Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tel Aviv: Now & Then

 

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My love affair with Tel Aviv began back 2005, when I was a student at the university on a study abroad program for six glorious months.  Late morning classes and a bike ride to the beach were followed by evenings smoking hookah on the balcony and parties at boites all over town.  I interned at Time Out Tel Aviv and quickly became familiar with the incredible offerings of the metropolis by the sea. But exploring my beloved city on our family vacation last month, I couldn’t help but muse upon how much we both had changed since I last visited. Crumbling buildings have been replaced with gleaming modern construction. The Jaffa flea market, a former dump of mid-century household goods and cheap souvenirs, is now home to boutiques with artful displays and chic shop girls. And, much to my delight, it seems that everyone in town has a new baby.

Yet, many things remain just the same as I remember. All across the city, beautiful, bronzed Israelis spilled out of bustling cafes on to the sidewalks ; the men behind the shwarma counters beckoned with friendly smiles while Levantine playlists blared overhead.  Young chassidic crews in white skullcaps and wispy sideburns danced to techno blaring out of their van at the city’s main intersection where freshly squeezed pomegranate juice is as easy to come by as American Apparel.  Basking in the Mediterranean light, sounds, and flavors was the most perfect way to celebrate my 30th birthday.  It was thrilling to be back in town.

On this trip, as we dined at new restaurants and ordered my favorites at old hangouts, I mused on the Tel Avivian aptitude for creating ambiance. In each little corner of the city, one can discover the most inviting, groovy, I-want-to-come-here-every-night vibe that reminds me why, despite the limitations of parenthood, I still love going out to see how creative folks can transform a space into an experience.  I could go on forever about the way this tiny town stacks up against bigger urban destinations like Barcelona, Copenhagen and even New York. The street art, the boutiques, the bars, the crowd, the food––oh, the delectable, gorgeous food!––leaves no doubt that Tel Aviv holds its own.

The last time I visited, in 2010, the Mr. was fresh out of law school, and we were not yet engaged.  We spent a few debaucherous days in Tel Aviv, went road tripping through the beaches and ruins of Israel, and followed it all up with a week in Egypt visiting a grad school friend born and raised Cairo.  It was an incredible, spontaneous and carefree adventure that brought us closer in a way that only traveling together can.

This trip provided a whole new opportunity for reflecting on travels of my past and reveling in the present adventure. Overall, I came away with a glimpse of my future hopes for my family.   Feeling confident after two successful flights and a great family weekend spent exploring Rome on our layover, we landed in Tel Aviv brandishing 3 passports at customs. Perched in her new nautical themed stroller and loving every new flavor and playground stop, my little jetsetter didn’t stop my grand plans to visit all my old haunts.  Instead, she slowed us down just enough to enjoy the stunning rhythm of life in Tel Aviv.

 

 

 

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Transformations

It’s been almost 4 months since I last posted which makes me feel terribly!  I have not been shirking my homemaking duties but I have been very distracted by my growing girth. To give you an idea of my current state, my nickname in the office has gone from Lil Sista to Big Mama and the AM New York newspaper distributors encourage me “slow and steady”  as I make my way to the top of the subway stairs at Bryant Park. The blog is not the only thing that has taken a back seat as my physical capabilities are stretched thin and my mental faculties are otherwise preoccupied. The dinner parties I’ve recently hosted, while lovely, have been prepared using tried and true recipes and served on, dare I say it, paper plates (though metallic, with matching mercury glass votives). Despite my fears of bad hosting etiquette, I gladly welcome the assistance of my lovely guests who insist on loading my dishwasher while I lounge. In some ways, the pregnancy has improved my hosting skills. I’m so grateful to spend the evening at home with friends who will linger, I have taken to baking a killer chocolate cake for dessert (and the next day’s breakfast).

