Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas

I'm packing my bags and heading up to Philadelphia for family fun. Wishing you a very, VERY Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... For the One You Love

Since my boyfriend probably won't be reading this before our early Christmas dinner (he claims he reads my blog... I'm not so sure!), I'm going to spill the beans on perhaps one of the greatest gifts I've ever given...

Here's some background info... Bryan's a real Renaissance man, meaning he'll watch his Redskins play before suggesting we hit up the new Man Ray and Africa exhibit at the Phillips Collection. It's what made me fall in love with him.

While I was living in NYC and he was in DC, we would talk for hours on the phone and I can remember the conversation that made me really think I had met my match. He described being a part of an art installation at the Hirshhorn Museum and how it was one of the most amazing things he had ever done. It melted my heart and changed the way I viewed him.

So, for his Christmas gift I made a donation to the Hirshhorn in his name that enables him to attend cool events throughout the year (and... helps the museum!). I know he will love it, and I'm so happy to help him continue his passion for the arts in some way.

What gift made you feel like a Gifting All Star?

UPDATE ~ He did indeed love it!

Bringing Back the Calling Card

Living in D.C. often means endless work talk all around you at all times. Yuck... to put it mildly!

With this in mind, I wish we could bring back the calling card! I've been wanting to make some up for well over a year now, and with my blog going, I'm thinking now's the time! These iomoi ones are the winners (thanks, Katie, for bringing these to my attention!).

iomoi also has tons of amazing trays, stationary, coasters, and other home goods. Definitely worth checking them out!

Drawing a Line... Black Liquid Liner Glamour

Photo from Cosmo Girl

Since I chopped 8 inches off my hair (I swear pics will be up soon!), I've felt like a whole new world of style has opened up to me, and I channel Hitchcock Blondes and French sex pots whenever I get ready to go out.

This has meant mastering black liquid liner... no small feat!

Blinc products are my newfound faves, and they make an excellent liquid liner as well as awesome mascara. With it being the holiday season, I've been pairing it with red lipstick for a festive look. I've got a feeling this look will outlast the season - it is too chic!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ode to David Bowie

He is like a god to me. I love him.

This Christmas, I want David Bowie under the Christmas tree... or a male French Bulldog that I can name after David Bowie. Either one would make me very happy - no need to wrap, just stick a bow on him.

The Prippy Gift Guide... Food Snob Place Cards

Foodies and Prippys often overlap, especially since there is somtimes open snobbery within both groups ( you could substitute Prippys for hipsters, tech geeks, environmentalists, etc. - everyone is a damn Foodie!).

So it was an absolute delight to find these Food Snob Place Cards at my fave shop, Greenwich Letterpress, to give as Christmas gifts.

They are the perfect gift for that family member who waxes poetic (as you roll your eyes) about bleu cheese on Christmas Eve!

Wonderful Winter Weekend

What a magical weekend... thank you 18 inches of snow! The last time we had this much snow it was 1922!

On Friday night, we went to The Nutcracker with a group of young supporters of the D.C. ballet known as the Jete Society. It was actually fun! After the performance, we grabbed cocktails at the timeless Willard Hotel's Round Robin Bar before heading to the Jete Society reception. As we headed to the party, the snow was already falling, and it started to feel like Christmas!

We woke up Saturday to lots and lots of snow... and it wouldn't quit! Bryan ran to the grocery store and stocked up on hot chocolate fixings and brunch materials. He also picked up my favorite pink prosecco to celebrate the season! After watching the dog bounce around in the snow, we headed over to a friends' apartment to celebrate a birthday.

When we arrived, with Bella the dog in tow, we were treated to nice red wine to toast the birthday girl (that they picked up the day they were engaged - love the idea!) and hearty beef stew that had been cooking all day. Delicious, delicious!

After dinner, we settled into a game that came to dominate our weekend... Salad Bowl. Now I'm sure this game goes by many names, but basically each person writes down 10 names on 10 little pieces of paper and throws them into a bowl. You and your partner take turns making each other guess the name pulled out of the bowl. It becomes hilarious!

After braving the elements to meet friends for brunch at Matchbox (a super tasty place on Capitol Hill) on Sunday, we decided to see how Salad Bowl would go with a bigger group. Let's just say, hilarity ensued! Who knew it would be so hard to get someone to say "Bing Crosby"!

