and for some reason Atlantic City gets a particularly bad reputation. Still, it's the perfect destination for me and BF (and likeminded friends).

  • It's a reasonable driving distance from both NYC and DC, with buses making many trips a day.

  • There's a lot of poker.

  • There's a sizable outlet mall, including your staples: J.Crew, Banana Republic, Coach, and Gap.

  • There's a good beach, which is irrelevant right now but is great in warmer months.


It doesn't hurt that we usually get free rooms on weekdays, either!

Yesterday, we spent almost seven hours on the bus (lots of stops) and were happy to finally arrive. We ate at an Indian Restaurant in the Taj Mahal casino (is that offensive in itself?). We had goat, which I've been meaning to try for months. It's a red meat, but it's exceptionally low in fat and calories (red meat with the calories of chicken: only 125 calories for a four ounce serving). It was quite good, tasted just like beef with maybe a hint of lamb chop. Goat meat is tough by nature, but "Royal Albert's Palace" simmered it into tender perfection. (Note: I agree with some of the negative review of this place: service wasn't great and the food was overpriced. However, entree portions were huge and could easily be split, cutting costs).

Anyway, here's what I wore:





Cardigan: Breezy Polkas Cardi
Shirt: Gap
Jeans: Joe's Best Friend jeans
Shoes: Anticipation Heels by Miss Albright (Anthro)
Socks: Stone Rose socks (yes, I did laundry yesterday)
Belt: J.Crew
Necklaces: Both Anthro. The long one is the Poms & Trinkets necklace; not sure about the short one.
Ring: local art fair

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

OOTDs: In a Suitcase Rut

I recently discovered what all the fuss is about re: AG's Stevie Cords (almost sold out online; still available in stores). They are soft and wonderfully comfortable, but also figure-flattering. It was the kind of thing where I bought one pair, confirmed my love for them with another try-on at home, and then went out and bought them in two more colors.

It's only been two days but I may be getting into a bit of a rut with my purple cords. They go really well with my imitation Field Game cardigan and I may be using the cardigan as a crutch.

In fairness to me, I'm living out of a suitcase for the next week or so (staying with BF in DC. We bused down in the blizzard because we are smart people). Since I'm not near my own closet, my options are quite limited. Still, will strive not to wear these together again until I find a few other options.

X-Mas Dinner:


Shirt: Finessed Turtleneck (Anthro)
Cardigan: Imitation "Field Game" by Pleione (Marshall's)
Pants: AG Stevie Cords, wine color (Anthro)
Belt: J.Crew
Shoes: Slinking Frills Pumps (Anthro)
Earrings: Not sure. Probably Anthro, though. Big shocker, I know
Bracelet: Blakely Bling, pale cider color (J.Crew, $16.50 here)


Random Monday

Shirt: Embraceable Tee (Anthro)
Cardigan: Imitation "Field Game" by Pleione (Marshall's)
Pants: AG Stevie Cords, wine color (Anthro)
Earrings: Bright Bulb Posts (Anthro)
Belt: Anthro something or other
Socks: Stone Rose Socks (Anthro)
Shoes: Anticipation Heels (Anthro)

Now that December is almost behind us, I am cutting my shopping back to a more objectively reasonable level. However, I will be visiting the J.Crew outlet in Atlantic City this week in an effort to slightly diversify my all-Anthro wardrobe. Either that or I will just stop using the parentheticals. It's overwhelming, even to me.

Hope you all had a lovely holiday!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spiced Sweet Potato Biscuits

I mentioned the other day that I brought two different dishes to X-Mas Dinner at my friend's house over the weekend. The goal of both dishes was to supplement and complement the food already being prepared without duplicating much effort. The appetizer-to-dessert, cake balls, turned out fabulously. In fact, they are still calling my name from the fridge.

The second dish---Sweet Potato Biscuits---also turned out pretty tasty, but didn't quite rise to my expectations. Literally. They were basically flat. This is what I get for working with old baking powder. I did my best to use camera angles to make the biscuits look as tall as they should have been.

Still, they were different and easy, and "bread" is an oft-overlooked category at dinner. And they're not even terrible for you; approximately 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber, and 19 grams of carbs. So, boys and girls, make sure your baking powder is less than six months old, and then get cracking on this recipe.


