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Carb-Cravin’ Banana Lust

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I recently had my first experience at Emeril’s. How could I have possibly waited so long?! The meal was delicious, but I had trouble concentrating on it after a server came by with the dessert tray for the table next to us and I saw THIS:

Freaking Banana Cream Pie.

I love bananas, and I love pie, whipped cream, caramel, chocolate shavings… What could possibly go wrong? Answer: NOTHING. It was nothing short of spectacular and the BEST graham cracker crust I’ve ever had. The custard is thick and creamy (though I admit I add a bit more banana slices), the whipped cream perfect and piled high, and that glorious, buttery, perfect crust (with more bananas!). I must insist you try this immediately.

I came home and looked up the recipe right away, of course, and I was stoked to find NOT a copy cat recipe but the ACTUAL recipe from the man himself (love, love, love you for that). You can – and should – take a look at the recipe for yourself here: http://www.emerils.com/recipe/5022/banana-cream-pie-with-caramel-drizzles-and-chocolate-sauce.

Warning: It’s not all that easy to make. It’s really easy to screw that custard up, so make sure you follow the directions exactly. Try it the first time when it’s just you, so no one notices how ugly it is and they can’t judge you (okay, me) for the copious amounts consumed straight out of the pie dish.

So… what are you doing still reading?

Color Me Spring

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Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make the biggest differences. That’s the only way I can explain my current obsession – funky nail polish. If you’re not rockin’ some, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s like a little party on your fingers and toes.

It started with the introduction of Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Nail Lacquer for Spring 2011 ($19, Nordstrom exclusive). They’re really stepping out of the neutral comfort zone and spicing up their offerings, which is a big win. I love quite a few of the sixteen colors – All Lacquered Up has a great piece about the collection and fantastic photos of each of the colors that I recommend you check out: www.alllacqueredup.com/2011/04/estee-lauder-pure-color-nail-lacquer-spring-2011.html, but the clear winner is Wild Blue. I’m completely obsessed with it and I don’t think you can blame me.

Another shade that’s caught my eye is a bright ass pink. I don’t usually go for these kind of colors; I mean, I admit I love pink, okay, but I don’t wear a lot of it because I feel like I can’t be taken seriously in pink. But, it’s spring, and it’s nail polish, and it’s perfectly adorable (and affordable) at Target – Sonia Kashuk Jammin ($4.99).

Sometimes I try to make less of a statement without being boring; if you’re in the same boat – check out this Essie polish exclusive to J. Crew – Milky Way ($8). I can’t imagine anything it wouldn’t go with. (Check it out at mascarameetsmatchbox.blogspot.com)

So, go forth and polish, ladies!

Rain, Rain Go Away…

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… on second thought, stick around a bit.

It’s been cold and damp and rainy for a couple of days, which got me to thinking about how much I love rain boots. I loved them even before they got all trendy recently (though, despite my love for them, I don’t think you should wear them when there’s not even a chance of rain in the forecast; sorry, but it’s a no-no). Still, I’m a huge fan of them, and I don’t think you can argue with the timeless practicality of a classic pair of Burberry rain boots — I love the originals, of course, but I’m an especially big fan of the Quilted Check Print version ($450):

But, sometimes it’s fun to let your hair down a little (not literally, if it’s raining… ewww frizz). If you’re not going to a meeting with a big client or acting all professional-like for some reason, spice it up a little. A little rain is worth it if it means extra days of carrying around these little darlings:

Kate Spade Multi-Stripe Umbrella – $75. This one doesn’t need much fanfare; it’s adorable and cheerful. Just looking at it makes me wish some cumulonimbus would roll in.

 

A black rain boot could pair well, such as the Kate Spade Randi ($125), which you can get in solid black, but I prefer the splash of red:

Kate Spade New York - Randi

 

But, I’m thinking I’ll pair it with something else fun, like these Coach Pixy Rain Boots  with a poppy print ($108.00) that I really wanted to hate at first, but it turns out I love their funky glamour and I’m not ashamed to admit it, or these MICHAEL Michael Kors Vanilla Croco Mid Rainboot ($89, but I’ve seen them on sale for less, so might as well get them both!).

 

 

Fashion for a Cause

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Making charitable donations feels awesome. Getting a fashionable little token of gratitude back makes it just a little bit sweeter (not that I condone doing nice things just to get credit for it, mind you). There are plenty of commendable, reputable organizations out there collecting money for good causes, and the recent catastrophic events in Japan  have been inspiration for several designers (and, even though I can’t change the radio station fast enough when her “music” comes on, total shout out to Lady Gaga for her (weird-looking – sorry, but it is) $5 Japan relief bracelet where all of the proceeds are donated). I can’t think of a better reason than helping others to spend money on clothing/accessories. So, these are my favorite Japanese relief aids (taking into account that I’m not a fan of the “Hey, buy our $250 item and we’ll donate 50 cents to a charitable organization” thing, if you notice an obvious gap, but I encourage everyone to take advantage of google and find a cause[s]/organization[s] that work for you):

1. Kate Spade Support Japan Totes – $18. Not only are these cute, they’re environmentally friendly and 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Two thumbs up, although they didn’t make enough of them and they’re not available online any more… Maybe they’ll do another run. Check your local store, though.

