Do blondes have more fun? Do wigs count? The highlight of my Halloween weekend was a fabulously spooky costume party in Manhattan. I felt completely transformed dressed and styled as Marilyn Monroe. I couldn't resist posing over a subway grate (and I'm on a few tourists' cameras as a result). My boyfriend was a good sport and dressed as Joe DiMaggio. When I heard that Marilyn's wedding band was being auctioned this week I took it as a sign. Sure they separated after only eight months and yes, it may have been the skirt blowing scene from the "Seven Year Itch" that caused the break-up, but I like to think that their relationship was more than just a failed marriage. When Marilyn checked herself into a psychiatric clinic and things didn't work out as she planned, she called Joe and he flew to New York, stormed into the facility, and threatened to tear the reception desk to pieces if they didn't release "his wife" immediately (they were already divorced). And when she died he was there again, arranging her funeral and sending a bouquet of red roses to her grave for many years after she was gone. Poignant, tragic, fascinating– and quite a love story if you ask me.
happy halloween, xx
[Photos from the Dailymail]
Victoria Beckham has a few outfit standbys that she visits over and over again. The blazer and skinny pant (here, here, and here). The fitted dress (here, here, and here). The loose-fitting dress (here, here, and here). The flared skirt and cardigan (here, here, and here). The baggy jeans/shirt combo (here, here, and here). Another one of her habits is to wear a statement piece and keep everything else relatively monochrome and simple (here, here, and here). Case in point: these mid-calf fringe boots, which she wore with a black-on-black outfit on October 22 at her sons' socceer practice. Although she’s playing it safe, fringes are a bit bold and can definitely overpower other accessories. I think it works.
SHOP THE LOOK:
[Photo from La Garconne - Isabel Marant fall 2011 Mony fringe boots, $1,235,
[Photo from Yoox - Black Denim Pants, Victoria Beckham, no longer available, similar style $248, available here]
If I actually kept a list of foods that I wanted to make at least once in my lifetime, coq au vin (literally "rooster in wine," made most usually with chicken) would have been pretty high on it. I always thought of it as one of those intimidating French dishes that would require special tools, skills, and ingredients to bring to the table, let alone perfect. Then I found a recipe entitled “Quick Coq au Vin” and decided to give it a try with some minor additions (tomato paste, garlic, parsley) and trimming of fat (I remove the chicken skin and swapped out the pork bacon with turkey bacon). One bite of the finished product and I forgot all about my previous assumptions. Savory and filling yet surprisingly light, the whole thing can be made on your stovetop in one or two pots. I like it best with plain boiled potatoes, but I think it would also taste great over soft polenta, rice or mashed potatoes—anything that can be used to sop up the gravy.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices bacon, roughly chopped (turkey or pork)
1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into pieces (skin may be removed)
1 handful flour (or as needed), seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
10 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, rinsed and halved
20 whole baby carrots, cut in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 large sweet onions, chopped, or 2 cups pearl onions
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 bottle (about 4 cups) red wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
Parsley for garnish
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to a large plate. Drain excess fat.
2. Coat the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour.
3. Brown the chicken in the pot, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to the plate with the bacon.
4. Sauté the mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and onions in the pot until they just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until thickened, being careful not to burn the mixture.
5. Pour half the wine into the pan and cook over high heat for about 8 minutes.
6. Add the broth and the remaining wine. Bring to a boil and add the chicken, bacon, and herbs.
7. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and serve.
Like everyone else in the country I had been eagerly awaiting the Missoni for Target launch in September and like everyone else I underestimated both the public's response to it and the company’s unskilled handling of the aftermath. Still, all complaints aside, the hype was exciting. I had seen the lookbook and had chosen the pieces I wanted. Luckily, through a combination of calling my store (they sold out in the early morning and never restocked), refreshing the webpage, and, as a last resort, a very reasonably priced eBay reseller, I was able to score everything I had originally selected. The one thing I purchased that wasn’t on my original list was this pleated maxi skirt. I actually spotted it online the day the collection launched and fell in love. It remained in-stock for a surprisingly long amount of time—maybe the signature zig-zags are too subtle?—but nevertheless it turned out to be my favorite and perhaps the most versatile piece of my haul.