It was a wonderful weekend spent with amazing friends. All of the laughing and childish fun reminded me of what the holidays are all about - simple pleasures with the people you love!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... Cruising In Style

Electra bikes have been an object of desire for me recently. They are unique, super stylish, and comfy for cruising around. Last year, they partnered with The Gap to make this argyle version. Prippys adore argyle, so I'm clearly in love!

Saturday Snow Day

So, apparently we're getting a boat load of snow tonight! They're saying 8 to 12 inches, and I'm starting to think they are right on the money with the forecast. The pooch and I were freezing on our morning walk!

A Saturday Snow Day will be lot's o'fun, especially with our old Jeep to get us around! Our friends are already plotting shennanigans... I'm hoping for some spiked hot chocolate and snow man building! Thankfully, most of my friends live on Capitol Hill, so we'll be able to meet up for the fun!

How do you like to spend snow days?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... Initial Necklace

I am in LOVE with these initial necklaces! Prippys love anything with a monogram, so I'm not surprised. Plus, I was a total geek for wax seals as a kid!

Ritzy Misfit makes these adorable (and affordable!) necklaces in a ton of colors... right now I'm wanting the turquoise or the yellow!

The Prippy Gift Guide... Pure Dark

My boyfriend's mom LOVES dark chocolate. Loves it. So, when I was shopping in NYC last weekend (once I download my pics, I'll post about it!), I stopped in an amazing store that specializes in dark chocolate, called Pure Dark.

The store is part retail shop, part cafe, and part museum. Simply put, you leave knowing more about chocolate than when you walked in!

They have roasted coco nibs, delicious hot chocolate, and awesome gift baskets. I know the dark chocolate I picked up is the perfect gift!

A Note Regarding Mustaches on Sticks

Now I'm not drinking Haterade, but I have to speak out against something that has really been frosting my cookies recently - fake mustaches on sticks (aka "Smitten Sticks").

Over the past few months, I've been helping a friend plan her wedding and reading a ton of wedding blogs to get inspiration. It seems like every other wedding post includes something I once thought was cute, but now dread... mustaches on sticks.

Photo by Carl Zoch

Seriously, ladies... why cover your beautiful wedding makeup with that silly nonsense? I just don't get it. I don't lack whimsy, but I find this trend just flat out silly.

What's next? Unibrow on a stick? Monocles on a stick? At least those would be something different and truly ridiculous to the point of funny!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... Cowboy Boots

Once upon a time, I owned a pair of black leather cowboy boots. My dad let me pick them out on a trip to Nashville. I loved them!

It has been a while since I could squeeze my feet into my boots from the 4th grade, and I'm ready to get my next pair. Since Christmas is a' coming, I figured they would be a perfect present to ask for from Santa (or my boyfriend). I'm hoping they're under my tree so I can rock them with dresses and skirts come spring!

Loving this pair from Ariat!

Oh to Be Like... Julianne Moore

I remember the first time I took notice of Julianne Moore. It was back in 1998, when I saw "Boogie Nights," and one of my fave movies, "The Big Lebowski" in the same weekend!

Her talent blew me away, but it was over the coming years that her style also won me over. From simple elegance on the red carpet, to an effortless casual look when photographed around town... Julianne always looks gorgeous! In my mind, we would hit it off famously if we met!

In the Domino article (so sad - RIP Domino!) where she decorates an apartment, she was more real and creative than celebrities who are plastered on magazines. I love her style in the home and on the street! She is a real woman who happens to have tremendous talent.

Can't wait to check her out next in Tom Ford's upcoming film, "A Single Man."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... Needlepoint Belt

Every Prippy needs a needlepoint belt... preferably handed down from your Scotch drinking father or uncle.

I enjoy this belt's delightful depiction of crabs and wine... because Prippys LOVE picking crabs on the Eastern Shore while sipping wine and listening to The Band!

Most Prippy men I know have the customized variety showing off boarding school emblems, country club logos, the Grateful Dead Bear, and a mallard.

I was too slow to order a custom belt for my man for Christmas... so thank god our anniversary is not too far off!

The Prippy Gift Guide... Fave Childhood Toys

Since the economy is less than delightful these days, I've been paying attention to my Christmas budget a bit more than years past. My creativity has been tested, but one thing I know will bring a lot o'joy to my friends and family are the childhood toys we loved!