Spiced Sweet Potato Biscuits
(adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (3 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ginger, 1 part nutmeg, 1 part cloves or allspice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk (if you don't keep buttermilk around, then add 1 tsp. of white vinegar to a measuring cup, and fill the remainder with milk. Stir and let it sit for five minutes)
3/4 cup canned sweet potato (you can also use pumpkin)
3 tablespoons honey

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. (Weighing is most accurate, but as long as you spoon the flour lightly into the cup then you should get about the right amount.) Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Chill 10 minutes.


3. Combine buttermilk and honey, stirring with a whisk until well blended; add canned sweet potato. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moist.


4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. Roll dough into a (1/2-inch-thick) 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour.


5. Fold dough crosswise into thirds (as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope). Reroll dough into a (1/2-inch-thick) 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds; gently roll or pat to a 3/4-inch thickness.


6. Cut dough with a 1 3/4-inch biscuit cutter to form 14 dough rounds. Place dough rounds, 1 inch apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400° for 14 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan; cool 2 minutes on wire racks. Serve warm.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Ball

Merry Christmas to all you gentiles out there! This isn't my holiday, but it's hard not to get sucked into the Christmas spirit. My boyfriend is in town this weekend and we're lounging around the house until dinner time, when we'll head over to a friend's house to eat with her and her husband.

I feel inhospitable showing up at a small dinner without dish to offer, but I also don't want to interfere with or duplicate something the hostess is probably making. I came up with two things that I think did the trick. Here's the first one---sort of like an appetizer to the dessert course (thanks to my friend Kathryn for posting about these on Facebook!):


Red Velvet Cake Balls
(From Paula Deen)
(Paula also has a lot of suggestions for other flavor combinations)

Ingredients
One box red velvet cake mix
One canister cream cheese frosting
Two bags semi-sweet chocolate chips (note: my biggest regret is not using better quality chocolate. Don't skimp on this)

Instructions
1. Bake the cake according to the package directions. Let the cake cool for half an hour. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.


2. Crumble the cake into a bowl. This, incidentally, is the hardest part...crumbling up a perfectly good cake. Ack!


3. Once the cake is crumbled, add the canister of frosting and stir until blended. It will have the thick consistency of cookie dough.

(This is NOT blended)

4. Using a melon baller (or just your hands, if you lack a melon baller), form the cake mixture into small balls (about an inch and a half in diameter...smaller or larger depending on your preference). Roll them until smooth and place them on the wax paper. Once you've used all the dough, stick the tray in the freezer and freeze for about three hours.


5. After the balls have frozen, take them out of the freezer. Microwave a bag of chocolate chips in a bowl (I did it for about 1:15 on power level 8). Stir the chocolate chips so you have a bowl of smooth chocolate. Using two toothpicks, spear the cake balls one at a time and coat them with chocolate. Put them back on the wax paper to cool.



6. Once all the cake balls are coated with chocolate, you can add a second layer of chocolate or butterscotch. I melted white chocolate and added red and green food coloring for something more Christmas-y. You can also add coconut shavings, nuts, or anything else your little heart desires. For more inspiration, check out this website.

7. Refrigerate until close to eating time. These taste best at room temperature - when cold, the chocolate coating is a bit too hard.



Friday, December 24, 2010

This week's best Googlers

I'm not sure if other bloggers face the same issue, but folks seem to find my website using oft-hilarious search terms. Admittedly, the search results have been a lot more relevant as the blog becomes more popular. Eight of my top ten search results this week were directly relevant to the blog, with one being more general ("jewish girls") and one being clearly misled (the ever-popular "jewish girls in bed".)

Broken down by day, though, I can usually catch a few people who may have been looking for something else. Here are my favorites from this week:

"what are jewish girls like": I apologize to all Jewish girls that this search result links here.

"jewish nakedladies": Absolutely NO CLUE on this one. I went through twenty pages of google results---TWENTY PAGES! You start to get into the really fetishy stuff around 8 or 9, then it just becomes irrelevant---but my blog is not linked anywhere. I can't imagine the appetite one would need to have for jewish nakedladies to work through over twenty pages of google results.


"a jewish girl likes me": My advice? Pay for everything on the first date.


feeling dapper necklace tutorial: I wore Anthro's Feeling Dapper necklace here, but foolishly failed to properly instruct on how to put it on.


Step One: slide your finger down the side of the lobster clasp to release it and open the necklace (note: if your necklace is already open, skip to Step Two).

Step Two: position the necklace on your neck and determine approximately how high you would like it to hang.

Step Three: open the lobster clasp (see Step One).

Step Four: insert the hook of the lobster clasp into the portion of the chain corresponding with your desired necklace height.