I’m not planning on going full mom blogger on ya’ll but bear with me here as I’ve had 9 months to fill my brain with all things pregnancy, birth and baby related. I’ve learned a lot, no thanks to the three separate copies of Vicky Iovine’s inane Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy I was gifted. The (former) Mrs. Iovine’s best chapter is about sexy dreams during pregnancy but I won’t spoil it for you. The tone that many of these pregnancy books (Jenny McCarthy, I’m looking at you) and e-newsletters use to relay information to expectant mothers is infuriating.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the daily emails I recieve from WhattoExpect.com with subject headings such as:

• Insomnia • Puffy Cheeks • Coping with Varicose Veins • Anxiety and Fear • Coping with Heartburn, • and my all time favorite, Feeling Not-So-Confident

I view these emails as part of a large pharmaceutical and baby product industry led conspiracy. Walk, run or waddle to the store, pregnant ladies! Stock up on TUMs and while you’re there, check out the hundreds of unnecessary products you might need for your fetus. I’ve managed to avoid pregnant consumerism by reminding myself that newborn babies only need food, warmth, shelter and LOVE.  I’m thrilled that my faith doesn’t do baby showers.  Right about now, the last thing I want to be doing is donning a “cute” maternity dress and sitting in the middle of a massive group of well wishing female relatives and friends who want to touch my stomach and coo over infant shoes.

The only serious coping I’ve been doing is surviving a major wardrobe downsizing.   Some days the lack of options is a great excuse to linger in bed, plus, my closet has never looked neater. I didn’t want to spend a ton of cash on shapeless maternity clothes and I thought I’d be able to wing it with loose tops I own and the few excellent pairs of maternity jeans passed down by my sister in law. If you’re in the market, make sure to get pants with the stretchy belly panel and NOT the elastic waist bands which will give your bump a horrible chafing! I bought a few knit shirts from GapBody in the largest size (beware of shrinkage) and even spent a small amount ending in $0.99 at Old Navy whose bright colors and juvenile silhouettes made me feel like a teen mom. My can’t-live-without purchases include a pair of black corduroy leggings from ASOS Maternity (an excellent stop for the trendy pregnant crowd),   and pair of black and white throwback Adidas kicks (NOT the high heeled kind that girls everywhere are rocking).  A dear friend gifted me a pair of $12.99 pleather leggings which I love(for when I want a little more shake, rattle and roll.

i never take these off.

I highly recommend being pregnant in the winter months as the baby is your personal furnace and wearing fuzzy boots is universally acceptable! The only downside of my all black uniform is that my husband refers to me as the mime.  I know hes secretly pleased I borrow his sweaters because he no longer has to fold them and put them away.

It turns out though, that I’m not the only one going through a transformation. I recently noticed that my subway crush, an olive skinned pint sized, Alexander Wang toting fashionista who embodies the perfect girl meets boy style, wears studded wellies on rainy days and gets off at 34th street, shaved her hair off! My slow and awkward gait down the subway corridor (Waddling is real, consider yourself warned) allowed me to get a good look at her and I could not believe what I saw. She went from a pouty lipped and brooding cutie to a Robin Tunney look alike, circa Empire Records (thanks to my pal,  Itinerant Daughter for the tip)

what a bad ass

Her revolutionary new do or lack thereof blew my mind and gave us something more than a subway line in common. In my all black stretch outfit, I could identify with the manifestation of her Goth self.

At the risk of sounding cliche, throughout this pregnancy, I’ve been thinking about the importance of embracing change,  confronting my limits and ignoring all the haters who will stymie this growth with the plague of doubt.   Its a mental exercise that has forced me to to relinquish my reliance on thinking through a tried and true perspective in favor of a new outlook, which isn’t even all that clear.

Letting go is really difficult!  My amazing sister recently stopped by to help me “edit” my closet to make room for the new baby. This organizational session turned into a ruthless disposal of many years worth of vintage items I collected but don’t really wear.  Into the Goodwill bag went a pair of white iridescent pumps that I used to pair with skinny jeans and a Member’s Only jacket in tribute to the 80s; another spiky pair in gold lame, one size too big, that my mom yelled at me for wearing to my brother’s bar mitzvah; a pair of Etonic KM blue sneakers passed down by my roommate’s rad mom; red and gold disco queen sandals; and an iconic blue purse with the interlocking Gucci logo, whose strap is hanging by a thread, too far gone to be repaired.   I leave you dear readers, with a few pictures to immortalize my taste in vintage footwear and accessories and to make my process of bidding farewell a bit easier. Here is to the memories of the good old days and in honor of all the ones that are yet to come!IMG_0227 IMG_0225 IMG_0228

JERUSALEM!

Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying Chef Monsta & Co to The Strand for a conversation with Middle Eastern superstar chef Yotam Ottolenghi and his co-chef and business partner Sami Tamimi, moderated by author Jonathan Safran Foer.  Safran Foer sporting bed head, hipster glasses and tales of his own dinner parties was an adorable intermediary as he challenged the two chefs both born and raised in different parts of Jerusalem to share their personal food memories, culinary influences and recipe creation process.