I picked up some Plastic Bubbles, some Toy Accordions, Silly Putty, and candy!

I know how excited I was when I saw these little gifts, and I really hope everyone feels the same way on Christmas.

I would love to know your favorite childhood toys!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chocolate Yum-Yums

Last night, we trimmed our tree and Bryan made his favorite Christmas cookie... Chocolate Yum-Yums. They are DELICIOUS, and super easy! Here is the recipe for you to try them for yourself. Thanks, Grandma Dorsey!

1/2 stick butter
12 oz. semi=sweet chocolate chips
1 can condensed milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees
~ On low heat, melt butter and choco chips in a medium weight saucepan. Remove from heat just before the last chip melts - retained heat in the pot will complete melting
~ Stir in condensed milk
~ Mix in flour and vanilla (and nuts, if you like!) just until combined. Cookie dough is thick, and over mixing dries it out
~ Lightly grease a cookie sheet - Pam works just fine!
~ Drop cookie dough on sheet with a spoon and form them into little balls. Definitely works best if you forget the spoon and use your hands!
~ Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Watch carefully - cookies burn easily!
~ Cool cookies on a baking sheet fully before storing

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In My Library... Dirty Wow Wow

I LOVE this book! Dirty Wow Wow is a fabulously funny collection of stuffed animal portraits with accompanying stories about the beloved toy. It is touching, hilarious, and brings a smile to my face when I read it!

My sister had Lamby - a stuffed lamb whose fur she picked off until it was a droopy nylon object with one eye. My BF had Mr. Teddy - I'm sure I will learn more about him over the years, although I believe he mentioned he was married to Mrs. Teddy. As for me... lordy lou... I had Sweetheart the teddy bear and Patches the Bunny. I still have them, and Sweetheart still wears his Dorado Beach t-shirt we picked out together on a 1985 vacation to Puerto Rico. He looks very dapper in it!

Definitely check out Dirty Wow Wow, it would be a perfect Christmas gift to bring out the inner kid in anyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... Frenchie vs. Cupcake Car

If you read my blog, it's no secret that I've got a thing for French Bulldogs... and by a thing I mean an undying love. Forget the Neiman Marcus Cupcake Car (thanks for bringing this to my attention, Angela!), a Frenchie is far superior as a gift!

I couldn't resist sharing the insanity that is the Cupcake Car... seriously Neiman's? A Prippy knows a drug-induced idea when we see one!

Here Comes the Sun... American Optics

Founded in 1833, American Optics has been supplying our troops with shades for a long time... and they've been supplying my shades for well over a decade.

Simply put, they're the best aviators and true American classics. My BF even has a pair his grandfather wore in WWII (so amazing!).

Prippys LOVE the original brands for stuff! Oh... and they're totally affordable at under $60!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... A Well Dressed Man

I am in love with this Woolrich Plaid J. Press Sports Coat! Sorry there wasn't a picture of this AMAZING coat, but definitely check it out through the link.

To all the Prippy Men out there... gift this to yourself!

The Prippy Gift Guide... Colorful Coffee

I've got a confession... I'm a total coffee snob! Can't help it - good coffee is just too delicious to settle for burnt beans!

That being said, I think a French Press make the best brew, and I'm LOVING these colorful ones from Bodum. Add some Stumptown Coffee beans (roasted by an amazing friend!), and you've got the perfect gift for any coffee lover!

A Prippy in New York

Tomorrow I'm off to NYC to:

~ Visit wonderful friends
~ Pick up holiday cards at Greenwich Letterpress
~ Stomp around my old West Village hood
~ Get a haircut from the fabulous Tiffani at Michael Angelo's Wonderland Beauty Parlor in the Meatpacking District
~ Drink cheap-o beers at Corner Bistro
~ Admire the Christmas decorations
~ Dine at Tipsy Parson (love Little Giant - crossing fingers that the negative reviews are wrong!)
~ Shoppy shop shop
~ Stare longingly at French Bulldogs on Christopher!

Needless to say... I CAN"T WAIT!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... New York Lover

This book is super gorgeous, and filled with beautiful pics of many fave spots in the city! Breaking down chapters into shops, restaurants, and hotels - Taschen's New York is kind of like a bible for finding the best stuff in town.