Step Five: release your hold on the lobster clasp. The necklace should now hang securely from your neck.


Oh google, how I love you and your easy blog fodder!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It feels like angels are having sex in my mouth


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OOTD: What do you do...with a [JD] in [New York]?

I took the last final exam for my second-to-last semester of law school on Wednesday! It was a brutally long 8 hour take-home. My brain started turning to mush about 2/3 of the way through, but I soldiered on knowing that a trip to Anthro with a friend of mine was on the horizon once we both turned in our exams.

The exam got finished. And I kid you not, readers...when I needed a short break, and when I wanted to make myself feel a little bit better about my miserable exam-time existence without mainlining chocolate, I stood up and poofed out my skirt and admired the view.


Shirt: Gap
Skirt: Mindful Skirt by Daughters of the Liberation ($20 this fall at Anthro)
Tights: Hue sweater leggings (similar for $20 here)
Belt: Looping Lanes Belt (Anthro)
Boots: Berry-Stitched Boots (Anthro)
Earrings: Trefoil Posts (Anthro)
Necklace: Voyage to the Moon (Anthro)
Bracelet: Royal Tailor Cuff (Anthro)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

OOTDs: Boyfriend Edition

My boyfriend, who lives in DC, came into town this weekend! He appreciates Anthro clothes on me the perfect amount---enough that I feel wonderful wearing them (and not guilty buying them), and not so much that I feel like I'm dating Michael Kors. Perhaps this is a valid excuse for wearing 98% Anthro in these outfits? Or maybe the fact that my closet is 98% Anthro? Eventually I will diversify, just as soon as this store stops being so lovely.

Oh wait...bad plan...

Pre-Arrival House Lounging:
I gotta say, this is the first of Anthro's chemises that I've kept---they usually look too nightgown-y for me---but I really, really love this one. After this weekend, I now completely see the appeal of a chemise. It's perfect when you want to wear something comfy and casual to lounge around the house, but you still want to look pretty.

Chemise: Interpretation Chemise (Anthro)
Cardigan: Imitation "Field Game" Cardigan by Pleione (Marshalls)
Shoes: Tied Scutes Flats (Anthro)
Necklace: Local Street Market


A Night on the Town
We had dinner, saw a play ("A Small Fire") and then hit up a few bars (including Rolf's, which you MUST visit ASAP if you live within five hours of NYC---here's why) and then went for pommes frites.

I don't know why I look like a linebacker in the first photo...BF took the picture and he's taller than me, so perhaps its an angle thing.

Dress: Cordial Embrace Dress (Anthro) (I passed over this SO many times in the sale section, but recently tried it on and it blew me away. This one is less than $35 on sale!)
Bodysuit: Arabesque Bodysuit (Anthro)
Belt: Nimble Paisley Belt (Anthro)
Tights: Minuet in 3/4 Tights (Anthro)
Shoes: Rensellaer T-Straps (Anthro)
Necklace: Zodiac Necklace (Anthro)


A Day on the Town
I never thought I'd say these words, but Jeggings saved the day! I really wanted to wear this fun, frilly frock, but it was just too dressy with tights. Jeggings TOTALLY did the trick, I think. I still looked like I was wearing a dress, but the denim legging dressed it down the perfect amount.

(PS: I'm still reluctant to accessorize this dress. Any thoughts? Am I limited only to necklaces? Maybe a brightly-colored skinny belt?)

Dress: Volante Tunic (Leifsdottir) (here) (I scored this at the Sample Sale!)
Jeggings: J.C. Penny (yeah, you read that right. I'm not ALWAYS fiscally irresponsible) (these are the ones I got, but these look better somehow)
Boots: Aldo Legacy Boots (on sale here) (next time I wear this dress, I promise to wear different boots)
Necklace: Gift from BF, purchased in Brazil
Headband: Anthro
Earrings: See-Through Petals Posts (Anthro) (I actually hate these. I don't know why I have them in two colors)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anthropologie Tag Sale Starts Today

It's time to head over to Anthropologie for the semi-annual Tag Sale! As Roxy mentioned on her blog, the Tag Sale is Anthro's biggest sale of the year. It happens twice, but the most markdowns generally happen in December.

