“Tressed For Success” How Much Money Do You Spend on Your Hair?

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

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When watching this Oscars this past Sunday, it wasn’t always the dresses that made my jaw drop, but the hair. I’m mesmerized by the luscious locks of celebrities! So when I came across a brief blurb in the March issue of Vanity Fair about Méche, a recently opened salon headed up by dream hair team Tracy Cunningham and Neil Weisberg, I had a thought. How much (more) would I be willing to spend on my hair if the stylist, let’s say, also cut the hair of the stars?

New York is no place for inexpensive haircuts. I’ve come to find I can’t really get away with spending less than $100.00 to get a cut I really really love. When I lived in DC that number was different- closer to $80.00. And I’m sure it’s even lower in other parts of the country. But would you be willing to go higher if the person who cut your hair also cut Gwyneth Paltrow’s or Jennifer Garner’s? That might mean adding another zero to my current $100.00 price tag, in which case a visit to Méche is probably out of the question. But I’m so curious, do you think it’d be worth it?

Images via Méche Salon

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Biz Notes: On Working for Yourself & Being a Mom

February 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Last week the Wall Street Journal published a fascinating article around the efforts of companies, namely McKinsey, to recruit former female employees who had left the company to raise kids. The whole thing reminded me of my own career decisions and some reasoning behind working for myself that I’ve never really shared here….

I was really fortunate to have my parents around, generally all the time, while I was growing up. They both either worked from home or were only outside the home part time.  We had full time nannies while we were really young, but my parents were always there (i.e. in the house), and their careers allowed them the flexibility to mold their schedules- for the most part- around ours.

There was always a part of my decision to work for myself that was connected to my life one day as a mom. I was 26 when I went out on my own, and my hope was that I’d have a solid five years or so to set the foundation for my business, and build up my client base and staff.  Then, in my early thirties, when I began having children, I’d be able to create some sort of transitional schedule for myself- a combination of taking on less work during a certain period and leaning on the support of my other staff (that staff being in the future of course!). Though I do have a certain timeline in my head, it’s the structure and flexibility that are most important to me. Don’t worry, I know life can’t be planned that perfectly!

But all planning aside, I do sometimes wonder if I have it backwards. If you’re working for yourself and you’ve built your own thing, maybe it’s actually harder to step away when starting a family? Is the juggle, in fact, more difficult, because the work is that much more personal? Or is my gut feeling- that working for yourself  provides more flexibility, allowing one to more easily balance career and motherhood- on track?I’d so love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and if you have it- experience!

Setting the Table: Deep Indigo

February 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Before we head towards spring, and everything that comes with it- namely, pastels, florals, and brighter hues- I’d love to embrace a darker theme that’s perfectly fitting for February.

I instantly fell in love with the indigo trend that’s appeared recently, and the dark, saturated hue is perfect for the last days of winter. It’s unapologetically bold, and a bit moody, while splashes of orange hint to the warmer days that lie ahead. When paired with big pots of soup and warm spices, you just might forget why you hated winter so much in the first place- if only for a moment.

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Images: tableteacupbreadflowerspot

Ina’s Beef Short Ribs

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Let’s discuss cooking meat. It’s kind of tricky, no? I would say I didn’t really get a little good at cooking meat until the last few years. I’m still not great at knowing when a steak is cooked to perfect, and don’t even get me started on fish. A little different than meat, but still, really daunting for me to cook. But the one method I always come back to because I find it not quite as scary when it comes to cooking to protein, is roasting.  I have nailed my roast chicken techniques, and I have to say I’m pretty good when it comes to short ribs.

If you’ve never made beef short ribs before, Ina’s recipe is a great place to start. There’s quite a bit of chopping involved, but the overall process is really straight forward and approachable. The other kind of amazing thing about short ribs is that they can be made a day ahead- and they’re actually kind of better that way. Prep them the day before and just reheat slowly over the stove 30 minutes or so before you’re ready to serve dinner. Whip up a big batch of buttermilk mashed potatoes or creamy polenta to go with and you have the ultimate comfort meal.