As if the fabulous photography wasn't enough... there is an amazing pull-out map inside!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... Cutie Koozie

If you're a Prippy, you've probably brought a koozie with you to a party or two. Classy? Nope. Practical? Absolutely!

This Lilly-inspired koozie is a perfect gift for the Lady Prippy in your life. And of course... it can be monogrammed!

Joyeux Noël

My handsome BF works for a French company, and let me tell you... they throw one heck of a Holiday party!

Here in DC, work holiday parties take on a whole new meaning since so much "business" is done through socializing. Usually, they can blur together into one big open bar! So, it was a lovely surprise to see how the French celebrate the season with their office "family."

The food was amazing, drinking was in celebration (rather than to dull the work chat), and there were more kids than adults. Someone must have known I was not part of the team, and explained that family is a complete priority for the company... how refreshing is that! I was really touched by the effort made for all families to enjoy themselves.

As I sipped my Beaujolais Nouveau (SO delicious!), I watched the children perform with the karaoke DJ. When the boss's daughter performed Edith Piaf in French, it really felt like Christmas!

How have your holiday parties been going? Would love to hear about them!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... P.J.s

Growing up, my sis and I would get pajamas on Christmas Eve as the one present we could open early... I love the tradition! This year, I'm surprising my family with P.J.s, and I'm thinking of all the adorable options for lounging around, sipping coffee with eggnog, and opening gifts!

How comfy do these J. Crew leggins look?

Prippy Boozing

Man, oh man... I'm not the young Prippy I once was! Last night I had a wonderful time catching up with friends at an old favorite hangout, drinking pitcher beer, singing along to Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love," and just being plain silly! Now, I am paying a bit of a price for such a fun night... but it was worth it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... Tote-ally

I... love... these... bags! Perfect for the fashionista with a sense of humor.

Diving In

In my attempts to find a free workout (that isn't running), I took the recommendation of some friends and checked out the indoor public pool in my Capitol Hill hood. Now, swimming is one of my favorite parts of the day and my muscles are letting me know it's great exercise!

Each day, I can tell my form is coming along (thanks to some super helpful tips from my fellow swimmers!) and I feel so peaceful in the water. Best part - the pool is right next to Eastern Market, my fave spot!

Making the Bed

We desperately need new bedding, and I think this Target comforter set may be good a start!

Right now, we live in a sea of beige - the result of moving into my BF's former bachelor pad. Moving in together can be a challenge, but it's definitely worth it, and I know we will make it stylistically our place over time.

Any tips on integrating stuff into one apartment would be appreciated!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Prippy Gift Guide... Butternuts Variety Pack

I love unique brews and appreciate clever packaging, so it was an absolute delight to discover Butternuts Beers & Ales at the Philly Craft Beer Festival a few years back!

Butternuts makes a fantastic variety pack featuring four of their tasty beers, and I plan on giving it to my boyss for some instant Christmas cheer!

There's a Library... In the Laundry Room

For the first time in five years, I have the luxury of a washer/dryer in my apartment. No more hauling bags down the street to my teeny, tiny laundromat! No more fighting spider-cricket hybrid critters in the basement! No more I say!

But is it weird that I kind of miss the ritual?

When I lived in the West Village, I would put my laundry in, then walk to the White Horse Tavern and have a Guinness with Doc (the bartender) , then switch it out and have another brew before going home. I loved it! It became my laundry tradition and Doc would even play timekeeper for my load switches!

Yesterday, there was a fabulous article in the NYT looking into basement laundry room libraries. The story really highlights the sense of community that goes along with shared laundry facilities and city living. LOVE it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Love My Bean Boots

Prippies love'em some L.L. Bean! It's practical, and comes with a lifetime guarantee that Prippies go crazy for!

The best part about the temperature dropping, is that I can start wearing my knee high Bean Boots with dresses! I can remember my friend's mom wearing the loafer Bean Boot, with matching socks and turtlenecks... whatever's your pleasure, I guess!

Rather than opting for the Tory or Marc version, consider going for the original classics and saving yourself some Christmas money!

The Prippy Gift Guide... Sweet Lips

Tokyo Milk makes delicious and unique lip balms that leave your pucker smooth for hours, and won't break the bank ($12)! My favorite is Candied Violet, which is sweetly floral without overpowering the senses.

With its beautiful old world apothecary packaging, this balm makes for a perfect stocking stuffer or gift for your girls at the office!