Ottolenghi, the author of the best selling cookbook Plenty, and a formerly vegetarian column in The Guardian co-owns a number of successful Middle Eastern restaurants with Tamimi in London.   The duo is passionate about Middle Eastern cuisine and aims to elevate the region’s rich culinary heritage above common perceptions of falafel and shwarma. In their new book, Jerusalem, the authors guide home cooks through many unique dishes one flavor at a time, and discuss the food of their childhoods.  The power of food to evoke memories and conjure up emotional experiences transforms the culinary process for Ottoloenghi and Tamimi. When prompted by Safran-Foer to recall a favorite food, Tamimi described the fried cauliflower sandwiches seasoned with lemon and garlic that his mother, who passed away when he was 7, prepared for him and his siblings. Armed with only the memories of its taste and smell, Tamimi set out to recreate the recipe for the Fenugreek cake his mother would bake, testing and tasting each recipe variation until he had arrived at the configuration that precisely matched the recollections of his palate.

As I experienced firsthand when I tried to create a book of Moroccan family recipes, many home chefs cook from the heart without a measuring cup.  In Jerusalem, Ottolenghi and Tamimi tackle the challenge Middle Eastern recipes which have not been explored by global chefs until recently and do not benefit from hundreds of years of testing and chronicling by great cooks the way French cuisine does.  As the chefs demonstrate, both in the exquisite photography and in the sophisticated flavor profiles, the cuisine of Jerusalem goes far beyond a late night falafel.  The rich hues and fragrances that are found in Ottolenghi’s recipes can be traced back to the trade routes of the Ottomon Empire and have influenced Syrian, Turkish, Greek and Yemenite cuisine for thousands of years.  According to the authors, modern Israeli cuisine which has been gaining attention for its use of fresh ingredients, only recently begun to champion its Sephardic roots, finally laying aside the tradition of bland Kugels and gray stuffed cabbage for the more varied flavors of immigrant communities that had been shunned as second class citizens for far too long.

Like the place itself, staples of Jerusalem cuisine, pita, kibeh, falafel and depending on where you’re from, Israeli or Arab salad can be quite political.  The name and origins of the recipe, the ingredients it contains (a purist falafel of just chickpeas vs. a falafel flavored with fresh herbs), and the best hole in the wall purveyors ( I am partial to the sabich sandwhich on Frischman street in Tel Aviv) are all subject to everyone’s opinion.  Ottolenghi knows that the possibility of the Arab-Israeli conflict being settled over a plate of excellent humus is unlikely, but his easy rapport with Tamimi is inspiring and their collaborating has yielded a beautiful volume of recipes that demonstrates why this ancient city is so enticing.

Jerusalem’s recipes are measured out in grams and the chefs highly recommend using a scale rather than a measuring cup, which depending on how fine you chop and pack your herbs can skew your measurements. The book relies on an exhaustive list of spices which can intimidate the home cook, starting with C alone, they include Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cumin, Coriander and Cilantro! Yet, a fun field trip to your local spice market (Kalustyans, perhaps?) can assuage your worries and keep your pantry stocked as you cook your way through Jerusalem. The book features many dinner party worthy recipes that blend sophisticated flavors such as Arak and tangerine, Pistachio and ginger yet it also gets classics like chicken soup with dumplings and homemade humus down to a science.

As Proust pointed out in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, food memories are formative.  For Mr. Ottolenghi, it is his Italian grandmother’s semolina Gnocci which has shaped his affinity for comfort food, and in Jerusalem he has a number of original Middle Eastern dishes which prove that this genre is beloved across all cultures.  For me, the smell of charred peppers brings me back to Friday afternoons, after school, watching my mom make roasted pepper salad for Shabbat. As we explore new places, cook, eat, and taste new creations, our food memories multiply, yet perhaps the most powerful ones are rooted in childhood. That elusive icy cinnamon milkshake my Dominican babysitter would prepare for my sister and I recently re-entered my life when my husband bought me a Horchata at the Brooklyn flea !

Fast Fashion Detox Plan

Salon has a great review of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline.  The environmental and social impact of inexpensive, mass-made clothing is an issue that is finally gaining some much deserved traction. Cline has been called the “Michael Pollan of fashion” and both her book and her Tumblr pose a number of eye opening questions for fashion companies and consumers alike.

