Monday, November 30, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide

I'm so thrilled to put together the first ever Prippy Gift Guide! For me, the perfect gift is something that the recipient never knew they wanted (or needed!), but absolutely makes them smile.

Happy Holidays!

The Prippy Gift Guide... Whiskey Stones

Scotch is meant to pack a punch, and most Prippy men I know don't want a drop diluted!

That's why these Whiskey Stones are a perfect gift for the men in your life at only $20 bucks. I'm buying a few sets, because I know a lot of my guys will love these clever beverage coolers for sipping underneath the tree!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Where Would You Dine on Your Last Night in Town

Wonderful friends of mine leave for Benin (in Africa!) tomorrow, to start an exciting adventure with careers in the Foreign Service. They just married in October, and I'm thrilled for stories about their new life abroad!

For their last night in DC, we are heading to the Old Ebbitt for oysters and well wishes. It got me thinking - where would I go for my last DC meal?

I'd probably start with The Tombs in Georgetown, where I spent so many nights in college drinking pitchers of beer by the fireplace.

Following it up with a drink at Off the Record, where so many work victories (and losses) were toasted with classic cocktails.

Then, my night would end in my neighborhood, Capitol Hill, with beers and jukebox tunes at the Capitol Lounge and the Tune Inn.

Where would you head for your last meal in your town?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey for You, Turkey for Me

I hope everyone gets their favorite dish and lots of turkey! Happy Thanksgiving!

I Love (and Miss) New York... Paper Cut-Out Map

New York City is I place I fell in love with, and I'm always excited to find art reminding me of spots I adore.

This cut-out map, by Famille Summerbelle, is flat out amazing! It's definitely going on my Christmas list!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Best-Best-Best... Little Shop of Horrors

"Someone tell Lady Luck, that I'm stuck here!"

I love "Little Shop of Horrors"! So many memories rocking it on my couch as a kid and singing along... and so many memories as an adult at Marie's Crisis belting it out on a Tuesday at 4:00 am....

Watching it now... Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. - Is it me... or does Audrey II look like a French Bulldog?

You Know You're a Prippy When...

You know you're a Prippy when you're selling Phish tickets on Facebook, and your profile picture shows you in pearls, wearing horn-rimmed glasses, at last year's Bachelors Ball, or with a side part.

Love you guys!

Perfect Pendelton

As we get closer to the big turkey on the table, I'm getting excited to sleep in and have lazy mornings.

This Pendelton blanket is perfect for snuggling until noon!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sugar, Sugar (aahhh Honey, Honey)... Deodorant

Fresh products are some of my favorite on the market! Their hair care line, cosmetics, fragrance and candles are all amazing.

One of my indulgences, from time to time, is Fresh Sugar Deodorant. It smells so wonderful, and does the job!

Oh to Be Like... Lee Miller

Photographed by Man Ray, Paris ca. 1930 [Source: NYT]

Lee Miller is one of the most fascinating women in history, yet one of the most unknown among my generation. Her boldness, bravery and brains almost distract you from her incredible beauty... I said almost!

Lee's first experience with cameras came at an early age, as a fashion model in New York City during the 1920's. Even though she was one of the most sought after models, her ambition was truly behind the camera.

She moved to Paris, apprenticed with Man Ray,became his muse and took some very famous shots that were accredited to him. Amazing! She bounced back to New York, where she met and married an Egyptian business man before moving together to Cairo... never a dull moment.

But it was really in 1937, when she returned to Europe, that her legacy would really begin. Lee fell in love with surrealist painter, Roland Penrose, and was living in England while World War II was raging around her. Rather than giving into her family's pleas for a return to America, she stayed and became a photojournalist capturing the war for Vogue.

Lee Miller photographed women in fire masks in wartime London in 1944. [Source: Telegraph/Lee Miller Archives]

Her photos are haunting, and reflect a feminine sensibility to the violence. In my opinion, her most powerful photo is an image of a Nazi Lieutenant's daughter who committed suicide by drinking poison as allied troops were closing in. Definitely click on the link to see it for yourself...

Here she is posing in Hitler's bathtub... can you even imagine? Thinking about it gives me the chills.

After the war, she battled post-traumatic stress syndrome, returned to England and enveloped herself in the artistic community. I love her story, her great talent, and her passion. She is a true American Beauty.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In My Library... Bicycle Diaries

It's fair to say, I was weaned on the Talking Heads.