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Beef Short Ribs slightly adapted from Ina Garten

  • 3 lbs beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
  • 4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Cotes du Rhone or other dry red wine
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 cups beef stock

Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the leek, onion, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce.

Weekend Wishes

February 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Care for: your hair (This winter weather is seriously drying out my hair. I’m also way overdue for a trim, which certainly doesn’t help. This weekend I’m going to try out a coconut oil treatment, and maybe get around to scheduling that haircut. Do you have any hair secrets?)

Eat: Avocados (This is one of my favorite foods, but I tend to crave it most in warmer months. I loved this roundup of avocado recipes from Camille, and it gave me some great new ideas of how to eat them)

Watch: The Oscars, of course! (Are you having a viewing party? I think popcorn is must, and dressed- up caramel corn is a perfect match for such a glamorous event)

Life Lately | February 22nd |

February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

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I’ve been meaning to have new pictures taken for both the blog, and my business site for ages, and I’m beyond thrilled to finally share them with you guys! After drooling over the gorgeous shots on Grace and Alicia’s sites, I decided to work with the amazing Lydia Hudgens. Lydia was such a dream- she put me (and Sarah) at complete ease. We’ve already got a handful of other shoots planned that I’m really excited about. I wouldn’t say full on outfit posts- more so day in the life features. That said, I’ve noted all the clothing pieces below since I figured folks would ask!

It’s been a good week, a combo of getting stuff done at home and feeling on top of work again. Here’s a snapshot:

  • I made some really good but super easy dinners this week. The most notable one was a sausage and peppers creation inspired by Tracy. I thinly sliced a yellow onion and two peppers and tossed them in a bit of olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper. I threw four Italian sausages on top, cranked the oven to 400°, and roasted the whole thing for 18 minutes . I then removed the sausages and roasted the veggies for another 10 minutes. Served everything over rice with a salad on the side- this was such a good dinner! Depending on the size of your sausages, I’d check the time around minute 15. You could also throw everything in a bun and make sandwiches…. mmmm.
  • The women at Ladies’ Home Journal sent me the most gorgeous flowers. I have the best clients!
  • I found this article about companies recruiting former female employees who left when they started having children pretty fascinating. I think my next Biz Notes post is going to be around some of my reasons on working for myself in relation to motherhood… yep, definitely on my mind.
  • Did you catch Lauren’s first post? She’s got you covered for any at home Oscar party prep on both the snack and outfit front.
  • The importance of relaxation when it comes to being more productive– amazing. Now I just need to book a vacation…
  • Did you know it’s national grapefruit month? I’m planning to celebrate by making Ina’s Pink Grapefruit Margaritas.

Ok I think that should do us. Any fun plans for the Oscars? Thanks so much for reading this week, have a great weekend everyone! xx

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Clothing: J.Crew SweaterJ.Crew Boots, J.Brand Jeans (similar), J.Crew necklace and scarf (a few years old), Michael Kors Watch
Photography by Lydia Hugdens

Blog Love: February

February 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

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It’s a bit of a given that I love everything posted on Miss Moss, but this roundup of Etsy finds was especially nice. I love the idea of Etsy, but finding new favorite sellers is not always as easy as it should be. The porcelain jewelry above combines my two favorites- white + gold.

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My favorite looks usually involve a mix of dressed-up and dressed-down. Anna nailed this shabby chic look, by pairing boyfriend jeans and a slouchy sweater, with heels and a polished bag. On another note, she also brilliantly added sriracha and avocado to make a grown up grilled cheese!

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Can we all just take a moment to admire Victoria’s puppy, Lucy? Just seeing that face is an incentive to visit Vmac & Cheese, but I’ve also been loving her ‘Day in the Life‘ posts.

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I love the minimalist feel of this Swedish blog, and Emma’s DIYs that turn such ordinary things into beautiful objects.

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I recently realized that almost every blog I follow consists of bloggers who are in their late twenties. Of course, success generally comes with time, but it’s refreshing to find a younger blogger (closer to my own age) who is just as talented. I loved these scenes of the Upper West Side– including a trip to Levain Bakery (have you been?).

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Joy’s blog always makes me smile, but this video of her singing in the park is quite a gem.

Are there any blog posts that have caught your eye recently?

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