This year, there are TONS of shoes on sale! Had to resist these cute yellow shoes; while I do need a yellow pair, I don't think it's this yellow pair. I did an admirable job resisting boots, but I could not resist it all. Here are some of my sale grabs:

Anticipation Heels (now mostly sold out online, but still available in stores)


Linnaean Pumps (here)


Slinking Frills Pumps (here)


Stockholm Floral Apron (available in black or blue)


I also scored a few dresses, some shirts, a blazer, booties, socks, a skirt...ack. The list, unfortunately, goes on. My super is going to hate me when these packages get delivered (two different orders being sent in four shipments = lots of boxes for him to handle).

Still, I must admit that I was surprised there were not more second cuts and that the 25% discount did not increase from last week. It worked out fine for me, since I already redeemed my one-time-only price adjustments at the 25% off rate.

So, how did the sale work out for you guys? Do you think we'll see even more discounts after Christmas?

PS: I also may have visited the Kate Spade website. And it was such hard work resisting all of the pretty dresses that I thought I deserved a tote bag. ...It was on sale!

Fabulous or hideous? I think a little of both.

Rolf's NYC: AMAZING

Based on the incredible photos and recommendation of Kate over at Embarrassment of Riches, I sojourned down to Gramercy on Sunday to enjoy some incredible Christmas decorations and German ambience at Rolf's.

I am almost ashamed to post my pictures (taken with an iPhone, no less) in light of Kate's gorgeous photos, but absolutely no photo prepares you for the experience of walking through the door:


This is a full holiday assault on your senses. Rolf's was featured as part of Kate's "Christmas in the City" series, and it's pretty clear why. There are lights and wreaths everywhere, and from the lights and wreaths dangle ornaments, shimmering angels with trumpets, and glass icicles. The smell of sweet, fried German food mingles with the aroma of spices from mulled wine and eggnog.

The place is small and the bar was packed, but we managed to weasel into a seat after about half an hour. Even without seats, the ambiance was fantastic despite the packed bodies. Of course, had someone jostled my mulled wine into my dress, I might have felt differently.

If you live anywhere in the vicinity of NYC, you MUST make it a point to visit Rolf's before the decorations come down. We chatted with some folks at the bar who'd come from Connecticut. Admittedly, no, not that far, but still, it proves my point.

281 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 477-4750

The warm mulled wine was absolutely stellar, and served in a seemingly never-ending glass. (Is this the magic of Christmas I hear so much about??)


The food looked pretty authentic, too...in that it was either fried or looked like a wiener of some kind.


After Rolf's, we went to Pommes Frites. This is relevant to nothing, but SOMEONE needs to know how many different mayonaises we tried:

Smoked eggplant mayo (my favorite), Vietnamese pineapple mayo, pomegranate terriyaki mayo, rosemary and garlic mayo, roasted mushroom mayo, hot chili paste, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, mayo, and mayo+ketchup+onions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peer Pressuring Myself: Southward Stop Shirtdress

I seem to be inordinately prone to peer pressure within the Anthropologie blogosphere. Generally, I have a decent eye for the type of item that will look good on me or feel comfortable, and I pass over everything else. But sometimes, readers, one of the sale items I pass over causes an absolute stir amongst my fellow bloggers. In the next few weeks, I see tons of beautiful OOTDs and read tons of comments from fangirls seeking the piece in their size. I start to question my judgement. I start to think that I must have missed out on something AMAZING AND I MUST HAVE IT NOW!!!11! Then the thrill of the hunt kicks in and my money is as good as spent.

Such was the case with the Southward Stop Shirtdress.


I passed this one over when it first went on sale figuring that it would not flatter me, but soon saw really adorable outfits floating around and started to regret my decision. I touched a size 0 in a store a few weeks ago and loved the print and the soft corduroy material. Last week, Anthro customer service found two in my sizes (4/6) in NYC and after considering both, came home with the four (the six had an inordinate amount of extra fabric and wasn't particularly flattering).

But oh, I am having doubts readers. I'm having doubts even though I got a PA and this lovely frock was only $45. To make myself feel a bit more comfortable with the purchase, decided to apply peer pressure to myself, via lots of photos on my own blog. (It didn't hurt that this helped me procrastinate on writing a seminar paper for about two hours). My goal was to style this dress in as many ways as possible. I must say, I'm shocked at how versatile this dress is.

Look 1: Simple
Shoes: Rensellaer T-Straps


Look 2: Simply Belted

I sort of like the way the Paisley belt looks with the bird pattern on the dress! This belt is one of my favorites from this week's sale acquisitions. Its name---"Nimble Paisley"---is apt; I find it hops easily from one outfit to the next.