While other kids were singing along to Sesame Street, I was bopping along to "Road to Nowhere" and "Wild Wild Life." David Bryne's voice was more familiar to me than Kermit the Frog's.

So, you can imagine my delight when I learned about David Bryne's book, Bicycle Diaries. The beautiful book tells the stories Bryne acquired from years of biking through some of the world's more interesting cities. His perceptions of urban life, and how cityscapes are undergoing great transformation, makes you rethink what makes any given city great for those living there.

Since Prippies love bikes and David Bryne, this is a must for the library!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Prippies and Sock Monkeys: A Love Affair

The first time I set eyes on a Sock Monkey, my mom was volunteering at the Wilmington Junior League White Elephant sale.

As a child, I was a stuffed animal enthusiast... and to be honest, the Sock Monkey had little appeal at first glance. After my fateful meeting with the Sock Monkey, I started noticing them in every nook and cranny of my friends' homes (next to mallards, in cooper pots, on top of Laura Ashley comforters).

What was with this semi-hideous looking "toy"? And why... oh why... did I now want one to love so desperately? Well, it's because Prippies love Sock Monkeys!

They're homemade, kind of boring, and made of used clothing. Prippies hate waste, are kind of boring, and like crafts, so it makes sense they would love a stuffed animal made out of a tweedy old sock!

On a trip to Target this afternoon, I was delighted to buy some Sock Monkey slippers. Nostalgia clearly kicked in. Let the love affair continue!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pilgrims vs Indians

Don't get me wrong, Thanksgiving is a great holiday... food, football. booze... but it's no Halloween! This year, my Southern gentleman friend is throwing an "Orphans Thanksgiving," for those of staying in D.C. and not trekking out into traffic for journeys home. I think it's a great idea, and eating deep fried turkey and sweet potatoes sounds like heaven!

Last night, I was walking past a costume shop in my neighborhood and saw Pilgrim and Indian costumes in the window... which got me thinking about how much fun it would be to have Team Pilgrim vs. Team Indian Thanksgiving festivities! The plan is to make Pilgrim hats and Indian headdresses for my fellow "Turkey Orphans," and then let the games begin!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Secret Santa Humor

My sister sent me a link to these fabulously funny (and inappropriate) teacups and plates on Etsy. I love the DORK and TWIT sets. We both agreed that they would make for hilarious Pollyanna gifts!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just One of Dem Days...

Today was a rough one... and all I can do is hope for sunnier skies tomorrow.

Style and Substance... "An Education"

Nick Hornby's "An Education" was all that I could hope for and more! I'll put it out there, I'm a huge fan of Hornby's books and past films... especially "About a Boy." This film is so stylish, so compelling, well... it's just flat out amazing. Oh, and the soundtrack is wonderful!

The characters are well cast, with highly developed leads played by Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard. Both are fantastic! Rosamund Pike, in a supporting role, is also a stand out and drop dead gorgeous. She's a total swan, as Truman Capote would say.

Although this movie takes place in the early 1960's, I think it speaks a lot of truth to life in any time and at any age. I left the movie thinking about what things in life have taught me the most.

It definitely begs the question - Are your biggest mistakes also your greatest learning experiences?

Champagne Wishes, and Cranberry Dreams

Now that I've thrown caution to the wind by embracing the holidays, I find myself dreaming of new festive recipes... and let's be honest, festive cocktails!

Champagne can do now wrong in my world (until the morning comes!), so I love the idea of champagne holiday cocktails. Cranberries and champagne seem like the perfect Thanksgiving refresher.

In looking through recipes, I was in hysterics when I decided the best recipe comes to us compliments of the AARP! Who knew!?!

I guess Prippies should know that the best drinks (and the strongest!) are made by our older Prep Forefathers!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giving In... Let the Holiday Season Begin

Every year, once my birthday has come and gone, I contemplate when to mentally allow the Holiday Season to begin.

This year (since I've got some time on my hands) it's starting early! Bring it on Starbucks/department stores/IHOP/magazines/CVS/etc... I'm ready!

I'm sure most Prippies would agree that Whit Stillman's 1990 WASP classic, Metropolitan, gets them in the holiday spirit!

Here Comes the Sun... Ted Lapidus

I love Ted Lapidus sunglasses. The Parisian designer, whose super chic sunglasses first gained popularity in the 80's, took a great deal of time to ensure each pair was a work of art!

Over the summer I was lucky enough to find a pair at a bargain in NYC, and I've been on the hunt for more ever since! My pair is super similar to the picture above, except mine incorporate tortoise into the cream and gold. When I have them on, it's an instant outfit upgrade!