Skirt: Pleated Maxi Skirt in "Black," Missoni for Target
Shirt: Tee in "Heather," Levi's
Scarf: Fringed Scarf in "Black," H&M
Bag: No Slouch Faux Straw Dome Satchel in "Black", Kenneth Cole New York [was $198,
Shoes: Balnit Peep-Toe Slingbacks, Aldo [were $110, available here]
Jewelry: Decenario bracelet in Gray, gift; Assorted Sterling Silver Bangles, from Mexico; "Words are Powerful – Live" Set of Three Expandable Wire Bangles in "Silver," Alex and Ani [was $39,
available here]; Paloma Picasso Loving Heart Ring in Sterling Silver, Tiffany & Co. [no longer available, similar style here]
[Photo from Bergdof Goodman - $650, available here]
I love Giuseppe Zanotti shoes in just about any form. With their abbreviated peep toe and thin ankle strap, these red satin beauties definitely do the trick. And double platform? Yes please. Sarah Hyland wore a pair of them on Good Morning America last week with a skirt from H&M that is much more budget-friendly but just as chic (and totally on my list). Bonus covetable thing:
[photo from H&M - Short flared skirt in thick satin with a print pattern, $39.95]
[Photos from I'm Not Obessed]
Suede heels, skinny jeans, and a deeply draped sweater aren't exactly the most practical things to wear when going pumpkin picking. As if those pieces weren't attention-grabbing enough, Kristin Cavalleri paired them all with a boldly printed oversized sweater on October 19 in Beverly Hills. The result? Fabulous. The sweater's combo of burgundy and taupe is lovely, and although she did wear colors similar to the print, the tones varied enough to keep things from being too matchy-matchy. I'm thinking of heading to a nearby patch soon and I must admit her look is giving me some outfit inspiration. I think I'll steer clear of suede footwear though– New York fields tend to be pretty muddy, apparently completely unlike their Californian counterparts.
SHOP THE LOOK:
[Photo from Farfetch - Mayan Drape Cardigan in "Autumn," Funktional, $168, available here]
[Photo from Shopbop - Tencel Legging Jeans in "Palisade," J Brand, $183, available here]
[Photo from Bluefly - Evans Stitched Platform Ankle Booties in "Blonde Suede," Jimmy Choo, were $1095, available here]
[Photo from Endless - Polished ZS920 Satchel in "Burgundy," Z Spoke Zac Posen, was $495, available here]
When I first saw this dress, I was worried that I might have acquired it during the wrong season. But then I considered it again and I noticed how decidedly autumnal its colors were: burnt orange, subtle reds, and a rich purple all interplay in a pattern that reminds me of fall skies and turning leaves. The cut is flattering with capped sleeves, a flared skirt, and empire waist. I added a few vintage pieces—my clutch was purchased (not by me of course) in Italy in the late 1970s and the intaglio ring is from an antique dealer who dated it to the 1920s—to play up the fun flower-child feel of the look.
Maxi: Burning Man Dress in "Pink Hippie," Jen's Pirate Booty [was $189, available here]
Shoes: Kentaro Cage Heel Sandal in "Brown," Nine West [$89,
Bag: Brown leather clutch,vintage
Jewelry: Intaglio Topaz Ring, vintage; Hammered gold bangle, gift; 14kt Yellow Gold Plated Cabochon Bangle in "Red," House of Harlow [was $180, available here]; Mini Script Initial Bangle Set in "Russian Gold," Alex and Ani [was $39,
Chili is one of those things that everyone makes their own special way: secret stir-ins and painstakingly perfected cooking times abound. Accordingly, this chili recipe is a combination of many other recipes, my own experiments, countless taste-tests, and the advice of more than a few cooks. Some of my tricks? Cornmeal to help thicken the sauce and few unexpected herbs to give the flavors an unexpected depth. And don't even think about cutting down the minimum two hours of cooking time. In fact, the longer this chili simmers, the better it will taste.
3 pounds ground beef chuck
4 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 tablespoons cornmeal, mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water
1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
2. Pour in the chili beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and beef stock. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Add the cornmeal mixture. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. After simmering for at least 2 hours, taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
4. Remove from heat. Chili can be refrigerated and served the next day or can be served immediately. Plate with corn chips, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, and/or corn bread.
[Photo from Neiman Marcus - $595, available here]
As the name implies–Candy? Glitter? I'm interested!–this clutch from Jimmy Choo is all kinds of fun. I love how its smooth contours and rounded edges contrast with the front flap's dramatically slashed line. In gold, I think it would match with just about anything, a useful quality in a clutch. And glitter coated leather encased in acrylic is different but subtle enough to make the bag a statement piece that will enjoy a long shelf life in your closet.