Over my trip to Madrid last week, I found myself thinking of Cline’s book as I passed store after store near Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, offering deals on tops, dresses, and skirts for a mere 2-5 Euros! While I love a great bargain,  I was turned off by seeing the same trends repeated in a multitude of colors and prints in the same synthetic fabrics and didn’t bother to approach the garish storefronts.

How did fashion get so cheap? Corporations like H&M and Forever 21 manufacture massive amounts of clothing using inexpensive, low quality fabrics and cheap labor in developing countries and don’t need to charge a large markup to make a profit.  Fashion runways showcase new trends every season and consumers are somehow programmed to believe that we have to buy and sport the latest styles, (i.e. nautical stripes! grandfather cardigans!).  The only way to keep up with the constant changes — I’ve seen many a women’s magazine recommend this– is to purchase an inexpensive version of the runway trend and invest only in classic pieces.  Sadly, it seems that the majority of us have forsaken investment in long lasting wardrobe staples for a cheap thrill and a whole lot of retail therapy.

Our addiction to fast fashion has resulted in the decline of the U.S. garment industry and the reduction of worker wages. Beyond the economic and social impacts of our fashion habit, there are many environmental effects.   Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, and acrylic made using chemicals derived from coal and oil harm the workers who manufacture them and pollute our waterways as they are created and washed. Consider the 68 pounds of textiles per person per year that are wasted.  If you browse the racks of  Goodwill today, you’ll notice a whole lot of  H&M from 2002.

So, how can we as consumers and fashionistas band together to help put an end to all this waste?  How can we use fashion to express ourselves in a more sustainable way?

Step 1: Audit your closet

In the spirit of this post, I tore apart my closet last night:  10 black tank tops, 7 pairs of black leggings, 8 LBDs later, I had a eureka moment!  Cline’s thesis is no joke.  Upon inspecting the labels of some of my favorites, I noticed that while my vintage Missoni wrap dress was 100% silk, my new 40’s -inspired polka dot dress bought over my birthday weekend at L.A’s fabulous mecca of vintage and indie labels, Wasteland was 100% polyester. Additional label comparison confirmed that those garments made from natural fibers i.e. 100% silk and cotton which feel the best on your skin (try wearing polyester on a humid day) also last longer and wear better than those garments made of synthetics which exhibited rampant pilling, shrinkage and discoloration.

A fastidious friend of mine who happened to be on phone advised me how to go about sorting and organizing my clothing.  Below you will find two links that detail closet organization.  Martha’s color coding tip will provide some real style insight and Real Simple’s 1st tip will make the process of getting dressed much easier.

links on closet organizing

Martha Stewart

Real Simple

Once you know your inventory, claims of “I’ve got nothing to wear” become unfounded. With a little creativity, you can rework old outfits or accessorize your basics rather than hitting up the racks of fast fashion for an unsustainable solution.

Step 2:  Take care of what you have

The washing machine/dryer combo pretty much destroys your clothing. Especially synthetic fabrics like rayon and acrylic. Try as much as possible to let your clothing air dry after the washing machine.  In Spain, we had an adorable laundry line with clothespins that did the trick! For urban dwellers, the container store makes a fun apparatus with multiple clips and drying racks you can keep in your bathtub.  For delicates, like lingerie, bathing suits, embellished pieces, and even a nice T-shirt  you want to hold on to,  I highly recommend hand washing.  In the winter, wool sweators can last for many seasons if properly cared for. See Ecouterre’s guide here.   Another great investment is a steamer,  a relatively inexpensive gadget that not only sanitizes your clothing (correct me if I’m being grimy here) but also de-wrinkles them.

Step 3:  Learn to Sew

A stylish, petite friend of mine, a former devotee of H&M, who always looks like a million bucks in the fast fashion empire’s pleather riding boots, has recently become much more conscious of her wardrobe choices. She recently enrolled in sewing lessons and rather than frequenting the H&M flagship a few times a month, now visits the Housing Works’ Warehouse Sale  in Long Island City to dig for old designer clothing and nice fabrics that she can rework.

Step 4: SWAP

My college roommates and I turned a spare bedroom in our suite into the “Communal Closet.”  We threw in a rolling clothing rack and set up a pop up boutique where we housed clothing and accessories we no longer cared to have in our own closets.  The 6 roommates had free reign to borrow or take anything and a few lucky friends even got a chance to visit the Communal Closet and sample its wares, a fun way to get dressed before a night of revelry.  Before graduation, we held a big sale on our campus quad  to get rid of what was still left and even repeated the swap tradition a few times as young professionals.   Nowadays, I have the great fortune of having a sister in law with the most exquisite taste (She goes for the aforementioned investment pieces) who generously shares and passes down what she no longer wears. Find a friend in your size and trade.