Belt: Anthro Nimble Paisley Belt
Shoes: Anthro Rensellaer T-Straps by Miss Albright


Look 3: Complementary Patterned Shirt

The shirt had kind of a southwardly charming pattern to it (it reminds me of curtains you might find in your someone else's country home), and the colors were soft enough so as not to be too distracting.

Shirt: By Lily White, Nordstrom Rack
Belt: J.Crew floral belt weaved through Anthro's Belt (can't remember the name...I thought it was "infinite loop" or "infinite knot," but nothing is coming up on google. The SKU is 19345495, if you want to hunt it down.)
Shoes: Christian Syriano for Payless


Look 4: Cardigan-ed

While I really like this cardigan, and I love the colors together, I don't particularly like covering up the unique ridges on the chest of the dress.

I rarely wear these shoes since they are just a smidge too small to walk in for long spans, but the coordinated gold embellishments on both shoes and cardigan were too good to pass up.

Cardigan: Imitation "Field Game" cardigan by Pleione, Marshall's
Shoes: BCBG


Looks 5(a) and 5(b): Keeping Warm

With a neutral, long sleeved body suit, I get the warmth of a cardigan without obscuring the pretty details of the dress. Boots make this look more rugged and casual, while the Mary Janes dress things up a bit.

If you don't own a bodysuit because you are a rational person, this obviously would work with any relatively tight long-sleeve shirt.

Look 5(a):
Anthro Bodysuit
Anthro Looping Lanes Belt
Anthro Berry Stitched Boots

Look 5(b):
Anthro Bodysuit
Anthro Infinite Knot (?) Belt
Target Mary Janes


Look 6: With a button-down Haberdashery shirt

Not quite business professional...more "Laura Ingalls Wilder has a job interview at the country store." Finding a button-down shirt that worked with this dress was no small task; strong colors or very solid stripes were a bit too much. The shirt I chose has muted colors and some ruffling on the neckline that seemed to complement the details on the dress. I buttoned the shirt all the way up to minimize interference with the dress's neckline.

Shirt: Anthro Parallel Lines Shirt (sold out online, but still available in some stores for $20)
Shoes: Nine West Gaynor in Pink Suede (on sale here; also available in black, grey, and camel)


....Yep. Totally talked myself into it.

What do you think, readers? Good purchase? Are any of these looks total misses? If you have this dress, how do you like to wear it?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

AMAZING gift for all Jewish Girls on your list

Holy Matzoh. I'm not sure how I missed this in my first gift ideas post---I mean, geez, I have ONE SCHTICK going for me, you'd think I'd at least be thorough with it---but naturally I couldn't resist posting this:

Nice Jewish Guys 2011 Calendar ($16, available here)


This is...exactly what it looks like. Amazing, blog-title-appropriate humor for that charming Jewish girl (or lover of Jewish Men) (I'm looking at you, Lola Nicole) on your gift list.

Here's the product description:

Sure, a fireman's calendar is kinda nice but what about a calendar that is all about nice? Introducing... the Nice Jewish Guys 2011 calendar, a compendium of dudes Mom would SO approve of. Real guys like Brian, whose fave movie is "Annie Hall". We love your hair, Brian! About 12"x12" By Adam Cohen (a nice Jewish guy). A portion of the proceeds go towards Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

Hilarious!

AND a portion of the proceeds go to charity! How...nice.

Some more eye candy for you ladies below. Drink it up!






Saturday, December 18, 2010

OOTD: I only want to see you standing in the purple [cardigan]

Yesterday, I experimented with the thesis that I would be more productive in paper writing if I wore actual clothes instead of a tee shirt and sweatpants.

Cardigan: Anthro Split Decision cardigan
Shirt: J.Crew Ruffle Tee (on sale in stores, sold out online)
Jeans: Paper Denim and Cloth
Shoes: Anthro Bryce Canyon Lace-Ups (these are on sale for only $22.50 now!! Sold out online, but the Rockefellar Center store in NYC still had a bunch. Highly recommend, although there is very little arch support.)
Necklace: Anthro Feeling Dapper necklace

I can't believe I almost sold this cardigan! Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you realize you love a piece you'd totally neglected? This Split Decision cardigan is a wonderful weight for winter and I can't get enough of the vibrant color.

"When Parents Text"


This website (and trying on new clothes) is making my sad night of paper-outlining a little better.

A few choice excerpts. My selection criteria was "prompted a spit-take":






This one very easily could have been my mom (love ya!):



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