Anybody Out There?

Hello... hello... is there anybody out there? I would love to hear if you're reading!

Spotted Pig Smarty

Ah, I love the Spotted Pig! It was right down the street from my apartment in the Village, enabling me to hit it up in off hours and avoid the insane wait (although the wait is completely worth it!).

Part of what makes this place so great, besides the cozy ambiance and inventive food, is the farm freshness of the produce and proteins. This NYMag article explains how they do it - hitting the Greenmarket by bike daily with grocery lists from the chefs... love it! Definitely worth checking this place out on your next visit to New York City!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fabulously Practical... Dustpan Design

I love it when design meets function, and this awesome squirrel dustpan is one of the cutest examples. It's probably my favorite cleaning appliance... too bad it's more labor intensive than a vacuum!

Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood

It's a gorgeous day in DC, and we're having a bit of summer weather before things cool off for good. I'll take what I can get in terms of the warm weather, and I'm thinking it might be a perfect night for al fresco dining!

My Capitol Hill neighborhood really comes to life when it's nice out!

Who Doesn't Love Real Mail!... Holiday Card Swap

Okay, I have to admit that it drives me nuts that Christmas decorations are in full force before Thanksgiving, BUT I was very excited when I saw the registration for the Brooklyn Bride's Holiday Card Swap!

I'm excited to participate - such a great idea! Plus, I couldn't resist the opportunity to post a picture of Freezy Freakies...

First Day of 30

After a wonderful day spent with close friends on Saturday, I rolled into 30 with a very lazy Sunday. I enjoyed beautiful weather with one of my oldest friends who came down from NYC during the day, and then had a date night with my boyfriend at the movies (highly recommend "Pirate Radio" - LOVE P.S.H.!).

With my 30's now here, I'm excited to see what happens next! Thank you to all my friends who made the day so special.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Perfect Birthday Gift... Diana F+ Deluxe Kit

Last night, I got an amazing early birthday gift from my boyfriend... the Diana F+ Deluxe Kit. I'm THRILLED to start shooting, and pretty much had to be dragged off the couch and away from the awesome books that came with the camera last night so we could go out to dinner. My new toy has me obsessed!

For those of you not familiar with the Diana camera, it's plastic and gained popularity in the 60's as an inexpensive import. Problem... which became perfection... is the fact that the Diana leaks in light and distorts images. This error has led to a cult following of enthusiasts who love the resulting dreamy photos.

While living in NYC, I took my boyfriend to the Lomography store in the hopes of getting some hints about future gifts he might enjoy. I guess I hadn't realized my excitement for this art form, but he's an astute guy and quickly picked up on it! Lomography's Web site is an online gallery, filled with gorgeous images taken with the Diana as well as other unique cameras - definitely worth checking out!

The best part... I'll have plenty of pictures to share with you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rear Window Blinds?

NYMag (which I LOVE), had a great article today about watching your neighbors lives through their windows. Since Rear Window is one of my all time favorites, this article was a delight!

I've definitely had some Rear Window moments! My first apartment in Philly had floor to ceiling pre-war wrought iron windows. Many evenings were spent with a beer and the french balcony open, peering out at the city from the 14th floor. I couldn't help but see some of my friendly neighbors!

How about you... ever spy on what your neighbors are up to by looking out the window?

How to Shuck An Oyster

Shucking an oyster is a talent... don't let anyone tell you it isn't!

Tomorrow we'll be shucking oysters, drinking Guinness and having a champagne toast to celebrate my 3-0!

Preps and Hippies Unite for Flannel

How perfect is this flannel shirt from American Eagle? This store is a hidden gem... and I've been spreading the gospel for years to my fashion forward friends. They're my one stop shop for inexpensive leather belts and great fitted button downs. "AE," as the kids call it, hits the mark for tailored basics.

Just be sure to use an editor's eye to avoid looking like you've fallen out of a strip mall after study hall. Oh yeah, it's only $24.95!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tweed+ Bikes = Genius

This Sunday, Dandies and Quaintrelles will be holding the first DC Tweed Ride, and I couldn't be more excited! Prippies love tweed and bikes! I'm thrilled to see this event taking place in DC, and I say BRING ON THE STYLE. The NYT even got in on the action with a great article examining the resurgence of 1890's fashion.

I'll be putting on my blazer and cap, and heading down to H Street for some Birthday brunch, lots of tweed, and bikes!