Step 5: Go on a shopping diet

Another fashionable pixie friend, Itinerant Daughter, whose closet I’ve long admired, pursued a very impressive year long ascetic existence and did not purchase a single new item of clothing– or anything else.     She was allowed to accept gifts (her mother picks out some fabulous Christmas presents!) and purchase  a new bottle of face wash (provided it was the same brand as the one she had) if she ran out.  I was fascinated by her self control and we talked about her mission often. While I know there were a few temptations,  she did not succumb to her Amex.   I’m not suggesting abstinence for everyone, but please think about what you are supporting when you stand online at Forever 21.  Your mini floral print romper will likely end up in a dumpster and besides, you don’t really need another $5 black tank top do you?

Step 6: If you must shop, patronize thrift and vintage stores and Know Your Fabrics!

One of my favorite fashion memories as a child is visiting a thrift store in upstate New York with my mom’s  free spirited friend Barbara who after a little digging uncovered two beautiful 50s style dresses with fitted bodices and flared skirts: the first in red satin and wool and the second in creme organza with salmon floral embroidery. Total cost: $10 I continue to wear both of her fantastic finds despite the fact that they were purchased in 1994, and created several decades prior.  She pointed out the luxurious feel and cut of the fabric and waxed poetic about how women used to dress! This early lesson not only inspired my love of thrifting and vintage clothing but also the habit of inspecting the fabric blend before I purchase.  Today, this habit  has saved me from many a polyester blend dress posing as silk.  Even in some of the nicer designer lines, you’d be surprised at what you’re paying for. Uncover a treasure on the musty racks of your local salvation army (make sure to wash clothing in hot water and keep in an air tight plastic bag until you do),  troll ebay for an old school Dior purse, or save your pennies for that one of a kind couture gown at a well curated vintage boutique. To me, vintage is a way of melding the colorful history of the past and the present imperative for sustainability, a worthwhile investment indeed.

At the end of a great trip to Spain (stay tuned for more details), I ended up with just one purchase.  A delicate  ’20s style black headpiece hand made by the wonderful ladies at Luka Moon.  Supporting young female entrepreneurs and buying a one- of- a-kind accessory is something they call putting your money where your mouth is.

Virginia is for lovers

The Mr. and I took a great road trip to Charlottesville, VA to attend the wedding of his former roomate who happens to be from Rome, Italy.  This was my first time attending a vineyard wedding and it did not disappoint! Rolling hills, livestock, uninterrupted vistas and all the wine you can drink? I’ll take it. Here is the lovely couple on their walk back down the aisle together!Image

grown in VA!

porchside cocktails!

Aside from the simple beauty of the rustic venue, great wooden beams and a big old porch, and the farm fresh menu, my favorite part of this wedding was the bride and groom’s dramatic exit in a vintage Alfa Romeo.

After cutting the cake and snapping some party Polaroids, all the guests lined up outside and lit sparklers, creating the most romantic ambiance. Suddenly, the bride and the groom burst out of the barn doors as well all cheered, they jumped into their getaway vehicle (decorated with toilet paper and the like!)  and off they drove into the night!

congrats to the happy couple!

The wedding was held at Pippin Vineyards, for more gorgeous photos, check out their website here.

In search of the perfect ballet flat

Every lady must own a pair of ballet flats. They strike the perfect balance between practical and delicate, lending a carefree, adventurous spirit to a pleated skirt or skinny jeans that transcends the stiletto.  In this urban jungle, I try not to judge my fellow straphanger’s Fit Flops or sparkly Toms on the ride to work.  Commuting in New York City subjects your shoes to miles of subway station, epic staircases, and dusty construction sites.   I like to keep my precious heels intact and in lieu of walking down the York Street stairs every morning in my work-appropriate pumps, I keep them ready at the office.  Whether you have 5 pairs of sensible heels under your desk or towering wedges in your purse for tonight, true street style is all about chic mobility: the perfect ballet flat that can keep you steady on these cobble stones streets.