2. Maria Cornejo & Mark Borthwick limited-edition tees featuring prints of Mark’s photos – $155. (Maria and Mark will be signing the tanks at the Zero + Maria Cornejo boutique at 33 Bleeker Street in NYC on March 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM). Proceeds from the shirts will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. (I love the tank tops they have).

3. Tory Burch T-Shirt – $29. Cute t-shirt with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross’s Japanese Relief Efforts. Who couldn’t use another great t-shirt? Win, win.

4. Joan Hornig’s Wave of Help pendant – $60.80. Shop | Joan Hornig Jewelry | Philanthropy is Beautiful. The price refers to the tsunami, quake – 6 miles inland, 80 miles offshore. I love the pendant, but I would like to know the amount of the donation and exactly how that works… but it’s still a great piece and a good cause (and actually the whole site is dedicated to good causes, so take a look around).

Completely worth mentioning (and checking out):

Ralph Lauren’s Japan Hope Classic-fit Polo ($98 – 100% of proceeds donated to Central Community Chest of Japan, a part of United Way), and Anna Sui’s “Japan – We’re All in this Together” t-shirts ($20 – 100% of proceeds benefit Japan disaster relief, and, bonus, there are two versions – male and female).

Both Jewelry For a Cause’s necklace ($6.50 of the $30 purchase price is donated to relief efforts) and Rich Rock’s Bohemian-style Double-Disc White-Plated Earrings ($14.00 of the $70 purchase price is donated to the American Red Cross, Japan Relief Efforts) have 20% going to Japanese aid.

And don’t forget that Rebecca Minkoff is donating $100 from the sales of red handbags purchased on her site to the Red Cross, while Diane von Furstenberg is donating 10% of website sales through April 8 to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (hello, new spring wrap dress!!).

There are, of course, a multitude of donations flooding in from organizations out of their own bank accounts who aren’t asking for consumer donations, as well – so feel good about supporting these brands:

  • Coach is donating $5 million dollars to the Japanese Red Cross.
  • H&M is donating 100,000 garments to the Japanese Red Cross.
  • Uniqlo has donated $17 million to relief efforts, while the founder of Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing, Tadashi Yanai, even donated $12.2 million of his own money (pretty impressive in my point of view).

You can check out the New York Times piece “Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: How to Help” (here: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-how-to-help/) and the comments following, for more great organizations accepting donations and providing aid.

The Muse[s]

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ChickPorn, like all porn, is about an intense emotional and/or physical reaction to a stimulus, typically a photograph or other explicit depiction of arousing material. But ChickPorn isn’t about nudity (er, not entirely).

I don’t think I’m alone in my general disinterest in the kind of porn that’s a multi-billion dollar industry. I get it – men like looking at naked people, and they’ll spend a lot of money on it. There are even women who are (allegedly) really into it, the statistics tell me. But, typically speaking, I’m not one of them. That’s not to say that I’m not guilty of hiding with a laptop or some environmentally-unfriendly piece of printed material for no other purpose than to arouse and stimulate desire. It’s just not for flesh, mind you.

It starts with shoes in general, of course, and one pair in particular: Christian Louboutin’s (who else?!) Very Prive Pump. Three words, ladies: Black. Patent. Leather. And did I mention the peep toe? ::swoon:: Behold:

But there’s plenty more where that came from. Fashion  in general accounts for much ChickPorn material, but let’s face it: Woman cannot survive on designer garments alone. (Side note: while there are clothing items that generally inspire lust and envy in me and shall generate their own post-worthy ChickPorn, I pledge allegiance to the accessory genre, for this print or that pattern may go in and out of trend, but photos of a well-heeled you carrying a classic leather handbag will never come back to haunt you, like say those ones of you with the crimped hair and leg warmers).

So, what else is there? Food, of course. Anything is fair game, because I certainly have recipes for a roasted bird or potato dish that I get excited about, but really, isn’t it all about dessert? And isn’t dessert best when it includes chocolate? I think you can agree on that, even if your husband cannot.

Thus, ChickPorn is born. Like going to the strip club or adult store, you can spend hours looking at it. But, even better: when the mood strikes (or the check clears), you can even take it home with you… or, you know, bake it.