In My Library... Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedias

By far, the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedias are some of the most fascinating books in my library. I can talk about what I've learned from these amazingly detailed and beautiful books for hours!

Each volume digs deep into Russian history, exploring the prison system and gang hierarchy, which is symbolized through intricate (and often bizarre) tattoos. The history leads itself to story telling which is both intriguing and heartbreaking, with the power behind each tattoo's meaning teaching you more about Russian life than any traditional history lesson. LOVE these books!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Put a Hat On It... Derby Style

Don't you love this look? Rachel Weisz is amazing, so of course she looks fabulous... but I'm feeling the need to try on a derby hat myself as part of my fall/winter look.

Just for the record, I thought The Brothers Bloom was great.

Road Trip... Eastern Shore of Maryland

Tomorrow I'm off to St. Michaels, Maryland for a birthday lunch with my Mom at the gorgeous Inn at Perry Cabin. I absolutely LOVE this place! The Eastern Shore of Maryland is beyond beautiful, and one of my favorite spots in the world.

Delicious, Delicious

As I've been getting ready for my birthday, I started to think about the best cakes I've tasted. The Lady M Signature Crepe Cake is definitely on the list... as is vanilla cake with vanilla icing from a box. What's the best cake you've ever had and what was the occasion?

Ahhh Yeahhh... I'm Turning 30!

It seems like a lot of my fellow Bloggers share my birthday month of November, and are also turning the big 3-0! I love it when a fuss is made over me, so I'm super excited. Plus, it means friends from all over will be in one place at the same time! Hooray!

On Jordan Ferney's blog, oh happy day!, she lists 30 things she wants to do before 30. I love this idea and enjoyed reading about her goals.

Well, since I don't have a whole lot of time before my special day... I thought I'd think of the 30 big (and some small) things I would like to do while 30. A year should be ample time to achieve some life goals!

~ Tara's 30 Things For 30 ~

1 ~ Complete a painting about my time in NYC
2 ~ Take French class
3 ~ Try making yoga a part of my routine, even though I've not loved it in the past... think it might be a good thing
4 ~ Make a surprise trip out West to catch up with an important friend
5 ~ Sew a dress for spring
6 ~ Learn to ride a motorcycle
7 ~ Plan a road trip with my boyfriend, Bryan
8 ~ Go deep sea fishing
9 ~ Learn how to cross-stitch
10 ~ Start saving for an international adventure... maybe Turkey
11 ~ Drive stick
12 ~ Write a short story
13 ~ Take a canoe adventure and camp for the first time
14 ~ Become more organized
15~ Check out more local artists and musicians
16 ~ Have candlelit dinner with Bryan once a week
17 ~ Master Twitter
18 ~ Learn a thing or two about wine
19 ~ Get a French Bulldog puppy
20 ~ Go to the opera
21 ~ Be adventurous with a new haircut (Tiffani at Wonderland Beauty Parlor, I'm coming!)
22 ~ Throw a dinner party for my family
23 ~ Complete decorating the apartment
24 ~ Host a formal cocktail party
25 ~ Take a trip with my Mom
26 ~ Take a trip with my sister
27 ~ Send birthday cards
28 ~ Sign up for a letterpress course
29 ~ Work on ways to stop dwelling
30 ~ Meet some fellow bloggers!

What's on your list?

I Love You, New Orleans... Music

Our New Orleans trip involved few planned agendas, and lots of bouncing from place to place based on recommendations from bartenders, bar patrons, oyster shuckers, cabbies, and friends. Thankfully, this led us to the Spellcaster Lodge (yep, that's it above) to see King Khan, Those Darlins, and Quintron and Miss Pussycat.

We went down the rabbit hole, and found ourselves in a basement bar that makes you feel like you've been swallowed by a Mardi Gras float. Check it out for yourself.

The first band we heard was the fabulously amazing Those Darlins. I've long loved rocky/country/bluegrassy/punky music (think Kings of Leon's first album), and hearing Those Darlins immediately put a smile on my face. They're adorable, while throwing out a ferocious charging energy! They'll be in DC early next year - definitely will let you know when and where!

Next up was King Khan and the BBQ Show. Folks around town LOVE these guys, and I totally get why... they're a great live show. Definitely worth checking out...

Finally, there was Quintron and Miss Pussycat. Wow. Seriously, tough to describe this act other than saying pull up some YouTube clips. Miss Pussy is a puppeteer, so I immediately loved her! Quintron (inventor of the Drum Buddy) has a fantastic stage presence, drawing you into the crazy experience.