Judging by the 3 worn out pairs in my closet, I’ve been very loyal to London Sole’s ballet flats for the last several years. The toe is the ultimate almond shape and exposes a hint of toe cleavage that meets my particular specifications. I own two pairs, the first in creamy black kidskin and the second in a shiny, textured snakeskin pattern that serve as my go-to everyday flats. When I purchased these classic flats (albeit NIB and discounted on Ebay) I was transformed into a true Parisienne. Commuting in my jaunty ballet slippers, Washington Square Park’s arch became the Arc de Triomphe and I could be as graceful as a principal dancer even as I power walked down the block in the true, harried style of a New Yorker. I soon splurged on these  black and white, quilted London Soles which have a small half inch heel that provides comfortable support and an elegance fit for the ladies who lunch and she who lunches at her desk.

Despite the plethora of flats on the market, some of which are far less expensive than London Soles which run a steep $165-$250 per pair, looking down at my feet ensconced in perfectly shaped, well constructed soft leather ballet flats every day, I feel pretty!   , The cheap look of an overly rounded, clumsy toe takes away the dignity of the ballet slipper; to accomplish the classic flair these shoes can provide it is vital to find the optimal pair.

With over 3 years worth of constant wear, my London Soles are finally ready to retire.  I’ve been on the lookout for a well made flat at a more competitive price.  Recently,  I spotted a promising $49 ballet slipper at Joe Fresh but when I tried it on, my toe cleavage looked like a frumpy mess!  I ended up settling on a pair of sparkly flats from Aldo last weekend when my feet were aching after a long walk through Brooklyn. The extra padding was well worth the $25 price tag that day and you may spot me rocking them on the F train to midtown, leaving small flecks of glitter in my wake.

Call me a ballet flat snob but I was still not satisfied and continued looking for a slightly less whimsical pair that could replace my beloved black stalwarts. After trying on a pair of Bloch ballet flats at Lord & Taylor, I was pleasantly surprised! I hadn’t seen this brand before but it turns out they know what they’re doing having been in the ballet slipper (of the stage, not street variety) business since 1932.  At around $100-$130, they are more affordable than the London Soles. But are they as comfortable and as stylish?  After doing a little price comparison online, I snagged a 25% off friends and family coupon and purchased a red patent leather pair for a more easy to swallow $86 including free shipping!

When my package arrived, I tore into a small pink shoebox with a black and white image of a ballerina en pointe, carefully unravelled a silky pink drawstring pouch, and placed my new shoes on.  The front of the slipper achieved the all important and highly coveted almond shape and the small cushy area just underneath my feet on the inside of the shoe created a lovely cradle for my aching heels.  I admired my toe cleavage for a moment and didn’t have a chance to reconsider as the Mr. rushed me out the door to walk over the Manhattan bridge in time for sunset.  The city was bathed in charcoal and blush and the water glowed.  In my smart new cherry flats, I was part Black Swan, part Dorothy, and I thought, there is no place like home.

UNSUSCRIBE

In the midst of my spring cleaning flurry, I decided to do a little g-cleaning too. Goodbye Ebay, The Comforter Store, Amazon.com, Travelzoo and Dead.net!  Have fun without me.

Mad Men Makeup!

Did everyone have a nice President’s Day weekend?  Here at DD, we left our Brooklyn digs for the weekend for a twist on the staycation, i.e. visiting with the in-laws (stay tuned for that post!).  We had a wonderful time and getting back to the grind is near impossible!  I have been trolling the internet for something new and noteworthy…and here it is! (thanks to NYmag!)

One of the things that I am most looking forward to is the return of Mad Men (March 25th)!  Betty Draper is hands down, my favorite homemaker on TV.   I even made customized Betty Draper postal stamps for my Mad Men themed bridal shower last May!   Though she may be a reluctant homemaker, her flawless style and surly approach to child rearing reveal some of the intimate frustrations- and triumphs that housewives in the post-war era experienced.  Sometimes, after a long day of work and one too many chores (I’m looking at you, post dinner cleanup!) I find myself identifying with women  like Betty. Yet, along with the grievances comes the glamour (an escape mechanism perhaps?).

So, as we anxiously await for the 25th of March,  I am pleased to present to you, dear readers,  an alluring collaboration between Estee Lauder and Mad Men.  I am counting on these stunning shades of pinks (in both lipsticks and creme blush)  to transform my pale winter face into a feminine vision of springtime!  Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estée Lauder explains: “The product and the packaging were inspired by a concept that we call ‘handbag elegance’—beautiful things you take out of your purse.”  No doubt, Betty would approve.